Monday, January 30, 2012

Too Funny to Be Embarrassed

I was in Home Depot the other day buying paint, and while the guy was mixing it I went to the restroom. I had my little dog with me because she’s like a loaf of marble rye tucked under my arm almost everywhere I go like a fur handbag.

Anyway, about the time I went into the door, the phone rang and it was my husband returning my call, and since I couldn’t wait and I didn’t want to play phone tag with him, I told him the reason for the call as I rushed into the stall. Usually I can continue holding the dog and go to the bathroom too – don’t ask me how, just trust me. But since I had the cell phone in the other hand, I had to put the dog down.

My husband did what he does better than anything in the world. He started a fight. “What do you mean you want granite for the countertop? What happened to laminate?”

“My cousin Nancy says we should get a piece of scrap granite and use that.”

“I’m about sick of your cousin Nancy. That will cost $100 a square foot.”

“Not if we have John install it.”

“This is getting me all distressed.”

“You’re never anything but distressed.”

Right then I heard a scream two stalls down, followed by, “You’re a little dog, holy shit you scared the crap out of me. I thought you were some kind of rodent.”

I burst out laughing because it had not occurred to me that the dog would wander several stalls down and that there would be someone else in the bathroom, no doubt listening intently to me calling my husband names, and then totally off guard, look down and see a small black furry creature pop under the stall that immediately jumped up on her legs wanting to get pet because that’s what the dog does best in the whole wide world, and this woman with her pants hanging down around her knees – I couldn’t help but laugh – I’m laughing right now all over again.

“I’m so sorry,” I said. I heard my husband’s voice in the cell phone say, “Well that’s a first.”

“Not you,” I snapped.

“It’s sure a cute little dog,” the woman in the stall said. “But he gave me quite a fright.”

“It’s a girl,” I said.

“Who’s a girl?” my husband asked.

“I’ll call you back,” I said and hung up.

I finished my mission, called the dog, and ran out of the bathroom before the other woman could see me, although I don’t know what good that would do if she came across me in the aisle with that dog tucked under my arm. She would have probably guessed it was me. Luckily my paint was done and I could bolt without running into her.

Embarrassing as they are, I love those crazy times when there’s a confluence of circumstances that give me a few deep belly laughs. I should have sought that woman out and thanked her.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't Wanna See No Naked Man

Men do not look good naked – at least not to women. We don’t mind a nice looking guy in a pair of shorts – except if they are short-shorts, which look almost as bad as a naked man. A guy in a speedo is the worst. This may be an acquired taste for some women, but the rest of us would rather look at a pile of vomit full of maggots than a man in a speedo.

Unlike a woman, who will incite a veritable stampede of men if she simply takes off her shirt, a man must have other qualities besides a nice body in order to attract a women. He is forced to demonstrate his manly prowess by opening stubborn jar lids.

In the animal kingdom, males have to work very, very hard to attract a mate. They’ve got to butt antlers with other males with the force of a sledge hammer wielded by Arnold Swarzennager, or make their feathers stand up like they’ve stuck their beak into an electrical outlet.

The human male species, most of which lack either feathers or antlers, have to resort to other rituals. They will offer to carry things for you to show how strong they are. They will buy you dinner to show that they have money. They’ll try to show up in a cool car or put some smell-um in their hair.

You wanna know what’s really funny, though? I use Word for Mac to write, and then copy and paste it over into the blog, and Word is constantly underlining words because I am not the most accurate typist in the world. Hence as I write a blog it looks like some nasty English teacher has just graded it. You know, the spinster kind of English teacher with a bun pulled so tight in the back it’s making her eyes look Oriental except you can barely see them because she’s wearing those little half glasses that she peers over them in a condescending way, her mouth pulled into a tight line surrounded by wrinkles like rays from a pale, flat sun?

At this very moment, this blog is full of those red lines. I will run spell check and it will find most of them, but there will still be some stubborn words remaining that I’ll have to Google in order to look them up on an online dictionary or – better still – change them to something else that I know I can spell.

Amongst the typos and the perfectly normal words that look like they are spelled correctly but Word, the bitch, underlines them anyway because she’s a spinster and hasn’t been mated for a long, long time, Word let me get away with the word smell-um. It just did it again. Is smell-um seriously a real word? Some programmer put that into the list of acceptable words that Word would not slash with red just to show you how utterly stupid and incompetent you are? Really?

I’m going to have to take this matter to Google and see if smell-um is, in fact, a bona fide word in the English language because frankly I don’t mind telling you that I would be shocked – SHOCKED – if it in fact is a real word. Be right back.

OMG, the Urban Dictionary says it IS a real word, although they don’t hyphenate it. Here’s what they said:

Smell-um (smael-um) -a fragrance, often used in personal care products that are applied to one's person.

1. Ulysses Everett McGill from O Brother, Where Art Though: “I like the smell of my hair treatment; ... as soon as we get ourselves cleaned up and we get a little smellum - Dapper Dan Hair Tonic - in our hair...”

2. Calvin Klein's Obsession is a nice little smellum.

Well, I have learned something tonight – that Word likes smell-um but not smellum. Go figure. Speaking of figures, I like a man in some low-slung jeans and barefoot without a shirt if he doesn’t sling them too low like those stupid Abercrombie and Fitch guys. I do NOT want to see the top of a man’s hairless pubic area because someone must have waxed the hair away - those pants are so low - which seems sissy. I look away when I walk past the store in the mall. It’s the antithesis of attracting a mate, in my mind. Worse than a naked man, and it’s hard to get much worse than that.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Dieter's Song Accolades

I’m a little shy about marketing myself. Members of my writing group and a couple of my friends know I write this blog, but I’m not emailing people and pestering them to read my new posts.

But I did send The Dieter’s Song” to my writer’s group and some of my friends who I thought would commiserate with it. The response has been great! Debz says, “As I sit here my stomach still churning from the Tempeh and veggies I had for dinner, I think this little ditty was the best antacid anyone could offer! are a genius!”

I am going to take that as a compliment.

Sunny said, “Sweetheart you are hysterically funny!!! Loved it and shared it!”

And this from Gloria, “Oh Suzanne, this is so funny!

I mean: da da da da da da da friggin’ funny!”

Kelli says, “Love! Love it so much Suz. Very cute and cleaver:)” I especially like that Kelli thinks I’m cleaver – which is a new word defined as clever person with cleavage.

And finally from Donna, “Unbelievable...and to think you're hiding behind a solar panel...somehow you MUST write more!!! :} thanks for the laugh today. I've been working my butt off with a slew of exercise tapes and have lost nothing. Now I can at least laugh when I get on the scale tomorrow. :}”

There are a couple of things about Donna’s comment I want to address. (1) by “hiding behind a solar panel” she means that I have not been writing as much because I’m working such long hours. You, my loyal fans, will be happy to hear that I’ve decided to write at least something amusing every day (except Sunday).

(2) I am not at all sure what those brackets Donna is using mean. They don’t look like smiley faces. They’re actually a little unnerving – like something that could sneak up on you in the night. Something sinister with evil intent. Some kind of heathen thing. (Heathen is a great word – I saw it on a rerun of the Big Bang Theory tonight and decided, “I’m going to get that word in my blog post tonight some how or the other.” And sure enough, I managed to do just that. It is so satisfying to achieve a goal.)

Because of the great response, I am elated and feel quite bold and I’ve decided, just for today, to be shamelessly self-promoting. This urge may not hit very often, so take advantage of it now! Feel free to refer me to your friends and have them send flattering comments as well. This is a limited time offer – don’t let this opportunity slip away. Comment TODAY!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Reason to Celebrate

We have reason to celebrate, albeit a small reason. I had set a goal to write a blog post every day, and I was doing great until about post number 320. Then I started working full time (meaning way over 40 hours a week) at a solar company, and I was “too tired” to write. That is both the reason and the excuse for why my writing stopped soon after I started working.

I was exhausted each day and would come home and work at night on my computer trying to set systems in place that would “save time” and make the company “more efficient.” So exhaustion was the reason the blogs stopped. The excuse is that developing new systems is not fun – you encounter computer glitches all day, the project starts running way over budget, things don’t work like they’re supposed to – even after 4,000 tweaks. In other words, the humor gets sucked out of your life like an elephant sucking up a peanut.

Which leads me to the question – why do elephants like peanuts? Maybe it’s the salt. Or maybe they like that crunchy shell, because that peanut completely disappears – they don’t spit out the shell, not any elephant I’ve ever seen. I’m going to ask Google.

I’m back, and glad I took the time to answer this very burning question, which leads to another question, which is, why do we call them “burning” questions? Is it the same reason that whenever my son gets money, it “burns” a hole in his pocket?

I could ask Google that as well, but I’ll save it for another day because I know you’re “burning” to know the answer to the question, “Why do elephants like peanuts?” The answer, according to “Denny” at Yahoo! Answers, is: “Because African elephants risk their lives in dark caves for halite (NaCl) for their daily diet. Now circus elephants love peanuts because they're rich in halite mineral, and they're abundant.”

My English teachers would say, “What’s abundant, the elephants or the peanuts?” even though they knew exactly which one you’re talking about. In fact, they would have passed out a worksheet with this whole answer on it for us to “circle the mistakes” because it is fraught with errors and, might I add, needlessly aggravating. For instance, you are probably scratching your head and saying, “What in the rabbit-assed hell is halite?”

No wait, that’s what my dad would have said. He had all these unusual sayings that seemed to be made up but fit the circumstances so you never questioned what he was talking about.

As to the answer, why couldn’t the jerk (Denny) just tell us, because you and I don’t know what halite is, and we don’t have time to Google it. But no, this is all he said. I knew from high school chemistry that NaCl is sodium chloride, better known to us lay persons as “table salt.” So the answer, apparently, is because elephants need salt and a peanut has it. The imbecile (that’s a great word by the way, and one I don’t get to use nearly enough) went on to say that peanuts originated in Africa, which at least is interesting. I did Google halite and Wikipedia says: ”Halite, commonly known as rock salt, is the mineral form of sodium chloride (NaCl)."

Which leads us (finally) to today’s topic, ie why do we have reason to celebrate? Because I had time and humor enough over the last year to write a few blogs, and I have reached 365! Which is the goal I set, even though it took me about 800 days to do it instead of one year. Break out the champagne! Hmmm, I wonder why we “break out” the champagne. Is it because heck, let’s just clink those glasses and celebrate!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Dieter's Song

If you are like me, totally lacking in will power, then you’ve probably already fallen off the Dieter’s New Year’s Resolution wagon.

I made up a song to help us both climb back on and ride that thing the distance – or at least until the end of January, which I think is a pretty good success rate for an impossible New Year’s Resolution.

This song is sung to the tune of the “59th Street Bridge Song” better known as “Feeling Groovy” by Simon and Garfunkle. If you’re not ancient, you may not know the song, so here’s a link to listen (excuse the commercial at the first – it’s short):

59th Attempted Diet Song

Slow down, you’re eatin' too fast
You gotta make that salad last
Just pickin' at the chicken bones
Lustin’ for more cause
I’m so hungry
Ba da da da da,da da friggin’ hungry.

Hello French toast
Whip cream flowin’
Can’t eat you - my belly’s growin'
Not one single bite for me
Do it do do do I’m so hungry
Ba da da da da,da da friggin’ hungry.

Got no cheese or booze,
No licorice or wheat
I'm starving and grumpy and feeling so weak
Let the morning scales drop all these pounds off of me...
Diet, I hate you,
I’m so hungry
Ba da da da da,da da friggin’ hungry.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bible Bingo

Last night I won seventy-five bucks playing Bingo. They also let you pick an additional goofy little prize – last night they had a couple of glow sticks, a back scratcher, Pop Rocks, a candy necklace – some really cool stuff. And they had a Bible. A Bible. In the bar as a prize for gambling. It was a white Bible in a plastic wrapper about the size of a regular 6” x 9” paperback book.

I did not need another Bible, but the Catholic guilt in me launched a monologue in my head that I could hear even above the pounding music. The guilt said, “You can’t choose exploding candy over a Bible, how could you even think that. Pick it up right now and get it out of this den of iniquity.”

I heaved my shoulders back and said to myself, “Look, I don’t need another Bible and I really, really want those Pop Rocks.”

“If you don’t choose the best gift of all, every one who wins Bingo is going to come over here and make fun of the Bible. You HAVE to take it.”

This argument went on for an inordinate amount of time, but as you may well have guessed, guilt won out and I sheepishly grabbed the Bible and sulked back to the table.

“Oh my gosh,” Laurie said. “She picked the Bible!” Laurie and Olivia burst out laughing as if that was the funniest thing they’d ever witnessed. Olivia grabbed it and looked at the label on the back. “This thing was published in China, the most atheistic country in the world. So you won a Bible published in a godless country in a bar drinking beer and gambling.”

She prized open the plastic wrap. “Is it written in Chinese,” I asked.

“No it’s in English, but the words are microscopic,” Olivia said. The words were as small as the directions on a medicine bottle. “Nobody could read this.”

They kept laughing and making Bible-in-the-bar jokes until the guy came around with more Bingo cards. We bought cards and spread them out, dobbing the free space and getting prepared for the next game. Laurie put her hand on the Bible and said, “For good luck.” Olivia and I put our hands on top of her’s, and then started giggling because of the irony of that – asking the Lord to help us gamble successfully.

Turns out Olivia ended up winning on one of my Bingo cards, and we got 50 more dollars. Since it was my card officially, I was the winner, so I split the prize with them because by that time I’d have enough alcohol to make me magnanimous. We made Olivia go up and get the prize money, and she picked out the Pop Rocks. There were three little bags in the package so I ended up with my exploding candy after all. It was Karma – or whatever the equal to that is in the Bible. I think I made the right choice.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Reading Health Magazines Is Scarey

I was in a building permit office today waiting for a plans review – which is very similar to waiting at the doctor’s office and strikingly similar to waiting for a nurse to call you to get a colonoscopy or mammogram – you’re at the plan reviewer’s mercy, holding your breath that (s)he will accept the plans you’ve drawn and not ream you out with the words: “Looks like this is going to require engineering.” Because if (s)he says that, you’re immediately behind schedule by two+ weeks AND it’s going to cost you a whole ton more money that you didn’t budget into your solar system contract. Money will fly out the door like sun rays from the sun.

Since there is always a wait at these permit offices, they try to help you pass the hours with a few months’ old magazines. I picked up Shape magazine and within seconds found out I was at risk for glaucoma, skin cancer, and stroke – all for just being the victim of genetics.

Did you know that if you’re a woman who wears glasses, glaucoma risk rises – especially if it runs in your family (thanks to my grandfather who I affectionately called Pops).

Also if I wear sunscreen I’m more at risk for sunburn – why? Because I may artificially think that I can stay out longer, or maybe I’m not slathering on enough or often enough, or maybe it’s because I got up on the wrong side of the bed – scientists aren’t sure and even if they were, they will change their minds in a few years and everything they preached today will seem ridiculous a decade from now.

I could have a stroke for any number of very good reasons, many of which I can’t do anything about, such as having a parent whose had a stroke. Eating everything in site, including shoe leather and bugs, doesn’t help my case either. I’m just kidding about the shoe leather part, har har.

But now I must digress from this intriguing topic to let you all know, each and every one of you, that I just won $75 playing Bingo! I went out with a couple of girlfriends to Renner’s bar in Multnomah where they play Bingo on Wednesday nights. I went kicking and screaming - the place has been a little uncouth in the past with drunken bar maids slurring out the numbers and trying to be stand up comedians between calling numbers with no success whatsoever, but they have new management and it’s not as raunchy as before. Yes, there were a couple of comments about the Bingo “balls” but who can resist going there if you’re the guy calling Bingo. It was quite fun, all the more so because of winning and the beer and the cinnamon whiskey and the Jello shots with whipped cream.

Whoo-wee! I must elaborate more tomorrow – the bed is calling so loud my ears are ringing.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hanging On to Christmas

It’s January 3rd and my neighbor still has a gajillion (I counted) Christmas lights up in her front yard. It’s lit up like a stadium over there.

I like them, but I was taught that it’s white trashy to have your Christmas lights on after New Year’s. You can leave them up all year round if you want (but that’s technically white trashy too), but if you turn them on Before Thanksgiving or After New Years, then, as Jeff Foxworthy says, “You might be a redneck.”

On the way home from the movie tonight (I saw, “We Bought a Zoo!” which was wonderful if you happen to like heart warming, feel good types of movies – I know this is not everyone’s cup of tea. Don’t get me started about blood and guts in movies. Why? Because I’m already off track with tonight’s subject and surely you don’t want me going even further afield? I didn’t think so.

On the way home from the aforementioned movie, I observed that about every 5th house still had their Christmas lights up. That equates to roughly 20% of the population in my neck of the woods being white trash, which seems much lower than the national average as seen on TV. My vision of the outside world as seen on TV may be skewed because the shows my husband gravitates to have names such as “Swamp People” and “Storage Wars.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with people making an honest living killing alligators and rummaging through other people’s abandoned storage units, but can you imagine the Rockerfellers or Kennedy’s engaged in these activities? I can just see one of these high-brows showing up boatside amongst the assorted crooked-toothed, scraggly-haired, cuss word slingin’, rifle-totin’ “stars” of one of those shows where they track down animals and shoot ‘em for their pelts right on TV.

“Oh, sorry there Mr. Rocketfeller, sir, but you jist steeped in a pile a gator shit right there.”

“Oh drat the luck, I will have to have my valet, James, sanitize them when we get back to our hotel suite.”

Judging from my TV, about 98% of the US population is white trash, and the other 2% are simply foul-mouthed, with beeps making up a good 70% of the dialogue. I bet they all still have their Christmas lights up.

Well, this is enough facts and figures for one evening. I have beat this dead horse senseless, and so I will ride him off into the sunset, where my path will be illuminated with the warmth of Christmas lights looking like Santa’s runway all up and down the January street.