Archive for May, 2012

An article in USA Today reported that bathrooms have overtaken kitchens as the top remodeling job. More homeowners are going high-tech with the following options: mirrors that double as flat TV screens, toilets dubbed iPoos with automatic bidet-like cleaning, heated seats, built-in speakers and smartphone docking stations; all this to make one’s time in the bathroom more enjoyable.

I’m not a person who goes to the bathroom for a mini retreat. May be it’s because I grew up in a house with six people and one bathroom. Dawdling was not an option. Rarely were you able to go about your business and not have someone bang on the door for you to, “Cut it short and get out. Others are waiting.” When you’re little and going # 2 and an adult commands you to ‘cut it short,’ you look down and panic. Is it even possible? I didn’t bring scissors.

When I had kids I had to lock the bathroom door to keep them out. To make sure I wouldn’t forget them during my time inside they would slide books and notes under the door. My son drew a picture of himself crying because he missed me. Who knew when you had kids that even going to the bathroom could become a guilt trip?

Some people live by the motto ‘when you gotta go, you gotta go,’ no matter where; even if it’s a public swimming pool. Now that people are flocking to pools to stay cool, you can bet public urination will be going on all over the place (even in your pool.) This is the time of year when the most personal of all personal acts goes public. It’s like watching a bird flying and pooping on someone’s head. Adults and children are peeing in your local pools and beaches.

Just imagine a shark coming in for the kill on some clueless kid. I do believe a shark is enough to make any kid ‘cut it short’ and get the hell out of there.

 

We attended a high school graduation this weekend. As I watched the graduates walk across the stage to receive their diploma I thought some of them will become famous not for curing cancer, but because of reality television. But, what disturbed me more than that was looking at the parents. After each kid got their diploma a family picture was taken onstage (it was a small graduation.) I watched as the families smiled and thought, wow, some of these people look really old. I mean old enough to be the grandparents.

It’s only logical with people having babies later and later in life that this will become the norm. You know how you don’t ask a strange, fat woman if she’s pregnant? Well don’t ask an old, gray haired lady if she the grandmother. The answer will be no. Why with a host of medical options available today to have a baby it no longer matters if a woman is past childbearing age and has shriveled eggs.

Looking at the elderly parents I told myself that may be this kid was the last one in a long line of children – like twenty. I got a mental snapshot of what the Duggar parents will look like when their last kid graduates.

Parents should be making travel plans when their last child goes off to college, not nursing home plans.

Sure there have been men like Charlie Chaplin and Tony Randall who had children late in life, but they had a young wife. The key is for one of you to be young, otherwise you’ll be changing your baby’s’ diaper along with yours. But, let’s look on the bright side – if your kid is ‘Reality Television Famous’ you’ll be taken care of. You’ll have a role in the show created especially for you, ‘Living With the Old Geezer.’

 

There’s one advantage to being 102. There’s no peer pressure.

DENNIS WOLFBERG

Today is the unofficial start of summer. It’s a day for remembering and for many, a day to barbecue. Summer carries with it its own distinct, wonderful smells. There’s nothing better for me than to smell a steak cooking on a charcoal grill, unless its fresh cut watermelon.  It’s heavenly. Every year I anticipate my first piece of sweet tasting, juicy watermelon of the season.

I like peaches as much as watermelon. I like a juicy, flavorful peach whose juices run when you bite into it. That’s a good peach. I anticipate my first peach much like some anticipate their first kiss. Only some peaches, like some kisses, are dry as sand; a bitter disappointment. Some peaches, like some kisses, are wet and sloppy, and lacking in flavor. Not worth the wait. And some peaches, like some kisses, awaken your taste buds to a celebration going on.  It’s just right.

So, this summer, enjoy the smells of your barbecued steak, freshly cut grass, the ocean on your skin and may all your peaches and kisses be worth the wait.

 

Jonathan Swift
This is every cook’s opinion -
no savory dish without an onion,
but lest your kissing should be spoiled
your onions must be fully boiled.

An article in USA Today reported that in an attempt to revive declining sales, gum brands are making changes and trying to give teens relevant reasons to chew gum. One change that caught my eye is degradable gum which can disintegrate into a fine powder using water and elbow grease. Just think how easy it’ll now be to remove wads of gums from underneath school desks, restaurant tables and movie theater seats. No matter how you try to dress it up gum is still gum. After a few minutes it losses its flavor, much like colored soap loses its color.

I’ve never been big on gum. I chew it till it loses its flavor and then I spit it out. Why, I’ve stepped in gum more times than I’ve chewed it.

What drives me crazy about the people who chew gum are the ‘poppers,’ they don’t chew, they pop, pop, pop. It’s usually the girl in the movie theater, twirling her hair, sitting next to me.

Then there are the people who chew loudly. We had a tour guide inHawaiithat chewed loudly. He’d point out an attraction, “And over there are the sugar canes”…Then he’d pause to chew, chew, chew his gum. It wouldn’t have been so annoying if he didn’t hold the microphone up to his mouth. He’d continue with, “To the left we have”…. Chew, chew, and chew. “And to the right you’ll see”… chew, chew, burp. That burp was included in the gratuity tax.

As I viewed the beauty ofMauiI chewed on ugly thoughts of where I wanted to stick his gum. Since it was the pre degradable gum days it would have been hard to remove.

I have been fortunate to have two of my stories chosen for an upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul book.  Chicken Soup for the Soul, Married Life is due out in stores May 29, 2012.

Don’t you just hate when you walk into a spider web? An arm or leg isn’t as bad as your face getting tangled in one. The other day I walked (and not distracted walking which I previously blogged about) right into a web. When you’re out in public swatting and pulling at your face people look at you funny. The web clung to my lipstick, nose and eyeglasses. YUCK! Personally, I don’t know how Spider Man does it. It would be common courtesy if spiders posted a caution sign reading, ‘Spider Web,’ much like ‘Wet Floor’ or Wet Paint’ signs.

I know some people who should carry caution signs reading’ Fart Stench Zone’ around with them as a common courtesy to alert others after cutting the cheese. If a person is aware they’re entering the Fart Zone they would hold their nose and stop talking.

Only the farter doesn’t give a heads up (due to embarrassment) and lets an innocent person walk right into it and start choking and gasping. When this happens they pretend to look for a culprit when you know it’s them; there’s no one else around. It’s bad enough to walk thru the zone and smell it, but to walk thru it while talking is dangerous. It’s like swallowing a toxic gas.

The worse case scenario would be to walk face first into a web, located in a Fart Zone. A scented web – that’s one scratch-n-sniff you don’t want to smell; the horror.

And with this I leave you until next time.

Do you read your daily horoscope? I don’t because I find horoscopes to be along the same lines as a weather forecast – throwing in a little bit of everything. The similarities make the two interchangeable.

The following is an example of a generic forecast/horoscope. Today will bring intermittent showers of annoying people and periods of brief sunshine basking you in the glow of undeserved adulation from people who love you no matter what (your grandparents.) See what I mean? When broken down line by line the similarities are more pronounced.

Horoscope – today you should cease the opportunity to strengthen family ties and call loved ones.

Weather forecast – with the unpredictable weather pattern we’ve been having it’s to close to call whether its ties on the atmosphere will bring hail or severe strong winds.

Horoscope – expect the winds of change to lead your life in a new direction.

Weather forecast – strong winds may cause down power lines and uproot trees. Be prepared for traffic to be redirected.

Weather – a sky full of clouds will overshadow the lushness of May.

Horoscope – don’t let your internal darkness cloud and overshadow your chance at happiness.

Weather – as the sun sets and the moon illuminates the night sky the North Star will be visible.

Horoscope – follow your inner compass and you will shine like the North Star, illuminating the night sky.

I like getting my haircut. I like the shampoo. I like the head massage. I like the cutting. All this relaxes me. What I don’t like is the mess of hair all over me. Hair falls and clings to my eyelashes causing irritation and mascara to run. It falls into my ears and sticks out causing people to run and buy me grooming products for unwanted facial hair. It falls and lands on my lips and is inhaled while talking, causing me to choke. And even though my hairdresser rinses my hair after cutting, loose hairs remain hidden.

Later these hairs show up on my pillow. They appear on my clothes. And they will fall on to my nose and into my soup. One will always silently drift onto my white bread sandwich. It’s enough to make me want to pull the hair out of my head and be bald. May not be a bad idea. But then I’d have to apply sunscreen on sunny days.

And why is it always a bald guy driving a convertible with the top down? This is like the guy who wears socks with sandals. Stop it! It’s not right! It’s not attractive! Does the bald convertible driving guy apply sunscreen? Once I was behind one in traffic and the sun was reflecting off his head that I had to lower my visor and put on my sunglasses.

Only if I went bald there’d be no fuss, no muss, no cutting involved; just sunscreen.

If I get sunscreen should I get cream or spray on? Either one leaves streaks. I don’t want to walk or drive around with a streaked head. How bad would that look if I drove a convertible? On second thought I’ll keep my hair and get a wig.

 

An article in USA Today about ‘distracted walking’ (which is people talking on cell phones, texting or listening to music while walking and not paying attention) mentioned that cell phone use by pedestrians led to more than 1,000 emergency room visits nationwide in 2008. And in March a woman had to be rescued fromLake Michiganafter she fell off a pier while walking and texting.

I believe a person’s height can also be a danger when walking. What do I mean? I’ll tell you. One Christmas when my son was very young (and therefore short) we took him to NYC to see theRockefellerCentertree. We walked the very crowded and bustling sidewalks. To those who didn’t even see him close to the ground he was an unseen speed bump on the way to their destination. He was swept along with their swinging arms. He was kicked by their determined gait. And he was bumped along by the multiple of shopping bags they toted. He walked on an island of danger all because he was short.

When my brother-in-law was young (and also short) he would walk (before cell phones) with his head down and bump into things such as parking meters. People were always telling him to look up. Well, one day he listened, looked up and promptly fell into a large pothole. He no longer walks. He drives and is always on the lookout for little kids in big pot holes.

On a bright, sunny, windy day we had our first outdoor meal of the year. In anticipation my husband bought an adjustable umbrella. Anytime the sun changed direction or the wind grew bothersome he would adjust it. The man spent more time adjusting the umbrella then he did eating.

Our neighbors also ate in their backyard; only instead of an umbrella they had a pop up gazebo. The wind repeatedly knocked it over. The first time it collapsed on the kids heads they screamed and ran for safety. By the tenth time the kids just kept eating figuring they better finish their meal before it got cold.

One must deal with the elements when eating outdoors. During one backyard barbecue the wind lifted a paper plate across the table onto my son-in-laws shirt, splattering ketchup on it. When I go to a picnic I dress for mess.

I dress in anticipation of ketchup and mustard stains. I dress in anticipation of spilled drinks. I dress in anticipation of squished ant stains on the seat of my pants. I could only imagine the ant sitting on the bench minding its own business only to look up in the face of a descending butt. It’s embarrassing when people look and see the brown stains on your backside because you know they’re thinking you had an Oops. I apply bug spray in anticipation of mosquitoes. I wear a sweater in anticipation of chilly weather and sun block in anticipation of sunburn. Preparation time for eating outdoors? One hour.

I sit down at the table in anticipation of a good meal. Time spent eating? Ten seconds. I didn’t anticipation the weatherman being right about the rain.