Archive for April, 2013

There’s an App for that

USA Today ran a piece about a new smartphone app in Iceland called “App of Icelanders.”  In a country where most people are related the app lets you know if you should pour water on the flames of passion that erupted for the person you just met. The slogan is “Bump the app before you bump in bed.” This app can prevent granny, who’s a cougar, from actively pursuing the pizza delivery boy, who as it turns out is her long, lost grandson. Eew!

Granny should look for hot and spicy from the pizza, not the pizza delivery boy.  She should be doing what is the universal right of all grandmothers – pinching her grandchildren’s cheeks. We’ve all had grandparents or some relative that love to pinch cheeks. Some do one at a time and some do both simultaneously. Some pinch and shake so hard causing whiplash.

Every child has a relative they don’t want to hug. “Come give Auntie Bess a big hug.” “No, I don’t want to,” gets you reprimanded and a shove toward aunt Bess. Reasons for not wanting to kiss her are endless: she smells, she slobbers all over my ear, she leaves lipstick on my cheek, and she gives cheap birthday gifts.  It’s a laundry list of justified excuses.

This is why shaking someone’s hand should suffice for a proper greeting. There are several types of handshakes: the one shake, the shake-and-pump, the two handed shake (one hand does the shaking and the other cups both hands), the limp shake and the pat on the back while shaking shake. If everybody shook hands we wouldn’t need to worry why Granny gets pizza delivered twice a day, every day.

More and more companies are introducing “nap rooms” or “energy pods” which are said to leave employees happier and more productive. The “pod” which has been used by Procter and Gamble and Google resembles a chaise lounge and has an adjustable pod top to block light. One New Jersey office has a nap
room with one recliner, allowing one worker at a time to catch up on sleep.

Tensions will rise as you’ll get that one worker who will abuse his nap time by oversleeping. It’s like the person at the gym who exceeds the time limit on the
elliptical machine. If there’s a time line, will alarm clocks be available to wake the person who may be a heavy sleeper? I don’t want to be the person next
in line to receive the wrath of a coworker, waken from a dream featuring Gerard Butler.

I think napping on the job can be a lifesaver for those who have trouble sleeping at night; now they don’t have to worry about falling asleep at their desk. It can become a problem if there’s a worker who comes in late, takes an extra-long lunch, sleeps for over an hour and leaves early. The words “increased productivity” are lost on such a person.

In Italy, every afternoon there’s a siesta. I witnessed stores, restaurants and every business shut down so people could rest and be refreshed for the remainder of the day. If kids in kindergarten (who eat paste and play with blocks) get to nap, why not adults? It makes sense.

Only, napping at work can get dangerous if the line for the pod (like the ladies room line) is long and management asks employees to double up in using the pod. Next thing you know, you’re nose to nose with Fred, the guy you have a crush on. Soon, you and Fred are having a fling and doing more than management permits in the pod. You and Fred are fired for not sleeping (when you should have been) on the job.  So, you and Fred lose your job, lose your spouses and your houses. You and Fred are now two peas in a pod, sleeping in a van. Pity.


They’re back! A “brood” of 17 –year cicadas will emerge this spring along the East coast according to an article in USA Today. Cicadas are loud and in order for a male to attract a female it emits a deafening chorus, which can reach 90 decibels – as loud as a lawnmower.

I’d rather wake up to the sound of cicadas rather than a lawnmower. We’ve all lived next door to the neighbor who starts their mower at 7a.m.on a Saturday morning. If you haven’t had such a neighbor then you are the neighbor. I’d rather wake up to birds chirping rather than a neighbor with a snow blower. I’d rather wake up to wind chimes chanting in the breeze rather than loud, blaring music from a passing car.

When we lived inPennsylvaniathere was a cricket that lived in a bush below our bedroom window. On nights I went to bed and the window was open I would hear the cricket. It was a calming sound that rang through the darkness and quiet of the night. The sound of that one lone cricket would lull me to sleep. It was my own personal lullaby. Sometimes the rustling of leaves accompanied it. Sometimes the moon would cast a glow on nature’s symphony. I succumbed to a peaceful sleep.

Mornings on the other hand were a different story. Tap, tap, tap would go the woodpecker outside my bedroom window. Before sunrise the woodpecker would wake me up. Woody came in and Jiminy left; it was like the changing of the guard. My abrupt morning start was in stark contrast to my blissful bedtime. I didn’t need an alarm clock with the pecker around.

The only thing worse would have been if the lawnmower, cicadas and woodpecker arrived all at once.

Do you have dry skin? Can you write the word “dry” using your fingernail on your leg? The question is not do you need lotion, it’s what kind of lotion? Do you buy bottled lotion with or without a pump? I never buy a pump because when you get to the bottom you can’t stand it upside down to drain every drop. When ketchup gets low I turn it upside down on the refrigerator door and every time you open the door it falls, so you stand it back up. I know I’m not the only person to do this.

I have a bottle of lotion upside down on my night table. It’s held up by a tissue box, alarm clock and another half-full lotion bottle. At night when I reach for my water (blind without my glasses) if I accidentally bump into any of these items in my house of cards, there’s a lot of clatter and then a thud. That thud is the lotion – it has fallen.

When I was younger I would apply lotion to combat the ever lingering smell of Nair on my freshly shaven legs. As I’ve aged I apply it to more places such as elbows. I never want anybody to look at my elbows and see a frowning face staring back at them.

When I go on a trip I use whatever the hotel provides. Luckily we don’t vacation for more than a week as the travel size bottles wouldn’t last. I’ve never been to a hotel that has lotion with a pump. You know why? Pumps don’t come that small. Imagine such a teeny tiny pump, the size of your thumbnail, to fit in such a small bottle.

You’d probably find one for a Barbie house where everything is cute, small or like Barbie herself… perky.  I suspect the gal has never used lotion in all her 50 plus years. Since she hasn’t had to worry about cracked heels or turkey neck she will forever be cute, perky and minus an upside bottle of lotion bedside.

USA Today listed some weird state tax laws. The one that got me was the New York tax which imposes an 8-cent tax to all “altered” bagels, whether it’s sliced, toasted or served with butter or cream cheese. It stated that a cut bagel crosses the line and becomes a prepared food for consumption, which is taxable.

If I ever plan a trip to New York I’ll be sure to bring along packets of butter and cream cheese. The packet contents would survive walking around New York on a cold day with refrigerator temperatures, but I don’t think they’d survive 90 degree temperatures. After hours of sightseeing you stop at the bagel shop where you order a plain bagel. You whip out your 2 inch knife (which luckily for you is now allowed on planes) and cut open your bagel. You reach in your pocket for the butter and cream cheese packets. You go to spread them on the bagel and out comes soup. Walking around all day in the heat and humidity has caused your butter and cheese to melt. You decide against ordering a toasted bagel with cream cheese as your mate ordered one toasted with cream cheese on one half and butter on the other half, plus lox. You can’t afford such an extravagance with a mate who’s bleeding you dry.

On our trips to my grandmother’s my mother and I would stop at the neighborhood bagel factory and buy some. The smell of freshly baked bagels was enough to have us crazy with hunger by the time we got to her apartment. Once there we would alter the bagel and pop one in the toaster. The bagel would pop up only so high as it always got stuck in the toaster. So, we’d unplug the toaster to avoid electrocution while we fought to remove it with knives and forks. Bye the time we finally got the bagel out it was a shell of its former self, shrunken and disfigured. It was a blob of gluten waiting to attack our digestive system.  We covered it in artery clogging cream cheese and dove into it. Even though we loved it, it would not have seemed right to place a tax on something so hideous. is a website for married couples who want to have affairs. The slogan, ‘Life is Short. Have an Affair,’ appears on their billboards. The founders (a married couple) of the site believe this site services a need and might be an alternative to divorce. Call me crazy, but wouldn’t marriage counseling work? They claim if a spouse pursues sex on the side it makes it easier to stay in a sexless marriage. Since I live in NC where a spouse can sue for ‘Alienation of Affection,’ I wonder if divorce occurs because of an affair thanks to this site – who does the spouse sue… the website, the other woman, or both?

One can argue what constitutes an affair. Is it the physical act or can it be emotional? I address this topic in a play I wrote, If That Ain’t Cheating, Then What Is, where the characters give their own personal insight to a question whose answers are as different as the people themselves.

Most women consider an emotional affair the ultimate in betrayal. An emotional affair is the deal breaker. Not only did you dip your toe in the waters, but your heart as well. Such cheating can not be forgiven.

Why, just this week I’ve considered cheating twice already, on my diet that is. It’s been hard to ignore all the Easter candy in my house. Temptation! Temptation! Just because I look longingly at the Easter bunny with the extra long ears does not mean I’ll indulge. It does not mean my willpower will dissolve and I’ll succumb to my desires. No. Instead I keep my thoughts of lust and desire where they should be – in my imagination. I’ve imagined nibbling the ears off my daughter’s bunny and experiencing the sweet sensation of chocolate goodness in my mouth. Oh, the emotional satisfaction. Only, I know if I ate the whole bunny or just the ears it would be cheating. Cheating is cheating.

Not sure how many people will show up at your funeral? Are you afraid of looking unpopular and unloved? There’s a company based in Essex,England, called Rent a Mourner. For $68 dollars you get a complete stranger to weep for two hours. I have some concerns. What’s the payment policy? I would assume payment’s made in advance as it would be pretty hard to get money from the dearly departed. Since payment’s made in advance, there’s no guarantee the mourners will show. Who would know? Certainly not the deceased. Now that I’ve expressed my concerns… does anybody besides me think this is a way to make easy money?

If you’re worried about low attendance at your funeral, don’t have one. Choose cremation. It’ll save you from worrying (which probably expedited your departure,) land consumption and money (on mourners.) The only worry you’ll have with cremation is who gets possession of your urn.

I know a woman who got tired of dusting her late husbands urn (which didn’t match her furniture) so she packed and shipped the urn to the man’s sister. She included a note which read, ‘I’ve had him long enough. It’s your turn.’ Hallmark doesn’t make a card for such an occasion. I don’t know if the sister eventually passed the urn along to someone else. I do know the two ladies no longer speak. But, it wouldn’t surprise me if she did; the guy was not nice. Imagine, receiving a package, opening it and looking at Uncle Walter. Surprise. It’s not like getting Christmas cookies. Uncle Walter (who’s ineligible for frequent flier miles) has traveled the country, just like Flat Stanley. Poor Uncle Walter, if only he’d paid for the mourners.