Monthly Archives: February 2013

Why You’ll Need a Dictionary to Laugh

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Bamboozled. Loopy. Wasabi. According to an article in Writers Digest, these words, when added to an essay, will cause readers to titter. (I added titter, not only because it’s a funny word, but because, if the word is spoken aloud, millions of men will tune in and hopefully stay put, even when they get to the “ter.”)

This article made me scratch my noggin and wonder if I have the gumption to write a post with as many of these words as I can possibly stuff in to see if it can make even your basic curmudgeon finagle a grin.

Now, I know my blog readers won’t be bamboozled into laughter, just because I write the word didgeridoo. Indubitably, my readers are more persnickety and would most likely eschew that sort of falderal. (that one’s mine too.)

This sort of thing can be a little janky (yeah, I had to look that up. It means of poor quality,) so I’ll try not to get all gunky, so you can get back to canoodling (if you’re lucky.)

Here’s the thing, even though the most lackadaisical namby-pamby enjoys a good laugh, no one can be all things to all people. My humor is probably best understood and dismissed as the musings of an unstable mind by Americans. So I’m always gobsmacked when someone in Sri Lanka reads my doohickey.

Are people in countries where they still wear pantaloons amused by my love for Chris Martin? Do the Bahamians enjoy the word wenis when they look it up and realize it means the extra skin on your elbow? Or do they wander off, and give up on the whole shebang feeling hornswoggled?

Since I’ve received hits from 29 countries, I have to believe that a bevy of folks make the attempt to understand what I’m talking about, even those in Canada, whose national anthem I’ve mangled in a previous post.

At this time, I’m going to interrupt this blog to say, I’m not going to use smegma in a sentence, even though it’s pretty amusing on the surface, it’s icky underneath. You’re welcome, Words with Friends players.

By this point, many of you are unable to read through your tears of laughter or have wandered off after realizing titter means giggling. Personally, I’m not sold. First of all, it seems like a lot of hullabaloo (note to Boomers: You’re thinking sixties rock programming, aren’t you?) for a single blog post read by tens of people.

Secondly, it’s just too much work, which is not something to do for a hobby. Hitherto, I’ve just typed what goes on in my head, much to everyone’s chagrin.

So, to avoid a rumpus, I’ll return to my usual loopy meanderings once I’ve tested spell check to it’s limits.

However, for a change of pace. See if you can count the funny words and I’ll tell you if you’re right.

By the way, I had to introduce four of these words to my dictionary.

Why Mothers Should Worry

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Explaining motherhood to the uninitiated can be difficult, especially when it comes to the love factor, because the type of love required to attach you to a person who comes into the world by forever altering your body for the worse is a 2,000 on a ten point love scale.

Whoever came up with integrating mother love into a female did a much better job than they did with say, gnats. Really, what’s the point with gnats? They simply live a life to irritate normal people who are just trying to enjoy the summer, much like family BBQs.

I remember telling a terrified acquaintance,who feared she wouldn’t love her infant, that she would feel overwhelming love for her own baby after introductions were made, even though there wasn’t a chance in the world that her baby would be as adorable as mine. After all, my son broke off my tail bone as a how-do-you-do and it only took three or four months to forgive him and treat him like a member of my family. (It took my dogs forever. They were really pissed about the tailbone thing, but it’s quite possible that they misunderstood what happened, as they often had a tendency to do when they were distracted by the word “bone.”)

I’m kidding about my reaction to the tailbone incident of 1988, of course; it wasn’t my son’s fault he had a head like a basketball; that lies with me. I can’t even try hats on in public because they sit on top of my skull like a thimble, thus making other shoppers think they are in a clown hat store and shop owners less than happy to see me.

Anyway, mothers-to-be tend to worry, and not just about the fact that her upcoming baby won’t hold a candle to mine. (and don’t let your baby hold a candle; that’s the number one rule.) Yet, unless your baby is a trouble maker, and most of them aren’t, as there is little trouble to be caused while lying in bed drooling, you don’t have to worry about baby generated nonsense, that’s for grown men.

At this point I’m going to pause and say, no first time mother has, or ever will believe this to be true. I guess you have to have more than one child to understand this from the get go. Because I have no back-up children, it took me a few years to truly understand this and you can ask the 24-year-old version of my Angel Bunny, who is, as we speak, yelling at Congress in my basement.

So, here’s a list of what you should worry about: is your baby, warm, fed, clean and not likely to hold candles? Yes? Now you can stop worrying unless spots appear and you don’t own a firstborn armed with a marker.

Worries can be as varied as the mothers who lie awake at night. (Trick point. All mothers like awake, their babies don’t let them sleep. A friend of a friend once worried that if God gave her an ugly baby, she wouldn’t know about it as she thought of all of her children as the most beautiful ever born. She was wrong, of course as we have already covered, but I’m sure her baby was pretty good.

Most mothers worry about situations that will never happen no matter how many times other mothers insist that they will. A favorite, in my situation, was that my mellow, loving baby with a head full of hair would, at most milestones, become bald and likely to pull a gun out of his diaper.

This never happened; not at nine months, not at two years, not at seven. My son didn’t become cranky until he learned about politics, and who can blame him? At that point, it was a Pandora’s box sort of thing, without the sexual connotation. Luckily, he rarely displays anger towards me unless I sing London Calling like Robert Goulet , so I didn’t become involved when he sent a hornet’s nest to a former member of his band because UPS wouldn’t deliver my box of exploding itching powder and something needed to be done.

Here’s the thing: for as long as you live, what makes your child angry, makes you angry, what makes your child sad, makes you sad, what gives your child joy…you get the idea. And that’s something to worry about.

Why I’m Watching the Grammy Awards

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I enjoy fashion which will probably come as a surprise to anyone who saw me grocery shopping last week. As a rule I don’t pull out my je ne sais quoi with my reusable grocery bags; it’s either one or the other and that day I was honoring the earth and confused about whether I was awake or not.

Plus, I am less fashionable in the winter than I am in the summer, because I live in Chicago where you put on a coat on Halloween, sadly covering up your Cruella De’Ville costume and then take it off on Easter to show off your tribute-to-easter-eggs outfit and then immediately put your coat back on because you live in Chicago.

Usually by May, if we haven’t sinned as a large regional city, we begin to see a little sunlight. At this point, those under 18 start running around town in a bathing suit and it’s not because they want to show off their youthful bodies, no sir! It’s because it’s so hot, they can’s stand to wear anything even slightly defined as clothing. And, any way, they have all of their goose bumps to keep them warm adding “tsk,” as an expression of disdain.

As a grown woman, my reaction to a positive change in the weather is to where my denim jacket with a jaunty (the use of jaunty forever branding me as a person of advanced age,) scarf, or my cool blazer with a striped tea and flats, telling myself I look just like Gwyneth Paltrow, despite more than adequate evidence to the contrary.

But it’s February now and my fashion choices are limited if I don’t want to become frozen to the driveway while attempting to reach my car. Still, among a variety of reading materials, I read fashion magazines, studying the cool and laughing at the extremely cool, dreaming of a time when I can switch from a goose down coat to a leather coat with the lining zipped in.

The most hilarious of the current fashions, in my humble opinion, (another sign of advanced age, you cease to express other people’s opinion as your own, which usually makes you look more goofy than independent,) are the giant high heels. To me, they looked like the wearer escaped from someone who was trying to kill her by putting her feet into cement and tossing her in the river, (or lake if you live closer to the city) and in escaping, chipped of some, but not all, of her unfortunate encasements. Of course, that’s just me and it’s probably not what happened.

There are many styles which a person can only see at an awards program and are rarely worn to walk the dog or take out the garbage. These styles can be hilarious as well and a better person than me could probably make the red carpet fashion parade into a drinking game. Side boob! One shot! This will quickly result in alcohol poisoning, so don’t do this.

These gowns include and are not limited to: Dresses fashioned by the same designer which created the Emperor’s New Clothes, (Psst, you’re naked,) gowns which give the impression that the wearer ran from a burning building, leaving important parts of her outfit behind, (congratulations on doing so in those shoes,) and dresses which look as if you’re having your tailoring done by clowns in a hurry to get into a small car.

As I’ve mentioned in another post, where I am amused by these types, my mother is infuriated. I am surprised she doesn’t hyper ventilate after an evening of watching television what with her harrumphing and cross armed glaring disapproval.

I try to make her understand that her anger is eating a hole in her stomach, that will eventually result in her intestines making a (let’s face it, uninvited) guest appearance and almost certainly won’t halt the sale of mini skirts (Which she wore in the sixties and seventies.) But she insists on wasting her energy, shaking her tiny fist at the fashion world to no avail thus far.

Although I enjoy some of the fashions I see on TV and in magazines, I find their prices more of a challenge than a money for goods exchange. So, I haunt the discount world; consignment, TJ Maxx, on-line bargain sites, (which disappoint me 90% of the time. Apparently a fashion purchase is only satisfying to me when I can rub the fabric between my fingers.)

There are those who think that time is money and that buying what you want quickly and getting on with life is worth a 300% mark up. These people are called aliens. There are few things more satisfying than walking out of TJ Maxx with a bag of clothes you bought, not because you needed them, but because they were an enormous bargain and you can always sell them to a consignment store.

The downside to this constant surveillance is that, during the thrill of the hunt, I’ve been known to buy more than one of any given item over time, which is why I’m now the proud owner of four black blazers, an uncountable number of white t-shirts and two pairs of the exact same boots, which I unknowingly bought, most likely by pressing refresh, from an on-line store with a no return policy.

(It’s amazing what a mention of social media can do in these situations. Suddenly the company’s policy was more of a suggestion and I’ll be receiving a refund. Thanks Zulily!

Anyway, back to the subject which was…um…fashion! And how I enjoy it, which came to mind because the Grammy Awards are on tomorrow night. They are the mother lode of hilarity when it comes to haute couture, which I think means silly frocks.

The Grammy folks, however are trying to throw a bucket of cold water on an already sheer dress by asking the musicians to adhere to a dress code. The good news is that, by asking the performers to not dress like tramps of either the easy virtue kind or the hopping-on-a-freight-train variety, the musicians, who are mostly purveyors of rock-n-roll, will be sure to wear only the most modest of attire, because one thing you can say about rockers is that they are always ready to conform when asked nicely.

As for me, I’ll be wearing loose-fitting eggplant (a bold color choice,) sweat slacks and a over-sized, white hooded blouse with the words “look at the stars, look how they shine for you,” daringly emblazoned on the front, complimented with buttered pop corn on the neckline. As for shoes, my stylist has chosen black fleece slip-ons which have been transformed into mules by virtue of my not wanting to bend over to slip the back over my heel. I hope I don’t run into Joan Rivers.

Why Football is Not My Religion

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Recently, I created a new religion that I’ve only shared with a few people because if I announced the tenets to the general public, people would either believe or not believe and then there’d have to be a war.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, I won’t be watching. The game which the rest of the world calls “not football,” is just a small representation of war as far as I’m concerned, although there are no religious undertones, which rarely happens. There are those, however, who seem to enjoy football with a fervency of a southern Charismatic Church, in which case, amen and carry on.

Still, and don’t take this the wrong, to me football represents all of the things that are wrong with the world except for chewing loudly, which most likely happens at viewing parties, however, as far as I know, is not sanctioned by NFL.

The idea of football gives me another case of “Where the hell are their mothers?” syndrome, which was last examined in my post Why Mothers Would Ruin Les Miserables. (Football fans: Les Miserables is one of those musical things you’ve heard of which inexplicably involves sudden outbursts of song and Neil Patrick Harris, which is not that surprising. You might like this one, football fans as it has to do with war. Now, back to the game.)

Anyway, so your kid comes shuffling in and says, “Mom, I’m going to go to a large field and play a game where men the size of a bull and twice as hostile, will try to knock the stuffing from my innards (which is the best place for them) if I touch a ball shaped, ironically like a squashed head.”

If the mother is on the phone or watching Judge Judy of course, she will nod quickly and make the move along signal with her free hand. If the mother, however is actually listening she will say, “Do you need a ride to practice?” I’m serious! I’ve seen it happen!

**I want to take this opportunity to state emphatically; I am not criticizing any mothers. It has been my experience in life that 99.9% of all mothers are working at the peak of their game, giving parenthood all they can and then, crossing their fingers and hoping for the best, which is what we do at my church meetings.**

Now, back to the game: For better or for worse, if my son were to relay a request such as the one above I would, most likely respond with, “Over my dead body, let’s go see Les Miserables!” Given, most young men would not find this a satisfying alternative, but some will and that’s why we have the Tony Awards. (Football fans: it’s like the Super Bowl with no serious injuries except for hurt feelings…Feelings are something…never mind, it’s best you don’t know.) Now, back to the game. (I’m told these words are often used during football games and I want you folks to feel comfortable.)

Despite my pooh-poohing the idea of my son’s participation in football, however, he sustained a football injury and isn’t that always the way. He was in the end zone when another kid, who I was persuaded not to sue, ran right over him. My son, of course was sprawled out, drawing pictures of Star Wars Characters and it might be argued that he should have sketched in a less volatile environment, still…This all happened in third grade and I still have nightmares. I want to be clear about it, this actually happened and he won’t particularly like my sharing this, but football is dangerous and everyone should consider that.

Also, by my son’s avoidance of the sport, your sons (and occasional daughters) are safe from my wrath as evidenced by the time my kid was pushed by a fellow two-year-while I Jazzercised on the other side of a glass partition. I still find the occasional shard of glass in my teeth, although I’m told the child in question went on to live a perfectly normal life with only the smallest phobia of organized exercise.

There are those of you who might think I’ve tried to make my son less than macho, but the truth is, he came that way and I simply never tried to whip him into shape. We encouraged other sports, but a kid who is outraged at the rudeness of other players who take possession of a ball he is clearly playing with just doesn’t have the warrior spirit needed to knock out the teeth of his fellow four-year-olds.

Still you needn’t worry about him as he plays lead guitar in a rock band which seems to allay fear that I will not know a grandchild with my genetic material. For those of you that are worrying in that direction, please turn the page on your calendar, we’ve moved out of the 19th century, and whizzed past the twentieth. For those of you saying. “hehe…she said whizzed,” there’s no hope for you. Enjoy your raw meat.

Anyway, because a part of my religion deals with tolerance of those I don’t understand, I’ve had to internalize that football is something I will never understand but doesn’t necessarily make its participants or fans bad people; just people who are missing Animal Planet’s  Puppy Bowl IX; a game where teams are seldom formed and the worst thing that happens is pooping on the field, although you can’t tell me that doesn’t happen in the NFL from time to time.

I’ve come to the conclusion that while some people enjoy Wolverine, other’s understand that Jean Valjean is the greatest singing hero the world has ever known. Which is why Hugh Jackman has been elevated to sainthood in my religion, but has not reached the status of Chris Martin who should be aware that I’m considering an annual sacrifice.

With that, and because the Puppy Bowl starts in 40 minutes, I want to emphasize that no one should consider the previous paragraph as instruction to kidnap Hugh Jackman and demand he choose a side. Watch your Super bowl, spit out nachos as you yell at the team you support, complain about Beyonce as you smear chicken wings on your host’s couch, with my blessing.

Peace be with you. After the Super Bowl. Amen.