Dope of the Day – K A B L O O E Y

dope of the dayToday’s Dope of the Day cemented his victory by uttering the phrase “You must be confusing pain with pressure.”

 Do you think that gem was crafted by:

 A) my dealer

B) my dominatrix

C) my psychiatrist

D) none of the above

 If you answered “D,” give yourself a sloppy kiss. [Read more...]

Memoirs of My America – The Art of Oomancy

oomancyIf you were to walk into my childhood home on New Year’s Day, you’d find a dining room table covered in tall, clear glasses that had been filled to the rim with tap water and that held a globulous raw egg at the bottom.  The water would grow bubbly as the day went on and there would be strings of congealed egg white floating upwards to the top. I remember thinking how much those gelatinous peaks of egg white looked like the sea monkey habitat ads from the back of my brother’s comic books.

A Colombian custom for the New Year is to have your fortune told by raw eggs in water. My grandmother, who lived with us, had been her small Colombian town’s esteemed medicine woman. A bruja buena, good witch. She was in charge of making the town’s monthly coca water (just what you think it is) as well as possessing the knowledge of reading fortunes; in this case, via egg whites. This is fancily known as the art of oomancy; egg divination through swirly patterns.   [Read more...]

Memoirs of My America – Ignorance is Bliss

I am amazed by the things that my children don’t do, that I did. Especially over Christmas. I was one of six children, and we were thick as thieves. If something entailed sneakiness and trouble, we jumped in, and we never spilled the beans on each other. It was a code of secrecy that we didn’t have to pledge, we just knew. I’m sure it had to do with the Survivors on the Island theme we were convinced we were living.

Though we were always fortunate enough to have a home and food to eat, the rest of the extra things in life that make it nice, were a bit dicey.

There was never an overabundance of much. We had what we needed, nothing more. Easier said than done, for a child: adequate but nothing unnecessary. With all those commercials on TV during Christmas? [Read more...]

Memoirs of My America – Penny for a Peanut Butter Twist

There we stood: the hobo, the circus clown with the red SOS pad sidehair, Casper the friendly ghost, and Fred Flintstone.

My Colombian family had not been in this country long enough to understand all the essential childhood nuances of Halloween’s Trick or Treat in the 1960′s, especially for a girl:

The Trick or Treat Night Dream List:

My costume will be home made and glittery and have some netting, somewhere

My trick or treat candy bag will be home made and glittery and match my costume

The Please Dear God Basics List: [Read more...]

Kid Still Life – Elizabeth Bastos

Among the crap of a life with kids can be found: Art. Toys, blocks, bikes, bike helmets, and leftover sandwiches that have been left just so, as if they are a still life done by an Old Master, if the Old Masters were a six-year-old boy with an interest in farting, and penguins.

I take pictures of what I find, and provide a title. Sometimes the result is poignant, reflecting something deep and humane in our nature, such as a pig sniffing a penguin’s butt, and sometimes it is funny.

Among The Cool Birds, Pig, Trying Like Hell [Read more...]

Walk it Off – Willis and Gari

by Heidi R. Willis and S. Jane Gari

When Brendon pulled his hamstring during a hockey game, he limped off the ice with typical male bravado. 

“I’ll be alright.  Just need to ice it a bit, and I’ll be back in the game in no time.”

But in the privacy of his girlfriend Jane’s apartment, Brendon whined and asked for cups of tea and a blanket, and Jane obliged.  She did not complain when he parked himself on her couch for three days, letting his hair thicken with grease and his clothes steep in his awesome athletic funk.  Despite her demanding day as a high school English teacher and co-director of the local high school musical, she still found the time to play Florence Nightingale when she returned home.  She changed out his ice-packs and administered doses of ibuprofen. [Read more...]

I’ll Stay Here and Guard the Knife Drawer – That 70’s Blow

Humorist Traci Foust

That 70’s Blow

by Traci Foust

A few weeks ago I was on a Vermont radio talk show promoting my memoir about OCD. I assumed the host’s questions would be related to all the fun that comes along with things like even numbers and licking mailboxes, but two minutes into sharing my online shopping secrets for agoraphobic shut-ins, the host asks me this: “Wouldn’t you agree cocaine abuse is on the rise?”

            “I’m sorry?”  Did he say cocaine? Like snorting cocaine? Like roller skates/Donna Summer/bow-chicka-bow-wow cocaine?

            Maybe I misunderstood my PR manager’s instructions and dialed into the wrong show.

            “Um, I’m not really sure about cocaine addiction.” I answered, then tried to figure out how I was going to politely steer the conversation away from 1978 and back toward why Ativan is better than Xanax for panic attacks. “I’ve always been a big fan of Brian De Palma films if that’s what you mean.”

            The host’s name was Ronald—a very retro name indeed, summoning memories of the man who starred in the first porno I’d ever watched as well as the first clown to convince me how wrong the whole clown idea really is. Also, when I Googled the studio website Ronald’s picture showed him sporting a non-ironic yellowing moustache, one that probably came in around the time Frampton came to life and hadn’t left his face since. [Read more...]

I’ll Stay Here and Guard the Knife Drawer – So Many Pills, So Little Time

 Humorist Traci Foust

So Many Pills and Now with MORE Time!

by Traci Foust

I’d like to congratulate everyone for making it through Mental Health month. Those of you whose court dates have been pushed up another week, you know who you are. Besides forgetting all that admittance-is-the-first-step nonsense just in time for Cinco De Mayo, it seems we now have our very own thirty-one days to celebrate the inability to make healthy decisions and produce serotonin. So let’s take a moment to back away from the thrill of marking the night the condom broke with another Mother’s Day card and honor one of the most exalted days of Spring.

            I’m talking of course about May 4th: National Renewal Day.

            Snopes it if you must, this jubilee of all things expiring is a real holiday. We’re talking about an entire day to not only remember your risk-free trial of the Shake Weight is about to expire— along with your hopes of cougaring your way back into your old high school tank tops—but a legitimate excuse to run to the pharmacy for a medication refill.

            As if we needed any.

            Which brings me to the reason I’m late finishing this essay. Why I’ve never been assigned a designated parking spot at the CVS I have no idea, but it’s not in my nature to get upset about long lines (especially when obsessing about the rise in Botox fatalities is much more satisfying.) On the contrary, half an hour with OK Magazine and some rude people allows me plenty of time to play Which Olsen Twin Wears the Most Eclectic Scarves while providing enough material for a full day’s worth of  Facebook status updates:  OMG. Someone needs to tell the Whole Foods produce guy that wearing deodorant and keeping Pandas safe doesn’t have to be an either-or situation.

              But here’s the thing: Last week I was almost arrested for being nice to the woman in front of me. I consider that to be kind of upsetting.

            Apparently there was a problem with her insurance not giving the green light regarding a very special type of antibiotic for her very special cough which was both as special and important as she was; a fact made clear by the way she tapped her French manicured nails against the counter while her diamond tennis bracelet dazzled against the white sunspots of  her dark orange skin (An SPF trademark among Southern California women who have not yet hit on the idea that a ten dollar bottle of sunscreen is much more cost effective than a two hundred dollar chemical peel). Or perhaps it was the way she emphasized how badly she needed her medication due to the fact that her plane was taking off in the next hour. Not her flight, you understand, her actual airplane.

            Something else that was plain to see was this woman had a serious case of bronchitis. She was sweating profusely and making lung noises as hard on the ear as Whitney Houston’s last concert.  I couldn’t not feel sorry for her. Sometimes, I’m nice like that.  Really, when I can get my germaphobia under control long enough to forget that a doorknob without hand sanitizer is the same as a Tokyo subway full of SARS carriers,  you can almost mistake me for someone who cares. Plus, I’m kind of an opportunist when it comes to meeting folks whom I may need to keep under Special Contacts in my phone. Isn’t it awesome how we’re total besties just from that chance meeting in the emergency room? Say, remember all those Percocet you said you’d never be able to finish… [Read more...]

A Day of the Life of Lisa B. by Jane Austen

by Lisa B.

This basically happened like I wrote it except I needed to change the dialogue to the jist of what was said. Anyway, enjoy!

Gane Austen
Jane Austen, celebrated early 19th century author, now guest blogger. 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a lady who wishes to send off an item bartered on eBay must be in want of packaging tape. Ah, this lamentably was the state of affairs and such a deprivation could not be borne. 

Our lady, a Rubenesque spinster of three-and-thirty years, suggested to her mother a scheme of going to the shop down the way post-haste, for it was a week until Christmas and the best of couriers could not always send the required article in time. Fearing the wrath of an angry gentleman who had placed his custom and faith upon her, the lady commenced in her carriage, her good lady mother as chaperone. The mother, sullen, melancholy, and hinting  her disapprobation at her, said, ” Make certain, daughter, that you buy something sweet for the time we feel peckish.”

Our lady fresh from her visit to the Family Dollar
The establishment frequented by all the ton of the neighbourhood and surrounding villages was called the Family Dollar and carried sundry  items for sale. This mainly consisted of treasures imported from the orient, a plethora of genuine plastics molded into dishes and playthings for children, plus toiletries designed to cover smallpox scars and other maladies of ladies in need of the refinery. 
The lady’s mother had her filial daughter go inside without her guiding  hand, confident that she would find no disgrace within its doors. Nay, no disgrace indeed as our lady meandered the aisles of the store plucking up the tape, chocolate mint patties, and some sort of Christmas mint that once dissolved took on a consistency like gum. Looking at the cookies without her mother to advise which to procure, as her mother’s dark mood seemingly prevented her from issuing any hint of preference, she selected a large package of vanilla sandwich cookies with cream. 

Taking these items to the cash register, our  lady was assailed by the sounds of the music peculiar to certain sects of religion. This genre, aptly titled “Christian Pop,” seldom reached the tender regions of her soul as the lyrics and music intended. Instead of invoking all the comforts of religion, she oft, when not spared , chose to dissect the lyrics of such songs as though they were written by lovestruck poets for their would-be paramours. This song, however, was in a somewhat different strain, invoking the Lord thus:
Jesus is just all right with me, Jesus is just all right… 

La! But an older lady, finding such a ditty insufferable, called attention to the young man attending the till. “I say, boy, this music you play upon yonder radio device, is that your personal preference?” 

“Nay, madame,” said the young man. “Rather ’tis the preference of the lady proprietors.” 

“I see,” spoke the lady with consternation. “You should play something soothing.” 

“Ah, the ladies grew weary of the station that plays the Christmas music for the entirety of the season.” 

“But that’s what the customers wish to hear whilst shopping, and they should think of the customers!” punctuated that lady. 

You’d think they were playing the unexpurgated works of Eminem to hear her speak. A pretty thing this, thought our lady as she rushed from the edifice. She could not help, aversion to such music notwithstanding, how unpleasant were the manners of that lady. 

An example of a carriage
Later, our lady and her mother arrived at the post office, and once more the spinster was left to her own devices as her mother waited. Soon our lady was amid a bustle of humanity all converging in a final frantic bid to send parcels for arrival by Yuletide. She was waited upon by a lady who could be surly to some, but never to the spinster. “Is there anything fragile, liquid, perishable , or potentially hazardous inside, Madame?” 

“Well…” said our lady, thinking back to a most helpful posting upon the wall sometime ago listing items that were foolhardy to send via courier, “the ___ has batteries inside.”  [Read more...]

When Someone You Love Has A Blog……

Alexandra Schultze Humorist
by Alexandra Schultze

This is Part I of a 3-Part Series covering “Living with a Blogger.”  DISCLAIMER:  My husband had nothing to do in any way with the  *inspiration* for this post. 

Loving someone who has a blog can be challenging, even confusing at times. There are so many elements of the unknown and unfamiliar, and you may feel at a loss as to what is happening to the one you chose, years ago.

Here, I have prepared a basic guide of how to speak to, and understand your blogger loved one. My hope is to help you interpret various states of mind, and behaviors of a blogger, so that you may provide the blogger you love with the in-real-life support and assurance they need.

Remember,  the person you love is still in there, and they’d love to share their world with you. Be patient, and understand, that the blogosphere they enter is entirely real, and actually does make them happier, and more productive in the end. Though, bloggers don’t measure “productive” in quite the same way as the rest of the world does.

~ When your blogger asks, “how did you like my post today?” Do not answer, “it was like an academy award speech, where they have to start the music up.”  Not a good answer. Better answer? “I thought it was great.”

~ When your blogger begins to speak of  people with names like “Momtothree” and “HouseofMouse,” do not ask her why in the world grown women would give themselves nicknames like that, instead say, “hmm…tell me who they are again.” Much better.

~ Do not suggest that she have T shirts or custom sticky notes made up of her site header for $5.00 each, and then sell them to her readers for $20.00 each and that if she sells only 5 of them, then that’s at least more money than she’s made thus far from her blog. Not a good idea.

~ Realize that your blogger’s mood will become quite manic and hang wringingish if she has posted an hour ago, and nary a comment has come in yet. Do NOT mention her agitation. Instead, be helpful and ask her if perhaps she has not checked “allow comments” under post options. This will make her feel better, and you will be considered as quite helpful. [Read more...]