Monday, August 31, 2009
His name is Taylor Mali -- he's a teacher and a slam poet, and I have to admit, I have no idea what a slam poet is. I do know he's brilliant and hilarious. I hope you enjoy him half as much as I do.
The first video, "The The Impotence of Proofreading," appeals to the English teacher in me. The second, "What Teachers Make," is a wonderful summary of the difference teachers have made in all our lives. Please forward the link to all the gifted teachers you know.
Mali ended up being our convocation speaker because he's the author of a book of poetry called What Learning Leaves. It's a short read -- I highly recommend picking it up!
Friday, August 28, 2009
I have many examples of stupid from which to choose:
- The gentleman who steps off the escalator and then STOPS while a dozen people try not to kill themselves tripping over him.
- The elderly woman who thinks the entire plane needs to enjoy her fragrance of choice. Or the guy next to me who failed to take a bath. Whole different kind of fragrance.
- The obnoxious twit with a remarkable grasp of the obvious who gets out his cell phone the second the plane touches the ground and proceeds to inform everyone aboard that "WE JUST LANDED." Thanks for pointing that out, asshat. Now SHUT UP.
Today's lesson, however, concerns one particular example of stupid I witnessed yesterday while traveling from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Dayton, Ohio.
As you may have gathered when I forgot to post on Wednesday, I was out of town this week. (Speaking of stupid -- I got out of my normal routine, and? TOTALLY forgot I had a blog. Duh.) I returned yesterday evening after three long days away from my baby and my own bed. By the time I boarded the plane for the return journey, I just wanted to get home and get away from PEOPLE. They tend to make me crazy after a short while.
So the plane is supposed to leave Charlotte at 2:10 p.m. At the next gate is a plane that is leaving for Indianapolis at 2:05. So the geniuses at Delta decide to load both planes at the same time. Through the same door. You can see where this is going, can't you?
Twenty-eight people walk through the door, headed for the Dayton flight. Another 28 people walk through the same door, headed for the Indianapolis flight. We go down some stairs and then go our separate ways -- Dayton to the right, Indianapolis to the left.
When we get seated on our flight, the flight attendant announces that we are on Flight something-or-other, with service to Dayton. She then goes through her safety song and dance, and in the process of this little performance, she says FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES that we are going to Dayton.
She closes the door and we prepare to take off. At this opportune moment, a gentleman in the back of the plane suddenly realizes that he meant to go to Indianapolis. Are you KIDDING me?
The flight attendant opens the door and lets the guy off, even though his plane has already left the gate. He goes back into the terminal to locate another flight, we presume.
Those of us on the plane who MEANT to go to Dayton are left to discuss his stupidity. How exactly does one end up on the wrong flight? We are baffled.
Now everything is hunky-dory, and yet we still sit at the gate. It is hot, and we are now late. It is unclear why we are not moving, and the flight attendant does not offer to explain.
The pilot exits the cockpit and converses with the ground crew. The flight attendant counts the passengers. We're not sure what they're looking for, but they're obviously not finding it.
After about ten more minutes, the flight attendant announces that, in addition to the man on our flight who meant to go to Indianapolis, there is also a man on the Indianapolis flight who meant to go to Dayton. Seriously? WHO is this dumb? Turns out the Indianapolis flight has not yet taken off -- they are sitting on the runway, awaiting their turn for takeoff, but have been persuaded to return to the gate so that these two losers can get their heads out of their asses and get on the right damn plane.
I am flabbergasted. Not one but TWO jets loaded with people are being held up because of some idiots who cannot read? I ask the flight attendant if this is common -- are they often forced to delay an entire flight because of one stupid person? She assures me that this happens every day.
So we sit there til the Indy flight returns to the gate, and eventually this moron gets on the plane and takes his seat near me. Not once does he apologize for the mess he's caused. He doesn't even think it's his fault. He says the ground crew member at the foot of the stairs steered him in the wrong direction. That's funny -- the rest of us managed to get on the right plane with no problem. Possibly because WE COULD READ THE SIGNS that told us where our plane was located. Not to mention that the flight attendant on his flight probably knocked herself out making sure people knew which flight they were on. This is not rocket science, people.
Our flight attendant is, of course, too nice to tell this idiot what she really thinks, or what we've all been saying about him in his absence.
So we finally made it home, and I got to see my baby and sleep in my own bed. No thanks to the stupid that is rampant in our country. Particularly in airports.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic will be at Hara Arena in Dayton Sept. 17-20, and at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati Sept. 23-27. Evening shows are at 7 p.m. in Dayton, 7:30 p.m. in Cncinnati, with weekend matinees available at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Dayton, and 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. in Cincinnati. For more information about show times and ticket prices, log on to Ticketmaster.
But, if you're feeling lucky, get your tickets right here for the 7:30 p.m. show in Cincinnati on Sept. 23! Here's how to enter:
- Leave a comment here telling me what your favorite Disney movie is. I can't promise I won't argue with you if you pick one that is NOT one of my favorites. :)
- If you're on Twitter, tweet about this giveaway and leave a separate comment with a link to your Twitter URL.
What to do if you don't win your tickets here? Purchase a 4-pack of tickets for only $44 for weekday shows, or receive $4 off weekend tickets by logging onto Ticketmaster and entering the coupon code: MOM.
By the way, if you haven't heard of Mom Central, you should check them out. They're an online community for moms, where members can discuss parenting topics, sample products, take surveys, and connect with other moms across the country. It's a very cool site, and they're very cool people for allowing Ellie and me to attend the show in Cincinnati AND invite our friends.
Enter early and enter often! I can't wait to announce the winner!
Friday, August 21, 2009
At the end of dinner, the adults had gotten up from the table and my nieces were playing around the fountain. My dad, who always ends his meal with a toothpick in his mouth, was pleasantly surprised when four-year-old M brought him a toothpick. "Thanks, sweetie," he said. "That's really nice." M also provided her dad with a toothpick. Everyone commented on her thoughtfulness and contentedly picked their respective teeth.
Three days later, I was at my parents' house, enjoying a meal with the extended fam, including sister, brother-in-law and nieces. As dinner drew to a close, my dad turned to M and said, "Hey M, there's something I've been meaning to ask you."
"What is it, Paw-Paw?"
"When you gave me that toothpick the other night at the restaurant, where did you get it?"
"It was on the steps by the fountain."
The moral of this story? Never accept an unwrapped toothpick from a four-year-old. You have NO IDEA where it's been.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Cut to Sunday night bathtime. The child is in the bath, splashing around, talking to her toys. Mama is sitting in the bathroom doorway, talking on the phone with Grandma.
Darling Daughter stands up in the tub and announces, Poop!" I tell Grandma to hang on while I check. No poop. Ellie thinks farts and poop are the same, so I'm really not too concerned. I just figure she tooted and is crying wolf. Er . . . poop. Whatever.
I go back to my conversation with Grandma. Again Ellie stands up and yells, "POOP!" I check again. No poop. This time I tell her, "Honey, you didn't poop. You just tooted. It's fine -- there's no poop in the water. Now you play while I talk to Grandma."
I go back to talking to my mom, and as I explain the situation, I tell her, "At least she listened the last time this happened. I told her the next time she had to poop when she was in the bathtub, she should tell me. Evidently I scared the beejesus out of her, because now she's telling me even when there's nothing to tell."
Mom and I go back to yakking. A third time, Ellie stands up and rather insistently says, "Mama! POOP!" This time I don't even get up to check.
"Ellie, you are FINE. There is no poop. Sit down before you fall."
This happens two or three more times, and I get increasingly annoyed with the interruptions.
After the last incident, I say to my mom, "AGAIN with the false alarm poop! I wish she'd learn to tell the difference in a toot and a poop. I keep telling her there isn't any . . . oh my god, there IS."
As I watch, Ellie scoops a poop nugget out of the water and drops it on the bathroom rug.
"Mom? I gotta go."
All those announcements that I thought were false alarms? Those were, in fact, my child trying to do exactly what I TOLD her to do -- alert me to the fact that poop is imminent. But did I listen? No. I kept telling her to sit down and be quiet. Mommy FAIL.
So, much like last time, I hose her down while the poop-water drains away. We clean up the rest of the poop, dry Ellie off and get her into her PJs, and all the while I'm apologizing profusely for having ignored what she was trying to tell me. Poor kid -- I'm sure she's probably thinking, "WTF, woman? You TOLD me to tell you, and I did. What do I have to do? Hit you in the head with a poop nugget?"
We finally get in bed, and I snuggle up with my little poopy baby, who seems to have forgiven me for my latest foible.
The moral of this story? When your daughter yells "POOP!" from the bathtub, get off the phone and pay attention.
Friday, August 14, 2009
So this morning I listed mine. Wow, what a hodge-podge. Some are things I read in college, mostly because I had to. Others are childhood favorites that helped ignite my love of reading. Then there are a few others that didn't make the list, but probably should have.
So, here are my 15+, in no particular order, with a bit of explanation thrown in so you don't think I'm nuts. What are your 15?
1. Gone With the Wind -- Margaret Mitchell
I had to read this in college for a course in popular novels. SO much better than the movie. And I never would have read it if Dr. Curry hadn't forced me to.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird -- Harper Lee
This one doesn't require any explanation.
3. The Time Traveler's Wife -- Audrey Niffenegger
I have read this book twice, and coming from me, that's high praise. The most creative love story ever.
4. The Pact -- Jodi Picoult
This is just a typical bestseller about a young man accused of murder for helping his girlfriend commit suicide. But for some reason I can't get it out of my head. It's been years since I read it, but the characters continue to stick with me.
5. The Red Tent -- Anita Diamant
A re-creation of the life of Dinah, the daughter of biblical characters Leah and Jacob. Every woman should read this.
6. The Outlander series -- Diana Gabaldon
These six books (soon to be seven) are perhaps my favorite books ever. Combine time travel, historical fiction, incredibly real characters, a large dose of humor and the hottest leading man in all of fiction and this is what you get. Book Seven, An Echo in the Bone, comes out in September. I am seriously considering taking a vacation day so that I can spend all day reading it.
7. God is Not Great -- Christopher Hitchens
I was forced to read a lot of Hitchens in grad school, so I was prepared not to like this book. But if you can get past his militant anti-theist stance, it's actually a wonderful analysis of the negative effect organized religion has on the world.
8. Far From the Madding Crowd -- Thomas Hardy
This book was the first time I realized that something I was forced to read for a class could be really, REALLY good.
9. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe -- C.S. Lewis
This book is good on so many levels, you can just keep reading it at different points in your life and see something new every time.
10. Where the Red Fern Grows -- Wilson Rawls
A pre-teen classic. The first time I remember being totally engrossed in a book. Makes you cry, too.
11. A Wrinkle in Time -- Madeleine L'Engle
I was fascinated by this book when I was a kid. Helped me understand what it's like to be transported to another time and place by a book.
12. The Sins of Scripture -- John Shelby Spong
The beginning of the drastic change in my spiritual and religious views over the last few years. If you've been turned off by some of the things the Bible seems to teach, or some of the things you've heard in church, this book will give you a new understanding of those topics.
13. The Prince of Tides -- Pat Conroy
There are scenes in this book that I still can't get out of my head, and not necessarily in a good way. For better or worse, it's stuck with me.
14. The Last Lecture -- Randy Pausch
A book on living written by a man who was dying. Incredibly inspirational.
15. Me Talk Pretty One Day -- David Sedaris
One of the funniest essay collections ever, and one of the few books I would recommend that you listen to rather than read. David Sedaris reads his own stuff for audio books, and hearing his words in his voice just enhances the experience.
16. The Pelican Brief -- John Grisham
Okay, I know this one is stupid. But it's really stuck with me, mostly because it was the first time I realized what a world of great fiction was out there waiting for me. I read this during finals week my first semester in grad school. My exams were over, but I had to stay on campus to help grade the finals of the freshmen class in which I was a grad assistant. So for the first time since approximately middle school, I had time to read for pleasure. I went to the local bookstore and picked up a paperback of The Pelican Brief, and proceeded to devour it. I had never even heard of John Grisham at that point, but I was hooked. Too bad his later stuff hasn't been as good.
17. Paradise Lost -- John Milton
Does this count as a book? My absolute favorite work of literature EVER.
18. Water for Elephants -- Sara Gruen
No real deep hidden meaning in this one -- just a great story.
19. The Secret Life of Bees/The Mermaid Chair -- Sue Monk Kidd
Sue Monk Kidd wrote these books while undergoing a spiritual crisis. I read them while undergoing one of my own. They're novels, but the truth in them is undeniable.
20. Here If You Need Me -- Kate Braestrup
Kate Braestrup is a Unitarian minister who went to seminary after her husband was killed in an accident, mostly because it had been his dream. She's now a chaplain with the Maine Warden Service, as well as a mother of four and a gifted writer.
This list could go on and on. Anything by Wally Lamb, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, both of Jenny Boylan's memoirs . . . but I'm done. Now I want to hear your suggestions. What have you read that has stayed with you?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The Billary Clinton Kitchen Tool Combo Set.
According to our friends at Overstock.com, the Billary Clinton Kitchen Tool Combo Set features a Hillary Clinton nutcracker and a Bill Clinton corkscrew. It is a must-have for those times when you wish to "pop your cork with Bill Clinton's generous talent," or feel the need to witness "powerful nutcracking action."
As you can see from the photos, Bill's, uh . . . manscrew . . . conveniently folds down when not in use.
The site also feels the need to point out that "political novelty kitchen tools are functional and humorous." In case you missed the humorous part, I guess.
But wait! There's more! Bill's strategically placed corkscrew, guaranteed to produce pinot envy, is just the beginning. Wait until you see Hillary's "functional, plastic nutcracker with stainless steel teeth secured inside upper legs to grip and crack nuts in their shell." Um. Wow.
This amazing product can be yours for a mere $36.49. Why wait?! Order NOW!!
Monday, August 10, 2009
For the record, I have never called Ellie a bad baby. It's something her cousin, who is also two, says as a joke -- when one of us does something she doesn't like, she points her little finger and informs us that we are bad babies. When we straighten up to her liking, she deems us "nice." Ellie, however, seems to have missed the humor.
This little motherhood moment was brought to me by dinnertime at our house, which lately has resembled World War III. Ellie is a very messy eater, which I can live with -- she's two. What I CAN'T live with is when she's intentionally messy. As in sticking both hands in her bowl and squishing the contents between her fingers before dropping it on the floor in sticky lumps or smearing it into her hair. Or holding her spoon high in the air just to watch what's on it splat on the table.
We go round and round about this every night without fail. It's pretty much driving me insane.
Last night was no exception. By the time dinner was over, I had removed Ellie's plate, smacked both her hands, and put her in time out indefinitely. Not that time out works. She really couldn't care less what I say or do -- if she wants to play in her food, she's going to play in her food. So far I've failed to find anything that will stop her.
Since Ellie was wearing corn chowder in her hair, we went straight from time out to the bathtub. I got Ellie in the tub and then stepped across the hall to put in a load of laundry. When I returned, she was smacking herself and saying "bad baby!"
I tried to explain that she is NOT a bad baby, and that I was sorry I smacked her hands. I told her I get upset with her when she plays with her food and makes a mess on purpose, and that's why I got mad. The whole time I was talking, she was looking at me with those black eyes and I just wanted to take the whole evening back and start over. Unfortunately it was too late for that.
When we got in bed, Ellie wanted to read Love You Forever, which is, of course, the mommy guilt manual. So I read it to her, and I sang the little song, and I didn't cry. But when the book was done and she put her little arms around my neck and squeezed the life out of me? THAT'S when I cried.
She fell asleep with her cheek pressed against mine, arms still wrapped around my neck. Does that mean I'm forgiven? Probably. Does it mean we won't go through some lesser version of the same scenario tomorrow night? Probably not.
I make a real effort to be patient with her most of the time, especially since I don't want our limited time together to be spent in tears and time out. But somehow all my effort has come to this: she's internalized the times I've smacked her hands or spanked her butt or yelled at her, instead of the thousands of times I've lavished love and affection on her. How did I get to be so incredibly BAD at this?
After she fell asleep, I retired to the kitchen, where I consoled myself by eating half of a Mrs. Smith's apple pie. Will ten extra pounds make me a better mother?
If you have a little extra positive karma you could send in my direction, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise this could be a long week. Or a long 18 years. Two down, sixteen to go . . .
Friday, August 7, 2009
Colonoscopies are a great source of humor around my office, because one of our coworkers, who shall remain nameless, does not know where his colon is. I do not mean that it has wandered away and left no forwarding address. I mean he once canceled a scheduled colonoscopy when he learned that the procedure involved a tube going the wrong way up a one-way street. He had thought the tube would be inserted through his mouth and down his throat. I guess the name of the procedure did not clue him in as to the direction of the tube's insertion. Hence our conclusion that he does not know the location of his colon. Personally, I am much more disturbed by his version of the procedure -- if that tube goes down my throat and all the way into my colon, that means it has to come back up the same way. After having been in my colon. Ick.
Anyway, here is Dave Barry's colonoscopy journal, originally published in the Miami Herald in February 2008. It's actually a public service announcement reminding all of us of the importance of colonoscopies, and I hope you take that message from it. I’m sure Katie Couric would appreciate it. But it's also pretty damn funny.
OK. You turned 50. You know you're supposed to get a colonoscopy. But you haven't. Here are your reasons:
1. You've been busy.
2. You don't have a history of cancer in your family.
3. You haven't noticed any problems.
4. You don't want a doctor to stick a tube 17,000 feet up your butt.
Let's examine these reasons one at a time. No, wait, let's not. Because you and I both know that the only real reason is No. 4. This is natural. The idea of having another human, even a medical human, becoming deeply involved in what is technically known as your ''behindular zone'' gives you the creeping willies.
I know this because I am like you, except worse. I yield to nobody in the field of being a pathetic weenie medical coward. I become faint and nauseous during even very minor medical procedures, such as making an appointment by phone. It's much worse when I come into physical contact with the medical profession. More than one doctor's office has a dent in the floor caused by my forehead striking it seconds after I got a shot.
In 1997, when I turned 50, everybody told me I should get a colonoscopy. I agreed that I definitely should, but not right away. By following this policy, I reached age 55 without having had a colonoscopy. Then I did something so pathetic and embarrassing that I am frankly ashamed to tell you about it.
What happened was, a giant 40-foot replica of a human colon came to Miami Beach. Really. It's an educational exhibit called the Colossal Colon, and it was on a nationwide tour to promote awareness of colo-rectal cancer. The idea is, you crawl through the Colossal Colon, and you encounter various educational items in there, such as polyps, cancer and hemorrhoids the size of regulation volleyballs, and you go, "Whoa, I better find out if I contain any of these things," and you get a colonoscopy.
If you are a professional humor writer, and there is a giant colon within a 200-mile radius, you are legally obligated to go see it. So I went to Miami Beach and crawled through the Colossal Colon. I wrote a column about it, making tasteless colon jokes. But I also urged everyone to get a colonoscopy. I even, when I emerged from the Colossal Colon, signed a pledge stating that I would get one.
But I didn't get one. I was a fraud, a hypocrite, a liar. I was practically a member of Congress.
Five more years passed. I turned 60, and I still hadn't gotten a colonoscopy. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I got an e-mail from my brother Sam, who is 10 years younger than I am, but more mature. The email was addressed to me and my middle brother, Phil. It said:
I went in for a routine colonoscopy and got the dreaded diagnosis: cancer. We're told it's early and that there is a good prognosis that they can get it all out, so, fingers crossed, knock on wood, and all that. And of course they told me to tell my siblings to get screened. I imagine you both have.''
First I called Sam. He was hopeful, but scared. We talked for a while, and when we hung up, I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.
A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis. Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, "HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BUTT!''
I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called MoviPrep, which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America's enemies.
I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor.
Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes -- and here I am being kind -- like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.
The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, “a loose watery bowel movement may result.” This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.
MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic here, but: Have you ever seen a space shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.
After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep. The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, “What if I spurt on Andy?” How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.
At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the hell the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.
Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.
When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was Dancing Queen by Abba. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, Dancing Queen has to be the least appropriate.
“You want me to turn it up?” said Andy, from somewhere behind me.
“Ha ha,” I said.
And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.
I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, Abba was shrieking “Dancing Queen! Feel the beat from the tambourine . . .”
. . . and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that it was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.
But my point is this: In addition to being a pathetic medical weenie, I was a complete moron. For more than a decade I avoided getting a procedure that was, essentially, nothing. There was no pain and, except for the MoviPrep, no discomfort. I was risking my life for nothing.
If my brother Sam had been as stupid as I was -- if, when he turned 50, he had ignored all the medical advice and avoided getting screened -- he still would have had cancer. He just wouldn't have known. And by the time he did know -- by the time he felt symptoms -- his situation would have been much, much more serious. But because he was a grown-up, the doctors caught the cancer early, and they operated and took it out. Sam is now recovering and eating what he describes as ''really, really boring food.'' His prognosis is good, and everybody is optimistic, fingers crossed, knock on wood, and all that.
Which brings us to you, Mr. or Mrs. or Miss or Ms. Over-50-And-Hasn't-Had-a-Colonoscopy. Here's the deal: You either have colo-rectal cancer, or you don't. If you do, a colonoscopy will enable doctors to find it and do something about it. And if you don't have cancer, believe me, it's very reassuring to know you don't. There is no sane reason for you not to have it done.
If I can do it, you can do it. Don't put it off. Just do it.
Be sure to stress that you want the non-Abba version.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The thing that was new about this experience was that Ellie was with me. She was actually with me a few months ago when I got caught speeding, but she was sleeping and never woke up, in spite of the flashing lights. This time she was wide awake.
The cop was very polite -- he didn't give me the Buford T. Justice routine, and he wasn't wearing his mirrored sunglasses. But still, Ellie could tell I was not happy to be sitting by the side of the road talking to this guy. She stayed very quiet while he was standing at my window, but the second he walked away, she said "Mama, wassa matter?"
I tried to explain that Mama was driving too fast, and that I was in trouble for it. "Sort of like time-out," I said. "Whyyyyy?" came the question from the back seat. "Because I'm supposed to drive slower," I said. "I should be a good girl." "Oooooh," she said. "Mama bad. No NO." Yes, baby, that's right. Mama committed a no-no. She is a bad girl, and time-outs for grown-ups cost money.
I'd like to say that getting a ticket in front of my daughter made me a better person, and that I'll never again risk getting pulled over with her in the car. But I'd be lying. I can't remember the last time I willingly drove the speed limit, and I'm not likely to start now. It did, however, make me think twice about having to explain my actions to her, especially when they're not exactly actions I'm proud of.
Now if only I could get her to stop imitating my road rage . . .
Monday, August 3, 2009
This, my friends, is the Hug Me Pillow. According to Overstock.com, it "provides comfort as well as piece of mind." Which piece, I asked Jesus Toast. "The really sad and desperate piece," he replied.
"I'm told the pillow was modeled after Brad Pitt, and I believe it! When I first nestled against the soft but firm chest of my new "husband" I slept better than I ever had before. Now I don't mind when my husband goes out of town!" (I guess this review was provided by the customer who modeled for this photo.)
"My dog is able to use it instead of molesting me all night." (Um, WHAT?!)
"I LOVE the hug-me pillow. I sleep with 5 of them, it makes me feel like I'm in bed with a whole family. I've always felt there was something missing in my life, a void. I can't explain it but I now feel like one complete person. Thank you hug me pillow!" (I think this may have been submitted by Michael Jackson prior to his death. Maybe he suffocated in his nest of Hug Me Pillows.)
At this point, of course, I had to start IMing with Emily, because, well, it's what we do.
Emilie: Did you see the one from the woman who named hers Dick?
Emily: No, LOL! Hey! This is perfect. You can order Ellie a daddy. I'm cracking myself up over here. YES! Look at this one: For those of us committed to staying sexually pure and who still want to feel loved at night, this is a Godsend...!! And my compliments to the designers for not making it too "anatomically correct." I can sleep without temptation! Praise the Lord!!!
Emilie: Oh. My. F#$%*$@. God.
Emily: Don't do that - you're going to make me spit cherry coke on my computer.
Emily: Listen to this one - The only thing that could make this product better: A full body version!!! Us ladies just love sticking our feet between a guy's legs to keep them warm. So don't stick to just half a torso...give us the whole package!
Emily: I wonder if the hand vibrates.
The only thing more disturbing than the Hug Me Pillow is this little tidbit, sent by Jesus Toast a bit later in the day:
Yes, ladies and gentleman, this is an urn. Made to resemble the loved one, um . . . inside. According to the accompanying article:
A company is offering a unique keepsake of the dearly departed - an urn shaped like their head. The urns come in a full-sized version, able to "hold all of the ashes of any adult" or in 'Keepsake-sized', which hold a portion of the ashes and offer a smaller version of the deceased's head for display.
They are created from one or two photographs.
The company behind them claims the 'personal urns' are a 'new and exciting' way to memorialize your loved one.
Thank God these things are only available in the UK. Crazy Brits. The article goes on to point out that the urn does not include hair. So you can have an urn that looks like your loved one, but only if your loved one happened to be bald.
These products are so disturbing and so hilarious that I think I may feature one every week. You should see the stuff on Overstock.com that came up under "people who viewed this item also viewed." Scary. Like the butt desk organizer. Or the Hilary Clinton nutcracker. Not kidding. We'll talk more next week. Until then, I leave you with this image: