Saturday, August 27, 2016

How to prevent a torn Rotator Cuff

As a celebrity public figure blogger, I have the responsibility to give back to my fans readers family.  And I take that responsibility seriously.

Here you go. 

How to prevent a torn Rotator Cuff.

  1.  If you are over the age of fifty, do not go to a Trampoline Park with your children and act like you are sixteen again.
  2. Stay away from balance beams.  Especially those that are no wider than dental floss.
  3. If you find yourself on a balance beam the width of dental floss, attempt to hold on to the loops suspended from the ceiling.  They are there to help you maintain your balance.
  4. If, when you grab for one of the loops, it begins to swing like a pendulum, be patient.  Wait until it returns to the center, or at least within reach, before attempting to grab it again.
  5. If attempting to grab for the loop causes you to further lose your balance, simply fall into the pond beneath the balance beam.  It is full of foam bricks.  That prevent injury.
  6. If, when falling, you lack the wherewithal to aim for the pond of foam bricks, do now throw your body backwards, toward the edge of the foam filled pond.  It is made of cement.  Not foam.
  7.  If you fall backwards toward the cement edge of the foam filled pond, do not put your arm out to break your fall.
  8. If you put an arm out to break your fall as you are falling backwards toward the cement edge of the foam filled pond and you are left handed, put out your right hand.
  9. If you are left handed and fall off a balance beam onto the cement edge of a foam filled pond and break your fall with your damn left hand, go home.  Do not move on to the Ninja Warrior Obstacle course.
  10. Ignore your husband when he says, "I told you so."
You're welcome.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Stopping the Wine

Can you believe I have lived 39 years without owning a wine stopper?

How dare you question my math.

I’ve always just used the cork.  (Or the screw top.) 

Now I have a fancy wine stopper.  Made of a rock.

Don't get me wrong.  It's a very pretty rock. From New Hampshire.

Truth be told, I never thought much about wine stoppers before.  But after examining my fancy new rock wine stopper I had a scathingly brilliant idea.

I can design my own!

For fun people.  Like me.

But before I started designing my Nerdling Wine Stopper I decided to do my own research.  I mean, what’s worse than designing something that’s already been designed?

And I am FULL of good ideas about Wine Stopper design.  

In fact, I can't believe I never thought of designing a wine stopper before!  My first idea was a banana wine stopper.  How fun would that be?

Damn!  It's taken.

Oh well.  I've got a zillion more ideas.  Like a wine stopper made out of a giraffe.  They have long necks, just like wine bottles!


Certainly nobody has invented Chicken wine stoppers.  I mean, how fun would it be to stick a chicken's head into the top of your wine bottle!!!!


Please don't tell  me my Barbie Doll wine stopper idea is taken.

For crying out loud. Maybe I'll just stick my finger in the stinkin' bottle.

At least it's the pointer finger.

I guess the market for fun wine stoppers is pretty well saturated.  Unless...

I give up.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Amazing Vacman

I’ve written before about the Clyde/Walt dissension regarding our  Kirby Vacuum Cleaner.  I love it.  Dave hates it.  

Much to my chagrin, poor Kirby has been relegated to the guest room closet.

And Dave keeps buying other vacuums.  That last only a year or two.  

His latest investment is a Riccar.  He was excited because it came with a free hand-held vacuum.  Which broke this morning.  Already.  What a shock.

Being an engineering genius, I decided to fix it.

The first thing I did was plug it in.  Who knows?  Maybe Dave didn’t think of that.

No luck.

I tried tuning it off and on.

 No luck.

Did I give up?  Of course not!  I set my laptop next to the deceased vacuum and googled, “Riccar SupraQuick won’t turn on”.

And I struck gold at

Apparently you just type a question into the box and connect one-on-one with a technician.  I wrote, “My Riccar SupraQuick won’t turn on.”   And there was a guy named Vacman waiting to help me!  

Vacman wanted to know if I’d be willing to pay $28 for an answer. When I didn’t respond immediately, he messaged me: “I am online right now and ready to work on a customized answer to your question”
What a guy!   But no, Vacman.  I won’t pay $28.  

I wondered if the cost would go down if I changed my question. 
Besides, Vacman must get really sick of getting the same questions day in and day out.

So I posted: "I think my vacuum cleaner is haunted.  Can you help me perform an exorcism?"  

Unfortunately, Vacman gave the same response. Would I bill willing to pay $28 for my answer?  If he was going to charge $28 to answer the question, I wonder how much he would charge for the exorcism! 

He again messaged me, “I am online right now and ready to work on a customized answer to your question.”

I had my doubts.  Vacman charged the same for answering a simple question about turning on my vacuum cleaner that he charged for answering a question about exorcising one.

There's no way he was really online ready to work on a customized answer!  

Vacman was a fake.

I submitted one last question. 

"My husband got a new vacuum cleaner because he never respected my Kirby.  He said it was too heavy to haul upstairs.   I think it's despicable that he would replace a perfectly fine vacuum cleaner just because she is a bit overweight.  And guess what?  Now the free hand-held vacuum cleaner that he got with his new, younger, slimmer, Riccar won't turn on.  And it wasn't even 1 year old! My Kirby is nearly 20 and it always turns on. Do you have any advice for my marriage?"

And the price went up to $38!

Because it’s way easier to fix a vacuum cleaner than a marriage!

Vacman messaged me, "I am online right now and ready to work on a customized answer to your question."

I'm sorry I doubted you, Vacman.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Men are from Mars. Women are from Pluto.

"Tell me again what this class is?" Dave asked as we stepped inside the Marine Training room.

"It's about life as a Marine,"  I explained.  "It will help us understand what Linda will be going through in the Marines."  I told him they'd cover all the details that she (no doubt) paid no attention to: financial stuff, taxes, insurance, etc.

The facilitator began the class by asking participants to introduce themselves.  

What started so innocuously, quickly evolved into an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Take the woman from New Jersey who asked for some advice.  What should she say to the woman who had carpooled with her and whose son now refuses to see her?  The mother was understandably heartbroken.

People began to sniffle.  Dave reached for the class handouts.

Then there was the big burly guy from the Bronx who told us he's cried every night since his only daughter left for Boot Camp.  His voice quavered as he described the emptiness of his home.

More tears were shed.  Dave rifled through the booklets.

Next came the single mother who doesn't know what she's going to do without her son who used to call her several times a day and drove her everywhere she went.  She has never felt more alone.

I pulled out a Kleenex.  Dave checked email on his phone.

When the woman from Maryland announced that she had a recurrence of breast cancer and was afraid that this would be the last time her Marine son would see her alive, the facilitator left the room and returned with a box of Kleenex.

She handed them out like appetizers at a dinner party.

This was not a class about Marine life.  It was a stinkin' support group for depressed family members of new Marines.

Dave elbowed me and said, "I thought they were gonna talk about the 401K."

We broke for lunch before we'd gotten half way through the introductions.

"Wasn't that sad about the woman with breast cancer?" I asked Dave over lunch.


"That woman with breast cancer.  You know...she's worried that tomorrow will be the last time her son sees her."

"Really?" he said.  "When did that happen?"

"Right after the woman talked about her son who called her all the time."

"When was that?"

"Are you kidding?  After that guy from the Bronx started bawling his eyes out!"

Clearly, when the tears began, Dave started tuning out.

The facilitator covered the 401K and taxes after lunch.  

That's when I tuned out.

When all was said and done, Dave got all he needed from the class.  He learned all about the financial aspects and nuts and bolts of the Marines.

But you want my opinion?

He missed the best part.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bee Wars

It all began with that stupid bee.  And the donuts.

I was carrying two dozen Krispy Kreme donuts into work when I felt something tapping me on the head.  I glanced to my right and found myself eye to eye with the biggest bee I had ever seen.  

The guy had an attitude, too, most likely exacerbated by an endless string of 100 degree days.

I picked up speed and caught up with one of my colleagues, who was also heading into work.  “Christine, did you see that bee?  Is he near me?” 

Christine, who obviously does not know how to react in a killer bee crisis, said, “He’s chasing you!  He’s right behind you!  Run!” 

I sped up. 

“He’s right on your heels!," she said excitedly. "He must want the donuts!"

I considered the situation.  What’s more dangerous?  A killer bee on my tail or facing a group of hangry analysts waiting in a conference room for donuts.

I did what any responsible leader would do.  I threw the donuts on the ground and ran for my life.

Then I hear Christine scream, “He doesn’t want the donuts!” 


I picked up speed to the point that had the right people been around, I could have ended up the oldest member of the U.S. Olympic sprinting team.   

I slammed into the door, scanned my ID, squeezed inside, managing to escape the bee by the skin of my teeth.  The door behind me slammed shut.

Leaving a very angry bee staring me down from the other side of the locked door. 

Since the bee had no employee ID, he was getting nowhere.  He bitterly buzzed away. 

Now, having outrun a killer bee in 102 degree heat did not leave me unscathedSweat ran down every inch of my body.  And apparently, into my shoes.

Christine rescued the donuts and the hungry analysts were fed.  My day returned to normal. Or so I thought.

It was after lunch when I noticed my feet.   My very stinky feet.  I could smell them from under my desk.  They were rank.

And they seemed to get be getting ranker by the minute.

I considered my options, which were limited.  I just had to make it through the rest of the day. I covered my feet with a blanket to minimize the smell.

Several hours later the smell was so bad I had to close my office door. I didn't word getting out about my hygiene issues.

I thought about that bee.  Sure I beat him to the door.  But what did that get me?  My feet smelled worse than a teenager's rollerblades after skating without socks in Florida.

Except then I realized that my feet were smelling less like feet and more like dumpster. 

Wait. One. Minute.

I did, in fact, have a mini dumpster beneath my desk.  That’s when I remembered that the cleaning staff empties office trash every other day.

And just how good that steamed cafeteria broccoli had looked the day before and how bad it tasted.  And how I threw it in my trash can.

Let’s just say it tasted way better than it smelled.

I took the trash can to the curb and by the next morning the smell was gone.

And as for that killer bee 

The campus was too big for the both of us.  

Word is he headed east.  To Amazon.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Blog Envy

Blog envy has once again reared its ugly head.

With Linda gone from the house my blog ideas have dried up.  Like a raisin. 

Linda was my treasure-trove.

It was almost like cheating. A humor writer with a daughter like Linda has an unfair advantage. 

Now she’s gone off to the Marines.  Leaving me blog-topic-less.

It’s depressing.

It used to be so easy.  All I had to do was wait.  And watch.

In the meantime, blog topics seem to surround my friends like ants at a picnic. 

One of my friends (let’s call her “Esmeralda”) just returned from a visit to her parents, where her sisters and brothers and their scores of children congregated. 

Well, it turns out that poor, unsuspecting, Esmeralda and her husband were exposed to head lice, introduced to the close nit family (sorry, I couldn’t resist) by one of her nieces. 

“No fair!”
I said. 

“What?” asked Esmeralda.

“Blog envy.”
  But I realized that I was being selfish and let her tell the rest of her story.

Apparently, Esmeralda went to CVS to purchase some head lice remover, and was very relieved to discover that, although the store was bustling with activity, no one was in line.  

When she got to the cash register the clerk picked up the box, looked at Esmeralda and loudly announced, “Oh, my daughter had head lice last year and she has hair exactly like yours.  It was really hard to get rid of those buggers.”
Esmeralda, who was trying to get out of the store as quickly and anonymously as possible, didn’t respond.

(I groaned with envy at this point in her story.)

"You have exactly the same hair color and texture as my daughter," the clerk bellowed.

hose head lice are going to be really hard to get rid of.”

“That is so funny!”
I whined.  And I actually heard myself saying, “Why can’t I get head lice?”

Of course Esmeralda never had head lice and the treatment was just a precaution.

And I’m ashamed of myself for my blog envy.

To add insult to injury, blog envy hit even closer to home this morning when Dave said to me, “I can’t believe that at 62 years of age I’m still learning things.”

“What?” I asked.

“If you get toothpaste in your eye it hurts.”

Damn him.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Burrito

As I watched Linda pack for Marine Combat training I wondered,  "Who is this confident young woman and what did the Marines do with my Linda?"

Since she’d returned from Boot Camp nine days earlier I noticed a LOT of changes, the most endearing of which was a preference for hanging around the family vs. going out with friends.

But the biggest metamorphosis?  Her packing skills.

This is how Civilian Linda would pack a suitcase.

Civilian Linda would throw loose items of clothing into a suitcase when packing for a trip.  Actually, into multiple suitcases.  She would pack 4 times as many things as she’d need because "it was faster that way."

As I watched Marine Linda pack up her gear for Combat Training my jaw dropped.

I watched in awe as she rolled her clothes into burritos.  She would start by placing underwear, a sports bra, socks and shorts on top of her t-shirt.   

Then she’d fold the sides of the t-shirt over top of the stuff and roll it tightly starting at the top of the t-shirt.   When she got to the bottom, she'd magically pulled out the end of the t-shirt to hold the burrito in place.

It was magic.

The nerd inside of me had never been prouder.

Then she asked me for a ruler.

“You want a ruler?”
  I said, barely able to hide my excitement.

“Never mind,” she said.  My disappointment was short-lived as she reached for her own ruler.  She had her own ruler.

It should be noted that I couldn’t get Civilian Linda to use a ruler when she was doing algebra homework.  She’d freehand the X and Y axes. 

Oh how I tried to convince her that it would be SO MUCH EASIER to plot the line y=mx+b if she used a ruler.  

Now she had her own ruler. 

Marine Linda used her ruler to position the insignia on the front of her uniform.

(Civilian Linda may not have noticed if her t-shirt was on backwards.) 

I have to confess that Marine Linda made quite an impact on me.  

I was headed out for a walk with Becca at Harbison Lake.  But you never know when disaster might strike and a walk at Harbison Lake could turn into an overnight camping trip.

To that end, I created my own emergency burrito pack. But keeping in mind the imptorance of hydration, I made an adjustment.  

I'm sure Marine Linda would be very proud.