Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How to Prevent a Life of Crime

I have an important sociological theory that I think bears looking into. I developed this theory over the years because of personal and painful experience. My hypothesis is this:

A member of the human family, wearing pants/trousers/jeans 
that are undersized
for the relative girth of the abdomen, bum, thighs, and calves of said member of the human family, 
is statistically much more likely to kick his dog, 
use vulgar language, drive off a cliff 
or erupt in a myriad other manifestations of anger.

Fellow Americans across the fruited plain; you should be seriously worried about this. If you see your neighbor wearing a pair of skinny jeans…lock your door. He/she will be over with an axe come nightfall, chopping away and yelling in a crazy voice, “Heeeere’s Johnny!” just like Jack Nicholson in that scary movie with all the snow.

Tight pants make people do crazy things. Oh, it starts out fine in the morning. You take some pants from your younger days out of the back of the closet and think, hey I wonder if these still fit? You shake them out, wriggle in, zip them up, and think to yourself, Wow, these feel a little tight. Oh well, they’ll stretch out as the days goes on. People, this is a serious fallacy in your thinking. Already the blood has been restricted in its path to the brain. Those pants are not going to stretch. Your body is going to stretch inside those pants.

By mid morning you are going to be irritable. By lunch you are going to be grouchy and try to cheer yourself up with a hot fudge sundae from McDonalds. By midafternoon you are going to be giving small children the evil eye and by the time you are driving home from work you are just a bomb ticking away inside your car, waiting for someone to look at you the wrong way…tick, tick, tick.

Why do you think there is so much recidivism amongst our prison population? Someone gets sent to jail, they get to wear comfortable striped baggy pants during the duration of their sentence, make friends in the prison laundry, get out early on parole for good behavior, get out of jail, go to Walmart and buy some tight jeans and Whamo.

Tight jeans=rage=crime=back in the slammer. It is a tragic cycle.

Now go put on some yoga pants and eat a cookie. The whole human race will be better for it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happiness is made of this....

I am standing a little taller today; perhaps my head is even a little larger. (I don’t know for sure because I have a perm and it has already made my noggin look 23% bigger.

The reason for my potentially increased hat size is the awesome compliment I received via text. A dear reader (who shall remain anonymous) commented re: my last blog entry…excuse me whilst I scroll down on my cell phone; ah yes, here it is:

“That post made me cry and almost pee my pants!”

Now—and this probably goes without saying, my golden goal as a writer, my trophy at the end of the tunnel, my Emmy/Tony/Oscar is simply this: (And I would like to express it in the form of a haiku)

For a reader like you

To experience

An involuntary bodily reaction

In response

To words

That I have written.

This reaction could be a number of things (haiku alert);

a cough of delight

a belch of enchantment

a little toot of happiness

a sneeze of satisfaction

a few moist tears of pleasure

or yes…

even the above mentioned condition.

Can you blame me for being on top of the world?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Eavesdropping at the Mall

I was eating a delicious pretzel at the mall food court last week (Don’t you just love mall victuals? They’re like State Fair food with 73% less salmonella) when I found myself next to three young mothers. My, they were fashionable! I seem to remember wearing nothing in my early child-bearing years but jeans with a waist that rose 5 inches above my belly button and a barf-stained shirt with fringe. And that was my good outfit.

These women were gorgeous. They had blinding teeth, evenly tanned stubblefree legs and were all wearing the correct bra size. And the children! These were not the rugged little osh kosh b’goshers that ran around with my kids. The shoelaces matched the hairbows, the bottom of the sandals had the same flower that was on the sundress, the diaper coordinated with the wipeys and each child and Mother had matching tattoos. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop.

Mommy “A”: Oh your little girl is soooo darling. What is her name?

Mommy “B”: Tyler.

Mommy “C”: Oh my gosh I just love it when girls have boy names.

Mommy “A”: Seriously, it is so darling. How do you spell it?

Mommy “B”: T-I-E-L-O-R-R

Mommies “A” & “C”: (Squealing together) Oooo, that is the cutest spelling ev-errrr.

Mommy “B”: (Pointing to toddler sticking his hand up the gumball machine) What’s your little guy’s name?

Mommy “A”: Madison.

Mommy “C”: Ooooo, I just love it when boys have girl names. How do you spell it?

Mommy “A”: Well we just spell it the regular way, but we like capitalize the M and the D and the S and the N so it will look way cute on his kindergarten papers. And we put two of those cute little dots over the “o” so it kind of gives the whole thing a Euro vibe.

Mommy “B”: That is sooo creative. Are those your twins? (Pointing to double stroller) Awww, they’re sleeping.

Mommy “C”: Yeah, I always break out the Benadryl when we go shopping. I can get so much more done!

Mommy “B”: How fun to have twins! Are they regular or implants? The embryo’s I mean.

Mommy “C”: Oh they were just regular.

Mommies “A” and “B” exchange a troubled glance.

Mommy “A”: (suspiciously) Soooo, what are their names?

Mommy “C”: (Hanging her head in shame., whispering) Bob and Cindy.

At this point I saw Mommy “B” and Mommy “A” look at each other in pure horror. Mommy “B” blindly grabbed for little Tielorr, yanking her elastic headband with such a tug that it zinged across the food court, carrying an enormous flower along with it. Mommy “A” whipped out her i-phone, faked a call and extracted little Madison from the gumball machine, beating a hasty exit.

I quietly wept into my nacho cheese as Bob and Cindy snored on, blissfully unaware of the life of adversity awaiting.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Diagnosis: Delirium

I just had a really scary medical-type episode. I was talking to my friend Jill, who is a counselor. I mean she is the real deal, with a lanyard around her neck and a laminated card with her picture on it and everything. She is totally certified to listen to all your problems and nod wisely. Now, I grew up with Jill and we have been PFF’s since third grade. (PFF stands for “preeminent friends forever” in case you’re not into texting).

Jill in her more innocent, pre-counseling days

Jill informed me of something scary, (excuse me whilst I blow my nose discreetly).  I told her about this latest project of mine; i.e. the blog you are reading with such delight at this very moment. She said that blogging is a symptom!

Now I really hate symptoms because if you have one it means that something is going crazy haywire somewhere in your inward innards where you can’t see, even with a magnifying mirror angled just so. A symptom is dire.

Jill: Blogging...(dramatic pause) is a diagnosable symptom.

Me: (Swallowing noisily, slugging down some diet coke) Am I going to die?

Jill: No, it just means you are exhibiting behaviors that would lead to a diagnosis.

Me: Oh, whew. A diagnosis isn’t so bad.

Because we are PFFs, she didn’t tell me what the diagnosis is, and frankly, I don’t want to know because I am only half way down my bucket list and it is a really deep bucket.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Critic Surfaces

It’s time to take another question. I’m afraid this one is from a disgruntled man named Sven. I’m no detective, but he must be a postal employee, because aren’t they the ones who suddenly go berserk and tear up your Cabela's catalogue and read your postcards out loud at parties? Anyway, Sven is angry because…oh I’ll let him speak for himself.

So, what’s up with this crappy blog 
that don’t give away
no free stuff or nothin.

Love, your friend


Well Sven, first of all I am not your friend, because friends don’t let friends use improper grammar.  And you sir, obviously don't even know how to spell your own name.  You were probably just too lazy to write S-t-e-v-e-n in kindergarten.  But, even though I don’t know you, I am going to tell you something mister. I WAS going to give away ONE MILLION DOLLARS to a random commenter on this blog, but unfortunately I invested with Bernie Madoff in those halcyon days of yesteryear before the vultures started circling and lost my fortune. Now I am living on expired Cheez Whiz and wrinkled apples. 


When I get my strength back, I’m going to think of something to give you, LIKE MAYBE A KNUCKLE SANDWICH.

But, to other readers who wear deodorant and leave nice comments, I am going to close my eyes and stab at the computer with my well manicured right pointer finger, guided by the force—and pick a name. The person belonging to said name will receive a poem composed by Miss Rhoda Peters in his or her honor. Trust me; it will be better than a million dollars. Okay, so it will not be better than a million dollars, but look up at those circling vultures and count your blessings. 


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Home Cookin'

While I was shopping at Walmart the other day, browsing in the kitchen section, escorted by a pimply lad in a smart blue smock; I came upon the fine array of kitchen ware, handcrafted by none other than your friend and mine…Paula Deen. Can you believe she actually makes kitchenware all by herself in a blacksmith shop with a red hot hammer? Me either, but her name is right on it and if you can’t trust Paula, well, you might as well throw in the Paula Deen kitchen towel. (Which she weaves in a cute little sweatshop out back by the horse corral)

After agonizing over the many wonderful pans, I took the advice from the wise-beyond-his-years pimply lad in the smart blue smock, and settled on a serviceable orange pot. When I got home and lifted the lid, I found a treasure, a handwritten recipe written by the soft, dimpled hand of Paula Deen herself!!! I am sure it is extremely valuable, but I am not going to auction it on Ebay No, dear readers. I am going to share it with you all.

I made this delightful concoction for the family tonight for dinner and we are smacking our soft lips and sighing in utter contentment. Now get cooking and you will be doing the same!

Mmmmm, good!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Communist Commodes

I don’t want to brag, but I have done my share of traveling. I’ll never forget seeing the sunrise over Eloy from Garbage Dump Hill, or the pleasant hours I spent playing “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” on the harmonica in the Yuma penitentiary during July. Not to mention the trip by mule through the dry Salt River Bed chewing on rattlesnake jerky. Yes, I just might be someone you would turn to for travel advice

And I am glad to give it, because I have a generous spirit. If you will indulge me in a bit of philosophy: I believe that when I cast my bread upon the waters, it will become soggy and sink down and a fish will eat it, and then the fish will grow strong and healthy and some little lad will catch it while fishing in an urban lake and will turn to his father with a proud smile and his father will say, “Throw it back Jonny, that’s a stinkin’ carp.” Whew, where was I?

What is the first thing every traveler requires? Bingo, you guessed it…A PLACE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM! On a recent trip to Russia, I took notes on the back of my hand so I could help out unwary Americans like you with regard to Russian toilets.

Now some of you may feel apprehensive because you don’t read Russian. BUT DON’T WORRY! Anyone with a nose can find a Russian toilet. Flare your nostrils, inhale and turn about. When you smell pee, follow the vapor trail and there you go! But actually you can’t go yet because there will be a desk in front of you with a really mean Russian lady who wants 30 rubles. BUT DON’T WORRY! That’s a ruble she wants, not a ruby and rubles are just like Monopoly money only they are worth less. So hand your rubles over to the mean lady and perhaps she might hand you 3 squares of brown cardboard if she is in the mood. Or perhaps she might not. BUT DON’T WORRY because that’s why you have a little pack of nice soft American tissue in your purse. Men…you are out of luck. That’s what you get for making your wife carry all your junk in her purse.

With the smell of urea now making your eyes water, you know you are very very close to the actual toilet. Open the stall door and… Holy Cow, what is that porcelain hole in the ground? My friends, and I’m going to have to get somewhat technical here, that is a Russian squat toilet.

Now, I am not going to give you a play by play on using said facility because I am of a somewhat dainty sensibility. Suffice it to say it includes the use of the quadriceps, hamstrings and those watchyacallit muscles in your bum.

There, you’ve done it. Get out while you’re still able to hold your breath and take the hand sanitizer out of your purse. Men, you are out of luck. YOU SHOULD WORRY NOW, or at least start carrying a purse.

The government in Narva, Estonia honors Lenin by 
allowing him to point the way to the  "Cramos".

Monday, September 21, 2009

Now That's a Filibuster

Like 53.9 percent of the population, I am a mad almost nearly informed American citizen, or M.A.N.I.A.C. The thing I like most about being a M.A.N.I.A.C. is that you don’t have to know anything about anything to be mad as h-e-c-k about it.

Which leads me to today’s column (which you can also find on ).

Our leaders in Washington have been furrowing their brows and spouting phrases like these on every channel.

“Can’t we disagree without being disagreeable?”

“We all need to adopt a more civil tone”.

Well excuse me, but that kind of namby pamby attitude is what gets you beat up on the playground. I say it is time to take off the gloves and ramp up the disagreeableness.

Think what would happen if everyone in the House of Representatives came to work all ready to rumble. Pelosi would be crouching on her chair at the head of the chamber in a ponytail and boxing gloves. John Boehner would swing in on a rope wearing a mouthguard and a wrestling onesie. The rest of the Representatives would roar in on Harleys wearing sweat pants and black eye patches. (Barney Frank would be in the gallery waving pompoms and cheering on the Democrats because no one would want to see him in sweat pants.)
The sergeant at arms would call for a vote on health care and then ring a bell. It would be the hugest cage fight ever. 

I can’t even imagine what fun a Senate free for all would be, but I bet Harry Reid would be hiding under his desk.  C-span viewers sitting in their LazyBoys would wake up and think they were watching the Wrestling Channel. Ratings would go through the roof.

No one ever gets anything done in politics without getting mad about it.

I say,…Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

Okay, okay, so I made up that part about the Drudge Report

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Query

From time to time I will gladly answer questions posed people with too much time on their hands. 
Today, I will address one mailed in by some yahoo named Onah Wimbley from Chicago, (or it could be Opie Wimpey. Between you and me, the handwriting was not the best.  Plus--- it was written on a McDonald's wrapper with a huge false eyelash stuck to it).

O.W. : What is your passion?

Me: None of your dang business. You stay out of my bedroom and I’ll stay out of yours.

I mean really

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Haiku to You

As many of you know, in my formative years I was a sober child, not given to the hijinks and folderol of many of the baby boom generation. I took life seriously. For example I spent 1st-3rd grades studying Plato. (Although the English translation, as written on the brightly colored yellow can is “Play-dough”.)

My 4th-7th grade years were devoted to that age old question, “What is the meaning of Life?” I literally devoured this subject, internalizing Life in all its crunchy deliciousness. (Accompanied of course by plenty of ice-cold milk).

But 8th grade, ah, 8th grade. That is when I turned to poetry, Inspired by an assignment in Mrs. Farr’s English class, I wrote haiku by the boat load. I haikued on the bus, in Mr. Shelton’s math class and while doing my chores. I share with you now the finest work of that special season of learning. It is a poem that my children request often. Its meaning reaches across the years, touches every heart, and is deeper than Mt. Everest if you turned it upside down and pounded it into the earth until it was flush with Montana. Enjoy! 

Friday, September 18, 2009

Saving the world, bird by bird

When Joey came in the kitchen door my heart sank. His hands were cupped protectively in front of him. I knew from a vast store of past experience that something from the animal kingdom was involved. The something would be tiny and wild. The something would wiggle its way into our hearts and then die a horrible death, resulting in family-wide depression.

He gave me that look. Joey has watched so many hours of nature programs he can effortlessly channel the desperation of an endangered specie out of his eyes (which are as blue as the towering skies over the Serengeti). He didn’t even take off his backpack, just opened his cage of bony fingers to reveal a hummingbird, no bigger than your average-sized Cheeto. It was dark with spiky little pinfeathers emerging; an ugly little thing.

Me: Oh great, where did you find that?

Joey: In the green field.

We creatively christened the grassy retention area near our home as, “The Green Field” many years ago. The Green Field has yielded a wealth of animal life over the years, including but not limited to: a turtle, someone’s spare dog, someone’s spare cat, a snake and two teenagers making out. It is a regular wild kingdom.

Me: Well turn around, march right back and stick it in the tree.

Joey: But I looked for a nest and there wasn’t one.

Me: Well anyone can make a nest, go get some dryer lint and we’ll improvise.

Joey: Mommmmmmm!

Me: It’s going to die, look it has jaundice.

Joey: All baby hummingbirds have yellow beaks.

Me: What do they eat?

Joey: Sugar water and (mumble mumble).

Me: Well, I guess we could do sugar water…hey, what was that last thing you said?

Joey: Uh, just some, just a few, uh…pulverized spiders.

Due to my advanced years and general lethargy, our foster bird came home to roost. He slept in a lovely black box amid twigs and grass. He willingly threw his little noggin back to sip eye droppered sugar water. We (shudder) killed daddy long leg spiders for him. He didn’t think much of the legs, but liked the squishy middles okay. Generally though, he was a typical hummingbird-kid, and sugar water was his preferred beverage. His spiky feathers turned a beautiful shimmery blue green. He took little test flights around the house, startling me as he whirred by. I started taking him on field trips to the flower bed, perching him on a little twig in front of an inviting flower. Let me tell you, you can take a hummingbird to nectar, but you can’t make him drink.

Somehow he survived, he even thrived. He had one defect. His chest was completely devoid of feathers. It looked like he had deliberately gone into a plucking frenzy. I wished I could buy him a little gold chain and medallion. It had to be embarrassing trying to impress the lady hummingbirds. But, who knows, he may have started a trend. Soon, he started flying out of the yard, coming home several times a day to belly up to the hummingbird trough. Eventually, he started staying out all night, hanging out with the other recently emancipated foster birds. Now he doesn’t even call.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A true confession

Brace yourself. I am going to unburden myself of a murky secret. Since I was a young girl, I have dreamed of being someone famous; someone named…(Excuse me while I bite my lip and draw blood)…Rhoda Peters.

I was about 10 years old when I dreamed up Rhoda Peters; the lyrical pen name for the books I was someday going to write. My fondest hope was to make Rhoda Peters famous throughout America and freedom-loving countries around the world.

I was born with the last name Flake, which is perfectly acceptable if you live in Snowflake, but when you leave northern Arizona, all bets are off. For example, while applying for jobs (trying to exude trustworthiness from every pore) the name “Flake” taken literally, can blow the whole interview. Peters, on the other hand is conventional and not emblazoned on cereal boxes.

My first name, Laraine, had the semi-Francais vibe going for it, but had been worn to a nubbin by overuse, due to my large population of siblings. I needed a name fresh and lively.And Rhoda! Isn’t it just gorgeous? The name Rhoda on a book jacket immediately conjures up someone small and saucy with coordination and grace; someone with long curly black hair, mysterious dark eyes and full red lips. In other words, the polar opposite of my ten –year-old gawky self. (See pic on right)

Rhoda Peters has inhabited a special place inside me for quite some time now. She is still sophisticated and never trips; falling, skinning her knees and showing her underwear. She is still waiting to publish her first book, but since it would probably be a romance novel, I have decided not to write it for her. If I did, chances are she wouldn’t acknowledge me on book tours and would end up suing me for plagiarism. I’m better off leaving her locked up inside me, untried, but still full of potential.