Category Archives: Life

The Wall of Confusion

The Wall of Confusion

living_in_boston

I wanted to bring the funny this week, but I’m having a hard time with that.

I felt like I wanted to say something about the horrific violence this week but also felt like one more missive about it wasn’t going to necessarily help anyone.

But, it’s kind of like listening to really sad songs after a bad breakup. I kind of want to wallow for a while. It seems appropriate.

When senseless violence happens on any scale, it confounds me. I find myself walking around in a general state of confusion. There is also sadness, anger, sympathy. But for me the overwhelming emotion is confusion.

With the events this week, I’m feeling all the more confused. This one feels different to me than some of the other horrific events we’ve been through. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a runner myself. Maybe it’s that I have friends who have run the Boston Marathon in the past. Maybe it’s that I’ve been to tons of events just like this one, sharing in the camaraderie and excitement of the crowd.

But, I think at it’s core, this one confuses me because it was a day of joy and community that was targeted. It was a day of great accomplishment for so many, with friends and family there to support and love these runners who had trained hard and made this, the most prestigious foot race in the country, a goal.  For many, just making it to the Boston Marathon was a huge goal met. To run it and finish could be a life-changing accomplishment.

I am of the thought that people are wired to be inherently good. That given a choice, humans will choose to be empathetic, to help, to connect, to care about each other. Every clip and news story I see supports that when you see the number of people running toward the danger to help others stuck in the midst of it.

So, what was the message that these broken people wanted to send? What could only be said by the deaths of children and the disablement of such able bodies? I can’t imagine, even for a moment.

But, I also know that we can’t imagine it because we are not them. We understand the immeasurable value of human life, family, community, altruism.

Violence doesn’t understand the value of anything but violence.

So, how can we ever understand in order to stop the feelings of confusion? We can’t.

And, for that I am actually grateful. Because as long as we’re confused, I know we will never understand. And if we never understand, we don’t run the risk of being them. Ever. Not for a moment.

So, this is a confusion I will choose to embrace.

Hitting Publish – My Year of Living Dangerously

Hitting Publish – My Year of Living Dangerously

It was one year ago that I wrote my first blog post. I’d invite you all to an awkward first birthday party but I don’t know how to bake a virtual cake. Though I could probably figure out a virtual piñata of sorts.

All of this was really a grand experiment to see if I could stick to ANYTHING for a whole year so, from that perspective, it’s been a success. I said I’d post something, good or bad (no comments please) every week for a year and by God I did. So Yay Me!

Some milestones this year:

  • Hitting the Publish button for the first time was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.
  • People actually read my stuff this year. I remember the first person who subscribed to Left of Plumb who was not a friend or family member or who I paid. I almost wet myself. I could not believe anyone would purposefully read something I wrote. What a revelation!
  • Writers are awesome people. I’m not including myself in that, by the way, lest you think I’ve got an overly healthy view of myself. Having insecurity and angst is the foundation of being a writer. But I’ve had the chance to “meet” so many this year and have been amazed at how nurturing and supportive that community is. And, I might add, I have been overjoyed at the amount of funny out there!! I salute you all!
  • I feel about this blog much like I feel about my children. I both love and hate this blog.  Some weeks I can’t wait to get a post out. Other weeks I want to start it on fire, pee on it, then start it on fire again.
  • I really hate social media and suck at it. Twitter is like a black hole of despair for me. But, evidently, one has to suck it up and do them all in order to get “followers” (which just sounds creepy and Jim Jones Kool-aidey). Twatter, Bookface, Instacrap, I hate them! And, they make me feel like I have headgear and am sitting alone at a table in the cafeteria eating applesauce.
  • I have not received a single mean comment. Now, please do not take this as a challenge or request, because despite what you may think, I am fragile and could devolve into tears at any moment. But, the fact that all these total strangers have been so kind and supportive has renewed my faith that the world is full of rockin’ decent folks! And, even without meeting them, I feel like I can call some of them friends. How over-the-top cool is that?!

So, those are just a few of my thoughts around this year of living dangerously. A well-deserved tip of the hat to all of us who have put ourselves out there for the world to see and are still alive (and not institutionalized) to talk about it.

To another year!

Even Tom Waits is impressed...

Even Tom Waits is impressed…

A Bunch Of Words About Aging

A Bunch Of Words About Aging

I am 35 years old.

Oh, shut up! I know I’m not 35 – let me explain!!

I seem to have frozen in time at that age. I have not advanced one second past that age. I would say I will die at the age of 35 even though most people will argue that I will be more like 95 (and a HUGE pain in everyone’s ass).

I felt my best at that age and decided I’d hang out there indefinitely. At 35, I was in good physical shape, blazing trails in a successful career, had disposable income and was under the misguided impression that I was in control of my destiny.

I was not too young, nor was I considered old. I was in my sweet spot.

But, my body clearly did not get that memo.

So, this being the case, I feel I’ve become somewhat bi-polar with my insides and my outsides not matching up. I have a good angel/bad angel on each shoulder giving me opposing views.

Sitting on one shoulder sits the woman who will stop at nothing to remain young and beautiful. Let’s call her Carrot Top.

I know!!! I totally look like a woman!!

I know!!! I totally look like a woman!!

On my other sloping  shoulder sits the gnarled and bent figure of the aged and self-possessed woman. We will call her Kathy Bates.

Yep, I’m naked and I’m OK with that, goddamnit.

Yep, I’m naked and I’m OK with that, goddamnit! Get over it!

It doesn’t help that I live in the land of happy, shiny, perky breasts. The buying public, and no matter what my Visa statement says, it does NOT include me, has set the standard for what beauty is all about. The buying public is named Stassi, Shauna, Brandeeeee or some other made-up name.

Do I, like, have something in my teeth?

Do I, like, have something in my teeth?

So, back to Carrot Top and Kathy. Let’s start with Carrot. He sits there with his plump lips, surprising eyebrows and permanent eyeliner. He is telling me that all I need to do is a lift here (to help those falling butt cheeks),  a tuck there (to shore up the jowls that make me look a little more like Nixon every year), a tweeze (because what is it that makes you turn into the Fly after 35?), and a few good shots of some unnatural material to plump you up in just the right spots.

All this for the special package cost of your soul.

But there is Kathy sitting there, a little stooped and a bit androgynous in her look. She wears no makeup or adornments because, well, what the hell’s the point?

She whispers into my ear in a raspy voice “We’ve worked at this beauty thing for decades. We’ve bought every lip plumper, push up bra, gut-sucking underwear, and spent the national debt on anti-aging everything like good little soldier.

Aren’t you just weary of all that work and wasted energy? You could have written several novels, found a cure for the common cold AND found Bin Laden way earlier with the time and brainpower put toward “beauty”….which is a subjective word, by the way.”

(We will pause here while Shauna looks up the word “subjective.”)

So I ask, is there a happy middle ground? Aren’t we supposed to learn moderation as we get older (along with where interest rates are and how our 401K is performing)? Can we learn to love ourselves enough to allow our bodies to age gracefully, as intended?

I see you getting all indignant, shaking your fist at the sky and bellowing “But it’s not us, its MEN who make us this way! It’s MEN who expect perfection!” This may well be at least part of the problem. I don’t know of any men who hang posters of Madeleine Albright in their rooms because she has a really big brain.

And, yes, most men would take a killer rack over a sagging one any day of the week. Who wouldn’t?

I know we’d like to think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures, but the bottom line is, we’ve been doing this little dance since we crawled out of the primordial slime. The vision of a healthy, big-breasted cave woman with childbearing hips sent all the knuckle draggers into a frenzy…just like today.

Oh, our foreheads have come in a bit (except for James VanDerBeek), we’ve discovered bathing (except for Joaquin Phoenix), and now we can talk (often, this is NOT a good thing), but those pesky little DNA strands are still calling the shots.

Don’t you give me the stink-eye young man, you get in that shower NOW!

Don’t you give me the stink-eye young man, you get in that shower NOW!

Women still want to look attractive to men and men still want them to look attractive.

So, do we go against our very nature? Do we thumb out nose at our chemical make up? Why are you asking me? I have no freakin’ idea!

But, it would be nice to think that our intellect would have exceeded this need by now. It does seem like we should know better and would be able to hold other deeper traits in higher regard.

So, it may seem obvious that the Kathy Bates has won the fight. She has triumphed over shallowness and has driven her point down our turkey-like throats. We will be happy with who we are. We will find healthy, graceful, and proud examples to follow. We will love ourselves, cellulite and all.

And, only the evolved, forward-thinking men will be allowed in our sacred presence.

Only the men who, themselves have reached that inner peace. You know, the ones with the “love handles” because somehow that makes fat cute. The ones with arms that jiggle like your grandmother’s…

Gotta go now, Carrot Top is driving me to my Liposuction appointment.

The Stay-At-Home Mom – Your Lady Balls Are Bigger Than Mine

The Stay-At-Home Mom – Your Lady Balls Are Bigger Than Mine
I’m tired just looking at you.

I’m tired just looking at you.

I’ve been asked repeatedly over the years about why I am a working mother. Are we poor? Am I a narcissist? Is your husband a drunk or something?

Of course, the answer to all of these queries is YES. I am a poor narcissist with a drunk husband. Duh!

But, there are actually a couple of other reasons too.

Like the fact that my kids love me a lot more when they see me a little less. This is an absolute fact about how most people feel about me. Ask any of my ex-boyfriends. You can get overwhelmed by me pretty damned fast. But, when I’m not around, I am thinner, prettier, wittier and smarter. So, I choose to keep that mystery alive for as long as I can.

This is also why I work remotely. It’s like that scene out of Hello Dolly when she goes back to the Harmonia Gardens every time I visit the home office.

This would be our casual Friday look.

This would be our casual Friday look.

And, that’s how it is every time I come back home too….for about an hour.

The simple fact is that when I’m at work, it’s the only time anyone listens to me (or pretends really well) and sometimes they even do what I say. I’ve even had times when someone asked me for my opinion on something and sat, in rapt attention, waiting for my response.

Needless to say, I don’t get a whole lot of that at home.

But, the absolute, number one reason I work is the fact that I am a big yellow-bellied coward. Being a stay-at-home mom is HARD! I’ve only done it a couple of times for like a week over a school break and was in the fetal position by hour 12.

I still have a loop of “I’m bored” and “I’m hungry” sing-songing through my brain like a bad Michael McDonald song.

Ya Mo Be There…. Ya Mo Be pouring me a big ass drink about now.

Ya Mo Be There…. Ya Mo Be pouring me a big ass drink about now.

The idea that a human female becomes more patient and kind once they have children is as confusing to me as my kid’s math homework.

But, given that the children of most of my stay-at-home-mom friends are alive and seemingly healthy, I must assume I simply missed out on that hormone. Along with the hormone that makes you forget the pain of childbirth. Didn’t get any of that one either.

So, I salute you, my bad ass sisters! You have thrown yourself on the parental grenade and I stand in awe.

Yes, Another Annoying Best of 2012 List

Yes, Another Annoying Best of 2012 List

imageI know there are easily a gazillion best-of lists out there so I totally forgive you if you are getting to the point where you can’t take one more. But, as you know, your comfort has never been my paramount concern so…..and, I’m just a huge, lazy ass.

One of my favorite things from 2012 was the realization that there are a million exceptionally non-famous funny people in the world. Many of these lunatics are just as funny as the most famous comedians out there. It’s really the number one thing that keeps me somewhat hopeful for our species.

So, without further ado, I present some things that made me happy this year.

Noo Yorque Times Top 5 Left of Plumb Posts (because I am learning about shameless self-promotion)

Hobo With An Attitude

Scenes From a Coffice

Dear God; RE: Anne Hathaway

I Was Plucked By The Original Jersey Girl

Glitterati In The Mist

My Favorite Pop Culture Travesties

50 Shades of Gray – The revelation that middle-aged women are horny nymphomaniacs changed the way I look at all middle-aged women.

Magic Mike – See above entry….forgive the pun.

Liz and Dick – In the ongoing train wreck that is La Lohan, we got to watch her barreling toward the brick wall for a full 2 hours.

Hulk Hogan – Ish. I never did get around to doing a post about this one….I think I’m still throwing up in my mouth when I think of it.

Hunger Games – Hatefully addictive. My personal skeleton in my closet of shame.

My Online Humor Discoveries

KidFreeLiving – Amy VanSant is so freakin’ funny it completely pisses me off!

TheBloggess – Has anyone on the planet NOT read and fallen in love with Jenny Lawson? She is the sassy matriarch of blogging!

Bad Lip Reading – I weep uncontrollably with laughter at every one of these and check the site like a rabid stalker to see what new videos they have posted.

Twitter, in general

I really really really really hate to admit this but have been exceptionally entertained by Twitter. Before this year, I looked upon it with scorn and malice as a place for whiney, needy people to talk about the consistency of their morning constitutions. I now see that, if you follow the right people, it is HILARIOUS.

My Favorite Tweeters (though the list could be pages long….)

God @tweetofgod

Amy Vansant ‏‪@KidFreeLiving‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Jim Gaffigan ‏‪@JimGaffigan‬

Kevin Seccia ‏‪@kevinseccia‬

Dave Hill ‏‪@mrdavehill

Best Political Tweets

What a sad day for legitimate and illegitimate rapists. ~Matt Roller ‏‪@rolldiggity‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

If you have never had the misfortune to be raped, fight the urge to put on a suit and talk expansively about its’ meaning. ~Uncle Dynamite ‏‪@UncleDynamite‬‬‬‬‬‬

Enjoy your gay marryjuana, Seattle! ~God @tweetofgod

IT IS NO LONGER A PROJECTION. IT IS OFFICIAL: I’m kind of a fan of Sea Breeze cocktails! ~Ted Travelstead ‏‪@trumpetcake‬

Has Michelle won First Lady yet? ‘Cause if SHE loses…. Awkward. ~ Dana Gould @DanaJGould

Why is the same show on EVERY CHANNEL? ~ Mike Birbiglia ‏‪@birbigs‬

THE RESULTS ARE IN IN OHIO: my step-cousin Jaden is OFFICIALLY the new day-shift manager of the Hardee’s on Coleman Road. ~ Ted Travelstead ‏‪@trumpetcake‬

Sleep tight, America, and know that – no matter who you voted for – tomorrow we will wake up united in our hatred of wobbly tables. ~ The Bloggess @thebloggess

There are more of these, that I love, here: My Election Hangover

Tweets That Made Me Wet Myself

Who wants to see my wiener? Shit. How do I delete on this thing? ~ Dave Hill ‏‪@mrdavehill‬‬

Jedediah leaned upon his rake and said to Isaac, “Thy wife makes a goodly pie.” “I thank thee,” said Isaac. “Most humbly.” ‪#AmishErotica‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ ~ Uncle Dynamite ‏‪@UncleDynamite‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

I just tripped, fell and then farted while walking up an escalator and now I have the ability to move objects with my mind. ~ Jerm Himselfish ‏‪@JermHimselfish‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

If I had a dollar for every time my dad questioned my sexuality I could afford a bad ass Harley and probably some super cute riding boots. ~ Jeffrey Hadz ‏‪@Hadzilla‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

The thesaurus on Microsoft Word is not very… how do I put this… “good” ~ B.J. Novak ‏‪@bjnovak‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Are humans the only mammals that blow each other? I’m asking for a friend. ~Dana Gould ‏‪@DanaJGould‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

HOLY SHIT. Is there a sign on my office door that says ‘C’mon in and fart the place up?’ ~Evan ‏‪@evanrhorne‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Whenever someone invites me to go golfing I always think, “Wow, this person knows absolutely nothing about me.” ~Jim Gaffigan ‏‪@JimGaffigan‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

The downside of having a bad memory is occasionally forgetting and then remembering the existence of Mr. Holland’s Opus. ~Kevin Seccia ‏‪@kevinseccia‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“Maybe we can sell more clams if we put them in a liquid that looks like vomit?” – Inventor of clam chowder. ~Jim Gaffigan ‏‪@JimGaffigan‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Realized I was still chewing a piece of bacon as I sat on the toilet, hence discovering the elusive EIGHTH Habit of Highly Effective People. ~Amy Vansant ‏‪@KidFreeLiving‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Got my wig caught in my braces again. ~Ted Travelstead ‏‪@trumpetcake‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

If I’m ever on life support unplug me,, and then plug me back in again,, and see if that works… ~Gordon McCleary ‏‪@ASouthernYankee‬‬‬‬‬‬

Our son HATES the rectal thermometer. Ugh, teenagers! ~rob delaney ‏‪@robdelaney‬‬‬‬‬

The worst part about being omniscient is that I can never not know what Newt Gingrich looks like naked. ~God ‏‪@TheTweetOfGod‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

In closing, if I can continue to find even more to laugh about in 2013, I think I just may survive! And, here are some pictures to leave you with that just simply made me smile cuz’ they are kinda weird.

dancing sheep

Look at me! I’m one sassy ewe, girlfriend!

You do know I'll kill you in your sleep for doing this to me....right after I eat these Cheetos.

You do know I’ll kill you in your sleep….right after I eat these here Cheetos.

I’ve gotta feeling…..that tonight’s gonna be a good night…..

 

New Year’s Resolutions In Review – Epic Fail

New Year’s Resolutions In Review – Epic Fail

Yeah, I know, little baby new year. I feel the same way.

I usually hate making unrealistic promises I know I can’t keep just because the calendar happens to turn over to January 1st. I fail to see how predicting my upcoming failures, or “resolutions,” rings in the new year with any renewed optimism.

At this point the chance that I will become a better, more evolved human is about as likely as the whole Rihanna and Chris Brown thing ending well.

To clarify, it’s not that I believe I’m already a better more evolved human and, therefore, already as awesome as it gets. It’s that I’m old and tired and can barely be bothered to pause The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills long enough to get off the couch and go take a dump.

So, here are my predictions for 2013:
*Data is derived from the predictions and outcomes of identical goals for 2012.

I will exercise more. What utter bullshit. I will either join a health club I can’t afford and use it once but pay for a full year because I hate being sold to so will sign whatever you put in front of me to get you to shut the fuck up.

Or, I’ll decide I will run a 10K without even walking regularly to the mailbox, pull a hamstring in the first 10 feet, be laid up for months in bed while eating my boredom and end up on some horrible TLC show called  “Bedridden, Obese and Angry.”

I will scale back on the cursing. Notice how I said “scale back” and not stop? You might as well say “I will no longer use air to breathe”. Believe me, the world is a safer place if I can express myself with profanity.

I will lose 10 lbs. I did not say how many times I would lose 10 lbs. over the year, did I? So, technically, if you add up all the weight I lost this year, I’d be way over that goal. Luckily, we won’t count the number of lbs. I gained as well. I blame it all on the holiday pie and booze I shoveled into my face hole.

I will be more patient. I don’t really know how to measure this one since I am, by nature, one of the least patient people on the planet. So, even when I’m at my best, I am still probably a good 50% more impatient than normal people.

I do tend to be a lot more easy-going when I’m drinking, so let’s just assume I drank more this year and everyone wins.

I will reduce my drinking. Defeated.

So, there you have it. Not a stellar report card.

However, I have come to a conclusion and this is it:  By making a list of how to change myself I miss the most important goal I should be focused on – being true to who I am and loving myself despite…..myself.

My 2013 resolution: I will love, or at least accept myself, warts and all. And, do the same for everyone else.

Happy New Year, other imperfect humans! Keep yourselves weird and we may just come out of all this OK.

Darth Vadar riding a unicycle while playing bagpipes in a kilt. What of it?

Your Criminal “Horror”scope

Your Criminal “Horror”scope

A few years ago I decided to get my horoscope read by a “professional”. And by “professional” I mean a carny in a leather jerkin at a renaissance faire.

Evidently, I was supposed to come into some sort of incredible wealth this year. All I can say is that the tires on my car are bald and one of the cupboard doors in my kitchen fell off and hit me in the head. Maybe the carny was having an off day.

As a retaliation for my not becoming wealthy and just because I really hate renaissance faires, I decided to compile a more useful horoscope or “horror”-scope if you will.

Enjoy! And if you happen to live next door to a Cancer, use your deadbolt tonight!

Seriously.

Aquarius – Jan. 20–Feb. 18
Your Criminal Tendencies: Aquarians are hackers, hustlers and con artists involved mainly in manipulation. They usually commit crimes based on revenge.
In good company: Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck, Jerry Springer, Kim Jong Il

Wow, you are in the company of some world-class assholes. Well done! Maybe it’s because, like the others on your list, you are inflexible and stubborn and don’t care about facts.

Vengeance is yours! so go get it! Today is a good day to smite your retractors because Uranus is in retrograde (I just wanted to say Uranus).

Pisces – Feb. 19–Mar. 20
Your Criminal Tendencies: Pisces are mostly involved in drug-related crimes.
In good company: Osama Bin Laden, John Wayne Gacy, Justin Bieber

As much as I hate to admit it, I tend to hang with the fish a bit. I have a soft spot for lazy, escapist drug addicts. Today do NOT watch any sad movies. You’re on the downside of your constant emotional roller coaster and need to dose up on your antipsychotic meds.

Aries – Mar. 21–Apr. 19
Your Criminal Tendencies: Aries are usually criminals for hire and are heavily armed.
In good company: Adolph Hitler

You are self-centered, egotistical, moody and selfish. You are a huge douche. You are the astrological equivalent to a Real Housewife of Orange County, throwing drinks into the faces of all the other astrological signs. Who the hell raised you? I mean, you are one with Hitler. Enough said.

So, today, just try not to be such a giant pain in everyone’s asses, OK?

Taurus – Apr. 20–May 20
Your Criminal Tendencies: Taurus is quite dangerous and temperamental. They are usually involved in money laundering as they are clever and do most of their crimes in solitude.
In good company: Vladimir Lenin, Saddam Hussein, Mark Zuckerberg

You are some scary, sneaky folks. What do you have going on down in that dark basement? You are the second most dangerous astrological sign on the chart. Couldn’t make the cut for number one? Must be that lazy streak you have. You also are very self-indulgent so today is a very fortuitous day for buying stuff you don’t need like solid gold urinals.

Gemini – May 21–June 21
Your Criminal Tendencies: Geminis get involved in crimes involving fraud as they are con artists and thieves. The Gemini criminal tends to not take things seriously.
In good company: Marquis de Sade, Donald Trump, David Berkowitz (Son of Sam killer), Jeffry Dahmer

You guys are wound way too tight. You’re twitchy, creepy and giggly. You are like Dracula’s lunatic sidekick, Renfield. It’s a banner day to steal someone’s identity so get out there and snatch some old lady’s purse, you spazzy knuckleheads!

Cancer – June 22–July 22
Your Criminal Tendencies: Cancers are the largest majority of criminals and most dangerous among all the zodiac signs. They are violent passion killers who kill multiple times and leave some kind of markings on their victims’ bodies to distinguish themselves. This kind of killer is usually thought to be mentally unstable.
In good company: King Henry VIII, John Dillinger, George W. Bush, Lizzie Borden

So, knowing how over-sensitive and unstable you are, I’m going to say that you should just try to not kill anyone today. You should just really focus on that. Not killing anyone. Maybe just stay home to be sure you don’t kill anyone, OK?

Just to be clear, leave people who are alive alone today.

Leo – July 23–Aug. 22
Your Criminal Tendencies: Leos are usually very dangerous and get involved in criminal activity for the sole reason of getting recognition.
In good company: Benito Mussolini, Grigori Rasputin, Mata Hari, Napoleon Bonaparte
But wait, there’s more: Hulk Hogan, Magic Johnson, Bill Clinton

You are an over-sexed group of unstable, syphilitic pervs. You are vain and crave drama and excitement.

Today is not the day to have casual sex because by mid-day you will have a herpes outbreak. So, give it a few days to clear up and then get back to it, tramp.

Virgo – Aug. 23–Sept. 22
Your Criminal Tendencies: Virgos are burglars and hackers and usually well-armed.
In good company: Ivan the Terrible, Slobodan Milosevic, Michael Jackson

You tend to be a nosy nelly, always interfering in other peoples business. Thus the burgling and hacking I suppose. Today may be a good day to hack into some bank accounts. I happen to know my asshole ex-boyfriend’s firewall is down.

Libra – Sept. 23–Oct. 23
Your Criminal Tendencies: Libras have the largest criminal percentage compared to the rest of the air signs. They are usually armed and very dangerous. Libras are usually corrupt people.
In good company: Lee Harvey Oswald, Jesse Helms, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Oddly, Snoop Dog and John Lennon are also Libras which leads me to believe you are the Jeff Spicoli of the zodiac – always high which makes you an unreliable underachiever. Add your naturally corrupt nature and a handgun and you’ve got quite a combo.

Today you will get an unexpected invitation to a social event or party. It might be a good day to hold up a 7-Eleven for cash and snacks.

Scorpio – Oct. 24–Nov. 21
Your Criminal Tendencies: Scorpios are sadistic with hot tempers.
In good company: Charles Manson, Marie Antoinette, Senator Joseph McCarthy

If you are noticing missing pets in the neighborhood, you may want to see if there is a Scorpio around. Lock your cats and dogs up if these freaks are in the vicinity.

You have big control issues and tend to go all apeshit if you feel you don’t have that control.

Let’s not drive today, shall we? A gum-chewing texter is going to cut you off and it will all go downhill from there.

Sagittarius – Nov. 22–Dec. 21
Your Criminal Tendencies: Sagittarius are con artists, robbers and thieves. They do not, in most cases, hurt their victims. Sagittarius has a high population of criminals but they are difficult to capture.
In good company: Joseph Stalin, Ted Bundy

You guys are the lovable near-do-wells of the zodiac chart. You are always up for the sport of criminal activity. But, you are a wily group to be sure and hard to catch.

I say, do whatever the fuck you want today – you’re not going to get caught anyway!

Capricorn – Dec. 22–Jan. 19
Your Criminal Tendencies: Capricorns are usually all-around criminals. Capricorns are mostly involved in organized crime and are rated as being more sadistic than Scorpio.
In good company: Richard Nixon, Idi Amin, Sun Ming Moon, Rush Limbaugh, Benedict Arnold

Nice! You’ve beat out Scorpio in the sadistic category! Good for you!

You are a criminal generalist.  You are conceited, distrusting control freaks. You live for a good conspiracy theory. If your sign had a currency, Rush Limbaugh’s face would be on it.

Today is a great day to start a new project. Like heading to a remote cabin in North Idaho to build that bomb you’ve been putting off.

Best Practices For The Remote Worker (Or, How To Avoid Being Creepy)

Best Practices For The Remote Worker (Or, How To Avoid Being Creepy)

I stopped going into an office every day 18 years ago, so I may be a bit of a pioneer in the field of remote working. At least that’s what I tell everyone because saying I’m lazy and anti-social just doesn’t have the impact I want.

I was fortunate enough to work for a company that was definitely on the cutting edge of working with virtual teams around the world. And, while that company has since turned into a behemoth monster that could rival government entities in its utter lack of innovation, I still am loyal because they made my slacker lifestyle possible.

(That company is Microsoft, in case any of you are neophytes in my universe.)

If you are thinking of becoming a Remote Worker, otherwise known as “self-imposed shut-in”, then you need to know the reality. Because, boy, it can get pretty ugly.

You probably have a picture in your mind that looks something like this:

 This well-coifed go-getter is taking no prisoners from his sunny,
IKEA-outfitted home office!! Is that the Grundälstŭp desk? Man, this guy is rockin’ it!

But this is where you may end up if you aren’t careful.

 This young man, fresh out of college, is currently programming the
next release of the hottest new app but he will never get a date again.

So, I feel like I should pass some of my lessons and observations along to the next generation of self-starters, social misfits and multi-taskers. Take heed, people. It can all be a slippery slope.

Try to take a shower at least every other day if for no other reason than to keep your sheets clean. Plus, at some point or another all of us have to make an occasional trip to the mother ship, be it your company or a client. Consider taking a shower a fire drill for when you need to be in front of people who will judge you.

Always look as if you are about to go on a run or are just finishing with one, neither of which is usually true.This is a way to dress only half a step beyond pajamas. It’s a cheat, to be sure. But, you never know, maybe you actually will go for a run…..I know, that was silly. You aren’t going for a run.

Attempt to have some sort of exchange in person with other humanoids, even if it’s just the cable guy. You’d be surprised at how quickly you can forget how to speak and interact in a real-world setting. You don’t want people to think you have a meth lab in your basement.

On the flip side, don’t scare the mailman by talking his ear off and asking him to come in for a beer. He may think you have some sort of human skin factory in your spare bedroom and run screaming. And, there is the added risk you won’t receive your unemployment checks.

Avoid video conferences. Period. But, if you must do it, set up your environment as if you are about to shoot Kathy Bates in a sex scene. Some Vaseline on the lens does wonders.

Add a small fan to create a windswept look.

Finally, the perfect camera angle is key to ensure they don’t see that you have only dirty underwear on from the waist down.

I took longer to get ready for my first video conference than I did for my wedding.

Go for something along these lines. 

Try not to get too distracted. This is a really tough one to master. Between porn and cat videos, you can sink yourself quickly. If you must, create a schedule around your internet trolling. But, if people can view your schedule, be sure to use code words.

For instance, instead of 11:00-11:30 – Troll Web for porn, try 11:00-11:30 – Research SEO for women’s issues.

Finally, the holy grail of remote working – get thee to the Coffice.  Having a place to work remotely from your remote job is imperative and has saved many lives. You can then call in sick to your home office and actually work at a super groovy coffee shop instead, thereby taking advantage of yourself and your lax people management style.

I cannot impress upon you that a change of scenery could save your life. And ensure you don’t scare your UPS driver half to death.

Go forth now, and conquer.

I Was Plucked By The Original Jersey Girl

I Was Plucked By The Original Jersey Girl

So, with all the woes of the world, let me tell you the issue I am most outraged by and feel there needs more public awareness around.

My eyebrows.

I realize this may seem like a small issue to many of you but we all need a cause and mine is that weird strip of hair over each eye that most of us have.

I have a hate/hate relationship with my eyebrows. I wish it were the style to just shave them off – I’d be first in line for that fashion trend. I know that it would be like not having a belly button though.  We’d all look like something out of Alien Autopsy.

See, even Anne Hathaway looks creepy as hell.

I started out with nice big bushy Gorbachev eyebrows that met enticingly in the middle of my forehead.  Regrettably, this was before the whole bushy Brooke Shields look was totally awesome so I felt like a caveman amongst a sea of thin browed goddesses.

My 6th grade school picture.

As it happened, one summer my mom’s older sister came out to Oregon to visit from New Jersey. Let me just give you a little snapshot of Aunt Del.

Her real name was Ismania De La Parra. Really. But, justifiably hating her name, she went by Del.

She was about 4’10 with breasts that probably measured about the same. And she was what the word flashy was invented for.

Aunt Del had unnaturally pitch black hair with two streaks of gray shooting out of her temples. And, she played it up by having a ultra teased bouffant style that added at least a foot to her 4’10” frame.

She wore entirely too much makeup, tight clothes and high heels. She had a terrible temper, swore like a sailor and did it all with the purest Jersey accent you have ever heard.

I believe she was the Chilean predecessor to Snooki’s guidette.

My father barely tolerated her, my mom sighed and rolled her eyes a lot (which she did a lot just in general), but to me she was an exotic flower that made my heart beat fast.

One weekend while she was visiting we went camping. And, because I used to get car sick on these trips, my parents gave me some motion sickness drug that would knock me out for most of the weekend and wear off just in time to clean the fish they caught while I was comatose.

I still don’t think I ever had motion sickness. I believe this was their version of pharmaceutical babysitting and forced servitude.

At any rate, we piled into the station wagon with Aunt Del’s steamer trunks and headed to the hills. I promptly fell into my usual stupor.

Next thing I really remember was climbing out of a fuzzy drug-induced sleep on a cot in our tent and seeing Aunt Del stooped over her make-up mirror putting on fake eyelashes.

She looked over at me, shook her head and said “We have got to do something about those eyebrows, honey.”

I was still very groggy and confused as she started to go through her tackle box and finally found her tools of choice – a small scissor and a huge tweezer.

She pinned me down and went to work. It was an excrutiating experience that felt like it took hours. There was a lot of brow geography to cover. I sneezed a lot, yelled, squealed and teared up. She was relentless.

When she was done I felt like someone had taken a lawnmower to my forehead. She threw a mirror in front of me and I gasped. I had two barely visible lines over each eye. This was not a subtle change.

This “after” picture also perfectly captures my sense of confusion and dread.

When my parents got back to the campground after fishing, they took one look at me and shrieked. My father was livid with Aunt Del. A loud Irish New Yorker vs. a shrill Chilean Jersey girl. Trust me, it could make your ears bleed.

Everyone got over it eventually. Everyone but me that is. My eyebrows NEVER GREW BACK.

And now, we are back to the full brow look and here I sit, woefully inadequate and never being able to time the brow zeitgeist correctly.

And thus ends my tale of woe as I wait for the day someone discovers a cure for the thin-browed of our world.

Think I’ll hold a telethon.

The Gays Will Rule The World

The Gays Will Rule The World

The Revolution will be choreographed.

Even this soon in my “career” as a “blogger” I have already pissed off several factions in this, the United States of Lack of Sense of Humor and Sarcasm. I figure there is no point in my stopping now.

So, I’ve been thinking about this lately and have come to this conclusion: The Gays are taking over the world. And, I for one, am happy to follow as I do think the world could use a serious make over, a few throw pillows and a fake tan.

Let me just name a few of the biggest power brokers in the coup d’état we are currently embroiled in.

  • Anderson Cooper, who, shocked absolutely NO ONE when he came out.
  • Ryan Seacrest – He has GOT to be gay. I don’t care what anyone says. No straight guy is that pressed and thin.
  • Ellen AND Portia –  A two-headed, well-coiffed Gaystrom (Gaynado? Gayquake? Gaynomi?) to be reckoned with.
  • John Travolta – Yeah, whatever Kelly Preston. Your gig is up, John. The rest of us do not get massages the way you, apparently, think we do.
  • Tom Cruise – No comment necessary.
  • The dude who does Glee.

As an aside: I hate Glee. I do and I am not ashamed to say it out loud. I’ll yell it from the rooftops – Glee is like an annoying yeast infection. By the way, I know the dude’s name is Ryan Murphy but the fact that I know that just annoys me further.

Lord knows I don’t want to piss off my girls. But you all know that I am not a gay man, even though there are times when I wish I were, so just step off bitches!

See, I’d make an AWESOME Gay Man.

So, back to my point….if I actually have one, which is almost always in question on these things.

White heterosexual Protestant/Catholic/Episcopalians are in deep shit. I feel sorry for them, really. Their time as the ruling class may be in jeopardy.

Plain old white males gave way to white males of a Mormon persuasion, which led to bigwig Jewish movie moguls, which ended up with big wig (literally) Gays.

I made out with a whole bunch of you before you saw the light at the bottom of the closet door. And, I always knew you were picturing Ricky Martin. But, you guys have such soft lips I went along with it anyway. And, by the way, still up for a good mashing session if you want. You all smell like a mix of spa robes and coconut oil. Yum.

Recently, I noticed another area in which they are clearly superior.

We all know the Jewish goodbye and have been victims of it. There should be some hotline you can call to get them out of the house in a timely manner. I’ve gone for an hour trying to disengage but they keep remembering new and fascinating details about the story they had been telling you for the past hour. Like the color of shirt they were wearing at the time and that they chose the asparagus over the broccolini at dinner and that was a mistake because the asparagus had this cream sauce with too much pepper and…stab me in the head.

I can say this for a couple of reasons – one is that I know and love many of God’s chosen people who know how I feel about this and second, most people think I’m Jewish.

I also would make an AWESOME Jew.

By comparison, parting with a Gay Man means many air kisses, a promise for brunch and then they vaporize in a cloud of expensive cologne because there are other fabulous events they need to get to that you will NOT be invited to.

Won’t it be an amazing day when we no longer have sexual preference as an adjective to describe people? What ever will we do as a society? We seem to need something to tag people with. How about “The world is run by people with Big Ears.”

I hope so because me and my large lobes will freakin’ rule!!