May 27, 2012

You Know You're Getting Old When...

1. Someone tells you you look like you're 50, and you're flattered.
2. You go out to dinner with a bunch of friends, you all pull out glasses to read the menu, and then you complain about how noisy it is.
3. You and your spouse/s.o./friend are trying to resolve an argument you had last night and neither of you can remember what it was about (alcohol does not help this condition).
4. Your friend has a 'boy toy' and he has an AARP card.
5. You pass the Escada store on Michigan Ave. that is no longer there and by the time you get home (50 yards) you forget to call your friend Lauren to tell her.
6. Your email address has at the end.
7. You think you're stylin' in your shorts and jog bra and then you bend down to tie your running shoes and a roll of flesh plops over the band of your shorts (and doing sit-ups til your eyes pop out does not help this condition).
8. You look in the mirror and see your mother (I know that's so trite but really...wait 'til it happens to you).
9. You have a party and everyone leaves by 9:30.
10. You start sentences with, "Kids today..."
Finish the sentence: 
You know you're old when _______________________________.

May 25, 2012

Sophie Tucker: Cat or Piggy?

There was a little gelato left in the container so I gave it to Sophie Tucker (who loves her sweets). She couldn't get her face in there to lick the bottom so she stuck her little paw in and then licked it off of her paw. Very clever, right?
But, golly, that just takes too long!
So watch what this motivated little kitty does:

Just call her Jarhead.
Better get her on the kitty treadmill tomorrow.

May 22, 2012

Who, Me? Chaperone A Class Field Trip?

At my age? Hah! Even if I were young it would be hard to imagine. But if you're scheduled to take a bunch of 2nd graders to the zoo Wendi Aarons has some great tips for you.
In case you haven't noticed I'm a Wendi Aarons groupie - I don't know how you get to be so funny. Which is very cool because it's a great way to post something extremely clever on my blog without having to do the work.
By Wendi Aarons

Step 1: Fake Your Own Death
Sure you said you’d commandeer the 2nd grade zoo trip, but that doesn’t mean you actually will commandeer the 2nd grade zoo trip. Especially if you’re dead! Simply update your Facebook status the morning of the event with one of the following:
“Going to see how far I can lean over the deck of this cruise ship!” or
“Hope the fellas down here at the heroin den don’t mind me stealing their stash!”
Then close the curtains, turn off the lights and chill, baby! You can tell everyone you’re still alive after the kids come home and/or the insurance money pours in. Smart!
Step 2: Arrive in Style
If you’re not savvy enough to talk your way out of the field trip, don’t worry. You can still salvage the day by telling the teacher that you’ll meet the class there. Then plant your sweet ass in a chauffeured stretch limo (paid for with the class’ snack fund) and swill cheap champagne while you wave at the other parents who are all stuck on the yellow bus like juvenile offenders on a work release trip. In no time flat, you’ll arrive refreshed, relaxed and just drunk enough to actually enjoy watching a pack of 6-year-olds learn the life cycle of a butterfly! Hic!
(Note: Standing up in the limo’s moon-roof and flipping the bus the bird is fine, but really—why gild the lily?)

May 18, 2012

Fifty Shades of Crap

The success of Fifty Shades of Grey  is the very definition of viral marketing. A book that was originally self-published as an eBook and a print-on-demand paperback, it somehow caught the imagination of women everywhere and it's said that a copy now sells every sixty seconds. Amazing. There are three books in the series and they are numbers 1, 2 and 3 on the New York Times best seller list, and have been for months.
I have three words for this phenomenon: WTF?? I mean really...have you read this thing?
I bought a Kindle version ($9.99), just to see what all the hoopla was about, and got through about 1/3 of it (31% according to my Kindle), rolling my eyes and saying, "Oh, please," on every other page. With one exception (from Jessica Reaves of the Chicago Tribune) it seems to be immune to criticism of any kind (because it's made a boatload of money?), and as an author it's probably bad form to say this (you know that won't stop me), but it's crap. I don't mind the concept of it or the genre of eroticism itself, but something that's selling like the latest iPad release should at least be...well, good.
Fifty Shades of Grey is not good. That's not hurting sales in the least. It doesn't seem to matter that the writing stinks, the characters are unappealing and not engaging, the storyline is non-existent and, worst of all, the sex isn't even good, just lots of murmuring and moaning and gasping, and heartbeats quickening and racing. Kinda trite. At least be original.
The protagonist, Anastasia Steele, is a 21 year old virgin, and the narrative (told from her point of view) is sprinkled with lots of italics: holy crap! holy fuck! holy shit! jeez! and so on. And her inner goddess talks to her, and does "merengue with some salsa moves." Need I say more? Now, you can't argue with that kind of success - it's phenomenal - and good for E.L. James. She seems as amazed by this as everyone else. But seriously...what are you people thinking? Whatever it is, could you please redirect it to my book? And when mine becomes a runaway best seller it won't bother me a bit when E.L. James trashes it on her blog. Meanwhile, if you want to experience a little bit of the story this is the best way to do it:

May 17, 2012

The Toughest Job in the World

Wendi Aarons is today's Erma Bombeck - just as funny but she uses words like 'bullshit' - a word that probably never passed through Erma's lips.

Seriously, Is There Anything Easier Than Motherhood?
by Wendi Aarons
It’s been said that motherhood is the toughest job in the world.
And that is complete bullshit.
I’m sorry, but I have to totally disagree with Oprah on this one. Yeah, I said it. Oprah Is Wrong. (Please excuse me while I quickly go lock my front door and grab a baseball bat. There’s a very strong possibility that Gayle King just pulled up to my curb in an unmarked Humvee.)
But I strongly believe that motherhood isn’t the toughest job in the world. What about astronaut? Or neurologist? Or the guy who shampoos Elton John’s dog wigs? Those are hard jobs. We mothers can just sprawl on the couch drinking white wine and watching The Wonder Pets all day. Not that I do that, of course. Well, not anymore.

May 13, 2012

Kill Me Now

An old woman got on the bus the other day looking pretty cute. Well, not cute, exactly, but not bad for an old lady, probably 85. I envied her hair because it was still thick and was cut in a casual and chic style. She was fairly attractive and appeared normal. But as she walked toward the back of the bus I saw that she was talking out loud and there was no one with her. At least no one visible. She was saying things like, "Should we get off here?" and "It's crowded, isn't it?" Everyone looked up as she passed, thinking she was talking to them.
She sat near me and quieted down but then I heard a clicking sound coming from her direction and here's what she was doing:
she was using her tongue to push out her lower plate which then stretched out her lower lip making her look really ghoulish, and then she'd clack her teeth together 5 or 6 times and then replace the plate. She did this every seven or eight seconds and I couldn't take my eyes off her. I'm sure the expression on my face was one of complete revulsion. I'm equally sure she was totally unaware of what she was doing.
Kill me if that ever happens to me.
Then another lady got on, around 50-55. It was warm that day but not ever, ever warm enough for what she was wearing. She was short and squat with a big Buddha belly, and she wore long (thank god) shorts with a chain belt and a pink dago tee. Her hair was a platinum blonde Mohawk and the sides were shaved.
Public gotta love it.

May 5, 2012

Favorite Authors and a Goofy Grin

Last night I met two celebrities and fell all over myself  like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert. "Who was it?" you ask. "Brad and Angie? Meryl Streep and George Clooney? Cher and Steven Tyler?" No...even better: Elizabeth Berg and Anna Quindlen, two of my all-time, very favorite authors. Anna Quindlen was discussing her new book Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake at a Printers Row event, beginning with a meet-the-author reception, and there was Elizabeth Berg - just another attendee - there to support her friend. She was sitting in the audience before the author conversation began, reading the program, minding her own business, and up I went to introduce myself and say witty and charming things that would make her want to be my new best friend but instead I said, "I'm your biggest fan," "I've read everything you've ever written," "Your writing inspires me," "I own all your books," yada, yada, yada. You know...the things every single person who ever talks to her says. I've actually seen her a million times at her own readings/book signings but she didn't say, "Oh, Samantha, so nice to see you again!" There's a fine line between fan and stalker.
Before the program began, Anna and Elizabeth (we're on a first name basis now) were chatting and I rudely interrupted to ask if I could have a picture "with two of my favorite authors" and they graciously agreed. I didn't say, "Hey, I'm a writer too!" because I'm sure that's another thing everyone always tells them and they smile sincerely and say, "That's terrific," while in their heads their thinking, "Yeah, yeah, yeah...where've I heard that before?" So I got a picture where the two of them look beautiful and I have a goofy grin on my face, but that's okay - how could I not have that goofy grin? They're my idols, my heroes, my inspiration.
After the interview with Anna Quindlen (she's very smart and clever and real) she signed books. When it was my turn I was all ready to say witty and charming things that would make her want to be my new best friend but instead I said, "I'm your biggest fan," "I've read everything you've ever written," "Your writing inspires me," "I own all your books," yada, yada, yada. Where did the wit go? What happened to the charm?

Here's my dream picture with my top ten favorite authors. Can you name them? (You've got two freebies.)

May 2, 2012

An Open Letter to the Dayton Marriott by Anna Lefler

Dear Dayton Marriott Management,
Thank you for your recent communication of 4/23/12 (forwarded to me by your corporate legal department and hereinafter known as "the steaming pantload") regarding my recent stay at your hotel while attending the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop.
I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the various allegations therein, all most some of which are completely without merit and may adversely affect your hotel's score on the guest survey card which I have yet to complete and mail in.
First, it is outrageous and preposterous to assume that my suitcase was responsible for the malfunction and ultimate failure of elevator #3. I believe the security tapes will show that the fault lies not with my sleek, utilitarian baggage but with the housekeeping staff member riding in the elevator with me and struggling under the weight of 3-4 thick, fluffy and obviously highly absorbent bath towels made from an exotic strain of imported cotton known to be both unstable and, well, really heavy. 
Read the rest of Anna's post.
Disclaimer: There will inevitably be people who will take this seriously (those would be the humor-challenged) so let me just go on record and say that the Dayton Marriott (site of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop) was lovely. Well, the second room was lovely. In the first room I took off my shoes and socks only to step on wet carpet which was pretty gross. I'm hoping it was simply freshly washed but ever since, I've been monitoring my feet for anything strange growing there. So far so good. I hope I don't have to write my own Dear Dayton Marriott Management letter. (SH)