Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Exercise Made Easy


          People who spend a fortune on exercise equipment have no idea how inexpensive fitness can actually be.  Here are three ways I get zillions of extra steps into my day:
          Step one:  Buy a water bottle.  This is mine, set on my desk in front of my “Youtube Mom” sign. 
          We won’t even count the steps you took to buy the thing, just the steps you will take afterwards. BECAUSE IT WILL NEVER BE WHERE YOU THOUGHT YOU LEFT IT.  You will walk all over the house, upstairs and down, out to the car, back in again to the kitchen, out onto the patio hunting for it, and FINALLY you will see it in the laundry room or some other unlikely location.
          Step two: Live where it’s sunny.  This will force you to buy sunglasses, which will also vanish into thin air and cause you to walk all over, looking everywhere they could possibly be. Finally you will find them on your head.
              Step three: Believe that you must have your cell phone within reach at all times (this requires no imagination, but instead the ridiculous belief that you much be reachable in an instant, by anyone). Suddenly discover that you cannot see your phone and dash through the house in an aerobic workout that will get your heart pumping more than an escape from an armed robber.  Ultimately ask someone else to call you, then listen for the ring tone that will guide you on a stretch under the sofa to retrieve the lost phone.  This can also prove profitable if you don’t sweep under there very often, and you entertain guests who keep coins in their pockets.
          See? Not only have I saved you money, but I’ve made you money.  Kaching!
          Now you can spend it on my books.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Death of Enunciation


          Well, it has finally happened.  Clear speech is being trained out of us by the dictation feature of our cell phones. We already know that no matter how distinctly you speak into that device, it will come out, “You are the breast!” and worse (see my blog about St. Bob’s blunder here).
          But now we have to slur what we’re saying just to get the correct words to appear on our screen.  If I say “question mark” it does not place a ? at the end of my sentence.  It spells out question mark.  If I want it to actually use the ? symbol, I have to hurry along and say, “Queshamark.”
          And if I want it not to write out exclamation mark, but to print ! I must say, “exlamashamark.” And if I want extra ones it sounds like I’m drunk, cursing, and hacking up a hairball. Make that hairball !!!
Elocution teachers must be turning in their graves.  And then, when you don’t want a punctuation symbol, it gives you one, anyway.  As a substitute high school teacher I dictated, “I’m teaching first period” and it came out, “I’m teaching first.”  And when I wanted to commiserate with a friend who couldn’t get a response from HR I said, “It’s like they’re in a coma,” but it came out, “It’s like there in a ,” with “they’re” misspelled as well.
What if you’re making a list and you want to say, “Here’s what to pack:”?  It will say, “Here’s what to pack colon”.
If you say, “Quotation mark” it will write that out.  You have to say, “Quote” to actually get a quotation mark.  But then how can you say, “I’d like to quote you”? It comes out, “I’d like to “ you.”
And all this extra back-spacing and correcting is eating up our time! So, no offense, but I have to --.
Have you ever scrolled through my blog posts?  Give it a try; hilarity has been happening for years.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Oh the Tangled Web We Weave


          What do you think of when I say the 1920s?  Flappers? Gangsters?  Then you’d be right on the money to attend the recent charity gala where St. Bob and I, plus great pals Nancy and Alex Theriault, went in full costume.
          But, being Joniopolis, you know something had to happen. First of all, Bob was the emcee of the event. Excellent choice.  But then I won for Best Costume—not so excellent a choice since now it looks like Bob had a hand in the selection, which he did not.
          I went up on stage to collect my prize and Bob whispered, “Do your New Jersey accent” as he shoved a mike in my face.  Earlier in the evening I’d been pretending to be a gangster’s moll, and talking with the thick accent I’d seen in the movies.  So I said to the audience, “Dis is da way we Tow-uck!”
          No sooner had I gotten back to my seat than a lady dashed by and said, “I’m from New York—we’re taking over!” and I realized that she actually believes I’m from New Jersey and we are somehow compatriots from the East Coast.  Now I’m in a pickle because I’ve evidently passed myself off as an Easterner and if anyone comes up to talk with me I either have to continue this fakery, or admit I was lying up on stage. And what if that woman comes back and wants to find out where I was born?  And what will she think when I say, “San Diego”? Why couldn’t she have spoken to Alex, who actually is from New York?
          So now I am sweating in my heavy, sequined dress (which is really from the 80s, but kind of looks like the 1920s—more faking) and I can’t wait to get out of there before my ruse is discovered. Not only that, but I’ve used the dress’s belt as a headband, and who knows how long before it unwinds and I’m like Cinderella falling apart at the stroke of midnight.
          Finally we go to the car and I open my prize. And it’s perfect—it’s a bottle of expensive wine which I, as a Latter-day Saint won't use, but which makes a lovely pass-along to our very tolerant friends!
In my defense, fiction writers basically lie for a living. Check out my tales in two dozen books you can find right here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ants Not in Your Pants


          I wish this weren’t true.  Something fell out of my pants in the middle of an intersection.  No, it wasn’t ants.  That would have been a blessing, right?  Plus ants are so small that no one would have noticed.
          Nope, it was something many times the size of an ant.  I will tell you what it is so you can stop guessing. It was these two GIGANTIC HEATING PADS that they put on my hips after injecting me with those two shots I told you about recently.
          Here’s the thing.  Those shots take a minute and a half each, so your rear end is a tad sore when all is done. Kindly, the nurse offers you a hot pad to place in your pants over the injection site.
          But I forgot that I’ve lost weight on this vegan diet and by the time I got outside and was CROSSING THE STREET, thank you, they slipped down my pantlegs and out the ankle.
          Mind you, I now have to stop in the middle of traffic, bend over, and pick up these suspicious items that have just fallen on the asphalt-- in front of everyone, especially others crossing the street and those in cars awaiting a green light. I can only imagine what they were thinking.
          But you can’t just leave them on the road—that would be littering, right?  So, humiliating though it may be, you must bend over (which now hurts to do because you just had the shots!) and pick them up.  Oh well.  At least it went from me to you in this last paragraph.  So there’s that.
          I can pretty much guarantee that my books will never fall out of your pantlegs. Buy them here and see if I’m right.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Truly a Fan


          You know how, sometimes, when you give a gag gift it turns out to be the favorite thing?  This happened recently for St. Bob’s birthday.  Thanks to side effects from his cancer treatments and mine, we both have hot flashes.  So I heard about a little $3 item and thought it would be hilarious to give him this:
          It’s a tiny fan that plugs into your iphone.  It has rubbery blades, so it can’t hurt you.  It also plugs into your ipad:  
          Needless to say, I didn’t try it out before buying it, but once we plugged it in, wowza!  It whipped up a serious breeze.  Suddenly we are fighting over this (I need to get one for myself) and holding it up to our faces like it’s a slice of heaven. Which it kind of is. 
          Actually, since we’ve had 100 + temperatures for a few weeks here, we aren’t even sure if we’re having hot flashes or if it’s just the weather.  Either way, it’s kind of nice to know there’s a husband out there who relates to what we women go through.  And nice to know he’s mine.
          Stay in where it’s cool and read one of my books!  Check ‘em out here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

In the Groove


          I am so cutting edge, such a trendsetter, than I’ve been writing lyrics for Bob Marley and Ariel Pink.  Okay, I’ve been doing it after they already had the same ideas, but still.  I’m dialed in. 

          Speaking of dialed in, do young people today even know what that means? Nobody uses a dial; it’s all buttons.  Whatever.
          But back to me. Twice in one week I’ve been told that I’m speaking the lines from two popular songs. (This could be happening ALL THE TIME, right?)
          First I learned that Ariel Pink has a song called “Baby,” where he sings, “You’re so baby.”  Excuse me? I have been uttering this to our Chihuahua mix for years.  Mr. Pink probably overheard me.
          And then I was complaining about a blender—remember I’m vegan now, and making smoothies like a fiend—and I said it kept “jammin’, jammin’, jammin’.” That is an exact quote AND, my daughter tells me, the lyrics to a Bob Marley song.
          Yes, I am totally hip and clairvoyant to boot. (Does anyone who is actually hip use the phrase, ‘to boot’?) Yessir, I am definitely on the right track.  Of course, as Will Rogers once said, “You might be on the right track, but you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” And yes, I expect young people to know who he was.
Check out my YouTube Mom channel--hundreds of fun life hacks in short videos. But so far, none on how to channel various rock stars and their lyrics.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sprucing Down


          Folks, I have just been attacked by two porcupines. 
          Okay, that is only a slight exaggeration.  I have just hefted two dead Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees into the green waste container. They barely fit. And, in their parting opinion, they shot hundreds of sharp little needles into my skin.  Gloves and clothing were no barrier from these darts of doom.
          Here is what a healthy, happy Dwarf Alberta Spruce looks like, in an urn similar to the ones by my front door:

          Interesting side note: In springtime, you can eat the tender light green buds. 

          But here is what one looks like when it dies—it is a mass of brown needles that think they’ve been drafted into acupuncture duty. This is someone else's, but you get the idea:
          I’m chagrined and embarrassed that I could not keep them alive. We think they may have succumbed to spider mites, but then the temperatures here have been over a hundred for a couple of weeks, so it’s also possible they simply fried.  And they aren’t happy about it. (Hey, none of us like this weather, but you don't see us going around stabbing people.)
          So now I have to replace them with something else, something French topiary-looking I hope, and something that doesn’t break the bank (ka-ching has turned to ka-blooey in this case).
          An impossible quest? Perhaps.  But I have done battle with porcupines, so do not underestimate me.
          Stay in, away from marauding Spruces, and curl up with one of my books.  You can find them all right here.