Tag Archives: humor

5 Scary Things That Happened to Me Today and Why I May Be Having a Mid-Life Crisis

25 Jan

5. While writing something, I could not figure out how to spell silhouette. I was misspelling it so badly that spell-check couldn’t even get a grasp of what I was trying to say. Finally, urged by desperation and impatience, I just looked it up.
s-i-l-h-o-u-t-t-e. Huh. Okay.
So I continued with my work until I got flummoxed again. Jiminy Cricket is a …conscious? No, wait…consiounce?  Oh God, no. Five minutes later, I had confirmed that the word conscience has “science” in it (since when??) and established a growing fear that I had lost all my smarts. Plus, I kept thinking of this 
great (if wince-worthy) comic by For Lack of a Better Comic that depicts an English major getting his English Major Badge taken away for bad spelling. 

4. I decided to treat myself to a mug of hot chocolate, what with my spelling nerves being so frazzled. I got a mug out of the cupboard, got the milk out of the refrigerator. I poured the milk into the mug, put the mug in the microwave. I put the milk back in the cupboard….
wait a minute…

3. Tomorrow, I will be chauffeuring a friend of my grandma’s to a doctor’s appointment. (I have a feeling that this experience will require its own post. The possibilities for hilarity and insanity are endless.) Today, this lady called to confirm what time I would pick her up, then said seven terrifying words: “I have you for the day, right?” The last time this particular woman asked this, I ended up spending 4 more hours with her than I had intended, pushing a grocery cart through Starbucks like a crazy person, reading the nutritional content of every single frozen dinner in Trader Joe’s, cleaning out her fridge, and doing her laundry. 

2. I applied for yet another job that I could potentially be excited about. ‘Nuff said. 

1. During an afternoon phone call, Grandma expressed her concern about me not meeting new people, living with my parents, not finding a job–the list goes on because, apparently, my life is very concerning. Grandma concluded with: “You really need to meet more people your own age. Your life is half over.”

I’m 23. I’d just like to put that out there. I’m 23, and Grandma has me in the middle-aged category already. Gee,  I thought I’d have accomplished so much more by this point.

“You’re 93!” I shouted. “If I live to be your age, then I’m definitely not at the halfway mark!”
“What, so I rounded up.” Grandma said.  And then: “Still, I think something’s half over. Your child-bearing years. Your brunette years. Your freedom years.”
“GAH! STOP TALKING! JUST STOP TALKING!” 

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And Now, Some Grammar Humor…

3 Oct

A Story About the Kindness of Strangers and Musical Miracles, Told in Song Titles

27 Sep

The picture above is an approximate representation of how I feel. I’m happy. Like, spin-around-in-a-mountaintop-meadow-while-singing happy. Actually, since I’m supposed to be taking vocabulary steroids in preparation for the GRE, maybe I should be using a better word than happy. Gleeful? Ecstatic? Joyful? Thrilled? Jubilant? Elated? Tickled pink? Man, if this turns out to be one of the questions on that dratted test, I am set. 

I know what you’re thinking: Oh my words! Why are you so very happy, Abigail? Well, first of all, I like you’re enthusiasm. You’re all right. Secondly…I’ll TELL you why I’m happy! Because the universe is awesome and I have been rewarded with a stupendous gift! 

You may recall that I have been searching for a special Birthday Song that is part of my family’s birthday tradition. Well, a wondrous, serendipitous event happened. Someone who visited this little ol’ blog (Kasi, if you read this, you’re my new favorite person in the whole wide world) appreciated my desperation and my story, and left a comment that included a link to the MP3 for the song. Isn’t the universe amazing? Isn’t the internet incredible? Is the sky bluer than usual today? Are my dogs cuter? Don’t you just feel like smiling and laughing all the livelong day?

Really, though, I am so happy that a perfect stranger helped me out and am grateful that I now have this song in my itunes possession. I was taking a blogging break to focus on studying and working and other unpleasant -ings, and when I finally allowed myself to return to my blog baby, it was such a thrill to find this long-lost song. See? You can rely on the kindness of strangers. Ask and ye shall receive. Music does make the people come together!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: What’s this about a story told in song titles? Oh my word, Abigail, was this post’s title false advertising?

First of all, woah Nelly! You’re a tough audience, aren’t ya? It’s okay though, I forgive you because a song title poem-story is quite exciting.

Below is my epic hero’s journey–the significance of the Happy Birthday Song, its absence, its recovery–told through song titles, to honor this miraculous musical moment. I’ve linked a few of them to their youtube selves and encourage you to listen and enjoy.

(Note: You may need to read the original Birthday Song post for some helpful context….or you can just muddle through and listen to the music….woah-oh-oh, listen to the music… )

~

Music. Foundations. We Are Family. Songs We Sing. Memories Are Made of This. All the Small Things. Precious Love. Part of My Life. Hooked on a Feeling. Groove is in the Heart. Hidden Away.

I Got Trouble. Something’s Missing. Those Sweet Words. Can’t Find the Words. I Have Nothing. Lost. Harder to Breathe. It’s the End of the World as We Know It. I Hate Myself for Losing You. What Did You Do. Don’t Blame Me.

Heartbreak Hotel. Today I Sing the Blues. Irreplaceable. Incomplete. Inaudible Melodies. Here Without You. Crying Shame. When You’re Gone. I Want You Back.

Help! Rescue Me! Not the Only One. We All Want the Same Thing. Searchin’. Luck Be a Lady. Simple As It Should Be. Needle in a Haystack. Creep. The Things We Do For Love. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.When You Were Mine. Wasn’t It Good.

Worrisome Heart. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. Trouble Sleeping. On My Mind.  I’ll Do Anything. Nothing but a Miracle. Makes Me Wanna Pray. When You Wish Upon a Star. I’ve Got Dreams to Remember.

Takin’ Care of Business. It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings. You Can Get it if You Really Want. Never Going to Give You Up. I’ll Find a Way.

People Get Ready. Something Good This Way Comes. Teardrops Will Fall. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. Fairytale. Love is All Around.

You Don’t Know Me. Beautiful Stranger. You Give Me Something. The Gift of Song.

Listen.

Oh!   You’re the One.

Back Together Again. Celebrate. I Feel Home. Breathe Again. Oh What a Day. Because of You. You Rock My World. Hallelujah. Wonderful. Bubbly. Overjoyed. Zip a dee do da. This Magic Moment.

From My Heart to Yours. Thanks and Praise. Danke Schoen. Thank You For the Music. Thanks For the Memories. All Because of You. Earth Angel. You’ve Got a Friend in Me.  

What a Wonderful World.


What’s The Meaning of All This?

16 Sep

You may have noticed that I’ve been M.I.A lately. If so, you are awesome and amazing because that means you were observant and missed me. (The former is good, but the latter is more worthy of praise…) I meant to write, I really did. I meant to write about my Grandma’s 93rd birthday on August 31. (She had a rockin’ good time and my mom and I made a cake that was EPIC.) I meant to write about the weird dreams I’ve been having. (A few nights ago, I dreamed that I was eating tomato soup in my car. That’s it. Nothing else happened. Tomato soup.) I had plans, I tell you. Plans!

However, I’ve been busy. I’m not going to go into all of it because I subscribe to the superstitious belief that I will jinx myself and the universe will punish me for sharing too soon. This sounds very doom and gloom, but I’m pretty sure there’s something to it. Of course, it’s not unlike the reluctance of J.K. Rowling’s characters to speak the name Voldemort. This might mean that if I do talk about certain decisions that have been made and actions that have been taken, they will lose their ability to inspire fear and self-doubt.

Meh.

Well, I will tell you that I am taking the GRE in a little less than a month and have been trying to study. I was never very good at studying, and I hardly had to do it in college. I was an English major. We mostly had essays instead of tests. When there was an exam, it was on a book or something we’d read…and we wrote an essay. (Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, that’s all I’m essay’n.*) You either knew the material, or you didn’t. For four years of higher education, I rarely had to memorize anything. (Rote? Is that anything like “wrote”?) I watched my friends and roommates study and recite formulas, dates, chemicals, economic principles, Chinese vocabulary. It looked hard.

While I don’t want to bomb the math portion of the GRE, I don’t care all that much about it. It’s important that I do well in the verbal part because it’s generally assumed that an English major should know that crap section. I’ve been doing some vocab exercises, and I’d like to share with you some words I got wrong:

hoary
What it seems like it should mean: difficult and sketchy
         ex. When she found herself surrounded by skanks with no way out, she knew she was in a hoary situation.

What it means: White or grey from age. 
         ex. My neighbor’s fourteen-year-old golden retriever has a hoary muzzle. 

somnambulist
What it seems like it should mean: A person who speaks loudly, incessantly, and without recognizing his/her audience.
         ex. Her boyfriend was such a somnambulist–droning on and on–that he reminded me of a car alarm.
What it means:  a sleepwalker
         ex.  Oftentimes, a somnambulist will wake up in another part of the house, having no recollection of leaving his own bed. 

cozen
What it seems like it should mean: a dozen covens? A cozy oven?
         ex. 1 I worry that Michelle Bauchmann has a cozen of followers ready to do her bidding.
         ex. 2 Spooning in the two-person sleeping bag, we were as warm as a cozen.

What it means:  To deceive; to cheat; to act deceitfully.
         ex. Sometimes I jingle the leashes and stomp my shoes to cozen my dog to come out of hiding. Yes, she is probably smarter than me.

perigee
What it seems like it should mean: A type of falcon
         ex. If Cory was an animal, he would be a flying perigee–the hunter of all that is fuzzy wuzzy.

What it means:  The lowest or closest point; the point of a satellite’s orbit that is nearest to the earth.
        ex. Tonight, for the first time in a kazillion years, the moon will be at its closest perigee. 

picayune
What it seems like it should mean: A particularly spicy pepper native to the southeast region of Peru
        ex. Before our trip to Machu Picchu, we decided to eat a picayune. Santa Maria! I still can’t feel my tongue!

What it means: Small coin; something of little value or importance.
        ex. If I had a picayune for every time hour I spent studying–wait, this feels like math…

Just to warn you, my posts will probably be sporadic and shorter than usual in the coming weeks. Go ahead and miss me, it will warm my vocabulary-filled heart. Oh, and don’t any of you mention that I could have used this blog-writing time to study and review. This is a vituperation-free zone.

*essay’n? Oh man, I apologize. I have no excuse, except that it’s nearly 2 am and my brain is toast.

Lessons From My Creative Writing Class: Art Imitating Life, Girl Imitating Writer

15 Aug

Week 8 of my online creative writing class begins today and I had a d’oh moment last night when I realized that hey, I could have been blogging about the experience from the get-go. (Yes, I did sort of write about it here, but then…nothing.) I’ve been overcome with this hindsight feeling so many times since this blog began that it’s become sadly familiar. I like to think of it as the v8 Blog Effect–Gee, I could have had a blog topic!

Each week of the class has a different theme and prompt relating to writing, story development, craft. One week focused on story openings and first sentences; another, dialogue. When Week 5 hit, I was not feeling the prompt. I didn’t know what to write about, I didn’t have any ideas for characters or plot, and I made the mistake of reading a few classmates’ stories before I wrote mine. This totally intimidated me because:

a) They had gotten their work done so early that they had posted it before I had even started my story.
Perhaps their brains had more throbbing, intelligent veins than mine. Maybe they are genius schedulers who know how to prioritize and do not get sucked into watching youtube clips for hours. It’s possible that when they write, they don’t wail and pause the plot to type THIS IS SO STUPID or ACTUAL GOOD DESCRIPTION HERE into the Word document.

and

b) Their stories were Good.
Enough said.

Anyway, lost and bewildered but determined to turn something in, I ended up writing a pretty true-to-life scene of an encounter between me and a friend I lost touch with several years ago. This meeting has never actually happened, but I’ve thought about this friend a lot during space-outs and daydreams and had already imagined what it would be like if we ran into each other. Basically, the narrator of the story was me, and the friend she runs into was this friend from my past. Oh, I gave the narrator a few twists so that she wasn’t an exact duplicate of me–but the way she talked, the thoughts that floated through her head, her sense of humor–they were all mine.  

I was perusing Ryan Gosling’s imdb page recently (I had just seen Crazy, Stupid, Love and had heard angels singing when he took his shirt off –so of course I had to be a creeper and look him up. See? This is how I get off the writing track.) There’s a quote from him–and it’s on the internet, so it must be accurate–where he talks about the characters he plays and how they relate to him. 

All my characters are me. I’m not a good enough actor to become a character. I hear about actors who become the role and I think ‘I wonder what that feels like’. Because for me, they’re all me. I relate to these characters because aspects of their personality are like me. And I just turn up the parts of myself that are them and turn down the parts that aren’t. 

This is how I feel about the characters I make up–thus, I’m pretty sure it’s a sign that Ryan Gosling would find me fascinating and familiar and probably witty and beautiful. Every perspective I write from, every character I try and create, has to have a little bit of me in them or else it’s like I’m swimming against a really strong current. (And I’m not a very good swimmer.) 

That said, this Week 5 story character was so me–even with the little details I gave her that had nothing to do with my life–that I was basically writing a fantasy staring myself. And when I posted my words to the class board, I failed to consider what it would be like to read my classmates’ and teacher’s comments about a character that was me.

“You capture the subtle boredom and desperation and confusion in the narrator’s life nicely,” one person said. And I thought Huh, I guess I am subtly bored and desperate and confused…sometimes not so subtly.

The teacher was particularly  interested in the narrator’s voice and sensibility. “She has a super high degree of self–consciousness,” he observed, “which leads her frequently to comment on and critique her own behavior. Lively, self–deprecating, ironic, rueful—the voice is at times all of these things, and it’s hard not to feel some warm feeling toward her.” Well, I’m glad somebody feels some warmth towards me. But aw man–am I basically characterized by a high degree of self consciousness? I wonder if everybody finds me insecure. Do they? DO THEY?

Another person suggested that I further establish the “unreliability” of the narrator. “I’m not getting enough subtext between the narrator and [the other character],” she said. She advised that I go ahead and acknowledge that the narrator’s memories of the friendship are significantly flawed and full of regret and doubt. Woah, this is getting weird.

It was a little surreal to read other people’s reactions to and interpretations of my personality and insecurities. It was like anonymous therapy with well-read therapists who majored in English. I read through all the comments on this story that could have been my life and I sat at my desk thinking about protagonists and writers, and art imitating life and life imitating art. I mean, wouldn’t it be weird/neat/interesting, if someone wrote an unfiltered “me” character and submitted it to a class just to see what other people thought about the hot mess of strengths and weaknesses that that person lived with every day? And actually, wouldn’t that make a great story? (DIBS!!! I CALLED IT! YOU HEARD IT!) It would be a little like the film Adaptation and a little like the recent A Midnight in Paris–one of the best movies I’ve seen lately, even if it didn’t include a shot of Ryan Gosling’s abs. But it also would be completely different. Get it?

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of the wheels in my head spinning.

If I had to define the lesson I got from Week 5 of this creative writing class, I’d say it was something about characters as reflections of authors/real people. What? I didn’t say I would define it well. Okay, I guess there’s also a lesson in there about the evolution of plot ideas. There, are you happy? Two (vague) lessons. 

If any of you are working on writing projects of your own, I hope (but don’t expect) this was helpful. Really, good luck. If you’re like me, you’ll need it.



Eavesdropping as Entertainment and Kids These Days

3 Aug

"Abner! Abner!"

Since the weather has been so nice lately, I’ve been reading and working outside a lot. My neighbors have also taken advantage of the sunshine, and I’ve gotten quite a kick out of eavesdropping on the backyard goings-on around me. I feel a bit like James Stewart in Rear Window–only without the murder suspicions and broken leg. Okay, I guess if you take those factors away, there is no Rear Window. Maybe I feel like Gladys Kravitz (from Bewitched, for all you lame-os), but with less shrieking and magic. Whatever, it’s been fun to listen in on the neighbors.

There’s been lots of entertainment from what I assume are the teenage girls from across the way. They always start by cranking up their music–for a whole day it was Beyonce, another day it was all club-type stuff, jerky and synthesizer-heavy. Then, I imagine, they lay around in the sun. They gossip in loud voices about boys–apparently Jason has been texting Emily even though Emily is like, totally not into him–and every once in a while I hear a phone ring and some squeals. It’s amusing, and sort of sweet in an I’m-glad-that’s-not-me kind of way.

The little boy who lives in back of us is named Liam. I’ve never met the kid, but his mother must say his name every other minute. I feel for her– poor Mom sounds like she’s got an imp on her hands.

Ewww! Liam, put that down! Come and wash your hands this second!
Liam, if you leapfrog over your sister ONE more time…
Liam, the hose is not a rope!
Liam, I know you’re not rolling around in the dirt in your new pants!

I usually can’t hear Liam’s responses to his mom, but I imagine them to be charmingly contrite. I have heard his voice, though, because he tends to narrate when he’s playing pretend.

Liam runs through the jungle and uses his lightning vision to blast through the zombies. BAM BAM BAM! The zombies surround Liam and he makes them fall with a huge karate kick. HI-YA! Liam is the only surivor! Liam saves the whole world! Woooooo! Wooooooooooo! I am Liam the Great! Woooo!

(No, I have no idea what zombies were doing in the imaginary jungle, but don’t you love this kid?)

Believe it or not, the time slots for the teenage girls and Liam the Great haven’t competed with each other. That is, until today, I’ve listened to either the girls or Liam (and his mom). Maybe the two groups don’t have the same days off–who knows?

Anyway, I thought today was a Liam Day. I was listening to him and his sister (who’s only a supporting role on The Liam Show–she walks on every once in a while and says a funny line but then you don’t hear from her) bounce around on their trampoline. They were having such fun and it was nice to sit and listen to their squeals and laughter. Then, the unprecedented happened. The teenage girls started their music. It was like I was watching one show, and the universe turned another one on at the same time.

At first the girls listened to the kind of music you’d expect from them. Bruno Mars’ “Grenade.” Some Lady Gaga tunes. Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.” Certainly not my favorite songs (actually, whenever any of these come on the radio I immediately change the channel), but nothing you, or Liam, wouldn’t hear while out and about in the world. But then things changed.

A song, and I use that term loosely, came on that was 3 parts rap, 5 parts hate. For the sake of Oh My Words! google search results (and, of course, your innocent mind), let’s just say that unsavory names for females were used liberally in these lyrics and sexual acts with those females were bragged about pretty graphically. The chorus, which repeated often, suggested that a woman is only good for one thing….and boys and girls, it wasn’t her mind or her sense of humor. I sat there, shocked at my giggly teenage neighbors’ new musical tastes, when I noticed that the trampoline sounds weren’t as steady. 

Were Liam and his sister….listening?

Nooooo! I wanted to yell for them to cover their ears and run away singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.” I wanted to hunt down those girls and demand that they turn that off and list ten reasons why it was degrading to women and insulting to the whole of humanity. And no repeats!

Luckily, while I was picturing myself as a tyrannical, censoring, avenging angel of the neighborhood (with teacher tendencies), Liam’s mom was on it.

Liam! You guys! How about coming in the house?

[indistinguishable, uncooperative kid noises]

Yeah, come on, we’ll do something fun in here. It’s hot out!

[more noises–imagine the kid version of the wah-wah adult noises in Peanuts]

You wanna watch some tv?

[I can tell Mom’s getting desperate, but the kids aren’t taking the bait. Meanwhile, the icky song continues…]

Come on! Everyone inside!

Just then–heavenly music drifted through the air, pushing back the awful other stuff like Harry’s Potter’s red wand or Luke’s green lightsaber. A lifeline. A cure. A timeless miracle.

The ice cream truck.

There was a  mad dash of kid-feet, trampoline forgotten. Their excited cries were shut off once a door slammed, but I pictured them inside, asking Mom if they could please go and run to the truck. Maybe it’s something their mom doesn’t normally agree to (We have perfectly good ice cream here! Not before dinner! It’s too expensive!) but this time she hands out money like a trooper, keeping her relief to herself.

During all this (imagined) frenzy, the Bad Song from the girls’ yard ended, and Maroon 5 came on. I’d like to think that that one song was a mistake, that maybe it was a mix cd from an acquaintance with scary, schizophrenic musical tastes. Or maybe the girls were listening to a really weird radio station? Anyway, that sort of “music” didn’t drift my way again, and Liam and his sister got an ice cream out of it. (Well, in my mind they did.)

The moral of the story is that eavesdropping is fun and ice cream cures everything.

Interpreting Dog Thoughts….Or, Why I’m One Bark Away from Being a Crazy Dog Lady

1 Aug

I had to take my dog Mona Lisa to the vet the other day and because I am a mystical, empathetic, imaginative person, I could hear every little thought that ran through her head.

Leaving the house:

Oh boy! We’re going somewhere without the other dogs! I’m special! I always knew it! Hurry! Hurry! FASTER.

In the car:

Are you sure I can’t drive? I want to drive. Here, I’ll just…..hey! I don’t want to be in the backseat! Hey! Hey! I don’t want to be back here! Hey–oh! You put the window down! You know, there’s nothing better than sticking your head out and….ahhhhhhhhhh. 

Driving up my grandma’s street:

Oh boy, we’re going to Grandma’s house! I love Grandma’s house! How many cookies do you think she’ll give me? Oh, I can’t wait! First I’m going to lick her feet, and then I’m going to lick her face, and then I’m going to sit on her lap, and then…..hey! Wait! You didn’t turn! Grandma’s house is back there! Oh no. Where are we going? Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no. Oh Dog. Where are you taking me? WHERE??

Almost at the vet’s:

Oh Dog. I know where we’re going. Oh no. Oh please. Hey. Let me out! Let me out! I’m not going back to that place! Don’t ignore me! I’m back here! Turn around! 

In the waiting room:

Oh Dog oh Dog oh Dog oh Dog. Hey, listen, I know I don’t always come when you call me. I’ll do better. Just take me home. I’ll be good, I swear. Please! 

When someone else walked in the room:

Hey! Hey you! Do you want  a dog? I’m a really good dog! I’ll go home with you, no problem. Oh, her? No, I’ve never seen her before in my life. Just take me home, handsome. 

When the vet came out to take her to a back room:

Ahhhhh! Stay away from me! Devil! Monster! Cat! Get back! You–Girl! I will never forgive you for this! Never! Never!  Are you LEAVING? Are you just going to LEAVE me here? Come back here! Come back here this minute!

6 Reasons Why an Apocalypse Tomorrow Would Be Inconvenient

20 May
  1. I just started a new tube of toothpaste. I don’t know what the odds are of a holy bread-dropper getting beamed up tomorrow (I’m thinking not so good…) but either way, I’m pretty sure that toothpaste would never get finished. It’s a minty-fresh tragedy.
  2. I’m in the middle of a good book–The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. It’s not an edge-of-your-seat kind of read (more of a full-recline-on-your-bed) but I’m still hooked and I’d like to finish it. Also, it’s a library book, and even if the world were to end, I still wouldn’t like my library track record to include the apocalyptic destruction of a borrowed book.
  3. I just signed up for an online creative writing class that will begin in June. The end of the world would mean a) the world would miss out on my creative writing and b) I wouldn’t get my deposit back. Bummer.
  4.  I’ll NEVER know what happens next on Fringe! So many unanswered questions! So many plot twists! An apocalypse would leave my obsession with this show completely unfulfilled. Talk about your ultimate cliffhanger. Top that, J.J. Abrams.
  5. It’s my friend’s birthday tomorrow. I’m sorry, but doomsday = party pooper.
  6. I have a story to tell you all about job letdowns and a sweet, older gentleman named Pete. I was even going to share the recipes for some scrumptious goodies.  I have the post half written, but I think it would be a pretty pointless post, post-apocalypse. 
See ya on the other side! 🙂

End the world in style, with a tin foil hat. Timeless, classic, reflective--this is one fashion statement that will never go out of style!

Huge Sale! Nothing Must Go! Prices Starting at $1,000,000!

13 May

My mom, my grandma, and I are going to participate in a church rummage sale tomorrow. In the process of gathering things to sell, I have been forced to confront my what-if-I-need-it-someday disability. Grandma and I butted heads all day, playing tug of war with different items and calling each other names. (“You’re completely unrealistic!” “Oh yeah, well you’re unsentimental!”) She’s a tear it up, toss it out, chuck it, sort of person and I am a save it, reuse it, pack it away personality. It’s a little like we’re acting out an episode from The Odd Couple–except our versions of Oscar and Felix are slightly warped, so it’s not entirely clear who’s who. Am I Felix, gasping dramatically when Grandma tears up papers she thinks she doesn’t need and explaining the value of things in a lofty voice? Or am I Oscar, insisting that my “junk” is priceless and fighting Grandma’s merciless clean sweep? Can two people go through a house, picking out what to sell, without driving each other crazy? Probably not.

Among our arguments over what to sell:

Grandma’s sewing basket
“You don’t sew! Why would you want this?”
“What if I want to learn to sew? What if I want to learn to sew with my grandmother’s sewing basket?”
“Oh, please! You can’t even sew a button! You’re going to sew from patterns? You’re going to use a pin cushion? HA!”
“I’ll learn! I learn things! And when I learn, I should use my grandma’s sewing stuff!”
“Fine. Give me $10. That’s how much I’m selling it for.”
“I’m not paying for your sewing basket! You’re supposed to pass it down to me with love and memories.”
“My love and memories cost $10.”

A decorative birdcage
“You’re not selling this are you? You bugged me for a month to get you a fake bird to put in this!”
“Eh, it’s too big. What do I need a dumb old birdcage for?”
“I looked all over for a bird…”
“Well, I’m keeping the bird. I’m just selling the cage.”
“But then the bird will be homeless. Why would you take away his home?”
“You want me to keep the cage just so the fake bird doesn’t lose his home?”
“Well…”

A white coffee urn
“This is nice. You don’t want this?”
“Well, it was my great aunt’s, but it’s not even that pretty and I haven’t used it in years and years…”
“It was your great aunt’s? That means it’s old! It’s, like, a family heirloom! I don’t think we should sell it. She must have given it to you for a reason. Maybe someone else in the family gave it to her and it’s actually your great great great great somebody’s coffee urn.”
“Oh wait, hand that over. Actually, this isn’t my great aunt’s coffee urn. I got this at Goodwill a few years ago. See, no sentimental family connection.”
“Well, you still can’t sell it.”
“Why in the world not??”
“Now I like it!”

Grandma says I’m counterproductive and unhelpful, and that I don’t really want us to make any money. I think she also called me insane, but it was while I was in another room, hiding a hand-embroidered pillow that she wanted to sell for $2, so it was a little hard to hear.

I'm crazy like a squirrel....nuts like a squirrel? Can squirrels be nuts? Hmm...


Fun With Allergies!

9 May

Hello, friends! Are you stuffed up, run-down, miserable? Are your allergies something to sneeze at? Had enough of this nasal nonsense? Well buck up, buckers! I have personally collected ideas to push you through pollen season. The answers to all your problems is in this little blog post…..

Practice your sneezes
This is the perfect opportunity to practice the sweet sound of your sneeze. Vary the pitch, tone, and force of your sneeze. Try a cute little sneeze or a great, booming gale-force. (Confession: I’m thinking of a great scene from The Golden Girls, check it out here for a quick chuckle.) And who said that “ACHOO” is the only sneeze sound out there? Startle/impress passerby with “ET TU!” (if it’s good enough for Caesar…) or express your thrilling sneeze with a big ol’ “WAHOO!”

Or, you could always blow your nose around a baby and see if anything as cute as this happens.

Embrace your inner curmudgen
As long as you’re
feeling this warm and fuzzy hatred towards flowers and grass, you might as well go full-grouch and indulge in a grumpy free-for-all. Make loud gagging noises when you spot public displays of affection. (Claim that your mucus is the result of their grossness.) Mutter rude-but-true comments. (Does your blutetooth make you feel important? Because you’re not.) Tell those neighbor kids to stay off your lawn. Wear a ratty bathrobe all day, eat ice cream out of the carton, and sniff your nose at perky people who cheerfully proclaim that they’ve never experienced springtime allergies. (They should be killed.)

You sound funny, therefore you are funny
When you can’t breathe, all your sharp letters turn into round ones. Vs turn into Bs, Ts lose all their oomph (or would that be toomph?), and As pop up on the end of words where they have no business being. “I hab bad allergies. I dona feel good. I cana breathe. Will medicine help? I doud id.” Okay, you sound ridiculous. But one person’s weird way of talking is another’s comedic gold. Being nasal worked for Fran Drescher, didn’t it? Or hey–pretend your stuffed-up-ness is an accent from an exotic faraway locale. Everyone will think you’re one wild and crazy guy!

Become a kleenex expert/model
Take the time to test the softness of kleenex. You could be doing generations of tissue users a favor. Your epic contributions to kleenex research will be the stuff of legends. In fact, your story will replace that of the Princess and the Pea. (All that chick did was feel a pea underneath a bed. Her schnauz wasn’t even involved!) Next, you’ll want to work on kleenex as fashion. Take a cue from grandmas everywhere, and make kleenex-up-the sleeve fashionable. You’ll be all the rage with the blue-haired crowd.

Wink, wink-Nudge nudge
When your eyes are itching like crazy, resist the urge to rub them like Lady Macbeth, and instead use this opportunity to wink at anyone who happens to be around. You’ll either make a new friend with your sexy wink or convince people that you have an uncontrollable, slightly creepy twitch. How do you like them odds?