Menace to Society

Bitty and I are upstanding members of society. Bitty is a social worker. I…well, I’m a good for nothing actor and writer, but Bitty’s kind deeds make up for me.

tumblr_mdar6r74Cl1rp02wmo1_500We have a dog that barks occasionally. At the mailman, the gardeners, the solicitors. We like that his bark scares off criminals who have been increasingly displaced and wandering our neighborhood. We keep the dog locked in a dog run on the far side of the house when we are away from home, and even bought a bark collar. Perhaps you read this previous post written by none other than Jack T. Dog.

But if you ask our neighbors (who are not even directly behind us), you’d think we’d killed somebody. Actually, given the NRA sticker on the neighbor’s truck, a trifling little murder might be forgiven.

But not letting an old dog bark a few times.

The irony?

The wife is into zen. You know, New Age spiritualism and thoughtfulness. She practices in her meditation room with all the windows open. (Let me take this moment to mention that all the windows are open in the house. All. The. Time.)zen3

Now, look, I’m all for being spiritual and zen and thoughtful. Be a Buddist, be a Krisha, be a Christian, whatever floats your boat. Be whatever it takes to be more relaxed and enlightened.

But this situation reminds me of a friend who a dozen years ago was viewing open houses in search of one to buy. After touring a house in which every inch of every wall was covered with plaques effusing morals and righteousness and goodness, this friend said to me, “If you need remind yourself — on every surface of your house — to be a decent person, then what kind of person are you really?”

Uh, yep. If you need to work so hard to be zen, or thoughtful, or spiritual that you can’t tolerate your neighbors or their occasionally barking dog, then what kind of person are you? One that should get a clue and close your damn windows. We’ve comprised (dog collar, locked dog run). You can do the same.

Thank you for this very cathartic rant. I feel better after practicing my religion — writing.

McDictionary

Thanksgiving. The name says it all. A time to give thanks. Well, that’s what we’ll all do on Thursday.

Today, I’m going to rant.

In honor of America’s foremost fast food haunt (and the restaurant where I’ll dine too often during this frenetic week), I’ve lovingly compiled my observations into a McDictionary of sorts.

McDanger’s — Bitty’s name for the McDonald’s just off the 405 freeway that I stop at when en route to LAX. My feeling is, Why pay $10 for an Egg McMuffin in the airport terminal when I can get one for a dollar at McDanger’s? Bitty’s take is that she’d rather avoid — at all costs — the zombie-like creatures who hang out (or perhaps live) at this fine establishment.

McDillweed – the lazy soccer mom who, instead of getting out of her car, orders breakfast for the entire soccer team in the drive-thru, forcing the waiting line of cars to pile up past the parking lot, through the traffic light, and into the street.

McDummy — the name for the manager who doesn’t have McDillweed pull over into the parking lot during the 20 minutes she (and the rest of us) wait for her order to be filled.

McDangle — my upper arm flab. Due more to middle age than my visits to Mickey D’s.

McDelight — watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

McDefense – what the Dallas Cowboys will need to combat RG3 during the Thanksgiving day game.

McD-Day — my 50th birthday. Exactly ten days and counting. Yikes…

Danger: Botox Makes You Heartless (Like You Care)

“It’s no shock that we can’t tell what the Botoxed are feeling. But it turns out that people with frozen faces have little idea what we’re feeling, either.”  – The New York Times

A frozen face... or just Botox?

According to several recent studies at major universities, in order to understand what others are feeling a person must be physically able to mirror facial expressions.  Sort of “monkey see, monkey mimic, monkey feel.”  But Botox “freezes” a face so that the monkey can’t mirror or, therefore, feel for others.

So with no empathy for others, where would we be?  Here are a few scenarios:

A little boy runs in to find his Aunt June blankly watching CNN.  “Aunt June!  The zombies just killed Lassie!”  Aunt June looks at the trembling boy, but cannot register his sadness and fear because of her inability, thanks to Botox, to mimic emotions, “Stop carrying on.  Aunt June’s watching Wolf.”  “Not wolves, Aunt June.  Zombies.”  Just then, the front door is trampled by a dozen moaning, slow moving zombies.  Aunt June stares expressionless at the zombies.  The zombies stare back.  The boy sizes up both parties.  Finally, he throws up his arms.  “I’m moving in with Grandpa.”  He walks out the door.  The zombies sit down with Aunt June to watch Wolf.

A Real Housewife of Anywhere is being followed by a camera crew when she walks into her home and subsequently trips over a virtual speed bump.  “Where’s Lupe?” she screeches.  “Have her vacuum this…”  The camera man pans down to the lump.  We see it is, in fact, the housewife’s husband.  The housewife also notices the body, but, due to excessive Botox, is incapable of registering emotion.  Somewhat off camera, we hear commotion from the television crew.  Someone rushes to call 911, another begins CPR, yet the camera man continues recording.  Through it all, the housewife does not change facial expressions.  Finally, she looks straight into the camera.  “How should I feel?  Tell me, I don’t know.  Did I love him or not?  I have no clue how to react.”  Then, as she walks off-camera, we hear her yell, “Where’s a script?”

A man is texting behind the wheel of his Range Rover when he comes to a rolling stop at the sign.  He doesn’t register the thud made when his tank of a vehicle strikes a pregnant woman.  Similarly, he fails to notice the elderly Asian man who bounces off his death mobile or the muscular African-American man who swerves his motorcycle just before getting side-swiped.  But he does finally notice the flashing red lights in his rear view because they interfere with his texting.  He pulls over as the black and white riding up his bumper is joined by three others.  Soon, he is flanked by fire arms.  The lead officer yanks the man out of the vehicle and cuffs him, stating that he nearly killed a half dozen people.  The man’s face is emotionless.  The officer scrutinizes the man: “What are you on?  Alcohol or drugs?”  “I would never put such garbage in my body,” says the man.  “Then why can’t you feel remorse about a young mother who’s fighting for her life because of you?”  “Oh,” says the man, flatly, “I’m shot through with Botox.”

Gay Wedding Announcements Written by the Religious Right

Mr. and Mrs. Alan Hanratty of Denton announce the engagement of their daughter, Monica, to Lindsey Buchannan, daughter of Ronald and Leslie Buchannan of New York City.  The wedding will be held on the island of Manhattan on September 17 in a private ceremony.  After the nuptials, guests will be treated to a buffet of locusts, frogs, and flies followed by a plague of boils, hail, darkness, lice, and the death of all first born children.  These Biblical plagues come compliments of the wrath of God.

Dr. Holstein Sanderson of Louisville is repulsed to announce the pending nuptials of his only son, Holstein Sanderson, Jr. to Martin Green, Psy.D.  The “ceremony” is to take place October 1st in South Beach on the white sand near the water so blue “it blends with Martin’s eyes.”  Dr. Sanderson was quoted as saying that “Junior’s mother is rolling over in her grave.”  To this he added, “And I’m ready to join her.”  Dr. Sanderson expects the flood waters to rise from the ocean and swallow up the entire wedding party.  He encourages all gay rights’ activists to attend.

Ray Melendez and Robert Valesquez of Oklahoma City would like to proudly announce their wedding in Las Vegas this past weekend.  The post-ceremony celebration consisted of the weirdest weather seen in Sin City in modern times.  Attendees experienced a 6.0 earthquake and several tornadoes, accompanied by an inexplicable hurricane (nicknamed “Raybert” in honor of the grooms).  Through it all, Ray and Robert clung to each other and proclaimed their ever-lasting love.  As Robert said later, “That crazy God, man, He put up quite the fight.  But, in the end, I think he admired our commitment to each other.  All in all, it made for a memorable wedding day!”  Robert’s mother, Esmerelda Valesquez agreed, adding “¡Dios mio!  I told God He better make this up to my baby.  Throwing such a temper tantrum is not the way to behave when two people love each other.  And the next day He allowed me to win five-hundred bucks at Blackjack!  ¡Alabado sea Dios!”

Cheap

Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time may have already suspected something about my character, but I am feeling comfortable enough with you all now to admit it outright: I am cheap.

I will rinse off and reuse paper plates (an action that seems less “cheap” by labeling it “green”).

I refuse to text because I don’t want to pay the extra 25 cents per text (I claim I am a technophobe, which is true, but not the main reason for my not texting.)

I refuse to buy mascara because I only wear it twice a year at most and it costs at least twelve dollars a pop for an item that, for health and sanitary reasons, is supposed to be replaced every three months.  The last mascara I bought I used for five years until it was so dried up and clumpy I feared that if I used it any more, I might get conjunctivitis or glaucoma or, God forbid, a big old pus-filled stye.

I will not get my hair cut at any salon more upscale than Super Cuts.  I mean, come on, $125 dollars for a haircut that stays looking good for a week (if you don’t wash it or sleep on it so the stylist’s original coiffing can stay intact).  No way.  Hey, I wasn’t thrilled when Super Cuts raised their prices to $16 for a cut with no wash.  Of course, I do always bring in the monthly coupon I am e-mailed which saves a dollar.  So, with a two dollar tip, the total comes to $17.  Not bad, especially considering that I only get my hair cut every three months or so.  (Yes, at the end of three months I do look like the Bride of Frankenstein.)

In my youth, I used to get highlights every few months for around $200.  No more.  For a while, I switched to Nice ‘N Easy to cover all my gray hair.  But after a few years of feeling that my scalp was going to disintegrate from the chemicals before those damn stubborn grays would tint, I decided it was better to be gray and chemical-free than bald and possibly cancerous.  (Click to see what Squidoo has to say about hair dyes and health.)

So, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that acting parts for me have dried up, people gaze in curiosity when they see me walking down the street, and, on several occasions, I have been mistaken for Big Foot.  I am a wiry haired, gray headed, no-makeup female living in the capital of superficiality — Los Angeles.

Howdy from Hollywood!

So next time you’re in the Hollywood area, if you see a woman lumbering around the boulevard who looks like Sasquatch, give a wave.  I’ll be more than happy to say hi back.

 

 

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All the Many Mini “Me”s

As I took my exercise walk yesterday, I was aware of the many voices chatting in my head – all the conversations with my selves.  “Look at that dog!” says one.  “I know, isn’t she the cutest?” answers another.  And still a third asks, “Doesn’t the owner look like the bitch in that relationship?”

I’m not saying I’m Sybil or United States of Tara or even The Three Faces of Eve, but I do carry several personas within me.  Truly, don’t we all?

Living within me is a little girl, a grown woman, the mischievous boy I wanted to me, my parents’ daughter, my dog’s mommy, my partner’s spouse, a struggling writer, a sometimes actress, a former secretary, a football lover, a slob, an OCD freak, and many, many more.  (Make a TV movie of that, Lifetime.)  And in each of these roles, I behave somewhat differently.

When I go back to my hometown, I can’t help but remember the awkwardness of high school or the angst of growing boobies.  When I visit my parents’ house, I time travel back to the safety of their watchful cocoon.  When I watch professional football, I bypass my disgust for their present narcissistic owner and root for the Cowboys out of nostalgia for the Tom Landry days.

But the truth is while I am all these many mini “me”s, I am also always just plain me.  Which is one way of saying that the only thing all these personalities have in common is they are all boring.  Just like me.  This leads me to wonder – am I so dull that I’ve conjured equally dull sub-personalities simply to keep me company?  (After all, my dog Jack can only converse so much…)  But, no, I think these branches of my personality come from life and the growth and changes that result from living.  So, while, I have many mini “me”s, so do we all.  Unfortunately, mine are not nearly exciting enough to warrant a psychological case study or the resulting TV movie.  Hmmm, I really should spice up my selves with a little sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll.  Who am I kidding?  I’ll leave that to Courtney Love and stick with my dog, chardonnay, and football viewing.  Let’s get ‘em, Cowboys!

Oh, and Happy Memorial Day weekend from all my many mini “me”s!

 

Dear God, Will Menopause Ever Come?

First off, I understand that soon a time will come when I will be asking (screaming?), “Will Menopause Ever End?”  However, right now, after 36 years of menstrual cycles and not a one of them effortless, all I want is for menopause to hit already.  I want to be done with my period forever.  You see, I wish I had never gotten my period in the first place.  Ever.

In fact, I wish God could ask all us women before we are born: “Are you ever going to need these reproductive organs?”

“No, God,” I would have said with a shrug.  “I am only ever going to mother dogs, so another species will have to do the birthing.  Please give my ovaries to someone who can use them.  Someone like Kate Plus Eight or the Octomom.

“Oh, and while You are at it, God, please also pass along what will be my horrible cramps and mood swings that turn me into an angry Al Qaeda.

“And, since I’m in a giving mood, God, feel free to bypass me when it comes to the clots of small animals that will fall out of my uterus every 28 days.  While I will grow up to appreciate furry little hamsters and even a mouse I find when I’m eleven, I will never want periods so heavy that bloody rodents pour out of my body for three days straight.  You may give that gift to the future Mrs. Gosselin.

“You see, God, I know that I will come to view my monthly cycle as what Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holly Golightly called ‘the Mean Reds.’  Because I foresee my time of the month turning me into a miserable, unpleasant red-eyed devil – and I know you don’t want another one of him blazing around.  After all, one Lucifer in a lifetime is enough, huh, God?  Am I right?”

Ahh, if only the above conversation had happened.  But woe to many of my past and current roommates, co-workers, bosses and spouses, as, for a few days each month, my hormones are hijacked and I become a head-spinning, pea soup-spewing Linda Blair from The Exorcist As I would have told God had I been allowed, Lucifer’s got nothing on a PMS me.

 

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Gray Hair “Down There”

Ladies and Gentlemen, this week I would like to speak to you about a hair-raising issue: gray hair “down there.”

Hair Grays Down There, Too

It has come to my attention that hair in the area of the genitals (commonly known as pubic hair) is beginning to gray for some of us Aging Gals and Guys.  I will admit that this is not yet a problem for yours truly.  No, my predicament involves more the patches of desert on my scalp where hair once grew, but now refuses to bud.  In fact, I’ve seriously considered transplanting bits of the robust curly cues from “down there” onto my head, but, as my head hair is straight and fine, I fear the mix would be not only noticeable, but disastrous.  Sort of like the Titanic meeting up with the iceberg.

So back to you, my inquiring public.  “What do we do about gray hair down there?” you ask.

Well, thank the lord for the miracle processes of the twenty-first century!  From what I can see, options fall into two general categories: removal and coloring.  Yes, coloring.

First, removal.  This can come in the form of waxing (Men: Take notes from Steve Carell’s chest hair waxing scene in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”  I don’t know about you, but if I had balls and cared about their intactness, I’d pass on this one.  Women: See the episode of “Sex and the City” where Sarah Jessica Parker gets ripped virtually naked by a Brazilian wax).  Shaving is tactic number two for removal. (But beware of ingrown hairs.  I can tell you from personal experience it is an ego buster to take your pus-infected twat into the dermatologist for a tweezing.)  Perhaps the longest-lasting and most effective form of removal is via laser.  But ask yourself if selling your car is worth it, because I figure the price of laser hair removal is equivalent to the value of the 2002 Isuzu I’m driving around.

Spring Clean for Your Partner

Secondly, let’s talk coloring.  I had no idea!  But in researching online, I found an article at About.com on “How to Color Gray Pubic Hair” with regular over-the-counter hair color.  Perhaps my favorite parts of this commentary are where the author states (twice) “This is not recommended by health care/medical professionals.”  Well, yee-haw! Lighting my hoo-hoo on fire for forty-five minutes.  Don’t that sound like a Saturday night made in heaven?

Natural Redhead?

Upon further investigation, I did find a hair-coloring product made specifically for our hidden grays: Betty — Color for the Hair Down There.   The entrepreneur reveals that she came upon this idea while visiting a hair saloon in Rome and watching the colorist sneak a petite paper bag to certain clients for use at home.  “For the hair down there… to make it match!”  She realized there was no such product in the good old U.S. of A., and, viola!, now there is!  These days anyone can be a “real” blonde or a “natural” redhead.  Thanks, Betty!

Newly Weed Whacked

So as the weather starts to warm up, and we begin to tackle Spring cleaning in our homes, let’s also attempt a little Spring cleaning down there. Surprise your husband, wife, or significant other with a little weed whacking or touch-up coloring.

After all, who couldn’t use a little sprucing up even in the nooks and crannies of our aging selves?

 

 

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Retirement Plan: Prison

Pension gone?  Retirement fund stolen?  Cost of health benefits unaffordable?  Consider the retirement plan I’ve decided on for my future: Prison.

My Future Self

Radical, you say?  Unreasonable?  Mad?  Just listen to the advantages: Days spent lounging in your room with dedicated time outdoors.  Three square meals a day.  An extensive library.  Free gym membership.  And, best of all, the most comprehensive health care coverage that money (but not yours) can buy. Is this a vacation in the Bahamas, or a fiesta in the big house?  ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale!  Sign me up!

First, how to qualify.  Of course the options are as numerous as the human imagination.  Choose the ignominy that is right for you!

Smile! You're set for life now!

Know someone who really sticks in your craw? Take out (Extinguish! Silence! Annihilate!) that someone.  Let’s face it, he or she is probably a public nuisance anyway (or at least a major buzz kill).  (Visualize yourself as the titular vigilante from the TV show Dexter.)  Should you have your sights set on a big fish, don’t hold back.  As a liberal, perhaps you’d like to “stare down the cross hairs” at a certain Alaskan pundit; as a dog lover, then perhaps you’d prefer to assault a particular NFL quarterback; as an honest citizen who is against stealing from schools and non-profit foundations (and pretty much everybody else), then you can always perform the ultimate swindle on everyone’s favorite Ponzi schemer.  The options are limitless!

Or, instead of going rogue, go Robin Hood!  Rob a bank or (better yet!) a Wall Street brokerage firm with the intent to “take from the rich and give to the poor.”  You’ll qualify for the retirement plan and look like a mensch!

The point is Get out there and commit a felony! Prisons are already overbooked and your bunk won’t be held forever.  Give your soul a quick shakedown and decide as soon as possible what criminal offense has your name on it!

Your New Homies

And for your effort?  A fully paid retirement in prison (ah, my mind is at ease already).  Lounging, reading, working out — all at the taxpayers’ expense!

So stop worrying and put your retirement plan into action!  Your new homies are waiting to meet you!

Full disclosure:  Not responsible for injuries encountered in qualifying for plan.  Entrance into the retirement plan available for all, excluding celebrities as they are impossible to convict.

Alcatraz -- the Ultimate Retirement Destination

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