I’ll Have an Extra Smarmy Venti with Two Pumps of Who The F*ck Cares

I can’t be the only one around who had no clue about the mega over-priced, crappy coffee chain red cups until my newsfeed and twitter informed me EVERYONE IS OUTRAGED OVER THE STARBUCKS RED CUP CONTROVERSY

Are we? We are? Really? I honestly felt like an 87 year-old auntie who fell asleep at the Thanksgiving table and woke up in the middle of a conversation I knew absolutely nothing about. I am all like, “What?” “Who?” “What the hell are we talking about?”

They all end up in the garbage heap

Who else doesn’t go here because you actually become homicidal if you have to order something in their made up lingo?

Oh, wait, I get it! Starbucks is doing its drama shitstorm!

It’s been a while since Race Together Campaign. That was the one where customers were given directives to talk about race instead of being allowed to just enjoy their overpriced coffee drink while discussing or thinking about things of their choosing.


That promotion, or rather, phase one of that promotion ended less than a week after it began due to the deluge of derision blasted at CEO Howard Schultz. Evidently, people paying for sugar-laden, overpriced fatty concoctions with coffee in there somewhere don’t like to have “opportunities to…re-examine how a more empathetic and inclusive society-one conversation at a time” foisted upon them.

It was like, “Okay, we’ll pay double for burnt coffee, endure the condescending attitude of your baristas, subject our ears to drippy music, and try to pull off the whole Friends vibe in your Third Space, but we draw the line at you scripting our thoughts and conversations.

Then there was the organic (hey, who else hates that term?) Pay It Forward Campaign. Remember that? August 2014: The Drive-thru set was offered the opportunity to pay for a drink for the driver of the car behind him or her. Aside from the dislexic name-the direction of the payment was actually going behind the person paying, it likely stiffed the sap who payed for a $7 chocolatte and only got a short black…God, no wonder they want us to talk about race if you have to order something that sounds like that. Anyway, that campaign drama ended at car number 378 when blogger Peter Schorsche deliberately joined the conga-line of love and caffeine to break it up because he felt people were participating out of guilt instead of generosity.

Personally, I believe those participating were in Drive-thru because they were wearing something more even unspeakable than giant plaid pajama bottoms, a NorthFace fleece and Uggs, and they were too ashamed to stand in line. 

Drive thru line was too long

Eff that! Drive thru line was too long and I need my tall vanilla frappe with whipped cream and caramel drizzle now.

After scrolling through about 734 tweets and posts from people who really don’t give a shit about what the hell Starbucks puts on their damn cups, it dawned on me that Starbucks is actually a mega corporation embodiment of that stupid drama-douche you know so well.

You know you know who I’m talking about, right? Eveyone had or now has at least one of those people–either in real life, or on-line. He or she is the one who deliberately sucks the limelight away from whomever might be deservedly basking in it for a fraction of a second too long. The person who harshes your good news about your life, your work, your love, your whatever by either 1. topping your story with a much better story or 2. bringing you down with tragedy. That special someone who pops up on Facebook with a random, mysterious reference about being outraged, pissed off, sad, worried, whatever… but won’t answer the eighty-seven people who ask “What’s going on?” Yes, THAT ONE.

Hey! I'm planning a big melt down at your birthday party!

Hey! I’m planning a big melt down at your birthday party!

Starbucks has always been the mega corporation of THAT ONE. Totally pretentious, PC thuggish, in possession of a bloated sense of self-worth, unabashedly self-promoting while trying to project the image that it is unique, concerned, involved, ironic, decidedly high-minded, entitled-to-speak-for-all because-it-is-so-incredibly-awesome-and we-need-to-just-know-that.

Don’t believe me? Just order a large coffee. That very atrocity against Starbucks (also known as an AAS) will earn you looks of such withering contempt that shame will cause your mouth to fill with bitter bile which disguises their burnt garbage flavored coffee. Honestly, what the hell is venti anyway? It kind of sounds Italian for window or twenty. And then comes tall? Grande? Pretty sure trenta is their biggest size but it’s something I’d never consider because I’m saving for another bike.

The Starbucks Red Cup campaign was designed to be about Starbucks. Not to get you to think of the meaning of Christmas, or the loss of the meaning of Christmas, or anything else that has to do with anything. That’s it! That’s all there is to it. Except, here’s the newsflash:

How dare we pull the limelight off things like grande iced sugar free lattes with soy milk to be nostalgic for seasonal images like snow flakes, candy canes and Joy? Because for me, in these times that we can come together on so very little, the things like snowflakes, candy canes and Joy are a lot nicer than a steaming cup of drama.

Don't forget the reason for the season...Venti Chestnut Praline Latte, extra foam for Jeebus

Don’t forget the reason for the season…Venti Chestnut Praline Latte, extra foam for Jeebus

Posted in blogging, cautionary tales, drama, red cups, society, starbucks, who cares, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tiny Bikes Go Magical Places

Well, everyone could have predicted this, but here it is anyway:

I finally got my grubby hands on a Brompton bicycle!

Yes, it was at great personal sacrifice to my bike fleet. A couple of dear favorites ended up on the block in order to make this happen. It wasn’t easy, but I’m trying to be realistic. Honestly, how many bikes do,I really need? Wait, don’t answer that because the answer is ALWAYS N+1.

But I’m trying to realistic here. And not leave my husband with a hoarders supply of bikes, bike parts, and other identifiable bike junk if I pre decease him, so my new bike rule is: If one comes in, one must go out. It’s kept my bike acquisition mania better controlled in the past few years.

This rule doesn’t, however, stop me from spending a lot of time searching for perfect bikes, dream bikes, bikes that would make the N+1 rule something that wouldn’t apply to me. Ha ha haaaaa. Yeah, right.

I won’t go into what I am searching for these days because it’s ridiculous ($$$$$$) and I am not that kind of cyclist (Eddy Merckx-oh my gaaaaaaaawwwwwd!)


I won’t admit how much of my productive day I waste on you you, Eddy

But there has been a bike that was haunting me. My folding bike. 

Vintage Bianchi Nealeco Folding Bicycle
It was a good looking little bike but in poor shape, with many critical broken parts and it weighed about 400 pounds. It made sense to sell it to someone who was willing to take all that on. 

A few years later, a bit more downsizing-without regrets, and honestly, I’m pretty happy with what I have. Except I miss the folding bike. I really believe if it was in good shape, it would have been ridden often, probably would have been my commuter bike. 

I’m a certain age. I’m not getting any younger. There will be a time-hopefully in the far far future-when I won’t be able to ride. With that logic, I bit the bullet and sold two more bikes. It was hard and I really felt regret. Until today. When I went for an evening bike ride on my new bike. My husband took the bad-ass picture of me riding. I know it looks tiny and a little silly, but this bike is so unbelievably fun and fast and comfortable that I do not care. 

My brother commented that it looks like I wasn’t getting too far on my tiny bike, to which I answered, “Tiny bikes go magical places.”


Posted in Observations, bicycling, blogging, Bicycles, Obsessions, Bianchi, Brompton | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bianchi Mini Velo Bicycle

I have a new obsession.



This is a Bianchi Mini Velo. They are smaller than regular road bikes but have the same ergonomic geometry to feel almost similar to a full sized road bike.

The purpose of these bikes are to save room, easier portability and storage when you are not riding.



You know, I have no idea how I happened upon this bicycle…I think I was looking at folding bikes and this caught my eye.

Must have this...

Must have this…

Now I can’t think of anything else. You see, I had a folding bike but sold it because the whole folding/opening/weight/wear&tear on the bike made it less useful in its functionality for me. But I miss my folding bike. And now have a reason to ride a smaller bike/folding bike to work.

I will not sleep until you are mine.

I will not sleep until you are mine.

And now, nothing will do until I can find a Bianchi Mini Velo. Sadly, they are mainly sold in Japan, where space is obviously at a premium.

Thus begins my campaign to bring these beautiful bicycles to America.

Posted in Bianchi, Bicycles, Mini Velo, Observations, Obsessions, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Kim Davis is NOT like Pope Francis

I have been openly irreverent and disrespectful regarding Pope Francis’s “secret meeting” with Kim Davis. It fosters the impression that I give the meeting as much consideration as it takes to flick from one website to another to find the latest, most interesting topic of the moment. That perception is wrong.

It offends me deeply that there was a meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis. This Pope, on his first visit to America, brought hope, inspiration, compassion, humility and humanity to the Roman Catholic church, to its following and to millions who have had nothing but contempt and criticism for how the Church has conducted its affairs in the past.

I am a Roman Catholic. I was raised following the precepts of the church and was able to follow them until I reached young adulthood. I am no longer a practicing Catholic because parts of the life I live now is in conflict with the teachings of the church. I feel sorrow and loss because of this, but I can not reconcile how I live and the people who are most important to me with what is asked of me in order to fully observe.

Let me be clear: I have no anger or resentment toward the church, I have deep faith due to how I was raised, and I have no regret that I was raised as Catholic.  I respect and love my parents, my family, my friends who are devout. I love that I can attend mass anywhere in the world and I would know what was happening during the service. It gives me great comfort.

Pope Francis has, from the start of his leadership, taken the church in a more open, compassionate and inclusive direction. The highlights of his priorities of his papacy are caring for the poor, caring for the planet, world peace and creating a church that is more welcoming to those who have felt abandoned, disillusioned, disenfranchised. As the world Catholic leader, he has begun to change the perception of the Catholic church from closed, greedy, limited, damaging, and an institution that protects child molesters while turning its back on millions of people it damaged. That is a huge accomplishment.

Pope Francis has not changed any of the laws of the church. It is still operates under the same precepts that stood for centuries before he stepped in. This isn’t a tutorial on Catholicism, so feel free to google it now if you need more information.

What I am writing about here is my outrage that the final note of his visit to America is filled with this “secret” meeting with the loathsome Kim Davis. The story is still evolving, and probably will for days, and we may never fully know the details of how the meeting happened, who arranged it, how long she was with him and what was really said. Both camps are changing the details and circumstances with each report of what happened.

This meeting, however it happened, galls me because it tainted the messages of his visit: care for the poor, care for the planet, world peace. There were dialogues regarding punishment of the abusers and molesters, of truly giving voice to the victims of rape and abuse, and of providing more humane and rehabilitative  treatment of prisoners. There was no dialogue, despite great hope, despite Pope Francis responding, “Who am I to judge?” when asked about homosexuality, about recognizing gay marriage in the Catholic Church. Therefore, Pope Francis’s meeting with Kim Davis appears to be the blanket statement. If he did tell her to “stay strong”, there’s the stance.

Here are a few more things that gall me about Kim Davis meeting Pope Francis: she is divisive. She is mean. She has a position of power and wielded that power to deny American citizens a fundamental right according to her personal religious belief. She works as a county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky and she decided, based on her religious beliefs, that she can’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Her stance directly conflicted with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. (2015), holding that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution . Ms. Davis spent 5 days in jail because of her defiance of the law due to her belief that gay marriage is against her religion.

Say what you will about how she stands by her faith, but here is the bottom line: she works in a government job and gets paid in federal tax dollars, which, to my knowledge and after a lot of searching, it doesn’t appear she refused to pocket any of her pay checks. If her faith guides her and rules her actions, than she should step down from her position. Instead, she used her position of power to deny a civil right bestowed on all Americans: the right to marry.

I think it is a travesty that she got the media attention she did. I think she should have been moved to a different position, or fired because she would not do her job, and the only thing you hear when anyone says her name is the sound of crickets chirping.

I do not think she should be punished for her beliefs. She has every right to believe what she wants, as strongly as she wants, with as much fervor as she can muster, but there’s no way on earth I believe she should impose her faith to deny anyone who seeks to rightfully marry in the United States of America. This is who we are, this is the country we live in, with all the freedom, rights, and liberties it entails.

It’s been over two days since this story broke. Details differ between the church and the Davis camp with each clarification of the meeting. In looking back on his visit, the thing that surprises almost as much a the actual meeting is that it took so long to surface. I mean, Pope Francis had media coverage of every single moment he was here! How did no one carrying a camera not see her 15 minutes of Pope audience? And I’d like to point out that Ms. Davis is notoriously recognizable. She’s also not exactly a package of peanuts either–not like she could slip into under the coffee cart to get close to the Pope unnoticed. There are serious gaps in the details (and you know who lives there, right?) and I don’t think we’re going to get much of the truth from either side.

The arc of Pope Francis’s time as the leader of the Catholic church will be, I hope and pray,  for years.  I don’t have any expectations that the sacrament of marriage will change under his leadership but I do hope that he will continue to reach out to the poor, the marginalized, the suffering, the victims.

I also hope Kim Davis falls off the face of the earth–or at lease the media map. Her fifteen minutes, however she spent them, are up. I’ve seen enough of her and all she stands for, thank you.

Posted in essay, gay marriage, Kim Davis, Observations, Pope Francis, religious rights, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This Is The Day. Your Life Will Surely Change.

“Well you didn’t wake up this morning ’cause you didn’t go to bed
You were watching the whites of your eyes turn red
The calendar on your wall is ticking the days off

This song, off the album Soul Mining by The The, goes back with me for over half my life. It came out in 1983 and is still one of my favorite songs–the lyrics, the harmonica, the ACCORDION! How could there be a great song in 1983 that has an accordion and isn’t Polish?

The song helped define my life on August 5th, 1986 when the doctor handed me my son, James. Those lyrics were running through my head thoughout a night of labor. It was a long night and the song was my anchor, even though I had no idea how much my life would surely change.

“You’ve been reading some old letters
You smile and think how much you’ve changed
All the money in the world
Couldn’t bring back those days.

I instantly grew up when I became James’ mother. It was hard and frightening and sometimes lonely and, looking back, I have no idea how I managed to do all I did as a young, single mother. It was an honor and a blur. I wonder where all those years went, as he is now 29. I know that I wouldn’t have changed anything.

“You pull back the curtains, and the sun burns into your eyes,
You watch a plane flying across a clear blue sky.

Ten years later, another son, Charlie, was born. Into an entirely different time in my life. In those ten years, James and I moved into a very stable, successful existance which is entirely due to my husband and James’ stepfather, Dan.

When it was time for James to go to college, I was so sure I would be a wreck. My son, my anchor, was launching, leaving, going off to be who he would be. Of course there were many tears. And heartache. It’s heavy and hits when least expected, but I had someone to buffer all of that. Charlie was only eight years old. We had a lot of time to keep parenting.

“THIS IS THE DAY — Your life will surely change.
THIS IS THE DAY — Your life will surely change.

In a week, 29 years of our focused parenting will be over. Charlie is going to college in Vermont. My ten year buffer from the heaviness of my heart, my darling, the son that I somehow skipped thinking about when he would leave until it bore down upon me like a freight train, is making the leap. Dan and I will look at each other and…I have no idea what the hell we’ll do.

“You could’ve done anything — if you’d wanted
And all your friends and family think that you’re lucky.

I know so much about this. I know the language, I know that you never stop being a parent, I know they come home, I know I didn’t invent this, I know that I don’t own it, I know that life is amazing when you have kids and gets even better when they grow up.

I know how lucky we are that our kids made it to college, I know that there are so many obstacles and derailments that change everything, I know they were born capable and able, I know that we are fortunate they were able to chose college and we have the means of sending them, I know, I know, I know.

“But the side of you they’ll never see
Is when you’re left alone with the memories
That hold your life together like

Posted in blogging, essay, family, parenthood | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Silence, silence, silence.

I have been in the most colassal road blocks of all writing road blocks. It’s unbelievable. I look at my keyboard, and all its beautiful little letters and just…can’t do it.

I’m blocked. Totally blocked. It is inconceivable because I have so many prompts and thoughts in my head but when it comes to the keyboard…

Screenshot 2015-07-18 17.23.53

…it’s just not happening.

It has been an indescribable couple of years, as evidenced by the last few posts–particularly pertaining to the ones of the deaths of friends and pets. Don’t get me wrong, I am not immune to death, of friends, or pets…it’s simply that they came quickly, unexpectedly. I wasn’t ready. But honestly, who is–right?

There is the planned and the unplanned. And both of those phenomena happened at once which made me think, at the time, I could handle all that was coming my way without any repercussions until I tried to do something creative.


Then I tried something funny, and newsy, and ironic.


Try something short, biting, sweet, sharp.

Blocked, blocked, blocked.

I took a writing class at my beloved Grub Street. Thank God I got in with a desperate subission, and sat among wonderful, caring, open writers who drew me out and helped me write my assignments for class, but anything else was completely shut down.

I have experienced writing lulls in my life. There are times I have said as much as I want to say, then need time to recharge, and rebuild in order to be a better writer. I am not the kind of person who is able to build upon a body of work that launches better, more insightful writing. I wish I was. I wish I could compartmentalize that part of myself to keep moving on and outward, I really thought I was, but this episode has made it enormously clear that I am quite attached to what’s going on in my life, and the escape of writing suffered with the drama of my existence.

There was a lot of drama in the last couple of years. The things I could bring to the surface for public examination were displayed, with a tremendous amount of support on this forum. But behind the death of a dear friend–who I miss so much, even more as time goes by, and a beloved pet; there are the machinations of recounting, reassembling, and rectifying the things that need to find a place in my head in order to assimilate my creative, carefree introspection and observation of things around me.

It has been a long, strange trip, to be certain.

My oldest son is in South Korea. He has been there since February of 2014. He is teaching middle school-aged South Korean children how to be fluent in English. I miss him every day.

My youngest son just graduated from high school. He will be going to college in another state, about 400 miles away. He was accepted into prestigous colleges in Boston, only 35 miles away but chose to go the distance. I am going to miss him more than I ever imagined.

These are just the surface realities I am managing. I am the mother of sons, and it has been my expectations that sons go out and conquer the world…except when they are MY sons. Then I want them to stay close and find a way to conquor the world and find happiness close to me. Because I am their mother. And I just can’t imagine life far away from where they are.

My husband has been the rock of my existence, even when I believed he wasn’t. He stood firmly beside me and stayed when I presumed he was underminding all I thought we stood for. I am so grateful for that, and wonder if I could have withstood that kind of purjure? It’s not worth my thought.

Therefore, here I sit, writing–just trying to write something because I don’t feel the rock in my throat when I sit at the keyboard, trying to think of something pertinent to say. I know there is a relevent message, it’s not useless. I believe I can convey a thought now that will have a reader say, “Yes, I know what that is like.”

I can’t script life. I can not begin to script my life, as much as I want to have control over what I do, think, produce, effect. My intentions are to do good, to help others, to leave behind something that will be remembered with happiness, or awe. I want those I love to know I love them. I want the things that matter to me matter for a good reason, not because they made me angry, annoyed, inconvenienced, blocked.

Posted in essay, Observations, writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Goodbye To My Dear Friend

I have to say good bye to one of my dearest friends. I don’t want to, it’s awful, and I wish I could somehow change what is now life without him in it because it’s going to be far too quiet.

Don. Donnie. Donald B. We graduated from a small high school in Central Massachusetts in 1981. Everyone knew everyone else, and as it turns out, thanks to social media, we were  close despite most of us going off in various directions.

I am pretty sure I can count the times I’ve seen Donnie since our graduation, but it might be safe to add one or two drunken parties to that list. I know every time I saw him it was a blast–I mean a BLAST. He was the life of the party. Loud, funny, the center of the room, the person you wanted to stand next to because you knew that was where the fun was happening. He was that guy.

Class of '81 Turns 50

Class of ’81 Turns 50

Fortunately for me, it wasn’t just parties that I saw Donnie. After my first marriage ended, I moved back home with my parents. It was a hard move because I was starting over as a single mom. I was angry and bitter. It was humiliating to see people I knew because I felt like a loser. Donnie called me to see how I was doing and I launched into my tale of woe, bashing my soon-to-be-ex, fully expecting a rally of support from my old friend. Instead he shut me up by telling me straight out that he knew my husband to be a good guy and asked, “What did you expect? To be treated like a princess every friggin’ day?”

That was Donnie: blunt, honest, no filters. He then gave me some financial advice because I had a kid and a picture framing job because I worked as a picture framer. That was Donnie: he would give you help when you needed it. He made me laugh and cry during that phone call but most of all, I felt better after talking to him. He helped give me a perspective and some strength and guts to start moving on.

Our paths crossed over the years, alway fun, always feeling like we had just seen each other just a few days ago. We could launch into baseball (usually good), politics (always bad–polar opposite political views), families (great), and funny memories that left us laughing until we couldn’t talk.

The thing about Donnie is, somehow he got a pass for being loud and annoying and oppositonal and saying the very thing VERY LOUDLY that I know I could never get away with saying. I’ve thought a lot about how and why he got away with it, and all I can come up with is that he was genuine and stood by his opinion until he knew he was wrong. Or when he admitted he was an asshole. But somehow he always made you laugh until you were gasping for air.

The loss I’m feeling right now is absolutely nothing compared to what his beautiful family must be going through. His wife, his children, his parents and sisters and brother. His nieces and nephews and in-laws, his cousins, close friends, his children’s friends, his neighbors, people who worked with him, those lucky enough to see him often. He was bigger than life. He was a force of nature that you never forgot once you knew him.

Despite his contrary nature, he cared deeply. He stood up for the underdog, for causes, for what was right. There was no way I was going to do the Ice Bucket Challenge until he called me on it. Then there was no way I could NOT do the Ice Bucket Challenge. He thanked me after I dumped the freezing water on my head and told me he not to worry about giving the money, he’d already donated for me which breaks my heart right now.

In the past couple of years we had gotten together with two other high school friends and the time spent together was beyond what I can give credit here. It wasn’t just catching up, it was creating a new level of friendship. We went to a baseball game at Fenway Park. Red Sox vs. the Mariners. They were down by six runs in the nineth, it was a game they trailed from the top of the first inning which was a minor drawback to the fun of being together. We stayed because we were having so much fun talking, laughing, catching up, and honestly, switching seats to take a turn sitting next to Donnie. Until the 9th inning when the Red Sox started to come back. What was definitely a fun night turned into an amazing night in our friendship, and in the Red Sox 2013 season. They won it all. I believed we would all get together many times for many years to rehash that incredible night.

I just can’t get my mind around it. My dear friend Donnie is not here. He’s gone. It is such a huge void. If I could do anything for his family right now, I wish I could take some of their grief and loss because I can’t imagine the vacuum of his death to them. To quote Watson, when faced with Sherlock’s death, all I can say is, “I want you to be not dead.”

Donnie loved Joe Castiglione’s tradition of reading part of Bart Giamatti’s poem Green Fields of the Mind at the end of every season. It is fitting here, now, as I say goodbye to you except I wish with all my heart that you would come back. Rest in Peace my dear friend.

“The Green Fields of the Mind”

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”

Boston Red Sox vs. Mariners 8/1/13. Greg, Mindy, Lizy, Donnie

Boston Red Sox vs. Mariners 8/1/13. Greg, Mindy, Lizy, Donnie

Posted in baseball, Boston Red Sox, Donald B., essay, family, Friendship, Sorrow, writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Elf-On-The-Shelf…or that little effing narc

It’s that time of year again. You must know it–the yearly visit of that creepy The Elf On The Shelf.

Look at me! I'm the little snitch that's reporting you to Santa every night.

Look at me! I’m the little rat that’s reporting you to Santa every night.

I have no idea when his phenomena of the elf turning into a Judas took hold. We did have two of those elves that sat on our mantle at Christmas time but they were just decorations. We didn’t even want to play with them because they had freaky faces and were missing feet.

Look, he has no feet. If he can walk, it would be on stumps

Eeeeeeew, no feet. And what’s with that smirk and those side-wall eyes?

Neither of my sons were subjected to Snitch Elf. I somehow missed that phase, probably because social media had little impact when Christmas traditions were in the making.

The most internet thing we did was NORAD’s Santa Tracker–which was awesome. We still check in every year and I highly recommend it for little kids. Something about the bells and hearing service members stationed all over the world report Santa’s location. It is quite magical. Here, I’ll even give you the link so you can start your tradition this year: http://www.noradsanta.org/

Now why am I shoving Santa Tracker instead of The Creepy Little Whistle Blower? Well, I think it’s rotten that kids have another set of eyes watching them and going back each and every single night to Santa to file a report.

Casually stalking you, kids

Just hanging out…stalking… you know… watching for anything Santa might want to know about…

The whole premise of the elf really smacks of something less than wholesome and is such a remove from the spirit of Christmas. Honestly, if my mother tried to pull off this caper on us kids, that elf would be stuffed with hamburg and given to the dog before the first day of it’s surveillance was over.

Prescriptive guide to scaring your kids into being good right before Christmas.

Prescriptive guide to scaring your kids into being good right before Christmas.

I mean, really, I just couldn’t take this if I were a kid.

It reminds me so much of this movie that I think I might have broken into a national security firewall:

The Corporate Model for Elf on the Shelf is based on the movie The Informant

The Corporate Model for Elf on the Shelf is based on the movie The Informant

If this is the case, and I disappear, please tell your kids that Santa is kind and the season is about peace, giving and good will toward others.  And turn them on to Santa Tracker…it may help ease some of that feeling like they’re being watched.

Posted in blogging, christmas, family, Observations, traditions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Oxford Dictionaries New Words and Phrases

I love learning the new words and phrases that make the Oxford Dictionary radar, although I really don’t like the website-I believe it’s a site loaded with malware and hacker ability to destroy my computer-but I digress.

New words are usually funny and acurate in the depiction of the evolution of our lives. Some of them are annoying and, thankfully short-lived, but others are creative and have, I hope, a long and useful life in our lexicon.

Here are the top ten.

10. Al desko. Sad desk salads, soups surreptiously slurped while on conference calls, and sandwiches half-eaten because of the nervous energy supplied by a looming deadline all have an overarching term to describe them. That it’s a play on “al fresco,” used to refer to dining out of doors, only makes it more perfectly cruel.

9. Shiny bum. An Australian term for an office worker. It sounds pre-emptively derisive, which is likely intentional.

8. Economic man. “A hypothetical person who behaves in exact accordance with their rational self-interest” — or, the “shiny bum” after he got his first promotion or two.

7. WRT. One of the more pleasant abbreviations to make the list, although Oxford’s version swaps in “reference” for a term also known as “with regard to.”

6. Five-second rule. The idea that food dropped on the floor for less than five seconds escapes contamination is probably a myth, but who among us has never justified a quick pickup with it in mind?

5. The ant’s pants. Sure, ants in a human’s pants might not be the best thing. But if an ant is wearing pants, it’s probably a fairly big specimen, as this Australian term referring to a particularly great person implies.

4. Misery index. Those short “i” sounds make this shorthand term for a country’s inflation and unemployment rates sound much more pleasant than its definition implies.

3. Mahoosive. Lengthen the “oo” in the middle according to how large the object you’re describing might be.

2. Crony capitalism. Bad practice, good term — this phrase refers to economic systems where business honchos and government officials are in cahoots.

1. Carne asada. This spanish term for marinated, grilled steak tops the list because taco time is all the time. The race for best food-related term was a close call between this and “arancini,” the Italian word for fried rice balls.

Posted in blogging, humor, Observations, society, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pink Slip and a scottie.

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 12.01.25 PM

Oh my, could life get any better than this? Vintage ads are the best.

Posted in Dogs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment