Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Holidays!

I stood in line behind a woman at The Dollar Tree. The girl who was ringing her up finished, and said "Happy Holidays!"  "Merry CHRISTMAS," snarled the woman in the true spirit of Christmas. "Er, Merry Christmas," the salesgirl agreed.

I know it's trendy to denounce "Happy Holidays" but I love saying it, even though I celebrate Christmas. Why? Because I have dear friends who also celebrate Hannukah. In fact, right now it's more appropriate to wish everyone a Happy Hannukah because it's currently happening, and goes through December 24th. Christmas doesn't happen until AFTER that.

I understand the "Keep Christ in Christmas" mantra and I completely agree. But this is not Santa vs. Christ, it's Christmas vs. all the other celebrations that happen this time of year and I think it's perfectly fair to say "HAPPY HOLIDAYS" to all of you!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dash it All

Then there's my colleague who called La-a and asked hesitantly "Is La Ah there?" The mother said "Yes, but her name is Ladasha. The dash isn't silent." 

I can't make this stuff up.

Add This to Reasons to Pick up Coffee on the Way Into Work

Yesterday I walked into the break room to see our beautiful young secretary angrily mopping the counter and muttering to herself. "What's up, hon?" I asked.
"People are SUCH SLOBS," she growled. "Some idiot made coffee and took out the pot and let it spill all over the counter and the floor, too." "That's awful," I agreed, as I reached for a coffee cup. She then bent over and wiped up the floor before she stood up once more and began to wipe down the coffee pots with the same rag.
I think I'll pick up Starbucks on my way in from now on.

Zoolander: Eat Your Heart Out

The guy who answered the phone snapped "We're not interested." "Whoa, whoa," I said. "You don't even know what I'm calling about! I'm not a telmarketer!"
"Modeling and acting, right?" the guy answered. "Er, yes," I said, startled. "We don't want it," he said and hung up.
Finally someone who really understands our subtle plans for world domination one runway model at a time.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Should we stop flights from Ebola-torn countries?

Should we stop flights from Ebola-torn countries? Here's a reality check: The economic impact of Ebola, if it spreads in the US, is bigger than most people realize. We will find ourselves plunged into another Great Depression, with little way to recuperate from it in our lifetime. “How?” sputter the current administration’s apologeticists in righteous indignation.  Here’s how:

Our healthcare system, already plunged into chaos and financial difficulties due to new government mandates, will come to a staggering halt when faced with Ebola. The insurance companies that weathered the new standards of Obamacare will be faced with bankruptcy as medical costs soar for patients who must undergo expensive treatments. Many of these patients will die (50%, if statistics hold true, but I’ll even give you 40%) and they will not be able to pay their portion of those costs. Hospitals will also be bankrupted and strained beyond capacity. Some healthcare workers will quit, rather than have to work directly with such a plague.

Transportation will grind to a halt. Therefore, the supply of goods and services, even basic ones such as food and water, will be impacted.

Some people will refuse to go to work, but most people will continue to go to work, terrified on a daily basis but unable to afford to stay home. And if they did stay home, what then? They must venture out to get food, or have it delivered, and no one can ever be completely free of contact with the outside world. This trepidation will cause a decline in purchasing power. People will sit on their money and their savings, waiting until the dust settles.

So, can we afford to stop flights from Ebola-torn countries? We can’t afford NOT to.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sociopathy in Mankind

People are scandalized, and deservedly so, by the continued atrocities of the Muslim terrorists overseas. A third man was recently beheaded by sociopaths who are only too happy to do so.

This is not uncommon. We saw it in the Japanese, Germans, and Italians in WW2. To pretend we didn't is to do a disservice to history and the needless sufferings and deaths of many. Throughout history, it was repeatedly shown that murder and torture come easily. Because of that, I always avoid the term "humane", since it implies that humanity is, as a whole, kind and good by instinct. There is nothing further from the truth. Sociopathology is more prevalent than we'd like to admit, and we are all capable of it, as the infamous Milgram Experiment showed us.

Human nature is why so many of our ancestors were either the victims or the inflictors of various forms of torture and horrific deaths since the world began. There is only a thin veil between civilization and the primordial beast, and although we don't always understand why a sociopath chooses to step over to the other side, we know that they never return. If a pit bull, who's always been friendly, suddenly snaps and kills a child, we don't try to rehabilitate it. We put it to sleep. We know that the dog has crossed the line, and there is no turning back. Some decisions, whether by man or animal, are irrevocable.

The biggest mistake that we can do is to not study history, or take it seriously.  As George Santayana famously said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Although we are horrified by the terrorists' actions, we should not be surprised. Nor should we be surprised to see the articles that discuss the terrorists' recruitment of US youth. The terrorists appeal to anyone with sociopathic leanings. You can whitewash their attraction with the labels "mesmorizing", "deceiving", "gullible", but the fact remains that every American knows what terrorists are and what terrorists do. If they are signing up for the program, it is because deep down inside there is a ravening bloodthirsty beast who wants to dominate, has no regard for the lives or feelings of others, and enjoys mayhem, torment, and subjugation.

If we are able to stop a recruit from going overseas to join the terrorists, they should immediately be locked up and put under psychiatric evaluation for that very reason. If you are willing to go to such lengths to become a terrorist, there can be no room for you in a civilized nation any more than there is room for fire ants at a picnic.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Flying the Somewhat Friendly Skies

I fly. A lot. And as I was thinking of all the wonderful people and stories I've heard in airports and from fellow passengers, it hit me that I should start a compilation. Their observations and stories should be shared. They're tales of joy, hope, fear, and possibly finding love at the airport:

TSA Employees Need Better Customer Service Skills

I sat next to a young woman recently. She was bulging with a 7 month old baby (a.k.a. "fetus"), and happy to whip out her cellphone and share all the latest photos. Now that they're 3D (as opposed to the standard sonogram type we had in my era) the little girl really 'came to life' on screen. That is, with the exception of one unfortunate shot that made her look like Skeletor. I was quick to point that out and we had a laugh. But then the conversation turned serious.

The young mother-to-be told me that she'd been up against a TSA employee who kept insisting that she had to go through the scanner and she kept telling him that she couldn't because she was pregnant. "Oh nonsense," he scoffed. "That won't hurt the baby." Incredulous she asked for the supervisor, who allowed her to avoid the machine altogether. "But can you imagine what would've happened if he'd been talking to a young mother who didn't know any better?!" she said to me. Yup. Everyone would've had a chance to see Baby Skeletor. But, as it turns out, it probably would've been harmless to the baby. To read more about this, please see Jim's correction at the very bottom. If the TSA agents had taken the time to explain this to the young woman, she might still have opted out, but she wouldn't be spreading this as a tale of potential disaster.

Some TSA Agents Don't Know What Service Dogs Are

And in the small airport of backwater Little Rock, Arkansas, I had a young woman sit down next to me with the tiniest dog in her lap. Being a dog lover, I felt that I'd died and gone to heaven. I had just been subjected to intense scrutiny because I had a laptop and metal rivets on the pockets of my jeans. Another woman had the agents pull out every tiny bottle she had in her luggage and painstakingly swab each bottle. We were joking about how they were all in training and feeling that power rush when "Emily" shared her story. Her dog ChiChi is a service dog that alerts when she has seizures. The little dog goes with her everywhere. When she came up to the agents in Little Rock, they stopped her and told her that the dog had to be in a carrier. "No," she explained patiently. "It's a service dog."

They acted like they'd never heard of a service dog before. "Well you still have to have her in a carrier," the agent said imperiously. "No, I don't," Emily said patiently. She is a softspoken little thing. They went round and round for a while and finally she asked for a supervisor. She handed over the documentation to the supervisor but "I felt as if they were just play acting, you know, like if you give a toddler a book to read and they pretend to read it but it's upside down," she said. Eventually they gave up and waved her through. Without a patdown. Without residue screening. So let's hope no terrorists have service dogs in Arkansas.

The Snotty Baby

Most people tell me that when it comes to seat companions they have two fears: 1) They'll get someone obese who should've bought two seats but is cheap enough to try to squeeze into one and lap over into their neighbors, or, 2) they'll get a screaming baby.

I got the screaming baby, complete with, I am only guessing here...Ebola. OK, I'm exaggerating a wee bit, but this child was a mess. It also was completely undisciplined, so it was allowed to stagger about, whining and screaming, wiping copious amounts of snot everywhere, while the mother would speak coyly to him. She would loudly say things like "Oh come on, Dantainerius. No one wants to hear THAT," and then would look about the cabin for approval, as if to say "Oh isn't he PRECIOUS?!" Everyone would steadfastly avoid eye contact.

In between us sat a young man that could put Adonis to shame. My friend and co-worker, "Amber", was sitting in the next row in front of me and she kept gesturing to Adonis, who calmly put his headphones in, pulled his cap over his eyes, and appeared to sleep throughout the chaos as the little monster repeatedly snotted all over his knee caps.

It was a two hour trip. It felt like four.

Finding Love

My friend "Marcie" flies with me. She's wracked up so many frequent flier miles she could probably travel the world for free. Twice.  She's a gorgeous older woman in her late 60s with an ebullient personality, and madly in love with her husband. As I'm single, she gave me hope one day: "Don't worry, honey," she said. "You won't be single for long. You may not be looking for anyone, but there isn't a time that goes by that I'm not asked out by some guy I just met in the airport."

Don't forget I told you this story: Some day there may be a sequel.

A Correction

My friend, Jim, is an expert. He writes:

The body scanners don't use x-rays. The TSA agent was right, the woman is misinformed. The scanners use radio wave frequencies, somewhere between cell phones and infra-red. X-rays are above ultra violet. Visible light is above infrared and below ultraviolet. So nowhere close to X-ray. 

Oh another thing - you are exposed to about 50 times more "radiation" in one hour inside that metal tube flying at 35,000 feet. But nobody seems too worried about that.

The supervisor was also right. Anyone can opt out of the body scanners because various people made such a big deal out of "naked scanners". Also a lot of people don't understand the difference in ionizing radiation and light. Both are actually radiation, but one is not harmful. So they think that radio waves and cosmic rays are the same. Well they sort of are, in the regards that both have a frequency and wavelength. 

Anyway you can request to opt out and the TSA is supposed to say "ok", then send you to the "machine alert" line for a physical pat-down and/or hand held metal detector screening. Which is slower and more intrusive, thus the push to get people to use the machine. It is faster for everybody involved. 

But the passenger was still ill informed. But whatever the case, anyone can request to not use the machine. 

If you fly often apply for global entry. It gets you into pre-check.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Well Dressed

You know you are well dressed when men scramble to open the doors for you, and sales women come up to you to ask if you need anything. When I have no makeup and I'm in shorts and a t-shirt, the only human contact I usually have would be when a small child accidentally sneezes on me.

This reminds me of the time I was the manager in a major department store. One of my top clients was a local anchorwoman. When she wasn't on the news, you'd never recognize her. She had bags under her eyes and children in the stroller. She would limp along, looking harried and tired: A typical homemaker who didn't have time to brush her hair. She was a faithful client, because I knew her size and would always hold things for her to try on in her limited amount of time.

The biggest crooks I've met were usually the ones that would wear designer clothing to a mud wrestling contest. They are too obsessed with form and there's very little substance. In fact, there may be a correlation: After all, look what Lil' Kim wears.

Perhaps I have a solution, however. Have you seen those oversized t-shirts that obese women wear to the beach which have a skinny bikini-clad body printed on the front? Perhaps I need a tee with a large photo of me looking respectable, in a freshly pressed business suit. Under it, in large print, it will say "THIS IS NORMALLY WHAT I LOOK LIKE."

Oh who's kidding who. Most people can't read. I just need to put a model from Sports Illustrated on the front of it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why Some People Embrace Urban Legends

My friend Jake is always embracing the next conspiracy theory, whether it's the Nephilim heresy (the idea that demons are mating with humans and producing evil offspring that roam among us), or UFOs or chemtrails. It's extra exciting if you can combine any two or more. But Jake isn't the only one! There are tons of people who want to get their knickers in a twist over an imagined problem. Why is that?

We live in a time and place where our minds are idle. We aren't consumed every waking moment by the necessities of life. Modern appliances and conveniences have bought us extra time. And what do we do with that time? We watch stupid TV shows or read idiotic books or magazine articles that don't challenge our minds. It's OK to do this occasionally, just like it's OK to have dessert after you eat your meal. But your body can't live on chocolate sundaes alone, and your mind can't live on a constant diet of trash without it craving something more. Many people are consumed by that constant craving. In fact, I would argue it's a spiritual craving.

We also feel the need to be important. From the earliest age, we wonder how we can distinguish ourselves. So we choose to stand out in some way. One person may stand out as a musician. One may stand out as a financial analyst. And one may stand out as the group idiot who's always trotting out the latest nutty theory.

Of course everyone has that need to belong. If we don't belong to a tribal group, we feel that terrible disconnect. You don't have to be in an actual tribe to feel that you're a part of a group. My particular "tribe" is my small church, which functions more as a family than simply a church. We love each other, we pray for each other, we cry for each other, we celebrate with each other. Not everyone is so blessed.

Those people who don't have a tribe search to belong somewhere. If they're gullible, uneducated, mentally ill, and/or craving something to satisfy their spiritual needs they may fall into a group that they see as exotic or interesting, even though outsiders see the group for what it really is. Cults are created from this class of people. The membership doesn't have to be formal, but the dedication is all-consuming. Let's lump cult-followers and conspiracy theorists in the Crazy Tribe, for the sake of brevity, OK?

Members of the Crazy Tribe are so dedicated to their brand of crazy that they discount any rebuttals. I've heard members of the Crazy Tribe say that they won't believe Snopes rebuttals because "everyone knows that members of Snopes are [insert whatever you despise here]." In fact, they will reject any facts for various reasons because they are so enamored with their membership in the Crazy Tribe. Suddenly they're important! They're being listened to! Well-meaning friends are trying to argue with them!

Of course that leads to the next point: If we argue with members of the Crazy Tribe, we simply solidify their position because we make them feel special. It's important to stand your ground and tell them the truth, but then you must let it go. If it continues to come up, you can periodically remind them of the truth, but in general you don't want to give their beliefs any credence. Don't argue after you've stated your beliefs: They aren't in the Crazy Tribe due to any logical decision they've made, so they won't be swayed by logic.

After Jake told me about a cult leader he was following (Chuck Missler), I emailed him a relevant article on false prophets, specifically naming Missler, as well as others. and explaining what was wrong in their teachings. A day went by, and then I got Jake's response back: "Great article! Really interesting to read. I'm so glad I've never fallen for any of that."

But there is still hope. A week ago, Jake sent me an article titled "Missler Debunked." Sometimes you get through, but you must give it time.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Love is a Many Splendored Thing... Scratch That: It's Hellish.

This isn't a rant. I don't hate men. But I've lived long enough to realize that love isn't as easily defined as I thought it was when I was growing up. In fact, I'm writing a book about it (but more on that another time).

Love can be a rather painful process, overall, unless you're exceptionally lucky. I've been through two marriages which ended in two divorces and actually I'm very positive about my future. Yes: I still want to be married and live happily ever after. Will that happen for me? I simply don't know, and I'm OK with that. But it took me a long time to get there.

A Case Study

Some people are still on that journey. Take Trevor, for instance.

Trevor and I had gone on a couple casual dates and then I found out that he was a severe alcoholic (in the one to three percentile of the disease). By then, he'd decided he was in love with me. And by then, I'd decided I would never be in love with him.

I didn't lie to him: I told him the cold, hard truth with compassion. There is that certain something that is missing and I can't define it: I only know that it's not there. And yes, of course, his alcoholism is a disaster.

Will Trevor ever meet The One: That woman who is perfect for him? I doubt it. He would have to change more than he's willing to change in order to be The One for someone else and if you're not willing to be The One, certainly you can't expect someone else to be.

People Are People

When I was younger, I was willing to assume that people were these wonderful Chinese puzzle boxes. Instead, I've learned that most of them are as complicated as Tupperware: What you see is what you get. And just because I took steps to be a better person and change what needed to be changed in my life doesn't mean that others will do the same thing. In fact, I find that most people remain appallingly content with dysfunction and mediocrity.

I learned these lessons the hard way and, unfortunately, most people will have to do the same. Very few of us learn from watching others' mistakes.

Society Doesn't Help

As if the usual issues aren't difficult enough, modern society has now introduced even more things designed to damage relationships. New trends have emerged that should alarm all of us, like the hookup culture on today's college campuses. And sexual permissiveness and promiscuity has bled into our daily lives, encouraged by TV/movies and badly written but well-received erotic literature like 50 Shades of Grey (I'll talk about our lowered standards in literature another time). At the same time, we're fed ridiculously high standards: You have to always feel you're in love with your spouse or it's time to pack up and get that quickie divorce that's so easy to come by these days. Feelings mean everything: Commitment is so passé.

How do you find The One?

Dating sites are pitiful and plentiful. I've never had any success in any of them. Like a good job, you won't find the right one advertised online: you can only find it through word of mouth. If someone is worth having, they soon grow tired of dealing with creepy people and shut down their account. The ones that remain are desperate in one form or another: Maybe they're co-dependent. Maybe they're looking for a free meal. Maybe they're looking for a Sugar Mama. Maybe they have issues that make them so damaged that they are incapable of carrying on a genuine relationship in the real world. Are there exceptions? Of course. But by definition, an exception is rare.

As a Christian, I know that I can leave the selection of my future husband in God's hands, even though I'd like to help the process along at times.

Some people are lucky and meet each other when they're young, and weather the storms of teenagers and middle age and roof repairs and dog vomit on the carpet. Other people go most of their lives before they meet The One. Some meet through friends, others meet through coincidence.

My father, a cynical scientist, compares falling wildly in love with getting the flu: You can only hope you get over it quickly. And yet, he remains very much in love with his wife of 52 years: My mother, whom he met on a blind date.

So how do you find The One?

I have no clue.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Was Michelle Obama Really Born as a Man?

God save us from conspiracy theories. No, really. Because it will take an act of divine intervention to stop such idiocy.

Let's have a look at the latest assertion. Read it aloud in a breathy voice with a Valley Girl accent: It's much more entertaining and realistic. Then read the very last sentence in tones of righteous indignation. If you can, read it for an audience. Expect clapping.

I realize this probably has a great appeal to the uneducated masses. As I'm an independent with a conservative bent, it pains me to admit that studies show that conservatives test out lower when it comes to education. Yup. Liberals are more educated: Not always smarter (though that often correlates with education) but certainly more educated. Which is why I suppose we never had to endure such nonsense about Laura Bush.

But let's not dismiss this immediately! No. Let's take a serious look at each assertion:

1. "She refuses to wear a bathing suit." There is nothing I can find that documents her refusal to wear a swimsuit. But I know that as the First Lady, it would be unnerving to wear one in front of TV news crews who follow you doggedly from the bathroom to the bedroom. And although I can't find any genuine pics of Michelle in a swimsuit, I can't find any of Laura Bush in one either. They may exist. But just because someone hasn't been photographed in a swimsuit doesn't mean they're hiding anything. By that logic, you could claim that Michelle has three breasts, also.

2. There are no pics of Michelle pregnant. Well, I admit I couldn't find any either. Once again, however, that doesn't prove anything. Apparently her pregnancies were well documented and both girls were delivered by Michelle's friend and OB/GYN, Dr. Anita Blanchard, at The University of Chicago Medical Center. That's pretty specific, isn't it? It should be enough to counter the adoption suggestion.

And, though it's hard to believe, the author of this nonsense says that he bases his beliefs on an entry he saw in Even if the author's telling the truth, doesn't he realize that is a site that anyone can log onto and claim anything? I have a family tree up on and I disagree with some of my relatives as to our distant relatives and we're not trying to create a new conspiracy theory! Mistakes are made, even with the best of intentions.

3. The allegation that Michelle was born a Michael is outright ridiculous. I believe that most people have no concept about the size and scope of our population. Do they really think that such information would just slip past everyone all these years? That no one would say "Oh hey, yeah! Michael! I remember that guy. I remember him saying he wanted a sex change operation!" Hopefully no one is so gullible that they think that everyone in the press is stupid or bought.

I went on You can do it, too. I checked out Oregon State University. No Robinsons of any kind attended there in 1982. None. See how easy that is?

4. Adam's apples are shared by men and women alike, and the size varies according to the person. Some women have more prominent Adam's apples. Don't believe me? Google Ann Coulter, for one of many. As for Michelle's dimensions supposedly being the same as male dimensions: Nonsense. Pure nonsense.

5. The "protruding male package" that's mentioned is, from what I can see, a maxi pad that was unfortunately showing when she took the stage. Horrid, but hardly a penis. As for her "scratching her privates", I am floored that someone would try to demean her by creating such an outright and pathetically obvious lie. Notice that they don't have pictures to illustrate this and it certainly would have been spoken about the moment it happened. If it wasn't covered in our press, the overseas press would grab it and run with it.

To sum it up: I dislike the Obamas, so I really hate that I have to defend Michelle in this matter. But if we mainstream such idiocy by repeating it, we will damage our credibility to such an extent that when something truly significant occurs, our voices will be drowned out.

So if you know of someone who's repeating this poorly written piece of grade-school mentality, give them a copy of this article. Please.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coffee, Cream, Kitty I get a huge mug of coffee this morning, throw in a generous amount of cream, place it on my nightstand and climb into bed again JUST as Evil Kitty launches a full-out attack. In slow motion, I see her leaping for my foot, claws extended. And as time slows to a crawl, I react by leaping back, my hand connects to my coffee mug, and coffee explodes in all directions as EK bolts out the bedroom door. Half an hour later, I got to finally try my coffee.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Job Hunting Ain't for Sissies

Job Hunting Thought for the Day: When they tell you "Bring a resume and wear proper business attire" you know it's an entry level job. Any professional already knows this and doesn't need to be told.

I once had openings for instructors and interviewed candidates who looked great on paper. One morning, a woman (who was in her 50s if she was a day) showed up in a miniskirt with unwashed, unkempt hair, no stockings, bruises on her legs, and hollow eyes and yet she had a stellar resume! Perhaps if I had bothered to check her qualifications, I would have found that it was nothing but lies. But I was very glad I hadn't advised anyone to wear proper business attire, because it allowed me to weed her out immediately.

The key to interviewing is to minimize the amount of people who come before you. You don't want to waste your time with just anyone: You want to pick from a small group of people who are the best fit for the position you're advertising for.

Incidentally, that goes both ways.

I got a call from a woman this morning. It was canned and went something like this: "Hello [insert name here]. How are you today? That's good. Well, [insert name here] my boss saw your resume and wanted me to call you immediately. Are you still looking for work, [insert name here]? Wonderful. Our company is 50 years old and we are looking for both sales and management positions. Does that sound like something you'd be interested in, [insert name here]?"

I stopped her at that point. "Hey," I said in a kindly manner, "It's pretty obvious that you're giving me a canned speech. That means that you're calling a lot of people, and that means that you have a high turnover. So I'm assuming that your sales positions are commission only, right?"

Startled, she admitted it. "OK. Well that's something I'm not interested in, although I really appreciate the call," I said to her.

Look: A company pays commission-only when they're selling a product they don't believe in and/or they're exploiting their workers. There are gullible and well-meaning people who fall for this, obviously, or Amway would never have been successful. But I am not one of them. I will only work for a company that truly believes in what they're selling and I believe that, with my background and qualifications, I am entitled to be paid a fair wage.

Sometimes there's a variant: The company pays its sales force commission-only but promises an eventual spot in management if they're "willing to make the sacrifice up front." That means that many people make that sacrifice and it never pays off. After all, not every salesperson can be a manager. This method is employed locally by a "marketing" franchise that works for Home Depot and has their people hoofing it throughout the store all day, trying to upsell customers into allowing Home Depot designers into their homes.

Which brings me to another point: There is apparently a trend that's surfaced where companies are renaming themselves as a "marketing" company, when all they are is a churn-and-burn that gobbles up fresh-faced rookies, works them hard, and spits them out. I suspect sometimes the owners/managers themselves are often kindly people who don't fully understand what they're doing, but the likelihood is that they simply turn a blind eye.

Then there are the companies that give you a phenomenal title, bring you in as the new star player, and then you suddenly find yourself working phone sales in a noisy room under the glare of cheap industrial lighting.

I had this happen to me once, and then I discovered that it was a business run by Scientologists. Scientologists are famous for exploiting workers because bad management skills were taught and codified by the head of their religion, therefore it's actually a part of their faith. You will always be happier working for anyone else, because even Satanists will most likely be using proper management techniques rather than the infamous and ineffective Wise Management that is touted by the Scientologists.

Hey: In the workplace, I don't care if you're a Scientologist. I don't care if you're Mormon, Catholic, Jewish, or if your deity is The Flying Spaghetti Monster. But if you bombard me with your faith and I don't agree with it, nothing good can come from it. That's why the EEOC was invented. Secular employers need to remember that. If you want your brand of religion in the workplace, fine: Hire only those people that agree with you.

My specialties are marketing, public relations, and business-to-business sales. But I live in Florida, specifically the Tampa Bay area, where the majority of jobs are low-paid service jobs unless you're an illegal immigrant who's getting paid under the table: Then your job is an even lower paid service job. But if you have a degree or do white collar work, competition is fierce and many people are willing to settle, even if it's just temporarily. That's never a good idea.

Ultimately, job hunting is very much like dating. If you find the company is not a good fit, walk away or you'll regret it later.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The World's Most Unusual Dollar Store

When I was a teen, I well remember my mom saying once "I am not the kind of person to commit suicide. I am the kind of person to cause others to commit suicide." She was kidding. I think.

Mom is a unique cross between Martha Stewart and a Marine drill sergeant. Ask anyone. They'll tell you I'm right: If they dare. So when we started to plan for Easter, and I mentioned that I wanted to invite another family, she was more than happy to invite them: She loves to entertain. When I asked if we could add another last minute guest, she was happy to do so.

And yet, never being a slouch at using a situation to her advantage, she called me this morning to say imperiously "Because you are adding people to my guest list, you are now my slave. Go find me a tablecloth. It must be 144 inches long and be pale pink or green or something Easter-y. Bed, Bath and Beyond will have it. Do you have a coupon? If you don't, come on over and get it."

Seeing a long trip to the local mall to battle yuppies for the latest in pastel tablecloths the size of a football field, I tried suggesting an alternative: The World's Most Unusual Dollar Store on Ulmerton Road in Largo, Florida. There's a reason it's called that. When you first enter the store, you're hit by a curious mix of mothballs and incense. It's cavernous and slightly dingy, chockfull of "bargains" such as rows of expired food, large and eerie dolls, and huge flags that are likely to shred when the first blast of wind hits them.

It also has a seedy rattan chair that's been spray-painted white. The forbidding handwritten sign warns everyone that they're not allowed to sit on the slightly frayed cushion, but can rent out the chair for a mere $30/day with a $100 deposit:

Apparently they buy things no one else wants in large quantities, and then try to sell them. Sometimes I'm amazed at what they decide to put out on the shelves. This entire shelf held nothing but about 70 copies of a soft porn movie called Erotic Aquatics 2. It appears to have been filmed in the late 80s, which is about the same time a lot of their food seems to have been manufactured. OK, I'm kidding about the food, but I once looked over their food aisle and found that there were items that had expired by years, not months, but years.

Their sheer volume and assortment of plastic tablecloths is astounding. And they can produce the tackiest themed table decorations this side of Jersey Shore: Snookie would be in heaven.

So is it any wonder that I went here in search of tablecloths?

There's always hope.

I found a cloth one. Only one. It was sitting there sadly, thrown in amongst the shower curtains and plastic bed covers. It wasn't 144 inches. It wasn't pastel. And yet I stood there longer than I should have, trying to calculate how I could make it work so that I could avoid the crush at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Giving up, I went once around the store, past the mass produced plastic figurines with paint bleeding haphazardly down their features, past feather boas and cheap lace trim, past the handbags that they import for $5 and sell for $55.

Returning to the sole table cloth, I looked down a nearby aisle and saw an assortment of placemats. Many were plastic with bright gilding, fit for a sit-down dinner with the cast of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Other plastic ones sported Catholic characters in lurid 3D with blazing halos. But among all those exuberant placemats were these demure cloth ones:

Excitedly, I called mom and sent her this photo. Twice. And both times she didn't get it. So I walked resignedly to the front of the store to ask the tired, petite little sales clerk if I could return them if they weren't what my mom wanted. No, I was told. I could only get store credit. Reasoning that I could always spend the store credit on a cheap samurai sword reproduction for one of my young cousins, I bought the placemats.

Once I arrived at Mom and Dad's, Mom looked over the placemats critically. "Here," she said, thrusting one at me, "Take off the top and let's see how these look."  So Mom arranged them about the table and declared them to be satisfactory, as she fretted over the table's finish which wasn't quite perfect and needed to be polished to a warm gloss.

"Well that's taken care of," Mom finally said after a great deal of agonizing. "Now...what shall we do for a centerpiece?"

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Eat "Real" Food Trend

What's wrong with this picture?

Let me give you a hint: It's completely incorrect.

Here's how this misinformation is spread. First, the statistics SOUND impressive. That is, until you ask yourself this question: Where does that 80% "food" come from, then? Outer space? Do we have a secret import treaty with Mars?

That food on the supermarket shelves exists today because we now have pasteurization, safe canning practices, and we've discovered certain food preservatives that aren't harmful to our health but keep some foods fresh for a longer period of time.

The food on the supermarket shelves is a substitute for taking home the basic essentials and making it ourselves. We no longer have to buy the flour and other ingredients to make the bread, unless we want to. So instead of shelves of flour, we have shelves of bread. That bread isn't a threat to our health and it isn't something that recently sprung into being. It's the result of the food manufacturers giving us what we want: Time saving alternatives.

Now yes, of course there are some things that may not be healthy alternatives: Artificial sweeteners, for example. But there we also have disinformation. I still hear people talking about how artificial sweeteners turn to formaldehyde in your blood. That's patently ridiculous, of course. If it were true, people would die instantaneously after their first can of Diet Coke. But the rumor itself won't die, no matter how many scientific papers are written to counteract it. However, artificial sweeteners may be associated with cancer and neurological damage, so I will agree that they're best avoided. Stevia seems to be a healthy alternative to sugar. For now, at least.

The real question to ask, though, is: Why is there a trend to shun processed foods?

Well fear usually produces a desire for solutions. And the people who are promoting THIS particular meme are The Farmacy and When you go to, you see it's a private site, intent on building a name for themselves and disseminating dubious nutritional information. In their FAQ they write "Thank Your Body, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to" In other words, they are looking to earn money through advertising, and they also sell various products. The Farmacy is more up-front and sells all types of goodies geared toward the health-conscious who want to avoid 'processed' grocery store foods and other hobgoblins.

Now there is no doubt that some processed foods really aren't good for you because we tend to overindulge. High fat / high sugar / high salt foods aren't healthy for anyone and if they're easier and cheaper to indulge in because we no longer have to make them ourselves...well, it's obvious that the consumer who lacks self control will overeat them if given the opportunity. But don't get someone's lack of self-control mixed up with the product itself. It's OK to eat a little ice cream: It's NOT OK to eat a gallon in one sitting. Over-consumption isn't the manufacturer's fault. They supply, we demand.

Great-Grandma didn't have the advantages we do. GG also didn't understand germs, hygiene, and many other things that we take for granted. And don't fool yourself: GG didn't pop into the store to grab some sausage. She made it herself in a grueling process after her husband slaughtered the hog...and her sausage was no healthier than Jimmy Dean's. In fact, it was probably a heart-attack-on-a-plate.

Of course fresh fruits, whole grains, veggies, and quality protein is best for you. But don't walk in trembling fear down the supermarket aisles. That bag of Doritos isn't waiting to snatch your little children away from you and donuts aren't luring your husband down the highway to hell.

If you want to take a precious piece of old-fashioned wisdom away with you, try this instead: "Moderation in all things."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I am fully convinced that Rapunzel's mother traded her to the witch for arugula, and I can't really blame her.

If you want to experience heaven-on-a-plate, chop up a few eggs, some honey baked ham, mix them into arugula and add blue cheese salad dressing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Aborted Babies Burned for Fuel

The Washington Times is reporting that aborted and miscarried babies were burned for fuel in many UK hospitals.

I am confused: Why should this matter in the least if an aborted baby is just a lump of non-baby flesh? I'm surprised they're not putting the fetuses in formaldehyde and selling them as a novelty item in Spencer Gift Stores.

Surely this should come as no surprise to anyone. Did they expect that the hospitals were giving them proper funerals?

According to abortion stats in Wikipedia, a full 1/6 of the world's population has been aborted since 1973.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Java Jive

Who has ever been so tired they dumped the ground coffee directly into the coffee maker without the filter? This girl.
My brother still laughs about Mom's daily ritual, which was to struggle to the kitchen, pour a cup of coffee and sink blissfully into a chair muttering "Ah, coffee. My life's blood." I now completely understand it.
I had an eye opening revelation years ago when I read an article that said the cheaper coffee beans are overcooked (actually burned) to give them that supposedly "rich" (i.e. bitter) flavor that Starbucks is notorious for. The better coffees are actually supposed to be mellow and trip lightly over the palate. Starbucks uses cheap stuff and then advertises the heck outta it.
The other day I picked up a bunch of gourmet coffee. Deciding to be adventurous, I grabbed a bag of Mayan Mocha Spice. What could go wrong? ...until I made a pot of it this morning. Their "spice" is red hot chile pepper, and lots of it... as if heartburn from coffee alone isn't enough! Leave it to the Mayans, well-renown for their torture methods. This "delightful" combo makes as much sense as tomato ice cream.
Speaking of which, I once bought "Gloria Jean's Butter Toffee Coffee." I tasted no toffee. However, there's this unholy sensation of drinking movie theater butter... :-P I think these coffee companies are getting a mite too creative these days.
How is the amount of water that I put IN to my coffeemaker so much less than the amount of coffee that comes OUT? Does it all go into the same black hole that my socks go to?!

Somewhere out there, there are extraterrestrials who are going about their day, minding their own business, when they're suddenly slapped upside the head by a mismatched pair of soggy socks.
...and on the morning of the 8th day, God invented coffee and said "This is even better than Adam."

You Know I'm Right

Is it really so important that others like your particular point of view? In the grand scheme of life, is it worth becoming upset over something that isn't life-shattering like a particular sports team? The British Royal Family? Having a vested interest in these things when they have NO vested interest in you is not wise. Take an interest in the things that truly affect you, choose your stands and your fights wisely so you can be truly effective. This has been a public service announcement from My Favorite Color is Blue and if You Don't Agree You Can Take a Flying Leap.


I Wonder What Fanny Farmer Candies Are Called in the UK?

American Colloquialism / British Swear Word: I was recently corrected by a dear friend from the UK. Apparently you do NOT want to tell someone from the UK that you just "spanked your kid's fanny" because "fanny" is a euphemism for female nether regions over there and does NOT have the same connotation as it has on this side of the puddle. You have been warned.

This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by "Bloody is ALSO a Bad Swear Word in the UK: Who Knew?"

A Collection of Recent Thoughts in No Particular Order

Sometimes guys can be clueless, sometimes girls can be. I once had a really cute guy accuse me of flirting with him when I hadn't been, so I kept insisting I wasn't, when what he wanted me to do was to start. I only realized that later, of a year later, when he finally had to tell me.
From personal experience: Pretty boys are fun to look at, but very soon you become That Couple in the restaurant: One is reading the paper, the other one is staring out the window attempting to form a single thought.

Thou Hast No Grasp of The King's English

Just watched Solomon Kane last night which was mostly very good... except WHY can't Hollywood hire people who can teach them the difference between thee, thou, and thy? Is that too much to ask for simple historical authenticity?
The Scent of a Woman
I was just dabbing on my perfume when I remembered that one of my exes texted me to ask me what the name of it was. That's when I realized his girlfriend in Jacksonville is probably doing the exact same thing.

Say it Loud and Proud

How many of you have heard a woman proudly proclaim that she's a bitch? We all know it's because she doesn't want to take the trouble to be anything else. It's amazing how some people can turn real flaws into supposed virtues.

 Dorothy Parker Rocks

...which reminds me of a famous Dorothy Parker tale. She was at a banquet when a wealthy man leaned across the table and said "So you're the famous Dorothy Parker! I hear you can turn a phrase over anything. I just don't believe it." So she challenged him to come up with a word and she would run with it. And so he thought for a minute and said smugly "horticulture." And Parker replied "You can lead a whore to culture but you can't make her think."
Spelling Abuse
I woke up to a photo of a motorcycle and the guy's caption was "On a steal horse I ride." It is too early in the morning to be subjected to such spelling abuses. I don't have enough self-control without coffee to be able to deal with it.
A Rose By Any Other Name
Do you ever rename evil people privately and then accidentally call them that name to their face? Yup.
Negative Reinforcement
I just chewed a good friend out in a text message and he called me back laughing: "Really?! You're going to chew me out in a TEXT message?" No one ever takes me seriously.

So... "Y" Are You Here?
T-shirt on guy entering child support office: " I'm only horny on days that end in "y"."
Yeah: We kinda guessed that.
Jackson: How old are you?
Me: Well, I'm a year younger than your mommy.
Jackson: Wait, you're 29?!
Me: Er... O.o

I am so totally uncool that I drink craft sodas. Everyone else is on the Totally With It Bandwagon and I am left having to look up to see what an IPA is. Even worse, it looks totally unappetizing. There. I said it.

Take Out or Delivery? 

I have a home phone that I never use. And by never, I mean never. And no one knows the number because...see first sentence. And yet, I still get calls from idiots. I ignored it for a while, but they keep calling. I finally solved it by always answering "Pizza Hut! Will that be take out or delivery?" I am still waiting for my first order.

I just ordered pizza online. Every time I do, I'm reminded of how Sandra Bullock ordered pizza online in The Net and how high tech we all thought it was.
The Sound of Music
TOM: What are you doing?
ME: Driving and listening to the CD from the Sound of Music and singing each song in a British accent.

WHAT? Doesn't everyone?
Eau de Febreze
So I'm spraying different Febreze scents down the aisle of the grocery store, wondering which scent to adorn my curtains with, when a guy walks by and then does a double take and looks at me weirdly...

Young Lady

There is NOTHING that makes you feel older than being called "Young Lady" by your waiter. Please pass the Geritol.

What's Black and White and Read All Over?

I just realized that an old joke doesn't work any more. "What's black and white and read all over?" "A newspaper!" (Being typical kids, we would alter the joke to be "A skunk! Lying in the road!") Today's kids have grown up with colored newspapers.
What Exactly Are You?
I'd like to think that somewhere there is a group of animals taking a "What Kind of Person Are You?" quiz.

Losing It weird is it that all my reading glasses disappear for a while, only to reappear simultaneously? The Borrowers must be busy.

...that awkward moment when you're looking for your phone, only to realize it's plastered to your ear...
Obama Says His Son Wouldn't Play Football
Time Magazine reports that 40% of all Americans would tell their kids to not play football, which is another way of saying that 60% think that Obama is an idiot for saying so.
Singing Acapulco

So during choir practice my mom (scary Choir Director) tells us that she wants to hear us sing acapella, which reminded me of the times my adorable "daughter of the heart" (Bugs) called it "Acapulco" as a child.

The Garg Medical Center

When passing the Garg Medical Center, does anyone else have the nagging impulse to say "GAAAARG" in their best Creature-From-the-Black-Lagoon imitation? Even if no one else is in the car? Even if someone IS in the car? Just wondering...

A Non-Cash Tip for Waiters

Here's a tip for waiters this season: If you have women at your table, showing them lewd photos of yourself in order to get a date with them only works if their standards are as low as yours are. O_o My friend and I never moved so fast to get our check and dash.

I Don't FEEL That Old!

I am still often shocked, as many of you will understand, to see a photo of me and think "I am THAT old now? I don't FEEL that old." Which reminds me of something my grandmother once said. We were in her bedroom, she was sitting at her dressing table looking in the mirror and she looked up at me and said "You know, Fre? I sometimes look in the mirror and I say 'Who is that old woman looking back at me? I'm only 17!'"

Another paranormal romance just hit the shelves. What IS this obsession with necrophilia and freaky sex with repulsive creatures? As if "Dreams of Bill" didn't creep us out enough in the early 90s...

Secret Ingredient

I have discovered the secret of good cooking. No matter what it is, you can make it much better if you add lots of your favorite ingredient to it. Thus, mole sauce was born which, coincidentally, can be eaten on almost everything - even moles.

Darn it All

Looking back on my youth, I often wonder at the middle school chorus teacher who taught us "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown." My parents had a fit when they heard that we were singing "...the baddest man in the whole damn town," so we had to sing "darn" instead. Like THAT helped.


Watching the news, I had this fleeting thought: Does everyone in Washington have bad toupees? Might as well go to the thrift store, buy an old fake fur coat, and cut it to size...

Stop Fighting It

A mutual friend said something that made me think of the awkward moment some time ago when a male friend said passionately to me: "Stop fighting it and let's give in to our mutual attraction." Except... there was no mutual attraction. I won major points that day for being both subtle and diplomatic.

National Institute of Head Slappers

There should be a National Institute of Head Slappers with volunteers all over the world, who can drop what they're doing at a moment's notice and slap someone upside the head when it's needed. If anyone decides to organize this, I'll sign up.

Taking Out the Garbage

So... I'm taking out the garbage at night, in the dark, wearing a pair of shorts and a sports bra: Somewhat acceptable attire, but I'm erring on the side of modesty and turn off the porch light so I can sneak to the garbage can with no one seeing me. I reach the edge of the driveway and... BAM! The one-million-gigawatt LED motion sensor light that we just installed goes ON and illuminates me, caught mid-sneak. Standing there, bathed in football stadium light, I simply give up, walk resignedly to the garbage can, make my deposit, and walk back inside.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The constant rain is driving EVERYTHING inside because bugs don't like rain. I just went to take a shower... I looked in the tub and there was a roach the size of a small mouse. I grabbed a magazine and killed it. Then turned to kill the large spider spinning down...

They're Getting a Little Too Creative

Am I the only person that sees a car of a particular shade that is too dark to be cream and think 'mayonnaise'? I just saw a jar of sandwich spread on wheels go by.

Solving the In-law Problem

The best solution to in-law problems is to be rich, buy a large piece of property, dig out a huge moat with an island, build your in-laws' home on the island and control the ferry.

Designer Jeans

Why don't they make jeans with "KISS MY..." written on the backside? I would wear it to every political event.

Hair Disaster

[kindly neighbor trying to console me]
BILL: Well you look great, I like what you've done with your hair. What is that called? I know on men it's called a mullet.
ME: It's a flip shag...

Purse Strings

Has anyone else noticed that the USA is no longer sending money for the various worldwide disasters that continue? I guess someone finally figured out that we don't have it to spare.


It was first grade, Skycrest Christian School. Tim was quite self-righteous at the ripe old age of 7 and was more than happy to give a lecture to a 6 year old version of me about what could and couldn't be said.

Tim: You can't say bad stuff, like ...(whispering)... boobies.
Me: Hey Tim! What does the ladybug say to the bee?
Tim: I don't know?
Me: BOO, bee!
Tim: I'm telllllllllllling!!! Miss Shields!!!...

So your scripture lesson is Proverbs 20:11 "It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself; If his conduct is pure and right."

My parents are still recovering.


From my friend Pam Settle: There are some things that you never say until you're parent, like "STOP LICKING THE CAKE!!!"
I just taught a 6-year old boy the word "dork". I'm sure his mother will be eternally grateful.
A kid recently claimed he's 'emotionally damaged' by a time-out room. What options do we have left anymore?! Teachers can't send them to the Principal's office too many times or they look bad. They don't respond to yelling. No one can spank them or even lay a hand on them to hold them down when they're out of control. If the schools call the cops, the cops and the schools look bad. How about we start holding parents accountable for their kids' behavior by giving them tickets when their kids act up? If the tickets aren't paid in a timely manner, they lose their drivers' licenses.
ME: Hi honey! How was school?
LIVVIE (6 years old): Didn't you hate changing for PE when you were a kid?
ME: I sure did!
LIVVIE: From flats to sneakers, then back to flats. *sigh*
ME: What sport did you play today?
LIVVIE: I can't remember! It started with an "S" and ended with a "P" but it wasn't soup.


I was at a Walmart standing in line behind a young black guy buying booze. They wanted his ID and he told them he didn't have it. When they said they couldn't sell it without an ID, he said loudly and antagonistically "WHAT? You are RACIST! THAT'S RACIST!" The woman looked frightened and obviously couldn't respond because of her job. So I spoke up equally loudly and said "How DARE you! THAT is racist! You should be ashamed of yourself, pulling The Race Card when you want to get away with something."

The guy did a double take and then said "Lady, that is NONE of your business."

"Yes, it IS my business and it's the business of all of us in here to speak up when we're forced to put up with such racism," I said stoutly. Others in the line nodded. One girl in the back (who was also black) said "unbelievable, dude."

And if we want to talk minority status, I'm firmly in the middle of it. When I want to get away with something, I never say "WHAT? You are SEXIST. YOU'RE SEXIST!" even when someone IS. You never win respect by demanding it. To be respected, one must be...dare I say it...respectable!


Should I be alarmed that my kitten is increasingly pretending to gut my hand with her hind legs? I am sensing not-so-latent aggression. I am going to start sleeping with a knife under my pillow...
When the kitten was a 4 week old baby, I was always worried I might kill her accidentally. Now that she is 6 months old, I am always worried I might kill her on purpose.
I am absolutely amazed that most kittens survive into adulthood. She creates the mess and then attacks the broom that cleans it up! And... when she can't attack the broom, she launches from the bed and leaps on my head as I'm stooped over. I am a nervous wreck.
Am I the only one that double checks the dryer to make sure the kitten hasn't somehow snuck in?
So Evil Kitty comes up to me and affectionately rubs on me. I pick her up and she sweetly swipes at my jugular, claws extended. My mother's dire predictions may end up being right. Send help.
Evil Kitty has discovered that when I whistle, the dogs get a treat. Now she lines up with everyone else, just like a dog. Watching them all eat peanut butter is worth buying the occasional jar.
...aaaaand speaking of cats (we were, weren't we?) how many of you have cats that climb onto the toilet seat and carefully lower their front paws down to dabble in the water, then take a long cool sip, and come and jump up on you? I thought cats were supposed to be afraid of the water.
My dog left his stuffed rat toy on my bed. Imagine my initial surprise when I walked into my bedroom to see it...
Life is better when you have a clean little silky dog curled up next to you sleeping soundly.
Dog Water Dishes: I spent a long time at Petsmart one night looking over water dishes. Did you know how many varieties there are? You can spend over $100 on water fountains and filtration systems for animals that lick their butts and eat the most putrid things they can find.
I got up the other day and found my otherwise peaceful 2 little koi ate their fishy brethren. I thought koi were peaceful! Maybe they were "sleeper koi".
After discussing alligators with a friend, I am reminded of when I went to an informative lecture on myths about gators. One myth is that you should run in a zigzag while being chased by a gator. The reality is that it simply slows you down and makes it easier for the gator. I am reluctant to share this with most of you because if we're on a nature walk and a gator starts chasing us, I'm hoping he gets you first. I love you and all that, but every man for himself.
If you have a parrot and you don't teach it to say "Help! They've turned me into a parrot!", you are wasting everyone's time.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The "Son of God" Movie: Give it a Pass and Rent "The Passion of the Christ" Again

I saw the Son of God  movie last night and was amazed to see how good the dentistry was back then: Everyone had shiny, perfect white teeth*. And Mary's plastic surgeon must have been renowned: I'll bet she had the same plastic surgeon as Cleopatra. Or Steven Tyler. (In fact, come to think of it, she looked exactly like Steven Tyler. I had to double check to make sure they weren't related). She got to play Mary because her husband was the producer.
This wasn't a well-constructed movie. Instead, it was a strung-together series of vignettes. I left with the feeling that everyone was rushing to film the scene and move on to the next as quickly as possible. I suspect they took their production notes from Angry Alien Productions, famous for their movie summaries in 30 seconds (check out Gone With the Wind or Jurassic Park).

Perhaps it's also easy to miss the agony and the ecstasy when you're busy listing all the mistakes that were made throughout the movie. For instance, Jesus didn't lovingly grasp a child's face and tell her that the entire temple was going to be torn down and not one stone would remain on another while she giggled insanely. That would be...weird. No, instead he had that chat with his disciples (see Mark 13).

And, sorry to break it to all you feminists (hey, I'm a conservative feminist so I'm in sympathy here) but Mary Magdalene wasn't just one of the guys. She couldn't have trekked around with Jesus and the apostles because she was female. Not only is she NOT mentioned in the Bible as having traveled with them, but we also know that Jewish women still valued their virtue back then and a woman wouldn't have spent night and day in a nomadic lifestyle with men she wasn't directly related to. Then there's the little problem of her monthly cycle: It kept women from being portable. You see, they didn't have tampons back then, and didn't have disposable pads. Instead, women had rags, and going through the nuisance of soiling multiple rags, washing them daily, etc., wasn't something a woman could do in public. Also, according to Judaic law, women had to go off on their own when they were going through that "time of the month." Mary could hardly have said "Hey guys, have fun. I'll be in that tent menstruating for a week or so. I'll catch up with you when I'm done."

I've heard the reviews: People have left the theatre crying. I can only say that if they did, it's simply because they stubbed their toe on the way out. When I saw Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, I cried. Oh, how I cried. But this one fails to capture both the glory and the pathos. But what I kept asking myself was: Why? Somehow they were caught up in the execution of the film and forgot to delve into the gut-wrenching reality, faith, and hope that it was based on.

P.S. I have had a recent rebuttle that I wish to share with you, since it needs to be said: 

Some of the observations in your posted review are good, but I think you are wrong in your statements about the women.  Women traveled quite freely (They were not Moslems, you know) and would not have been shut up in a room when they had their periods.

They also were present at such events as the feeding of the 4000. The Mary who anointed Jesus' feet and wiped His feet with her hair in John 12 was Mary (respectable, and the sister of Lazarus and Martha)--not to be confused with the woman who anointed Jesus in Luke chapter 7.
Notice from the verses below how the women traveled with Jesus from Galilee and ministered to Him--not spending the night in the same place, of course, but probably with Him daily:  Matthew 27:55; Mark 15:41; Luke 8:2; and Luke 23:55.

*Except for Matthew, bless his heart. I guess he didn't get the memo. I've seen mangy Pekingese dogs with better teeth).

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Always Collect the License Plate

If you accidentally let someone drive off with your license plate after you've let them have your car (as in, say, a divorce settlement for instance) and they don't register the car as theirs even though you've registered the sale with the Dept. of Motor Vehicles... and they keep driving around on the old plate even though the DMV has recalled the plate... you still keep getting their parking tickets and tolls.

That means you have endless fun making phone calls and sending letters to prove to everyone that it isn't your responsibility. The police will not take a report because the plate isn't lost (it's whereabouts are known) and it wasn't stolen (since the ex was driving the Jeep when he left). The ticket and toll people tell you that they can do nothing without a police report.

The resulting mayhem is as much fun as a 3 Stooges all-day movie extravaganza.

Monday, March 10, 2014


I recently saw a heavily tattooed shirtless guy strolling down the street, which made me reflect on how nature makes dangerous or unpleasant things very colorful as a way of saying "hands off, you don't want this."
CHRIS: Do you have a tattoo?
ME: NO I don't have a tattoo. What kind of weird question is that?
CHRIS: Well you SEEM like a girl that would have a tattoo.

Oddly I once thought of having a tat. I was 16 and my best friend's mom was willing to sign off on the consent form. I ALMOST did it. Almost. And yet if I had, to this day I would still have a unicorn on my shoulder. Thank goodness I chickened out.
A grimy girl covered in prison tats walks into an elegant business office with a strapless midriff tee that reads "Sex Education Instructor" and Daisy Duke shorts.

Ew. Just... ew.