Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bunny Tweets Again

Do Rabbits get hernias?  If not, I think I need some stronger back teeth.

Are you following me?  Cause if you're following me, I'm going to stand stone still, twitch and then run away.  I mean it.

I saw a cucumber the size of a scuba tank this morning.  It seemed too good to be true, so I, the eternal skeptic, did not nibble on it.

With two different kinds of legs, finding it hard to make snow angels look like actual angels.

Other rabbits are looking at me (sideways of course) and rolling their eyes.  Independent thinkers often get this reaction.  Sheep don't.

I spy a tomato that's bigger than me, and remembering Peter the Pumpkin eater, I chuckle.

Observed Heidi light gas grill with giant flash of fire followed by singed hair odor. Gladtobeknownforkeenhearingnotsmelling  

Wondering if you can load a gun with rabbit pellets?

If so, I'd like to.

After listening to Elvis Prestley's famous song, new favorite activity is to make hound dogs feel defeated.

Long ears are occurring in epidemic proportions among elderly humans.  But theirs just droop, while mine are still perky.

It's very windy today.  Wondering if there are any animals besides rabbits, donkeys and elephants that have to worry about involuntary ear movement.

Wants to feel Christmasy, but all-red lights on favorite fur tree makes abode look more like all-night brothel (which isn't a bad thing in my culture).



Thursday, December 9, 2010

The “Have a Happy Dysfunctional Holiday” Game

Note:  Characters are fictitious.  Any similarity to a person alive, dead, in rehab, in my family or in the house down the street with the pink shutters, is purely unintentional.

Dysfunctional family holidays are all the rage.  If your relatives don’t always mesh, and you’d like to brighten your nerve wracking events, try…

 The “HAVE A HAPPY DYSFUNCTIONALHOLIDAY” Game

Object of the Game:  To keep everyone together in one room without getting hurt.

Players (pick any number):  1 Pair of Grandparents, 1 Outspoken Male and 1 Fainting Male, 1 Texting Teen, 1 Alcoholic in Treatment, 1 Emotional Eater, 1 Angelic Child, 1 Confrontational Female, 1 Quiet Female, 1 Mr. Manners, 1 Single Parent and 1 Dog

Decks of CardsOFFEND OTHERS, WHAT TO SERVE FOR DINNER
 
When all seems lostSPIN THE ARROW for Stress-Relieving Suggestions.

The board is separated into 4 rooms (you can substitute yours):  The Living Room with the T.V. for distraction, the Basement, the Kitchen where the grandparents always sit because they can’t get out of the living room furniture and the Porch for smokers and (sometimes) Dog.

Sample (Fictional) Scenario:  The players start by sitting in various rooms.  The Alcoholic in Treatment will draw first from the OFFEND OTHERS deck.  His reads his card outloud, “TALK ABOUT SOMETHING GROSS” and he starts explaining, in great, graphic detail, about his recent strip search.  This will cause Mr. Manners to leave the room to join the grandparents in the kitchen and the Fainter to turn lily white and drop to the floor.  The Emotional Eater retreats to the kitchen, straps on the feed-bag and eats from it like a mare.  Angelic Child tries to get the Confrontational Female (CF) attention, but CF) is only interested in the Dog (and says so). The Texting Teen exits to the basement for privacy.

SPIN THE ARROW for a Stress Relief Suggestion to try to bring them back together.  It lands on Alcohol Time, which makes the grandparents very fun.  They start talking about recent colonoscopies and the necessary preparations.  Ooops!  Fainter hits the deck again and when he regains consciousness goes to the porch for a smoke, while Mr. Manners, now slightly intoxicated and slightly less uptight stays seated.  Alcoholic in Treatment joins the Fainter on the porch to avoid the temptation.  Emotional Eater badly needs a drink, but doesn’t want to hurt her gall-bladder.

Outspoken Male draws from the OFFEND OTHERS deck.  He reads his card, “Burp out Loud” and does so, causing Mr. Manners to twitch, change colors and change rooms again.  Texting Teen and CF laugh in mocking amusement.  Alcoholic in Treatment has the power to burp “at will”…and does…which causes Mr. Manners to LOSE it, and temporarily exit the party. 

Everyone draws from the WHAT TO SERVE FOR DINNER cards.  Angelic Child draws a “Sweet Potato” card and the dish goes in the oven.  However, one of the grandparents drew “Turn the oven up for your own dish without telling anyone” card from the OFFEND OTHERS deck and the sweet potatoes go up in flames.  A Fruitcake card is shyly drawn next by Quiet Female and everyone scatters.  A quick SPIN THE ARROW for a Stress Relief Suggestion and Hookah Pipe time and the entire room is finally mellow.  Single Parent, swirling, takes 15 minutes to open her napkin.

The drawing of the WHAT TO SERVE FOR DINNER cards produces 3 dishes that everyone can eat with various stomach ailments and vegetarian preferences:  Beets, Lemon Juice and Meatloaf. CF uses her OFFEND OTHERS card (“Break the ‘No Feeding the Dog from the Table’ rule) and while everyone is finally seated, offers Dog her meatloaf.  The grandparents push away from the table and ask for their coats. 

SPIN THE ARROW for a Stress Relief Suggestion again and it’s Sing-A-Long Time.  This throws the Emotional Eater into a feeding frenzy.  No one sings, but Angelic Child is pressured by the grandparents to play the piano.  Emotional Eater instead turns on music channel cable and the effect is soothing and draws everyone near.  The lights are dimmed and the Christmas tree shines.  At last, all is calm with everyone ‘high’ and equally offended.  

Game over.

Happy Dysfunctional Holidays to all!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

To "Channel "Jackie or Pass on the Office Party?

“I need to find you an escort,” I told Fred recently, dreading his upcoming swanky office party.  There is a thin, pretty, quiet woman inside me dying to get out to serve as my husband’s mute eye-candy (no offense to mutes), but I have her distracted with cinnamon rolls and promises of long walks.

I’m not the person you want by your side at a dignified party.  I’m the girl who rides a mall massage chair like a bucking bronco, gets stuck in a ladder-less pool and cracks toilets seats.  My ADHD fueled social nervousness is a catalyst for event disaster.  I don’t even need alcohol.

I’m not exaggerating the problem. 
A Great Tit
 
Once, while dining with a British associate, he began talking about his hobby of watching tits.  Watching TITS!  I tried coaching my imagination (“he did not just say tits”), but he kept talking about the different colored ones he’d seen in his field and my face pulled back like The Joker and my drink sprayed out my nose like a shower spigot.  

 “Just pretend you’re on a job interview,” Fred suggested.  Fred’s memory is short.  I once said, ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ at a job interview.  I once told a potential interview panel about my Mom’s blackhead.  I’m dead serious

In the past, at proper dinners with Fred’s co-workers, I’ve tried saying nothing, and just smile and nod.  But inevitably someone will make eye contact and ask me a question and sweat starts rolling down Fred's face.

But maybe some preparation might help.  What kinds of questions are they likely to ask?

Question 1:  Do you work? 
Answer:  Yes, I’m a fitness instructor.
The table would fall silent at this answer.  Confused looks would come upon their faces.  Did you say, ‘FITNESS instructor?”  Unspoken:  “She couldn’t have said FITNESS instructor, she’s not at ALL fit” and “maybe she said ‘fatness instructor.’”
Alternative Answer:  Yes. I’m a humor blog author.
As I rattle off my blogspot site, I would remind myself of some recent titles such as “Diarrhea on a Plane” and “Awakened by the Bathroom Vampires.”  Would reading my blog do Fred any social GOOD at work?
Another Alternative Answer:  Yes.  I Twitter.
Some polite person would ask me the name of my “handle” and I would reply, “Bunny in my Garden.”  People would eye Fred sympathetically and politely ask me the reason I write from the perspective of a garden rabbit. 
A dignified, Jackie Kennedy type answer would require a lie.

Fred should take his mother.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Misfit Christmas Treats

Enter Heidi's House of Horrible Holiday Misfit Treats and enjoy:

Sperm Cookies
Mouse Cookies gone wrong.  Instead of darling little cookies that look like mice, a simple margarine mistake later and suddenly  little almond ears and red-hot candy noses were floating in opaque little blobs with long red licorice tails. Very unappetizing.

Molten Peanut Brittle
There is no such thing as a safe bowl or oven mitt when you’re making microwave candy. The ceremonial “Dance of the Molten Peanut Brittle” performed while removing it from the microwave is much more about pain, burns and trauma than enjoying the treat--which will break your teeth anyway.

SOS Pad Sea-foam
Only 3 ingredients in this "light as air" candy, yet with all the unwritten fussy technicalities like being quiet while standing on one foot, coaxing the sugar into submission with sweet talk, a door or sneezes could instantly de-foam the concoction and morph it into flat Brillo pads that even a dunk in chocolate cannot make taste good. 

Bird-Poop Cookies
Always DRIZZLE your white chocolate onto your chocolate cookies --never "plop and smear.” 

Skeet-Gun Ammo Cookies
Quite possibly the most labor intensive cookie ever invented are the German anise picture cookies called Springerles--a sophisticated treat. After the 2-day process, my square, concrete-like creations could pulverize clay pigeons…probably real ones too.

If anyone wants my recipes--let me know! ;-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

O.k. I’ll vote, but don’t call me “Sir”

The skies were bright yesterday in Heartland.  Warm air filled my lungs, caffeine buzzed in my brain and my thoughts were clear and determined as I walked into the building to vote.

Until someone said, “Here’s your ballot, Sir.”

Granted the man behind the table was 100 years old, with lenses as  thick as a butcher block, but sheesh, what an insult!  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his table-mate elbow him--a spring chicken compared to Mr. Magoo’s grandfather who wronged me--but it was too late.  Damage done.  Mood deflated to Depressed Middle-Aged Frump Status.

So it's no wonder I was miffed by the time I read the following referendum:

Should the Wisconsin Constitution be amended to prohibit any further transfers or lapses from the segregated transportation fund?”
WHAT?? I am a writer, and a grumpy one now, so all I want to do is edit this confusing nonsense.  Here’s my Heidi version:  

Do you want to change the Wisconsin Constitution to prevent politicians from robbing Peter to pay Paul?  YES  or  NO
Boom!  Done!  Why do they have to write it in such tricky language?  Shouldn’t something that needs a vote be crystal clear?  Are they doing it on purpose so the average person just says, “Oh, the HELL with it and votes, “NO”?”  If I were a sneaky politician, that’s exactly what I’d do. 

But, actually, right now I care a lot more about being called a man than I do about difficult-to-understand political mumbo-gumbo.  

That cat called me “SIR!”  

I propose the following voter amendment referendum:

Do you want to change the voting volunteer rulebook to ask people with negligible eyesight to take volunteer jobs that don’t require sexing people?  YES  or  NO
Or better yet:

Would you like to see people who DO use the wrong gender assigning word to drop through a trap door (onto something soft—I’m not completely heartless)?
It’s not like I’m a dog who doesn’t care if you call it a “he” or a “she.” 

At least I hope they don’t care, because I make that mistake all the time.

Monday, November 1, 2010

“Fred, You Smell like a Cheap Prostitute”

My husband, Fred, has not been sleeping with a cheap prostitute.  I know this because the whorish scent he sported the other day is the new "man" cologne he bought himself on a recent trip to Kuwait. 
    
“I’ve been wearing Canoe for 30 years.” he said proudly displaying a fancy new bottle, “A woman at the mall sprayed me with this and I liked it.”
 
Awlugh-lulgh! Holy Urinal Cake ala Strawberry Pot-Pori!  It smells like Earl Grey Tea.  And Pine Sol.  It’s so bad it could turn vegetables different colors. 

“Oh, honey, it’s nice,” I lied.

Just as I was feeling badly about my lie and trying to figure out a nice way of saying, “You wasted your money, because the dog’s dust-mite aggravated ear-ooze would turn me on faster,” I thought, “How often does he really wear cologne?”  I might not have to mention it at all. 
  
But this morning, Fred was getting ready for a flight to Texas.  He kissed me goodbye and left the room. He returned and said, “I’m going to put some of this on.”  Before I had a chance to say, “Your cologne could be used as a chemical weapon!” he had sprayed both sides of his neck with it.

I PITY the poor fool (said with a “Mr. T” accent) who sits near him on the 2-hour flight.  Poor Fred, thinking he smells great, will surely be confident and friendly.  Would someone tell him his cologne is too strong?  It might be easier to hear from a stranger.

There might be other intended uses for “Putrid in a Bottle,” known only to Kuwaitis: 
 
1.   - Maybe in a “Cultural Comedy of Errors,” the scent he purchased was really meant to attract animals to hunt, like Americans use Doe Piss (Fred’s word) to get a deer? 
2.   - Maybe it is supposed to be used to mask other odors, like Febreeze does if your carpet smells like a wet pet? 
3.   -Maybe THAT is why Kuwaiti women wear veils over their noses—to block out the scent…of this scent?  
4.    -With a name like “Jaguars Appear” maybe it’s made with hallucinogenic bong water?

Fred really does like the smell of this stuff.  I suppose it’s better than some odors.  We recently had our carpet soaked by an overflowing sink.  After 3 days, that smelled worse than “Jaguars Appear.”  Burnt rice also smells worse. 

I think I need to buy him some new cologne and find another home for "Jaguars Appear" before my lungs collapse.  I’ll try spraying it in the holes in our lawn, and see if our dog will stop digging in them.




Monday, October 25, 2010

The Right Kind of Camouflage

We recently took our daughter, Krista, on a “Bow Shoot” in the middle of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  I packed the warmest and brightest possible clothes so the animals and the men carrying the pointy sticks could easily see me. Krista had the same idea and packed fluorescent pink…everything.
But when we arrived at the camp everyone was wearing mostly brown "brush" camouflage.  If I had wanted to "blend in" I most definitely would have purchased the dark green and beige splotched variety of camouflage and thus, would have been shot at instantly for looking like "Predator" or an otherwise large, scary, moving bush.
“I'm going to invent “Living Room Couch” camouflage so next time you won't be able to FIND me when these kinds of things come up, ” I offered Fred.  Fred gave each of his friends a different excuse for our embarrassing colored outfits:
 “My wife and daughter are both color blind.”  And the just as believable:
 “There were these two hitchhikers.” to:
“Can ANYONE throw me a beer?”
All in all, I did learn a lot: 
1.       The difference between a real bow and a compound bow.  Krista has a real bow, like Shootsthebuffalo used in “Dances with Wolves.” Compound bows have a technological adaptation on your more primitive weapon that uses pulleys to shoot further.  Native Americans would probably have kept this country for themselves if someone had invented a compound bow sooner.   Second runner-up to Sitting Bull’s chiefdom could very well have beaten Sitting Bull in a sharp-shooter competition and been crowned chief had he been able to use a compound bow with its optional laser “sight” (read: arrow GPS). 
2.        What is, and is not “GAME.” Game is what kind of animal you can shoot.  At Station 14, Krista thought a giant ground hog decoy looked like a monkey (never shoot a monkey).  Our dog, tied to the wrong tree, also isn’t “game.”
3.         Never tie your dog to a tree at a bow shoot.
4.        The NOSE of a fake animal is always 0 points, even when an obnoxiously dressed city woman balks that a nose IS a vital organ.
5.        If this were a real hunt, I would have been duct-taped to the cabin for cheering and applauding.  Enthusiasm, here, is frowned upon.
Finally, I knew before we left that there was no working plumbing at the camp.  I was prepared.  I didn’t even complain.
“Who dropped the purple hand sanitizer?” the host asked holding up a purse-sized bottle.  Everyone turned to look at me.  “Why would you think it’s mine?”  I asked, scratching the giant red bobble on my bright green wool hat. 
“Mom, it IS yours.  Remember I gave it back to you when you said weren’t eating off those plates?”
It was really time to go anyway.
“You were kind of fun,” Fred said to me on the drive home, “Thank you.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In The Arms of Another: Mall Massage Chair and Me

It all began when my husband, Fred (who I blame for the entire incident) was taking H-O-U-R-S going over the particulars for his new cell phone plan with a sales clerk in the mall.  My daughter and I walked around the shopping center to a point at which I finally announced, for the first time ever, I was sick of shopping.  Our quest for a comfortable seat ended at a pair of “Pay-As-You-Go” black vinyl massage chairs. 
 
“Can we try them?” Krista asked. “Why not? It’s only a dollar,” I said.

As soon as Krista’s chair motor started up, she jumped up and out.  “It feels like it’s trying to pinch my spine,” she exclaimed.

“No, it’s just working out the kinks,” I purred.  As she cautiously plunked back in her seat, the mechanism in my seat was luxuriously swirling the backs of my shoulders.  I was starting to relax.

Until the spin cycle started.

 “Mom, are you having a seizure?”
 
 “Nonononno, whwhwhwhy?”  I shuttered, shimmying like I’ve never shimmied before.  The chair was making me do unspeakable things.  Things I definitely did not want to do--especially in public.

My chair faced the entrance to a “Game Stop” store where numerous male 14-year-old Halo players were exposed to my middle-aged body now opening up and shutting, grinding and jerking.  They were too astonished to snicker, too repulsed to move and too affected to ever look at a woman the same way again.  I tried to laugh it off, but the look on my face caused the one with a Mohawk to drop his chain wallet.

The chair began bucking like an overzealous St. Bernard and making an awful whining noise.  Afraid it might start to smoke, I tried pushing another button on the remote control.  However, lacking the ability to adjust my glasses during the “chair quake” to see through the bifocal lower portion, my best guesses as to what the buttons read were:  Shaggy Knead, Body Plumbing and Squeal, none or which sounded better than the current mode-- Dance Puppet.
 
After another minute, it DID pinch my spine, which sent me launching near a couple of teenage girls, who were bold enough to say, “What a loser” so I could definitely hear them.

Fred, meanwhile, was urgently trying to make his new cell phone’s video option come to life. 
 
Thank God for delayed cell phone activation

Monday, August 2, 2010

If the Rabbit in My Garden Could Twitter

Thinking the song “Little Bunny Foo-Foo” paints us in an unflattering light.

Attempted entry into Heidi’s garden by running against webbing where perimeter is weakest.

I’m in.

Getting frustrated with my sideways eyes.  My difficulty focusing close-up has caused me to nibble half a pricker weed instead of a red pepper leaf.

Decided to eat everything green regardless of pricker texture.

Wondering why it’s so easy to get these plants.  Is it a trap or is Heidi just stupid?

Hop and see.

Finding solace under the oregano patch. 

Why do I want pizza now?

Heidi’s got some Japanese beetles on her grape leaves.  Too bad I’m a vegetarian—they look like cherry chips.

LOL at Heidi’s chicken-dog, Jasmine.   She’s actually afraid of me.

Boo!

OMG!  Heidi is walking around her garden now, a few feet from me.

She picked the cucumber I wanted.

I’m nervous (I’m always nervous).

Trying to play "statue" becoming more and more difficult.

Must bolt out.  Must bolt out.

I...can’t....stand...it...one...minute...more

RUN!

Run against webbing right next to Heidi’s foot, drop and race under shrubbery.

LOL!  With my very LONG, acutely sensitive ears, hear her SCREAM HER HEAD OFF and watch her run into the garage.

Time to multiply.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Gag Me with a Mozzarella Stick

My husband, Fred, knowing my passion for carbohydrates, lured me out to lunch today with a trail of bread crumbs.  I haven’t eaten anything beige in 6 days, and lately I’ve been dreaming in sepia tone--to replicate the look of buttered bread, no doubt.

At the particular local bar-type establishment Fred took dragged me biting and writhing to, the only “legal” food item was the decorative lettuce trimming around the vats of cream soup at the condiment bar.  I mustn’t let this diet overwhelm my life.  So “When in “Pub,” eat as the “Pub-Crawlers” eat. 

“Order me up some of those French-fried mozzarella sticks with a side of ranch dressing,” I said confidently to Fred, “...for an appetizer.”  I added.  It was going to be o.k.  One naughty meal wasn’t going to pop any buttons.

When our steaming tray of tubular, cheesy, battered joy arrived at our table, I drooled.  And as an extra surprise, the mozzarella sticks came arranged in a bed of French fries. 

I bit an inch-sized end off the crunchy, crispy, rubbery...and FLAMING log!  In fleeting seconds, I decided I was o.k. letting it burn my tongue rather than spit it out in my napkin (thus wasting delicious food)I kept it in my mouth, and exhaled, thinking my 98.6 degree air would cool the cheese off enough so it didn’t “brand me”.  But...then I INHALED, through my mouth, and a flake of the fried coating soared backwards into my windpipe.

My face reddened.
I started coughing forcefully.
The ENTIRE bar crowd stopped enjoying themselves (and their gigantic sports screens) and gaped at me in total silence.

To his credit, Fred, did repeatedly ask, “Are you o.k.?” But in trying to answer and nod my head, the “crispy invader” tickling my airway, causing me to cough even more.

I was a cat expelling a hairball.
I was a barking terrier.
I was a cow who yakked up too much cud.

“Are you sure you’re o.k.?” a compassionate woman asked, at the table next to me.
“I’m fine, really.”  I squeaked like a dog toy, sputtered like a model-T and whinnied like a horse.  After about 10 minutes, my normal voice returned, and I was able to dab my watery eyes. 

Ah...that’s better.

“I thought I was going to have to give you the “Heime-Licker”,” said Fred.  This made me laugh, which re-lodged the flake down the wrong tube and started the whole process again.   Cough, bark, repeat.

Moral of the Story:  Never bite flaming, beige food around Fred and expect to “Blend in.”

Friday, July 23, 2010

Diarrhea on a Plane

Those who read my articles know my most documented phobias involve ants, lip hair, having my vast-supply of flesh exposed, and plane rides.  I spent two days churning away from home, convinced that my stomach flu would board the plane back with me to Wisconsin...without a ticket!

How do you actually manage diarrhea on a plane?  I was pretty miserable waiting at the gate, thinking the safest seat for me was one with a deep hole beneath it.  I wore loose, drawstring-type shorts, tried popping anti-cramping medication, and went to my “happy place.”

I boarded the plane and sat next to a window.  It wasn’t 20 minutes into the flight before I crawled over the squirmy man next to me, clutching my purse to my chest and shut the metal door of the restroom.

I pictured a line of cross-legged passengers stretching all the way back to the cockpit, complaining and dancing around.  Maybe the First Class facilities would need to go “public.”  Were there BAGS like they have for astronauts so at least the MALE passengers could “go”?

The flight attendant knocked on the door:

“Are you o.k.? 
“Yes.”
“There are people waiting.”
“I know.”
“If you don’t come out soon, the pilot will jettison you.”
“Go ahead, at this point, I welcome death!”
“You’ll have to pay a fine.”
“Fine?  I’ll be right out.”

O.k., I added the jettison and fine comments for dramatic effect

I exited the bathroom clammy and sweaty.  The two impatient men in line behind me went WHITE and staggered back from the yellow cloud I’d unintentionally left for them.  I hoped the odor wouldn’t cause the oxygen masks to drop.

What would they do if I hadn’t gotten out of the bathroom?  They couldn’t MAKE me leave...could they?  Back in my seat, delirium taking control of my mind I imagined...

Over the loud speaker:  “Captain Ray, we have a situation.”  

Fearful nuns would cross themselves.  Passengers would twist their heads around to see what was happening and mouth, “What’s going on?” to one another, some of them assuming I’m a newlywed COUPLE in there earning “Mile-High” wings.  A stewardess would retrieve the “Jaws of Life” and, while I’m still in the restroom, hunched over, cut a hole in the door.

“You can’t make me get out—I’m sick.” I would scream.
“We know.”

Reaching in with a gloved hand and she would push a button, plunging me down a level to the “Pet Area” into a lion-sized litter box.

Snapping awake, I realized the “Pet Cargo Area” isn’t a bad place for you if you have diarrhea on a plane.  You can take your time, lay down and afterwards you’ll likely get a shower (albeit with a hose).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Does My Webcam Make Me Look Fat?

(I’m typing this eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s “Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.”  I hope this thing’s not turned on)

“Do I have a snaggle tooth?”  I asked my husband last night, lifting my upper lip like Mr. Ed.  I was testing my webcam software, seeing myself for the first time on my 14” computer monitor, realizing that on-screen it looks like I’m either missing a tooth, or have a darkened, mangled one.  I’m absolutely amazed by the technology that transports images of my loved ones to a screen right in front of my nose, but I’m not yet used to seeing myself online.

While patting the computer keys is usually a task I do anonymously, I have found the new need to pay attention to the way I look at my home office workstation.  A SKYPE call came in this morning while I was typing, wearing my husband’s holey t-shirt, hair was twisted up like a suma wrestler’s and a gum stimulator in my mouth.  I hit the IGNORE button, ashamed.

I also need to pay attention to the background.  I accidentally made a call testing my microphone functionality last night and when I got no answer forgot to hang up.  On their screen, my friends saw a darkened room and an empty chair.  They reported feeling voyeuristic, laughing and imaging something naughty was about to happen.  I have no idea how long they stayed online waiting for something risqué to occur.

I had a dream last night that my webcam became activated by an outside source (which sounds completely feasible to me), and scanned the expanse of our bedroom.  It found me shutting the door and photographed me disrobing from behind and immediately flash-transported the footage to You Tube as part of a “Video Most Likely to Make You Vomit” contest.  I was getting hits by the millions.

Having a webcam is a probably a good tool to see how you really appear to the outside world.  I’m not exactly a “Hang Out in Front of the Mirror” girl, so seeing me sitting there is new. What’s happened is that NOW, I am finally forced to acknowledge that one of my breasts REALLY is bigger than the other, I hunch like “No Neck” from Rocky Horror Picture Show and the mole I THOUGHT I had removed 20 years ago is back, with a vengeance, and looks as big as a bowling ball finger hole.  The image also magnifies age spots.  When I’m laughing, with my now obvious snaggle tooth, I really DO look like a spotted hyena.

Because I’m so distracted by my own appearance, I feel the need to make up for it--be more animated, move around.  I caught myself swaying like Stevie Wonder, gesturing like Snoop Dog and “peacing out” like Richard Nixon.  This has already gone beyond obsession and I’ve only had it one day.

I thought of putting a paper bag over my head with two holes cut out so I can see the other person, but the grocery bag won’t cover my body.  Bagless--I HAVE to wear a bra and will likely cover my teeth with my lips like an orangutan.   

If you SKYPE me, it’s best to wear sunglasses.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Out! Damn Hair!

“Mom, it’s time for your cream,” my 10-year-old daughter observes, eying my upper lip.

“Already?”

My mustache is struggling for dominance on my face again.  Like a weed that gets pulled without its root, the follicles remain alive; the “lip quills” get reincarnated and replicate—an army of hairy zombies in need of vanquishing. 

There are plenty of women out there wishing they could ignore the skin beneath their noses.  “Upper Lip Awareness” is prevalent in women in their 40s.  It’s all part of the “Dry up/Stop Laying Eggs” process, I imagine.  I wonder if there is a place, where bluebirds fly, somewhere over the rainbow maybe, where “Women of Bristle” can feel normal--probably in the Middle East...involving veils that expose only our eyes.

“Didn’t Great-Aunt Amelia have a full beard?” I asked a relative, in attempt to confirm the yarns Mom used to spin about the aunt she feared as a child.  “It’s true,” she said, staring off into the distance, shuttering.

I suppose I can trace my fur-lip trait to my South African circus-folk ancestors, who must have greeted each new baby girl born in the tent with reverence and joy.  “This one will be our GREATEST fortune,” Great-Uncle Ernest would exclaim, elbowing the strongman and “high-hoofing” the Goat-Girl.

I have friends who also struggle with “Crop Control.”  Permanent removal was attempted by a friend with Laser Treatment. Each visit involved blasting an intense light beam, creating a mini nuclear explosion on your face.  The feeling is casually likened to a rubber-band being snapped on your skin...for EACH hair.  “It felt like I got skewered like a shish-kabob... ten-thousand times,” she confessed, sore.  Another permanent removal process tried by a friend was Electrolysis.  She said it was one of the most painful experiences she’s ever been through, and has cursed the modern American culture that forces “Women with Facial Coats” to feel bad...ever since.

I’ve tried all the non-permanent methods such as bleaching the hairs—which made me look like Colonel Sanders--to waxing, which only substitutes a soft, furry mustache with a red-raw one.  I’ve also tried tweezing and ACTUAL shaving (just don’t do this).  The only thing that HAS working my favor is my feigning eyesight and that of my husband, Fred’s.  It also helps that Fred has a mustache, so any lip-tickle can easily be blamed on him.

I’m trying to instill in my daughter the joys of being a woman, but I’m afraid when she looks at me, she is thinking deep-down, “Am I going to look like HER?”    

“At least you don’t have “Back Hair”,” she said cheerfully after reading this article.

“Well, that’s something to be thankful for,” I muttered, holding the mirror up to look behind me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Short Guild to Coping with the Wilderness: By A. Suburbian Girl

1Never Shine Your Flashlight into a Rustic Toilet

“Eyes on me--Do NOT look down,” I commanded my daughter last weekend at a Wisconsin State Park facility while on a waterfall tour.  The fact that I knew how to coach her in the "Proper use of a Rustic Park Toilet” speaks to my previous experience in matters of the hole.

When my son, David, was 9, he had to use the outhouse at night, while camping in the woods, and he made the “Life Altering” mistake of shining his flashlight down into the vast hole beneath the plastic seat.  He froze, and dropped the flashlight.  I looked over his shoulder and saw the light, down, down...down illuminating the indescribable horror up from down the cylinder to Hell.

I AM NOT going,” he announced, the fear-induced adrenalin-rush enabling his body to “plug up” like a hibernating bear.  We departed the next morning, but it wasn’t until days later that he relaxed. 

2.  Speaking of Plugging Orafaces...Invest in Some Good Earplugs

“Tweet.  Tweet.  Tweet.  Tweetity, Tweet, Chirpy, Chirp Chirp!”

When you finally do get to sleep, don’t get too comfortable.  At 4:30 am, plan on greeting the new day feeling like you’re in an Alfred Hitchcock film.  I love birds, but my first morning, I willed all bird nemeses of literature and cartoon--Sylvester, Simpkin and Tom, etc.--to unite like forces of EVIL and scare the feathers off of those cheerful, eardrum attackers.

3.  Can I have a Blindfold with that Martini?

Although I am an over-protective mother, there are a few things that gross-me-out to the “dry-heave” point.  One was when my then-three year old son, Jon, lost his thumbnail after he shut it in a door.  Another involved a mouse and a snake, and the latest one was witnessing a tick crawl up my daughter’s pant leg.  I was repulsed.  I was paralyzed.  I wished I had had a few drinks.  It didn’t bite her, but it was no thanks to me.  Fred, my fearless, outdoorsy husband, had to race over and take care of her.     

On a positive note, we did invent the “Tick Crawl” dance move.    


4.  Bring along Jodi Picoult, for Instance

You might never get to read it--but a good soft-cover, 450 "pager" makes a great fly smacker, in the absence of a more traditional weapon.  My apologies to Ms. Picoult (whose novel "Nineteen Minutes" I finally did read and recommend)--I soiled your book.

5.  “Never go to Indonesia.  I mean it.”

This is a quote from a good friend, Marni Rachmiel, who read my article on bugs and knotty pine.  I don’t know the specifics (I’m sure it’s related to size and quantity of insects), but I trust her...so should you!

*Note:  No birds were harmed during the writing of this article.

Friday, June 4, 2010

“I Feel All Exposed...and Nasty”

At this point in my life, I am not at all comfortable prancing around in my bathing suit.  To prevent mishap, men turning to stone, and children having nightmares of my rhinoceros legs, I much prefer to be viewed or photographed fully-clothed, wearing a furry, winter coat...in a shadow somewhere, with someone strategically positioned in front of me. 

Recently, on a camping weekend, my husband, Fred, found a place to go “tubing” on a river.   I have never “tubed” before, but as it was described, it sounded harmless and fun.

“You’ll have to leave your belongings locked in your car,” the clerk said, “and walk your tubes down to the river.”

“Along that busy street?” 

“Yes.”

Holding a tube over my head, wearing just a bathing suit was uncomfortable enough, but, wearing just my bathing suit marching along a busy highway was going a...little...too...far.  But...my daughter, Krista, had already begun the trek down the road, followed closely by Fred.  I tried to hold the tube at my side so at least the drivers would be shielded from me...but I dropped the tube... and had to bend over to pick it up.  A car horn honked...and then brakes screeched.  With my un-tan, poultry-white leg-skin, I must have looked like a tailless, albino mare.

“What IS that?”  I imagined the driver saying to his passenger. 
“That’s something’s ass.”

I was relieved once we reached the river--I wouldn’t be as “visible” on the water.  Fred flopped into his tube, floundered a bit, and then opted for the prone position.  I plopped onto my tube, my knees wide apart and pressed against my stomach like a "Butterball" ready to be trussed.  The last time I was in this position, someone was shouting “Push!”

“This is NOT a good look for me!” I called to Fred, and repeated the “Shrek” Donkey line, “I feel all EXPOSED...and NASTYI was a parade balloon minus ropes and helium.

The river was “low” due to a lack of rainfall.  I could float for about 5 feet before my butt crashed into a protruding rock.  By now, my 10-year-old was floating WAY ahead of us...alone.  The only way to catch up was to "lift and release" the heavier parts that were getting stuck on the river bottom.  These “Butt Lifts” made me think of Jane Fonda in her 1980s leg-warmers, saying, “Feel the burn.”  The main difference between Jane’s glut-squeezes and my “Tube Maneuver” was that SHE had TIGHTS ON under her leotard!  When I “hiked it up,” I prayed that my suit stayed in place, but I REALLY couldn’t tell...and I HAD to get to my daughter.

When the river bended, we got out and boarded the bus that returned us to our car.  Towel-less and sore, I gave up trying to cover myself.  In the bus seat, Fred pointed to my chest.  Momentarily flattered, I looked down, and realized one of the under-wires from my bathing suit bra had sprung free and protruded in a half-moon up to my neck. 

“Mom, what’s that?”  Krista asked.

“All that’s left of my dignity.”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How About a Nice Coat of Paint on that Knotty Pine?

“Isn’t this peaceful?” my husband, Fred, asked me as we sat on the porch of our weekend rustic cabin rental.

“No.”  To me, the wilderness is totally over-stimulating. 

From the dozens of chattering chipmunks, invisibly darting through the tall grass like “Predator,” to the twittering birds, buzzing wasps and the annoying rustling leaves, I longed for my serene, painted walls and bird-less, tree-less living room.   

Inside, the unfinished, natural knotty pine look was just as over-stimulating.  I understand the charm of white pine--it arouses the pioneer spirit, the urge to shoot a gun and to eat baked beans.  A room made from this material coordinates perfectly with “Little House on the Prairie” era quilts and furniture.  But the irregular, hundreds of “eyes” on the wood surface make perfect camouflage for bugs.  At night...I know critters crawl out of their deceptive, dark spots...to do their evil, woman-frightening work. 

At bedtime, after final inspection and conclusion that the only bugs inside were dead (or at least faking it), it was mutually decided that my daughter, Krista, and I would take the bed and Fred would take the futon in the front of the cabin so he could do “Woodsy-Man Things” like whittle or shave himself with a hunting knife. 

“Mom, that dark spot up there just got bigger,” she said after a few minutes in bed.  I tried to follow her finger to the knot in question, but without my glasses on, the knots were all beginning to look like bats--which, as all women know, are much worse than any unidentified “night bug.”  “Your eyes are playing tricks on you.  Go to sleep.” I said.

“I hear something buzzing!” she cried minutes later, and, in one movement, attached herself to my side like a Koala Bear to a Eucalyptus Tree.

“Something....tickles,” I said and wildly batted at my leg.

Fred, hearing the commotion bolted in, saw the huddled females and grabbed the only weapon he could find--a long-handled, plastic broom. “What?  What’s going on?”
“Daddy!! There’s a bug diving at us up by the light!”  Krista screamed.  

“I’m gonna get it and then you’re going to sleep.”  Fred announced and crashed the broom against a ceiling support above the bed.  The reverberations from the sudden smack caused dust, bug carcasses and the moth he just killed to come showering down on the bed.  Krista and I looked at each other and together screamed:

“OH, MY GOOOOOOOODDDDD!” and rolled over out of the bed still “koala-ed” together at the hip, “Are you CRAZY?” I accused.  Fred, crestfallen, retreated to his man-room and scrounged around for ANY kind of alcohol he could find.  “It’s gonna be a long night,” he muttered.

Next year, we would prefer a wilderness-themed Hotel...without knots, please.