21st Century PSA

brain on drugs posterOne of the most influencial public service announcements (that I can remember) was aired in 1987, the year I graduated from college. It seems like eons ago — because it was. But I still remember it . . . so it was a good one, right?

There was a man holding an egg.
“This is your brain.”

And there was a frying pan.
“This is drugs.”

He cracks the egg into the frying pan. And you hear the sizzle.
“This is your brain on drugs.”

Then there’s a pause.
“Any questions?”

So, I was thinking. It’s now 2016, almost 30 years later. If I was to make a public service announcement today, what would it look like?

I think I know.

 

This is my daughter.

13697286_1003482413103460_778802708172847008_n


This is Snapchat.

Snapchat.jpg

 


This is my daughter on Snapchat.

final gif.gif

 

ANY QUESTIONS?

 

 

 

 

Poopy Humor

That’s right, I said it. Poopy Humor. And for those of you who know me, you knew this post was coming sooner or later.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Fifty years old and I still laugh until I cry when somebody tells me a poopy story, or “let’s wind.” That’s what my mom used to say… “Did somebody let wind?”

You giggled. Didn’t you?

I’m not sure at what age one should stop laughing at poopy humor. But this is the way I look at it…my grandkids and I will be on the same wavelength. We’ll be the best of friends.

Speaking of friends… mine always come to me when they have an off-color story to tell. They feel safe. They know it’s a no judgement zone. One subject that comes up a lot are the problems with using the restroom at work. So, let’s talk about that.

Personally, I avoid the “poop at work.” Unless it’s inevitable. In those cases I walk clear across the building to another department’s restroom so somebody else gets blamed. Some of my co-workers read my blog… so I guess the secret’s out.

But, for my co-workers who brave the world of the public restroom — the peek-a-boo doors, and the deafening silence — I applaud you. We’ve spoken. I’ve heard your pleas. And I’ve openly wept for you.

One of the worst experiences is the STANDOFF?

This is when the person in the other stall has to do the same under the stALL
thing as you. You know this by the amount of time you both spend sitting there….you could hear a pin drop. Who will go first? Who will take the plunge? The chance of the peek-a-boo fart. You know they can see your shoes and pant legs under the stall. They know who you are. If you go first, they’ll tell others. It’s maddening.

What about the LINGERER?

This is the person who talks to you while they’re washing their hands. You want them to leave. You pray that they’ll leave. And nobody likes “tinkle talk.” It’s one or the other, people.

When they realize you’re not leaving, they finally go. And you know… that they know. 😦

And we all attempt the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.

Getting out before anyone sees you. The worst is when you’re washing your hands and a co-worker walks in. You are defeated. You lose. You see the expression on their face. STINKY BATHROOM
It’s like “WHOA!” …and, you’re caught.

These problems can’t be avoided. So…I often fantasize of a bathroom with huge, loud, ceiling fans (like Willy Wonka had in the room with the Fizzy Lifting Drink), plentiful Poo-Pourri spray, private stalls with no side door slots, and super loud music. But, until then…until we spend some time designing the perfect public restroom, we shall continue to humiliate ourselves. And when you are humiliated, and you need to tell someone — you know where to find me. 🙂

Just had to add this link to my friend’s blog from January. It’s hysterical!!!
http://thephilfactor.com/2015/01/17/the-poop-at-home-people/

How My Dogs Humiliated Me at the Vet

It was time to take my three dogs for their annual checkup. I knew it’d be a chore, but had no idea what was in store. Hey, I accidentally rhymed there.

As I opened the door to the car, my one golden Cosmo jumped right in – good boy! However, his brother Koda panics and runs across the driveway — which is odd, because he has a phobia of walking on the blacktop.

So, now he’s in the grass on the other side of the driveway. He lays down and won’t budge — like a child throwing a temper tantrum — like Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Now mind you, we’re already late because I couldn’t find two of our three leashes and had to grab a dog lead just to have something (nothing says Redneck like bringing your dogs to the vet on a 30 ft. dog lead), and now this.

Anyway, knowing Koda’s anxiety, I maneuvered the car to the edge of the driveway so no blacktop was showing. It took 10 minutes or so, but my daughter and I were eventually successful — she coaxed him from the front and I lifted him from the back. And so what if the neighbors gathered to watch… by the time we were done with our Lucy and Ethel act, all we had to do was  grab dog #3, Forrest, and head to the vet.

And…. we’re off!!

When we get into the office I’m mortified that I have two dogs on each end of a lead. The vet helps me out with disposable leashes. So that humility was short-lived, except for the part where I look like I can’t afford leashes. But lucky for me, the adventure had just begun.

cosmo coustaeCosmo decides to perform a crying song. It was quite lovely. He obviously was having some anxiety, so I end up on the floor hugging him, petting him and rocking him until he calmed down.

Then Koda (the original trouble maker)  decides to lay down and never get up — ever again.

kodaWe’d lift him up, he’d lay down.
We’d lift him up, he’d lay down.
We’d lift him up, he’d lay down.

For the life of us, we couldn’t get him to walk over to the scale in the waiting room. At this time the other customers are loving the show. I was at my wit’s end. So…. WE SLID HIM. Yes, that’s right. We literally slid him across the slick floor to the scale.

I know they say dogs don’t smile. But he was frickin’ smiling.

And to add to the fun, in the midst of all this chaos, as I bent over to help my dog along… “the girls” fell out. Yes, out of the bra. It’s not like anybody could see anything, but having to wrangle them back into the corral wasn’t an easy task with an audience.

Now, on to the grand finale.

We finally get all three dogs into the small exam room, I’d say it was roughly an 8×10 area. It’s here where Cosmo’s anxiety gets the best of him. He lets loose one horrific doggy fart. Oh my God, I thought we were all going to die and the office staff would find us in the morning. The vet actually said “You’re killing me Cosmo!! I gotta turn on a fan!”

I cannot tell you how relieved I was when forrest with collar
the appointment was over. And how thankful
I was that all three dogs are healthy. And how
shocked I was that Forrest didn’t cause any trouble.

Until next year my dear vet….until next year. 🙂

No Peeing on the Potted Plant

Have you ever laughed until you cried? I have. Probably one too many times.

Last night I was reminiscing with a friend about my eight years at a local publishing company and how my co-workers could’ve been writers for Saturday Night Live. Honestly, they missed their calling.

I rarely got through the work day without having a moment of hysterical, tears running down my face, laughter with this group of ladies. And… I’d like to share a few of these stories with you. If any of them still worked there, I wouldn’t. But they don’t. So, I will. 🙂

DON’T LOOK NOW
I returned to work after being out for a couple of days. Everything seemed just as I left it. The team was busy cranking out the next series of books and I was happy to see everyone – they were my second family.

I logged onto my computer and got right to work. A few minutes later my supervisor wandered into my cubicle to talk about the yearly budget. As I spun around in my chair I immediately noticed that somebody had pinned….what looked like a condom…to my bulletin board. Not in the package. Stretched out as far as it could go.

All he had to do was glance to the left. Part of me wanted to laugh out loud. For Pete’s sake he’s having a serious conversation with me with a condom hanging next to him and he doesn’t even know it. But the other part of my brain, that wanted to keep my job so I could feed my children, said “Stay cool.” And I did.

I walked to the other side of the cubicle drawing his eyes away from any potential peripheral condom vision. The angels must’ve been watching out for me that day, because he left without seeing it.

After we all had a good laugh I could tell there was more. And yes, later that day I found a voodoo doll in my drawer, pins and all, made to look like the office trouble-maker. Gee, leave the office for a couple of days and you never know what you’ll return to. But, that’s why I loved working there.

YOU CALL IT CORN, WE CALL IT MAIZE
I think for all of us, lunch time was our favorite. My friend would get out her plastic utensils and tap the walls of our cubicles as she walked down the aisle. It was music to our ears. It was how she called us to graze. This is when we’d meet — and laugh until we cried — daily.

One day, a co-worker from a different department sat with us. We were enjoying conversation and laughing, but then she started to cough. The corn in her mouth flew out like an explosion and landed in my hair. She was so apologetic. I was pulling out the kernels saying “Don’t worry, it’s ok.”  That memory stuck with us for years. So did the corn. To this day I hear…“Remember when that girl spit corn in your hair? Remember?!” Ummmm, no… Of course I remember!!! 

BOUNCE REDUCES STATIC CLING
Another time, as my friend and I were chatting in the lunch room, I noticed she had a dryer sheet hanging out from the bottom of her leggings. She was laughing because she didn’t even notice it.  So, she reached down to pull it out (in front of a lunchroom full of people) but to our surprise, as she lifted the dryer sheet high in the air, it was in fact a pair of her underwear. TA-DA!”

PINTEREST: HOW TO FIX A FAUX PAS
Remember how I mentioned this team was creative? My one coworker confused a retirement card for a sympathy card? The two were being passed around at the same time. We were in a panic. You don’t tell someone that’s about to retire…. you’re sorry and you’ll keep them in your prayers. She stayed calm. Her message was on the corner of the card so she cut it out, creating the look of a bite mark and wrote “Take a bite out of life!” GENIUS!!

NO PEEING ON THE POTTED PLANT
But my all-time favorite is when the receptionist up front was busy typing and heard the front lobby door open. She could only see the top of the door over the high counter top when she was sitting. She waited, but nobody came up to the desk. When she stood up to see who was there, a woman who had come in from the street was squatting in one of the big potted plants in the reception area, relieving herself. Needless to say, we lost FERN that day. So, one of our team members reluctantly agreed to make a “No Peeing on the Potted Plant” poster. We hung them everywhere. Even handed them out at the next meeting.

no peeing

To this day, I keep in touch with this group of girls. They’re still a riot. I hope when they read this post they remind me of the many other stories so I have a “PART II” to share with you!

How to Act Cool When You Accidentally Get Into the Wrong Car

Yup…did it again. I got into the wrong car after leaving the store.

I blame my damn iPhone. I’ve morphed into a chronic “texter” and only glanced up for a moment to see my car straight ahead. It wasn’t until I got in and thought  “Boy, when did I clean this? I really did a great job.” …did I realize it’s not my car.

Just so you know, if you accidentally get into MY car, the area behind the passenger seat doubles as a temporary garbage can for receipts, Dunkin Donut cups, old gum wrapped in tissue, and empty McDonalds bags. Feel free to utilize. And there’s a damn good chance there will be chocolate ice cream drips on the steering wheel.

So… whose car was this, and why was I in it?

Well, no biggy. Just like last time — when I jumped into a car at my daughter’s school that had leopard print car seats and I thought “Gee, I like what I’ve done with the place.” …I’ll simply get out, close the door, and find MY car.

Then I turned to see HIM! The man sitting in a car right near this one. I assume he was waiting for someone since his engine was running. And he was looking right at me.

I can’t leave one car, and get into another car right in front of him, right?
I can hear it now…  S-E-C-U-R-I-T-Y!! 

That’s when it hit me. I took one acting class in college. Yes, just one. I will use my talent. I will pretend that I forgot something and casually walk back into the store. Genius!

First — I do a quick look in the bag. I apply the shocked “Oh for the love of… [pause for effect] did I forget that item that I desperately needed and did not buy?” look.

Second — I shake my head with a saddened look of disappointment. I now have to go back into the store and buy that item that I forgot.

Third — I sigh loudly and hang my head low. I do this as I leave the stranger’s car because I am disappointed that I can’t head home to my loving family in my impressively clean vehicle that is clearly mine.

I shut the door. I walk away. I am happy with my work. I arrive back in the store. Now what? Should I buy a coffee, look at the Slushie flavors for a little while (there’s only two), purchase a cheese pretzel, or pace a little.

I pace a little then leave, assuming by now the coast is clear.

Upon exiting I make a bee-line for my car. I do not text as I walk to it.
Oh, wait! All of that work and the man is still there. He sees me. Oh well, who gives a crap?

Because, here’s the reality… EVERYONE gets into the wrong car!! Even my own mother.

One time, a man was waiting for his wife in his car at the same time my dad was waiting for my mom. My mom got into the other man’s car. He said “I’m getting the best of the deal!”  🙂

My boys got into a van with their dad, looked on the console and wondered “Which one of us is reading THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD?

My one friend even waved the rightful owner away with her hand as he asked “What are you doing?” She told him she didn’t need any help, her key just wasn’t working.

So, the next time I do this — and there will be a next time — I will not try to hide my embarrassment. I will wear my humility with pride. And… I’ll let you know what I find. 😉

Some Bunny’s In Trouble

My daughter is an avid animal lover. So am I. But she’s becoming a Dr. Doolittle of sorts.

I’m proud of all the research she’s done on-line, and her in-depth knowledge of animals. I even support her sudden desire to be a vegetarian. But my house is a couple animals short of a petting zoo. And until I get around to building a barn, and installing a turnstile for class field trips, it’s not doing me any good.

Ya see, five years ago we downsized into a very small house – with almost half the square footage of our previous home. Yet, we now have twice as many animals.

The challenge with space was immediate with Phoenix
just our two golden retrievers. But with two new guinea pigs, and a third dog added to the mix, I’m getting ready to move to a larger house, simply to experience the thrill of walking through brooklyna room with a clear path.

Most recently, bunny porch
Nicky “Doolittle”
asked for a bunny.
To which I replied “We have bunnies under the porch!”  (These really ARE the bunnies under our porch. Cute, right?)

She started her usual campaign. The non-stop chatter about why we need a bunny. How they’re fluffy, and friendly, and can be potty trained in their cage. How they get along great with guinea pigs, have the temperament of a dog, and no trouble at all! Don’t cha know!

I was strong. I didn’t cave.

Then came the photos. This is why we have our youngest dog, Forrest

forrest— I’m a sucker for those eyes. But I held my ground when it came to a bunny. I didn’t budge. I must say, I was quite proud of myself.

Saturday morning I went into my daughter’s room to wake her up. There sat her guinea pig cage. And next to it sat a second cage. A large, brand new bunnystoney
cage. A cage that housed a fluffy, sweet, cuddly bunny.

I was livid! And… how does a 15 year old, who doesn’t have a car or a driver’s license, buy a bunny from the store and sneak it into the house? Believe it or not, with the help of one of my high school “friends.” I use that term loosely.

My daughter’s best friend lives on our street. Her father graduated with me from high school. He was always a joker…well, more of a wise ass. Once he knew she wanted a bunny, and I didn’t want her to have one, he offered to help her commit the crime.

I wasn’t strong enough to return my new grand-bunny to the store. But, not too weak to ground my daughter. The question still remains… how do I get revenge on my neighbor/alumni/ex-friend?

Should I give his daughter a pony? My friend suggested a ferret. Another tipped me off that her daughter’s cat is due to have a litter of kittens, and she’d be happy to give his daughter a couple of them. The possibilities are endless.

In the meantime, I’ll play with my new grand-bunny (who does act like a dog, even jumps up on our laps and kisses us), and the two guinea pigs, and the three dogs and figure out some way to get my revenge.

But I have to admit…with this bunny, and the added responsibilities, came a miracle. My daughter actually said, “ I don’t want any more animals.” There is a god. 🙂

Stupid Things I’ve Done

Lately I’ve been reminiscing about all of the stupid things that happen to me. I’m not sure if it’s bad luck, or I’m just going through life waaaaayyyyy too fast.

Most recently I’ve been walking around with a nasty bruise on my arm. Looks as if somebody beat me. But when people ask what happened, I feel obligated to tell the truth — although telling them somebody beat me wouldn’t be as embarrassing.

Well, I ran down the steps in the morning, slipped in a puddle of my dog’s pee and hit my arm on the railing.

Wait it gets better.

Then, I fell backwards, landing on my back in the small lake I call “CosmoKantHoldit” and yes, I cried. The pain, the smell, the drenched clothes….this is my life.

Sometimes things just happen, and I don’t really have any control. For instance, last year I got a birdie in golf. No, I literally “got a birdie” in golf. It was taking off, and my ball clobbered it.

And other times I need to pay more attention. Like when I reached for a delicious Twizzler and accidentally grabbed my red Bic pen. And no, I didn’t eat it. I know plastic when I taste it.

I remember one of the first embarrassing stories I shared on Facebook. It was winter time and I found the front door of my car frozen solid as I was leaving for work. But, I was able to open the back door. I got in and climbed into the front seat. Well, I slipped and my ass landed on the car horn. If I remember correctly the horn sounded like “Hey, all you neighbors in your driveways heading to work…looky over here!” 

Then there was the time I was leaving work, walking to my car and drinking a bottle of water. I bent over to rummage through my purse looking for my keys and poured the whole bottle of water into the bag. Now, that was a dumb blonde move for sure.

However, I must say, the best one was when my friends and I were heading home from Boston and we took a break at a rest stop. I was a little hungry and decided to get something healthy, instead of a greasy burger. So, I grabbed an apple out of a barrel in one of the shops, and was all proud of myself for eating right. When I got into the car and took a bite I realized it was styrofoam (see my little bite mark?). APPLE

No wonder it seemed like it wasn’t the right weight for a delicious piece of fruit. Now tell me this…why, oh why, would you have a huge display of fake apples? …and let me buy one?! SEE? THIS IS WHY WE SHOULD EAT BIG MACS!

There are so many more — but this is definitely enough sharing for tonight.

The Psyche of my Crazy Dogs

Every morning I go through the same routine with my dogs. It’s not a normal routine. I think they’re all a little bit crazy, or maybe a little bit genius.

koda

Koda is 11 years old and one of the sweetest dogs you’ll ever meet. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. There’s one thing you need to know about Koda; he has anxiety disorder. And, one of the things he’s afraid to do is walk down the three back steps of the deck even though each step is about 8″ high. But — he’ll jump off the front porch because it’s only one step. And, Koda does not like to walk on hardwoods (although, taking a nap on the cool floor is fine). So, every morning I need to line up carpet runners from the living room to the front door — with virtually no floor showing — for him to go outside. When he’s ready to come back in, I open the door and wait. He looks at me. He sits there. He won’t come in. That is…until I go back into the house, close the door, and pretend he missed his opportunity. Then, when I re-open the door he will ALWAYS come in.

Forrest

Forrest is the youngest of the three dogs turning one next month. Forrest will jump the fence in the back yard, so I can’t simply open the door and let him out. He needs to be on a runner. He knows that I’d like him to go out before he gets fed in the morning, so he walks around the side of the deck and pretends to go to the bathroom, then comes back in. I caught on to what he was doing when he needed to go out again immediately after eating. And, when I get the dog food bowls ready, he immediately sits down and raises his left paw to shake because he thinks he needs to do this in order to get fed.

cosmo coustaeCosmo will bark at the back door every morning to go out. When you open the door he refuses to leave the house. He just sits there and stares at you. Now, the door is open, he needs to go to the bathroom, and he won’t leave the house…until I step out onto the back deck and personally invite him outside. As God as my witness.

Please tell me my dogs are not the only ones that are nuts.

Stumbled Upon A Funny

I found a folder of old pictures that I took over the past three years. They were vacation pics, so I was browsing through…

First, I came across some photos from Old Orchard Beach, Maine where my daughter and I have vacationed a few times. After a day on the beach, we’d always take a drive to see some scenery and lighthouses. Beautiful place to visit, huh?

me100_5839  mAINE 2

mAINE

Next, I found a few pictures from Sebastian, Florida where my parents live…these were taken down by the pier one night at dusk.

100_6167 100_6168

100_6165

And last, I found some photos I took in New York City… just taking a stroll through the NYU campus. I thought I was genius taking a “Caught between the moon and New York City” shot.

100_6076 moon and NYC

But one of my favorite pics, was this darn squirrel.
Kinda wish I could eat my lunch like that.

Squirrel in NYU Park

However, I remember when I was taking this picture, my first shot was quick, just in case he ran away. The woman on the bench below must’ve thought I was trying to take her photo, so she hid her face.

Now, over two years later, I just noticed the heading on the newspaper she was reading.

Tee-Hee.

100_6067

Cat Gangs

Yes. That’s right. I said Cat Gangs.

What’s a cat gang? Well, it’ a gang of cats. They roam the neighborhood and are up to no good.

I had my first experience with a cat gang a couple of summers ago. My daughter and I were heading home and one of our favorite songs was on the radio, so we drove around the neighborhood for an extra minute or so to listen to it. We had no idea what was about to happen.

True Story:
A “cute” black and white cat ran in front of my car. I slammed on the breaks, stopped the car, and got out to make sure he was ok. I didn’t see him in the front of my car so walked to the back where I found him sitting in the grass just looking at me. I was so thankful he was alright.

As I waked around the back of my car I saw another cat sitting at the end of his driveway, staring me down. It didn’t really give me the creeps until I saw a third cat about 15 feet up the driveway and a fourth sitting quietly under a shrub close to the road.

It was then I realized that the black and white cat was being initiated into a cat gang.

The next day my daughter and I took a walk on the oppositecat gand leader side of the neighborhood. We saw cats at every turn. Just sitting there, staring at us, like targets. What was going on? A cat gang on every block? Who was the leader? The term “Cat got your tongue?” took on a whole other meaning.

I posted my story on Facebook. My good friend, Pat Campbell, an educator and very worldly woman, shed some light on the situation.

cat nip twoShe informed me that there was increased activity in the dealings of catnip, or “NIP,” on the streets. That more and more kittens were being born — never knowing their fathers.    too many kittens

Worst of all, it was becoming a vicious cycle. A cycle that may be hard to break.

Each night, as I tried to sleep, I could hear the screeching “catcalls” and I’d find their droppings in my landscaping — which meant they were close by — watching our house. In the morning they’d run out from under my car and I feared for my life.

I welcomed the cold weather, forcing them off the streets. But, now that the warm weather is back…I look at my dogs, and pray for their safety.
my dogs