Of Clint, Chairs and Cringing

I had to stop watching Clint Eastwood movies after he wrote, produced, starred in and composed music for “The Bridges of Madison County.” Long, swarmy and the result of a book that wasn’t particularly well-written, the film left such an impression with me, I immediately produced a novella called, “The ‘Fridges of Meowdison County.” The title pretty much tells the tail. Last night’s Clint-Plus-Chair event was a cringe experience that felt like 12 hours, not 12 minutes. He looked feeble. He sounded senile. Even Ann Romney was not amused. The RNC should take Eastwood on tour to ensure Obama’s victory.

Please, Mitt, No More Costco or Tide Moments

I don’t care if Mitt Romney always looks like there’s a broom up his butt. He could be our next president and I give him props for his terrific Massachusetts health care plan. Mitt sure out-classes George W, but I wish his handlers would stop with the “common man” schtick. If Mitt washes his own clothes, I don’t want to witness it. Shop at Costco? I love the image of his Secret Service detail browsing Kirkland shirts. Getting down with the little people seems horribly disingenuous and does nothing for his presidential image. Please. Step away from the Tide, Mitt.

It’s Easier to Run For Political Office Than to Become a Registrar


Pursuant to the “It’s My Vote” campaign, I’ve spent weeks trying to become a voter’s registrar. The head of the DuPage Democratic Party ignored my calls so I just kept following every lead I could. I even left messages with a Republican Party official. She didn’t call me back, either. I’m not sure whether folks in these parts grew sick and tired of my phone messages, but I finally connected with and was adopted by the Addison Township Democrats (I needed a sponsor). I received my training notice 48 hours later. Whew. I feel like I’ve run a political gauntlet.

Hypochondria, Legionnaire’s or ADD: Which Will Claim Me First?

My legs ache. I’m pretty sure I’m suffering from Legionnaire’s Disease. Have I been inside the Marriott that’s headlined the evening news lately? No. But I’ve driven by the Schaumburg Marriott with my windows open and I’m pretty sure that’s how I got it. I decide to research both Legionnaire’s Disease and Hypochondria to see which fits. I learn that Hypo is Greek for below. Chondros means cartilage. Of course! My leg cartilage is below. Whew. It’s not Legionnaires! That’s when my ADD kicks in and supersedes my leg pain. Is that a West Niles virus-carrying mosquito hovering over my head?

Do You Vote Your Pocketbook?

If you’ve sworn off politics because meditating no longer keeps your mind from exploding when talking heads start blabbing, a new Internet tool may help you solidify your position and win a few arguments. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, Politify.com, a website designed by a couple of Berkeley wonks, can show you how your pocketbook will fare if either candidate wins. Whether you’re undecided or need proof that you’ve made the right choice, visit www.politify.com/election/personal. Go ahead. If it turns out your candidate isn’t lookin’ as good as the dude you don’t like, you don’t have to tell anyone.

A Compulsion to Play the Jewish Name Game

I lay claim to all accomplished Jews. I brag about Scarlet Johansen sharing my faith and I’m not alone. “She’s Jewish!” friend Sheryl kvells about gold medalist Ali Raisman during the Olympics. “Oy,” we wail in unison, “Monica Lewinsky’s Jewish.” Who else suffers from this malady? Nobody. Imagine overhearing this gossipy tidbit: “Did you know that Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen are Episcopalians?” Thought not. Where this propensity for Jew tagging started, nobody knows. Maybe it’s genetics. Maybe there’s a vaccine for it. While I await an answer, I must ask, “You know that Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal is Jewish, right?”

Divorce, Family Style

The women in my family marry the wrong men. My mother had to move to Florida to get unhitched and I could have bought a third world country with funds spent on legal fees for my divorces. Given our family legacy, I wasn’t surprised when granddaughter Brandy joined the party, but her divorce sets new efficiency standards. She’s getting her divorce online and handling the proceedings herself. The wedding that turned my daughter into a MOBzilla has been reduced cyberspace transmissions. Perhaps the women in our family should just buy white gowns and throw parties when the marriage bug bites.

You May Want to Buy Stock in Office Depot

Every time I apply for help wrangling my home mortgage to the ground, I am required to come up with around 55 pages of documentation. Nobody returns this paper pile when I’m rejected, so as I move from agency to agency, I leave behind a fat file. I have become adroit at finding and photocopying these docs. From power bills to tax returns, agencies are starting to know more about me than I know about myself. As I told my friend Julie, the amount of paperwork I’m compelled to file is making Office Depot rich. Buy stock. I’m still going.

My Uterus is a Smarty Pants. How About Yours?

Divine intervention, in the form of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s comments about uteruses having brains that allow them to shut down pregnancies following rape, caused humorist Andy Borowitz to shift into high gear: “From what I understand, there’s nothing that the uterus doesn’t know,” Rep. Akin told a reporter on KTVI-TV. “It’s almost like Spider-Man’s ‘spidey sense,’ if you will, except the tingling goes on down in the lady parts.” Borowitz also imagines Akin posting uteruses at airports and border crossings to combat terrorism, ‘cause they’re so darn smart. I concur. What better way to screen dicks like Akin?

For more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2012/08/an-apology-from-todd-akin.html

Getting Published Can Be the Ultimate Crap Shoot


I understand why Sylvia Plath put her head in an oven and turned on the gas. I get why Lee Gutkind, editor of “Creative Nonfiction” magazine, thought about a bridge jump when three book contracts were cancelled in unison. The highs and lows of editor and publisher approvals are dramatic and not for wusses. Having a Zoloft prescription helps. There is no logic here. Folks who buy writing like it or they don’t and it’s impossible to hold on to the euphoria of a positive review for long when they do. This is why I was advised to study accounting.