Assholes, Trauma & Trepidation — Part Deux

imagesYesterday’s rant about my AT&T service disruption didn’t mark an end to my misery. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse on day 4, my building’s cable service went down. No phone. No Internet. No cable. I was so traumatized, I wept when the coffeemaker turned on. This must be what Bin Laden went through in his cave – minus the unwashed, bearded guys with Kalashnikovs. Were it not for my rarely-used cell phone, I was cut off from the world — until Comcast rebooted the building. Not sure why that also fixed my AT&T system, but who cares?

Assholes, Trauma & Trepidation


Soon as I finish writing this post, I’ll stick pins into my AT&T voodoo doll. My system crashed and burned day before yesterday and after hours on the phone trying to find human help, I tried the “If you want to start new AT&T service, press 3” option, figuring they might talk to me if they smelled a new account. It worked. I was transferred around lots, but was finally told that my modem was fried and that a new one was on the way. That was three days ago – enough time to make my little doll. Jab. Jab.


Julian, You’re Killing Me!


When Julian Fellowes announced that he planned to kill off a major Downton Abbey character, I knew the plot line immediately: “Sybil dies in childbirth.” How? ‘Cause Fellowes loves to knock off the best-looking young people in the cast. First, the randy Turkish hottie Mr. Permook dies of – well, exertion — in Lady Mary’s bed. Next, Lavinia takes a header while the elder Cora makes a miraculous recovery from the Spanish flu. I recommend taking Matthew out next. He’s proving to be too wimpy. Eye candy, but wimpy. Besides, Mary needs a lover. It’s the chase with her, you know.

Swiped by Creditors — Again


It’s Sunday. Do you know where your credit cards are? You may want to rethink using yours as frequently as you do now; “checkout fees” take effect today – January 27th – courtesy of nine banks, Visa and MasterCard. Only 10 states care enough about consumers to declare checkout fees illegal (learn which at: The rest of us will again be nickeled-and-dimed by select retailers, so check your receipts carefully. If you notice checkout fees, you can always pay cash, use a debit card (they’re exempt) or stop patronizing the place. I plan to do all three.

Meet My Upstairs Neighbors


I wish I could find a way to rent the brain space currently inhabited by characters populating my book in progress. They’ve taken up residence like the Mucinex family and I’m embarrassed to admit to the conversations I have enjoyed with the lead characters since I birthed them. I’ve yet to ask any of them for advice, but by the time I hit the 60,000 words I’ve targeted, I may just know them well enough to ask for ideas or perhaps a loan. Which is how the subject of charging them rent occurred to me in the first place …

The Year of Yair?


Every nation needs one celebrity-turned-elected official. We had Reagan and Schwarzenegger; France had Carla Bruni Sarkozy. Now, Israel jumps in. Yair Lapid, a 2013 political dark horse, just pulled shockingly high numbers at the ballot box, trimming Netanyahu’s projected landslide like a barber cutting the hair of Marine Corps recruits. A former TV news journalist, Lapid knows what to say and how to say it. The camera loves him; he could turn out the female vote big time. Does Lapid have what it takes to be Prime Minister? Let’s see how he fares on “the other side” of the microphone.

Mrs. Carter Goes to Washington


Summon the firing squad: Beyonce lip-synched the National Anthem. Not since Milli-Vanilli was nailed for that offense has a nation been so riled up over a performance. I’m not a fan, but where is it written that lip-synching is illegal? Beyonce operates on her own terms; makes no apologies, either. Instead of roasting her over media fires, let’s give her our legislative laundry list and send her to Congress to do the nation’s business. Bet she could accomplish what 535 gridlocked politicians are failing to do — and she could lip-synch a few tunes while she does it.

Thank God — We Have a Fruit!


For most, it’s 2013. For Jewish purists, it’s 5773. Why cite the year? To make a point: It’s taken 5,772 years for Jews to get their own fruit. Sure, the name “Mangosteen” is misspelled, but whose ancestor didn’t get a name change on Ellis Island? No matter. Better late than never. Mangosteens are a trendy, new crop of purple fruit and loaded with antioxidants. No fertilization is required to grow Mangosteens, either, so if your sense of humor is as old school as the calendar, feel free to inject your favorite Jewish joke about Sadie refusing Moshe’s fertilization attempts, too.

Neither My Hips Nor My Head Lie

head music

Not since Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” has a song about moving body parts hung around my brain as long as “Shake, shake, shake – Shake your Sensa.” For us OCDs, the struggle to banish catchy, repetitive tunes — anything from Daughtry to jingles – is an annoying fact of life and anything but pleasurable. I’ve tried various remedies to rid my head of melodies, but none work. I’m waiting for someone to come up with a brain wash, kinda like a netty pot, but you pour it into the ears rather than the nose, and the tune flushes right out.

How Do You Describe Yourself?


744 people jumped on Jeff Haden’s article about over-used self-descriptors on job resumes. Check out some of his top picks:

•  World-class: Provide Olympic medals when applying, if you don’t mind.

• Global provider: Were you formerly a FedEx employee?

• Motivated: Even if it’s only for the salary.

• Creative: Descriptor reserved for God.

• Dynamic: It means forceful. Do you plan an office takeover?

• Guru: Casual Fridays; no orange robes required.

• Curator: Only museum-workers need apply.

• Passionate: The ultimate qualifier for porn actors.

• Unique: My DNA proves it.

• Serial entrepreneur: The workingman’s Gacy.