Oh, Nuts! A Fish Called Ouch

BBE0020The Pacu fish was driven from Illinois shores, but they’ve returned with revenge on their tiny brains, swimming the New Jersey shorelines and attacking testicles. Indigenous to the Amazon, Pacu could be escaping their homeland due to deforestation (their preferred food, giant tree nuts, are disappearing), but you can’t blame them. Those tree nuts look exactly like testicles. Could this be Mother Nature’s divine retribution? Only the Pacu know. Cold weather kills this fish, but if it’s an unusually warm New Jersey winter, holiday shoppers may wish to stock up on athletic cups for the male swimmers in their lives.

What’s Not to Hate About the Rate?

CYS0011Having survived working for the post office over Christmas, I know too much and find the latest rate increase deplorable. A 49¢ stamp? Puhleeze. Like most writers, this hike is serious; many publishers and agents refuse e-mail attachments, so we must pitch via snail mail. Editors also require the inclusion of a second stamp so they can reject us on our dime. Send out 12 queries and twelve bucks vanish with no promise of ROI. This could be the postal system’s last breath of life. Me? I’m just breathing into paper bags and toying with the idea of hand delivery.

Eleanor Would Be Proud

Bridget, Julie and meAs I fold programs for this year’s Eleanor Roosevelt Tea party, I mull the cover words “seventh year” and can’t refrain from uttering a phrase I swore to avoid: Where has time gone? Our merry band of left-wing liberals is happily morphing from women of a certain age to an infusion of energetic whippersnappers; a legacy being re-shaped as newbies get their sea legs and plunder the unkind, unforgiving political quicksand. They’re tough. They’ll need to be. But they’re learning to follow Eleanor’s mantra: To survive in politics, a woman must develop the hide of a rhinoceros. Horns up, Ladies!

It’s Raining Men

balconyMonths ago, we received notice that the building was receiving an exterior facelift and that men on scaffolding would appear at our windows. The process took so long, I stopped checking mine — until I exited my bathroom nude following a shower yesterday. Fortuitously, I looked up just as knees — and then the belts — of dudes on the scaffolding began appearing. Thank God the apparatus was moving slowly. I had just enough time to grab my clothes and scurry back into the bathroom. This may have been a thrilling experience for me. I can’t speak for the guys.

CeeLo Evil

AEN0018Despite our no-nonsense instructor, ambiance in the sculpting studio is very relaxed. When students began bringing in music, the teacher said nothing – even when rap blared forth. Yesterday, as the first beats of “Forget You” by CeeLo Green sounded, I figured the catchy song was the ultimate safe pick — until I heard the first “F*** you” — in place of “Forget you.” My eyes scanned the room. Not one student stopped working long enough to gauge the teacher’s reaction. I think she’s become so immune to the “variety” of tunes students bring in, lyric substitutions don’t even register.

Polly Want a Donut?

pilotMark “Talk Like a Pirate Day” on your 2014 calendar now, just in case you missed this year’s September 19th celebration. No plank walking will be required if you bone up on your pirate talk, show up at a Krispy Kreme donut shop uttering your best “Ahoy, matey!” “Me hearties!” or “Arrrr!” and claim your free glazed doughnut. Wear a pirate costume and a dozen glazed could wind up in the hull of your highjacked galleon. Live parrots? Health laws rule, so stash your bird before entering the donutorium. You’ve got a year to practice. This site can help: http://www.talklikeapirate.com/howto.html.

Miley Needs an Achy-Breaky Spanking

Church LadyI was reminded of a favorite Saturday Night Live character – the Church Lady – when I read the press release Billy Ray Cyrus just issued in response to his daughter’s recent and audacious twerkathon. Dana Carvey’s famous words are part of TV history: “Isn’t that special?” Perhaps the Mullet King channeled the Church Lady when he sent the press this reaction to her VMA performance: “Miley was just trying to make it a special night.” Wise up Dad. Even grown kids need direction. Ever thought about taking her behind the wood shed to show her why God made butts?

Fly Me to Insanity

reptileIt’s fly season around here and Tuna is doing his level best to cull the herd. The annual onslaught reminds me of the infamous locust plague predicted by Moses — only it arrives on the heels of Chicago road construction season. Why this corner of Wood Dale is home to this creepy event is a mystery. Perhaps it’s the last hurrah of suburban flies before winter arrives. Being obsessive, I repeat, “If Noah had been wise, he’d have thrown off those two flies” habitually — until I’m primed to swat myself just to make the couplet, not the buzzing, stop.

Storytelling is Hot Again …

CHI0068… says journalist Shane Snow. She writes that companies are destined to live or die by stories told by marketers and advertisers in the future. For 30 years, I’ve been a huge fan of storytelling as a mechanism for product promotion and it’s nice to know this community of believers is growing. There’s a secret benefit here, too: creative souls aching to major in liberal arts rather than business could find careers doing what they love. Stories transcend coupons. Surpass discounts. And no matter what Twitter fans claim, it’s impossible to tell a great one in less than 140 characters.

No Ordinary Hand Job


BBE0014The Naam Yoga hand exercise is supposed to calm nerves immediately, but no matter how hard I press the designated area on my hand, I have zero luck. Author Sharon Melnick stopped squeezing pressure points long enough to write Success Under Stress and her simple instructions for the Naam Yoga hand job should have been a slam dunk: “Apply pressure to the area between the second and third knuckles (aka: pointer and middle fingers).” Done. Nothing. I wonder if us lefties are wired differently. Now, I’m doubly stressed because I pressed the hand so often, It’s really killing me. Ohm.