I Found Valhalla on History TV

Vikings
I may have been bombarded with too much testosterone in-vitro because I can’t get enough of the History Channel series Vikings. Fearless women give birth one minute and battle invaders the next. Talk about leaning in! The series serves up everything from rousing Viking funerals to social interaction detailing a pagan society trying to understand English religions as they bypass pleasantries to plunder riches. Don’t expect fat ladies with braids under horned helmets, though. Anyone daring to vocalize at the conclusion of a Vikings episode is as likely to get her head lopped off as complete the aria.

Why I’m Doubtin’ Downton

Downton
Seriously? Edith carries a baby to term, weans and dumps her, then returns to Downton Abbey in about 10 minutes of airtime? Oh, and practical Mary spends a year conversing with two insipid guys, remaining as secretive about her favorite as Hillary Clinton is of her intention to run for the presidency? In the race to this season’s finale, something went horribly awry with the script, which proved as scary as Shirley Maclain’s face. All that was missing was Lord Grantham waking from a dream to learn that Lady Sybil isn’t dead after all.

Heeerrrrsss Georgie!

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Dust off your copy of Georges Wictionary! The mission accomplisher is on the speechifying trail at long last. If you can’t see him ramble in person at a venue nearby, Wictionary makes an entertaining substitute since definitions are equally mangled. I know what you’re thinking: Promoters are paying George $150K to kill the language? That’s right–and at some venues, he’s on the bill with folks one step up from Nigerian bankers willing to roll your life savings into a fortune. On the other hand, my book only costs $12 and you can jeer aloud while you read.

Huffing and Puffing

9 habits
Fault me for occasionally favoring Huffington Post business articles over those printed in more prestigious publications, but many of them inspire me. A recent favorite? “The 9 Essential Habits of Mentally Strong People” by Carolyn Gregoire. How many describe you?

1) You see things objectively
2) You eschew entitlement
3) You maintain an even keel
4) You don’t expect to be perpetually happy
5) You qualify as a realistic optimist
6) You live in the present
7) You persist after setting goals
8) You know when it’s time to let go
9) You love your life.

Just Another Day at the Track

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I’ve never seen the electronic bunny, but that doesn’t mean the hare isn’t there when Tuna instantly goes from REM sleep to greyhound at all hours of the day or night. Dreamsicle looks at him with disdain as Tuna dashes frantically around like a cat possessed–or as much as he can dash in a condo loaded with corners and Pergo floors offering zero traction. I’d love to control the ghost bunny and harness all of Tuna’s energy. Sounds cruel, but the thought of running appliances from an outlet in his butt has crossed my mind.

Temptation on Ice (This has nothing to do with the Olympics)

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After my dental procedure, I shopped for soft foods. This is torture since I eat mostly raw stuff and avoid canned goods. There was nowhere to go but the freezer section, home to Ice Cream Nirvana. Should I buy a gallon in the dead of winter and risk hypothermia since I have a history of eating that much in one sitting or toss a small container into my cart and inflame my inner cheapskate? Angry people encircled me. I was blocking their Breyer’s and Ben and Jerry’s views. “Crap,” I recall muttering as I headed for the applesauce.

I Taste Dead People

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Another year, another dental procedure — this time, a bone implant and a tooth implant. The bone comes from a cadaver and isn’t the first dead person to inhabit my mouth. When my temporary prosthetic is in place, I sound like Jesse Jackson. Without it, I would fit right into a Honey BooBoo family reunion. Each time I take out the prosthetic, I recall the billboard featuring choppers in a glass beneath the headline, “Dont Die With Your Teeth in a Jar.” Given the bone source used for my graft, I think I may already have that covered.

An Open Letter to the Ladies of Kazakhstan

Khasikstan
Dear Comrades,
Kazakhstan is banning lacy undies following a regulatory dispute between former USSR nations over synthetics. Distressing. Even Victoria won’t keep this secret if y’all continue to demonstrate as you did when you wore bikinis over your hair on February 16th. I’ve a theory: I think Putin is disputin’ your right to cover your privates with lace ‘cause he’s gay; if he can’t wear sexy knickers, nobody can. I urge you to adopt this rallying cry: “If I must get my panties in a bunch, make them silk, not cotton grannies.”
In solidarity,
Gail

Tuna as Basket Case

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I knew I was taking a risk when I brought home the huge organic basket. What I saw as the ultimate bath towel holder probably looked like the world’s largest scratching post to Tuna. I saw it in his eyes. But, I had a game plan in place. I quickly wrapped the basket in a plastic shower curtain, a move that bewildered the cat. He looked crestfallen while assessing the situation, knowing he couldn’t scale the plastic. That doesn’t mean he’s not spending huge amounts of time sitting wistfully beside or staring at the basket. For Tuna, hope springs eternal.

‘Tis Better to be Hacked Than Whacked

robbery
When the bank notified me that my debit card account had been hacked, I didn’t blink an eyelash. My balance is usually so low, hackers would find it impossible to use it to order a coffee from Starbucks. Besides, with the number of senior assaults headlining the news, I’d rather be hacked than whacked. I’ve no intention of becoming a cash-only consumer again, so as I await my debit card replacement (it’s probably already the object of some hacker’s affection), I’m considering investing in plastic. I have a hunch this won’t be the last replacement card I require.