Thursday, July 31, 2014


A Facebook friend sent the picture of PLUVIOPHILE to me. It's always good to have a name for one's condition!

Being allergic to the sun, I suppose it's normal that I like rainy days, cloudy days, overcast skies, and nighttime. A friend quipped, "So, Rainy Days And Mondays DON'T get you down?" I replied, "Although I like The Carpenters and Paul Williams, I'm more of a Charles Addams kind of girl." See one of my favorite Addams cartoons where the Addams Family is looking out on a terrible rain storm and Gomez says happily, "Just the kind of day that makes you feel good to be alive."

Last winter my doctor told me that my Vitamin D level was low and prescribed 1200 MG extra calcium a day. She told me that I could discontinue using them during the summer because I'd probably get enough from the sun.

I told her that I do not go out in the sun very often because I'm allergic to the sun. She looked shocked and said, "How long has this been going on?" I told her, "All my life."

She asked, "Did you ever tell me that?" I said, "I'm sure it's in my original paperwork that asks about allergies as I'm allergic to nickel alloy and the sun." She leafed through fifteen years of charts and said, "I'll be damn; it is there."

She asked me what would happen when I am in the sun and I told her I would have blotches and blisters appear accompanied by severe itching. I said, "I'm very careful; I've never had a sun tan in my life; if I'm going to be in the sun for any length of time, I wear long sleeves, hat, and gloves."

Les says I look like a "Red-Hat beekeeper" when I go out just to pick flowers for bouquets. In the 1970s a friend bought a bonnet for me at an "Amish" store and in those days, I actually helped with gardening and the bonnet had a lot of service. I should get another one, but wide-brimmed straw hats are better because they also protect the back of the neck.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


CLICK HERE to see a Grammarphobia article. I wonder if this language usage is just within the medical profession, because I had a nurse practitioner ask the same thing: "You are allergic to no medications?" I answered, "I'm not allergic to any medications I've taken."

In telling this to my brother he lectured, "But you knew WHAT she meant; there was no need to insert your clever correction." (OOOOOH! "Clever correction." He knows I love alliteration!) I said, "But it sounded stilted." "Stitled?", he gibed!

I answered, "It's like, yes, I have no bananas! If I'd answered 'yes', it would have been yes, I am allergic to no medications; if I'd answered 'no', it would have meant no, I'm allergic to medications." He answered, "That's rather convoluted, doncha think?" I said, "She should've asked, 'Are you allergic to any medications you've taken?' doncha think?"

From the OED: stilted: adjective "of a manner of talking or writing: stiff and self-conscious or unnatural." synonym: awkward

Listen to 1923 recording of Yes, We Have No Bananas.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


After my BLOG article EUPHEMISMS was published, a friend commented, "Have you noticed the use of the word GUEST rather than CUSTOMER in stores and restaurants?" I had not noticed.

But, last week, having had the pleasure of dining out three times and doing lots of shopping, I was struck by the fact that the word "guest" was used at all the restaurants we patronized and I saw "guest" posted in a store that the former "customer service desk" is now "guest services".

Despite what the Grammarphobia (see here) article states, if I am paying for a service then I do NOT think I'm a guest!

Monday, July 28, 2014


I sign up for all the "birthday" specials at different restaurants and sites. You can go to their websites to sign up for the offers.

My "gifts" this year include: free appetizer or dessert at Olive Garden, Longhorn, and Red Lobster; free Blizzard from Dairy Queen; BOGOs from Bob Evans, Denny's, and a bonanza of coupons from other companies.

The good news is that I do not have to use them ON my birthday. My Red Hat Ladies group will have its July luncheon at Longhorn!

"Bonuses" I didn't accept: opportunities to increase credit card allowances!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


After bringing Gerald home from the hospital and after completing all of my obligatory phone calls Les asked, "Surely you have SOME amusing anecdote to relate, don't you?"

I said, "Well, the doctor's name was Jude but I refrained from singing Hey, Jude, and the nurse's name was Crystal; Gerald and I both serenaded her with Crystal Blue Persuasion."

"Do you know what's sad?" I asked. "The girl had never even heard of the song." Gerald asked her if she'd watched Breaking Bad because the song was on the final episode.

Listen to Tommy James and The Shondells recording from 1969.

See the Facebook message below sent to me by a friend who knows me very well.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


My brother says that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who put bumper stickers on their cars and those who don't.

Last year there were bets among my family and friends about how long it would take for me to have bumper stickers on my new car.

The winner chose "less than a week".

The only car I have not adorned with bumper stickers is the Corvette, although I did want to have a bumper sticker made to put on the Corvette proclaiming: "I'd rather be driving my Maserati", which was a gibe at those vainglorious Corvette owners who place stickers on their other vehicles proclaiming, "I'd rather be driving my Corvette." See the license plate holder which Gerald thought was a better idea, but of course I wouldn't have that on my car either!

The Facebook message from my friend Mona Lisa states: They asked why I don't have tattoos. So I told them, "Do you see a Ferrari with bumper stickers?"

Friday, July 25, 2014


A young woman came into Gerald's hospital room and she was wearing black ballet-flats, black slacks, with a chartreuse sweater atop a black blouse. She was also carrying a pumpkin-colored purse which I thought I recognized from the Fendi collection.

I asked, "Hi, who are you?" She introduced herself as the neurologist on duty.

Doctors surely dress differently these days. Being an oldster, I would never have chosen her combination of clothes and accessories, but she looked very attractive.

She began taking her medical instruments from the pumpkin-colored bag. THAT is her medical bag!

When she had completed her examination-- which I thought was very thorough-- I asked, "Is that a Fendi bag?"

She laughed and said, "Oh, no, it's a Furla; I couldn't afford a Fendi; my sister is the bag expert and she thought this one looked sturdy to use for my valise."

I said, "Oh, I wish I had a Judith Leiber but I have to be satisfied with this Burberry."

She said, "Yes, I noticed; that bag looks very nice too."

Gerald asked, "Do you two want to discuss MY case?"

Thursday, July 24, 2014


A recent television show featured several people who keep wild animals such as tigers and pythons as pets. The naivete of the people who never believe that their animals will escape and harm anyone is astounding! (CLICK HERE to see article "Why A Wolf Will Never Be Man's Best Friend")

I have known two people who kept wild animals. One was named Wolfgang, but all the guys at work called him "Wolfie". He had come to this country from Germany after World war II and was a Tool and Die Maker. I had noticed quite a number of scars on his hands, arms, and neck, but I certainly was not going to ask about them. One day Wolfgang asked, "Would you like to see pictures of my babies?" I looked at the pictures, gasped, and asked, "Are those wolves?"

He answered, "Yes, aren't they beautiful?" I said, "Yes, they certainly are but are you allowed to keep them?" He seemed surprised that I would suggest that and replied, "Oh, they won't hurt anyone." I asked, "Did you get those scars from the wolves?" He answered, in a blasé tone, "Oh, no, those came from the lions." I fairly screaked, "LIONS? You have lions too?"

I recall reading Wolfgang's widow's obituary: "preceded in death by her husband of 44 years Wolfgang, and by their beloved lion Victor." (see here)

I often wondered if the love of wolves started because of his given name.

The other man, Alex, also a German, was the Engineer for the Robotic Welders at work, and he also kept wolves as pets. Although I don't believe in stereotypes, I wondered to myself, "Can there be a connection between these guys both being German, being mechanically inclined, and both loving wolves?"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Godwin's Law Of Nazi Analogies, an internet law which is now more than twenty years old, is described like this: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. The first to 'play the Nazi card' loses any argument and all respect."

CLICK HERE to see the article from The Huffington Post which details the prevalent use of the analogies. Any time I hear a commentator--whether conservative or liberal--use a Nazi analogy, I immediately spurn them.

I understand that I was attacked on a local hate sheet by being referred to as a "GRAMMARNAZI". I don't--and won't--read the scurrilous screed, but a "reliable source" informed me about it. I ignore those reprehensible hate-mongers, but this one was just too ludicrous to disregard. It's almost as reprehensible as the vile invective spewed by that radio personality who uses the term FEMINAZI!

If "the Gang Of 5" knew anything about me, they would know that I am the exact opposite of a Nazi as I am an admitted left-winger. Oh, silly me, that would mean that they actually knew the difference between a right-winger and a left-winger.

The Nazis would have been rounding me up along with the Jews, Gypsies, atheists, intellectuals, and homosexuals.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


After learning about the policies of Cracker Barrel, I have boycotted the restaurants for years. A relative with differing political views than mine gave me a gift card to use at Cracker Barrel. I faced a moral dilemma: what to do with the card. Les said, "She's probably expecting you to give it back, so why not re-gift it ala Seinfeld?" The difference between her and me: I wouldn't waste my money to "get someone's goat" and I wouldn't consider imposing my political beliefs via gifts. Les said, "Make a contribution to the ACLU in her name."

Instead I went to the gift shop at Cracker Barrel and got what I know is a very-collectible item and I donated that item to a fundraiser for my local women's shelter.

I sent a thank you card and to let her know what I'd done with the "gift"; she called and laughed and said, "We were betting you would return it." I said, "They don't allow cashing it in for money." She said, "No, I meant you'd return it as a gift to ME." Les was right! I'm very glad I donated the item to the fundraiser rather than re-gifting.

CLICK HERE to see an article about Cracker Barrel firing a 73-year-old veteran who gave cornbread and some condiments to a homeless man.

Also in the article, read about Panera Bread's policy of having customers pay an amount of what the customer thinks Panera's products are worth.

I'm going to Panera Bread!

Monday, July 21, 2014


While working at Rockwell in Columbus in the 1980s, I noticed that there were a large number of Mexican restaurants in the area. There were numerous Hispanic workers in my departments and I learned that there was a sizable population of Hispanics in the area. George, one of my Team Leaders, was Hispanic and he and I talked a great deal. I learned that his family had lived in the area since the 1950s because his grandparents were braceros who had settled there. I attended the quinceanera when George's daughter celebrated her fifteenth birthday. As it happened, none of George's team members were Hispanic but any time I needed a translator in other areas I would call for George to help.

It was my habit to leave flyers, discounts, menus, coupons, and other items of interest on the break tables of the employees. During garden season I would leave extra produce from our garden.

My mother loved Mexican food and I told her that we were going to try out all the Mexican restaurants during February and although we usually had a "birthday week" with her choosing her favorite meals for a week, I thought a whole week of Mexican food would be a little much. She asked, "Why? Don't Mexicans eat the same food all week?" That's a valid point.

Because of patronizing Mexican restaurants for Mother's birthday week, I had a bunch of stuff from the restaurants to distribute. One day as I was leaving the items from the Mexican restaurants on the table, George was there at the table with his crew.

One of George's team members commented that I must really like Mexican food. I told them about my mother and I said, "I can't believe all of the Mexican restaurants in this area." George chuckled and said, "Well, after all, Sue, Reynoldsburg IS the birthplace of the tomato." I laughed but nobody else did. One of the team members asked, "I didn't get it; what was funny about that?"

George said, "If I have to explain it, then it wasn't THAT funny." However, George did explain the connection of tomato-picking braceros, and the prevalence of Mexican restaurants in the area.

Over the years I have attended the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival several times and I have been pleased to see the number of Hispanic girls as royalty which was not the case in the 1980s.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


In the 1960s, "charismatic" was a fashionable word used to describe JFK; until then I had never known the word. In subsequent years, I have heard numerous words become trendy and then fade away; e.g.: "paradigm", "wonk" and "dudgeon".

I recall when my nephew told me that he could tell when a modish word was passé: when he'd see it on a bumper sticker. When I saw the bumper sticker SUBVERT THE DOMINANT PARADIGM, I laughed, recalling my nephew's rule.

I have several friends who report to me each time they hear the word "schadenfreude" used (CLICK HERE to see BLOG article SCHADENFREUDE BUG). The "bug" happens whenever we hear a new--or unused--word used and then we cannot believe the number of times we hear it used afterwards; we have a compulsion to keep track of and report about the usage.

I said to Les, "I swear I've heard the word dystopia used three times this week." He said that every time he hears a promo for any science fiction work, a grave voice intones, "In a future dystopian world...."

Definition of dystopia: "an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one." It is the opposite of Utopia.

DYSTOPIA, your time has come and gone; it's now on a bumper sticker! I was very happy to see Orwell's picture on the sticker.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


My friend Patty forwarded this to me from her friend John.



Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.


A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.


The process by which people seem to absorb success and advancement by sucking up to the boss rather than working hard.


The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.


An office filled with cubicles.


When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on. (This also applies to applause from a promotion because there may be cake.)


The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.


Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids or start a "home business".


A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.


Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.


The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.


The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the "adminisphere" are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve. This is often affiliated with the dreaded "administrivia" - needless paperwork and processes.


Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located.


That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake (e.g. you've hit "reply all" in error).


Surreptitiously farting while passing through a cube farm, then enjoying the sounds of dismay and disgust.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Today, I read a Grammarphobia article titled "Why Do We Use Euphemisms?" (see here) and rather proudly congratulated myself that I didn't resort to euphemisms. I was struck by one of the quotes in the article: "It is therefore the language of evasion, hypocrisy, prudery, and deceit." (from the Oxford Dictionary Of Euphemisms).

But, just yesterday, I quoted a remark a friend had said years ago which I found to be very funny, sarcastic, and caustic. I had also written about the incident years ago in a BLOG article (CLICK HERE to see NAME DROPPER). When I looked at the old BLOG article to e-mail to her, I said to Les, "I used a euphemism." Les said, "Funny thing there--you used the real word when you told it to Patty--but you used a euphemism in the BLOG article."


I realize that I am sometimes old-fashioned (especially about language usage) and reserve some things for formality, but I realized I should have indeed used the word "shit" rather than "poop" in the BLOG article because that is what she actually said! Not only is it accurate, but it's also a whole lot funnier than the euphemism.

The all-time worst euphemism: Mr. Cheney's "enhanced interrogation" for torture.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Ziggy, the husband of our grand niece Aron, overheard me use the word "macerate" and told Aron that he thought that I'd used a "dirty word". (CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article ZIGGY) After that incident he would beg for me to tell him some other words which sounded naughty but weren't. I told him "bobeche", "micturated", "frottage", "matriculate", and masticate".

I'm eager to hear his reaction when I send this week's e-mail from WORDSMITH (see here) which has a list of words which "sound dirty but are not":


The comments following the article are delightful.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


My friend Patty has a cousin named Dick who is retired from the State Department where he was a diplomat. I told Patty that whenever I hear of any diplomatic story I mention to Les how her cousin Dick was the Ambassador to Georgia. That really isn't name-dropping, but whenever I do it, Les reverts to our long-standing putdowns of name-droppers as he will invariably answer "Yes, my aunt's grandfather's cousin's nephew's husband waved to IAN FLEMING." I always remind him that Ian Fleming wasn't a diplomat thus the put-down is irrelevant, but he says, "Close enough--he was MI-6."

This routine started in the 1970s and I've written before about two guys--Doug and Carl--with whom I worked (CLICK HERE to see BLOG article "YOU HAD A BED?") who were my co-conspirators in the crimes of smart-aleckry, put-downs, and all-around mischief to people we thought were deserving of ridicule.

One of our co-workers was such a constant name-dropper that whenever he would start bragging about knowing someone he considered "important", one of us three would take revenge. One night at the lunch table, I was given the signal that it was MY turn to exact retribution. The braggart had said that he'd gotten an autograph from Woody Hayes and I said, "Hey, Doug, did I tell you that my aunt's grandfather's cousin's nephew's husband waved to JACK ELAM?" Doug and Carl both did spit-takes with liquid coming through Doug's nostrils while Carl was choking and sputtering and saying "JACK ELAM? No, not JACK ELAM! He waved to JACK ELAM! Can I meet that guy who actually waved to JACK ELAM?"

I always thought that saying "Jack Elam" was the funny part but they thought the "waving" was the best part, so waving was always included in the future routines.

After that the signal was, "You're up, JACK!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


With the closing of Community Market, my friend Bobbi and I were commiserating with each other about items we only bought there. "Where will we get our tapioca?" she wailed. I answered, "I even asked them where they bought the tapioca with such big pearls and they said they bought it from Yoder's." She asked, "You mean all these years I thought it was made in the store? I've never seen any Yoder's tapioca at other stores." I said, "I'll ask Gerald to do an online search!"

I told her that when I heard of the store closing, I went immediately to buy all the Wick's Peach Glaze that was available, because it was the only local store which carried it and I needed it for my annual fresh peach pie (CLICK HERE to see BLOG article PRESENTATION ISN'T EVERYTHING about a not-so-successful peach pie).

Years ago I was at the Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City and I saw someone at the next table have a piece of fresh (unbaked) peach pie. I ordered a piece and it was very delicious and asked if I could have the recipe. I was told that their glaze was not made at the restaurant, but that they used the Wick's brand. I found Wick's peach glaze at Ev's and when Community Market took over, Wick's was still carried there.

I told Les, "There are all those fresh peaches in the stores and I have no glaze!"

Les asked, "Why don't you see if you can get a recipe for it like the strawberry one using Jell-O?"

I checked the Jell-O recipes and this is the recipe for peach glaze:

1 cup water
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup sugar
1 small package peach Jell-O
6 drops yellow food coloring

Boil water, corn starch, and sugar together until clear. Add peach Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Add food coloring and allow to cool. Mix fresh, sliced peaches into the glaze and turn into a baked, pie shell. Serve with whipped cream.

Les and I just licked the bowl and spoon and the homemade glaze is YUMMY!

Monday, July 14, 2014


We were watching Jeopardy! and the question was regarding the birthdate of the U.S. Marine Corps. After answering, Gerald let out a whooping "HOOOAH". I asked, "I wonder where that originated?" I asked Les, "How do you think it's spelled?"

See the definition from The Wise Geek:

“Hooah!” is a slang phrase used by members of the U. S. military, and although its exact origin is not clear, it is typically thought to come from the acronym HUA, which stands for for “heard, understood, acknowledged.” The phrase is generally used in response to a statement or order from a military superior. “Hooah!” also is often used by members of the U. S. military as a morale-boosting cheer, and its broad definition has even been described as meaning "everything and anything but no."

After a little research, I learned that the Army uses "HOOAH", the Marines "OORAH" and the Navy and Coast Guard "HOOYAH!".

Sunday, July 13, 2014


As I am planning to have lamb for one of my birthday meals, I completed making mint jelly. When I gave a jar of the jelly to my friend Mona Lisa she asked me the differences between jelly, jam, marmalade, and preserves.

I turned to my friend David Persinger for information. David, known locally as "The JAM MAN", produces more than thirty-six different varieties of jellies, jams, and butters. David sells his delicacies at the Farmer's Market in Washington Court House where he was to give a demonstration of jam-making. (CLICK HERE to see the article from Washington Court House Record Herald.) Because of the lack of enough electrical power to make water boil, he was unable to complete the demonstration. In future weeks there will be demonstrations by chefs using fresh, seasonal products.

For Mona Lisa:

JELLY: It is usually made from cooking fruit juice and sugar and pectin as a jelling agent and lemon juice as an acid to maintain a clear, consistent product. Jelly is firm and will hold its shape.

JAM: It is usually made from chopped fruit cooked with sugar, and pectin and lemon juice. It does contain pieces of fruit.

PRESERVES: Are fruit cooked with sugar to the point that large chunks of fruit, or whole fruit, such as berries, are suspended in a syrupy base.

MARMALADE: It is a soft jelly, most often made with citrus fruit that includes the pulp and peel of the fruit. While the peel is bitter, the sweetness of the jelly offsets the taste.

CLICK HERE to see article from The Nibble. It includes descriptions of CHUTNEY, CONFITURE (French for jam), CONSERVES, FRUIT BUTTER, FRUIT CURD, FRUIT SPREAD, and GELEE (French for jelly) as well as for jams, jellies, preserves, and marmalades.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


A Facebook friend posted the picture showing a person with a sign proclaiming: RESPECT ARE COUNTRY SPEAK ENGLISH. CLICK HERE to see the article "10 Ironic Speak English Signs" from The Huffington Post.

It's another example of "Teabonics" (famous Tea Party signs and slogans). I can imagine how upset the Teabaggers would be knowing we're having a play-on-words with "Eubonics".

Recently, I have seen the misuse of "pour" rather than "pore" several times. See the article "Pour English" from Grammarphobia below.

Pour English

Q: Are there too few English majors nowadays? A recent headline on “Volunteers pour over satellite images.” Hmm. I prefer maple syrup on my satellite images. What about you?

A: It shouldn’t take an English major to tell the difference between “pour” and “pore.” Yet many people, even in news organizations, write “pour over” when they mean “pore over.”

The verb “pour” means flow or cause to flow, as when a river “pours” over its banks, troops “pour” over a border, or you “pour” maple syrup over your waffles.

The other verb, “pore,” means to examine or study closely.

As Pat writes in Woe is I, “You pore over an engrossing book, but it’s gross to pour over one.” She uses this example: “While Charlotte pored over a steamy novel, the bathtub poured over.”

CNN wasn’t the only news organization to use “pour over” instead of “pore over” in reference to volunteer efforts in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370. This passage is from the Telegraph of Calcutta:

“The approach is a kind of crowdsourcing, but not one in which volunteers pour over satellite images, like they have in search of Flight 370.”

The verbs “pour” and “pore” have been part of English since the Middle Ages, but they’re unrelated and probably come from different sources, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

The OED says “pour,” first recorded around 1330, is of uncertain origin but perhaps is derived from the Middle French verb purer, which meant “to decant, pour out (a liquid).”

Over the centuries, “pour” has been widely used in transferred or figurative senses.

This OED citation from a 1995 issue of the British magazine Sugar is a good illustration: “If you want to cause a stir on the beach just pour yourself into a gorgeous swimsuit.”

In fact, “pour” has so many figurative uses that it’s hard to count them.

Today people “pour out their hearts,” “pour money” into causes, “pour into” hot vacation spots, and “pour themselves” into their jobs. And when lavishly praising or criticizing, they “pour it on” (a usage the OED dates from the late 1940s).

But the uses of the other verb, “pore,” are much more limited. It still means roughly what it did when first recorded around 1300, the OED says: “to look intently or fixedly, to gaze.”

“Pore” is of unknown origin, the dictionary says, but may be related to a now obsolete Middle English verb, “pire,” meaning to peer or look closely.

This long-dead verb, “pire,” bears some similarity to a regional usage in Low German, piren, meaning “to search closely, to collect carefully,” the OED says. But we’re getting into speculation here, and there’s no definite connection to the modern “pore.”

The most common use of “pore” today is one that developed in the late 1300s. The OED defines this sense as “to examine a book, map, etc., with fixed attention; to study or read earnestly or with intense concentration; to be absorbed in reading or study.”

In this sense, “pore” is frequently used with prepositions, especially “over” the OED says. And only occasionally do we find “pore” used in any other sense.

The OED says it’s sometimes used when we speak of meditating or thinking intently, as in this 1982 example from the Financial Times: “The Treasury clearly does not spend all its time poring over macro-economic issues.”

Generally, “pore” is used literally in its original sense, as Gretel Ehrlich did in her essay collection Islands, the Universe, Home (1991): “We pore over maps, chart our expeditions.”

Friday, July 11, 2014


I have written previously (CLICK HERE to see HORSE PARKING) about one of the City Council members who seems to have a compulsion to put on a fortnightly performance, which, judging from his self-satisfied demeanor, he evidently thinks is amusing. With their laughter, his fellow Council members actually encourage his fatuous behavior. Perhaps if they didn't laugh he would discontinue his ridiculous, inane, nonsensical, and mostly illogical renderings which have no relevance to the City's business. Whenever he begins his vocal meanderings, I feel like screaming, "TMI; get to the point!"

At the latest City Council meeting, he began a long-winded recounting about his not being able to "stand some people", but he emphasized that he tried to follow Biblical teaching about loving one's neighbors, etc. I was almost ready to admire his compunction, but he began a rambling discourse about thinking people should "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and other decidedly non-altruistic statements. I knew then that he had no compassion for his fellow man and the rest was mere posturing. Perhaps he should have listened to those missionary parents of whom he's fond of referencing!

He concluded his ludicrous recitation by telling that he'd developed hives, apparently from consuming popcorn and ice cream, with nuts and caramel (which he pronounced as "CARMEL"; perhaps he was thinking of Mount Carmel), but after visiting Urgent Care where he received a steroid shot, he had a "miraculous" recovery. Because of this "miracle"--perhaps once again he should have listened to those missionary parents who surely knew the meaning of the word "miracle"--he said that his heart was full of love. I would think that the "miracle" of a steroid shot was because of wonderful science, rather than heavenly intervention.

I suppose he meant his message to be that he'd discovered empathy for his fellow human beings, but he nattered on about his lack of affinity with others who are obviously not as perfect as he. It is obvious that he considers himself to be oh-so-much-better than the riff-raff with whom he deals.

After the meeting was adjourned, the City Manager said, loud enough for everyone to hear: "Sue, you could tell his heart was full of love for you."

I responded, "And I am full of vomit!"

Thursday, July 10, 2014



In a store, I heard a guy say, "It's a whole nother thing." NOTHER is NOT a word! Can't he say "another thing", "a whole other thing," "a completely different thing" or "an entirely different thing"?

CORN ROADS: Yes, I heard someone say that instead of "corn rows" when describing a hairstyle.

YOU GUYZES: something belonging to "you guys".

OURS pronounced as ARZE.

SNUCK used instead of SNEAKED. (I actually had someone try to correct me when I used "SNEAKED"!)

IDN'T instead of ISN'T.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Below is a copy of an e-mail I received, purportedly from Joe, an acquaintance of mine. I immediately called Joe and learned that numerous other people had also alerted him of the obvious misuse of his e-mail list.

Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2014 05:10:23 -0700
From: jl************
Subject: VERY URGENT!!!!!Help & a favor (Joseph L******)

I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about our trip, because it was impromptu. we had to be in Turkey for Tour.. The program was successful, but our journey has turned sour. we misplaced our wallet and cell phone on our way back to the hotel we lodge in after we went for sight seeing. The wallet contained all the valuables we had. Now, our passport is in custody of the hotel management pending when we make payment.

I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now. i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a short term loan from you ($2,600). this will enable me sort our hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any assistance. Please, let me know soonest.

Thanks so much.



Of course, it was easily recognizable as a scam but one can never be too cautious.

A friend of mine recently published pictures of himself on Facebook while he was on vacation. I sent him a personal Facebook message: "I just went over and burglarized your house." I have sent this same message to a great number of people who publish entirely too much about their whereabouts.

I know two elderly people who were the targets of scammers shortly after the death of their respective spouses. The scam involved phone calls, supposedly from grandchildren, who were claiming to be in trouble in Mexico and needed money wired to them. It was a telephone call--complete with static on the line--from a scammer pretending to be the grandchild, pleading for money.

Unfortunately, one of the people could not get in contact with the grandchild and wired $3,000 only to learn later that the grandson was at Sea World where his cell phone had been splashed and he could not receive calls. Fortunately, the second intended victim heeded the advice of a caregiver and learned the whereabouts of the grandchild and was not duped.

I believe that scammers read obituaries and see names and addresses and take advantage of the situations. Today, I shall be guarding the house of a person who will be having visitation hours for a loved one. Tomorrow, at the funeral, another person will guard the house while I attend the funeral.

"Distrust and caution are the parents of security."--Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


If I must explain a joke, I know that it hasn't been any good.

Today, as part of my yearly physical, I met with a nutritionist and she said that a good tip for maintaining portion control at meals is to use a smaller plate.

I said, "I usually just use one of my chargers."

I saw the blank look on her face and I realized that I had to explain my joke.

I have several sets of chargers which include green ones for Saint Patrick's Day dinner, red ones for Christmas dinner, and silver ones which I use quite often for other dinners.

I also met with a young exercise specialist who had strawberry-blonde hair and fair skin. He introduced me to a woman he was training. He asked if I had any exercise equipment in my home and I said that I had weights and a clothes hanger. (I guess the treadmill/clothes hanger is a pretty common occurrence because he laughed.)

He said that along with my water aerobics, it would be a good idea to introduce weights into my exercise regimen. I quipped, "I'm pretty strong; want to feel my muscles?" and I lifted up my arm for him to feel my forearm. He actually giggled and he began blushing, turning scarlet from his neck to his forehead. He said he wasn't allowed to touch the patients, only advise them. I turned to the young woman and said, "I must be losing my edge; that's the first time a man ever refused that invitation." She joined me in laughter. I guess it was a "female thing".

Monday, July 7, 2014


The son of a client likes to razz me about my bumper stickers and he has lately started calling me Mrs. Obama.

His mother had told the guy that I'd grown up with seven brothers, so he better be expecting a good give-and-take.

Yesterday, when he called me Mrs. Obama, I said, "Make sure you put an apostrophe in there as WE are Irish."

When I saw that he didn't "get it", I had to explain. (I hate it when people don't get my good comebacks and I have to explain 'em!) I said, "You know, O-apostrophe-b-a-m-a, just like a good Irish name."

I then asked, with the straightest face I could possibly muster, "Oh, you didn't know that the President is IRISH?"

Click here to see the article about the President's Irish roots (and yes, dear Alex Haley fans, I just had to use the word "roots" in this humorous juxtaposition). I like the lead sentence of the article: "When a 19-year-old cobbler's son called Falmouth Kearney fled famine-ravaged Ireland for the New World 161 years ago he could never have imagined that his GREAT-GREAT-GREAT GRANDSON would visit Ireland as the President of the United States."

See the campaign button Gerald made for me in 2008.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


My friend Patty was recalling Penny, one of our favorite Team Leaders at BMY. Whenever Penny came to me or Patty with a problem she would always say, "I'm in a pickle." I think it was amusing because it didn't seem like something a young person would say.

The first time Penny ever said it to me, I said, "Come here, my little gherkin, and we'll see what we can do." She did not know what a gherkin was! After that, each time Penny would use the phrase, I would try to name a different kind of pickle. One time I asked Patty for a suggestion for a pickle and that was how I learned that Tony Packo's pickles were real.

During all the years when we would watch M*A*S*H and Klinger would mention Tony Packo's Pickles, I just assumed it was a made-up name (like Adam's Ribs in Chicago). When she told me about Tony Packo's, I thought that she was putting me on, but I soon learned that Kroger actually stocked Tony Packo's Pickles and that Tony Packo's is a famous restaurant in Toledo (Klinger and Jamie Farr's hometown).

Gerald and I have a deal: whenever I want to go to a museum, we also plan a trip to see a car event nearby (click here to read IT'S A DOOZEY about our trip to the Duesenberg/Cord/ Auburn Museum in Auburn, Indiana, when I wanted to go to the Toledo Museum Of Art).

After visiting the car museum and the art museum, there was only one place I wanted to go to eat: TONY PACKO'S!

Saturday, July 5, 2014


I seldom go inside my bank as I usually just use the drive-through window but today I needed to go inside to complete some paperwork. While in there I decided to get some cash.

As I was waiting for an available teller, I noticed that nearly all of the cups they use for lollipops had only yellow suckers in them.

As I took a sucker, I said, "WOW, my favorite is lemon." The teller said, "By the end of the day, they will all be lemon; people always pick all the other flavors."

I said, "When life gives you suckers, pick a lemon one."

Friday, July 4, 2014


In a letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776, he wrote how we should celebrate Independence Day: "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm, which I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the Gloom, I see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I see that the End is more than worth the Means and that Posterity will triumph in that Day's Transaction, even altho we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not."

Thursday, July 3, 2014


During the wait in line at the Hillary Clinton book-signing, my friend and I demonstrated to several people Bill Clinton's "double-clasp" hand shake.

Several years ago, on a rope line after a speech, when he began to shake my hand, President Clinton placed his other hand atop my hand, all the while looking at me directly in the eyes. He did all THAT in a few seconds. And, YES, during those fleeting seconds, I did feel that I was the only person in the room. My friend was right beside me and she reported to me that she felt the same way.

Read the article HERE "HANDSHAKE HOW TO" about the importance of a good handshake. To quote the author: "For example, Bill Clinton is regarded by many experts as one of the best hand shakers in the business. When he shakes hands with people he pulls them into his personal space and holds their gaze until he finally moves on to the next handshake. In this way Clinton quickly creates a rapport by making eye contact with people while holding their gaze. Holding people's gaze slightly longer than is typical is one of the attributes that make people view Clinton as one of the most charismatic presidents. By holding his looks a fraction of a second longer, Clinton makes people feel important and valued. This is a very delicate and precise technique to perfect and he has mastered it."

President Clinton reminds me of Lyndon Johnson who called his technique of charming people "pressing the flesh".

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


A friend and I stood in line for hours, moving at a gastropod's pace, to meet Hillary Clinton, and to have her autograph her new book Hard Choices. We knew it was just a book-signing and did not expect much contact with her, thus we were pleased that she thanked us for coming and reached out to shake our hands. Although I have seen her in person previously, I had not been in very close proximity. Her hand is small compared to mine and her complexion is nice. She appeared to be well relaxed; her hair looked very nice; and she was dressed in red. The security was strict (see the rules below).

Before the event, we had eaten at a nearby restaurant and while there we heard that there were protesters outside the bookstore. I told my friend, "Just keep me civilized", because I have been known to engage in some contretemps with protesters at other events.

While in line, a woman walked up to us and screaked about Mrs. Clinton having voted for the war in Iraq. My friend--who was supposed to keep me civilized--yelled back at her about who had started the war. (My friend reminded me to "be kind" in my reporting about her reaction to the protester.)

The protestor was wearing a blue, long-sleeved blouse which displayed "gaposis" (blouse too tight across the bosom, causing a gap) and I noticed that she was somewhat buck-toothed, but in that moment, I couldn't decide if she looked like Bugs Bunny--she wasn't pretty enough to look like Jessica Rabbit--and then I thought, "The Velveteen Rabbit!" As I have never believed in--nor engaged in any personal attacks with anybody--I wasn't about to be mean and call attention to her physical being.

I said, "Now, you just go away; be a nice girl, just go home." She said, "Listen, sister, just ask me a question; ask me a question." I responded, "Don't call me sister, just go away, there's no way I could be related to you, you SILLY WABBIT!" She tried to continue her rant, but I kept treating her with derision and saying "YOU SILLY WABBIT", while waving my hand dismissively. After I had said it, I realized I'd been quoting the Trix cereal advertisement. I wondered if she gleaned my "rabbit reference". Fortunately, she went to another section to irritate them.

What's the famous quote about a good defense? Nah, DISDAIN is the best defense AND offense!

Before that incident, I had been talking only to my friend but after the incident, a young woman named Kelly who is a nurse at the VA, who was there with her daughter Addison, joined in our conversation, and we had a joyous time after that. We met Dino, a Tool & Die Maker, and his wife and friends, and a number of other enjoyable people.

At times, we Democrats all have the feeling that we are the "only ones"; it was great being surrounded by more than a thousand (my ticket number was 879) like-minded individuals. It was thrilling to see the diversity of people and especially delightful was seeing the number of parents who had brought their children.

My friend gave up her chance to see Ziggy Marley in concert!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Is there any more excruciating pain than that of listening to somebody who thinks he's amusing when he's just plain annoying?

At the City Council meeting, one of the Council members regularly attempts to crack wise.

There was a Second Reading of an ordinance to amend an ordinance which would allow residential use in the second and third floors of downtown business structures, eliminating the required number of off-street parking spaces.

When the Council President asked if there were any discussion regarding the ordinance, the jocularity-challenged Council member said, "There's past precedent because back in the day when there were saloons, they had sleeping rooms upstairs."


Several people actually laughed, obviously at his inanity, because his attempt at humor was patently absurd, because back in the day, wouldn't those horse riders have needed a place to tie up their horses? I doubt if there were very many people double-riding horses in the saloon days, thus, each horse rider would have needed a "parking place" for his horse.