Thinning the Herd One Keyless Ignition at a Time

Like the typical American, I get my news from a screen, and usually while eating. Ever the multitasker, I was watching the Today Show during breakfast  when I learned of an alarming health hazard that all Americans need to be aware of – keyless ignition. Yes. People are dying because of keyless ignition systems in their cars. How does this happen? I’m glad you asked.

Push this before you get out of the damn car!

Push this before you get out of the damn car!

Let’s follow the typical American driver on his way home from work. We’ll call him Sam since there is enough criticism of female drivers in the world. Anyway, Sam gets in his car and drives home from work, where he likely sat at a desk and stared at a screen all day while sucking down liquid candy described as “coffee.” At the end of the day, Sam packed up his laptop and BlackBerry, hopped in the car to talk via his car’s Bluetooth system, oh and drive, because nobody JUST drives anymore. Sam had important life-altering conversations to have that simply could not wait until he was not driving. So, Sam makes the commute, changing lanes without paying attention because the phone conversations take Sam’s attention from, well, driving. After nearly getting into five accidents, Sam arrives home. He pulls into the garage while turning off the radio and answering another call. As Sam gets out of the car, he grabs the laptop bag and the BlackBerry and continues talking. The garage door closes as Sam walks into the house. Sam is glad to be home and changes into sweat pants and an old t-shirt, and opens a beer. Sam settles in for an evening of overeating and TV watching — Olympic events in the USA. He does not have a wife or children, and lives with his dog. While he is sitting on the couch, Sam dies of carbon monoxide poisoning, along with the dog, because he forgot to hit the “off” button before exiting the car.

Sam’s funeral is small, but those who are there talk about what a wonderful person Sam was and how, at 28, he was too young to die. Everyone is horrified that these keyless ignition systems are so dangerous. Most people agree that they should be outlawed because they are so dangerous. Sam’s Aunt Martha contacts the local TV news station and they do a story about the horrors of keyless ignitions.

Blaming keyless ignitions for Sam’s death is like blaming a rock band for someone committing suicide. Oh wait, this has been done too, more than once. I’m not sure about the rest of the world, but here in the good ol’ USA we are always looking for someone or something to blame. If we are fat, we blame fast food. If we are depressed, we blame music. If someone dies because they can’t focus on properly handling a very heavy metal object, like a car, then, it must be the car’s fault.

Sam was an idiot, and he was not alone. There are quite a few idiots in the world and they usually procreate, a lot, or run for a political office. The scary thing is that Sam is not the only person to die from forgetting to turn off an ignition. It made national news. This is frightening, and it makes me wonder what stupid thing people will begin dropping dead from next. Visions of our own future Idiocracy keep me awake at night.

Disclaimer: I originally published this on my old Salon blog a few years ago.  Sam is not based on a real person that I actually know, but there are tons of Sams out there.  Watch out for them.

8 Ways to Communicate Better

Like a lot of people who stare at screens all day, I prefer quick, clear communication. My husband tells me that I have a PhD in straight forward, and I tend to agree. I wish everyone had the same degree, but most have not mastered simple communication rules.

I should be able to do everything with Siri.

I should be able to do everything with Siri.

Case in point, I needed to make a dermatologist’s appointment, so I looked at their web page. My primary doctor’s web page has an option to make appointments online, as nature intended. I figured the dermatologist office would be the same. Nope. So, as though I were living a hundred years ago, I called the doctor’s office. Of course, as is the custom, a robot answered the phone and I had to push 3 to make an appointment, which took me straight to a voicemail message where I was told to expect a call back in 48 hours. WHAT? They never called back, so I emailed the office. They answered my email with a “call us to make an appointment.” I gave up and chose another doctor.

Why the heck do they have email? And why have voicemail if you don’t return calls. It’s like I’m living in a Genesis song. After this experience, and others like it, I decided that a little refresher course on communication in the Internet age was necessary, and here it is.

Free of charge, I present you with Rules for Communication in the 21st Century:

  1. Answer your email. I can’t tell you how many times I have waited days or weeks for a reply to a simple email. If I ignored someone for 3 days, or more, I’d be fired.
  2. Reply to the person in the same mode of communication. If someone texts you, text back. If someone emails you, use that handy dandy reply button. Do not call someone in response to an email or text.
  3. In fact, just DON’T call anyone. Phones are not for phoning anymore. I’m sure the telephone was a huge deal in Alexander Graham Bell’s time. Now, it is just annoying. It is a device used by telemarketers and people who have not mastered Facebook, email, or texting. I can’t think of a time when the phone has not been an intrusion. It’s loud and demanding. You can hear everyone’s background noise on it, too. If I want to hear Darth Vader breathing, I will watch Star Wars.
  4. If you are a business, make sure your web site is actually useful. There is no need to order or pay for anything over the phone. If you own a business and your web site is not set up to accept payments, open a Pay Pal account. If you own a business and have no idea what I am talking about you need to be drop kicked into the new millennium.
  5. Warn People before you visit. For the love of all that is holy, DO NOT just show up at someone’s house. Dropping by was rude in the 80’s, and I’m pretty sure it’s punishable by death now. If I’m not expecting you, I won’t answer the door. Text first. Don’t call. Text.
  6. Learn how to spell! You are not writing a song for Prince; you are communicating with other educated human beings. I will climb through the interwebs and jack slap you if you send me nonsense like, “R U going 2.”
  7. USE your out of office reply. If you will not be checking or replying to email, set up an out of office reply telling people how to reach you. If the answer is they CAN’T reach you for a while, that is fine, too, just tell them. Include a date when they can expect a reply.
  8. USE your voicemail announcement. If you can’t answer the phone, tell callers that. Direct them to the best way to contact you rather than just tell them you’ll call them back. Because if you’re like the kind folks at the dermatologist’s office, you won’t really call anyone back.

It seems so simple, but communication is a struggle for a lot of people. Times they are a changing. The telephone is not just for talking. We can communicate in a number of ways. Learning to use them all effectively can save you time and aggravation, mostly aggravation.

Did I miss any?  Please add your tips for better communication in the comments section.  I love hearing from you.

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

Promises from the Petty Pets

Hi Light Square People!!

Great Dane Black Lab

It’s me, Sophie.

It’s Sophie. Mama is kind of sick and taking a nap, so I was able to grab the light square and tell you guys what’s been going on. I haven’t been allowed to write in a super long time. So, there’s kind of a lot to say. Plus, my sisters and brother want to tell you what their New Year’s resolutions are. Resolutions are like promises you make to yourself in January, and then you just totally break all your promises in like February or something. Anyway, before I do any of that I gotta tell you why I only have one furry brother now instead of two.

This is not easy to say, but Morris crossed the rainbow bridge a few days before eat a bunch of turkey and pie day. He seemed normal except for he was making some noises like he had a bad tummy ache. I was kind of keeping my eye on him, and I helped Mama find him in the laundry room when she was trying to figure out where the noises were coming from. Mama took him to the doctor, and he kept Morris in the hospital for two days. The doctor did like all kinds of pokey and camera tests on Morris and then figured out he had cancer EVERYWHERE. He even had cancer in his heart and it was prolly what was making him make that noise and be kind of lazy and stuff. So, Mama and Daddy decided to help Morris cross the rainbow bridge so he wouldn’t have that ouchy heart and tummy anymore. The doctor gave Morris a shot and he was gone. I miss my nice kitty brother but I’m glad he’s not hurting anymore.

This is Morris, a little before he crossed the rainbow bridge.

This is Morris, a little before he crossed the rainbow bridge. He was nice.

So, that’s why only my two sisters and my one brother, Mean Kitty Andre, are going to write their resolutions. Morris’ resolution is prolly just to sleep on a cloud and eat lots of food. That’s what mine would be if I lived over the rainbow bridge.

But I’m still here in my house, so here are my resolutions.

  • I will eat less poop.
  • Actually, I will just eat food because other stuff could kill me.
  • I will be calmer to the kitties. They don’t like to play with me.
  • I won’t sniff Boo Boo’s butt because she runs away when I do that.




Lola, at attention.

As you know, I am a trained agent who was assigned to protect this family. Currently, I do not have adequate backup. The fluffy cat, Andre, is a fierce fighter, but he is just out for himself. Unfortunately, it is necessary that I use big and stupid, I mean Sophie, as my second in command. So, my only resolution is that I will train Sophie to be proper backup so I can secure this home.


Boo Boo

seductive cat

Cheese makes me happy.

  • I will travel to the store and purchase my own Boar’s Head white American cheese since mother cannot be troubled to buy it.
  • I will also stop running from the horse dog so she will stop chasing me.
  • I will try to poop only in the litter box unless my bowels won’t cooperate.



I'm watching the dog.

I’m watching the dog.

  • I will kill the big stupid dog. Um, I mean. No. I’m not a murderer.
  • I will insist that mother feed me tuna every day. I do let her use my pictures all over her computer without paying me.
  • I will take more naps in sunny spots on the carpet.
  • I will find and keep my own home.


Sophie here, again. Wow. I think Andre was talking about me, except I’m not stupid. I am big and I am a dog, though. Anyway, those are our resolutions. So, what are yours? Leave us a comment and tell us what promises you made to yourself for the New Year, and if you are keeping them.

Macrobid and Sexism Suck

Any pill that looks like a bee will sting you. Remember that.

Any pill that looks like a bee will sting you. Remember that.

What a frigging week I’ve had. Let me start with Monday. I woke up with a bladder infection. Well, everyone knows that it is torture to actually go to the doctor with this lovely illness. You have to call the office and get an appointment. WAIT for your appointment. Drive to the office. WAIT in the waiting room. Pee in a cup. WAIT for the doctor to give you a prescription. Drive to the pharmacy. WAIT for your prescription. I don’t wait well when I am feeling fine. If I have a burning bladder and I have to pee every 4.2 seconds, I REALLY don’t wait well. So, I used the handy dandy Teledoc service that comes with my insurance. It’s super cool. You log into Teledoc and a real doctor calls you. You tell him or her your symptoms and he or she calls in a prescription. They won’t call in narcotics or, you know, stuff like that. They will call in antibiotics. This particular doctor called in Macrobid for me and I had it within 30 minutes of talking to him. I was so happy.

On Tuesday, my husband woke up looking like a lop-sided chipmunk. Seriously. He had a painful, swollen cheek. I thought for sure I was going to have to fly out to LA and punch anti-vax queen Jenny McCarthy in the face because I was certain it was mumps. It turns out that my husband had an infected salivary gland. He was basically given a prescription for Lemon Heads. Seriously, the doctor told him to eat a bunch of sour candy so he would salivate more. I still might punch Jenny, just for the heck of it.

Throughout the week, it really felt like I was getting better. I mean, I was a little nauseated from the Macrobid, but other than that my urinary symptoms seemed to be going away. Of course, just because the universe hates me, I got my period on Thursday, a week early. I already had a bladder infection and assorted stomach issues from the antibiotics. Why not throw in cramps and pads?

Friday night, I noticed some neck and back pain, but I just wrote it off to the fact that I had been a giant couch potato all week. I work from home anyway, so I’m not especially active during the workday. While I do have an exercise bike desk, I have to stay still to do most of my work. Sitting still makes my upper back ache. So, I took some Motrin and went to bed.

Saturday morning kicked me in the ass like never before. I woke up after having neck, head, and back pains during the night. I felt icky, so I took my temperature. 102. Holy shit. Both my husband and my good friend told me it was probably the flu, and to ask for Tamiflu. So, I requested a call from Teledoc again. This doctor told me to go to the ER because it sounded like nephritis and I might need IV antibiotics. You can Google that, like I did, but it’s basically a scary infection of the kidneys. Rock on. So, my husband took me to the ER. I shivered the whole way because, of course, it was cold and rainy, and I had a fever, and I was scared out of my mind. Score.

Let’s skip ahead to the sexism because I’m certain that is more interesting than anything else I have written. You guys are probably thinking, “Did the doctor talk down to Lisa because she is a little, short, chubby woman?” Nope. I was not the victim of sexism. Let me explain.

I don't have the mumps. That's just my chubby face.  A MAN put in that IV port.

I don’t have the mumps. That’s just my chubby face. A MAN put in that IV port.

I used to be a sexist. By used to be, I mean up until Saturday. I was never a “daddies are dumb” sexist. My sexism was very focused. Before my most recent ER trip, I did not trust male nurses or phlebotomists. I have had many experiences where men could just not find my veins and ended up poking me numerous times. So, imagine my horror when not one, but two young men had to poke me with needles. This hospital’s policy is to get two different “sticks” for all blood work. I’m not sure why and I didn’t think to ask because I felt like I was lost in a Stephen King novel. I mean, this was my nightmare – men with needles. TWO of them. Everyone knows women are better with needles. Well, every asshole like me knows that. I feel like a younger Archie Bunker with a vagina. Sorry, guys!

Here is the shocker, ladies and gentlemen. The fellas both only stuck me once. They found my veins quickly and both did not even leave a bruise. I now have faith in male blood takers. Again, I’m so sorry I doubted you fellas.

So, after the doctor got back all of my lab work, she discussed it with me and really explained things. She is the best ER doctor I have ever had. She told me, basically, Macrobid sucks. The doctor did not actually say that. She explained that Macrobid doesn’t actually kill bacteria. It just keeps more bacteria from growing. Well, when someone has a bladder infection, you should probably give him or her something that will kill the damn bacteria. I mean, I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV, but seriously, kill the damn bacteria. Why the hell does anyone prescribe Macrobid? I was sent home with a prescription for a different antibiotic, Cipro, which I have to take for 10 days. So, I’m hoping with the lack of alcohol and coffee (both no nos when you have a bladder infection) and the stomach issues from the antibiotics that maybe I will lose weight. I’m always looking for the bright side.

So, how was your week?


Spammers KNOW me!

I used to think that telemarketers and spammers just picked their victims, um, customers randomly. I pictured them sitting in a humid office in a third world country with flies buzzing around their 1998 Dell computers. Since the computers are so slow, I imagined them opening huge phone books and just closing their eyes and pointing, saying, “Yes, Lisa Petty. Let’s try to get her social security number by pretending to be the IRS.” Really though, telemarketers are super intelligent. They have been doing their research and they know EXACTLY the type of person I am.

For example, they know that:

  • I’m a man.
  • I have erectile dysfunction.
  • I’m unhappy with the size of my penis.
  • I speak French.
  • I’m looking for a prostitute.
  • I’m actually going to enter in another payment option even though my Netflix and Amazon are attached to a DIFFERENT email account with a DIFFERENT name.
  • I’m not familiar with the existence of computer viruses.
  • I speak and read broken English.
  • I have a friend named John who may be in trouble in a foreign country.
  • I’m looking for a great deal on travel.
  • I’m a Republican.
  • I care to donate money to any political party.
  • When it comes to clicking random links, I’m like a cat chasing a laser light.
  • I want to have sex four times a night.
  • I’m Asian and I read whatever language they write in. I’m still not sure what exactly that was.
  • I want a deal on designer sunglasses more than I want to breathe.
  • I’m old and in danger of falling.
  • My credit is horrible.
  • I give a shit about what Dr. Oz recommends.
  • I fear that I may be in trouble with the IRS.
  • I NEED to refinance my house more than I need food or water.
  • I like to receive lots of coupons in the mail.
  • I actually use coupons.
  • I’m single, and I am either Christian, Jewish, or both.  (waves at Christian singles and J-Date.)
  • I believe that the cure for everything is in some random tropical fruit that I couldn’t possibly get at the grocery store.
  • I desperately need Jesus in my life.
  • I would ever in a million years want an NRA membership.
  • My oxygen was cut off at birth, or I have taken a lot of blows to the head because I lack all reasoning skills and I will just buy whatever line of bullshit they are feeding me.

Well, that last one really covers ALL of them. I should have just started there.   So, did I miss anything? Do you receive a lot of spam, either by email, snail mail, or phone? Do you have any tips for dealing with junk phone calls and mail? Let me hear from you in the comment section.

Smammers make me feel like this.

Smammers make me feel like this.



Six Frugal and Fabulous Christmas Gifts

I’m already done with my holiday shopping, but I understand that some of you out there can’t read a fricking calendar and always need to do things at the last minute. So, for you, I made a list of my favorite last minute gifts. It’s kind of like Oprah’s favorite things list, but not everything costs more than the average person earns in a month. In fact, nothing on my list costs more than thirty bucks. So, as long as you have a mall in your town, you can find these items at the very last minute. I’m still not sure why you want to wait to buy presents, but that is your business.

Clinique Chubby Sticks — What woman doesn’t want a chubby stick? Get your mind out of the gutter. Women want these chubby sticks because they are purse worthy and safe for travel. Clinique makes eye shadow, lip stick, and blush chubby sticks. They have no applicators and do not require sharpeners.

Who doesn't enjoy a chubby stick?

Who doesn’t enjoy a chubby stick?


Bath and Body Works Vanilla — I love Bath and Body Works Vanilla lotions and soaps. They even have candles that will make your whole house smell like a bakery. So, stop watching that Elf marathon and get over to the Bath and Body Works store now. Be prepared for 782 salespeople to “help” you, though. If you don’t like to talk to people much, like me, you may want to pretend to speak a language other than English. Warning: do not pick Spanish or French.

So yummy you'll want to eat it.

So yummy you’ll want to eat it.


A Great Book — Almost everyone likes to read. Personally, I don’t trust people who hate books. Most of the people on your list would enjoy a book of some sort. Stephen King books usually suck me in like a black hole. My favorite Stephen King book ever is 11/22/63. I could not stop reading it. If self-driving cars were real, I would have read while driving. It’s that good.

I love time travel, JFK, and Stephen King.

I love time travel, JFK, and Stephen King.


Gift Cards — Just about any human would appreciate a gift card. If you have dogs or cats on your shopping list, DO NOT get them a gift card. They will eat it. Humans, on the other hand, will find them quite useful. There are a lot of different gift cards out there. Grocery stores and drug stores usually have a display of them, so you don’t even need to go to a particular store to buy one. You can also buy them online, but at this point, there’s a chance it won’t arrive before Christmas. So, put down that cocoa and put on some pants, and get out there. You’ve got cards to buy.

A movie gift card? Yes, please.

A movie gift card? Yes, please.


Music — Music is one of the best last minute gifts because it can be delivered instantly. You can purchase an album online and have a link emailed to the gift recipient. Then, they can download it to their iPhone or other non-Apple device. Yay for technology covering up for your procrastination!

This album rocks, and it has a festive deer on the cover.

This album rocks, and it has a festive deer on the cover.


Be Betty Crocker  — You could bake cookies, or a cake, or maybe a pie, depending on your skill level. Personally, I can make tasty cookies, but they tend to look like something the dog tracked through the house. If you enjoy baking, are low on cash, and have a few hours before gift giving time you could bake some holiday magic in your kitchen.

Mine would NOT look this good.

Mine would NOT look this good.


There you have it. I just saved your behind. You’re welcome. Aren’t you glad you waited until NOW to buy Christmas gifts? Now, put the glowing screen down and go shopping. I hope you can get a parking space.

Disclaimer: I have purchased everything listed because I love these products. I am not being paid by any of the companies above, especially the Kraft people. They would not pay me to advertise their holiday creations because my Oreo snowmen would look they stepped out of a snow zombie apocalypse.


Christmas Wrapping with the Cat

Are we running out of ribbon?!

Are we running out of ribbon?!

That says WRAPPING, not rapping. So, if you came here to see me sing a down and funky Christmas tune with Andre, you will be sadly disappointed. Andre can’t rap, and he also can’t wrap, but he at least tries to do the second. By tries to wrap, I mean that he likes to “kill” just about everything that is needed to wrap a present. Of course, I could just go into a room and close the door and wrap presents without a cat jumping on everything that moves, but WHERE would the challenge be? I’m pretty sure I burn about ten extra calories a minute just from moving the cat and redoing things. So, I have become an expert on this, and I would like to help you learn to wrap your presents and still be a loving kitty mama or papa.

It’s simple, really. Here’s how you wrap presents with a kitty, in 70 short steps:

  1. Take out wrapping paper
  2. Unroll paper
  3. Grab first gift
  4. Put gift down next to paper
  5. Remove cat from on top of wrapping paper
  6. Put gift on paper
  7. Take cat off of gift
  8. Cut out chunk of wrapping paper with cat teeth marks in it.
  9. Wrap gift, taping paper as you go.
  10. Notice cat fur on tape.
  11. Try to peel tape off of paper.
  12. Push cat off of package.
  13. Try to pick cat fur out of tape
  14. End up getting nail polish on the tape, too.
  15. Remove tape, ripping paper
  16. Throw used, furry tape aside
  17. Wad up paper and throw in trash.
  18. Notice cat has tape stuck on paw.
  19. Chase the cat to remove tape from paw.
  20. Tell the dog to stop chasing the cat with you.
  21. Grab cat and remove tape from cat’s paw.
  22. Go back to wrapping room.
  23. Unroll paper.
  24. Put present on paper.
  25. Cut paper.
  26. Almost stab cat with scissors after he jumps on paper.
  27. Move cat off of paper.
  28. Wrap and tape gift.
  29. Take out ribbon
  30. Remove ribbon from cat’s mouth
    I like the skinny ribbon better! I know it's in here!

    I like the skinny ribbon better! I know it’s in here!

  31. Cut bitten part of ribbon off.
  32. Get a Lysol wipe to clean cat spit off of scissors that touched ribbon.
  33. Push cat away with left foot while leaning right to tie ribbon.
  34. Wipe cat spit from ribbon.
  35. Shriek in pain after cat bites left foot.
  36. Apply alcohol and Band-aid to left foot.
  37. Hope the gift receiver is not allergic to cats
  38. Notice your foot is still bleeding.
  39. Call your husband from your cell phone even though he is downstairs.
  40. Go to the hospital to get stitches in your foot.
  41. Return from hospital with an antibiotic prescription
  42. Hobble upstairs to the wrapping room.
  43. Close the door so the cat cannot HELP.
  44. Listen to the cat beat on the door and yowl.
  45. Open the door and let the damn cat in.
  46. Call your husband on the phone again and ask for a stiff drink.
  47. Gulp down drink and grab the next present.
  48. Notice you have Christmas gift bags.
  49. Open a bag.
  50. Reach for tissue to put in bag.
  51. Notice cat is in bag.
  52. Lure cat out of bag with tissue paper.
  53. Grab wrapping paper.
  54. Grab present.
  55. Realize you never put a nametag on the first present.
  56. Unwrap first present because you forgot whom it was for.
  57. Throw first present in gift bag after removing cat again.
  58. Put tissue paper in gift bag.
  59. Remove that one wet piece of tissue.
  60. Throw wet tissue in trash.
  61. Wash hands, hoping it was only cat spit again.
  62. Get more tissue.
  63. Put tissue in bag.
  64. Call for another drink.
  65. Grab second present.
  66. Notice it is for your son.
  67. Grab roll of Santa paper.
  68. Unroll paper.
  69. Accidentally bonk cat on head with present while racing him to the paper.
  70. Move unconscious cat over and finish wrapping.
Where's that bag?

Where’s that bag?

See! It’s really not tough to get your present wrapping done and be a loving pet parent. Kitties like being involved in everything. Whoever said they just ignore you probably never had a cat. Happy Holidays from Andre and me!

Disclaimer: While this was based on a true story, Andre was never unconscious, and I never had to go to the hospital. The rest is true. Liz, there is cat spit on your present, girl.

Metal Gentlemen – Alone at Dawn

We always hear stories about rock bands that tear up hotel rooms and leave a trail of drywall dust and vomit wherever they go. There’s usually a pregnant woman or a STD outbreak, too. Rarely, do we know of any well-mannered, faithful, kind musicians who can rock a metal tune. That is about to change. Allow me to introduce Alone at Dawn.

I’m not being paid to write about Alone at Dawn, but I did give birth to the lead singer. My son has wanted to be a musician since he was in fourth grade. That is when he saved his money and bought his first guitar. Realizing that he couldn’t actually just play the thing, he asked for lessons. He has played one of his now many guitars daily for the past eight years.

When other parents ask about my son’s future plans, and I tell them he’s going to be a rock star. They chuckle, as though I said he was going to be Batman or Jesus. No, rock stars are actually real, and they are all kids with guitars (or drums) and dreams in the beginning. I seriously doubt he’s going to decide to be an accountant or a doctor now.

My son is the youngest member of the band, and it’s founder. He’s not even eighteen yet. He met, Will, the drummer in high school, and began writing music with him two years ago. Wyatt and Aaron, the guitarists, are both lucky Craig’s List finds who have become part of the family. You really can find more than threesomes and serial killers on Craig’s List.

I want these gentlemen, and they truly are, to be able to live out their dreams. They are all driven, focused, and all around nice guys. You don’t see that often in the world of entertainment. Plus, my son has promised me a Mercedes and a cathouse when he is rich and famous. By cathouse, I mean a no kill cat shelter, not a place for prostitution. So, if you want to hear some great music, made be awesome guys, and save some cats, please take a moment to watch Alone at Dawn’s Surroundings video. If you like it, please buy the EP, Peacemaker. Check out their Facebook page for more information.


Christmas Nazis and Thanksgiving Purists

Your average Christmas Nazi

Your average Christmas Nazi

It’s that time of year when the Christmas Nazis and the Thanksgiving Purists have a pissing contest with the rest of the world. Don’t pretend you don’t know them. They’re not opposing gangs in a Kirk Cameron film about how the liberal media grinds up Christmas trees to make Satanic Bibles. No, they are far more irritating than Kirk. You probably know a few Christmas Nazis or Thanksgiving Purists. They may be your friends or family. You might even be such a person. Hell, you could even fit into both groups.

Despite these scary folks, and the fact that I need to bundle up in 19 layers of wool just to get the mail (and that’s just email), I still love this time of year. I hate the weather with a white hot sparkly passion, though. As a native Floridian who is trapped in the Midwest, I shiver from October through May. Still, even with the ice, snow, and endless clouds, I still love the holidays.

Christmas Nazi Propaganda

Christmas Nazi Propaganda


The fact that I refer to them as “the holidays” might irritate some people, and those people are Christmas Nazis. They believe that current liberal politics and evil atheists are responsible for “Happy Holidays.” Really, Bing Crosby is more responsible for this all inclusive greeting than President Obama.  Christmas Nazis say things like, “This is MURICA!  We can’t say Happy Holidays because we are a Christian country!” They think they are defending Christmas, or keeping it pure, or some other such bullshit. In reality, they are simply showing that they don’t know how to read a calendar.

I love ALL of the holidays.

I love ALL of the holidays.

Most of us understand that Christmas is not the only holiday within the four-week period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  There’s also Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Saturnalia. Those are just the holidays that are typically celebrated in the U.S. So, saying, “Happy Holidays” is not about excluding Christians, it’s about including everyone. Also, for me, it’s about talking less. As a work from home introvert, I’d rather just cover everything with two words than list all of the holidays with their appropriate happy or merry. I’m pretty sure Santa, Jesus, and Saturn would approve of simply being nice to everyone.

Truth: I watched this movie way before Thanksgiving.

Truth: I watched this movie way before Thanksgiving.

Some Christmas Nazis are also Thanksgiving Purists. You know, the people who get their panties in a bunch when Christmas items are displayed before the appropriate day. They might as well say, “Thou mustn’t put up thine Christmas tree before Thanksgiving.” Some Thanksgiving Purists get quite enraged about seeing Christmas decorations before turkey day. They post about this major crime on social media sites, some people blog about it, and others talk about it on TV. Some of them actually tell others when they are allowed to put up Christmas trees, lights, and other holiday decorations. It’s like they have some sort of Asshole’s Guide to the Holidays book, along with a color-coded calendar that they refer to. I would like to send people who are upset by seeing Christmas decorations in November on an all expense paid trip to a cave in the Middle East. This way they can get away from the offensive early Christmas decorations and learn about real problems.

Let me hear from you in the comment section. Are you a Christmas Nazi or a Thanksgiving Purist, or are you just someone who enjoys pretty lights and a decorated indoor tree when it’s cold and gray outside?

Unsucky Holidays the Scary Mommy Way

ScaryMommyCover1I’m not sure what I did to Tom the turkey, Santa Claus, or the New Year baby to piss them off. I must have done something offensive because the shittiest things happen every holiday season. It all started twenty years ago, when my then fiancé, who became my first husband, threw me out of our apartment ten days before Christmas. I’m not sure why we got married after that, but anyway, the holiday suckiness didn’t end there. A few years ago, my father-in-law had a horrific accident while sharpening a gardening shovel (he is fine now). Two years ago, I was diagnosed with a DVT one day after Christmas. Last year, my husband had to have UPPP (in laymen’s terms – a melon-balling of the throat) surgery EIGHT days before Christmas. This year we had to euthanize our cat the week before Thanksgiving. Happy Frickin’ Holdays? No, how about HAPPY FUCKING HOLIDAYS!!

As you can imagine, I needed something to distract me from feeling like an evil pet parent after putting my sweet Morris to sleep. I needed to laugh, possibly drink a few cocktails, and eat delicious food.  So, it was perfect timing when Crystal from Mommifried, offered me a free copy of Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays in exchange for an honest review. Crystal contributed a tasty and healthy Crock Pot cranberry sauce recipe to the book.

Since the book is full of humor and recipes, I couldn’t put Scary Mommy’s Guide down.  I read the whole thing in one afternoon, and there wasn’t any chapter I didn’t like, but, of course, I have my favorites. This is why I only have one kid; I always play favorites.

Before I could get into the funny stuff, I read Jill Smokler’s introduction to The Thanksgiving Project, a Scary Mommy Nation charity. Jill started The Thanksgiving Project in 2011 after reading posts in the Scary Mommy Confessions section from moms who could not afford to buy food. This made me a little teary-eyed, and a lot grateful for what I have. It also made me want to help, and if you want to help, click the link above for more information.

After I wiped my tears, I was ready to laugh. I NEEDED to laugh, damn it, and the wonderful contributors to Scary Mommy’s Guide did not let me down. My favorite humor piece was The Dysfunctional Family Drinking Game. This story made me laugh my ass off and want to go to Kathryn Leehane’s house for Thanksgiving. It also made me want a martini something fierce, but that is not unusual, especially considering the week I’ve had. I don’t want to give too much away, but basically Kathryn and her husband play a secret game involving liquor and their family’s bad behavior. Reading about it made me glad that I live nowhere near any of my family. I would have alcohol poisoning.

Speaking of cocktails, there are drink recipes in this book. Did I mention that I LOVE this book? Take a look at Sharon Green’s Seasonal Cocktails for Moms. There are enough recipes in her list to make you and your holidays merry and bright. If you are like me, and your nose turns red after two sips of any alcoholic beverage, you may also be able to replace Rudolph in Santa’s line-up.

If you’re going to be drinking, and you don’t want to barf all over your favorite ugly Christmas sweater (I buy mine here), you will need some food. In my chubby little opinion, all food should come in the form of cookies. I intend to make Jessica Griffin’s Show-Stealing Molasses Cookies many times this holiday season. Unlike 98% of the world, I am not in love with chocolate. I will eat dark chocolate in small doses, but for the most part, chocolate gathers in the back of my throat and makes me want to spit a loogie that would make a drunk, congested college boy jealous. Jessica’s yummy molasses cookies have no chocolate in them, so they are low on the loogie index. SCORE!

I could go on and on about this book, but it would not make sense to you because you haven’t read it, yet. So, stop reading this and head over to Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, or Simon and Schuster, and buy this book. Purchasing Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays is a great way to help keep your own spirits up during the most stressful time of the year, and it is also a way to contribute to the Scary Mommy Nation. So, it is truly WINNING and I don’t mean that in a Charlie Sheen kind of way, even with all of the booze jokes.

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