why keep up with kardashiansI’ll admit I frequently watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Granted, it’s usually when I’m sick, the remote is out of batteries, or I’m too dehydrated to get up and change the channel; but I watch it nonetheless.

Perhaps if I took vitamins, I’d stop getting sick and subjecting myself to such misery. (Kris Jenner is more painful than a sinus infection, and no amount of Day-Quil will make her better.)

Every season I tell myself The Kardashians won’t be renewed. Their show won’t come back, and I won’t have to listen to Kim whine about how no one pays attention to her, even though the paparazzi are always up her over-sized booty.

mark-33777_640Don’t worry. She complains about that too.

And yet, every season, another Kardashian show pops up. They’re like zits. No one likes them, they’re hard to get rid of, and they look better when slathered in at least one inch of makeup.

Thankfully though, zits don’t come with hair extensions and a camera crew.

So why do I watch the Kardashians? I don’t know, but it’s certainly not for the acting, or lack thereof. The only real performance is when Bruce Jenner pretends to be interested in anything the women do.

They could be cutting up bodies in the basement and selling the skin to make purses, but as long as Bruce can build his model airplanes, he’s fine.

However, the look on his face when he’s around them is always funny, most likely because it’s a blank and bored stare.

Come to think of it, that expression could just be the plastic surgery talking. For all we know, Bruce is raging with anger inside, but since he’s incapable of facial expressions, he suffers in silence.

And oh how he suffers.

Perhaps I watch the show for the sisterly love. I don’t have a sister, and although I tried to dress my brother up and make him wear lipstick, he wasn’t a convincing sister. He also didn’t look good in red lipstick, but that’s another post for another day.

Whatever the reason, I continue to come back for more. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. I probably am. After all, I’m a glutton for ice cream, and cake, and cookies, and then more ice cream.

I may not be sure why I watch, but there’s one thing I am sure about. Joan Jett was referring to the Kardashians when she sang “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”

what every couple gets but doesn't ask forAnyone who got married and had a gift registry knows that not all wedding gifts are welcome.  Sure, it’s nice to get a gift, but not when it’s a used decorative plate with a rooster on it that’s painted like a zebra.

True story.  I got that for a wedding gift…and the outside of the plate was painted like a snake.

The most puzzling thing to me about gift giving for wedding couples is they’ve done all of the work for you, so why not take advantage of that?

I love the wedding registry, especially when I can order a gift from the comfort of my couch.  I’m not required to wear a bra there.

photo credit: fensterbme via photopin cc

photo credit: fensterbme via photopin cc

Why every wedding guest doesn’t buy off the registry blows my mind.  The happy couple equips guests with everything they need to know to buy them exactly what they want.

From the exact store to the precise aisle to the actual SKU number, couples go to a lot of trouble to tell guests exactly what they want to see wrapped up in a bow on their special day.

Could it get any easier?  Apparently so.

I’m amazed how many people give gifts that aren’t included on the registry.  I can’t imagine why Great Aunt Nell would know what a 30-year-old woman she hasn’t seen in 25 years would want, but apparently it’s a cross-stitched pillow with her name spelled wrong.

photo credit: Katsunojiri via photopin cc

photo credit: Katsunojiri via photopin cc

I also can’t fathom why the groom’s boss thinks he needs a shaving kit instead of those gardening shears he asked for.

Because I’ve experienced these issues first hand, I’ve made a list of items I received that weren’t on my registry.  I have a feeling these items are universally received by couples everywhere.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

1.  Vases

I’m not sure why newlyweds would need the amount of vases that come from gift-giving wedding guests.

Don’t they know that giving flowers occurs before the marriage and the wedding effectively stops that from occurring regularly in the future?

If my husband decides to give me flowers, and he really does, he  buys a bouquet at the grocery store when he’s picking up a gallon of milk.  It’s where financially prudent men purchase flowers.

Granted those don’t come with a vase; just rubber bands and plastic wrap.  However, when that happens I only need just one vase; not the 17 that I received as wedding gifts that are currently in my basement.

Those 17 vases will go unused, most likely until I can come up with an occasion to re-gift them.

MP9003416872.  Picnic baskets

Who goes on a picnic anymore?  They’re only done in romantic comedies, and even then Sandra Bullock seems reluctant.

What couple decides to prepare finger foods, package them up, gather silverware, cups, napkins, a blanket, sunscreen, bug spray and wine, and then trek across town to a park to sit on the same grass that’s in their backyard?

No one I know.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

3. Candlesticks

Unless it’s the 1600s, there’s no reason the modern couple would need candlesticks.  If the power goes out, there’s these new things called flashlights.  They provide light without dripping wax on your carpet.

If a guest really wants to give a good gift, they should consider a flashlight with an extra set of batteries.

Even there is a time when the power goes out and the happy couple’s flashlight doesn’t work for some reason, there’s a good chance the bride has several scented candles in varying shapes, sizes and scents; all of which come in a glass jar.

If someone is dead set on giving the gift of light, might I suggest lightbulbs?

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

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4.  Picture frames

Although every couple needs picture frames to fill their house, sometimes that “house” is a studio apartment that barely fits a couch and a dirty recliner.

Fifty picture frames just aren’t necessary.

Granted, The Dollar Store has a wide array of picture frames for only a buck, but since those frames don’t come in a box and each one has a $1 sticker on the front of it, the couple is most likely going to figure out the guest spent $7.00 on their wedding gift….while the couple spent $27 on his food and at least $50 on beer for him at the reception.

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5.  Champagne flutes

I don’t know many couples who regularly drink champagne.  Then again, I’m not that fancy.  In my experience, if a couple is entertaining guests, they’re usually serving PBR or whatever beer was on sale that week.

Although I like to think people are sophisticated, I suspect the only time most people drink champagne at home is when they have mimosas.  Even then, the champagne flutes are far too small.  They should drink out of plastic cups they got from the local pizza joint…just like the rest of us.

Hopefully this list will help those gift givers present the couple with things they actually want.

For any of you needing to buy a wedding gift, might I suggest sticking to the registry?

If you can’t do that, and you know if you go to the store  you’ll buy them the “perfect” item from the clearance bin, consider this: Do you know what makes newlyweds happier than getting a gift?

Cash.

before surgeryNormally I write a (hopefully) humorous blog about the most ridiculous of things.  However, every now and then I feel compelled to write something more serious.  Lucky for you, this is one of those times.

It’s kind of like seeing a unicorn.

At some point in most people’s lives, they have a friend who is sick.  Not just the normal vomiting after a Saturday night of drinking, but something more serious.  If you haven’t had this happen to you, then you’re lucky, although I suspect it will happen at some point in your life.

As someone who has gone through this, I’ve decided to offer some advice on how to behave when a friend or colleague has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition.  From lupus to cancer, knowing how to act around someone who is sick is a skill many people lack.

Hopefully these tips will give you some guidance.

cute-15719_640Don’t Ignore It

If you don’t know what to say, simply say that, but don’t ignore your friend when she needs you most.  Don’t let your insecurities about how to act affect how you treat your friend.  She is struggling with a lot and it’s selfish to put your uncomfortable feelings before those of your friend.

This happened to me and I can tell you first hand just how bad it stung.  She was one of the few people I told about my diagnosis and treatment.  She was supportive during the conversation and then?

I.  Never.  Heard.  From.  Her.  Again.

This was someone I thought was a close friend and it turned out she wasn’t.  Either she didn’t care about me or was too worried about herself to continue our friendship.  The reason doesn’t matter.  The end result is the same.  It hurts the person who is sick and who is already hurting so much.

confidential-264516_640Respect Her Privacy

Some people are open about medical struggles and diagnoses but some aren’t.  Remember that although you want to know what’s going on, it isn’t your story.  It’s your friend’s and if she doesn’t want it told, then respect that.

There are many different people in this world and it’s not fair to judge others based upon what we think we would do.  Allow me to tell you this:  you don’t know what you would do.  No one does until it happens to them.

If your friend doesn’t want to give details, then respect it.  She has a reason, and it might just be because she doesn’t want to lose friendships by disclosing too much.

It might also be because she doesn’t want to be viewed as less than normal because she is going through something. Maybe she just doesn’t want to be seen as weak.  Or maybe she doesn’t want to say it outloud because then it would be real.

Or maybe it’s another reason entirely.

The bottom line is that it’s not your place to push.  Respect your friend’s wishes and ask what you can do to help, but don’t pry.

WomanLet Your Friend Know You’re Thinking of Her

Just because she’s sick doesn’t mean she’s dead.  She still wants to feel like people care about her and are thinking of her.  A quick text that says “Thinking of you” most likely will make your friend’s day.  She is probably already feeling out of the loop and depressed about being sick.

Those quick little texts or calls make all the difference.

It also shows who her real friends are; and who they aren’t.  My two best friends, DTCB and The Great Ape, were there for me every step of the way and continue to be.  I’m not surprised at all that these women have been wonderful.  I never doubted them, but it’s nice to have reassurance.

On the other hand, there have been people I would have thought would have stepped up that didn’t; people I normally would have sworn would be there for me if I needed them.  That’s a tough lesson to learn, especially when you’re already going through a dificult time.

The only thing worse than physical pain is emotional pain, and I felt much of that traversing these last few months and realizing who my friends were (and weren’t).

Hand ReachingBe Inclusive

Your friend may not be able to go out to dinner with the girls on a Friday night, but you know what?  ASK.  If she can’t go, she’ll say so.  But not being asked hurts.

It’s hard enough being at home feeling horrible, going to doctors all the time and being prodded and questioned about everything.  That’s a struggle in itself.  Couple that with feeling shut out because you’re sick and it’s positively horrible.

It’s hard to realize life is going on without you when you’re sick.  When you’re not included in plans, it feels like you’ve already been dismissed from the group.  It’s painful and isolating.

Always ask, even if the answer is always no.

MP900399215Listen

Sometimes your friend may just want to talk about something or nothing.  Be there.  Listen to her talk about horrible daytime TV and how the only thing that would make it better is a milkshake.

Listening is one of the greatest things you can do for a sick friend and it’s completely free.  It makes them feel relevant and that someone cares about them even though they’re not able to be social.

Hopefully these tips helped shed some light on things.  Please remember that just because someone is sick doesn’t mean they’re dead.  They’re still here and deserve the love and support of those around them.

Think about how you would feel if people acted certain ways and make it a point not to engage in that behavior.

And bring your sick friend ice cream.  Ice cream always helps.

How to act when a friend has illness

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc

I love infomercials.  I used to deny it but now I’m embracing it.  How better to waste an hour of your day than watching actors pretend to be frustrated with things that rarely cause frustration?

I had no idea it took a long time to remove screws with a screwdriver, or that doing so caused stress, sweating and fatigue.

Thank goodness there’s now a SpeedOut that removes those pesky screws quickly.  After all, we wouldn’t want to take the normal 15 seconds to do so.

Because I’m an infomercial junkie, I’ve composed a list of my five favorite “As Seen On TV” products. These are simultaneously the best and worst ideas ever.

photo credit: Vermin Inc via photopin cc

photo credit: Vermin Inc via photopin cc

The Pocket Hose

The last time I heard of a pocket gadget it certainly wasn’t a hose.  (Quite the opposite, actually.)  Either way, I can’t think of a single place I would go where I would need a hose in my back pocket.

If they didn’t intend for it to be placed in one’s pocket, they shouldn’t market it as something that can be worn for that “hose emergency.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been somewhere and thought “If only I had a hose in my pocket, this problem would be solved.”

I know how many times I’ve said that.  Zero.  I’ve said it zero times.

photo credit: Lawrence Whittemore via photopin <a

photo credit: Lawrence Whittemore via photopin <a

The Ninja Wallet

This is a wallet that contains 6 wrenches, 2 rulers, 4 screwdrivers, 4 openers, and a cell phone stand.  I’m not kidding.  This is in addition to money and the old condom the ninja using this wallet most certainly has.

I can understand why a ninja might need some of these tools.  Perhaps he needs one screwdriver.  But four?

This ninja is out and about and can’t figure out how to open something with only three screwdrivers?  Seems to me he’s not much of a ninja if he needs all of these tools.

photo credit: TheMarque via photopin cc

photo credit: TheMarque via photopin cc

Bullseye Pee Pads

These are for your dog, which makes them only slightly less gross.  These pads are designed with a bullseye of scents in the middle of the pad to make your dog pee there.

Apparently people have a real problem with their dogs peeing on a pad in their living room.

My quick fix to that?  Take your dog outside to pee.  It’s all the rage.

If someone is going to make a bullseye for pee, it should be to put in the toilet so my husband can get better aim.

Chocolate Cake Slice with RaspberriesDump Cakes

Yes, that’s right.  Dump Cakes.  It sounds like a college prank but apparently this item exists.  It’s a box of cake ingredients that you simply open, dump into a pan, and bake.

It’s marketed as being so much easier than making a cake from scratch.

Apparently they’ve never heard of cake mix, which involves dumping the box, adding an egg, water and oil and then baking.  If they find that’s too much work, they probably don’t need to be eating a cake.

They should take a walk around the block and eat a banana or two.

photo credit: - Annetta - via photopin cc<

photo credit: – Annetta – via photopin cc<

The Furniture Fix

This item is placed under your couch cushions when they start to sag.  It’s a set of interlocking pieces that’s supposed to provide additional support.  The pieces look exactly like 2x4s, although they probably cause less splinters.

Is this an item that’s really needed?  After all, the couch I had in college came to me saggy and stained and I had no problem passing out on that several nights a week.

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc

Perhaps technology would be better used keeping my ass from sagging instead.

Now that I’ve shown you the best items “As Seen On TV” has to offer, head on over to their website and fill up your shopping cart.

Yes, they have a website despite their repeated assertions you can only get the item if you call within the next 15 minutes.

I guess maybe we can’t trust whatever we see on TV.

As seen on tv

jumping off diving board**This post is syndicated with The Levison Group and originally appeared in various publications across the U.S.**

It’s summertime and the living’s easy. Well, maybe the living isn’t easy but it’s definitely summertime.

Summer is my favorite time of year and lounging at the pool is one of my favorite pastimes, and not just because there’s a great concession stand. However, I can never escape my legal tendencies, even at the pool, and every year when I go I think about the legalities behind it.

People undoubtedly injure themselves every year at their local swimming hole. From belly flops to slip and falls, the pool most certainly has its fair share of lawsuits.

So why is it that none of us sign a waiver when we’re admitted? Obviously the pool hasn’t hired me as their lawyer because if it did it would require everyone to sign a waiver before accessing the pool.

I’ve thought about what it should include, and here is my proposed waiver.

  • I agree not to run at the pool. I’m not sure why I would run around the pool as it’s all the same body of water and one part isn’t any more exciting than the other.
  • I will throw away my trash from the snack bar so ant farms don’t set up camp around the only available table. I will also agree to give the rest of my pretzel with cheese to the woman who has been eying it since I sat down.
  • I will not stand on the diving board while yelling to my friends about what kind of jump to do. I will collaborate with my friends and come to a decision about the jump before approaching the board.
  • I will not bring water guns to the pool and shoot them at unsuspecting people who didn’t want to get blasted in the face with chlorine water. I’m not sure why I would bring a gun that shoots water to be used while simultaneously standing in water.

kids at pool

  • I will not shove my body into a suit from last season and parade around the pool. I will accept that I have gained a few pounds and buy the next size up.
  • I will not spray sunscreen. I will use the stuff from the bottle because the spray sunscreen is ridiculous. I’m not that lazy.
  • I will not yell at my friends across the pool about stupid stuff.
  • I will read up-to-date magazines so I can share them with other pool goers when I’m done. Everyone deserves to be caught up on the latest celebrity gossip.
  • I will not throw a tantrum like it’s the end of the world when my parents make me leave the pool. I will come back the next day. And the next.
  • I will wear shoes in the restroom, because it’s gross not to
  •  I will ignore the fact that the lifeguards are all 16 years old and weigh 100 pounds and couldn’t even save my left foot if I was drowning.

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  • If I fall asleep at the pool I won’t snore. If I do, I understand if other pool goers move my chair away from them.
  • I will not block the exit ladder in the deep end of the pool. If I’m under 10 years old I shouldn’t be in the deep end anyway.
  • I will not talk loudly on my cell phone while laying out. I realize, however, it’s acceptable to do so only if I discuss juicy gossip on the phone and then let other pool goers in on the details.
  • I will not ask my friends whether that was a good cannon ball. It’s a cannon ball. There’s no skill.

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Maybe this waiver wouldn’t deter these behaviors from happening at the pool, but it would at least give a basis to kick people out for their idiotic behavior. Then again, if people were kicked out for violating these rules, there would be no one but me left at the pool. Come to think of it, that wouldn’t be so bad.

Hey local pool, call me.

The real pool rules

file3971278615540It’s Father’s Day, a day to celebrate baby-daddies everywhere.  Personally, I’m not sure why they get an entire day dedicated to them.  If you ask me, their father’s day already happened the night they got their groove on in the back of a Prius.

Either way, the day is here and dads everywhere are spending their day grilling for their families and downing a beer or two.  Although some dads may not be the greatest role models <cough….Kayne West>, many dads are great influences on their kids and deserve this special day and the new tie they don’t want.

However, there are some great dads who don’t get the recognition they deserve.  Some of them go unappreciated and without accolades.  That changes today.  Help me raise a beer to these deserving dads!

Here are a few of the dads I think deserve a shout out along with the reasons why.

photo credit: jDevaun via photopin <a

photo credit: jDevaun via photopin <a

Walter White

Because no one looks better in a hat than he does.

Anthony Weiner

He’s so proud to be a dad he texts pictures of his baby-maker to unsuspecting women.

photo credit: DonkeyHotey via photopin cc

photo credit: DonkeyHotey via photopin cc

George Washington

He’s the father of our entire fricking nation…and he had to wear a powdered wig to make it happen.

Al Bundy

Because works so hard to provide for the family he hates.

out of this world

Didn’t you love this show?

Troy from “Out of this World”

Even though he couldn’t be with Evie in person, he was a great long distance dad, despite the hefty phone charges.

Puff Daddy

Because his name actually has daddy in it.

Ryan Gosling

He may not be a dad yet, but he’s the future father of our love children (as soon as that restraining order is lifted).

photo credit: gdcgraphics via photopin cc

\ photo credit: gdcgraphics via photopin ccm

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Here are other places you can find me on the web this week

What’s really in your Budweiser

These guys should all celebrate Father’s Day

Not sure that friend is so litte.

Not sure that friend is so litte.

Jerry Yardcia and his Gnome Boyz, the band of misfit garden gnomes that protect the Newlin clan, have added a new member to their gang.  His name?  Flash Gorgnome.

Flash did time upstate for public nudity and humping a park bench, but was recently released.  He returned to Jerry’s crew mysteriously at an undisclosed time, which is strange, because flashers are not typically stealthy.

They usually like attention, and let’s face it; Flash is hard to miss.

Normally either Matt or I shuttle Jerry’s boyz to our home from whatever underground location in which they’re hiding.  Sometimes it’s not so much an underground location as a directly above-ground location, usually in a garden.

Either way, we transport these vicious gang members because we figure it’s the least we can do, given they protect our home from evil…or maybe just birds.

This time, however, we didn’t transport Flash at all.  An ungnome person brought him to our door.  Who is the mysterious transporter?  I’m not sure.  It’s a true phenomegnome.

I was home all day when Flash arrived with his gygnomous…ahem…package.  Gnomebody gnomes how he was able to get to Jerry’s lair without anyone noticing, but he did.

Flash with boysFlash is part of Jerry’s Gnome Boyz although he doesn’t so much have a specific title (other than “creeper” or “sex offender”).  He’s basically the guy who has a guy.  You know what I’m talking about.

Do you need someone to clean up a mess at 2:00 in the morning?  Flash has a guy.  (Note:  that guy won’t clean up ice cream off the floor at 2:00 in the morning.  Trust me on this one.)

Do you need someone to get you a fake ID; one that will make you 10 years younger?  Flash has a guy.

Jerry is already pretty connected and doesn’t need Flash around, especially since Flash isn’t a very good member of the gang.  That’s what makes his presence all the more troubling.  Who has an agenda to bring Flash back to the Gnome Boyz?

I have a few ideas.

photo credit: jgarber via photopin cc

photo credit: jgarber via photopin cc

#1.  Buffalo Chicken Dip

She is my gnomeber one suspect.  Although she may seem to be an innocent friend, she makes a killer buffalo chicken dip.  Literally.  She’s deadly with it (as is the gas from it).

BCD is suspicious because of how nice she is.  From bringing me dips to desserts, she’s been a great friend while I’ve been sick and homebound.  However, I’m beginning to think she did this simply to get on Jerry’s good side.

Seeing her come to the door bringing offerings may have dulled Jerry’s instincts about her, which would be why he didn’t alert us when she dropped off Flash.

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

#2.  The Trekkies

These are my neighbors who are never above suspicion.  They’re also regular guests at our house, as they like to drink almost as much as we do.  They frequent our house and patio for beers (mostly when we’re there, but not always).

They also have a key to our house, which they use sometimes to drop off baked goods.  For these reasons, Jerry wouldn’t be surprised if they stopped by.

Their motive might be jealousy over BCD dropping off tasty treats as well.  Either way, they’re extremely suspicious, and not just because they’re Trekkies.

photo credit: Kaptain Kobold via photopin cc

photo credit: Kaptain Kobold via photopin cc

#3.  The Great Ape

She is one of my best friends but an especially devious suspect.  Please recall last year, when she savagely severed the head of an innocent teddy bear.  The Great Ape could easily be connected to the underground Gnome world.  She does crossfit, which would give her the perfect skills and agility needed to bring Flash to my house, unbegnome to me.

I’m still friends with her despite her crossfit habit, but transporting flashing gnomes could signal the end of our friendship.

At this point I’m not ruling anyone out.  Flash is staying with the Gnome Boyz where he belongs, but I’m still investigating.  Who do you think did this?  Who would stoop so low as to bring another Gnome Boy into our yard.  (Literally.  Who can physically stoop that low?  It’s under our siding.)

I suppose he’ll remain with the gang forever, or until the police pick him up for carrying a concealed weapon (in his pants).

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Matt in ER

In the hospital one of the times I was there for shingles. He’s probably calculating how much this will cost us.

It’s time for everyone’s favorite segment:  Funny Crap My Husband Says.

No matter what clever posts I come up with, you guys love these posts the best.  Please don’t tell my husband that.  I don’t want him to think he’s actually funny.

Sixth Sense

Your breath smells bad. It’s like you ate Shitflakes by Smellogg’s.”

Advertising Genius

You know that law firm that advertises it represents only men in divorces?  They’re one step away from just saying ‘bitches be crazy.'”

Alcohol Connosseur 

Lisa: “You’re a pussy when it comes to drinks.”
Matt: “Yeah. I’ve never claimed otherwise.”

Thjs puzzle was kicking his ass.

Thjs puzzle was kicking his ass.

Fashionista

That vest looks like it’s denim and leather combined. Like a cow f*cked a pair of jeans.”

Food Critic

Matt: “This makes every other bruschetta before this taste like dog shit.
Lisa: “I’m concerned you know what dog shit tastes like.”
Matt: “I had a life before you.”

Dr. Diagnosis

If your immune system was something we bought, I would return it even without the receipt. It’s a lemon.”

Wino

I drank an entire bottle of wine last night and was at the gym at 7am this morning. Hashtag beast.”