Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Someone Asked Auntie (Ask Auntie)

Dear Aunt Scary Cookies,
Every now and then I have to "work really late on a project" and I end up sleeping pretty poorly, or not at all. I'm afraid I look like one of the living dead the next day when I have breakfast with my friends the next morning. Is there something I can do so I don't look like crap after a long night of "work."
Having a new appreciation for blackout curtains

Dear “Curtains”,

Slices of cold cucumber on your (closed) eyes will reduce the puffiness. Invest in a Costco-size bottle of eye drops for the bloodshot. Switch from coffee to espresso to help with the rest. If you wear make-up, I’m partial to Dior Skinflash™, although any good light-reflecting concealer will do the job.

But really, honey, you should relax. Your friends know what you were doing all night. They know you never came back to the room. If you brought your “work” back to the room, euphemism isn’t the issue, tact and consideration are. Not to mention dividing the hotel bill by an extra person or two.

Oh, and if you’re at home and no hotels were involved, your friends still know because it’s a regular thing with you. If it wasn’t, they’d buy the “work” explanation.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Facebook Fallacy

You should be grateful. I was up to my ankles in a rant about a rude woman in the Ladies’ Room when I was summoned to Facebook.

“But Auntie,” you say with touching concern, “You hate Facebook.”

I know, sweetie, but this was for a noble cause. In fact, it was for the best of causes. It was for a picture of a cute little doggy, and ultimately worth it.

Besides, it gave me something new to rant about and saved you from yet another saga of the Ladies’ Room.

(For those of you just tuning in, there is ALWAYS drama in the Ladies’ Room. Trust Auntie.)

Here’s my new beef about Facebook: The same three people are still going on about the same three things that they were going on about when I stopped looking at Facebook over a year ago.

Don’t be snide. I have more than three Facebook friends. I even know most of them. Ba-dum bum. That was a joke. It’s true, though.

I’m sure there is some serious news going by. Congratulatory or commiserative events must have happened to someone I know. There’s just no way to see it unless I check the stream constantly. You know, like everyone else on the planet does.

That’s not going to happen. I can’t do it. I haven’t got that kind of time. Besides, it takes me that long to keep up on Twitter.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Shift, Crank, Pull

You used to hear about adrenaline junkies all the time. Well, I used to hear about them, anyhow. There must be a few left. I want to find one. Hell, I want to be one.

Sure, back in the 70s, the 1970s to be specific, there were thrills to be found in ridiculously reckless driving and various adventures, all of which predated phone cameras and World Wide Watching. Phew!

These days I drive the speed limit. Really. Put your eyebrows down, those of you who knew me when. If you don’t believe it, ask someone who knows me now.

Modern adventures mostly involve a phone call or an email. Nothing that conduces to an anecdote let alone a caper. No more bravado. No more masterminding things. I either walk in the front door (with an appointment if necessary) or I don’t go.

You’d think there would be less stress.

Stop me laughing. No, I mean it. Slap my face if you have to, and then start girding your own loins for the future. What no one tells you is that the kind of stress you have now, drowning in the tsunami of anguish like in that song you were listening to last night, that’s nothing compared to when you get older and worry about other people.

You may feel powerless over your own life, but you’re not. Sooner or later you’ll figure that out. You can do something. It may not be what you want, but there is action you can take. Desolation is when the problem belongs to someone you care about. Throw in some middle-aged hormones that make PMS look like Casual Friday, and you’ll see that adrenaline isn’t always the fist-pumping/shouting good time you thought it was.

Let’s all listen to Go Away White now. If you have to ask why, you may be excused.

Friday, May 18, 2012


I know I said I wasn’t going to discuss politics on this blog. I meant it, and for 375 posts, I stuck to it. The problem is, I went to the dentist on Tuesday. Don’t get me wrong. I love my dentist. If you need a terrific dentist, go to mine.

No, the issue is the very nice, very young, new receptionist. It turns out that she never registered to vote. She has a child, and she has never voted.

Be quiet. I’m cynical too. I mistrust the motives of career politicians, and the actions necessary for zealots of any ideology to attain even the lower hanging fruit of public office. Sometimes there are no good choices. That doesn’t excuse you from doing your damnedest to make one.

So I spent the duration of my mother’s dental exam and cleaning (we both go, it saves me from making two trips) proselytizing citizenship. That’s when I found out that the pretty girl with the exquisite eyeliner and perfect manicure is a fan of Donald Trump. She loves his show. He’s so smart, he could be President.

My ballot is complete and ready to be mailed. We all get a vote, and if she ever does register, hers will count exactly as much as the one I researched and agonized over. Hoisted by my petard, I walk the road paved with good intentions with my shoulders back and my head high. I’d do it all over again.

Voting is that important, even if we don’t agree for whom.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Rime Of The Overbuilt Muscleman

You can’t help having conversations with familiar strangers in a gym. The best you can hope for is to minimize them. So when a behemoth made small talk whenever our paths crossed, I became like the Ancient Mariner’s victim.

Fine. We’ll wait while those of you who ditched English in high school hit Wikipedia.

As I was saying, there’s a protocol in any hardcore gym. You have to take statements at face value. When this tank-like creature said he used to play professional football, that was credible. I accepted it as ostensible fact. When, later, he claimed to be a trained and licensed psychiatrist (as opposed to the rest of us amateurs) I also had to take it as ostensible fact. Later he said, and this is a verbatim quote:

“God created women to be annoying.”

Oh, har har. You’re going to make a joke about it being true. How original and humorous. Really, I’m laughing on the inside. He said it seriously, and he explained it at length in all seriousness. Did I mention that he’s French? As long as you’re going for a cheap laugh, you can have that too. Ooh, a misogynist Frenchman. No stereotypes here.

At the time, I was stuck. I needed an exit line and my level of rage threatened to cause an aneurysm if left un-vented. So your Auntie smiled with maternal indulgence, and said kindly, “Sounds like someone has some issues with women.”

He froze. He even un-flexed. From the tippy top of that giant pile of muscles came the most startled expression, as if I had seen into his very soul. He stammered, “Yes, how did you know?”

I’m not a psychiatrist. I just play one in the gym.

Monday, May 7, 2012


You know all those things that say “Age doesn’t bring wisdom, it brings…” fill in the blank. Equanimity, patience, equity, doesn’t matter. It’s all wrong.

Age brings wisdom.

Yep, it sure does. You might not think so, given how many old people you either know or have been stuck behind in line or in traffic. That also doesn’t matter.

It’s true. Age brings wisdom.

Stop arguing, you won’t win. You’re asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is, “What is wisdom?”

That shut you up pretty fast. You thought I was going to let you down, only Auntie’s got your back. Always. Now I shall prove it by settling once and for all, the real question:

Wisdom is not giving a fuck. Age brings that.

Nuff said.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Audience, Assemble!

We didn’t go to the 9:15 a.m. (yes, a.m.!) show on purpose. By that I mean we didn’t plan to get there that early. The 10:45 would have been fine and beaten the worst of the opening day crowds. But it turned out that we were up, bathed and dressed and the dog had been walked so the earliest show it was, on the basic theory of why not, what the hell.

I’m not going to tell you about the movie. You can see it or not see it or go to a spoiler website if you care. It was “The Avengers” and if you don’t already know who wins, ironically enough you probably shouldn’t bother. That’s not the anecdote, anyhow.

A group of youngish rabid fans took the seats in front of us. They whooped and they started to talk back to the screen but apparently they didn’t know who was going to win because they soon became rapt. That’s nice. I like to see people be happy. But when the credits started, they became obnoxious again. In this town, pretty much the only people who go to the very first show on opening day either worked on the film or know someone who did. I read credits, just in case. Everyone in the audience but them was reading the credits. These individuals stood up -- blocking the screen -- and talked. Partway through the credits there is an extra scene. The fans left right after that.

The kicker is we already knew there were TWO extra scenes. We could have told them, but we didn’t. It wasn't a secret. I think the rest of the audience also knew. No one else left. No one said anything. Everyone just let them go and finished reading the rest of the credits in peace.

It’ll be interesting when they start lording it over their friends about already having seen the film (which they bragged about doing before the coming attractions even started) and they find out that they missed a really great bit. I kind of feel like I ought to feel guilty, but I don’t. Oh well.