My Skype Vacation

Last week, I sort of went to San Diego.

My husband traveled there by Jet Blue.

English: A320-232 Jet Blue, N768JB

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I traveled there by Smartphone.

skype phone

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My husband Skyped me from the pool. It was so romantic. He held me tight in his hand beneath a luminous sky, my face pressed against his screen.

“This is the hotel,” he said, capturing the images with his iPhone, as he turned around.

Then, the signal dropped.

He Skyped me again at five o’clock.

We went out for a drink in the hotel lounge. A bartender poured Jim a scotch, while I sat on the bar.

“I’d love a Bloody Mary.”

It tasted rather flat, so I drank in the scenery around me instead.

With drink and me in hand, Jim and I mingled in the crowd.

“Do you want to meet, Frank?” he asked.

“No! I’m in my warm-up suit.”

He didn’t hear me over the din of conversation in the room.

So, I met Frank.

“This is my wife, Lauren,” Jim said to a blurred face leaning into the phone.

“Nice to meet you.”

Several other people stopped by to say hello, pushing their faces into the packed perimeter around the iPhone.

Three minutes later, the connection dropped.

I turned on the TV. Nothing but Republican Primary news. Just Maine caucus talk with lots of ring-wing hooey.

Then, my laptop rang and Jim’s face appeared on the screen.

He sat at a table with five co-workers in evening clothes.

“This is my wife, Lauren,” he said to his cronies, elbow-deep in food.

A fifty-something man nodded with a mouthful of meat.

“If I had known we were going out,” I said. “I would have gotten dressed.”

Jim laughed.

“Can you tilt the phone down,” I asked. “So, I can read the menu?”

He did, but I only saw a blur of white.

A good thing, too, since I only had a turkey sandwich.

Two minutes later the connection dropped.

I went to bed.

The next morning Jim sent me an email from the tarmac.

It said, “Full flight!”and included a picture from the plane.

Jim's right eye beneath reading glasses.

As west coast and east coast time collided …

Jim watched Kitchen Nightmares on the plane.

I watched Person of Interest on the couch.

I landed on my buttocks at 7.

Jim landed on the runway at 9.

Since I lost my vacation connection to San Diego, I found out Skype memories last longer than the tan.

Where did you go on your last Skype vacation?

Failed Social Networks Modeled after Twitter

Day 103 - FGR Copy A Cat

Image by lintmachine via Flickr


Social network for insensitive tarts


Social network for pests


Social network for tailors


Social network for neurotics


Social network for crochet enthusiasts


Social Network for garbage men


Social network for Romney supporters


Social network for slackers


Social network for the colon conscious


Social network for the sedentary


Social network for sociopaths


Social network for slobber mouths


Social network for humorists

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Who Killed the Economy the Banker or CEO?


Sherlock Holmes

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A bloodied corpse lies beneath the kitchen table. Holmes and Watson examine it for clues.


Holmes, I dare say the Economy has been shot, strangled and stabbed —


And poisoned, Watson. You missed the syrup residue on his lips. This pour soul died from a blueberry waffle.

English: Photograph of two Eggo's toaster waff...

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Holmes glances at the table.

Now that’s strange. The blueberry waffle was on the plate a minute ago.


Officer Klepto bagged it, sir.

Holmes and Watson whirl around at the sound of a thud.

Klepto is sprawled out across the floor, drool leaking from the corners of his mouth.


Someone call for an ambulance.


For a hearse, dear Watson. I’m afraid Officer Klepto is kaput. The blueberry waffle was laced with rat poison. Poor Klepto couldn’t wait until Grunt returned with the donuts.


You don’t have to be so harsh on the lad.




The lad works hard and deserves respect. At least, call him by his name.


Lyndon Van Grunt III is rather tedious to say.


Indeed, Holmes. Grunt is easier on the vocal chords.


Where are the two suspects?


In the parlor, sir.


Time for a word with them.


Holmes and Watson enter the parlor and walk up to the Banker and CEO. Holmes shakes each of their hands and then wipes his own with a handkerchief.


Sticky fingers. Just as I suspected. Despicable. Just despicable. And you call yourselves men. Bah! You’re nothing but rats in suits!!!

Indistinct muttering from Banker and CEO.


Say what?

More indistinct muttering.


Book them!


How so, Holmes?


They’ve got sticky fingers, Watson . . . from the maple syrup used to poison the waffles that killed the Economy.

But killing him wasn’t enough. The CEO shot Economy, after strangling him with a golden parachute, and then stabbed him with a $900 pen.

But Economy’s number wasn’t up until Banker gave him the plate of waffles that he stole from Aunt Jemima.

They’re perp walked out the room.


Now they’ll be making maple syrup from a vault in the Cayman Islands. We can only hope they try to escape from the plane in their golden parachutes. The vault’s already overrun with rats in expensive suits.


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The Alternate Universe of the 99 Percent


I am a member of the 99-percent club, a part-time worker, poverty wage earner, with more time than money to spend.

On my never-ending search for more part-time work, yesterday rubber met the road when Gladys GPS and I followed Google’s convoluted directions to a 2 p.m. interview in a different state – of confusion.

The road on which I traveled was a long, winding route, smothered with traffic jam, not unlike a root canal. The road ended at a funeral home. Gladys assured me the address was correct.

I called the receptionist, my conduit to the interview. “I’m at a funeral home,” I said.  “Is that right?”

“Yes. Just head down to the center of the parking lot and open the glass door by the bicycle shop. We’re on the second floor.”

Now I had to find the bicycle shop and mysterious glass door. The bicycle rack out front provided a clue.

So, I opened the glass door and trudged up the steps, as an older gentleman in a rumpled suit squeezed past me on his way down and out.

When I entered the offices of Marketing Is Us, I looked for a boiler in the room and found nothing, so I said “hello.”

Immediately, Darla, the twenty-something receptionist, handed me a one-page employment form to fill out, which pleased me. Handwriting didn’t come easily to me.  I think I’m Dysgraphic, a distant relative of Hypochondriac.

While I waited for my turn to be grilled and flambéed, I chatted with Darla, who was a great conversationalist and I think part of the interview process. She told me about Marketing Is Us’ combative relationship with the funeral home on the other side.

“After we first moved in, the funeral home sent a note asking our employees not be too cheery when entering the building, and to act solemn in fact.”

“For real,” I asked, loving the life stranger than fiction part of the interview.

“When they realized their funeral faux pas, they sent us a bouquet of flowers.” She pointed to a glass vase tied with a somber maroon bow then added, “The flowers smell like a funeral.”

“Maybe they were on a dead body?” I said, probably not the words she wanted to hear.

She turned to watch the TV.

By that time, Goth Girl, the pubescent applicant who preceded me, said goodbye with a stud piercing in her lip and a dagger look in her eye.

My turn on the roaster spit.

“Spanky will see you now,” Darla announced. “Just go through the glass doors.”


There was a large desk in the center of the room with a man-child seated behind it. He looked like a 12-year-old in a suit and tie.

“Hello,” he said, then jumped up with his hand extended. “I’m glad you could make it,” then gestured. “Please take a seat. We are the result of corporate outsourcing, although we’re in New York, not India”

I didn’t see any cows.

“We handle marketing and sales for Yakety Yak Communications. Tell me what you can you bring to the table?”

Milk and cookies. Or is your mother bringing snacks?

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”


I didn’t say that but wish I did.

When the interview ended, I waived goodbye to Spanky, Darla and the gang, such incorrigible rascals.

On my way down and out, I passed a rumpled baby boomer, struggling for breath, hiking up the stairs. She could have been me.

Back in the car, “Home Gladys,” I ordered. Then, we snaked our way toward the Connecticut border where time, not money, was spent in the alternate universe of the 99 percent.

I hope Operation Wall Street Rocks the Top One Percent’s Rafters.

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Clueless About Remotes

English: Various remote controls fot TV-set, D...

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How many remotes does it take to change a channel?

It depends upon what mode you’re in: DVD, TV, TiVo, or DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

When it comes to remotes, I’m usually in split-spleen mode because my technological knowledge only includes TV on and off, channel up and down and volume loud and soft.

I think TV remote management skills are inherent in the male DNA. I don’t mean to sound sexist, but I don’t know a remote thing about remotes, yet my husband and son do.

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Haunted by the Plants I Kill – I See Dead Perennials!

German garden gnome

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Confession of a Serial Plant Killer 

Repotted Post from the Cellar.



This is the third day of my incarceration at a maximum-security garden center.

The florist glares at me from behind a bouquet of roses armed with tiny Samurai spikes.  And she thinks I’m the dangerous one. I think we’re both the same, but she’d disagree.  She cuts off the stems of plants. I cut off their heads. They look better that way.

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Dirty Dish Physics: A Primer

Dishwashing liquid in use

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FYI, guys.

Washing dishes is not magic realism, fantasy or science fiction. You cannot wish a dish dirt free by rubbing a Genie’s lamp or will it clean with telekinetic abilities.



Dirty dishes in a sink remain in a state of food decay until said dish undergoes a Loofah scrub or dishwasher purification ritual.

You cannot change a dish from dirty to clean with a click of the remote control or get rid of a dish with a mafia hit. Dishes aren’t disposable and should not be tossed in the trash after just one use.

Leaving a dish unattended in the sink won’t teach it the virtues of clean living. There is no 12-step program for a plate, no pharmaceutical solution for dirty dish disease.

Don’t you know it’s sacrilegious to smite crockery at night?

A plate must stay chaste. You must cleanse its ceramic soul after defiling it. Otherwise, it might embark on a germicidal rage, corrupting Sippy cups juiced up on acidic vitamin C while sliming strung out saucers.

Gunk on a plate stays on a plate until you take the plate in your hand and purify it with Palmolive dish soap. Can I hear a hallelujah?


Brother, you must rid the dish of grease streaked sin by sanitizing it in suds. Enough is enough. You must absolve the dish of past residue and grimes of passion.

Purge the plate of maleficent Rocky Road and pecan pie. Flush the demons down the drain. Shine that plate until you can see your face reflect the pristine white glow of soap. That’s all it takes to free a dish of the grit that taints it.

Now say 12 Hail Mary’s and we’ll call it a day.


Debris or not debris. That is the question.

Only you can set it free.

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The Refrigerator Chronicles: Shelf Wars

Fridge freeze.....
 (previously posted and revised) 



The last time we peeked inside the refrigerator the light was off and a coup de food was underway. The cheese, yogurt, and luncheon meat on the third shelf were conspiring to take over the top shelf, where Moo Milk, OJ, and a silent Angus Beef enjoyed a prime piece of real estate.

As rumors of a coup leaked across the top shelf, Moo Milk tried to rouse a very sloshed OJ.

“OJ!  C’mon. Snap out of it!” uttered Moo Milk. “I don’t care if you are fermented; you’ve got to listen to me. I’m hearing talk of a coup from Eggsy, a reliable source – of protein .”

OJ groaned. “Not again. I’m so sick of those low shelf-lifers in flimsy packaging. I used to be a cardboarder like them, thin-skinned and weak until I had plastic surgery. Now I can take a whack or two to the mug without getting crushed.

“Besides, I’ve got a stack of Cs hidden in a container of pulp in Sacramento. Cheese and yogurt got nothing. I tell you, nothing but those clingy food groupies. You know, the saturated fat morons.”

“That might be true,” said Moo. “But those low shelf-lifers got something else, something that curdles my insides.”

“What’s that?” asked OJ. “What could be so bad?”

“They’ve got those nasty silver-backed sippers. Oh! They’re a canny bunch. They’ve got numbers. I tell you. A 48-pack of 12-percenters. Just one will blind-side you. All it takes is a shake for one to flip its lid.” He paused. “And, man, when a 48-pack rocks, those sippers can roll. We’ll be lucky if we make it to Monday, the last date of sale.”

“Baloney!” yelled OJ. “All they’ve got is baloney, fake cheese, and that razzle dazzle yogurt punk, Bifidus Schmifidus. We’ve got all the big guns up here: That tall French Dude Christoff Champagne really packs a punch.”

“Nah, he’s only good for one pop, then he fizzles.”

“Well, what about Ruby Red, the tall slender-neck tomato, who faces the pathetic leftovers in the back?”

“Sure, OJ. She’ll get their attention, but when she opens her mouth, she can’t control all those nasty noises. Ain’t that right Metamucil?”

No response.

“What’s with Meta? She usually hangs out on the door.”

“You didn’t hear. Meta’s an Empty Nester now. She’s on her way to Paso Robles, California to clear the air with her cousin Beano. Too bad. I’m going to miss her.”

“So will I, OJ. She’s got such strong moral fiber. I’m not the religious type, but tonight as I recite my ingredients before I go to bed, I’m going to say a prayer for Meta.” Moo Milk sighed. “You’re religious aren’t you, OJ? What’s it called . . .?”

“Acidic, Moo. I’m Acidic. I never pour on Saturdays.”