Why is this dog smiling?

This picture came with the frame

Jake is smiling because he’s been eating chopped meat and rice for the past several days. No gauche canned dog food for him.

It all started when he heard a rumor at the dog watering hole.

Barney the Boxer got Jake’s attention with a doggy rope toy and a “pssssst.”

“Hey you, Jake. Come over here,” he said.

Jake nodded and bounded over to a pine tree, with low hanging branches, where Barney was waiting.

“Step into my office.”

Jake followed Barney beneath the branches.

“I’m going to tell you something ’cause I like you. I heard that Spot is eating chopped meat and rice instead of that canned crap.”

Jake’s ears twitched. “Are you pulling my leg?”

“No, I was sniffing your butt, but that’s not important now. I know how you can con your human into giving you packaged red meat.”


“Not exactly, but you’re close. All you gotta do is eat crap. You know, grass, dirt, litter box nuggets, fur.”

“Fur?” Jake barked. “Are you nuts?”

“No, dog. And I’ve got the pedicure papers to prove it.”

“I’m not eating my fur. It’ll make me sick.”


“You are crazy. You want me to get sick.”

“It’s only temporary. Your human will take you to see that guy in the white coat.”

“The painter?”

“No, you stupid mutt. The vet. And you’ll get a car trip out of it, too.”

“I don’t know, Barney. It sounds risky.”

“Do want to eat the good stuff or not?”

“Of course, I do. I hate waiting around for a food dropping to hit the floor. And there’s that stupid human 10-second rule. If I don’t get to the food in 9, I’m screwed.”

“So, start eating crap today, and you’ll be dining on rice and hamburger tonight.”

Barney turned, as a Shepherd furball rolled toward the tree.

“I’ve got dibs on this one!” Barney growled.

Later that day, when the vet found fur, grass, dirt and other indistinguishable matter at the tail end of Jake’s digestive system, Jake started a diet of chopped meat and rice.

Now, all the dogs are doing the con.

What’s the latest gossip at your local dog watering hole?

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Parlez-vous French Toast?


Oui! Oui!

Now, put zee caramelized apples on top of zee French toast and voilà! Ve have a breakfast treat that will send you waddling out the door or collapsing to the floor.

Baguette french toast with bacon, caramelised apples and apple syrup

Zee recommended French toast prep:

First, add a slab of butter and copious amounts of syrup.

Note: the butter should float in zee syrup, like a rubber ducky, and perhaps if you’re lucky, zee butter and French toast will set sail for Paris, docking at a café in time for lunch.

Second, zee French toast should spring back when prodded with a finger. Fluffy and stuffy and mucho fattening, exceeding the national carb count allowed for breakfast. An easy fix if you bump up zee French toast to lunch.

Afterward, a siesta is in order, to sleep off the free-fall sugar plunge and carb meltdown from the fatty acid butter blast.

Ah, such a treat. Zee veins play games with chunks of plaque that speed through the arteries, toward zee heart, like a sled on a luge track.

Game over once you cross the finish line, but oh, what a ride! Such a tasty thrill-seeker’s treat before zee plaque hits the coroner’s target on the coronary wall.

I see the light!

No, you don’t!

It’s dark in the otherworldly waiting room. No candles allowed.

That’s why the next step is highly recommended.

Third, put zee French toast back on zee plate and flambé it.

Now, you can see the light.

Parlez-vous French toast?

Endnote: I’ve always felt like a dumbass because I couldn’t speak French. But the realization of my language deficit didn’t hit center stage until after I saw the play, Les Misérables, and couldn’t pronounce it. This post is dedicated to my pathetic French language skills. With that said, “Yo hablo poquito Espanol.”

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Granny Samaritan and the Frozen Steak Stir-Fry

Image via Wikipedia

Close Encounters of the Third Aisle.

A refurbished post from 2009.

The supermarket and I have a love-hate relationship because I hate going. Although once I arrive, I love finding a story down one of the aisles.

“Should I choose door number one or door number two?” I wondered aloud, while in the frozen food section, studying boxed dinners through frosty glass.

A well-dressed elderly woman approached from the chicken pie side. “Those are quite good,” she said, pointing at a colorful package containing an Italian steak stir-fry. “In fact, that’s my favorite. It’s also a filling meal for one. Yes, it’s only me,” she said as her voice cracked.

Then, she turned away and stared out into space or, perhaps, another time in which one stir-fry was barely enough for two. When her thoughts returned back to earth, her eyes smiled with a memory of a moment gone by.

“Yes, the steak stir-fry is quite good,” she sighed, and inspected the shelf below where bags of tangy chicken stir-fry sat scrunched together in a row, as if the stock boy kept adding to a shelf that rarely had anything taken from it.

“Not my favorite. Don’t like really sweet things,” she said, and directed me to the soy sauce dinner to the left of it. “Now, that’s a good one, especially if you like Chinese food.”

“I like Chinese food,” I echoed.

She squinted at the price marked beneath the shelf. “You see. It’s less expensive than that one.” She motioned to the dinners in the case next door. “Too much money.” She shook her head. “I can’t afford that.”

“Who can?” I added.

She smiled and then glanced at my cart. “Looks like you have more than one mouth to feed. The stir-fry dinners are enough for two. If you have more than that, I would suggest buying two bags.”

“That’s good,” I said, and wondered, in a paranoid, skeptical way, if she wasn’t in fact an emissary from a frozen food company, maybe the mother of a CEO sent to supermarkets to help generate sales.

A brilliant marketing ploy but not ambitious enough, unless the company dispatched elderly women to supermarkets all across America. Now that would be brilliant. Who could resist advice from a kind grandmotherly type?

I opened the freezer door, bypassed the chicken, and grabbed two packages of the steak stir-fry.

“Good choice,” she said and shuffled away.

The tangy chicken would have to wait until the next time there was a change in the elderly lady rotation schedule.

Have you had any close encounters of the third aisle?

This was based upon a weekly prompt from Red Writing Hood to revise an old post.

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Checking the Rearview Mirror Back to Mayhem 2009.

traffic in the rearview mirrorImage by grendelkhan via Flickr

Back in May 2009, my Uncle Sam on my mother’s side, helped support me after Frank the baker cut off my dough and tossed me out the back door with the used doilies.

Although I am eternally grateful to my Uncle Sam for his financial help while we tube fed our bank account, he could do more to help the unemployed by euthanizing the voice mail system that causes brain decay and replacing it with one that doesn’t blight minds.

The funding could come from corporations with fat assets that profit from not paying taxes and hiring cheaper workers overseas.


Try not to throw up until after pressing every voice mail option and screaming obscenities at the cyborg operator at the other end of the line.


I’m convinced that my Uncle Sam’s phone system was designed for the criminally insane or flat-lined deadbeats clinging to life support. Warning: batteries not included.

My brain almost melted after spending close to an hour on the phone with the New York State Unemployment office trying to speak with a live-bearing mammal or something with human DNA.

Instead, I listened to a monotonous voice prompt that made my head explode like a rear-ended Ford Pinto.

The voice mail options were something like . . .

•    If you’d like to continue in English, press 1 and click your heels three times.

•    If you’d like to continue in Mandarin Pig Latin, press 2.

•    If you’d like to file for unemployment benefits in this lifetime, press 3.

•    If you’d like to return to the previous nonexistent menu, press 4.

•    If you’d like to hear a list of frequently asked questions about lunch, press 5.

I chose option 6 and tossed my phone down the garbage disposal.

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When A Brain Goes MIA

If Only There Was a Lost and Found for Brains

A Computer Generated photo of what the Earth w...

I once had a brain but it went MIA above the yondering blue where the space ships cruise in weightlessness. That’s where my brain is — somewhere in space, the final frontier — floating in a vacuum of nothingness.

In space, there is no air or reason to put on airs. Everyone looks the same hermetically sealed inside a suit, if one is lucky enough to afford a suit and fasten their brain into the helmet before it drifts away. You know the one that got away. That’s my brain orbiting over Japan, Qatar then Afghanistan.

Some starched white shirts below may think my brain is a UFO. It’s happened before. We all know about Roswell, but that didn’t end well for the extraterrestrial, a.k.a. weather balloon. They’re easy to confuse when blinded by the light of a desert moon.

Luckily, my brain is stuck in orbit circumventing the earth. Still on course. Not a chance it will plummet through the atmosphere—an ambience of sorts without mahogany wood decor and the scent of brandy wafting from bore to bore. 

Out here in space, a glorious scent is benched for a view of the first string team of shooting stars, whooshing by at the speed of light through deepest dark, except for an occasional gaseous substance, a.k.a. the sun spinning on its axis. My brain has no axis to grind, soaring above the third planet from the sun, mistaking particles below for empty souls. 

If I could only see, but the fog and red tinted clouds obscure breathtaking views. I find myself pondering what I could have seen lurking beneath the convoluted atmosphere—some good, some bad, some particularly scenic overlooks off the highway. 

Perhaps rocks, and grass, fragments of automobiles and shattered glass scattered across the shoulder. I can only imagine what happened to those inside—bones and more bones vibrating against flesh, as the car smashed through a barrier and tumbled around amid shrieks and prayers and what might have beens. It’s sad really. But I don’t have the luxury of pain. My brain says it best. Keep the signals pulsating from one synapses to the next, and I will continue drifting through space, orbiting above the distant place below also known as home.

 – Have you ever lost your brain?  Inquiring minds want to know –

A Foot Faux Pas.

I took off my shoes before entering the house. Homeowner foot fetish I suspect. I’ve been down this path before, literally, and should have been more foot smart this time. But I forgot about the “no shoe” rule and the corn wrap air bag on my pinkie toe.

Because I got lost, I was the last one to arrive, having left my house without direction or directions. I asked three people on the way to guide me to house #35;  luckily two of the three Wiseman that stopped had GPS.

“It’s this way,” Wiseman #2 yelled from an open car window. “Follow me!”

I nodded and tailed him down a street with no name. Then with a wave of a hand he was gone, leaving me stranded in uncharted burb territory. Since I was hesitant to take a chance in a “no sign” zone, I continued on my quest to find another Wiseman with GPS.

This time, a truck, not a car came to my rescue, a Peapod Truck in fact, with the food already delivered. I knew this since I had stalked the driver earlier when I spotted the truck on the side of the road (I have a nose for that). With patient exuberance, I waited for Peapod Guy to finish unloading the goods.

“I’m lost,” I said.

After inputting #35 into the GPS, Peapod guy pointed down the block.

“That’s it. Over there!”

He directed me toward a familiar place. The road with no name I had hesitated to take before was in fact a portal to the shoeless universe, a suburban time continuum of sorts.

As I beamed into the foyer with all my molecules in order, I waited for the other shoe to drop, while gauging the pinkie toe situation down below.

Extricating the corn wrap by hand seemed like a viable plan, and so I gave the go ahead to special ops. But then the notion of foot-odor fingers forced me to stop. I decided to remove the wrap with my foot instead, struggling a bit until the wrap sprang from my toe, landing somewhere in the foyer.

After pinpointing the location of the wrap, I conducted living room reconnaissance on the level above. Did anyone hear the corn wrap drop? No horrified looks on the faces in the crowd. It was safe to proceed.

I snatched the wrap, clenching it in a toe death grip, and dropped it back into the shoe.

Bare feet first, I started up the stairs and approached the group with my talons in full view. Everyone sat locked in a circle of chairs, all barefooted with perfectly groomed toes. I was self conscious of mine. When was the last time I filed? I didn’t know. Likely, I needed to lop off excess nail with a hedge clipper or an electric saw.

I plopped onto the couch in between a pregnant lady and a white haired chap. I avoided temptation to assess the state of their feet then dropped my purse onto my toes to hide my unsightly claws. Good call I thought.

Across from me, a woman in shorts crossed her legs with pristine painted toes exposed. How audacious. She sat with feet pointed out toward the circle, proud of her painted toes, while I hid mine, ashamed of my deformity.

I sat with fingers clasped on my lap, afraid to move, hoping I wouldn’t get nailed. I flexed my toes beneath my purse allowing them some wiggle room, as Miss Painted Toenails dazzled the group in red acrylic splendor, her freedom feet mingling with the other toes.

Oh, how I wanted to wiggle my digits with the other happy toes but kept them sequestered until the end of the meeting.

When the other feet landed and began their exodus across the room, my toes and I ran for the entry and the safety of our shoes. Once I slipped my Quasimodo foot inside, I fled the scene of my toenail felony.

Never again, I cried on the drive back home. Before attending another meet up of naked feet, I would tow my nails to the body shop for an overhaul and paint job. 

Are you ashamed of your toes? 

Perimeno Menace, Not to be Confused with Jose Jimenez.

Color Martini:


From the estrogen files … archived but not forgotten.

Anyone for a Perimenopausal Cocktail?
(Originally posted Friday, Oct 30, 2009)


Time to smash the rose-colored glasses.

Damn it! I’m moody. This gloomy weather and gray drippy sky doesn’t help. I want to be five years old again, find a mud puddle, jump in it, and ruin my black patent leather shoes. Being sent to bed without dinner would be a fair trade off, as tuna casserole would likely have been on the dinner rotation schedule.

Back then, my mother didn’t have an elaborate menu. She was one of the first working moms in the neighborhood. While other mothers spent their days at health clubs or boutiques, my mom went back to school to earn her broker’s license and then sold real estate before it was socially acceptable in the burbs. Most nights, my two brothers, father, and I dined on a variety of chicken, TV dinners, tuna casserole, or meat loaf, which mirrors the complexity of my cooking cuisine, minus the tuna casserole.

Needless to say, I’m a disaster in the kitchen. Before getting married and taking my husband’s last name, he begged me to take a cooking course called “How to boil water?” Somehow I managed to pass the class even though I burned the water.

Which brings me back to “Doh!”

Tonight in the present, we’re having leftovers again. When in a hypersensitive state, I try to stay away from carving knives and incendiary devices a.k.a. the stove.

God, why does the ceiling hang so low it crushes my skull, squeezing my cerebrum out through my ears. Some of you might understand this brain wreck. Some of you might think I’m a whiny bitch and call long distance to say, “Why not exercise your troubles away and take a hike?”

Because sweating will further depress me. My mental state is that fragile. Only a hot bath, chocolate cake, and a refreshing cocktail on an inflatable tray will save me. Then, it’s off to bed where I’ll dream the dream and wake up to face another day of hormonal hell.

Got a hormone war story?
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Kamikaze Saki Shots!


Forget the sneeze. It’s a red herring.

Focus on my mouth.

Saki shots whiz across the table.

The chef fires the salvo from the other side.

Then, everybody starts to count. 
I made it to 27…

Before my throat burned and my mouth locked down.

Saki blocked, with no place to go. It bled across my blouse.

You see, I killed it, or rather, it killed me.

I swear I’m not gargling. 

My son attacked the rice wine with gusto.

Captured by my husband on digital file,
a birthday romp through Hibachi land.

My son now 22. Another year older, pushes me over the top.

I never got a shot of hubby getting a shot.

Because I don’t have an iPhone with a built in flash.


My phone just makes calls. 

Disclaimer:  If I can take a picture on my phone, would that be a lie or creative license?  Still, I don’t have a fancy phone with a strobe light or a cappuccino machine.