My Dog vs. My Doctor


I’ve decided it’s time to compare my sweet old crazy dog, Sheena, to my doctor, a kindly gentleman I’ve seen for twenty years who forgets who I am:


  • Wear the same coat every day.
  • Make you feel better just by showing up.
  • Have a big ole nose (but they wear it well!).
  • Have a furry face (ditto).
  • Have kinda floppy ears (works on Will Smith too).
  • Will not¬†let you in¬†unless they know you.
  • Are kinda klutzy.
  • Have hair that is often unkempt.
  • Don’t always understand what you are¬†saying and¬†occasionally tune you out.
  • Accept loose meat as payment (just threw that in to see if you were still with me!)

Elena Kagan, Unknown Quantity


The President’s Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, has¬†no record to speak of so it’s impossible to judge the potential judge.¬†

I’m not trying to stir up controversy here, but she’s a judicial fetus, and pundits on both side of the speculum, sorry spectrum, are trying to prognosticate what she will do if she is appointed to the bench.

Conservatives have tried to dredge up dirt on the nominee, to no avail.

There was a moment of lunacy early on when some “accused” her of being a lesbian and “character reference” Eliot Spitzer (!) said he’d gone to school with her and, although he didn’t date¬†her, he knew of a man who did.

Yikes.¬† Apparently she’s not gay, but what if she were?¬† Accusing someone of being who they are?¬† Wow.¬† Maybe someone can “out” most of the senators in DC as being “grizzled” and “pale.”

Progress indeed.

Who really cares who’s gay or straight?¬† Does it affect your life in any way what consenting adults do behind closed doors?

I say, if you can find love in a world such as this, gay on.  More power to you; in fact, God bless you.

Love is a gift.¬† I don’t care what kind of package it comes in.¬† Just be grateful for it and treasure it.

So I guess I didn’t succeed in avoiding controversy, but what are ya gonna do?¬† Sue me and take¬†it to the Supreme Court?

New Yersey


Many moons ago, I traveled to Waga¬†Waga, Australia.¬† City so nice they named it twice.¬† Locals would ask me where I was from, and when I said New Jersey, more than one¬†said, “Oh, the capital of New York?”

This happened so often I finally just said, “Yes, the capital of New York.”

Of course, NYC is another city so nice they named it twice.

In a way, they weren’t too far off with that observation.¬† Some consider New Jersey to be the suburbs of New York, and we do have a lot in common.

We’ve adopted a lot of New York phrases that may have no resonance anywhere else in the world.

When someone cuts me off in traffic, I mutter, “Jamoch!”¬† I don’t know what a jamoch¬†is exactly;¬† I do know it doesn’t mean “shnookums.”

A popular phrase we’ve co-opted from our neighbor is “Not for Nothing.”¬† Actually, when pronounced properly, it sounds like this:¬† “Na fa nuttin.”

As a word geek, you’d think such a double negative would drive me off the subway rail.¬† Fuhgeddaboutit!¬† It’s no problem.¬† Actually, we say, “no prah-lum.”

Alls I know is, youse guys can say what you want about New Joisey, but ya gotta admit – we always got suttin colorful to say.

Random Stuff I’d Like to See Happen


Oprah Winfrey marry Deepak Chopra so she becomes Oprah Chopra.

Challah bread renamed Holla! Bread and everybody who ate it would be in a cheery frame of mind.

Ruggelah replace arugula on the food pyramid so I can eat it all day long and get my veggies in.

Muffin tops stop giving me a muffin top around my middle (in particular, carrot muffins that match my carrot top.)

George Foreman stop being all up in my grill.

Clich√©s to Live By


‚ÄúThank you” is the answer to so many things.

It’s not some trite amenity your mother conditioned you to say.

Instead of waking up, reading the headlines (all bad news) and thinking about the pile of work you’ve got to do and the pile of bills you’ve got to pay, press “pause.”


Start your day with “Thank you.”¬† You’ve got¬†a home in the suburbs?¬†

Thank you.

You’re gainfully employed?

Thank you.

You’ve got a family you love?

Thank you.

Clich√© alert:¬† It’s always darkest before the dawn.

People will tell you what you can’t do and you can listen.¬† Or you can look at how far you’ve come and you can fix your gaze higher.

I had business cards made years before I actually was a Freelance Writer.

I told my infant son “every day’s a good day” before it was actually true.

Sometimes you’ve got to “name it and claim it” so it sinks into your pores that change is possible.

Here’s a new clich√© that I hope catches on.¬† Don’t ever let “the facts”¬†talk you out of your dreams.¬†

Pack up your troubles in an old kit bag, and only carry a clutch big enough to hold hope (and maybe a lipstick!)

Friday Kvetch-Fest: Dr. Phil is Stuck in my McCraw


Dr. Phil is like a big ole human glaucoma test. Might be for your own good, but when you know that big puff of hot air is coming at ya, you can’t help but turn away! Is he really¬†gonna tell somebody to go on a diet? Oh no¬†he dittin.

Don’t get me started!!

Hitch up yer Drawers, Youngsters!


Dropped my son off at school and saw a couple of boys wearing their pants really low. 

Not only could I see London AND France, I saw a bit of the Rhinelands, if you know what I’m talking.

Who in the world can wear their pants BELOW their derriere?  How do you walk without falling on your face?

Eleven, twelve years old, and they’re willing to look foolish to half the population so that the more important half – their peers – will think they’re cool.

I want to grab them by the shoulders and say, you took the time to put on two socks that match, and even wear a belt.  A belt.  Below your butt cheeks.  To hold up a pair of pants meant to cover your tightie whities.

CYA, boys!  For all our sakes.

My son, the (doctor? surfer? milkman?)


My son told me he¬†doesn’t know if he wants to go to college.¬† At first, I was insistent.¬† Oh, you’ll go.¬† You’re in the gifted and talented program!¬† How can you not go to college?¬†

Now, with joblessness so pervasive, is it necessary?  Is it just accruing debt without a guaranteed position?

Finding myself nodding off through certain gigs, I know how he feels about school.¬† As much as I appreciate my weekly SEO projects (what’s up, Dan R.?) and my¬†senior citizens’ column (salutations,¬†seniors!)¬†I much prefer my gig writing prayers, which is near and dear to my heart (Holla, Sue D.!)¬†

In the same way, my son likes social studies and science, but literally leaves his body during Spanish class.¬† Four extra years of this kind of rote learning doesn’t exactly appeal to him.

So how do we impart to our kids how to¬†find a way to earn a living doing something that lights them up from the inside?¬† Is it possible to really make ends meet doing¬†things you enjoy?¬† Why doesn’t someone write a manual about this?¬† When will I stop asking questions??¬† I don’t know?¬† Oh.

Now my advice to him is:¬† find your¬†fort√©, and work toward a goal.¬† Get a job you love so you don’t feel like it’s work.¬† Learn how to think critically.¬† Form your own opinions.¬† Be as good as your word.¬† Organize yourself to get things done so you can earn your keep.

And never put your mother in a nursing home! 

Not too much pressure on an eleven year old, eh?

The Loofah Incident


The only time I’m an impulse shopper is in the grocery store.¬† You could put used straws in a pretty package and I’d be like, oh my!

So I bought a loofah-mitt I probably wouldn’t use anyway.

After buying enough groceries to give an airlift a hernia, I brought it all inside and put the loofah on the edge of the bathtub.  Hope I remember to use it, I said in my head.

A few minutes later, as I sat at my computer, my dog came by and dropped a toy on the floor, which is her way of starting a chase.¬† I said, “just a minute, Sheena, I’m work… wait a minute.¬† What the?”

It was the loofah.¬† She had taken¬†it from the tub and brought it to me, thinking it was a dog toy.¬† “You forgot to give this to me,” her cocked head and wagging tail seemed to say.

I laughed till I cried.  Oh yes, she got her chase.  And the loofah too.