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It’s the End of the World as I Know It (And I Feel Slightly Uneasy)

As some of you are well aware, there are certain undeniable signs the End Times are near:

  • Oceans turn blood red.
  • Locusts! It’s raining locusts!
  • Leggings are a thing now.
  • Leggings! It’s raining leggings!

But recently I’ve witnessed another sign that it’s time to make peace with my maker.

My mom is on Facebook.


Just to give you some perspective — she has never used a computer, doesn’t know what the Internet is, and once had a lengthy conversation with a robocaller about her bowel issues.

It all started when my extremely misguided brother bought her a Kindle for Christmas. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he installed the Facebook app and set up her account. Then — here’s what sent chills down my spine — SHE SENT ME A FRIEND REQUEST.

Darla? ARE YOU THERE, DARLA?! I KNOW YOU’RE THERE! Hurry up! I could die waiting for you to friend me! Do you want me to die friendless, Darla?

My 83-year-old mother. The one who talks my ear off nonstop about gluten and loves Garth Brooks but thinks his wife’s chest is “too chesty and probably full of gluten”.

Now she can see all my stuff on Facebook. (gasp) She might even notice I have a blog. And that I’ve shamelessly used her as blog fodder for a few cheap laughs. Like this post. (ahem)

OH GOOD GOD! It’s like when the two worlds of George collided on Seinfeld. I need to keep things separate, people! Separate! Jeezum crow!

My husband tried to calm me down. “She won’t go on Facebook, trust me. She doesn’t even know how to turn on the Kindle yet!”

That night the phone rang. It was my mom. She wanted me to come over right away and help her “get on that page with all the people on it.”

Later, as I sat in her kitchen looking down at her Kindle, the smell of rice cakes burning in the toaster wafting through the 85-degree air, things got tense right away.

“Oh god! This Facebook is too much for my brain! I just don’t get it! And they keep changing the pictures on me! First there was a dog wearing a tie and now there’s a stupid video on how to make cereal! And they keep showing me a friend of a friend I don’t give a rat’s ass about! I mean, who in the hell IS THIS?! I wish I could get rid of them but I don’t know how!”

Then my mom entered the room.

“Did ya get me on that face thing yet?” she asked, biting into a blackened rice cake.

So this is how it all ends. With my mom leaving messages on my wall for everyone to see.




slide1The next day I was sitting in my car waiting for my son when it happened. A Facebook notification. My mom had “liked” a photo I put up on my wall years ago. Great — not only is my mom “liking” all my personal stuff — she’s a stalker.

Time to erase my entire blog after this post.


When God’s Your Facebook Friend


[It’s early morning. I’m folding a mountain of laundry. A bolt of lightning cracks overhead and a blinding light fills the room. I drop my husband’s underwear to the floor, shield my eyes and squint at the ceiling.]

Me: What the…?

God: [voice booms] IT IS I!

Me: God? Is that You?

God: [yells] YES! OF COURSE IT’S ME! [mutters] Didn’t I just say that?

Me: Wow, oh wow! You finally show up! I have so much to ask you! Let’s start with the wars and the poverty and the sick and the dying and the pain and the suffering and the–

God: I know, right?

Me: So will humans ever learn to choose love over fear, compassion over hate?

God: Tsk-tsk. Oh no. Oh no, no, no. That shirt doesn’t go with those pants, dear child.

Me: Huh?

God: And your makeup! Please! The color is all wrong! [sighs] Atrocious. Have you not seen my recent Pinterest featuring Rihanna’s latest look?

Me: But back to the pain and the suffering. Why do we have to suffer God? Haven’t we learned enough?

God: By the looks of your hairstyle, no.

Me: Tell me the future. Will humans survive? How many years do we have left? Is this planet toast? Will global warming do us in?

God: George Clooney is getting married.

Me: I…I don’t understand.

God: Yes, I was just as shocked as you.

Me: I….

God: What people don’t realize is he was actually married to actress Talia Balsam from  1989 to 1993.

Me: Huh. Good to know. So anyway, is the world going to end, God? Is it too late? Can you tell me anything about the future at all? Is there hope for the human race?

God: Beyoncé will get a new haircut.

Me: Um…

God: Three of them in the next year. She’ll go from pixie to shag to a very sassy bob.

Me: Forgive me, God, but uh….I don’t really care about that stuff.

God: Oh of course you do, dear child! It’s all you people down here talk about!

Me: You people? Well, not all of us. And if we do, you sorta created us so…

God: Create you? {scoffs] Ha! No, I’m not responsible. Nope. Nuh-uh. Can’t blame me for that one.

Me: You did. All of us. You created everyone. And you gave us all free will.

God: Ooooh. Yeah. I guess I did, didn’t I?

Me: Yep.

God: Well, this certainly is depressing.

Me: It is.

God: Hey! I know what will cheer us up! Selfie time!

Me: No–uh, I really don’t want to–

[God holds up gold iPhone, leans in close. Phone clicks.]

God: [looks down at phone] Ah! Nope, do-over. I look way too fat.

[Holds up iPhone, more clicks.]

God: [frowns] Still awful. No worries!  It’s salvageable. [taps screen] Hmm…go to Instagram…maybe change the color tone here…add some soft focus there…ooh! We look sa-weet in Orton! I’ll post it on your Facebook wall. Because peeps be jealz! Because right?

Me: Right. I guess.

God: I know, right?

Me: Right.

God: I know, right?

Me: R-right, sure whatever–look, we done here? I’ve got some folding to do.

God: [stares intently down at phone, dismisses me with a wave] Yeah, I’m good. Huzzah!  Already 5.5 million likes on our selfie!

Me: Great. So..thanks for dropping in…

God: [taps phone] Huh? Hey, no problemo. [frowns] Gah! So frustrating! Have you gotten past level 352 on Candy Crush yet? I don’t think it’s possible, I mean, seriously?[groans] So can you send me some lives? I’m outta of lives again.

Me: Sure, anything for you God.

God: Oh, and I give it 3 years max.

Me: [gasps] The world will end in 3 years?

God: What? No! George Clooney’s marriage.

[bolt of lightning flashes, God fades into a pinpoint of light and disappears]





On My 28th Birthday…

Big news this week: Mark Zuckerberg is getting one whopper of a birthday present.  His Facebook IPO could make him worth about 100 billion buckaroos. Not bad for a gift. Psbbt. [shrug] I guess.

But it pales in comparison to all the gifts I got when I turned 28 years old. It was a long long time ago and my memories are a bit foggy, but for your sake, I’ll dig deep and bring them into sharper focus so you can all revel in my good fortune and swim in a cesspool of jealousy.

On my 28th birthday…

I still lived alone and had two tabby cats. They were both indoor cats  (due to a rather misfortunate run-in with a could-be-rabid-but-probably-just-drunk-as-a-skunk skunk).  I woke up that morning and had to clean up their litter box. And boy, howdy! They left me quite the present. I think between the two of them, they joined forces and managed to use up every last speck of litter with what they left behind for me: the world’s largest clump. Took me two shovels and a rake to get that sucker disposed of properly. Happy birthday to me! My special day was starting off with a bang!

Oh, hey there!…woman who brings me my food. I left you a present. Happy birthday. Or whatever. Like I care.

After the kitty cleanup, I had to go to work early. When I was 28, I was working three jobs–each one was exhausting in its own way. One was as a special ed educational technician, one as a developmental therapist for autistic children and the third job to help me barely make ends meet (…hell, sometimes the ends still wouldn’t meet but go in opposite directions) was at a candle store, which shall remain nameless but it rhymes with Hankee Candle Company. I don’t know about Mark Z., but when I turned 28 years old, I had to do actual work on my birthday. Overtime. Loading candles off a truck. Sweating like a pig. A pig that was dipped in french vanilla scented candle wax.  I had worked there for years so I was oblivious to the smell but it was basically oozing out of my pores. At one point you probably could have lit a match under my nose and I would’ve burned for 12 to 18 hours straight.  After a long 12 hour day, I got off my shift, stopped at the local Shop N Save, still wearing my work clothes. People in line started wheezing, coughing, gasping for air. One guy yelled out, “Holy crap! What is that stench? Make it stop, for the love of God, make it stop!” So I grabbed my six pack of Ballantine beer, Extra-Super-Clumpy cat litter, brand new shovel and economy-sized bag of cheese doodles, gave them all a dirty look and cried, “It’s my birthday! Why must you be so cruel?” Then I ran off and left them behind, choking in a pungent cloud of Gardenia mixed with Spiced Pumpkin.

Hey, yeah, boss? Can I take five? I think the candle wax smell has finally seeped into my brain.

After that sad display, I came home and realized a few things. It was my birthday. I was 28. I had two cats. I lived alone. I had exactly 12 dollars and 58 cents in my bank account, my fridge was stocked with nothing but YooHoos and frozen burritos, and I drove a 1992 Ford Festiva that was powered by a lightbulb. I still slept on a futon and my stereo sat on a milk crate. So I began reexamining my life. Finally, I said, what the hell, and went out on a blind double date with a strange guy with a goatee who I met at the candle store. Which leads me to my best 28th birthday present ever.

I bet this is more comfortable than a futon.

My husband (not the guy in the above picture)  who not only moved in with me, but took over the litter box cleaning, threw out my futon, built me a real nightstand, married me and then got me pregnant so I eventually quit all three of my jobs.

So happy birthday, Mark Z. Kudos to you on the IPO thingy dealio.  I hope your 28th birthday was as good as mine.  I hear 100 billion can buy you a lot of cat litter.


I Need to Have a Word With You, Friend

At first, I usually try to avoid most things popular in this digital social media technological-informational-crappola-highway-to-hell that is Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Mainly so I can smirk when people ask me why I’m not obsessed with the latest app or fad like the rest of them. Then I normally cave and get sucked into it like all the other mindless drooling souls out there.

So it’s no surprise that I’m late to catch the Words With Friends  bandwagon. (Apparently a bandwagon for nerds who like to stare cross-eyed for hours at a jumble of letters for fun.) Sure, I suppose you could say I am also a nerd. And yes, I’ve played Scrabble many times in the past and was terrible at it. And okay, I tended to stick with the easy two or three letter words and would always lose to the person who’d put down ZYGOTE or QUASI.  Still my interest in this WWF craze was piqued when I read that Alec Baldwin famously brought the airline industry to a grinding halt because he was hopelessly consumed with the game.

Finally, I gave in and played my first WWF game last week on Facebook. Before I knew it, I was playing several games at once, with about 100 different people. Right away I’ve noticed a few things, a few tricks people use. First, they most likely are spending their turn googling all the word combinations (I believe that’s called cheating. I’ve never done it, of course. You believe me, right?)

Next, they try their hardest to use little known words like ODALISK or ADZUKIS and get a billion points in one turn, while I put down words like SING and HAT. Nice words but they ain’t worth jack. (I’m not even sure AINT will net you much.) My feeling is, you shouldn’t be able to put down a word if you don’t know the meaning of the word without looking it up first. Hence, why I use SING and HAT all the time. This might also be why I lose all the time.

Clearly, I suck at Words With Friends. I don’t think I’ve won a game yet. And oh, have I tried. Sometimes, late at night, after my eyes have completely crossed and my brain has melted, I try to throw in some weird letter combinations, y’know, in the off-chance that these words actually exist. And I think some of these words I’ve invented should exist. For instance:

SNIRG (verb) The embarrassing sound one makes when snorting and scoffing at a snarky comment because they know deep in their heart it’s true.
And then she had the nerve to tell me that I was the worst Words With Friends player in the history of the world and my only response was to snirg uncontrollably.

QIG (slang): When you are really upset about something but you don’t want to swear because there are kids present.
Oh my god! There’s ketchup on the ceiling and popcorn in the toilet! What the qig is going on here?! OR
She just scored 68 points with a three letter word?! What the qig is going on here?!

(notice I have the ever-popular ZESH waiting in the wings for that all-important triple word score. Zesh, of course, meaning when you bite into something zesty yet real mushy, like a pomegranate.)

ZEQUISH (adjective): The state of getting dizzy while failing in your attempt to quiet your mind during Zen meditation.
I was trying so hard to empty my mind, so I chanted “OM” and closed my eyes. Then tomorrow’s grocery list popped into my head and I began thinking about all the ways I could cook a damn chicken and I started to feel so zequish I had to stop. 

NERSH (verb): When you crush a nerdy opponent in a Words With Friends game by using either X, Q, or Z with three different words all in one turn for big time points.
I was losing by 300 points when I made my move and totally nershed her with the word QIVIUTS! OH, I wish I could’ve seen her face! Take that ,suckah!

ZANG (noun): 1. When you get carried away while cooking and add something incredibly spicy to a recipe that will probably set your tongue on fire.
Hmm…this chili could use a little more zang. Throw in a few tablespoons of cayenne pepper and some tabasco sauce. Ah, hell, put in the entire habanero!
 (verb)   2. When you are so eager to eat or drink something you know is scalding hot, you think blowing on it will cool it down enough and you end up repeatedly giving yourself second degree burns on your tongue.
Dude! That pizza just zanged the hell outta my mouth! But I can’t stop eating it. Can you take me to the emergency room?

(for those of you that questioned the other word I created above, GPUNA, well nice try, but I do believe that is a small nation nestled between the country of Ghana and a puna (which is obviously a high, cold, arid plateau, as in the Peruvian Andes). So what if they’re on different continents, this isn’t a geography test.)

ZARF (verb): When you are so tired of losing Words with Friends you start to feel like you’re going to be sick.
I swear to God, if she uses the letters Z and Q in the same word and gets the triple letter score, I am going to seriously zarf!

These are just a few of the words I’ve tried. Maybe some day soon the dictionary gods will recognize them. As a matter of fact, I’ve just discovered that ZARF is, in fact, a word.  Definition: (esp in the Middle East) a holder, usually ornamental, for a hot coffee cup. Further proof that my made up words are catching on! This is great news because the next time I’m in Egypt on my way to Gpuna and order a grande cappuccino at Starbucks I’ll have the benefit of snirging at the barista, “What the qig?! Damn, is this like a billion degrees? I just zanged my tongue! And hey, can you give me a freaking zarf for this thing, it’s burning the hell outta my hand!”

Until then, wanna play a game with me?  C’mon, you know you wanna….I promise you, I will lose.


Hey! I’ve Got Something to Tell You…! (maybe)

Our current culture is driven by drama.  Some of it real, most of it imagined. Seems like these days everything has to be packaged into little sound bites in order to get our attention. With all the digital technology out there– and because we now have the attention spans of a gnat– we have to be crafty with what we throw out there. We need a hook. Things have to be almost like a cliffhanger if we are to get anyone to notice us and our humdrum existence.

For example, once on Facebook, a friend of mine posted in her status update: At ER!!! That was it. Nothing about who was at the ER, why they were at the ER, if anyone was dying or not. Just ‘at ER’. After a flood of concerned comments she posted again: False alarm, just a migraine!

For fun, I once posted on my facebook status a single word as a little experiment to see how people would respond. I typed: Oregano. And then I sat back and waited. The comments flooded in and it turned out to be the most comment-generating status I have ever seen on my facebook page. That may say a lot about our social lives or just that oregano is a riveting conversation starter.

We all seem to want this attention, even if it’s brief. Even if it’s not a genuine crisis. My own 78 year old mother does it now.

I’ll come home and see a message on my machine (I know, I am the last person on the planet to still have a landline and an answering machine) I’ll hit play and her frantic voice fills the room, “Darla! Darla! Are you there? I know you’re there! Darla! I need you! Darla? Daaaaarlaaaa? I need–” then she’ll abruptly hang up. Naturally, my heart starts to race and I call her back, thinking the worst. “Mom? Are you okay? Is it your heart again? Do I need to call 911? Did you fall down? Did aliens come to abduct you? Did you eat an entire pan of brownies but there’s no milk? What is it?!” and they’ll be a long pause and then she’ll laugh and say, “Huh? Oh, no, dear. Goodness, nothing like that! I just wanted to tell you that on Dr. Oz he’s doing an entire show on pee and poop! Can you believe that? Poop!”

Why, yes, mom. I can believe that.

Cute Kiddo Quote of the Week: My nine year old son fell down and got a big scratch on his foot. He could have received the Academy Award for Best Actor for Dying a Slow and Painful Death. After he stopped crying, I tucked him in on the couch, brought him some apple juice and a cookie, turned the TV on Phinneus and Ferb and leaned in to hug him (he squirmed away) Then I asked him, “Do you need anything else before I go?”  Without missing a beat he grinned and said, “A twenty?” So after I brought him $20, I told him he could have it as long as he let me give him one hug. Who says money can’t buy love?

Shameless Begging for Votes I am in The Good Greatsby’s caption contest again.
Mr. Skittles and I would appreciate it if you’d take a second out of your busy day and throw us a vote. If you want. No pressure. Oh, and he wanted to tell you all something before I go…

Little monkey
Image via Wikipedia

After Maineiac lost her last caption contest in a crushing defeat to Peg-o-leg, I ran away. I was quickly captured and forced to live behind these giant yellow bars that I  probably could squeeze through enough to escape my captors and taste my glorious freedom, but since I’ve lost the will to live, I didn’t.

English: Saimiri sciureus. Français : Saimiri ...
Image via Wikipedia

I spent many long, cold and lonely days praying for Maineiac to have another shot at caption glory, my only sustenance a few rancid Circus Peanuts that had turned green from decay.

English: A small monkey. Singapore.
Image via Wikipedia

It’s been a brutal winter while waiting for my beloved owner to spring me from this hell. Time has not been kind: my fur now a ghastly white, my tired bones ravaged by arthritis, my face  forever frozen into a mask of unrelenting hope; hope that you will vote for Darla’s caption here. Or vote for The Life of Jamie, Ape No.1, HoaiPhai, or Perry Block. I will forgive you because theirs are funny as well.

So to sum up:
Mr. Skittles thanks you. Me good monkey. Me love you forever. Methinks Circus Peanuts taste like poop. If you don’t vote, then please send me some real food instead, preferably Hostess Twinkies. Ooh ooh ah ah!