Category Archives: folly

Breaker One Nine

As the P-Dawg and I prepare to leave for our upcoming RV road trip, I find that I have some questions. Questions like, “What will we eat?”, “Will there be nightly turn-down service?”, “Do I need a ham radio?” and “How do you drive an RV?”

My husband for his part can’t wait to get behind the wheel of our rented motor home. I asked him earlier if he had any reservations at all about driving it and he said, “I was born to drive an RV.” The RV that I rented is thirty feet long and about ten stories high. So when P-Dawg and I are on the open road, we will be in a position of great power, like truckers. For example, if you pass us and make the international horn honking symbol, we will have the option to ignore you or oblige. We will also be able to tell whether or not you are wearing pants.

Every self-respecting trucker needs a road handle, and P-Dawg and I are no different. I spent a lot of time thinking up a good one for him (“Doc Shamrock”) but when I revealed our CB handles earlier this evening he admitted that he would prefer to just go by “P-Dawg” instead. Which is fine. I myself will be the “Tessmanian Devil,” or “T-Devil” or even just plain old “She-Devil” for short. I have also been boning up on trucker lingo so that while we are crawling down the interstate in the granny lane, I’ll be able to yell out things like, “Breaker! Breaker! Ease up on the hammer, flyboy, I see disco lights ahead.”

Also, did you know that in trucker lingo, an attractive woman passenger is called a SEAT COVER and a rest area is a pickle park?

From here on out, Jonas and V-meister shall be known as “the little anklebiters” and if we hit a cow on the interstate, we are going to have steak on the grille.

But I really hope that doesn’t happen.

Over and out.

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I Have a Percolator. I Have Beans. Can I Make a Pot of Coffee?

Once upon a time, I signed up to be in charge of coffee at a Christmas potluck. It was brilliant.  All I had to do was show up with a couple bags of beans and set them down in the kitchen. No slaving like a fool over warm entrees for me!

So that is what I did. I arrived at the annual choir holiday potluck with a bag of regular and a bag of decaf, plopped them down on the counter, and went off to get a plate of food.

After dinner the hostess hunted me down.

“Rima? I think it’s time for coffee” she said, “Do you need help bringing the percolators down?”

What is a percolator? I thought to myself. And why would I need one?

As it happened, “signing up for coffee” meant you had to make it. And serve it. In a percolator. For forty plus guests.

I did the best I could, where “best I could” equals emptying a bag-o-beans in into the vat, adding water to taste, pressing “on,” and hoping for the best.  The coffee was like turpentine and the next year I brought a dessert.

But I never learned my lesson about signing up for things without reading the fine print.  I have been sitting on Part Deux of my France story for the past month because I realized that it potentially had a Part Trois, Quatre, Cinq, Six, Sept, and so on. Which is like a string of chapters, yes? And then I thought, “By God, I should write a book! Anyone can do it!

Soon enough, I remembered about NaNoWriMO (National Novel Writing Month), during which kamikaze writers pledge to write 50,000 words during the month of November.  And I signed up!

Then, I read the rules. (“We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction . . .”)

And suddenly I was standing at a Christmas party with a bag of coffee beans and a percolator, but no idea how to make coffee.


I can make tea. Tea is easy, you just take what you already have, (a tea bag?), dip it in boiling water, add a little honey and voila! Non-fiction.

But coffee? Coffee is a different beast. You have to plan, measure, brew.

I’m not sure if I can do it, but I’m going to try.

P.S. Who’s with me? WHO’S WITH ME??

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We Have a Hot Glue Gun

“Mama, do we have a hot glue gun?”

“No. Who wants to know?”

“We used a hot glue gun at camp today, to seal our lava lamps shut that we made with vegetable oil, food coloring and glitter.”

“Wow. That sounds like a winning combination. I’m glad you used a glue gun.”

“Mama, I wish we had a hot glue gun. Why don’t we ever have a hot glue gun?”

“I don’t know. Ask your dad.”


P-Dawg, examining the lava lamps the kids made at camp: “What the hell is this?”

Me: “It’s a lava lamp, made with vegetable oil, food coloring, and glitter. But don’t worry, it’s sealed shut with a hot glue gun. How long do you think we need to keep it around?”

P-Dawg: “Two days.”

V-Meister: “Daddy. I really, really wish we had a hot glue gun.”

P-Dawg: “We do have a hot glue gun.”

Me, shooting daggers with my eyes: “Really? I didn’t know that.”

Jonas and V-meister, jumping on their chairs: “Yaaaay! We have a hot glue gun! We have a hot glue gun!”

Jonas: “Daddy, do you like to shoot your hot glue gun?”

P-Dawg: “I love to shoot my hot glue gun.”

V-meister: “But it’s a family hot glue gun, right Daddy?”

P-Dawg: “Yes. It’s the Rama Family Hot Glue Gun, at our disposal whenever we want to shoot hot glue.”


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Joie de Vivre

I wanted to be a gymnast, and I was pretty sure I could do it. I had the right build, a little bit of talent, and a lot of enthusiasm.  As a kid, I lived in a leotard and traveled via cartwheel. I could drop into a banana split anywhere, anytime, and if I wasn’t executing a round-off/back-handspring combo across your front lawn, I was trying to recruit you for the neighborhood Olympics. After a year of lessons at a local gym, I was invited to join a team and compete seriously.

But I didn’t. Even if my parents hadn’t put the kabash on the idea of a gymnastics career (they felt it was more important for me to get an education and for them to put food on the table), the fact was that I had started training too late in life to think of competing seriously. I was devastated with thoughts of what could have been, but eventually hung up my leotard and set my sights on becoming either the first female network news anchor or Michael J. Fox’s wife.  And it was all for the best, because as my friend V later pointed out to me, “If you had kept training, you would have never developed boobs.”

I can’t say I’m very athletic anymore – the mere thought of attempting the splits requires an epidural and the last time I tried to do a handstand, I had to put my head between my legs.  But I still try to bust a move every now and then, to show off for my kids or get the old familiar rush.

And it is a rush.  There’s something about gymnastics that is so powerful and thrilling – it’s like ballet with balls.  I turned 37 while on vacation last week and to mark the occasion, I did a string of cartwheels on the beach. They were not perfect, but at least I pointed that one toe and didn’t pull anything.

In fact, I’m going to make it a birthday tradition for as long as I can.

Special Note to Béla Károlyi: CALL ME.

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