Category Archives: self-indulgence

It’s Not Like I’m Garfield

Rimarama: “You know what? I am SO GLAD I signed up for this Erma Bombeck writers workshop! I think it will be really good for me.”

P-Dawg: “Oh?”

Rimarama: “Yeah! I mean, I’m sure that BlogHer would be fun, but I feel like I’ll get a lot more out of this from a writing standpoint, you know what I mean? I’ve always wanted to hone my humor writing skills. Plus, I get to meet KC.”

P-Dawg: “It’s funny, when I think of “humor writing,”, I never think of you.”

Rimarama: “What are you saying?”

P-Dawg: “I don’t know.”

Rimarama: “You don’t find me the least bit entertaining?”



P-Dawg: “It’s just that when I think of a humor writer, I think of somebody like Lewis Black, you know? Someone whose all crass and crotchety.”

Rimarama: “Are you telling me you’ve never once laughed at anything I wrote?”

P-Dawg: “I -“

Rimarama: “Have you even chuckled inwardly?”

P-Dawg: “I’ve chuckled inwardly.”

Rimarama: “‘What about, “guffawed?’ Have you ever guffawed?”

P-Dawg: “Well . . . it’s not like you’re Garfield.”

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A Few of My Favorite Things

The Sound of Music premiered on Broadway fifty years ago (November 16th, 1959), but I discovered it again for the first time last week.

My three-year old son was busy playing trucks when I popped in the DVD, but as soon as Julie Andrews came bounding over the horizon and opened her mouth to sing, his little head swiveled around like a periscope.

What is that exquisite sound?

Who is that beautiful lady . . . and why isn’t she my mother?

He planted himself directly in front of the TV and gazed on with rapt attention for a good half hour.

I was riveted by the fairytale plotline, the boundless optimism, the yodeling . . . and Captain Von Hawt, whose smokin’ good looks had somehow evaded me for these past thirty-six years.

So in honor of the Sound of Music’s fiftieth anniversary, here are A Few of My Favorite Things:

  1. Coffee (touch of cream, no sugar)
  2. Sushi
  3. The Daily Show
  4. Lithuanian folk songs
  5. My attached garage
  6. The iTunes Store
  7. Leonard Cohen lyrics
  8. Built-in bras
  9. The Star-Spangled Banner (straight up, no soul)
  10. Cosmic signs
  11. Musical harmony
  12. Reading in bed
  13. White linens
  14. Lost
  15. Chamomile tea
  16. Aveda Inner Light dual foundation
  17. The combination of buttered movie popcorn with Skittles
  18. Hot showers
  19. Good lip balm
  20. Lavender lotion from L’Occitaine
  21. Striped tights
  22. Black boots
  23. Cinnabon
  24. Cabernet Sauvignon
  25. Guinness beer
  26. Christmas Eve
  27. Tylenol PM
  28. Jello pretzel “salad”
  29. Order and symmetry
  30. Airplane Coke
  31. The sun on my back
  32. Abba
  33. Geico caveman commercials
  34. The smell of pipe tobacco
  35. Foot rubs
  37. and The Sound of Music, of course.
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My, What Thick Corneas You Have

Last week, I went for a preliminary evaluation to see if I’m a candidate for laser eye surgery.

First they had me fill out a questionnaire explaining why I wanted it. I knew I couldn’t write “I hate my f#%$ing glasses,” so instead I talked about how they interfered with my quality of life. My glasses are making me fat by impeding my ability to participate in contact and water sports! I live in fear of being trapped in a burning building if I had to escape quickly and couldn’t locate them! Also, they make it difficult to watch TV while lying sideways on the couch.

Not five minutes after I’d handed in my essay (did they read it?), a technician invited me back for a battery of tests. I had made the first cut! For the next hour and a half, that technician poked and prodded me. She had me follow a pinprick of light with my eyes, took pictures from different angles, and shot puffs of air into my eyeballs at random intervals, then snickered when I recoiled. (Optometrists get their kicks from administering the glaucoma test, apparently.) But we had a rapport, the tech and I, and felt certain that by the end of our time together, she would present a glowing recommendation to the surgeon.

When I finally went in to meet him, the surgeon started in on the old “good news and bad news” speech, but I cut him off at the pass.

“Give it to me straight, doc.”

“Well, you’re a . . .reasonable candidate. I like the thickness of your corneas and your pupils dilate beautifully, but . . . [whips out thermal relief map of my eyeballs and furrows brow in concern] there is a bit of dryness I’d like to remedy before going forward,” he confided, pointing his laser at some suspicious yellow areas.

He assured me that he’d performed the surgery with great success on many, many people with my exact profile, but since most peoples’ eyes become more dry for up to a year afterwards, it’s a good idea to “get a handle on the dry eye” before proceeding. Also, there is no way to tell for sure how much drier my eyes will become post surgery and whether or not the condition would be permanent. Still, I left with a prescription for Re$ta$i$ and a tentative surgery date in early June, which I plan on canceling at the last minute.

Then I went home and spent way too much time surfing Lasik message boards, reading posts about Lasik disasters from people with screen names like, “Keep Your Glasses” and “Lasik Ruined My Life.” Who I’m assuming got the two-for-one special at Lasers-R-Us and not the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Center, but still. I find this “reasonable candidate” business disturbing.

What to do? And who will win: my vanity, or the Internet doomsayers?

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I’ll Take That as a Complement

I always wore glasses as a kid. And I’m fairly certain that my gargantuan, chablis-tinted plastic frames, coupled with a short, cross-gender haircut – which I liked to wear feathered and parted straight down the middle (not pictured) – were my main obstacles to social superstardom.

Ninth grade saw salvation and gradual peer acceptance in the form of contact lenses, the kind that would routinely pop out as I went about my daily business. Still, rooting around the bathroom floor searching for your contacts beat the hell out of getting stuffed into your locker by Frank Snodgrass.

Alas, my glasses reprieve was short lived. The contacts served me well through high school and college, then all of a sudden*, I just couldn’t wear them comfortably anymore. I haven’t worn them regularly for over ten years now, and it really chaps my hide. Because even though I have a decent pair of virtually weightless Swiss specs that are the least obvious pair of glasses I’ve ever owned, they still give me a bit of a complex. Whatever! Things could be worse.

Every once in awhile, I’ll put in my daily wear disposable contacts on the off chance that my dessicated, renegade eyeballs decide to cooperate, but it’s usually only a matter of hours before I peel them off and flush them down the toilet in disgust. I had them in today, and as I was going through the supermarket checkout line, the cashier says to me:

“You have such a pretty face!”

Me (blushing): “Oh! Thanks!”

Cashier (recognizing me as a regular customer): “You usually wear glasses, don’t you?”

Me: “Um, yeah. I have my contacts in today.”

Cashier: “It makes a huge difference in your appearance.”

Me: “Uh, thanks.”

Cashier: “Just lovely.”

Me: “Yeah, I’d wear them more often if they weren’t so uncomfortable, you know what I mean?”

Cashier: “Such a pretty face . . . Hey, Carl! (to bagger) Take a look at this young lady, don’t you think the contacts really make a difference?”

Carl: “Oh, yes! Very nice!”

Cashier: “She usually wears glasses.”

Carl (contorting face in disapproval): “I see.”

Cashier (shaking head): “You should wear your contacts more often. It’s a shame.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Cashier: “No, really, I mean it.”

Me: “Okay, thanks.”

Cashier: “Have a nice day.”

Then me and my beautiful visage hightailed it outta there before the stroke of noon, when I was scheduled to morph back into a bespectacled hag.

* Following a recurring, untreated case of conjunctivitis that may or may not have been triggered by poor contact lens hygiene habits.



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