Top 5 Ways To Stay Awake During Afternoon Meetings

Even if you’ve been freebasing Mountain Dew Voltage, eating sugar straight from the bag, or enduring a 5-Hour Energy Drink enema, chances are, if you’re stuck in an afternoon meeting, you will fall asleep.

It doesn’t matter if you’re attending a conference in Disneyworld, enduring a church meeting on a warm summer day or sitting in a department meeting in an uncomfortable chair. You will fall asleep.

If you’re out of town, you probably stayed awake all night, listening to the family of six (elephants) stamp across the floor in the room overhead. If you’re in Vegas, you’re freaking out about the money you lost at the craps table. If you’re in church, the speaker’s voice drones on like a buzzing bee. You will fall asleep.

After a big lunch, it’s easy to drift off and do that funky head bob while trying to pay attention. With no end in sight, and no Internet access, you’re almost certain to embarrass yourself with lots of snoring and sleep farting. You will fall asleep.

falling asleep

But maybe that can be avoided! Here are my five favorite things to keep me awake during afternoon meetings.

  1. Bark: Maybe you make short little yipping noises, or full-on “enraged Pit bull”. Either way will stimulate your adrenaline to keep you awake just a little longer. CAUTION: Don’t bite anyone. Even the boring as s*** speaker.
  2. Cell phone alarm: When you can tell you’re getting sleepy, set your phone alarm to go off every 10 minutes. It’s super obnoxious and you’ll stay awake trying to shut it off before anyone can hear it. Option: create an app that delivers an electric shock every few minutes.
  3. Take off a layer of clothing: You shouldn’t take off your pants, but whatever keeps you awake. Being overly warm is a sure-fire way to doze off around 2 p.m. You’ll feel your eyelids touch and realize you can’t re-open them. Your eyebrows will do that “I’m trying to lift your lids and open your eyes” dance, which is a sure giveaway you’re sleeping.
  4. Create a diversion: After you feel your head bob three times in a row, jump out of your seat and yell, “Was that the bat signal?!” Then run out of the room, pulling on the black cape that you brought for just such a situation.


5.  Start the wave: This bored-sports-fan (mostly wives and children) favorite activity gets everyone in the room up and moving. It might take a few times of you doing the wave alone before it starts to catch on, but don’t give up. Just keep on wavin’.

It’s funny how much energy you have once you leave the office. You could climb Mt. McKinley or wrestle alligators. Enjoy it while it lasts!

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Back-To-School Guide from A to Z

To quote the great Yogi Berra, “I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.”

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s turn our attention to all the things that need to be done before your adorable children head back to school.

You’ve had three months to get your s*** together, and you know you didn’t. But that’s okay. I’ve made a handy list you can stick on your fridge to help you stay organized during the next week or so. Good luck, and remember, alcohol is never the answer. (Unless the question is, “What can I get you to drink?”)


Act sad.

Buy too many school supplies.

Clean rooms to find socks and toothbrushes.

Don’t appear too excited.

Encourage earlier bedtimes.

Forage in closets for salvageable back-to-school items.

Grumble about the cost of new shoes.

Hail the benefits of hand-me-downs.

Invest in an expensive lunch box set that will be used exactly ONE time.

Jump for joy (when the kids aren’t around).

Kiss your homework-free evenings goodbye.

Lament the end of summer by eating an entire peach pie.

Mitigate the argument about, “All the other kids can stay up as long as they want.”

Negotiate a peace treaty between your daughters.

Ogle the beautiful fall fashions, and wish you could get some back-to-school outfits for yourself.

Prepare for the deluge of permission slips, disclaimers, waivers, applications, donation requests and registration forms.

Quietly discard the hundreds of water guns in your home.

Relocate the jars of snails, caterpillars, potato bugs and ladybugs your kids have collected over the summer.

Secure a home equity loan to pay for school and activity fees.

Throw a Back-to-School family dinner.

Unveil the new job chart for the year.

Vocalize concern about your daughter’s back-to-school eyebrow piercing.

Weep as your kindergartner, new junior high student and/or high school senior goes to school.

X-axis fear sets in as you realize you have a child taking geometry.

Yawn and decided you’ll tackle everything tomorrow.



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Things That Make Me Happy

I’m a pretty happy person. I’m realistically optimistic and usually expect the best. But I can also be a bit moody (“What the hell does THAT mean?”) and can get gloomy if I find myself doing the same thing over and over again.

I’m also pretty good at cheering myself up. I have lots of go-to activities that lift my spirits because sometimes it’s the small things that make life worthwhile. (That wasn’t a sex joke.)

Along with a box of See’s toffee, snuggling at night with my hubbie, stargazing and doing yoga, these things always bring a smile to my face:

  • Opening a new book by a favorite author


(But I’m not sure if I’m emotionally ready for this book.)

  • Browsing the selection of pastries at a local bakery
  • That pins-and-needles feeling when my foot falls asleep
  • Watching someone singing out loud as they walk down the street
  • Dropping the f-bomb
  • Watching drivers stop to avoid a family of ducks
  • Plugging into my iPod at the gym
  • Leaving the gym
  • Kicking off my shoes after work and blasting music as I drive home
  • Practicing my Oscar/Pulitzer acceptation speech
  • Surviving the latest Armageddon scare


  • Eating Twizzlers during a road trip
  • Watching a lightning storm
  • Getting hugs from my grandkids
  • Napping so hard I wake up not sure what day it is
  • Clean sheets
  • The sound of ice cubes cracking when I pour Coke into my glass
  • A perfect margarita
  • Stepping on crunchy leaves
  • Walking Ringo in the morning
  • When toddlers swear
  • Remembering how my mom always flipped people off
  • Watching young girls try to walk in heels
  • This stop sign in my neighborhood


  • Hot fudge sundaes
  • Wrapping up in towels warm from the dryer
  • When my jeans still fit after a long weekend of eating crap
  • The phrase “interpretive dance”
  • When I send a finished article to my editor
  • Getting a package or handwritten letter in the mail
  • Hearing that crackly noise when my vacuum picks up dirt
  • Watching parents discipline their toddler in the mall
  • Laughing at work
  • Trying something new
  • Munching on movie theater popcorn

What’s your go-to happy activity?


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I Use Words Good

I’ve been known to make words up. Usually swear words. But, still . . .


Time magazine studied why some made-up or blended words work. Successful examples include: affluenza (a lack of motivation affecting young wealthy people), dramedy (a drama/comedy–much like Congress) and Brangelina (the joining of two amazingly gorgeous people). The magazine also studied why some words don’t work. For instance, wonut (a waffle-donut) didn’t really catch on. Neither did swacket (a sweater-jacket).


(Please, don’t make this a thing.)

Words fascinate me. People with the literary superpower to craft magical sentences are my heroes. They wave their pens around and stories, sentences and words appear.

Here are some words I’ve created that you are free to use (at no charge):

Mayonnatheist: Someone who doesn’t believe in using mayonnaise. (I’m a devoted mayonnatheist.)

Pantaloony: Wearing crazy underwear.

Handitosis: The act of exhaling into your hand to check for bad breath.

Furricane: When your dog attacks you with love when you get home from work.

Spanxgst: That feeling of anxiety when you’re trying to put on Spanx.


Slambunctious: Rowdy people loudly closing doors.

Meloncholy: Feeling sad when someone eats the last piece of cantaloupe.

Karmageddon: When your stupid actions destroy the world.

Narcissistissippi: Someone who is very proud of his spelling skills.

Spambiguous: Describing the “meat” in a hot dog.

Ostrichsize: To exclude ostriches from social groups.

Dolphinoceros: A damn cool fishimal.

Fartitude: Being able to hold in a fart during yoga class.

Hempathy: Feeling bad for someone whose dress is obviously too short.

Have you created any super words?


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Things I’ll Never Say at a BBQ

star wars

(For Star Wars nerds.)

Summer means BBQs which means getting corn-on-the-cob stuck between my teeth and coming down with salmonella poisoning from all the meat and salads left on the patio for hours. It means watching flies land on the watermelon, and ice-cream bars melting down my forearms.

But no matter how much I love a good steak on the grill, there are just some things I will never say at a BBQ.

For instance:

“There’s a cup of kale in each hamburger!”

“Will someone pass me the potato salad?”

“No, thank you. I’ve had enough brownies.”


“I’d love a tofu kebab!”

“Boy, a beer sure sounds refreshing right now.”

“Wow! That’s too much bacon on my burger.”

“Could you hand me the guacamole?”

“Of course I can eat ribs without dripping BBQ sauce all over my white shorts.”

“I’ll bring the mayonnaise!”

“I sure hope someone grills me up a big slab of headcheese!”


(What. The. F***. Is. This?)

“I’d just like one potato chip, please.”

“I sure wish I could have some of that tuna salad.”

“Does someone want to share a s’more with me?”

“NO! I don’t need a napkin!”

“Wow, that coleslaw looks delicious.”

Enjoy your barbecues while you can! People are already saying stupid things like, “I can sure feel fall in the air.” Shut up, you.

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Top 5 Reasons to be Lazy This Summer

Remember when you were a kid and summer vacation stretched out like a long, sweet piece of warm caramel? Well, get over it. You’ll never have three months to do absolutely nothing EVER AGAIN.

But. While you might not be able to laze around the house in your jammies, eating cold cereal and popsicles until fall, you can still dedicate a significant amount of time to just being lazy. In this crazy world with its tech gadgets and social media invasion, putting yourself in time-out might be the best. thing. ever. I suggest you do it today.


(Sometimes you just need to sit on a fountain.)

Here are the best reasons to be lazy this summer:

1. To-do lists are bulls***.  Remember when your mom gave you a list of chores to do every summer? Did you like it then? Nope. So why would you like it now? Throw out the to-do list and focus on the want-to-do list. (Disclaimer: this must involve eating at least one banana split each week.)

2. Hiding can be therapeutic. You don’t need to check out from reality for weeks at a time, but diving into a great book while eating strawberry shortcake is my idea of heaven. While I might be mistaken for a turtle as I burrow under a pillow, that’s okay. Turtles are adorable!

3. Being lazy heightens creativity. When you figure out how to refill your margarita without  leaving the comfyness of your porch swing, you have accomplished a great task. Doing nothing opens your mind to all kinds of ideas.


4. It teaches you patience. It’s HARD to hold still. We fidget, adjust, move around and change positions all the time, usually because we’re amped on caffeine and sugar. Make yourself sit still. Listen to yourself breathe. Ignore your erratic brain telling you to “Move already!!!” After awhile, your mind backs down. If people judge you, tell them you’re not being lazy, you’re meditating.

5. You don’t miss out on the little things. Once you toss your to-do list, you suddenly have tons of time to do important things like play games, make homemade ice-cream, reread favorite novels, sit by a stream, listen to the birds, take your dog for an extra walk, look at the stars, watch the clouds roll by and plan an impromptu picnic.

Taking a few hours each week to just be lazy will make your summer feel more like a vacation. Just like when you were 10.


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Top 5 Reasons to Not Eat Avocados

I’m basically an all-food eating machine. But there are some items of “food” I must refuse–on totally valid grounds. For instance, I don’t eat mayonnaise because it’s icky. I refuse to eat squid because it’s icky. In fact, most foods I don’t eat are just plain icky.

Take the avocado–please (ba-dum-dum). Besides not knowing which food classification it falls into (fruit? veggie? mineral? alien life form?) avocados are just plain ugly. I know they say it’s a fruit. But fruit is delicious. There’s even an Avocados are Yucky and Gross Facebook page.


(Who thought this looked like a good idea to eat?)

In order to save you from unintentionally consuming one of these Alligator Pears from the Jurassic era, here are a few reasons to leave these buggers alone:

1. A waste of water. Did you know it takes 74 gallons of water to grow ONE pound of avocados? So not only are they disgusting, they’re also greedy, drought-causing little bastards.

2. False advertising. Health food nuts proclaim the common avocado is a fantastic addition to their already boring diet. But these ugly, oval-shaped, bumpy fruits (?) have TONS of fat. Health nuts also say it’s a healthy type of fat, but then you have to also include the cream filling of Oreo cookies as a healthy fat. goodfat

3. It ruins other foods. Take your basic, delicious hamburger. Smothered in pickles, tomatoes, ketchup and a hint of mustard, it’s a beautiful thing. Woe be unto those who slather their burgers with avocado or guacamole (the roadkill version).  What kind of animals are you?

4. Can you say “Poison”? Yes. Avocados are poisonous. All right, if you want to get technical, they are not usually dangerous to humans (unless ingested) but they are VERY toxic to horses, goats, cattle and birds. Why hasn’t PETA banned this slimy substance?

5.  Gross recipes. As if the regular avocado wasn’t bad enough, people try to create different ways of hiding these bilious bombs in other foods. I already mentioned the roadkill guacamole which is served at parties by hosts who don’t like their guests very much. There’s also avocado soup (really??), avocado smoothies (gag) and avocado coconut cream pie???!!! Now, sir, you’ve gone too far!



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