Things I’m Giving Up For Lent

February 18 was Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Because I live in a state overrun with Mormons who don’t observe this tradition, most people here just know Lent involves a dirty smudge on the forehead and a big party on Fat Tuesday.

Typically, Lent requires faithful Christians of the Lutheran, Methodist or Catholic persuasion to give up something they love for 40 days until the Easter observation. While some people give up being religious for 40 days, others take it quite seriously and abstain from fattening foods (!), sugar (!!), sex (!!!) and watching funny animal videos on YouTube (!!!!).

Here’s what I’m giving up for Lent:

  • My New Year’s resolutions
  • Watching Better Call Saul (Just kidding. Not giving that up.)
  • Trying to fold a fitted sheet

fitted sheet

  • Attempting to read Moby Dick/War and Peace/Heart of Darkness or anything by an overly revered author who probably didn’t understand what he wrote, either.
  • Beating myself up for not being perfect
  • The idea of wealth
  • Hostess pies (specifically apple, cherry, blackberry and lemon)

hostess(With “real” fruit filling.)

  • Trying not to swear. (I’ve decided to embrace my piratey language and adopt a parrot to sit on my shoulder and imitate my salty vocabulary.)
  • Diet Coke (which I never drink anyway)
  • Patience with road-raged drivers
  • Regular Coke (which is my reward for being alive every day)
  • Trying to understand anything happening in Washington, D.C.
  • Creamed spinach


(Yep, no problem giving this s*** up.)

  • Listening
  • Becoming a vegetarian
  • Working hard
  • Doing dishes

Just think what an amazing person I will be in 40 days!

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You Might Have Alzheimer’s If . . .

I watched the movie “Still Alice” over the weekend. It stars Julianne Moore as a woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and it’s depressing as s***. But, like when I watch most disease-focused movies, I began to wonder if I was afflicted with this degenerative illness.

I’ve been convinced I’ve had ALS (The Theory of Everything), Satanic possession (Carrie), stupidity (any Adam Sandler flick), a lethal airborne virus (Contagion) and the zombie illness (28 Days Later).

old yeller

(Oh, yeah. Don’t forget rabies.)

So I could completely freak out, I visited the Alzheimer’s Association website to get a list of the following warning signs. According to this list, I’m going downhill fast.

Memory Loss: Wasn’t 2009 only two or three years ago? Can someone remind me when it’s my grandchildren’s birthdays? When did milk jump up to $4 a gallon? Who’s the old lady wearing my clothes? I spent HOW much on Amazon?

Challenges problem solving: I’m reading, “The Martian” by Andy Weir where an astronaut is stranding on Mars for a couple of years. He has to a) make food, b) make oxygen, c) make water and d) stay warm. If I were in that situation, I would a) die.

Difficulty completing daily tasks: Sometimes just getting out of bed is a monumental achievement. Finding matching shoes, not eating sugar cookies for breakfast and brushing my teeth with toothpaste (not acne medicine) is exhausting.

Trouble understanding visual images: I watched Nicki Minaj’s video “Anaconda.” Not only was I completely confused, I was also rendered temporarily blind.


(Just watch the SpongeBob version. It could save your corneas.)

Problems with speaking or writing: Because my mouth works faster than my brain, I often say the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. And as for problems writing, you should see me the hour before my newspaper deadline. I’m writing like a Red Bull addicted chipmunk.

Changes in mood: What the #%@* do they mean by that?

Confusion in regards to time/place: My husband woke up the other day and said, “In six weeks it will be our half-year anniversary!” I stared at him blankly for a few minutes before asking, “Anniversary for what?”

Misplacing things: At work last week, I looked all over my desk for a document I was holding in my left hand.

Withdrawal from social activities: I guess they’re assuming there was a time I actually enjoyed participating in social activities–otherwise I’ve had early onset Alzheimer’s since fourth grade.

Poor judgment: So, you’re saving I HAVE had early onset Alzheimer’s since fourth grade.

Just like the bird flu, mad cow disease and malaria, I’m pretty sure I don’t have early onset Alzheimer’s. Yet. At least not that I remember.

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Things Driving Me Crazy Today

Not only is it National Umbrella Day, it’s also Tuesday, the legislature is in session and it’s time for my list of Things Driving Me Crazy Today!

Today’s list includes:

  •   The Utah Legislature selecting a commemorative firearm each year. This year it’s a freakin’ AR-15 assault rifle. Welcome to the Wild West, @#$@%$s!


(Why make laws when we can shoot things instead?)

  • Shaving off the first three layers of skin from my shins.
  • People who keep talking about the “incredible cleanse” they’re doing. Shut up, already. Have a donut.
  • Drivers who honk their horns before they run a red light. When did this become a thing?
  • The Entertainment Awards Season. Yes, we know you’re incredibly beautiful, phenomenally talented and fantastically wealthy. Congratulations on giving yourselves an award.


(If the Lego cast wasn’t invited, it’s just not worth watching.)

  • When you’re at the gym and someone near you farts, and you worry that people will think it’s you.
  • Not winning the Idaho lottery.
  • The Utah Legislature making national news for all the wrong reasons.
  • When the pull-tab on a can breaks.
  • Stabbing yourself with a knife while trying to open a can after the pull-tab breaks.
  • Failing a Facebook personality quiz.


Which Country Fits Your Personality?

(I didn’t know “The Black Hole from the Gravity movie” was a country.)

  • People who are still talking about the SuperBowl. Get over it. It’s a game.
  • News agencies that post ISIS execution videos. Why don’t you just write the terrorists a check?
  • Getting the wrong size straw for your drink.
  • My husband’s compulsion to turn off lights.
  • Sitting in the dark.
  • Moisturizer that doesn’t make me look ten years younger.
  • Did I mention the Utah Legislature?

That’s it. Feel free to carry on!

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Weird February Traditions

I guess people who survive January decide February is a great time to celebrate. But there’s really nothing to celebrate in February, so people just decided to make s*** up.

Take for instance:

Groundhog Day (2-2): Yesterday, all across the country, innocent groundhogs were pulled from their warm burrows with the demand that they forecast the weather for the next six weeks. (Keep in mind, meteorologists can’t correctly predict weather for the next six hours.)

Leave it to Pennsylvania Germans to create an observance that revolves around marmots. Lately, we’ve heard about groundhogs attacking mayors during these “celebrations.” I’m rooting for the groundhogs.


(When groundhogs attack.)

Valentine’s Day (2-14): Regular readers of this blog know my impatience with this holiday created by Hallmarkians in the early 1900s. Honoring the people you love should be a year-round event. Not a one-time, box-of-chocolates, 7-Eleven rose bouquet toss off. (See Romance 101 or Romantic Ideas for Valentine’s Day.)

International Condom Day (2-14): This celebration coincides with Valentine’s Day, so just in case that box-of-chocolates, 7-Eleven rose bouquet actually works, use a condom. More than 5 billion condoms are sold every year. But the majority of those remain unused and are stashed in the wallets of hopeful high school students.


(Not to be confused with National Herpes Awareness Day on Oct. 13.)

Presidents’ Day (2-16): As a government employee, I think we should honor a different president every Monday, with the appropriate day off to think about their contributions to the country. Whoever decided to combine Washington/Lincoln Day should be tried for treason.

Mardi Gras (2-17): Now that everyone has their condoms, let’s celebrate Mardi Gras! On Fat Tuesday, revelers spend hours drinking, dancing, partying and participating in all types of debauchery. This is in preparation for Ash Wednesday (2-18), or the beginning of Lent when people abstain from drinking, partying and participating in all types of debauchery until Easter. Or until their hangover wears off (2-19).

Chinese New Year (2-19): In 2015, the Chinese New Year ushers in the year of the goat/sheep and will be celebrated with fireworks, food and parties. So kind of like New Year’s Eve, only with goats/sheep. People born during this year are supposed to be sweet, kind, calm and easily fleeced.


(This goat is obviously still recovering from Mardi Gras.)

And don’t forget to wear red on National Wear Red Day on Feb. 6 to honor . . . well . . . redness?


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Top 5 Reasons I’ll Never Run For Office

Presidential candidates are sharpening their knives, honing their wit and polishing up their toothy smiles. With a possible Romney/Bush/Palin ticket, what could possibly go wrong?

I have no desire to run for office. Zero. Zip. Nada.

I’ve been watching the hilarious sitcom, Veep, where I’ve learned all kinds of ways to insert swear words into everyday conversation. And although I could @$%&ing excel at that type of linguistic behavior, Veep also demonstrates the backbiting, power struggles, insecurities and hypocrisy that exists in today’s political landscape.


(These people are horrible. But it’s fiction, right? Right?!?!)

So (not that I was considering it), here are the reasons I’ll never run for POTUS, mayor, the library board or PTA hospitality chairperson.

1–I’m too thin-skinned. A boy in third grade told me I ran like a girl. I couldn’t imagine a more hurtful insult. Of course this same boy threw earthworms at my face, broke my pencils in half and pulled my pigtails. I’m pretty sure he loved me. But negative comments REALLY make me feel bad. And I don’t hear a lot of compliments or praise coming from political opponents.

2–I have no patience with whiners. Ask my kids. You whine, I stop listening. If my constituents call about potholes, the height of their neighbor’s garage or the price of Girl Scout Cookies, I’ll calmly hang up.


(Yes, they are hideously expensive. But they’re also unhealthy, fattening and addictive!)

3–I can’t make a decision. Don’t ask me what movie I want to see, what restaurant I want to go to, what my favorite book is or if I’d rather be on a beach or in a luxury hotel. The answer is I don’t know! It’s all good!! So when it comes to voting on bike lanes, economic development or elephant sanctuaries, I don’t know!

4–I hate meetings. All politics seems to be is a bunch of meetings. Just give me cement shoes and throw me in the Great Salt Lake. Listening to politicians bluster and brag is the tortuous equivalent to a dentist’s drill boring through my eardrum. Plus I can’t sit still. Plus I can’t resist making smart-ass comments. Plus most meetings are a complete waste of time. (Sidenote: Read How to Survive a Boring Meeting.)

5–I don’t have nearly enough money. The average income for congressmen living in Washington, D.C. is around $190,000. And that’s in American dollars! But. It cost them millions of dollars to buy their way onto Capitol Hill. Lobbyists aren’t cheap, you know. I don’t have wealthy friends willing to open their wallets to sponsor my doomed run for office. I don’t even have friends willing to post bail. I need to get new friends.

Just to reiterate. You will not be seeing a Peri for President campaign anytime soon. Not even for @$%&ing Girl Scout cookies.


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More Proof Our Parents Tried to Kill Us

For those of us raised before intrusive regulations, FDA labels, auto safety campaigns, no-smoking ads and boring playgrounds, we lived in a fairytale land of denial and luck.

In a previous blog, Proof Our Parents Tried to Kill Us, I addressed the dangerous foods our parents unknowingly (they say) fed us, that should have landed us in a 10-year coma.

Here is more proof our parents tried to kill us.

  • Bike helmets were non-existent. In addition, we were encouraged to ride bikes without holding on to the handlebars, while standing on the bike seat and carrying our younger siblings. If we fell, “Well, maybe you should practice more, dummy.”
  • Lawn Darts were a common weapon our parents used to distract us from begging for food. “Go play lawn darts. I just sharpened them up for you.”

 lawndarts(Basically throwing knives at each other.)

  • EVERYTHING was sugar-coated, from breakfast cereal to toothpaste.
  • It didn’t happen often, because teachers didn’t really care, but occasionally we’d have a nuclear bomb drill–because everyone knows hiding under a desk saves you from radiation and nuclear fallout. And if that doesn’t work, stuffing 1,200 people in the basement of the local high school should be fine. Yep, no problems there.
  • Sunscreen? What the hell’s sunscreen?
  • Fisher Price even had a toy representing a bully. It’s motto was “Toughen up you little s***.”FB bully

(More proof that freckled little boys are demonic.)

  • Disco music.
  • Less than 10 percent of people in 1970 used seat belts because your mom was sure if she threw her arm across your chest during a car accident, everything would be fine. By 1989, 34 states passed seat belt laws–except for New Hampshire because they just didn’t give a @%#*.
  • The way our parents dressed us for school was a way of encouraging someone to beat us up. Clothes in the 1970s might as well have been printed with signs on the back stating, “Please, punch me in the gall bladder.”fashion

(My brother rocked some groovy polyester pant suits. So did my sisters.)

If nothing else, growing up in the ’70s taught us to be resilient and creative. It was either adapt or die. Because of my childhood, I am now a high-functioning sarcastic. Thanks mom and dad!!

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7 Habits of Highly Irritating People

Everyone has irritating habits; those strange little quirks that drive the people around us loco. But some people go above and beyond the label to become habitually irritating. That’s why the term “justifiable homicide” was created.


Here are the 7 Habits of Highly Irritating People. Taken individually, they’re tolerable; but collectively?!

No eye contact during a discussion. It’s hard enough making small talk at parties or business meetings. But if the person you’re speaking with is looking over your shoulder, down your shirt, at the ceiling–or anywhere but at you, just walk away. They won’t notice.

Intense eye contact during a discussion. Ever feel like you’re talking to a serial killer? Chances are, their eyes have been boring into your soul for an intense 10 minutes of conversation. They don’t glance away, they don’t break eye contact for one second–and they never blink (except that one time when the guy’s eyelids blinked sideways.)

Interrupting conversations. So you’re talking to a co-worker/friend/cousin/mortal enemy, and they suddenly decide your story is too boring–and they start telling you about their trip to the Bahamas. Move on.

Being judgmental bastards. All your co-worker/friend/cousin/mortal enemy can talk about is how everyone sucks. Because perfect.

cat judge

Being easily offended. There’s always that person who can take anything you say and turn it into an insult. “My, that’s a lovely dress you’re wearing.” “What does that mean?! Why are you lookin’ at my dress?!?”

People who don’t listen. You can tell when people stop paying attention. They get a distant look in their eyes, and you can hear the squeaky hamster wheel in their brain slowly come to a stop. Just start rambling nonsense or making up new swear words. It won’t matter. They’ve checked out.

People who have to be right. You could be discussing gravity. Or the polio vaccine. Or the societal impact of The Simpsons. But it doesn’t matter what you’re talking about, because this person ALWAYS disagrees with you–and backs up their argument with baseless “facts.”

Another irritating habit? A person who points out irritating habits. Have a good Tuesday. If that’s even possible.


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