Why One Love Manchester Was a Big Deal

Remember in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” when the Grinch has raided the Who’s village, taken all their food and gifts, and stands on the top of Mount Crumpit waiting for the Whos to wake up so he can hear their crying and sobbing?

Grinch

At first, he believes he hears wailing in the streets. But he soon realizes what he hears is every Who down in Whoville singing in joy. And he’s absolutely perplexed.

When a terrorist attacked the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, he stole they lives of many people; men, women and children. The monsters he worked with sat back to hear the wailing in the streets, and watch the fear. Probably with smug smiles on their fat f*** faces.

Instead, they heard joyous singing and a big F*** You from Ariana Grande who proved she has balls as big as her heart.

Devastated by the attack on her fans, Grande scheduled the One Love Manchester benefit concert and invited some of the biggest music stars on the planet to 1) raise money for the victims’ families, 2) show the terrorists she refused to be ruled by fear and 3) to prove that love conquers hate.

fear

Well said, cross-stitched unicorn.

Were people wary about attending another concert? Were parents scared to send their kids to a venue that could be dangerous? Of course, but the show sold out in minutes.

When we tremble with fear, when we refuse to travel, when we avoid festivals and public gatherings, these terrorist assholes sit back and laugh. But when we’re brave and are unafraid to show love, kindness and compassion, we win. Every time.

Keep singing.

Top 5 Reasons to Avoid Yoga

No one told me once I started practicing yoga, it would destroy my life. I wish someone had mentioned the potential side effects before I took my first class. But it’s done and I can’t reverse the process. It would be like trying to un-melt a s’more.

If you’ve considered starting a yoga practice, it’s only fair I warn you about what you might experience. I hope you’re more prepared than I was.

  1. All the feels. It’s not that I was heartless, but once I took up yoga I became one of those people who get emotional about shit that never bothered me before. Like the planet and bumble bees and dolphins and other people*. Once you feel that connection, you don’t know how to stop it! It can be super annoying.stripmining
  2. You can’t gossip. Again, I wasn’t a horrible human but I could be judgmental, unforgiving and even mean. Now I can’t imagine being hurtful toward another person*. In fact, I avoid drama altogether. So if you enjoy being a mean girl (or guy), yoga will wring that right out of you. Sorry.
  3. You can’t enjoy food.  You’ll begin to notice how soda makes your stomach hurt or how eating five dozen Oreo cookies leaves you lethargic. Pretty soon you’ll start avoiding those foods because you feel so much better when you don’t eat them. Even worse, you’ll eat foods like spinach and grapefruit and almonds and Greek yogurt. See! Yoga sucks.
  4. You don’t give a shit what people think. As a card-carrying, lifetime membership people-pleaser, it was a tough adjustment to realize other peoples’ opinion of me don’t matter. Once I decided to take away their power to humiliate, shame or degrade me, I had to accept the fact that maybe they were wrong. Which leads us to . . .
  5. You connect to yourself. One day you admit you’re not happy. You admit you treat yourself like garbage. You admit that all those years of negative self-talk have screwed you up. When you realize that, you have to do something about it. And that’s super hard. You have to learn how to accept your weaknesses without criticism, but also accept your worthiness without cynicism. Suddenly your default mode can’t be “skeptic” or “sarcastic.” It’s like re-learning how to walk.maxine

So if that list of side effects doesn’t dissuade you from purchasing a yoga mat and walking into a class, you’re on your own. You’ve been warned.

 

*Donald Trump is excluded for now. I’m not that good at yoga.

Top 5 Ways to Fix Healthcare

insurance

Congress is too worried about pissing off big medical, pharmaceutical and insurance companies to fix healthcare. Instead of curing a dying healthcare system, Congress sits on its chest slowly suffocating the life out of any reform.

Maybe our representatives don’t see the populace walking towards them with torches and pitchforks, but we’re coming. If those cut-off-from-reality SOBs don’t pull it together soon, the middle class will implode and heads will roll.

As much as I’d love to see our congressional “leaders” dragged through the streets like a United Airlines passenger, here’s another option: Fix the damn healthcare situation. A few places to start:

  1. Bring down drug costs. Prez Trump is good at issuing ultimatums. Here’s a quote he can use. “Listen up, Pfizer and Bayer and Novartis! You either drop the price of your products or continue to live in greed and luxury!” Wait. I think he’s already used that quote.
  2. Cover holistic practices. Massage, acupuncture and energy healing isn’t just a bunch of malarkey. But after being sick for three years, try to explain to an insurance carrier that holistic practices actually made you well. They look at you like you suggested bringing back polio and dodgeball.
  3. Make medical lobbying illegal. Medical weasels should be banned from Washington, D.C.  Yes, they drive nice cars and smear money around, but they also spread dis-ease and pestilence through their regular use of bribery and ass-kissing.
  4. Cap medical costs. Costs are so out of control, you’d think hospitals were being run by a team of ego-driven chimpanzees. Three of my daughters have been hospitalized in the last year and owe a total of nearly $50,000–AFTER INSURANCE! That isn’t healthcare. That’s pad-our-wallet care.costs
  5. Employers should embrace wellness programs. Including my commute, I spend at least 10 hours a day at my job. If you don’t think sitting on your ass all day makes you unhealthy then you are in denial, my friend. Great employers offer wellness activities DURING business hours. It will make employees happy and lower company insurance costs.

Congress needs to stop protecting the healthcare industry. Everyone knows that enabling someone only makes the situation worse. I don’t think our representatives will like how the voters conduct an intervention.

 

Top 5 PowerPoint Mistakes

Working for a government agency, and just living on planet Earth, I have suffered through  PowerPoint presentations that could be listed as war crimes. Here are some tips on how to use PowerPoint in ways that don’t violate the Geneva Convention.

  1. Don’t go over time. There’s nothing worse than to hear a long-winded speaker say, “I know my time is up, but I have a few more points to address.” Stop it. For God’s sake, stop talking.
  2. Small wording. Unless you’re presenting at the Perfect Vision seminar, don’t use weird or super-small fonts. This only teaches people how to squint, get headaches and hate you.bad-powerpoint

    (The text is too small and it’s about math. That’s what you call a double negative.)

  3. Don’t over-complicate the info. Indecipherable charts, unrelated clip art and graph after graph after graph after graph. These techniques absolutely destroy someone’s will to live. Add in extra-twirly transactions and explosive slide changes, and you might as well be inserting bamboo under the listeners’ fingernails.
  4. Don’t speak low and slow. As your voice ticks like a slow metronome, heavy and hypnotic, you realize your audience is gently snoring, dreaming of a PowerPoint free world.
  5. Don’t read the slides. For the love of all that’s good! Don’t read the damn slides! Even if it’s just bullet points–don’t read verbatim. Everyone in the room can read. Even that coworker you’re convinced is half Hobbit can read.

DeathbyPP

(If annihilating your workplace was your goal: Mission accomplished.)

Go forth and make this world a better place.

Kitchen Counterintelligence

Trump adviser and covert-appliance specialist Kellyanne Conway recently warned Americans that the CIA has discovered a way to turn microwaves into cameras with the intent to gather delicious data on the populace.

As an entity, the CIA shit a brick after learning Conway spilled the beans on the entire spying scheme. (I always thought the “A” was for Agency but we now know it’s Central Intelligence Appliances.)

Wikileaks released a billion documents detailing the extent of the scandal, rendering every kitchen in the country a base for sneaky operatives. (Luckily, the window of my microwave is so covered with exploded spaghetti sauce that a complete view of my kitchen is impossible.)

The documents show the CIA has infiltrated other kitchen appliances, starting with the fridge. I was pretty sure the fridge was the leader of the group since it continues to passive aggressively freeze all my produce in the vegetable bins.

All those smart fridges we thought could just order milk were actually documenting how often we stand with the door open waiting for delicious food to magically appear. It also judges our use of leftovers and how many opened cans of chicken broth we have at any given time.

fridge

My dishwasher is too stupid to be an effective spy. It tends to lazily spit on my dishes without actually getting anything clean. Drying is obviously too much of an effort for my dishwasher, so it doesn’t bother. If it’s working for the CIA, it should be reassigned to the scrap heap.

dishwasher

(Now with a stealthy periscope.)

You know it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are toasters with high-tech listening capabilities, hand mixers that can tell if you’re stressed, and garbage disposals with the ability to analyze all the food you waste. In fact, while we’re laughing about this, I just noticed my blender is slowly moving closer to get a better view.

Thank goodness, Conway is on top of the situation, warning the American public that the CIA is watching us from our ovens and coffee makers. Enjoy your next family dinner.

 

 

 

 

Lazy Ways to Improve Your Marriage

So you have a spouse. Now what do you do?

Marriage is much more than mindlessly irritating the person you love for the rest of your life. Marriage is a sacred bond that states you promise to listen to your spouse chew his/her food until the day you die.

But how do you make it last? What can you do (that takes little or no effort) so your spouse thinks you’re the bomb?

Here are some of the laziest ways to strengthen your relationship:

Touch each other. A gentle touch creates a spark of affection. However, the following touches will get you divorced faster than you can say “alimony.” No touching my feet, chin(s), waist, knees or that part on my arm where my tricep muscle should be. And no tickling! For God’s sake, no tickling!

Cook dinner together. You know, like in the movies where the couple turns on the radio and starts dancing while slicing carrots, onions and potatoes? Like that only with a lot more sliced off fingers and 4-letter words.

husband-cooking

(It’s always a good idea to sneak up behind someone who’s holding a knife.)

Be playful. A co-worker suggested I drop a handful of flour on my husband’s face while he’s sleeping. “It will be hilarious,” he promised.

Joke’s on me. After calling 9-1-1 because my hubbie inhaled a lungful of unbleached flour, I had to clean up the mess on the dry-clean only comforter before changing the sheets and promising to sleep in the guest room for a week.

Don’t be super sensitive. If your spouse walks on eggshells when you’re around, there could be a problem. First, who the hell left all those eggshells on the floor!? Second, if your spouse is never sure which personality you’ll be today, it can cause tension between the two (or more) of you.

Show your partner you’re carefree by laughing and tossing your hair. Don’t take everything so personally. Stop slamming doors when your husband mentions your potato salad tastes like s***. Shake it off. A lifetime in prison isn’t worth it.

Spend time alone. Even best friends need a break, especially if you’ve both suffered a week of constant touching, bloody meals, flour ingestion and hurt feelings. Maybe go your separate ways for a few hours, if only to contact an attorney.

I guess this blog wasn’t very helpful. 😦

Things Trump Should Ban

While The Donald sits in the Oval Office signing executive orders meant to divert and distract our attention, I wake up each morning waiting to see if we’ve nuked anyone yet. So far, so good.

But with all his power, it seems Trump is completely focused on the wrong things to ban. There are much worse things than refugees trying to infiltrate Detroit.

As you wield your mighty pen in your tiny hands, Mr. Prez, here are some alternative suggestions for you to ban.

  • Racism. (Oh, right . . .)
  • Internet pop-up ads.

popup

(Unless they’re all this funny.)

  • The automatic message on voicemail that says, “If you’d like to leave a message, please wait for the beep.” After decades of leaving messages, I think we’ve got this.
  • Teenagers
  • Wind
  • Cosmopolitan magazines sex tips.(I do what with the hand mixer?)
  • Diet Coke
  • Poverty and hunger. (It was estimated that Trump’s inauguration cost more than $200 million. Two. Hundred. Million. American. Dollars.)
  • People calling to sell me solar panels.

solar

  • January
  • Pull-tops on cans that break off because then you can’t open the can of crushed pineapple without slicing your wrist open on the jagged edges of the can that you pried open with a pair of tweezers.
  • War
  • Happy Meal toys
  • Haggis

That should give The Donald a whole bunch of things to take care of during this second week (only second week?!?) of his presidency. Feel free to add your own ideas to the list.