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

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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.

Top 5 Reasons I Feel Bad For Melania Trump

When the KGB approached Melania Trump and “encouraged” her to seduce Donald Trump so they could infiltrate American high society, she jumped at the chance. But now her life has taken a dark twist. She’s the new First Lady.

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(The happy First Family)

I wonder if Trump and Melania discussed his idea to run for president or if he just came home one day with red hats, patriotic ties and a family-loaded entourage. I can hear him saying something like, “Suck it up, buttercup” when she expressed her concerns. Maybe not. Probably.

Here are the Top 5 reasons I feel pity for Melania:

She only signed on to be a trophy wife. The deal was, she got an unlimited budget, a swanky New York penthouse and she only had to have sex with Trump when the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped below 10,000. Now, she has to spend time with Trump and pretend to like him for four (please, God, let it be only four) years.

Her husband treats her poorly. Trump’s actions say a TON about their marriage. I think he loves the idea of having a beautiful wife but has no idea how to treat her with respect–which seems consistent with how he treats other beautiful women.

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(The Donald doesn’t even wait for her before he clumps over to the Obamas.)

She’ll be scrutinized.  For the next four (please, God, let it only be four) years, every article of clothing she wears, every hairstyle she dons, every comment she makes, every somber expression she has, and every part of her schedule will be criticized, attacked, praised and Twittered. She’ll be a meme, a gif, a vime and a Facebook post.

Her husband’s lecherous behavior. I’m sure she’s aware that her husband treats women like chewing gum. But having a private conversation about Trump’s misogynistic behavior is much different than having the press have the conversation for you. No more privacy when her husband molests the pizza delivery girl.

She’ll be underestimated. Yes, Melania is beautiful, but she also speaks five languages. She’s traveled all over the world, she’s protective of her son, she’s naturally shy and tends to avoid the spotlight. I don’t think we should mistake her calm demeanor for ignorance. She might be the best thing to come out of this election.

 

 

Top 5 Christmas Party Games

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Everyone loves a good party game (except introverts and cats). A fun game gets guests mingling and talking to each other. (Never mind. Christmas games sound like hell.)

But if you insist on tormenting your party goers with games, at least get creative. Here are the Top 5 Christmas Party Games for you to try this year.

Christmas Charades: Acting out common holiday phrases seemed like a good idea until drunk Aunt Edna horrified all the party guests with her depiction of “Santa’s sack.”

Two Truths-One Lie–Christmas Edition: Each person describes the funniest Christmas presents they’ve received, two should be true and one is made up. This was going well until Great-Grandma said, “During Christmas 1932, I got drunk, got herpes and got pregnant with this asshole.” (Pointing at your grandpa.) “And those are all true!”

Holiday Twenty Questions: If your parents are fighting, don’t even start this game. You’ll be traumatized for life.

Mom: Okay, Frank. Here’s your first question. Did you &$%# that girl from Jimmy John’s at the office party?

Dad: I don’t think that’s the way this game is played, Ruth.

Mom: Talk to my attorney.

Christmas Carol Pictionary: Draw the name of a popular Christmas song and your team has to sing it once they figure out what it is. This seems like cruel and unusual punishment for people who can’t draw or sing. You’ll probably also get into arguments that go something like, “Who taught you how to draw a Christmas tree? Helen Keller?!”

Family Feud Christmas: Wait. That isn’t a game. That’s just Christmas.

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Happy Holidays!

Top 5 Reasons Thanksgiving Gets No Respect

Shelved between the gory chaos of Halloween and the rabid excess of Christmas, Thanksgiving gets no respect. It’s the Rodney Dangerfield of holidays.

rodney

(Google him, you young punks.)

Is it because we’re not grateful? Is it because no one really likes stuffing and cranberries? Here’s my hypothesis regarding Thanksgiving’s no-respect status.

  1. We’re too busy formulating Black Friday plans. It takes a foolproof strategy to hit 17 stores before 4:30 a.m. to get free plush footballs and a jar of pickles for 25 cents. Instead of giving thanks, we’re shredding the fat Thanksgiving newspaper to plan our Black Friday pillaging.
  2. There’s no cute mascot. Along with Santa, reindeer and Baby Jesus, you have that rat-bastard Elf on the Shelf and his minions that are marketed to death for the Christmas holiday. Time to introduce Scruffy the Squirrel who sits in the tree outside your bedroom making sure you count your blessings every night . . . or else. . .
  3. Boring backstory. Once you’re out of elementary school, you’ve heard the story of the first Thanksgiving SO MANY TIMES you can’t take it any more. Blah, blah, blah feast. Blah, blah, blah pilgrims.
  4. There are no presents. Getting to the crux of the matter, if you don’t get free stuff (toys, shoes, candy, beer, etc.) you’re not interested. (Hint: We’re supposed to be grateful for what we already have.)
  5. Maybe we just forget. After Halloween, merchants remove ANY fall merchandise, including turkeys and pilgrims, to make way for Christmas. If you’ve ever tried to purchase autumn-toned napkins on Nov. 19, you are s*** out of luck.

napkins(Just pretend it’s a turkey, will ya?)

Top 5 Humor Writing Tips

People sometimes ask me, “How do you write funny?” I’m not sure if they mean my writing is humorous or the way I write is hilarious. So, I usually stare at these people until they wander off.

If they’re asking how I come up with funny topics and put them on paper (or screen), I share my Top 5 Humor Writing Tips.

Kidnap Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry. Some people think Dave retired from writing his nationally syndicated humor column, but that is not the case. He is living under the stairs in my basement (ala Harry Potter) and he gives me funny phrases for food. It’s a win-win.

dave-barry

(Have you seen this man?)

Channel your bitterness and anger. Writing my humor column was the only thing that kept my teenage daughters alive. After a day of whining, slamming doors, moody sighs and over-the-top drama, they’d see me writing and back off. And their behavior wasn’t great either.

Use hyperbole ALL THE TIME. It’s one thing to say, “It’s so cold, my dog is shivering” and quite another thing to say, “It’s so cold my dog is selling lap dances to purchase a ticket to San Diego.” Exaggerate everything until the hyperbolic part of your brain explodes into a million shards of dark humor.

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Document everyday situations. So you were driving to see Trolls but instead you crashed into a median, ruptured your front tire, lost your hubcap and had to deal with a mansplaining mechanic who talked to you like you were suffering from brain damage. Yep. Write about that.

Read funny stuff. When Dave Barry stops talking to you because he thinks that’s a good idea, browse the internet for funny articles. Reading different types of comedic writing can get your humorous juices flowing (which is actually really gross) and you’ll be typing up knee-slapping blog posts in no time at all.

If none of those ideas work, maybe you’re just not funny. Have you considered a career in math?