Radio host Glenn Beck is urging GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio to team up to oppose Donald Trump.Beck called for a ticket of “Ted Cruz for president, Marco Rubio as vice president,” on his radio show Wednesday, according to The Blaze. Beck has already endorsed Cruz for president.The radio host laid out a plan for other prominent GOP figures to align themselves with a Cruz-Rubio team.“Say our Supreme Court nominee is Mike Lee,” Beck said, suggesting the Utah senator as a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.“Rand Paul is going to be Treasury secretary. Ben Carson, we’re going to back you with everything we have to take Rubio’s Senate seat. How is that not a win for absolutely everybody?”
A number of years ago, I created about 100 ATCs, also known as artist trading cards. Each one is the size of a playing card and mine were little collages that illustrated funny quotes.
One of my favorite sources for these usually absurd observations was the comedian Steven Wright. Woody Allen was another. Woody’s style was the nebbishy guy who angsted about sex and death a lot. Steven was just plain off the wall. That’s why I love him.
Today I came across an interview with him about his joke writing style on New York Magazine’s website. The interviewer asked him if he had a favorite joke.
This is what he said:
I do have a favorite, but it’s not the general public’s favorite. It’s kind of long. It had to do with: I’m going to my grandfather’s wake. I kneeled down at the casket, and I’m looking at him in the casket, and I started thinking about the batteries in my flashlight. Then I said to my aunt, “Maybe he’s not dead, maybe he’s just in the wrong way.”
That’s my actual favorite one, but usually, when people ask me if I have a favorite one, I just say no. I don’t know why, it’s almost like a private thing.
I wish I had heard that one when I was creating my ATCs. That would have been a fun one to do. *Dang*
Here’s a ten minute video of Steven’s comedy routine. I was pleased to recognize several of the jokes that I incorporated in my ATCs.
And below that are some of my Steven Wright inspired ATCs. Enjoy!
Saw this by Yoni Brenner on The New Yorker website and just had to pass it along:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is faith, the right kind of faith;
Thou knowest, something with Christmas and Easter,
And a normative/non-ethnic Jesus.
Where there are taxes, let me lower them,
Where there are regulations, let me lift them,
Where there are capital gains, let me leave them as is,
For capital gains are awesome,
And what is this, France?
Where there are immigrants, let me deport them;
Where there are gays, let me un-gay them;
And where there are women’s issues, let me sidestep them,
Because, frankly, we’ve really been getting burned on that lately.
Speak, O Divine Master!
Whether directly to my soul or indirectly through Roger Ailes;
Tell me Thy will, and I shall obey it!
Show me Thy path, and I shall follow it!
Unless Thy will involves some form of gun control;
Which, as Thou knowest, is a nonstarter.
Harold Camping is at it again. Remember him from last May 21 when he said the end of the world was at hand? Well, he made a teensy miscalculation at that time, so he upped the date of the Rapture to today, Oct. 21.
“Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on Oct. 21,” he says on the website.
I like this little poem (courtesy of Christopher Hitchens) that explains it all for us:
We are the pure and chosen few
And all the rest are damned
There’s room enough in hell for you
We don’t want heaven crammed.
A lot has been written about cellphone etiquette lately, but that’s not going to stop me from adding my two cents’ worth to the discussion. It has become a pet peeve of mine, coming in a close second to people who like to rant about their pet peeves.
I’m not the only one who’s exasperated with the increase in “techno-rudeness” encountered every day by folks all across the social strata.
My daughter and her family were at a restaurant with their kids, aged 10 and almost 9. When they go out as a family, they expect the occasion to be just that—a family one, where everyone is engaged with the other members of the group. At the very least, eye contact is expected to occur at some point during the meal. Conversation doesn’t have to be witty and sparkling, but actual utterances beyond the monosyllabic shouldn’t be the exception.
However, as my daughter told me later, they were taken aback by the family seated next to them; one that was quite similar in composition to theirs, with pre-teen kids and two parents.
The difference, though, was that everyone, including the kids, was on an iPhone busily texting or otherwise absorbed in their own electronic world. No one looked up at the other family members gathered around the table.
No warm smiles, no shared laughter. Nada. Zip. Bupkus.
This is what we have come to.
No man is an island, but you can certainly tune out any intimate contact with people and go there on your iPhone when it’s convenient.
The other thing about cellphones that makes me “peevish” is the sheer obliviousness by chronic users of this technology to their own rudeness.
I was at WalMart the other day (they’re going to set up a cot for me in the back since I’m there so often) because I had to return a toy I’d bought for my grandson.
It was a Ben 10 Ultimate Alien “Ultimatrix,” and unless you are up on the stuff 10-year-old boys covet, I won’t go into the details beyond saying that he’s desperately wanted one since last August when all the Christmas toys first made their appearance at WalMart.
At that time it cost twenty dollars, which is a lot of money for some plastic, but the toy manufacturers know what they’re doing and have us all by the habichuelas, so what’re you gonna do?
Last week they marked down the toy to just seven dollars. What a deal! My grandson had four dollars saved and I told him he could do some chores around the house and easily earn the other three dollars. The fly in the ointment here is that Mom and Dad have been trying to discourage rampant consumerism in their kids and have been keeping the lid down on toy consumption lately.
But, Memaw saw a way around that. I went back to WalMart the next day and bought the toy before it disappeared from the sale rack with the idea that I would hold it in safe keeping until my grandson could earn the dough to pay for it.
It turns out, the next day my grandson phoned me and in an excited voice told me he’d done a lot of yard work for his folks and earned the money for his prize, which he had purchased himself. I was happy for him and didn’t tell him or his parents that I’d done an end run around them and had bought one too.
So, I found myself at the returns desk at WalMart behind the most obnoxious woman who was loudly talking on her cellphone while she was trying to conduct a transaction with the patient woman behind the counter.
I mean, she was jabbering into the phone while she was looking straight at the WalMart lady, Rosa, an Hispanic woman in her fifties.
But it was like Rosa was invisible!
To her credit, Rosa just kept a neutral expression on her face and carried out what she had to do for the bitch, occasionally trying to get a word in edgewise to complete the deal. Unbelievable.
When it was my turn, I thought Rosa deserved to be treated like a human being, so when she asked for the reason for the return I briefly told her the story of my grandson earning the money himself without any help from me.
Rosa smiled a warm smile and told me that when her son was five, her sister had a house cleaning company and had offered him a job of picking up fruit off the ground at one of the houses. She paid him $20 for his work and he was very proud of the money he made.
Then, he did something extraordinary for a five-year-old. He told his mother he was going to take her out to dinner with the money. And he did, proudly squiring his mother at the restaurant.
Rosa went on to say that now he’s 28, a Marine, college educated and on his way to obtaining a doctorate degree. Eventually he wants to work for the CIA. She is so proud of him and I told her she has every right to be.
It was a wonderful story and the woman who had been standing behind us said she couldn’t help overhear it and it had given her goosebumps.
I left feeling really good for my grandson, for Rosa and her terrific grown son, and for the human connection I’d unexpectedly made that day.
And all because I chose to treat someone with the respect they deserve.
As the old phone ads used to say: “Reach out and touch someone.”
In honor of my birthday yesterday, here’s Paul McCartney’s “When I’m 64.” Which I am.
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?
oo oo oo oo oo oo oo
You’ll be older too, (ah ah ah ah ah)
And if you say the word,
I could stay with you.
I could be handy mending a fuse
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride.
Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?
Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight,
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck, and Dave
Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
Stating point of view.
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, Wasting Away.
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?
Researchers have found that the width of the pelvis, the distance between the hip bones and the diameter of the hip bones all increased as people got older, even after people maxed out height-wise.
“I think it’s a fairly common human experience that people find themselves to be wider at the age of 40 or 60 then they were at 20,” study researcher Dr. Laurence E. Dahners, a professor in the orthopedics department at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, said in a statement.
For years, people thought the widening was because of an increase in body fat, but the new findings show that pelvic growth may lead to an increase in waist size as people get older — and not just because they put on more weight, Dahners said.The pelvic width of the oldest people in the study (ages 70 to 79) was, on average, about an inch larger than the youngest people (ages 20 to 29), according to the study. That translates to about a three-inch increase in waist size between someone age 20 and someone age 79.The new study was published May 25 in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.
This email was in my inbox this morning. I thought it was too good not to pass along, if only for its audacity and tragic, literary overtones.
I’ve highlighted one word that leaped out at me in particular because of its jarring juxtaposition with the overall humanitarian tone of the plea.
The sender doesn’t disclose the country of origin so where, in your opinion, do you think it came from?
I am drenched with tears while writing this short message to you. It was
heartbreaking news to me few days ago when my doctor notified me on
complications on my health condition which he officially made known to me. He
further stressed that the complication I had in my human mechanism as a result
of a secondary liver cancer which have destroyed all the organs in my body
system. According to him, he said that this complication will lead to my
imminent death since no medication can alleviate the high system of deformation
I am encountering at this time in my system.
In the view of the above, I am in quest to find a trustworthy and upright
individual whom I will entrust the sum of $4.8 million USD and this has led me
to you. The said fund was acquired by me as an inheritance from my adopted
father who died as a result of political crisis which erupted among his most
political associate and business clique.
I will make available to you all information and officially authorize document
which will endorse your claim as the beneficiary to the fund in question in the
finance house where the fund was lodged by my adopted father. I have mapped out the modalities on how the fund will be apportioned. 35% of the principal amount of the money will be dished out to you while 65% will be allotted to any charitable or orphanage home of your preference.
My motive to dispense the funds to a charity and orphanage home is that I grew
up as an orphan and do not have any heirs hitherto.
Upon your acceptance to this proposal kindly get back to me.
All of the hoopla surrounding the Royal Wedding in England and the subsequent extreme scrutiny of the attendees’ attire and figures reminded me of my own first encounter with a body image critic at the young age of twelve or thirteen and what it meant to be a girl in the late 1950’s.
Here’s a post I wrote about it in this blog’s infancy:
“Does This Teacher Make My Butt Look Big?”
The phantom of Miss Elwell still follows me about, even after fifty years.
It was 1959 and I had just entered junior high school. In those days, a girl’s highest aspiration was to become a wife and mother. This may not have been stated outright, but it certainly was implied by society and the general culture of the times.
The curricula for seventh-grade girls included a year of “Home Economics.” This entailed a semester of cooking instruction and a semester of sewing. Having just come from a previous school year where I had excelled at touch football with the boys at recess, this was not welcome news. I could kick and pass a perfect spiral and, because the boys were still on the shrimpy side at that age, I had reigned supreme. Now I was supposed to be a lady? I was completely thrown for a loop.
The Home Ec. teacher was a rather portly woman in her 50′s by the name of Miss Frances Elwell. She was charged with the formidable task of trying to whip all this green talent into some kind of reasonably feminine shape by year’s end.
I never did quite figure out why this domestic onslaught had to be imposed on the seventh graders and not the more “mature” (relatively speaking) ninth graders. I guess the school board felt that we were more malleable at that age, before we got any further into the smart-ass teen years where it would be next to impossible to get any kind of response out of us beyond a sneer.
By the luck of the draw, I had been assigned the cooking section for my first semester. We were divided up into groups and given our own little versions of the Happy Homemaker kitchen. No Easy-Bake ovens here. This was the real deal.
Thinking back, I was so oblivious to everything of a domestic nature at that age. My Mother didn’t make me do any housework at home under the assumption that ”You’ll be doing it for the rest of your life” so why bother with it now? The fallacy in all that was how will you know what to do when the time comes if nobody shows you how to do it beforehand?
Consequently, my Mother did quite a bit of my homework for me for cooking class. Make that just about all. One important assignment was to create a place setting for an imaginary individual whom Miss Elwell had randomly chosen for each of us. My Mother and I slaved over every detail. Well, she slaved and I watched her slave.
When I presented the setting to Miss Elwell, I closely watched her face for some sign of benevolence. She critically observed the place setting before her and looked at me with twinkling eyes. Then she said, “Do you really think an elderly bachelor would want a pink paper parasol in his juice glass?”
If I knew then what I know now, I would have responded with:
“Yes, if he were Truman Capote.”
The actual cooking assignments in class were ones that I had to wing on my own. Only one of those stands out in my memory. (There may have been successes, but I doubt it.) We had to bake muffins, which sounds easy but can be very tricky. You’re not supposed to over beat the batter because that can cause too much air to become incorporated into the mix, creating all manner of havoc and the end of the world, apparently.
After my batch came out of the oven, I nervously took my burnt offering up to the altar of Miss Elwell and waited for the verdict. She broke one open and studied it like an oracle examining the entrails of a goat. Then she pronounced,
“These have tunnels so large you could drive a truck through them.”
I mentally made a note to look for a husband who was wheat intolerant.
Having gone down in flames in the cooking department (figuratively, not literally) I had the sewing semester to redeem myself. It turns out I was even less adept at this than I was in the culinary arts.
My Mother, of course, was a veritable whiz at sewing. She made most of my clothes for school and really knew her way around a sewing machine. I viewed it as an instrument of torture. So, again, my Mother commandeered my sewing projects while I wandered off and watched American Bandstand on t.v.
The main project for the semester was a circle skirt or full skirt. It should have been a fairly straight-forward task but, again, nothing came easy for me in Miss Elwell’s bastion of the feminine arts. I couldn’t find a pattern that fit me. My Mother had to do a lot of cutting and pinning and sweating to get the thing to correspond to my dimensions. All those years of being a tomboy had given me an athletic build. Not good in the world of Elwell.
So when I went before her with the finished product, it was pretty obvious that my Mother had cranked it out. I couldn’t do work like that and Miss Elwell knew it. She gave it a cursory glance and said simply “C,” for my grade. Which was fine with me because I just wanted the ordeal over with.
But when I said something about not being able to find a pattern to fit me, Miss Elwell uttered the words that have stuck with me to this very day, some fifty years later. Words that have haunted me in every dressing room of any clothing store I’ve ever been in and before every mirror where I have stood and contemplated my visage.
Sitting at her desk she looked up at me with those twinkling eyes and said,
“You have an oddball shape.”
This was spoken by a woman who was as wide as she was tall.
There was one happy memory from that year of living femininely. I had to sew a shank button on a piece of fabric, which meant sewing the button on loosely and then wrapping the thread many times around the bottom of the button to make it more secure. I tentatively placed it in Miss Elwell’s hands and waited for the usual. Instead, she looked at me with those twinkling eyes, smiled and said “A.”
I may be an oddball, but I wouldn’t be an old maid after all.