Archive for January, 2015

The Name’s the Thing.



What’s in a name?

Just ask Alex Malarkey, the little boy who came out of a coma and claimed he had been to heaven. Better yet, ask his “Christian” therapist dad, who helped him pen the book, probably for lots of cash. Alex later recanted his story, saying it was made up. Malarkey, indeed.

Names can be funny, can’t they? The other night, on a news report (and you know my high esteem for news reporting) there was a newscaster named Steve Liesman. I couldn’t help thinking “Steve lies, man.”

Do people grow into their names? Did Daniel Dock of Duluth know he was going to grow up to be a doctor? Did Bill Angst know he’d become a tax man? Did Beth Postl know she’d some day be working for the Wisconsin postal department? It sort of all comes together, doesn’t it?


Other great names from television and radio: Forest Hyde is a tattoo artist. My friend Dan knows a family doctor named Murray Stasick. Jessica Shower is a Florida weathercaster, and D. Eadward Tree is an arborist. How do these things happen?


Dr Hannah Gay is an AIDS researcher, while Molly Tenant is a real estate agent. Go figure.

I’m sure there are hundreds more. I know there are, because I’ve been keeping a list for several years … a list I can not locate at this precise moment.

You know any people who have lived up (or down) to their names? Let us know!


Your Pajamas Will Kill You.


images-1Yeah, you heard me. It’s DEATH, and it’s in your pajamas, and it’s all your fault. Nice going, pal.

I heard this on the radio as I was falling asleep the other night. Apparently some “researchers” (quotes are mine) figured out that the average male only washes his pajamas once every 12 days, and the average female only every 17 days.

Right away, this doesn’t sound right to me, even in my sleep-addled state. Which man washes his clothes more often than a woman? More to the point, how many America males wash their clothes themselves? And who do you know who owns a washing machine that would wear ANYTHING for 12 or 17 days in a row without washing it? Seriously.

So anyway, the “researchers” go on to say that the longer you wear your pajamas without washing them, the more dead skin cells collect in those fleecy-soft deceptive killers, and those very cells, those ones that were once a part of YOUR body, can cause all sorts of misery for you, including (but not likely, I added) the MRSA virus.

MRSA, for those of us who don’t know much about it, like me, is short for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is hard for anyone to say, let alone doctors and “researchers,” so we call it MRSA (Mersa) which is easier to pronounce. MRSA is a drug-resistant strain of bacteria that can cause boils and joint pain and eventually will eat your skin, giving you even more to worry about.

And you’re wearing it.

* * *

Perhaps we aren’t scared enough. Perhaps the national and local news should not last a whole hour on TV, where they have to fill in all the empty spots with things like how your pajamas will kill you, or how your car costs $130 a day to drive and you are too dumb to know it, or how lettuce is what has been making you fat all these years. Maybe we’re not frightened enough of the wide world around us, so now we have to fear our very clothing.

Maybe they’re trying to get to the folks who ARE scared enough; who have chosen to never leave the house, feeling safe in the confines of their sofa. Since they won’t venture outdoors into the sunshine, let’s scare them with THEIR OWN PAJAMAS. That’ll show ’em.

Between wars, random shootings, bombings, rapings, knifings, terrorists, kidnapping and robo-calls, we don’t have enough to think about. We’re not worried enough. Some of us go around enjoying our lives. Some people smile and laugh. Don’t they know that danger lurks around every corner?

I’m tired of it. I’m tired of national news. God forbid there exists a 24-hour a day news station. What could they possibly talk about?

I know what they talk about locally, filling in those empty moments when the pretty talking people can’t think of any more lame jokes to throw at one another. They talk about things like this: Are you accidentally poisoning your family at each meal? Do you know what’s in your driveway that is killing your infants? Is your toothpaste making you sick?

They’ll tell you at eleven. No point telling you right now. You should stew about it for a few hours.

Meanwhile, let’s all head to the laundry room. Better safe than sorry!


Babies, Babies, Babies.


Well, really just “baby, baby,” though the other was more fun to write.

Our family seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, which is a wonderful thing, and no thanks to my efforts. (Sad saga for another page.) Niece Katie and her husband Erik are expecting a baby girl later this month. We recently held a baby shower for her, and I managed to take a bunch of not-so-great photos (my specialty) that I’ll share here. It’ll keep me from having to write much:

Mom-to-be Katie opening presents with help from her nieces Josie and Gabriella:


Katie with Josie, in space boots!


Last days of spike heels?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANieces Courtney and Amber ought to be in the party-planning business. They did a fabulous job of decorating the hall and keeping all guests busy and engaged.






And what’s a shower without good food? A fabulous brunch was served, along with slushy drinks and frozen fruit cups. Good stuff!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANiece Amber, from Cake Occasions, provided a beautiful (and delicious) cake in the colors Katie chose for the baby’s room. The shoes on top are edible! Edible shoes. What a concept.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA fun time was had by all. At least by me. I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much.

Later that evening, my sister Be hosted a family pot-luck to celebrate the holidays and Katie’s shower and the fact that Heather and Mike and the kids were in town. We had such a great time. The highlight of the evening came when nephew Mike (not Heather’s Mike, but Amber’s Mike) made a sly announcement about Amber’s pregnancy. It took us all a while to figure out what he was hinting at. But what a joyous day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat great parents they are all going to be. Next Christmas, we’ll have six tiny tots chasing after dogs and screaming around the house. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?


Happy New Year, dear readers.