And The Winner Isn’t…

I found out yesterday that I didn’t win the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. I have attended the workshop conference four times but this year the only way I was going to afford it was to win this contest or rob a bank and then kill off all the people in front of me on the wait list. Despite not winning I have decided not to proceed with my second option. It seems like a lot of work and I really need my beauty rest.

In an effort to make lemonade out of lemons I did learn an important lesson and will pass it on to you. Don’t go to Target after getting some disappointing news. It won’t end well. 

There is a double-secret Facebook page for people who have attended a workshop. I posted my sage advice about not shopping and also spoke of my disappointment. The feedback was fabulous and I discovered numerous other people who also shared my non-winning disappointment. We are considering forming our own triple-secret Facebook page to share recipes, mixed drink ideas, and coupons for fast food places. (Take that you winners!!!!)

The bottom line is that I got out of my funk and all the food is still unopened except the jelly beans that are in a quadruple-secret candy jar in my home and the cake bites that I tried but they tasted horrible so I tossed them out. The other items are actually for my get together with Annie tonight.

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Thanks Dad

My dad was a wonderful guy — and he had a great sense of humor and a big laugh. I was lucky enough to have those passed on to me. I remember one Easter when I came downstairs my dad had put chocolate covered raisins on the floor by our Easter baskets. He said “Look, the Easter Bunny pooped on the floor” and then picked up one of the droppings and ate it. I thought I was going to die at first of disgust then after I knew what it was I was going to die laughing.

When I was a bit older my dad came with us to church on Easter — this was unusual to have my dad in church with my mom, my brother and me — he preferred to stay home and watch reruns of “The Bowery Boys.” When we were singing an Easter anthem we all sang “Christ The Lord is risen today,” and during the alleluia my dad leans down and the next thing I hear is “Now we all are going to pay.” Well he and I are laughing so hard and my mom is giving us the dirtiest of looks.

Easter always reminds me of those great moments. Thanks Dad.

Good-bye Trees

Yesterday the City cut down three trees on my block. I know they were sick or dead but I am always sad when I see a tree is cut down. It will take decades for a new tree to grow that big. When you are 62 decades are not guaranteed like they used to be.

Many years ago I wrote a column about losing a tree outside my apartment. I have published it here as a salute to those three trees that have been lost.

A SHADY FRIENDSHIP

Last week the City of Minneapolis cut down my tree. Well technically, it belonged to the rest of the city because it was on the boulevard, but because I had watched it for more than eight years from my window, I feel the rest of the city can relinquish their ownership and let me refer to it as my tree.

After all, I saw it without its leaves, it saw me without my leaves and that is just about as intimate as two living objects can get without becoming co-dependent, sharing bodily fluids, or ending up on Jerry Springer.

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Hidden Figures Is A Must See

Went with my friend Lisa yesterday to see “Hidden Figures. “If you haven’t seen it go see it. It is an eye opener. I was amazed to see the IBM Selectric being used and told Lisa I didn’t think that was around until the 1970s. Came home and looked it up and it actually was launched in 1961. I loved typing on the Selectric and miss the sound it made when you were typing. Now I want to buy one.

Back to the movie … it was an eye opener. What those women put up with to have a job was beyond the pale which, by definition, means outside the bounds of acceptable behavior, but in this case it has a double meaning because it was beyond what the pale (aka white) people had to put up with or probably would put up with. At the end of the movie when they show real pictures of the women who were depicted in the movie I started to cry — it was as if the movie morphed from “entertainment” to “reality.” I admire those women more than I can say — well I can say it but I don’t know how.

On a lighter side (again literally and skin tone wise) — at one point in the movie — during a scene much like the one in the photo below — I turned to Lisa and said “It looks like the cast of The Book of Mormon.” And it did.

Here is a video of Katherine Johnson receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 

 

A Woman Is Not A Host Unless She’s Throwing A Party

An idiot in the Oklahoma senate said that women’s bodies are “hosts.” If this is true than a penis is an intruder and can be shot based on the stand your ground mentality.

But, of course, it is not true and this “man” is trying to control something that men have tried to control since the dawn of time. In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi

“IF YOU STRIKE ME DOWN, I SHALL BECOME MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE.”

The harder you try to control us, the more powerful we have become.

To call a woman a embryo host is not only stupid, but it degrades the bond between a child and a mother and then a family. I think a child senses the difference between being born into a place of welcome as opposed to being the product of a host — a parasite of sorts.

Some people like to throw around the words “Life begins at conception.” I believe life begins at connection. When the parent(s) and the family feel that immediate connection to this child. I like to think that a baby can feel that connection — that he or she knows the joy of being wanted and loved the moment of birth, or even before.

I remember seeing a big billboard many years ago proclaiming life begins at conception. My immediate thought became part of my stand-up routine: