Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Day of Rest" My Ass!

Sunday mornings have evolved greatly over the course of my forty-slur years.

When I was a little girl living with my grandmother, Sunday mornings started off by watching "Davy and Goliath" and putting on whatever red velvet dress of the week was laid out for me. There'd be a full breakfast, and I had damned-well better eat all of it because "there are children starving in China" and somehow my finishing my waffles would help ease their suffering. Then I'd just wait for the grown ups to finish their tiny porcelain cups of coffee before we'd head out to church, which ended promptly one hour after it started. We'd then come home, put on our non-church, yet still company approved clothes ("in case someone important popped by," we still had to look Sunday worthy...this was a very formal household), and sit down to the weekly meal of leg of lamb and over-boiled French-cut green beans. (Which I've refused to touch since 1974 and believe to be the side dish most frequently served in Hell's cafeteria.)

When I was a tween and teen, Dad was back on the scene and "church" meant something entirely different. Therefore Sunday mornings did too. Sunday mornings would be spent looking for an unwrinkled skirt, because in the 80s God apparently hated women who wore pants. Church would often last three hours and involved tambourines, tongues and dancing in the aisles. No snakes though. Bummer, I like snakes. By now a well-seasoned eye-roller at these "services," I had learned to pack a granola bar in my pocket to get me through the morning. Of course you'd have to unwrap it at home, lest God and the woman in the head-covering sitting next to you hear cellophane crinkle. Crinkling was a sin. I'd spend Sunday mornings avoiding having someone lay their hands on me and prophecy my future. My baby brother couldn't avoid it however, since he was in the womb when he had his future foretold by some guy dancing in an aisle. He said he had a vision of my unborn brother becoming "a Great prophet for God." My brother is now a creative director in advertising. Steve, how's that "Got God?" ad campaign coming along?

When I was in my 20s and "shacking up" with my husband, Sunday mornings were AWESOME. They were spent sleeping in late to recover from whatever we'd done the Saturday night before. They involved diners, newspapers, long car rides to no where, music and more often than not...well, you know. If you're in this stage of life, savor THESE Sundays. Because next comes:

Sundays as a parent. These Sundays start EARLY. The same kids who you can't wake up for school because they're "just so tired" somehow manage to wake up by 7 a.m. on Sunday to demand cartoons and breakfast. And don't think you'll get away with putting on the Disney Channel, handing them a bowl of cereal, and then go back to bed for a couple of hours. Maybe that might work if you only have one. But if you've got two or more, you'll only have about 10 minutes of peace before they're fighting over the remote.

I'm sure that a few years down the road, if I were to rewrite this blog entry, I'd tell you to savor THOSE Sundays. The Sundays when you still had kids in the house to fight over Cheerios and channels. Instead we'll be spending our Sundays wondering if either of them is going to call to say "Hello" from college or from their own home. Maybe I'd better take my own advance advice...and do the same. Boys! Who wants French toast?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Phelta Thi...Tappa Kegga Bru...It's All Greek to Me

Yesterday I spent several hours researching sororities for a PR project. This lead to several discoveries:

Discovery #1
: On each college campus there is a "hottie" sorority; a "brains" sorority; a "lets change the world" sorority; a ton of "the same as every other" sorority; and a "but we've got great personalities" sorority.

Discovery #2: When men, who up until now have had very little interest in your PR ideas, hear you are working on a sorority project, they suddenly pay attention.

Discover #3
: You men are horny pigs.

Discovery #4
: Sororities all market themselves in the same way in their group pictures: "Everybody put on shorts and tank tops. Three hottest girls: you get in front, sit down with legs extended and knees bent. Blondes, you stand behind them. Tall brunettes with dimples, you go to the back. Fat girls...go stand by that tree. We only pledged you because you're good at typing and your father owns the local Subway.

Discovery #5
: We women are jealous, vicious shrews.

Discovery #6
: I am fucking OLD!

This project idea actually may be brilliant, IMNSHO. Its research and groundwork were painstaking and lengthy. I was seeing results less than five hours after I finished Stage 1. You would think I'd have a grand sense of accomplishment...Eh...I did good...But my sense of worker pride is way overshadowed as I sit here with my 11th cup of coffee. I'm feeling incredibly...early-40s. Feeling incredibly...un-blond. Feeling incredibly...un-pledged. Feeling incredibly...diner dinner roll. (That analogy makes sense in my head somehow...white, doughy, a little old..get it?)

I know I'm smart. Damn smart! I know I'm skilled at what I'm doing. Damn skilled! I know I'm nice/giving/loving/funny. Damn nice/giving/loving/funny! But after looking at page after page of toothy tank-topped perfection playing volleyball (these are SoCal sororities BTW), hanging at the quad, holding charity car washes in bikini tops ("Oops, we're all wet and sudsy!") or "studying" (I swear to God, one of them had their book upside down in the photo), I'm feeling rather frumpy. If I were to stand next to these "they're just babies" (as a male friend called them), no one would say "Wow, she sure looks smart, skilled, nice, giving, loving and funny!" Well, they actually might say "She looks funny." But most likely, I would just be completely invisible.

But I've decided to do something about this, and I'm using my project research to do it. I'm starting my own sorority. Aye Eta Pi. We will be very discriminating. Not everyone will be accepted. For instance: No one under 30. No one who pronounces nuclear "nucular" (anyone named Bush need not pledge). No one who doesn't have at least three stretchmarks somewhere on her body. No one who thinks tying a cherry stem into knot using only their tongue is a resume-worthy skill. Other than that, pretty much anyone can get in. And you will rise directly to officer status if you've had a c-section, an episiotomy,a cheating husband, or are starting to grow a John Waters-esque mustache. If someone applies who has had all of the preceding, then they become president-for-life. We too will hold charity car washes. We will wash your car without asking, whilst wearing bikini tops, and not stop until you make a donation to charity. And we will hold killer Sorority House parties, which will end promptly at 10 p.m. because most of us can't stay awake much past that.
So rush with me, fellow non-20/non-blondes! Let's show these "sisters" there's still fire in our furnaces and our souls (and in our stomachs if we eat after 7 p.m.). Let's show them we too know how to have a good time ("Golden Girls" marathons are fun, right?). And most importantly, let's show these men of ours that they can drool all they want over these "babies" but in the long run, THEY WOULDN'T TOUCH YOU GUYS WITH A 10 FOOT POLE. That's right, I checked out their fraternity counterparts. And let me tell you....WOOF!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Shake It Up!

I've been incredibly busy all week and developed a terrible case of blogger backup. But I just had an entire pot of Starbucks coffee and I have the iTunes playlist blaring, so I’m ready to unload. Clear your calendar, this one will take a few minutes to read. I've blogged about this journey of self-discovery and second-half re-creation I've been on before, and I'm not going to bore you with it again. Instead, I'm going to bore you with something completely different! And I will try to be funny whenever I can. But I’m trying to make you think on this wintery Friday, not just laugh this time around.

I'm completely clueless as to the identity of the vast majority of the people who read my blog. But I can tell from the live feed who some of you are. If you're from Canada, chances are I went to high school with you in San Francisco. If you're from the Philly area, our kids go to school together or you work with one of us. If you're from London, I probably met you through Twitter and my toast owes you a debt of gratitude every morning. If you're from Texas, I'm sorry. And if you're from LosAngeles/Beverly Hills/Glendale/Encinitas, well then you're one of the coolest people I know. This blog isn't about you. It's about the rest of us. You SoCal people can go about your business: eating superior sushi; retracing the footsteps of the cast of 90210 until old coots
yell "get the hell off my lawn!"; trying to write songs, record songs, sell songs; cracking white-collar crime; being fabulously Cali. Bastards.

This blog is about the other 95% of us that are stuck in a rut. Doing the same-old same-old; eating the same-old same-old; wearing the same-old same-old; listening to/watching the same-old same-old. I for one don't want to be the same-old. And neither should you. It's time we shook things up a bit. With this blog entry, consider me your vibrator. I want to rattle your insides. (That one is going to get me at least one phone call this morning).


Stop thinking everything you've never tried before is still not worth trying. Do you seriously want to turn 40 or 50...or 60 (!) having never tried something new? Sushi. It's raw fish. Get the hell over it. It's the greatest food ever created and if you turn your nose up at it without trying it you're an idiot and I won't buy your daughter's Girl Scout cookies. There is more to “Asian food” than sweet-and-sour pork (which has about as much of a Chinese pedigree as Tiger Woods). Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Cambodian... For God's sake step away from menu you found tucked into your screen door and try something different! Just once ~ that's all I'm asking. You don't have to dive straight into the Monk Fish Liver or Spicy Raw Crab. Work your way up to it. (And once you do, be discreet if you spit it into your napkin when no one's looking). Indian food: Greatest stuff on earth. One billion Indians can’t be wrong. Stop thinking it all tastes the same. People have a false preconception when they hear the word "curry." But Indian food can be as delicate or as kick-ass as you want it to be. Ordering Indian is like picking out a date online during a convention in Vegas. You can request something pleasant and mild that you'll forget about an hour after you're done; or you can go a little crazy and order something incredibly spicy that you'll still be feeling the effects of the next morning. It's your call. Just make the call. Even if you still just can't bring yourself to go push your palate to its limits, consider bumping up what you do like a notch ~ or five. There's more to Italian than pasta. More to German than brats. More to French than fries. We're getting old people! It's time to start shaking things up a bit at meal time, before the only choices we're allowed to make are between tapioca or gelatin for dessert in the nursing home.


This is a special subject for me. I grew up being bounced around all over the country. It s.u.c.k.e.d. I would make friends, then say goodbye and never see them again. I was always the NKOTB. The only advantage in life that it gave me was that it forced me to become outgoing. Forced me to try and connect with people quickly. I have a lot of friends, very good friends, but absolutely NONE from childhood. I'm completely envious of those of you who do. But aside from those childhood playmates, most of the people we call "friends" as adults are people we met through certain circumstances. People we met through work. Through our spouse. Through our kids. Sometimes the friendships become life-long and deep. But sometimes...if you take away the common factor...the spouse, the job, the're left sitting across the table from a person you realize you have absolutely nothing else in common with. And sometimes that's OK. But sometimes you crave more: friendships that are based on things you care deeply about. Things that have absolutely nothing to do with your husband, your kids, your job...just things that define "you." It's time to start making some of those friends folks. Because if you're married with kids and working...eventually you're going to be an empty nester. And those kid-centric friends will fall by the wayside. Eventually you'll get laid off or retire, and those job-centric friends will slough off. And face it. Eventually you'll become divorced or widowed and spouse-centric friends will be too uncomfortable around you (or you'll lose them in the settlement). What you have left is the friends you've made based on YOU. Your own personal interests and fascinations. Start making them now, if you haven't already. I love my kid-based friends. My couple-based friends. My work friends. But I am truly reveling in the new friendships I have made over the past year that are based on absolutely none of the above. These are people I can confide in without worry. People who may not actually be able to stand each other if they ever met, but each is deeply connected with at least one thing that defines me:… They're men, women, gay, straight, white, black, 26, 46...they're just tied into some part of "me." So get OUT there. PUT yourselves out there. I don't care if you're 14 or 44. It's hard to make yourself vulnerable and seek out friendship. But if you do, and you find it, it's so damned worth it in the end.


I can hear the sighs. "Here she goes." Yes, here I go. Like I said, aside from the few high school and one middle school ( hey Gene ;-) ) friends I’ve reconnected with this past year, none of you know what I was like as a teenager. Well let me fill you in. I was a music fiend. Permanent ear-phone dents in my Farrah wings. It was my obsession and I dove deep into it and anyone who had anything to do with it. I babysat for a Doobie Brother. I exchanged letters with another for more than a decade. Just an innocent and frequent correspondence about our shared love. He and his wife introduced me to Carlos Santana ~ not the album, the man. When I lived in London, I “discovered” musicians that became worldwide sensations more than a year after I got back. But I heard ‘em first. Then came college. Work. Marriage. Kids. And Barney’s “Clean Up, Clean Up” song replaced Depeche Mode in my internal MP3 player. But I’ve come out of my coma at last. Thanks to friends and friends-of-friends and brothers-of-friends I’ve “discovered” some really great music over the past year and have become involved in the business side of it. I want you to take a listen to some of it.

Glasvegas: A friend’s brother got him hooked on it, and he passed it on to me as quick as a case of mono. They’re a Scottish alt rock group with a killer female drummer. They’re the Glasgow version of Ireland’s U2, before they became shills for iPod. Their sound is amazing, their lyrics profound. You may have a hard time making some of them out through the thick Scottish brogue of lead singer James Allen, but once you do you’ll be blown away. Check out this video (turn off playlist to the left) for their song “Flowers and Football Tops.” Then check out the horrific story it was written about. ( ) I defy you not to be moved.

Trenchtown : A Detroit punk band transplanted to the shores of Hermosa Beach, near LA. Hard rockers carving their niche in the SoCal music scene. Discovered them through a friend of a friend and got instantly hooked and haven’t been able to stop listening (this is why I never tried coke whenever it was offered…I know my weaknesses). Their song “Unpaid Holiday” just played on the playlist. Play it again. Then check out more of their stuff at or in person if you’re one my SoCal friends. They play at Hermosa Beach’s Lighthouse CafĂ© Friday evenings.


Latch Key Kid : Gavin Heaney. Unless this if your first time on this blog, you’ve heard him, and of him. He’s been a real catalyst to this musical epiphany. I wouldn’t have heard of Trenchtown if they hadn’t “followed” our friend Chelsea on Twitter. I would never have learned about Glasvegas if Gavin hadn’t introduced me to my friend Evan. Gavin has no clue how many changes in my life that he’s had a hand in. How many different paths he’s unknowingly lead me down. Love the guy like a brother; a brother who really needs a haircut and owes me many a Beam. If you are here for the first time, you can hear him somewhere on that playlist of mine. Or at Or at The Mint in LA tomorrow night.

OK, my job is done. No more preaching to the people about masala, mates and music. Take from it what you may. Just open yourselves up your mouths, your hearts and your ears to SOMETHING new. Don’t discount ANYTHING. We don’t let our kids push away new things without at least making them TRY them, yet we do it ourselves all the time. It’s time for the grown ups to grow up…just a little more.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Want a Girl, Just Like the Girl, that Lapdanced Dear Old Dad

A 1st Grade teacher gave her students a simple homework assignment. Draw what you want to be when you grow up. One girl handed in her paper.

After it was graded and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:

Dear Ms. Davis,

I want to be very clear on my child's illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This drawing is of me selling a shovel.
Mrs. Harrington

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Here's The Situation

Through the miracle of social networking, I have discovered that I can actually NOT watch top television shows and STILL manage to know what the hell is going on in the world of pop culture.

Case Study #1 MTV's "Jersey Shore" and Facebook

I have never seen a single episode of MTV's "Jersey Shore." When I first read my brother's Facebook update about it, I was mostly surprised to read that MTV was even still on the air. As someone who loves going to Ocean Grove (one town south of Springsteen's Asbury Park) during the summer, the thought of a program about the shore sounded intriguing. But after reading myriad FB updates about the show, I quickly realized that even though they share a state and a coastline, the charming, dry town of Ocean Grove is not the SAME Jersey Shore as the one on MTV. My one-square-mile gay-friendly haven of Victorian houses and wandering geriatric Methodists would probably make The Situation turn on his heel and run. But the point of this blog is that I actually even know the name "The Situation," (who I am assuming is an enormously pompous ass). Despite never seeing the show, I know all about the Prince Albert (Google it people), big hair, Snookie, ab posing and hook ups. I'm sure once their 45 minutes of fame are over (I'm tripling Warhol's estimate), years from now J-Woww will one day proudly show her grandchildren Nana Gram-Woww's reel.

Case Study #2 The "Golden Globes" and Twitter

At this very moment, the Golden Globes award show is being telecast. I'm not watching it. I'm upstairs sitting at my computer writing. But I have "Tweetdeck" open. Every time someone I follow on Twitter writes (tweets) something, there is literally a "ping" noise and their tweet appears in a box in the corner of my laptop's screen. Apparently EVERYONE I follow is watching the Golden Globes. Let me tell you what I know, despite not seeing a single moment for myself. Ricky Gervais had one of his penises removed, Sandra Bullock is covering a very expensive gown with what appears to be a felt Christmas tree skirt. CGI movies about blue aliens are apparently more important than those about war atrocities. Jennifer Aniston and Halle Berry make 40+ look kick-ass. Pixar is an award hog. Sophia Loren looks like Sarah Palin's grandmother. Diablo Cody may or may not be there, either smelling bad and eating bread or at home eating nachos (depending on who you believe). Jeff Bridges makes women from Texas hot. Quentin Tarantino needs to lay off the carbs. James Cameron and Mel Gibson share the same mailman. Women from Texas like to retweet men from Los Angeles too much. Scorsese is...short. And I apparently really need to start watching "Glee."

So there you have it. Turn off your televisions America (except for the 3/4 of Fox animation produced by my friend K-Poww). All you need to know about what's on TV can be found on Facebook or Twitter, the modern-day, live-time water coolers of American pop culture. I'm sorry, I've got to run. My fellow Guidette E-Pop is IMing me on FB asking if I'd like to come over for a Jersey Shore drinking game party. Fo Shizzle! S-Train is signing out!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Tonight, I am conducting a minor experiment. I am blogging under the influence of
a friend's gifted bottle of:

In those two sentences, I used the backspace key 12 times to delete misplaced letters. I just used it another 9.

Why am I conducting this experiment? (4 more times) Well the reason is many-fold. First, I'm way behind in my blogging (4). Second, I happen to be full of Jack. Third (3!), I thought it would be interesting to write just a few sentences the way the tortured greats like Hemmingway (had to take 2 extra M's out of Hemmingway), Chandler, Parker and Poe (wow, that was a good run!) may have.

There is a fine line between the amount of intoxicants it takes to heighten one's senses and the amount it takes to dull them. (Holy crap, no mistakes) I have found that I tend to write funnier jokes when I've had a couple than when I'm stone cold sober (3). This has been confirmed by people who have read what I've written. (0! Yay me!). So what does this say about me? About alcohol (2)? About writing in general (2)?


About me? It says that I shouldn't accept offers of unwanted bottles of J.D. from friends, especially on a Saturday night when there's nothing good on TV and I know I don't have to drive anywhere because my husband is as sober as an Amish tobacco farmer (3). About alcohol? It says that booze is nothing more than a lubricant: Apply a little, and things slide out a little more easily...jokes, insults, secrets, hypocrisies (even my sober husband couldn't spell it right the first time), etc. Apply too much, and shit flows out of you like a honeymooner in Cancun who accidentally drank the water. About writing? Well if you're funny, you'll be funny sober or plastered. Maybe a tad bit more when plastered...until the spelling mistakes (I actually wrote "smelling" mistakes twice) make it impossible to decipher what your intent was.

Lessons to be learned? Most things are good in moderation. Nothing is good in excess. Spell-Check is a wonderful invention! And never blog under the influence unless you're ready to accept the consequences. (I've lost count!) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to put the children out and tuck the cat into bed.

Friday, January 8, 2010


What is Celibacy?

Celibacy can be a choice in life, or a condition imposed by

While attending a Marriage Weekend, Walter and his wife,
Ann, listened to the instructor declare, 'It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other.."

He then addressed the men: 'Can you name and describe your wife's favorite flower?'

Walter leaned over, touched Ann's arm gently, and whispered, 'Gold Medal-All-Purpose, isn't it?'

...And thus began Walter's life of celibacy.

(thanks Kathy)

Friday, January 1, 2010

They Say You Want a Resolution

January 1

The day when everyone sits down and writes a list of all the things they want to change about themselves. The old standards like "lose weight" or "save more money" or "get a new job." Same old, same old. Granted, I did pretty well with my resolutions from last year. Although I still have no money and on occasion drink like Karen Allen in "Raiders of the Lost Ark." I've written down some real and serious resolutions for 2010, which I'm keeping to myself so that I won't be judged by you people when I inevitably screw them up. But I will share some of my more realistic resolutions with you.

In 2010, I, Suzanne Stanley of Lansdale, Pennsylvania (for the time being) hereby resolve:

1. To care less about what people think about me. Unless of course it’s something negative in which case it’s all I’ll be able to think about.

2. To try to surrender to sleep. My husband complains that I feed my insomnia by preparing for it when I go to bed, so I resolve to stop doing this. That means no taking my reading glasses, ear phones, iPod, cell phone, magazines and glass of water to bed at night. Instead I’ll just lie there when I shoot up at 4 a.m. in a panic. Just lie there and sigh loudly. Maybe toss and turn a bit. Get up and use the bathroom a couple of times even though I really don’t have to go, which will of course make the dog bark. Then go back to bed and toss around for a while more until I’m sleepy....hang on a minute….my husband was reading over my shoulder and just said I’m allowed to take all the aforementioned contraband to bed after all.

3. To open bills as soon as they arrive. I’m not promising to be able to do anything with them, but I’ll open them just for fun.

4. To swear less in print. Or to at least use creative punctuation when I need to emphasize a £u¢k!n9 point.

5. To stop buying conditioner every time I buy shampoo. I’m the only one who uses it. This is why we have enough conditioner in the house to last through the next three years. I may even give a few bottles of it away to a friend of mine. For some reason her teenage sons go through an excessive amount during their exceptionally long showers even though they have crewcuts. Puzzling.

6. To try and be less frustrated with stupid people. You know the ones I’m talking about. The people who don’t pay attention to the road because they’re putting on makeup using the rear-view mirror; the idiots in restaurants who talk so loudly on their cell phones that you learn every detail of their life from their child’s last BM to their husband’s worsening erectile dysfunction; the jackass in front of you at the McDonald’s drive-thru who acts like he has no idea what they serve, asks what exactly goes on a quarter-pounder and if the fish fillet’s are fresh or frozen (Clue: the meat in any sandwich with an -o- in the middle of its name came fr-o-zen).

7. To be more subtle when trying to sway you toward things I really really enjoy. Things like horror movies, exotic food, and the music of Gavin Heaney, aka Latch Key Kid, who will be performing an all-ages show at The Mint in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 23rd at 9 p.m. What? That was subtle! I didn’t even give you his websites! or

8. To not let my mind go straight for the dirty if a story or joke can be taken two ways. OK...I promise to not let you know that my mind went straight for the dirty. My mind does what it does.

9. To have more sex. Yes, with my husband. Although if he’d just loosen up a little bit…

10. To correct my husband less. He recently said that I correct his stories, punchlines and grammar too often when I should instead just sit, listen and let things slide by. This is indeed not the case, and I pointed that out to him.

11. To blog more frequently, and try not to take it personally when people read it yet never bother to leave a comment at the bottom. I mean, how else would I know what people really think about me?

Oh shit…there goes resolution #1. And #4! Dear, do you want to go upstairs?