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Showing posts from December, 2013

How to Talk to People in Europe Without Sounding Like a Stupid Foreigner

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“Foreigner?” you say.  “FOREIGNER?!  I’m an American.  I am not a foreigner.”  Well, I have news for you.  When you are in other people’s countries, you are the foreigner.  You are playing in their yard.  And, as eager as they are to accept the money they figure you will throw around like rice at a wedding, they probably think of you as being one small step above pond scum in the evolutionary chain, especially if you act like a jerk.
One way to avoid being a jerk is to learn at least something of the language of the country you are going to visit before you go there, unless you plan to spend the entire time clinging to a tour group.  In that case you will all be doing things en masse to irritate the locals,* so ignorance of their language might come in handy as a convenient excuse for whatever annoying thing you have done.
Learning another language is not easy, and it is true that a little knowledge can be dangerous.  If you attempt to communicate with Europeans in their own languages, …

Fun With MRIs

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Many people go into panic mode when they think of getting an MRI.To them, it’s like being stuck in a locked coffin with a jackhammer being piped in. I have never had that problem.I like being enfolded in things.If I had been Cleopatra, I would have loved being rolled up in that rug and shipped special delivery to Julius Caesar.It was probably a little hot in there, but you can’t have everything.I just hope, for Cleo’s sake, that it was clean.


For me, the problem with MRIs is the boredom.Lying completely still with your eyes closed and loud mechanical noises being pumped into your ears is not terribly amusing after the first 10 seconds.

The one thing I can do is let my imagination run wild:

Ah!The Rejuvenation Machine!I shall be made young, strong and thin again, and I will be a SUPERHERO!I will call myself Magnetic Resonance Woman, and I will fight evil and nastiness wherever I find it, which means just about everywhere. I will send criminals running for their lives, and they still won’…

Fun Things to Do When You are Too Sick to Go to Work but Not Sick Enough to Stay in Bed All Day

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1.Make prank phone calls to some nasty neighbor.
     2.Play Dragon Mahjong on your computer until it makes you even sicker from aggravation because it’s so hard to win.
     3.Call your workplace to assure yourself that they miss you. 4.Get caught up on that novel you are reading.

     5.Work on that novel you are writing.
     6.Look out the window and watch all the people out there having more fun than you are having.
7.Plan a redecoration of your living room.
8.Give up plans to redecorate the living room when you realize you will probably have to do it yourself because your last bank statement shows insufficient funds to pay anyone else.You are such a klutz that you can’t even hang a picture on the wall without help.
9.Call all your friends, who will be shocked to hear from you.
10.Watch the ID Channel over and over.If you are not addicted already, you will soon become so.
11.If you don’t have cable TV, get caught up on some DVD movies you haven’t gotten around to yet.Your friends are …

Gift Wrapping Made Complicated

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The identity of whoever invented gift wrap has been lost in the alleys and gutters of time, so we have no way of knowing who to blame.  It was probably the same person who instituted the “do not open until Christmas” rule that torments people to this day.

People react differently to gift wrap:

Uncle Mario tears paper, ribbon and bows into mangled shreds with one deft hand movement, then tosses it all onto the floor.  You want to punch him out, because, dammit, that wrapping was a work of art until he played Demolition Derby with it.

Aunt Josephine, on the other hand, sits holding her present and says, “Oh my!  This is so pretty I hate to take it apart.”  You want to punch her out because, dammit, you bought that present and you deserve to get an ecstatic reaction from her when she sees it, which will not happen as long as she sits there holding it like a moron.  She then takes an eternity to open it, carefully making sure she doesn’t tear any of that pretty paper, which she folds up neat…

"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"

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Black Friday is over for another year, and the same craziness happened, even though a lot of the big ticket stores started Black Friday the night before, when it was still Thanksgiving Day.  Cyber Monday starts tomorrow, but the worst we can expect from that are a few stalled servers.

If you don't think it's time for Christmas yet, just take a stroll through the business district of my neighborhood:







This means that winter is coming, and is planning at least a 3-month stay:


To tell the truth, I love Christmas and the whole season leading up to it.  That's because I'm still a kid, even though I have the body of a 60-something year old woman.  I plan to keep this up as long as possible.  It makes aging a lot more fun.