I Can’t Help Myself Friday. The Jeopardy Edition.

I’ll take Summer Madness for $500 Alex. What’s that, I can bet on a Daily Double? I’ll bet it all, Alex!

Our very own Alex Trebek trashed his Achilles chasing down a robber, but not before donning his underwear. Thanks Alex, that’s like picturing our first grade teacher in their skivvies, and we kind of didn’t need that. But you get a pass for being like the only smart program on at 7:30 at night.

Can anyone explain the Tea Party to me? I cannot comprehend this group of people has captured the imagination of some subsection of this country. It boggles my mind that voters buy this total bullshit they serve up. This explains my vast supply of wine and Ketel One.

Everyone knows that one, it’s the People of Walmart. In the latest travesty to hit the chain, Sandy McMillan thought she’d grab some chips and sour cream at the retailer. She claimed it was too hot to dress properly and she hadn’t hurt anyone. Oh Sandy, you did put the BIG hurt of lots of people, I hate to tell you.

And that, ladies and gentlemen is why I bet the whole works on the Daily Double. Jon Stewart is always a winner.

The Queen Bee

This week, Mama Kat asked us to write a blog entry that began and ended with a sentence containing some derivative of the word boss. Here is a little tale about one of the crazier ones.

Picture young Meg, fresh out of college, eagerly working in Human Resources for Carole, aka “The Queen Bee”. Carole was one of those thirty-somethings that sadly looked a tad older than her real age. She dressed a little too young, she wore high heels in the snow, and she always sported a smoky eye during the daytime hours at work. In fact, you would think Carole might be dressed for a spontaneous cocktail party at any given moment.

In fact, Carole was probably one of the first known cougars in the United States. You see, Carole was ALWAYS on the prowl.

Carole was always having man problems; and she liberally shared all of her woes with her ENTIRE STAFF. Often times,we were ordered to sit by the phone, staring at it for 2 hours while some young stud named Dave was allegedly going to call. And as you all can imagine, Dave never did call, sending our cougar into a tailspin. Such a tailspin, she had to leave the office and go have drinks with her girlfriends and HER EMPLOYEES were left to field questions as to her whereabouts for the rest of the day.

So you can picture what a blast Carole was to work for, right?

Fast forward to yet another calamity, which we’ll call the one night stand. You see, Carole decided to hook up with one of the big managers at work, and naturally she could not employ any discretion whatsoever. NONE. She bragged to all of us about her night of passion, which of course made us want to poke our mind’s eye out and put hot needles under our fingernails, because HOLY SHIT, who wants to picture their boss and another peer in bed!!!???

Well, it gets better. The Queen Bee comes trotting in to our offices saying she needs to have drinks with us. UGH. And that was a command performance you couldn’t get out of. She proceeded to regale us with her tales of being a tramp in her modest hometown, and declared that’s why she needed to move to Boston. (Personally, I never considered my city a ho-bag place to live?) Anyway, thinking we had heard it all, Carole dropped another bomb. You see, she had contracted a SPECIAL SOMETHING from that managerial fling a few weeks previous, and wanted us (who were real life benefits experts) to tell her what to do.

Umm, don’t sleep around?

Eventually Carole’s big mouth and her bigger sexual appetite got her into trouble, and she was “moved” to another organization, where I’m sure she continued to spread something nasty good cheer.

And that my friends, is the story of the very first lady cougar boss. Did you ever have a “Queen Bee” in your life?

Desert Island Book Picks

It’s a classic question; what book would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

The BBC program “Desert Island Discs” says at least 100 celebrities including Kim Cattrall and Terry Gilliam would choose the dictionary as their tome of choice. It’s been awhile since Meg thought about the dictionary as a choice in actual reading material, but she does remember back in junior high receiving one as a Christmas gift. I know, I know, but I was a rather cerebral child, and coupled with the fact was I always had a boatload of term papers to write, and this made the book a very worthwhile purchase for my parents.

Meg remembers turning to the definition of the Beatles and staring at the photo of Paul McCartney for an extraordinary amount of time. (he isn’t even her favorite Beatle, she must have not moved onto George at that point…). Meg also used her powers for good in looking up things she wasn’t certain about, like terms that could possibly have been in a sex education class if such things had been remotely offered in the day. She was quite surprised at the number of terms readily available in the Webster’s dictionary; she eagerly shared them with her friends. Knowledge is power, people.

Still, would Meg really want the dictionary for her desert island read? After all, like comedian Steve Wright says:

I finally got around to reading the dictionary. The zebra did it.

So if we know how the dictionary plays out with the whole letter z thing, then wouldn’t the Bible would be the ultimate choice? Plenty of juicy stories and dramatic natural disasters, and plus it would serve a backbone of faith until Liam Neeson came sweeping in for his dramatic island rescue.

So when I read Erin McKean’s article in the Sunday Boston Globe, she got me to thinking of the dictionary as literature. She cited David Levithan’s recent book, “The Lover’s Dictionary” as a prime example of a great book written in the style of a dictionary “told in alphabetical, rather than chronological order…the book co-opts the structure of the dictionary to define the arc of a relationship…in a satisfying way“. For example, take the letter A:

Autonomy, n.

“I want my books to have their own shelves,” you said, and that’s how I knew it would be okay to live together.

Now that makes complete sense to me. I would want (and Meg actually does have) books about computer programming and art residing on different shelves. In fact, the computer books exist on shelves that aren’t seen, because who needs to see a C sharp or an Adobe Photoshop book mingling with a beautiful set of antique Dickens classics?

A resounding review on Amazon seals the deal for both buying the book and making the real Dictionary my official desert island book!

Alphabetized entries headed by beautiful words most of us don’t take the time to speak anymore give pieces of a relationship that on one page is in devastating freefall, and then in the next entry the lovers are riding the heights. The structure is exhilarating, pulling you inside out with anticipation with each new chapter…“.

Erin, in addition to being a compelling book reviewer, is also founder of the website Wordnik, which I popped over to, and found myself very entertained with all the fun words you can look up. For example, how many places can you find the definition of stabby and use it in a sentence?

I would have *never* guessed!

And for those of us doing sanity checks on real words in the English language, we have this:

I know. When a guy says the word schweet in a high sing-song voice, it makes me cringe. But I do think it’s sweet to know that the dictionary is a cool book to have, and great piece of literature to boot!

I Can’t Help Myself Friday. The Meltdown.

Are the rest of you all in heatwave hell this week? Meg knows she is, her brain is melting and her superego is faulty; she is having trouble regulating her impulse to snap. She is feeling what we call in the bloggy world “stabby”, and we all know that can’t be good. She woke up this morning to see her formerly cute dog ate a corner of an antique desk under the watchful eye of someone else who happens to live in this house.

She only hopes all the refreshments she has stocked in the fridge will help; there is some Starbucks mocha, sparkling Pellegrino, plain Fiji water, and the ever-present liquid dinner, sangria. She might have to spike each and every one of these liquids liberally, starting now.

Perhaps other people are having meltdowns this week and can help Meg gain her perspective back?

Oh vey! Was Michele having a fake Yiddish meltdown? Choot-spa? Bubbeleh, you need to learn a smattering of the language not to look like a total putz.

Now I’m really ticked off:

Ladies, shall we storm the offices of Old Spice to bring back Isaiah Mustafa?Paris Hilton, so cogent, so articulate on GMA. She had to run off the set and dry her tears before her publicist sat her back down like a poor little puppet and finished her sad little interview. You are not hot anymore, Paris.

Let’s watch Rahm Emmanuel gives a local NBC reporter a lesson on privacy:

I so love his calm cool collected statement. It really would have been fun to see him blow up, though.

Shall we end with a Jon Stewart, who always knows how to keep the ladies cool?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Statements of Clarification That Probably Won’t Do You Any Good
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Stay sane and stay cool this weekend, people!

The Maxi Pad Isn’t All Glitter

This week, Mama Kat had a lot of interesting writing prompts to choose from, but I thought it would be fun to talk about how old I was when I first learned about the birds and the bees. Because we all want to relive our most uncomfortable moments, right?

Here’s the deal people. There was ZERO sex education in my day. NONE. The total extent of our education in 1971 was having Miss Rhodes the gym teacher give us a little primer on periods (sorry Ron, you can look away now) and how to cope with them in junior high. If I remember correctly, that consisted her showing us a film (which was probably made in the 50’s) and then indicating to us a special drawer, where she stashed a box of Kotex and a bottle of Midol. There was no mention of Tampax because we were deemed too young for such things. I know, I sense some of you are gasping in horror.

I remember sitting on a long bench in gym, we were all lined up in our kelly green jumpsuits and Keds, squirming and uncomfortable; we were horrified that a boy might peek his head around the gym corner and we would all spontaneously combust with embarrassment.

After that momentous day in gym class, there was much discussion walking home from school. Clearly, we all needed to wrap our heads around what we had been told. And at times like this, there was only one place to go, and that was the playhouse of my best friend Janet. The playhouse was really a quaint little crash pad attached to the enormous Foley garage; it was a place of refuge with a couple of tables and chairs, and more importantly, it offered privacy and a door we could bolt so no boys could enter.

Janet, our friend Jane and I sat around the table pondering all we had been told in gym class. You see, Mother Nature, or Aunt Flo hadn’t come calling yet, and we were wondering just who would be the lucky one to lead the way.

If you hadn’t guessed, I drew the lucky straw. And I had to write a note to my mother; because guess what kids? No Mom’s ever brought the subject up; it was very similar to the virgin birth at Christmas where a miracle just occurs!

Meg remembers slogging to 7th grade the week she was struck down with major cramps, and she quickly called home and was retrieved from school to spend the rest of the day in bed. And her best friend’s Mom was there to witness it all saying cheerfully “oh my gosh, this is so wonderful you are a woman today!”. (Hola, Mrs. Foley!)

Meg remembers not feeling womanly at all, and she promptly shared all the gory details with her friends to make sure THEY were prepared for the worst. That playhouse continued to come in handy, as many issues subsequent to Aunt Flo visiting were discussed and rehashed. We pondered more of the birds and bees with interesting observations like: “hmm, do you think that is really possible“, to the “Oh my God, no way“!

And we certainly did not think the world of menstruation would ever be turned on it’s head like this:

I’m sorry Pat Field, even if you are a stylist for the Sex and the City crew you cannot make maxi-pads glitter. Periods just aren’t made of bling, and that is that.

If only MTV existed back in the 70’s to tell us what it really would be like:

Sigh. What I would have given for a pair of extra maxi wings in those days. Times have changed, and thank God I’ve kicked Aunt Flo to the curb. She’s one woman I no longer need in my life!

A Three Hour Tour

The recent death of Sherwood Schwartz is sure to send us all back in time this week. Schwartz was the creator of the iconic Gilligan’s Island as well as the The Brady Bunch, two of the defining TV series of Meg’s childhood.

During those awkward adolescent adolescent years, Meg wanted nothing more than to be Marcia Brady. Who didn’t want Marcia’s long blonde locks and her totally cool polyester jumpers? Who didn’t want a bedroom all decked out in ruffles and princess furniture?

A girl could dream, right? And that’s all a girl with with braces, dark brown hair, and a pair of tortoise-shell cat eye glasses could really do, because let’s face it, none of us were ever going to be Marcia Brady.

Well, enough reminiscing about the Brady Bunch. Meg is really here to talk about Gilligan’s Island and how she had a love/hate relationship with the residents of the uncharted tropical isle.

First of all, Meg’s mother hated Gilligan’s Island. She remembers her rolling her eyes when it came on, which makes sense now, because I believe TV critic at the time called it “a new low for TV”. I’m sure it was a low for a lot of Mom’s and Dad’s but guess what? Kids LOVED it. So Meg’s parents acquiesced in tuning it in, thinking it would be a blessed 30 minutes of peace and quiet.

Here’s the deal. Young grade school Meg was pretty sharp. Week after week, she picked on on all that went on around the island. First of all, the clothing. Ginger had an inordinate amount of evening gowns and high heels for a three hour tour, yet Maryann always seemed to be dressed in the same gingham dress. What gives there?

Mr. Howell had his endless supply of sport coats and ascots, and Lovey had a wide array of brimmed hats to keep the sun off of her. Did these people bring Louis Vuitton trunks on the little sail in the harbor?

Gilligan, Skipper and the Professor all wore the same uniform if you will, but always looked impeccably clean and shaven. Where did all the toiletries come from? Shouldn’t they have all had ZZ Top beards at some point?

Food. Where on earth did all the pie crust for those coconut cream pies come from? Did the lagoon really contain every food group needed to keep an island running?

Brainpower. Ah, here’s where things get tricky. Every week the professor would put a pair of coconuts or potatoes together and try and fix the shortwave radio that was going to connect with civilization and get them rescued. And each week, the Professor failed miserably. That used to get Meg annoyed, because she would end up shouting at the TV at what a dummy he was. This was before her knowledge of plot lines and how TV series jump the shark.

That show may have annoyed the living crap out of us at some point, but at the very least, we can all claim Gilligan’s Island gave us something, and that was a fabulous theme song.

Oh, and don’t tell me you all haven’t belted out a drunken Gilligan’s Island tune in your day. I would bet my Beverly Hillbillies on it.