Wednesday, November 25, 2015

At Least Use the Right Excuse!

November 24, 2015

The boy whose clock got him arrested at an Irving, Texas school is now suing the school district and the city for $15 million.

One of the reasons cited: his “reputation in the global community is permanently scarred.”

Scarred how? By the online support he received, by the offers to visit the White House, the United Nations, Google’s Science Fair and Facebook headquarters?

I can think of several reasons for suing (though not for $15 million). But not that one.

If you’re going for the sympathy vote in order to cash in, at least make it sound plausible.

You Can't Hide from the Fundraisers

November 25, 2015

If you ever need to track somebody down, start with their college alumni office. My doctor, my credit card companies, and my insurance company still send things to my Idaho address;

but my college has tracked me through two moves in Missouri—and I just moved in to the second place a month ago!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Define "Independent"

November 18, 2015

A few weeks ago I saw a cartoon on Facebook about a woman who wanted to be pampered by someone, but saying, “Oh, yeah, I forgot, I’m a Strong, Independent Woman.” And shortly after that I was reading a book where the protagonist gives herself a hard time for being happy about having a date with a guy she’s interested in, because she’s a Strong, Independent Woman.

What the hey? To me being Strong and Independent means not sponging on somebody, or not letting them run your life. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a life partner, or someone who’s nice to you—or a date.

If we were all meant to be completely independent, we wouldn’t have hormones.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Is The Commercialism Not Religious Enough?

November 11, 2015

Starbucks is taking a hit because it made red cups for the holidays, with no Christmas imagery on them. Some people think it’s part of the “War on Christmas.”

The weird thing is, the stuff that’s supposed to be part of the War on Christmas is the same sort of commercialism that people scream is taking the meaning out of Christmas.

So what makes it a war on Christmas: Making it commercial instead of religious, or not making the commercialism religious enough?

(FYI: If Starbucks puts little green men on its cups in December; if Target decorates in black and white, with no red or green in sight; if another store has Hawaiian vacation scenes instead of elves or Mangers…You can still celebrate Christmas any way you want to. You know that, right?)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Ted Forth, Rejoice!

November 7, 2015

Readers of the comic strip “Sally Forth” will know that Sally’s husband, Ted, dreams of a world where he can travel by Jetpack.

Apparently, now he can. I just saw a video of two men in Dubai flanking a plane, using their jetpacks. I can’t wait to see Ted’s reaction in upcoming strips.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Just Say No

November 6, 2015

I have a hard time getting people to say, “No.”

“Really?” you say. “Tough problem!”

But seriously, here are just a few of the questions people haven’t responded to in the past:

·         Do you do alterations?
·         Would you like to come downtown with my friends and me?
·         Can you click on this link and see if it allows people besides me to edit it?
·         We’re hosting Thanksgiving. Can you and your family come?

People simply ignore the questions—even when they’re part of a longer e-mail exchange (so they can’t pretend they didn’t get the message). In all these cases, a simple sentence will suffice: “No.” If you want to spiff it up or soften the answer, “No, thanks for asking.”

I wonder if people don’t respond because they’re afraid they’ll hurt my feelings (they won’t), or because they’re used to other people badgering them if they say no. (I won’t.) Or if they think that they have to give reasons, and can’t think of something that doesn’t sound totally lame.

It’s not necessary to give reasons. You don’t have to tell the truth: “I’d rather have bamboo slivers inserted under my fingernails than hang out with you and your friends.” Or, “Too much family at Thanksgiving gives me indigestion.” You don’t have to lie: “Sorry, that’s the ONLY night I can wash my dog!” You don’t owe people explanations—but you do owe them the courtesy of a response.

So, right in time for the holidays, here is your quick How-to Guide on avoiding things you don’t want to do:

Just. Say. No.

Decisions, Decisions...

November 6, 2015

After a hellacious day, one final decision: Robert B. Parker, or Spider Robinson? 

Too bad I can’t hold a book in each hand and read from both.