The Teat of Technology Part 2

Hey Good Looking,

(Yeah, I’m talking to you.)

Last week I gave you a list of ten reasons why those of you born in 2000 and beyond have it easier than those of us who are, as old people like to say, wiser. Well, now it’s my turn to gloat.

The following are ten ways that pre-millennials had it better.

1) Prank Calls. We got to make ’em, got to answer ’em, and we laughed our abs into six-packs because of ’em. Nothing brought more hilarity to a sleepover than dialing up random people or our crushes and messing with them over the phone. Unless the victim recognized our voices (most of us mastered the art of disguise), we got away with it because there was no caller ID. It was total anonymity and a total blast.

2) We embraced our awkward stages. Yep, I had braces, a layered perm that made me look like a pineapple, and forehead zits. It was hideous. But we didn’t feel the need to document every second of our lives and post about them. The only people who knew we were scary and pubescent were our family members and classmates. And guess what–they were busted too. We got to surf our hormonal waves, experiment with ill-fitted clothes, and rock unflattering hairstyles without some future boss or lover finding the evidince online. All experimenting was done off the record. You’re seeing this high school picture of me because I’m CHOOSING to share it with you.


3) For the record I am a huge environmentalist. But in 1970s, not so much. We used to eat McDonalds in the car and then throw our wrappers out the window when we were done. It was insane. Awful on every possible level. But when you’re a kid, and no one tells you that littering is bad, and when even grown ups are doing it, you don’t realize it’s wrong. Let me just say if I ever saw anyone do anything like that now I would hunt them down and force feed them public bathroom trash. But back then it was considered normal. And let me just say that tossing a Big Mac container (Styrofoam, no less) out of a speeding station wagon felt like total freedom.

4) On that note, we ate fast food without shame.

5) We suntanned without shame.

6) We didn’t have devices so playing with friends was way more creative and, dare I say, FUN! We made up games. We got messy. We laughed and ran and got yelled at by uptight neighbors. We were living in all three dimensions and because of it our social skills can beat up your social skills. (If you don’t know what social skills are, Google it.)

7) Sadly, bullying existed back then. But it was limited to the bus, the playground, the neighborhood. It didn’t reach global proportions. No one was publicly shamed. Bully’s couldn’t hide behind screens. They had to face their targets. And many times that meant facing consequences, too.

8) Electricity blackouts were exciting. They in no way made us feel like the end was near. Why? Because we weren’t completely dependent on electricity for every single thing we do.

9) We didn’t have to take our shoes off when going through airport security.

10) We were alive! (no offense.)

Now I want to hear what you think the ups and downs are of your generation.




The Teat of Technology part 1


I hope you all had a great long weekend.

What did I do, you ask? I drove to Palm Springs with my friend Elaine to celebrate her birthday. If this picture proves anything it’s that you can take the girl out of Laguna Beach but you can’t keep her from dropping a french fry in her bellybutton. That’s me on the right admiring my accuracy. And yes, of course I shared it with Elaine. It was her birthday.

Palm springs

Anyway, we got to talking about how different life was when we were in high school (1980s)  compared to life in high school now (2000 and beyond). And we came up with two lists: We Had It Worse Because… AND  We Had It Better Because…

After reviewing them both it was hard to say who had it better. You be the judge. Here is the first list.


1. When we wanted to withdrawal or deposit cash we had to line up inside the bank, fill out forms, and deal with a snooty teller.   YOU HAVE ATM’S.

2. When we needed driving directions we had to use a map (like the paper kind) or write directions on some crumpled up gum wrapper and try to read it while driving without getting lost or killed.  YOU HAVE GOOGLE MAPS, GPS, and UBER.

3. We had to write letters, invitations, thank you notes, and hate mail with pens and paper. Then we needed stamps and mailboxes. Anxious for a reply? Pack some snacks and get a book. It might be a while. YOU HAVE EMAIL, TEXTS, and MENTAL TELEPATHY. (You don’t have the telepathy yet but you probably will by the time this posts.)

4. If we wanted to talk to someone and they were on the phone with someone else we’d hear a busy signal. We’d have to keep dialing for hours until they hung up. When we finally did get through there was a good chance one of our parents or siblings was eavesdropping on the other line. THE FACT THAT YOU CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE THIS SAYS I DON’T NEED TO EXPLAIN HOW YOU HAVE IT BETTER.  JUST KNOW THAT YOU DO.

5. We didn’t have phones. So if we were meeting someone at the movies and they were late we’d either assume they were dead or standing us up. Since both possibilities were equally upsetting we felt evil and self-centered. By the time the person did show up we were in a terrible mood and the night was soured. A SIMPLE TEXT AND ALL IS EXPLAINED.

6. If I liked a song I’d have to buy the whole crappy album. iTUNES, SPOTIFY, PANDORA…

7. Think about how many times you hit delete when typing. Now imagine there is no delete. Every mistake you make you have to open a jar of White Out and paint over it. Wait for it to dry then start again. A single sentence could take months to perfect. By the end my fingers looked like I worked at a bird sanctuary. All those white splotchy stains… HIGHLIGHT-DELETE.

8. Have a research paper due or maybe a question about nocturnal animals? Get off your butt and get a ride down to the library. Once you’re there you better hope someone is free to help you find the right books because there are thousands of them. THOU—-SANDS. If no one is available prepare for a panic attack or an F.  SEARCH ENGINES.

9. I had to know at least thirty people’s phone numbers by heart. ADD CONTACT.

10. People smoked on airplanes, in restaurants, cars… and I had the pleasure of inhaling it all. I wanted to be an opera singer. I am a writer. Thanks Dad. I’D SAY YOU HAVE E-CIGS BUT THERE’S NO WAY THOSE ARE MUCH BETTER SO I’M GOING TO CREDIT THE LAW ON THIS ONE.

I’m not even going to mention your ability to delete ugly pics of yourselves. It’s so unfair. I looked like the magician, Doug Henning, in High School. Don’t know who he is? Google him–because you can.

Growing up is easier for those of you fortunate enough to suckle on the teat of technology. But is it more fun? I’m going to say no. Next week I’ll tell you what technology has taken from you. Unless the power goes out. Then you’ll know.




Hello my friends!

As promised I have attached a photo of last week’s extraction.

Still Life: Dead Rat.


My apologies to those of you who would have preferred I show the unbagged version of what lay decomposing under my house. Believe me, I would have loved to. But I have a line–it’s thick and bold and drawn at a “dead rodent teeming with maggots”. Even the professional was dry heaving.

I do wish I had the temperament of sociopath–if only for the time needed to photograph and post the vile creature, because a teaching moment was lost. Mother Nature went to town on this beast and I am censoring her work. So I would like to teach something else so you don’t feel cheated. I call that something: The Rest of Your Life.

I have given this advice to the daughter I don’t have. And now I will give it to you.

1. Know the difference between love and infatuation. Love feels like being safe and at peace. Infatuation feels like a power struggle with a side of pit in your stomach.

2. Handle your finances. Never surrender that power and/or knowledge to your partner. If you are a stay-at-home mom or dad and don’t earn an income make sure you write the checks, have access to the accounts, and understand what’s going on. It’s easy to be ignorant in this area. Especially if you’re like me and numbers remind you of dead rats. But I have seen too many people get taken advantage of here. And I won’t let that happen to you.

3. If you are considering marriage ask yourself one question: Can I see myself growing old with this person? Can I see us taking care of each other when we start pooing our adult diapers? Like can I really see it? Zoom in on that person’s expression as they hose you down. Are you both laughing or do you feel shamed and pathetic? If not you’re not laughing you’re about to make a terrible mistake.

4. When a friend is in need don’t ask if you can do anything to help. Show up.

5. If you want to be loved, be loveable.

You’re welcome.

Happy Memorial Day. Take time out of your potato sack races to think of those who lost their lives and loved ones for us.



32 is the new 50!

It happens.

Last Wednesday to be specific.

I was feeling low. Uninspired. A little unloved. A lot human. I had been thinking of the old days–when each of my blog postings would yield thousands of comments. You discussed them. You made friends. We were a community. A clique. And now? Notsomuch.

That’s okay. Times change. People grow. I read The Giving Tree. I know how life works. As long as you’re out there I’m all good. Truly. You inspire me. Being reminded that my words matter to you is everything. Not in a needy, desperate way. More out of wanting to connect.

Because the comments have dropped so dramatically I was convinced that your interest had too. Then I read what you wrote and I felt like the Incredible Hulk. Only not green, not muscular, not male or angry or even the slightest bit unhinged. Just energized in that Hulk way that made me feel big and strong and ready to take action. So even though I asked for 50 comments, I feel blessed with 32 because those of you who did respond had something real to say. Whether you said you’d understand if I quit or you begged me not to. You took the time to let me know my words still matter by taking the time to write your own. And that’s all I needed to hear.

So off we go…

More blogs. More advice. More sharing.

In the name of sharing I thought you’d like to know that it’s been a big week for me and animals. Last weekend I told a friend I’d watch her dog, Bentley. He’s an adorable (untrained!) puppy and I couldn’t resist. Then I got super sick and while she was rafting somewhere with her husband I had to deal with this micro-beast stealing my tissues, sticking his butt in my ear, and eating my book.

bent head

The book, by the way, was Heft by Liz Moore. I read it in two days. I loved it, Bentley obviously loved it, and you will too.

Now I am waiting for Joe from Critter Control to come over and remove one of God’s creatures from under my house as it is decomposing and making me wish my sinuses hadn’t recovered as quickly as they did. There’s a chance Joe may not make it today as he has a racoon eviction in Yorba Linda that may run long. Keep your fingers crossed and your nostrils pinched.

I’ll let you know next week what Joe found.

TTYW (yay!)

Forever yours,


To Blah-G or Not to Blah-g…

Hey you,

We’ve been together for what–twelve years now? During that time I’ve posted over 1000 blahgs and written 31 books that many of you have read. I’d say that gives us real relationship status. And as we all know open and honest communication is essential to a healthy relationship. So here is goes: Would you miss my Blah-g’s if I stopped posting for a while? Just long enough for me to finish writing The Dirty Book Club, then I’ll be back?

If I receive 50 comments in the next week asking me to continue I will. And I’ll do it with gusto. If not, I will assume you want to play the field for a while so we will give each other some space. Is this my way of asking if you still like these blahgs? If they are relevant and resonating with you? Indeed it is.

So this is me communicating.

up close and personal

Now I will wait…


TTYW (or not.)