Dear President Putin

 Boyz II Men Russia: Boyz II Men will perform in Russia Feb. 6. IMAGE

Boyz II Men

I read an article today about how Russia’s president, Putin, is concerned with his country’s low birth rates, and in an effort to get Russian men in the mood for love, he is having the group Boyz II Men perform in Moscow just before Valentine’s Day.  Apparently, Putin feels confident that the singers will serenade the audience with soulful ballads, and in nine months, there will be an enormous population increase.

President Putin, I have a wayyyyyyy better idea.  You must realize that China imposes limits on their citizens with their one-child policy.  Certainly, you know you share a border with China.  Why not open a little gate to the right of Mongolia and advertise to all the Chinese women aching for large families.  Yeah, I know decades ago Mao didn’t like Khrushchev, but honestly, no one liked Khrushchev.  And, yes, the gate would technically be in Siberia, but seriously, if you open it, they will come.

Putin, you are totally welcome for this wonderful idea.  I probably just saved your entire county.  Feel free to send me vodka.


love between siblings

Last night I made my fourteen-year-old son pack lunches for both his sister and himself.  I usually do this chore, but my son was being massively annoying, and so I assigned him the task.  When my teenage daughter got home from school today, she said, “Cole put a nasty note in my lunch bag.”

“What?”  I asked, and she pulled out the note.

I don’t know which is more sad, the fact that my son put a mean note in his sister’s lunch, or that fact that my son can’t spell shitty

The lunchbox note from my son to his sister.

The lunchbox note from my son to his sister.



Manuela, the recluse tortoise

Stock photo of an adult male Hermann's tortoise (© Image Broker/Rex Features)

Manuela, the recluse tortoise



Today I read a story about a Brazilian family that found their missing tortoise,  Manuela, after thirty years.  Decades prior, they thought the turtle had run away when the front door was inadvertently left open.  If that was the case, then after thirty years of flat-out sprinting, the turtle would be a block and a half away from the front porch.  The family claims that the tortoise lived all these years in a box in their storage room, eating termites.

I find this story far-fetched for two reasons.  First of all, don’t turtles need water?  Second, didn’t anyone smell thirty years of turtle poop.  I mean, if an animal is trapped IN YOUR HOUSE for thirty fricken’ years, it has got to stink.

If Manuela, the recluse tortoise, was indeed living for thirty years in a cardboard box, she should be given three things immediately:

1.  A bath, with luxurious bubbles, verbena-scented soap, and perhaps a something pretty like a stack of bangle-bracelets or a bedazzler for her shell.

2.  A long drink of water, preferably something filtered and imported from a clear-mountain spring.  Come on, she deserves that!

3.  A super-handsome man-turtle, twenty years her junior, who is willing to share a nice warm rock and a head of lettuce.

A new STD

My family likes to drink Orangina (pronounced Orange-Geena) which is basically citrus-flavored soda.  Last weekend, my fourteen-year-old son, Cole,  and his buddy, Kyler, were standing in front of our refrigerator, staring at the contents within.

“I guess I will have an Orange-Gyna,” Kyler said.  It is important to note here that Kyler pronounced Orangina startlingly close to the word vagina.

“Oh my God,” Cole said.  “Did you just say Orange-Gyna?”

Kyler, realizing his error, started to laugh.

“You have ruined my favorite soda,” my son said.  “I can never drink this again.  Orange-Gyna is not a refreshing beverage; it’s a sexually transmitted disease.”

At this point, Cole broke into a voice accent, like a dopey fraternity brother or South Park character.  “I’ve got major problems,” he mimicked.  “My girlfriends got Orange-Gyna.”

Cole and Kyler rolled with laughter.

My family now refers to Orange-Geena only as Orange-Gyna.  Yesterday Cole wrote on my grocery list, “Buy more STD.”

What do Kelly Clarkson and the Obama girls have in common?

I watched President Obama’s inauguration yesterday while I was running on the treadmill at my gym.  I am not an entirely patriotic person; for example, I forbid any of my children from joining the armed services because the idea of sending one of them off to war is simply too much to bear.  Plus, I love memorial Day ’cause I get to sleep in, but I don’t hang a flag or go to the cemetery.  And every four years, right before the presidential election, my husband and I joke about moving to Canada.

Regardless of my shameful lack of country pride, I do love times when we all pull together, and for me, the inauguration feels like a unifying event.  The fact that we can all take a moment to acknowledge our democratic freedoms, put aside religious differences and pray for a brighter future, and join in gossiping about the first-lady’s J Crew gloves, is a milestone worth celebrating.

Myrlie Evers-Williams, presidential inauguration 2013

Myrlie Evers-Williams, presidential inauguration 2013

My first favorite moment of the inauguration was Myrlie Evers’ prayer.  Her husband, Medgar Evers, a secretary for the NAACP, was assassinated in his driveway in 1963.  Myrlie Evers-Williams was the first lay-person to deliver the invocation at a presidential inauguration.  She was poised, articulate, and looked amazing for her seventy-nine years.  After all she has endured, the fact that she has a prayer left inside her is a quiet miracle that deserves sincere acknowledgment.

My MOST FAVORITE part of the inauguration was when Kelly Clarkson sang My Country ‘Tis of Thee.  Of course, it is a great song, and she sang it flawlessly, but what I loved best was the fact that she obviously called Sasha and Malia Obama weeks before the event and discussed color coordinating their outerwear.

“Hey, Sash and Lia,” Kelly said.  “I was thinking how fierce we would look if we all wore the same color coat.”

“Ohhh, great idea!” Malia agreed.  “How about yellow.”

“Yellow!” Sasha gasped.  “I look terrible in yellow.  All in favor of purple say American Idol.”

“OK,” Kelly said,  “Malia, you wear the burgundy scarf with the rose-violet coat, and I will wear the burgundy coat with a rose-violet scarf.  Girl Power!”

Inaugural Swearing In

Kelly Clarkson, presidential inauguration 2013


Sasha and Malia Obama, presidential inauguration 2013

dirty, little gummy worm

Today I went skiing all by myself.  I prefer to ski alone.  When I ski with my children, they make fun of me.  I’m too slow; my turns are dorky; I’m a safety Nazi.  When I ski with my husband, he bombs down the mountain, pops in the lodge, has a sandwich, a beer, and piece of chocolate cake before I finally meet him at the bottom.

Skiing alone is great.  I enjoy the mountain, get a little exercise, and I don’t need physical therapy or a knee replacement at the end of my day.

On my second run, I rode up on the chairlift with three little boys.

“We’re going down the face,” the boy sitting next to me said.

“Yeah,” the other chimed in.  “We kinda suck, but we like to brag at school that we went down the face.”

“Besides,” the third friend added, “It doesn’t matter if you are good or not.  When you brag about going down the face, you sound good.”

I smiled and nodded; the kid had a reasonable point.

Then, the boy sitting next to me asked, in a tone laced with superiority, “Are you going down the face?”

“No,” I said, “I am going down Debbie’s Gold.”

At this point, the boy turned to his friends, rolled his beady eyes inside his giant goggles, and in a snotty tone, said, “Blue Square.”

“Listen, you dirty, little gummy worm,” I barked, “I don’t need your judgment.  I am a good person, and a decent skier, and your mother never wanted you!”

OK, I didn’t actually say this out loud, but I thought it loudly in my head.

We reached the top of the lift and prepared to disembark.  As I stood, the gummy worm shoved his pole between my knees and knocked me over.

“Sorry,” he said, with a creepy little grin.

It’s OK.  I don’t hate him.  I am fairly confident that nine-year-old is going to have a month of bad karma.  His dog will run away; his bike will get stolen, and he will be the only kid in the fourth grade not to receive a Valentine’s Day card.


my fake husband

There has been a lot of buzz lately about Notre Dame football player and Heisman Trophy runner-up, Manti Te’o.  This young man apparently created a fake girlfriend with cancer.  There is some rumor that this devastating story was concocted in hopes of making Te’o more appealing in the eyes of those who place Heisman votes.

Many are irate about this hoax, but I have to say, “Manti, I totally get you.”  I have had a fake husband for twenty years.  His name is Sheldon; he does laundry naked, loves to vacuum, and never tires with long conversations about the mall, bootcut versus skinny jeans, and whether green is the new black.  He also reassures me how sassy my new haircut is, how my boobs are not nearly as droopy as I think they are, and that my cellulite is barely noticeable.

Sheldon is only in my head, but he is the best fake husband of all time.  The only thing I don’t understand is why Manti gave is fake girlfriend cancer?  I would never give Sheldon cancer.  If he was sick, who would compliment my shoes?

Manti Te’o. The irony is that my fake husband bears a striking resemblance to Manti.