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Posts Tagged ‘funny’

  1. The Art of Decision-Making

    February 1, 2015 by Diane


    Retro woman thinking

    I need a new laptop. The Dell that I inherited from a friend is old; and like humans that age,  it’s slowing down, freezing up, and a bit cracked.

    So I went computer shopping.

    For a purchase of such financial magnitude, I needed to gird my loins and make a decision: something that Librans are not particularly adept at doing. There’s an art to deciding. So, for your edification, allow me to demonstrate the decision-making process.

    1. Do the research, endlessly

    I powered up the cracked Dell and reviewed the top ten laptops of 2014 according to CNET. I reviewed their picks for the best budget computers, the most lightweight, the most compact and the most highly-rated versions, and then I compared brands and specifications on Consumer Reports. I browsed e-zines for more reviews. I visited three stores and received three different opinions from three different salesmen. And then I drove home and researched those opinions online.

    This took a good two weeks. Maybe more.

    2. Value a stranger’s opinion over your own

    After stuffing my brain with every conceivable bit of information, I drove to Best Buy. I wanted to check out the MacBook Air 13. The manager of the computer department guided me away from the Mac, straight to the Lenovo Yoga 2 13. An imposing fellow who might have been a linebacker in a previous lifetime, he said the Lenovo was just what I needed. It’s fast. It has 8 gigs of ram. It has a long battery life. It’s lightweight. It converts into a tablet and has a nifty touchscreen. Not that I needed a nifty touchscreen; but hey, it was there, and I quickly became enamored. And then he said the three magic words:

    “It’s on sale.”

    I handed over my credit card.

    I had fourteen days to test drive the Lenovo. And I drove that puppy. My fingers flew across the touchscreen opening apps, swiping though pages, enlarging text, tapping text boxes. They flew over the keyboard. And I soon discovered that when typing, the cursor jumped around. The fan periodically made a loud noise. The Wi-Fi connection dropped several times.

    I was not so enamored anymore.

    I wanted to trade it in.

    I wanted a MacBook Air.

    3. Agonize over the “buts”

    I knew people who owned the MacBook Air, and they raved about the little darling. I had read the reviews online. Apple is number one in support. Few viruses can penetrate the operating system. It’s super lightweight. It’s a nice, bright silver color.

    I wanted a Mac.

    Until my poverty mentality reared up: It’s too expensive!

    But so was the Lenovo. Even on sale, it’s more than I wanted to pay.

    But the Mac is even pricier.

    Like a bumper car, I bounced from but to but until my brain was whirring like the loud fan in the Lenovo.

    4. Ponder the possibilities, incessantly

    And then the Macbook Air 13 went on sale at Best Buy. A hundred and fifty dollar savings! Did I rush down and trade in the Lenovo?


    I waited until the last three hours of the last day of the sale, and then I drove to Best Buy. I spent an hour futzing around on the display model. I discussed the pros and cons of the Mac with three different salespeople. I called a friend and my sister to discuss it even more. And then I needed to get away from the salespeople and the bright lights and the pumped up music and my cell phone, and ponder the whole thing. So I drove home and flicked on the Lenovo and searched reviews online, because we all know that those reviews are written by people with absolutely no agenda, and all of the reviews, as I already knew, leaned heavily toward the Mac, so…

    Did I trade in the Lenovo and get the Mac?


    I waited to hear a clear message from my wise self: GET THE MAC. What I heard instead was my squirrelly voice:

    But I’m a PC user.

    But there’s a learning curve with the Mac.

    But it doesn’t have a nifty touchscreen.

    On and on with the buts. I was trying to cram logic into a decision that needed to be made by intuition. I had the facts. I needed to trust my gut.

    5. Above all, don’t trust your instincts

    There was a story on NPR about a man who had a stroke that destroyed the emotional center of his brain. He became Spock-like, entirely logical. He would stand in the cereal aisle in the grocery store and try to make a decision, but without his intuition to guide him, he couldn’t decide. It took him hours. This cereal has that, and that cereal has this, and so on. Madness in the making.

    And what does it teach us? That it’s our emotions, our intuition, which guides us. And our intuition is nothing more than the average of all of our experiences with the object(s) in question.

    I was trying to make a decision based on logic. But my logic was screwy.

    What was my intuition telling me?


    By the time I realized this, it was nine o’clock. Best Buy was closed. The sale was over. ARRGH!

    6. Mentally flog yourself for whatever decision you make, or don’t make

    This I did. Endlessly. And then I returned the Lenovo.

    Today, I called Apple.

    I got the Mac.


  2. My Top Pet Peeves About the Women’s Locker Room

    June 29, 2014 by Diane

    Complaint department

    When it comes to the women’s locker room at the pool where I swim, I could list my top pet peeves. But I won’t.

    I’d have to list all those gross things. Like the globs of hair that swirl together into clumps and plaster themselves over the drain like roadkill, so I’m forced to tread water when I shower.

    I’d have to point out that six-year-old girls should use their “normal voices” in a tiled room, because their shrill tones will puncture the eardrums of all who enter.

    I’d have to admit that if a five-year-old boy is dragged into the locker room by his mother while she suits up, he should not spend the entire time staring at me—and only me—while I shower, with a blank expression on his face. Like he’s watching the test pattern on television.

    I’d have to reveal that all is not kosher in the women’s locker room. There are bare butts resting on the wooden benches where I set my gym bag. There are piles of white skin that someone has filed off her feet—piles that could fill a salt shaker. There are women who think nothing of bending over when toweling off, leaving me face-to-cheeks with a total stranger as I tie my shoe.

    I’d have to say something about that certain someone who sings Barry Manilow tunes in the shower. I’d have to point out that Barry Manilow wrote songs specifically designed to permanently lodge in the brain. Like water in the ear, they’re impossible to shake out.

    I’d have to mention how some people presume that if you accidentally leave a bottle of conditioner on the shower room shelf, it’s up for grabs. Even if it’s your favorite conditioner. And the manufacturer no longer makes it. I’ll give you a tip: don’t bother racing back to claim it. The bottle will be empty.

    I’d have to tell about the time a teensy-weensy field mouse scurried into the locker room and hid in a woman’s shoe. The shrill tones of a passel of six-year-olds are nothing compared to the screams of a woman encountering something warm and furry with her bare foot.

    I could list my pet peeves…but that would be complaining.

    Even though that’s what humor writers do. Complain.

    Humorists get paid to complain. For thirty minutes a comic will stand up in front of an audience and complain. Take my wife…please! Rodney Dangerfield and Don Rickles made a career out of complaining.

    The thing about complaints is that whatever it is we complain about is usually something that we do ourselves. We’re just irked that someone else is getting away with it.

    I’ll admit, the longer my hair gets, the more I find it lying about in places other than my head. But it’s blondish, so it’s not as obvious as those black clumps that would keep a wig maker in business for months. I’ve been known to sing in the shower, and have occasionally used a voice that’s in the range of a dog whistle. I’ve probably stared without realizing I was staring at a naked woman while she showers, and might have bent over without being mindful of the person sitting next to me. And yes, I’ve used someone else’s conditioner. But it was a pink bottle, and the stuff smelled like bubble gum, and it probably belonged to one of those six-year-old eardrum-splitters. Yeah, it was ME who used it.

    But I didn’t drain the bottle.

    And I’ve never filed my feet in public. That’s just wrong.

    And I’ve never tried to hide in somebody’s shoe.

    But that’s only because I wouldn’t fit.

  3. Because One Cortisone Shot Wasn’t Enough

    June 22, 2014 by Diane

    Nurse with syringe

    I went to the doctor to get a second cortisone shot. Why? Because the first shot wore off. Because I still have bursitis in my right hip. Because when I walk more than one block without a cane my hip gets stiff and feels inflamed and I get shooting pains down my leg. Because at night I flop around in bed trying to find a position that feels comfortable, and in the morning when the radio pops on with something swingin’ from Sinatra I open my eyes and feel like someone has poured cement into my joints.

    So I went to get a shot.

    In the exam room, I slipped into a pair of paper shorts that ballooned out like the Hindenburg. I paraded around in them, and then hoisted myself onto the exam table and waited for the doctor.

    Instead, I got the doctor’s assistant, a woman with huge brown eyes who is skinnier than me, which I thought was an impossibility. No healthy grown woman could be skinnier than me. But there she was: a thin, healthy woman with huge brown eyes that protruded from their sockets, thrusting out a hand to shake.

    An unwashed hand.

    Now. Before I continue this story, let me point out that there is a flyer posted on the wall that specifically states: we will wash our hands after entering the room, and if you don’t see us doing so, let us know. I saw no hand-washing after her entrance. I sat there, debating on whether to let someone know, decided against it, and shook her hand. But with the least amount of effort, as if to say…well, all right, but don’t expect me to like it.

    Then she squirted antibacterial gel in her palms and rubbed them together.

    Wait a minute.

    Wasn’t she supposed to do that before she shook my hand?

    And did she offer any gel to me?


    I considered asking for a squirt, and let it go.

    We made small talk about the possible ramifications of cortisone shots, and then I stretched out on the exam table and rolled onto my left side. She pressed her fingers onto my right hip bone and asked if it hurt. Nothing. She pressed her fingers above the hip bone and to the side of the hip bone and underneath the hip bone and in ever widening circles, and NOTHING. She suggested that I get up and walk around to see if I could feel the pain, and when that didn’t work she had me lie down again, and prodded all around the bone again, and then she tossed out the idea that since I wasn’t leaping in pain I might want to hold off on getting another cortisone shot.

    I agreed.

    We shook on it.

    Then I drove home.

    I figured the exercises that the orthopedic specialist had given me must be working. I figured as long as I continued icing it–maybe two or three times a day instead of just once–everything would be hunky dory.

    Okay, I chickened out. I caved! I mean, who wants to get jabbed with a giant needle? Not that I actually saw the needle, but in my mind it was huge.

    Two nights later, I didn’t care if it was the friggin’ Space Needle. I wanted that cortisone shot and I wanted it pronto.

    And this time I’d be ready.

    I marked the spot on my hip with a black ballpoint pen.