Monthly Archives: October 2007

Internet Community, or Just a New Way to Play With Yourself?

What does it mean when the people you interact with most on Facebook are the people you live with?

I like that I am connected to people in my past. And by past, I mean just the last couple of years. We recently moved across the continent, and all those folks I got to know are now my “friends” on Facebook and Myspace. Whereas in my distant past those kinds of contacts would just have been lost, because no one calls or writes real letters, now I can say hey once in a while. Cute.

Gives me a way to minimize the trauma of moving to a new place, a town we aren’t going to stay in long term so there’s no point in trying to make new friends. But other than soothing my lonely ego, why bother?

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Halloween: Not Just For Kids

I’ve always loved Halloween – a pleasure that was condoned until I was 13. Now, at the ripe old age of 30-something, some people want to know, why do you still get into it? Well, I’m not alone. Sixty-three percent of Americans celebrate Halloween, with 30% of the adults joining the kids in costume, according to the National Retail Foundation’s Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. Americans spend more than $4 billion a year on candy, costumes, cards and decorations for Halloween, and the holiday’s popularity has been spreading internationally. Halloween became popular in Britain after “E.T.” arrived in theaters and demonstrated the unbeatable fun of trick-or-treating. Germans see fit to blow more than $100 million a year on the holiday. And in Romania, home of the Dracula myth, revelers brave the haunted night to attend parties with vampire themes.

But the question remains in some people’s minds: why would adults enjoy participating in Halloween?

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Hot Dogs

Why do we call them “hot dogs” and expect kids to eat them?

One of the first words my daughter learned was “hot,” which of course was associated with “No!”, “Don’t touch!”, and “Run for your life!” So when a plate of food was set in front of her and Mama said, “Blah blah blah HOT blah!” she would certainly have nothing to do with it.

Then she learned what “dog” meant, with its close ties to “kitty,” “bunny” and “dolly,” so as expected she looked at me with horror when I suggested that she eat one.

Two strikes, in this case, and you’re out.

I’ve started to call them “weiners,” a la Oscar Meyer.

We shouldn’t run into any trouble there for a while.

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The Last Paper Towel

She never envisioned herself living so intimately with poverty, at certain times of the year having its skeleton hand squeeze hers so hard she couldn’t be sure she wouldn’t break.

Never thought she’d be this hard broke, this far below the line. Never in her college classroom did she plan for her career to be Scrounger of Coins in the moldy nooks between the carpet and the wall. Never, while the wedding ring was being slipped over her finger, did she think of when they’d need to hock it, didn’t calculate how many eggs it’d buy.

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The Buck

Good morning boys and girls!

As part of our continuing series investigating wildlife at the Greasy Spoon, today Professor e is going to teach us about an elusive creature known as The Buck. All too often The Buck lives a solitary life, found on a dirty table once occupied by stingy, over-demanding diners who leave the helpless Buck to face the Wrath of the Waitstaff alone.

Sometimes found in groups of four or more, these herds are commonly referred to as A Decent Tip.

The Buck is distantly related to the Fiver, a rare breed known to cause many waitstaff to break out in a satisfied smile.

An even more remote relation, commonly called the Ten Spot, is presently on the Endangered Species list. An enounter with the Ten-Spot causes a chronic condition known as Guaranteed Good Service.

While the Buck is generally regarded as harmless to humans, as well as being near useless, it has been known to be occasionally booby-trapped with a sticky glob of Somethingorother on its back, so Table Bussers are encouraged to handle them with caution.

Also, Professor e strongly advises that Waitstaff resist the temptation to hurl a pot of hot coffee after the chintzy customer who escaped with the rest of the lonely Buck’s herd.

She reminds you that there will be ample opportunity to inflict revengefully poor service should the offending party ever return to the scene of the tragedy.

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Before being seated…

[This is a piece I wrote a few years ago when I was waiting tables and needed to let off some steam…]

Customer Service Contract
In the true American spirit of litigation and red tape, we have developed the following service agreement to serve you better!
Please take a moment to sign this and return it to the hostess.

I, the undersigned, do solemnly swear to adhere by the following rules and regulations:

Item #1 — I agree that I am not the only person in the universe. I agree that there are other customers in this restaurant who want attention as much as I do.
(ATTENTION: If you regularly tip more than 20%, you may disregard the previous condition and consider yourself the only person in the universe.)

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Giving Birth

This blog is addressed to any parent who is interested in natural childbirth.From what surfing I’ve done, it seems a popular topic is blogging about pregnancy and writing up birth stories. This is great.

I do become concerned when I see a perpetuation of the normalization of traumatic birth. If all you knew of birth came from movies and tv, you would “know” that every woman screams in agony, curses horrible things at her partner, and is at the mercy of the medical staff. If you add to this the testimony of people who are voluntarily steeped in modern medicine exclusively, you will end up with the conviction that childbirth has to be the most painful thing ever, that epidurals are necessary, and that whatever can go wrong probably will.

I want to put my testimony out there as respresenting a large community of women who have given birth naturally and lived to tell about it joyfully. It can be done, and you do not have to be superhuman to do it. You can be a big wimp like me and it is still possible. Continue reading

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