Selfie Tips for the Accident Prone

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It seems that selfies are on the defensive these days. Selfie sticks have been banned at Disney World parks, major museums, Lollapalooza, the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona (wouldn’t it be embarrassing to be gored by a selfie stick instead of a bull?) and many world landmarks. Now the Russian Interior Ministry has published a Safe Selfies guide after hundreds have been injured and dozens killed while attempting to get the perfect pic.

In one recent incident a woman shot herself in the head while posing with a gun. (Can you pat your head and rub your tummy? If not, don’t try this! Which hand is for the camera and which for the trigger again?) In June a young man was injured when he brought down a statue of Vladimir Lenin while capturing a special moment. Viva la Revolution! (Or Russian words to that effect. Who knew the solution was so simple?)

In addition to the Kremlin’s campaign, a group named For Security wants the Education and Science Ministry to add a Safe Selfie curriculum to Russian schools. Lessons would be taught by police, psychologists, and professional photographers. Other real victims’ stories suggest they should get some medical professionals (“If you blow your hand off with a grenade, use this tourniquet.”) and wild animal specialists (“When posing with a snake, ensure it’s not poisonous—beforehand.”) involved as well.

Of course, America has its own safety-challenged photographers. Perhaps we should also rethink our classrooms and introduce STEM: Selfie Techniques to Eliminate Mishaps. We do not want to fall behind our comrades in these important skills.

But how about our littlest photographers? How will we keep them safe? Maybe this reworking of a beloved classic, with the aid of the Russian guide, will help. (Thanks and apologies to Dr. Seuss.)

A Selfie Ham

WitLoveKath - Selfies - I am Sam

 

I am Sam.

A selfie ham.

 

 

 

 

 

WitLoveKath - Selfies - reading II

 

That Sam-I-am!

That Sam-I-am!

I just don’t get

That Sam-I-am!

I’d never be a selfie ham.

 

 

Can I take one

WitLoveKath - Selfies - Washington Monument

 

here?

 

 

 

 

WitLoveKath - Selfies - snake

 

 

Or there?

 

 

 

 

 

WitLoveKath - Selfies - Dr. Seuss holding hand up

 

You should not take one

Here or there.

You should not take one anywhere.

You should not be a selfie ham.

You should not be one Sam-I-am.

 

 

WitLoveKath - Selfies - on a house

 

Can I take one on a house?

Can I take one with a mouse?

 

 

 

WitLoveKath - Selfies - houseWitLoveKath - Selfies - animals

 

Not on a house.

Not with a mouse.

Do not take one here or there

Do not take one anywhere.

Do not be a selfie ham

Do not be one, Sam-I-am.

 

 

Can I? Should I?

With a gun?

I will! I’ll take it!

I’ll have fun!

Hey! You may like it.

Show some flair!

Let us take one on the stairs!

WitLoveKath - Selfies - stairs

 

We should not, cannot on the stairs!

WitLoveKath - Selfies - gun

 

Or with a gun! Don’t take dares!

You should not be a selfie ham.

You should not be one, Sam-I-am.

WitLoveKath - Selfies - train DS

 

 

A train! A train! A train! A train!

Can I, should I on a train?

WitLoveKath - Selfies - on a train

 

 

 

Not on a train! Not on the stairs!

Not with a gun! Sam, no one cares!

 

Say! On a tower? A power tower?

Can I, should I on a tower?

Should I, can I on a cliff?

WitLoveKath - Selfies - cliff Russian

 

You should not, cannot on a cliff

WitLoveKath - Selfies - electical tower

 

 

 

Not on a tower. Not on a train.

Not on the stairs. Not with a gun.

You should not take them, Sam. Not one!

WitLoveKath - Selfies - goat

 

 

Can I, can I with a goat?

 

 

WitLoveKath - Selfies - boat Dr. Seuss

 

Should I, could I on a boat?

 

 

 

 

 

WitLoveKath - Selfies - boatYou should not, could not on a boat.

You should not be a selfie ham.

You should not be one Sam-I-am.

 

You do not like them so you say.

Take one! Take one! And you may.

Take one and you may, I say.

WitLoveKath - Selfies - let me be

 

 

Sam! If you will let me be, I will take one. You will see.

 

 

 

 

WitLoveKath - Selfies - I like itSay!

I like to be a selfie ham!

I do! I like it, Sam-I-am!

But I will take one in a floatie

And I will take one with a goatee.

I will take one in my bed.

And one that will not leave me dead.

I will take one in a train

And clear Amtrak of any blame.

I will hold de-clawed kittens,

But only if I’m wearing mittens.

And I will pose in bubble wrap,

But leave an eye and breathing flap.

I will take them here and there.

But never once just anywhere.

I so like being a selfie ham!

With proper precautions,

Sam-I-am.

*All images of Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss courtesy of seuss.wikia.com

**All images of Russian Safe Selfie Guide courtesy of Ministry of Internal Affairs RF

Just Checking Out

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I love standing in the checkout lane at Stop & Shop for so many reasons. Here’s this week’s:

WitLoveKath - Just Checking Out I

As if you have a choice. As if you can open your closet and say, “Well, hmmm…What’s it going to be today? The stylish butt I got on sale last week?—oh, but I don’t have shoes to go with that one. My jeans butt?—I don’t know…I always choose that one. Oh My Gosh! I can’t believe this butt is still in here!—I wonder if it still fits!? I really just feel like my baggy butt today. Oh shoot, I have that meeting this morning. I guess it better be my best butt.”

The Examined Life

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Socrates famously stated that the unexamined life is not worth living for a human. Dogs, koala bears, snails, and other such creatures get a free pass, which explains a lot about why they always seem so happy—or at least nonchalant: Do I want to roll around in this mud puddle? Yes! Should I? Yes! Will I? Yes!

I was reminded of the great philosopher’s wise words recently when I delved into a yellowed Banana Republic bag full of my past that my mother has kept in her attic all this time. There, nestled within two bulging manila folders, was 16 years worth of scrutiny—all of my report cards going back to preschool; the results of IQ tests and Achievement Tests taken every two years throughout elementary school; my SAT scores; dance class evaluations, girl scout records, and—most horrific of all—every class picture from age 4 to 18. Yes, all the discomfort one could want (to escape) in one tidy package.

As I thumbed through all the numbers, letters, pictures, and brief comments that summed up my youth without actually adding up to it, I realized that reviewing  this kind of material takes a certain dogness or koala bearness of mind:

Do I want to be able to look at the picture of myself in that dress with the 1600s Pilgrim collar without cringing? Yes! Can I? No! Did you want the popular pixie hair cut in 7th grade? Yes! Should you have gotten it? No! Can you look at that school picture without wanting to run for the matches? No!

Well, I guess it takes some work to achieve true dogness. I’m determined to reach that plateau, though, so as part of my ongoing journey, I’ve decided to let go and let You:

My Pre-kindergarten class picture

This is where it all began. What emotions are in my face? ( ). Are those Rorschach tests behind us? Or early prototypes for the Orphan Black logo?

This is where it all began.

On the bulletin board behind us are these paint blots. Are they Rorschach tests? Or early prototypes for the Orphan Black logo?

On the bulletin board behind the class are these paint blots. Are they Rorschach tests? Or early prototypes for the Orphan Black logo?

My Kindergarten report card

WitLoveKath - Examined Life - kindergarten report card jen's version II

WitLoveKath - Examined Life - kindergarten report card jen's version I

Here are all the skills that were to set me on the right road in life. Did I learn them? My report is a bit contradictory. Under comments I “measure up in every way.” But the report of my readiness test states that I am “Apparently very well equipped for first grade work.” “Apparently?” All I can say is that I still paste neatly and I try.

Here are all the skills that were to set me on the right road in life. Did I learn them? My report is a bit contradictory. Under comments I “measure up in every way.” But the report of my readiness test states that I am “Apparently very well equipped for first grade work.” “Apparently?” All I can say is that I still paste neatly and I try.

Stop the Presses! The Hollywood Sun-Tattler, page 8

My one shot at fame and they spelled my name wrong. And if I didn’t know that Photoshop was a few years off, I’d say my head was simply placed on some other girl’s body.

My one shot at fame and they spelled my name wrong. If I didn’t know the technology was a few years off, I’d say my head was Photoshopped onto some other girl’s body. The picture’s caption offers its own interpretation of our faces, but I think my expression forecast a hope that I was waiting to get a neck.

My 5th Grade school picture

A perm was the answer for a little girl with stick-straight hair. And what’s up (unfortunately way up) with my bangs?

A perm was the answer for a little girl with stick-straight hair. And what’s up (unfortunately way up) with my bangs?

I’d rather sit it out, thanks

Damned with faint praise. I was not a natural tapper—couldn’t snap my head on a spin to save my life—and this progress report from Ron Daniel’s Academy of Dance seems to politely bear that out. I may have improved 100% week to week, but, really, 100% of awkward is still awkward. I was also struck by the use of the universal male pronoun in the letter to the parents. As far as I remember, there were never any boys in our classes.

I was not a natural tapper—couldn’t snap my head on a spin to save my life—and this progress report from Ron Daniel’s Academy of Dance seems to politely bear that out. I may have improved 100% week to week, but, really, 100% of awkward is still awkward.
I was also struck by the use of the universal male pronoun in the letter to the parents. As far as I remember, there were never any boys in our classes.

?????

I never, ever remember being on any sports team. I was a strong server in volleyball at recess. Was I on some team? And despite my height, I was good at nabbing passed basketballs out of the air. Could I have been on a basketball team? Or was this award for excellence in holding a ball once, or for superior watching of a game? The world will never know.

I never, ever remember being on any sports team. At recess I was a strong volleyball server and, despite my height, was good at nabbing basketballs out of the air. Could I have been on some team? The world will never know.

Now here’s a sport I was good at—but a roller skating proficiency award? Now that I think back, I do vaguely remember demonstrating my skills in a darkened rink with reality-distorting lighting and mind-bending music (Delta Dawn – Helen Reddy and Bad Bad Leroy Brown – Jim Croce just to name two.)  Examiner: “skate forward…Now, skate backward. You’re proficient!”

Now here’s a sport I was good at—but a roller skating proficiency award? Now that I think back, I do vaguely remember demonstrating my skills in a darkened rink with reality-distorting lighting and mind-bending music (Delta Dawn – Helen Reddy and Bad Bad Leroy Brown – Jim Croce to name just two.)
Examiner: “Skate forward…Now, skate backward. You’re proficient!”

One of my High School Report Cards

Isn’t all math anal? Oh, wait…that was Analytical Geometry! While I’ve never used the math I learned in that class, I do remember Mr. Gulla making it fun by dancing around and singing, “Sine sine cosine sine” and “Cosine cosine sine sine.” He also answered complainers with a pithy, “Do you see me wearing a “life is fair” button?” Now, those lessons I have often used. This report card also includes my beloved Modern European History class with Mr. Wilson for which I won the annual award. Now, that was an award I worked for and remember.

Isn’t all math anal? Oh, wait…that was Analytical Geometry! While I’ve never used the math I learned in that class, I do remember Mr. Gulla making it fun by dancing around and singing, “Sine sine cosine sine” and “Cosine cosine sine sine.” He also answered complainers with a pithy, “Am I wearing a ‘life is fair’ button?” Now, those lessons I have often used. This report card also includes my beloved Modern European History class with Mr. Wilson for which I won the annual award. Now, that was an award I worked for and remember.

The Numbers Game

A smattering of numbers comparing me to other kids. Who were these “other kids,” what were they really like, and do dogs and snails have to go through this?

A smattering of numbers comparing me to other kids. Who were these “other kids,” what were they really like, and do dogs and snails have to go through this?

A Breakthrough

After much laughter therapy, blasé meditation, and a kibble diet, I have reached a certain level of puppyness and am able to release this picture of me in the Pilgrim collar:

After much Laughter Therapy, Blasé Meditation, and a kibble diet, I have reached a certain level of puppyness and am able to release this picture of me in the Pilgrim collar.

But the pixie haircut? I’m afraid I’m still too human to post that.

Tick Magnet

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What can I say? Ticks dig me. It’s been this way as long as I can remember. I suppose my story is a bit cliché, but I’ll let you be the judge.

I was discovered at the age of three in a little town called Hollywood. Yes, that Hollywood! Is there any other? California, you say? Huh! But I digress. I was in the yard, romping around the coconut palms and through the croton bushes when I was approached by an agent looking for new blood. I was sucked in by the idea that I had something special, something that set me apart from other people, something—dare I say it?—in the very life source that flowed through my veins.

Before I knew it, the bug had gotten under my skin. I was the host of the town— living large, the meals and drinks always on me. Soon, not only ticks but everyone wanted me. Sure, it was attractive at first; I felt needed, as if I truly had something to offer. Admirers swarmed around me everywhere I went. A buzz of excitement erupted whenever I stepped outside.

But over the years I discovered I couldn’t satisfy everyone. I took to staying indoors, covered up when I went out. Then the whining started. I couldn’t escape its insistent droning in my ears, reminding me always, always that I had to perform, had to give my followers what they wanted—the little parasites. I tried shooing them away, but it didn’t work. They only flew at me with greater force, poking and prodding. And then they started on my children. We couldn’t go to the playground, walk to school or plant a garden like other families. The pests were relentless; they were eating us alive. I even employed a SWAT team, but our protection was only hit-and-miss.

I was drained and had the scars to show it. I decided to quit. I dropped out of sight, and the clingers-on forgot about me. At least, I thought they did. Recently, I felt that old, familiar itch. I returned to my roots, plowing the fertile soil of my comeback and planting seeds I hope will flower and bear fruit. As I’ve toiled I’ve reflected on those long-ago days. Had they really been that bad? Hadn’t the wounds healed?

The answer has come swiftly. I’ve been back in the Lyme light for only a week and already the ticks are in my hair, clutching at my arms and legs, sucking up to me. In the intervening years, though, I’ve learned a few things, and this time I’m DEETermined to dump these ticks before they burrow too deep.

 

It’s for the Birds

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I never thought I’d be one of those people. You know, the ones who leave their outdoor Christmas decorations up all year round so that when you drive by you wonder with a shudder what it looks like on the inside: Are there elves on all the shelves? Is an avalanche of Saint Nicks standing in perpetual jollity around every corner? Do tinderbox trees bowed with dusty ornaments dominate each room?

But this year, I am chagrined to say, I have joined their ranks. My Christmas wreath still hangs on my front door, and festive candy canes, packages, and snowmen continue to cling to the sliding-glass back door. This deplorable state of affairs is not entirely my fault, but the result of several unforeseen circumstances colliding with a couple of Connecticut quirks.

WitLoveKath - It's for the Birds - wreath better

First, Connecticut has an unofficially official wreath removal date of Valentine’s Day, when Cupid shoots arrows not of love but of intense cabin fever, which turns our thoughts toward spring with every tiny thaw. But this year the thaws never came. The chill of February turned into the frost of March, which became the pall of April. Heck, the trees never even sprouted leaves until the third week of May!

Second, no one in Connecticut uses their front door for anything but welcoming trick-or-treaters and—from late November to December 24—as a package drop. Even this last use is fading into oblivion as delivery people no longer have time for the long sprint from the driveway to the front door. Now, they carefully lean the package up against the garage door, where you are sure to…run over it when you back out of the garage. Seems a bit passive aggressive, no?

Since I’ve been preoccupied with other things lately, February then March then April came and went without my ever giving the front door a second thought. In fact, it was only a week or two ago that I walked through the foyer and saw a shadow darkening the frosted windows of our door. With a start of embarrassment, I realized this foreboding shape was not a salesman, a tract-carrying religious caller, a political canvasser, or even a cookie-selling girl scout, but my own bedraggled wreath.

Quickly, I swung the door opened and lifted my hand to unhook it. When I did, though, I brushed aside the still vibrant red bow and discovered:

I give this mom props for finding a clever hiding place for her nest.

I give this mom props for finding a clever hiding place for her nest.

So the wreath stays—even though it’s so brittle it might spontaneously burst into flame and its piney aroma is as concentrated as a room air freshener—until these little guys are out of the nest and on their own.

What about the clings on the back door?

WitLoveKath - It's for the Birds - christmas tree cling III

WitLoveKath - It's for the Birds - snowman and candy canes cling

If the door does not sport these Jello-like decorations, the starlings, preening and swooping through the air, knock themselves silly flying into what they perceive to be a safe haven or receptive friends—not unlike Kanye West imploding at the Grammy/Billboard Music/MTV Video Music/American Music Awards….This year, though, I missed buying the spring clings, so the holiday ones stay in place until the summer ones appear in the stores.

Maybe I have been neglectful this year, but to all those who judge, I say, “Bah Humbug!”

It’s a trip going to the ER

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Yesterday I woke up to the phone ringing. It was my mother telling me she’d hurt her back opening a window.  The shocking thing about this was not so much the injury as the fact that she felt so hot she wanted the window open. Usually she wears a sweater and a thermal undershirt in 90 degree weather. Perhaps it’s a testament to our frigid winter that 70 degrees now seems sweltering to her.

Our local emergency room looks like a fine hotel. "Which way to the pool?"

Our local emergency room looks like a fine hotel. “Which way to the pool?”

So I met my mom at the ER, which really should be short for Eerie Reality. Anyone who’s spent time in an ER knows what I mean. Over the years, I’ve traveled to this alternate realm several times, so the environment is not as formidable as it once was. Experience and training have prepared me for these vagaries of the ER:

1. The Time Warp

Whooshing through the doors of the ER is like entering a portal to wonky time. First comes the period of painful (pun intended) slow motion, which begins the moment you enter the registration line. It doesn’t matter if you have a Monty Pythonesque flesh wound (like the poor older man I stepped aside for yesterday) or about to deliver a baby (who turns out to be a girl and is named Jenny) right in the waiting room, the staff pecks unhurriedly at the computer as if they’ve never seen a keyboard before.

If you’re not “in their system,” they usher you into a secluded office for the Insurance Assurance Process, during which the hospital assures itself you have insurance. Here a hushed negotiation takes place—similar to buying a new Mercedes or diamonds at Tiffany’s, either of which would be much, much less expensive.

I’ll spare you the agonizing layover in the waiting room, where the monotonous drone of the ceiling TV destroys whatever sense of passing time you have left, and the Pandora’s Box of actually getting a “room” (Hope, really is the worst evil) and meander along to when time mysteriously accelerates: Discharge. As soon as the discharge papers are signed, the bed rails collapse, the wheelchair appears out of nowhere, and you’re whisked out to your car. My mom never even changed out of the hospital gown.

2. The Neighboring Patients

Our healthcare treatments are evolving in amazing ways. Not only are doctors using immunotherapy, in which your own body’s natural defenses heal you, they are employing psychotherapy in new and inventive ways.  The placebo effect is well known, but have you heard of the neighboring patient effect? Those flimsy curtain dividers between ER “rooms” are no mistake.

This may look like a normal room, but it is actually the cutting edge of treatment.

This may look like a normal room, but it is actually at the cutting edge of treatment. Image courtesy of Kona Community Hospital.

To aid the healing process (or at least the discharge rate), patients with diseases or conditions much worse than yours are placed on either side of your cubicle. Then the nurses conduct long interviews you can’t help but overhear. The psychology of comparison goes to work, and you soon begin to feel a lot better, even wondering why you came into the hospital in the first place. I mean, what would you rather suffer from: a bad back or a disastrous gastric bypass operation that has resulted in a recurring fungal infection, tinnitus, memory loss, the inability to eat, and chronic pain? I rest my case.

3. The Doctor’s Bedside Manner

If you have not voluntarily fled the ER after a few hours, a doctor—or so says the stitching on the polo shirt, which has apparently replaced hospital scrubs and would double as golf attire (and my teachers always told me to avoid stereotypes…)—sidles up to your bed. You may be flat out, your eyes squinted shut, your face pinched with pain, but the doctor says in a jaunty voice, “So, how are you feeling?”

My mother was a nurse-anesthetist back when it was unusual for women to hold such positions and she knows the score, yet she always plays along. I could almost see her eyes rolling under her closed lids before she answered craftily, “Well…” and began to tell the story of her injury almost from the day she was born until she tried to open the window that morning. Booyah! The Time Warp back atchya!

The doctor went away, eyes glazed over. I’m thinking he took advantage of Psychotherapy himself and talked to the doctor treating my mother’s neighbor, because when he came back he looked as if he was feeling better and was again sporting the jaunty smile.  He diagnosed a compression fracture of two vertebra and prescribed pain medication and a hospital bed for her room at home. Then with the speed of the TARDIS zipping from one dimension to another, he was gone and we were on the road home.

In the blink of an eye, you're leaving Eerie Reality and heading home.

In the blink of an eye, you’re leaving Eerie Reality and heading home. Image courtesy of the BBC.

All in all the trip to Eerie Reality was everything one could expect. My mom even has the hospital gown as a souvenir!

When enough is not enough – BWapp it!

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I don’t usually rush to use new technology or jump on a fad, but this Brian Williamization app—iBWapp—has me pretty excited. To get noticed today, enough is just not enough. You need flash!, glitz!, glamour! iBWapp gives it to you!  Simply type in or record one of your old, boring anecdotes, and BWapp!—you’re provided with an elaborate yarn that will have friends and acquaintances hanging on your every word.

iBWapp makes you as incredible a storyteller as Brian Williams. Image courtesy David Shankbone

iBWapp makes you as incredible a storyteller as Brian Williams.
Image courtesy of David Shankbone

Need to schmooze with upper management to secure a higher position or salary but only have an old chestnut from days gone by? Don’t sweat it—Bwapp it! Your nice, normal kid’s college application not sensational enough? Don’t worry—Bwapp it! Have an amusing story, but know it will never go viral? You know what to do—that’s right! Bwapp it!

Still unsure of the power of iBwapp? Take a look at these authentically remastered accounts, and you’ll be racing to the app store with your $1.29 in hand…well, on your credit card.

1. The Birth of a Child

Good Story:

My second child’s due date was upon me. It had been a restless, emotional day and at 9:30 p.m. as the snow and tears came down in equal measure, I resigned myself that today was not that day. But suddenly, it was. At the hospital, the baby wanted nothing to do with insurance forms, and by the time I was being wheeled to a room, she was on her way. The doctor made it just in the nick of time, and Jenny was born a few minutes later at 11:55 p.m.  Just 5 minutes more and she would have her own birthday date instead of sharing one with her mom. At some point during the proceedings, I must have hit the ON button of the TV remote because, suddenly, the room was filled with laughter and John Lithgow appeared on the screen talking to Jay Leno. It was a bit surreal, but what isn’t about childbirth?

iBWapped:

My second child’s due date was upon me. It had been a restless, emotional day and at 9:30 p.m. as the snow and tears came down in equal measure, I resigned myself that today was not that day. But suddenly, it was. We drove to the hospital in a blinding blizzard, stopping only when we were hit by a semi-tractor trailer and became part of a 45-car pile-up on I-95. With labor pains only 30 seconds apart, I jumped out of the car, and we hiked over the metallic mountain and on to the hospital. On Pequot Avenue I passed several bodies lying face down in a snow bank. I hadn’t seen bodies like that since my son and his friends made snow angels in the front yard the week before.

At the hospital, I was wheeled into the delivery room at 11:45—just in the nick of time. Imagine my delight when I discovered that John Lithgow was standing in for my regular GYN, and Jay Leno was standing by to tell jokes to help me breathe—Ha-Ha-Ha. Unfortunately, the baby was born at 11:55 p.m. Just 5 minutes more and I could have heard Jay’s big closer and Jenny would have her own birthday date instead of sharing one with her mom.

If I had to share this special day with two celebrities, these would not have been my choice, but John called it when he said, "You;re too far along for an epidural." Image of John Lithgow courtesy David Shankbone

If I had to share this special day with two celebrities, these would not have been my choice, but Dr. Lithgow did call it when he said, “You’re too far along for an epidural.”
Image of John Lithgow courtesy of David Shankbone

2. Childhood Injury

Good Story:

Once, when my sister was about 5 and I was 7, my mother took us to Burger King after our dance class. While she went inside to order, my sister and I stayed outside at the table. We were leaping from one cement bench to another when my sister slipped and hit her head on the edge of a bench.  I ran into the store to tell my mother. While my mother made a mad dash to our doctor about 30 minutes away, I had to hold a cloth to my sister’s bleeding head. Fear made me whiny and complainy, for which I received severe rebukes. Fortunately, my sister’s injury was not too bad, and the doctor fixed her up with several stitches.

WitLoveKath - Enough - Burger King Logo

Image courtesy Logopedia

iBWapped:

Once, when my sister was about 5 and I was 7, my mother took us to Burger King after our dance class. While she went inside to order, my sister and I stayed outside at the table. We were leaping from one cement bench to another when two robbers ran out of the store and knocked into my sister on their mad dash to their getaway car. My sister fell, hit her head on the edge of a bench, and became unconscious. Simultaneously while performing CPR and eating a cheeseburger, I threw my tap shoe at the fleeing felons and brought them both down in a heap right at the foot of a police officer. While my mother drove like a maniac toward home, I performed brain surgery in the back seat of the car with only Harper Valley PTA on the radio for anesthesia, saving my sister’s life. For these acts of heroism, I won the Nobel Prize for Medicine and was honored with a parade down Hollywood Boulevard. (Ok, so it was Hollywood (Florida) Boulevard. But that doesn’t have to come out until after the investigation.)

Who knew robbers were such a valued demographic? Image courtesy of supersizedmeals.com

Who knew robbers were such a valued demographic?
Image courtesy of supersizedmeals.com

3. European Vacation

Good Story:

In the summer of 2012 I traveled to London. I wasn’t there for the Olympics but we arrived a few days before the closing ceremonies. One afternoon in the lobby of the Marriott County Hall Hotel, I saw the United States Beach Volleyball champion Kerri Walsh. The next morning I rode the elevator with tennis player Andy Roddick, who, afraid, I suppose, that one of us would make a big deal of it, slouched in the corner with his hat over his eyes. And he was right, one of us was making a big deal of it—him.

iBWapped:

In the summer of 2012 I was part of the official American delegation to the Olympic Games in London, England and was a guest at the famed Marriott County Hall Hotel. There I bikini shopped with Misty May-Treanor (‘cause, really, who cares or ever hears about the other one?). Afterwards, I enjoyed a lovely afternoon at Buckingham Palace having tea and crumpets with Kate Middleton. While we played croquet she whispered the secret news the whole world had been waiting for (yes, this was 3 or 4 months before she found out herself, but it will take the fact-checkers awhile to catch up). The next morning I took a tennis lesson with Andy (if you’re expecting Roddick, you will be disappointed as this narrative is for winners only) Murray, who was soon to become the British Olympic champion. It was during this trip that I discovered my true voice and wrote my Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Great Fat Lie.

Misty May knows her way around a bathing suit shop; Kate...well, she's perfect; and Andy struggles to return one of my awesome serves. All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Misty May knows her way around a bathing suit shop; Kate…well, she’s perfect; Andy struggles to return one of my awesome serves.
All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

4. Domestic Vacation

Good Story:

The kids had just been in the pool at the JW Marriott in Washington DC during a family vacation, and I was coming back from the concierge lounge with a few snacks. As I stepped into the elevator, the only other occupant, a tall, good-looking guy, said “hello.” It was Stedman Graham. We exchanged pleasantries and exited the elevator on the same floor.

Image courtesy of stedmangraham.com

Image courtesy of stedmangraham.com

iBWapped:

In 2008 while visiting Washington DC, I rode the elevator of the JW Marriott with Oprah.

Sorry, Stedman. iBwapp chooses the upgrade, not me. Image courtesy Alan Light

Image courtesy Alan Light

Now that you’ve experienced the eye-popping, jaw-dropping excitement of iBwapp, get it for yourself. Your life will never be the same again.

 

Remember “Flower Power?” Me too. Groovy, man!

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We’ve all seen them—those sad, dejected puppy and kitty eyes gazing out at us from our TVs or computer screens begging us to care. Even the forlorn bunnies and ferrets can melt the iciest of hearts. Well…maybe not the ferrets. And when we hear of a shelter animal being adopted into a loving family after a hard knock life, we get a warm, fuzzy feeling and even think about adopting one ourselves.

In that same spirit, today I’d like you to consider another group of forgotten creatures—rescue plants. You’ve no doubt seen them at nurseries and other stores and thought, “Yikes!”: the droopy tomato plants left over after the initial rush of gardeners; the bruised and blighted roses; the trailing ivies with brown, curling leaves tangled like kite strings; the hard-bitten cactus with nothing left to lose that pricks you as you walk by. These poor souls deserve better than to be relegated to the compost pile. They need our help.

WitLoveKath - Rescue Plants - slogan bloom

A rose in any condition still smells as sweet?

A rose still smells as sweet?

That’s why I’ve made it my mission to embrace as many rescue plants as I can. I believe that given enough light, loam, and love, any plant, however scraggly, can be restored to its original majesty and bring delight to any home.

WitLoveKath - Rescue Plants - slogan room

I’ve found most of my rescues at Stop & Shop, waiting with hopeful expectation right inside the entrance. Since I hate to see any living creature caged up, I’ve been instinctively drawn to the sad spectacle of shriveled leaves clinging to the cruel bars of a shopping cart, and once I’ve become emotionally attached, how can I abandon them?

These roses deserve to live in the sun--not in a metal cage.

These roses deserve to live in the sun–not under fluorescent lights and behind bars.

I load them into the child seat of my cart, and they become my companions as I wait at the deli, pick up more macaroni and cheese (do people ever outgrow this delicacy?), hoof it to the far, far aisles for bread and milk, and trudge back to the front of the store for the garlic, cereal, honey, carrots…that I forgot the first time around (seriously, when did the grocery list become some kind of Mensa quiz?). By the time I finally exit the checkout lane and return to my car, these little guys have become my new best friends.

WitLoveKath - Rescue Plants - slogan wilt

I’m proud to introduce a few of my new family members:

These were a few of my first rescues. They brightened our kitchen for several months, and their once bedraggled leaves are now shiny and strong.

These were some of my first rescues. They brightened our kitchen for several months…

...now their once bedraggled leaves are shiny and strong.

…now their once bedraggled leaves are shiny and strong.

These orchids now sit on my desk basking in the glow of my lamp. They've acquired new leaves, and one has an ambitious little root that, curious, pokes its head over the rim of the pot. Every day it grows a little longer, a little braver.

These orchids had few leaves and dying blooms….

...Now they sit on my desk, basking in the glow of my lamp. They've acquired new leaves, and one has an ambitious little root that, curious, pokes its head over the rim of the pot. Every day it grows a little longer, a little braver.

…Now they accompany me at my desk, basking in the glow of my lamp. They’ve acquired new leaves, and one has an ambitious little root that, curious, pokes its head over the rim of the pot. Every day it grows a little longer, a little braver.

New buds on a rescue orchid prove that beauty sprouts when love is given.

New buds on a rescue orchid prove that beauty sprouts when love is given.

This is Buddy. When he was discovered at Stop & Shop last fall, he was pale and had raw patches...

This is Buddy. When I discovered him at Stop & Shop last fall, he was pale and had raw patches…

...but a tiny shoot appeared...

…but a tiny shoot appeared…

...and it grew....

…and it grew….

...and now look!

…and now look!

Buddy is one of the lucky ones. Won’t you join me to ensure no plant ever goes unloved again? Please open your heart and your window box, garden, desk, window sill, plant stand, or terrarium to a rescue plant. Remember:

WitLoveKath - Rescue Plants - slogan weeds

 

 

 

SkyMall, say it ain’t so!

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The Internet and news sources are abuzz today with the tragic story, and I, too, with a heavy heart mourn the passing of another beloved comedy icon. Only hours ago it was announced that SkyMall will cease touring. SkyMall first appeared in 1990, plying its trade aboard puddle jumpers, regional airlines, and commuter flights, testing and revising its material to the amusement of audiences from coast to coast.

In 1992 it hit the big time when, as luck would have it, Johnny Carson, enroute to the Emmy Awards in which he won a statuette for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series, glanced through a few pages of this upstart entertainer, bought a bottle of newly launched Thierry Mugler “Angel” perfume, and stuffed SkyMall in his briefcase. After this fortuitous meeting, Skymall appeared with Johnny frequently and was invited to the much desired chair, even if it was in the…well…you know.

I think even Johnny would have been delighted with this SkyMall offering. All images courtesy of SkyMall.com

I think even Johnny would have been delighted with this SkyMall offering.
All images courtesy of SkyMall.com

As Ellen DeGeneres, David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, and many other comedians discovered, Johnny’s stamp of approval meant overnight success; and so it was for SkyMall. In 1992 SkyMall increased its profits 100% and became a regular performer in nearly every jumbo jet flying the friendly skies. And if the skies were unfriendly, SkyMall no doubt had a solution – or could help you think of one yourself.

This brain massager is just the thing to stimulate deep thoughts

This brain massager is just the thing to stimulate deep thoughts

Readers of my blog may remember my tribute to SkyMall in my post “Getting There is All the Fun?” Over its 25-year career, SkyMall has allowed me to laugh away elbows bruised by jostled drink trolleys, fears of sudden turbulence, irritation at guys who reclined their seats into my lap, and countless hours of boredom when I discovered someone had already done the crossword puzzle in the airline magazine. But now its wit and weird wisdom is going the way of the free bag of peanuts, the free carry ons, the free meals, the free headsets, the free blankets…well, it’s going away. Without SkyMall the friendly skies will be…

...a little alien.

…a little alien.

And air travel will be the poorer for its absence.

Sometimes…

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Sometimes, in the egg carton of life you need a thick shell.

WitLoveKath - Egg Carton of Life IV