Thursday, December 31, 2009

We're Saying Shine To 2009.

You Might Be Ready For A New Year...
(With Much Respect to Jeff Foxworthy)

If your left eye has been twitching since late March... might be ready for a new year.

If your definition of "comfort food" has expanded
to include anything that doesn't bite you back... might be ready for a new year.

If the most recent comment you heard
at the
grocery store was "Nice bathrobe,"... might be ready for a new year.

If your typical Saturday night has become
"Who's The Boss?" reruns and a good cry... might be ready for a new year.

If you were recently ejected from

your place of worship for heckling... might be ready for a new year.

If putting on your "brave face"
does nothing but spook your dogs... might be ready for a new year.

If you've take to watching "The Shining"

because it helps you relax... might be ready for a new year.

Here's to a new year that nurtures,
protects and inspires us all.

Cheers, Everyone!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Your Holiday Newsletter: I Have A Few Notes

Let's Start With That Font

Don't get me wrong - I'm all about whimsy. Just ask my dog who's sitting next to me right now in his favorite velvet waistcoat and bow tie.

I get it.

I'm afraid I must draw the line, however, at an entire legal-sized newsletter written in a font designed to look like miniature bell pepper shards sizzling in a fajita pan.

As for the 8-point type size you've chosen, I'm of two minds: while it renders your text almost illegible to average citizens, it no doubt adds an unexpected level of difficulty that would be welcomed by any CIA code breakers on your mailing list.

Color Me Passed Out

I have to give you credit - yours is the only newsletter I received printed on pale yellow paper. Way to stand out!

It was also the only one printed in cream-colored ink.

If you'll excuse me for a moment, I'm going to go pour myself a good, stiff egg nog and wait for my eyeballs to stop vibrating. In the meantime, please tell me you didn't send this to your aunt with the seizure disorder.

The Art Of Lying

Can we let our hair down for a moment? We all know holiday newsletters are a big steaming pantload subtle instruments of spin. Let's face it - the real holiday miracle here is that you managed to snap a photo during the millisecond your oldest wasn't trying to pierce your youngest's eardrum with a Slurpee straw.

But come on. How much do you really expect us to go along with here? The unwritten social contract holds that we all smile and nod while we read about each others' overstated kitchen remodels, whitewashed vacations and soft-focus family milestones.

If we upset this delicate balance by asking readers to suspend their disbelief beyond the human breaking point (Your son's moving into his own place soon? Really? The same son who threw up on the store manager during his interview at Blockbuster?), the whole system breaks down.

Do we want to live in a world where people are completely honest in their holiday newsletters? I sure don't...with one important exception:

More Medical Details, Please!

Industrial accident? Tell us all about it.

Raging psoriasis? Bleeding ulcer? Missing fingernail? Let's discuss.

You blew valuable photo space on your niece's christening when you could have given us a close-up of Bernard's mysterious toe lump? Dude.

How long has it been throbbing/itching/oozing/engorged? Do you have the sweats...or the chills? Dry mouth? Swollen ankles? Weepy ducts? Rashy kneecaps?

Better yet, why not attach the patient's chart so we can take a peek under the hood for ourselves?

Photo Sensitive

It's hard to go wrong when it comes to holiday newsletter photos.

I take that back.

There are many ways to go wrong, including:
  • Flagrant disregard of the 4-to-1 head-to-hair bow ratio.
  • 3-D/interactive sweaters.
  • Scene-stealing plaid furniture.
  • Anyone over the age of 8 in a swimsuit.
  • Pets in hats. (Wait, scratch that. I love those shots.)
  • "Where's Waldo?" group photos with microscopic faces.
  • Photos that bear evidence of imminent zombie attack, including individuals with slack jaws, bright red eyes, pasty complexion, disturbing clothing and/or awkward, aggressive demeanor.
I'm not suggesting you committed any of these violations in your newsletter. I'm just, um, including them for general purposes.

Yeah...that's it. General purposes.

Yule Be Receiving My Newsletter Any Day Now

And when you do, please note that my minuscule font, sketchy and inappropriate photos and outright lies alluding to an upcoming Vanity Fair cover are ironic, okay? Intentional. A totally different situation. (You have to admit, though, those little animal photos are darn cute, yes?)

Oh, and about that photo of Uncle Claude...we had him checked and he is not a zombie.

He just really likes those pants.

I'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you for visiting and reading my posts throughout the year. You all make my day again and again and I'm truly honored that you take time from your busy lives to read my work. I can't describe how special you make me feel - it's just priceless. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Gift of Fear

I'm Sorry, But This:

Scares The Crap Out Of Me.

Upon opening this gift, several thoughts would go through my mind:
  • The North Pole syndicate has whacked Mrs. Claus and I may be next.
  • I'm going to have to chase this thing down and kill it to get a cookie.
  • Oh, great. Now Tim Burton will be expecting a gift from me.
Call me old-fashioned, but I like my inanimate objects to be non-ambulatory. I'm just not comfortable in a world where the piano sits on skis or the microwave looks poised to make a break for it the minute I turn my back.

Are we a restless people? Do we yearn for the thrill of the open road, escaping the everyday humdrum of it all to feel the wind ruffling our bangs as we race toward an endless, seductive horizon?


All I'm saying is: Why transfer that wanderlust onto our tabletop accessories?

I mean, why turn a perfectly good cake stand into a flight risk when we could instead add arms to things and perhaps score the occasional shoulder rub?

Of course, I guess even a good idea can go horribly wrong:

Oh, great. Here come the nightmares again.