Category Archives: humor

GPS-free Driving, or “It’s a long way home.”

Real Blonde is on the road, having dropped her husband off for a flight.

“Hope flight was good. Before I left the airport, I had my first pee at the Atlantic Jet Center. All was well as I proudly found the route to 888 North. This is a woman who knows her way!!!!
Real Blonde with a purpose

Sitting there watching the scenery go by I miss the 280 exit…… OK… I keep on going and I see that in another 150 miles there is a turn-off for 85…. This is good because I know I’ll have to pee again. I do take 95 and I am waiting for the 280 turn-off, which I realize is there just as I pass it. I now really have to pee. I look for an exit sign that will ring some sort of a bell since nothing else in my head is ringing.

Finally, El Camino!!!! Yeah! I know that one. Take the turn-off, find a gas station. I am now in one of those towns with strange-looking people milling around. Bad bathroom but picky is one thing I’m not at this time. Not sure I’m on El Camino. Leave the gas station, street names still not ringing my bells.

I drive on, now I have to pee again…. I finally decide to ask where I am and there’s a store that looks nice. Turns out to be Whole Foods and I am in Los Altos and have driven for miles and miles already on El Camino!

I pee again and buy some Arnica for bruising. Not related to this car trip. I get to Stanford around 11. Tell Tina I am joining her 5-mile-radius group. Not venturing out anymore. Oh, I had to pee again at Stanford.

By the way, it’s freezing here but the sun is finally coming through. Say hello to all.

Love, Inky”


Matching Ears

This post comes from Inky, our Real Blonde! guest writer. So just ignore the NQB “signature” that appears under the date. It’s a programming thing. Rather than fight it, we’ve chosen to ignore it. We’ll let you know up-front when Real Blonde is writing.

Nobody prepared me for this. Certainly not my Nordic family. To start with, I am married to an American – Italian man, which means that nothing is held back and he needs to be heard.

We’ve reached the age where ears play a major role in our lives. We just came home from dinner with friends at a local restaurant. Here’s what happened.

Can you hear me?
I'm all ears, honey

We checked in with the 23 year-old hostess and informed her that we would like to be seated where the noise level was manageable because of bad ears. She had no clue about Old Man Ears.

“Matching ears ” is an essential part of restaurant life in our world. That, and the location of the air conditioner, which I will get into later.

The men tell us which ear is the good one and which one bad. The wife should sit next to the bad ear because she really doesn’t have anything new to say to the husband anyway. When we are all matched up, ears aligned to the right listeners, the wives sit down in assigned places. (With the ear issue organized, we turn our focus on whether there’s an air conditioner blowing on anybody’s eyeballs or giving anybody a stiff neck. These things don’t happen to anybody under 40.)

My husband’s right ear is bad, which makes it hard on me when he drives and I am saying something brilliant. Hearing “What?” three times (getting louder each time) takes away some of my spontaneous brilliance and after awhile I just ask myself “Do I really want to say this three times?” The answer is usually “No.” I give up.

Another common ear thing that happens is when you are three rooms away from your husband and you hear “Have you seen my keys?”

You answer, truthfully, “No. I have no idea where they are.”

Then you hear a cranky voice, “How do you expect me to hear you from three rooms away?!?!”

Of course, if you are five rooms away and whisper, “Do you want to have wild, uninhibited sex, anything goes?” The ear thing clears up in a second.

Five Easy Clues That You’re Growing Up, and Up

A somewhat scary thing happened to me recently. As I slid into the passenger seat of my friend’s car one evening, micro-tiny, super-bright, golden-colored lightning bolts suddenly started flashing at the edge of my field of vision. At first, I figured that her car was doing something slick and fancy.

“Do your car’s lights have a kind of strobe-y thing that they do at night?”

She assured me they didn’t. The flashing became persistent, about every ten seconds or so. Being a concerned friend, she suggested that I call the ophthalmologist right away. I caught him just as he was leaving his office.

“Come in at nine tomorrow morning,” he said. “If your vision gets bad, go straight to the emergency room.”

We promptly added martinis to our plans for the Continue reading Five Easy Clues That You’re Growing Up, and Up

“Cursing Mommy” Saves the Day

January 9, 2011

I first posted “Cursing Mommy” on December 17, 2010, promising to link you to Ian Frazier’s “Cursing Mommy” story as soon as it became available as a New Yorker archive. It remains unavailable for linking. I think The New Yorker is trying to drive business to their digital edition. So sad! This Post-Holiday Season needs a good antidote. “The Cursing Mommy’s Serenity Prayer” is just the thing.

Still working on connecting you with this stress-buster.

It rained like mad all day today, and we’re in for a weekend-full of water. Having spent 25 winters in Chicago, I am in no position to complain about “bad weather” in the Bay Area. Comparatively, though, a good snowstorm does have a special allure. It’s beautiful to watch and walk in. Falling snow makes everything quieter and slower. And snowflakes look so magical on whatever they touch. Unlike relentless rain, snow doesn’t soak your skin and hair, or drench through your clothes and shoes. Every year at about this time, as I chain-drink hot tea to offset the chilly dampness, I need an extra shot of humor to get through the long, dark, soggy day.

Rainy day at the Golden Gate

The latest issue of The New Yorker arrived a few hours ago. Thumbing through the pages, I found a new addition to Ian Frazier’s riotously funny “Cursing Mommy” series. I read it and laughed my head off. Brilliant humor brightened up an otherwise dismal, midwinter day. (Sorry friends. I cannot link you to the riot-fest; it’s protected for subscribers-only. I’ll check back in a few weeks and will connect you with the whole thing. In the meantime, buy, borrow or steal the December 20 & 27 issue.)

Cursing Mommy's Goal for Today

Mohair Sweaters: Fashion Statement, Medieval Hairshirt or Terrorist Plot?

Last month, I went to Amsterdam on an annual business trip. Mid-November in North Sea countries usually means cold rain or damp blustery days. It’s pretty chilly there, (even for a cold-hardened, former Midwesterner), setting up perfect conditions for sweater shopping.

This year, mohair seemed to be everywhere. Amsterdam was wrapped in the stuff.

“You’d have to be stoned (a reasonable possibility in Holland) or clueless to miss the message: if you’re on-trend, you’d better be in an earth-toned longish, bulky-knit mohair blend sweater.”

I endorse shopping while straight, having made a few serious purchase mistakes in the past when not-entirely-alert. It was easy to succumb to the pull of Euro-style. Sweater-y shops were on every street. Continue reading Mohair Sweaters: Fashion Statement, Medieval Hairshirt or Terrorist Plot?