Thursday, November 24, 2011

Re: Life is a fun-filled luge ride...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even though I'm in the "bosom of my family" as it were, I felt it was important to blog on with happiness, which often beats my usual blather.

I began the day with a phenomenal one and a half hour zumba class where folks brought in five cans of food and danced away for free.

The feel-good vibe was amazing, not to mention the caloric burn factor. Unfortunately, I've been handling my calorie burning similar to my cash burning -- I'm consuming the cash and calories before and having to play catch up afterwards.

But you know what? I'm having a doggoned blast!

Having just finished up birthday festivities that I managed to draft off of for two weeks I'm still in reflection mode. (Though I'm also in the party-hardy, the healthy way, mode as well.)

I'm surrounded by smart, funny, active, sassy people who do, do, do in a grand way. The petty, the inconsequential, the stagnant is a thing of the past.

Serendipity is not just a word, but a way of life. I'm just letting it all be without my helpful prodding. The universe actually seems to function quite well without my helpful hints and I find if I just allow the music of the Beatles to remind me, I'm able to synthesize usable philosophies that actually work.

Like "Let it Be."

And that's what I'm doing today...I'm just bein'. Cha-cha-cha.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

RE: (Humor) Thanksgiving is near which is also a fabulous place to keep our gratitude...

Gratitude Where Gratitude is the Near-sighted

I have now attained the age where my time is better spent plucking multiple bodily quadrants, developing my personality and making gratitude lists, than it is perfecting my “image” with the attendant hair styling, make-up applying, and accessorizing with purse dogs that would be needed.

Yes, as we slide into the retail double play that is Thanksgiving and Christmas — THANKS-GIVE-US — I feel it is only appropriate to initiate one of our family's child rearing requirements – the gratitude list.

(In fact, I still have a list my daughter drafted when she was about 6 years old and fretting over her young lot in life that was being born into a family devoid of heiresses. Her beatific listing of things to appreciate was so heart-meltingly sweet. She was “great full” to have a cat, sheets, a mommy, a daddy, and a sissy. I think she still feels the same way all these years later.)

Maybe it's because my red-letter day (actually, I prefer purple) often coincides with the Thanksgiving holiday that I'm more inclined toward throwing a festive, life-affirming birthday party than I am a depressing, poor-me-I'm-aging pity party. The former provides me with an undeniably rich opportunity to look at my Big Gulp serving-sized life glass that is full right up to the straw.

What am I grateful for? I am grateful to the near-sighted for it is you who have genuinely made my aging so much easier.My own near-sightedness is a fact that has forced me to compensate for the unrelenting march of time by implementing the Larger-than-life Letter Labeling System (LLLS) of which my favorite tool, the Sharpie, is an integral part.

Without the utilization of such a system, I am left to my own devices and the results are never pretty, occasionally hazardous. For instance, when showering it is essential that I correctly identify which of my many bottles of delightfully smelling girlie stuff I require for use on my hair. When I haven't taken the time to alter the ant-dropping-sized font to a larger proportion, my day gets out of whack immediately.

We are all familiar with launching the requisite shampoo sequence of lather, rinse, repeat. In the absence of my method I'm likely to implement a flawed system whereby I lather, condition, lather, lather, rinse, lather.

My gratitude to the near-sighted folks who have crossed my path extends to those who may be classified as such both by virtue of physical and emotional myopia.

After all, it's really all about how the people you adore, value, and respect view you. You allow them entrée into your personal bubble, they get “magnified one thousand times” close and, lo and behold; they like what they see. There is no better gift than this kind of unconditional love.

I don't have enough space for an all-inconclusive list, but 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 25 hours a day, I am grateful for:

— My husband who tells me I'm beautiful and that my appearance hasn't changed even a little bit over the years, (although one time I did catch him lusting over a photograph of the 24-year-old me standing next to my beloved Camaro).

— My mom who still views me as her baby.

— My Bob who looks at me like his new baby.

— My sassy daughters who tell me I'm a pretty mama and that I dress hip, but appropriately (although sometimes a little too matchy-matchy according to the youngest).

— My treasured friend since junior high school, Mady, who assures me we both haven't aged one iota and darned if she didn't produce a Facebook-worthy profile picture that almost proved her point.

— My photogenic, photographer confidante, Sharon, who always uses the word “gorgeous” when she talks to me.

— My beauteous friend, Sue, who promises me I'm still “hot” at this point in my life (flashing hot, baby!).

— My all-around, forever gal pals, Sandy, Julie, and Tami who tell me every time I see them that I look “Great!” and that my hair looks wonderful, even when I had that '80s, hairbrush-breaking perm and pregnancies that turned me into a female Humpty-Dumpty.

— My adopted “big sis” Bev for looking at my college dance pictures and saying, “You know, you really haven't changed at all.”

— That older gentleman I hope I see again really soon who said I look like a young Natalie Wood.

— All those folks out there who exclaim, “You don't look old enough to have a teenaged daughter,” when the aforementioned teenaged daughter is actually my youngest child.

— The multitudes of young people working at my favorite caffeinated beverage purveyors, grocery stores, and retail outlets who don't say “you remind me of my mom/grandmother/older maiden shut-in great aunt” AND stop themselves every time they start to call me “Ma'am” and refer to me as “Miss” instead.

That's my kind of “Miss” – as in miss the mark on my biological age.

I am grateful for not-corrected-to-20/20 vision!

Biography. Diane Dean-Epps is an author, teacher and comedienne. She can be reached at or for more writings, clips see:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

RE: (Humor) Carol Wright is All Right By Me...'tis the season for crazy catalogs...

Carol Wright is All Right By Me

Start your retail engines and warm up those credit cards. 'Tis catalog season!

On more than one occasion I've written about the odd array of catalogs seeming to find their way into my cobweb-encrusted mailbox, my recent acquisition being Carol Wright Gifts.

I must tell you, this offering is quite a boon for a humorist in addition to the discerning consumer who long ago might otherwise have given up on finding “must have” items, such as bottle tops that turn drink cans into drink bottles. (Everyone knows a can is gauche. Now a bottle? You can really pour on the class with this receptacle.)

What caught my eye instantly was the “the world's first bake, slice, and serve brownie maker.” Come to Mama! Where have you been all my life? If only my metabolism would allow for it, I would purchase this necessity pronto, enabling me to fulfill my lifelong dream of baking and consuming the perfect brownie. (You so get me. I don't care so much about the baking. I'm all about the consuming.)

Then there's a particular favorite product of mine — Liftight life serum — if only just for the “before” and “after” pictures provided rather than the outcome. However, speaking of results; the handsome gray-haired model illustrating the aftereffects looks surprised such a procedure would work, let alone that anyone would buy it in order to “look years younger in just 90 seconds.”

If you're math-oriented, and I know you're out there, a 60-year-old who wants to look, say, 30, would need 450 seconds for each set of five rolled-back years, so the total seconds tallied for the full 30-year regression lands somewhere around 2,700. What is, no doubt, the outrageous price for such a miracle product you ask? Only 14 bills. It's a steal at double that price!

There is one issue with this time machine in a bottle, though, and it resides in the fact there is a warning about the elixir lasting a maximum of 10 hours. Consequently, you must be ready for a future whereby your life will play out as the NeverEnding Cinderella story only you'll turn into a wrinkly pumpkin.

Next we have the perfect-posture back support, which is to posture what the chastity belt is to virginity. If you can slip into this rather daunting apparatus, you will likely achieve the desired result.

I will admit to giving more than a cursory glance to the sonic molechaser, but in my defense that was on a day when I was acutely irritated at our front yard wildlife known as Odocoileus virginianus. (The white-tailed deer.)

As a result of the voracious appetite of deer for deer-resistant foliage, I was forced into a first, second, and third planting of my vegetation, so I was a wee bit miffed.However, once I viewed the illustration featuring — I kid you not — a cartoon mole running away from a pencil-sized stake with its little mole paws up in a stick-'em-up-and-give-me-your-money gesture mouthing, “Eek!” I lost my thirst for the ruination of deer hearing.

I just consider anything we manage to grow my contribution to the propagation of a healthy food chain and utter a sacrificial, “Damn!”

Carol Wright is similar to other bygone catalogs that were ever-present in my grandparents' household, a relic of the popular pastime that was shopping by mail.

In business since 1952 and founded by a housewife out of her Mount Vernon, New York, apartment, Lillian Vernon is one of these. I remember my grandfather spending hours looking through catalogs, ordering items he didn't really need simply because it tickled him to get stuff in the mail.

He's been gone for over two decades now, but I am reminded of love not loss whenever I look at the Geisha doll he ordered for my grandmother so long ago.

I don't order from the catalogs I receive very often, which may explain why the delivery of them is so sporadic. I guess that's why I also don't need to order the featured pamphlet, How to Solve the Little Mysteries of Your Life.

One mystery down; just another couple hundred to go.