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43 posts from May 2007

May 27, 2007

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Beachfla's Things to Remember if You Are A Woman of A Certain Age

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Beachfla's Things to Remember

By Beachfla

THINGS TO REMEMBER IF YOU ARE A WOMAN OF A CERTAIN AGE:

1. Never trust your husband/significant other or children to tell you if you have hairs growing on your chin or out of moles on your face.

2. "Batwings" are NOT attractive - do not wear sleeveless shirts/blouses.

3. There are no inconspicuous "cheater"/reading glasses - get multi-colored ones and wear them proudly.

4. There is no such thing as a "natural" looking tan from a bottle.

5. Avoid red hats, pink hats, purple hats - you get the picture.

6. Read "The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love" by Jill C. Browne and enjoy her margarita recipe

(previously shared on TLC): 12 oz can of frozen limeade concentrate
12 oz tequilla
12 oz Sprite
12 oz beer
Stir and serve.

May 26, 2007

TLC Advice-a-Thon: "Anonymous'" Advice on Giving Blow Jobs to Husbands

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Advice on Giving Blow Jobs to Husbands

By "Anonymous"

Ed. Note by Me, Margie: I cannot tell you who wrote this, because she asked me not to, and I keep my promises. And no, it's not me or my cousin Patty. We're not married. And I just have to say, this made me laugh but also made me happy and sad at the same time. Happy because I believe this is true, and I'm glad I'm not married. Sad because, well, I believe it's true and most of you are. Just saying.

Giving Blow Jobs to Husbands – This section is strictly restricted to wives. If you’re not married, please move on to other expert areas because we all know that having any type of sex outside of marriage makes your hair fall out and warts grow on the palms of your hands. If you’re a man, please move on. We can’t have you knowing our secrets. I’ll wait until the unqualified readers leave.......okay, now that they are gone, I’ll let you in on a few personal favorites.

1. If there is a show on television that you want to watch, say an old MASH rerun, and your husband is really wanting to fool around, well, if the television is located at the foot of the bed and it’s on, it’s quite easy to twist yourself in a certain way, you can kill two birds with one stone, if you get my drift. And trust me, your husband won’t care.

2. Be sure to negotiate on the front end what you want in return. For example, maybe you’d rather have a nice long backrub than...whatever. So, you make a deal for equal number of minutes of backrub to minutes of blowjob (face it gals. We can make it last as long or short as we want to). Be warned though. You might want to get your backrub on the front end as I’ve learned from experience that after the fact, he’s less inclined to reciprocate. Getting your backrub on the front end is sort of like holding a carrot in front of a mule. The mules grumbles, but it gets the job done.

3. If something unfortunate happens, like you throw up on his stomach, as long as you haven’t aspirated and quit breathing, he’ll be very forgiving. I suggest a towel should be left handy for quick retrieval.

4. If the phone rings, you probably shouldn’t answer it. The sound of your mother or his mother on the other end can really kill the mood.

5. Don’t believe anything he says while he’s “under the influence.” Trust me. He’ll deny everything.

TLC Advice-a-Thon: How to Tell Your Marriage Might be in Trouble

TLC Advice-a-Thon: 3 Ways to tell Your Marriage Might be in Trouble:

by Harley

1. You're so hung-over from the rehearsal dinner you wake up and beg your bridesmaid for drugs, just to get through the day.

2. In the middle of the ceremony, right after saying "I do," you think, "I'm making a terrible mistake."

3. A week into marriage, you unconsciously introduce him to someone with the words, ". . . and this is my first husband."

[by the way, he was a very nice guy and is doing just fine without me.]

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Sarah On How to Roast a Chicken

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Sarah On How to Roast a Chicken by Sarah Stewart Taylor

This is the method that works for me. And people say they love my chicken . . . Find a chicken. It shouldn't be too cold when you start this process. Preheat the oven -- make it hot. 400 degrees. Cut 5 or so lemons in half and squeeze the juice all over your chicken and way down in your chicken's butt. Then stuff as many of the lemons as you can into your chicken's butt. Rub your chicken all over with olive oil AND butter and coat liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast that bird until it has a nice brown tan, then cover him with tinfoil and turn the over down to 325 or 350 degrees. I am not going to even attempt to give you cooking times because this needs to be done by instinct. When your kitchen smells really good, start basting and start wiggling that chicken's legs. If they wiggle freely and the juices run clear (not bloody) when you poke a knife into his armpit, you're good to go. Let him rest under tinfoil for 10 minutes before carving.

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Things Not to Say to a Judge

THINGS NOT TO SAY TO A JUDGE:

Culled by 'Anonymous' from various lawyers and expert witnesses

1) Where the f*** did you go to school?

2) Did they give out diplomas on that island where you went to law school?

3) How much to make this go away?

4) They made YOU a judge? F*** me….

5) Recognize anyone in these photos? Not your best angle, I must say.

6) Your Honor, do you have nude pictures of your wife? Would you like to buy some?

7) My dog has bigger balls than you, and he's a rat terrier.

8) Is the court reporter a screamer? Can I take her home and find out?

9) That's the same sound your mother made last night.

10) Keep banging that gavel, it reminds me of your sister…or was it your daughter?

11) Stop looking at the defense attorneys legs; she's too young, plus she's gay.

12) Does your wife like it up the butt? No? Ask her again tomorrow….

13) Res ispa locquitor, you asshole.

14) Ispa this! (NYPD BLUE)

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Tom's Dos and Don'ts

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Tom's Dos and Don'ts

By Tom Barclay

ALWAYS bring a knife to a gunfight. Eventually your ammo runs out (Hmmm - make that two knives).

DON'T buy the cheapest front fork for your H-D chopper. Anything you save will go to your dentist.

DON'T ever pay a garage mechanic who charges you for a blinker fluid refill (blinker fluid is always free).

DON'T order Magic Gas Mileage Tablets over the internet. They're fakes. The real ones are available only by direct mail order.

DO keep rope, duct tape and plastic tarp in your trunk. Bodies are so difficult to keep neat.

DON'T ever play poker with a guy named 'Doc.'

DON'T pass up a chance to sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' It's easier to sing the more often you sing it.

DON'T pass up a chance to sing 'Messiah' at Christmas or Easter or Hannukah or Pesach. The choruses, not to mention the solos, will amaze you.

DON'T write a scene in which your character switches off a revolver's safety 'with a menacing click.' Revolvers' safeties are absolutely silent (for good reason).

DO spend time with your dog and your cat. It's never wasted time. The more you listen, the more they tell you.

DON'T miss a meeting of your crit group.

NEVER let a day go by without touching your honey.

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Elaine Viets! Advice on How to Deal With Sick People

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Elaine Viets! Advice on How to Deal With Sick People

By ELAINE VIETS

Yes, I'm out of the hospital, and ready to start blogging soon. Meanwhile, thanks for your letters, cards and good wishes -- and also for buying my books. You made a big difference in my life and helped me recover.

(1) Always lie to a sick person.

-- One of my friends was with me when I regained consciousness. "You look like shit," she said.
I did. Centerfolds rarely wear nasal-gastric tubes or have their heads half-shaved. And hospital gowns are badly tailored.
My friend felt so guilty she came back later and apologized.
"Hey," I said. "It was true."

(2) Never say,

"Don't worry about work, George. The new kid's doing your job just fine and he only makes half what you do."

(3) Never say,

"You're lucky," even if the person narrowly escaped death. We don't feel lucky. We're in pain, swollen and look like we ought to be autopsied, and this parade of people keeps saying we're lucky.

(4) Best gifts for sick people:

Books.
Trashy magazines from the supermarket checkout lines. (Try reading National Enquirer on drugs. I recommend it.)
Balloons.
Good moisturizer and/or a facial certificate. (Surgery makes your skin flake and peel.)
A warm robe or wrap. (Hospitals are cold).
Get well cards. My friends started a spontaneous "tacky greeting card competition" that brought me many happy hours. This is not good for Aunt Bertha, the church lady, but is otherwise a fine idea.
Meals for the spouse. God bless everyone who brought Don casseroles, lasagna and other nourishing food. Also the folks who sent chocolate and cookies. He needed comfort food.

(5) How to get the nurse in your room ASAP:

"Help! I've been taking laxatives for six days."

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Cyndi's Advice on Procrastination

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Cyndi's Advice on Procrastination

By Arkansas Cyndi

Maybe one of the areas I have the most expertise is procrastination, or ways to avoid doing what I should (like writing). I thought I would share some of my favorites, in case you haven’t discovered them yet.

1. There are so many things on the internet that can help you waste time. I couldn’t possibly list them all here. However, here are a few of my favorites:

a. Leave your email running in the background and immediately open any message as soon as you get a notice. You never know. It could be an editor offering a six digit contract, or a new friend reaching out from Nigeria who needs your personal help moving a few million to the U.S., or maybe a miracle drug that will enhance your manhood. Of course, I don’t have a manhood, so I’m not sure what that drug would enhance, but reading all those emails are sure to put you behind schedule.
b. If you have instant messaging, please sure to turn it on. You want to get messages all day. Again, they could be important. And if that isn’t enough, today I discovered that you can change the IM environment while you’re chatting. You have Garfield digging through his refrigerator, or fish swimming in an aquarium. And just so the person on the other end knows how computer savvy you are, change that IM environment often during the chat. It keeps them on their toes.
c. Research for that book. Sometimes, you just have to have the right word before you can move on. Is it TOTAL or COMPLETELY? I don’t know. I must research this on the internet. Maybe there is a difference. In one scene of a book, my heroine orders Scotch. I wanted the Scotch to be something really different...unique. It couldn’t be Glenlivet, or Johnny Walker Blue Label. I spend days on the internet research different types of Scotches. Since I don’t drink Scotch, I had to find some sites that would describe the taste. But that wasn’t enough. I went to a liquor store and talked to someone. And this was for ONE THROW AWAY SCENE. Think of all I could have done if it’d been important.
d. Line up at least 5 or more blogs and author forums you have to visit everyday. Spent at least thirty minutes thinking up cute and clever responses to whatever the topic is for the day.

2. Leave all the games active on your computer. I am becoming quite the champ at spider solitaire.

3. If you need a break from looking at a computer screen, straighten your badly neglected linen closet. Remove everything...every sheet, pillowcase, blanket, towel and quilt. Refold each of them, making sure the edges are straight and even. Restock the closet, sorting like items together. Make sure the stacks are of equal height and of equal distance from each other.

4. Run the vacuum. In my house, with two large dogs who shed copious amounts of hair and track in leaves from the yard, a large Panama parrot who throw seeds and feathers everywhere, and a husband who hasn’t a clue how to turn on my Dyson, it’s never too soon to run a vacuum. But on those days when you really don’t want to write, be sure to vacuum not only the carpet, but get close around those baseboards and look for cobwebs in the ceiling corners. And as long as you have the vacuum out, you might as well use the dust attachment and tackle those knick-knack shelves, bookcases, and tables. And since everything is getting clean, go ahead and strip the bed and put on some fresh sheets (from the newly straightened linen closet) and toss those dirty ones in the wash. Might as well get a load done. But as you walk through the bathroom to the laundry room, you grab that bottle of Lysol handiwipes and tackle the sink and tub. But first, you have to move the coffee mugs from the counter into the kitchen and load them in the dishwasher, which is almost full, so you must walk through the house looking for other things to wash. If desperate, grab the dog dishes. They can always stand to be washed. Once you get the wash going and dishwasher running, then you can return to your computer and what do you know, a couple of hours have passed.

5. Schedule a working lunch with a writing buddy (or anyone for that matter). That’s a good two hour waste. But to make it more effective, my writing buddy works about 25 miles away, so I can kill a good three hours. I tell myself it’s a working lunch and we are going to toss around ideas. Somehow, we end up swapping the latest gossip in the publishing world (and keeping up with all that gossip is another way to eat up a massive amount of time) As of yet, there has been no booze during lunch, but it’s only a matter of time.

6. And finally, my personal favorite. Take a nap. Tell yourself you’re thinking about that difficult scene (or problem at work), and shutting your eyes for a couple of minutes will filter out external stimuli and allow you to really concentrate...for at least an hour.

I’m sure this group has some new and fresh ideas they can share on “avoiding work” through other activities. I need some new ones. The husband has figured all mine out!

May 25, 2007

TLC Advice-a-Thon

TLC Advice-a-Thon, Part 1

By Me, Margie

Well, it's the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend, and summer is officially here! Yay! I love summer. It stays light out longer, and people wear fewer clothes in brighter colors. Pools open and my family goes to the beach. I love the beach. The sun, the surf, the sand, the skin - these are a few of my favorite things. You can keep your whiskers on kittens and so forth, pal - I will take something hot and wet, thank you very much.

OK, so we - and by that I mean me, Margie - came up with this brilliant idea for the holiday weekend because, traditionally, not a lot of people are hanging out on their computers. And if you are, um, maybe you want to walk on the wild side a little - go ahead - put on some shorts and some flip flops and spend some time outdoors. Seriously - you're looking a little peaked. Get some fresh air. Have a beer - or a ginger beer if you don't like booze. Eat a hot dog off the grill. Sure, this shit's all bad for you - but who cares? You could get hit by a bus already, ya goofball.

Back on point - this weekend we are going to treat you, the members of the TLC Community, to some advice from many different sources. We even invited some members of our Backblog to contribute, so you'll be seeing their advice over the next three days, along with advice from the Book Tarts.

I get to start. I like to go first. I'll bet that comes as a surprise to many of you, but there it is. Margie comes first. Good rule to live by.

Three Things NOT to Do During a Job Interview:

1. Do not order soup. I don't care if your twin sister is Emily Post. It cannot be done gracefully. The worst possible soup choice: French Onion.

2. Do not wear brand new shoes. Why? Because you know they are going to rub you wrong somewhere and you're going to want to take them off. Don't.

3. You know those revolving doors? Well, only one person goes in each section. My friend Susan accidentally got into the same one as her new potential boss and ended up goosing him by accident. Bad scene.

Three Patterns That Are No Longer in Style

1. Cammo. It's over. There is nothing cute about war gear. I don't care if it is shades of pink. Ditch it.

2. Neon. That's right, kids. The ultra-brites are finito for everything except My Little Ponies. My nieces have those and they just get weirder and weirder with the colors.

3. Urban Cowboy. Yes, I know, it could be considered retro. Guess what? It's not. Unless you are on a horse, lose the hat, hoss.

Three Songs No One Should Ever, Ever Sing Except the Original Artists

1. Wind Beneath My Wings. I'm sorry. Bette can barely hit that octave and even if you had the lead in your high school musical, you are going to drive the neighborhood canines batshit if you try.

2. Anything by Barry White. Yes, I love him - who doesn't? But those low registers are not for just any wiggler. You could hurt something. Or someone. Just back away from the karaoke machine.

3. My Way. Good lord. If I had a buck for every drunken traveling salesman who tries to sell this one, I'd be, well, I'd be able to buy a Coke and a slice, because I only saw it three times. But that was enough to know, okay?

Three Things You Must Know Before You Attend A Wedding

1. The Chicken Dance: Flap arms, elbows bent; Snap fingers, elbows bent; Twist at the waist (elbows still bent - it's the chicken dance, you stupe); clap hands. Repeat until you want to commit manslaughter.

2. All of the lyrics to Paradise By The Dashboard Light. The real version, with the baseball, not that lame dance mix version that skips the good parts.

3. How to filch wedding cake from someone too drunk to notice: Make sure to take your own fork with you; sit down next to the cake and start talking to the drunk; while the drunk is laughing at something you said, slide the cake near you and stick your fork in it; after you've demonstrated ownership, pick up the plate and walk away. Repeat as needed. The real white wedding cake is impossible to duplicate, so don't miss your chance to load up.


All right, TLC - it's your turn. You don't have to give them in threes - maybe you have a set of two, or maybe even one award winner. The important thing is that we share our colllective expertise with the rest of our online family. And don't forget to check back during the weekend.

Oh - and let's be safe out there, people. Don't drink and drive. No glove, no love. And don't play chicken with the public transit. You'll lose.

May 24, 2007

Hunters, Gatherers and Grillers

Hunters, Gatherers and Grillers

by Nancy

Smoke billows, and the scent of burning wood fills the neighborhood.

A burning rowhouse? A fire up the street? Should somebody call 911?

No, it's barbecue season in my city cul-de-sac.

Our neighbor John was the first to send up smoke signals from his deck a few weeks ago.  It was a call to arms.  Suddenly every man on the block came catapulting out his back door, sniffing the aroma of roasting meat.  Times haven't changed much since the day the first Neanderthal hauled a hunk of burning brontosaurus out of a bonfire and ate it. Show a man a flame in the summer months, and he wants to shove a dead animal in it.

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I firmly believe modern man is further motivated to cook (an activity he would otherwise avoid like gardening) from May until September because there are fun tools to buy. Jeff practically laid tire tracks in the driveway in his rush to reach Home Depot to buy a newfangled brush to scrub off the crusty bits of last year's burgers off our grill. (The old brush was so disgusting I think an entire family of urban vermin survived the winter by sucking on the bristles.) And he sent me out to hunt and gather these.

Ozone layer be damned! When manly men want char-broiled steaks, there's no stopping them. Fire up the propane or soak the charcoal. Applewood? For sissies, I'm told.  At least among the Steeler fans whose tailgate parties include all manner of animal products that have been ground up and squeezed into sausage casing. Real men don't get fancy.

How do we explain the male/grill phenomenon? Guys who never so much as drain the spaghetti during the winter months are suddenly playing America's Top Chef out there in the warm sunshine.  Every evening now, the husbands around here congregate at the hedge to drink beer while our respective dinners slowly incinerate.

Mind you, they may be bonding while standing in the swirling smoke, but they are NOT exchanging recipes.  Or comparing techniques. Or discussing the virtues of Carolina barbecue vs. the Kansas City variety. No, each man is confident that he knows everything there is to know about burning food.

There's Jim, who uses his flipper to squish the living daylights out of the hamburgers on his grill.  He claims it makes them cook faster. Of course, the technique also squeezes all the juice out of the meat, but he's not going to listen if anyone suggests such an outcome.  No, he's the kind of guy who secure in the knowledge that he's got the biggest . . . tongs in the neighborhood. So he'll take no cooking tips from anyone.  He's right about everything.  Just ask him. For the likes of Jim, grilling is an innate skill that comes with the Y chromosome---sort of the way male patturn baldness does, I guess.

Then there's the aforementioned John, who is the only man who will cook a fish on his grill. The neighborhood ladies appreciatively sniff the breeze as he's grilling a carefully marinated whole salmon, but the rest of the guys are shaking their heads.  The unspoken opinion: Real men cook nothing but beef. Or pork if beef is unavailable.

My suggestion that we grill some fruit for the dessert at this year's block party was greeted with the kind of horrified silence reserved for atrocities against humanity.

To tell the truth, I've stopped allowing my husband to barbecue chicken. It always comes out black and tougher than my gardening Crocs. Those volunteer fire companies that grill chicken in mass quantities at the county fair?  I'd rather eat the tires off their trucks. With enough barbecue sauce, they taste pretty much the same anyway. 

Likewise, when my neighbor Joan comes home with steaks, she loudly announces that they've tun out of propane, darnit, and will have to content themselves with broiling the filets in the oven . . . because her husband has been known to char beef into hockey pucks.

But Jeff, it turns out, has learned a thing or two about filet mignon over the last thirty years.  I think it started when he actually began to read the price tags on the packaging.  Now he sprinkles a bit of Montreal Steak stuff on the meat (at room temperature, please) and only flips the steak once. He uses a thermometer to get the interior temperature just right--and it comes out medium rare every time.

My son-in-law---from a younger generation and therefore perhaps more highly evolved--has a smoker, which he claims he can fill with assorted meats and then read a book for two hours while it turns into a tasty meal. It's miraculous.

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy suggests it's the sense of danger that draws men to the barbecue grill. Maybe he's right. There's always a chance somebody's going to burn down their garage while roasting a few hot dogs, and who doesn't love to see the fire engines come screaming up your street? It livens up an otherwise sleepy summer evening, right?

I grew up in a small town where one major industry was the manufacture of charcoal briquets. And the night the "factory" blew up will live in infamy.  Every house in town shook down to its foundation. The ceiling in our living room cracked the whole way across--and we lived two miles from the explosion.

I remember attending pig roasts as an underaged drink----er, teenager.  Our various boyfriends lowered a whole pig into the ground at 7am and covered it with heaven only knows what. Then they tapped a keg and spent the whole day "watching the pig."  By the time the meat should have been ready to eat, however, they were all too drunk or sound asleep to dig it up.  I don't think I ever actually consumed any pig at a pig roast. Plenty of beer, though.

Then there was the time my husband tied our golden retriever puppy Nittany to the back stoop to keep Jeff company while he grilled burgers for a group of our friends.  Except the dog managed to wrap the chain around the grill and drag it, bouncing madly, across the back yard--spewing burning charcoal and hamburgers all over the grass. Yes, the puppy's nickname was "Nitwit," but whose fault was that accident, anyway?  I ordered pizza.

In the spirit of the holiday weekend and the official beginning of the grilling season, feel free to share recipes or---better yet---- grilling horror stories.  I'd like to figure out how to make a great pulled pork sandwich, so if anybody has any ideas, post 'em.  Meanwhile, enjoy the holiday.  (Where's Bob Morris when you need him?) Hope you have your flowers planted and can enjoy a nice picnic!