Aspiring Not to Aspirate

I’m not generally a hypochondriac, but as I’ve gotten older, I have my share of moments when what’s going on in my body scares me. It’s like staying in a haunted house. Every creak, every sensation makes me stop in my tracks and listen. It could just be the old house settling on its foundation. Then again, it could be something malevolent intent on doing me in. Ah, the joys of aging!

Knowing me, however, my demise is more likely to come from doing something really stupid.

Last Thursday night, Mr. Maid and I were eating dinner. It was one of my ordinary weeknight menus of spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread.

easy spaghetti

In defiance to all rules of etiquette, I was chewing a big mouthful of pasta while simultaneously trying to talk. I can’t remember what I was saying, but it was making me also start to laugh. The combination of chewing, swallowing, talking, and laughing was apparently a little more multitasking than my brain and body could handle. As the phrase goes, my food went “down the wrong pipe.” Continue reading

Hemorrhoidal Tendencies: The Driving Edition, Volume 2

Welcome! You’ve stumbled upon Hemorrhoidal Tendencies, the occasional feature of my blog where I complain about the things in this world that are a pain in the ass.

In my first entry in Hemorrhoidal Tendencies I discussed some driving pet peeves. Every time I get behind the wheel, I realize I’ve only scratched the surface. Here are a few more things about driving (or more accurately, my fellow drivers) that can make me want to turn a pleasant Sunday drive into a scene from Death Race 2000.

You’re Not Fooling Anyone

Even the most conscientious drivers among us are guilty of breaking a driving laws on occasion. Is there really anyone out there who never goes over the speed limit? Or failed to signal a turn when no one is around? I didn’t think so.

One source of driving guilt that is probably most common is distracted driving. I myself have been known to grab a burger on my way out of town to eat while tooling down the interstate at 75 miles an hour. But over the years I have seen people put on mascara, shave, clean their ears with cotton swabs (yuck,) apply nail polish, and – I kid you not – read a textbook by the glow of the dome light. Continue reading

Hemorrhoidal Tendencies: The Driving Edition

I’m happy to report that I am too mild-mannered to entertain any homicidal tendencies. I do, however, have a lot of pet peeves. Thus, several years ago I coined the term “Hemorrhoidal Tendencies,” which I first referred to in my post “Catch My Phrase.” These are the everyday things that have a tendency to be a pain in the ass (or arse, for my more polite friends across the pond.)

Since I now work from home, I no longer have the luxury of kvetching and kibitzing with my coworkers about the mundane things that drive one crazy, so I’ve been toying with creating a somewhat regular feature here on the blog.

So, without further ado, I give you my first installment of

Hemorrhoidal Tendencies: The Driving Edition Continue reading

The Autumn of My Discontent

For your reading pleasure, I am re-posting my one and only attempt at fiction on this blog (so far.)

Once again, fall is upon us and no one is safe!

Maid's Day Off


The interrogation room is cold. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that they do that on purpose – anything to make you feel uncomfortable. The temperature, the buzzing florescent lights, and the hard metal chair are all doing their jobs and filling me with unease and a sense of impending doom.

I’ve been sitting here for what seems like hours (another time-honored technique, I’m sure) and have had time to reflect about the last 48 hours. Jeff told me I had to be careful. He had tried to talk me out of it. “Can’t you just go along to get along?” he asked.

“I’ve had it!” I had answered. “I can’t just sit back and watch while the powers-that-be do this to innocent people.

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Baby of the Family Blues

Re-posted for The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Baby (February 24, 2017).

little kids

I am the youngest of three children. That’s right, I’m the “baby” as my mother would tell people well into my adult years. Stereotyped by older siblings as spoiled and immature, there are definitely perks to being the youngest. Our parents have been “broken in” by the first few kids. By the time we come along, they have seen it all and their energy has been diminished if not depleted entirely. This can be a good thing, especially if one of your older siblings had delinquent tendencies – you are allowed to skate by with moderately good behavior.

Before you get too envious of us, you should know that it is not all daisies and rainbows. On the contrary, the harassment we endured made us dream of having a baby brother or sister to take the brunt of the sibling tyranny, or better yet, the imagined paradise of only childhood.

Decades later, you can still see remnants of our trauma. Here are five ways that you can tell that someone is the youngest child.

  1. We flinch. A lot.
    My brother is nearly five years older than me, so he had a distinct physical advantage over me. I talked about some of his tormenting in this post. He specialized in Indian burns (sorry – still haven’t found the politically correct term for these), and grabbing my wrists to slap me with my own hands. Continue reading

It’s Snot Easy Being Sick


I’m home sick from work today for the second day in a row with an upper respiratory infection. Today is day 10 for this thing. After a week of meds from the local UrgiCare (or as a friend likes to call it the Doc-in-a-Box) that did no good, and a visit to my family doctor for an antibiotic and cough syrup with codeine (my new best friend,) I should be on the mend by now. But my sleep (and poor Mr. Maid’s) has been interrupted every night by an hour or two of either a dry, extremely painful cough, or a wet, choking cough where I fear I’ll hack up a lobe or two of a lung. For a week I soldiered on, getting up and dragging my butt to work until yesterday, when I just couldn’t do it anymore. I called the office and told them I wouldn’t be in.

As this is cold and flu season and you may find yourself in a similar situation, I’ve compiled some guidelines to help you through staying home sick from work or school. Continue reading

true luv weights

Welcome to this week’s Write Right Monday Night.

Finally! Proof that bad grammar is more than just a pet peeve of mine. Now there’s proof that it may have an impact on your love life as well. Read Wally Metts’ take on the study at his blog The Daysman.

the daysman

30676819_mApparently there is a new reason to pay attention in class.

The Wall Street Journal reports that people are evaluating potential dates on the basis of the grammar and spelling in their online profiles or messages. One guy, for example, had second thoughts when his new date sent a text that she was “almost their.”

In a politically correct world where we are no longer allowed to be condescending about race, gender, class or practically anything else,  it’s nice to know you can still be stuck up about something. Semicolons, for example.

One study reported in the Journal found that 88% of women and 75% of men found grammar to be the second most important things to them, behind only personal hygiene and slightly ahead of good teeth. No word on whether or not integrity made the list. One reason for this grander grammar trend, however, may be related: people who take more…

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