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Dear Jason Momoa:

I was very excited to watch you host “Saturday Night Live” last night. SNL has been uneven for a few seasons, but the right host makes all the difference.

Here are my thoughts on your performance:

Opening monologue
What’s with the shiny pink pants and no shoes? It almost looks like your pants are unbuttoned — not that there is anything wrong with that.

Parliament-Funkadelic Aqua Boogie as a theme song for Aquaman? YES! You know how much I love George Clinton and the gang. Leslie Jones is the only person who could upstage you.

Elves on shelves as Scrabby the Elf
Don’t pull your hair back ever again.

GE Big Boy Appliances fake commercial
I take that back. You can tie it up like that. I might have been distracted by the flannel and overall manly display, though.

Khal Drogo’s Ghost Dojo
Oh hell yes. Were there other people in this sketch? Hard for me to remember.

Introduction of Mumford & Sons
Excellent work, although the camera cut away too soon to inferior human specimens. What’s that? Oh right. They sounded great.

A Christmas Carol
This might be my favorite. You are extra indeed. I nearly had a heart attack when the robe came off. And then the pants? Using the post of the four-poster bed as a stripper pole? [Fans face] I’ll be right back.

“That’s Aquaman from Justice League,” said my youngest son, entering the living room as I was rewatching that sketch this morning.

“Oh, he’s so much more,” I replied.

Sigma Theta Fraternity House
No to the afro. Yes to the missing sleeves.

Second introduction of Mumford & Sons
Ponytails?

Sleigh Ride
I’ll forgive the bandana because there were ample shots of the rear.

First Impressions
Gray hair, gray beard, spectacles and dad vest? A preview of your middle/old age? Sure. I’m in. (At least we all know the paunch is fake.)

Rudolph’s Big Night
Santa, can I sit on your lap?

Closing
Thanking your mother, grandmother, babies and wife? Classy. You’re the best.

Still a big fan of your <ahem> work,
Beth

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The wild? Are you nuts?

#TBT to a post I wrote years ago, but holds up well. This is a story all about how … YOU GET A FREAKIN’ JOB!

Observe and report

Captain’s Log: Embarking into hostile environment. Kowalski! We’ll need to win the hearts and the minds of the natives. Rico! We’ll need special tactical equipment. We’re gonna face extreme peril. Private probably won’t survive.

Dear unemployed graduate of the university for which I work:

Congratulations on your achievement one month/one year/three years/10 years (choose one) ago! It is impressive that you were able to get through two years/four years/five years/eight years (choose one) of a degree program designed to help you earn a career, make money, and permanently move out of your old bedroom in your parents’ house.

(If you had a job and were laid off, you can stop reading. This post isn’t for you. It is for the never-employed graduate. Unless, of course, you need a tough-love pep talk. In that case, read on.)

By now, you might be blaming the university for the fact that you don’t…

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Dear Retailers Who Start Decorating for Christmas Around Halloween:

There’s a special place in Hell for you. Sorry, not sorry. By doing this, you skip over one of the most important days (well, what should be one of the most important days) of the year: Thanksgiving.

Despite its rather-odious origin, Thanksgiving provides a good time to take stock of your life and be happy for what you have.

Look, I’m not great at this. In fact, a quick check of this blog reveals I haven’t done this publicly since 2012.

While much on that list has remained the same, today I am thankful for these particular things:

Jason Momoa

Dear God. This fine creature is No. 7 on the list.

  1. Friends and family who “get” me. For example, I am fortunate enough to have a spouse and at least one child who went willingly along as I planned a Thanksgiving trip (more on that later) and brought Hando. (The other child, not so much. He’s 13 and permanently cranky.)
  2. The ability and inclination to travel.
  3. Funny, wise and supportive work colleagues (you know who you are).
  4. An endless supply of taxidermy (and related products) on the Internet and in physical stores.
  5. The bacon-imprinted blanket Trish gave me. It’s the softest thing ever.
  6. WiFi.
  7. Jason Momoa, you sexy bastard.
  8. Willpower to stay on a strict diet (22 pounds less of me so far, in case you were wondering).
  9. Creature Comforts’ Athena, my favorite beer.
  10. Apothic Red. It’s just an eminently drinkable red blend.
  11. The fact that I’m clearly not an alcoholic, as I’ve been able to stay away from No. 9 and 10 because of 8.
  12. Coffee.
  13. Diet-sanctioned almond milk for No. 12.
  14. Labeling of products in other countries (see photo below).
  15. Leaves that change color.
  16. Uno.
  17. Airbnb.
  18. Words with “ack” in them, like “slack,” “crack” and “tacky.”
  19. Dating Hautnah,” the German version of the British show “Naked Attraction” (and it’s on where we are traveling!).
  20. This blog. I used to keep a journal, but I’ve updated my practice thanks to technology. Now I can document all my weird adventures and odd thoughts, and schedule them to post whenever. (A corollary: I am thankful for the readers of these strange musings.)
Good times!

Re: No. 14. I’m not a mayo fan, but this labeling might make me reconsider.

My point is that there is not a direct line from Halloween to Christmas. If you need to divest people of their money, then you can play up the need to be thankful. Guilt is a great motivator.

Talking turkey for real,
Beth

* Thank you, Ariana Grande.

Dear Certain Middle-aged White Dudes:

There must not be a bar, laundromat or coffee shop in your town. That’s the only reason I can think of that you would try to get close to women on Words With Friends.

I first noticed this phenomenon with “Sam.”

I play WWF with random strangers all the time. But he was the first to chat. At first, I just thought he was being nice. But then …

I didn’t reply to his last comment, kicked his ass in the game, and never heard from him again.

Then came “Martin.”

Actually, I didn’t reply. He was undeterred.

Fellas, I don’t want to get to know you better on WWF. I’m good, thanks.

I asked my regular opponent Adam about this trend. He said women occasionally would flirt with him. Then he changed his profile photo to a pic of his cat. He had some special advice for me:

Instead, I think I’ll use this as my profile picture:

It has made me laugh all week. Maybe it will give you weirdos enough joy that you don’t have to slide into my chats.

Yours with a different kind of score (you know, the triple-word kind),
Beth

Dear Loyal (?) Readers:

Want to peek into how my mind works? Here you go:

I read a news story about a guy who swallowed a garden slug on a dare and died. (To be clear, it was eight years later from a disease the slug had called RAT LUNGWORM — gross — but still).

So naturally, I thought of that “What are little boys made of?” poem:

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails and puppy dog tails.
That’s what little boys are made of!
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and all things nice.
That’s what little girls are made of!

And then I started thinking about what I would be made of (hint: It ain’t sugar and all that). And because I’m a little addicted to TV, here’s a guide to me in shows:

Two parts “Jersey Shore Family Vacation (Truth is stranger than fiction. It’s why I became a journalist.)
Two parts “The Amazing Race (I love to travel, and I’m competitive. I would sell a kidney to be on that show.)
One part “Chopped (I like to cook, and I have a pantry full of odd things from the Buford Highway Farmers Market.)
One part “Oddities(This captures my bad taxidermy obsession.)
A large helping of “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce (Because, you know.)
A pinch of “Naked Attraction (I often work blue in non-work situations. I also love Brits. As you know.)
A dash of “Haunting of Hill House (Gore? Jump scares? True crime? I’m in.)

I don’t know, Michael. I don’t know.

Anyway, if you continue to be amused by what crosses my mind and comes out on the page, please subscribe to this blog. If you do already, thanks!

Yours in slugs, lungworm and guidos,
Beth

 

Dear Halloween:

You and Christmas Eve are my favorite holidays. For you, I get dressed up and give out candy. For the other, I wait for someone dressed up to give me candy.

Luckily, my family feels the same way about you. Sometimes, we get other people to join us in group costumes.

It’s the one time of year where I let my craft freak flag fly.

Here’s a retrospective of costumes we’ve had over the years.

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Unfortunately, living in an apartment has its drawbacks: All my Halloween paraphernalia is in storage. Plus, I’ll be teaching tonight, so I won’t be able to go all out.

There’s always next year.

Love you!
Beth

Dear Sons of Mine:

It’s been very weird for me for you to have phones and, with them, social media accounts. You know I gave you phones only because you had good grades and are fairly responsible (and because you not having phones was starting to be a pain for me).

The weirdest conversation so far was this one with you, Gideon, not too long ago:

You: Today is Glenn’s birthday.
Me: Glenn who?
You: Glenn, your boss.
Me: Wait … what? How do you know?
You: We are friends on Facebook.
Me: !!!

But strange conversations are now de rigueur. Behold (this convo comes after your father talked about your baseball team going from “last to first”):

And here is this soon-to-be classic from you, Dominic (you never text me unless you want something):

My head nearly exploded. Please, please pay attention in language arts class and USE PUNCTUATION (or you’ll never again get what you want from me, a grammarian who is a stickler for proper punctuation).

You both make me crazy. And also, I love you.
Mama