Posts Tagged ‘Beer and wine’


What’s this? An alien life form?

Dear Fall,

So I noticed that we haven’t seen you yet this year. I don’t want to make you feel guilty or anything, but some of us rely on you for relief from that asshat Summer.

Summer always overstays his welcome, as far as I’m concerned. He makes me sweat. He likes girls in those gross high-waisted booty shorts. He’s great with the kids, but is a bore when they go back to school.

It’s November. You were supposed to be here Sept. 23. Winter has already booked his visit for Dec. 22. If you are running late, though, I guess Winter is too. I don’t really care about Winter. Sorry, not sorry.

Fall, it’s your visit I look forward to every year. When you come, I get to wear sweaters, boots and maybe even a jaunty scarf. I get to make soups, stews and hearty pies. I get to stock up on bocks, stouts and porters. I can’t do that with Summer hanging around in his half-shirt yelling, “More Bud Light!”

Summer goes shopping.

Summer goes shopping.

So Fall, please get your act together. I hear you may show up Sunday. Let’s hope so. Summer just cranked up Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” … again.

Wish you were here,

*Apologies to Fall Out Boy

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The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.
— Robert Frost

Dear Life:

I want to register a complaint: I’m not happy to be aging. Don’t get me wrong — It’s definitely better than the alternative of death. (I’m fully aware that the non-aging circumstance of Adaline only exists on screen.)

Just when I feel like I am mentally hitting my prime, my body begins to betray me. A list of complaints:

1. Wrinkles
When did this crow land on my face? What is happening to me? I went to see a plastic surgeon to discuss removing a weird vein on my leg. My leg! But he took one look at my face and said, “You need Botox. You probably should consider a forehead lift.” Gee, thanks.

2. Crepey skin
Whose zombie hands are these? I use sunscreen and plenty of potions to keep my paws supple.  Why do they look like this?

Peach3. Slower metabolism
There’s more of me than there should be. It would be easily remedied with regular visits to the gym. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So I’m on what I call my Cruise Diet. (So called because I did it last year in preparation for our summer cruise. I didn’t want anyone to see me on deck and try to throw me back in the water.) You may ask, “What is this diet?” Think of everything you like to eat and drink. Yeah, well, you can’t have any of it. No dairy, sugar, pasta, grains or alcoholic beverages. I’m reduced to eating grass clippings and palm fronds. It works, though.

4. Jacked-up joints
Last weekend, I was peacefully curled up on the couch enjoying a marathon of recorded episodes of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (’cause this gal can’t stay up that late). I stood up to get some unsweetened tea (the only thing I can drink besides water) and my hip gave out. That’s a WTF moment if I’ve ever had one. I had to laugh. It’s not funny, though. Not really.

5. Memories
Last week, I actually started a sentence with, “Back in my day.” Good GOD! What have I become? I remember a world without cable, remotes, computers and cellphones. Excuse me while I retrieve my walker.

I’m at that point where I know I’m too old for certain clothes (crop tops), certain activities (climbing on top of the dryer to reach something on the top shelf in the laundry room) and certain people (no Nathan Kress — yes, Freddie from iCarly — unless he hunts cougars).

The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.
— Dante Alighieri

So thanks, Life. Thanks for giving me the wisdom to realize how good my 20s were.

Yours in dismay,
Granny Beth


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Photo by Eric Ray Davidson for EW

Photo by Eric Ray Davidson for EW

Dear Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis,

I read with interest the piece Anthony Breznican wrote about you and “Horrible Bosses 2” for the Nov. 28 issue of Entertainment Weekly. Breznican apparently conducted the interview on the rooftop of the Beverly Hilton Hotel. I stayed at that remarkable hotel for one night in October. When I saw the location, I had four thoughts:

  1. I didn’t know the Beverly Hilton had a rooftop terrace.
  2. I still feel oily for taking a photo of the room number of the suite where Whitney Houston died.
  3. It would have been great to see you in the lobby when I was there instead of Fred Willard — not that he isn’t fantastic in his own right.
  4. It’s probably best I didn’t because I might have run over and dorkily asked you all over to my house for dinner and a round of Cards Against Humanity.

When I told Eddie about all that, he fixated on No. 4 and said:

Oooh … can we invite Pharrell and Shaq too?

In theory, this is a great idea: Hang out with celebrities at our house. In reality, if this were to happen, I might have a panic attack similar to the one I had when Eddie threatened to invite his buddy Bobby Deen for dinner. I like to cook, but I’m not sure I want to cook for a chef. (Just thinking about it makes me want to breathe into a paper bag.)

Also, my friend Ken Griner said it is usually a mistake to meet your idols because sometimes they turn out to be jerks.

I can’t imagine that would be the case with you three. I’m willing to take my chances, potential for panic notwithstanding.

If you are interested, have your people call my people. “My people” being me, of course. Nothing rarefied here.

We’ll have fun, I promise.

Awaiting your RSVP,

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Dear New Babysitter:

I hope we didn’t scare you when we peeled out of the driveway without a backward glance. We just couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

Yes, I know you had only known three of us (Eggy, Sophia and me) for five minutes. I’m not sure you knew their daughter’s name. Had you even laid eyes on our youngest? I don’t even know where he was when you arrived.

We love our kids, of course. Really. But we need those moments where we are Beth, Eddie, Eggy and Sophia and not Mama, Daddy, Daddy and Mama.

Here’s what we heard all day:
“Mama, I’m hungry. I’m so hungry, Mama!”
“He won’t let me have the bow and arrows. He’s had them all day!”
“He’s being a jerk to me! He called me ‘stupid.'”

This is what we wanted to hear:
“Would you like an appetizer with that?”
“What kind of drink would you like?”
“Would you like a refill?”

Thanks to you, we were able to have adult conversations while we sipped martinis, ate delicious food (made more delicious by the fact that someone else cooked the meal), and watched Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy cement their homance.

No one badgered us to get him a drink/feed her/play with him/get her Merida dress/mediate a fight/find a Bey Blade/get a Bandaid/put on Netflix/let him watch “Spongebob,” etc.

We tried not to leave you with too much to do. We made sure they were bathed and fed. Bedtime was on you. All you had to do was keep them alive until we got home.

You did and they were. Thank you.

From the bottom of our jaded, frazzled, exhausted little hearts, we thank you.



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Paula in happier days

Dear Paula Deen:

I know you are going through a rough time right now. Even with the chaos in Texas (go Wendy!) and the Supreme Court decision on that stupid Defense of Marriage Act (you know how I feel about that), you are still in the spotlight.

By all accounts (from people who know you, worked for you, still work for you, were raised by you, etc.) you are not racist by definition. Hard-driving, stubborn and raunchy, perhaps, but not racist. The plaintiff in that year-old lawsuit (who is white, surprisingly) even admits she never heard you make racist remarks.

It’s never OK to use THAT word (or any derogatory word like that). But I’m willing to cut you some slack on a 30-year-old mistake. (Especially as you apologized. Repeatedly.)

I mean, let’s be honest here: Who hasn’t had some tragic lapses in judgment? Let’s look at some of the decades-old moments for which I need to atone:

  1. St. Patrick’s Day 1993
  2. Fancy Dress 1989
  3. That one time at drama camp …
  4. Dating the dude from Macy’s receiving department (My dad’s observation: “Doesn’t that guy own any shirts with sleeves?”)
  5. This dress:Prom 1985 (It’s no wonder I don’t have a stitch of lace in my closet now. I reached my Designated Lace Quota in 1985.)
  6. This hair: '80s hair(Aqua Net was my best friend.)
  7. While we’re at it, this hair too: Blonde ambition(The ill-advised blonde ambition phase. What the what?)
  8. Being a mean girl to a nice boy who asked me to a dance. And not being a mean girl to a not-so-nice boy who asked me to a different dance. (That boy ended up talking through dinner about all the times in his life he had barfed. I sure know how to pick ’em.)
  9. Not buying that house on Jones Street.
  10. Allowing Neil the Cockatiel to escape the dorm suite I shared with his mom.

I’m sure I’ve committed many more sins than I can remember right now. We all have regrets. We all don’t have to fess up to them in a deposition.

Good luck with everything. You know how people are when they decide to make someone a scapegoat. If you need a personal pick-me-up, read a blog post by Michael Twitty, a fellow who addresses the real problem in an eloquent way.

It’s not all about you; it’s about pervasive, systemic racism. It’s about the real challenges people who are not white face. And white people don’t see and understand these challenges precisely because they are white. (Contrary to common conservative thought, we all can’t get where we want to go through hard work. We are not all born equal.)

We need to get to a point as a nation where difference doesn’t come with judgment. My kids see difference in skin color, but they don’t attach “good” or “bad” labels to that difference.

For example, Dominic noticed that one of his camp counselors, a black woman, was married to a white man. I said that I hoped that didn’t bother him because his daddy and I are an interracial couple too.

Gideon piped up and said, “Oh I know. You are really white and Daddy is brown.”

Dominic replied, “Daddy’s not brown. He’s tan.”

(Note that photo in No. 7 up there and decide for yourself.)

Difference is good.* Judgment is bad.

But I think you know that.

Yours in love of buttery goodness,

* How boring would it be if we were all the same?

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Brownstone Boston

Dear Sean, patron of the Boston bar Brownstone:

I admire your confidence as a single man out on the town. However, I’d like to give you a couple of tips:

1. It is almost always a waste of time to approach two women who are clearly engaged in a serious discussion.

Julia and I hadn’t seen each other in a year. We had to catch up. We saw you staring at us across the counter two feet away, but we did not make eye contact with you for a reason.

2. You are asking for trouble if you try to insert yourself anyway.

I admit that it was an ingenious move to leave your drink on the other side of the counter, then reach through us to retrieve it. Yes, we had to pay attention to you. It was not the kind of attention you wanted, though.

3. Don’t put your coat on top of the coat on the chair of one of the women you want to pick up.

Julia didn’t know you. She didn’t want your nasty coat on top of hers.

4. Come up with better compliments than “I like your glasses” and “I like your curls.”

That’s it? That’s all you had?

5. Dipping is gross.

And if you ARE going to dip, don’t take the wad out of your mouth and stuff it in your pocket when one of the women makes fun of you for dipping. That’s even more disgusting.

6. If women tell you they are gay, that is a clear sign they are not into you.

They may be gay, or they may be heterosexual women claiming to be gay to get you to leave. Either way, they are clearly not an option for you.

Brownstone Boston

See that counter between the pillars? That’s the scene of the crime.

The moment you went to get another drink, we seized our opportunity to escape. I hope you appreciate these tips (and the fact that I brought you your coat before we left).

Better luck next time!

P.S. If you bear a strong resemblance to Joran van der Sloot, so much the worse for you.

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Dear Dr. G:

Hello, and I hope you are doing well since I last saw you at AEJMC. I’ve been thinking about you lately for a strange reason.

You once called me a dilettante, which made me mad at the time. It wasn’t really accurate for the situation (as I recall, you were upset with me because you wanted me to focus solely on my doctoral work, but I wanted to keep my full-time job, you know, so I could eat and have shelter).

La dilettante

I know your heart was in the right place, and that you were, in your own way, showing confidence in my ability to do scholarly research full time.

Though it may seem like I am a dabbler, it’s not that at all. It’s the opposite, actually. I throw myself into something fully, learn as much as I can, then I move on to something else. More short attention span than dilettante.


That’s why I have five degrees (yes, five). It is also why my résumé looks like the life of eight different people.

If I could, I’d have more jobs (in addition to the one I have now, which I love). Some of these jobs include:

  • Flight attendant (A waitress in the sky? Yes!)
  • Travel writer
  • Tour guide for some exotic location
  • Cruise ship social director or bartender  (like Julie or Isaac from The Love Boat)
  • Personal chef (Wait … I think I already am.)
  • Character actress (like Rebel Wilson)
  • Personal assistant to someone nearly crazy (Think of the stories I could tell!)
  • NBC page (that’s one of those unfulfilled college ideas)
  • Beta tester for games
  • Game show host
  • Full-time employee at my university’s study-abroad campus in France (!)
  • Owner of a craft brewery
  • PR executive for Disney
  • Train conductor
  • State senator

Maybe Santa can bring me new names for my contact list to help me accomplish my goals.

So yes, I am interested in many things. Dilettante? No. Focused? Yes, for periods of time. Game show host? I can only hope. Thanks for helping me in one of my pursuits.

Anyway, happy holidays, and I look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C.

Beth, Aspirational Polymath

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