Patsy Porco

Archive for January, 2018|Monthly archive page

Hold Onto Your Pants

In fashion, Humor on January 27, 2018 at 2:43 am

I understand pack rats. Not hoarders, though. Hoarders, from what I understand, don’t clean and never throw anything out. Their piles of trash reach their ceilings and spill out their windows. Pack rats, however, are people who don’t throw their belongings out for fear they’ll need them someday. Or that’s my definition. I make stuff up to suit my purposes.

Anyway, it’s the fashion nowadays to talk about purging your home of everything that doesn’t “bring you joy.” What a crock. Toilet paper doesn’t bring me joy but I can’t throw it all out. They don’t print Sears catalogs anymore.

Before the woman who wrote about joyful decluttering became popular, though, fashion magazines had always been encouraging people to get rid of clothes that hadn’t been worn for more than a year.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. Let’s say you haven’t worn your favorite (or only) evening gown for over a year because you didn’t have any balls, or Italian weddings, to attend. According to the fashion advisors, you should donate it, pronto. However, you just know that you will have barely closed your car door after dropping off the gown when an invitation will arrive to a black-tie event, or a costume party. What do you do then? Go to the charity shop and buy it back?

And are they also suggesting that men should get rid of their tuxedos if they haven’t been worn in 366 days? That’s crazy talk, as my sister would say. Fashion experts need to be held accountable for their clever advice. If they make me throw out an expensive item that I will need in two years, then they should replace it.

“Dear [insert fashion magazine name] , I took your advice and threw out my husband’s wetsuit. Now he needs it. Please send me one in size XL, and include the flipper-thingies in size 11. Many thanks.”

Also, other items that have been shoved to the back of the closet might be unfashionable now, but fashion cycles are speeding up and they could be back in style in two years, or a year and a half. Then you’ll curse yourself, and that idiot fashion writer, for getting rid of them.

Here’s a perfect example: I wore men’s Levi’s for decades. Even after I succumbed to pressure from those-more-fashionable-than-I to buy women’s jeans, I kept the old Levi’s to wear when I worked in the garden or painted. Just last year, I decided to get rid of them since I had discovered that my husband’s old sweatpants were more comfortable to work in and, thus, I would have no need for these jeans since I couldn’t wear them out in public.

Naturally, I just found these Helmut Lang jeans being sold online for $275. These are Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 1.38.09 AMexpensive because of the name, but it’s only a matter of time before Levi’s knocks them off and sells them for $100. Summinabeech*, as my husband says.

The moral here is that we should stop taking advice from inexperienced people who are younger than our clothes, hold onto everything, and let our heirs decide how joyful our stuff is.

 

* Translation: SOB

 

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The Mystery of Mothers Who Home-School

In home-schooling, Humor on January 15, 2018 at 7:56 pm

I don’t understand why any woman would voluntarily home-school her children. Please don’t say that men home-school their children, too. They don’t.

Why would a mother decide to forgo six or more hours of having her kids out of the house? That still leaves about 18 hours to have them in the house, so it’s not as though they’ll forget what she looks like.

I was watching Love It or List It on HGTV and there was a couple who needed to either enlarge their home or find a new one for them and their seven children, who were home-schooled by the wife. Their seven children. What is wrong with that mother that she doesn’t want them to go away for at least part of the day? I was the eldest of seven children and my mother was happy to see us go to school. She was also mostly happy to see us come home, but I suspect that was because we had left for a worthwhile stretch of time.

Putting aside a mother’s suspicious need to be surrounded by her children at all times, what qualifies any mother to teach seven children all at once? At some point, their lessons are going to be difficult, if not impossible, for her to teach. What then? Does she say, “I never saw the need for geometry, anyway. You only really need to know the basic shapes”?

I’m a smart person, according to all of the Facebook quizzes I’ve taken. Not only can I read a sentence backwards but, according to the quiz I took last night, I have many of the indicators of high intelligence: I’m tall, I’m the eldest child, I’m a night owl, and I enjoy alcohol. But I would never attempt to home-school one child, let alone a passel of them.

I also think kids need to socialize with people their own age so they learn how to interact in society. And, if the older kids don’t get opportunities to make their younger siblings jealous, by doing things the young ones can’t do, then what is the point of being an older kid? And what is the point of being a middle child if you aren’t ignored, or the baby if you aren’t indulged? Instead, they all share the same space, day after day, lumped together as one student entity and treated identically by their no-doubt harried mother/teacher.

Speaking of the mother: How does she work, either in the house or out of the house, if she’s always monitoring her kids’ lessons? She mustn’t get anything else done. And how does she maintain her sanity with everyone around all of the time?

There’s only one answer: These home-schooling mothers are all tall firstborns who stay up all night and drink.

teacher in class

 

 

Don’t Eat That, Eat This!

In dogs, Humor on January 14, 2018 at 8:05 pm

IMG_3567We adopted a dog, Duke, from the Connecticut Humane Society last week. We were told that he’s about four years old and a German shepherd mix. He was surrendered by a family who was moving and couldn’t take him with them. That’s all we learned from the shelter.

What we learned directly from him this week is that he is a very happy, sweet, loving dog. He doesn’t know many commands, but he’s housebroken and he comes in from our fenced-in yard when called. We were unable to train our last dog, Rudy, to do this, so we were very glad that he obeyed that command.

Also unlike Rudy, Duke likes his Kong, which is an indestructible plastic toy with a hole in it. You put treats in the hole and the dog spends hours—or minutes, depending on the dog—trying to get the treats out of the Kong.

Being a thrifty person, I decided to make treats to put in Duke’s Kong. So, last night, I put globs of Jif peanut butter on a pizza pan and baked them. The globs spread out into round cookie shapes. They didn’t come off the pan like cookies, however. They broke up and became gravel. I formed the gravelly bits into cylinders that would fit in the Kong’s hole, put them back on the pan, and took them outside to freeze.

Peanut butter doesn’t freeze. I think the oil in it might be the reason. Nevertheless, I gave Duke one of the cylindrical-shaped peanut butter globs and he ate it. I gave him another with the same result. Success! Now I have a container of peanut butter things to use in his Kong.

There’s only one problem. They resemble something else and I don’t want to train him to eat that other thing. I think the solution is to not let him see them again. I’ll fill his toy when he’s not looking.

We’re teaching him to be good, not disgusting.

IMG_3565.jpg

100% baked Jif Peanut Butter

 

 

Rhapsody in Email

In Humor on January 13, 2018 at 3:35 pm

Yahoo Mail is down and I need to open an email from my bank. I got locked out of my bank’s online site for entering the wrong password three times, and I was told that I would have to reset my password, using the authorization code that was sent to my Yahoo Mail address. However, I can’t open my Yahoo Mail.

I should get rid of Yahoo Mail because, apparently, if you have Yahoo or AOL for your email, everyone knows that you are OLD. Having a Gmail account tells the world that you are normal — not cool, just normal, as opposed to being a stuck-in-your-ways old person.

I have a Gmail account. In fact, I think I have several. I even saved the logins and passwords, so I can access them. I just don’t use a Gmail account because everyone emails me at my Yahoo address. It’s such a hassle to change email addresses, because you have to check your new and old email accounts for a long time because, even if you let everyone in your address book know that you’ve changed your email address, not all of them will stop using the old one. Some of them will and some of them won’t. That’s because it’s a nuisance to change someone’s email address in your address book. The only people who will use your new email address are those to whom you’ve sent an email, because they can just hit, “Reply.” They won’t even notice what address they replied to.

But, back to my Yahoo Mail problem: I googled, “What is wrong with Yahoo Mail?” and was taken to a page with a “real-time” chart of Yahoo Mail’s activity. According to the chart, while Yahoo Mail did have problems this week, they’ve been resolved. Maybe they have been resolved in Yahoo world, but I still can’t open my email. Neither can a lot of people, and they left comments. The comments section on any web page is always entertaining to read. Here’s my favorite from this page:

My child just died a week ago and I needed a bunch of emails and information. This YAHOO problem made my personal loss even more difficult and from here on out I hope to phase out this crappy yahoo service. I have no access to many pictures of my dead child and as soon as I get those back I will delete my account forever.

 

If “nonshopper” really lost his or her child, I am sorry. But I have to wonder if he or she is telling the truth, because who keeps pictures in Yahoo Mail? Accessing photos from your email is very time-consuming because you have to remember who sent you the photo you’re looking for, then do a search for that person’s emails, and then look for the paperclip icon to see which email contains an attachment. Sometimes people will email photos by copying/pasting them right into the email, so a paperclip icon wouldn’t appear at all. I’m having a hard time believing this person. Some people enjoy jerking the chains of others.

Take my husband. The other day, he got a telephone call from a telemarketer. He listened for a second and then said, “Hold on a minute, Sarah. I’m busy now. How about you give me your phone number and I’ll call you when you’re busy?” (He borrowed this line from a Seinfeld episode.) Then he hung up.

“I can’t believe you were so rude,” I said. “That person is just doing her job.”

“We’re on the no-call list,” my husband replied.

“Then report the company,” I said. “Don’t yell at the poor woman who is just trying to make a living. She’s probably working on commission. If she’s lucky, she’s making minimum wage.”

“I don’t think so,” my husband said.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“It was a robo-call,” he replied.

It turns out that my husband likes jerking my chain.

chain jerk

How Much is that Doggie in the Credenza?

In dogs, Humor on January 10, 2018 at 11:09 pm
Duke 01:08:2017

Photo credit: Luke Porco

We got a new dog, Duke, two days ago. We adopted him from the Connecticut Humane Society in Westport. We were told that he is a German Shepherd mix. He looks more like a Golden Retriever/Husky mix to us. He might have some German Shepherd in him, but he doesn’t have the long pointy face or ears. He actually looks eerily like our Golden Retriever, Rudy, who died this summer, except for his stocky body.

Speaking of Duke’s stocky body, we were told that he is on a weight-loss diet. He had lost nine pounds since arriving at the shelter and we were encouraged to keep the weight loss going. Boy, did he come to the wrong house. I am not a paragon of clean eating by any means. My family has started to work on his weight, however, with exercise and low-calorie food. Duke needs to buckle down and cooperate, though. Yesterday, he ate my slippers and I happen to know that they’re high in saturated fat.

His weight makes him very broad across the back and rear, so I have had to take his girth into consideration while shopping for a crate. We hope to crate-train Duke, once we figure out what that means. We had the same intention for Rudy, but he refused to go anywhere near his crate.

Maybe it was because it looked like a prison. This time around, I decided to get an attractive crate that looks like a piece of furniture. My sister has a beautiful wood and metal crate for her dog. It’s so pretty that I would consider napping in it.

When I went online and searched for “furniture dog crates” and “wood crates,” I found some unexpected designs. Many of the wood crates on the market are actually pieces of furniture that you keep your dog in.

They’re downright odd. Think about it. You go to someone’s house and put your bag down on their credenza (aka buffet) and are greeted by a dog who is staring at you through the bars. Or, you turn on a lamp at a friend’s house and there’s a puppy inside the side table. Imagine working at your corner desk while your pet nips at your ankles.

Take a look at these crate designs and see if you also think that they’re creepy. I’m a big fan of multi-purpose objects, but as the saying goes, “these ain’t them.”

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.29.39 PM.png

I think this design came from an animal cracker box.

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.31.17 PM

I wouldn’t want to be around when he finally gets out.

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.33.00 PM

Yes, he is supposed to hang out in there.

Photos from Wayfair.com

Snow Write

In Humor, snow on January 6, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Many years ago, my sister, brother,Central Park and I walked to Central Park from our apartments on East 83rd Street in Manhattan. It had snowed tremendously, and our companies had given us a snow day. This was before anyone had computers in their homes so very few people were expected to work from home.

We trudged westward through the snow, up East 83rd to Fifth Avenue, and across Fifth to the park. We slogged through the knee-deep snow, alongside the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s glass enclosure that housed the Egyptian room.

My sister told my brother and me that we should write about what it was like to walk around New York City in the snow. She said that that was what real writers would do. That was a dig at us because we fancied ourselves writers. Our brother was actually earning a living by writing for a trade magazine at the time. I just told people that I could write and some of them, my sister included, believed me.

Anyway, we returned home with cold hands and feet … and warm insides due to our prolonged stop at a bar. Neither my brother nor I wrote about our day. Even if we had, who would we have submitted our stories to? It’s not like there were blogs back then.

The next day, my sister, brother, and I must have met up again because I remember her waving The New York Daily News, or maybe Newsday, at us. “Look at this,” she said, pointing to an article. “Jimmy Breslin wrote about walking around New York in the snow yesterday. I told you both that you should have written about the snow.” We told her that we weren’t well-known writers with established columns in a New York newspaper. She said it didn’t matter. That’s what writers did: they wrote. Looking back, I see that she was right. We should have written for ourselves, if for no one else.

The other day, it snowed a foot in Norwalk, Connecticut, where I live. The winds blew maniacally and the temperature felt like it was in the low single digits. It was too cold to leave the house, so my only interaction with the snow was through my home-office window. From what I could see, the wind was so strong that the snow fell sideways, and nobody came out of their houses due to the extreme cold.

My company’s office was officially closed for the snow day, but we were all told to work from home. I complained to my husband that snow days weren’t fun anymore, now that we had to work through them.

But, truthfully, I was secretly relieved to have an excuse for not writing about the snow.

Straight Talk

In Humor, politics on January 3, 2018 at 11:59 pm

steve-bannon-has-nothing-to_wide-s600

Love him or hate him, President Trump’s total disregard for propriety has to occasionally make you laugh … or cringe.

We’re all used to politicians giving perfectly polished speeches that say nothing. This president says and tweets whatever he wants, whenever and wherever he wants.

He doesn’t run his opinions by his handlers first. As a business mogul, he is used to having the last word. And if that isn’t how things have always worked in Washington — well, that’s how they work now.

I think he tweets from the bathroom, in the middle of the night, behind a locked door, so that not even Melania can check on what he’s doing.

Not that she would. She’s probably relieved when he leaves their bedroom and she can sleep in peace.

He looks like a major snorer to me.

 

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