Friday, February 24, 2017

Six Tips for Getting Along With Breast Cancer Radiation

(1) Be sure to have ten years of ballet or gymnastics under your belt so that you can hold poses for extreme lengths of time.
(2) Practice holding your arms over your head until they go numb. Hold them even longer.
(3) Don't be ticklish. 
(4) Don't be ticklish, part two: the technician is drawing permanent marker lines all over your boobs and side and you're supposed to avoid twitching or giggling.
(5) Your foot is not allowed its involuntary twitch while you're lying on that radiation table.
(6) Sun. Feels like sun. Sun zinging into the side of you. 

And that was just the FIRST radiation. One down, around twenty-seven to go. Think of the experience as going to a very kinky tanning salon.

Monday, February 20, 2017

My Post-Wig World

Once your hair really starts to grow after chemotherapy--not the horrible tack-like prickles, but this kinky, Little Orphan Annie hair, Little Orphan Annie after she stuck her finger in the electric socket, the wig starts getting itchier. When the weather's cold, you can stand wearing the thing, but on a warm sunny day, you'll feel as though a nest of lice was bedding down for a long season. 
So on the last day of the semester, I stopped at my friendly neighborhood hairdresser--hadn't seen her since early last summer, but she's been getting credit for the wig ever since I started wearing it. I told her she'd been getting credit for my hairdo and she looked puzzled, since she couldn't remember that style on me. I whipped off the wig and watched her eyebrows go up and her mouth go into a round "O" of shock.
I gestured to the poodle-gray mess creeping over my scalp like Kudzu over a landscape and asked, "Can you do anything with this?"
Fortunately, she laughed and asked to try on my wig. And yes, improvements could be made. I emerged from the salon an hour later with auburn hair, a shade too dark, but the gray is gone--slightly trimmed, too, so that it doesn't bush over my ears like a tonsure on an old monk. I can't say my current do is the fashion statement of my choice. But it's better than bald, folks--better than bald. 
To go with it, I have magic-markered lines and  few spiky little things with pentagram-like markings that I just got today from the technician who is arranging my radiation. I will get zapped along the markings, apparently, and I am not supposed to take a shower, so I will probably soon smell as creepy as this design looks (although I'm allowed to sponge off areas un-decorated by magic markers). Sid Vicious would be proud of me. At least I am on the home stretch: in five weeks I should be done with treatments, except, of course, for the pills. Buckets of 'em, over five years. On the bright side, I got to keep my breast, which has always been a big part of my fashion statement and many other statements.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Trump Hiding In Plain Sight

Even when Fox News is interviewing her, she's unbelievable. OH, and somebody keeps taking that video down, the one in which Conway is caught calling lies "alternative facts." I'm going to try to get this video back up. And you all know she said that. But oh, Saturday Night Live, thank you for supplying us with this:

But no matter how much fun it is to watch the original and the parody that feels so real, the RUSSIAN thing and the TAXES thing are still getting buried. Today's illegal plug for Ivanka's clothing line is yesterday's grab-'em-by-the-pussy. The SNL stuff is fun to watch, and the constant needling gets to Trump and his toadies, but I want reporters and comedians to devote all their spare time to uncovering Trump's ties to the Russians and Trump's tax returns.

Because he'd much rather we get angry about Kellyanne's latest illegal vulgarism than remember his ties to Russia or his taxes or whatever else, by the time I finish writing this sentence, will leave us all slack-jawed with disbelief and horror.

THE RUSSIANS. THE TAXES. All else is vanity.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ways To Stop Trump: Six Tips

This is not my guarantee that we can. Just a vision of how Americans might escape the anaconda grip of this heartless snake.

(1) America's rich have to unite in rejection of him. The very thing they won't do, since he's making them lots of money.

(2) Reporters have to stop asking "Is that appropriate?" when he says a respected jurist is a "so-called judge" or "disgraceful." Instead, they should say, "That language is not appropriate--and not allowed." No one sets limits with Trump. They question him. Set boundaries instead. The way the debate moderators should have set boundaries.

(3) Ramp up the ridicule. Saturday Night Live, good for you, but do more. Oh, much more. 

(4) Publish his old report cards. I want to see them almost more than I want to see his taxes.

(5) Wikileaks, where are you on those taxes? Roll 'em out. Yesterday!

(6) When all else fails, bite his tail. Wouldn't it be nice if Melania took care of that?

Monday, February 6, 2017

German Teachers of English and Native Speakers

My children--who have been talking to me, Mom, from Manhattan, all their lives, and listening to me reading them everybody from Harry Potter to Rick Riordan--got 2s on their report cards in English (the American equivalent is a B.) They bring home stories about their English class almost daily that have us all in stitches or in open-mouthed disbelief . . . and now their report cards tell me how much the teacher resents their command of the language. Yesterday's sample: My daughter's Nigerian classmate, who, like her, grew up in an English-speaking home, pronounces "three" as "tree."
"No, that's wrong!" said their teacher. "The word is pronounced 'Sssssreeeee!'" Now, I could post a You-Tube video tailored to native speakers of German who want to know where to place their tongues in order to pronounce the "th" sound in "three." But the point is the teacher ought to be doing that herself. She also ought to have some idea of Global English, and the wide range of pronunciations that appear on CNN and BBC. Nobody's doing "RP" or "received pronunciation" anymore except . . . well, the Nigerian father of one of my kids' classmates who said he wanted to learn American black English because people were telling him his British English sounded "affected." 
I did tell my daughter that if she wanted to get in even more trouble with her teacher she might toss around linguistic terms like "interdental fricative." 
But my kids never wanted trouble with the teacher. They just can't help rolling their eyes when she says the word "thrice" doesn't exist. 
Not that these gals speak English badly. They're teachers, after all! They'd get along fine in airports and restaurants anywhere in an English-speaking country. 
But they're also Germans. They like the feeling of authority when they believe it's due. They like to be sure of themselves, and they like the sound of the pronouncement, American English sounds like chewing gum, even though they all must know that just ain't so. I've heard 'em get all their pronouns wrong ("Children, look TO my mouth," pronounced "mouse") and I've heard 'em pronounce "lettuce" as "Let-oooose" (to rhyme with moose.) I admit to speaking German much, much worse than they speak English. But I do like to learn, and I do use You-Tube, and I do go to other Internet sites to at least try to get my pronunciations correct. I sure do wish the English teachers of Germany would do that. I also wish they'd enjoy students who already speak the language . . . even the ones who speak it much better than they do. Or especially. You know, teach, you'd have more fun that way. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Hear Trump Yell (to the tune of Three Blind Mice)

Hear Trump yell!
Hear Trump yell!
See him flip the bird!
See him flip the bird!
He's always flailing his carving knife
He slices and stirs shit and rustles up strife
Did you ever see such a sight in your life
As Don's hard sell
As Don's hard sell . . . .

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Top Six Alternative Truths You Didn't Know About Donald Trump

1. His real name is Dawid Thaman"Donald Trump" is an Americanization.* 

2. He lives up to his original Arab name, Dawid, which means "Prince," and "Thaman," which means price or worth.

3. His real dad was a Saudi Oil executive who had a little trouble with, oh never mind who, I promised not to tell.

4. Little Donald, or rather Dawid, arrived on American shores a thin, undernourished refugee child, quickly picked up the Queens accent for which he is known, adopting rep ties and suits with padded shoulders, and shed his past like a snake his skin. 

5. A Presbyterian church sponsored him, but the pastor has begged me not to identify it ("We're so afraid he'll start banning Presbyterian immigrants!") 

6. Trump's traumatic childhood accounts for his tendency to forget his origins--let's make allowances. Send him love, adoration, prayers! All faiths welcome. We think you should get back to your true self, Donald, and recognize the faith into which you were born. Don't be a self-hater, or a self-inflater! Remember your origins. 

*Sources: two intrepid reporters, Deeper Throat and Deepest Throat, who moonlight as world championship fellators.

P.S. Here is my favorite European comment on our Trumpesque world: