Tag Archives: Alex Trebek

“MACBETH” Act 4, Scene 3, Line 141*

8 May

blog image hamburglar

(* “Tis hard to reconcile.”)

Spouse said the  funniest sentence.  Or, rather, half sentence.  More like a fragment, really.

He began with: “when you reconciled the checking account…” and that’s all I heard.  I don’t know what he said next or what point he was trying to make because I stopped listening to him and started listening to my own brain as it began asking questions too.  Questions like: “reconcile?  Who uses a word like reconcile and what does “to reconcile” truly mean?  And what, if at all, does “reconciling” have to do with my accounting?  And why does Spouse keep staring at me like I, in my grip, doth the key to Heaven clutch?”

Note that I distinguish between “my accounting” and “my accounting thereof” because “my accounting thereof” is a phrase that I often use when answering Spouse’s more specific questions like: “what did you do with the money I already gave you?”  Answer: “you mean those few dollars that I took from your wallet?  A, you gave me nothing- I took those dollars and B, we are done talking about money, your wallet and my accounting thereof.”

Conversely, “my accounting” is how I would answer a different question like if Alex Trebek were to say “this person totally knows for whom the caged bird sings,” I would buzz in with: “is it Maya Counting?”

(I doubt that Alex Trebek would ever use the word “totally” but you can’t be sure.  Mr. Trebek has done some wild stuff including chasing down hotel room burglars in the nude.  For the record, Alex Trebek was naked.  I’m sure the crook was, at least, wearing a mask.)  Notice how I put my answer in the form of a question, though.

As for my personal accounting method, well, that’s what the ATM is for.  You go there and ask it for money.  If it says no, you keep working down until you hit a number upon which you both agree.  If it tells you to come inside, leave.

As for Quicken?  Until I met Spouse, I was pretty sure that Quicken was one of Santa’s reindeer.  Speaking of Santa (thereof), only 220 shopping days until my birthday.  (But really aren’t they all shopping days?)

And as for reconciling and such?

I keep telling Spouse that in order for a reconciliation to happen, a break up must first occur.

And that I can do.  

That Spouse.  He sure is funny.

This is my letter to the world

28 Jan

blog image colbert

Here it is almost February and I still haven’t written the letters that needed to go out in 2013.  And it’s not that the letters are unimportant, it’s that the intended recipients are famous, really famous.  Like more famous than “I-have-a-column-in-a-free-monthly-newspaper-now” famous. (Click here for link- page 5).

Am I intimidated?  No.  Scared?  Hardly.  I’m most concerned that given my newfound fame (click here for link- page 5), I may run into some of the recipients at an award dinner and they might want to discuss the letters when really, the letters are merely constructive criticism.  (Because I know how well I handle unsolicited criticism- I’m still mad at Spouse from Christmas 2008 when he “just asked” if I knew that raw cookie dough contains the same amount of calories as cooked.)

So who gets a letter and why?

To Stephen Colbert: nation, unable to purge images of Mr. Colbert in a jumpsuit from my mind, I am concerned that his only form of exercise is running from the main desk to the interview table.  (Also, he is the bravest man on television because he will, literally, put anything into his mouth.  As an individual who abhors prop comedy (and ventriloquism) I deem Stephen Colbert the exception and, as such, deserving of my first letter of the new year.)

Alec Baldwin: you are Spouse’s celebrity man crush.  And not just because your newest wife is a yoga instructor but, c’mon, a yoga instructor?  When you go and marry someone like that you give guys like Spouse hope.  Then I have to go and do something wonderful like microwave a food or clean a thing just to bring him back to reality.  From Glengarry to 30 Rock to SNL, Spouse thinks you possess understated wit and a well-honed sense of timing.  I, however, have my doubts.  I once saw you on The Barefoot Contessa and felt that you were the person I would least like to sit with at an outdoor charity function.  Because outdoor charity functions are boring and so were you.  When one thinks of Alec Baldwin, one thinks of “The Bloviator” and his very sloppy divorce from Kim Basinger and I think I like that guy better.

To Kim Basinger: you messed up.  How can anyone who buys a town on a whim (Braselton, GA circa 1989) expect to keep a man responsible for delivering lines like: “it’s easy to get down in the dumps when you can’t take one” happy?  (Wow, maybe Mr. Baldwin is my celebrity man crush too.)

David Sedaris: why am I not you?  Your work was translated into Estonian for crying out loud.  Estonian.  Until recently, I thought that Estonia was in Queens.  Life is unfair.  And if you were to read any of the previous letters I’ve sent, you’d know that.

Jack White: you make the best noise on the planet.  And that’s coming from mother of The Boy.  Noisy Boy.  (Also, exceptional work on the National Anthem with Stephen Colbert.  He owes you.)

Drew Carey: if you don’t like your job, quit.  It’s what I’ve always done.  (But please continue to have your pets spayed or neutered.)

To Neil Young, Tom Waits and Van Morrison: for continuing to make music that is always interesting, sometimes weird.  And kudos to one of you for helping to fight big oil.

To Keith Richards goes a lifetime achievement award for achieving the achievement of still living at this time.

Dave Barry: for consistently writing funny material.  (Except for Lunatics co-written with Alan Zweibel.  That one just screams contractual obligation.)

Alex Trebek: you are the most socially awkward person on television.  You reprimand contestants for not knowing minutia that you read off the teleprompter, your impressions are dreadful and no one cares that your french pronunciation is précis.

The College of Saint Rose: there’s a typo on the home page of your MFA in Creative Writing page.

John Fogerty: for being the face (and voice) of vocal polyps for the last five decades.

To websites that make us scroll down to click on our home state: do you know that it takes several spins of the mouse just to get to the “N’s?”  And then there are 3 “New” states before you get to New York.  Why can’t you just let us type it?  (Unless, of course, you are The College of Saint Rose.)

Finally, to Emily Dickinson: a 19th century American poet.  For continuing to perpetuate the myth that English degrees are worthless by studying hard and writing boatloads of work but neither getting a job nor moving out of her parent’s house.

You make me look awesome.

Happy Anniversary, Fresh Air and Sarcasm!

12 Jul


Well, it’s been two years or as my publicist would say: “FA&S enters third year of earth-moving, world-changing, mind-altering goodness!”

Side note: my publicist leans toward hyperbole.

Side side note: until recently, The Boy pronounced it “hyper-bowl.”  Like a trophy match for the most caffeinated kid.

Additional side note: I have no publicist.

Still, more than 115 published bits of sarcasm and, despite our efforts, we have yet to be sued by: David Sedaris, Dave Barry, Oprah Winfrey, David Lee Roth, Wolf Blitzer, my mother, Hellman’s Mayonnaise, Rand McNally, Alex Trebek, Lance Armstrong, Donald Trump, Judd Apatow, David Lynch, Karl Marx, Adam Sandler, Tom Arnold, The Drifters, Bono, Dire Straits, Priceline.com, Dane Cook, my mother, Taylor Swift, New Zealand, Nabisco, Bailey’s Irish Cream, a Kardashian, James Sacket, Cliff Bars, Eminem, Janeane Garafalo, yoga, Entenmann’s, Cyndi Lauper, Vitamix, The Girl Scouts of America, Santa or my mother.

That’s an impressive list which, to me, says two things: either everybody loves FA&S or everybody really likes FA&S and the love will eventually follow.  In the cases of Tom Arnold and David Lee Roth, however, I think that if they had the money, a lawsuit would only help revive their- oh, how I am loath to use this word here- careers.

Notice that I am eager to use the expression “I am loath” because, really, how often does one get the opportunity to actually be loath?  Answer: infrequently.  (Additional answers include: extraordinarily, only just, sporadically, seldom and, for our Spanish readers, rara vez because, really, how often does one get to use those words either?)

And words, after all, are the reason we are here.

I don’t mean that words are the reason that we, as a species, are here.  (Yea, right.  Millions of years ago caveman says to cavewoman: “go fix me a dirty martini” and BAM! three more of those later, a species is created.  PS: the martini was dirty due to early cave hygiene practices.)

What I mean is that we (okay, you) have read thus far because of something in the words (it’s either sarcasm dust or bits of organic compost imported from Oprah’s new hobby farm) and I thank you for your loyalty.  Sincerely.

But not too sincerely.  That would be wrong.

Here’s Where I Answer My Own Question with a Question

9 Jan

blog image christina aguilera

I just completed the online Jeopardy! contestant test.  Because, why not?  See, that right there was a question- I’m a natural.

To be honest, my goal is simply to make it on the show.  I don’t need to win.

I just need a (very) public forum in which to air some grievances.  For example:

my first answer, no matter what the question, will be: “what is we all think you’re pedantic, Alex?”  Because we do.

Following that comes a series of horribly mispronounced French words (“what is Aw Revoyer?”), a bunch of answers in which the word “and” appears in the middle of the word (like “sandwich,” “mandible,” or (this hurts) “funnyman Adam Sandler”) and then a big finish where I constantly phrase my question-answers like this: “is it Meredith Vieira?” instead of asking: “what/who is Che Guevara, Geraldo Rivera, Christina Aguilera or burnt up hair?”

Should I accidentally press the buzzer, my plan is to answer in one of two ways: “What is Camembert?” or “Who is Fat Pete from up the street?” because Camembert sounds classy and Fat Pete is a real person.

Now about those grievances.  Depending upon the scores going into double Jeopardy, my plan, if I’m losing, is to reach into the annals of marital strife to discuss some spousal issues that we never seem to have time for while in the same time zone.  Maybe Spouse would be more willing to listen if the whole country were listening too.

If the category is “Movies/Cultural Events that You Have Ruined for Me” the answers are as follows: “What was Lyle Lovett circa 2010?” (food poisoning),” “What was Joe Jackson at the Beacon?” (club too crowded, music too lame), and “how did you ever convince me to go see “A Prairie Home Companion”?” (duh).

If the category is a cute one, like “He Said, She Said,” my answers are this: he said, “What can I say?  Dinner’s fine.  It’s good.  I’m just not a big cabbage eater.”  To which she replied: “Why is nothing I do ever enough for you?  I slaved in the kitchen all day!”  Both of which begin with a question, BTW.

When I’m winning, the strategy is as follows:

Daily double: bet it all.  You can’t lose what you never had.  (Thank you, Sting.)

Audio/video daily double: answer with “what is Duran Duran?” because it sounds like a foreign country (Papua New Guinea), it might be a foreign food (Gado-Gado) and it is most definitely a poser band from the 1980’s (like Sting).

Erie Canal is also a good bet in most categories.  Don’t ask, it just works.

Finally, after the break, when Alex makes unnatural small talk with the contestants, don’t be surprised if he refers to me as a philanthropist/ski ball champion from Fargo, North Dakota who once shared a bathroom with Sir Bob Geldof because one of those things is true and Sir Bob Geldof has not stopped calling me since.

Okay, that last bit is a lie.  Is it wrong to try to make the moment last?

Survey says no.

Rollerblades, Alex Trebek, X-Ray Specs and (super) me

4 Apr

If granted one wish for a superpower, the best superpower to ask for would be the ability to transport myself anywhere in no time at all.  Sunshine always, except when I fancy a bit of rain.  Or authentic Mexican food.

The ability to read other people’s minds is overrated and besides, I’m not sure I’d want to know when someone (spouse, child, most likely spouse) did not find me charming.  Or that my habit of interrupting with completely unrelated bits of information is less adorable than it feels.  Although sometimes, to make the interruption seem less rude, I will phrase it in the form of a question like: “did you know that Alex Trebek recently thwarted a robbery in the San Francisco Marriott Marquis by chasing down the criminal on foot?  I’m sorry, you were saying…”

Calorie-free food would be awesome but immediate transport power beats food power because, with time saved on commuting to the gym, one might actually go inside and work out instead of sitting in the parking lot, listening to a new indie band on NPR and then driving home to eat peanut butter straight from the jar- while trying to decide what to make for dinner.  Calories become unimportant as all the muscle-building, fat-burning Zumba you are now doing has turned you into a metabolic dynamo.

Having the ability to know if clothes and/or shoes fit well without having to try them on would also rock but the wish fairy has already created Zappo’s.

I would not rule out the ability to halt an eye roll with my mind (see “interrupting” above).  Because watching faces distort is its own reward and I live with folks who, to me, seem to roll their eyes excessively.

While x-ray specs are awesome, comes a time when there is so much behind the scenes infrastructure in place, burning a wish on see-through clothing only to have it result in a peek at scaffolding and boobs seems wasteful.

Being able to forgive sounds good, but not at the cost of forgetting.  I am essentially an elephant when it comes to forgetting, and my knees.  They’re baggy.  It’s genetic.  You are all on notice about the forgetting thing though.

So until I achieve Wonder Woman status at home, I’m sticking with WD40.  It’s the closest thing to having a superpower and did you know that it can be used to remove Rollerblade marks from kitchen floors and that Abraham Lincoln was the first president to have a beard?  Who roller blades in the kitchen?  I’m sorry, you were saying…

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