eBay Picture Bloopers

Humor lurks, waiting
to be found. It is stealthy;
make sure you look twice.


I love eBay. During long holiday breaks, like the last two weeks, I usually get some hair-brained ideas on things I must have, and then I stalk eBay for days. I usually change my mind partway through the hunt, realizing I’m being a little obsessive about having the perfect “vintage pull chain” to match our 86-year-old house. But sometimes I persist and end up with something really cool.

My travels in Ebay this holiday season have netted me three pictures that I think merit a blog post. They are for what I’m sure are outstanding items. However, each image struck me as quite funny.

First, a lovely ring.

Is anyone else totally mesmerized by the finger hair? I can’t get past it. I’m sure it is a woman’s hand… I reviewed the other photos posted and the hand is most definitely female.  I’m just thinking that I would personally outsource this job to someone else if I had this much hair in a close up.

Now, what do you think about this lamp?

The seller talked about the lovely cherub and the beautiful brass detail. All I can see is a demon on the stained glass.  Wire eyes and an open black mouth screaming. I would NOT have this in my house.

An art deco lamp I came across…

bullet light

Are you kidding me? This is not a light. It is a dildo, plain and simple. They are posted as bullet lights, torpedo lights or sky scraper lights. But I think this is code for something naughty. Search eBay for dildo light and you’ll see virtually the same thing. Search for penis clear and you’ll see things I’m not sure I understand, so I can’t recommend that. (the things people sell…)

Anyway, for those considering selling on eBay, I urge you to get a second point of view on your images, lest they convey something different then your intention. In the meantime, I’m going back to my search for the perfect Arts and Craft Floor lamp, or perhaps I will go with the mid century modern swag light… and the dining room chairs are cool too… but maybe the wall scone and vintage bathroom mirror are my best choice… (oh god, please, make me stop!)


My inner coward,
revealed, welcomes you to join;
Judgment optional.

non·cha·lant: adjective \ˌnän-shə-ˈlänt; ˈnän-shə-ˌlänt, -lənt\

Definition of NONCHALANT: having an air of easy unconcern or indifference

The word nonchalant is a beautiful word. First, it sounds French, which makes me sound instantly cool. Second, I can spell it, which doesn’t happen often for words exceeding two syllables. And third it is almost onomatopoetic, which is a word I can’t spell but can pronounce.

Let me share some things that I am nonchalant about.

1. Missing a turn while driving.
2. Whether my kids eat dessert with dinner or after dinner.
3. The 10 feet in front of me on the road; go ahead, take it.
4. Coffee

Some things I am decidedly not nonchalant about.

1. Snakes. We will not have one in our house, ever.
2. Bathrooms. See my collected works on the subject.
3. My hair. I’m hair involved. There, I said it.
4. Earthquakes.

Wow, why earthquakes you might ask? Because yesterday I was freaking in one!!! And apparently, in Costa Rica, the number one thing people are nonchalant about is earthquakes. This was not a tiny one. It lasted easily 30 seconds. It rumbled and shook the room quite nicely. Immediately after, upon reflection,  I decided to leave my room, passport/phone/credit cards in hand, and spend a little time outside on the off chance than being inside wasn’t a good idea.

I was alone.

No one else gave a crap.  They laughed in the hotel bar. They were not spilling into the streets, peering up into the sky waiting for the building to crumble. They did not suffer from flashbacks to 1970’s disaster movies about fire or airplanes or natural disasters. They are, it seems, Latin. I am, painfully and obviously, white.

Well, I don’t care. I have decided that earthquakes have taken over the number one spot of things I’m worried about that I can’t control. Number two is tornados, but at least Jim Cantore calls me to let me know when one is coming. When they make an “Earthquake Notify” service, then I can reorder my irrational fears again.  In the meantime, please join me outside.

Here’s to Nepal, Estonia, The Universe and Bacteria

Perspective: best viewed
through wine’s last drops, the obits,
or your kids’ kisses.

The unthinkable happened yesterday. In my blog-world of words mixed with ego, stats matter. One of my first posts brought that to life and got me early readership. And since then, no matter how blasé I may seem about the relevance of stats on my feelings as a blogger, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that on those days readership is present (meaning anyone clicks through), my writing ego jumps up and down in glee.

Yesterday I had zero hits. Nuthin’. Not a single person in the entire web surfing universe made it to my page. Framed that way, it is one of the most depressing facts to see stated in black in white that exists.

But today I was saved by someone from Nepal. Yes, Nepal.

Image from Wikipedia. That green bit is Nepal.

Just a few hits today, driven by someone in a country that is 7,790 miles away by air.  This takes the thought that I am just one small drop in the ocean of online content, and turns it on its ear. Someone from Nepal read my blog. How is that possible? (Ok, they found it because they did a search on men’s magazines; let’s not go there… but they clicked.) How random that someone from a country I couldn’t name the capital of in a multiple choice test (it is Kathmandu) visited my blog. Let’s be clear, I seriously doubt my blog was their intended target when the searched, but you know what? They clicked more than once — how cool is that.

It causes me to recall that I’ve had other global visitors, from places so far away and different from me, that again, my small place in the world feels less and less remote. Estonia stopped by one day and was my only visitor.  Lebanon, Barbados and the Syrian Arab Republic have had single visitors, among other small countries halfway around the world.

As a result, I can’t decide if this is a big world or a small one. On the big world side sits facts such as: a) the global population (6.9 billion), b) the biomass, or mass of living organisms, of bacteria roughly equals the weight of 50 million blue whales. (eww); c) if you compress the life span of Earth to 24 hours, humans start at 11:58:43pm, 1 minute and 17 seconds from where we are now and d) the perspective of us relative to the size of the universe (this last link is really, really cool, I mean depressing, I mean cool).

On the small world side sits facts such as: a) someone from Nepal now knows who Family Haikus is; b) I sat next to someone on a plane once who knew the minister who performed my wedding ceremony (we were nowhere near Georgia at the time); c) I’m two degrees of separation from Elton John and thus three degrees from the Queen of England; and d) I am the center (or very near to) of the universe for my children.

I think I’ll just fall back on one of my favorite sayings, taught to me by my friend Shelly: Make it an “and”, not an “or.”  Look at the world as an “and”. It is big and small. I can have zero view days and someone from flipping Nepal can find me.  My life span is but a flash in the overall march of time and the time spent today in a tickle fight with my kids made time stand still and them feel like nothing else mattered.

So here’s to zero view days. May they happen again and may I get Freshly Pressed soon…

I-75 Observations (last of my vacation reflections)

Awash with trucks, porn, DQs
and fast lane nimrods.

Ahhh… a week in the sun and sand has ended.  However, we still had the blasted commute back home.  Hours, and I mean hours, before we departed at the beginning, my beloved purchased a 2008 Chevy Tahoe, so we were able to travel in style and comfort and confidence… my Honda lacks comfort on long drives, his very old Tahoe lacks confidence; net this was a welcome upgrade. But although the commute was relatively easy, it was full of interesting observations…

1. Tennessee drivers are governed by a law, much like the law of gravity, that I call the law of the blind and stupid.   Like the law of gravity, there is no getting around it. This law compels them to drive in the fast lane no matter what their speed. This wouldn’t really be bothersome if their speed was, let’s say, more than 70 mph. But it isn’t. They drive, and I do intend to imply this is true for all drivers in the state, below the speed limit in the high-speed lane. I spent most of the trip inhaling sharply between my teeth as Frank would run up on one of them, trying to use the massive breadth of the new Tahoe to scare them into one of the other lanes… it didn’t work.  Like most laws in physics, there are other accompanying laws. In this case, the law of assholes often is found at work when the law of the blind and stupid is in play. Tennessee drivers make assholes out of the best of us.

2. The good, God-fearing folk of southern Georgia have a porn problem.  I have been driving the top half of the state for over 25 years and outside of Hot-lanta, you don’t get a lot of billboards coaxing drivers to stop off at road side girlie shows. This time, I ventured south of Macon for the first time in many years, and was astonished at the number of billboards and resulting establishments for all things “adult”.  My favorite? “Strippers. Need we say more?”  I thought that was a brilliant, easy to follow marketing campaign in a market prone to clutter with loads of unnecessary information (books! movies! shows! naked! truckers welcome! now with attached Subway!). Now I know that the people in peanut and cotton country down there will say that it is all those northern born truckers bringing their sin to town… but I don’t buy it. Between Cincinnati and Macon (560 miles) there are roughly two, maybe 3, adult establishments right on the interstate (that commute is really boring, okay? you notice these things). Between Macon and the Albany exit — a grand total of 60 miles, I saw no fewer than 4. Wow.

3. Our new Tahoe has a built-in DVD player. Typically on long drives each kid has a device of some sort which requires recharging and never seems to have, amongst the 25 preloaded movies, what they want to watch. But this time they watched the same movies, displayed over head, and loved it. Nothing ran out of batteries; no one got bored; everyone shared. It was like our family entered some parallel universe where the kids are happy and grateful all the time.  I have a saying that on the 8th day, god created macaroni and cheese. Well, on the 9th day, he created in-car DVD systems.

4. I spent the bulk of vacation wearing either a swimsuit or pajamas. Really couldn’t be bothered with any clothing that would fall “between” these two ends of the spectrum. So when it was time to drive home (and since by this time I was also in the middle of a fairly uncomfortable upper respiratory infection), I really, really wanted to just keep those PJ’s on for the drive. No one would know me. What were the chances I would run into someone I recognized?  But then I realized something. What if all those videos of people at Wal-Mart in their PJ’s weren’t just lazy hicks, but were simply people like me coming off vacation, still clinging to the last vestiges of that holiday feeling? I didn’t want my PJ-and-croc wearing self showing up on some video for Bob’s Truck Stop/DQ/Dirt Museum. So I was ruefully sensible and wore normal clothes.

5. You know you have been on vacation too long when you crave salads. By the time we returned to Cincinnati, the thought of food that came from any place other than nature made me sick to my stomach. I think part of the reason was (warning… keep reading at your own risk) I began suffering from what I call vacation-bola. This is where instead of bleeding-out, you poop-out… all the shit you have eaten for the last week (you know the menu, no need to repeat it here) decides it must exit your system as soon as possible, in pretty much the same form as it entered – “shit”. It is actually a blessing to get hit with vacation-bola — a great way to reset your system after the various over indulgences without requiring medical/pharmaceutical intervention. However, on this trip, it required no fewer than 3 stops on our already-over-long commute home.  I must rethink my vacation menus…

That’s it. I return to the real world on Monday, slightly less white than I was 2 weeks ago, and much better rested. Happy end of summer to everyone!

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