Thanks To Amber Lynn Gilles, I’ve Learned A New Word:

Dear Amber Lynn,

Thank you for teaching me a new word.

OK – for accuracy’s sake, I’ll instead say an old word with a new 2020’s slang meaning:

Karen_01 cropped

It all started last Monday, June 22, when you took your whiney, sorry ass into a San Diego Starbucks.

You weren’t wearing a face mask even though four days earlier, Governor Newsom had ordered all Californians to wear face coverings while in public or high-risk settings.

You went to the counter to place your order, and the barista asked if you had a face mask.  This is also a Starbucks policy.

According to the barista, you responded that you didn’t need one, flipped him off, “started cursing up a storm,” and called the other patrons “sheep.”

You then, said the barista, left briefly before coming back and asking him his name – which is Lenin Gutierrez – at which point you took his picture and threatened to “call corporate.”

And then you took your whiney, sorry ass home, and posted this on Facebook:

Amber tweet (2)

Way to go!  Use your Facebook page to social-media shame Gutierrez for doing exactly what his employer told him to do, for your safety and his, and for the safety of the people around you!

Amber Lynn, I’ve been reading lots of stories and I’ve learned a lot about you:

You’re in your mid-30s.

One of Amber’s multitudinous selfies.

You have three kids.

You’re an anti-vaxxer.

You’re semiliterate.

Your Facebook post about Gutierrez received thousands of responses.

Sadly for you, many of them looked like this:

Tweet 1 (2)

And this…

Tweet 2 (2)

And this…

Tweet 3 (2)

One of your responses to the negative posts was this:

Masks are stupid (2)

Way to go, Amber Lynn!

So incensed were you by all the negative attention that that same evening, at 9:15pm, you posted this:

Scarred tweet (2)

See what I mean about “semiliterate”?

One of the people taking note of all this was a guy named Matt Cowan.  He wasn’t acquainted with either you or Gutierrez, but…

And Amber Lynn, I know this will hurt your very sensitive sensibilities, so brace yourself…

Cowan came down firmly on Gutierrez’s side.

He thought it would be a good idea to show his support for Gutierrez in some way.

So he started a GoFundMe page to send virtual tips to Gutierrez, with a goal of reaching $1,000.

By Friday morning, June 26, it had raised more than $30,000:

Mercury News (2)

According to the Mercury News article, you said:

“I was denied and discriminated against…Like I said, it starts with coffee, but it ends with mandatory digital certificates and the mark of the beast, all that forced vaccination stuff.  You all know what I’m talking about.”

No, Amber Lynn, we all don’t know what you’re talking about.

But I do know this:

Now you were really incensed.

According to NBC 7 San Diego, “Gilles…said she wants some of the [GoFundMe] money and is threatening to sue the page creator for defamation and slander.”


Amber, you’ve got the threat thing nailed.  First it was calling corporate, then the cops, and now suing for defamation and slander!

Lenin croppedProviding a sweet, sane contrast, Gutierrez’s GoFundMe response was this:

“I just wanted to say thank you for all the love and support and what everyone is doing is an honor to see all this happen, but I just wanted to remind everyone to be kind to one another, and to love each other and always remember to wear a mask.”

Gutierrez also said that he planned to use the money to pursue his dream of teaching dance to young people, in hopes that the art would change their lives the way it changed his.

And Cowan’s comment on the GoFundMe page he started was this:

“Raising money for Lenin for his honorable effort standing his ground when faced with a Karen in the wild.”


There’s that word, “Karen.”

Amber Lynn, he called you a “Karen.”

And so are others:

Lipstick (2)

SanDiegoVille (2)

Business Insider (2)

Perhaps the most painful-to-see use of that word “Karen” is on the GoFundMe page itself:

GoFundMe (2)

That total is as of this morning.

Well, Amber Lynn.

Are you a “Karen”?

Let’s compare the “Karen” definition image at the top of this post to the one below which I – being totally objective and fair and all that stuff – put together just for you:

Karen Checkmarks (2)

Book Review: Reading “Home Work” Felt Like An Assignment

Publication date:  October 2019Book

Review, short version:  One rose out of four, because I could never give Julie a skunk.

Review, long version:

I like Julie Andrews a lot, and have for a long time.

I think she’s a marvelous singer, and a good actress in both comedies and dramas, musical and non-musical.

And I applaud her longevity – at 84, she’s still going strong.

She’s also a writer, and Home Work, her second memoir, lists her published books – six including this latest, plus another 32 written with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton.

Julie-Andrews-and-Emma cropped
Andrews and daugher Emma.

Andrews’ first memoir, Home, about her “early years,” came out in 2009.  Home Work begins with Andrews in her late teens and ends at around age 60, so I figure Andrews will be good for at least one more memoir.

I hope it’s better than this one.

Because Home Work just wasn’t all that interesting.

Considering the Broadway shows she’s been in, including My Fair Lady and Camelot; the movies she’s been in – at least two dozen in the book’s time period, including Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria; and the dozens of TV shows…

And considering the leading men she’s worked with – Richard Burton, Robert Goulet, Rex Harrison, Christopher Plummer, Omar Sharif, Richard Harris, Robert Preston, William Holden, Burt Reynolds, James Garner, Paul Newman, Colin Firth…

Burt Julie cropped James and Julie cropped Paul Julie cropped

Burt Reynolds… James Garner… Paul Newman…
So many men…so few stories…

Couldn’t she have come up with a bit more behind-the-scenes stuff?  A couple of you-won’t-believe-what-happened-next tidbits?  And maybe one, just one, semi-salacious story?

OK, maybe Andrews’ recounting of baring her breasts in the movie S.O.B. qualifies as semi-salacious.  But as for the rest…

Apparently not.

Instead, the book is a recounting of Andrews with her first or second husband and their boring croppedvarious children while living in Los Angeles or New York or London or Paris or Gstaad and how money was tight and she’s doing this show or this film or this TV special plus issues with her parents and her second husband’s parents and her half-brother and various half-siblings and the numerous nannies thatboring cropped come and go and somewhere in she there gets divorced and remarried now they’re in Las Vegas then back to Gstaad to buy a house and then back to New York and then Malibu where they’re building a house while she’s doing this show or this movie or this TV special and then her health issues and his psychoanalysis and back to Paris and London and Japan and his awards and her awards and they have boring croppedthree or seven or 10 pets and money troubles but let’s buy a yacht anyway and she’s doing more movies and more TV specials plus a TV series and then there’s his health issues and her psychoanalysis and the movies her second husband is making while they’re in Gstaad or Los Angeles or…




I wasn’t looking for a Broadway/Hollywood-style gossipy tell-all book, but considering the experiences and adventures, successes and failures Andrews has had, I think Home Work could have been much more interesting.

Instead, reading it was more like doing…


Perhaps Our REAL Problem Is…Our Eyelashes?

I’m compelled to thank the good folks at L’Oreal – excuse me, L’Oréal, with an accent aigu – for stepping up to the plate and addressing these uncertain times.

What L’Oréal tells us in their recent commercial – with no uncertainty – is that all we need to do is…

bambify_01 cropped larger

That is…

“Bambify your lashes”!

Wow!  Not only am I getting a solution in these uncertain times, but I’m learning a new word:


And since I love words, I decided to dig deeper.

“Bambify” comes from a noun, creatively used by L’Oréal as a verb.

This is called “verbing.”

The noun is “Bambi.”

“Bambi” is a shortened form of the Italian word “bambino,” with means “child”:

translate (2)

“Bambi” was the name chosen by author Felix Salten for the lead character in his 1923 novel, Bambi, a Life in the Woods (German title:  Bambi:  Eine Lebensgeschichte aus dem Bambi: Eine Lebensgeschichte aus dem Walde by Salten, FelixWalde).  The novel traces the life of Bambi, a male deer, from his birth through childhood, the loss of his mother, the finding of a mate, the lessons he learns from his father, and the experience he gains about the dangers posed by human hunters in the forest.

Apparently the book did well enough to interest Walt Disney, who in 1942 released his animated film version of the story, Bambi.  It, too, did well, and is still watched today, as is its sequel Bambi II, released by Disney in 2006.

The word “Bambi” – a child-like cartoon character – became part of our lexicon.

What does all this have to do with L’Oréal making the world a better place by bamibfying our lashes?

Here’s the Disney Bambi film, and a closeup from the cover:

Movie smaller Movie cropped

See Bambi’s eyelashes?

L’Oréal has created this new mascara so users can bambify their eyelashes and look like the character in Bambi:  Eine Lebensgeschichte aus dem Walde!

No, no, I mean in Walt Disney’s Bambi!

For just $10.99…

11 dollars (2)

You, too, can bambify your eyes with L’Oréal’s Bambi Eye Washable Mascara, Lasting Volume.

You, too, can purchase a product whose name infantilizes women…

Infant (2)

By encouraging us to emulate a child-like cartoon character with long eyelashes!

Just dip your mascara brush into these ingredients…

ingredients (2)

And we’ll be doe-eyed…

Doe eyed (2)

With “curled, volumized, lifted, elongated, separated, defined, clump-free lashes”!

We’ll be happy, and fulfilled, and able to face whatever life throws our way!

All for just $10.99!



Unless Bambi actually stands for Ballistic Attack Missile Ballast Initiator…


In which case, I got this all wrong.

never mind_01

If Someone Wrote A Book About Everything Interesting About Melania Trump, It Would Look Like This:

There’s an old idiom, “like shooting fish in a barrel,” meaning a task or activity that is ridiculously easy.

Mocking Melania Trump is like shooting fish in a barrel.

How can I not mock the person who’s stayed married to this…

trump angry

For more than 15 years?

Yes, it’s Melania, whose personal anthem is obviously Stand By Your Man, as she did through this in 2016, the infamous Access Hollywood video scandal…

VOX (2)

And this scandal…

Stormy (2)

And this scandal…

McDougal (2)

And, more recently, this…

25 Women (2)

Yeah, that Melania just kept showing up and smiling at Trump’s side.

Now she’s the subject of a new book, The Art of Her Deal:  The Untold Story of Melania Trump, by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan

It appears that the book is so accurate that Stephanie Grisham, a Melania mouthpiece, rushed to say, “Yet another book about Mrs. Trump with false information and sources.  This book belongs in the fiction genre.”

That kind of rebuke is sure to send it to the top of the New York Times best seller list.

So author Jordan found something to fill the book’s 352 pages, but I doubt if any of it is interesting.

Because Melania is…

not interesting cropped fixed

She doesn’t say anything interesting; she doesn’t write anything interesting; and she doesn’t do anything interesting.

I won’t even get into Melania not saying/writing/doing anything that uplifts, inspires or improves the lives of her fellow Americans.

Let’s look at a few examples of not-interesting Melania since she became First Lady:

October 2017:  Melania spoke publicly about engaging in a “daunting task” that kept her “very busy.”  At the time I assumed she was talking about helping people recover from the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Nate, Irma and Maria.


She was talking about creating her inauguration gown.

Which she donated to the Smithsonian:

Inauguration gown

not interesting cropped fixed

May 2018:  Melania launches her anti-cyberbullying “Be Best” campaign:

be best_01

A year later, another Melania biographer said of the “Be Best” campaign,

“To this day it has no publicly stated framework, timeline or markers for progress…The likelihood that it will ever have the impact of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign or Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No is slim to none.”

The ironic thing about this fiasco is that Melania is married to the biggest cyberbully in the universe.


not interesting cropped fixed

October 2018:  Melania wore a jacket emblazoned with “I really don’t care – do you?”

Don't care jacket

I really didn’t care – did you?

not interesting cropped fixed

March 2019:  Melania made headlines for wearing these…


The shoes were described as:

“a pair of yellow plaid pumps from Manolo Blahnik’s fall ’18 collection.  The brand’s signature BB style, which is named after French movie star Brigitte Bardot, features a yellow multicolored plaid flannel upper, a sky-high 4-inch stiletto heel and a classic pointed-toe silhouette.”

Seriously, Melanie (as Trump has spelled your name).  Plaid shoes?  And they look uncomfortable as hell, but this is…

not interesting cropped fixed

November 2019:  Melania got a less-than-warm reception at an event:

Booed (2)

Just a guess – could the booing have anything to do with Trump calling Baltimore a “rat and rodent infested mess” a few months earlier?

not interesting cropped fixed

OK, so what has Melania does for us lately?

March 2020:  The coronavirus was spreading, people were losing their jobs, and the economy was tanking.  What did she do to uplift, inspire or improve the lives of her fellow Americans?

Melania – in a hard hat – tweeted about the “hard work” being done on the new private tennis pavilion at the White House:

Melania Tweet (2)

And that’s really something to celebrate, because now we’ll be treated to more images like this:


To sum up, Melania is …

not interesting cropped fixed

And let’s add…

clueless_01 cropped larger

But – the tweets responding to her tennis court update?

Now, those were interesting:

Tweet 1 (2)

Tweet 2 (2)

Tweet 3 (2)

Tweet 4 (2)

Thousands Of Lives Put At Risk, For This:

When Trump gave the commencement speech at West Point on June 13 –  the same date as the Washington Post headline above – the media was more focused on what he did, rather than what he said.

Specifically, Trump’s fumbling and stumbling.

His fumbling as he tried to drink from a glass of water.

His stumbling as he tried to walk down a ramp.

I hadn’t given a thought to what came before, until I read an opinion piece in the New York Times, and the author talked about Trump,

“who forces 1,100 West Point cadets to travel back to campus, and quarantine for two weeks, so he can get a photo op addressing their graduation.”quarantine

Wait, I thought.


Of course.

The West Point cadets had been sent home in March to avoid coronavirus.  They wouldn’t have been back on campus to graduate, just like all the other students who, due to the pandemic, missed the chance to walk their graduation walk.

But for the sake of a Trump photo op, 1,100 West Point cadets had to return to their campus?

It appears so.

airport_04 croppedFor many of them, that meant time in an airport, then on a plane, traveling to and from West Point.

Airports.  Airplanes.  Welcome centers for spreading coronavirus.

Once they arrived on campus, says the above and other articles, the cadets:

“lived in Covid-19 quarantine for the past two weeks, confined to their dorms, wearing masks and watching Zoom conferences on leadership…”

A June 12 New York Times article described the cadets’ living arrangements during their two-week quarantine.  After arriving on campus and being tested for coronavirus,

“…the cadets have been divided into four groups of about 250, with strict orders not to mingle outside their cohort.  They eat in shifts in the dining hall, with food placed on long tables by kitchen staff who quickly leave.”

And for the ceremony:


“Cadets will be required to wear masks as they march in and take their seats, spaced about six feet apart.  Once seated, they will be allowed to unmask.”

No family or friends could attend.

Trump made his usual hyperbolic, self-aggrandizing, vote-for-me remarks, like this one:

“After years of devastating budget cuts and a military that was totally depleted from these endless wars, we have invested over 2 trillion – trillion; that’s with a ‘T’ – dollars in the most powerful fighting force, by far, on the planet Earth. ”

And this self-deprecating remark:

“It is not the duty of U.S. troops to solve ancient conflicts in faraway lands that many people have never heard of.”

I say “self-deprecating” because Trump is referring to himself as the “many people” who have “never heard of” those “faraway lands,” due to his geographic ignorance.

Geographic ignorance – like in February when, according to two Washington Post reporters, Trump said to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “It’s not like you’ve got China on your border.”


Back at West Point, the cadets were allowed to do their traditional hat toss:


And, hopefully, the cadets – and everyone they come into contact with – will go on with their lives.

Thousands of lives put at risk…

So Trump could have his photo op.

Well, he got it:

Trump water glass cropped

trump ramp


Two Stars Are Born

It’s 2010.  A group of creative types are gathered in a conference room, brainstormingwhite_01 and whiteboarding ideas for a new TV show.

After several hours of hearing and discarding ideas, silence has descended.

Then a bright young thing – let’s call him Pete – leaps from his chair and says, “OK!  How’s this sound?  A couple goes through a home renovation!”

The silence continues until the (bored) team leader says, “And then?”

The encouragement in the voice is sub-zero, but Pete runs with it.

“The couple looks and looks for their dream home, but they don’t have the budget for meeting_04what they want, but if they buy a home they can afford and do a major renovation – voila!  So they buy a home that needs tons of work.”

This time no one responds, but Pete’s on a roll and continues.

“But the renovation – the reno – has problems.  It’s…it’s…fraught with problems.”

A voice says, “Did you just say ‘fraught’?”

“Yes, fraught!  So let’s say the show starts at 8pm.  It’ll be like clockwork:  We have a major reno problem at 8:20pm, another at 8:35pm and again at 8:45pm.  Major problems, major drama.”

Yet another voice says, “What kind of problems, exactly?”

(The team won’t admit it, but Pete’s got their attention.)

“The problem opportunities are endless!  Black mold, termites, illegal electrical wiring, bad roof, shifting foundation, collapsing chimney, leaking windows, sloping floors…”fist pump cropped

Pete pauses to catch his breath – then fist pumps the air!

“…wasps in the attic, bats in the belfry…The tension, the drama, the – the couple is so stressed, and they’re running out of money.  One of them is crying.  They’re both crying.  And then…”

Pete pauses dramatically.

“Now it’s 8:55pm.  The couple walks in.  The renovation is finished.  It’s better than finished.  It’s…it’s THE HOUSE OF THEIR DREAMS!  THEIR FOREVER HOME!”

Several team members and trying – and failing – to conceal their tears.

Pete, with another fist pump, “Total happy ending!  Exclamations!  Hugs!  High fives!  All in one hour!”

“Well,” he amended, “in 48 minutes.”6113-08882584

The team bursts into applause.

“And we don’t need to pay a bunch of union writers, because every weekly show’s structure is exactly the same:  reno/problems/happy ending.  Just change the couples and the house and – we could do this for years!  I even see…I even see franchises!”

Pete’s roll is on a roll.

“And I know the perfect guy – guys – to host it.  Get this:  Jonathan and Drew Scott.  They’re identical twins!”

The applause is almost deafening – the team leader can barely make himself heard!

“But what,” he shouted, “do we call it?”

The applause dies down, the room goes silent.  Everyone on the team knows the right show name is critical.

Reno Twins?” someone whispers.

Demo Bros?” someone mutters.

“I’ve got it!” says Pete:

prop bros

Practically every word of this could sort of be true.

The Property Brothers gold mine was launched in January 2011

And it is a gold mine – not only was Property Brothers hugely successful, today these guys have more franchises than Burger King:

franchises (2)

And in each and every show, one of the highlights is what I’ll call “brotherly banter.”  It sounds like this:

Drew:  Is that the shirt you’re wearing today?banter cropped
Jonathan:  Yes.
Drew:  So – that’s the shirt you’re wearing today.
Jonathan:  Correct.
Drew:  Hmmm.

Repartee!  Ripostes!  Badinage!

And since its launch in 2011, Property Brothers has followed exactly the same structure:  reno/problems/happy ending + banter.

The format has become so popular that there’s an Emmy category for it:

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program

The award’s description could have been lifted directly from ole Pete’s playbook:

The category of “structured reality program” is defined as consisting of reality shows that “contain consistent story elements that mostly adhere to a recurring structured template.”

Property Brothers was nominated for the award in 2015, but alas, didn’t win.  Which surprises me, because along with the buzz sawing and bug baiting and brotherly bantering, Drew and Jonathan were also teaching us new vocabulary:

Vocab (2)

Despite their disappointment, the bros rose to the occasion and offered this banter:

Jonathan:  We didn’t win.rep_01 cropped
Drew:  No.
Jonathan:  Somebody else won.
Drew:  Yes.
Jonathan:  Hmmm.

Undaunted, Jonathan and Drew got right back to work, publishing books in 2016 and 2017, launching Reveal magazine in January 2020, planning several more franchises, and hinting at other possibilities.

One of which is hosting a talk show, and I can hear that brother banter going at warp speed:

Drew:  We have a special guest tonight.bad_01 cropped
Jonathan:  A special guest.
Drew:  A very special guest.
Jonathan:  Very.
Drew:  Hmmm.

In the meantime, those bros are never too busy to strike a pose:


Jonathan:  Are you painting my posterior?
Drew:  Yes.
Jonathan:  You’re painting my posterior.
Drew:  Yes.
Jonathan:  Hmmm.

What A Serendipitous Confluence Of Circumstances! Well, Not For The Dead Animals…

I’ll say it up front:

I don’t understand the appeal of hunting and killing wild animals.

I’m not talking about subsistence hunters – those who feed their families and themselves with what they kill.

I’m talking about those who kill wild animals for the sport of it.  The ones who dress up in camouflage, and deploy high-tech tracking devices, and shoot with high-tech bows and arrows that could bring down a cruise ship, or deploy high-tech, high-powered guns that could do this to the Golden Gate Bridge:

GG Bridge

Then, of course, come the endless ego-feeding photo ops of the hunter(s) posing with the dead animal:

hunters posing cropped
Camouflage clothes, check.  High-tech, high-powered gun, check.  Ego-feeding photo op, check.  Dead giraffe, going to eat it?  Not.

I don’t understand it, but I accept that some people do it and love it, and big game hunting isn’t going away, and that’s the way it is.

What I don’t accept is my tax dollars paying for someone to do this.

But apparently that’s exactly what happened last August, according to this and many other sources:

Vanity (2)

In August 2019 Donald Trump Jr. – or as I call him, Dumb Ass Don – took an eight-day trip to Mongolia for a private meeting with Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga.

Which seems a bit redundant, since Battulga had been in the U.S. less than a month earlier, meeting with Trump Jr.’s daddy:

Khaltmaagiin Battulga. meet trump
Battulga and Trump, July 2019.

 What could Trump Jr. possibly have needed to talk to Battulga about so soon afterwards?  What movie Battulga watched on the flight home to Mongolia?  Are Mongolia’s pot stickers as good as P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Pot Stickers?

Or maybe – by the way – could Trump Jr. get a retroactive hunting permit for that rare and near-endangered Mongolian Argali sheep he’d already killed a few days earlier?

Regarding the Argali, the post-killing permit granting did indeed happen after Trump Jr. killed it, according to the Vanity Fair article, which quoted this December 2019 article from ProPublica:

ProPublica (2)

Says the ProPublica article:

“The Mongolian government granted Trump Jr. a coveted and rare permit to slay the animal retroactively on September 2, after he’d left the region following his trip.  It’s unusual for permits to be issued after a hunter’s stay.  It was one of only three permits to be issued in that hunting region, local records show.”

So Trump Jr. comes back to the U.S., possibly bringing along Argali sheep body parts, but that would be illegal, so of course that didn’t happen.

Even though those Argali horns – which can grow up to six feet long:


Would make a nice place to hang his hat, so to speak.

Anyway, Trump Jr. comes home and in 2020, and an inconvenient thing happened:

CREW – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – started poking around and asking what Trump Jr.’s trip had cost the taxpayers.CREW cropped

In March the Secret Service initially disclosed only $17,000 in Secret Service costs to CREW.

A mere bagatelle, truly.

But those darn CREW people kept poking around, and in early June we learned guess what?

“According to documents obtained by CREW through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Secret Service spent a total of $76,859.36 on Trump Jr.’s Mongolian vacation.”

Almost $77,000 taxpayer dollars so Trump Jr. could pose for an Instagram opportunity like this:

Instagram (2)
Trump Jr. with his son Trump III and a wild eagle.  They later killed the bird, stuffed it, and ate it with mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and all the trimmings.

And kill one of these:


And maybe install these on his wall at home:

sheep horns_01

But I have a suggestion that could save at least some of our tax dollars because – here’s that “serendipitous confluence” from this post’s title – also occurred in early June:

NY Tijmes (2)

The National Park Service published this:

Fed Register (2)

And changed the rules about hunting in Alaska.

And according to the Times article, starting in July, instead of flying all the way to Mongolia, Dumb Ass Don can just buzz up to Alaska and do the following:

  • Bait grizzly bears with doughnuts soaked in bacon grease.black_03 cropped cropped
  • Use dogs to hunt bears.
  • Use spotlights to blind and shoot hibernating black bear mothers and their cubs in their dens.
  • Gun down swimming caribou from motorboats.
  • Kill wolves and coyotes, including pups, during the season when mothers wean their young.
  • Kill bears and wolves to ensure enough moose, caribou and other game are available so hunters can kill them, too.

Trump Jr. could fly from his home in New York to Anchorage, head out into the wild, kill a bunch of animals, pose for a bunch of Instagram opportunities, and collect a bunch of animal body parts for mounting on his wall…

And be home for dinner the next evening!

Trump Jr. can say to his five kids, ages five to 13, “Look, kids!  Look at those baby bear cubs I killed!  That was so much fun!”

And this will save taxpayer dollars because Trump Jr. won’t have to spend all that time traveling, since Mongolia is almost twice as far from New York as Alaska:

Map (2)

And he won’t need to spend as much time being guarded by the Secret Service:

secret service

And he won’t need to spend so many of our…

tax dollars cropped

Trump Jr. can just stay stateside, and when he’s not actually hunting, he can dress like he’s about to go hunting, and appear at parties with his girlfriend dressed like this:

Trump and Kimberly
Party Hearty:  Trump Jr. in full-body camo, holding a high-tech hunting bow, which he just happened to have lying around the house.  With him is girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, formerly employed by Fox News, now apparently working as a witch.

How About A Pause For A Little…

pants cropped croppedThere’s an old saying, “He puts his pants on, one leg at a time.”

It’s a way of saying, “He’s just an ordinary guy, like you and me.”

And for one guy named Will Reeve, the same:  Get up, get dressed for work, including pants, one leg at a time.

But for Reeve, on one particular morning…

No pants.

He went to work with no pants.

Work, in this case, was from home, due to the underwear cropped

So, no big deal.  If you’re working from home, why not sit at your computer in your underwear?  Or pajamas?  Or in nothing at all?

Who cares?

So why did Reeve’s lack of pants make news all across the country?

Reeve is a reporter for ABC, and that morning he was doing a remote from home, a segment on CVS and UPS’ plan to deliver prescriptions using drones.

He’d gotten dressed and then, very efficiently, set up his camera shot, as he didn’t have his own cameraperson.  Nice background, chair in place, everything good to go:

Will cropped

I mentioned that Reeve was efficient.

Because Reeve was going for a workout later, he’d put on his shorts but no pants.  He’d framed his remote for a waist-up shot.  No need to put on pants and then just take them off again, right?

And he was right – until, during his live segment, he shifted a bit, and here’s what millions of viewers saw:

Will Reeve

A hail of headlines followed, like this one:

CNN (2)

And this one:

Oprah (2)

And for reasons that are a mystery to me, the Los Angeles Times felt compelled to include information about Reeve’s parentage:

LA Times (2)

Along with the hail of headlines came a Twitter storm:

TWitter (2)

Reeve, to his credit, did not respond with a Trumpian “I don’t take responsibility at all.”

Instead, he responded with a Tweet of his own:

Tweet (2)

And – again, to his credit – Reeve answered questions with self-deprecating humor:

“I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t respect and love my job, but I’ve had a lot of fun…and I’m a lousy camera operator.”

“I have ARRIVED…in the most hilariously mortifying way possible!”

And when BuzzFeed News emailed Reeve for a comment, Reeve emailed back,

“Let me get dressed and I’ll get back to you soon 😂.”

I share this now because Reeve’s story was mostly a one-day wonder, and mostly got lost in all the attention-grabbing stories that day.

And perhaps that’s too bad.

Because it was light-hearted, and fun, and all in good spirits.

And because, if we’ve ever needed more of that in our lives…


An Apolitical Suggestion:  Here’s A Group You Don’t Want To Join

The November election is months away, but you’re fired up to vote in it.

Scenario #1:

You know exactly where you’re polling place is – you’ve been there before.  You’ll havepoll-place cropped your eye on the weather, and dress appropriately because you know you’ll spend some time standing in line.

You’re ready.

Election Day arrives and everything is going according to plan.  Then it’s your turn and…

“Sorry, you’re not registered to vote.”

It’s going to happen all over this country, more than ever before.

Scenario #2:

Perhaps you’re a mail-in voter.

You, too, are fired up and ready to vote, come November.

Close up of frustrated businessman on the phoneOnly…your ballot never arrives in the mail.

You start calling the Registrar of Voters, but the line is busy or you’re put on hold and then disconnected, and you keep trying and trying and…

You can’t get through.

You can’t vote.

It’s going to happen all over this country, more than ever before.

You’ve just joined a group you don’t want to join:

can't_02 cropped

People who want to vote and can’t, because they thought they were registered to vote, but weren’t.

You don’t have to join this group, if you do something now:

Go online and verify your voter registration.

In my county, San Diego, it was easy.  It took less than a minute.

I went here, and clicked on “Check Your Voter Registration:

Image 1 (2)

That brought me here, where I typed in my house number, birthday and zip code:

Image 2 (2)

And here’s my confirmation.  I removed most of my personal information, but if your voter registration is in order, you should see something like this:

Image 3 (2)

I’m good to go in San Diego County.

Wherever you live, do this.

And do it now.

Now, while you have plenty of time to address any problems with your voter registration.

Here’s a list of just some of the problems that could prevent you from voting:

  • You moved, but didn’t change your address with the Registrar of Voters.
  • You moved from one state to another and assumed if your voter registration was valid in one state, it’s valid everywhere.  Don’t assume.
  • You’ve changed your name; this information does not automatically get updated when you make the legal change.
  • If you haven’t voted for awhile, you may have been purged from the voting rolls.can't
  • You’ve had mental health or legal issues; this may matter, depending on where you live.
  • You missed your state’s registration deadline and didn’t know it.  Do you know your state’s deadline?
  • Errors at the Registrar of Voters – human errors and computer errors.
  • Voter ID laws – does your state have them, and have you met the requirements?
  • Criminal record – if you have one, verify if it prevents you from voting in your state; it may not.
  • Due to the pandemic, it’s difficult to predict how many polling places will be open, and where.  Don’t assume your usual polling place is going to be open.

Voting is our right, but making sure we’re registered to vote is our responsibility.

Verify your registration, and check it again, and again as we get closer to November 3.

Avoid joining the group you don’t want to join:

Can't vote

We Can Thank Steve Mnuchin For This SNAFU

I actually feel sorry for the 75,000 employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

IRS_logo.5e46cc85dcef7 croppedWe tend to demonize the IRS because they collect our taxes, and we pay WAY too much in taxes to the federal government.

But that’s not the fault of the IRS.  It’s Congress that passes the laws, not the poor schlemiels at the IRS.

I also feel sorry for the IRS folks because the IRS is part of the Treasury Department, which means their boss is slimeball Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

“Why a slimeball?” you ask.

Let’s start with, for example, this 2017 article.

2017 (2)

Then there was this 2019 article:

Dunce (2)

The writers summed it well when they said,

“Mnuchin’s boneheaded actions reflected his dominant characteristics.  He is a sycophant willing to debase himself, no matter how strongly, at the altar of Donald Trump.”

And I must include this March 2020 story:

Hill (2)

A Fox News host criticized Mnuchin for dismissing an unemployment report that topped 3.25 million claims as “not relevant.”


slimeball cropped with line

Oh, yeah.

So the folks at the IRS – most of whom, I believe, are dedicated, competent and hardworking – have to stumble and fumble along without anything resembling effective leadership.

Case in point:  Issuing CARES Act stimulus payments.

As put it on May 20,

CARES-Act-logo cropped“The program has, for the most part, run smoothly despite the amount of work that was required getting computers and multiple government agencies to play nice with each other.  The majority of taxpayers began seeing payments deposited into their bank accounts within two weeks of President Donald Trump signing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act bill into law on March 27, 2020.”

Perhaps the program was running too smoothly.

We heard plenty about this on the news, and it was all about “stimulus direct deposits” and “stimulus checks.”  “Stimulus direct deposits” and “stimulus checks.”  “Stimulus direct deposits” and “stimulus checks.”

But then somebody, somewhere in the Treasury Department came up with the idea that for some of the people who hadn’t as yet been sent checks, the government could instead send them debit cards in the amount of money the recipients were due to receive.

I don’t know if this was Mnuchin’s idea or not, but it’s clear from this photo that he endorsed the idea:

Mnuchin Trump

Mnuchin handed a sample debit card to Trump during a Cabinet Meeting in the East Room of the White House on May 19.

And the government began mailing out the debit cards.

In envelopes that – for no clear reason – looked like this:

Envelope (2)

No return address.

According to my research, a return address is not a requirement.  However, if the delivery address is incorrect, the Post Office has no way of knowing to whom the mail should be returned, and it may end up in a DLO, dead letter office.  Once there, it may be opened and either delivered or returned.

Or not.

mail_01 croppedAnd there you sit, wondering when your stimulus money will arrive.

And maybe not just you – the government is sending blank envelopes with debit cards to four million people.

But…let’s be optimistic.  Let’s say the envelope arrives at your home.

What are the odds of you opening an envelope that the sender didn’t care enough about to include a return address?  At my house, mail like that is classified as junk, and tossed.

But…let’s continue to be optimistic.  You open the envelope, and there is this plastic card with your name on it:


How many similar cards have you received, unsolicited and unwanted by you?

The card is issued by MetaBank.

Ever heard of it?

Me, neither.

There’s a letter enclosed with the card from the Money Network Cardholder Services.

Ever heard of it?

Me, neither.

According to this May 28 Washington Post article:

Wash post 1 (2)

Here’s one of the examples cited in the article:

“Eric Green and his wife, who live in Arlington, VA received a card in the mail last week.  But they thought it was a con because they had expected their stimulus payment would be direct deposited into the same bank account where they received their recent federal refund.

“‘Is it a scam or legitimate?’ said Green.  ‘There were a number of steps involved in converting the card into money to be put in our bank.  We wonder why we just didn’t receive a government check in the mail like other people have received?’”

In this Washington Post follow-up article on June 1:

Wash post 2 (2)

One reader said,

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name.  I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

And, once a recipient tried to access the money, there were problems:angry

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, MD wrote in an email.  “This is a total of three days, three separate visits.  I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly.  I am extremely angry.”

Let’s go back to the envelope with no return address, and another Washington Post reader’s response:

“I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

When queried about this, a Treasury spokeswoman said the card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud.”

Talk about “discreet”!  So discreet was the government that, after starting to mail the debit cards on May 18, the IRS didn’t announce the process until nine days later, with this news release:

IRS (2)

So discreet, the government doesn’t even appear to be talking about possible associated fees incurred when using the debit card:  bank teller counter transaction fees, out-of-network ATM fees, ATM balance inquiry fees, for example.

And let’s not forget that pesky $7.50 replacement charge if you lose your card. If you’re in a hurry and want the card to be sent four to seven days after the order is placed, there’s also a $17 priority shipping fee.

All this is happening on Mnuchin’s watch, and that makes him responsible.


  • Plain white envelope, no return address, may end up in a dead letter office.
  • MetaBank and Money Network Cardholder Services, whoever the hell they are.
  • Looks like junk mail at best, a scam at worst; some recipients are destroying the debit cards.
  • Started mailing May 18 but no announcement from the IRS until May 27.
  • Fees, including a replacement fee.

Of course, Mnuchin doesn’t have to worry about problems with getting stimulus money in any form – debit card, direct deposit or check.

Slimeball Steve’s net worth is around $400 million, according to a 2019 article in Forbes.

And your money problems are – as he said in The Hill article above –

“Not relevant.”

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Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who’s The Most Vacuous* Of Them All?

*Vacuous:  having or showing a lack of thought or intelligence; mindless.

If you qualified for stimulus money and received a check, it would have looked something like this:

a stack of three example u s treasury checks for stimulus paymen

If you qualified for the full amount, it would have been $1,200.

If you qualified for a check and in the full amount, it would not have enabled you to buy this:

whitney_bag_max_mara cropped

This is a $1,540 Max Mara Whitney tote bag, which now has a place in history.

It went along on Trump’s walk of shame on Monday, June 1 when he walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a bible-in-hand photo op.

The bible had been carried to the photo op in the tote bag.Ivanka cropped

A tote bag belonging to none other than Daddy’s Little Girl, Ivanka (photo, left).

I can hear the conversation at the White House, just prior to the group heading out.  The mélange included Trump, Ivanka, Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, advisor Hope Hicks, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany gaggle of Secret Service agents, and others.

Hicks:  Mr. President, are you ready for your photo op?

Trump:  Yeah.  Why am I doing this?

McEnany:  Hope, would you like to unpack this for us?

Hicks:  Certainly.  Sir, to show that you’re our law and order president, sir, and that God is on your side.

Trump:  Yeah.  You said something about a bible, or something?

Ivanka:  I’ve got it, Daddy!  I’ve got it right here, in my $1,540 Max Mara Whitney tote bag!  The classic lines and east-west design of the tote are perfect for these spring months, and for carrying all sorts of things.  Including my black Lele Sadoughi face mask adorned with copper stars…

Ivanka_02 cropped

Ivanka:  …that I wore this morning as I left the house, to show the masses that we care about them!

Trump:  That’s my little girl, always thinking about the masses!

Ivanka:  Oh, Daddy, you’re so sweet!

McEnany:  Oooh, I saw your face mask!  Your picture was on all the major media outlets!

Trump:  So, Ivanka’s gonna carry the bible and we’re gonna walk to the church and she’ll hand me the bible and…then what?  I give another speech about anarchists and…

Hicks:  No, sir, no speech at the church, sir.  You’ll just hold up the bible and look…stern.howard-stern-on-donald-trump

Trump:  Stern?  Howard Stern?  I can do him.  How’s this?  (Makes a face)

Hicks, aside to Ivanka and McEnany:  Girls, can you help me out here?

After a stop in the Rose Garden to make threats against law-abiding American citizens, Trump and his entourage walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church, including Ivanka, white tote bag firmly in hand, Lele Sadoughi face mask adorned with copper stars nowhere in sight:


At just the right moment she handed the bible to Trump, who posed for photographs.  Then he handed off the bible, presumably to Ivanka, who presumably returned it to her $1,540 Max Mara Whitney tote bag, and presumably, everybody went happily back to the White House.

Kayleigh McEnany would soon after compare Trump’s bible-in-hand photo op to images of Winston Churchill inspecting bombing damage during World War II and George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch after 9/11.

Hope Hicks, quoted by an anonymous source, said, “President Trump has a magnetic personality, and exudes positive energy, which is infectious to those around him.”

And from Ivanka:  “Did you see how the Daily Mail said, ‘Be beautiful like Ivanka and carry a Max Mara tote bag’”?

Now, don’t despair about not being “beautiful like Ivanka” and not buying a $1,540 history-making tote bag with your $1,200 relief check.

Max Mara has this lovely leather shopper bag, just marked down, that you can afford:


$1,660.00  $1,162.00

And you’ll have $38 left for your month’s rent.



What If Trump Does…

The above quote is from a poem by Dylan Thomas, paraphrased by me, and poses the question:

What if, when Trump loses the election, he refuses to accept it and does not go gentle into that good night?

I believe Trump is capable of – correction, embraces – behaviors with only his self-interest in mind.  So it isn’t hard for me to imagine this nightmare in the not-too-distant future:

After Trump is defeated in November and the new president takes the oath of office in January, Trump refuses to leave the White House.

We’d have two presidents.worst nightmare cropped

We’d have chaos.

The “two presidents” scenario isn’t that far-fetched – Venezuela has two presidents, Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido:

Two Pres (2)

It’s been that way since January 2019 and there’s nothing in sight that even hints at a resolution.

Venezuela is a complex situation, but come January 2021, our situation would be simple:

When Trump loses, he’ll scream voter fraud.  He’ll declare the election invalid, demandvoter fraud cropped a recount or a do-over.  Or he could simply say, “The election was fraudulent and I’m president for the next four years.”

And he’ll get support from his Republican Senate toadies, Barr, family members and certainly some or all Cabinet members.

Trump has been screaming about “Voter Fraud!” for a long time, and now has “set the stage for this with his false claims about mail-in ballots,” says Fred Kaplan, author of this June 1 article:

Slate (2)

I found Kaplan’s article informative, objective and well-written.  But before I gave it full credibility, I researched him online.  He’s got a Ph.D. in political science from MIT, done many years of political reporting for respected publications, and authored more than a half-dozen books including a Pulitzer Prize Finalist.  At 65 Kaplan, as the Farmers Fred-Kaplan-2019Insurance commercials say, has seen a thing or two.

I decided Fred (left) had cred.

And because Fred has cred, so did his article.  The simple statement in the title – Trump Can’t Just Refuse to Leave Office – was comforting.

And it was comforting to learn others were thinking about Trump refusing to leave.  In addition to Kaplan saying so, he cites Bill Maher “warning of this specter on his HBO show Real Time;” Kaplan quotes New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, who “called Trump’s compliance with the election results ‘the most critical question for American democracy.’”  Even Joe Biden, says Kaplan, “has raised the possibility on a few occasions.”

I was in good company.

And the reasons Kaplan offers as to why Trump can’t just refuse – and there are many – make sense.

Kaplan walks us through the reasons, step by step:  the nuclear codes that expire when the new president is sworn in and receives the new codes; what the military, Secret Service, and foreign leaders will do, all in support of the new president; the possible charges facing anyone – Cabinet members, for example – who support Trump’s actions.

In other words, Kaplan concludes,

“Trump could hole himself up in the Oval Office, but the Oval Office would very soon be cut off from all power.  He would have no choice but to give up.”

Very comforting.

I, however, prefer to take my comfort level a step further.marshals cropped reversed smaller

If Trump refuses to vacate the White House, I want U.S. Marshals or the police or whatever the appropriate law enforcement agency is to escort Trump out of the White House.  Preferably handcuffed.  Definitely handcuffed.

If they’re dragging Trump out – better yet.

They hustle him to a police cruiser and open the back door.  One of the officers puts his hand on the top of Trump’s head to lower him into the back seat – like you’ve seen police do on TV a zillion times.

And then – just because he can – the officer deliberately messes up Trump’s hair.

Really messes it up.

Worse than Boris Johnson:

Boris cropped trump hair cropped

And not only were others besides me thinking about Trump refusing to leave office, others were also envisioning that, and its aftermath – with a little help from PhotoShop.

Kaplan suggests that the new president’s acting attorney general will have drawn up arrest warrants for Trump “on charges – at minimum – of criminal trespassing.”

Kaplan continues,

“If Trump calls on the armed forces or militias or the nation’s sheriffs to come defend him, he might also be charged with incitement or insurrection…the pretend monarch is taken away in handcuffs.”

I found these creations online, and thought they were particularly good:

They haven’t messed up his hair yet…but they will.
trump_03 cropped larger
The orange jumpsuit matches Trump’s orange pancake makeup.
trump_04 larger
Let’s make it a family affair.

Lacking PhotoShop, I couldn’t begin to match the perfection of these images, but I tried my hand at it, anyway.

I’ll bet you didn’t know Trump has tattoos, did you?

Trump (2) REV_01

When You Receive This…

When you get an envelope like the one above, you open it.

This is from the Internal Revenue Service – the IRS – and you don’t ignore a missive from the IRS.

money_01It could be a notification that says,

“We advise that you’ve been overpaying your taxes for 15 years and a remittance check in the amount of $54,328 will arrive within 10 days.”

Or, it could be a notification that says,handcuffs_01

“You are the biggest tax crook since Al Capone, and as you read this, 100 IRS agents are surrounding your house.”

My husband and I received a letter from the IRS on Saturday, but it wasn’t a windfall, or a government raid.

It was this:

TL-01 (3)

In essence, it told us that our payment from the CARES Act had arrived, because I, Donald J. Trump, am the greatest president in American history.

It was such a blatant, obvious, juvenile effort that I was almost – almost – embarrassed for the poor fools who had to write it.

Instead, I was too busy being pissed that this letter had been paid for with my…

tax dollars cropped

A letter telling me that we’d received money.

Money that we’d received seven days earlier.

As though we were too stupid to notice when the money was deposited in our bank account.

But…Trump’s ego is massive and needs constant nourishing, and it’s been starved since the pandemic shut down his rallies.

The pandemic…so inconvenient.

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So Trump’s toadies put their heads together, and came up with this letter.

And sent it to millions of people receiving money from the CARES Act.

Not to tell us something we already knew – that we’d received the money days ago.

But to remind us that:

Trump cares about you!
Trump loves you!
Vote for Trump in 2020!

The goal of this letter – paid for by our tax dollars – was so obvious, it might as well have looked like this:

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