Category Archives: Humor

Naked People on Coins, and Other Fascinating Numismatic Discoveries

The kids have a pretty terrific foreign coin collection.  It has been accumulated through donations from me and their dad, our globe-trotting neighbor Bob (who gave us a whole bag a few years ago), and anyone who knows me who has ever mentioned that they are going overseas.  We got it out the other day and were poking through it.  I would love to say that we were doing something highly educational, like quizzing ourselves on world geography, or comparing fonts on the coins of communist vs. socialist vs. capitalist governments.  We were actually looking at them to find coins to spin on the table top.

Anyway…it did get me looking through the coins again, which is always good for killing a few hours.  As I pawed through them I was amazed at the variety of sizes, shapes, weights, and colors.  I also noticed some surprising images and trends.  Though I am not a professional numismatist (yes, I had to Google that to figure out what you call people who collect coins), I have cataloged my observations below.  So forge ahead…if you’ve got the time, I’ve got the money.

1.  Other countries put naked and semi-naked people on their coins.

I know that Europeans think we Americans are prudes.  Just because we arrest women who go topless on beaches, just because we not only wear clothes ourselves all the time (even in bed and in the shower), but we also put clothes on our dogs, just because in 2002 our then Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered the semi-nude statue of the Spirit of Justice covered with drapes because he didn’t like her marble mammary glands in the background of his press conferences, distracting everyone when they should have been listening to him.  But even a fairly liberal thinker like myself feels like the coins below have gone just a bit too far.  Naked moose and kangaroos on coins are one thing (see discoveries #5 and #6 below), naked people are something else entirely.

Naked

2.  Soviet coins were not full of whimsy.

Here is Lenin on a two ruble commemorative coin celebrating his 1ooth birthday, and two other Soviet coins.  The images and fonts on the coins we have are not particularly homey; no flowers, animals, pretty sailboats, or lovely ladies with windblown hair (the French REALLY like to put that on their coins).  Though I must say I love the font that was used for “1961”.  Very strident.  It’s like the coin is telling you, “It is 1961 comrade, and you’d better not forget it.”

Lenin

3.  The aging of Queen Elizabeth is recorded on the coins of like, a million different countries.

I’m not sure I would be up for my aging process to be recorded on coins from all over the world the way that her’s has.  So many of our coins have her image on them; coins from England, Canada, Australia, Falkland Islands, East Caribbean States, Hong Kong.  And these are just the ones we happen to have.  I couldn’t help but wonder, why is she wearing a crown in some but not in others?  Did she decide to do a “Casual Decade”, kind of like casual Fridays?

coins.elizabeth

4.  Just like there’s good naked and bad naked, there’s good coin profiles and bad coin profiles.

So many decisions to make when you are having your visage stamped onto currency.  Crown or no crown?  For women, what is my hairdo going to be?  Should I wear a head dress, pearls?  And for men, facial hair is a consideration.  Beard, moustache, mutton chops?  Do these leaders get any editorial say on the final image, because some of these are a bit unflattering.  Maybe it’s just my shallow nature, but if I had the jowls of some of these folks I would have demanded a bit of nipping and tucking, if only on my coin.

Leader coins

5.  Canadians really like animals.

Seriously guys, do you need an animal on almost every coin?  Is this like some sort of contest, except that no one but the Canadians knows we are playing?

Canadian coins

5.  Sheep, owls, kangaroos, it’s like a damn zoo!

Besides our neighbor to the north, many other countries put animals on their coins.  The Falkland Islands’ coin has a sheep on one side and Queen Elizabeth on the other (take that Argentina), the 1943 Aussie penny has a kangaroo, and a Greek coin (at least I think it’s Greek) has a super cool owl.

animal coins

6.  Lions and eagles are very popular.

I’m just guessing here, but the reason that so many countries put fierce predators on their coins instead of snails or litters of kittens may be that they think those other weak countries with the flowers and stuff on their coins are going to be too afraid to mess with them.  Sort of like sending a subliminal message.  Why not go all the way with that one, and put on a rabid dog, or a nuclear bomb, or bird flu virus.  Or all three.  That would say, “Really, really, really don’t mess with us!”

Lions

Eagles

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Don’t Post Pictures of Me on Facebook!

A friend stopped by to visit today who is from out of town.  He grew up here in San Diego, but now lives in Philly.  Our families see each other a few times a year.  I thought it was fun that we had dressed alike; jeans, white shirt, sandals, and got my husband to take a picture of us.  Innocent enough.  Or so I thought!

I made an offhand comment about putting it on my Facebook page, and my friend, whose real name is Michael but who I will refer to by the code name “Mike” in this post to protect his identity, said,

“I don’t let people post pictures of me on Facebook.”

I’m pretty sure he isn’t in the witness protection program, so that got me to thinking.  Maybe he is right, maybe we shouldn’t be posting pictures of ourselves all over Facebook, because there is some pretty damning stuff out there.  I went back and looked through some old photos (“Mike” and I met in 1989), and sure enough, there was plenty there that no one in their right mind would want plastered all over the internet for eternity, or at least until The Rapture (when you are either in heaven enjoying your 72 virgins or are still back on Earth desperately trying to find a Starbucks that is still serving).

So take a stroll down memory lane with my friend “Mike” and me, as I turn over all the rocks, open all the closets, and lance all the boils from our sordid past!

The fateful picture that started it all.  Mike's face has been obscured to protect his identity (hint, he's not a redhead).

The fateful picture that started it all. Mike’s face has been obscured to protect his identity (hint, he’s not really a redhead).

This was such a crazy night!  Mike and I were hanging out in my bar in Nepal, actually he was mostly just watching while I drank a table full of goat herders UNDER THE TABLE!  We were all totally having fun, and then this jerky German dude shows up and gets all aggro about some  medallion.  Ruined our night.

This was such a crazy night!  Mike and I were hanging out in my bar in Nepal, actually he was mostly just watching while I drank a table full of goat herders UNDER THE TABLE!  We were all totally having fun, and then this jerky German guy shows up and gets all aggro about some medallion. Ruined our night.  Whatever dude.

Can you say KARYOKE!  Well Mike and I can.  Mike is a HUGE Justin Timberlake fan,

Can you say KARYOKE! Well Mike and I can. Mike is a HUGE Justin Timberlake fan, and when he heard that Justin and Janet Jackson were doing the half time show at the Superbowl in 2004 he insisted that we get dressed up just like them and sing along during their performance.  This picture is soooo embarrassing, because black leather jumpsuits are, like, totally out of fashion!  If you think THIS picture is bad, you should see the ones after it that even I refuse to put on the web.  Wardrobe malfunction indeed!

Mike and I can tell you from experience that you have never truly partied until you've done it with a Russian.  Something about centuries of suffering under feudalism, only to have it replaced by a totalitarian communist government, and then only to have that replaced by nepotistic oligarchs and former KGB goons, they party to the extreme.  Too many years of killing for the last bottle of vodka off of the state run shelves means NOTHING is off limits.

Mike and I can tell you from experience that you have never truly partied until you’ve done it with a Russian. Maybe it has something to do with centuries of suffering under feudalism, only to have that replaced by a totalitarian communist government, and then only to have that replaced by nepotistic oligarchs and former KGB goons.  Or with having to kill for the last bottle of vodka off of the nearly empty state run store shelves.  Mike and I ran into Boris Yeltsin one night and there was no stopping him, he kept us out until 6:00, A.M.!!!  I thought the dress was cute at the time, but now I think I look like Marcia Brady.

One word.  Vegas.

One word. Vegas.

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The Secret Lives of Teachers

Many children think that their teachers live at school, and it comes as a shock to them that they go home at night, and that they have a life outside of school.  Most teachers have just one life outside of school, but some of our teachers also have a second, secret life.  Read on to find out all about…THE SECRET LIVES OF TEACHERS…

Mrs. S.

Secret Life: Wild Snail Refuge Owner

Getting ready to feed the snails.

Getting ready to feed the snails.

You know how Hagrid, the ground’s keeper at Hogwarts, loves dangerous animals?  He calls dragons “vastly misunderstood”, and wants one as a pet?  Mrs. S. feels the same way, except instead of dragons being vastly misunderstood, she thinks that snails are.  Every time she hears about yet another gastropod being destroyed, rather than relocated, when it has invaded a suburban backyard, her blood boils.  “It’s always the big, furry mammals everyone worries about, never the slimy invertebrates.”  That’s why she set up a wild snail refuge in her yard.  She tries to keep things as natural as possible for her charges, and tries to avoid too much human contact with them, in the hopes that one day they can be returned to the wild.  “If I must enter their enclosure, I try to camouflage myself as much as possible, so they don’t lose their natural fear of humans.”  Keep on fighting the good fight Mrs. S.!

Mr R.

Secret Life: Backwards Walker

Mr.R

Keep an eye where you are going Mr. R.

Though not yet sanctioned as an official Olympic sport, dedicated backwards walkers such as Mr. R. have nothing but praise for their chosen sport.  Habit. Compulsion.  Or whatever it is.  “I find that walking backwards when I am not at school kind of resets my odometer, refreshes my screen, I don’t know…it just makes me feel younger,” he said as he simultaneously peeled hyperactive Bobby off the ceiling while he explained the different vowels sounds made by a double “O” to little bespectacled Priscilla, who was in the reading corner doing an in depth study of Good Night Moon.  There are worse things one could do to maintain ones sanity, when confronted with 25 squirming, squiggling, squinting, squirrely 5 year olds 5 days a week.  Klaw no .rM R!

Mrs. K.

Secret Life: Wonder Twin

Wonder Twins

Mrs. K in her Wonder Twin days, and later, as a Super Friend.

Years ago, Mrs. K was known by another name, Jayna.  After a falling out with Zan over custody of their pet space monkey Gleek (Zan was awarded full custody and now lives with him on house boat in the south of France), Mrs. K. left the super hero life behind to focus on her teaching career and starting a family.  But occasionally the urge to return to the old ways resurfaces, and she can be heard muttering as she walks around campus, “Shape of…a polygon”.  Or she dresses identically to other teachers, who find her insistence on getting all matchy matchy adorably quirky.

Mrs. Y.

Secret Life: Mini Me Aficionado

Mrs. Y. and her mini me.  Adorable might be the word I'm searching for...

Mrs. Y. and her mini me. Adorable might be the word I’m searching for…

We really have the best science teacher at our school, but what many at our campus don’t know is that our science teacher has the best mini me ever.  How do I know this?  “I have the best mini me ever”, said Mrs. Y., our science teacher.  On the weekends she goes with me and my family everywhere, and does everything with us.  She has a very full life.”  Mrs. Y.’s husband and children were approached for comment, but they just ran away.  Later the doll was seen glaring out through the closed curtains of their living room.  Didn’t Chuckie have red hair too?  Hmmm, maybe Mrs. Y. has been doing a little experimenting after hours in the lab.  Nah, couldn’t be.

Mrs B.

Secret Life: Oil Rig Worker

She sure cleans up pretty!

She sure cleans up pretty!

Yes, I know, it is hard to believe that the teacher with the cutest nails, hair, sunglasses, and peek-a-boo toe sandals on campus spends her Saturdays as a roughneck on a rig in the Gulf, but it’s true.  “I like the contrast between school and the rig, I like pushing myself physically, and I am really proud that I started as a roustabout, but have now worked my way up to derrickhand.  Of course, it’s murder on my nails.  I have a standing appointment at the nail salon immediately after my plane touches down at Lindbergh Field.”  Though the kids have no suspicions about their teacher’s talents with a spanner, the custodians know who to fetch when a stuck nut needs coaxing or the plumbing goes out in one of the bathrooms.  “A plugged up toilet’s nothing after working the drilling mud in the mud pits, let me tell you!”  We’ll just have to take your word for it Mrs. B.

Mrs C.

Secret Life: Celebrity Stalker

Smile, cuz here comes Mrs. C.'s camera...

Smile, cuz here comes Mrs. C.’s camera…

Stalkarrazzi or shutterbug, whatever word you chose to use, it’s all the same to Mrs. C.  She thinks of her camera as her third eye, and it doesn’t matter if you look her in it or not, she’s taking your picture!  Though at school she is just known as “That teacher who never stops taking pictures”, in Hollywood she is known as “The Bulldog”, since she never lets go until she gets her picture.  Currently Bragelina, Justin Bieber, Brittany Spears, Demi Moore, and Mr. T. have restraining orders against her.  Do you think David Beckham is moving to France from L.A. because he wants to play one last season of soccer?  No, it is to get away from Mrs. C.  Ditto for Jennifer Aniston and the move to New York.  It wasn’t to snuggle in a Manhattan love nest with Justin Theroux, it was to have a moment’s peace.  But hey, it’s a free world, and she’s got college tuition to think about in a few years.  Smile!  Hey!!  LOOK HERE!!!  Gotcha…

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I Cleansed the Evil Spirit of Rush Limbaugh From My Colon, Just in Time for Inauguration

It all started just after the election.  Yes, THAT election, the one that drove a stake into the heart of die-hard Republicans everywhere, the election that returned Barack HUSSEIN Obama to the office of the Presidency of the United States.  Cramps, pain, increasing discomfort in my lower digestive tract.  I couldn’t figure it out.  Nothing much had changed, I hadn’t been sick, I hadn’t altered my diet.  Why was the source of these uncomfortable feelings?

Finally, in utter desperation, I did a cleanse.  I know, everyone has heard the rapturous descriptions of how people’s lives are changed from gastric cleansing.  Coffee ground-green tea-pomegranate-acai berry purges that scrub you down to your very DNA.  Was I sceptical?  Yes.  Was I desperate??  Oh yes.  So I did it, I cleansed.  And thank God I did, since I am sure it saved my life.  You see, unbeknownst to me, the evil spirit of Rush Limbaugh had possessed my colon.  And here’s the proof.

Here it is, the evil spirit of Rush Limbaugh, recently voided from my colon.

Here it is, the evil spirit of Rush Limbaugh, recently voided from my colon.

Don’t ask about my solid gold toilet.  That is for another day, another post.  Suffice it to say it involved an Arab sheik and matters of national security.  Look at what emerged from my nether regions following a 3 day uber cleansing of my system!!!  I am not crazy!  THAT IS RUSH LIMBAUGH!!!   Now, I never in a billion, trillion years thought I would post a photo of the contents of my (solid gold) toilet, but how could I keep this miracle to myself?  What about my duty to humanity?  Now granted, my Rush poop will never be venerated like the Shroud of Turin, the shrine of Lourdes, or the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese, but I had to record its existence for posterity.

A casino bought this grilled cheese sandwich for $28,000.  Too bad I flushed my Rush poop, maybe Sean Hannity would have ponied up a bit of the green stuff for it...

A casino bought this grilled cheese sandwich for $28,000. Too bad I flushed my Rush poop, Sean Hannity might have ponied up a bit of the green stuff for it…

The picture I snapped is all that remains of my fecal phantasmagoria.  That, and my everlasting relief that I did that cleanse before the Inauguration.  Can you image what would have happened if that had been inside me still, while B. Hussein O. was standing on the steps of the capitol, taking up the reins of power as all the world looked on?  Rosemary’s baby meets Alien meets that awful scene from Austin Powers when he accidentally drinks diarrhea.  (N.B., If you haven’t already, put down the mocha latte).  Happily, that did not come to pass, and I am still here and able to sing along with incomparable Nina Simone.

“It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new life for me…and I’m feeeeeeeeelin’ good.”

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Adorable Cats

As I get older, I find I can no longer ignore the cat lady who is trying to scratch and claw her way out of my seemingly extra-normal exterior.  Thus I am giving in and putting an adorable cat post on my blog.  So gird yourselves, screw your courage to the sticking place, and forge ahead, as I put up on the web for all to see…photos of the CUTEST CATS EVER!

For your viewing pleasure, a photo gallery of our four cats through the years; Enzo, Bella, Jacques, and Julius.  Even though most of you aren’t lucky enough to know them or have known them, these photos will give you insight into their moods, thoughts, hopes, and dreams…

Intrigued

Julius.lookinh

Julius on high.

Distinguished

Enzo.yard

The irreplaceable Enzo.

Beckoning

Bella.upclose

Bella girl cat.

Curious

Julius and Bella checking out the tree cutter guys in the canyon.

Julius and Bella checking out the tree trimmer guys in the canyon.

Melancholic

Julius on a rainy day.

Julius on a rainy day.

Content

Cat napping on a lap.

Cat napping on a lap.

Fixated

Killer instinct.

Ready to pounce.

Balanced

Sunning on the balcony.

Sunning on the balcony.

Shameless

What a nice belly!

Look at my belly!

Chillaxed

The Dude abides.

The Dude abides.

Dreamy

"I love Mo so much, all I do all day is lie around and think about her and how amazingly perfect she is."

“I love Mo so much, I just lie around all day and think about her …”

Peaceful

My first and best kitty.

My first and best kitty, Mr. Enzo.

Cats as Kids

Emma with baby Jacques.

Emma with baby Jacques.

Julius.hat.100

Enzo wearing Emma’s baby hat.

My three babies.

My three babies.

Kids as Cats

Emma and Sam in their matching leopard suits.

Emma and Sam in their matching leopard suits.

Kids with Cats

Two cool guys just hanging out.

Two cool guys just hanging out.

Emma and Jacques.

Emma and Jacques.

Sam and kitten

Little Sam, little kitten

Bedtime buddies

Bedtime buddies

Parting Shot

Yes, even their butts are cute.

Yes, even their butts are cute.

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David The Swedish Exchange Student, Give Me Back My Friend

This is a plea to David The Swedish Exchange Student (DaTSES).  He is spending the year with my friend Sue, her husband Ed, and their two sons Evan and Erik.  And a tortoise named Trevor, though Trevor hibernates for 6 months.  Lucky Trevor.  At least HE won’t have his heart broken.

Anyway, you would have thought Sue’s life was already a full and fulfilling one.  Two wonderful children, a doting husband, and a great group of lovely friends.  We all thought we were meeting her needs, but apparently not.  So one day, out of the blue, he shows up.  David.  Wavy blond hair, blue eyes, charming smile.  He shows up, AND TOTALLY TAKES OVER!

Suddenly, Sue turns into his Stepford mom.

“Sorry, I can no longer make the get together at Colleen’s new house…because David qualified for CIF in cross country this week!!!   We just found out he’s getting an award at the Serra Cross Country banquet!!!

“I would love to do a holiday cookie party for my biological children and their little friends, but instead I am hosting a foreign exchange student potluck, because NOTHING is more fascinating than Foreign Exchange Students (FES’s).

I thought Swedes were nice.

So now I am brushing up on my Swedish, because I have a few choice things to say to DaTSES.  I translated my remarks into Swedish so I am sure he understands.  DaTSES, I AM SPEAKING DIRECTLY TO YOU!

“Varför vill du inte köra fort tillbaka till Stockholm, du body snatcher.”

“Why don’t you hightail it back to Stockholm, you body snatcher.”

“Dessa köttbullar ser läckra.”

“Those meatballs look delicious”

“Är detta vägen till Fjuckby?”

“Is this the way to Fjuckby*?”

Give me back my friend, David The Swedish Exchange Student.

Snälla.  (Please)

*Fjuckby is the name of a village in Sweden.  The residents applied to the National Land Survey of Sweden to have the old name of Fjukeby, a variant in usage until the 1930s, reinstated.  Fjuckby contains both the rude Swedish word “juck” and its more recognizable English equivalent.  The government agency denied their request.  (http://www.thelocal.se/9322/20071206/)

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My friend Sue The Stepford Mom (SuTSMo), saw my blog post and wrote a long comment/screed in response.  See the comments section below.  She also sent along these potential Christmas cards, asking me my opinion.  I think she meant them as a rebuttal, but sadly they only serve as horrible confirmation.  Excuse me now, I have to go plan the intervention.

Wait, did she say David has a brother?!?

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I am My Facebook Page and My Facebook Page is Me

Katie Roiphe wrote an article recently called “Disappearing Mothers”, about women of a certain age whose Facebook pages reflect not themselves and their accomplishments, but focus instead on their cherubic children (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/0bf95f3c-f234-11e1-bba3-00144feabdc0.html#axzz265rpdZPH).  Being a true Wellesley Woman myself, this in no way applies to my FB page.  Peruse some of my recent posts to see what I mean.  Perhaps I don’t focus on my children, because my life is simply too full of my own accomplishments to focus on theirs.  How many kids do I have again??

FB Nobel.2

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