Grandpa Homerisms

I like to tell people about my Grandpa Homer.  I don’t know if they find my Grandpa Homer stories as amusing as I do but I feel his antics need to be documented here and shared with the world.  And by the world I mean my amazing readership (you may be few in number but you have impeccable taste).

It is obvious Grandpa wanted to instill a deep appreciation of culture in his grandchildren.  From a very young age, Grandpa would regale us grandchildren with beautiful poetry:

Sssssssssh!  Listen, listen
The cat’s a pissin’
Where?!  Where?!
Under the chair
Run run get a gun!
It’s too late
The damn thing’s done

Grandpa’s inner thespian would emerge during these recitations.  He would dramatically cup his hear to listen to the cat as he was “a pissin'” and then he would frantically look around for his gun and finally he would hang his head in exaggerated despair.

Grandma had no appreciation for Grandpa’s poetry and would shout “Jone-yuuuur!” throughout his beautiful performances.  (“Jone-yur” is how my British grandmother pronounces Junior.)

“Dammit Jeanette!” he would shout (knowing damn well that his cussing would lead to further excitement on Grandma’s part), “I’m trying to teach the kids some poetry here!”

Grandpa was very concerned with our educations and would often check up on the progress of our literary pursuits, asking us if we’d had the chance to read Under the Bleachers by Seymour Butts or Yellow River by I. P. Daley.

Sometimes Grandpa didn’t mean to cause a commotion.  Being the oldest grandchild, I was the social director of the cousins and one of my favorite activities was to “play church.”  This involved my cousins sitting on the couch while I read from Grandpa’s Bible.  During one of these really fun play sessions, two hundred dollar bills fell out and floated to the floor. 

We kids ran screaming up the stairs to where the adults were playing a game of cards, wildly waving what we thought was surely a small fortune and yelling, “Grandpa!  Grandpa!  We found two hundred dollars in your Bible!!”

Now, you’d think my Grandpa would be just as thrilled as we were to discover this cache.  Surely it was a religious miracle of some sort?  Grandpa was always complaining Grandma never gave him any golfing money — this must be divine intervention!  It turned out it was golfing money, just without the holy origins we had anticipated.

My chagrined Grandpa laughed and said “Dammit, Risi!  That was supposed to be my golfin’ money come this spring.”

“Not anymore,” Grandma said smugly.

Fond memories, fond memories.  Another memorable moment occurred during a family vacation to South Dakota. At the entrance to the Badlands National Park you have to stop and pay like an $8 fee per car.  For gentlemen in the 55 and over age bracket, this is a small fortune, as those of you with grandfathers can attest to.  I was about 14 so the following conversation was pretty embarrassing:

Grandpa:  EIGHT dollars?!

Teller:  Yes, sir.

Grandpa:  By God, you gotta be kidding me.

Grandma:  Just give her the damn money, Jone-yur!  (Turning to my sister and I:  I’m sorry, girls, for using that language, but your grandfather drives me nuts sometimes.  Granddaughters nod, but have no idea what grandma is apologizing for.  Damn is a bad word?)

Grandpa:  I ain’t payin’ no EIGHT dollars.

Teller:  I’m sorry, sir, I can’t let you in unless you buy a ticket.

Grandpa:  Are you sure it’s EIGHT dollars?

Grandma:  JONE-YUR!

Grandpa, handing over the money:  By God, I don’t want to buy the whole damn park, I just want to drive through it for a couple hours.  EIGHT dollars!

Grandpa is not a lunatic; he just acts like he is because it’s amusing to see Grandma get riled up. You see, there is a strong positive correlation between Grandpa’s happiness and Grandma’s frustration.


Bathroom Photography Tips

I really promise to (try to) stop picking on people’s MySpace pictures (see Duck Face and What Real(ly Tan) Men Want) but first please allow me to make a very quick note regarding bathroom photography.

Yes, the bathroom is a fantastic place to take alluring photos of yourself to post on MySpace.  However, there are some important things to keep in mind – first and foremost would be making sure the toilet lid is down and/or you have flushed the toilet following your last bowel movement.  Believe it or not, a big old terd in the background brings the sexy factor down a notch:

What Real(ly Tan) Men Want

So many girls write to me asking, “Marisa, how can I get a guy like this?”:

No caption necessary.
Actually, they don’t but if they did this is what I would tell them: “Sally, to bag a quality guy like this, you must look like this:”
But wait, you might say, I’m not a natural beauty like these girls.  That’s where I come in.  I am here to help you master this look.  And don’t worry, even the most plain Jane can follow this plan – all you need is some disposable income (or a credit card) and minimal regard for your body.

Step 1: Skin
First of all, a sexy natural glow is a crucial first step toward achieving a look that says, “I’m not here for respect; I’m just here for a husband/good time/all-you-can-drink special.”  The look can be created by making sure you get plenty of Vitamin D.  The quickest way to do this is to live inside a tanning bed.  To replicate the looks achieved below you will probably need to tan two-three times daily over the course of several decades:

Twice the pretty.
Try to aim for Christina’s natural-looking tan, as depicted here.
Lindsay Lohan

This is dedication.

 Couples who tan together stay together look hot and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Step 2: Body
You have two options:  Be healthy or cram your excess baggage into clothes that are technically not your size.

The second option is much less time consuming.  Flub can be easily concealed through tanning (see Step 1), slutty corsets (visit your nearest Forever 21) and distraction (i.e., wearing tons of makeup or very little clothing – or some combination of both – so that weight is no longer an issue).  Corsets are great because you can take your armpit fat and shove them into your bra to give your girls an extra boost.

Either way, you are going to want to spend significant time at the gym to snag a guy like this:

Don’t worry, you don’t have to sweat or use any of the equipment.  Many girls choose to simply loiter in a skanky workout outfit, occasionally patting away nonexistent sweat and making frequent trips to the water fountain to replace fluids they aren’t losing.

Don’t forget to bleach your hair on a regular basis.  The texture should be straw-like and ideally will break off with just a gentle touch.  Don’t worry about this, as extensions can be added to the remaining strands and despite their protests to the contrary, boys really do find it hot when a lump of your fake hair breaks off in their hand.  (It shows that you are vulnerable.)

Total packages Donatella Versace and Christina Aguilera

Some girls choose to go with darker hair because it is more natural looking and sets them apart.  Or sometimes they just want to hook a guy who wears skinny jeans and attends poetry jams.  However, you must still maintain a fried consistency through daily blow drying, straightening, use of extensions and not having time to get your ends trimmed.  Darker haired girls: you are going to want to compensate for your lack of blond hair by wearing an additional layer of makeup and purchasing some colored contacts that subtly suggest you are heavily medicated.


Oftentimes people neglect their nail care regimen.  However, having really long talon-like nails with ornate decals is very attractive and an integral part of any serious beauty regimen.  Men consider it cute if your nails are too long to easily operate a pencil or fork.

The chick below takes it to a whole new level with her toes:  Observe the acrylic toenails, french manicure, rhinestone decals and toe ring:

Further proof that there is no such thing as too much.
No matter how naturally beautiful you are, the key to looking more beautiful is applying as much makeup as possible.  One hot trend that is really flattering on tan girls is the pale lip.  People will ask themselves, “What. Is. She. Thinking?” every time they look at you and it is precisely that element of mystery that will attract the men like flies.

When applying eye makeup, remember that the goal is to frighten.  The angrier your eyes look the sexier you appear.  Hello, cat eye:

If you don’t have the money to invest in tattooing your eyes with thick black liner, you are going to need to invest in several kilos of opaque black eye shadow and liner.
Don’t forget to apply mascara – 11-12 layers should suffice.  You will know you have properly applied your mascara when your lashes begin to resemble tarantula legs:
For sexy, dramatic eyebrows that say “I’m always surprised!” shave off your natural brow (or permanently remove with depilatory creams) and paint it back on in a really high arch.  It is guaranteed to drive the boys wild with lust.  (See: Pamela Anderson, above)
Finishing Touches
  • Piercings that interfere with your ability to eat or pee normally
  • Tattoos on your lower back and foot (Preferably a tribal tattoo but only if you have absolutely no Native American heritage, otherwise get something like “Strong” or “Sexy” written in Japanese, especially if you are not Japanese)
  • Don’t forget to install an obnoxious pair of hooters!

Duck Face: A Public Service Announcement

Here it is, as promised in my “DIY Glamour Shots” entry, a little rant on Duck Face.  It goes by other names, but Duck Face is the most common and it’s the one that is recognized by Wikipedia and, therefore, by myself. 
What is Duck Face?
Gurning is the technical term for facial distortion.  Duck Face is a variation of gurning in which an individual (usually a stupid girl) purses their lips and raises their eyebrows in an attempt to look sexy and accentuate their cheekbones.
Urban Dictionary defines Duck Face as:  Stupid facial expression put forth by stupid women that don’t know how to smile. The Duckface is made by moving both lips has [sic] far up and outward as possible. Commonly seen in photos of slutty women where the lighting is too high up or they’re taking photos of themself [sic] in the mirror. 
Encyclopedia Dramatica defines Duck Face as: Fat Girl Angle Shot 2.0.
Here are some examples of how to use Duck Face in a sentence:

“OMG, look at that stupid Duck Face.”

“Stop doing that Duck Face.  You look stupid.”

Variations of Duck Face

Duck Face Hippie – There are several variations of Duck Face.  Duck Facing while giving the peace sign is a very popular variation, especially among the male Duck Facers.
Sad Duck Duck Face – Many girls attempt to look sad while Duck Facing.  They post their Sad Duck Duck Face Facebook photo in black & white or sepia tone.  This helps attract boys who wear skinny jeans:
It’s so sexy how different he is, just like everyone else.

Group Duck Face – Group Duck Face is extremely popular because if everyone else in the flock is doing it, it must be cool, right?  Right?

Duck Face on Spring Break
Duck Face With A Prop – Another variation is the utilization of props.  Here we have two girls holding up some sort of Twilight memorabilia:
Note how these ladies combined Sad Duck Duck Face with Duck Face With A Prop. Genius.
Who Duck Faces?
Well, anyone can Duck Face but it seems especially prevalent among the indigenous orange-skinned, pale-lipped Homo sapien females in heat:
Of course, there are other species that exhibit this behavior, including:
The Orange-Skinned Male
The Orange-Skinned Mom
The Orange-Skinned Couple
(Males and females of Orange Skin are attracted to one another and enjoy clubbing hardcore, even on Tuesdays.)

Where Can I Get More Information About Duck Face?
MySpace and Facebook are great places to start.  Many of the photos in this blog were found doing a Google Images search for “Duck Face Idiots.”

I am also fond of

If you are looking to waste one minute and twenty-seven seconds of your life that you can never get back, here is a link to a Duck Face video montage with a lovely Duck Face song.

DIY Glamour Shots

I wish I were as creative now as I was when I was a kid.  One of my best ideas provided endless hours of entertainment for my best friend Lindsey and I. It all started with a trip to Glamour Shots for Lindsey’s birthday.  For those of you who have repressed their knowledge of Glamour Shots, it is a combination of gaudy salon and photography studio.  We were eleven years old at the time but Glamour Shots treats all its customers like a 35-year-old-woman with dreams of being a 1980’s model that can’t cut it and so in desperation has decided to resort to porn but first needs some cheap head shots for their portfolio.
Perhaps that is not the verbatim mission statement of the company but it must be close because despite our tender ages the “stylists” plastered our faces with enough makeup to induce early onset acne. They curled, teased and sprayed our hair and adorned us with low-cut rayon shirts and long strands of large fake pearls. Needless to say, we were in Sixth Grade Girl Heaven. For just a few hundred dollars of our parents’ hard earned money, we were provided with several sheets worth of photos that at the time we considered beautiful but are now appalled by.
To our surprise and great disappointment, our parents were not eager to fund this sort of excursion on a weekly basis – even though having a diverse Glamour Shots portfolio would come in handy in the extremely likely possibility a modeling scout approached us at the mall.
I wouldn’t let our parents’ lack of sympathy thwart our dreams, however, and so I constructed my own Glamour Shots studio in my parents’ basement. I had a makeup station with a lifetime’s supply of blue eye shadow, orange blush and red lipstick. I had a hair station equipped with Aqua Net Super Hold hairspray, a hair pick and an assortment of scrunchies and banana clips.  I gathered up all my dress-up clothes to form a wardrobe station consisting of several sequined tube tops, a wedding gown from the 1800s and a bright yellow bridesmaid’s dress. I also managed to scrounge together some props, including a fake rose I had detached from a flower bouquet intended for some relative’s grave. I even draped some sheets to create a dressing room beneath the stairs.  The truly impressive features of the studio, however, were the backdrops in the photographing portion of the studio.  I thumb-tacked several different table cloths to the wall and they only fell down every fifteen minutes or so.
We would take turns being the model.  As photographer, we would provide helpful modeling tips and encourage one another to bring out all the seductive looks an eleven-year-old girl could possibly muster.  “Pretend I’m Jonathan Taylor Thomas,” “Try to look like you’re a little bit angry,” etc.  If MySpace and Facebook had been around in those days, we likely would have been much more experienced at pursing our lips and looking seductively constipated for the camera.  (I won’t even go into how annoying I find the Duck Face pose.  I will simply post a few random examples here and let the pictures speak for themselves.  And don’t be surprised if I give Duck Face its very own blog entry in the very near future.)

I just don’t get it – someone must
have told them that this is sexy, which
is ridiculous, because all I see is three tools.

But back to happier times when Lindsey and I were easily amused and considered my little studio to be on par with the real deal.  The only drawback was convincing my parents to have all our rolls of 35mm film developed on their time and expense.  We just couldn’t understand their lack of enthusiasm.  I mean, here we are, saving them thousands of dollars by creating our in-house version of Glamour Shots and they can’t drive five miles to the store and pay $5 to have our masterpieces developed.  Well, we certainly weren’t going to treat our children so shabbily, we vowed.  Our parents were sitting on a gold mine and didn’t even know it – when we became famous models, didn’t they want us to buy them fancy cars and mansions?  Didn’t they want us to thank them in all our magazine interviews?  Instead they had to settle for a small mention in a blog.

And no this is not me at ten.  I found this gem on Google.  But I will be posting both my professional GS photos and the basement studio pics soon…  Get excited.

Girls Say The Darnedest Things

My family is a hockey family.  And a football family.  And a baseball and basketball and NASCAR family.  Somehow I wound up being just a football girl.  My sister wound up being just a hockey girl.  But we’ve each endured enough of one another’s sport of choice to get the basics down.  Or so I thought until last winter when we were watching an NFC playoff game at my parent’s house.  My sister looked up from texting and grimaced at the screen.
“Oh.  My.  God,” she said.  “Are they wearing fanny packs?”
We all teased her about that for… well, we actually still tease her about it.  Not that I have any room to talk.  My boyfriend corrects me all the time when we watch baseball and I refer to the runs as points.  Now, I don’t think that’s a big deal because in theory the runs are points.  Hand warmers are not, in theory or otherwise, fanny packs.  Right?
I blame it on my mom.  She refuses to call anything by its proper name.  There is no excuse for a woman married over 25 years to a civil engineer to refer to a back hoe as a “digger.”
I don’t expect the average man to know the difference between a cruet and crudités, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t know what a dust ruffle was and I wouldn’t dare ask him to separate an egg (“Huh?  Separate it from what?”).  Yet, a surefire way to completely flabbergast a man is to tell him you have no idea how differentials work or how many cylinders your car has.  Not knowing stuff like this is apparently unforgivable.
It’s not that I couldn’t understand some of these things if I tried.  It’s just that I really have no interest or practical reason for knowing some of this stuff.  As long as my car runs, I don’t care how it all really works.  Why should I learn how to put the closet door back on the track if I have you to handle it?  And if every time I try to use the charcoal grill you’re going to critique and “show me the right way,” I’ll never get the whole process down – and, yes, it is kind of complicated. Oh, and I really just prefer to go on thinking the TV and internet run by magical complicated processes that no one, not even Bill Gates, really understands.
So let’s make a deal:  You can use the terms yoga and Pilates interchangeably and I can keep calling the glute isolator the “pushy uppie machine”.

   Cruet                                                                   Crudites

Game Show Fever

Despite my horrible unphotogenicness, I have an indefatigable desire to be on a game show.  It doesn’t even have to be a game show – it could be a reality TV series with a prize at the end.  It doesn’t even have to be me – it could be a friend or family member.  I just want to be a part of the process.
I think it all started with The Bozo Show.  There was nothing in this world I wanted more than the chance to play Bozo Buckets, even though I already had access to chocolate chip cookies and a bicycle and was am deathly scared of clowns.
    Should have been me.
Alas, I never tried out. I mean, what was I supposed to do? I couldn’t very well Google “Bozo open casting call” back in 1988. Dan Quail probably could have, but how was I supposed to get in touch with him without Google?

My yen for game show fame fermented beneath the surface in the nineties while watching Legends of the Hidden Temple and American Gladiators. I never let myself even fantasize about competing on a show that demanded physical exertion, though. I had like 4% body fat, I was picked last for teams in P.E. and I curled into a ball on the floor whenever so much as a badminton birdie flew my way.

In college, I felt more free to pursue my dreams. Or maybe I was just more intoxicated, I don’t know. No really, I don’t know, it’s all a blur. Anyway, in 2004, I was Vice President of my sorority and wielded this mighty power to form a (temporary) alliance with a rival (as if) sorority to apply for a special edition of Trading Spaces. We didn’t even receive confirmation of our application.  Oh well, the A-O-Pi’s would have ruined our living room anyway.  They couldn’t even design a decent Homecoming sweatshirt.

That same year (2004 for those of you who never took Calculus) I was on a family vacation in Los Angeles and ran into the Street Smarts crew.  I chatted with the host, Frank Nicotero, who let me pose for a picture with the microphone.  Apparently, despite my most desperate efforts, I wasn’t amusing enough.  After 15 minutes of awkward forced conversation I walked away.

In 2007, I made it to the final round of auditions for Wheel of Fortune before they cut me, presumably because I would have cleaned house.  I did get a lovely golf pencil that said “I tried out for Wheel of Fortune,” totally making up for the four hours spent in traffic to and from auditions and the three hours of PTO I had to use.

My 2009 letter to the producers of NBC’s The Biggest Loser suggesting a special season for average-sized people to get even smoking hotter remains unanswered.

Jump to present time, where I am awaiting word on my most recent venture:  A couple months ago my sister and I applied to the show It’s Me or the Dog on the grounds that my five pound dog Mike is such a menace to society — which he is — that he requires an immediate intervention by a trained canine psychologist.  Haven’t heard anything back there, either.  Meanwhile Mike continues to terrorize the neighborhood.

Don’t let the glasses fool you.

Oh, Crap!

I recently sold two purses and some other items on eBay in order to fund the purchase of one new purse.  That’s the sort of deal I make with myself before a new purchase – it makes me feel more fiscally responsible.  Although the truly responsible thing would be to sell the items and save the money.  Or to stop buying purses altogether.

One of the items I sold was some fake poop I found in my closet.  Not really sure how it got there; you know how these things just sort of appear.  Anyhow, I didn’t know what else to do with it as I doubted the Salvation Army or the local church would be interested.  Throwing it away seemed tragic so I decided to try and ply my poo on eBay and wouldn’t you know!  Someone bought it!  Admittedly, the winning bid was $0.74, I offered free shipping and my listing fees totalled $0.35.  This put me down by about $2 after shipping costs but the peace of mind of knowing the poo had found a happy home was obviously priceless.

As I was mailing my caca to its new owner, I recalled Jay Leno’s recurring “Stuff We Found on eBay” segment and excitedly pondered the possibility of my poo appearing on late night television.  Jay would say, “So what do you think folks?  Did it sell?”

“Nooooooo!” the audience would scream.

“It sold!  Seventy-four cents!” Jay would announce to a round of laughter and shocked gasps.

I can’t be sure but I don’t think my item was scouted by NBC.  So I decided to do the next best thing and scour eBay for items to include in my own segment, “Stuff NBC Didn’t Find But I Sure Did.”

Trailer Home for Birds
The first thing I found was a trailer home bird house for birds down on their luck.

This product is temporarily sold out (or, as the seller writes, temporary sold out) but retails for $24.99.  These beauties are custom made, meaning you can have special traditional trailer park accessories (such as a White Sox flag) incorporated into the design.

Liquid Ass
The next item up for grabs is a lovely bottle of Liquid Ass.

One of the many exciting features of this product includes “an authentic butt crack smell … with hints of dead animal and fresh poop.”  The seller promises “unlimited fun” and claims Liquid Ass is “THE BEST of all the stink items on the market.”  I am not in the industry so I wouldn’t know a decent “butt crack aroma” if it hit me in the nose but one testimonial from a satisfied customer touts, “I sprayed a small stream of it in my buddy’s office and it ruined his entire day!”  No one has bid on this item yet, even though the seller is offering expedited shipping to guarantee your bottle is received in time for Mother’s Day.

Narcotics Anonymous Wall Clock
Nothing says sophisticated adult quite like a clock emblazoned with the Narcotics Anonymous logo.  Hang it up in your home to gain street cred with your friends or bring it to the office to impress your boss.  While I was exploring all the possibilities this product had to offer, the auction ended with a winning bid of $4.99.
Booby Scarf
The Mother’s Day ideas just keep coming.  This unique gift will have your girlfriend in tears.  For a small fee, you can have the creator add personal touches such as moles or hair.
CB-3000 Male Chastity Belt
The seller claims this device is “a great way to start playing at a cheap price” but what sort of playing is it if it’s all locked up?  Please do not post your suggestions – I was being rhetorical.  Oh, and did I mention that this item is in used condition?  But don’t worry because “the guide pins have been replaced and shortened” and “item has been fully cleaned.”
Fart in a Box
Up for grabs is “one juicy fart in a box” with “hang time like you won’t believe!”  All the seller asks in return is that “when you smell the aroma please leave positive feedback!”  At the time of publication, there were two days left in the auction and 3 bidders had thrown their hat in with a current high bid of $0.16.  Needless to say, I was intrigued and navigated to this guy’s feedback page.  Turns out this guy has sold farts to several satisfied buyers.  He also sells air guitars, but those tend to be a little pricier and can sell for upwards of $0.75.

More Fun At Work

A couple summers ago the company I was working for rented out a nearby semi-pro baseball stadium so we could play softball all day instead of work.  We had tons of digital pictures and for the most part everyone looked like complete idiots.  We’re not used to physical activity, it was 100 degrees out and we were drinking.  I think we were drinking.  If Risk Management said we shouldn’t drink then we definitely weren’t drinking but I don’t think they even knew we left the office.

I was excited to discover that the pictures were posted to the shared drive at the office because it meant no one would know for sure who blew up all the photos and turned them into Unmotivational Posters.

I recommend doing this in your office.  Just use the generator at and remember:  If it’s nice and clean, work-appropriate and doesn’t offend anybody, it’s probably not very funny.

Email Time Capsules

Dear Future Self,

If you are still working 60 hours a week for that creepy, soul-less hypocrite that calls himself your boss, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Past Self

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had an easy way to email yourself in the future?  1 year from now?  10 years from now?  A reminder for next week, even?  Last year I emailed myself a no nonsense letter telling my future self (now my present self) what was what.  If you are still doing X or talking to Y or not making progress on Z, stop complaining because you’ve been unhappy with X or Y or Z for a year now and obviously haven’t done anything to help yourself.  Luckily, in the past year I have taken steps towards my goals so my email from old Marisa was a pleasant surprise.

I think I’m going to keep sending these to myself.  Take a few minutes to hold yourself accountable or just remind yourself of your long-term goals.  Visit and no, I didn’t get paid for this.  I like this email capsule generator because A) one year later it actually worked and B) you can sift through what other people have emailed to themselves.

Some of my favorites:

Written 4/29/09, To be delivered 1/10/14:  Did Bret Favre retire yet?

Written 3/11/08, To be delivered 12/25/12:  if youre alive to read this and all is well with the rotation of the earth, then the stupid Myans were wrong again!!

Written 6/8/09, To be delivered 6/18/09:  Call dad and tell him about that one night when he said he had to take a poop at work but didn’t want to but thought, “There’s some guy getting paid minimum wage to clean this so if I stop pooping and everyone else stops pooping that man will be out of a job so I’m gonna poop so he can continue to feed his family.”  Plus, he didn’t think he would make it home.