Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sniff On My Costa Rican Chalet


A couple of months ago, the folks at People StyleWatch Magazine asked me to contribute some new buzzwords for 2013.  Despite what my husband may have told you, I take direction just fine and was delighted to comply with their request.  

The one they liked the best was "Unreal Estate":

February 2013 Issue - On Newsstands Now!
Unreal Estate - The coveted homes that viewers of reality real estate and home-design shows love to fantasize about.  A person’s portfolio of unreal estate allows her to live vicariously in amazing properties all over the world – an experience which she very much enjoys.

Many thanks to the People StyleWatch editors for sharing my contribution with their readers - and for plugging The CHICKtionary!

Just for fun, here are some of the others... 

Pinhole - Someone who leaves snarky, unwelcome comments on others' Pinterest posts.   

"I can't believe some pinhole mocked the motivational
poster I added to my Inspirations Board."

Blingosaurus - A woman whose embellished accessories, multiple layers of clothing and painstaking gait associated with extremely tall shoes give her the substantial, armored presence of the now-extinct land animals that roamed the earth millions of years ago.   

"When she added the studded hobo and the fur-trimmed
pashmina and the statement necklace - that's when
she entered blingosaurus territory."

Keyboreding - The practice of killing time by aimlessly surfing the Web, social media sites, blogs, etc.  Keyboreding involves hopping from one site to another in a manner that begins randomly but soon transitions into a strategic, scorched-earth search for information about exes and others of romantic interest, including photos of their (hopefully) trollish spouses.   

"Okay, I have to make plans for Sunday or else
I'll end up spending the day keyboreding."

Toddlerazzi - The crush of aggressively doting parents wielding iPhones, cameras and other recording devices at any child-oriented location or event.   

"I went to my niece's recital and could not get anywhere
near the stage thanks to the crush of toddlerazzi."
Gracebooking – The practice of using your Facebook account for humanitarian causes, particularly those to which you have a personal, first-hand connection.  

"Well, I've helped get a puppy adopted and
I've raised donations for the senior center library.
Feeling pretty good about my gracebooking today!"

Selfie - An iPhone photo of oneself with the objective of looking hot, and which is immediately posted on Instagram or Facebook.  The selfie often employs a variety of hotness-enhancing techniques, including mood lighting, strategic framing and duck face.

"Just discovered that the light in my bathroom
is perfect for taking selfies!"  

[Full disclosure:  I did not coin "selfie," but it made me laugh so hard I had to include it.]

Selfie Fatigue - 1.  The frustration experienced by a person who has exhausted the repertoire of poses for new selfies.  2.  The frustration experienced by those in the social media world who are sick and tired of looking at your endless barrage of selfies.  

"Okay, that's the last duck face of Camille's that I can handle.
My selfie fatigue has driven me to unfollow!"

Smacdown - The competitive comparison of one's Apple products - particularly the iPhone and related accessories - to someone else's.   

"Ouch, Jason just lost a smacdown with his girlfriend's ex.
I told him those ear buds were so 2011."

Skypographical error – When you accidentally “misdial” on Skype, leading to a number of potentially uncomfortable and/or humorous scenarios.   

"Thanks to a Skypographical error, I just had
an awkward half-hour face-chat with
the needy ex-roommate who stole my pants."

Wi-gration - The act of wandering from spot to spot in search of WiFi (or an improved WiFi connection). People in the process of Wi-gration can be seen stalking through coffee shops, malls and other public spaces while staring intently at their electronic devices for evidence of connectivity.  
"When word got around that the connection
seemed to get stronger beyond Gate 32B,
there was a mass Wi-gration through the terminal."


Monday, December 17, 2012

It's My Party And I'll Resent Armageddon If I Want To.

Back Off, Mayans.

Have you all heard about this new movie - "2012?" Chock full of mind-bending special effects and a story that hinges on the fact that - according to the ancient Mayan calendar - the world will end on December 21st, 2012...?

(Yes, that movie called "2012.")

All right, well, I don't like it. Not one bit. Why? Because...not to make the imminent destruction of the world all about me or anything, but...

Hello?!? December 21st is my BIRTHDAY!

You think it's easy putting a NASCAR-themed fondue party together four days before Christmas? I swear, it's like people are just looking for an excuse not to make it. And now this. I can just hear it:
  • "Sorry, Anna, but the world's about to end and I've got to return these movies to Blockbuster."
  • "Can't make it, Anna. The earth is imploding and I need to lash my family to a raft."
  • "Oops, bad timing, Big A. The world is crumbling and this seems like an ideal time to finish writing that novel."
Come on. These are only slightly better than the excuses I heard last year.

The Grudge.

I know why the ancient Mayans are doing this. Two years ago, they came to my birthday party, sucked down all the wine coolers and started looking for trouble. While I was making a run to the Gas 'N Sip to reload on Snapple and Circus Peanuts, they rearranged all of my neighbor's patio pavers and started shooting pre-Columbian hoop against the side of his house. You've never heard such trash talk. Let's just say my neighbor (I'll call him Father O'Murphy) was not amused.

Naturally, I did not invite them to last year's party, but you know how hard it is to keep a social event secret. (Especially when you accidentally mail an invitation and then try to take it back.) I regret to say that ancient Mayan feelings may have been bruised as a result.

And you know the old saying:

"If you're going to mess with an ancient Mayan,
you'd better have a friend idling nearby in a fast car.
A V-8, ideally. And, for God's sakes, make sure there's gas in it."

Check Your Calendar.

The good news is, I think I've found a loophole on this world destruction deal.

See, I don't follow the ancient Mayan calendar. (I can hear them coming when they sell them door-to-door so I mute the TV and lie down behind the sofa until they're all the way off the porch and on to the next house.)

For years now, I have instead followed the City of Oxnard Employee Credit Union calendar, partly because they don't enforce any particular date for world destruction, but mostly because each month has its own miniature illustration harkening back to a time when life was less complicated and, apparently, more glitter-coated.

So take that, party-poopers! You may tip over a few monuments, but you will not be spoiling my fondue fete, even three years in advance.

Speaking of which, I'd better buy that dipping cheese now and put it aside for the party. With all the pre-destruction panic, you know the cheese market will be through the roof.

[Note:  This is a re-issue of a previous post from - you guessed it - the last time the dang Mayans tried to make my birthday all about them.  I swear, just when I think I'm out of the woods, they push the Armageddon date back a liiiiittle bit further.]

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Party at Adam's!

B.Y.O. Lorne Greene

By now, you no doubt have heard of my funny and charming bud Adam Heath Avitable.  

He recently sent me some very interesting interview questions.  My responses can be found right now on his blog where they are waiting to be read.   

By you.  [Ahem]

While you're there, make sure to check out Adam's standup clips and books, including his "50 Shades" parody, "28 Shades of Chartreuse."  Heh.

Thank you for the fabulous interview, Adam!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

And Now, For a Pre-Recorded Message

Is This Thing On?

I recently took a break from working on my highly anticipated BBQ cookbook... be a guest on Brett Chapin's "LA LA Land" - a national talk radio (and Web TV) show that airs every Saturday at 3:00 pm PST on CRN.  

We had the best time talking about:

a)  jeggings
b)  fun with hate mail
c)  lack of fun with bikini waxing
d)  how, on the whole, women gracefully navigate a lot of crap
e)  all of the above - and more

Answer:  E, baby!

The show is posted in segments and I've included one of them below, but you can find all of them on YouTube.

Thanks so much for having me on, Brett!  And I hope you're all having a fantastic summer!

 (If you can't see the video, just click here.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

50 Shades of CHICKtionary

And Now We Know
Why Granny Was Always Smiling

I just read that the explosive sales of the steamy 50 SHADES OF GREY have lead to an estimated 300% increase in the sales of sex toys, including the infamous Ben Wa balls of page 362

As a public service, I shall now read from the book of CHICKtionary, so that all may go forth in erotic edification and participate with confidence in the girl-talk at your PTA meetings, church bake sales and country club locker rooms.

[Hint:  Try saying something like, "Oh, you're still putting them there?  *eye roll*  That's so 1992."]

Ben Wa Balls, noun
In use among a variety of cultures for centuries, Ben Wa balls and the like are instruments of female sexual arousal as well as tools used to help increase the strength of the vaginal muscles.  The balls can be made of a variety of materials and hollow models can contain smaller spheres or even chimes.  (Was that the doorbell?)  The balls are inserted into the vagina, where they remain until removed using an optional retrieval cord or are coughed or sneezed out.  For erotic stimulation, a gentle rocking motion is recommended, although Mr. Wa has reportedly received complaints that the balls’ effect is too subtle to be felt.  For conditioning of the vaginal muscles, the balls are held inside the vagina with a clenching motion, taking the definition of “private training” to its extreme.

So, anyway...[ahem]...have a stimulating weekend and ROCK ON.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'm Mommy and I Know It

A Musical Mother's Day Tribute, Yo

For those of you who have been on a self-imposed media blackout for the last six months or so:

1.  Thanks for making this your first stop on your pop-culture re-entry tour.

2.  You might be the only person in the world who doesn't know this song:

[If you can't see the video, please click here.]

In keeping with the spirit of Mother's Day, I'd like to offer my own version of this LMFAO toe-tapper.

This goes out with love to all the mommies!

I'm Mommy and I Know It

Yeah, yeah
When I walk to school, kids look at me like, darn, she’s cool
I bounce to the beat, workin’ that crosswalk in my Shape-Ups feet
They see me stroll, my tricked-out Bugaboo is how I roll
My kiddie humor is oh-so-droll
And just like Oprah, I’m in control

Child, look at these highlights
Child, look at these invites
Child, look at these nite-nites
Ah-ah, I wake up!

Child, look at that swingset
Child, look at that new pet,
Child, look at that what you get
Ah-ah, I wake up!

When I walk on the school yard, this is what I see
Everybody stops and they’re staring at me
I got tissues in my purse and I ain’t afraid to
blow it, blow it, blow it, blow it

I’m Mommy and I know it.

When I’m at the mall, I nurse like a pro when I hear the call
When I’m at the beach, I put sunscreen on my baby’s cheeks
This is how it is, and on the side I got a jewelry-makin’ biz
We gotta fix the van but don’t be nervous
’Cuz no one fears me like customer service

Child, look at these highlights
Child, look at these invites
Child, look at these nite-nites
Ah-ah, I wake up!

Child, look at that swingset
Child, look at that new pet,
Child, look at that what you get
Ah-ah, I wake up!

When I walk into dance class, this is what I see
Everybody stops and they’re staring at me
I got tissues in my purse and I ain’t afraid to
blow it, blow it, blow it, blow it

I’m Mommy and I know it.

Check it out:

Juggle, juggle, juggle, juggle, juggle, yeah
Juggle, juggle, juggle, juggle, juggle, yeah
Juggle, juggle, juggle, juggle, juggle, yeah
Do the juggle mom
I do the juggle mom
I’m Mommy and I know it.

Child, look at these highlights
Child, look at these invites
Child, look at these nite-nites
Ah-ah, I wake up!

Child, look at that swingset
Child, look at that new pet,
Child, look at that what you get
Ah-ah, I wake up!

I’m Mommy and I know it!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

An Open Letter to the Dayton Marriott

Dear Dayton Marriott Management,

Thank you for your recent communication of 4/23/12 (forwarded to me by your corporate legal department and hereinafter known as "the steaming pantload") regarding my recent stay at your hotel while attending the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop.

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the various allegations therein, all most some of which are completely without merit and may adversely affect your hotel's score on the guest survey card which I have yet to complete and mail in.

First, it is outrageous and preposterous to assume that my suitcase was responsible for the malfunction and ultimate failure of elevator #3.  I believe the security tapes will show that the fault lies not with my sleek, utilitarian baggage but with the housekeeping staff member riding in the elevator with me and struggling under the weight of 3-4 thick, fluffy and obviously highly absorbent bath towels made from an exotic strain of imported cotton known to be both unstable and, well, really heavy. 

Second, it saddens me to know that the microwave cozy I crocheted for (keynote speaker and comedy legend) Alan Zweibel and stapled to his hotel room door left him feeling (as your so-called report puts it) "disturbed and anxious" rather than relaxed and heartwarmed as I intended.  As for my decision to staple it to his door at 3:14 am, I believe the logic behind that strategy is self-evident.  That being said, I really don't see how this matter is any of your bossy hotel security team's business, as Mr. Zweibel has thoughtfully begun a separate correspondence with me regarding this matter.  And when I see him in at our appointed court date, I will finally have the opportunity to tell him in person how much I admire his work.

With respect to the cake, I would like to remind you that I am an attendee/presenter in good standing at the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop with all rights and privileges thereof, including - but not limited to - assorted desserts, baked goods and non-dairy creamer.  I have reviewed my official workshop documents and have found no language that asserts a fixed limit on the number of desserts an individual attendee may commandeer, assuming those desserts have not yet been laid claim to by another attendee.  As those slices of carrot cake were unclaimed at the time I consumed them (fact:  not a single person had even entered the ballroom yet when I stumbled across the pieces of cake at tables 14-17), I herewith reject your catering bill of $276.55 and demand that you reverse the charge in the aforementioned amount that you ran on my Mastercard.

Lastly, in the matter of the white school bus, it was my understanding that the bus was no longer in service as a shuttle for workshop attendees at the time I drove that out-of-state drum and bugle corps to Arby's for a late afternoon snack.  (Those kids must really have been practicing hard, because I have never seen young people with munchies like this in my life.)  I believe a review of the facts will clarify that it was completely beyond my control that the bus ran out of fuel on the way back to the hotel and had to be abandoned on the shoulder of the I-75.  And also, if you don't want anyone borrowing your vehicles, you probably shouldn't leave the keys in the lockbox under the registration desk where people can easily find them.

In summation, I have no doubt that we will be able to reach an equitable settlement in the matters above, especially in light of the fact that I have now returned the 769 facial soaps, 412 miniature bottles of body lotion, harvest gold woven blanket and pneumatic desk chair that I mistakenly interpreted to be gratis souvenirs of my stay at your hotel.

Note:  please address all future correspondence directly to me, as I have terminated my dealings with my previous counsel (who, it turns out, characterizes an evening of foofy-drink-fueled line dancing followed by a late-night half-stack at the Waffle House out by the airport as a "bizarro, one-off odyssey" rather than the sublime prelude to long-term romance we both knew damn well it was up until that unfortunate incident Saturday morning).

Thank you and good luck,

Anna Lefler


So here's the thing:  the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop was amazing.  (I hesitate to apply this word because it is so overused these days, but this instance calls for it.)  Other words come to mind, such as inspirational, humbling, hilarious, educational, magical and poignant.  I could go on and on, but I will simply say that, for me, unforgettable is the word that best captures every aspect of my four days and three icing-flecked nights among my fellow humorists and heroes in Dayton.

To the organizers of the workshop who paid me the tremendous honor of inviting me to teach two of the sessions, to the folks who spent their time listening in the audience, to the people who went out of their way to ask questions, share experiences and pay compliments, to the warm and gracious Bombeck family who welcomed me into their company at dinner, and to every attendee and speaker, I would like to say THANK YOU.  From my heart.

You can find out more about the workshop at their website.  And you can see lots of photos from the weekend on the EBWW Facebook page.  

The next workshop will be held in 2014.

See you there.

 Dinner with Erma's husband Bill and daughter Betsy.