Friday, July 14, 2017

There's Something About The Vineyard

For those of you who have enjoyed my blog I have published a book of Vineyard centric essays called There's Something About The Vineyard. If you would like a copy please send a check for $17.50 (this includes postage) to me, Carolyn O'Daly, 9 Plains Court, Edgartown, MA 02539 and your very own copy will be in the return mail! As soon as I sell them all my next book will be published entitled Deep Thoughts From A Shallow Mind.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Let me tell you how it will be*¨*•♫♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫ There's one for you nineteen for me….*¨*•♫♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫Taxman*¨*•♫♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫If five percent appears too small*¨*•♫♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫ be thankful I don't take it all……Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman.‎*¨*•♫♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫
Many people think the Beatles had it right. Not me. I don't mind paying my taxes. I really don't. I think that the state and local governments give me a good bang for my buck. Roads, schools, water, police protection, lots of things I really couldn't provide for myself. The feds? Not so much. I think the decisions made in Washington could be better and I just wish they were a little more careful with my money. Take the US Mint for instance. Do we really need cash any more? Everything is electronically transferred these days and now that you can buy a pack of gum with a credit or debit card I'm thinking maybe we could do away with that particular governmental department. Or at least let it go public like the Post Office did, although they're not doing so well either but at least Mr. Taxpayer isn't paying for it. Unless, of course, the government decides to bail them out. Don't get me started.
I believe in scientific research. I really do, but I really resent spending money on frivolous scientific studies. The least the government could do is ask me if I want them to give $50,000 to someone who wants to study why toddlers fall off their tricycles. (It's because they bump into things, in case you wanted to know.) The scientific community would have you think we'd still be in the dark ages if it weren't for their research and studies. I think most grant money goes to subsidize Phd programs and the 'publish or perish' milieu of colleges and universities. In fact a lot of the 20th and 21st century's greatest achievements have occurred in garages by college drop-outs.
I subscribe to a weekly magazine that has a science page. You wouldn't believe some of the wacky things people get grant money for. Researchers at Cornell University, for instance, have spent the last two years analyzing the tweets of 2.4 million people in 84 countries. They discovered a daily pattern that closely follows our innate biological rhythms. Happiness peaks between 6 am and 9 am, falls to a low between 3 and 4 pm then rises to another high after dinner. I don't know how much this cost but I could have given them the same information for nothing.
Another group of researchers videotaped thousand of hours of crickets in the wild and discovered that male crickets will risk their lives to protect females. I must admit I was relieved to know that the taxpayers of the UK paid for that one. A Princeton biologist spent 9 years in Kenya analyzing baboon droppings and discovered the alpha males had 10 percent higher levels of stress hormones than the beta males. I was married to both an alpha male and a beta male and, again, I could have told them that. It's stressful being an alpha male. I'm just trying to figure out how this information will make my life better. Maybe instead of asking a date for his CV girls should ask for a stool sample.
New research by a paleontologist at the University of Texas shows that prehistoric mammals developed larger brains in order to detect smells better. It's ironic to me that once we got bigger brains, detecting smells stopped being so important. MA College of Liberal Arts has a swearing scholar (my question is does he swear or does he study swearing?) whose research suggests that by the time children go to school they are saying all the words parents shield them from. It seems that the kids learn the words from their parents. It's interesting to note that though English has more than 70 profane options, 80 percent of swearing involves only 10 words. Wonder how much that study cost.
Here's a study for which I would have gladly paid. Scientists found that people who reported eating the most chocolate were 37 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 29 percent less likely to have a stroke than those who ate the least. I'm thinking that people who are deprived of chocolate must drink themselves to death before that plaque can form. And when scientists fed mice a brew of bacteria usually found in yogurt, cheese and bread the mice produced fewer stress hormones. I know I always feel mellow after a baguette and chunk of Brie.
Here's a study I'm thinking was a monumental waste of money. After surveying 13,900 incoming freshmen at 167 schools, a study at George Mason University determined that how much and how frequently a student drinks alcohol is one of the best predictors of the grades they will get. Well, duh!
Never one to complain without offering up a solution I suggest that the government appoint a panel of taxpayers to determine who gets grant money. This should limit the spending to research that will really improve our lives. It could be worse I guess. The French government is paying to research ways to include protein rich insects in their diet. Bugette anyone?

Friday, August 5, 2011


If you think the good old US of A is going to hell in a hand basket, I'm here to tell you the rest of the world is even weirder. Take Canada for instance. A stand up comic was fined $15,000 for making fun of an audience member and causing "injury to her dignity and feelings." I may be wrong but isn't that why the rest of the audience laughed? Most comedians are funny because they haven't singled YOU out to pick on.
In Rio de Janeiro city officials complained about the shanty towns that are marked on Google's map. Seems to me they should be doing something about the poverty instead of surfing the net. And in India, a country famed for its poverty, a treasure worth at least $22 billion was found in a temple vault after a local lawyer asked for an audit. After a dispute over ownership, India's Supreme Court ordered the trove preserved in a museum. I wonder how much food and health care $22 billion would provide. In another Supreme Court ruling, the Brazilians now have the right to demonstrate for marijuana reform. Up till now it was illegal to encourage criminal activity.
Buenos Aires commuters responded to a several hour delay due to a derailment by setting fire to eight trains and smashing 3 ticket booths. I'm betting they were trying to get home after a long day at work. If it had been in the morning they probably would have just sat and read their papers. I guess it's a good thing they don't have trains in Somalia. The southern rebels hold a month long Koran contest for kids. The 17 year old winner was given an AK-47, two hand grenades, an anti-tank mine and a computer. Our church used to give out Bibles.
The German police were using trained vultures to locate bodies but they had to go back to dogs because the vultures were eating all the evidence. They do strange things in China too. The management of a factory that makes iPads and iPhones responded to a wave of suicides by overworked employees by forcing new hires to sign pledges that they would not kill themselves. Jeez…in this country they'd be killing themselves because they didn't have jobs. Ever looking for ways to raise more food, Chinese farmers used a growth accelerant on a large watermelon crop. The melons grew so fast they exploded. Ya think they should have tried it on a few plants first? A theme park called "Love Land" will be opening in China in the fall. China Daily quoted the park manager as saying it is to "help adults enjoy a harmonious sex life." I'm not sure this is entirely necessary in a country with 1.3 billion people but what do I know?
Politics in Russia are worse than here. The president and prime minister have been exchanging their jobs and intend to continue doing so it seems. The presidency is limited to two consecutive terms but these two have developed a way to maintain a dynasty without breaking the law.
Apparently the rulers of Bulgaria can't take a joke. A monument to the Soviet army that liberated the country from the Nazis was painted over to look like a group of super heros. Considering what the liberators had become you might have thought they would see the humor but noooo, the authorities had every drop of paint sandblasted from the monument and announced that the perpetrators would be found and prosecuted. Scary.
In Belarus the government is so repressive that all demonstrations are forbidden. Smiling and clapping were the only ways the citizens could express their opposition to the fraudulently elected president. Evidently he caught on to the sarcasm and now anyone who claps at the dictator, his troops or his security services will be arrested. I think Independence Day is going to be kind of quiet this year.
I like the way New Zealanders protest their government. An artist who felt that the Environment minister was soft on dairy farm pollution, sculpted a bust of him out of cow manure. It sold for over $2000 on EBay.
After hearing what it's like in the rest of the world if you still dislike our government you might relocate to Belgium. They haven't had a government in more than a year. The elected officials couldn't agree on anything (sound familiar?). That's okay though because they have a king and he appointed a caretaker administration to run the government. Their economy is doing fine in spite of the global recession. Perhaps the original Tea Partyers was a little hasty?

Monday, July 4, 2011


Personal ads can amuse and amaze you once you learn to read between the lines. People who write their own ads go from uber egos to no egos at all but there is one thing they all have in common. None of them are completely truthful. Take Sensitive Guitar Player. He’s a young looking 57, considered cute (how many men do you know that use that word?), plays tennis, guitar, and loves animals. What is he leaving out? Is he an unemployed musician? Tennis pro? Is he four feet tall?
If you read the same paper every day you get to know the people who advertise. You start to feel sorry for the ones who are there day after day, week after week. Either that or you think they are being just too fussy. Some of the ads could be worded better…don't the personals have an editor? Like the guy who enjoys 'music, writing poetry and a lot of other things.' Who's he trying to kid? There aren't that many Renaissance men out there any more. The guy who works as a life coach probably should have left that out of his ad. He certainly won't get any clients when they find out he needs to advertise in the newspaper for a date. If he can't help himself how's he supposed to help them?
Some of the ads are very detailed and some are vague. I image the really detailed ones don’t get too many replies. The vague ones can be almost anything the seeker wants them to be. How about Athletic Single Guy who’s looking for ‘ a female’. I guess he figures that pretty much covers it. I’m betting this is his first ad and after getting pictures from a few dozen bowsers he’s going to be more specific next time. I mean, he must have a few standards.
Some are asking the impossible. Take Pretty and Petite in central Jersey. She is looking for a “sane, kind, communicative, intelligent, warm man.” Come on honey--what planet are you from? Have you ever met one?
There are certain buzz words that the naive don’t understand. If you want to snag a man you need to mention things like football, pizza, beer, and Harleys. If you want to snag a woman list long walks on the beach, dinning out, the theater, and children. Gay men might mention antiques, show tunes, and feng shui and lesbians should probably include horses and feminism. Cliches are cliches for a reason.
If the SWF says she’s interested in a man with a good personality you don’t have to look like Brad Pitt but if she is looking for someone who is employed I’m betting if you’re a barista at Starbucks she won’t be impressed.
Other descriptions I don’t get. What is a semi-professional? And just how much money constitutes ‘financially secure’? I guess it depends on your budget.
It's imperative to be able to translate the language if one wants to find love in an ad. For example under Men Seeking Women, someone is looking for a gal who 'has something going on for herself'. Anybody got a clue what that means? How about a guy that says children are a plus? My first thought would be he's a pedophile. I've always been a suspicious sort and the kind of guy who would be thrilled to take on a passel of someone else's screaming brats sounds too good to be true. I know the guy who likes romantic evenings at home is bound to be a cheap skate (I was married to one of those). And don't most 42 year old men have all their hair and teeth? Why would he need to mention it unless that's all he has. I can't figure out why the 82 year old guy would think that his condo's 'very large rooms' would be a draw. He was the same guy who was interested in possible marriage. Boy won't his heirs be pleased to hear that. The guy in his late 70's wants to spend time getting to know each other. At that age there isn't a lot of time. And the 80 year old looking for friendship, maybe more. Someone should tell him that soon there won't be any more. Personally I think the possible marriage ruse is just a way to get dates. Most men aren't really interested in marriage, just sex, and with Viagra age is no longer an issue.
I notice a lot of health related ads. I don't think the guy who describes himself as an HIV positive male in good health will get many takers, and you know the men who are looking for nurses must be old geezers who need someone to change their adult diapers. The term 'flexible' comes up in ads a lot. I would think if it's a man he means he's not stubborn. If it's a woman it might mean she's good in bed, but I'm just guessing here.
Even though there are about equal numbers of ads from men and women the women's ads are just more thoughtful to me. They seem to have more experience delineating what they want. Like the woman who's ad is entitled "Seeking Wonderful Man." Well…aren't we all? The women want men who are financially secure (and if you're over 65 this does not mean you are living on social security), communicative (a communicative man? there's an oxymoron if I ever heard one), and honest and easy to get along with. Another oxymoron. Now let's face it, if he's truly honest he won't be easy to get along with especially when you ask him if the pants you have on make your butt look big.
The men's needs are simpler if less likely. They tend to describe themselves rather than the women they want. Remember the 42 year old guy with all his own teeth and hair. Basically, I think most of them are just looking for another mother.
Grandkids are always asking "how did you and grandma meet?" hoping to get a romantic answer like "I watched her throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain and walked up to her and told her her wish had come true." Somehow "I found her in the classifieds" just doesn't sound romantic.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I made the mistake of ordering something from a catalog. Apparently this put me on every mailing list in existence. I get so many catalogs I think I may personally be responsible for the demise of the rain forest. Unfortunately this is a common mistake among people who move to the Vineyard. The abrupt withdrawal of shopping venues turns women into buying fanatics. I say women because men don't have a shopping gene. Straight men, that is. My friend Jules says it must be on the leg of the second X chromosome that women have. He doesn't understand why I like to browse the stores. He follows me around looking about as bored as a person can look and still be conscious. I keep telling him that I can't possibly know what I might need unless I know it exists. His feeling is that you shouldn't even enter a store unless you know exactly what it is you want and where in the store you will find it. This eliminates impulse buying, he says. He doesn't see the connection between impulse buying and the health of the country's economy. But I digress…which my friend Ronnie says should be on our tombstones.
Back to the catalogs. They are filled with items I have a hard time imagining anyone would buy, yet they must or else where would the money for new catalogs come from? Take the fish agility training set for example. I can't remember the last time I saw an aquarium in anyone's house. And I would think that the fish would be about as agile as they are going to get. For $12.95 (plus tax and shipping) you can get a plaque that says, "Never trust a dog to watch your food." Isn't this something that everyone with a dog has learned long ago? We don't need a sign on the wall to remind us. Then there's the marshmallow shooter (marshmallows not included) that will shoot a mini marshmallow over thirty feet. I'm thinking this is something the cleaning lady will truly love, not to mention the ants and other hungry vermin roaming around your house.
I don't need an electric whoopee pie maker, I buy mine pre-made, or a tea infuser, that's what tea bags are for. And beauty products. I saw an ad for a wrinkle fighting skin care cream that's made of stem cells from an apple. They can't fool me--haven't we all seen apples a little past their prime? They get wrinkled! Maybelline has come out with a vibrating mascara wand. I have enough trouble putting regular mascara on without smearing it all over. I don't need one with a motor in it.
I have come across a couple of items that could be helpful. TriSlide silicone spray for thighs is meant to prevent chafing. As Martha Stewart would say, this is a good thing. With the price of oil ever on the rise, an electronic pajama warming pouch could be useful. It heats up your pjs to 118 degrees. Comfy!
The catalog I find has the most expensive yet useless stuff doesn't come in the mail, it is in every seat pocket on every airplane you and I have ever been in. Yes I am referring to the infamous Sky Mall Catalog. The early spring 2009 edition featured on the cover the limited edition Star Trek Captain's Chair life-size replica. It features light-up controls and sound effects from the original TV show. It costs $2717.01 ($400 shipping and handling) and only 1710 have been made. Not to mention the world's only swim mask that has an integrated waterproof (it would have to be wouldn't it?) digital camera. Or the mahogany finished hardwood luxury pet residence--just because it looks nice doesn't mean it's not a cage. This catalog, ladies and gentlemen, is why your airline fees continue to soar.
The Sharper Image has a Delux Nose/Ear Hair Trimmer (batteries not included) that has a built in vacuum. Don't think I've ever seen a guy with THAT much nose hair! My personal favorite is the Mangroomer. It's a do-it-yourself electric back-hair shaver, "fully extendable and adjustable to reach all areas of the back for only $39.99." If there's anything I hate it's a man with back stubble.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I watched "A Streetcar Named Desire" with my husband the other night. Whatever happened to the Stanley Kowalski's of this world and the women who loved them? (Does anyone else find it incongruous that a man who spent so much time in a 'wife beater' wore silk pajamas to bed?) I was attracted to Stanley in a visceral sort of way. My husband, a gentle, educated man, never could understand that. He couldn't see the connection to his fondness for Marilyn. Marilyn. It must be something to be so famous you don't need a last name. Marlon, Liz, Cher, Madonna, Elvis.
"STELLA!" What woman wouldn't get a thrill from a knock dead gorgeous man serenading her from the street?
My husband loves Turner Classic Movie Channel. I hate watching old movies with him. They are always movies he has seen before. Since it's my first viewing he feels the need to keep me in the loop. Like I'm not going to understand what's going on. Ladies, you've all been there right? "Watch this. Watch this." What's worse, his long term memory isn't so great any more. He doesn't always recollect correctly. He explains this away by insisting they changed it or that it must be a director's cut.
His short term memory is a little off too. When we watch something complicated on TV he always has a laundry list of questions before he feels he understands the plot. "Who was the guy in the red cap?" "That was the killer." "Oh." I don't mind if he leaves the questions until the end but he usually asks them during the program and then I get hopelessly lost. And he always wants to know things that haven't been explained yet. He doesn't trust that we will eventually learn what we need to know.
We pretty much limit our viewing to sit-coms these days.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Well fans--as you can see I've been unproductive for a while but will soon be giving you some more laughs. In the mean time you can see me reading my essays on Look for Pretty Funny. Will be filming another one tomorrow.