In commercials, humor sells. But no matter how funny a commercial is, if you remember the spot, but not the product, #fail! That’s what makes the commercial for Hello Flo period supplies so brilliant.
It’s not easy to write a funny commercial about what it’s like for a preteen to get her first period. Or to sell a line to your client that concludes, “Do you know how hard it is to find a uterus piñata?”
It’s even more difficult to make it seem tasteful when the pre-teen’s Dad jumps out of a cake dressed as (sorry team) menstrual flow.
And when you name your product for menstrual supplies “Hello Flo,” you’re just asking for some dimwit to reject it.
But they made it. The client bought it. And now you get to enjoy it.
As my longtime Readers know. I am the Head of the Earth. I’ve been The Undisputed Head of the Earth since I launched International Earth Day in 1972 (two years after the first Earth Day.). But what may surprise my reading audience is that I am also the Head of my Household.
That’s right. I make All the Decisions around Here!
I know I’m Head of the Household because the other night I checked with “Sir” while she was sleeping. Soundly. And I didn’t just mumble, “I run things around here, right?” I screamed it. In a whisper. In my garage. And no one, I repeat, no one, disputed it.
So don’t think for a second that because I call my wife “Sir,” this somehow seems to imply I’m just a hired hand. In fact, I only call Sir “Sir” sometimes. I also use the terms Your Royal Eminence, Supreme Leader, Il Duce (if we’re at an Italian restaurant), the President of the United Homefront and also the Exalted Ruler and Head Hocho Solely Qualified to Find Me at Fault for Even Breathing the Wrong Way.
So Sunday morning when my wife asked me to help her fold our comforter into the duvet, I didn’t just jump to attention and do it.
Instead, I jumped to attention and pleaded, “What’s the Hell’s a duvet?”
Now if you’re a man reading this, or a young impressionable boy, I would suggest you go on to the next topic. There’s nothing for you to see here, so move along. You do not need to know what a duvet is. Ever.
STAN: Am I sensing a pattern here?
HARRIET: Whaddya’ mean?
STAN: Goldenberger’s first two stories were about…
STAN: Oh, so nothing. Hey, look, Harriet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a member of the movement, sister. I support chick’s rights.
HARRIET: How liberated of you, Stan. You’re about as enlightened as the Trump White House.
STAN: Thanks, Harriet. I appreciate the compliment.
Duvets are strictly a female thing. Like scrapbooking, toile (don’t even ask) and Always Being Right. Thes are strictly topics under discussion for double X chromosome individuals.
Trust me. Duvets won’t even be on the Final.
That’s just one of the many differences between Men and our Supreme Rulers.
Take sex. Women don’t want to have sex unless they’re in the mood. For men, they only have to be in the room.
Women are also smarter than men. The proof? Women are always right. Men are almost always wrong. They only time a man is right and a woman is wrong is on purely male topics like TV, beer and sweating. And we’re probably close to being wrong about those topics pretty soon.
No matter how hard men try to be a fair and equal partner, women can always find something, now matter how arcane, to chip away at our self-confidence.
Let’s say you’re a man who has truly evolved past the “Hey, I take out the garbage, don’t I?” stage. And let’s say you genuinely share responsibilities as much as possible. Still, it will never ever be good enough.
Women have taken a secret pact to uphold their Right to be Right At All Times.
They’ll catch you on some technicality you didn’t even know existed. If they send you to the store for cream, you should have known they meant sour cream. “You bought pasteurized? I said fermented.”
And don’t even think about buying comfortable shoes for them. They don’t exist!
Theory pants size zero? How could they even make a size zero? Who wears them? Leprechauns?
They have an unforgiving memory. They never forget any mistake, misbehavior, misdeed, errant glance or chore not done. Recently, after a particularly long day of helping Sir stuff the duvet in a cover, return used cosmetics and shop for a Coach pocketbook (on sale), Sir turned to me and said, “You forgot to wipe off the picnic table last August.”
Guilty, as charged.
STAN: Goldbaum still didn’t tell us what a duvet is.
HARRIET: A duvet is a type of bedding that is a soft flat bag filled with down, feathers, wool, or a synthetic alternative. It is protected with a duvet cover.
HARRIET: Here, I’ll show you the duvet Jack was talking about.
We’re launching a new feature here at 10 Minutes of Brilliance. Every blog, we’ll ask and answer 4 burning questions (not necessarily about fire) that our Readers want to know. And on Passover, who knows, maybe we will ask those 4 questions. Let’s begin.
Q. What are the odds of getting sushi when you order sushi in Los Angeles?
A. Not so good. Seafood fraud is rampant in LA sushi restaurants. Recent research from Loyola Marymount University and UCLA has shown nearly half of all types of fish sold in Los Angeles sushi restaurants may be mislabeled. Despite strong truth-in-menu laws, getting sushi when your order it in an LA sushi restaurant is becoming increasingly difficult. Smells fishy to me.
Q. A Reader names STAN asks, “In baseball, has anyone ever won Rookie of the Year two years in a row?”
A. OK, that’s just a stupid question and we’re not even going to answer it. Next.
Q. Why isn’t there a Betty Rubble Flintstones Multivitamin?
A. The vicious rumor that presidential advisor Steve Bannon has been spreading that Betty’s shape was impossible to recreate in a Flintstones Multivitamin is false. Wilma, Fred, Barney, Pebbles, Bam Bam and Dino all have Flintstones Vitamins. Even the Flintmobile was immortalized as a vitamin. But in market research tests, Betty Rubble was too unpopular to be Vitaminized.
Q. What’s the 4th question?
A. You just asked it.
Back when we used to communicate by using lead encased in wood to write on thinly sliced pieces of trees, spelling something was a valuable social skill. Now that we’ve been electronically tweeting and texting as a means of communication, pencils and paper have become obsolete. And it was a triple murder because Spelling has also met an untimely death.
And leading the charge of misspelled words and communication has been none other than The Speler in Chief, Donald J. Trump.
Last week when the Trump White House released a memorandum on “The 78 terror attacks ignored by the press” (NOT TRUE!) , they misspelled the word attack and attackers 27 times! And that’s no typeoh!
The morning after his inauguration, Trump tweeted that was “honered to serve you, the great American People, as your 45th President of the United States!” Jenny Starrs of The Washington Post wrote, “The honer is all ours, sir — just as it was exactly a year ago when you tweeted: “Every poll said I won the debate last night (NOT TRUE!) . Great honer!”
I guess in a Trump Bannon World where Up is Down, Lies are Truth, Fake News is Real, and Science is Unproven, I shouldn’t feel bad about a few misspellings and grammar. But I does.
That’s it for today, Readers. As always, I appreciate your stopping by. At one point, 24,000 people read this blog, but we were concerned some of them weren’t real people. They were bots and spam and other nefarious “individuals.” So we’ve eliminated all but a couple hundred Real Subscribers.
Since it was impossible to tell real Readers from fake ones, we may have mistakenly cut you off our Subscriber’s List. If you received this blog because you got an email from us, your Subscription in intact. If not and you’d like to continue to follow my adventures and stories online, I hope you’ll sign up again at the top of this blog. We expect some new characters to join 10 Minutes of Brilliance. I’m auditioning new characters to possibly replace Stan.
STAN: I don’t think so, Goldman,. Without me, no one would read this stinkin’ blog!
All right, now that’s enough. Say Goodbye Stan
STAN: Goodbye, Stan.
What a well behaved figment of my imagination he is.
Here are today’s topics: 1. Breaking News! Why I met with Kellyanne Conway 2. Yuri Gridniev’s First American Logo 3. Seven Places You Won’t Find on Google Maps 4. Headlines Written by Headless Headline Writers
STAN: Oh, no! Liar, liar, pants on fire. Goldman’s trousers are aflame! Again!
HARRIET: Stan, what in the blazes are you talking about?
STAN: The headline, Harriet! Goldman lied. He claims he met with KellyAnne Conway, Trump’s top advisor. There’s no way on Earth Goldman met with her.
HARRIET: Goldman, Stan? Goldman? The guy who writes this blog’s name is Goldenberg. Jack Goldennberg. You know that Stan! I’ve told you that for seven years. Goldman, I mean Goldenberg, created you. You’re not real. The least you can do is get his name right.
STAN: Yeah, the least Goldfarber can do is to tell the truth. I bet the picture below was faked.
HARRIET: Well, I’m sure if Jack said he met with Kellyanne Conway, he really did. Oh, he stretches the truth a little. But he never lies. Let’s see how he explains this one.
STAN: I’m not holding my breath.
HARRIET: Good idea, Stan. You don’t have any breath. You’re not real, remember?
STAN: Oh, yeah, right. I forgot.
HARRIET: Shhh. Here come Jack now.
Hey, Readers, sorry I was late. Usually, I look forward to writing blogs. Not this time. Posting anything about Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump is akin to a death wish on the Internet. I know I’ll be criticized from both sides of the political aisle.
The Left will castigate me for consorting with the Enemy.
The Right will find fault with my views because there’s no way I could write about living under Presidents Bannon and Trump ) without lamenting the loss of truth, justice and the American way. (Where’s Dick Cheney when we need him?)
With America as polarized now as it was during the Civil War, it’s hard to imagine any idea that would be championed by Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
But I thought I just might have an idea to help a select group of American–Veterans–that everyone could agree on.
So in December after the insurrection, I mean, the election, I worked my way past armed police, the National Guard, the Secret Service, the metal detector and the doorman at Trump Tower with the singular goal of giving Kellyanne Conway an idea I had that has the potential to raise $2 billion for Veterans.
I knew the odds of even seeing Kellyanne Conway were pretty slim. And even if I caught a glimpse of her at Trump Tower, I probably wouldn’t get close enough to hand her an envelope on which I had described my idea.
I chose to help Veterans with my $2 billion idea for two reasons. Ever since the Viet Nam War, we’ve treated the men and women who fight to keep us safe very poorly. Every President promises to give them better care, but no president since Eisenhower has delivered on that promise.
I also wanted to help Veterans because I thought my idea might get bipartisan support. Pick a topic, almost any topic, and you’ll find as much opposition as support. But supporting Veterans is a cause all Americans could wrap their arms around and support.
I didn’t have too much trouble talking my way into Trump Tower (what a ruse, I said I was going to Starbucks). Then I positioned myself with a couple dozen members of the media. In the media scrum were cameramen and reporters from CNN, the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Reuters, and me. From 10 Minutes of Brilliance.
I waited with the national and international press for about an hour before the woman who will always be remembered for coining the phrase ‘Alternate Facts” descended down the elevator from the penthouse.
As the media fired up their cameras, I walked under some protective ropes and approached Kellyanne. “I have an idea that can raise $2 billion for Veterans,” I said.
“Terrific, I’d love to hear it,” said Kellyanne.
“Well, I wrote it up here,” I said, handling her an Einstein da Vinci and Goldenberg envelope.
“Great, I’ll read it and have someone get back to you.”
I took a photo with Kellyanne and started to walk away when she noticed my Hillary for President watch. “Where’d you get that?”
I had already told her in our brief “meeting” that I made Obama and Hillary watches, but I certainly understand she was more concerned with presenting the next foreign head of state to President-elect Trump than in specifics about the election memorabilia I’ve created.
So I just said, “I make ’em. Would you like one?”
“I would,” she said. “That’s very gracious of you.”
She thanked me, then disappeared into the elevator escorting the Prime Minister of Who Knows Where upstairs.
Now, I know she might have gotten on the elevator, turned to a Secret Service Agent, and handed him the Hillary for President watch and said, “Here. Blow this up!”
Or, she might have shown the watch to Donald Trump and the two of them had a great laugh at Hillary’s expense.
But, I prefer my own version. In the video that’s rolling around in my head, Kellyanne takes the watch and stashes in under her pillow when she get back to wherever she is living.
Then, late at night, when she knows no one is around, she secretly takes it out and looks at it with a flashlight under her covers thinking, “Damn, Hillary. Why couldn’t you have won? My life would have been so much easier.”
Note to Readers: In my next blog, I’ll describe my idea of how to raise $2 billion for Veterans. And what Kellyanne’s response was
Imagine you decided to move to a New Country tomorrow. Like Botswana. Or Papua New Guinea. Or some country with such a weird name you couldn’t even pronounce it. Like Canada.
All right, maybe not Canada, but you get the picture.
Everything would be New to You. Foreign. Strange. The food, the money, the people, the customs, the TV programs, the jokes, the songs, the housing. The whole kit and the kaboodle.
All right, maybe not the kaboodle.
If you read a recent 10 Minutes of Brilliance blog (and you should have, damn it!), you’d know I described what Life was like for my friend Yuri Gridniev when he moved to the US a little over a month ago from his native country, the Ukraine.
Yuri came to America two days before Christmas with wife, Olena, and one of his sons, 9-year old Bogdan. Pretty much all he packed for his new adventure in America was a Suitcase full of Dreams.
It took him years to get his Green Cards approved for three members of his family and still he had leave his other son, Vitaly, home in Kiev.
So what would you do to live and prosper in a strange new world?
Well, if you had the courage, determination and a “This Is My Dream and I’m Gonna Make It Happen” attitude like Yuri, you’d do anything and everything you had to do just to keep one half step ahead of tomorrow.
STAN: You’d think Goldenwasser could write something positive about his friend Yuri’s new life in America. His tales are so dystopian ( Look it up, Readers!)
HARRIET: Not at all, Stan. I know Jack. His stories usually have a positive ending. Just wait
Yuri came to America to be an Art Director/Creative Director, the same job he had back home. (Note: The job of Importer/Exporter was already held by Art Vanderlay, aka George Costanza.)
Before I tell you everything Yuri had to go through to get his first paid project in his new country, I wanted to show you the logo he created for his first American client, The Actors Hall of Fame. The Actors Hall of Fame promotes the dramatic arts in schools and they are involved in many other programs, like producing Shakespeare for the huge Chinese and world movie audiences and inducting top actors in the Hall of Fame.
KUDOS! is a global ‘review’ aggregator, sort of like Rotten Tomatoes or the critics’ section of Fandango, but with a difference. Instead of having the public or critics review entertainment, KUDOS! reviewers are the professionals involved in those entertainment genres, anyone directly involved with movies, TV or theatre.
The Actors Hall of Fame was thrilled with Yuri’s logo and honored that it was the first one he produced for an American audience. They plan to use his talent again the next time an opportunity presents itself. Recruiters who want to contact Yuri can click here: Yuri Gridniev
A number of Readers contacted me about how Yuri was faring on his first month and a half in America. So here’s an abbreviated list of some of the things Yuri has had to conquer, endure and, in some cases, enjoy on his first month and a half on our shores:
First flight across the Atlantic.
First greetings, “Welcome to America!”
First unforgettable impressions.
First talks with American people at the airport.
First American photos.
First very expensive taxi from Kennedy International to the hotel in Newark. The driver ripped him off, overcharging for tolls.
First search for and use of an ATM to get cash. The hotel wouldn’t honor his foreign Visa credit card.
First expensive payment to stay at the hotel for his first night in America.
First night NOT sleeping at his hotel. (Beds probably imported from the Soviet gulag.)
First night at the hotel without supper. (Trust me. You would have eaten there either.)
First meeting with an American friend (the handsome, affable and brilliant Jack Goldenberg)
STAN: OK, now I know Goldberger wrote that.
First American breakfast–pancakes and smoothies (two of the four food groups!)
First gift from an American–an American flag for Bogdan.
First gift to an American. The Gridniev’s brought me a gift from their home country. A Ukranian bulova, the symbol of potent Ukrainian power.
First time Yuri saw his wife cry in America. The Ukrainian bulova survived the 4,400 mile journey only to fall out of the bag and break on the way to the elevator.
First promise Yuri’s wife made to an American. “I promise to get you another.”
First American lunch. Now I know lunch doesn’t sound like such a big deal–even in a foreign county. It was just lunch, right? But what if your whole life you ate lunches of Potato Varenyky, Cabbage Borscht, and Holubtsi. Would you really be that happy with something called BLT?
First excursions in a friend’s car.
First visit to an American Bank.
First rejection by an American bank.
Success! First American bank account and debit card.
First buying of a US sim card.
First meetings with his relatives by skype.
First time renting a decent hotel room.
First American Christmas.
First American television channels.
First family walks near the hotel.
First American headache. Searching for long term rental.
Surviving first strange American shock. Yikes! Every rental place closed Christmas Eve.
Second strange American shock. Every place closed on Christmas Day. No problem. Yuri will just visit the rental office on Monday.
Third straight American shock. Offices closed on holiday Sundays aren’t open on Monday.
First difficult issues with his credit history, social security cards,green cards, jobs, and cosigners.
First new American friends.
First look on the Statue of Liberty, from afar.
First Metro card.
First trip by Path to the New York City and Manhattan.
First 2 nights on the friend’s yacht.
First sick and searching for pharmacy.
First impressions and experience on how to be a sea wolf. (OK, I’m not positive, but I have the feeling Yuri made this up just to goof on me.)
First house for the long term living.
First International New Year in America celebrated with international traditions from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Great Britain, China, and the Dominican Republic.
First favorable things: electric kettle, microwave, and a fridge.
First trip by using GPS to NYC.
First job interview in New York City.
First visit to Baskin Robbins cafe. (Jeez, what must food be like in the Ukraine if Yuri is calling Baskin Robbins a “cafe?”
First Starbucks coffee.
First obstacle to entering his son to American school school.
First tests to enroll his son in an American school, successfully passed with his strong English results.
First buying of school uniform and stationery.
First meeting with a school principal and first teachers.
First American homework for his son.
First search for English Lessons for his wife.
First job search training with highly skilled Career Advisors.
First business lunch in New York City.
First BIG break in America. Yuri gets hired to do a logo for the prestigious Actors Hall of Fame.
Google Maps is an indispensable tool for getting from HERE to THERE. One complaint besides the misdirections, it’s very hard to fold up and put it in your glove compartment.
But for all places Google Maps can take you, there are a number of places you won’t find on Google Maps. Here are a few of them.
The technology that ushered in the Internet was called ARPANET, an academic research project funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency. Curiously, this branch of the military funded ambitious research projects that didn’t have any immediate commercial or military applications. The network only connected the University of Utah with three research centers in California.
Sometimes people with no heads write headlines. Hey, it happens. (Sometimes they’re even elected President!) These headlines were borrowed from Boomspeak, an ingeniously clever and well-written site for Baby Boomers written by Baby Boomers. Boomspeak is one of the only blogs I read. Heck, sometimes I don’t even read my own blog.
STAN: Well, that’s pretty obvious from all of the typos.
Here’s are real headlines courtesy of Boomspeak:
Well, Readers, thanks for stopping by. I know Readers abhor leaving Comments (except you: Jeff, Leslie, Steve, Bingo and Barry), so would you do me a favor and just click on any of the SHARE or LIKE buttons. Last time we checked, over 24,000 people subscribed to 10 Minutes of Brilliance. We kicked a number of our subscribers off our e-mailing list because we weren’t positive they were real people.
So if you are “Real People” please like this blog or share it so we know you were here. Thanks! Jack
What a year! Glad it’s almost over. I’m working hard to finish this year-end blog tonight before they Drop the Ball (No, I’m not talking about the election!) Over 24,000 people signed up to read 10 Minutes of Brilliance. Our best year ever! But let’s get right into our last post of the year. Today, we’ll cover:
1. The Bravest Man in America 2017
2. The Worst American Company 2017 (Spoiler Alert: I don’t want to give away who won this shameful award for the second year in a row, but I will tell you this, the company’s name rhymes with Fells Wargo!)
3. Best Trump Parody
4. The Worst Congress Ever (Until the next one)
5. The 10 Rules for Being Human-the most requested blog post since 2010
6. Best New Restaurant (New to Me): Nom Wah Tea Parlor
STAN: Damn, Harriet, he did it again!
HARRIET: What are you talking about Stan?
STAN: Goldman. Goldstein. Goldenbloom. You know, what’s-his-name. The guy who writes this blog.
HARRIET: You mean Jack Goldenberg?
STAN: That’s the one. That B*st*rd is taking credit for the writing 10 Minutes of Brilliance. Everyone knows his Readers wouldn’t give a damn about this blog if it weren’t for ME! And my charm, comedic humor and great looks.
HARRIET: Stan, for the last time. You are NOT real. Jack writes everything you say. You are just an imaginary character.
STAN: Yeah, right. And next I suppose you’re gonna tell me that the guy from The Apprentice is President of the Free World.
HARRIET: Nah, that would be too scary to even think about.
7. Oh, I almost forgot. We’ll of course have some words from our resident imaginary characters, STAN and HARRIET.
And now, let’s go right into our last blog of the year:
As a certified optimist, I’ve always tried to make my year-end blogs on 10 Minutes of Brilliance upbeat and positive. But as years go, 2016 was pretty ugly. (Do I have to remind you of that?) Sure, there were positive things I could mention, but there was no singular personal event that imbued me with hope for the New Year.
Then a couple days ago, it hit me. In fact, it was staring me right in the face. Literally. I had just met the bravest man in America. Yuri Gridnyev.
Now the Ukranian-born Yuri is not a policeman, fireman or a member of our military. He hasn’t pulled any children out of cars that just burst into flame. But he is my symbolic choice for the bravest man in America 2017. Without a job, a place to live or more than two month’s meager living expenses, he moved his wife, Olena (aka Helen), and their nine year-old son, Bogdan, to The New World, America.
Like a lot of my friends I have never met, Yuri and I met online. I’m a Copywriter and he’s an Art Director, an exceptionally talented Art Director, so he was my natural counterpart. We met through LinkedIn (Damn, I knew it was good for something!) and hit it off instantly. Since the only word I can say in Ukranian is “Ukraine,” we spoke in English.
While Yuri’s English is quite good, until he met me, he’d never spoken to an American before, so I presented quite a challenge. If you’ve ever met me or if we spoke, you know that I’m what Larry David would call a “fast talker.”
How fast? Well, when I said something to Yuri, I’msureitmusthavesoundedlikethis!
Yuri told me he’s been dreaming about coming to America since 1992. Three years ago, Yuri applied for a Green Card to work in the USA. If he were wealthy, he could have bought a Green Card for a princely sum. But instead, he had to wait until he won a special American lottery which afforded him the right to leave his home country and work in the US.
When Yuri told me he wanted to start a new life in America, I championed his decision. But when he said, “I want to move to America with no problems,” I cautioned him that wouldn’t be possible. Changing your entire lifestyle, home, job, living quarters, language and more is bound to be fraught with roadblocks. But Yuri was determined to give his family a better life and nothing would stop him from trying.
Apparently, news of King Trump’s victory had never reached the former Russian city.
Even winning the Green Card and the right to work in America, Yuri’s victory was far from complete. He was forced to leave his oldest son, Vitaly, in the Ukraine since he was over 21 and considered an adult. So his “victory” at this point was still bittersweet.
When Yuri chose where he was going to spend his first night in America, he wanted to be close to New York since he hoped to get a job in Manhattan. But the high cost of NYC lodging meant he had to start off his American journey in New Jersey.
An upscale room in Manhattan costs about twice what the average Ukranian makes in a month. So, he thought Newark might fit the bill. And what better place to see all the New World has to offer than the swanky, not so aptly named, Divine Hotel Riviera.
I mean no offense to the people forced by circumstance to reside at the Divine Hotel Riviera, but that dump (I taught Bogdan a new word, “dump.”), that hotel, that dump, was neither Divine. Nor a hotel. Nor the Riviera. Really no one reading this blog would feel safe stepping foot inside the Divine Hotel Riviara, much less spending the night there. The Divine Hotel Riviera is so scary, the guard dogs have guard dogs.
And so the next morning, when I met my three new Ukranian friends in their room. It was pretty evident that none of them slept in the beds and when I asked them how their dinner was the night before, they said they hadn’t eaten anything since their flight to America. And yet they were all full of hope because they were finally in here.
Since Yuri’s goal was to get a job in America, the first thing we did after having his first meal in the U.S. was to search out an American cell phone so he could accept calls from recruiters. He had a good reason to assume he’d soon be in contact with a number of them. From his home country, Yuri contacted over 60 recruiters and 15 said they’d like to meet him when he arrived in the states. That’s a direct reflection on how talented and passionate Yuri is.
I never saw the letters Yuri used to entice recruiters to interview him. But I have a feeling that his indomitable spirit came through based on the emails he sent to me. When I brought up the roadblocks he would have to overcome to get his first American job, he wrote back, “I understand this is a lot to do. But we will solve our issues one by one. That will open the way to BIG things. It will be in such way because two VERY CREATIVE HEADS are involved in this.”
Then he added, “Every new morning gives us new hope. Our mission is to make our dreams come true, right?”
So even with a majority of the U.S. population viewing 2017 with some trepidation, there will are bright spots in our future — even in the coming year. Because millions of other brave immigrants like Yuri continue to flock to America to make their dreams come true.
I know what you’re thinking.
STAN: That’s impossible. How could Goldman know what I’m thinking?
HARRIET: Not you, STAN, Jack wasn’t talking to you. He was talking to his Readers.
HARRIET: And his name is not Goldman, STAN, it’s Goldenberg. Jack Goldenberg.
STAN: Goldman? Goldfarb? Goldenstein? What the difference?
HARRIET: Look, STAN, I wouldn’t be such a wise guy if I were you.
STAN: Yeah, why not?
HARRIET: Because Jack will kick you off the blog. You know, you’re not real, STAN. You’re just someone Jack made up. For comic relief.
STAN: So you think I’m funny, huh, HARRIET? You think I have wit?
HARRIET: Yes, STAN, you’re a real wit. A nitwit actually.
STAN: See Harriet, I knew you were starting to fall for me.
HARRIET: All right, STAN, that’s just enough. Now, let Jack finish. He’s trying to get this blog up before 2017.
STAN: I’m not stopping him.
HARRIET: You can say that again.
STAN: I’m not stopping him.
HARRIET: I didn’t really mean…Oh, never mind. Just shut your pie hole and let Jack continue.
Where was I? Oh yeah, I was sayin’ that you (my Readers) must be wondering how I can give out 2017 Awards when the year is just starting?
Well, I only give out awards to deserving recipients. And what Wells Fargo did in 2016 was so evil, malicious and anti-consumer that I think it’s fair to carry over the award for their maleficent behavior to 2017.
What did Wells Fargo do to deserve such an ignominious (look it up!) reputation? For years, Wells Fargo management forced their employees to commit illegal acts or risk losing their job because they didn’t meet sales quotas. Wells Fargo employees opened up over 1.5 million deposit account their customers hadn’t asked for. Wells Fargo employees also submitted applications for over half a million credit card accounts without their customers knowledge or consent.
This resulted in overcharging customers almost half a million dollars in annual fees, interest charges and overdraft-protection. But that wasn’t all. After they were caught, they agreed to stop the management practices that led to these abuses by the end of the year! BY THE END OF THE YEAR!
In other words, they wanted to continue their abusive behavior for another couple months, THEN they would come clean.
Finally, when that caused a new scandal, they agreed to stop their illegal, abusive activities immediately.
Oh, but that’s not all! Over a couple years, they fired over 5,000 employees for cheating their customers, but not one member of the management team who orchestrated the illegal activity received even a reprimand. Hell, they probably got bonuses for creating their ill-gotten gains.
Next, the best Trump Parody (not counting the next four years in office)
(accompanying artwork from various artists)
In a land where the states are united, they claim
In a sky-scraping tower adorned with his name
Lived a terrible, horrible, devious chump
The bright orange miscreant known as the Trump.
This Trump he was mean, such a mean little man
With the tiniest heart and two tinier hands
And a thin set of lips etched in permanent curl
With a sneer and a scowl and contempt for the world.
He looked down from his perch and he grinned ear to ear
And he thought, “I could steal the election this year
It’d be rather simple, it’s so easily won
I’ll just make them believe that their best days are done!
Yes, I’ll make them believe that it’s all gone to Hell
And when I am done, their souls they will sell.
I’ll use lots of words disconnected from truth
But I’ll say them with style so they won’t ask for proof
I’ll toss out random platitudes, phrases, and such
They’re so raised on fake news, it won’t matter much!
They won’t question the how, or the what, why, or when
I will make their America great once again!”
The Trump told them to fear, they should fear he would say
“They’ve come for your jobs, they’ll take them away.
You should fear every Muslim and Mexican too
Every brown, black, and tan one, everyone who votes Blue
And he fooled all the Christians, he fooled them indeed
He just trotted out Jesus, that’s all Jesus folks need
And celebrity preachers they crowned him as king
Tripping over themselves just to kiss the Trump’s ring.
And he spoke only lies just as if they were true
Until they believed that those lies were true, too
He repeated and Tweeted and he blustered and spit,
And he mislead and fibbed—and he just made up sh*t.
And the media laughed but they printed each line,
Thinking “He’ll never will win, in the end we’ll be fine.”
So they chased every headline, bold typed every claim,
‘Till the fake news and real news they looked just the same.
And the scared folk who listened, they devoured each word,
Yes, they ate it all up every word that they heard
Petrified that their freedom was under attack,
Trusting Trump he would take their America back.
From the gays and from ISIS, he’d take it all back
Take it back from the Democrats, fat cats, and blacks.
And so hook, line, and sinker they all took the bait
All his lies about making America great.
Now the Pant-suited One she was smart and prepared,
She was brilliant and steady but none of them cared,
No they cared not to see all the work that she’d done
Or the fact they the Trump had not yet done thing one.
They could only shout “Emails!”, yes “Emails!” they’d shout,
Because Fox News had told them—and Fox News had clout.
And the Pant-suited One she was slandered no end
And a lie became truth she could never defend.
And the Trump watched it all go according to plan
A strong woman eclipsed by an insecure man.
And November the 8th arrived, finally it came
Like a slow-moving storm but it came just the same.
And Tuesday became Wednesday as those days will do,
And the night turned to morning and the nightmare came true
With millions of non-voters still in their beds,
Yes, the Trump he had done it, just like he had said.
And the Trumpers they trumped, how they trumped when he won
All the racists and bigots; deplorable ones
They crawled out from the woodwork, came out to raise Hell
They came out to be hateful and hurtful as well.
With slurs and with road signs, with spray paint and Tweets
With death threats to neighbors and taunts on the street
And the grossest of grossness they hurled on their peers
While the Trump he said zilch—for the first time in years
But he Tweeted at Hamilton, he Tweeted the Times
And he trolled Alec Baldwin a few hundred times
And he pouted a pout like a petulant kid
Thinking this is what Presidents actually did
Thinking he could still be a perpetual jerk
Terrified to learn he had to actually work
Work for every American, not just for a few
Not just for the white ones—there was much more to do.
He now worked for the Muslims and Mexicans too,
For the brown, black, and tan ones,and the ones who vote blue.
They were all now his bosses, now they all had a say,
And those nasty pant-suited ones were here to stay.
And the Trump he soon realized that he didn’t win
He had gotten the thing—and the thing now had him
And it turned out the Trump was a little too late
For America was already more than quite great
Not because of the sameness, the opposite’s true
It’s greatness far more than just red, white, and blue
It’s straight, gay, and female—it’s Gentile and Jew
It’s Transgender and Christian and Atheist too.
It’s Asians, Caucasians of every kind
The disabled and abled, the deaf and the blind
It’s immigrants, Muslims, and brave refugees
It’s Liberals with bleeding hearts fixed to their sleeves
Yes we are all staying, we’re staying right here
And we’ll be challenge the Trump for all four years
We will be twice as loud as the loudness of hate
Be the greatness that makes our America great
And the Trump’s loudest boasts they won’t ever obscure
Over two million more of us—voted for her.
You know how people used to say that the First President Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, was a terrible President? Then along came the Second President Bush, George W. Bush, and suddenly the first President Bush wasn’t such a bad President after all.
Well, the same analogy applies to the 114th and 115th Congresses. The 114th Congress is considered the Worst Congress Ever because they were the Do Nothing Congress. But pretty soon, when the new Congress takes office, the 115th Congress, we’ll look back on the 114th Congress fondly and wish they were still in office.
Because when we say HELLO to the 115th Congress, we can say GOODBYE to serious work on climate change, healthcare for All Americans, equal pay for women, women being able to control their own bodies, clean air and water, voting rights for minorities, fair immigration reform, and sane gun control rights.
1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s the only thing you are sure to keep for the rest of your life. So take care of it. You’re not getting another.
2. You will learn lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “Life.” Each day in this school, you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or hate them, but you have designed them as part of your curriculum.
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors and occasional victories. The failed experiments are as much as a part of the process as the experiments that work.
4. A lesson is repeated until learned.
Lessons will be repeated by you in various forms until you have learned them. When you have learned them, you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end.
There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
6. “There” is no better than “here”.
When your “there” has become “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will look better to you than “here.”
7. Others are only mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need to succeed. What you do with them is up to you.
9. Your answers lie inside you.
The answers to Life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
10. You will forget all this.
You can remember any time you wish.
Harriett: Stan you’re crying.
Stan: I’m crying because that was so…beautiful.
Harriet: It was.
Stan: I kept waiting for the joke, the punchline.
Harriet: I’ll give you a punchline, Stan! How’d you like a nice Hawaiian punch?
HARRIET GIVES STAN A NICE HAWAIIAN PUNCH. STAN GOES FLYING OFF THE BLOG.
HARRIET HAS A SHEEPISH LOOK ON HER FACE. SHE RUNS OFF THE BLOG SEARCHING FOR STAN.
When Thanksgiving 2016 rolled around, only four of us were scheduled to attend. I can’t tell you the names of who I dined with because Peggy, Jessica and Eric don’t want to be mentioned in my blog.With the rest of our family scattered over the Eastern Seaboard, it didn’t make sense to have a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner with turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing. So instead, we drove to the city and had a great Thanksgiving Dinner at the Now Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown, NY.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor first opened at 13–15 Doyers Street in 1920 as a bakery and tea parlor. For most of the 20th century, Nom Wah served as neighborhood staple, offering fresh Chinese pastries, steamed buns, dim sum, and tea.
After it lost its lease at 15 Doyers in 1968, the restaurant moved into a brand new kitchen next door, occupying 11-13 Doyers Street ever since. Eventually, the restaurant became most famous for its almond cookie, lotus paste, and red bean filling, which is used for moon cake during the Chinese autumn festival.
Everything we ate was great. And the dim sum was the best I’ve ever had!
Our Thanksgiving Dinner at Nom Wah was delicious and fun. Here’s a sampling of what we ate for our traditional T-Day Dinner:
Well, Readers, Thanks for hanging around until the end. We hope that 2017 is a healthy, happy and prosperous year for you and that you’ll put up with us for a little while longer. We promise to write shorter blogs.
STAN: Damn, I hope so. This blog went on forever.
HARRIET: You can say that again, Stan.
STAN: Damn, this blog went on forever.
HARRIET: All right, all right, that’s quite enough. Now say Goodnight, Stan.
STAN: Goodnight, Stan.
HARRIET: Happy New Year, Readers! And HAPPY Imaginary New Year to all you imaginary characters out there, too!