Archive for January, 2020

Black Flag performs in Hell at the Masquerade in Atlanta.

Dear Show-goers,

Auntie Beth is here to make sure you have a good time at a punk concert. Your favorite aunt went to see Black Flag this week, and noticed that some of you need some guidelines.

Lest you think Auntie Beth doesn’t know what she’s talking about, be assured AB is an OG.

Black Flag, Minutemen, Butthole Surfers, Dead Kennedys, Dead Milkmen — she saw them all the first time around at Atlanta clubs 688 and the Metroplex. In fact, Auntie Beth remembers the Surfers setting fire to the Metroplex stage.

She knows a thing or two about mosh pits.

Here are some rules to follow to ensure a good time for all:

  • DO wear comfortable clothes, including shoes that can withstand stomping — yours and others. Auntie Beth was practically in her pajamas, but wore steel-toed boots.
  • DO dress for the crowd. Concert Ts from the band you are seeing and similar are fine. Auntie Beth saw bands such as The Cramps, Suicidal Tendencies and the Misfits proudly represented.
  • DO prepare for loud music and contact with other humans.


  • DO NOT go to the front if you don’t want to slamdance or be slamdanced on. Auntie Beth took her old ass straight to the balcony.

In this crowd is no place to be if you don’t want to be jostled and shoved.

Look how angry this girl is! She should have joined Auntie Beth in the balcony.

  • DO NOT throw punches. Look, the mosh pit is a place for folks to get out some aggression by flinging themselves at others. No need to get upset or start a fight. If you don’t like it, don’t go near it.
  • If you aren’t ready to crowd surf, DO participate by standing on the outer edge and pushing the “dancers” back in when they are flung out.
  • DO pick up your fallen comrades. It’s just the nice thing to do, plus you won’t trip over them.
  • DO take your children (and proper ear protection) to see bands that are important to you. Auntie Beth’s boys saw The Police when they were still in Pampers.

Some of you may disagree with Auntie Beth that it’s OK to bring kids to a concert. Of course it depends on the children and the concert, but Auntie Beth is a fan in general.

  • DO appreciate bands that start and end earlyish on a school night. Auntie Beth was home by 11. (That’s still past her bedtime, though. Look. Listen. She’s elderly and needs her beauty rest.)
  • DO support live music. It’s good for the bands, the venue, the economy, the arts and your soul. Think of it as community service!
  • Auntie Beth loves you and wants you to ROCK ON!

    Read Full Post »

Dear Snails,

Thank you for giving of your slime to beautify mankind.

I was initially grossed out at your sacrifice.

After I saw this at CVS, I posted a pic with the caption, “Ew.”

Just EW.

Unlike your typical movement, the jokes came fast.

Others weighed in with testimonials.

So I decided to see for myself. It was indeed slimy. And cold.

The problem child has problem skin, so I suggested he try it with me.

He said he would if everyone else in the family would do it too.

He underestimated my powers of persuasion.

Snail mask, party of four

You can sense him seething through your secretion sheet.

Anyway. We waited 15 minutes.

Removed the mask. Rinsed. Examined the results.

Problem child reported no difference in his skin, and complained he could still smell and taste the sheet.

Adult male claimed to have softer skin and fewer wrinkles.

Youngest was happy to be included.

As for me, I have issues your ooze can’t aid. (Yes, I still have Hitch eye. I have a dermatologist appointment this week.)

Still, thanks for your service.

Yours in self care,

Read Full Post »

Teen survives bad haircut
From Staff Reports

ATLANTA — Though he could not see through the fringe of hair, Dominic C., 15, resisted the idea of a haircut. Clearly, his trepidation was warranted, as the resulting cut nearly ruined his social and academic life, according to him. What masqueraded as barely any cut at all to those around him, was, in the teen’s opinion, the worst thing that could have happened to him. In his life. Ever.

“He asked me if he could stay home from school,” said Eddie C., the teen’s father. “I hope you told him ‘no’ in a hot second,” the teen’s mother replied when she heard.

Beth C. exhibited no sympathy for the teen’s plight. The heartless woman even was reported as telling Dominic C., “I don’t understand how you can want a haircut, but want no hair to be cut at the same time.”

The shattered teen tried everything to hide the effects of what he called, “the worst cut of my life.” First, he tried a ski mask. Then added a hoodie. Then enlisted both parents in a campaign to use various hair products to regain some sense of style — exactly what style was unclear, however.

“Listen,” Beth C. finally said to the aggrieved teen, “I don’t know what the problem is. It looks exactly the same to me as it did before.”

His mother had the audacity to show him a photo of that time in third grade when she cut her own bangs. She then claimed her situation was worse. “I had an inch of hair on my forehead!” she said. “Yours still hits your eyebrows.”

The teen recovered in time to be able to make it to school the next day. The family is accepting notes of sympathy from other parents of teens.

Read Full Post »

Dear Readers,

I’m so excited that my badgering has paid off. Here’s another guest post. The Royce had a birthday last week, and it prompted some reflection.

I’ll be back next week with a story about the eldest. Parents with teenagers will relate.


This is The Royce in his natural habitat.


Aging vs. Old: A Rant
Guest post by The Royce

So, yesterday was my birthday. And that’s good because, hey, another trip around the sun, right? But somewhere along the way — in the last, oh say, few years or so (I don’t know whatever) — it occurred to me that, while I am not old (yet), I am, in fact, aging. Maybe I’m finally “of a certain age” — whatever the hell that entails — because, while I’m definitely still an easygoing person, little things are starting to grind my gears just a bit.

Like those damn neighborhood kids walking in my yard! LOLJK. (Note from Beth: I don’t think he is, in fact, JK.)

Though it’s commonly *cough* invariably *cough* attached to middle age and miracle creams, signs of aging actually applies to things other than crow’s feet and smile lines.

I’m talking about the less-obvious, non-physical signs of aging. Because like it or not, every day of every year, you’re aging. You just don’t notice it.

Until you do.

And then you notice it again. And again. It’s a lot like buying a new car that you thought was unique and rare until you drive off the lot and there’s three of the same vehicle waiting at the first intersection you get to.

On Jan. 13, 1974, the Super Bowl was on my seventh birthday, and I got to watch my favorite team, the Miami Dolphins, become two-time world champions against the Minnesota Vikings. Not a bad day for a kid.

In 2020, the game is three weeks later, two hours longer, and the pre-game show lasts half a day. WTH?

When did that happen?

You see, that’s not old. That’s aging.

Recently I went out with my lovely wife to meet some friends visiting from out of town. We arrived a few minutes early and looked over the drink menu while we waited.

I’m sorry, but WTF?! How did a cocktail get to be $14 in this town? (Note from Beth: They live in Savannah.) Did I teleport to Manhattan when I walked
through the door to this place?

Again: Not old. Aging.

You know why people don’t go out as much when they get a little older? It’s less about being tired and more because we don’t want to get bent over paying those ridiculous prices every time we feel like having a nice meal somewhere. Hey, how about we go out for dinner and have a couple glasses of WELL SHIT THERE GOES A HUNDRED BUCKS.

No, it’s not denial. Old will, with some luck, arrive eventually.

But for now … nah, not old. Merely aging, just like I have every day of my life. And considering the alternative, I’m fine with that.

Seriously, though. Would it kill the little cretins to stay off my lawn?

Read Full Post »

What’s this about bringing home the bacon?

Dear Friends Who Were Shocked I Didn’t Call Someone Out on Chauvinist Crap,

Y’all (rightfully) pointed out that it was not like me to stay quiet when someone says something backwards or dumb. I defended myself in this instance saying that the fellow in question was about 90 and deaf, and I’m a new member of the organization.


At the very least, I should have just made a joke about it right then and there.

But here’s a followup:

I had lunch yesterday with the female past president who was sitting next to our elderly subject when he made the comment. She was the first female member and first female president of this organization. And, in fact, some members left the organization when she joined. Granted, this was 30 years ago.

I shared with her my mortification. She said she was shocked too, as this man has always been a huge supporter of women in the club, herself included.

We talked a while. In short, our 94-year-old friend may have some cognitive decline that caused his commentary.


Saying something wouldn’t have made a difference. And I know everyone else at the table felt the same way I did, so no education needed there.

But still, I’ve learned a valuable lesson.

See/hear something: Say something — anything!

It’s a good reminder for everyone: Things won’t change with silence.

Yours sincerely,




Read Full Post »

Dear Readers:

My playful ribbing of my friends has paid off. Nick has come through with a guest post about dealing with teenagers — a frequent topic of mine. His oldest is older than mine, so he’s been through it.

And for the rest of you (Julia, Royce, Kerstin, TJ), don’t worry about it being perfect. That’s what editors are for. Send it!


Advice for harassed parents (or how I learned to stop worrying and love my kid)
Guest post by Nick (aka He Who Has Been There)

My eldest son just turned 18. Here in the U.K., that’s it: All milestones hit. He’s now a grown man, even though if he buys beer he’ll still get challenged for appearing to be under 21, despite the drinking age being 18. Go figure. He can have a house, car, family — all that. First, he needs to get a job. But we’ll leave that particular bone of contention for another time.

Getting this far wasn’t easy. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve said something along the lines of “YOU’LL PICK UP THAT SOCK/PLATE/INDETERMINATE MATTER IF YOU WANT TO SEE YOUR NEXT BIRTHDAY,” which was normally met with an exasperated sigh or the dreaded eye-roll. See, the thing is, and this is important for anyone with a kid who’s in the middle of those teenage years to know:

You’ll always LOVE your kid. It’s okay to not LIKE them sometimes.

It’s easy when they’re small. For example, it’s cute when they get so excited at Christmas that they literally piss themselves. Or, when potty training is happening, they get their junk caught in a CD case and run into the kitchen shouting “ME NO LIKE!” (Both real, both SURE to mortify the boy if he ever reads this.)

Here’s Nick. Innocent. He has no idea what this creature will become in just 10 or so years.

But as they grow in size, they also get this disastrous condition called “their own personality.” Shocking, I know. And when they get to about 12, 13? That personality generally stinks. As do they, because puberty takes no prisoners where body odour is concerned (Note from Beth: “Odor” as we Americans shun unnecessary letters).

The smallest things become battlegrounds.

Concerned Parent: “Have you done your homework?”
Insolent Child: *AUDIBLE EYE ROLL*
CP: “May as well get it done now, kid Then it’s finished so you’ve got the weekend to yourself.”
IC: “GOD.” (Stomps away)

A hill that we both picked to die on was a matter of hygiene. As in, brush your goddamn teeth. He’d wake up, have breakfast, and sit in the living room in his trademark sullen silence. When I would ask if he’d brushed his teeth, the look of horror and disgust was as if I’d offered him a lightly grilled stoat (Note from Beth: This is British-speak for weasel) as an aperitif. He’d eventually stomp away to the bathroom, but only after I’d shown him the Big Book of British Smiles. (Our teeth aren’t really that bad, but it made a point, and “The Simpsons” is gold.)


One magical day a few months before his 18th birthday, he all of a sudden stopped being this terrible-smelling, silent protagonist in his own Greek tragedy, and became a larger version of the kid I used to know. Hairier, with a deeper voice (no seriously: He’s like a skinny white version of Barry White, fer chrissake), but actually nice to be around. I look forward to our movie nights. Sharing a beer with the kid. Actually having a human conversation.

Here’s Nick with his son, who has regained human form. Neither has the capacity to smile for a selfie, apparently.

So, parents of teenagers: Hang in there. It gets worse before it gets better. But when it gets better, it’s great!

If only he’d get off his arse, and get a job …


Read Full Post »

Dear Fellow Strong Women:

I went to see “Little Women” with a group of ladies from a professional organization to which I belong.

Despite my love of reading and being an English major for one of my undergraduate degrees, I have never read the book.

(I’ll pause for a collective gasp.)

It’s probably because I was expected to read it as I was named after Beth March. Yeah, the quiet one. Haha!

I know of it, of course. And I’m sure I’d like it as much as Joey did when he read it.

Usually, I read the book then see the movie. I’m that kind of person. (The only movie that is better than the book, IMHO, is “Misery.”)

Anyway, I thought Greta Gerwig’s creation was spectacular. I laughed. I cried. It was better than “Cats.”

At one point, Amy says she is going to be an “ornament to society,” and I was reminded of something that happened at the weekly meeting of this professional group earlier in the day.

The group is mostly older white men. (Typical.)

The leaders of the membership committee solicited ideas for increasing membership via distributing selected topics at each table. My table had the topic of how to increase membership among women.

The oldest dude (about 90 and deaf) at a table of four men and four women actually said this:

Their husbands are working 8-10 hours a day bringing home the bacon. It shouldn’t be too hard to recruit more women as their schedules are more flexible.


And there was silence.

Now, I’m a brand-new member of this group. I didn’t feel comfortable barking at this man that I work 8-10 hours a day bringing home the bacon. Instead, I got up to get coffee from the coffee table.

A woman who is a past president of the group was sitting next to him. She looked properly mortified. I don’t know if she said something to him privately later. I’m going to ask her at the next meeting.

When I shared this anecdote with my boss, who is a former member of this group (and an older white male, it should be noted), he also was mortified.

But he asked a crucial question:

He wouldn’t have said something like that about an ethnic minority group or the LBGTQ community. Why did he feel it was OK to share outdated views of women?

Why indeed.

It’s time to stop being “ornaments to society.” How do we do that? What should I have done? What about the other women at the table? What should I do now?

Please share your thoughts.

And go see “Little Women” whether you have read the book or not.

“The world is hard on ambitious girls.” That’s right, Amy.

Yours in solidarity,


Read Full Post »

Dear Dominic and Gideon,

I’ve enjoyed spending time with you this winter break.

Gideon and I have developed a call and response that makes me giggle every single time.

Person 1: Good news!
Person 2: I saw a dog today.

(Side note to readers: If you are confused, watch this.)

At one point, I walked into the room where Gideon was playing “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” in time to hear him yell:

My bullets are made in Arabia, so they never work!

I started laughing and couldn’t stop.

The next day, Gideon called Ryder for PS4 tech support. These kids either FaceTime or talk to each other on speaker.

Gideon started to leave the room with Ryder still on speaker.

Me: Hey! Don’t leave Ryder on the bed with me!
Ryder: Ew!
Me: (starts laughing)
Gideon: Mama!

Later that day, Dominic and I had an interesting conversation:

Him: Of Gideon and me, which of us is the funniest?
Me: A few months ago, I would have said you. But now, Gideon is giving you a run for your money.

But Dominic and I do have one thing in common: We are not party people.

Yes, we are both extroverts. But parties filled with people we don’t know can be overwhelming.

We were at my five-year-old great niece’s birthday party. It became too much. Dominic and I hid in the living room and laughed together.

The birthday girl’s older sister kept trying to lure Dominic out of hiding.

Very cute, but it was no use.

Anyway, our winter break bonding came to an end today. Back to the mutual grind.

But I am looking forward to spring break!


Read Full Post »

Dear Readers:

My last post resonated with a few of my female friends. A college friend, “Sue,” wrote the following that she said I could share as a guest post. (And you know I love a good guest post.)

See you Monday with fresh content from me, courtesy of Gideon.


My own non-resolutions
By “Sue Buckley”

This year, I will not:

  • Keep those heels I think that I might wear just one more time. You know the ones. My knee and ankle … done.
  • Brexit quietly or vote for Trump. I demand IQ tests with a score range of at least superior or gifted — depending upon the scale — for all voters.
  • Wear all that odd jewelry I’ve accumulated over the years. In fact, I may give it away.
  • Obsess over the last time I changed the kitchen sponge. (Trust me: This haunts me.)
  • Blurt out what I “really think” during a video call. It’s impossible to hide my face. Learned this from experience, and it’s easier without the visual.
  • Say yes when I mean no. I was taught this during my formative years, but it wandered back in. I don’t have to spend my time anywhere or with anyone if it’s not valuable (true friends and family excluded).
  • Not shut up about menopause. I don’t care how boring it gets. They don’t tell you this shit. 
  • Not finish my book. (Beth and I have the same goal.) It’s happening this year.

Read Full Post »

Dear Friends and Family:

It’s Jan. 2. People have already broken resolutions, or never made any to begin with.

I don’t usually make resolutions, as you know. If I decide to do something, I just do it. No need to wait until the new year.

This year, I’m declaring things I WON’T do:

  • Keep makeup I don’t wear. Coral lipstick is not for pale people like me, and frosty pink is for preteens.
  • Retain books on my Kindle I won’t read. “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments” by David Foster Wallace is a supposedly fun read that is not. Byeeee!
  • Put up with less than I need/deserve/worked for, etc. I am not a “Welcome!” mat.
  • Save money. Yeah, I know I should, but let’s be honest: I won’t.

  • Stay home. I want to say “absof–kinlutely” to adventures near and far. Dream scenario: I get paid to write about it.
  • Continue procrastinating on my book. This is the year I finish it, write the proposal, and find an agent. If E.L. James can become rich and famous off her trash Twilight fan fiction work, so can I.
  • Lose more than just five more pounds. I’m calling that my “wine cushion.”
  • Stay in this place with the small kitchen. When it’s a pain to make things as fairly easy as Scotch eggs, it’s time to upgrade.

  • Ignore show suggestions from certain like-minded people. I resisted watching “Killing Eve.” I was stupid.
  • Let people try to make me feel even slightly embarrassed about my love of bad taxidermy. Those uptight people can shove it. My obsession is Hando approved.
  • Vote for Trump. Duh.
  • Stop writing blog posts at least twice a week. I’ve been keeping this pace since April, so I’m pretty proud of myself.

What are your anti-resolutions? Tell me in the comments.

Love and kisses,

Read Full Post »