What’s Getting Smaller And Thinner Except My Waist

You know what really grinds my beans? My expanding waistline. And greed. Which is defined as an intense desire to accumulate large amounts of something, such as food or money. Both can cause an expanding waistline. Oh boy…where am I going here? Do you understand what I’m saying? Neither do I.

It crept up slowly. At times, I doubted myself. Questioned my observations. Is this really true? Or am I just getting old and cranky? Paranoid? Demented? Mmmmmmm…it all started with the 4 X 6″ index card. I’ve used them forever for notes, grocery lists, to do lists and not to do lists. And then it happened. They became flimsy thin. Lacking in strength. Inadequate. Easily torn. A quality of life issue. Why did they do it? Just how much money are the manufacturers saving by making my life miserable? Google University could not answer that question. But my sanity was validated by Amazon’s “Super Thick” index cards! Someone else saw the problem, had a problem with it and fixed it. Yes!

Greed is causing us to get gypped left, right and center. Look around. Pay attention next time you’re at the Swindle Store. Sneaky shrinking: manufacturers are downsizing their products. They will tell you that it’s a cost element to innovation or rising input costs or a screw the consumer user tax.  Increasing the bottom line while maintaining a stable price is what they’re really up to. Grocery games. They are killing the consumers four ounces at a time. And you thought the Hunger Games were bad. We have become a Shrinkflation Nation: package looks the same, the price is the same but the weight is not the same. Neither is mine. But my count is. Theirs is not. If you are not a scrutinizing shopper, you will get short-sheeted cheated.

Here’s what the hubby has to say about a particular toilet paper that might come from the north. His bum has liked it for forty five years. The changes started early in this century.

  • they inserted a larger tube in the roll
  • then the width of the roll was cut by 1/2″
  • the diameter of the roll was reduced
  • next is the new double roll
  • the double role is the size of the original roll but short-sheeted

Hubby is passionately pissed-off about this. And so is his bum. Bum now calls THEM the ass!

Just a few of the thousands of products on the Screw the Consumer list, STC: worse than a venereal disease):

  • masking tape: (how does one even start to peel it to use it?)
  • ass wipes: (personal cleansing cloth, now it takes a wad of them.)
  • household cleaning cloths: (now unusable because they just ball up into your hand)
  • bacon: (you now pay the same price for 12 ounces that you used to for 16 ounces)
  • toilet paper: (you now have to use half a roll for one swipe…especially in public bathrooms)
  • toilet paper again: one roll less in package
  • coffee: 30 oz. down to 26.8oz (240 cups to 210 cups). Buzz off.
  • toothpaste: same size box, 10% less.
  • sugar: 5 lbs. before, now 4 lbs. How sweet it was.
  • yogert: 8 oz. down to 6 oz. (or less), check out the larger indentation/dimple in the bottom
  • beer: 16 oz. down to 14.9 oz.
  • crackers: 20 fewer crackers
  • cake mix: 18.25oz to 15.25 oz but hey, it still makes two eight inch rounds. Skinny cake.
  • mustard: 20oz to 18oz, who said you “can’t cut the mustard”?
  • bar of soap: 4.5 oz to 4oz or in a 3 pack, the look alike bars weigh in at 3.1oz. Lowering the bar.
  • first aid spray: 113g to 99g. Ouch…that hurts!
  • ice cream: 64oz to 56oz to 48oz. I scream, you scream for more ice cream.
  • chips: 16oz to 12.5oz. An air bag. Sooooo detrimental to snack attacks.
  • hair shampoo: 25oz to 22oz. Three more greasy bad hair days. They don’t put that on the label.
  • liquid laundry detergent: 50oz to 46.5oz. Wear those clothes till they stand up by themselves!

The Righteous Brothers sang about this:

You’ve got that shrinking feelin’
Whoa, that shrinking feelin’
You’ve got that shrinking feelin’
Now it’s gone, gone, gone, wooooooh….

Yes, we should downsize our stuff and our weight, but they shouldn’t. The height and width of the packaging may look the same on the shelf but check for dimples in the bottom, shrunken depth, count reduction and net weight. Conscious consumerism.

My consumer retort: less is not more…except for the waistline measurement.

Twinkles In The Wrinkles


Ya know what really grinds my beans? Anti-aging this. Anti-aging that. A tsunami of products that promise eternal youth, sex, and a new Mercedes. The 300 billion dollar pseudoscience beauty business. Firm & lift.Tighten & tone. Rejuvenate & reactivate. Don’t talk to me about free radicals that steal my collagen. Free radicals are protesters just out of jail! You even have complexion analysis machines to give me a skin score on my dubious derma. Or to tell me how poor my pore quality is. I have Grand Canyon pores. Take a hike and take your hope in a jar with you. Gobbledygook. I’m not buying it. You’re either aging or you’re dead. So don’t make me feel bad for staying alive.

Bird poop face cream. Bee venom facial. Leech therapy: snails on your face that deposit mucus containing proteins and antioxidants. Celebrity culture capture.

You promise me less wrinkles. The wrinkles are in your mind. In your attitude. Not on my face. I have lifelines. Just like the one on your hand, curving about the base of the thumb, that reveals facts about a person’s life. Do you really think a frozen face looks better than the evolution of that history? That life. All those smiles, squints, frowns and other common facial expressions. With these lifelines, I’m someone who is called upon in time of need. A source of salvation in a crisis. Why oh why would you want to give that up by injecting poison into your face?

When I came out of the closet by going gray (actually a snowy crown), it was liberating. Nothing to hide. I no longer have to plan my life around root touchups. Or worry about the color fading if I wash my hair ten times a day. Sure, people no longer say, “you don’t look that old.” Now they call me ma’am, hun or sweetie. Forget that. Call me geezer.

And even if I can no longer reproduce, I can produce. This girl is not standing still and stagnating. She’s embracing life and her age. Piano lessons, writing classes, exercise, a blog are only a few things that gobble up my day like the Pac-Man video game from the eighties. No such thing as too late or too old to pursue dreams. And they are not to be replaced by regrets. Don’t tell me you can turn back the clock. Just help me wind it up. Don’t try to prevent old age with all your silly products, help me enjoy it! Good things that are old include wine, friends, authors, cars and not having to worry that you will die young. Forget the facelift. Do a spirit lift. Make products or treatments that make us think, motivate and feel. Give us that lit-from-within glow.

Everybody has some degree of vanity and you prey upon it. Mine is more like the bathroom variety. I’m proud of its tile top appearance, abilities to store stuff and achievements of storing more stuff. The floral drawer pulls are also exceptional. You’re so vain. You probably think this blog is about you. Don’t you?

My middle age now shows around my middle. I guess that Spanx stuff is supposed to push it up to your chest, down to your feet or into your head. Good God almighty. How am I supposed to get all this in there? Having a marshmallow middle isn’t so bad. At least you can breathe.

The turkey neck is a bit distracting. Those muscles are such slackers! Turkeys might find it attractive. I wonder if they are attracted more to double chins or triple chins. I choose to keep my chin up and remain cheerful despite my difficult neck situation. I won’t give up or give in.

Jowls. The meat of the cheeks. Does that only apply to hogs? I’ve had them for a long time. They run in the family. Makes it easy to recognize relatives…that you’ve never met or didn’t know you had. Is liposuction the treatment? Or fat grafting? Is that where they reduce your bum to stuff your slacker cheeks? Voluptuous volume. Look out chipmunks. Competition!

Wrinkles, wobbles, and white hair. That’s me. Don’t try to lure me into your spider web of products with promises to transform me into a hot babe. I’m hot enough. I live in Phoenix.

Peter Principle


Ya know what really grinds my beans? Let me tell you about my boss, Peter, who is a highly principled guy. So let’s just call him Peter Principle. Maybe he was your boss at one time too. Where do I start?

Where Is He?

He’s there but he isn’t. Not like he’s one sandwich short of a picnic. Not that kind of not there. He’s not invisible. But he should be as he has no effect. Peter never knows where his employees are or what they’re doing. There’s only three of us! His daily rant is, “Nothing ever gets done around here.” Curiously, he only says this to me, not to the “offenders”. Like:

Boss Ego“Doesn’t that bother you about John taking two and one-half hour lunches?”

I reply, “He’s my co-worker–what am I supposed to say?” Inside my seething brain, I’m really saying,”You’re the manager. Do something.” Is he testing my anger management skills? What does he expect? Peter might show up for work about 11 a.m., if not noon. He IS on time if HIS boss plans to be there. What an example to set. I wish he would say to me, “Why aren’t you working?” My reply would be, “I didn’t see you coming.”

No, No, No!

No leadership. No management plan. No direction to employees. No nothing. This is a bad boss problem. A dangerous world for us subordinates: landmines, disasters, punishment, second-guessing from what he says. Who’s responsibility is it to compensate? The boss or the subordinate? How do I manage my boss?

 Drama Queen

Peter Principle thrives on conflict and drama. That’s all he knows. I can only surmise that he is totally uncomfortable in this role as manager. Why else would he bitch me out about nothing day after day? The bellowing of the bull to show who’s boss. Maybe it’s due to his genes. He is part blow-hard, he-man, and —hole. The boss from hell. Let’s hope he goes back to where he came from. Will he fall on his own sword?

Dog Pile

Esquire magazine said the root cause of manager incompetence is that everyone in the organization keeps getting promoted until they reach their level of incompetence. Then they stop getting promoted. Given enough time, every position in the company will be occupied by someone who can’t do their job. Soon enough, the company will probably implode. Catastrophic failure. A dog pile of useless employees. On top will be Peter Principle.

Do you know Peter?


Size Matters

Invaders Of The Personal Space

You know what really grinds my beans? Invaders of the personal space. Anywhere. But this time, we are talking airplanes.

Bored and boarded in cattle-car class. $877 to be crammed into a space the size of a dog crate for six and one-half hours. In today’s world, is there much difference between the cargo hold and the passenger area? Your economy seat is sixteen and one-half inch wide with 31″ from the back of your seat to the back of the seat in front of you. Getting something out of your carry-on underneath the seat in front of you is like groping in the dark. Only worse. You are leaning forward maybe thirty degrees with your head turned to one side, plastered up against the seat, hoping you don’t pop a rib and reaching as far as you can for who knows what. Like a mystery grab bag booth at the fair. Who knows what your fishing expedition will turn up. If only you could see. Aggravating. Maddening. Do dogs, hamsters or ferrets feel the same way in their cages? Some of them become neurotic. And some of us do.

Airlines are making record-breaking profits while making us miserable.

Are You A Double Wide?

I’m not exaggerating. Airline seats are getting smaller while passengers are getting bigger. Examples of seat widths through the years:

  • 1960’s: 17″
  • 1970’s: 18″
  • 1990’s: 18.5″
  • Today: 16.5″

Has your butt lost two inches in width since 1990? I didn’t think so. Mine is not yet the size of a couch but I have put on twenty pounds. If it was more, my butt would become a permanent part of the airline seat. You know…like those cheap, white plastic patio chairs that are all too easy to get stuck in? I call them lard buckets.

And just to educate you more on average seat sizes, here you go:

  • airline business class: 21″
  • movie theater: 25″
  • U.S. train: 20.5″
  • stadium: 19″

Nefarious Neighbors

Let’s talk about the creatures next door. The invaders of the personal space. This passenger with arms like ham hocks who, of course, has to rest the hams on both armrests for the entire trip. I’m in the center seat. On the other side, there is a sleepy, drooly soul (also known as a seat hog sleeper) who keeps trying to rest his head on my shoulder. I’m the center of a sandwich that is going bad. Constant jostling from both sides makes me want to throw the sandwich out.

The Yakety Yaks

Then there’s the yakety-yak tour group. They kept standing up, bellowing at each other across the aisle and three rows back. Just like a herd of cattle being driven across the flat, dusty Great Plains. Constant fidgeting, drinking, not so funny jokes and tedious talkers surrounded me. What’s a ferret to do? They were having a party in the sky. But it needed live music and entertainment. Glad I wasn’t invited but there I was at the party.

The Little Devil

Across the aisle, I watched this angel-faced small child become possessed by the devil. He kicked the seat in front of him non-stop. The look on his face was pure joy. A glaring look from the victim or me did not deter him. This called for creative intervention. Leaning over, I whispered to him that airlines now have an overhead bin just for children like him who are kickers. Or screamers. But don’t worry, they will bring you your pretzels and juice. Or other crappy snackies if you pay for them. The foot froze in mid-air.

Turbulence In The Toilet

I need to use the restroom but don’t want to wake up my resting neighbor. What is the proper exit etiquette I asked myself. Shall I flap the window shade up and down like I’m obsessive-compulsive? Crawl underneath all three seats? Crawl out over the top of them? Straddle my seatmate on the way out and hope I don’t fall on him? Instead, I chose what Amy Vanderbuilt would have considered proper: tapping on the shoulder and apologizing…

After all that just to get here, I then experience the worst. Turbulence in the toilet. Bad enough to be in this claustrophobic stinky space when the skies are calm. Then the flight attendant announces, “the Captain has turned the seat belt sign on. Please return to your seat and fasten your seat belt.” My hands and feet are braced against whatever they can. Departing is not an option until mission accomplished. There are knocks at the door. “Okay, okay, I will leave this can as soon as I can,” I yelled in desperation. By this time, I’m sweating profusely. And then, the skies opened up and a calm rushed in. The seatbelt sign chimed off. Glory be to whoever. I shall be relieved.

Stuck In A Stupor

Thank goodness there’s no internet over the ocean (did I mention the destination: Hawaii?). An incredibly beautiful place that might not be worth the journey. Trying to use an iPad would require elbow room. Not. Have you ever tried typing with your elbows super-glued to your sides?

My options became clear. Sit there in a stupor (people do this), read a book (a small one at that), pay five dollars for a headset to watch a movie that they chose, not you or talk nonstop about nothing to a seatmate. Ladies behind me did just that. For six and one-half hours. How is that possible? They didn’t even know each other!

Blessed By The Rabid

It could have been worse. Belligerent alcoholic. Bad body odor. Screaming infant. Sneezing, coughing sick person who will not cover their mouth. Children playing a loud video game over and over and over. Roaring snoring. Despairing over-sharing. Cell phone use (it’s coming). Soon, we will be using a credit card to pay for oxygen when the emergency masks drop down as we’re instructed to help others with their transaction.

I surrendered to the situation and slept as much as I could. Dreams about alien space invaders took over my life. I mean my brain. I mean my space.

Survival Of The Fittest

 women warming up arching stretching their backs holding legs and


The Dangling Conversation

Hubby and I plan to be at the gym Tuesdays and Thursdays by seven a.m..for a 50-minute workout. Two days a week is the acceptable minimum. In our dreams, we go three times. That is the plan. So why do we have these 5:30 a.m. conversations:

“Are we going to the gym today?”
“If you want to. I’m good either way.”
“I can still feel it from the last time.”
“Does this mean you don’t want to go?”
“I probably could.”
“Is that a yes or a no?”
“I’ll go if you want to go.”
“What is your final answer?”
“It’s your call.”

Torture By Exercise

Never, ever thought I would enter the world of gyms. But, hey, those machines are the most efficient way to get a full body workout. And if that’s not enough exertion, try these:

  • weight lifting
  • floor mat exercises
  • cycle spinning
  • A greasy breakfast of fried bacon and an egg frying in a fryingzumba
  • mat Pilates
  • step plus abs
  • step sculpture
  • aqua fit
  • yoga classes

Are you tired yet? All these choices could render you totally ineffective by decisive defeat.

To save face, just go out for a greasy, gooey breakfast instead. You’ll feel a lot better. Or will you? Mmmmm…

We are all animals of the forest. The weak die out; the strong will survive. I’m a survivor. So it’s off to the gym I go, heigh ho, heigh ho.

Creatures of the Gym

Not only are there strange-looking machines and devices there but stranger looking people. Like the big and buffy anabolic steroid guys with pin heads and no necks. Hubby calls them pimple heads. And when they shave their heads bald, the heads look even smaller. Do they think this is attractive to the opposite sex? When I see a purposely bald head, I think bowling ball…the ears are where you put your fingers.

Caricature bodybuilderAnd then there are the “roids” who wear hoodies with that far away; I wanna kill look in their eyes. Wet-pants scary.

I’ve seen hoodies with no sleeves or sides. What’s with that?

And the false eyelashes at the gym? Fake nails. Fake boobs. Hubby calls them rubber boobies. You can always spot them. They always point straight ahead no matter what. Is this the new gym rat look? Don’t get me wrong. Breast augmentation is fine. But the waaaay overdone Barbie on steroids look is not. It’s vulgar.

Are the cleavage chicks there for sexercise or exercise??? I always see them checking themselves out in the mirror…they’re not looking for muscles. But for sex appeal.

Fashion Blonde Girl Portrait With Big BreastsFashionistas

Bad enough being a fashionista with those ass-baring (I prefer ass-bare-ing) shortie shorts and matchy-match outfits (even the ear buds are color-coordinated) but do ya have to let it all hang out too?

Am I just jealous? Here I am in my chopped off white shirt and raggedy loooooong shorts. The veins on my legs look like the blue highways on a road map. I’m old; they’re not.

These bombshells must be here to secure a hookup ( called a date if there’s no sex). I’m here to prevent strokes and heart attacks. To survive.


Now on to the Yakety-Yaks. Yes, this is the word for a large shaggy-haired ox of Tibetan highlands (they have been spotted at the gym too) but doesn’t it sound better than yackers? These verbal heads will tie up machines forever with their incessant chatter. About nothing.

One fellow will corner you for a half hour with his diatribe. You stop exercising to give him your full attention because that’s the polite thing to do. He also expects it. But then you hate his guts. The only way to avoid these types is to wear ear plugs (even if you don’t have your device turned on). And avoid eye contact. Do nothing to invite.


The physical configurations I see people in have me baffled. Now why WOULD you do THAT? Because you can? You’re confused about the Charles Darwin theory that the best adapted to their environment will survive while others become extinct? Is this alteration of form
brought about by natural selection?


Hoarders also go to the gym. They carefully guard machines for future use while they are exercising somewhere else. They clutter up one machine or more with a towel, water bottle, jacket or their gym buddy. Grrrrr….this grinds my beans.

Do What?

Newly arrived workout tools include giant rubber bands and giant ropes. With the latter, they crack em like a whip and yell out yah. Just like a cowboy. All I can imagine with the rubber bands is that you get one and shoot yourself across the gym. Hope ya don’t misfire.

At our age, thoughts about survival are almost an obsession. I think we will head to the gym more without conversation. Survival of the fittest. Or so they say.

Was this an exercise of free speech?

Many Caucasian People And Hands Holding Red Letters Or Characters Building The Isolated English Word Free Speech On White Background