The Freeway Chicken Diaries

I had to go to the doctor yesterday in a town that’s four freeways and one toll bridge away. This isn’t good because, Peanuts, (what my brain calls itself) is a Freeway Chicken of Epic Proportions.

It’s not that Peanuts can’t drive, it’s just that Peanuts has a propensity for panicking when hurling through space at 65 miles — each and every hour — next to hundreds of other hurlers which are  hurling even faster; and the only thing preventing a Total Wipe Out of Epic Proportions is my dear little Peanut’s ability to multitask.

It’s not that I don’t have confidence in my brain, but it did suggest that I call it Peanuts – so what does that tell you?

Add to this the fact that Peanuts is a backseat driver about its own driving and it just gets weird.

Of course, once Peanuts and I are on the freeway and in the proper lane, we’re fine for the time being as long as we’re not by any big trucks, next to any dividers, and there are at least six car lengths in front, in back, above and below us and we don’t have to change lanes for at least 72 more miles. We might even turn on the radio, at this point, providing it doesn’t require any ungluing of the peepers from the pavement.

Oh!  And also if we don’t have to go more than 65.  You see, Peanuts thinks that going anything over 65 is taking unnecessary risks and on this we concur whole-heartedly.  Who cares that 100-mile-an-hour traffic is passing us on the left and on the right — with a few showoffs catching air and sailing over the top of us. We’re being safe, Gol Durnit! And the rest of the traffic can just kiss our sorry bumper, that’s all!

Well sir, a mere two freeways away from the toll bridge and it started raining, pouring really.  Just as panic was about to set in there happened to be an exit right there next to the car, so Peanuts took it.  The road led to a familiar bit of urban sprawl in an area with which I was quite familiar having lived for 14 years in that particular sprawl (it’s more of a splat really). But since I hadn’t actually been back for ten years, I couldn’t quite remember the way to the next freeway. The street names were all very, very, very familiar but I just couldn’t quite recall where they went.

It was like that Twilight Zone episode where the guy wakes up and everybody knows him but he doesn’t know them and then he wanders around for awhile and then he wakes up again and this time he knows everybody but they don’t know him.  It was very much like that episode — especially the wandering around part.

Anyway, finally found the toll bridge and surprise! surprise! The toll has gone up quite a percentage in the last ten years.  I’d tell you how much percentage, but Peanuts refused to listen during math class (little brat!).  So just suffice it to say, A LOT more percentage!

The next leg of the road trip required passing through the center of a town that, in 1992, boasted 42 murders in one year.  Luckily it’s a short leg – more of an ankle really.

Then we came to a town in which I once lived for 18 months.  None of the street names sounded familiar but I knew exactly where they went . . . doo dee do do doo dee do do doo dee do do . . .(That’s supposed to be the theme from Twilight Zone but Peanuts isn’t very good at spelling songs.)

Finally, thanks to Peanuts safe driving, we arrived intact at our destination, the Doctor’s Office.  But the harrowing trip had taken its toll.  My blood pressure registered at 133 over 93 and my heart-rate weighed in at 110.  And my weight was exactly the same as my blood pressure.  But I can’t really trust that since it was Peanuts who figured this out.

I wasn’t going to mention to the Doctor the harrowing nature of my trek to his office until he suggested for my next visit, I would need to go to his San Francisco office.  When I nervously pointed out that San Francisco was five freeways, two tunnels and a toll bridge away from my home, and, if it started raining I wouldn’t know which exit to take since I hadn’t lived in any of the urban sprawls on the way there, and that I couldn’t really trust Peanuts to do a simple math problem or even spell a song, let alone maneuver my car through five freeways, two tunnels and a toll bridge all in the same day, he quickly suggested that I just go back to seeing my old doctor.

Which is good, cause she’s just down street.

Until next time . . . I love you

Pottery Barniac-ism

OK, I admit it.  I suffer from Pottery Barniac-ism.  This terrible disorder can strike anyone at anytime.  It is characterized by an intense over-interest in the Pottery Barn Catalog and for which there is no known cure.   The main symptoms are thumb-joint pain brought on from excessive thumbing through, repetitive eye-rolling and heavy sighing punctuated by fits of hysterical laughing.

Please rest assured that I do not hold Pottery Barn in any way responsible for my condition.  But until a cure is found, the pages of the Pottery Barn Catalog shall be an endless source of interest to me.  With this in mind, let’s discuss:

Loose fit slip covers!  They’re imported!!


Pottery Barn is offering this “drop cloth loose-fit couch cover” for only $79.00. Nevermind that it took a whole heap of tucking, tugging and twisting as well as wringing, wrestling and wrenching plus a good amount of yanking and yelling (and sometimes even yodeling!) by the entire staff of Pottery Barn professionals made up of 25 designers, 17 craftsmen, 4 jugglers, and a schizophrenic to get this thing to look like it’s worth 79 bucks. 

 And then, of course, it will look like this the first time somebody sits down on it:

I don't get it. I didn't even lean back

But it doesn’t matter, drop-cloth couch slip covers are still cool,  because why?  Answer:  Why because they’re imported, that’s why.  Which automatically makes them better.  PB doesn’t specify where they have imported them from,  but this rustic little cottage in the Ukraine countryside looks  a tad familiar:

Uh oh! The importers will be here any minute! Has anybody see the Tide stick?

 Now, let’s take a closer look at the coffee table shall we?

Pottery Barn is elevating the art of unexpected decor in this Nod-to-Dentistry vignette with its smart smattering of decorative dental instrumentation tastefully arranged in the dish and the repurposed pickle jar.

And is that a roll of gauze or perhaps a drinking vessel reminiscent of a roll of gauze?  This can only mean one of two things: 1) PB customers are spending way too much money on imported, drop-cloth couch covers and repurposed pickle jars forcing them to perform their own root canals or it’s simply Pottery Barn’s salute to gum disease.

Well shut my mouth!! Leave it to Pottery Barn to put the Causal Living in Rinsing and Spitting.

Until next time . . . I love you

Pottery Barn Presents: (part 2)

If you feel like sneezing just use the hanky pinned to this bulletin board

Leave it to PB to come up with this idea.  You see, this isn’t just your ordinary bulletin board that you could buy at, say, anywhere for $15. 

No! No! No! No! No! No! No! (For more no’s see page 378)

Apparently PB has to tell us everything . . . sigh . . .  For this is not –as first suggested– an ordinary bulletin board but rather PB informs us is, in fact, a:


You see, Pottery Barn has cunningly pasted some tan material . . . oops what am I saying?  I mean “stone colored linen” to whisk away the harsh, bourgeois-look of the K-Mart y corkboard from the style-sensitive eyes of the discerning PB Customer and/or Catalog Browseree.   

Just in case you’re not impressed enough already, PB tells us very clearly ( practically in baby talk really) just exactly how this LARGE LINEN PINBOARD will make our lives more worth living by going on to say this:

“Stone-colored linen provides a generous neutral backdrop for displaying photos and notes.”

And since PB is already feeling generous, they also want us to know that they are throwing in 20 metal pushpins.  Yes, you read that correctly.

20!    Metal!   Pushpins!    Come with!

And the price tag for aaaaallllllllll this? (to see the word “all” stretched out to even more  ridiculous proportions see page 379) they are only asking  . . .

$149 lousy little dollars.   Mm-hmm . . . that’s right! Only $7.45 per pushpin. 

Which really isn’t that much when you think about what you’re not getting.


PB wants us to please be advised that we can only purchase the LARGE LINEN PINBOARD by ordering it online or through the catalog so that PB won’t be so ashamed of itself were someone to actually pay $149 for a $15 bulletin board in person.  It just gets awkward, that’s all.

Until next time . . . I love you

Pottery Barn Presents: (part 1)

The Andover Collection (and over it you hang your TV)

So Pottery Barn is proud to present this huge block of wood with lots and lots and lots of drawers.

 But wait!  PB tells us these are not drawers.  They are component cubbies!

In case you are wondering what a component is don’t worry, I’m married to an engineer. 

And he tells me that a component is a piece of or a part of something.

So then this is a chest full of cubbies for pieces of or parts of something.

Why don’t we just skip all that and store the scissors in there.  So go ahead and put them in one of the cubbies.  Go ahead, pick one.  We don’t have all day.  Ok, there you go!  Now go bake a cake and come back later but don’t make a mess.

But before you go, know this.  The Andover Collection of furniture is and I quote, “like well traveled [dude]”.   

This furniture has been “painted and repainted over time.”  Yes you got that right “over time!” Do you know what that means?

It means Pottery Barn is utilizing the fourth dimension to enhance the beauty of their cubbies.

So, of course, you will be asked to pay a little more than your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, three-dimensional cubbies (if you can even call them that).

And just in case you’re not reaching for your ATM Card, PB needs you to understand that this particular Andover Collection of 40 drawers . . . uh I mean cubbies . . . have been painted and sanded and burnished by hand with a “rich espresso finish.” 

Do you have any conception how many coffee breaks had to go awry to get that finish?  Well, don’t even think about it.  It will only make you thirsty.

Now Pottery Barn wants you to go sit down for this next piece of or part of component of information (but don’t get anything dirty).

It’s on sale!

It was $1,398, but now it’s $1299 which is supposed to sound like it’s $100 off but not exactly because it’s only $99.00 off.

But what difference does one lousy buck make you ask?  PB can’t believe you have the audacity to ask such a thing.

Rest assured it makes a bigger difference to Pottery Barn than it does to you because PB is respected for their ability to come up with:   A Comfortable Style– A Design Guide for Casual Living!  And you, my friend, are not.

Now go get your stupid scissors and get out!  PB is sick of the sight of you.  And never darken Pottery Barn’s door again — not even with what’s left of that no doubt inferior espresso you’re drinking.

Until next time . . . I love you (sort of)