Friday, November 23, 2018

The Macy's Day Charade



The Macy’s Day Parade has jumped the shark… or I should say, jumped the duck. The AFLAC duck that is.

From the moment the over-caffeinated “Today Show” team burst on to my TV screen for this must-see Thanksgiving ritual so began a three-hour parade of promotions for all things NBC, shows, sponsors, Tina Fey.  

This has always been part of the parade but now it has become the parade.

Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker wore their best beauty queen smiles as they shilled in the chilled weather for their 30 Rock bosses and their bosses’ bosses—advertisers.

I actually feel a bit sorry for the “Today” crew.  After getting up 5 days a week hours before the ass crack of dawn you know they’d rather be home snug in bed waiting for their private chefs to arrive.  But, the show must go on.

Here are some of the ridiculous highlights of the Macy’s Day Charade :

1. Acapella stars, “Pentatonix,” perched on the Entenmann’s float surrounded by badly dancing donuts, cupcakes and pastries while they sing the melancholy “Where Are You Christmas?” Sugar and misery, anyone?

2. NBC TV stars’ sharing Thanksgiving memories. Most sounded like auditions for a Nicholas Sparks movie. “I remember Mom (insert sniffle), —when she was with us (insert lip bite, wince) …dropping the turkey when I walked in the door. “Bless the Lord,  you’re home! You’re really home!”  (insert turkey baster wherever needed, wince.)

3.  Diana Ross’ singing wig. Diva Diana’s hair was as big as a float and it kept floating in front of her face. NBC isn’t even sure it was actually Diana Ross. They are suing her wig for fraud.

4.  The “Jolly Green Giant” float which was surrounded by grown adults dressed as corn on the cob. Does anyone over the age of four believe these idiots are actually corn?

5.  Marching bands SUCK.  One band gets the gig. ONE BAND. It would shave a good two hours off of this horror show.

6.  Rockettes. It was 19 degrees outside. For the love of God, get those gals’ gams some goddamned leg warmers & play some “Flashdance.” I don’t care what the crazy “leg guys” want.
7.  Rita Ora missing her lip sync cue. She was obviously distracted by having to sing “wanting to have slept with you” on the whimsically colorful “Crazy Glue” float.
8.  The Today Show’s resident clown, Al Roker, on a motorcycle being chased by real clowns. At this point I took a break to baste the turkey.
9.  Back to the fAFLAC duck float. Are you kidding me, NBC? Even the former AFLAC duck, Gilbert Gottfried, would agree this is too much. (Google “Gottfried Tsunami joke” if you need a reference.)
10.  The ubiquitous Dwayne Johnson plugging The Titan Games and referring to Thanksgiving as the “ultimate cheat day.”  Yes, we love you, Rock, but don’t pass the gluttony guilt. Just pass the goddamned gravy.

The Macy’s Charade 2018.  NBC’s most successful comedy.  

I can’t wait to watch it again next year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

I Never Met A Shirt I Couldn’t Stain







I have a real problem. Or, maybe it’s an actual skill that I’ve been training for all of my life.

Whichever it is, it’s something my husband refers to as “remarkable.” 

Friends, family and occasional strangers are forever pointing out random, and sometimes inexplicable,  stains on most of my shirts.  I’m not a sloppy person, per se, but I have an uncanny ability to propel food from its container, my plate, my fork, my fingers onto my clothing. Hell, I’ve even had other people’s food go airborne finding a safe landing dead center on me. Sometimes I think I should just wear a tasteful tarp. They’re cheap, disposable and can be quite fashionable when cinched at the waist. 

The forensic evidence of my one-woman food fight is clear when I pick up the dry cleaning. Without fail several of my shirts come back with that little, “WE ARE SORRY BUT…” tags around the hanger. 



The tag is pretty humiliating.  After the “WE ARE SORRY BUT…” it goes on to say, “We’ve tried and tried but we find that the stains on this garment cannot be removed without possible injury to the color or fabric.” 

But what that tiny tag really implies is “We’re sorry, but quite frankly, you are the biggest slob of all of our customers. However, we do appreciate your stain business. Good luck at your next meal.”  

One time when at least a half a dozen of these tags came back with the cleaning my husband posted it on Facebook with the caption, “One week of Marianne’s dry cleaning and six of these tags. Remarkable.”

I know why food constantly finds its way on to my clothing. It’s hereditary. I got this from my Dad.

Growing up we constantly teased him about the food stains, usually Italian red sauce, which constantly adorned his shirts. One night after a linguini marinara dinner my brothers and I gave him a round of applause because not one drop landed on his shirt. He was so proud he grabbed his tie and held it up with a flourish exclaiming, “Ta Da!!” And there it was. A fresh greasy dab of marinara sauce under his tie.  Now, that takes some spill skill.

I rarely even know when stains are on me. I remember chatting with Bob while making him a late morning breakfast. I’d had mine hours ago. He stopped in mid-conversation to ask, “What is that?” as he pointed to my chest.

I looked down to see a blob of dried egg yolk dead center in the v-neck of my fresh white tee shirt. “Well, at least I won’t be getting one of those tags from the dry cleaners!” I said as I washed it off. 

Needless to say, that same shirt did not make it through lunch.


Remarkable.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

SQUIRRELS AND SQUIRRELS AND BATS, OH MY!


SQUIRRELS AND SQUIRRELS AND BATS, OH MY!






It’s a thriller themed squirrel Howloween with Norton....
and here’s the text to howl along with him ...  Now it’s your big chance to show Norton some fancy MJ foot work! 

Woof woof woof ha ha ha! 

Woof woof woof ha ha ha! 
It's close to midnight
Something evil’s creeping thru the park
Under the moonlight
I see a sight that almost stops my heart
I try to YAP...
But terror takes the sound before I make it—
I start to CRAP!
Then horror looks me right between my eyes I’m DOGGIE-FIED!

'Cause it’s a squirrel!

Squirrel-night
And no one’s gonna save me!
From the beast with beady eyes...
You know it’s Squirrel—
Squirrel night!

Scream and howl to fade...




Saturday, October 20, 2018

My Husband Rinses His Ham


"My husband rinses his ham."

My husband rinses his ham.

It all began in our kitchen a few years ago while Bob and I were having a mindless chat about oh, let’s say my obsession with Amazon Prime. 

“Why do you buy fourteen pairs of shoes at a time?” he asked.

“I’m only keeping a couple of them. What’s the big deal?”

“Marianne, the big deal is that you blow up our credit card and even though you ‘only keep a couple of them’ the other dozen sit on our bill until you muster the strength to pack them up and take them to the UPS Store.”

“C’mon, Bob!  Think about how much money I save us when I get a refund for the shoes I’ve returned!” 

Somewhere in the midst of my completely illogical defense that I make money by returning shoes, the doorbell rang. 

“Oooh… Amazon Prime!” I squealed as I ran to the front door.   

When I popped back into the kitchen Bob had obviously started making himself lunch.  I knew because he had all his fave fixings, Sandwich Slims, Pepper Rings, spicy mustard, sunflower seeds, lettuce and toasted bread lined up in an anal retentive protocol usually reserved for the coronation of a king. What was missing was the meat.

That’s when I noticed Bob was at the sink holding several slices of deli ham under the faucet. 

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Rinsing the ham.” 
"Oh, gonna barf!"

“I see that. But, why? Why are you rinsing your ham?”

“Because it’s slimy.”

“Oh my God, Bob, you can’t eat that. It’s gone bad. Throw it out!”

“No way. I rinsed it. It’s fine. I do this all the time” he said as he popped a slice into his mouth.

He rinsed off a couple more putrid slices and stacked them on his sandwich. As he took a giant bite I stared, waiting for him to convulse, retch, go pale, something. 

Not taking any chances I called 911.

“My husband just poisoned himself with a ham sandwich.”

“Stay calm, ma’am. Can you tell us how old the ham was?”

“I don’t know. 10 days, maybe 2 weeks. Please, you have to hurry.”

“Do you know if it was slimy when he ate it?”

“Yes. Yes, it was slimy…viscous, actually. Is he going to die?”

“He could get sick depending on how much ham he ate and whether or not he rinsed it first.”

“What? Rinsed it? Yes, he did, but wait, is that a thing? Who the hell rinses their ham?”

“I do all the time. Drives my wife crazy. Look, I suggest you calm down and keep an eye on him. He should be fine. If not, call us back.”

Bob survived. This time.

Then one day while chatting with our friends, Craig and Mika, I asked if they had viscous ham issues. 

Mika rolled her eyes, “Craig’s like Bob. Eats anything— just like a frat boy.”

“Hey!” Craig protested.  “There’s nothing wrong with the ham. I just give it a quick rinse. But, hey, if it’s really gone bad, you know, BBG bad as Mika calls it, I’ll chuck it.”  

“BBG bad?” I asked.

“That’s Mika’s term for something so foul even he won’t eat it.  BBG… Beyond Bob Goen!”

That’s when I gave up trying to save Bob’s life and promised myself I would never again prevent a man from rinsing his ham.


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Sunday, October 7, 2018

I'm Too Loud for Golf

10/07/18

I’m Too Loud for Golf



Bob and I are thinking of retiring sooner than later in, despite the obvious cliche, Florida.

When I told my gal pals they uttered a collective gasp. “You can’t be serious?"  “You’re not that old yet!” What about your skin?”  "Don’t you have to be a meth head to live in Florida?!”  “Or Jewish?!”  

I laughed off the hysterics until Shari offered her two cents.

“Marianne, you can’t move to Florida. You don’t golf.”

“How about tennis?

“You’re way past the legal limit of cortisone shots,” Shari shot back.

“Volleyball?” 

“Face it. Your spine is shrinking. How do you plan to get the ball over the net? Next?”

“Zumba?”

“Good luck finding a sports bra that’ll hold those puppies up through that crap.” 

“Then what’s left? Chair Yoga? Mah Jong with the Jewish widows at the deli? By the way, why is all Jewish deli food beige or gray?” 

Shari got that Shari-look in her eye. “Bob’s got a birthday coming up, right?”

“What’s that got to do with Florida?”

“You’re buying yourself golf lessons for Bob’s birthday. You’ve got a few months to take them. Then, on his birthday, you take him golfing and show him you’re ready for the Sunshine State.”

The notion seemed faintly romantic until I remembered the day I met Bob’s brother-in-law, David, who asked, “Do you golf?” Bob chimed in before I could answer. "No. No, she doesn’t." 

This was going to be a tough task. 

By the time Bob’s birthday rolled around I was ready for an easy round of nine holes—didn’t want to “over impress” him after all. 

Imagine his surprise when his surprise gift was a round of golf with me. That was a fun moment. But, he was a trooper and off we went to the links.

With each successful whack of the ball, I let out an excited “Whoop! Whoop!” and did a “Dab” or two.  

“Hey, I was only 6 over par on that hole! Whoop! Whoop! Is that still a bogey?”

“No, Marianne,” Bob groaned leaning on his club. “There’s no term for being 6 over par other than being 6 over par. And, can you keep it down with the whoop, whoops? This is golf…not beer pong.” 

“But, I’m having so much fun.  Geez, not like those guys behind us. They look miserable. Hey, guys! Watch me birdie this next shot!” I yelled at them and waved.  They just sat in their carts and stared.

 “What’s their problem?” I asked Bob.

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe they’d like you to take less than 30 minutes to finish a hole so they can get back to the clubhouse before the next presidential election.”  

Bob didn’t seem to be having as much fun as I was but I wasn’t going to let that ruin how much I was enjoying his birthday present.

Four hours later we finished the ninth hole. I was exhausted but exhilarated. I shouted one more “Whoop, whoop!” and did a final "Dab" to celebrate. I was now a golfer and could officially move to Florida. 

“So, Bob-alu, how’d you like your birthday present?”

“It was a very sweet idea. Torturous…but sweet.”

“Oh, come on. By the time we move to Sarasota, I’ll be much better, I promise.”

“I’m sure you will. But, I won’t be golfing with you.”  He sighed when he saw my disappointment and then said, “Marianne, I love you and you know that. But, I have to tell you the truth.  You’re too LOUD for golf.”

The carts with the foursome who were behind us rolled by overhearing Bob.

They looked right at me with their first smile of the day and together said, “Yes. Yes, she is.” Then they let out a loud “Whoop! Whoop!” One of them even did the "Dab." 


Mah Jong at the deli it is. Pass the pastrami.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

"You Gonna Need a Box?"



“You Gonna Need a Box?”
by Marianne Curan




In my profession, which I’ll loosely call “Show Biz,” performers often describe themselves as a “working” actor/writer/host, etc —which even the least hip to that phrase assume that means you’re an “unemployed” actor/writer/host, etc—

If you do claim to be a “working” anything you better be ready to answer the inevitable, “Oh, great! Where can I see you?” 

To prevent stammering into an inelegant babble of bullshit I keep these quick shut-em-up answers handy:

1) “You can’t actually see me because I'm doing a lot of voice-overs… dubbing movies into English. I had no idea Farsi was such a musical language!”

2) “You can see me on “Law & Order.””  Here’s why this works:  Anyone who’s ever held a spear in a high school play has worked on “Law & Order.” No matter what scene or character you describe there’s an episode of it in re-runs that they’ll buy is you. You were undercover, right? I know this because not only have I seen EVERY episode but I also did an episode of “Law & Order.”  (Bet you just made the “dun-dun” noise, right?)

3) “I’m a strict Method Actor and I’m rehearsing a new project about being an unemployed radio host…the hardest role I’ve ever had. But it’s coming along.”   

Okay, I added that last one because I just became an unemployed radio host.

I can honestly say I’ve never been personally fired from a job…any job.  Yes, shows I’ve been on were canceled, pilots for new shows weren’t picked up and I’ve been replaced by younger, cheaper talent.  But, the news always came from my agent, someone on MY side, so it never had the same sting.

That was until recently. My husband and I were co-hosts of a popular morning radio show nearing its 6th full year on the air.  But, one day on our way home from the studio, the phone rang.

A few hours later we found ourselves seated across from our boss, let’s call him Mr. Boss, and the head of HR, Ms. Helfinger. Mr. Boss, shifting in apparent discomfort at the unpleasant task ahead, leaned in to tell us that they were “going in a different direction.” 

“Going in a different direction.” Ha! Why is that the only thing management can come up with instead of saying what is actually happening… you’re being fired?  

Are they really going in a different direction? Did the radio show suddenly decide to manufacture hubcaps? Are they now grooming dogs?  Running a Mathnasium franchise?  That would be “going in a different direction.”

Nope. They’re still a radio station. They still play music on the radio, only now with new hosts.  And we just got fired.

Ms. Helfinger handed us the requisite “Don’t-Sue-Us-Cuz-We-Didn’t-Mean-It-Paperwork” and asked for our keycards (i.e. so we can’t go postal and pin Xeroxed copies of our asses on the break room bulletin board).

We all stood up in awkward silence. I was wavering between giggles and grim when Ms. Helfinger asked, “Are you gonna need a box?”

I almost laughed out loud at the sudden revelation. When you get fired they give you a box! That’s when I knew I’d really never been fired before. I never got a box.

That’s when I spotted two empty file boxes behind Ms. Helfinger’s chair. They were our boxes.

Bob and I looked at each other. “Do you need a box, sweetie?” I asked.  
“I don’t know. Do you?” he replied. 

“Well, I do have my stuffed Minion doll...
 and my Daffy Duck pen holder.” 

“Yeah, I only have a couple of baseball bobbleheads but something tells me I’m not taking them home.” offered Bob.

“No. No, you’re not.” I said with a grin. 

As we gathered our sparse belongings it appeared we would need only one of those boxes. Just one. Our entire 6 years on this show fit into one box.

Mr. Boss and Ms. Helfinger made their heartfelt goodbyes to us and we headed to the elevator for our last trip home from “work.”  Before the doors opened I grabbed Bob by the arm and led him to the stairs.

“No one in radio takes the stairs!” I said. “There’s much less of a chance we’ll be spotted making the “Box of Shame” walk!”  We laughed and quietly sneaked out, my 1st Place Chili Cookoff trophy poking out of “the Box.”

It’s a few weeks later and I’m settling into unemployment. I’m certainly not missing my 7 p.m. bedtime and my 3 a.m. wake-up calls. But, there’s much I do miss… entertaining people. It’s always the first thing you miss if you do what I do.

I found out that the hardest part of my new life is remembering what day of the week it is. Although I solved that by checking my Pill Minder box each morning when I pop my anti-depressants and blood pressure pills. “Oh, look! It’s Tuesday!”

Tomorrow will be Wednesday and so on, and so on. I’ll figure it out. I always do.

By the way, did you see me on “Law & Order?”  

Dun. Dun. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

That's The Pill I Take When I Go To Visit My Sister....

That’s The Pill I Take When I Go To Visit My Sister
by Marianne Curan 
3/24/2018


I love reading “birth order” theories. Experts say the firstborn will be a leader, responsible, focused and in control. The middle child will be the peacekeeper and people pleaser always looking for compromise.  And, the youngest, which I am,  will go from being a creative and fun-loving child to become a self-centered, narcissistic asshole as an adult.

By the way, that description of the youngest was written by my sister, let’s call her “Kay,” who is the oldest.  As I always told my parents, “God had the good sense to place my two brothers between us so no one died.”

According to the birth order experts, these are my personality traits (accompanied by my proof of their validity):

Fun-loving: Have you seen the “Farting Preacher” on YouTube? (Link: https://bit.ly/2uDVj7Q
Uncomplicated: Hmm… Just don’t ask my ex, my husband or my shrink.
Manipulative:         Gee, thanks for trying to understand me … (starts to cry)
Outgoing:               Got TSA agents to sing Fig Newton song...twice!  (Link: https://bit.ly/2uzEFGm)
Attention seeker: See above.
Self-centered: I’m sorry. What were you saying?

While we were growing up in cookie-cutter suburbia, Kay, my then super smart, responsible, older-than-her-years sister doted on me. I’m eight years younger so until I hit puberty posed her no threat. 

But, in my teenage years, Kay, now in her 20’s saw every leniency my parents gave me as a double standard. “I never did that when I was your age” I’d hear ad infinitum when I got to wear a bikini, stay out late, get my ears pierced, date and on and on. 

My parents allowed me to do these things because a) they’d learned by child #4 what will and will not kill you and 2) they’d seen my sister chase boys to the point of dropping out her freshman year of college because she only took classes that had good-looking guys in them!  Needless to say, she fell 3 1/2 years shy of getting that coveted M.R.S. degree. 
Then somewhere in her 30’s and me in my 20’s  Kay decided to hate me.  Okay, let’s change that to “dislike” since my Mom hated the word hate. “Hate is a strong word,” she’d say, hating it.

I was having the time of my life in my late 20’s. I had a dream job doing sketch comedy and getting acting gigs, I had a great group of friends…and I was thin. 

Yes, I had the audacity to like staying in shape something my sister was slowly and sadly losing interest in doing. Kay’s rocky relationship with her live-in was getting rockier, she hated her job and she was eating her way through it all. 

But, why did she take it out on me?  


Kay was then, and still is, a “Grass is always greener” kind of person. She never missed a shot off the bow to let me know how lucky I was.  Never a comment about my hard work… only constant comparisons to her lesser fortunes—as self-imposed as they were. 

This pattern got to be pretty old. I longed for the days when she was a straight A student and teen model and I was a gangly grade schooler with braces, glasses and stringy hair. She liked me a lot better then. 

Over the years I learned to expect Kay’s notions of my “grand life” and let them roll over me.  It wasn’t until my father passed away suddenly and we were in the car after his funeral that she unleashed a pent-up tirade that explained it all.

I learned that day that she tells everyone how “self-centered” I am, how I only traveled to my parents to be the “entertainment,” that I manipulated her to avoid helping take care of our parents and on and on. 

According to Kay, I am the poster child for the birth order youngest child (see above).
I refrained from telling her that she is the poster child from a Stephen King novel. 

My father’s death sent me down a black hole for quite some time. I was on anti-depressants and tranquilizers for months.  But, as I weaned off my grief and my meds I had an “Ah-Hah” moment about my sister.

I was with some actress friends meeting a director for our new stage comedy, “The Hungry & Horny Show.”  One of the gals got a blinding headache and asked if anyone had an aspirin. I pulled out my “Pharmacy Purse Pal,” emptied its contents into my hand and watched our new director shriek in horror, “What is all that?”  (I didn’t know at the time that she was sober from an alcohol and drug addiction.)
So, not knowing that, I calmly stated “the little blue pills are Alleve which I take after the gym if I’m sore.  Those pink & white caps are my anti-depressants—THANK YOU JESUS!!  Oh, and those whopping white puppies are Excedrin—probably best for your headache-since they’ve got caffeine. These tiny white ones are Ambien—I am such an insomniac!  They make me sleepwalk… and cook dinner.  I know it sounds scary, but it is so great to wake up the next day and have dinner made…even if the gas stove is still lit!”

That’s when our new director, mouth aghast,  asked, “What in God’s name is that giant orange one?” 

“Oh, that’s my fave! That’s the pill I take when I go to visit my sister!!”

Everyone laughed, even me.  That’s when I realized I was turning a corner back to humor and… sanity. 

I was determined to hold on to that last orange pill. I planned to never take it…even when I did go to visit my sister.

That neon orange life vest is really meant for emergencies…and as much as my sister, let’s call her “Kay,” makes me crazy… it’s never an emergency.  At its worst, it’s a time to remember my beloved Mother reminding me that, “Hate is a strong word.” 



###