: sorry for the holdup :

August 26, 2014 § 2 Comments

Come on, times are tough. I had to do something to make ends meet.


So I found a second part-time job — cleaning offices in the evening. The extra money will be nice; still not enough, but nice, just the same. Unfortunately, this new gig has thrown a big, fat wrench in my carefully arranged schedule and I’m way behind at publikworks — the one job I love doing and I’ve no time to do it.

No, that’s wrong, let me re-phrase. I had time. I even had a fairly good idea. What came up short was the execution. Please bear with me. I’ll be back later this week with a new, dazzling post or a better excuse. One of the two.

Thank you for your patience. You can put your hands down now.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: hot coffee in August? :

August 11, 2014 § 14 Comments


Yep, there it is. That’s the look. The one I get when I order coffee: the dreaded raised eyebrow look.

Why? What is so queer about having hot coffee in the summer? Can someone explain it to me, please? Is it like wearing white after Labor Day? Is there a coffee season? Does it go against etiquette and decency and all that’s holy to enjoy a hot beverage after, say, June? Is that it?

Well, excuse me for living.

I don’t like cold coffee. It tastes stale, like leftovers or carelessness. What cold coffee needs is a gum-popping waitress to come along and say, ‘Want me to warm that up for you?’ It sure doesn’t deserve to be on a menu board under the heading Iced Drinks, it just doesn’t. There’s nothing refreshing about it.

And those la-di-da, foofy things — the frappés and mocchaccinos and iced coffee concoctions? They’re more Dairy Queen than Starbucks if you ask me, all sugar and syrup and calories. Where’s the coffee? Hello, caffeine? Yoo-hoo? There’s no jolt, no buzz, but you’re definitely flirting with brain freeze. From coffee. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of crazy.

Heck, just holding a frappuccino chills your poor hand to the bone. You could be sweating like a beer bottle, but that one hand will have frostbite unless it’s mittened. Plus, you’ll need a straw, qualifying your frosty coffee treat as an umbrella drink — minus the liquor, of course. Who wants an umbrella drink without the alcohol? Ditto for unheated coffee confections.

Okay, ready for the clincher? Hot beverages have cooling powers. I’m serious, why do you think tea drinking is so popular in hot spots like India? It has something to do with thermosensors located in the stomach triggering the hypothalamus in the brain, very scientific stuff I can’t begin to understand. What it boils down to is: our bodies overreact to the hot drink and we wind up cooler in the process. Tada.

So see? I’m not batty. I’m simply making the practical choice. Surprise, eh?

Now, stop giving me the fish eye when I have my coffee. And I won’t point and laugh when you have a cold beer during the Super Bowl. Deal? Deal.


Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: the scourge of summer :

July 30, 2014 § 12 Comments

Frequent readers are aware of my deep and abiding love for summer. I don’t knock it. Not under any circumstances. I don’t complain of the heat. Or the humidity. Or the bugs. Or sticking fast to furniture. In my eyes, it’s all wonderful. To criticize would be tantamount to blasphemy.

There is, however, one teeny tiny little fly in the ointment: Feet. They’re everywhere these warm sunny days, except tied up tight in a pair of shoes.


And they’re very unsightly. People, women especially, go to great lengths to make their feet more presentable and attractive for the summer months. ‘Tis the season for strappy sandals and flip-flops and open-toed heels, after all. So they polish and pumice and moisturize, they put on ankle bracelets and toe rings and tattoos; they get pedicures, for Pete’s sake.

Come on, surrender, Dorothy. No amount of nail polish will hide the fact those things down there are feet. With toes. Shoot, if you look close enough, something I strongly advise against, you’ll find a variety of unsightly bumps and knobs and scaly crud, such as bunions, corns, calluses, blisters, assorted fungi, rashes, and hammer toes. Please, put some shoes on. No one wants to see that stuff.

The most disturbing aspect of feet is their unnatural, pasty color. They’re a ghastly, bloodless white, almost neon with a glow like a mood ring. I guess you have to feel kind of sorry for them. I mean, they rarely see the light of day or feel the wind in their toe hair; they just go where they’re told. Think about it, when’s the last time you let your feet run free?

Maybe we should take them out more. Let them have a little fun. In the privacy of our own homes, of course.

happy feet


Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: got nomophobia? :

July 23, 2014 § 19 Comments

Don’t laugh. You probably do. Nomophobia, you see, is shorthand for ‘no-mobile-phone phobia’ — which is a fancy way of saying separation anxiety. shocked-woman

Yeah, not so funny now, is it? 66% of you all have it — that’s two-thirds if you’re keeping score, a pretty lopsided majority. Now, way back when nomophobia was first identified in 2008, only 53% of us were afflicted. These days, it’s the most widespread phobia in the world, practically epidemic.

We’re hopelessly besotted with our smartphones. We check them upwards of 34 times a day. So ubiquitous are these things, they’ve quietly replaced the wristwatch as the timepiece of choice. We’d rather gaze into the glare of a 4-inch screen than look upon a beautifully crafted work of art. What does that say about us? Nothing good, I’m afraid.

Cheer up, though, there are worse things. And all of them emanate from our deep and abiding love for technology. Ever hear of scrotal hyperthermia? No? That’s what you get when a laptop is, literally, atop a lap. The temperature in said region shoots up as much as 6º in an hour and sperm production halts.

How about erythema ab igne? Maybe you know it as toasted-skin syndrome or laptop thigh, it’s the lacy discoloration of skin caused by excessive heat. The main culprits used to be heating pads and hot water bottles, things we now consider quaint. Remember them? Now, we’re more likely to sit with a laptop on our sore backs.

And you’re familiar with texting thumb, aren’t you? Sure you are, that’s when you work the poor thing to death with your constant texting and emails. But my favorite new ailment is phantom vibration syndrome. It has us believing the phone’s ringing (or vibrating) when it’s not. Yes, boys and girls, we’re starting to hallucinate.

Surprisingly, I don’t suffer from any of those; I suffer from iPosture. Or cervicalgia. Oh, why mince words; it’s a hunchback. We get it from slumping over computers and cell phones. Recent evidence also suggests such poor posture contributes to making us dumber, as well. Who cares, right? We look like Quasimodo — brains won’t help.

Here’s the kicker: I read where many people consider their phones the modern equivalent of the newspaper. You know why? Because they take it to the john with them. That’s gross. Come on, get away from the smartphone. You don’t know where that thing’s been. Ew.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: a sing along for wordaholics :

July 17, 2014 § 17 Comments

Follow the bouncing period, boys and girls.

It’s Weird Al Yankovic performing Word Crimes, a grammar freak’s delight. There’s something for everyone here: punctuation, emoticons, grammar tips, hashtags, sentence diagramming, parts of speech, proofreading symbols, double entendres, fun design, the whole enchilada.

Just you watch, the video’s a gas. Sort of a writer’s pornography set to music. But it’s lexicography and totally legal. phew

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: finding the fountain of youth :

July 16, 2014 § 8 Comments

Throughout history, people searched for a Fountain of Youth. They looked high and they looked low. Sensible, lucid people like Alexander the Great (356 — 323 B.C.), Prester John (12th century A.D.), and Ponce de León (1460 — 1521). They weren’t all hucksters and lunatics.

fountain of youth

Five hundred years later we’re still chasing the fantasy, but narrowing the search. We’re down to cosmetics counters and skin care aisles. Although we haven’t ruled out late night infomercials, so we troll the cable stations, just in case. What we’ve discovered is a bounty of pricey moisturizers and diet supplements and naiveté. If those aren’t enough, there’s always plastic surgery.


Well, guess what. The Fountain of Youth isn’t a fountain or a lotion or a surgical procedure. It’s a button, ladies and gentlemen, the blue one that says ‘Publish’. The instant you press that thing, presto chango, you’re an awkward, self-conscious 12-year old waiting to be picked in gym class. All elbows and knees and orthodontia, silently pleading ‘pick me, pick me, puh-leeeze pick me’.

It’s awful. And it’s thrilling. In one quick, easy step, you go from confident, dignified grown-up to insecure, flustered adolescent. You’re knee-deep in anxieties, convinced you’ll be the biggest laughingstock in Internet history. Hello, puberty, long time no see.

You’re riddled with doubts, beset with them. What were you thinking, you ask yourself? Are you crazy? No one’s going to read that, it stinks. Sure, the piece was fine, what?, six seconds ago, but now it’s a woeful lapse in judgment. A spectacular, flaming embarrassment.

That, my friends, is adolescent angst, pure and simple.

Thus begins the long, agonizing wait between Publish and Like, which is nothing short of torture. Cheeks flush, eyes dart, there’s fidgeting and squirming. What we want is to disappear, for the floor to open up and swallow us whol — wait, is that a … it is. It’s a like. Oh, yay and hallelujah. What a relief, we don’t suck. We have worth. We can breathe.

Still want to be young again? Fine, hit Publish. Go ahead, I dare you, nyah nyah.

Wow, I’ve got to grow up, I haven’t even pressed the button yet.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: read this :

July 8, 2014 § 12 Comments

No, not this, the face. Read the face. Pissed off is written all over it.

grumpHow do they do that? How can one face say so damn much with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth? Seriously, where does it keep its pencil?

It’s been my experience that faces are bigger talkers than mouths. Trust me, I know; I’m afflicted with both. What my face doesn’t say, my mouth does, the trigger-happy son of a gun. But my face is the real troublemaker here. It’s an obnoxious blabbermouth; yap-yap, yap-yap-yap all day long. I can’t shut the thing up.

What can I do, wear a bag over my head? Gee, that wouldn’t look suspicious, would it? Nah, try it. Walk into a bank with a bag over your head. Or wearing a hood. Yeah, talk your way out of that one, Houdini. Me, I’d talk my way straight into a 30-year prison sentence. I’ll pass.

So you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to stick to e-mails and texting. There’ll be none of this face-to-face crap. No phone calls, either; no voice mails, no selfies, nothing. Email and text — that’s it. Oh, maybe the occasional card, but that’s where I draw the line. Understand?

I don’t trust my face and my mouth is a genuine loose cannon, so I’m putting a sock in it — so to speak. I’ll still post, of course, courtesy of the ‘delete’ key. That’s my absolute favorite button, delete. It gives you the satisfaction of saying what you want to say exactly the way you want to say it, without the unfortunate consequences. I love that.

You lucky stiffs with impassive, unreadable expressions don’t know how easy you have it. Your mugs can actually keep a secret. They don’t go around spilling their guts, well, your guts, really. Some of them are as tight-lipped and inscrutable as a sphinx. I want a face like that, a poker face. I’d love to keep my thoughts to myself just once in my life.

And a pink unicorn, too, as long as we’re at it.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks