This week I renewed MH’s and my membership with the Portland Art Museum. On the online renewal form, I decided to check out a category – the one for “title” – I usually skip unless it is mandatory. I was richly rewarded for following that whim.
When I clicked on the box for title, Instead of the usual three to six possibilities (Mr. Mrs. Miss Ms. Dr., etc.), I was offered an awe-inspiring, forty-plus choices of honorifics: 
– Acting Counsel General
– Consul General
– First Lady
– General (Ret.)
– Monsieur et Madame
– Mr. and Mrs.
– President and Chief Executive Officer
– Rev. Dr.
– The Honorary
– The Rev. Hon.
– The Rev.Honorary
How could I leave the space blank after all that? I was tempted by several titles (will life offer me any other opportunities to be addressed as Ambassador ?), but settled for one. My choice has, IMHO, a deceptive simplicity that implies so much more – truly, a title of unlimited possibility. I’m not just (a) Robyn Parnell, I’m The Robyn Parnell.
* * *
She Doesn’t Call; She Doesn’t Text; She Doesn’t Write,
She Never Likes My Posts Anymore…
The notice from Facebook reminded me to wish CM a Happy Birthday. Trouble is, CM died over a year ago. And now I’m wondering, who gets to report those things?
I received the notification while standing at the mailing/copy center desk at Office Depot. The Nice Young Woman ® who always helps me mail my care packages to daughter Belle set me up on OD’s shipping entry monitor, then began to assist Another Customer who stood next to me. I checked my phone, and wondered aloud re yet another social media dilemma: did either of them know what to do? I assume there’s a way to alert Facebook (but if so, nobody’s done it yet, re CM), but do you have to be a family member to do so? How can you (or do you even need to) prove  that someone has died so that FB can retire the page of the deceased?
Another Customer (thoughtfully furrowing her brow): “Wow, that’s a good question. There’s so much going on…you just don’t think of taking your page down when that happens.”
Moiself: “Well…yeah. When you’re dead, that’s not the first thing on your mind.”
* * *
Department Of Stupid Religious Rituals 
This week I’ll take a break from pointing out the idiocy of my own ancestors’ holy beliefs and customs and pick on another religious tradition. The pickings are far from slim, lemme tellya.
Well-being (wĕl′bē′ĭng) n. The state of being healthy, happy, or prosperous; welfare.
The following caption accompanied the following picture in Wednesday’s world news section of The Oregonian:
Hindu devotees perform a ritual balancing fire pots on their heads and hands on Sitala Puja, dedicated to the Hindu goddess of pox, in Kolkata, India, on Tuesday. Devotees participate in various rituals during this event to make a wish for the well-being of their families.
Because nothing bodes well for the health, happiness success and of your family like having your mother, draped in flammable garments, hold pots of barely contained fire.
* * *
Yes indeed, it’s alive. One of many reasons I love looking at my sourdough culture.
* * *
Department Of You Know It’s Spring…
…at our house, when it is time for that most anticipated of rituals,  The Harvesting Of The Asparagus. Which, in the case of our garden, is literally the ( as in, one) asparagus.
* * *
Department Of WTF Is Wrong With People
There is a new kind of piercing…oh, no, there isn’t. Rather, there is a body site for piercing that is new to my hitherto unsullied eyes.
An employee has been notified to assist you, read the message on the register screen at the self-checkout stand I was using at the grocery store. When I heard the footsteps presumably belonging to The Employee Who Had Been Notified To Assist Me approached me, I looked up from unloading items from my cart, and it took all of my composure to stile my intuitive gasp.
Where another person might have dimples, The Employee Who Had Been Notified To Assist Me had symmetrical piercings. It looked as if someone had pounded two flathead nails in her cheeks.
The indented skin around each of the clerk’s cheek piercings was reddish, as if infected or inflamed. It . Looked. So. Wrong. And painful. I instinctively/sympathetically clenched my jaw, as if anticipating painful dental work, when I beheld her face.
I can’t figure out how such a piercing would be done, except by going through the upper inside of the mouth. Thus, just looking at her cheeks made me think, festering infection. Which is just what you want running through your mind as you prepare to scan your carton of yogurt.
The average person’s mouth is a bacteria rodeo; the Germy McMouth Germs are fine if they stay put, but if they enter the bloodstream through a cut or wound – which is what a piercing is – yikes. And what would happen if the parotid ducts (the cheek’s saliva glands) were pierced? 
Dentists are as a rule opposed to any kind oral piercings, and will happily recite (yes, I asked mine, once) the risks, from deadly serious endocarditis to the may-not-kill-but-will-seriously-annoy complications including nerve damage and increased saliva/drooling….
Yeah, Old Person Rant Alert© . I am more or less tolerant (even admiring) of certain piercings, depending on where they located.  But this clerk’s self-mutilation choice of body adornment had to be one of the stupidest I’d ever seen.
Ah, but the century is young.
* * *
Department Of Pretend I Wrote Something Witty About Tax Day
Such as, Am I the only person who wishes she were paying more in taxes, because that would mean I’m actually making money?
Such as, schmuchas. That’s not witty. Just pathetic.
* * *
May you delight in the title of your choice;
May your tax burden be a reminder of economic plenitude;
May your body adornments not induce people to vomit in public;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Many are, to me, amusingly redundant – are people really picky about having the abbreviation vs. the spelled out title (Captain and Cpt.), or are there some women who want their Miss to have punctuation vs. standing alone?
 I assume some kind of proof is needed, else people would be pranking one another other by having their frenemies declared dead.
 Pardon the redundancy.
 And quite reasonable, when compared with balancing firepots on your head.
 Can you say, “You’d be drooling from your dimples holes?” I knew you could, boys and girls.
 Ears, yay. Other parts…??? And, apparently, cheek or “dimple piercing” has been around for some time, but is not one of the more common body parts to pierce, for several reasons, including the dangers/side effects (read here for a lovely story on a piercing artist who had to remove her own dimple piercings after they…well…yuck).