Author Archives: Pendances

Miss Epic


“Kimberly Bailey if you win this damn beauty pageant I’m gonna kill you!” I said bursting into the high school dressing room.

The girls laughed. They had spent weeks trying to convince me to enter while I tried to convince them that it was degrading. Kim was in the top five. We were supposed to be at the party hours ago.

“I won’t win,” she said.

She had on a fitted, blue floor-length gown. Her hair hung down her back in perfect loose curls. She was stunning. “Holy crap, you’re gonna win,” I said, beaten.

I waited in the back of the theater as the girls glided on to the stage. Finally, Kim won. Despite my convictions I cheered. They handed her roses, cameras flashed, confetti fell from the rafters. It was ridiculous.

“Get me out of here,” she mouthed. I yanked the fire alarm.

The campus police evacuated the building. We walked across the parking lot, the smell of gardenias in the southern summer air, the sound of fire engines in the distance. Me probably in cut offs, Doc Martins, and a Pixies t-shirt. Kim in her gown, tiara, and tiny flecks of confetti sparkling in her hair.

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Posted by on April 17, 2016 in Absurd


STICK IT UP YOUR ASTROLOGY [how to insult people based on their sign]

In 2005 I wrote a little article called, Stick it up Your Astrology.  This article was meant for astrologers and skeptics.  Over the years it gained a bit of momentum and is the topic of various discussion groups. I want to point out that I did extensive research on this topic. In addition to reading dozens of articles and books on astrology, I spent an entire year walking up to random people and asking, “What’s the worst thing someone could say to you?” Once I was armed with an arsenal of pretty bad things I tried them out on my friends and family.  This worked out pretty well.  Thank you to all of the people who suffered through this important research. I would like to dedicate this article to Josh, my Taurus brother (I can still kick his ass at pretty much EVERYTHING, except basketball, golf and driving).


Me and Taurus brother

Dear Friends,

I am terribly sorry for the words I am about to write.   They will leave you raw and exposed for the world to bear witness. Your secrets will be revealed.  Let go, dear soul, and walk through your shame.  I am about to bestow upon you a great gift.

Because I’m a Virgo, (that means I know everything) I thought I knew how to make my words lethal.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered that compliments and insults are not universal.  How could this be?  How different are we?  I caution you. Use this knowledge wisely.  You and only you will atone for your sins.

Here’s how it works; there are many things that nobody wants to hear.  I have found that everyone has that one thing that makes them crazy.  The following are the unmentionables indicative to each sign.  If you know a person’s sun, moon, and rising signs, you will possess the trifecta of insults that should NOT, under any circumstances, EVER be uttered in their presence.


Do you want to start something?   Partner with the competitive, courageous, pioneering and adventurous Aries.  Don’t we just love them?  They are so much fun!  They may or may not return your phone calls.  You can bet if they do, it was only because they wanted to.  No sense of obligation there.  They are completely free.  I’d hate to have to put one in jail.  It’s sometimes funny to walk up to one and say, “I’m the boss of you!”  NEVER, EVER under any circumstances tell an Aries that they are simply NOT qualified.  Please, please, if there is an ounce of love in your heart, don’t turn your back on them.  I mean literally, do not face in a direction that they are not in.


Need some help?  Find dependable, sensuous, prosperous and tenacious Taurus.  Relax!  They will take care of everything for you!  Don’t tell them what to do.  They are far too stubborn to do it even if they wanted to in the first place.  No, no, you must make them think everything is their idea.  Then you are sure to have a wonderful time.  Under NO circumstances should you EVER tell a Taurus that somebody else does it better.  Certainly DON’T tell a Taurus that you can do it better, (especially if they are a sibling).  They will beat you or die trying.  Having said that I still maintain that I can now and will always be able to, beat my Taurus brother at Tetris, (and many other things).


Feeling Lonely?  Call the curious, witty, intelligent, and adaptable Gemini.  The life of the party!  Find a crowd and Gemini will be in the center.  They are the masters of small talk.  They know a little about a lot, and probably don’t know a lot about anything.  Any story will be better when told by a Gemini.  That is, after the first time they tell it.  After the tenth time, it begins to get a little annoying.  PLEASE, I beg you, don’t tell a Gemini you are not interested in what they have to say, (even if they are talking about the weather).  No matter how bad you want to, NEVER tell a Gemini to SHUT UP!


Are you stressed out?  Visit the sensitive, nurturing, hospitable and comforting Cancer.  Walk into their homes and it’s as if you’ve walked into a cozy vortex.  They will fluff your pillows.  They will feed you food fit for kings that they, “just whipped up.”  Their homes will be full of interesting and fascinating things.  NEVER tell a Cancer you don’t like their cooking.  For the record, to all Cancers, don’t worry, everyone loves you!  Get my point?   DON’T tell a Cancer they are not liked.  They are agoraphobic enough as it is.  No need to make it worse.


Need an ego booster?  Roll out the red carpet for the playful, romantic, lucky, and loyal Leo.  You have now become a member of the royal family.  Step into their world and Leo will make you a King or Queen.  He will give you the world and expect it in return.  Everyone should at least once in their lives have a Leo propose marriage to them.  Nobody does it better!  PAY ATTENTION, (to him I mean.)  Applaud every performance.  Throw roses, give them constant accolades, and kiss their feet!  Why not?  They’d do it for you. When Leo’s are being butt heads they NEED ATTENTION.  So please NEVER, EVER casually tell a Leo to go make themselves invisible.


Got a problem?  Perfection will find you in the form of the efficient, logical, honest and hygienic Virgo.  We’ll fix it, and all the other flaws, most of which you never even knew you had.  It will be for your own good!  I promise.  We are not critical.  We are simply helpful.  Yes it’s bad, very bad to tell a Virgo that they’re a mess.  Ouch!  Of course you know not to poke their tiny pooch and tell them that they are out of shape.  They eat right and do yoga every day.  Do you?   I cringe to tell you this but there are two words that will silence a Virgo and send them running for the bathroom.  You stink.  NEVER tell a Virgo they stink.


Need a different perspective?  Justice is here in the form of the beautiful, refined, rational, and charming Libra.  I extend to you Libra, an open invitation, to decorate my house, pick out my wardrobe, cut my hair and apply my makeup.  I thank you for always sweetly telling me when I have been an asshole.  There may be times when you want to flick fancy Libra right off those scales.  Somehow you’ll get a sense that it just wouldn’t be right.  Suddenly, you’ll strive to be a better person.  Even after they gently point out that your nose is a little crooked and are quite shocked that you had never noticed that before.  Yes, there it is.  We never want to tell a Libra that their physical appearance or anything they have touched is not absolutely aesthetically pleasing.  So NEVER tell a Libra that they are ugly.


I have begun to tingle in all the right places; thanks to the secret, passionate, magic, and sexy Scorpio. Yes, the brooding and intense Scorpio.  What are they thinking about?  They’ll never tell.  Take heed, we have walked into the shadows.  We are in dangerous territory.  The thing that will make a Scorpio crazy, may very well be the thing, that causes them to silently kill you.  You’d never see it coming.  No, no, they are in too much control for that.  Here is a trick.  Something, (probably very small) will always betray a Scorpio.  Usually, it’s in the eyes.  When enraged, my mother would become unnaturally still, but her pupils would whip back and forth like a metronome on the quickest setting.  That was my cue to run.  Never try to take on a Scorpio.  NEVER tell them they are out of control.  They are ruled by passion but that is a secret.  It would be absolutely HORRIBLE of you to tell a Scorpio that they are simply, not good in bed.


Did you have a question?  You’ll find the answer with the philosophical, generous, optimistic, and spiritual Sagittarius.  These people will answer your questions and leave you with fifty more.  You’ll never know where you are going.  You’ll never know if you got there.  But you’ll have a hell of a time, never doing, what you were going to do in the first place.  A Sagittarius will teach you that a conversation need not be linear.  Like a map, there will be wonderful side roads, scenic routes and back alleys.  Don’t expect to return to the point.  They have a larger plan, (or so they tell me).  Knowledge is power.  So NEVER, EVER tell a Sagittarius that they are stupid.  If you find yourself in a relationship with one, “idiot” is a world you should strike from your vocabulary.


Want to invest?  Accomplishment and abundance resides with the practical, persistent, productive, and dignified Capricorn.  These are the people you want on your side.  Take their advice!  Marry them, they’ll never cheat, and they’ll bring home the bacon.  They thrive on structure.  I’d hate to be the one to tell a Capricorn the government and stock market has collapsed, and life as we know it will be absolute anarchy.  I would not want to tell them that from now on they would be forced to smear mud on themselves and dance around a bonfire naked for no good reason, (unless they have a lot of Aquarius in their chart). So of course NEVER do it.  NEVER call a Capricorn, (you guessed it), a loser.  Obviously, this goes without saying, don’t make the loser sign, (by making an L with your hand and put in on your forehead while mouthing “loser”).  That’s bad – real bad.


Just when you thought you had a handle on things in walks the strange, quirky, rebellious, and inventive Aquarius.  If you have never done psychedelic drugs, that’s ok, lock yourself in a room with five Aquarians for a day and you’ll understand what it’s like.  I have an Aquarius friend that wants to be president and she wants to have a big anarchy symbol tattooed on her throat.  Being the practical Virgo that I am, I told her she probably couldn’t do both.  Aquarius has an innate need to stand out.  They are different and they like that about themselves.  So never tell an Aquarius that they look exactly like someone you know.  NEVER, EVER tell an Aquarius that they are boring.


We have come to the end of the road and who is there to walk you into the sweet hereafter?  It is none other than the emotional, intuitive, artistic, and psychic Pisces.  Try not to cry.  They’ll cry with you, hell they’ll cry for you.  Sing, dance, and be merry!  Read the cards.  Throw the bones.  Cast a spell, (a nice spell that is).  Paint, love, fantasize and dream.  Let them sweep you into the arms of angels.  Don’t speak of money and reality.  Listen to their music.  They will write beautiful songs for you.  For all that is right and holy in this world NEVER say to a Pisces, “Don’t quit your day job.”


There you have it, twelve bits of carefully researched ammunition.  Use them at your own risk.  The other day I found myself in a senseless, circular conversation with my Sagittarius boyfriend.  I accidentally said, “What are you talking about?  That is stupid.”

He became very still, his eyes blazed, (Scorpio moon) then he casually stuck his nose in the air and sniffed a few times.  “What?  What on earth is that smell,” he said.  “Is that you?”

“You’re still stupid!”  I said running for the shower.  As I reached for my antibacterial tea tree soap to scrub away any offending odors, I heard him yell through the bathroom door, “I’m not stupid. I have a degree in philosophy and a master’s in education.”

When it comes down to it, I can always take a shower.  You can’t wash away stupidity.

If you can’t get a person with their sun sign try their moon sign, or their rising sign.  I have a Taurus friend that told me the Taurus insult wouldn’t bother her as much as someone telling her to shut up.  She has a Gemini rising with a few planets in Gemini.  Get crafty and put together all three.  Let’s say you were getting sick of someone, me for instance.  I just won’t stop bothering you, (Virgo, Gemini moon, Scorpio rising).  There is always shut up.  If you want to pull out all the stops, I shudder to think about someone telling me that I stink and they heard that I’m not good in bed.

Love Always,

Rachel H. Palmer

-Please leave a comment and let us know if this is true for you!


Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Absurd




Tonight I took my dog, and my mom’s two dogs, out for dog treats, and to run a few errands. I wanted to get the errands done fast as I only have a certain amount of time before all hell breaks loose with a car full of dogs.

I pull up to the grocery store, yank up the break, and launch myself out of the car (this is to ensure that none of the dogs escape). The seat belt yanks me back in. It yanks me so hard that now I have slid down the driver’s seat, and am at a weird angle, sort of wedged down there with the pedals. The door is wide open.

I quickly unlatch the seat belt, arms and legs flailing, as I try a second time to launch myself out of the car. I am yanked back again. I realize that my purse strap is tangled with the unlatched seat belt. Certain the dogs are about to leap over me and run to their death in the Friday night traffic I reach for the door handle with my foot.

I try to undo the purse strap/seat belt sailor’s knot and my hair gets caught. The car door is wide open. I’m yelling at the dogs to stay, yanking on my hair, reaching for the car door with my foot, and commando sliding out of the purse strap/seat belt. I kind of roll out into the parking lot and do a jump up – smooth everything down – I meant to do that – quick recovery. All three dogs have missed their chance at freedom as they are sort of immobilized in horror. I try to assure them that everything is fine but they look like the psychological trauma they have just experienced is right up there with their pre-rescue days.

On the way home I attempt to block it out. No use obsessing over how that looked to the people parked behind me. The next time anyone asks me why I don’t have kids…this answer is…. I am still working on my basic skills.

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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in Dog



monkeys online

Posting on Facebook is like walking into a room with everyone you know and shouting:  Look at my pickles!  Watch as my kid grows progressively taller!  This dog is so cute!  I just got a job as a mountain climber in Kansas! What is your favorite band?  Look at my face – really close! Now I am somewhere far, far away waving at you from this beach!

Many of the people in the room won’t hear you.  Some will, but they will ignore you.  A handful of people will yell back – LIKE, (which is weird).  And a few people will actually respond.  Many times when those people take the time to respond they are ignored.  Imagine someone walking up to and saying: Look at this sandwich I made! You say, Wow that looks like a fantastic sandwich.  And they simply walk away.  What?  You just told me to look at your sandwich and then you ignored me when I responded?

Posting on someone’s wall is like putting in that personal effort.  It’s like walking up to someone and saying, I can’t believe you love Simply Trampolines! That’s my favorite band.  Most of the time they say something back.  Sometimes they don’t.  That’s equivalent to the blank silent stare. There it is hanging on their wall indefinitely, your effort at friendly communication, left to the crickets.

It’s hard not to listen to that inner Value-O-Meter plummeting into the screaming red zone.  Most people’s online etiquette does not come with the excruciating visualization of standing in a room with everyone they know either shouting at you or ignoring you.  I admit that this is not the healthiest way to imagine it.  It’s probably better to think of it like throwing a penny into a fountain.  You make your wish and let it go.  If your wish doesn’t come true it was just a penny right?

Sometimes I try not to respond and a ridiculous internal battle ensues.

Look, she’s petting a monkey.  That’s so cool.  I have to tell her that it’s cool.  Why should I tell her?  She knows it’s cool to pet a monkey.  Everyone else will tell her.  Why make yourself vulnerable to rejection? Keep it to yourself.  But that’s so mean.  She went out and pet that monkey.  You will regret this later.

I can’t help it. It’s like responsive Tourettes. I have to do it.  So I do.

Wow that is a really great monkey that you are petting!  LIKE!


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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in Absurd



I’m driving down the road hoping that I can land this new job. Suddenly, my cars says, “Good luck. I hope it works out.”

You know that thing that happens when there isn’t a proper explanation for something? Where your brain gets overloaded and almost shuts down? Well that happened…

First, I think “Thanks Car.” Followed by, “What the damn hell?” Then, I actually look in the back seat, in case anyone has materialized there. Then, I have a moment of absolutely nothingness. No thoughts going in or out.

Until I realize, that my car read me a text.

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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Absurd




I am standing backstage, third in line to perform.  I peek through the curtains. The venue is huge, it’s televised and the stage is full of props. There is smoke, fire, stairs, etc. all the things that would contribute to a disaster in heels.  A producer walks up to me and asks if I’m ready.  I realize that I’m on one of those singing shows and I’m a contestant.  This is an utterly horrible realization.

The next girl goes on.  She has a technically perfect voice that sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.  She dances around fire torches, leaps onto the stairs and swirls through the blinding smoke. She does all of this in 4” stilettos.

I notice I am in a skin tight, super short dress and platform boots.  I grab the rail of the stairs and try to breathe.  The dress is too tight. The shoes are too tall. The bra is doing a very uncomfortable magical feat. I really have to pee.

How did I get here?  My first instinct is to run or hobble away.  There are dozens of producers and Nazi hair and make-up people, between me and the back door.  I’m not getting out that way. I look at the stage.  I can’t remember getting this far in the competition.  Did I sing?  Can I sing?  Maybe I can do this. I mimic some vocal exercises.  I don’t have a song to perform on the stage from hell.  I try to think of lyrics to anything.  The only song I can remember is Hotel California.  I try to sing.  My voice cracks and squeaks.

Mirrors on the ceiling, the pink Champaign on ice, and she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device.”

“Don’t worry.  It will be over soon.” Someone says.

I spin around and Adam Levine, “The Sexiest Man Alive” is standing there in a faded ripped up t-shirt and leather pants.

He looks like he feels genuinely sorry for me and pats my shoulder. “If you can get through this, America will vote you off tonight and it will all be over.”

Huh?  What do you know?  I want to yell.  You aren’t even sexy.  Men should take up space.  They should have a presence that makes those around them feel secure!

“Uh, thanks,” is all I manage to get out as he walks away.

This isn’t the right stage for me but I’m out of options.  I fluff my hair, smooth my dress and rearrange my boobs. The stage goes dark.  They call my name.  Sorry America, I think as I step into the smoke.

And still those voices are calling from far away, Wake you up in the middle of the night, Just to hear them say.

I jerk awake.  I’m covered in sweat.  The sheet is wrapped around my chest and I can’t breathe.  My heart is pounding. I turn on the light.  I rub my eyes and try to focus.  It was worse than zombie, serial killer, or land-shark nightmares. I feel so grateful for the lonely, quiet night and my old down comforter.  Things could be worse.  I could be on The Voice.

My dog stands beside the bed looking genuinely concerned. I realize that I was singing in my sleep.  I hope this doesn’t become a habit.



Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Absurd



In a room full of physical therapists, I’m told to lie on my back and put my feet against the wall, with my knees bent. I do. One of the PT’s puts a foam block between my knees.

PT: Squeeze this block with 50% of your strength for 4 min.
ME: How does one gauge 50% of your strength? That would require data. First we’d have to ascertain 100% of my strength, then measure 50% of that. It seems like there would be a lot of variables.

They stare at me blankly. Complete silence.
PT: Squeeze this block kind of hard.
ME: Okay, that makes more sense.

I call my mom on the way home to tell her how much of a work out these PT sessions are.
ME: …And there is this one exercise where they put a block between your legs and you squeeze at 50% of your strength for 4 min. It really works your butt out.
MOM: How do you know if you are squeezing at 50% of your strength?
ME: OH MY GOD…I have Aspergers too.


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Posted by on June 3, 2014 in Absurd