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Jill Pertler

Slices of Life


Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication." More columns are available at the Slices of Life page on Facebook.



Advice on the first day
By Jill Pertler

It happens each year precisely on July 5. Sparklers and smoke bombs on aisle four are replaced with boxes of crayons and bargain notebooks and the back-to-school season officially begins. I’m never quite ready for it. I usually put off the purchase of glue sticks and No. 2 pencils for as long as I can because school supplies signify the end of summer.

For students, it’s an exciting and sometimes anxious time filled with new tennis shoes, a new grade level and new adventures. As they strap on their backpacks and head to the bus stop this year, I’ll indulge in some advice.

Kindergarten: If you have a teacher

Tuesday, September 02, 2014 11:08 AM
 
Grievance No. 328
By Jill Pertler

To whom it may concern (you know who you are):

I am tired — and quite literally so — of being overlooked and underappreciated. I am not acting catty when I contend that I am maliciously maligned and misunderstood. My patience with this matter is wearing categorically thin and I demand change. The conditions under which I am forced to exist have become unbearable and I am therefore petitioning for living adjustments effective immediately, or yesterday, if possible.

Complaint No. 1: Bathroom conditions. I have to go underground,

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 2:02 PM
 
Parenting crimes
By Jill Pertler

“Blackmail is an act involving unjustified threats to make a gain or cause loss to another unless a demand is met. It may be defined as coercion involving threats of public exposure, physical harm, criminal prosecution or for the purposes of taking the person’s money or property.” (Courtesy of: Wikipedia and Merriam Webster)

Under federal law,

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 11:11 AM
 
Grocery superpowers
By Jill Pertler

Superman, Wonder Woman and the Incredible Hulk all possess superpowers, but I enjoy supremacy even greater than X-ray vision, unlimited strength or the ability to fly. My capabilities come from grocery lists in my pocket and canned goods on aisle seven. It’s the power of food acquisition and I’ve assumed extreme control. Those of us in the know know it doesn’t get any better than that.

Simply put, I do 97.376% of the grocery shopping for my family. Let the scope of that sink in for a moment. Pause and ponder like you might over the glazed donuts in the bakery section. Victuals. Chow. Sustenance. Edibles. Nourishment. Cuisine. Food impacts the menu,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 10:47 AM
 
Things I hate
By Jill Pertler

I tell my kids not to hate things. You can dislike Brussels sprouts, but there’s no need to hate them, not really. The word “hate” itself has become a buzzword for political incorrectness. No one wants to be accused of being a hater. As a parent, I should follow my own advice — lead by example and be a good role model. Still, there are things worthy of my strong, strong dislike — and maybe even the “H” word. There, I said it. There are some things I hate. (Don’t tell my kids.)

For instance, I hate those website pop-up pages that make

Tuesday, August 05, 2014 2:24 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, August 05, 2014 2:26 PM )
 
Adventures with glue
By Jill Pertler

Note to readers (and self): Super Glue® does not mix well with granite countertops. Recently I had the opportunity to experience this noxious combination in the comfort of my own kitchen. This was not of my doing. But you already knew that.

Late one night (when all the excitement happens at my house), my teenage son had an unfortunate encounter with a ceramic bowl, which resulted in the right half of the bowl separating from the left. Normally a broken bowl is no big deal at our house, but this happened

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 10:56 AM
 
All thumbs
By Jill Pertler

When I was in school — and dinosaurs roamed the Earth — everyone took a class called Typewriting 101. We wrote about the quick brown fox and lazy dog using our eight fingers without hardly any effort from our thumbs. My right thumb was responsible for only one button — the space bar. My left thumb had the day off.

Today kids learn keyboarding and have probably never laid eyes on a typewriter,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:43 PM
 
Having it all
By Jill Pertler

There’s been a renewed media buzz on the age-old topic of women having it all. Career plus family equals success. Cameron Diaz fueled the discussion with an announcement about not wanting kids, because in her words, “It’s so much more work to have children.”

In another publicized conversation, Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo and mother of two (not necessarily in that order) admitted she doesn’t think women can have it all. “We pretend we can have it all,” she said during an interview for The Atlantic. She also confessed she’s not sure her two daughters

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 12:13 PM
 
The patio project
By Jill Pertler

I am tired. My back is sore. My arms ache. My husband put me through the ropes this weekend. He had me completely tied up with yard work.

Our little project involved considerable moving of earth and sod as well as lifting and placement of 4,524 pounds of patio blocks. But that’s just an estimate.

We’ve always been do-it-yourselfers. We enjoy proj­ecting together. Some couples are good at recreating. If they found an extra pile of cash they’d go out for a night on the town. We’d purchase a bunch of lumber or maybe resurface the driveway. Give us a garden that needs planting,

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 2:11 PM
 
Picture perfect
By Jill Pertler

When my kids were babies, I took lots of photos, always hoping to get the one perfect shot. This was during the prehistoric predigital age, when cameras required film and film required developing. You couldn’t take a million pictures and preview them on your screen. You had to send them away and pay to have them printed. One by one by one.

Back then, I couldn’t tell a megapixel from a winning lottery ticket, but I knew I’d be able to recognize the perfect shot when I saw it. Trouble was, after hundreds of developed photos, I still hadn’t seen it.

I burned through scores of 35mm rolls, peering

Tuesday, July 01, 2014 10:49 AM
 
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