My mother could look severe. Very severe; especially when she suspected me of upsetting her domestic apple cart around the house. Which was most of the time.

My ex-wife could also look extremely ominous when she was displeased with me. She scowled at me for 15 years before taking her glare elsewhere.

I thought I was just unlucky with the females in my life — they all had apocalyptic features, most likely due to my obvious male shortcomings.

But leave it to the New York Times to set my mind at ease, with a perceptive article on RBF (Resting B*tch Face). Yes, that is the name of a real condition. And apparently it’s not that rare, especially among career women.

So do I think my RBF holds me back in my career? Perhaps.” confesses writer Emily Bader to NJBiz.com:  “But the thought of plastering on a pleased look in the morning is mentally exhausting, and actually, gets on my nerves. Am I supposed to put on a fake smile just to please everyone else? Sure, if I start doing cartwheels around the office, people might like me more, but then I’ll be the one doing cartwheels instead of her job. I’m tough and I know exactly what I want for my career — it’s fine if those are the qualities that read upon my face more often. If being ambitious means looking like a b*tch, well, then I’m totally okay with that.”

Emily, I gotta say that despite your openness about this problem — you still scare the snot out of me!

This is such a serious issue with women that Cosmopolitan magazine has weighed in on it, with an article entitled “13 Struggles Only Women with Resting B*tch Face Understand“. Among those struggles are:

People tell you to smile more. You just wanna be like, “Hey, you don’t find me telling you what to do with your face! SO SHUT UP.”

“People think you’re bossy or a snob when you give instructions. You might have to say eve-ry word care-ful-ly, like so. Which sucks ’cause who’s going to take you seriously now?”

Of course, women are not taking this thing sitting down (or smiling, either). Country singer Kacey Musgraves told BuzzFeed recently that there were at least 17 more accurate terms for RBF, such as (and I quote):

Resting “This Is Just How I Look” Face

Resting “Please Stop Asking What’s Wrong” Face

Resting “This Wouldn’t Bother You If I Was a Guy” Face

RBF has been a girl problem for over ten years now. My research indicates that the very first RBF was displayed in the Maxwell Atoms cartoon series The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, which began airing in 2003. Take a good look at that kisser of Mandy’s. As my grandmother used to say, it would stop a clock.


Men are neither affected by nor concerned about displaying this facial pattern. In fact, we seek for it. Any man worth his salt would dearly love to be known as having a ‘poker face’.

Besides, one of the greatest stars of the silent cinema was stone-faced Buster Keaton. Now THERE was a man who could stare down a whole passel of RBFs!

RBF has now become a plague upon the land.

Frankly, I think all those Botox shots must have a hand.

No one likes a frowny face, especially at work.

(I guess with Equal Rights, I’ll call my lady boss a jerk.)

Annex - Keaton, Buster (Goat, The)_01

North Korea — the Tick-Tock Terrorists.

Well, those crazy North Koreans are up to their old tricks again.

The Wall Street Journal reports the country said through its state mouthpiece, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, that it would fix a new time zone, called Pyongyang time, to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

On August 15, all the timepieces in North Korea will be set back 30 minutes.

But let’s not call out the vigilantes to clean their clocks just yet. According to the BBC, any country can change time zones whenever they darn well please, and for any reason they want, balmy or otherwise:

“There is no international body that approves a country’s change of time zone as countries decide for themselves.

In 2011, Samoa changed its time zone to the other side of the international dateline, losing one day, so as to make communication easier with neighbours Australia and New Zealand.

And North Korea is not the only country that has created its own unique time zone.

In 2007, Venezuela decided to turn its clocks back by half an hour as President Hugo Chavez wanted to have a “more fair distribution of the sunrise” to residents.”

Sounds like both Venezuela and North Korea are run by cuckoo clocks, if you ask moi.

Two can play at this game, Pyongyang. I hereby declare that the Torkildson dominions will set all clocks back two hours every morning that coincides with me not feeling like getting out of bed.

Put THAT in your Rolex and smoke it, Kim Jong-un!


They say in North Korea that the time has frozen fast;

the minute hand won’t rotate and the hour hand’s harassed.

The past is all they worship and the future is bourgeois;

so the present is an iceberg that will never start to thaw.

 They starve just as they’ve always starved and stay so paranoid

that even Father Time has started getting quite annoyed.

Progress is a dirty word up on the Yalu River —

even sundials are afraid to do much more than quiver. 


Talking will get you a good job?

To get to know another person well, you gotta hear ’em.

Emails cannot do the job — in fact, you oughta fear ’em.

Those pear-shaped tones do more for your career than any text;

in fact, the written word will make your job search really vexed!

You can talk your way into a dream job without sweat;

but if you’re sending resumes your prospects are all wet.

from a story in the New York Times


Eulogy to Spock

Leonard Nimoy. R.I.P.
Leonard Nimoy. R.I.P.

(from the New York Times obituary)

I never liked him much because his logic was intense.

For boys who play with spaceships, it did not make any sense.

Cold reason isn’t something that a boy appreciates;

Such acumen is foreign and it soon evaporates.


No, if you zoom through outer space you meet such wonders there

That there is no time for calculations or despair.

Just thrills and cool technology; green monsters and death rays –

These are what made boyhood such extraordinary days.


But Spock was like a parent, scolding crewmen to behave.

He was an algorithm that could walk and talk and shave.

I wouldn’t call him flawed, and yet I wouldn’t call him right.

His logic could not save him from the grave’s eternal night.


There’ll Be a Hot Time on the Old Earth Tonight!


(Inspired by an article by Geoffrey Mohan.)

Humans keep on warming up the earth, so experts state;

And if we are not careful we will reap a sultry fate.

The polar caps will shrivel and the oceans will ascend,

And in our little motor boats our soggy way we’ll wend.


This year marks the warmest year on earth since 1880;

But conclusions drawn so far are muddled, although weighty.

Is our carbon footprint like a jackboot on the earth,

Or is the whole thing cyclical — a subject of great mirth?


God alone may know if ozone holes will spell our end,

Or if the fossil fuels we burn extinction do portend.

But this much I can tell you; if we don’t control the hazes

That are choking cities now . . . we ALL will go to Blazes!