Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says "Oh shit, she's awake."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Vagina Monologues

I have noticed an interesting, albeit annoying, phenomenon lately – completely heterosexual men with vaginas.  I am not saying the have REAL functioning, vaginas.  They have vaginas in the figurative sense, which makes them act like women.  No bueno.

Now before you point your finger at me in an accusatory fashion, please know that I am not saying ALL men have vaginas.  There are still the manly men out there who grow beards in “Movember” and scratch parts of their anatomy in public that makes their significant others cringe.  I, for one, like my men “manly” and am happy to report that my husband Bill has never exhibited signs of even a tiny vagina as part of his anatomy.  Yes, I have seen him cry, but not without a good reason.  He hates shopping, and  has never exhibited signs of bi-polar behaviour.  He is an all-American guy who would rather have his teeth drilled without novacaine than get a manicure.  He passes gas regularly and thinks it is incredibly funny.  He is more comfortable in his Levi jeans and a fishing t-shirt, and he actually had to purchase a suit when we got married, since he didn’t have one to his name.  He gives great bear hugs when I am sad, and always makes me feel “little” even when I’ve gained weight.  He is also more than capable of telling me to pull myself up by my bootstraps when I am being a big baby.  He keeps it real, and I am thankful for my manly guy.  

Seriously, these vagina-sporting men are rocking that particular girl part with great enthusiasm.  They are moody, weepy, given to temper tantrums, and would rather go shopping than watch sports.  They are “in touch” with their feminine side, dress better than most women I know, and they fight like girls – nasty.  They show signs of manipulative behaviour and use the guilt card on a regular basis.  Every time I am around one of these dudes (I am using that term loosely here) it makes me break out in a rash.  How DARE they impinge on those womanly traits?  Women are the only ones who are allowed to act like that.  It is expected of us. It is our God-given right.  It is what makes us one big collective pain in the ass.  Seriously, I’m pretty sure if Bill caught himself acting in that manner, he would make me take him out to a field and shoot him with one of his big manly guns.

I do know women who think guys with vaginas are “cute” and are thrilled to have a shopping buddy, as well as a bed buddy, all rolled into one.  I, for one, could not deal.  To me, there is nothing sexy about a man who is more obsessive about waxing his guys parts than I am about waxing my hoohah.  Of course, I am not repulsed by man hair.  I find it kind of appealing, and it certainly is handy in the winter when it’s cold outside.  I understand that there are guys out there that are sporting the “fur coat” on their backs.  I realize women may not find that attractive.  That’s fine.  Go get laser hair removal.  But for chrissake, don’t make a public service announcement about it.  This is way too much information.  I don’t even want to think of ME getting a wax job.

I think the most annoying thing about these vagina-equipped men is that they are so “in tune with their feelings” and feel compelled to inform anyone who will listen about how they wished their girlfriend could understand their needs.  Do I think men have needs? Yep, absolutely.  Are guys supposed to talk about it ad nauseum?  Nope, not last time I checked.  That is a conversation FOR YOUR GIRLFRIEND, not the entire world.  I do not want to “chat about it” over a cup of coffee.  That is what I have female friends for.  Us girls have the lock on whining, moaning, complaining and going on in great detail about every little aspect of our lives, no matter how trivial.  I can’t even imagine what Bill would say if one of his close buddies came up to him and said, “You know, I really love [insert name here] but she just doesn’t take the time to understand what I’m feeling about our relationship, and that I really just want her to listen.”  Really? Yeah, let’s just say Bill wouldn’t handle that interaction well.  But it’s never going to happen, because out of all of his guy friends, NONE of them have a vagina.  I’m 100% sure he’s happy about that.

It’s not that I don’t miss having a homosexual guy friend.  THAT is a totally different animal. They are allowed to have an imaginary vagina. They are the most awesome at telling you which outfit looks like crap on you, and will partake in heartfelt chats for hours about feelings and relationships and Real Housewives of New Jersey.  I’ve had several gay friends over my lifetime who not only have maneuvered me through some very dicey relationship issues, but have also kept me from committing some devastating fashion mistakes.  Gay guy friends are like great female friends without the competitive edge.  There is no competing. It is apples and oranges. 

So to any overly-sensitive, overly emotional, moody, weepy guys out there.  Stop it.  It’s not attractive, or sexy, or even remotely appealing.  Pull out your tampon and MAN UP.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Her name is Lola...she is a showgirl...with yellow feathers in her hair...

This one is for all my "bird" know who you are...

Most people don’t understand my unnatural obsession with birds…all birds really, but specifically MY birds, and mostly my umbrella cockatoo who I lovingly named Lola when she came into my life at 12 weeks old.

Lola appeared in our lives sort of haphazardly, but then again not really.  I’m pretty sure she had a plan from the moment she laid eyes on me, because as soon as I picked her up she laid her head on my chest and literally cried like an infant.  It must have been that “sucker” tattoo on my forehead that she spotted because I was “stick a fork in me” done immediately.  I had owned birds for many years, but this pile of white feathers captured my heart with one fell swoop, and I haven’t been the same since.  We took her home on my birthday, the weekend of the 2010 blizzard, and she held our hearts hostage.  We hand fed her with a 60cc syringe filled with bird formula for over a year. I even began making her bird baby food from a concoction of applesauce, vegetables, sweet potatoes, a dollop of peanut butter, and numerous other things that would go into a blender, then into the syringe.  I still make up a mix of fresh food for her every day, and I’m sure I will until the day I die.

We doted on her, played with her, spent a small fortune on toys, bought her a cage that takes up half of my living room, and let her run our entire life.  She was thrilled at her ability to make us do her biddings.  At the same time, we taught her to play by herself – with her mountain of ridiculously expensive bird toys – and enjoy the company of her feathered brother and sister, Sam and Lisa.  Overall she was unimpressed with her siblings, as she is with anything that might possibly take the spotlight off of her, but she found enjoyment in her new surroundings.  I contribute her impressive socialization to the fact we encouraged her to “make her own fun” and we hand fed her for so long – something that is not unusual for cockatoos in the wilds of Australia, Malaysia or Indonesia.  In fact, parent cockatoos have been known to feed their young well into their second year or until the mommy and daddy bird have another “clutch.” Cockatoos have an inherently strong flock mentality, and they rely on each other for most everything, including emotional support.  Yes, they are highly emotional.  If Lola were human, she’d be considered a drama queen.

To know Lola is to love her.  She’s a brat, a clown, a master manipulator, a skilled snuggler, and about a million other things.  No one believes me when I tell them that she crawls under the covers and curls up next to me when I am lying in bed watching tv. She’d attached herself to me with Velcro if she could.  She demands all of my attention when I am in the room, and you cannot even believe how hard it is to ignore a pet that can actually say its own name OVER and OVER and OVER to persuade you to pick her up and give her a smooch on the beak or a scratch under her wing.  This past week, we left for a trip and she was without us for five days. I had a slew of friends stop over to feed her and talk to her, but I was worried.  It was a first, even though she had just turned three years old.  Cockatoos can pluck themselves, sometimes to the point of self-mutilation, if they perceive themselves to be lonely, or unloved.  Loneliness can turn to neuroses, and that is very very bad for a bird.  But we arrived home and there she was, looking especially cute, bouncing up and down, and repeating “HI LOLA!” until I got her out of the cage and covered her with kisses.  She was fine. I was relieved.  She is an extraordinary bird and I am so proud of her.

I’ve owned pets my entire life.  Indeed, I really can’t imagine my life without my “feathered and furry babies” for one moment. I currently have Lola, my blue pionus parrot Sammy, my sweet flighty cockatiel Lisa and my bedroom slipper of a Pekingese Marlen.  All of them are so intrinsically woven into the fabric of my being, but Lola more so than the others for sure.  Maybe it is because I know she stands a very good chance of outliving me.  Thankfully, she is in love with my daughter as much as Bill and me, so I know if something happens to me, she will be loved like no other bird. I find great peace in that fact.

Would I recommend to anyone that they go out tomorrow and get a cockatoo so they can understand these incredible creatures?  No I absolutely wouldn’t.  Why?  Because far too often people bring birds into their homes without understanding all that is involved with these highly social, highly intelligent creatures.  No they are not merely “decorations.” Yes, they will love you to death.  They will also break your eardrums with their “singing” (I used that term loosely.) They are messy, expensive, demanding, painful if they bite, and incredibly stubborn when it comes to getting their way.  We live in their world, not the other way around. And while I have brought my three feathered kids (fids) into my home, the fact of the matter is they are still wild animals – not at all domesticated like a dog or a cat.  You cannot predict their behaviour, and you cannot promise that they won’t unexpectedly lean over and take off an earlobe.  Lola has yet to draw blood, but I know it is not a matter of “if” but “when.”  It will happen eventually, and more than likely it will involve stitches – something I have never had before, and honestly, I am not looking forward to at all.  But I will still love her to pieces, and I will still encourage her to be exactly what she is…one of the most glorious, affectionate species of birds on earth.  Cheers to the cockatoo – creatures with the intelligence of a five year old and the emotionally reasoning of a two year old, equalling the smartest brattiest most delightful two year old…for the rest of their lives. 

If you are looking for information on cockatoos or other birds, please contact me and I will be happy to direct you to where you can find the most relevant and honest information.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

So I haven't blogged in a while..shoot me...

Sometimes you just need to get your drunk on, and start typing. I needed to do this.  Blogging is like sex after a long dry spell.  Sometimes you just need to have a cocktail or five to supply the lubrication, and get on with it.

I know I know. I haven’t blogged in a million years and you all are on pins and needles waiting to see what words of wisdom I have to impart.  Hold back your disappointment. I have none.  But here is what I do have, after months of working my ass off for work, and sticking my nose in places it probably had no place being…

1.     I have an incredible family, especially my daugher, who accepts me unconditionally.  Yes, they understand I’m not quite sane, and I am probably completely unmedicated (actually I am medicated – how scary is THAT???) But they love me.  I know that when I look in their eyes, and mostly they are just glad I’m happy.  You really can’t ask for much more than that.  Unconditional acceptance is one of the greatest gifts in life.  It’s my brass ring, my light at the end of the tunnel, my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  I’m not easy, I’m not subtle, and I completely lack any sense of diplomacy…yet my family understands and accepts, and doesn’t judge.

2.      I have a husband who not only lets me be myself – which isn’t always a good thing - but he knows when to “reel me in and keep me grounded.”  Not an easy task for anyone.  I worry that I am more than he bargained for, and I’ll just make him exhausted.  But every day he wakes up with a smile on his face, looks in my eyes and declares he loves me madly.  He’d have to be mad to put up with my antics.  Thank you Bill. I love you more madly.

3.      I have friends who, like my family, accept me and all the craziness that comes with…patient? Yep, they are incredibly patient, and probably just a little nuts themselves.  But I know they accept me for who I am, not what I can do for them. They revel in our mutual moments utter abandonment, and they understand that while I am not perfect, I am well-intentioned.  Thank you for that.

4.      I have a career that provides me with all I ever dreamed of..ever…in my entire life.  I get to boss everyone around, be creative in ways I never thought possible, thrive under pressure, and  hug lots of really cool people. And I get to do most of this in really cool locations all around the world.  Thank you God…for great timing and allowing me to be and accomplish all sorts of amazing things. 

Life is odd. Life is grand.  Life provides us with relationships and opportunities we never imagined.  But really, we earn these gifts.  I’ve busted my ass, made a ton of mistakes and tried my best to learn from each and every mistake.  I am where I am because of every choice I have ever made – good, bad or otherwise.  Honestly, I cannot imagine being anywhere else.  I have no regrets, no disappointments and no desire to do anything differently.  So now, I shall just go forth, do my best, and hope that I don’t do anything stupid.  Perfect? No.  Happy? In ways you cannot even imagine.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Big shoes to fill...

Some things just make you stop and take inventory of your life.  Death, an inevitable part of life, is one of those things.

Our family is suffering through this quiet but gutwrenching chaos this week.  We are losing our patriarch on Bill’s side of the family…his father, Lynwood Otis Tucker.  “Otis” is a giant of a presence who welcomed me with open arms the moment we met.  I met Otis before I met anyone else in Bill’s family.  He hugged me and it was like being wrapped in the arms of a big ol’ bear.  It was strange, our first meeting.  Bill and I had been dating a short time.  It was the last weekend of hunting season, and Bill wanted me to meet “his hunting buddies” whom I later realized were as close to him as any family could be.  So here I was, this “city-fied yankee” heading to the back hills of Southern Virginia.  I drove through Charlottesville, passed a sign that said “Waltons Mountain Museum” and through Lynchburg.  I can remember thinking to myself “Girl, you are soooo not in PA anymore.”  Truth be told, I hadn’t been in PA for a long time, but this part of the world felt so foreign to me. Before you knew it I was making a left onto Hogwaller Road.   I kid you not. To this day, Bill swears we are going to retire down there just so Hogwaller Road can be my address.  I am more amused by that thought now then I was back then.

So as I kept driving and listening for banjos and signs of Ned Beatty, I spotted an old pickup truck by the side of the road. Someone was in the truck, so I pulled over and rolled down the window with my freshly manicured hand (and yes, hair was done, and makeup perfectly applied as well.) 

Me – “Excuse me Sir, but I am looking for Bert Carr’s house.  Do you know he lives?”  (Bert is one of Bill’s best friends, and whom he was staying with while hunting in Halifax.)

Old Man in Truck (smiles and I realize there is not one tooth in his mouth) “Bert? He lives down the road.  Who are you looking for?” (I would later learn that this gentleman was “Big Smokey.”)

Me – “I’m looking for Billy Tucker.”

Big Smokey – “Ahhhhh, you’re looking for Hawkeye!” (Insert big toothless grin here.)

Hawkeye? Who the hell is Hawkeye?  I started to get a bit nervous, and wondered if Hawkeye was some strange code for “fresh meat approaching.”

Big Smokey jumped on the CB radio, and said something in his deep southern voice which left me wondering if I was in a foreign country. I kid you not, I couldn’t understand a word he said. Then he stuck his hand out the window and motioned. “You need to drive that way and make a left through the weeds. Hawkeye is hunting back in there.”

I thanked him and kept going.  What I didn’t know at the time is he was BACK on the radio to all of Bill’s friends to Bill and all of his friends ribbing “Hawkeye” about this woman who was looking for him. This group of guys is brutal when it comes to a good ribbing.

I spotted Bill’s old maroon Chevy Suburban about 50 feet off the road, and I did in fact have to drive through brush and weeds to get through, which must have been quite the sight, as I was driving my Sebring convertible, which isn’t that far off the ground.  I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get it back out.  Someone was standing next to the truck with his back to me, and I, of course, assumed it was Bill. I jumped out of the car, high heels and all, and yelled “Hey you!”  But it was Otis who turned around, not Bill. He had a great big smile and he hugged me so tight it was hard to breath.  He was dressed in camouflage overalls and he was wearing a hunting cap.  I will never forget that first time seeing him.  Everything about him was larger than life, and at the same time the most comforting and loveable man I ever met.  There was no hesitation about Otis.  We liked each other immediately.  Bill came trouncing back from chasing a deer, only to find his dad and I chattering away like two squirrels.  From then on, it was pretty much love between Otis and me.  Always teasing each other, always making time for a hug and a kiss.  I lost my dad four years prior to meeting Otis, and while no one could fill that void in my life, Otis comes close, very very close.

Which bring me to the point of this whole diatribe.  I am losing my Otis this week. Renal failure brought on by liver cancer is taking him from our lives – Bill’s, mine and my daughter’s.  I cannot think about all of this without crying, and thinking that the world is going to seem a whole lot less wonderful without him, much in the same way the world became less wonderful when I lost my own father.  I’m watching my husband, my Bill, lose his hero, his best friend, the man that Bill has worshipped  his whole life.  But there is something I see that Bill doesn’t see.  He is his father, cut from the same rough cloth, a carbon copy.  I know what Bill will be like in 30 years.  And how lucky am I to have found the one man on this earth after Lynwood Otis Tucker’s heart.  

So yes, the air is a bit bittersweet this week when I breathe in. I am reminded that it’s always best to stop and sniff the roses, and to always eat dessert first, tomorrow is promised to none of us. But I also know that I was blessed beyond words the day my path crossed with my father in law, and I owe him a debt of immeasurable gratitude for being Bill’s dad.  I do believe Otis Tucker may have given me one of my greatest gifts in my life…my soulmate.

And for that, Otis, you will forever be in my heart. Godspeed, and all my love to you.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Religion really has no place at this particuar table, so please stop serving it like it is the main course…

Well, here it goes.  I’m sure my “friends” number will plummet like a rock today.  That’s ok though. I’m hoping this will be “cleansing” experience for me.  I really need it.  So much this week has really made me sad and pissed me off in ways I did not think was possible. I need to get it off my chest, and I am sure it will anger more than a few. So, by all means, if you decide to unfriend me, please leave me a note that you are doing so and as to why, so I can block your ass, and you can forego stalking my facebook page.

Two words…gay marriage (friends list just dropped by a dozen or so.)

Ok, so let's review...those who stand on the evangelical right have made it abundantly clear that marriage between two individuals of the same sex is “wrong”, “perverted” and “against God’s will.”  They have a right to their opinion, and not once have I ever tried to change anyone’s mind who felt that way.  I don’t really care.  If you choose to live in your own little bubble then that is certainly your choice.  I live in a bubble of sorts as well, but generally speaking mine is a world of butterflies and unicorns, cute baby animals, and BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS FOR EVERYONE, regardless of what religion you are, what race you are, if you’re a man or a woman or a hermaphrodite, or what your sexual orientation is.  I want to live in a world where everyone is entitled to the same rights as their neighbour.  I am pretty sure that God isn’t particular about those things either.  Go ahead, cite some Bible passage and tell me I’m wrong.  I’m not a fan of that Book, mostly because it was written from MAN’S viewpoint.  I don’t buy into the whole “handed down from God thing.”  I’m pretty sure God has better things to do with his time.  Besides, the real perversion is how individuals and religions twist the words of the Bible to make it say whatever THEY want it to say.  It is the ultimate Book of Contradictions, handed down to man by other men who thought they were the foremost expert on all things “God.”

I've heard it said many times that gay marriage “blurs the lines between church and state.”  Honestly, there is nothing “blurry” about marriage and where it falls legally.  Marriage is a CIVIL union.  You don’t have to be married IN a church to be legally married.  So the religious right should drop that argument immediately.  If you don’t believe in gay marriage, then that is your right.  Don’t marry a gay person.  Don’t belong to a church that allows for gay marriage (there are many that do believe in it, by the way.) It’s all up to you.  But the bottom line is pretty clear to me.  If two people are married in a civil ceremony by a government official, then they are pretty much…wait for it…MARRIED.  That should afford them, and their children, and their pets, the same rights as any other married couple.  It’s really not a religious matter AT ALL.  So to the evangelical right I say, keep your religion out of my personal life, my marriage, my friend’s marriages, and everything else that does not personally pertain to you.

How does two gay people marrying effect others who don’t believe in gay marriage?  Does it make them uncomfortable?  Are they unable to answer their children’s questions?  Are they afraid it is contagious?  Really, explain to me, Mr. Holier Than Thou, HOW it relates to YOUR life, YOUR value system, YOUR beliefs. The answer is it doesn’t.  You don’t believe in the sanctity of marriage between two women or two men?  Fine. But do not shove your ideological beliefs down the throats of the rest of us.  We really don’t care what you think. Why don’t you go to church, or bible study, or something…whatever you do when you’re not preaching to the rest of us about why we’re going to hell and you’re going to heaven.  By the way, if I actually believed in heaven, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to spend eternity there, mostly because none of my friends will be there.  We’ll be off playing with unicorns and chasing butterflies.  But I don't believe in heaven and hell.  In fact, I believe in reincarnation.  Shove that up your butt and spin on it for a while.

For the record, I am a Republican…a Republican who is sick and tired of the extreme right dictating the Republican agenda and making us all look like complete idiots.  I don’t subscribe to much of what is being bandied around in the press as the "Republican agenda", and it makes me really really angry that Republicans are all falling under the same ridiculous label of  “religious right.” I'm not one of those people. I don’t judge when choosing my friends.  My friends are a brilliant beautiful cross-section of people from all types of religious, ideological and political backgrounds.  They are of different sexual orientations, different colors, and hail from a long list of different countries.  The one common thread that runs through my list of friends is their ability to accept others at face value without judgment.  I am proud to have these people in my life that I call friends, and they are just as much family to me as my own blood relatives. To them, I want to say thank you for giving me faith that there are kind, compassionate and wonderful people in the world.

To those who carry the cross of religion but still allow of the possibility of gay marriage, please don’t be offended by my rant, as clearly it is not directed towards you.  I salute you.  It is by far braver to go against the grain than follow the masses. My beef is with those who insist that “their way” is the ONLY way, God’s way.  

In my opinion?  God is probably very disappointed in “their way.”  God doesn’t create bigots.  Bigots create bigots.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Not goodbye...never goodbye...

Today is sad beyond words. 

Our very geriatric grumpy resident senior citizen/canine, Cherokee, nearly 17 years old, has lost the “quality of life battle” that we have been monitoring very closely for the past year or so.  We could see it coming…in her eyes, in her disposition, in the sound of her breathing.  But somehow, after several bad days, she’d suddenly perk up and start chasing squirrels in the back yard, so we shrugged it off, choosing not to think about the inevitable.

But as of late, the bad days have outweighed the good, and the past two weeks have been particularly gutwrenching for our family.  She lost weight, a lot of weight. She wasn’t eating and she was losing control of her bladder.  This morning, she couldn’t even get up.  Bill carried her outside at lunch and she couldn’t even stand on her own.  It’s always in that moment you “just know.”  She was suffering, the sparkle was gone from her eyes.  She was still trying to please us, but she was unable to do what she thought she should do.  We made the decision and Bill made the call.  We cried.  I’m still crying.

What is it about the animals in our lives that allows them to wrap themselves so tightly around our hearts that when they leave us we feel as though they took our heart with them.  Indeed, they do take a small piece of our heart, for it belongs to them, and them alone.  I have lost many pets in my life over the years, and none of them have been particularly easy.  This one is especially hard.  My mouthy mutt, lovingly nicknamed “Flappy” by me because she would “flap her yap” at you whenever she thought you weren’t listening, or she wasn’t getting her way.  I will miss her spirit, her love of our family and home, the way she always “wiped her face” on the carpet after she ate.  Those things will live in our house forever.

Whenever someone in my large group of friends who are animal lovers loses one of their own, I always send them this…I’ll read it to myself tonight before I go to bed, and remember how blessed I was to have known an extraordinary dog, an extraordinary family member.  I love you, Cherokee.

The Rainbow Bridge

inspired by a Norse legend

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Do these jeans make my ass look big?

So you know me…a fashionista, trendsetter, someone who likes to be elegant but with an edge.  I figure that I have the rest of my life to wear sensible shoes and pants that allow for “movement.”  But not yet, not now.  Currently I am in a “celebrate my age” frame of mind.  And that was exactly the thought I had on my brain as I meandered through a certain store (which shall remain nameless – I do not want to disclose all my discount shopping secrets.)  I needed to get out and stretch my legs, as well as my brain on my lunch break. What better way to do so than to rummage through clearance racks in search of the next great wardrobe find.

I was actually searching for a new shirt of two – something in another color besides black – to add to my spring collection.  There were a couple that caught my eye, but nothing that had the “wow” factor I was hoping for.  Still, I was enjoying the experience and continued onto the “jeans” aisle.

Now, let me start off by saying I have been perusing Vogue and InStyle magazine for months now, and I have really been digging the whole “colored jeans” trend.  But it does sort of scare me.  It would definitely require me to step out of my comfort zone, something I am not always good at doing.  This is probably why most of my closet is varying shades of black.  Black is safe, black is elegant. Black makes me look ten pounds thinner instantly, and I LOVE that about black. But there are days when I just wish for something bright and colourful, something that says “gutsy” and “fearless.” And while I do have a rather large collection of Hawaiian print sundresses, they are really more for “hanging out” not “letting it all hang out.” Besides, sundresses are seasonal.  They don’t count.

I was sifting through my designated size area for jeans (because I can never have enough jeans) and there they were, hanging there just waiting for me – BRIGHT RED SKINNY JEANS.  Not just any red, but truly a red that would make your eyes burn if you stared at them too long. And to add to my luck, they were Michael Kors, one of my very favorite designers, my go-to guy who always makes clothes that flatter me, even on my fattest of fat days.  I looked around suspiciously. Surely someone else would be eyeing these beauties for their own closet. Quickly I dashed to my favorite spot, the dressing room. This was going to be awesome.

I wiggled out of my very boring blue jeans and began wiggling my way into the red skinny dream jeans…wiggling…wiggling…wow, they are even skinnier than most skinny jeans. I finished pulling them up, buttoned and zipped them, and stood back to look in the mirror.  MOTHER OF GOD it was maybe the scariest thing I had ever seen. I looked like some sort of weird circus midget (not that I have anything against midgets.)  The only things that were missing were some Ronald McDonald shoes and one of the rainbow/afro clown wigs.  I had no idea that any color could make anyone look like…well…I’m not even sure how to describe it.  For those who know me, it is no secret that at 5’2”, I am hardly blessed with ANY kind of stature.  But these jeans made me look half my regular height.  I turned around and tried to get a view of the back.  My ass literally looked so big it would require its own zipcode if I ever left the dressing room.  Clearly, these jeans were meant for someone about 5’10” and 110 lbs, and blonde. (The color did nothing for my red locks either.) I was a washed out, apple shaped hot mess.  I quickly removed them and decided it was NOT me, it was the jeans, and that is why they were on a clearance rack.  Shame on you, Michael Kors.  I hurried out to the rack and found a pair of dark wash flare leg jeans to try on…if for no other reason than to assure myself that indeed I had not put on 50 pounds since yesterday.  And I was immediately soothed by what I saw in the mirror.  It WAS the red jeans…damn you Michael Kors…damn you to fashion hell.

So to this trend I say “SCREW colored jeans! Screw the whole colorblock trend!”  If I want to try to wear something in the colorblock genre, I shall wear varying shades of black.  That is as good as it will get.  Truth be told, I’m still waiting for the whole 80s Eurotrash look to come back into vogue.  God knows I’ll be stylin’ then!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm all blocked up...

Forgive me Lord, for I have sinned.  It has been THREE WEEKS since my last blog entry.

Sorry guys.  I’ve tried.  I wanted to write a blog  - something witty, articulate, maybe just a touch sarcastic.  Alas, I have been unable to come up with a literary masterpiece that involves any of those adjectives.  Having writer’s block is very much like being constipated.  You try your best, but no matter how hard you push, you’re left sitting there thinking to yourself  “I got nothing.”

I think part of the problem is there really just hasn’t been anything all that earth-shattering going on in my life.  Work is crazy.  Life at home is busy, but really, nothing noteworthy.  Oh, there have been moments.  I’ve run across my share of dumbasses, sociopathic narcissists silently (or not so silently) screaming for attention, brilliant flashes of complete and utter absurdity, but seriously, nothing all that inspiring.  I haven’t found myself off the hook angry, incredibly amused, or caught up in the irony of life.  Sad for someone who loves to wax poetic about such moments.  I enjoy writing about the humor in everyday life.  In fact, people often tell I’m funny.  They want me to be funny.  Often they leave the conversation confused, or disappointed, or both.

Annoying Person - “Say something funny.”

Me - “No, not right now.”

Annoying Person - “No really, you’re soooo funny.”

Me - “Honestly, I’m just not feeling it.”

Annoying Person -  “Please, anything…”

Me - “You’re an annoying asshole.”

Annoying Person - “That’s not funny.”

Me - “I thought it was HILARIOUS.”

End of conversation.  Generally speaking, I usually don’t end having these people as friends, not that it’s any great loss.

I did have a moment recently while on a business trip that at first left me speechless, then left me shaking my head in something between disbelief and amusement. I was sitting at a rather large business dinner, happily sucking down a glass of wine and wondering if there would be anything chocolate-related for dessert.  The gentleman to my left, who was actually quite witty and an inspired conversationalist, leaned over and said in a voice just above a whisper “I’ve read your blog.”  My first thought was to down the glass of wine and abruptly leave.  Instead, I sat there stunned, with a look on my face which must have conveyed my sheer horror, because the next thing out of his mouth was “Mary is going to kill me for telling you that we read it.  But you know, you’re a very talented writer.”  My look of horror must have softened, but I decided a refill on the wine would probably be a good idea. My first response was my total surprise that he actually found it, because I write under a pseudonym and I am obsessive about not mixing work with my personal life, and for good reason, not to mention the fact that my blog is very personal. I asked him which blog he read, and he responded “the one about the red boots.” Crap. Out of all the blogs I’ve written, I would have hoped it would not have been THAT one.  Ok, the rouse is up. Busted.  Now the world knows I’m a functioning alcoholic, with a penchant for the word f***.  He reassured me that he found it a great read, and again complimented my literary prowess – a pretty strong seal of approval, considering he is a communications director for a lobbying association.  I relaxed and decided what the hell.  I am who I am. Yes I say f***, f***er, f***ed – a lot – and yes, I drink...often.  Shocking, I know.  Most of my friends will read this and think “This is a surprise?”

Speaking of drinking, St. Patrick’s Day was wicked fun.  I’d tell you all about it, but then my friends would kill me.  Yes, there are photos. No I can’t show you…unless you give me cash.

Ok, so let’s review.  I’ve compared writer’s block to constipation.  I’ve dissed dumbasses, attention-seeking sociopathic narcissists, and annoying individuals.  I’ve said f*** in some form at least three times (actually four times.) I breezed over my St. Patrick’s Day antics. And we now know there are certain people reading my blog, and not the particularly favorable entries.  Wow, after reviewing, it seems I don’t have writer’s block.  I have writer’s attention deficit disorder.

Oh look…a puppy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I am totally “pinterested” in everything you are “pinterested” in…

I wonder if it is possible to get yourself “uninvited” from Pinterest.  I’ve been on the site for a little more than a week, and already I am hooked like a drug addict.  Pinterest is the “crack” of the social media world in ways that facebook will never be.  I am finding that if I don’t get my “pinterest fix” at least three or four times a day, usually five to ten minutes at a clip, then I start to break out in a cold sweat and have to reach for a cigarette…and I don’t even smoke.

One of my “guy” friends asked me about the whole Pinterest craze, seemingly clueless about why it even existed.  I immediately felt sad for him and sent him the link, only to realize that this completely heterosexual person who is more than secure in his manhood, probably would log on and think I had completely lost my mind.  Men don’t get it, and I’m not sure that they are capable of understanding.  In fact, I saw an article that stated 31% of Pinterest users were men.  I can pretty much tell you that out of that 31%, ALL of those men are gay.  That is not a dig at gay men. But only a gay man could appreciate the instant visual gratification Pinterest can provide.  Pinterest is fantasy football for women and gay men.  Straight men hear about it, but they don’t understand it, so they think it is stupid.  I feel much the same way about fantasy football.  By the way, if any of those gay men on Pinterest are looking for a new friend to shop with and give fashion advice to, please contact me.  I need a good male gay friend to hang out with from time to time.

Pinterest…hmmm…how to explain it.  Ok, so you know how when you go to the nail salon for a pedicure and you sit in the chair with every intention of closing your eyes and relaxing?  But then you can’t relax, so rather than stare at the poor woman slaving over your feet, which haven’t received proper treatment since the end of summer, you reach for a magazine on the table next to you.  It could be any magazine – Vogue, Cosmo, Metropolitan Home, Light Cooking, it really doesn’t matter.  It is something to occupy your brain rather than fixate on the ten layers of dead skin that is being removed from the soles of your feet.  You glance through the pages, dog-earring all the things you love and secretly plot how to sneak the magazine out in your purse, or tear out the pages you’ve marked.   It’s visual, it’s interesting, it requires very little thought process. (Wait, that sounds a lot like the way men look at porn.) This is what Pinterest is ALMOST EXACTLY LIKE, without the annoying subscription postcards falling out all over the place.  It is a series of “boards” where you can pin everything you love, everything you want to cook, make, wear, and travel to before you are too old to board a plane. You can use the suggested boards that Pinterest provides, or you can create your own boards.  I have boards for gardening, jewelry, shoes, hot men, and cute baby animals.  I’m sure I will be adding more when I find things to pin that fail to fall into the current board categories.  It's also so exciting to discover that your friends are Pinterested in the EXACT SAME things you are.  I'm pretty sure that my group of girlfriends are going to be going to Greece or Montenagro very soon, since it is on all of our Pinterest bucket lists. I don't know where Montenagro is, but apparently I am going to L O V E it.

And here is the kicker - people can “follow” your pins and you can follow other people’s pins.  I’ve pinned and repinnned so much stuff to my boards from other friends' boards that I have enough information to dress like a supermodel, cook like Julia Child, apply makeup like an artist, travel to all four corners of the earth, and plant a garden that Martha Stewart would envy.  Of course, I have done all this in my head.  Nothing has actually happened yet, but I’ve got the information right there, at the ready for when I decide to build that addition on the back of my house, or make my own habanero bacon vodka.  And I’m going to do it, all of it, and everyone will think I am amazing, especially Bill. He doesn’t even know what a renaissance woman he is married to, but he will find out…soon, very soon. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Never let them see you sweat...or cry...

So let me preface this blog by saying I despise bullying.  I am one of the many who suffered immeasurably at the hands of bullies – one in particular, although I won’t mention names (Donna Richards) OOPS, did I say that with my outside voice?  My life was completely miserable because of the relentless harassment from 8th grade all the way through high school. Would you believe that even graduation night, the person who made my life utter hell was seated DIRECTLY behind me?  I thought my life sucked.  I thought it would always suck.  Thankfully, I was wrong. Not only does my life not suck, my life is glorious, and filled with so many wonderful people and things that I sometimes pinch myself just to make sure I’m not dreaming.

So imagine my level of fury when I talked to Bill on the phone yesterday only to find out my daughter came home crying a river of tears because someone was bullying her.  She had just mentioned the day before that there was a kid named – we will call him “Nick” – that had been calling her truly awful names and cursing at her, even punched her once.  I, of course, gave her the “if he even thinks about bothering you, you need to tell me immediately…not tomorrow, not next week, RIGHT FREAKING NOW.  She said she would.  Low and behold, the next day, voilá! The little prick was at it again.  But wait, it gets better.  When he became relentless in his verbal abusive, something in my sweet dear child snapped. Not like Ralphie in a Christmas Story snapped, but it was pretty cool! She grabbed him by the shirt and just stared him down for about a ten seconds, although I’m sure it seemed longer to her.  Of course, then the delinquent pushed her and started to kick her, which was not the optimal outcome, but WOW, just WOW. She stood up to him.  She didn’t back down or break down, at least not until she got home. Where did she get the guts, the moxie?  I told her she was right to tell Bill and me what happened, but she should never have touched him, not that I actually agree with that, but the school has some bullshit “zero tolerance” policy, so for her “lay her hands on him” would cause my flute-playing, straight A, happy, compassionate, sweet child to be suspended along with the juvenile delinquent – not fair in my opinion. Bill called the school principal (who is a personal friend of Bill’s from childhood – bad news for ol’ Nick) and the principal said he would “handle it.”  And today, magically, it was “handled.”  Nick will no longer be bothering my daughter. In fact, he is not allowed to talk to her at all. Looking at her might not be a good idea either. Score one for Tricia.

The whole thing brought back so many memories, and it is amazing how seared those experiences are in my brain.  People say kids “should suck it up” and learn how to deal with teasing and abuse. First of all, bullying was bad when I was a kid, when anyone is a kid.  Imagine it now, in a world of social media, cell phones, and other avenues that didn't exist "back in the day." It is a whole different world out there. I do make Tricia handle some things on her own, and it has helped her develop amazing coping skills.  But some situations really just require more attention, and definitely some action.  No child should have to tolerate bullying.  It is scary, and worse yet, it is humiliating.  Humiliation does not build character. Humiliation tears out a child’s heart, and destroys their self-esteem.  Don’t agree with me? That’s ok, you don’t have to agree with one word of this.  But it will not be my child. I want her to grow up with a strong sense of who she is, and what she is capable of in her life.  I certainly will not allow some snot-nosed brat to take that away from her.  

I’ve said it to her a million times, “you won’t even remember these people when you get out of high school.”  But you know what? She will.  The thing I want her to remember is how she dealt with the situation, and more importantly, that she had the benefit of parents who love her that stood up for her, and protected her when the chips were down.  I think of all the kids over the past few years who ended their lives because they felt it was their only escape.  I never want that to be my child.  I don’t want it to be anyone’s child really. No child should feel that alone.

In a way, I feel sorry for Nick. He must have one hell of a family life to think that hitting or kicking a girl is ok.  I wonder how many times his father raised a hand to his mother, or a sibling, or to him. Bullies are usually crying out for someone, anyone to notice them.  Negative attention is better than no attention at all.  I’ll still have his ass arrested for assault if he lays a hand on my daughter again, but wouldn’t it be nice if every child could come from a home that sets a loving example for “how life is supposed to be”?  I know not every bully comes from a broken home, just as not every kid from a broken home becomes a bully.  Somewhere, somehow, the cycle needs to stop.  If it takes a village, then so be it.  Everyone should step up to the plate and protect those who cannot protect themselves.

I am very proud of my daughter.  She has the intestinal fortitude to not take someone else’s crap, and even though maybe it was not the “best” way to handle it, she was able to walk away knowing she did not let him have the upper hand.  She stood up for herself, and I have to believe she took something valuable away from that experience.  

I hope she always remembers that lesson.  Because as we all know, the bullies are there long after high school.

Hug your child tonight. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What "grows" up must come down...

Today, we are losing an old and dear friend at our house.  Our very large, very old oak tree is on the verge of coming down due to an enormous crack in its base. So, after consideration, we have decided to give her a hand down, rather than risk her falling on our next door neighbor’s house, or on the street.  We’ve been mulling it over for quite a while now, but she’s weighted on either side by heavy branches, while the center of the tree is bare.  It’s just too dangerous to leave her standing, so down she comes.

Our best estimate is she is probably over a hundred years old.  We even found an old drawaing of our street from before 1900, and there is a depiction of a tree right about where our old girl stands now.  It’s hard to imagine a tree surviving that many years…all the baby birds it has fostered, all of the families of squirrels it has sheltered.  There must be at least a half dozen squirrel drays in her branches.  Needless to say, it is not going to be a happy day for the squirrels that have set up residence. Thank goodness for the other oak tree in front of my kitchen window.  I’m sure I’ll be seeing three times as many of those fat little tree varmints lolling about on the branches ten feet from my kitchen sink.  Bill feeds them, so they tend to be on the plump side.  And when the weather is warm, they sprawl out with their paws hanging over the edges.  I could be wrong, but I do believe the happiest squirrels on the planet reside at our house.

It’s always a little sad to see something so old, so stately, so timeless meet its demise.  Now when I come out the front door every morning to leave for the office, all that will remain is a double stump.  On the upside, no more bird shit on my car (an annual spring ritual when all the robins build their nests seemingly RIGHT over my poor convertible. 

I’m glad I’m not home to witness the chainsaws whirring, and the bucket truck raised, cutting the limbs that interfere with the power lines. I’m sure there will be limbs all over my yard when I go home for lunch today. I’ll probably cry, and Bill will think I’m being such a girl.

I know it’s inevitable, but I will miss her so.  Funny how even a tree can become part of the family.

Thursday, February 9, 2012 what's for dinner...

I am becoming increasingly impatient with the large number of people who feel the need to impose their beliefs on my life everywhere I turn -  on the news, on social media, hell, right to my face.  Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a pretty easy-going person, and the last thing I would ever do is pass judgment or attempt to steer someone to my way of thinking against their own beliefs.  Bottom line? I don’t really care what you think, believe, or subscribe to in your life.  They are choices, YOUR choices. And while we may agree on some things, it is doubtful that anything you say to me will make me run to your side of the fence, so please, climb down off of your royal soapbox.  This goes for any variety of issues – politics, religion, women’s rights, vegan vs. vegetarian vs. knuckle dragging meat eaters (that would be me.)

Let’s chat a bit about vegetarians.  If you get your kicks from killing poor innocent and defenseless plants that have never done a thing to you, then by all means go for it. (I’m joking about the cruelty to plants part, of course.)  But seriously, do I relish the thought of animal slaughter? Nope, absolutely not.  Animal cruelty? That would be a negative as well.  But, unfortunately for the cow, chicken, pig, or sea-related creature, humans are at the top of the food chain,  and I will take my steak medium rare. If I can find cruelty-free, free-ranging, happy chickens, cows or pigs to eat, then that is even better.  I’m all for what is humane when it comes to animal slaughter.  The only thing that doesn’t really thrill me is veal or lamb…not that I don’t love them both, and certainly not that I’ve never eaten it.  I’m just not down with the whole process to get the lamb or veal from farm to store to my plate.  My decision.  If you wish to have your veal marsala, then by all means, please do. That stuff is damn tasty. 

Here are the people I really love…vegetarians who will eat fish ( believe they refer to themselves as pescatarians), as if somehow the fish is less of an animal to them than say, Bessie the Cow.  Don’t tell the fish that, I bet he feels differently.  If you are going to be strong in your convictions, then don’t be selective.  Animal cruelty is your crusade?  Then it should include all animals, not just the ones you deem important enough to care about. It doesn’t quite work like that, just sayin.

Likewise, posting pictures of slaughtered dogs in Asia on your facebook page is not going to bring me around to your way of thinking.  Last time I checked, as a general rule, we do not eat dogs in the United States, so I’m not all that worried about dog consumption in my backyard. As for what happens in Asia, well, I really don’t have any control over that. We keep dogs in our homes as companions.  For some people they are more like decorations, only to be let out of their kennel cage when the mood strikes their owner. I think that pisses me off even more.  If you are going to have pets in your life, then they should be family members, with the ability to have a happy existence, not locked up in a cage for twelve hours out of the day.  That to me is no less cruel than killing a dog to eat. But it is none of my business how you handle your dog no more than it is any of your business what kind of tasty animal I am serving for dinner in my home. 

Opinions are like assholes.  Everyone has one, and most people have the ability to BE one.  I could take issue with some people’s opinions, but that would require me to care, and for the most part, I just don’t.  Some people are important to me –my family, my friends and a few others I hold dear.  People who think they are all-knowing and the only enlightened ones on the planet?  They mean nothing to me.

Keep your crusades to yourself, or go buy a membership to PETA (like those are some sane people.)  No one really cares anyway. And as for my dinner? Yes, I will be serving meat for dinner this evening – steak in fact.  And NO it is NONE of your damn business. 


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Forty-seven really doesn't seem so bad after all...

Yeah, I know…I didn’t post a blog last week, so shoot me.  I’ve been too traumatized by the fact that I am turning 47 on February 5th, only to be upstaged by the Superbowl – which, by the way, involves two teams I hate, but I’m going to have to go with the Giants, because I hate New England more.  Take that Tom Brady.  Eli gets to be THE MAN.  By the way Tom, I hope your wife gets fat and all of your hair falls out.

Actually this year I am not dreading my birthday with the same vigor displayed in years past.  Mostly because I have decided that this year, I shall throw myself a birthday extravaganza.  It will be a fabulous soire with all my friends who are more than glad to help me usher in my special day…mostly because they know I don’t care if they trash my house and I always have a fully stocked bar.  My “pawty” even has a theme, bacon.  Why?  Why not?  Is there anything more perfect than a perfectly cooked slice of bacon wrapped around a scallop?  I plan on having a complete line of bacon-festooned dishes sure to send at least half the guests into cholesterol-induced cardiac arrest. There will be bacon cheeseburger sliders, bacon mac and cheese, bacon deviled eggs, and at least a half dozen other nommy bacon infused dishes. I’ve forewarned those attending to double up on their Lipitor.  Let’s hope they listened.

I think there is another reason why I am so hyped up about my birthday party this year, other than the party factor.  I think it could be that I’ve come to a place where I am really quite happy with the way life has turned out, all things considered. I’m also comfortable enough in my own skin to not mind getting older.  I thought it would be horrible, but really, it’s not.  I have a group of friends that operate like a finely tuned emsemble cast.  We know each other, we play off each other. We hound each other endlessly over each other’s soft spots and weaknesses.  We’ve had to weed out a few undesirables who simply couldn’t “run with the big dogs” so we thought it better if they just stayed on the porch. It’s never a dull moment, and I love that about them. I hope they’re around for my 77th birthday, which I will attending on my pimped-out jazzy scooter with the cupholder for my cocktail and basket on the front to carry around my sweet Bill.  Actually, maybe a sidecar would be better, we’ll have to see what kind of options those things have when it is required.

I have my daughter, who rolls her eyes at me like no other.  She is brilliantly funny, beautiful beyond words (although she doesn’t believe that) and blessed with a brain much bigger than mine.  She makes every day a joy, even when she’s pissing me off ten different ways, and I’m so very proud of her.  She’s my girl, my angel, the very best part of me.

I have a family that I am truly grateful to have in my life.  They ground me, hold me up, and make me feel that no matter what, I am loved.  It’s hard to match that feeling, and I love them back a thousand times more.  

And last but not least, I have my Bill.  My therapist, my soulmate, my friend, and my partner.  He loves me unconditionally, despite my faults, quirks and idiosyncracies, and loves me for exactly who I am.  I can’t remember what it was like in my life before he was beside me, but I’m sure I never want to go through life without him again.

So here’s to 47.  May it be as glorious as the last 46 years.  I have so much to be thankful for, so much to live for, and so much to give back to those who have been so totally awesome to me.  Everyone should be so blessed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Hungry" is not an attractive look on a woman...

Someone posted a picture today that really made me stop and think about perceptions and the definition of beauty. 

Now, let me pose a question. Who can really tell me something physically attractive about any one of the women in the top row?  By the way, it should be noted that the “fat one” in the top row, (2nd from left) is Nicole Richie.  Now how scary is that? Wasn’t she getting torn apart in the press before giving birth to two children for being anorexic? Now, she’s not even the skinniest one “in the room.”   I’m not sure how a lot of you feel about it, but I certainly do not want my daughter emulating any of those four women.  They look sickly, malnourished…they look like they need to eat a damn bacon cheeseburger and a half gallon of Edy’s Double Fudge Brownie ice cream.  I don’t care if the camera puts ten pounds on you.  These women need to gain thirty pounds.

The bottom row of women…wow, now that is what women are supposed to look like – curvy, voluptuous, sensual, feminine.  Not one of them looks like, well, a boy.  They have hips and boobs, and they look HEALTHY.  I don’t know of one man in the world who would pick any of the women on the top row. My Bill calls women like that “bone racks” and would rather hug a tree than some underweight toothpick.  I love that about him, about all men really.  Men don’t set women up for the impossible.  Women do.

Think about it, who do women dress for?  Other women.  How many women live on a diet? I don’t know about you, but practically every woman I know is striving for “skinny” even though they won’t admit it. I’ve been guilty of this myself.  Then I realized what a poor example I was setting for my sweet impressionable daughter.  What exactly was wrong with the way I looked?  Nothing.  All I know is I would often compare myself to the woman on the front of the magazine cover who has been airbrushed to perfection, or I’d walk into a room and think to myself “Is she thinner than me?  Is my ass bigger than hers?”  Mistake.  And inevitably I end up seeing a photo of myself (because who isn’t snapping photo these days) and think to myself, “I look great. What the hell is my problem?”  No matter how perfect you strive to be, chances are there will be someone who seems “more perfect” whatever the hell that is.  Women are their own worst enemy.  Women live in an uber-competitive world where the most perfect woman wins, and the rest are left to feel inadequate. My friend told me about a conversation he had with a woman who stated “whenever I enter a room I have to be the hottest one there.”  What a sad existence.  What happened to being “the nicest” or “the most compassionate” or the woman with a heart so big, everyone is in awe of her? I refuse to do that to myself any more…NEVER AGAIN. My husband, my daughter, my friends, my family – they all love me just the way I am.  If I die tomorrow, what does it matter?  Are people going to walk by my coffin and say, “too bad she’s dead, because it’s the thinnest I’ve ever seen her.”  Not likely.  I HOPE they will think, “wow, she lived a wonderful life, and was an amazingly giving person.”  

Don’t get me wrong, I am no advocate for obesity, in fact I believe it is one of the biggest issues with the overall health of Americans.  What I am is an advocate for “healthy.”  News flash…skinny does not automatically equal healthy.  Ask Karen Carpenter about that one…oh wait, she’s dead thanks to anorexia…never mind.  Healthy means living your life in a way that promotes well being, both physically and mentally.  When you are healthy and happy on the inside, it always shows.  Beauty is rarely about physical appearance.  Beauty shines from within, and that is what makes a person beautiful.

Three cheers for the women bigger than a size two or four.  Say what you want about Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, or Christina Aguilera, and a few others that are in the public eye.  They make no apologies for their curves, and are, in fact, really quite happy with them.  I applaud them for not being bone thin, for being real about their bodies.  You want to be healthy? Live your life in MODERATION and strive to find your “happy place” within yourself.  I promise that if you can do that, you’ll find that the person looking back at you in the mirror will be one of the gorgeous women in the world, inside and out.

Please, stop being so hard on yourself, and learn to love who you are.

Friday, January 13, 2012

FACT - kitchen appliances are not birthday presents.

This week, our coffeemaker passed away. I’m not sure how it died, but we could not resuscitate it. It was certainly a sad occasion. Once Bill and I got over the untimely demise of our kitchen appliance, we knew it was time to start a heartfelt discussion on a new coffeemaker. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that it would cause so much angst in our otherwise peaceful home. Long story short…I want a Keurig system coffeemaker, and Bill wants a traditional Mr. Coffee, load up the Folger’s, fill it with water and turn the bitch on kind of coffee maker. Therein lies our dilemma. Last night’s particular conversation was interesting – note that it took place while we were lying in bed, lights already out…

Me – “We really need to get a new coffeemaker. I think we should get a Keurig.”

Bill – “Do you want it for your birthday???”

Me – “Uhhhh…NO. Have you lost your mind? Why would I want an appliance for my birthday? You might as well be buying me a new vacuum cleaner.”

Bill – “Ok, no coffeemaker for your birthday…got it. But I think we should just get a regular coffeemaker. We don’t need a fancy coffeemaker.”

Me – “You don’t understand. The coffee is foolproof. You’ll no longer have to deal with my coffee, which is too strong for you. We don’t have to grind coffee beans anymore because I’m too much of an elitist to use pre-ground grocery store coffee. It makes a PERFECT cup of coffee every fucking time.”

Bill – “I just like regular Maxwell House coffee-flavored coffee.” Me – “A Kuerig makes regular coffee, by the cup.” Bill – “Yeah, but if it makes it one cup at a time, it will take too long.”

Me – “Honey, it brews a cup of coffee in less than a minute.”

Bill – “No, it’s not a good idea. We should just get a regular coffeemaker.”

Me – “You’ve never even USED a Kuerig before. You have no idea what you are talking about! Wow, are we REALLY having this conversation now? You must not want to have sex at all.”

Bill – “I’m sorry. Let’s just drop it and have sex.”

Tricia (yelling from her room) - "Would you just stop talking and go to sleep???"

Me – nothing but the sound of me rolling over and going to sleep.

I would have never believed that coffeemaker would be such a point of contention. Even more than that, I cannot believe my sweet and wonderful husband actually contemplated getting me one for my birthday. Buy me candy, buy me wine, buy me jewelry or a day at the spa. DO NOT buy me household appliances. THAT will put a damper on your sex life for sure.

I will not yield on this one. We are getting a Kuerig and that’s that. We don’t even drink enough coffee to finish a pot, and inevitably, we always make too much. So the wonderfully easy and convenient “by the cup” method is perfect for us. And Bill will no longer have to drink coffee that is so strong, you can literally watch the hair on your chest grow while drinking it. (Southerners…they drink some weak-ass coffee in my opinion.) I know he’s not really on board with it right this moment, but when it’s sitting on our counter, surrounded by the glow of convenience and urban chic, I know he’s going to love it.

Maybe, but whatever, if I can’t have a Boo like Pomeranian, then dammit, I am getting a Kuerig, and it won’t be a birthday present.  I win.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thanks for the memories, Beaches!!!

I’m back from the holidays…I know, you’ve missed me. I almost didn’t get a blog in this week, but I hate to disappoint…grin. By the way, I hope everyone had the best and brightest of holidays.

I have been reflecting on my holiday break which was spent in a beautiful rented house in the Outer Banks in North Carolina with my darling hubs, Bill, my precious daughter, Tricia, and some of the funniest, nuttiest, most caring people I know – a truly great ensemble cast of characters. Some of them were there for a few days, some for the week. There were a few surprise visitors, one brought his guitar along with him. We played pool, ate mountains of food (mostly bacon) and drank enough alcohol that I’m actually considering putting myself on a transplant list now. We spent an afternoon assing around in our 4x4’s on the beach, and spent most evenings just hanging out, since that was more fun than any other venue could provide. Believe me, this bunch is more than entertaining. There was laughter in copious quantities, love was in the air, and some memories were made that I will carry for the rest of my life. I think each one of us can say we saw a side of each other that we wouldn’t normally be privy to, and it was just amazing. No one fought, egos were checked at the door, and everyone got along brilliantly. I can say in all honesty it was one of the best Christmases I can remember in a long time. I cherish each one of you – Sherrel, Brian, Rich, Annessa, Heather, Jeff, John, P.J. and Billy. There were a few who couldn’t make it. I can’t imagine how much even more crazy fun it would have been if they had been there. Georgia, Missy, Stacy, Sherry, Donna…nothing would make me happier than if you could be there next time as well.Of course we'll need a bigger house. Five bedrooms won't cut it.

It’s funny the people that come in and out of your life. Some are there for only a short amount of time while others walk into your life and stay awhile. The good ones are the ones you grow old with, and I certainly hope each of my crazy friends is with me for a lifetime, however long that may be. It’s hard to find quality people whom you care about, and who really think you matter as well. I’ve been plagued with people who are takers, who only think of themselves. Those are the ones that are the most toxic. You never really spot them at the time, but when you step back and really look at their behaviour, how they treat you and others, it becomes painfully obvious that the person they are most concerned about is themselves. Even their own families take a back seat to their wants and their needs, their perception of what they deserve, to hell with everyone else. One should never give away their energy to such people, for to do so is tantamount to beating your against a wall. I don't know about you, but I’m tired of having a headache. Thankfully I can count those individuals on one hand, the others were weeded out long ago. The years have taught me to always be wary of the takers in the world.

My intimate group of friends, that bunch of whack jobs? There isn’t one of them that fits into the “taker” category. They give of themselves without thinking, and they are loyal no matter what. I am certain I could pick up the phone and call them if I needed them, even for bail money. I’d say that would never be the case, but...ya know...

So here is to 2012…out with the old, and in with the new. But I am blessed to have a lot of the “old” in my life to carry over into the new year, and beyond.

I just wanted you to know that you guys are the simply the best, and I am humbled to be a part of your lives. <3

I cherish each one of you more than you know. <3