Acting My Age

Because no one is too old to play dress up and eat candy...

"The Curse" of Being Insane, That Is

It's been a bit of a rough week this week. Best just to duck and cover, for I am afflicted with the PMS in a major MAJOR way.

And while I know that this is firmly in the category or TMI (sorry Dad, sorry Dennis), I do not care, because caring is the first thing to go when suffering from the aforementioned affliction. (Well, that and the ability to squeeze into the skinny jeans). And since all the rest of you (that I know of) are female, you understand where I'm coming from. To quote the famous Stevie Nicks, "I need a little bit of sympathy, where is a little bit of sympathy....stand back".

The bad thing about PMS is it's like someone else has taken over your body, and you're just standing off to the side watching yourself and going, who IS this crazy person? And even though the rational part of you knows that it's coming, and that it's a complete overreaction, there's not a thing you can do about it except wait it out and be all, "Hormones! Why hath you forsaken me!?" 'Cause honey, NOBODY can do a mood swing like I do.

I first knew something was up when Tony and I were sitting in a restaurant a few days ago and the TV mounted on the wall in the corner was turned to ESPN 748's Trick Bowling competition. (First of all, trick bowling? Was it not complicated enough to just hit all the pins? Now we have to do it blindfolded and around chairs and with 4 balls at a time?) Anyway, I wasn't really watching because that's one of my SUPER HUGEST PET PEEVES EVER IMAGINABLE when someone watches TV over your head while eating, but Tony had gotten up to get something and I was just glancing around the room, waiting for him to come back. And I'm watching these bowlers with their ridiculous antics, and one guy decides to make it a family affair. So he gets his two little boys up there with them (5 or 6 maybe? I can never tell kids ages), in their cute little matching bowling shirts, and their cute little matching bowling balls, and the three of them roll their balls down the lane at the same time. And they get a strike. And the little kids are so happy! And they're all high-fiving each other and jumping around, and I was fine though all that, I really was. But then, Dad gets down on his knees right there next to the ball return so that he's the exact same height as his boys, and they give each other chest bumps.

And I lost it. Right there in the middle of the restaurant. I am bawling.

Luckily, the place wasn't that crowded and I was able to pretend that I was just having an allergy attack to the peanut oil or something rather than crying over trick bowling because, hello, insane much? Of course, Tony comes back from the salad bar to find me sniffling into my napkin (sorry bus boy guy) and instantly knows something's up. He listens patiently through my choked sobs of bowling...chest bumps...little matching shirts! and looks confused. Then he remembers back to last month when he walked in to find a similar episode of me crying over a pickup truck commercial (those slow motion bounding through the mud scenes were so moving!) and he figures it out.

Luckily, Tony's one of those smart guys who knows better than to make some kind of snide comment (or any comment for that matter, because there's a greater than average chance that I'm going to take everything as snide). He just does a really masterful job of trying not to laugh and changes the subject. Actually, I think he might even enjoy this particular week a little bit because he knows that this is the week when all of my "no junk food" rules go flying out the window. (Double whammy this week because it's Halloween and you can't go three feet without coming across some bit of chocolate covered goodness). So he waits. And sure enough, before long I'm prowling around the kitchen, a slave to the chocolate craving.

"You don't buy candy, remember? We're eating healthy", He replies.
"Screw healthy! I need some chocolate". Right now. Chocolate. Right now!
"How about an apple? That's what you told me to eat for snack the other day". He lets the tiniest smirk slip. He's deliberately poking the bear.

It works.

I erupt into a 10 foot high monster, with red lasers shooting out of my eyes and my hair aflame. "CHOCOLATE!" I roar in an evil demonic voice, "BRING ME THE SACRIFICIAL CANDY BAR OR I WILL DESTROY THE ENTIRE WORLD!" He grins, triumphant. "If you insist, dear", he tells me, "I'll go get us some chocolate". (Somewhere, in the small sliver of my rational brain, I hear the word "us" and know that my best laid healthy plans have just been shattered, but for the moment, I do not care. There will be plenty of time for self-loathing later).

So here we are, eating cookie dough straight out of the wrapper and sniffling over SportsCenter (well, I'm sniffling, Tony's just watching while he absentmindedly pats me on the knee). In another day or so, I'll be able to lock the PMS monster back into her box for another month. I'll go back to pushing apples as acceptable snack foods, fit into my skinny jeans (well, maybe once I work the cookie dough off), and watch commercials without spontaneously erupting into a crazy person.

Precious sanity for exactly 28 more days.

Significant Objects

I found the most fabulous website today! It's called Significant Objects, and basically the premise is that "A talented, creative writer invents a story about an object. Invested with new significance by this fiction, the object should — according to our hypothesis — acquire not merely subjective but objective value. How to test our theory? Via eBay!". Basically, they take junk- little trinkets and whatnot that they've picked up at garage sales and thrift stores, a writer volunteers to write about it (giving it a story), and then they sell it on ebay to see if having a good story behind it increases the object's value. (People know that the story is not's just for entertainment value). For example, there's a little Russian figure on a wood base that was originally purchased for $3, but with the story (which is wonderful) sold for almost $200 on ebay.

Interesting social experiment, but the thing that sucked me in were the stories. The most oddball, creative, wonderful stories about the simplest objects. Stuff you'd never look at twice had the most fascinating (if fictional) stories! It makes a wonderful writer's exercise if you feel the need to stir the creative juices, and the site itself provides a wonderful way of keeping me entertained while I procrastinate about work.

If you get a chance, and you have a few minutes to kill, I suggest popping over to the site. I particularly enjoyed the Wooden Animal .

You might want to stay away from ebay though.

The Garlic Years

Hi there...just a quick pop-in to say that I saw this on Slate the other day and thought it was interesting. It's an article called The Garlic Years, and it's about the cyclical fascination with vampires that we seem to go through every few years. I mention it because every time I see the preview for the movie The Vampire's Assistant, or HBO's True Blood, or the CW's Vampire Diaries, I say to myself, "Still with the vampires? Enough with the bloody (no pun intended) vampires already!" I don't know about you, but I'm pretty vampired out. (Yes, I know that I myself posted not too long ago about the New Moon movie and Bram Stoker's Dracula and therefore am guilty continuing the dialogue, but nevermind that right now...I'm trying to make a point). The good news is that if history is any indication, we should be coming to the end of this particular rein of fangs and we'll be off to another scary fascination.

Personally, I'm hoping for dragons.


Honesty is important in a marriage. Take this morning for example, when I first woke up and gazed upon the visage of my adoring husband:

Tony: Wow, your hair looks like a flock of birds have been tap dancing in it!

There's also such a thing as too much honesty.

Bar Fight? My Hair Will Take. You. Down.

I just wanted to pop in and tell you about this awesome ruffled motorcycle jacket I saw the other day. Normally, I am more motorcycle jacket than ruffle, (it is my deepest darkest wish to have a motorcycle...specifically the Ducatti 848, but I'd be willing to take a Suzuki Sportbike too if Tony wouldn't freak), but I have to admit that I like the certain feminine charm that this ruffle exudes. Because it's important to have something that says "I'm still a girl even though I'm whacking people upside the head with a pool cue in this biker bar".

And even though I like the jacket, I probably wouldn't have given it a place on the blog except for one thing: the model's hair. Do you see this girl's hair? The wavy, highly um...volumized hair? The hair that looks like if you were in fact wearing that jacket in a biker bar, the hair would actually be the one doing the pool cue swinging?

That is my hair, people.

In its natural state, doing what it pleases, that is exactly what my hair would choose to do. And while it is my fiercest desire to actually have the hair of the other model wearing this jacket (go on, click the little thumbnail), this first girl's hair is actually the hair twin of my own, color notwithstanding (mine is mousy brown). Now, I have always thought that having hair of this...this magnitude was a bad thing. All my life, I have called it the bedhead/rat's nest/struck by lightning look, and for me, poofier is not better.

But now I am confused, because apparently Nordstrom, (who is rumored to know something about looking fashionable), has deliberately taken a picture of this poor girl with her hair like that, and have now posted it on the Internet like it was a good thing.

Is this a good thing, Internet people?

Please tell me if this is, in actuality, a desirable hair style, because I'm afraid that I have been battling against this very thing for so long that I may be blinded by my prejudice against it. Is the big hair back? Should I step away from my smoothing serums and defrizzing creams and just let my poofy hair fly? Because if Nordstrom is indeed not smoking something, and this really is the future of hair fashion, then I am sitting on a hair gold mine. I can so do the poof. I have poof in spades.

Not to mention it'd be nice to be able to rely on my hair in case I ever got into a bar fight.

Green Acres Is The Place For Me!

It's not that I haven't written because I don't love you guys. It's mostly that I haven't written because I haven't been doing anything, and I love you guys too much to subject you to little episodes of me sitting on the couch while staring at my own feet. (Holy Smokes! Look at my toenails! Didn't I just cut them...what, two days ago? I am a toenail growing freak! Mental note to cut down on the Flintstone vitamins). Still... I figured that a bunch of nothing is better than nothing about nothing, assuming you were able to follow that in the first place.


So last night I spent an hour laying in bed, trying to remember all the words to the Green Acres song. Don't ask me why. No, scratch that, I do know. Earlier in the day I had been talking with my neighbor about his German Shepard, and I mentioned that Tony always liked German Shepherds, and if he had his way, we'd have one. Actually, if Tony had his way, we'd have German Shepherds and goats and sheep and cows and more cats (Heaven help us) and we'd live on a farm out in the middle of the country with our little animal menagerie, and that led to the phrase, "Faarrrm living is the life for me!" I couldn't remember what came after that line though, even though I could clearly picture whats-his-face from the show pitching hay and whatnot during the opening credits. I did manage to recall all of Eva Gabor's part, and even the part where they go back and forth with the "The chores!" "The stores!" "Fresh air!" "Times Square". Then he says, "You are my wife!" while forcefully dragging Eva into the country (and don't think that didn't get my feminist dander up...I mean, I realize it was a different time then, but if Tony just up and decided that we were going to live in the middle of nowhere, you can bet we'd be having several discussions about it first) and they finish the whole bit with "Green Acres we are theeeeeere!". Anyway, the longer I thought about it, the more I remembered, but I still don't have the first part after "Faarrrm living is the life for me!" If anybody has that odd little nugget tucked away somewhere in their long-term memory, let me know how it ends, huh? I know I could just Google it, but that seems to be cheating for some reason.

You may be wondering how someone on the cusp of thirty (ack!) managed to become exposed to Green Acres in the first place. I mean, it quit running in 1971, 9 whole years before my blessed birth. Well, 3 words for you: Nick at Nite. Do you remember Nick at Nite's TV Land? It was the Nickelodeon station after 8pm, and they showed wonderful old shows like Green Acres, and the Patty Duke show, and my all time personal favorites, Dragnet and Mr. Ed. (Who doesn't remember "A Horse is a Horse, of course, of course?") Good times, good times. I remember the Seester and I racing through dinner so that we could catch the beginning of the shows. It didn't matter that some of them were in black and white. (As a matter of fact, I don't think we ever even questioned it. It didn't occur to me that these were even "old" shows...I just figured that they made them look like that on purpose). And it turns out that the antics of family shows from the 60's are just as hysterical to a 5 and 7 year old growing up in the early 80's. (Remember Arnold the pig that used to live in the house? And the time that whats-his-name had to climb the telephone pole to make a call and he split the seat of his pants? To a 7 year old, that's comic gold, my friends, pure comic gold. I remember laughing until I almost fell off the couch). I wish they still made shows like that.

Do they still do TV Land? Not having anyone in the house under 4' tall, we don't get the Nickelodeon channel. And if they do, do they still play these old shows? And if they don't, am I the only one remembering them? Like I said, Mister Ed and Dragnet were my favorites, although I didn't catch Dragnet as often because it came on waaaaay after my bedtime (10:00!), which was a shame, because I thought Joe Friday was about the coolest thing since sliced bread.
Anybody else have an old favorite?

PS- Actually, in a shocking coincidence, while setting up the links to Green Acres above, I just saw the headline that the guy who wrote the song to the show died a few days ago. Vic Mizzy, the composer to not only the Green Acres song but also the one for the Adams Family, died earlier this week on the 20th. He was 93. Now, how weird is it that a song that I haven't thought about for probably 20 years suddenly popped into my head right after the guy dies? I like to think that it was the Universe's way of giving the guy a proper send-off, an exit cue if you will, and my subconscious pre-sleep brain waves picked up on it. So hat's off to you, Vic Mizzy! You and your annoying catchy tune have wormed your way into the brains of generations.

Not to mention keeping me occupied while I wait to fall asleep.

Corelli's Mandolin

I know I keep doing book reviews on here, and you're probably all "Quit reading and go do something funny and/or humiliating already", but I just had to pop in and say that I just finished Corelli's Mandolin and I absolutely loved it. I laughed even as I cried, and by the end of the book, the characters will feel like family to you. It was brilliant and witty while also being horrifying and brutal. The writing is honest and laugh out loud tongue-in-cheek. It'll tear you up and turn you inside out, but you'll love every minute of it. I'm putting the other books of the "trilogy" on my list right away".

Spinach and Broccoli and Tofu, Oh My!

I mentioned in passing a few days ago that I'd been cooking with the Sneaky Chef recipes in an attempt to eat more veggies painlessly. (I know I should be eating fruits and vegetables...I'm just to lazy to actually do it. Something about the buying and the washing and the dicing and the cooking makes me just want to throw my hands up and reach for a frozen pizza instead. Plus, those suckers seem to turn moldy and mushy seconds after I get them into the crisper. Nothing destroys a vegetable's will to live like disappearing into the never-ending abyss of my refrigerator). So when I saw the Sneaky Chef books, I thought what the hey, I'll give it a try. That was last week, and I wanted to come back and give ya'll a follow-up on how that's working out for us.

Which, in a word, is AWESOME.

Now, I'm not much of a cook. Never have been, probably never will be. Toasting a pop-tart is about the extent of my culinary prowess. However, these Sneaky Chef recipes are fool me-proof! One, she has a lot of tidbits about adding things to pre-packaged stuff like Spaghetti O's and Kraft Mac and Cheese and instant chocolate pudding, so it's not like I had to immediately go from my previous "open can, dump in bowl" style of cooking to gourmet chef overnight. We still eat a lot of box mac and cheese. Only now, we do it with cauliflower and zucchini hidden in it.

The other thing is that when I actually feel like trying to cook something, the recipes are easy to follow, don't require a lot of weird stuff, and don't take long to throw together. Tonight I made a homemade lasagna that was delicious, and not much of a fuss at all. (Tony was so impressed! He normally approaches all of my dinner attempts with wary concern. You make one tomato pie with a graham cracker pie shell by accident, and you never hear the end of it...) But this one was great! Annnnd, he got 4 servings of vegetables in one meal, and didn't even know it! Hee hee!

So far this week, we've eaten carrots, sweet potato, blueberries, spinach (if he only knew!), cauliflower, zucchini, great northern beans, broccoli (another of Tony's "never!" foods), rolled oats, whole wheat, and tofu (yes! Tofu! Normally I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, but it was invisible and tasteless in the lasagna! And really filling!) all hidden in our food. Tony doesn't have a clue, and even I can't see, taste, or detect a change in texture, and I'm the one who put the stuff in there!

The Sneaky Chef is targeted towards getting your kids (or husband) to eat better without telling them (thus the sneaky), but I find that it works just as well for the completely aware yet stubbornly veggie-phobic. I KNOW that they're in there, but I swear I couldn't tell you that anything in the recipe was healthy. And while I'd tell Tony if he asked, it's so well hidden that it doesn't occur to him that his pizza has an extra boost, so why should he care? It's health without effort.

Believe it or not, I'm not being paid to endorse these books. Sneaky Chef doesn't even know I exist. I just came across the books in the library one day and thought I'd try them out. And since they worked like a charm, I thought I'd pass the information on to you. Think of it as a "Works for me Wednesday" only on Thursday.

You're welcome. Can you please pass the spinach?

New Moon

I saw the movie trailer for the New Moon, the next in the Twilight series today. Apparently it comes out November 20th, and all the Twilight fans are gearing up for it.

Here's the thing: I enjoyed the Twilight books just as much as everybody else- as a matter of fact, I have all of them sitting right here on my bookshelf, and I'll pick one up as a palate cleaner or a quick read between other books every now and again. And a year ago, I admit that I was all psyched up for the Twilight movie too.


The movie was "eh". I'll say it- I was disappointed. Just didn't do it for me. Now, to be fair, very very few movies can ever stand up to the book that it is based on, so perhaps I expected too much. (For me, a movie doesn't stand a chance against the written word). But even allowing for this, after seeing Twilight last year, I walked out of the theater going, "Well, scratch the rest of the Twilight movies off of my list...they just can't do it justice". And that was that.


Oh, the trailer makes it look good, doesn't it? Very exciting and dramatic and hoo-boy that Jacob Black certainly grew up nicely. (The fact that he spends most of his time running around sans shirt doesn't hurt either). And the fight scenes! I don't recall Edward getting into a WWF match with the Volturi in the book, and I hate when movies take liberties that weren't there with the original story, but all the same it looks very suspenseful.

So I'm torn. On the one hand, New Moon was my least favorite of all the books, AND movies are always lousy when compared to the books, AND judging from the first Twilight movie, I'm just going to be annoyed with it. But on the other does look kinda exciting, doesn't it?

I guess we'll just have to see.

So how about you? Are you a Twilight fan? Will you be going to see it next month? You only have 44 days to decide!

(PS- if truth be told, I think my veeeery favorite of the Meyer books was actually The Host...while I like the Twilight characters, I love The Host's plot twists. That one just never gets old. And I was very excited to read that that one will also be hitting the silver screen at some point. That one I'll definitely attend).

The KD3000

A house with five cats and no discipline would be anarchy; therefore, Tony and I employ the "Kitty Deterrent 3000" for all our kitty behavior modification needs. What's the Kitty Deterrent 3000, you ask? Basically a spray bottle full of water. (Kitty Deterrent 3000 sounds better though).

Jumping up on the counter? Squirt. Tearing holes in furniture? Squirt. Generally reeking havoc? Squirt. It doesn't hurt, but the shot of water to the side is just enough to make them realize that whatever they're doing probably isn't the good idea that they thought it was. It's been so effective that all of the above bad habits immediately ceased and we were able to put it away completely.

Until Bella, that is.

It's been three weeks since Bella came, and while inner-house cat relations remain somewhat strained, I think we're sloooooowly getting used to each other. Every now and then though, Bella slips and decides to chase her brothers around. The first few weeks, Tony and I chalked it up to just adjusting to the new environment. We scolded, we made "angry face", we carried her back downstairs. Today however, I sat Bella down and explained that enough was enough, and any further ambushing/chasing/swatting/hissing and generally giving her brothers panic attacks would not be tolerated. Poor Mason won't come out from under the bed and I'm not administering kitty Prozac, so knock it off already. And as fair warning, the KD3000 would be enforcing. She was all, "Sure Mom. Whatever".

Sure enough, about three hours after our talk, I was in the office, working away, when who should I hear come tearing up the stairs hissing and spitting and otherwise terrorizing Sebastian? Why yes, it's dear sweet Bella on the warpath. So I did the resigned kitty-mom head shake, and I got the KD3000. And I got her with two quick squirts to the flank.

(Non-cat people think that cat people are crazy when we talk about a cat's expression, but I swear even a blind man could have interpreted the look on Bella's face...I just wish I had a camera). She stopped dead in her tracks and her eyes got absolutely huge as she turned around to look at me. It was a cross between "OH NO YOU DIDN'T!" and "WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT?!?" I gave the spray bottle a gunslingers twirl, blew the top of the KD3000 and stuck it back in my belt loop before drawling, "You behave now, little lady".

She'll think twice before chasing Sebastian again. She'll also think twice about my sanity.