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Monday

You Deserve a Break Today....

So, the other day I was stopped at a light- seriously considering that once the red flashed to green, I'd pull a hard right and hit the Mickie D's take out window. I know, I know. But here is the deal...it had been months and besides, the measley six pounds I'd managed to lose with this low carb crap- well, hell, it was like a boomerang anyhow- sure to show up somewhere along the line- why not the line at Mickie D's? Yea, it was quite a long light, I know this because I'd already had several arguments with "self" and while I don't wanna call anyone names or take sides, trust me when I say, when it comes to French Fry's, I can argue paint right off the walls!
So, my mind was made up- right when the light changes- I am dashing in. Suddenly, I spied movement off to my right. Oh, for crying out loud. Now? Now, I gotta get a visit from one of those "right to exercise" people? Here is this guy running (I will use that word loosely) and he looks like that guy from the Subway commercials- Before he ate all the subs and lost 100 pounds (right, like we fell for that old trick- eat subs and lose weight)? Anyhow, he is sort of running in place now at the light and the look on his face, well it is somewhat virtuous. He had this look, that if I didn't know any better- that he thought he was better then the rest of us. Now, what you have to know is I simply hate people that go on a diet and then they act all virtuous about it. Like the chain smoker of 20 years who quits and now just abhors the smell. Who do you think you are kidding? We all know you'd kill to take a drag off a butt- and we all know you wouldn't be so selective either, any old butt would do. So, here is this guy- running in place, like he is trying to keep his heart rate up, or something. Sitting there in my car, I was certain that my heart rate was currently running higher then his. I was probably burning more calories just sitting there anticipating my future gastric delight then he was lifting those brand new tenny's up and down. As luck would have it, the light changed and my car jerked forward, just about the same time, Mr. I feel so Smug stepped off the curb. For crying out loud, does he not know better then to get in the way of a future quarter pounder? Narrowly missing the jock, I swung the front end of my car into the drive thru. From there things really started going my way. I had decided to order a single, with cheese and a small fry, small diet. No, I did not want to biggie size it . All I wanted was something small. Something that could fit into a small bag- a bag that I could easily dispose of when I got home by wadding it up and putting it in my pocket. So later, when I accidentally pulled it out, I could look puzzled at the wad and then shirk my shoulders, as if, "Hum, I wonder where this came from"? And then that little tinny voice asked me if I'd be interested in two apple or holiday pies for just two bucks? Was I interested? Well, hello? Interested doesn't begin to describe how I felt. Interested? I felt married to the idea. When I heard the word apple pie, all I could think of was everything good in my life- from childhood forward. I pictured myself on a swing, my legs lean and tan. I saw my arms, long and thin, lifting themselves up towards my dimpled mouth. My mouth opening into a perfectly charming "Heather" like smile, anticipating the rich apple cinnamon aroma coming my way. Then there was a screeching noise and I heard the someone saying, "Lady, for the last time, does that complete your order"? As I drove away, greedily ripping open the bag, I felt dismayed by the size of the burger and fry and instantly thought, they must have mistakenly given me a Kids Meal...This was no quarter pounder.

Tuesday

Do not lie to me...

Things lay and people lie- isn't that right? So, the fact that I have become such a consummate liar of recent should be considered normal- right? But it has just gotten me to thinking about how much I really do lie to people, even complete strangers. I don't even hesitate when someone asks me how old I am- I just lie. I mean, come on folks, anyone that asks, deserves to be lied too, don't you think? I was recently filling out one of those creepy surveys that tells you what your "real" age is. The nerve of some people, it actually asked me how much I weighed- so what the hell...I lied. I actually put in three different weights- all within a 30 pound difference, just to see how much younger I would be- IF, the diet ever starts to work. And actually, the results were not all that different- I guess you have to lose more than 30 lbs for the life saving benefits kick in. So, what do you know, this brings me back to my recent vacation and how hard I tried to stay on my "program" of low carb. I got through the first day with no major problems and then on day number two, I had lunch at Johnny Rockets- big mistake. We sat down and about three minutes later some nice young man had delivered a platter of hot onion rings and french fries to our table. Once I regained the use of my vocal cords, I squeaked out the words, "Oh, we didn't order these". He looked me right in the eye and said in his hot, thick Latin accent, I know, I brought them just for you". He had that look in his eye that said, a lot of things, but what I read was, "You need to eat some hot yummy onion rings lady, for they will make your vacation experience complete". Or at least that is what I saw in his deep carmel eyes- there was no judgement there. And in fact, when he brought me my second plate of hot oily onion rings (I told him to can the french fries) he again, had that dreamy look in his eyes and put the plate down with flourish, "These, I made just for you madame". I just sat there, looking at the offering- visions of gypsy Flamenco dancers racing by in my periphery. These onion rings were unlike any I have ever had. They were so big, I was seriously considering using them as a floaty devise out in that great big ocean, just so I could be alone with them. I needed some private time with these babies! So you can understand that when he brought me my order- a small skinless chicken breast laying (there is that word again) all by its lonely self, looking to the untrained eye to be the symbol of all things wrong with my life- I just dipped one of those lovely, juicy rings into the bright red ketchup and thought to myself, "Hello Lover"!

Wednesday

OK. Settle down people, I know it has been awhile, but I figured it was better to wait until I had something to say. Not that I have anything worthy to say today, but I got busy cleaning and cooking today and that always makes me think about letting all my Friends and family know, "Don't try that at home". So, I got this new fangled vacuum slash mop dealie. Yea, my cleaning lady came back- finally. I guess she never read the blog where I was acting totally out of character and making derogatory references re: her mullet, but, that was just a low point in my life, I am better now! Anyhow, she came back and since she left me, I guess things actually got better for her... I am sure she found more time in her day, for starters! Well, she arrived ready to tackle the home that no one cared for in the past nine months- to think, I could have had a baby in the time she was gone. Luckily for all of us- that didn't happen, but it coulda, it coulda. I just decided I didn't want to bring another innocent babe into this messy economy- not to mention, I have been on this low carb diet for months and I didn't want to mess up the six pounds I'd lost. So, Miss Baby Come Back Cleaning Lady brought in this new piece of equipment called the Hoover Floormate- Isn't the name great? I mean every time I hear it, I think of Playmate and I get all happy. But this little mate plugs in and I think most of the newer models probably take batteries...OK. now I will stop joking and making inappropriate references towards my cleaning lady and her equipment. But let me tell you, this little sucker works like a charm. Because it sucks, it takes one step out of the process, you can get right down to business and before you know it- your floors are sparkling clean! And this morning, I decided to pull out the identical model I found on EBAY and put it to good use. My floors looked marvelous- but that was before I decided to make the Butternut Squash soup. Big mistake. Once again, I reached up high into my pantry to pull out that relic, the food processor, but this time I knew I could outsmart it and not fall into the same trap I fell into nine months ago, when I first used the little bastard. This time, I knew in advance that you had to fill the little hole up- before you poured the liquid crap in. This time, I had experience on my side. One little problem I figured out- after I'd poured what looked like gallons of a soupy mess on my counters and floors... You gotta put the blade in first. Needless to say, my floors were a mess and I found squash in my hair and all over the front of my shirt and that my friend was not funny at all. Finally, the soup is essentially done and I take a taste. It tastes, well nothing like the fabulous Butternut Squash soup I get at that little place called Green-n-Grill. My soup tastes like a diet version, but after all, we are talking about a vegetable, right? I mean..squash... that is already a diet food. Just because I mixed in a little Cream of Sherry and heavy whipping cream... It is still on my diet- right?

Tuesday

This Monday will be 11 weeks since I started this whole "low carbie" diet and I have to tell you, I don't think I have lost much more than 250 opportunities to eat me some good pesto pasta, some wonderful Carabbas garlic mashed potato's and much , much more. I was reading an article recently where the author said whenever she flies, she always first gets herself a bag of Cheetos for the flight. The way she figures it, "if she's is going down, at least she will have herself some "orange" crunch for the trip". And I have to say, I like the way she thinks! But statics will show that you really run more of a risk on a car trip than a plane ride, so I am thinking about putting a few bags in the backseat- just in case!

The week-end before starting my "diet", I of course had plenty of Cheetos, both the "puffs" and the "crunchy". I just can't decide which is my favorite, but I do know that I really enjoy either with a side of Jack and Diet, Yeah, now we're talking! If you throw in a new episode of Weeds, or the latest Star tabloid, I will think to myself, "Self, it just doesn't get any better than this". But then "self" will wonder if I fully engaged the lock on the trailer door- I know, I know! But what I am talking about here people, is the real me. I just love licking all that orange crap off my fingers! But, alas, there has not been anything orange in my life for weeks now and I hardly miss it. I think about them sometimes, much like an old friend, someone you knew you shouldn't really be hanging out with and cutting it off cold turkey was really the only way to go. Of course, there are other "old friends" I miss too. Losing an old pal like Krispy Kreme was borderline traumatizing. I mean, you just can't ignore that blinking sign- "Hot Donuts Now", that is what the sign reads, but you know what it really means, don't you? What it really whispers in my ear after gently smoothing my hair is, "Mary, we have missed you. Come on in, you know you have missed us terribly and we want you to know we are here for you sweetie. Come on, order up five of the softest, warmest, sugar coated lovelies. No one will ever have to know, you can finish us off in the car"... Yes. Those old friends are murder, but luckily for me, I am on a roll- yeah, not great big, fat yeast roll, like the kind my favorite Italian restaurant serves, but a real roll, as in gaining some momentum with this "low carb" deal.

Wednesday

Spanx me now or you can Spanx me later...

I am beginning to think that there is no better place to get your bloggie material than on NBC's Today show. Especially when Ann Curry is leading the charge!

In a single morning, I heard someone tell Ann, "I think bears in the wild are far safer than bears kept in captivity." Ann went on to quickly assure her viewers that NBC did not necessarily think it was a good idea to contact wild bears.

Changing direction, Ann asked her viewers if they thought it was possible they carried the "fat gene." The fat gene? I am thinking every woman has at least one pair of fat jeans, although not in white. No, white fat jeans are just wrong. It is like saying, "jumbo shrimp" or, as I used to say back in the Clinton era, "President Clinton."

It is, you know, one of "them, there" oxymorons. Although I have to admit, I am a little ashamed of how terribly Republican I used to be. I now totally heart Bill Clinton. And Hillary, don't get me started. While I take full responsibility for starting the term, "Event Dressing," Hillary certainly gets the credit for the "Pantsuit."
And actually, if you really want my opinion, the whole idea of the "pant suit" is a little gross, don't you think? I mean just think about the words, pant and suit together. It even sounds hot. And I don't mean hot in a good way. I mean hot like sweating right through your Spanx sort of hot.
But on the other hand, if you are wearing a pant suit and you are not wearing your Spankies, shame on you. That is just wrong for the rest of us viewing you from behind.

Anyhow, getting back to the subject at hand, there really wasn't one, was there?
This is something my daughter warned me about. She said, "You tend to ramble and no one knows what you are talking about."

Really? Well, then. Back to fat genes. Genes with a G. The question raised was, "Could you be carrying the fat gene?" I dunno. Let me look, real quick.
After carefully reviewing the situation and with little consideration, I'd say there is a better than not chance that I am carrying that gene. I don't think further testing will be necessary. Save your research dollars, folks. And put those calipers down. We got a certified carrier right here.

And Ms. Curry, who if you ask me will have trouble spelling the word fat without getting that sad little, "Oh, how can we help these people" look on her sweet, Asian face, will ask her resident expert, "What can we do as non-carriers of this genetic abnormality for our friends and family who are afflicted?"
She'll give that earnest look, the one that says, "If I just eat it for you, will that help?" And then she will hug her expert, secretly thinking, "Thank Goodness" I do not suffer from this terrible, terrible disorder.

Recognized

Tuesday

Well I have made it through ten days on my latest, "Eat all you can AND still lose weight" diet. This go-around is dedicated to the low-carb foods. Yeah, I know, how can anyone be on as many diets, for as long as I have and STILL need to lose weight? But if I have to answer that question for you my friend, you are a pain in my ass! My true friends will nod their heads and exclaim, "I know, me too". Sad, but true. A lifetime of diets, countless delicious foods passed by and still I am FAT! Crap on a stick, I think to myself, wonder what would happen if I just ate what I wanted? When I ask myself that question I am desperately trying to trick myself into thinking, "Yeah, why don't we try that ONE self"? Thank goodness, I am able to outsmart myself and slap that Weight Watcher German chocolate cake outta my hand- after all, the entire box is not a serving. Come on, you know I am not the only one guilty of eating both servings in the Weight Watcher dessert arena. There has to be a reason why they package two instead of one in a box, right? You betcha, it is called the old, "Give em' two and all the fatties out there won't stop at one" technique and guess what? It works almost all of the time! Oh, yeah, at first you will only eat one, but then by about week number two, you are wolfing em' both down before breakfast! Diets and diet foods are a big business, even now in times where our wallets are shrinking and yet our asses are getting bigger. Please, I am speaking strictly for myself; don't get all defensive with me. That is another thing I have noticed. Why is it that fat girls are so much bitchier then their skinny counter-parts? Damnation, I will tell you why. Getting dressed is a chore when nothing fits. And then you go out to eat a lite breakfast and end up eating last night’s left over’s- cold, while standing at the refridge, and this takes place unconsciously, while you are thinking about what you should have for breakfast. By the time you go to pack yourself a lunch to take to the office, you are searching everywhere for last night’s leftovers, wondering what in the world happened to them! Settling for some lean turkey and "several" frozen Cameo cookies, you think this is not too bad. Unfortunately, once you have your Starbucks, low-fat, splenda laced capoo in hand, there is nothing stopping you from dipping those, now nicely thawed Cameo's. The result is about half your daily calorie allotment- all of this eaten BEFORE you start your real day! Then when you get to work and that annoyingly skinny receptionist calls out to you in her way too bright voice, "Who wants Krispy Kreme"? You know and you're pretty sure she knows that to holler out the words, "Krispy Kreme" is like putting out the cattle call. As long as you can still walk, you are gonna come for the K & K. As you pick up your sinfully, "still warm" K&K, you are secretly figuring what sort of distraction you can create, so that you can swipe another one while no one is looking, because after all, it was only yesterday that you'd announced to everyone that you were making some "big" changes!

Thursday

Found Swag

Well, I am getting ready to become an "Instant" Florida millionaire and if that doesn't pan out, I will have to be patient until Saturday's Power Ball numbers come in. Yes, I know that during these hard economic times throwing away your meager dollars on lottery is a just bad idea, but wait! I haven't told you yet about the prize I found this morning in my dryer.

So, I was looking for my favorite zippy, you know the one that makes me feel just a little more athletic than the rest, yes that's right, the white one. As I pulled it out of the dryer, I heard the sound of money. You know that dry paper-like sound that anyone who has ever found money in a dryer has heard?
Instant recognition is what it sounded like to my poor ears. As I pulled my beloved zippy out, a green folded bill fluttered to the ground. I quickly looked to my left and then to my right and seeing that the coast was clear- I snatched it right up! I couldn't believe my eyes as I slowly opened up the bill, what was it? A ten, a twenty? No folks, it was a newly washed and dried Benjamin- $100 dollars and it was ALL mine! Or was it?

About two weeks ago, my husband said to me while we were lounging in the Jacuzzi, "Hey, I wonder what ever happened to that $150 cash I had in my pocket the other day?" Now you have to understand this, when he asked me this I was about 3/4 of the way through an exceptionally wonderful bottle of red wine and my hoofs were being treated to the underwater jets, so even $150 bucks couldn't really get my attention. I know that is surprising, considering my bleak financial picture right now. But hey, a girl has to have standards and at that very moment I could be had, just not for a buck fifty.
But I did file it away under potential money making schemes of my future:

1. Do some laundry, find me some mullah.

But I guess by the time I dried off and put my heady down, I had completely forgotten all about the windfall that was right under my nose.

But now back to my winnings... I was $100 richer and knowing that there was more gold to be found, I got seriously busy looking for the other $50 bucks. Heck, I even folded an entire load, but nothing else turned up. Because our house rules allow up to $20 bucks found to be "guilt-free", I called my hubby and exclaimed "Oooh-la-la, guess what? I found a little prize this morning in the dryer, la-dee-dah"! Once there was full disclosure, it was all mine! Well almost, I did mention to him something about two great steaks on the grill Friday night, all courtesy of my spoils, but let us not get ahead of ourselves here.

I decided to take my booty or swag, as I like to think of it and play the Florida Lottery. The way I had it figured, it really was "found" money, so why not? But first, I needed a partner, someone that was willing to actually get in their car and go get the tickets, you know, get their hands dirty.
Enter the daughter. We started plotting and planning. We went on the lotto website and looked at past winners. No one wins if they play at the local grocer of this, I am convinced. We decided we needed to go to Circle K, preferably located on the "wrong side" of the town. Yeah, the way I figured it, the poorer the store, the better our chances.


About this time my daughter mentioned something about her increased risk of getting killed at these somewhat seedy locations, but I offered her the stink eye and said, "Look, there are always gonna be risks associated, are you in or out?" As she contemplated the rewards, then agreed, she was in.


But before she left, we started talking about what we'd do with our potential winnings and being the good Catholic that I am, I started to talk about all the poor people I knew and how we'd be able to enrich their lives with our booty. I talked about the Orlando Homeless Coalition and how much good we could do down there.


Suddenly my daughter looked at me and said, "Don't do it." I looked over at her my eyes wide open, "Don't do what?" I asked. She went on to say, "Don't try to trick Him, Mom, He knows". By now we were lying on my bed with our written plan between us and she repeated, "Don't try to trick the Lord into helping you win by saying all the great things you are gonna do with the money. He knows you are trying to trick Him". I was indignant; I really was planning on doing those things. But, I knew she had a point. So, I lifted my hands up and asked for forgiveness and told the Lord right then and there, "Lord, just to give you a little more security that my intentions are pure, I will offer to you a post-dated check, to the charity of choice.


Well, I wrote that check, but it remains uncashed, as there were just too many zeros for my bank account to handle. My daughter survived her visit to the "dark side" and after three Millionaire scratch offs, we are still not millionaires. But I will say this, it was one of the best afternoons I've had in a long time!

Wednesday

Magic Pill


I have been trying to figure out what disorder I am suffering from and let me tell you, with all that is out there for you to choose from, this is not an easy task. I mean seriously, there is plain and simple depression, but I am looking for something a little more exotic, maybe something that has multiple syllables & and just a few more double letters. I want something that the cure will have you taking one of those new designer drugs that later in my life will come back to bite me in the ass. You know all those drugs they advertise nowadays... There is almost always some female character that goes from putting her heady down to flying through her day, almost as if she has wings. Do you know the ones I am talking about? Yeah, and at the end of the advertisement...enter the wet blanket...

"Taking Nolibra may result in a severe increase in appetite; Nolibra has been known to cause manic-like behavior in certain individuals. Individuals that are taking certain other drugs may not wake up in the morning after taking Nolibra. If you drink or even think of coffee while on Nolibra the sensation to urinate may be so severe, that you may not be able to leave your bathroom. Not all individuals taking Nolibra have these side effects. Contact 911 immediately should you or any of your loved ones experience these or a multitude of other symptoms and stop taking Nolibra right away".

Phew... OK, that was a mouthful, but yeah, I think I will go ahead and fill that prescription after all. And if you don't really have anything clinically wrong with you, but are looking for a little action- Oh, boy, are there ever pills for that! We have all seen the ad's for...shhhh... (Erectile dysfunction). There it is, I said it. They have a pill for the minute man, the one hour man and then Superman. What I'd like to know is this, "does Superman have a day job"? If so, does everyone at his place of employment know that he is "Superman" or rather the guy that swallowed a great big horsey pill? You know the one that keeps him "ready" all-day, everyday? Yeah, that's my man. My guess is that the only thing you could use in defense of this guy would be, well, kryptonite-right? You'd probably have to mix it in with his food, "Ah... a little salt, pepper, olive oil and just a squeeze or two of krytonite. There, that should slow him down a bit! Now, just in case you are thinking to yourself, what is wrong with her? I want to assure you of this, "yes, there is something wrong with me; didn't you read my first sentence? But it is not in that department". So, being at home more than I ever have in my entire adult life, my exposure to TV is greater than that of any 10 year old home on summer vacation. It has become my "little friend", just talking away in the background, while I attend to important business, like menu planning and pedi touch-ups. It is a tough world out there right now and the more I watch the "boob tube", or I guess the politically correct name today would be the, "bubbie box", the more scared I become. What if I am starting to suffer from that disease, you know the one, the one where you can't leave your house for fear of other people? Geez... I am already noticing some of the symptoms- but I will have to look it up, because I get those symptoms mixed up with the one where you are scared of Friday's 13th... Life, it is just not easy these days!

Tuesday

Shopping Blues

Once again I found myself wandering the isles at one of my favorite retailers, this time it was TJ Max. I know now that there is something bad wrong with me, but what I am uncertain of, is if it is a bad thing- or not. OK. before I go on and skip over my little problem, let me ask you this... Does anyone else find themselves in stores like Home Goods, TJ, Target, BB&B and find themselves putting random items in their carts? Like do you really need another or even better yet, one set of cocktail plates that have chandeliers on them? Trust me on this, you don't. Or how about salt and pepper shakers? Did I need two packs of mini salt and pepper shakers with six sets in each box? Ummm...let me think about that. See, when I put them in the cart I was conjuring up images of me dancing around a beautifully set holiday table for twelve. I looked about 20 pounds thinner, my manny and pedi was perfect and my hair was, well it was having a good day and I was certainly not my normal pre-holiday self- frazzled and in a bad mood right up until the party goers or Jack Daniels arrives, which ever comes first.
No, those shakers completely morphed me into Betty Freakin Crocker. The same things is true with the Calphalon Cookware-which touted that it was "new innovative" cookware. Yeah, it was innovative all right. It had all these little ridges in the pan, so that in my mind, I again started daydreaming and saw myself flipping that perfect grilled panini, complete with the Panera-like grill marks onto that cute little chandelier cocktail plate. I'd then run over and mix a fabulous Cosmo in one of those adorable, I just couldn't resist multi-colored martini glasses and offer up to my husband the nifty new pepper grinder that was sure to please. Yeah, I got it bad. But lest you think that this ends badly, let me assure you of this. At the end of the day, we slide into those special sale, slash,slash 700 thread count sheets and it is pure luxury! So here's the new deal... Now when I go into these stores, I still do my thing, which is if anything catches my eye, I put it in the cart. Then once I have been working on filling up that cart- I call myself to order and say, "Well, self, it is time to do a cart check". From there I proceed to toss things out or I just look down at the mess in my cart and slowly come back to reality, the music stops playing and I just simply walk away. By the time I get into my car I am screaming with laughter. It just feels so good to put it in my cart- imagine my life with these random items and then just walk away. I feel like I really owned those salt and pepper shakers, even if it was short lived. They are now outta my system. Now when the holiday rolls around and I have to pull out the "picnic" version shakers, I'll admit to pangs of remorse, but that is quickly chased away by the twelve Cosmo's I proceed to imbibe in. It seems that some things do manage to make it to the checkout counter!

Monday

My Dog Skip...



It was time for my dog, Scout, to visit the vet and he was so excited! See, our dog is not like a normal dog, because our dog is totally outta control. I mean really, how many of you have had your dog come home in the back of a police car? Now I said dog, not teenager. Crazy thing is, when the cop car pulls up in front of our house, I am thinking, okay, which child of mine is climbing out of the back seat? Once the policeman goes to open the back door and this over sized, overly happy hound bounds out of the car and starts running circles around the cop, I about lose it.

So anyhow, enough about all the laws that my dog has broken. I want to tell you about his vet visit.

Now, those of you who know me, or have been following my blog, know that I am what you'd call a "closet" dog person. And what that means is... I'd really rather wave to my dog and tell him he is a nice boy, than have him get all mushy on me. I am just not crazy about a big wet tongue, emitting hot "outside" breath and sloppy kisses. I hope that doesn't give you the impression that I am not an animal lover. Please no PETA calls. I really do like, err, love my dog; just not close up.

Anyhow, I take him to the vet and that in itself is a job for me. First off, dogs in fine German cars. I don't think so. Then there is that whole dog smell issue again. Uh, not in my car. But this time, there is no choice in cars, so off we go. Scout, an Airedale hound, piles into my car and just cannot get over how great the leather seats are. He starts prancing around, licking the leather. He quickly finds my missing chicken nugget from last week. I open the back window, thinking, I have seen other "dog lovers" do this, and their dogs always look so happy, hanging their heads out the window, nostrils flared, sniffing at the wind. Yeah? Well, no, not Scout. He practically leaps out the window. In my quest to get the window up quickly, well, let's just say, the patch of missing fur is hardly noticeable.

So finally, we arrive at the vet. The first thing Dog Nurse tells me is that they have to get his weight. So I am thinking to myself, fine, do what you have to do. They have this big industrial looking scale, but Scout, being the outta control pup, just won't stay up on it. So Dog Nurse looks over at me and cheerfully suggests, "Why don't you get on the scale and hold him, and then we can subtract your weight to get his weight?"

I can't believe my ears. The way I see it, there are two gigantic problems with that scenario. One, I wasn't going to hold Scout. Two, if she thought I was gonna jump up on that livestock scale and expose my numbers to her or the guy sitting in the corner chair, pretending to be reading some magazine on "How to groom your cat in ten easy steps," she was colossally misguided. Yeah, I see magazine guy looking. He is thinking to himself, "Self, this is about to get interesting."

I peer up over my glasses and smile just as sweetly as is possible for me to do so. "Oh," I explain, "This isn't even my dog." Like that reasonably covers why I couldn't possibly jump up on that scale. No, scale jumping requires ownership of said pup. "I am just here helping out a friend. And actually, (fake sneeze), I have bad allergies, so that whole idea would not be a good thing for me. Plus, I actually ran out of the house this morning without my Epi-pen, so yeah, er NO."


By now, Scout has knocked over several bags of Science Diet dog food. He has run over to "cat lover guy" and lifted his leg up to his chair, as if to...you get it. Scout is peeing all over the leg of the chair, while cat lover, magazine guy is sitting in it. Now he sports an even more astonished look on his face. A look he NEVER would have had, should I have actually gotten up on that scale. Serves him right, I am thinking. I helplessly look over at Dog Nurse and say, "And this is what I get for helping out a friend." With that, I scrunch up my eyes and tilt my head back ever so slightly. I sputter out a single "Achoo" for good measure.



Author Notes








Friday

24 Hour Protection

Since I was only 12 hours into my new 24 hour bra, I decided to stay at the party a little later than I normally would. It was a "pool" party. Reads, "bring your bathing suit". What I'd like to know is this, who that really knows me would even bother to include that on MY invite? I mean, do they think that I am going come prancing in with my new albeit several months old, Bahamian used bathing suit? Who are they kidding? That whole, "Look 10 pounds thinner deal went down the drain after my third Bahama Mama". For all of you that are planning one of these parties and IF I am on the invite, I just wanna say, no. OK, NO. So when I arrive, don't slip your skinny self up next to me in front of all your party goers and say, "Oh, my gosh, you didn't know it was a pool partee"? "OMG, well maybe we have a suit laying around here, left over from when my next door neighbor's Grammy came to visit, yeah, she was about your size". It is just so not gonna happen. I mean, I need weeks to months to mentally prepare to even think about putting on a bathing suit. Even with my million dollar, sure to please, hold you up and in miracle suite, no. I recently had some friends and family over and told them, "listen, if you want, bring your suit". Now each one of them felt totally free to tell me, "It's not gonna happen". But then I told them my little secret. I control ALL lighting in my swimming area. It is so strategically done that you could stand there bare neked and we'd all say, "You look... mahvelous!," , aka, Fernando Lamas. Seriously. This business of inviting people over and not first doing your job on the lighting aspect, well, it is just not right. People need protection. The people exposing it need to know they are protected and the ones left looking, and believe me you, they will be looking, well they need protection too. So what if that leaves our al fresco dining in somewhat of the dark. Trust me, looking at people in their bathing suits can be a natural appetite inhibitor!

Thursday

Everyone needs a purpose!

This morning my husband asked me what day I change the sheets on our bed...I felt this little creepy crawly feeling run across my scalp right down to my cheeks. "What day", I repeated? "I don't have a day, it is not like I have some kind of system here". "Oh, I see", he replied, "Well I was just wondering". "Did you think I have this organized list that I run through at the start of each week, let's see, today is Tuesday and it's grocery day"? No, I go to the grocery store when my stash of Cameo cookies runs out or if I feel like it. See, that is the whole damn problem with this "new job" I have, there just isn't much accountability. What day do I change the sheets? Well, since I have a favorite set, 750 thread count, Egyptian cotton, I do have to plan it out a little. Like I have to make sure that one of the two dryers are free of other crap, because I will want to wash and wear those sheets, so to speak. So, you see, it is more a matter of opportunity as to when I change the sheets. Oh, and for those of you that are thinking, "damn, wonder when she does change those sheets, trust me, they get changed on a regular basis, say every 8-9 days. Now I know, I know. See, before when I had that great cleaning lady, yeah, the one with the haircut like a mullet, well then my sheets were changed like clock work, every Thursday. But then I didn't get to sleep with my favorite set every night. She'd cycle them and sometimes we'd slid into bed only to find sheets that didn't "slide" at all. Mornings I'd wake up with razor burn. So, you see, there is a trade off there. Yeah, this new job, well I am just not cut out for the whole, "do whatever you feel like". I take full advantage. I have found I can lie around almost all day, play on-line Boggle, a little Mafia Wars and than right before everyone gets home- I run around, make the bed, straighten out the sofa pillows, get dressed (yes, I did say get dressed) and pick up my keys and head to my favorite store, Publix. The kids will say, "What'd ya do all day mom"? And I will glare at them and respond, "I worked on the computer all day and I am really exhausted, what did you think, hum"? Their typical response is a raise of the eyebrow and a , "Really, we were just asking, why'd you get all defensive"? Then I will laugh and say, well, really I raised up two levels in Mafia Wars and earned a ton of money, it was a good day, but still I am worn out, does anyone want to run to the store"? Yeah, I don't know how these "stay at home moms" do it. Maybe I need a play date or a book club or something to keep me current. I wonder if they allow drinking at those clubs? That would work. I could work out a little schedule, Monday's play date at the Wine Room in Winter Park, Tuesday- Mafia Wars, Wednesday-rest and read up for Friday's book club. Oh, and the sheets, I will fit them in somewhere!

Friday

Cold and All Alone

The morning started like every other morning AND then BOOM. It happened. Oh, I had my usual breakfast of egg whites with fresh spinach and a little bit of goat cheese sprinkled in for good measure. But, before I get into the predicament I later found myself in, let me fill in some details...
This morning, Friday, was day number five of my newly created world. My new world is filled with things like calorie content, fat grams and the now infamous Body Bug. Yeah, that same little gadget that I strapped on my upper, left arm early Monday morning, jumped on the treadmill, only to think I was having a heart attack ten minutes in. Every once in awhile it starts up, getting real verbal with me. It vibrates and buzzes and pinches! What I thought were early signs of an impending George Sanford, "It's the big one Elizabeth, coming to get me", was merely the Bug acting up and pinching the hairs on my arm! So, now that I have laid the ground work for my impending doom, you'll know where I am coming from.
Yesterday, I found myself in my most favorite of favorite stores...Yes, Publix. All my friends were there, working away, except the little Apron lady. Not sure where she has been lately, but that is OK, because I always tend to over eat her delightful little samples of those "mini" meals.
Anyhow, I was in the frozen foods section, somewhere near the ice cream section, but not actually committed to it. Really, if you'd have run into me at the store, you would not have known if I was buying a Weight Watcher frozen dessert OR the Gelato that somehow in the end found its' way into my cart. It was a new product, ridiculously expensive and when my eyes locked on to it, sitting there all eager for me to touch it's high end looking body, I actually heard music. And now I know what people mean when they saw they heard harps... There it was all seductive, taunting me to take a chance. I looked down at the Bug wrapped tightly around my arm and sighed...I couldn't.
Now you understand my total shock when this morning, I opened up the freezer, totally innocently, checking to see that the ice machine was working and there it was! My surprise was so complete, I reminded myself to double check my receipt, was it on there? Or had I "lifted" the little temptress? Well, that was the beginning of the end. Next thing I knew, I was coming to, sitting on the sofa, cold and sticky with an empty container of Gelato on my lap and my once active Body Bug lay dead, its' battery mysteriously removed.

Thursday

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is Sunday. It will be my 37th Mother's Day as a "motherless daughter". Over the years, I have celebrated many milestones as a motherless daughter and as this Sunday approaches, I can't help but wonder what life would have been like to have had my mother by my side through them all.
When you become motherless, it is such a shock, a numbness envelops you and everything you see and experience is judged through the eyes of this loss. Your equilibrium is off, nothing looks the same. Prior to losing my mom, I thought like many little kids, that nothing bad could happen to my family. But after her death, I was scared for years that something bad would happen, I guess I was waiting for that " other shoe" to drop. Because I knew then- we had no immunity to loss, the safety net had been pulled.
Because I lost my mom at such an early age, for virtually most of my childhood and all of my adult life I have been in this constant state of being "motherless" and attempting to, at first- cover it up and then, later blaming it on my many short comings. But now, at my ripe old age, I understand the loss for all that it is and all that it is not. For many years my yearning to have my mother back was palpable. I would close my eyes at night and hug my pillow tight, trying to recapture her essence and remembering what her voice sounded like. I would cry myself to sleep asking her to come home and begging God to return her to me. I was just a kid, I'd tell Him, why would you do this to a kid, I'd ask? Right after my mom died I decided that I hated God, I was so angry at Him, and at my mom for leaving and bitter towards my dad for staying. Guess you could say I was one sad motherless kid.
I don't remember much of my childhood prior to losing my mom. It was almost like my mom died and there was this vacuum that came along and sucked dry my memories of her placing them in one of those old fashioned bags with the rubber gasket, you can't really get your hand into the bag, and you can only shake out "bits and pieces". But I do remember that I thought my mom was the most beautiful mom in the world. And I remember how safe she made me feel. Once when I was in third grade I slipped on the ice at school and had to go to the nurse’s station where she called my mom to pick me up. I never once cried until I saw my mom walking towards me and then I let loose a torrent of tears. Holding me close she asked me if my head hurt really bad and I told her, no, I was just so happy that she came for me, I couldn’t help balling like a baby.
The crying or really the sobbing continued on a regular basis after my mom died. I was so damn sad and felt so ripped off. I questioned why God had chosen to wreck our family. We used to have such a great family.
I have some memories of my mom being sick prior to her death. But really, I didn’t understand how sick she was. I wanted to host the end of the school year party at my house and my mom agreed. But then my dad told me that just wasn’t going to work out. I was furious. I’d already announced the party to all my friends. It was a tradition, one family would host the end of year party and I wanted that party at my house that year. I cried and screamed at my mom. I asked her why she had to be sick and I told her that I was angry with her for being sick. I was certain she didn’t love me and that was the real reason. I also told her that I didn't love her anymore, I wanted to hurt her, so I lashed out, like kids sometimes do. Really, I had no idea just what I was coming up against. For years after her death, I would feel so heart sick over the things I said that day. I tried granting myself forgiveness, as I was certain she had forgiven me long before she'd closed her eyes for that last time on that early June morning. That date, frozen on a calendar for myself and my six siblings became such a symbol of sadness and loss in my family.

When my mom died she was a mother, a wife, a sister and a daughter, all the things that I find familiar myself, as I write this. Whether I recognize it or not, the foot steps I take each day are identical as hers' 37 years ago. Today, I walk as a mother, a wife, a sister and proudly, my mother's daughter. This Sunday, I will remember my mom and be grateful that in the short time I had here with her she left with me her indelible mark of goodness and the gift to love and forgive, as only a mother can do. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you!

Tuesday

Eat this instead!

Now that I have joined the ranks of the under worked, under compensated and I am not really a republican group... I find I have much more time on my hands to watch, gulp... TV! I know, it is so not politically cool for me to admit to any of this, but we are all friends, right? I mean, I keep your secrets, you keep mine? So, now that we have that out in the open, let's go back to the TV issue. The three of you that follow my blog know that I blog a bit about TV shows and diets, right? But who knew what I am about to tell you? Well, actually everyone that's been watching Matt (I've fallen and can't get up) Lauer and the fabulous Meredith (I got a job after 50) Vieira, probably knows about this, but the Today show has been showing what foods to eat and which to avoid. So here it is America, the worst fast food in One Nation Under God, Carl's Jr. Double Six Dollar Burger with Natural cut fries... it packs a whopping 2600 plus calories and 144 grams of fat! And for those of you that don't know, that is equal to a baker’s dozen Krispy Kreme glazed (be still my heart) donuts! You think that is shocking? I am still trying to figure out how to divide those 2600 calories into 13 donuts... And what this means to the future success of this franchise. But you know, Krispy Kreme is an old pal of mine and I hate to let my friends down, but this will require some serious consideration from me, as I am sure too, that Ol' Paris Hilton is flying around in some private jet nibbling strictly on carrots and celery since hearing the news about her old friend Carl. Maybe Paris and I do have something in common; maybe we both lost a good friend today!

Unleashing our inner Skinny

OK. I am going to come clean about something... I will admit that I am hooked on the Real House Wife's of NY. What is the freaking attraction, you ask? I think it is their ability to be publicly humiliated AND still make money! So, I have decided that I am up for a little public humiliation, in exchange for a little money! Thinking about The Biggest Loser... Yeah. No. Now that is a humbling show. I mean, as if it is not bad enough that they put your weight on a spinner and where it lands...nobody knows, but they make them wear outfits that are just wrong- for anyone! Wonder why the Real Housewife's' producers haven't come up with the "The House Wife's of Central Florida"? Yeah, we could film outside of a trailer park under the threat of a level three hurricane and one of the ex-wife's of one of those almost famous boy bands could be complaining that her plastic surgeon ripped her off, "these are NOT a full double DD’s"! Almost all of the house wife's of NY have books out. Yes, they are a bit more enterprising than the house wife's of Orange County. The Countess, a real nut case, is publishing a book on etiquette, is she serious? Really, etiquette? And Bethany, my personal favorite, because she is so scrappy, is publishing a book on "Unleashing your inner skinny self". OK. Bethany, note to self. If we big girls had inner skinny self's, do you not think we'd of unleashed them long ago? The problem is Bethany, all our inner skinnyassed self’s have left the building. Yeah, we looked around for a little while and then got bored and hungry and went in to fix ourselves a little snack. But there are countless books out there, how about, "Skinny Bitch in the Kitchen", touting "kick-ass" recipes...or how about this one, Skinny Chicks, what to do when your jeans don't button". OK. Now I hate to break it to these best-selling skinny authors, but every big girl knows how to squeeze into jeans that don't quite fit- standing up. This, we have actually elevated to an art form, in fact; you can actually identify which of us are masters of this trade. It only becomes difficult when you are in a dressing room without the benefit of a bed to lie down on. But, how many times have those skinny girls ever thought, "Well, they don't quite fit now, but once I lie down and suck in really hard, they will be just perfect"?

Cat Lady

After purchasing our first home, I decided to surprise my husband with a kitten.

Now, the first thing I want to make clear to all of you is that I don't hate animals. I just have a strong aversion to those four-legged animals (and the three-legged ones, as I recently witnessed) that don't have, well, proper etiquette.

Come on, you know what I am talking about. Contrary to the cute snuggly bears we see in the television commercial, neither cats nor dogs use Charmin. And I know many dog lovers that will encourage their pets to run outside and "make duty," to only then encourage Fido to jump up into their bed to snuggle close for a long night's sleep. And I guess they are not afraid of bed bugs either.


OK, back to my idea of getting a cute little kitty. To this day, I do not know how I got there, all I know is that one afternoon I awoke and found myself at the local Humane Society.

I approached the desk where several ladies were busy at work.

"Can I help you?" A pleasant young woman asked.

"Why, yes, I am here to buy a cat," I said.

Silence ensued. I blinked back at her, and then thinking I was somehow not making myself clear, I added, "You know a kitten, really. Preferably one that is already, well... trained."

More silence.

I now had the complete attention of the entire front desk staff.

The largest of the three, her name tag read, "Supervisor," glared at me and said, "Honey, I don't know where you think you are, but this is the Humane Society and you don't "buy" an animal here, you adopt one."

It was immediately apparent that I'd made a mistake. And sensing my opportunity to score big points with my hubby slipping away I knew I had to act fast.

I quickly donned my, "I just love animals and it doesn't matter where they poop or pee" mask and said, "Of course, of course! What I meant to say was adopt, adopt as in make a special part of our family, to have and to hold, blather, blather, blather. All the while, I was thinking, "Show me the damn cats."


I must have sounded sincere enough, as an animal nurse came around the desk to take me to the place where they kept the cats. I looked around and the eager little kitties were meowing for my attention.

I stuck my finger into one cage and said, "Here kitty kitty." The darn thing flew up to the cage and hissed at me raising its paw to strike.

Certain that was not the cat for me, I quickly backed off and went to the next cage where there was a small butter colored kitten just staring at me.

"This is the one I want," I declared.

The cat-nurse opened the cage to remove the kitten and offered her to me.

"Oh no, I don't need to hold him or her, just WRAP it up" I replied.

Cat-nurse looked at me with surprise, "You don't want to hold it?" she asked incredulously.

"No, I am good," I replied. "Besides, this sweater is dry-cleaning only. But do you think you have a box I can use?"

The cat-nurse glaring now said, "You do know that having a pet is a big responsibility and not everyone is cut out for it. You may very well have this cat for fifteen years?"

Fifteen years, I silently cried! Did I know what I was getting into?

Fifteen years seemed like a lifetime of pet ownership. And what about the whole, "Cats have nine lives" deal. Had she included all nine lives?

But then I regained my sanity and quickly began to factor in how I was constantly losing things and besides, our new driveway was super sloped, all risk factors that cat-nurse knew nothing about.

"No,I'm good, I'll take it" I replied.

Cat-nurse ushered me into a small private office where she had about twenty pages of paper work for me to complete.

I remember thinking, "Hello cat people, for crying out loud, this is a CAT we are negotiating over here. Do you really need my social security number?"

But I silently completed all the forms and stood up, ready for my new charge.

I walked back up front where cat-supervisor lady stood waiting for me. She said my total charges would be $80.00 and I would be able to pick my new kitten up tomorrow after 3pm.

Yeah, believe it or not, they had decided that I fit a certain type of profile and needed a 24 hour "cooling off" period, before they'd be comfortable in releasing the pet to me.

Twenty-four hours, ha, I cried, they were crazy if they thought I'd change my mind in 24 hours. I knew it would take at least 48 hours for buyer's remorse to set in!






Dear Lady

I am thinking of writing a letter of regret to my cleaning lady. I want her to know how much I regret her not coming to my house any longer. I regret that I ever complained about her putting the towels away while they were slightly damp. I now fully appreciate the "crisp" fold marks that method provides and after a while, you hardly notice the musty smell. I regret ever entertaining the thought that her new hair cut looked like a mullet- for that I am truly sorry. I feel like the broom on the Swifter commercial, "baby come back"... What I didn't know back then was that it is impossible to clean my house, complete 12 loads of laundry, change all the beds and still be in a good mood AND not light your wig on fire. I am sorry that towards the end of her time with us, I started to time her visits, thinking she wasn't putting in the time. And about the time I ran my finger over the top of the baby grand, bitterly complaining about the dust, I was outta line. We have a new cleaning lady now. She is far less competent than our old. In fact, this one is borderline lazy. Believe it or not, my daughter came home one afternoon and found her sleeping! And she helps herself to all our "good food". I had to have my son hide the Cameo cookies from her in the freezer. She is guilty of many transgressions, but the one that is most grating is that she never completely empties the dish washer, leaving us with "perpetual riders" AND if this doesn't top it all- she has attitude! Yeah, it is as if she is somewhat resentful that she has to do HER job! I mean, it is not like she doesn't get paid for it. Er... does she? Some would consider the love and respect of their family as a sort of currency.
Our new cleaning lady well, she somewhat resembles me. " Baby come back, you can blame it all on me. I was wrong, and I just can't live without you!

Sunday

What price are you willing to pay?

I saw one of those snipe signs the other day advertising "photo facials" for a bargain. Earlier that morning I had been cleaning out a cabinet and found a Starbucks gift card. Dancing around in happiness I thought, "damn, found money, it must be my lucky day"! So, I was on my way into Starbucks, (yes, this was before I got the new pot) and I saw this sign advertising facials. I'd been thinking about getting a "renue" facial for awhile, but had decided it was too expensive. For some reason, I needed to keep reminding myself that getting expensive facials was the old me. In my new world I go to CVS and get some scrubbing bubbles. Living with this constant struggle between the old me and the new is exhausting and sometimes I lose control... I called anyhow, couldn't resist. The lady that answered told me their location was right around the corner . When I still couldn't place it, she said, "Oh, we are inside the weight loss clinic". My first thought was really? There is a weight loss clinic in my neighborhood? She went on to tell me about the "med spa" options for facials and the price was three times lower than what my dermatologist charges. It was so low in fact, I actually ask, "what'd you guys do, steal it"? Without missing a beat, she replied, "the guy who owns the lasers really wants to help all the poor people (unemployed, I am thinking) age more gracefully....so he makes it affordable". "He wants to get the word out on the streets, that there is hope for people like you; people like you that used to blow your nose at Med Spa's, opting instead for high priced plastic surgeons and such, we are for the people". Not a bad deal and I was sucked right into her spiel, after all, she understood me. So, I am thinking about it. Really, what is holding me back is the weight clinic deal. If I go in there, are they going to automatically say, "oh, you are here for the weight deal, strip to your panties and step on the scale"? I see myself sucking it in and protesting, "no..... really, I am here for a facial sand blasting". Then they will give me a blank stare and try to offer me some two for one deal, lose weight while you lose those stubborn wrinkles. That will just get me in an even worse mood and I will probably say something a little caustic and there will be looks exchanged between staff members thinking, "Ahhh, nothing worse than an angry, fat woman " and blah, blah, blah. And since they are right in my neighborhood, I will have to worry about running into those skinny little bizniche-nurses at Publix and risk them looking over the items in my cart. "I see, do you really think those Cameo cookies are necessary" and "those 100 calorie chips, you do realize it is only 100 calories if you eat a single bag"? Do I really want to risk ruining my Publix experience for a cheap facial? Publix, if you don't know by now, has quickly usurped most other activities in my life and become the hi-light of my afternoon. Will the risk of having beautiful skin for a bargain compensate for the potential trouble? I'm not sure. I am still mulling it over. But in the mean time, tomorrow when I set off for my morning walk with my brand new sexy little fluorescent green Nano, I may just walk past that office and peek in the windows...

The perfect cup of Joe!


Today, I was on a mission. My quest- to find a new coffee pot and a new Ipod. We haven't had a working coffee pot in our home for months now. For awhile, it was OK, as I was on a hot tea kick. I'd read somewhere that green tea and black tea was good for you, and I thought why not? I mean, I was already on a health kick, drinking red wine on a real regular basis, why not add tea to the equation? The problem with me and tea is this- I get so blasted sick of it! But in the past five years I have had at least eight new coffee pots, yeah- not a real great track record. I have had an expensive Italian capoo maker, and one of those pots where the water is always ready, a stainless steel really cool looking pot, several french presses and some other "faceless" brands. I knew I was looking for this new magic genie to work with pods. One of the things about my last twelve pots that made me so bitter was having to clean out the grinds. I don't know how the rest of you feel about that, but it quickly developed into the task I dreaded most in life! I tried to trick myself and do it the night before, but then I'd just end my day in a bad mood, if by chance I wasn't already. Yes. Most definitely. The new pot was not to grind ANYTHING. With the pods, I pictured myself waltzing into the kitchen, opening the hatch and simply lifting out the spent pod and tossing it into the trash- easy does it. I am all about simplifying my existence, and if my carbon footprint gets a little bigger in the process, I am sorry, I really am. But know this, I do know where the line is and I wouldn't think of stepping over it OR on those adorable little sea turtles and I always slow down for manatee crossings. Furthermore, and for the record I never thought it was a good idea to name our boat, Manatee Killer... So back to my coffee mission, two of my sisters have the Senseo coffee pot and having stayed with both of them recently on two different coasts, I decided to give it a try. But, the reason I was at first reluctant to bite on the Senseo pod was we'd already owned that piece of crap coffee pot- long before my sisters made it so popular. It was one of the worst pots we'd tried to date, leaking all over the counter-top, more times than not. By the time we'd given up on it, we were more than ready to drop kick it right out past our empty recycle container to the trash! But because my always well intentioned sisters both took the time to educate me on the Senseo's odd particularities, I realized the error of my way. You have to make the coffee in a particular order, using the exact right pod holder, seat a perfectly balanced pod and finally click your heels together while uttering the Hail Mary, preferably in Spanish and presto, just like that- you have an outstanding cup of coffee! There was one small problem I encountered on my way to seeking coffee perfection... Target stopped carrying the brand and Kmart had never heard of it. Just about ready to give up, I remembered my favorite store of all, Bed, Bath and Beyond..enter the land of every gadget ever shown on late night TV! On this trip my hubby was waiting in the car, so I didn't have time to do the usual, and load my cart full of Ginsu knifes, oxy cleans and steam mops. Today I was gonna get that coffee pot! I had already pictured myself getting up Sunday morning, ahhhh.. the Times and a hot steaming mug of Joe, my toes were curling in anticipation! Starting Sunday morning, Starbucks stock was gonna be taking another dip, thanks to my new pot. Well, as it turns out, BB&B didn't have the Senso either. Ha, probably because the only two people here on earth that didn't open their back door and heave it out were my two sissy's! I did find a new coffee pot though, and it has to be a winner. The coffee pods that are sold with it come in tons of different flavors, but the one that caught my eye and helped make my purchase decision was the one called "Donut Shop"! OMG! Was that marketing genius or what? Who could turn this down? Mentally,I was quickly painting a new picture of my Sunday morning bliss and now Krispy Kreme was involved. Good thing I bought my new Ipod too. Now mornings spent with the "donut shop" will be guilt free. I will just put those head phones on and march off that donut!

"Heads up"!

Recently, I attended an event where the guest speaker told the audience, we needed to "lean into" this recession. He then went on to re-use this bugger phrase multiple times during his ten minute-too long speech. I looked around and people were nodding their heads, some were even taking his annoying blurb literally and actually leaning in their seats. I quickly straightened up in my seat, lest anyone think I was buying into this "leaning" business. But what it reminded me of was all the most annoying phrases I used to use and be subjected to in the corporate world.
"Wow, your email really lit a fire under me". Really? And here I thought that fire was coming from your panty hose. OR, "going forward" we'll be able to "pick the low hanging fruit". Fruit? OK, because last time I looked we were trying to build houses and while I worked with some fruits, they were not for the picking! How about "heads up people"? While it was true, most us did have our heads down on the conference table, why bother us? We were quite comfortable, after all, business was booming! But considering "our current economic situation" maybe that is a "moot point", or as one especially attractive, young sales agent used to say in group meetings, "that's a mute point". If only life in corporate world were that easy, we'd all be hitting the "mute" button more often than the "easy" button! I guess every industry has their own unique colloquialism with some worse than others... Now that I have joined the world of blog, I find myself typing words like, "gonna, hafta, gotta and getta" . But my personal favorite is, " Ima ass and your an ass". No disrespect intended here, but you gotta admit it to yourself, people in general well... are asses. Of course, present company is excluded. But the common man on the street? What an ass!
Come on, admit it. How many times have you been in the car and you have muttered the word ass? It just works and makes you feel complete. Of course there are some situations that require more horse power and you are inclined to add that perfect verb or noun to fully explain how you are really feeling and to make sure others understand just how serious the situation really is. Adding "wipe, breath, face or "for brains" is often all it takes. Hopefully, the few blog followers that I have won't be offended with this content, I mean it is not as if I dropped the fbomb or anything. But I just want to be sure that
“at the end of the day we’ll all be reading from the same sheet of music.” After all, "it is what it is"!

Friday

Uber Boot

I was ready to sign up for Boot Camp. I started one earlier in the year and then got side tracked with my trip to Hollywood with HGTV (I know, but it does make me sound more interesting!).

I saw the sign for this "camp", yeah I know, camp is a misnomer. Trust me, "I know camp-and you sir, are no camp."

But I had finally convinced myself that the swishing sound behind me was more than a mere stalker, it was my ass.

Having made procrastination an art form, it still took me several weeks to make my move. And as my luck would have it, I had already missed the first class.

I made it to the second class bright and early Thursday morning. Before I even arrived, I had already decided that the typical "camper" profile would be just like me, over thirty and under sixty, and out of shape.

Ha, out of shape is a nice way of saying, "Hun-nay, you big gurl," as they say in the Asian nail salons (another story).

But undeterred I donned a new white zippy, thinking white will make me look more athletic than the usual black.
I cautiously entered the gym and stopped a group of women sort of congregating together, and that should have been my first clue!
They all seemed to know each other. Duh...turns out they'd all done the 7:00am- 8:15am kick box class, their idea of a warm up.

I had warmed up too... ate three frozen Cameo cookies, cutting back as I didn't want to risk filling up.

Still I was feeling a little nervous and scanned the group for someone that appeared to be closest to my ability level...still scanning...


A whistle blew just above my right ear. For a moment I wasn't sure I'd ever hear again.

Startled, I twirled around. The guy with the whistle was about 6'2", 200 pound African American and other than the whistle he wasn't wearing much else.

OK, settle down, he had on shorts, but it took me awhile to get there, as he'd taken off his shirt. All I will say is, I don't know much about muscles and such, but he had some and than some.

He yelled for us all to line up and start doing jumping jacks.

I was like, really? Aren't we going take roll and get to know each other?

Evidently not. I started to do the first jumping jacks I'd done in over a decade. Yeah, I know but- how in the world can you do jumping jacks and not spill your wine all over yourself?

And for something that looks so easy, they sure are hard. Try clapping your hands together above your head, while attempting to keep your breasts from knocking out your neighbor .

My arms stopped going all the way up after about ten. Then Mister Drill Sergeant roared for us to drop to the floor and give him twenty.

Twenty what, I thought while groaning in despair, "Hey pal, how about if I slap you ten and you forget you ever saw me"?

After doing only three "girlie" push-ups I found myself watching the instructor and then only moving when he was looking my way!

To say I was looking for a way out was an understatement.

And, I almost had it.

Next thing I know we are running out the front door of the gym and he is hollering, "Get in formation, ladies."

Ha, ladies. We may have all been girls, but we were no ladies at that point.

It was then that I knew I had to get out and get out quick!

Right across the parking lot was a Starbucks. If I could make it there, I'd be safe. Free to mingle with my own sweat-free type. I could cocoon myself in one of their over-stuffed crushed velvet chairs and hide behind a New York Times.

Yeah, the thought of a Venti, non-fat, 3 splenda cappo would do the trick.

Make me forget about those jumping jacks and give me a chance to fix my now broken bra strap. Plus that location would offer me the added benefit of watching the other suckers that hadn't given up as they dropped to their death.

My escape plan was complete and I was now fully ready for its execution.

But just as I turned to break free from the pack of now rabid women, Mr. Drill Sergeant put his bead on me. He jogged over to the spot I was getting ready to vacate and said, "I know you think this is really hard now, but just wait- in six weeks you will be amazed at what you can do."


It was hard for me to even pretend to smile because there was no moisture left in my mouth, and I was heaving so hard.

But I thought to myself, Seriously?

The best I can hope for in six weeks is that my friends and family will still be grieving for the loss of yours truly.

Yeah, they will all be whispering to each other,"If only she hadn't tried to do so much so soon." Rest in Peace.



Lite Bites make me angry!

Tonight is going to be a big night! Going to the Enzian Theater for the opening night party of the International Film Fest. Yeah, I will be leaving the warm security of my house, my cozy, new friend, the house that I have recently become so attached to. I will have to take off my favorite zippy and wear something respectable for a change. You know, the other day I went prom dress shopping with my fabulous daughter, we left around 2pm and I turned to her and said, "Wow, everything looks so bright out here"...Lately when I leave the house it is closer to dusk and then it is just a quick trip to see my friends at Publix. Now, before all of you get worried, or for those of you that are saying to yourselves, "I just knew it!, she has really lost it". Fear not. This is just the new me, entering the next phase of my life. I'll have you know I have given up the sedation of Boggle on line for Mafia Wars, where I get much more exposure to the real world! I am making more money per minute on Mafia Wars than I ever made in real life and I can do all this from the privacy of my own home. OK, now back to this evening. For those of you that have never been, the Enzian is a must. It is this artsy, Winter Parky theater that has a great outdoor bar and runs less than mainstream films. The first film I saw here was subtitled and in my little narrow minded way, that bugged me. I mean, I have to work while I watch? The only work I was up for was working on that pitcher of Amber Bok and sampling the little tasty morsels we'd ordered- "a lite bite". Lite bites always get me in a bad mood. I just know a lite bite will not do it for me. I want the "big bite" menu, but that is so just not p.c. today. I know our waiter was thinking, "yeah, you look like you've been ordering off the big bite menu, time for you to gear down"...
Anyhow, we will be seeing the opening of Jennifer Aniston's new film called Management and the after party is some famous chef off some reality show (ha, who would do that?) and area celebrity chefs cooking up a storm. I just hope they offer some good wines. Seriously, I remember one time when I was on a diet, I only got up in the morning so that I wouldn't miss a meal, Now, I get up in the morning because it gets me one step closer to "wine" hour that evening. Does that mean I am turning into...gasp....a wine-o? Worry not, this is only a phase!

Wednesday

The Ped Egg Experience

Recently I found myself out shopping with my sister. She was looking for new bedding for her room. So, we made the usual stops, TJMax's, Tuesday Morning, etc. She kept complaining, "let's just go to Dillard's". Dillard's! I exclaimed, "nobody goes to Dillard's for bedding". "They don't, she countered, why not"? "Well, Dillard's is just so middle of the road, trust me, you will pay a fortune and only get middle America". "And you my sissy, are not middle America, not while you are with me". "No... with me, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel America, so get used to it". While we were at Tuesday Morning we got yelled out. I was on my hands and knees digging for a second set of sheets to match the 620 thread count Italian blend sheets we'd finally settled on when I hear this bored, nasal voice coming from the register, "Please don't open the sheet packages". I looked up at my sister, now frozen in place, with her hand half way into a package, when she replied, "well how are we going to know if we like the sheets, if we can't feel them"? The cashier had by now put down the bag of Frito's she was working on and after wiping her hands on her sizable jeans she wiggled her fingers towards us, as if to say, "hand them over". "We can open them much better than you can, we do a better job and it will be..well better". In that split second, my sister pulled her hand out of the package she'd recently invaded and turned to me and said, "let's go, I am all done with Tuesday Morning". I slowly pulled myself up and looked at my sister and she had this look and right then I knew it was over for the Italian sheets- Chow baby! Off to the next stop, Bed Bath and Beyond your wildest imagination. There we not only found the sheets, pillows and euro inserts but, I also found the Ped-Egg. Who knew the ped egg doesn't take batteries? Not me. My sister told me, "Oooo, you have to have a ped-egg". I was thinking, for $10 bucks, nah. I'd rather spend my $10 bucks on two days of Chi Lattes at 4bucks, but she insisted. So now I have a ped-egg. The experience of using the ped egg is well, just so "manual". There are no batteries, you just shovel the egg back and forth- scraping your hoofs. It claims to be so gentle, it can't pop a balloon. Two seconds into my egg experience, I cut my finger. I should have bought the Sham-Wow.

Tuesday

Make new friends...

I am thinking about going to the gym... Whenever I post this on my FBook page, I will always get a few comments back from friends that wish me well, but know in their hearts, it ain't gonna happen! This morning I woke up and once the fog cleared, I thought I should go to the gym, I mean reallly go to the gym. But then I realized I had slept in my "gym" clothes, so what would I wear? Not that I don't have numerous pairs of black UCF t's and black sweats, I just happened to be wearing my favorite pair and I don't feel nearly as good in the others. Also, my favorite zippy was in the washer. I think that if the zippy had been available, I may have been able to go this morning, but it was just not gonna happen. I thought about that for a while and decided it might use up more energy washing what I was wearing, than it would to even go to the gym. I can actually picture myself walking into the gym, recognizing that smell, the noises. Yeah, I'd feel right at home on the elliptical, right next to that cute college co-ed and the lady that has asthma so bad, she really shouldn't be working out. I mean, I am totally sympathetic with her condition, but the grunting is so distracting to me. Here I am cussing like a sailor, internally of course. Thinking how the fbomb are you going to get through the next 20 minutes, blah, blah, blah and than there is this dawning recognition of someone grunting, like every 4 seconds... Sometimes when I am thinking about going to the gym, but instead go to Publix, I see the grunter- fast walking down the street, she is obviously walking to the gym. I have actually slowed my car down and opened my sunroof to see if I could hear the grunts. Bazaar, maybe. But I have this one sided relationship with her, "oh, there's my little grunter friend". She, for whatever reason does not acknowledge me. But I think of her as a friend, my grunting, gym friend. I have other friends that I see in Publix too, as that has become my big trip of the day now, when I am not thinking about going to the gym. Weird, if I think about going to Publix, I always seem to make it. It doesn't matter what I am wearing. My friends at Publix do not judge. Instead they welcome me in with the smell of freshly baked breads, sometimes, if you time it just right, you can sample a mini meal at their "Publix Apron" station. I was worried for a while that the economy may ruin this little treat, but so far, so good! For those of you that have jobs and can't make it to Publix while they are sampling, let me just say, it is better then the samples at Sam's. At Publix, they actually create a bite sized meal on a little plate and then they have all the ingredients right there for you to purchase- now tell me that is not a good friend! Yes, I'd have to say, in the friends department, unemployment has been good to me!


Hello Lover!

Monday

Cruise with me baby!

We were off to the Bahamas! Crap. Time for a bathing suit, the old one just wouldn't work in the Caribbean. Nah, the little elastic that was guaranteed to make you look 10 pounds thinner, just wasn't doing its' trick any longer. I guess there was an expiration date I'd missed in the fine print, Warning: the ten pound deal is only guaranteed for one year OR twenty pounds, which ever comes first. No comment. So, I get the new suit, it looks really cute over the new black cover-up. However, looking ten pounds thinner does have a price. Actually, it was an even toss-up with the price I paid for the suit and the cruise ticket. But we all know that looking ten pounds thinner is priceless, so back off! As I see it, the only problem with this whole, "look ten pounds thinner" deal is, ten pound is just not enough. I really needed the, "Oprah Winfrey special" the one that removes all body fat and changes your hair color. Ten pounds, I mean, really! I have found that you can actually look "ten pounds thinner" if you simply remove the Cheetos from your pockets!
So we leave for Port Canaveral and I look at my husband and I say, "you know how to get there, right"? He replies, "yes, I know how to get there". 1.5 hours later, I say to him, "that is really weird that it is taking us so long, because it is only an hour drive". Note to self, don't leave home without your GPS. We finally arrive at the Port and now we are getting happy. Which in itself it unusual for our family. We consistently are in a bad mood for the first 12 hours of any vacation we have ever taken together. Don't ask me why and I am sure we are completely unique in this, but we fight like cats and dogs just getting to where we are going. Could it be because we leave our house with our hair on fire and cell phones attached to our ears each time? For my husband, getting away from his business is nearly impossible.
And now, because of the unfortunate incident of my husband claiming to know where he was going and the hair fire...we are told when we drive into the port that we have 20 minutes to park and CARRY on our luggage, which is fine with me, as I don't want that bathing suit out of my sight! By the time we actually get to check in we are all breathing heavy. And because of the whole driving incident, I have now been self appointed as "lady in charge" and I carry all our documentation up to the counter. The lady checks in my son and daughter and takes my husband and my documents which by the way are birth certificates, not passports and she starts to shake her head..."this won't do at all", she says and she points at me, "this is a hospital certificate, not a real birth certificate and your husbands is the same, however, since he was born in a Navel hospital, he is OK". "You, on the other hand, cannot leave the country". OK, go easy, breath...things start to spin and I saw our boat leaving without us, "are you sure," I ask. I mean, not for nothing, but I have been living off that same birth certificate for a whole lotta, lotta and it has always worked before. "No Mame, the others may move forward and step up to the yellow line, but you may not, you have to go talk to Louise". Now I glance up at the clock and see that the ship really does depart in 15 minutes, and I am starting to really sweat. Not just the running with your luggage kinda sweat, but the, "you just lost a bunch of money and ruined the best chance you had of testing out that new elastic on your suit sort of sweat". Yeah, it was ugly. While I am being ushered over to Louise's line, (reads, "the loser's who didn't get their passport in time" line,) I hear the first lady trying to get my hubby and kids on the boat! My husband puts his foot down and declares, "if she can't go, no one goes". I turned to protest, but it was too late, I was already being pushed towards a big policeman and a lady, whom I assumed was Louise. I heard whispers from the other port workers, "psh...she has to talk to Louise". Louise takes one look at my documentation and she declares, "This is not a a real birth certificate, it is a hospital certificate and only proves you were born". I looked at her and inside my head that little bad voice that always gets me in deeper is saying,"really, because I am thinking that is WHAT I am trying to prove". But instead, I take a deep breath and say in the nice, I don't mean to be any trouble voice, "OK. now I am going to cry". She looked down her glasses at me and said, "honey, crying is not going to help your situation. Can't you call someone to fax you over your real birth certificate"? As I think about this genius suggestion, my mind working fast and furious, wondering who could I call and what does my house look like? I remembered that we left it in a bit of a mess getting out and in that split second, I weighed going on the cruise versus someone seeing the likely orange juice carton left out next to the cracked eggs we left behind. "OK, I will try to call someone", I blurted. Well, as my luck was running- that angle didn't pan out. But by this time I realize that the cop was hanging up the phone and he turned to Louise and said that it was all up to her. Louise, who by the way, looked like someones adorable little grandmother with twinkling blue eyes, leaned over real close to my hair and breathed hotly in my ear, she said, "I am going to let this happen and if you ever breath a word of this to anyone, I will hunt you down and nothing, and I mean nothing will stop me from making this the last cruise you ever take". "Have I made myself clear"? Stunned, I reached up and gave her a huge hug, which she did not appreciate one little bit and said, "Louise, I love you"! So, in the end, we made it on the boat. The cruise was too much fun and the bathing suit, well the elastic trick worked pretty well, up until I had that last Pina Colada, and then, not so much!

Sunday

Loving and Losing

They say that bad things,happen in three's. I'm not sure of the accuracy of this, but have been left to wonder lately.
So in telling this story, I will have to admit to the fact that I am maybe a bit of a lurk on facebook...
Of course, I am only lurking friends that have by the mere virtue of having granted me "friend" status allowed this to happen. But still, I feel a little "over exposed" telling you in black and white, that really, I am a bit of a voyeur. So, all you "friends" out there, be on your guard. Now, back to the bad things happening in three's... Does it count if the three bad things are totally unrelated? What I mean is that in the recent week, I have seen on two of my "friends" facebook pages that they'd recently lost someone. In both cases it seemed to be a relatively young person and certainly someone that was well loved and would be tremendously missed. As I read some of the stories written about these individuals and as I was drawn into their lives, reveling in the stories of fun, mischief, love and loss, I felt a little uncomfortable leaning so far into this stranger's life. But in reading about each loss, I felt like I too would have been friends with this person and felt a certain loss in knowing that wasn't possible. But what I really recognized in each loss was that the person that had left this earth was loved by so many. In some cases it was by school mates that they had not spoken to in 20 years and in others', people would say, "I just ran into to him last week, I wish I had taken more time". Often you will hear people say that there is a silver lining in everything and that this is especially true in times of loss. Or, how about, "everything happens for a reason". During the time of loss, it is difficult to correlate the actual loss to a silver lining and certainly hard to understand the "reason" we have lost someone we love. Late this afternoon I received a call that someone who is very dear to me tragically lost a parent. There was no silver lining, no reason, it just happened. Earlier this week the losses I read about happened to somebody else and while I felt the pain in each writers post, it was nothing compared to the sadness I feel for my friend. And while I didn't know my friends' parent well, I, too, have been locked in the agony of loss and understand all too well the cloak of darkness it brings. Tonight I will say my prayers and my list of intentions will be a little longer.

Wednesday

No Soup for you!

Having recently achieved the status of a "stay at home mom", I have really tried to start to do the things that "other women", reads, (did not leave their families to fend for themselves for 15 years, while they went out to knock the corporate world dead and earn heaps of money, of which they currently have none) do when faced with 8-10 hours of the day, all alone. I still feel a little creepy in my house-alone during the day. When someone comes to the door, I immediately assume it is the pre-cursor to a home invasion...
So, back to the whole Betty Crocker thing, first off I want to say, I am certain that Betty Crocker was a fictional character, I know this because there is just no way you have time to clean the house, do the laundry AND bake a cake, just when would you have the time- in between all the fabulous re-runs of The Real House Wife's on Bravo?
But I have never been one to rest on my laurels, so try I do... Yesterday I decided to make cauliflower soup. Ask why, and I'd tell you that is an excellent question, but when my cousin sent me the recipe and she said it only looked complicated, but was really easy, I thought, "I'll do it", my first mistake!
Fast forward to me having been in the kitchen for like already way too long and it is time to put the multiple ingredients that have now been chopped, diced, blanched, sauteed and just about anything else you can do to veggies and still call them nutritional into the food processor. Now I have had this food processor for about 10 years and my kids walk in and say, "Wow, Mom, where did that come from"? I'm a little annoyed, but I reply, "It's a food processor you under exposed children, it will take all this crap and puree it for soup". My son added, "you mean so that our dinner is mush"? "Yeah, son, YOUR dinner will be mush" I responded. I proceeded to pour the stuff into the food processor, and I have to say, it was a mess. When I pushed the pulse button, liquid flew up out of the mixer all over the counter and floor, which was already wet and sticky from the club soda that had exploded when I opened it earlier,(another story). My son said, "Umm Mom, I don't think that is how it is supposed to work". I looked up at him over my glasses that had now slipped down my nose and said, " liked you'd know and what are you doing here, aren't you supposed to be renewing your driver's license, so that they don't haul you away"? By now, I am totally regretting this endeavor and Chinese food take out is sounding really good. My daughter, deciding it is time to rescue me comes over and says to me, "there shouldn't be a hole in the center of the food processor, everything is escaping out". I looked at her and attempting a kind tone say, "it is just like a bunt cake honey, they have holes", "Yeah, she replied, I know, but there still shouldn't be a hole in the center and the food isn't even getting mashed up". And another thing, she added, "why is this thing", she pointed to the blade laying on the counter, "not INSIDE of the processor"? I looked down at the counter top and saw the blade-thingy laying there and looked around my kitchen, where I had every stock pot I owned out (3) along with two mixing bowls and numerous other cooking apparatus' and thought, "why do I try so hard"? I moved across the kitchen, my feet making sticking noises on the tile and recovered the blade and calmly poured the mess inside the mixer into yet another large bowl and placed the blade in the processor and thought to myself, there must be something "bad wrong" with me not to have realized the hole wasn't natural- it just wasn't designed to work that way. Now, I will admit that when I first started to pour the ingredients into the food processor, I thought, this is so weird because you have to be really careful to not allow the food to get into the middle hole and I thought to myself, "what faulty design"! So, in the end, we had our cauliflower soup for dinner and it was pretty good, although my son sat there with his bowl and passing his spoon through the soup, asked me, "is there any meat in this stuff"?

Tuesday

dogs are people too...

When I shop at Whole Foods, a couple of things happen; first, I spend way more money than I should, but when I am in there, I also start thinking about what it would be like to "live" like a real typical Whole Foods shopper lives. I figure one of the first things I'd have to do would be stop asking for plastic. Everyone there seems to bring in their own bags and that is cool, I even have a couple of those "recycle" bags, but they are filled with my dry cleaning. Also, Whole Food shoppers definitely seem a lot cooler than I am, so I will have to work on getting a more hip look, oh, I don't know maybe lose the Chanel's and switch to RayBan's? Something else that hits me in Whole Food are the "self help" isles- it is like being in echineacha heaven- something to cure almost anything. So that leads me to admitting that while I am there, I start to think about colon cleansing, monster vitamins, natural sleep aides, well, you get the picture. Well, one fine day while browsing the isles, I stumbled onto the “Pure Omega fish Oils”. They had about 27 different types to pick from, each one promising one benefit after another, who could resist? I was certain that in addition to having shiny hair, I'd also get the benefits of age reversal, increased memory, healthy heart, hell, I may even start yoga! And since I had already put a gallon container of Protein Whey smoothie mix in my cart, I figured, why not make that smoothie extra healthy with some pure omega oil? Once I got home I proceeded over the next two weeks to drink one of those “special” smoothies every morning. I actually thought my hair did look shinier, in fact, I was so impressed, I started making the smoothies for the entire family. We ran out of the omega oil, so I ran back to Whole Foods and re-upped. This smoothie thing was really taking off in my house! I was on the phone one morning and trying to make my smoothie at the same time and I was telling my friend about the oil I added as my special ingredient, she asked me how much I put in and I said, “I really don’t measure, I just pour some in”, but that made me actually look at the label to see if I was- gasp, over pouring. Reading the label I felt my eyes start to blur, it didn't make sense, it read, “The Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in this product provide powerful natural nutrition that supports the overall health of your pet. My pet? I barked (could not resist) and almost gagged.. I was halfway through my second bottle of what I now considered dog food!!
I seriously contemplated tossing not only the balance of the bottle (I did of course) but also my last three weeks of breakfast smoothies, right then and there!
Moral of the story...When at Whole Food, beware..the pet supplies are sometimes housed right next to the people items and if you are not careful you may end up with a bark that is worse than your bite!

Wednesday

Rest in Peace...


Aw...come on! I loved this magazine. It offered so many great ideas that anyone could do.

Tuesday

Life Complicated

I was thinking that in my next career I'd like to be a barrista. Although I am concerned that it looks pretty hard. People are always yelling out their names and orders and sometimes they are so complicated; 3 splenda, 1/2 soy, 1/3 organic hold the whip. On second thought, maybe not. I have decided to give up anything too complicated for Lent. Is that bad or sacrilegious? Somehow, I don't think the Big Guy would take this proclamation too seriously. I mean He knows me really well, he knows I am only joking about the Lent deal and that I am going to do something really BIG for Lent, like help solve the financial crisis in our global economy... But wait just a minute, aren't we (this is addressed to all you Catholics out there) supposed to give something up for Lent, something we dearly love, something that we'd find to be a huge sacrifice? Man, this whole "life" thing is getting really hard, first having to give up the idea of being a barrista and now a Lenten fiasco... I could give up wine, but that is a crazy idea. I mean giving up wine will not make me a better person. I could give up my medications that make life rosier, but than I don't take anything, so I would just be giving up the idea of going to get something to make me better... I picture myself walking into Walgreen's and telling the pharmacist, "I am here to pick up my prescription" and the pharmacist would say, "we don't have anything under your name" and than I'd give him my neighbors name, my kids teachers name, the weirdest person I know names, all in hope of striking it rich. So then I'd walk over to the Lotto line and pull my last one dollar bill out of my skinny little wallet and I'd try my luck at solving the financial crisis in my own family.