Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blog Hopping

I'm still so new to blogging so I get excited when I find interesting blogs. I recently discovered Never Growing Old ( and am intrigued by Blog Hopping. From what I understand, someone posts on their blog, you copy it (questions, fill-ins) and link back to it. So now I know how Fill-in-the-Blank Fridays started at The Little Things We Do ( I hope I can remember to join in on Meet Me on Mondays and a few others.

Today, it's about books. I love books. I am a little obsessed with books, I think. A friend told me about about a year ago and I think it's such a great tool for keeping track of everything I read and plan to read. If you haven't been to yet, and you love to read, I highly recommend you check it out. If you join, let me know and we can friend up. It's sort of like Facebook for the avid reader!

So, like I said, today's blog hop (courtesy of is about books. Here goes:

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
What are you currently reading? I'm about 100 pages away from finishing "This Must Be the Place" by Kate Racculia. I like it, but I don't love it. There are several main characters: Amy and Arthur and Mona and Oneida. Amy and Arthur are married, but Amy dies in the first few pages of the book. Arthur finds a shoebox of memorabilia in Amy's closet after she dies and realizes he really doesn't know anything about her past. Amy and Mona were best friends in high school. Oneida is Mona's teenage daughter. Arthur travels from LA to NY to meet Mona to find out about Amy and to find out WHY he doesn't know about her past. I guess what I don't love about the book is actually Amy and Arthur. I'm not fond of them. I'm interested enough to finish it and find out the whole story though.
What did you recently finish reading? About a week ago, I finished "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" by Alan Bradley. Cute story. A little too over-descriptive at times. Found myself skimming those paragraphs that just seemed to over-do the flourish about a location. If it's not necessary to the plot, I skim!
What do you think you'll read next? I have SO many books piled up beside my bed, I'm not really sure where to start. Maybe "The First Day of the Rest of My Life" by Cathy Lamb. Her books are always fun. I also have several Douglas Kennedy books in the pile. No shortage of books in this house!
Happy reading!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Like the Grinch than Frosty

While I love the sweet sentiments of Curly Girl products, I've gotta say, most days I'm in an Erin Smith Art mood. Today for example, this was my Facebook status:

I mentioned this one in an earlier post, but feel the need to repeat it:

God, I love this stuff. One more for the road:

Thank you, Erin Smith for being so entertaining. And spot on. You can view all of Erin's work here at:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

At Your Service

Leigh and the staff at Curly Girl Design ( are embarking on a "Send Love" project in an effort to send love to women currently on active duty in the military. Here's an excerpt from the Curly Girl blog about the project:

If I know a woman in on active duty in the military who would love Curly Girl Cards, then I'll bet you guys do!! Let's send them some love and color shall we?? Here's the deal:
Send us the full military address for the woman or women you know, currently serving active-duty (we will certainly send to active-duty men too, if you think they would love to get a Curly Girl envelopes are equal-opportunity day-brighteners!) along with an email love-note to them. We will print out your email and enclose it in a Curly Girl Card and send it off to them for you! On us!
Send emails to: (mark the subject line: SEND LOVE) by Monday December 5th 10am EST

When I first read this I thought about my niece-in-law who is a nurse in the U.S. Air Force, serving in Germany. I admit that initially I thought that I wouldn't submit her name because she isn't literally on the front lines, living on a base and facing enemy fire every day. But then I realized that she is away from her family (thankfully, my nephew - her husband - was just transferred to Germany -- she was there for a year without him) and she is on active duty and she IS serving her country. Here's the email I wrote to Curly Girl in order to send love to her:

Dear Leigh & Curly Girl staff,
When I first read on your blog that you were sending cards to women in active duty, I did think of my niece-in-law, but thought that the cards should really go to those serving on the front lines, seeing war every day. Then it hit me, she is too. She is a nurse in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in Germany. When she and my nephew married three years ago, she was working in South Carolina. Since she was not administering to many wounded soldiers, she opted for a transfer to Germany to work out of the base in Rammstein. I realized today, that while she may not be physically fighting a war, she is still fighting. She is fighting for the lives of every soldier that is injured and is lucky enough to be in her care. I'm very proud of her and very proud that she is part of my family. 

Here's a copy of what she posted on Facebook today -- so you can see how wonderful she is:

"So I was woken up out of a dead sleep to fly downrange. Instead of being grumpy I realize what an honor it is to be able to rescue a hero and provide quality care to them while transporting them somewhere safe. God bless our troops in harms way and continue to remind those stateside of the sacrifices that the military makes for them EVERYDAY!!!!"

It feels good to Send Love. She deserves it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Orange you glad . . .

I remember a knock-knock joke from when I was a kid that goes like:

Knock-knock. Who's there?
Orange. Orange who?
Knock-knock. Who's there?
Orange. Orange who?
Knock-knock. Who's there?
Banana. Orange you glad I didn't say orange again?

Totally inane. But, I love orange - the color, not the fruit - so I guess that's why it has stuck with me. As much as I love the color, I do think I'm rather subtle about my use, for a lack of a better word, of it. I have a few things in the house that have orange accents, like a small painting of a pumpkin and a framed photograph of the poppies posted above (proud to say I took that picture myself). I also have a really cool long, rectangular, block candle on my kitchen island that is orange (darned if I could find a picture of it on Google Images - I thought everything was on the internet?!) that nicely accents the black and green marble countertops. Anyway, after Pinning (have you checked out yet? Be warned, it's a time killer!) a couple of orange eye-catchers, I decided to add them here. They make me happy. Here's a few orange bits of joy:

I just bought these for myself and already have received compliments on them at the gym. They are more vibrant in person. I think they sorta glow!

I got these in the Spring from Kate Spade. I didn't wear them nearly enough (the orange ones, obviously!).

I found this ring on the Sundance Catalog site. I so wanted to add it to my Christmas list because it is on sale, but sadly, they don't have my size. Still makes me happy to look at though.


And, I found this fun purse on The seller is Teddy out of Thailand, if you are interested (gotta give Teddy credit, right?!).

Orange leather handbag / purse / shoulderbag / Candy / tftateam

I think these Tory Burch flats are pretty cool. Might have to save my pennies for a Spring purchase  . . . .

And, my dream purse is anything by Hermes in their signature orange. I mean, even their packaging is a gorgeous shade of orange!

Clearly, I'm a fan of orange. I know I posted about it in October in regards to Halloween decorating. Guess I must be missing it a little now that the house is decked out for Christmas in reds and greens! I might just make this a regular feature - maybe a little monthly pick-me-up. Glad that just a bit of color really does brighten up my day.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I Love a Good Sale!

I have a bit of a shopping problem. I shop. A lot. BUT, I pride myself in being a bargain shopper. That being said, I love a good sale! However, I did NOT venture out at midnight on Thanksgiving to partake in Black Friday madness. No way! Instead, I sat in the comfort of my home the day before Thanksgiving and today, Cyber Monday, to do some sale shopping.

I somehow managed to buy a couple of things for myself while buying Christmas gifts. A little bit of "one for you, one for me"! Is that wrong? I mean, it (er, they) were on sale!  I did get some great bargains for the Christmas gifts I bought. Old Navy and the Gap had sale prices on Wednesday, with an additional 15% off and free shipping over $50. Granted to get over the $50 I did have to add a little something for myself. I was already buying four gifts for a little over $40 so I had to bump it up to $50 for that free shipping. I actually love free shipping more than a sale price. Combine them and I'm over the moon.

Anyway, I bought a couple of gifts for my husband online today using a coupon and free shipping (now if I could just get rid of the darn sales tax . . . ). And, I, um, bought myself something too. It was 30% off! I couldn't NOT buy it. Right? I mean, if I told my husband to buy it for me for Christmas, he wouldn't buy it today and he'd pay full price. I'm saving us money!

(Sometimes, I actually think I could be a shut-in. Just give me access to the internet, TV and grocery delivery [for the record, I haven't tried this . . . yet] and I'd be all set.)

I think the gifts I bought will bring smiles to the recipients' faces. I do actually put a lot of thought into my shopping and gift giving. In fact, I think I wouldn't have actually found a couple of these gifts if it weren't for the internet.

I still have a few small things to get, like stocking stuffers for my husband and parents. But the bulk of my shopping is done. And it's not even December! Woo hoo. Aside from the gifts for my husband - and myself - the majority of the gifts have to be shipped to friends in other states. So, now I just have to wait for all my packages to arrive, wrap them up and then go wait in line at the post office!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another Fill-in-the-Blank Friday

I've just got home after spending nine days in Arizona. I have lots of ideas swimming around in my head to jot down, but right now, after paying bills and catching up on mail and email and Internet trolling, I'm too foggy to to put down any individual thoughts. So, it's time to borrow from for another Fill-in-the-Blank Friday. Here goes:

1.   A nervous habit I have is  picking my left thumbnail. I don't bite it, but I will tussle with its ridges which always leads to it breaking. I do put it between my teeth, which is weird, I know. I don't bite it, just sort of push on it. That also leads to it breaking. Poor nail, there is not much hope for it. Unless I splurge for a manicure, then I'll leave it alone. Until the nail polish starts to chip. Then, it's history.

2.   Something that makes me sad is the puppies I saw in the mall in a store in AZ. So freakin' cute, but it's really sad to see them cooped up in their glass-fronted cages. It looks like it smells inside those little boxes. Most of the puppies were asleep, and while I know pups sleep a lot in general, I just couldn't help thinking that maybe they were drugged. I hope the store owners truly care about and care for the dogs, but it's just so sad. 

3.  Today I am thankful for my husband's patience and ability to put up with my moods; money in our bank accounts; just the thought about sleeping in on Sunday!

4. My favorite room in my house is, based on color alone, the powder room! It's only a toilet and a sink, but the color is the color of Sedona (I was just there on Tuesday, so I can really attest to the likeness!). We had a guest bathroom in our FL house that was the same color. It's this great terra cotta orange. Now that I think of it, I think our guest bath in MA was this color too! We call it the Arizona bathroom, for the color and because we have pictures of a cactus and the red rocks of Sedona on white shelves in there. Corny, I know. But for comfort, my favorite room is our den/great room. We have a huge sectional couch in there; the fireplace is in there; and we have to softest, coziest throw on that big ole couch that we bought last year at Pottery Barn. I snuggle under it every night. Even in the summer, when the a/c is cranking away. Check it out at:

5.  I can't stand a lot of things! But, I can't focus on one particular thing right now. In an effort to be positive, I'm just going to let this go! Big step for me!

6.  If I had an extra $100 to spend on whatever I wanted today I would treat myself to some new sweaters. It's getting cold now (well, it's in the 50s and 60s, and to me, that's cold!), so I'm wanting to stock up on warm and comfy clothes. And, since I had a birthday last week, and since my parents and my in-laws were generous with cash gifts (the all live in MA, so I really don't mind getting a birthday check - no sense in them buying and shipping a gift), I technically do have $100 to spend on myself. But, then again, I did splurge on a pair of Tory Burch flats while I was in AZ. So, that $100 really should go into the checking account. It should. But, we'll see . . . 

Here are my cute new flats:

7.  The last person I hung out with was my husband Jim. This is par for the course. We laugh at ourselves about how much time we spend together. We are a bit inseparable! Comes with having moved to CA and not knowing anyone when we got here. Sadly, we've been here a while and still don't have regular friends to hang out with. Thankfully, we enjoy each others' company and we like doing things together. We did spend time with friends in AZ though, so other than Jim, the last person I hung out with was Megan. And Mark, her husband. And Taiya and Alexa, her amazing 6-year-old twins. Back up to number 3, I'm thankful for them too. They are kind and they make me laugh and they make me feel loved. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday

Trolling the few blogs I follow, I found this neat, little Fill-in-the-Blank questionnaire thingy. First, to give credit where it's due, I found it at: RED locks & BOLD frames ( And from there I found that it originated at: the little things we do ( I am amazed at how many people have posted it on their blogs. Add me to the list! Here goes:

1.   My favorite thing about this week was/is being able to wear my new boots today! My husband bought me a most extravagant and totally fun pair of Jimmy Choo motorcycle boots in July (July!!) and I am finally getting to wear them today! I have trouble with boots -- my calves are too big for my size 6.5 feet. I can NEVER get boots to zip. Never. These fun little kicks only come up to mid-calf so I am finally, FINALLY, sportin' some boots. Kick ass ones, to boot (ha, to boot!).

2.   Colder weather makes me cold! But I do love a new sweater. In fact, in honor of my upcoming birthday, I treated myself to two new sweaters at the yearly Women's sale at Nordstrom on Wednesday. I never shop at Nordstrom, but I can't resist a good sale. The sweaters were both half off! Woo hoo. Bring on the nip in the air!

3.  Three things that make me terribly happy as of late are  no re-runs (I'm pretty much addicted to TV); money in our checking account (sigh of relief when there is money left over after paying the mortgage, with room to spare for above-mentioned sales and such); the thought of getting an extra hour of sleep this weekend when we turn the clocks back for daylight savings.

4. If I could only wear one kind of shoe for the rest of my life, I'd choose  flip flops. I also choose to live in a climate that allows for year-round flip-flop wearing. I know I just waxed poetic about my snazzy new boots, but put a gun to my head, and I am going with flippers.

5.  My personality type is a weird mix of introverted and extroverted. I was incredibly shy when I was little -- I wouldn't talk to men (probably should have hung on to that personality quirk in my 20s), wouldn't speak out loud in class (got over that around 3rd grade and quite made up for it by 6th grade when I drove my teacher, Mr. Anderson, CRAZY). And on the flip side, I have had extreme moments of being extroverted in high school, college and in present day. But, I still revert back to the shy girl sometimes. I don't like to go to a party where I only know the host but I'll talk to anybody in Target or at the gym. Go figure.

6.  I have a serious problem resisting  a sale! I can justify the purchase of most anything if it is bargain priced! 
7.  My favorite color to wear is  a toss up between grey and purple (for the record, my all time favorite color is orange, but it's not the top choice of most fashion designers -- I do own some fun orange clothes, but it doesn't make a regular appearance). Purple was my favorite color as a kid. So much that I would actually NOT use the purple crayon because I wanted to make it last. Grey can be kinda dull, but I have some really cute sweaters in various shades of grey, from light, oyster grey to warm, cozy, charcoal grey. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Inspiration. Motivation. Dedication. I need these -ations! It's gotta start with the inspiration, I think. I need to find something that will inspire me and then motivate me and then I can apply the dedication.

The other day, I read one of the blogs I follow, Hippo Brigade, and I thought, "Oh, I wish I could write like that." I read her writing and I say to myself that she writes how I think. Then I try to put pen to paper (well, fingertips to keyboard) and nothing comes out. Or something comes out and it's not witty.

The inspiration and the motivation need to come hand-in-hand. I have to get inspired by something and that will motivate me -- to write, to run, to work out, to bake, to just get off the couch. I need a kick in the pants!

I'm thinking about joining a new gym. The gym I currently belong to is super affordable, but that also means it's super limited. I really only use the treadmill. There aren't any classes there and I'm never motivated enough to use the free weights or the machines. So, I got a two-week free pass to a huge gym that is closer to my house and has rooms and rooms of equipment and cardio and offers classes. So, the inspiration is there, I guess - I've been inspired to try something new. Now I need the motivation.

Sure, I went to the gym yesterday. But I used the treadmill. Nothing inspired there.

Tomorrow I'm going to take my first spinning class. I'm nervous. I've never done it before and I'll be the all-around newbie in the class. I know gyms can be clique-y and that makes me shy. I'm hoping that after I make it through the class, I'll be motivated to try out some other classes.

I know that I'm motivated enough to go to the gym five days a week, since I've been doing that for about two years now. Last year, I ran my first 5K. I had a goal and I reached it. Then I went on to run five more in a year. Now I need a new goal. Plus, my body is getting tired of running five days a week and it's letting me know! I'm starting to think that I've skipped the inspiration step. I'm motivated to burn calories, but what inspires me? What's the push?

Do I need to start cutting pictures out of magazines of women with great bodies to hang on the refrigerator? My husband might like that. I don't know if that's enough to inspire and motivate me. I give in to my food cravings far too often and think that I could probably overlook the hot bodies and say that I'll just start over tomorrow.

So, what is going to inspire me? What will inspire me to write? What will inspire me to be creative? What will inspire me to change my workout? I need to think on this . . . and hope for a little divine intervention . . . or inspiration . . . .

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rhymes with Orange . . .

Well, nothing rhymes with orange. But everything looks better in orange, I say! I love the color orange. So, this is one of my favorite times of the year -- hooray for pumpkin season!

I've never been a HUGE fan of Halloween (well, except for the candy - the rest is just details!), but I really do love decorating at this time of year. When we moved to FL three years ago from MA, where Autumn is not just a season, it's an event -- leaf peeping, apple picking, football games, putting on a sweater for chilly nights . . . . Oh, yeah, I was saying, when I moved to FL my new neighborhood was big on Halloween decorating and I had a lot of catching up to do. Thus began my (slight) obsession with buying Halloween decorations. Gotta keep up with the Joneses, right?

Funnily enough, decorating for Halloween in FL couldn't involve using real pumpkins (keep 'em outside too long, and they rot before Halloween arrives). But, craft pumpkins proved to be a nice substitute. And, all this seasonal decorating gave me an excuse to go orange! I could spread the love from the front door right into and throughout the house.

Three years later and I'm still into my orange decorations, now I'm just using them in CA. And, in CA, there are pumpkin farms! Woo hoo! How excited was I to go pumpkin picking for the first time three years ago?! All those pumpkins! AND, some of them were green. And white. And some are even called Fairytale Pumpkins! Fun stuff.

I have found, though, that in the last few years, since coming to CA, I've been weeding out my Halloween decorations and am opting for a more mature decor. Fewer ghosts and jack o'lanterns, more pumpkins, gourds and cornucopia. I hung onto a few cute ghostly candles and will probably always put my funky witch out (see below; she's so ugly, she's cute), but I've found that using my pumpkins -- real and a few ceramic -- lets me keep the orange around straight through Thanksgiving.

I really love the colors of this season and I'm always trying to capture the perfect picture of said seasonal delights. Thought I'd share a few. They make me feel cozy. Like putting on that first sweater of Autumn for that first chilly night.

My favorite little witch:

Fall favorites:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Words to Live By

I have some funny friends. One of the funniest, Danielle, posted this on Facebook the other day. It's too perfect not to repeat:

"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, surrounded by assholes." -- William Gibson

Tru Dat. I'm not sure who Mr. Gibson is, but he's clearly a realist.

Speaking of realists, I really like the artwork and sentiments of Erin Smith. You've probably seen her cards at some funky gift shops and decor stores (or here: Here's one of my favorites of hers:

"While I admire the glass-is-half-full type . . . I'm comfortable with the fact my glass will always have a slow and steady leak."

Ah, the half-empty glass. It's a way of life. I speak from experience. I live it most days. My husband, on the other hand, is perpetually a glass-is-half-full type. I always say with my half-empty glass and his half-full one, at least together we make a whole person. I want to get t-shirts printed up for us. I'll don the half-empty glass tee and he can sport the half-full one. I do know that Life is Good does make a Half-Full tee. I just need them to stoop to my level for MY shirt!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Inappropriate Crushes

Have you heard about those couples that each have a list of celebrities that, if given the chance, they would be allowed to cheat with? You know, he's into Angelina, she's into Brad and should ever they have the opportunity to meet and actually sleep with those crushes, they are given the free pass? Well, my husband wants to us to have that kind of agreement. I'm all for it. I mean, do you really think Jay Z is going to let Beyonce sleep with my husband? I don't think so. So, he can go ahead and fantasize about her all he wants. The problem really is with me. My list is a little . . . um, gay? All of my celebrity crushes are either women (in cash my reference to having a husband didn't let on, I'm straight) or gay men. I just don't think this agreement is going to work for us!

Here's my list of inappropriate celebrity crushes:

1) Brooke Shields
Inappropriate factor: she's straight and so am I. But, I think I've been infatuated with her since I was 13 years old and she was in the "Nothing-gets-between-me-and-my-Calvins" Calvin Klein jean ads. And then there was the Blue Lagoon. And Christopher Atkins. Oh, boy! Granted, I had a crush on him then too. But, my love affair with Brooke has lasted through the years. She's beautiful, she's smart (listen to her in interviews: that Princeton education was not wasted on that Pretty Baby -- yes, an intentional bad reference!), and she's really funny. I think she's an under-rated actress. I'm actually contemplating talking my husband into a trip to NY so I can see her in The Addams Family on Broadway before her run is over on 12/31. Kinda stalker-ish maybe??

2) Neil Patrick Harris
Inappropriate factor: he's gay and I'm a straight woman. Sometimes, my crush is on Barney Stinson, the character he plays on How I Met Your Mother. Which is also wildly inappropriate since Barney is the BIGGEST womanizing dog on the planet. So, I guess that says a lot about Neil and his acting chops. He's convinced me that Barney is worthy of attraction and that so is the gay man who portrays him. Neil (notice I use first names, like we're friends!) is also extremely talented -- he acts, he sings, he dances, he hosts the awards shows with aplomb, he does magic tricks. And, most of all, he's very funny.

3) Anderson Cooper
Inappropriate factor: he's an unconfirmed gay and, again, I'm a straight woman. I wasn't fully aware of the Silver Fox's charms until I caught him filling in for Regis on Live with Regis and Kelly. I actually truly hoped his new daytime talk show wouldn't happen and he'd take over permanently for Regis when Reege leaves in November. Bummer, that's not happening. Well, would it be wrong to wish for his daytime show to flop so he could join Kelly in the co-host seat?? Anyway, the serious CNN newsman has a very funny side above and beyond the giggle fit he had about Gerard Depardieu on the air. He's also pretty humble about the fact that his mother comes from one of America's richest families. If he won't sleep with me, I'd really like us to be friends. Is that too much to ask??

4) Tim Gunn
Inappropriate factor: he's gay, and yet again, I'm a straight woman (see how this agreement is so not working out for me?!). How can you not like Tim Gunn? He's always nattily dressed and he has that way of looking over his glasses when you know he's just dying to diss those designs on Project Runway. But, he seems really kind and caring. I don't think I'd really ever want to sleep with him, but I would really love a big hug. And some fashion tips. Of course, I can never let on to him how many pairs of capri pants and capri jeans I own because he DESPISES them. Hmm, maybe we aren't meant to be . . . .

So, in the long run, I think my husband has the better hand in this deal. Should he ever get the chance, he's allowed to sleep with Beyonce or Drew Barrymore or Salma Hayeck. I, in turn, have got my work cut out for me!!

Oh, and I just watched the first episode of The Biggest Loser yesterday. Yeah, I think in a few weeks, Anna Kournakova is going to be added to this list. My list. Sigh. Big sigh.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Birds and the Bees

The birds and the bees. Hmmph. I'm not talking about the fun kind. I'm talking pigeons and yellow jackets. They are making us crazy!

I just spent 5 minutes out back shooting wasp spray into a nook in our roof (the hell with these decorative crevices, they just invite creatures to come in and take over!). I'm on the attack. I killed two wasps in the kitchen and another is lurking up high (damn these 25-foot ceilings). Then I kept hearing little tap tap taps on the sliders. I went out, grabbed the wasp spray and took aim. Unfortunately, the spray distance and I are both too short so I shot a lot of air. So, I grabbed a patio chair (not the most sturdy to stand on, for the record) and took aim again. I got a few and a few flew away but I also made a mess of the house and the patio. Oh, and it's always windy here so I got a good dousing too. I moved over to the other side of this stupid eave and took aim again. Um, should have used the chair again because I'm still too short. Hello,wasp-killer scented Aqua Net! Okay, so I stood on the chair on this side. Blast! And, now it's on my arms, my hair, my face, and in my eyes. Good times.

Damn wasps - they are making me insane. I can only imagine what the neighbors who can see into our back yard are thinking if they are looking out. "Oh, look at crazy white lady. She spray and duck, spray and duck. Why she keep getting spray in face?" (Um, yeah, they're Asian - and yes, I already know I'm going to Hell.)

The pigeons are equally annoying. Well, actually they're worse - their incessant cooing is maddening and they poop everywhere. They love our roof. And those stupid decorative crevices. I toss rocks at them when I see them on the roof. But their arch enemy really is Jim. He goes for the big guns. He gets the hose! He's been known to sneak out at dusk and blast the suckers right out of their nests. Then he fist pumps like he has taken down the Taliban. This is what they do to us. They make us crazy. They make us warriors. Defenders of our homeland.

Be warned, wasps and pigeons: we are armed and dangerous, and a little loony. It's on! Yessiree. It. Is. On.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Does size matter?

The concept of whether size matters is always associated with men. But, really, I think women are more concerned about size. Their size. Their clothes size.

Yesterday, the female radio host of the morning program I listen to in the car reported on a story about Kirstie Alley. Kirstie claims that she has lost so much weight from her stint on Dancing with the Stars, that she went from being a size 14 to now being a size 4. No doubt she has lost weight (she claims 100 pounds - kudos to her; that is fantastic) but I've seen pictures of her lately and she doesn't look like a size 4. Which is EXACTLY what the radio host said! Is she smaller? Yes. Is she smaller than a 14? Yes. Is she a size 4? No. I know, I know: the camera adds pounds. Well, in her case, it's adding dress sizes too! She looks more like an 8 or a 10. Which are still sizes to be proud of, I might add!

So later in the day, I was shopping. And I realized that in my closet, I have clothes in sizes Small, Medium and Large and skirts and pants in sizes 6, 8 and 10. They all fit right now. In fact, while shopping, I bought a sweater at Macy's in size Small, then bought one in J.Jill in size Medium, then tried one on at another store in size Large that was too tight!!

Size matters. If you want to get dressed in the morning it does. But why are we so size obsessed? Well, why are we Women so size obsessed? Why does Kirstie Alley feel compelled to tell us her size and to pick one that is so small? And, why do we care what our size is or what other women's sizes are? No one can see the labels!!! Trust me, I love that I have a couple of skirts in my closet in a size 6! I'm also perfectly happy with my size 8 clothes. But, it does bum me out that when I shop in J. Crew, I have to buy size 10 pants.

It makes shopping so much more of a challenge. I like the challenge of finding a bargain. I don't like the challenge of guessing what size I am in every brand! I really hate HAVING to try clothes on at the store - it's a hassle and it takes too much time (and the lighting is always bad!). I envy my husband. When he needs pants, he goes to the rack, picks out a pair based on his waist and inseam measurements and he's done. It's not fair.

Funny, I remember being excited about  buying new clothes in smaller sizes when I lost a lot of weight last year. I still enjoy being smaller, but I still can't go in and just buy right off the rack (and speaking of racks - shirt and bra sizes are a whole other issue since I'm a woman who has breasts larger than the barely-there A-cup models for whom clothes are designed - that's a whole other blog!). So, yeah, I guess size matters. I'm just not sure why.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Clearly I'm on a grammar kick today . . .

New favorite line from a song:

"I'd rather be a comma than a full stop"

          -- Every Teardrop is a Waterfall by ColdPlay

My life in parentheses . . .

One of my favorite writers is Jenn Lancaster. She primarily writes non-fiction accounts of her own life. Her books are hilarious. She inspires me. She is snarky. I want to be her friend. Stalking inclinations aside, one key element to her writing is her use of footnotes. At times, her paragraphs are so heavily footnoted, it makes for challenging reading. But mostly, the footnotes are just funny. I look at footnotes and parentheses in much the same way. And, I think I actually talk in parentheses. Is that possible? 
According to, “Parenthesis” (plural: parentheses) (look, see, here I go) is defined as: “a qualifying, explanatory, or appositive word, phrase, clause, or sentence that interrupts a syntactic construction without otherwise affecting it.” Well, according to that, the comma is a mightier grammatical tool. The comma says, pause and take this in; the parenthesis says, here’s a little something, but it’s not necessary for you to retain this info. Hmm. I really think that the words inside the parentheses really deserve more attention than their definition entitles them to (I know -- ending a sentence with a preposition is wrong but we’re only working on one grammar problem today). I think of them as little asides. Like here’s the main thought (and here’s a little something extra). And that’s how I look at the way I speak, the way I write and the way I live. 
Hence: (A) musings. (A) for Ann's musings and amusing musings (clearly I do find my thoughts to be humorus). 
Musings are a big part of my day, though. I think I am just so inundated with so much information from TV and the internet (admittedly, I do watch a lot of TV. Too much. Don’t judge.) that I find myself questioning aloud (or in my head, but that’s pretty much aloud to me) so many things: choices people make, choices celebrities make, choices government makes (I’m fairly apolitical, but really, sometimes politicians deserve questioning). You get the drift, right?
So, this is my outlet. I’m giving my husband a break. He hears my musings daily. He’s a saint. 
Clearly, you can see that I speak and write in parenthetical expressions. And as I said, I think I live in parentheses sometimes too. Don’t we all, really? There’s the life we present to the world (and then there’s the life we save for ourselves). Or vice versa, the life we save for ourselves (and the life we show the world). Personas, per se. I don’t think my “public” life (ha - like I’m famous - NOT) is vastly different from my personal life. Although, I do swear a lot (and I mean it: A. LOT.) in my personal life (just ask my husband; if he never heard the word “fuck” before he met me, well, he’s become well-versed in its many uses in the last 13 years -- that’s a tale for another day!), in public, I rarely swear. But, I think I am “aware” (I use air quotes a lot too, just a warning) of my surroundings and act accordingly. Sometimes. For me, parentheses in speech and writing are a way of stretching out what I’m saying. In life, they’re a way of adding to its flavor. A way to keep the good going and a way to comment on the bad (and that’s when what’s in the parentheses doesn’t need to be retained).