What to Bring Along on Your Field Trip to the DMV


• 19 forms of ID
• 86 pieces of mail to prove you live where you say you do
• Close friend who works for the government, with top security clearance, who has known you since you were in your mother’s womb
• Stool sample
• Hair sample
• Password to your ancestry.com account
• Lunch
• Comfortable shoes
• Change of clothes
• Pillow
• War and Peace (to pass the time)
• 5 two-gallon jugs of coffee


Rebound Reading Relationships

There are those times when you fall madly in love with a book and then, just like that, it’s over. You’re left wondering how you’ll go on.

Your heart longs for the time the two of you spent together. It was beautiful. You felt complete. You ache to find another book that did everything for you this last book did.

So you go to an online book dating site, like Amazon, desperate to find a replacement.

You hastily latch on to the first one that even remotely appeals to you, hoping beyond all hope it’ll be a suitable replacement.

Yet, those rebound reading relationships can leave you unfulfilled and disappointed. You may even find yourself weeping bitterly—especially when that new book pales in comparison, leaving you longing once again for your ex-book.

Just remember, you don’t need to instantly jump in between the pages of another book. Take time for yourself to realize you don’t need a book in your life to make you feel whole.

But then again, maybe you do… 😉


Payback Bites

Halloween Fun: When wedded bliss turns into a wedded abyss…


“Oh, tell me this isn’t happening…” Leonard said wearily, as his car came to a sputtering stop.
Rolling her eyes, his wife Eva let out an exasperated sigh, “Well, well, well…what can I say, Leonard? Maybe if you’d stopped for gas in that last town—like I suggested—then this wouldn’t be happening, would it?”
Leonard shot Eva a sideways glance that spoke volumes. “Yes dear, as usual, if only I had listened to you…”
“Don’t you get that tone with me, if you just would’ve….” An enormous crash of thunder cut her off as a large tree branch came careening down, barely missing their car.
“Leonard DO something!” She wailed.
“Do what exactly, Eva? You seem to be on top of things, so you tell me!” He glared at her and she glared back. The electrical charge of hatred in the car momentarily superseded the raging storm outside of it.
Eva gave him her infamous condescending sneer, “If you were any kind of a real man, you’d go for help. You can’t just expect me to sit here all night like this, the next branch that comes down could fall right on top of me and kill me!”
Leonard considered this for a brief moment. He knew exactly how he wanted to respond to this but bit his lip instead.
“Well? Aren’t you going to go get help, or gas, or something? What’s wrong with you anyway? Honestly Leonard!”
Leonard took a long, deep look into the cold, dead eyes of the vulture-like female he’d had the distinct displeasure of being married to for nearly thirty years, and wondered how much a man is supposed to put up with before he snapped.
“You know there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you, Eva dear,” he retorted.
“Don’t be sarcastic! And don’t take too long, and for heaven’s sake don’t be stupid and get hit by lightning because I don’t want to sit here all night! Are you listening to me Leonard? And if you find a place that sells gas, make sure you bring me back a nice cup of coffee. And don’t waste time, there’s nothing I hate more than cold coffee. Don’t just sit there staring at me with that dumb expression on your face, GET GOING!”
“Yes dear, of course dear…” Leonard muttered, knowing full well any other response wouldn’t do—especially the response he really wanted to give. He climbed out of the car and set off on his journey into the unknown depths of the stormy night, finding it far more pleasant to be out in the elements than sitting in the car next to Hurricane Eva.
Leonard was certain they’d passed a gas station a mile or so back. He remembered it from the sign he’d seen in the window advertising Eva’s favorite coffee. He recalled thinking that he’d rather stall out somewhere than cater to her demands for “Carribean Cappachino.” Already drenched by the heavy downpour, Leonard cursed under his breath as he quickly scurried up the road. He decided then and there that if he ended up at that gas station, under no circumstances was he getting his unbeloved a cup of her beloved coffee. This decision pleased him greatly and made the raging storm engulfing him far less bothersome.
Relieved, he arrived at the gas station much quicker than he’d anticipated. Must’ve miscalculated how far back it was, he thought to himself. Eva always took great delight in pointing out his miscalculations—he made a mental note not to mention this one to her.
The lights were out in the building, which seemed odd since it was only a little after 8 p.m. Maybe the storm knocked out the electricity, he thought. As he approached the door, he noticed it was ajar and saw movement inside. As lightning flashed through the night sky, for an instant Leonard could make out a figure.
He called out, “Hey, I need some gas!” There was no reply.
When the lightning flashed again the figure was visible once more. The man had deathly grey skin, incredibly wrong teeth—which looked like implants from a saber-toothed tiger, and what appeared to be a long, dark cloak. The man had the appearance of someone who’d just crawled out of a crypt. Leonard’s heart skipped a beat. Then he took a deep sigh of relief and laughed at himself for letting his imagination–and the atmosphere of the storm–get the better of him.
Of course, he thought, it’s Halloween night…he’s in costume! He smiled, opened the door the rest of the way, and walked in. Through yet another flash of lightning Leonard saw the man approaching him.
“Hey, great costume! Man, you really had me goin’ there,” Leonard chuckled, “I thought for a moment you were…”
Meanwhile back at the car, Eva cursed out loud. He was taking far too much time. “Stupid, insidious man,” she snarled, “I told him not to leave me sitting here so long. That idiot. He’s most certainly gonna hear about it from me when he gets back!”
Nearly an hour later the storm had cleared, but a heavy fog now enshrouded the car. Visibility was nearly impossible through the windshield, however, Eva thought she could just faintly make out Leonard’s form making his way up the roadside.
“Finally,” she sighed.
He seemed to be taking forever to get to the car, which angered her as she was looking forward to telling him off about being gone so long. She sighed once more, then took the opportunity to pull down the overhead mirror and apply lipstick and powder her nose. She heard the driver’s side door open, but kept primping.
“Honestly Leonard, what took you so long?” she said. “What did you do–stop for a drink somewhere along the way? I bet you did, didn’t you? Probably flirted with some stupid, tacky woman while you were at it. I swear, you are pathetic, Leonard. No woman alive would even want the gift of you. What I ever saw in you, I have no idea. I could’ve married anyone–but no–I had to go and waste my life on some incompetent…”
She looked toward the open door and stopped mid-sentence, eyes wide with fear. Staring back at her with steel cold eyes and ashen skin was her husband—only something seemed very, very wrong with him.
“L-L-Leonard?” she stammered. “Are y-y-you alright?” He remained silent as he slowly eased his way into the car, not taking his piercing gaze off of Eva for even an instance. He did not stop at the driver’s seat, however. He slowly and stealthily slid over to where his dear, sweet ball-and-chain of nearly thirty years was sitting. He kept coming, his menacing eyes never moving from hers.
Eva’s fear turned to utter terror. This was Leonard, but it wasn’t. “Leonard! W-w-what are you doing?” she shrieked as he put his hand on her shoulder, it was like ice. Immediately she grabbed the door handle, pulling at it, but his deathly cold hand grabbed her other arm tightly.
Horrified, Eva screamed and writhed but it was useless. She looked up one final time to see her husband’s mouth opening wide into a sardonic smile, elongated fangs protruding outward. Sheer panic engulfed her, she couldn’t get away. She then heard the last words she would ever hear:
“Payback bites, Eva.”


Tis the Season of Ghouls, Goblins, and Styrofoam Gravestones


The Halloween season will soon be in full swing. Lawns will be scattered with scary scarecrows, wandered upon on by wicked witches, and covered from corner to corner in creepy cobwebs. Some yards will set the stage for a happy haunting while others will look like Halloween threw up.  Excited children will try to decide what to “go as,” while perplexed parents craft costumes late into the night and acquire an overabundance of candy.

I find the ever-increasing amounts of Halloween decorations available to the general public to be both amazing and scary–scary in more ways than one. While many displays are brilliant, there are others that look like someone ransacked a dumpster out behind a Halloween store,  and flung the contents all over their yard just before a hurricane hit. Not only are these displays trip hazards for unsuspecting trick-or-treaters, but it wouldn’t surprise me to ride by these places and see prison inmates–complete with orange jumpsuits and shackles–performing state appointed clean-up duty. Who knows, maybe my perfectionist nature just isn’t allowing me to see the artistic beauty of it all.

However, the Halloween costumes of today are far better than the lame ones available when I was a kid. I remember wearing pathetic looking plastic masks that always had a cheap, cheesy, stretched out string across the back, meant to hold the mask in place but never actually did. The masks’ material didn’t breathe, and neither could I when I wore them. These days, the masks are form-fitted, breathable numbers that look like something out of a Wes Craven flick. Not only are they ridiculously realistic, but almost scary enough to make you pass out while you’re passing out candy. At our door we see everything from precious little girls in intricately detailed princess costumes–which I’m sure their moms slaved away on for weeks–to the late night teenage ninjas who show up on the doorstep, not in costumes, but in hoodies–with blank, vacant stares being the only things masking their faces–and say nothing while they hold out their grungy pillowcases waiting for you to add to their stash.

Most costumes are store bought, but there are many mothers who make their little monsters–I mean darlings–homemade costumes. There are two possible reasons for this: (a) they’re wonderfully creative women who can lovingly craft an award-winning costume that their children, and their children’s children, will rise up and call them wonderful for, or (b) their kid couldn’t make up his mind about what he wanted to “go as,” and when he finally did, the stores no longer had it. Any time I’ve ever made my child a costume, I’ve fallen into the latter category. But either way, moms will lose sleep, lose feeling in their fingers, and lose their minds as they sew, super glue, and staple their nights away leading up to All Hallows’ Eve. Hopefully, at some point during all of this, the moms will remember to head out and get some choice candy before the stores are all out of that too.

When all is said and done, no matter how messy your yard looks, how wrong your child’s costume went, or how stale that off-brand candy you bought tastes, Halloween is a magical time of year for our kids. So don’t wish it away, because as soon as it’s over you’re going to have to not only deal with decorating for Christmas, creating costumes for your little devils–I mean angels–Christmas pageant, and baking a whole heavenly host of holiday cookies, fudge, and fruitcake; but you’ll also have to shop till you drop, wrap till you weep, and feed  your family an endless supply of festively fattening feasts.


Spring Fashion Statement


I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt my personal spring fashion trends will be the hit of Paris this season.

Neat, crisp linen suits in pastel. Adorable flowery dresses. Cute pink handbags with even cuter matching pink, strappy sandals. All the things a proper spring wardrobe is made of, right?

Every year I’ll decide this will be the year I’ll embody that fresh, spring look–that look which says I just jumped out of an Easter basket–which can currently be seen splayed across the covers of every fashion magazine from here to Easter Island. I’ll delight in the notion that this year daffodils and lilies will glare at me with immeasurable jealousy, muttering dark things to each other about how I’ve upstaged them.

As if.

While the flowers are starting to bud and birds beginning to sing, I’m still wearing hoodies, leggings, and short suede boots—all in black. The purse I’m carrying looks far more like an old, tired book bag than anything even remotely close to a dainty designer clutch. Don’t even talk to me about my nails. Or my hair, which is perpetually perched atop my head in a messy bun which looks more like a nest. A rat’s nest, to be specific.

Nothing says bridge troll quite like the look I put forth this time of year. I can get by like this—pretty much unscathed—in the dead of winter, but once spring peeks its perky, perfectionist head out of the dirty, melting snow I’m doomed. This is the season where looking like I just rolled off the couch leaves me looking like not only did I just roll off the couch, but that I’m also a dirt farmer whose couch is parked in a dilapidated, leaky barn.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have some mighty adorable spring outfits tucked into the deep dark depths of my closet–only most of them date back more years than I care to admit–and if I dig any of them out to wear, I’ll look so insidiously outdated I’ll be instantly put under arrest by the spring fashion police.

Of course, I could go shopping and buy new stuff to avoid the rap sheet, but that would mean actually going shopping, and I loathe clothes shopping—especially for a spring wardrobe. It also doesn’t help that seemingly all clothing manufacturers think every female who buys clothes falls into one of only three categories.

The first category is that of the “younger set,” whose current fashion trend is to dress themselves in clothes that appear to be three sizes too small. If I throw the stuff from the back of my closet into the dryer for a really long time I could almost achieve that very same look.

The second choice is that of the “business professional.” Dressing up in uncomfortable, uptight office attire made out of polyester, looking like I ache to spend my day bathed in fluorescent lights, is not my thing.

Apparently the only other choice left is that of the “old lady look.” You know what I’m talking about–geriatric looking shoes, stretchy waist pants, and ugly flowery blouses that resemble short housecoats. Not going there; even when I do become an old lady.  And in the spring, I might add, all three categories are mostly only available in pastels, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve never personally felt the need to dress like an Easter egg.

So instead of spending countless, unproductive hours shopping—when I could be out enjoying this beautiful spring weather—I will resign myself to simply wearing whatever I wear; even if the seasonal flowers do smirk and snicker at me as I walk by, while they whisper to each other that I look like a prime candidate for that creepy show What Not to Wear.



Scratch ‘n Sniff

I just got a Yankee Candle scratch and sniff catalogue in the mail. Here are my takes their new scents:
Happy Spring – Smells like someone ground dryer sheets and moth balls into a container of Ajax
Peeps – Exactly like stale Peeps
Jelly Beans – Fruity toxic crayons
Casablanca Lily & Iris – This one’s actually nice; it smells delightfully purple
Coconut beach – Someone wearing cheap perfume burped and it smelled like coconuts
Guaya Coconut Fushion – Smells like someone peed on an orange
Island Waterfall – Laundry detergent mixed with root beer
Tahitian Nights – Someone spent the night sleeping in freshly washed linen sheets after they bathed in seaweed
Black Sand Island – Creepy aftershave from The Dollar Store combined with what could only be dog puke

Maybe The Characters Can Survive Gretchen But Will The Author?

When the antagonist from your book takes on a life of her own and not only starts posting nasty rants on your fb page because she didn’t like the way you portrayed her, but also has the gall to use #notmyauthor in her stupid little spiel.

This is war. 




The Impending Doom of Bathing Suit Season


Time to put down that cinnamon roll, get off the couch, and take action!


Nothing brings fear into the hearts of women—especially women who ate their way through the holidays—than the knowledge that in a few short months they’ll once again be faced with trying to cram themselves into the worst reality check device in history: The Bathing Suit.

If you’re one of these women, you know it’s all fun and games—and food—during the winter months, where you and your extra pounds can go incognito under oversized sweaters and bulky coats. But when that abundant consumption of muffins leaves you with a muffin top, it’s time to do something about it before the top button of your jeans shoots off like a rocket into galaxies unknown.

Of course, you have the greatest intentions. In fact, you have big plans to start your new diet and exercise regime next week, right after that big dinner party which is certain to soar you into a dress so large it could double as a parachute.

So fast forward to June, and you’re fatter than you were in February. All of those good intentions got washed down the drain along with the soda, cheese cake, and hollandaise sauce you clandestinely consumed. And now you’re left with the raw truth that can’t be avoided–or  covered up with a Big Shirt—you’ve packed on pounds as if you’re storing up for Armageddon.

You’ve resigned yourself to the fact you have no hope of stuffing yourself into that adorable little two-piece number you bought back in in early January, to inspire you to get in shape. With that in mind, you head out into the cold, cruel world of bathing suit shopping.

You enter the store and wince, quickly walking past string bikinis even too tiny for a mouse to wear with any decency. Then you head straight to the section where the one-piece skirted suits, with patented turbo tummy tightening, hang out.

After picking out a suit your great-grandmother would wear, you head into the chamber of horrors—otherwise known as the dressing room. You convince yourself all you’re going to do is see if you can fit into the insipid suit, without even so much as glancing in the mirror, then get the heck out. But unfortunately you develop some sick unreasonable need to sneak a peek at your reflection, because who knows—maybe the suit will make you look thinner…

Well, that was a mistake now wasn’t it. The suit most certainly did not make you appear svelte, as the tag trumpeting the power of the turbo tummy tightening design promised, but made you look like a sausage ready to burst. Add to that the infamous dressing room lighting—lighting so bad that it would make a  supermodel never want to appear in public again, and the three-way funhouse mirrors the store so nicely provided . If they want to sell clothes, especially bathing suits, they need to install extraordinarily dim lighting and  instant airbrush mirrors (imagine the fortune to be made with that invention).

Irritated beyond all reason, you hastily change out of the suit, charge out of the store, and go home to sulk over a plate of sugar cookies.

Like Ebenezer Scrooge, you’ve just been visited by a ghost—the Ghost of Christmas Pounds—to give you a glimpse into your future if you don’t change your calorie consuming course now.

Just some fat-free food for thought, for the upcoming month of February.