Looking for Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions

What type of wine pairs best with a ham and cheese sandwich?

Is it ever permissible to lie about one’s middle name?

What is worth more than a bird in the hand?

Whose dogs were let out and where did they go?

Did King George need his spectacles to read everyone else’s signature on the Declaration of Independence?

Was the song, “What Does the Fox Say” merely a way to get uptight middle class white folks to sing dirty sounding lyrics?

Can you let it go without singing about it?

Where have all the flowers gone?

Shouldn’t the show “Two and a Half Men” now just be “Three Men?”

Did Salt-n-Pepa ever talk about sex, baby?

How many hours of CSI does one need to watch before actually qualifying to become a crime scene investigator?

Is anything faster than the speed of light?

Is Yoda the only one of his species?

Did Prince Charming have a foot fetish?

If a dog’s bark is worse than his bite why don’t we have to get stitches if we get a dog bark?

Does this qualify as my fourteenth post?

Peace, People!

Snake Eyes

I never met a snake I couldn’t hate. Venomous, non-venomous, short, long, infant, adult, it doesn’t matter. They give me the willies. If I can see one well in advance of initial contact I can handle a snake’s presence, but the thing about snakes is they tend to lurk, hidden among the leaves and undergrowth, offering apples to unsuspecting naked people.

Tallahassee, Florida, is basically a hilly jungle. We have oak trees, magnolias, mimosas, pines, sweet gums, palms, and a host of other trees all, apparently, on steroids. In addition we have millions of shrubs and bushes and flowers. A profusion of plant life populates this part of the Florida panhandle. It’s beautiful. And it’s home to five different kinds of venomous snakes: the Pygmy Rattler, the Cottonmouth or Water Moccasin, the Timber Rattlesnake, the Coral Snake, and the Copperhead. These snakes love to hide under fallen leaves. Guess what? Lots of trees mean lots of leaves.

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Above: water moccasin

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Coral snake

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Pygmy rattler

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Copperhead

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Timber rattlesnake

Recently due to an increase in snake bites among the local populace, the “Tallahassee Democrat” ran an informative piece on the venomous snakes in our area. How kind of them. Since then I have barely stepped foot into our forested backyard. Every single snake named in the article enjoys hanging out in fallen leaves. I look out my back door and all I see are trees surrounded by fallen leaves. When I do go out I have this ritual dance. It’s part flamenco, part ninja, part karate. Think John Belushi in “Animal House.”

They tell me cats are good snake repellant. I have two, but they don’t want to go outside either and I’m not sure how much good they are doing as mere spectators.

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A while back I wrote about super powers I’d like to have. I need to add one: Super Snake Dominance and Avoidance. This power would instantly cause all venomous snakes within 5 miles of me to be rendered inanimate and harmless. Indefinitely. I’ll give the non-venomous ones a break as long as they do their living outside of my direct line of sight. They just need to heed my ritual dance.

Peace, People!

To Fly Or Not To Fly: What was the Question?

I’ve given a great deal of thought to my “yet to appear” super powers. Just what would they be? How strong? Will they be worthwhile powers, or useless ones like the ability to consume massive quantities of prunes with no adverse effects?

Any day now I feel sure these dormant abilities will emerge in full strength to make up for all the years they’ve been suppressed. I was fairly confident that my 50th birthday would be the trigger point, alas, here I am at 57.75 and still nothing. I just hope they show up in time for me to fully utilize them before I’m too old to reap the benefits. It’d be a shame to learn I have the gift of super flexibility once I’m confined to a wheelchair.

In no particular order, here are the three standard super powers I’d most like to have:

1) The ability to fly. Okay, I lied, this is by far the most important of the super powers, so I listed it first. I do have some stipulations, though. If I can fly I also want the super power of having hair and skin impervious to sun and windburn. What good is having the gift of flight if one is wrinkled and unkempt? I’d also need an incredibly strong set of neck muscles if I’m going to fly long distances. Maybe that’s just a standard set of accoutrement when gifted with the power of flight.

2) Invisibility. Obviously I’d only use this power for good. Wink, wink.

3) Super strength. This is one that could be especially useful as I age. No more accosting strong young men to open tight lids and doors for me. Wait, I might want to think this one through.

In addition to these, I’d also like to have some not-so-standard powers. For starters, how about the ability to nap at will? Anytime, anyplace. I’ve actually seen this power in action, but have yet to be able to master it.

Also I’d like the power to eat any thing I want without ever gaining a pound of fat. I’d like that one as soon as possible as I’ve been eating like it’s already a given. On second thought, could it be made retroactive?

One more, because I’m feeling greedy snapping up all the good powers. I’d like the power to magically transport my grand kids to my house at any time, and then transport them home when they’ve been thoroughly spoiled. Really, this is the only one that matters.

If the whole super power thing doesn’t work out, I still have hopes that my letter from Hogwarts got lost in the mail. Accio correspondence!

Peace, People.

Waking Up Is Hard To Do

I got two hours of sleep last night. Maybe two and a quarter. My husband, Studly Doright, who by the way doesn’t have sleep apnea (we had him tested) snored all night long. And when I say he snored I mean he:

Snorted
Roared
Snuffled
Gurgled
Rattled
Plorked
And mmmphhed
Loudly

All night long.

There was never any pattern to the cacophony. He usually maintains some sort of almost hypnotic, metronomic rhythm that allows me to slip into sleep. But not last night. Just as a tango was established he’d switch to a rumba, then to a cha cha. There might have been a salsa thrown in, too. I would have loved a minuet, but that never happened.

I moved to another bedroom around 3:40 a.m. The cats found that amusing and wanted to play. I must have fallen asleep at some point, only to have Studly wake me up to kiss me goodbye when he left for work at 6. How very considerate of him. Thank you sir, may I have another?

Normally I’d have had the luxury of snuggling under my covers after Studly left for work, but I’d promised to meet an acquaintance at a fitness center for an early morning aerobics class. I went, and held on through most of the class, but I might have fallen asleep during the cool down. There was a trickle of drool on my yoga mat. I just hope I didn’t snore.

Peace, People

Movie Etiquette for Dummies

Today, I rant. Either I’m getting less tolerant, or the movie-going population has become more rude. I suspect it’s a little of both. At any rate, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” — a line from the film “Broadcast News” that I might have missed if the couple sitting beside us in the theater today had been sitting by us when that film was released in 1987. And that was a line that was quite literally shouted from the rooftop multiple times. I would have missed every single repetition.

Nowadays, Studly and I move to different seats almost every time we attend a movie, and today was no exception. So, here is my list of theater etiquette. Thoughts are welcome.

1. Don’t text during a film. The light from a smart phone is a real buzz kill. Part of the reason one goes to see a movie at a theater is for the ambiance, and sharing light from a cell phone in a darkened theater is akin to flushing a toilet in the middle of a ritzy restaurant. It ruins the ambiance. And the appetite. And it’s inconsiderate.

2. Don’t rattle wrappers. It drives me insane when people scrunch, shake, and otherwise loudly manipulate their sacks of popcorn and boxes of candy. For pity’s sake, just eat it all before the movie starts, or open the package in such a way as to facilitate easy access to the snack during the film. It’s not rocket science!

3. Chew as quietly as possible. Really. No one wants to hear the crunch, crunch, crunch of popcorn or Jordan almonds during a romantic flick. In a perfect world, only gummi bears would be served in movie theaters. And maybe pudding. Oatmeal would be okay, too.

4. Be aware of surroundings. if the theater has plenty of vacant seats, don’t choose to sit right next to someone else. It’s just awkward. And if you rattle wrappers or chew loudly I’m just going to want to slap you upside the head.

5. Don’t talk. Ok, the words, “Whoa!”, “Ahhhh!” or similar declarations of fear, surprise, even wonder can be uttered, but under no circumstances should one carry on a full-blown conversation. Even in whispers! Whispers carry. Whispers are annoying.

No lie, the couple that sat beside us in the theater today (who could have chosen from among multiple seats, by the way) carried on a running commentary throughout the film. I gave them my best teacher look, the one that says “shut the hell up!” They were too busy talking to notice. I ahem’d. The talking continued. I coughed loudly. They actually gave me a nasty look. Finally Studly and I moved, but it just wasn’t the same after that. They’d blown my experience.

Movies aren’t cheap. And i just want to enjoy my movie in a respectful atmosphere. I know, I know I should just stay home and enjoy movies on HBO or Netflix, but I still like the big screen experience. I refuse to give up on my dream of watching a first run film in companionable silence with a bunch of random strangers. Is it too much to ask? Studly says the odds are against me. As for me, I say, “Never tell me the odds!” Han Solo would be so proud.

In spite of it all,
Peace, People.

Goose, You Big Stud

There are a handful of films that I can watch again and again, coming in at any point in the narrative and getting right down to the business of rooting for the good guys and booing the bad guys.

“Top Gun” is one such movie. I know, it’s an over the top macho fest (aka pissing contest), but it also shows the vulnerabilities of the characters, Maverick and Goose, as well as those of other characters. My favorite scene is the one in which Meg Ryan’s character, who has something odd stuck on her eyelash–I’ve never been able to figure out what it is, declares, “Goose, you big stud. Take me to bed or lose me forever!” Dang! If that isn’t one of the best lines in moviedom, I don’t know what is.

Another movie I can pick up at any point is “Pretty Woman.” Yes, the main character is a good girl gone bad gone good again, and I get that the movie glamorizes a less than glamorous profession, but how can you not love the scene where Julia Roberts’ character, newly made over, dressed to the nines, and carrying shopping bags from a high-end store, strides into the upscale Rodeo Drive establishment that had previously snubbed her and says, “Big mistake. BIG mistake.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve been given the cold shoulder in one of those boutique-y type stores, and I’m not, nor have I ever been, a hooker. Julia’s win is a win for all of us. Plus, she gets Richard Gere.

Probably my favorite movie to watch, watch, and watch again, is “Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back.” I can almost quote the entire movie, not verbatim, but close enough to drive my family nuts. This is the movie that cemented my love for Han Solo, that caused me to daydream endlessly about sharing one of those uncomfortable looking cement cots on Cloud City with the infamous scoundrel. When Princess Leia tells Han that she’d rather kiss a Wookie than plant one on him, and he responds, “I can arrange that,” I pretty much swoon. I’m right here Han! I’ll kiss you! No Wookie kisses for me!

There are other films I could add: “The Princess Bride” (“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means,”) “Dumb and Dumber” (“So…you’re telling me there’s a chance,”) and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (“Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”) are a few of the more memorable.

I’m not a film snob. Obviously. I mean, the “Dumb and Dumber” reference should have been a clue. What are your go to films, favorite quotes, insane movie fixations? Share if you’d like. Just remember, “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” (Animal House)

Peace, People.

High Five

I saw this post on Facebook yesterday and it made me think. Just what are my cardinal rules for life? Do I even have one cardinal rule?

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So here’s what I think. See if you agree.

1) Love. Everyone. Period.

2) Be kind, even if it’s the last thing you feel like being.

3) Forgive. Yourself, others, the world.

4) Do what needs to be done. It might be hard. It might be distasteful, but do it anyway.

5) Experience life. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Okay. It’s your turn. What are your cardinal rules for life? You don’t have to have five, but that happens to be my favorite number.

Peace, People.

Praying for Eyebrowz: Begin the Beguine

Here I am, feeling just like a kid on my first day of school. Fresh spiral notebook atop a desk etched with generations of meaningless graffiti, brand spanking new pen or sharply pointed pencil at the ready, and me, believing that my whole school year balanced on the first symbol I placed on that virgin surface. What I wouldn’t have given for the cleanliness of a delete button!

So, here I go again, thinking that the future of my blog depends on these first symbols. It would be lovely if the thoughts that swirl through my brain for hours every single menopausal night would magically appear on my screen. Those thoughts are, in part, what motivate me to start this endeavor. If I can get them down here, maybe they’ll leave my brain alone and let me sleep.

There are no lofty goals for my writing. Some days I’ll amuse, other days reflect, still others I’ll write to understand. I’m a big fan of pretending, so expect to see that, as well. And, I’ll almost always let my readers know if I’m leading them on.

I was once told by a well-meaning, earth mother esthetician that my eyebrows were too sparse. “Well,” I asked. “What would you have me do about that?”

Without blinking an eye, she replied, “Do you believe in a higher power?”

When I answered in the affirmative, she continued, “Then pray!”

So, I considered doing just that. After praying for world peace, an end to hunger, and the well-being of my family and friends I decided that praying for eyebrows was just a little bit on the vain side. But what a great name for a rock and roll band! Change the spelling a bit to make it edgy. Let me know if you want to lend your talents to Praying for Eyebrowz, but I get dibs on lead singer.

Peace, People.