Am I Really Telling the Cashier, “Don’t Call Me Ma’am”…Ever?

         NOT MAAM

   Don’t be polite. Just don’t.

What I mean is this – I am not a ma’am. Don’t say, “Thank you ma’am.” “Can I help you ma’am?” “Do you need to reach that ma’am?”

Ma’ams are old ladies with saggy nude pantyhose who sleep with hot water bottles.



I am not a ma’am.

Okay, so I fall into the ma’am age range, but trust me young CVS stock boy Mike, we ladies above the age of 35 just don’t want to be called ma’am.

Go with “miss.”  Or try dropping the salutation altogether and say, “May I help you?” or “Do you happen to know where the Capri Suns are?”

The other day, a millennial sweetly asked me, “Excuse me ma’am, do you happen to know the time?” I was shocked by this request. Mostly because even toddlers have cell phones with time display; but also because the ma’am part. I wanted to hand her a report card stating: A+ for manners. Keep up the good work!  And then chuck my watch at her.

Let me explain this aversion:

We are all getting older. Some of us are doing it more gracefully than others (I exclude all Kardashians and the Juvederm rep I recently ran into at a spa opening). We just don’t need the youth of this world reminding us. Ma’am talk is like someone giving you the Ice Bucket Challenge without your consent, or the benefit of raising money for a good cause.


Sing it sister.

Conversely, society does not remind tweens of their age. I have never once pulled up to a gaggle of thirteen year olds and said, “Hey Twilight, check me out, I’m driving. Too bad you can’t.” And then peeled off listening to Van Halen.

Oh, okay, I get why you are calling me ma’am now.

Nonetheless, just don’t do it.

Be polite. Be kind. Be helpful.

But beware if you call a group of fortysomething ladies ma’am. They are likely to gang up on you and ask if you are getting enough Vitamin C in your diet.


Photos courtesy of:

Not Ma’am:

Old Lady Pantyhose:


Am I Really Repeating Self-Affirmations in a Scratched Pocket Mirror?

Cat in mirror

As of late, I have been reading a lot of mushy-gushy, follow your passion, “I really like myself” books. No sure what’s going on there, but I walked into Barnes and Noble the other day and swooped an entire shelf of books into my basket.

Stop Having Problems

            For some reason, I’ve always be partial to the Self Help section of the book store. Maybe it’s because of my psychology background; maybe it’s because I feel better knowing there are other people out there with the same problems (Yes! I too can’t stop obsessing about my pantry!); most likely it is because the book titles make me giggle (Why Your Life Sucks anyone???).

PS - NOT a book about dogs.

PS – NOT a book about dogs.


There were a few areas of assistance I found missing. Here are some Self Help books I would like to see on the shelf:

  1. You ARE Getting Old. Sorry. Enough with the How to Age Gracefully crap. Having things sag and shift kind of blows. Does that mean you don’t matter? No. But let’s be honest, you are not going to look 19 again no matter how much you spackle on the Midnight Renewal cream (trust me, I’ve tried it with mixed results).
  2. How to Throw a Facebook Intervention Party.  Okay, I have written about my love/hate of social media, but some people could really dial it down a notch. I don’t think we all need to know that Gary did not receive his pickle spear, yet again, from the deli lady.
  3.  Nine Ways to Improve Your Selective Memory. We all crave sharper brain power, but do you really need to remember the time you laughed so hard you snot-bubbled in front of your new boss? I say no. Enter the selective memory.
  4. Kale – Nobody Likes You. Sooooo many weight loss and healthy eating books. We get it; eat less, move more. But kale? You’re not foolin’ anyone buddy.
  5. Psst. It’s Not a Secret. You Actually Have to Work to Make a Living. Let me go ahead and pre-apologize if you loved the book The Secret. I just couldn’t do it. Honestly, five vision boards later and I still didn’t have a job. Oh wait, maybe I should have utilized that time sending out my resume.
  6. She’s/He’s Kind of into You. Maybe Stop Snoring So Much. I know plenty of relationships saved with sleep apnea solutions. Get that damn deviated septum fixed pal and maybe your lady will be nicer in the morning. Because she actually slept through the night.
  7. Mean Girls – Don’t Worry, It Gets Better. Just Kidding! It Doesn’t. We all want to believe cattiness goes away with time. It doesn’t. The girls just get older and have better hand bags. If someone published an honest book about this, we could all navigate things a bit better.
  8. You Shui, I Shui, We all Feng Shui! Open this book and inside is a trash bag. To throw all your old crap away. Home harmony – done.
  9. How to Get People to Liste- Oh Wait, Where Are You Going? You can be the most magnanimous speaker on the planet, but some people just don’t listen. This book comes with a rubber band you can shoot at people to get their attention.
  10. How to Meditate for Relaxation. This book contains a pillow and a babysitter. The sitter watches your children while you sleep. Oooohhhhhmmmm.

Dog in mirror

All in all, I have gleaned quite a bit from these books. The main message: listen to yourself and look inside.

So I did, and here’s what I’ve found:

  1. A LOT of Carbs.
  2. A lost VHS tape of The Breakfast Club.
  3. Some old hurts.

We all have stuff that needs to be fixed. It’s nice to know some people have written material to help us heal for only $19.99. You might learn something, improve something, or maybe even giggle a bit.

And let’s face it, it is a whole lot cheaper than the ten to twenty therapy sessions your Aetna plan won’t cover.


Photos Courtesy of:

Cat in Mirror –

Men Love Bitches –

Stop Having Problems Stupid –

Dog in Mirror –























Am I Really Hugging Myself…Then Throwing Up in My Mouth a Little?

Vday Paula Dean

It has been said on more than one occasion, I am too hard on myself. I downplay my life’s achievements (too boastful), I envy other’s smooth skin (too old), I judge my hair (must I always look like Drew Barrymore from the movie Firestarter?), and God forbid you give me a compliment (Oh, it’s just these pants that make me look thin. I’m actually very bloated from eating all those spicy peanuts.).

Good Morning America.

Good Morning America.

I am not alone.

While this phenomenon seems to mainly circle around women, I am going to direct this question to all human kind: How did we learn to be so mean to ourselves?

My brain's playlist.

My brain’s playlist.

While we definitely need to be kinder to ourselves and proud of who we are, please don’t go 180 degrees in the opposite direction. You don’t want to be the Kardashian of constant selfies and posts stating, “I totally dominate this bathing suit!!” or, “I could so rule this African pygmy tribe.”



Maybe that’s too confident. And by too confident, I mean maybe that person should not speak. Out loud.

Nope, I’m talking about giving ourselves a break. Which apparently is a very difficult thing to do.

Somewhere along the line, we were conditioned to be embarrassed of ourselves. To hide our talents and gifts, and say things like, “Oh, that’s okay. I’ll volunteer/bake nine hundred Bundt cakes/take on forty extra clients to pick up the slack.”

No. It is not okay.

We can sit here for years discussing where the beat down came from. Parents? Childhood bullies? Mean teachers? The list and therapy sessions could be endless. Bottom line – we got here and we need to get out of here.

So during this season of icky, gooey, sugar-betes love sonnets, maybe we focus inward instead of outward.

When someone compliments your outfit, just say “Thank you.” When you start comparing yourself to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, just stop. Most of society doesn’t look like that. When you beat yourself up for driving through Church’s Chicken for dinner, instead of planning an organic meal, give yourself a break…then call me because I really love fried chicken. And when someone asks you about your recent job promotion, prize winning peach pie, or how you find time to make stylish clothes for your children, tell them all about it. Your efforts earned those achievements, be proud of who you are.

So good.

So good.

Then seriously call me. I wasn’t kidding about the fried chicken.



Photos courtesy of:

Paula Dean –

Drew Barrymore in FIRESTARTER –

Mean Girls –

Selfie –

Fried Chicken –







Am I Really Letting the Hem Out on My Mini-Skirt?

Old People Dancing

The other night, I was rehearsing with my new improv troupe. We were sharing 5 Fun Facts about us. Along with my affinity for metal bands and the city of Boston, I mentioned I have an eight year old daughter.

A collective gasp came from the room.

Of course most of the group is still in college. So there’s that.

            Hmm, I thought. Which one of these is not like the other one?

This reaction seemed odd, because in my head, not much has changed since the eighth grade. I think the same, view the world through the same eyes, and I am the same height.

Except my age. Somehow, I got older while my mind stayed the same. How did that happen?

When around younger people, there are some behaviors which make me hyper aware of my age gap. Since I am big on super sexy lists, and buy super sexy I mean OCD, I’d like to share with you all the things which bring to light how I am no longer twenty:

  1. Smart Phone Addiction. Honestly, I could give a rat’s ass about being on my phone all the time or Snapchat. I just don’t care. Here’s the irony: if you are a person trying to move forward in this life, you have to be on social media, constantly culling for followers, posting witty things, and being edgy. I just don’t have it in me. I post when I feel like it, but would rather watch the sun set.

    What the age gap feels like.

    What the age gap feels like.

  2. Hygiene. Sometimes I just want to run a brush through a young twenty-something’s hair, and not in the sexy SkinaMax way. I sound more like the old Mrs. Wisenceck down at the bakery when I see an “earthy” young person, “You have such a pretty face. Why do you hide it with unclean hair? Here, take this kolache, you are too skinny.”

    This makes me want to stand up and brush someone's hair.

    This makes me want to stand up and brush someone’s hair.

  3. Sitting Down. I have actually muttered the words, “I can’t wait to sit down.” Who knew sitting down was something to look forward to? Here’s the kicker, after sitting down for a while, the words, “I need to stand up and walk around,” fly out of my mouth. I’m like a Selena Gomez /Justin Bieber relationship. Fickle.
  4. Health. I am a crap-ton (yes, this is a measureable amount) more concerned about my health today than I was twenty years ago. I have always been a physical person and a healthy eater, but nothing makes you think about your own mortality than a couple of health scares. You have one body. Take care of it.

    Wrong kind of crow's feet.

    Wrong kind of crow’s feet.

  5. A Sense of Urgency. When I was twenty, I felt like I had all the time in the world. I did. Now there is this sense to do more and leave my stamp on the world. I now understand the full voracity of the quote, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” We only get so many days on this earth. I don’t know my number, so I better not eff them up.
  6. Asking for a shawl when chilly, falling asleep anywhere, and eating dinner where I can get a discount. I have done all of these. Sometimes all at the same time.
  7. Going Out Just Because. I’m social, but the thought of putting on lipstick and listening to Jim from Finance talk about the conga line from his recent Carnival Cruise is just too much. I used to live for this nonsense just to get “out.”
  8. Emotional Outbursts. I wish I could say I am totally past these, but my hormones are going berserk, so no. However, this emotional rite of passage needs to stay. How else can you get to the other side of the bridge? There are pills for that over here.
  9. I Don’t Get the Show GIRLS. I have watched this show and it is so well written and acted. Lena Dunham has done a good thing here and I have much admiration for her. But my old ass just can’t identify with it. I usually end up falling asleep about twenty minutes in. Probably because I am sitting down…with a shawl.

    Sorry Girls.

    Sorry Girls.

  10. Late Nights. These are fun every once in a while, but my next day is wrecked. Plus, I can’t sleep until 2 p.m. anymore. I like the TODAY show too much to miss it.

I would be lying if I say I don’t miss my youthful, collagen-filled skin. I would be remiss in saying it doesn’t bother me that I have to fill out extra forms at the doctor’s office because I am of that age now. It would be a charade to think I don’t miss people calling me Miss, and now call me Ma’am.

But am I ashamed of my age? Nope.

I think I’m lucky.

I have been lucky enough to listen and dance to good music. I’ve been in love. I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve been so excited I have nearly peed my pants. I have laughed so hard I have nearly peed my pants. I have been able to buy new pants. I have struggled financially. I’ve had sex (let’s hope more than a twenty year old). I have known what it’s like to carry a child and hold her in my arms. I have lived all over the country. I have learned not to give a damn about some things and care more about others. I have made mistakes. I will continue to make more.

So if you ask if I am sad or embarrassed about my age, I will say no. Look at all this cool stuff I’ve been lucky enough to experience – for all these years. I can’t wait to get more of it.

Especially if it involves laughing so hard I pee my pants a little. That’s how I got my crow’s feet.


Photos Courtesy of:

Old People Dancing Cartoon –

People on scooters –

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber:

Black Crow –





Am I Really Looking for My Mojo at the Luby’s Lost and Found?

Austin 2

The holiday decorations are packed away, the Christmas lights are down, creating a mug-worthy street, and the idea of getting up before seven a.m. seems barbaric.

Ah yes, January, the coldest, darkest, biggest let down of all the twelve months. The month of January is like that person at a cocktail party droning on about how they replaced the siding on their home. You nod politely and deal with it, just so you can get to the Swedish meatballs. No way around it but through it.


It is this time of year that gives me a raging case of the “blahs.” Much like a perennial plant, I shut down for the winter.

To put it simply, I’ve lost my mojo people.

If you too have lost your “umph,” you probably need it back. We have stuff to do! But where the hell did it go?

Not to fear, I’ve come up with a list of possible situations that probably syphoned the mojo right out of you.

Shall we?

  1. The Holidays. To me, the month of December means, “Run like your pants are on fire!” I did, and now I need to wrap myself in a tinfoil blanket and drink some recovery fluid. MOJO LOST: 9.8 points.
  2. The Weather. Everywhere you look, it is cold and overcast. That’s fine when you are snuggling up with a hot toddy in front of a blazing fire, but not when you are trying to warm up your car in crop stretchy-pants. Thumbs down. MOJO LOST: 5 points.
  3. All the Crap You put off for Two and a Half Months. From October 31st to January 1 – nothing gets fixed in my home. Leaky faucet? That can stay. Dirty carpet? We’ll clean it after the holidays. Expired Cheez-Its? Hmm, they aren’t that bad. Time to take care of it all. MOJO LOST: 7 points. 

    I swear they don't go bad.

    I swear they don’t go bad.

  4. Arguing with Self/Child/Spouse/Randoms about Going Back to Work/School. Self-explanatory and exhausting. MOJO LOST: 3.5 points.
  5. Shopping for Boring Stuff. Over the holidays we bought fun food and wine for parties and entertaining; we bought shiny gifts for others; and we bought sequenced mittens because they were on sale (shhhhh). Now we have to keep shopping, but for things that are nowhere near as exciting as December’s sundries. Like lettuce and soap. MOJO LOST: 8 points.
  6. Procrastination. Last month I had a viable excuse to not work on my screenplay, answer an email, or sew on all the missing buttons on my child’s clothes. Now I have to get cracking. MOJO LOST: 10.5 points.

So how did Stella get her groove back and how can we get ours?

Just Do It

I think it has something to do with Nike’s slogan, Just Do It! But with the addition of the piped in tough love from my military father.

Don’t want to write a chapter? Too bad, I didn’t want to fight in Nam, but I did. Just do it!

Don’t want to take that Zumba class? Isn’t that just a bunch of old ladies shaking their hips? I don’t blame you, but you did load up on the mashed potatoes this year. Just do it!

Don’t want to go back to work? I thought you just filed a bunch of crap and drank coffee from Starbuck’s? Doesn’t sound too hard, quit complaining. Just do it!

Listen to this guy.

Listen to this guy.

So let’s all lace up our shoes, put pen to paper, foot to treadmill, or paper to shredder – and just do it.

Then take your mojo out for a nice steak dinner and promise to never, ever, let him/her go again.

Until January 2016.


Photos courtesy of:

Austin Powers –

January Blues –

Cheez-Its –

Just Do It Slogan –

Stripes –


Am I Really Having a Fire Sale at my Everything Must Go Garage Sale?

Welcome to the Great Purge of 2015!

While everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions to get fit, quit smoking, and finally use that loom Aunt Betty gave you, I am in the process of cleaning closets and throwing out – everything.

I am not a saver. When I was growing up, my family had to pick up and move every couple of years. We learned the art of “bless and release” early on. That, and my mom would give away half our stuff while we were at school.

At any rate, I do not care to have schmegma build up around me, so I like to have a Crap-Exodus at least twice year. When it is all said and done, I’ll be standing here with a suitcase full of clean socks and a cell phone.

All Crap Must Gooooooo!

All Crap Must Gooooooo!

Here are something things that are not making the cut in 2015:

  • Clothes with holes/Do not fit/From my first job out of college. I have been out of college for twent–er- a while. Yet I still have some exercise wear from the boys section of JC Penny’s (there was a sale!). I figure these items should go before I start the support hose era of my life. 

    It's just a matter of time.

    It’s just a matter of time.

  • Papers, papers and more papers. There are catalogs in our bathroom from two years ago and a multitude of expired coupons to Bucca di Beppo. I’m not sure which grosses me out more. Purge.
  • Kiddie Art. Oh now don’t freak out, of course I save most of my daughter’s school work and art. But all of it? Nope. I don’t think I need to keep that popsicle stick snowman with a broken head. That’s just bad Feng Shui.

    Now my house looks like my head

    Now my house looks like this…in my head

  • Bad Habits. Come on, I had to wiggle in a New Year’s resolution. Seriously, be like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and “Give it away/ Give it away/ Give it away now.” You don’t need to buy everything you see. You don’t need that extra slice of pizza (I know you want it, but then you’ll be too stuffed to stay awake during Guardians of the Galaxy). You don’t need to be 5-10 minutes late everywhere you go. And by “you” I mean “me.”
  • Guilt. Just kidding. That will never happen. I’m Catholic. They’ll kick me out of the club.
  • Old or New Crap you Never Use or Just Don’t Like. If you give me something, I will find a place or use for it. Some might say this is a good thing. Not always. Especially if it is a paper mache bust of a family member. Thanks, but no thanks. Bye bye.

    Bye Bye Bye is right.

    Bye Bye Bye is right.

  • Toys. Holy crap. Where does this stuff come from? So. Many. Toys. I’d like to go back to the 1920s when a child’s toy was a mop. And an IPad. The IPads must stay.


Have at it kiddo.

Have at it kiddo.

     So join me in getting clean in 2015. You’ll feel better and finally be able to find those glow sticks in your junk drawer.

Plus, it’s just good hygiene.


Photos Courtesy of:

EXODUS Movie –

Support Hose –

Feng Shui Living Room –

‘N Sync – Bye Bye

1920s Top –

Am I Really Coughing All Over My Yuletide? And Other Stories from a Sickbed.

NOT how I felt about the flu.

NOT how I felt about the flu.

Christmas is tomorrow people. If you are Christian, agnostic, or a happy Pagan who digs Santa, then you are going to the “show” this Thursday. It’s a time for mad-cap baking; watching Elf forty times on TBS (Santaaaaaa!!!!!!!); and cursing Bed, Bath, and Beyond because they are out of the Boston Red Sox Meat Brander (maybe I’ll just get him socks).

During this time of year, Christians celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.

Also happening this time of year, the United States celebrates the birth of the flu.

Wait, what?

One never really understands the voracity of their own health, until it is taken away…during the most wonderful time of the year…while a Mariah Carey Christmas song plays in the background.

All I want for Christmas is to stop coughing.

All I want for Christmas is to stop coughing.

But as they say, there’s a lesson in there somewhere. So, when the fever and chills took me to school, I took note.

Lessons I Learned while Sick this Holiday Season:

  1. Holiday shows on ION involve a lot of thoughtful starting. In fact, they run light on dialogue, but have it in spades with sighing and intent looking, all set to track music. Themes involve: engagement by Christmas, saving your marriage by Christmas, having your first kiss by Christmas. Nothing with wine and/or chocolate. Weirdos.

    I actually did not see this one.

    I actually did not see this one.

  2. It is both ironic and remarkable the number of Tamiflu commercials that play on TV, while you have the flu, and popping Tamiflu.
  3. I will never be on the Sing Off!
  4. According to the Profemin commercials, I am either menopausal or a very pissed off and tired person. Maybe I am pissed off about my menopausalness. I might also have erectile dysfunction.

    I get it buddy.

    I get it buddy.

  5. There is a karaoke television app. Please, for the love of God, do not tell my child’s third grade class.
  6. So. Much. Supernatural. Why?

    People really dig this show.

    People really dig this show.

  7. Oh look, nothing is wrapped. Aces.
  8. I have perfected by “Oh no, I’m not sick” phone voice. It is the same one I use for, “Oh no, I haven’t had four glasses of wine,” or the, “Yes, of course I am awake at 5 a.m.” voice.
  9. Being sick sucks.

Mom Sick

Every holiday season I look forward to sitting back and relaxing with family and friends. The flu put a little kink in that plan. While things are much better now, being sick really does open your eyes to what matters most and what you might want to shed from your life. Plus, I really missed my eight pots of coffee-style energy. Health is just too precious.

So this year, hug your loved ones, call an old friend, do something nice for a neighbor.

And for the love of all things holy – take your vitamin C!

Have a wonderful holiday and a Happy and Healthy New Year!




Photos Courtesy of:

Guy with the flu –

Mariah Carey –

Supernatural –

Elf –

Postcard –

Nine Lives of Christmas –

Am I Really Buried Under a Pile of Pottery Barn Catalogs?

Catalog Tree

Remember that line of dialogue from Forrest Gump? “Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly far, far, far away…from all these Restoration Hardware Catalogs.”

Okay, so maybe the last bit is an addition, but while we snuggle under blankets with our hot chocolate, it truly ‘Tis the Season for giving and receiving five hundred catalogs in the mail. Every day.

So many glossy pages of monogramed sleds and puppy sweaters. So many ways to say “Happy Holidays” with a basket of pickled nuts. I have run out of space to store all things mail order.

Since it is also the season for pinning (a.k.a Pinterest prowling), I would like to channel a little Martha Stewart and list all the ways to repurpose those magazines:

    1. Tree Skirt. See above. p. 186. Only $98.99 $16.49! Order by Dec. 18.
    2. Holiday Foods. All too often I have asked myself, What the hell is figgy pudding? I have never tasted this delight, never been offered it, but we sure do like to sing about it in We Wish You a Merry Christmas! I bet you could make some in that Juice Bullet from the Bed Bath and Beyond catalog.

      Er - no thanks. I'm full.

      Er – no thanks. I’m full.

    3. Biblical Recreations. You could make a paper Mount Sinai for this Lego Moses (which actually might be a Lego Judas, but let’s not split hairs).  Moses
    4. Christmas Outfits for your Children. Let’s face it folks, it could be worse.
    5. Dog Blanket. Awkward Dog Blanket.   Dog Blanket
    6. A Not-So-Subtle Hint. Sometimes people need to be smacked in the face with ideas. Some people need visuals. Great. Do both. When inevitably asked, “Where did these catalogs come from?” Say, “That damn Elf.” Which leads me to……
    7. A Sad but Early Demise for you Elf on the Shelf. My daughter loves Elfie, but maybe the Elf gets wacked by a pile of catalogs. I don’t know. I didn’t see nothin’.  Elf
    8. Toilet Paper. Be THAT person who only wipes their fanny with the Weir’s catalog. Or maybe TP the neighbor’s house with Harry and David catalogs. Yep. You are just that classy.
    9. A Yurt for your Child’s Barbies/Chima Dudes/Star Wars Action Figures. Save yourself some money and time and build this dwelling. When your child start’s crying Christmas morning about how this is not the Barbie Town Home and/or the Death Star, kindly explain that it is 2014 and you are just being eco-friendly and trying to remove your carbon footprint. Then state that your family will be going gluten-free and swipe the cookie right out of her/his hand.  Yurt
    10. Re-Gift. Can’t figure out what to get the person who has it all? Give them a stack of your catalogs. Then they can look at all the stuff you will not be giving them this year.


Oddly enough, catalogs are like little presents in the mail. They are shiny reminders of all the cool stuff I will probably never buy, never use, but simply must have! I review them in a glossy-eyed stupor late at night, dog-earing every other page. Then I toss them in the recycle bin one month later.

Not this year. This year I have found many uses for the colorful registries. I also have found some pretty cool things which I plan on buying.

But not those pine-scented votive candles for $69.99, that’s ridiculous.


Photos Courtesy of:

Figgy Pudding –



Am I Really Watching a Trailer for Another HOBBIT Movie?

It's a whole thing. I know.

It’s a whole thing. I know.

There are few mysteries of our world: the pyramids, Mount Rushmore, and who is Keyser Söze.

Now, we have one more to add to the list – the ninety-eighth installment of THE HOBBIT.

No offense to E.L. Tollhouse – wait – L.J. Tolstoy – nope, that’s not it – LL Cool J – no, that doesn’t sound right…J.R.R. Tolkien! That’s it! Anyway, that’s a lot of hobbits.

Do we really need forty-five movies for one idea? That’s like taking your leftover Thanksgiving dinner and stretching it out to New Year’s. Trust me, someone is going to get sick.

I understand the amount of backlash I am about to receive. People love their elves. I once performed improv with a grown man whose doormat was in Elven. He was so proud of his doormat, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it is NOT A REAL LANGUAGE. At least my Bank of America ATM does not give Elven as one of the language options.

A side note to the major motion picture studios – this is not a knock on you. I get it, these bad boys are money makers and you folks have been hit pretty hard. You need to bring home the bacon. Also, I am fluent in studio math: you need five Hobbit movies to make up for one R.I.P.D.

But enough.

There are a few reasons as to why we might need to lay Bilbo Baggins to rest:

  1. Actors. This cast is incredibly talented. No argument. But they are getting older. Do we really want to see an 86 year old goblin take their Boniva? While these movies are fantastic bread and butter for the actors, perhaps they want to try out different projects and roles. One that does not put them on the side of a lunchbox or require prosthetic ears.
  2. It’s Not Star Wars. As far as I’m concerned, they can make eight more Star Wars movies. And notice, those movies are about space. Space goes on and on and on. Gondor? Not so much. Also, the theme music is way better in Star Wars. Every time I hear the Imperial March I become slightly aroused. Just sayin’.

    Whoops! Wrong Imperial.

    Whoops! Wrong Imperial.

  3. Didn’t they find That Ring? Was that not their whole purpose? I thought they found it in movie twelve-point-eight. No need to belabor the point here.

    If I give you this ring, will you make it stop?

    If I give you this ring, will you make it stop?

  4. It was ONE Book. Yep, you read that right. There is only one Hobbit book. THE HOBBIT was published in 1937, followed by the three THE LORD OF THE RINGS sequels in 1954 (two that year) and 1955. They already made all of those The Lord of the Rings movies based on the books. Do we really need to squeeze so much from one HOBBIT book? Even the late, great writer of the series, J.R.R. Tolkien told me, “Maybe they should give it a rest.” I know this because I am a ghost whisperer.
  5. The movies are each Nine Hours Long. It’s like training for a marathon to watch one of these epics. A marathon of How long can I sit before my right butt check goes numb? Peter Jackson knows how to make a glorious movie, no doubt, but perhaps Gandalf can help him with the powers of editing.[cue lightning and thunder]

    I only know your name because I Googled it.

    I only know your name because I Googled it.

Before you Hobbit lovers write me Elvish nasty letters (which I won’t be able to read anyway), listen up. I have no disdain in my heart for these movies. They are beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, and beyond imaginative. Tolkien really was some type of genius when he created these stories. That, or extremely mentally ill. Perhaps both.

We just need to take a chill on the big-footed folk for a while. There are a million other sequels, books converted to movies, and movie re-makes. The general public needs to catch up.

Plus, bare feet freak me out. The hobbits could use an adventure to the land of Stride Rite-ion.

This kind of crazy I can get behind.

This kind of crazy I can get behind.


Photos courtesy of:


Bilbo Baggins –

Frodo –

Gandalf –

Keyser Soze/Kevin Spacey –

Dark Helmet/Space Balls –



Am I Really Arm Wrestling a Badger for My Hair Dryer? And Other Camping Adventures – Part Deux

Having the time of his life.

Having the time of his life.

I cannot tell you how much I detest camping. It emotionally scars me for years. I don’t understand this voluntary “activity” whatsoever. Didn’t the early pioneers die from this type of life? Did they not do everything in their power to better our living conditions? If Laura Ingalls Wilder saw a bunch of Girl Scouts “roughing it,” she would look at them and say, “Wait a minute, you have homes with locks on your doors, no snakes in your bed, a bathroom inside your house, and you are sleeping in this tent – on purpose?!”[cue hysterical laughter]

When my daughter informed me she wanted to attend the two-day Brownie campout, I thought, good luck suckers…er…I mean…have fun sweetheart! When she said she wanted me to go with her, I needed a shot of bourbon and three therapy sessions.

Also, I don’t drink bourbon.

Who the hell are these people?

Who the hell are these people?

If you read my post last year about the campout, you would know I still have nightmares about the daddy long legs and the lack of refrigeration. Also the wasp attack, but that is a story for another time.

Why, dear God, why do people do this on purpose? To earn a badge? That is a lovely honor, but will my child also earn the badge for, My mom chaperoned the camp out and now she cries every time she hears the word corn?

I know!

I know!

To all you bold and brave outdoorsmen, let me illuminate why camping is not necessary for us lay people:

    1. Bugs. Gross, just gross. Call me a snob, but I don’t like to fraternize with insects. Plus, ABC Pest Control won’t service state parks. Standards people, standards.
    2. Cuisine. I am not a five-star chef, but even I know camp cooking is for the birds…and the squirrels…and the raccoons. You get where I am going with this.

      Remember this gem from Blazing Saddles? Beans.

      Remember this gem from Blazing Saddles? Beans.

    3. It’s Insulting. Our forefathers worked so hard for us to achieve climate control. Camping is just a slap in the face.
    4. The Weather. Good luck with that pup tent in a thunderstorm. Or a hurricane, or snowstorm. Or condor attack.
    5. Guess What? You can still have your “togetherness time” in a log cabin with running water. Shower, then go on a hike. Then shower again. Maybe play Yahtzee. INSIDE.
    6. The wildlife does NOT want you there. Contrary to popular belief, the bears don’t like us. Neither do the deer. I also have it on good authority that the squirrels will steal your wallet when not looking. Stay home people.

      Well Good Morning sunshine.

      Well Good Morning sunshine.

    7. The Park Rangers don’t want you there either. Let’s face it people, the Park Rangers are there for the – wait for it – park! They are not People Rangers. That would just be weird.




Let me clarify, my disdain for camping has nothing to do with nature. I love the outdoors. I like sitting outside and breathing the fresh air. I like boats, and sand, and trees. I like flowers, fish, and lady bugs.

I do not like sleeping on lumpy ground, cabins with no bathrooms, and earth in my hair. I am not a girly girl, but I am a lady damn it. At this age, I have earned the right to sleep in a bed.

I think Pecos Bill and the Saloon girls of the Wild West would agree with me.

Yes, there are. This includes camping.

Yes, there are. This includes camping.


Photos Courtesy of:

Family in a tent:

Old angry guy in a tent –

Bear peaking in tent –

Blazing Saddles – – Blazing Saddles

A Million Ways to Die in the West –

Indian from A Million Ways to Die in the West –