Saturday, March 31, 2012

Yes, I Can Dress Like a Grown-Up

Here I am at my nephew's bar mitzvah. (This is also the first time anyone on the internet has seen my face. Blurry as it is in the photo.) I am wearing that little black dress I bought, along with a matching pink sweater, opaque  black tights, my louboutin shoes and yes that is my hot pink handbag on the chair.



I am growing my hair into a little longer bob so it frames my face better and no I don't dye my hair and yes those are my natural curls. By the way it was 35 degrees and I was dressed for spring. I was freezing my tuchas off. There even were little flurries outside. Of course, I did not wear a coat, that would have ruined the entire look.

No, the bar mitzvah did not go well for the boys. Even with all the prep work and bribes. I ended up in the car with CM1 after about an hour. Then right after the Torah reading hubby and CM2 came out and we went home. We never did make it to the party. But that is a different post for a different blog.

On the other hand,  I did get to dress as a grown up for a few hours and even wore makeup. The last time I put on stockings was years ago at this bar mitzvah boy's sister's celebration. She is a graduating high school senior. So playing dress-up once every five years really isn't that bad I suppose.


Qi en Pace,



Elise




Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jeopardy! Fail...But There's Still Mega Millions


So last night I went on line at 8:45 pm and took the Jeopardy contestant test. There were supposed to be 50 questions. I think I was able to get through 25 at the most. They don't give you along time to answer each question. Only 15 seconds. You also don't have to answer in question form which makes it alot easier. However, in trying to respond to many of the questions I became a little overwhelmed. I know I knew the answers, but I couldn't get it to the point where I could write it down on the answer block.

Every once in awhile hubby would hear me yell.."I know this one. Damn it.."

I do remember as a younger adult, pre-menopause, I could play Jeopardy and do rather well when I watched the show. I knew almost all the answers, except the science ones and figured I would at least try this on line test. BTW, I am using menopause as an excuse because it really works for everything that doesn't go right. And noone actually questions you especially males (husbands included).

Of course something must happen to my personality, as my oldest mentioned the other day how he is NOT getting married because "when women turn middle aged they go crazy.." his exact words..no embellishment on my part. Maybe I better take a good hard look at how I am behaving. Maybe I am acting just a little off balance if he noticed something. Nah who am I kidding. I am who I am and he better get used to it. Besides this too will pass...well maybe who knows...perhaps...someday...

Anyway, the Jeopardy experience was a total disaster. There is no way that I am getting any kind of call back. Hubby did ask me why I even bothered. I told him, I could win some money. I got one of his quizzical looks for that one.

I also have a plan that I will win the lottery someday. That is my retirement plan and my plan to set up trust funds for the boys, help my aging parents and start an autism foundation....It doesn't have to make sense or be logical. It's just my plan. Since  I am not the offspring of a millionaire or an inventor of a history changing product I have to come up with something.



Friday the Mega Millions is half a billion dollars. Yeah "B" as in billion. Someone is going to win. Why not me?  I don't need it all. I will take a small percentage, just enough to make my dreams come true.

There's an old joke...

An  old man was very religious and prayed and honored God his entire life. One day he asked God.."You know I honor you. I pray to you. I live a righteous life. How come I never win the lottery?"

God answered," You need to buy a ticket."

Go buy a lottery ticket for Friday. Hey you never know...


Qi en Pace,


Elise

.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

30 Degrees of Hyacinths



Last week at this time it was 80 degrees and I was blogging while sitting on my screened in porch. Of course I knew it was too good to be true. Summer in New York in March, oh I don't think so. But it does come as a bit of a disappointment that it returned to being so cold so quickly. Then again, the joke of the week was, since it is summer in March, we should expect a snowstorm in May. Actually when we first moved to our little hamlet, that year we did have a major snowstorm in April. So its not that unheard of, just fairly rare.

Meanwhile my poor plants did think its was spring time already. OK technically it is spring but someone needs to tell mother-nature to make up her mind about what temperature it should be. Temperature fluctuations makes ready for a variety of nasty little viruses. We already went through one bout of antibiotics in this house and I really am not in the mood for eveyone to be sick again. And yes I know that antibiotics do nothing for viruses, but we were warding off major chest and sinus congestion too.

Anyway, it seems we are in for a few really cold days again. I just hope my hyacinths survive.  At least long enough for the deer to make them a snack. And no I do not treat my plants to ward off deer. Let them come. Plants grow back and these sweet little animals need to eat. Yesterday we had a large family of six deer in the backyard. And yes, we spray for tics and put anti-tic medicine on the dogs too. So not to worry.


Qi en Pace,


Elise



Saturday, March 24, 2012

My New "First World" Problem: Clothes Shopping

I need to go clothes shopping. I despise clothes shopping. Yes I know I love shoes and handbags. Those make me gloriously happy. But clothes shopping I hate. I have always hated clothes shopping. And yes, I understand that "HATE" is a strong word.

I remember when I first started commenting during on-line support groups and I used the word "hate," some idiots told me that that is a strong word and I shouldn't use it. Needless to say I not only gave them what for but I left that support group. Why is it that some women think that everyone they talk to is a toddler? Or that everyone they talk to needs to be told what to do and how to do it? It's not a wonder that so many people in the world have no friends IRL. Seriously.....

Anyway I never did enjoy getting dressed up, wearing makeup and making a clothing fuss. Oh I like to look at clothes and even think about clothes. But the actual act of trying on the clothes now that is what gets me annoyed. (Don't even talk about bathing suits.)

Don't worry my aversion to clothes shopping doesn't stop me from appropriate hygiene. I so enjoy manis and pedis. They are not related in anyway shape or form to my distaste for self-painting. I like getting my haircut too. I think it all has to do with the reflex massages they give now. I don't know if these massages really do anything, but I am joyful afterwards.



Honestly, I never felt comfortable in clothes. Clothes never fit me properly, no matter how thin I got or no matter how in shape I was. There was always something very off about my rise, my leg length, the size of my butt in comparison to my boobs. It was always something.

So that is why I have generally lived in sweats and PJs for the last decade. They are comfortable. easy to mix and match and I don't have to worry about nonsensical issues like zippers and waistbands. OK,  yes it has not helped that I have put on about 20 pounds in the last decade too, but honestly that was also not my fault (seriously). The doctors prescribed this crappy medicine for lupus and anxiety that gave me one hell of a fatass.

By the way I have also stopped taking all medicines. Stopped the anxiety meds years before I went on the lupus meds. But the damage was done to my ass. (It turns out that I didn't have "anxiety." I had a B12 deficiency that was causing the depression.) I told them that enough was enough. Every issue you deal with doesn't need a pill and quite frankly every pill you take has some type of side effect that could harm you. The lupus meds could hurt your eye sight. Docs say that it doesn't put on weight, but every support forum I went on said that they all gained weight on that med. Approximately 20 pounds. Interesting... 

Also as my eyes got worse, everyone said it wasn't the meds it was my age..being over 50 your eyesight should devolve. Fine I thought. But guess what? After stopping the meds, I have had to change my script twice for the better. Fucking morons they are and moron me for actually listening to them for so long...Stop listening to doctors about how you should feel and what you should be like depending on your age. You know if something is not right. You know when you are not comfortable. Don't  let anyone tell you that that is life and that you should learn to live with discomfort or a  physical-age-based issue...forget that shit.

So anyway, I still need to go buy an outfit for my nephew's bar mitzvah next Saturday. (Yes I do have an outfit in the closet. But I am actually afraid to try it on. Haven't worn it since I put on this weight and I don't need to be depressed right now.) Cutting it close I know. But I thought I would look for something loose. Something comfortable. Something that can go anywhere. Something that might be able to hide my tuchas too. So we will see what I find.

I have black shoes to wear with it and maybe I can pick up a little coverup to go over it? Did I say I hate clothes shopping?



Meanwhile there is this new handbag for the spring I am dieing to go take a look at....I know what you are thinking. She will get a handbag and no clothes. Probably, perhaps, but not quite certain...but I am leaning that way.



OK the damn bag costs more than my monthly mortgage, but I can dream can't I?


Qi en Pace,


Elise

P.S. Just got back. Bought the black dress not the purse....


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Shake Shake Senora

Harry Belafonte before he went meshuggah.....

No matter what is happening in the world, we do need to dance for our own spirit......




Of course there's also nothing like being possessed....just ask a very young Winona Ryder.





Qi en Pace,



Elise



Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Fever



Well its begun. Spring has sprung. Actually it has come on gangbusters. It is March 19th and I am sitting here on my screened in porch, typing on my laptop, streaming my TV through my iPhone. No, no margarita, I have to go pick up the oldest at school around 7.
 

I guess I could have a virgin margarita,  (yeah but where's the fun in that..empty calories with no buzz) but in all honesty, I couldn't make one now if I wanted to. I actually broke my blender using it to mix natural peanutbutter....





Yes, I am the only one that can break a blender blending natural peanutbutter. That is the type of spread that you need to mix since it has no preservatives or binding agent to hold everything together so the oil separates from the nut paste. We tried special gadgets and even my food processor to blend it all together. Yes I broke those too. Eventually hubby sat with a huge bowl and a spoon folding all the parts into one. It was muscle intensive work and he even tired from that labor.

To help him, we bought a hand held mega mixer. The kind you see professional chefs use to puree soup while its still in the pot. So far so good, but the husband is eying an even larger version. You know men, the one with the biggest one wins.




Qi en Pace,




Elise

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ode to NyQuil





Still haven't figured out why you get sicker at night. I am certain all you sciencey types would tell me, but I don't really care. It's just a fact of life we have to live with and no amount of knowledge is going to change how absolutely miserable I feel after the sun goes down.



However,  I am really glad that at least modern science has come up with a way to moderate those nasty little germs, bacteria, viruses that infect and inhabit every pore of your body. Being sick always brings to mind the question...why did mankind have to invent torture when all they had to do to harm the enemy was find a way to infect them with a flu bug.  Yes, they did have germ warfare in ancient times too..no kidding...and yes, I read about ancient warfare as a hobby...and yes, I know there is something truly odd about me at times. But, hey,  atleast I admit it....





In other words, I am really glad you sciencey types came up with that little happy liquid called  NyQuil....


If you ever wondered what exactly was inside NyQuil  WIRED Magazine lets you in on the secret....Powerful narcotics...woohoo..I knew it worked so well for a reason.....

Acetaminophen
One of the many wonder-pharmaceuticals that can be derived from coal tar, acetaminophen was used for nearly a century as a painkiller and fever reducer before anyone figured out how it worked. We now know that as the drug breaks down in the body, it turns into a cannabinoid: yes, stoners, the same type of compound that makes marijuana so irresistible. Doctors also once thought acetaminophen made users more talkative and outgoing. Current research suggests this idea was half-baked.


Dextromethorphan HBr
A cough suppressant. Well, actually, in the body it becomes dextrorphan, a cough suppressant, and levorphanol, a painkiller five times as powerful as morphine. Like PCP and ketamine, DXM is also an NMDA receptor antagonist, so the National Institute on Drug Abuse lists it as a "dissociative" drug. Twelve times the recommended dose of NyQuil leads to distorted perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment — dissociation — from the environment and oneself. For people whose bodies are unusually slow at metabolizing the drug, even low doses of DXM trigger full-blown "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" psychedelic trips.


Doxylamine succinate
Officially, this ingredient is on the label as an antihistamine. But it is equally useful as a sleep aid, providing a nice, convenient one-two... Zzzz.


Citric acid
Citric acid has proven somewhat effective as a flu killer, but only if you spray it into your nose. Because NyQuil is meant to be swallowed, not snorted, its presence here is probably to add a little tang, and possibly to act as a low-level preservative.


Alcohol
Hooch has been used as a folk remedy for the common cold for centuries (despite the fact that it doesn't work). But according to Procter & Gamble, alcohol's sole purpose in NyQuil is to serve as a solvent, keeping the top three ingredients in solution.


Polyethylene glycol and propylene glycol
Chemical cousins used as thickeners. NyQuil's consistency is somewhere between water and honey, but not because it needs to be. Drug marketers know many people prefer medicines in syrup form.


Sodium citrate
In other contexts sodium citrate is an anticoagulant; most likely it is used here as a buffer to maintain the acid-base balance of all the other ingredients.


Flavor
P&G isn't talking, but we suspect the cloyingly repulsive taste of NyQuil is to ensure that you can swallow a tablespoon or two but can't drink enough of the stuff to start seeing Jesus.

 
High fructose corn syrup
A dash of sugar helps that tablespoon or two go down. 




Just in case you want to track flu and cold season in your own area go to this MAP...courtesy of Kleenex...who else?


Qi en Pace,



Elise

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tweeting from 37,000 Feet


You read right. There I sat on an airplane, 37,000 feet in the air and I was on twitter, my blogs and perused all my websites. I had so much fun. Well the act of tweeting, facebooking, blogging is not any different than on the ground of course, but it was such a hoot knowing that I was 37,000 feet in the air. I was higher than the clouds. I did watch the sun go down and I tried to snap a picture but it didn't come out right.


Listen I know for all you seasoned travelers out there an for those who have been on a plane in the last decade, WiFi on planes is nothing new. But for me this was all exciting. Remember how I tell everyone to find something that excites them..new and fun ways to never, ever have to leave my computer happens to be my raison d'etre at the moment....


So here I sit, blogging away and the captain just announced we land in 30 minutes....just flew over Washington D.C. so a shout out to all my readers along the Jersey Shore ...passing over Atlantic City's boardwalk just about now....OK up it came really quick... the shore of Long Island headed into JFK.



Gotta shut down now...time for stored table trays, upright seats and tight seatbelts. See everyone when I get back to Earth.




Qi en Pace,






Elise

Monday, March 12, 2012

Actually Using Your Frequent Flyer Miles

Yep, I did it. I used my airline miles. My checking account used to be linked to my American Airlines account and everytime I used the debit/credit card I earned miles. Well I saved and saved and saved until we decided we could go on vacation again. I then was able to use the miles to buy airplane tickets. And not only regular airplane tickets but first class airplane tickets...OOHHLALA (Irony is that AA stopped the card to mileage program right after I bought my tickets..bankruptcy will do that to an airline I suppose.)

Why first class instead of saving some for another trip? I decided that well we earned it. All of us. The entire family. Luxury. Pampering. Spoiling yourself. One in awhile it is a good thing, a really good thing.

So there we sat in first class. The bigger seats. They actually still feed you. There are electric ports at every seat so your computer doesn't run out of charge (major plus for this family). They even give you a blanket. Really a blanket and you don't have to pay extra for it. We are now spoiled travelers.

No nothing like this, not even close. However, this is American Airlines first class for overseas travel. Yep, new mileage goal. I think I will have to save until I am 120 years old though even for one seat, and by then I am sure the program will be canceled.



We also belong to the American Express point program. Guess what one day they were running a program on Apple computers. My laptop had just broken too. No I didn't break it inorder to get a new one, even though I hated the keyboard. It was simply a happy coincidence.

Because AE didn't have a special on the computer that  I wanted, they gave me the equivalent credit towards any Apple I would buy in the store. I was able to buy my laptop at 1/3 the price. It was a one time thing they said.  My laptop is by far the nicest accessory I have. Yes its an appendage. I admit it, I am obsessed.



Yes, I put everything on those cards not just food...doctor and therapy appointments too. But of course, make sure you can pay off the bill every month. If you can't its just a waste because you then pay interest on everything too, and can't earn more points/miles.

Let me tell you it is so much fun to use these points.

The moral of the story...join those damn programs and save the points. For years and years and years. You might as well get something out of spending every penny you have on every type of therapy and doctor known to man. I know everytime I use my laptop, especially to write, which is my therapy, I am so unabashedly happy.



Qi en Pace,



Elise





Friday, March 9, 2012

Pajama Day

If I had my way everyday would be pajama day. OK, I will be honest here, if I don't have to go anywhere imparticular and only have to stay home, write and take care of house issues, I stay in pajamas. Well not necessarily the pajamas I slept in the night before, but after I work out, instead of putting on street clothes I put on a new pair of pajamas.

Natori

Actually, I don't really care for the satiny kind of pjs. I'm not a big Natori fan at all. I'm not impressed with La Perla. Honestly  these undergarments are not made for women at all. They are made to supplement men's sexual fantasies about women. You know what, if you are on your honeymoon, planning a special rendezvous or evening with your significant other, these modern versions of the iron maiden are fine and dandy. They add to the fun of the moment.


But really this stuff is so not for everyday. Could you really see yourself running after the kids, picking up after the dog and wiping down the kitchen in the bra and panty sets above? Even that little flowery teddy? My ideal pjs are some really comfortable flannel pajamas that are loose fitting around the waist, with a drawstring I can let out if I decide to have a larger than usual lunch. I don't even usually keep the tops that come with the set. I opt for some comfortable cotton nightshirts to go with. Then if I am really cold I throw on a sweatshirt cardigan.






In the winter I even have a snugly pair of Uggs slippers that I supplement with some of my own hand-knitted sweater socks. Yes I typically spend my day looking like this:





The best part of my search for clothing happiness, is that the boys have picked up my habit. If they have no where to go and only have to stay home and study, once they have exercised too, they just put on a new pair of pjs. Comfort is comfort at any age. Yes, if they go help hubby outside with the lawn they have to put on proper clothing even though it is our backyard. Out of the house is out of the house. Besides somehow I don't think the neighbors would appreciate seeing them in their pajamas racking the lawn.

Oh yeah, no bra either on pajama day....if I am gong to be comfortable, I am gong to be extremely comfortable.


Qi en Pace,



Elise




Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What You Don't Know About Marriage

From TED, Ideas worth spreading.....

Listen to Jenna McCarthy:

In this funny, casual talk from TEDx, writer Jenna McCarthy shares surprising research on how marriages (especially happy marriages) really work. One tip: Do not try to win an Oscar for best actress.
Jenna McCarthy writes about relationships, marriage and parenting
Jenna McCarthy is the author of If It Was Easy They'd Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living With and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married. Her past books include The Parent Trip: From High Heels and Parties to Highchairs and Potties and Cheers to the New Mom/Cheers to the New Dad, as well as the upcoming companion books Big Rigs for Moms and Tea Parties for Dads.









Qi en Pace,


Elise

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hamantaschen and Empanadas

This Wednesday night through Thursday is the Jewish holiday of Purim. It celebrates the deliverance of the Jews of Persia from a Nazi-like individual called Haman, during the reign of Xerxes. The hero is a woman called Esther, or as we say in Hebrew, Hadassah. The story is basically that Esther's uncle Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, a government official, because Jews bow to no-one not even God. Haman in response decided to have all the Jews of Persia murdered. The  Scroll of Esther says the number was to be 75,000. Through Esther's intervention with her husband Xerxes (Ahashverous), the Jews of Persia were spared and it was Haman who ended up being executed.

As with all holidays there are foods that go along with the celebration and the favorite one at Purim is a three cornered cookie called hamantaschen. Traditionally these cookies are filled with poppy or prune, but modern bakers fill the cookie with anything they want. My favorite is apricot or raspberry jelly.  Go HERE for a traditional recipe from epicurious. You can also go to The Shiksa in the Kitchen for a terrific hamantaschen recipe as well.



I have even heard of some people making hamantaschen into a savory dish (quite a unique twist), and filling the cookie with meats ala an empanada. Go HERE for a traditional empanada recipe from epicurious. Yes I know this particular recipe includes chorizo sausage, and no I wouldn't put it past some of my fellow Jews to put pork sausage in their hamantaschen. Yeah, I know, Jewish offspring always challenging the power-base, the status-quo and of course finding ways to make their parents crazy.




After all being stiff-necked stubborn pains in the tuchas is what Purim is really all about anyway, so our kindalach are just following tradition. Just ask Mordecai and Esther.




Qi en Pace,



Elise

Friday, March 2, 2012

Shakespeare, Shakespeare, Whofore Art Thou Shakespeare

I just watched the movie Anonymous. It is another conspiracy theory about who actually wrote the plays of William Shakespeare. If you are a Shakespeare aficionado it is alot of fun to see how they juxtapose his plays with the political machinations of the day. If you think we have issues in our political atmosphere today, you should have lived during Elizabethan England. We ain't got nothin' on them...

Everything in the movie was perfect. How people dressed How the city looked. How the Royal Court functioned. How households were run. How people even spoke to each other. How the religious animus of the time infected the entire of civilization. How society was stratified. How international politics played out. It was a ton of fun.

Now I will warn everyone...I hadn't noticed that the old Queen Bess was Vanessa Redgrave. I do despise that woman's politics....she a Trotskyite antisemite...I will admit if I knew she was in the film I might not have watched it. Yes, I know its my own form of boycott. No, I don't think my boycott has hurt her career any.

But if you love Shakespeare, Elizabethan history, conspiracy theories and political machinations this is the film for you.





Meanwhile, there is another interesting theory that came out a few years ago saying that William Shakespeare was actually a woman named Amelia Bassano Lanier. She, the illegitimate daughter of a Venetian musician, who became a courtesan in the Tudor Court. She later married a court musician and became a patron of the arts. She was also rumored to be Shakespeare's mistress. Here are some interesting articles about her authorship of Shakespeare's plays....

Here
Here
Here
Here
Here
Here

The most interesting issue pointed to happens to be found in The Merchant of Venice. As Amelia was herself of Jewish extraction, and historians actually view this play as a an attack on the prevailing antisemitic attitudes towards Jews in England and Europe, it is thought that only a Jew or Jewess, could have written it.






In truth,  it does not really matter.  Verily, these plays and sonnets were written by someone with an inordinate amount of genius. If it was Shakespeare then such a genius could teach himself what he needed to know in order to write such magnificent words, humble beginnings notwithstanding.

But in the end, it is not the author that is important. It is the words and how they resonate through history. These words' ability to touch every subsequent generation and bring meaning to the world is our treasure and our gift. Whether that gift came from Shakespeare, Anonymous or Bassano-Lanier  is not the defining element that gives these words their soul...the defining element is truly the universal spark found in the greatness inherent in humanity itself. For we are capable of so much more than the sum of our parts.






I do have to say one of my most favorite movies on the Shakespeare theme is Shakespeare in Love ...Yes, I know it by heart.




Qi en Pace,


Elise