Wednesday, October 29, 2008

congratulations phillies!

To the losingest team in history - you're the winningest team tonight!

to the
2008 World Champion Phillies!
I may call myself a Texan these days,
but I'll always be a phan of the Phillies!

And of course, the Phurry Phanatic!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

feel em, baby


You know you want to.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Do your share for healthy breastesses by visiting Monkeys and Princesses. She is having a giveaway so that she can giveaway more bloggy income to breast cancer research.

Give up more than the obligatory click so she can give up more to the cause (meaning, check out a few of her other posts).

You've got until October 31st! Now get over there and GET FELT UP!

Monday, October 27, 2008

hangover cures

Comparitive Childhood talked about McDonald's fast food today and got me thinking about my hangover eating preferences.
First and foremost, I've gotta have a Pepsi (Coke will do in a pinch but it isn't quite the same). I keep a 12-pack of Caffeine Free Pepsi in my pantry, available on a strictly "break open in case of hangover" basis.

Second in line, and later in the day: a burger and fries.

Back in my college days, weekend mornings were synonymous with hangovers. Genesee Keg party, anyone?

I shared a Victorian era house with a group of Irish Catholic girls who collected keg money on Friday night with all the solemnity of a Sunday morning collection plate. In those days, it wasn't unusual for me to stay up half the night with my buds, sometimes til the sun came up, until we floated the keg.
Something about keg beer and particularly nasty hangovers.
Which meant there was hell to pay if I was scheduled for the morning shift at my Kmart job (yes, that's right, that was me on the loudspeaker announcing Blue Light Specials in Ladies Lingerie). But make my shift I must, so I trotted off with a serious dog on my head.
Conveniently, on the way to work, there was a string of fast food restaurants. First stop McD's for their excellent fries and a Pepsi. Next stop Wendy's for a burger with mustard and pickles only. Ahh. Good as new. Or good enough to get me through the day.
These days I have moved away from keg beer (far, far away) and toward vodka that's been distilled four or five times. On another preventative front: B-complex, an ibuprofen, and LOTS of water before I go to bed. Works like a charm, when I remember to take it.

How about you? What are your hangover cures? Replies along the lines of, "I don't drink enough for hangovers" will be summarily deleted. (kidding, of course).

Here are a few (hopefully) helpful links:

-- Hangover-cure is a blog dedicated to the cause.

-- Ten Quick Hangover Cures offered up at Mental Floss, here.
-- Ten Healthy Hangover Cures, here. Before: Almonds; During: clear alcohol; After: no caffeine, sports drinks and lots of water.
-- Sciencebase says there is no such thing as a hangover cure, here. Boo hiss boo. Leave my placebo voodoo alone, please. These buzz kills say the only way to cure a hangover is to prevent one by drinking less. Well ok, if you say so.
A political aside (because there is always a political aside from where I'm sitting). These hangover hints will not help Alaska's Senator Ted Stevens, I'm not sorry to say. Today he was found guilty on all seven counts of corruption (read about it here). I'd call that suffering from 4o years of swigging pork barrel swill and swindling his constituents.

Friday, October 24, 2008

sex video for real women

It's been awhile since my last juicy sex post. So let's get started, shall we?

I am going to do light hearted, yet serious, review of one of the self-help-sex video's I purchased several years ago. Expand Her Orgasm Tonight! It has the potential for being a great video for women to share with their partners. It can be helpful for men who think they have "tried everything" to help the woman in their life have regular, dependable, orgasms. Maybe even batting-1000, Big O's. This video teaches skills that help women achieve multiple orgasms, too. Now wouldn't that be nice?

Very important, though. Read this first: There are many causes of inorgasmia in women (or men). Most causes are due to psychological factors: inadequate technique, performance anxiety, shyness, sexual identity issues, and conflict in the relationship, to name a few. In some instances, however, physical or medical factors are at root. Women and men experiencing orgasmic difficulty should see a physician or psychologist or certified sex counselor who has expertise in the area of sexual dysfunction to assist in ruling out medical problems. But many people who are comfortable with sexual intimacy and comfortable with their partners can be helped by learning a good skill set. And this video addresses technique enhancement.

Next very important. Read this second: This video requires quite a few up-front disclaimers. Humorous pointers that I think help viewers get the most out of this video (and in some cases not run out of the room laughing). But an overall good rule of thumb: Adjust expectations according to your own goals. This video is promoting marathon orgasms. What woman doesn't want that, right? Well frankly, many of us. Most of us are looking for our partners to give us orgasms on a reliable basis. Mulitiple orgasms are a really, really nice bonus. Extended orgasms are an entirely different matter. Both partners should be on board for such a goal.

I suggest thinking about the video in this way: Think of a jogger who wants to improve her running time or increase his distance. This video would be like picking up an instructional video on running a marathon. You can learn to run a marathon here. But you can also learn simple skills for improving your running performance, no matter what distance you choose.

View with the understanding that noone has to go for the marathon orgasms. It's probably better if people do not, at least not initially. This video is a means of teaching people a set of skills to enhance orgasm. Period. Too often, men especially take on a competitive mindset. If he can do it, so can I. If she can do it, so can my partner. Not necessarily. Each woman is unique. Goals need to be reasonable and in sync. And woman friendly first. Her preferences matter most here. If you push too much, you could sabotage good sex.

More commentary and disclaimers:

1. The participants in this video are not professional actors. They are sex educators. The teacher of expanded orgasm is Dr. Patricia Taylor (Dr. Patti, to her students). She has a PhD in Transpersonal Psychology. I don't know what that is exactly. But in this instance, it doesn't seem to matter. She is not treating anyone for major depression or bipolar disorder. She is teaching sex skills here. And I think she does a good job.

Brief mention of Dr. Patti's dissertation title: Expanded Orgasm as a Pathway to the Transcendence of Consciousness. That's what I call a cocktail party conversation starter. Dr. Patti began her career path with an MBA in Finance from Wharton. No small fry, that. She eventually decided studying and teaching about orgasms was more fun than managing mutual funds. Who would guess?

2. The man who "co-stars", Jim Heynemann, is also purported to have a PhD and an MBA but I haven't been able to verify where he got his degrees or what in. Again, the degrees aren't what matter in this video. The man has incredible hands and the willingness to teach.

3. What Dr. Jim is not so good at, unfortunately, is pillow talk. When he strays from the instructional script, he gets a little, um, canned sounding. Maybe he watched too much 1970's porn. Or not enough. I don't know. But after my husband and I viewed this video I gave him this gentle warning: If you ever say "Now you're cookin' Patti" to me, I will go postal on ya.

You may want to issue a similar gentle warning your partner as well. It is that un-sexy.

4. Last word on Dr. Jim. You will never look at a short, silky turquoise blue robe in the same way again. In fact, I had the severe misfortune of having bought a short, silky turquoise blue robe for myself a mere few months before viewing this DVD (WTF?). A few days after my husband and I watched the video, I came home in the middle of the afternoon to find my husband waiting for me. He was wearing nothing but a mischievious expression and said blue robe. His idea of funny. My idea of "burn the goddamn blue robe already."

5. Most of us get used to Hollywood style movie actors who are stunningly beautiful or distractingly hawt. Well, these educators do not fall into either category. So advice to readers: Get over it. These are real people having real sex. And I can almost guarantee you have never seen this kind of real sex portrayed on your home DVD player before. Unless you, like me, review how-to sex improvement videos. But seriously, it takes a bit of getting used to, these average looking video stars.

6. An important word about lubricants. This video may have been made before personal lubricants were widely available. Maybe before lubricants were invented. So when you practice the skills in this video, for the love of goddess, substitute "petroleum jelly" with one of the many water based personal lubricants or "warming jellies" available. Several brands are sold at your garden variety chain pharmacy and in the personal health section of department stores, such as Tar-jay. Do yourself or your partner a huge favor. Buy some. In my case, hubby doesn't like the smell or feel of personal lubricants. He prefers good old fashioned saliva. (TMI?) And it works for me. The bottom line is, whatever works for you. And if petroleum jelly is all you've got, so be it. It seems to work for Patti. But know that petroleum jelly is generally thought to be drying and that's not what we're after here.
7. A final word about lubricants in this video. Or specifically, about the massive amount of petroleum jelly used by Dr. Jim on Dr. Patti. Anytime I watch this, all I can think about is how many repeat showers it must have taken Dr. Patti to wash all that gunk off of her love nest.

In other words, it may take a second, or third, viewing for the actual skill set to make inroads. To get past the distracting elements. And to get past feeling embarrassed. I felt quite embarrassed when I first watched this. Its way more intimate and real than porn. It took some getting used to.

I wish I had excerpts from the video here, but I don't. You can listen to a podcast or read the transcript of an interview with Dr. Patti where she describes expanded orgasm, here. You can read more about Dr. Patti here. And I found a blog she hasn't posted on in many months, here. You can see her on YouTube giving a talk about using tantric concepts, such as being more "springy" here to get an idea of who she is. The Expand Her Orgasm Tonight video, however, does not get into the concepts of kundalini, or Kashmiri Sharvism, or tantra. It is strictly nuts-and-bolts, practical information and skills.

Last Warning: This video could lead to pregnancy. Not the skills or activities presented in the video but activities that are likely to occur directly afterward. I gave the video as a gift at a white elephant party. Several months later the recipient of the gift showed up at the next party pregnant with her third child. And with a big smile on her face, I might add.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

wtf? or, wherefore art thou, comment prompt?

For some reason, when I view my last post, I can only see my comment prompt some of the time. One minute I view my blog and I see it, the next minute I don't.
By the way, since the day before yesterday I am feeling pretty free with the words, WTF.
SAM and I went to see Burn After Reading.
I wonder if anyone did a tally of the number of times Malkovich alone used the phrase.

But about the movie. I liked it. Didn't love it. It had some very funny moments. It had a plot that kept you guessing. Brad Pitt's peformance kept feeling a little too hammy. As for Malkovich, I thought he was mindblowingly funny. Worth the price of matinee admission for that alone. But the rest of the time I kept thinking, "shoulda rented."
Back to my original question. WTF? Are any readers NOT finding the comment prompt?
And no, this is not a pathetic attempt to prompt readers into commenting. Ok, well, maybe. I mean, if it works, then ok.

But seriously, I ask my blogspot experienced friends, WTF? Ever had this happen?
UPDATE: I just viewed this post... the comment prompt is there. But on the real maverick post, it's not. WTF???

will the real maverick please stand up

Or, well, sitting down on Meet the Press works, too.

Don't you know Tim Russert was smiling big on Sunday morning?

Friday, October 17, 2008

you and your partner's name - sound the same?

Cognitive Daily asks whether people with similar names are more likely to hook up and enjoy longer relationships. Good question.

Click here to find the link in the post. You will see "click here to participate." Give a few seconds to science and take the survey (you have until October 23rd). It took me about one minute (or less). Easy schmeezy.

It gave me food for thought, too. While my grandparents names aren't similar, I did realize my husband's name is similar to one of my grandfather's, the one I cherished most. I hadn't thought about that before. I wonder if name similarity to a loved one is correlated with longer unions.

The other interesting name thing in my love baggage: I have had three long term (five years or more) relationships. Each of them have similar sounding names. Something along the lines of Dan, Randy, and SAM (current). Which has meant that my parents often mistakenly call my husband by the name of a former boyfriend. Fortunately, he's a very good sport. He doesn't even mind when I accidentally call him Dan during an arguement. Ouch.

Any interesting name similarities in your relationships?

Oh. And if you want to see a really funny, inadvertent, adult-only result of my google search, click here. Irreverent but hilarious ad, it won a Clio. I call it, "because women like a man with a moustache."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

latest craze! the chocolate diet and exercise program!

It's new! It's easy! It's exciting! And guaranteed to help you lose weight!

A diet and exercise program designed especially for the perimenopausal woman. Where the only purchase you make is your favorite chocolate bar! Sound too good to be true?
Here's how it works:

1. Hide your chocolate bar.

2. Forget where you hid it.

3. Wander from room to room searching all of your hidey holes in vain. Get angry! Let a few choice curse words fly! Get that heart rate up!

4. Speed up your search. Run from room to room! You want your chocolate and you want it NOW! You've entered the aerobic phase of the exercise program.

5. Involve your whole family. Swat your kids and husband when they laugh at you for being such a scatterbrain. Intensify your aerobic gains with this great upper arm workout!

6. Time for the cool down. The chocolate is nowhere to be found. Deep knee bends as you fall to the ground in defeat. (I didn't say it would be painless).

Who's with me?

save tina fey

Vote for Obama and
keep Tina Fey on this earth.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

aggie loss, my gain

It was an extremely tension filled moment. One might say agonizing. The Aggies were playing Kansas State University at Kyle Field with 78,000 fans packed in. We were down 20 points, late in the 3rd quarter. The spectators sitting next to us, a white haired man and his young granddaughter, had already left in disgust, leaving behind a half eaten bag of M&M Peanuts. Or so we thought. I moved my seat over, giving us remaining fans more room.

SAM and I had come to the game armed only with our water bottles, determined not to spend a small fortune on overpriced stadium refreshments. No snacks for us. No sireebob.

I had moved my seat over, in order to make more room for the fans on the other side of us. This is when I spied the abandoned M&Ms.They proved too much of a temptation, this perfect compromise to our "no snack" rule. On impulse, I went for the quarterback sneak. I leaned over like I was picking up my water bottle. But no, I scooped up the remaining M&Ms instead.

SAM and I laughed. Look at us. Two dumpster divers chomping away on a small child's throwaways. Unlike the Fighting Texas Aggies, we had no pride. We polished off that bag in no time.

Early in the 4th quarter, to my great vexation, the grandpa and his unsuspecting granddaughter returned. Oh no, I thought. Where is the empty bag? Where is the evidence of my thievery? What will I do if she asks, "Papaw, where's my candy?!" And the fact that I had moved my seat over. I was the likely perpetrator. The old man will know.

And then I remembered. M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hand.

I signaled my husband into conspiratorial silence.

The little girl started to look under her seat. Grandpa began looking under his seat, too. And mine.

I thought I heard the man mention the Aggie program. Which was under SAM's seat. We handed it over, apologizing for having usurped the program in his absence. Looks of mock honesty on our faces. Hoping this was, indeed, what they were searching for.

But no. Grandpa offered to let us have the program. "I've got another one."

"Thanks" we both said in unison, a little too enthusiastically for the size of the gesture, our anxiety returning over the fate of the missing bag of candy.

The best defense is a good offense, I decided. Divert their attention back to the game. SAM and I shouted out encouragement to the Ags. DEFENSE, AGGIES!!! HOLD 'EM!!!

But my peripheral vision, growing ever more acute, was eyeing the small child as she haphazardly rooted under the seats.

The Wildcats were about to score. Grandpa pacified her restlessness, "We'll leave after Kansas scores this touchdown."

Score, I thought. Score and get it over with.

And score they did. Putting the Aggies deeper into their hole.

But I was relieved. Piece of shit fan that I was. Piece of shit human being who steals candy from a baby.

I watched Grandpa and the little girl exit the aisle. For good this time. I was spared.

The Aggies lost 44-30. But who cares. My dastardly deed went undiscovered.

She didn't need the rest of those M&Ms anyway. Bad for her teeth. Right?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

not eccentric

One of the few times in my life I'll ever say this, but I hope ultraconservative George Will is correct.

In yesterday's Washington Post editorial he said of Obama, "it is not eccentric to think he could win at least 350 of the 538 electoral votes."

And of Palin, he referred to her as McCain's "female Sancho Panza."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (snort!)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

first car and bumper sticker prophecy

A car post by Dr. Deb reminded me of my first car. A Datsun 210 hatchback, circa 1980, powder blue, stick shift.
I had driven a stick only briefly when I first learned to drive. I was probably 15 years old. I was on vacation in Louisiana. One of my aunts took me out in her little hatchback (AMC Hornet, maybe?). I jerked and sputtered my way around a high school parking lot until I sorta figured it out.
It wasn't until the summer before my junior year in college that my dad and I picked out my first car, the Datsun hatchback. Dad drew the short straw and we rode around my little hometown as I tried to remember how to maneuver a stick. Until that point, I had been driving my mom's 79 Monte Carlo (also powder blue, as it happened -- it was a popular color in 70's). The Monte Carlo was a standard so I was more than a little rusty on a stick.
I did fine as long as we were moving. You know how that goes. My dad was patient. I give him that. He gripped the passenger door handle and through gritted teeth told me to let out the clutch slowly while simultaneously and slowly giving it a little gas. It was no good. I stalled out at least a hundred times in front of the post office. We're talking very small town post office right smack dab on Main Street. Saturday morning. Entertaining the townsfolk as they watched the beet red girl try to pull out into traffic. I remember the sweat dripping down my arms and onto the stick shift. "I am letting it out slowly, Dad!"

But once I figured it out, once I got over the learning curve, that was all she wrote. I loved that car. I loved shifting gears. I loved the freedom. No more borrowing from the 'rents. I always had a ride. I was the ride.

A funny aside. I did my undergrad in Pennsylvania. It was spring break of my senior year when I visited Austin for the first time. I had never heard of Austin, barely knew Texas was on the map other than the fact that Astroland was located there (never mind that Astroland is now located in Coney Island. Or was. WTF?!?)
But back to Texas. Texas just wasn't on my map at that time. But I loved Austin and I bought this sticker in the airport.
The sticker stayed on my Datsun until I sold it, several years later. Prophetic, huh?

What was your first car?

First bumper sticker?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

fall colors texas style

This beautiful flower is called the Mexican Bird of Paradise. It grows in a flower bed planted by my husband, SAM.

It's more than just a pretty plant, however. It's a political statement. An inside joke between us, between my native born husband and this yankee born wife. We don't see much in the way of fall foliage here in central Texas. The one disadvantage of living here, he'll concede. And not very often. Ok, maybe he has never actually said those words. In fact, I'm sure he's never issued such a statement disloyal to his native state.

But it is true there is little in the way of fall colors on the trees here. And on a larger scale, no true fall. Just one long, never-ending-summer followed by a quickie of a winter. This makes September the longest, slowest month, followed closely by October. The summer heat that refuses to bend to the will of a traditional autumn plus the green to faded-green to brown change of colors. It's more than a little depressing for this Jersey girl.

In fact, I feel a serious stab of envy everytime I open blogs which shamelessly display the fall colors of other regions -- Mama Milton's beautiful new header, for example. Man, its so beautiful, it hurts. Even Minnesota Matron with her picture of trees losing their leaves. I see those bright yellows and oranges hiding on the underside of the brown leaves. And I can feel that cool, crisp breeze that blew those leaves to the ground. A ground made of lush, green grass. These fill me with a longing for my East Coast roots. Every year I feel it. Every year I distract myself with, um, what? Food binges? Alcohol? Prickly pear cactus juice? Well, that's a post for later day.

Knowing that I yearn for the colors of fall (some color, any color) my husband has made it his solemn marital vow to bring me as much color as his green thumb can muster. He knows which side of the bed his libido is buttered on, afterall. But mostly he just loves to garden. And hold his hose. He spends hours holding his hose.

In honor of SAM's efforts, and his upcoming birthday, I've put together a display of a few splashes of color that are now in the landscape around our house. Photos are courtesy of our son. I appreciate his efforts, too.

Texas Red Sage or Red Chihuahuan sage.

Blue plumbago.

Not sure what these are called but I love the papery texture of the tiny petals.

This cluster of red flowers comes from a Father's Day gift to SAM. None of us can remember the name of the plant, though. A few days ago we gave one to a friend who lost a parent. We read the long, Latin name, repeated it, said it out loud, all in an attempt to etch it into our brains. We still can't remember what it's called. But SAM did learn that this is the plant that is used most often for the making of biofuel. Its a tropical plant that is, apparently, very oily.

Yellow Bulbine.

The spectacular Spider Lilly.

Pretty purple Mexican Heather.

Morning glory. One of my favorites. I get to take a little bit of credit for these. I water and fertilize them occasionally. I also built a slip shod trellis out of coat hanger wire and ligustrum branches. Not very pretty nekkid, but when covered in vine, I'm happy.

Deep pink Swamp Hibiscus or Swamp Mallows. A perennial hibiscus.

These are called Oxblood Lillies. Or Schoolhouse Lillies, as my mother-in-law calls them, because they only bloom during the early fall.

Lantana. A staple that surrounds our house. There's the pink and yellow variety called Confetti Lantana.

And the orange and yellow variety. They begin yellow and turn orange with age. Lantana grows wild in the fields behind our house. It requires little to no watering and maintenance.

Less hose holding, in other words. Which spells more hand holding with me. And I like hand holding even more than I like his gift of fall colors. A big thank you to SAM. A big happy birthday. And a big wish for happy gardening.

UPDATE: The red father's day gift flower is called, Compact Jatropha. My neighbor just phoned it in.
And in case any of you want to start your own biofuel farm:

Friday, October 03, 2008

story of a marriage

told in book titles.

Magpie Musing gave me the idea this morning. And her sister-in-law gave her the idea to give The Sorted Books Project a try.

So here is a book stack from my home and a story of a marriage.

It begins with a book I haven't read. I won it from Jenn at Juggling Life (thanks again, Jenn), a giveaway of her first paid book review.

And it ends with a library book I've also yet to read.

It just so happens I've been reading a run of novels with the theme of infidelity. It began during my summer vacation with a book on my mom's shelf, Joanna Trollope's Marrying the Mistress. I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it. That led me to try more Trollope.

Each one I grabbed off my local library shelf, so far, involves someone stepping outside of the marriage and the effects on everyone around them. Someone Else's Children was very good. Helpful insights for parents of blended families. I finished my third last night, The Best of Friends, but wasn't as bowled over.

At this moment, Second Honeymoon sits on my bedside table, waiting for me to start it. If anyone has read it and wants to tell me if it's worth my while, I'd very much welcome opinions.

So what story do your book stacks tell?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

therrapy thursday

because its almost friday

p.s. the sign under McDoc's says, "Fast answers to complicated questions!"

Thanks to the colleague who sent this to me. Whose organizational services I desperately need for myself.