Weird Word Wednesday


iPhone-ectomy: The procedure by which a person is foreceably separated from their iPhone. This procedure is usually quite painful for the separatee, yet is quite satisfying for the separator.

Do not confuse an iPhone-ectomy with an iPhone-shoving. These are two very different procedures with completely different results. And while the iPhone-ectomy is about separating the person from the phone, the iPhone-shoving, is about making the person one with their phone.

Used in a sentence: “If you don’t get off of that freakin’ phone right now, I’m gonna do an iPhone-ectomy.

Vocabulary Tip: The best way to learn and remember new words, is to go out and use them. So, try to use iPhone-ectomy three times today. Preferably, not with your boss. And do use caution with others as well.

Ambidextrous Sleeping and the Saga of the Claustrophobic Glamper

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Welcome to the continuing story of claustrophobic me, and our new Airstream RV….

To get up to speed, you can read some of my earlier posts. But, here’s a very short recap.

– We bought an Airstream Motorhome.

– First night in it, I had a full-on claustrophobic panic attack.

– Next day, I met a man who told me to chew gum to relax. I bought gum and I bought sleeping pills


Now that you’re all caught up on the basics, I’ll continue with the true tale.


So, it was night #2, it was starting to get dark outside, and I was getting nervous. I was chewing a huge wad of gum per the stranger’s RX. I figured that it couldn’t hurt. But, I couldn’t chew gum all night, so I spit it out, and brushed my teeth. And I popped one those sleeping pills I’d bought earlier that day at the drugstore.


And finally, the inevitable….I crawled reluctantly into bed. As I lay face up, and looked around, I had a couple of really important epiphanies.

Listen carefully, because this is when this witty blog turns, briefly, into a real self-help tool.


1. I realized that Mark and I needed to switch sides of the bed. If I lay on the left side of the bed, the cabinets on that side were all low, and I could see over them. It made me feel like I had more space. The other side is the side with the bathroom, and hence, cabinets/doors that went floor to ceiling. So we switched sides. No big deal. Turns out we are both ambidextrous sleepers.

2. As soon as we closed all the privacy shades and curtains, my heart started pounding. Being visually closed in from the outside world triggered huge PANIC!! I realized that I had to sleep with most of the windows uncovered!! I had to see beyond the confines of the walls of the RV. I visually borrowed space from the outdoors and pretended there were no boundaries.


These were huge revelations for me, and that night I slept like a baby. (Could have been the sleeping pills!!)


Although these changes didn’t solve all of my claustrophobic problems, it was great progress. By the next morning, I was considering allowing Mark to fill the soap and shampoo dispensers! I saw that it just might be possible for us to keep the RV after all.


I was really proud of myself, and bragged all day about how resourceful I was and how I was pushing my own boundaries, and confronting my fears head-on.


In hindsight, I was a little too cocky, because that was not to be the end of my “issues.” Nope. They’d rear their ugly head again soon, during our trip to Palomar Mountain.


Stay tuned for the next installment!

The Fear of Eating Dessert First


We’ve all heard it before, “Don’t eat that cake. It’ll ruin your appetite.” You know what? I’ve decided that that’s just total B.S.

Besides the obvious downfall of eating dessert at the end of the meal…you choke on a piece of meat and die and never make it to dessert….besides that, there is just no good reason to eat dessert at the end of the meal.

Mark just asked me what I want for lunch, as he was going to run downstairs and grab a couple of sandwiches from Brooklyn Bagel. I told him I’m not hungry, that I already had a piece of cake. (Yes, that leftover birthday cake that I said I was going to detox from starting today. That one. Detox will start Tuesday).

Mark said, “Oh, you ruined your appetite.” And that’s when the B.S.-ness of it all struck me.

No, it didn’t ruin my appetite. I was hungry, I ate cake, I’m no longer hungry. Pretty straight forward. No different than being hungry, eating a sandwich, and then no longer being hungry.

I say, the cake quenched my appetite, and I no longer require further food. Others might say their sandwich quenched their appetite and they no longer require a piece of cake.

Whatever. I’m not trying to make anyone wrong here. I’m only pointing out the obvious, the ridiculousness of the fear of eating dessert first.

So, go ahead. Fight conformity. Eat dessert first. And if anyone gives you a hard time about it, let me talk to them and set them straight!

Bon Appetite!

107 Years of Fun and Mayhem and Pie-Cake!


I had a birthday this past week. And so did my friend Mike. I love parties, and I love cake. And so does Mike. And so, we threw a dual birthday party on Saturday night.

We celebrated 107 years of fun and mayhem. I’ve been claiming 35 of those years, and tagging Mike with the other 72 years. But, in reality, it is almost an even split!


Here’s a pic of Mike and me with the chocolate cake. When you flip the “107” upside down, it looks like “LOL.” For some reason, we got a big kick out of this.

Anyways….so, along with 30 of our friends, we celebrated with pizza, adult beverages, and Pie-Cake. What is Pie-Cake? Pie-Cake is what happens when two people disagree on what kind of birthday cake to buy.

I like chocolate cake. Mike likes cherry pie. I told Mike, “Dude, cherry pie is not a birthday cake.” But then I thought, really, who am I to judge or to rain on his birthday parade?!

And then I realized that, if we bought one of each kind, we could put a slice of each on a single plate and enjoy the flavors together. A dessert joint-venture.

And there, my friends, was the birth of the Pie-Cake.

But you know, there were little nuances in the making of the Pie-Cake. Mike put his slice of chocolate cake on top of his slice of cherry pie. I, on the other hand, layed down a big slice of chocolate cake on it’s side, and then I smashed the cherry pie on top of the cake, rendering the two inseparable.

Although we couldn’t agree on the best way to assemble and eat the Pie-Cake, we did agree that it was freakin’ delicious!! Best, best, best Birthday Pie-Cake ever!!!

This is a bit embarrassing, as it makes us seem like real pigs, but, we also had a third cake….a carrot cake. We had to, because, well, carrot cake is really good.

So there you have it. Yes, I had three pieces of birthday cake. Or maybe it was just two…One slice of Chocolate-Cherry Pie-Cake, and one slice of carrot cake.

At the end of the night, I was happy to be done with the big sugar binge, and I was looking forward to starting a sugar detox this morning. But when I opened the fridge this morning….Holy Freakin’ Jiminy Cricket….this is what was staring back at me…

Image….a mangled mess of leftover carrot cake and chocolate cake, just sitting there, tempting me to eat it for breakfast.

I quickly slammed the fridge door shut. Mark brought home the left-overs. Oh well, maybe it’s better to start my detox on a Monday after all.

Modernism Week….Cool S#*% That I Love!!

Sorry I’ve been scarce around here. I had to go “radio silent” this past week. This was mainly due to the fact that I was so busy, I just kind of forgot to get the lap top out to write.

What happened to me? Well, we road-tripped, with Fiona the RV, to Palm Springs, the land of all things fabulous, for Modernism Week. In a nutshell, Modernism Week is a celebration of mid-century cool shit, and of modern living, architecture, art, design, interior design, and lifestyle.

Modernism Week

Cool. Iconic. Modern.

We made our home base The Happy Traveler RV Park, a short walk to the heart of downtown. And for five beautiful, warm Palm Springs days, we zoomed all around on foot and bicycle, to tours, lectures, films and parties.


(above) Fiona @ The Happy Traveler Rv Park, space #127

Awesome Stuff We Did At Modernism Week! 

1. Tour of William Cody’s “Glass House.” I could live there. Homeowner who did the restoration was there, and he was really happy and proud to show off his home.

2. Film premier, “Quiet Elegance – The Architecture of Hugh M. Kaptur” Dude designed lots of cool places, and he was there for Q&A following the film.

3. “A Taste of The Leisure Life,” Tour of eight mid-century modern homes. Yep, I could live in any one of these nifty little houses.


(above) On the house tour


(above) Fun interiors on house tour

4. Film premier, “The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat” Has the coolest swimming pool ever, built into a rock. Q&A afterwards with homeowner Kelly Lynch, Neutra’s two sons, and the film maker. And, the three Oyler kids who grew up in the house were there too.

5. Lecture, “Modern Artifact – the 1931 Aluminaire House” Fascinating story about a display house that’s been taken apart, moved, reassembled, taken apart, moved again, reassembled, taken apart again, and is now in storage. Now they need a new place to reassemble it.

6. Tour of “Frey House II.”  This was the second home that architect Albert Frey designed for himself in Palm Springs. Iconic and fabulous, with views to die for! A definite highlight of the week!

ImageFrey House II

7. The Christopher Kennedy Compound, Architectural Twilight Tour & Cocktail Party.  A designer showcase in a mid-century modern home that’s been restored. I was standing right next to Trina Turk by the pool. I love Trina Turk! That woman’s got style!!

8. Lecture, “Thinking Outside of the Box: The Blue Sky Building System’s Approach to Prefab.”  A bit technical on prefab framing system, but still, got to see pics of lots of really cool modern homes. Mark liked the technical stuff.

9. Tour of Frank Sinatra’s “Twin Palms” Estate. A party house, for sure! Completely restored and beautiful. And you can rent the estate for a private party. Nice!

It was a great, great week. Fun and inspirational. Already planning to return next year.

A word to the wise, if you plan to go next year, you need to book your event tickets early. We bought tickets at least a month ahead of time, and many of the events were already sold out. Check out for lots more info and photos.

All of that design eye candy has got me all jazzed up to add some fun, colorful stuff inside the Airstream….colorful coffee mugs, bright colorful dog beds….A small shopping spree is on the agenda for today!

Chlorine, Speedos, Fig Newtons, & Cheap Mexican Food. It’s Obviously Valentine’s Day!


photo caption: Me. Swim Meet. Circa 1970.

It’s V-Day, peeps. And so I went swimming.

Chlorine pheromones are super sexy. Chlorine is cheap man’s (or woman’s) perfume. You know what else is sexy? The way my eyes bug out of my head all day after wearing swim goggles for an hour in the pool.

Do you know how I know these things are sexy? Because I was like a dude magnet at the YMCA this morning. And by “dude magnet,” I mean, a magnet attracting any and all guys meeting the following criteria:

1. Over the age of 68 (nothing wrong with this, just that, well, I’m not quite there yet)

2. Wearing Speedos or other spandexy clothing (nothing wrong with this, just giving you a visual)

Guy in the Speedo in the pool, told me how he was coerced, in high school, into signing up for the synchronized swim team. That was a funny story. No time to retell it here, but it was FUNNY!!

Guy in the other spandexy outfit, must have been about 75 years old. I ran into him post-swim, out in the parking lot. He was parked next to me, and came riding up on his tri-bike to his car. No, not TRICYCLE. I mean tri, as in TRIATHLON.

I was eating a Fig Newton, and I hear this guy say, “How do you like your Newtons?” I looked up at him in his spandexy cycling kit, and I looked at my Fig Newton, and I thought, “Weird question. Has he never eaten a Fig Newton?” And then suddenly, it dawned on me that he was asking about my Newton running shoes! haha!!

Anyway, spandexy triathlon dude was a nice guy too. I sure hope I’m still kicking some sports butt when I’m his age.

By time I got home from the pool, it was lunch time. And since it is Valentine’s Day, husband and I went out for a lovely Valentine’s Day lunch at Valentine’s, the divey Mexican food place around the corner from us.

VALENTINE’S DAY….the day is still young, but I’m already thinking that it doesn’t get much better than this!


My Genetic History of Crappy Cooking



My mom was a terrible cook. And I’m pretty sure I’m missing the cooking gene. I know for a fact that I’m missing the cleaning-up-after-cooking gene, and I think those usually come as a genetic pair.

I was cooking chicken last night. I set the oven temp to 395 degrees.

WHY 395 degrees?? Why not 400 degrees? What’s with that? Who did that? Who told us to do that? Why would they tell us to cook at 395 and not at 400? What’s the difference?

Why am I doing it just because someone told me to do it? Am I not an independent thinker? Do I not have a brain of my own? If I did, surely I’d set the temperature to an even 400 degrees. I just don’t see the point of going all the way to 395 and not going the extra 5.

Makes no sense. And yet, I do it. And I’ll continue to do it. I fear that, if I go the full 400, my chicken will turn out to be a scorched, dried-out mess. Oh wait, it usually is anyway.

So, what the hell is it with those extra 5 degrees?

Weird Word Wednesday


Schmegglie: A piece of dirt, grime, or grotesqueness that appears on an object, and oftentimes, appears on one’s self. Can also refer to a loved one.

Interesting Facts: “Schmegglie” is often, and incorrectly, interchanged with the word Schmeggmapony.” Schmeggmapony is the generic for the word “thing,” and is never used to denote something dirty or grotesque.

Examples of Use:

1.  Yuck, there’s a schmegglie on the floor

2.  Damn pigeon, schmegged me!

3.  Schmegglie, I missed you!

4.  Please hand me that schmeggmapony.

Please post your creative uses of Schmegglie, in any or all of its glorious forms, in the comments section! And keep it pretty much G-rated!

Looks Like A Tax, Smells Like A Tax, Must Be A Tax?


In the alternate universe of Bamboozlement, I just had this phone conversation with the State of CA Franchise Tax Board regarding our homeowners’ association.

Me: I just received two bills for our association tax assessment. One bill was the assessment, and the other bill was a late fee. We used to be exempt. Why do we now have to pay this tax?

Them: You are exempt. You do not pay taxes.

Me: Then why do I have to send you money?

Them: That is not a tax. It’s a filing fee.

Oh really???

Anyone remember that old Cheech and Chong skit…..Looks like dog #$%*, Smells like dog #$%*, tastes like dog @#$*…..that’s dog @#$*

Yep…pretty much same thing going on here. Welcome to the land of Bamboozlement, and to the beginning of our annual tax filing fee season. Enjoy!

Swimming With Old Ladies


Swimming. I like it. I’m really good at it.

I swam this morning. It was cold out, and I decided to swim in the warm indoor pool instead of the outdoor pool. Big mistake. Lap #1, I was already overheating. I was in and committed though, so I stuck with it.

To keep from really overheating and passing out, I swam slowly. And when the heat became just too much to take, I did some laps water-walking. Swim a little, walk a little, repeat.

Right next to my lane, in the other half of the pool, there was a water exercise class for seniors. On one of my water walking laps, a nice older woman in the exercise class turned to me and said, “You are such a smooth swimmer.”

Well, I just lit up. I smiled, and told her I’ve been swimming since I was a wee child. I was just pleased as punch that she took the time to give me kudos on my beautiful and efficient swim stroke.

Her next comment kind of burst my bubble a bit. “Some people swim next to us and they splash and it gets our hair wet.”

Oh, I see. She wasn’t so much complimenting my swimming, as she was thanking me for not getting her hair wet.

Whatever. It’s still a compliment, and I’m gonna take it and run with it. It is Monday, after all, and it’s nice to start the week off on a positive note!

New Olympic Sports I’d Love To See


I was just out at a bar, watching some of the Olympic coverage on TV. And it got me thinking…how ’bout these newfangled Olympic Sports…….

Biathlon. Instead of skiing and shooting rifles, skiers are equipped with stun guns. Last skier standing is the winner.

Curling. Instead of sweeping on ice, the sweeping will take place at my house. Team that sweeps up the largest cumulative dust bunny, wins.

Ski Jump Combined. This combines ski jumping from those huge, scary jump ramps, with skeet shooting. Skiers launch off the ski jump ramp. Bang…a skeet flies up into the air. Bam…ski jumper tries to catch the skeet while in the air.

Admittedly weird. Possibly sick. Undoubtedly entertaining!

The Day After the Morning After the First Night


After the first night in our new RV, and my disturbing claustrophobic attack, after morning coffee with our friends, after NOT telling our friends what really happened that first night…after all that, we did the obvious…went shopping.

Mark was in denial about my “situation,” and was determined to carry on as if nothing had happened. I was still talking about how to return the RV, but he was ignoring me. I guess he had faith in me.

He took me to the shopping mall to buy a few things he thought we needed in the RV….a 3″ memory foam mattress pad, and new pillows.  I thought it was all a waste of time and money, since we’d be returning the RV anyway.

After the little shopping spree, we made a stop at Pete’s Coffee to regenerate. Struck up a conversation with an older man who asked us about our Airstream. I blurted out that I had had a claustrophobic attack that first night. He proceeded to tell us that he spent many years traveling around in a similar type and size RV (a Roadtrek), and that he had claustrophobic issues for the first six months. He discovered that chewing gum in the evenings would help relieve the stress.

Nice guy. Wished me luck. We said goodbye and went to the drugstore to buy a massive amount of chewing gum.

While in the drugstore, it also occurred to me that some type of sleeping pill might be of help. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket, so I wasn’t about to rely just on the chewing gum!

Now I was ready for Night #2….Chewing Gum, Sleeping Pills, Memory Foam Pad, New Pillow…I was ready to do some serious relaxation and sleeping! BRING IT ON!!

In the next installment…Night #2 and my big revelations!

Weird Word Wednesday


I often think up weird words. And I’ve decided that I should share one weird word with you every Wednesday. And today is Wednesday.

BLOBULATE: The act of turning into a blob. Usually caused by a combo of lack of exercise and  allowing your diet to go to hell in a hand basket. Can also occur when exercise is present, but your diet is so abominable that it pretty much negates the exercise. Often occurs while on vacation.

Examples of use:

1. I’m going to blobulate when I go on that all-you-can-eat cruise next month.

2. I was on vacation at Jackson Hole last week and I ate so much, I feel blobulated.

3. I’m blobulating. I need to ditch this Cheetos and Coke habit.

Next Wednesday, another weird word….

Note about jelly bean photo above. I took this photo off of the website of Getty Images, and I removed part of the watermark (that’s why part of the image is funky looking). This is an image that I took, I own, and I have the right to use. I do this periodically, because it’s way easier than finding my original images and scanning them. Didn’t want you to think I was infringing on the copyrights of others. I would never do that. You shouldn’t do that either!

No Heat, No Fridge, No Brains, No Problem!


Change of subject here. Jackson Hole vacation is over. So back to the RV Chronicles, the ridiculous story of our new RV purchase.

The story of how two people who shouldn’t have bought an RV, bought an RV.

I left off on my posting of January 24th. The Cliff Notes version is, we bought an RV, and the first night in it, I had a claustrophobic freak-out! I spent part of the night sitting in the front seat, and part of the night sitting on the curb outside, wondering if we could return the RV the next day!

When Mark woke up at daybreak, I exclaimed, “Don’t put any soaps or shampoos in the dispensers. That way, when we return the RV, it’ll be more like brand-new and we won’t lose so much money on it.” His response, “Huh?” He needs his coffee in the morning in order to comprehend complex conversations.

I was totally sleep deprived and wasn’t functioning very well. I just kept muttering, “I’m so sorry. We’re such idiots.” To which Mark replied, “I need coffee.”

Now, you might think that I was the only one suffering that first night. But, it was a group project. See, not only could we not figure out how to get the fridge working the day before, but at night, when temperatures dipped into the low 40’s, we couldn’t figure out how to get the heat to work.  It was damn cold in there!

Ends up there’s a lot more to learn about a motorhome than just how to drive it. It’s a complex piece of machinery. And one we were ill-prepared to deal with!

It was as if we’d purchased the Space Shuttle, and took off in it with no instructions on how it worked. Pretty much, that’s how it felt! Between the two of us, we only had half a brain!!

After some back and forth texting to the Airstream dealer that morning, we found out that we were supposed to turn on the main propane switch on the outside of the rig, in order to fuel the heater. Now they tell us. Or maybe they told us that on our orientation, but there was just so much stuff to remember!

Now we had heat. But, in typical Santa Barbara fashion, after the chilly morning, it was already warming up, and we didn’t need heat anymore. Ha!!

On with our day! We took the pups for a morning walk, and then knocked on the front door of our friends’ house. Remember, we’re “boondocking” right out front of their house. They invited us in for morning coffee and to hear all about our first night in our RV.

“How was it?” they asked excitedly. To which we replied,

It was great!

And they replied,


Stay tuned for what happened next…a story which may or may not involve chewing gum, sleeping pills, and a lobotomy.

Claustrophobic Crazy Naked Lady & Grace Under Pressure

 Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 10.15.17 AM

Yes, it was me. I was the Crazy Naked Lady.

It was the last evening of our ski vacation in Jackson Hole, and after four days of skiing hard, we booked massages at our hotel, The White Buffalo Club. The masseuse was a lovely young woman named Brightly, who had only recently graduated from massage school. She seemed very sweet, and I immediately felt comfortable with her.

So, into the massage room I went, stripped down, lie face down on the table, breathed, closed my eyes, and relaxed into the nice warm heated padded table. And, so the massage began.

It wasn’t even two minutes into the massage when I was suddenly very aware of how hot and stuffy the room had become. I had Brightly turn off the heated padding and turn off the little space heater in the room, but to no avail.  I raised my head up from the table to get some air, which made matters worse, because then I became acutely aware of how tiny this room was!

Holy C%$#…this massage room was micro-miniature of what a real room should be….and it had no air!

In a panic, in all my crazy naked glory, I jumped off of the massage table, gasping for air, and screaming, “I can’t do this! I have to get out of here!” Yep…I had to get the hell out of that room!!

What happened next was a minor miracle. I was in such a panic, that I don’t even remember how she did it, but, somehow this very young, very inexperienced masseuse, calmed me down enough to stop me from running out of the room. She opened the door to get some fresh air inside, and got me to lie on the table, face up, and breathe.

And then I was OK. I could feel the current of cool fresh air entering the room, and I could see beyond the borders of this horribly small massage room. I was OK. I could finally relax and let Brightly work her magic on my tired body.

When I had my claustrophobic panic attack, I think I did scare Brightly just a bit, but she handled the whole thing with such grace and calm, as if she’d seen this a million times. After my massage was over, I hugged her, and thanked her for not letting me run out of, what turned out to be, a wonderful massage.

On the walk back to my room, I replayed the whole crazy episode in my head. And I remembered the last time I had a panic attack, that first night in our Airstream. And I remembered that I must get back to the RV Chronicles…the story of our first RV.

Post-Vacation Stress Disorder Is Messing Me Up


Day #1 back home in San Diego, following a most amazing ski vacation. There’s dirty laundry (from our trip) piled up in the hallway. There’s not a speck of food in the house. There’s a stack of bills to pay on my desk. And I’m completely unmotivated to do anything about any of it. Mentally, I’m still back in Jackson Hole, which is why I’ve posted one last photo (above) of me just about to drop into a nice long bump run.

I’m suffering from a common, but often overlooked, disorder known as PVSD. Post-Vacation Stress Disorder. This is a crippling disorder that often follows the big freakin’ let down of going home after a killer vacation.


1. Walked my doggies

2. Looked for hotels for our next trip to Jackson Hole

3. Perused my new book, “The Most Scenic Drives In America” to prepare for our cross-country RV trip this summer.

4. Looked again for hotels for our next trip to Jackson Hole

5. Perused my new book again, “The Most Scenic Drives In America” to prepare for our cross-country RV trip this summer.

The only known cure for PVSD, is to go on another vacation. Therefore, I reckon’ it’s prudent of me to be planning another trip. I should be feeling much better by tomorrow!

Where are you planning to go on your next trip?!