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?