St. Patrick’s Day: Ten Green Things I Love

Yesterday, we took a look at a few green things that are not my favoriteI don’t especially care for … Fine! You know what? I said HATE. We talked about seven green things that I HATE!

So, in an effort to balance the bad with the good, the yin with the yang, the Ginger with the Mary Ann, I thought we’d make an opposite list today. To help you “Erin” your “Go Bragh” tomorrow. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Ten Green Things I Love

(and NONE of them are vegetables … technically)

 1. Pesto.

Because it’s fabulous on flatbread, crackers, pasta … I bet that shit would taste good on a doughnut. (Who am I kidding? What wouldn’t taste good on a doughnut?)

2. Emeralds.

Because it’s my girl’s birthstone and, next to diamonds, might just be my favorite gemstone. Seriously, it’s so regal they made a whole city out of it. Fictionally speaking, of course. Unless you count Seattle.

3. Avocado.

Because even though its name derives from a word meaning “testicle,” it still manages to be one of my all-time favorite foods. (And, yes. That would make guacamole a bowl of mashed testicles. Discuss.)

4. Greenland.

Because you guys remember when I wrote Greenland, right? That was such a fun letter series. And, one of these days, they’re going to call me and ask me to travel across their countryside drinking in the sights and sounds of all things Greenland. And then write about my whole experience. … Seriously, it’s going to happen. …. You’ll see.

5. Elphaba.

Because it’s an incredible show. I first heard Defying Gravity performed on the Tonys in 2004. And now, more than a decade later, I’m still on my feet …. clapping and crying like an idiot. (That actually seems to happen a lot in my life.)

6. Green smoothies.

Because … Kale? Nope. Spinach? Uh-uh. Can’t be that either. You know what? I have no earthly idea why I like them, but those suckers are really good.

7. Olives.

Because stuffed with cheese, sliced on a pizza, minced in a tapenade or whole in a martini … is there anything better in the world? (For the purposes of #7, no. There is not. Next!)

8. Christmas trees.

Because of their meaning, their twinkle and especially their smell. It’s probably why mine is usually up from November to mid-January. Either that or laziness.

9. Money.

Because it’s always in season, it’s always appropriate and it always fits.

10. Kermit.

Because he reminds me of being a little bitty kid. Plus Rainbow Connection was one of my childhood theme songs. I actually had a few … which I’m guessing sounds as weird to me as it probably does to you.

What about YOU?

Shrek, Key lime pie, The Incredible Hulk … what GREEN stuff do YOU love?


St. Patrick’s Day: Seven Green Things I Hate

St. Patrick’s Day is Tuesday … which means my family is heading to the local parade down the street today to catch everything from cabbage and carrots to potatoes and Irish Spring. (Yay! Stuff I can actually use. At least compared to the novelty panties and penis beads of Mardi Gras.) And, since my grandmother’s last name was McCarthy, I thought I’d get my Irish on this morning with a little post about things that I HATE that are green. (I’ll give you one guess as to the title of  tomorrow’s post.) Anyway …

Seven Green Things I Hate

(and they can’t ALL be vegetables)

1. Mold.

Because it either means I need to clean something or it impedes my cheese eating. Plus it reminds me of post-Katrina New Orleans. Boo!

2. Phlegm and/or mucus.

Because … well, I’m guessing I don’t really need to explain this one, do I? Then again, maybe there people out there who love those phlegm and mucus cartoon characters on the TV commercials. So, to those individuals, I express my most heartfelt apologies. Carpe mucus!

3. Green bananas.

Because those rubbery bastards just tease the hell out of me.

4. Seaweed.

Because it smells awful and it always makes me scream like a little girl when it dares to brush against my leg in the ocean. Of course, when it’s on my sushi roll …

5. Alligators.

Because being from Louisiana, there is an excellent chance I could be eaten by one. And yet, every day, I somehow manage to get out of bed and just live my life. Truly, if that’s not bravery, I don’t know what is.

6. Brussels sprouts.

Because they’re gross. But I can still put them in my mouth, chew them and appear to swallow them … all the while alternatively spitting them into a napkin with the dexterity and sleight of hand of David Copperfield.  It’s a gift really.

7. Jealous people.

Because they’re a pain in the ass, am I right? Wait, what? Have *I* ever been jealous? No, of course not, I have everything I could ever want right here next to my 5-year-old car and my two VCRs. (cough)

What about YOU?

Yoda, asparagus, Oscar the Grouch … what GREEN stuff do YOU hate?


The Scariest Morning I’ve Had In a While (Don’t worry. It ends well.)

For anyone just tuning in around here, I have one husband, two children and two pets. Sometimes I feel like we should get a third pet just for the rhythm and flow of that first sentence. Then I regain my sanity and realize you don’t take on another live responsibility so the description of your life is more poetic. Milo the cat and Herve the hamster are plenty. (shaking head at my own stupidity) Why am I explaining the cast of characters in my home? Because they all figure into the lunacy of my morning today. Prominently.

Milo (left) and Herve (right). BFFLs … I guess.

My day started like all others. Too early. With my eyes first opening around 5am. Followed by the realization that I had to pee. Nothing new. (Damn, peanut-sized bladder.) Then, for the next hour, my brain woke me every five to seven minutes in a cold sweat thinking I’d overslept. On a school morning. A school morning with exams. It just can’t happen.

I’m the rooster in the family. I’m the first one up every day. It’s my job to wake everyone up, one by one. And I always start with Dean, my 15-year-old son. Between homework, after school activities and televised athletic events, that poor kid never gets enough sleep during the week. As such, he’s hard to wake up in the morning so I usually spend a few minutes just hanging out with him chatting in the dark. (I don’t mind it one bit, by the way. It’s some of the best conversation we have all day.) And, while we’re chatting, Milo usually drifts in and out of the room waiting for us to get up and fill his food bowl.

Everything was following the usual pattern this morning until I exited his room to start getting ready. And I noticed Milo fixated on my daughter’s closed bedroom door. She was still asleep. But Milo was staring at the bottom of her door with the focus of an English Pointer voted Best in Show.

I knew something was up. A bug? Maybe even a roach? I didn’t know. But from the backlighting coming from within her room, I could see that something was pressed against the bottom crack of the door. The hallway was still dark and my eyes were still sleepy so I called my teenage son to come inspect the situation. He walked over and crouched down on the floor to get Milo’s perspective. Then he spoke. Nothing could have prepared me for his next words.

“I see a hand, a furry hand, much bigger than Herve’s, reaching in and out.” I stared at him in disbelief and my blood ran cold.

What was on the other side of the door to the room where my daughter lie fast asleep?!!?

For reasons of which I am not proud, I took off not into her room but down the hall to my bedroom where Dave was still asleep. “Get up! Get up! Get uuuuuup!!!! Dean said there’s something in Vivien’s room sticking a hand out under the door. And he said it’s NOT HERVE!!!”

Dave jumped out of bed from a deep sleep, totally discombobulated and ran down the hall …. past Vivien’s room, mind you … and into the living room.  He looked around, totally confused and likely still half asleep, when he got there. “NOOO! In your daughter’s room. It’s in your daughter’s room,” I yelled.

Dave ran back to her room and threw the door open a little harder than he probably should have. Given the fact that it WAS Herve. (pause for collective exhale) He was just on the other side of the door. Alive, I should probably add. Harmless, old man Herve who had a stroke last Christmas Day and now pulls to the left when he walks and falls over into a ball every few steps was the thing that had just scared the living daylights out of everyone.

Dave scooped him up, checked him out and declared him to be fine. I stopped almost swallowing my tongue and started breathing normally again. We hugged Milo and applauded his probably-not-intentional rescue efforts. And we instructed our obviously-more-blind-than-we-thought son to go put his contacts in immediately. Oh, and Vivien? She slept through all of it. The noise, the running, the panic. Good God, I envy that kind of sleep.

Of course, how Herve escaped his cage (I suspect the door wasn’t properly latched) and further how he survived the two-and-a-half foot drop to the hardwood floor unscathed (that would be like me falling four stories) will forever remain a mystery. Needless to say, there’s an extra latch on his little door now … should Houdini ever decide to go for an encore. And the cage? Well, that’s now located safely on the floor.

Seriously? You can’t tell me there’s a huge, furry hand coming out of my child’s room and not expect me to lose control. I think my heart’s finally starting to descend from my throat.


The Post About My Bra & Underwear

THEM: We’d like you to review our product.

ME: Great. What’s the product?

THEM: Undergarments. Like bras. And panties. As in lingerie.

ME: (cough, sputter) Do I have to post pictures of … I mean … would I need to wear the … ?

THEM: No, no. You don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.

ME: (laughing nervously) Well, that would make me very uncomfortable. It would make my family uncomfortable. It would make my readers

THEM: … uncomfortable?

ME: Well, yes. But I was going to say nauseous.

THEM: (possibly rethinking their decision to ask me) You can do whatever you want. As long as it’s honest and appropriate for the product.

ME: Can it be funny?

THEM: Sure. We love funny and personable.

ME: (lightbulb over head, at least 40-watts) Excellent. I’m on it!

Okay. So maybe that’s not exactly how the conversation went. But it’s the gist. Because when ThirdLove first contacted me, I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle writing about my bra. And underwear. But the more I communicated with them, the more I knew I just had to take the job.  Seriously, this company is one of the most innovative, customer-oriented in the business. So, without further ado, let’s take a minute to talk underwear, shall we? Specifically mine.

(Don’t worry. There WILL be pictures.)

After perusing their extensive selection of bras (full, demi, plunge, convertible, push-up, front closure, wireless, etc.) and panties (bikini, boyshort, tanga and thong), I made my choices:

  • The Evolve Push-Up Bra (Don’t judge.)
  • The Microfiber Bikini (I always like to have my butt covered, both figuratively and literally.)

And they came almost immediately, packaged beautifully I might add. I honestly felt like I was opening a present. My daughter was with me at the time. She’d never seen a front closure bra before and she was duly impressed. As was I.

I ordered both of my items in a nude color. (Call me Madam Practical.) The bra is fully adjustable to allow the girls a perfect fit. And the fabric on both of these pretty pieces is so soft. Thin and dainty but durable. Panty lines definitely won’t be an issue for me on my ThirdLove days. Like their ad says, “There’s no better way to go commando without actually going commando.”

Is anyone else reminded of Joey?

If only he’d had a pair of ThirdLove microfiber bikinis. All of this could have been avoided.

But seriously … in addition to the dependable quality of their merchandise, their attention-to-detail and customer service efforts are through the roof. And here’s how.


Ordering was simple. But if you have questions, there’s a friendly online rep literally sitting at her desk waiting to talk bras and underwear with you. (I’ve bothered her three times now. We’re going out for Thai next Tuesday.) She’s there every Mon-Fri from 9am-6pm PST. So is the call center. After hours, you can email them at


Just like shoes, ThirdLove cups come in half sizes to offer a perfect fit. That means they offer twice the inventory. Their band sizes range from 28 to 40, with select styles available in up to a G cup. (Yes, I said G! As in Good God Almighty!)


You know those fools who rush you with a measuring tape every time you walk into a lingerie store? Don’t they seem a little too anxious to touch your boobs? Well, you don’t have to bother with them anymore. Because the ThirdLove app gives you simple, step by step instructions to get your own accurate measurements in the comfort (and privacy!) of your home … rather than in the middle of the mall while strangers like your old high school lab partner awkwardly look on.

But wait! I promised pictures!

I really lucked out with one. Because my daughter’s oversized sock monkey, Maxine, volunteered for the job. Which I so appreciated. Being as that I’ve delivered two babies and all. And I’m certain Maxine looks better in an underwear photo shoot than I would.

No really.

ThirdLove lingerie

Perfect for the monkey on the go (She’s hailing a cab) …

… the monkey who spends all day at her desk …

… or the monkey just lounging at home.

Whatever your plans, ThirdLove has you covered. And supported.

Want to see for yourself? Visit ThirdLove and take a look around. If you decide to order something, be sure to take advantage of their 20 for 20 program by using the discount below.

Click HERE for a $20 credit on your first order.

Yes, I get a credit, too. That’s how it works. Then, after you order, you can earn  credits by referring friends as well. It’s easy. And who doesn’t need new underwear?

Remember, next time you see me, I just might be wearing that monkey’s underwear.


MamaKat’s writing prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word embarrassed. Um … yeah, okay. Done!

Let’s put the “US” in Sinus tonight, okay?

It’s been a weird week. Or rather a long week. Unlike this post. Because I’m relying on an old writing trick. I’m setting my timer for 10 minutes. I have to write for ten minutes straight. No stopping. No editing. And voila! Instant (crappy) blog post.


Because I haven’t written in over a week. Because I’ve been sick. Because I haven’t been inspired by any one thing to write about. Because … WHY DO YOU KEEP ASKING ME THESE QUESTIONS?!!?

Oh, yeah. You didn’t. The voices are all coming from within my head. I keep forgetting. (Credit: Michael McDonald)

Anyway, as I was saying, it’s been a weird …. long … week. Dave was away so I was on my own to keep things running around here. That’s not so unusual. Except I got a severe sinus infection. That’s WAY unusual. For me anyway. I spent my entire life allergy and sinus issue free. Until now. Stupid old age. Or Stupid Louisiana. Or stupid whatever’s-causing-the-problem.

On Thursday morning, it actually got to where the left side of my face hurt so badly it made me wish my face didn’t have a left side. Which would be weird. Unless you were looking at me in profile. From the right side, of course.

My whole left face hurt … my ear, my eye, my teeth. And it got to where I just couldn’t take it anymore. It hurt so much that I puked in the Urgent Care parking lot. And now I can never take back that I just confessed to public puking. (Oops.)

But a steroid shot, a steroid inhaler and three medications later and the pressure is finally starting to release. Unless I look down. Which, apparently, is something I do approximately 348 times a day. And I’m reminded every single time that I can’t do it by the pressure. (Oh, the pressure.)

Oh, and since I’ve already told you about the puking, let’s take it a step further by examining how hideous my eyes looked as recently as Friday evening, shall we?

Urgent Care said they could have diagnosed me a mile away. I wore “the Mask of the Severe Sinus Sufferer.” I thought I looked more like a meth head.

Thank GOD for make-up. Because I had a mother/son event the very next morning with Dean.

There’s about six pounds of cosmetic spackle under each eye. And, as long as anyone didn’t get too close to me, I think I pulled it off.

Would you look at that? Only 17 seconds to go. Guess I’ll have to talk about my girl in the next one. Ooh, or the time I went out in public wearing nothing but my …. (BEEP! Time’s up!)


The Trip to DC with My Girl … in Pictures!

My girl and I just got back from her class trip to DC. We actually got home late Tuesday night and have literally been holed up ever since. The trip was fantastic. We accomplished more there in four days than could ever have been possible had I been in charge. (Thanks, Mr. Hill.)

To name only a few of the highlights:


The Pentagon Memorial, The Korean War Memorial and The Washington Monument

IMG_9652Selfies with Mr. Lincoln (my apologies for the occasional decapitation)


Mount Vernon …


… where (as promised) we froze our butts off.


Followed by the requisite puppet show on the bus spoofing Dirty Dancing with our founding fathers. “Nobody puts Martha in a corner.”


The Smithsonian museums where we saw priceless relics like Abe’s hat, Dorothy’s slippers and Archie’s chair.


Oh, and these amazing people who drove an hour to visit. (Love you, Bugaj family!)


The Berlin Wall at the Newseum, The Holocaust Museum and The Library of Congress


Arlington Cemetery, where we watched the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider … in the snow!


The snow kind of took over at that point.


The U.S. Marines Memorial, The White House and the tallest man in Washington DC, unofficially.


A little movie recreation magic. Just for fun.


A hauntingly beautiful picture at the National Portrait Gallery that captured us all. Plus my pitiful attempt to “Ferris Bueller” it.


Hands down, the hottest picture of Lincoln I’ve ever seen.

Yes, for those who have been with me a while, I did take this same trip a few years ago with my son. And it was equally enjoyable, informative and enlightening.


However, there was one significant difference between that trip and this one.


Southern girls just aren’t built for that kind of cold. 

My sincerest thanks to World Strides, Richard Hill and all the SCS parents and kids who came on the trip with us. Viv and I made memories that we will never forget.

MamaKat writing prompt: Something that made you smile this week.


I’m Going to Freeze My (insert body part) Off This Weekend. Here’s Why.

I’m headed to Washington DC this weekend on a school trip with my daughter’s 7th grade class. Some of you might remember me taking this same trip two years ago with my son. Which, of course, means I’m a seasoned veteran. Except for the fact that the worst weather I dealt with on that trip was only about 30 or 40 degrees. And old, tourist-trodden snow that was already on the ground.

(pause for effect)

Check out the forecast for this year’s trip.


Five degrees?


And that’s not even the wind chill factor. Does that part of the world do the whole wind chill factor thing? We do here in the South. The DEEP South. The region of the country that enabled me to wear flip flops for morning carpool last week. Where my daughter begged me to turn on the air conditioning in the car. When it was 62 degrees. Mind you I was already freezing. AND had the seat warmer on.

I’m worried, my friends. Deeply … profoundly … worried.

Which is why I’ve spent the whole week borrowing arctic attire from countless friends. And shopping. (Dear Lord, the shopping.) I just don’t have much experience with cold. I wear a jacket in the frozen section at the grocery store for frick’s sake. And, as I get older, I’ve found that my affinity for all things cold gets lesser and lesser. I don’t even care much for ice cream. (Seriously, ask anyone.)

So what IS your point of reference for cold, Michele?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Because, as it happens, I’ve prepared a list of items that I find intensely and, for that matter, uncomfortably cold. Feel free to poke fun or add your own in the comments.

Intolerably Cold Things According to Me

  1. Vivien’s hands and feet … always (I’m guessing a good mother would probably look into that.)
  2. Milo’s nose (That’s a good thing, right? Except when it surprises my face in the middle of the night.)
  3. My sheets whenever I first get into bed (Which is why I typically pre-heat them with a heating pad. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.)
  4. Swimming pools (Unless it’s 95 degrees outside, there’s no way I’m getting in unless it’s the dead of July. And even then … wetting my hair in public? Fine. I’m high maintenance. Whatever.)
  5. The aforementioned grocery store freezer aisle (Seriously, don’t they keep the Hot Pockets INSIDE the cooler?)
  6. The water in my shower after a lousy five minutes (I don’t understand cold showers. Maybe because I’m not a teenage boy.)
  7. My butt as soon as October rolls around (Sure, that’s TMI. But similar to the groundhog …  for me, it’s always been a sure sign of fall.)

In any event, I have every expectation and fear of freezing my butt and every other appendage off in a few days. (In my world, a butt is an appendage.) After all, I’ve only been exposed to colder temperatures once before in my life.


And that was at Minus Five Degrees, the novelty ice bar in Vegas.


That’s my dear friend, Carrie. And no. I do not have her permission to use these photos. (Sorry, Carrie!)

In response to MamaKat’s writing prompt: “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ~ Maya Angelou. Now write.

Because. even though I’m very excited about this trip, I’ll definitely be missing the balmy temperatures (aka “safe place”) of my New Orleans home.

Fine. It’s a stretch … but I know she won’t mind.



How My Love Affair With Theater All Began


I took my daughter to see Annie yesterday. Yes, of course, she’d seen it before. Twice actually. Both of her prior experiences were in local community theater settings. And both were solid productions with strong casts. But yesterday was different. Because yesterday’s production was presented in the world-renowned Saenger Theater on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Saenger Theater first opened its doors in 1927 and charged its patrons a mere sixty-five cents to see a live show or silent movie. (My great grandmother used to play the organ there for those silent movies, by the way.) Anyone who has ever been inside the theater can attest that price was a steal even then. Because the building itself is, simply put, one of the most beautiful and majestic places this girl has ever seen.

Following a renovation in the late 70s, the theater reopened in 1980. That’s the first time I saw it. My parents had season tickets, two of them, on the second row, orchestra right. I still have no idea how they managed to get such excellent seats. And I never questioned it. I just remember the first time my mother had a conflict with one of the performance dates. She’s a teacher and probably had a meeting or something that night. Lucky for me. Because I got to go in her place. The show was Dancin‘. (Bet you thought I was going to say Annie.) It was a musical salute to dance, choreographed by Bob Fosse. I remember being mesmerized by it even though I’m sure I didn’t fully appreciate all of its unique artistic nuances.

Then it happened.

My (obviously overworked!) mother had yet another conflict with one of the performance dates. The show? Yes, this time it was Annie. So I went with my dad again. To sit on the second row. Of the gorgeous theater. To see ANNIE. I had no idea what was in store for me. Neither did my father. I still remember his first words to my mother as soon as we got home that night,

“We’re going to have to get a third ticket,”

he said, half smiling and probably half wondering what it was going to cost him.

Sure enough, he managed to get a third ticket mid-season. It was a single seat just a row behind the original two. Needless to say, my dad sat in that single seat for the remainder of the years we held those tickets. And I sat with my mother on the second row. There I saw amazing performances by Sandy Duncan in Peter Pan, Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady, Yul Brynner in The King and I and Richard Burton in Camelot … to name only a small few.

But it all started with Annie. That show will always be particularly important to me because it opened my eyes to what would become one of the greatest loves of my life. Since that night, I’ve seen more shows than I could begin to count, in cities all over the country and even overseas. And, apparently, my “disease” is hereditary. Or maybe just contagious. Because my daughter is just as hooked as her self-proclaimed theater geek of a mother.

So maybe that’s why yesterday …. sitting in that same theater … watching that same show … I was overcome with emotion when the title character came down the stairs in her classic red dress. Everyone around me was smiling and clapping and cheering, but I was crying … nay, weeping … at the déjà vu of it all.

Thank you, New Orleans Saenger Theater, for serving as the backdrop of one my greatest and most influential childhood memories. And my daughter’s, too.


Vivien in her 3rd grade talent show. Yes, she sang Tomorrow. And yes, that was my dress. My grandmother made it for me when I was her age.






Because Dreamers Gonna Dream (even when it’s completely ridiculous)

I was sifting through past posts recently when I came across this old one. It was written over a year ago about a Craigslist ad I found while checking for writing assignments. I can’t remember if I actually sent the email below or not. As you know, I’m not opposed to sending correspondence that makes me look “somewhat foolish” from time to time. Plus you never know, right? (Oh, just nod your head.) Anyway (dusting off cobwebs) … enjoy.

As a freelance writer, I’m always looking for new gigs.

I hate that word. Gigs. Makes me sound like a gritty drifter who sleeps by day and travels by night, only stopping occasionally to do things like knock over a 7-11 or take a shower. But “gigs” is what Craigslist has relegated my work to be. Maybe I’ll make it my sassy, new nickname … Gigs Poche. Wait. What were talking about again?

Oh, yeah. The ad! So I saw this ad yesterday.


Because I know it’s hard to read: “Writing dialogue is an art. Writing great dialogue is a goldmine. Are you clever, witty and ambitious? Ever feel like good Hollywood movies are few and far between? Screenwriter looking for a wordsmith, linguistically genius or a genius in the making. Must have a passion to write, a will to win and a dreamer’s mentality.  Prior screenwriting a plus, but not required.”

Now, before we move on, remember I’m still the same goofy, pie-in-the-sky dreamer who genuinely believed she was going to get called up on stage to join Donny & Marie at their concert when she was a kid. Because I’d sent a letter to them via a concert security guard (which I’m sure hit the nearest trash can … jerk!) asking to meet them at the performance venue. I waited the whole concert and was absolutely crushed when it was over and it didn’t happen. Sad, little fool that I was.

But what’s sadder is that I haven’t changed at all. I have learned nothing. Because when I saw the above ad, I had to reply. I don’t want to miss my big break, you know? Of course, I think what concerns me most is that I’m actually dumb enough to tell you about it right here. Shouldn’t I be embarrassed? Shouldn’t I feel like a fool? Yes, probably. But deep down I guess there’s still part of that Osmond-loving kid inside of me just waiting for something BIG to happen.


Dear Interesting Craigslist Poster,

Wordsmith is my middle name!

(No. That’s stupid. Everyone is going to open with that. My cat would open with that. Try again, Michele.)

I got my B.A. in Wordsmithing … with a minor in Psychology.

(Well, that’s a LITTLE better. But the fact that you had to resort to “wordsmithing” sort of illustrates that you very well may not be. Keep trying, fool.)

I practice the ancient art of Wordsmithology … I mean Wordsmithyism … (sweating) I mean … umm … Words are my god!

(Well, now they’re just going to think you’re a dork. And the whole purpose here is to impress! Give it one more try, okay?)

My name is Michele and I am a freelance writer for many different types of projects including an award-winning website entitled In addition to my years of experience, I have a degree in Journalism AND I finished first in my eighth grade class (of more than one hundred 13-year-olds!) for vocabulary. I think I recall getting a certificate for that achievement but I’m not sure I’ll be able to put my hands on it for you. So you might just have to take my word for it.

And speaking of WORDS, I have a very strong (as in Herculean … or at least HulkHoganian) grasp of them as well as their spelling, meanings, origin, versatility, usage, misusage, etc. I am certain I could deliver for you in this area. Concerning the “clever” and “witty” you seek, people have always told me I am funny. And they have no reason to provide me with this information falsely as I am, in no way, wealthy. That’s where you come in. You and the “ambitious” part of me that you mentioned. Maybe we can help each other.

Oh, and before I go, I’m always a little concerned about responding to Craigslist postings. As any female (or human with a still-beating pulse) should be. So … if you’re a killer or some other classification of criminal, kindly disregard my email and move on to your next victim. I have much to accomplish before I die and really do not have the time to be murdered today.

Thanks giving me a few minutes of your attention. Here’s hoping we can keep doing so into the future.


* * * * * * * * * *

Soooo .. geez, this is awkward … if you guys are looking for me later this year, I’m sure I’ll be in L.A. trying to work out the details of my latest movie project with Quentin, Marty or somebody like that.

You know what? Just call my people and we’ll do lunch.


My hamster is starting to resemble Macauley Culkin

And sadly, I don’t mean precocious, crime-fighting, scream-while-aftershave-slapping Macauley. I’m talking about the ninety-eight pound, chain-smoking, allegedly-heroin-addicted Macauley. Scruffy-haired, thin and always jonesing for … well, let me back up a little.

You guys remember Herve, right? Vivien’s sweet little pet rodent who has actually become such an important part of the family that he’s appeared on not one, not two but THREE Christmas cards. Even Milo loves the little guy. (Fine. I’m lying about that last part. Milo is a cat. And you can’t tamper with the food chain, right?)

Anyway …. last month, something sad happened. And I haven’t wanted to write about it until now. On Christmas night, after we returned home from a long day of gluttony and family togetherness, I went to Viv’s room to check on Herve. And what I found there was a little disturbing.

I took one look at Herve and knew he wasn’t right. His head was upturned to the right, he was woefully unbalanced and he was manically active. I panicked. And I called out to Dave and Vivien. They both came immediately but Vivien was so upset that she fled the room in tears. Dave thought I was crazy for calling her in to see him in the first place. Honestly, I didn’t think Herve was going to make it through the night. And I knew she’d never forgive me if I kept him from her on his last day.

She was crying. And I was crying. Me. About a hamster. Honestly, I was as surprised about that happening as you probably are reading that it happened. It’s just that we all really care about the little guy. Not only is he adorable, but he’s one of the sweetest, gentlest little creatures I’ve ever met. He’s only nipped me once (pardon the pun) and that totally was not his fault. Seriously, what’s not to love?

The next three days were sort of touch and go. Viv and I both stayed close to home and checked on him often. Truth? I was so certain every time that I was going to find him dead that I made Dave accompany me … every time. But then he didn’t die. We made it through Friday, Saturday, Sunday and even Monday … and he was still wobbling around a lot but still going strong.

I was stunned. I had already stashed a small red box from one of my Christmas presents in the back of my closet in anticipation of …. well, you know. (I still feel absolutely TERRIBLE about that, by the way.)

 When he was still with us on Monday morning, I decided it was time to take action. For those of you who have been around a while, you may remember that there’s actually an exotic vet in my neck of the woods. And, last summer, I actually took Herve to that exotic vet for a much lesser issue. So, needless to say, I called the veterinary office to explain what was going on with him. They agreed to see him that very afternoon.

Both kids came with me to his appointment. And, unlike Herve’s last visit, we all three got to go into the examination room with him this time. The doctor was great. It turned out she’s married to an old co-worker friend of mine. She was wonderful with our little guy. And she explained that, while it was possible that Herve was dealing with an inner ear infection, it was more likely that he’d suffered a stroke on Christmas Day. Exactly what I suspected.

We left the office with three different medications and special food that we were supposed to administer to him with a syringe. Were we up for it? Well, of course, we were. What you guys don’t know is that I had a diabetic cat named Toby who required two daily shots of insulin a day for EIGHT YEARS.

And how hard could it be to administer three prescriptions medications to a hamster, right?

Actually, it really was easy. Especially for one of the medications. The first  was for infection. He liked it okay. And now he’s finished with that one. The second was for imbalance. He liked it a little less than okay. But it’s also finished. And the third? The third is a pain medication. Notice I said “is” because he’s still on it. Think of it as a morphine drip of sorts. Something to “keep him comfortable for the rest of his days.” And he absolutely LOVES THE EVERLIVING CRAP out of it.

He knows when I’m coming in to give it to him. He runs to the door of his cage and jumps (read: stumbles uncoordinatedly) into my hand. He can smell it. Sense it. Already taste it.

Don’t believe me?


See those grabby, little hands?

That’s the pain meds at work. We never saw that kind of passion with the antibiotic. He’d take the whole syringe into his bulging cheek pocket if I didn’t keep such a a tight grip on it.

My poor little junkie.

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