Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Down and Out

I'm sitting here in my bed, in my jammies, no make-up, no brushed teeth or hair, at 11:06am. No, I'm not lazy; I'm post-op drugged up! I had my laproscopy yesterday. And I'm not quite 100% yet. Not even quite 55% yet, I'd say. So I'm going to take this opportunity to catch up on all the wonderful blogs I have sadly neglected during this busy holiday season. And I'm going to attempt to write a few posts of my own. If I get to it, you may get to hear a little about:

-a great new sugar cookie recipe (even newer than the last one!)
-peeing blue
-Why I may bomb a movie theater
-How to give yourself 3 days of serious nightmares
-Why I hope, for your sake, you've never heard the children's song "Down By the Bay"
-How to nearly ruin Christmas
-Why I might bomb an insurance company
-Why I might get arrested for too many bombing threats
-Ways in which I am seriously disturbed (not bombing related). And proud of it.
-How I still need a Wisconsin quarter. Actually, maybe I'll just leave that one at that.

But you first. It's Christmas and I'm feeling magnanimous. I'll be seeing you on your blog soon!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Let's Salsa!

I know a lot of you have had my veggie salsa before (the one with the avacados, white corn, and black-eyed peas). So would you mind going to and rating the recipe? I've had the recipe posted for a while and no one has reviewed it yet. If you haven't tried it, do! It's such a good salsa that you'll want to eat it with a spoon, or Scoops chips piled high. It's low on tomatoes and has no white onions (only green) so it's not as acidic or as hard on your breath. Maybe the next party you go to (like this New Years Eve?), bring it and I guarantee you, at least 3 people will ask you for the recipe. I actually used to take pre-printed recipes of this with me whenever I took it to a party because so many people requested joke! So I'm asking a favor...if you've tried it, please go rate it! Or make it and see what you think. Even if you're spending this New Year's Eve home being a loser like me, this salsa will be good company.


Click HERE to view or rate my recipe.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa Baby

Why is it that as you get older, you want less and less for Christmas but the things you want cost more and more? I can only think of half a dozen things I really want for Christmas this year, and all of them cost more than I could probably earn for selling a child. (Anyone in the market? I know a very talkative 4 year old who would love to live with you.)

1) A new sapphire for my engagement ring. This is truly the ultimate in frivolity. But I can't help it. The stone on my ring looks black. People always ask me what stone it is. "Is it onyx?" No it's not onyx! Who would get an engagement ring with onyx in it??? Well, clearly it looks like I would. Hence, the desire for a bluer sapphire. I really don't think a couple hundred dollars could be put to better use. Those so-called starving children in Africa don't look that hungry to me.

2) A video camera. My digital still camera has a video feature, and in good lighting, at one static distance, for short periods of taping, it works fine. We've used it to take tons of little videos like Beck singing the sound of music with Daphne's fairy costume on, and Daphne running around naked sticking out her bum and yelling, "Waka waka waka!" You know, everyday stuff like that. But as soon as you try to zoom in, it goes dark. Or if you want to take something for longer than 90 seconds, like a recital or birthday party, it cuts off into 10 tiny segments. And forget taping in medium to low light; those boudoir videos are a no-go. So someday it would be nice to have a real video camera. Someday when I win the elusive $400 lottery.

3) Speaking of cameras, I'd love to have a really nice digital SLR camera. I have a digital point and shoot. But it lacks the ability to really play with the settings and take creative, professional looking shots. Somewhere buried in my house I have a classic SLR camera. But it uses film (do they even still develop real film??). And it doesn't allow you to see your shots as you go, which means experimenting with different settings is nearly pointless--you won't see the results of your setting changes until you get the film developed. If they even still develop film. So someday, when I have $600 lying around, I'd like a digital SLR camera.

4) Reebok EasyTone shoes. They're the ones you've seen in the commercials that tone your butt and legs just by walking around. I watched a whole exposé show about them, and they really do work. I'm all over that. For only a cool $100 I can quit working out. My lower body.

5) Lasering. I've already had my legs and bikini lasered. And I think nearly every day of my life how it was the best money I've ever spent. Not having to shave my legs (or slice up my poor husband's legs all summer long when we come into contact with each other) is wonderful. But I have a few more areas that I'd like to have worked on. Like...all of them. So as soon as I can come up with a grand or two for total body hair removal, I will be as smooth as a newborn rat. But hopefully not as revolting.

6) A steam mop. This one is probably my most justifiable request. Because it actually involves cleaning. And gifts that involve cleaning don't really count as gifts. They're necessities, right? My second least favorite job to do around the house is mopping. I just hate it. And our mop does such a terrible job on the bathroom tile that I must admit our bathroom tile doesn't get cleaned nearly as often is it should. The hippo tank at the zoo is probably more sanitary. So the steam mop will kill two germs with one stone: I might actually clean the floor, and if I do, it will use all 220 degrees of heating power to kill off anything I might have missed. And the fact that the one I want is only $69 means I might actually see an Amazon box under the tree this year.

As for the other things, I think me and my onyx ring will just have to wait. Unless you know a sugar daddy in the market for a 35 year old mother of two with a faint mustache who hates to mop. Then pass my number his way!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Random December

1) Remember how some Japanese people kept trying to comment on my blog? In Japanese? On the same post? Well, I put the kabosh on that with my jedi word verification mind trick. Guess what? No more Japanese spam! But then today I got a Chinese one. Different post. Same irritation. And somehow they managed to get through my super special word barriers. I thought the Japanese were supposed to be more tech savy. Hmmmm...

2) I decided to treat myself to a new swimsuit after tragically losing my very favorite, very expensive, almost brand new Modbe suit. (WAH.) The new one I ordered got here and was too small. ARG. So I sent it back for an exchange. Today I got an email that they are now sold out of that suit. DAGNABIT! After nearly an hour of searching online I found it online at one other site. YEAH! For $15 more. DAMMITALLTOHELL!

Lost Suit:

New Suit:

3) I got asked to co-teach the sunbeams class at church (4 year olds) for the rest of the year. Their old teacher(s) had a baby a few weeks ago. So they asked me. This way they don't have to get a new teacher for them until the class moves on in January and a new group comes in. Other people's four year olds PLUS my four year old for 2 hours every Sunday is pretty much the inner circle of hell for me. Fortunately, they called the new teachers early so I'm done now. Whew. BUT...

4) I also got released from my previous church calling (visiting teaching coordinator, highly recommend it) and asked to be.....drumroll....the cubscouts Wolf Den leader. Yikes. But seriously, after teaching Sunbeams for 4 weeks, I honestly feel like cub scouts isn't going to be that bad. Ironically, if you'd asked me how I would have felt about scouts 5 weeks ago, I would have said it was the worst calling you could give me. Now, thanks to the Sunbeams, I know it's not. See, God does work in mysterious ways.

5) I finished my Christmas shopping on Saturday. It felt SO good to be done. Now the wrapping begins...

6) I'm going to St. Thomas with some girlfriends in February. I'm super super super excited about it. Anyone been to St. Thomas who wants to recommend anything to do, see, or eat while I'm there?

7) I have an eye ulcer. What is an eye ulcer, you ask? Don't ask me. My opthamologist didn't see fit to share that kind of trivial information with me. But I can tell you this: It involves serious amounts of pain. Imagine a tiny knife point poking your eyeball every time you blink. Yeah, like that. Also, extreme sensitivity to light. And since I can't wear my contacts while it's healing, I am wearing glasses, which means no sunglasses. It's like having the high beams pointed directly into my eyes whenever I go outside. And that brings on headaches. And the combination of the three--pain, light sensitivity, and headaches--makes a girl very very tired. Like narcolepsy tired. I've found myself walking around the house with my eyes closed quite a lot lately because I literally can't keep my eyes open. I try to feel my way around, but I bump into stuff pretty often. Driving with your eyes closed is a little more difficult, by the way. Harder to feel your way.

8) If you watched Survivor this season, you'll understand me when I say that anyone was better than Evil Russell winning. Even one of those two milquetoasts.

9) Milquetoast is such a great word to say.

10) Milk toast is not that great to eat.

11) I cleaned out my kitchen accoutrements drawer the other day. Emptied it, washed it, organized and refilled it. It was awesome. And the best part is knowing that my destructive baby boy is finally not interested in dumping that drawer out every single day. It might actually stay looking this nice!

12) If you speak FF, you'll understand when I say: 6 months of TTC, frequent BD with DH, excellent EWCM, good OPKs and finding O with the BBT, with no +HPT just BFNs and no DD or DS on the way means the RE says I need an HSG and lap. Going in next week. BLAH.

13) I forgot to get my trash, my very overfull trash, out on time last week. And I knew there was no way we were going to make it to the next trash day with all the Christmas prep. So I called them. And they came and got it later that day. So even though I badmouthed you, trash company, because you left my tipped over trash can sitting there on the side of the road instead of geting off your lazy butts and picking it up, you have redeemed yourself. You are forgiven. For now. (I fully reserve the right to swear at you again if you leave my trash can tipped over again, though.)

14) I seriously love my Christmas tree. Every time I see it all lit up, I smile and feel happy. I might just leave it up until spring.

15) I bought a new toaster last year. I picked it primarily because it was a cool retro design and it was red, to match my kitchen. It's not that good of a toaster though. And it has gradually gotten worse. The dial goes from 1-7. And lately 1 is raw and 2 is burnt. Why do they bother making all the other numbers???

16) Ok, the laundry strewn all over my room is guilting me into finishing this up. If we don't speak before Friday, have a very Happy Christmas.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Fantastic Mr. Movie

I read this book as a kid LOVED it. When I saw that they were making a movie out of it, I was really REALLY excited. But then when I saw the previews, I was really REALLY not excited. It was true that my x-boyfriend was playing the leading voice. But I am a purist, and I could tell that they had changed the plot from the book to the movie. A LOT. And I was seriously worried they would ruin it and make me hate it, Wes Anderson not withstanding.

However, I am pleased to annouce that the movie was WONDERFUL. Love, love, loved it. If you haven't taken your kids, self, grandma, neighbor, and trash man to see it, do. You will love it every time. Even with the trash man. I promise.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Easy Reader

I have been going to the library lately. I feel so very cultured. I'm not sure why I haven't ever gone. I think I've been to my library twice in the 7 years I've lived here. But suddently I've been reading a lot and taking my kids to the library with me to pick out books. But what I've discovered is that there are a LOT of children's books. And they're not organized by subject or even age group so as to make them easy to pick out for your kids. No, they have 12 year old books grouped in with picture books and everything inbetween. So I want to ask a favor. Those of you who have/have had small children, would you rummage around in your kids' rooms/memory and suggest some titles to me of books that your kids have loved (younger ages)? I want to make more out of our trips to the library. Not that I didn't love Daphne's recent pick, "Bugs And How to Disect Them," but I think Beck was a little grossed out.


Fifth Avenue Mom

I have a problem with dressing myself. Because what I appreciate in clothing and what I actually like to wear myself are two different things. I'm really a pretty casual dresser. Jeans, yoga pants around the house on a Sunday, long sleeved t's, hoodie sweaters...I feel very comfortable in comfortable clothing. I don't mind dressing up a shirt now and then with a little bit of frill or an interesting fabric. But generally, I'm most comfortable in pretty simple, basic clothing. But that's not what I like to my head. In my head, I like things that make a much bigger statement. That have more flair. That might be more fitted or more feminine or more fashion forward. It's just that when I wear them, I feel all dressed up, and not me. So it seriously makes shopping a nightmare. I see things on the mannequins or on the rack and think they're so cute. But when I try them on and realize I'm going to have to wear 3 layers, or heels, or short sleeves in the winter, or a girdle to pull them off...I usually end up putting them back on the shelf. I want to want to wear those clothes. They're so cute! I can really appreciate the style of them. But I just have a hard time, especially as a mother of young kids, feeling dressed up at home or inhibited in my movement (as a skirt will do).

So here are some super cute dresses from the Shabby Apple that I'd love to wear...

If only I could get to the point where wearing a charcoal grey wool pinstriped dress and platform Mary Janes was fun to unload the dishwasher in.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Skinny Jeans

The other day I did something kind of stupid. I ordered some jeans online. Sight unseen. Not tried on. Front view picture only. But they were on clearance, 50% off at store I like that was going out of business, so I just couldn't resist. But on clearance, they were still $45. Not cheap. At least not for me. I'm not one of those girls who will spend $180 on jeans. For me, the $60 I spent on my very favorite Express jeans was a LOT. Until last year, I used to only buy jeans for under $30. So $45 feels like a lot to me.

Well, the jeans arrived this week. And guess what? They're too tight. They go on (with quite a bit of jumping), they zip shut (with quite a bit of sucking in), but, let's face it--they are too tight to wear comfortably. I even got the larger of the two sizes that I'm between right now. But these jeans are obviously built for much skinnier girls. Girls who, despite wearing my size, are much skinnier than me. They have no fat on their thighs. No butt. And certainly no hint of a tummy pooch. These women that the jeans have been designed for are also 5'10". There's about 5-6 inches of jean below my foot when I put them on. And they're the regular length, not the tall! So yeah, they're cute jeans, but I just can't wear them. Only super models (slightly overweight super models) can wear them. And they can't be returned or exchanged. So now I have a dilemma. Tell me what you would do...

A) Find someone you know who can fit the jeans and give them to her as a gift.
B) Try to sell them online
C) Hold on to them and hope that if you lose 5 lbs, and decide to start wearing stiletto heals with jeans, they will fit you perfectly.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Big In Japan

Evidently, I am a super popular blogger in Japan. I've been getting at least one comment a day from my Japanese fans, different fans, each day for a couple of weeks. In Japanese. It's kind of thrilling to know they love my blog so much. I thought I'd share some of their comments, which I had translated on

From "Degree of Checker":
Very his person and your deep state of mind which she cannot do doing [mote] degree of [ru] check with thorough elucidation ♪ everyone, result exchange freedom… Very his person and your deep state of mind which she cannot do doing [mote] degree of [ru] check with thorough elucidation ♪ everyone, result exchange freedom, as for combination [kon] and break in [mote] degree of [ru] check the spare time crushing! Publish Reject which diagnoses the instant which [mote] period visits next decisively and the [chi] [ya] is.

Boy, she really said it, huh?

Then "¥ Club" wrote
Also the encounter [i] now ¥ club! It was times when [onna] buys [otoko]. With this site opposite support desired woman man freely… Also the encounter [i] now ¥ club! It was times when [onna] buys [otoko]. With this site the system where the opposite support desired woman can choose the man freely is adopted. About the woman who supplies success economically the money aspect is rich, but it is to be hungry to love. Now immediately please from the TOP page

Isn't that awesome!? So insightful. So profound! My favorite comment so far, though, is from "Field Exposure":

To now field exposure 0 image and is the captivity tend, but it becomes really open feeling, the nudist of the famous person,… To now field exposure 0 image and is the captivity tend, but it becomes really open feeling and the nudist of the famous person, is the extent which recommends the fact that it becomes opening. This sight the daughters and is not enjoyed with the field which know each other in opportunity or.

Oh, that Field Exposure. She always knows just how to put into words exactly what I'm thinking. You know anyone who can combine the words "nudist" and "famous" in the same sentence is a friend of mine.

Thanks for all your time and effort, Japanese fans. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog and share your thoughts. However, you maybe have noticed that my blog is in English. And I am tired of having to translate your lengthy comments. So from now on, I'm going to have to put on the dreaded word verification to see just how dedicated to commenting on my blog you are. Sorry to all my American fans. This is just what happens when you're big in Japan.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Real Life Takes Over

I was about to write and say that I'm in a blogging funk. My blog posts have dwindled down to about two or three a week lately. But then I realized it's not so much that I don't have anything to blog about. Or that I don't feel like blogging. It's just that I've actually let REAL LIFE (remember that old thing?) creep back in lately. I may have even been seen doing activities such as...

Reading to the kids
Leaving the house
Sweeping the bathroom floor (most hated chore of all, except moping the bathroom floor, of course)
Starting dinner before 5:45pm
Reading a book!
Catching up on DVR'ed shows
MAKING HOMEMADE CARDS TO KEEP ON HAND (You know you've strayed seriously from the life of a blogger when you have time for that!)
Moping the entryway
Shoveling snow
Styling my hair
Wearing pants

It's amazing the things a woman can get done around the house if she makes 67 subscribed blog writers take a back seat to her husband and children. (I'm sorry, I still love you! Forgive me! I'll never forget you!) (That was directed to you 67 bloggers, not my family, by the way.)

And next week, when the laundry piles up again and the kitchen sink is covered with goo again, and I can't find my kids' floors again, don't worry; that will inspire me to get back into avoiding my responsibilities catching up on blogging.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Someone is super smart.

Someone is very musically talented.

Someone has no interest in potty training. AT ALL.

Someone loves to throw his food on the floor if he doesn't like the look of it.

Someone laughs a lot.

Someone would rather have his cupcakes WITHOUT frosting.

Someone might not be related to me.

Someone gets in his crib to suck his binkies but can't get out.

Someone is probably too old for binkies.

Someone will probably be getting a visit from the Binkie Fairy soon.

Someone has perfect pitch. (When I ask him to sing middle C, he does so right on key!)

Someone taught himself all the letters, sounds, and numbers with no help.

Someone has a dimple in his cheek.

Someone loves to steal my gum.

Someone usually has an iPhone in his hand.

Someone has a gigantic head.

Someone loves to cuddle.

Someone loves cereal more than any other food.

Someone was two years old yesterday.

But that someone is three today.

Happy Birthday, my sweet sweet Beck. We love you so much.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh Tannenbaum!

When Big Daddy and I were first married, we went to look for our first Christmas tree together. It was early December, a crisp, starry night. Ok, it was butt freezing cold. None the less, we visited several tree lots, wandered among the firs and pines wondering how big a tree should be, what color, if it should be bushy or branchy, and why it cost nearly as much to buy a tree as it did to make our house payment.

We ended up with a lovely, 6 foot, lush, green Noble Fir. We tied it to the roof of our car just as big fat flakes were starting to fall. And as we drove home, I felt like this was a scene from a movie. A romantic comedy. All except for the fact that, in the end, we ended up digging through a pile of discount trees in the Albertson's loading zone to find it.

Every year thereafter we spent an evening in early December wandering hand and hand through tree lots lined with colorful lights, searching for the perfect tree, and then heading to Albertsons to dig around under the florescents. I loved our fresh Christmas trees. The piney smell. The soft needles. The sap in my hair from trying to get the tree into the holder at the bottom. Ah, good times.

However, after about our 4th or 5th year of this, I began to notice the down sides of having a real tree. First of all, it's expensive. Secondly, it doesn't hold up ornaments that well with its soft, droopy branches. Thirdly, watering it is a pain. You get all scraped up crawling on your belly, trying to reach the water reservoir, and half your hair ends up hanging permanently from the bottom branches. Then it dies anyway, and by Christmas day it's hard, crisp, brittle, shedding everywhere, and begging for one tiny match to get lit within a 10 foot radius so it can burst into flames and burn your house down. After Christmas, it sits in front of your house shedding all the rest of its needles until the city decides to pick it up in late February.

So two years ago we bought a fake tree. I almost cried at the prospect. In fact, I might have pitched a fit or two when Big Daddy suggested it. But money was tight, so we headed to Target mid-December to see what we could find. What we found was that most of the trees were long gone. And the ones that were left were mostly hideous. White flocked trees, bright Kelly green trees, plastic trees, and pint sized trees were all that remained on the shelves. But there on the platforms amongst the other display trees was a real beauty. Just the right shade of green, kind of sage-y like a real tree. It had pine cones here and there. Really, you almost couldn't tell it was fake. It was tallish, about 7 1/2 feet. The branches were strong. It was even marked on sale, 30% off $199. But, of course, it was sold out.

And then we got lucky. When we asked an employee to check the back for us, she informed us that we could take the display model if we wanted. There was no box, but we could probably get a further discount because of that. So we grabbed two of the biggest rubbermade boxes you've ever seen from the containers aisle, disassembled our gorgeous fake tree, and headed up front.

This is where the real Christmas miracle took place. Our new sap-free, no-shed tree was marked down to $37.50. Thank you, Santa! Or Jesus. Or whoever.

So now each year, I haul up two coffin-sized boxes from the basement, plug in the pre-lit sections, pop them together, and voila, 8 minutes after I started I have a gorgeous, almost-as-good-as-real tree.

I even get to keep my hair in tact.

Don't tell the Christmas gods, but it's totally worth it. Totally.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Eating Humble Pie

In case any of you were wondering what pie I ended up making (no? well too bad), I went with my sister's amazing apple pie recipe.

I don't actually like apple pie much. Not an apple fan in general. But this recipe is so delicious I just can't resist it. Something about it---the mixture of different types of apples, the tartness, the firmness, the lack of carmely flavor- which I can't abide in apple desserts-and the lack of syrupy goo--just makes this pie wonderful. (If you want the recipe, you can find it at

I got up early to make this pie. I wanted to give it time to settle (a tip I got from the website on working with fruit pies. They tend to give up their juice when cooking but they re-absorb it as they cool. So let your pie cool and then reheat later if you don't want a runny pie.) I worked on it all day...double crust (Ok, Marie Calendar actually made the crust, but I did have to roll out the top crust so it would fit. Besides, just peeling apples takes forever!). It looked so beautiful when I was done. The crust was a perfect golden brown. The inside was bubbling nicely and hadn't leaked out. I was so proud!

After dinner, I was excited to be the first to try my pie. But as I bit into the first piece, I decided that it was much too sour. Too many Granny Smiths, I decided. I should have added more sugar, I thought. And then the wheels in my head started to turn... I remembered putting in cinnamon, nutmeg, corn starch, vanilla, lemon juice....SHOOT! I forgot to add the sugar!

Luckily, with 7 different pies to choose from, no one had tried my pie yet except me. I took the other 7/8ths of my pie home in shame.

Later my mom came up with the brilliant idea of scooping out the filling, mixing in some sugar, and stuffing it back in. Delicious! And all the leftovers are at my house. Just the way I like it. (Thanks, Mom, for averting a serious pie disaster!)

Anyone for pie?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pie On The Brain

So I'm in charge of making mashed potatoes and pie for our family Thanksgiving dinner. Mashed potatoes are no problem. Easy peasy. But pie is a bit more work. So I've been thinking about which pie, and which recipe, to make. It lead me to the following question:

What's your favorite pie?

It doesn't have to be a Thanksgiving pie. I just wondered what everyone else likes when they think pie.

I like pecan. I also like chocolatey confections with several layers. If the apple pie is fresh and well-made, I like apple. But I'm pretty picky about apple pies because most of them are gross. Sour cream berry pies are good. Pumpkin? NO THANKS. Blech.

What about you?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dirty Little Secret Part 2

In case you weren't around last year when I let the cat out of the bag, it's time you knew...

I am a Passion Parties' consultant! What is Passion Parties? It's a company that does parties in women's homes, like Tupperware or Pampered Chef. Only instead of selling plastic containers and kitchen gadgets, I sell romantic products. My company's philosophy is that women should be able to enjoy sex as much as men, and if you need a little help, then get it! Everything we sell, with one or two exceptions, is for WOMEN. It's all about making things fun, building intimacy, improving satisfaction...basically bringing husband and wife closer together. And it's all done in the privacy of a friend's home--safe, tasteful, confidential, informative. If you've ever been to a sex-shop trying to find something to spice up your love life, you'll know that it's usually a) embarrassing b) scary c) gross d) expensive and e) overall a nerve-wracking and overwhelming experience. So Passion Parties tries to make looking for romantic products a lot easier and less intimidating. Even some of my most conservative friends have said to me later, "I was really nervous to go to that kind of party, but it was great! It was very tastefully done." And the party consultant is like your own little Dr.Ruth, there to give advice and tips and guide you to finding products that will help you rekindle the romance.

We sell tame things like little card games and dice to help you be more creative in the bedroom, flavored products like chocolate raspberry passion powder and Fireworks flavored massage lotion, and lingerie. We also sell more wild products that I'll leave to your imagination. But everything is sold with the intent to help couples get closer to each other and have more satisfaction in the bedroom.

I went to my first Passion Party about 4 years ago and bought quite a bit of stuff. I went to my second Passion Party the next year and bought a bunch more stuff. I loved their products so much that I decided to sell them. And I've really enjoyed being in this business. It is part teacher (because the parties are very educational), part therapist (because women open up to me about what they're dealing with so I can help them find a solution) and part comedian (because I try to keep my presentations very light). It's really a fun job. And I believe strongly in what I do. I believe that adding a bit of spice to your marriage is a GOOD thing. The more a couple enjoys sex, the more sex they'll have. And the more sex they have, they happier and more faithful they are likely to be. So it's all good for a healthy, happy, even religious marriage!

Things have been kind of slow since the summer, though. People were busy and out of town a lot. So I'm trying to get the ball rolling again now that school is back in session. And with Christmas approaching, my products make great stocking stuffers for your Sweetie. So if you think you might be interested in either products or a party, let me know. You can browse at my website here. If you'd like to know more, you can email me at arianne at the passionroom dot com. (Everything is completely confidential. And don't worry about sharing details or asking me's my job! Just think of me like your doctor--I don't judge, and I promise I won't laugh.)

AND I have some deals going on:

1) Early Bird Special!! Order by November 30th, and I will give you 15% off your order AND I will enter you in a drawing to receive a Passion Parties basket, full of more than $50 worth of Passion Parties products. (Use the code "earlybird09" on my website.)

2) If you place an order on my website before Dec 30th, use the code "blogpromo" at checkout and I'll give you 10% off your order. (Or mention to me that you saw this on my blog if you perfer to email me your order.)

3) Sign up to hold a party that takes place before Dec 30th and I will give you an extra 5% hostess credit (for a total of 15%) at your party.

4) Not daring enough to hold a party yourself but have a friend you know would love to be a hostess? Well, if you refer someone to me for a party, I'll send YOU a gift certificate to use at my website. Just have them use your name when they contact me.

Thanks for allowing this shameful self-solicitation! I hope to hear from you soon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

How I Almost Got Sold Into Black Market Slavery In Thailand

Ok, you voted and here it is: my tale of intrigue, danger, and very good pineapple...

In 1994, at age 19, I signed up to do my Anthropology senior project in India. My friend Rachelle and I decided to get round-the-world plane tickets and see a bit of the world before and after our semester in India. Our itinerary went L.A., Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok, India (for 4 months), then Frankfurt, London, and back home.

We planned for about 2 weeks to tour Asia before we were due to arrive in New Delhi to meet with our university group. We had an amazing time. After a few days in Seoul and Hong Kong, we arrived in Bangkok for 6 days. We were in love with it. It was an exciting city. The food was spicy and delicious. It was hot and humid with swaying palm trees. The people were beautiful and friendly. The shopping was amazing, and there was so much culture everywhere you looked. And everything was dirt cheap. The dollar had a great exchange rate at the time. About 30 Baht to one U.S. dollar.

Rachelle and I stayed in a youth hostel on the outskirts of town. It was air conditioned, had a sit down toilet (a bonus in Asia) and a hot shower. Heaven. In the lobby of the hostel, there were signs posted all over to beware of well-dressed men trying to sell us jewels. These men were usually con-artists who would sell us junk or else grossly inflate the price for raw jewels. So we were on the look-out. We weren’t about to get scammed.

One day Rachelle and I decided to go see the Grand Palace. We headed towards the nearest bus stop and munched on super juicy, chili-dusted pineapple while we waited. Finally the rusty bus arrived and we made our way through the busy streets of Bangkok. There were so many pieces of beautiful Thai architecture throughout the city. Suddenly we saw a massive white building with a golden roof and were sure it must be the palace. But we had mistakenly got off at the wrong bus stop. As the bus pulled away, we found ourselves staring at a large Buddhist temple rather than the palace.

Just then I felt a hand touch my arm. I turned to see a tiny, middle-aged Thai woman. She stroked my arm lightly and said, “So white. So beautiful.” Then she introduced herself as M’am and asked us if we were lost. We told her we had planned to see the Grand Palace but had gotten off at the wrong stop. She told us that she was a school teacher from Chiang Mai, an area 400 miles north, here on vacation. She spoke very good English and offered to take us on a tour of the palace since she often did so with her students. We agreed. So we accompanied her into the temple to do her prayers and then set off.

We hopped in a tuk-tuk, a three-wheeled cab of sorts (called a Rik-shaw in India). M’am asked if we had been on a banana boat ride. We hadn’t, and this was one of the things we really wanted to do while in Thailand. So we took a detour with M’am down to the harbor. As we went past the pay booth on the dock, M’am spoke to the woman in Thai. She waved us through the turnstile. I tried to read the pricing sign above her head, but all the words were in Thai.

Up ahead was a beautiful, banana-shaped, rainbow-canopied boat. We climbed in with M’am and our two drivers, a brother and sister team in their late teens. The boat ride was amazing. After making our way through the filthy brown harbor littered with garbage, we entered the back canals of Bangkok. We wound through these narrow reed-filled rivers for over an hour, getting glimpses of the real Thailand: women knee-deep washing their clothes, children splashing in the water, nursing dogs lolling on the shore, family shrines to Buddha strung with fresh marigolds. It was the kind of thing an anthropology student lives for.

As we glided along, M’am spoke of her city of Chiang Mai. It was green and mountainous, not dirty and crowded like Bangkok. Her father was a wealthy farmer. He owned a large house with many rooms, all of them air conditioned. He owned elephants, which we could ride. Wouldn’t we like to come and visit her and her family in Chiang Mai? It sounded wonderful to me and Rachelle. Exactly the kind of adventure we were looking for. Something off the beaten track, something gritty and real, away from the tourists.

But as the trip continued, and M’am continued to sing the praises of Chaing Mai, I began to be filled with fear. I can’t explain it exactly, but I knew we shouldn’t go to Chiang Mai. As much as I wanted to experience the real Thailand and ride elephants and see the jungle, I just didn’t feel it was safe. M’am was selling it hard. Almost too hard. And I realized that if we went with her, no one on this earth would know where we had gone. Our families were back in the U.S. and Australia waiting for, at best, a weekly check in. Our teacher and university group weren’t expecting us in India for another few days. No one would miss us. No one would no where to look for us. If something happened to us, we would be gone without a trace. So I whispered to Rachelle as the boat sailed back out into the open harbor and headed for the dock that I didn’t have a good feeling about the way things were going and I thought we should try to lose M’am. She agreed, and we decided just to pay for the boat ride and then get rid of our tour guide. M’am had graciously paid for the tuk-tuk we rode to the harbor, so we figured we should at least offer to pay for the boat ride. When we asked her how much it was, she told us it was 3000 Baht each. This seemed like a lot to us. In fact, it was all the money we’d taken out of the ATM to last us our whole time in Thailand. But we’d been through three countries’ exchange rates in a week so we weren’t 100% sure how much 3000 Baht was. And it had been a very long boat ride, over an hour and a half. And we’d had it all to ourselves, with no other passengers. And we were in the middle of a deep, filthy harbor—not someplace you’d want to be dumped off if you refused to pay and made the boat captain mad. So we paid for the boat ride. But it solidified to us even more that we needed to lose our native companion. Obviously she had no problem taking us to very pricey tourist attractions.

Back at the dock, M’am suggested we go to the Grand Palace and then stop for dinner afterward. She knew of an amazing restaurant with traditional Thai dancing. I’m sure in any other situation we would have loved that type of thing. But by now all the alarm bells in my head were ringing full blast, and I knew we needed to get ourselves alone. At the very least so we could make plans without her pressuring us. But I also felt inside that we were better off without her, that there was some danger to the situation that I wasn’t yet fully aware of. So we told M’am that we were all out of money and wanted to go back to our hotel first. She offered to accompany us, several times, but were insistent that we go alone. We promised to meet her at the Grand Palace in an hour after we rested and visited the ATM. Finally, with no other choice, she agreed and we got in separate tuk-tuks and went our way.

As we drove, Rachelle and I both agreed that we had a bad feeling about the situation. We were pretty sure we’d paid far too much for our boat ride. And we just wanted to clear our heads before deciding whether or not to meet M’am for the palace tour and dinner. When we arrived back at our hostel, we inquired at the front desk about how much a banana boat ride should cost. The girl working the front desk said that a regular banana boat ride should be about 7 Baht, and a sunset dinner cruise would run about 30. And we had paid 3000 each! Clearly we had gotten scammed. And not by a well-dressed man trying to sell us jewels. No, it was a sweet, tiny, middle-aged woman who got our money. The lady at the front desk could see our shock when she told us the boat ride prices, so we recounted our story to her. Now it was she who looked alarmed. “Do you realize,” she told us, “that you probably just avoided being kidnapped? Here in Thailand, there is a secret slave trade. Unsuspecting foreign women are lured into leaving their surroundings, kidnapped, and kept as prostitutes, sex slaves. They’re kept high on drugs so that they cannot think or run or try to escape.” This news chilled us, as I’m sure you can imagine. If it hadn’t been for the feeling we’d had that something was wrong, we might have gone off to dinner with M’am. She might have slipped drugs in our drinks. And we might have disappeared from a restaurant in Bangkok, never to be heard from again. Yes, it’s possible that M’am really wasn’t trying to kidnap us. Maybe she was just after more of our money. But thinking back to the way she had stroked my arm outside the Buddhist temple, I know which way I lean.

In the end, I guess I’ll never know what might have happened if we’d agree to go to Chiang Mai. I’m glad I’ll never know.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekend Writing Project

I've been writing a lot of short, shallow, get-me-through-the-week-until-I-have-time-to-write-a-decent-post posts this week. But I've had a couple of topics on my mind to do a more lengthy and/or entertaining post. I know what you're thinking: More entertaining, less lengthy. Well, I guess we'll see how that works out. At any rate, I thought I'd give you the chance to "choose your own adventure" so to speak. Like Dragon's Lair, only way more verbose.

Option 1: The Tale of the Mysterious Monkey Poo

Option 2: How I Almost Got Sold Into Black Market Slavery in Thailand

Both true stories. Take your pick, and I'll have a nice scintillating, loquacious-ish story for you on Monday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bookworm or techgeek?

Would you read using a Kindle? Why or why not?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Like everyone with his affliction, he is so consumed that his only option is to hide himself away so that others cannot see the lengths he will go to to get his fix. His embarrassment and shame forces him to conceal himself in dark corners. He can't get enough. It's all he can think about, day and night. He is an addict.

(That's an iPhone, in case you can't see it well enough.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And That's Why They Call It "Fall"

I know it looks like we haven't raked our yard in a month, but except for the tiny hump of leaves in the middle of picture 2, this all took place in ONE night.

That's just how my ash trees roll.