Newsletter From The Home Office: Welcome 2018! Nervous, Depressed and Overheated

Simple nervous tension.  I’ve lived long enough to know not to make any resolutions for a new year, so I didn’t do that. Instead, I made a half-hearted sort of wish that I would be able to help myself sleep through the night in a dark room with no TV and no podcasts going on. I tried that for part of one night, and it was okay but on the second night I turned on Acorn TV and binged watched (sleep watched?) Love, Lies and Records. The issue is that I prefer to be in bed but not sleeping to being in bed sleeping. I guess I should take another stab at it. I like to say my sleep issues don’t affect me but today I find I can’t think of the words I need so maybe …

The time of unhappiness is past. I thought I might invite some neighbors around for a hot and cold buffet open house thing on New Year’s Day afternoon. We haven’t really had an open house since we’ve moved here and now it’s been 15 months so the window of falling back on the old we’re new here and it took us a while to get settled excuse is rapidly closing. Surely by now the neighbors must suspect that we are weirdos. But in the end I knew if I did that, I’d spend the entire time between the invitation and the event regretting it and trying to think of believable ways to get out of it. I do enjoy being in my house alone but I realize that now that the kids are gone and we don’t work locally, the organic networking that happens to weave you into a community don’t exist for us. I should work harder at it. Maybe I’ll invite people over for a hot and cold buffet/open house at the end of January and call it The Winter of Our Discontent party. This is going to sound really snobby and that’s because it is but most of the people – lovely people really and so polite and kind – around here cannot spell the name of their own dog so that party name might cause some confusion. Maybe I’ll just buy the Steinbeck novel from for a buck and stay in my house alone until I’ve read through it. I don’t know – Steinbeck, though [sucks air through teeth]. The first thing I read from him was The Grapes of Wrath and it depressed me so much I almost lost an entire winter.

Intentionally hangry. Apparently, “hangry” is a word now? All around me people are talking about intermittent fasting. On Thanksgiving, we were invited to a dinner by one normal person whose significant other never misses a chance for an intense one-on-one lecture about the evils of gluten and another guest who only eats every 4th day and fasts for the 3 in between.  Spoiler alert: I declined. I wasn’t about to spend the biggest food holiday of the year with food cuckoos. I was making fun of the intermittent fasting cuckoo to someone who is important to me and she said “Oh, that’s what I do. My doctor told me to try fasting 2 days a week.” She reported weight loss where she had not been successful before and said it really wasn’t a hardship. Ultimately, the normal person who issued the dinner invite told us to stop clinging to outdated eating patterns and get with the modern way to eat – intermittent fasting. I don’t know. I’m not convinced, though. Still sounds cuckoo to me. Maybe if I arranged a day of only clear fluids, I’d be happy to go to seep and stay that way until it was time to eat again.

Like a heat wave, but opposite.  We’re having the first cold snap of winter here in Florida. In general, I prefer to be chilly to being over heated so I proudly tell you that I haven’t turned the heat on in this Florida house since I moved in – until yesterday. I went to the supermarket and walked past an area where warm air was blowing out of the ceiling and it made me happy, so I succumbed to Sami’s nagging requests and let him turn the heat on. I hope my eyeballs don’t dry out.

So, Welcome 2018! Lots to think about in order to plan a successful and interesting year.

Thank You, Ricky Ricardo

Ricky Ricardo was mean. If you watch a few I Love Lucy reruns in a row, you can see the pattern:

  • Lucy does something elaborately sneaky
  • Ricky finds out and gets mad
  • Ricky schemes with Fred Mertz to do something extremely humiliating to Lucy
  • When it’s over, Lucy sends the look of love to Ricky and gives him a hug and kiss

So Lucy acts goofy to achieve a positive outcome and Ricky retaliates with the intent to scare, embarrass or debase Lucy to teach her a lesson.


Well, that was the patriarchy in the 50’s, I guess. Although I must say that my father was kind of a crab and was the unquestionable authority in our household but never did anything to purposely embarrass – let alone scare! – my mother or either of his daughters. (He did unintentionally embarrass us, though and plenty. Remind to tell you sometime about how he used to manage my wardrobe choices and fix my hair everyday for elementary school. Let’s just say the priority was utility, not fashion.)

So Ricky Ricardo is a character I have come to loathe. Until yesterday morning! The usual shenanigans were going on with Ricky and Fred playing dirty and Lucy and Ethel losing a crooked bet. The penalty was to serve breakfast in bed for a month to the winners . Ricky ordered orange juice, toast, bacon and basted eggs.

beBasted eggs! Did you all know about this? I never heard of it so I immediately looked it up to find out that these were the eggs of my dreams. I made them for breakfast yesterday and today and predict this is going to be my go-to for the foreseeable future.

So a reluctant thanks to you for the tip Ricky, you arrogant son of a bitch.


p.s. Apparently I am in egg mode now. I also christened the refrigerator in the new house with the first batch of pickled eggs. Believe it or not, beet-pickled eggs are a thing sold in supermarkets here. I never bought them though because I enjoy making my own.

You know, I have to learn 3 new electronic project management systems and I’m avoiding it because my head is too full of all the things that I’ve already learned in my life. I joked that if I was going to add these 3 things, I’d have to make room by forgetting how to check the air pressure in the car tires or how to mend a sock (which I actually did to one sock one time in the 90s). But now that I think about it, I can safely let go of knowing how to make beet pickled eggs since the supermarket safety net has presented itself to me.


Sinead_rips_the_PopeI was out of town last week and recovering from the trip  (sleeping) over the weekend. thus the scarcity of blog posts. I set to early today all filled with an idea about Sinead O’Connor most recent meltdown and the time she ripped the Pope’s picture on Saturday Night Live and tying that to the current unfathomable “Pope”. At the time of the picture rip, my feeling was whatevs, if you belong then don’t be disrespectful  / if you don’t belong then your opinion is invalid. Now, with the advent of this globally politicized Pope, I’m rethinking the infallibility angle and so I am now less inclined to disapprove of a little papal photo ripping.

Lots of things happened last week but now that I’m home and recovered (no longer sleep deprived), this is the one outstanding moment:

The hotel where I usually stay has a free breakfast buffet with two stacks of newspapers at the entrance to the buffet area. The paper on the left is the Wall Street Journal and the paper on the right is USA Today. Someone had mixed up the piles and I grabbed USA Today by mistake and realized it as soon as my eyes hit the print.  It wasn’t until I read the first sentence of the article that caught my eye and realized that the message in the headline was quite different. The gist of the story was that after a 2 year review of  900 separate studies on genetically engineered crops, the conclusion was that they did not cause any increase in disease or damage to the monarch butterfly population, and were safe for humans and animals to eat. But the headline blared FRANKENFOOD. Biased much?

frankenI never realized that USA Today was such a rag.

So now there’s an undercurrent of sadness that people who read this article will   only remember the word frankenfood and not get the message that there’s no such thing as frankenfood. And also that the Sinead O’Connor Pope picture incident happened almost 25 years ago and not a single person that I work with today would understand what I was talking about.


Cereals, ranked:

The Best

  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Cheerios
  • Shredded Wheat
  • Grape Nuts
  • Farina


  • Raisin Bran
  • Alpha Bits

The Worst

  • Trix
  • Fruity Pebbles
  • Count Chocula

Secret Love

  • Sugar Smacks
You can call yourself Honey Smacks now all you like but even Mr. Spock and his blue eye shadow knows that space energy comes from Sugar Smacks.





















This Is Why Denver Is Annoying

subtitle: I’m tired and in a bad mood.

OMG with the Broncos already. Before the plane even landed, the pilot started yakking about the Broncos in between his ready-to-land patter. Then every touch point from the shuttle to the baggage carousel to the taxi to the hotel check in everybody had to blab about the Broncos.

This town is crazy about their football team under any circumstantial but throw in a little Superbowl on top of that and I tell you, it doesn’t look as if your average high-powered executive woman business traveler is not going to make it until the end of the week.

Also, you can’t get regular food here. It’s all deconstructed and fusion-ed and gawd knows what else.  I tried to keep it simple by ordering a burger from the hotel restaurant and the first thing they asked me was what temperature would I like it served at? What kind of question is that? I told them to burn it on one side and then turn it over and do it again. Then give me 2 beers to wash it down.

I successfully avoided conversation about the Featured Chili Style Of the Day. Why can’t people just let things alone? It’s a burger and a bowl of chili fer cryin’ out loud not a religious experience.

I’m sure they’re all gathered into a cluster over there  gossiping about how does a person not have a preferred burger temperature and waiting to get a look at me. I swear to gawd if they say something to me about the Broncos, I am going to give it to them right in the kisser with my whiskey onions and house-made bacon jam.


Update: I feel much better now after eating my  burger of unknown temperature. I didn’t even mind that they covered my flash fried Brussels sprouts with izakaya butter and peanut sofrito.