Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Am I Supposed To Push?

I'm feeling all blocked up party people. Not in an "eat more fiber" kind of way, but upstairs. Mental Constipation. It has happened to me before.

When this sort of thing sets in, my first inclination is always one of cooperation. I will just shut the hell up until I have something good to say. Who knows how long that could take though! In fact, you wouldn't have to really be a master debater (Don't you love how those two words bring you right up to the edge there? Don't worry though - you didn't say it.) to assert that I have never had anything all that good to say, so why seize up now?

So let me drivel here a bit.....

I got to see Anne for the first time in way too long. We have a history of suffering dead people together, for some reason. She is fabulous though, and we both had on the same shoes which I thought was also fabulous.

Anne got caught in the middle of this three girl pileup. Back then, we used to wear same patterned skirts. We worked up to the shoes.

I made some Pizzelle - Italian for "Star", these cookies are pretty popular in my family. It is a pretty simple batter-dough that is usually anise flavored. I was too busy screwing my batch up royally to snap any photos, so this is a star body double from the Sur La Table website.

I am bummed that the weather outside is not even a little bit frightful. I am craving some cold temps, some rain. All I am getting is breezy five day forecasts with highs in the 70s. Who knew Al Gore's global warming induced Armageddon was going to be so Springy?!

I am almost finished with Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell. She is an awesome writer! I recommend picking up anything she has written and taking it for a spin. She makes me wish I could go back to school and have all my history books rewritten by her. It might end up being a bit of an eclectic mix of material, but it definitely would have grabbed my interest and stuck in my brain better.

I met Stella this weekend. If she were any cuter, my head probably would have exploded all over her and blood spattered all of her cute little liver spots. Don't you love the little swatch of brown she has on the left side of her top lip? She even has freckles on her nose. I know, I know -- she's crazy cute.

Well friends, I promise I am going to do my best to get flowing again. Even though I haven't opened my church yet, I still treasure my precious followers. Every time I see someone new on the list, I get a pretty big, possibly semi-maniacal smile on my face. Thanks for stopping by, and being so patient. Hang in there and I will pull it together soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Six Word Memoirs

I am loving the library lately. I just recently discovered that I can request books online from the main catalog and the kind folks at the library will deliver them to the branch I specify. No running around the city looking for the one copy of the latest read I want to read. I just wait a few days and book fairies leave them where I want them. Ummm -- yea!!!

This has allowed me to make a sizeable dent of late into my reading list without pulling a second mortgage just to pay off Amazon.com charges.

Anywho, one of those books is Not Quite What I was Planning, Six Word Memoirs By Writers Famous And Obscure. SMITH Magazine launched an online campaign back in 2006 for just what their title specifies: Six word Memoirs.

I love the whole idea. I think the Vanity Fair review of the book sums it up perfectly by stating that it "will thrill minimalists and inspire maximalists" As someone who often over words (and over thinks), I really like the notion of being tied down by six little words - like, "Come on, spit it out already!"

Genius, fun idea right?! So I thought I would share a few with you.

Some SWMs I really like

I thought I was someone else. ~ Tysa Goodrich

Anything's possible with an extension cord. ~ billySIRR

I hope to outlive my regrets. ~ Bob Logan

Life was but a dream, merrily. ~ Paul W. Morris

Fight. like. hell. for. the. living. ~ Susie Bright

The shit invariably hits the fan. ~ Ashleea Nielson

You are all in my imagination. ~ Becky Weinberg

Hope my obituary spells "debonair" correctly. ~ Gregg Easterbrook

Woke up, fell down, exited sideways. ~ Jim Clupper

Mistook streetlight for the moon. Climbed. ~ Zack Wentz

When all else fails, start running. ~ Dean Karnazes

Like an angel. The fallen kind. ~ Rick Bragg

I inhale battles. I exhale victories. ~ William Heath

SWMs that made me LOL

The psychic said I'd be richer. ~ Elizabeth Bernstein

Bad brakes discovered at high speed. ~ Paul Schultz

All night phone calls complete me. ~ Harry Manning

Slightly psychotic, in a good way. ~ Patricia Neelty

Hillbilly does right by his teeth. ~ Jason Snyder

Mom, Dad have dementia. Got gun? ~ Carol Belding

Asked and answered, Asshole, next question ~ Joe Lockhart

Shot my penis in photo booth. ~ Jeffrey Zeldman

Dad wore leather pants in Reno. ~ John Falk

Let me in, you narrative whore. ~ C. McClosky

Some celebs find their inner SWM

Brought it to a boil, often. ~ Mario Batali

Danced in Fields of Infinite Possibilities. ~ Deepak Chopra

Soul'd out so I could prophet. ~ Gotham Chopra [Deepak's son]

Was big boy, now little man. ~ Chris Cooper

Secret of life: marry an Italian. ~ Nora Ephron

Well, I thought it was funny. ~ Stephen Colbert

SWMs that took the words right out of my mouth

I am trying, in every regard ~ Lionel Shriver

Anything possible - but I was tired. ~ Cheryl Family

I recognize red flags faster now. ~ Barbara Burri

Happiness is a warm Salami sandwich ~ Stanley Bing

Can't read all the time. Bummer. ~ Rina Bander

It's pretty high. You go first. ~ Alan Eagle

She read too much...into everything. ~ Jessica Reed

I always took the joke too far. ~ Thomas Hamill

Tried not believing everything I thought. ~ Beth Linas

I told you I was crazy. ~ Michaline Babich

GIANT Law Breaker of a SWM!

Fact checker by day, liar by night. ~ Andy Young

I love it, but how in the hell did a seven word memoir get in the six word?! Logic to hell right there! I love the irony of that particular one being the rebel memoir.

I heart this concept so much that I think I will have to post again soon with some Daniellaland SWM originals. In the meantime, I think you should ask yourself: One life. Six words. What's yours?

I would love to hear the answer you get back!

Photo courtesy of Leo Reynolds as posted on Flickr. Click here for link.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


She never completely believed in them. She wanted to I suppose, but after all, how could you ever be sure? She craved concrete, clinged to tangible; the consummate fact checker. Signs were such subtle bastards and she just couldn't get behind that whole way of thinking - most of the time.

Tonight the thought of receiving a sign hadn't even dawned on her. Her only awareness as she rang the doorbell and waited out on the expansive dark porch was that of utmost gratitude that she had had a couple of glasses of wine before arriving.

A kind face greeted her with a smile at the door as she introduced herself. "Is this a bad time?" she asked the woman, who assured her, "No, come in. He's just sleeping"

She found him in the dimly lit master bedroom, in a hospital bed that had been rolled into the same spot his wife's bed used to be, when she was alive. Asleep he was, his mouth open in an O of mock surprise that stood out in contrast to the rest of his emotionless features. His breath came in quiet, efficient little exhales.

She was grateful for the veil of privacy his slumber provided. She hadn't known what to say to him for years and nothing had come to her now either as she stood by the side of the bed. Instead of searching for failing words, she simply tucked her hand around his and marveled at the warmth. What an amazing amount of heat for a dying body to generate! As she rubbed her hand along his forearm she noticed his skin, sallow and smooth like the ivory paper of Chinese lanterns that adorned twilight garden parties.

She heard the woman enter the room behind her and come around the bed, facing her. "You know he is ready - he's 91" Yes, she knew but what to say? What to do? There was no way to tie up their loose ends now. Neither of them had bridged that gap and now the time for such things had passed.

The woman gently roused him and asked if he wanted water. He half swallowed the small spoonfuls as they touched his lips, without opening his eyes. She continued to cradle his hand in hers as she watched the gentle way in which the woman dabbed his mouth after each sip.

Then it came - the sign that is. His hand, still in hers, started to tremble slightly with the intent of his action. Slowly he brought the top of her hand to his mouth and placed a kiss upon it.

There it was -- for all the markers along the path she never saw or chose not to believe in, she snatched this one up. She needed this. She wanted this. No questions asked, no moment lost on skepticism, she was taking it.

Off the hook with this small, tender gesture of deference and affection. There was nothing left to do. No need to say a word. She brought his hand to her mouth then, softly returning.

All was well now, the sign that was borne in with a kiss. Gratitude.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Last night I pooped. In a Psych ward. Twice. Awkward.

Would have been even more awkward if they hadn't had that little toilet in the broom closet to the left of the TV. The one with the door that opens right out into the community visiting area. Good times.

What in the french toast is a Fritter? Click here

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Moldrid's Bologna Has A Middle Name - It's Guilt

I have this friend; her name is Moldrid. Whenever people tell Moldrid that she is a nice person, she always tells them they are wrong. "Oh, no no no" she insists, "I'm not all that nice." Don't we all do this? Poked in the ribs by modesty, humility, propriety -- whatever, we will be first to argue against our virtue right off the bat.

My friend Mol though, she goes another step further, in her head anyway. When on the receiving end of this particular compliment, she inwardly squirms as she becomes even more aware of how many "nice" things she does out of guilt.

She flashes on all of the times in the past she has put up with requests she had no real desire to accommodate, but did so anyway because she felt she should. Often times, she ends up trying spread generosity with others out of what is essentially a place of depletion from over doing in general. I have even seen her put up with barely decent behavior from some people in her life, while giving them 110% in return.

By now, you must be wondering why she is like this. Why wouldn't she just learn how to say no once in a while, fortify boundaries, and cut the cord on the jerks?

Well, according to Mol, guilt fuels her to continue in this manner. She would actually rather torture herself by overextending to please others, than to risk looking "not nice". Imagine that. She chooses the fatigue, frustration, pressure, and discomfort of throwing boundaries and self-care to the wind, over enduring that terrible sniggly little worm of an emotion: guilt.

You know sometimes I think she confuses feeling guilty with connecting with her conscience. She will be faced with something that goes against her grain at that moment, for whatever reason, and with a desire to say no comes a wave of guilt. I think that guilt kicks her Should Drive into gear and then she is off and running again, doing too much, being too nice.

So now you are probably wondering what in the french toast she is going to do about it. Hell if I know! I don't have these sorts of issues. My reward for being so solid is that I get to sit back and judge good people like Mol whose tragic downfall is that no matter what the motivation, they are out spreading some nice in this big ole world. Yeah, they probably should [There's that word again. I will have to be sure and tell Mol she absolutely should go easier on herself - that ought to do the trick.] find more balance but they are still way ahead in the Karma game than people like ChickenLover.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Cheesy shit just makes me moist sometimes. I saw this today on the devil machine that is Facebook. Make sure you have your sequence glove and your speakers on before you play it. The last minute or so is especially Moon Walk worthy so be ready. All the same guy, by the way -- video magic. Neat.

A little Journey anyone? Another musical trompe l'oeil from the same guy; only cloned himself 5 times this go around though.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Chef Padre!

Thinking that I was going to start a separate blog, all about my adventures with food, I wrote this earlier in the year as the maiden post. Since then, I have come to believe (humbly, I might add) that Daniellaland is at it's best when it incorporates everything that goes through my head, which of course is going to include a lot of foody thoughts.

Today is my father's birthday, (you know you are taking your Italian heritage seriously when you have the fetal forethought to make sure you pop out on Columbus day!) and I thought this post would be a perfect way to celebrate the occasion at Daniellaland.

I hope you agree......and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Sal!

I come from a Big League lineup of incredible Italian-Sicilian cooks. However, my father Sal, is my earliest and most lasting culinary influence. His love of food and cooking was passed down to me from a very early age (please note that I deliberately made no claim to inheriting his actual cooking skills!)

Believing that a good meal and a warm clean bed ensured that all would be well, feeding us was how my father showed his love.

Food was a big part of our day. I think perhaps I was the only child to hit the books every morning in class with a full breakfast in my tummy. I'm talking anything from pancakes and waffles, to eggs and bacon with toast. At the very least, we would have a bowl of hot cereal with warm milk. It is the most important meal of the day after all!

I remember many Sunday afternoons starting with my Dad bringing us home from church and then getting dinner started. Throughout the rest of the day, he would slowly build all the flavors for dishes like Chicken Cacciatore, Pasta sauce or Chile Verde and then we would get to feast on them that evening.

I cannot compete with any of the wonderful chefs in my family, but I was regularly recruited in my dad's kitchen to be Sous Chef #1. He would show me how different ingredients should be handled and prepared; with my fondest memory being Breaking Down A Whole Chicken 101. I specialized in cleaning and prepping all of the produce that would go in our salads. I also knew how to make my dad's occasional cocktail that he would sip while making our dinner. (Please don't panic! I am not writing this from an Al-Anon lockdown clinic or anything.)

Food was a large part of our family celebrations as well. Holidays and birthdays were always centered around our meals, and boy were they incredible!

I owe my lack of a finicky palate to my Dad too. When it is time to shed some pounds, I am not always thrilled about this, but overall I owe him big time! He exposed us to a variety of foods and flavors from the very start, and it has made me the food adventurer I am today. By the time I was 7 or 8, orange salad, beef tongue, roasted peppers, olives, calamari salad, and mustard greens were all foods I loved and would regularly enjoy.

In his early 70s now, my dad continues to cook. His new passion is creating menus for his friends and then getting together and cooking for them. I have been to a couple of these gatherings, and they are wonderful! He cooks, we eat, and everyone is happy.

So, thanks Dad! Infusing me with that same love for food has served me well, and I continue to explore new pathways with it. Much love to you for feeding me all those years, but most of all I am forever indebted to you for sharing such a wonderful piece of yourself with me. Moooaahhh!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

One Of Those Girls

The other night an ex and I got into a "why did it end?" discussion [read: fact finding mission on my part] and a whole bunch of unfun stuff was revealed. Among it was his statement, "Well I am totally fine with it, but I have never dated a big girl before."

So okay with it that he apparently just thought he would throw that little known fact in as an irrelevant aside to this convo. Riiiigggghhhhtt.

And knowing what we know about but's (not mine in this instance) that used in a statement like this they negate everything that comes before them, my ex had basically just informed me that one of the reasons we broke up is because he thinks I'm fat!

Nice. And I told you all that to tell you this: I am one of those girls. One of those women that actually heard that statement and took it in and espoused it as a personal negative thing about myself -- I actually cared!

Why? So he thinks I am fat -- whateves. There are a lot of fish in the sea. It is just so flopsweat stereotypical and boring to feel bad about that. With all there is going on in this world and my life, I actually wasted time feeling bad about myself based on that statement.

Even as I write this I am staving off the urge to defend myself to you fair reader; convince you I am not all that big of a Big Girl. What am I -- fucking 15 again?!

Borrowing my flatterer who thinks I'm fatterer Plump Vision lenses, I found a pretty close approximation of myself at People Of Walmart this morning.

Pink is my fave color, and I do endorse the delightful irony of Chunks and diet soda...

So alright Prince Charming, I admit it: The Big Girl thing got to me. And what is in even poorer taste than your comment is my dignifying it by caring....and blogging about it....damn you damn ego!

So from here on out, I am throwing the shame out of my game. I will bask in all of my gargantuan glory.

One of my baby pics....

This is me skinny dipping earlier this summer.

Outdoor events are nice...metal chairs.....not so much. I have special needs.

I excelled in my Tops Optional Martial Arts class over the summer.

Alright, alright - let's get serious. How fat am I? This is me at the computer blogging away.

They call me the Sex Panther for a reason. Click here to get a full view of my massiveness

** Ooo, semi-creepy meaningless yet telling crystal ball psychic occurance: Just as I was getting ready to hit "Publish Post", an email alert popped up at the bottom of my screen. The subject line reading, "Care what people think about you?" That is quite the coincidence, but as I have more than proven, I don't care what anyone thinks about me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Free Magic Wands

This morning a friend sent me a "How are you?" email with this picture embedded. I love it! Free magic wands -- are you kidding me?!

It made me want to run in my room and dig out my white tights, pink tutu, and matching pink sequence belly shirt, but then I remembered I only have a black wig, shoehorn and feather boa in there. Not sure that goes as well, but maybe...

Anywho, the real question here is what to do with my magic wand!


No need to wait for the magic of Advil now - definitely going to wand myself in the head and get rid of this headache.

I would also like to wand wave a special chemical-free hot tub into creation that is the perfect temperature when you are in it and then as soon as you step out of it you are perfectly dry. Don't judge -- I hate standing there getting cold while I dry off and then having to deal with my wet hair and chloriney skin.

And even though it is thoroughly enchanting to know that my little shoebox sits on a previous strawberry field, I would like to wand my way back over to the other side of the mountain -- I'm over you highway 17 -- you heard me!

Eternal Youth for The Ru for sure -- gotta have that. I figure if I can remind her all the time that I have the power to put her to sleep, I might as well balance that fun with the wand magic of eternal youth. Who wouldn't want to live with me forever?!

Lots of cash baby! (Come on, you knew that was coming. When has there ever been a fantasy question/wishlist response that hasn't worked in our supposed root of all evil -- Cashish?!)

How about you? What wonderment would you wand up for yourself?