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Vanity, thy name is man

Women are often accused of being vain.  Woman worry about having to wear glasses,  braces on their teeth, not having the right shoes, purse, or dress for an event, unruly hair, and their weight which is never what they want it to be.  I can certainly identify with some of these, especially the hair and weight problems. But I find men are just as vain in their appearance as women, maybe more so.

Major vanity issues for men include:
1. Comb overs :comb over The way men carry on about going bald baffles me. I know many women who think bald is sexy. I’ve never heard of a woman leaving her man because he went bald. Why do men think a comb over camouflages hair loss?  For my male readers, if you comb your hair over, under, around and through and need a gallon of hairspray to keep it that way, stop it. We all know you are going bald. Buy a hat or shave your head. (This comment applies to the President also.)

2. Buying Hair Restoring products as seen on TV. These items of vanity are expensive and useless. Flocking your head with a dark sprays looks weird, and costly hair implants do little to enhance your appearance. Another misused option is a toupee. bad wig 2There are good ones and bad ones. Sean Connery when he wore one was good. Nicolas Cage’s is not. If one must wear a toupee, be sure it does not look like you cut a square out of the bathroom rug and glued it to your head.

3. Hair dyes:  man-poor hair dyeNothing wrong with this at all, IF you have it done professionally or do it yourself in moderation. Shoe polish black hair on a man with grey eye brows is scary. (This applies to women too.) Be subtle, or go with green or blue hair. I would do this, but the Sicilian does not like multicolored hair on me.

bad hair dye, paul mccatney
Paul Mc Cartney

 

 

And Sir Paul, with all your money, is this the best hair dye job you could find?

beard-bushy4. Beards:  I’m sure the trend of bushy, untrimmed beards was started by a lazy man. Perhaps it was the guys on Duck Dynasty (however that was a gimmick they were clean shaven before fame) or maybe it is the unshaven NFL players, but whoever thought a bushy bunch of unshaped facial hair is attractive must be the same person who thinks comb overs are cool. Neither are a way to win a woman’s heart.

duck dynasty-no beards
Duck Dynasty Stars before TV fame.

 

botox for men5. Botox: In theory I have no complaint against using botox. I never have, but that does not mean I would not consider it. But, the thought of having a toxin injected under my skin is a bit disconcerting. But if a man wants to remove a few wrinkles, go for it. Just be sure the result is not Joan Rivers twin brother.

My Sicilian has little concern about his wrinkles, which suits me fine. He has developed that craggy look Sam Elliot sports so well. Says he has no use for botox.

adults onlyThe other day I was reading an article in the paper how men are now using botox in ways I never could have imagined. Seems some men are concerned about the appearance of a body part that should remain covered, and have injections in their scrotum so it looks less wrinkled. I know that  my real manly readers have winced and crossed their legs right now.

When I asked the Sicilian, a man who takes pride in his ear tufts, if he had ever heard of such a thing, he made it abundantly clear that men who do that are crazy.  This is one time I agreed completely with him.

For those of you who wonder where I find the fodder for this pointless blog, I read the paper, watch and listen to people around me,  and listen to TV ads. Life is full of humor. Post a comment about what in this world makes you laugh.

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The Festival Half of the Year

liturigcal cycleFor those familiar with a liturgical church, you know the members celebrate different seasons, i.e. lent, advent, Easter, etc. The months between Pentecost in the spring and Advent in the fall are referred to as Ordinary Time, the – half of the year, or as so many Sundays after Trinity. In our household, we to have 5-6 months of ordinary time and then….ta da… the Festival Half of our year.

A month before the official start of our Festival Half of the year (September 1) the Sicilian is all ready gearing up, planning where to put his holiday decorations when the official Festival Half of our year begins on October 1. The season includes Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Carnival/Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter. The Fourth of July is the only holiday celebrated outside of the Festival Half of our year.

Halloween mantelThe Sicilian is my holiday decorator, and he loves it. The more holiday stuff in the house and outside, the happier he is. I on the other had have become a minimalist in my old age and prefer less, but since he takes it all out and puts it all away, I don’t complain too much.

The decorating rules are this: No decoration may be put up more than a month in advance of the holiday, and barring a hurricane, flood, or wildfire, said decorations should all be removed two weeks after the holiday has passed. If not, you could be subject to having a mark put on your permanent record. See this post.

halloween binsSo today, the Halloween decorations are being put out, and if 4 large bins of the stuff was not enough, we had to go to the Halloween Super Store today… “just in case.”

We walked away with a huge ghost, and a skeleton ghost. Skeletons are the Sicilian’s favorites, but when I took him to the catacombs of Palermo that had more than 1000 skeletons hung on the wall organized by sex and occupation, he was not thrilled. All he kept saying was, “They ought to bury these poor bastards.”

And lest you think skeletons are only displayed in oHalloween day of deadur house for Halloween, guess again. This guy is always by our front door. You figure out what it means.

Now that we are in the Festival Half of our year, dusting will become more of a chore than usual. I’ll up my nerve pills so the decorations do not drive me crazy, and as always, I rejoice that I don’t have to do any of this.

Come by tonight, there will be an official lighting ceremony.

The Minimalist’s decoration.

Halloween bear

The Sicilian’s decorations. (Just a few.)

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Rosemary Becomes a Real Woman

Especially for my Sicilian.

Sixty-six years ago, Rosemary,(pronounced Rose-ah-Mary) a good catholic, Sicilian girl was still childless. Despite being married for some time, she was not “a real woman.” To prove she was a real woman, per her Sicilian family, she needed a child. Fruit of her womb. A child, male or female.

NOLA city busIn the winter of 1952, per family lore, she was hit by a New Orleans City bus and drug down the street.  (Their words,not mine.) A few months later, Rosemary was in the family way. “Shook something loose,” said her family.

What she shook loose was born in September of that year, my Sicilian. And several years later, without the bus incident, she produced another son.

Today is the Sicilian’s natal day. Hard to buy him a gift when he has everything . . . me, Spot the Wonder Dog, and his own room for watching TV. But, I succeeded in giving him a surprise, a small fridge for his room which I filled with adult beverages. This morning Spot presented him with a snack basket full of the Sicilian’s favorite treats,(jerky, Junior Mints, Whoppers, M&Ms, red ballpopcorn and Lay’s Dressed Chips). Nestled among the food items was a new red, rubber ball.

Spot subscribes to the motto . . .  “Give unto others what you would like to receive.” I’m sure in her little brain she thinks, “He’s always throwing things for me to catch, so I should give him a new ball.”

The ball was a great hit. Spot immediately engage the Sicilian in her favorite sport, fetch. In the house no less which gives Spot a chance to slide scratches across our hardwood floors and shed another zillion hairs. I swear that dog should be bald with the amount of hair she loses daily.

FrogDespite writing comical incidents about what the Sicilian and I do, he is more than fodder for my blog. He is the best man in the world for me. I know this because I kissed a number of warty frogs before I found my handsome prince. He tolerates my perfectionism with only minor grumbling, and tells me all publishers and agents are idiots when I receive another rejection. So, today, dear Sicilian, I want the world to know I love you. Happy Birthday! And I wish you many many more.

happy birthday

Life Without AC

hot sunSummer in the deep south is hot, very hot, and humid. You’ve heard it said, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”  Phooey.  It is the HEAT and the HUMIDITY. From Mid-May to Mid-October in south Louisiana every day is  hot and humid with a chance of a pop-up shower in the afternoon.

Murphy’s law struck our AC last week. If you are not familiar with Murphy, you can read about it here.  Murphy’s  main law is: “If anything can go wrong it will.” And I add, “Generally things go wrong at the worst possible time.”

Case in point. My best friend, Cindy was our  house guest last week. Thursday night the hot 82 degreesSicilian went to bed at 9:30. My friend and I retired at 10 p.m. As I passed the thermostat I noticed the reading: 82 degrees. Not good.

The Sicilian falls asleep 37 seconds after his head hits the pillow, which irks me, but that is another blog. I wake him. He’s confused, disoriented, and then disgusted.

“What do you mean the AC is not working?” He mumbles.

“It’s 82. Should be 77,” I reply. “The house will be a sauna by morning. We have to put our window AC unit in here.” (Like most folks in the hurricane zone, we have a generator and room AC unit to use if power goes out during a storm.)

“What about, Cindy? We can’t let her cook in the guest room,” he said.

“I’ll bring the futon in our room. We can all sleep in here.” Then it dawns on me, we have another AC unit in the Sicilian’s manly Escape Room above the garage. I rouse Cindy and tell her she will be sleeping in another room tonight.

So begins the wrestling of two cumbersome AC units. The window unit will not fit in our room because of plantation shutters, so we lug it to Cindy’s new guest room. Meanwhile the Sicilian has gone outside with the flash light to check the central AC unit which is humming like a large bee. I shut it off before it ignites.

He shoves the window unit toward Cindy and me. Our window sills are not flat, the unit lehot window acans precariously outside. The vents to drip humidity are mostly outside the room. We shut the window.  Before the unit  can be turned on, gravity takes over and the unit  is hanging by it’s cord outside the window.

“Quick,” I say to Cindy. We have to get it back in the window before the Sicilian sees this.”

Cindy and I pull  the AC  back through the window, lean it inward and turn it on. It works, but humidity is dripping on the window sill. Dishtowels fix that.

There is a gaping hole around the AC unit letting hot air into the room because the side expansion units won’t fit.  “I’ll get a cookie sheet.” Too small, it fell right through the window. At last a plastic cutting board and lots of duct tape plug the window. Cindy is busy putting sheets on the futon bed, while I turn on the over head fan and install a floor fan. At 11 p.m. she is relaxing in her cool bedroom.

As for the Sicilian and me, we must now bring the floor AC unit  downstairs. This is hot AC floor unit 2similar to lugging  a Volkswagen with a 10 foot cumbersome exhaust system down a flight of stairs. Thankfully it installs easier than the window unit.

Ever the gentleman, the Sicilian says he will sleep on my side of the bed where the AC will be blasting, because ” I know you don’t like fans blowing on you.”

“You don’t have a lamp on your side. How can I read?” I ask.

“It’s late. Go to sleep,” he says. And he does.

hot reading by flashlightIf only, I think. I read by flashlight, not an easy trick, but at least the room was cool.

NOTE: As for the AC repair, we were given an appoint 4 days hence. But, thankfully my post on FaceBook rewarded me with a commercial AC man who lives in the neighborhood. We were up and running a day later. Woo hoo. Or should I say COOL man, cool?

Lawn Marshall

neighborhoodThe Sicilian, aka my husband for those who are new to this blog, has appointed himself the Lawn Marshall for our subdivision. For someone who detests authority, abhorred his time in the military, and was forced  into management for the last three years of his career,  I find it odd he has given himself this position of power. Actually it is a position of no power, as the neighbors are unaware that he is maintaining a mental score card of their behavior.

If you want  the Sicilian to make notations on your Permanent Record,  do one of the following:

  • Leave a  garbage can on the street for more than a day before the designated pick up day or more than a day after the garbage is removed.
  • Put up holiday decorations more than a month before any given holiday.
  • Fail to remove holiday decorations  by two weeks after the holiday has passed.

FOR THE RECORD, one house at the front of the subdivision is on permanent report. Their Mardi Gras decorations are still up, and Mardi Gras was February 27.

spiderAnother  home owner left Halloween pumpkins in their front garden for  a year. (I  noticed them and told the Sicilian. Yes I like to needle him about his idiosyncrasies.) Now they too have a black mark on their  permanent record.

While long-term holiday decorations upset the Sicilian, they don’t bother me. One house sported a huge spider for Halloween that covered the front of the two-story house.. It  remained there for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not your usual fall or Christmas decoration, but perhaps they were celebrating the year of the arachnid.

  • Dogs running at large irk the Sicilian, especially if they bother Spot the Wonder Dogdog running wild who is  leashed or confined to her yard. I agree, these people should have a tick mark on their permanent record.
  • If the grass is knee-high, mowing is needed, ASAP.

Every neighborhood, despite the cost of the homes, has one person who is a pain in the arse. trashy yard Ours is the Squire. He sets a high standard for blight in our neighborhood.  His dogs roam at will, cars, trailers, trucks, and miscellaneous items are strewn on his lawn and driveway.  There is not a Permanent Record large enough to record his misdeeds

horses arse 1 If you do not see a pain in the arse in your neighborhood, check your yard and look in the mirror. It could be YOU. If code enforcement, the sheriff, or animal control visit you on a regular basis, watch out. Someone has recorded this on your permanent record.

Is this YOU?s arse 2

Goodness Gracious, Snakes Alive!

cypress kneesI’ve lived in the muggy, buggy swamps of south Louisiana for seventeen years. I’ve had more than my fair share of encounters with fire ants, stinging caterpillars, mosquitoes the size of small drones, and wasps, but mercifully I’ve been spared snakes until this year.

One encounter is more than enough for me, and any more than that means we have an epidemic of  Biblical proportions. This year the seven plagues Pharaoh suffered is nothing compared to my snake encounters.

My first snake encounter occurred about three weeks ago. I was enjoying a leisurely swim in our pool, alone, because the Sicilian does not enter the water until it reaches bathtub heat of 90 degrees. He and Spot the Wonder Dog were on the patio playing chase the ball. (Spot chasing, the Sician throwing.)

Suddenly the Sicilian stands and yells, “Come here, Spot. Come here right now.” Heimg_1689 opened the back door. “Get in the house.”

Spot runs into the house and just before the Sicilian entered I yelled,  “Why are you going inside? It’s nice out here.”

“There is big black snake here. I don’t want Spot to fool with it.”

The door snapped shut. My response  was spoken to the wind, “What about your wife? You’re leaving me out here alone when a snake is rampaging through our yard?” I was not a happy camper having been left to fend for myself.

The following week I left for Nebraska where it was so cold snakes were still hibernating. On a late night phone call to the Sicilian, he told me, “Tyler (a thirteen year old neighbor boy) came over this afternoon and said his mother needed me. I followed him across the street. When I asked him what his mother wanted, Tyler said, ‘There’s a big black snake on our patio and my dad won’t be home for two hours, You have to get rid of it.’”

“So what did you do?” I asked.

“Tyler checked snakes on his phone,” the Sicilian said, “and we identified the beast as a rat snake, not poisonous. His mom wanted me to kill it, but I just chased it off their patio with a broom into the creek.”

“So, you helped her, but abandoned your wife to deal with the snake in our back yard?”  I think he sensed the venom in my voice 1200 miles away.

snake by house 2And then…  a week later I opened the front door to walk to our curbside mail box and was greeted by  a huge snake less than three feet from the door. My scream broke the sound barrier. Spot had run past the snake toward the mailbox; I yelled for her to return inside, which she did. If she hadn’t obeyed, she would have been on her own. I love the little mutt, but when it comes to snakes, it is every man and dog for themselves.

The Sicilian rose from the couch to check out the commotion. We cautiously went outside. I was poised to run. We watched the snake quickly slither past a flowerpot and disappear. The Sicilian moved the pot, no snake.

“Where is it?”

“Not to worry,” says the Sicilian, it’s harmless rat snake.

“Harmless? To who? My heart has been stressed to the max, my throat is sore from thesnake by house screaming, and I’m a nervous wreck.”  Seconds later I discovered the three-foot snake curled up looking mean and evil ten feet from where I was standing.

The Sicilian said, “It won’t hurt you,” as he beat feet into the house and shut the door. So much for my visions of the Sicilian being my snake charmer.

I am now on high alert.

(By the way, the 3 dead snakes I have seen on my daily walk with Spot are the only good snakes I have seen this year.)

The Right Movie, per the Sicilian

penny-serenadeThee Sicilian and I sometimes agree on a movie, but not always.  A few nights ago I selected an old movie for us to watch, Penny Serenade (1941) starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. The movie started slowly, as Irene Dunne reflects on why she wants a divorce.
The Sicilian did not sigh, his normal reaction to something that he considers a monumental bore, instead he said, “I don’t suppose there is going to be any killing in this movie.”
“A movie doesn’t have to have murder and mayhem to be good,” I replied.
A few minutes later the movie took on a dramatic tone, and the Sicilian seemed to be enjoying it, then came a 10-minutes bit about giving a baby a bath.  The Sicilian’s reaction, “I didn’t know this was going to be a comedy.”
I must admit the baby bath scene too long, and not funny by 2017 standards. Again the movie became dramatic and it was soon obvious that the young child in the movie washitler-and-aliens going to die.
The Sicilian said, “I never should have watched this movie. That little girl is going to die. It’s not right. I should have watched something about Hilter or  UFOs.”
“It’s only a movie,” I said.
At the end of his movie he said, “Their child just died and five days later they’re adopting another child.  They didn’t even take time to grieve, I don’t like this movie. I never should have watched it. Tomorrow I pick the movie.”
shaneSo what is the Sicilian’s idea of a good movie.  His all time favorites are two old westerns, Shane, which won the academy Award for Best Picture in 1954, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962.). Any movie we have seen in the 17 years we’ve been married has never reached this bench mark.  I’ve heard the line “Come back Shane. Mother wants you,” from the lips of the Sicilian more times than I can count.
I have however taken him to some of the worst movies he has everla-la-land seen. The most recent being La La Land which may win the Best Picture this year.  I have to agree, the actors were horrible, could neither sing or dance, but I liked the premise. His comment, “Horrible. You owe me three beers for sitting through this.”
His all time worse movie, which he saw with someone  else is Bridges over Madison County. He recommends this for insomniacs.  He ranks it as the number 1 boring movie in the history of the universe. Terrible.
birdmanAnd then there is Birdman,  Best Picture in 2014. His description: stupid, crazy, made no sense.
The only good thing about the new movies we see now, we view them in a theater that has huge chairs, serves a variety of food and adult beverages. This way I can start buying the 3 beers I’ll owe him  before the movie is over.