And the past returned with a punch and a giggle

Honest to God, I just had THE MOST surreal experience of my life.

As I spend, literally, about 40 hours a week on the phone doing work crap and radio stuff, I decided to get a land line. Does anyone under 35 even know what one of those is? This is what the one on my mom’s nightstand used to look like:

rotary phone

So, I knew I had an old cordless phone system in a bag somewhere, so I dug around in the Closet from Hell and finally found it.

It is an answering machine/phone combo and when I plugged it in I saw I had 21 old messages.

Well, of course I had to listen to them! I hadn’t used that answering machine for almost 10 years and was dying of curiosity.

Wow…what a blast from the past that turned out to be.

The first few were from a guy I used to work with a million years ago that tried everything possible to get my knickers on the floor, to no avail. It didn’t matter how many times I told him to go fuck himself, he just would NOT get the hint. Just hearing his voice again made me want to go take a shower. Thank God I haven’t had to talk to him in over a decade. Ugh.

Then there was one from my oldest friend on earth, Brenda. We’ve known each other since we were toddlers and her message made me laugh and laugh. Apparently, I’d left her some hideously obscene and funny message on her answering machine and she was just getting home from the hospital and heard it. Her laughter at hearing my message warmed my heart. There is no greater thing in the world than making someone giggle. I’m going to save that message forever.

Next was a message from a dear old friend of mine–with whom I might have been naughty many, many years ago. Again, hearing his voice was wonderful. He’s the kind of guy that most of the time has a smile in his voice and it’s always such a blessing to be on the receiving end of that kind of warmth.

Then came the guy I met at the Phoenix Art Museum. Good grief. We’d exchanged a few calls, then he disappeared for a couple of weeks and by that time I’d forgotten he existed. Apparently, he didn’t care for me not returning his calls upon his return. It was so funny listening to his, “Sorry, I was out of town…love to hear back from you…” to “Remember me? I’m the great looking guy you met at…” Ugh. It was like listening to a used car salesman giving his best pitch. Total riot.

After that was the guy who I was really good friends with, but never “did anything” with. This is a quick story I’ve gotta tell. An old girlfriend of mine and I were at Alice Cooperstown in downtown Phoenix when we met these 2 totally hot guys. We sat together all night and had a blast. Then they walked us out to my car and, like always, the first thing I did when getting into the car was to put on some music. So, we shut the doors and I turned on the headlights and all of a sudden one of the guys appears in front of my car in the beams from the headlights and starts STRIPPING to the sexy music that was pumping from my car’s speakers.

HOLY SHIT! It was one of the single most sexy things I’ve ever seen in my life. My friend and I both just sat there, drooling down our chin and totally stunned. Who’d have thought that would happen? It was AMAZING and when the song was over he left and we didn’t even know what to do. We were both dumbfounded and quite randy. My friend didn’t even smoke and looked at me and said, “Lemme have one of those.” Ha! Now that made me laugh.

So, Mr. StripperPants and I hung out all the time and while said hanging out was occurring I had to be admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery. Totally not fun. While I was there he called one time and said to look out for flowers coming my way the next day in the hospital. They never arrived and neither did any more calls for about a week. WTF? He and I hung out about 5 times a week and now that I’m down for the count, no calls? Well, to me that’s not a friend. So when he did start calling back I ignored him. Never took one more call. All his messages were apologizing, making excuses, blah blah blah. I have no patience for that shit. And the thing is, I don’t give a rat’s ass about getting flowers. What bothered me was that if you say you are going to do something to someone who is literally holding hands with the Grim Reaper, then fuckin’ do it. It was the disappointment that hurt. Apparently he didn’t do well when other people weren’t perfect, healthy and available on his terms. Can we all say it together, “Fuck that!” I don’t and never did have time for fair-weather friends. (That may make me sound like a bitch, but the relationship was deeper than 3 paragraphs can describe and that kind of abandonment was not appreciated one bit. I forgive super easy, but I learn from my mistakes and I know when to run away from a bad, one-sided relationship.)

Next, were some random calls from guys whose voices I didn’t even recognize. That’s nuts to me because I rarely gave out my number to men. How on earth can I not recognize their voices? Totally weird as apparently I knew them well enough for them not to say their names on my machine. But the calls were sweet and reminded me of what it’s like to be single and how crazy navigating single men can be.

Lastly, was the ex-husband. I won’t go into detail on those messages because they are private and hurt my heart to hear. But they were right after the divorce and not easy to listen to. I hope with everything I have that he’s found love and joy in his life.

What a crazy 15 minutes listening to those old messages. I’m so glad they somehow still exist because they remind me that I’ve had one hell of a fun, crazy, exciting, maddening, loving, and lunacy-filled life.

They also remind me that I’m so very thankful to have wonderful friends and a spectacular husband. Even though some of those old days are dark and grim, I wouldn’t trade one of them because everything I’ve ever experienced has brought me to where I am today–and for that I couldn’t be more blessed.

 

Kick Butt Radio Time!

How do, everyone? I hope you guys are having a great week. It’s hump day! Yay!

So, as I may have mentioned one or a hundred times, I’ve been SWAMPED at the office.

Good grief, it’s like we have 10 minutes to run a marathon. And you guys know I’m not big on the running. ;)

But, I was lucky enough to carve a half hour out of my day today (I am allowed a lunch break at least once a year…right??) to go on SiriusXM with the wonderful Kim Power Stilson. She was so much fun to talk with–we dished about food for 30 minutes–no pun intended. ;)

Not only was she great, but her production staff is so nice too. It was just a great time.

So, because I’ve got nothin’ but food on my mind (which kinda blows as I’m on a diet, but I did lick the top of a cupcake today–I just couldn’t resist!) I’m going to do two things.

First, here is a link to the radio show. Click HERE to listen.

Second, I’m gonna share a recipe from the cookbook. Mmmm…food…yum…

This is straight out of Darn Good Eats, story and all. I hope you like it. It is my very favorite cake on earth. And, believe it or not, I’ve actually made it one or two times myself. Shocking, I know. ENJOY!!

Happy Birthday Coffee Ice Cream Cake

When I was 5 years old I met a wonderful little girl in kindergarten named Eden. Who would have guessed that meeting her would lead me to my all-time favorite cake? Her mom, Edie, hooked up my mom with this recipe and my sweet, precious mommy has made it for me many times over the years for my birthday.

My mom was shocked that as a little girl I liked it because it has coffee ice cream in it. I barely like coffee as an adult, but this coffee ice cream cake is perfection. And it doesn’t really taste like coffee. You know you are tasting something beyond chocolate, but it’s hard to put your finger on what that flavor is.

I hope that you love it as much as I do. Every time I take a bite of it, I’m pulled back down memory lane to my childhood where I’m blowing out candles and devouring this wonderful creation. I hope it becomes a birthday staple in your family too.

Coffee Icecream Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of white, granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (the REAL stuff…no imitation vanilla)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) of Hershey’s Syrup™ (use the stuff in the can if you can find it, it tastes much better than the syrup in the plastic bottle)
  • I cup of flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • A dash of salt
  • 1/2 gallon, or slightly less, of good coffee ice cream
  • 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips (use Nestle™)
  • 2 tablespoons of Crisco™ Shortening

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  2. Cream together the butter and the sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla and Hershey’s Syrup to the bowl and stir until well mixed.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl and mix everything together until well blended.
  5. Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 °F for 25 – 30 minutes.
  6. When it’s done, remove from the oven, let it cool and then cover it and put it in the freezer (not the fridge, but the freezer).
  7. Once the cake is frozen, let the ice cream sit on the counter until it is soft (not melted).
  8. Spread the ice cream onto the cake and put back in the freezer.
  9. In a sauce pan over low heat or in a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and Crisco™ Shortening together, constantly stirring until fully melted and smooth.
  10. Take the cake out of the freezer and drizzle the melted chocolate all over it.
  11. Put the cake back in the freezer.
  12. Serve frozen (it will be hard as a brick when you first take it out of the freezer but it will be perfect after the slices have sat out for a couple of minutes).

Not only is this cake simply fantastic, but it is so rich that it lasts for quite some time. As much as I love this cake, I only cut about a 2 inch x 2 inch piece when I eat it. It is incredibly flavorful and a small piece is usually all it takes to have a full belly and happy tastebuds.

The Horrors of my Noggin and the Related Panic Attack

I’m telling you, life is NEVER dull. ;) Not that I wish to be bored, but c’mon, a little peace now and again is a good thing.

So, 3 weeks ago I got my hair dyed.

It’s pretty much been every color in the rainbow over the last 30 years.

My very first “boyfriend” told me one day that, “You’d be perfect if only you were blonde.” Of course what did I do? I immediately went and dyed it blonde and just as immediately realized that blonde is NOT a good look on me. Eeeee gawds, it was a nightmare. Especially with my personality.

If some guy said that to me today I’d verbally cut him until he crawled home crying for his mommy, dragging his entrails behind him. But I was 14 then and always concerned with being as perfect as possible. Thank God I don’t worry about that shit anymore. Take me as I am or fuck off. I rather like that mantra! ;)

I went to get the blonde nightmare fixed a few days later and ended up with 3 different colors of hair. I don’t know why the fix-it hair dyeing adventure turned into such a fiasco, but the good news was that my mom understood that I couldn’t go into public and she let me skip school for a week until I could wash a bunch of it out of my hair. Best Mom Ever Award for that! :)

Over the years it’s been light brown with highlights, black, dark brown, that purpley-red color, accidentally green (yep, that sucked as much as you’d think), red, and so on. I get bored easily with my hair color. Now, the style’s been the same for 20 years and will probably be the same until I die. But the color? That I like to mess with.

So, when I got my hair dyed a few weeks ago I went with a blue black. I wanted that shit dark dark dark. My chick used the same brand of dye she always does and everything seemed okay.

Then a few days later I noticed this weird thing on my forehead right by my hairline. It looked like a skin-colored scrape about 1/3 of an inch in diameter. As I was looking at it thinking, “Please God–no skin cancer. I know I tanned my ridiculously white skin a lot when growing up, but I haven’t had a tan in 20 years. Please spare me skin cancer…” I noticed all these black dots on my scalp. What the fuck? Hmmm…they didn’t look like the typical dye blotches that appear on my scalp after a hair color. These were tiny little specks like someone took a Sharpie and put dots on my noggin.

Well, whatever. I’ll just scrub my head harder next time I wash it to get the dye off.

Uhhh…the dots didn’t come off after the next shampoo. Or the next 5 shampoos.

Finally, after 3 weeks I’m like, “What in the ever-loving shit is on my fuckin’ head?” As we know, I’ve been dyeing my hair for 30 years. I’d never seen anything like it. So I had to investigate.

Can I just tell you…NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER Google something like “black spots on scalp.” NEVER! It’s horrifying.

I went from “Hmmm…that looks odd” to “HOLY FUCKING HELL WHAT THE FUCK OH MY GOD I’M DYING THIS IS AWFUL HOW DID THIS HAPPEN WHY ME SOMEONE KILL ME THIS FUCKING SUCKS.” Yep…all one sentence.

When you Google “black spots on scalp” you learn that you’d be better off dead than with the host of things that come up as possible diseases or conditions.

Keep in mind that I typically stick to sites like WebMD or Mayo Clinic for medical advice as I feel they are likely a bit more accurate than, ‘Jodi’s dumb ass blog on weird stuff,” but even those scared the shit out of me.

Some of the suggestions were: Mold (WHAT THE FUCK???). Fungus (I WANT TO DIE). Ringworm (This is when the panic set in).

All of the sites also mentioned itching. My head didn’t itch before I read that. Now it was as if spiders were crawling around on my head. I know, totally psychosomatic, and I kept trying to rationalize it, but I was scared shitless, so a bit of irrational was starting to slip through.

Then Grant gets home and I tell him what’s going on. He grabs a flashlight and tells me I have black dots ALL OVER MY HEAD!!! I thought it was just that one small spot, but nope. They are EVERYFUCKINGWHERE! Oh, the horror!

So, I immediately got on the phone to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. If I fucking have any of those things I wanted it diagnosed immediately and then I wanted someone to decapitate me.

Of course, out of the 6 I called, 3 didn’t answer the phone (I’m thinking their businesses are covers for drug running, otherwise how do they stay in business?), 2 sent me to voicemail (how can they close on a Tuesday before 4 pm? Must be nice…) and the last one kept me on hold for, and I kid you not, 15 minutes. 4 times people picked up the line and I’d repeat, “Hi, I’m calling to make an appointment as a new patient,” and they’d always say, “Just a minute,” and I’d wait 5 more. I wanted to smash something violently. First off, what shitty customer service. Secondly, I’VE GOT MOTHERFUCKING FUNGUS, MOLD OR WORMS ON MY MOTHERFUCKING HEAD. SOMEONE NEEDS TO HELP ME BEFORE I PASS OUT FROM HORROR!!!

And of course in the meanwhile I’m terrified to touch my head, lean it onto a pillow, let my husband anywhere near me. I made him throw away his brush cause I’d used it earlier in the day. He tried to hug me and I yelped, “NO! You’ll get the Mange!”

Finally, the idiots at the dermatologist’s office get back on the phone and they can’t see me for a week.

Ummmm…no. That’s too long. I’ll run into traffic by then. I’ll shave my head. I’ll die of terror and fear!

So, I make the appointment anyway and then rush out of the house to go to Urgent Care. By now it’s after 5pm and no doctor in the state is open except Urgent Care. And I was sincerely starting to have a panic attack at the idea of a foreign body making its home in my head. God bless Valium.

When I get to the first one, I open the door to what I can only assume was an outbreak of The Plague. So I said, “Uh, fuck this,” and left and went to another one where everyone looked like they were suffering from Ebola. Damn flu season. So, fuck that one too. I just went home and wouldn’t let anyone or anything near me until I could get in to see someone in the morning.

Finally, morning comes ’round (after a lovely night chocked full of wormy, fungus-filled dreams) and I get an appointment to see a doc.

I go there at 10:30 and they are so nice and lovely. The doc comes in and I explain what’s going on.

She looks at my head and says, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Great. I’m a medical mystery full of fungus and mold and worms and God knows what.

Then she plays a bit with my noggin and determines that the dye (which is some stubborn-ass dye) had grabbed hold of all the new baby hairs growing out of my scalp and gotten kind of stuck at the follicle (if you’ll recall I mentioned earlier in the year that I had a bunch of hair loss due to thyroid and iron/protein deficiencies). The hair was just a tiny bit of a millimeter long and hardly even out of my scalp yet, so the dye clung to those tiny pieces of hair and went down a bit into the skin. This was why it wasn’t easily washing off in the shower.

Can I tell you that I have rarely been more relieved in my entire life? EVER! I wanted to hump her in thanks for her awesome diagnosis.

She said she could see why I’d have been terrified, but that I’m good to go and that she wished all her appointments ended on such a happy note.

Whew!!!!

What an absolute cluster-fuck. I had told Grant that I just could not take one more medical issue and was going to snap from the stress. Luckily, I have a wonderful hubby who was supportive even when we did think I had The Funk. Thank God it was just some weird dyeing anomaly and I am worm-mold-fungus free! Yay!!!!

So, that’s my saga. I’m just happy that my noggin is good to go. I’m quite certain I couldn’t have handled any other outcome because they were just too damn gross!

Have a happy weekend, my friends! XOXOXXOXO

Family Christmas Love Over the Years

Merry Christmas!

This year I put together a video for my mom and sister showing Christmas over the years. My sister said it was her favorite present ever. Nothing could have made me happier!

I’m the little one with the lighter hair. My sister is the older (and beautiful) one with the black hair. Then, of course, is adorable Mommy.

Love you all! Have a wonderful day!

FREE Kindle books for you! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, even if you are a Humbug! ;)

If you don’t already have all 3 of my books, you can download them for FREE on Kindlechristmas_animated_gifs_05 this Tuesday through Saturday.

Since I’ve tortured all of you with my Christmas decorating pics (here’s one in case you missed it–note the new Christmas Teddy Hammock on the right side!), I thought I’d give you Christmas presents too, starting tomorrow.

Christmas 2014 Plus Teddy Hammock

Remember, if you don’t have a Kindle, no big deal as you can download the Kindle reader to almost any device. Click HERE to download the Kindle reader. And then click HERE to download my books.

If you do have a Kindle, click HERE and download away!

Love you guys! Your friendship and support mean the world to me, so I hope you enjoy my Holiday presents! XOXOXOXO

MerryAWChristmas

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