I Keep Forgetting To Give Up Diet Cola!

soft-drinks-diet-coke-dementia-strokeI hate the Experts. They’re always making us give up things we like. Honestly it’s been on my (long) list of self-improvements to finally “Kick the Can” but it kept slipping my mind. And now I know why! Last week, a shocking news story went viral that was “sodapressing” for me.  Its headlines exploded (like when my son mischievously shakes my Zero Calorie Pepsi can) “Diet Soda Causes Dementia and Strokes!”

Wow. Just wow. But it was too late. My fate was already sealed. This amazing memory of mine had always been something I prided myself on until recently (hitting the big 5-0) when suddenly I’d walk into the proverbial room and couldn’t remember why.

I posted signs on the walls with hints meant to jog my mind.

This worked for a while, until I couldn’t even remember to look up and read my little signs. And to think this downhill slide into oblivion could all be attributed to my tiny, little addiction to a “sugar-free fizzy party in the bottle.”

Such an innocent vice, really. Years ago, I used to balance that red two-liter bottle of infamous carmel-colored carbonated liquid on top of my skull and tease that I was officially a “Cokehead.” But seriously, give me a break, Experts! I drink zero coffee or black tea so this was my only source of caffeine. (NOTE: YOU HAVE NO TANGIBLE PROOF ABOUT ME AND CHOCOLATE.)

And then I began to date a holistic, homeopathic, health and wellness doctor and suddenly I felt the need to hide my “criminal” activity to avoid disapproval. I slunk around the house (when he was over) snatching sips of the dark toxic bubbles from random flower vases and fishbowls, denying I had a problem.  “Look at the huge spider on that wall!” I’d gasp and point, then slug down my Chanel #5 perfume bottle.

Finally I recognized that my Diet Soda was out of hand. Or rather, it was always IN hand. I needed the Twelve-Steps Solution for my Six-Pack Problem. I knew I was truly frightened that a bad thing could happen if I didn’t quit. But I couldn’t even recall what that thing was anymore. And the only “strokes” I wanted were high praise for my writing.

Soon a well-meaning girlfriend (from AA) suggested I slowly taper off the poison by pouring something else in the cup to dilute it down. Gin, rum or vodka. No, she actually recommended water.

Sadly “moderation” isn’t a word in my vocabulary. (Although I was once just a “little bit pregnant” with twins.) But mainly I’m an All or Nothing type. Black or White. Up or Down. Feast or Famine. Push or Pull. Diet Coke or Death.

And so I had no choice but to go Cold-Turkey. But first because of the language lover that I am, I had to find out why we call it that? Would I soon be walking around shivering and saying “gobble, gobble?”  If you love word origins, you can find out HERE.

And then to my surprise, another viral internet headline surfaced from the Experts. It refuted the first study that diet soda caused these awful things. And tossed around words like “Absolute Risks,” and “Control Groups” and made some other really important points that I can’t recall at the moment.

I love the Experts! Yay. Giving me permission to continue doing something I want to do!

And then I realized. It’s not just something I want to do. I NEED to do it. I get headaches without diet soda. I crave more and more. I hear that familiar “fffsssssst” when someone flips the lid of a can and I flip my own lid trying to obtain some. (Thank you Pavlov!) Yes, I DO have a real problem, expert or no expert.

Also . . .  (and here comes my love of wordplay again!) DIET COKE starts with “D” and so does Dementia. Coke rhymes with Stroke and Croak. And speaking of croaking, Diet contains the word “Die” in it. Cola even perfectly rhymes with Ebola, which nobody has mentioned yet but you can bet your pop-top that’s the next big scare. And Bubbles rhymes with Troubles. Coincidence? I think not.

Forget the experts. Forget dementia. Forget the experts. (Oh right, I already said that.) My own astute language associations (above) are all the empirical ‘absolute risk’ evidence I need to kick the habit. Starting today, I’m getting completely off that bubbly stuff you drink when you don’t want calories or sugar or fat and whose name I might recall right now if I hadn’t been drinking so much of it in the first place.

READERS: Do you have a little “addiction” you rationalize and think is innocent in the grand scheme of things? Tell me about it in the comments so I won’t feel so alone! Or before I move to Minnesoda. 😉

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I’d Like To Dedicate This To You, and to AVOCADOS!

featuredHave you detected the newest fad in eating? The trendiest ingredient of the millennium is now getting its own dedicated restaurant. A few of them, in fact! In Brooklyn, New York, “Avocadoria” just opened on April 10th. And in Amsterdam, “The Avocado Show” has already been serving nothing but these green gems for a while now. And don’t forget Avocado Athens, in Greece.

Little Miss Menopause (of course!) felt compelled to go undercover for a review, an interview, and to get all the facts on why these Avocado Advocates were so passionate about something that when mushed up, looks like it belongs in The Exorcist.  As I deplaned in NYC, I changed into my only green shirt with this graphic I made for the front.il_570xN.1153504504_opnt

Me: Thank you for granting me an interview in between mashing, dicing, slicing, spreading, scooping, chopping, pureeing, mincing, and blending.

Owner: Don’t forget whipping.

Me: I never read Fifty Shades. So tell me WHY the avocado?

Owner: Why NOT the avocado? Avocado lives matter. And avocados have been greatly misunderstood. Not knowing if it was a vegetable or a fruit. And having it be just a $2.50 item listed on the menu under “Sides.” An avocado ain’t no side to nobody.

Me: Of course it’s not.

Owner: It’s the main course here. In fact, there’s nothing in my restaurant that isn’t made out of avocado.

Me: Is that so? Nothing? I heard you even spread it on sandwiches in place of mayo or mustard, true?

Owner: Absolutely! There’s nothing in our sandwiches except avocado.

Me: But what about the bread?? Aha . . . caught you!!

Owner: Where you been girl? Avocado loaves!

Me: That’s not a thing.

Owner: Oh it’s soooooo a thing!avo

Me: Hmm, okay well how about this? If I were to order guacamole . . .

Owner: You’d be one boring, sheltered girl.

Me: Never mind that. If I were to order guacamole, what would you serve me to dip in it? Got ya there! You’d bring me tortilla chips, wouldn’t you?? You would!

Owner: Nope. We slice avocado into little half-dollar size circles and deep fry them in . . .

Me: OLIVE oil!  Busted!

Owner: Extra Virgin Avocado oil. Didn’t see that coming, did you?

After I left the interview feeling totally beaten, I had to admit the place was packed, the ambience was green and creamy, clean and dreamy, and the chef had it so easy. Just one ingredient for their entire menu! The wheels began to turn for me . . .

I know! I’ll open a restaurant that serves only Yams. I’m tired of people mixing up yams with sweet potatoes. I’ll call it, “I Yam Nuts!” Oh wait, then I’d have to serve cashews and almonds and pistachios as well. But not peanuts. They’re a legume.

As I walked, I brainstormed more mono-food eateries. “Cafe Capers” or “Okra-Homa” or my personal favorite, “Twinkie Twinkie Little Star,” but I’d have to talk to Hostess first.

Ironically on the street with the Avocadoria restaurant were a bunch of apparel stores, but selling one specific item. The signs proudly proclaimed, “Solo Socks” and “Only Underwear” and “Just Jammies” and “Merely Madras.” This was getting really weird.

I walked into “Scarcely Skirts” and tried to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.

Me: I’d like to buy a pair of pants?

Owner: Sorry, we only carry skirts.

Me: Oh, I’m sure you must have something else besides skirts here. I know! I’d like to buy some hangers.

Owner: We don’t have any hangers.

Me: Then what’s suspending all your skirts from the clothing racks??

Owner: Get out, Little Miss Menopause. You are obviously in need of some mushrooms. Go next door and order some shroom tacos at “Fungus ForAllOfUs.”

I have a new plan. There must be some way for me to capitalize on this new segregational commerce trend. And I’ll start with “Avocadoria.” In the vacant space next door, I am going to open a restaurant called, “The Anti-Avo.” We’ll cook everything under the sun. Except for Avocados. I’ll be an Avocado Avoidant.

Customers will become so enraged by what they see the culinary world becoming, that they’ll embrace grub integration once more.  So won’t you join me in the food good fight, hop onto this grassrutabaga grassroots cruciferous crusade where all nourishment and noshes will once again coexist in peace and harmony.

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When The Sheet Hits The Fan!

oopsLast night I tossed and turned (a Caesar salad’s got nothin’ on me!) while cursing at my fitted sheet, which ironically is totally UNFIT to be slept on. This is the SIXTH set of bed linens I’ve purchased that have been pre-programmed by the manufacturer to drive me slowly mad by having a corner insidiously slip a half-inch every hour until it PING, snaps off the mattress entirely.

How do I know this? Because any manufacturer of a simple household product who thinks a huge selling point would be to put in large printed letters on a colorful sticker, right over the price tag, the message — “100% Percale! Now with 800 thread count!” is definitely out to get me. You see they know if I’m still moving forward to purchase this product (even after questioning what “Percale” might be and receiving a dire thread count warning), then I’m actually someone who is compulsive enough to recheck and confirm their number claim by totaling up the sum of threads on my fingers.

Okay, so really Mr. Inventor Guy? Seriously?? You can go on Shark Tank with your bladeless windmill, a shoelace-tying robot, plus figure out a way to grow guacamole right inside the avocado so there’s no messy mashing (Okay, I made that last one up, but wouldn’t it be cool?) yet you can’t devise a fitted sheet that stays securely on a bed mattress, without waking up the (already neurotic) occupant with a startle??

So I did what any desperate insomniac would do. I took to the internet for advice. On a website called Question.com I posted this:

Help! How can I stop the sheet from popping off my mattress? 

Within seconds an answer appeared, but in photograph form.

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Okay so that person must be a former treasure hunt, map-maker who believes “X marks the spot” is the solution to everything in life.

When I finally figured out that what I was looking at was the BOTTOM of the mattress, I explained to the helpful (NOT!) responder that mine was king-sized (and far too heavy to ever flip over!)

Immediately my grandmother (who must diligently read this obscure question/answer website in between her bridge games?) suddenly posted an image of what I can only guess are the garters she uses to hold up her stockings, except grandma has four legs now??

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After that, a bunch more “answers” came fast and furiously but not via cryptic photos. There were heated debates about my California King mattress being far too wide for just my regular King-sized sheets. It must’ve been presumed that because I live in San Diego I definitely own a California King mattress?

Next came the comics. On the internet, comedians always come out of the woodwork, (which I guess in the case of bed problems would be out of the headboard) except none were funny. Here’s an example anyhow.

“Hi! I’m Paul. I don’t have anything to say about how to fix this issue you’re having, but I misread the question as, ‘How can I stop the sh*t from pooping off my mistress?’ Haha.

Uh, Don’t quit your day OR your night job, Paul.

Next came all the “handy helpful hints” which are from women named Heloise. They fall under the general theme of using other common household objects to fix the original household object. Like this:safety pins

And you just know that once the Safety Pin Brigade begins, it can’t be long before The Duct Tape proponents come out in droves. Followed by The Velcro People.

Next I patiently wade through answers from sheer genius, analytical types . . . (but who can’t spell to save their life)

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And to this person I graciously respond, “No sheet, Sherlock?!”

There were many more answers (92 responses in total) to this age old dilemma and soon I realized that everyone had their own special way of handling the old “fitted sheet slipping off the corner” conundrum and I began to feel a certain camaraderie with all these fellow bedmates. I ended my “thank you’s” by bidding them “Sweet Dreams!” and cautioning them not to “let the bedbugs bite.” We shared pictures of our adorable children who had also been subjected to this same irritating fate.The-fitted-sheet-keeps-coming-off-the-bed-our-solutionpin1

And in this “it’s a small world” moment I was feeling that surely we must all have more in common than just our sheets coming undone from our mattresses, and so I posted a totally new and completely unrelated question.

“Help! After doing laundry, how do you neatly fold the fitted sheet and win the war in your linen closet?”

And just like that, we all intensely bonded over who had the best YouTube video showcasing a live demonstration.

It’s quite a relief knowing I will never lose another night’s sleep wondering who My People are, because I am now a confirmed member of the “Get a life” tribe.

And to all a good night!

Little Miss Menopause

PassOver The Rainbow (a Wiz of Oz/Passover Mashup!)

passoverFullSizeRenderTonight we’ve invited a non-Jewish family to our special Passover dinner to share our culture and traditions. Obsessed with The Wizard of Oz, they’ve politely requested (for their children’s sake, of course!) that we liken the holiday to their favorite movie so they’ll better understand and appreciate our customs. Uh oh! I don’t think we’re in Egypt anymore!

But hey, it might be interesting to at least find a few parallels, metaphorically speaking, right? Let’s see . . . Dorothy (like Moses?) led her people (The Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion) through a path to freedom on what could’ve been (if the director was a bit more innovative!) a road paved with crispy boards of Matzo instead of yellow bricks.

Later on in Emerald City, a major plot twist occurs with the significant parting of that fateful curtain (and pay no attention to the man behind it!) which exposes the Wizard as ultimately weak and small, incapable of great feats. Now liken that to the meaningful parting of the Red Sea, revealing the great and powerful miracles of God. No never mind, there’s just no comparison!

But a case can possibly be made that the Wicked Witch was sorta like the Pharaoh, torturing and inflicting pain on everyone around her – even her own slaves, those Flying Monkeys. And then she is ultimately destroyed by an act of water (“Help me, I’m melting, I’m melting!”) and this is a good thing. Similarly, a tremendous amount of water played a huge role in the demise of the Egyptian army when the Red Sea closed up on them – and this was also a very good thing!  I’m not sure where this entire analogy is even going and maybe it just doesn’t hold water. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) “Oh, what a world…what a world!”

But let’s continue with an easier creative stretch! The Munchkins can be Jewicized by simply calling them “Menschkins.” (A mensch means a person of integrity) And the little dog Toto, too! (AKA “Todah,” means “thank you” in Hebrew.)

“Poppy! Poppy will put them to sleep!” Can refer to what the Wicked Witch of the West says as she casts her spell on the poppy field . . . OR it signifies every grandfather who tells boring stories at Passover dinner that begin with, “When I was a kid . . . ”

 

Well enough of my contrived allegories. Let’s move on to music! I’ve always thought adding rhythm to any family holiday enriches the experience, so in addition to the traditional passover songs, (Dayenu and Go Down Moses) we just might sing the following:

Sung Like the Scarecrow to the Tune of “If I Only Had a Brain!” (No doubt pressured by his Jewish parents to get into Yale!)

There was this brand new Pharaoh,

Had us all over a barrel,

And always gave us flack,

Then from bread we must abstain,

But you won’t hear us complain,

Boiled eggs are the perfect snack.

And the pyramids were built,

So to heck with Jewish guilt . . .

Now if we only had some grain!

Sung Like Glinda to the Tune of “Come Out, Come Out!”

Pull him out, pull him out, whoever you are,

And see the new baby who’ll become a Jewish star.

He floated so far, glided half of a mile,

Meet the special young boy who was drawn from the Nile!

He drifted in that river, it flowed very fast,

And later in his role, Charlton Heston would be cast.

Sung like Menschkins to the Tune of “The Lollipop Guild”

We represent the Matzo Ball League, the Matzo Ball League!

And in the name of the Matzo Ball League . . .

We forbid you to eat bread products for 8 more days!

 Sung like Dorothy to the Tune of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”

 Somewhere out of Egypt, way up high,

There’s a land that I’ve heard of, up on Mt. Sinai.

Somewhere, out of the desert,

A flaming bush will burn.

And through those Ten Commandments,

All the idol worshippers will learn.

(yada yada, repeat again until next lines for big finish!)

Now if happy little children can find

The matzo hidden in the venetian blind . . .

Why, oh why, can’t I ???

Okay, okay, so I guess there’s only one thing left to try and integrate for my Passover dinner guests, and that’s how to address those scary Ten Plagues? I suppose we could start by chanting three of them, “Locusts and Boils and Hail . . . Oh My!

Happy Passover to all my readers who celebrate.

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