Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I think It's Safe

SalGal said that to me the other day and I bent over laughing, holding my stomach guffawing while thinking about all the times that "I think it's safe" is well meant, but highly inappropriate.

My friend in high school said,"I think it's safe," when she gave me the capsule with mescaline in it. Then, after she double-dawg-dared me to swallow it and I DID of course, she sang,"Well, it's too late baby now, it's too late," by Carol King.

Think of all our ancestors who were out foraging in the woods for food and one of them said to the other in Neanderthal, "think safe...try." Of course, they would only know it was safe if the taster didn't keel over dead with foam coming out of his mouth (notice the masculine taster here...hehehe). Actually, it would be a male taster because they had to save all the females for birth giving, and believe you me, they were NOT saying before having sex, "I think it's safe."

Think of all the times you asked the passenger in the car whether there were any cars coming your way from their side. "I think it's safe." BLAM,POW,CRASH!!!!!! After quite a fender bender your passenger would then say it again, "I think it's safe," when you tried to keep on driving the bent and crippled vehicle.

Think of the first person who said, "I think it's safe," when disembarking from the boat on the shores of a new land...right before the natives arrowed them all to death, boiled them in those big black pots and then shrunk their heads.

And, last but not least, think of how many women who hadn't a clue when they were ovulating said to their lovers, "I think it's safe." And the twins' names are Coulda and Shoulda!!



All I can think of is that scene in 'Marathon Man' where the doctor had Dustin Hoffman in that dentist's chair and was drilling a hole in his front tooth with no anesthetic and asking him over and over again, "Is it safe?" Luckily Dustin escaped and went running around Central Park or somewhere like that and was able to get away because he was a marathon runner.

I remember saying to myself, "I think it's safe" right before I fell in love with a guy who turned out to be gay, the day we introduced my cat (Buddy) to KK's cat (Odessa) in what used to be the living room, and right before I had 'one more' mango margarita at the Hula Hut last July 4th. I don't remember what happened after that except that the next day I woke up in a man's bathing suit and found KK sound asleep in a daisy patch in the back garden.

I think it's safe to eat bacon, butterscotch and fried calamari as long as you don't eat all of that at the same time. I think it's safe at our age to play golf but not to jump on trampolines. I think it's safe to say what you mean if Mike Tyson isn't in the room, wear what you want in front of Joan Rivers and dance the hokey-pokey on the steps of the Capital Building. In fact I know that last one is.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Sneaking a smoke!

For those loyal readers...don't be alarmed. SalGal and I are now doing videos about stopping smoking for the Health Central Network. Here is our latest production. No one was exposed to actual cigarettes in the making of this movie. They were props made of paper with powder inside (and really fun to work with). Because...were they REAL cigarettes, we'd be back on 'em heavy once again.

We're doing well lo these 3 weeks later on our latest attempt to stop smoking. Fingers crossed, and aren't we the PERFECT candidates to make videos on smoking and all its ills?!

When our smoking blogs for Health Central are up, we'll let you know by providing a link to their site for your perusal and comments.


KK and SalGal

Friday, May 23, 2008

Please Hold...for the next available representative

You can tell where I'm headed with THIS title! Just spoke to 'the next available representative' at my bank because I tried to log in to my online banking site which I've done about 3,639 times...and now way, Jose...wrong password...blocked...locked...better luck next time...might be case sensitive...yada, yada, yada.

I really tried to be as nice to him as I could. As a matter of fact, I even said, "I'm going to try to be as nice to you as I can when I ask you WHY MY PASSWORD NO LONGER WORKS!?" Bless his heart...he works at a bank for Gawd's sake and all he wants to do on this Friday of the Memorial Day holiday weekend is get the fuck OUT of the bank and OFF the phone with pissed-off middle-agers like me. I don't blame him.

After he asked me if there was "anything else I can help you with today?" I scoffed, "Guess NOT if you can't fix my FIRST problem." That call just did not go well.

How do you like the new technology for automated people? They sound like they're smiling. The men behind the curtains have programmed them to apologize..."I'm sorry, did you say animal fart? I couldn't quite understand you." See how you can play with these creatures?

But if you want an operator, the automated person (and why are they usually women? Because we're the gentler sex...HA!) will say to you, "Let's see if I can help you. Can you be more specific?" You keep saying OPERATOR, but it does not compute with, let's call her Lolittle Lolate. You know why? I have found the have to say REPRESENTATIVE which is the new politically correct term for operator. No one officially told us that, but we're supposed to know it. Now you know. It took me a long time talking to a non-person to get that information so use it carefully.

How about the automated woman with 'information,' which they don't call 'information' anymore, it's 'directory assistance.' "What city and state please?" I like to say, "Oshkosh,' to which 'it' replies, "I'm sorry, did you say 'Poshnosh.' "Yes," I say.

I think maybe I need to leave the house more often, get out more, go for a long drive in the country, smoke a 6-month old half-doobie...SOMETHING to release me from the grip of the automated female phone warriors who are only after ONE THING....WORLD DOMINATION!!

Thanks for calling...have a nice day,



I would be terrible as one of those people on the other end of the 'pissed off/I need help' calls. Those people are so patient.  Where do they find them?  Those people don't drive on I-35 or work at the post office.  

I would probably be fired on the first day.  "Just shut the fuck up and listen, lady!  It's not my damn  fault that you were on hold for 20 minutes, bought a computer that's way beyond your little mind's ability to understand and have a temper like Henry the Eighth.  Just turn your computer off and then turn it on again and pray for the best, okay?!  I don't have time for your sniveling so buhbye." Click.

I can remember when I was working on a movie about 25 years ago and somebody was talking about the fact that some producers in Hollywood didn't even answer their phones anymore. They had these things called answering machines and you would leave a message and then they would call you back.  One of about every five people who heard of this said they would never, repeat NEVER talk to a machine.  How impersonal!!!  Do you remember that?  Now if you don't have voice mail people think you have stolen somebody's identity and are hiding out in Juarez.  

We all talk to machines now like they are people and talk to people like they are machines.  But that is because the answerers are too specialized. I expect the real people to solve my problem with a modicum of feedback, excuse my expletives and then kindly give me directions to the closest liquor store.  I want one-stop shopping in voice over that covers trouble shooting my DVR,  the point spread on the next Longhorns game,  and psychic answers to who keyedthe word,  'asshole' into the driver's side of my Honda Civic.  And I, like everybody else, want it instantaneously.

Is that too much to ask,


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lingerie Shopping

What does a woman do to celebrate an event, a check in the mail or the fact that it's Tuesday? Go shopping, du'uh. Since Sal and I finished our little movie, we wanted to celebrate so off we went to our local department store to buy some new granny panties and a bra!

Shopping in a department store is just the best and worst experience. The first thing I notice is that department store smell. It's like perfume mixed with leather and dry-cleaning solution. I can't get enough of it as I inhale deeeeeeeply.

Because I actually went to an 'expert' on bra sizing once, I round the corner to the lingerie department feeling confident in my size (which I won't share here because it's pathetically small). Let's just say that when I was younger (before I could hold a pencil under my breasts), I whispered to a sales clerk in the lingerie department, " you have this bra size 36A?" She then yelled across the floor, "LOUISE, WE DON'T CARRY THE PUSH-UP IN A 36A, DO WE? THIS LADY NEEDS ONE." Lingerie shopping can be emotionally difficult.

So, Sal and I came around the corner and Jeeeeesus! I felt like I was from the country Teensyweensystan and this was my first trip to the United States of Plethora!! There was a full acre of nothing BUT bras and panties, racks and stacks on tables, hanging from fake bosoms and piled up wall shelves! Sal and I stopped in our tracks and said, "Holy CRAP, how in the hell are we going to find what we want? Where do we start? Will there by ANYone who can help us, who can hear us or even know that we're here?" It was embarrassing. I mean, you don't have to show a woman 436 bras and 3002 panties when she's just looking for one or even two. It's tooooooo much! And, by the way, why do they call them pairs of panties? I understand the 'pairs of socks' because there are two of them, but 'pairs of panties?' Oh well, that's another blog.

But, the really fun thing is that as I looked at each sytle of bra and matching panty, my mind took me to some pretty delicious fantasies right there in the store. I mean, my 30-year-old mind that's attached to my 56-year-old body. When we finally found the granny panty section (or 'step-ins' as our BFF, Pam calls them...she's from Louisiana, Che), we just looked at each other and dropped our heads in sadness. We knew we were going to buy them because they're comfortable and stay in place and cover over flabby parts, but it was depressing and not a single fantasy came to mind.

To compensate for my sadness, I did purchase a push-up bra, however. The bra pushes them together alright, but it also pushes together the looser skin in between them, creating crevasses and arroyos of skin that look a bit like the end of a glacier that's melting. No matter! I want cleavage, and if I'm somewhere with the proper lighting, it will work.

I can't believe I write about this stuff as a single woman. You think any self-respecting perfect man who accidentally reads this stuff would come within ten MILES of me?? answer can only be a delusional HELL YES!



Yes, yes, it was awesome, inspiring and daunting to be in that huge field of bras and panties. Pairs of panties...pairs of scissors...those make as much sense as, "Hey! Give me a pair of that night gown."

We got a normal sales woman for which I was grateful. She knew where everything was, took things in her stride and had good stories about transvestites looking for fake butt cheeks. She kept her department in tip/top shape. All bra cups were facing the same direction and all panty crotches faced discreetly in.

I can't try on panties. The sales lady, lets call her Juanita, assured me that women try on panties over the ones they came in with but I don't trust that. I know how women are and they lie. I'm sure there have been many who decide at the last minute to pick up some needed step-ins and upon discovering that they wore no underwear that day, decided to go ahead and try some on. After all, everybody else tried them on over their own so there is no worry about germs and stuff. Guess who is the next person to try on those panties that touched somebody else's vujayjay? You guessed it, me. I just know it. And so I buy my size and then wash them as soon as I get home and hope they fit. It's kinda like sharing the last bite of pie-a-la-mode. I don't know about you but I don't like to eat a bite that somebody else's used spoon got slathered in.

Maybe I am anal (pun intended) about this but I don't even want to try on a bra that some other woman squashed her boobs into. Boobs hang down over your torso and if it's hot like it gets in Austin then you know that there is some sweat going on up in there. The whole thing is just gross and scary and I am traumatized by going to the lingerie store.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Making OF..."Acceptable Insanity"

We're ba'ack! What a blast! If you've never made a movie, make one for Jesus'sake. Of course, SalGal has been involved in one way or t'other in the movie biz for some 25 odd years...check out her IMDB resume

She ran our shoot like a damn PRO and laughed and giggled with all the rest of us. Here are a few photos from the set: The cast and crew at lunch above...we were hungry, whatdoyouwant??

SalGal in director mode and in costume for the Cowpoke's Ball

KK in costume for The Cowpoke's Ball and

Sal and Pam preparing for a scene

and...the cowpatty cake!!

Here's the gist: The Midlife Gals (with Pam as their social secretary) try to crash a veddy swanky ball by creating an item for the auction (the cowpatty cake). Their efforts are thwarted by the social 'hostess with the mostest' in the A-Town. She also happens to be having an affair with the smarmy station manager of the public access channel which The Ancient One owns and on which the Midlife Gals have a weekly program discussing all the social goings on in the city.

No one wants the Midlife Gals to crash their parties, but that hardly slows them down!

And, here is a short video of The Ancient One from behind with her 'crop-circle' hair from her pillow on the couch. Sal is discussing a scene of us making the cow patty cake for the Cowpoke's Ball. We don't actually make the is made by the MOST wonderful 'Ace of Cakes' in Austin...Cakeism. Wayne is the sound guy and Matt the cinematographer. Hehehe....

Now we sell it to HBO and we're on our way. You didn't think we'd actually SHOW you the pilot...oh, no. You have to stay tuned for that on TV!!

KK and SalGal

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Midlife Gals Makin' Mischief

We'll be back to blogging come Monday, but right now, we're spending the next few days making a film! We're shooting a 30-minute pilot for the sitcom that we'll then try to sell to HBO, Showtime or any other cable or network channel...think Lucy and Ethel (after those deadbeats, Fred and Desi)!

We're having a ball and will be able to post some photos and maybe some video soon. Thanks for your patience. We can promise some sick stories upon our return.

Please come back on Monday!!!!!!!! Don't desert us.

KK and Sal

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Welcome to the Evening News...

Are your local TV news personalities as entertaining as ours? The woman on our NBC affiliate was arrested a few months ago for DUI. You should see her. She looks like she should be doing the Nekkid News for a Latino station...VERY hot chica, but she yells the news. That bothers me. I want to bitch slap her and tell her that for those viewers who are deaf, we can turn up our own volume at home. She wears false eyelashes and RED lipstick and her only competition is the gay weatherman with his yellow shirts with pink stripes and matching ties.

On another channel, we have the field reporter with a lithp. This is REALLY dithtracting. I understand the whole equal opportunity employer thingy, but this child needs some speech therapy. I have a morbid fascination in watching her lips because I can't figure out how she can be so off, which then means that I have NO idea what the story is that she's reporting. And, someone with a lithp going into news broadcasting is a little like Diane Keaton selling skin wrinkle cream, right? Or Kirsty Ally for Jenny Craig. I'm just sayin.'

There are two news anchors here in the A-Town who are almost as old as I, and they just keep moving from network to network. You'd think they would get it by being sacked by ABC, and then you'd think that the CBS affiliate would think twice before hiring them, and then when those ratings dive, I'd commit the NBC station manager to a nut house for taking them in after two other massive failures. There are even COMMERCIALS about them and how they're experienced and knowledgeable, but everyone would much rather watch the hot chica than either one of them...bless their hearts.

Of course, there are the requisite 'blondes.' One of them is absolutely beautiful but cannot finish a sentence without a misspeak to save her life. I am continually amazed that she's still working as she bumblefucks her way through a story. Am I the only one who notices these things? I think not.

Because we like to keep things 'weird' here in the A-Town (it's actually our city's moniker), we have the local white-haired, bearded 'everyman,' who does special interest stories about nutty people around the hill country of central Texas. And, to make his style points at the end of each program, he'll say, " and THAT'S the wayitis in OUR little neckofthe woods." This is another person I'd like to wallop. His delusions of grandeur far outweigh his story content. I am compelled to watch this program of his in spite of him because of the total wack-a-doos whom he finds in the little nooks and crannies of small villages, underground caves, snake farms and trailer parks.

I won't mention the weight problems with which some of our news people grapple...oops, I accidentally did, didn't I? Well, now that it's out...tsk, tsk, tsk. They should not be allowed to cover stories on food, exercising, weight loss or healthy eating, okay? It's embarrassing.

Good Night Chet.



When I was a little kid I wanted to be either a cowgirl, a nun or a news reporter. I thought all you had to do was stand in front of a big picture of the White House and read from a big sign that somebody held up for you. That's the way the news reporters looked in the 50's. But there were not any women back then. They were all men and they smoked on camera too. I thought that was very cool and wanted to be just like them; serious, important and able to pal around with Hemmingway or Ed Sullivan.

Now I realize that I would never have been able to pull it off. My problem is that I just can't keep my mouth shut when I should. And I have a tendency to say things as they are. I can just hear me now, "Well, David, here we are in west Texas at the site of the devastation this monster tornado left in its wake. Luckily and magically there were no injuries but this whole town looks like a big old heap of crap. People are just going to have to bum some food and clothes off of their families in other towns cause what with the government being sidetracked by the stupid ass war in Viet Nam, I doubt that there will be any relief for these people any time soon. They'll be lucky to scrounge up some Bud and a bag of Cheetos before the Red Cross rolls in with some desperately needed blankets, spam and Lucky Strikes. Till then, David, these people are just shit out of luck. Back to you."

Barbara Walters opened the way for women in network reporting but she paid the price. Gilda Radner pointed out her speech impediment on Saturday Night Live to the whole world and after interviewing every important person on the planet she ended up on a show with Rosie O'Donnell. It's so sad.

I guess I'll be signing off now. Good night, David.


Monday, May 12, 2008

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It...The Ancient One Rises From The Couch!

It took Mother's Day to do it and LOTS of planning to get The Ancient One to agree to go to brunch, but by Gawd, we got 'er done. It's surprising that any of us could waddle out of the house because for Mother's Day, we got TAO the MOST rich chocolate buttercream cake, of which we all partook in small quantities in the, we felt like we needed a nap before we even left.

Then we had to get her dressed, made up and hair curled. Our lunch was at 1:30 pm so we started at 9:30am. Some of you won't be surprised by this. For example, in order to curl her hair, we had to get her from the couch to another chair in the living room where there was a plug. This took about 6 minutes...tick tock!

While I was curling her hair, she just started stream of consciousness talking nonstop. Luckily, because I was behind her with the curling iron, I could watch Meet The Press while she jabbered on. Sal and I have learned how to work with her while tuning her completely out, but with the requisite 'mm, hms' and 'absolutelys.' She told me for the umpteenth time about her cousin, Kelly, who was her favorite family member. He was gay...making his living by tripping and falling all over downtown San Francisco, then suing whoever owned the property. He finally died of alcoholism. It was sweet to listen to her walk down memory Lane (for about five minutes...remember, we've heard this story).

Next, Sal took over with the dressing and adorning with appropriate jewelry. She had to get from the chair, down the hallway to her bathroom...another 9 minutes for that...with a stop to look out on the deck at the squirrels. SalGal could be heard saying things like, "Not those, no, doesn't go with pale blue," "Here's the armhole, right here...little farther...lift your head so I can button your blouse."

The walk from the front door to the car always takes the longest because she begins to realize that she is OUTSIDE! With each step, she discovers something is soooo much like taking a toddler out that we smile because of all the things she's (re) discovering. Verrrrrrry carefully we pour her into the front seat of the car and off we go!

We arrive at her very small country club in our neighborhood and people become immediately helpful in getting her from the car to the dining room. It's Mother's Day, and she's so obviously a MOTHER! Then, it's a glass of Chardonnay for each of us. She looks beautiful and is happy and smiling and retelling other stories as Sal and I keep drinking. Such a lovely time was had by all and because the service was so outstanding and because we're not used to getting liquored up in the late morning, we walk to the buffet area where the staff is beginning to break it all down and we stand and applaud! They're gobsmacked but thankful. We're semi-embarrassed because applauding the staff is not country-club behavior, but we always want people to know what good jobs they are doing.

SalGal will continue this story from here. I'm tired just thinking about it and a new day dawns!



After lunch we drove around the quiet neighborhoods to look at the houses, comment on the tree growth and steal flowers from people's gardens. This always makes for a nice bouquet on the coffee table. All you need is a quick exit, a paper bag and a pair of clippers.

We got home at about 3:30PM and headed for seperate beds. Well, The Ancient One went straight for the couch as usual, KK dove into her bed and I went into the back bedroom. It was a given that naps were to be taken immediately. If you were to walk around the house an hour later you would have seen dark rooms with cats draped and snoozing over the backs of chairs and women snoring everywhere in the stillness of the late afternoon.

We all woke up at about five o'clock but only because the cats were hungry and decided to let us know by using the house as a jungle-gym and using our sleepy bodies for traction in their chasing of each other. The huge cake sat on the coffee table like a giant giraffe turd but that and the neighborhood roses made the house smell like a funeral at the Sarah Lee factory.

The Ancient One got into her robe and KK and I settled in for the three hour finale of 'Survivor.' Heaven. That was a perfect day.

We hope you had a perfect day too,

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Midlife Humiliations

"Do you have trouble getting urine to pass?" One of the MANY new television commercials aimed at our age group. I especially like the new one about gas where the office colleague tells his boss, whose mind is focused on nothing BUT his gaseous problem, "Sir, your son is line toot." that one makes me laugh out loud with my head back.

You poor mens, because a LOT of those commercials are aimed at YOU, but then you do die before we do usually. Like the commercial about the shrinking prostate and the poor man who is spray-painting all the tiny planets for his upcoming display has to keep going to the bathroom. You won't like this, but I have so little sympathy for those of you with this problem. Try sitting on a toilet seat that still holds the last lady's pee pee that you couldn't see because the ultraviolet lighting wasn't quite at the right angle. Here's to all of you who could simply stop the car on a long road trip, walk to the side...or not...whip it out and pee right there standing up instead of squatting behind the car so no one would see you except all the station wagons full of other families who came up the hill and then passed by you waving, laughing and screaming. There is justice in there somewhere. And you could target your spray instead of wind up with a pair of wet tennis shoes when you got back in the car. Do I sound bitter?

When I used to teach yoga, I had a posture that I called the 'water closet hover.' This posture is where one simply bends the knees as low as one can go while the back is straight and the arms are stretched straight out in the front. Ha!, you may say, but this is a required position in any toilet stall so as to NOT sit down on someone else's pee pee. It also gives the thighs great definition if you use it either going to the bathroom often or taking a lot of yoga classes.

There isn't one of our kind who hasn't had to leave a room after passing gas or pooting as The Ancient One calls it. That's a given, but the difference between the mens and the womans is that the mens push and the womans pull it back in. They don't call them skid marks for nothing! In our cases, we puff up like toads until we're in a secured, closed-off area far away from any form of civilization and then, and only then, do we let'er rip.

SalGal swallows her burps. I don't even know how one does that, but sure enough, she keeps them inside. Every now and again, out of the blue, she'll say, "Oops, excuse me." I say, "What in the hell for?" "I burped." "You call that a BURP?" And then we start laughing and a small amount of tee tee escapes because we just can't hold it in. I am lovin middle age! I have a gal pal who has to stand and cross her legs completely around each other if someone says something funny because she really can't hold it in which makes everyone around her laugh even harder. She then hops around the room on that one leg with her head back and her mouth wide open...just peeing and laughing.

There are so many more humiliations that this will be just the first part of a humiliation series. Stay tuned!!




Hahaha, she does do that and when she does she looks like some manic Pez dispenser that Tim Burton made because she has platinum, spiked out hair and the biggest mouth you ever saw. When she laughs her face disappears and becomes this huge cavern that has white stalagmites sticking up over it. (Tim Burton did 'The Night Before Christmas'just so you know)

I have this squidgy thingy on my left eyelid. It reminds me of the lava flow from a volcano I saw once. The lava was turned into rock but it still looked like it did when it was coming down the hill. I have to put on my make-up using a #5 magnifying mirror so that squidgy thingy looks about an inch wide. When I'm talking to someone and they are looking at my eyes I'm sure they are thinking, 'Why doesn't she get that squidgy thingy on her eye removed. Hmmm, maybe she doesn't think it's noticeable. I will keep looking at it so she will know it's there.'

I got a skin tag frozen off the outer edge of my right eye last week but Dr. Schulz (our dermatologist) said he couldn't do anything about squidgy thingy. I have to go to Dr. Schulz all the time to get skin tags, moles and age spots frozen off. He just looks at me and says, 'Are you ready for some pain?' So delicate. I told him beauty knows no pain and I will be coming to him until all of the squidgies all over my body are completely gone. I expected him to say something like, 'Don't worry, a couple of years - look bettah.' Kindly, old Doctor Welby he's not. Instead he just grinned a devilish smile and said, 'Good, because that means you'll be coming to me for the rest of your life.'

And that's just my eye lids. There are things going on all over my body that if I had known about when I was sixteen I probably would have crawled under the bed and curled up in the fetal position. The good thing about all of this is that my ability to deal with all of this physical stuff gets easier the older I get. I guess God planned it that way.

If you have a big mole where people can see it, get it taken off because people can see it and it's gross,

I have

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

an official press release about US! Who Knew?

May 6, 2008

The HealthCentral Network Signs Spunky “Midlife Gals” for Comedic Relief on Alzheimer’s, Skin Care Sites

ARLINGTON, VA — Who says the best times of your life have already come and gone?

The HealthCentral Network, Inc. ( has recently brought on The Midlife Gals, two sisters from Texas who prove that along with wrinkles and the responsibility of caring for their elderly mother comes the opportunity to cut-up and bring a smile to the face of others.

Known for their personal blog, Kelly and Sally Jackson will be writing tongue-in-cheek reflections on and about growing old, in addition to providing videos reflecting their off-the-wall sense of humor about aging.
“Going to HealthCentral is better than calling your best friend in Dallas to get a diagnosis because she is the worst hypochondriac in west Texas!” Sally Jackson said. “We are so excited to bring the gift of laughter to the people -- patients, caregivers, wrinkly women -- who need laughter the most.”

The Gal’s blogs and videos can be seen at
at and

“Watching your parents grow older and face debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s, in addition to watching yourself turn gray, can be overwhelming”, said Chris Schroeder, CEO and President of The HealthCentral Network. “The Midlife Gals remind us that it’s OK, even therapeutic, to laugh during times of stress.”

About The HealthCentral Network
The HealthCentral Network, Inc. ( is one of the top health destinations on the Web, with more than 35 condition-specific, wellness and general health Web properties. By offering connections to renowned experts, a network of patients and caregivers who share "real world" experience, and in-depth information, sites in The HealthCentral Network make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and caregivers. The HealthCentral Network also manages the highest-quality health advertising network, not building size for size's sake - but targeting condition-specific audiences who value and engage with information from marketers on their terms.

The HealthCentral Network was acquired in 2005 by Polaris Venture Partners, The Carlyle Group, Sequoia Capital, and Allen & Company. In January 2008, the Company received a significant minority investment from IAC/InteractiveCorp and additional investment from its original investors, and IAC CEO Barry Diller joined The HealthCentral Network's board of directors. In April 2008, HealthCentral and IAC Ad Solutions Network announced a new ad network agreement, making HealthCentral IAC/AS’s exclusive partner in online marketing to prescription pharmaceutical advertisers.

HealthCentral's management team combines decades of interactive media, medical and journalism experience: CEO and President Christopher Schroeder was the CEO and Publisher of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, the interactive subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO.)

Here's one of our Alzheimers videos, The Cotillion:

Monday, May 5, 2008

We Quit Again!!!

Yep, we're nonsmokers again. Isn't this exhausting? But, I must say, smoking again for those three weeks was an eye-opening exercise! After NOT smoking for 5 months on our last attempt, we'd gotten rid of all the physical side effects that go along with that Lauren Bacall voice and were not coughing, spewing, hawking or wheezing. So, from a clean slate, we started putting that crap back into our bodies (true addicts will understand this).

Sal and I didn't talk about any of the bad effects that we started feeling about 5 days in...that would have been too scary and the 'tiny monster' that is nicotine doesn't like we bought cartons for lots of money, sat out on the deck in all but torrential downpours, and started having that closed-up feeling in the throat, the clearing of the throat all the time, REALLY bad breath, know the drill, right? It's just that by stopping and starting again the way we did, we could SEE and FEEL what it does to you and how FAST that happens.

So, one day when the 'tiny monster' had just had his fix, I suggested to Sal that we might quit in a couple of weeks again. You could just see her 'tiny monster' with his teeth gleaming and drooling in a snarl, but once she was able to put a leash on him, she replied, "Are you SURE?" We worked our way through the discussion to all the rationalizations a smoker has, and they are just LEGION, aren't they?

So, we picked up the book again, you know the one...The Easy Way to Stop Smoking? The one we used to quit in October for 5 months? Turns out it IS easy to quit, but it's easy to start again too, so therein lies the devil. Well, we re-read the book, and the author, Allen Carr can get you to read the book because he announces early on that part of his instructions are that you HAVE to keep smoking through to the end. So, one needn't fear turning the pages...except that very last one, but guess what? By then, cigarettes taste just ghastly and you don't even want one anymore. Amazing!

We've also decided that prayers, bribery, threats and financial incentives are also very helpful to kill off 'the tiny monster' rather than just keep him at bay. (Should I be concerned that I'm always using the he/him when discussing the monster? No WONDER I'm still single!!).

Wish us well, cross your fingers and hope that we stay on the WAGON!


PS-I'm already giggling at those smokers who are rationalizing their monsters even as they read this post. All I can say is, "I feel your pain, but it AIN'T true!"


God, we are such idiots but I'm still proud of us for quitting in the first place after smoking for basically 40 years. When rereading the book I saw the part where the author tells us to keep the book and never give it to anybody and never to throw it away. I thought he was just an asshole who wanted to keep the sales of his books up. I was wrong. He was right, he makes it so easy to stop that some of us start again because we say, 'We'll just stop again later.'

And therein lies the little monster. He waits down in there in the recesses of your brain until the physical cravings are completely gone and then he brings on the Oxyclean, Lysol and Tide to completely wash your brain again. We were warned but we didn't listen. At least we didn't give the book away.

Here's the brainwashing: 'It's really hard to quit. I'm as hooked as a heroin user.'
Well, guess what, when you find out that it really isn't hard to quit, you have no more excuses. You try what the book suggests - no, demands - and you realize how you have been duped for your whole life. It's like owning a cat; you love the little things but you know they run your life, you're always apologizing to people who come to the house, and pillow cases smell like an old Indian with tuna breath.

Yipee! I'm a non-smoker again!! And I don't think I'll ever start again. That's another thing the book teaches you to admit. You can never have another one. I apply that rule to hamsters, Fran's bacon/cheese/chili burgers and men.

I don't care what you do and smoke 'em if you got 'em,

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I was once in a vicious Easter Hat contest, and I think I came in second...but at the time, first place was my only thought, my greatest wish and everything I'd worked for. I think it's safe to say that I'm competitive!

Years ago, I competed in a ladies' fishing contest in a large pond out in the beautiful countryside of Connecticut. Our then husbands were our lackeys and they took the fish off the hooks for us because it was just too gross. I won every year for 3 or 4 years, and the last year, my only real competition sent me nasty faxes and notes in the mail. She tried everything she could think of to intimidate me...tsk, tsk, tsk. It never worked because I know where fish live. My granddaddy taught me.

In every yoga class I've ever been in , there was always someone who came close to being in my yoga league and we fought hard to declare a silent winner by the end of the session. We never made actual eye contact nor did we acknowledge the competition, but we knew exactly what we were doing...even during all the Namastes and Peace be with yous. There are MILLIONS of closet yoga competitors and if you're one of them and you're reading must be laughing!

I would try to win a sleeping competition if one existed. I have no idea where this came from....whose ancestral DNA I inherited. I think it was my great grand daddy who was a Mississippi River Boat Gambler. It's how he made his money, and he was damn good at it.

The only thing at which my mother was competitive was poker. She did NOT like to lose. Neither do I. I love to gamble. My life has been a gamble, and I'm beating the house so far. If there are two ants racing each other up a tree, I'll root for one to win. Do you think I need help? I'd feel competitive with the therapist to see which one of us could solve my problem first, so I'm not sure I'm a good candidate. Maybe medication?



I think it's in our genes. I think 'our daddy who art in heaven', Frank Jackson must have been really ambitious and competitive. He was a Navy pilot in WWII and that takes a lot of nerve. Courage; that accompanies a competitive spirit I think. That and an ability to not care if anybody thinks you are an asshole.

KK is right, gambling is directly related to competition. They are both something that you can win if you participate. It's like surfing the waves in Hawaii (I won 2nd place there in the surfing contest). You have to pick and choose your waves carefully but if you catch the right one it will take you for a ride you'll remember on your death bed. If you leave too soon and have to watch someone else catch that wave from shore, you never leave when you're supposed to again. That's what finally gets the gambler. That's why the house always wins and the doors never close. They've got you at, 'cocktail?.'

I was a national champion swimmer in high school. Very few people could beat me if we were in the same pool together. I just couldn't stand it if somebody was ahead of me. I had to win. My life is like that. If somebody does anything I do, then I have to do it better or faster or longer or funnier. This rule applies to cooking, acting and dancing 'The-Cotton-Eyed-Joe.' KK and I don't really compete, except for who's going to drive, who gets to wear the red pumps and who has to watch 'Wheel of Fortune' with The Ancient One that night.

I always lose at Monopoly, Scrabble and Rock/Paper/Scissors. This irks me no end and causes me to have to scoop out the kitty litter pretty much every day. I sometimes think KK is tomfooling me. Do scissors really cut rock? Hmmmmmm.

PLease excuse me while I go put the trash out. I thought I had her that time but...apparently rock smashes paper,

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Rode Hard and Put Up Wet

Well, for pity’s sake, I’m 56 years old, so there’s wrinklage. And, the wrinkles morph and move around my face. They are now attacking my neck! I’d run for my life, but I know they’d catch up with me, like Indians shooting arrows as I circle the wagons. The wagons are filled with my other midlife gal pals, and we’re under siege, shooting blanks back in defense.

When we grew up in the fifties and sixties, the doctors were still smoking cigarettes so they weren’t about to tell us to stay out of the sun. They just called those brown spots brown spots and moved on with their examinations. So, we’d leave their offices and go baste ourselves with baby oil and turn over when we were perfectly roasted, crackling and broiled on one side

I’m sufficiently paranoid now about our bad behavior back then to have regular appointments with my dermatologist. He’s got white hair and a soft voice and knows EVERYthing there is about skin. I’ve heard the word, “pre-cancerous” a time or two regarding some skin irregularity or other, and he’s frozen off lot’s of bad patches. All I can do now is to sweep up after my young self’s bad behavior.

The tan I have now is solely on my left arm. That’s what I call the ‘driver’s’ tan because, well, I have to drive, and the sun has to shine in my car window on that side, so that’s the arm that I extend in a wave or handshake because it just looks better. My legs, on the other hand, look as if I’m wearing white nurse stockings or that I have two flashlights at full power glowing from my hips! But you know what, I have so many spider veins down there now that I wear slacks to any event…kind of like Katherine Hepburn. NO one is going to see these legs except Sal or my next boyfriend, and especially then, I’ll use proper low lighting.

But, here’s the thing…the yung’ ns are still basting and roasting or sitting in the tanning caskets for way too long. That’s part of the definition of being a yung’ n, isn’t it though? Beauty Knows no pain…or future?!

While I’m confessing sins here, actually I have a CRUSH on my dermatologist. I like his white hair, soft voice and perfect skin. I bet he has perfect skin underneath that white coat…oops…excuse me, I digress. So, now Sal and I wear hats, walk in the shade and moisturize with SPF-113. By Gawd, we may not be pretty things, but we may live to be 120. Yikes!



MIrror mirror on the wall…

Oh, I so remember spending the days at the pool in Midland,Texas in the 50’s. The days were hot but the water was ice cold and the hamburger hut didn’t care about trans fats. Hell, they didn’t even know what ‘cholesterol’ meant.

And basting ourselves with baby oil wasn’t nearly enough. We put iodine in the baby oil so that our tans would turn a nice golden brown before the sun went down. Our skin was as smooth as dolphin hide, soft as a horse’s muzzle and supple as a baby’s buns. Now? Our skin looks like two-week-old zucchinis that got left in the sun and bleached. When we extend our arms to give directions the lower part of our upper arms hang down like elephant ears and our necks look like they are melting. Gee, I wonder why.

I just don’t understand this because I still forget how old I am. I still get a jolt when I see a handsome thirty five-year-old man walking down the street. I do my yoga and feel like I’m thirty and then I see myself in the mirror and realize that I look like Lyle Lovitt in tights. When I wake up in the mornings I’m great until I find out I slept with the pillow over my face and now I have a wrinkle down my cheek that lasts till my 4PM appointment with a twenty-five-year old facialist who tells me that I’ve lost some elasticity in my skin ‘but don’t’ worry that’s normal for someone your age’. I leave, depressed even though I’ve warned the little bitch that the mole on her neck will be cancerous some day and her lips make her look like a frog.

I walk out the door and see my reflection in the mirror. I have on no make-up and my hair is greased back from the oils that poor kid used around my hair line. I look like one of those flesh eaters in a zombie movie. Inevitably it is at a time like this when a really nice looking fifty eight-year-old Viet Nam vet walks by and tries not to make eye contact. That’s okay because in that moment I want to crawl into the caulking in the brick wall anyway.

Wrinkles and pouches and patches are just a reminder that our bodies are getting older with time because I swear our minds don’t. My mind doesn’t have wrinkles. It still thinks it’s thirty five and can’t figure out why the hands that do it’s bidding now look like they are pleated at the wrists.

I do my best and slather my skin with daily lotion, put Retinol on my face and neck and soak in baths of Carnation instant milk. Remember Joan Crawford in ‘What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?’ Or Betty Davis for that matter. I’m always afraid I’m on the road to that until I forget while I’m gardening or cooking or out with KK all sparkling for the evening. I look at her and I see her soul. Once someone asked her what it felt like to see that her sister had aged and wrinkled with time. Her response? “Oh, did she? I hadn’t noticed.”