Wednesday, September 25, 2013


As most of you know, I work in East Baltimore, a quaint part of the city that is so cozy that both the Bloods and the Crips call it home.  Baltimore has some serious issues with crime, but, truly, East Baltimore is the Mecca of madness and mayhem. 

I walk, alone, up Wolfe Street around 6:30 am each morning, past the tired hookers who have been on their bac...ah, feet, all night, the sleeping homeless, the strung out addicts, the lost, lonely and confused. For some reason, none of this scares me. The Goddess will share with you the number one thing that puts fear in her heart, the beast of nightmares, the bearer of chills, the...well, you get the picture. 


There, I said it. 

I just spend a glorious couple of days in Ocean City, Maryland, in a lovely beachfront hotel room.  Each day I would trot myself down to the beach, select a primo spot for my umbrella and beach chaise, then run into the ocean...well, at least to the surf.  I can't seem to get over the terror of those dang waves.

"Hey, " I said to one father, holding his baby in the surf. "If a giant wave comes, can I hold on to you?" 

"Ah...I'm kinda busy here with my daughter, " he replied. Yeah, like she was sooooo special.

I wasn't always such a wuss.  Clearly  I remember those halycon days of beach frolicking, where I would stay in the water for hours, mounting those waves and riding them to shore. I was young, invincible, and so darn cute in that bikini.  

Then, one day, many years ago, IT happened. 

There I was, in the ocean, just minding my own business, when I spotted IT in the distance.  It was Wavezilla, the largest wave ever seen by human eyes.  It must have been 70 feet high, and was screeching towards the Goddess with the speed and fury of a NASCAR driver. Don't even bother to look for this in newspapers or history books, as it is one of the hush-hush secrets the government has covered up, much like what really happened to Elvis and what, exactly, is in the secret sauce at Taco Bell.

But I was there, watching this TOWER of water rushing towards me. I swear, I saw the Flying Dutchman riding the crest of Wavezilla, all of its ghostly crew pointing in my direction and screeching. 

Then it hit me. Hit me hard. I was down for the count, under the waves, nose to sand at the bottom of the ocean. I tried to swim up to the surface, but another wave came, then another.....things looked desperate for the Goddess. 

But, being the survivor I am, I did manage to get to the shore in one piece, which is exactly how much of my bikini I was still wearing. That's right, the entire beachgoing  community saw the twins in all of their natural glory. Many, many people shouted this information to me, just in case I wasn't aware.  Thanks, guys!!

Luckily,  a friend of mine appeared with a towel to cover my nearly naked self. She was out of breath from laughing so hard. My humiliation was complete.

On this most recent trip to OC, I did decide to confront the sea in an effort to reclaim my dignity.  I stood at the surf, made a fist, and declared, "As God is my witness, I will never be in fear of you again. I don't care if I have to beg, steal, lie, or...." 

Then another wave came and I hightailed it back to my hotel room. 

You win, Mother Nature. 

You win.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Conversations with the Grey-Haired Goddess

Unidentified Grey-Haired Goddess (UGG):  "So, you all ready for school?"
Unidentified 15-year old niece: (U15N):       "I guess...."
UGG: "You have all your pens and pencils and notebooks and stuff?"
U15N: (rolls eyes): "Yes, UGG, I have all my stuff. Do you actually want to see my satchel?"
UGG: "You have a SATCHEL?"
U15N: "Hel...lo? Everybody has a satchel. Here, see for yourself."
(UGG opens Gucci satchel, trying to forget that her bookbag was a blue laundry bag with drawstring.Inside the Satchel is an IPad, IPod, Tablet, and a charger.)
UGG: "This is not a bookbag. This is an advertisement for Best Buy. Geez, when I went to college, I thought I was hot stuff because I had an electric typewriter." 
U15N: "God.  That had to be hard, dragging a typewriter around a campus."
UGG: "Why would I have dragged a typewriter around campus?"
U15N: "To take class notes, duh! How else could you take  notes?"
UGG: "With pen. And paper. You know....writing notes by hand."
U15N: (Long Stare). "I am so glad I didn't live in the olden days."


Unidentified Grey-Haired Goddess: (UGG)  "I think I broke my bathtub drain."
Unidentified Friend Who May or May Not Be Named Kelly and May or May Not Be An Attorney: (Too vague for you to sue me, my friend. Ha!): "How in the hell did you do that?"
UGG: "You know how I usually only shave my legs when I have a date or a doctor's appointment?"
UF: "Good God, I know its been forever since you had a date...Jeez, you must have looked Rastafarian."
UGG: "Ah, first of all, thanks. Secondly, I concede, it was a jungle. I swear I had hair from my toes all the up to...well, all the way up. So, anyway, me and Lady Schick decided to go to war the other night."
UF: "OMG, you have a date!"
UGG: "Well, no, I.."
UF: "What, you sick? What's wrong?"
UGG: "Nothing. I'm just going to the ocean in a week or so, and decided...."
UF: "Not to scare little children. Okay, I get it. So you shaved your legs."
UGG: "Exactly. Now it takes forever for the bathtub to drain. I think I broke it."
UF: "Just get some drain cleaner."
UGG: "I did. I have poured, like, two entire bottles of Drano down those pipes. It's still  not draining."
UF: "Good God. I betcha could have braided that hair. Did you ever think about getting some of those little barretts?"
UGG: "Why do I ever tell you anything?"
UF: "Or, you also could have claimed to be half-human, half-Sasquatch. The missing link, girl. You could have said you were the missing link."
UGG: "You are a terrible person."
UF: "Maybe, but at least I never caused plumbing equipment to commit suicide."

Unidentified Publicist for Grey-Haired Goddess Who May or May Not Be Named Carolyn:
"Hey, UGG, what's your prob? It's been almost two months since your last blog. What? Your typing fingers broke or something? By the way, congrats. I heard you shaved your legs. I wonder if that has anything to do with that certified letter I got from the EPA? Anyway, what's up?"
UGG: "Um...yeah, I've got this idea I am working on this very second."
UP:"Is that the truth?"
UGG: ""
UP: "Woman, you have five days to create another blog. I have people waiting for this. How are we ever going to get your book published...and get that movie made...if you are sitting on your hairless backside? Did you shave that far up? I don't want to know. Listen, get it done...NOW."
(Note to self: Carolyn is a good publicist. Currently I am paying her nothing. Double her salary. She's worth it.)

Monday, July 1, 2013


In past years, the annual Snooze-Fest (aka the Annual Meeting for the Senior Neurological Society Administrators) has convened in some great cities: funky, vibrant, Portland,  and beautiful Salt Lake City to name some recent places.

This year the meeting planners finally found a city that matched the boringness of the meeting: Baaaahston, Massachusetts. Okay, I'm sure every Baaahstonian now wants to call me out for insinuating that their city is anything less than Excitement A -Go Go, so let me make this clear: I am not insinuating that Baaahston is boring, I am saying it quite bluntly. And for any Baaaahstonians  who want to make a big deal of this, I will save you some time and effort. Physical violence isn't necessary. Talk to me for five minutes with those Gaaahdam accents and I will cry uncle. 

Full disclosure: I didn't much enjoy Baaaahston because I didn't want to go anyway.  It was not a great time for me to be out of town, so I admittedly saw everything through a jaudiced eye. I was sooooo not into this trip that all I took with me was a laptop from work, a change of clothing and some toiletries stuffed into a computer bag.

Sounds stringent, I know, but I was so happy that I packed lightly when got to my hotel room.  The group was booked into an expensive hotel downtown, but I swear, the whole place smelled  like a sweaty sock filled with last week's hard boiled eggs. I immediately developed an absolute certainty that the place was full of bedbugs. Bedbugs! The very thought of a bedbug makes my skin crawl.

When I finally returned home, I scooped all of my clothes out of the computer bag and immediately threw them in the washer.  The computer bag, with the computer, stayed in my car with the fervent hope that any creepy crawly thing would be exterminated by, I don't know, an Act of God, or something.

A week goes by. There have been no bite marks, nothing itchy, so I feel fairly certain that there were no bedbugs after all. That's a good thing, as Dr. Lifesaver needs the laptop back in the office. So one shiny day last week, I returned the lap top to him with the good news that the laptop might have viruses, but no bedbugs!!

"Uh-huh. Yeah. You can just put it on the couch," he said, not even bothering to ask for an explanation.  After seven years of working with me, no explanations are warranted. That's the way he likes it.

Ten minutes later, Dr. Lifesaver comes out of his office, computer bag in hand, and says to me, "I have to run to the OR. Can you download some files for me?"

Sure, boss.  So I take the computer out of the computer bag and.....I was right. No bedbugs attached. But what attached to the laptop was a  pair of my PANTIES!!!


Can you imagine? 

I will go through the rest of my life believing that Dr. Lifesaver did NOT open the bag and see those panties. It's the only way I can face him, day and day. 

I swear, I wish it had been merely bedbugs. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Everyone's always talking about their Bucket List, comprised of the things they want to do before they die. I, personally, have an Un-Bucket List, comprised of the things I don't want to do while I am still living. Here is my Un-Bucket List, in no particular order. 

1) SKI
Who thought of this? Let's summarize: The temperature outside is about freezing and it's snowing.  So let's all take a drive through those icy,  curvaceous mountain roads to a place even colder.  Once there, let's all stay outside ALL day and indulge in some strenuous activity that could result in broken bones, concussions, or even death. And let's pay a FORTUNE to do this!!! 

Uh-huh. Send me a postcard. 

I don't want to be the first woman to do anything. The title implies that this activity is something that men have always done. Good. Let them keep doing it. And when they complete that, send them over to my house to clean my heating and air-conditioning ducts, because I don't want to do that, either. 

I know, how un-American.  The truth is that if I wanted to spend a Saturday afternoon sweating in a hot, open field with a bunch of rowdy drunks, I'd go to more family reunions. 

No. Just no. 

I know I probably should pay more attention to retirement funds and IRA's and whatever, but that stuff is soooooo boring.  Let me just win the lottery and be done with it. To quote the wonderful Dorothy Parker, "I've never been rich, but I just know I'd be darling at it."

I've met a few well-known people do I say this delicately? They live in a different world from you and me. Don't get me wrong--if I had a chance to meet Sir Paul, I'd be all over that. He was, after all, a BEATLE. But he's the exception. I can't think of anyone else that would excite me enough that I would put up with their....ah....other-worldliness.

Hahahahahahahhahaha. Are you kidding me? It was only out of necessity that I learned how to pump my own gas. 

Bugs are supposedly a great, inexpensive way to ingest protein and vitamins. I ate a lightening bug once, by accident.  I was about six years old, running down the alley behind my house, yelling the way most six year-olds do, and a lightening bug flew into my mouth. Not knowing what it was, I, of course, chewed it.  A few minutes later, I went into the house and opened my mouth, real wide, in front of a mirror. All of my back teeth were glowing.  That's how I knew it had been a lightening bug. The funny thing is, it tasted just like Vanilla Turkish Taffy. 

You would think that wonderful experience would lead me to be okay with bug eating, but you are wrong. I will not eat bugs. Protein, schotein. If I can't get protein the old-fashioned way, ( i.e Happy-Hour Margherita's) then forget it. 

I guess that's enough Un-Bucket Listing for now. It's Friday. Anyone going to Happy Hour?  Me, too. I'll be the poor, bugless person in flat shoes, driving the car with no brakes. See you there!

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's All The Same, Just Different

A famed neurosurgeon recently needed his own surgical equipment to remove his foot from his mouth when he said some rather disparaging remarks, on national television, about gay marriage.  What surprised me most about this entire episode is how clueless the doctor seemed about what a hot button gay marriage is.  I love to bring up the subject, along with race relations, gun control, and/or  abortion when I am stuck in a dull dinner party. Talk about waking the dead! Just a word  of caution, though, from an experienced rabble-rouser. This is not a trick you want to do at a sit down dinner where there are steak knives involved. Just saying. 

 I have gay friends and straight friends, and, from what I have observed, all couples have the same issues. Her mother is a buttinski.  His sister thinks you are made of money.  One likes the mountains, one likes the beach, so they take turns yearly to decide where to vacation. One drives, one navigates, then they switch positions after a while. One is obsessive about checking the batteries in the smoke alarm and one doesn't even have a clue where the smoke alarm is. In other words, gay or straight, 90% of the time marriage is two people dealing with hum-drum boring crap.  

A friend of mine in Minnesota emailed  me last week, lamenting that, "there are days this whole single lesbian thing just doesn't work. Right now there is a furry, dead thing outside my front door and I don't know what to do. " 

I had no advice to give her, as when it comes to dead, furry things I am pretty useless, but I did assure her that committed heterosexual relationships have their challenges as well.  My two most serious relationships have been with a devout Christian and a devout Buddhist, and neither one would empty the trash. 

I am convinced that, gay or straight, every one of us has, at some point, awaken in the middle of the night, looked over at the lump sleeping next to us, and, in the words of Richard Gere, asked, "Who is this gerbil?" Then we probably rolled over and went back to sleep, knowing that the snoring lump in our beds is the one person who would be there to help us with dead, furry things outside the front door. 

And who knows? Maybe one day s/he will even learn to empty the trash.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Medical Condition

I don’t normally don t reveal such personal information, but I must share with you my recent diagnosis of a peculiar ailment.  It is so rare that it has only been verified in people from Baltimore.  More specifically, only people who live in my condo. 

According to Gray’s Anatomy (the medical book, not the television show) this is my condition:
Looseous Greymatterous:” the anxiety-driven fear of the inability to get home because of falling snow.  This ailment generally manifests itself in strained neck muscles due to the patient’s constant turns to the window to see if a snowflake has fallen, blistered fingers from checking the internet for weather updates, and the inability to concentrate on anything but the following:
“Do I have enough books to read in case of a blizzard?”
“Do I have enough gas to get me all the way home?”

I believe this ailment could have its origins in the Big Blizzard of 1977.  I was in college but stuck at home for one week with only the following reading materials: Text books from “Religions Throughout the World” and “Philosophy 204,”plus a whole bunch of “Cosmo” magazines.
I read and reread those books out of sheer boredom.  I swear, on my deathbed, its going to be a toss-up as to whether I request Last Rites from a priest, chanting from a Buddhist monk, or a tube of Posey Rosey lipstick and to die in the arms of a unmarried male doctor.  

Also, during that memorable week, my sister ate the ENTIRE bag of Doritos one night while watching some stupid horror movie marathon.  I remember standing on the front lawn, my fist raised to the heavens, and swearing aloud, “As God is my witness, I will never be in this position again.  I don’t care if I have to lie, cheat, steal or beg, as God is my witness, I will never be bored or saltless again!” 

Okay, maybe that last part was more or less a dream, but in my heart the emotions were there. 

The people I work with know that the first snowflake triggers this condition, so they stand clear of the door.  I once left the office so quickly after spotting flurries that I left skidmarks on one of Dr. Lifesaver’s lab coats.  To this day, I am afraid to ask him if he was wearing it at the time. 

Maybe I have been selfish in keeping this knowledge to myself.  Perhaps I should tell the world about this little-known disease. Maybe we can all work together to find a cure. Hey, I know…let’s do a telethon! I’ll be there as the living face of this dreaded disease.

Unless, of course, it snows that night.  Then I’ll be home, watching it on TV with an open bag of Doritos.