What Would MacGyver Do?

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photo by John Poulos

Don’t you just hate it when you’re grilling burgers in the backyard and because it’s late October it’s pitch black dark at 6:30 and you can’t see a blasted thing because the light on the deck just went out and you don’t have time to replace the bulb because you’ll burn the burgers and who knows if you even have those kind of bulbs and in a flash you remember the lanterns you bought right after Hurricane Katrina so that you’d be ‘prepared’ –no, wait, Katrina wasn’t our hurricane, Sandy was, yes that’s the one (though some people downgraded it to a ‘superstorm’ but you never jumped on that bandwagon, it was a hurricane if you ever saw one)

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How to Write, How to Blog or How to Craft: An Easy Tutorial

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at writing, but didn’t know where to begin? How about blogging? Or crafting? Well, it’s all here in one super easy tutorial. Check out my newest post on the HuffPo:

Easy Tutorial: How to Write, or How to Make Paper Snowball Garlands

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photo by Turinboy

(Read now and receive two Bonus Features: How to Craft and How to Blog)

There are two easy steps to learn how to write. Simply put, one needs to: arrange a selection of words into a particular order. More to the point: select words and arrange them. Or, as I like to refer to it: S & A.

That’s it!

The most difficult thing about writing is knowing which words to select and what order to put them in. Once you’ve mastered that, writing can be quite rewarding and sometimes even enjoyable. continue reading

 

Bathing Suit Torture. Part I

photo by genibee

photo by genibee

If there’s a downside to taking a trip to Barbados in April, for a week of repose on an idyllic beach, that thing would be the premature torture of bathing suit shopping.

Of course one could argue, why go bathing suit shopping? You’re going to a tiny island in the Caribbean, not the town pool. No one has seen last year’s bathing suit in Barbados. That was my rationale exactly until things took an ugly turn.

First of all, let me be clear, I have no problem wearing a vestige of the American cruise wear timeline, a garment three to five (possibly seven) years old. I’m a veritable human time capsule of swimwear’s good, bad and ugly. Which practically makes me a performance artist. Anyway, what’s the difference how old they are—as long as they fit—especially since they’re all black. In various leg cuts and strap configurations.

They each have very specific uses: the tasteful, slightly snazzy one for the pool, the one-piece goes to the water park (where it’s not uncommon on some rides, if one is wearing a two-piece, for the top to end up over your head and the bottom down around your knees−scaring young children−ok, everyone−within eyesight,) the swanky one I wear to our friends’ annual 4th of July party, the one that covers the most skin is worn with the in-laws, and the one that reveals the most skin is waiting for St. Barts (new with tags)(and by “new” I mean old).

In examining this summer-of-yore wardrobe, I noticed the tankini’s bottom had completely lost waistline elasticity. I pulled at it gently, but it didn’t pull back. Instead it kept expanding, while softly weeping. That terrible sound that an ancient, abused elastic makes when it’s had enough. A hushed whimper coming from your clothes is sad indeed. One that says, “I can’t take it anymore,” is the saddest of them all.

With a heavy heart I ceremoniously threw it into the trash knowing it must have taken months to find, a myriad of stores, umpteen try-ons.

It would have to be the one-piece to accompany me to the palm tree-bordered beaches of Barbados. It wasn’t my favorite but it would have to do. Until, that is, I noticed that by holding it up to the light of my bedroom window, I could see my neighbor walking her dog, through its threadbare seat. Good Lord. I closed my eyes and shook my head thinking how that must have appeared last summer at the pool.

All right. It was down to the 2-piece halter. Ugh. That one showed a little too much mid-section for my liking and was adorned with a gold thingy on each hip. I must have been desperate and delirious with exhaustion when I bought it. I hate metal trinkets on bathing suits. A third gold goo-goo was sewn at the cleavage. I’d need to try it on. Because of the flashy embellishments it was two summers ago that I wore it last. Better not leave anything to chance. Good news−bottom was fine. Bad news−the plastic hook that holds the straps together was snapped in half. Half a hook is not good. There was enough metal on that thing to send airport security into a frenzy, but the necessary element to hold the bathing suit together was made of plastic.

There were others in the drawer but I was too humiliated to look at them. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I glimpsed a bikini. In turquoise? That was a long time ago, I reminisced, while unconsciously sucking in my stomach. Why had I kept it all these years? Like I’m really going to lose the ten (seventeen) pounds it would take to wear it? That thing is older than my daughter. The teenager. Do I really need to be taunted by the ghosts of summers past? I closed the drawer.

It would be unavoidable this year. I knew it was time.

What happens next is not for the faint of heart. If you have a weak heart, irregular heart rhythms, take heart meds, we should probably say goodbye here. Thank you for visiting. If not, and you think you can handle it, do come back for the rest of Bathing Suit Torture. Part II. Coming soon.

California Chrome’s Personal Stylist Comes Clean on the Nasal Strips

photo by Bill Brine

photo by Bill Brine

I shouldn’t tell you this, but as California Chrome’s personal stylist, my name is being dragged through the mud over this nasal strip fiasco, and I need to tell my story before People Magazine hears it elsewhere.

Full disclosure: C.C. is my first horse client. However, I’m no stranger to four-leggers with a discerning pedigree. I’m sure you’re aware of my work with the cat who did Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Broadway, and the donkey from Shrek (movies 1-4 plus the spin-offs), but a horse is a different animal altogether.

Let’s set the record straight. Do you really think I’d sanction that hideous nasal strip for a live, global, high-profile media event…maybe if I’m aspiring to be the new dishwasher at Ho Hum’s on Canal! C.C.’s handlers didn’t want to listen—but I had the only sensible solution.

Anyone with a thread of fashion sense knows that Ralph Lauren is all about horse hair footwear (Fall ‘15). I have a friend in the bootie department; she promised to hook me up with a swatch, ivory and chestnut. The swatch would easily adhere to the strip, creating a nasal patch toupee, if you will. A guy I know in the east village is a master at weaves. On the trickiest hair. He assured me he could weave the strip onto C.C.’s nose. Done. No visible lines. No questions. No NYRA approvals. But I never got the chance.

I’m sure you know by now that C.C. doesn’t have a breathing problem. His real problem is that he’s a scaredy cat, and it’s his reaction to being frightened that they want to keep under wraps. Unfortunately, there’s no telling what will make him jittery. A few of his triggers to date: Frank Sinatra songs (including covers), seaweed under hoof, women wearing coral lipstick or back tattoos, the smell of Fabuloso, anything on HBO. Horses usually let out a panicked neigh when they’re anxious or agitated, through their nose. C.C. can’t do this because of his deviated septum. Instead, he spurts a stuttering-lisp, like someone with a swollen tongue and rapid-fire hiccups might do. Replete with spittle. It’s utterly embarrassing. The only thing that reverses this are the nasal strips. Trust me; he simply cannot do national T.V. without the strips. But the white plastic patches?

I don’t get it. We spent a small fortune covering his unsightly varicose veins with Prada tube socks. The Zorro mask with embedded audio (thank you, Hammacher Schlemmer!) to play Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed a Dream—the only thing that keeps him calm—was an arm and a leg. And, let’s not forget about the saddle pad custom fabricated by Spanx! All this and then a snout accessory from Walgreens aisle 4.

Obviously, I had to cut ties with C.C.’s people. I wish them all the luck in the world, but I can’t be associated with an oversight of such proportions. My reputation is all I have. Let it be clear, I would not now, or ever in the future, do white vinyl on horse hair.

Well, unless it’s a lovely little Hermès number.