My Heart Goes Out To Boston

My heart sank after I heard about what happened in Boston today.  I have no idea how people can even think to harm innocent beings.  NO IDEA!  How sick can people be?  We’re all trying to live on this planet to the best of our ability, so what right does someone have to cut our life short?  What right does some stranger, as in the case today, have to take away someone’s mother or someone’s dear friend, etc..?

I don’t remember growing up in this type of environment when I was little.  As an 80’s child, I can clearly remember when the Challenger Explosion happened.  That might have been one of the saddest things I heard on the news at that time.  I never even thought something like the Colorado shooting in the movie theater could happen.  Explosions at a marathon?  Not even something I could’ve even come close to imagining!

But now I find myself saying “NOT AGAIN” when I hear about innocent lives being lost like with what happened today.  These people woke up this morning, and had no idea what was about to happen later today.  They had no idea that at least two people would die, and many other people would get injured AT A MARATHON!  

As I’m writing this I’m listening to John Lennon’s “Imagine.”  It’s one of my favorite songs, and I always sing along to “Imagine all the people living life in peace.”  I don’t know if we’ll ever have a world where all the people are living in peace, but I do hope one day going after innocent lives will be a thing of the past. 

My thoughts and prayers are with the people in Boston.

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I Can Fill in for Superman Whenever He Needs to Take a Sick Day

Before I say what I have to say, let me first hand everyone some tissues ‘cause I think you are gonna be so amazed by what I lived through that tears will voluntarily start to fall from your eyes.  PLEASE JUST TAKE ONE TISSUE!  I know the colorful dots on the box makes you go tissue crazy, but please refrain from giving into your tissue grabbing urges!.image

I never knew my own strength till I lived through this past Thursday.  I’m sure all of us have seen happy people drinking wine on TV, right?  Either they’re having wine with their dinner or they take a swig from a wine bottle as if they’re drinking something so delicious from that chocolate river in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”  The one that Augustus  ”Greedy” Gloop falls into.  

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Check out this wine scene! 

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Look at how happy Annette Bening is in this scene!  If I was a burglar this is the moment where I’d break into her house!  She’s so overcome with joy to be sitting in the company of wine that she wouldn’t notice if a burglar went through her stuff and ran out of the house with a piece of 24 karat jewelry.

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Courtney is so in love with her wine in this scene that it wouldn’t matter to her if Ross or Chandler never want to do a FRIENDS reunion in this lifetime.  FRIENDS…SHMENDS…I GOT MY WINE!!!  TV has made me believe nothing can ever go wrong if wine is in the picture, and it’s so delicious that you want a Godzilla sized glass of it.  

WHAT A BUNCH OF LIARS!

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I had the opportunity to have some wine a few days ago.  I thought I had wine before but now I’m not so sure (I’m a poet and I didn’t know it)  ’cause I never tasted anything that came even remotely close to what I had last week.  

You will probably need another box of tissues after you finish the other box of tissues:

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I’ve had alcohol before but there was just something about what I had last week that didn’t sit well with me.  I don’t know the name of the wine I had or what year it was or any of that other stuff people who drink wine should know.  All you need to know is that I lived to tell about my experience.

Let me set the scene:  I was at a friend’s house, and she offered me wine.  Before I went to her house I knew there was gonna be wine, and on my drive to her place I kept picturing myself getting drunk and laughing.  As a matter of fact I thought the wine would go down as if it was a mango milkshake.  Sweet…cold…makes you want to have 629820958185982922 more sips of it!

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She offers me the wine, and I remember smiling before I drank it.  THIS IS GONNA BE AWESOME!  I’m gonna be so happy it hurts!  

Sip one:

Ohhhhh..  Did she mistakenly give me liquid kryptonite?  *The first sip is probably not a good indicator of what it should taste like so I’ll continue*

Sip two:

Oh man.  Am I drinking the bark of a tree?  Where are all the smiles that are supposed to ensue as you’re drinking wine?

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WHERE ARE THEY?!!!!

Of course, I gotta play it cool.  You can’t let the other person know that you’re afraid of a little wine ( a lot of wine in my case…she wasn’t shy in pouring me a big glass of it).  I gather myself together, and wait for her to look away every time I take a sip so that she doesn’t see my reaction.

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I would gladly take Superman’s place whenever he needed to take a sick day if he promised to throw every last remnant of the wine I had into space.   

So back to the wine…I somehow finished it, and she offered me ANOTHER GLASS!  At first I pretended I didn’t hear her, but then a couple of minutes later she asked me again.  

*ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!?!?!  I just survived one of the most traumatic experiences of my life*

Uhhm…. s-s-s-ure!

I have no explanation for why I said yes other than I probably lost control of my mouth after the first glass I had.  Maybe the connection from my brain to my mouth was temporarily broken. 

It’s probably no surprise that I felt like I was drinking something that tasted like Godzilla’s farts by the second glass, and I didn’t even try to attempt to finish it. To take the focus off my second wine glass I started talking about her cat since she adores her cat, and that distracted her from looking at my glass too much.  

On the way home I felt really nauseous, and now that I’m well enough to think clearly again I have one thing to say. 

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You see those crumpled tissues up above?  If you disagree with me, guess what I will throw at you?

I Can Probably Eat More Than Michael Phelps

My life has been about halves.  I’ve already mentioned about the two cultures that make up who I am, but another aspect of my life that could be broken down into halves is my weight. 

When I was little I was as chubby as can be.  I know it’s hard for some people reading this to believe that, but yeah, I was the “fat kid,” and people weren’t afraid to point it out to me all the time.  I’ve always thought words are powerful, and especially the words you tell a kid.  

I would hear things like “hey fatso” and “why are you so fat?” on a regular basis. Some of you may not have been teased for your weight as a kid, but let me tell you, it’s not a barrel of laughs to be teased about it. It’s so easy for someone to call you “fat” but what they don’t realize is how low it makes you feel to hear it repeatedly.

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People pointed it out to you as if you were unaware what the shape of your body was.  As if you had no lights in your house, and you couldn’t see what was looking back at you in the mirror.  What right do you have to make me feel bad just ‘cause I don’t weigh the same as you?  I’ve never gone up to someone and mentioned anything about their weight when meeting them.

“Oh my goodness!  You’re sooooo massive!  How can you come out in public?”

You know why?  It’s because I believe it doesn’t matter what shape you are!  The last I checked we weren’t robots who were all made in the same mold.  After being teased for a few years, I had decided I wanted to be a pediatrician partly because I wanted to give kids encouragement when they came to me.  I  wanted to help them not just with their physical ailments, but also be a voice of kindness in their life.  Did I become a pediatrician?  No way!  But my heart still goes out to kids (and people in general) who are going through something in their life.  

Up until my teens I was chubby, but due to a health issue I’ve been lean ever since then.  You may be thinking “you’re lean now, that’s great you lost some weight!”  I would tell you it’ s not that great when people feel the need to ask “you’re skinny, are you eating?” time and time again.

I’ve known people of all shapes and sizes in my life, and not once have I made them feel bad for their weight.  After being teased as a kid, I know how hard it is for some people to go through life with a body they might not be comfortable in.  What right do I have to throw their discomfort in their face?   

Do I get along with you?  Great!  What does it matter what you look like on the outside?  As a kid I thought life might be easier when I lost weight, but you know what?  It’s not all hunky dory being thin in my case.  People still feel the need to interject their opinions about how I should look.  

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And for your information, I have quite the appetite!  I don’t count calories, and I will not hesitate to have six slices of french toast!  I can’t help what my body looks like, but you can help making me not feel bad by zipping your lip. We’re all human, and that means none of us are perfect.  

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes when you meet them.  Would you like it if they made fun of your appearance?  Probably not!  So why do you think you can say harmful words when you meet people?  I would give anything to put on a few pounds, and that is something you probably don’t hear many girls say.  Don’t assume I want to be this size just like I won’t assume something about your appearance. 

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Some of My Pics of India

I thought I would share four pics that I took on one of my many trips to India.  

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This pic was taken somewhere in Punjab. An interesting tidbit about this pic is I can actually read what’s on the non-English signs.  I had been in Punjabi classes when I was little, but it wasn’t until I woke up one morning a few years after I finished the classes that I realized I could read Punjabi. 

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This is a mall in Chandigarh, I believe.  No idea who those two guys are, but they’re posing as if they know me.  As you can tell from the sweaters, I was there in the winter.  Although, Indian winter and New Jersey winter aren’t exactly the same thing. 

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This was taken outside of a strip mall in Chandigarh.  You can tell a girl took all these pics ‘cause they all have to do with shopping.  I love taking random “daily life” pics ‘cause I think some of the best pics are not the ones you had planned to take. 

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Ahhh..finally a non-shopping picture.  This was taken at the Rock Garden in Chandigarh (I have family near there, so this particular trip has quite a few pics from there).  If you ever go to India I highly recommend you see the Rock Garden ‘cause there are sculptures there that have been made from bangles, bottles, etc..  It’s a beautiful thing to see the artistry done by Nek Chand. 

The Songs I Want Playing in the Background When I Punch a Shark’s Nose

Someone once told me that if you punch a shark’s nose he will say “my bad” and immediately swim the other way.  Here are the songs that would motivate me to punch a shark’s nose. 

Save Me — Queen

Help! — The Beatles

I Love You — Barney

Heaven is a Place on Earth — Belinda Carlisle

I decided long ago that “Heaven is a Place on Earth” would be my song of choice to listen to whenever I’m in a scary situation.  Like I just want the sun and clouds to start singing “We’ll make heaven a place on earth” if some granny in a dark alley suddenly decides to mug me.  I fail to believe someone would continue mugging you after hearing this line from the song  ..I was afraid before but I’m not afraid anymore.”  Yeah what are you gonna do now, huh?  I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU ANYMORE, SHARK AND GRANNY!  Take your little shark behind and make friends with some seaweed ‘cause you are not taking my leg home with you!

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After eating at the Sharkcake…I mean Cheesecake Factory today I’m now fully convinced Belinda Carlisle saw into the future when she wrote that song.   The Cheesecake Factory IS heaven on earth! Sure, I’ve eaten at the Factory full of cheesecake once before, but today I ATE there.  There’s a difference between eating and EATING.  When I think of 80’s music I can’t help but think of the Go-Go’s AKA of THE greatest girl groups ever formed.  Belinda Carlisle was one of the singers in that group.

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I talked about shampoo hair commercials the other day, and I don’t know what shampoo Belinda used in that pic, but her hair looks better than my hair after I’ve used a shampoo that literally promised my hair would become so silky that it could be used for a wig to cover a mannequin’s head in stores.  Not just any hair will do for a mannequin’s head.  Mannequin or not, I wouldn’t mind having hair (minus the bangs) like this on my head:

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Look at the wig on this male mannequin.  I would be so embarrassed if I was the mannequin to have it on my head.  Where is the luxurious shine?  It looks like a skunk bungee jumped onto his head, and then died there.  See how his head is turned down?  It’s a sign that he’s beyond ashamed of his hair!  I can’t see all of his shirt but I think I see flowers on the collar!  This guy is definitely not getting a date with the mannequin above anytime soon!  And if she doesn’t learn how to smile anytime soon, she might also not be hooking up with anyone in this lifetime. 

 

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Speaking of this lifetime, I encourage everyone to swim, run, or pole vault to a Cheesecake Factory before Kim Kardashian actually does something worthwhile.  It’s no secret that I love desserts, but I’m not gonna lie, cheesecake holds a higher place for me than most desserts. I actually once tried to make cheesecake years ago…”once” being the key word.  People, take a lesson from me, and leave the cheesecake to the pros. Even though it came out of my oven, it tasted like it had taken jumped into a waterfall of battery acid. 

I ordered a meal off the menu before I had the cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory…I ate it…yada yada yada.  LET’S MOVE ONTO WHAT WE’RE ALL HERE FOR….THE CHEESECAKE!

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I tried a new flavored cheesecake today, and it definitely hit the spot!  I present to you, mango key lime cheesecake!

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If you love mangoes, breathing, eating, plates, cake, sitting, OR ALL OF THE ABOVE…THIS is the cheesecake for you! The mango syrup was so sweet and mango-y (never Google a word that ends in a “-y” to see if it’s a real word), and I’m generally not a whipped cream fan, but trust me when I tell you that it’s not there for show in this case. If you don’t use the whipped cream, you may go into a sugar coma from eating the mango syrup. Do I need to go into how good the cheesecake itself was? Didn’t think so! What else am I missing? Oh yes, the lime! I don’t have a Masters in cheesecake, but I’d say a key ingredient in a cheesecake with the word lime in it is “lime,” and this cheesecake definitely tasted lime-y. And last but not least, the crust! It didn’t taste like your typical cheesecake crust, and I actually could’ve eaten a cake that was made entirely of it!

My rating for the cheesecake: 2 whipped cream smiley faces, 2 empty cheesecake plates, and a lifetime supply of cheesecake (5 stars)

I Met Reese Witherspoon…well sorta!

I’ve never met anyone who has said “I don’t like Reese Witherspoon,” so I feel like I have automatically scored some cool points by just bringing up her name.  She’s one actress who I can honestly say I’ve liked ever since I saw her first movie, which was in 1991.  That’s enough of the small talk…let’s get down to business!  I was at a networking event yesterday, and I met someone who was the spitting image of Reese Witherspoon.  I’m talking about someone who even scrunched her face like Reese.  If I had to describe which Reese Witherspoon I saw standing in front of me I would say her hair sorta looked like this:

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After seeing her I started thinking about how many other celebrities or “celebrities” I’ve come across. I used to go to this site where people could post the date and location of their celebrity sighting in NYC.  Do you know how many times I’ve been to NYC, and HOW MANY CELEBRITIES I’VE SEEN THERE?!  8 million times, and only ONE CELEBRITY SIGHTING!  It’s not even a celebrity whose last name I knew how to spell when meeting her.  Without further ado, I present Kristin Chenoweth to you!  Half of you are probably like “Who?!”  

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I saw her in a cafe, and I knew she was a celebrity but, to be honest, I couldn’t remember what she was in when I saw her.   I asked the guy who worked in the cafe if I could say “hi” to her, and he said “Ok but NO PICTURES!”  In my head I’m thinking “I can’t help it if I’m trying to take a picture of your great establishment, and she happens to be in the picture, buddy.”

Here’s how the situation went down:

Me with a petrified look on my face as I walk up to Kristin because the guy is watching me like a hawk:  Hi!  I love your work!

Kristin:  *nervous because my facial expression is scaring the living daylights out of her*  Thanks!  *quickly walks out the door and never looks back*

She probably made a “walk right past this girl if you see her” sign with my face on it, and has posted it on many store windows across the globe since then!

The one time I finally get to meet a celebrity, and I totally bombed!  Since this meeting I’ve Googled every celebrity known to man, and have written down one thing each of them are in in case I meet one of them in this lifetime.  OH I AM SO READY FOR MY NEXT CELEBRITY ENCOUNTER!

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Other than a couple of wrestlers (Captain Lou Albano and Brutus Beefcake) and Sebastian Maniscalco (I dedicated a blog to him recently), I’ve only had a couple of “blink and you’ll miss it” encounters with celebrities.

One time my mom saw Mrs. Jefferson coming out of a store when I was little.  We were stopped at a light in traffic, and my mom told me it was her.  For all we know, it wasn’t even her, but let’s all go along with the story that it was her ‘cause I DON’T HAVE MANY CELEBRITY ENCOUNTERS TO TALK ABOUT!  LET ME HAVE THIS ONE!  For those who might not know who I’m talking about, I’ll just say a few words that may help you understand who she is: “Well we’re movin’ on up to the east side….to a deluxe apartment in the sky.”

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I saved my best encounter for last!  Best in terms of I saw her, and I didn’t say anything stupid.  Let’s give it up for Danielle Fishel.  I saw her coming out of a plane years ago, and I know it had to be her!  I fail to believe anyone else’s DNA could look even close to hers!  She didn’t make eye contact with me, but Danielle, if you’re reading this, I SAW YOU!  Danielle was on one of the greatest shows ever “Boy Meets World.”   She didn’t look like this when I saw her, but then again, no one looks like a million bucks when they come off the plane, right?  Except for the Barbie dolls I used to have.  They looked gawwwwwwwwjusssss 24/7!

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Have you had any encounters with a celebrity or anyone that resembled a celebrity?

My Name is Melanie and I’m Afraid of a Hunk of Metal

If there is a certificate on your wall that says “I’m so perfect even the breath I exhale always smells like roses” (and it’s signed by 10 people who can  vouch for your perfection), you might not want to read what I’m about to talk about today.  

I used to see myself as the perfect driver.  

Even though I was so scared to take my driving test ‘cause my dad once told me (while he was teaching me how to drive) that he never thought I would actually get my license, I somehow thought I was THE BEST DRIVER THIS SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC once I got my license.  I went at the right speed (every good driver knows the right speed is never the speed you see on the sign)…I never drove like I had a cheetah who liked to cover my eyes while I was driving sitting on my head...I cursed at every bumper sticker I saw that said “My child is an honor student at such and such school.”  

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You know why we have refrigerators?  So you can post all of your child’s honor school achievements!  I’m not gonna get out of my car when I’m at a red light to shake your child’s hand, so leave your child’s achievements off your car!

Lately I don’t feel like I’m reaching my full driving potential, and I have only one thing to blame.  Red Light Cameras!  I don’t know if they’re only in New Jersey, and I’m too scared to Google if they’re in other states, so for all intents and purposes let’s say they’re only in areas I drive in.  It adds more of a horror movie atmosphere to what I’m about to tell you.  

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I can no longer drive with confidence like I used to thanks to them.  Every time I see them I start driving slower than a snail, and I stop my car at the light when it’s yellow even though I know I could make the light.  I’ve even had to tell people who’ve sat with me in the car “I’m sorry for driving like this.”  The only time I’ve said “sorry” in my car is when I almost hit some sort of rodent that was crossing the street.  He looked like he couldn’t wait to get home to have more rodent babies with his wife, and I would’ve felt bad if I had took that opportunity away from him. 

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I don’t care if I throw coke all over you while I’m driving (I drive with one hand so that I CAN mess up people’s wardrobes if need be)…I’m not saying sorry till I’m physically outside of the car.  Too bad you got stuck with me in the car.  But lately, I’ve even driven with 2 hands so I could make sure I was in complete control of the car as I’m approaching a red light.  What happens if I’m driving with one hand, and the other hand tells my feet “Put the pedal to the metal, and go through a yellow light?”  I’ve sometimes thought my right hand had its own brain. 

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Normally I’m afraid of things that have razor sharp teeth, but I’ve never been afraid of a hunk of metal.  WHY AM I AFRAID OF SOMETHING I CAN NEVER LAUGH DURING AN EPISODE OF “BIG BANG THEORY” OR MAKE BROWNIES WITH?

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