Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Got Stink?

When I read that the aroma of green apples can control appetite, I laughed.  Stuff a green apple up my nose and then serve me a pizza. See if I don’t scarf it down with as much gusto as I would if I didn’t have fruit lodged in my nostrils.

Good or bad, smells can influence us and they can permeate your memories just like your clothes can absorb odors.

When I get a whiff of freshly baked peach cobbler I’m transported to the days when  Granny had chicken and dumplins on the table and a cobbler in the oven. Her house filled with family and friends from far and near.  A constant roar rising from everyone talking at and over everyone else, reaching a point of chaos if you weren’t used to the rapid fire conversations.

A Norman Rockwell family we weren’t. But we had love and hope and acceptance. The smell of peach cobbler brings me back to all those wonder feelings.

But not all scent associations are positive.

Late one afternoon, Professor X and I went to an early dinner with a certain  someone.  I climbed in the backseat of Prof X’s two-door car so that this certain someone could ride up front. 

Within seconds of us pulling out of the garage, I thought I would have a heat stroke. Being cramped into a black car that’s absorbed the unrelenting  mid-August-in-Florida sun is like being stuffed in an oven. Taking pity on my sweat-induced fanning fit, Prof X (bless his heart)  turned on the car’s  A/C full blast. 

What hit me in the face can’t  be described by such mambie-pambie words like foul, pungent, or atrocious. I don’t think that a word exists in the English language that would come close to describing a stink worse than a rotting corpse three times over.

Tears trickled from the corners of my eyes as I squinted against the brutal bombardment of  this stench. My stomach somersaulted, violently, and made a desperate attempt to claw through my back in order to squirm into the trunk to hide. I didn’t dare open my mouth to speak.  I didn’t want that funk imprinted on my tongue or cloyed in my throat.

Prof X was oblivious to the smell and to my plight. So was the certain someone riding with us. The certain someone to whom  I now refer to as Pepe le Pew.

The decrepit odor swirled around Pepe like the dust cloud surrounding Charlie Brown’s friend Pigpen.

I  realized two crappy truths  about two-door cars. The backseat has no windows to roll down or doors to jump out of.  I wouldn’t have waited for a stop sign or red light .  Road rash was worth the chance to breathe fresh air.

Once we stopped at the restaurant, I might’ve knocked Pepe over in my zeal to get away from him. I say “might have” because I was oxygen deprived from holding my breath for ten miles and I was on the fringe of an out of body experience. Even the eternal being within me wanted  to get the heck away from that god-awful smell.

It’s imprinted in my brain. Not only the smell, but the nausea associated with it and the feeling of being trapped. All of it  comes rushing back at the mere thought of climbing into the backseat of a car.

Some people can’t smell skunks. I wish I was one of them. Maybe I wouldn’t have been affected by Pepe.

Smell cells renewed every twenty-eight days, so basically you get a new nose every month. That’s good news to me. I needed a new one after that repulsive experience.

Want to ensure mosquitoes stay away from your outdoor bar-b-que? Decorate with smelly socks.  Or have a friend with really stinky feet stand in the back corner of the yard. 

Researchers have found mosquitoes are four times more attracted to the smell of stinky socks than they are to people.  Scientists hope to find a way to cheaply mass-produce the stinky sock smell to help fight malaria by using the scent to lure the mosquitoes to their death.

Stressed? Anxious? Blood pressure too high? Before running to the doctor for a handful of prescription meds try eating more beans.  A 2008 study suggests that the stink in farts controls blood pressure.  I really would’ve hated to have been a volunteer for that study group.

Had an accident in your new car?  You could’ve been drunk on the new car scent, according to one study.  Apparently the fumes from the upholstery and carpet can be toxic and cause light-headedness and fainting spells. A Colorado man’s defense team claim the “new car smell” may have caused him to hit a cyclist Vail.   I’m not sure how they’ll explain why he left the scene of the accident instead of calling 9-1-1.

Got a stink story? Share your ordeal.

Or, if you have a sweet-smelling memory indulge me with that too.

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Monday, July 25, 2011

Aliens Abducted My Waist

Photo Source
It happened somewhere between 11:00pm and 5:00am. I went to sleep with a flat tummy and poof! I arose with a marshmallowy middle. Prof X’s first response was to poke my belly button to see if I giggled like the Pillsbury dough boy.

I didn’t.

He tried to lighten my mood with reassurances.
WARNING: I like squeezing your cushy parts is NOT a comfort to a woman whose body has unexpectedly metamorphosized into something other than a supermodel.

How the hell did this happen?

I eat right.
Ok, pizza, buffalo chicken sandwiches and French fries might appear more often than not in my diet but otherwise I avoid dairy products, fried and other high fat foods.

Most days I’m on the go from the time I roll out of bed until I roll back into it. I’ve little time for an exercise routine. A body in constant motion burns calories, right? And, now that I think about it, sometimes I run in my sleep. That should count for something.

Don’t even mention it. I’ll pull a Ralph Kramden with a Pow! Right in the kisser.

Without a foreseeable cause, I’m forced to conclude that the sudden deconditioning of my middle is the direct result of …<looks over shoulder and whispers> …a body snatcher. You know what that means, don’t you? 

Aliens are among us.
I’ve watched the X-Files. I know such things are true.

Hollywood has been blatantly exposing the mechanisms of this alien subterfuge since the 1950s with cinematic features such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Puppet Masters. Even now, the warnings are clear.

1. Aliens are zombie-izing our children. (Ask Noah Wylie. He deals with this problem weekly on Falling Skies.)

2. Aliens are snatching the waistlines of maturing women and replacing them with fluff. (It happened to me. It could happen to you.)

Ladies, it’s imperative that you protect yourselves from this type of attack. Guard your middles! These aliens are ninja-trained, slipping past even the ever observant Monster Puppy who instantly alerts when something is amiss. They are shadows that lie in wait, waiting to pounce when you are most vulnerable.

Be diligent. Once these perilous invaders disappear with your flat tummy, you’re forever altered.

But, you don’t have to be defeated. I’ve discovered a new Yoga instructor who promises to help women, just like me, who’ve had their waists stolen.


Have you experienced an alien abduction of the waist? Have you overcome or succumb to the alien fluff? How has this encounter impacted your life? You are not alone!

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Friday, July 22, 2011

Where Ponies Become Dragons

I grew up in a town without malls or entertainment complexes.  We played by climbing trees, exploring cow pastures, and making up our own games to pass the time.

Photo Source
The smell of fresh cut grass and powder blue skies remind me of those lazy summer days. We'd sprawl on the ground, flat on our backs, and take turns interpreting the story unfolding in the cottony-white clouds drifting across the heavens. What started as a pony frolicking in a meadow could morph into a fire-breathing dragon and evolve into a Death Star battle depending to whom the story baton was passed.

Everyone got a chance to let their imagination soar and no one complained about story arcs or genres.

In today's society it seems the art of cloud watching has gone the way of the dinosaur. Kids spend more time indoors absorbed in electronic stimulation rather than exploring the outdoor world around them.

Imagination need not be stifled or stilted because of the electronic revolution. I've Stumbled Upon an awesome site that inspires creativity.   At Neave Interactive I can make electronic clouds and let my imagination run free even when I can't leave my desk.

Are you a cloud watcher? What's the most unusual cloud shape that you've seen? What do you do to stimulate your imagination?

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Animal Rescue Goes to the Dogs

Have you ever scooped a turtle out of the road before it gets creamed by an unobservant driver? Swerved to miss a squirrel? Or fed an errant cat because it meowed incessantly at the back door at dinner time?

I have…too many times to count, much to Professor X’s dismay.  It’s my nature. I see an animal in trouble and I help it, or find someone with experience who can.

I’ve rescued squirrels, birds, cats, dogs, turtles. I’ve even resuscitated a lizard that had all but given up its reptilian ghost.

Until recently, I never thought about how the furbabies viewed my rescue efforts.  They’re rescued dogs.  Monster Puppy came to us at 10 weeks old; his mother pulled from a kill-shelter and later found to be pregnant. Brave Little Basset arrived a year later, after being abused and abandoned. He more than MP probably understands the value of helping those in need.

One afternoon, nearly dusk, Professor X opened the French doors for MP and BLB to go outside. Within a few minutes, a storm began blowing in from the South. In the distance, thunder began rolling. Not quite a rumble, but a definite warning of the monstrous rain heading toward us.

It seemed odd when Professor X called for me to wrangle the furbabies inside.  MP and BLB are afraid of storms and they think my lap is the safest place in the universe when the sky monster begins shaking the heavens. 

I found MP prancing frantically on the back porch, urging his fur-brother to hurry.

And with ears flapping in the breeze as he scurried across the yard ahead of the rain was BLB. Only he wasn’t alone.

BLB had scooped up a young armadillo and was dashing toward the  porch’s doggie door determined to save the critter  from the impeding monsoon. If  Professor X hadn’t quickly closed the French doors, BLB would’ve raced into the house with his first rescue.

Professor X looked at me and said, “He takes after you.”

I have to admit, I’m mighty proud of that.

 Are you a critter rescuer? What's your favorite rescue story? Have your furbabies picked up any of your habits or traits?

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Monday, July 18, 2011

Macho Monday

I have a hard time getting motivated on  Monday's. Instead of a cup of java, how about a little eye-candy to start the day?

How do you get motivated on Mondays?

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fantasy Friday: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The final film installment of the Harry Potter franchise is out. I'm skipping work so Professor X and I can catch today's matinee. Whoot! Whoot!

Here's a look back at the trials and triumphs of Harry, Hermione, and Ron.

Distraught over the HP finale? Don't worry, Pottermore will continue Harry's story.  And you can live the adventure at Universal Orlando's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter where you can shop for your magic wand at Ollivander 's.

Harry and his friends used patronuses to help them escape dire situations. Need some help fending off negative energy or overwhelming circumstances? Check out the Harry Potter Patronus App, then come back here and leave a comment telling us what your patronus is. Mine's a fox.

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mate to Order

The first movie I remember with humanized robots was Westworld with Yul Brenner about a fantasy theme park that recreated historical eras where the character actors were robots. Since this was a suspense film, of course the robots malfunctioned and went on a killing spree.

Over the years, Hollywood expanded the roles of cybernetic beings. The Terminator, Cyborg, Alien (one of the crew members), the doctor on Star Trek Voyager (not actually a robot, but a sentient hologram), and the list goes on.

Cybernetics, cyberspace and virtual reality are quickly replacing traditional roles in modern society.  Roomba vacuums the floors, exercise is done with the Wii and more couples than ever are meeting through online dating services.

But some people don't move past the cyber stage. With cyber dating and cyber sex, why make the effort of a face to face meeting when the real thing could end up as a real disappointment.

The 1980s film Cherry 2000 portrayed androids that were made to order "wives."

Apparently he didn't read the warning label: Avoid getting wet due to risk of electrocution.

The concept of sexbots was creepy to me twenty plus years ago. It still is today but what was sci-fi fantasy then has become a 21st century reality.

A few weeks ago, I heard a surprising advertisement on the radio-- offers sex robots for individuals too busy for traditional dating and the robotic companion is programmed to customer specifications.  Of course the perfect mate comes with a hefty price tag, but hey, how much is too much if you get the perfect mate?

Is that what men and women are looking for in a relationships today? Perfection? Someone who agrees with everything you say or do? Has exactly the same likes and dislikes? A mirror image of your own personality?

What happened to "iron sharpens iron"? Some conflict in a relationship is healthy and stimulating. I believe humans need challenges in order to be happy. Without some obstacles, we stagnate.

What traits and characteristics do you look for in a mate? Are sexbots fads or the future of relationships? And, given the opportunity would you pick a robot over the real thing?

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lizards and Werewolves and Gods, and Clowns?

After reading Kristen Lamb’s book We Are Not Alone: A Writer’s Guide to Social Media, I set out to improve the content and consistency of my blog. The first thing I did was sign up for her online workshop, Blogging for Brand.  Cybermates zipped through the first couple of assignments, brandishing their new-found blog-spirations in fabulous posts while I gnawed my fingers and gagged on my envy.  They were finding their niche while I flapped around like a bat with broken radar.
So, I sent out an SOS to my #WANA711 compadres and they flocked in support. Strangely enough, the Twitter pow-wow sparked a clown discussion.
I hate clowns. Creepy, killer clowns belong in horror films not toy boxes.

There is an online support group for people who hate clowns @ and they cite 34 Reasons You Should Hate Clowns Too.

If you’re planning a trip to rural South Carolina this summer be on the look-out for the car-chomping lizard man.

Think your neighbor is a werewolf? Here’s five werewolf facts you need to know.

Love shifters? Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series is celebrating the re-release of Pride Mates

OMG! You’ll never guess who’s playing Zeus in the upcoming film “Gods Behaving Badly.”  He needs more cowbell.

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Total Pageviews