Do you believe in Magic?

16511446 - cartoon fortune teller with her crystal ballI love psychics.  I believe that some people have extra-sensory gifts, and as long as you approach a psychic’s services from a perspective grounded in both entertainment and open-mindedness, then the experience can be fun, enlightening, and depending on the depth of their gift, sometimes very emotional.  I’ve done various readings with different psychics over the years, just for fun,  and the majority of them have absolutely blown me away with their accuracy and insight.  Only one or two were completely off the mark, but all the others left me with a feeling of absolute wonderment and fascination with how well they were able to read me, and also the extent of their gifts.

I haven’t had a reading in years, and there’s a psychic in my neighborhood just a few blocks from my house.  Most of the psychics I’ve known don’t have store fronts.  They mostly operate and advertise their services by word of mouth and through referrals.  But I drive by this building, with it’s neon Open sign always bright and flashing, no matter the time of day or night, at least three or four times a week.  And I always think, they can’t always be open.  And every time I drive by I think about stopping and going inside.  I’ve been meaning to do it for years, ever since we moved to this neighborhood.  So, if I calculate the numbers, I’ve had this thought at least three times a week, 52 weeks a year, for six years.  That’s 936 times I’ve thought about going in to see this psychic!

And then every time I drive by, I imagine that this person is sitting inside this building and thinking, “There she goes again.”  And when I do finally decide to stop in, I imagine this person saying to me, “Yes Wanda, we are always open, and it’s about fucking time.”

The Love-Hate Challenge

Hello, world!

Once again, life has been busy and I’m checking in to say hello and tackle the Love/Hate Challenge handed down to me by one of my favorite bloggers, Kimboxin.  In this challenge, I have to list ten things I love and ten things I hate, then nominate other bloggers for the challenge.

Initially, it doesn’t seem too complicated.  How hard is it to list things you love and hate?  So, I spent a few minutes pondering the many nuances of what it means to love or hate something.  If you really think about it, love is not the opposite of hate.  Indifference is the opposite of love, but I have not been asked to write about things to which I feel indifferent.  So, for me, this is not an exercise of opposites, but rather a list of items that either make me feel extremely happy or extremely unhappy.  Oh, and I’m leaving out the obvious stuff, like loving my family or hating anchovies.  Seriously, who likes anchovies?

Hate, hate, hate….

These are instruments of torture.

These are instruments of torture.

1.  I hate high-heels.  Why, as women, do we choose to wear shoes that after about twenty minutes of wear feel like razor blades are imbedded on the inside?  I admit, high-heels make legs and ankles look more attractive.  They add that special something to a dress or an outfit that flats just can’t imitate.  They are incredibly feminine and just make you feel fancy.  I occasionally attempt to wear them.  But high-heels make me feel insecure.  Insecure in that I know the pain is inevitable, and I know that with one small misstep or slip,  I will fall ass over tea kettle in front of anyone watching.   Friday night Dan and I celebrated our anniversary.  We got dressed up and went to dinner at Beso, in Hollywood.  Then we walked to the theatre and saw Phantom of the Opera.  The theatre was less than two blocks from the restaurant, and in the seven minutes it took to walk there, I honestly felt as though my toes were being severed from my feet.  I then made the classic mistake of taking the shoes off while I was at my seat enjoying the performance, because my toes began to swell, which then made trying to put the shoes back on feel like a fresh new hell.  After the show, I put on a brave face, and hobbled out of the theatre, hanging on to Dan’s arm for dear life.  It was all I could do to maintain my dignity and not look like a drunk hooker falling down on the street.  About half way up the first block, I said fuck it.  I took off the shoes and walked down Hollywood Boulevard in my bar feet.  I figured, what the hell?  It’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and it’s probably one of the nicest sidewalks in the country.  I did enjoy a laughable moment though when we walked passed a strip club whose marquee read, “1000’s of Beautiful Girls and 3 Ugly Ones!”

2.  I hate being the center of attention, or having too many people looking at me at once.  It makes me feel very insecure and nervous.  Even at my own wedding, knowing that everyone was looking at me filled me with anxiety.  I prefer to blend in with the natives.  This anxiety does not exist for me in this medium, thankfully.  I want people to read my blog.  And it doesn’t feel like the same level of scrutiny for some reason.

3.  I also hate crowds.  Too many people.  Too much noise.  No parking.  And people tend to behave poorly in large crowds.  I prefer smaller, more low key environments.  Causal, laid back places.  Pubs, not clubs.

cockroach4.  I hate allergies.  I am allergic to everything.  If I was stranded on a desert island, I’d probably be dead within hours from touching a leaf or a plant, or being stung by an insect.   A handful of years ago I saw an allergist and she did that skin test on my back where they scratch your skin with a hundred different allergens and then see what you react too.  Within seconds of the nurse applying the allergens, it felt like fire ants were biting me everywhere.  The allergist sort of freaked out when she entered the room and it took several doses of antihistamine to calm the reaction and welts on my back.  When I looked at the chart she gave me, it said one of the items  I was allergic to was cockroaches.  WTF?  I want to know what part of a fucking cockroach they rubbed on my back to find out if I was allergic to it.  Gross.

5.  I hate most reality TV.  Mostly because it’s not reality and there is very little substance to these shows.  I don’t give a fuck about the Kardashians, the Desperate Housewives of any city, or who the Bachelor or Bachelorette is making out with this week.  And don’t even get me started on the Duggars.  There are a few reality shows my family enjoys, but we’re pretty selective.  My family loves MasterChef, American Ninja Warrior, the Amazing Race, and more recently, BattleBots.

6.  I hate hypocrisy.  If you talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk.

7.  I hate it when people don’t take responsibility for their choices, or try to negate the choices of others.  In life, your choices, for good or bad, is truly what defines you.  Own them, and use your powers for good, not evil.


8.  I hate Jalapenos.  Does this need further clarification?  I think not.

9.  I hate technology when it doesn’t work.  My last cell phone sucked.  It was an older model Samsung that had the drop down keypad for typing.  I preferred that to the touch screen because my fingers always hit the wrong key and it took me forever to do anything on the phone.  So, one evening my friend was over for our regular Friday night wine o’clock, and I was bitching about my phone and how long it took to connect a call.  And she said, “Can you just give it a second to let the signal come back from space?”  LOL!

10.  I hate skinny jeans on men.  I can’t think of many things more emasculating than seeing men wear skinny jeans.  Biggest fashion mistake, ever.

For the love of….

1.   I love fresh, clean paper.  There’s something about a new notebook or journal that fills me with excitement.  It’s a clean slate.  You can write or create anything.  I would hoard them if I was crazy.  But I’m not crazy.  As far as you know.

2.  I love office supplies.  I have no idea why.  I have always loved stores like Staples and Office Max.  I love buying stuff that makes me feel organized.  Shopping for school supplies as a kid felt like Christmas to me.

3.  On this same note, I love making lists.  I write lists for everything.  Again, it helps me feel organized, and my brain needs this in order to feel peace.

4.  I love getting flowers, for no special reason.  Or for a special reason.  That’s fine too.

5.  I love giving and receiving compliments, especially when they are unexpected.  Admit it.  Getting a compliment at an unexpected moment can make you feel on top of the world.  Especially because we rarely see ourselves the way others see us.  And when you give a compliment, even casually, and you see that person’s face light up, it’s an amazing feeling.

6.  I love it when I’m on the treadmill at the gym and one of my favorite Kid Rock songs hits the playlist.  When Bawitdaba starts playing, it takes all I have to not start singing out load and head banging in front of everyone.  That song, among others, just pumps me up and makes me feel like I could run a hundred miles.  I can’t, of course, and about a minute into the song I have to slow down and remind myself that I’m forty and my knees can’t take that shit.

7.  I love my husband’s photography.  He enjoys photography as a hobby, and I love his pictures.

My kids, walking down the street, holding hands.

My kids, walking down the street, holding hands.

8.  I love candles that make my house smell good.  I specifically love Gold Canyon Candles.  They are the best.

9.  I love reading.  I love being absorbed and transported by a story, and the devastation you feel when the book ends.

10.  I love my husband.  I know I said I would leave out the obvious stuff, but we just celebrated our anniversary, so it feels important to include him in this list.  I love the life we have together, and the balance we share in our relationship.  I’m proud of the man he is and I’m proud to be his wife.

Happy Anniversary, Dan!

Happy Anniversary, Dan!

I nominate the following blogs to participate in this challenge, if they so choose.







7.   (I would love to see the cat’s perspective on this!)

Wanda Says…Oreos are my crack.

oreo cookiesI’m addicted to Oreos.  These cookies are my crack.

As a rule I try to keep junk food out of the house.  It’s unhealthy, and the more sugar and preservatives a food has in it, the more likely I am to want to devour it.  So I don’t buy junk food as a means of self-preservation.

Today, however, in some misguided attempt to believe I had a shred of willpower in my body, I decided to buy a package of Oreo cookies for the kids.  Yes, that’s right, I did it for the kids.  I did not buy them because I love all things sugar and have a weakness for chocolate cookies.  Not at all.

This afternoon I pulled out the cookies and thought I would just eat a couple.  Within a few minutes of opening the package I realized I had eaten five cookies.  Five cookies!  In like, three minutes.  Holy Shit!  Oreos are like crack for people who have never done crack, but I think this must be what it feels like to do crack.

Oh. My. God.

I could sit down and eat this whole damn bag of cookies.  I started having thoughts of hiding them and not telling the kids I bought them so I could savor them and enjoy each delicious cookie myself.  They can’t appreciate these cookies like I do, so really, if I share them, then I’m just wasting them.  And I refuse to waste anything this delicious.

Wait…when did I become this crazy, cookie hoarder?  No, this is not who I am!  This is not who I want to be!

I really do wonder if the Oreo cookie makers put small amounts of a crack-like-substance in the cookie to make you go crazy for them the second they dissolve in your mouth. Or a substance that makes you lose reason as well as your sense of time, so you can eat one cookie after the other and not realize what you’ve just done or how much you’ve consumed.

In the end, after I’d shamefully eaten eight Oreos, I pulled my shit together and put them away.  Not only did I put them away, but I wrapped them in a way that would prevent me from just reaching in the cupboard to grab one more.  I made it so that it would take a herculean effort for me to extract a cookie from the packaging.

But I’m still thinking about those crack cookies.

I have a problem.

I am officially adding Oreo cookies to the list of items I’m breaking up with in 2015.

Wanda Says…Keep calm and head to Chicago!

Chicago-skyline-2[1]This past weekend I went to Chicago, alone, for a girl’s weekend with some of my college friends.  I needed a break from my stay-home-mommy-madness.  I needed a break from laundry, dieting, cooking, and repeatedly asking small people to brush their teeth and put on their shoes.

I love Chicago, and it is my favorite city!  Aside from being beautiful with endless cultural opportunities and diversity, there is a comfort and familiarity that always draws me in.  Lakeshore Drive, Michigan Avenue, State Street, Navy Pier, Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain and the Shedd Aquarium all hold memories for me that span the first 25 years of my life.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park

Some of my favorite memories include prom dress shopping at Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales, attending the Taste of Chicago food festival, Cubs games, making a music video at Navy Pier (which I am still extremely embarrassed about), attending a friends fairy-tale wedding at the Hilton Towers, and endless nights of fantastically bad behavior while bar hopping with friends.

The weekend was amazing!

We spent time in downtown Chicago and went to Macy’s to look at the holiday windows.  We had lunch at the Walnut Room and I felt the holiday spirit begin to rear it’s glorious head as I drank wine and allowed myself to be sucked into the moment .

Macy's Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room

Macy’s Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room


I believe!










We walked the city and visited Cloud Gate, or as the locals call it, The Bean, at Millennium Park.


The Bean!

We drank endless bottles of wine, ate tapas and sang at the top of our lungs in a lovely little dive bar.  We reminisced over old memories and we laughed until our sides hurt.


I froze my ass off, but it was worth it!

I want to thank my friends for making themselves available to me when I desperately needed to escape from my life for a few days.  Thank you, Jennifer, Katie, Amy N., Amy D., Jenn L., and Melissa.  Thank you for being the wild, wine-drinking, fun-loving, adventurous women that you are!

I also want to thank my mother-in-law for the first class plane ticket to Chicago!  You spoiled me rotten for my birthday and gave me a much needed boost to restore my sanity, and I can’t thank you enough!  🙂

Wanda Says…Silliness, Shenanigans and Air Guitar.

I have very little sympathy for my kids when I embarrass them, especially when the embarrassment takes place in the privacy of our own home over silliness and varied shenanigans.  I also feel that occasionally embarrassing my children is a necessary action of parenting.  It’s a public service really, because I am preparing them to deal with the insanity of the real world.

Last night, my husband and I had a date, and I was in my room getting ready.  I was listening to the Journey station on Pandora and Bryce was laying on my bed talking to me.  And then it happened.

Pandora began to play one of my favorite jams…Jukebox Hero by Foreigner.

I am not physically capable of restraining myself during that song.  Every Midwestern, rock star wannabe cell in my body rises to the occasion and becomes the music.  I ran to the remote and cranked up the volume.  I did not care that Bryce had a slightly alarmed look on his face.

I sang.  Loudly.  I danced.  I threw my hair around. (I grew up on 70’s and 80’s rock music, so my hair banging skills are exceptional).  I rocked the air guitar and I embraced the moment.  My guitar solo was totally badass.  Or, I imagined it was as I rocked that shit all over my bedroom.

At one point I saw that Bryce had his hands over his ears with his face scrunched up and he seemed to be shouting something to me.  His eyes were wide and his face was red with the tell-tale signs of mortification and agitation over my less than mature behavior.

I kept singing to him and playing my air guitar.

Then I heard Bryce shout to me, “Mommy, what are you doing?  Stop it!”

He was embarrassed of his mother. It’s more likely that he was embarrassed for me, but regardless, he was clearly not appreciative of my sweet dance moves, less than perfect rocker voice, or my expert hair thrashing.

So I turned up the music and sang louder.  🙂

Wanda Says…Gourd-geous Halloween Pumpkins!

I love Halloween.  It’s one of my favorite holidays.  On a good year, I will go crazy and decorate the house with all kinds of cool stuff.   However, the past few years I’ve been less enthusiastic about putting the effort into it.  It just seems like so much work, and that stupid bastard we call Depression has done its best to ensure that I have no energy or desire for the project.

Halloween pumpkins are a different story, though.  I never slack on the pumpkins, and my family and I take our pumpkin decorating seriously.  It’s become an annual tradition that we enjoy so much for the creativity, as well as the time spent being together as a family.

We set up the back yard as our work area.  Sometimes we do themes, or coordinate our pumpkins.  Here are a few examples of our work.

This first picture is Halloween 2012.



Halloween 2013…as you can see, we chose a Peanuts theme.



We put so much effort into our pumpkins, but typically within two days our pumpkins look like this….


Last year it took exactly 48 hours for our pumpkins to disintegrate and turn into pumpkin mold soup on my front porch.  It’s disgusting.

I remember our pumpkins lasting forever when we were kids.  We would carve them two weeks before Halloween and they would just be starting to form the dots of mold a few days before the holiday.  But living in a cooler climate was responsible for that extended preservation.  When the temps drop to 40 degrees at night, the pumpkins are basically refrigerated.  That is not the case here in southern California.

So this year we decided to do something a little different.  This year, we painted our pumpkins instead of carving them.  We went to Michael’s and bought props, acrylic paint, googly eyes, fake mustaches and eye brows.  We didn’t follow a theme, but I think they turned out pretty good.

Here is our 2014 completed collection…

Halloween pumpkins

Individually, I would like to introduce you to Bryn’s creation,  Ms. Pumpkin 2014.


Bryce’s creation (with Daddy’s help), Mr. Mario Cart.


My husbands creation, The Clown.  I told my husband his clown looked worried, like he may have just accidentally shit himself.


And lastly, there was my pumpkin.  I don’t have a name for it, but I think it looks pretty badass.

silver pumpkin 2014

Happy Halloween!  🙂

PS…Bryn wants to know which pumpkin you like the best.  I kept insisting that this was not a contest, just a fun family activity.  But she would still like you to vote, so if you don’t mind please cast your vote in the comments section.  Thanks!

Wanda Says…Have you checked your spam folder lately?

Have you ever really examined the contents of your spam folder? I have Yahoo as my personal email provider, and I’ve heard they’re the worst for spam.  It’s probably true, given the high quantity of suggestive advertisements sent to me on a regular basis.  I never open the emails, but I do get some entertainment from reading the email titles.

local slutsMy favorite and most reoccurring spam is from the Local Sluts. I’m always getting emails from the Local Sluts, asking me to join.  This is a real thing, people. I’m not making it up.

What makes me laugh about this is that I had no idea the local sluts were so organized. I also had no idea they were recruiting publicly.  I always assumed that trade to be more of a back alley sort of thing.  But no more!  The sluts have gone public and they want your membership!

I am curious what they do at their meetings, though. Do they meet at the library?  Do they have membership tiers, discuss recruitment and offer incentives for bringing in new members?  Like, if you sign up four new sluts, do you get a bonus or a prize?  And what does it mean to be a Local Slut?  I have so many questions, but I have a feeling they make you actually show up to the meeting before they dish about the details.  Just like those assholes who sell timeshares.  They make you sit through two hours of property sales pitches before they give you your two free movie tickets.

stilletosAnd I’m the most non-slutty person there is. I’d never pass the slut test. I don’t even know how to flirt properly anymore.  My idea of flirting is to waggle my eyebrows at my husband and smack him on the ass as I walk by.  Also, I don’t look good in short skirts and stilettos.  I’m more of a Capri pants and cardigan twin set kind of girl.  I can rock a pony tail and sweat pants all day long, but a skin tight mini-dress…not so much.

I just realized I’m being very unfair to the Local Sluts. I’m making assumptions about what they wear based on the name of their group, and that’s wrong.  Maybe sluts don’t even dress slutty anymore.  Maybe they wear mom clothes!  Oh my God!  That’s why they’ve been trying to contact me so aggressively!  They’ve seen me out in my yoga pants and baggy t-shirts, and I had no idea this was the new hot!  I’ve been flaunting myself all over Target, and the grocery store, and the neighborhood, grocery ladygiving the impression that my mommy hotness was somehow up for a membership grab, and those sluts have been going crazy trying to recruit me!

Fortunately for me, I’m not looking to make any major career moves right now. Some time ago, when I was contemplating what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I asked my daughter what she thought I would be good at.  She said, “You’re good at speaking, and snuggling, and loving.”  I told her I couldn’t make a career out of those things and she asked me why.  So I told her that one, the only career suited to those qualities went against my moral code, and two, Daddy would have a problem with it.  She had no idea what I was talking about (thank God) and looked at me like I was a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I’m currently unavailable and uninterested in becoming a member of the Local Sluts. I would say that I’m flattered by the invitation, but that would be a lie.  Thanks for all the effort folks, but please direct your emails to more interested parties.  If I was single, and even a little bit slutty……nope, not even then.

Wanda Says…Birthdays can be dangerous, I guess.

My birthday is on Friday, and the customary cards have started rolling in from family and friends.  I had to share this because it was funny, and I would rather think about funny shit than the fact that I will be 40 on Friday.

A card came yesterday from one of my grandmothers, and she inserted this little gem into the card.


I’m guessing she accidentally sent this instead of the customary check for $10.00.  Well, knowledge is power, so I guess having nine months advanced warning of National Safety Month is a gift, in and of itself.

Thanks Grandma!  🙂