Grumpy Cat/Image from

The Prom Queen/Image from

Were Hollywood to film our two dental practices as their hottest new reality show, it would undoubtedly be entitled “Daughters of Anarchy”. Envision The Shootout at the OK Corral, starring estrogen-soaked ladies with access to loaded weapons…wide open and lawless. Don’t misunderstand, both of my docs are highly skilled and respected by their fiercely loyal patients. It’s the staff who bear the shrapnel scars of gross mismanagement.

Our issues stem from the fact that the owner refuses to use titles for his administrative staff, which leaves us adrift with no management or structure. The three of us dental practice administrators have over 62 years experience between us, yet are not allowed to manage a single aspect of these practices. Dr. Lymp Biskit, our employer, is a total control freak who micromanages every appointment slot and patient communication. He even refuses to order post-it notes in pretty colors because it might provide us a modicum of joy.

This is but a prelude to explain how Grumpy Cat and Prom Queen were allowed to be birthed into existence. Grumpy Cat and The Prom Queen are both Registered Dental Hygienists who share open-bay operatories side by side. Most of their downtime at work is spent plotting to kill the other, much like the old Tom and Jerry cartoons.

Grumpy Cat is consistently early to work and faithfully sets up Prom Queen’s room, while Prom Queen arrives 30 seconds before her first patient is due, redolent of cheap perfume and good intentions. GC makes sure her patient is never left alone while waiting for a doctor check, and makes certain every detail of her day is in order. PQ abandons her patients for long periods of time so she can sit in the kitchen, in full view of the doctors, and catch up on her texting.

These two loathe each other so much, they prefer to pay outside dental offices to clean their teeth, rather than cleaning one another’s. Imagine lying back, defenseless, while your sworn enemy wields floss and an explorer.

I’m not implying Grumpy Cat doesn’t have her reasons to be pissed at the hand she has been dealt, heavens no. She has a disabled husband who will only ingest meat, potatoes, and pizza. As a Foodie, that is indeed a bitter pill to swallow. They are a single-income household due to his infirmities, so Grumpy Cat can’t even purchase amusement and distractions. But is that any reason to come in cranky every morning? Course, if I sported that do atop my shoulders…In addition to the Miley Cyrus haircut abortion she proudly dons CROCS! And those of you who read Bobby Barrettes know only too well that CROCS are the government’s attempt to stop procreation in its tracks.

Grumpy Cat’s demeanor is a perfect match to her strident, bellowing Chicago accent, which cuts like a rabid boomerang through our tiny office. A simple “Good morning” aimed in her direction earns you a snarl and a suspicious, “What’s so f…ing good about it?” She is a resplendent vision in her grey hair, ashen skin, and steel grey scrubs.

The Prom Queen WOULD be beautiful, with her thick mane of blond hair and perfect features sitting atop a perfect 29-year-old body, honed by excessive hours of Cross Fit. WOULD be…were it not for the “I is stoopid” tattoo inked across her high forehead. Each sentence uttered is littered with many “like…like” and “ya knows?” A Valley Girl’s English couldn’t top this chirping little cricket.

Her topics of conversation only number two. How soon will Grumpy Cat die and is there any way she can hasten her demise? And why are the only men interested in her the Gym Rats with heads the size of watermelons? She remains perplexed about why they never call her after having sex on the first date.

Were any of the three managers actually allowed to manage, GC would be given a reprimand and a write-up and PQ would be snipping locks at Great Clips. When the long-anticipated homicide finally does occur, the only mystery will be who shot who first.

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This is the sign I’ve decided to needlepoint for the door to the restroom of our dental practice where I toil my life away. While we do have killer water views, we are extremely space challenged and patients and staff must share the same bathroom, which I’m sure must thrill Dr. Lymp Biskit, my germaphobic employer.

Last week an elderly patient disappeared in said bathroom for a suspiciously long time. When she finally emerged after thirty minutes, she made an odd comment to the front desk receptionist, “Going to the bathroom at my age can be hard.”

My translation of that cryptic remark was, “When you get older you have to pee a lot more often, which is tough.” Several minutes later, when one of our unsuspecting dental assistants innocently wandered in there, then immediately emerged gagging and retching, I realized my translation skills for ELDER SPEAK were nil. Does Rosetta Stone sell a language tutorial entitled Geriatric?

Moments later the hapless assistant re-entered the scene of the intestinal crime, dressed head to toe in a hazmat suit, hazmatwhere she proceeded to clean up the explosive diarrhea left behind by this patient, who was dripping diamonds from at least seven fingers. Now I was beginning to understand her comments about going to the bathroom being “hard”.

HARD…as in it’s hard for me to see the splattered poopage decorating the walls and floor of the bathroom due to my recent cataract surgery.

HARD…as in it’s hard to flush that toilet handle whilst being weighted down by all these carats on my wizened hands.

HARD…as in it’s difficult to smell the olfactory mayhem I left behind since my most recent rhinoplasty.

The best fun was still to come. When the patient was finally seated in an operatory, having her cavities filled, she was once again overcome by yet another round of gastrointestinal mischief. All eleven of us were now running around opening doors for fresh air, spraying gallons of Lysol, and profusely apologizing to our other trapped patients. I had a gleeful moment imagining Dr. Lymp Biskit being forced to sit through this while he was filling her cavities.

In my twenty years of working in dental practices it has always been an unwritten rule that “Whosoever shall discover it…must also deal with it”. Whether it be geriatric poopage, diapers, drug paraphernalia, bodily fluids of various types, shrimp a patient wanted to barter, or even that baby goat. You stumble upon it, you inherit it.

So, in between rounds of gut-busting laughter the rest of that afternoon, I did remember to look heavenward several times and offer up a wee prayer of gratitude to Allah, Trigger, and Rin Tin Tin, that I wasn’t the poor SOB who stumbled upon that carnage.

dog who pooped

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elaine dancing

Ahh, those blissful dreams where you are on your fourth job interview and you look down and realize you are stark naked? And the times you simply could not stop snorting with laughter during a loved one’s memorial service? And the teenage dates where your impossibly pimply new boyfriend is perched uncomfortably on the edge of your couch, while your hidden Boston Terrier lets rip a silent but deathly from her invisible hidey hole under your Mom’s couch?

Trust me…none of those compare with the night I was summoned to the front of my second ballroom dance class and handed back a refund in full. Josephina, the autocratic Austrian dance instructor, sniffed disdainfully as she informed me, “My dear, please do us both a favor and never, EVER, under any circumstances consider that dance has any meaningful place in your life. Not only should you never darken the door of this studio again, I implore you to please never inflict yourself upon any other dance teacher, EVER. I’m sure you must have several things you do well, but trust me, dear, THE DANCE and YOU were never destined to be friends in this lifetime.” I briefly pondered whether Arthur Murray Dance Studios were covered by this lifetime prohibition.

Chastened and mortified, I slunk out of that crowded room wondering how my Fred and Ginger fantasies could take such a wicked downturn. Sure, it was true I had stepped on many feet during those two lessons, and of course, I went left instead of right at least 80% of the time, and even excluding that awkward incident where I stumbled over that sweet elderly couple and took them straight down onto the hardwood floor…jeez people! Isn’t that why it’s called a CLASS? Instruction? If you already know how to do it all beautifully, why would I need to shell out $300 for lessons?

I started dancing when I was thirteen, in the 1960’s. No one needed to touch anyone when you were jerking, twisting, locomoting, and hanky pankying to Twist and Shout, Runaround Sue, Brown Eyed Girl, and Mustang Sally. In the event that you did slow dance with a boy, no skill was required; simply clutch each other tight and pretend you were sharing a full-body condom, then lightly shuffle feet. Perfection guaranteed, and as a bonus gift, often a baby nine months later!

For over forty years I have managed to not quite kill anyone on a dance floor, whilst still able to keep my hip rhythm nicely intact, thank you very much. I assure you not a single husband or boyfriend has withered from mortification at my performance on the dance floor. Not until my arrival in Paradise anyway.

These zany bastards actually want to touch you when they dance. Yep, and not only that, they want to twirl, spin, and dip you, all to some foreign roadmap I have never been exposed to. Was I absent from school the week they taught this stuff in eighth grade? Maybe it happened the year I went to school in a quonset hut in Bad Hersfeld Germany while my Dad was in the Army? Because every other woman in Paradise knows about this secret dance situation…except me.

I am utterly perplexed by how they know, seemingly intuitively, when to go right or left and when the dude is preparing to twirl them around. I go to many dances and keep my CIA-trained eyes latched onto these women, searching, longing to know their secret.

I truly believe it must occur when the Mothership spirits them away for their nocturnal adventures. I realize that when Whitley Strieber wrote in his NY Times best seller “Communion” about the anal probings he was subjected to…he was really referring to The Dance, Boss, The Dance.

So, Mr. Adorable, here’s my deal. If you expect me to dance like a real girl at disco night tomorrow, I suggest you get me an express ticket on the Mothership tonight, because I now understand what is really happening on these alien invasions.

Featured image courtesy of NY

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DSC_0283In every Paradise, in every Utopia, there is a toll to be paid for living there. A tariff is required in order to happily reside in one of the most desirable places on the planet. In this beautiful slice of heaven, that toll comes in the form of tourists, who arrive in October from the frozen North, like so many columns of cockroaches caught unaware in the middle of a dark night in the trailerhood.

They arrive by the thousands, by plane, by boat, by million dollar motor homes. For six long and arduous months they clog our roads and favorite restaurants. They are especially lethal on the streets and highways, because, after spending six months a year here for many seasons, they feel quite familiar with things, but don’t realize that their memories have become clouded and that things here at home do not necessarily remain static and frozen in place since their last departure.

Every fifteen minute trip to the supermarket turns into a life threatening hour long descent into vehicular hell. I invoke all my guardian angels before turning the key in the ignition, “Please God, don’t let any other cars touch mine today. Thank you. Amen”

The most common sighting is a car stopped right in the center lane of traffic, with Sidney wildly gesticulating to the left and Mabel’s arm stubbornly pointing right. Agonizing moments pass while they duke it out, heedless of the three thousand cars behind them, patiently waiting for their decision.

It must be the vacation mentality that causes these Snowbirds, or Snowturds, as I lovingly call them, to become skunk drunk most nights of the week. They come staggering out of bars and restaurants and jump in their cars and lurch along to the next nightclub. These delightful visitors do enjoy their discounts, coupons, and their happy hour, so most of this activity takes place between the glaringly sunny hours of 3 to 7pm, just when we natives are trying to commute home from work. And some folks think God has no sense of humor!

It was whilst standing by the side of the road, contentedly waving bye bye to the Michigan, Minnesota, and Ontario license plates, that Mr. Adorable and I decided this exodus definitely was cause to celebrate. We threw a “The Tourists Are Leaving” party, where our guests had to dress in their geekiest tourist garb.

Mucho drunken fun was had, but now it’s time to head into the kitchen to whip up a little something. SO MANY TOURISTS….SO FEW RECIPES

DSC_0294DSC_0296DSC_03062015-03-28 Renee and Pat's Party 009


angelstarzOne year ago, amongst the embers of a dying relationship, I first began to hear you.

You began as intuition, inner nudges that were nonsensical at the time, but, mystical creature that I am, I listened and decided to fine tune that radio dial…the better to hear you.

“Leave  him, leave there. Too much is missing. You are compromising so many of your wishes and desires to fit into his life. Leave him. And while you’re leaving him…leave big; come closer to me. Let go of your safety net. Leave it all…your job, your home, your friends, your only child. Come closer to me and I will be your home.”

So, defying all common sense and logic (a skill I excel at), I channeled my inner 1960’s hippie, sold almost all my possessions and moved to an alien place where I had no job and knew no one. Prior to this relocation I knew I was a pretty tough cookie, but that single action took a breathtaking and daring leap of faith that had my heart pounding and me doubting my sanity. Because, while I heard your beckoning, I did not yet know you or how I would recognize you when I stumbled upon you.

Upon arrival I realized it would be up to me to tune in closely and listen more intently in order to find this mysterious whisperer in this foreign place. This led to all those hilarious but utterly pointless encounters with Senior Senile Senor dating. I persevered because the clarity of my vision of you was more clearly drawn with every flip of the calendar page.

I could feel the strength of your character, the extreme goodness and kindness of your soul. Trust, truth, and gentleness emanated like a beacon from all around you. I reveled in anticipation of the towering strength I felt from you and your ability to walk through your own personal hell and ultimately emerge, smiling and intact, at the far end of that tunnel. Yet, where were you? Who were you? Impatient, I kept demanding a sign from my deceased mom, fearful of just narrowly missing you.

The night you opened the door to your house to welcome me and my friends in, the sense of recognition was palpable and overwhelming. I was home. Oh, and that sign I asked for from my mom? How about having the same name and initials as my dad?

One of Cupid’s wee ironies was having us almost side by side at the same event for seven long months, both completely oblivious to one another.

I’ll never know for certain if my finding you was the result of whispers from a loving and benevolent Universe or because I spent so many hours visualizing exactly what I desired that caused you to materialize. I do know that for years I have chased after the feeling behind that mischievous grin that my parents always had in every single photo…a look of pure glee that they had defied the odds and found one another. They weren’t just fortunate to have found each other, they were also smart enough to understand and pay respect and homage to the amazing love they were gifted with.

Sooo, Mr. Adorable, I can’t wait to ride this wave with you, to see where it will lead. One thing that is certain…we will both honor the journey and laugh our butts off to the end of the highway.

The next time you hear that little voice inside your head urging you to do something totally outside your wheel house, give it a second listen. The Universe might just be trying to offer you a delicious gift.

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trust monkeyWhen I moved to Paradise, Somewhere In This World, last spring, I stumbled upon a genie in a bottle in my new home. Three wishes, he assured me, were so outre, so yesterday. Modern times required that the wish list be condensed into one bold desire…only one. So I wished for a wonderful mate, a man so special and unique I knew he could not exist on this earth plane. I went so far as to draw up a detailed laundry list for this impossible man, one with more than two dozen requirements. I knew this extreme pickiness would insure that I would never find him and therefore never be forced to open myself up to yet another betrayal. Clever girl, I congratulated myself. No SOB is ever going to fool me again.

Smugly secure in the notion that my diligent genie couldn’t possibly fulfill my single wish, imagine my surprise when this very man opened the door to his home to me one night in early December. Just like that…karma… universal benevolence… finally my turn? The word gobsmacked flits through my consciousness.

Which leads me to wonder…did my visualization of my future and the surety of what I desired manifest this person? Was it the work of my loyal genie? Or is it simply his turn and my turn? Our time to be happy and secure in the knowingness that this time, finally, for both of us, there might be no betrayal, no misplaced trust? But then…HE appeared, my Trust Monkey, attempting to wreck it all.

Cynicism and mistrust never entered my vocabulary until November 2005, when my husband of 18 years committed suicide, leaving behind a trail of devastation and horror that took seven years to clean up. My son, who was twelve at the time, is only now, at age 21, starting to emerge from the epic nightmare that was his Dad’s suicide. We survived my husband’s mistress and his leaving us $90k in debt. I knew my trust was broken, and yet, when pure evil entered our lives in 2007, I willingly and guilelessly opened our home and bank accounts to Satan himself.

What followed was a stint in a battered women’s shelter and living in terror for over two years. Now, Satan has my inheritance and lives in my dream home. At least once a week I practice a fun visual exercise. I imagine The Monster, in his perpetual state of drunkenness, falling through the glass shower doors of my master bath  and bleeding out on the white tiles over the course of three days. No one gives a damn about him, so no one would check on him. What a lovely shiver of joy this image brings me!

Then there was The Gift Horse, who signed his endless love notes to me “From the Last Man You’ll Ever Love”. Only when we were safely broken up and I lived 16 hours away, did two friends come forward with a litany of lies and deception that he had told me. Guess my picker is not working too well; I will need to take it into the dealership for a tune up, no doubt.

I’ve searched high and low at my local library for a primer on how to learn to trust again, after three consecutive betrayals. It is so unfair to paint someone new with the brush used by past liars. I know this, yet that Trust Monkey continues to pop up, whispering incendiary and divisive little nothings in my ear.

These are the earliest days of a fledgling relationship, which are tricky enough to negotiate, without a meddling Trust Monkey determined to undermine us. Therefore I’ve decided that darn monkey must be polished off, once and for all. Haven’t landed on how exactly to go about it though. I have an extreme aversion to guns, so shooting him is out. Stabbing him to death would leave blood spatter all over my white leather furniture. I thought of locking him in my trunk and leaving him there to perish, until I remembered my vehicle doesn’t have a trunk. My Trust Monkey has some trust issues of his own and refuses to ingest anything prepared by my hand, so poisoning is not an option.

Then, lightening quick, the solution to my vexing problem appeared as I was reading through some of my past blogs. Jimmy Tightlips! He has mob connections and must know hit men. Now that my plan of extinction for my Trust Monkey is it place, I think Valentine’s Day lends itself perfectly to the deed.

Must sign off now. Have to pick out a black dress to wear to Trust Monkey’s funeral, then prepare for my Valentine’s date with Mr. Adorable. It will be a refreshing change of pace to be just the two of us, without that meddling monkey along for the ride.

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bruce jennerIs not this week’s People magazine cover simply a foregone conclusion? Could anyone with eyesight NOT know Mr/Ms Jenner was undergoing a wee surgical/karmic transformation? Do you think the entire Kardashian clan was aghast, or possibly even verklempt? You  know someone in that family is carefully analyzing the potential $$$ bonanza in this situation. Might they film the surgeries… or even better, have him become Stacy and Clinton’s star pupil on “What Not To Wear”, in an episode titled simply “How To Turn Your Man Into a Real WO MAN?” Oh yeah baby, I sense Kardashian nostrils quivering in the wind at the smell of mas denaros.

Having personally experienced the first long-term relationship in my life turn out to be with a man who declared himself gay shortly after arriving in NYC, I can only imagine Kris Jenner’s utter public humiliation. I am guessing the slowly-dawning realization of the situation went something like this.

First, I noticed my husband stopped shaving his face and started shaving his legs.

Then, he requested that I call his hair stylist and cancel his future appointments. “I feel like growing my hair out. Autumn finds me yearning for a change.”

I caught him sitting in front of a roaring fire yesterday, intently perusing my latest ‘In Style” and ‘Allure’ magazines, drinking a Cosmo with his pinky up.

He has displayed far too much interest in the Chastity to Chas transformation. No more ‘Dancing With the Stars’ for this fellow. His enrollment in Cher’s fan club was troubling.

He has suggested joining me for my next pedicure appointment and began googling OPI nail polish colors. He seems to be leaning toward ‘I’m Not Really a Waitress’ or ‘Chick Flick Cherry’. Sigh.

His most recent Netflix order arrived and contained ‘Beaches’, ‘First Wives Club’, ‘Something’s Got to Give’, ‘It’s Complicated’, and ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’. Not a single Rambo or Steven Seagal in the envelope.

At IHOP for breakfast yesterday, he passed on his usual Lumberjack special and instead requested one scone, please, with a pat of light Smart Balance on the side, and a cup of hot water and a Midol.


Poor Bruce/Bree. If only Fate/Karma had allowed him to sidestep this mess of black widows known as the Kardashian women, he might still be the proud owner of both his willy AND his manhood. Sad that this nest of pit vipers was so smothering that he had to resort to this extreme measure to escape their clutches.

Anyhoo, Bruce/Bree, I know an awesome plastic surgeon I can recommend, but since he ran off with his office manager, I’m not 100% sure I can find him for you. I can however, recommend a lovely Caribbean island to use for your recovery.

Air kiss, air kiss…so LA