I think this means I’m a psycho

I’m back! Did you miss me? Did you even know I was not blogging? Anyway, let your fears subside. I’m here. And I’m going to share a dark, deep secret.

I love getting a box of chocolates. Forrest was right, I love not knowing what you’re gonna get.

What I don’t like is sharing the box. I like my own box. And I don’t want to feel pressured to eat the whole piece of chocolate.

Sometimes I eat half, leave the rest, and maybe come back the next day. It’s not pretty. But that’s what I like to do.

Some people think I do this so I don’t have to share. That’s not true. I mean it’s true I don’t want to share, I said that already, but that’s not why I do it.

Why do I do it? I’m not sure. I know it’s indulgent. But it’s my box of chocolates. So judge me if you want. Or go get your own box and do what I do. You know you want to.

Blanket love

This is not an ad. This is my favorite napping blanket. This is the company we found a few years ago in Woodstock, Vermont. Maybe it was more than a few years ago. We loved it so much we bought many other people this blanket. If you didn’t get one and want one, and are related to me or plan to buy me something nice – tell me and I’ll get you one too.

It’s attractive enough. But that’s not the reason you love it. The reason you love it is that it’s heavy. I know weighted blankets are all the rage now, but this is naturally heavy. You sink deeper into the coach or chair when it’s on you. This is not the blanket you want if you’re binge watching a show, or curling up with a good book. You’ll be snoring 5 minutes in. Not that that’s a bad thing.

It’s like anesthesia.

And if you’re like me, you enjoy anything that makes you numb, sleepy and out of it.

Or maybe you’re not like me and you like to live life, do things and feel all emotions. To each his own.

I literally just yawned writing this.

Happy weekend.

And when they met….it was Murdah….

Only kids who grew up in the 80s with no outside hobbies will know that reference. It’s the opening line from Hart to Hart, said by the butler with a very strong New York City accent. Here’s the IMDB blurb:

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Self-made millionaire Jonathan and freelance writer Jennifer are the Harts – a globetrotting married couple with a talent for finding mysteries wherever they go. And even when they’re uncovering thefts, espionage and assorted skullduggery, they still find time for romance.

I mean what’s there not to like? Thefts, espionage, skullduggery (really?), and romance!  Welcome to the 80s. Pretend you’re a young Indian gal in Harrisburg, PA with a really bad haircut watching upstairs in her parent’s bedroom. Or pretend you’re a not-so-young Indian gal in Yardley, PA watching reruns on the Hallmark Network on her phone so no one sees – either way – set the scene.

Side note – I was also completely unaware of the whole Robert Wagner/Natalie Wood thing. Which takes the whole murder thing in another direction.

Anyway I have always enjoyed a murder mystery. In all honesty there doesn’t even need to be a mystery. I’ve just always enjoyed….murder. Let that sink in. I did start out lightheartedly. Hart to Hart. Remington Steele. Murder, she Wrote. But it went downhill fast. I blame Law and Order. I just love a gruesome tale.

Turns out, I’m not the only one. Michelle McNamara was obsessed with The Golden State Killer case for years. The notorious unsolved crime of someone who had committed upward of 50 sexual assaults and at least 10 murders in California in the 1970s and 1980s, was left untouched until her book (published posthumously), I’ll be Gone in the Dark, came out.

Image result for I'll be gone in the dark

The book and her research fueled blogs, podcasts, etc. and relaunched the search. The killer was captured within a year using a DNA website. I read the book. Listened to the podcasts. Read all the blogs. I couldn’t get enough. And neither could a million other people. Just sayin’, I’m not the only weirdo.

Now here’s where my interest takes a turn…so maybe I am a weirdo.

I don’t remember if I’ve shared this with you before. If I’ve already talked about my massive crush on Frances Glessner Lee, I’m sorry to repeat myself. But she is so freaking cool. Or was so freaking cool. She grew up in the 30’s and 40’s in a wealthy family. Her passion was police work from an early age, a profession that was considered both beneath her class and out of her league as a woman. She tried to join the police force, but her family objected. Instead she started spending time volunteering in police stations. She noticed that during murder investigations, there was no way to re-create the crime scene. Because most of her leisure time was spent on sewing, painting, etc., she started recreating crime scenes using dollhouse miniatures. Genius. And weird. And useful. All things I love in a person.

Long morbid story short, she became the “mother of forensic science”, eventually joining the police force and also becoming the first female police captain in the country. The techniques she developed helped revolutionize the way police reports were created. She was bad-ass.

You’re probably wondering how I found out about her? You’re not? I’ll tell you anyway. I decided last year that in the near future, say 10 or 15 years from now, I’m going to start working on a dollhouse. Obviously I plan to get creepier with age. As I was researching dollhouses and the weirdos who work on them, I found a podcast called,”Murder is Her Hobby”. It had me at hello. It might as well have been called,”Listen to this Neha, you’ll love it”.

I think you’ll love it too. What’s not to love about a crocheted crime scene?

Another podcast that speaks my name is, My Favorite Murder. 

Image result for my favorite murder

Until some years ago I had no people named April in my life. Now I have two. The first one is like family and lives a few houses down. She introduced me to the second one during a girl’s weekend. The second one introduced me to this podcast – and that’s when I knew I’d found a friend for life. That and her love for tequila.

Tonight, both my Aprils and I are heading into Philadelphia (which is sometimes called Killadelphia by smart alecks but really fits with everything we’re talking about here, don’t you think?).

We are going to see that podcast, My Favorite Murder, live! In person. Geeky and edgy all at the same time.

A night of murdah…what could be better? Don’t answer that.

Two plates, one marriage

Nothing will give you a better sense of how different my husband and I really are better than a look at our dinner plates.

His plate.

My plate.

His plate.

My plate.

Carnivore and carbivore. Living in perfect harmony. Kind of.

I’m made my peace with lamb shank bones and rare beef. He’s made his peace with how many pasta/cheese/crushed red pepper combos I can come up with. At least I’m a cheap date.

We’ve been at this since 1991. The ying to my yang. The mustard to his hot dog. The chutney to my samosa. I think we’ll be like this for the rest of our lives, or until we see a cardiologist.

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This post is dedicated to Howard. Who loves when I write about literally nothing. That’s his favorite. In opposite world.

Is your underwear drawer full of joy?

Thank you Patty for letting me know about Tidying up, my new Netflix binge. I know I’m late to the party. Marie Kondo and her tidy revolution have been around for a couple of years. I’d never heard of her or her books or her YouTube videos. Where have I been?? I know… living in filth and wearing clothes that basically drain my soul! Here’s her books which I’ll never read now that she has a show on Netflix and videos on YouTube…

I’m hooked! I’m folding shit into neat little rectangles that stand up as we speak. You’ll know what I’m talking about after you watch her or read her… yeah right, just watch her. At first I was weary. I’ve seen enough Hoarders to know the basics. But never has a clean-up show started with a tiny, tidy Japanese lady greeting the house, kneeling on the floor, with eyes closed in meditation. Never has a hoarder been asked,” does that pile of newspapers bring you joy?”. The idea that you need to feel joy from every item in your home is crazy. And nuts. And wonderful.

In her theory, if an object no longer brings you joy – you say thank you and goodby to it. Easy. And so hard.

There’s something so mesmerizing about her folding things. Go on YouTube and spend some time watching her fold shirts, pants, and underwear. I did. For hours.

She goes by KonMari. And whatever KonMari is telling me to do – by Buddha I’ll do it!

I started this weekend. Here’s a peek into what one of my drawers looked like before… don’t judge! KonMari would not approve of judgement…. this is a sock, underwear, Spanx drawer.

I kept the dryer sheet in for the pic to keep it real. Incase you needed more realness.

So I dumped everything out. And with each piece I said to myself,”does this bring you joy?”. And to be honest – the majority didn’t. I had underwear older than my kids. That was easy. But I had moments of doubt too. Do my Spanx really bring me joy? Hell-to-the-no. But being able to eat a bagel does, and so in the end… yes there is some indirect joy in those straight jackets. I bet KonMari never had this issue, why would she, she’s wallet sized.

Anyway here’s my JOYFUL new drawer…

Not a bad start! I see the bottom of my drawer… you know what that means? Time to shop! Kidding. Maybe.

Dear 2018

Thanks for being you. You weren’t like the best ever or anything – but you were pretty pretty good (in the words of Larry David).  It was the year of the Dog. The year for loyalty, consistency and dependability. But it started off with anything but consistency. It started off with a bang.

Bang….my sister’s married! Bang….I had to go to India for work! Bang….a headhunter called with a big job offer! Bang…my sister was pregnant! In between those things were other big things. A beautiful wedding (Jon and Amy!), a beautiful baby cousin born (Norah!), a bestie turned 50 (April!), and so did the heart of our family (Dennis!) – and it went on and on.

Work took me from India, to Aruba, to Ireland – with a pit stops in-between. Work was good. Sometimes it wasn’t good. As it should be.

My kids kept growing. Doing good. Doing some not good. Doing it all. As it should be.

You threw us some curve balls 2018, I won’t lie.

I got distracted by a shiny offer, thought about it for too long – but decided to stay loyal in the spirit of the Dog. Not loyal to a company – but loyal to the people. My people. Shiny and new can’t compete with solid and true. Who knows what the future holds – but for now, it was the right turn.

It also brought some worries. Some sadness. When loved ones get sick – you get sick too. But then you see family coming together, you see all the love, and somehow it gets better. Even when it’s not actually getting better.

The year ended with a bang too. My sister-in-law got engaged a few days before Christmas!

There were also some breakthroughs. For those of you who don’t know me that well, I have been a vegetarian for my entire life. Like the whole thing. No meat, poultry or fish has ever crossed my lips knowingly. I may or may not have had a month in 2004 of eating Pad Thai without knowing it had fish sauce in it, but that’s it. So now, for the first time ever…hold on to something….I am eating Caesar salad with abandon. Anchovies? Who cares! Salt of the sea I say! We’ve even been to restaurants that I know put actual anchovies on their salad (not paste) and I still eat it. Like a champ. And then, last week, my husband and I went to a diner to have breakfast. I ordered my usual omelet. Egg whites, spinach, onions, peppers and American cheese. Side of rye toast and homefries. As I was eating, from the corner of my eye, I spotted it. It could have been mistaken for a piece of well done potato, but I knew better. I’m no amateur. A little piece of ham was hidden under the homefries. Now if this was 2001, or even 2010 let’s say – I would have freaked out. I would have stopped eating and never gone to that place again. You know what I did in 2018? I carefully lifted it with my finger and put it on a napkin and continued my meal. CONTINUED MY MEAL. With ham. Granted I never touched the homefries again but still…there was no scene at the diner. I’m like a new person.

I don’t know if photos help you when you’re reading a rant like this – but they help me. I’ve always been partial to books with pictures. I included some below.

2018, you are free to go. I was never a dog person anyway. Year of the pig! That’s where it’s at now.

 

 

Make-up or no make-up?

This is what I asked my husband last night. I’ve been with him for a long time. I’ve asked this question many times. The answer used to be,” whatever you think” or ” no make-up”.

Last night the answer was a strong and decisive,”make-up”.

Damn.

I didn’t say a word. I was going to put make-up on anyway. But damn.

To his defense, this is a guy I haunt daily about clothing choices. T-shirt’s with words people… an entire wardrobe full of t-shirts with words. Do you feel my pain? So I’m not exactly innocent. I let my true thoughts fly all the time. We’ve been married over 20 years – we have tenure now. I can say a lot of things without penalty, right? Maybe not.

This post was supposed to be about our 2018. Out good times, our bad times. The ups, the downs, etc. But instead I’m hyper focused on the fact that I’ll probably need to wear make-up to bed now. Like that wife in Marvelous Mrs. Maisel that goes to bed looking perfect so her husband is none the wiser. Jk. I don’t care that much. I care just enough to bitch about it and publicly shame him.

I hope you all had a great holiday. Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful New Year full of joy, laughter and love. Now go put on your face and get to it!

Ps – don’t bother telling me he’s wrong and I look better au natural. I’ve seen the pictures. The gig is up.

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