When a loved one passes and the initial shock sets in (and it is shock whether they have been sick and suffering for years or they go suddenly); one of the most difficult realities we face is the understanding that we will never see that person again - not in this life - not in this world.

How can that be? How absurd and cruel and mysterious is this factor of death?

The comfort that I have found and that I wish for you,  is that my loved ones have visited me in my dreams. There was a delay and I don't  know if it was because their souls had to set somewhere beautiful and mystical or if it was my own subconscious protecting me and allowing a period of mourning.

What I do know is that having them visit me in my dreams has always felt very real and so I choose to believe that it is so. 

Beyond shock, disbelief, unfairness and so much pain; these visits will help heal, comfort and assure you that you are not alone and that their souls will travel with you throughout your life and until the end of time.

They ensure that you will never forget their faces, their voices and their overall presence.

 They sometimes appear as dancing shadows - silhouettes waltzing across the ceiling; a place I search for answers in the darkness and in the light.

I believe in rainbows.

I believe in bridges that connect us to the souls we loved in our lifetimes.

I believe that those who have gone miss us as much as we miss them.

And I believe that if they could write our names in the sky - they would.

 Sending you comfort and the hope of many spectacular visits


Someone please - stop the madness!

                             Photo by Edu Carvalho  

On second hand, you know what? I will stop the madness. That's right - I am officially offering myself up as a contestant on The Bachelor.

                            Here is what I am going to need:

- Licorice and lots of it - the long stringy kind - because that is what will be hanging out of my mouth the entire show - just to annoy the other contestants. 

- My dog because I'm not going anywhere without him.

- A few tins of those mints that burn your tongue - let's face it, the battle is 80% breath - you can be absolutely stunning but if you have halitosis, he ain't gonna pick you.

Okay so my ulterior motive is to prove beyond any doubt that no woman is in need of The Bachelor to complete herself.

First I'm going to sit down all the ladies and say "Really, are you serious? If you want to meet a guy, join a gym, let your friends set you up, let your mother set you up, go onto E-Harmony or or GetmeLaid but please leave this mansion immediately and go back to wherever you came from."

And then I'm going to get into that hot tub that is spiraling in all of the germs from the past 10 seasons (I made that up - I have no idea how many seasons there have been but I do know there have been far too many) and I'll be wearing a bathing cap, board shorts and a t-shirt.

 And right there in that tub, I'll inform the Bachelor that all of the other women have left the building and I am his only hope at ever having a fake marriage on TV.

Then we'll head back to our rooms and freshen up for that final, sunset scene on a dock by torchlight. 

It will be dark and I will be tired, bloated and fed up so I'll trip and fall onto the dock but I'll get up. I always get back up! 

The Bachelor will get down on one knee and ask me that ever looming, romantic, out of this world question:

"Can you take that licorice out of your mouth and lose the bathing cap?"

And forget about me saying "I do" because I am going to say "I don't." 

 The ratings for the show will hit the roof and I will be in People Magazine and the media will be doing the whole "he said, she said" thing.

There will be a an explosive and revealing reunion on Dr. Phil. He will yell at the Bachelor for taking women for granted and at me for not watching his show. 

The audience will clap and say "Awwwww" in unison.

Then for the really exciting part - the end -  Dr. Phil will take his wife by the hand and walk off stage and pretend to be talking to her about something (not that I would know any of this because I don't watch his show) and you'll wonder why Dr. Phil's wife has to get all dressed up for every show just to sit there and wait (while he yells at someone); so she can walk off stage with him.

Then TMZ will greet me at the airport or the gym or the pharmacy (where no one looks happy - have you ever seen anyone smiling in line at the Pharmacy?) 

NO - because frankly, it's an exhausting experience. Everyone thinks everyone else has a cold or the flu or a headache so they are all trying to keep a distance. 

Meanwhile, you are putting stuff in that little carry carriage - stuff that you don't need but you may need but you're not sure you need...

Then you finally get home and what you really need is a shower and a Tylenol (which you forgot to buy).

And for those of you still reading this (thanks Mom and No I don't want to be set up with that nice man you met in the elevator who bathes and has good benefits) and on behalf of all women, l'm standing up against the Bachelor and the whole premise of the series and saying "I don't and I never will." 

As for Dr. Phil's wife, seriously, one show, just one time, don't show up and let him walk off stage by himself because you're better than  that - we all are!

PS: Chris  Harrison - get that hot tub cleaned - will ya?


So, I’m on that boat with all the contestants for the new season of Survivor called “Fifty Something & Fabulous.”

The cameras angle in on us, we’re fully clothed and it’s time to jump into the ocean and swim to our island home.

I call Jeff (the handsome and really clean host – so clean you smell him through your screen and he smells like Downy Fabric Softener with a touch of Lavender) over and I say,

“Hey Jeff – there is no way I am jumping off this boat. My clothes are going to get all wet and then you are going to take them away and expect me to walk around in my underwear and sports bra and that just won't be fair to anyone.

                 This is me wearing my buff as a scarf instead of a bra because a buff will not hold up my 'Mary Sues" and because I'm fabulous!

What do you do with all of our clothes anyway? Is there a strip search upon arrival? Is this an audition for “Naked and Afraid” (Dear reader if you have not seen that show yet, well you are in for quite the treat)?

Also, I need to make a food request. You see I can’t do the whole coconut thing because I had an abscess over my fourth left upper tooth. I was at work and I had some food caught there – probably a Dorito - maybe the sour cream and dill – anyway it was really bothering me and there was no way I was going to leave it there all day.

I didn’t have any floss or a dental pick so I improvised with one of those twist ties they give you when you go get bagels (or they forget to give to you and then you get home and you’re like “Where’s the twist tie? – dammit they forgot the twist tie – then you realize they forgot the long freezer bag to put the bagels in and that’s just so much worse). 

Yeah so, the one I had was covered in a rubber casing as opposed to the paper casing. I mean I’m no fool, I would not stick a paper twist tie in between my teeth because the paper would fall off.

So, I proceed with the rubber casing twist tie and it works! I do feel a slight piercing but I doubt it’s anything serious.

Anyway Jeff – about 2 weeks later, I feel this swelling pain on the gum on top of that fourth left tooth and I go to check it in the mirror but I don’t own an actual mirror (evident). I just have the one in the bathroom that came with the apartment and it’s too high so I need a step stool and well it’s just not worth looking.

The next day the pain is worse so I decide to visit a dentist.

Turns out I have an abscess (well you know that already) and when they take an x-ray – they see what looks like a tiny piece of metal.

Yeah turns out the twist tie wasn’t so solid after all even though I was careful to use one with a rubber surrounding.

So back to the coconut – yeah I can’t eat that because after paying my dentist $400 (and I didn’t even get a mini set of a toothbrush and tooth paste and that’s at least half of the reason to go to the dentist), she tells me not to eat coconut because the slices are sharp and a piece can get lodged in the gum and cause another abscess. 

She also suggests I use the twist ties to close bags.

Also, I don’t want to be damp all the time. I don’t want to be covered in sweat or ocean salt water or tropical rain. I want to stay dry. 

Why isn’t anyone on Survivor ever dry? And how come someone who had no clothing suddenly has a blazer and fedora to wear to tribal council? Is there a hip retro shop on the island?

As far as sleeping goes – the present arrangements are not going to suffice. I need a bed and a pillow and I can’t sleep with anyone who snores. I fully support those couples who sleep in separate beds/rooms. It doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. It doesn’t mean they don’t have sex. 

It means one of them says to the other, "You snore!" and the other says "I do not snore - you snore!" Truth is they both snore.

And how come you never show the heads on those headless people who are in awesome shape and do the demo of the challenge? Who are those people? Where do they stay? Do they get an air mattress? Do they eat coconut? What dentist do they go to? Do they have toilet paper and a toilet I can borrow?

Jeff, the truth is, I don’t think I am going to make it to the end. I mean I’m on the boat – everyone else has already jumped into the ocean.

Also, none of this is really happening because it is completely fabricated but with good intention – that being… what if there was a Survivor for 50+?

What if we got to wear clothing?

What if we slept at a hotel and finally got to see the faces of those people that do the demos of the challenges? 

What if we could eat whatever we wanted and all the fees were waived for the mini bar? How about a Cronut (Croissant meets Donut = Delicious).

What if room service brought us pina coladas with umbrellas and margaritas and Jimmy Buffet's lost shaker of salt? 

What if we arrived at a challenge (post brunch - bagel, lox and cream cheese) and Jeff said - "Today's challenge is to be kind to one another. Each of you will be sharing something about yourselves - perhaps something painful; something that caused the ground beneath you to crumble. Everyone listens - no one judges."

What if we split the 1 million (and what if I capped it off at 4 contestants)?

And most importantly, what if we never had to see eachother in our underwear? 

PS: The Tribe has spoken. Your flame is out. You vanish into the deep, dark jungle where you remove your pants and swing from the vines in your underwear. 

Because...You're Fabulous, you're 50.... and you really don't give a Cronut!


I’m lounging.

It’s 7pm on a Friday night. The work week is done. I reward myself with Pad Thai (uh huh...from the box).

I’m in my regular dining spot; my Lazyboy (digestion position - midway back). I’m watching TV while my dog watches me (he is familiar with my mediocre chopstick skills).

I’m thinking, “This Pad Thai is delicious. What a great start to yet another exciting weekend” and then it happens:

 The following is in slow motion…

noodles covered in tiny pieces of peanuts on way to mouth – leap off the chopsticks onto shirt

Everything stops – my entire world – as I fathom what to do next.

I could set my hand into “pickle claw” position and “pick” it from my shirt. I could remove the shirt altogether and change into another.

Aaaaa....too much work - so I leave it on my shirt.

I’m streaming “This is Us” so I know I am going to start crying at any moment and if I put it on pause then I’ll have to start crying all over again.

Then it occurs to me “This Pad Thai is making me thirsty.”

So I make my way to the kitchen to get an ice-cold beer. Of course once I get to the kitchen, I forget what I am doing there and my mind begins to wander (frequent occurrence)..."should I take the food off my shirt while I am near the sink or should I grab a beer and head back to "This is Us?"

Yeah, I do the sensible thing and I return to "This is Us" (while ever so carefully balancing the giant peanut crumb on my shirt). 

I settle into "this sure is going to be an exciting weekend" position and everyone on “This is Us” is crying. The father keeps changing age and eras - I don't know what is going on and I was only gone for 3 minutes.

Now I'm multi-tasking - crying, eating, drinking, carrying the crumb; when my mouth and the beer bottle miss their connection and the beer spills onto my lap.

Here are my options (are you still reading this?):

A – lean down low enough and just lick it off my sweatpants (yeah you’ve done it too).

B – get up and go to the sink and wash it off

C – aaaa…. Just leave it there

I go with C and continue my ritual.

“This is Us” is over and I’m ready to stream “Ray Donovan.” Now I think to myself – would any of the Donovans get up to wipe beer off their sweat pants?

Absolutely not - so I decide for the next hour I am going to actually be a Donovan.

Yeah, I’m covered in beer and peanuts and I’m chowing down and Ray is drinking and so is his father and all of his brothers and absolutely everyone on the show.

The excitement is building and it’s just a matter of seconds before Ray  is either sexing it up or punching someone in the face(or both).

I’m getting into it. Ray has taken off his shirt (the Lazyboy goes into “deep dining position”) and then whatever is left of the Pad Thai falls onto my shirt!!


And just then, a deep thought (rare) enters the inner chambers of my clearly, disturbed mind...

“If Pad Thai falls onto your shirt – does anybody hear it?”

To which my dog replies:


More deep thoughts from Life is Your Story