Easter–A Time of Love, Greed and Glory

Easter

I’m just gonna confess it: growing up in my house, Easter was about greed and glory. Easter was about decorating some crazy-awesome eggs, better than anything your sibling could ever hope to achieve.

Easter was about THE GOLDEN EGG.

Just a bit of history: Growing up in a divorced family, I had double the holidays. It kind of rocked. Even though most things could be duplicated, there were a few favorite holidays that the parents staked a claim to. For my mom, it was Thanksgiving and for my dad, it was Easter.

He made every Easter memorable. He made The Golden Egg a thing of glory (and greed).

You won’t understand the importance of this egg if I don’t first tell you that I am the youngest (and only blond) child in a dark-haired family of giants.

My older brother, known here at More Cowbell as the Bag Whore, was a six foot behemoth in the 6th grade. That dude had feet like gunboats and the wingspan of an albatross. I was never gonna be bigger, faster or taller. But by golly, I was always the quicker child when it came to anything related to words.

Back in the day my dad had to PAY that boy to read. I believe the going rate was ten cents per page. That little manipulator made a couple bucks every week doing what I loved doing for free.

This bartering for pages irked me and every year I got my revenge on Easter.

I’d arrive at my dad’s house on Good Friday and on Saturday morning we’d break out all the egg decorating gear. My brother and I would get busy on our own dozen eggs and we’d help my dad with half of his dozen. Our eggs could be any color except gold.

There was only one golden egg per year and it belonged to my father. He’d usually make a few test eggs before he hit his stride so his golden egg would be a glowing, velvety sun.

The rules on Easter morning:

  • Open the bedroom door and dig through Easter basket.
  • Find the magic piece of paper that told us which part of the house or yard was our “egg hunt territory” that year.
  • Hunt eggs in our zone and (hopefully) find all 12 eggs, along with the chocolate, jelly beans and the $10 that had been tucked around them.

Note: $10 was a LOT back in the 70’s and early 80’s. This was serious incentive.

After breakfast, the Golden Egg Ceremony opened with my dad presenting an original poem to my brother and I. Year after year, he came up with some creative rhyme about where the vaunted golden egg might be found. (For an economics professor, this was damned impressive.)

And he didn’t pick pitiful or slouchy places for the magic egg. He hid that thing well out of sight, usually behind at least one door, and nearly always covered up.

Examples:

  • One year it was folded up inside a yellow tablecloth in the linen closet.
  • Another year it was in a gold colored glass Pyrex in the back of the refrigerator.
  • A different year it was in an amber color highball glass up in the china cabinet.

Perhaps I remember THE GOLDEN EGG with such clarity all these years later because there was another $10 hidden with it. Perhaps I remember it because my dad behaved so out of character with his catchy little poems.

Most likely, I remember it perfectly because the Bag Whore NEVER won.

He was frustrated, year after year, because his baby sister (future writer) understood the siren song of words at an early age and snatched that egg out from under his nose every year.

One year he started following me around in an effort to elbow me aside and pilfer the prize from the high places that only he could reach. However, my father thwarted these efforts, understanding that the quest for the Golden Egg should remain pure.

Somehow he understood that the little golden-haired gladiator who heard the song of his poem should prevail, at least on that particular day of the year.

May your Easter traditions remain pure and full of fun… May you add in plenty of chocolate for the Trifecta of Awesome.

Do you celebrate Easter? If so, how? What were your favorite holiday traditions growing up? Do you have any egg recipes to share? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~Jenny

Photo credit: Pekka Nikrus – FlickrCC License 2.0
Posted in Holidays | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

A Thank You Note to My Heart (Seriously)

Heart Health

Yesterday, I saw my heart in action. My beautiful, heroic, gorgeously fluttering mitral valve. And that pulmonary valve of perfection in the chamber next door.

Now before you wonder if I’ve gone wiggy in the head from the cooties in my house, I went to the cardiologist yesterday (I’m fine) and they fit me into the schedule for the ultrasound/stress test deal where you get to see your heart from every angle.

I tell you, science kicks some major ass, to be able to do all that in under 30 minutes.

But to really understand why this was so exciting for me, you should know that in 2005 my handy heart valves protected my brain from about 50 blood clots.

Yep, you heard me. FIFTY. Ish.

Here’s the quickie version:

  • In 2005, I developed blood clots in both legs, one of which shattered, sending a shower of blood clots to my lungs (thanks to those vivacious valves).
  • No one tells you this, but blood clots freaking hurt. They’re unnatural little buggers that hang out in unusual places and behave in bizarre ways. However, the doctors promise you the pain will go away in 6-8 weeks.
  • The pain in my lungs didn’t go away, so at about 11 weeks I went to a pulmonologist to find out “WTH!”

Enter Dr. Ramisetti, a fabulous doctor with a soft voice and a fantasic Indian accent. [My internal dialogue is in pink.]

Dr. R: The two CAT scans of your lungs are very, very dramatic.

Me: [WTF?! Dramatic can NOT be good.] Um, dramatic how, exactly?

Dr. R: The first one was dramatic for how many, many blood clots you had. The second one was dramatic for how quickly they decreased.

Me: [Huh.] How many blood clots are we talking about here?

Dr. R: Oh, many many.

Me: [Holy Mother of God. I thought there were like two.] So, like 10?

Dr. R: Oh, many, many more.

Me: *My guy and I are making shocky faces at each other* A hundred??

Dr. R: Maybe less.

So the Hubs-to-be and I are reeling because we had no idea. Nobody tells you these things at the time, and in hindsight I think it’s better that way. I was scared enough without having that “maybe less than a hundred freaking blood clots” music in my head.

I settled on 50  as the magic total whenever I talk about it. “Fifty” is a nice round number and frankly, going any higher makes my stomach feel squinchy. Here’s the basic story, in case you’re unfamiliar with my blood clot surprise.

Anywho, yesterday was the first time I’d ever seen my heart work in all it’s red pumpy glory. Really, I was wildly impressed. That’s one heck of an impressive muscle, especially that four-piece band called the mitral valve.

I asked the technician which part kept the clots out of my heart and brain and she said, “mitral.” Hence this ode.

Mitral Valve

Artificial mitral valve makes location easy to see

I’d never grasped the nitty-gritty details of the heart before.  For instance, I didn’t know the mitral valve was on the bottom, or that it is the gatekeeper that kept my heart (and brain) safe when the too-many-to-count shower of death clots came barreling through. Or that the pulmonary valve whisked all those suckers straight out of there and into my lungs.

Trust me, y’all, if you’ve got to have the clots, down in the legs or in the lungs is where you want them. Yes, they hurt (for a really, super long time) but I’m ALIVE.

Thank you, my magical mitral…you marvelous, mind-blowing mensch of a valve. And also to you, my passionate pulmonary powerhouse. I owe y’all at least 50 thank you’s.

Which body part do you give the most thanks to, and why? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

p.s. If you need some magical, lyrical writing inspiration click over to Kimberly Brock’s post, “You, Storytellers of the Blue World.”

Mitral valve photo courtesy of Patrick J. Lynch – Flickr – CC License 2.0.
Top photo courtesy of Emmanuel Huybrechts – Flickr – CC License 2.0.
Posted in Health, Thoughty Thursday | Tagged , , , , | 43 Comments

Kilt Videos That Flipped My Humor Skirt Up (IYKWIM)

Kilt_ReginaDavanWe believe in starting the week here with a gigantic belly laugh, so take a moment to go potty, shoo your kids out, put down that beverage and strap in for the ride.

[Disclaimer: There are cooties all over my house, so I might be a bit punchy today.

In general, I’m a huge “Just For Laughs – Gags” fan, and the first several of these gym pranks had me crying with laughter. Consider those your bonus for the day.]

My sister put this video on my Facebook timeline and I’ve sent it on to TONS of people because the faces on all parties involved are hilarious.

But if you’re really “just here for the kilts,” I bring you “Storm Trooper Love.” Awwww.

What flipped your laughter switch this weekend? And who else can feel Spring  finally poking its head around the corner? (Love it!) Enquiring minds here at More Cowbell always  want to hear what’s going on in your world!

~ Jenny 

p.s. for Writers: If you’ve ever wondered “what’s what” with book genres, Chuck Sambuchino is telling all at Writers In The Storm today!

Photo credit: Regina Davan – FlickrCC License 2.0
Posted in Humor, More Cowbell | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

7 Reasons to Be Happy You Grew Up Before Social Media

Automotive Social

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media…I meet fabulous people and strike up amazing conversations. However, I’m so grateful I grew up before Facebook and YouTube, before Instagram and Twitter and all the rest.

Below are the seven reasons I’m MOST grateful:

#7 – No videos of me in gym class.

Any of you star athletes might not understand what the rest of us gawky teenagers felt like (or looked like) in the gym class uniform. Yes, “back in the day” we had to wear uniforms. And take showers. Those hideous shorts always gave a good wedgie, and the idea of cellphones capturing that madness for social media gives me the willies.

#6 – My secret crushes and love notes stayed secret.

Unless I outed myself, or the object of my desire saw the reams of paper featuring our names together, the love and longings in my middle school Pee Che Folders stayed private. Privacy is a rare commodity for teens today and I feel sorry for them.

#5 – No cyber-bullying.

Seriously. How horrifying would it be if the bullies who chased you home could come crashing into your bedroom at an time? For today’s kids with video, photos and social media, the torture can go on 24/7 if the bully is dedicated enough.

#4 – No photos of me in shoulder pads/parachute pants/(fill in the blank).

Oh. My. God. The photos of me with short hair. In my brother’s hand-me-down corduroys with the big rectangle patches ironed on the knees. With the crazy “Facts of Life” bangs that stuck straight up. None of those photos survived. Yaaaaaaay!

#3 – My table dancing remains anonymous.

Long before Coyote Ugly came out, the rest of us were dancing on bar tops and tabletops in bars. My two fave table dance hot spots in Columbia, MO (Go Tigers!) were Déjà Vu and the long-gone Doc & Eddy’s (locally called “Box and C*@ks”). Thank God no one got that on YouTube. I was fabulous…and no one has any evidence.

[Quick shout-out here to my WANA-pal, Callene Rapp, who Pushed It with me on top of that Doc & Eddy’s bar.]

#2 – Conversations with strangers.

I used to have the best chats on public transportation. Nowadays, the buses in San Francisco are dead silent. Like cemetery silent. Nobody talks, and everyone’s face is in their phone. Ditto with all the other public conversation hot spots. I have to go into my phone these days if I want a conversation in public with a stranger. How sad is that?

And the #1 reason I’m delighted I grew up before social media…

Gaga Selfie StickThe Selfie Sex Stick.

Okay, I get the selfie craze. I’ve had the Dale Carnegie training – I know people love to talk about themselves. But unless I take up a career in gynecology or proctology, I don’t want to see the insides of people’s genitals. Really. Y’all can Facetime your vajayjay with someone else.

Some things really DON’T need to be photographed.

However, if you simply must know more about this “infrared-camera-up-the-hooha” stick, watch Annabelle Knight of Lovehoney TV. Her accent makes this product sound so classy. 

This SVACOM Gaga is available on Amazon – currently on sale for under $160 with free shipping. [The reviews are well worth clicking on that link.]

Did you grow up before social media was a regular part of life? Why are you grateful for that? What do you think you missed? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

p.s. If you want to know more about spies, and how to write them correctly, check out Piper Bayard’s post at Writers In The Storm today — Writing Spies: Which Agency Does What to Who?

Top photo credit: Automotive Social – Flickr – CC license 2.0
Selfie stick photo: courtesy of Amazon
Posted in Humor, Life's Challenges | Tagged , , , , , | 39 Comments

Monday Entertainment at Its Finest

In case you’re looking for EveryMan fashion advice…I bring you “Averagé – America’s Most Popular Clothing Line.” Here are some stellar quotes:

Where do I get my inspiration? Applebee’s.

We believe you should be able to play H.O.R.S.E. at a moment’s notice.

You cannot buy a braided belt that’s too long.

Here’s the entire stellar video…

And for all you fellow Sister Myotis fans (she’s our expert on Christian Panties who kicked off the Undie Chronicles), I just found her on Twitter! So, now I know our favorite Church Lady is performing this month in Memphis at The Dragnificent Variety Show in the Evergreen Theatre on March 13.

If anyone in the posse lives in Memphis, can you go get a selfie with the Sister? I will find a way to reward you for that act of benevolence.

If you need to get a quick dose of Church while you wait for your Myotis fix, here’s some more Tripp and Tyler (the “Stuff Guys”) doing an awesome impression of an entire side of my family.

What else is tickling your funny bone on this fine Monday? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Also, if you wanted some funny facts about Mondays, click here.

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

The Year I Became Bionic (#BOAW2015)

Last year began with screaming kick-my-ass-pain and ended with me feeling beautiful and bionic. To say it was a roller coaster year is an understatement.

Let me explain.

For years, my right hip has been cranky. It was happy during my pregnancy, groovin’ on happy hormones and Relaxin, and then cranky again within a year. The Hubs and I went to a year of Crossfit and it improved. We took a work break from Crossfit and it got worse. Way worse. Screaming pain and limping worse.

The Hubs finally got me to tell the doctor last February and an x-ray showed some mild hip dysplasia. How could I have lived more than 40 years and not known about this?

We called it “Dog Hip” and I was feeling like a very old and unattractive dog.

By March, I had trouble sitting. I spent April pacing around my house like a wild animal, working with my laptop atop a box on the table so I could stand and work at the same time. I was worse for the wear by May, tired and puffy, with house-bound prison pallor. Fifteen minutes in the car could reduce me to cold sweaty pain.

The MRI diagnosed a labral tear and the doctor went inside the hip in June to stitch it up. It wasn’t just a tear. The labrum was dying, flapping, not holding the leg in the hip socket, and my femoral head was a mess. Dr. Kramer fixed it all and I took a three week spin with “Cruella,” the evil CPM machine. The pain was hideous, but still better than before the surgery.

Cruella, the evil bitch.

Cruella, the evil bitch.

Yep. Me, crutches and Cruella into July. Me and the flu in July. Me and PT in July and August and September and OctoberI learned a lot about the concept of beauty from Cruella and from PT.

Beauty is strength. Beauty is perseverance. Beauty is love.

Beauty is family, and the good friends who cheered me up and cheered me on through 4 long months of rehab. Beauty is having a hip that works, and living a life without pain.

August sent me date bars, and GirlBoner lip balm. Patricia Rickrode (aka Jansen Schmidt) sent me wine. Sharla Rae sent an Undie Chronicle gift box. Still more friends sent me cards and songs and funny messages on Facebook.

Who cares that I weigh more? Who cares that I can no longer cross my legs. That gives you blood clots and varicose veins anyway. I can walk and I can sit. I can swim and I can dance.

I climbed a mountain in the Rockies in October. I went back to Crossfit in November. It was baby-steps Crossfit, but I’m doing squats again and it feels GORGEOUS.

When I returned to work in July they looked at me and said, “Wow, you look renewed.” I WAS freaking renewed, to be out of pain after eight solid months.

I still have my own hip and it is bionic. I am loved and that is beautiful. I am strong and so very, very grateful. Love, independence and a healthy skeleton have gone a long way toward making me feel like a goddess.

What says “beauty” to you? Share it in the comments, and please visit the Beauty of a Woman blogfest today at August McLaughlin’s place. She has an “original” BOAW blog hop and a GirlBoner version. This post is a tiny little part of the original category.

Go spread some love today, and wallow in your own beauty.

Hugs!
~ Jenny

That smart lady, Patricia Sands, gave me the idea to list my other BOAW posts from years past. Enjoy!

Posted in Health, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , | 54 Comments

Undie Chronicles, Vol. 28: Illegal Undies

The U.S. Patent and Trade Offices banned these Norwegian Undies, called (wait for it) “ComfyBalls.” As far as I can tell, they’re traditional boxers with “just a little bit more” here and there. I’ve been sitting on this post for a while now, if you know what I mean.

I’m convinced these ComfyBalls blokes are marketing geniuses. They’re not quite up there with the PooPourri team, but they’re just a hair behind. Check out this video they made with the 2014 Curling World Championship team. Their challenge:

Wearing ComfyBalls, put your pants on with NO hands…on ice.

The company describes their trademarked PackageFront™ system as follows:

“Package Front™ is designed to keep your equipment in place, while being lifted away from the inside of your thighs, preventing unnecessary heating of the balls. Extremely curved panels combined with innovative use of elastic fabric seams lift the user experience to a new level!

The size of the PackageFront ™ is the same regardless of the size of the boxer trunk. There is no (statistically significant) relationship between a person’s penis size and height / weight / other body parts. There is a weak correlation between testicular volume and weight / height / BMI. Because the volume range is limited, and because the PackageFront ™ is made of an extremely elastic material, you can be assured that the PackageFront™ will fit you.”

[Good to know!]

Besides their ad copy, their cute technology icons that won my admiration. “BSA.” Heh.

ComfyBalls logos

Y’all know you want to visit their site to see what’s up with that ComfyBalls Fit Program. Plus they have a “Power Users” section.

Young Turks did a bit on ComfyBalls where they called the U.S. patent and trademark office “Ball Torturers.” They decided in their show, The Undies So Controversial The Government Banned Them, that the company can call the mundies “Nifty Nads” so they’re allowed onto U.S. soil.

Considering what I see and hear on television, I’m shocked at this Undie Discrimination!

What happened to separation of…

  • Church & State
  • Cash & Prizes
  • Twigs & Berries
  • Testes & Thighs

And how is it that Duluth Trading Company is getting by with Ballroom Jeans (and no, those ain’t for dancing the Foxtrot) or Buck Naked Underwear? What about their Crack Spackle packaging for their Longtail Shirts “to cure plumber’s crack?”

Why isn’t the Patent Office twisting their panties up about those?

Gawker.com said it the best in their article, The U.S. Government Wants to Keep You From Wearing “Comfyballs” Boxers:

“The regrettably named Norwegian underwear brand Comfyballs was all set to make its big debut in the U.S. this year when it was shut down by the country’s patent and trademark office. A trademark on Comfyballs, USPTO argued, was just too vulgar for Americans to accept.

The Independent reports on the tribulations of the company, which was already comforting balls across Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, and the U.K. when its trademark application was denied…”

This company deserves to have their undies be legal here in the States. Don’t y’all agree? UP with ComfyBalls! DOWN with discrimination!! I’m just sayin…

What say you, my MC Posse? Do you think ComfyBalls should be legal anywhere in the world? Why or why not? Enquiring minds always  love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Humor, More Cowbell, Undie Chronicles | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Ultrasonic Cavitation and V-Steams Are REAL, y’all.

V-Steam

The ultimate “kitty” spa…

When I saw a LivingSocial email in my inbox about “Ultrasonic Cavitation,” I totally thought they were selling vibrators. Turns out it’s a form of liposuction that’s all the rage in Europe. Who knew, right?

I haven’t seen a discount coupon for the V-Steam, but I read an article on it that I wish I’d written. This gal had me crying with laughter over “Great news: You can finally get your vagina steam-cleaned.” (Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow thinks women all over the world should get some mugwort steam blown up their hoohah.)

The article was written by Lucy Gransbury and she gave me a hilarious 15 minutes. The entire article is fabulous, but my favorite paragraph was:

So… a stranger will rub some ground-up compost onto your special place, and then spray some steam up there for a good half hour. Anyone else feeling uncomfortable about this? I’m accidentally doing pelvic-floor clenches just thinking about it.

When I told the Hubs about it, he said: “It’s not a stovepipe! Jeez. Don’t they realize that’s the last area where a woman wants steam?”

My sentiments exactly. (Go, Hubby!)

There’s a video featured at the bottom of Lucy’s article, sharing the experience.

All I’ve got to say is: Shelly (from the video) is either one brave-ass babe, or she’s missing half the nerve endings in her vajayjay. [p.s. I’m sure she is now, after the “treatment.”] Here’s Shelly’s article on the V-Spa. She brings a whole new meaning to “smoking gun,” if you know what I mean.

And apparently, if you’re on the hunt for beauty treatments for your lady bits, there’s something called the vajacial. Read THIS review (also at Mama Mia) if you want another belly laugh. Her conclusion is fabulous:

I guess, whatever makes you feel more confident, right? The politics of pubes are tricky, and if you find self-confidence in the dewy glow of a fanny facial who are we to judge.

Okay, I’ll admit it…I judged. What’s up with all the Hoohah Haters, coming up with these treatments? Why does this particular part of the female figure need to be improved? Can’t we all just celebrate our bodies without treating them like a fireplace flue?

What say you, More Cowbell posse? Would you try (or support your lady pals in trying) the V-Steam or the Vajacial? What’s the strangest beauty treatment you’ve heard of? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny
@JennyHansenCA

Kitty photo credit: “I’m all right, Coolest place in the house!” via photopin (license)

Posted in Health, Humor | Tagged , , , , , | 34 Comments

These Guys Laughed Me Into a Book Review

stuff-know-stuffI rarely do book reviews because it’s just not what More Cowbell is about…but these guys laughed their way in. Y’all know I can’t resist a good belly laugh.

If you miss Seinfeld, and their hilarious yammering about life’s trivialities, you will love Stuff You Should Know About Stuff: How to Properly Behave in Certain Situations

I died over their section on “dudes and bathrooms.” Those of you who have been around for a while know we interviewed The Bag Whore (my brother) and various other males about bathroom etiquette and the six rules that must be observed.

Product Description:

  • Do you know how to properly conduct yourself in a public restroom?
  • What about while in the midst of a profoundly awkward silence?
  • Have you perfected how to get out of helping your friend move?

If you answered no to those questions, fear not. You need Stuff You Should Know About Stuff, the book that future anthropologists will no doubt call “the Rosetta Stone of handling trivial life situations.”

From the sketch comedy duo who created the viral videos “Sh*t Nobody Says” and “Things You Can’t Do When You’re Not in a Pool,” Tripp and Tyler bring you the written word in Stuff You Should Know About Stuff, a guide instructing you how to navigate the treacherous waters of life’s odd quandaries.

If you’re a fan of reading what others have to say on Amazon, here are the reviews. If you decide you need more Tripp & Tyler in your life, here’s their YouTube site and more about the #StuffBook.

Their videos kept me just as entertained as the book:

For the pet lovers:

For both the kid lovers and haters:

Were you already a fan of these guys? Have you read this book? Which video above is your favorite? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Happy Monday!
~ Jenny

Posted in Book Reviews, Humor | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

Twitter Users are Fluffing the Balls: BallGate by the Tweets

American_football_ball

Twitter blew up this week with “DeflateGate” aka “BallGate.” For those of you who don’t follow the post-season football playoffs, “BallGate” can be translated to “sports fans freaking over Patriot’s quarterback, Tom Brady, and his 16% deflated balls.”

Tweets were flying with trending hashtags like:

The world is on fire and we’re talking about balls. Go figure.

Some sample tweets:

And the hashtag that was in poor taste (but still a bit funny):

As Brady says:

“I have a process that I go through before every game when I go in and pick the balls I want..the footballs I want to use for the game. Our equipment guys do a great job of breaking them in. When I pick the balls out – at that point, they’re perfect..I don’t want anyone touching the balls, rubbing the balls, nothing.”

The magic happens at the 20 second mark.

What do y’all think of this football madness? Have you been following #DeflateGate? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~Jenny

Photo credit: By Petey21 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted in Humor, More Cowbell | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments