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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 07/06/10


You know, it’s not enough that plenty of perfectly good marriages are being ruined by lack of sleep, the demands of parenthood and juggling jobs and family life – but now vampires , emo chicks and werewolves are at it too?!

Yeah, it’s true. Know how I know? I read it in an article online and that makes it true, right? The article  said that there are thousands of women who were so obsessed with the TWILIGHT movies that they were neglecting their marriages and even their kids! They spend hours online obsessing about the characters, the production of the movies, even the actors and what they’re doing every minute of their lives.

And you thought Twilight was a story aimed at 14 year-old girls who recently acquired their breasts. I thought so too when I read the first book and saw the first movie, which I’ll admit, is as far as I got.  I mean, wow.  Having read the poetry that is Interview With The Vampire this was NOT my cup of blood.  

But I got it. It wasn’t meant to be great literature. It was clear to me that the appeal of these stories was the whole “forbidden sex” thing. The “danger of sex” thing. The first book was a long – and I mean very long – series of, well,  longing scenes, one after another after another. In fact, I kept wondering, “When is something going to happen?!” And then I realized, when you’re a teenage girl on the verge of her sexual awakening, nothing’s SUPPOSED to happen. Not if your parents and school counselors can help it. Sex is a scary thing, a dangerous thing. Especially in this day and age when it can actually kill you. Also, according to your friends, it hurts really, really badly the first time.

And while Stephenie Meyer may not know story structure if it impaled her through the heart, she knows that young girls have eternally been attracted to the bad boy and forbidden love.

Apparently, however, they aren’t the only ones. Because then I heard some of my mommy friends going on about these books. We’re talking women in their 30s and 40s. Women with husbands who, as evidenced by the existence of children, had already lost their virginity.  And lo and behold, they too had gotten wrapped up in the phenom that is Twilight. They talked about Team Edward vs.  Team Jacob. They giggled about Robert Pattinson’s brooding hotness. They marveled at the pecs of an underage Taylor Lautner. And somehow, I think they identified with the disaffected Bella who, if you ask me, seems like a closet cutter.

But at least none of my mommy friends have reached the frenzied point of the TwiHards who are neglecting their marriages and their children. But here’s what one such woman had to say in an L.A. Times article on the subject:

“My husband finally came to me and said, ‘I think you love Twilight more than you love me,'” says Johnson, who had become especially attached to the community she’d found online. “I ended up moving out of the house and fought for my marriage for six weeks. I had to take a step back and detox myself from Twilight. I was really angry that I had allowed it to suck me in.”


That’s what vampires do, right? Suck. Especially the ones in these books. But then, that’s my opinion. And clearly I am in the minority here.

Still, I’ve got to wonder if these women weren’t already having problems in their marriage. Maybe they are just  finding something in these stories that is fulfilling some need that isn’t getting met at home. And really, is this obsession any different than, say, the one that sucks in so many men during fantasy football season?

The bottom line is, all our marriages would be better served if we spent more time tending them instead of sitting in front of a computer screen obsessing about the lives of other people.

Uh, on that note…. Signing off to call Randy the perfekt husband who is on his daily long commute to his job so that Julia can grow up in a nice house on a clean street filled with loads of kids in the suburbs. I love you, honey. Yes, more than my computer.

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Author: toni

~ 05/02/10

Here at MAMMAKAZE we’re all about helping marriages (in addition to getting you over all that mommy guilt you’re carrying and providing yummy recipes for cocktails).

So check out the following ad for a marriage saving blanket. I’m not sure who invented it. I suspect those guys who created that amazing Snuggie, or the Chia Pet.

Now I’m not pointing fingers. I definitely don’t think it’s always the men who have this problem. I’m just sayin’, if you do, and that BEANO isn’t working, might want to invest in one of these babies.

Now if only there was something that would eradicate snoring. And blanket hogging.  Oh and ESPN. Can anyone do anything about THAT? Surely there’s a guy at a Radio Shack somewhere who has the perfect inexpensive solution. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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Author: toni

~ 04/22/10


Before my guy readers out there complain about this list, please note that it was sent in by a guy reader.

As a woman, I thought it was kind of amusing in the way that things that have more than a kernel of truth tend to be. The author is anonymous but I guess I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it was a woman. Because, you know, it’s insightful and sarcastic in the way that only women tend to be.



  • You can “do” your nails with a pocket knife.
  • You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
  • You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.
  • Your last name stays put.
  • Wedding plans take care of themselves.
  • Chocolate is just another snack.
  • Car mechanics tell you the truth.
  • You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
  • Same work, more pay.
  • Wrinkles add character.
  • Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental $100.
  • One mood all the time.
  • A five-day vacation only requires one suitcase.
  • You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
  • If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
  • Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
  • The same hair style lasts for years, maybe decades.
  • Your belly usually hides your big hips.
  • One wallet and one pair of shoes one color for all seasons.
  • You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
  • And finally, you can be President.


There you have it. The list left off the obvious like, no PMS, no menstrual cramps, no labor pains, and no body-altering pregnancies. And then there’s the whole “no responsibility for birth control” thing. Oh and the fact that men seem immune to the feelings of angst and guilt over having to choose between work and family and being spread so thin that you feel you’re failing miserably at both. And, oh, yeah. Those mini pads with wings. I mean, if you don’t put them on exactly right, when you take them off it’s kind of like ripping a bandage off a hairy arm, if you get my meaning. OUCH!

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Author: toni

~ 04/19/10


Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Randy the perfekt husband’s brush with death. That’s right, one year ago on April 18th Randy, Julia and I were hiking together as we did regularly when Randy fell into a nest of rattlesnakes and was bitten… by a baby rattler, no less. The most venomous kind!

I wrote about the whole thing in THIS POST and made a lot of fun of a very serious situation. Because, you know, it’s my way to be snarky and sarcastic. Some might say it’s a coping mechanism. Me, I just think I’m naturally snarky and sarcastic.

But I would like to take time during this one year anniversary to be a little less sarcastic and more serious about the whole thing. Because truthfully, if the stars hadn’t aligned that day, Randy might not be here at all. And Julia and I… well, I can’t even imagine it. Actually, I can imagine it because in addition to being snarky and sarcastic I’ve got a serious “doom and gloom” thing happening. But that’s my little dark place and I’ll spare you.

Looking back, we were soooo lucky that day. Well, except for the whole life-threatening rattlesnake bite, several day ICU stay and $300,000 medical bill part. But other than that, a lot of things happened that worked in our favor (not the least of which was being insured).

For example, Julia and I had just seen an episode about the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake on the Discovery Channel so we knew EXACTLY what to do in the case of a rattlesnake bite! Otherwise Randy would have tied off his leg, tried to run to the car and likely have ended up like the other two rattlesnake bite victims who were in the ICU with him – both of whom had made just those mistakes. One guy’s arm was consumed by the venom. The other guy’s leg and kidney were consumed. Both were battling to keep their limbs. They went into the hospital BEFORE Randy and were still there when Randy left. So we never knew what became of them. But I hope they are okay.

We were also fortunate that we weren’t further up the 6 mile hiking trail into the narrow canyon and were still on the fire road so that the ambulance was able to drive right up to Randy. AND that I had been laying off the chips and was able to RUN the 1.5 miles to the parking lot at record speed in the heat so I could show the paramedics exactly where he was. Lucky, too that the hospital was so close, had a ton of experience with rattlesnake bites AND had antivenom in stock. Although we could have done without the joke by the admission person that Randy had to sign the paperwork quickly, before he lost the use of his limbs. ER humor apparently. I’ve seen it on NURSE JACKIE.

Most of all we’re very lucky to have a strong, amazing, cool-under-fire guy like Randy, who handled the whole thing calmly which kept the venom from circulating quickly into his system.  Me, with my penchant for hysteria, I would have been a goner before punching the second 1 in 9-1-1.

Miraculously, Randy is the only rattlesnake bite victim in over 200 whom his hematologist has treated who didn’t have necrosis at the bite sight and didn’t have to have multiple skin grafts. What an immune system, dude! I hope you passed that on to Julia. Not because she’ll ever come into contact with a rattlesnake given that she’s sworn off hiking since that day. But it would make me feel better about that whole “inability to take criticism” thing, which she TOTALLY got from me.

Bottom line… one year later, Randy’s doing really well. Despite the damage the venom did to his whole body, he has bounced back wonderfully. He has been symptom-free for two months now. His last blood test was good. I think he has only one more to go before the docs give him the “all clear”.

And for all the snarky, silly and sarcastic jokes I have made about the whole ordeal, deep down inside I am nothing but grateful that it has all turned out so well. Because I can’t imagine my life without him. He is the love of my life. The world’s best father. And the one who gave me my favorite memory of the moon.

Happy Near Death Experience Anniversary, honey! Julia and I love you sooooo much. Thanks for being so tough!


NOTE: For those who are curious…no, Randy can’t speak parseltongue now and yes, his CHEST HAIR has grown back in very nicely, thank you very much.

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Author: toni

~ 03/16/10


Okay. Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that the single BIGGEST area of contention in the marriage between me and Randy the Perfekt husband is child rearing.

Yeah, I know, you’re supposed to be on the same page about the important things… morals, religion, life goals, child rearing, sushi.  And usually we are but sometimes we’re NOT…  (especially the sushi thing – ICK! but also the child rearing).

Mostly I think it’s to do with how different we were as kids. I was the straight “A” student who worked really hard at school and followed all the rules. Randy, who was super smart and felt unchallenged,  thought school was a bore and mostly screwed around. One would think that’s an indicator of how you turn out in life. However, if you checked out our respective W-2s from our working lives… well, ‘nuf said.  

Anyhow, our latest marital scuffle came on a recent Sunday night.

I should preface this by saying that our daughter Julia takes very much after me. In fact, Randy says that she’s so much like me that the 50% she got from him must be all in her internal organs. Anyway, like me as a kid, she’s a terrific student and an avid reader. In fact, she had been on a tear last year reading all the Harry Potter books. She was up to book six (Half Blood Prince) and was nearing the end when she got sidetracked by the holidays, her birthday and general life fun and never could seem to finish that darn book. 

I finally gave her the mommy ultimatum.  She had two weeks to finish the book or… well, there was no or else. It was more of a “just because I said so” which I swore I would never do, but I also swore I’d never color my hair, so never say never, right? Also I threw in the added incentive of 10 house points – a rewards system based on the Harry Potter books which actually works pretty well for us. And given that it can take days to earn 10 house points, this was the mother lode.

Well, naturally, despite my nagging encouraging to the contrary, The Half Blood Prince lingered. And lingered and lingered. Until, you guessed it, the Sunday deadline. The whole weekend Julia made choices that took her away from her reading. And the whole weekend, she assured me she would finish the book Sunday evening.

And then the Oscars came on. And Julia naturally wanted to watch them. She’s a HUGE fan of the fabulous gowns and she had seen TWO of the movies (Avatar and Up). I warned her that watching the show meant she wouldn’t finish the book as after the Oscars were over it would be her bed time… but she merely smiled and laughed at “the guy from Night at the Museum dressed like a N’avi”. And then the Oscars were over and predictably, the waterworks and remorse set in.


JULIA: Oh no! I didn’t get the book finished. I won’t get my ten house points!

TONI: Too bad. You made your choices.

JULIA: Please mommy, please, can I read the book now?

TONI: No, it’s your bed time.

JULIA: Waaaaaaaaaaa!

At which point Randy the perfekt husband, who’d had nothing to say up until then, chimed in.

RANDY:  Let her stay up and finish the book.

TONI: What the what the?! Uh, no.  She shouldn’t be allowed to violate her bedtime because of her poor choices.

RANDY: (taking my logical argument to heart)  Julia you can finish the book.

Normally this would have resulted in a marital standoff leading to possible curse-inducing, full-scale warfare over the center island (these things always occur with the center island between us). However, being the bigger (and I’ll admit, more tired) adult in the room,  I decided not to go there.

TONI: Fine.

RANDY: (suspiciously) Fine?

TONI: Yep. Let her stay up.

I said smugly and walked away, knowing full well Julia would never be able to stay up and finish the book and the lesson would be learned anyway. La dee dah.

Well, as with most things in life when one is too smug and secure about them, I turned out to be DEAD WRONG!

Not only did Julia finish the book, she stayed up past midnight to do it. Of course I didn’t know this until morning as I’d slept through it all.

When I found out I was STUNNED… and more than a little irritated not only with Randy but myself. I don’t like being wrong.


TONI: I can’t believe she finished the book.

RANDY: Yeah. Isn’t it cool?

TONI: No it’s not cool! What does that teach her? That she can put off things until the last minute and still succeed?!

RANDY: It worked for me.  She’s gonna breeze through high school!


Randy went to Julia and proceeded to slather on the kudos – congratulating her on her determination and follow-through. I turned, ready to argue my point to the death… but stopped myself. Because I noticed just how pleased and tight the two of them were in this, Julia’s moment of ill-gotten triumph. I watched as they high-fived and hugged and suddenly it occured to me that there was more to this than met the eye.

I realized in that instant that Randy needed to feel like there was SOMETHING about Julia that came from him… besides her internal organs. And this choice of Julia’s, HOW she had succeeded in her goal, was Randy through and through. I backed off and let them have their moment.

When I picked Julia up from school that afternoon and she looked like something out of Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” I wasn’t entirely convinced I had made the best parenting decision by letting the whole thing drop.  But remembering the look on Randy’s face that morning as they did their little victory dance in the kitchen, I was pretty sure I made a really good marital one.



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Author: toni

~ 10/19/09


So the other night, after Julia was in bed and Randy the perfekt husband was glued to the computer in the office checking his Fantasy scores or something, I crawled into my own bed, remote in hand, all comfy and ready to FINALLY watch the Tivo’d season premiere of HOUSE, one of my favorite shows. (Yeah. I know every episode is the same…strange malady, vicodin-fueled medical jargon, last minute brilliant diagnosis. But hey, I’ve got to feed my hypochondria somehow, and the internet is way too real).  

So I start the show and much to my surprise, it isn’t the same old thing cuz it’s House in a rehab facility that’s really more Cuckoo’s Nest than Promises. No green tea facials in this joint.

I’m kinda enjoying the change. Oh, and there’s FRANKE POTENTE! I’ve liked her since Run, Lola, Run and her great turn on The Shield.

Looks like Greg House is changing his spots…for the good. I don’t buy it. There’s gotta be a twist. House isn’t House unless he’s an addicted asshole. It’s why women find him attractive. Brilliant mixed with jerk makes a potent aphrodisiac. Okay. I’ll bite. What’s gonna happen next? I’m on the edge of my seat. Or rather the mountain of decorator pillows Randy finds completely unnecessary when…speak of the devil.

…Randy walks in. My heart sinks. Not cuz I don’t love him. But because I know he doesn’t love House. He crawls into bed next to me.


RANDY: Whatcha watching?

He knows full well what I’m watching as Hugh Laurie is up on screen with a cane in hand.

ME: House.


Which is husband jargon for “Not that show. It’s the same every episode.”

ME: I know you don’t like this show. You want to watch ESPN?

RANDY: No, sweetie. I know you don’t like watching sports stuff. Say. How about we watch something we both like?

ME: Okay.

I reluctantly, but good-wifedly, put House (who has just become responsible for a delusional patient jumping off a parking garage!) on PAUSE. After all, marriage is about compromise. And my husband has made a nice compromising gesture.  I hand the remote to Randy.

He begins flipping. Channel. After channel. After channel. After a few minutes he proclaims… 

RANDY: There’s nothing good on Saturday nights.

He’s right. There isn’t. Expect maybe for that Tivo’d episode of House!

TONI: You’re right. I guess I’ll just go to sleep.


I roll over. Close my eyes. After a beat. CLICK!

And the sounds of ESPN roll over me… Ah. Marriage.


P.S. I STILL haven’t seen the whole episode of House.

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