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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 02/17/10


You may have heard that Doug Fieger, singer and songwriter for THE KNACK, died Feb. 14 at age 57 at his home in Woodland Hills, CA of lung cancer.  Even if you weren’t around in 1979 you’re probably familiar with the monster #1 ditty Fieger sang and wrote called “My Sharona.” Yeah, I don’t know what it means either, but it was a cool song.

So what does this have to do with skin cancer? Well, I recently had a bit of skin cancer removed from my lower abdomen. A little growth that has been there for FOUR YEARS! because instead of going to a dermatologist as I should have, I asked my gynecologist about it. I mean, I figured since it was C-section adjacent, he was the doc to see, right?  WRONG! My GYN said it was nothing. Well, guess what? It was something! And lucky for me, it was only a basal cell carcinoma which is a slow-growing, easy to cut off cancer that doesn’t get into your system and not a melanoma which can kill you and which recently ended the life of a good friend of my brother RICHARD. The young man was only 29.

Winona Ryder for skin cancer awareness

I know, you’re still wondering what this has to do with The Knack. Well, since Feiger died of cancer and I had Basal Cell Carcinoma which rhymes with My Sharona, well… naturally, I had to retool the lyrics to the Knack’s classic song to get across my point to…


Or better yet, have a dermatologist take a look. If like me you grew up in the sun worshipping era where one used Coppertone instead of Banana Boat, it’s important that you know that sun damage is cumulative. And what you did to your skin as a kid can come back with a vengeance in adulthood.

So… to help encourage you to check your skin… and as an homage to Doug Fieger who wrote a really cool song and who passed at way too young an age… may I present…


(sung to the tune of MY SHARONA)

Ooh my little ugly one, ugly one.
You creepy li’l basal cell carcinoma
Ooh you best go on the run, too much sun,
Gonna be comin’ off carcinoma
Never gonna stop, cut you off
Such unhealthy thing.. Always lop you off, sew it up
So I’m clean again. My my my i yi woo. B-B-Basal Cell Carcinoma

When you getting too much sun, too much sun
Just a matter of time for a carcinoma
Is it destiny, or a lack of the sunny screen
Really glad it wasn’t a melanoma
Never gonna stop, cut you off
Such unhealthy thing.. Always lop you off, sew it up
So I’m clean again. My my my i yi woo. B-B-Basal Cell Carcinoma



And if the brilliance of my Weird Al-esque turn or Winona Ryder in the near buff doesn’t send you running to the dermatologist, think of your kids. I know that will do it.

For more info on skin cancer, check out the following websites. 

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Author: toni

~ 02/11/10


I know this has been around a while. But as with many things in life, I am the last to know. In case you’re like me and you missed the first go around…. check out this absolutely brilliant video palindrome.

A palindrome reads the same backwards as forward. This video reads the exact opposite backwards as forward. Not only does it read the opposite, the meaning is the exact opposite.

This 1 minute, 44 second video was submitted in a contest by a 20-year old. The contest was titled “u @ 50″ by AARP. This video won second place.



Wow, huh? First place must have been awesome!

Kudos to the parents who raised this young person. You should be proud not only for the brilliance of their mind, but also for the sentiment in their soul.

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Author: toni

~ 02/10/10


Well, the party took place last Saturday. I haven’t posted since then because it has taken me that long to recuperate from the weekend. But in my defense, we had out-of-town guests and the partying went on through Sunday as it was my birthday that day.

We’ll start with the decorations. Our garage was turned into the Grand Hall of Hogwarts. I don’t know how “grand” it was given its low ceiling. But it did look cool. Thanks to hours of help from fellow MAMMAKAZESZadrina and Angelica. Thank you both so much. I couldn’t have done it without you. Plus you made me help Randy the Perfekt husband realize that I’m not the only mom who gets into these things.

We set up 4 tables, one for each house and hung house flags over them. We used fishing line so that the flags looked like they were magically hanging. We did the same for the candles (thanks Z for figuring that out). We hung white Christmas lights for ambiance.


Upon entering through red curtains we used to separate the house area from the garage, the kids were met with the Ollivanders table. This is where they selected their wands… or rather, their wands selected them.

Notice the dry ice in the cauldron. Nice touch Uncle John. Also, I downloaded a photo of The Fat Lady and framed her in one of my frames.


I bought the cake from Costco (an excellent cake for the price) and had the edible art made at a local cake shop from a picture I had of Julia as Hermione at Halloween. I added the words on my computer.


In addition to keeping their wands and the prizes they won from the Cauldron of prizes, the kids also got goodie bags filled with Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, the Hogwarts School of Magic Pens and Harry Potter stickers.


Also, though it’s not visible in these pictures, we had a sound system set up in one corner for music and microphones. You need a mike when trying to talk above 25 kids and countless adults! And the front of the hall had a white screen upon which was projected Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Julia’s favorite of the films). And we also used it for the game of Harry Potter Scene It, which was one of the competitions between the houses.


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Author: toni


Well, I have to say I was totally touched by how all-out the adults got into character and the spirit of the Harry Potter Books.  Thank you guys. You are wonderful, wonderful friends. You made the day extra magical and I love you all.

Following are some pictures. Other than Julia, I am not posting pictures of the other children (although there were 25 in attendance). This is for privacy reasons. Cuz believe it or not, not everyone is driven to plaster photos of their private lives across the internet.  Go figure.


What is Hogwarts without the professors?

My bro John as Severus Snape. Me as Prof. Sybil Trelawney. Randy the perfekt husband as Sirius Black (post Azkaban). Jennie as Professor Delores Umbridge. Jennie’s mom Sue as Mrs. Molly Weasley.  Mark H. as Hagrid. Zadrina E. as Prof. Minerva McGonagall. Notice the screen in the b.g. for the movie and Scene-It.

Cheri W. as Luna Lovegood. Cathy H. as Prof. Quirrell. Umbridge. Wayne W. as Albus Dumbeldore. McGonagall. Hagrid.

Randy the perfekt Husband as Sirius Black. Me as Prof. Trelawney. And B-Day girl Julia as Hermione Granger.

Hermione and Severus Snape


Blowing out the candles on age 7. Bringing in age 8. Where did the time go?

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Author: toni

~ 02/04/10

Two more days until the Harry Potter party. And now my main concern is if I have enough stuff to do to keep all those kids occupied for 2 1/2 hours.

We have things planned, natch. We’ll start with a banquet feast that includes mini tacos (Julia’s not into treacle) and the Harry Potter theme as background music. Then the presentation of the wands. Then there’s Silly Divinations during which I, dressed as Trelawney, will be reading the future of each of the kids. Julia and I had a ball coming up with the most ridiculous futures. They’re printed on parchment in Harry Potter font. Then a game of Pass the Basilisk, ala hot potato. When the music stops, whoever has the Basilisk is petrified and OUT! A game of Harry Potter Scene It projected on the castle wall – the kids will divide up in 4 teams and we’ll make sure each team has a Potter expert, as not all kids are as well versed in Potter as a certain handful I know.

Finally,  there’s the Yule Ball Petrificus Totalus Dance. Snape (my brother John in costume and character) will oversee this. It’s like a freeze dance, only when the music stops, he will pertify them and those still moving will be out. The kids LOVE the freeze dance and we do a thematically appropriate version at every party.

I will have a cauldron of prizes and we always make sure that every kid wins a prize.

We might throw in a dementor attack or two. Just to give us an excuse to eat chocolate. Not that I need any.

Here are some more homemade decorations. I’m doing the actual decorating tomorrow and will post photos of the finished product then.


Every Grand Hall must have house flags. I’m hanging 4 over each of 4 tables representing each of the Houses of Hogwarts.  And also the Hogwarts Crest which will hang at the front of the Hall (aka my garage).  Made with felt and photos of the crests.





We also did an Ollivanders sign to hang up over the basket of wands. Just for ambiance.


More in coming days. Wish me luck!

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Author: toni

~ 02/03/10


Despite a suggestion from a MAMMAKAZE reader that I may be over-indulging my child and therefore creating a spoiled brat of a monster who will come to expect everything handed to her and may one day have a public breakdown, shave her hair in front of paparazzi and blame me for all her shortcomings… we continue our party prep.

In for a penny, in for a pound I say.

Today we showcase some of the crafts (handmade and otherwise) that we hope will add to the ambiance of Hogwarts (aka my garage).

As anyone can tell you, one cannot be a witch or a wizard worth their salt without, you guessed it, a wand. And therefore, we have handmade wands for everyone, courtesy of our friend Al E. (Al you rock!) who hand carved all 30 of them. Julia and I stained them and individualized them.


Handmade wands for all witches and wizards. No unforgivable curses please.

Julia staining wands. She was really good at it! And very determined and specific about having a variety of shades.


And since I refused to cough up the $25 bucks it costs to purchase the sign on Amazon, we made our own Platform 9 3/4 Hogwarts sign which was meant to hang in the courtyard, but probably will hang in the house since rain is in the forecast.


And while we couldn’t get life-sized Quidditch brooms for all attendees, we did get them little broom pens with the words “Hogwarts School of Magic” embossed on the side.  A fun keepsake AND amazingly cheap!



As Julia used to say when she was around 18 months, “How you think?” Cool, huh? Tomorrow, house flags, the Hogwarts banner and also the Ollivander sign (if it turns out okay). Have gold spray paint, will…uh, create signage.

Again, feel free to comment on my madness. It makes for controversy and controversy is good for traffic! Until tomorrow!

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