Patsy Porco

Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

Toxic Fat

In Humor on August 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm

It was disheartening when I awoke one morning to find I had gained 15 pounds overnight, and most of it was residing around my middle. It was really upsetting to learn from my friend, Amelia, that this fat was “toxic fat.” Killer fat. Fat that had to go, or I would.

I grew up thinking that I had inherited my mother’s super-metabolism, because, most of my life, I was considered slim. There were periods, though, when I was downright plump. In my last year of high school, I decided to take up recreational eating. As a result, my then-boyfriend decided to take up recreational dating. I managed to lose the weight once I went to Ohio State. I adhered to a strict regimen of beer and cigarettes and the pounds melted away … along with my liver and lungs, no doubt. But after that, I managed to stay thinnish. Until I approached “the change,”  a time which is also called perimenopause.  Now the jig is up. I’m now one of those women I assumed I’d never be: the ones built like linebackers with skinny legs.

In an effort to shed the weight without dieting or giving up wine, I started attending yoga and Pilates classes, but not with any regularity. It’s too depressing. Last week, the yoga instructor had to spend the class holding me up, while everyone else stood on one leg while extending the other behind them and their arms in front of them. I tried this pose, fell over, and banged my head on the floor. The 85-year-old woman next to me thought this was hilarious.

Amelia, who is two years younger than I am, has also experienced hot flashes, weight gain, and everything else associated with perimenopause, but she refuses to admit that she’s even close to changing life. She would prefer to blame her symptoms on a life-threatening disease than acknowledge that she might be approaching menopause. She said that her doctor gave her a blood test that proved she was showing no signs of perimenopause. Maybe she and her doctor are right—although I hope she doesn’t have a life-threatening disease—or maybe Amelia is living in denial.

I would love to book a trip to Denial. Or perhaps I’ll just book a trip there for my toxic fat … and that 85-year-old woman in my yoga class.


Urine and Mayan

In Humor on August 6, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Brazilians are being told to urinate in the shower once a day to save water. Their government claims that if every family member eliminates one flush a day, then thousands of gallons of water can be saved (over how long a period, I don’t know; I only half-listen to the radio when I’m driving because I need to concentrate on my texting).

Women are going to be the most alarmed by this suggestion for two reasons. One: women are usually the ones who clean the bathtubs; and Two: men already urinate in the shower.

What I want to know is: when are you supposed to use the bathtub as a toilet? Do you hold it in until you take a shower so that the already-running water will wash all traces away? Or, do you just use the tub anytime you feel the urge and wait until you, or an unsuspecting family member, turns on the water to bathe? Suppose you aren’t the type to check the floor of the tub when you step in and all of a sudden you slip on the urine and fall on your back? Now you’re lying in urine … with a broken spine. This is much worse than when men don’t put the seat down and you wind up sitting in the toilet instead of on it. I have a feeling that the people who came up with this idea were young men who don’t even realize that bathrooms need to be cleaned.

Is there anything worse than having to listen to someone describe his or her dream? Well, let’s see…

Last night I dreamed that my husband, Frank, was the head of WFAN-AM, a sports-talk radio station. The hosts at this station talk sports all the time … well, in between commercials, that is. Anyway, Frank allowed me to host a weekend show called, “Anything BUT Sports.” I must have been invisibly wired to the station, because I walked all over town with my microphone, and talked about whatever I felt like talking about. I also took callers. They always wanted to talk about sports, and I had to remind them that I would talk about “Anything BUT Sports.” I didn’t have any advertisers, so I had to talk for three hours straight. I started begging my board operator to play public service announcements, just so I’d have time to find a bathtub to urinate in. Pretty soon, the listeners and callers were fed up with me and my show’s format and they began spitting at me. Since I was walking the streets with a microphone and a sandwich board that said “Anything BUT Sports,” I was easy to spot. Every man in the tri-state area hated me and threatened to kill me, after he spit on me. I wonder what this means?


In Humor on August 4, 2009 at 9:37 pm
Happy Fall, Willing Subscribers!
Call me crazy— Not all at once, for the Love of God! You’ll wake the dead.
Anyway, call me crazy, but I think my family is being sent the seven plagues of the Egyptians, all in the form of wildlife.
First it was a bat…twice. Nothing is creepier than seeing a hysterical bat swooping all over your downstairs. And then, after we caught it and humanely returned it to the outdoors, it returned. Luke caught the second one in a sheet. Watching Luke race around the house while flailing a sheet at a bat was almost worth the trauma caused by, and to, the bat.
Then it was a mouse, or a rat. When Frank saw it several days ago in the laundry room, he said it was a mouse. When it ran by my foot yesterday morning, it looked like it was a foot long. Chuck at the hardware store said if it was a foot long, then it was a rat. When I related this to Frank, he said that I saw the mouse streaking by and it looked longer than it was. Who to believe? Since Luke and I were the trap-setters, I chose to use a rat trap. I figured if it was mouse, a rat trap could catch it, but if it was a rat, a mouse trap would be too small. So, we smeared peanut butter on the trap, set it and waited, to no avail. 
This morning, a squirrel broke into Luke’s bedroom. Apparently, chasing a frightened baby squirrel around the upstairs, while shrieking at it, is not the way to catch a squirrel. He’s still in Frank’s and my bedroom. I just saw him minutes ago through the louvered doors, scampering across the hooks on the door. I was just in that room for two hours, vacuuming, putting away laundry and cleaning out my closet, all the while waiting for the squirrel to make his appearance. He never made a sound. But he was there, all the time. Every time Luke and I saw him run across the room, he literally disappeared. This is the trickiest squirrel I’ve ever encountered in my bedroom.
Before we had discovered which bedroom the squirrel was in, my friend NAT (she says she’s too shy to be named in my newsletter) suggested setting up our dog’s crate in the hallway and putting peanuts in it. So, for several hours, while I was vacuuming, I was also tripping over a giant crate. The squirrel had no intention of venturing out of his hiding place just for a few peanuts and, to his mind, certain death.
NAT also suggested that once we narrowed down which room the squirrel was in, we should open the window, turn out the lights and shut the door, so the squirrel would find his way out. The article NAT had read on the Internet stated that a squirrel would be drawn by the light from outside to the window. So far, the squirrel hasn’t figured out that that’s how he’s supposed to act, but maybe that’s because it’s currently daytime and not any brighter outside than it is inside. I hope other animals don’t find the open window before the squirrel does. We could have a menagerie sleeping with us tonight. (Yikes, I hear it scampering on the hooks again. I’ll be right back.)
So, Luke and I just spent 15 minutes chasing the squirrel from one end of the radiator (his hiding place) to the other and back. When I pulled the front of the radiator off, he ran under my dresser, where he still is. We stood quietly, armed with a towel and a sheet to throw over him when he came out, but the plan failed when he failed to come out, or be scared out. The latest plan involves leaving walnuts around the base of the dresser. So far, the squirrel hasn’t fallen for this ploy.
Frank (who is at work) said that he’s not sleeping in our room until the squirrel is out of there. Luckily, the exterminator is coming tomorrow for the mouse/rat and the moths (oh yeah, we’ve been infested with little moths since March).
On to another topic: my friend, KDiM, said that my newsletters aren’t very newsworthy and she suspects that I use the term “newsletter” rather loosely. So, in the interest of verisimilitude, here’s my latest news:
It is very dangerous to put one’s fingers into the bottom of the vacuum cleaner when it is still on. The roller is very painful when it slams into your fingers. So, if you have a clog in the bottom of your vacuum cleaner, turn it off first before inserting your fingers. I learned this firsthand this afternoon.
I was going to suggest hosting a ladies’ night at my house, but I fear that the wildlife invasion might be off-putting to some of you. Therefore, I will bring the subject up again, once my house has been cleansed of the riffraff.
I think I saw a deer prance by my office door. Until next time….
If you want to Unsubscribe, you’re nuts (in honor of the squirrel).


In Humor on August 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm
Happy 2009, Willing Subscribers!
I was awakened by the phone at the crack of 11:30 a.m. this morning. It was my sister, Victoria, calling from Ohio to tell me that I had thrown out all of my mother’s Christmas presents. With my heart hammering in my chest, I sprang out of bed and went into full panic mode. Was there no escaping the chaos in Powell (a suburb of Columbus), Ohio?
It all started on Christmas Eve, around 9:30 p.m.  Frank, Luke and I were spending Christmas with my mother and brother, Rick, and their new dog, Spirit. We were placing the last gifts around the tree and Frank said his feet were cold. I suggested to my mother that she give Frank his gift (scarlet and gray Ohio State slippers in the shape of footballs) early. She searched around the tree and realized that the slippers were still upstairs, along with some other overlooked gifts. She went up to get them and on her way down the steps, her arms laden with presents, she missed the last few steps and went flying into the wall. We all saw it happen, but none of us could get to her in time to stop the fall. Frank was on the phone with his family and he said he watched the fall happen in slow motion. The next thing we knew, her head was gushing blood and she couldn’t move her left side.
So, Christmas Eve was spent taking an ambulance ride and sitting by my mother’s side in the ER. Her head was stitched up and the X-Rays showed that she had broken her left shoulder in three places, so she was admitted and we went home. We took her home the day after Christmas and after dinner, she opened her presents. She was in a lot of pain, but the pain killers kept it in check.
Everything seemed fine until the phone call this morning. I’ve been known to accidentally throw out Christmas presents, so it seemed reasonable to my mother, sister and brother that I had scooped up all of her gifts, put them into a bag and then carted them out to the curb. I had done so much work there in such a short amount of time that I was operating on autopilot. But still, I couldn’t imagine how I would have mistaken a bag filled with gifts for trash. After hanging up with my sister (who had flown in from New York, the day I left, to help out for a week, until another sister could take over), I called on St. Anthony to find those gifts. And he did! Of course, nobody bothered to call me back to tell me that everything had been located. Luckily, I called them back and was told that the presents were found next to a chair in the living room, right where they had been all along. Somebody had thrown pillows on top of the gifts and they were incognito. Talk about relief! After some deep breathing and a few shots of scotch*, I made a belated New Year’s Resolution: to block all calls from Ohio.
I know my newsletters are supposed to be heralds of great sales, but in this economy, I figure you can find a great sale with your eyes closed, so you don’t need me to point them out. I wish everyone a wonderful 2009 and remember, if your husband says his feet are cold … tell him to put on socks.
Happy New Year!!
* I really didn’t drink scotch at 11:30 a.m., but believe what you will.
If you wish to Unsubscribe, I don’t blame you.


In Humor on August 4, 2009 at 9:20 pm
Good Day, Willing Subscribers!
I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but here in Norwalk, CT, it’s one of those absolutely gorgeous, perfect days. All thoughts of winter are swept away by the warm, mild breeze and burned away by the gloriously shining sun, framed by a pale blue sky. If Heaven has weather, it has to be like today’s. If it’s raining or snowing where you live, please disregard the previous description.
Where to begin? Let’s start with the obvious: poison ivy. I am going to share a secret with you (that I stole from someone else), even though I could probably make millions if I didn’t. I could bottle up my idea and sell it to the world, and then travel the world with no financial worries. But, because my Willing Subscribers are so loyal to me and never ask to unsubscribe (let’s pretend here that you actually could unsubscribe; you might label my emails as Spam or Junk Mail, but you will nevertheless receive them until the end of time), I will tell you how to banish poison ivy overnight. Simply mix a cup of water with several tablespoons of Clorox bleach. Using a clean cloth, dip the cloth in the solution and dab it on the affected areas. Let it dry before allowing your skin to touch any clothing, or it might leave bleach stains. By the next day, you will have little to no poison ivy. If you still have a little left, reapply the Clorox solution. Because I am extremely lazy, I took a shortcut and sprayed Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner directly onto my skin. No doubt this is probably dangerous, but it worked…plus, my skin was disinfected and my soapscum disappeared.
Back when I lived in Ohio, you could find people testifying and witnessing on every corner. They, of course, were testifying about Jesus. I am going to testify and witness for Gmail. At the behest of two of my friends (let’s call them MJ and NAT), I joined Gmail (Google Mail). MJ urged me to join this email program because she, being in her twenties, can’t fathom how anyone could not have Gmail. NAT, being a little older, ordered me to use Gmail because it offers an “Unsend” feature; you can configure your Gmail to not send an email for up to 10 seconds. In that time, you can verify that you are sending your email to the intended recipient. I have had several incidents that I would prefer not to repeat, so this feature enticed me to join. NAT also pointed out that there’s another program that forces you to do math problems before it allows you to send out emails. You get to set the times and days when the math-problem rule is in effect. So, if you’ve been known to take a glass (or a bottle) of wine with you to your computer (and I’m not admitting to anything here), it’s handy to have the computer tell you when you’ve been cut off. I set the math problems’ difficulty level at 5, which is the hardest level, and let me tell you, those problems aren’t easy to mentally solve, within the allotted 60 seconds, no matter how clear-headed you might be. Someone suggested that I keep a calculator by my side, but I think that might defeat the purpose of the Gmail cop option. There are all kinds of programs you can select to enhance your Gmail experience. Click on Settings (at the top of your Gmail screen) and then on “Labs.” After you’ve made your safety-net selections, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Enable.” If this sounds too complicated, I have some math problems for you to do first.
Since this is supposed to be a newsletter, as pointed out by Willing Subscriber, KdiM, I have some news: if you have a front porch or deck that is littered with shoes, athletic equipment and ham sandwiches, you might be interested in the Step2 Outside Storage Bench that is available from Kohl’s. It’s $135 plus $43 shipping, but that still makes it $31 cheaper than it is at Walmart. You might want to shop around first before buying it, though. I’m going to assemble ours today. I’ll report back regarding my opinion of it once I’ve put it together and discerned if water leaks into it when it rains.
That’s all for now. Rudy (our Golden Retriever) and I just returned from a brisk meander through Cranbury Park, so we both need a nap. Enjoy the day, no matter what your personal weather may be.
If you wish to Unsubscribe, I feel your pain.


In Humor on August 4, 2009 at 9:16 pm
Happy 7th of July, Willing Subscribers!
In honor of the Fourth, I weeded my garden; now I have a dirt garden. Either I can’t tell a weed from a plant, or the weeds strangled all of my plants, or I hallucinated planting vegetables in May. Any of these scenarios could be true. The jury’s still out.
We recently had a fence put up to keep our dog, Rudy, from running down the street and scaring the horses. My brother, our contractor, also put lattice all around the base of our deck so that Rudy couldn’t get under it. However, my brother missed a small spot behind a bush, and Rudy found that opening … at midnight last night. I had taken him out at 9:30 p.m. and he refused to come back in. When we went outside at midnight and firmly instructed him to get inside, he ran under the deck. Since every flashlight we own needs batteries, Frank had to go to Walgreens at 12:15 a.m. Once we had working flashlights, we tried to force Rudy out with a barrage of light, which didn’t work. He barely looked up as he backed away from us. We considered blaring cat music at him, to torture him, but it was after midnight, and we didn’t want our neighbors blaring police music at us. At this point, Frank said to leave him out there and suggested that I sleep in the family room so that I could hear Rudy when he started barking. I wanted to know why I had to sleep on the couch and Frank said that Rudy was “my dog.” Since when? Since 1 a.m., I guess. So, the little wretch (Rudy, not Frank) wandered under, around, and on the deck all night, jangling his tags. At 4:30 a.m., he barked to come in. When I opened the door, he realized how much trouble he was in and started to reconsider, but the hotdog I was waving at him changed his mind.  A trainer once called him “food-motivated.” As Willing Subscriber Elizabeth commented, “Who isn’t?”
I’m on my way out to buy full-grown vegetable plants (plastic ones, if possible) to put in my mud patch. Please don’t tell my mother-in-law. She has told me, many times, that you don’t plant in the summer. She should know; she has the greenest thumb I ever encountered. Once, she was eating a peach on her second-floor deck, and she threw the pit over the railing and into her yard. Two years later, we were eating peaches that grew from that pit. She didn’t even plant it. Well, summer or not, I’m going to fill that garden with something. I should have left the weeds. At least they were green.
Happy Summer!
P.S. If you wish to Unsubscribe, you will receive a rather large dog in the mail.


In Humor, Twilight on August 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm
Happy August Willing Subscribers!
As you may or may not know, I spent July, my favorite month, obsessed with all things related to the Twilight books and movie, including the 23-year-old actor, Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullen. I’m just as obsessed with his costar, Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella Swan. You could have found me most days, sitting on the floor in the magazine section of Walgreen’s, combing through teen magazines and holding my breath until I got to the articles which would tell me if Kristen and Robert were still a real-life couple. I love them as a couple, both onscreen and off.
I also went to Boston with three Willing Subscribers, Karen, Veronica and Margaret. Between a cocktail party outside Shaw’s grocery store, a Duck Tour where I got to drive the boat on the Charles River (after first knocking down the little kids who wanted to drive), a Ghosts and Gravediggers bus tour where we were threatened with bodily harm by the ghoul conductor, and having a fabulous balloon hat made for me by a clown in Quincy Market, it was the best time ever.
And so went July.
August is a fresh new summer month, and I am determined to get a new hobby. So, I decided to write a best-selling, blockbuster, teen romance so that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart can be cast together again, and I can appear with them on the MTV stage when we win all of the Golden Popcorn awards.  A reasonable goal, don’t you think?
That’s all for now. I’m exhausted. I inadvertently insulted a bunch of Canadians yesterday via email and trying to get them to forgive me has worn me out. 
P.S. If you wish to Unsubscribe, I’d like to remind you that you can’t. It’s that simple.
Chuck Smith, Virginia Author

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