Monthly Archives: February 2015

Jupiter Plummeting*: the movie where science fiction has gone to the dogs—or lycans—in this case.

Mr-SpockLeonard Nimoy dies and the world is not the same. To honor the great man who played an even greater character, Spock, what could be more fitting than to go watch a space opera?  As it turns out, just about anything else.

I sat in the theater Friday night thinking, “This can’t possibly be happening.” I almost asked the stranger next to me his opinion to confirm my sinking suspicions; Jupiter Ascending has to be one of the dumbest movies ever made. Might be the dumbest I have ever seen, and I saw Lucy last year, so that is saying something.

I have tried to explain to anyone who had the misfortune to ask, what exactly was wrong with the film, then a sentence like this comes out of my mouth:

“…it is when the half-lycan runt of the litter, who lost his genetically enhanced wings due to biting out the throat of one of the ‘privileged’ swoops in to rescue the girl, Jupiter, from the little grey aliens disguised as doctors who are trying to kill the reincarnated genetic duplicate of a dead Queen, whisked through the room on flying combat boots that it occurs to me, ‘I think this movie might suck.’”

When the movie started, Mila Kunis says, “I am an alien.” Excellent, good to have that straight right off the bat. But then she clarifies that she is an illegal alien because her father is not a citizen of her mother’s country. Okayyy. Got it, clever play on being an alien from outer space, not really, just kidding. Hah Hah. It is the only attempt at humor in the entire movie—even the writers knew this one couldn’t be saved by clever one liners. After her father is brutally murdered, her mother leaves Russia to sail on a cargo ship bound for who-knows-where and gives birth to a daughter mid-voyage—who she names Jupiter because it had been her husband’s final words to her before he dies.** And this is the last time anything in the movie makes anything approaching sense. Yeah, I know.

What follows is a quick flash of Mila Kunis’s life in Chicago as a household drudge—Jupiter Jones waking up six or seven times at Oh-God thirty in the morning, schlepping to various houses to clean and covet rich people’s stuff…and hating her life. Then, after a few paltry lines of creepy dialogue from the cousin from ‘seedy central casting’ about making some money selling her eggs, Jupiter goes to a fertility clinic where she faces every woman’s nightmare—wearing the paper gown that never actually covers any pertinent body part. But due to the magic of Hollywood, this one manages to not only stay on, but also not move when she is hoisted by alien technology, rolled over in the air—for no reason I can think of—and then the aliens, I mean doctors, determine she is the genetic match they were hired to kill. And so they proceed to kill her…slowly…by pushing a button that apparently is going to administer some kind of agent through an oxygen mask, thus giving the hero time to locate the girl, shoot up the room of little grey men who have dropped their concerned medical practitioner façade to reveal the truly gruesome reality beneath.*** This must have been a signal of some sort because, after this, the movie really goes off the deep end.

The rest of the story is a blur of the half-lycan, half-whatever, wingless soldier on air-hockey skates, played rather heroically by Channing Tatum—heroic due to the fact he never once lets on how exactly terrible he thinks this movie really is—constantly bailing Jupiter Jones out of every stupid decision she makes. After the dashing rescue from the murder clinic, Tatum’s character, Caine Wise (who makes up a name like that?), skates away from three or four bounty hunters, holding onto Jupiter still wearing her magic paper robe. (Maybe they glued it onto her?) Using his flying skates and a small shield, Caine somehow prevents any laser weapons from hitting him or his shrieking companion. Caine also managed to hang on to Jupiter despite some truly unbelievable stunts that had CGI teams up to all hours trying to make them look even remotely believable. (Warning: they failed.)

Jupiter and Caine escape to meet up with a former comrade of Caine’s, played by Sean Bean. Sean immediately tries to kill Caine but then bees descend and buzz around Jupiter’s head, signaling that she is reborn royalty. The rest of the movie devolves into a series of over-the-top battles wherein Jupiter is dragged before genetic kin on three different planets. The first time, a daughter of Jupiter’s former self warns her that she is about to enter a new world (duh) and hopes that ‘this time’ they can be friends. Then she bathes in a mysterious liquid and strips off all of the excruciatingly applied aging make-up the cosmetics team spent hours applying. Caine fights his way to Jupiter and takes her off to claim her inheritance. Next comes the most exhausting battle yet—navigating the red tape of the galactic central offices.

Claiming Jupiter’s rebirth-right involves the bane of all universes—standing in line at various different governmental departments and finally bribing their way to the office where Jupiter is tattooed with her royal seal. The clerk who tags her offers Jupiter congratulations and then condolences…but does Jupiter take a hint? No. When someone offers to make her a queen of the universe, she goes along with it. Relative number two hijacks her and spills the secret about the source of their eternal youth. (Spoiler: think Soylent Green in a blender.) Battle, battle, fight scene and Sean Bean betrays his old friend and delivers Jupiter up to relative number three—Balem—the son of the former queen. Balem is a less fun, more psychotic version of Loki from the Avengers, but with a sore throat because he has a hoarse whisper the entire movie. The Loki-Wanna-Be shoves Caine out an airlock and then casually proposes a marriage of convenience to his mother/Jupiter so he can ensure her inheritance is properly managed. Right. Jupiter, learning she has lost her lycan love connection, says yes. Meanwhile Caine survives the vacuum of space long enough to slip on an emergency air bubble suit. (I can’t explain it any more than that.) Help arrives and, between Caine and the reconciled, contrite Sean Bean, the two men face a gauntlet of laser-guided war hammers to rescue Jupiter, yet again. Somehow, Caine manages to make it through, and nearly rescues his almost-girlfriend when she slips through his fingers because he is too busy fighting off the flying lizards. Oh, did I forget to mention the toothy Sleestaks with wings? How silly of me.

sleestak
I dare you to get the theme song to the Land of the Lost out of your head. I double-lycan dare you.

I think you can image how the rest of this disaster of plot contrivances ends. Laser tag, explosions and a minor impalement pretty much wrap up the bad guys. Jupiter finally finds a backbone, informs Balem, “I am not your mother” and then bashes him on the head. The lycan and the faux queen find each other and escape in the nick of time, swept along in the jet stream of the departing ship’s escape velocity. The next thing we know, Jupiter is back to being a charwoman but this time she is grateful and happy to clean toilets for a living. Oh, and she flies off into broad daylight with her one true, half-lycan love, only this time she’s wearing the gravity defying combat boots. Her lover has finally earned back his wings.

I have been a long-time fan of science fiction, but Jupiter Ascending may have ruined that for me. Somewhere along the line, my brain lost the ability to suspend disbelief beyond the breaking point. Whoever thought taking Twilight, removing the vampire, adding in leather-winged lizards from space and assorted bad guys with increasingly psychotic motives and blending it with the plot of Maid in Manhattan was a good idea, really stepped over a line…a few galaxies back. (The film badly went where no one had gone before—for good reason.) It almost seems appropriate that the same day Leonard Nimoy died is the same day my love of science fiction was irreparably damaged. But I will recover from this devastation. I will not allow one truly awful film to ruin me forever. As Spock might have said: “It would be illogical.”

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnote:

*I’d give you a Spoiler Alert warning, but honestly, I think I’m doing you a favor if you go in knowing what’s about to happen to you.

**Fifty shades of Finding Nemo.

***I will not be able to face my next gynecological exam without remembering this scene. Damn their souls.

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My Toxic Life

Tomato soup
My fallback comfort food: tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich.

I am presently suffering the agonies of mid-winter flu. Typing is exhausting and my brain is all a-fog with the unwashed desire to return to bed. I also suffer the angst of once again being homeless.*

The home that almost was, isn’t any more. The inspection turned up enough accumulative unknown repairs to make the purchase cost prohibitive. Added to that, the home turned out to be radioactive. (Okay, I exaggerate, but it helps me to think it was a toxic environment that I am better off rid of.) The inspection report showed Radon.

wonder-woman-clip-art1-208x300
On the other hand, I’d make a kick-ass Wonder Woman.

For those of you who don’t know what radon is…you need to educate yourselves. It is a natural gas that is a “colorless, radioactive, inert gaseous element formed by the radioactive decay of radium.”  (thefreedictionary.com) Now, I’d love to develop super powers as much as the next girl, but unfortunately, radiation only does that in cartoons. Radon is the number two cause of lung cancer leading to deaths by the thousands every year. It can be found anywhere. But in my particular case, it turned up in the inspection report, sealing the doubts I had based on the myriad other things wrong with the building—the fact that the roof wasn’t entirely attached being one of them. This means I am back to house hunting and the market has been picked clean.**

I am weepy with being ill for two…(wait, what day is it?)…three days. I am depressed that the house I was hoping was perfect for me, isn’t. I am tired of looking at the real estate site only to see all the other houses I liked have gone to less indecisive buyers. I have been living on cookies and hot chocolate for days…and I have just run out of cookies.

Chicken Soup
This would have been a lot more comforting if it hadn’t been frozen solid from sitting in the garage all winter.

I could use a hug. And chicken soup. And a house.

*Sob*

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnote:

*’Cause nothing warms the soul like hyperbole.

**Like the Thanksgiving Turkey on Friday, the only houses left are the neck bones of that analogy. And nobody wants to live in a neck bone.

*Forget About Me–Save The Desserts!

IMG_2683 There is something about the call of battle that is so invigorating. At least, that’s what every science fiction novel has lead me to believe. Now I am more informed. War isn’t pretty. Not even a war covered in chocolate. I attended the Hobart Dessert Wars held at the Amway Grand Plaza Friday night. I was late to the event and my poor planning landed me in the fudge sauce right away. I had no idea how well attended the event would be. Too well attended. The line to get into the Ambassador Ballroom took at least twenty minutes—snaking in and around the foyer, through a back hall, around a bathroom (presumably to give you an opportunity before continuing the trek) and back around to the foyer again. By the time I got inside it was wall to wall with chocolate crazed donut lovers.

IMG_2685
TO THE VICTOR, THE SWEET, SWEET SPOILS.

It was a sweet smelling madhouse. People wedged their way through the crowd, some holding up coveted box tops garnered at a dessert table to keep their trophies in. I was to learn to my sincere regret how necessary these shields of battle were. Because of the size of the room, they placed the tables all around the outside of the space with tiny, standing hors d’oeuvre tables draped with white tablecloths in the center. They were calm oases where one could set down their treasures and feast. But no one was doing that. It was a sadly long wait to get to each of the thirteen stations. (I was feeling quite cross, I can tell you.) After the first table, I knew I wasn’t going to make it unless I got ruthless.

IMG_2689
Before disaster struck. “The Melting Pot”

At the first table I went to, The Melting Pot, which is a restaurant I have never been to because of the idea of drowning things in scalding chocolate has never appealed to me, I sidled my way to the edge, because the movement at the center was negligible, only to discover that they were only serving at the front. I managed to throw down a ticket and snag a dessert myself—the harried servers barely blinked at my chocolate ballsy theft. I turned away cackling in triumph only to have my victory dashed away by the plate of cubed brownies and pound cake with fudge sauce and strawberry slices flying out of my hands and splatting on the floor. (We won’t discuss the five second rule and the possible application thereof. I had waited a long time to get to that dessert.) That said, the brownie was definitely the best part of that arrangement.

IMG_2690
Casualty of War.

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sample everything, so every once in a while, I’d stop someone to get a picture of their food or their impressions of the event. The consensus was that the venue was too crowded to make the experience pleasurable. I met Cathy with her grandson, Adam, in line. Cathy told me people were leaving because of it. She was harried by the stress of the battle for bite-sized vittles, but she was one of the people I saw at the close of the event. What a grandmother won’t do for her grandkids!

IMG_2709
Grandma Cathy braves the crowds to please her grandson, Adam.

I learned a few lessons from the veterans in attendance. People who had been to past Dessert Wars came prepared. Some had baking cupcake tins to pop their samples into, others came as teams, with one person hitting a few stations, collecting five or more samples and then they would converge somewhere else to divide the spoils.

IMG_2715
Tessa takes taste-testing seriously!

Opinions on the quality of the entries differed. Some people had nothing but good things to say. I spoke with 7-year-old Tessa who, when asked agreed that she was definitely an ‘expert in desserts’. In her opinion, she liked the chocolate truffle the best…until she tasted the chocolate red velvet ice cream cookie. That immediately became her favorite. “It was better than the truffle.” She said.

IMG_2745
This ‘anonymous’ source indicated that the bacon donut by Robinette’s was the hands-down winner for her.

Others held more reserved judgment of the event. Ruthanne – who is not pictured except for her hands—felt that what the Melting Pot served wasn’t really appropriate to a “Dessert Wars” theme. “They didn’t make it from scratch.” She went on to say that they simply cut up brownies and cake. “I could do that!” No, she felt that the winner should be someone like the Love’s Ice Cream because they constructed a dessert on the site. The official judges must have agreed. The ice cream/cream puff swans took second place. As it was one of the desserts I got to try, I had to agree. It was worth the hassle and fuss of fighting my way to the front. Despite the chaos and disappointment of not getting to try many of the sponsored delights, there was a heady thrill of getting the last puffed pastry (or piece of carrot cake, in my case) and walking away a champion in the sweets arena. To the victor the just desserts.

IMG_2710
The Peanut Butter and Jelly shooters served by Twisted Rooster sadly look delicious. They took 3rd Place alongside The Melting Pot in the People’s Choice Award.

I was entirely impressed with the bakeries and restaurants that participated. They kept their cool in the face of crises. When swans took too long to prepare, the basic cream puffs were handed out so that people could at least try them. The Melting Pot was the last table standing…scraping the pot for fudge sauce even after the competition was officially over. At tables where I was too late to sample the wares, the assistants proudly showed off cell phone pictures and rattled off the many entries offered. It definitely was incentive to go out and try these establishments at a later date. There were many winners that evening. Winners for people’s choice: 3rd place was a tie: Twisted Rooster and the Melting Pot 2nd place was “Sprinkles” 1st place was Robinette’s Judge’s decision 3rd place Robinette’s 2nd place Love’s Ice Cream 1st place Town to Town The real winners were the area food pantry “Kids’ Food Basket” which benefitted in part from the proceeds of the event. It is good to know, we all went to bed slightly sick with over-indulgence for a good cause.

* * * * *

Bonus: How to Make a Cream Puff Swan

Final Product - Delicious Cygnus!
DELICIOUS CYGNUS!

There were too many choices and competitors to all list here.  There are many great sites where each competitor’s entries may be found.  Here’s a list of the entrants and a link to their entries: IMG_2730

·Cygnus 27 

(FRUSHI – fruit roll-up sushi with sweet rice and fresh fruit.)

Frushi—Fruit Sushi is a hybrid fusion dessert taking the concept of ‘sushi’ in a new direction. I managed to get a lovely picture of the promoted items, but again, I was too late to sample the elaborate constructions. The basic ingredients were fruit roll ups, sweet sticky rice with vanilla, fresh fruit and dehydrated pineapple and they were served with a sauce which I was assured could go on anything! It looked convincingly enough like soy sauce to fool me. I was told it was vanilla, honey and balsamic vinegar though with a plop of “Wasabi” in the form of ground pistachio paste.

·Furniture City Creamery

(Red velvet, chocolate ice cream cookie sandwich. Tiny but tasty.  A big hit with 7-year-olds and me too! I honestly did not know it was vegan ice cream until they told me.)

·Grand Cakes

(A dark chocolate, hazelnut truffle. This was scrumptious!)

·Great Harvest Bread Company

(Served their signature cinnamon roll bread. I’ve had this warm from the bakery before, so I don’t think serving it cold and butter-less showed off it’s best effort.)

IMG_2718
JK Bakehouse’s take on tiramisu.

·JK’s Bakehouse & Deli

(Sweeter Cherve Tiramisu with goat cheese.)

Cookie bars that were called Tiramisu. Complicated ingredients made it hard to identify all of their choices. I tried three of the cookie bars and the fruit option was the best. They were not as elegantly served, but they were generous portion sizes.

·Love’s Ice Cream

(Can I just rave about their swans? This would be my pick for winner.  The judges are allowed their opinion though. They awarded Love’s Second Place.)

·The Melting Pot

(Chocolate sauce with brownie and pound cake cubes and strawberry for dipping. Photo above–BF and PF–before floor and post floor.)  Shared Third Place People’s Choice with Twisted Rooster.

·Robinette’s

(Won First Place in People’s Choice awards and Third Place in Judge’s Choice. Came bearing cartloads of their signature donuts: apple cider, cinnamon & sugar, chocolate covered chocolate, chocolate with sprinkles, red velvet, black forest, s’mores, lemon, chocolate almond (or coconut almond…I couldn’t read my handwriting on account of the drool.)

·Sara’s Sweets Bakery

Sara’s Sweets was out of cupcakes by the time I got to the table. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, I am bound to fall in love with their menu. They brought a mother load worth of cupcakes.  And from the screen shot on one baker’s broken iPhone, I could see I missed out. Almond, mint chocolate, strawberry shortcake, peanut butter, raspberry filled white cake, snickers, buckeyes and frosted cookies were among their treasures.

I may have to look this place up, or I’ll feel bereft.

IMG_2746
Just so you can see what a meticulous note-taker I am. Here’s my one photo of the delicious Scrumptious Cupcake confection before it was gone, down the hatch.

·Scrumptious Cupcakes and Sweetery

Apparently served a prickle pear mojito dessert, but alas, I was too late. I did however get a scrumptious serving of peanut butter, snickers cupcake that was incredible. The burst of peanut butter when you bit into the fluffy frosting was astonishingly good. And, since I am not a fan of peanut butter, that’s saying something.

·Sprinkles Donut Shop

Let me just tell you that cupcakes were the most popular items at the Dessert Wars competition.  I know, because every time I got to a table, they were already gone. Sprinkles apparently served chocolate ganache, toffee and peanut butter creme cupcakes, Devil Dogs and Sprinkle Puffs. I saw these go by. I could cry, I tell you. Took Second Place in People’s Choice Award.

Creme Rolls

·Town to Town Gourmet Pastries

By the time I made my way through they only had the puff pastry curl with Holland crème. I have always had a fondness for cream horns—also called cream curls— when I was a girl. I used to call them unicorn horns. These were perfect examples. Light airy, cylindrical pastry filled with a yummy cream filling. I won’t argue with the judges who gave them First Place.

·Twisted Rooster

Another shot glass entry came from Twister Rooster. This was describe to me as a ‘Tiramisu’ style dessert made of peanut butter mousse, with strawberry and raspberry jelly using a ladyfinger cookie as a ‘spoon’. Sounded intriguing–snapped up before I could even sniff it. It was popular enough to share Third Place in the People’s Choice award.

Asterisk Bedazzle Footnote:

*The title of this piece is the battle cry coined by me and a fellow patron when I nearly upset my dessert tray a second time.

A BOOK WORTH DYING FOR

I have a new standard for literary excellence (as well as a new low point in parenting). I cannot take credit for this discovery. It is due entirely to my son’s innovation that I can honestly say I have read a book worth dying for.

The book in question is the third in a trilogy.* The work I am raving about is a series by Rachel Bach – the first book of which is called Fortune’s Pawn. That novel had me up until 2:00 a.m.–it was too good to put down. (Sadly, I cannot say that was the first time I ever pulled an all-nighter reading. Fortunately, the Harry Potter series came out before I had a child—well books one through five anyway. Books six and seven meant that I was up to the butt crack of dawn for reasons besides feeding a hungry baby.) Bach’s series has set the standard for all works of its kind to come…though I sincerely hope I’ve learned this particular lesson well enough not to repeat it.

After reading Fortune’s Pawn, I salivated waiting for the next two books to arrive. When I picked them up from the library, it took all my willpower not to open the books that night because I was afraid (rightly so) that I would ignore my responsibilities in order to worship at the altar of science fiction. So, I waited until I wasn’t going to be working the next day—or looking for a house or any of a myriad other pesky distractions—before settling down to read. Like a responsible adult, I decide to pace myself to a book a day. Well done me!

I zip through Book Two—Honor’s Knight—like I’m speed skating for the gold. (If reading were an Olympic event, I think I would at least place in the top ten.) I manage to finish Honor’s Knight a little after midnight—so not a bad run. I manage by sheer strength of will (and exhaustion of eyeballs) to not pick up Book Three—Heaven’s Queen. Her royal majesty will have to wait for another day. You’d think the universe would reward such forethought, wouldn’t you?

Book
Some books are just too hot to handle.

It’s Saturday, I’ve managed to drag my unwilling son to attend the Darwin Day expo at the Calkin Science Center, where butterflies pinned to boards and a table full of skulls garner nary a flicker of interest from the boy. The only interaction I can coax from my child is a grudging willingness to mash a strawberry in a bath of salt and soapy water to extract DNA. Touching the fruit is the closest he has come to actually eating one, so I count it as a win. Fast forward to the afternoon, son is happily lost in iPad land and mommy can finally pick up the sacred object her brain has been hankering for all day—Book Three. Once in hand, I never set it back down. I think I read for three or four or maybe seven hours straight. I lose all track of time while reading. I vaguely remember putting the child to bed…or sending him there…or him making up his mind to go there on his own. The details don’t matter! All that matters is the book and finding what happens next. So, what does happen next? I’ll tell you.

I am nearing the end, my brain is happily tromping through the universe, battling aliens alongside the intrepid, kick-ass heroine when I notice an odd smell. It’s faint, but grows as I pell-mell my way to the end of the book. On some subconscious level my brain starts to notice something besides the author’s efforts to wrap everything up in a shiny, star-spangled conclusion. What is that? I think. Metallic, but also kind of plastic-y. I twitch the thought aside and continue reading. Do I get up to check anything? No. Do I even pay more than a nanosecond attention to the fact that I’ve registered some kind of disturbance in the force? No, I’m getting to the good part. I keep going to the bitter-sweet end of the book. The heroine saves the universe and I reread a few of my favorite pages for dessert before putting the book down. And now, my brain does a double check. Hey…is that…is there some kind of toxic fume floating through the house?

Now I’m a bloodhound, sniffing my way from room to room, heading downstairs until a horrible thought smacks me upside my head. “The kid!”** I yank open his bedroom door. (Without checking to put a hand on it first…no, you aren’t going to remember to do that in an emergency.) There, on the floor, right next to my sleeping child, is the tent he’d constructed by laying a thick, green blanket over the bare-naked bulb of his table lamp. I’m hit in the face with not only the smell of melted, man-made fibers but also the realization that, if this had been any other material, my son might have been burned, or worse, due to my inattention. There is no greater conflicting emotion than the misery of what might have been fused next to the gratitude that it didn’t happen…except perhaps the fact that it would have been entirely my fault.

Burnt Blanket
                                                ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT BEDROOM FIRES!

You might argue,‘You couldn’t have known.’ You’d be wrong. When you have a ‘special guy’ like my guy, you learn to expect the unexpected. You also put down the book and check on your kid when there is a chance he might be trying to burn the house down. At least, in the real world that’s what should happen. Let’s hope that the next time the foreshadowing comes knocking on my frontal lobe, somebody upstairs is paying attention. I really don’t want to write this story again. The sequel might not end so happily next time.

Smokey - thanks-for-listening

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnote:

*Man, I really hope there is a follow-up book. Can I petition the author do you suppose?

**I’m making a valiant effort to preserve my son’s anonymity—apparently putting the safety of his secret identify above his physical well-being.

House Hunting Commitment Phobe – The Sequel

Part V–I think, I’m starting to lose track–of an interminable series.

    YAY! THE HOUSE OF MY DREAMS.... or...is it?
YAY! THE HOUSE OF MY DREAMS…. or…is it?

I did it. I made an offer on a house. Again. And again, I battle the nerve-wracking indecision that comes with making such a huge commitment. Added to this burden is the fact that I am still receiving notifications from the auto-generator set up by my realtor. It’s as if the agency wants me to second guess my decision: “Here’s a house nearby that doesn’t have a creepy basement vibe and is $10,000 less than the house you just offered on.”

I am trying to think about this rationally. “You made a decision, you can stop looking now. Really. Stop. Looking. Now!” The problem is, this is one of the biggest decisions of a person’s life. How do you know when you’ve found

You would not believe how many pictures I had to look at to find one that conveyed the poignancy  of my message. Pages and pages and pages worth. Thank you Farconville of FreeDigitalPhotos.net. You earned your kibble with this one.
You would not believe how many pictures I had to look at to find one that conveyed the poignancy of my message. Pages and pages and pages worth. Thank you Farconville of FreeDigitalPhotos.net. You earned your kibble with this one.

‘the one’? I have tried to imagine a similar scenario happening after saying ‘Yes’ to a marriage proposal. You, all excited, shove your hand into the face of your envious circle of single friends, boasting and nearly cutting them with your massive rock: “Look, he went to Jared’s!”* Your friends, pasting overly bright smiles on their lying lips, respond: “Oh, wow. That’s just…great. We’re so happy for you…” A moment of shifty silence goes by. The girl with the slight overbite raises her hand and says, “But look at that guy over there!” Said ‘friend’ points out the handsome hunk across the room. “He’s single, employed, has no mommy issues, and is eyeing you like prime rib.” Then girl turns back, tips head to shoulder and says, “Gee, it’s too bad you can’t date him now that you are engaged. I guess I’ll go over and console him.” You grind your teeth as she flounces away.

I have a history of, let’s just say, buying something on impulse and regretting it a nanosecond after I get it home. The thing is, with most purchases, you can sheepishly slink your way back into the store with a receipt and get your money back. I think this habit has ill-prepared me for buying a house. I know, I know, I still have the inspection to go through. (And we all remember how well the last inspection went, don’t we?)  Maybe the guy will discover a massive problem with the roof, or explain how the water stains in the garage are terminal? Maybe I’ll get hit by a meteor and I can stop worrying about all of this.

So what’s a frazzled girl to do? I’ll tell you, I’m staging my own intervention. I will look myself in the mirror and say, “Kiri, we need to talk. You have a problem. And I’ll be there with you as we figure out how to deal with this.” Maybe I’ll enter house rehab; it will be like a 12-step program but involving less steps. There will be one to be exact. I will tell the realtor to stop the notifications—I want to get off the house hunting merry-go-round. I will do exactly that…just as soon as this house passes inspection…which is set for Friday the 13th. I’ve got a good feeling about this.

*Asterisk Bedazzled Footnotes:

*This joke will only be understood if you live in West Michigan. My apologies to the rest of the world. However, I have wondered why Jared’s Jewelers hasn’t paired up with Jared from Subway sandwich fame to make a cross-over commercial:

Scene:

Two women sitting in a picturesque setting—probably surrounded by flowers and sh*t.

Woman one: “So, how’re things with Jared?”

Woman two: (holding out foot-long sub and flashing a diamond ring): “He went to Jared’s…and then afterward, we went to Subway.”**

**Note to clueless men, this is NOT a suggestion for Valentine’s Day. You would definitely not go to Subway to celebrate. You go to Subway to propose!