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Martha, My Dear

I am not independently crafty. I don’t sew, I’d rather buy something new than try to fix it myself — the American lifestyle to which the media most appeals. I discovered Martha Stewart by accident. In my bride-that-has-to-know-everything-about-weddings phase I purchased every bridal magazine, perused all the wedding websites: I was prepared to have the ultimate wedding.

My aunt sent me a bridal dress link featured in Martha Stewart Weddings. I wasn’t even contemplating my dress yet…hello…we’re just talking about venues, people! But  I ventured a look. The Romona Keveza number looked sickly on the food-deprived model. Hey Romona, don’t you feed your brides? We ended up going to Macy’s Bridal Salon to look at the dress the next Friday night – and I fell in love with the strapless version of the same dress. We bought it on the spot.

Thus my relationship with Martha started. I became a subscriber to Martha Stewart Living and Everyday Food. I joined her email list. And I became increasingly obsessed. Recipes began hoarding into file folders, I was clicking through holiday craft projects and exploring domestic areas way beyond my comfort level (aka gardening). Martha had spawned me into a better, more capable version of myself. (Self-instructed eye roll).

Below are a few of the example projects that I have attempted (with some help):

Halloween Lanterns: Probably not a good starter craft. I made 5 of these for our huge office Halloween she-bang. They turned out great – but it took forever to complete — and with the help of 3 co-workers.

Last Night’s Endeavor: Salami and broccoli Stromboli. I have been fairly adventuresome in the kitchen the past couple of weeks – and this was last night’s experiment. It was very tasty – except Martha and I got into a little tiff. If you don’t already know this – I will tell you that placing pizza dough directly on aluminum foil while baking is a very bad idea. The dough adheres itself to the foil – making it impossible to remove. Enter tongs, spatula, husband, cussing – result: messy Stromboli.

Newest endeavor: Chic Strands. This necklace project (which normally would retail for $90-140) is just repurposing old vintage earring and brooches into a couture piece. No pictures are available on her site – but I will post when it’s available. Or…post my own edition.

So now you are versed in my addiction to Ms. Stewart. And my increasingly domestic potential. Stay tuned…

Intestinal Pets

I am not a health freak. However, when I started blacking out in college (when alcohol wasn’t involved….) I began to examine my eating habits a little closer. After trips to the ER (doctors couldn’t diagnose me with anything ‘serious’), and the lab, and finally my general practitioner, it seemed conclusive that my body was rejecting my diet and eating habits. How could eating bagels, pizza, cheese covered chicken and cookies cause such horrible symptoms? My diet couldn’t possibly result in nausea, hot/cold sweats, anxiety, sleep loss, vomiting and physical shaking. I was 18 and in prime physical health. I could even outdrink the football team in tequila shots….

Diagnosis: Hypoglycemia. My diet was too rich in processed sugar, carbohydrates (which break down into glucose), caffeine, and (gasp) alcohol. Upon eating, my metabolism would quickly process my food (sugar spike), look for something else to digest – and upon finding nothing – crash into metabolic failure. It took a 6 hour stint of getting blood drawn every half hour to confirm this prognosis. I call it torture; doctors call it ‘data’.

So I ventured to learn something about nutrition. And thus I found myself falling into The Detox Diet, which led itself into Colon Cleansing. Fact: Americans eat way too much processed food, salt, sugar, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and flour. People wonder why they’re always ill. Maybe cuz ya eat a bunch of crap (myself included), don’t exercise, sit in front of a computer all day, and ask the doctor to give you a magical little pill to make anything unpleasant ‘disappear’. Fact: if it doesn’t come from nature, or natural processes, then you probably shouldn’t eat it.

My first detox was in 2006. I researched the effects of eating a diet high in gluten (have ya ever mixed flour and water together? imagine what that shit looks like caked to your intestines after 20 years), and I was amazed. I didn’t want 10 pounds of ‘protective coating’ lining of my pooper. It was about to make a mass exodus…but was I mentally ready? Mmmm….no.

First I eliminated a bunch of really yummy essentials out of my diet for 6 weeks: flour, processed sugar, yeast, iodized salt, red meat, anything not organic or grain fed, farmed fish, dairy, anything pasteurized, soy, chocolate, caffeine and alcohol. I refer to it as ‘the instantly depressed diet’. Cuz ya can’t eat shit. And not eating makes me wear cranky pants. BIG cranky pants.

So that’s just the first step. While ensuring that no toxins enter the body, one needs to remove the existing toxins from their cozy little muscle fibers, brain tissue, blood stream, organs, and digestive system. Start daily routine: anti-parasite pill, fiber shake, vitamin, detox pills, and magical tea.

Ever want to feel like you’re coming down from a really bad high? Detox. It feels like you have the flu, a cold, a migraine and the bitchies. For about 8 days. After day 8, though, complete calm. No gluten bloat (ya’ll know what I’m talking about – that nasty I-just-a-horse-pooch), wide awake all day, good decision-making skills (I can’t promise this result for everyone) — bodily bliss. Albeit I still wasn’t eating anything that I liked…but I blame that on being European.

Then weird crap started to happen. Body cavity was clear of toxins – intestinal cleansing was still catching up. Week 4 started to eject a bunch of petrified treebranch-like masses. Seriously strange. How does that stuff not kill you? My personal favorite though: normal AM bathroom routine…turn around to flush…and F me. It was Medusa’s head sitting in the bowl staring up at me. A brownish green, tentacled blob – as big as my fist – with tiny orbs at each end just ejaculated out of my body. WTF?! Before I threw up in my mouth, I said sianara to that bitch and ran out of the room to process what had just happened.

That, my friends, is an example of a parasite nest. A very mature parasite nest. Like one that’s been making a home in your junk for quite a long time. One that I didn’t invite over for coffee and doughnuts. The more disturbing fact: most Americans (over 75%) are entertaining their very own parasite nest and don’t even know it.

Now whacha gonna do bout that?

I may be a tad partial to my opinion. After all, I am a perfectionist, a scientist and Polish-Italian. I know what food is supposed to taste like, how people are supposed to behave in public and that I should not be able to see your bra-straps in the workplace. Oh, and I’m rather blunt (PS – rude and blunt are not synonymous). But why leave a sugar-coated response hanging out there when my full intention is for everyone to know exactly how I feel? Somehow the neuron attached to my ‘brain-to-mouth filter’ doesn’t choose to synapse very often. Yet I’m perfectly entertaining.

My previous blog was an attempt to journal my experiences as a zookeeper. My college experience (minus my two month stint in Italy studying wine, food, Gucci and drunk bus drivers) was targeted in Animal Science. How did I imagine myself wearing Ferragamo and shoveling lemur feces 12 hours a day? Or buying my furniture through Rent-A-Center? My 5 month internship as a zookeeper proved to be invaluable – it was like taking a course of ‘what I will not put up with for the rest of my life’. Oh, and I got to pet a cheetah. And deliver a miscarried goat. Ha.

Fast forward 5 years later, and I’m managing my own advertising project for an major automotive client. And I have furniture – that I didn’t fund through Rent-A-Center! I still surround myself with animals – my hunter/jumper Thoroughbred, Oakley, is now 21 and going strong, and Fenway the Eclectus parrot is 5 and quite demanding. Our dog(s) purchase is on hold until we buy a house over the summer (can it please have a gourmet kitchen!??!). All in all, I should have some good content for discussion coming up soon – so stay tuned. And what would you do if you weren’t good looking??