Anna Canzano IS pregnant

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Photo by Mitchelldyer Photography

More than two years ago in the midst of a rather ego-maniacal moment, I wrote about how the auto fill-in when you typed my name into Google was “Is Anna Canzano pregnant.” I pondered whether someday it would evolve to “Anna Canzano baby”.

That day has come.

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I’m waking up today on the last day of work before I take off for maternity leave.

And it is surreal.

See, I’ve always worked. I’ve worked since I was eleven years old, checking in customers at the motel I ran with my mom. I’ve waitressed, I’ve reformatted hard drives for government agencies, I’ve been an editorial assistant to a magazine publisher. And on and on. So sitting here on the verge of not working for four and a half months is a foreign feeling to me.

This is where other moms chime in and tell me, “Oh honey, you’ll be working. It’s just a different kind of work.”

I get that.

But maybe because I haven’t been through it yet, I don’t bristle when people view it as a vacation to stay home and take care of an infant. Ask me in a month or three how my “vacation” is going and maybe I’ll be that defensive, sleep-deprived woman who bites your head off.

Gotta admit, most of this pregnancy has been a breeze. I never had severe morning sickness — nothing a few saltine crackers in the morning and at night before bed didn’t cure. Sure, there was back pain but there are chiropractors and massage therapists for that. The most visible sign I was pregnant besides the bump was my elephant feet.

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Yuck!

One day I woke up and none of my shoes fit. I tried wearing an old pair of flip-flops to work and had witnesses when just standing there in the newsroom, the sandal broke right off my foot.

By far, the best part of pregnancy (aside from the fact that you produce a child) is the 9-month long sociological experiment you become. It’s the things people say to you that you don’t expect. And it starts right away.

When I announced my pregnancy to two of my female co-workers, after offering their congratulatory remarks, they both separately asked, “Was this planned?” I stumbled my way through a response that affirmed it was very much planned and hoped for and desired. But I walked away scratching my head. What was the underlying reason for that question? Do they think I’m too old to have a kid? Do I not seem like the type who’d ever want this? I never figured out the answer to that. Maybe I’ll get up the gumption some time to ask them over drinks.

The other observation you get to collect over 38 weeks is the spectrum of reaction to your growing girth. Somewhere around seven months, it was patently obvious I was growing a human inside me. And the exclamations this elicited from friends, colleagues and strangers included:

“YOU look like you’re ready to pop!”

“Whoa, you are getting BIG!”

“Man, WHEN is your due date?!”

Actually, there are two variations on the due date question. There is the version that comes with incredulity, spoken with a tone of expectation that your answer will be “next week (because I am SO large already)!”

The alternate is the one that comes with a look of pity prefaced with an unspoken “you poor thing” accompanied by a grimace.

These interactions prompted nearly daily belly laughs for me but I was also thankful to have a healthy self-esteem. Having a roughly dozen people tell you in a myriad of ways that you are fat might be pretty tough to stomach if you were already self-conscious about your weight.

I’ve also spent a bit of time reviewing the many instances when I’ve unknowingly said the exact same things other pregnant women in my life! To all those women, I apologize. I should have just said the words the wiser people of the world utter to someone in this state, “You look great!”

Okay, this is all sounds petty.

The reality is pregnancy is pretty rad. People really are excited for you. It’s a joyful thing to share. Friends and co-workers shower you with a level of generosity that surprises you. And feeling that little one kick inside of you? There’s just nothing better. Except that within days or weeks, we’ll get to hold this child and stare in wonderment at God’s ability to make life.

We’ve taken the classes. We’ve read the books. If the baby came today, she would have a place to sleep and diapers to wear.

Soon, my husband and I can stop weirding out other interracial families we see in public places as we study their “halfies” trying to guess how our little Asian/Caucasian fusion baby will turn out. We’ll have our own little halfie. My stepdaughter will have a sister. And I’ll commence the most important job I’ve ever had.

Let the adventure begin.

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Cancer’s Hidden Gem

It’s the strangest thing, booking a flight to paradise knowing that you’re going there because your dad’s staring down colon cancer. At the airport in Portland, families fortunate enough to be taking Hawaiian vacations are already relaxed, adorned in tropical print, and wearing anticipatory smiles that tell of mai-tais, sunscreen and beaches in their future. I must have looked odd to them, flying solo with a furrowed brow to the West Coast’s playground across the Pacific. The cheery island music that greets me as I enter the bulkhead of the plane is off-melody to me because my ear isn’t tuned to hear it. Not now. Not in this circumstance.

48 hours later, I’m in the corner of his patient room at Straub Hospital in Honolulu, staring at palm trees and the lush hills, and wondering if this is the most amazing hospital view that exists. He’s napping. And I’m counting our blessings. One by precious one.

—————–

The cab ride from HNL International to his condo is a bit frantic. A project at work has me searching for a 4G signal to transfer an audio file back to KATU and begging the taxi driver to plug my laptop charger into the dash for extra juice. Figures that something I’d been working on for weeks would drop just as I touch down a couple time zones away.

When I arrive at my dad’s place I’m nervous about seeing my stepmom. She’s just finished her third round of chemo for lung cancer. A non-smoker, Helen was diagnosed as Stage 1 four months ago. Yes, my dad smoked until his first bout with the Big C six years ago. Yes, he only smoked outside on the balcony of their home. No, that measure was not enough to protect my stepmother from second-hand smoke. YO SMOKERS: CONSIDER THAT THE NEXT TIME YOU LIGHT UP.

Helen’s all of 85 pounds, so the chemicals intended to kill the cancer have done a number on her small frame. More than that, she’s now anxious and listless. Meaning, she jumps at sudden noises, and due to long bouts of insomnia that worsened during her treatment, she spends most of the day sitting with her eyes closed until the next sudden noise.

It sucks.

She explains to me that it’s the result of being indoors so much. She and my dad are super active – they play ping pong for hours at the Chinese Senior Center, they dance, they sing, they cook, they laugh. Physical fitness is a priority for them, and that social interaction feeds their souls. Neither of which Helen was able to engage in much the last several months.

My dad on the other hand is asymptomatic. He has a mass in his abdomen and another elsewhere on his colon. The one in his abdomen is operable; the other, located on a blood vessel is not. But he’s bubbly and goofy and looking like an Asian Jack Lalanne. The night I arrived, he showed me the V-sit he does to keep his abs taught. He does 100 push-ups a day. Dude’s a freakin’ specimen.

So, for obvious reasons, and with no other family in Hawaii to help, I understand why they needed me here. My dad’s not the type to ask for assistance unless he absolutely needs it. When he reached out a couple of weeks ago, and hinted that it “might be nice if I could come for his surgery,” I knew this situation had risen to a level that would benefit from my presence.

It’s not the easiest time to take off. Actually, it’s one of the worst times of the year as far as work goes. November’s a sweeps month. In TV-land, it’s when advertisers are paying particularly close attention to ratings, and ad rates are pinned largely on a station’s performance during such a month. I think that’s what it is anyhow – I try not to worry too much about the money side of what I do because I don’t want it corrupting the content. Sweeps months are all hands on deck situations, so my taking family medical leave during such a time is really uncomfortable for me. My Chinese guilt has me all worried what my co-workers are thinking. But my Chinese obligation of respecting my elders is overriding that guilt in this instance. As my brother would say, it’s complicated.

By Friday night, my dad’s out of surgery and it’s been a success. He’s awake, and talkative.

I use the opportunity to ask him questions about our family’s history. I’ve realized in recent years how little I know about my ancestry and its storied past. It includes, for my mom, her family fleeing communism aboard boats and amid gunfire because her dad, a former general and mayor of a province, was on the wrong side of the Chinese Civil war. And in my dad’s lineage, it includes what he called a “a series of twisted fate” hinged on timing. Mostly bad timing.

For example, he explained how his uncle, my grandfather’s youngest brother, was entrepreneurial with amazing ideas but always ahead of his time. How he opened a record store in Taichung around 1950 and sold only one or two records a day. It went under –shortly before record-players began being widely acquired by families in Taiwan. How that same great uncle of mine then decided to raise chickens, roughly a thousand of them. And within weeks of their being large enough to go to market, an epidemic wiped them all out, practically overnight. Then, it was onto pigs. Sixty of those. You know how this ends. Another disease kills off all the market-ready pigs in the span of a month. Not long after that, my dad explains, the Taiwanese government instilled an immunization program for livestock to prevent such devastation.

“It’s so ridiculous you can hardly believe it,” says my dad, shaking his head.

I laugh a lot during this conversation with him. I’m also taking video so I can always remember how he tells these stories.

It’s the little things that get me. As he describes the bakery my paternal grandfather opened in Taichung and expanded to include a grocery store then eventually a department store, I ask him where it was located. He says in Mandarin “near the intersection of Zhi Yo Lou and Chung Gong Lou.”

I check him: “Really dad? That’s what the streets were called?”

“Yes. That’s where it was,” he affirms.

It means the business was located at the intersection of Freedom and Success Roads.

He laughs too as I point this out, never having looked it at that way.

It’s a rich time. I’m incredibly grateful to my co-workers for picking up the slack in my absence. But I know I wouldn’t trade that conversation I had with my dad last night for any award-winning story, or breaking report. No pressing local news issue is going to beat tucking him into his hospital bed, and being here as he wakes up.

Cancer bites, yeah.

But it can nudge you closer to the ones you love.

Sitting up this morning, my dad told the nurse he feels great because of two reasons. One — (he holds his right index finger up) because the doctor has cleared him to eat solid food. Two — (two fingers up) (then he points at me) “because my daughter flew all the way here from Portland to take care of me.”

Doesn’t get any better than that.

Snow White and the Huntsman (aka Charlize, Bella from Twilight and Thor get in a dustup)

The husband and I just returned from watching this year’s second adaptation of the fairy tale involving a wicked stepmother thwarting a stepdaughter’s access to love, royalty, and a lifetime of happiness. No, not Cinderella. The other fairy tale that gives stepmothers a bad rap — the one involving seven little dudes, three drops of blood, a poisonous apple and a magic mirror.

Question: How do two versions of Snow White get released within three months of each other?

In the world of multi-million-dollar movie making, doesn’t word get around in Hollywood that certain projects are in the works? I mean, doesn’t one studio exec assistant share a martini with another studio exec assistant, say, at the Chateau Marmont, then exchange whispers about whatever their bosses are cooking up? It’s the same broken logic that allowed for Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Observe and Report to both come out in theaters in 2009. You would think Julia Robert’s agent runs into Charlize Theron’s agent at some point and brags about the paranoid schizophrenic evil queen role their client has landed.

Synopsis

To save youthe trouble of watching the year’s second, ickier version of this tale, I will sum up it for you.

The beginning is roughly the same — Bella from Twilight is sad because her mom dies from some kind of illness. Her dad, the king, gets massively depressed and lonely in his big stone castle then goes into a battle fighting a big army of freaky soldiers that shatter into a million obsidian-like shards when they get stabbed. His men find a gorgeous blond previously held captive by the fakey-fake soldiers (which really should have been his first clue — something was a little too easy about all this). Stuart Townsend’s ex is all perfectly dirtied up and tousled-hair-like and looking victimized. The widowed king falls for her in one day and the very next day assembles the whole kingdom at the castle for the craziest shotgun wedding slash ascension to queenship ever heard of.

Little princess Snow White (who by the way is freckled not porcelain-skinned with  brunette hair not raven, and pink lips not deep red — did ANYONE read the original story?) upstages Theron during the wedding walk down the aisle with her purity and cuteness. As Charlize and the king engage in marriage night activity, she starts mumbling about power while he’s in the midst of coital bliss, then, she stabs and kills him.

Instant queen.

Flowers die. It starts to snow. Everything in the kingdom goes dark.

Years later, we find Kristen Stewart imprisoned in the North Tower where she makes a big fire with some kind of flint, her breath, and some twigs. She looks very greasy and dirty.

She watches as a girl with a baby-doll face is brought in as a prisoner.

Baby-doll face gets her youth sucked out of her by the aging queen appearing to have an asthma attack or a bad case of the Mondays.

(Apparently way more effective than Botox).

But somewhere in this mess, the queen’s magic mirror which produces a metallic dude that talks to her who nobody sees (ref: “paranoid schizophrenic”) gives her really bad news, reminding her that the stepdaughter she never wanted is still being kept in the North Tower, only now, she’s of age, and pretty, and perhaps the fairest of them all.

Charlize’s bro, an albino looking guy with a super bad Hamlet type hairdo is dispatched to fetch Hottie Snow White, which he fails at doing because she cuts his face with a nail and escapes.

Here’s where things get interesting.

Immediately, Kristen’s puffy sleeve dress goes off-the-shoulder damsel-style as she disappears into the Dark Forest, which is filled with grossy gross things like maggots and sulfur-spewing bubbles.

Thor eventually shows up at the request of Charlize – to hunt down Little Snow, but instead of a cosmic hammer, he carries…a hatchet. With far less power. And it doesn’t magically fly across the room into his grip by the sheer extension of his open palm. (See: The Avengers, a much better movie.)

Hemsworth winds up wanting to save Snow White instead of bring her back to the queen, but only after a whole village of women with funky tear scars is burned down by the queenie’s meanie brother and the soldiers helping him. (I spent a good 15 minutes wondering about the tears scars till one of the women explained to Snow White they did it to themselves to avoid being beautiful, thereby escaping notice of the highly insecure Queen Ravenna).

Back at the castle by the sea, Ravenna goes through a whole series of CGI Extreme Makeovers ™ from old to young by inhaling more youth. Think North Country vs. Devil’s Advocate.

Snow White and the drunkard Huntsman are strung upside down in the woods, they meet the Dwarfs, all escape the bad people (again) and retreat behind a leaf curtain through a grotto to FairyLand…where the fairies look like miniature grey Avatars.

Despite the healing presence of Princess Snow, which relieves the coughs and aches and pains of her height-challenged companions, she #FAILS to save the life of the 7th dwarf during another mini-battle. A shame, since just the night before he had buried his oversized head in her bosom.

She winds up kissing someone she thinks is William her boyfriend (cousin?) from her childhood days. Oh yeah, he’s the guy who ditched her years ago while the castle was raided and overtaken, but he’s come back to rescue her. Sorry, did I leave that out?

But alas, the apple he gifts her to snack on grows instant moss and his face goes all Scooby Doo mask revealing (gasp) he’s actually the evil queen-witch! Lucky for Twilight-girl, Thor shows up just in time with the real William, and Charlize instantly transforms back into a gagillion ravens who fly back to the castle and drop as an oily messy heap onto her magic room floor. (think: Bond…Goldfinger…environmental disaster-style)

Bella dies a human death and becomes a vampire.

No, wait.

She wakes from her slumber (coma?) atop a really comfy looking bed of animal fur after Hemsworth plants one on her. She gives a Braveheart-like speech, dons chain mail, then expertly wields a sword, rides a horse and leads an army into battle. Never mind the years she spent trapped in the North Tower. Those skills just comes naturally when you’re Snow White, I guess.

I won’t tell you how it ends, but I will tell you, I couldn’t be more impressed with the consistency of Kristen Stewart’s pensive far-off non-expression. It’s a mixture between “I just ate a Sour Patch Kid and I don’t want you to know it” and “I’m not thinking of a single thing at all but I want to appear as if I’m deep in thought.” She applied it liberally in Twilight. And she masters it here. Especially when she’s crowned queen and wields that twig-scepter in the final scene. Even from a distance, as she steps off the throne into an awkward pose, and the camera shot goes wider…and wider…and wider…I can help but wonder, what is she looking at? A cute grip? Craft services? Robert Pattinson visiting her on set? What? What?

There. I just saved you 127 minutes of your life and 11 dollars.

You’re welcome.

**I just Wiki’d the Hemsworths. Thanks to alert reader JM-Farley, I’ve corrected my assertion that it was baby Thor who showed up in this movie. It was actually Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth. Brother Liam appears in The Hunger Games — also, a better film than this one.

**Forgot to mention. Kristen Stewart never eats in the film. In fact, no one eats. Maybe the Dwarves at one point. I seem to recall one meal portrayed. But other than that, no one consumes anything of substance.

“Will You Marry Me” Lip-Dub Marriage Proposal

Someday, Amy Frankel and Isaac Lamb’s children will ask Dad how he asked Mom to marry him. Dad will then chuckle, maybe plug in a thumb drive, or navigate to this link.

And their kids will immediately realize their Dad rocks.

Champagne and rose petals? Cliche. Diamond ring baked into a dessert? Please. Suddenly, the new standard for a creative marriage proposal includes secret rehearsals of 60+ people, borrowed marching band uniforms, and parents from afar linked in on Skype.

Oh, and a video that burns up the InterWebs.

And to think, he pondered not even videotaping it.

“A lot of people talked me out of that,” says Lamb. “They said, so much work went into this, we want a record of what happened!”

In an interview Saturday with KATU News, Lamb and Frankel stood in front of his parents southwest Portland home, on the street where this musical theater all played out last week.

Lamb says he started mulling over the idea of a lip-dub proposal back at Christmas-time, when he asked Frankel’s parents for permission to marry her.

“I knew when I got around to asking, it would have to be something incredible and special, because that’s how I feel about her,” he explains.

“I’ve always had sort of a flair for the dramatic. I’m a musical theater actor. I think in those terms a little bit.”

Both are involved in theater as members of the Third Rail Repertory Company. They have also watched and appreciated the entertainment of lip-dub videos, like this one, from the good people of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“It’s such a special thing, it expresses a whole city’s heart, so I thought what a perfect way to communicate to her how much I love her,” explains Lamb.

He mapped out a plan and enlisted the help of their friend, Gina Johnson Morris to choreograph. She owns Radish Underground Clothing in downtown Portland, and used the entryway of her store during off hours for group rehearsals. She also made instructional videos recording herself doing the dance moves, wrote detailed instructions, and sent that homework out to the friends and family members participating so they could practice at home.

(Yes, she’s the foxy brunette in the red dress. And sorry guys, she goes home every night to that bearded guy swinging her around in the video, her husband.)

Was Lamb worried about having an audience for this highly personal moment? Nope. And he has the perfect reasoning for that.

“I really do believe marriages exist as a part of a community and I feel like you need that community, that support. That’s why you celebrate marriages with your community, so I thought it was very important for that be a part of the proposal,” Lamb says.

The group had one three-hour rehearsal last weekend, five days before the performance Wednesday. Lamb lied, telling Frankel he was somewhere else.

“I knew something was up. We’ve been talking about getting married, so I knew someday a proposal would happen,” Frankel says.

But the day of the proposal is when things got really weird.

Lamb sent Frankel to pick him up in downtown Portland at six o’clock at night, through traffic, only to text her once she arrived telling her he was at his parents home, and to go there instead.

“She was a little mad about that,” he says, laughing.

“He made me drive back through traffic, but they were doing that to keep me away from the setup to keep me safely far away from them all gathering.”

By the time she arrived, everyone was in place. They’d parked their cars elsewhere and were hiding in arranged spots. It was Lamb’s large and commanding brother who was in charge of getting Frankel to sit in the SUV. She put on headphones, which would serve as the soundtrack; the street, SW Marigold, became the stage.

“I did not expect 60 people to start dancing in front of me as the car moved down the street, it was amazing. It’s completely overwhelming,” says Frankel. “I’ve been in the theater profession, and this was hands down the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced.”

As the car traveled slowly down the street, Frankel was wondering how she could ever top this, thinking there’s no way.

“Just wait till you have a baby,” joked Lamb. “You could birth a human being. I’ll make a lip dub video about it!”

She cracks up at that.

Lamb thought their friends and family would get a kick out of the video, and that it would be a great document to show their kids someday. He never expected it to go viral.

“What’s been most special about that is everybody posting about it is talking about how touched and moved they are by it. To know we contributed a little bit of love and positivity into the world that way — injected that into people’s lives — is really pretty special. That’s rare I think, something to be cherished. It means a lot to me.”

And at the heart of it all?

“As crazy and fun as this all has been, truly, the most thrilling thing is that she said yes and I get to spend the rest of my life with her. She makes every day brighter just because of who she is. She is a beautiful person and a beautiful soul,” he says, gazing at Frankel.

Yup. You’ve done it Isaac Lamb.

You’ve raised the bar even higher.

For all of us.

Turning to her future husband, Frankel says, “Life is so exciting with him.”

And it’s only just beginning…

Is Anna Canzano pregnant

According to the statistics for my blog, that’s the number one search phrase in Google that brings you to this page: “is Anna Canzano pregnant.”

Kinda freaky.

It makes my stomach turn.

Not because I hate children or the idea of becoming a mother. Not at all. I love my stepdaughter and nephews and nieces. I like them better than most adults.

I’ve just always been deathly afraid of pregnancy. And by that I mean, everything in the 260 days between conception and birth.

It’s been that way since I first understood how babies come into the world. And when you really think about it, why wouldn’t I be terrified?

Once you get past the magical stork-myths of early childhood, movies and tv shows portray pregnancy and childbirth in some simile of one of the following:

1) woman throwing up due to morning sickness
2) waddling woman with sore back and arms bent behind her trying to provide self lumbar support
3) madwoman with tousled hair screaming bloody murder and cutting off circulation to husband’s hand during child bearing

Of course, there’s also the helpful “mother dies during childbirth” story arc or “husband faints in birthing room” comic relief.

It ain’t pretty.

My job doesn’t help. I did a story a few months ago about midwives and at-home births. As a concept, the idea of having your baby at home sounds amazing. Familiar surroundings. Nurturing, experienced women talking you through labor. A kiddie pool inside your home!

While there are numerous births like this that go off without a hitch, the woman I interviewed had what can only be described as a nightmare experience

She was in labor at home for eight days. Eight days. Her son was so overdue, he’d had his first bowel movement inside of her, effectively poisoning himself. The few pictures she had of him revealed tiny baby fingers discolored by the toxicity in the womb.

Devastating for her. Haunting for me.

(Not lost on me is the irony that I’m contributing to the negative media images of childbirth that scarred my own developing mind.)

So what am I supposed to believe?

Maybe my perception should rely more on the Surrogate Mom who “so loved being pregnant” she’d acted as a surrogate four times. Four. Times. She’s had ten children. Three of her own, then twins, triplets and two single babies for other people! A true baby making machine.

I found her delight in pregnancy puzzling. It’s confusing to me whenever I hear women extol the virtues of it. I’m at best, skeptical that the improved complexion, healthy hair and overall hormonal nirvana are for real. And I look at those women with those serene expressions, searching their faces for the truth.

Babies are on the mind, of course. In a newsroom, like most any workplace, any recently married woman is subject to “bump watch.” Unlike other workplaces, newsroom women sometimes factor in sweeps months as they plan pregnancies — the four months of the year that are an especially big deal for ratings. They’re all hands on deck months. No vacations allowed. Longer hours expected. And you know, if you could manage to take your maternity leave between those months, that might be helpful….

Being pregnant on television! That’s not even something I’ve actively cogitated. People would get to watch me…slowly…get…huge over the span of 40 weeks.

Again, freaky.

Pausing a moment here to bite my lip in apprehension as every part of me that is insecure and petty has a small panic attack.

…………..deep breathing…………..

Okay.

I will find a way to get past that.

But how do I grit my teeth through the countless horror stories I’ve heard from friends and relatives, including the ones that make their way into, of all places, baby shower conversations? Maybe you’ve been there?! That precious moment when women are gathered around an expectant mother who’s cooing as she opens another delicate onesie — and (insert name) launches into a detailed description of the child birth that came “this close” to killing her. Which prompts someone else to share a story that one-ups her. And so on and so on.

That scene is more like war veterans sitting around at the American Legion, swapping stories about the rocket-propelled grenades that tore their leg off, or the IED that exploded their Humvee and left them with a traumatic brain injury.

Leave the pastel colored gift bags at home. Cigarettes and smokies would be more appropriate.

I get it. It’s a big deal. It’s arguably the biggest deal a woman can experience in her life. I am deliriously happy for my friends and co-workers and family members who’ve been blessed with kids or who are excitedly preparing baby rooms right now. I have classmates from high school who have two, three, four, even five kids! Their Facebook photos are proof to me it can be done.

So, what advice can you offer me? Tell me what’s worked for you? I can’t be the only 34-year old woman who’s ever ruminated on these unknowns. What can you offer this feeble mind that will help me proceed with confidence toward something that has gripped me with fear for so long?

I welcome your thoughts.

Maybe someday the number one search term will instead be “Anna Canzano baby”.

Wouldn’t that be something.

Vanna White

I’m runnning on the treadmill in the gym tonight (okay, who are we kidding, I don’t run. I walk briskly uphill at an incline of 8.0 at a rate of 2.4 ). I look up, observe Wheel of Fortune rounding out another terrifically unique episode, and say out loud to the husband, incredulously, “Does Vanna White sleep in an cryogenic chamber?”

Feeling proud of myself for such an astute and witty comment, and looking around to see if anyone else was listening, I cringe a split second later when I realize the word I meant to say was hyperbaric.

Sometimes I shouldn’t even try to be smart.

Have you seen Vanna lately though? Aside from some aging flap on her arms, which is perfectly normal for someone who’s 90, she’s rocking those gowns and letters like someone whose been doing it for decades.

Oh.

What will happen when she and Pat Sajak decide they’ve brought enough joy to television audiences? Will they just be replaced by animatronic figures? I kind of hope so.

Price is Right hasn’t been the same without Bob Barker groping all the live mannequins. Maybe that’s why he gave all that money to the “Whale Wars” people. Figured he could make up for his male transgressions by funneling five million dollars into saving whales. A lifetime of sexual harassment = 200 minkes avoiding the Japanese harpoon.

Fair trade, no?

The Happiest Place on Earth

33.

It’s not a horrible age.

I like the dualing digits. Old enough to know the Midori sour is a bad drink. Young enough to still get away with shopping in the juniors department at Macy’s. That is, if I limit myself to one Cinnabon a year. Which I just consumed like a feverish puppy, using my bare hands because I forgot to grab utensils when John and I purchased the small mounds of gooey goodness in the D terminal as we left Las Vegas.

My (new) husband, John, just returned from the airplane restroom, where he discovered streaks of white Cinnabon frosting smeared across the front of his black polo shirt. Five minutes later, after he got horribly distracted by the Scrabble ass-whooping I’m handing him on my Iphone, he discovered a giant patch of wet on his jeans, where he’d casually placed the soggy napkin with which he wiped the frosting off his shirt. I can’t help but snort with laughter, being the understanding and helpful (new) wife that I am.

I’m in the stupid middle seat on the flight back, trying to ignore the large orb of hair perched on the neck of the dude sitting to my right. Thing is, he’s not black. More Persian looking, maybe of Jewish descent. But at some point he must have decided that wearing dark skinny jeans and a loud crinkly jacket with white skater shoes wasn’t hip enough. He needed a ‘fro.

To each his own.

However, I did made a point of holding the tea I ordered in my left hand to avoid stray strands of his icky curly hair from dropping into my cup.

Yuck.

What’s helping me keep my mind off the hair thing is my pending Scrabble victory over my linguistically talented partner. Never mind that I used “vie” and “vies” in one game. And the word “za” which I didn’t know existed until I tested its validity. That I can beat him, an award winning sports columnist for a major metro newspaper, makes me want to skip and dance down the street.

(I like to downplay it to him though, talking about all the advantages I had in getting letters like X and J). Secretly, I’m reveling in my ability to use every double and triple word score possible. Which explains the final tally of points: 352 to 247.