Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Asked - And Boy, I Did Receive

Some months ago, when my skin was feeling particularly thick, I submitted my blog link to a group of reviewers known for their brutally honest blog reviews. It’s a little scary forwarding your writing to a group of Avatars who go by the names of Johnny Raptor, Scorpio Woperchild, Shagnasty, Madame Bellicose, Shinerpunch and Miss Missives, have the grim reaper as a logo, and rate blogs with "I F-n Love You" hearts (IFLY), smiley stars, a short bus, a big MEH, and lots of sparkling middle fingers (and they love flippin 'em). You can’t get much past these little monsters: they are a cruel, nasty, vulgar bunch. 

But they can writein that weird monsterly way. And if you're not entirely offended by how twisted, edgy and off-color these young hipsters are, they can also point you to some pretty good reading (which you'll find scattered throughout the blog and on their Amour list).

Now before I run the risk of you clicking on the review link (if you care to see it) only to come screaming back at me, I thought you'd want to know that the name of the site, Ask And Ye Shall Receive, is not the same name as their URLwhich is nasty, nasty, nastyhaving something to do with *#!@* tearing me apart (but it's a perfectly legit, virus-free and safe hipster underworld). So you can see how I couldn't resist.

Here you gothe link below, if you dareShagnasty's review of Suburban Soliloquy: 

It's a good divine that follows her own instructions.

Thank you, Shagnasty, for looking at this old lady's blog. Now I don't need to pay for anymore writing workshops.

This baby's available at Etsy.com

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Friday Night Frolic" - Nightingale Tale

It's late afternoon and night has already fallen. You stroll in after work, toss your bag on the mudroom bench, kick off your high heels, hang your camel-hair coat on the peg rack, and step over the threshold onto the dark wood-floored kitchen. Notice: the house is quiet, more so than usual. And warm, toasty warm on this wintry evening. Turn toward the living room and see your husband, or boyfriend, or lover prostrate on the couch. He looks at you and says: Hey Babe, how was your day? You ready to relax?

Drift over to him and kiss him gently on the forehead. Say, in a hushed, smoky voice: It's been a long dreary week; a really, crazy-busy long week, I'm so ready. He murmurs: Hmmm, come here Babe. He sits up a bit, propping himself against a tawny silk-covered pillow, making room for you. He takes your hand and pulls you down toward him on the chenille covered sofa. Run your free hand through his curls and tell him you want to change out of your work clothesthat suit you hate to wear, those dark, constricting stockings. You want to slip into something more comfortable. The fire is lit, glowing embers snapping. Gaze out the window. Wonder how the moon can hang so low in the sky, looking almost tragic.

Let me get you a drink, he says. Oblige him. Sit back in the sofa, sink into it (you'll change later), swing your stocking-covered feet up on it. He pours you a glass of Grenache. From the Rhone Valley. A Gigondas. You've been to this French village's peak, surveyed its clay terraced slopes. Say: Zhee-gon-dahsyou read my mind. Watch him casually deliver it to you. Smile. Remember your first taste of it at a hillside caveaux. Consider how lucky you are to have nabbed this guy. Your thoughts stray to your first date. The stroll along the Charles.

He hands you the generously filled long-stemmed glass, places his on the mahogany coffee table and sits beside you. Whisper: Thank you for taking such good care of me. Swirl the deep red in its glass, note the intense burgundy color; admire its clinging legs, slowly tearing from the rim; Sniff the wine; breathe in chocolate and berries. Take a big sip. He watches you drink it, rubs your nylon swathed feet, and says: You're beautiful; I'm happy to be of service to you. He kisses you gently on the lips and then picks up the remote, clicks it and throws it back on the table. You hear this:

A soulful Madeleine Peyroux.

Your stomach is empty and the wine goes to your head. You want to sing. You want to be the chanteuse. You hum. You sway. Almost swoon. Your man catches you in his arms and you giggle, you forget about the melancholy, the sore shoulders and achy legs, the crazy-busy long week. And the kids you haven't yet asked about.

It's Friday night. You're all right.

Remain in this fantasy all evening.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Your Husband Is Going To... What?!

So, I've been cooped up in the house all week with my sick son, and today, after talking to the Doc, I went out to CVS (you know, I really wish they didn't sell so much junk food at the checkout because that gets me into a whole lot of troubleparticularly when all I wanted was the pharmacyand we, who have been in retail, know all about this POS impulse purchase strategy, and it is just plain cruel!) to pick up a few Rx items, and gum (my junk food prophylactic). 

Anyway, in the parking lot, I backed into a spot while an elderly woman was simultaneously backing her car out of the adjacent spot. Having a feeling that this woman did not see me, I turned my head about my left shoulder and found myself in immediate peril. Yes, a very near collision. I slammed on the brakes and sounded the horn. Thankfully, she heard the siren and also hit her brakes. She was a sliver away from gouging the backside of my car. I don't think you could have shimmied one sheet of paper between our cars.

She rolled down her window and said, "Oh, I didn't hit you did I?"

"Ah, I don't think so," I replied, poking my head out of the window.

"I didn't hear nothing," she remarked. "We woulda heard something, right!"

"Ah, yes, I think we're alright." Really, I wouldn't have heard a thing, I was listening to Salman Rushdie on NPR, discussing his new book, Luka and the Fire of Life. I was in that zone I (subconsciously) aim for whenever I get in my car... that zone that takes me out of this world and into something close to zombiedom. That zone where I reach my destination without remembering how in the world I got there. (Don't worry carpoolers, I do this only when I'm alone.)

"So sorry! I'd better watch myself backing out. Is it OK over there?" she asked.

I looked around the parking lot and all was clear. Lots of parked cars, but none moving. I gave her a nod and she continued backing out, and I, in.

The woman motored out across the lot, to the opposite side, where all the parking spaces were filled with cars. She drove slowly, so slowly, so cautiously.  And then, I heard the crunch of metal and saw her car hiccup. 

At this point, I was out of the car. She opened her door, stepped out, and looked over at me, asking, "I didn't hit that car did I?"

I wanted to say I heard that one!, but I refrained. Instead, I said, "Ah, yeah, that one you hit."

"Oh, God. Oh, Lord. My husband's gonna kill me!" she said with her hands on her head. "My husband will KILL me! And we have a wedding to go to this weekend!"

She got back in her car and then rolled into the spot next to me. Now, I was nervous. I didn't want to go into CVS. But I also didn't want to leave my son alone for too longI mean, this was supposed to be quick trip! I inspected the back of her car, and then looked at the car she had hit. A portion of the back fenders on both cars were crushed and streaked with the other's paint. I decided she was fine (she said she was), no one was hurt, she seemed lucid, and the damage was minimal (comparatively speaking). I went into the store.

In the chicken soup aisle (no, there's not really a chicken soup aisle, but the food/retail aisles take up a heck of a lot more space than the Rx side, and it looks like there's food, food, food everywhere—or maybe that's just me) I heard the scratch of the intercom, "Would the owner of a white vehicle with the license plate DN blah blah blah, please come to the front of the store." And I smiled slightly. Honest. Very slightly. That "Oh, dear, I do feel for you" lips sucked in kind of smile. Well, you know, it was a bit comical, this fender bender incident. I mean, I had dodged the bullet—it essentially ricocheted off of me and hit the innocent bystander.

How bad is that? I smiled. Slightly.  What a terrible person I am. And her husband was going to kill her!

But I felt bad, too. I did. And they had a wedding to go to.

I suddenly wanted to run to the woman, take her by the hand, look her straight in the eye, and say, "Lady, your husband won't really kill you. (Why is that? Why do women always say that their husbands will kill them? Do you think any man has ever said My wife is going to kill me? But maybe she was a serial car-hitter, and this was the last straw, maybe her husband was going to kill her.) It will be alright. You'll go to the wedding and it will be fine." 

I wanted to tell her to say nothing to her husband. Patch it up herself, like I did when I swiped the front right side of my car against the garage door frame while backing out, pulling the side lights out of their socket, the clear plastic frame, bulbs and wires dangling above the front tire. Then I stuffed the wires back in and hot glued the lights and frame to the socket and polished the scuff marks (because I knew if my husband found out he would kill me). That was two years ago and my husband still hasn't noticed. 

But I didn't see her at the register. 

I left the store to find her chatting with another elderly woman, whom I surmised was the owner of the offended car. They looked perfectly fine. So I got in my car and went home...

...Thinking the whole way about what my son had said to me when I left: "I love you, Mom. Drive safely." And he had smiled that sweet, long-toothed smile. He had never before said drive safely

I was also thinking about how I had narrowly avoided a major pain-in-the-neck. At the expense of another woman. But the two elderly ladies, huddling by the cars, seemed to be hitting it off so well, that I think what I actually witnessed this morning was the beginning of a beautiful new friendship.

I'm sure glad that I finally got out today. And I'll bet there won't be any maiming going on. I'll bet that poor woman gets a big hug from her husband. And her new friend. And then they'll all go to the wedding and have a grand time, and tell everyone the whole crazy story and have themselves a real good laugh.

(You know this whole piece is about procrastination, don't you? Still haven't edited that second story...)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Betta Blues (or, "Never Get This Fish For Your Dear, Naive Child")

When my daughter turned six, her Godmother gave her a pretty, blue Betta Fish—also known as a Fighter Fish. I wasn't overly thrilled, but I reasoned that the fish was far better than a bunny. (Which is what Godmother had originally threatened to buy for Lulu. "Every girl should have a bunny!" she said. "Ah, no," I replied. "Her friend has a bunny. She can play with her friend's bunny.") Anyway, how hard could it be to take care of one fish?

The problem is, despite being parked in the burbs for a dozen years, I am, essentially, a city girl. And a city girl doesn't do well with pets. Not this city girl. Many years ago, pre-Squishy (the Betta), when our cat met its demise, I swore off all living creaturesincluding house plantsas potential pets.

And here's the reason I am wishing I had stuck to my guns:

A few months after Lulu's sixth birthday we went to Maine for a week. Four days into our vacation, the sitter (who, in our absence, took the mail in and fed Squishy) called to say that Squishy was still. As in not moving. And floating. Some Fighter Fish. Luckily, our sitter offered to replace Squishy before we returned home. I mean, really, a Betta's a Betta. Blue or red or whatever color. They all look the same to me. The kid would never know the difference. And Lord knows, we were not about to subject her to the pain of a fish funeral.

When we got back home, Lu went straight to her room to check on her fish. All was quiet for bit as we unloaded the car and pulled the bags inside. And then, "AAAHHH!"

"What? What is it, Lu?" I yelled up to her. Oh, God, I thought, it couldn't be the replacement?!

"Something's wrong with Squishy! He won't come out of his Tiki. He always comes out to see me!"

I ran upstairs to find Lu running her index finger along the glass bowl. "You see?" she said. "He's not following my finger, he always follows my finger!" 

"Oh, well, he hasn't seen you in a while, Lu. He'll be out, don't worry."

And sure enough, he soon emerged from his little hut. And then, another scream. "Oh No! Mama, something's really wrong with Squishy! He's not acting the same, and he doesn't look the same. He's not blue!"

I scuttled over to the fish bowl to find a crimson fish. "Oh, my. Well, you know, Hon, these fish can change colors," I remarked, trying to soothe her.

"He still doesn't seem right," she said. "He's still not swimming like he used to."

Who would have guessed these fish actually have personalities? Squishy #1 was an extrovert. Squishy #2, apparently, an introvert. And who would have known our sitter was color blind?

The above scenario played itself out several more times, through Squishy #3, #4, #5 and #6, maybe even #7 and #8. And at the end of each substitutes abbreviated aquatic lifespan there was no fanfare, not even a mention of it, so as to spare the little girl all agony. Just a quick swap (we became quite skilled at perfecting Betta matches) and the jiggle of the toilet's chrome lever. Finally, when Squishy #9, with his dulled scales and tattered fins, took to skimming the water's surface, we knew it was time for our girl (now eight years old) to learn one of life's painful lessons.

You know, when I was a kid there was little sentiment about these sorts of things. The dog was sent away, the cat was let out in the woods, the turtle was thrown in the trash, and the fish was flushed down the potty. That was life kid, take it or leave it. Now get over it, and move on. Nothingnothing—was buried in our yard except toys. 

Squishy's burial was in the backyard. There was much pomp and circumstance, hand-holding and crying. He was wrapped with purple tissue paper and placed in a teeny white cardboard box, which was secured with colorful rubber bands and silk flowers. A prayer was said, and the fish was laid to rest beside the cat, with a stone to mark the spot.

We left to get King Arthur immediately after the funeral. And consequently covertly swapped the "second" fish with healthier (for a period) King Arthurs #2 through #10. We just couldn't bear the thought of our girl mourning multiple freshwater mates. But when King Arthur #15 kicked the bowl, Lulu was ten and a bit more prepared. And angry. She swiftly boxed the critter and promptly buried him next to Squishy and the cat.

Then, a pause. Nearly one year passed before Lu started begging for another Betta. 

And then, just two months ago (if that), Lu and her dad came in with Crusty and his new glass home, complete with exotic plastic flowers, pastel pebbles, and a Tiki hut.

Last night, at ten o'clock, another scream: "Crusty has a disease on his tail!"

I was afraid of this. The fish, indeed, had less energy of late, and was swimming oddly on its side. There had already been a few close callstimes where it appeared that the fish was a gonerwhere with a slight movement of the bowl, Crusty had been shaken back to life. But neither Lu or I had seen the growth. Not until last night.

Lulu was inconsolable. "He's in pain! We can't let him go on like this! I don't want to see him like this!"

Huh? Then, a thought: Is she talking about what I think she's talking about? 

E u t h a n a s i a ??

"I know, Sweetie. He's dying, you know that don't you?" I asked. I didn't want to say it. I wasn't going to say it. And then I said it, "You don't want to see him suffer, do you? Do you want us to, um, do something about this?" But I didn't know what I was saying. Honestly. It just came out. Okay, so I couldn't stand the thought of her waiting for Crusty to expire.

"You mean, like put him out of his misery?" Lu tearfully replied.

"Let's talk to your father about this." (I'm such a coward.)

We found Michael and explained Crusty's condition. "Dad," Lu said, still crying, "I don't want to watch him like this. I can't take it."

"What are you saying, Lu?" Michael asked, "What do you want me to do?"

"I want you to put him out of his misery!"

"Ah, gee, ah... why don't we... uh... wait a little, give him some time. He might get better. Let's wait until tomorrow." (Also a coward.)

Wisely, she agreed. She went upstairs to brush her teeth. I sat next to Michael, and stared. "Well, what did you want me to do?" he asked. "Have her see me bop the thing over the head? Bury him alive?"

Not to mention it was late, and freezing out.

This morning, when I got back in from early carpool duty, Lulu told me that she had researched the "disease" and had discovered, on the internet, some kind of treatment that can be added to the fish bowl's water. "Daddy will pick up the treatment today and give it to Crusty tonight," she said, smiling.

So is the plan... If Crusty survives the day, that is.

I hadn't gone into Lu's room at all today. Had not want to know what was brewing in that tropical bowl. But she's home from school now, and has checked in on her friend. And it appears old Crusty has been battling, fluffing his Fighter Fish fins. Sure hope her daddy comes home soon with that special remedy...

Let me tell you, however, next time I'm sticking to my guns.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Lonely Turkey

The holiday season has begun in earnest. It was just the day after Halloween when retailers swapped rubber bats and candy corn for Santa figurines and candy canes. Window displays shed orange and black hues for for the sparkling reds and greens of Christmas without so much as a wink to Thanksgiving.

Or did our retailers even wait until Halloween? Heck, I think I may have seen some Christmas paraphernalia in September (or maybe this was last year's leftovers?). Actually, in some cases, Halloween and Christmas have been known to co-mingle.

Eeewww. Pumpkin and pine do not
 a pretty dalliance make.

The poor Turkey. Crowded out by an ever expanding Christmas season. Flattened by surging Yuletide.

And even if you were shut-in like a hermit—had never ventured beyond your driveway—you would know this by the daily onslaught of catalogs. Before Halloween had come and gone, the catalogs were charging, bulging from our mailboxes.

This is nothing - just a small sampling of the onslaught.

Catalogs. I have never even ordered from any of these (ahem). Well, except for Garnet Hill (where my sister is Managing Editor—so I'd better order—course it helps that I love GH, too. Check it out!).

Not to mention mid-autumn jingle bell music and movies...

These days, the only nod to Turkey Day:  Black Friday.

It wasn't like this when I was growing up. Wouldn't dream of thinking about Christmas until after the much loved and anticipated Thanksgiving. This, I remember. Back then, we had respect for a Turkey.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Friday Night Frolic" - Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose!

Remember this guy from Sling Blade? He's had more than a few stellar moments on the big screen, but the stage is where he really shines.

In 1989, a few years before we were married, I introduced my husband to Dwight Yoakam (er, his music, that is). I remember taking Dwight Yoakam's debut album, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., (in audio cassette form) out to Chicago with me; couldn't wait to tell Michael about this Kentucky cowboy. (You see, I had finally found a music artist that he hadn't yet heard of! A near impossible feat.)  I didn’t much like Country music then, still don’t for the most part (except for Cash, and the sublime Emmylou Harris), but Dwight—he was different. He had that hat. And the tight jeans. The pout and the swagger. Let’s just say, he was sexyis sexyan understated Mick Jagger and Elvis Presley. And then, years later, we saw Yoakam in Mansfield, and I was transfixed.

But Yoakam's music was more than Country, it was his own version of the rough-edged Rockabilly sound from the 1950's (think Elvis, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis), greatly influenced by his personal hero, Buck Owens. It was a new sound: Honky-Tonk. Hillbilly. And did it rock!

(After opening video click on Youtube link to view it.)

It's been more than twenty years since Dwight's songwriting brilliance transformed the Country music scene, introducing a whole new generation to a unique and contemporary Country sound, and influencing many young artists. He's still cranking out new tunes and keeping a hefty tour schedule, and his music is as exciting as ever.

If by any small chance, you don't have a lick of Dwight Yoakam, you may want to start with The Essentials—a compilation of the most rockin' rockabilly songs out there (and click on the link below for another taste of Yoakam). 

Whoot, whoot, holla... the boy's got some mad skillz. Pull up those cowboy boots, channel that inner-hillbilly. Hey Mister, turn it on, turn it up, turn me loose

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Little Team That Did

Sports is not a topic I often write about, as I am woefully unqualified to do so. But, with both of my kids now involved in middle school athletics, these past few months have been a whirlwind of sports related activity, an opportunity for me to act as enthusiastic spectator (soccer), as well as assistant coach (cross-country). Even so, I must further preface: I know—aside from a permanent reminder of the game in a place where the sun doesn't shinediddly about soccer. 

Couldn't tell an offside from a dangerous play.

Brackets?  Finally figured them out! And here's what they looked like yesterday:

Look, there's Mount - front and center! Go Mounties!
Last night, I watched our team, Mount Saint Charles Academy—the team I affectionately, secretly, referred to as The Little Team That Couldlose the state championship to a formidable opponent. While admittedly (at least statistically and by physical stature) Mount seemed the underdog, one still hoped for that "you never can tell" moment. The moment where the little guy, wide open, grabs the assist and charges to the net. It was not to be. Archie R. Cole Middle School in East Greenwich scored the only goal of the night with a header. It's not easy to keep that kind of ball out of the goal.

But hey, there they werethe boys (our boys, an exceptional bunch), an assembly of seventh and eighth graders from different towns, even states, their first season together, their coach an ancient (but apt) priest, a final night on the astroturf, under beaming lights and freezing temps, wind howling in the tear-streaked sky, performing war chants, looking... well, cold. And ready.

The other boys? Large and rugged, with a perfect record. Also ready.

I was sitting on the wet, metal bleacherswishing I had a nip bottle or valiumnot ready. 

Well, you already know how it ends, so no need for further detail. Except to say, that The Little Team That Could stood proud at the Final, and their loss last night could not diminish their many accomplishments over the season. The fact that they were sandwiched in those brackets spoke volumes to superior coaching, hard work, team spirit, dedication, and remarkable camaraderie. 

To Fr. Charlie, his assistant "Mrs. Coach", and the boys: it really isn't whether you win or lose, is it? Sure, some glory is good, but you know it's really all about—as they sayhow you play the game. I know you know this. You left the field glowing. Tired, wet and cold, but glowing. And no longer The Little Team That Could. No, no. What you had become was something much more, something very impressive:  The Little Team That Did.  Glory, Glory, Alleluia.

MSC - State Finalist - Soccer State Championships 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Friday Night Frolic" - Pig Out

When my son dressed in costume, for school, as "Mustache Man" last Fridayfashioning a mustache from duct tape and paperI knew it was time to write about CAKE. And not the kind you eat. Not the chocolate variety that I love to whip up from time to time. Or that cake-like Whoopie Pie... oh, my. Speaking of... it's cold out there, maybe it is time for a little baking.

CAKE. Upon the release of their breakthrough album (do we still say "album"?) Fashion Nugget in 1996, I became an immediate fan. Their most recent album, Showroom of Compassion—which includes the song Mustache Manis slated for a 2011 release, but available now for pre-sale via Cake's website or at Amazon

CAKE. Imagine  Devo, Was (Not Was), and the Talking Heads getting together in one room. Imagine what the three of these bands might spawn. Yes, lots of silliness. Much fun. 

Here's a little CAKE (warningthis may leave you a little hungry, send you straight for the kitchentake notes!):

What do you know, a band that cannot only make some very cool music, but can also cook up a gastronomic feast! Well, with a name like CAKE, you'd better have some culinary craft. 

Yes, that's right, there is a bit of a monotone vocal delivery (intentionally?), but it only adds to CAKE's layering.

To wit:

CAKE. Fairly measured stuff. A recipe for lots of smiles. 

CAKE. Gorge yourself. Have fun.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Errant Election

I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and 
politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
Mark Twain in Eruption


Double, double, toil and trouble:
(the week thus far...)

Piecing a soft-serve together,

Pink eye,

New eyeglasses (conjunctivitis as cue: replace scratched, bent, melted eight year old glasses).

Unfortunate election results,

Writer's block (likely the product of chocolate overdose and political perdition).

This cannot be true (not the writer's block, although that is rather crippling, too). Perhaps we should check the voting machines?

Maybe it is still Halloween, an extended scare, pranksters unaware of the time. Go home now kiddies, all the lights have been turned off. 

Politics: Blah! I'd rather have an ice cream cone.

But on the positive side, at least the election demonstrated that Rhode Ilanders do not believe Gauche to be the new Gold Standard.

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Friday Night Frolic" - Acoustic Alchemy

Richard Thompson L.A. based British folk scene icon. Serious songster. Volumes of variegated verse. Six-string picking prodigy. Divinely deft. 

Performing tonight, 10/29/10, at Berkley Performance Center, Boston, MA.

Here, hypnotizing with his Mingus Eyes:

And herepaying heartfelt homage to a motorbikeperforming 1952 Vincent Black Lightning:

A girl could feel special on any such like.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gauche: The New Gold Standard

Honestly? Does Rhode Island really want to continue wandering about with its palm permanently stuck to its forehead?

It looks like our General Treasurer, Frank Caprio, has raised the bar...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What Lodden Thinks: Man Caves, Man Huts and Bunkers

What Lodden thinks: whose bunker contains the most chotchkes?
Who cares,  poker's irrelevant when the game's on.

I've been invited into the above pictured bunker with the caveat that I not disclose where it is or by whom it's owned, this, obviously, a closely held man hut. I could tell you but then I'd have to... well, you know how it goes. The bunker sure does have that distinct man-feel, though oddlyI'd be willing to place a bet herethe most knick-knacked in town (which makes it charmingly manly) . 

Charmed. And free Pez candy. Lots--if, while trying to
extract the sweets, the knight doesn't slice your finger off,
or goody two-shoes Woody doesn't lasso your arm.

Men. Charming. But why is it they need an exclusive space of their own in which to hang—a place to smoke cigars, slug cold beers, sandbag poker buds, watch other guys toss a football around and scream at the TV? And in their own home, at that. Guys are very serious about their bunkersman huts or man caves, as they've come to be known. There's even a whole show on DIY dedicated to designing and building man caves. And an official Man Cave web site,  http://www.mancavesite.org, that describes a Man Cave as "a dedicated area of a house, such as a basement, workshop, or garage, where a man can be alone or socialize with his friends."

I imagine there's an interesting group of guys scoializing here.

Actually, I think what the man hut is all about is retributiona backlash fueled by years of Tupperware and Silpada parties. Problem is, we didn't, and still don't, have our own dedicated ladies room in which to host these parties! No, ladies gather in the kitchen or the living room, not in an exclusive lady lodge. 

Total Retribution. This just about covers it all, wouldn't you say?

My husband hasn't asked to turn our basement into a man hut, yet, thank goodness. But when we recently enclosed the underside of a portion of our raised deck (purportedly for storage purposes), I wondered if it wouldn't be long before I'd see a full bar and/or Giants and Mets paraphernalia overtake the new space.  

Not a good idea in New England. But he'd do it.

I saw the wheels spinning, and I understood—who wouldn't want their own special space? After all, I had been permitted to enter the bunker, felt the dearth of hut presence in my house. The images floating in my head, however, were not those of a homeboy hovel plastered with all sorts of posters and signs, Christmas lights streaming from the ceiling, team jerseys strung corner to corner, poker table as centerpiece, and Johnny Cash or Eli Manning peering at you from every angle. The lady of the house has other plans, and the time has come for a new movement: the rise of the Girl Grotto.

Here's what my Grotto would look like:

The first Woman Cave

And in one corner, this...

And, if it had on the opposite side, this... 

... it would be perfect. Alone, or socializing with friends. 

I wonder what Lodden would think? Probably, that I'd played my cards right.