May 9, 2018

Grading Hell

Posted by Tonia at Wednesday, May 09, 2018 2 comments

by Tonia

I’m a teacher – a college professor, to be exact. And this last semester I took on a record number of courses because of a colleague’s illness (when did I start being so damn nice??? Grrrrr…..). All was fine until the end of the semester when I entered ….. <insert menacing music> ….. the Five Circles of Grading Hell.

In the First Circle of Grading Hell, I was greeted by an old enemy, Procrastination. With over 150 papers and exams shadowing me like a stalker, all I could do was log on to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Words with Friends and watch Netflix. I even answered 2 year old emails in my inbox. My house was never cleaner, my tax receipts never so organized and my eyebrows never so meticulously plucked.   

In the Second Circle of Grading Hell, I was met by the twins, Drudgery and Tedium. I corrected the same mistakes over and over and over….and over again, until I wanted to tear my eyes out and hang them like giant dice from my car’s rearview mirror. Here, at the edge of the abyss, I could feel my brain atrophying. If only I could be a bit snarky on a paper or two – THAT would entertain me – but nooooo, I think there’s a policy against irritable snarcasm.

In the Third Circle of Grading Hell, I was overpowered by Drowsiness (can one “catch” narcolepsy?). Words spiraled around in my head, disassociated from their sentences, hanging somewhere between caffeine-addled consciousness and sedation – THIS is academia’s replacement for Ambien. Got insomnia? Grade! They say that 3 am is the hour of writers, painters, poets and other creative people. Uh.....did you notice that teachers/graders didn’t make the list?

In the Fourth Circle of Grading Hell, I was engulfed by Disheveledness. Bloodshot eyes, greasy, matted hair stuck to my scalp, and a 3-day old, coffee-stained shirt - I made zombies look like Ms. Universe contestants. Colleagues who saw me would simply say, “Grading, huh?” There’s just not enough make-up to cover up this kind of ugly.

In the Fifth (and FINAL) Circle of Hell I was strangled by Self-doubt. As I read final exam essays I swung wildly between, “OMG, these exams are awful. I’m a terrible teacher. The students got nothing from me. I suck” and “OMG, these final exam essays are fabulous. I’ve made this far too easy. I’m a terrible teacher. I guess I REALLY suck."

And just when I thought I had made it through Grading Hell, there was yet a new degree of agony waiting for me …… a faculty meeting.

For your next girlfriends’ party be sure to make this fabulous Lemon Meringue Pie Martini. I give it an A.


1 ounce vodka
2 ounces Triple Sec
3 ounces half-n-half
ounce powdered yellow lemonade 
Extra yellow lemonade powder to rim the glass
Whipped cream and lemon slice to garnish

Rim the glass with powdered yellow lemonade. Shake up the first 3 ingredients in a shaker. Pour into glass and top with whipped cream and a lemon slice.

Jun 12, 2017

My Spanish Dildo

Posted by Tonia at Monday, June 12, 2017 2 comments
By Tonia

“It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, ‘As pretty as an airport.’” - Douglas Adams

I recently went to Spain and Morocco with my Boy Toy  (OK, he’s only 5 months younger than me, but we like to call him that). We had a great time sight-seeing while gluttonizing on tapas, paella, Iberian ham, grilled sardines and gazpacho - and drinking more Sangria than our combined weights. 

There were, of course, a few hick-ups along the way. International travel is never without them. For example, there were unmanned highway toll booths every friggin’ 10 miles with more slits, buttons and levers than an Apollo control panel.  Two advanced-degreed brains working together couldn’t figure them out.  Other drivers had to stop and get out of their cars to assist us. 

And the ferry that I was SURE only took 30 minutes to get to Tangier took 90 minutes – mostly because we were off-course from our intended destination. We ended up at a Moroccan industrial port that looked like a thriller movie scene where creepy things happen. Boy Toy casually remarked we would probably end up kidnapped, stripped naked, chained and beaten (and not in a good way) on a cold cement floor in a Turkish prison. I reminded him we were in MOROCCO – not Turkey. And, fortunately, after one shuttle, one hike to the highway and 2 taxi rides, we made it to our hotel with our clothes on and no bruises or chains (we saved that for later).

But we really did have a wonderful time. One of our favorite destinations was the Love Stop Sex Shop – not really listed in Rick Steve’s travel guide, but definitely worth visiting. Unlike the seedy, dark places I.…ahem….have accidentally fallen upon, this place was well-lit, well-staffed and tastefully decorated. Ya gotta' love an elegant, sophisticated store in debauchery – kinda’ like an Apple Store of sex shops - a Sex Fifth Avenue. Of course, I wanted a souvenir! Tired of using my electric toothbrush as a vibrator, I decided something new and exotic was in order. And I discovered The Delight. Not only did it vibrate, it SUCKED.  I couldn’t pay for my shiny new Spanish dildo fast enough. After all, it certainly doesn’t suck to get sucked.

But all good things must come to an end and the time to fly home arrived. Looking forward to a good groping (pat down) from a handsome Spanish airport security guard, I instead found my carry-on bag getting all of the attention. After its ride through x-ray, the guard angrily pulled me and my bag aside and dug through its contents like a Gestapo on a 1944 train. He threw out some argon oil and kept excavating until he discovered….you guessed it….The Delight. Waving it high in the air like a sword in battle and shrieking Spanish accusations at me, it seemed he thought it was some kind of taser…..or weapon of mass destruction.

To avoid getting arrested and going to that Turkish prison Boy Toy warned me about I needed to explain myself. I didn’t know how to say “dildo” in Spanish and I was pretty sure it wasn’t in mini Spanish-English dictionary. Under other circumstances, I would have used charades and gestures to communicate, but I was afraid this kind of charade/gesture might be interpreted as a feminist-foreign-fuck you. I thought, “I’m fucked. And, worse yet, this thing is never gonna’ fuck me.”

While all this was going on in my head, a female security guard approached Dickomero (I’m pretty sure that’s Spanish for “male security guy”) and muttered something to him out of the side of her mouth and, though I can only imagine what she said, she had a knowing look on her face and a little twinkle in her eye. He slowly lowered The Delight and gently put it back in my bag. I think he may have even zipped it for me. And, like that, we were on our way back home – The Delight, the Boy Toy and me. But, somewhere in Spain that night, I bet there was a wife getting a LOT of questions…..

If you can't get to Spain this year, at least enjoy some Sangria with your girlfriends. It’s a fabulous beverage for your next girlfriends’ get-together. Maybe after a few glasses you'll want to practice flamengo! Here’s the recipe we love. Cheers!!


1 750 ml of red wine
1 lemon, sliced
2 oranges, sliced
1 apple, sliced
1 squirt Stevia
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup lemon cello
2 cups ginger ale, club soda or sparkling water


Pour the wine into a pitcher and toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) along with the Stevia, brandy and lemon cello. Stir and chill overnight; add ginger ale, club soda or sparkling water just before serving. Poor over ice into glasses. Don't worry if some of the fruit drops into the glasses. 

Aug 3, 2016

Plunged into Plucking

Posted by Tonia at Wednesday, August 03, 2016 0 comments
By Tonia
"No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin." – the three little pigs
At 62, my bad hair days no longer have anything to do with my hairdo. That happened in the ‘80s …. every …. single …. day. No, my bad hair days are when the multiple hairs on my chin have grown over night like they were fertilized and I don’t have tweezers. That is my new bad hair day. So while the hair on my head is thinning, my eyebrows are thinning and, hell, even my pubic hairs are thinning, I’m growing chin hairs! Mother Nature and Father Time are fucking with me – and not in a kinky, fun way. I’m starting to remind myself of a 14 year old boy sprouting his first beard. New dating rule: No dating anyone with less chin hair than me.
I mean, just as my eyesight is going, I have single, dark hairs emerging all over my chin that I can’t see. Is this some kind of cruel joke? How am I supposed to fix this??
So I’ve purchased a 1000x magnifying mirror for my Search and Destroy missions. And I carry tweezers with me everywhere. Tweezers are no longer just for the bathroom any more. I have them in my purse, in my desk drawer at work, in the glove compartment of my car and even outside with the gardening tools. The second I feel one of those tiny little stiff hairs trying to poke itself out of my skin, I rip it out. But sometimes the hair isn't long enough to pluck, so I just have to sit and rub it, trying to get it ready to pluck (Hopefully, I just look like I’m rubbing my chin in deep contemplation).

Sometimes I’m driving along in my car and I see one that I’ve missed. Then I start to panic. How many people have seen it? Did they simply think it was a stray hair from my make-up brush? Did my make-up camouflage it enough? WHY DIDN’T SOMEONE TELL ME???
I’ve thought about shaving them but, if I shave my chin like I shave my legs, I’ll end up bleeding like I’ve amputated something. And those tiny pieces of toilet paper stuck to the bleeding spots don’t always match my eye shadow.
I’ve also considered the over-the-counter creams. They dissolve hair but they don’t always work on coarse hair and, if you leave it on too long, it can dissolve your skin. Great. Melting skin. Just blend it in with the wrinkles.
Then there’s waxing - hot sticky wax that rips hairs out by their roots leaving scarlet, angry skin behind. The trouble here (besides the angry skin) is that you have to let the hair grow out ¼ of an inch before you can remove it. Uh…
I guess I may look into laser or electrolysis……..or just join the circus.

For your next girlfriends’ get together, consider checking out your area’s Groupons for spa deals! Smuggle in some white wine in your water bottles! And to those unruly chin hairs, I say, “Well, pluck it.”

Jun 14, 2016

Jacking with Packing

Posted by Tonia at Tuesday, June 14, 2016 0 comments
by Tonia
"Home may be where the heart is but don’t ask me which box it’s in.” – me
I’m relocating to Santa Fe in a few weeks. Moving was such great idea ….. until I started packing. Holy Hoarder! For every one box I pack, 3 more boxes worth of crap and shit appear. My moving date is approaching faster than a speeding bullet and there’s no Superman here to save me from this whacky packy. I guess I’m going to have to quickly make a LOT of new friends before my moving date (preferably really buff ones from a gym). Then I can have a packing party. I'll serve alcohol but it will have to be BYC (Bring Your Own Cups) because I can’t find mine.
I tried to get rid of some of this crap and shit at a Yard Sale a few weeks ago but every time a friend dropped by to see how I was doing, I had to grab an item she had given me and hide it. I ended up with a huge pile of gifted crap and shit in my shed. People can be so touchy, you know.
A few years ago I had a house fire and lost most of my possessions. Frankly, that sounds pretty damn good about now. Maybe when I get just a little more tired of packing I’ll convince myself that I really don’t like the rest of my things and just leave them.
The other day I was packing up some of the crap and shit and heard my cell phone ring from inside a box. It took me 30 minutes to figure out WHICH box because ….. of course ….. it quit ringing after a few seconds. And god only knows where I’ve packed the dog’s leash. I had to improvise with packing tape wrapped around his collar…..even made myself a cute little handle. 

I think I’m developing symptoms of Relocation Psychosis (RP – not RIP…..yet): auditory hallucinations of popping bubble wrap; nightmares of boxes climbing in the windows to entrap me; complete disorganization; difficulty staying on task. Is there medicine for this?
For your next girlfriends’ get-together……well, crap, I have no ideas. I’m too busy trying to stay away from the creepy boxes trying to get me........

Jun 2, 2016

The Selling of the Yard

Posted by Tonia at Thursday, June 02, 2016 0 comments
by Tonia
I’m getting ready to move out of state so I needed to get rid of some crap and shit. And, since its Yard Sale season (when entire neighborhoods have the opportunity to judge you for your belongings), I decided to join the ranks of the Yard Sale entrepreneurs. Not that I’m any kind of sales person, mind you. Hell, I couldn’t sell a bra to cross dresser. Or sunscreen to a nudist. But I needed the cash…..
STEP 1 was the terrorizing task of actually going through all my crap and shit. Instead of DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE, it was separate piles of CHUCK, CHUCK, SELL – through every drawer and every closet. I even ventured into the attic….which requires a ladder….which got knocked over when I threw down some crap and shit. And, even though I was physically above it all, the expletives coming out of my mouth were definitely beneath even me. Motherf^*ker! So I sat and sat up there until my sister happened by. She laughed hysterically and threatened to leave me up there ….. until she saw the stuck-in-the-attic-crazy-eyed look on my face.
STEP 2 was pricing everything. Ugh. What dilemmas! I couldn’t decide whether to price things according to my emotional attachment to them or to get them the hell out of my sight. I mean, how do I price Japanese toothpicks decorated as Geisha?
STEP 3 (well, not really STEP 3 but it really happened) was my girlfriend coming over the night before the sale with food to cook on the grill. Since we might or might not have had too much to drink, we ended up with some of her singed bangs on the meat. Later, when she went into the bathroom and found a pair of scissors, I heard her yell to me, “I guess it’s not a great idea to cut my bangs when I’ve been drinking!” Step away from the scissors, my friend. Just slowly back away……  And THAT was a Bangs Rescue.
STEP 4 (or 3 or whatever) was getting up at 5:00 a.m. for an 8:00 a.m. Yard Sale - and that awkward first meeting of the neighbors when your best friend shoos them away for being too early. Anna and her boyfriend ducked out of that scene to hang signs, but they either took a Tour of Tulsa or went to breakfast. She’s not telling. We didn’t see them for hours.
As we set stuff out, I considered throwing a sex toy in the mix just to see people’s reactions, but decided that the 2 blow-up men and kinky board games were probably enough.
STEP ?? was the actual sale. Lots of interesting people came by, including my 90 year old neighbor who bought shelves and talked a total stranger (another Yard Sale shopper) into carrying it to her house for her. (I took notes on THAT pick-up!) She also told us that the best thing about being 90 was that no one asked her for a ride or babysitting any more.
As the day worn on, Anna got into the Spirit of Selling (otherwise known Poverty’s Desperation). She started selling homemade cupcakes and a Dollar Store12-pack of water for $1 each. She proposed that I advertise $20 lap dances, but one really can’t do a decent lap dance with a Yard Sale money apron on. 
What I REALLY wanted to sell were the bags under my eyes, the hairs on my chin, and the flaps under my arms, but I may have to PAY to get rid of those!

For your next girlfriends’ get together, try a Lavender & Ginger Vodka Spritzer: 
Put lots of ice in a highball glass. Add:

3 oz. vodka
5 oz. soda water
1 drop of lavender oil or 2 sprigs of fresh lavender
1 slice of fresh ginger

Stir and drink!


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