Nail Art For Beekeeping And Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

When I'm not sure how to prepare for something, I meditate, and by meditate I mean do nail art—that's my version of meditation.

Beekeeping nails. I think I might be doing it wrong.

I hunt for just the right design for the occasion—what design would be most appropriate for a beekeeping class on a Saturday, for example—and set about selecting the colors and brushes to execute my plan. As I paint, I'm forced to breathe slowly, steady my hands, and remain in the moment. Sometimes I hum a repetitive little chant or sound as I work, probably not even audible to those around me, or maybe it annoys the fuck out of them. If it does, they've been kind enough to never point it out.




I also do yoga, but not with the seriousness I would like, and not with the passion of Brian Leaf, the author of Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi: My Humble Quest to Heal My Colitis, Calm My ADD, and Find the Key to Happiness . I was given a copy of his book to review, and I'll be honest; I rarely read anything in hardcopy anymore. I got so used to reading on my iPhone when Bob was in the hospital and going through chemo, and then I read Infinite Jest that way because IT'S SO DAMN HUGE, that I just can't go back to paper. So, to see if I was going to like this book enough to REALLY read it and review it, I cheated. (Don't tell the publisher, please. Or the author. Or Santa, because I've been pretty good otherwise.) 

Here's what I did: I downloaded a preview on iBooks to see if I liked it enough to BUY a copy of a book I already had in my hot little mitts. 

Guess what. 

It totally was.

With five kids cruising around this house a good portion of the time, we have a fairly hectic world, and it can be tough to find time to read, but this book sucked me in. Why?

  • Yoga is something I love, but I can't stand reading new agey, touchy-feely books about it. I don't want to be preached to. 
  • As somebody with a host of complex health issues that are intimately tied to my mental health, I appreciated reading a book by an author who was discovering that for himself.
  • If you don't make me laugh at you or at me, I'll probably put your book down. Brian has that covered in every chapter. I was poking Ed to read excerpts throughout the book, and finally stopped because I really want him to read it, which reminds me of my next point.
  • The New Jersey-ness of Brian held a special appeal for me. There's a culture in that state, and now that I am in an intimate relationship with a man who was raised there, I appreciate the unique nature of some very Jersey-specific traits. I don't want to reveal too much, and I'm not talking about fist-pumping Jersey Shore (the show, not the place) culture, because you really need to read it to see, but I plan to email Brian about one bit I noticed because it really stood out. If you read it, I'd be anxious to hear from you what you think.
  • It is a quick read, but not in a throwaway sense. You will have aha moments, and LOL moments, and highlighting passages to come back to them moments. It will make you want to be better and feel better, but also show you that the process to getting there is a journey, that it can be a fun journey at times, painful at time, and that we need to give ourselves permission to experience life. 

But, you know what you should do, see for yourself. 

You can read the first two chapters free right here.

And if you want to see one of the funnier book trailers I think I've ever seen/heard, then watch this. Or don't. Maybe go wash your cat. I'm gonna figure out what I'm supposed to wear to beekeeping class with this sweet black and yellow nail art.

The fine-ish print: I was given a free copy of the above-reviewed book with no other strings attached, folks. Anything else I did or said or painted on my fingernails was my own choice and my own opinions. 

Things That Go Buzz Between Yer Legs: My Personal Review Of The Ladygasm Cici

I rarely, if ever, agree to do product reviews here on my big girl blog.

I just don't.

I have been asked to review some weird shit. Some normal shit. And so much shit I just don't care about. I don't care that it's free and I get to keep it. I really do have better things to do than eat, smell, wash, wear, listen to, or play your product. Yes, I'm that asshole.

Unless it's a vibrator.

Send that one. I'll take it. I'll review it right after my post about zuchini, because squash and fake penii are related, dontcha know. 


That's how I ended up receiving a little velvet box (bwahaha) from the cool peeps at Ladygasm that contained a tiny treasure for my Lady Garden. 

It takes 2 AAA batteries in the screw-off base, which I provided. Cuz I am a Girl Scout, like that. (Really, I was a Campfire Girl, but whatever, I had the batteries.) And then I gave the new toy a good scrub down because for some reason it smelled like a swimming pool. Which is lovely if you want to swim in your Lady Garden, but I like to keep my swimming and buzzing separate. Call me old-fashioned.
2012 08 09 21 47 31

After taking it for a test drive, here's what I can tell you about the Ladygasm Cici (they call her the most affordable luxury vibrator, folks, like a Lexus for your twat—okay maybe I came up with that last part of the tagline):

  • It has two buttons on the handle area, one for power, and one to control the multiple vibration modes, which I determined to be a variety of pulsing and vibrating of either the g-spot stimulator and/or the little clitoral stimulator—allowing you to have the vibrator operate as a g-spot only, clitoral stimulator only, or dual g-spot/clitoral stimulating vibrator. 
  • The clitoral stimulator has nubs that reminded me of a toothbrush. More scrubby than rubby, if that makes sense. They aren't stiff, but they aren't rounded, either. Very Vagina Dentata, IYKWIM.
    2012 08 09 21 46 03
  • The power was okay, but not super strong. If you're looking to rearrange the furniture, this isn't the vibrator for you. On the other hand, if you want something quiet that will get the job done, then the Ladygasm Cici might be your new best friend.
  • It didn't come with any instructions, which is fine, I mean it's not a super complicated product, but something telling you how many settings it has or even the product name would have been cool. Also, a free set of batteries would have been a nice touch. Thankfully, I had a big batch of new ones on hand.
  • I did like the fact that the two parts had their own independent motors vibrating separately, although more speed variability would be nice. What can I say, I like my sports cars and my vibrators to have manual transmissions with a lot of gears.
  • It's latex-free and hypoallergenic. The top half, you know, the fake penis part, is made of medical-grade silicone. Not to be confused with silicon. Totally different stuff, folks.
  • At just $25, it's a pretty reasonably priced vibrator. I know I've spent far more for less satisfying experiences. 
  • It was also easy to clean and the little "legs" on the base makeit easy to stand up to let it dry.
  • I wasn't able to find info on whether or not it's waterproof, which is something I like to know, generally as even if you don't plan on doing any underwater sports with your toys, sex can be a "moist" adventure, so my preference is for toys to be waterproof.
  • Having used it a couple of times now, and washed it the same number of times, it still smells like a swimming pool. Ew. I can't figure it out. Something about the plastic. Super weird.
  • I do like that it's bendy. Not floppy, mind you. It doesn't need to pop a blue pill or anything. It's just got a nice flex to it. And since we aren't all shaped the same, this is a nice touch.
Now, the fine print: the folks at Ladygasm were nice enough to offer the readers here a 20% discount off their normal website prices. Just enter CALIFMOM and shop away.  


Book Review: Against Medical Advice

Book cover of Book cover via AmazonIn early October, I was asked by the publishers of James Patterson's latest book, Against Medical Advice, if I'd like a copy to review. This isn't a work of fiction, as Patterson usually writes. Instead, Patterson is joined by Hal Friedman in telling the story of Cory Friedman, Hal's son, and his struggle with the most severe case of Tourette Syndrome I've even encountered.

When your child ends up in the hospital from tearing muscles due to physical tics, you aren't dealing with your run-of-the-mill case of Tourette's. When you've worked your way through 60 medications and still can't find peace for your child, that child gives up...almost. When an addiction to alcohol is the lesser of two evils, it's time for radical actions.

Against Medical Advice
is told in Cory's voice, with his blessing. This is as much Cory's book as it is his father's or Patterson's. Cory's story will grab you, turn you upside down, challenge you, and give you an ending you never saw coming.

I read it in a single night.

Then, Bug read it. It took him two nights, but he was captivated by the story, as well. Peanut and Hubs are planning to read it together, then we'll be passing our copy along. We may even pick up a few more for family members and friends. I will confess this was my first Patterson novel, and I was absolutely blown away.

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