Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Love Being a Girl

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Karfelt

Tonight I waxed my own eyebrows. Yeah. 
Guess I need to get bangs.
And really big sunglasses.


Girl Facts:

Your eyebrows are fine. Leave them alone.

The adhesive in sanitary napkins only sticks to two things, and we both know that cloth isn't one of those.

Whoever put hooks in the back of sports bras obviously never really exercises/wears one.

Mascara will make you sneeze. I think it was formulated by a guy going through an ugly divorce.

That same guy designed baby strollers.

Lip plumper will get on your tongue.

Candy bars and diet soda just go together.
Like Salad and Cookies.

Your mother will drive you insane.
You will drive your mother insane.
(Maybe life is fair.)

Girls who say they can eat anything they want and not gain weight have no girlfriends.

Wearing black will turn you into a giant lint roller.
Wearing white will turn you into a magnet for muddy dogs and children who just ate Spaghettios.

Size “Large” is just fashion's way of saying you don’t fit in, Cow-Girl.
(Fashion is a mean-girl.)

Runway models make you realize that either you, or they, are on the wrong planet.

Thanks to HDTV your skin concludes my alien theory. You belong on Planet Pores in the Large Galaxy.

Mr. Darcy is just a guideline.
Real men do not talk like movie men.
Real women do not act like movie women, unless it involves alcohol – which could possibly alter the above statement too.

Good guys refuse to wear white hats and make your life easier.
Tall, dark, and handsome isn’t nature’s white hat. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Freshly painted nails will trigger Murphy’s Law.

A megalomaniac deviant billionaire boyfriend is hard to come by, and that is without doubt a good thing.

An ice-cold, blood-sucking vampire boyfriend isn’t hard to find, and that is a bad thing.

How about you? Do you have anything to add to my list of Girl Facts? Surely there are times in your day where you just want to look up at the sky and shout, "I love being a girl". Kind of like a movie woman would do. You don’t have to be a girl to get into the spirit of this thing either, but I cannot offer you any protection if you don't talk like a movie man. 
What Girl Facts has life taught you?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Life Can Be Nasty Monkey Gross, But There’s Always True Love

Have you ever done something you couldn’t believe you were doing? Not necessarily big, maybe just the first time you cleaned something really nasty. When I was a kid, and my Bohemian Gram would sweep crumbs off the kitchen counter with her bare hands, I’d shiver. Who knew what that stuff was? We had a MONKEY in the house for pity’s sake! And let me tell you, monkey’s do gross nasty stuff. But then you grow up, and life requires you to suck it up and do all sorts of gross things you never thought you’d do.

Sometimes I downright impress myself. And sometimes I downright gross myself way out. Way. Do you know the feeling?
As far as I know, no amount of prep work can prepare you for hiking the ten miles down into The Grand Canyon. If you were to take a hammer, and very gently knock it against the top edge of each of your toenails for a few hours – perhaps you’d get the idea of what it feels like afterwards. I don’t know what the stats are, but if you’re sporting a sparkly blue pedicure when you hike it, take a picture before you start, because that is the last you’ll see of a pretty pedicure for about six months. You won’t know that beneath the polish your nails are turning black and blue, and that they’re going to fall off one by one over the ensuing weeks. Like some sort of delayed sacrifice to the foot fetish gods of the canyon.

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Karfelt
Hiking the ten miles back up, while challenging, does not involve your toes. While this is a blessed relief, it is definitely a case of too little too late. I crawled over the top ledge of the canyon, tugged my hiking shoes off and put on flip-flops. I did not care about the snow. My legs were fine after the hike up; well at least they had the decency to go numb. Even in flip-flops the toes were still throbbing and sobbing about going down. All I had to do now was hop in the rental car and drive four hours to the airport (talk about bad planning). Wait, before that I have to go to the mule barn and pick up my gear that I’d hired a mule to carry up (worth every penny).

The snow has started to melt, so the yard of the mule barn is a sea of wet, black…shtuff, if you know what I mean. I must cross this. It is soft, mushy, and wet, and smells like mule…shtuff, if again you know what I mean. I think about just leaving without my pack, but I need my license to board my flight. For a moment I wonder how difficult it would be replace it, but not for one second do I consider putting real shoes back on. Yep, ignoring the foul factor, I slosh right through mule muck, sinking deeper into it with every step. It sucks at my footwear and goops right up over my flip-flops onto my bare feet. Focusing on my goal, I disassociate from the fate of my feet. After all, I just spent days getting all zen with Mother Nature, she ain’t always pretty. I make it all the way into the barn where to my stunned amazement I discover my own personal Mr. Darcy all alone, staring at me. Oh my gosh! At last I found him! Why did I never think to look here before?!

He is disguised as a mule wrangler at The Grand Canyon, and he probably doesn’t even know that he is the love of my life. He does, however, know that I’m up to my ankles in mule…shtuff. “What are you doing?” he asks. I would answer him, except I can’t remember what language I speak. Sadly I suspect he’s had this effect on women before, because he rolls his gorgeous eyes and points to a pile of duffel bags, and just walks away! Yep, there he goes, the father of my unborn children. Picking up my forty pound bag, I retrace my steps. Carrying the extra forty-pounds makes me sink even deeper into the mule mess, but what does it matter? I’ve found him at last. My Mr. Darcy. I throw the bag into the backseat of the rental car and attempt to sit. But the real and actual father of my born children reaches from his place in the driver’s seat and stops me. “What are you doing?” he shouts. “You have %#*! all over your feet!”

“Do you know what happens when you won’t go carry your wife’s suitcase for her? After she just hiked all the way to the top of The Grand Canyon? She falls in love with a mule wrangler, that’s what,” I say. Dear Hubby still doesn’t budge. “Good, go see if he’ll let you in his car.”  “It was unrequited,” I admit, “I suspect he’s already forgotten I exist.”  “Well, I’ll take you back if you go wash your feet,” Dear Hubby concedes. I weigh my options and negotiate, “If you drive me to the washroom, I won’t leave you.” He shakes his head, but my argument is sound. “Oh come on, it’s a rental car!” He moves his hand and lets me sit, but warns, “Don’t put your feet down!”  Turns out that true love isn’t what I’d originally thought it was, but gross stuff is even grosser.

How about you? Do you have a nasty-monkey gross story? I know you do. It doesn’t have to be combined with finding Mr. Darcy or true love. Have you ever found yourself doing something you never thought you’d do? Your own little personal fear factor conquered, even if you didn’t really want to do it? 

And speaking of Fear Factor, I've had to add CAPTCHA to my comment section. I apologize. I detest it. It's all the fault of Ambien and Viagra hogging up all my comment threads to pedal their goods. Dang drug dealers. Anyway, besides CAPTCHA, what is the grossest thing you've done lately? Or ever?  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ground Control to Major Tom

I am Major Tom. My mission is to protect the outpost from invasion. Some call me a radical, a fanatic, or worse. This is my story, know it and judge me as you will.

During their hourly sweep of the island, Ground Control alerted me to the impending invasion. Radar picked up the sound of craft approaching Quadrant Four and I quickly dispatched my forces. There simply aren’t enough foot soldiers left to stave off enemy infiltration. Just last week, while I guarded HQ, someone managed to slip through our defenses and decimate our supplies. The invaders aren’t satisfied with simply taking over our land. Oh no, they want it all – our food, our water and worst of all – they take our weapons. The weapons are our lifeline if we are to survive in the battle against the minions of the deep. Yet no matter where I station my foot soldiers, there simply aren’t enough of us to protect the outpost.

From my station at the topmost point of the island, the roar of their craft reaches my ears. The enemy has breached Quadrant Four. I call for backup, and troops from the Eighth Quadrant respond. Even combined my forces cannot keep them at bay. We are outnumbered. The enemy makes land. They laugh at our defense. The sound rings in my ears, and impotent rage burns in my chest. The immortal words from The Art of War come to mind.
“One may know how to conquer without being able to do it”…Sun Tzu
So the enemy comes once more, they will take what they want and they will leave. Deep in my heart I suspect money changes hands, that some of the very people we are here to protect are traitors. What is an old warrior to do with that betrayal? He will fight to his last breath, that is what he will do, and that is why I attacked the man from Quadrant Four with my only weapons, my voice and my teeth. Laugh at me, and you too will go down with my bark ringing in your ears and my sharp teeth tearing through the flesh of your ankles.

Cosmo as Major Tom
I am Major Tom*. This is my fishing camp. The fish in the lake are mine. The boats are all mine. The fishing poles –mine – and the worms. The food in the lodge is mine. Mine, mine, mine. I do not grant you safe passage.
“He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious”…Sun Tzu

*Major Tom a.k.a. Cosmo

Well what do you think a writer does at a fishing camp? We write.

Stephanie Karfelt

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Confessions of a Back-Rub Ho

Maybe there is no justification for wanton behavior, but I’m still gonna try. My life is mostly spent hunched over a keyboard, squinting at a monitor. Random spurts of running like a dork interrupt that. I also like to play like I’m buff and move furniture by myself, toss small children into the air, climb walls, or lift weights. Then I stick Therma-Care Heat Wraps all over myself and go back into turtle position and write some more. These wraps are way awesome and much better than herb bags, rice bags, and the lot.

So you see, sometimes I need a back-rub. Not want, need. You understand? There are baskets in the family room with assorted back-rubby gadgets in them. Some are battery run, some are wooden or plastic and some are hand held for when Dear Hubby says I’m breaking his hands. Which he says pretty much every time I pester ask for a back-rub. He doesn’t like my comments of, “Oh come on, is that all you’ve got?” and “Don’t be a little girl, put your back into it”. I consider those cheering him on, you know, inspiring! Right? 

Back Rub Gadgets

I try to rub my own back. You can really yank a muscle doing that. That is what that big hook thing is supposed to do, let you rub your own back, but it’s just not the same. I also tried rolling around on the back-rubby toys, but it doesn’t work, though it amuses guests. You can use the corner of a wall in a pinch, but same deal, nothing beats real hands.

Back when the residents of Spooky Hill were being tormented by Evil Contractor, someone said, “I wouldn’t let him build an outhouse for me.”  Other comments followed on how he wasn’t worthy to touch anything. I agreed, but with the caveat, “Well, I’d let him rub my back, but other than that he is useless.”  Because frankly I was willing to risk it. Rear-end my car at a light? I’ll let it slide if you rub my back. Last week some soft-spoken Asian dude came up behind me while I sat in a chair, and started rubbing my back. Did I ask questions? Why? Who are you? Do you have a license to kill? Heck no. It didn’t matter, at that moment he was my best friend. The thing was he then offered to rub it for awhile for $10. Whatever, there’s my purse, rub.

What's inside my purse

Not that all back-rubbers are created equal, they’re not. I prefer a professional, but I’m chronically desperate. I currently owe Zeus several million dollars from all the times I said, “Hey, rub my back and I’ll give you a million dollars.” Zeus is my friendly neighborhood giant, and he gives an AMAZING back rub. Though he is no longer accepting checks. (And by the way Dear Hubby is okay with all this. He wouldn’t care if it was Jamie from the Outlander series, or even Mr. Darcy rubbing my back. If it gets Hubby off the hook, he’s good with it.) 

I have been known to suggest a game of Back-Rub Masseuse with my niece. She gets all into it, too. I light a candle, turn spa music on, she turns on an electric blanket for me to lie down on, and she pounds away. At the end she charges me a dollar. It is not child labor! It is a game. We play Quelf too, it’s not like we’re playing Car Wash. Shut up.

We’re among friends here, so feel free to confess your weakness, and what lengths you go to for a fix. What makes you cheap? Chocolate? Free samples? Will you eat anything off a colored toothpick at the supermarket? The Glitter Globe Confessional is now open, and remember, what happens in The Glitter Globe stays on the Internet. Isn’t that cozy? 


Check it out, a bouquet of Epic Slinky Dogs!
If you'd like an Epic Slinky Dog, please follow my blog, and leave a comment. It's that easy. I give away at least one per blog. Oh, and you might want to leave some contact info, or check back. As you can see I have a few unclaimed Epic Slinky Dogs on hand.  Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time locating "Anonymous" on the internet.  
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Commuter Planes

S. R. Karfelt The Glitter Globe Air Travel
The Glitter Globe by S. R. Karfelt

“We don’t care what falls off, as long as it is inside the plane!” – Motto

After my last blog wherein I created the hashtag on Twitter of #IhateUSAir, I found myself inspired reading the comments people left me. One reader happily reported she liked all flights except commuter ones. As much as I dislike USAir, I adore commuter flights. In case you live in a city with a real airport, I’ll explain what they are. There are small towns where people spend vast amounts of time trying to leave traveling to places where the sun shines. These lucky little towns get to have their own little airport. It’s very exciting because it means the residents don’t have to take a ship and risk icebergs to get to a real bigger airport.

Now there’s usually only one terminal, and one crop duster if it isn’t planting season not many planes. The first time I went into this airport the people behind the counter greeted me by name, and tagged my bag before I said a word, it really freaked me out. But there were only about eight people on the flight and everyone else had checked in. Small airports rock. They used to actually hold the plane for late arrivals. Once they greeted Dear Hubby with “Run! Run!  They’re waiting for you!” and tossed his boarding pass at him. If they knew your flight from Borneo made you late, they’d wait. That was before newer security regulations made everyone bat-guano-crazy.

That’s all changed now and do not think because the airport is smaller that you’re going to slide through security wearing your flip flops. Take the dental floss out of your back pocket too, unless you want a cavity search. I’m sure it is a coincidence that they tend to confiscate Bath and BodyWorks products. Technically you’re only allowed to carry-on so many ounces of liquidy substances, and this small airport practically weighs your lotions and gels. Once they encouraged the woman in front of me to apply a couple ounces of product right then and there so she could pass. So don’t try to pull anything with your awesome Berry Flirt Shea Enriched Body Lotion, Bub.

Commuter airplanes tend to be about the size of carnival rides tiny propeller planes that are so loud inside you have to shout to have a conversation. If you’re afraid to fly, you really need to fly these dudes. It’s aversion therapy; like living in Texas will cure you of a fear of cockroaches. Exposure will get you over your fear of flying. I sat next to a little girl who got freaked out by the bumping and banging. She totally bought my “There are bumpy roads in the sky, just like on the ground” speech. And we got into a rousing game of “Name That Banging Sound”. I think she was right that someone put a hundred pennies in the overhead bin. We ended that flight pretending like the dip and rise, and droning sound, was because we’d been swallowed by a hummingbird. Did I ever mention I like sitting by kids? 

One of the planes had a bench-like seat in the very back. I seemed to hit the lotto for that spot quite often. I don’t know if there was always turbulence, but sitting there was better than any amusement park ride. Sometimes water would condense along the ceiling of the plane and drip icy water on you during the trip, though it froze eventually. You do not take your coat off on these flights. Unless you’re stuck on the runway in one, and then you’ll want to get naked and lick the water off the ceiling because it gets so hot. You don’t really mind though because you’re high on jet fuel. The seats never recline, as a matter of fact there have been times the entire armrest came off in my hand, and sometimes those panels in the walls flop open.

I don’t think they’re unsafe though, I really don’t. They’re just not pretty or posh, but they’re functionally correct and I love them. They only shake and rattle because there are bumpy roads in the sky just like on the ground. You’ll be just fine, safe and sound, right here inside this hummingbird.

Did you buy it?  Wanna play name that banging sound?  (You can do that in your car by the way.)  Ever have anything on a plane freak you out?  Besides the prices in the SkyMall magazine?  Ever have anything fall off on your car?  Like the rearview mirror?  I figure it’s the same type of thing, you don’t really need a rearview mirror, do you?  Nor do you really need an armrest, right?


Oh, I'm not giving away Slinky Dogs right now. I'm writing out the next novel and don't have time for post office runs. I think everyone has one anyway, don't they?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Not Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Karfelt

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go, I’m standing here inside my door, I’m not leavin’ on a jet plane, I’m stuck here in ‘Iceland’ til Spring. Oh Babe, I hate to not gooooo.

Mostly though, I hate USAir.

Hate is a four letter word, and I don’t like to use it. But I’d be outright lying if I worded it any other way. I don’t ask for much in an airline; just get me there alive eventually. If my luggage makes it, I feel like I hit the lottery. My caveat being I expect to get there EVENTUALLY. Flights get cancelled due to weather, volcanoes, and bad mojo, I understand that. Once it took me three days to fly home from a place I can drive to in twelve hours. I didn’t hold it against the airline. By day three I’d pretty much given up hope of ever getting back, so it was kind of a nice surprise.

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Karfelt
As I’ve said in past blogs, getting trapped in an airport is kind of a writer’s dream. I’ve met some amazing people. I take notes. My problem is when my early morning flight is cancelled – and I’m told there isn’t another flight until tomorrow night. The weather is clear, no volcanoes, no mass cancellation, and I’m heading into a major west coast hub, not Bhutan. After some negotiation, USAir wanted to put me on a flight tomorrow with three layovers that could leave me stuck in Airport #2. Of course they don’t think I’d get stuck, on paper I should be able to make a 40 minute layover.

Thing is I’ve played Terminal F at the Philly Airport enough times to know what happens. It’s a crowded east coast airport, where even if everything is on time (on time has never happened yet, but let’s say it did) your plane won’t get to the gate and get passengers disembarked in under twenty minutes. Let’s say it does this once though, and you get off that plane without the aid of a light saber. You still couldn’t get from Terminal F to Terminal A (via Knight Bus) in the remaining minutes.

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Karfelt
Keep in mind too, that the connection leaves forty minutes after you get to that airport, which means it is boarding ten minutes after your plane hypothetically touches down. I say hypothetically because it is the only airport I’ve ever started to land in and had the plane yank back up into the air, fairly often. Apparently sometimes there are planes in the way. Of course I’m hugely in favor of erring on the side of caution in these circumstances. Yield away. I’m just explaining why this particular airport doesn’t work with short layovers.

Now I don’t mind getting stuck midway, but I’m not keen on planning for it. Because the way I approach air travel is to triple the amount of time and complications planned, and pack for that. By pack for that I mean carry it on your person, because your luggage is going to Bhutan. Books, hoodie, toothbrush, and some apples in your backpack, and ration your fluid intake for 24 hours before flying, because there is often no time for human needs.

Now I’d be willing to risk getting stuck at airport #3, which would have been Phoenix. I love Arizona. I’d happily make that my new destination, but I am actually supposed to be at a conference in San Francisco. That is where the non-refundable hotel is booked. By the way do you need a hotel room in San Francisco the next couple of days? 

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Karfelt

Of course the Phoenix layover was irrelevant, because my bones would be stuck back in Philly, like they so often are. Do you love when names are appropriate to places?  The only thing that could make Terminal F a better name is if it were in Bendover, Pennsylvania. I apologize for being crass, but this just happened. When you have to cancel due to circumstances beyond your control, in the business world that is still racked up as a failure to keep your appointments, which is a direct reflection on you or the company you’re doing business for. Besides that, now I’m stuck here in “Iceland”.

Sunny Day in "Iceland"

Epic Slinky Dogs awarded for your travel tales!  Do you have a Terminal F in your life?  How do you feel about USAir?  Please follow my blog and leave a comment to be eligible. These little guys can cheer up most travel woes, they're terrific listeners!  So am I.  Dish, like Slinky, we're all ears here in The Glitter Globe.