Monkee Money


You may or may not know this about me, but I had a major one-sided love affair with The Monkees from the time they started playing the series reruns back in the 1970s.

In fact, by the time I was in grade 7, I had a full-on crush on Davy Jones. So much so that I wrote a story about meeting him at a concert and him falling madly in love with me. (Ignoring several key facts such as: I was only 12, he was over 25 years older than me, he lived in another country, I had zits and homework, and so on…).

I had a picture of Davy Jones dutifully taped to my locker in grade 12, I bought every Rhino album I could find on audio cassette in the late 80s, and even picked up a few books on them. I was a fan without the -atic.

I still am.

When Davy Jones passed away not too long ago, my mom found out first and contacted me right away to see if I was okay. I hadn’t realized that I was that transparent! So it got me thinking about them again, and Davy, too. I know that I have that story on a ruled notebook somewhere!

Suddenly, I’m on a hunt for the TV series and I’m buying both seasons on DVD from Amazon, tracking down the remaining Monkees on Twitter, and lurking (I mean “surfing”) their websites.

I can only imagine what it must be like to be so strongly and globally identified with a project that lasted perhaps three years (for the series, not the tours) decades ago.

Watching the show now, pre-MTV!, with the gags and the music brings me right back to those reruns after school, flopped out on my living room floor with my chin in my hands, glued to the television, thinking them all so clever and funny (and probably not understanding half of the real jokes).

So I picked up yet another book and, with it, came these cool Monkees coins. I have what I like to call my treasure chest (in actuality, it’s a Fallout 3 metal lunch box) that I put my Super Top Secret Special ™ stuff in. These coins made a spot in the vault.

10 Things You Don’t Say To Your Mate When Arguing

I’ve had plenty of arguments over the years.  Some of these I’ve used.  Some I haven’t.  Usually, however, if I did, the fight got worse.  Sure, I may have felt temporary pleasure over that “zinger”, but did it really serve me over the long run of the argument?  Not really.  Amazing, isn’t it?  The people we care about most in the world are the ones we let loose the rampaging rabid dogs of war the quickest.

Top 10 Things Not to Say:

  1. “Whatever.  I’m done.”
  2. “You obviously don’t understand.”
  3. “If you loved me, you’d know…”
  4. “I don’t care.”
  5. “It’s not my fault if…”
  6. “You always…”
  7. “I hate you.”
  8. “I never wanted…”
  9. “You’re such a…”
  10. “Shut up.”

It’s pretty clear why these don’t work, but – for the uninitiated – things like sentences that start with “You always…” are impossible to defend against.  Because they’re not true.  Obviously no one always does something.  If that were the case, they’d be doing it all day long, 365 days a year.  About the only thing you can accuse someone of always doing is breathing.

This gem is reserved for spouses and boyfriends.  The “If you loved me you’d know…” comment presumes mind-reading.  And if there’s one thing a man is not equipped to do when it comes to women, it’s reading her mind.  Believe it or not, ladies, we don’t think alike!  You know how you go out with your girlfriends and you finish each other’s sentences, and there’s all that, “I know, right??” that goes on?  It’s because we think alike.  We see things in relatively the same way.  We are built emotionally in-sync.

Men, however, are not built like us.  This is why when we whine and complain they want to “fix it” and we get irritated.  Our girlfriends don’t tell us what to do, they just listen, commiserate, and offer up another bowl of Ben and Jerry’s.  We’re hardwired differently.  Maybe some guys really want to “talk it out” and get all deep in the emotions and really gab, for hours and hours, about what’s bothering them, but most guys just want to say what’s on their mind, fix it, and move on.

Guys want us to respect them.  Love is easy for us.  Respect is hard.  Respecting a man means not embarrassing/criticizing him in front of his friends or family, not making him feel “less”, not attacking him for something he didn’t know he did, not assuming you know what he is thinking or feeling (lack of mind-reading goes both ways), not presuming his intentions, not talking to him like you’d talk to your girlfriends – he doesn’t think like they do.

Women like to marinate.  Men like to flash fry.

Here is something we should remember:  Productive arguments have conclusions, not concussions.

Top Ten Things To Say:  (and mean)

  1. “I’m sorry.”
  2. “Let me just see if I understand you right…”
  3. “I admit that I…”
  4. “Thank you.”
  5. “Do you forgive me?”
  6. “Can we take a minute?  I’m getting upset and I want to figure out why.”
  7. “I’ll be quiet and listen so you can make your point uninterrupted.”
  8. “I love you.”
  9. “I didn’t realize I’d done that.  What I’d meant was…”
  10. “I forgive you.”

Oh, words.  They’re so easy and cheap.  That’s why I put the “(and mean)” in there.   When we were younger, my sister would smack me and immediately say, “Sorry.”  Then she’d smack me again.  Again, another “Sorry.”   The word is meaningless if you don’t follow up on it with action and that usually means not doing the same thing you were sorry for over and over again.

As a woman, my particular brand of live ammunition is – you guessed it – words.  I can mire myself down so deep in the details of what my husband has said that, by the end, I’ve utterly tied him up in knots.  I’ve “wordsmithed” him into feeling frustrated and helpless.  That’s like having a debate with someone and having them throw in ridiculous curve-balls like “define logical”.

So as you gear up for that next round, consider this:

  1. Would you say that to your grandmother?
  2. How would you feel if the other person said that to you?
  3. Do you really mean that?
  4. Is this the most important person in your world?  Why are you treating them less than you would a co-worker, girlfriend, Starbucks employee?
  5. What is your goal in this argument?  Winning?  Understanding?  Compromise?
  6. Words are permanent.  People remember things long after the “I’m sorrys” have been said.
  7. Accepting responsibility and asking for forgiveness is strength, not weakness.
  8. Admitting mistakes is difficult, necessary, and builds wisdom.
  9. Love may conquer all, but it is not just a verb, it’s an action, too.
  10. Conflict is inevitable.  Choosing our response to it is 100% all us.

Ideally, the best thing to do is to recognize that you’re getting miffed, define it (what is really agitating you about what that person said or did?), own it, and articulate it.  If you can sort things out before the yelling starts, then you just saved yourself some grief.

I know, words are easy.

My Un-Resolutions for 2013

As the end of 2012 comes to a close (hence the sunset picture), I was thinking about what we all think about when we encounter a new year.  It’s the dreaded Resolution list.  The list of things we are hoping to do for the new year, big goals, life changes, and so forth.  This year, I’m not making any Resolutions, I’m making Un-Resolutions.

Now is about the time I’d say “I will” (and then when I don’t, I feel guilty, so I’m not doing that).  I’ll say, “I will try” (shut up, Yoda!).  So with that in mind, this is what I would like to try and do a little less of next year:

I will try not to:

  1. Criticize myself when I mess up.  Failure is part of learning.  No one gets check-mate at their first game of chess (maybe Bobby Fischer did).
  2. Focus so much on being a specific size and think more about feeling healthy.
  3. Take things personally when I get in an argument and focus on the disagreement, not the person.
  4. Spend so much time on the internet, even though it’s really fun.
  5. Eat certain foods because they are low-calorie, but because they are good for me and my body.
  6. Speak without thinking.  Even though I am quite good at it.
  7. Compare myself with others and just focus on working towards being a better person.
  8. Shy away from discussing my faith, but also realize that not everyone is interested (nor may they ever be).
  9. Flagellate myself over mistakes I have made in the past.  I can’t change them now, I can just learn from the experience and accept the wisdom that comes from them.
  10. Expect unconditional love and not give it in return.
  11. Sweat the small stuff.
  12. Obsess over the green grass on the other side, but appreciate the grass (and occasional weeds) in my own yard.
  13. Become disillusioned when people don’t live up to my expectations.
  14. Put off tomorrow something I know is important to me today.
  15. Live in the world of “What If”.
  16. Chew my fingernails, but if I do not fret over it.
  17. Get so amped over politics or issues and convincing everyone to come to my side.  (That doesn’t mean I don’t talk about politics or issues, but I shouldn’t fight to the death about them.)
  18. Hurry so fast into the future, it’s coming fast enough as it is.
  19. Overestimate the smallest gestures, especially if they were done for me.
  20. Worry about what people think of me as much as I should care what God thinks of me.

A Little Clarification for my Sister


You know, sis, I just had an epiphany.

Remember when you used to call me Smelly Constipation? (For the uninitiated, my middle name is Constance). Well, I was just thinking about it and, logically, that just doesn’t work.

Obviously, since everything is all backed up, there is no smelly to be had. Now, if my middle name had been Diana-Rhea, well maybe then you’d have something better to work with.

I realize you were only 10 years old when you came up with this brilliant (and surprisingly catchy and enduring) phrase, so your wordsmithing skills weren’t fully developed yet.

And, yes, it’s true that it has been over 30 years since you tortured me with that, but I figure we are never too old to learn.

Also, since there was really nothing to work with for your name, obviously, not only did Mom and Dad not think things through with my name, but clearly they loved you best.

Angela Dawn. Seriously. What the h-e-double hockey sticks am I supposed to do with that?


Your little sister, Melissa

P.S. Mom should have named me Elizabeth like she wanted and not let Dad name me after his old girlfriend.

The Foot Wants What the Foot Wants

This was just sent to me , so I’m passing it on.  This little “exercise” comes (apparently) from an orthopedic surgeon.    The claim was that it would “boggle my mind” and it will keep me trying over and over to see if I can outsmart my foot, but apparently I can’t.  It’s pre-programmed in my brain.

So with a hefty dose of skepticism and making sure no one was watching (apparently this only takes 2 seconds to try), I gave it a whirl.  And, dagnammit, if it ain’t so!  Okay, so now it’s your turn.

How Smart Is Your Right Foot?

  1. Without anyone watching you (they will think that you are goofy), and while sitting at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off of the floor and make clockwise circles.
  2. Now, while doing this (don’t stop), draw the number “6” in the air with your right hand.

Your foot will change direction.

Well?  Did it happen to you, too?

The New Regime

Or regimen.  I can’t remember which applies better here. 

So at lunch today, I went to 24-Hour Fitness for a little abuse, I mean, Kickboxing.  This was pretty interesting because it was humbling in the extreme.  I kickboxed back in Canada about, oh, ten years ago and I can safely say:

How far have I fallen?

Oh.  Pretty far.  I still had the ability to keep my block up, but everything else was very reminiscent of my first kickboxing class and wanting to pretty much die every minute of it.  Here’s a tip:  don’t constantly check the clock.  Time really does not go any faster.  I did learn a little something, though, at today’s class vs. a decade ago:

  • I’m older
  • I’m out of shape
  • I shouldn’t try to keep up with the 110 pound girl who bounces between kicks
  • It will eventually get better

But aside from that, I managed to not pass out, not throw up, and not walk out.  (Ask me how I do next Monday!)  I keep forgetting how hard this exercise thing is when you don’t do it in a long time, put on a ton of weight, and generally lose all sense of flexibility, style, and strength. 

But enough whining!  (No really, I could go on all day.)  I made it through and I’m proud of myself for that.  I have a more fun “dance” class on Wednesday which I am hoping will perk me up a little to this exercise thing.  We’ll see.

Still, it was pretty funny wandering out (hobbling, more like) of the class and having my work friend, Theresa, complaining as loudly as I was.  That made me feel better.

I’m very curious to see how my posts will change in, say, two months time when I’ve been exercising (hopefully regularly) for a little while.  If all things work as I think they will, it’ll just get easier.  With easier comes more fun.  God, please, let it be more fun.



P.S.  I totally feel like having some ice cream right now, but I’m too tired and lazy to drive all the way down to Longs Drugs to get some.