Monday, August 26, 2013

"I STILL HAVE IT . . . I Just Can't Remember Where I Put It: Confessions of a Fiftysomething" by Rita Rudner

   Rita Rudner, you deceived me! I have been on a kick lately of reading books about navigating the turbulent waters of hitting mid-life since I'm not doing it so well on my own. I thought this was one of those books from reading the flap blurb. This is SO not one of those books. But I ain't mad, I got nothing but love for you (a fave quote from "Independence Day" I just had to throw in here, in case there are any other "ID" fans out there), because I needed this book way more than more how-to-turn-50 tips. YOU MADE ME LAUGH! Out loud even, and that's rare for me. So thanks for deceiving me! And I could read the short chapters, each a stand-alone comedy routine, on my breaks and actually return to work with a smile! I'm sure my co-workers would say "thanks" as well if they were writing this with me.
   What parts made me laugh the hardest? That's tough to pin down because the whole book is hilarious, but here are a few for starters. I loved "Dining in the Dark," where Rita and husband Martin try to break out of their take-out habit by exploring one of "The Top Ten Hottest Places to Eat in L.A," according to Martin's magazine. Unfortunately, the article didn't mention they didn't actually get to "eat" at these places! All of the vignettes about house-hunting and moving and remodeling are hysterical -- of course, not to Rita and Martin, but then it did give her lots of writing material. Reading about Rita's quirky, crazy father gave me lots of laughs, and as a bonus made me feel that my own quirky, crazy father isn't quite so bad. "To Hell in a Handbag" is a hoot, especially since I've wrestled with my own "LV" envy over the years. And the Bonkers chapter stole the show, as he did Rita's show, as well as stole my heart! Put it this way, there is no un-funny story in the entire book!
   Plus the quotes made me laugh and tack up a few on my bulletin board! I'll only share my faves (because this is a book review, not an entire book!):

I can never ask for money back after I've loaned it to a friend and they forget to return it. The most I can do, when I'm over their house, is break something of that approximate value.

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

I don't plan to grow old gracefully. I plan to have face-lifts until my ears meet.

My husband won't let me sunbathe topless. He says he's afraid I might poke someone's knee out.

I don't want to be in good shape anymore. I don't want to be one of those women who look great from the back and then turn around and frighten people.

   See what I mean?! The quotes are fabulous! Even the last chapter, where Rita shares other book titles she considered -- "Artificially Hip," "That Botox Has Sailed," "Aged to Imperfection," "I'm Still Hot (It Just Comes in Flashes)" -- made me crack up so much I wanted to start the book all over again.
   If you're like me and can't afford a face-lift to make you feel better, get Rita's book and get a laugh-lift instead -- it's cheaper and totally pain-free!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

"The TAO of MARTHA" by Jen Lancaster

   Jen Lancaster and "The TAO of MARTHA (My Year of LIVING, or Why I'm Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog)," oh how I love thee, let me count the ways:

  • I love you for the dust jacket cover, with the sideways cake and homage to Martha in the starfish-puffball-explosion of a frame, and the oh-so-domestic blue gingham fancy end papers.
  • J'adore you for enlightening me on the finer points of how to hog-wrestle a comforter into the dutch oven of a duvet, making me laugh so hard I nearly shart myself, and for bringing "shart" into my lexicon to replace the much cruder terms I normally use.
  • Me likey you for sharing the contents of your Drawer of Shame and Cabinet of Shame and making me feel much less ashamed of my junk drawers/cabinets. (I noticed you didn't diss Carrie Bradshaw once in this book, so I felt safe in using the "me likey" Carrie-ism.)
  • I totally dig that you found your X-factor in going all Team Disaster Prepper. BTW, I will totally eschew my vegetarian ways and find you in the Chicago 'burbs to feast on sardines and human-grade dog food stew when the zombie apocalypse comes, so set an extra place!
  • I am enamored by your willingness to bare all when it comes to your failings, even the gozillion-dollar "easy" toffee incident, and find a way to laugh about it (even if it means your friends may end up with tire-fire toffee before they get it right).
  • I applaud you for facing your loathe of Halloween (which I totally share, except for the free pass to eat candy like there's no tomorrow!) and turning it into a glitterfied Pumpkin Palooza and drunkety-drunk-drunk fest. (Sorry, I couldn't help but throw in one more Carrie-ism!) You've given me a whole new outlook on Halloween!
  • you for sharing your scrapbook pix to give me a visual of your escapades and so I can better get to know you, Fletch, Maisy, Loki, Libby, Hambone, the Thundercats, and the New Girls (hope I didn't leave anyone out). (Plus, now I know what your house looks like so I can find you when the big one hits! And may I add, Fletch is hubba hubba!!) 
  • Most of all, I love you for sharing the other Miss M's Tao, which I won't mention here and be a spoiler but I have already written on a Post-it and is hanging from my bulletin board as a daily reminder. IT ROCKS!!
   Jen, I will admit, I've never been a big Martha Stewart fan. In fact, hearing her "It's a good thing" mantra was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. But you've made me appreciate the finer points of her way of LIVING, and I will never regard Martha with disrespect again. I promise! I just have one request in return -- please don't let your next memoir be "The Opus of Oprah." I literally live for your next memoir to be published, BUT I DON'T DO OPRAH. Thanks!
   Have I got you intrigued about "The TAO of MARTHA"? Good! Get your copy today and get your laugh on!!