Hello, here are some words I would like to obliterate from our vocabulary, dictionaries, lexicons and consciousness.
Bureaucracy (byuu-rok-ra-see) – excessive official routine
How does bureaucracy sound? No, ma’am, I can’t schedule that appointment for you until your doctor faxes us an authorization; No, ma’am, we can’t set up online management of your corporate account until we order an ATM bank card for you (even if you don’t want or need one); Yes, ma’am, if you want to raise the limits of liability on one of your cars, you will have to do it for all three of the cars on this policy. I am so sick of talking to robots, aren’t you? Read more
Between her book and her beauty concoctions, Carine whips up nourishing potions for body and mind
My new novel, Saturday Comes—A Novel of Love and Vodou, is out, and I am the reigning queen of book autography. I am sitting behind a stack of books at a recent author event, happily writing friendly messages to Franceska and Tim, Samantha and other kind human beings, when a man named Chaz comes over, leans down very close to my face and says, “Can you tell me about your natural recipes?” It takes me a moment to figure it out. “Oh, did you read that blog I wrote on Huffington Post?” I ask him. He nods yes and waits. He wants natural, homemade beauty recipes for his face, and he wants them now.
Of all the blogs I’ve written over the last five years, this is the one that’s gotten the most attention, comments, emails and phone calls. Step aside, nuclear Iran; Obama and Mitt; scary economy and gas prices; new assault on abortion rights. People just want to look good. Read more
Due to technical difficulties, this has been re-posted (RSS readers will be getting this twice).
Carine explores the pursuit of big business and the big O
Do you know that you are sick if you don’t have vaginal orgasms? If your libido is kind of low, you have an illness? If you are not instantly lubricated when your partner suggests lovemaking, you are diseased? And did you know that not climaxing when you engage in sexual activity means something is wrong with you?
Listen up. Your debilitating ailment has a name: Female Sexual Dysfunction, or FSD. Don’t you feel better knowing what’s wrong with you? Now you can go to reputable sites like Mayo Clinic or Web MD or AAPF (a peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians) and read all about it. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, unfortunately, not even one of those smarty-pants scientists out there has been able to come up with the Holy Grail otherwise known as female Viagra. Ain’t life a bitch sometimes? Does God hate women or what? Read more
Can Carine gamble on insurance and not get burned?
Recent conversation with my vet:
Me: It’s been at least a year since I asked one of your people to fill out this “Release of Records” form and send it to my insurance company but they never did, so my last claim went unpaid.
(The insurance company needed two years’ worth of records to guard against any sneaky pre-existing conditions.)
Vet: Oh, no. We fill out all forms and fax them in immediately, but all our clients call back three and four times to complain that the insurance companies say they haven’t received it.
Me: So, I guess their thing is to wear us down in the hope that we will eventually abandon or forget the whole thing?
Vet: You know, insurance companies. (Shrug)
In case you’re still reeling over the news that I pay for something as elitist as pet insurance when there are people starving in America, all I can say is, well, yes, I pay for pet insurance. I’ve gone off the pet insurance crack pipe several times over the years, each time, succumbing to the guilt wrought upon me by the sarcastic and smirking voice, which tells me I’m a fool to fork over hard-earned dough to yet another insurance company when they always seem to find an excuse for denying my claims. Read more
Sacred Fire of Pele, Goddess of Hawaii Volcano, painting by Olga Shevchenko
Meet or retreat from Carine’s cast of characters in her toned down rant about “the change”
You don’t know how happy you are that I didn’t post the blog I originally wrote titled “I Hate F#*@!-ing Menopause”. I remembered just in time that I’m supposed to embrace this era of transformation, of aging with grace, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. To be 100 percent honest, I don’t love growing old but I’ve made my peace with it. I’m even doing it au naturel—never tried Botox, stopped dyeing my hair, chucked my distaste for exercise. But, menopause? Yes, that’s me in the corner over there, waving the large white flag.
My original blog was full of anger and super dirty swear words. Aren’t you glad I reconsidered? Although, to tell you the truth, I had a great time ripping Madam Menopause to shreds. I thought I was really funny, but people who love me said to keep it to myself or forever suffer pangs of regret since the Internet is the elephant that never forgets. Or, they made careful suggestions about how to tweak it. So I shelved the report on my wide-eyed midnights spent wondering whom to yell at; and of my epiphanous threat to Mr. Flash: the intention to create a brand new antiperspirant for the ENTIRE body. HA! HA! HA! No more sweating EVER AGAIN! Read more
Carine’s dog Tulip, photo by Pascal Giacomini
Carine observes that some of life’s best lessons come from our four-footed friends
1. When you have an itch, scratch it. If something is nagging at you, insisting a certain person or circumstance just doesn’t feel right, go with it sooner than later. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief. Plus, your wallet may still be where you left it when you go to pay for your session with that shrink.
2. If you need to fart, just do it. If you are feeling bloated with the gaseous fumes of critical words that need to be said or important ideas which need to be expressed, let them out; you’ll feel a lot better. When you’re sick, do you try to repress your cough with syrup? Stop it! Cough up the mucus, baby. Blocking a bodily function has never been a good idea.
3. Show love with enthusiasm. If there is someone in your life who you just adore—be it a spouse, friend or special family member—show them you can’t live without them (you know, get all excited when they walk in the door, jump all over them, ask if you can sit on their lap, etc.). They’ll think you’re nuts but they’ll be thrilled, and you will have them eating out of your hand. Read more
Is Carine looking for love in all the wrong places? Or could angels be guiding the way?
A study I read revealed that patients who feel their doctors care about them tend to recuperate and heal faster than those who feel like they’ve just taken a quick hop on-and-off a conveyor belt. Trying to find love from your healthcare provider is an iffy and trying proposition; and I’m here to report on my recent routine annual physical examination with a general practitioner, courtesy of my brand new HMO plan. Did you say $40 co-payment for all office visits and lab tests? I was already in love (even though I resent not being able to go to my regular GP and gynecologist because they’re not in the damn network).
My visit with the doctor went like this: in the less than 15 minutes it took for me to fill out the requisite forms, I observed no less than three pharmaceutical salesladies trot in to dole out free samples to the doctor, who, in fact did offer me a drug for osteoporosis before deciding whether or not I even needed a bone density test. I think I’m pretty in the know about the reciprocal back-scratching that goes on in the medical field, but I must admit to being kind of shocked when one of the salesladies in question whipped out her appointment book and notepad to take lunch orders for how many people did you say are working in the office now? Read morekeep looking »