When I Shout It Sounds Like Whispers

It has come to my attention that while I go about my business other humans in my immediate vicinity can actually see me. This is very odd. Perhaps I’m blinking in and out of the visible light spectrum. I’ve given this some thought and I believe I stopped regularly reflecting light in 1999, shortly after I retired my favorite red sequinned dress to the back of my closet. For some time thereafter, I put in bizarre cameo appearances right in front of friends, in bank lines or in the empty seat at the table and disappeared, just so. Ten years of refusing to reflect light except at odd moments will cause a diva to make interesting wardrobe choices. For instance, at this very moment, I’m wearing a sleek slate gray fleece, blue jeans and a baby blue microfiber fleece throw. In my office. Obviously, the reason no one is playing a pro-level game of Point&Laugh is that I am temporarily invisible – but not for much longer.

I’ve decided to reflect light again. This will involve cleaning out my closet, emptying my dresser, scouring consignment stores and clearance racks, and a fresh haircut. The process will take months and coincide with spring planting and cleaning. By the summer solstice, I expect to be that shiny thing on the Eastern Seaboard wreaking havoc on international flight paths. Sorry, travelers! You know the old saying: you have to suffer for my beauty!

But as much as this is all about me, you matter too – especially where I am concerned. Every morning, I’m on the exercise bicycle before the sun rises and every evening. On Wednesdays, a masseur works on my hip for an excruciating half-hour. Because the masseur said I might be listing to starboard due to scoliosis and I simply refuse to add another issue to my resume, every evening I’m upstairs toning my abs with pert aerobics queen Denise Austin, whom I despise and therefore work harder. I’ll show her! Anyhoo, despite all this and the coming of spring, which will really help, the days of easy motion with the hip are behind me. I’m not going quietly, but I am going in style. Of course, I want to know: what do you think of my canes?

My mother, who yelped when I mentioned the need for a cane, came around immediately when I mentioned the flask. She decided it would be perfect if the other end was a switchblade. Perhaps the Swiss Army makes canes with cork screws and tweezers.

At this moment, i could probably use a cane for shopping. The last few times I walked to work I wasn’t sure I could make it all the way home, so cycling is probably my transportation method. Once I get off the bike, though, things can get dicey, but what if I had a super cool emerald crystal cane or a slick folding cane to go with quirky vintage outfits?

I am going to rock that. You’ll see.

Put ‘Em Under Pressure And You Watch

So I’m – like – frigging civic minded. Last month, I went to a well-attended meeting about sustainability and didn’t punch anyone in the face, though the topic did come up. Last week, I went to a second and – fortunately for me – the face I wanted to punch didn’t put in an appearance and a mustachioed man at the other end of the table became visibly excited every time I blurted something blunt and sensible. Perhaps he was happy that someone else was interested in tasks and not subcommittees; it’s also possible he was tired and my peppery language burned a bit. Anyway, his bouncing was no doubt aerobic: I made many remarks that ended with a growled, “…why the hell not?”

It wasn’t a question. I’m colorful like that!

A member of the committee said the tiny town was interested in setting up a recipe exchange.

Tata: Go one better: make the recipes feed a family of four for $10.
Committee Member: Is that even possible?
Tata: Of course it is.
Another Committee Member: With actual food?
Tata: I double dog dare you.

Yes! I did it! I double dog dared the committee to try something tougher than talking, party throwing and meeting attending-ing. Fortunately, other people are working on this very proposition.

USA TODAY asked four dietitians who blog at dietchallenge.usatoday.com to come up with creative ways to feed a family of four for under $10 — as healthful alternatives to the meal advertised on a new KFC commercial. The company is selling seven pieces of fried chicken, four biscuits and a large side, such as mashed potatoes, for $9.99 and is challenging people to make this meal without going over that amount.

This inspiration SUCKS. Is there good news?

Cooking a meal for a family of four for under 10 bucks is a piece of cake. You can make hearty soups, sub sandwiches, chicken dishes, Sloppy Joes, large salads with leftovers, omelets and other egg dishes, nutritionists say.

USA TODAY is not the only entity interested in the challenge, but some responses are more awesome than others.

You’re saying to yourself, “No sweat, I can make you six months of recipes with one ladle tied behind my back.” Yeah, but you have to do better than a plate and a block of cheddar. That’s the caveat: that dinner for four for less than $10 must be nutritious. Don’t be shy.

Speak up. I double dog dare you.