Archive for the BEST of GRIN Category

Beautiful Crissy

Posted in BEST of GRIN, Current Events with tags , , , , on May 27, 2010 by cwgala

GRIN #123

Growing up, whenever I would tell anyone my name was “Chrissy,” they’d say, “Oh, like that dumb girl on Three’s Company?”

Yep. Just like that.

There was also the fabulous, if uncreative, rhyming that I got from a few boys: “Chrissy, pissy, chrissy, pissy.”

Yesterday, I found something with my name in it that I can listen to when I’m feeling particularly blue.

It’s a commercial for  a “Crissy” doll from the seventies.

Crissy’s her hair gets shorter when you turn a knob on her back and grows when you push a button on her navel.  Unimpressive superpowers to be sure, but I’ll take them if I get my own theme song.

Check it out on You Tube:

Thanks to reader Sylvia Tastet for sending this my way:)

PS: Bonus points to anyone who can count the number of times they sing “beautiful.”


Whatcha watchin’?

Posted in BEST of GRIN, Mars and Venus with tags , , , , , , on May 17, 2010 by cwgala

GRIN # 113

Like toothpaste tubes and toilet seats, the T.V. leaves most couples squabbling–even though most of us have three or four.

Jerry either watches stuff in the high channels–Pimp my Ride, Dirty Jobs, Man vs. Food–or Criminal Minds, which, frankly, is a scary show. There is no shortage of women with blood-matted hair in dog collars or in cages, a psychopath at the reins.

I like mindless stuff in the lower channels, best served with canned laughter: Modern Family, The Middle.

I even take in my share of reality television. Consider The Biggest Loser. Now that’s a show that’ll make you feel better, whether Bob is whupping up on someone in the gym (and you’re so glad it’s not you) or at the weigh-in when you can say, “Damn, I had a hard day but at least I don’t have to weigh myself on national television.” That’s a heck of a consolation prize if you think about it.

I used to watch Wife Swap, another show that made me feel better because those families are always seriously whacked. Remember the man who launched the silver hot air balloon and claimed his kid was inside? He was on Wife Swap.

Jerry never understood that show.

“I can’t believe the FCC lets that stuff go on.”

“What stuff?” I asked, munching popcorn.

“That whole thing. Talk about setting a bad example.”

“Wait a minute. Do you think they’re….like…really swapping?”

“Yes! They should call it Wife Schnock. I can’t believe they openly leave their families and go have sex with other people–ON TV.”

“Jerry! The wife just MOVES in, she doesn’t sleep with the husband. God!”

“Oh. Then what’s the point?”

And that’s when I quit watching. After that, it just seemed boring.


Posted in BEST of GRIN, So true with tags , , , on March 23, 2010 by cwgala

GRIN # 58

At the risk of sounding like a washed-up Las Vegas lounge singer: I’m here all year, and I do take requests. So, please, throw ’em on me.

Today, I’m going to honor one such request. Several readers want to hear about pet peeves.

I’ve thought a lot about pet peeves. Not surprisingly, I still have no idea how something can make one person so crazy while not bothering another in the slightest.


  • My friend Wendy can’t stand the soda dispensers with the push button instead of the lever (who knew??).
  • My sister will practically pull the gum out of your mouth. If she doesn’t know you well enough to do that, she will make a loud comment about how disgusting gum is.
  • My friend JoAnn wants to strangle the cashier who gives change dollars first with coins on top.
  • If someone, anyone, honks at my husband while he’s driving, even if it’s not AT us, he slows to a crawl and shouts “WHO IS HONKING? WHERE ARE THEY? THEY BETTER NOT BE HONKING AT ME!” It’s downright scary.
  • I am maniacal about coughers. Even my own child! I know he can’t help it, but I don’t care! Take a cough drop. Drink some water!!
  • Complainers really get on my nerves too. Complain once or twice, then fix it. If you’re not gonna fix it or can’t fix it, get off the complainin’ pot and learn how to live with it. This is why therapy was invented.


What peeves YOU the most?

Sticking it to the man

Posted in BEST of GRIN, Mars and Venus with tags , , , on March 12, 2010 by cwgala

GRIN # 47

I’ve been a trash stacker from way back.

“Take it out!” my dad would yell, as I balanced a yogurt cup expertly on the edge.

I haven’t grown out of it.

In our master bathroom, it’s really bad, a Leaning Tower of Pisa against the wall, gaining height as the week progresses.

“What if I put another little trash can in the bathroom?” my husband asked. “Or one big kitchen trash can?”

The thought tickled me. “Stop it! You’re making me laugh, and I have to pee.”


I know he is. He took a picture of the overflowing trash can and emailed it to me, thinking he could shame me into reforming.

Simple, simple man.

I am beyond shaming.

The problem is, I don’t care about the trash. It’s one of the few chores that’s not my responsibility.

So maybe I’m just sticking it to the man.

Here’s what might work:

Put down the toilet seat

…then we’ll talk.

Find the fat on daddy

Posted in BEST of GRIN, Mars and Venus with tags , , , on March 8, 2010 by cwgala

GRIN # 43

I’m married to a really athletic guy—a why-drive-your-car-to-the-beach-when-you-can-ride-your-bike kind of guy. And I don’t mean ride it to the beach when you’re at the beach. I mean ride it to Wilmington NC from Raleigh–120 miles. Yeah. Certifiable.

Anyway, he’s great and all of that, but it’s really hard to get kudos for a great workout because  my great workout is his mediocre warm-up.

He’s not braggy or condescending. I could eat a whole pizza by myself and he wouldn’t say anything. Which is why we’re still married.

The other night we were in bed watching the Olympics while Tyler took a shower. I had my leg draped across him, and I felt a big growth on his hip.

“What is that?” I asked.


“That thing,” I said, poking it. “You better get that checked out. It’s like a tumor.”


“Are you blind? Here!” I said, jabbing the tumor.

“It’s muscle, stupe.” As in “stupid.” We say it lovingly though. Really.

Apparently, your thigh muscle goes all the way to your hip and that big growth was the top of his muscle. Who knew?

Jerry is like one of those skeletons they use in medical school with all the nerves and muscles in all the right places and you can see everything just so. That’s exactly what he looks like. You don’t ever see blobs of fat hanging from a skeleton like you would a real person. But he HAD to have fat somewhere.

Thus, my game was born: Find the fat on daddy.

Tyler got out of the shower, and we looked and looked and couldn’t find any.

“What about here, Mom?” Tyler asked, pinching the skin around Jerry’s waist.

“Nope. Just skin.”

He picked up Jerry’s hand.

“You’re definitely not going to find any in the hand, T.” Rookie.

Tyler smacked Jerry’s belly. It barely moved.

“Sadly, no.”

Then my own son turned on me.

Mom! What about you?”

Jerry started laughing.

“Look, you’ve got it here, and here, and here.”

It’s all fun and games til you get a taste of your own medicine.

“STOP! Game over! Time for bed.”

And we haven’t played since.

I’m a sore winner.

More edamame please

Posted in BEST of GRIN on February 25, 2010 by cwgala

GRIN # 32

As a freelance writer, it’s a good rule of thumb to know a little bit about a lot of different things–healthcare, computers, economics, farming, fashion, nutrition etc. I do okay most of the time. But I have a real hard time with fancy stuff.

The last fancy work party I went to, I picked up a few edamame pods thinking they were sugar snap peas. I didn’t know you were supposed to shell them and eat the beans. Otherwise, it’s like eating a peanut in the hull.

No idea at the time. I crunched along and the pods began to feel like so many strands of hay and dirt in my mouth. I stopped chewing, hoping the speaker and those around me couldn’t hear the racket going on in my mouth. I found a cloth napkin and walked to the back of the room and spat out the whole dirty mess. What kind of place serves that?” I wondered.

“Don’t eat any of that,” I advised a fellow writer when I returned. “It’s disgusting.”

Edamame is not disgusting, I’m just not that cultured. For me, a good party is a case of beer on ice and a couple of pizzas (frozen’s fine!). My mom’s entertaining advice has always been to have plenty of alcohol on hand in the event the food runs out.

So it was bit of a stretch when I was assigned a series on entertaining.

I was to interview the proprietor of a high-priced, high-quality china shop. When I found out some of the place settings (dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, cup) were $1,200, I stopped. “Seriously?” I inquired. The proprietor looked over her glasses at me. “This is porcelain from London.”

Huh. I was just thinking of all the stuff I could get for $1,200. I could get fat sucked out of my neck. Or new carpet. Or a beach house for a week. OR five really fancy dishes that I would then have to use. It made me tired just thinking about the dinner party I’d have to throw with that china.  Who would I even invite?

That story never did turn out quite right. I just couldn’t buy into the concept of fancy entertaining. The series was turned over to another writer. Failure? I guess. But I did learn how to eat edamame. That’s progress.

To the sadists who invented Turducken and sauerkraut…

Posted in BEST of GRIN, Food for thought on February 18, 2010 by cwgala

GRIN #25

Okay, the top two of my “what’s grosser than gross” foods. Feel free to add your own…

Turducken: Until just a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know turducken existed. Turducken is a piggy-backed clump of duck, turkey and chicken held together in bondage by so many little ropes and cords. This meat sandwich, apparently meant to instill harmony at the dinner table, makes me laugh and dry-heave at the same time.

If you ever hear that I’ve cooked turducken, I am obviously dead and someone is spreading vicious rumors.

Saving the best for last, let’s talk Sauerkraut. When I was a 12-year-old bright-eyed Girl Scout, my troop grew sauerkraut for some badge. Or rather, we watched cabbage rot. Week after week, we’d check on our jar of cabbage and it didn’t disappoint. Grosser and grosser it became. Then, one weekend, we took that jar, set up a booth at Cary Village Mall (now Cary Towne Center) and SERVED that sauerkraut to unsuspecting shoppers.

The terror I felt when our leader put that slimy concoction into a dish…Was she serious? I get a little trembly just thinking about it now. I felt like an accomplice to a crime. But everyone thought our sauerkraut was just lovely. Fabulous. The best they’d ever had. I was stunned. This rotten, stinking, fermented cabbage had been left in a jar for weeks–on a shelf–and people ate it and raved about it.

I still don’t understand.