All posts for the month September, 2012

The Blogosphere Tit for Tat

Published September 27, 2012 by Maryanne

Years ago I was a huge fan of Live Journal. I met friends there who became friends in real life. It was super. But one thing I noticed, that I didn’t care for was that I only heard from certain people when I commented on their Live Journal pages.

After eight months of blogging on Word Press, I’m noticing a similar trend, and I have to say, I ain’t digging it.

As writers/bloggers, let’s be a little bit more honest with each other. I know we’re all busy, so read what you really enjoy, press “like” if you really liked what I wrote — not because I recently liked something of yours.

Honest, it won’t hurt my feelings.

When I first joined WordPress and started blogging, while I was willing to make friends and be supportive of other bloggers. I also decided that I wanted to keep it real as well. I wasn’t going to eat all my time up reading every single blog I subscribed to — even though I subscribe to a ton of them that I find interesting. And if someone didn’t like my blog, but I liked theirs, who cares … I’d still read theirs if I found it interesting. I have zero ego!

All the blogs I subscribe to come to my email box. I either read or delete according to my amount of free time, or whether the first few sentences are enticing to me — but most of the time I don’t even get that far because I’m so busy and I can always catch up later — or not. The bottom line is, it’s no biggie and shouldn’t be.

Admittedly, I do have a few favorites that I read every single one — but, please, I do not want any of you to feel like you have to read my blog in return.

I’d rather have less “likes” but have them be genuine. And nothing says genuine more than a comment (which is why I absolutely adore the people who read that don’t have blogs themselves and are following via email — now that is truly someone who feels I’m a good read!)

And for those of you I’ve become friends with, I like you no matter what. Maybe something you are writing about doesn’t particularly resonate with me, or I don’t have time to read it, so I may pass over it this time around. But if we’re friends for a long time and you’re creating for a long time, when I do press “like” again — it will be that more meaningful, no?

That said, happy blogging, happy reading, and happy “liking” (if you mean it!)

In Praise of Short Haired Beauties

Published September 24, 2012 by Maryanne

Mary Stuart Masterson, circa “Some Kind of Wonderful” days

Last night my husband and I were chilling and watching the beginning of “Some Kind of Wonderful,” a cute coming of age movie from the late 1980s. Mary Stuart Masterson played an adorable short-haired tomboy and Leah Thompson played the school heartthrob with the bouncy long hair.

I was thrilled when my husband, Dennis, said that Mary Stuart Masterson’s character was the cuter one. And I always thought she was too.

Even though I’m a long haired girl (short hair is too high maintenance for me, having to get it cut every three weeks) I absolutely adore short hair and I have to be honest, I’ve always felt men who preferred long hair were shallow.

When I first met my husband my hair was super long, heavy with blonde streaks and I always wore it a bit teased and in my face. One Sunday afternoon we were at a Christmas party and for some reason, the house was really hot, so I put my hair up. When I came out of the bathroom with my hair up, my husband said, “You are gorgeous!” Since then my husband preferred my hair up, rather than down, and I do wear it up 90 percent of the time. I even wore it up on our wedding day.

A year ago I was considering cutting my hair short and a male friend said to me, “Don’t do it. Men prefer long hair. Just ask Dennis.” I nearly laughed in this friend’s face because I knew that was not the truth. Dennis would love if I cut my hair off!

I’ve always been more drawn to men who were open-minded to women with various looks. Aside from Dennis, I’ve had quite a few guys tell me I’d look cute with short hair. And the one time I did get it cut short, I got more compliments than ever. I kept it short for three years and then grew it again because running to the hair salon or barber was eating up so much of my time.

I think the sexy thing about short hair on women is that it makes your eyes and lips look bigger and it enhances your cheekbones, showing off your true beauty. This is the same when women wear their hair up — you see the entire face and it’s just so elegant. I have one girlfriend who always wears her hair down. One day we went out and she wore a high ponytail. I told her, “Don’t ever wear your hair any other way — this is the best look for you!”

And for those silly men who think long hair is better — I’d bet my bottom dollar bill they wouldn’t turn down a date from any of these short haired beauties: Linda Evangelista, Winona Ryder, Isabella Rosselini, Princess Diane, Jaime Lee Curtis and Pink, to name a few.

Some day, when I have more time to relax and sit in a barber’s chair, I look forward to cutting my hair short again! (Or maybe I’ll just have to do it sooner and make the time!)

My friend Diane, and me (right) back, circa 1999 or 2000 – both with short hair!

Wildwood Days

Published September 21, 2012 by Maryanne

Bike riding in Wildwood

It was such a blessing to get down to Wildwood for two full days earlier this week with my husband.

We squeezed so much fun into two days: bike riding, walking on the boardwalk and shopping, dining out, hanging out in the hot tub and going to the Cape May Zoo, where we saw baby snow leopards. The pictures didn’t come out so great, but you can see them on You Tube. They were the most adorable precious things, I just got so choked up when I saw them and started to cry. They were born in March or April, making them just a few months old. The miracle of life is astonishing. Seeing them in all their glory was the best part of the trip. They were playing and romping and pouncing. Too sweet!

Now back in the real world, I’m thrilled to report that I’m up to Chapter 7 in the fiction book I am writing!


Having fun at the Imperial

And at our favorite Star Lux Hotel

Wildwood streets at night, check out the lights: beach balls and palm trees

A capybara at the Cape May Zoo — how cute!

Foxy, yeah!

Happy 90th to My Father-in-Law!

Published September 16, 2012 by Maryanne

Me and Pop

Today is my father-in-law’s 90th birthday!

We had a big bash for him last night (I’ll write another blog about that with pictures in the near future!)

Pop is very inspiring because at 90 he: bowls, goes to Atlantic City, drives all over the state of New Jersey, jokes around, dances and enjoys his cigars.

But 90 is nothing because he has older brothers that are in their early 90s and a sister who is 95!

God bless Pop and Happy Birthday to him!

Combat Chihuahuas Unite!

Published September 15, 2012 by Maryanne


Here’s a cute little poem I wrote several years ago in honor of my Mom’s Chihuahua, Fawn (RIP). Although the poem was for Fawn, I think it relates to many small dogs who think they are bigger than they really are, which is always so endearing. ENJOY!

Combat Chihuahuas Unite!

She’s such a little lady
She’s the perfect companion
But better watch your step because
She thinks she’s a doberman!

Combat Chihuahuas Unite!

Her bark protects her master
She’s a killer dog from Hell
Fighting crime, she has no time
But she’ll break for Taco Bell!

Combat Chihuahuas Unite!

So pretty in her doggy cape
She may be the cat’s meow, but
“Get this damn thing off me!
I wanna get naked now!”

Combat Chihuahuas Unite!

And when the day is over
When it’s time to go to bed
She’s no longer known as “killer”
She’s just a weary sleepy head.

Little Combat Chihuahua “Night night!”

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

The Tao of Monkey Land

Published September 5, 2012 by Maryanne

“Take your stinking paws off me you damned dirty ape!”


Everyone has it, but what do we do for it?

We go to the spa, we eat chocolate, we hit the gym, we swig a beer, we take bubbles baths and go dancing …

But I’ve come to the realization, that there is no greater stress buster than yelling out Charlton Heston, aka George Taylor “Planet of the Apes” quotes at the top of your lungs when faced with undesirable situations that even the most positive people in life just can not avoid.

Medical studies show that stress can be relieved by letting out a hearty yell. But why just yell for the hell of it? Why not give a big yell for all human kind with some fine quotes made famous by Charlton Heston? That way, you will make this old world think twice about getting you down, especially since some people are so ridiculous, you may feel like we’re living on a planet run by monkeys.

Heston’s quotes can be used in multiple stress-inducing situations. Below are some examples I use on a semi-regular basis. In order for best effectiveness, be sure to say them like you mean it!

Classic Heston Quotes

“Take your stinking paws off me you damned dirty ape!”

I love to use this one at the supermarket when some impatient idiot jams their shopping cart into my ass because I’m not moving fast enough for him/her.

“If this is the best they’ve got around here, in six months we’ll be running this planet.”

I’m always saying this to myself when I have to repeat myself to a customer service rep because she/he didn’t listen the first time because they were too busy daydreaming. Or when a genius Whole Foods cashier squeezes all my bottles into one shopping bag making the bag impossible to lift, or so heavy the canvas tears.

“It’s a mad house! A mad house!”

I save this one for when the dumbest of dumb people aggravate me. Sometimes I honestly don’t know how some people get by in life.

For instance, when I try to make a business call and the person on the other end gets pissed at me for calling at a “bad time.” (DUH — how was I supposed to know it was a bad time to call? Do I look like Uri Geller! Just let the machine pick up — IDIOT!)

“A planet where apes evolved from man? There’s got to be an answer.”

I say this to myself when I see people doing the most asinine things like texting while driving, not disciplining their kids, crossing the busy streets while talking on cell phones, over-doing it with the Botox, etc. — because sometimes just merely rolling your eyes does not cut it.

“It’s too late for a wake, she’s already been dead a year.”

When it takes forever for the waitress to come to your table.

And finally …

The mother of Charlton Heston/George Taylor quotes — CAUTION: Only to be used in worst case scenarios (and you can fill in the blank on that one!)


Another Fun Time at Dead Man’s Curve

Published September 2, 2012 by Maryanne

Hotel Entrance

Dead Man’s Curve is an off the hook hot rod fun-filled event where you can expect: celebrities, the most amazing cars, the best in rockabilly, old friends, drinking — in other words, a lot of fun!

My husband and I started going to the Dead Man’s Curve parties a few years ago and try not to miss them. We got to this one rather late, as it was in Mahwah, an hour drive from our home, and I was sad that we missed The Tarrantinos perform, but we had a blast regardless!

Check out the Eddie Munster doll in the back seat!

My husband (Dennis), Pat Priest (actress, Marilyn Munster) and me!

It was a thrill meeting Pat Priest, a 1960s beauty queen who was in the Elvis movie, “Easy Come, Easy Go.” She is best known as the second “Marilyn” on The Munsters!

This woman was such a doll, the salt of the earth. She was so happy to meet her fans and had a very strong, impressive handshake (and I told her so!)

We also met Butch Patrick (“Eddie Munster”) for the second time. He was super and gave us a free autographed photo of himself. Very nice guy. Both times we met Butch, he made a Gilligan’s Island reference when learning my name is “Maryanne.” I confessed, both times, that I was a Ginger wannabe.

He was so cute hanging around with Pat Priest, as if he is still her TV little brother! Which makes you realize it’s so sad that Pat Priest and Butch Patrick are the only Munsters cast members that are alive. (RIP: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo and Al Lewis). That legendary television show, on a steady rotation in our home!

Enjoy the rest of the photos! We look forward to the next event in March 2013!


My First Attempt at Animal Photography

Published September 2, 2012 by Maryanne

Red Panda

One of my birthday gifts was a year membership to Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ.

How thrilling! I love animals and feel we are so blessed to have zoos to educate us and bring us up close and personal with animals from all over the world.

I never considered myself a photographer in any way shape or form. But inspired by a fellow blogger who also loves animals and frequents zoos often, I decided to try out a new hobby based on my passion for animals. I asked my husband, who is a very good photographer to help me pick out the best pictures of my lot.

This is the first time I saw a red panda up close since the first time I ever saw one in Central Park several years ago. This little bugger was always sleeping every time I visited Turtle Back Zoo.

But yesterday, I got there early and he was out! Before he went back into his little hut, he posed and smiled for me!

He’s sayin’ “I know I’m cute, but who are you?”

Very pretty! Look at those big paws!

What a little lover! (He’s behind glass, which made the photo a little blurry).

My last two visits to the zoo, I saved the Prairie Dogs for last, because in my opinion, they are the best part. They are incredibly lovable. I blogged about them a few weeks ago. They hug, kiss, and cuddle each other. Don’t believe me? Just find them on You Tube. You will actually see them making out like teenagers! It’s just so adorable seeing this close up. They even hold each others heads with their paws while they are kissing. Too cute, I can’t stand it!

Yesterday was no exception. As soon as I approached the Prairie Dog land, I saw a “couple” going at it. But as soon as the “lovers” became aware of me being there, they dropped their embrace and this little guy ran right up to the glass and posed for me.

They are definitely characters.

Hope you like my first attempt at zoo pictures! I look forward to getting better pictures of animals as I take more trips. My membership is good for a year and I want to go in the winter too, when there is snow on the ground (a perfect time for looking at big bad wolves).