An Idiot's Guide To Surviving A Heart Attack

I run at 100 miles per hour.

One day it comes to a halt. My phone rings—which always freaks me out. I think my phone is only a camera or a way to demand a car. I look at the screen and the name seems kinda familiar…

Military Time: America's Got Talent Via Social Progress

America is going through LGBT civil rights boot camp, and it’s making our society stronger. Change, like recruit training, is hard. The results are worth it.

Recently joining our ranks in the march to equality: SCOTUS, the Boy Scouts, the Pentagon and Caitlyn Jenner.

When I was a kid I marveled at Jenner as she competed on TV in the Olympic decathlon, I had no idea she suffered from body dysmorphia.

You think it took bravery to eat the first oyster? Try being Caitlyn Jenner, living a famous, accomplished life while secretly knowing she was in the wrong body. When Caitlyn came out as transgender, she turned heads (some sideways) and opened minds. Soon after, the Pentagon announced that the military will allow transgendered people to serve.

This Marine Won't March Into Mississippi (Hate Doesn't Taste Like Chicken)

I just turned down a farm-to-table tour of Mississippi. As a food writer, they invited me to tour their farm--to-table movement. They are very proud of where they stand and offered to fly me in to witness their production.

One of the most important moments in my book, The Pink Marine, involves Mississippi. Marines’ primary mission is to defend our country. The U.S. government didn’t care about my sexuality. It wasn’t part of their job or my job. They equipped me with the necessary training and tools to be an effective Marine. As I was issued an M-16, I recalled the time when I was fifteen and visiting a farm near Jackson, Mississippi. I hunted for the first time. I held my first rifle, shot and killed a squirrel. And then our host cooked it and served it for our dinner. * Mississippi, you’re always full of surprises.

Homemade, Healthy, Yogurt-based Salad Dressing. Undressed.

I turn into my grandmother when I tie one on. An apron. I hear her guide my hand over the salt, Not too much, she says. As I stir, I check my arm to see if it has her adorable wiggle waggle yet.

In an effort to delay that jiggle, I work out and eat healthy. I cook as much as I can, using natural products unencumbered by additives. I lived through the eighties so there are enough chemicals bouncing around my in body from the disco daze. To make it to and through my eighties, I'm especially mindful of the ingredients in any prepared foods I buy.

This easy, healthy salad dressing recipe is a staple in my fridge.

The Disney Princess Life: Not That Great

So You Wanna Be a Princess?

On paper, being a Princess looks appealing. Almost fairytale-ish. But turn the page, lift the crown, look closer and you might stay in school.

First, you get one dress. ONE fucking yellow dress with a sash. And you have to wear that one dress in every scene until the very end, when you get married.  You imagine princesses with one of those closets like a dry cleaner where millions of different outfits go flying by like the sushi conveyor belt at Harvey Nichols in London. Nope. One dress. And it’s tattered cause it’s made by birds. Birds are shit seamstresses.


You know you’re motherless, right? Your mother died, most likely giving birth to you. And she was lovely. So lovely that your kindly father never remarries, drinks too much and whittles. ABC should launch CSI Disney and get to the bottom of this entire Queens dying bullshit. Of course this means that one day Princess, you too will be Queen and therefore die. So don’t get pregnant – you’ll never make it out alive.

Not to worry – your Prince is gay. Gay gay gay. Just look at him, riding in on his prancing horse, fresh from a spray tan, a teeth whitening, and probable barn romp involving other princes. When boys are that pretty, they like other boys who look just like them. It’s tragic men’s canoodling can’t produce kids -- a gay couple would have the most beautiful babies.

Everybody hates you. Go ahead, dance at the ball – twirl around all night. But know that everyone watching wants you dead. They don’t want to be you -- they just want you dead. Dukes and duchesses and court-folk are really mean. Don’t drink the punch, don’t eat cake, don’t touch anything pointy and never ever repeat one word three times – you’re constantly a wand wave away from poof.

Like your castle? Good, cause that’s the only place you get to go. There’s no other world for you. You think you’re going online to book a getaway in Prague? Like you’re getting on a public plane. You’ll crash through a glass wall, bursting your bubble forever. The world outside it not pretty. It’s not sunshiny, or sparkly and some troll drove out all the unicorns eons ago.

Why am I so pissed? Because I fell for the myth too and my midget posse left me for movie work.
Now I’m single, childless, and live in a cave hiding out from some witch. FOREVER.

Moral of the story: If it’s too good to be true, it is.

The End

Overseas Adventure Travel: Israel

No one told me that the Dead Sea sparkles. And I almost didn't see it.

Wanderlust struck me, so I spun the globe and threw a dart at a dream destination. Istanbul was rioting and Prague was flooded, so I headed to a more peaceful place, Israel.

As I planned the trip from home in the U.S., I let news and friends persuade me to limit my sight-seeing to Jerusalem only, under the theoretical belief that with Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy places under one tiny sky, I'd be safe. I cancelled excursions to Petra in Jordan, Bethlehem, Masada and the Dead Sea.

So You Want to Write For Television?

When it was time to bring my book of Marine Corps boot camp stories to market, I went into U.S. Marine mission-mode and sought out the best expert. I looked to publishing guru Jane Friedman. Of course I was star-struck talking to Jane, but she made me comfortable and confident about my book's future.

Once my book,The Pink Marine, was finished, Jane asked me to write a guest post on her blog that examined the differences between writing for televisions (my area of expertise) and writing a book (her area).

Once I stopped screaming in a high pitched squeal, I wrote this piece: