Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"Thin Twin" Wants Sister To Lose the Attitude (And Maybe Some Weight, Too)

Dear Tazi:

I recently lost a lot of weight, and am looking forward to wearing a sexy bikini on the beach this summer. My problem is that my twin sister "Ursula" is still quite heavy - and quite bitter about how good I look. She keeps making nasty comments about how we are "no longer twins" and how people are going to start calling me "the thin twin" and even joking that she is going to pretend to be me so people will think that I am her!

Tazi, we both have thyroid problems which is what caused the weight gain in the first place. The only difference between us is that I adjusted my diet after being diagnosed and she did not. I cut out sugar and starch and eat more whole grains and green, leafy vegetables. Ursula often forgets to take her medication, which complicates her thyroid problem, and has a sweet tooth that she constantly indulges.

I have tried to encourage Ursula to eat better, but she says that she can't afford it; that fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive and that she does not like the taste of whole wheat breads and pastas; and, worst of all, that she will never lose weight so why should she bother trying. While I admit whole wheat pasta is and acquired taste, there are so many other grains to try! Quinoa, amaranth, winter wheat...

Yummies for my tummy!

I have invited Ursula to go to the Farmer's Market with me to buy fresh veggies for less, but she always says she is too busy; I suggest that she go shopping at Whole Foods with me to see how affordable it can be (especially when you use your Oreo and ice cream budget to buy nutritious foods) but she refuses. Can you think of any way I can get Ursula to at least try to help herself? She is my twin sister, and I am missing the closeness we once had!


Dear "Phoebe":

I see from your choice of pseudonyms that you are a Friends fan and not making cracks at the expense of the Sea Witch. Cool...I like you already, so I am going to print your letter!

I would like to congratulate you on all of your hard efforts to eat right and lose the extra weight you have been carrying. From the sound of your letter, you are feeling great, as well as looking great! This, however, could be what is causing your twin sister such distress. Once upon a time when she looked at you she saw herself; now, she sees the person she would like to be but feels she will never become. That has got to hurt!

A common symptom of hypothyroidism is depression, and it sounds like your sister may have a touch of it. Please encourage her to take her medication EVERY DAY! A 7-day pill organizer can make it easy to remember to do this, so long as she keeps it in plain sight and remembers to take her pill as soon as she wakes up every morning. She can keep the organizer on her dresser and grab her daily dose on her way to the bathroom after she wakes each morning. If this process does not improve her outlook on live, please encourage her to see her endocrinologist; she may need a higher dose of thyroid medication. If this is not the case, she should talk to her general practitioner about being screened (and possibly treated) for depression.

Once Ursula has her medication and her moods under control, try talking to her about eating healthier. Fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains should play a starring role in all diets, with sugary foods taking a back seat to naturally sweet foods that are low in calories - think strawberries and blueberries and other seasonal fruits! Now that summer is approaching, store freezers are full of frozen fresh fruit pops, a fun way to satisfy a sweet tooth and get your nutrition!

I suggest that you work with Ursula at a level that works for her. She may not have time to go to the Farmer's Market, but does she have time to join you for dinner? Why not invite her over to enjoy a healthy meal at your place, complete with a dessert of fresh sorbet and fruit accompaniment? Once Ursula sees that eating healthy does not have to be dull, she may be more inclined to try it. Slowly, work with her to make-over her pantry until it contains more healthy products and less junk; invite Ursula to go for a walk with you; go shopping with her for an attractive, plus-size bathing suit (they do exist). In other words, do all of the sisterly things you did together before you lost weight! In time, Ursula will see that she has not lost her twin simply because her twin has lost weight.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Yoga Pants Require Greater Coverage Than Regular Pants!

Dear Tazi:

My daughter is a very large woman, so finding clothes that fit proper can be difficult for her. Because of this, she wears a lot of knits, most notably "stretch pants". Unfortunately, "Clara" does not realize just how dreadful these pants make her look. Clara wears these pants without any kind of covering, like a long blouse or a tunic; worse, she will tuck her shirt into these pants, making for a bunchy, wrinkled look that from a short distance looks like a bad case of cellulite.

I have suggested to Clara that she wear a more flattering top with her stretch pants - like a long top or a tunic style blouse, but she just gets angry with me, telling me that she is who she is and a shirt isn't going to hide it. Tazi, I am not trying to get Clara to hide her bulk, I am simply trying to get her to dress is a more appropriate manner. I would not dream of leaving the house with visible panty lines, but this is exactly what Clara is doing  - and worse - every time she wears those hideous stretch pants with nothing covering her bottom. Furthermore, the fabric of these pants is stretched awfully thin, and when she wears lighter colors her panties show right through! It is positively humiliating!

Please understand that I am NOT embarrassed by my daughter's weight; I love her regardless of her size. I am, however, upset that she is straining the rules of decency. Can you think of any way to address this issue so that she will not think it is about her weight? Because it really isn't!

Patience Stretched

Dear Patience Stretched:

I don't care what size you are, or even if your butt looks like this in a pair of yoga pants:

The rules of fashion dictate that leggings are not pants and that a long shirt or tunic length blouse should be worn with them. Recently, the CEO of Lulumom stepped down over the scandal that their yoga pants are so sheer you could see right through them! 

Just say NO to crack!

Wearing pants like this in public could get you fined or arrested for public indecency. If Clara's leggings are causing problems such as those illustrated above, I suggest you snap a photo of her behind so she can see for herself just what she is showing to the world. I realize this is extreme, and sounds cruel, but she has thus far refused to listen to reason and is making it about her weight; you need to show her that it is about dressing appropriately. Unless she is going out to a dance club to pick up a man looking for a one-night stand, I cannot see how wearing these kinds of pants would be considered appropriate dress. I am quite surprised that her employer has not said something to her already.

I suggest that you stress once again - and again, and again until Clara gets it - that this is not about her weight. She may need counseling to deal with the low self-esteem she seems to be suffering, and you may want to go along to show her that you are on her side. If it offers any comfort, you are not the first Mom to find her daughter's wardrobe completely odious; it is an argument that goes back generations upon generations.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Embarrassing Foot Odor Hurting Relationship

Dear Tazi:

I have the embarrassing problem of severe foot odor. I have tried powders and crèmes to try and cure it, but nothing seems to work. I never really thought it to be too big an issue, but I recently started dating a woman that has put a snag in my habit of always wearing shoes.

“Robyn” has wall-to-wall carpeting throughout her house and, in an effort to keep tose rugs looking new, she does not allow people to wear shoes in her house; they most be removed in the mudroom before entering the main house. I have not yet been by Robyn’s house because of this rule. I know if I take off my shoes the smell of my feet will end up disgusting her, and that will be the end of this relationship.

Robyn keeps asking me when I am going to come by her place, asks me in for coffee at the end of our dates, and has told me she wants to make me dinner some evening. I am getting the hint that she wants something more – and I would, too – but I am afraid my foot odor will get in the way of any romance.

Tazi, can you think of any way to get past Robyn’s front door? At least until I have found a way to resolve my foot odor problem?

Smelly Feet

Dear Smelly Feet:

Foot odor can be caused by a number of things, but if you keep your feet clean and dry the reason is probably medical. An infection – bacterial or fungal – can cause unbearable odor and you may need a prescription medication to conquer it. I suggest you make an appointment with your doctor, who may refer you to a podiatrist (foot doctor) in order to conquer this problem with a permanent solution.

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions for your predicament: If you are not already wearing them, choose white cotton socks over colored or polyester socks. Sometimes, dyes can irritate our skin leaving it weakened and prone to infection. Cotton, unlike polyester, absorbs moisture, which is another cause of foot odor (bacteria feed off of the nutrients in our sweat). Although I do not like to recommend specific brand products (I am not a spokescat) I do like the feeling of Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder on my paws; it leaves them feeling tingly and smelling fresh. I think it might do the same for you, and powder absorbs moisture, as well.

A way to get around Robyn’s no-shoes rule would be to buy a pair of men’s soft soled slippers exclusively for use at her place (you can even leave them just inside her door, a la the Japanese style). Inform Robyn that you are uncomfortable walking around in your stocking feet (which is not a lie, just an overview of your reasoning) and that you purchased these slippers for exclusive use at her house. Show her the soft soles so she will see that they will not wreck her rugs, and will keep worn socks (and the dirt they may track) off of her carpeting. If Robyn is not amenable to this compromise, perhaps it is time to reconsider your relationship with her. A person who values her carpets over the reasonable comfort of the man in her life might not be the right person for you.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Friday, March 27, 2015

When Is It Time For A Stay-At-Home Mom To Return To Work?

Dear Tazi:

My Mom has been a stay-at-home Mom since before I was born. She quit her job when she found out she was pregnant with me in order to devote all of her time to being a Mom. I am now 17, an honor roll student, and a careful driver with a spotless first year driving record. I play sports or have study hall after school, so I usually do not get home until after 4:00 PM and I work a part-time job two evenings a week and on weekends. In summary, I am a responsible teenager who is not home during working hours (the school day starts at 7:30 in the morning).

My parents don't know that I know, but Dad has been pressuring Mom to find a paying job ever since I learned to drive. Mom argues that she needs to be home during the day in case I need her, and that she has a very busy schedule cooking and cleaning and sewing around the house and then volunteering at the church on occasion. Dad argues that nobody but her is home during the day, so how can the house get so dirty; that they eat out twice a week (the two nights I am not home for dinner because of work); and that if the church were to pay her for her work he would not mind her not looking for a regular job.

The fighting between my parents is really starting to upset me, because it is starting to take a toll on their relationship. I would like to tell my Mom that I am grateful for all that she has done for me, but that I am pretty capable of doing a lot for myself now. I can drive, I have a job and am responsible with my money, and I buy most of my own clothes - she hasn't sewn anything for me in years! I am also a pretty good cook, and would cook dinner a few nights a week if she would allow it, but she is a complete control freak in the kitchen.

Tazi, do you have any ideas on how to get my Mom to at least look for a job? Even a part-time one? I think it will go a long way towards helping to save my parents' marriage.

Seventeen And Worried

Dear Seventeen And Worried:

While it is commendable that you want to help your parents through their marital spats, the only thing you should be worried about right now is keeping your grades up, finding a date for the prom, and investigating your post-high school opportunities. The issues between your parents may seem simple, but they go much deeper than they appear.

Your mother has not worked outside the home in almost 18 years. What kind of job do you suggest she seek? Her skills and education are probably badly in need of updating, and her resistance to look for work reflects this fact. She is probably scared that she will fail miserably or humiliate herself if she tries to re-enter the workforce after almost two decades out of it. Think about it: The last time your mother worked for a paycheck President Bill Clinton was the President of the U.S., the Internet just starting to go mainstream, grunge music was still all the rage, and boys still wore their pants several inches above their butts with their hats facing forward!

And sadly, people dressed like this!

If you want to help your parents, I suggest you show your letter and my response to them; you could even leave it laying on the dining room table if you don't want to give it to them personally. They each need to consider the other's point of view and reasoning; role-playing/role-reversal can be helpful in accomplishing this, as can the help of a qualified counselor or clergy-person. Since your mother is active with the church, your clergy may already be familiar with the situation; either way, it may do you good to talk to him or her in order to gain some perspective on the whole situation. As much as I hate to say it, this is not your problem to  solve.


P.S. I don't want to speculate, but in absence of other issues, a woman who quits her job as soon as she becomes pregnant may have been unhappy with said job in the first place! Just one more thing to consider.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Drama Kings/Queens Need To Leave Others Out Of It

Dear Tazi:

I have come to the sad (?) realization that I love drama. In fact, I thrive on it. While I hate the emotional downs, I know that they are necessary to enjoy the ups and I love the excitement that swirls around me when I am in the thick of things. I love being the center of people's attention, and when they pick my "team" over the other person's side. Sometimes, if things are slow, I will go out of my way to start something just to keep life lively!

I suffer from depression and these emotional ups that drama creates are my one joy in life. I have been on SSDI benefits because I was unable to hold a job due to the drama that would swirl around me (not all of it was my creation, but I admit I did fan the flames whenever something erupted; I couldn't help it. I loved the spotlight!). My benefits are being suspended for my refusal to go to the mandatory counseling sessions, which I don't think is fair! More drama, I know? I just feel that my counselor does not understand my needs.

My mother has told me that I am "flat out crazy" and has demanded that I return to counseling and get back in my meds as a condition of living with her, but I don't think this is fair! I live in her basement, so it is not like I am invading her personal living space. Plus, I don't think I need counseling anymore; after all, I figured out the root cause of my "problem" and am willing to live with the fact that I love the drama that surrounds me; my medications only suck the fun out of the dramatic. The only problem is that not taking them leaves me unable to hold down a regular job, but I think in time I will find something that fits my needs.

Do you think my mother is being unfair to me? Or am I asking too much of her to let me live here rent-free until I either find a job or my disability benefits kick in again? Please print me letter! I will be so excited to see it in print and my friends will be sooooo jealous!

Drama King

Dear Drama King:

I am happy to hear that you have come to the realization that you love drama. This is a real breakthrough. Now, you need to come to the realization - and acceptance - that not everyone else feels the same way about it. In fact, most people detest it. Your forcing the people in your life to live with it is very unfair to them.

If you seek to fan the flames of drama at work you will never be able to hold down a full-time job in a traditional place of work. Employers like to keep all of their employees happy, so making one happy at the expense of others is not going to work for them. As for the home front, you may be living in your mother's basement, but this does not mean you have no interaction with her. You must come upstairs to use the kitchen. bathroom, and other common areas so your behavior and your love of drama does affect her life.

I strongly suggest that you return to counseling and get back on your medications for depression - at least for now. I am also going to suggest that you find an outlet for your love of drama - be it a local theater group, where you will be able to act out your fantastical scenarios without hurting anyone, or something as simple as a bowling league, where emotions can run high and the competitive spirit of the game can satisfy your need for the dramatic. A counselor will be able to assist you in finding just the right niche for you, and seeing one will help you to continue to work through your depression and the needs it brings until you are ready to return to a regular job.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Are Clean Rugs More Important Than Family Unity?

Dear Tazi:

I am so completely furious with my mother-in-law I can’t see straight! She usually babysits my sister-in-law’s child during the day while everyone is at work. “Abigail”, age 18 months, caught bedbugs at “Martha’s” house and now both of their houses need to be fumigated. My sister-in-law is beside herself over this because she is desperate for child care and cannot afford to pay anyone so her mother does it for free. How can she complain that her daughter came home with bedbugs when her mother was looking after the child free of charge? She could not even bring herself to ask her mother to cover the cost of fumigating the home and had to work overtime to cover the exterminating charges!

The exterminator could see that [the cost of fumigating the house] was a hardship to my sister-in-law, so he offered her a discount if she and Martha got their houses done on the same day, since it would save him the travel expense. The problem with this was that it left no place to go with Abigail, so I agreed to let Martha watch Abigail at my house while I was off at work. Worst decision ever!

I don’t know if Martha allows Abigail to run ragged at her own house, but she sure let her tear up mine! The place looked like a hurricane had run through – sofa cushions and throw pillows were tossed about, crushed Froot Loops were all over the floor; dirty, smelly diapers that had not been properly treated were thrown in my kitchen garbage, and my plants had been knocked over onto the floor with the dirt spilled all about. The worst part, though, was that Martha let Abigail drink her apple juice in a “big girl cup” because I don’t have any sippy cups in the house. Tazi, my children are teenagers! I have no need for sippy cups!

Long story short (I know, too late), Abigail spilled apple juice all over my new carpeting! I saved my spending money for over two years to be able to afford my new white carpets, and my children all know that woe will betide them if they get those carpets dirty! The carpets are in the good parlor, so it is not an area where people go to hang out and play; that is what the rumpus room is for and Martha knows that!
When I called Martha out about the juice on the carpet, she responded that a baby cannot be expected to know any better. I explained to her that she (Martha) is old enough to know better and should have supervised the baby better! Not being the shirking violet that my sister-in-law is I told Martha that she would have to pay to have my rugs cleaned or replaced. Martha refused, saying she does not have that kind of money, especially after paying to have her house deloused. She then accused me of “putting on airs” with my “fine white carpeting” and told me she was glad Abigail ruined it! Now, I am in a fix.

I put salt on the stain, like you would for wine, and it seems to have lifted a little. I got one of those Stanley Steamers to clean it myself and the stain is almost invisible – just a slight outline of where it was. It cost me almost $100 to clean and I still have a stain that I know is there. I don’t want to ask my sister-in-law for the money because I know she doesn’t have it and Martha has refused to pay, saying that Abigail created the stain so her Mama should be responsible for the cost. I am willing to eat the cost of cleaning, but it sticks in my craw that my good deed did not go unpunished. Plus I have a stain on my carpets! Am I being petty, Tazi?

Stuck With A Stain

Dear Stuck With A Stain:

I can understand why you are so upset; never once did you say that your mother-in-law apologized for her neglect of duty in watching her granddaughter. What you do say is that she tried to shift the blame from where it belongs (squarely on her shoulders) and onto a baby who had no control over the situation. Pathetic!

I do not think you are being petty over having to see a reminder of how your mother-in-law disrespected you and your property. Depending on where the stain is, can you hide it by covering it with a piece of furniture, a floor lamp, or a potted plant? At this point, the stain is set and will probably not come out without damaging the carpet fibers, leaving a scar on the carpeting that would be just as unattractive as the stain – if not worse. One possibility (offered to me by a professional carpet installer) is to snip the nap of the carpet with an X-Acto knife. The stained portion is probably not that deep into the nap, and the slight difference in height that will result would not be noticeable in a thick carpet.

I know it will be difficult, but try not to let this incident strain your relationship with your mother-in-law. She is family; she is your husband’s mother and your children’s grandmother. For the sake of family harmony do your best to put this incident in the past…but also for the sake of family harmony do not allow Martha to babysit in your home again.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Morbid Obesity Is A Health Threat That Many Do Not Wish To Cure

Dear Tazi:

I have an enormous appetite. I love food and can't get enough of it. Consequently, I am seriously overweight.  My doctor has told me that I am morbidly obese and need to lose 250 pounds. My problem is, I don't want to diet. I love food too much. I especially love sweets, so to give those up would be heartbreaking for me.

I know what I look like, and I know that the choices I am making will shorten my lifespan, but I would rather die younger and live a fulfilling life than eat like a bird and be miserable for the rest of my life, which would be much longer because eating healthy is said to prolong your lifespan. No thank you!

My doctor has told me that he cannot help me if I won't help myself. I asked him what he meant by this and he told me he would drop me as a patient! Can he do this? Is this even ethical? I am sure I could find a new doctor, in time; one that I like and who accepts my insurance, but in the meantime who would prescribe my medications? I am on insulin for diabetes and I take several other medications for my heart and blood pressure. My doc says he is trying to keep me from an early grave, and then he tries to push me into one!

Overeating And Loving It

Dear Overeating And Loving It:

If you are certain - and I mean absolutely positive that you are not using your love of food to compensate for something that is missing in your life - you need to make this clear to your doctor. We all have the free will to live our lives as we see fit, and if your choice is to wreck your health through a poor diet that is your decision. Some people choose to smoke in spite of the overwhelming amount of medical evidence that argues against it; some participate in extreme sports that result in multiple broken bones and arthritis; you are choosing your poison.

Your doctor also has free will, and if it is his choice not to continue seeing you as a patient he has every right to dismiss you for not following his medical advice. Why would you want to continue to see this doctor when you disagree with his plan for treating you? Just as personal relationships break off, so do professional ones; it sounds like the time has come for you and this doctor to part ways, with no hard feelings.

Whether it is ethical of your doctor to dismiss you as a patient is a judgement call, but I will say it would be unethical of him to dismiss you without plenty of notice and a list of referrals for other doctors who would be willing to treat you and prescribe your medications. Until then, he should remain your primary care physician, regardless of his desires. I suggest you bring up this idea to him, and ask for a list of referrals to other doctors who could meet your needs.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Man Needs More Help Than Tazi Can Offer

Dear Tazi:

I am a black man and my whole life my mother never missed an opportunity to remind me that “a black man has to work twice as hard to be half as successful as a white man”. This was her reason for constantly berating me, telling me to “man up” when things did not go my way. She could never allow me to have a good sulk until I felt better! She was always hounding me about taking advantage of opportunity when opportunity presented itself; learning from my mistakes; and accepting my share of responsibility when bad things happened. My sisters have done that, Tazi. One sister married a man who invested well, which is how they earned their money, and the other sister got a settlement from a car accident that left her with enough to start up her own business. Neither one of them had to start from the bottom!

Tazi, most of the time when things went wrong in my life it was not my fault! I have a son that I never see because his mother (my ex-girlfriend) moved out of state. How is it my fault that I am no longer a part of his life? But Mom holds this against me! My son would never have been born if his mother had remembered to take her birth control pill, but one missed dose and I am on the hook! How is that my fault? She could have had an abortion, but chose to keep the baby. Where is my choice?

I lost my last job because someone else kept putting me on the schedule for a day I could not work. I expressly stated after the first time it happened that I could not work weekends, and that if they scheduled me I would not show; for this they fired me! It’s not like I pulled a “no show”; I was just standing up for myself! I complained to Mom, but she told me (again) to “man up” and accept the fact that some jobs are going to require a difficult schedule.

As of now, I am on disability for depression because I just can’t handle the problems life has been throwing my way. A large part of why I am depressed is my mother’s constant negativity, but she refuses to accept her share of responsibility for the problem, saying that I am responsible for my own mental health. I am now being forced to receive counseling for my depression, which is only making matters worse because the counselor to which I have been assigned agrees with my Mom – that I need to take my share of responsibility for what happens in my life. My future disability payments hinge on this counselor’s decision as to whether or not I am truly depressed. This is not fair! I know that the counselor is going to give me a bad report, calling me an uncooperative patient and recommending that my disability benefits be terminated. How is any of this my fault when my entire life is being decided by other people? The worst part of all this is that my mother tells me she wants to be supportive of me and help me “get better”. She helped to cause all of my problems; I do not want to help her ease her guilty conscience!

My problem with all of this is that right now I have to live with my Mom. I can’t get Section 8 housing where I live because even the waiting list has been closed the need is so large. I can’t move to another state because my disability benefits are approved through the state and they will not transfer if the state I move to does not approve them. I am stuck. Do you have any words of wisdom, Tazi, on how to get my mother off of my back? I am a sensitive soul, and her attitude is what has led to my misery.

Workin’ On Makin’ It

Dear Workin’ On Makin’ It:

Where do I start? You mother’s comment that “a black man has to work twice as hard to be half as successful as a white man” is sadly true, but the same can be said of a woman – of any color. We live in a world where discrimination is an unfortunate reality; we can accept this reality and work to overcome it or we can sulk over it and be that much further behind when we come out of our “good sulk”. Your mother sounds like a wise woman and you would do well to listen to her as opposed to telling her off – especially since you live with her!

As for your sisters and their successes: You say that neither of them had to start from the ground up. I say differently. For Sister #1, I doubt that the money to invest well and invest wisely grew on a tree in her backyard. She and her husband probably scrimped and saved in order to come up with the money needed for a minimum buy; studied their investment options carefully; and only then contacted a broker to invest on their behalf. They have earned their success.

I don't think your sister is married to this guy, either!

Sister #2 – the one with a settlement for personal injury and/or property damage – also started from the ground up, as running your own business requires a leap of faith into the abyss; she could have just as easily failed in spite of her hard work. The fact that she used her own money – and not a Federal SBA loan – is quite admirable. She has nurtured her talents, found a need for them, created a business plan, invested in her dream, and it is paying off for her. She also has earned her success. You, on the other hand…

If you feel that your mother is responsible for all of your problems, perhaps you can try joint counseling. The dynamic that exists between the two of you – and the dynamic between you and the rest of the world – is a problem that is more complicated than I am comfortable mediating, and is too involved to dissect in the space this column provides.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Diabetic Needs To Overcome Candy Addiction

Dear Tazi:

I have a problem that I have never seen addressed in any advice column before, so I thought I would write to you because you answer a lot of questions that people are normally too embarrassed to ask. Is it because it is easier to talk to an animal than a person? I think so!

My problem is that I am addicted to Skittles candies. I can eat an entire one pound bag of Skittles in one sitting I love them so much. I am not overweight from eating so much sugar, but I was recently diagnosed with diabetes; a genetic condition that runs in my family. A part of me always knew this day would come, which is probably why I worked to get my fill of Skittles while I could. I know that I have to give up this guilty pleasure now that I have diabetes, but I can’t!

Tasting the rainbow can be dangerous for diabetics

My doctor has lectured me on the dangers of high blood sugar, and told me that I need to give up the Skittles. I realize that nerve damage, blindness, and heart failure are all side effects of uncontrolled diabetes; but I am only 25 years old and those things seem so far away, while Skittles are so near! I have been reading about how your Mommie has put you on a diet and am wondering how you have managed to resist the kitty snax you crave so much! When I tried to put my cat on a diet he just chewed a hole through the bag and went to town on the stuff – which is what I feel like doing sometimes when I don’t get my Skittles. Can you offer me any advice on how to work around this addiction?

Needing Won’t Power

Dear Needing Won’t Power:

Chew through the bag! What an ingenious idea! PAWS UP to you for suggesting it! (“”) (“”)

I love me some Meow Mix! Nom, nom, nom!

To answer your question as to how I deal with my diet, I whine. A lot. It doesn’t work, though, Mommie does not give in to my requests for kitty snax, so instead I do the next best thing – I got outside to my backyard and stalk chipmunks. Have you ever stalked a chipmunk? They are great fun to chase and the high that I get from exercise takes my mind off of the kitty snax I am not getting.

Since you are a human and do not depend on someone else to provide you with food, you must learn how to resist food. Treat your “addiction” to Skittles for what it is – an addiction. Remove all Skittles from your house, and do not bring any new bags home. The next time you crave their fruity sweetness, try eating a piece of fruit in the same flavor or, if the sugar content in fruit is still too high for your system, try a sugar free fruit drink in the same flavor you are craving. By substituting what you crave with something similar but not harmful to your body you will be able to wean yourself off of Skittles.

I realize that you are in the prime of your youth and you do not think the evils I diabetes can strike you, but many a diabetic in their prime has awoken one morning to discover that they can no longer see – diabetes induced blindness can strike that quickly, and without warning. Is your love of Skittles worth your eyesight? High blood sugar can cause serious damage to your internal organs as well as your nervous system; furthermore, diabetes can disable your body’s ability to heal from surgery or other serious wounds, and can compromise your immune system leading to more frequent and prolonged illnesses. Diabetes is an illness that must be taken seriously; even if you feel asymptomatic you could be doing permanent, irreversible damage to your body.


P.S. If you experience a moment of weakness and purchase a bag of Skittles, feel free to send them to me. I love batting them across the kitchen floor and chasing after them! You could try this, too – it’s good exercise, which is also good for diabetes control! If all else fails, participate in this interactive video exercise:

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Racism, Racial Phobia Not The Same Thing; One Is Curable

Dear Tazi:

I think I might be racist, but I am not sure. I feel incredibly uncomfortable around black people. I think this is because whenever I turn on the news and see that some violent crime has been committed, the criminal is a black person. I realize that people of other races commit crimes, too, but I feel like if I am going to be a victim of crime it will most likely be committed by a black person. Do these feelings make me racist?


Dear Racist:

It should bring you comfort to know that almost every serial killer in American history has been white. Ditto with every homegrown terrorist - including assassins and potential assassins - every guy that has ever shot up a school, mall, or movie theater.  Child molesters are more likely to be white men than men of any other race (or women in general), and studies have shown that rapists almost exclusively (over 75% of the time) rape women of their own race. A study by SUNY - Buffalo reports that 92% of white, working-class women have experienced serious domestic violence in the home, as opposed to only 62% of black working-class women (and no, black men are not breaking in and beating on white women!).  Do these statistics help to alleviate your misguided fear that black people are more prone to violence than any other racial group? In fact, it appears that white people have a lock on crazy!

I do not think your irrational fear of African-Americans makes you a racist, per se, since racism springs from feelings of hatred of other races, along with the belief that the white race is superior to all others. I do think that your phobia could morph into full-fledged racism if you do not seek counseling for it. Furthermore, I am concerned about your statement that the only crimes you see reported are committed by black people. Is this your experience? Are you watching a biased news station? Or are these the claims of a racist close to you that has you believing that the overwhelming majority of crimes are committed by black people? A professional counselor could help you dig into the roots of your fear and uproot them once and for all, allowing you to get to know people for who they are - regardless of skin color - and not what you have been taught to believe they are.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tazi Recommends: Go Ireland AND The Italian Blog

Dear Readers:

As I am sure you all know, this week was St. Patrick's Day; but tomorrow is another Feast Day dear to the hearts of my hometown: St. Joseph's Day! Being from a city that has both strong Irish and Italian roots, I am honoring both Feast Days today with my blog recommendations!

Normally, I prefer to recommend amateur blogs, but

The Go Ireland Blog
the featured blog of GoIreland.com

offers so many interesting and informative blogs on a variety of topics - from political to human interest - that I could not resist. Featured for St. Patrick's Day was a blog on the health benefits of Guinness, which made such a strong argument I am thinking of asking my Mommie to pour some of hers in my water dish! Another blog of interest was done as a picture blog, with a poster graphic illustrating the theme 10 Irish Inventions That Changed the World. Raise your hand if you knew the Irish created chocolate milk? The blog is an offshoot of an Ireland Tourism website, so many of the blogs are primarily related to tourism and things to do in Ireland, but they feature some great pictures and offer an interesting view into the Irish culture and history (check out Historic Sites of Dublin or the 7 Wonders of Ireland to see what I mean!). The site is categorized with a table of contents running down the right sidebar of the page, so it is easy to navigate your way around the page and find exactly what you are looking for - from Irish Culture and Irish Food and Drink (including recipes) to Irish Geneology blogs that offer tips on how to trace your Irish family tree! Even if you are not Irish, there is something on the Go Ireland blog for everyone to enjoy and explore.

If Irish food and culture is not your thing, check out

The Italian Blog
by Daniele, Lori, and Jay

The authors are REAL Italians, who are from (and still live) in Italy! The blog is (mostly) written in English, so you do not need to speak the language to enjoy this blog. The theme of the blog is Italian culture - daily living, recipes, history, and holidays - told from the point of view of your average Italian citizen.

Hailing from one of the many Little Italy regions here in the United States but not actually being Italian myself (I am American Short-Hair), I found this blog fascinating! When I saw the headline "Not Only Mafia" I thought I was going to read an article dispelling the stereotypes of Italians pictured in The Godfather and Goodfellas, so I was surprised to discover it was an informative article on a museum in Calabria that is featuring the documentation of many other criminal enterprises that go under the radar, thanks to the focus on the mafia. The museum site is in Italian, but easily translated if you have Google Chrome.

In the blog post "Sometimes You Just Need to Be Hungry" the authors give a brief but hypnotic review of a little cafe in Siena. The description paints a picture of what it is like to spend the afternoon "among culture and art", seeking to wind down with a pleasant meal. Though short, the blog gives the reader a sense of what it is like to live in Italy and participate in their culture. As a cat, I have to say I am liking the relaxed atmosphere much better than the hustle and bustle of American living!

The Italian Blog will keep you occupied as you jump from the funny little jokes they post, like the picture and translation of a humorous Help Wanted sign they saw in a village near Torino to their praise of the coffee break, an apparent universal love of humans everywhere! I would suggest that you take a coffee break right now! You know the drill: Put down that Sunday paper (so kitty-cat can nap on it), grab a mug of your favorite caffeinated brew, and check out the Go Ireland blog and The Italian Blog. Consider it your daily dose of culture. You're welcome!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cheerleader Says "Bring It On!", Parents Not So Spirited

Dear Tazi:

Have you ever seen the movie Bring It On? That could be the story of my life! I live, eat, sleep, and breathe cheerleading! I started with lessons when I was only 3 and have been on a squad since I was 7. I love cheerleading! It is all that I want to do with my life. My goal is to cheer professionally for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. I cannot try out for them until I am 18, but I have been practicing really hard, and have the opportunity to go to a training camp where I can learn their moves and other ways to improve my chances of making it onto their squad. The problem is the cost: $300 per week, not including the cost of travel. I would like to attend for the entire summer program next year, bringing the cost to over $3,000.

I would like to use the money my parents have put in my college education fund to pay for cheer training camp. I figure if I make the Dallas squad I will not have time to go to college anyway, so why leave the money sitting there? I think using it for cheer training would be a much better use for it. As you have probably already guessed, my parents are firmly against this plan. I don’t think they are being fair. It is MY future; shouldn’t I get to decide what I want to do with it?

Future D.C.B.C.L.

Dear Future D.C.B.C.L.

You do not say how old you are, but from the tone of your letter I will guess that you are a teenager. This means that your parents are legally responsible for you and that the decisions they make must be made with your best interests in mind. I realize that you understand the difficulty in making it onto a professional cheering squad; otherwise you would not be seeking such expensive, specialized training. Please tell me, what do you plan on doing for a living if you do not get picked for a professional cheering squad? This is what your parents are considering, and why they have set aside money to pay for your college education and not cheer camp.

$3,000 is a lot of money to invest in a dream, and you are essentially asking somebody else to pay for it. I will suggest a compromise that I think is fair to both you and your parents:

You must:

Be willing to work a part-time job to pay for at least 50% of this special cheer training camp (your parents can decide what percentage they would be willing to pay, and 0% is an acceptable answer).

Keep your school grades at or above the level you have them at now.

Agree to at least try college, to see if you like it and to work towards a degree as a back-up plan should a cheerleading position not come through right away (a community college would be the perfect place to start, as the costs are lower than a traditional college and the scheduling more flexible).

Your parents must:

Be supportive of your dream, as it appears they have been in the past, so long as you stick to your end of the bargain.

Accept your decision with regards to continuing your education, if after one year you decide you do not wish to continue

As you can see, the onus is on you to follow through with the tough stuff – planning and working towards a successful future, complete with a Plan B should things not go as planned, regardless of how talented you are. Football players are not the only ones who can suffer career-ending injuries.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day History And Trivia

Dear Readers,

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! 

Whoever laughs can kiss my Irish!
Whoever did this can kiss my...

A favorite holiday among many, I thought I would celebrate by sharing some Saint Patrick’s Day history and Irish trivia with you!

Did you know…?

In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday celebrated with reverence, not excessive partying. 

St. Patrick was a 5th century British-born Roman; as a teenager, he was captured by Irish invaders and spent six years as a slave before escaping and returning to England, only to return to Ireland as a missionary after completing his studies for the priesthood.

The name “Patrick” is derived from the Latin “Patricius”, meaning “father figure”. Saint Patrick took the name upon his ordination to the priesthood. His given name was Maewyn Succat.

Saint Patrick’s feast day is March 17th, commemorating the day he died in 461.

It is said that Saint Patrick “drove the snakes out of Ireland” and this is figuratively true. The snake is the pagan symbol of wisdom; in bringing Christianity to the Emerald Isle, Saint Patrick drove out the old wisdom of her people. Additionally, the snake is a Christian symbol of Satan and evil incarnate – also something Saint Patrick worked to quash.

Over 30 million Americans claim Irish ancestry; worldwide, over double that number (70 million) can claim a link to the Emerald Isle – that is more than ten times the actual population of Ireland!
In America, Irish ancestry ranks among the top 5 ancestries in all but two states – New Mexico and Hawaii!

Although New York City boasts the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade, Boston boasts the oldest. In fact, it hosted the very first Saint Patrick’s Day parade ever held anywhere in the world – in 1737!

Guinness Brewery estimates that 13 million pints of their product will be consumed on Saint Patrick’s Day!

While Ireland is famous for its potatoes, the vegetable is not native to Irish soil; it was imported from the North American continent.

The first President of the Irish Republic (Eamon De Valera) was American by birth!

The colors of the Irish flag – orange, white, and green – stand for the Protestants (orange) of Northern Ireland; the Catholics (green) of the main isle (Eire, or the Irish Republic); and the peace (white) that will hopefully reign between them on a permanent basis.

Enjoy your Saint Patrick’s Day, however you choose to celebrate it! Erin go bragh – or, in English, Ireland Forever!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Donut Shop Has More Than Just Coffee To Bring In Customers

Dear Tazi:

My husband of thirty-eight years retired this past summer and he is driving me crazy. Most of what he does I can handle, and I expect things to get better with time. We have weathered worse storms in our long marriage and this, too, shall pass. My issue is with his morning trip to the coffee shop.

Since retiring, every morning "Jeff" goes to the coffee shop for his morning brew. He claims that he wants to meet up with the guys and shoot the bull. I have suggested that they save money and have their coffee dates at our place, but he brushed off my idea, saying that the guys would never go for it, adding that their "meetings" are not "dates". Jeff is generally gone all morning, giving me blessed relief from his nitpicking about how I handle the housework, but I do not think that it is fair that he gets to relax with his friends all morning while I spend the same time cleaning up his messes - his dirty dishes, his dirty laundry that he leaves on the floor, his shaved whiskers in the bathroom sink, etc.

I am firm about my point that since we are retired we need to save money where we can, and coffee can just as easily be brewed fresh at home and drunk on the porch as it can at the coffee shop. I decided it was time to put my foot down and went to the coffee shop to purchase a pound of their ground coffee for home brewing, and I got an eyeful when I walked into the place!

My husband was there with his buddies, having coffee and promised, but they were also oogling the young coffee servers, young ladies who were dressed in tight pants and low-cut blouses that showed off more than needed to be shown to serve coffee! I was so horrified I walked out without buying the coffee! When I got home, I called Jeff and told him to pick up a pound or two, because he will not be returning to that place with my blessing!

When Jeff returned home, he had not purchased the coffee. Worse, he accused me of spying on him and told me that he will continue to have coffee with his buddies and to "enjoy the scenery". I am devastated to know that my husband thinks so little of our marital vows! He insists that looking is not cheating, and if the girls are going to flaunt it he has the right to look. I have written a sternly worded letter to the coffee shop manager, but never received a response. In the meantime, an icy field has developed between my husband and me. Am I making mountains out of molehills, Tazi? Let me add that not one of those girls had "molehills"; they were all pretty "mountainous".

Feeling Chilled Down South

Dear Feeling Chilled Down South:

Men the world over are going to be the kind of men that they are, regardless of how they would like to present themselves to their spouses. It sounds to me that your husband is turning into a dirty old man - a vision of himself that he would rather you not have seen. If going to the coffee shop to have coffee with his buddies is all Jeff's trips are about, he would probably not have an issue inviting the guys over to the house or even taking turns meeting at each other's houses.

Your husband has admitted that he goes to "enjoy the scenery"; he has been busted, no two ways about it. At least he did not insult your intelligence by denying it. As long as he does not escalate by moving his morning coffee meets to the local strip club I suggest letting the matter drop. These women are young enough to be his daughter or even his granddaughter - you might want to point out this fact to him, and see if it cools his ardor a bit. Sometimes, seeing ourselves as others see us is all it takes to push us into changing our less than charming behaviors.

I can understand why you would be upset enough over this situation to write a letter to the coffee shop manager, but a very unscientific survey of the waitresses in my life reveals that the more that they reveal to their customers, the larger the tips they receive. As disheartening as I find this, the truth is that sex sells, and many of these young women need their tips to survive; they are not saving pin money, they are earning rent money.

With regard to the second half of your problem - your disgust for your husband's slovenly behavior. Is this something new or has he always expected you to be his maid? Are you only reacting now because he has retired and you still have to work at keeping house? As you mention, a marriage of thirty-eight years cannot last without weathering the storms, and this is one more swell your boat will have to navigate. I suggest that you discuss your disgust of your husband's home habits to get to the root of your anger towards him. I also suggest that you not try to control him - the tighter you pull the leash the more he will work to slip out of it.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Friday the 13th Lesson From A Black Cat

Dear Readers:

Another Happy Friday the 13th (the second one this year!) from a black cat! I promise not to bring you bad luck for crossing your path; instead, I bring you the history of this "unlucky" day! This is a re-post from April, so if you missed it - or simply want to enjoy it again - read on!

According to National Geographic, the idea of Friday the 13th being unlucky is believed to be rooted in Norse myth. A dinner party of 12 gods and goddesses was crashed by Loki the god of mischief and chaos, which is exactly what ensued with the death of a favored goddess to follow. Thus the idea that 13 is an unlucky number, and the superstition that "13 at dinner" is an omen that one of the diners will not live out the year.

Furthering the idea that 13 at dinner is bad for your health is the Christian belief that Christ dined with his 12 apostles (setting the table for 13) right before being betrayed by Judas. Coupled with the belief that Christ was crucified the very next day - a Friday - the two events combined create the concept of Friday the 13th being an unlucky day, as is the early Christian belief that Cain killed his brother Abel on Friday the 13th. However, the idea of 13 being an unlucky number actually pre-dates Christianity. The ancient Babylonian code of law, The Code of Hammurabi, actually skips over Code #13, presumably because it is an "unlucky" number. (Some say the ill-fated Apollo 13 space mission would have fared better with a different name).

In the Middle Ages, fears of witches - and their familiarsthe black cat - were said to gather in groups of 12; should a 13th appear, it was assumed to be Satan himself.
The idea of Friday the 13th being an unlucky day did not receive wide-spread belief until the 20th century, thanks to the popular culture of the time. In 1907, a businessman and popular author of the time Thomas Lawson wrote a book called Friday the 13th, the plot of which detailed how an unethical businessman tried to crash the stock market. In 1916, the book was turned into a silent film, furthering the idea that Friday the 13th was an evil, unlucky day; and in a case of life achieving a poor imitation of art, many Wall Street traders of the time blamed the 1925 stock market crash on the fact that three Friday the 13th's occurred in that calendar year (see for yourself by clicking on the link). Nonsensical or not, the damage to Friday the 13th was done: according to Time magazine, Friday the 13th holds a record for being the least active day on the stock market and it is estimated that $700 - $800 million dollars are lost every Friday the 13th because people refuse to conduct business or travel on that day. And then, there came Jason Voorhees and his Friday the 13th horror-film franchise...it's enough to give anyone triskaidekaphobia (that's a fancy word for a fear of the number 13)!

Courtesy of Time magazine, here are a few Friday the 13th superstitions for you to enjoy - or to beware of...

• If you cut your hair on Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die.
(I'm a short-haired cat, I don't need to worry about this one!)

• A child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky for life.
(My Mommie has three cousins born on Friday the 13th, and they all seem to be doing quite well...)

• If a funeral procession passes you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next to die.
(Note to self: Avoid mousing in any cemeteries today).

Read more at TimeMagazine.com.

Tazi the Advice-Giving Black Cat

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Woman With Turner Syndrome Seeks To Live Life On Her Own Terms

Dear Tazi:

I have a birth defect called Turner Syndrome. It means I was only born with one “X” chromosome instead of two. This means that I am female, but never went through puberty like normal girls. Without the assistance of hormone replacement shots I did not develop secondary sex characteristics, have a pubescent growth spurt, or any number of things that normal women experience. I am grateful that I do not suffer from the emotional/mental defects that sometimes affect women with my condition, but at the same time I am having difficulty coming to terms with my situation.

My parents were devout Christians who did not believe in medical intervention; rather, they believed in prayer. They believed that if they just prayed enough my body would somehow fix itself and I would grow up to be normal. For this reason, they did not allow me to have hormone replacement shots during the critical years of my development. I am a 22 year old woman and I still look and sound like a ten year old girl. I graduated college this past spring and have found a job that gives me financial independence from my parents, which has opened up my options in life.

I realize that available medical treatment cannot undo the damage my parents did through medical neglect, but I am working with my doctor to do what can be done. I am saving my money for breast implants and am content with the decisions I have made, but I made the mistake of mentioning this to my sister who immediately reported it to my parents, who flipped out on me, calling me a sinner and accusing me of every sin in The Book. Tazi, I just want to live a normal life. I do not expect my parents to accept my decisions, but I would like them to respect them. I am having a hard time forgiving them for all they have done wrong to me. Can you offer any advice on how to move on from my past?


Dear “X”:

A person cannot move on from their past, it is a part of who they are; however, you can move forward with your life by accepting your past and the decisions your parents made. These decisions may not have been what you consider to be in your best interest, but your parents were doing their best to raise you according to their own moral beliefs. In other words, they did what they did out of love for you, however distorted from reality their decisions may seem; you can accept this show of love for what it is worth and forgiveness will follow or you can let anger close off your heart.

Your sister was wrong to break your confidence; she should have known how much this news would upset your parents and what a stir it would cause. She owes you an apology and an explanation for her actions. As for your parents, they are not going to change. As much as it hurts to be judged by someone – especially one’s parents – you can fight them with their own fire by pointing out that the teachings of Christ do not condone hurling judgments of sin at others. You have accepted the fact that your parents will never approve of your decisions; you may also have to accept that they will never respect them, either. If they continue to throw accusations at you and accusing you of “every sin in the Book” try to turn the other cheek and silently intone the Serenity Prayer:


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Herbal Supplements Not Always The Path To Better Health

Dear Tazi:

I have a friend who thinks she knows everything just because she has a Masters degree in Biology. I am very into holistic healing, and take a lot of various herbal supplements such as bee pollen and horny goat weed. These supplements have made a huge difference in my overall health, but my friend insists that it is a placebo effect and that these supplements could actually be dangerous; that they haven't been reviewed by the FDA; and that I need to stop taking them immediately.

Tazi, the FDA is a government entity and, quite frankly, I do not trust the government. Bodies as large as the FDA are too easily corrupted. And besides, I firmly believe that the reason the FDA will not give its blessing to supplements is because they are all-natural and therefore cannot be patented by Big Pharma.

For the past five years I have eschewed fluoridated water (and the dentist, because my teeth are fine); over-the-counter medications; and prescription medicines and painkillers, relying solely on herbal supplements. I feel great and have not needed to see a doctor in all that time! Still the same, my friend keeps pestering me to see a doctor and get a full physical. I say I "ain't broke" so why try to fix me? What is your opinion, Tazi?

Feelin' Fine

Dear Feelin' Fine:

I would trust your friend with the Masters degree in Biology; s/he has a lot more scientific knowledge than you appear to have, including the ability to wade through primary research reports that are written in highly scientific language; reports that are often misinterpreted by those without the background to fully understand them. Science is a language unto itself, one that uses common terms in an uncommon way. For example, to a layperson the word "theory" is often used as a synonym for hypothesis (I have a theory!); in scientific terms, a theory is something that takes decades - or even centuries - to confirm. Scientific theories are not just ideas; they have hard evidence on their side.

A recent study, published thisin the past few years, showed that most vitamins (excluding Vitamin D) have only a placebo effect in the amount packaged and/or recommended. In plain English, your body can only process so much of a vitamin at one time; the rest of it ends up in your toilet! Much of the money you are paying for supplements is resulting in very expensive urine.

I will not tell you to stop taking your supplements - I am not a medical doctor, and neither is your friend - but I will suggest that you take your friend's advice and see a physician - and a dentist - for a full check-up. You may feel fine, but serious health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease all have no discernible physical symptoms until the damage they can do is done! The same can be said for dental cavities; you cannot see them (they often start below the gum-line), and you cannot feel them until they reach the sensory nerves, deep inside the tooth, at which point tooth extraction or root canal are necessary.

I suggest that you and your friend reach a compromise that works for both of you: give in to your friend's concern for your health, but have him or her pay for the expense of the doctor's visit. Does this sound fair to you?


P.S. Dr. Paul Donahue - a widely published M.D. - discusses this issue in his column; I bow to his expertise!  Click here to read his words on the subject.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ex Gets The Inheritance - And They Weren't Even Married!

Dear Tazi:

I am so angry I could spit out my Pibb! My father died after a long illness and left his entire estate – including his rental property – to my ex-girlfriend, “Anna”, the woman he had hoped I would marry. My wife is devastated over the loss, since we planned on selling the house and using the money to pay off our own mortgage. I asked that grave-robbing piece of [feces] to do the right thing and sign the house over to me, but she refused. She told me she had no idea that my father was going to leave her anything; that she is just as shocked as everyone else but that she will honor his final wishes and accept his “generous gift”, and that she appreciates the fact that Papa sought to leave her with a secure financial future.

I spoke to my father’s estate attorney, who made it quite clear that Papa’s will was written after I broke up with Anna and that his intent was clear – he wanted her to have a home of her own and the money to keep up with the maintenance and repair (being a single woman she will have to hire someone to do a lot of these things). Papa left me with nothing but a life insurance policy that was just enough to cover his burial expenses (the homestead went to my Mama by default, since her name remained on it even after they divorced).

Anna has been busy decorating the rental property to her own tastes, hiring local contractors to do painting, carpet installation, and other chores. Many of these contractors are my friends, and they cannot speak highly enough of “Miss Anna”, telling me what a peach of a hostess she is and how she makes great pies and lemonade. They are nice enough not to say this in front of my wife, but word gets around a small town and she has heard the gossip. Would it be okay to tell my friends to shut their pie-holes and stop bragging on how great Anna is? Should I tell them some of her lesser qualities? I don’t want to come off as a jerk, but I feel like my nose is being rubbed in my losses.

Twice Burned

Dear Twice Burned:

Your wife is "devastated" over the loss...of your father's money? I simply want to make certain that I read your letter correctly. If this is what you mean, I can see why your father preferred Anna over your wife!

Something tells me there are details being left out of your letter, specifically the details of just how you broke up with Anna; how close she remained to your family and friends; and how well you treated your father. If your father loved Anna like a daughter-in-law and you treated her unfairly, I can see why he would feel protective of her; but to the point of leaving her an inheritance?

I have never heard of a parent disinheriting a child in order to bequeath their fortune on said child’s former romantic partner; I have heard of former connections remaining close to an ex’s parents and treating those parents better than their own children treat them. Who assisted and/or cared for your father during his long illness? Were you there by his side to help him remain in his own home? Was Anna? These are all questions that could shed some light on why he left her an inheritance that was originally intended for you.

I doubt that your friends are trying to rub your nose in your losses (and I do hope you are including the loss of your father among those losses); they are probably just surprised to find that you broke up with a woman like Anna, or maybe are fishing around for the right way to ask if you are okay with one of them asking her on a date. The next time one of your buddies starts bragging on “Miss Anna”, remain calm and tell them that yes, she is a special lady; she just wasn't the one for you, and would appreciate if they kept the comments about your ex to a minimum as it is affecting your wife’s self-esteem. You should never, ever speak poorly of an ex; it only reflects back on your own character.

Perfunctory snuggles,

P.S. Just because a woman is single does not mean she is incapable of handling household maintenance and repairs; however, it was nice of your father to consider the financial worth of these chores. –T.K.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Tazi Recommends: Women Of History

Good Morning, Dear Readers!!

Spring is in the air and I have been in the catnip, which explains why I am feeling extra playful and spunky this morning! This week, in honor of Women's History Month (and International Women's Day yesterday), I am recommending a blog about women in history, appropriately titled,

Women of History
by Melisende from Australia

What I like about this blog is that it digs up interesting information about women who have changed the world, from ancient history to modern time. Just this week the blog oscillated (there's an SAT word for you!) from a history lesson on the Judaic feast of Purim to the current judicial injustices against women in Afghanistan. Women of History is a blog in the traditional sense of a blog: rather than being authored solely by the blogger, it is an offering of previously published blogs and articles researched and gathered by the blogger; allowing for a variety of stories on one broad subject (in this case, women of history) to be gathered in one "blogspot".

Even if you have no interest in women's history, or feel that women's history month acts as a preventative to teaching women's history as part of a regular curriculum, there should be something in this blog that will be of interest to you. Women of History has gathered articles on topics such as political scandal, like "Queen Victoria's Secret Daughter", archaeological discovery (Queen of Sheba), political science (including Mexican Politics), and book reviews.

For those who have fondness for a particular period in history, Women of History has an index page that neatly categorizes its blog entries by historical and cultural period, from Women of The Crusades to Women of Japanese History. The Historical References page offers links to historical maps of ancient and medieval civilizations and links to blogs dedicated to the historical periods or events that Women of History discusses, so this blog/site offers more than just women's history, although that is the overriding theme; rather, it shows the places that women hold in history and immerses the reader into the history that surrounds us all.

The blog entries on Women of History are generally short to medium length, and should take no more than a few minutes to read, which keeps with the whole purpose of a blog - quick, easily digestible bites of information that capture human interest in order to introduce the reader to something new, which I suggest you do right now by putting down that Sunday paper and checking out Women of History!


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