My Imaginary Well-Dressed Dog

If you can’t wait to meet My Imaginary Well-Dressed Dog, I just gave you the link, so go ahead. But if you’d like the explanation, here it is:

I think most of us have had at least some exposure to that reservoir of superlative fantasy, home of improbable D.I.Y. projects, and well of inexhaustible mommy-guilt that is Pinterest. Usually, it’s not really my thing. As you know, my style for birthday parties fits better under the “lazy parent” category than the “Pinterest perfect” one. And I’m not one to seek out unsolicited reminders of how awesome I could be if I only dedicated myself to the full-time creation and beautification of cupcakes, party invitations, and other crafty delights.… Read more

A Word From Our Readers, Episode 3

What with the death of Hugo Chavez, the Syrian refugee count reaching 1 million, the coming drone apocalypse, and everything else depressing in the world, we all really need something to cheer us up. So here are my top picks from the last six months of search engine queries that have landed people at Casteluzzo. I notice that among other things, I seem to have become quite a versatile authority on some esoteric facets of pet ownership.

“coffee table repurposed to hold rabbit cage”
“homemade dog cage out of cardboard boxes”
“goat gyms”
“epic rat cages”

You overestimate my inventiveness, as well as my menagerie.… Read more

Goodbye to February

It should not be possible to get the February doldrums in Florida. But I am ready to say goodbye to last month, and feeling like I’m falling apart. I suppose part of it was having a house full of guests the week of Axa’s baptism, not to mention a trip to Disneyworld the day before. Somehow, I ended up on Saturday morning making several dozen mini-muffins whilst simultaneously ironing Axa’s baptism dress, practicing our special musical number, putting the finishing touches on my talk, and loading the car up with a million and one different things for the baptism. I’m surprised I forgot to do as few things as I did.… Read more

A Word from Our Readers, Episode 2

Yes, it’s time again to let our readers weigh in on which topics are most important to them. Here are highlights of the last several months of internet searches landing people on this blog, along with my best attempts at response.

“danger of hubbly bubbly”

Sadly, yes, it’s at least as bad for you as cigarettes. And no, not kosher for Mormons.

“are fake plant cheesy in my livimvg room”

Yes, yes, and thrice yes.

“book called climbing purmesscus”

I’ve never climbed purmesscus, but it sounds kind of putrid, miasmic and viscous.

“can two people teach each other a new language”

Well .… Read more

Scent of a Man

According to Wikipedia, “the role of pheromones in human behavior remains speculative and controversial.”

However, years ago I read this interesting article on a blog about the role our noses play in physical attraction. The author talks about a guy she dated in high school, who was a perfect match, except that he smelled wrong. It wasn’t that he had stinky socks, or had forgotten to take a shower. His personal smell just repelled her. It didn’t matter what cologne or deodorant he used. She couldn’t stand his smell, and eventually broke up with him.

My ears totally pricked up when I read that, because I’d had a similar experience as a teenager with a young man who will remain nameless.… Read more


Yes, I’m in love. It’s hard to imagine a time when Merry and Pippin didn’t belong to our family. I carry them nearly everywhere with me, snuggled and sleeping in what looks to the uninitiated like an innocent little purse. In the evenings, Tony and I (and sometimes Axa) go out on the back porch and watch them climbing up and down the screens.

When we first got them, I would spend a couple of hours every night in a tent with them. They are so inquisitive and hyperactive that in the enclosed space they couldn’t help running all over me, and taking little flying leaps into my hair.… Read more

Junior Fashion Blog

Because I’m such a successful fashion blogger (not!), it doesn’t surprise me a bit that my daughter likes fashion too. Actually, I admit that she’s already way more fashionable than I’ve ever been.  At least I can take credit for her first full year of fashion, though. Here she is ready to party on her first birthday:

That was more or less my last hurrah, since at about 18 months, her favorite phrase suddenly became “do it myself!” As in, “do it myself put on panties” (even though she could never figure out which way was up, and the panties invariably ended up being worn with both legs through one side, resulting in a lot of very stretched-out panties).… Read more


Guess what came out of my mailbox today? My copy of Bridges, the alumni magazine for Brigham Young University’s Kennedy Center for International Studies. And guess what I found on page 14? An article about the Tunisian Revolution. Written by me.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably already heard what I have to say about Tunisia. But if you think it’s as cool as I think it is to see my name in print, you can access the online version here.… Read more

A Word from Our Readers

One of the fun things about having a blog is seeing which search terms lead people to Casteluzzo.

I had no idea I was an “authority” on so many bizarre topics. Whenever I need a good laugh, I just open up my google analytics. So here, for your reading pleasure and edification, is a somewhat annotated list of some of the latest queries.

“why can’t people eat non newtonian fluids”

Because they come from another dimension. Also, the mouth-feel is too chalky.

“how to pronounce grishnakh”

In Italian Orkin or Tunisian Orkin?

“weirdos outside buckingham palace”

It wasn’t me!… Read more