In an effort to attract more readers, my publicist would like me to include more keywords in my blog. For those of you who don’t speak marketese, keywords are the words you type into a search engine like Google, when you’re looking for an article on, oh, I don’t know…Justin Bieber. My publicist thinks if I include more keywords about trending topics then my blog might pop up on more people’s browsers.

Say you’re wondering what the number one selling song in America is today (Gangnam Style), then simply type that into the search engine, and voila! You’ll have your answer. Or maybe you’re more interested in Honey Boo Boo or you can’t believe the fiasco with the NFL Referees. All you have to do is type it in and there it is.

There’s lots of information out there about such interesting topics as Google’s 14th BirthdayNaked Kate Middleton PicturesApple’s iPhone 5 MapsFacebook, YouTube Viral Videos, Emma Watson, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2Miley Cyrus’s New HaircutTaylor Swift and Conor Kennedy, Dancing with the Stars, Cute Kittens, the New Hobbit Trailer, Obama vs Romney, and if Ryan Gosling is going to star in the movie version of 50 Shades of Grey.    

With a little bit of luck, maybe one day my new book, The Door in the Sky, will become the best young adult fantasy and my name, Sandy Klein Bernstein will be right up there on the list of best-selling authors like JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and Cassandra Clare. 

Chocolate Gin Cakes

I was invited to this party and was supposed to bring dessert. I didn’t have time to bake, so I stopped at a Whole Foods on the way over. They had a freezer full of cakes and I thought, “Perfect!” But it was hard to tell what flavors they were because all the labels were on the bottoms of the packages. So I grabbed the first one, held it above my head, and attempted to read the tiny print that appeared to have been written with the point of a needle dipped in ink. I squinted and squinted and could just make out the words Chocolate Gin Cake. What? Why would anyone put gin into a dessert?! So I picked up the next box, held it above my head and saw Vanilla Gin Cake. Seriously? Box after box was a gin cake — every flavor of gin cake under the sun!

So I marched over to the bakery and asked the guy behind the counter, “Excuse me, but do you have any cakes that aren’t made with gin?”

The guy looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Um, ma’am, none of our cakes are made with gin.”

I put my hands on my hips and said, “Well, every single one of those packages says ‘gin cake’!”

He gave me a weary look, put his tray of cannoli down, and followed me to the freezer case. He lifted the first box out and a smirk came over his 21-year-old face. “Ma’am? This says six-inch cake. Chocolate six-inch cake.”

So I grabbed the box, squinted very, VERY hard, and the letters began to form the words Chocolate 6in Cake.

Mortified, I meekly asked, “So, do you have any brownies?”

To which he replied, “Yeah, they’re over there by the vodka pies.”

And that, my friends, is how I discovered I needed reading glasses.

Spell Check

I did something foolish the other day. In a fruitless attempt at being more productive, I tried doing two things at once. I can barely task, let alone multi-task, so that was my first mistake.

It began innocently enough. I was on the phone with my aunt and decided to sneak in a little email time. What’s the harm, I thought. She can’t see what I’m doing. So I clicked on the first email. It was from my daughter asking if I had a nice nap. She knew I hadn’t slept the night before and that I was going to try to close my eyes that afternoon.

“Uh-huh,” I mumbled to my aunt as I hit reply and typed, “No nap because of That F***ing Dog!” Now, what you have to know here is that the dog next door is the sweetest animal in the world, but has a bad habit of barking underneath my window well into the wee hours of the morning. Ergo, its nickname, “That F***ing Dog”.

Next, I clicked on my new publicist’s email. My eyes grew wide as I read the message. “Uh-huh,” I said into the phone as I re-read the email, scarcely believing what I had done.

Apparently, I hadn’t replied to my daughter, but instead had sent my profanity-laced diatribe against a small canine to the woman who had just agreed to market my book. Not the best way to begin a professional relationship.

But this techno mishap can’t compare to the one I pulled a few years before. My daughter’s best friend is named Leigh. Her mom is a friend of mine as well. One day, Leigh’s mom called and asked if I could have Allie call Leigh because their dog, Caileigh, had been diagnosed with cancer and the vet said she only had a couple of days left to live. The girls were both in college at the time, and Leigh had raced home to say goodbye to her beloved pet.

It was early in the morning and I didn’t want to call Allie and wake her, so I sent an email instead. I went out with a friend, and a couple of hours later my phone rang. It was my daughter, crying hysterically. I could barely understand what she was saying and had to keep asking her to calm down. I deciphered bits and pieces and the conversation went something like this:

Allie: I’m (sob) coming home (sob) to see (wracking sob) Leigh!

Me: Really? That’s so nice of you, but honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary.

Allie: WHAT?!? But she’s (sob and a wail) my best friennnnnnnnnddddddd!!!!

Me: I understand, sweetie, and that’s so supportive of you, but I really think a phone call would suffice.

Well, you may have guessed by now that I had accidentally written that Leigh had cancer and only had two days to live, instead of typing Caileigh.

Is it any wonder that I am forbidden from programming the family DVR?


I have a secret. It’s not the kind of secret that would get me kicked off an Olympic shot-put team. And it’s not the kind of secret that would make my boyfriend dump me. It’s not even the kind of secret that a reality show would be interested in. It’s a boring little secret, but shameful nonetheless.

Photo credit: Disney Dreaming

I am addicted to The Wizards of Waverly Place. For those of you who don’t watch the Disney Channel, the show is about a family of wizards. Well, that’s not entirely right. The parents aren’t wizards, although the dad used to be, but their three kids are. Or they will be until they grow up. Because you see, in the Wizarding World, there can only be one wizard per family. So only Selena Gomez or her ugly big brother or her ugly little brother are going to be able to keep their magical powers.

Selena has a boyfriend who becomes cloyingly obnoxious whenever there’s a full moon. And then there’s her fictional boyfriend who is a werewolf (ha ha, a little joke about Justin Bieber there). The show is terribly acted, terribly written and utterly addicting. I really can’t understand what it is about this show that keeps me watching. Every time the ugly little brother does something stupid and the ugly big brother’s eyes grow wide with disbelief, I think, “This is the worst show EVER!” But do I turn it off? No.

And every time Selena’s werewolf boyfriend grows his super-cheesy sideburns and howls at the moon, I think, “Seriously, I have GOT to stop watching this junk!” And then I keep  watching this junk.

Maybe I just love any show that has to do with magic. Maybe that’s why I love My Little Pony.

 Oops — there goes another dirty little secret.

50 Shades of Grout

I’m being beaten up by my own shower. A few weeks ago, a plumber came out and fixed a leaky upstairs toilet. As he was leaving, he said, “I made a few upgrades in your bathroom.” I asked him what upgrades, and he smiled slyly and replied, “You’ll see.”

So the moment he left, I ran up the stairs to my bathroom. I looked inside the shower stall…under the sink…behind the toilet…nothing! I seriously could not figure out what the guy had done.

The next morning, I got into the shower and WHAM! I was slammed into the porcelain tile by the sheer force of the water exploding out of my shower head. Think Niagra Falls on crack. I know that plumber thought he was doing me a favor by increasing the water pressure in my shower, but it literally hurts to wash my hair.

Photo Credit: Adam Amel Rogers

I feel like I’m in a deleted scene from 50 Shades of Grey every time I step into that stall. I think I might even have welts on my back.

I was about to call the plumber to ask him to put it back to the non-threatening trickle it once was, when my teenage son made me put the phone down. He said he LOVED the shower the way it was. Should I be worried? I wondered. Then he announced he was off to play a little D&D. My eyebrows shot up as I choked, “Pardon me?” And he repeated, “D&D! Remember, I’m the Dungeon Master?”

That’s when I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I realized he was referring to the game of Dungeons and Dragons, where he was the Big Kahuna, the Top Dog, the reigning King of Nerds, aka — the Dungeon Master.

God bless the geeks.