Monday, July 28, 2008



I have signed up to walk in the Buddy Walk, a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital’s Trisomy 21 Center. This is a great center that helps so many children with Down Syndrome. They do research into causes and cures, therapy to help these kids be healthy and happy and reach their full potential. The Center was started in 2002 and is growing. I want it keep growing and help every child that needs it.

So I am walking.

Well obviously, just the mere doing of walking is not supporting this Center. I have to get people to donate money to me walking. They have to pay me to walk. Or pay for me to walk. Whichever it is, I am of the mind that no one really is too impressed that I can, or will, walk. Maybe I haven’t astounded anyone with the lengths that I am willing to walk. If you are wondering, it’s a two mile walk. Don’t ask me how many kilometers that is. I don’t know.

So only three people have sponsored me so far. I am one of them. I am very impressed that I plan to walk two miles. I know from personal experience that I am not accustomed to that long a walk. It will be a challenge for me, and I know that. So I ponyed up some cash (well, some plastic) and sponsored me. My friend Jennifer also sponsored me. Jennifer was recently run over by a truck (no, I am not kidding) and is at home recovering. I guess to someone who has just had multiple surgeries and has been out of commission for a couple of months, two miles seems like a lot of walking. She obviously is impressed by my dedication and wants to support this worthy cause. My cat, Lucy, is my third sponsor.

I believe that my DH helped Lucy make this donation. It was made online and Lucy does not have opposable thumbs with which to use the keyboard. Or, maybe Lucy hypnotized me into doing her online bidding. This would certainly explain the hundreds of cat toys scattered throughout our house. Lucy does love children, so I can see why she would spare some of the cat toy cash she normally filters off the top of my account and put it towards the kids. Possibly, she just wants me out of the house for the day so she can throw a wild cat party. I’m sure she would invite Ricky. They are best friends. I think she would invite Bandit, too. He is a dog, not a cat, and I think annoys her sometimes. But I don’t think she would want to hurt his feelings. I don’t think she would invite Katie Cat. In fact, Lucy would probably want the party to be really loud so that Katie Cat would know Lucy Cat was having a party and Katie Cat was not invited. They can be so cattie that way.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Potential Vice Presidents

I stumbled across a blog that I just love. It is! This blog is written by a seemingly moderate democrat, a very smart Mom who lives close to my neck of the woods. The lv stands for Lehigh Valley, which encompasses the area's just north of the Philly-five-county area known as the Delaware Valley. Lehigh Valley includes Allentown. Anyway, this blogger has been doing a nice job of profiling potential female VP's on both the democrat and republican side. Her coverage is fair and impressive. What's more, she has been researching these women with her daughters! (they are certainly lucky girls)

For someone like me who may be switching parties for the big vote in November, finding some good, well researched and fair information on potential VP candidates is very welcoming. Again, check out

Thinking about politics, women as leaders, and some points made by my new favorite blogger, I have a Monday Morning Quarterbacking thought about Hillary's campaign: Would Hillary have secured the democratic nomination had she been a member of a NPH sorority? Consider these points:

* 17 Presidents since 1877 (basically when fraternities came into being) were members of fraternities.
* 40% of the Senate are greek affiliates.
* 30% of the Congress are greek affiliates.
* 40% of the Supreme Court are greek affiliates.
* 25% of Fortune 500 CEO's are greek affiliates. (I guess I could just say fraternity members, as I suspect that all of these CEO's are men.)

These numbers are all the more impressive when you consider that less than 9% of American's are members of greek letter organizations.

I noted the Fortune 500 CEO's because of their importance in funding campaigns.

When Elizabeth Dole ran for the republican nomination in the '80's, she surprised a lot of pundits with her very strong third place finish. But she did well in the early primaries and caucuses, particularly Iowa, when her fellow Tri Delt Alums rallied support for her amongst their own and other sorority women. They networked as if First Prize in the Homecoming Parade were at stake. It worked. Elizabeth, not known for her support of women's issues, handily got the women's vote.

Hillary Clinton is a strong supporter of women's issues and her largest block of support did come from women. But it was from older, more blue collar women. (Editors note: I am a Hillary Supporter. I am a woman. I admit to being on the older curve. Today I am wearing a white collar, but tomorrow it may be lime green) Obama got the younger democratic women's support. And he got more of the men. But most importantly, he got more of the southern states.

Now let me explain why I think Hillary may have won the nomination if she had been a KKG, or a Pi Phi, or a Chi O or another sorority member. SHE WOULD HAVE WON MORE SOUTHERN STATES!

Greek letter organizations thrive in the south. It is a way of life. It is all important. 'The Machine' that runs everything on the Univesity of Alabama's campus from who will be elected Student Body President to who will win Homecoming Queen purportedly also dictates who will be elected to Alabama state and national government. You cannot win the presidency, or the party nomination, without winning at least 4 southern states. If Hillary had the backing of the greek's - both sorority and fraternity members and alumnae - she would have pulled more younger women and she would have got more male votes. She would have had the support necessary for her to win states like Georgia.

On the Pledge Delegate count, Obama is ahead of Clinton by only 123 delegates. He had 41 more delegates from Georgia, 27 more from North Carolina, 25 more from South Carolina and 30 more from Virginia. If Hillary had been able to tap into the strong, southern, greek letter organization support in these majorly greek states we might well be nominating her as the democratic party candidate. If Hillary could have turned those tables on Obama in Georgia and any one of the other three above, she would be the nominee.

Monday, June 30, 2008

When It Rains It Drains

DH (thats Darling Husband for you newbies) borrowed my car today. He had to haul some junk, and that's when he wants to drive my car. The lesser car, in his mind. (It's an Infiniti, but that's no Mercedes).

Anyway, before dinner - and after he borrwed my car - DH does the cowboy saunter over to me, puffing up his chest in a manly 'I-know-about-cars-and-you-don't' way and says, with a challenge in his voice:

"When was the last time you had your Radiator drained?"

Now I know the damn thing needs the oil changed, it needs new spark plugs now and then and I have to check the pressure in the tires. But Radiator drained? This seriously was a new one to me, but I guess it sounds like something 'they' do.

"I dunno," I say, thinking hard about whether my mechanic has ever mentioned my radiator.

"Well how long have you owned it?" now he sounds condescending.

"Four years," I say, still wondering why I need the radiaotor drained. I"m waiting for him to tell me something like 'didn't you see that widget light come on??? That means your radiator is about to explode!!'.

But no. He looks down and shakes his head, as if exasperated by my ignorance as to radiator draining.

"Well," he starts, and I can tell this means I'm gonna be spending some $$$ on my radiator instead of the Lilly sale. "You're gonna need your radiator drained." Tell me more, my expression says to him.

"Two reasons, " he continues. "First, because you've had the car for so long I"m sure it needs to be drained." He pauses. I"m still not convinced. "And second," he looks down and his voice lets go of that condescending tone, "when I went to put windshield washing fluid in your car I accidentally poured it into the radiator. It needs to be drained."

(insert sounds of Homer Simpson here)

Friday, June 6, 2008

My BIG Date

I'm going to see the Sex In The City movie tonight with about 12 other firends. We're meeting for cosmo's first, at a bar across the parking lot from the Cinema Plex. The bar is certain to be full of thirty and forty something women wearing their highest (and most uncomfortable) heals and most outrageous designer duds in an ode to Carrie Bradshaw. I'm sure that the bar will also be full of men prowling the Sex In The city crowd. (kinda smart of these fellas, don't ya think?)

Anyway, as excited as I am about seeing my 4 fictitious friends again, I'm a bit concerned about their/my life now that we're in our forties. You see, when the show was still on the air (new episodes, not the watered down re-runs), I - like Carrie and the girls - was a thirty something, single gal living in the city. Okay, not THE city, but A city. At about the same time that Charlotte, Miranda and even Samantha began to 'settle down' with a real life (and in Miranda's case move to Brooklyn), I too was moving out of the city to a stylish suburb, moving in with my boyfriend and then getting married.

Can you immagine my dilemma? If 'the girls' aren't happy in their new lives, does that bode well for me?? I was able to judge my success and justify my selfish and singleness by the gals on SITC. If they're not happy, am I? Oh I hope they are all happy and wonderful and touting the cynical yet snappy joys of settled bliss. Cause I AM happy and I really want to see that I'm still following along w/the gals.

I also want to see that they no longer wear Jimmy Choos and Minolo's. Those shoes are expensive, uncomfortable and not appropriate for work or any of the social events I attend. I want to see them wearing Coach and Stuart Weitzman. Whats more, I really want to see them getting into Lilly!! And not just Charlotte. I'm sure that Charlotte can be counted on for her share of Lilly. But I want to see Carrie embrace the pink & green. And how 'bout at least one of them sporting a Lil' 1154 bag. Or garden clogs! I'd accept them wearing Sevens jeans paired w/some Tiffany bangle bracelets. Charlotte cannot continue to be the only J. Crew gal. I like my new wardrobe and I want to see if justified on the big screen.

Other than that, I am anxious to see if the writers ever changed Miranda's babies name. Otherwise, now that she is married to the father, Steve Brady, the little boys name is Brady Brady. Not too smart for a stuffy lawyer like Miranda.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I've been thinking about sororities a lot lately. I was a Tri Delt in college. Then for many years I didn't think about my sorority affiliation at all. Well, maybe once or twice. I met a wild party gal at a big event many years ago; she seemed to be the center of all things social in our city. We were at the same table (a large one with a lot of people) and exchanged the usual polite small talk: 'do you live in town? where do you work? where did you go to school?' and somewhere in the mix one of us mentioned our Tri Delta affiliation and we then bonded immediately over our shared sisterhood. She became a close friend. She's settled w/kids now and living in the mid west and I wonder if she has done the same thing that I've done: Joined the sorority alumnae club.

Let me start by saying that I have been enjoying my sorority alumnae club immensely. I am so inspired talking with the alum's who, in their 80's now, were the women that paved the way for my generation to be more than 50% of college students. And I love that they are active and having fun. I am energized by the younger women, just a few years out of school and already so accomplished. Hanging out with them makes me feel younger, while hanging out with the older alums gives me a great sense of pride and tradition. And, I've become friends with a really nice woman around my own age who has a young daughter, about the same age as the baby girl that my husband and I are trying to adopt. She has been such a great support and so fun to spend time with.

But, I have to confess that I had a selfish reason for reconnecting with my sisterhood. RUSH! Not mine, but my daughter-to-be's. (not to mention my cherished niece who will be entering college in less than 4 years in the SOUTH where sorority recruitment is absolutely BRUTAL!) I have to protect these girls, my niece and my daughter-to-be. I have to do everything that I can to make sure they don't get their hearts broken if they don't receive a bid to 'the best' house on campus. Now I know this is a lot of ego and pride talking, but Tri Delt does appear to be one of the stronger chapters at most of the campuses where there is a chapter. As silly as it may seem now, I do remember sorority rush and how all important it was, how my entire college life would - it seemed to me at the time - just be over if I didn't 'get into' either Tri Delt or Kappa. In retrospect, I think I would have been every bit as happy in any of the sororities on my campus. I became good friends with girls in many different sororities and they were all really nice. And, I would have had a great college life if I had not pledged a sorority at all. But those are things I know now. Then, it was all important. It just may be all important in 4 years for my niece, and in a bit more time than that for my daughter. I really want them to have the opportunity to choose.

My newly Midwestern friend has a daughter now and I just wonder if she's reached out to her alumnae chapter in order to preserve something special to pass on to her daughter. I know this woman would be a great addition to her local alumnae chapter - she'd be organizing all of the fun events and making friends with a lot of really nice women.

I don't know if the women in my local alumnae chapter were 'nice' when they were collegiates. Maybe they were bitchy or snobby. I don't know. I do know that they are really nice women now that I am glad to have as friends. I also know that in trying to reclaim some sort of a 'right' for my offspring, I have reclaimed a part of my own past that I am terribly proud of and glad to still have. Yeah, yeah this is a bit sappy. Believe me, I am not about to break into a sorority chant (just yet).

But btw: I love the show ‘Greek’ on ABC Family.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


lately I've been totally amazing myself. I know, it doesn't take much. But that bar has been set a bit higher recently. Recently, I've done things that I never thought I could, or would, do.

In an effort to save my sorority alumnae club some money - and quite honestly, in an inpatient burst of energy - I designed and wrote our website. I had calls in to professionals who would charge $300 - $400, but none were returning my calls or emails. I decided to get the ball rolling by at least getting our web hosting site set up. From there, I ventured into the free, pre made template site and a few hours later we had a completed website. I even uploaded pictures. Now, granted, creating a website on a premade template is like baking a great cake from a Betty Crocker box mix. But - I still did it. (I'll make the cake later). And, everyone LOVES it!!! It feels soooo good. (Check it out at

Next, I started to help my husband lay a new tile floor in our kitchen. I mixed cement, smeared it down and placed tiles with spacers inbetween them. But hold your 'Wow'!, 'Pow'! and 'Zowie' - next I used a wet saw to cut the tiles to fit tight spaces!! Oh yes I did!

And now, I will learn new ways to express my excitement while avoiding the overuse of the exclamation mark on my keyboard. I feel an independance that my own apartment and first car do not match. I feel like I am in on a secret that only men know about. The secret feeling of accomplishment and the high of brag rights. I feel a knot in my lower back, S1 to be exact, that feels worse with each move I make. I would reach for an Advil, but my shoulders are stiff and the slightest movement causes a sharp, burning sensation to shoot up and down my spine.

But I feel gooood.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Update on Oprah's show on Puppy Mills

Yes, I've long said that our state has a horrific legacy of having some of the most and worst (they are all bad) PUPPY MILLS. Thanks to Main Line Animal Rescue and Oprah Winfrey the plight of these poor, innocent creatures has reached a greater audience.

I am forwarding the Main Line Animal Rescue site for three reasons. First, it contains some updates on some of the poor dogs featured on Oprah's program. Second, it contains a brief outline of Governor Rendell's proposed legislation that would attempt to make at least some of the conditions in these mills a bit better. And, more importantly, an easy link where you can enter you zip code and get the email and telephone numbers for your state representatives so that you can call their office and demand that they support Governor Rendell's legislation.

I contacted both of my representatives. Senator Andrew Dinneman's staffer immediately told me in no uncertain terms that Senator Dinneman was supporting Governor Rendell's legislation. Moreover, this staffer was well informed. He told me that the proposed legislation on Main Line Animal Rescue's site has been withdrawn due to fierce resistance by the Sporting Dog Clubs (i.e.. The fox hunt clubs) Anyway, Governor Rendell is about to propose a new bill that has language excluding the kennels for fox hunting dogs.

I also contacted my Assembly Representative, Carole Rubley. Her staffer had no idea what I was talking about but took down a message that she badly mangled, at least judging by what she repeated back to me. To make sure that my point got across to my representative, I emailed Carole Rubley my demand that she support the Governor's legislation. She is representing my district and I reminded her that if she did not support this legislation I would write to all 4,000 plus voters in Chesterbrook advising them that Carole Rubley did not support the crackdown on Puppy Mills, so that these voters could support her opponent come re election time.

There are more animal lovers in this state than there are commercial breeders, back yard breeders, pet store owners and even 'sport dog clubs'. But, the former have organized and organized well to thwart any attempts to help the poor animals that they exploit, abuse and torture. Hopefully Oprah's program will be the catalyst for decent people to organize and let their state senator's and assembly representatives know in no uncertain terms that they - the people of Pennsylvania - REFUSE to allow these conditions to continue.

Your state senator and assembly person represent YOU. YOU tell THEM how they must vote. It's that simple. This is not a republican or democratic issue. This is a humane issue.

Just do it. Take 5 minutes and call both of your representatives and tell them that you insist that they support Governor Rendell's Puppy Mill legislation. If you've ever had a pet that loved you and that you loved, do it for them.

I can tell you from first hand knowledge that the stories shown on Oprah's show and detailed on Main Line Rescue's site are not exaggerated. They are just average samplings of the horrible conditions that will exist as long as people buy pets from a pet store and/or the legislature allows them to exist.

PS - please forward this email to anyone you know in Pennsylvania who cares about animals.
The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:

Shortcut to:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

End Of An Error

Things change, and not always for the better.

I recently got the news that Henny's Restaurant and Bar in Stone Harbor is closing. Sold to a condo developer, because, as you may or may not know there is apparantly a need for yet another condo in Stone Harbor. Obviously, the developers aren't aware that second home sales along the Jersey shore are down over 33%. But alas, I am just b...'ing because I feel like a part of my youth is disappearing.

I spent so many summers nights, usually Friday nights, singing, dancing and partying with friends at Henny's. It was a small, dark and crampted place where the band (CTO for years) had to actually stand on top of the bar. It was hot and sweaty and the drinks were watered down, or so I told myself on countless occasions. But I loved it.

I would rally for a 'One Last Time' night at Henny's, but there is no way that all of the old 'regulars' from the many years would be able to fit inside for the last song and dance. Still, whenever I hear Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline', I think of Henny's and my summers in Avalon and Stone Harbor.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Friend Of Moms, aka FOMS
I was having coffee the other day with my friend and co blogger, and her adorable little toddler. I enjoy having coffee with the two of them. We talked about the upcoming one hour lights off, the depleting rain forests and just how the heck a bunch of math majors allowed the sub prime mortgage fiasco. And that was my discussion with adorable, toddler child. Mom and I talked Lilly, Petunia Picklebottom and a few, vague recollections of what life was like when we were young and single.

But back to adorable, toddler child and me. She drew me her opinion as to how the sub prime mortgage fiasco began. She had two large circles and a third, smaller one that she connected with a bunch of eratic lines. I agreed. Greedy lender and greedy brokers obviously were represented by the larger circles, with the smaller circle representing the guy that desperately wants a home but can't really afford the house he wants, unless the two big greedy circles convince him that he can - for a brief time. Then the eratic lines appear when the rates jump to near usery levels. Now, this adorable, toddler child is the product of a very intelligent gene pool so I am not surprised that she grasped the whole mess and was able to convey it so precisely in such short order. But I suddenly became very aware that this child was very comfortable sharing her opinions with me. After all, this was a potentially dicey political subject and she didn't really know my right or left leanings. She just trusted that she could have this discussion with me.

That's when I started to wonder if our relationship would continue on this trusting journey as she and I grew older. Would she confide in me which boys in her class she thought were the cutest? Or maybe she'd seek my counsel on how to tell her Dad that she might not want to be a Nittany Lyon. Maybe she'd ask my advice on some things she didn't feel quite comfortable talking to her Mom and Dad about. Afterall, we all know that when we were teenagers our parents didn't know anything. But did our Mom's friends know anything?

What kind of Friend of Mom will I be? I hope that I am the kind that can support my friend and her adorable, toddler child. (Even when this child is seventeen, she will still be an adorable, toddler child to me) As I get closer to bringing my own adorable, toddler child home to parent, I hope that my friends will do the same for me. I don't know if this is the Village it takes, but I do find comfort in the thought that a Friend of Mom may be there to fill in the cracks so that no adorable, toddler child falls through them.

Schmaltzy? Oh yeah. But keep in mind I was drinking mocha java.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Blog?

My Darling Husband (I'm spelling that out because he thinks that when I am referring to him as DH I am calling him a Dick Head...hmmmm....), okay, my DH and our CPA have been plotting against me and I feel that I have no choice but to command a meeting with the four of us. Me, DH, CPA and someone from the IRS to mediate.

This all started awhile back. Early February to be exact (sort of), about the same time that I started writing this blog. Initially, DH supported my every post. He thought it gave me a great outlet for my pent up, frustrated creative energies (or not). He coaxed me to 'go on upstairs and write something on your blog'. 'Thats funny, babe. Good writing, go write more', he would say as I'd stir him from a sound sleep in front of the TV to read him my latest post. I think he got a kick out of being the subject of many of my posts. Afterall, I'm sure he thought, no body reads my blog except a few of my friends who have no choice to read it because I quiz them on the contents. But as with most men, DH has a few disconnected wires in his reasoning, and it did not occurr to him that some of my friends are married to some of his friends.

Enter DH's friend and CPA and new reader of this blog. CPA apparrantly loved this blog, at first. Afterall, there were some funny anecdotes about DH. Guys LOVE funny anecdotes about their friends. And DH seemed to like the friendly ribbing he'd get from CPA about these anecdotes. I was sure that CPA was looking forward to seeing me in person to compliment me on my new venture. Afterall, he is our accountant and would, I was sure, have some advice on how I could retire on the $1.22 I earn every few days from this blog.

I couldn't wait to meet with him. CPA that is. We have met, often. He was in our wedding party, afterall. But I couldn't wait to meet with CPA in a >
professional, business person type of a meeting. Well, you can immagine my dissappointment when DH refused to include me in our annual tax meeting with CPA. I'd been prompting and prompting (yeah, yeah, nagging and nagging) DH to make that appointment with CPA. I was stunned last week when DH said "I made it already. I already met with him".

Met with him!!! Met with CPA withoutme!!

"But I need to be there to explain all of my paperwork!" I stomp my foot for emphasis.

"You stapled detailed notes to each peice of paperwork, including your W2 forms." DH replies with a condescending tone. "though," he adds, "I am sure that he doesn't need these notes. I'm pretty sure he recognized a W2 form".

"But -" I continue.

I get the hand. THE HAND! Am I married to Oprah now?!? I really start to stomp around now. "I had things I needed to discuss!!!" "I had to explain my goodwill reciepts!!!" "I needed to point out the receipts to charities!!!" "I needed to talk to him about my blog!!!"

I got the hand again. DH looked down in silence.

The blog. I knew instantly there was something going on with the blog. My heart skipped a beat and I held my breath, fearing the worst. No, no - please don't tell me there is a problem with my blog. More silence.

And then DH spoke: "He's afraid to meet with you because he's afraid he'll end up on your blog."

(Well thats just the silliest thing I've ever head)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Danger Is My Middle Name

A Boy Named Sue, and a Theory of Names
Published: March 11, 2008
During his 1969 concert at San Quentin prison, Johnny Cash proposed a paradigm shift in the field of developmental psychology. He used “A Boy Named Sue” to present two hypotheses:
1. A child with an awful name might grow up to be a
relatively normal adult.
2. The parent who inflicted the name does not deserve to be executed.
I immediately welcomed the Boy Named Sue paradigm, although I realized that I might be biased by my middle name (Marion). Cash and his ambiguously named male collaborator, the lyricist Shel Silverstein, could offer only anecdotal evidence against decades of research suggesting that children with weird names were destined for places like San Quentin.
Studies showed that children with odd names got worse grades and were less popular than other classmates in elementary school. In college they were more likely to flunk out or become “psychoneurotic.” Prospective bosses spurned their résumés. They were overrepresented among emotionally disturbed children and psychiatric patients.
Some of these mental problems might have been genetic — what kind of parent picks a name like Golden Rule or Mary Mee? — but it was still bad news.
Today, though, the case for Mr. Cash’s theory looks much stronger, and I say this even after learning about Emma Royd and Post Office in a new book, “Bad Baby Names,” by Michael Sherrod and Matthew Rayback.
By scouring census records from 1790 to 1930, Mr. Sherrod and Mr. Rayback discovered Garage Empty, Hysteria Johnson, King Arthur, Infinity Hubbard, Please Cope, Major Slaughter, Helen Troy, several Satans and a host of colleagues to the famed Ima Hogg (including Ima Pigg, Ima Muskrat, Ima Nut and Ima Hooker).
The authors also interviewed adults today who had survived names like Candy Stohr, Cash Guy, Mary Christmas, River Jordan and Rasp Berry. All of them, even Happy Day, seemed untraumatized.
“They were very proud of their names, almost overly proud,” Mr. Sherrod said. “We asked if that was a reaction to getting pummeled when they were little, but they said they didn’t get that much ribbing. They did get a little tired of hearing the same jokes, but they liked having an unusual name because it made them stand out.”
Not too much ribbing? That surprised me, because I had vivid memories of playground serenades to my middle name: “Marion . . . Madam Librarian!” (My tormentors didn’t care that the “Music Man” librarian spelled her name with an “a.”) But after I looked at experiments in the post-Sue era by revisionists like Kenneth Steele and Wayne Hensley, it seemed names weren’t so important after all.
When people were asked to rate the physical attractiveness and character of someone in a photograph, it didn’t matter much if that someone was assigned an “undesirable” name. Once people could see a face, they rated an Oswald, Myron, Harriet or Hazel about the same as a face with a “desirable” name like David, Gregory, Jennifer or Christine.
Other researchers found that children with unusual names were more likely to have poorer and less educated parents, handicaps that explained their problems in school. Martin Ford and other psychologists reported, after controlling for race and ethnicity, that children with unusual names did as well as others in school. The economists Roland Fryer and Steven Levitt reached a similar conclusion after controlling for socioeconomic variables in a study of black children with distinctive names.
“Names only have a significant influence when that is the only thing you know about the person,” said Dr. Ford, a developmental psychologist at George Mason University. “Add a picture, and the impact of the name recedes. Add information about personality, motivation and ability, and the impact of the name shrinks to minimal significance.”
But even if a bad name doesn’t doom a child, why would any parent christen an infant Ogre? Mr. Sherrod found several of them, along with children named Ghoul, Gorgon, Medusa, Hades, Lucifer and every deadly sin except Gluttony (his favorite was Wrath Gordon).
You can sort of understand parents’ affection for the sound of Chimera Griffin, but Monster Moor and Goblin Fester? Or Cheese Ceaser and Leper Priest? What provokes current celebrities to name their children Sage Moonblood Stallone and Speck Wildhorse Mellencamp?

“Today it’s all about individuality,” Mr. Sherrod said. “In the past, there was more of a sense of humor, probably because fathers had more say in the names.” He said the waning influence of fathers might explain why there are no longer so many names like Nice Deal, Butcher Baker, Lotta Beers and Good Bye, although some dads still try.
“I can’t tell you,” Mr. Sherrod said, “how often I’ve heard guys who wanted their kid to be able to say truthfully, ‘Danger is my middle name.’ But their wives absolutely refused.”
Is it possible — I’m trying to be kind to these humor-challenged fathers — that they think Danger would be a character-building experience? Could there be anything to the paternal rationale offered in Johnny Cash’s song, the one that stopped Sue from killing his father: “I knew you’d have to get tough or die, and it’s the name that helped to make you strong”?
I sought an answer from Cleveland Kent Evans — not because he might have gotten into fights defending Cleveland, but because he’s a psychologist and past president of the American Names Society. Dr. Evans, a professor at Bellevue University in Nebraska, said there is evidence for the character-building theory from psychologists like Richard Zweigenhaft, but it doesn’t work exactly as Sue’s father imagined it.
“Researchers have studied men with cross-gender names like Leslie,” Dr. Evans explained. “They haven’t found anything negative — no psychological or social problems — or any correlations with either masculinity or effeminacy. But they have found one major positive factor: a better sense of self-control. It’s not that you fight more, but that you learn how to let stuff roll off your back.”
After hearing that, I began to reconsider my own name. Although I’d never shared Sue’s Oedipal impulse — I realized my father couldn’t have anticipated “Music Man” — I’d never appreciated those playground serenades, either. But maybe they served some purpose after all. So today, to celebrate the Boy Named Sue paradigm shift, I’m using my middle name in my byline for the first time.
Also for the last time. As Sue realized when it came time to name his own son, you can take a theory only so far.
"Bad Baby Names." Michael Sherrod and Matthew Rayback. Ancestry Publishing, 2008.
"First Names and First Impressions: A Fragile Relationship." K.M. Steele, L.E. Smithwick. Sex Roles, 1989.
"The Effect of First Names on Perceptions of Female Attractiveness." W.E. Hensley, B.A. Spencer. Sex Roles, 1985.
"The Psychological impact of names."R.L. Zweigenhaft, K.N. Hayes, C.H. Haagen. Journal of Social Psychology, 1980.
"A Boy Named Sue." Shel Silverstein.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Husbands, Labels and the Family Dog

Men go thru an amazing transformation when they get married. They forget how to do laundry, loose their way to the grocery store and become unable to read the labels on common household grocery items. It’s true. My husband, for instance (because as you know, my poor, long suffering husband is the be all and end all of examples) hasn’t done actual laundry in 2 years. Now, he lived on his own for about 10 years before we married, and I knew him for most of that time. And in all that time, I never saw (or smelled) him wearing dirty clothing and I know he wasn’t out buying new stuff every other day. Somehow it was getting cleaned, and judging by the clothes washer & dryer and laundry detergent in his condo, I have a good feeling he was doing his laundry.

I also saw food in his refrigerator when he lived on his own. Real stuff, not just take out and restaurant left overs. But now, it’s a different story. Now he leaves me little lists, or if I’m out doing errands – and he’s half a block from the Guenardi’s – he calls me on my cell phone to tell me “what else I need to pick up at the store.” In many ways I prefer this arrangement, because, as you’ll see, my DH’s ability to choose appropriate grocery items is somewhat lacking, and deteriorating quickly. No, I’m not just referring to the time he brought home a box of macaroni and cheese, 2 lobster tails and a can of chopped clams and proudly placed them before me so that I could make dinner.

I couldn’t be mad at a guy who thought lobster tails were a quick take out meal. Besides, he looked so cute in his clean college sweatshirt (thanx to me) and shiny, thick, lustrous, healthy, blonde hair. Later that same night I decided to give the dog a bath. Now, our shower has a nice sized tile ledge surrounding it. I like to keep the shampoos down at the far end. I keep the dogs shampoo close by and if you’ve guessed where this post is going by now, you’re right. Yes, I saw that the big bottle of blue Shampoo and Conditioner In One that I had recently purchased for the pooch was now half empty. If you’ve met my dog, you know he doesn’t get bathed that frequently. There was, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, only one logical explanation.

“Honey!” I called DH.

“Yes, dear,” his obedient reply.

“What shampoo have you been using?” me.

“That blue stuff. It’s really good, where’d you get it?” DH.

“Petsmart.” I reply. “It’s the dog’s shampoo.”

He runs upstairs immediately. “But it says ‘Shampoo and Conditioner in One’.” And he points to the label.

I just continued staring at him in disbelief. “And under that?” I finally say.

“Oh. For Dogs.”

Biolage Shampoo: $16.99
Biolage Conditioner: $18.99
Dog’s shampoo/conditioner in One: $6.00
Husband uses dog’s shampoo/conditioner: PRICELESS.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I've been perusing the ads on craigslist, looking for potential baby sitters, nanny's or a combination of the two. It's hard to look at other people's advertisements - their discription of the perfect job for them, and not think about how I could find my own "perfect job". I've got a few in mind. One of the following just may end up on craigslist or

I am an educated (college plus 3) professional, experienced in court room drama, research, writing, negotiating and some (minor) computer skills looking for work as a person who sits at a table in a cafe, reading magazine's, drinking coffee and commenting on the world in general. I am intelligent, personable and verbose, and promise much witty banter. If there is a subject that I must comment upon that I have no earthly idea about, I am diligent enough to just wing it and make stuff up.
Prefer hours between 10:30 am and 3:00 pm. Rates negotiable but must be 6 figure salary.

Professional experienced in research, writing and big fan of Matt Lauer and HGTV available to watch your television for you and leave you a note telling you what you missed. Avaliable Monday thru Friday, mid day only.

I'll write posts on your site for big $$. If I do not know the subject matter, I'll read someone elses blog and then add a few one liners of my own and post that. Blogging rates negotiable.

Monday, March 3, 2008


No, not me yet (I'm gonna see how many years I can hold at 40). My friend (to protect the names of the innocent, and of my friend, lets just call her Georgia) is turning 45 and saying "I'm old now". But isn't age just a number? Okay, maybe not if you are a health professional, a model, an actress, a professional wresler, etc. etc....But it is a number!!!

We women seem to find these ages that begin with a "4" very, shall we say, uncomfortable. What do we do now? Can we still wear our little mini skirts and Jimmy Choo's? How 'bout long hair? Can we still have wild, long hair? Do we have to put down our Appletini's and learn to play bunko? Is it time to be a grown up and stop the 'just getting started' phase?

I think not!!

Just look who else is a "4" something. Christie Brinkley. She gave birth - twice - in her forties. She got rid of a jerk and looks fabulous. Andie McDowell! Another fabulous fortysomething, who also had a baby in her forties. Cheryl Crow!! Still rockin' both on stage and in her (adopted) infants nursery. Demi Moore - well, maybe a bit too freekish to make my point. My point being that women in their forties can be as sexy, young and fabulous as they want to be because by this point in their life they have the confidence to do anything they want.

A classic example of a woman who has everything and is in her forties is (drum roll please) Barbie! Yes, my friend 'Georgia' shares not just a number "4", but a zodiac sign with Barbara Millicent Roberts. Barbie was born on March 9th, 1959. And talk about accomplished, she's held more careers in her short 48 years than anyone else I know. She's been a model, fashion designer, tennis star, figure skater, veterinarian, nurse, teacher, nascar driver - she was even a contestant on American Idol. She is definetly not afraid to 'just get started'.

Barbie has also weathered more lawsuites than most pharmacutical companies. She's been accused of discrimination, of anti Islamic beliefs and of promoting anorexia (that last one has some validity. In 1965, Slumber Party Barbie came with a book on how to loose weight that said 'don't eat'). One might wonder, given her fifty some careers, why she never went to law school?

And then there's the issue of never been married. Barbie began her romance with Ken when she was a toddler (1961). She's bought countless wedding gowns, but he never actually married her. Being a liberated woman, in 2004 she finally kicked him to the curb. But then she took the dud back. Probably because no other plastic, anatomically incorrect dolls came knocking at her many doors.

She's 48 and has no grey hair, no wrinkles, no need for botox and she still has a 36 - 18 - 33 frame (that courtesy of research conducted at the University Central Hospital in Helsinki, Finland. No, I'm not making that up!)

She's got a little sister, a lot of best friends, about 40 pets....but, Georgia, guess what Barbie does not have. A baby (probably because she lacks the 17 - 22% body fat required to mensturate, and therefore would be unable to get pregnant - also courtesy of University Central Hospital). So, while it's nice to know that we "40" somethings are in good company, it's also nice to know that we're better off than the more famous fortysomethings.

Ah yes, have a HAPPY birthday.

Sunday, March 2, 2008



The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides), as a combat vessel, carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (i.e. fresh water distillers!).

However, let it be noted that according to her ship's log, "On July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and
men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."

Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping."

Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores , arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

On 18 November, she set sail for England In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchant ships, salvaging only the rum aboard each.

By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland . Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of
single malt Scotch aboard by dawn. Then she headed home.

The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February,
1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky, and 38,600 gallons of water.


Friday, February 29, 2008


I have to say that I've never wanted to go to work with my husband. That's probably because he doesn't have his own band or TV show. If he did, I'd probably spend a lot of time wailing "Robbieeeee! Can't I be in the show?!?"

As it is, he's a trial lawyer. And I know enough not to mess with his cases. Occasionally I may offer some advise:

Me: "You should demand more money, you're client's a sweet little old lady! The jury will love her."
Robbie Roberto: "My client's not that sweet. She hit someone."
Me: "Well I'm sure they deserved it."
Robbie Roberto: "No they really didn't. My client hit the wrong person, then she tripped on a floor mat and fell over and hurt her hand. It's all healed now, though. We just want her emergency room bill paid."
Me: "So she is injured."
Robbie Roberto: "She was injured. She's better now. And besides, she doesn't make a very good witness. She's kind of nasty and cranky. And very robust."

And then, that's where I could come in a save the day. I could lock my Darling Husband's client in the Little-Old-Lady's room and dress up like a sweet, frail little old lady and go and testify for her. I'd wear a grey haired wig, hold a scarf over my head and use a cane to get to the stand. My voice would quiver and I'd cry as I described the horror of feeling my feet go up from under me and watching my long, long, long life pass before my eyes. I'd weep over the fact that I missed my dear grandson, whatshisname's birthday party because I was layed up in bed with an injured hand. (and I had $5.00 for him!) I need that hand, you see, to hold my cane. Without it, I can't get around. And I need it to turn on the remote control so that I could watch Judge Judy. Meijen just wasn't the same when played with one hand. I'd remember to display correct injured hand, and I'd still be wearing a bandage. Just for affect, I'd call the Judge 'Dear' and the other attorney 'Sonny'.

I'd win that trial for my DH and then he'd be sooo happy with me. Of course, in the beginning he might be a bit annoyed ("Patti! You've got some esplainin' to do") But once the trial was all over, and we won the crabby old gal a million bucks (minus DH's cut), we'd have a laugh with our good friends Evil Fred and Ethline and jet off to our new vacation house in St. John..........(oh, the dreams of a blogger)

Thursday, February 28, 2008


The 2008 presidential election has become the most important election of our county’s life. Sure, the last two elections were respectively the most important presidential elections at the time, but we messed them up so now we get a ‘do over’. (We actually got a ‘do over’ in 2004 but weren’t really paying attention. Unfortunately for us, unlike the SAT’s, in real time presidential elections we don’t get to throw out our lowest number and try again. We have to wait another four years.). So anyway, here we are.

We can stay the course as far as our international policies are concerned (in other words: Iraq – we don’t have enough armed forces to have any other international policies at the moment), albeit this time with a Commander in Chief who did more than read magazine’s at an Army Reserve post in Alabama.

We can preserve our ‘family values’. Yes, yes, we’ve been doing that with our current born again, evangelical leader. (Just look how well he preserved the families in New Orleans and Mississippi by putting their fates in the hands of a guy who ran horse shows). But this time, we’d have a Commander in Chief that not only has a name straight out of a Mark Twain book, but a penchant for putting his religion where his governor’s pen is by pardoning Arkansas inmates who have become born again Christians.

We can make history by electing a black man president for the first time. Of course, this gentleman is only black (or African American) when you consider his father’s side of his ancestry. He’s white (not sure if that is an actual ethnic group, maybe he’s Irish decent, which would explain the Teddy Kennedy endorsement) when you consider his mother’s side of his ancestry. Let’s just say he’d be the first president born in Hawaii.

Or, we can make history by electing a woman. Senator Clinton’s win would not be the first time a relative of a former president is elected president. We did that with the Adams, Roosevelt’s and Bush’s. (Two out of three ain’t bad). And speaking of Roosevelt’s, a Senator Clinton win would not be the first time that a first lady all but became president.

So we’ve got some good choices. A war veteran who hates (most) lobbyists, is pretty good on his environmental policies and depending upon your views on the war in Iraq has a good or an abominable chance for steering us away from the international ice burgs. Or, we’ve got a real nice guy who plays a pretty good base guitar and is willing to give born again Christian’s a second chance. Of course, if we (or anyone else) ever do catch Osama Bin Laden and he becomes a born again Christian, the Arkansas Governor may not be the best person to be holding the pardoning pen. We’ve also got one of the most charismatic speakers since Bill Clinton running on the ‘change’ slogan, and apparently Access Hollywood is about to blow the lid of this campaign by revealing that that Illinois Senator prefers boxers to briefs. (No, I’m not kidding. Someone went to college to learn how to interview a potential United States President about his underwear choices). I certainly hope that the Senator from New York isn’t asked if she’s a thong gal.

We’ve got a tough choice on at least three of these candidates. And, like most people who know a lot about our own jobs and not much else (and sometimes not much about our own jobs, either), it can be helpful to seek advice and opinions from others as to which of these candidates would be able to lead our country.

This is where the media and the internet come in very handy. If you search hard enough, you will find out that Senator Clinton has endorsements from more congressional leaders than any other candidate, that former secretary of state Madeline Albright has endorsed her and former Federal Reserve Chairman Allan Greenspan called her “unquestionably capable” of handling the job of President. But he is a life long republican and states he will probably vote republican. That sure sounds like a potential endorsement for Senator McCain. Senator McCain has also been endorsed by the New York Times and most republican governors. And Senator Obama has picked up an impressive array of endorsement from congress people and governors. But his early endorsements were much more impressive and garnered the attention that catapulted his campaign into high gear. Yes my fellow American’s, you should vote for Barrack Obama because Oprah says so and, more importantly, so does ‘OBAMA GIRL’. Obama Girl’s internet site has received more than two million hits! And now to find that the media giant Access Hollywood is coming out with the boxer over briefs revelation, how could anyone NOT feel confident that this man will lead us to the Promised Land.

Now that the election stuff seams to be taken care of, I have some other pressing issues where I need some crucial advice. It’s tax time so I’m hoping that Miley Cyrus will give an interview about that subject. I’m hoping Britney Spears will surface so I can get some advice on a zoning question that’s come up in my township. And where is Paris Hilton when you need good, solid advice on dietary restrictions for a diabetic child with celiac’s disease???

Monday, February 18, 2008

W-O-R-K is a 4 Letter Word

Work means so many different things to so many different people. Some people get up early each morning and fight traffic to get to work. Other's roll out of bed and sit at a computer, complaining about how hard it is to work at home. Work could be chasing after a 2 year old or trying to reason with a 5 year old. Or, it could mean chasing after a non paying client or trying to reason with a 40 year old boss. Some people are stressed because they hate their work. Others are stressed because they are out of work and looking for it. Some people lie through their nasty little teeth about how much they love their work. They are usually the kind of people that I end up working for. I hate them almost as much as I hate my work.

My sister is one of those people who rolls out of bed to her computer so she can be creative and come up with movie and TV scripts. I don't think that's very hard work. In fact, I think my work is fodder for her work. I think that my work serves only to create dialogue for the TV show 'The Office'. It's just too coincidental how the things that go on in my office end up as story lines and dialogue on 'The Office'. Oh sure, they change the names and sometimes make a guy a girl, and visa versa. But it's the same. I'm pretty sure when my sister finishes with her tough day at the office, ie her living room, she unwinds at happy hour with a bunch of other writers and regails them with the news of MY day. And then it ends up on shows like, The Office. (My whole life used to play out on the comedy, Ally McBeal. I guess my sister's friends must have moved on to new writing gigs).

Anyway, I'm on to you, sis. And while we're at it, some of my friends would like it if you stopped turning their real life work drama's into your story lines. In particular, my friend (well, to protect her privacy, lets just call her....Ainsley), a nurse, says she has never, EVER, (or, maybe her words were hardly ever that much) had sex with a hot doc in the supply room of the E/R. And my friend, (um, lets call her...Stacy), a flirty female exec, has never 'serviced' the Fed Ex delivery man. Our relative (lets go with Maureen), a stay at home Mom, never chased down neighbors - to the point of driving up onto the lawn - to find out where she could 'cop her some good nanny'. (Well, that may have happened. Maureen tends to get what she wants).

Anyway, we like to hate our work in our own ways and want you to stop making other people laugh and enjoy themselves by entertaining them with our four letter words. (and we'd also feel pretty good if, every once in a while, you had to deal with traffic to get to your work).

Friday, February 15, 2008

What a Mighty Good Man (What a Mighty, Mighty Gooood Man)

Well I am finished most of my valentine's day chocolate (even the stuff I bought myself today at half off) and am ready to blog.

I have to say how wonderful blogging has been for me, so far. It's not just cathartic, but it's also inspiring. Particularly, it has inspired my darling husband. Now that he is aware that his every move may become fodder for my blogging, his behavior has changed in dramatic and positive (and positively shocking) ways.

Take for instance, oh, lets say: Valentines Day. Last year I got nadda. And, we were snowed in! The serious kind of snowed in such that DH couldn't even sneak out and get a card and some flowers last minute. He tried to 'make' me a card, but that just didn't fly with me. I don't even like arts and crafts when professionals make them.

But this year....WOW! Valentine's Day started for me on the 13th. DH made me a fabulous dinner and gave me roses. I also got a Valentines Day card (Hallmark) in the mail....from one of our cats. On the morning of the 14th, I got a beautiful, store bought card from DH along with a BIG box of Godiva chocolates (yes, its all gone now. I finished it off by days end). The we went to a very nice restaurant for dinner and I was given a lovely gift certificate for a massage (already booked for me this Saturday!). I did laugh and ask if the blogging has anything to do with this fabulous treatment. DH says 'I know I can't stop you so I guess I better just make it good'.

Then there's the matter of the dishes. 'Doing them', that is. I didn't think that DH knew where the dishwasher was, let alone the sink. DH was the kind of guy who aimed for the counter, and was about 50/50 in his success rate. But suddenly, he's been doing the dishes. Actually putting them in the dishwasher. Unloading the dishwasher when it's finished it's cycle. Cleaning (well, somewhat, lets not expect miracles here.) the counter top!!! I don't know who this man is, but he is soooo welcome here. (And he's cute) DH claims that this new behavior has nothing to do with my blogs, that he is doing this for Lent.

LENT?! So this means that he'll stop doing the dishes come Easter?? I need the Pope's address so I can write him my suggestion that Lent be held at least 4 times a year and for double the duration. Does anyone have the Pope's address? (I know its near Rome)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Valentine's Day

When I was single, I used to dread the month of February. That red lettered (or numbered) day of February 14th drove home being single more than anything else. (well, maybe not more than the Christmas Holidays, New Years Eve, my birthday, weddings, company events....). Anyway, it was up there.

'Who's your Valentine?' well meaning but annoying co workers would ask. And God forbid you be spotted in the super market picking up a Lean Quisine after work. "What?! No Valentine?!", the cashier would announce loudly.

Now I have a great husband and no need to dread the coming of February 14th. Now, all I have to explain is:

1. Why my husband didn't send me roses for Valentine's Day: "Well, we have a bunch of cats living with us who eat any living plant we bring into the house. No matter how high up we put the vase, one of them will reach it and knock the whole thing over. The only alternative would be for him to send me roses here, at work. But then the only people who would see them would be all of you people. That's just not worth 60 bucks!"

2. If we did 'anything exciting' for Valentine's Day. "We havn't done anything exciting since we got engaged!"

3. Did I get my husband anything for Valentine's Day. "Yes, I got him a history book on the founding fathers. Whatta ya mean that's not romantic!"

4. Did my husband get me anything for Valentine's Day. "Yes. I'll tell you what it is after I return what he got me for what I wanted."

5. Did I get any Valentine's Day chocolate. "Yes. And I havn't stopped yet, either. It all goes on half price on February 15th!"

Disclaimer: the above is purely fictional. My husband and I do exciting things every day, he brings me flowers often (which is why I know that the cats can get to them wherever I put them), I absolutely believe my co workers are worth my husband sending me roses at work, we give each other gifts all the time (and sometimes we shop for those gifts ourselves, too). I do not disclaim the fact that I am looking forward to February 15, 16 and 17 when all the left over chocolate will be half prices! Now that's what I call 'Livin' large in the 'burbs'.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

And The Oscar Winner Is....

definetly not the movie going audience.

My husband and I vowed to see as many of the nominated films and actors before the Academy Awards show as time would allow us. We've made this vow for the past four years. Unfortunately for us, this is the year that we actually got around to doing it.

We've seen 3 of the best picture nominees, 3 of the best actor nominees, 1 best actress nominee and 3 of the best director nominees. I am convince that the Hollywood film producers and production companies have schemed a brilliant PR campaign against the screen writers. Somehow, the producers have made sure that each nominated movie would be worse than the last, to the point that audiences would loudly demand the last three hours of their lives back, as well as the price of the tickets. (that would be the case for anyone unfortunate enough to sit through 'There Will be Blood'.).

The 3 best picture nominees we've seen would leave many people convinced that screen writers are bad people who don't deserve to be dealt with fairly, let alone be compensated for their work. Those Producers are dastardly, alright. They've sacrificed you and I, the audience, in their smear campaign against the poor writers. Believe me, if you go to see some of these movies, you will believe that no one actually wrote them.

Take for instance, 'There Will Be Blood'. I just wanted there to be a plot! The first fifteen minutes of the movie had zero dialogue, and those were the best fifteen minutes of the entire three hour ordeal. The credits said it was based on something by Upton Sinclair. I think his heirs may have a good lawsuit against the producers. And Daniel Day Lewis, who I've always liked (In the Name of the Father) is so bad that, in keeping with this scheme to turn off movie goers, he is nominated for Best Actor. He drags out each and every word he says in this film to the point you want to shake him. I started to think that the projector wasn't working properly. Maybe this was really supposed to be a two hour movie and Daniel Day Lewis was really speaking like a normal human being. I dunno.

Juno was another one that made me want to delete my own hearing. The main character was annoying, and so was every other characer in the film. My only hope is that the woman who wrote this one goes back to being a stripper. See! Those producer's are smart. They've got someone like me, who derides all things stripper, into WANTING someone to be a stripper. Besides, there is absolutely no way that this writer could ever get a job as an English teacher. Or even work in a fine ladies hat shop, like Eliza Doolittle.

Michael Clayton was actually an enjoyable movie to watch, and even the Producers couldn't make George Clooney turn in a bad performance. Actually, Clooney's performance is what makes the movie. As lawyers, my husband and I immediately found fault after plot killing fault with the story line and pronounced it just a step above the cheese that John Grisham unloads on us. But Clooney does make it an enjoyable, though mediocre, movie. And so far that should be enough to win.

Not a contender in the best picture catagory, though it should be in a real, non schemed up smear campaign Oscar race, is 'Eastern Promises'. Vigo Mortenson is up for Best Actor and should win it (which means he won't) The movie is haunting and his performance is fabulous. I keep thinking about the movie. It was certainly not a happy film, but it was multi layered and moving.

Well, we've got two more to see before The Oscars. I'm kind of hoping we get snowed in for the next two weeks and have to watch re runs of Entourage instead.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Decorating the Nursery

As you know from a prior post, my husband and I are adopting a baby/toddler girl. As a true princess, she is already draining our wallets, and she's not even here yet! We are starting to get her room ready. Not an easy task.

This requires a contractor to come in and put up a wall, changing a pass thru bedroom (stairway in the room leads to a third floor room), into a smaller room next to an extended hallway leading to stairs to a third floor. Hiring and working with contractors, and contemplating parenthood at the same time brings me to certain Biblical conclusions. Precisely, I can see why God wanted his only son to become a carpenter. They set their own hours, don't feel compelled to meet deadlines, aren't constrained by those things called arrival times that the rest of us deal with, charge a fortune, and have clients (me) that bring them fresh coffee and make them lunch!

Anyway, I degress. The point of this post is that I have a deadline. The one where I now have to make a decision as to which decorating theme and bedding to choose. I've been up, down and around the block a few times with my choices. Here are four of them. Check them out and give me some ideas of your own (please)

English Rose Garden:

Ooh La La by Kimberly Grant:

Angelique Toile D'or linens:

Bibi's Kittens:

Best Reality TV Out There

My favorite reality TV show involves me. And you. We are like contestants in the show called 'Who Will We Elect President'. I didn't think I'd like this show when it was being promo'd. Long, drawn out contest with sniping, argueing, acusing and mud slinging. That is happening, but not on the scale that I've seen it happen on other shows with the same theme. This show is actually interesting. And exciting. And other contestants (ie, voters) really seem to be getting into the whole thing. Asking questions and listening to candidate's points of view and ideas (well, at least those candidate's that actually have ideas). I've been almost equally as interested and excited about the Republican primaries as I have the Democratic primaries. For the first time in my life, I've wanted to participate in BOTH!!

I do think that the producers of this show (aka The Media) are trying to fix the whole thing so they get the winner that they want. Sort of like American Idol does if a contstant they don't like is doing too well in the fan votes. I wonder if Howard Stern will start up a 'vote for the worst candidate' thing on my favorite election reality show. (I think he did this secretly in the last two elections).

Anyway, when the Hollywood writers strike finally comes to an end, I hope the networks don't pre empt this great new reality TV show The Election for new epidisodes of CIS.

Some good reading on this subject:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mom, you were .....

My husband and I are adopting a baby. Or possibly a toddler. She'll be a she. A little bundle of attitude, just waiting to grow up and tell me that I'm wrong about everything and I don't know nothin'. I know she'll do this because my mother said she would. My mother has been saying this for years, since I was thirteen at least. Mum would say "You wait. You'll grow up and have a daughter and she'll tell you that you don't know what you're talking about. And then you'll know that I was right". So, I've been anticipating this event.

Not so much the event of having a child. Or having a child that tells me that I'm wrong. The event that I will have to admit to my mother that she is right. So Im gonna start right now. Publicly. (I'm safe here, because my mother doesn't know how to use a computer and will likely never read this blog) OK. Here goes...."MUM. YOU WERE RIGHT. I am going to have a daughter and she is going to grow up and tell me that I'm wrong about everything and I don't know nothin'".

(But I'm also really excited that we're gonna have a baby)

Monday, February 4, 2008

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

When I was very young, and by that I mean five or six years old - not thirty, I asked my Dad to drive me to Hollywood so that I could 'sign up' to be a movie star. He didn't. We lived in New Jersey and it would have been a very long drive, and our old station wagon struggled just to get us to Ocean City. Hollywood was out of the question.

I settled, for a time, on a much more stable career. Veterinary Medicine. That dream fell by the way side, too, though. Not because of an aging automobile and hundreds of thousands of miles of roadway between me and my destination, but because of the thousands of miles between my intellectual ability and the heafty science requirements required for the DVM. But I never gave up the constant desire for the spot light or the compelling need to rescue every helpless animal I see.

Introspection, and a few of those annoying personality tests that guidance counselor's make you take, convinced me that I was better suited to a career that involved argueing and yelling. Kind of. My personality reviews always came back telling me to pursue one of the following three: Army Seargent, Lawyer or Figure Skater. No kidding. I couldn't make something that silly up if I tried. You really have to think hard to see how 'figure skater' fits into that triad. When you recall Tanya Harding up to bat in the early nineties, and Nancy Kerrigan yelling at Mickey Mouse in Disney World, it becomes a bit more understandable. Still, I don't see a whole lot of similarities between the job requirements of a figure skater and a lawyer. Maybe thats because I never became a figure skater. And Army Seargent? Well, all I can say is, though I loooove to boss people around, I am just not a morning person.

Nope. Figure Skating and revelry were not my skills. But argueing? Now that I could do. I grew up in a family infamous for their argueing ability. Seriously. Ask any of our old neighbors how good we all were at argueing. Or ask our friends, now they won't argue this point. Short on opinions we weren't, either. Timid about expressing our opinions we also weren't. I do believe I've got some siblings that carried on some good arguements when they were completely alone in the house. We were loud, too. Even our Italian neighbors gave us props for our ability to argue, and argue loudly.

Anyway, without maligning my dear sibs further, suffice it to say I had the skill set. Whats more, being a trial lawyer gives me a little stage and a little (non paying, often unwilling) audience on a steady basis. Of course, there is usually a guy in a robe on a bench that cuts me off just when I'm on a roll. (There's always a critic)

So here I was, for a time, living out my dreams (or at least the dreams a highschool guidance counselor had for me) of performing on the big effectively for my client in the small courtroom, and having a blast living the single life in the city. I had a good job, a Neiman Marcus charge card that I was not afraid to use, and a cool loft apartment in Olde City (that I shared with an increasing number of stray, homeless, abused and neglected dogs and cats). It was fun. I was fun. I even managed to throw some fundraising parties for homeless animals and get my picture in local newspapers (again, that spot light thing).

And then.....

I grew up and found myself living in the suburbs, married and expecting a child. Not that any of this is bad stuff. Its not. Its all great stuff that I really, really want. But the odd thing is that I don't know when it was that I started to really, really want this and when I stopped really, really wanting the other stuff. The spotlight. Hollywood. Veterinary Medicine. Bossing people around. Going to Court. Stuart Weisman slingbacks. Loft apartments and sportscars.

I grew up. That really means I grew old. My favorite phrase used to be 'It's 5:00 somewhere'. Now, my favorite phrase is '40 is the new 30'.

I don't want the spotlight anymore. I just don't have enough good hair days and whoever I am standing next to invariably looks skinnier and younger than me. And forget Hollywood! Have you watched ET? I do (religiously, it takes the place of the gossipfests I used to have with my single friends). What a bunch of loosers! Paris Hilton?!? Yikes. (As we would say during sorority rush of someone like her.....'not our kind') Britney Spears!?! I still love animals, but I know now that I would never be able to handle the emotional trauma that Veterinarians have to deal with. I'm better at saving the little furry souls from the street and shelling out the cash for their medical care (and foregoing the Stuart Weisman slingbacks that, quite frankly, hurt my feet now that I'm the 'new' 30). Uh, lets see. Bossing people around is no fun anymore. It just makes me look cranky and pre menstrual. Court is dull. (but please, if you get the opportunity to serve as a juror, do show up. You can be arrested if you don't).

As for the loft apartment? Well, there just wouldn't be enough room for the crib, the baby bath, swings, bikes, SUV, treadmill and, oh yes, my darling husband's 6 foot statue of Humphrey Bogart that stands in our living room (darling husband has not, unlike me, grown up yet).

So what do I want to be when I grow up? I should know because it really seems like I've arrived at 'grown up'.

I want to be able to cook enough dinners on Sunday that can be easily heated up as left overs during the week to keep us off the overly processed, bad for you stuff.

I really want to find a good dust mop that I can get to reach all the way up to the ceiling corners and get the dust bunnies.

I've found a great dry cleaner (environmentally friendly) and shoe repairer, but I'd love a pair of Easy Spirit shoes that look like Manolo Blanik's.

Do I try to live through my daughter? Send her to figure skating lessons and groom her to be the president of her sorority (sorry, President of the United States is too much of a thankless job. And as a women's libber, I believe we can strive to be whatever we want to be, no matter how silly and pointless the goal)?

I may be here, already at my destination. Happy. Content. And ready to learn to be.............