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.............