Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy? New Year

The main road near my house has four lanes heading north and four heading south with a median for turnaround lanes. On the other side of this road sits a large synagogue which I usually don’t notice. Today, however, it was causing all kinds of problems. Not the synagogue itself, rather the people trying to leave it after Rosh Hashanah services.

Cars were whipping out of the drive into the middle and far lanes then jumping into the turnaround forcing other drivers to brake and/or swerve or die. I have never seen such cranky, ill-tempered driving; it seemed like the cars themselves were scowling. And what the hell is that about? Did these people Shalom their way through a service just to hit the road and start flipping each other off?

Having married a Jewish man who now practices the religions of Commerce and Atheism, I had to look up the details of Rosh Hashanah. Does this holiday now come with a caveat? “Happy New Year once you get the f**k out of my way!” According to Wikipedia (OK, maybe not the BEST source) the people are being judged by God for the whole next year today. That would make ME want to be a little kinder with my merging.

The entry does say that the wicked are “blotted out of the book of the living” so perhaps these folks were the bad drivers as they already have nothing to lose. But do you KNOW if you are blotted out? Is there a list posted in the foyer like athletes cut from a team? And if you’re seriously THISCLOSE to being blotted out, would you really bother to go to services in the first place?

All I know is next time someone says “Happy New Year” to me today I’m going to say “Stay off The Road to you too.”

Monday, September 29, 2008


Miralax – when you have all the pretty women in beautiful clothing tell us how gentle your product is perhaps you should have them standing somewhere else besides THE BATHROOM.

If these women are, indeed, using Miralax the commercial makes it look like they are afraid to leave the safe confines of the one room in the house that they probably wouldn’t end up embarrassing themselves in. That does not give me any sort of confidence in the gentleness of your product. In fact, it makes me wonder if their wardrobes are break-a-way.

Did you learn NOTHING from the tampon people? Put them on horses, swimming, on dates. Show us the freedom that comes from regular Miralax usage.

And then tell me why I am doing your advertising agency's job for them!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just when you thought TV couldn't get any worse

So I’m totally watching crappy Saturday-afternoon-TV --which is either some kind of heavily edited teen movie with hosts showing you deleted scenes or dressing up some poor sap to look like the main character and/or reruns of America’s Next Top Model (today’s decadence: Cycle 9 with the gorgeous autistic girl. Don’t yell at ME, they’re the ones who keep bringing it up) and up pops a commercial for Paris Hilton’s latest violation of television. A reality show where she is searching for a new BFF, because there aren’t enough fawning, sycophantic, kiss-ass losers in her life already. The commercial showed the prospective BFF’s (whose mothers must be SO proud, btw) reading their letters to Paris about why THEY should get to be considered for becoming the new BFF.

They were CRYING!

“I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m getting so emotional,” said one girl as she tried to read her letter out loud. I’m hoping her tears were an indication that somewhere deep inside a part of her realized that she was humiliating herself in the most disgusting way imaginable and wanted out, out, out. But I doubt it.

I know Paris isn’t the first person to have a reality show where a houseful of people debase themselves in order to be the LAST person tossed aside like a used Kleenex by a c-list celebrity, but seriously, can we stop with this? Rock of Love, I Love New York, that show with the guy with the big clock and the horns – aren’t there already enough ways to embarrass yourself on television if you really really have to?

I’m tempted to post a listing for an audition for just such a reality show on Craig’s List, rent out some kind of huge freakin’ ballroom, and when all the losers show up to audition I will lock them inside the room and force them to listen to a 6-hour lecture from Dr. Phil.

Now THAT would be worth watching.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yes, it's gorgeous outside but I have to....

10:55 a.m. – Arrive at Dr.’s office for 11:00 a.m. appointment.

11:00 a.m. – Fill out paperwork for 10 minutes about my 7-year old son’s pain tolerance and smoking and drinking habits (How about separate paperwork for the kids – just an idea!)

12:10 p.m.. – Ask receptionist if I have time to run out and get lunch; told we are "next.” Right.

12:20 p.m. – Get escorted back to “cast room.” (My son doesn’t have a cast, just a sling.)

12:25 p.m. – Get escorted to X-ray where my son insists on posing like he is in a police lineup. The amused nurse lets him look at the x-ray and he promptly points out his elbow as the break in his arm. I don’t correct him.

12:30 p.m. – Dr.’s Resident comes in and asks my son some questions, makes him move his arm around, and flicks his fingers. Says he is going to go look at the x-ray and will be right back.

12:33 p.m. – Watch resident walk into another examining room where he remains for 7 minutes.

12:47 p.m. – Doctor comes in. Looks at x-ray (shows my son where the break really is) and says to leave the sling on for 3-4 more weeks. Can he ride the bus? No, not a good idea. I beg the doctor to put him in a cast. (Because the sling offers ZERO protection and he's a not-particularly-athletic 7-year-old boy who could slip or trip or goof his way into an even worse break and worrying about it is TOTALLY stressing me out and all the latest tests show that stress causes belly fat and that is the LAST thing I need.) Doctor informs me that the only cast for this kind of break is the State of Liberty cast then shows us a picture of a kid with a cast around his entire torso and up his arm that is straight up in the air.

12:53 p.m. – Still deciding if the humor derived from the Statue of Liberty cast will outweigh the inconvenience.

12:55 p.m. – No, it probably won’t.

1:10 p.m. – Hit the McDonald’s next door. See several other children from the waiting room. (Are they making us wait so long to drive up McD’s business? I would have taken him there anyway, I swear!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sharon McFoolish

To no one’s surprise Sharon McPhail is – again – running for Mayor of Detroit. She says it’s because she wants to finish all the good work that was accomplished during the Kilpatrick administration, so I guess she doesn’t feel like the citizens of Detroit were lied to or cheated enough.

She MAY have all kinds of good intentions but it doesn’t matter because she isn’t smart enough to realize that she has said too much DUMB STUFF in public and ON THE NEWS and it’s all saved on the Internet for anyone to hunt down. (Which, of course, I did. My favorite being the interview in Aug. with Devin Scillian where she insisted that Kwame had NO intention of stepping down and that a Judge lied when he said she called him! Seriously, she called a Judge a liar on the evening news!)

And maybe I’m not wise to the way of politics but her job title until recently was General Counsel for the City of Detroit. But wasn’t she really working AGAINST the City of Detroit when she was helping the lying, cheating Mayor lie and cheat some more? Haven’t we all realized that it was in the City of Detroit’s BEST INTEREST to get him out of office and into jail?

The best part was on the news last night when she told reporter Kerry Birmingham that people are telling her that they don’t think of her as being involved in the Kilpatrick mess at all…and she didn’t even break out laughing once! (Niether did Kerry which I totally believe she deserves an Emmy for.)

The City of Detroit has already given her a polite thanks but no thanks on being the Mayor twice (1993, 2005) but I guess that maybe she thinks that now that we’ve seen her acting all Mayoral (arguing with reporters, sassing back to Judges) that people might think she’s more qualified.

What she really should do is sleep with one of her employees.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Prepare to be shocked

I don’t usually cover two distractions in one day but I got home tonight and the first thing that slapped me in the face when I logged on the computer was

Clay Aiken:'Yes, I'm Gay'
What Forced Ex-'Idol' to Come Forward

At This Point? 'I Cannot ... Hide Things'

I have to ask …what exactly did he think he was hiding?

Aiken said that the “constant questioning of his sexuality in the tabloids” (i.e. haven’t had a hit in a while and the Claymates aren’t really supporting him in the manner to which he’s become accustomed) affected him deeply. Then he said “At least when I was in middle school … I understand why they picked on me.” What the hell does he mean by this? That NOW he finally gets what every other kid in school had figured out when he was 12? Or that he can understand why 12 year olds would pick on another, weaker 12 year old, but can’t figure out why underpaid reporters who are wasting their college educations might be a little miffed at the overnight success who’s pulling down more in a day than they do in a year.

If he had just admitted it FIVE YEARS AGO when he was ON American Idol he wouldn't have had to "deal with it" for all these years. And I do believe that a person's sexuality is personal, however, had he not watched enough TV in his life to realize that by the third time that you refuse to answer the VERY SAME QUESTION from a reporter the topic is going to be beaten like a dead horse?

I wasn’t surprised by the other headline either; Lindsay Lohan finally admitted that she is dating that D.J. You can’t open a magazine in a waiting room or check out at Kroger without seeing pictures of them everywhere. However, I was surprised to find out that that dude is a girl.

And, there is one more headline in tonight’s Gay News. Portia de Rossi is planning to change her name to Portia DeGeneres. Shouldn't someone have told her that she could have capitalized that D any time she wanted to?

Messing with political yard signs

I admit to being tempted myself. For some reason the signs that say “Another Family for McCain” really irritate me and I have to fight the urge to scribble “There goes the neighborhood” (I guess you know where my feelings lie) on the bottom of the sign. And, really, is the WHOLE family for McCain? Did they take a poll? What about the dog?

A friend told me that she woke up one morning last week to find that the Obama sign in her front yard had been changed to read Nobama. What is the point of this? I could understand if he was running against a guy named Nobama, then it would make sense to switch over one guy’s sign to really stand for the other. But did the Midnight Defacer hope that by changing the sign he would cause someone to drive by and think “Obama. No, wait! That sign says NObama! Well, I’m going to CHANGE MY VOTE!”

Yesterday I saw a handmade sign that read “Sign stealers. Every time you steal one of my McCain signs I will put up two in its place” which I thought was hysterical. I could see it escalating into some cartoonish tug-o-war with signs missing every morning and the yard doubling its sign population by nightfall. Though I think it would have been funnier NOT to warn the sign stealer and just DO what the sign threatened so when the sign stealer drives by the house the next morning he says “WTF! I stole that sign last night! And now it’s back and it had a baby!”

In the sign-stealer’s defense, the house IS near an elementary school with impressionable young children.

I guess I don’t get the purpose of the yard signs at all. Our country has a private ballot so we don’t HAVE to let anyone else know who we intend to vote for. If you put a sign in your yard aren’t you – in essence – saying “I’ve got enough pull in this neighborhood to make my neighbors change their vote!”? “Honey, quick, look! The Jones’ are voting for McCain! Now WE’LL have to vote for McCain or we won’t be able to show our faces at the next neighborhood barbecue.”

And you know how good Mrs. Jones’ potato salad is; wouldn’t want to miss that.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wondering if I should change my password

My husband knows my AOL password. (Yes, I’m still using AOL. I’m used to it and I’m lazy and I like that I get reports on what my kid is doing and I realize there’s probably better stuff out there that does all that but then I would be required to learn it.)

As I was saying, I had to tell him my password the other night because he decided that THIS year he was going to attend Middle School conferences and came home all revved up about teachers and assignments and Snapgrades. “Have you heard about this?!” he asked. Why, yes, I had. I’ve been using Snapgrades since she started middle school – TWO YEARS AGO. So the other night he’s trying to log in and check out her grades but we can’t remember the password and is has to be sent to my email address (because that’s what it was created with), so he transfers over to my screen name and then looks up at me expectantly.

Am I a bad wife because I hesitated? I’ve got NOTHING to hide. I’ve got LESS than nothing to hide. And we’re already Facebook friends (oh, and we ARE married) but one half of my brain was warning the other half like someone in a theater warning the dumb blonde on the screen not to go into the basement. “Don’t you let him have your password. Next thing you know he’s gonna want to be knowing what you do with your time all day!”

I have no idea why that half of my brain talks that way.

I gave him the password and he checked out the grades (which were all A’s – as usual, duh!) and now every time I log on I wonder if I should change my password. It’s so stupid it’s memorable though I don’t think he’d ever get bored enough to check out who’s emailing me. OK, what I’m really worried about is him logging on and deducing just how lame my life actually is. We’ve been married over 15 years and I have managed to keep that a secret. So far.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More bad parenting

Shouldn’t broken limbs be more obvious? These stories rarely make me feel better about my own bad parenting decisions but ever since yesterday – when I dragged my son to an audition (me, not him) then dumped him at my husband’s office so I could go run music at skating team practice all the while not recognizing that he HAD A BROKEN ARM I have heard tale after tale of parents telling their kids to “suck it up” only to find out later that the kid had a broken arm or leg or something.

My memory may be hazy or inaccurate but it seems that when I was a kid it was fairly obvious when someone had a broken appendage. “Jimmy fell off the monkey bars and his arm was twisted around and completely facing in the wrong direction, so of course I ran him right to the hospital.” It seems that broken limbs used to dangle helplessly at askew angles so it was obvious that they needed to be fixed. These days everything looks normal except your kid (who just might be trying to get some attention) claims that “something hurts.”

You’d think I would be smarter; this is not the first time this has happened to me. Same child, same arm. When he was 3 he and his sister were waiting for her school bus and playing their usual game of push-the-sibling-off-the-rock-into-the-pile-of-leaves. He came in crying and didn’t stop for a while but eventually calmed down, though he wouldn’t move the arm. I dragged the poor kid to a grocery store two towns away so I could buy dry ice for the 4th grade Halloween party before I realized that every time something even brushed his arm he turned deathly pale and looked like he was going to throw up. He ended up in a cast from shoulder to fingertips.

And yesterday, well, he let me gently squeeze the arm all the way up. I figured there was no WAY it could be broken; it was probably just very badly bruised. So I dumped him at his dad’s office and he walked around saying hi to everyone with his right arm bent and clutched against his torso.

Six hours later he came home from the hospital looking like this.

And I felt like this.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bring your boarding pass and a lawyer

When you travel by plane you not only have to bring your own food (they’re not serving any or they’re charging an arm and a leg for a granola bar) and your own pillow and blanket (they have somehow disappeared or are solely for first class use) and your own Xanax (with the conditions most planes are in these days shouldn’t they just be handing that out as you get on board?) you now need to be prepared with a petition in your pocket in case something is wrong with your plane and the pilot decides he’s going to fly it anyway.

This happened in Germany over the weekend. A pilot tried to take off but a gauge was bad (and it had something to do with the flaps and if you watch any disaster movie involving airplanes you know that flaps are VERY important) so all 170 people got off the plane, then 168 got back on two hours later (2 passengers having decided either that the airport sushi was so good they had to stay or that they weren’t going to get back on a plane with any kind of malfunction). Then the pilot tried to take off AGAIN and the same gauge went kaplooey.

At this point someone with great forethought whipped out a petition for a new plane and everybody signed it and the united passengers (the passengers were united as a group, it wasn’t a United Airlines flight – it was Air Berlin) presented it to the airline and 14 hours later they had a new airplane.

Yes, 14 hours later. The plane had to be brought in from Turkey. According to Yahoo maps you can drive from Antalya, Turkey to Berlin in 33 hours so I have no idea why it took a plane 14 hours to get there unless Air Berlin was in a “we’ll show those petition-carrying passengers what’s what” kind of mood.

And were there no other flights leaving for Faro, Portugal (the plane’s destination) within that 14 hour time period? Or was Air Berlin continuing to mess with these passengers?

Passenger: You know, there’s a flight leaving in 20 minutes, if you could just get me on that one…

Gate Attendant: One minute (types for about 6 ½ minutes). I’m so sorry, that flight is full, but YOUR plane is going to be here ANY minute.

Passenger: Oh, good. Do you think I have time to run down and get some airport sushi?

Gate Attendant: (types again) No, I’m afraid not.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sympathy for the devil's mistress

I readily admit that most of my knowledge of the law comes from watching Law & Order (and, OK, Matlock) but I am DYING to hear what Christine Beatty’s defense is going to be when she goes to trial. Someone borrowed my pager? I resigned before I was forced to so I shouldn’t have to go to jail?

And get this – according to today’s paper Beatty’s lawyer “is betting on a well of sympathy for Beatty when her case is before jurors.”

Oh. My. God. That’s IT? Sympathy? That’s the risk he’s willing to take with her life?

And why is she putting up with this? Why didn’t she start squealing on Kilpatrick months ago? Because when he was put to the test he easily took her down with him. Kilpatrick admitting about lying under oath basically says that she was also lying under oath. That’s not law, that’s math.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What a (wild) boar

According to an article on the front page of today’s paper there is a HUGE problem in Michigan with feral swine roaming the state in packs of 20, destroying property and menacing joggers.

I totally get the property thing. These pigs weigh anywhere from 200 to over 400 pounds each and two dozen could do a lot of damage. One guy who was quoted in the article called them four-legged vacuum cleaners and said they destroyed 28 acres in one night. That is a lot of hoovering.

But why the joggers? Did the boars think the joggers were trying to get to the cornfield first and muscle them out of the way like shoppers at a Christmas sale? Or do they just have something against joggers in general?

These pigs are here in the first place because hunters in Michigan just HAD to have one more thing to shoot at so hunting preserve owners starting importing the wild boars from Russia. The pigs, which are described as “wily” (and I thought that was just coyotes – which you can also hunt in Michigan but don’t cause nearly the destruction ---- so far), figured out how to escape by digging under the fences and then “lifting up the fence wire with their powerful snouts!!!!!” (The previous is a direct quote, only without all the exclamation points, so thank you Detroit Free Press).

Some really smart and important guy who knows all about wildlife and critters and stuff was quoted in the article saying “Crisis is not an overstatement here.” Great. As if I don’t have enough to worry about (economy, saving for college, going gray, bullies who pick on my kids, terrorists, chipmunks in my house) I now have to add roaming wild boars to the list.

Somewhere in Russia a pig farmer is counting his money and laughing his ass off.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The rain, the rain

I am going insane from being trapped in the house all day. I realize that a steady hard rain in Michigan is nothing like what they are enduring in Texas and is not really enough to keep me in the house if I had a serious or important or fun destination – but the very gray wetness of it has kept me in the house all day, mostly on-line.

In my defense, I cleaned the house, wrote most of an article, conducted a phone interview, updated one of my many pointless websites, and uploaded a video of my son’s freaky toe to YouTube. So it’s not like I didn’t accomplish stuff. My husband and I also managed to include our 13-year old daughter in a heated political discussion and our 7-year old son in a heated tents-vs.-cabin-on-a-Boy-Scout-Camp-Out discussion. (Both arguments remain unresolved).

Now I’m back to flipping through those AOL headlines which are either really attention-grabbing or incredibly stupid. It’s like AOL hires EITHER incredibly sarcastic former Esquire writers OR recent GED grads. Today’s headline was:

Jessica Engaged to Longtime Beau?
They're 'This Close' to Getting Married

And I swear the FIRST thing that went through my mind was “Oh my God, please don’t let that sweet Tony Romo who just changed that nice couple’s tire be getting married to Jessica Simpson!” I may have promised my son’s freaky toe in exchange if only it weren’t true and when I clicked on it I realized the story was about Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel who I think are getting engaged simply to get themselves back in the headlines.

Seriously, I had a VAGUE idea of who Tony Romo even is (football player, dates blonde starlets, yadda yadda yadda) until the changing-the-tire story came out and now I’m as proud of him as his own mother. Now I WANT to watch football and want my son to play football and be a tire-changing hero too.

And I’m sure part of my reaction is due to an interview with Jessica Simpson that was featured on some website yesterday that headlined: Jessica says she’s really smart.

If you’re REALLY smart, you don’t have to tell people. Take your brand new cowboy boots and your square dancing skirt and your big-ass can of hairspray and go home.

I SO need to get out of the house.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Me, again

Sometimes I am my very own distraction – my own level of silliness or stupidity exceeds anything I can find around me (well, I’m sure there’s always something). And so….today. The keys on our home phone have been sticking for weeks, probably months, and in the last few days I have not been able to turn off the phone at the end of a few calls (my apologies to those of you who had to hear my expletives), so this morning I gave in and headed down to Office Max to buy a new phone.

Is 6.0 gigahertz really THAT much better than 5.8 gigahertz, because I really wanted the cute black and electric blue 6.0 that promised better call quality but it was twice as much as the standard 5.8 that actually came with two phones. I’m cheap, so 5.8 it is.

Anyway, I get home, unplug the old phones, plug the new ones in and THEN remember that part of the reason I’ve been putting off getting a new phone is because of all the numbers I have stored in the old one. I can’t even tell you my husband’s work number off the top of my head because it’s stored on the phone. All the numbers for play dates, neighbors, and friends I call frequently are stored on my old phone which is sitting powerless on the desk mocking me.

“Perhaps you should have thought of that while you were trying to eat (insert sticky food here) and yakking at the same time,” it is saying.

If I plug it into an outlet but not into a phone jack will the numbers come up? I’m afraid to try in case they don’t and I feel even more stupid. I guess I’m just going to have to wait until everyone calls me and I can re-store their number.

This could take a while.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

People who don't know how to wear pants

I don’t dole out fashion advice very often, but can’t get rid of the replay of this scene in my head so I’m going to share…and dole. I was waiting in front of the ice rink for my daughter to come out of skating practice when a car pulled in front of me and a chunky teenage boy got out and opened the back to get his hockey equipment.

He appeared to be about 15 and was wearing a black hoodie, red boxers decorated with black and gray Christmas tree shapes and faded blue jeans held just below the middle of his ass by a black belt.

There are just so many things wrong. Where to begin. OK, Listen, chubby white boy, you might think your mother is an out-of-date nag who has nothing better to do than drive your fat butt to hockey practice but she probably knows the lesson that every woman has been learning since the dawn of time – DRESS FOR YOUR BODY TYPE! I know you know that your ensemble was totally not working because you kept pulling the black hoodie down to cover the ugliest-boxers-ever-made (a gift, really? She doesn’t like you) when you should have been pulling your pants UP! And the pants, well, they were wrong on so many levels. A: Wrong kind of faded. I’m not sure how to put this in words, exactly, but they were the faded jeans of a suburban kid who mows the lawn on Saturday and mumbles to himself about how unfair life is every time he walks the garbage to the curb then goes back in the house to play more Halo 3. They were NOT the faded jeans of a kid from the ‘hood who plays basketball every afternoon because he doesn’t want to go home and listen to the kids screaming in the apartment next door. B: The belt…I know I’m over 40 and I’m not “hip” to the fashion you kids are wearing but I thought that the whole jeans-hanging-on-my-ass look didn’t require a belt because it’s supposed to look like YOUR PANTS MIGHT FALL OFF AT ANY MINUTE! And wearing the black belt you borrowed from your dad or wore to your cousin’s wedding last wear with the one suit you own because your mom made you buy it totally clues everyone into the fact that you don’t trust your chunky butt to hold up those jeans.

OK, so I just googled images from the movie Clueless (which came out in 1995, are you SURE this look is still in style?) and the picture was too dark to really tell but the kid could have been wearing a belt with his low slung jeans. HIS belt looked like it was doing its very best to hold his jeans up where they are supposed to be but the combination of skinny butt, one-size-too-big jeans, and a heavy cell phone on one side were just too much for said belt so it gave up and thus – hanging pants. YOUR belt was holding your accurately-sized jeans tight around the fattest part of your ass so that fat squished out over AND beneath the belt. It looked like someone had put a belt on a baked potato and cinched it one notch too tight.

There’s probably no one else who will tell you this, so I’ll do it. You are a chubby white boy from Plymouth, MI not a homey chilaxin’ in your crib. Know who you are, embrace it. Trust me; you will be a lot more comfortable in life. And I won’t have to sit in the carpool lane fighting the urge to either lecture or de-pants you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm out of the loop

For days now the entertainment sites have been headlining and discussing the engagement of Channing Tatum. And while I know this is going to make me sound old …. Who the hell is Channing Tatum? And why am I supposed to care that he is engaged?

I try to stay up on the Hollywood stuff, I really do. If I don’t watch a show I at least know who is starring in it. I’ll admit to a gap in my teen movie knowledge – especially the movies that are targeted towards boys, but was Step Up – the movie that keeps getting referenced with Channing’s name – in the theater for more than five minutes?

I must really be losing it because I thought Step Up was one of the many war movies I have taken a pass on but it’s really ANOTHER teen movie about dancers getting their big break. I checked it out on IMDB.com and the movie grossed a respectable $65 million or so. Dirty Dancing, the dancer-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks movie for my generation grossed $63 million, but that’s in 1987 dollars. Still, why haven’t I heard of this movie? It’s kind of insulting to no longer be the sought-after demographic.

I really don’t get all the fuss about Channing, though. Step Up seems to be the only successful movie he’s starred in so why all the buzz? According to his IMDB page he’s working on 6 movies in the next two years so maybe that’s it – all the Hollywood people know him and are talking about him. But I really think he is a master at publicity. He’s managed to stay talked about after Step Up in 2006 despite the fact that the only other big movie he appeared in was Stop-Loss. AND he invited several “friends” to Hawaii to witness his getting engaged. That is knowing how to work it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Monica Conyers to the rescue

Thanks Monica!

Just when we thought there was no one to replace Kwame in the misbehavin’ department you come through for us. We should have seen your potential, it’s been in front of us all along. The bar fight, the hotel fight, the Council meeting fights, threatening other Board members, and the meeting where you obviously downed about 40 pixie sticks before you got there and called Ken Cockrel “Shrek.” Seriously, we applaud you.

Then you pull off the mystery surgery and missed meetings (while still managing to attend a party in your honor – BRILLIANT!) all while taking home $81,000 of the taxpayers money and driving a city-owned Ford Crown Victoria while most of the city residents are riding the bus. It’s like you attended Kwame’s Boot Camp on How To Pretend You’re A Public Servant While Milking It For Everything It’s Worth and you were the top student! Congrats! I suspect that when you are not fulfilling the duties of your “part-time” job you are taking applications to fill out your entourage and secretly planning to fire someone who has dared to cross you.

I will admit that as hard as I have tried to create a buzz about what I’ve been up to (mostly to sell copies of my children’s book The Fairy Painting ) I have never been hounded by the media, so I really don’t know what that’s like, but storming out of the elevator shouting “You are all evil!” before anyone even ASKS YOU A QUESTION is a little over the top. Let them piss you off first, then come out swinging. Better yet, get a body guard to slam Steve Wilson against a wall; that HAD to have been covered at Boot Camp.

And I am totally in awe of how you managed to interrupt city business to whine about the reporters following you around – that is really top-notch It’s All About Me behavior. And really, why ARE they following you around? Don’t they know that who you scream at on Detroit city time is your own business?

Monday, September 8, 2008

We want to be popular

I’m noticing a trend in the “fluff” section of the newspaper lately – it seems there is a lack of fluffy news so they are printing stories that really say nothing. I remember thinking this yesterday as I perused the Life section but the story was so unmemorable I can’t even recall the topic.

Today’s nothing headline: Think your kid’s No. 1? Check the baby name database to find out

I will say this, the Social Security Administration baby name database is an excellent way to waste an hour or two. It’s interactive, so you can type in a name, which gender to identify it with, and how many years you want to check its rating and up pops a list. Though it only took me 30 minutes to figure out that we are a family of unpopular names.

Take my own; Stacey. When I was born in 1964 it was the 126th most popular name for a baby girl. Its highest rating was a run from ’71-’73 where it maintained at #41 but it has steadily fallen since then and in 2008 it is now 977, barely maintaining its place in the top 1000. The Social Security site only lists names when they appear in the top 1000 and my name didn’t even appear on that list until 1950!

It’s not like my parents were celebrities who gave me a freaky name – like Menudo Petshop – on purpose, so why am I so far down the list? I checked my husband’s name, which has been around longer (it broke the top 1000 in 1910) but has never risen higher than #315 (1989). The year he was born it was number #668.

I HAD to check my children’s names. I took the naming of my children quite seriously. I wanted names that sounded authoritative without sounding stuffy, were unique enough to make them feel special, yet normal enough that we can buy crap with their name on it while on vacation (this didn’t work out for my son, however. We had a difficult time agreeing on a name for him and did the best we could. Not even Vegas has crap imprinted with his name.) I’m not afraid of alliteration but totally HATE hard R rhyming (Parker Werner – blech!). But, somehow, we ended up with two less-than-popular names. My daughter’s name peaked at #41 and was #89 the year we named her and has also steadily declined since then, now resting at #180. My son’s name has never risen above #203 and was #465 the year we named him.

I’m wondering how this collection of totally mediocre names is affecting us as a family. Could we be getting better tables in restaurants? Could our kids be getting better grades in school? Could our inboxes have less spam? Could more popular names make our lives better?

And no wonder Glinda sings “I Want to be Popular” in Wicked. Her name peaked at #726 in 1951 and hasn’t even appeared on the top 1000 list since 1955. I think that story could have had a much happier ending if only she had been named Emily.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Michigan's All That

I don’t know about the other states but it feels like McCain and Obama have moved here to Michigan. Every time you open a newspaper you read about a visit from one of the Presidential contenders. They’ve each appeared in our state twice a month since May and Obama is expected back tomorrow.

Is Michigan the hot cheerleader state that everyone wants to date?

No, Michigan is the homely, orphan, blue-collar girl in a teen movie starring Freddie Prinze Jr., and she disdains the snobby rich boys who have nothing better to do but bet on who can make her fall in love with them first. Then, of course, he will dump her. Along the way she gets a makeover and I’m just hoping that when the election is over that Michigan gets to keep the lip gloss and new hairstyle that either Obama or McCain have supplied. Because we could really use it.

Of course now we have another character – the popular prom queen who conspires with one of the rich boys to make the homely duckling into a beautiful swan, laughing behind her back the entire time.

Just put your big glasses back on, Michigan, and give the prom queen back the miniskirt she loaned you. You may have better “natural resources” but she is part of the in crowd and no matter how much they might make you think you are in on the joke, the joke is still on you. And when November is over and they don’t need you anymore they won’t even acknowledge you when you pass by in the hall.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The AWESOME! Flex Belt

I don’t know how these people caught sight of my abs as I usually hide them under several layers of clothing but this morning there was an email waiting for me all about the Flex Belt – “a truly awesome breakthrough in technology!”

This thing must truly be awesome because that very word is used at least 12 times in the email, and probably hundreds more times on the website that I didn’t visit, being predisposed to hand over cold, hard cash to anything that promises to “do the work for me.”

According to the very tempting email (don’t click on the website, DON’T click on the website) the Flex Belt has achieved 100% results in a clinical trial. Another nice thing about the Flex Belt is that the company doesn’t discriminate – they don’t want just the flabby and lazy to buy their product, they promise even MORE definition to the toned and defined. At last! A way for the fitness industry to get even more money – don’t limit yourself to marketing towards the unfit, make EVERYONE feel inferior for not having a Flex Belt. And I know it will work because as I’m sitting here pretending I have abs of steel I am thinking to myself “I EARNED these abs, and if those lazy SOB’s are just gonna buy a Flex Belt and get toned abs then I’M going to buy one too and get even MORE toned and they will NEVER catch up! Bwahahahahahaha!”

And I have to give kudos to the copywriter who – in one email – came up with several new and varied ways to stick the word ‘awesome” in. One of my favorites:

We don’t think an awesome athlete and legend like Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers would back the product and use it himself if it didn’t work.

Really? Like Leeza Gibbons really uses that crappy mineral makeup or Daisy Fuentes pops in her Winsor Pilates DVD every day or Jessica Simpson is still using ProActive. I think, if given enough money, even an “awesome athlete and legend” would pimp for the Flex Belt, or even Sansabelt.

Another “awesome” feature of the Flex Belt is the 2-year extended warranty so you can get your belt replaced should anything happen to it…no questions asked. The “no questions asked” part makes me a tad nervous and I can’t help but wonder in what kind of condition Flex Belts have been returned. Usually when a company asks no questions they don’t want you to ask any questions either – especially about the burns on your back.

Further down I am tempted once again to check out the website because of this statement:

The official website it awesome! It is visually stunning and leaves nothing to the imagination which is helpful when purchasing a $199 item.

First, note another creative use of “awesome;” and then the tease of leaving nothing to the imagination - because I can imagine all kinds of people doing all kinds of stupid things with a Flex Belt and can’t help but wonder if the website really shows them all. Especially after they point out that “a lot of people order an additional belt for their spouse so they can wear them together.” I’m guessing that part of the site has an R rating.

It makes me dream of a world where everyone has a Flex Belt and wears it for the required 30 minutes a day five days a week and everyone has toned abs so they are no longer special and the hot new look is flabby abs and muffin tops are back in fashion. And I am considered a goddess!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sure she runs, bikes, and swims but her real skill is ...

J. Lo never disappoints, does she? First there was the comment overheard on the set of Good Morning America in August along the lines of “Why is everyone talking about that swimmer? I’M doing a triathlon six months after giving birth; I’m the real athlete here.” THAT SWIMMER being Michael Phelps, of course, who one wishes would slap her around with one of his giant fin-like feet.

Her latest is from an interview in Elle Magazine. She is discussing her pregnancy (didn’t you hear? Jennifer Lopez is the FIRST WOMAN to ever give birth to twins!).

"We came off tour and I said 'I did the Superwoman thing, I finished the tour—now I need you to take care of me. I love doing things for you; if I'm not cooking, then I'm picking out a shirt. But this is the first time in my life where I'm just going to be a little bit selfish.’”

One would hope that she’s speaking to her husband here and not one of her many assistants, though I find it difficult to imagine her picking out her assistants’ clothing. Wait. I actually don’t have a hard time imagining that at all, I’m sure there’s some sort of uniform involved in working for Ms. Lopez. Perhaps her old costume from Maid in Manhattan. But the thing that really gets me is the line:

But this is the first time in my life where I’m going to be a little bit selfish.

I guess that’s compared to the ASTRONOMICALLY SELFISH state she usually resides in. That many rumors about food demands and making hotel staff cry can’t all be fiction or jealousy.

And here’s another thing. I came across a video with some guy interviewing Jen and the trainer from Self Magazine who helped her whip herself into shape (6 months after giving birth!! Don’t forget!) and the guy asked about her babies and she said, “I hated to leave them this morning.”

Is she taking those twins along on training swims, runs and bike rides? ‘Cuz if she’s not then she’s leaving them EVERY FRICKIN’ DAY. And we all know that she fired her nanny so who is watching those kids (who surely must be starting to crawl by now) while she’s out on her 2 to 3 hour training sessions? Is Marc Anthony sitting in a La-Z-Boy wearing headphones turned up to 11 to drown out the wailing sound from the two babes stuck in the playpen?

I think she needs to hire one more assistant whose job is to simply help Jen keep her stories straight. Or not say stupid stuff to reporters.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Please plea me

I can’t believe it’s over.

There was no use pretending to get anything done this morning as I sat glued to my television watching – first – a packed courtroom that had absolutely NOTHING going on except a bunch of people squirming and trying to act like they were NOT trying to be seen on television – then – Christine Beatty catching a minor break and not having to appear back in court until 9/11 (I would have asked for another date, myself) – and FINALLY – Kwame Kilpatrick admitting what we knew all along that HE DID IT (both physically and verbally) and resigning office and getting a sentencing date.

And as glad as I am that it’s over there is one thing I am even more glad about – that I have never pissed off Kym Worthy. She has to be the prettiest pit bull in the metro Detroit area, if not all of Michigan. In her interview after the courtroom scene she started out calmly enough, giving the typical “I’m not going to say anything” statement, but then boy did she start saying stuff! And when some stupid reporter finally asked her “Why a million dollars?” I could see her trying to decide between biting the reporter's head off and spitting it out right there in front of everyone or just putting the reporter on HER LIST.

I would have chosen having my head spewed all over a crowd of reporters then to end up on Kym’s list.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah's past

Today is a frenzy of distractions – those Republicans at their convention and the Mayor’s streaming-video-play-along-at-home removal hearing - I hardly know where to begin. But there is something I can’t get out of my head – of course. It’s a quote from Mitt Romney, the President wannabe then Vice President wannabe who apparently thinks that Sarah Palin’s past as an “outdoorswoman” will help the McCain campaign here in Michigan.

Romney said “Anyone who has hunted moose will attract a lot of good hunters.”

Perhaps Mitt Romney HAS been hunting and perhaps the hunters he hung out with were the kind that ENJOYED sitting in the woods and farting with women instead of making them stay back at the cabin and whip up a big meal from the previous day’s bounty but I am the daughter of a hunter and every hunter I have ever met or been related to has insisted that women aren’t allowed in the woods because they talk too much.

And Sarah looks chatty.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure she chats about VERY IMPORTANT THINGS but I really can’t see her sitting silently in the woods until a moose gets within range and then slowly and carefully taking aim and firing. I imagine it goes a little like this:

Sarah: Gabe, about that proposal, I am not at all happy with ….

Gabe: Sarah, uh, moose.

Sarah: We have got to get rid of that last section or it’s never going to get passed and I think…


Then she whips up her gun, quickly fires – dangerously close to Gabe’s head – and the moose falls and she resumes her conversation.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I love infomercials. I love the bad acting, the over-enthusiastic clapping, the professionals who SWEAR this is JUST LIKE the appliance they use, the dramatic awe…I could watch them for hours. I think I’ve seen them all, so when I caught a new one for a product I hadn’t seen before – Tobi – I was thrilled.

But what a let down.

Basically, Tobi is a clothing steamer and we are supposed to believe that it is the same quality that the clothing retailers and people in the fashion industry use right before they send their clothes down the runway. It’s even portable! Just flip a switch and you can carry that gallon of water around by a strap on your shoulder!! (If you think your purse is heavy, try loading it up with a gallon of water and carting that around the house).

First is the female host, who of course does not believe that there is ANYTHING out there that can save her from the drudgery of ironing. Then comes the footage of women ironing and they are all disheveled like they were in a cat fight while the iron was heating up. Then out bounds the Tobi guy (and bounds is really the only way to describe his entrance) who shows her that with ONE EASY PASS wrinkles just FALL OUT.

He repeated ONE EASY PASS and FALL OUT about 10 times each in the first two minutes before he got the female host to repeat it after him (with the appropriate amount of awe in her voice) and then they proceeded to Tobi all kinds of fabrics and even Tobi’d a square of a plastic garbage bag to show how gentle Tobi is. Why anyone would want to iron their garbage bags is beyond me, but I guess really rich people have to keep their household staff busy somehow.

Then came another benefit – it removes odors! Less dry-cleaning! And I couldn’t help but wonder how much they had to pay the little old lady in the pink lipstick to say “I sniffed it and I really believe I could wear my sweater more than once.” Because while her lips said yes-yes her eyes said NO-NO. It was during this section that I really got distracted because they pulled out a suit jacket that looked like it had been crumpled up in the corner of a frat boy’s room for about a semester and while they Tobi’d it back to life I couldn’t help but wonder if frat boys who have suddenly realized that they have a job interview in an hour and finally find their one suit jacket under a pile of dirty magazines and beer cans in a corner are really Tobi’s target audience. Tobi seems more like a gadget for someone who plans ahead.

Of course I was enticed but I have learned (the hard way) that before I whip out my credit card and start dialing and ordering I should go online and do some checking. So I typed in “Tobi reviews” and about 12 of the 15 I read mentioned BURNS. There were several bits of advice about how to avoid the burns that involved oven mitts or those giant gloves that people who train eagles wear, but unless they are included WITH my Tobi I don’t think I’ll be ordering one soon.