Monday, October 31, 2011

Can't Stop Shaking My Head

If you want to understand why the people are mad all around the world, watch the HBO movie "Too Big To Fail."  It took me three attempts to get through it because it is so bleak and depressing.  It seems to be a well dramatized re-telling of what caused the financial crises beginning in 2008.  It is painful and raw, but I think important to see.  How screwed you must feel if you worked for Lehman Brothers.  How pissed you feel when they pass TARP, force the banks to take money from the government to hold them all up, and all under the pretense that the banks would start lending money again.  Wow, that didn't happen.  They held onto all the money and made bags more.  

It is easy to be mad at the banks and Wall Street.  They make it so easy.  All the 99% of Americans hear about is their profits and vastly obscene bonuses.  Hard to understand why they deserve such huge bonuses.  What did they produce? Create?  Nothing but more paper and money. It doesn't feel like the men in charge of Wall Street and the banks have any conscious at all.  It wouldn't take much for these obscenely big companies, these "too big to fail" companies, to gain the admiration of the people.  I really think that it is the lack of atonement, for lack of a better word, that makes the people appalled and frustrated.  

Remember when Mark Zuckerberg gave $100 million dollars to the city of Newark for their schools?  Not sure what ever happened with that, but if they can pull it off, it will be life changing for the area.  Remember when State's introduced lotteries under the guise that all the money raised would go to education?  That was a pack of lies.  If all that money raised went to schools, we would have the education that we so richly deserve, but somehow that money gets squandered.  It is why many are skeptical of what good it would do to raise taxes.  Another pay raise for Congress? They should start getting less money for the obstructionist government they are running. 

This theme of money will keep coming up because it is the root of all things, whether you have money or not.  If you want money out of politics, sign the petition at  If the people rise up, maybe some day we can "take the country back."  Away from the lobbyists, the corporations, the partisan supreme court, and so on.  Wait until I see the movie, Margin Call!

Sidebars:  Madoffs, go away!  Snow in October! Happy Halloween!
If you can give the smallest amount to help defeat Proposition 26 in Mississippi, please do.  They are trying to rule our womb's.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Prop 26

In two weeks, the State of Mississippi is trying to send women back to the dark ages.  There is a ballot initiative called Proposition 26, better known to the people of Mississippi, the Personhood Amendment.  Do you know what they are trying to do??  Makes my head completely explode.  This amendment would give the same rights to a fertilized egg as it does to you and me.  Really?  No, really?  That means, not only if you get pregnant from the result of rape or have been a victim of incest, you can't get an abortion.  Okay, that's not new news for proponents of life but if you use an IUD, IVF, morning after pills, you can't abort.  Really??  These methods of science for women and couples can't be used?  That means if you are an infertile couple seeking the help of a fertility doctor and you are lucky enough to have the embryos implanted take, you have to have all the babies???  OR you are lucky enough to go through an IVF cycle and get 20 viable embryos. Can't get rid of them under this new law.  You have to have all 20 embryos implanted?  Come on, what the hell is the world coming to?  Why are people thrusting their beliefs on all?  I can't stand this.  If I respect your right to believe that life begins at conception/fertilization, why can't you respect my belief that it doesn't begin until the fetus can breathe on its own.  I believe that life is breath so if you can't breathe independently of machines and science....Don't argue with me, it's my belief.  Period. End of story. 

It isn't.  It never ends. The crazy people want to tell all of us how to live, feel, and believe.  I touched on this abortion topic a few days ago and then I started reading about this Prop 26.  Are you kidding me?  It is so over the top. Incomprehensible.  If the people of Mississippi vote to pass this law, then my tax dollars can't be used to help the unwanted babies, the back alley abortions, and the medical expenses for the women that will be effected.  The men of Mississippi need to stay home and care for all the babies that nobody wants.  They have to pay for the care, education, and the health costs.  If this law passes, then every person who voted for it, should have DNR tattooed on their foreheads.  That way we don't have to keep their lives extended by any medical means available. My brain is really gurgling and bubbling over this latest attempt to send women back to the 1920's.  Please, people, if you know anyone that votes in Mississippi, talk to them. Implore them to take the time to vote and vote this outrageous amendment down. 

Sidebar:  Can't believe that I missed the most exciting and exhausting 6th game of the World Series.  I thought the Cards were out of it at the end of the 8th and fell asleep, only to wake up to the most talked about 9th inning and then 10th, and 11th!  The Cardinals pulled out a win to force tonight's Game 7.  How completely deflating for the Rangers.  Had it in the bag and then....GO CARDINALS!  

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Head Swirling

Politicians.  What is it about them that makes people recoil.  It wasn't always like this, was it?  Has authenticity become obsolete?  What if a candidate stood up for his/her own integrity, beliefs.  Didn't give a rat's ass what the base of the party liked.  Wouldn't that be a slam dunk?  Isn't that part of the inherent problem?  If you are running for elected office and you have to spew ridiculous rhetoric that you never believed in just to get the nomination then what is happening to the true, solid people?  I read and watch about these Presidential candidates and can't believe what comes out of their mouths.  Mitt Romney seems to be doing the best job of playing both sides of the fence, but don't we think that he and all the candidates are having to compromise too far to the right?  What if the far right hated all the candidates?  Would anyone care?  What happened to the bigger picture?  What happened to what is best for the majority of the people?  

Today there was a new CBO non-partisan poll that said that the top 1%'s income has increased 275% from 1979-2007. Really?  275%  Have they added value to the world?  Have they created 275% more jobs?  Products?  Is there no wonder why there is unrest among the rest of Americans?  The middle class' income up 40%; poor 18%.  Isn't that stunning?  When you see the graph visually it is staggering.  I am not a socialist.  I believe in capitalism, but capitalism used to manufacture products in this country.  The railroad magnates improved the country by increasing the rail lines from coast to coast.  The automobile inventors put hundreds of thousands of people to work, while, yes, people like Henry Ford, were getting rich.  There was a capitalistic hierarchy that doesn't exist anymore.  The creators and the builders.  The brilliant minds that have the vision of a better world for all and the middle class that helped the dreams come true.  Today, the super rich aren't thinking about the entire country, what's best for all.  They seem to only be interested in what is best for their small, little world.  

Sidebars:  Lindsey Lohan has fallen so far, that posing for Playboy just makes her more pathetic.  A desperate move to make money.  I heard her mother is whoring Lindsey out by writing a book. Please don't let it be successful.  Please let her fade to black.  Dancing With the Stars had a lot of fireworks this week.  Chaz and Lacey were sent home.  It was a very bittersweet ending.  Chaz made incredible parting remarks.  He said if there had been someone like him on TV when he was growing up, his whole life would have been different.  He did this for all the kids and teenagers struggling to find themselves.  He said it better.  Quite moving.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This morning my mind is reeling with so many thoughts.  Trying to hone.  What I do know is that the biggest buffoon and luckiest man to still have a job is Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.  How is it possible to single-handedly tank a company by one's decision making and still have a job?  Netflix tanked another 29 points yesterday.  It is the lead story in all the business sections here.  BUT he still has his job?  It's as if Reed Hastings works for Blockbuster secretly and is trying to take down the company.  I have never witnessed anything so public and so blatant in my life.  Other companies have had problems before, but Netflix' problems were self made.  The company was doing swimmingly until Reed Hastings made decisions that dismantled its success.  I have no doubt that MBA programs will be studying this model of what not to do in years to come.  But really, he still has his job??  Only in America, folks.

As long as I can remember, the political debate has continued to be on the same subjects.  Abortion is still debated in every election cycle.  Really?  Why is it still a political football?  The Supreme Court (before it was partisan) made its decision.  The Justices heard arguments and decided to legalize abortion.  The High Court didn't say you have to have abortions.  It gave women the right to choose.  Why is that a problem?  Choice is good.  CHOICE.  Every woman can decide what works for her.  Oil.  We have been tortured by the debate to be energy independent for over 50 years.  We have decided to just keep arguing and not doing anything at all.  It is ridiculous that we have lost all these decades with partisan interests.  Climate change gets shredded during every campaign season.  Gun control gets argued about every election.  Who has the most guns?  Who killed the biggest animals? Don't take my 2nd Amendment away from me.  Really? What I don't understand is there have to be answers to all these issues.  Maybe not one answer, but isn't it better to err on the side of caution?  Isn't it better to discuss ways to conduct industry, energy, business, ourselves that may save the planet in the long run?  Politicians throw religion in our face which is grounded in blind faith.  Why can't politicians have the same "what if"  in our planet and its people?  Why can't politicians look at the greater good and not immediate gratification? Oh, this won't be the last I spew on this either.  I, too, am sick of rehashing the same issues, but until we get off the treadmill....

Sidebars: Dancing With the Stars last night was Broadway night.  It is always thrilling to hear great music, but it did take me aback when one couple's song choice was Walk Like a Man.  That's a Frankie Valli song. Oh, yeah, right.  Jersey Boys.  Though it is a Broadway show...stretching it to call it a Broadway song. Okay, okay, I digress.  Fireworks two seasons in a row with Max and the judges.  He was pissed at the judges for their comments.  I actually think that Max was right, but wrong in his delivery.  He didn't like the comments that he and Hope Solo received, but he was sticking up for all the dancers and some of the comments.  I do think sometimes the judges cut below the belt and I think Max had had it up to here.  He may just be the wrong spokesman but he has the biggest set of balls.  I think that the bottom two couples tonight will be Hope and Max and Chaz and Lacey. Chaz should go home.  Love him, though, and admire his journey. 

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Monday, October 24, 2011

A Slight Cut

Can we discuss circumcision?  I keep getting postings from people about making it against the law in the once liberal State of California.  Really?  Now, thankfully, at this writing Governor Gerry Brown nipped it in the bud and passed a law that makes it a family choice.  Those that are anti circumcision don't like that the patient has no choice at the newborn age, which is true for so many choices that parents make for their children. That's why there are parents and children. Children don't choose to get vaccines, parents make that choice.  Those shots can hurt.  The law the anti-circumcision people wanted past was that it was illegal until the young man was 18 years old?  Really?  Men should wait until there is more blood flow pumping through and more nerves alive. Really?  Now, you are talking pain and memories that will never go away.  Ask anyone that chose, for one reason or another, to have an adult circumcision!  

It also smacks of anti-Semitism.  Both Jews and Muslims believe in circumcision.  It is part of both religions.  Many Christians choose to have their sons circumcised for general practice. Many doctors are pro circumcision for cleanliness and to stop the spread of diseases.  Dr. Berry Brazelton advises parents that the son should look like the father, if they were trying to decide what to do. So these people in "liberal" California,  S-T-O-P it!  Stay out of our bedrooms, wombs and diapers.  These are personal decisions, not taken lightly.  Stay out of it.  And "liberal" California, it's time to take your State back, before it's too late.  Come on now. You can do it.  Get your mojo back!

Making a 180 degree turn, back to language.  There are two more words that are repeatedly mispronounced and I don't really know why.  The first is the fabulous word etcetera.  The first time I really remember hearing that word was the great Yul Brynner as the King in the movie, The King and I.  He said it perfectly clear and crisp.  E-T-C-E-T-E-R-A. It begins E-T.  Like the cute little alien in Steven Spielberg's classic film. Why, then, do so many people say E-K-C-E-T-E-R-A????  E-K.  No, it's not E-K and so many people say it that way.  Don't know how it got started.  I hear it in life, in stores, on TV, etc.  Bugs me.  The other word that has evolved into a similar problem for people...espresso.  It is an Italian word.  It is a type of coffee. E-S!  Can you see how it is spelled?  And yet, I hear many people saying E-X: E-X-P-R-E-S-S-O!  Really?  Come on people, if you can't say it, don't order it or offer it. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Media Overplaying and more....

I am irritated.  This isn't about Guiliana Rancic, so to speak.  It is about the media.  Guiliana Rancic was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.  She had to go through a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of radiation which is the standard protocol for all women.  Yesterday on the Today Show, they promo-ed, do fertility drugs cause breast cancer?  Up next with Dr. Nancy Snyderman.  Hated that promo.  Just hated it.  I bet so many people watch the Today Show in and out, akin to reading headlines and not the entire article.  Misinformation floating in the air.  For the record, there is no correlation between the two, but if you didn't wait around for the segment....I and many women have had lumpectomies and gone through radiation.  I hate that this is being used as a ratings catcher.  It's not a big story.  I hope that Ms. Rancic gets through radiation with little muss or fuss and that she gets her deep desire fulfilled to have a baby.  

Up next, to make me sit shaking my head.  The man who was allowed to have a menagerie of exotic animals in a residential area. He let them all loose: lions and tigers and bears.  He then killed himself.  Perfect.  Can you imagine driving in your car and seeing a lion pass by?  That's how the police were called in.  Motorists saw the animals.  The police were brought in and were ordered to shoot to kill.  I can't imagine what the officers were feeling.  Fifty wild animals roaming an Ohio neighborhood.  All shot dead.  All of them.  Not their fault.  The animals are innocent in all this.  They didn't ask to live out of their natural habitat.  They certainly meant no harm. They are meant to be wild.  They are meant to hunt for food.  They are not meant to be living with some nut case in a neighborhood.  They are not meant to be shot down dead for doing what they do naturally.  I understand that the vast amount of animals versus the safety of the community made it impossible to use finesse, but the animals are innocent in all of this.  Even Jack Hanna, from the Columbus Zoo, supported the shoot to kill order, but was horrified at the sight of all the dead animals. Private ownership of exotic animals should not be allowed.  The only exception I can think of is Siegfried and Roy and you heard how that turned out.  This is a tragedy that could have been avoided.  The man should never have had the animals in the first place.  Heartbreaking.

Sidebars:  Lindsey Lohan needs to go away.  She needs to go to jail.  She is making the whole judicial and probation system in Los Angeles a mockery.  Why is she getting such incredibly special treatment?  She once was special, now she's just tragic.  Time to treat her as if she was just a poor person in the system.  She is not a movie star anymore and may never be at this rate.   Stop putting her on the cover of magazines, newspapers, and top stories.  It's ugly, pathetic, and very disconcerting. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Still Over My Head

Since I wrote yesterday, something very disturbing has come to my attention.  The Occupy Wall Street protest is sprinkled with anti-Semites.  Really?  The "leaders" of the protesters need to nip that right in the bud.  There is no place for hate remarks just like there was no room for hate remarks by the tea baggers.  The difference here, I hope, is that the haters will be denounced and marginalized.  Instead of all the great support by President Obama, Minority Leader Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and all the rest, they must stand up loudly and not allow hate rhetoric to dilute the message of discontent.  As far as I am concerned, if the hate signs and remarks are allowed to continue, then shut it all down.  Clean up Zuccotti Park, send everyone home.  I do not want to be supportive of any group of people that allows "members" to spew hate rhetoric.  Please don't tell me about Freedom of Speech. I know, I understand, and I don't care.  It changes the tone and the focus of any protest when hate mongers get a hold. I don't know where this movement is going but it will not get my support or my blessing if the public, the media, and the civil servants don't shout them out. 

On the heels of the exciting and emotional reunion of Shalit Gilad with his family and country men, today's reports state that Hamas wants to kidnap more Israeli soldiers so they can get more of their comrades back.  Really?  Is that what this is all for?  As I said yesterday, I do not presume that I know the answer, that I understand the situation, but does this type of reaction from Hamas create an atmosphere of trust to continue negotiations?  Mahmoud Abbas should stand up to Hamas and denounce those who are shouting this.  Peace will never be successful if the State of Palestine just wants the demise of Israel.  That won't happen.  So, President Abbas, do what is right.  Don't just stand up in front of the UN General Assembly and ask for statehood; stand up in front of those in your camp that are only interested in the total annihilation of Israel.  That's courage. 

Sidebars:  Carson Kressley was voted off Dancing With the Stars last night.  Chaz Bono still survives.  I am guessing next week may be his last, though he is getting better each week.  Shockingly he wasn't in the bottom three....Did I talk about Godspell on Broadway at Circle in the Square?  A show close to my heart with a light book and a very singable score.  Went with a friend who also had a lot of love for the show and 3 teenage girls.  It was such a shockingly terrible, cheesy, and appalling theatrical experience, we left at intermission.  What a huge disappointment!  

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In Way Over My Head

Here's a subject that I know little about.  I mean, I know about it but am no expert by any stretch.  Israel and Palestine.  Big topic, many-layered, and not a simple answer.  What I do remember for almost my whole life is that Israel makes a deal to release 10,000 captured soldiers and the PLO returns 10.  Always staggeringly uneven.  Seemingly never a fair trade, but non more uncertain than the trade happening today.  The deal to get back Gilad Shalit. He has been held in captivity for five years. For Shalit Israel will return 1000 Palestinian prisoners.  Really?  Four hundred of the 1000 are convicted terrorists against Israel.  What's to stop them from going back to the Gaza Strip and starting all over again? 

We went to Israel this year and for the first time I have a deep understanding of the lay of the land.  It is a beautiful country surrounded by countries that want the decimation of Israel just spitting distance. So what does Israel do?  I really don't know.  Within it's borders the people have very different opinions.  The far right, like here, don't want to give an inch.  They seem to be in control currently;  it's been that way for at least a decade.  Like the U.S.,  the Israelis  are much more reasonable and in the center. 

Maybe showing the world that Israel is returning over 1000 prisoners for 1 Israeli soldier will serve to create more empathy towards Israel.  There is so little support for Israel around the world that if one of these returned terrorists  starts bombing Israelis, there will be an outcry for the trials and tribulations for Israel to survive. It is a beautiful, beautiful country and everyone should go at least once in their lives.  

Sidebars:  Occupy Wall Street is spreading.  I find it very fascinating.  I don't really understand how it actually got started. How many people started the protest/sit in at Zuccotti Park?  One?  Two?  Was it all anger through the internet and someone said, let's go down to Wall Street and start telling them how we feel?  It has been growing nationwide.  I hope that it can sustain itself, find a clear message, and not cause vandalism or violence.  There were mobs of people burning cars over the weekend in Rome.  That doesn't work.  That's not how the message will be heard.  Peaceful protests, that is the American way.  
If you want to get the money out of politics, go to and sign the petition.  Who knows...maybe it will have an impact?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Holiday Overload

Remember, when many of us were kids (definitely anyone over 50), we started school the day after Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then the day after Thanksgiving, the stores were transformed.  All of a sudden the sales began and the stores were beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  It was a wonderful transition. We were able to enjoy each and every special day before the next special day.  

Something changed.  I don't know how things collectively change, but all of a sudden, Halloween decorations were showing up with back-to-school supplies and Christmas was showing up by Columbus Day. It was disconcerting.  It made everything less special. It made everything seem cheaper and less than instead of being excited for the holidays, it made me tired before they even hit.  It became, "when will it all be over?"  

Here in NYC, the radio station Lite 106.7 plays only Christmas music beginning in November until the end of December.  Though I love all Christmas songs, there aren't that many actual songs so they keep replaying the same songs over and over and over again sung by all the different recording stars.  It becomes like nails on the chalkboard. Really?  How can they destroy the beautiful music of Irving Berlin?  One more variation of White Christmas or Jingle Bell Rock and you want to kill yourself.  Is that what they are striving for?  It's been going on for at least a decade.  Someone must be enjoying it or they don't care.  They can program the month of music, put on auto-pilot and go shopping.

Today on Facebook one of my friends posted the most incredible photo.  I almost feel like it's a joke.  It's October however and not April Fool's Day.  If this is a reality then I encourage everyone to support this:

I can't believe this.  It warmed my heart.  It made made my heart sing.  This is how it should be.  It's the way to bring back the joy of the holiday season and maybe not destroy the feeling. If I had a Nordstrom's in NYC, they would get all of my business, year round.  So for those of you that are lucky enough to have a local Nordstrom's, shop double for me and tell them how happy you are by their new policy. 

Sidebars:  Charlie's Angels was cancelled from the ABC line-up.  Big surprise.  Their first and biggest mistake no John Forsythe.  John Forsythe's incredibly mellifluous voice is still iconic.  It can't be replaced.  I thought, if they had tried, they could've magically put his words together to continue his hold on the role.  Who among us can't clearly hear him say, "Good morning, Angels?"  The best.  Perfection.  Can't be replaced.  Angels can come and go, but not Charlie's, not when John Forsythe has put his inimitable stamp on the role.  
Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals to making it to the World Series. Hopefully, they will beat the Texas Rangers.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Teenage Love

I have a wise man in my ear about blogging about personal things on the internet, but I keep ruminating about a time in my past and my day yesterday. When I was growing up, my life was theatre and choir.  I was fortunate enough to live in an area where community theatre was abundant.  I met people not just from my school, but other schools, and all walks of life.  I fell in teenage love with a young man named Mark.  He was a few years older than I and it was perfect teen love.  It was fun, romantic, and ended because he moved away.  No pain, no tragic teenage break up, just life.  Mark came back for a short time to visit 3 years later and whisked me off my feet to San Francisco.  Again, perfect, romantic, fun, safe.  I have kept it in my heart for all these years. 

Often wondering what if....Knowing full well that our lives were diametrically opposed to each other. He an outdoor/adventurer, me, city all the way.  Green Acres, if you will.  After 34 years of holding onto these warm feelings, yesterday we got to reunite for a precious hour.  He was with his girlfriend.  His  appearance has changed so much. He was skinny as could be and had long hair. I knew what to expect because we are hooked up through Facebook, but what made it perfect? After 34 years, we have lived such full lives, separately, and the affection is still there.  I can still have the teenage love memories and be in the moment with whom we have become.  Great to be together, great that we had the hour, great that we return to the life we chose and cherish.  Nothing will tarnish the memories; that is clear.  

Interesting, I don't feel that I have done this memory justice.  I guess I am sharing what I am able to, just some, not all.  

Sidebars:  Last night the Detroit Tigers forced a game 6 and they go back to Texas.  Come on Tigers!!!  Watched the X Factor.  Fascinating that the 4 judges, LA Reid, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Nicole Scherzinger, had their group of singers to their homes.  Not totally sure why they made that choice other than to see what incredibly fabulous homes they each have.  Simon took the 13 girls under 30 to Paris to his gorgeous estate somewhere outside Paris. How many chaperones went on that trip?  LA took the 13 boys under 30 to his manse in the Hamptons. Paula had the 13 groups to her gigantic, beautifully landscaped mansion in Santa Barbara. Finally, Nicole (A Pussycat Doll, really?) had the 13 singers over 30 to her exquisite home in Malibu.  It was almost a combination Architectural Digest and American Idol.  Part two is Sunday night.  Even if you don't watch the show, it is fascinating to see how good the music business has been to these four.  

It is Friday.  Have a great weekend.  Again, if you enjoyed this, feel free to re-post or forward to a friend.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Women and TV

If it weren't for cable television, we wouldn't have all the amazing strong female characters starring in series today.  Cable led the way. They had the foresight that if they created characters that were complex and interesting,  people would flock to watch.   The role that shook the cable wires from coast to coast would have to be Academy Award Winner, Glenn Close, in Damages.  Her performance was stellar and she won an Emmy for her role.  She was buoyed by a great female co-star in Rose Byrne. Since then, we have Mary McCormick in In Plain Sight, Piper Perabo in Covert Affairs, Laura Linney in The Big C, and so many more.  The networks have given us this season The Playboy Club and Pan Am.  Two period pieces, both a throwback in style and progress.  The Playboy Club is already cancelled and Pan Am is hanging on by a thread.  I think both ABC and NBC were trying desperately to ride the coattails of Mad Men.  Though Mad Men is a huge hit, I also think that it is a fluke.  Good acting, good writing;  it doesn't mean that lightning will strike twice.  

With all the trash that airs, beginning with reality TV, it is great to have powerful, intelligent and successful women for role models to help balance the 
Bachelor/Bachelorette, Real Housewives, Kardashians, and the long litany of guilty pleasures on television which highlights the worst in most of the women.  "Good" television wants fights, trash, and drama.  Quality television is giving us strength, heart, and humor.  

One of the best "new" roles is "The Good Wife."  Julianna Margulies', Alicia Florrick, is smart, educated, funny, gorgeous, and humorous.  This season they are adding a whole sex line for her.  I am not sure that it is the right path for the character, though funnily enough, the character also has her doubts.  It's not that I don't like some fabulous sexy scenes, but I don't want her character to get too caught up in the love story at the expense of her job and her children.  I will feel very cheated with the investment I have made in the series. Time will tell.  We won't have that problem with Kathy Bates the star of Harry's Law.  It's a somewhat absurd premise, but Kathy Bates can read the phone book as far as I am concerned and I would show up to watch. She plays a woman that is strong, smart, and a curmudgeon.  Love her.

Sidebar:  Detroit Tigers are hanging on by a thread after a crushing 11th inning loss to the Texas Rangers.  Come on Detroit!  As Yogi Berra once said, "it's not over, 'til it's over." Don't care about the NL race.  Clearly, if the SF Giants aren't in it, I am totally an AL girl.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Take Me out to the Ballgame

Why is it a big surprise that David Stern and the NBA cancelled the first two weeks of the season?  It is the hot topic on talk shows, sport shows, news.  Really?  The players are locked out, they can't do team workouts, and many are jumping to Europe to play, so can someone explain to me why there is such surprise?  In my house, we have just made the assumption that there won't be games before February.  That has been the common thought for months now.  The NBA and the Player's Association are so far apart, how can anyone be surprised by the formal announcement?  Of course, in the end, when they are settled, the fans will be the ones screwed financially.  Always is the case. If no one cheers, would they still play?

In the meantime, I am hanging onto the baseball season.  It will be over far too soon for me.  I love baseball.  I really do.  I know that it has gotten increasingly and stupefyingly slow, but the great thing about baseball for me is all the tradition.  The game itself hasn't really changed in over 100 years.  I love the tradition.  I love to see all the players stand with their caps off and sing the Star Spangled Banner.  I love to see the managers sweating it out and scribbling wildly in the dugout.  Trying to out maneuver the other side.  I love when the Manager walks out to the pitcher's mound and takes the ball away from the pitcher.  I love when the Manager gets in the face of the Ump to argue a call.  I love the 7th inning stretch and singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame (though at Yankee Stadium it's always Kate Smith singing God Bless America since 9/11).  I love when it's a great victory and the players are all over home plate in excitement.  

What I do not like about baseball is the ridiculous amount of time between pitches.  In basketball, they added a 24 second clock so that players couldn't just hold the ball.  Baseball should instill a 10 second clock between each and every pitch.  It's ridiculous how many pitchers take forever. They can call it the Beckett rule for the Boston Red Sox pitcher, Josh Beckett.  As my husband says about Josh Beckett, once he goes into the stretch and looks in at the catcher, a family of four could have dinner and pay the check, before he throws the pitch. In an earlier rant, I discussed how coddled pitchers are.  It is time to toughen them up.  Pitch faster.  Stop trying to "intimidate" the batter or the runner.  Another thing I do not like is the bunt.  Can someone please give me the statistic how often they actually work?  The element of surprise is always ruined by the batter switching hand position too soon.  Please, re-think the bunt or practice it more in spring training. 

Sidebar:  Twitter is one of the first times that I feel the generation gap.  I am on Twitter, get tweets, but have no earthly idea how to use it affectively.  I have no idea how to respond to any tweets that I get.  And why was it good enough to call it the "number sign" for all these many decades and all of a sudden there is a new word, hashtag, which is the same as the number sign?  Who made that word?  What does it mean?  I wonder if you look in the dictionary if it says number sign.  Just something to think about.  

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Mother's Love and Other Thoughts

Having watched Cher evolve from a duo, TV star, recording star, gay icon, and movie star, I never imagined that I'd see her in her most private role: mother. Last week she tweeted that if Chaz made it through she would come in person to support him and watch him dance.  Cher.  One of the biggest stars in the past 50 years, Cher.  I wasn't even sure that she would sit through the entire show.  Come on, she's the one and only, Cher, but she did. 

I have no idea if it was contractual or agreed upon, but I really appreciated that the director didn't focus the night on her the whole time.  We caught a shot of her early on as they panned all the celebrity supporters. The director treated her no better nor worse, which really gave it the correct perspective.  Cher was there for her son.  The only other glimpse of Cher as a mother was the incredibly compelling documentary, Becoming Chaz.   She was very open and honest with her own struggle of Chastity becoming Chaz.  If you haven't seen it and get a chance, it is well worth it.

More than 3/4 into the 2 hour show, Chaz was up.  It was movie theme night and their assigned song was the theme to "Rocky."  It was a fitting choice and somewhat obvious choice for the producers to pick.  Their dance was the Paso Doble.  Very powerful and macho.  Chaz is not a dancer, clearly.  He is committed to being on Dancing With the Stars, but his body is in a great deal of pain.  He and his partner, Lacey Schwimmer, did a commendable job.  BUT, the pride and emotion on Cher's face was palpable. It was a very rare moment to see the maternal glow from Cher to her son.  Great television and human moment.

Side bar:  Netflix.  I can't believe that the CEO still has a job.  He made poor business decisions, tanked the stock, decided to split the company into two: Qwikster and Netflix, and then decided not to split the company because people were grousing.  People use Netflix to simplify their entertainment options.  Splitting it into two made it more trouble than the subscriber was willing to deal with and I am only hoping that they re-assess the pricing plan.  We shall see....

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Nanny Talk

I feel so lucky because when my kids were born, cell phones were just coming on the scene.  They were rare to see on the streets of New York. My nanny took care of my children, spoke to them, sang to them, played with them, named items for them; she was great for my babies.  She excelled at infants, there was no doubt about that.  With each new person that came into my children's lives, cell phones became more acceptable and necessary.  Necessary only for emergencies or if my husband and I wanted to locate the kids.  

The struggle to limit cell phone use became an underlying problem with the caregivers, but now I feel so lucky.  Now, I see  caregivers talking on their cell phones constantly.  Not paying any attention to the children.  Yelling, laughing, cursing, swearing, and gossiping on the phone.  The children are not engaged. Left to their own devices, to hear sounds and not certain to whom they are directed.  I am concerned for the well being for these little people trying to navigate the new world they are a part of but are not participating.

I do understand that taking care of children may not be the most stimulating job for some. If I had babies today, I would have an extremely difficult time figuring out the phone rules.  Nanny's in NYC make a minimum of $500 cash/week; no taxes for most, I suspect.  If they were working in offices, they could never sit on the phone all day long and take personal calls. Maybe over lunch, coffee breaks (if they still exist). I find it so disturbing to see.  Sometimes I think about saying something, particularly when the language is colorful, but then I think again and I don't have the chutzpah.  If a caregiver was endangering the child, I would speak up.  Though I do think that the lack of attention paid to their charges, will cause long term damage to the child's well being.  Unfortunately, only time will tell and by then, it will be too late for a generation of babies.

Side bars:  Made it through the Yom Kippur fast. As I have always said, as long as I can eat dinner, I'm good.  Today is Columbus Day. Nowhere is it a bigger deal than here in NYC.  I don't think they think that much of Columbus in Spain or in Italy, but here...they pull out all the stops.  A big parade up 5th Avenue. Dancing With the Stars is on tonight.  Cher is supposedly in the audience tonight.  Can't wait!!!

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pop Mish Mash

Just when I thought that Glee had "jumped the shark," they did it again this week; good writing and some of the best music ever written by Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story.  I have been a Gleek.  I love the concept and I love great singing.  What has always been a problem with the show is that the writing is very inconsistent.  Some storylines are meaningful, some are hilarious, and some are just too ridiculous to care. It's a very uneven series.  The "great" Ryan Murphy needs to control the stories more and keep the show relevant, not absurd.

Jumping the shark is a term created in the 70's by television critics to denote that the series is in a noticeable state of decline.  Ergo, why many producers/creators end their shows before that happens.  It is a mark of distinction to avoid that label. Friends, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Mary Tyler Moore, all went out on top.  Happy Days did not, which is where the term derives from. Fonzie water skied over a shark and they were skewered  by fans and critics alike.  It seemed like a desperate move.  So as we continue on the new television season, there are many series that may have stayed too long at the fair (Grey's Anatomy, House).

We have finally gotten through one of the worst summer season of movies in recent memory. I might say of all time, but I have only been going to the movies for 50 years.  The juvenile, idiotic, demeaning movies have gone the way of the sun and fun.  Now, the "adult" movies have arrived.  First, Moneyball, which is a very good film adaptation of Michael Lewis' best selling book.  Second, The Ides of March directed, written, produced, and starring George Clooney.  Another great film by Mr. Clooney.  He has come such a long way from Rosanne's boss on Rosanne, various television appearances, ER, and then a stellar film career.  I never would have picked him out way back when and now, I can't get enough of him. Of course, we have a lot of the same interests.  He is passionate about news and politics.  He tells very complex stories and his use of light is gorgeous! Go see both films, but if you have to choose, go with George.

The NY Yankees season is over.  They lost the best of 5 at home to the Detroit Tigers.  Now what?  There isn't an NBA season, which usually helps ease the sadness of one baseball season ending into a new sport season.  Not this year.    

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Money.  Money is good, until it is not.  Nowhere more evident than in politics.  Money has poisoned the democratic system from the people of The United States of America. Isn't it disgraceful to hear about the fundraisers by all the Presidential candidates. They are raising millions of dollars from rich people.  The projected cost for the 2012 Presidential campaign is 12 billion dollars!!!   12 Billion????????? Clearly, all that money could be used for more meaningful uses other than self promotion.  It seems in the past few decades who ever has the most money, wins. (I know with a few exceptions like Michael Huffington and Meg Whitman). That can't be good for governing and legislating.  Even the Supreme Court is against the good of the people.  They allowed unlimited funds to funnel into campaign coffers by corporations. Really?  How is that healthy?  How does that help get the most qualified candidate into office.  

In these dire times we are facing, why aren't more people shouting foul on the political system?  There was the McCain-Feingold bill many years ago; the only campaign reform bill that ever tried to do anything.  The right idea and yet not able to be executed.  Why does the campaign season have to go on ad infinitum?  Money.  Money that is spent on ads, brochures, parties, etc.  Wouldn't it be better for everyone if it was a very short campaign season, using public funding, the same amount for all?  Wouldn't it level the playing field?  

Don't get me started on the State primaries and caucuses.  I have never understood the caucuses, ever.  It gets explained to me every four years and I still don't get the sense in it.  Now the State's are all elbowing there way to earlier primary dates to out do the other States.  It is ridiculous.  Why can't there be one day Nationwide for primary elections?  Simplify the entire system.  No more outrageously over the top demagoguery conventions.  It is such a waste of money, time and breath.  

The M-O-N-E-Y! Get the money out of politics!  It isn't just me singing this tune.  Dylan Ratigan who has a much greater platform has started a movement to get the money out.  Please go to and read about it and sign the petition.  The more loudly we can sing it, maybe some day we will get somewhere.  I am sure it won't be in time for this current, never-ending Presidential campaign, but change must start somewhere.  

Side bars:  Chaz Bono made it another week on Dancing With the Stars. Do you think it's because Cher said she would show next week?  Hmmmm.  Amanda Knox is back in Seattle. Free at last.  Sorry for the family of the victim.  No justice for them. The New York Yankees forced   a game 5 with a stunning 10-1 victory. The NY papers are all talking about how AJ Burnett pulled it out.  Yeah, well from where I sit, he couldn't have done it without Curtis Granderson's incredible fielding!  Go Yankees!!

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ramblings from my head

About a year ago, the talking heads on radio and television were going crazy about the prospect of building a Mosque at Ground Zero.  The heresy.  The disrespect. The gall. There were multiple articles written.  Hysteria abounded. Politicians all took sides.  You were either for or against it.  No grey area. It was the topic of many sermons by clergy for tolerance and understanding.  

The only thing missing were facts.  There already was a Mosque downtown and wasn't near Ground Zero. It was a few blocks away. The Imam of the Mosque wanted to build a community center open to all.  It was not meant with disrespect. It was intended to bridge, but don't tell that to the hysteria seeking media and politicians.  For weeks we had to hear about the supposed "desecration" to the memories of the victims of 9/11. 

Most shockingly, until last Friday night on Bill Maher's show, I had no idea that the community center was built and opened. No fanfare. No media frenzy. I really am stunned by the utter silence of the media and the loud politicians.  What I learned yet again is that the Right (mostly) gloms onto a topic, throws gasoline on the embers, fires people up, and then moves on to the next topic.  Leaving a trail of partially educated, emotionally wired, listeners in their wake.  

Okay, does the name Hank Williams, Jr. mean anything to you?  He stepped in it on some Fox News show comparing Barack Obama to Hitler.  ESPN responded swiftly and pulled his iconic song for NFL football off the air.  They didn't want to be associated with that rhetoric.  What I can't believe is that no one ever learns from other's mistakes.  People need to sideline the comparison to Hitler. More often than not it backfires and is much too freely used.  Hitler is an easy go to guy because who has been worse in recent memory.  Stop going to him!

In other ramblings:  Not looking forward to AJ Burnett pitching the must win Yankee game tonight.  Don't think anyone other than Mrs. Burnett is.


Monday, October 3, 2011


It's October and that means MLB is just beginning the playoffs.  It's crisp. It's rainy.  It's the Yankees time in New York City.  I love this time of year.  I love the Yankees.  I always have but didn't know it.  I grew up with the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A's, but the only players I ever really knew were Yankees: Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, Martin, Maris, Berra, Ford, and the list goes on and on. The history is deep and rich with lore.  I didn't grow up on the East coast so when I moved to NYC, it was easy. There was no competition.  It had to be the Yankees.  Why would anyone choose the Mets?  If you grew up in Queens, the Mets are in your blood, but otherwise....

I am getting off topic here.  What I want to write about are pitchers.  Years ago, pitchers pitched the whole game. There were relievers if the starting pitchers got into trouble.  In the last 20 years, baseball managers have turned pitchers into the most coddled athletes in any sport.  Rarely do starting pitchers pitch a whole game and if they do, it's because they might be pitching a no-hitter or a perfect game.  Pitchers used to have 3 days off and pitch nine innings. Now, pitchers have 4 days off and there is a 7th inning relief pitcher, 8th inning reliever, and the all important closer.  If the starter is doing poorly, there is now a middle reliever.   

Perfect example. Friday night the Yankees are playing the Detroit Tigers for the first game of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium.  The great C.C. Sabathia (from Oakland, Ca.) starting for the Yankees; Justin Verlander for the Tigers. It started to pour torrents during the second inning.  After Sabathia pitched two innings, MLB decided to  postpone the rest of the game.  The conversation then turned to who would pitch the rest of the game the next day.  Really?  Sabathia and Verlander couldn't finish?  Now, Sabathia said he was ready to go.  Yankee management wouldn't let him.  These players are paid millions of dollars, millions and they can't finish what they started with all the relievers lined up?  Kills me.  No other athlete is coddled like this.  It is laughable how pitching has evolved into a Bullpen of Princes.

Side bar:  Wonder why The Amazing Race wins the Emmy year in and year out? It's because the producers do more in one hour throughout the world than The X Factor, Dancing With the Stars, The Biggest Loser, America's Got Talent, and American Idol do all together in 2 - 4 hours weekly.