Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Wednesday Mish Mash

A bit o'politics. I am thankful that Mitt Romney won both primaries in Arizona and Michigan. I don't think any Republican running has any "legs" to make it to the finish line.  This is the Republican pool of lunatic candidates. It is more than clear that any quality Republican is waiting until 2016. You may ask, who I consider quality.  Well, slap my face...Jeb Bush is looking fairly centrist and pragmatic.  That may change in 4 years, if he runs or maybe Mark Rubio?  

Another wonderful Senator isn't running for re-election, Olympia Snowe. The gridlock has turned her job into just one big headache. Senator Snowe is a Republican.  She is a moderate Republican, I'd say. Reasonable. Pragmatic. Her job isn't enjoyable anymore. Maybe it's that her job has become irrelevant. Senator Snowe wanted to be a public servant for the right reasons, help her State, constituents, country. She did that for over 30 years. She said enough, basta, no more. Done. Kaput.  What a shame. The Legislative Branch of Government is chasing away thoughtful, practical Senators and Congressman.  What are we to do?  Is the Congress going to just be white, Christian men? Really?  Is that where we are going?

Lindsey Lohan. She returns to the limelight for the first time for something positive and not to do with parole or court appearances. Lindsey Lohan is hosting SNL this Saturday night.  I think it is an odd choice, but we shall see. She is being interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today Show and they showed a sneak peek today. I can't relate to the way she looks. She was so adorable as a young girl and her red hair was stunning. Now, she looks like Victoria Gotti's daughter. Bleach blond, too much botox, restalyne, and in general, the bloom is off the rose. I don't like that they hired her to play Elizabeth Taylor. I hope that she pulls it off, but seeing her today...I can't see it at all.  I am sure that I will set my DVR to see her SNL episode, but I don't have a lot of hope for her long term success.  I do not want to be right.

Sidebars:  American Idol is not The Voice. I tried to watch last night and couldn't take it.  I think all these shows that are dragging down with ratings losses should all be re-edited to one hour episodes.  I think that without doubt short and sweet is much more appealing.  I have been saying it about The Biggest Loser, too, and no truer than last night's overinflated 2 hour episode.  If I had DVR'd it, I could have watched it in 30 minutes or less.  Though, the last five minutes was the big payoff, so I could have just watched 5 minutes. It's a rainy day in NYC and colder than it's been.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Tarnished Movies

If my children are any indication of the future of "going to the movies," movies are in trouble. One child had no interest in watching the Oscars and the other watched and was complaining how expensive it is to go to the movies. In our family we decided that the kids should start to learn about money and managing it, so we give them a monthly allowance. It is supposed to cover all things that aren't necessities.  That means they have to pay for their own movies. Here, in NYC, movies cost $13.50 and, if you see a 3D movie, $17.50.  That's just to walk through the door.  That is a lot of money. One child, doesn't think it's worth it to spend that amount of money. The other child, just doesn't get there at all.  

There are too many other choices, many free. There's TV, movies on demand, streaming, computers, Xbox, Wii, video chat, Face Time, iPads, Kindles, iPods and that's just some of choices.  I didn't even count old fashioned fun such as board games, cards, books, conversation, naps, eating, etc.  The competition is fierce for entertainment hours. I think that movies may lose out in the end.  

What used to be a social night out when I was a child, is fading. I never hear the kids say we have to go to opening weekend for such and such a movie or I can't wait for the opening of _______________________.  It is a social occasion that seems to be fading and I am not sure the studios will get it back. It's so interesting that the vast majority of moviegoers and Academy Award viewers are over 50.  That's not a great trend for the longevity of the film industry. Maybe the filmmakers should make fewer movies and make better quality.  

There are movies that the kids show up for, like The Hangover and Hangover 2. Quality? I think not. Cheap laughs? Yes. Though, I know so many people that hated Hangover 2. Yet, it made so much money, we have Hangover 3 to look forward to. Really? I am digressing and probably contradicting myself all over the place.  This isn't linear.  I don't have the answers to the movie problem. I just can see that the Hollywood bubble doesn't recognize there is an issue. It's that old myth, throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.  It's probably always been that way, but the stakes are higher, so there needs more thought. 

Sidebars:  Not really a Spoiler Alert for The Bachelor viewers. Ben is too stupid and really deserves whatever he gets.  Warned and warned and warned.  Did he not see Jake and Vienna?  Jake was warned by all the girls. How did that work out Jake?  Yeah, I thought so.  Hard to take and hard not to watch.  Rubbernecking.  The Voice doesn't disappoint. Love it and love it more.  If you only watch one singing show, watch The Voice.  It has the most value and the best talent. I can't speak about politics right now. Maybe after the Michigan and Arizona primaries.  It is making me sick. 

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Time Zones Make a Difference

Let me be perfectly clear, starting the Oscars at 8:30pm is too late.  The Academy Awards celebration is so drawn out and dry.  We have already had the flawless, talent driven only, Golden Globes.  We also sat through the two hour SAG Awards, where actors celebrate themselves.  We have heard so many thank you speeches. We have read about the DGA Awards, The Writers Guild Awards, BAFTA, etc. By the time we get to the Oscars, we are tired and there are few surprises.  

Billy Crystal did a wonderful job hosting. The fact that it goes on ad infinitum, is on the producers, Brian Grazer and Don Mischer. Cirque du Soleil?  Really?  Is it necessary?  Maybe the producers should have to watch the show on the east coast.  There is a huge difference of tolerance level between watching television from 5:30-9pm and 8:30pm-midnight.  It can't be compared.  Those of us on the east coast are tired, have to worry about work or school the next day, and want to be entertained.  Those on the west coast can have fabulous parties, eat, drink, and still be in bed by 11pm.  May I say it again?  Huge difference. 

The Globes and the SAG Awards have spoiled us by not having technical awards. They move fast. It's one TV or movie actor after another.  All recognizable. No art direction, sound editing, short film, etc.  All wonderfully important, but not interesting to watch unless you are in Hollywood. I think the producers need to get out of the Hollywood bubble, step back, and see how those losing sleep are affected.  I am also certain that the highest ratings are in Los Angeles and go down from there as you go further from the epicenter. 

The Oscars have a problem. Maybe the Oscars need to start at 6pm on the east coast, like the Super Bowl.   Maybe the ennui wouldn't set in so early on the east coast. Maybe the Oscar producers should take a page out of the Grammy producers play book. Then, everyone can have fun and be in bed by 11pm. 

Sidebars: I have bemoaning the hold that Nike has over sports and the youth of America for decades. Phil Mushnick from the New York Post wrote his column today about Nike, and I only wish I'd written it. I couldn't have said it better and expresses why I find it hard to stomach or support Phil Knight or the company. It is well worth the read:

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Non Respondez Vous

I was speaking to a friend yesterday and she was bemoaning the fact that she reaches out to people by email, makes presentations to them, spends time doing searches, and nada. The kicker is that these people, by and large, are initiating the conversation. They will email her and ask her for ideas to promote their businesses, schools, honor their child, etc. Because she is a Type A+ personality, she spends a lot of time to do the perfect presentation. Niente. What's happening to people that they can't just hit the reply button?

When I was getting married, oh so many years ago, we didn't even send response cards. We did what Miss Manners and Tiffany's suggested and made invitees take the time to respond in writing in a formal and personal way. Lo and behold, there were very few people that we had to chase down to find out if they were coming or not. That took a lot of effort on the part of the recipient. They rose to the occasion.

I have had to send out mass emails for meetings and events at my kids school over the years. This is with the advent of computers, no stamps involved, nothing, except the reply button.  Still had to chase down answers from many parents. How ridiculous!  As if my time isn't as important? I am trying to imagine, is it not easy enough to reply?  How can we make it easier?  You don't even have to speak to people anymore and it is still too difficult.  For my children's B'Nei Mitzvah, I had to chase down RSVP's from far too many. That did require handwriting, but the stamp was included. Currently, I am hosting a party. Now, granted, we had some glitches in delivery of the email invite. It must have been flagged in many spam folders, but now I have sent it through regular email and I am still chasing replies.  I don't get it. It wouldn't even occur to me not to reply. 

It's not just RSVP's. There are people that are just black holes. You can write them email or send them a message on FB and rien, nothing.  Really?  Isn't it better to respond? Isn't it more respectful to respond?  Even if the other person thinks the answer will piss the receiver off? Isn't it better than the massive black hole?  Come on people, it's time to buck up, grow up, and respond. 

Sidebars:  Maybe that's why I love Downton Abbey so much. I love that world. There were rules that were followed. Everyone knew that respect was of the utmost importance. Etiquette was natural. If you have missed this BBC series, get on it. It is brilliant, gorgeous, and compelling. Two seasons down. You can Netflix it, buy it, stream it, etc. It's well worth the time.  Hoping that everyone has a wonderful weekend.  

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Recently I have longed for the days of Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem, and Betty Friedan.  I am feeling somewhat bereft that young girls and women have no earthly idea what the women before them achieved.  I can go back to Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, Harriet Tubman. Great women who didn't give up.  

The new generation seem like they are walking through entitlement clouds. Not listening to the climate of the country. Not noticing that with shifts in laws, women's rights are being chipped away at. Not noticing.  How can we shake them awake?  When they realize what's happening, will it be too late? Look what's going on all around the country.  The new Virginia law which requires women who want an abortion to first get an internal vaginal probe?  Why?  For what reason? That one of the front runners in the Republican Presidential race is pro-life and anti-contraception, is beyond my capacity of reason.

For far too long, women have been used as political fodder. For many of those years, there have been women pushing back, but the women pushing back are getting older. We need the young to take up the fight and the torch, to keep what is rightfully ours: our bodies. I find it so upsetting the quietude from the young women. What's going to happen? Can you see a country that goes back in time and not forward? I can. It's slightly unbearable. Does anyone know how to light a fire under the bums of women?  

Why is this generation so different from past generations?  Is it that they haven't had to suffer through the Vietnam War or the assassination of a President or a Senator or a Civil Rights Leader? We have survived through an attack on our soil by terrorists, two wars, and hate mongering.  This generation seems like teflon. If it doesn't effect them, not that important. If the internet is down, there is bloody hell to pay. Is that really where we are now?  

I feel so very lucky to have grown up through the 1960's and beyond. I think that I have a great appreciation for what has come before me and I don't take it for granted. Why can't that be instilled in today's youth?  Any ideas? This is not going away for me. It makes me deeply sad. 

Sidebars: Okay, The Biggest Loser is now officially a loser. It's time to take back the time I have wasted. Sorry, to those who hadn't seen The Bachelor yet. I will remember to put spoiler alert from now on. Well, I will try to remember. Senior moments and all. 

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Weekend in the Country

We had the opportunity to spend time with friends in their country home in upstate NY. It is a challenge for me to be a house guest anywhere. I feel like I have to be on perfect behavior. Be a good guest, help, don't be a sloth and a pig in someone else's haven. This time was very different. We all belonged, no one was dragged. The home was beautiful, comfortable, and peaceful.  At night it was so, so quiet. No sounds at all. No sirens. No people. No dogs. No howling hyenas or coyotes.  Just perfectly quiet and still.  The darkness was the definition of dark.  Night time is pitch black.  

Maybe that's why I am hesitant to live in the country. I believe all those ghost and horror stories told to me when I was young and slumber parties. Darkness is scary. No good comes in the pitch blackness of night. Our friends don't lock the doors at night. Are you kidding me?  It makes my mind work overtime. It's a perfectly safe neighborhood, until it's not. I don't want to be there when it's not. There are no street lamps. The roads are all blind curves to drive on in the night. It reminded me of the darkness of Tuscany of night.  I really think it's part of the fear I have of country life. I never really got that until this weekend.  Though, the weekend in no way was scary. Our hosts were flawless, but the darkness became the 9th character when the sun went down. 

Sleeping was a challenge for a city girl, but the peaceful calm overtook the darkness of the night and slumber came. Ultimately, it was perfectly relaxing, but in the back of my mind was the undercurrent of horror story after horror story. I survived and flourished. Hopefully, it's the first of many adventures that will open up to me even at my advanced age.
Thank you to great and easy hosts.

Sidebars:  Oy, The Bachelor. Pushing me beyond all reason. I wish that I had a fast forward button and can confirm what all the rumors on the internet are saying.  Ben sent home Kacie B. last night and she was in the sad limo ride to the airport crying and asking why didn't he like me, why did he let me go.  Kacie B., if I could reach you, it's because you are too good for him. 
The Voice is by far the most interesting, satisfying, and entertaining singing competition show. If you aren't watching, give it a try. 

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Flag Rules

With the death of Whitney Houston, the media and fans have not stopped talking about their feelings, memories, and ways to honor her.  Governor Chris Christie gave Whitney the ultimate honor by ordering the flags to fly half-staff.  I don't have any idea how to feel about that. I feel like I need a list of all the people that came before to see how it matches up. I always felt it was saved for Presidents, heroes, astronauts, etc. I don't recall the flags flying half-staff for an entertainer or musician.  Can anyone?  It feels a bit odd to me, but I can be swayed with evidence and persuasion that it is the right way to go. It's just that if you start with singers, actors, musicians, artists, then where does it stop?

In New York, we suffered another great loss. Gary Carter, the great Hall of Fame catcher, World Series Champ with the Mets, died of brain cancer yesterday at the young age of 57. Gary Carter led an exemplary life. He was one of the great New York Mets where talent outshined ego. Gary Carter was a role model that parents could be proud of: no scandals, no poor behavior, just his great smile, leadership, and catching.  He let his field play speak for itself. 

Does Governor Andrew Cuomo order the flags to fly half-staff for him? If we choose to honor great talent when it passes, the flags will never fly high in the sky again. There will be no end to the passing of great people in their different fields. So maybe that is my answer. Maybe I don't think that the flags should be flying half-staff for Whitney Houston, no matter how great her talent.  

Sidebars:  It is President's Weekend.  A long weekend for all. Some have the entire week off, but we just have four days. Wishing all a wonderful weekend wherever you are or whatever you are doing. Take a moment to think about President Lincoln and Washington. I am so old. I remember when we separated their respective birthdays and celebrated each of their contributions to this country. Now, we go for practical vacation time. Enjoy!

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Is It Really Worth It?

So, I am trying as always to be the best that I can be.  It isn't easy and it is a full time job.  Just thinking about what I could do, takes a lot of time.  So yesterday I decided to go to the gym.  I felt that I'd been sitting around too much and not moving my body enough since I got a cold.  My brain needed a little airing out, as well.  I got on the treadmill.  I walked really hard uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill, slower, faster, slower, faster. I felt I was doing my heart and mind some good.  I stopped the treadmill, put my feet on the sidebars and inexplicably, my left foot slipped off. My ribs slammed into the hand bar on the left, knocked the wind out of me, and stunned me.  The pain was great. I was alone in the gym. I was both glad and sad about that.  Glad because how stupid I felt.  Sad because I could have maybe used a bit of sympathy and a helping hand.  I held my left ribs as I went back home. Trying to breathe.  Walked into an empty home. Grabbed an ice pack and velcro'd it on to my side. I immediately felt relief.  I was warm from the workout so it was a welcome feeling. In one second, I turned from a physically able bodied person to a gimp. I couldn't move well at all. Turning, bending, sitting, all was too painful.  I took two advil. I tried to lay down and that was excruciating. Thinking about yoga Thursday morning. As I was trying to get into bed, on all fours, trying to find a way to get into bed.  There goes cat/cow. There goes downward facing dog. Finally, somehow I got on my right side and just collapsed diagonally in bed. So sad. So pathetic.  

I have to laugh. I have said many times how much I hate working out.  Now, this happens.  I will get back on the treadmill again. Maybe next week, but for now....No yoga. It hurts a bit to walk, but I am going to try to walk to get some exercise. I am supposed to play basketball tomorrow with my fabulous group of women. I have missed three weeks in a row and am dying to play tomorrow.  Now what?  Maybe I just go root for my ladies.  

Sidebars: New York is completely crazy and thrilled with Jeremy Lin.  He helped the Knicks soar to a 7th straight win.  The city is gripped with Linderella.  It hasn't been this exciting watching the New York Knicks since Patrick Ewing.  Jeremy Lin has electrified the team and the Garden.  Just goes to show that there is no "I" in team.  Maybe more GM's should pay attention to quality over celebrity.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Having sat through the JV basketball season at my child's school, I have seen all kinds of behavior from players, coaches, parents, and students.  The one underlying vibration is win at all cost.  I am an undying promoter of good sportsmanship. I think it is above and beyond the most important element of a good coach and mentor. It is rare. Everyone wants to win. I have been at games that I would have called technicals on some of the people in the stands, if I were the referee.  Doesn't happen. Bad sportsmanship goes unpunished.  

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. I was at lunch with a girlfriend and saw a news crawl on the TV. The coach for the ultra competitive Alabama Crimson Tide suspended 4 players even though they are smack dab in the middle of the hunt for placement in the NCAA tournament.  Coach Anthony Grant may be my sports hero. He suspended 4 of his best players and sent them home from their trip to LSU because of breaking team rules.  Coach Grant put teaching and mentoring over winning at all cost.  He hasn't released what they did and it doesn't even matter. I can't believe that a Coach for one of the most high pressured booster schools had the courage to teach his players right from wrong without concern for the all important win.  I am incredibly impressed. Coaching is also teaching. Coaching is teaching life lessons by way of sports. Coaching is helping athletes to know what's right. Coaches have huge impacts on young minds. If more coaches were like Anthony Grant, maybe fewer athletes would be all about "me."  It is an incredible move. Time will tell what long term impact it will have on Coach Grant's program, Alabama, the players, and all sports.  "Talent is a gift, but character is a choice. The consequences of their choices have negatively impacted them as individuals and the people that love and support them," Grant said in the statement. "Our hope is that they will be mature enough to accept responsibility for their actions and place a higher value on their character." Coach Grant, I think I love you!

Sidebars:  I would be remiss if I didn't mention the crazy love for Jeremy Lin that is going on in NYC, Palo Alto, Taiwan, and all over. A young, basketball player that has singlehandedly brought the spark back to the New York Knicks. He is humble and beautiful to watch. Smash has so much talent but the worst writing.  Better improve quickly or the trite and predictable scripts will get people to switch to something else. The Bachelor is a disgusting and huge disappointment.  Rumor has it who Ben chooses. If it's true, wow.  The franchise may never recover. The Voice is stellar! The Biggest Loser is in trouble.  If they don't cut it down to one hour next season, they may just have to cut it from the schedule.  Too much drama, not enough weight loss and emotional recovery. Was Gillian the lynch pin?

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Monday, February 13, 2012


When I felt my phone vibrate, I had no idea what I was going to read.  There was a tweet from Harvey Levin at TMZ that said Whitney Houston is dead.  I was stunned but thought it was a mistake, so I picked up my computer and Googled Whitney.  There was no news about her death. There were headlines about her being considered a judge for the X Factor.  I tried to call a friend who lives in L.A. and thought he'd have news, but couldn't reach him. I Googled again and there it was: Whitney Houston Dead at 48.  Stunning, shocking, and so, so tragic.  

Whitney Houston's meteoric rise to stardom was as fast as was the fast flame out.  In 1986 she won her first Grammy Award for Saving All My Love For You. Her last Grammy win was in 2000.  Her 15 year marriage and relationship with Bobby Brown was a disaster. She and Bobby were drug addicts. We all got to see the struggle play out in public. It was a painful and shockingly unhappy relationship. They had a daughter together. Whitney put out an album in 1997 to little fanfare. She tried to do a European concert tour, which was panned and booed by many. I felt terrible for her. Her handlers should never have let her go back on stage unless she was physically and emotionally prepared.  The YouTube videos of her performances were laugh out loud distressing.  Whitney Houston, once the voice of an angel, had completely trashed and destroyed her voice. What should have been a triumphant return to touring was an excruciating failure.  

I don't know how stars are supposed to trust the people they pay if all they ever say to them is how great they are, how beautiful they are, you've never sounded better, you are the greatest star of all, and it's all B.S. I was angry at Whitney's team for letting her put herself in front of adoring audiences, only to be booed and mocked.  It is such a waste and tragedy to have lost Whitney so suddenly. Rumors are swirling that she partied a lot this week; others saying that she was on her way back.  I am a Pollyanna. I wanted to believe that she was beating down her demons. Whitney's new movie being released in August is called Sparkle. It could have turned her life around, now it may be a posthumous triumph.  

Whitney Houston's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner is stellar and will live on. It also singlehandedly changed how singers approach the song.  She raised the bar. She raised the bar for female singers everywhere.

Whitney Houston gone too soon. 

Sidebars:  The Grammy Awards had so many highlights.  LL Cool J did a great job of hosting and setting the tone for the night. Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, Adele (her first public performance since vocal surgery), Glen Campbell, Paul McCartney, and The Beach Boys to name some of the great performances of the night.  One thing, did they forget that it was an awards show? It seemed more like the Grammy Performances with a few awards doled out.  Entertaining, thoughtful. Great finale with Paul McCartney.  
Not to be disrespectful and no surprise, the networks are absolutely going to beat a dead horse with the untimely death of Whitney Houston. They have compiled hour specials, interviews from everyone, and repetitious reporting. I guess it is always like that, but there is something yucky about the capitalization upon someone's death. 

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Deep Sigh

One of my loyal readers wrote to me and asked why didn't I write about Rick Santorum and the 3 State upset over Mitt Romney yesterday, well, I think it's because it makes me sick to my stomach.  I can't bear that there are candidates that are so intolerant and short sighted and to make matters worse, there are voters who eat all that up.  If we could just take all the social issues off the table, and try to come together, how much more effective we could be.  That the religious right has so much power and control over elections, makes me crazy.  I don't understand why there isn't more of a push back from all Americans, Republican, Democrat, or Independent.  Why there isn't outrage that we are talking about abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception!  Why aren't we focused on jobs, the economy, infrastructure, education, healthcare???? Why does everything have to be political? Why can't a member of Congress or the Senate sit back and decide if something is right for the country and not concern themselves with re-election?  I will always profess that the first candidate on either side of the aisle that speaks the truth, facts only, no pandering, and not bought and paid for, will win the elections handily.  I have faith, certainly in the general election.  The Primaries, I'm not so sure about anymore.  It has gotten so much worse with the absolute BS that is spewed to win votes.  So, my dear reader, why didn't I talk about the absurd wins by Rick Santorum? Because I am sitting here, my head spinning, like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, and it makes it very hard to type!

Sidebars:  Here in NYC we have been thrilled and mesmerized by a basketball player named Jeremy Lin.  He went to Harvard and played bball there.  He had a little success in the NBA, well at least he was in the NBA. Houston dropped him and the New York Knicks picked him up.  He has had the opportunity in the past couple of weeks to dominate game play due to the absence of Carmello Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.  He has fired up the team and the fans!  The most important fact for me...he went to Palo Alto High School,my alma mater.  I couldn't be more proud!  
Finally watched The Bachelor with my daughter last night. Oy vey. It's getting harder and harder to watch and coming from me, that's really saying something.  I just can't figure out anymore what is producer driven or "real."  I am not dumping out, but I must say the highlight is watching "Bachelor Theatre" on Live with Kelly on Tuesdays.  That makes it worthwhile.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Giants vs. Vets

So many thoughts flooding my head this morning.  Yesterday, the New York Giants were feted as only New York City can do, a ticker tape parade downtown in the Wall Street area.  They televised the entire event which went on and on and on.  Pre-empted regular programming.  Throngs of fans screaming and cheering for their favorite Giant player.  I have seen it multiple times on TV in my 30 years of living here, but this year seemed a little bit odd to me.  This year we had thousands of Iraq War veterans returning home after their valiant service fighting for this country. This year they came home not to throngs of strangers and proud Americans, but to their loving families and friends.  They have not been given a heroes return.  They have not been given a huge thank you. They have not been given the ultimate ticker tape parade as only NYC can do.  I have heard rumblings that there are reasons for this, but all I can feel is if they don't do it soon, it won't happen.  It should have been planned immediately.  The Iraq War veterans will just fade back into their daily lives and try desperately to get back to normal living, if possible.  It feels like the Vietnam War vets all over again.  I don't understand why year after year, decade after decade, century after century, we ( and I mean the powers that be) don't learn from history.  As a kid, they always told us if we don't learn history we will repeat it.  Well, we repeat it no matter what.  There is so much revisionist history that it become subjective and not fact.  I think it is unconscionable that we haven't done more for our Vets. They fought a war, again, that was controversial, but the soldiers were doing what they were supposed to be doing.  Let's give them the honors that they deserve!

Here's a 180 degree turn.  There is a new book out by a woman named Mimi Alford. It is called,  Once Upon a Secret: My Affair With John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath. I know Mimi.  I don't know her well but we have socialized multiple times.  She is married to a very dear friend of my husband's.  She is gracious, warm, and lovely.  I knew that she was writing this book.  I never doubted her story, ever, but this week the book has been released and the promos begin. NBC has an exclusive first interview with her with Meredith Vieira.  Each time they promo it or introduce a clip to show, they use the word "claim."  She claims to have had an affair with JFK.  They present it so incredulously. She's a "liar."  The View talked about Mimi and the book. She's going on that show tomorrow, Thursday. Whoopi already dismissed her.  I was so surprised.  Access Hollywood calls it "the alleged affair." Clearly, I have a different vantage point for this particular story.  I find Mimi credible and a reluctant storyteller.  I will be interested to see the interview tonight in full on Brian Williams show and tomorrow on The View.  I also will be more wary of the subliminal pre-judged promos that must happen all the time that I never noticed. 

Sidebars:  Maybe the most important event, personally, was that my husband received an early copy from his publisher of his first book, Don Kirshner: The Man With the Golden Ear. Thrilling, thrilling, thrilling.  What an achievement.  Very proud!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

The Morning After

After an incredible Super Bowl and the New York Giants coming out victorious, I thought the happy buzz would hang on longer.  The news this morning made me so distraught and sad.  Do you remember the story of missing mother, Susan Powell?  Supposedly, her husband took their two little boys camping at midnight in freezing temperatures and when they got back, Susan was missing.  Of course, no one believed his story, but proof was hard to come by to get a conviction.  The story took bizarre twists and turns with the husband's father being arrested for child pornography and voyerism. Josh Powell was fighting to keep his kids.  He was only allowed supervised visits.  Most recently, he lost custody completely and was ordered to undergo a psychosexual evaluation.  The social worker brought the kids for a supervised visit.  When they arrived at Josh's home, he pushed her away and locked and barred the door from entry.  He poured gas all over the house and with his little boys (now 5 and 7 years old) inside, lit the house up in flames.  Suicide and double murder.  Don't give a rat's ass if Josh Powell killed himself, but the fact that he killed his own is the ultimate narcissistic act.  It's painful and I can't imagine what the surviving family of Susan Powell can do to pick themselves up again.  First they lose their daughter/sister and now their grandsons/nephews???????  

In hindsight, we can all second guess the court's decision.  Could anyone have seen this coming?  Clearly, I have to believe that the court had no clue and yet....They did order a psychosexual evaluation, so they saw something not right with Josh Powell.  They saw something because they granted custody to the maternal grandparents.  Could they have had the foresight that he would kill his own children?  Okay, as I said, Monday morning quarterbacking makes it easy, but if they didn't grant him custody and the court had an inkling that he might be a sick *&%$, maybe the supervised visits should have occurred in the office of the court or in a public location. The children were beginning to speak about the night of the camping trip. They are older now and they were remembering or they were just able to verbalize what happened that night. They remembered that Mommy was in the trunk. The grandparents were worried that something like this could happen.  Why didn't the courts?  The pain and loss is unbearable.  My heart goes out to Susan's family.  Can the court system learn something from this tragedy?  Josh Powell was a narcissistic sociopath. I didn't even have to meet him to come to that conclusion. He never should have been allowed home visits until the evaluation was complete!

Sidebars: Madonna was the star of the Super Bowl halftime show. I admire that she is older than I and is an international star for over 25 years.  It was a great spectacle, but the tweets and FB comments ranged from amazing to time to retire to fantastic to she has zero talent.  Go figure.  The Voice re-appeared after the Super Bowl and I think it is one of the great inventions.  It may kill American Idol and the X Factor.  I love Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton. I love the "blind" judging.  It's a great hook. It works.  On a serious note, how proud I am that the outrage of Americans over the Susan G. Komen organization cutting Planned Parenthood, made SGK reverse their decision!  That's a true victory!!!

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Pink Ribbon, Shmink Ribbons

Susan G. Komen may have misstepped as badly as Netflix but with more dire results.  By now you have probably heard or read that Susan G. Komen has cut their funding to Planned Parenthood for breast exams and mammographies. There have been so many pundits speaking out on both sides of the aisle.  The question here is who is donating all the money for breast cancer awareness?  There are "Walks for a Cure" all over America, with thousands of women walking, and raising money to help all women prevent and fight breast cancer.  Nancy Brinker the head of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, named in honor of her sister who lost her battle with breast cancer, has stated repeatedly that this isn't about politics. Are you &*%$#* kidding me? How can Ms. Brinker look in the mirror and state that with a straight face?  She says that they changed their rules and if an organization is going through an investigation, they will stop supporting that organization.  Really?  First of all, what happened to innocent until proven guilty? And why in the world would they have to change their rules?  It seems that they were backing into this position to justify cutting the funding.  It smacks of politics.  Women keep getting battered for political gain.  It's unbearable.  There are prestigious doctors on the board that have said they will resign their position with Susan G. Komen, if they don't reverse their decision.  

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has pledged $250,000 to Planned Parenthood.  He says there should be no politics in health care.  How smart!  On the other side, Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest told The Washington Post the Komen decision was “some of the best news of my entire life,” and she would be organizing a fundraising team for the next Race for the Cure event. I will never give them a dollar personally.  They have gotten too big, too cozy, and too politically poisoned. I hunger for the day when women aren't used as political folly.

If you are still not convinced that it's political, click on the link and read the article!

Sidebars:  Donald Trump stood up in front of the cameras, stated emphatically that he spoke to the head of the CBO, and that unemployment went up and then proceeded to endorse Mitt Romney.  He said it without any doubt and the truth is, he was wrong.  Unemployment went down for the 5th month in a row to 8.3%. As I will continue to say, facts should be facts, period, end of story. The Senate passed the Stock act like 96-4, which now must pass the Congress. It says that members of the Senate or Congress can't use inside information to make investments.  Really?  They had to pass a law so that the members of Congress were treated like all Americans. Beautiful!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day, again

It's February 2nd, otherwise known as Groundhog Day.  When I turned on the TV expecting to hear if Puxatawny Phil saw his shadow or not, I experienced another Groundhog Day.  Donald Trump is blowing hot air and going to endorse Mitt Romney.  It's so funny, because when I think of Donald Trump I picture those fireplace tools that help blow air. Do you know what I am talking about?  Having never known the name of that particular tool, I looked it up.  How fabulously apropos.  They are called bellows.  I am guessing that is how we got the term bellowing, but if I were an animator (Some of my dearest friends are) I would draw Donald as a bellow.  He almost looks like it in human form.  There is such an incredible overblown sense of self, it's no wonder that they like each other.  Though, on the other hand, it's amazing there is room for both of their egos in the same television frame. 

I believe that I have ranted before about my love/hate relationship with Donald Trump.  He is the definition of narcissism walking, but has turned his narcissism into good television with Celebrity Apprentice.  I was wavering whether I would watch it this season.  I hate to support him in any way, shape, or form, but they put together a train wreck of "celebrities."  I thought, "okay, they are drawing me back in with the kooky casting." But then Trump has to insinuate himself back into politics and it makes my skin crawl.  The man is an educated man, went to Wharton, has manipulated the world of real estate to make him an even bigger success than his Daddy, had a hand in raising good kids, but then he starts spewing from his mouth total BS about Obama.  I am actually thinking he can't stand it on the sidelines so he will say anything to get a camera in his face.  I don't believe anything that he bellows.  I just wish that the cameras wouldn't shine on him and he wouldn't be considered newsworthy.  Maybe if no one watches Celebrity Apprentice and the show is cancelled, the lights will dim around him.  Please, if there is a God, let it be so!

Sidebars:  Finally watched The Bachelor from Monday. Though I am totally clear that it is one of the lowest to the ground group of people, each and every year, this group may be the lowest of the low.  The Bachelor, Ben, is looking bad.  We have got to FF to the end. I will leave it at that. Anne Curry on the Today Show, slipped and said Regis Philbern.  Why couldn't she correct herself and say Philbin? She interviewed Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill yesterday morning.  She asked Jonah Hill how he'd feel if he won?  Really?  Great question. Saw a trailer for the HBO movie, Game Change, and can't wait to see it air. Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin! Enjoy Groundhog Day: 6 more weeks of winter.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

This is a total stream of consciousness because there are too many little things mulling around in my mind.  First of all, if JCPenney's doesn't stop their new ad campaign soon, I may never ever walk into a Penney's again.  That screaming over and over and over again is so incredibly grating.  If the ad agency's hope was to annoy consumers beyond all reasonableness, it's working.  I can't remember a worse commercial campaign, though, look, I am talking about it.  Maybe it falls under any publicity is better than no publicity, but all I can do is run for the "mute" button.  

The Florida Primary finally is over. Romney won overwhelmingly, but you wouldn't know it by Newt's rhetoric.  It is just so curious.  During interviews of various Republican talking heads, facts seem to be illusive.  That's what kills me about politics.  There are certain talking points that have facts, but somehow they get all murky and interviewees just pick what they want to discuss at the expense of actual truth.  I actually feel sorry for many intelligent and educated Republicans because their party has been hijacked by wackos.  Maybe they need to splinter off and officially become a 3rd party.  The party of Lincoln's ideals maybe even Reagan's....

The Biggest Loser this year is filled with some of the most unlikable contestants in one place.  Something has changed and maybe this, like House, has jumped the shark (not to be confused with The Shark Tank).  I have said it before, and until the producers and NBC do something about it, this show needs to only be one hour.  It's incessant and unnecessarily bloated in two hours. I still think that there is value to the show, so I am not rooting for it's demise. I just want it to be re-assessed.

Speaking of demise, are we witnessing the demise of the X Factor?  No surprise that the host, Steve Jones, and Nicole Scherzinger would be replaced.  He was as dull as dirt and she made one of the most classic errors in judgement on live TV.  Dumping Paula was a surprise, though her public statement was mature and admirable:  "I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations. Simon is, and will remain a dear friend of mine and I’ve treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at Fox and Fremantle," she continued. "I want nothing more than for 'The X Factor' to exceed ALL of their wildest dreams. This truly has been a blessing and I am most grateful.” Newt could learn from Paula.

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