Wednesday, March 30, 2005

"Wednesday's Child"

Does your local news station do a segment called "Wednesday's Child", featuring a child in foster care who needs to be adopted? Mine does. So, here at TDB we are introducing our own weekly segment. The difference is that it features a BLOG that, in my humble opinion, does not get nearly enough attention.

Today's "Wednesday's Child" is Two Chemists and Their Greyhound Sidekick. I've known "pinky" for a few years through a greyhound message board, and she found me here in the blogosphere. She's a wonderful writer and very, very funny. (She and her husband are chemists and they just bought a Honda ELEMENT. Anyone who would spend over $20K to make a pun is ok in my book.)

Go visit Pinky. And feel free to send me ideas for future Wednesday's children.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Picked up on the Glory Road

Swiped this from my friend Easy. Let me know in the comments if you're posting your answers on your blog, so we can come over and check them out!

Name the most unusual object you possess.
Letters from Alfred Hitchcock's secretary, Suzanne Gauthier. When I was 10 (in 1965), I was obsessed with Hitchcock. I wrote to him regularly and she always replied. I even invited him to my sister's wedding but "Mr. Hitchcock will not be in Brooklyn the week of May 7th". Good thing. My sister broke her engagement 2 weeks before the event! I would have been SO embarrassed!

Name three things you like about yourself. Name three things you don't.

Like:
1. I'm quick witted.
2. I'm a very nurturing person.
3. I have a killer backhand.

Dislike:
1. I'm disorganized at home.
2. I am a procrastinator.
3. I am too trusting.

Name three things you'd like to learn.
1. To sing, for real.
2. To speak Italian.
3. To do "illumination" (you know, the very detailed illustrations around a letter in old books?)

Name three things that comfort you when you are stressed
1. Exercise
2. My dog
3. Having a good, calm friend nearby.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Stardust Memories


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There was something about that concoction of smells...the Old Spice, the Chanel No. 5, her pressed powder, his freshly cleaned suit...I loved it when they got dressed up to go out. They seemed different. Young. When I was little my older sisters and I would do silly stuff while they were gone...we'd dance on the coffee table and try doing cartwheels in our tiny living room. In my teenage years those smells meant that I'd have a boyfriend over, who'd run out the front door as they came in the back way.

They'd always come home with a centerpiece of wilted flowers or little pink and blue candied almonds bundled in white netting. The delicious perfumes from the early evening would be replaced by stale traces of rye and vermouth. He would have danced to make her happy. She'd complain that her feet hurt. By the next morning, they'd be snarling at each other and everything would return to ... normal.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Lick the Habit


Image hosted by Photobucket.com Seeing yet another ridiculous Phillip Morris TV commercial about quitting smoking (or about preventing kids from taking up the nasty habit) prompts me to post a link to my FAVORITE jab at the tobacco industry site. Great stuff. Enjoy.

Zoom Zoom Zoom

Since we're not Easter-y types, Lucas and I have an annual tradition of going to the International Auto Show every Easter Sunday. We'll take the train down to the city this morning (always a fun ride), have breakfast in Grand Central Station and then take a cab over to the Javitz Center for the show.

It's a crappy day, so it's perfect for an indoor event like this. Last night, I watched "Maria Full of Grace", an incredible film about a girl who works as a mule (drug trafficker). See if if you haven't.

I also watched "Dr. 90210", one of those train-wreck shows about plastic surgeons that leaves me needing surgery: jaw replacement after it has dropped to the floor. Mrs. Dr. 90210 gives a little speech about how people treat her differently now that she has breasts, how they are more friendly and willing to give her directions and stuff. Uh huh. Note to self: Never, ever, move to LA.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Made it Back...Barely!

Thanks for all the comment-love while I was gone! I was able to check in a few brief moments here and there...and it was great to have some connection to the blogosphere!

The trip was great, although we flew up and back on an 18-seater (not my favorite thing to do). Coming back we flew into a blizzard (even less fun, and I kept thinking of that Twilight Zone episode where the ghoul appears at the window of the plane. That was SO comforting...NOT!). The drive home from the airport was even hairier, but at least I had my boss who is a longtime great friend with me so I wasn't as freaked out as I would have been.

We stayed at a crap Marriott Hotel in Yorkville, because it's two blocks from the office. Unfortunately it was about 10 blocks from the room to the elevator (or certainly seemed like it). Yorkville is nice, though, and we ate (twice!) at Sassafraz...a gorgeous and amazing restaurant on Cumberland. I even drank a little (unusual for me)...two Mojitos in three days! Woo hoo! What a boozer.

My meeting went really well (made a presentation to about 30 people, telling them about a packaging artwork management process that I designed for the US). They loved it and are going to adopt it as well. I actually love making presentations and doing training...It's fun to be the "teacher" ("Class! All eyes on me!")

Did a ton of walking, went to the Royal Ontario Museum to see the Feathered Dinosaur exhibit, bought a couple of Woody Allen movies ($10 Canadian! Cheap!), and got a little break from the kids/dog.

Have a lot of reading (blogs and otherwise) to catch up on. I'm off most of next week so I'll be a busy blogger. I promise!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

O Canada

Image hosted by Photobucket.com I am going to Toronto on business for three days (yeah, I know. I JUST went to Chicago on business for three days. I don't travel that much, normally, but I like it when I do. I get to be a grownup for a few nights).

To keep you busy while I'm gone, I'm directing you once again to reruns. If you are a relatively new reader, chances are you haven't seen these:

The Adventures of Wendy Willcox and Her Dog Willis This is the most hilarious "scam the scammer' story you will ever read. Bar none.

These are the Good Ol' Days My answer to that infuriating chain email that goes around every few months about how much better things were in the 50s and 60s. This is one of my personal favorites.

I'll be back on Wednesday night. Some of you were surprised by the boxing post...if so, you're gonna love what I've got planned for later in the week!

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

The government intervention in the Terry Schiavo case should scare the shit out of all of us. The law is very clear when it comes to decision-making in cases like this: spouse, adult children, parents. The Republicans have turned this very PERSONAL matter into political fodder...a bogus "right to life" case. At the same time, they have redefined "slippery slope". And now BUSH is getting involved? Shouldn't he be busy getting our troops the hell out of Iraq?
LET THIS WOMAN DIE ALREADY. These so-called loving parents are so selfish...I can't even begin to relate. The bullshit propaganda about how she would 'suffer" if allowed to die from starvation is crap. People in a permanent vegetative state do not have the ability to suffer.
I know there are a lot of "blogs for Terri" out there. This is one of them. Let the poor woman go. There are some things worse than death.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Playground of My Youth


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The Plaza Hotel may be converted to condos. For many of you, this might be big-yawn news. For me, it means the end of an historical landmark...the Beatles stayed there, for chrissake. I've had drinks at the Oak Bar, saw Andy Warhol at Trader Vic's, spotted Muhammed Ali as he hailed a cab from the side entrance. I protested against the inhumane treatment of the carriage horses.

But most of all, The Plaza was the place where three of my closest friends and I made mischief as teenagers. We'd take the subway from Brooklyn, buy tickets to see a movie at the Plaza Theater, and amuse ourselves before the show by running around the hotel. We'd change the "Do Not Disturb" signs to "Please Make Up This Room". We'd look for leftovers on the room service trays left outside the rooms. Never did anyone see us or stop us. Until one night.

There was a bathroom in the hallway on one of the upper floors. We decided that the two guys, Andrew and Kevin, would go in and smoke a joint while Andrea and I waited outside, on the lookout. When they were done, we switched places. She and I were doing our thing when we heard muffled voices from the other side of the door. The guys were talking to someone...a man. Panicked, I wanted to flush the roach down the toilet, but instead Andrea stuffed it into the waistband of her jeans. We opened the door to find the house detective and our two petrified buddies.

The detective took us to his office, where we showed him our movie tickets and tried to explain that we were just innocently killing time before the movie. He proceeded to take down our personal info, one by one. As he was scribbling Andrew's parents' names and phone number, I could see Andrea maneuvering the roach out of her pants. What the heck was she doing? Trying not to look directly at her, I could tell that she was opening the zipper of her upholstered chair and cramming the evidence in there. Fucking brilliant. Still, as each home phone number was collected we knew that we were dead meat...pot or not.

Then, the detective got to Kevin: "Where do you live?" "Greenpoint." "What is your last name?" "Sullivan". "Sullivan? In Greenpoint? Are you related to Nancy Sullivan?" "Yes, she's my sister.' "Oh man...I was in love with her in high school. How is she?..." and on and on it went, until he told us to get our skinny asses out of his hotel and never come back.

Let's hope that this plan falls through, or we may start hearing that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is being converted to a Wal-Mart.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

A Die-Hard Pacifist Confesses


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I love boxing. There. I said it. I can't quite resolve it in my little dove-head, but I do. My recent fixation with NBC's The Contender is just a confirmation of what I've already known: I love watching guys beat the crap out of each other. Well, I mean in a semi-controlled, art-form kinda way.

This show is amazing (although I'm one of a relatively small TV audience who seems to think so). There are some cheesy moments with Stallone and Sugar Ray, but the show itself and the desperate boxers and their families are really compelling. The two guys who "wanted each other so badly" on last week's episode were either going to kill each other or make out before the show was over. What can I say? Tensions run high!

If I have a criticism, it would come from my undying impulse to protect every child on the planet. I cannot STAND seeing these little 2 and 3 year old (or even 5 and 6 year old) kids watching their fathers get and give a pummeling in the ring. Last week, a little girl dressed up like a piƱata was covering her eyes as her daddy's brains rearranged themselves in his skull. C'mon...this stuff is GREAT to watch, but there needs to be a height requirement to enter the 'gymnasium'. There would be plenty of human drama without permanently scarring these poor children. If they would just get the kids out, this show would be my favorite guilty pleasure.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A Little Something...

...to keep you entertained while I'm gone.

This site is amazing...don't forget to play the What Kind of Dog Are You? game. I am, believe it or not, a toy poodle!!

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Saturday Sound Bites

Still not quite back in full typing mode, but better. There are just a few things I want to throw out there. Discuss.

1. When you comment on someone's blog, would you rather that person email an answer to you, or answer it in the comments? I get a lot of email responses which is nice, but on some blogs the comments seem to spur a conversation which is nice too.

I'm really not sure what's better! Help me out here.

2. I sent off our packette to the Today Show. They will make a decision early next week as to whether or not Lucas' room gets their Spring Makeover. We took pictures and made a video, which I turned into a really fun iDVD. For some reason, I tend to get responses when I apply for these things. When Emma was in High School, I wrote to the Dr. Phil show about dealing with a gifted underachiever and they called me almost immediately. The had to speak with Emma before they'd book us, and she didn't want to discuss her school issues on national TV. Oh well!

3. Belly dancing class was really fun and unbelievably hard. But I'm really good at the boob-shake. (I asked if we'd get to do the tassle thing. She said I might be in the wrong class.)

4. I'm off to Chicago on business for three days next week. God, I love that town. So gorgeous.

5. I'm going to do some scanning this weekend. I have a few good posts planned. Between my hurty finger and being really busy at work this week, I've fallen behind in my blog writing AND READING. Hopefully I can get caught up today.

6. I'm reading the Jenna Jameson book (see sidebar). Very interesting...could have been me, if I hadn't made some pivotal decisions along the way...

7. This week in Reality TV: I love The Contender (even though Sly Stallone is an ass), I'm so happy The Amazing Race is back, I was bummed that Wife Swap wasn't on, I'm getting bored by Survivor and The Apprentice. Anwar should win American Idol. And then marry me. [note: this is what happens to a person who does not have an actual life of her own]

8. The best thing about Reality TV? Joel McHale on "The Soup" on E! I'm going to marry him after I divorce Anwar.

9. I hate snow.

10. That's all, but I couldn't leave it at 9.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Photo Friday: Faces


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The faces of the "missing" on September 16, 2001.

Holy Makeover, Batman!

Last night, before I went to belly dancing (which was great, btw...I can bump and grind with the best of them now. Well sort of. Thank god there are no mirrors), I got a call from the Today Show. You know, the Katie Couric Today Show? A few weeks ago I had spotted something on their website asking parents to write a short essay on why their kid's bedroom needed a makeover. I wrote it in my usual smart-alecky style, and lo and behold...they came a-callin'.

We had to take a ton of pictures and make a video and send everything to them today, and they will make their final decision next week. My only fear is that if they do Lucas' room it's going to make the rest of my house look like crap!

Keep all your fingers and toes crossed! I sure am, which is why my typing might look like akddlaa;dhaianruhgn;alm!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Shake It 'til You Break It

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Tomorrow night, I'm starting belly dancing class. How mid-life crisis can you get? Or is that mid-riff crisis? All I know is that I had a friend, years ago, who was in her 50s and had been taking belly dancing for years. I actually saw her perform in a Middle Eastern restaurant and from the neck down she looked 20! I'm not kidding...her body was unreal. So what have I got to lose?

I can't write much tonight because I have an infected cuticle on my index finger and it HURTS to type!!

The Results are IN!

And the winner of the GRR Donation Raffle is..... Sharron!. She wins the $50 Gift Certificate to buy some cool jewelry at Jakk's Magic Bean Workshop!.

Please go visit Sharron and congratulate her!

The good news is that between my donation and the ones from my readers, GRR will be able to pay for 2 spays (the adoption groups pay for all of the veterinary work when the dogs come off the track, including the repair of broken bones). The less-than-great news is that although the comment turnout was GREAT, the donation turnout was teeny.

So, I'm not doing my malaprop post today! (I'll save it for another day, though...it's too good not to.) I will, however, go back to our regularly scheduled silliness a little later in the day. Right now I have to get my butt dressed and off to work!

Thank you again for participating in the comment fundraiser! If you missed it, I'll do it again later this year.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Slip Slidin' Away

I am one unhappy puppy tonight... it took me THREE AND A HALF HOURS to get home from work (normally a 35 minute drive.) After a 60-degree day yesterday, we had a major blizzard with icy slush and 50mph winds. A real festival on the highway. Cars were spinning and sliding everywhere (I like to amuse myself by thinking of them as the "June Taylor Drivers", something only the oldest bloggers will get.)

Anyway, the only thing less fun than driving home was attempting to walk Kelso. Positively miserable. So, no funny posts from me tonight. I need to recharge my personality. It will be back tomorrow.

What is the Opposite of "No Comment"?


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173 COMMENTS left on yesterday's fundraising post for Greyhound Rescue & Rehab!

Since some people accidentally put their comments on the previous day's post, and some emailed me because the "line was busy" on my haloscan comments, I'm going to round up to 180...which translates to $280 that I'm forking over for the greyhounds!

You guys are awesome! Thanks also to many of you who cross-posted about the event on your own blogs.

Remember, although the "comment fundraiser" is over, you can still donate something...doesn't have to be much...directly to Greyhound Rescue & Rehab. If you do it before 9PM tonight, and put "TDB" in the memo field of the Paypal form, you will be entered into the drawing to win a $50 Gift Certificate from Jakk's Magic Bean Workshop. There you can choose a lovely pendant or earrings designed by Jul of Jul of the Day.

C'mon...do a little something for the pups. I promise you a VERY funny blog post for tomorrow...but only if we get some action today! I'll give you a hint: I collect malaprops. Now...go donate!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

How Life Should Be...


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...for the hounds. As I mentioned yesterday, tomorrow, Monday, I will be running a comment fundraiser to benefit Greyhound Rescue & Rehab.

Tomorrow morning (or at midnight tonight if I can stay up that late!) I will make the official benefit post. Then, I will donate $2 per comment for the first 100 comments, and $1 per comment thereafter (wouldn't it be great to get more than 100 comments?).

In addition, anyone who goes to the Greyhound Rescue & Rehab site and donates directly should put "TDB" (for The Dog's Breakfast) in the Memo field on Paypal. You will then be entered in a raffle to win a $50 Gift Certificate for jewelry at Jakk's Magic Bean Workshop donated by Julie of Jul of the Day. You can do that any time between now and Tuesday at 9PM.

Please promote tomorrow's comment fundraiser on your blog. If you want more information about retired racing greyhounds, and why we need to raise money for them, read the GRR site and my previous blog post.

Photo taken by me, of my pup Kelso and Riley and Jabari, of Greyhounds Living in Paradise. Riley and Jabari have moved to Hawaii...the stinkers.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

MINI Driver


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I love my MINI. (I also love to look at this photo, taken in October, when there was NO SNOW.) This is an amazing car to drive (it's a 6-speed S, with 195-hp...for an itty bitty car, that's fast.), but there's also a whole sub-culture of MINI people. I don't think Taurus drivers flash their brights at each other in recognition. Or do they? Anyway...just another peek into my world. (I still have an SUV, but I'm getting ready to trade it in for something smaller like a RAV-4. The MINI is the dog-free zone.)

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Speaking of dogs, on MONDAY I will be running my comment fundraiser for Greyhound Rescue & Rehab, our local non-profit greyhound adoption group. I'll post more info tomorrow, but basically I will donate $2 for every comment posted to a particular blogpost on MONDAY. There will also be a prize drawing for those who donate to GRR directly, a gift certificate donated by Julie of Jul of the Day. To see what you can get, go to Jakk's Magic Bean Workshop. (just put "TDB" in the memo field on the Paypal form to be entered into the drawing). More details about the Gift Certificate will be posted tomorrow.

Please promote the fundraiser on your blog...we've all done some great work for Tsunami Relief and other charities, but that also makes it harder for some of the less well-known non-profits who need help.

Again, the comment fundraiser starts MONDAY. Direct donations to GRR, with "TDB" in the memo field, will be entered into the drawing from today through Tuesday at 9 PM. For more info on the Greyhounds, see my previous post.

Thanks everyone!!!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Only Because You Asked...


Here's a pic of me in my HS Uniform. ( I thought it was cool to substitute the penny loafers with lace-up dominatrix boots.) This was pre-Brooke Shields, hence the lack of eyebrows.


I like this one, though. It was taken on "Recollection Day", which was one of those goofy events where we didn't have to wear uniforms, but had to sit through "folk Mass" and sing Kumbaya. Then we'd break up into small groups with a few teachers to talk about deep stuff. As you can see, we didn't take it too seriously. In the background is the "Love & Pinches" guy, and next to him is a teacher I loved. We thought he was hilarious because he'd say stuff like "Many were cold, but few were frozen." And, ironically, he once told me: "Marian, you're not the marryin' kind." HA! (check out my friend on the left with the Italian Afro!)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Plight of the Only Parent


Hosted by Photobucket.com I used to think that being a single parent was a really, really hard thing, especially a single working parent. And in many ways it is. But as with most things in life, a little perspective goes a long way. Now that I'm an only parent (to my 10-year-old son, since his dad died), I ache for the days when I had someone else to lean on, talk to, fight with, and generally share responsibilities with when it comes to Lucas. And I long to have a couple of nights a week when he was with his dad and I could go to a movie or have dinner with a friend. (there is a part of me that always thought joint-custody parents had the best of both worlds, and it did work that way for awhile)

Lucas is sick this week. He's had a fever since Monday and it doesn't seem to be quitting. Took him to the doctor today and there's nothing obviously wrong, but if he's still got the fever on Friday they are suspecting pneumonia. That's a very loaded word in this house, since Tony had pneumonia a few months before being diagnosed with lung cancer. I won't even speak the word to Lucas, who has become very nervous about sickness of any kind.

But as it relates to my plight, his being sick means that I cannot go to work. There's no backup...no one I can say "you do it today, I'll stay home tomorrow" to. No one to bounce things off like, "Do you think we should give him [insert drug here]?" We'll get through this week, and my job will still be there whenever I get back. I'm lucky that way. But any sense of shared responsibility is gone.

The irony here is that Tony and I did disagree about a lot of things when it came to Lucas. What we shared, though, was the depth of love for our child that only a parent can feel. When he does something cute or amazing, I want to tell his dad...knowing that it would never be boring or trivial to him. And sometimes I do.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Jamie's Ode to Whoop-ass



Am I the only one, after listening to Jamie Foxx sing the praises of his grandmother's beatings, who was left with the visual of him beating the crap out of his sweet little girl? Maybe convinced that it will help her land an Oscar winning role someday?

I came across a post on MetroDad's blog about "spanking". Now, MetroDad's the new father of an infant daughter, so I'm going to cut him some slack and hope that by the time she's old enough to misbehave he will have learned that you can, in fact, raise good children without pummeling them.

What is really scary, though, are the comments that other bloggers left...together they sound like a frenzied crowd anxiously awaiting their glimpse of a public execution. "Yeah! Beat them! Kids only understand pain! I really needed that belt to keep me in line!" What the fuck??

I suppose I should not be surprised. We read about children who are killed every day by a "spanking" gone wrong. I hate the word, for one thing. It's nothing more than a euphamism. If you're so comfortable with whacking your children, then call it what it is: hitting. But who really writes the definition? Where is the line between this thing called spanking and child abuse? Or does it even matter?

My father's definition of discipline ranged from the back of his hand (wedding ring included) across the face, to the snap of a dipstick across bare legs, to a full fist in the mouth when I was 16 years old. And everything in between. If he had ever been challenged (he was not, as my mother often pushed and prodded him into it) he would have thought he was exercising his parental rights. No wonder I cannot listen to the 10,000 Maniacs song, "What's the Matter, Here?" without blubbering.

More importantly, though, is the long-term, life-altering stuff. Right before I married Tony, my mother tried to rationalize her method of parenting (saying that "changing husbands is child abuse, hitting them is not"), and I finally decided to lay it out for her. I told her that when I moved out of her house at 17, immediately after high school, the man I lived with had hit me so hard that he broke my ribs. She was shocked. "Why didn't you tell us??", she asked. My response was simple. "Because I had grown up in a house with a man who was supposed to love me who hit me, and I left to live in a house with a man who was supposed to love me who hit me. I didn't think it was that weird."

It is not easy to raise children without hitting them. You have to THINK. You have to control your animal instincts to grab them by the scruff of the neck. Sometimes you have to walk away. But isn't this what we're trying to teach our children, when it comes to dealing with adversity in real life? That you can't haul off and punch the kid who destroys your Lego creation, or flatten the neighbor whose dog shits on your lawn? How do you teach those things if hitting is a part of your family culture?