Monday, October 31, 2005

THESE Are the Good Ol' Days

It's Regurgitation Monday! This was originally posted on January 13, 2005, but since very few of you have been with me since the beginning I thought I'd share it again. Besides...the chain email it refers to is STILL in circulation!



OK, this "Good Ol' Days" thing has been making the email rounds several times in the last 2 years or so. It pisses me off every time I see it, so it's about time I just put the fucking thing to bed by pointing out that the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s might have been the "good ol' days" for straight white adult men, but that's about it.

“We were born in the 40's,50's,60's,70's.
We survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us."

We survived? How many people born in those decades were born prematurely, and/or at a ridiculously low birth weight? How many now have cancer, asthma, diabetes, eating disorders, alcoholism and a host of other ailments? Yep...let's bring back those good ol' days of smoking and drinking while sporting a big belly full 'o baby.

"They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing and didn't get tested for diabetes."

Yeah! And don't forget the boozing and puffing!

"After that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints."

Which apparently DID cause brain damage, based on the amount of times I've seen this stupid list on the web.

"We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, butt pads etc."

You know, my life has really been destroyed by all this "safety". I mean really. Who was ever hurt by a good skull-cracking, or by downing a whole bottle of Xanax?

"As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat."

I especially liked it when we slammed into another car at about 80mph. (no speed limits either!) That feeling of sailing through the air is just something you can't describe. I guess that's because you'd be DEAD!

"We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this."

And there was something kind of COOL about having the same cold sore as all of your friends!

"We ate cupcakes, bread and butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!"

Except when we were at the dentist, or getting whacked upside the head for being “hyperactive”. And as statistics bear out, you're most likely overweight NOW.

"We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on."

In fact, we'd keep track of how many men exposed themselves to us in the course of a day, or try to take us for a ride to shop for a new puppy. Or, we'd get to spend unsupervised time with older cousins. Poor kids these days have to wait until high school to see someone else's genitals.


"No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K."

See above.

"We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem."

Actually, crashing into an oncoming garbage truck was even better. We were the original "Jackass".

"We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no internet or internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!"

Until we grew up and sent this stupid list to everyone in creation on the [horrors] INTERNET!

"We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents."

Newsflash: no one is making money from accidents. It's negligence that costs you.

"We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live in us forever."

Funny thing, a kid on my block actually DID lose an eye to a stick. But hell, that's why you get two, right?

"We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!"

It was REALLY cool when we walked in and their mom and dad were doin' the wild thing!

"Cheerleaders and little league had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!"

Yeah. That came in handy when those over-sensitive girls or other undesirables wanted to be on the team. Or some ugly smart girl wanted to be a cheerleader. I mean really. Cheerleaders have an image to uphold.

"The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!"

This one brings back a particularly heart-warming moment in my own childhood when my father advised us: "Don't ever tell me the nun hit you or I'll give you twice as much." Man, I miss him.

"This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!"

Not to mention psychiatric patients, child molesters, and serial killers.

"The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas."

You mean innovations like computers, the internet, child-safety caps and seatbelts?

"We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all! If YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS! You had the good luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers, and the government regulated our lives for our own good."

And if you're one of the unlucky ones who ate lead paint, overdosed on your mother's Valium, or became a paraplegic after being thrown from your father's pickup truck...OH WELL!! At least you had fun!

Cast Your Vote!



As some of you know, I am hoping to publish a memoir of my wacky life. What I've struggled with, to date, is the concept of writing a linear piece. A beginning, a middle and an end. I do much better with vignettes, the way I write them here.

I have two friends who are published writers. One is encouraging me to go the vignette route, and points to several other writers who have done this succesfully (Anne Lamott, David Sedaris, Melissa Bank). The other friend says absolutely not. He says that writing a book with chapters takes thinking and work, and that I should not try to avoid that. He claims that people want to read chapters...not vignettes.

So, dear readers, what do you think? Is writing a book of related but separate vignettes a cop-out?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I Just Don't Get It



As I mentioned in yesterday's post, today is the anniversary of Tony's death. I'm sure, since he is survived by six brothers and sisters, that our phone will be ringing off the hook with calls of support for Lucas. You know, their 10 year old nephew?

NOT.

It's not like they don't acknowledge the day...one of them will have a Mass for Tony. Such hypocrites.Three of these people live about 40 miles away from us. They have children, Lucas' cousins, that he loves. One sister has taken Lucas for a weekend (twice in two years), one took him for a few days last summer and didn't bother to give him his medication. Then she complained that he was difficult to deal with. Um, ok...

Only one sister, who lives in Texas, even acknowledged his 10th birthday last January. She sent him a lovely letter about how Tony had bought her a bike for her 10th birthday, so she was sending Lucas money to buy a bike. She came to NY to visit friends a few months later and "forgot" to call us.

Only one sister sent him a donation for his Katrina fundraiser. All of these people have money. A few are downright wealthy. (The sister who has taken him for a weekend owns a bathing suit company. She goes on QVC and sells $2MM worth of suits an hour. She's not the one who donated.)

We have heard nothing at all from his uncles, except for one email in response to the fundraiser that bragged about the guy's low golf handicap. Excuse me, but who gives a flying fuck?

Wouldn't you think they would want to reach out to their brother's son, a little boy without a dad? The brother with the low golf handicap lives in a "compound" in South Carolina... a group of homes owned by his wife's family. How about flying Lucas down there to spend a week with his four cousins during the summer?

I don't know... I guess I'm just disappointed and confused as to why they would disconnect from him this way. Tony's parents died young... his mother died shortly after we were married, of cancer, in 1993. His father died of ALS two years later. I think if they were still alive things would be different. In the meantime, I have to try and answer Lucas' questions about his dad's side of the family. Not to mention his 25 year-old half-brother Ryan, whom Lucas worships, who hasn't made any contact at all since Tony's death. Then again, he barely sees his own child.

I'm just venting, I guess. When we attended the bereavement group there were others who had similar experiences, so I guess it's not that uncommon. I don't know whether that makes me feel better or worse, because it's a sad commentary on human behavior. Thankfully, I already know that the boy I'm raising didn't inherit his compassion-bone from his dad's side of the family.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

My Late Husband, Tony

Tomorrow is the 2nd anniversary of the death of my son's dad, Tony. I thought it would be appropriate to repost two entries I've written about him. This one was originally posted on 2/5/05. I added a few things.


Hosted by Photobucket.com


My late husband. That's the way I would jokingly introduce him, since he never managed to arrive anywhere on time. Maybe a part of me also knew that he wouldn't outlive me...he smoked to excess and had been tormented by the demons of various other addictions for years. These demons are what ultimately destroyed our marriage. But in this picture we were happy. It was our wedding day, May 2, 1993.



Tony thought of himself as a Renaissance man. He was a painter, a writer, and a woodworker who crafted humidors with intricate inlay. He adored my 5 year old daughter Emma from the moment he met her, and the feelings were mutual. He shared my sense of humor and loved music. He was also mostly unemployed, irresponsible and accident-prone. I was terrified when I unexpectedly became pregnant with my son in 1994, but Tony assured me that he wanted this baby so badly that he would shape up. He'd do whatever was necessary to become the card-carrying adult that I so often begged him to be.



The simple truth is that it never happened. He was never able to hold a job for long and had several serious accidents (on my first day back to work, when my son was 8 weeks old, Tony used a nail gun without protective eyewear at a job site. The nail ricocheted off the molding into his left eye. A year later, he severely cut a finger while using a jigsaw. In 2001 left-handed Tony lost most of his left hand to a table saw...with a triple Dado blade.) I was always the "designated grownup" and I was exhausted.

The marriage had started deteriorating while I was pregnant and was over by 2000. He had become verbally abusive and Emma, then 14, started asking me how I could allow him to treat me that way. Four-year-old Lucas was saying things like "Just acknore him, Mommy." In his frustration over not being able to control his life or his demons, he would call me names so vile I won't write them here, in front of the children. During one fight he knocked over a tall dresser and I called the police. I knew then that I had to end it.

Tony flipped out over the divorce and never really let go emotionally. He would tell little Lucas to ask me if I still loved him. I tried to be there for him when he lost his hand, but had to keep some distance because he perceived any warmth from me as a sign that the relationship could be revived. It was very difficult.

While he was in the hospital after the accident, he shocked me with news that he had a granddaughter. The story of Tony's son, Ryan, is a long one so I'll save it for another entry, but suffice it to say that I wasn't surprised that his son had gotten someone pregnant and wasn't taking responsibility for the child. Lucas loves having a niece, I love Chloe's mom and we correspond often. We never see Ryan.


Tony and Chloe, 2002.

On Christmas Eve, 2002, he told me that a mass had been found on his lung. He had an appointment to see an oncologist the following week and was terrified. We went together and listened to the doctor say that while his tumor was malignant, "a lot of people live productive lives with one lung!". That was January. Two months and three doctors later, we were told that his tumor was inoperable and the cancer had metastasized to his bones.

The treatment offered was radiation and chemotherapy, but only to extend his life by 4-5 months. Since Tony was extremely vain about his hair, he opted out. Instead, he wanted to go to the Oasis of Hope in Tijuana for laetrille and chelation and god knows what else. I had mixed feelings about it. He couldn't afford the steep fee, so his six brothers and sisters had to scrape together $20,000. Mostly I worried that he would be spending a month away from our eight year old son, who was only beginning to understand the pain that was to come. Tony spent the month of April in Mexico. He was convinced it had cured him.


In July, his right thigh-bone began to separate from his pelvis until he could no longer walk. He was in the hospital from mid-August until October 30th when he finally passed away, at 46 years old. I have replayed the events of that final week almost every day since, as I drive to and from my office. I will never forget the look on my little boy's face as his dad held his hand and said "I tried, buddy, but I'm not going to make it." I thought Lucas had understood that his dad was dying, but his shocked expression said otherwise. On the way home that night, he cried and asked "Can't Dad get amnesia so he'd forget he was ever sick?" Ah, kids. I managed to chuckle through my tears.

The day they moved him from his semi-private room to the "corner suite", I knew. I knew this was the Dying Room. He slept most of that day, but for a few moments while he was awake I assured him that I would choose to remember all of the good things we had. I brought books of photographs of the children and turned the pages for him. He smiled.

The next morning, I walked into his room and paused, puzzled, as I looked for the aquarium. There had to be one, because I could hear the filter. There was no aquarium. It was him. A few times during the day he would sit up and flail his arms, as if to push something or someone away from him. I was glad that Lucas had been taken to his aunt's house, as this would have been very frightening for him to witness. Hell, it kinda scared the shit out of me too.

By 6 PM, his sister Patty and I were the only ones left in the room. We sat on either side of him and at one point realized that the hand I held was cold, while the one she held was warm. Moments later, we noticed a shift in his breath. We both stood up and she started saying "Peace be with you" over and over. He was gone.

Seeing my son that night was so heartbreaking. As I wiped his tears, he insisted that Tony had wanted to be buried (kids have a hard time with the concept of cremation). Then we crawled into bed together in Patty's guestroom and I held him close to me. We said nothing for awhile until he whispered, "Want to do a crossword puzzle?"

Lucas is 10 now. It's been over a year since Tony's death, but thanks to a wonderful bereavement group for children who have lost a parent (and the surviving parent), he's doing well. My daughter never really forgave Tony for his treatment of me during the marriage, and recently told someone that they were "estranged". I often wonder if it will ever hit her.

As for me, I have learned that being an "only parent" is a lot harder than being a single parent. I've made sure to mention Tony every single day to my son, to keep his memory alive. There are days when I'm beyond pissed off at him for smoking himself to death, and other days when I see something he would have loved or laughed at, and all I can do is smile.


April '95



June '03

Not-so Famous Last Words

Original posting date: 4/5/05

Yesterday, in an attempt to clean out the 49.5G that I've used on my laptop, I began opening a lot of files that I haven't looked at in awhile. In some cases, files that I didn't even remember that I had.

One of these turned out to be a written account of the last week of Tony's life. I guess in trying to process everything, I wrote every single detail of that last, grueling week.

After having been sick for 8 months or so, he took a rapid slide during those seven days that surprised even his nurses. Although his life was quickly slipping away, he maintained his sense of humor almost to the very end.

Two days before he passed away, his sisters and Lucas and I were sitting with him at the hospital, having seen him get progressively weaker. At one point, the phone rang. He looked at us and said, "Unless it's the Dalai Lama, I don't want to talk to anyone."

Those were the last words he spoke. Some day, I think my son will get a chuckle out of that.

Seven

My blog buddy Metro Dad asked me to do this. Only because I'm his daughter's cyber godmother, I will comply.. ;)

7 Things I Want To Do Before I Die

Go to Italy
Go to Paris
Go to those places with someone I love
Write at least one book
Be a decent golfer
See both of my children in happy, healthy, productive lives
Sing to my grandchildren


7 Things I Cannot Do

Swim unless my head is out of the water
Waterski (I've tried, really I have)
Dance if I have to follow a set of rules (I'm a freestyle kinda gal)
Shop at Wal-Mart (it's against my religion)
Ice skate (my ankles drag on the ice)
Read in the car
Vote Republican


7 Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex

Beautiful eyes
A great voice
Wit that ranges from quick and sarcastic to vulgar and juvenile
A love of music and art
A passion for learning and reading
Good hands
An unending willingness to use them


7 Things That I Say Most Often

Lucas!
Kelso!
Emma! (when she's here, and sometimes even when she's not)
Get off my tail, asshole (when I'm already going 70)
Your mother's ass
It's rain, not battery acid (to my kids who complain that I don't use an umbrella)
Your face is gonna freeze that way! (No wait...that was my mother, not me)


7 Celebrity Crushes
Julian McMahon
Jon Stewart
Edward Norton
Paul Newman (still)
Peter Krause
James Blake (tennis player)
Father Guido Sarducci (ok, it's an inside joke. ;) )

Friday, October 28, 2005

Photo Friday: Delicate



Lucas at 3 weeks old. Delicate fingers touching his dad... and getting a delicate kiss from his big sister, Emma. I love this photo.


i'm back from my business trip...busy trying to catch up. Had a great time, didn't get blown away. I'll visit you all very soon!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Outta Here!

Leaving tomorrow for a business trip to this place. Cape Cod in October, you say? Most years I've gone it's been nice... this year promises to be, shall we say, damp. Should be fun anyway. I'll be back the end of the week, and promise to catch up with everyone then. See ya!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Watch the Video!! Lucas and Me on CBS



FINALLY!! I got the clip from CBS of Lucas promoting his golf fundraiser and showing off his swing! The blog post about the fundraiser can be found here. (Or click on the link in my sidebar, where you can see how much he's raised to date! If you haven't donated to the relief effort, please consider doing it through us. Your donation will be matched TWO FOR ONE by Unilever, the company I work for.)

ANYWAY.... the video can be see by clicking here. The clip is 3 minutes long, with a great swing at the end. (He was also mentioned at the beginning of the show, and they did a 'teaser' at the first half-hour, but those were not included on the tape.) AND I mentioned the bloggers!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Our Trip to Wallyworld: Rerun!

Having a busy week, so thought I'd throw a rerun in here for the newer readers... apologies to the old faithfuls who have seen this already!

californiatrip

In 1961, my parents decided that they wanted to drive from New York to California and back. My father saved up his vacation and sick days, we packed up the '57 Dodge Coronet, our AAA books and Triptiks and took off for a six-week adventure. (That vehicle had a grapfruit-sized hole in the floor, so we fondly remember it as "The Flintstone Car"). Marge and Sal in the front, three girls in the back. In case you've wondered where the cliché comes from, we were no more than 5 blocks from home when I asked, "Are we there yet?"

I have enjoyed taking my own kids on vacations, wanting to make great memories for them. But sometimes, when I think of the things that made the BIGGEST impression on me from this trip, I wonder what they'll really remember in the long run.

Here were some of the high-points for me:

~ I was 5 and my sisters were 9 and 14. To pass the time, they would administer "lie detector tests" to me by asking "What did you learn in kindergarten?" When I'd answer, "I learned to drive a car", they'd draw a big spike on their graph and make a whooop! whooop! sound.

~ We'd have to duck down in fear every time my dad would flick a cigarette out the window, or worse...spit.

~ When it was my mother's turn to drive, Sal would go to sleep but not before telling us, "YOU watch the signs, YOU watch the road and YOU watch the speedometer." I guess he thought it took 4 women to drive a car.

~ The most important factor in picking a motel was whether or not the pool had a slide.

~ My mother had to scrape turtle crap off the bottom of my shoe at Knott's Berry Farm. My father must have thought that was memory-worthy as well, because he kept the movie camera rolling.

~ I thought we drove through "See the Rabbits", Iowa, and also couldn't figure out what was so damned funny every time I said it. (I also thought the Toronto hockey team was called "The Make-Believes".)

~ Because of the previously mentioned hole in the floor of the car, we spent much of the trip terrified that my dad would drive over roadkill.

~ My middle sister was a thief. She took "souvenirs" from the Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert and picked flowers from the Los Angeles Arboretum. She made it to adulthood without going to prison, but she IS married to the biggest asshole on the planet. Justice prevails!

~ That same sister had several episodes of car sickness, and spent much of the trip wearing a "Got Puke?" moustache.

_ We were gone for six weeks. My mother never called home to check with her parents or sisters and see if everyone was ok, or to let them know that we were.

~ My parents were much nicer when we traveled. I hated coming back home.

~ Five years later, when we sold the car complete with the travel decals and bumper-stickers from this and several other trips, I cried bitterly as the new owner drove away. The imposter! Now everyone was going to think that HE went to "South of the Border"!

Friday, October 14, 2005

"Blonde, James Blonde"



I am shaken, and not the least bit stirred, by the final choice for the new James Bond. What the hell were they thinking? He looks like Ilya Kuryakin soaked in pickle juice.

The perfect man, the ONLY man in my opinion, for the job would have been Julian McMahon..

Photo Friday: Conspicuous



The perfect entry for this week's theme, I think. All the kids on Lucas' Little League team, Spring 2004, were 9 years old. As you can see, even the coach is taken aback by the one conspicuous player on the right.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

If It's October, I Must Be Having an Anniversary

When you've been married three times, only a few months can go by before you realize you'd be having an anniversary...if you were still married. In 1989, on October 14th, I gave the "M-word" a second try. My first, to Emma's dad, lasted seven years (although we were separated for the last two). I was anxious for Emma to have a "real" family again. Probably too anxious.

I married A. only a few months after my first divorce was final. He really loved my daughter who was 3 when we met, and I let that overshadow the fact that we had very little in common. I have nothing bad to say about him...we're still very good friends and he's incredibly wonderful to Emma to this day (she's 20 now). The marriage only lasted 18 months.

HOWEVER, all that aside, the wedding was great! A. worked in the theater and we were getting married in October, so we decided to go very theatrical and have a costume wedding. One of his cousins worked in a costume shop and she agreed to get deals for all the guests. Almost everyone in his hometown were either stagehands, cops or firemen so it was absolutely HILARIOUS to see them in Renaissance costumes with tights and plumes.

He and I were Rhett and Scarlett, the best man was the Phantom of the Opera and my maid of honor was Scarlett's cousin Melanie. Here's my Scarlett portrait (all photos are copyright Rob Fraser, 1989) Click on the photos to see them larger.




We planned to surprise our guests by arriving via speedboat to the waterside restaurant where the wedding and reception were to take place. Here I am, wearing the Phantom's hat and scarf.


In the boat.



We walked down the "aisle"... a rickety wharf that led up to a steep cliff that we climbed to reach our guests. Blaring over the loudspeakers was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's "Wedding March". Really campy and fun.


We arrive (you can see a little Emma in front of me).


Grandmother Kitty, a Nakota medicine woman, married us. A peace pipe was passed to all the guests. No, there was no wacky weed in it. I love this photo because of my dad's expression.


The photographer wasn't the only one taking pictures!


Rob Fraser, who photographed not one but TWO of my weddings, brought the photos to Bride's Magazine and they ran this little article about the event. Rob himself went on to shoot several celebrity weddings including Whitney Houston's.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Orifice



Back in August, I posted a Fall Preview of things to come here at The Dog's Breakfast. Since Fall is in full swing now, it's time for me to follow through!

It's a good time to write "The Orifice: Assholes I Have Worked for and Almost Worked For", because my boss of the past 14 years is retiring at the end of this year and I couldn't be sadder. He's someone I really and truly love, and let's face it... I've been with him longer than any other man in my life! He's also the only reason I've stayed at my job as long as I have. So... without further ado, let's examine bad bosses and interviewers of times past:

• My first job out of high school was at a large pharmaceutical company. I was a secretary to an insane individual named (and I am NOT making this up) "Dick Wildman". It was 1973, so the definition of secretary was pretty loose. Not, however, as loose as Dick made it. Sure, I had to get his coffee (and got screamed at when I didn't define "regular" as "black"). But I also had to walk on his back, field calls from collection agencies, divert process servers and ex-wives. I drew the line when he asked me to come in on a Saturday to clean his office.

• After leaving that place, I went to work at the first cable TV company (when cable was something that people in rural areas used to get any TV reception at all). I was a secretary, again, to three men. One of them would tap a quarter on my desk in the morning which meant, apparently, "get me a Coke from the Coke machine". I'm surprised he didn't use a whistle. Another would tell me I had to work late, and then leave me sitting at my desk doing nothing until 8 PM before saying "Oh, go home. We don't need you after all."

• Then came my job at Newsweek International, working in the Production Department for an insecure woman who was constantly trying to get me fired for, I swear, being too smart. Read about why she was right here. She did ultimately get me fired, but only because she had some major dirt on the editor and he knew it.

• I did a brief stint at Modern Bride Magazine, where I worked for another crazy woman who looked almost exactly like the crazy woman at Newsweek. They don't make red flags any bigger than that.

• My next job was a "American Hairdresser/Salon Owner" and "Professional Men's Hairstylist" magazines. All the men wore toupees, because that's who our advertisers were. The publisher was an incredible jerk whose idea of humor was telling overweight women that he was going to grease their office doorways to make it easier to get in and out. Being 20 years old, I figured that anyone who could dish it out like that could certainly take it, so when he came to work with a new toupee one day and said to a colleague, "How do you like my new piece?" I quipped, "Well it's certainly the best looking piece YOU'LL ever get." I didn't last long.

• From there, I went to a small sales promotion agency. My boss was a sleazy guy who wanted to get me into "the movies", and made me go on a date with a Saudi prince client who stalked me for a year. (and I found out later that he was paid to arrange the date by the prince. Nice, eh? I didn't even get a cut.) This boss had a tendency to call me at home, at night, saying that he was on my street corner and could easily stop by for coffee.

• After that, I went into printing sales. On one job interview, which took place after hours, the oh-so-suave boss showed me his W-2 from the previous year and told me I'd never make as much money as he did. He pointed out that this was because "the women will hate you and the men will just want to get into your pants." The high point of that interview, though, was when he said, "So you've told me all these good things about yourself. Tell me about your flaws." I paused and said, very seriously, "Well, my forehand isn't as good as my backhand."

• I went into business for myself for 10 years, but ultimately went back into the work world when things dried up. Unfortunately the job I landed was working for the Grand Poobah of Assholes. This guy would walk down the halls yelling things like, "Hey Karen! What happened to that blowjob you promised me?" No one said anything to him because he owned the place. Until the day I walked into his office to meet with him and a client. The guy was a good friend of his, but someone I didn't know at all. He (my boss) looked up and said, "Oops..Marian's here! Guess we can't talk about pussy anymore." I walked out, went to the VP and said if something was not done I was going to slap the place with a sexual harrassment suit. He ultimately screwed me out of a huge commission, basically forcing me to quit.

• Did you ever see "Glengarry, Glen Ross"? That was my 6-week experience selling cars. I could (and will) write an entire post about that experience, but for now I'll just tell you about the sales advice my manager gave to me (aside from "don't wear underwear"). He took me outside the showroom one day and said, "Look. If a guy thinks you're going to sleep with him if he buys the car, you let him think that. I'm not saying to DO it, just let him think it." I thought for a moment and coyly asked, "Ok...so should I send the gay guys to you?" I'm still bummed that I wasn't carrying a little tape recorder, because if I was you'd be buying cars from "Panthergirl's Jeep Eagle" in Manhattan...

Believe it or not, there are more jobs and more weirdos... but given the ADD nature of blog reading, I'll save the rest for the book!

Family to Famiily

My good blogfriend GraceD has started yet another blog to help the families of Katrina.

It's called Family-to-Family, and it's a way for you to help specific displaced families get established in their new homes by sending clothing and household goods that they need. Please visit, help, and post the link on your blog.

If you prefer to donate money, PLEASE consider doing it through my son's fundraising effort (matched two-for-one by my company). His total is now $1396.00 (see my sidebar to donate!)

Sunday, October 09, 2005



First let me say that I used to be a cat person. I had four cats, even though I was deathly (and I mean DEATHLY) allergic to them. I love animals of all kinds.

What I don't understand is the concept of the "outdoor" cat. Loving my cats the way I did, there is no way in hell that I would have opened my door and sent them on their merry way, wishing them well as they go play in traffic. I don't see that as consistent with the treatment of a pet.

My particular problem these days with the freedom-for-cats bunch is that I walk this:



Problem #1: Greyhound with extremely high prey drive.
Problem #2: Greyhound is 90 pounds.
Problem #3: I like having my right arm IN the socket. Call me a princess.

When I moved into these condos, I noticed that the people downstairs had an outdoor cat. Or should I say Kelso, my greyhound, noticed. I warned them about my him and his nature, but they assured me that although she was 16 years old, she could hold her own. The second morning we lived here I opened the door to take him out and didn't notice the cat at the bottom of the stairs. Someone waved to me, and as I waved back Kelso grabbed the cat by the neck and started to shake her back and forth.

It was 6 AM. I started to SCREAM: "No! Don't! Stop it!" over and over. (No one came out to see what the commotion was about. I could have been getting raped and killed. Can you say, "Kitty Genovese?") Miraculously, the cat scratched Kelso on his nose and ran away. She died a few months later, of old age.

Yesterday they told me that they've gotten a new kitten. She's not outside "yet". I assume that means in a few weeks I'll be getting dragged down my front steps on a regular basis.

Am I missing something? What is the point of having a pet and then letting it fend for itself? My cats were perfectly happy living indoors and I never had to worry about them being hit by cars or eaten by dogs. And I know now that my dog-walking neighbors were thankful.

Edited to ask this specific question: How would you react if your new neighbor rang your doorbell to say that her on-leash dog had killed your free-roaming cat? Would you see it as a calculated risk that you took?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Even Orwell Would be Shocked



I just read a post on The Republic of T. (link takes you to the post itself) that has left ME, of all people, speechless.

In brief, Republicans in Indiana are trying to enact legislation to prevent any unmarried woman from becoming a parent through means other than "getting busy". Any woman seeking IVF or other forms of assisted reproduction would be required to obtain a "gestational certificate", proving that she is married. And the married couple has to be screened in the same way that prospective adoptive couples are. (Which is all well and good, but couples who get pregnant the old-fashioned way are automatically going to be Parents of the Year?)

What the hell is going on in this country of ours... the "land of the free, and the home of the brave"? Well, maybe there's something to that. We have to be pretty brave to live in a place that is, as T. points out, going the way of The Handmaid's Tale.
(Note that there is no provision for MEN who participate in what they call "unauthorized reproduction". Of course, those guys don't add to the single parent "problem" because they often leave the scene of the sperm deposit, never to be heard from again.)

It is not an overstatement to say that this sort of thing scares the bejeezus out of me. And wait a second, aren't these the same folks who are always whining about "no more big government"? News flash: It doesn't get much bigger than this.

Monday, October 03, 2005

We don't do ANYTHING half-way around here...

Lucas has increased his fundraising goal to $15,000 . His desire is to have half go to the American Red Cross and the other half to one of the funds for animals.

This is going to take some time, so we will be sending the money in $1000 at a time.

EDITED TO ADD: I JUST FOUND OUT THAT MY COMPANY MATCHES THE DONATIONS TWO FOR ONE, SO YOU CAN TRIPLE YOUR DONATION BY DOING IT THROUGH LUCAS!!

I've added a button to my sidebar if you'd like him to hit a drive for you. I'll even post the pics, or a video with him saying your name before he whacks it!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Another Case of "Foot In Mouth" Disease



Couldn't let this story go by without comment. If Bennett were only trying to make a "thought-provoking hypothesis", why didn't he use the male/female example instead? You know, if he's not a racist and all. MEN commit crimes in disproportionate numbers compared to women, so why didn't he suggest that all pregnant women (of every race) have amniocentesis and abort all male fetuses?

Some have tried to excuse his remarks as those of "an educator". Do you suppose THIS kind of thing is what homeschoolers are trying to protect their kids from? They may have a point...

It's a GOOD Mornin' in New York!



I think the face of Lucas from 1997 reflects the face of most New Yorkers on this gorgeous October morning in 2005. Can't wait to start reminiscing about "The Fluke of '04". (Apologies to Pinky and Lorianne!)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Post-CBS Early Show Fundraising Total

After the segment on this morning's CBS Early Show, Lucas' golf fundraising total is $940! He received donations from the camera man, producer, audio guy, two of my friends who showed up, and most of all from fellow blogger Sara and her parents. What wonderful and generous people, all of them.

A man came into the range after seeing Lucas on TV and wrote him a check, and the CBS Anchor pledged him $20.

He plans to continue the effort, submitting the donations in $1000 increments (matched dollar for dollar by the company I work for) indefinitely.

CBS will be posting the video on their website and I will post the link here when they've done that.

Thanks to everyone who watched... they changed the plan a bit, so it wound up being a teaser at the first 1/2 hour, and another one right before the interview segment at about 15 minutes before the end of the show. (If you TiVo'd it, speed up until you see the kid in the Superman t-shirt!)

If you would like to donate through Lucas, and have your donation matched by Unilever...the company I work for...please use the "donate now" button in my sidebar! Thanks!!