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Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's a Lot More SInister Than That

Last night we were at a talent show that my daughter and her friends were in. It was a benefit and I was working the ticket window. One of her sixteen-year-old friends, Steve, came up to the window during the intermission and explained that the event was really quite sinister. I immediately thought he was referring to the People's Choice awards, where people put money in the bucket of the performer that they liked the best. The one who raises the most money gets a special Angel award. When I started to explain the program to him, he interrupted me, "No No, it is not that."

I did not know what he meant and replied, "No Steve, it is really just a fundraiser."
"Unngh, Unngh," he continued, "You just don't know what is going on in there."
"I don't know what you mean."
"It is the war of the old Grandparents," Mrs. __________.
"Explain Steve," I dared.
"There are all these old grandparents in there going, "Did you see my Johnny, wasn't he wonderful, did you see my Mary, she was better tonight than most of them." He put up his hands and warned, " You better watch out, they are going to start attacking each other with their walkers. This isn't a talent show, it is a Grandparents Grudge Match." Watch out for your mother-in-law, she might get attacked."

I was astonished, but laughing my butt off, because he wasn't entirely off the mark. Everyone in the ticket booth was laughing too as we looked around at the grandparents talking to each other about the performance so far.
All the people in the show, adults and kids, thought that they had just that little bit of something that made them special enough to go head to head with each other. It is not exactly a reach to think that their families also think they have a little bit of something that makes them special, but Grandparents do have that extra pride gene, you know. I overheard one saying that her grandson looked exactly like her son when he played the piano, it was like watching him all over again, and "Everybody remembers how good HE was." Guess Steve pegged it right. Trust a sixteen year old to cut through to the heart of the situation.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jodi Kreider, Keep Your Beak Clean

None of us can afford to throw stones, I wonder what Jodi's real beef is? Is she a publicity hound? Is she truly looking out for the children of Jon and Kate? Is she jealous of the what the Gosselins are earning? Tough to tell. Would she be able to withstand the same scrutiny she and her husband are focusing on their own family? I hope their beaks are clean. The media has a way of finding out everything there is to know about people. EVERYONE has an axe to grind when they go public about a sensitive issue. Wonder what it is. It does make me think less of the Kreiders that they would put the family business out there in such an unflattering manner. No one expects anyone to talk badly about one's own family, that would be cruel. It is not necessary and I wonder why they are doing it. I myself have an axe to grind while writing this. I don't like when families sabotage each other. I wish people would just stop.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The back of an envelope

What is wrong with ideas hatched on the back of an envelope? I have written my best songs on the backs of envelopes, while driving (You know how I love to multitask). who among us hasn't reached for any scrap of paper when brillant ideas are hatched?

I was reading an article this morning about global warming and how Energy Secretary, Steven Chu,had an idea to combat this problem. He suggested painting the roofs of the building in our cities white so they would be more reflective and not the heat sinks they currently are. The article is entitled," Energy Secretary's White-Paint Proposal Puzzles Climate-Change Experts."

Another gentleman likened Chu's idea to an uneducated, random proposal, "Milloy was most critical: "It sounds like some dubious global-warming calculation that someone made on the back of an envelope." I do not know what Milloy has against envelopes, but there are millions of businesses and ideas that have been founded on scraps of lessor papers than envelopes. Milloy, just because the idea did not come from a scheduled think-tank of scientists in a formal setting, it does not mean it cannot succeed. I challenge you to always carry around a team of scientists and legal pads in case you are inspired.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Calling calling calling

I feel like I am back in my telemarketing days. I am sifting through an endless list of studios trying to find the one person who is the actual distributor. Dead-end emails and phone numbers are driving me just a hair this side of crazy. Apparently none of the big boys want to come out and play, because there is no way to get in touch with them. Today I will probably spend another three hours beating my head against the same wall.
The only distributers who anyone can reach right away have libraries that will not bring movie viewers into our theatre. Most of their social and documentary films are not going to appeal to our demographic, they are more suited to a high school or college classroom. Well, enough groaning, I better get in the shower or I will be late to my real job.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Van Zyverden Inc.-Shame on You!

Review of strawberry plants-Three years in a row I have bought strawberry plants from this company, Van Zyverden Inc. Do I have strawberries? No. Do I even have a plant? No. failure to bloom. Failure to do anything. I planted everything according to directions, not even a leaf comes up. THREE YEARs IN A ROW.
After a few more days of despairing that I would never find strawberries in my yard, I went to the garden center. I was choosing some nice BIG strawberry plants with berries on them already. My husband tried to stop me by saying, Must we? Is it the yearly killing of the strawberries time already? I pressed ahead and bought the plants. Of course some animal in my yard has attacked them and eaten the berries, so still no strawberries for me. I can see myself failing at this quest well into my nineties. In any case, back to the bad company that sells the little plants that refuse to grow each year. They have no working website, no customer service number on the packaging, though they prominently display the Guaranteed to Grow at the bottom. This might be their number I will try it on Monday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Get a Clue People

I am sick to death of watching reality TV stars self-destruct. Haven't they learned from everyone else's mistakes? While I love watching Jon and Kate plus 8, I cannot help but feel that they should have been prepared for disaster like every other reality family. Hardly any of them make it out unscathed by the press, and the fact that they even have to have a bodyguard says it all. I feel bad for them, they just wanted another child, wound up with 6 adorable babies and probably felt like they had to bring in income any way they could. What a choice to make. It also seems that now they are reaching for a bit more of life than they have previously enjoyed and are getting slapped in the face for it. Although I wish Kate would lay off the Spray Tan, she looks better and so does Jon, they don't seem as cohesive, even their fighting has lost its uuumph. I will say a prayer that they make it, Lord knows I would not want to be the one to have to move out of that house. Can you imagine setting up separate accommodations elsewhere that could hold all those children? Jon doesn't seem to have the money-making capabilities that Kate does, so he will probably have a rougher time of it, unless he learns how to write a book. I feel bad when families fall apart. Anyone thinking of a reality show career should look at the odds, they aren't good, people.

In response to Drinn in my comments section, I have to again say that while I love the show, there are years of reality couple misadventures that this couple should have taken into account. They should not be surprised and should have expected it at some point. While the producers of Whose Wedding is it Anyway were filming your wedding the "expected" happened. When the crew interviewed me for your show, I knew not to say anything that could be misconstrued and I answered all questions slowly. They questioned me in front of the boat, and they were trying to get me to say something negative about the choices you had made for your wedding. I staunchly defended your style, pointed out how elegant the Pirate Wedding was and how it was not surprising at all. If you had a normal, bland wedding, THAT would be a surprise to me AND all your guests. I guess I didn't give them the edge they were looking for, since luckily, my comments never made the show. Unfortunately, when other people like family and friends are involved in reality shows, you cannot dictate what will be said, what jealousies will rear their ugly heads and what the fallout could be. We certainly are seeing that in Jon and Kate Plus Eight. You have to be a real sad person to sellout your family the way her brother did. One of my daughter's friends just made a reality show and when we were discussing this situation we had a family argument about these types of shows. I would never consent to my family doing one, it is not worth it. Not everyone in my family agreed with me. You were lucky enough to escape unscathed, though I fully expect the pole-dancing groomsmen to make it into another show at a later date.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dogs Don't Celebrate Mother's Day

The first hint that mother's day is not going so well would be to look at the time stamp. I have been up for over an hour already. Guess What?
Dogs don't celebrate this day. They were bouncing on my head for an hour before I gave up and took them out. Then they ran into the neighbor's yard and played with all the birds, I had to chase them down to get them back into our yard. Then, the wind was blowing at like 60 miles and hour and I had to chase the trash can around the yard as well. My adrenaline is jumping.

Where was hubby? He was sleeping, on the couch, because he was out playing pool and drinking with his buddies last night and I told him not to come to bed until the alcohol fumes subsided. So now he is the one snoring happily and I am thinking I should have had a few more hits off his beer bottle last night, maybe I would be sleeping too?

This was the first year that I didn't have to drag my sorry butt out of bed to go to church to hear my daughter sing at 9am
because she stuck up for all the moms when the choirmaster asked who was singing this week. She said "My mom wants to sleep in just once." I couldn't believe it.
I felt a little embarrassed that she put that right out there, but then I thought,
"So what, God knows it is true and frankly, if he had a mom, he would be changing the mass times himself."
Jesus would if he was in charge. The first year, when she was seven years old and singing, it was cute, I thought it was so precious to see her singing. But they DO sing every month, and to make a special early morning Mother's Day Service is not really thinking of moms at all. We are the one's who have to get them up and dressed and off to the church an hour BEFORE the service so they can practice. Do I sound selfish, maybe, but isn't this the one day I am supposed to be a bit selfish? YES!

Well, I am going to attempt to go back to sleep, but somehow, I don't think it is going to work... Maybe a nap later?

Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful women. I hope you get some sleep.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Daughter's 8th Grade Cruise

We've Got Some Ballplayers Here

Last night I watched my beautiful daughter slide into muddy bases like she had been playing for the Yankees (Yeah, I 'm not sorry Phillies fans, this my blog and I am from Yankee Land, I get to say what I want here). It was pouring on and off during the whole softball game, but she was doing a little dance on the bases and playing her heart out. This is the girl who wouldn't leave the house last year unless her hair was straightened and her lip gloss was on. Two days ago my son was doing the same thing, in the midst of yet another downpour. It may be flooding on the ball-fields, but that is nothing compared the the flooding of my eyes as I watch them gain confidence and a sense of empowerment. In previous years they were cute in their uniforms, now they are impressive. They wear them to school on game days and stride through the hallways with their teams like young gods. I never played organized sports when I was a kid, and never felt that team spirit as I was growing up. It is so gratifying how different their childhoods are from mine. By the time I rowed crew in college I recognized that I did want to belong to something bigger than myself. I am so happy that my kids get to experience this joy. It makes washing out the muddy uniforms four times a week, vacuuming the ten pounds of sand out of the van, and scraping off the muddy cleats a bit easier to handle.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I don't want to be me

I have been pulling back all the linked in, myspace, name tags, profiles, and such, I think I am "oversaturated" by my online self. I am losing internet weight, might as well lose some weight somewhere. I have to think of a term for that. Send me your best ideas.


I was speaking with a friend about her being death-friendly, she doesn't have a death wish, is not suicidal, but feels that she has never found the reason for her life. She wonders why she was ever born, since she is usually unhappy. After years of listening to her moan about the state of her life, or un-life, I diagnosed her problem. She has no fear of death and she needs to take a year-long nap. The moments she remembers as being her happiest are hazy and seem untouchable. Do you have any death-friendly people in your life? Obviously depression is at the heart of her situation, but I am not skilled in dealing with depressed people. I can deal with difficult people, and not lose my temper, but gloomy people depress me. They bring me way down and I hate that feeling, so I tend to gravitate to high-energy people.

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blogging time

I was having a conversation last night with my friend about blogging. Obviously I haven't been writing much, I have been too busy to deconstruct things that are going on in my life in written form. She says I am busy living life instead of writing about it and she is right. I am lucky if I get to talk to my friends on the phone. Twitter is not as fun as it used to be, I have to drop a lot of people I am following because they are not talking about anything that interests me, but I don't have the time to go through and see who is saying what all the time. I have to be honest, I met a lot of great people through twitter, and now I read their blogs, but I do not have time to always check their tweets. Seems like writing for me is best done in the winter, it kept me from going into my yearly blahs. All spring, summer and fall, I am usually running my tuccous off. Did I spell that right? I don't know. So if I seem sporadic, I am. Sorry, there are a lot of drafts waiting to be finished, and I will get to them in time.

Frugal Upstate: Giveaway: GroGood Garden Pledge Starter Kit


Scotts GroGood Garden Kit Giveaway!


I found this fascinating quote today:

When the folks at Scott's Miracle Gro contacted me about the chance to test and give away a GroGood gardening kit I was excited, but cautious. You see I love to garden, and the idea of free gardening stuff for me to try out and free stuff to give away to all of you was very attractive.Frugal Upstate: Giveaway: GroGood Garden Pledge Starter Kit, May 2009

You should read the whole article.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Date Night

It seems that ever since the reality shows such as Hell's Kitchen and Tabitha's Salon Takeover have come out, I cannot eat or go to a hairdresser without being super-critical of the process. Every resturant I go to is now scrutinized on every level by my family and myself. I have found that this examination has even transformed the way I cook a meal, I am more aware of flavors and ingredients than ever before. I even changed hairdressers because I decided that I deserved better than the service I was getting at the local Haircuttery. It is worth that extra $7 to be treated well and to feel as if my business is appreciated.

Last Saturday was Date Night for my husband and I. It was funny because we spent a decent portion of the meal being amatuer resturant critics. As far as I am concerned, anyone can be a critic as long as they know what critiera they are looking for.

As we walked from the parking lot to Filomena's resturant in Berlin, the Saturday night DJ's music was blaring. We almost decided to leave at that point because no one enjoys loud music when they are trying to eat. Since it was already 9pm, we decided that it might be too late to get a table at other nearby resturants, so we proceeded into the establishment.

I always thought that the bar area at Filomena's  should be walled off from the resturant so the loud music doesn't penetrate into the dining area. The open kitchen already provides enough noise in there, and having all the music and shouting  from the bar is just too much. While there is a beautiful decorative wall, it is by means menas any kind of a sound barrier. Since they serve dinner until 11pm on Saturday's, I think they should either truly seperate the two areas or not blast the music until the diners are on their way out the door. There was the added annoyance of hearing two types of music at once, the dining room and the bar music were competing over our heads.

The resturant was freezing and I actually had to put my jacket on to eat. As this was the fourth time I had eaten there in ten years, I knew that it was always cold, so I was glad I brought my coat. We looked at the extensive wine list, which included five special choices that explained what kind of food they went with, the bouquet and other information about the selected wines. I ordered the house Pino Noir, but I would not recommend it. The waitress did not even know it was on the menu or what brand it was. That should have been my first clue. The Corona my husband ordered came with a nice frosty glass. The bread the server brought to the table consisted of 4 puffy sicilian- type squares that were topped with spices and sundried tomatoes. It was accompianied by seasoned olive oil and fresh roasted garlic cloves. I could have eaten it all night, thank God they didn't bring more.

The specials sounded delicious, but we ordered off of the menu. My husband decided to try to Risotto Pescatore and I chose the Veal Elaina. We decided to forgo appetizers since it was so late. When the waitress acknowewledged to my husband that the dinner included salad I almost asked for the dressing on the side. I didn't want to be a pain, so I kept mum. Big mistake. The salad was fresh and crunchy and literally drowning in a a very vinegary dressing. I couldn't eat more than one bite. My husband ate some of mine because he didn't want to offend the waitress, I think he is a way better person than I.
While we were waiting for our entree, the waiter who was handling another table took a cell phone call right on the floor in front of us. I did not know that dining manners had slipped so far that this was now acceptable. He proceeded to give out directions to his friend right there next to our table. After listening to him repeat himself three times, I just wanted to grab the stupid phone and tell his friend to clean the potatoes out of his ear.
The experience was bizarre. In fact, the servers seemed the think that it was acceptable to hang out near our table and chat since their computer was right there. It was quite distracting and took away from the beautiful atmosphere. When someone is paying $22 and up per entree, they do not expect to be treated as if they are sitting in a McDonalds. It would also have been nice to have been offered the fresh pepper instead of having to request it. The pepper mill was literally three feet away from our table.

Our entrees arrived and they were delicious. I tasted the risotto right away and found it very creamy and just the right texture. Unfortunately it had a strong shrimp taste since the resutrant had run out of scallops. Since the resturant was so cold, it only tasted good for the first five minutes, after that, it was too cold and started to get hard and congeal. The Veal Elaina was perfect, the cappelini was cooked just right, the crab was fresh, the sundried tomatoes were tender and the artichoke hearts were tasty and just the right consistancy. I heartily recommend this dish. You will love it.

For dessert we shared a creme brulee, this is one of the reasons we chose this resturant, it is their best dessert. I remember when we chose this restaurant for our 5th anniversary dinner and we asked for a Creme Brulee to go. The waiter had to give it to us in the decorative china cup so we could bring it to my baby-sitting sister. Yes, we did eventually return the cup, I think...the rest of the desserts lack imagination and are not worth the cost. I ordered a coffee and a shot of Bailey's Irish Creme. I was treated to a very generous helping of this liqueur in a nifty little glass and couldn't finish it. What a shame.

I never did check the restroom out, the restaurant was too cold to contemplate disrobing in any way.

Will I come back here to eat? Probably, since they are close by, but I will also be sending a "review" to them. I know this is the only way they will ever get better. I only hope that as I serve dinner to my family each night that they are not going to order me out of my own kitchen like Chef Ramsey. I could not hope to meet the standards I am setting for everyone else. But maybe these reality shows will raise everyone standards just a bit and make people proud of the cuisine they offer and the services they perform...
I apologize for spelling errors, I think I need glasses.

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