Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm coming after you, W!

    I aspire to be like Geo. W. Bush in only one way (two, if you count his millions): his resting heart rate. W's was notoriously low - reports are from 44 to 52 beats per minute - which makes me wonder if he got rattled by anything in that little post he held for 8 years.
     This afternoon, I was thrilled to clock my heart rate at 54 BPM, which is considerably lower than my count of 72 four weeks ago and puts me solidly in the "Athlete" category, according to this chart.
    Thanks, Curves!  I haven't been called an "athlete" since high school and, even then, no one could say it with a straight face.

2 days till Armageddon

    Death and destruction are coming to my old kitchen on Friday.  Fortunately, I'll be at work for the worse of it.  Unfortunately, I'll be without a kitchen - and, in particular, a kitchen sink - for the duration of the weekend, and well beyond.  Fortunately, this gives me a great excuse not to make my famous deviled eggs for the neighborhood 4th of July party.  Unfortunately, that's small comfort to someone looking at the complete annihilation of the heart of her home.  Fortunately, my mother is not opposed to letting me move in to her house, indefinitely.  Unfortunately, I have to commute to work 45 minutes each way, if I take that option.  Fortunately, I have a few days to decide what I'm going to do.  Unfortunately, I have to spend that time emptying the rest of my cabinets....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meaty martinis?

    I love me a dirty martini; the dirtier, the better. Why? Because olives and vodka are a good match.  Vodka and fish?  Not so much.  But, try telling that to a Wasilla, Alaska, company who insists on releasing a smoked salmon vodka.
   Color me shaken, not stirred. If Sarah Palin gets wind of this, could moose meat vodka be next?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Minding your manners online

My story on netiquette points out some of the online faux pas even civilized people make from time to time, like typing in all caps.  I HATE THAT and yet I'm guilty of it. What's up with that?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stories for a steamy Sunday

   My column today explains my "meh" attitude towards the World Cup, even before yesterday's loss to Ghana. (Best joke of the day, immediately posted on Twitter after the game by Danny Zuker, creator of ABC's Modern Family: "Africa gets all the breaks.")
   I also wrote a feature story on some of the crazy questions fielded by local master "What the heck is this?" (Note phallic-looking thingamajig in photo above.) If you have a master gardener hotline in your neck of the woods, don't hesitate to call them with your unsolved horticultural mysteries.  They've got a world of knowledge at their green fingertips and they're there to help.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Let the stage mothering begin!

I woke up this morning with a new appreciation for my cash cow cocker spaniel.  With a little bit of luck, Lucy can bankroll our new kitchen, maybe fund our retirement!  But first, there are photos to be taken, training to be done and doggie insurance to worry about.  Here's our new starlet waiting patiently for a treat in the 'down and stay' position.  I hope the agent is impressed.  I know I am.  Just call me Mama Rose...

Friday, June 25, 2010

She's gonna be in pictures!

   'Just got home to find an email from our dog groomer who said a big-time animal talent agent is interested in booking Lucy!  All we have to do is submit a few more photos and train her to sit (done), stay (no problem), lie down (see photo...hello?!) and walk from mark to mark (that might be an issue).  But, I'm so excited!!  Think of it - my girl, a star!  Can Hollywood be far behind?! 
   Lucy, on the other hand, is nonplussed.  (I guess, for starters, we ought to train her not to snooze on the glass coffee table. But she loves it so much - far more than I do - it's impossible to say 'no'!)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sexiest. Song. Of. All. Time.

   I cruised out to get a salad for lunch, searched my FM dial for music to cruise by, and dialed up this classic by Smokey Robinson.  (I immediately turned the AC on full-blast.)  I was convinced this one came out in the early 70s but, in fact, Smokey made it a hit, without the Miracles, in 1980.
  Need to light a fire under your man, ladies?  Put this one on the old turntable....and not that lame Huey Lewis/Gwyneth Paltrow version, either.  Their "Duet" is OK but Smokey's solo is smokin'!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

India Hicks: My new guilty pleasure

Dear Readers,
   I'm going to tell you about this blog knowing full well that, after you check it out, you may never return to my lowly blog again, especially if you're an Anglophile like me. Here's what the press release said:
    Daughter of famed interior designer David Hicks and goddaughter to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, India Hicks, launches a blog,, where she will be sharing her life experiences as a working mother of four who balances life and a thriving career as a model, author, creative partner to luxury beauty brand Crabtree & Evelyn and owner of The Sugar Mill boutique in the Bahamas.  
    “Encouraged by my grandfather, Lord Mountbatten, my mother kept a detailed diary of her historical time in India during the transition of power." said India Hicks. “My diary will share much more mundane issues, like persuading my island children that removing all their clothes in the back of a London taxi is not acceptable, as well as my design inspirations and recent adventures”.

  Yes, it's as fabulous - and ordinary - as it sounds, in a "that can never be my life so I might as well enjoy it vicariously" kind of way.
  Enjoy.  And please come back.

Helen takes it off

I've always adored Helen Mirren.  Now, I love her even more. The Queen, who says she's a "good girl who still wants to be a bad girl" (and who isn't?), poses nude for New York Magazine this week in promotion of her new film, "Love Ranch." The slide show, viewed here, doesn't reveal the full Monty, although there is a shot of her breasts under bath water which, if you think about it, is a brilliant strategy as buoyancy always defies gravity.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A pair of au pairs

I don't know anyone who is looking at child care options, but if I did I'd tell them about the au pair program via the State Department.  It's a great deal for parents and au pairs.  See my video report here.

Alabama's Pollyanna

Our newsroom suffered another round of lay-offs last week.  I survived, but my personal "morale bar" was taken down yet another notch. At least, I don't have this poor woman's job. Listen to how she "sells" the Alabama gulf coast without completely fudging the truth. Ya gotta give her points for pluckiness, I guess.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Memories of Dad

Today's post is, naturally, about my father.  (That's the two of us above, bowing to society in 1974, which is another story entirely.) A more elegant man never walked the earth.  But, he wasn't perfect... as my Sunday column illustrates.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Warm bamboo? Don't mind if I do!

Melanie, my go-to massage therapist, is now practicing the technique shown above, using warm bamboo sticks.  In fact, she just practiced on me for a good hour, and then some. Mmmmm. Highly recommended.

Radar hate

Yes, I was just bitching about the heat and humidity an hour ago.  And, yes, God knows the tragedy in the Gulf totally trumps my little climactic complaints.  But, seriously, I am so sick of these....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ahhhh, Kansas.

For those of you who have yet to experience a Midwestern thunderstorm and flash flood, here's a great photo gallery to give you a sense of it.

Call of the semi-annual sale

I used to be a sucker for Bath & Body Works' BIG Semi-Annual Sale!  I think it was the "75% off" and lovely scents that drew me in.  I'd go in there looking for a bottle of lotion or body wash and come out with two bags full of products I didn't need and had no room in my bathroom for.  (I still have bottles of kitchen lemon soap I bought last year!) Well, there'll be no more of that.  This year, I'm going in - but ONLY for the minty lip glosses shown above.  They're my favorites AND they're reduced from $7.50 to $1.87!  Now, if I can just escape the store with 4 or 5 of them in my bag and nothing more, I'll be golden.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It pays to marry an Eagle Scout

The storm of the century week hit this evening and knocked our power out for three hours.  Fortunately, my always-prepared hubby had this bendable emergency light in his arsenal (which looks a lot like that little animated Pixar light), not to mention the spelunker-style head lamp I was wearing, so I could keep cooking.  (The gas stove helped, too.)  Three inches of rain in one hour flooded streets and brought the city to a standstill. Thank goodness for living on higher ground...and I mean that literally, not figuratively.

Monday, June 14, 2010

12 angry women + 1

   Clearly, these gals are none to happy about serving jury duty, and neither was my daughter who, at 25, was summoned to district court for the first time this morning.  I told her it was her civic duty, a privilege, and, as a matter of fact, an interesting and educational exercise.  Besides, I told her, they probably won't pick you because the pool is huge.
  Well, she called over the lunch hour to say - in a very dramatic whisper - that she had, in fact, been selected and that's all she could tell me at this time. Oh, to be a mouse in the corner of that deliberation room....

Dave Letterman: Is she show-worthy?

This is Lucy's latest stupid pet trick: Imitating a bear rug.  She held this pose for 15 minutes today over the lunch hour.  Or, was it the downward dog?  Either way, she's ready for her close-up, Mr. Letterman!  Have your people call her people.

I'm being out-blogged by a pair of 90-somethings!

How can I even dream of competing with Cutie and PopPop, much less sharing the same blogosphere?  I read their story today on and have been glued to their blog ever since.  Especially love that little off-the-shoulder number Cutie is so fond of wearing.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A rainy Sunday's smorgasbord

    My column today takes a stand against a disturbing new trend development in public restrooms.
   Writing this Sunday's feature story about landlocked mariners (Kansas sailors) made me rethink my disinterest in boating. (Can you rethink disinterest?)
   In other news, this NYTimes piece may explain why my your 20-somethings are taking so long to "grow up" and, for you Broadway babies out there, here's a great overview of this year's Tony Awards.  They're tonight.  Can. Not.Wait!!!
   And here's an incredibly inspiring story about a family friend in Kansas City, a tale of true heroism I had never heard before.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mom's back-up plan

   Yesterday, I paid a brief visit to my mom to catch up.  She was getting dressed for an afternoon tea, so I lolled on her bed (like I used to do) while we talked.
   "Don't get too close to my knife," she said, nonchalantly.
    I lifted the pillow next to hers and saw a 10-inch butcher knife, lying at the ready.
    She explained that her alarm system and phone service were on the blink and that they were somehow tied together, electronically.  The knife was Plan B.
    I was tempted to point out that she is a 76 year-old woman, 5'1" and 100 pounds, who, in the middle of the night, might be easily overpowered by an intruder who could use the knife against her. Then I thought, why deny the woman precious peace of mind?
   As I've gotten older, I've learned it's often a better idea to just hold your tongue.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm a Gallery Girl!

   My dream of being a cover girl was quashed years ago when I realized that, no matter how hard I hoped, the big brown spots (formerly known as 'freckles') on my face were probably not going to fade away.  Thank God there was Heidi Klum to pick up the slack. 
   This morning, however, I am delighted to announce that I am a Gallery Girl on  A companion site to the book of the same name, GGLG is a great place to go if you're considering transitioning to your now-gray, natural hair color.  Jammed with stories and photos of women who have 'been there, survived that,' GGLG will inspire you to go for it and kick the hair color habit forever. 
  Thanks, GGLG!  You made me feel like a natural woman.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You gotta love his enthusiasm, tho'

  This one's getting around but in case you haven't seen it, let the hilarity ensue (click twice on video to view full screen):

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hot and sour soup's a hit!

One of my favorite newspaper gigs is my monthly 'Recipe on Request' column in which I seek out the recipes for readers' favorite dishes at local restaurants.  This week, it's the hot and sour soup at King Buffet, pictured here in a truly ginormous bowl.  It's a little too hot and steamy outside right now for me consider making soup, but I'm filing it away for fall.  Besides, my culinary mission in the next two weeks (before we demolish the old kitchen) is to cook up all the canned and boxed food in my cabinets (so I don't have to move it).  Tonight: Black bean salad with corn, weird brown rice pasta I bought on a whim and tuna. What a lucky family I have!

Speaking of great female voices...

The incomparable Ms. Joplin was featured today on PBS' excellent series, "50 Great Voices." 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Laura could I forget you?

Our dinner music tonight was provided by Laura Nyro on two of my old albums from the late 60s, early 70s.  I'd nearly forgotten about her and, yet, she sounds so she could be an American Idol finalist or something....

OK, now I'm Jones'ing for an iPad

Damn you, Apple people!

Garage sale, no: Goodwill, yes!

Thanks to concerned readers and friends who knocked some sense into me, I have decided against the garage sale and in favor of a huge donation to Goodwill, the public library and the Habitat for Humanity's ReStore.  This is carload No. 2 of the weekend.  The upsides of this plan are that there's no pressure, we'll receive a tax credit, and that bearable lightness of being one gets when one has purged herself of fifteen years' worth of clutter. The downside is, it's still blazing hot in my blankety-blank garage.

On letting go and things going wrong

My column today describes what happened before my skirt got caught in my underwear, and my Sunday story is a cautionary tale for those of you ready to embark on a "perfect" June wedding.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A spelling bee memory

As a former bee champion (albeit only at the classroom level in 5th grade - circa 1965 - but still...), I adore the annual Scripps Spelling Bee, the finals of which are tonight on ABC.  Here's a hilarious, heart-warming clip from a past bee, featuring an adorable kid and the hardest, silliest word ever.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Embarrassing moment No. 3987

   Just walked out of a sushi restaurant with the hem of my skirt tucked (somehow) into the back of my panties. Walked all the way through the place (with my husband behind me) and out into the parking lot when he finally says, "Honey, your *ss seems to be exposed."
   Gee thanks, dear.  And, did you hear the news about Al Gore?

Could the Gores portend a trend?

This is an interesting spin on the break-up of Al and Tipper and other long-term marriages that slowly crumble apart.  The idea that people may have less in common and fewer reasons to stay together (kids, financial security) as they grow older isn't very palatable, but it does make sense in light of longer life expectancies. With increasing public acceptance of divorce as a cultural reality, might we be seeing more and more boomers part ways after decades of being happy together?

Silver is still sexy

Here's to my good friend, Anne Kreamer, who made me and her gray-haired sisters proud this morning on the Today show.  We both went gray almost 5 years ago around our 50th birthdays and have never looked back!!  Loved the bit about going gray being a form of rebellion and Anne's point about gray being a color, not the absence of.  (Wouldn't it be cool if Meredith Vieira kicked the color habit, too?)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Al and Tipper no more

Now, here's something I didn't see coming.  The Gores are splitting up after 40 years of marriage.  No comment, really.  Just the facts, Jack.

Boomer Girl Review: Ultimate Oriole Feeder

I've still got a way to go before I'm feeding pigeons on the steps of St. Paul's (which I never thought was a bad thing to do ...