Monday, October 31, 2011

I never looked well under flourescent lights.

After being mistaken for a battered wife, I ramped up the make-up.
True story: I just walked a block to Kinko's and stopped in a boutique where I sometimes buy clothes. The woman behind the desk looked deeply concerned. "What happened to you?" she asked. "Nothing. It's Halloween. I'm a fright." "Oh, I am so happy to hear that!"  Weird thing was, she was dressed for Halloween, too. I guess when it comes to costumes, more is more.

Happy Halloween!

How great to have Halloween on a Monday, when all you have to do to get ready for work is rat up your bed-head hair, enhance the bags under your eyes with some black smudge and off you go!!?  What am I, you ask? A fright, of course! Just like every other Monday morning. (I can't wait to go to Rotary Club at noon!!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What I love in hotel rooms

All-white "Heavenly" beds with two top sheets.
Lighted, magnifying make-up mirrors. Would prefer wall-mounted, but this one was easily moved to the desk for a lovely "vanity" experience.
Free in-room Starbucks coffee. (Bottled water to the right: $1 each...boo.)
Roomy, brushed cotton robes. Ordinarily not a huge thrill but since I forgot mine, an extra bonus! Good job, Westin! Now, if only you'd deliver a bottle of "happy anniversary" champagne to the room, I'd give you a 5-star review.  But, I guess since we're staying at 55% off (another low-ball Priceline bid), I shouldn't expect the moon.

Friday, October 28, 2011

This makes me feel tragically inadequate

But it's totally worth watching. Wow.

Our happy anniversary conveyance?

No sooner than I had decided to 'convey' my spouse to a hotel next to the train station in Kansas City for a little 32nd anniversary fun, he tells me there's this cream puff '07 Lexus RX 350 SUV - offered at a steal of a price - we ought to look at this weekend. I don't know if he got the 32nd anniversary = conveyance memo, but I'm enjoying the weird coincidence!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I said 'yes' to this dress?!

This is what I looked like 32 years ago today, in what might be the world's most modest wedding dress. I was anti-veil, anti-diamond, anti-makeup and apparently, anti-skin. And, dig that Dorothy Hamill 'do!  The dress had been discontinued, so there was only one left in the bridal shop - a size 10. I was, at the time, a size 12/14, so I bought myself a copy of "The Scarsdale Diet" and a gym membership and - voila! - three months later, I could zip the thing up. After the wedding, we were off to Boca Raton, FL to honeymoon (hey, it was free) in my godparents' condo surrounded by their geriatric snowbird neighbors. (Think: Del Boca Vista from Seinfeld.) We were the youngest ones in the complex by 40 years. I'm not sure, but I think we even played shuffleboard. Good times.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A conveyance! Er, you shouldn't have..!??

    On our 25th anniversary, I bought my husband a pocket watch made of silver, as tradition dictated. On our 30th, he bought me a gorgeous strand of pearls - the designated gift, according to Hallmark. This Thursday, the hubs and I will celebrate No. 32.  It's been a challenging year, in many respects, so I decided a gift is in order.  But, what does tradition say about the 32nd, I wondered. Most guidelines just hit 5-year milestones (30, 35, 40 and so on). Then, I found this site which answered my question: Give the poor guy a conveyance.  Excuse me, a what? You mean, like a Beemer or a Harley? I've been a little bitchy and sullen, sure, but the year hasn't been THAT challenging.
   So, I throw it out to you, dear readers. What kind of conveyance can I reasonably buy my long-suffering spouse for the big 3-2? Make those suggestions freely. He never reads my blog, anyway.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Alexis = Awkward

I don't read tell-all books, especially ones written by the progeny of famous people. That said, I'm all-too happy to read or watch stories ABOUT tell-all books, but this interview today pushed me way out of my comfort zone:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Why I love Facebook

...because sometimes, people post stuff like this. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The secret behind a good Catholic education

I've actually heard this one before, but I post it here for all my fellow Catholic school survivors: 
     Little Zachary was doing badly in math. His parents tried everything...tutors, mentors, flash cards, special learning centers.  Finally, in a last ditch effort, they took Zachary down and enrolled him In the local Catholic school.
     After the first day, little Zachary came home. He didn't even kiss his mother hello. Instead, he went straight to his room and started studying.  Books and papers were spread out all over the room and Zachary was hard at work. His mother was amazed. She called him down to dinner. To her shock, the minute he was done, he marched back to his room without a word, and in no time, he was back hitting the books as hard as before. 
     This went on day after day. 
     Finally, little Zachary brought home his report Card. With great trepidation, His Mom looked at it and to her great surprise, Little Zachary got an 'A' in math. She could no longer hold her curiosity.. She went to his room and said, 'Son, what was it? Was it the nuns?' Little Zachary shook his head, no.. 'Well, then,' Was it the books, the discipline, the structure? 
    WHAT WAS IT?'  
    Little Zachary looked at her and said, 'Well, on the first day of school when I saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they weren't fooling around.'

Ghosts of Halloweens past

My column today could be called a 'costume confessional'. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tell everyone you know about this woman!!

My daughter just turned me on to Melody Gardot, an incredible talent with a truly inspiring story. If you love her sound (and I can't think of anyone who wouldn't, it's seriously sexy) - please buy her music so she can continue her valiant comeback.

Born in New Jersey in 1985, Melody took up piano and played as a youngster on the nightclub scene of Philadelphia, influenced by jazz, folk, rock and pop musics. At age 19 she was a fashion student at the Community College of Philadelphia. But, on a fateful day, while riding her bicycle, the driver of a Jeep made an illegal turn, hurdling into Gardot and leaving her in the street for dead. Hospitalized for months with multiple head injuries and pelvic fractures, her love for music was the best therapy she could receive. While in her hospital bed, she wrote and recorded songs that would become the EP Some Lessons. Upon her eventual release from intensive care, Gardot found the strength and determination to further her career as an artist. Blessed with a beautiful voice and grand insight as a songwriter, her cognitive powers slowly but surely became pronounced, leading to the independent recording and release of her debut CD, Worrisome Heart, which was reissued in 2007 by Verve records. Gardot is hypersensitive to light and noise, thus she wears dark glasses, and uses a cane to walk. On-stage she requires a special seating unit, and wears a Transcutaneous Electro-Nerve Stimulator, a TENS device, to assist in alleviating her neuralgic muscle pain. As amazing as her story is, what is more evident is that she possesses a blue style and persona that reflects not only her afflictions, but conversely the hope and joy of making personalized music that marks her as an individual and original. Though touring is difficult, she has been performing in major cities on the East Coast to support her recordings. In 2009, working with producer Larry Klein and arranger Vince Mendoza — both known for their work with Joni Mitchell — Gardot followed up her Verve debut with My One and Only Thrill. 
    ~ written by Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

A kinder, gentler matchmaker?

This just arrived in my inbox. I'd go for the job myself, but my fix-ups have all ended badly. One of you, on the other hand, might be just want the casting director ordered. And, someone's got to be better than that mean Patti Stanger:
     Doron Ofir Casting is currently casting professional matchmakers nationally for a new television project. Matchmaking experts specializing in any and all fields of love, relationships and dating are encouraged to apply. This brand new series is seeking the top matchmakers in the nation to star as experts about love and relationships.
     Whether you are nationally known or big in your neighborhood, if you feel that your matchmaking abilities are beyond comparison and you are ready to share your expertise on television, this opportunity may end up being your perfect match!
     If you are interested in submitting yourself or someone you know please email us at: castingmatchmaker@gmail.com.
    Doron Ofir Casting is  the nation's premiere non-scripted casting company and the legendary star making company behind such international hits as "Millionaire Matchmaker," "Jersey Shore," "Design Star" and "My Strange Addiction."

"My Blackberry is not working"

'Gotta love those cheeky Brits.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hello, Dalai.

Thanks to a friend who posted this on Facebook today.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dogtoberfest!

I almost forgot to report on how I spent my Sunday afternoon - as a contest judge at the annual Dogtoberfest.  Imagine, if you will, dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds, vying for the coveted title of Best Kisser, Best Tail Wagger, Best Howler, Best Trick, Best Costume (handmade and store bought) and Best Dog/Owner Look-Alike. Here's one of the amazing canines who took home a prize. I'll let you guess which category.

Whatta wallet!!

The grand prize: A pink Hobo wallet chock full of gift certificates from participating merchants - well over $1000 in value!
    I've been beside-myself-busy getting ready for our first-ever Girls Night Downtown event this Thursday evening, Oct. 13th.  For local readers, this is a "bargain bash" - fashioned after the Mass Street Mosey - to benefit Mario's Closet, a specialty store at LMH that provides wigs and other items to low-income cancer patients, named for its founder Mario Chalmers.
    A $20 donation buys you a 'hot pink ticket' to shop for exclusive bargains at 32 downtown businesses, including 5 after-party venues. There will be liquid refreshments, appetizers, chair massages, drawings and give-aways in many of the shops....and each ticket holder will be entered into a grand prize drawing (the fabulous prize is seen above.)
   I do hope you'll join me and shop/party for a great cause on Thursday evening. It promises to be a fabulous night!
  We'll be selling tickets in front of Weaver's at 9th & Mass, starting at 5 pm.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oh, Lord.


Two stones and a "weird thing"

Not Lucy's picture - but close
After dinner last night, we made our way over to the vet's office where our poor pooch, Lucy, had been receiving ultrasound tests all day and trying to pee in a cup. The culprits - 2 small bladder stones and a "weird thing" (doctor's term) that looked like a mass but actually broke up and floated around as the bladder filled up....which is good, I guess.  We are now trying to break up the stones with a change in diet, to be accompanied by a new course of antibiotics, once the old antibiotics completely leave her system and new lab work can be done. The new urine sample will be drawn with a needle, but I refuse to think about that right now. My immediate concern is keeping the incontinence contained to the kitchen.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wee wee wee, all the way home.

Careless copy-editing noted, here is today's column about the time I tried to get a urine sample from Lucy the cocker spaniel, shown below in mellower times.

Wedding celebrity sighting

The bride - wearing Vera Wang - with the celeb
     Mere words can't do justice to the wedding I attended last night, but I'll give it a shot - personal, poignant, hilarious, artistic, musical, produced but not "staged," natural.  The bridge and groom, both New York City transplants, did an outstanding job of creating an evening that was both meaningful to them and extremely entertaining to their guests. I just can't say enough.
   The icing on the cake (besides the frosting on the real cake, which was delicious) was the presence of Manila Luzon, runner-up in Season 3 of RuPaul's Drag Race, a reality show that I've never seen but...who cares?!? A celebrity is a celebrity.
Manila on the last episode of Drag Race 3
I must admit, I watched the entire final episode this morning and may have found myself a new reality show obsession.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Testosterone fest

My son called yesterday afternoon around 4, asking if he could use our house as a pre-wedding "staging area" for his buddies today at noon. ("My apartment is sort of a mess," he said.  Really?!)
Serious discussion about the merits of the Windsor knot.
It's been a rather depressing week with too many thoughts about death, so I was all-too happy to see the now-30-year-olds who used to hang out here in their youth - especially the groom, one of my boy's best friends.
The groom.
I made them all mulligatawny soup and ironed 4 or 5 of their shirts...
while they made cocktails and joked around.
Then, I happily took their picture in front of the fireplace - the traditional prom photo backdrop - and sent them merrily on their way.
I guess this is what you call a "circle of life" moment.

Voila! Chopping block island.

This is the antique copper washing machine we pulled out of the attic to serve as a giant ice bucket for a recent party, the one I completely forgot we had because I go to the attic only once a year to fetch Christmas stuff. ('Never been a fan of attics. Thanks, Nancy Drew.)  I loved the patina on it so much, I was reluctant to let it go back upstairs. Luckily, Carpenter Hubs had enough maple leftover from the kitchen remodel to create this nifty top and - presto change-o - we have ourselves a little kitchen island. It seems to be the perfect size as I have yet to stub my toe on it. Maybe I need to visit the attic more often.