Thursday, December 27, 2007

Out With the New, In With the Old...

Here we are, once again quickly approaching the end of a year, with the dawning of a new year close on the horizon.

As the saying goes, it's Out with the Old, In with the New.

But this year, I'm twisting it up a tad.

In with the Old!

Out with the New!!

Meaning, Shepard Smith is returning to the Number 1 spot on my list.

His replacement, Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame, has fallen to #2.

Maybe he just needs to stop posting on his own board...or I need to stop reading it. It seems to me that every time he posts something, it's long winded and difficult to read. And once I'm able to get through it all, I get the impression that it was nothing more than smoke and mirrors...all that bloviating and...nothing. Big words do not a quality post make. Lots and lots of big words don't work either.

I'd much more appreciate a simple sentence with actual meaning than something that goes round and round for 7 or 8 paragraphs and wastes my time.

I'm not a fan of having smoke blown up my butt from anyone, regardless of how beautiful a chest he may have or how much he makes me laugh. Give me a straight answer. And if you don't want to give that straight answer, a simple "I'm sorry, but I'm not going to answer that" will suffice. I'm a simple woman with simple needs.

If you are looking for someone to gush about you, I'm not your girl.

If you are looking for someone to pump up your ego with praise, I'm not your girl.

If you are looking for someone who will give you right in everything, I'm not your girl.

But, if you are looking for someone who will appreciate you for what you are, then that's me.

If you are looking for someone to give you an honest appraisal of something, that's me too.

If you are looking for someone who will keep you grounded, well, that's me too.

Don't try to impress me. Just show me who you are, warts and all.

After all, every frog prince has his warts.

I've seen Shepard Smith's warts. I've seen him, candid and without barriers, laying his soul bare for all to see. I've seen him not making excuses for that nakedness. I've seen clear through to Shepard's heart. No big words. No bloviating. No talking and saying nothing.

Just his true heart.

Maybe Mike needs to start watching Shep...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

...And So This Is Christmas...

All of the hustle and bustle of the pre~Christmas season has come to an abrupt ending with the dawning of the day this morning.

Christmas is upon us, and fleeting as we speak.

The presents we wrapped so carefully in gilded paper now lie unwrapped and strewn under the tree. The gilded paper in a plastic bag in the trash, destined to find it's way to a recycling plant in the morning. The cookies we devoted so much time to baking are now eatten and stashed in plastic containers.

Tomorrow begins a new phase of the holiday season: The Day After.

It's the day for mega~sales...sales even better than they were during the last couple of shopping days for Christmas. It's the day that this years Christmas decorations go on sale..HALF PRICE!! Don't forget to stock up on that half price wrapping paper!!

We return every year to the malls the day after Christmas, bearing gifts we want to return.

This didn't fit, that's the wrong color, and who the hell thought I'd like THAT?!

We return the things we don't want...take that money...and buy the things we wanted but didn't get.

It's an annual ritual that we repeat every year. It's as much a part of the Christmas holiday as the tree.

And it's one I am proud to say I will NOT be participating in this year...everything I got is just right :)

Merry Christmas to all...and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

**random musing**

Are the voices in the GoPhone gingerbread men commercial those of Steve Buscheme and Adam Carolla?

Just When You've Lost Faith In TV...

So it's no real secret that I watch a lot of TV. Well, I shouldn't say that. I don't exactly watch it. Generally speaking, I'm at my desk, typing on my computer, with the TV on in the background. Unless it was Survivor or LOST, I rarely turned around and devoted all of my attention to any particular show. Even Shepard Smith's newscasts did not garner my full attention, much as I love him.

All of that changed when I discovered two "new" shows this past year. I say "new" because both have been on for a just took me this long to find them.

The first one is Psych on USA. How I missed this gem is beyond me. It's about a fake psychic and his partner who work for the Santa Barbara police. Sean may not be a psychic, but his observation skills make him a great detective. Corbin Bernsen plays his father. I actually find him sexy now in a way I never found his Arnie Becker back on LA LAW. This show is more than a who done it. It's witty and funny and sharp. Kind of how Monk was when it first came on. I'm not saying I don't enjoy Monk anymore, but it's lost some of it's zip over time. Psyche is more like House if Dr House weren't always such a downer. Their Christmas episode was great...fresh and funny and sweet. Can't wait for the new episodes in January!

The second "new" show I discovered was Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe...but if you are a dear Constant Reader, you already knew that. I'd seen bits and pieces of the show over the dog groomer episode where Mike, dressed in a fuscia floral shirt, worked on the pampered pups. At the time I flipped around to it I thought "Wow, that poor guy. He's cute, but...yikes!" I also watched parts of the ostrich farmer and the crew cruise. At the time I found Mike somewhat cute and very funny. Had no idea what the premise of the show was. All I knew is that these men were on a cruise, and the guy in the cap found it very funny that the chubby one took a tumble while ice skating. Then, one night, as fate would have it, I came upon the show as it was just starting. They were in a salt mine, and as Mikes narration pointed out, they were going to show some behind the scenes they film the show. I kept it on and was truly fascinated on several levels. First off, the fact that the fucameraman stood there holding that camera for what had to be hours at a time (cameraman turned out to be Doug), the idea that this man, with no training whatsoever in this field, would go down into this mine and do the work in there, and the thought that this Mike Rowe was really quite adorable. I enjoyed the show, and after, went to like Mike directed me to at the end. The rest, as they say, is history. I like the jobs that Mike does, providing insects aren't involved. He brings to the forefront the men and women who do jobs that are necessary, and that we either don't know about, or are glad we don't do ourselves. I also love the fact that he is quick of wit and can easily make me laugh and smile without having to take his pants off. Then again I love the fact that he's not afraid to take off his clothes and that he really does have a beautiful body for a man of his age. That and I'm just a sucker for a beautiful hairy chest *big smile*

Once we get LOST back, and the new episodes of Psych and Dirty Jobs start up in January, I don't know if I'm going to even have time to blog ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fox Bimbo Network

A friend of mine watches the FoxNews late night program Red Eye on a regular basis. The other day, she sent me an email regarding something that happened on it one night. One of the guests was a woman from the newly formed Fox Business Network who apparently has an MBA from Harvard. During an exchange, Andy Levy, who is one of the regular Red Eye panelists apparently had to explain to the Harvard MBA what capitalism was, as she seemed to be confused.

Our entire economy is based on capitalism. How could anyone with a business degree be confused about it?

I do not get Fox Business Network, and it's just as well. As a businesswoman myself, I dare say that if this person is representative of the network, then I am grateful for not getting my business news and analysis from them. As it turned out, the same FBN woman who got confused about capitalism on Red Eye was on StudioB and again appeared to need guidance from Shepard Smith in order to get through the segment.

I have seen photos of the women on FBN. Mostly young women, mid 20s to early 30s. Mostly wearing what one can only conclude to be the required wardrobe of any female on air Newscorp employee: short, tight skirts. Most are the required hair color: blonde, with a smattering of brunettes thrown in just to make sure no cries discrimination. As a person actively involved in the pursuit of capitalism, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that I care less about what the person delivering my business news and providing me with business analysis looks like, and more about their ability to comprehend the information they are delivering. I want to know why something is a good or bad investment, why someone filed Chapter 11, how new tax laws will affect my future income. I don't want someone who reads copy, giggles and shrugs.

I am not impressed with the letters MBA attached to a name. Personal experiences have taught me that any monkey with the ability to read, memorize and regurgitate can achieve this distinction. It doesn't necessarily mean they can then apply what they memorized to the real world. There is no real substitute for good old fashioned experience.

For what it's worth, I'd rather watch grizzled old Jack Welch, bald Michael Eisner or oddly coifed Donald Trump discussing business than a 25 year old Harvard MBA with a few months experience at a large brokerage house who decided they too cute and were much better suited for TV than actual application of that MBA.

I've watched and listened to Neil Cavuto for years and always referred to him as the adult version of Alex P. Keaton. His insight and business acumen are well known and respected. So I have to ask: What the heck are you doing over at FBN??

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Random Musings...

Things have been hectic here of late. Between getting the house ready for Christmas and getting myself ready for Christmas, I haven't had a lot of time for much else.

Sooo...where to begin?

The ville is done! Whoot whoo! The Perfect Mike Rowe~cosm has been duly photographed and documented. Too bad Mike Rowe isn't'd be a perfect Dirty Job for him to take the damn thing down after the holidays. I'm sure he'd love it. I know I do *rolls eyes*

Here are a few more pictures of it:

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Of course, there'd be more perks in it for Mike to come take it down than there are for me to take it down. For one, I'd be so appreciative that I'd give the boy an amazing one's ever given me one of those. I have to pay $10 for 10 minutes at the salon LOL Mike could actually be the lucky recipient of various forms of it warm in here?

The tree is also done. After much trial and tribulation. Here's a pic of that:

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The first guests came over on Friday, family friends who had dinner with us. Wine flowed freely and for the first time in a long time, I was a bit tipsy. It wasn't so bad until I woke up the next morning with drunk mouth...bah! I didn't think I drank that much! I was up and out early, stopping by the diner for breakfast and then off to FINALLY do my Christmas shopping at Lord & Taylor. Finished up my father, and he finished up my mother. Since Rosie's old HP has finally outlived its usefulness, I opted to order her a cheap Dell desktop. I just got notification that it shipped today and should arrive on Wednesday. The fun part will be getting it into the house to wrap without her seeing it...need to brainstorm on that one. Of course, I know my Christmas day will basically consist of moi installing the new pc and doing the dishes...ho ho ho.

Weather here has been frightful. Saturday night a nor'easter blew on in, and I do mean BLEW! The winds were horrendous! My bed is in front of the window, and the noise from the ice pellets that were falling being thrust against the window, walls and roof kept me awake until 5am! When I finally fell asleep, the sun was coming up. Of course, I got very little sleep, and after the heavy slushy confection was removed, it was off again for more shopping. I returned home exhausted, and having to install a new plasma tv for my parents. I hit the bed hard and slept well, not wanting to get up this morning for work.

I finally got the ingredients I need for baking. Of course, the almond paste I need was on special this week and they were out of it. Time to go traipsing around looking for it. What fun! Hope to start baking on Wednesday...after I pick up my Secret Santa gift...

Shepard Smith has been looking fine to me of late. I know I have taken him to task here often, but I truly do like the guy. He's funny and witty and smart. It's just that sometimes he's also infuriating and agitating. But then he smiles that impish, crooked little grin, and some days I just want to twist my fingers thru his curly locks. I don't know why. He's just adorable sometimes. Rick Leventhal is back in Iraq now. Now THAT is a man. He's truly beautiful. And hes a great reporter. I have a lot of respect and admiration for Rick, above and beyond the fact that I find him incredibly good looking.

You know, it's not so much that I don't like the holidays, it's the holidays that I think don't much like me. I'm always rushing around...and for what? I spend about 40 man~hours putting up a village that only a handful of people come to see. I bake cookies and no one eats them. I buy presents that get returned. And I'm alone. This is the only time of year that it really bothers me, being alone. A certain person has little to no regard for me, and that hurts...mostly around now. If I were to go POOF! and disappear forever, they wouldn't even notice. It's getting harder and harder. I can sincerely understand why depression and suicide rates increase over the holidays. Compounding it for me, my birthday is a few days after Valentines Day...another celebration I can't participate in.

I've waited for years for my ship to come in. And always, it sails right on by. Everyone else seems to get my ticket to board, and I am forced to stand on the dock, waving my hanky, wishing those others a bon voyage while I stand alone and forgotten.

Ho Ho Ho indeed....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Bimbo~fication of FNC

Used to be that when I wanted to know what was going on in the world, I turned on FoxNews.

Used. To. Be.

Now, I hesitate when I have the remote in my hand. Do I really want to watch FNC?

Do I really want to take the chance that if I turn on what used to be on my TV box (thanks, Shep) nearly 24/7, there will be some short skirted, low neckline wearing 20-something bottle blonde stumbling over the TelePrompTer?

I've watched Fox News faithfully for over two years...ever since watching Shepard Smith's emotional reportage from the I-10 overpass in New Orleans. Back then, you could count on GOOD reporting. People like Shepard, Trace Gallagher, Jon Scott, the amazing Rick Leventhal, Phil Keating and Adam Housely. But the list didn't end with the men. Far from it. They also had the likes of Jane Skinner, Julie Banderas, Martha MacCallum, Catherine Herridge and Jennifer Griffin reporting and anchoring. Women who could hold their own with the men.

But now, professionals like these are few and far between on the network.

Now we are over run with sorority girls. Giggly, bubbly princesses wearing micro minis hiked up to show the maximum amount of thigh, unable to read the TelePrompTer, making uninformed comments and laughing inappropriately.

It's no way to start our day when the worlds first Audioanimatronic anchor is sitting alongside Anchorwoman Barbie in her short leather skirt and lingerie top, giggling before turning on their "serious journalist" voices to report a tragic story.

Gone is the previous professionalism of the network, the 'get the story at all costs' feeling that oozed from my TV during Katrina and the conflict in Israel. Or any real news story.

Good, female journalists are relegated to irregular shifts, overnight headlines and rare occasions of covering breaking news. But long live the bimbo on FNC! She will be on both Studio B AND FoxReport, giggling about the story she's reading but knows nothing about...she's just reading what they told her to read, having to be told what to say by the anchor because she's apparently so enthralled by her own image in the monitor she's forgotten what she's talking about but remembers to smush her headshot together with the anchors to pretend they are kissing.

And the bimbos are getting high praise from upper management!

Now, here's the thing. I have nothing against pretty young women with color treated hair (come on...when your dark roots are showing, you seriously cannot expect anyone to believe that's your 'natural color') making good. Lord knows I was once one myself. I was lucky though. I got by in life on my merits. Maybe I got a little extra because I was pretty, but I am still able to get by, and get by in a good way, because I did not rely on my looks when I was younger. I feel bad for the Courtney Friel's of FNC. The Julie B's and ED Hill's will be around for a good long time. Looks, as they say, fade. Brains...those will serve you much better than those little bra inserts that puff up the cleavage ever could...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Picture Perfect Mike Rowe~cosm

Just a quickie...finally finished the 'ville (AND the tree...but more on that after the pic..) and wanted to post a quick picture of it. Here it is (although I'm sure my ineptitude in sizing will cause only a small portion of the picture to show LOL):

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Now, on to the tree.

I had picked up a new tree on Halloween...yes, that is how much they rush the seasons these days. I had actually had time to go scope out the tree's and decide which to pick up prior to Halloween and went Halloween night to get one!

Well, Saturday I opened the box. Looked a bit large. It was only supposed to be 7ft, but the circumfrence of the first layer of branches was much bigger than our old Treezilla. There had to be somethign wrong. I continued to assemble it, putting the second section on. That's when I realized this tree was much larger than it was supposed to be. In the store, I was able to touch the top of the tree without a step stool. At home, this was not the case. So I wrestled with the damn thing and finally got it back into the box and into the back of the Sportage.

Back up to Fortunoff!

Picked up a very full 6.5ft tree in its place. Not my original choice, but the results of the Annalee tree are magnificent.

I'll post pictures as soon as I get the ornament boxes out of the way.

In the meantime, I think that right now, all my perfect little Mike Rowe~cosm is lacking is an actual Mike Rowe! ;)

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Perfect Mike Rowe~cosm

So I have FINALLY finished that @$%&#* village.

It has made me foul of temper and ill of spirit.

But now, it's done.



Just have to hook the skirt onto the table, set up the large lit trees that go around the table, and put all the mess away. But that's tomorrow night. For now, I get to breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to setting up the tree on Saturday.

I look at my 'ville as a is a miniature, perfect world. Everything is decorated. The paths don't need shoveling. Children play, adults shop and everyone is happy.

Too bad the real world isn't like my 'ville.

If it were, all of my Christmas decorating would be done. My tree would be up and be perfect~it would be a real tree, but it wouldn't dry out before Christmas and the needles wouldn't fall off when I took it down after the holidays. The boxes for the decorations would retrieve themselves from the attic and likewise return magically. No sets of lights would blow~ever! All the Christmas baking would be done and everything would come out perfect and taste divine. Oh, there would be big Martha Stewart style sugar cookies too. Decorated with great details and actually looking like what they are supposed to be~as if Martha herself had decorated them. All of the shopping would be done and the shimmering wrapping festooned with ribbons. Everyone would get the perfect gift and everyone would simply love everything they got. Of course, there'd be no traditional Christmas debt, because, remember, this is a perfect world. And in this perfect world, I'd be curled up on my sofa, watching the twinkling lights on my perfect tree while drinking mulled wine and nibbling perfect sugar cookies...with my head on Mike Rowe's delectable chest and his strong, loving arms around me..., THAT would be the perfect Mike Rowe~cosm ;)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Festival of Lights

Tonite marked the first night of Hannaukah.

Or, as my officemate Sam refers to it, the Jewish Christmas.

Now, I'm not Jewish, but my officemate is. So, I put a little Menorah in our office in honor of Hannaukah...and that was enough to set off the first rant of the season...something about how Hannaukah has become so commercial, even a Christian like myself was celebrating it.

It's no secret around the Wing that Sam is a notorious holiday grinch, and each holiday season, he launches into what we've come to affectionately refer to as "the rant".

Both Christmas and Hannaukah, he argues, are holidays with beautiful sentiments. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, while Hannaukah celebrates the miracle of the oil. We cheapen these holidays with commercialism. Christmas, he says, is not about Santa. Hannaukah is not about 8 gifts. To Sam, these things cheapen what should be meaningful celebrations.

While Sam rages against the holiday machine, garlands and trees and lights go up around him. I'm not innocent here, with my Menorah, Christmas tree, and red basket of candy canes scattered festively all around our office.

But, deep down, I know that Sam is absolutely correct. Hannaukah is not about lighting Menorahs and giving 8 little gifts (or even one big one). It's about celebrating a miracle that happened so long ago. Likewise, Christmas is not about Santa, elves, reindeer and trees. It's also about an ancient miracle.

We seem to have forgotten that. We rush around, looking for just the right gift...something that was requested, something that will elicit squeels of delight. We worry about trees and lights and villages.

We forget the reason for the season.

Maybe, this holiday season, we all need to slow down a bit, put down the garlands and the sale flyers, and step back for a minute.

Step back and think, and try to remember those amazing miracles that happened in a desert land so long, long ago. Miracles who's impact was so profound, we celebrate them to this day.

Remember the reasons for the seasons...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Make Me Feel Better...

Blech...I am so sick. I was up most of the night, unable to breathe, and consequently, unable to sleep. When I finally did fall asleep, I woke up a couple of hours later with a migrane, unable to fall asleep again. So I called in sick and went back to bed...where I stayed until 1:30 in the afternoon! I never stay in bed like that, but I couldn't even lift my head off the pillow. I finally did fall asleep, and when I woke up, I was able to eat something and have some coffee, and I felt a bit better.

Then I layed down again, and found out I had a delima. Should I watch Shepard Smith or Mike Rowe? Both were on at 3pm, but who was going to make me smile more and feel better?

The episode of Dirty Jobs contained the infamous geoduck segment...something I'd never seen in its entirity. But Shepard wasn't on Friday, so I opted to tape Mike and watch Shepard.

Turned out Shepard was sick too. Made me sniffle even more. Must be something going around the city LOL

I have to say, I did indeed enjoy Mike and the geoduck more.

There is something just so appealing about a 45 year old man (who happens to have one of the top ten chests in my estimation) acting like a 12 year old boy. He made me laugh and smile :)

And I felt a little bit better, so, thanks, Mike :)

Did I mention I can't wait to get back to bed? Hope I can sleep tonite because I'm out of sick days for the year!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Shop Til You Drop

Tonite I went up to Bloomingdales after work. There was a big 'private' sale going on, and it involved coupons. So we had dinner at the cafe (where, to my surprise, a coupon was also involved) and headed to the mens department to find what we could for Dad for Christmas.

Historically, I have done very well in Bloomingdales for my father for Christmas. Alas, this Christmas, that was not to be the case.

Aside from the Polo section, the rest of the clothing in the mens department appeared to be centered around either brooding emo boys or attorneys. Gray prewashed stenciled tshirts or a rainbow of ties fanned out across table after table. Take your pick. Nothing there really for a man of my fathers age.

In the end, I left the store with 2 pair of Via Spiga boots for the price of one (thank you again, coupon!), some Bogdan's mint reception sticks and mascara. The nice saleslady gave me the free gift even though my purchase was $4 shy of the "free with purchase" price.

It's funny though. The mens department at Bloomies always makes me think of Shepard Smith. I think it's the brightly hued neckties or the geometric pattern dress shirts. Or something. Whatever it is, a visit to the Bloomingdales mens department always makes me want to make over Shep.

It's not that he doesn't dress's just that he doesn't dress the way I feel he should. If he would only consult with me, I could no doubt make him one of the best dressers on television. Even better than that walking ego, Brian Williams (and this comes from a woman who has renamed a shade of blue "Brian Williams Blue". Say what you want, the ego does dress well)

The offer is on the table, Shepard. Anytime, any Bloomingdales or Nordstrom...I can work wonders ;)

The same offer is extended to Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs...except if I ever got him undressed, DRESSING him would be the last thing on my mind...

Thank God tomorrow is Friday...I seriously need a couple of days off!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In the Ville...

So I started my Christmas know...the one I swore up and down I was NOT doing this year under ANY circumstances.


That one.

I got all the kristmas krap out of the attic on Sunday, and set it all out. Houses on one table, people and accessories on the other, electrical gizmos to enhance the village experience in between the two. A box of trees here. Bag of mountains there. Lord & Taylor shopping bag full of wires under the table. Styrofoam as far as the eye can see.

Hey, Mike Rowe...want to see a dirty job? Come over to my house and set up my ville...I'm covered from head to toe with ground styrofoam snow, chopped mylar and glitter...two different kinds of glitter, at that! And let's not forget the tackywax! Gotta have the tackywax! Otherwise everthing just sort of topples over from the floor vibrations...and once you have your scene set, the LAST thing you want is for your damn people or your stupid streetlights to topple over.

Yes, as you can see, the Christmas Spirit has filled me.

The end result is usually quite stunning visually. It's not so much the scale of it~compared to others, my village isn't that large.

The devil, as they say, is in the details...and I try to put as many of those in as I possibly can. Alleyways with trash cans, street details like firehydrants and telephone poles, a festive village square. It's time consuming and at times, maddening, but in the end, I guess its pretty worth it.

But I seriously cannot wait to finish.

I missed the first showing of Dirty Jobs tonite...hope I stay awake for the second show. Gotta have my Mike Rowe fix! I hear tonite he gets to sniff he was thrilled ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

...and so it begins...

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It's a time when we are supposed to sit back, enjoy a feast with our loved ones, and reflect on the past year, giving thanks for how good we have it. Just like the Pilgrims did all those years ago in Plymouth colony. They were grateful for living thru the harsh winter, and for the friendship of the Indians, who helped them survive.

Except that, we don't exactly DO that anymore, do we?

Instead, we obsess over where we are going. Who is going to be there? Who's coming to our house? Who's bringing what? Is the turkey big enough? What kind of potatoes is she making? Who's doing the dishes? What time does the WalMart open for those Black Friday sales?

Where is the thanks?

Where is the gratefulness?

Where is the reflection?

Everything is rushrushrushrush.

Everyone's worried about getting past Thanksgiving and on to Christmas.

No one stops to smell the turkey anymore.

Thanksgiving has stopped being about giving thanks and has become the Official Kick~off of Christmas.

So, on this Thanksgiving eve, I've decided to sit down and reflect on what I am truly thankful for, instead of dwelling on what is lacking in my life. Oh, there is plenty that is lacking~job satisfaction, someone to love and share my life with, a home of my own...the list is long and makes me feel sad.

But what do I have? What have I been blessed with? What should I be joyful that I have and give thanks for?

I've been blessed with parents who care a great deal about me, maybe too much. But they are always there, a safety net so that when I fall, at least someone is there to help me up.

I'm grateful that I have a job. Inasmuch as I despise what I do these days, and like where I work even less, at the very least, I make a little bit of money and can splurge at Bloomies once in a while when they have a sale. The Michael Kors pumps on my feet are proof of that. I am thankful for them, and the sale that put them there.

I'm thankful that FoxNews resigned Shepard Smith to a multi~year deal at a high salary. I like Shepard and I'm glad he's being treated right by his employer. Actually, I'm glad that I see someone who is good at what they do being treated well at their job. I may not be treated or paid very well for breaking my back at my job, but at least I know there is hope because I can see that there are indeed employers who reward good employees. Maybe someday I will have one of those jobs.

I'm thankful that I found Dirty Jobs on Discovery channel. It makes me realize that there are people out there who do what some of us would consider beneath us so that we can live in a civilized world. I am grateful that I found Mike Rowe. He and his beautiful chest are easy on the eyes and he makes me smile. He gives me hope that there are indeed men out there who can make me laugh without having to drop their pants.

I give thanks for the good friends that I have. For Sherri Ann, who, while we don't speak often, has been a steady beam of light for me for some 30 years. For Katy, who's helped me get thru more than she knows. For Ruby Anne who is like the southern version of me. I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones I have are good and strong and true.

I'm grateful for my mind. Because, while I sometimes fear I am losing it, it is what keeps me going, what helps me get thru. It is what helped me to write the book I hope to one day publish. Hopefully, one day soon.

And, I'm thankful for my sense of humor and the ability to laugh at myself~before others can, I hope.

There may be a lot of things that I want in my life that I don't have, and maybe some things that I have that I don't want, but there are always things to give thanks for. Remember, no matter how bad you think it is, there is always someone who has it worse. Tomorrow, I will have a good dinner with my family in a warm, dry place. Not everyone can say that.

So, please, on this Thanksgiving, on the eve of the blessed holiday season, take a moment or two to sit and think...and thank.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

One More Day....

All I have to do to have a nice 4 day weekend is get thru one more day of misery. Think I can pull it off? Goodness knows today was the LONGEST day in a long time! Good Grief how time drags when you don't want to be where you are!

So Shepard Smith wished us all a Happy Thanksgiving tonite...he's off for his holiday. I remember a couple of years ago, the day before Thanksgiving, he was quite excited. Said he thought of Thanksgiving as a "grazing" holiday, since all you really did all day was sit around and eat, then eat some more. He's right. Most traditional families do just that.

But not mine.

No, mine has to go to the casino for Thanksgiving.

No turkey.

No cranberry sauce.

No stuffing.

No asparagus patties.

I sound like Ralphie narrating A Christmas Story at the end, when the Bumpus's dogs get into the house and eat the Christmas turkey.

Guess I'll be having something from the buffet for dinner. Maybe they'll have turkey? I know we had turkey dinner that Thanksgiving we spent at Walt Disney World.

Told you we were different ;)

Monday, November 19, 2007

$hepard $mith

So the big news in the news game today was Shepard Smith and his new contract with FoxNews.

Historically, Shepard has never discussed the terms of his contracts, which is something that I think is his prerogative, really. It's not my business how much he makes. I'm not signing his checks.

But this contract is different.

In a deal that is said to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 years, 7 to 8 million dollars per year, Shepard Smith has now eclipsed his cable news peers and become the highest paid cable news anchor, putting him in the same neighborhood as network stars like Brian Williams.

Somewhere, Keith Olbermann is crying.

I do have to say, it's about damn time. I know that I have taken Shepard to task previously in this blog, but it's not because I don't think he's good. Quite the opposite. I think he's amazing newsman, and I have stated that in the past. No other anchor man on our television today, network or cable, works as hard as Shepard does, or throws himself as deeply into his stories as Shepard. Sometimes emotional, sometimes funny, always on his game. To me, he is worth every penny.

Of course, that doesn't mean constructive criticism of his shows is off limits here... ;)

Real and true congratulations to you, Shepard Smith, and an old Irish blessing for you:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Jib Jab...

you can do some baaaad things with that....mwahahahaha...

Just Sayin'...

I got home tonight in time to catch the last 10 minutes of the new and improved FoxReport with Shepard Smith.

Now, before I go any further, regular readers of this blog (if there are any of you LOL) and anyone who knows me personally, all know that I do indeed love Shepard Smith. I feel he's the best anchorman out there today, and one of the finest field reporters in the game today. He's also not afraid to laugh at himself and crack a joke, even if it's not in the most appropriate spot.

OK, disclaimer in place, I now can proceed.

I flipped on FNC just in time to see a report from the, a college news website that seems to have caught
Shepard's fancy. Apparently, tomorrow is a big game for Ohio State University's football team and the students were celebrating by tossing themselves into a body of 40 degree temperatures. College kids usually do crazy things like least they did back in the day when I was in school. this news?

The next segment dealt with Vegas...David Copperfield's first show since the rape allegations, and OJ Simpson. The ever classy Trace Gallagher was in Vegas, reporting on Copperfield. Then Shepard launched into a story about OJ and his "posse"...detailing the differences between and "entourage" and a "posse" in a segment called "Just Sayin'", with a graphic of what looked to be a silouhette of Shepard, shrugging.

OK, back it up there, Smith. Aren't you the man who, while doing press to promote the changes being made to FoxReport, said how you were getting rid of the teases and what not to bring MORE news to the people? In fact, I am looking at an interview you gave to TV Guide online this past August about just such a thing.

And here is a quote from that interview...

"We have to do more news. We've already given up the "coming up" teasing that we were known for in the early days. We've taken all of the time and put it into content. We did that because viewers said that's what they wanted. Viewers have said, "Stop telling me for 45 seconds what you're going to do in the next four minutes." So we have. We're not going to do more crap. We're not going to do more titillating [stories], Hollywood-movie reviews and jokes. We're going to do less of that. There are other places that do that better than we do. I don't make any apologies for the way we've done it in the past. There was an atmosphere where it was acceptable because people didn't have so much of it. We need to do news."

Things called "The Daily Britney" and "Just Sayin'" and items about college kids getting pumped for a big game from aren't "news" least not by the definition that I know news as. They may be interesting, curious, entertaining and maybe even funny. But they are not news.

Personally, I don't care what is used to fill a newscast. Just don't promise me more news and deliver more gossip.

I'm just sayin'...


Don't Try This At Home!

if I could figure out how to get the one I made in here, I'd do it!!

edited to add...figured it out!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dear Shepard...

I was poking around my desk, which is essentially an avalanche waiting to happen, when I unearthed an old issue of TV Guide...from back when it was, well, TV Guide size. The cover date was Sept 25-Oct 1, 2005. CSI Returns! Screamed the cover! Inside was a special edition of a page called "News Flashes", where TV Guide spoke to 3 of the news faces of the then recent Hurricane Katrina~Brian Williams of NBC, Elizabeth Vargas of ABC and Shepard Smith of FNC. Each journalist had a single column about their coverage. After reading it again, I decided to write an open letter to Shepard Smith.

Shepard's column on that page told of how FNC forced he and his crew to leave their perch on the I-10 overpass in New Orleans because they were worried about their mental health, but how after a few days, he headed to his native Mississippi.

This is how Shepard's column ended:

"Says Smith, 'I want to tell their individual stories.'"

Over two years have passed. During his initial visit to Waveland, MS, in the first week after Katrina, he had met a man named Brian who had a little dog named Rocky. Brian and Rocky had ridden the deadly 30 foot high wall of water as it washed away the town and had managed to survive. That night, upon his return to the scene, Shepard sat at a makeshift candlelit table with Brian and a few of his friends, all survivors, talking about the disaster, their survival, and their desire to rebuild. Shepard Smith sat there, legs crossed, Waveland cap on his head. He looked at peace. That Christmas, he returned to Waveland and followed up with Brain and his little dog, now living in a FEMA trailer.

Shepard returned to the region again for Holy Week the following spring, giving an update on the clean up efforts, and asking residents after losing everything, what, if anything, could they possibly be giving up for Lent. He also returned for the first anniversary of Katrina, reporting on the clean up and rebuilding that was going on in the region.

I haven't really heard much of anything about Katrina since then from Shepard. A report here and there, FEMA this, Mayor Nagin that, Governor voted out, but beyond that? Nothing.

Where are all of the individual stories that you wanted to tell, Shepard?

I think Shepard Smith missed a monumental opportunity.

Forget for a minute that he is a newsman, and remember that he is a man. A man who grew up in small town Mississippi, who'd father still lives in that same small town. A man who still lives and dies with his beloved Ole Miss Rebels. A man with the ability to tell a story and leave you enthralled.

A man with a forum and an audience...yet he did nothing.

Now, I'm not saying he didn't do anything to help after Katrina, not at all. I know he participated in a fund raiser with Governor Haley Barbour in DC after the hurricane. I am sure that he himself has given money, and quite possibly time, to help rebuild the Mississippi Gulf coast. I know he cares. As he told his viewers during the initial shock of Katrina, that is his home.

But he did not tell us those stories that he told TV Guide he so wanted to tell in the initial wake of the disaster, the tales of survival and of loss. Of rebuilding and of redemption. Of sadness and joy.

Yes, Shepard Smith missed a huge opportunity...and his loss is our loss. We will never get to hear those individual stories. We will never get to know, to cry, to mourn with those whose lives were changed forever that day or to rejoice in those small personal miracles that we all know occur. We don't know if Brian and Rocky are still in their FEMA trailer, or if they were ever able to rebuild their home.

Shepard Smith has what I consider to be an extraordinary gift. He has the ability to tell a story and to compel you with it. He has a way of holding your attention, of making you care. He is able to have his passion reach out thru your television screen and into your heart. He has the ability to make a difference.

I guess I just expected more from someone I respected like Shepard Smith. I thought he really would decide stand up, step to the front and make a difference, especially for his beloved Mississippi.

Come on, Shepard...make a difference...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Darn That Smile

So Shepard sucked me back in for a moment tonite. First by referring to his FoxReport and it's new set as a circus tent. Then he gave that darn impish little grin of his and my heart just melted a little bit. Must. Resist. Impish. Grin.

Moving was hotter than the gates of Hades at the office today, giving me reason to believe that I am, in fact, correct, and we do indeed work in a portal to hell. You know what that makes the bossman....

There was a new episode of Dirty Jobs on tonite...but first, there was a repeat of Mike Rowe's second visit to the alligator farm. This time, Jerry took Mike on an alligator egg hunt, complete with real alligators...and fire ants. After seeing this tonite, I have to say I am glad we don't have fire ants in NY. Poor Mike. First the ants got him on his hands and arms. They seemed to gravitate to his armpits and up to his neck, leaving welts in their wake that were at first painful, then itchy. The really bad part happened when they somehow managed to get into his pants. I don't know how much this man makes for this, but I don't think there is any amount of money that could possibly compensate someone for having his manbits nibbled on by fire ants. I'll admit it...I laughed. But I did feel guilty for laughing at his pain. Later on, an alligator tail nailed him once again in the jewels. Guess it just wasn't Mike Rowe's day *guilty smirk*

The new episode took place first at the San Francisco dump. Oh. My. God. You never consider what happens to your trash once you bag it and can it and the dude with the stubby little cigar in the corner of his mouth takes it away. You never think about the people who process your trash. Yes...people actually process the trash. I swear, I felt as though I could almost smell the garbage, thats how disgusting it was. I have to wonder if the Dirty Jobs crew has, by now, lost their sense of smell. Nasty. Nasty. Nasty. They seemed to get a reprieve from major stenches in the second job of the new episode, which took place at an animal sanctuary in Georgia. Well, there was poo, and a pig, but it had to smell like paradise compared to the dump...even when shoveling poo. was frozen poo. Or so he said...but this is another man who's smile makes me forget why I was grossed out.

Seriously...I need to tie one of these men and keep him at the office, so when I'm sitting there wondering if we are having a group hot flash, they can smile at me and make me forget I'm melting!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sorry, Shepard...

For over 2 years now, I've loyally watched and loved Shepard Smith of FoxNews. Laugh if you must, but the guy is good. Witty and funny when he can be, serious and tenacious when he has to be.

However recent, changes to both of his shows have rendered them, to me, sadly, nearly unwatchable.

Don't get me wrong, aside from what I view as a loud, obnoxious set, FoxReport, the 7pm newscast Shepard anchors, is still good. Quick and concise stories packaged up neatly...just delivered with a little too much flash for me.

My problem lies with StudioB, Shepard's 3pm show. I used to enjoy StudioB much more than FoxReport. It was a looser version of FoxReport, highlighted by a segment, usually at the bottom of the hour, called "Skinnerville". It was here that Jane Skinner would read the half-hour headlines, and then interact with Shepard about anything under the sun. There were many laughs to be had during Skinnerville, and it was always, to me, and others I know, the most enjoyable segment of either of Shepard's shows.

Sadly, all of that changed about a year ago, after Jane got her own show the hour before StudioB. Sure, at first, it continued, with Shepard reading the bottom of the hour headlines for Jane, then carrying on a "Shepardville" during her hour and then the traditional Skinnerville during Shepards hour. It was short lived and soon we lost both Shepardville and the beloved Skinnerville.

For a while, I honestly didn't really enjoy StudioB, but I didn't find it unwatchable.

Enter Courtney Friel.

Now, usually I don't really care who's delivering the story, providing I can get the facts in a clear, concise manner.

Ms. Friel is neither clear nor concise. FoxNews has seen fit to shove her down our collective gullets at all turns. Weekdays, weekends, late nights, you name a program and there's always a good chance she's going to pop up on it.

At first, it wasn't so bad. She's new, I thought. Maybe she needs time to adjust.

Well, the honeymoon, as they say, is over.

I'm going to try to say this in the nicest terms I possibly can. Below is a list. At one time or another, while on air, Courtney Friel has been guilty of at least one:

Forgetting what she was saying
Watching herself in the monitor
Complaining her arms looked fat
Saying something completely inappropriate

About the only thing she hasn't done on air is wave while mouthing "I'm on TV!" excitedly. At times, I've wondered if I've wandered into some parallel universe where the Brady Bunch is still on and Marsha got a job on TV. FoxNews has a lot of very pretty women on it's staff, but they are all highly professional and I have never seen any of them giggle and tell Shepard Smith that their arms look fat on TV.

I'm not saying Courtney Friel is a bad person. Far from it. I'm sure she's a very nice person. What I am saying is that she is not what I want to see when I turn on a news report anchored by someone who I respect as a news journalist. I just don't feel she fits in with the news. She belongs more on an entertainment show instead. But as long as she is on StudioB, I will no longer be watching.

Sad end of an era that started for me over 2 years ago with Shepard Smith's outrage on a dark and hot bridge leading from New Orleans into New Gretna, Louisiana...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How Come Bridezilla?

Since Discovery has seen fit to not show me any Mike Rowe and Dirty Jobs this weekend, despite the program guide I printed out off the website this week, I was left instead to flip around the dial and hope for something watchable.

I found that this morning in the form of Bridezilla's on WE.

I don't know how really "watchable" Bridezilla's's more like driving past a train wreck and having to slow down to take a peek.

Each week, Bridezilla's treats us to two or three women who are stressing out over their impending weddings. "Stressing" being a kind way of saying "bitches on wheels".

I just don't get it. These women scream, cry, threaten, abuse, and generally carry the diva act to new heights....and the men they are marrying sit there and take all of this, then coddle them.

Where do they find these guys?

Is there a store at the mall selling them? Because if there is, I sure as heck have missed it! Maybe they were a Today's Special Value on QVC that sold out while I was sleeping (hmm...Mike Rowe...did you ever sell any of those during your stint there? ;) )

In any event, it just numbs my mind how these high maintenance, highly demanding, overly controlling and conniving women seem to always find these salt of the earth men to cater to them and their every whim.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a woman such as my self who isn't strung nearly as tightly, can't find a man worth diddly.

Maybe if I had the temperament of a spoiled Chihuahua I'd have better luck?

I try not to think about it, but WE seems hell bent on shoving miserably spoiled brides in my face at every turn.

Maybe this is why I find Dirty Jobs to be such a breath of fresh air. No way you'll be seeing Mike Rowe catering to the whimsies of a demanding bride...he'd just toss her into the mud :)

...and have I mentioned he's not too hard on the eyes? Particularly when shirtless? ;)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I LOVE The 80s

Flipping around tonite, since Discovery has seen fit to make me wait until tomorrow night to see Mike Rowe again. I happened upon the last hour of Vh1's top songs of the 80s countdown.


Music and videos I haven't seen in forever!

Jessie's Girl

Time After Time

Like a Virgin

Don't Stop Believing

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Livin On A Prayer

Of course, most of the songs I heard, plus a whole lot more, are readily available on my iPod. But the videos? I miss the videos.

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I remember life in college. Get up in the morning and turn on the tv. Of course, rarely was it ever off MTV...then again, this was also back when the "M" in MTV stood for "Music". Back then, it was like turning on the radio. Wall to wall music, 24 hours a day, with 5 shifts of "VJs". These were 3 men and 2 women who acted like dj's on the radio, except with music videos. We had JJ Jackson, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood and Martha Quinn.

JJ Jackson was the old radio veteran. Mark Goodman had long curly hair and was the 'rock' hottie. Alan Hunter was the blonde haired, blue eyed boy next door with a little edge. Nina Blackwood hosted "Headbangers Ball" and Martha C Quinn was the cute girl.

Of course, this was a time before cell phones, blackberries and the internet. A time before iPods and "downloading". A time when the term "multi~tasking" didn't exist. Life was simpler. You got up, you got dressed, you went to school, you came home, did your homework and had your social life...all to an MTV soundtrack.

MTV had standards back then. If a video came to them with questionable content (explicit sex, nudity, heavy with violence) they would refuse to play it and send it back for editing before airing. I remember watching Friday Night Videos on USA Network to see the "uncut" versions of DuranDuran's "Girls on Film" or David Bowie's "China Girl" just to see what we were missing. By todays standards...what we were missing was mild.

During each hour, videos would play, then there'd be a break where the VJ would come on and talk about the music, give you tour info and music news and generally act as seguay between videos. At the top of every hour, and animated Apollo~era rocket would take off and the MTV theme music~nothing really more than some cool guitar riffs~would play, signaling that it was indeed the top of the hour. On the half hour, a shorter version of the rocket went up. This was really the only way we knew what time it was, since the whole 24~hour news channel "lower third" concept hadn't been invented yet. Sadly, the day the Challenger exploded on takeoff changed all that. I remember on the hour after the accident, the usual rocket did not go up. Instead, a senior vice president of the network was on, explaining that, at least for the time being, there would no longer be a rocket out of respect.

Live Aid was the crown jewel, and possibly the pinnacle of MTV back in the 80s. Two concerts, one in JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, the other at Wembly Stadium in England, going on simultaneously, being broadcast live, all to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. Brainchild of Bob Geldoff of the Boomtown Rats, Live Aid would go on to become the stuff of legends. Phil Collins played Wembly Stadium, then flew across the pond, to play JFK. The biggest names in music played. All for a good cause.

Of course, time passed and I graduated college and went on to the business world. Music started to change and I found myself watching less and less of MTV. MTV itself started to change, too. The original 5 VJ's were eventually replaced. A new 'regular' show~a game show~was now on MTV's schedule. Then more "regular" shows started showing up. Eventually, the "M" in MTV was silent. Now, its rare to find a music video television. It makes me sad, really. And seeing a show like this countdown tonite makes me nostalgic and wanting to yell


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Monday, November 5, 2007


I haven't seen a Dirty Jobs episode since Friday night. I think I am officially having Mike Rowe withdrawals

I just can't help it! The show, and it's host, are addictive! What's not to like? The premise alone is intriguing: take a man who's not skilled in a basically manual labor type job and drop him into the job for a day, to learn and do it. Make it a very DIRTY job and make the man have a sexy deep voice and an amazingly hairy chest just to get my attention and you have a winning combination!

Pardon me while I indulge myself and attempt to satisfy this need I have...

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Feeling much better now ;)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

It Always Comes Back To The Poo...

So I was away for the weekend with some friends at the Borgata in Atlantic City. While the gaming was uneventful (I lost again in what must be the second longest streak of futility this side of the Chicago Cubs), the company was great!

Everyone did their own thing in the casino, but convened at Wolfgang Pucks restaurant for dinner. There was a line prior to it's opening, since the tavern part where we decided to dine does not accept reservations, so my mother gamely waited. Wolfgang Puck was there, it turned out, because he was in one of the shops signing his new cookbook (it also didnt hurt that this past weekend players of a certain level which I am not received a beautiful Wolfgang Puck knife set) Wolfgang walked out to the front entrance of his restaurant at around ten to five, and decided everyone must be let in right then. His right hand man happened to be standing next to my mother, who remarked "Wow, he looks so much younger in person than he does on tv!" and there was Wolfgang with his arm around her, thanking her for the compliment. They also talked about his turkey episode on Food Network, my mothers favorite network.

Well, dinner, it turned out, was indeed a disaster. The waiter was less than interested in taking our orders, and even less interested in getting them right. The salads were nice, except for the one ordered without the blue cheese dressing...which came dressed none the less. The burgers were an even bigger disaster...cooked not to order, and the cheese that was supposed to be melted on them was just slapped on top! One of the managers happened to be walking over to our table with the ketchup she noted had not been delivered by the waiter, when she heard me grumbing about the not melted cheese. Now, dont get me wrong. I'm not really that high maintenance food~wise. I just expect that if the cheese is to be melted, that it is (and I have had this burger on numerous occasions, and it was never like this) Long story short, the waiter had been let go earlier in the week and was just finishing out his last shift, therefore not really having much interest in whether or not he did what he was supposed to do. It was then that Wolfgangs man, who we learned was named Alex and worked for Wolfgang for 12 years, came over. He decided that he would take care of desert for us.

While waiting for desert, Wolfgang Puck once again appeared. The place went nuts! This is a celebrity chef who thoroughly enjoys his celebrity status. Pleasant and smiling, he shook hands and took photos graciously~unlike the dour Bobby Flay, I might add.

He even took a picture with moi!

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Yay for cameras in cell phones! Boo for cameras in cell phones with no flashes!

My first celebrity photo~although I would have preferred if it were Mike Rowe ;)

Desert arrived...or should I say ever desert on the menu arrived!

We had strawberries and creme, banana cream tart, pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate mousse souffle, chocolate brownie souffle and apple crumble.

Now, this is also when the fun~and poo~began!

The chocolate mousse souffle was put down, and Tony turned to me and said "That looks like a giraffe took a dump in the dish!"

To which I responded: "Actually, giraffe poo looks more like cocoa puffs!"

Next out was the pumpkin cheesecake with a fruit melange and a dollop of ice cream. It wasn't your ordinary dollop, however, and it looked more like one of the fish regurgitated by the birds on the "vomit island" edition of Dirty Jobs.

As you can imagine, the conversation went right into the litter box from there!

And I think my friends are now highly intrigued by Dirty Jobs...and giraffe poo!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

That Dirty Boy...

Watch out, Shepard Smith. I have a new pretend boyfriend, and this one is a Dirty Boy...

Some nights, there's just nothing on TV. You flip and flip and flip until the battery in your remote dies a slow and anguished death. And your left with nothing.

On one of those kind of nights, my remote died on the Discovery Channel, where I'd often watched brave men dare the elements so that Red Lobster can have "All You Can Eat Alaska King Crab" promotions. Hearing the narrators voice, I thought this was another episode of the Deadliest Catch. It wasn't. Instead, it was another show with the same fellow. And this time, he was on screen.

I watched with amusement as he mugged his way thru a series of disgusting jobs~jobs you or I would never want to do for all the money in the world. His deep baritone voice describing the work as he valiantly attempted it. And he wasn't too hard on the eyes. I was, to say the least, intrigued.

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I knew I knew him from somewhere. But from where? I would be hard pressed to tell you. At first I thought, Oh, from Deadliest Catch. But he's not onscreen for that.

So I scratched my head and did what I always do when someone catches my eye.

I Googled him.

Mike Rowe, narrator of the Deadliest Catch, host of Dirty Jobs...and former QVC host.

I'm pretty sure I bought SOME piece of crap from this man at some point during his tenure at QVC, since he worked my then QVC addicted butts favorite shift: Midnight...when the Today's Special Value was unveiled!

Of course I never bought that Katsak from him. My cats were far too intelligent to fall for that, may they rest in peace.

But I digress...back to Mike Rowe and his Dirty Jobs.

So, over the course of a week, I found that this show was ALWAYS ON. There was even an 8 hour marathon! He apparently is to Discovery what Geraldo is to FNC (I know only a few folks will 'get' that LOL) So I watched and I watched and I watched. Sometimes, I was fascinated. Sometimes, disgusted. More often than not, I was disgusted.

Mikes humor carries him thru each of these jobs with grace and charm, regardless of what the job is. Alligator wrangler, chicken sexer, USAF Jet fuel tank repairman, bovine inseminator, turkey farm ranch hand. You name a disgusting job, and odds are this man has attempted it. Particularly if it involves "Poo". Anything with Poo...catching Poo from a cow, squeezing it out of newborn chicks, sweeping or shoveling it up after animals, rinsing it off equipment in a waste management facility, mixing it into a funky cement (only to have it inadvertently fly into his mouth), removing it from a majorly disgusting salvage get the picture.

Generally, buy the end of a job segment, Mike is covered with something...dirty. Mud, coal, paint. If it can spill on him, odds are it will.

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Sometimes, though, we get treated to Mikes chest, and as anyone who knows me can attest, I do indeed appreciate a beautiful male chest. Tom Selleck, Bruce Willis, Tim Allen (shut up, Sarah LOL) and now I will add Mike Rowe to that collection~er~list

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So for this, and much much more, I thank Mike Rowe for entertaining and delighting me...with his wit and his, ahem, "hotness" ;)

Trick...or Treat?

Happy Halloween!!

Sadly, this year, I was ambivalent about my favorite holiday. Lack of spirit around me has apparently trickled down and bummed me out.

Not for lack of trying on my part, though. I decorated my desk at work, even bringing in a light up Jack O Lantern and pumpkin deedly bobs to wear on my head, but to no avail. I kept the radio on a Halloween station all day and sang along to Don't Fear the Reaper. I baked a cake for the office with orange icing and candy corns spelling out BOO, but it was all bah, humbug.

Maybe because the holiday was mid week?

I used to decorate and dress up. I used to put up a graveyard in the front yard and play with the kids who dared enter. I used to wear costumes to work and get into character. I used to watch spooky movies in the dark. I used to carve Jack O Lanterns. I used to ENJOY Halloween.

Today, alas, it was business as usual. I even went to the store to pick up the new Christmas tree I ordered.

If I'm so grinchy about my favorite holiday...whatever will I do when my LEAST favorite rolls around?

Humbug...Christmas is less than 2 months away.

Monday, October 29, 2007

...On The Path Unwinding...

Rafikki appeared on the stage, and she called out to a gazelle in the balcony, who answered her with a call of his own. Silently, two giraffes majestically sauntered across the savannah behind Rafikki, who was calling to another animal in the balcony, who answered.

And the tribal rhythms began.

Elephant, rhino, gazelle, zebra, and birds all regally moved down the aisles of the Minskoff Theatre and onto the stage, where Rafikki silently held up the cub Simba. All heads bowned and knees bent as the Circle of Live began.

And I was moved to tears.

I had waited for 10 very long years to see The Lion King on Broadway. There was never the time, money, or energy to go see it. Something else always needed more attention. Then, an offer I couldn't refuse appeared in my email and I took the opportunity~discounted tickets! How lucky was I!

Truth be told, I would pay DOUBLE what I paid to see this show again. I have never seen anything nearly as beautiful as this mounted on a stage. It was like no play I have ever seen. My seats were in the sixth row orchestra, on the right hand side of the theatre. Right on the aisle. The rhino passed right by me on his way to kneel before the newborn Simba. As close as I was, after a while, it was difficult to see the actors as actors and not as lions, heyenahs and an old baboon.

For two and a half hours, the actors on the stage were not men and women. They were great beasts of the savannah, hunting, fighting and playing. It was an amazing transformation and something that will stay with me, on the path unwiding, in the circle, the circle of life.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Take Me As I Am

Tonight I finally got to poke thru my recording of FNC's Studio B. I enjoy Shepard Smith and tape him to watch later, which often doesn't come.

Anyway, there was a story regarding a Dutch researcher and his theory that by 2050, humans will be marrying robots.

OK, that theory is OUT THERE, on that I do agree....


During his discussion with the requisite expert, Shepard got a little rant in about how women, once they get you, try to change you. The expert said that was because women by nature are fixers while men, once they make the conquest, just sit in the relationship content. Shepards response was that was when you ate more transfats and drank beer.

Now, just let me preface this by saying I adore Shepard Smith. I don't think there is a better anchorman or field reporter out there today. I also like that he's not afraid to laugh on the air.

But that remark made me wonder...has that been his experience with every woman he's been with?

Are all women like this?

I ask this as a woman...a woman who's never tried to change any man she's been involved with, aside from asking him to wipe the food off his lapel.

Am I the anomaly?

Or do all me feel that all women want to make them into Stepford Husbands? Take any man we can sink our claws into in order to have a man, then force him to change into the kind of man we want?

I don't think I have ever looked at a man and thought "Oh, diamond in the ruff" and thought how I would change him. I have always taken people at face value. Since I'm told men are people too, I take them at face value as well. If there is nothing attractive about them in the first place, why would you want to even be with them?

Maybe Shepard needs to sit back and take a good look at the women he chooses....are they going out with him because he's sweet, makes them laugh and has a nice smile? Or are they with him because he's on TV and makes a lot of money?

Maybe then he'll find someone with whom he can be himself...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Love The 80s

Just a quick 80s update....

I was watching TV when this commercial came on. It was obviously a car commercial, but my bad eye for vehicles (the last car I was able to identify by the lit taillights at dusk was a 1985 TransAm...IN 1985) made me think it might be for Volkswagons.

Images passed across the screen, while a voice droned on about how we didnt set out to become a legend blah de blah.

Then I looked up.

The voice said something about a pop culture icon.

And there were "Andy" and "Blaine" from Pretty In Pink (one of the Holy Trinity of 80s movies) standing in front of a car, kissing.

Thats when I realized...the commercial was for BMW.

Funny how the image of Molly Ringwalds quirky oddball locking lips with a still hot Andrew McCarthy as rich spoiled boy can bring that sort of enlightenment to me.

Of COURSE it was a self respecting spoiled rich boy in the 80s would be caught dead without one!

Need further proof? watch Jackson Browns "Lawyers in Love" video and see what sort of car our yuppie hero is paddling out of his sunroof in ;)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Field of Dreams

I just finished crying. No, it wasn't a bad cry. It was a good, cathartic cry. The cry I have everytime the long dead John Kinsella approaches his son Ray to thank him for giving them a place to play, inquiring "Is this heaven?"

A lot of people mistake Field of Dreams for a baseball movie. But it's oh so much more. It's a movie about lost opportunity and how far we'd go to get just one moment in time back. It is a movie that uses baseball as a metaphore. Unlike most baseball movies about redemption, Ray Kinsella isn't redeemed by baseball...he uses it to redeem himself.

Tonites showing on AMC was accompanied by little blurbs about the movie...and about how all things seemed to fall together magically to make it the movie it became. Based on WP Kinsella's first novel, Shoeless Joe, the studio decided to change the name to Field of Dreams to disassociate it from baseball. Amazingly enough, WP Kinsella hadn't wanted to call his book Shoeless Joe at all. His title for it was "The Dream Field".

When things so magically move into place, you know something special has occurred. Field of Dreams is the sort of movie that makes you feel so good at the end that you seemingly become redeemed right along with Ray.

The Field of Dreams is still there in the cornfields of Iowa, still working its magic nearly two decades after the mystical movie filmed there. For some, its a place of joy, allowing them to relive moments long gone in time. For others, it's a place to make peace with their past, to find what Ray and John Kinsella found on a cinema screen so long ago.

It's a rare occurrance...when the movie gods smile down and create something as special as this beautiful, gentle movie.

"Is this heaven?"

"No. It's Iowa."

Sunday, October 7, 2007

News At The Speed of....Wow...

So today is the 11th anniversary of FoxNews. Congratulations to FoxNews!!

Now, since I don't want to start "cookie~gate, part deux", let me preface this by saying that my preferred news channel is indeed FoxNews and that my preferred anchorman is Shepard Smith. How can he not be? He doesn't take himself too seriously. He does, however, take his job seriously. He's not afraid to bear his soul while reporting...and he's not afraid to make himself the butt of his own joke. If I could apply a word to him, it would be "adorable"...something I'd be hard pressed to apply to any other anchor man (with the exception of Anderson Cooper...but I just find Coop adorable~it has nothing to do with his acumen when reporting the news. Shep Smith, on the other hand, is the whole package)

That said, I have to say this much: I am having a very hard time adjusting to the new set on the FoxReport. Yes, I know that it was time for a change, and I know that it's a beautiful state of the art studio, designed to bring us news at, well, at the speed of live.

I know this.

But I am just finding it busy and hard to concentrate on what's being said. I find myself watching a screen on Shepard's left or the little spinning things in the lower third or I'm looking around the screen when the little digital noise that's made when the lower third changes comes on.

I just can't quite adjust to it.

I know it's only been two weeks, but when I got home Friday night and found that Trace Gallagher was sitting in for Shepard (Yankee road game? LOL) I almost felt relieved and shut my TV off. I also avoided the weekend FoxReport for the same reason.

I hate not liking the new FoxReport. I know how proud of it Shepard is, and how excited he was about his new set (Greta Van Susteren even shot a handicam video of him taking her on a tour of the new studio before the grand unveiling) but I'm just not feeling the love.

It took me a while to adjust to the lack of Skinnerville and the broadcast from the news room for Studio B. Maybe I just need time to adjust to it. I'm an old's hard for me to learn new tricks.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Attention Celebrities....

Hey dude on TV and the bimbo on the glossy cover.

Who do you think you are? Just because you are famous and have photographers following your every move, do you think that qualifies you to tell everyone else what to do and how to think?

Having a forum doesn't make you a spokes person for "common people" who don't have access to the media by passing your own personal choices and ideas off as theirs.

Having a forum doesn't give you the authority to speak for anyone.

NO one has elected you spokesperson for the world.

And no one has asked you to dictate to them how you think they should vote.

Achieving celebrity does not give you an automatic Ph.D. in Political Science.

Face it, most of you barely got out of high school. Your grasp on finance is so poor you need to employ 'business managers' to handle your money, and it's often years before you figure out you've been embezzled from. And most of you can't even spell "embezzled."

Most of you cannot form a coherent thought without having someone else write it for you.

Therefore you are NOT a noted expert in politics, economics, international relations, or the military. You, my good sir, are no Tim Russert, and you, dear lady, are not Condoleeza Rice.

Attempting to sway a vote the way YOU feel it should be swayed based on your own personal beliefs by using your celebrity is downright wrong. You purposely mislead impressionable people who may be starstruck or lazy or both.

You fail to remember that you are little more than a musician, or an actor, or a model. Not a great thinker.

Try to remember that next time you have access to a media outlet and make a fool of yourself trying to discuss global warming or some other Hollywood cause du jour. And try to exercise something called RESPONSIBILITY. If you don't know what that is, ask your assistant to look it up on dictionary.Com for you.

...and speaking of cause du jours....whats the matter, Hollywood? Has the red AIDS ribbon lost favor with you? Does it clash with your fancy award show garb? Or is it not vogue to care about AIDS victims anymore?

I'm embarrassed to admit that I live in the same country with irresponsible, self serving attention whores like you. Give me a forum, and I will say as much, because like you, I have just as much right to speak MY mind as you do.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Love The 80s

Ok, as if I have readers (haha!! Katy and RubyAnn, you better be reading this!) I've decided to add a "regular" feature of bloggy goodness to My Wckd Wckd Ways...


That's right...I am a proud 80s girl!!

So I've decided that I would start making posts about the, movies, tv, and me!

So, todays topic...what I like to call The Holy Trinity of Totaly 80s movies....

Thats right....

Sixteen Candles
Breakfast Club
Pretty In Pink

The thread that joins them together?

Why, none other than the 80s movie "it" girl...Molly Ringwald, who stars in all three.

Now, I have NO idea how Molly became the girl that the boys all wanted and the girls all wanted to be like, but somehow, she did.

I know I used to try to get my little 80s bob to look like a brunette version of her hair from Breakfast Club all the time...and wear mauve Clinique lip gloss like the shade she wore in that movie as well.

Why? I don't know. Maybe it was so Judd Nelson would want me too? (not that I ever found him attractive...well...maybe a little in St Elmos Fire...I was more into Andrew McCarthy back then)

Anytime I'm flipping channels and see one of these movies on, I have to stop and watch , no matter how far into the movie. So many memories are tied up in them...both happy and sad. But regardless, it makes me happy to remember those times.

Even when I hear one of the songs from those movies, I smile. Like tonite, I was driving to the diner for dinner and Simple Mind's "Don't You Forget About Me" came on. A smile instantly came to my lips.

Perhaps I'm overly sentimental about them, but these are the movies of my youth, part of the environment that molded me into the dynamic person I hope I am today.

And that's why I love the 80s :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Big Mac

No, not the McDonald's sandwich...the computer.

I read Greta Van Susteren's blog on with fair regularity as it can be both funny and informative. So imagine my surprise this morning when I found a plea for help from Greta.

She couldn't open a PDF file. And wouldn't you know it...the ONE thing I DO know how to do is open a pdf! I even know what program to use to open it with! Amazing, I know, but true! So I was eager to share my singular grain of knowledge with Greta and her readers. Of course, just about everyone knew you needed Adobe to open the file with, but for one shining moment, I knew something about computers!

Like me, Greta uses a Mac. I'm new to the world of Mac and entered it with trepidation.

How silly of me.

My troubles started back in early summer, when a strong lightening storm passed over my neigborhood while I was at work. As luck would have it, a bolt of lightening decided to make contact wiht the earth outside my home, rendering 3 televisions, the sprinkler system, alarm system, garage door opener and my 4 year old laptop useless.

I wasn't too broken up, to be honest. The laptop's time had come. I was desperately trying to make it hang on until the end of the year so that I could save up to get a new one. One of the tv's time had come too. And I had already gotten its replacement but had been too lazy to carry it up the stairs, so it survived the strike.

I did my research on a new laptop, and had settled on a $1400 HP with a kickin' 17" screen and all sort of bells and whistles...and Windows Vista.

Now, EVERYTHING at BestBuy came preloaded with Windows Vista. So, knowing that it was only a matter of time before I had to upgrade to Windows Vista, I bought the laptop in good faith. I got it home, hooked it up, hooked up the new modem with the wireless router and...nothing. After 2 and a half hours on the phone with Verizon tech support, it was determined that my modem "had issues with Vista". So I packed the modem up, and headed back to BestBuy the next night, exchanged it for a new modem I was assured didn't have issues with Vista, and tried it again. Still nothing. This time I tried the tech support line for HP. After an hour and a half on the phone with a lovely gentleman located somewhere in India, I still had no connection to the internet. I decided to return the laptop to Best Buy. Sure, the picture on the computer was beautiful, crisp and clear, but what good was it to me if I couldn't get online? It was little more than a $1400 game of Mah Jong. At BestBuy, the geek at GeekSquad had to test the computer before they would give you a full refund (meaning they wouldn't charge you a 15% restocking fee). Well, even the geek couldn't get it to connect, and determined that Vista had compatability issues with the Norton antivirus that was also preloaded on the computer.

Up to this point, all I knew about a computer was how to push the button and turn it on. Now I can discuss compatability issues rather coherently.

As I dejectedly lugged my shiny new laptop to the customer service counter for my full refund, a man waiting in line for hte Geek Squad whispered to me: "Pssst...get a Mac".

The same words my coworkers had been saying to me thru my ordeal.

So, it was with great fear that I entered the Apple store in my local mall. Timidly, I walked around the table with the laptops on it, skillfully dodging Yuppies monopolizing salesmen and running children hell bent on beating the adult to the open computer. I read the product descriptions on Macbook and MacBook Pro a like, and after several visits and conversations with sales staff, I settled on the MacBook Pro, which proved to be more difficult to procure at my local store than I had thought. I was finally able to get a staffer at a different Apple store to hold one for me, and was soon nervously pushing the power button on my sleek new machine.

The initial butterflies were all for nothing. I can safely say that my MacBook Pro is the easiest foray into computing that I have ever had! I can only hope Greta Van Susteren feels the same way :)

Christmas in July....Sort of...

So autumn is upon us...well...on the calendar, anyway.

Today in New York, the mercury hit the mid 80s and tomorrow is expected to be near 90. In New York. At the end of September.

That I've been picking up odds and ends for the new Christmas tree I have to get this year isn't the unusual thing...doing it while wearing flip flops is.

My mind is at the beach when it should be on planning the intricate Dept 56 village I construct each season. I should be slowly stocking up on tacky wax and ground Styrofoam snow. Instead, I want to be outside in the warm sun and not inside the florescent lit Michael's.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the extension of summer~the warm breezes rustling thru the turning leaves while the sun warms you to the soul. It's just that it makes it more difficult for me to concentrate on the important upcoming events.

How can I pick out a Halloween pumpkin when I'm longing to be by the sea?

I think I've hit upon the perfect solution though...move to the beach! find a job that'll pay me to sit with my feet in the sand and a margarita in my hand...

Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm Single, Not Desperate

It's no secret I'm single. Sadly Single. Woefully single. Single. Single. Single.

Single like Sally on the old Dick Van Dyke show.

With one exception.

Sally was desperate, so much so that she put up with Herman Glimshire...and his mother.

I, on the other hand, am pretty particular. I don't want to be with someone just to be with someone. I want to be with someone because I WANT to be with him.

Does that make any sense?

Of course, that doesn't mean that others don't think I should be with someone...ANYONE...just to be with someone. I don't want a profile on so that I can find some other person desperately seeking a partner and finding someone suitable to settle with. I don't want to settle. Ever.

Over the weekend I went with my parents to a local diner for lunch. Being frequent visitors to the diner, we know the staff, including the owner, who sat down with us to chat. Naturally, it was during this time that my father "remembered" his boss's wife telling him she'd 'found' someone nice for me. I didn't even know I'd commissioned her to look. My father took great delight in telling us about this...this....window washer. A self employed window washer who was also several years my junior. My parents and the diner owner took great delight, heartily laughing at my expense, while I voiced my objections at the entire situation. A window washer? I am a professional, I protested, red-faced, and therefore seeking an intellectual equal!

I acted insulted, but in reality, I was angry and hurt...and embarrassed. It made me feel like I was some sort of failure, so great a failure that someone thought "Hey! Here's a single fella who's actually breathing! He'd be perfect for Lisa!"

Why do people insist on having to try to 'set up' single people? Why is it so difficult to comprehend that maybe single people are happy being, well, single?

If I wanted to be married, goodness knows I could have been married to any number of men. But, much like the ugly step sisters and the glass slipper, I didn't find the fit comfortable.

I had a philosophy class ages ago in college, and while I don't remember exactly who's philosophy it was, I do remember the theory: The search for true love was the search for ones "other half". Back at the beginning of time, man was a being with two half's: male and female. One day, man angered the gods who decided that man had to suffer and split the two parts in half, setting them down on opposite sides of the world, and forcing them to search for their one true love, their other half.

Perhaps my "other half" has the same terrible sense of direction that I have and is as hopelessly lost as I am.

In any event, I'll wait for him. The law of averages tells me we'll eventually cross paths. And when we do, we'll know...and we'll find our way together.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Squeezing the Juice

Simon and Garfunkle once asked "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?"

A profound question, even by the standards of that day. A time when an athlete so swift of foot and sure of swing was held up on a pedestal, lauded like the gods of Olympus. They wrote songs about men like Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, a man of mythic proportions.

Fast forward half a century, and one Orenthal James Simpson, a hall of fame football player, who made us all know that Hertz was "the superstar in rent a car," sits in a courtroom facing double murder charges while a nation watches, transfixed, hanging on every word of testimony.

What a difference 50 years makes.

OJ Simpson, once the darling of pro football, is now a media pariah. The poster boy for how bad things really can get. Even though he was found not guilty of the murders of his ex wife and a friend of hers, the stigma still remains. No one wants to touch the man most Americans feel killed two people.

Perhaps its simple human nature~if they accuse you of something, then there must be some sort of merit to the accusations or they wouldn't have charged you in the first place, right? Or maybe he was acquitted because, while guilty, the prosecution was unable to piece together a coherent case for the jury. In any event, the fact that remains: he got off.

In the 14 years that have followed, OJ has been in and out of the news, losing a civil judgment to the father of the young man he was accused of killing and for some sort of assault in Florida.

And now, he is once again in trouble, and everyone who was involved in the murder case seems to be weighing in on the cable news channels, joining in chorus with show hosts, chirping about how maybe this time justice will finally be done.

But...wasn't justice done already? The man was found not guilty by a jury of his peers. THAT is what our justice system is about. Inasmuch as we may believe that someone committed a crime, when push comes to shove, it is up to that jury to weigh the evidence presented by both the prosecution and the defense and determine which side is telling the truth. Whether we like it or not, the jury found that the evidence presented to it did NOT prove beyond a reasonable doubt that OJ Simpson murdered two people in cold blood on that warm June night so many years ago. And whether we like it or not, that acquittal cannot be "corrected" in any way with this new trial that he will be facing for robbery charges. This is a new case, with new circumstances, new evidence, and perhaps most importantly, a new prosecution team and new jurors. He should not be found guilty because he "got away with murder that time." He should be found guilty because the evidence presented proves beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the crime, and for no other reason than that.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Am...The Wckd Queen...

...or, so I'm told.

Welcome to my blog. It's just a sampling of my ideas and observations. Just don't expect anything too profound and you won't be too disappointed :)