Monday, September 29, 2008

The Turkey

The word "Turkey" conjures up many memories for me. Naturally, Thanksgiving comes to mind.  For some reason everyone in my family is usually very stressed out by the time we all sit down for our Thanksgiving gluttony-fest. This, more often than not, has led to major family meltdowns and full on throw-downs. One year while still in college I brought my boyfriend over for the meltdown festivities. Sure enough my mom told me I looked fat in the dress I was wearing ( she meant it in the nicest way of course )

During dinner the cat was hissing at something and my mom, Nancy, made the genius move of trying to grab the cat during the cats full-on Cujo moment. Next thing I see is Nancy on the living room floor with cat still hissing and attached to her neck. Cat had to go to kitty quarantine for the night, my little sister was full on crying and my Dad was naturally yelling at Nancy while she lay flat on her back. This was also the first Thanksgiving that my oldest brother brought home his girlfriend (and now wife of 15 years) to meet us. We broke her in early.

For some odd reason, one year during high school I ended up at Val's house for Thanksgiving, (I must have been boycotting my family). Val's mom, who all but had a cigarette dangling out of her mouth at the table, cooked the shit out of the turkey. We were very humored as we chewed shards of turkey jerky and she cursed the turkey. Clearly it was the turkey's fault.

More recently "turkey" has a different meaning for me, as in the house my husband and I bought and took us 3 years to sell.

The house was in Dallas' oldest neighborhood. There are tons of stunning homes in this area however ninety percent of them are very old. It is a neighborhood where everyone is constantly working on their homes. Since I am not exactly Bob Villa, I wanted to find one that someone had already fixed up. Luckily, we found a great home that had been owned by a gay film director who had re-done the entire house. He also left dog bowls out to feed the raccoons from the creek behind us.

Our first night in the house the noises outside were like a herd of coyotes feasting on a family of rabbits. The raccoons were pissed, and revolting from no longer being fed. They would not stop there however, and within our first month of living in the house a family of raccoons tore a hole under our deck, made their way into the attic, gave birth to more raccoons and invited some squirrels to join the party.

The adult raccoons were so big that it sounded like a four-year-old stomping around in the attic. I once heard "Mister Bigglesworth" (as I named him) toss some things across the attic floor that sounded like he was playing jacks. During a football party we hosted, I put the volume on our TV really loud to muffle the noise of "Noah's Arc" as the animals  made  dinner and did the dishes in the attic. I looked over at our neighbor who was sitting under a recessed light and had plaster raining on her head from one of the raccoons stomping up and down. At this point we had spent thousands of dollars with 'Critter Catchers' and I was really hating our new house.

Doing laundry one day I heard a noise above my head and actually looked up to see little squirrel feet dangling from the recessed light that had partially popped out. Eventually we got rid of the zoo in our attic but there were lots of other problems awaiting us. Although the house was redone, its bones were old and it was showing its age. One day while in the kitchen a swarm of flies swirled all around me I did my best Janet Lee In "The Birds" imitation and called Daddy Warbucks to get home stat; not shockingly we had a dead rat in a wall.

I was ready for a new house immediately. We found the our "dream house" which we now live in and love. The only problem was, through a series of bad realtor advice and just bad luck in general, it took 3 years to sell the other house. We rented for one of those years, however the two mortgages was something we had not expected and so we nick named the house that I thought would never sell " The Turkey" .

I an happy to say the word turkey now only makes me think of our family cluster f#*k holidays, and the throw down Jerry Springer style fights that are in store .

The Amazing Anxiety Attack

This morning after I took the kids to school, I curled up on my couch and pulled up last night's premier of the "Amazing Race" on my
Tivo. I don't usually watch TV during the day (mainly because I spend every night glued to it like Amy Whinehouse to a crackpipe), but it was raining out (with thunder and lightening!) and it just seemed like one of those 'stay at home in front of the telly' days. 

I've always been a big fan of the Amazing Race, and one of these days I may even talk Parker into trying out with me (we would most certainly lose on the first leg of the race - but we'd get a free trip to god-knows-where, probably the poorest Mexican village  on planet earth where Parker would curse like a truck driver around every corner).  

Anyhoo this season started out like all the others, with a cornucopia of crazy characters, including two computer geeks and a old hippie couple who I think accidentally thought they were on a Grateful Dead pilgrimage. Literally, after the first 10 minutes I had to turn the TV off. Watching 10 couples racing down the freeway and running through airports looking for clues, set me into the biggest anxiety-inducing tizzy I've had since 9/11. Jesus, you practically need to take a Xanex to make it through this show. When they had to push a rickety cart filled with Portuguese candy down a cobble street (without spilling the candy) the stress was too much. 

I hit the "Stop and Save" button (I'll go back to the Amazing Race later tonight after a hot bath, glass of wine and a mood stabilizer) and was immediately confronted with the 5 screaming Yentas of "The View" (a show I refuse to watch on purpose) arguing about the $700 billion dollar bailout. Excuse me, but Whoopie Goldberg should stick to her wacky "Sister Act" movies and leave politics (and finances) well enough alone. Something  tells me Whoopi, Joy and the gang didn't graduate from the Wharton School of Business (or any college for that matter) so I wish they'd just shut their trap and stick with interviewing Blake Lively and Shia La Beouf

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Goodbye Paul Newman - You Sexy Old Guy

This morning while on the Internet my son asked me if I knew who "Paul Newman" was. I gasped because I knew that the only reason he was asking was that Paul Newman must have died.  I was right. Paul Newman was actually one of my first crushes (him and Rob Lowe). Seriously, look at the above picture. He almost makes George Clooney look homely. Sure, he was 43 when I was born, but no matter, he's always been a hottie old guy and an amazing actor. Even at the age of 7 when I first saw him  portray architect Doug Roberts in the hit disaster-flick "Towering Inferno" I knew he had Mojo. Then again I was also impressed by OJ Simpson's magnetic performance as "Jernigan" the cat-saving security officer in the same flick, and we all know what an upstanding guy he turned out to be. 

When I was 13, Mr. Newman came out with his salad dressing with all the proceeds going to charity and I knew he was special (even if it was a little creepy to crush on someone old enough to be your gramps). And my senior year of High School I saw him and Tom Cruise in "Color of Money". Sure, most girls had a majoh crush on Tom Cruise back in the day - but as far as I was concerned, Tom was a giant dork compared to the sophisticated silent and super cool pool shark, Paul Newman. He also stayed married to the same woman for 50 years. That's hot.

R.I.P.  Doug Roberts. You'll be missed. 

Friday, September 26, 2008


Some farmer in Ohio has way too much time on his hands. 

Go Google Youself

Have you ever "Googled" yourself? You know you have, and if you haven't you've probably Googled a friend from high school, or an old boyfriend. I can Google my husband and find no less than 12 entries about him (including a boyishly handsome picture of him in a suit). I've Googled old sorority sisters - one became press secretary for John McCain and now lives in London, one is a casting  director in  Hollywood and another married football star Steve Young. Me? Last night after a glass (or two) of wine I "Googled" myself to fine a big fat Zero entries. Does that make me a failure? Probably. 

A few years ago, I did a quick Google search and my name came up along with a picture of me at a work luncheon wearing a too-tight orange sundress, surrounded by my annoying co-workers, looking  like I had just swallowed a piece of rotten cheesecake on the verge of having diarrhea. Luckily that photo and related  article is currently off the Google grid.  Not satisfied with the hideous picture of me found under my married name, I went ahead and did a Google search under my maiden name (the name I had back in the day when I had more than one friend). Amazingly, when I  typed in my maiden name (which is comprised of a very uncommon first name and even more uncommon last name) a ton of "matches" appeared. Yippee! I clicked on the article(s)  only to discover that someone else shared my name: A Las Vegas stripper who had sued Mike Tyson for rape and was later convicted of extortion. Classy. It even came with a picture of her and like me she was blonde and short. That's just great. 
Update: I just re-googled my maiden name again and the first entry was a crazy Italian website with a video strippers galore shaking their exposed TaTas like no one's business. My high school friends will be so impressed!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Whatever Project Runway!

Every so often a reality person (or persons) come along that I really loathe. Enter Trista and Ryan and their undying "connection", love, and televised Pepto Bismo pink wedding for which they were paid handsomely. Moving on to Amber and Rob of "Survivor", "All Star Survivor", "Amazing Race" etc. etc... Whatever they could get their faces on they were there.

Next, Omarosa of "The Apprentice" who I hated so much I wanted to fly to NY and smash a Boston Creme Pie in her face in the middle of one of their challenges like a crazed PETA person.

The top of my list would be Heidi and Spencer. Last night they received press for doing charity work at a soup kitchen. Spencer doing charity and pretending to care about any one but himself is truly the epitome of a made-for-TV moment.

Right now I  am loathing Kenley from "Project Runway." She giggles at other contestants' misfortunes, fights and disrespects Tim Gunn (how can you possibly disrespect Tim Gunn?) and thinks everything she touches is gold. Her outfit from last night's show was the most shiteous outfit ever. It was supposed to be  hip hop but was anything but, and still she survives another day. Poor Suede, who I really grew to like in the first or third person, wrongfully was sent home. Of course I am already hooked on the show so I can only hope Kenley doesn't make it to the final three. I may have to fly to Bryant Par and trip her while she struts down the runway.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dancing with the Ugggggggghhh.

Every year I try to watch Dancing With the Stars and inevitably give up out of sheer and utter boredom. I can only take so much of the Fox Trot and sequins. Not to mention the 2-hour marathon elimination rounds which remind me of  watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon, except Jerry's show goes by faster. This year, however with the addition of Cloris "have another cocktail" Leachman, I might be coaxed into sticking around!  

My first thought, when I saw Cloris was "hey she's got a baby bump." Then I sadly muttered, "Yikes, Alzheimer's and scotch sooo don't go together." Later after  the censors bleeped her filthy potty mouth for repeatedly dropping the f-bomb and cursing the judges, I was immediately reminded of Charlotte Reardon, the pill-popping vixen played by Cheri Oteri on SNL. They are clearly separated at birth.  Thank you Cloris - you are reality television gold!

Thought on the other "stars":
  • Kim Kardashian needs to have some one-on-one time in a dark alley with  Tanya Harding's estranged husband Jeff Gillooly and his leg-crushing baseball bat. I hate her if for no other reason than her introduction reel, where she gets out of a Mercedes, shakes her Ta-Tas and pops open a bottle of bubbly. What, ABC didn't want to show a clip from her homemade porno where she gets peed on by her rapper ex-boyfriend Ray Jay? Instead of introducing her as "Reality Star Kim Kardashian" shouldn't they just say "World-Class Home-Porno Slut-Hobag Kim Kardashian"?
  • Susan Lucci might just be as crazy as Cloris, but I think the meds keep her in check. She will probably win because all of her psycho housewife soap opera fans will vote for her. Also, she is a fattie.
  • Hey Toni Braxton we get it, you have a heart ailment. Come crying to us when you are missing a limb or your eyesight - until then shut your trap. 
  • Is it me or has Cheryl Burke put on a few pounds? Is that back fat I see popping out of that sparkly feathery leotard? Someone's been downing too many Cosmos at Villa with the Lachey and Lawerence brothers. (I'm one to talk, considering my body is perfect).
  • Brooke Burns might also need some private time with Jeff Gillooly and his leg-shattering baseball bat. No mother of four should have a body that good. 
I just turned on "day two" of Dancing with The Stars(?!) and Cloris Leachman is even more batshit crazy than last night! 

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Fresh Princess of Bel Air

This weekend (for my 39th birthday) my husband Tom treated me to a night at the Bel Air hotel. Yippee, I love staying at fancy hotels and Tom knows I have a weakness for room service and high thread-count sheets. Here are a few highlights from my (not-so) wild birthday night:
  • Making a wrong  turn in Bel Air and ended up literally saying "Holy Shit" with each passing monstrous mansion I passed. (sorry kids). I was tempted to stop at Lionel Richie's castle and ask for directions, but I'm guessing his security wouldn't let my dirty Toyota SUV past his solid gold gate.
  • Checking into arguably one of the nicest hotels in the world, and immediately putting on a pair of ripped sweat pants, crawling under  the covers and turning on the E! channel. 
  • Room service dinner for 3 consisting of  a cup of tortilla soup, children's portion of mac and cheese, a children's cheese pizza and a coke. The cost? A mere $95.00
  • Hoping to see an Olsen twin by the  pool or at the very least Ed McMahon drinking a tumbler of scotch at the bar. Sadly, I have no star sightings to report. 
  • Falling asleep at 9:45 pm  while watching "Dateline". Definitely not like the crazy rum and vodka-filled birthdays of my 20's. 
  • Sitting down to a breakfast (room service of course) of a $20 plate of "Creme Brulee French toast". It was like eating an entire cake dipped in egg batter, fried, covered with caramelized sugar, berries and maple syrup. Arguably the most high-caloric meal I've ever had in one sitting. I felt like I had a carbohydrate-laden brick sitting in my belly for the next 15 hours. So delicious. (Sorry thighs and ass.) 
  • Driving back to the OC, unpacking and taking a 2 hour nap. I was exhausted!

Emmys Schemmys! (otherwise known as The Emmyszzzzzzz)

My normal endless viewing of the Emmys was cut short last night due to the Cowboys game, which Daddy Warbucks insisted on watching. Since I have put him through two seasons of "Rock of Love" and three of "Flavor of Love", I don't really have a leg to stand on.

My "Hollywood Executive" little sister actually attended the Emmys and was literally texting me when she was standing behind Ryan Seacrest on the Red Carpet. Sadly his pin head was blocking any chance I had of catching a glimpse of her, and (unlike me) she would never dream of striking the Sister Mary Catherine "Superstar" pose on the red carpet, so I never did see her. 

I did however watch  with my mouth agape at all the Hollywood celebs who are so incredibly thin. Seriously, I don't think Hollywood eats. I am pretty sure none of Hollywood's starlets have had a Wendy's Baconator, biscuits and white gravy or put their perfect pout on a McRib. Their brains would surely go into sensory overload if they did. 

Here are a few more quick thought on the Emmyszzzzz.......

  • Julia Louise Dreyfus and Kristen Chenoweth both looked stunning, especially for women in their 40's, which gives me hope.
  • Mariska Hargarity looked perfect in canary yellow, however during her interview, in the background I spotted the same color dress floating about. The camera then zoomed in on Teri Hatcher wearing the almost-identical dress (someone's stylist is soooo fired). Teri Hatcher (who I think looks like she would be a turbo be-atch) didn't look nearly as pretty as Mariska however.
  • Loved Felicity Huffman's new hairdo.
  • Olivia Wilde is sick beautiful and her dress looked amazing on her. Only she and maybe Angelina Jolie could look drop dead in pale mushroom.
  • Seeing Heidi Klum in black sequin hot shorts (in HD, no less) made me feel like Jabba the Hut and I wished at that moment that I had Tivoed the first episode of The Biggest Loser, when they were all mega fat in their jogging bras -  to  make me feel better. 
  • Tina Fey's speech for her individual award was perfect and somehow I thankfully missed all of the celebrities who made political rants while at the microphone instead sticking to what they know best - reading lines. 
  • Lastly, the five "reality" hosts had about as much charisma as a pile of dried dog turd. They too, should stick to what they do best (introducing contestants and saying things like "Deal or No Deal", "Your torch has been extinguished" and "You're Out."

Friday, September 19, 2008

On Turning 39

Today is the first day of the last year of my thirties. Complete and utter bummer. 
Sadly, I've compiled a list of all the things that, at the age of 39, are no longer possible:
  • Standing on a bar with a beer in one hand and a shot in the other screaming "Wooooooo"
  • Staying out till 3 am and still managing to get to work on time 
  • Wearing ultra-low rise jeans without having my giant muffin-top spilling over the top
  • Admitting to watching any of the following shows: Sweet Sixteen, Rock of Love, The Real World, 90210
  • Getting a haircut at SuperCuts (and then thinking "Wow, I look hot!")
  • Eating half a pizza at midnight
  • Giant hoop earrings made out of plastic
  • Waking up without bags under my eyes
  • Aspiring to have cellulite free thighs
  • Falling asleep with a full-face of make up and not caring
  • Letting dirty dishes sit in the sink for more than 3 hours
  • Looking halfway decent in thong underwear
Getting old sucks.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Last night Parker texted me and told me I had to check out "Nancy" on Project Runway. I always watch Project Runway anyway, so no problem. Honestly, when I saw "Nancy" I actually yelped and almost jumped outta my seat. This woman is clearly the love child of Harvey Firestein and Rocky Dennis (see 80's Icon of the Day in the sidebar). I know it's not nice to make fun of people, so 'nuff said. We are so going to hell.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Costco Shuffle

This weekend, like half of Southern California, I sauntered down to Costco for my monthly ration of toilet paper and fruit roll ups. Anyone who's been to Costco on a Saturday can relate. It's like trying to push a ginormous metal cart through LaLaPalooza. The only difference of course is that the customers at Costco move at the pace of slowly sinking polar ice caps. They meander through the aisles looking at the merchandise as if they were at the Louvre, studying the simplistic brush strokes of the Mona Lisa. "For Crying out loud," I want to scream, "Make up your mind. It's either the multi-pack of Chips A'Hoy or the giant barrel of individual sized Mrs. Fields. Either way, you're getting a bargain. Move on! Move on!

And don't get me started on the samples available on every aisle. No, I don't want to sample the Kirkland brand Orange Marmalade and I certainly don't need to purchase the 4 gallon jar of it (even if it is only $7.99). But, inevitably the 400 lb lady in front of me does want to stop and sample everything.  I'd love go around her if only there wasn't a slow moving man with a twin-sized mattress and 65-inch Vizio flat screen coming at me in the opposite direction at a whopping 2 feet per second. 

Of course there is a lot to love about Costco. Where else can you get enough toilet paper to take you through a nuclear winter for the low cost of $17.99? Not to mention a sexy Liz Claiborne velour hoodie (always in style) for a mere $12.00? And who can resist the 7 foot package of ready made, freezer burnt hamburger patties that will have your family begging for more? 

This weekend, I resisted all the past-season fashions and frozen meat. I even just-said-no to the tantalizing Kirkland "Champagne" (see mouthwatering picture). Yet I still managed to come home with $208 worth of snacks and toiletries, trying desperately to find storage space for my 60 new rolls of paper towels and 47 chocolate pudding cups. 

Until next month Costco - I bid you adieu. 

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Nancy Reagan and the Poisonous Cloves

I affectionately call my mom "Nancy Reagan" because she looks like good ole Nancy, is tiny (maybe 5'3"), and a little over a buck - when wearing her Bling maybe a buck ten. She also, like Nancy, at one time had a love of St. John suits.

She has little sayings like, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" (true actually) and when I have a bad day, tells me to "Put a penny in your pocketbook." To which I reply, Is it 1846? Because a) that was the last time a penny could actually buy anything and b) that is the last time the word "pocketbook" was used.

When I sprouted to 5'10" at 13, combined with major teenage angst, little Nancy was at a loss on reeling her daughter-with-a-sizable-attitude in. Growing up, friends and family nicknamed me "Parker No Eat" (which is ironic now). My mom would cook only three things: beef strogonoff (swimming in sour cream), hot tuna noodle casserole, and not just burnt, but charred grilled cheese sandwiches. The sound of my childhood was the scraping of a knife against burnt toast with my mom cursing under her breath. Hence the "no eat" nickname.

Over the years Nancy has become a much better cook and a great baker, however you can still count on the bottom of the rolls at a holiday dinner being black as night. My brother and I hold them up to each other across the table and giggle. If Nancy catches us, she says, "Oh just scrape it off for Christ's sake."

Much like Val's mom, nothing is thrown away and everything is "still good." My parents are well-off yet my mom still recycles used tin foil. Her freezer is a virtual cornicopia of mystery meals wrapped in old, very wrinkled tin foil. One time in High School, after a night of partying, Val and I opened the freezer (a.k.a. the "Tin Foil Smithsonian Exhibit") to find one thing not completely wrapped in tin foil: a gallon of homemade vanilla ice cream. "Yummo," as that little sausage Rachel Ray would say. Nancy loves ice cream and so do I. I peeled off the lid and the light yellow creaminess was perfect as I dug the largest spoon I could find into its goodness. I immediately began to scream, "What the?.... Ahhh, nooo! (Gag, Spit, Hurl) Are you kidding me?" It was actually chicken broth and, in particular made from the fatty chicken parts, hence the pretty light yellow color. I thought I would spew my 6 California Coolers that I had drank earlier with Val all over our kitchen. I threw the ice cream container back into its tin foil tomb, completely disgusted.

My sister is much more patient than me, especially when it comes to our parents. On a recent visit home, she offered to clean out their pantry and kitchen in general. I suggested she wear a Hazmat suit before doing this. Later she told me she found a jar of some very suspect-looking sun dried tomatoes. She was unable to find an expiration date, but no need as she immediately spotted the label which read "Price Club Sun Dried Tomatoes". The "Price Club" was a warehouse store we went to when we lived in Tucson -  back in the 1980's. This also meant that over the years, these precious tomatoes were moved with them to three different states.

The piece de resistance was an item that my mom actually told me about and thought was funny. She said they had a jar of cloves from 1936. I immediately had a visual of a newspaper headline reading: "Mother Kills Entire Family With 1936 Cloves in Christmas Ham." I said, "Nancy, for real?" And she replied, "Oh, its no big deal - they are still good."



Thursday, September 11, 2008

What the?

Tonight Fox is premiering a new Game Show? called "Hole in the Wall". Apparently it is based on a game show of the same name in both Japan and the U.K (so we aren't the only dumb-assess with a penchant for horrible television). I'm no stranger to crappy television (after all I have watched the first two episodes of the new "90210" and had both seasons of "Rock of Love" on series record on my Tivo), but this is ridiculous.

Are Americans dumb enough to plop their fat asses in front of the TV and watch a half hour of people in space suits trying to jump through shapes? As far as I can tell this is the entire point of the show. No doubt it will probably be a tremendous hit. Personally, I'll wait till the home version board game comes out. 

Note: the above clip is from the U.K.'s version of "Hole in the Wall". Watch, if you dare and check out the dude  approximately 27 seconds into the video. I swear to god it's Robert DeNiro. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In Memoriam

It's hard to be believe its been 7 years since the 9/11 attacks. At the time, I was living in Palm Springs, working full time at the local community college. I drove my kids to school and then to work, listening to a non-commercial all 8
o's radio station, completely oblivious to what was happening. I changed the radio station right as I pulled into the parking lot to hear a DJ saying "America is under attack." I rushed into my office, looked at  my co-workers and said "What the F**k is going on?"

By this time the towers were gone and Flight 93 had just crashed in Pennsylvania. Unable to comprehend what was happening, we somehow rounded up a crappy black and white t.v. and watched the coverage of the towers collapsing over and over again. I remember being spellbound and began to cry. The creepy old Community College counselor gave me a hug - and on that day, I let him. 

Today as I sit here and watch the names of the dead being read at Ground Zero, and the ceremonies at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania I think back on that day and thank god for my friends and family and for the fact that I am an American.

Daddy Warbucks and I had been in Tahiti for the past 10 days and were supposed to fly home the next day, but of course all flights had been canceled. Amazingly we had purchased travel insurance which saved our bacon on the cost of staying yet another week. Daddy Warbucks had also brought a satellite phone the size of a small state so we were able to speak to our family. I remember my little niece who was 8 asking my brother (who was vacationing with us) what "terrorism" and "hijacking" were. 

The Frenchies (my name for French people) who, while I was in their country, was totally annoyed because they spoke no English and were of no help. They would tell us each day to check back and could not give us any idea of when we would be going home. Daddy Warbucks and my brother would go to the airport each day while my sister-in-law Nancy and I would tan and drink more and more Coronas, smoke mini-cigars and play cards. For a while we thought we might just have to live in Tahiti for maybe a year and make do. Nancy said she could be the manager of K-Tahiti and I could be the number one sales rep. I told her only if we could close up shop at 3 and go to the beach for Coronas and cards.

It would seem that being stuck in Tahiti would be a great thing and nothing to complain about, however being somewhere that far away when the worst act of terror ever happens on American soil is no picnic. It made me appreciate and love my country more than I already do. 
At that point my Irish skin couldn't take any more sun, my stomach could take no more Spaghetti Bolognese and if I saw one more fire-eating Tahitian I was going to scream. I was incredibly home sick for my state of Texas.

Three weeks after we had arrived, we flew out on a red eye to Palm Springs and then to Dallas. I asked my brother what airline we were taking (I hate to fly and was nervous beyond belief) and he said "Air Asshole". Literally no exaggeration, the airline was some French name I'd never heard of and there was a picture of what could have been Saddam Hussein's twin brother on the side of the plane making a salute stance. I was so determined to get home that I didn't even care. The flight was fine and why is it whenever I don't fly American, the planes are so much cleaner and the crew so  much nicer, even on "Air Asshole" the crew was so polite and the plane was spotless. 

A couple of months later we went to London and I was so nervous to fly again that I threw up the entire way and also in the lobby of our hotel when we arrived. That night I managed to buck up, go to a pub and have a pint and all was good.

So many years later I think how lucky we are that we have not seen another act of terrorism like the one we witnessed on that horrible day. 


E-Mail of the Day: Reality Roundup

From: Parker@Don'

MTV's "Exiled" was totally ridiculous this week. I swear the places these "hard done by" teens go to get easier each week. The last episode will probably have a teen forced to sleep on an Airstream on the beach in Malibu. This week the spoiled teen goes to the Arctic Circle, which while I'm sure is colder than shit, is totally beautiful. They give her plenty of warm clothing, a tent with fur beds and a wood burning stove - all that was missing was hot chocolate and s'mores. I'm thinking the teen that had to sleep in  the 'dung hut' got hosed. The episode ended when she had to learn   her life lesson and ride a bad ass snow mobile alongside a gorgeous reindeer herd. Oh the horror! Sadly, I keep watching it.

To: Parker@Don'
Re: Exiled and Million Dollar Listing!

I too watched some of "Exiled: the Arctic Circle." Personally I would rather roll naked in goat dung than live in sub-zero temperatures, although the snowmobile part did look like fun. 

I watched the season finale of "Million Dollar Douchebags" last night and was more disgusted than ever. Chad made a paltry $165,000 commission by doing nothing more than walking a rich heiress through a Malibu beach house. Wouldn't it be great if they combined the two shows (Million Dollar Listing and Exiled) and forced those a**holes to sell shacks in India or dung huts deep in Africa? Chad's hair would be a shambles.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


There was a time, not so long ago, when I would wake up, have my breakfast of Prozac and a Pepsi and be good to go. Lately however, its just not working for me. I'm in a funk. Example #1: last week my husband told me he saw Mary Kate Olsen on his way to lunch. Normally I would have reacted by asking a zillion ridiculous questions (like "was she wearing a plaid shirt with no pants?" or "How much do you think she weighed?"), but instead I responded with a non-inspiring "Hmmm". The other day I took my kids to school and immediately came home, crawled back into bed and slept for an astounding 4 hours straight. For the past two weeks I've worn nothing but wife beaters and sweat pants (even in public). With my puffy eyes and recent habit of completely ignoring my bleach blond, brittle hair, I look like a bloated washed out member of an 80's heavy metal band. When I'm not sleeping, I'm usually watching a 1990's episode of "48 Hours Mystery" on the Discovery Investigation channel. Sad.

I think I need a hobby, stat. While I do have a part time office job, where I work once or twice a week for approx 4 hours at time (literally raking in the dough) it apparently isn't enough to stave off the funk. Perhaps, like J-Lo, I'll start training for a triathlon. My ass is way smaller than hers - although she does have a $300 per hour trainer at her disposal to keep her in check, whereas I would most certainly become distracted by a VH1 reality show or a craving for a candy bar. Perhaps I should take a writing or an art class - but my current lack of self-esteem keeps me from doing any of this for fear of criticism. Whatever I do, I better do it quickly - my wife beaters are looking dingy I can watch only so many more murder mystery news shows before I actually do go insane. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

This week I did something I'm utterly ashamed of. I secretly ordered "Life with My Sister Madonna" by Ernest Hemingway -oops, make that Christopher Ciccone. In all fairness, I held out as long as I could. I tried to divert my attention by reading actual literature like "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and Cormac McCarthy novels, but every once in a while we all need a no-brainer book, and this definitely fits the bill.

The saddest part is, I'm totally enthralled by this book. Despite the fact that there are no new amazing revelations about Madonna (she's worth billions and is a raging bitch - who knew?) he does reveal a lot about the drug habits of the stars (loving it) including the time he did cocaine with Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Courtney Love and Donatella Vercace after the funeral of Gianni Vercace (classy!).

In my defense, the summer television line up has been less than stellar. I can only take so much of "Million Dollar Listing" before I'm ready to throw a brick at the television. At least "Entourage" started last night, so I can put down the trashy books and focus on the trashy shows -at last. And, speaking of trash, last night I also tried to watch the Video Music Awards on MTV. Holy crap, can you say hot train wreck? It might have been the most poorly produced live television show in history. Britney Spears acted like a High School freshman running for Secretary (all giggles and rushing through her speech at breakneck speed). What happened to the days when the show would be opened by Duran Duran and Huey Lewis and the News would be sitting in the audience drinking wine coolers in their ridiculous neon blazers? I remember anxiously waiting to see if chubby Janet or skinny Janet (Jackson) was going to show - or if Courtney Love would be coherent. Sadly this time around, when the nominees and subsequent winners were announced, I found myself repeating the word "WHO?" and realized that I am just old, old, old. 

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fashionistas Rejoice!

In clearly one of the years worst marketing disasters, the clothing store "Chicos" recently announced that they will be releasing the "Debbie Phelps Line"of clothing. Thank God, because Debbie Phelps, mother of Gold Medalist Micheal Phelps is finally filling that style void that for so long has been empty. I know personally, when I think of of the phrase "Fashion Icon", two names come to mind: Karl Lagerfield for Chanel and Debbie Phelps for Chicos.

Seriously though, when I caught a glimpse of Mrs. Phelps in the stands during the Olympics, her outfits were less than inspiring and she didn't exactly strike me as a Fashion Maverick. Let's put it this way: I never confused her with Jackie O or one of the Olsen Twins. 

Perhaps the line should be called "Fashion for Frumps" or "Swim Mom Suckage" because after getting a sneak preview of some of her vomit-inducing jackets, I can't imagine anyone in their right mind (except perhaps Bea Arthur in  "Maude") wearing these clothes. I've got an idea. How about we give people who actually study fashion (you know, like students of prestige Fashion Schools or maybe a Project Runway reject) a chance at creating something halfway decent? 

Debbie, I'm sure you're a fine woman and great mom, but in the words of Heidi Klum: "You're Out." In the meantime, I think I smell a Christmas gift for my dear old mom. 


P.S. Yes, the above photo is one of the hot designs from Debbie Phelp's "Chicos" line. I think it would have been even hotter if it had pictures of Little Debbie Snack Cakes or Pizza Slices on it, but that's just me. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Worst Show. Ever.

If you watch only one online clip today, you must click on the above to catch a glimpse of the opening credits of the Worst Show. Ever. I caught the above clip when watching this weeks episode of "The Soup" (one of the best shows, ever) and my son and I were literally rolling on the floor with laughter. I was both disgusted and intrigued, immediately setting my DVR to "Series Record" so I wouldn't miss an agonizing second. For those of you who are not familiar with this hot mess (i.e. all of you) "Outsiders Inn" is the latest reality show, featuring Maureen McCormick (a.k.a. Marcia Brady), Carnie "Will do any show for cash" Wilson and Bobby "Crackie" Brown. Did I mention it was on CMT (Country Music Televison)? Until this weekend, I wasn't even aware that this cable network existed. Sadly, it does - and it has some other humdinger shows like "Redneck Wedding" and "Country Star" (with guest "celebrities" Sebastian Bach, Lorenzo Llamas and Sean Young). Who knew?

Hard as I tried, I couldn't even make it through one lousy episode of "Outsiders Inn". The show revolves around Maureen, Carnie and Bobby - a virtual 'Three's Company' of wacky characters who are running a Country Inn in the deep-woods of Tennessee. The show is even more staged than "The Hills" and at one point I think I could see Maureen's eyes rotating back and forth as she read from a cue card. Later in the episode Maureen finds Bobby Brown in a guest bathroom cleaning the tub with a toothbrush and bottle of Fantastik (something that would clearly only happen if he were on a meth binge, so I suppose its plausible). Later, Carnie comes in to announce (in a rehearsed voice that is more wooden than an oak tree) that she has a rather large and painful "hemorrhoid". Later there is a talent show (featuring some Tennessee folk that stereotypically look like they just stepped off the set of "Hee Haw") and the tension grows as Carnie's medical crisis (a.k.a. the giant hemorrhoid on her ass) becomes critical.

When my husband Tom, who was patiently sitting next to me as I watched, looked at me like I had lost my marbles, I knew it was time to turn it off (and cancel the Series Record). Sorry "Outsiders Inn" - I tried, but the magical chemistry of Crackie Brown, Marcia Brady and the that Reality Whore Carnie was just too much for me to stomach. 

No worries, I'm sure they will all show up on another amazing Reality Show in the near future.  

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bad Girlfriend

 At the age of 20, a college sophomore,  I already had a penchant for drinking like a longshoreman on vacation in Tijuana. My sorority even gave me the "Blondes Have More Fun" Award, which was just another way of saying I drank the most Everclear Punch at the college parties I so frequently attended.

When Tom and I started dating later that year, I don't think he knew what he was in for. Most of the time I was fine - a normal upstanding girlfriend. But on occasion (i.e. usually after my fourth alcoholic beverage) I developed a second personality - one Tom not-so-lovingly referred to as "Lucifress". Lucifress, to put it mildly, was not pleasant.  As the night grew, and I downed seabreeze after seebreeze, my bleach blond hair would become more wild, I would compulsively apply multiple coats of red lipstick and Lucifress would emerge. I could go from being someone's best friend to their worst enemy in one swift second.

It was on one memorable night that Tom discovered just how nasty Lucifress could become. At the time, Tom was a full-time student, with a full-time bartending job at a local resort. That weekend he had worked a Friday night, Saturday day shift and the Saturday night shift. I met up with him and a couple that we often hung out with that night during his shift. Already three sheets to the wind, I obnoxiously ordered a bottle of Dom Perignon  and loudly drank it with our friends. Tom begrudgingly asked the couple to take me to their apartment, so he could come pick me up after his shift (as clearly I was in no condition to drive). Being the responsible 20-year-olds that they were, they took me back to their place where they proceeded to pour me a highball of Jack Daniels. Nice friends. 

Tom picked me up around 2 a.m. By that time I was literally a fire-breathing monster. As he helped me to the car, I began to berate him for spoiling the fun. Obviously he had my best interest in mind, but I was like an angry Courtney Love in my baby doll dress, with my red lipstick, a tumbler of Jack in one hand and a cigarette (I didn't even smoke) in the other. As we drove home, Lucifress began to show her true colors. First by putting the cigarette out in between my legs, smack in the center of the passenger seat - leaving a lovely dime-sized burn whole in the upholstery of Tom's new car. When Tom objected to my "rock and roll" gesture, I grabbed his tip money (approx. $400 in cash from his triple-shift over the last two days) and threw it out the window. At the time, we were traveling at about 45 miles an hour in a construction zone and the money flew like confetti in every direction. I let out an evil cackle as Tom pulled over and tried to find his money (he was able to find only about $60). 

The next morning I awoke with a blinding headache and full of guilt. What little I remembered was not good. I knew that Lucifress had gone too far this time. Tom forgave me but decided it might be time to 'take a break' for a week or so, while I contemplated my actions. We eventually got back together (because Tom is a saint with the patience of Job) and, although Lucifress occasionally made a guest appearance on some of our future dates, she was never quite as evil as she had been on that fateful night. 

Lucifress, I am happy to say, is no longer with me. On the rare occasions where I have a glass of wine (or two) the worst thing that happens is I end up buying an expensive pair of jeans on line and then fall asleep in front of bad television. R.I.P Lucifress.
Note: The above picture is NOT me, but I found it online and it is a pretty good representation of what I might have looked like at the time (just mentally add some red lipstick).

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

Oprah has her "Favorite Things" and it got us thinking about the things we can't live without. 

Parker's Favorite Things:
  1. Blueberry Stoli (serve with club soda and muddled blueberries).
  2. J Crew cashmere sweaters (own more than I want to admit)
  3. Mac and cheese on a cold winter night (okay, any night)
  4. The Food Network
  5. Lip fusion clear lip gloss
  6. Reality T.V.
  7. Ambien
  8. McDonalds french fries (hot and salted - straight out of the grease)
  9. US Magazine
  10. Cheetos dipped in sour cream

Val's Favorite Things:
  1. A cold Pepsi first thing in the morning
  2. Comfy sweat pants (preferably Juicy Couture velour)
  3. A great book
  4. Bad 80's movies about High School
  5. Gossip web sites
  6. Naps
  7. The Soup
  8. A Baby Ruth bar
  9. Room Service
  10. Massages