“See, This is Our Time to Dance . . . ”

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“ . . . It is our way of celebrating life.  It’s the way it was in the beginning.  It’s the way it’s always been.  It’s the way it should be now.”                 … Continue reading

Criminal Tomfoolery: Spousal Rudiciousness

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Originally posted June 2, 2010 The monthly crime report is here and Atlanta criminals are up to their old shenanigans again.  We got your gang shootings, drive-by shootings, random shootings, school shootings, workplace shootings, nightclub shootings, rapper shootings, pro athlete … Continue reading


Man vs the Clock

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Originally posted September 2010 Rogers Center, Aisle 123, Row 25, seats 3-6.   This is where I’ve discovered some of life’s most intriguing truths.  Like, did you realize that Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz’ last name sounds remarkably like … Continue reading

We the People!

originally posted August 30, 2010

The new People is here!  The new People is here!  Actually the even newer people is here but I’m late in posting!

Every Tuesday I can count on one piece of mail that will lift my spirits and, at the same time, make me feel like a colossal boob.  I pull the People Magazine out of my mailbox face down, fold it in half, and stuff it under my arm to conceal my habit from any passersby.  When caught with my hand in the goldfish bowl I immediately plunge into a discourse on the tragedy of having to subject myself to such utter nonsense just for the opportunity to peruse the literary and musical reviews.  It’s really just a beautifully wrapped glob of horse dung.  I mean, I DO go to the book  and movie reviews first, but I can’t resist peeking to see what Bradley Cooper wore to the mall or which stars were caught wearing the same style of sunglasses. Now THAT’s a tragedy right there.  

But who can blame me?   This week’s people was infinitely comical, pathetic and inspiring.

Take, for instance, the cover story.  Michelle and Jim Bob Duggars say “We’re ready for more.”  They already have 19 children from the ages of 8 months to 23 years AND a grandchild.  They’re following their convictions.  No matter how challenging it will be to remember all their names, birthdays or shoe sizes.   The guy’s name is Jim Bob.  That should have been Michelle’s first clue to jump ship.
But then page 10 starts the Star Tracks!   Katie Perry does a split, Betty White does the bump, David Beckham . . . . .well, he doesn’t have to do anything but look pretty.  Michelle and Sasha Obama enjoy a $4,500,000 all-expenses-paid-vacation in Spain, Madonna (dressed like a Soho bag lady) kisses her newest daughter on the nose and Snooki rides a mechanical bull that unfortunately malfunctioned when it DIDN’T throw her into the Atlantic Ocean.   Most of this stuff makes me laugh.  Except the part about Snooki. 
Page 21.  Bristol gives Levi the boot.  But Bumbles bounce so he ain’t close to bein out yet.   He even has “people” now.   His “team”  is selling a reality show where Johnston tries to get elected the next mayor of Wasilla.   First . . . . who is desperate enough to submit a resume to be a part of Levi Johnston’s team?  Second . . . I hear Snooki may run for the same office and that will split the sympathy vote.  If the job actually paid, I’d throw my own name in the race.  I figure I can run a city down the tubes as quickly as the next dimwit.    I can’t wait to see him on Oprah’s return from retirement in a few years.  How painful to have to look back on a chapter of your life and realize you made a complete ass of yourself in front of a nation of 300,000,000 people.  This makes me laugh hard.

Page 22.  Naomi Campbell takes dirty diamonds from a bad guy in 1997 but assumes he’s giving her a gift because . . . well . . .she is Naomi Campbell and she does spread cheer everyewhere she goes.  “Reese to Remarry?”  Who cares?   “Would you read Justin Bieber’s book?” Now this is rich.  Justin Bieber has written his first book at 16, “Justin Bieber:  First Step 2 Forever:  My Story.”  And 18% of people say they will actually read it?!?!?!   The only thing I want to know from JB is how he gets his hair to always look like he’s been sleeping in a skull cap?!!?!  

Page 24.  Lindsay’s in Treatment.  Thank God for Lindsay Lohann or People wouldn’t have enough “filler” stories.   They run this same blurb every time they have an empty space.  And fortunately Lindsay keeps pulling the same antics every couple of weeks so libel is never called into question. 
Page 26.  Bachelorette and her new fiance are “Free to Flaunt Their Love” for as long as it brings them both fame.   I’m bored with them.  My absolute favorite story this week is “Macho, Macho Men . . . Or Are They?”  The 6 tired, drooping, arthritic stars of “The Expendables” dish on how sensitive they really are.  Steve Austin claims to have “shed a tear during ‘The Notebook.’”  and Sylvester Stallone paints, sculpts and writes.  But my favorite is Terry Crews who says . . .  out loud, mind you . . .  “I have mastered the jazz flute.  I love it.”   So did Ron Burgundy.  That is SO not cool.

Page 39.  MUSIC!  This section is always hit or miss.   Too many wannabe rock stars touting the brilliance of the newest counter-culture band . . . . usually some lame journalist hoping to  appear musically superior.   One yahoo convinced me that Sting’s “If on a Winter’s NIght . . “  was his most celebrated work to date.  Eight songs into the CD I was looking for chopsticks to stab my OWN eyes out.  Proceed with caution.

Page 42. “What’s Your Strangest Autograph Experience?”  Ashanti shocks us all.  She was in the bathroom and when she came out of the stall, someone gave her a pen and napkin to sign.  So she did!!  Apparently Ashanti’s autograph is not in great demand.  
Page 45.  Book reviews!  This is actually the chocolate covered diamond.   The book reviews are genuinely well done and I have yet to be disappointed.  I’ve learned my lesson though and now I understand verbage intended to fool me.  For instance, “emotional wreckage and rebirth”, “the perils of  self-involvement,”  “coming of age.”  These phrases point straight toward the complex tale of a woman coming to terms with who she is,  finding her inner strength, or learning acceptance and forgiveness.   And “Summer read” or “beach read” is code for simplistic chick flick.  That’s cool if it’s what you enjoy but if you like “The Andromeda Strain” or “The Dark Tower Series” you’re going to be a tad disappointed when you unwrap “Confesions of a Shopaholic.”

Page 52.  Geez. There are those crazy Duggars again.  Enough already!

Page 62.  My nemesis.  Jennifer Anniston.  Or Rachel.  Or Jennifer.  Whatever.  Look, I understand our country’s fascination with her.  I just disagree.  She’s the average girl.  She’s marginally attractive . . . enough so that even that guy from the high school chess team thinks he could hit that and not enough that any woman would be intimidated.  She’s a mediocre actress who’s made a career out of perfecting one single character that she replays every time she’s onscreen. She doesn’t rock the boat in any way so she never offends . . . . . but she expresses no real passion either so she never provokes.  She hasn’t gained weight, lost weight cut her hair, colored her hair, worn a wig, changed her style of dress or attempted an accent in her entire career.  I am certain she’s a perfectly nice girl.  But I know this.  If I offer one single interior design solution for all of the projects I take on, my lack of creativity would not be celebrated.  I don’t know . . . . maybe it’s refreshing that somoene who’s simply a nice person can be rewarded for it.   Naaah!   I still say we need to raise the bar!   

Page 69.   People’s token humanitarian story.  Anh Reiss, in need of a bone marrow donor herself, sets out to encourage other Vietnamese Americans to swab cheeks in search of DNA.  While she has yet to find a match for herself, she has helped a number of others find their own life-saving matches.  This is a great story about a real life hero.  The first real “person”  in this issue of People Magazine.
See you next week . . . . .

I Calls ‘em as I Sees ‘em

originally posted August 20, 2010

People are so peculiar.   I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.   If it weren’t for those beings who are way off kilter then we’d have no yardstick with which to measure our own degree of normalcy.   Even though we all want to stand out from the crowd whether in business or fashion or beauty or intelligence . . . we don’t want to cross that thin line into absurdity.  

Oh come on!  I can actually hear your heads shaking.  You know it’s true.   We can all remember some kid in elementary that made his mark in the annals of history by doing some THING that made us laugh, cry, sigh audibly, squirm in our seats or gag.  Something none of us on the rational end of the yardstick would be caught doing.   And those kids will forever be remembered for that THING they did.  

For instance, I knew a girl who would repeat everything she said in a whisper just like that kid Brik on “The Middle.”   She would say “I’m going to the pool today.”  And then she’d follow it up in a whisper with, “Going to the pool today,”  like she was telling you a secret.   Conversations with her were long and confusing.  I still refer to her as the Whisperer.   Then there was the kid my husband knew that would ride his bike down the street of their subdivision with big marijuana plants in one arm.  Plants he had just harvested from his carefully tended garden on the neighborhood hillside.   His moniker had been, and still is to this day, Ed the Head.  

When I met my husband and realized he used the same method of identification that I presumed to have perfected, it sealed the deal.  I had already realized he had marriage potential when I discovered that he loved “Clash of the Titans” (the original with Harry Hamlin, of course)  and “Excalibur”  but who would have guessed he shared my adolescent communication skills?!?   

 Only recently have I formally I coined the term bit.ly alias, defined as “the infantile method of identifying a person by his outlandish behaviors or physical traits.”

For those who are unfamiliar, bit.ly is an application used in Twitter, Facebook, etc that automatically shortens a lengthy URL (that would be a website address for the completely ill informed)   into one that is 8-ish characters long and looks more like hieroglyphics.  The shorter URL will still link users to the website to which you’re directing them but it has an added benefit.  The shorter web address means that Tweeters and FB users don’t waste as many of their precious allotted 140-characters per message on the website address alone.   And that means we can all share more of our useless thoughts with strangers!  Brilliant!  

So, thebit.ly alias works the same way in real life applications.  For instance, let’s say you and your spouse frequent your local Piggly Wiggly grocery store.  And for the sake of the story, let’s imagine that there’s a gal from the neighborhood who frequents the very same Piggly Wiggly. You both recognize her because it’s now 2010 and she’s sporting a tall, impossible-to-miss-60‘s-style-beehive-hairdo with a ladybug barrett.  One afternoon your cart  accidentally collides with her cart and your chocolate gets on her peanut butter, thereby creating the Reese Cup.   Actually, that’s a story for another day . . . . but your carts do collide.   Later, you’re recanting the story to your spouse, whose insensitivity allowed him to stay home, guilt-free, watching the WVU game while you selflessly sacrifice your personal time to do the grocery shopping alone.  Instead of saying, “My cart collided with that lady with the tall, impossible-to-miss-60’s-style-behive-hairdo with the ladybug barret,” you simply say, “My cart collided with Beehive Ladybug.”   And for time eternal, she will be referred to as Beehive Ladybug.  

Ric and I can recall a number of people over the years whose legal names we never knew but are cemented in our memory banks thanks to the bit.ly alias:
  • There was theHuman Broom.  She was the girl at our gym in Baltimore who bleachedand permed her hair so much that it resembled an overused Sorghum Broom.
  • Then there was the Pink Marshmallow Man.  That guy worked out at   ur gym in Atlanta.  He was so puffed up from steroid use that he looked like the Marshmallow man from “Ghost Busters”.  Add to that his addiction to the tanning bed and you get a sunburned Pink Marshmallow Man.
  • And one we’ll never forget is The Man Woman.  Ric’s hair still curls at the mention.   Our first winter as a married couple.  We lived in a townhouse-style apartmenbuilding with a row of parking spaces that ran the length of the building.  Each of us had 2 spaces but none of them were specifically assigned although we all used the spots in frontof our own unit.   It came a snow one evening and Ric got up early the next day to dig our cars out so we could go to work.   When he returned home that night he found an unfamiliar car in his usual spot – the ONLY parking spot that was shoveled clean, mind you.   We lived in the unit on the north end of the building.  A little later that evening we saw a beast of a creature exit the unit on the south end of the building – 8 townhouses and 16 parking spaces south of us – make the walk to the unfamiliar car in Ric’s spot, remove something and head back south.  Ric opened the door and stepped out to speak to this person about vacating our spot.  As the creature turned to us, we were met with 6’-4” of someone halfway between Jaws from “The Spy Who Loved Me” and  Maude.  It took us a while to digest the fact that this was actually a woman.  Not a woman who used to be a man and not a man dressed as a woman.  A real big, scary woman.   By now, you’ve guessed that she refused to move her car and neither of us was willing to get in a fist fight with The Kraken.  So we trudged back inside, grumbling and she was dubbed The Man Woman from that moment on.
  • And most recently, while power walking with the dogstrocities along the lake shore, we turned a corner and encountered a little lady, standing, bent over at the waist, slapping both of her thighs with her hands repeatedly for an extended length of time.  She was still slapping away as we rounded a corner out of sight 2 blocks down the street.  And would you believe we ran into that Crazy Knee Slapper doing it again last night?!?!
I’m well aware that my behavior could be considered questionable.  It’s not something I would have advertised in the past.  But then Seinfeld came along and he made a fortune insulting anyone outside his immediate circle of friends.  He dubbed such memorable characters as Man Hands, The Close Talker,  Soup Nazi and Crazy Joe (Davola).  

And then Michael Scott took us to a new level!  In Season 5, Episode 14 of “The Office” entitled “The Lecture Circuit – Part I” MIchael takes it upon himself to travel to the various branches and share with them his secrets of success.  At one unsuspecting branch, he explains the importance of really knowing your client in order to sell to them.  And I quote, “That is why I have asked you to go around and tell me your names.  I have an amazing mnemonic device, by which I have memorized all of your names.”  And then he points at various people throughout the room, identifying each of them, “Shirty, mole, lazy eye, Mexico, baldy, sugar boobs, black woman.”   And if that weren’t enough, he explains further that he has taken a unique part of each of them and used that to help memorize their names.  When Karen reprimands his technique as insulting,  MIchael responds, “But it works.”

And that’s good enough for me.  It just works.  The bit.ly alias is the perfect tool that allows one to skip the unnecessary prattle in order to get to the heart of the point more efficiently.   Imagine the amount of information we could share in a day if we could apply this to other areas of our conversations!  

I often wonder what bit.ly alias others might assign me.   Like the Crazy Knee Slapper, for instance.  When I passed her last weekend, I was wearing my hair in a pony tail on top of my head with ginormous round white sunglasses, a bright pink golf visor (something I swore I’d never be caught wearing in public but is quite effective at keeping those harmful rays off my face), a white Motley Cru tank top with black bra and a strap falling off one arm, chapstick stuck in one side of my bra and an ipod tucked in the other side so I could easily stick my hand down between my goods to moisturize my lips or to switch songs at any time.  I had on green soffe shorts over a pair of bike shorts and a white washcloth stuck down the back of my waist band so I could yank it out and wipe the dew from my face. In my right hand I was carrying a gaseous plastic poop bag while I chased one dog and drug the other behind me, all the while barking non-stop, while I yelled “Quiet!  Quiet!  Quiet” over and over to no avail.  There’s really so much fodder that even I couldn’t narrow it down to one simple bit.ly alias.
I think the moral of the story is this:   Do your own thing.  Dance to your own beat and feel comfortable doing it.   But beware of that invisible doorway that lead to the Land of the Lost because inevitably, crazy sticks like glue.  And there are no pylons to lead you back from that pocket universe once someone with an adolescent mentality spots your weakness and moves in for the kill!

#02 Dogs Rule, Kids Drool: Laws that SHOULD be if Congress Had the Good Sense to Listen to Me

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originally posted May 20, 2010   Petey & Tina Belle,   2010   I love getting up on a beautiful Saturday morning during spring and heading out with the dogs to grab a coffee at Starbucks.  We sit outside, reading … Continue reading