…not just my opinion…

Folks younger than me, some even decades my junior, agree that Donald Trump would make a very bad president. I’d go so far as to say they consider him totally laughable in his quest to become the most powerful man on earth.

The fact that Trump is worth billions, according to him, seems his primary, if not only, reason for assuming he’s the perfect man for the job.

Mark Cuban, one of the wealthy entrepeneurs starring on TV’s reality show The Shark Tank explains why Trump is a “fake” billionaire in the youtube video below.

Trump’s net worth is north of 10 billion dollars, or so he says. However according to Cuban, Trump hasn’t got the cash to fund a presidential campaign. And after getting singed by numerous business bankruptcies, he’s not likely to trade in his personal stash to become our public servant, especially for a paltry presidential paycheck of $400,000 a year.

As we all know, going after the highest office in the land isn’t like getting elected high school class president. Money talks. Literally.

Look at what the networks are charging for ads…absurd figures like $3.5 million for a spot during the 2011 Super Bowl. Even 30-second spots on less visible programs cost in excess of $100,000 in 2011, according to AdWeek. It stands to reason that those costs have only escalated since then.

And with Trump bragging about his billions, who’s going to rush to give him more money?

The young woman in this youtube video and I have one thing in common…

…we can see past Trump’s giant-sized ego to the peaNUT he really is.

………hugmamma.

scratching an itch…

…that’s how a pundit described Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

We all like a good scratch now and then. It alleviates an annoyance.

What folks don’t realize is that the solution to the itch in Trump’s case would lead to a case of…poison ivy. And having suffered from a bad case of it a number of years ago, the only solution was medication…prednisone, to be specific. It took eliminating the itch from the inside out.

Living through 4 years of a Trump administration would be akin to a case of poison ivy with no immediate relief in sight.

Trump gleefully tosses out epithets like ” I don’t give a shit!” when responding to questions from the press. Wow! Won’t it be cool to have a president well versed in vulgarity. America’s face to the world will be a man who swears…and doesn’t give a shit. He’ll make Putin look like an altar boy. There’s no doubt they both swear, it’s just that the Russian leader can hold his tongue. Unlike Trump, whose mouth is always open…because his tongue is always clacking.

Trump as president would be a throwback to the days when America was seen as a big bully. Those days are gone. The Wild West is gone. Pushing people around to get our own way…that’s gone.

Donald Trump envisions the presidency like a reality show, one in which he can…fire…anyone and everyone not to his liking. The world will be his oyster…or so he thinks. And we will suffer the consequences if enemies, and friends, refuse to subjugate themselves to The Donald’s wishes.

A vote for Trump will be a vote…

…for taking one giant step backward.

………hugmamma.

…a prince…to a…frog???

…a law professor to…a reality show bully???

That’s what we’re talking about if Donald Trump succeeds President Obama. 

God help us.

Enemies of the President have to admit the man has class.

Obama doesn’t scream his disdain on national television when he doesn’t take kindly to something someone is asking. Yes, he’ll say “You should know better,” in a professorial tone of voice. Whether or not the object of his disappointment is duly chastised or not depends upon the health of that person’s backbone. Trump on the other hand instills enough fear in the object of his rage, that they can’t wait to get the hell out of his sight. Which suits The Donald just fine.

“You’re fired!”

So maybe his American subjects would be able to sidestep President Trump’s wrath…with a lot of fancy footwork, I might add. And maybe the American media would have a field day dissecting The Donald’s every faux pas, not to mention the abundance of material late night talk show hosts would have at their disposal. And it’s not too far-fetched to think that reality TV would be a frequent guest of Trump’s White House. Perhaps they’d even move into the East Wing, cozying up to the new First Lady of Trump-dom, Melania.

Recent occupants of the White House have, for the most part, adopted a sense of quiet decorum. Yes, some have had their pecadilloes aired in public. However as we all know, that’s the nature of the beast…politics. To imagine, however, that President Trump would mind his p’s and q’s is like putting a sack over a parrot’s head. The Donald’s dyed, golden crest just wouldn’t stand for it! Or it’s more likely that it couldn’t…lay down for it. 

“You’re fired!” Trump would squawk at the top of his lungs.

Americans know all too well that The Donald suffers from…foot-in-mouth disease. We give him wide berth to go on spewing his nastiness. He, meanwhile, remains totally oblivious to us and our small, inconsequential lives. Now that he’s set sights on the White House, Trump realizes he needs our votes. However once he moves in he’ll dump us with…

“You’re fired!”

When it comes to global affairs, President Trump’s style won’t change. He’ll puff up his chest like the proud rooster he is and blast everyone in sight with a reverberating…

“You’re fired!”

Trouble is The Donald’s screams will fall on deaf ears, for the world won’t tolerate another Hitler. We shouldn’t either. In fact, we should…

…give him the boot…before he becomes a big pain in the derriere!!!

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

…mirror mirror on the wall…

Reality shows, like biographies, fascinate me. They provide insight into real lives, real people. Fiction doesn’t captivate me the way non-fiction does.

English: J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter ...

I like to know what makes people, flesh-and-blood human beings like me, tick. Just as I don’t always know why I do what I do, it comforts me to know that I’m not the only one floundering around for answers.

Of course I can more readily identify with some reality show characters, and definitely not with others…like New Jersey housewife, Teresa Giudice. OMG! That woman needs to be locked up in a room with mirrored walls. She needs to take a long, hard look at herself. Maybe then she’ll find release from her permanent state of denial.

I’m more interested in author J.K. Rowlings than in her blockbuster series of books about HARRY POTTER. I can’t get past the fact that she was living in poverty while writing her mega-hit. God bless her!…is all I can say. God bless her! She deserves the life she now enjoys.

HGTV is one of my go-to channels, just as the FOOD Network is my daughter’s, and the HISTORY Channel is my husband’s. However, we have no problem sitting down to watch one another’s favorites. No problem at all. Thank goodness!

One reality show I happened upon while surfing the channels one day was home remodeling as a form of therapy. The designer/host is Jeff Lewis. He’s not my favorite TV personality because he’s pretty arrogant and condescending toward others. Unfortunately his attitude seems to be a huge defense mechanism. He looks as though he needs someone to give him a great big bear hug, and never, never let go. That’s how emotionally needy he seems to me. Although I’m certain he would never admit it.

How is it possible then that Jeff can dole out personal advice which gets homeowners out of the rut they’re in, so they can move on with their lives? I’m always amazed that his abrasive, “in-your-face,” hold nothing back, confrontational manner gets the right results…and the long-hoped for happy ending. EXCEPT. I repeat…EXCEPT that Jeff’s designs are always spot on.

It’s very likely that the new environment Jeff creates for his clients enables them to look at life with fresh eyes.

A recent example of Jeff’s success was with a couple who were most certainly headed to divorce court because of cats. Yes! Cats! Seven cats to be exact.

Our daughter's inherited my love of cats. Here she's with Sunkist who has since gone to join her sister Fudgie in heaven. We still think of them.

Our daughter’s inherited my love of cats. Here she’s with Sunkist who has since gone to join her sister Fudgie in heaven. We still think of them.

Now I love cats.  Always have. My husband, on the other hand, never grew up with pets. Probably because there were 12 children in his family…more than enough mouths to feed without adding a few furry ones to the mix. Four decades later, and more than a dozen cats adopted into our household during that time, our marriage has never come close to imploding because of our feline children. In fact, my husband now calls our dog…our daughter, our 2 cats…our boys, and our daughter’s cat,…our grandkitty. Actually, he calls them MY daughter, MY sons, and MY grandkitty. In turn, I call them HIS. Whatever! They’re ours.

...our grandkitty...

…our grandkitty…

Anyway, getting back to the reality show…

The reason the homeowners have 7 cats is that the wife has made it her mission in life to rescue abandoned cats. Those for whom she wasn’t able to find homes ended up in hers. According to her husband, his wife’s compassion for the poor animals was what he found attractive. That is until the cats took over their house, including the master bedroom…and the family’s life. The clincher for interior designer Jeff in his determination to right the wrong he saw in this situation, was that the couple’s infant son was allergic to the cats. Viewers witnessed the child’s breathing from an oxygen tank after an episodic reaction.

With the help of a rep from the local Humane Society and Jeff’s makeover in the garage where the cats would languish in the luxury of a space that was all their own, the wife was able to let go of her obsession and refocus her attention upon her human family.

Throughout the show I could see how, over time, a person’s obsession with something, could totally overtake his life…to the exclusion of everything and everyone. An intervention seems necessary to pull that person back from the brink of falling off the cliff, mentally and physically. What form that intervention takes needs to be confrontational AND rewarding. The person needs to be able to give up something to get something he wants even more.

Jeff was able to get his client to give up 3 of her cats, house the remainder in a comfortable environment for them and the family, and help her return to putting her son’s health, and her husband and 2 daughters…first.

…who said change was easy?…but it can be sooo worth it!

………hugmamma.

...time has its moments...cherish each and every one...

…time has its moments…cherish each and every one…

a fine line…

English: Bo Derek attending the

English: Bo Derek attending the “Night of 100 Stars” for the 82nd Academy Awards viewing party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA on March 7, 2010 – Photo by Glenn Francis of http://www.PacificProDigital.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Acknowledging female beauty has always been at the forefront of society. There’s a subconscious standard where women are rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Bo Derek was labeled a “10” in a film of the same name, co-starring Dudley Moore…a 4 or 5 by comparison. Yes, even women are guilty of judging whether a guy is a hunk or a dud…pun intended.

Mothers, and fathers for that matter, unwittingly expose their daughters to societal discrimination. It’s an age-old desire that they measure up to the standard set by others…be they relatives, friends, acquaintances or even complete strangers.

We allow ourselves to be bullied into thinking we should look like Angelina Jolie or Beyonce.

English: Phyllis Diller portrait

English: Phyllis Diller portrait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God help us if we look like Phyllis Diller, a comedienne of the psychedelic 60s and 70s. I can’t even think of a current media darling who looks as homely. There are none! Those folks don’t make the small screen, big screen or print. Unless, of course, they’re meant to draw attention to what we don’t want to emulate.

Whether we like it or not, we imprint our mindset onto our daughters.

Other adult females  are also guilty of doing harm. A relative once asked her husband if he didn’t think I looked gorgeous swimming around in their pool. Wanting to escape his appreciative stare, I instinctively crossed my arms over my chest and tread water. While the moment quickly passed, it has never faded from my memory.

There’s no escaping the web we have woven for ourselves. It is embedded into the very fiber of our souls, I’m afraid.

My daughter is a ballerina…the quintessential embodiment of female beauty. At least that is what is presented to the paying public. It’s a different story behind the scenes. If you’re an avid fan of “Dancing with the Stars,” you know what I mean. The same is true for the reality shows about models.

It’s important we teach our daughters what’s true and what’s false. There’s no escaping the latter, considering our constant bombardment by the advertising and marketing world. Only a solid, moral foundation can help our youngsters maneuver life’s slippery slope.

Beauty need not be evil…if it shines from the inside out.

…perhaps we should…shift our focus to…our inner beauty…IMG_4505

………hugmamma.

 

 

this generation…”the voice”

If, like me, you feel totally disconnected from ” whassup?” with this generation, I highly recommend you start watching the latest, reality talent phenom, The Voice. It airs Tuesday nights on NBC. The first in the series ended last night with one of four challengers being hailed as “the voice,” in addition to walking away with $100,000 and a recording contract.

Trust me when I say, I knew very few, if any, of the songs that were sung throughout the course of the competition. Every once-in-awhile I recognized a piece of something from having heard it on my car radio, as I ran errands. Fortunately I love music with a beat, or tunes that have heart. I can be-bop to almost anything. I love singing; I love dancing.

Christina Aguilera performing during the Sanre...

Image via Wikipedia

Of the 4 judges, who also coached the challengers, I’d only heard of Christina Aguilera. And it was only recently when I saw her starring with Cher in a film, that I became a huge fan of the blonde songstress. She is one amazing vocalist! But as I tuned in faithfully to watch The Voice each week, I became a huge fan of Blake Shelton, country crooner, and Adam Levine, pop rocker, who served on the panel with Aguilera. I’m still not familiar with Shelton’s songs, can only recognize a couple by Levine, and am well acquainted with only one by Aguilera, Beautiful.” Knowing who they are now, still doesn’t give me entree… into this generation. But at least I can step up to the peep hole and be a “peeping tom” into what makes the young folk tick.

Adam Levine from Maroon 5

Image via Wikipedia

Adding to my credibility as an honorary member of this generation, is the fact that I’m the one who got my 25-year-old, professional dancer daughter hooked on The Voice. Like me she really wasn’t committed to watching any of the other talent shows. But The Voice definitely persuaded us to delay our phone conversations until we’d both watched it in our own time zones. Now that’s saying something!

I heartily encourage seniors and anyone wanting to “get with it” to watch the next season of The Voice. By the way, the talent crosses all generations. One of the TV audience favorites was a 42-year-old, bald, Lesbian, with tatoos, who got the studio audience on their feet, moving to her powerhouse vocals. Beverly McLellan could belt it out with the best of them. She was one of my favorites.

Blake Shelton - 1

Image by tncountryfan via Flickr

While I liked many of the singers, my favorite was Dia Frampton. Coached by Blake Shelton, she succeeded in coming into her own as a performer, right before our eyes. Though still shy and exceedingly humble, Dia showed her creative genius for songwriting, versatility at playing the piano and guitar, and exquisitely different tonal quality which ranged from barely audible and raspy, to scintillatingly explosive. It didn’t hurt that she was Miss U.S.A. caliber either. While she wasn’t voted the winner by America, Dia wasn’t far behind. Only 2% separated her from Javier Colon, the guy who already had “the voice,” even before he joined the show.

I don’t think there was a doubt in anyone’s mind that Javier should’ve walked away with
the grand prize. Evidently he’d had a couple of non-starters at a musical career. With the unfailing love and support of his wife and 2 young daughters, as well as other family members, Javier continued to search for his breakthrough moment. Luckily for him, and for music afficionados, he found his way to The Voice, and a win he very much deserved.

Dia Frampton

Following YouTube videos are of Dia Frampton singing “Heartless,” Dia and Blake Shelton singing I Won’t Back Down,” and Javier Colon singing “Stitch by Stitch.” Hopefully these videos will convince you to tune into season two of “The Voice.”

…celebrating the voices…of this generation…hugmamma.

 

“a sweetie,” but

I totally agree with the author of the following article, Taylor Swift is a sweetheart, but I think her time has passed. And she really can’t sing, especially in person, without the help of technology, without backup. I applaud all the accolades she has garnered at such a young age. She was surely in the right place, at the right time, when all the stars in heaven were perfectly aligned. Again, good for her, her song-writing ability, her fashion style, her self-confidence, her down-home personality. But fantastic songstress, she is not. I like her, but…

In Awe of Taylor Swift–But Enough! by Joe Queenan

Like everybody else in America, I am in awe of Taylor Swift. Complete and utter awe. Even when she sings off-key with Stevie Nicks. She writes catchy tunes, makes clever, self-deprecating videos, and has an elegance rarely found among country & western artists. I really admire the way she handled that nasty incident with Kanye West at the 2009 MTV Music Video awards, and I love the way she uses her songs to turn her ever-growing pile of ex-boyfriends into chum.

And even if some of her songs seem a tad derivative–“You Belong With Me” sounds like Liz Phair channeling Suzanne Vega reworking the Bangles songbook–what’s the big deal? All New Country sounds like that Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The only thing I don’t like about Taylor Swift is that she has now become remorselessly ubiquitous. In the past few months, Ms. Swift has achieved the sort of global media saturation that was once associated with Madonna and, more recently, Lady Gaga. If you turn on the television, Taylor Swift is there, receiving yet another award. If you turn on the radio, she is there, crooning about yet another fallen swain. If you open a tabloid, she is there, the gorgeous ingenue, posing disingenuously for the paparazzi. If you pass a newsstand, she is beaming out at you from the cover of People, US Weekly, OK, Seventeen. As Entertainment Weekly, whose cover she currently graces, puts it: “Congratulations, Taylor Swift on achieving total world domination…in just 12 short months.”

When a star achieves this kind of overnight intergalactic suzerainty, the rest of us end up knowing things about them that we do not really need to know. This occurs through the process of supernoval osmosis, whereby people who haven’t the slightest interest in a famous person, and who only watch PBS and the Sundance Channel, nevertheless know that Danny Bonaduce just got married for the third time. I myself only watch sports and TV shows where people get shot or stabbed, and I only listen to radio stations that play Bela Bartok or Miles Davis, yet by paging through magazines in checkout lines and reading tabloids strewn around the diner and just generally being a sentient human being on this planet in the year 2010, I have come into possession of all sorts of minutiae regarding Taylor Swift’s daily life.

I know that she has moved out of her parents’ Nashville home. I know that her fling with Taylor Lautner ended amicably. I know that she plays Taylor guitars. I know that not everyone is crazy about her new hair style. I know that she sometimes changes outfits four times a day.

I know that the breakup call she received from one of the Jonas Brothers only lasted 27 seconds, even though I can never remember which of the Jonas Brothers made it, or why she timed it. And while I have no idea where most of my friends spent Thanksgiving, I know that Ms. Swift flew to Brooklyn to be with her new boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal. And I have it on the highest authority that while visiting Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope, Ms. Swift giggled while sipping a maple latte. Jake’s maple latte.

I do not begrudge Ms. Swift her wealth, her fame, her utter hegemony over every medium known to man, her maple latte. I simply wish that she would occasionally give the rest of us a day off.

Apparently that is not going to happen. Last week I locked myself away to see if I could get through a single day without having Taylor Swift infiltrate my consciousness. I didn’t read the papers, or watch TV, or turn on the radio, or log onto the Internet. By nine o’clock I seemed to have this thing pretty well under control. Then I called a close friend and asked if his daughter-in-law had delivered her baby, and he replied: “Yes. They named her Ashlee Taylor. They picked ‘Taylor’ because…”

Don’t tell me. I know.

Wall Street Journal, Saturday-Sunday,December 11-12, 2010

I actually feel similarly about the Kardashian sisters. They’re beautiful, but…

in small doses, maybe…hugmamma.

tv land, 2010

Once upon a time sitcoms ruled the airwaves. There were the good, the bad, and the really greaaattt! My favorites will always remain “I Love Lucy,” “All In the Family,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” and the early black and white episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show.” These are like comfort food for the soul, conjuring up memories of a simpler time when family life was very important. I enjoyed watching others with some regularity as well, like “Ozzie and Harriet,” “The Danny Thomas Show,” “Father Knows Best,” “The Donna Reed Show,” “Dennis the Menace,” “Barney Miller” and “Sanford and Son.” Growing up my daughter had her favorites as well, among them, “The Bill Cosby Show.” 

What was appealing for my daughter and me was the laughter the sitcoms evoked. For half an hour we lost ourselves in others’ foibles, while enjoying the family dynamics acted out on the small screen. Time flew by, leaving us eagerly awaiting the next installment. As we drifted off to do other things, echoes of laughter could still be heard as we remembered some mishap, or hilarious “punch line.” Sitcoms left us feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

Fast forward to the present, and TV land’s domination by reality shows. I balked when Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson wanted to play husband and wife in my living room. Nuh, uh. I don’t think so. Other shows piqued my curiosity but never held my attention, like “Wife Swap,” and “Super Nanny.” I was never a fan of “Kate and John Plus Eight,” and I’m still not interested in watching her carry on without him. Though I’m glad she is; he’s  such a loser. What finally “sucked” me into watching Reality TV was “The Bachelor.”

I don’t think I watched with the thought that I’d be hooked, but one, gorgeous hunk surrounded by a bevy of beauties was intriguing. It was inconceivable that 25 women would lay bare their souls, and bodies, for millions of viewers to see, and pass judgement. I never thought of them as desperate, although some let it be known that they were. A few said they were on the show to marry the bachelor because their biological clocks were ticking away, and time was running out. Wow! Talk about honesty in front of millions of strangers. Whenever I asked my daughter if she’d audition for the show, her eyes would bulge in disbelief, “I’d never go in front of a TV audience to compete for some guy. Those women are crazy! I can’t believe they’d do such a thing.”

I’m not as faithful a fan of “The Bachelor” as I once was. The network lost me when they began substituting it with “The Bachelorette.” I didn’t find the  shenanigans of the men in the house, as much fun as that of the women. How they can behave like divas and catty “b—s” on national TV is beyond my comprehension. But with so much competition, “Bachelor” is just one of many shows that I view sporadically.

Among the many reality shows that I’ve glimpsed, some more than others,  are “Laguna Beach,” and “The Hills,” depicting the life of spoiled, rich kids. The exception was “The City’s” Whitney, who became a successful fashion designer in NYC. Celebrities whose lives I’ve watched with curious disbelief are Atlanta’s Kimora, the self- crowned “Queen of Fabulosity,” and Beverly Hills’ Kim Kardashian with her menagerie of family members, including former Olympic champion, step-father, Bruce Jenner. My daughter actually reminded me that the first reality show I probably watched was Tyra Bank’s “America’s Next Top Model.” I’ve not seen it in ages, so I guess I’d forgotten about it. What I do remember, however, is disliking that the candidates’ vulnerabilities were exploited by the show for its own benefit, and Tyra’s fashionista presence. I found both unappealing by the time I stopped tuning in to watch.

Then there were “The Housewives of…” Orange County, NYC, New Jersey, Atlanta, D.C., and soon to be aired, Beverly Hills. I watched the first in the series, the O.C. housewives, because I wanted to see how the “other half-lives.” It was difficult to believe that there were such shallow women whose lives revolved around money, and all it could buy. Underlying all the other Housewive series is the same dollar worship. Of course, some of the women are more tolerable than others. Bethenny Frankl-Hopy of NYC being one of my favorites. She is self-deprecating, realizing that the show should be viewed with more than a “grain of salt.” I must admit to still watching the “Housewives” from time to time, and I can’t wait to see how much sillier the Beverly Hills group will be.

Currently I’m a fan of “Say Yes to the Dress,” the New York version. The show is taped in Kleigsfeld, “the” bridal shop patronized by many brides-to-be. The warm, friendly staff remind me of the years I worked in the “Big Apple.” Those who have not worked, and perhaps lived, in Manhattan haven’t experienced the unique charm of New Yorkers. They can be brusque, but they also have “big hearts,” especially for those whom they befriend. So watching the bridal staff do their utmost to marry a bride with the perfect wedding gown is gratifying, even to me, an observer.

HGTV is my reset channel. I’m always up for one of its home sale or designer shows, “Get It Sold,” “Property Virgins,” “Divine Design,” “My First House,” “Color Splash,” and, of course, “House Hunters,” and “House Hunters International.” It’s so much fun to see the “befores” and the “afters.” It’s equally entertaining to guess which of 3 properties house buyers will purchase. And several of the show hosts are like old friends, Sabrina Soto, Sandra Rinomato, Janice Olsen, and David Bromstad. I know their voices, and can picture their faces with my eyes closed.

I’m not such a fan of the reality competitions like “American Idol,” and  “Dancing With The Stars.” While I may drop in to watch “America’s Got Talent,” it’s not often enough to say I’m a devotee. When “So You Think You can Dance” first aired, I watched because my daughter was tapped to be one of its first contestants. The British judge, Nigel, and a couple of others associated with the show, sat in on a company ballet class where my daughter use to dance. She was singled out, along with others, to try out for the show. But my daughter declined because she was already under contract, and didn’t relish the thought of a television competition. In some of the early shows, she did recognize contestants with whom she had danced in various summer programs, like Danny Tidwell, and Neal (blonde guy, forgot his last name).

These days reality shows dominate TV viewing. I enjoy some, and loathe some. But not even those I favor gives me the same pleasurable feelings, as did the sitcoms of bygone days. If only “I Love Lucy” could have gone on forever.         

for the good old days, huge hugs…hugmamma.

trivia, but not trivial

Life is about the minutiae in our lives. Details that make each of us unique. Oh, we may all have similar routines: awake, brush teeth, down a cup of coffee, get to where we’re going, try to beat the homebound traffic, feed our tummies, put our feet up in front of the TV… where we doze off. (Well, at least half the population does this, while the rest of us find our way to bed. You women know of whom I speak.)

It’s what we use to carry on, how we prioritize things, and how our personalities affect what we do that separates us one from the other. Therein lies the substance of our individuality. All this to say…let’s focus on the “small,” for it’s the “new big.”

A reader’s comment on another blog site prompted me to coin the phrase. He asked if we ageed that Oprah was losing her humility. He felt her behavior strange in that upon leaving her residence she bid farewell to the doorman, nearby flowers, and so on. My reply to his query was that I felt Oprah realized that the “small” things in her life were more important to her, than all the material wealth she had garnered. The big stuff comes and goes; the small remains…right to the end.

So here’s my small stuff.

  • Sitka, one of my Maine Coone/mixed-breed cats, behaves more like a dog, than even my dog does. Reaching for my hands as they flutter over the keyboard, Sitka’s huge paw interrupts my typing while he peers at me from under my elbow, with huge, pleading eyes. He nudges me so that it’s difficult to continue what I’m doing. So you’re mistaken if you think I just sit here merrily cranking out blog, after blog, after blog. There are interruptions.
  • Just returned from my monthly hair appointment. Without my hairdresser, my BFF, Best Friends Forever (as defined for me by my daughter), I couldn’t “hold back the hand of time.” Is that from an “oldies, but goodies” tune? Anyway, it seems my stylist is allergic to dark hair coloring. First thought? Oh, oh. The hunt is on for a new BFF. But she put me at ease in explaining that she’d just use gloves. Problem solved. Love my hairdresser, my BFF.
  • Speaking of where I’ve just been. I schedule my hair appointment on a weekday because the salon is less busy than on Saturdays; but  of equal importance is the receptionist on hand. Her smiling face and warm demeanor welcomes me like family. In the moment, I like to feel I belong. I think we all do. It’s more fun than hanging around the periphery feeling left out. The more I feel I’m part of my community, the more I feel I belong…I’m home. And we all have to do it in our own way, and in our own time. (My husband’s favorite refrain when I ask him to do something.)
  • Driving home today, I noticed taxpayer money at work. Construction has picked up in and around our town, even in our own neighborhood. One common aspect that I noticed are the workers holding the signs, SLOW and STOP. I often think how boring their job must be. Hours of standing, dust flying in their faces, dirty looks from drivers, in the path of traffic as they stand alongside the busy roads. Who’d want to spend mindless hours, days, and months in a seemingless thankless job? So I’ll take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all those who serve us in the “line of duty.”
  • By now you know my husband has compelled me to read the Wall Street Journal regularly. So if I have to deal with it, you dear reader, must too. But there really are articles for you and me, the normal folk. I cite 2 articles in today’s copy. “Tired of Nit-Picking? Lice Are Peskier Than Ever” and “Fighting Happily Ever After.” Both are relevant to me, as I’m sure they are for many of you. Kids are away at summer camps. Who knows what they’ll bring home amidst their belongings or on their scalps? I’ve personally experienced trying to get the little buggers to give up residence on my youngster’s pretty, little head. But here’s what caught my eye in the article “Another possible treatment: applying Cetaphil and letting it dry on the hair overnight to suffocate the head lice.” It goes on to say that there’s no guarantee it’ll work. Cetaphil! I use it as a daily face cleanser with great success. My skin feels ageless. How it looks is “in the eye of the beholder.” I think “I look maaahvalous, dahling!” But maybe I’m biased? As for the Journal’s other article? I think it’s self-explanatory. Even a newspaper that is daily reading for Wall Street types, can have advice for the lovelorn among us local gazette readers.
  • Just untied a tiny, rolled up piece of paper that was placed into the bag holding a stretchy, silver bracelet I’d bought at a small gift shop on Saturday. Had toyed with the idea of simply tossing it in the garbage, unread. But I didn’t. My curiosity got the better of me. It is true that “good things come in small packages.” Unrolling the paper whose edges had been carefully cut, forming scallops all around, was a gift of words “May You Receive His Amazing Grace.” I pass this along to you as you go about your day.
  • Did you know that ENTERPRISE, that bastion of rental cars, is rolling out the latest addition to their fleet, Nissan’s Leaf, an electric car. The partnership allows the auto maker a platform from which to familiarize the car-buying public with its newest “toy.” Enterprise is our agency of choice, but I’d hate to run out of electricity with nowhere to recharge on the open road…in unfamiliar surroundings. Something to ponder. Hmmm…
  • WIKILEAKS, the whistle-blowing website that leaked 76,000 documents on the Afghan war, may be guilty of doing so to raise its public profile. Reader beware. Don’t believe what you hear, until you look at the “fine print,” the facts behind the facts. Remember it’s “in the details, dummy.” Fitting, but not my words. I know I’ve heard it somewhere…but where?
  • Reality shows make me chuckle. Sometimes I even laugh out loud. I don’t follow them religiously, but if I happen upon one that interests me I may settle into a comfy chair. My husband despises the “Housewives of…” saga. He’ll stomach a lot, but not tales of bitchy women. I’m beginning to wonder if that show is giving us real housewives a bad rep. I mean are we getting a bad rap? Of the many, and there are now quite a few, Bethenny Frankel-Hopy wins my vote for “most real.” This is totally apparent on her spin-off, “Bethenny gettin’ married?”   “What you see is what you get!”, a New Yorker who doesn’t give a “…” what people think. Bethenny lives her life her way, takes her lumps, and gets back in the fray. What I especially like about her own show is that it exposes an endearing side. Proof? Jason, her new husband, and his parents are the most loveable, normal people. And they love Bethenny to pieces! They “get” who she is under all the sarcasm, a woman scarred by selfish parents, who made it to the big league with her talent for cooking. Having lived and worked in New York, and having friends who are natives, I know they are people with big hearts willing to embrace you with oversized hugs…if you let them. So let them.

The bewitching hour has arrived, prepping for dinner. So adios, muchachas y muchachos…

until we meet again…hugmamma

in the spotlight

Did we miss out on something as children? The need to talk or be seen are phenomena which have overtaken our lives. On its face, blogging and reality shows seem like the highest form of narcissism. Why our need to be heard, to be seen? Author Lisa Sabin-Wilson says it best in “WordPress For Dummies.” Blogging is “…a means of expression.” I’d say the same might be true of reality shows.

I was very fortunate to accompany my husband on a recent business trip to Venice. Attending several scheduled events, I was able to watch the President and CEO of the company speak before large assemblies of people. What a performer! Of Norwegian descent and striking at 6’4″, his appearance alone commanded one’s attention. Speaking in accented English, smiles interspersed to lighten the mood, one couldn’t help but be charmed. He seemed unrehearsed, yet he spewed forth facts about the business which boggled my layperson’s mind. Most appealing was his humility in sharing the stage with employees recognized for their longevity with the company, serving in the least skilled to the highest skilled positions. Don’t you just love a boss who doesn’t take all the credit, and hog the limelight? (If I think really hard, I might have had one or two in my corporate career. Hmmm…thinking… thinking. Still thinking.)  And this is a man who rubs elbows with corporate giants, heads of state, European royalty and ambassadors.

In a million years I could not walk about a stage, owning it. I did try in my middle and high school years. In the ’60″s I was the dancing “queen”, doing the “mash-potato” all over campus. I harmonized in an all girls, Beatles look-a-like group; captained the cheer-leading squad; and choreographed theatrical school shows. When I wasn’t entertaining the masses, I was still a “cut-up” before family and friends, mostly friends.

In my own family I am still the “ham.” My daughter’s favorite description of my antics is that I’m “goofy”, loveable, but goofy nonetheless. I’m sure my in-laws would agree. But I pride myself in bringing humor to their lives. Without me my husband’s life would be pretty quiet. I bring a little luster to his life, according to my daughter and mother-in-law.

On the other hand, it’s my husband and daughter who work in front of people all the time. He makes regular speeches in meetings and public forums.  My daughter dances for a living. How much more public can she get? Talk about getting “butterflies” in one’s stomach. They would consume me before I ever made an entrance! Yikes!

So I blog. I blog to express myself as a writer. Therein lies my passion, putting thoughts into words. I will never have “writer’s block”. In fact I sometimes wish the ideas would cease flowing. They rush tumbling over one another trying to be heard. It’s as if I’m sitting encircled by little children, raised hands in my face, clamoring for attention. Calling upon one who begins to speak, only to be interrupted by others too impatient to wait. I have no choice but to give voice to them, these thoughts that are restless, wanting out of my head.

I think we all have a hint of Narcissus in us. A youth who in Greek mythology “fell in love with his own reflection in a pool and was transformed into the narcissus flower.” Did you know that it has a beautifully, pungent fragrance? Perhaps we’re all reincarnations of this heavenly blossom.

are you? I am…hugmamma.