Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chequespierre's a calling

Remember back when you were in high school and you got assigned to read your first Shakespeare play? How you read a page and said "What the fuck language is this written in?" And how you plowed through the first couple of pages and then went and begged your mom to take you to the bookstore so you could buy the Cliff Notes? While in the meantime, Mom was bragging to all her friends about how you were 'devouring' Macbeth and couldn't wait to start Hamlet? Um, yeah.

Then you had to read the freaking play out loud during English class, and the teacher made you act the parts, which was mortifying. Plus they assigned some of the boy parts to the girls, and the girl parts to the boys. What was that about?

There was always a kid in your class that understood the whole play and loved Shakespeare and that was the kid you hated more than anyone else because who the hell loves Shakespeare when you're 14? But then your mom goes to the library and gets you the video of Romeo and Juliet and you see first hand what you're reading and get lost in the story and all of a sudden it all makes sense. The language gets easier to understand, the cadence falls into place, and you see why people have been reading Shakespeare for a bazillion years.

For me, it was going to see A Midsummer Night's Dream every freaking spring that I was in high school. The first time we got on the school bus to get to the Shrine Auditorium with every other high school in Los Angeles, I was sure I would absolutely hate the experience of watching Shakespeare come to life. But I didn't. It was exciting and interesting and.... dare I say it, funny. Even though I never actually read that particular play, I learned to tolerate the yearly Shakespeare assignment. When Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet came out in the theatre, I can remember watching it and crying at the end. Later, I saw both The Tempest and The Taming of the Shrew performed on stage and they both made sense. I actually understood each of the plays. It was quite an awakening for me, knowing that I could sit through Shakespeare's tragedies as well as the comedies and enjoy them. Thus began a lifelong love of Shakespeare. Try and explain that to your kids!

Both of my kids are reading Shakespeare for the first time. The Boy just finished reading Julias Caesar and the Girl is slogging through Romeo and Juliet. Julias Caesar is not a difficult play to get through, and the Boy isn't loving it by any means, but he's seemingly interested enough to have finished reading it in about a week. Now he's starting to write a paper on the play, which should be interesting to read.

The Girl is having a lot of trouble with Romeo and Juliet. Because she has language based learning disabilities, this is a very difficult task for her. I know she will like it once she gets into it, but her teacher...Oy, her teacher isn't having them read the play out loud. They have to read it silently, which is the kiss of death for her. She's trying, but this isn't ever going to be anything she can excell in. Which means I'm off to the library to get the movie out for us to watch together. Hopefully, once she sees the film, the story will come alive and she'll be more used to the language and the cadence of speech. Hopefully. Because the vocabulary is going to kill her.

I bid you farewall.

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Crazy comes to town

My little city has some totally bizarre politics. It makes for an enjoyable time getting all hot and bothered about the high school and the fire department and all the other little controversies that keep us citizens up in arms. But now we have a new problem that's going to be more fun than a barrel of monkeys to watch as it unfolds.

Background information you need to follow along. We have a small lake right in the middle of our fair city. This lake has a public beach and is a great hangout for kids and families to cool off during the heatwave we call summer. The beach isn't huge, but there is a bathhouse, a dock, and a decent roped off area where you can swim with hot life guards watching over you. The rest of the lake is surrounded by manses housing the very wealthy and the fabulously rich. This is a great area to live in, especially if you don't mind paying multi-millions of dollars for waterfront property.

Note the "tiny" home in the background.

One person bought a property right next door to the public beach. This homeowner is not necessarily the brightest bulb on the tree on a good day. He has not had many good days recently. Homeowner has been feuding with the city for several years over his property. If all started innocently enough in his little mind. He decided that it would be OK to take a snowmobile out onto the lake in the winter. It was NOT okay at all, and get him in a fair amount of trouble with his neighbors and the city. Snowmobiling is not something we do in our city. Nor is it allowed on the lake. Noise pollution or something. But homeowner decided that since he owned part of the lake shore, he could do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. Not endearing at all.

Next, on homeowners property is a retaining wall that borders the beach. The city ordered him to repair the wall, and he refused because he's a sulky sue. The city offered to foot the bill, but he would not allow the wall to be repaired. This fight has been ongoing through two hot summers and the wall is not repaired, which caused part of the beach to be closed down, restricting the public access. So not a popular move on homeowners part.

In the meantime, homeowners house burnt down. Yup, he doesn't even live on his property. He's fighting with the insurance company, there are 12 liens on the property including those from the IRS for back taxes, and he is unable to rebuild, nor does he want to.

See that green fencing? That's where the disputed property is located.

So, recapping, we have one burnt home, one broken retaining wall, one property that the homeowner wants to sell for 4.5 million dollars (with the unrepairable house), and one nutty homeowner. The city offered to purchase his property for 2.5 million, but he refused to sell to them. Oh yeah, he's nuts. He wants much much more money for a crispy burnt shell. He also hates the Mayor (and he sure isn't alone there) and refuses to deal with the city government, stating that they won't deal with him honestly. OK.

Then homeowner comes up with what I consider a hilariously funny but brilliant plan. He wants to build low income housing under 40B on his property. I imagine that the crazy went wild when the neighbors read that proposal. You know, NIMBY gone wild! But I think it's brilliant. What could be better than putting in 40 or so units of subsidized housing right on the lake. Hey, I'm there! I'd kill to live on the lake. It's beautiful there.

Newsflash! The Mayor announces this week that he's going to take over the property by eminent domain. Yikes! This raises a whole bunch of interesting questions. Homeowner does not have a problem with the takeover. He just wants his asking price for the property. The Mayor wants to pay only 2.5 million and not a penny more, and by taking the property, he can make his deal. This is driving the small but thriving conspiracy theorist community nuts. They are now all screaming about how the Mayor can take any one's property any time. Apparently they're not up on the law. It's always the same conservative rhetoric by the same rampaging Pat Robertson supporters. Mostly we ignore them.

So that's where we are right now. Every day brings new elements of crazy to the controversy that has been raging for the past 2 years. And people claim life in the 'burbs is boring. Maybe in their 'burb, but not in mine!

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Monday, February 26, 2007

When did Oprah take over the world?

My best quip, when asked what I want to be when I grow up is, "I want to be Empress of the Universe." But I have come to realize that this job is already filled... by Oprah. That freaking woman is everywhere and I am sick of it. Do you hear me? Sick to death of looking at her self-satisfied face with her baggy-ass eyes and her 2" thick fake eyelashes. I'm tired of her telling me how to follow "The Secret" in order to improve myself and my life. I'm nauseated by her constant exploitation of current events. I'm sickened by her callous lack of privacy in order to get the scoop on something. And most of all, I'm just pissed as hell about her exclusivity, i.e., "We're the ONLY show to get this interview, use this theatre, taste this food, blah blah blah."

We get it, Oprah. You own the world. Now how about a bit of humility. You keep telling us about how poor you were as a child, a victim of abuse, a teenage mother, etc. But why haven't those experiences stuck with you? Now you're all about luxury and money and spoiled brat behavior. You're not even human anymore. You used to be all about the real problems of real people. Now you're all about the stars you know, the fabulous parties you attend and throw, the vacation spots you frequent, and your freaking houses. We all know you're richer than us. Why do you have to rub it in? Why don't you remember that $90 pajama pants are beyond the reach of most people.

And I've got to ask. How come so many of your best best friends are Scientologists? Are you part of the Martian Mob yourself? You sure are close to way too many of the freakaziods. I find that weird, Opie. What could you possibly have in common with the Thetan seekers? Or is that what "The Secret" really is about?

Another thing. Have you figured out how racist you tend to be? I'm just sayin'. If I were a person that knew nothing about the USA and judged it's racial makeup based upon your show, I'd assume that nobody is Asian, Latino, Jewish, or any minority other than black. I'd also assume the makeup of the USA was about 75% black and whites in general were the minority.

I'm tired of you promoting your ideas and your financial excesses as if it's more urgent and important than anything else. Great that you founded a school in South Africa. Dubious that this school, the way you created it, is the best thing for these girls. What's with the uniforms in every freaking color? Why do these girls need to go from poverty to luxury? Isn't there a happy medium? Was wearing 6 carat diamonds in each ear really a great idea in Africa, home of the blood diamonds? Um...

Oprah, it isn't all about you. You're no more important than anyone else on this earth. That you practice philanthropy is exciting. But the way you do it, and the racist overtones of your philanthropy concerns me greatly. I probably would feel better if you took off those damn earrings and donated them to Project Bread so that the poor, regardless of race, could eat in your own country. Until then, I don't think it's a great idea to push your agenda on us as being the end all and be all of greatness.

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Oscar wrapup

The Departed? Meh. I liked it. Didn't love it. Could not STAND the bad accents, especially Jack Nicholson. He sucked, accentwise. And he played himself. Not a bit stretch. It was OK, but it wasn't fabulous. Me, I'm way more partial to films like Babel, which I thought got rooked. Babel was the better film. Maybe it was too smart for Hollywood. Loved it. But the best picture is The Departed. Because they don't care about MY opinion.

Loved Helen Mirren. She looked beautiful, great dress, wonderful speech, adoring husband. Can't go wrong with that combo. A well deserved Best Actress award.

Thrilled beyond belief that Martin Scorsese finally won Best Director. It's about freaking time! Even with his catepillar eyebrows, his speech was good and I'm really happy that he finally got out of his slump. No more Susan Lucci jokes for him!

Forest Whittaker got a deserved Best Actor nod. Love him. His wife is adorable.

Thought Best Supporting Actress should have gone to Babel's Adriana Barraza who was brilliant. BRILLIANT. Jennifer Hudson... meh.

Also thrilled that Alan Arkin got best supporting actor for Little Miss Sunshine. Loved that movie. He was great, even if his role was small and he spent much of it in the trunk of the van.

Al Gore wins an Oscar for Best Documentary. Woot! Can life get better than that? You gotta wonder what the Shrub is thinking, since you know, there is no such thing as global warming. Moronsky!

Dreamgirls gets shut out of the best music written for a film. They had 3 different nominations and Melissa Etheridge wins for Cars. Heh. Love that. Just LOVE IT. And Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson has your talent. You're one dimensional and flat. Boring!

Pirates wins visual effects. I'm happy about that. I didn't think the movie was fabulous, but the special effects were stunning. Especially the water wheel. Stunning!

Little Miss Sunshine won original screenplay. Totally worth it. If you haven't seen it, Netflix it right now.

Clothing commentary: nobody I saw was frightening, but again with the pale colors on pale skin. Not a great look, ladies. Didn't get the Anne Hathaway tuxedo dress. But it wasn't offensive. Just weird.

JLo, Cleopatra wants her dress back. Ugh. That was a monstrosity. Hidjis. What was she thinking? I wonder if her husband the cadaver liked it.

Jennifer Hudson needs more double stick tape. She was fabulous, but you could stop staring at her right boob, which was close to breaking free of her red dress!

And speaking of a red dress, Nicole Kidman with that Bow? What was that monstrosity? And can someone please order her a meal?

Jack Nicholson as a baldy? Scary! Heard he was working on a film where he plays a cancer patient. Some very hot actors in bow ties. Hugh Jackman...yum.

Ellen...meh. Not hysterical. She's better on her show. The best bit was when she was talking to Clint Eastwood and had Steven Spielberg take their photo together. But the interperative dancer/shadow people. BRILLIANT. Loved them.

All in all, a decent Oscar show. Not enough red carpet for my taste, but I'll get my fill at Go Fug Yourself.


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Sunday, February 25, 2007

2007 Oscar Picks

This is the first year in a very long time that I've seen almost every film nominated. I'm usually clueless when it comes to half the movies out during the year, but with both Netflix and that great Blockbuster deal, I'm pretty much caught up. The Boy and I have both made our picks for tonight's show. I'm looking forward to the Oscars in a way I haven't in a long time. I love Ellen Degeneres. She keeps it clean but very fresh and funny, and if she isn't completely nervous, she's going be be great. Plus...no freaking Beyonce! Last year was Beyonce overkill, and no offense, but I can't stand her. So overblown.

My pick for Best Picture is way down at the bottom. I've struggled with this one, but I think I made the right choice. I don't think that the Best Director is also going to win the Best Picture award. The academy likes to split them up, according to the buzz.

I'm also psyched that there is some live blogging on at Go Fug Yourself, which has got to be hilarious. I'm planning on watching and maybe doing some commentary on particularly horrid outfits. Because honestly, isn't that the best part of the Oscars?

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland” (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Alan Arkin in “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Helen Mirren in “The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Adriana Barraza in “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)

Best animated feature film of the year
“Cars” (Buena Vista) John Lasseter

Achievement in art direction
“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse)
Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero
Set Decoration: Pilar Revuelta

Achievement in cinematography
“Children of Men” (Universal) Emmanuel Lubezki

Achievement in costume design
“Marie Antoinette” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Milena Canonero

Achievement in directing
“The Departed” (Warner Bros.) Martin Scorsese

Best documentary feature
“An Inconvenient Truth” (Paramount Classics and Participant Productions)
A Lawrence Bender/Laurie David Production
Davis Guggenheim

Best documentary short subject
No opinion, didn't see any

Achievement in film editing
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise

Best foreign language film of the year
“Pan’s Labyrinth” A Tequila Gang/Esperanto Filmoj/Estudios Picasso Production Mexico

Achievement in makeup
“Apocalypto” (Buena Vista) Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Gustavo Santaolalla

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

“Love You I Do” from “Dreamgirls”
(DreamWorks and Paramount)
Music by Henry Krieger
Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Best motion picture of the year
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
An Anonymous Content/Zeta Film/Central Films Production
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik and Steve Golin, Producers

Best animated short film
No Opinion, didn's see any

Best live action short film
No opinion, didn't see any

Achievement in sound editing
“Flags of Our Fathers” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by Paramount)
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Achievement in sound mixing
“Flags of Our Fathers” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by Paramount)
John Reitz, Dave Campbell, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin

Achievement in visual effects
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (Buena Vista)
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall

Adapted screenplay
Can't decide between these two:

“The Departed” (Warner Bros.
Screenplay by William Monahan

“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Written by Guillermo Arriaga

So, what are your picks? What did I get dead wrong? What's the inside scoop where you live?

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Real life with plenty of foibles

Things at Chez Mommy'sBlogging are not going exactly swimmingly. They aren't horrible, considering that the kids were on vacation all week and spent an inordinate amount of time arguing over who got to use the computer and who got to watch what movie when, but that's pretty much the normal stuff that happens when you have more than one child with more than one opinion. And boy, do I!

One of the issues is the big old ugly one that constantly surrounds us: finances. As in, we don't have any. This was an extremely tight month, tighter than usual due to some big expenses I had to make for those essentials like, oh, heat. Because you know, it's freaking cold in New England in the winter. So we had a budget that was down a couple hundred bucks from normal, and that means we had to tighten our already girdlesque belts yet another notch. So not fun. Money ran totally out before the 15th, and we've been existing on absolutely nothing for a couple of weeks now. Fun for the whole family! Plus, food, well let us just say that even in our leanest months, it hasn't been this sad in a very long time. The pantry is bare and we're counting the days till the $ is deposited and we can eat again. Oh, we have food. Nothing good, but we have enough for me to make a big pot of "clean the refrigerator" soup tonight for dinner.
But the biggest financial hit is the Boy. That child inhales food. It is like living with a bunch of binge eating roomates or something. You put something down for a second, and it's gone. GONE. Yesterday I got a free sample of some granola-esque bars in the mail. We put it on the shelf, the Girl said something like "Oh goody, I can have these for breakfast in the morning when we go back to school." and we all sort of forgot about them. Except this afternoon when I wanted to eat one, and the entire box was gone. GONE. He ate it. The whole box. Plus he polished off all the bread, milk, and cereal. The child obviously has a hollow leg. He just eats non-stop and stays thin. I hate him.

So later this evening I'm sitting at my desk doing paperwork and I am hungry. Really hungry. But there is nothing to eat that doesn't involve cooking or baking, and I was not in the mood. When I am hungry, I get cold. I don't know why, something weird about my metabolism, but I was freezing cold and so wanted to eat something and I must have been looking really pained because the Boy felt so guilty for eating everything that he actually volunteered to make scones. I love scones. So at least there is something edible for a bit, but I bet when I get back from my event tomorrow, they will be gone. I will have to hide them in order to eat one. I hate that!

So finances suck. Nothing new there. Also my house is a sty. We have a new Home Health Aide and she is terrible. I swear it, the house was cleaner when she got there than when she left. But I have to at least give her a trial because it's hard to find people who want to do this job and who have a car. This one left so much of a mess that it's going to take her twice as much time to clean next week. I hate having to train cleaners on how to do things. I just want the house clean. She left the kitchen literally dirty. I had to spend an hour cleaning it. She didn't move one thing on the counter. Oy!

Because the kids are home 24/7 this week, it looks like their backpacks exploded. The Girl has a way of pulling out everything she owns and then leaving it where it falls. This week alone I've collected 5 different bottles of nail polish left around the house. She only has two hands and two feet! She's also doing various art projects, so there is fleece and paints and markers left out as well.

Meanwhile, we've been saving up our Netflix flaps for the next time Blockbuster offers free rentals with the Netflix flap. We had 12. We got 8 movies. We've seen most of the Oscar nominated films (I'm hoping for Babel to win Best Picture) as well as a few others. We are totally caught up on our movie watching and then some. Movies I loved are Elizabethtown, Babel, Little Miss Sunshine and For Your Consideration. Movies I liked a lot but couldn't stand the fake Boston accents: The Departed. Great movie. HORRIBLE accents except for Walberg and Damon. I wanted to shoot Jack Nicholson every time he opened his mouth. Ugh. Movies I slept through part of: Monster House and Flyboys. And those were the movies I can remember seeing. We saw more, but I've blanked out on what they were.

Because we spent the entire vacation staring at screens, or so it seemed, nothing got done that needed to get done. Oh, we got a new railing installed on the basement stairs, and a new exhaust fan in the kitchen. Big whup! But I had plans for some paint and paper work in the bright yellow bathroom upstairs, and we did nothing.

Plus, I spent much of yesterday panicking because it's almost March and we have no summer plans except to send a certain someone to summer school to make up the math class that he's blowing because of a refusal to do his homework properly. Because, why SHOULD he show his work? He doesn't have to in order to get the right answer so it's stupid to ask him to. Rinse and repeat.

Tomorrow I have an event and I have nothing to wear. This is because what I DO have to wear I can't find. It's just among the missing, my wine colored sweater with the black trim. I can't locate it and it's what I need in order to look normal. I'm screwed. I don't have tights to wear with a skirt and it's too cold to wear shoes anyhow. Maybe I'll just go nekkid?

And errands. I have so many errands tomorrow. I am a very lucky woman.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Police Traffic Details...what a waste of money

Massachusetts is the only freaking state in the USA that mandates police officers as traffic detail overseers. It is insane, people. Insane. Today I was going over the bridge that shut down the riverside line on the T. There were absolutely NO construction workers out at 11 am, but there were orange cones and not one, but two policemen standing around looking at the dust in the air. They had nothing to do, no traffic to oversee, no construction workers to protect, and yet we're paying them overtime detail pay, which I believe is time and a half, but in this ridiculous state could very well be double time. For what?

Every other state hires traffic detail from the general population. They pay nowhere near what we pay for our traffic details. And yet this has not changed in forever. Again, WHY? What makes the citizens of the Commonwealth believe that they are safer when Officer Schmuckface with his venti cuppa-Joe is chatting up the construction workers? They don't do a damn thing. I don't think I've ever even seen a popo pick up his arm and motion the traffic. They just stand there. So why are we paying these schlubs?

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Because life isn't busy enough

OK, I'm nowhere near as busy as most of you who have young kids and jobs and all sorts of household responsibilities. But I'm busy for me, and there are days when I get only half the items on my list actually done. I hate that. I used to be the Queen of Organization. My house used to be spotless. I used to wear clothing that was not, shall we say, 2 sizes too big and older than my kids. But lordy, that is so my life these days. I'm sure not sad about it. I love the way my life is developing as I turn older and more settled and satisfied. I have stopped wanting to be hip and thin and beautiful and smart. All I want now is healthy, awake, and alert. That can be a tall order some days!

But one thing that is keeping me very happy is my latest gig. I think anyone that reads here for a while knows how I feel about food. I love food. I love to eat it, I love to read about, it love to share it, I even love to cook it. And now I get to love to write about it daily on Forks.ca, a sister blog to my regular holiday blogging gig, Greetings.ca. What's great about this new gig, at least for me, is that so much of my favorite cooking is holiday based, and now I get to blog about the holidays AND blog about the recipes. How excellent is that?

The first holiday I've gotten to blog about at both places is Purim. Purim is a Jewish holiday that I'll be writing about here sometime this weekend, so stay tuned. But I finally get to share my favorite hamentaschen recipe, and what I include in my mishloach manot (gift baskets). What a gift for me!

Mostly I'll be writing about baking, because that's my area of expertise. Oh yeah, I cook every freaking night, but I hardly ever use a recipe. It's so rare for me to know how to explain how I cook things that I wouldn't be the best recipe writer. I never do things the same way twice! That's what makes fun in the kitchen for me, being inventive. And it must work because not only do my kids like my cooking (as much as the Girl likes any food, which isn't that much), but their friends literally beg to stay for dinner. A friend the Girl had here tonight told me right in front of her mom that I was a much better cook than her mom. I'd love to hear the conversation they had on the ride home!

Anyhow, check out the new blog and, I know this is hard to believe, there is one more in the works. A year ago I just wanted to earn a bit blogging. Right now, I feel like I'm finally reaching my goal, and it feels great!

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

LOST Discussion Thursday

So ABC advertises that "three questions will be answered." They did answer a few things, but nothing I really wanted to know about. I thinkeither the writers start giving us answers or more and more of the audience is going to just disappear. The show is lagging and they need
to boost it up to recapture the ratings.

The more I watch this show the more confusing it gets. Nothing ever gets resolved. Plus, some of it is just so predictable now. The opening scene, where Jack is on a beach talking to a kid who speaks Thai. The second he opens his mouth I say to my kids, "Jack isn't the kind of guy to be on Phuket for months living in a shack", but yep, thats where he was and what he was doing. WHY? He's already a doctor, he doesn't have a preverted sex life, and he doesn't do drugs.
Why else would anyone be in Phuket for months at a time? Makes no sense to me.

These are the only tidbits to be 'resolved' and literally not a one of them is important to the story:

1. Do they live on the same island that the cages are on?

A: They kept reiterating this one over and over. They live on a different island. (That might have been news to the Losties, but the aerial view showing the Others' village on the main island gave that away months ago.)

2. What happened to the kidnapped tailies? The children? Why were they taken? (That wasn't much of an answer. Cindy seemed too confused or nervous to reveal much of anything. So I presume all of the adults in Cindy's group were taken from the Tailies? That scene still didn't tell us much of anything. )

A: Cindy and the children are still alive. They were taken to give them a better life.

3. What do Jack's tattoos say/mean?

A: He's a leader, blah, blah, blah. He walks amoung us, but is not one of us. Who cares what Jack's Party of 5 tattoos mean? That is certainly not one of the deepest mysteries on Lost that fans have been debating the last couple years.

And oh, we did learn that Ethan was a surgeon before he was killed. Which makes me wonder just why he was trying to get Claire. Did he want to do a C-section and remove her baby and then send her back to the Big Island?

I was extremely disappointed with this episode. Really not much happened. We got to see some more of the Others, and the ones they took from the tailies. Jack struck another deal with Ben. Isabel the "sheriff" was introduced. She seems to be a real baddass. I have a feeling she is going to stir up some trouble in future episodes. Juliet was marked. And that's about it.

Using Cindy was a waste of time, unless she was going to be given more then 2 lines her appearance didn't answer anything. Since Cindy and the kids have been gone for too long for anyone to be interested in them.

Two weeks in a row of bad episodes! I'll continue to watch, probably til the end, partly b/c this is the only show of this kind that I watch but I feel every time I read from people associated with the show how the questions are going to be answered that they are lying to us.

And could they stop adding friggin new characters!!!

Tattoos and Brands

R.E. Juliette's brand. Looks like the Symbol of Chaos to me;


Why was Juliette branded (marked) after being saved from execution? Why do a bunch of murderous psychopaths care if she killed one of their own?

What is the purpose of branding Juliette? Is this a way of ensuring that everyone knows she is now 'tainted'? I would suggest that it is a "defining" mark that is given to the "Others", if they are deemed undesirable. (Assuming the "mark" is referencing the same thing as used by the Others and the lady with the gift).

Obviously, Jack was treated as if he had the plague by the Thai when it was discovered he had the tattoo/mark. So maybe it is not something that is really desired. Or maybe it is a tribal tattoo and not for white guys on vacation. I'm wondering if that little packet she put in her
purse, was a bribe from someone who didn't want to be labelled.

What is the deal with Jack's tattoo? Why did she warn him there would be consequences? Why did her brother and friends beat him up? Jack seemed to agree there would be consciences but why? Why was the tattoo so forbidden?

I recall a Tales from the Crypt episode where a tattoo artist would print what they saw within the person. Is that what she was doing? Why be so secretive about it?

The only time I felt any understanding of this episode was when Jack says"Are you serious?" to the Stewardess. For once he is expressing confusion over the ways of the others. They promise us answers but we don't get them. The only thing answered tonight was where Jack got his tattoos.

At any rate, there appears to be consequences the Thai woman promised, as Jack can attest to
by having to use his face to block the barrage of punches that came as a result. However, I noted Juliet, once freed by Ben, and given the mark, was not exactly ostracised by the others. But can she come back home once she has been marked?


Golly, who would have thought that Karl, the guy who knows everything about the Others and could provide all kinda info to the Losties, would disappear before he has a chance to reveal any of this info? Do you think he will be back?

At least they could have gotten rid of him by having Hurley's Eagle or something kill him off, instead of (again) having the Losties behave like complete idiots and LET HIM GO.

Well at least this time Kate asked a decent question: Where's home? That's a first... Damn near fell off my chair.


Somebody please come up with a theory to explain Cindy's remark that they were there to watch. I don't have any ideas worth sharing. Was it that they were there to watch Juliette's 'trial'? That scene was weird, kind of like a bunch of tourists out on a school fieldtrip or something. Why would children be taken to watch a trial? And Cindy... how did someone who was not an Other get integrated so quickly as an other? At first I thought perhaps she had seen a different side of the others then Jack. She was taken early on and perhaps she never saw what these people do for a living. But then I was thinking how Jack was being kept in this primitive cave. I mean wouldn't any of them thought it bizarre he was being kept in a cage. And what was with all those people coming to the working island to watch all dress up like tourists. I feel being cheated again. Never mind the kid asking about Anna Lucia. Like she had them for months and he formed at attachment? I don't think so.

Next week

Looks like Sun and Jin come back from their circumnavigation of the island, and Sayid is with them. Now maybe we can get on with rescuing Jack. And on the way, maybe learn some stuff we REALLY want to know about.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hormones totally suck in middle age

Remember last month, when I was shocked into incoherence by the sudden appearance of that old windbag "Aunt Flo" after a year of peace and quiet? What a joke the bitch played on me, huh? Well, guess who is back, exactly 30 days from her last appearance? That freaking hag. I hate her. I thought, nay, I was SURE I would never see her again. I went a full year without so much as a peep from her, because that's what the medical community call Menopause. But the keyword seems to be Pause, because, at least in my case, it has not be MenoGone4Ever. Oh no, that would be too easy. Nothing ever goes easily for me.

I should have known she was coming. I had hints. But I ignored them because I'm never ever regular. I never have been. That's the extra special part about PCOS... you never know when Aunt Flo is going to knock on your uterus for a nice dusting and cleaning. For years, and I mean my entire womanly life, I've been irregular except when I'm on BCP. And even with the BCP, I'm never quite regular. Close, but never the same 28-32 day cycle. Nope. Never.

But now, at the grand old age of 54, my body has discovered that regular periods might just be the way to go. Is that horrifying or what? Which leads me to some really interesting questions.

Like, could I get pregnant again? Heck, I skipped the last 15 years fertility wise, so I must have plenty of those pathetically dried up eggs left, right? Wouldn't THAT be a kick! Because I have so much energy for infancy.

Is this because I've lost so much weight? I'm below my pre-pregnancy weight now, and although I still have much weight to go, I have to wonder if this weight might be the target weight for the fertility button to go off in my battered old body.

(Let me interrupt to report that the Girl has crawled, yes C R A W L E D, from the living room to the kitchen, where she has collapsed on the floor in exhaustion because there is a large sink of dishes awaiting her, and one cannot possibly do dishes without much drama, can one?)

Now, back to me. Because who is important here? That's right, bucko. Me.

Does this mean that I have to start perimenopause counting all over again, too? Because if I'm getting regular periods, then that means I'm no longer in either menopause or perimenopause. And if that doesn't suck lemons, I don't know what does.

Did you know that John Travolta and Oprah Winfrey, who I both loathe, are each a year younger than I am. No gray hair on those heads. And why do I think that Oprah has some special magic potion person who gets her periods for her?

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Because we have WAY too much time on our hands

The Boy and I were looking at his Fantasy Baseball teams tonight. Yes, teams. As in plural. Like 4 to start, with plans to build 8 this season. Fantasy sports is his life online. I blog, he spends way too much time building the perfect team. Teams that ultimately come in 11th or 12th in the league but who's counting? Um...

Anyhow, while were were looking through all the opposing teams we came up with a great contest, one I'd like all Red Sox fans to join in on. There are two main questions:

Which player will injured first?

Nomar Garciaparra
J.D. Drew

Which player's mother will get sick first, meaning the player has to miss the All Star Game?

Manny Ramirez
Pedro Martinez

Please leave your bets in the comments.


Winners of the first contest will either win a Drew or Garciaparra baseball card, depending on which one drops first.

Winners of the second contest will either get a Ramirez or Martinez baseball card, depending upon which mother ends up in the hospital with a 'mysterious and unconfirmed illness'.

Baseball cards courtesy of the Boy.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

the first step is admitting you have a problem

Hello, thank you all for coming to this "Go Fish" intervention . This is your intervention leader, The Boy. We have all come here today to help my mom with an addiction of sorts. For you see, my beloved mother, has a serious and sometimes fatal addiction to the card game "Go Fish". "How is this fatal?" is what you are probably all thinking. I will now attempt to answer this question with a short and concise statement, "IF SHE DOESN'T STOP WITH THIS RIDICULOUS ADDICTION TO THIS STUPID 4 YEAR-OLD APPROPRIATE GAME, i'M GONNA BLOW HER FRICKEN BRAINS OUT!!!!!!!!!

Now that I have that out of my system, I would like to get more in-depth with this serious problem. For as long as I can remember, my mom has always had a problem with "go fish". Dating back to my days as a toddler, she has always been quite, what's the word? OBSESSED with this obnoxious game. I never used to mind this addiction as a child, but now that I've gotten older, and more mature with each passing year, I've begun to realize what a terrible disease my poor mother has. My mother is a "fishaholic". She refuses to play, or even consider playing any other game than her dear "fish". To make things worse, the second I suggest any other game, she must (this is no joke) in her best 2 year old voice, scream "fish", "fish", in the most obnoxious, madness inducing voice you have ever had the displeasure of hearing. Oh how I have grown to hate this mediocre and downright childish game. I have suggested grown up games, such as scrabble, I'm very proud to say I can beat my adult mother who has a PHD from harvard at a game as sophisticated as scrabble. I've also suggested trivial pursuit, which I can also beat her at. But, as they say, resistance is futile (for she is the one who owns the house, the car, the computer, the TV, and so on, and so forth). So you see, she is utterly and completely addicted to "go fish". I don't know what to do with her anymore. I am at my wits end about this. I have even thought about applying to Dr. Phil, about this, but then I remember how much I hate that giant embaressment of a human being (my hatred for Dr. Phil is a whole other story that I might tell you about at a better time). As for now, I am going to try and help her through this rough time in her life, and hopefully she will come out a much better (and much less obnoxious) person.

Please, If you have any suggestions, feel free to give me them in the form of a comment on this post.


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Enough with the celebrities!

I'm totally and completely celeb-ed out. Whatever the latest celebrity hijinks, I'm just not all that interested. There are so many other interesting things to talk about. Like my eyebrows. And my battered shoulder. And how school vacation sucks when it's a wind chill factor of -10. Oh, and how I lost my freaking market card somewhere in this house and cannot find it anywhere!

You know, like life. It's going fast and I'm desperately trying to tread water. For example, my medications. Just let me rant about the stupidity of my pharmacy for a moment. Because it's a hobby of mine, getting pissed off at pharmacists. The particular pharmacy I use for my rather unusual heart medications is in a very large hospital. I use it because they always have my medications on hand, and the meds are free there. I don't have to pay a copay, which saves me precious pennies. Yes, it's inconvenient, but money saved is money saved.

However, and this is a big one, in order to get your meds, you have to pre-order them over the phone 48 hours in advance. Yes, you have to be organized, and you have to figure out what 48 hours later is going to be, and you have to figure it out so that you don't run out of meds. Ahem.
Today was the day to pick up my meds. I got to the hospital in plenty of time, around early afternoon. My usual routine is to drop a kid off at the hospital door, drive around the block, which can take anywhere up to a half hour depending on the traffic, and then pick said kid up at the front. This enables me to not park the car, which is ridiculously expensive. It always works just fine. But today....

Well, today it didn't work so well. I dropped the Boy off with my hospital card after noting that the usual valet parking buzzards weren't handing around. Unusual! Boy walks up to automatic doors, which do not open. Hmmmm, odd. He pushed the handicapped button, but doors remain shut. The hospital is closed. What the?

But there is another entrance, and hospitals do not close ever, right? I dropped him off at the other entrance, explaining how to get from this entrance lobby across the Pike to another entrance Lobby, and from there to the pharmacy. He's cool, he knows his way. Because the traffic was so light, I just left the car parked right in front and the valet buzzards didn't even yell at me. Very unusual!

The Boy comes out empty handed. The pharmacy is closed. Closed on a Monday! Yes, it's a holiday, but since when do pharmacies close on holidays, and how come they didn't mention this tidbit when I left my prescription info? Paul Levy, where are you when I need you?

So no meds. Not great. I'm totally out but I'll survive for one night and I'll just get the meds in the morning.

Now, onto my eyebrows. As I age not so gracefully, my eyebrown have taken on certain characteristics that I am not happy about. They are turning rather gray. OK, this matches my hair, so I'm not shocked by the lack of color. But they are getting those old man long unruly Andy Rooney hairs. And those have got to go. They are disgusting and ugly and I will not allow them to take up residence on my face. Nope, they are gone.

I had my beautician pluck my eyebrows. You know her as The Girl. She likes to do things like this for me, but every hair she plucks out has to be a discussion item. She likes to discourse on the thickness and length of these monstrosities. This is not a conversation I want to have. I just want them gone. But her enthusiasm for the task is daunting. She enjoys this way too much. I believe I might be gossip fodder for her friends later on. Although, she did a great job and my eyebrows are beautifully shaped. I think I'll keep her!

The Boy has an appointment on Tuesday at the orthodontist to make his molds. He is so not happy about getting braces. But he's so pretty, I would love his teeth to be perfect. Don't tell him I said so, though.

And speaking of the Boy, he is threatening to post her about my fetish for all games of Go Fish. It should be hilarious if he ever gets around to it.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Tom, what were you thinking?

I'm about the last person on earth to ever comment negatively on babies born out of wedlock. Ahem. I'm a huge supporter of both women who choose to raise children on their own, known as Single Mothers by Choice, and by those parents who are single by circumstance. Some of the best parents I know are single, and as one who has raised my children by myself and done a damn good job, if I do say so myself, I think that any person who is prepared and committed to raising children on their own should be able to do so without public condemnations.

With that caveat firmly pushed to the side, I read tonight that Tom Brady and Bridget Moynahan are expecting a baby. Mazel Tov. Um, except, they split up months ago. And Moynahan is only 3 months pregnant. Logistically, this bothers me. First, Tom is now deeply involved with yet another woman, supermodel Giselle Bundchen, and I'm guessing that between his football career and his high-flying NYC partying, he isn't going to be spending much time with this baby. Moynahan, who grew up in Longmeadow MA, a gorgeous suburb in the Hartford/Springfield area, lives in LA where she works as an actress. Brady lives in the Boston area during football season, and has just put a large apartment on the market in NYC. Bundchen lives in Soho NYC, and Brady spends much of his time there, according to the local gossip.

Tom Brady has always been a Golden Boy in Boston. The fact that he's fantastically talented in a sport I happen to abhor is besides the point. He's been in several Superbowls and won, he's been the New England Patriots prize quarterback for several years, and he is much beloved in Boston. In fact, when he appeared as a character witness for a former coach this week in Suffolk Superior Court, the coverage was bizarre. Court personnel were fawning all over him, the talking heads were gushing, and everyone was just big on Tom.

But now, probably not so much. For all it's liberalism, Boston is still an Irish Catholic town at heart. Babies born out of wedlock aren't all that popular a topic. Especially babies that probably won't have much of a father figure in Tom Brady.

I have no opinion on why Moynahan decided to become a mother. It's her choice and whatever she decides, bravo for her. She's got the money, she probably will be a great parent, and she was raised in a community that prizes marriage and family. Are there even 10 single parents by choice in Longmeadow? I highly doubt it. And I have quite a few family members that live there, so it's not like I am not very familiar with the community. I am.

I guess what got me to thinking about this latest celebrity baby boils down to other celebrity kids that aren't leading such a great life. It isn't easy living under the flashbulbs of celebrity. The lack of privacy is difficult, and it's often tough to know just who is your real friend when you're rich and famous. Trust is hard, and let's face it, life is very shallow in the celebrity world.

I hope Bridget has a good head on her shoulders and will provide a good life for her new baby. And I really hope that Brady will step up to the plate and be an involved father. It's what any baby deserves, and it's the right thing to do.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Britney honey, please get some help

I tend not to comment on celebrities because I think we all are filled to the teeth with way too much celeb talk. The only exception I make is Tom Cruise, and he deserves whatever he gets because the man is fur shur insane.

But today I've read so many posts on Britney's latest escapade in the Valley, where she not only got a new tattoo on her neck and wrist, but she did so after shaving her head herself in a salon because the beautician refused to do it. You can see the photos here, and you can read the story here but I don't need to go into the details. You've all seen them countless times.

I want to talk about how sad this is, especially right on the heels of another trainwreck of celebrity, Anna Nicole Smith. These two women had a lot in common, and a lot more differences. One had talent, for example, while the other was just known for her sexual prowess and her large breasts. But both were terribly sad women, with all the money in the world, and just as much unhappiness.

This seems to be a symptom of our culture, the excessive emphasis on fame and wealth and celebrity, and the consequences of all this excess appear to be a huge divorce rate, terrible parenting decisions, and 0ut-of-control behavior. It's all fodder for the late night comedians and bloggers, but I don't see this as being humorous at all. I see it as such a serious cry for help from a young women who married badly, had two children in less than 2 years, has questionable parenting herself, and was involved in one bad decision after another regarding her children's safety and welfare.

Britney destroyed her career all by herself. I was never a fan and have always disliked her intensely, but I would never wish this kind of sadness on anyone. I don't know much about her upbringing except that she was pushed into show business at an early age by her mother, and that she has been somewhat wild and crazy for a long time. She's never appeared to be very bright or educated, she chews gum on national TV wearing trashy clothing choices, so you have to believe that she isn't getting decent guidance on her appearances, and her choices in friends are dubious to say the least.

Why doesn't someone step up and help this woman out. So many people have made tons of money on her, and yet when she obviously needs help, where have they been? Why hasn't her mother put her into rehab? And why did the rehab she visited for less than 24 hours let her go? Where are her managers and handlers? Why is she always alone these days, surrounded only by hulking bodyguards but no friends.

She has two houses on the market right now worth around $30 million, and she's got more money than she knows what do do with. She has two beautiful sons that she rarely sees and is fairly incapable of caring for herself. She's in the midst of a custody battle with her ex-husband Kevin Federline, and yet she bares her vajayjay numerous times, gets drunk and passes out in clubs, pukes in her own car, and is out partying night after night with celeb bad girls Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, both of whom seem to have ditched her. What is she thinking? Does she not realize the very real possibility that she might lose her kids to that white rapper?

This is not just a trainwreck, this is a woman who is suffering an incredibly public breakdown. She's honestly not in her right mind. Her behavior is attention seeking at it's most dangerous. She desperately needs to be pulled out of Los Angeles and brought back to whatever backwater town in Lousiana she's from, and kept there under the constant surveillance of a doctor until she's better. She needs help.

What she doesn't need is more ridicule and more attention. If the papparazzi would ignore her craziness, it might escalate some before she crashes, but eventually she's got to get her shit together and realize what is really important isn't fame. It's her children. But unless the photographers abandon her because she's such a wreck, she's going to continue seeking attention any way she can get it, negative or positive. And positive seems to be in very short supply these days.

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Me me me me....Meme

Bob-Kat had this meme up this morning, and because my mind is a complete blank, I said I was game to do it, too.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 9:30
2. Diamonds or Pearls? Diamonds, and they must be at least a carat.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I can't recall. Isn't that what Netflix is for? (Updated as the Boy reminded me it was the new James Bond movie Casino Royale.)
4. What is your favourite TV show? It's a tie between 24 and Lost. But 24 has the slightest edge.
5. What did you eat for breakfast? Breakfast? What's that?
6. What foods do you dislike? Beets and sweet pickles.
7. Your favourite potato chip? It's obscure. I love the Utz crab chips that are hot and spicy, flavored with old bay seasoning but they are hard to find!
8. What is your favourite CD at the moment? Matisyahu
9. What kind of car do you drive? Don't drive much, but I own a Dodge Caravan.
10. Favourite sandwich? A classic Reuben
11. What characteristics do you despise? Grudges, know-it-alls, rudeness, selfishness, and stupidity
12. What are your favourite clothes? Black corderoys and my gray waffle mock turtleneck
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Right now? Someplace very warm but not humid with NO ICE. Maybe Fiji or Bora Bora.
14. What colour is your bathroom? One is yellow and black, the other is white and teal.
15. Favourite brand of clothing? JJill.
16. Favourite time of day? Late at night when everyone is asleep and it's so quiet and peaceful.
17. Where would you want to retire to? I'm already retired, but once the kids are out of school, hopefully someplace warmer and less expensive. Maybe Santa Fe or Boulder.
18. Favourite sport to watch? Red Sox Baseball. What else is there?
19. Coke or Pepsi? Not a soda drinker, but I do love cream soda. Mostly I drink water.
20. Are you a morning person or night owl? Night owl all the way!
21. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Um, the Boy will be getting braces soon, much to his chagrin.
22. What did you want to be when you were little? I wanted to own a book store.
23. What is your best childhood memory? They are few and far between, but showing my horse Silverbelle was exciting.
24. Nicknames? Mom.
25. Piercings? 2 holes in 1 ear, 3 in the other.
26. Eye Colour? Dark dark brown, almost black.
27. Favourite day of the week? Monday during 24 season, Sunday the rest of the year.
28. Favourite restaurant? Jasper White's Summer Shack
29. Favourite ice cream? Cabots peppermint stick with ot fudge and marshmallow cream. MMMMMM.
30. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Best Buy and Jordans Furniture.
31. Bedtime? Usually around 5 am.
32. What are you listening to right now? The dishwasher running and my cleaning lady cleaning the kitchen.
33. How many tattoos do you have? None, zip, zed, nada, zilch. No thanks!
34. Next film you'll see? Going to watch Little Miss Sunshine this afternoon. Go Netflix!
35. Tag anyone? Anyone that wants to share a bit about themselves. Link back to me so I can come visit.

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In a phunque, but still chic

I'm in a pissy place today. I could say there is not any particular reason, but there are. I just don't want to share them. But today... I can say that some people totally and completely suck. They know who they are. People know when they have said or done something that is despicable, but they do it because it's the cool thing to do. I'm kind of tired of it. I especially am tired of a certain person who likes to play stupid and pretend he doesn't understand what I'm saying, when in fact he's just too freaking lazy to do anything to make it right. The man is an asshat and I'm not the first or the last to be pissed beyond belief at him.

I'm also pissy at the ice. I'm tired of the ice. It melts during the day and freezes solid at night. It will not melt. My back stairs are dangerous. They have no railing, and there is nothing to hold onto when they have inches of ice on them. I sprinkle the ice melt stuff, and it makes little holes in the ice, but they just fill up again with a bit of melt, and remain sheer ice.

Once I get down the steps, all 3 of them, sprinkling the ice melt as I go for some traction, I get to the walkway. I've seen hockey rinks that are rougher on the surface than my walkway. It is smooth. Icy and sleek. Dark black ice inches thick. I take a step, sprinkle, take another step, sprinkle, rinse and repeat. When I finally get to the driveway, it is as if the ocean threw up icebergs. When the plow came, it left big chunks of snow that are now small boulders of ice. I move slowly to get to the car door, which is frozen shut. But I have that spray stuff, and get the door open.

Getting into the car requires serious gymnastics for there are boulders right by the door, and they are slippery. I put one butt cheek on the seat, and the foot on the ice slides dangerously, but I grab the steering wheel and don't fall on the ice. The car starts right up, for she is 14 years old and as reliable as can be. I slowly rock her back and forth. She is glued into the ice and needs encouragement to move.

Finally the big crunch as she is released from the driveway, and I start to back up, crackling and crunching my way down from my spot to the front of the barn. It is slow going and there are many loud cracks every inch.

Once I get the car out I realize that there is nothing I can do to make the spot easier to navigate, so I pull the car back up, but straddle the biggest pile of icebergs and end up in a huge pile of slushy ice. Lovely.

The driveway is still icy but has been salted and sanded so it is now passable. The Boy, accompanying me on my journey to the driveway, discovers that he can slide all the way across the back lawn. Where was he yesterday when I was touting the homemade luge?

Back inside, I took a nap and prayed that it will warm up enough this weekend to at least get out of the house. The kids are on school holiday and will be stir crazy if they do not get out. The Girl is already sleeping at a friends house. I expect she will appear a few times during the week, but will mostly be with friends. The Boy, on the other hand, is full of plans for watching movies and more movies, all whilst wearing his pajama pants and bathrobe. It's like living with a poor Hugh Hefner with all that flannel.

It is my father's yartzheit this shabbas and that always is a downer. I lit the candle and said Kaddish, but it seems so empty. I do it because it's the right thing to do, but there is no love behind it. I am an emotional orphan. I do not miss my father at all. I never really new him as an adult, nor did he know me. I cried more when Mr Rodgers died than I did for my father.

But I light the candle because it's expected and I am trying to teach my kids not to hold onto grudges long term. To learn to forgive. To look beyond the mean and accept the person for who he was. I'm not great at it, but I try. I just wish some of the people that are annoying me these days could learn this lesson themselves.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

MY teen won't do a Jackass move

There must be something terribly wrong with my son. I tried and tried to talk him into pulling a Jackass move today, but he wouldn't budge. Can you imagine? He was afraid! He thought he might get killed. Like that matters to any real Jackass fan. I'm so disappointed in him!

OK, he might have had a decent reason to say no. I'll give him that. But geesh, when I come up with something both dangerous and with the possibility of real fun, as a teenager he owes it to his peer group to jump up and rush out and perform said Jackass move.

But no..... And just because when he got home from school his bus couldn't even make it up the driveway due to inches of thick glare ice, so he had to walk up our huge hill to get home. And, boo hoo hoo, it was so slippery that he ended up on his hands and knees literally climbing up the hill. He needed crampons, evidentally. I wouldn't know, I haven't poked my nose out the door in 2 days. It's cold, people. Cold and icy. Why would I want to go out there?

So, I get this brilliant idea that he make the driveway into a private luge track. It has sides where the snow plow left remnants of the blizzard before it turned to glare ice. It has a couple of good curves, and a great downward slope. What kid wouldn't go for it?

OK, the driveway spills out into a busy street. I'll give him that. But he could bail, right? I mean, if I were 14, I'd have gone for it in a heartbeat. Of course, I was in Los Angeles at 14 and didn't know shit about cold and ice, but that's another matter. I was the kind of kid that took chances. Crazy chances. I thought it might be genetic, but nope. The Boy is cautious. How boring!

The Girl, she probably would have done it, but she's been feeling poorly.

So I put out the call to all my readers. Anyone want to try it? It looks like SO MUCH fun! We've even got a decent mogul on the front lawn where the steps are built into the hill. We've even got sleds. All you need is to be really nuts and live life to the fullest possible danger point.

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Lost Discussion Thursday

I want to just start off with What the F????

I didn't love tonights episode. I didn't hate it either. I was just completely confused about it. It doesn't seem to answer anything I wanted to know, and brought in the concept of time travel, which is way to weird for me to get a handle on. I'm used to being confused and accept that as part of the journey that is Lost, but tonights eposide had nothing fulfilling, except that maybe Charlie is on borrowed time. The only question the episode answered is "What happened to Desmond in the hatch after he turned the key?"

In thinking about this episode in relation to the previous episodes this season, there seems to be a dicotomy of how to think about the entire story. There is this alternate reality version, and then there is a more linear version. I'm having some trouble wrapping my mind around which way the writers are going, so I tend, in this particular post, to pose questions and then to answer them from another viewpoint. Just in case you thought I was time traveling or living in an alternate reality along with Desmond.

OK, so we are introduced an alternate reality in Desmond's flashback. Charlie is a street performer instead of being in a famous rock band and Desmond suddenly finds himself in his flat. He has not been in the military, and is in love with and living with Penny. So can we also assume the rest of the Losties are living in an alternate reality? Because I noticed a few things and some things just don't add up. Perhaps they were just driving the point home that Charlie was not that important a character. But then he is because his life is being saved. I'm not buying it though, Desmond hasnt only tried to save just Charlie. He was interested in the backstory with Jack. And obviously him running into Jack running steps at the stadium was probably him trying to change something about Jack having to do with the future. In fact if you go over past episodes, Desmond could quite possibly tie it all in. But that seems to be a red herring.

I was thinking of Desmond as the most obvious "butler did it" link but he was almost so non-important in the story. Perhaps on purpose. He was just there in the hatch while everyone else arrived there on the island. But then again, HE brought the plane down didn't he? Maybe he knew that not entering the code would do that. Maybe he knew that the plane was close enough to be brought down. Maybe somehow he was able to get all those extra people to the island so he wouldnt have to save the world. He is changing events but he isn't remembering how and why except in flashes. Possibly because he's overlapping past changes. So that he's only aware of what he needs to change each time to produce a different results. Know what I mean?

Tonight's Desmond flashback had to be at least a few years before his flashback in Season 2. In that flashback Desmond spent about 2 years on the island and a few more months in between getting out of military jail, meeting Libby and meeting Jack/Pen at the stadium plus the time he spent at sea. Jack told Desmond he was a doctor but was talking about the case that was very early on in his career, so maybe Charlie has to be a lot younger in this flashback and probably still turned out to be a rockstar later on.

Desmond's hopping about through time reminded me a bit of Hiro on Heros. Also, now he's got superpowers. Are the rest going to start developing these? I guess Locke and Rose already have superhealing, although they think that's the island rather than themselves. I wish they would keep the whole Heros stuff out of Lost. It's weird enough on its own without superpowers and time travel, imo.

Anyhow, Desmond turns the key and wakes up in his own body ("X" no. of years back), in a pre-determined universe that will have things its own way, come hell or high water. Thus, if you're destined to die, it seems you might as well take it like a man 'cause the universe will win out in the end, no matter what. At least this is what the shopkeeper intimated after the guy with the red Chucks bit the dust. (And didn't she look so familiar?)

Did Desmond go back to the same universe? Had he already met Charlie before he met him on the island? Well, going by Jack's initial encounter at the stadium, I would say yes. Don't know what that encounter with Jack has to do with anything, but the whole "See you in another life, brother" seems to be fitting. He may have not necessarily "met" Charlie before, but he existed in the same space, and had he not recognised him this time around, might have just walked past him again. But why did he recognize Charlie if Charlie was from the future and not the past? Too freaking confusing!

So are they all stuck in a time loop, where the only way out is ensuring that button gets pushed? Assuming Desmond remembers to keep pushing the button, if he can once again return to his old body, and re-sail the trip ?

Well, he jumped out of his old body before he really had time to change anything, so, presumably, his old self did everything pretty much exactly the same, and he still ended up on the island. He awoke with a whack to the head, and he exited with a whack to the head.

And are the other Losties a part of all this? Well in so far as Locke goes, it would seem so. He had to go on the walk about, didn't he? And thank God he was smart enough to bring all those knives with him. And then, of course, perhaps it wasn't coincidence that he seemed to know when to drop the flash light (where hope lies), and let's not forget the rain prediction.

So was this Desmond's first time back? The woman in the antique store seemed to think so. And what will he do the next time 'round, assuming he can find a way to get back into his old body? Can he break the cycle, or will the universe win out, and everyone dies, as pre-destined (in spite of his heroic efforts to save them)?

Me, I think it was his first time back. The way this show runs a couple of years before our real time, I think they are shooting for a catastrophic series ending cliffhanger where everyone is screwed because they messed up one opportunity to save themselves, and they will leave us with Desmond holding out on a secondary fail-safe...because he's been there before and knows what needs to be done.

I tell you, I've watched the episode twice, and this is a real brain burner to figure out. I have been sitting here, playing with different theories to see if I could find one that fits all we know. I have tried recursive nested embeddings (like those Russian dolls one inside the other). I have tried parallel timelines with no preferred order, and parallel timelines with a partial order, and sequential timelines with a total order (that's how deja vu is usually portrayed in things like
"Groundhog Day.") So far, nothing seems to fit well.

Other random ramblings I came up with this week:

If (as it looks like) the 'organization' that's in control of the island and therefore it's inhabitants are keeping them there against their will, maybe it would be safer if they all stayed on the island rather than have their lives put at risk if and when they return back to the outside world. More than likely if that were to happen, then they would possibly be all bumped off by the 'organization' to stop them revealing what's been going on over the last few years or more.

It seems to me that Juliet's husband was murdered (the infamous bus incident) because he was stopping Juliet from joining the 'organization'.

These 'bosses' seem to have absolutely no hesitation in killing anyone who might remotely get in the way of the progress of the 'research' on the island.

Another thought I had was that maybe the 'organization' has deliberately chosen this particular island for it's research because of it's strange characteristics, the main one being that the island is 'invisible' to the rest of the world and therfore no one would (hopefully) ever find out what's
been going on there. Also, it doesn't seem possible that anyone on the island can escape (another peculiarity of the island).

The other way to go is that there is no all powerful organization or why would they need these people anyways. Why all the subterfuge and hokus pocus. Just train your loyal people to do the tasks you want. More like they arent all powerful and are using social engineering and poker strategem to bluff people into doing this or that. Whispers behind the throne so to speak. If people did nothing. NOTHING, the highest ideal of buddhism, absolute nothing (or not doing in taoist terms) then they equations would change. Don't jump when your boss says jump. Say no to that guy that makes you think you can't say know to him. So what he blows your head off. Richard Gere said it best in that stupid movie red corner. "What are you going to do shoot me twice?"

Obey the others. Mind your own biz. Dont assault the camp. Tell everyone about the hatch. Get everyone in on entering the numbers with people supervising to make sure the numbers are added in. Share all the food and supplys. Use the computer to communicate with the outside world. Enter the numbers in till the next food drop comes. Do that 3-4 more times till you get an idea on the schedule. Try to get outside people to find the island. Smoke, light, whatever. Seriously people.

Inaction is an action. Why take some guys word at face value? Do nothing. What does someone have so much power need to manipulate people and situations so much. And why the rush unless they have a gun pointed at them and someone going "hurry"? Doesn't it seem obvious.

Did you notice that the blue kiosk Desmond passed just before he saw Charlie looked a lot like the TARDIS. I thought that was fun. I wonder if they greenscreened London or if they actually shot there. It was pretty damn realistic.

I'm not that wild about Desmond and Penny, but it beats the hell out watching Kate, Sawyer, and Jack yell, moan, and whine their way through their tiresome triangle. Juliet and Rachel beat that out too.

Desmond right now ties in a lot of the events. Up to a point. Then you have Charlie and of course, Hurley. We learnabout 3 secrets next week? Funny thing is we still don't know what this island is about and the others and Dharma project. Then again I hope this isnt the "cigar is just a cigar". Just an excuse to tie in all these people for one or two people that are in a coma and sharing an unconscious.

With that said, though, I'd like to see something more of the characters that drew me into this show. At least this time we got to see a bit of the losties and their beach encampment even if the show didn't focus on them.

Next weeks preview looks more promising but I've thought that before. They promise to answer some of the most pressing questions. I sure hope they do.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Unfortunate Truth in Advertising

This has been making the rounds of the Jewish email like wildfire. Anyone who has been through this event can attest that this is, by far, the truest rendition of what the b'nai mitzvah has turned into. I got it both yesterday and today by friends who have done it twice. I wouldn't wish multiple times on my worst enemy.


It is with great stress, emotional and physical fatigue and incredible
financial sacrifice beyond comprehension, that we invite you to join us as

our wonderful son

Jacob "Scott" Adam

is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah
Saturday, May 12th -
(yes we realize its Mother's Day Weekend)

Temple Israel

14 Coleytown Road
Wxxxxx, Connecticut 06880

at the ungodly hour of 9 am
(even though you don't really need to be there until 10:20 am to catch the real action)

If you make it through the 3 hour service, please skip the kiddush (its
just cookies and cake) and join us instead for an overly large and ostentatious
Kosher (my husband's idea) evening meal, which starts at 7 PM,
(not 8 PM..or you will miss out on the 2000 canapés)

Birchwood Country Club
25 Kings Hwy S
Westport, CT 06880
(which we had to join just for this event

and you would not believe the initiation fees)

You will be in the presence of lots of boisterous and expensive
entertainment and 60 to 70 unruly pre-teens wearing expensive dresses,
funny hats, fake bling and brand new white ankle socks... as well as 80-100 middle aged+ adults, some balding, some with bad toupees, most will be professionally
coiffed, designer attire galore, lots of REAL bling, and most "tootsed" to the
nines. At least 1/3 will be hormonally challenged and some will act stupid while
under the influence. Some will not even know where or who they are. Some

will complain about the food. Blah Blah Blah.

Please have the courtesy of showing up if you RSVP that you are attending,
or you will be billed for $210.00 sama plate if you are a no-show.

Please RSVP as soon as you get this and not a day before the cut-off date.
I can't take the stress. The gift of choice is either green or contains a
routing and account number. "Off the top of your head" gifts and
Gift Cards are a waste of your time and ours.

Hope you can make it!

Lisa and David Miller

Dress: Black Tie optional
Theme: 007 James Bond

BYO Kippot: I don't have the strength

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Sneet Day or Free Dermabrasion

I learned a new word this morning: sneet. Sneet is a combination of snow and sleet, and we're in the middle of the most anticlimatic storm in the history of over-excitable TV weatherwomen. We heard all about the storm of the year, the Valentine's Day Nor'easter. Yippee. Finally we're getting some snow.

The kids are psyched. I'm psyched. We dragged all the sleds onto the front porch so we can sled down our huge hill. Yeah.

Maybe we got an inch of snow. Maybe. I think I'm being overgenerous. But it appeared to have stopped snowing at 4 am when the Girl came to bitch at me about the weather appearing to have halted. "Make it snow!" she whined. OK, she has good reason. She's got a wicked cold and feels like crap. I'll give her that. But I cannot make the weather change. I tried. I used the force and everything but there was no more snow.

What there was a lot of is sneet. Tiny gravelly drops of ice. Perfect for a free dermabrasion treatment. About a half hour outside and your face should be glowing with a brand new layer of skin. Very red skin, but heck, it's free, right?

At 5, the Girl and I watched the local news for the school closings. They trickled in. School is called off by the Superintendent, and our guy is notorious for never calling a snow day. He's such a jerk. One by one, towns were added to the list. It started with a lot of private schools and New Hampster schools, because they got much more snow up there. Then the far western burbs started showing up on the list.

The Girl fell back to sleep around 5:20, and I went on dutifully watching the school closings, for I am nothing if not enthusiastic about a snow day. Being the first storm of the year, the local news was filled with gloom and doom regarding driving, accidents, and icy patches. They do love the drama. The minutes drag by and more and more neighboring towns show up on the crawl. But not our city.

The Girl is full on snoring and I can barely hear the 30th forecast in the last 55 minutes when the crawl starts getting bigger and bigger. Every new addition has a Just IN! in bright yellow next to it, so you get to see which superintendent is a follower. Finally, a bit after 6, I see our city. NO SCHOOL!!!

I wake the Girl to tell her, which seems stupid, but she had already set my alarm to go off about 10 minutes later, and she didn't believe me. Honestly! But it's true. I saw it on the crawl two more times before I believed it. We have no school with an inch of snow.

You'd think we lived in North Carolina or something!

Of course now I'm wide awake with no chance of sleep because the Girl is sprawled out all over my bed. The joys of parenting!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Worthless Pet has serious competition

A friend of mine sent me the link to this in email today. Honestly, I just don't know what to think. Now that I know that Worthless Pet has a twin named Nora, do I expect him to have musical talent, too? Or do I just believe, as I always have, that his talents lay more in the categories of eating and sleeping?

Plus, I gotta wonder if Nora is looking for a soulmate. I know a fellow around these here parts that would love a pretty musically inclined babe on his 'arm'.

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An accent guide for local newscasters

Dear local newscasters,

I don't know if you're like me, an actual transplant to Massachusetts, or are a newcomer just stopping over on a career move that will eventually turn towards national news, but while you're here in eastern Massachusetts, it would behoove you to learn a few pronounciation rules.

People in the greater Boston area have very distinct accents. You might have noticed that they tend to add the letter R where it doesn't belong, and to delete the letter R where it does. They also tend to broaded certain vowels, especially the letter A. It is important for you to learn the distinctions on these pronounciation foibles quickly and fluently.

Next, because you are a reporter discussing local news, it is very important to learn how to pronounce the various towns and cities where your stories are likely to take place. These geographic locals have very distinct guidelines on how to pronounce them. Let me take you though some of the rules.

If a town ends in BURY, like Newbury, Amsbury, Roxbury, etc. you do not pronunce it Berry or Bury. You say BREE. Like Newbree. Amsbree. Roxbree. See, easy peasy. If the BURY is in the middle of a name, like NewBURYport, it is pronounced NewBREEport.

If a town ends in BOROUGH or BORO, it is pronounced BRO. Like MarlBRO, WestBRO, NorthBRO.

If a town ends in CESTER, it is not pronounced Sester. Or Kester. It is stuh. But this is more complicated. Because the towns that end in CESTER also begin with various letters that are not pronounced as they are written. These are exceptions to the rules. Follow this guide and you will not go wrong:

Worcester is correctly pronounced Woos-tuh.
Leiscester is correctly pronounces Les-tuh
Leominster is correctly pronounced Leh-minz-tuh

Dorchester is correctly pronounced Dot. No, that's an inside joke. Dorchester is a tough one. Daugh-ches-tuh.

Peabody is NEVER pronounced Pea-Bod-ee. Ever. It is PEE-buh-dee. Repeat that. PEE-buh-dee. Good!

Haverhill is NEVER pronounced Haver-hill. It is HAV-rull.
How about Nahant? It is NEVER Na-HANT with a short A. It is Nah-Haunt.
Swampscott is NEVER pronounced Swamp-scott. It is SWAMP-scut.
Marblehead is NEVER pronounced Mar-ble-head. It is always Mar-bul-HEAD.
Pepperell is NEVER Pepper-ill. Oh no! It is Pep-rull.

This is a tough one. Ayer. It is AAA-Yuh.

If a town ends in town, or ton, it is always pronounced UN. Like New-un, West-un, etc.

Some towns, like Arlington, fall prey to the Boston Accent. Thus, it is pronounced Aaaa-ling-tun. Not too hard.

Another rule of thumb is, if a town ends in VILLE, it is pronounced VUL. As in Somerville is never Summer-vill, it is Sum-ma-vul.

Town that end in FORD are difficult. Lets try Medford for instance. It looks like you should call it Med-Ford, but that would be wrong. It is actually pronounced Meh-Fuh. It looks silly, I know, but that's Boston for you. BUT... there are other Fords that aren't the same. BedFORD is Bed-FUD, ChelmsFORD is Chelms-FUD.

How about those towns that end in HAM. That must be simple, right? Oh no, my sweet monkey, you are wrong. Ham is pronounced UM. Let's try it with Dedham and Needham. Those seem obvious. Dead-um, Need-um. Now you do Chatham. How about Framingham?

Ok, this next one is rather advanced. Towns that end in FIELD. Oh, I know it looks obvious. But this is Massachsetts. Field is pronounced Fuld. As in Tops-Fuld, Lynn-fuld...

With these simple pronounciation steps, you'll sound more like a real Bostonian instead of a recent transplant from Utah. Which would not only be helpful, but might make us forgive your blond helmut hair. Kay?

Your friend,

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