Category Archives: Celebrities/In the News

What I Would Do With 1.3 Billion Dollars

powerball

NOT the winning ticket

I bought a Powerball ticket the other day for the first time in my life. I’m not a gambler by nature. I hate wasting my money in those slot machines. So this is a big thing for me.

When I was a new mother, my husband sent me away for a much needed break to a casino with some friends, and I stayed up until 4am. All I won were some bags under my eyes and a hangover.

I nearly bit all my nails off the one time I played roulette. When I talked myself into buying a roll of quarters, I hung on to them in case I needed money for a parking spot. Or for the machines at the laundromat even though I had my own washer and dryer at home.

I don’t know when the first drawing for the Powerball was or how much it was for, but I missed it. But that’s okay because I don’t think I knew there even was a Powerball. Then someone at work told me how big it grew because no one had won it.

Of course, I acted like I knew what they were talking about, and then proceeded to walk myself right on over to the Starbucks in the building, broke down and spent two bucks on a ticket.

I thought, “Hmm, who knows? Maybe I’ll have beginner’s luck.”  Although the odds are against me. Or anyone for that matter because not only did I not have the winning ticket (can you believe only six numbers were off?) but apparently no one else did either. Which brought the pot up to $1.3 billion.

First, let me tell you what your odds are. Or better yet, what you have a better chance of happening to you:

  1. Getting struck by lightning while drowning
  2. Being killed by an asteroid
  3. And my favorite: Having a vending machine fall on you

It’s been established that you stand a better chance of dying in a freak and rare accident than winning the Powerball.

So why partake? Because you just never know. And the investment is pretty low.

Anyway, what would I do if I won 1.3 billion dollars?

  1. For starters, I would pay the guy in the house behind us to stop running his damned wood chipper on Sunday mornings. He can’t possibly need small pieces of chopped up wood that badly.
  2. I would give money to my church. Mainly because I haven’t been in a couple years and that old Catholic guilt is rearing its ugly head even though I’m no longer Catholic.
  3. I would see a therapist about that old Catholic guilt.
  4. I would finally replace the carpet on our staircase. I’m pretty sure Mauve went out in the early 90s.
  5. I will give to every charity that did not cold call me during dinner time.
  6. I would buy a house with an in-law set up for that maid and cook I’ve always dreamed of.

Obviously, I could go on. But it would take a novel to list all the ways to spend 1.3 billion dollars.

So, am I going to play the Powerball this week? Yea, probably. Because my need to be included in everything far exceeds my need to hang on to two measely dollars.

Oh, but what I could buy with two dollars…

Everything’s Coming Up Lillies

Worse than any hangover I've ever had. Okay. Third worst.

Worse than any hangover I’ve ever had. Okay. Third worst.

I woke up with a Lilly hangover this morning. What is a Lilly hangover you ask? It’s when you stay up until the wee early morning hours in the hopes of being one of the first online to scap up some Lilly Pulitzer for Target crap.

Have I lost my mind? Yes, I have. I will tell you something else. I’m pretty sure Lilly is rolling around in her grave right now. Because…Target. (I love Target, don’t get me wrong. But Lilly in Target? That’s like Imelda Marcos in Payless.)

In case you live in a box, cave or have a life, here’s a recap…

The powers that be at Lilly Pulitzer, for reasons I don’t really know because I know nothing about economics or consumerism or whatever, decided to collaborate with Target.

My best guess is that the Lilly people basically dummied down their product and slashed their prices by a million percent so that middle America could afford it. So these people get a taste of Lilly and the patterned gold and will want more. Except if they want it, they’ll have to go get the real stuff. We’ll just call them Lilly Teasers.

I am not a Lilly fan. My style is relaxed moms-wear, preferably in browns and blacks with the waistband of my jeans landing somewhere north of my belly button. My idea of bold is wearing mismatched socks.

A little over a year ago, I had never even heard of Lilly. So, why the (partial) all-nighter? I’ll give you one hint. She’s an off-spring of mine. And her wish list was long.

Just so you know, I didn’t have to stay up until 2am. I didn’t do it for moral support or to be a cheerleader. But because leaving your credit card alone with a 16 year old is probably not the wisest decision. Although by the end of the hour, she had those 16 digits committed to memory. Twenty something hours later, she still knows them. I’m a little bit scared.

So, here’s how it went down:

After stressing for two days because we weren’t going to be near a Target on the coveted day because we were away at a dance thing with other Lilly-loving junkies, we found someone to follow on Facebook that would keep us in the know. In other words, tell us when Target/Lilly would be releasing the goods online.

We refreshed and refreshed some more ’till the cows came home when suddenly our new Facebook Lilly friend made an announcement to “QUICK HURRY UP AND SWITCH TO YOUR MOBILE DEVICE!!!” In layman’s terms, that means that you could only order via your smart phone. Don’t ask because I don’t know. It’s one of those technological mysteries.

buying lilly

The Lilly Brigade

After much screaming, a broken eardrum and some pissed off neighbors, everyone had their phones ready to go. We were now prepared to procure some of the cheap coveted Lilly wear. Our new Facebook Lilly friend posted links to specific items in drips and drabs. This all happened before the actual online sale started.

After we were able to purchase some items, I saw a comment that the links were “leaked” and that Target found out and put a stop to the madness pronto. Now, I don’t know if that is true or not. But that’s what I read. And since the links stopped coming and from what I’ve seen in the wake of the madness, I believe it to be true.

Finally at nearly 2:30am, the heavy lidded teens and temporarily insane moms went to bed. I awoke to pissed off people on Facebook complaining about the injustice of it all. When they did finally announce the sale online, most everything was gone. Or gone within minutes. Possibly even seconds.

Pictures of brick and mortar Targets with lines wrapping halfway to the back parking lot were being posted. Hey, you people at the back of the 300 people deep line? Go home. You’re not even getting a nail file (which could have been yours for $2).

Apparently, we were very “lucky” to be able to get what we got. Now to wait for the shipments to come in. If the quality is at least better than a paper bag, then we may be keeping it. If not? We’ll have years of gift giving sitting in the closet. Oops. Did I just say that out loud?

Oh, and one more thing…if you tell anyone I actually was a willing participant in the madness? I’ll deny it. And you’ll never get a cheap cute Lilly headband that I bought for $15 from me.

And may I please introduce to you....The Final List.

And may I please introduce to you….The Final List.

 

What Is a Captain Clutch? Or Do You Mean Captain Crunch?

It’s Derek Jeter’s last game or season or something like that. Do I care? Maybe a little. Look, I’m an American. I know that baseball is an All-American game. So, I do sit here during all the commercials and Facebook posts and say, “aww, Jeter’s retiring (he is retiring, right?). He must be sad.” I do.

Really, it’s like anybody else who retires though. I would imagine most people who leave a job they’ve been at for years and have to say goodbye to their co-workers are sad. It comes with the territory. So, yes. It’s sad. I wonder what his pension looks like? I’m just curious.

But basically I feel the same way about baseball as I do about football. And hockey, and basketball and whatever other sport there is out there. I.don’t.care. Period. I know. It’s totally un-American of me. I’m sorry. No, no, actually, I’m not. It is what it is.

I know I’m kind of taking my life in my hands here by saying these things. Look, baseball is really the only game I understand. Because it’s easy. So I appreciate that. But I don’t sit around and watch it. Sometimes I’ll check the score if I know a game is on because I know that more than half the country is watching and I don’t want to feel left out. I know, not a good enough reason. But it’s the truth.

Oh, and why do they call him Captain Clutch? What does that even mean? I never knew that until tonight while I was watching a commercial with Frank Sinatra singing “I Did It My Way.” Actually, that’s a lie. I did see it on Facebook a couple of days ago. Thank God for Facebook. It’s where I get all my news.

His butt does look good in those striped pants though. I guess it’s a good thing for me that I didn’t pay much attention to him. Because then I may miss those striped pants. There’s a positive.

See, this guys likes his butt too.

See, this guys likes his butt too.

Hey, happy retirement Derek Jeter. Enjoy your yachts and your vacation homes and all that jazz. You’ll probably be back. Don’t they sometimes come back? Wasn’t there some big basketball player who did that? Wait. Maybe I’m thinking about Phil Collins. Never mind?

Generation Bad News

love-poster-quote_1800-2What is it about this generation?  When I was a kid, all we worried about was if Maria wanted to fight you because you kissed her boyfriend.  “Meet me behind the school after the last bell.”  So, we might go home with a black eye or get punched in the stomach and forced to vomit the meatball sandwich we ate for lunch, but so what?  We had our life intact.  No one thought to bring a gun or a knife to school.  I’m not saying it didn’t happen, I’m just saying it didn’t happen often.

Last Friday a bright young woman’s life was snuffed out.  For no reason.  She said “no” to a boy who asked her to prom and he didn’t like that answer.  So instead of being a man and walk away with his head held high, he decided to be a coward instead.  He took out a knife.  And without thinking about the repercussions, he took her life.  Just like that.

Last month, a teenage boy choked his girlfriend to death, then threw her in a stream.  All because they got into a fight.  This happened in my parent’s town in North Carolina.  In another part of the state, a teenage girl poisoned her grandmother because this grandmother took her cell phone away from her.

A year and a half ago, a young man went into an elementary school and killed 20 children and 6 others.  Then there’s Columbine.  Virginia Tech.  And this isn’t all.  Google “violent crimes committed by a minor.”  You will be shocked.  Children as young as 12 are on this list.  It’s disgusting.

So, here are my questions:  What are we doing wrong?  Why are our children killing others?  Why is there such total disrespect for human life?  Where is the fear of God?  Or morals?  Are we being too permissive?  Are we not imposing enough boundaries?  Are there too many outside influences beyond our control?  Too many violent video games?  Too much social media? 

I am in an outrage, as I’m sure many of you are.  I’m not happy that I can no longer feel that my child is safe at school.  That every morning there is a police officer standing at the entrance of the school in the event that some kid may lose his crap and start shooting at people.  I’m not saying that I’m not grateful for this police officer.  I am.  I understand that this is the new normal.  It still doesn’t make it right.

How did it get out of control?  I’m not judging.  We allow our teenage daughter to have her head in her phone way too long.  We give her not only what she needs, but what she wants more times than we probably should.  Maybe she doesn’t have enough chores around here.  But she has boundaries.  She knows right from wrong.  We took the time to show her the importance of compassion, how to love others.  We taught her to be strong and confident.  How to handle rejection.  How to be a good sport.  Respect human life.

We, as parents, need to step up and raise our children.  Don’t you have conversations with your friends that sound something like this:  “Geez, when I was a kid if I talked to my mother the way some of these kids speak to their mothers, I’d get an ass-whooping.”?

I don’t condone hitting your child.  I don’t agree with that.  But something is lacking.  Somewhere along the way, we messed up.  I could be wrong, but doesn’t it start in the home?  So, people, let’s fix this thing.  I can’t take another news story of a child taking someone else’s life.  There is something so wrong about that.  We need to stop the violence.  And we need to stop it today.  Who’s with me?

 

Spoiled Rotten

A few weeks ago the top news story in the Northeast was about a teenage girl who was suing her parents for money.  From all accounts, it looks like she is just a spoiled little brat who was devising a plan to get all that she wanted (including keeping a degenerate boyfriend and staying out as late as 3am if she so chose to) while her parents pay for her education.

I believe the judge denied the teenager’s request and the girl went back home.  It ended well for all of us parents.  Could you imagine if she had won?  I shudder at the thought.  I was going to write this big post about how I felt about the situation.  And then this morning I had a conversation with a friend about kids today and how spoiled they are and how badly we hover.  Which could possibly be partly what happened to this child.

We live in the age of The Helicopter Parent.  We all do it.  Ok, excuse me.  Most of us do it.  There is the exception.  I have a friend who is the parent of 4 kids and she’s got these kids doing what they need to do, when they need to do it without a complaint from them.  I am in awe of her.  Still, at the end of the day, there is some overprotecting going on.  What, with all the crap we hear in the media about kids going missing, etc. how can you blame us?

But there is a price to be paid.  My generation figured it out.  My parents didn’t do it for me.  We had street smarts.  Hell, when I was 11 years old I had to walk to and from school where we lived in Yonkers.  Alone.  I lived in 7 different places in 12 years.  I had to suck it up.  I would become close with other kids, then BOOM.  The Army moved us again.  Too bad.  I had to pick myself up, brush it off and move along.  There was no time to mope and cry.  Besides I wasn’t allowed to.  Seems rough, right?  No.  It’s called life.  And quite honestly, I’m grateful to my parents for the way I was raised.

So if I was raised that way, as I’m sure most of us were, why is there so much coddling?  “Oh, let me clean your room because you have too much homework.  Oh, why don’t you take the day off of school, you need a breather.  Oh, no, you can’t walk down the street to Diane’s house, you might get stolen.”  Everything from doing their homework to calling Abercrombie to see if there is a size 1 in the faded skinny jean they just “have to have.”

I do it all the time.  Actually, I don’t do the homework.  I don’t believe in that.  Besides, my kid would fail.  Anyway, guess what?  We aren’t helping our children.  Not at all.  We make it too easy for them.

The Kid and I toured a college last week.  A college that is at the top of her list.  When we got there, I was expecting a show of extreme excitement from her.  Because she is, by nature, an easily excitable person.  She will deny this for the rest of her life, but I could tell by the look on her face that she was completely freaked out.

I’m hearing a lot of stories of kids dropping out of college lately.  Kids just not able to take the pressure.  They don’t know how to take care of themselves.  They can’t keep up with the work.  They miss mommy.  It’s scary.  What do I do to prevent this from happening to my kid?

Suddenly, we are on the final stretch of our parenting journey.  And it dawned on me that we have about 2 years to get her ready.  Because as much as I will miss her and will probably cry my eyes out for a good week after she leaves, I do not want her coming back home.  Not under those circumstances.

Oh God, I have to go.  This helicopter just ran out of gas and is plummeting to the earth.  Which is good, but I have some repairing to do.  It’s going to be a long 2 years.  Wish me luck.

Linking up with Shell

Toto, We’re Not In Manhattan Anymore

manhattan ksGuess how many Manhattans there are in the country?  I’m not talking about the drink.  I’m talking about the town, city, borough, hamlet.  I’ll give you a minute.  And no cheating.

I have a cousin who lives in Kansas.  He posted a status on Facebook today that he and his wife were having date night in Manhattan and asked about a Thai restaurant.  To which I replied:

“Hey, it may be something you wind up loving! Go for it! And Mitch, Aunt Terry’s son, is playing a gig at Slattery’s Midtown Pub at 8:30 tonight. I was trying to go, but I’m not able to make it. How long are you in town for?”

His reply?  “I meant Manhattan Kansas.”

Oh.

So, people.  You are about to get a geography lesson here.  What did you guess?  Because there is not just one Manhattan.  Not even two Manhattans.  There are 10. Ten. Diez Manhattans.  If you got that, you should get a prize.  Here they are.  In no particular order.

  1. Manhattan, KS
  2. Manhattan, IL
  3. Manhattan, MT
  4. Manhattan, NV
  5. Manhattan, CO
  6. Manhattan, FL
  7. Manhattan, IN
  8. Manhattan, MS
  9. Manhattan, NY
  10. Manhattan, PA

When it comes to geography, I am no genius.  Actually, that also goes with math, science and anything that I was supposed to pay attention to in school.  But really?  Who would have thunk?

I asked my Facebook friends this morning if they had ever heard of Manhattan, KS.  Because I was feeling a little dumb.  I received 15 replies.  Here’s the breakdown:

8 people said they knew.  7 responded with a resounding “NO.”  Of the 8 who said they knew, 3 claim that they wouldn’t know if they didn’t live there once or had a family member live there.  So, technically 10 didn’t know.  The way I look at it, that is more than half.  Okay, so that is more than half.  Like I said.  Not a genius in math.

Guess what?  I don’t feel so dumb anymore.  Eat that Manhattan, Kansas!  But I think I’d like to visit.  After all, I have a family member there.

The Golden Globes as Told By Me

EbTZftgolden-globes-horrible-commute-stage-workplace-ecards-someecards

True that

Contrary to what I said on my Facebook page, I watched the DVR’ed Golden Globes.  Even though it’s old news.  It’s kinda like watching The World Series a day later.  Well, I would imagine.

The Kid saw that I had recorded it and insist I watch it with her.  It was just her way of getting me to spend time with her.  You know.  Because I’m usually too busy texting or having slumber parties.  What a trickster.

I had a hard time concentrating on this awards show.  Because they always go on forever and ever.  And I kept getting texts from my posse.  Here is what I believe happened.  Or told from my point of view.  Which is coming from thoughts inside my head.  Enjoy.

  • OMG!  Did I just see Rita Wilson texting?  I could totes be her BFF.
  • I never realized how itty bitty Sandra’s boobs are.  Huh.
  • I’m not too old for Channing Tatum.  I swear I’m not.
  • Does Paula Patton know she has wadded up toilet paper all over her dress?  Who is Paula Patton?
  • Come on people.  Hurry it up.  We only have 3 hours here.  Geez.  I’m guessing they should get Segways for all the people sitting in back for next year.  I mean, really.  Do you know how much time they could save?  I’m not kidding.
  • Are those sparkly butterfly clips in Alex Ebert’s hair?   Who is Alex Ebert?
  • Emma Thompson is my kind of girl.  Except my drink of choice would be a Cosmo.  I don’t care if it’s so 1999.
  • Hayden Panettiere, I hate to tell you chicky, but it looks like a cow licked your hair.  I wish someone would have clued you in.
  • “Her” is about a guy who falls in love with his iPhone?  Wait.  Am I supposed to pay 10 bucks to see that?  Disturbing.  I wonder when it’s playing on Friday.
  • Gawd, I really hate the part where they talk.
  • I would love to sit at Meryl Streep’s table.  No wait.  Johnny Depp.  No.  Emma Thompson.  No.  Tom Hanks.  No.  Bradley Cooper.  No.  Robert Redford.  Oh balls.  Never mind.  I’ll just stay home.
  • Can you imagine how much money went just for champagne alone?  If I were there, I’d just want to talk the whole time and get drunk.  Boy, would I be a spectacle.  I guess that’s why I didn’t get an invite.  The Foreign Press people probably know that about me.  Who are the Foreign Press?
  • I wasn’t expecting Spike Jonz.  I was expecting Spike Lee.  It’s like going to take a drink of your soda only to find out it’s beer.  And who is Spike Jonz.  Although, I feel like I should know who he is.  I feel kind of stupid right now.
  • OMG, all the older actors are going to die and then there won’t be anyone I like.  Or even worse.  Anyone I know.

So, that’s a wrap.  See you all for the Oscars.  Where we get to see the same people.  Getting more awards.  Wearing multi-thousand dollar borrowed jewelry and dresses.  I’ll bring the champagne.  I’ll try not to fall asleep.

Nelly vs Nellie

I’m always bitching about my age.  How old I feel (not act, there is a difference.).  How old I look.  How old I am.  But what really confirms all of the above is this…

When someone commented on Facebook about Nelly being in a Honey Nuts Cheerios commercial, I got so excited I almost peed my pants.  Honestly, I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning.  “OMG!  Nelly is doing a commercial?”  You know who I’m talking about.  The saucy little rich brat from Little House on the Prairie.  Which, by the way, is one of my favorite TV shows OF ALL TIME.  Just so you know, it’s still in syndication and I will tune in if I spy it with my little eye on one of the ten thousand television stations available these days.

Anyway, I was anxious to see how she looks after all these years.  So, I didn’t waste any time going to Youtube and looking it up.  Here it is people:

YouTube Preview Image

Number One:  I thought Nelly was going to pop in at the last second.  It took me 30.5 seconds to realize she wasn’t.  And that I had the wrong “guy.”

Number Two:  The correct spelling of Nelly’s name from Little House is NELLIE.

Number Three:  Who the hell is this Nelly?  Does he play sports?  Act?  Sing?  I guess he’ll just get added to my list of “who the hell is that” and I’ll have to move on.  Where oh where are the Robert Redfords and Debra Wingers of the world?  Sigh.

 

We Will Never Forget

Unknown-5

Our parent’s generation remembers where they were and what they were doing the moment they heard the news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  Our generation remembers where we were and what we were doing the day our country was attacked, changing our lives forever.

It was a Tuesday.  It was The Kid’s first day of pre-school.  She was 3.  I remember being in my car, backing out of my garage to drop her off for her big day.  The news was on because, unbeknownst to me, the news was on everywhere.  A plane had hit Tower 1 of the World Trade Center.  At first, the reporter said it was a small plane.  I immediately had visions of a Cessna.  Then I thought it was a joke.  I thought of the “War of the Worlds” radio program of 1938.  I remember just laughing it off.  Think about it.  How could it be possible?  This was stuff that only happens in the movies.

Except this wasn’t a movie.  By the time I pulled into the parking lot of the school, I knew it wasn’t a joke.  At this point, it was confirmed that it was indeed happening and that it wasn’t a Cessna.  Other mothers were standing in small groups throughout the schoolhouse lot.  I remember trying to put on a brave face for our children.  Our sweet, little, innocent children.  This was history in the making.  To be a chapter in their history books just a few short years from that moment.

We all rushed to our homes to call our loved ones and to sit in front of CNN for days.  And days.  Lines were tied up.  Air traffic was stopped.  Everything was quiet.  It was surreal.  We all ran out to buy flags for our car windows.  We all came together in crisis.  We loved one another.  I remember a deep peace among our neighbors.  There were no honking horns because someone sat at a light a nanosecond too long.  There was no anger.  Anywhere.  For a long time.

I also remember the deep sense of loss.  I was fortunate to not have lost anyone I knew personally in the attacks, but the people lost were fellow Americans.  The hurt was deep.  Today marks 12 years since that tragic, absolutely horrific, day.  We will always remember the lives lost.  We will always remember the heroes.  We will never forget the families and friends that suffered and are still suffering.

As I sit here writing this post, I am watching footage of that day.  All those feelings I had 12 years ago come rushing back.  My heart still hurts to remember.  The dread, the tears, the complete sense of loss and helplessness.  It has affected all of us this way.  We will never forget.  We are a changed nation.  Our children live in a different world.

Tonight, I pause to remember that day, to pray, to hope for a better future.  Tonight, I remember how we came together as one.  Tonight, as always, I am proud to be an American.

Miley Has Lost Her Mind

Only a face her mother could love.  Maybe.

Only a face a mother could love.

I know every person known to man is talking about this.  But I just can’t resist adding in my two cents.  The Kid grew up with Miley.  I completely approved of Hannah Montana.  She was innocent and clean.  What the hell happened to her?

I know she grew up.  She can’t be Hannah forever.  But come on girl.  Have some damn respect.  I did not watch the VMA’s. I do not tend to watch awards shows because it’s tiring watching celebrities pat themselves on the back.  Where’s my award?  Well, except the Oscars occasionally, and even that’s starting to get on my nerves.

The Kid showed me the clip of her at the VMA’s on Youtube.  I literally threw up in my mouth.  First of all, what’s with her tongue?  Why does she keep sticking it out in that unattractive way?  I think someone needs to tell her that that is not sexy.  Gene Simmons could get away with it in his KISS days.  Not Miley Cyrus.  Her mamma needs to rinse that tongue with a bar of soap.

I didn’t understand the bear thing.  Were those bears?  Whatever they were, that was weird.  She took a child’s toy and turned it into a sexual object.  Yuck.  I will never be able to look at a teddy bear the same again.  Maybe someone can explain their purpose if I am missing the point.

The girl was practically having sex on the stage.  Her and whatever his name is…Alan Thicke?  Oh wait, that’s his dad, right?  Geez, I suddenly feel old.  They really needed to get a room.  I mean come on, there is a time and place for that behavior.  I don’t really care if it was an act or not.  And believe me, I’m really not a prude.

When Madonna pulled stunts like that to reinvent herself and boost her career, it worked for her.  But Miley?  I will be pretty damn surprised if she has a career in 10 years.  I do have to give her kudos though.  Because I just realized as I’m finishing up here, that she wanted to stir up some controversy.  She wanted the attention.  She’s in her multi-million dollar mansion right now laughing it up.  Because she got what she wanted.  Whether it’s positive or negative, it’s attention nonetheless.  I wonder what dear old dad is thinking?  A proud moment for him?  Probably not.  I just wish she’d keep her clothes on and stop humping things.  And please for the love of God, keep that damn tongue in your mouth before it gets stuck like that.