Thursday, March 31, 2005

Done one of my tasks

I am done my research paper. Am blurry eyed. At this point, I don't even know what I wrote or if it made sense, but heck, it is done. So I am a little bit less cranky.

This certainly IS surreal


'Surreal Life' selects has-beens

NEW YORK (AP) -- VH1 has selected seven new has-beens to stop being polite and start trying to revive their careers on "The Surreal Life."

The fifth season of the reality show, now in production, will premiere Sept. 4, the cable channel announced Tuesday.

In the show, a group of not-A-list celebs are taped 24 hours a day while living and playing together in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills.

The new cast includes "America's Next Top Model" judge Janice Dickinson, former slugger Jose Canseco, Sandi "Pepa" Denton of Salt-N-Pepa, Bronson Pinchot from "Perfect Strangers," Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth from the first season of "The Apprentice," British model Caprice and motorcrosser Carey Hart.

American Idol

Jessica the blonde got kicked off "American Idol" last night. Some fans are horrified, but not me. I really couldn't distinguish her from Carrie, the OTHER blonde.

I have a weird crush on Constantine, the tall rock singer. In fact, I am fairly certain he is singing all his songs to ME. I don't think he will win, but I am enjoying looking at his smolderingness while he is on the show.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

U2 Tour starts in San Diego!



SAN DIEGO, Monday March 27th,2005 WHAT THEY PLAYED


Monday, March 28, 2005

Enormous sandwich

Do we REALLY Need this?

A BIG breakfast at Burger King
Chain debuts Enormous Omelet Sandwich with more calories, fat than a Whopper.
March 28, 2005: 3:28 PM EST
The Enormous Omelet Sandwich, all 730 calories of it, debuted Monday at Burger King.

The Enormous Omelet Sandwich, all 730 calories of it, debuted Monday at Burger King. 

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Burger King has unveiled a new breakfast sandwich that's a huge bet that not everyone is dieting.

The No. 2 fast food chain debuted its Enormous Omelet Sandwich Monday. The sandwich has one sausage patty, two eggs, two American cheese slices and three strips of bacon.

That works out to 730 calories and 47 grams of fat -- more than a Whopper sandwich, which the Burger King Web site said has 700 calories and 42 grams of fat.

Critics were quick to spring on the latest breakfast offering.

"Americans do not need an Enormous Omelet Sandwich," said Penny Kris-Etherton, a professor of nutrition at Penn State, who noted the sandwich's contents were high in fat and salt and the meal lacked fruit and fiber. "That's too many calories."

Saturday, March 26, 2005

My friend Maureen's "Marathon Blog"

Doesn't mean that the blog is marathon in length - means that my friend Maureen is actually preparing to run a marathon! Go Maureen!

Wah! Villanova lost!

But only by one point. Was a good game!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Villanova will BEAT Carolina tonight!

I predict it! And my friend Catherine P., the Carolina fan, will cry! Ha!

Warning! I will be cranky for the next month

Attention friends, family and fans: I will be cranky for the next month or so.

By April 1, I have to write an academic paper. I hate academic papers. I have not written one since graduate school five years ago. But I have to in order to keep my job. Am not happy. Am cranky. Have to work all weekend. Meanwhile I have a cold, nose is stuffy, throat hurts and am out of tissues.

By April 15, I have to write a book proposal. This is a good thing. It will be for a non-fiction, slim kinda book of of tips about my field. But I have never written a book proposal before. What fun.

By April 28, I have to write another academic paper. I haven't even figured this one out yet.

By April 30, I have to submit my 3rd year tenure packet. This is the one that makes or breaks me. If I screw this one up, I can expect to be tortured at work - or looking for another job - within the next year. Again, cranky. You get the point.

You have been warned.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Whitney Houston is back in rehab

What a surprise! I am truly, truly shocked!

Remember people, "crack is whack!",1,16192,00.html?eol.tkr

picture Whitney Back in Rehab

by Marcus Errico E!

Mar 23, 2005, 5:20 PM PT

Whitney Houston has a problem.

The "I Get So Emotional" diva's comeback from years of personal drama and a stalled musical career was seemingly derailed Wednesday, when her publicist confirmed that Houston has again checked into a treatment center.

"Whitney Houston has reentered a rehabilitation facility today," rep Nancy Seltzer said in a brief statement. No further details were given. Houston completed her first stint in rehab a year ago.

Seltzer's confirmation came hours after Access Hollywood broke the news that Houston was back in treatment.

Houston made headlines last month, when she was briefly hospitalized in Paris after becoming violently ill on a transatlantic flight for what Seltzer chalked up to a bad case of food poisoning. There's no indication that incident was related to Wednesday's disclosure.

For years Houston was dogged by drug rumors, which she adamantly denied. Then, in 2000, she was busted at Hawaii's Kona International Airport for trying to sneak a baggie of pot by airport screeners. A petty misdemeanor drug charge was subsequently dropped based on a drug counselor's evaluation that the Grammy winner did not need treatment for substance abuse.

In 2002, she admitted to Diane Sawyer that she had indeed experimented with an array of drugs--cocaine, marijuana, alcohol and pills--but proclaimed that the "party's over."

Houston first entered rehab in March 2004 to deal with a substance-abuse problem, but checked herself out after just five days. At the time, Seltzer insisted that all was well, and that Houston simply preferred to continue the program on an outpatient basis. She spent the next 30 days accompanied by a chaperone.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Indigo Girls at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, NJ

I still have a cold, bleh, and was froggy last night so I could not sing along as much as I wanted. Sniff!

The concert was held in the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood. You know, the Masons. The place had wonderful acoustics but a little weird inside. I saw "National Treasure" and all, but what the heck are the Masons all about? And my aisle smelt of lemon Pledge. Also, the entire police department of Collingswood seemed to be there. I suppose they were afraid of all those peace-loving lesbians. I went with a friend who is bisexual, so that made my presence okay. Although Mary Kate is marrying a man, which upsets the lesbians in general. Hmm.

Anyway, it was still a great show. Not the BEST Indigo Girls concert I have been to, I must say. But a very good one. For me, they did not do enough of their older stuff, like from Rites of Passage or Swamp Ophelia. They primarily focused on the new album, which I like, and Become You, which I don't own. Augh. Amy also did a coupla of her new solo stuff.

They did NOT do "Cordova." Wahhhhhh!!

They did Galileo, the "drunk and mean at the Dairy Queen" song, Closer to Fine, the "even my sweat smells clean" song, all the songs involving water off the new album (as you can tell, I remember lyrics more than song names). Their opening band was named GirlyMan and they accompanied the IGs on many songs.

Many of the lesbians were shrieking, "Amy! I love you!" at the beginning of the concert.
To which she replied, "I don't know what to say."

Later on, another fan yelled, "Emily, I want to have your babies! Let's procreate together!"
To which Emily just mostly appeared confounded.

Three fans in front of me kept trying to do the wave. By themselves. All night. If I had better aim, I would have bonked them on their mullet-styled heads.

After the show, we headed past the tour bus. I ran up to see if I could chat with the IGs like I did two years ago. Alas, they were already on the bus. But one woman clutched a concert ticket that Amy had signed. The fan, who was middle aged, looked awestruck.

"Amy signed my ticket," the fan said, "because she is love."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Mean man who wanted to kidnap Letterman's son!

Love Letterman! Love Harry! Hate this mean man! And how could anyone have "light-hearted" discussions about kidnapping?!?

Suspect pleads not guilty in Letterman plot Lawyer: Baby kidnapping talk was 'lighthearted conversation'

CHOTEAU, Montana (AP) -- A man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to plotting to kidnap David Letterman's 16-month-old son and nanny and hold them for $5 million ransom.

Kelly Frank, 43, faces felony charges of solicitation and theft and a misdemeanor charge of obstruction. The judge ordered him to remain jailed on bail pending his next court appearance on April 5.

Last week, police arrested Frank, a painter who had been hired to do work on Letterman's ranch in north-central Montana. The arrest came after an acquaintance told investigators Frank had planned to kidnap the talk show host's son, Harry Joseph, and the child's nanny.

The acquaintance said Frank talked about holding the two for 48 hours in the belief that he could extort $5 million from Letterman. According to court records, Frank said he had a key to Letterman's house and even knew where the child slept.

Frank's attorney, Jim Hunt, said his client "has agreed there were discussions about it, but with no purpose of carrying it out." He called it a "lighthearted conversation."

Frank's fiancee, Laurie Johnson, has said that Frank was falsely accused by a childhood friend he had a falling out with.

She said the estranged friend, who also worked at Letterman's ranch, has a "personal vendetta" against Frank because of a fight they had at work, and has been trying to incriminate him ever since.


Monday, March 21, 2005

Michael Jackson. What the f***?

Testimony resumes in Jackson trial After late arrival, pop star appeared to shake, sob in court

Monday, March 21, 2005 Posted: 1:41 PM EST (1841 GMT)


SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- Testimony resumed Monday in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial after the pop star arrived late for court.

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville, who threatened to jail Jackson after a similar episode on March 10, pushed ahead with testimony Monday after a 45-minute delay.

Jackson arrived at the Santa Maria courthouse a few minutes after the scheduled start of the trial at 8:30 a.m. (11:30 a.m. ET).

Walking very slowly, with a bodyguard and his brother Jackie at his elbows, Jackson offered a weak wave to supporters, then made his way inside.

Jackson was wearinga black jacket with a blue armband and striped vest, with his hair hanging in front of his face.

Once he took his seat in the courtroom, Jackson seemed to be in distress, shaking and sobbing. At one point, appearing as if he might vomit, Jackson got up to leave, putting tissues in front of his face.

As testimony resumed, a doctor was sitting behind the pop star. No explanation was given in court for Jackson's illness or his late arrival.

Jackson's health issues have delayed his trial twice before. In February, he was briefly hospitalized with the flu, delaying jury selection for a week.

On March 10, suffering from what his representatives said was a back injury, Jackson showed up more than an hour late for court, wearing pajama bottoms, after Melville threatened to revoke his $3 million bond. (Full story)

Monday marks the start of the fourth week of Jackson's trial, with the prosecutors expected to turn their attention toward what they say was a conspiracy by Jackson and his associates to intimidate and control his accuser and the boy's family, including holding them against their will.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Terri Schiavo, President Bush and Bo Gritz

Schiavo, Bush and Gritz.

Whoever thought we would see those three names linked together? But they are. And this sad case just keeps getting sadder. I was getting ready for bed when I watched the news and got even angrier than I already am about the Terri Schiavo case in Florida. The latest is that President Bush is RUSHING back to the White House to sign emergency legislation to push the case into federal courts.

Forget that this isn't really constitutional. Forget that this is the second anniversary of the bungled war in Iraq and THIS is what Bush chooses to focus on today.

Oh, I forgot. He is the "respect life president." However, he didn't respect life when he signed execution warrants for 152 Death Row inmates while he was governor of Iraq. I guess he is only the "respect life president" of helpless women. So he only respects the life of CERTAIN people.

He certainly did not respect the lives of the more than 1,500 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq in the past two years, nor the estimated 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and civilians killed in the conflict. Oh that's right. Their deaths were all part of the War on Terror. A war based on the lie of weapons of mass destruction. So I guess it was okay. I guess their deaths weren't worth some emergency legislation.

The right to life is a tricky subject and one I struggle with as a Catholic. I am vehemently anti-Death Penalty. I have always felt this way, but it was reinforced when I was a courts reporter and sat through a number of Death Penalty cases. Sentencing someone to death causes no peace. No peace. Not for the victims' families or the killer's families.

I would never get an abortion, yet I support the right to choose. That is a mortal sin in the eyes of the Catholic church.

But how is it NOT a sin for politicians to rush in and try an intervene in a very private family matter? I have gone back and forth on the Schiavo case many times in the last fifteen years. For the most part, I have supported her husband. But sometimes I feel that if her parents are so willing to care for her, they should be allowed. Even if it is hopeless and they are hanging onto an elusive dream. That woman's brain cortex isn't functioning. She will never recover and I feel badly that her parents can't accept that.

The media are partly to blame here, especially television. Each night, the TV news shows excerpts of a tape made by Schiavo's parents in which she appears to smile at her mother and look at a balloon. But those are only snippets of the entire four-hour tape.

A Florida judge as well as reporters from the St. Petersburg Times all reviewed the whole videotape.

For most of it, Schiavo does NOT respond. Doctors have testified that her cerebral cortex, which controls the thought process, is destroyed. Her facial movements are merely reflexes.

There is a local connection, since Terri grew up not too far from here and is Catholic like me.

But I was appalled to read today that right wing-nut Bo Gritz and fellow protestors tried to storm the Florida hospice where Schiavo is and force-feed her bread and water.

She is UNABLE to feed herself. She had the feeding tube because she CAN NOT SWALLOW. This has become a circus. And it is truly a shame.

Let the woman die in peace or let her parents care for her. But the politicians and protestors need to STAY OUT OF IT. This isn't a freak show. Go home.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

2nd anniversary of war in Iraq

On the second anniversary of the disastrous war in Iraq, take a moment to say a prayer or think a good thought for all the soldiers there. And also send out some good karma that we get our troops OUT of there. SOON!

Check out this website, too:

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Florida and New York

It's Spring Break! For those of you who ask, "But don't you miss reporting, now that you are a teacher?" My answer is "Sure." Except not during Spring Break!!!!!!!!!

Am in Orlando right now. It is SUNNY here. I forget about the sun, now that I am back up north again. Last night, my sister and I went to a silent auction (The FurBall) for the non-profit my mom is in charge of. Here is the link: Adopt a shelter animal today! Do it for me, since I have allergies.

There were lovely stuffed mushrooms at the auction. They were stuffed with cheese and ham bits. My sister, the vegan, gnawed out all the ham bits and ate the cheese.

On Thursday, I fly to NYC for the annual College Media Advisors conference with my students. Just looked on the weather, though, and it is going to snow on Thursday. Argh. I hope I am not stuck in an airport for hours.

Friday, March 11, 2005


  I think I shall stay in my pajamas all day and pretend I am

Michael Jackson. But first, I need someone to hold an umbrella

over me, so as to protect my pale skin from the sun.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Carpenters

   The bells in the tower outside my office window chime on the hour

and sometimes play tunes. At 5 p.m., the bells just played

"Close To You" by the Carpenters.

    Doesn't that seem a bit odd to you for a musical selection from a bell tower?

Shouldn't it be playing Gregorian chants or something?

And who arranges Carpenters songs specifically for bell towers?

  I wonder.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Soap star arrested after telethon

Shawn Brady from "Days of Our Lives!"

Soap star arrested at Iowa airport

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Soap opera star Jason Cook

was arrested after he allegedly became argumentative with

airport officials who found a pipe with marijuana debris in his


     The "Days of Our Lives" actor was arrested Monday at the

Des Moines International Airport about 6 a.m. Monday on charges

of public intoxication and drug paraphernalia.

     He was in Des Moines over the weekend for the 31st annual

Variety Club telethon.

     "Jason appeared to be intoxicated, showing signs as bloodshot

 watery eyes, argumentative behavior, inability to follow instructions

and smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage," a police report said.


Monday, March 7, 2005

Weirdness at the Michael Jackson trial today

  Monday's cross-examination of the accuser's sister was briefly

interrupted when Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville ordered

a bathroom break.

   The break came after Jackson stood up at the defense table

and started rocking from foot to foot. After Melville ordered the recess,

Jackson left the room quickly.

   Court resumed a short time later after the return of Jackson,

who was dressed conservatively in a black jacket with a gray vest

and dark tie. He was not wearing his trademark armband.

Alannis Morrisette to release acoustic album

I can't BELIEVE it has been 10 years since this album. I remember

listening to it in Fayetteville when I was dating Greg the Army sgt.

Alanis doing unplugged 'Little Pill'

Monday, March 7, 2005 Posted: 9:53 AM EST (1453 GMT)

  Jagged Little Pill

LOS ANGELES, California (Billboard) --

As she neared the 10th anniversary of her landmark album

"Jagged Little Pill," Alanis Morissette began pondering how to

commemorate the occasion.

  She ultimately decided to do it all again. Together with the album's

producer/co-writer, Glen Ballard, she is in the middle of recording

an acoustic version of the career-defining set.

  "It just sounded much more appealing than creating my own

awards show," Morissette, 30, said with a laugh. "There's no

better way to honor things than through music."

  The as-yet-untitled album will come out on June 13 --

exactly 10 years to the day after the original release.

  It will initially be sold only at Starbucks' 4,500 North American

outlets for a six-week exclusive period, after which it will hit

traditional retail outlets on July 26.

  The collection, which will feature the songs in their original order,

will include previously unreleased video footage from that era

plus different artwork.

  In the decade since its release, "Jagged Little Pill" has sold

30 million copies across the globe, according to her label,

Warner Music Group's Maverick Records. In the United States,

it has sold 14.4 million units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

  The album is the best-selling debut by a female artist and the

14th best-selling album ever in the United States,

according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

  It also yielded four Grammys, including album of the year.

Saturday, March 5, 2005

Can you tell the difference?

Between Michael Jackson and LaToya Jackson? Um, I can't.

SANTA MARIA, California (CNN)


Jackson and his sister, LaToya, depart the courthouse.  

Friday, March 4, 2005

My friend Tim is in the hospital

  Please say a prayer for my friend Tim.

Once again, he is in the hospital. This afternoon,

he let the dog out of the apartment and fell out

of his wheelchair. He broke his leg - his femur.

  Now he needs surgery and a rod inserted to

stabilize the bone. But he can't get surgery

right now because his white blood count is too

high, from some lingering infection

I've written about Tim before.<o:p></o:p>

  Honestly, I don't know why good and decent

people suffer. Tim never did anything to deserve

this kind of illness and aggravation. It is like

he is living under a black cloud lately.

  Well, if you can, think good thoughts for Tim

to have a speedy recovery.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Good article about the Inquirer's food critic

I like all the subterfuge stuff he uses to hide his identity.

Not sure what is going on with THIS couple

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Actress Denise Richards has filed for divorce from her actor-husband Charlie Sheen, citing irreconcilable differences, according to court papers filed Wednesday.

Richards, 34, is six months pregnant with the couple's second child. They also have a daughter, Sam, who will be a year old next week.

The couple married in June 2002 and co-starred in "Scary Movie 3." Richards and Sheen, 39, met while shooting the independent film "Good Advice" in 2000.

They began dating after Richards guest-starred on Sheen's former series "Spin City." The marriage was Sheen's second and Richards' first.

Sheen's movies include "Platoon," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Hot Shots." He now stars in the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men."

Richards, a former Bond girl, has appeared in a host of movies, including "Wild Things" and "Starship Troopers."


Wednesday, March 2, 2005

The saga of my parking ticket in Hershey, PA

  Some of you may recall the spa weekend I took with my friends

at the Hershey Hotel in January. We were massaged, moisturized

and full of chocolate. Yum. As you may also recall, the mean

policeman gave me a ticket on the way to our Spa Weekend. Mean man!

  So I paid the ticket, which was $105.50. Alas, perhaps the shock

of the ticket caused me to make an error. I accidentally made out

my check for $105. No 50. This caused the municipal judge to send

BACK my check with a note. A mean note. About how I needed to

 pay or they would suspend my license.

   Hello. I HAD paid. I only owed them 50 cents. No, no.

It was not RIGHT. Mean, mean municipal judge.

  So I write out ANOTHER check. For the correct amount.

I underline the number 50 about a million times.

Yesterday, I get a letter in the mail telling me that my license

is about to be suspended for not paying the stupid ticket!

Which I have now paid twice!!!!


  So I call the mean municipal judge and get his mean secretary

on the phone. I explain that I HAVE paid my ticket. Twice.

She goes away. She comes back. Yes, she says. We did get your check.

All is fine. However they have not yet cashed it, according to my bank.

Will be worried till then.

  Perhaps I should pay again. But then I am sure THAT would be bad as well.