Friday, January 28, 2005

Million Dollar Baby

The other week, I went to see Clint Eastwood's new movie, "Million Dollar Baby." This is the movie getting all the Oscar buzz and you know that I am all about the Oscars.

Now the movie is getting criticism for something that happens in the third act of the movie. I will not reveal it. But let us just say that the movie takes this detour, a right turn, maybe a left turn - into a Different Plotsville and all of a sudden it is like "Whoa! This is no longer a boxing movie."

It was very good with excellent acting from Eastwood, Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman. But it ends about as well as "Mystic River" ended. In other words, not so happy.

So see the movie but do NOT, I repeat NOT expect a "Rocky-type" of uplifting ending. And bring tissues.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Donald Trump's wedding

My friend Missy from the Sun-Sentinel in Florida got to cover the chaos surrounding Donald Trump's wedding. I am soooooo jealous. Here is what she had to say, and a link to her article:

Well, the big day has come and gone and my feet are still killing me. Five
> and a half hours in heels! It was definitely an interesting experience
> though one I don't care to repeat anytime soon. To call it a media circus
> would be an understatement. We were sandwiched between Access Hollywood,
> Entertainment Tonight and ET Insider. The number of paparazzi was
> absolutley insane. They are so aggressive and pushy. When Donald and
> Melania drove past after the ceremony I thought one of those crazy phtogs
> was going to get run over. With the exception of that quick drive-by, we
> didn't get an up-close view of Melania. Apparently she arrived at the
> church very early. In an (successful) effort to shield Melania from the
> media, large plants were positioned along the windows of the hallway where
> she walked to the sanctuary. 
>
> I arrived to the media area, located directly across from the church, at 3
> p.m. I interviewed gawkers and police. About 6 o'clock, the first limo
> pulled up and much to the crowd's dismay, it was an older couple who bore
> zero celeb status. The groans could be heard across the causeway. Shortly
> afterward, Donald's sidekick George from The Apprentice pulled up and the
> crowd went wild. The other Apprentice star, Carolyn, showed up soon after.
> Other celebs I saw included: Barbara Walters, Billy Joel (who came in the
> back seat of a white Cadillac station wagon), supermodel Heidi Klum,
> rapper Russell Simmons, Kelly Ripa and Mark Conseulos, Frank and Kathie
> Lee Giffird, Star Jones Reynolds (thinner than I was expecting), Shaquille
> O'Neal, Gayle King (Oprah's best friend, tho no Oprah), Mickey Aronson
> (owns Carnival Cruise Lines and the Miami Heat), New York Gov. George
> Pataki and many others. The nuptials lasted about 25 minutes and then the
> celebs poured out of the church to pile back into their limos. Billy Joel
> (and his tall, beautiful and YOUNG new wife) was gracious enough to come
> talk to reporters. The rest of them just waved and drove off. In a
> nutshell, that's it. I've tried attaching a link to the story below.
> Hopefully it will work. 
>
> Cheers,
> Missy

http://www.southflorida.com/news/sfl-ptrump23jan23,0,5807273.story?coll=sfe-news-promo

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Must shovel

Must go shovel a foot of snow off my little VW Bug. The snow is practically covering every part of my little car. Not looking forward to going out there. However, I am looking forward to coming back inside, now that the heat is back on. It went off this morning around 8 a.m. and it took the maintenance guys a while to trek over here. I had my electric oven on for awhile. Yes, I know that has the makings of tragedy but no dishtowels or paper were in proximity.

Buy this book

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743469801/squishy/104-9750421-5916735

It is called "Why Girls Are Weird" and it is about a blogger named Pamela Ribon. Her website is www.pamie.com

She is a re-capper on one of my favorite sites, www.televisionwithoutpity.com and she also writes a really funny blog. She just got married and there are lots of beautiful pictures of her on her webiste.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Snow

The weather people said it would start snowing around 10 a.m. and they were right on the money. Holy crap it is snowing hard and it is only 20 minutes into the storm!

Mom changed her flight reservation and left for Florida on an earlier plane at 9:35 a.m. She made it out just in time! Did you enjoy her version of my endoscopy? Do you see where I get my sense of humor? I felt dizzy for two days which stunk and you should SEE the nasty bruise on my left hand from the IV. But according to the doctor, I most likely do NOT have celiac disease. I may have a Wheat Festival this weekend in my apartment in celebration.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Kathy's Mom describes the endoscopy experience

Once there was a sweet girl named Kathy. She had long, dark hair and a charming smile.  But she also had tummy troubles.  So she went to the doctor for a checkup and he decided she needed tests...more tests...many more tests.  While she hoped these were like the kind she used in school, to her surprise she found these tests involved needles and tubes and other ghastly things.  So her mommy came to take her to the doctor for one of these tests that involved tubes and needles and other ghastly things.  She was very brave. 

She comes from a long line of small-veined people..a people who show their distaste for tubes and needles and other ghastly things by having veins that refuse to allow needles to be placed in them. But alas, alak, the hospital people were persistent.  They tied her arm with a blue band; they slapped her arm; they slapped her wrist; they poked; they prodded; they made those noises that hospital people make when something is difficult to do.  Finally, as Kathy's arm hung to the ground, the nurse sat on the floor and found a way to stick her wrist with a needle. Even though she was very brave, Kathy started to look a little gray and green.

Her mommy suggested they give her drugs...now.  The nurse brought the doctor in to give her drugs...now.  The doctor asked what kind she wanted.  She suggested crack.  Since he didn't have crack, he gave her other good drugs "to relax her."  Her eyes tried to close. She kept opening them, saying she had to watch what was going on.  Her mommy told her there was nothing going on.  While her eyes started to try to close more persistently, her mouth became active.  She began to quietly babble. She babbled about how these drugs would be good to have on a bad date...with a guy who would start to talk about his ex- girlfriend.  This made everyone laugh and a discussion followed among the staff about the quality of today's men. She also asked for lipo-suction.  Another discussion followed among the staff.  Soon it was time for her mommy to go back to the waiting room.

Soon, the nurse came to say that Kathy was finished.  When her mommy went back to the pre-op room, Kathy was "standing", wearing her fine looking paper gown, hat and boots.  She leaned when she stood and when she shuffled to the locker room.  She swayed when she stood in the doorway.  She leaned and swayed and babbled while her mommy tried to get her to sit down.  Off came the hat and boots.  The gown was trickier.  She was sitting on it.  She slide down the chair.  Her mommy tugged and tugged and finally ripped most of the gown out from under her.  On went her sweater and shoes.

Her mommy said, "don't move. I'm going to run across the hall to the restroom."  Her mommy peed very quickly...but not quick enough.  When she returned, Kathy had already gotten into her mommy's purse, taken out the phone and was babbling about calling her sister.  The phone was taken, placed in the handbag, and off we went to talk to the doctor..who didn't seem to realize that Kathy was loopy.  He gave her test results, showed her pictures of her insides, chatted and made jokes.  She acted as if she understood...but really..she was still loopy.

On went the hat, coat, gloves and out into the snow we went.  Despite urgings from mommy, she insisted on walking to the car..in the snow, babbling about wanting something from McDonald's. Off we went to McDonald's where her mommy ordered 2 cheeseburgers (1 for mommy and 1 for Kathy), 1 large fries, and 1 soda.  Her good directional brain clicked in as the munching began, and she guided mommy and the car through the snow to home.  She continued to talk about wanting to call Jenny.

Up the steps to the apartment she went. Off came the hat, coat and boots.  More munching continued.  Mommy went to get the mail.  When she returned Kathy was on the phone with Jenny.  Let's just say they each had a different recollection of the conversation.  One thought the conversation was quite lucid...the other...well, let's just say she thought the conversation had some long pauses and more than a few non-sequitors.  The munching continued...with mommy's sandwich also being consumed.

Finally, off she toddled to bed where she fell into a coma for 3 hours.  Before she went off to dreamland, she said that since this test wasn't so bad, perhaps now she would have a colonoscopy.  Her mommy can hardly wait.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Tube down throat

Hi guys. It is freakin' FREEZING here. It was 17 degrees last night. Just 17.

So tomorrow is my endoscopy in which a tube will be shoved down my throat and part of my intestine snipped off. Oh joy. Am trying not to freak out. My mom is coming up to go with me because I am a big huge baby.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Golden Globes

I was too busy having fun with my friends this weekend at the Hershey Hotel Spa to take notes on the Golden Globe.

So here is a link with funny stuff from E!Online.

http://www.eonline.com/Features/Awards/Golden2005/BestWorst/index.html

Friday, January 14, 2005

Adoption information is overwhelming

Last night, I went to an informational meeting about international adoption. Wow. It was so overwhelming. I came home and my head was spinning. It is still spinning today. Of course, that could also be because I have not yet eaten lunch.

Seriously, I learned a lot. First of all, I learned that I would not even pass the home study right now with my one-bedroom apartment. I figured I could start the adoption process and then in the 12 to 18 months it takes things to get rolling, I would find a bigger place.

Nope. I would need the bigger place BEFORE I adopt. The social workers need to be able to see exactly what room the child would live in. So in the next year, I will have to move to a two-bedroom place, breaking my lease in the process. I like my apartment complex but two-bedroom units here start at $950, which is just crazy.

As some of you know, I have dreadful debt problems that will take me another two years to climb out of. This could affect me passing the home study. So the question becomes, do I start making plans now or WAIT the two years. The social worker I spoke to was unclear,

Here is what I knew but was still startled to learn: It could cost about $27,000 to adopt internationally. Yup. Are you gasping? I still am. Considering my aforementioned debt problems, it is not like I have that lying around. Although it is not like I would need all that money upfront. It is paid out over the process. But still, yikes. I DID learn that I would qualify for an Income Tax Adoption Credit of $10,000 after I get the child. But still, I would need the money up front.

Note to self: Hold bake sale to raise money for baby.

I HAD been interested in adopting from China, but it turns out that China has a quota for single moms and the agency I visited has met its quota for the year. But I WAS very interested in adopting from Guatelama, even though the "in-country fee" is $18,000. Doesn't that sound like some big bribe to someone in the country? Anyway, the babies there are mostly Mayan and live in decent foster homes for about six months or so. That means I could get a baby about a year old. The wait time is less if I wanted a boy. Who knew? Of course, I had wanted a girl, but I would make a good mommy to a little boy as well.

The agency also helps parents adopt from Ukraine, Russia and Kazhakstan (none have quotas on single moms). But let's be serious. What would I prefer: A two week trip to the wilds of Kazhakstan or a two-day trip to Guatemala?

Because international adoption costs SO MUCH, I will also keep exploring domestic adoption through the NJ child welfare system. Most of the kids I saw on their website, God help them, are older and have been badly abused. They need a different kind of mom than I would be as a single working mom. But MAYBE there is ONE toddler who has not been through quite so much trauma. As you all can figure, I do not care about my child's race.

Okay, a lot to take in. Head swimming. Need to win lottery. And move. Oh and make tenure! Can't forget about that. Aiiiiiiieeeeeeeee!

Good thing Ellen is on.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Protest plans for Inauguration Day. Spread the word

ACTION ALERT * UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
http://www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545
==========================================
January 20, 2005: Protest Bush’s Inauguration * Major protest activities being planned for Washington, D.C. * Dozens of local actions nationwide
Visit http://www.unitedforpeace.org for details and links
==========================================
On Thursday, January 20, 2005, George W. Bush will be inaugurated as president of the United States. For the millions of us who stand for the values of peace and justice, it is a moment to renew our commitment to resist the Bush Administration and its deadly policies of war and greed - and to show Bush, and the world, that our movement is energized, mobilized, and determined to keep fighting back.

PROTEST IN WASHINGTON, D.C.: United for Peace and Justice urges everyone who can to converge in Washington, DC on January 20. We encourage you to participate in the creative, powerful protest activities being organized by two groups: the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN) (http://www.dawndc.net) and Turn Your Back on Bush (http://www.turnyourbackonbush.org). Visit the DC-based Counter-inaugural.org website (http://www.counter-inaugural.org)
for housing and ride boards, resources, meeting information, and more.

On Friday, January 21, help launch the post-inaugural progressive agenda
at the “United WE Stand” Rally and Cultural Festival at Plymouth
Congregational Church, featuring comedian/actor Rosie O'Donnell; Rev.
Graylan Hagler, Pastor, Plymouth Congregational UCC and UFPJ Steering
Committee; Damu Smith, Founder of Black Voices for Peace; UFPJ National
Coordinator Leslie Cagan and others. Visit http://www.unitedforpeace.org
for more details.

LOCAL ACTIONS NATIONWIDE: Dozens of local protest events around the
country are scheduled for January 20. Some highlights: Activists in New
Orleans are organizing a "Jazz Funeral for Democracy," the Northland
Anti-War Coalition is organizing a Counter-Inaugural March in Duluth, MN,
and folks in Houston are coordinating a day of creative direct action and
non-cooperation. A complete list is available at http://www.unitedforpeace.org. Be sure to list your activities on the UFPJ
website calendar at http://www.unitedforpeace.org/events

WEAR A WHITE RIBBON: UFPJ also encourages everyone to wear a white ribbon on January 20 to honor all who have died as a result of the Bush
Administration’s policies. White is the symbol for peace in many countries
around the world and the symbol of mourning in others. The white ribbon is simple and clear: "We mourn all of the dead. We support the troops. End
the war now and bring the troops home."

SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT MARCH 19: Wherever you are on January 20, it’s a great opportunity to begin spreading the word about the global day of
protest on March 19, the two-year anniversary of the Iraq War. United for
Peace and Justice has called for hundreds of local actions in communities
large and small across the U.S., with special support for the major
regional demonstration being planned in Fayetteville, NC. Visit
http://www.unitedforpeace.org for more information.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Don't you just want to know what KIND of sandwich?

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/states/new_jersey/10624029.htm

Wife charged with murder after man stabbed in kitchen


Inquirer Staff Writer

An argument over a sandwich Monday night led a Gloucester County woman to fatally stab her husband, authorities said yesterday.

Charlene M. Arrison, 41, of Deptford, was arrested about 9 p.m. and charged with murdering Edward Arrison, 48, said Bernie Weisenfeld, spokesman for the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office.

An autopsy determined that Edward Arrison had died of a stab wound that penetrated his heart, Weisenfeld said.

The couple's two children - a 7-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son - were home but did not witness the killing, which took place in the kitchen, Weisenfeld said. Last night, they were staying with their maternal grandparents in Audubon.

Edward Arrison was charged in 2000 with assaulting Charlene, authorities said. The charges were dismissed in 2002, Weisenfeld said.

Charlene Arrison was held last night at the county women's jail in Clarksboro after failing to post $150,000 bail set by state Superior Court Judge Diane Cohen.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

George Clooney once again puts Bill O'Reilly in his place!

Go George, go George. Go! Go!

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/01/10/oreilly.clooney/index.html

Two tickets

I got two, count them, two tickets in the past few days. My. I must be on a roll.

The first was in NYC for an expired meter. Damage: $65

The second was mere minutes ago in Woodbury, N.J. for going 46 (oooh!) in a 25 m.p.h. Damage: $85.

Sigh.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

Ick. Michael Jackson court case files. Ick.

Reading this made me want to wash myself. With bleach. To get rid of the ick.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/010605jackson.html

Britney Spears' latest letter to fans. My thoughts

Click below to read Britney Spears' latest letter to her fans in which she both clarifies and explains her thoughts, hopes and dreams. 

http://www.britneyspears.com/letters.php?PHPSESSID=e85199bcf28f01d2c54aea258b3d22cd

And now, for KQ's academic analysis of her letter:

Such an important treatise from our pop icon, Britney.

At first, she reveals her flawed nature, thus making her like ALL OF US. She makes resolutions. Yet she, like us, has trouble sticking to them.

Then she moves on to clarify, nay to enlighten us about what she TRULY MEANT. She meant a break. Not in a good-bye sense, but more in a "break" sense. A la Ross and Rachel on "Friends." However, much like R&R, there was inherent confusion. Much as Ross thought a "break" meant that it was okay to sleep with the copy girl, Rachel did not. Just as when Britney said she was taking a break, it was not forever or forever-ever-ever. Just a break from the icky part of her fame. Not the good parts. Like having money and marrying the goateed indigent.

She mentions the True Masters and what she has learned from them. Yes.

Soon, we move on to her Feminist Manifesto, as much as Britney can muster one. SHE will be the one pushing for a new video, when the mean record company would not allow it. SHE would be co-directing because SHE knows the true meaning of the feminine life forms, which as she so aptly describes, "alters the entire feel."

Now it is on to her pets, all female dogs (perhaps "bitches?") yet with cute, endearing infantilized names. And their own rooms. And dressers. And baby chandeliers.

Baby? Yes, baby. All of this leads to the fact that Brit wants a baby.

The True Masters have told her thus.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

Pneumonia update

My friend Tim is out of the hospital. Whew! He and I chatted on the phone today and he sounded okay, all things considering.

My sister Jenny still sounds congested and awful. She keeps falling asleep for hours at a time. But she is slowly getting better too.

The sadness of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt

Let me just express my deep and sincere sadness over the unraveling of the marriage of Jennifer and Brad. If these two crazy kids can't make it work, then who among us can??? This questions disturbs me. Deeply.

It was with shock, sorrow and sadness that I read this news on the front page of the NY Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/269248p-230616c.html this morning as I ate an egg/bacon bagel in Manhattan. It is a wonder I was able to pull it together and drive home to New Jersey!!!!!

But I found kindred souls in the Molly Pitcher Rest Stop along the New Jersey Turnpike. There, in front of a television tuned to Headline News, stood a crowd of people, riveted to the screen.

Was it tsunami coverage? A new terror threat that had captured their attention? No, it was the news about Jen and Brad. Their marital woes have touched us all, AS A NATION.

Then most of the people turned away and stood in line for a Cinnabon. We are resilient. We go on.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

George Clooney will be in tsunami telethon

'Cause he is that kinda guy!

http://et.tv.yahoo.com/newslink/index.html#l1

GEORGE CLOONEY JOINS NBC FOR CHARITY
January 5, 2005

Hollywood stars, like GEORGE CLOONEY, are lining up to help NBC in the call to all Americans for tsunami disaster relief. ET has confirmed that the popular actor will be involved in the network's upcoming charity telethon, scheduled for 8 p.m. on January 15. Pop star SHERYL CROW, as well as country music singer TIM McGRAW, are also expected to join the cause, according to The New York Times. NBC plans to keep phone lines open throughout the hour-long nationally broadcast telethon so callers can pledge cash donations for victims of the recent tragedy. NBC Universal's cable networks, like MSNBC, CNBS, Bravo, Trio and the Sci-Fi channel, will also broadcast the event. Meanwhile, Formula One champion driver MICHAEL SCHUMACHER, whose bodyguard reportedly perished in the disaster, donated $10 million during a German telethon Tuesday.


Pneumonia

So my sister Jenny has pneumonia. In her left lung. Mom thought her cough sounded "weird" and sent her to the doctor. Mom was right! How do they know those things? Jenny is home and feels punky, but she is okay. I asked if I should come down to keen and wail at her bedside and pray for her. She said "nah."

"I have the walking kind," she said, "not the dying kind."

Meanwhile, some prayers ARE needed for my friend, Tim. He ALSO has pneumonia, but in two lungs and is in the ICU. This is complicated by the fact that Tim has Devic's Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/devics/devics.htm

I have written about Tim before and his struggle with this illness. http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/inquirer/news/opinion/local1/7008189.htm

Right now he is in the ICU of a Washington hospital. His wife, Judy, said he is doing okay, considering. They have all been through much worse. So think good thoughts and everyone take your Vitamin C.

I exercised

In keeping with my New Year's goal, I exercised on Saturday and yesterday. I hated it, but I did it. I will be back in NYC on Thursday and Friday so I can do lots more exercising then. Am eating my Lean Cuisines. But I am still not skinny. Sigh. Wish this would be quicker.

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

U2 video on tv tonight

www.U2.com


Game On! 'All Because of You' Video Debuts Tonight!

The video for U2's new single in North America, 'All Because of You', will premiere on the ABC network in the US tonight.

The video, directed by Phil Joanou and shot live in New York at the end of November, will air as part of the half-time coverage of the FedEx Orange Bowl BCS National Championship game.

Viewers watching the game, featuring No. 1 USC against No. 2 Oklahoma, will see a special two minute version of the video as the backdrop for first-half highlights.

The entire video will be available to view on ESPN.com at the conclusion of the halftime coverage.

And if you miss it then, it will also feature on the 12 o'clock midnight, ET (9:00 p.m., PT) and 1:00 a.m., ET editions of SportsCenter on ESPN - playing over full Championship game highlights.