Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just Say No to Polygamy

I pictured my new sister wife to be like Margene on Big Love. We'd giggle, make fun of the other wives and drink lots of wine after everyone else went to sleep.  In Oprah's show yesterday where she visited a polygamist compound, there wasn't a Margie in sight.  And a sister wife who did her hair like this would make me want to drink even more wine. When none at all is even allowed. Which is a big problem.

They also get up at 5:00 AM (!) to get ready for their day. No wonder they don't drink! Hangovers make 5 am wake-up calls problematic.  On the bright side, Oprah made a couple of funnies. She wanted to know why they didn't like it being called a "compound."  Compound isn't a bad word, she noted. She "always wanted to live on the Kennedy compound" she informed her host.  Bahahahahahahaha!

She made another joke too but I missed it because I was too busy canceling my ad for a sister wife on Craigslist.  Ladies, I think what we all really want are full-time housekeepers like Alice on The Brady Bunch, not sister wives.  Of course if you want her to help you out with your, errr, marital obligations,  you may have to pay a little extra.  

If you're not convinced, consider this. These people breed like rabbits. So you'd have a sober lady with humongous hair moving into your house and she'll have like 10 kids in under two years. No thanks.  

Onto my ongoing "tip list" for Oprah: Dude, what's with the false eyelashes?  I think the key is to make them look like they could possibly be real.  We're veering dangerously close to Tammy Faye Baker territory here.  Except hers were kind of separated into big gooey individual lashes and Oprah's are one big shelf of lash. Like a big black tidal wave on the upper eyelid. Is it time the Harpo make-up people got the kibosh?  Opes could always blame the economy... 

Monday, March 30, 2009

Costco for Hillbillies

Is it socially acceptable to take your kids out in their pajamas in the middle of the day?  I think Britney Spears used to do that a lot. So I'm thinking no.  My sister will be horrified when she sees this post.  Her kids are dressed the minute their feet hit the floor each morning.  I came very close to just wearing my pajamas there myself. Please note the snow in the picture. This was yesterday. It's the end of March.  Maybe Chicago really is the third most miserable city as Forbes kindly noted.

So I'm off to watch the Oprah about polygamists which I Tivo'd and will brief you on. Right now I'm thinking a sister wife sounds good.  She can do the Costco shopping. In my house, first wives won't have to do that sort of thing. In fact, the first wife (me) will not do much of anything at all.  Except watch Oprah.  That will be my duty in my new polygamist household. Watching Oprah and then briefing the sister wives so we can all live our best lives.  Oh, and watching Dancing with the Stars so I can tell my sister wives how hot Chuck Wicks is. They won't have time to watch it themselves.  They'll be too busy cooking me dinner.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

F#@$ Tinkerbell!

Remember my obsession with finding those hideous purple Tinkerbell chairs?  If not, you clearly aren't writing down everything I say that is important. And please note that everything I say is important. Regardless, I can only give up so much for my children. And my eyesight isn't one of them.  Plopped right in the middle of our living room, these chairs were an assault on the senses.  We have an "open floor plan" (they use that term on House Hunters a lot) which means it was hard to escape the purple-ness of it all.  I'd be in the kitchen while the girls were napping and feel someone staring at me.  Two someones actually.  Both Tinkerbell.  Maybe I would have felt differently if I bought the Dora version.  Dora doesn't seem like the judgmental type who'd be making a mental note of how many doughnuts I ate that day.

Please note the replacement chairs above. The girls keep pointing to the back of the chairs as if to say, "Where is our fair-haired friend with the wings, Mommy?" In hell, girls. Although I think Tinkerbell was around long enough to influence one of them... What's with the pose of the twin on the left?  She looks like she should have a martini in her hand and is trying out for the cover of Maxim.  

Friday, March 27, 2009

JT -- Bringing Sexy Back to Chicago (NOT!)

It's been irritating me to no end that Opes has been Skype-ing in guests.  However, for Thursday's show, it was with good reason: Most the guests can't leave their houses without a crane.  I don't have much to say about yesterday's show. I enjoy making fun of people who weigh 90 pounds, not 900.  But I will say this:  Opes' peeps clearly heard me on the "curly hair" advice.  I wonder if there is a job opportunity for me in that realm. I could be the Vice President of Hair and all it entails is every morning saying to her stylist:  "Curly!" Day after day, morning after morning, I will drive to Harpo Studios, utter the directive "Curly!" and return home. Before my girls even wake up.  That's worth a good 100k don't you think?

So, I must admit I have never heard a Justin Timberlake song. I'm not even convinced he sings. And I don't find him remotely attractive.  Imagine my despair when I turned on Oprah's ill-conceived Friday's Live this morning and discovered JT was on as advertised, but not filling in for Mark Consuelo as I had assumed.  Which immediately put me in a bad mood. I don't want to spend an hour with Mark, not even a second with Mark.  Sigh. But I lumbered through so I could provide an update to you people not fortunate enough to be able to watch Oprah at whim:
  • Why does Ali Wentworth always look like she hasn't slept in a month?  And that's after Oprah's makeup team has had its way with her. Imagine what George Stephanoupolus wakes up to every morning. Anyway, she broke her toe or something while getting a bowl of cereal in the middle of the night. She thinks this is hysterical.
  • Mark just spent spring break with his kids sans Kelly. He said Kelly "got her spring break schedule screwed up."  Read here: Kelly is as sick of Mark as the rest of America and wanted the house to herself (and possibly her boyfriend) for the week.  Mark took the kids to DisneyWorld. He said it "was magical." Really. He said that.  
  • Oprah's hair is straight again. She really does need a Vice President of Hair. "Curly!"
  • Oprah was showing some bosom in an unflattering pink ensemble. Granted, it's hard to contain those suckers.  
  • Please explain to me what's good looking about JT. Anyone? Bueller? He also dated the dumbest woman alive, Cameron Diaz.  I do admit I love Dick in a Box.  Oh wait, I do know one of his songs!  And he can be very funny.  CAN BE. He wasn't today.
  • Gayle's heard of Dick in a Box. But she called it Thing in a Box.  Tee hee.
  • Have I mentioned Ali Wentworth isn't funny? Like remotely. She tries like a bastard, but she's terrible. She said she'd write something funny for JT. Umm, Ali, we'll believe that when we see it. 
  • Ali wants to have sex with Justin.  She's acting like a giddy schoolgirl (one who's not aging well and is in dire need of medical intervention).
  • JT loves golf. He adores dogs. He's designing clothes or something now. Bored yet? Me too. 
  • Ali models some of Justin's clothes line and makes a bigger ass of herself than usual. Literally and figuratively. She's insufferable. She shoves her butt into JT. I am regurgitating bon bons.  
  • We haven't had enough of Steve Harvey! He's back via Skype!   Because a roundtrip ticket from Atlanta to Chicago costs $200 and apparently Opes is on a budget.   He uses the term "butt hole."  Tee hee.
  • Ali has been married for seven years. She asks Steve how to keep her man.  Bring out the teddy?  Cook more? I can answer that: Shut the f@#$ up, Ali. 
  • Oprah reveals she rarely watches her own shows. A-HA MOMENT ALERT!  That's why she sometimes wears her hair straight!
I'm hoping next Friday Opes decides to Skype in Mark and Ali but there are technical difficulties.  Is there anyone who likes Ali?  Aside from her husband and kids?  And even that's a stretch.  You didn't missed ANYTHING today. This show KEPT me from my best life, not helped me achieve it.  Going to go slice my head off with a dull butter knife which should be more fun than the last hour.  

Thursday, March 26, 2009


So I'm convinced if I don't start my kids in pre-school at exactly the right time or send them to exactly the right school, they will become dismal failures.  And, let's face it, I don't want to be the mother of dismal failures.  I think my therapist would be wise to point out my obsession is more about me than them.  But then I'd have to fire her for insulting me in that manner which is probably why she just says things like, "Mmm-hmmm... I see..."  

I've been researching The Montessori School here in Chicago and their philosophy is as such: "Montessori emphasizes self-directed activity on the part of the child and observation on the part of the educator."  Ummm, okay. Well, I can observe my kids with the best of them and it won't cost me 2000 smackers per month.  It also "discourages grades and tests under the premise it is damaging to the inner growth of the child."  Errr, this sounds like an easy teaching gig.  You observe and then don't grade.  And then the scare tactic:  They believe the mind is most open to learning from birth to age 6. Eeegads! They've confirmed my biggest fear -- I MUST IMMEDIATELY GET THE GIRLS INTO THE RIGHT PRE-SCHOOL OR INTO HOLLYWOOD (where I understand being stupid is okay).

Also from their web site: "At this age, children believe that they are the center of the universe and everything revolves around their wishes and whims.  When they enter the Montessori environment, they quickly discover that they have to sublimate their wants and desires to those of the larger group."  Montessori will in turn quickly discover my kids don't give a shit about the desires of the larger group. Not even the relatively small group consisting of their parents.

No, friends, I do believe the Montessori school may not be for us.  Plus, I thought the Italians were known for their food and sexual prowess, not their smarts...  On the plus side, Montessori advocates water being implemented into their teaching methods and my kids do enjoy bath time... Bath time in my house, however, is free.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Opes Update: Don't Eat, Live Forever

So, as expected on Tuesday's Oprah Show, Dr. Oz trotted out rat livers and goat hearts and such. Was this man deprived of Show & Tell as a child?  So the gist is you can live to be 180 years old if you stop eating like a normal person.  Calorie-restricting freaks came on via Skype (can Oprah no longer afford to fly guests to Chicago?) to bore us with the trials and tribulations of counting and weighing every calorie. It looks like a real blast. One gal, who seemed light-headedly hungry to me, boasted of eating 1600 calories per day, presumably so she can outlive every human being she knows on Earth.  1600 calories! Per day! I sometimes have 1600 calories before 8 am if I'm having a particularly rough morning with my twins.  I've also been known to drink 1600 calories per day in red wine alone. That said, who wants to live to be 260 years old and not have a Twinkie every now and again?  Sheesh.

So today, we had women who left men for women. So shocking was it that some of these women like women! Not. I could have saved them and their husbands the heartache (and divorce fees) and let them in on their own little secret years ago: they're gay.  Big whoop. However, the most shocking part of the show didn't involve sexuality at all: Oprah was wearing a shirt I own. Not my own personal shirt, of course (that would be a thrill!), but Oprah and I own the same shirt. It's from JCrew (she's been hanging out with Michelle Obama clearly). So that was my main take-away.  I have the same taste as a multi-billionaire. Or at least the same taste as a multi-billionaire's stylist. Yay me.  And Oprah's hair is back curly. She can thank me with cash.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Denise Sent Packin'!

Ask and you shall receive. I feel almost spiritual.  Bruno actually gave Denise the best compliment she's received in years: "Denise, you are an actress." Bruno, you are too kind! Last time I checked, she was a best-friend-husband-stealing reality show failure.  Good riddance.  I say that, but I actually felt a little bad for her. Sigh. It's complicated.  

I'm in a cold war with my TIVO. Apparently, it can't tell the difference between a presidential address and Dancing with the Stars. (OMG!  Good idea!  What if Obama gives his next press conference while dancing with Michelle live on the show!)  So I missed Hall & Oates perform, which made me almost come to tears. (I believe this is a warning sign one may need mood-stabilizing drugs.)  I am less interested in what they sang than how they are aging.

Holly and her breasts, also up for elimination last night, get to stick around for a while. BAHHHAAHAAHAAHAHAHAAHA!  (Note: I am channeling Carrie Ann. I say something not particularly witty and then laugh myself into a conniption fit.)

Dancing with Gilles Marini's Ass

Yowza!  I've never seen an ass-shaking on a heterosexual man the likes of Gilles Marini's on Monday night's DWTS.  Lest you think he's taken Chuck Wicks' place in my heart, hell no. Foreign men make me uncomfortable. Especially the French. Further observations:
  • Denise Richards: According to very complex mathematical equations involving square footage between her eyes, I've determined she's three-quarters Alien, one-quarter Earthling. Can the other planet from which she originates please come claim her? The Brazilian Wandering Spider last spotted at a Whole Foods in Oklahoma apparently wandered to LA and landed on her eyelids. Or were those fake eyelashes? Yuk. Please America!  I beg of you. SEND. HER. HOME.
  • Chuck Wicks: Why don't Chuck and Julianne Hough immediately marry, have babies and live happily ever after for the next five years until they discover they hate each other like the rest of us mere mortals with kids? I won't even begrudge them several years of bliss.  They are so cute I don't even want to sleep with Chuck behind Julianne's back. 
  • Holly Madison: Anyone else sick of the boob jokes with Holly?  Her boobs are as fake as the rest of her face. I mean, vote her off or get over it. See the before and after photo here.  PLEASE SEND ME THE NAME OF HER PLASTIC SURGEON STAT.  Did you see Holly and Denise tittering to each other in the background later on the show? What do you think they were saying. "Who did your boobs? They look great!"  "Oh, so do yours!" How many cc's total do you think are on this show between Holly, Denise and Li'l Kim? Anyone I'm missing?
  • Melissa Rycroft: Carrie Ann is so jealous of Melissa she can't contain herself.  She slammed her with pleas of she "just wants to see her challenge herself" and "something's not right but I just can't put my finger on it..."  Um, right. I liked Melissa's "Die bitch" look in response.  And then Carrie Ann gives her a "9."  I hate Carrie Ann almost as much as Denise Richards.  Notice how she always says something completely unfunny and then laughs herself silly?  Example: "Two thumbs up!  BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"  Is "two thumbs up" a punch line with which I am unfamiliar?
  • David Alan Grier: I am flying to LA tomorrow and assaulting him with a razor.  I can't take him seriously with the mustache.  I'll bring my scissors too and chop Carrie Ann's bangs so she can stop her hijinks with the roller in them.
  • Steve-O: I am no longer rooting against Steve-O. I'm fickle like that. But I am getting sick of his gimpiness.  Hurt again?  You lit yourself on fire once, didn't you?  And you can't handle a little shutterbugging and such? Wuss.
  • Gilles Marini: I finally figured out who the hell he is. He is Kim Cattrall's hot neighbor a in the Sex and the City movie.  I did like Bruno calling him "a throbbing red hot poker." Speaking of which, I wish someone would shove one of those up Carrie Ann's ass. She's one of those women who doesn't like other women. Like when she basically called Gilles' partner Cheryl Burke a lazy ass who finally got off her duff because she has a hot dance partner. Did you know Carrie Ann played Fook Yu in Austin Power's Gold Member film? Fook Yu, Carrie Ann!!!!
  • Lawrence Taylor: This man can dance. And I bet he can do a few other things well too, if ya know what I mean.  Wink wink. Seriously, his and Gilles were my favorite dances of the evening. Don't tell Chuck.
  • Steve Wozniak: I suspect he'll be going home unless America has more of a sense of humor than I give them credit for.  Although HE has a sense of humor... I read he's dating Kathy Griffin!!!???  Someone please confirm or deny.
  • Ty Murray: Ty, I'd like to give you a phone number. No, not mine. 1-800-DENTIST. Do they have no dentists where he and Jewel live???  That said, I like him. He seems swell.
  • Shawn Johnson: They need to stop putting makeup on her to make her look like a 40-year-old mother of ten. She looked like a perfectly cute 17-year-old in the practice session clips and then she comes on stage looking like she's on her way to a PTA meeting from the neck up and a brothel from the neck down. 
  • L'il Kim: Did you notice all the "F@#% me" faces she was making while dancing?  Just when I thought she emerged from jail a lady...
Who do you think will be the first to have a wardrobe malfunction? I hope when it happens whoever's boob pops out hits Carrie Ann in the head rendering her comatose until the season ends. Then, Paula Abdul, drugged to high heaven, fills in.  That is my dream.  I know, I dream big.

David Letterman Marries Long-Suffering Girlfriend; Has Hot Nanny

If you'd sit around waiting for someone to marry you for TWENTY-THREE YEARS (I wonder what Steve Harvey would say about THAT), then why tempt the man with a hot nanny, one wonders?  (Wife in photo on right; nanny in photo on left. Don't make me state the obvious. I don't like to be a mean person except to my husband.)

This must have been Old Guys Settle Down Week: Letterman and Bruce Willis got married while Harrison Ford got engaged.  Calista is rather patient too.  Her and Harrison have been dating for seven years. I'd gladly have waited 23 years for Hans Solo. Sigh.  But then I'd hire a nanny who looked like Kathy Griffin before all the work.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oprah Wears Unflattering Sweater, Man Gives Advice to Run Off Other Men

Oh dear ladies.  I do hope you missed Oprah today if you are single. Because if you didn't, you'll forever remain single.  Which is actually fine. Perhaps single is better. But if you tuned in today to hear good advice on man-capturing, you'd be well advised to de-program.  Enjoy the preview here.

Steve Harvey, comedian turned advice-giver and self proclaimed "manliness expert," suggests asking men the following five questions SOME OF THEM ON THE FIRST DATE. I'm not even sure I've asked my husband the following questions:
  • What are your short-term goals?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • How do you view relationships?
  • What do you think of me?
  • How do you feel about me?
I suppose you ask those and then marry the first guy that hasn't excused himself to go the restroom and never comes back.  Regardless, several women who apparently have never looked in the mirror start listing all of their requirements in a man: handsome, rich, well-mannered, church-going, God-fearing, fire-breathing and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.  WHY HAVEN'T THEY FOUND HIM??? 

In all fairness, Steve is a very entertaining fellow who makes some good points.  Not original ones, mind you. Like keep your standards, respect yourself blah blah blah.  He also says you can't sleep with a man before 90 days. 90 DAYS???  A twist on the why-buy-the-milk-when-you-can-get-the-cow-for-free theory, I suppose. Well, Steve, I've milked the cow, drank the milk, gotten engaged and returned the cow in less time. We don't have months upon months to sit around acting prim and proper just for a little respect, Steve! Sheesh.

Opes, you have a man. That tall, cool drink of water called Stedman. But that doesn't mean you can go on national television wearing an ill-fitting orange (or is that red?) cowl-neck sweater.  I tell you this only because while you help me live my best life, I want to help you live yours. And that sweater has no place in anyone's best life. 

So tomorrow is something about Dr. Oz.  Zzzzzzzzz. B-O-R-I-N-G. I don't like the Dr. Oz-centric ones -- he displays intestines and innards and such. They are located inside our bodies where nobody can see them for a reason.  Therefore, my entire analysis might have to be on what Oprah is wearing...

More important: I get to see Chuck Wicks dance tonight!  I think he should be given $1 billion of the stimulus bailout money. Just for being him. I don't think he needs a bailout nor would it provide stimulus but I think he needs to know how much America appreciates him. It can go under the "Beautification of America" line item.   Obama people, are you listening???!!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Can I Read You My Grocery List?

So I go to Whole Foods yesterday and call my husband at work to tell him what I bought. Because he's fascinated by everything I do.  I mean, don't you wish I called you to read my grocery list aloud? So about halfway down the list is bananas and he stops me and says there was a deadly spider found at Whole Foods in the banana section in Oklahoma.  This, I suppose, was meant to alarm me and possibly discourage me from calling him at work to discuss purchased food items.

It's called the Brazilian Wandering Spider.  Fitting name for a spider that wandered to Oklahoma from Brazil. Apparently one of the symptoms of being bitten by this particular spider is AN ERECTION THAT WON'T GO AWAY. It's like nature-induced Cialis.  Except you die. Presumably before you get to use it. Which is kind of sad.

I hate Whole Foods anyway so this gives me good ammunition besides just not liking the freaks that shop there. And work there.  I break out in hives during check out because I forget if they'd rather you choose paper or plastic. One overly pierced fellow seemed pissed I wanted a bag at all. Environmentalists make me very nervous. If you are an environmentalist, please note: I DO NOT print out my blog posts.  I'm saving trees! I come in peace! Please don't skin me alive to save the whales!

Many times I have thought about storming the Whole Foods headquarters in Austin, Texas and demanding to speak to the Vice President of Gouging Customers. Why, for example, do they charge $1.33 more for the the Earth's Best Cereal Bars than Jewel does, I'd inquire.  And why 50 cents more for the same brand of organic milk?  All for the pleasure of possibly being attacked by the world's ugliest spider? Remind me to revive my grocery store phobia that my husband seems to have purposely exacerbated with stories of globe-trotting poisonous insects.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Oprah Live" on Fridays -- Please Make it Stop!

I hesitate to write about my obsession with watching Oprah every day, as I have no desire to perpetuate the stay-at-home-mother sitting around watching tv and eating bon bons all day. How did eating bon bons get such a bad rap anyway? What is a bon bon and why is eating them synonymous with living a purposeless life of leisure?  I think the bon bon PR people need to step it up a notch.

Regardless, "living my best life" is  of utmost concern and how does one do that if one doesn't religiously watch The Opes?  So my agitation has been growing with fervor since she instituted Oprah Live each Friday where a panel sits around and discusses current events and such. If that format sounds familiar, that's because The View is already doing it.  If I wanted to watch The View, I'd take several vicodin and settle in for an hour of migraine-inducing torture.  Oprah's usual panel is Gayle (how much do you think the BFF job pays each year?), Mark Consuelo (married to Kelly Ripa and super annoying) and Ali Wentworth (married to George Stephanopoulos and super duper annoying.)

Today Gayle was MIA.  I guess the BFF post comes with ample sick leave.  So one of my least favorite people ever, Jenny McCarthy filled in. What is Oprah's fascination with Jenny McCarthy?  She's been on the show like 45 times.

So if you don't sit around watching tv all day and can't keep up with Opes, I'll fill you in so you don't live just a mediocre life:
  • They spent an inordinate amount of time discussing Oprah's sick dog.  The dog and the vet were even Skyped in from the doggie hospital so the vet could go on (ad nauseam) about the puppy's condition.  I will admit up front that I am not a dog person. I thought Marley & Me was the dumbest book in the world, and only finished it because I was stuck on a plane and I had already read that month's Southwest Airlines in-flight magazine.  Regardless, I think even dog lovers everywhere were like, "Alright already, we get it." Cute dog is sick. Cute dog is in hospital. Cute dog will soon be released back to the accommodations to which it's become accustomed. Sheesh. See, this is the problem when some women don't have children. (Not all, of course, but some.) They start thinking their pets are children. Like that lady who took baths with her orangutan that later mauled her friend.
  • Jenny McCarthy admits she gets Botox.  Well alert the media!!!  She says the key is to "just get a little."  I know Botox and she doesn't get just a little. She gets a lot. I wish someone would Botox her vocal chords so she'd stop talking.  Jenny is on the cover of some magazine with a big spread inside and Oprah tells her that her boobs are "so perky!" Opes, it's called breast implants.  Balloons filled with saline and surgically implanted into one's chest tend to do that. Jenny also says her and Jim Carrey have "great sex." Ewww.  I bet he makes all kinds of weird faces.  She also says they are very spiritual and serious together.  And he dressed like a leprechaun for St. Patty's Day. And then they had great sex.  (Okay she didn't say they had sex with him dressed as a leprechaun but I bet they did.) Speaking of Jenny, someone gave me "Belly Laughs" when I was pregnant. It made me want to slit my wrists. 
  • Mark Consuelo is so not cool. Don't you hate people who aren't funny but try to be funny? I respect unfunny people who know they aren't funny and don't try to be. They develop other skill sets. Like archery. But they don't make lame jokes. Example: Mark asked Jenny if Botox could make him taller.  Bahhahhahhaaaa!  Not.
  • Ali Wentworth asked Jenny if she needed Botox. The answer is yes, but more pressing is her need for a lower blepharoplasty. I'm just sayin'... She doesn't make me want to kill her but I wouldn't want to have a cocktail with her either. She also thinks she's funnier than she is.  Maybe being married to a guy as tall as a foot stool does that to a person.
  • Just when I was ready to turn off the tv having seen enough of these people, Kelly Clarkson comes out and sings "Because of You." That song makes me bawl. So I'm crying and she suddenly starts singing another song in some kind of montage and now I really am pissed because I wanted to hear the entire "Because of You."  Then I went to Whole Foods and considered killing several people. Including myself.
Opes, if you're reading, ditch the long, straight-ish hair. Curly works for you. Go with it.  Is Gayle not telling you these things?  Hire me!  I will tell you the truth!  Oh, and while I'm telling you the truth, that lemon yellow sweater was a bit much.  I don't think women over 50 can get away with lemon yellow.

If Stefanie of Baby on Bored (funniest woman on Earth) and I can get it together, all of our tv reviews will be in one forum for your viewing pleasure. Or displeasure. Depending on your sense of humor.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Go-Go Goes Home

Former Go-Go and present cosmetic surgery fan Belinda Carlisle was the first to be sent home on Dancing With the Stars. Despite her unfortunate overuse of facial fillers (she's starting to look oddly like Priscilla Presley) this made me sad. Do the judges -- and America for that matter -- have no nostalgia for the '80s?  I've always said my favorite Go-Gos song was "Eternal Flame." But then I found out that was the Bangles, not the Go-Gos.  I guess they were sort of similar in that they both had attractive lead singers albeit one who needed to eat a cheeseburger and one who ate too many. Speaking of which, Belinda is the new spokesperson for NutriSystem.

She's also an avid Buddhist who no longer drinks or does drugs.  I would think Buddhists would be into fresh organic food, not freeze dried meat that has a shelf life of over a century.  Also, my guess is booze and narcotics are actually better for you than NutriSystem food anyway. Regardless, I'm glad Steve Wozniak and his pink boa, also on last night's chopping block, weren't sent home. I think it should have been Steve-O but since I didn't vote I have no right to complain. Although that never stopped me before.

If I were the ABC President of Reality TV I'd just have it be Dancing With Chuck Wicks and get rid of all the other idiots anyway.  In an unprecedented move since I first saw the movie Layer Cake, I may boot Daniel Craig out of my number one spot. This is a difficult decision and I hope you'll respect my privacy as I sort through my feelings.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DWTS -- Home of the Ass Cracks

I would wager you wouldn't see more ass cracks at a plumber convention than on Dancing With the Stars.  Is the FCC not watching?  Everyone may have a different definition of indecency, but I think we can all agree that when we can tell the, shall we say, grooming preferences on network television, it's indecent (I'm talkin' to you, Melissa). I think Jason gets the point of what he's missing...  So without further adieu, here's what I thought of Monday night's episode:

Holly Madison -- Why did she have a Dolly Parton wig on? And speaking of Dolly Parton, I give Holly credit for even being able to dance with those knockers in her way.  I wouldn't even be able to get out of bed.  Given she's had sex with a corpse, I think she deserves some fun so she can stick around a few more episodes.

David Alan Grier -- Mustachioed men freak me out.  I took a wine break during his dance.

Denise Richards -- She's about as squeaky clean as a pig knee dip in shit. So I found the classic We Go Together shoo-bop Grease song as their choice an insult to my intelligence.  I think there's a certain spot for her in hades -- in the cage next to Charlie Sheen so they can make each other miserable for eternity.

Belinda Carlisle -- Why can't we just remember her fondly as the cute chubby lead singer of the Go-Gos?  Why can't anyone just sail into the celebrity sunset with dignity?

Ty Murray -- Gotta love a guy who makes a living as a cowboy. And if he hasn't made Jewel get her teeth fixed yet, he's a keeper. Of course he dances like he's got a horseshoe up his ass -- and maybe he does -- but still he deserves to last a bit longer.

Shawn Johnson -- Yowza.  She's 17.  Are you allowed to wear a glittery piece of cloth 1 inch in diameter at that age?  And that judge, who apparently is blind, said she needed to be "more naughty."  Chester the Molester alert!  I've seen pornos less naughty...

Steve Wozniak -- Everyone keeps talking about how chipper he is.  Of course he's happy. He's a billionaire. Regardless, he seems like a pleasant fellow and I hope America doesn't vote him off.  And, not to be a stickler, but I don't think of entrepreneurs as "celebrities" per se.  I think ABC has taken liberties with the term "celebrity" but I'll take that up directly with the President of Programming.

Chuck Wicks -- ME LIKEY ME LIKEY ME LIKEY. I'm trying to decide who to throw out of my top 5 to make room for him. Yum!  Is his dance partner really his sister? I think I heard that.  If so, creepy  but I've overlooked bigger fatal flaws in bedmates.  Also, I love country music and even though I don't know what he sings or how he sings it did I mention ME LIKEY ME LIKEY ME LIKEY.  Please, America DON'T VOTE HIM OFF.  Also, his dance partner makes me feel like the ugliest woman alive. If they are siblings those are some good genes.  If they're not siblings, and they're not screwing, they should be.

Steve-O -- I thought it was BS they used his practice round to judge, but I don't find him nearly funny as he finds himself so him going home would be fine.  Buh bye.

Lawrence Taylor -- He might kick the shit out of the judges if sent home early so I say we keep him around a while. Although it'd be fun to see one of those uppity male judges with the fake accents get pummeled.

L'il Kim -- Her flack should win Publicist of the Year. From jail to DWTS and she is acting like a lady rather than pasting a sticker on her bare breast.  And she can dance.  It's been some makeover! Does jail do this to everyone and if so, maybe I'll commit a misdemeanor that requires a short stint in the slammer.

Melissa Rycroft aka Jilted Bachelorette-- Jason dumping her was the best thing that ever happened to her. Times 100.  He is so bummed.  Jason's such a media whore he'd love to be dating someone on DWTS. But if he didn't kick her to the curb she wouldn't be on DWTS so it's a chicken and egg thing.  And if he was an egg (rather than a hotdog) he'd be one with a slightly cold runny yolk when you ordered hard-boiled.

Gilles Manini -- Who is this guy?  They said he was on Sex and the City?  I don't like that lady he dances with, the one that got all the guff from the tabloids for gaining weight. She takes herself too seriously. And her boobs are weird.  The female judge seems to have the hots for Gilles but he doesn't do it for me. Then again, I have a thing for Bill Murray so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

That female judge would be way more entertaining if she was on the same mix of meds and cocktails that Paula Abdul is on. She bores me senseless.  How about when she sang "That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh I like it, uh-huh uh-huh" after some dance like she was a wacky, Asian, female KC with a horrid sense of humor? I think that was her trying to be entertaining.  I like her better boring.  Which isn't saying much.

And, no, I didn't get on my phone and vote because then I wouldn't be able to look myself in the mirror ever again.  Bottom line -- I hope The Jackasss (aka Steve-O) goes home.  Also, the injuries are getting old.  They should threaten that the next person who gets an injury will be taken out to pasture and shot.  I bet Ty Murray would be willing to do it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gymboree Rots


I don't know if it's just a city thing, but everyone in Chicago starts stressing about where they will send their kids to preschool the first time they have unprotected sex with their husband. I'm told this process involves a lot of strategizing, most of which occurs before the baby is released from the hospital. Or before it is even conceived. If you want to send your child to a Catholic pre-school, you should probably join the associated church before the kid is born so it doesn't look so obvious you're only joining to get the better time slot in their coveted pre-K program.  I bet God frowns on that sort of thing.

My girls were inconsiderate enough to be born in November, meaning they don't make the September 1 cut-off so I can't cart them off to pre-school until they are almost four. In the meantime, I am obsessed with taking them to all kinds of classes, mainly because everyone else around here is so you feel like a neglectful parent if your baby isn't simultaneously enrolled in WiggleWorms, Gymboree and Musical Magic, where they eat instruments and don cowboys hats while the moms sing On the Road Again by Hank Williams.  I need a damn Blackberry just to know where I'm supposed to be every hour.  To further torture mothers, the Chicago Public Library just instituted a sign-up only story time.  Who ever heard of "registering" for a free story time??? I almost missed the deadline which caused mass panic on my part because everyone knows babies who don't attend story time at 16 months old will never get into college.

We went to exactly one Gymboree class. I had a free pass and was so disturbed I will never go back, bubble time and cool parachute withstanding.  If my offspring develop mental problems I plan to sue Gymboree -- I think I can make a valid case they were irreparably damaged during that 45 minutes.  I won't go into it but let's just say I think the "teacher" may be wanted in several states and I was ready to call in an anticipatory Amber Alert. Regardless of criminal intent, she damaged my eardrums with high notes that perked up the ears of all canines within a 10-mile radius.  

Dear Gymboree hiring manager: if the teachers are expected to sing during class, please make them audition during the interviewing process.  Also, please don't call me 35 times after the trial class to "remind me" I need to sign up ASAP (!!!) to get $20 off the enrollment fee. I've had stalkers who called me less. And I know we are in a recession, but when $20 becomes such an urgent matter that I'm about to file a restraining order, kindly shoot me.  The first message was left with such fervor and distress I thought I forgot one of my kids there or something.

I also have unresolved anger with the Chicago Park District. I signed the girls up for a "play group" once per week and upon our arrival was told there was a pre-requisite so they weren't eligible.  A pre-requisite for a play group for 10-to-17 month olds.  I wrote a series of hate letters and they have since dropped the pre-requisite requirement.  I guess the joke will be on me when my kids don't "play" correctly and feel like they jumped right from geometry to calculus.

Speaking of which, I must go over there now and show birth certificates to prove my girls are in the correct age range. Because I guess sneaking your kids into classes for the wrong age group is a real problem in Chicago... 

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Employee of the Month

You know what I love? Shit you couldn't possibly make up. So a cage cleaner for a veternarian put tranquilizers in his coffee because he needed to, and I quote "chill."  If I'm the vet I'm thinking I don't even prosecute. I take this as an Oprah "a-ha moment," if you will, a desperate sign I need some serious introspection. Apparently, I am so uptight that someone poisoned my coffee in an attempt to mellow me.  The poisoner is 24 years of age.  If I had her phone number I'd call her right now and get every detail leading up to the crime.  When did you decide the vet needed to chill out?  Did you debate offering him some pot or opt right for the poisoning route? What was your upbringing and have you ever "chilled" someone out before?  I should be a psychiatrist. I'd love it so much I'd be a workaholic and a gazillionaire.

Um, yeah, that's all I got. It's the weekend people. I have the usual duty of twins to care for plus the added burden of a husband underfoot. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tinkerbell's a Slut

I've been on a mad search for the world's most offensive chair.  Two of them actually.  Oh, don't lecture me on decor, toots.  I've been trying to instill good taste in my children from day one, to no avail. They want this chair and they want it yesterday.  My sisters' kids have them and when we're there my girls sit for hours like (at the risk of dating myself) Archie Bunker while I wait on them hand and foot like Edith. The key is they sit there for hours. 

My search today took me from Target to Kmart to BabiesRUs to Walmart like some crazed discount shopper on amphetamines. I'd never had the pleasure of frequenting a Walmart before today. This was more a factor of Walmart's proximity to my house rather than some kind of highfalutin snobbery.  That was before today. From now on my avoidance will be based solely on snobbery. Which kicked in full force the moment I entered and smelled the foul aroma of Fluky's, Walmart's questionable on-site eatery. It was filled to the brim with people eating lunch.  Who says, "Let's go to lunch. And you know what I feel like today? Fluky's!"  The smell reminded me of those atrocious hot lunches from a grade school cafeteria that you'd sooner trade with someone at your table for a vat of steaming vomit. 

If you want to witness first-hand why America might not be a superpower much longer, one need only visit the Walmart in Niles, Illinois on a random Thursday at noon.  Everyone looks like their parents are first cousins. Or brother and sister. Please don't send me hate mail.  If you shop at Walmart, I'm sure the the one in your neck of the woods is perfectly lovely.   The one, however, in my woods makes me want to fly to Bentonville, Arkansas to Walmart headquarters and give the CEO a swift kick in the ass. (As an aside, what kind of company is located in BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS?  It must be a cult! A cult where you are encouraged to marry members of your nuclear family.)

Upon leaving Walmart empty-handed (the chairs I wanted were sold out, and looking at the clientele I could see why) I high-tailed it to my car trying to calculate how many minutes until I hit Chicago city limits and, ultimately, my shower.  Unfortunately, I took a wrong turn and was closing in on Milwaukee by the time I realized my error.  Intellectually, I know this isn't Walmart's fault. But emotionally, I want to file suit for significant damages:

$30 -- gas
$42 -- three hours of babysitting fees
$300 -- three hours of precious personal time I can never get back 
$1 million -- assault on the senses

So, finally, I'm on my way back and start thinking about the really important things in life. Like why all the Disney fairies and princesses look like whores.  Tinkerbell (I think that's who's on this chair) has a skirt up her ass and is showing cleavage. Who the hell is Tinkerbell trying to impress?  Captain Hook?

So then George Thorogood's Bad to the Bone comes on the radio. And I'm sitting in my car, singing Bad to the Bone at the top of my lungs and pondering what kind of homemade muffins I will make the girls when I get home because we ran out of the Cinnamon Banana Apple Spice this morning and suddenly it occurs to me: WHO AM I? 

I used to have a life. I used to be somewhat interesting. I used to think about things other than muffin-making and the promiscuity of Disney characters.

Now I'm someone who's been running their ass ragged for hours trying to find an abomination of a chair that retails for $24.99, which is about $24.98 too much.  I've had my hair in a ponytail since early 2007. I wear ragged sweatshirts covered with splatters of Yo Baby yogurt.  "Why bother changing?" I often ask myself before leaving the house. (On this particular occasion, it worked out fine. I was the best dressed person in Walmart.)

As I neared my exit, I had this incredible urge to keep driving until I reached the Peninsula hotel downtown, check in under an assumed name and order up some champagne with a cheese plate. Instead I went home and ordered those damn chairs online. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Marriages and Breakups

So apparently Mandy Moore married Ryan Adams in a "super secret ceremony." Read here: Nobody gives a shit. It wasn't so much a secret as the tabloids didn't care enough to do a stake out. Now at least perhaps he'll start feeling her up only in private. And was the picture on the right his engagement announcement photo? What a card!

What does this character even sing? If I attended one of his concerts, I'd catch on by about the third song that it wasn't Bryan Adams and be extremely upset I didn't get to hear "This Time," the world's best Bryan Adams song ever.  Unless of course Ryan Adams actually sings Bryan Adams songs. Which if he doesn't perhaps he should. Because then maybe I would have heard of him.

Uncharacteristically, I don't have anything bad to say about Mandy. She did a stint on Entourage playing herself and I actually didn't want to kill her. That's saying a lot. So I give this union two years, tops. Mandy will only be 26 by then and will recover nicely and marry someone who doesn't think orange hair equals anti-establishment.

Okay, and did John Mayer really break up with Jennifer Aniston?  Dear God. I would imagine she gave him the George Costanza line:  "YOU are breaking up with ME???" Jen needs to go on an "Eat, Pray, Love" journey. She can try to figure out why she sucks while in full priya yoga pose at some ashram in India. Seriously.

Yay! Hollywood People Acting Freaky!

Okay, seriously.  Who does this guy think he's fooling? Casey Affleck is following Joaquin Phoenix around with a video camera everywhere he goes as he mauls concert-goers and we're not supposed to think his "rap career" is some crazy stunt for a documentary or something? Regardless, when a man goes from looking like this (on the left) to this (on the right) why does it make me love him even more?  He's solidly back in my top 5.  I exiled him when I heard he stopped drinking but he's on something better than booze now. He's on the crazy.  And nothing does it for me more than the crazy.

What does "Bye! Good" on his knuckles mean?  Anybody?  God I love this lunatic! I just downgraded Vince Vaughn to the #3  spot to make room for Joaquin at #2. Daniel Craig stays firmly in the lead at #1.  I love me some crazy but I love a cocktail-swiveling Australian emerging from the ocean in European blue boy shorts even more.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stages and The Secret

My girls are almost 16 months old, and now is about the time moms who are "baby people" start craving another one.  I like to put things in monetary terms, just so I'm clear: Someone would have to pay me $2 million, pre-tax, to have more babies.  And that's on a good day. The ante has been as high as $5 million plus an all-expense paid vacation to Kauai.

I like each stage exponentially more and more. At this rate, my favorite stage will be when I'm in a nursing home and they come see me once a month.  I love that they are becoming little people, with actual opinions and thoughts.  Because it's really fun to get two kids dressed as they fight over who will wear THE SAME EXACT SHIRT except one is pink and one is blue.  (I really don't want to dress them identical but if this continues I might have to buy two of everything. If so, I will punish them as teenagers by making them dress exactly alike, down to their socks.)

This photo kills me because they are more little girl, less baby.  I found the tiny baby stage fairly unrewarding. When they are completely thankless even though you say "good job" as they projectile vomit on your shirt. Before they smile and they look right through you like they couldn't care less if Jack the Ripper was feeding them.  A little recognition for my efforts, people! It's 3:00 am and I'm up for the fifth time tonight so you can live -- some eye contact please!  It now gives me great esteem to have two children hanging on my leg wailing when I need to leave the room for a second.  To quote Sally Field:  "You like me, you really like me!"

Forgive me. I'm feeling sentimental today and as far as I know no celebrity named their kid Tomato or similar.  It won't happen again.

PS -- More importantly, did Vince Vaughn call off his engagement yet?  I'm reading The Secret and have decided to concentrate all my "power of thought" on that particular issue.  Rather than, say, getting a good parking spot.  I mean, do the powers of the universe really care where you park? Walk your lazy ass a few extra steps, I'd roar if I were the universe receiving such inane requests. And then, just to punish them, I'd give them the opposite of all the other shit they were asking for.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Where Ya Been? I've Been Worried Sick

You might be wondering why I haven't written for a few days. Then again, you might not.  But if you must know I've been sitting shiva since I received the news that Vince Vaughn is engaged. I'm not Jewish, but I am Italian and I'm pretty sure old, fat Italian women do something like that back in the old country.  It's not so much that Vince is engaged. It's that it's to a civilian. You know what that means, ladies?  WE ALL HAD A CHANCE.  She's a commercial real estate agent for Christ sake.

But let's not lament the fact I was meant to marry Vince Vaughn, just in case my real husband ever happens upon this blog. Let's move on to my thoughts on the world's most pressing events:
  • Denise Richards is a harlot.  I watched Dancing With the Stars last night (oh shut up) and if I had but one person on Earth I could taser it would be Denise Richards.  She's already been boo-hooing about something or other regarding her partner who she says is a "bad boy" and she likes "bad boys."  Whatever.  Didn't she used to be in movies?  And now she's going from a debacle of a reality show to dancing with a bunch of C-listers and has-beens?  Do you think Hollywood people get free career coaching when their shows are canceled much like those in the real world do when they get laid off? I take it she didn't avail herself of that offer.
  • Speaking of DWTS (did you know they actually have their own acronym?) jilted Melissa from The Bachelor is now a contestant.  Um, ABC?  It's called Dancing with the STARS, not Dancing with Rejected Bachelorettes.  Oh my God... What a great idea!  I really should be in entertainment. They could do a spin-off of DWTS featuring all past Bachelor contestants. When someone is voted off, they will be notified by Mary rushing the stage and punching them in the face.  One dance each night would have to be performed in a hot tub. Oh, and nobody could perform sober.  Trista could take the place of that lady with long brown hair and too much makeup who interviews each couple after their dance. ABC -- ARE YOU LISTENING???
That's all I got.  I took on a freelance assignment that reminds me why I don't work.  Because working rots. In the past year I've become unfamiliar with the buzz words and annoying acronyms that permeate corporate America.  But sadly I'm being reminded... Sigh. Vince Vaughn, take me away!!!  Two kids included!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Jason The Bachelor is a Weenie

Jillian's hot dog theory suddenly doesn't seem so asinine because it allows me to categorize Jason:  A lone bland undercooked weenie contaminated with bacteria.  No condiments. No bun. The kind that if you ate it at a barbecue you'd be clinging to the toilet all night, retching in pain and asking God to put you out of your misery.  

Okay, let's not all waste too much precious breath discussing this embarrassment, but a few points.  Disclaimer:  I only watched one episode -- The Girls Tell All --  before the finale(s). I know very little about the season, yet, I feel entitled to comment:
  • ABC, why New Zealand? According to my calculations, you flew Jason, Ty, Melissa, Molly, 30 members of Jason's family, Chris Harrison, various crew members and DEANNA (?????) half way around the world when I think the Caribbean or Mexico would have been sufficient. Do you not realize we're in the midst of a recession?
  • What exactly does it take for the fine Child Protective Services people of Seattle to terminate parental rights for a father? 
  • Molly is TWENTY-FOUR.  Did you get a good gander at her?  Imagine what this chick will look like at 40??? Not aging well alert!  Also, does she have that unfortunate bug-eyed disease whose correct diagnostic name escapes me?
  • I love that Jason said to Melissa: "You have every right to be irritated."  Irritated?  IRRITATED???  Every right to be homicidal maybe.
  • Did DeAnna look like road kill or was it me?  What did that generously-nasaled Jesse freak do to her?  She looks like she's been bludgeoned by a two-by-four.
  • Didn't you love that "what was about to happen was so intimate, so surprising..." that they couldn't have a live studio audience for After the Final Rose? I mean, what did they think would happen?  Melissa supporters would throw raw hot dogs at Jason and Molly as they (inappropriately) swapped spit on stage moments after Jason dumps Melissa?  
  • How much money should Jason be putting aside for Ty's future therapy or bail for serial murder?  I think $1 million is a conservative estimate.
  • Can't wait for Jason and Molly's wedding!!! Not. Hopefully Molly turns into a Mary and starts hitting the bars and sucker punching Jason when she realizes he'll never marry her.
Of course Melissa will be the next bachelorette. She's hotter than Jillian and has a bigger sob story so ABC will pick her. She could throw a dart at the first rose ceremony and whoever it hits will be a step up from Jason.  I wrote all of this from the shower, by the way. I don't plan to emerge until third quarter 2010 as I think it will take that long to feel clean again.  

Ty, I would adopt you but frankly you freak me out plus I already have two children with future behavioral problems on my hands...

Monday, March 2, 2009

David Silver Can't Keep a Fox

I was determined to ignore this Megan Fox / Brian Austin Green (aka David Silver) engagement break up story. Mainly because I haven't the slightest idea who Megan Fox is. Is she on Gossip Girls or friends with Lauren Conrad or what? Regardless, why is this news and why won't it go away? David Silver couldn't even get one of the hot girls on 90210 like 15 years ago. What makes anyone think he can in real life now?  No, David was stuck with Donna Martin (aka Tori Spelling) -- part human, part duck -- while Kelly and Brenda ran around with Brandon and Dylan.  Of course he can't land a girl who looks like Angelina Jolie's slightly porned-up baby sister.  Did you read they were dating for four years? Which mean they started dating when she was 18 and he was 31.  Eighteen-year-olds are all morons. She probably thought she was going steady with Luke Perry.

All the stories say it's mutual blah blah blah.  My guess is Megan Fox, whoever she is, looked in the mirror one day, looked over at Brian Austin Green, looked back at her reflection and screamed "WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING???   Daniel Craig is in my top five and I actually have a chance at sleeping with him."  

Incidentally, a group of us were staying at a hotel in Arizona years ago and Ian Ziering was a guest at the same establishment.  You'd be surprised at how unamused he was by people screaming "Hey Steve Sanders!!!" at him all weekend.  

PS -- Was Mr. Walsh strangely sexy or was it me?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Added to the No-Fly List

I suspected but now I'm certain that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are indeed insane.  Having just endured a 2-hour flight with two toddlers, I can't imagine globe trotting with six.  Sure, I don't have a private plane or a football team of au pairs, but still.  I mean, Angie and Brad must do something.  Presumably they don't sit their beautiful asses in the front of the plane drinking Cristal while the help tends to their entire brood?  If you are in a crappy mood today, let me cheer you up by noting it could be worse. You could have been on Southwest Airlines flight #1157 yesterday.  You could have been seated directly in front of us with your seat shaking mercilessly because I allowed my kids to jump up and down on the tray tables. Oh yes I did.  I venture to say the other passengers would have had a more pleasant flight if Osama Bin Laden himself was on board and everyone spent the entire time waiting to be blasted to smithereens.

When did I become a mother who allows her children to do whatever the hell they please? The moment the tantrums started. I will do anything - ANYTHING - to avoid a tantrum. Particularly in public.  The crew is lucky the girls didn't feel like charging the cockpit. To keep the peace I also let them eat an entire box (I'm not kidding) of Earth's Best Very Vanilla cookies (they're organic, stop judging).  I half worried that in addition to the disruptive bouncing the people in front of us might wind up with regurgitated cookie in their hair.

My sister, on the other hand, is a very good mother.  Her kids are actually disciplined. Yesterday my nephew was threatened with a time out and I was completely confused as to why. Turns out he threw a toy on the floor. Sheesh. My girls would LIVE in time out if that was a crime in our house. I'm just thankful when the toy doesn't break glass or take another kid's eye out.  What I also noticed is my sisters kids still like her. And then it dawned on me: I am afraid to discipline the girls because they might stop loving me.  I need to check in with my therapist on this revelation before the girls are in juvie and I'm sending care packages with notes telling them they didn't do anything wrong and the police just have no sense of humor.

I, by the way, flew to Alabama (cue Deliverance music) to get out of the cold in Chicago and visit family.  IT IS SNOWING HERE.  It never snows here.  The news people are out in full force making snowmen with gleeful abandon and measuring how much is sticking with rulers. Even the churches were closed today, services canceled. When Jesus can't make it to church on Sunday in Alabama, you know it's serious.  

I'm looking forward to returning to the airport next week where we'll be told we've been added to the no-fly list and we have to hoof it back to Chicago.  If by chance we're allowed to board, here's hoping for your sake you're not on our flight.