Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Saturday, October 30, 2004


  A Halloween Message to Believers Everywhere

My Baptist Minister Daddy with Son 1 (unsure that "Thriller Guy" was REALLY his PaPa). Click to Enlarge for full effect...

I'm a good Christian girl. I say my prayers and read my bible. I am compassionate and understanding of others whose beliefs differ from mine. My parents (who met while Daddy was teaching and working on his doctorate at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where my mom was a secretary to the President of the Seminary) taught me that intolerance is one of the grossest forms of ignorance.

And every year at Halloween time I am reminded of just how ignorant intolerant people really are (like this guy in Kelly's "My Yearly Trip To Hell" post) . You see, my Daddy--the Baptist minister who served several terms on the Exec. Board of the Alabama Baptist Convention, who served on committees innumerable for the Southern Baptist Convention, who has devoted his entire life to preaching and living the Gospel as both a minister AND a college professor (teaching Psychology and World Religions for 30+ years)--is the biggest fan of Halloween that I have ever known.

My fondest Halloween memories are not of favorite costumes and going Trick-or-Treating. No, my favorite memories are of having the scariest house on the block and the parents who gave out the most AND best Halloween candy (which, by the way, buys popularity untold for weeks after with the other neighborhood kids...).

My Daddy (the Baptist Minister) would set up my Barbie turntable on our second-floor balcony, hook it up to speakers, put on a "Haunting Halloween Sounds" album and crank it up so that you heard the frightening sounds of Ghosts and Goblins from one end of the neighborhood to the other. He decorated our huge porch with a combo of black tarp, cobwebs, ghosts and goblins that was so scary to walk through that we were often forced to lob handsful of candy out to the Trick-or-Treaters who were too frozen by fear to come any closer than the sidewalk.

And so, it is with GREAT annoyance, that I hear year after year that Halloween=Devil Worship. If that's what you believe--FINE! Don't participate! But don't get all holy-roller and high and mighty over my enjoying a little costume party and candy exchange with the rest of the country. OK? Just keep your porch light off and we'll move on. But enough of the judgemental, NON-CHRISTIAN banter about the rest of us.

You see, I know for a FACT that we can celebrate Halloween AND the Sabbath without being hyprocritical. You know why? Because my Daddy says so. Remember him? The 76-year-old Baptist minister--the one who is in direct communicado with The Man Upstairs--the one who walks with a shuffle and is kept alive by 12 different meds, a dose of healthy living and a whole lot of optimism--The one who has devoted his entire life to the Lord?

Well, yesterday he got up, got dressed, went with a few buddies to his salon, and paid a stylist a chunk of his beloved, hard-earned retirement income to make up him and his friends to look like Dead Men from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video for his big Halloween Bash.

If MY Southern Baptist Minister Daddy says it's OK to dress up like a crotch-grabbing rock-star's sidekick and pass out a little candy to the kids, that's good enough for me.

And if you disagree with Daddy, PLEASE just be a Good, Tolerant Christian and keep it to yourself.

Friday, October 29, 2004


  Attention Procrastinators: Quick, Easy Costume Ideas

Still looking for your Halloween Costume? If so, let me help you. First, STOP surfing Blog Explosion (I know... but you can pick right back up as soon as you have your costume together). Next, check out these links for some ideas that will have you back surfing in no time!

Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas- This site has instructions for kid and adult costumes, costumes for wheelchair users--even the recipe for making your own makeup! Just scroll down the page looking for the items that you have on hand.

Last Minute Halloween Costumes- A great selection of last-minute ideas for dressing as common household items, your favorite celebs, and even "Ideas For Parties You'd Rather Miss" (which include "The Invisible Man" and "Maris" from Frasier). Pretty funny...

Pun Costumes (from Martha Stewart, bless her heart...)- Featuring clever ideas for dressing as favorite phrases, including "Raining Cats and Dogs", a "One Nightstand" and the perennial Southern favorite "Black-eyed Peas".

Make Your Own Costumes- Has some easy and unusual suggestions for kids, couples, and groups, and including a really cute "Pets for Sale" costume and a homemade SpongeBob suit. For a gallery of costume pics from readers, you can click here

Feeling nostalgic? Take a walk through the World's Worst Halloween Costumes, where you can find some of your favorite characters from the past, including The Gong Show's Chuck Barris, Scott Baio from Joannie Loves Chachi, Farrah Fawcett, and The Leather Guy from the Village People!! What kid wouldn't want to be HIM?

AND, you can check out pics from my boys' school Halloween Parade here, for additional ideas.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


  A Special Thanks To Johnny Depp's Makeup Team...

Jack Sparrow, Day 2

This morning...
Son, you didn't wash your face last night like I asked you to.
Son 2:
I couldn't.
Why not?
Son 2:
It would've washed my whiskers off...

This afternoon...
Son, you need to take the trash out. I've asked you three times.
Son 2:
I can't.
Why not?
Son 2:
I NEED for you to redo my whiskers.
You STILL have on yesterday's makeup! You're going to get zits if you don't wash your face.
What are zits?
Bumps that you get when you don't wash the gunk off your face.
Son 2:
Does Jack Sparrow have zits?
Me: I don't know.
Son 2: (grabbing the Pirates of the Carribean DVD cover to compare "Jack's" face with his) Well, neither of us have zits, but could you fix my eyes? I don't want people to see me like this.

SCARY! I hope this phase ends with Halloween....


  How Scary Are You?

Found this quiz over at BlogThings and, yeah, I think they got it about right......

You Are a Little Scary

A Little Scary!

You've got a nice edge to you. Use it.

Happy Halloween weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


  Favorites from the Halloween Parade...

Thought I'd show you a few of my favorite Halloween Costumes from today's big school parade. For those of you who are worse procrastinators than me, here are a few ideas...

Jack Sparrow--Son #2 takes his role as "The Captain" VERY seriously. I made the vest by cutting up an old green sweatshirt, binding it with black bias sewn on with gold thread, and then added gold buttons on each side (hidden by arms). All I bought (from the party store) were the hat and boot covers. With my blouse, jewelry and makeup and his sweatpants, we were good to go!

Son 1 and Son 2--Son 1 really does have eyes, I just wasn't much of a photographer at 7 am this morning. This year, Son 1 (who, by the way, looks TOTALLY different than normal with the glasses on...) got a new robe and a Hedwig to be HP for the fourth year in a row. Son 2 is STILL taking his role seriously....

Bernice, The 7-11 Cashier--Son #2's 2nd Grade Teacher. You can't help but love someone who will do THIS...

Cruella DeVille--This is the best Cruella costume I have ever seen...The pic doesn't do it justice.

Egyptian Mummy--This student was obviously inspired by the recent field trip to a major antiquities exhibit. And no, she isn't being abducted--that's her dad standing behind her getting ready to cut away her wrapping.

Headless Salesman--Too funny! The tie was see-through--This costume was a hoot to see walking down the hallway. I don't know why the salesman is headless, though--someone not pleased to have their dinner interrupted by a knock on the door?


  Really Great Halloween Reads...

I'm up putting the finishing touches on the boys' Halloween costumes before the big school "Halloween Parade" tomorrow (or today, depending on which coast you're on). The pressure's on! But before I go to bed, though, I wanted to point you to three funny, cool bloggers who are putting their own twists on Halloween this year.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


  'Tis the Season of the Pink Purse and Charms...

At the request of Sass, Col. Mustard and all of you other readers who are looking for this season's hot pink purse, your quest may be over. Check out this little nubuck number from Rock Rose. AND it comes in Acid Green. AND, as if that weren't enough, those of you who are feeling a bit patriotic this election season can get the coordinating nubuck wallet or coin purse with the silver studded Eagle!

For all of you world travelers, THIS suede passport holder is a must! Is that cool or what?

Did I mention that this was a Two-Fer? Well, not wanting to disappoint those of you who are wanting to jump in on this craze, check out the luggage tags and key fobs from Flying Circus. Oh, and of course for those of you who are more comfortable being all matchy-matchy, there are some pretty fab key fob options to coordinate with the Rock Rose line, as well.

And, while you're there, check out the fun, funky bags here, here (I just LOVE the Corrine bag) and here. Have Fun window shopping!

Monday, October 25, 2004


  A Round-up of Favorite Posts..

Today's a crazy day since I spend all day every Monday volunteering at the boys' school AND I am editing the book. So, taking a cue from Annie, Kelly and several other blogging buddies, I have gone through my sitemeter and posted the most popular search engine results on my site. Enjoy! I'll be back with new posts tomorrow.

#1 99% Decided Voter (#1 by far--Are they just trying to track down every undecided voter?

#2 Lessons I Learned From Tall Poppies This Week--Most of the searchers came to this post looking for links to the Miss Universe Wardrobe Malfunction video. They weren't disappointed, but I never considered that to be one of my finer blogging moments. Go figure.
#3 Lilly Pulitzer Blogging Blowout--Interestingly, #1, #2, and #3 were all within a few searches of one another. There are evidently LOTS of Lilly fans out there. Most searchers come to this post looking for the Vanity Fair Biography on Lilly Pulitzer and for the scarf the folks at Lilly designed for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
#4 Reese Witherspoon in Vanity Fair--Lots of Reese Witherspoon fans out there, too.
Purse And Handbag Lovers: Please Remain Calm--which interestingly ties for 5th with
Brooches, Brooches Everywhere--where most of the 20+ searchers came looking for Glenda Geis handbags.

My personal favorites? Hands down: First Day of School--NOT!, which tells the story of how I put my children on the bus and sent them to school the day before school started and How the BBC Helped Me Waste Five Hours of My Vacation (which is also the 7th most popular search result thanks to people looking for BBC Personality Tests). Enjoy...and I'll be back tomorrow.

Friday, October 22, 2004


  Which Desperate Housewife Are You?

Congratulations! You are Lynette Scavo, the
ex-career woman who traded the boardroom for
boredom, mixed with moments of sheer panic as
the mother of four unmanageable kids.

Which Desperate Housewife are you?
brought to you by

I found this quiz over at Michelle Agnew's site and, of course, HAD to take it. Okay, I admit it...the first time I took it, it said that

Congratulations! You are Gabrielle Solis, the
ex-model with everything she's every wanted a
rich husband, a big house and John, the
17-year-old gardener.

Which Desperate Housewife are you?
brought to you by

...but I don't have everything I want, my husband has told me every day for the last ten years that he's broke (Yes, I guess that looks ARE deceiving, or maybe it's tax-attorney angst), and we are among the few in this neighborhood who have no gardener. Plus, the grammar and syntax were so bad in that description that I KNEW that match was ALL WRONG.

So, I changed my "Sushi and Sake" to "Couscous and Consomme'" and VOILA! I'm Lynette! Not sure that she is much closer to me. Our parenting styles are VERY different--and so are our children (wonder if there's a connection there? Hmmmm...), but other than that I think there are some similarities. And, most importantly, the grammar (though not perfect) was a significant improvement. So, all in all, I think I'll settle for Couscous and Consomme' for now....


  Bones Beware: Real Age Tip of the Day

Balance your vitamin A intake for bone health.

Getting too much or too little vitamin A may increase your risk of bone fractures, a recent study revealed. To reduce your risk of excess, load up on foods rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A as needed. Good foods to try include carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe.

RealAge Benefit: Eating a diverse diet that is low in calories and high in nutrients can make your RealAge as much as 4 years younger.

For more information or to take the Real Age Test, go to www.realage.com

Thursday, October 21, 2004


  These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things...

Faux Leopard Coat from Overstock.com
This photo dedicated to Emily, Annie, Kelly, Kate, Michelle and all of the others who had strong feelings regarding the Animal Print fashions shown and discussed in the Cat's Meow post...and, no, I didn't buy it..

I just LOVE Overstock.com. Not only can I get really great deals on printer cartridges and spectacular linens, but you can find FABULOUS FASHIONS for a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere.

Looking for a Coat or Jacket? Check out this, this, this, and this gorgeous satin evening coat. Warning: I own this in sage AND fuschia. If you are going to be in the same room with me any time soon, BEWARE! I'm just sayin'...

Looking for Shawls or Wraps? Check out this which is also available in black here, this, and this little number from Dolce and Gabbana.

Looking for what to wear beneath your fab new wrap? Check out their great selection of skirts, pants, shirts, and suits.

One additional warning: Just because it IS a bargain, it ISN'T free--and those little purchases can REALLY add up. Trust me, I KNOW this to be true....


  I'm Royalty!

Seriously! Check it out...I'm in The Court. Click here and look to the left. Now scroll down...lower, lower, a little bit lower. THERE! See? Right at the bottom? YES! I feel SOOO honored (blushing...). Thanks, Mr. G.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


  Home Theaters: Men vs. Women

Photo Courtesy of www.cedia.net

Last night, I finally saw "Farenheit 9/11". It may strike some of you as odd that I would JUST be seeing this movie. But then again, I should probably fess up to the fact that regardless of my innate need to at least keep up with the trends (whether or not I actually buy into them), there is one category where I am quite often WAY behind the times--Cinema. Why, you ask? Well, it's quite simple really:

We have a home theater.

Not just a basement room with a screen and projector, mind you. No, no, no. Our home theater has a 120" motorized retractable screen, top of the line equipment, Dolby stereo, etc. Our theater was designed by the same guy who designed the home theaters of Aaron Spelling, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise. This means that, at the designer's suggestion, the theater has no 90 degree angles--anywhere; padded damask-covered upper walls with hard, drywall lower walls (supposedly enhances sound quality); a lighted cove ceiling; crystal triple-armed sconces on both sides; etc., etc.

So, you may still be wondering, "What does this have to do with the fact that she just saw Farenheit 9/11?" The answer is: EVERYTHING! You see, my husband considers our home theater to be a cost-saving measure. Yes, in his mind, our $--,--- home theater is a way to save $$$. He figures that we can buy a DVD for $20 six months to a year after the movie comes out and watch it at home, thereby saving ourselves the $25-30 it would cost the two of us to see the movie in the theater.
In my mind, by the time you pay for the DVD, food at home, utilities, upkeep, etc., the difference in prices is negligible--even BEFORE you add the cost of the theatre. Hubby, however, sees it differently.

When Hubby first started talking about building the theater, I thought it was a great idea. Our children are at the age where they love having friends over for pizza and a movie. When winter comes and it's too cold to play outside for long periods of time, I thought it would be great to have a warm, comfortable place for our boys and their friends to "veg". It never occured to me that our theater would be considered by Hubby to be a "substitute" for our occasional "Movie Dates". Our friends Tricia and Warren have a REALLY spectacular and expensive home theater and they still go to the neighborhood theater at least once a week.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, THAT concept got totally lost on hubby.

For instance, when I bought tickets for us, the boys and two of their friends to attend the midnight First Showing of Harry Potter III this past June, hubby was totally incensed. NOT at the absurdity of taking seven and nine-year-olds to the theater at midnight...NOT at the absurdity of my suggesting that he put the kids to bed for a nap after dinner while I sat in line for four hours to get the perfect seats for the movie...and NOT that I would expect him to deliver four delirious and possibly cranky children to the theater at ten minutes 'til midnight. NO, his beef was with the fact that I had payed the full $7.50 per ticket for a movie that we could wait six months and watch in the comfort of our home! I saw it as an "event"--"a party"--an "End of the School Year Blow-Out". Hubby saw it as a blowout, as well--of a totally different variety.

Regardless of the fact that my husband is one of the most intelligent people I have ever known, I can not fathom how he (a tax attorney/CPA) can truly believe that we are saving money by spending tens of thousands of dollars on the theater instead of spending $50 a month on trips to the theater.

I also disagree that the theater is a "substitute" for the theater experience (which means that I am reduced to sneaking out a few times a month to go to the late-night Dollar Movie with my girlfriends!)

Plus, I hate the fact that since the theater is in close proximity to the laundry room, I feel obligated to be doing laundry any time I am in the theater alone watching a movie. I think that my evening with Farenheit 9/11 would have been even MORE fascinating had I not been folding underwear and straining to hear the dryer buzz over the Dolby!

And lest you think that this is ONLY one man's perspective and one woman's pain, fair warning ladies...

Not long ago, we were with 7 or 8 other couples when the subject of "the home theater as cost-saving measure" arose. Guess what? All of the men agreed: If you have a home theater (which half of the couples did), you don't need to be going out to see the movies when they are on the "big screen". "Too many people talking". "The seats are too uncomfortable". "The popcorn is better (and cheaper) at home". "Movie tickets are too expensive". "I can put my feet up at home". "I can fall asleep in the middle of the movie at home and my wife doesn't keep nudging me. AND, I can fall asleep as many times as I want while watching that same movie over and again but never have to buy another ticket to see the parts I missed (to which all of the men present laughed, nodded their heads in unison and high-fived one another)!"

So, ladies, don't say that I didn't warn you. Be careful what you wish for. I'm just sayin'....

Sunday, October 17, 2004


  NYT: The Cat's Meow

Photo Collection Courtesy of Bill Cunningham--New York Times
(Click on photo to enlarge)

THIS is one of this season's easiest, most wearable trends which, when used in moderation, is hard to miss with. AND YET, there are those women who should really consult a stylist every time they step out the door (like the poor diva at the bottom right). With only a TINY bit of style and commonsense, you can look fabulous with the addition of a single animal print. IMHO, animal prints are best when worn paired with other NEUTRAL pieces--a complete feline ensemble (like the one top, second from the left) is OVERKILL. Find a pair of fashionable leopard-print pumps with a coordinating belt to spice up an otherwise ho-hum suit. Or grab a tailored cat print jacket and pair it with jeans. I also LOVE the camisole/purse combo at the top left. Just remember "Everything in moderation" and you'll be stunning!

In case you were wondering, the caption reads as follows:

The Tuileries Gardens in Paris is hardly a jungle setting. But the spotted cat prints that are the rage in the rues showed up beautifully on women going to the collections for spring 2005. It is amazing how they sifted through the styles offered last spring for this fall and pulled out such gems. The prints, often worn as accents, have an affinity for tweeds. Most women prefer their spots in natural colors, but a few favor fluorescent cats.

UPDATE: While I was looking for a leopard print cami/tee like the one pictured above, I ran across THIS top from JCPenney for girls. I am not a fan of sticking teeny-boppers in leopard prints, but this top is PERFECT for a little girl who wants a bit of "the look" in an age-appropriate style. And while you're at it check out this, this and this. Too cute!


  Milkmen: Fathers Who Breastfeed...

A few days ago, I joined which, oddly enough, really does work. (You can click on the icon if you want to check it out). But that's beside the point. So as I was surfing through other members blogs last night, I came across a link to this. Always the curious one, I of course had to Google the topic "Male Lactation Breastfeed" to see just how credible this site was. There are almost 7,000 sites that came up! Now, granted, even MY site would come up under this search, but still...

Yes, indeedy, ladies and gents... There are men out there breastfeeding their children right and left (no pun intended, SERIOUSLY!). What will they think of next?

Saturday, October 16, 2004


  To "Sarah Ferguson Toe Pic" person...

If you are the person looking for "Sarah Ferguson Toe Pic", you're fresh out of luck here. Run on along, now, ya' hear?

Same goes for you, "Monogram Tattoo" searching person. And don't bother clicking on my business site anymore, either. We only monogram inanimate objects. Yes, I did MENTION monogrammed tattoos in this post, but only because I was pointing out just how OFF BASE you were the last time you came calling.

So guys (or girls--didn't mean to be discriminatory), sorry, but no dice here. Just keep on movin'....


  Gotta Go? It's Your Lucky Day!


United Airlines just announced a huge sale for this weekend. For 2 days only, fares on all their North American routes are being reduced.Flights start as low as $59 earch way.

Travel is valid through December 15. You must book Saturday or Sunday only at United.com. Sample Fares (each way, based on roundtrip purchase):

Chicago-Fort Lauderdale ... $59
Denver-Chicago ... $94
Washington D.C.-Las Vegas ... $99
Chicago-Boston ... $99
Phoenix-Washington D.C. ... $119
Seattle-Chicago ... $119
Newark-San Francisco ... $119

Some flights may be served by other airlines, see their website for full details. The best fares are found when purchasing 14 days in advance, staying over a Saturday, and flying during the week. For full details and to purchase through United.com, click here:http://www.travelzoo.com/Newsflash.asp?165443

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


  Charm's--Part Deux

Remember this from a few weeks back?:

Photo courtesy of The New York Times.com
(Click on photo for enlargement)

According to Jessica Michault at the International Tribune in Paris, all Fall Fashionista's will need to find an attractive way to collect and display their "charm" collections. I have devoted ONE purse to this trend and have handsewn little Mother of Pearl rings around the edges of the purse. Once I have collected a few more ATTRACTIVE (there will be NOTHING larger than my thumb, no stuffed animals and NO CHOPPED UP TELEPHONE CORDS!) charms, I will take a picture of it and show you my take on this trend.

Anyway, here is an excerpt from Jessica Michault's excellent article on Fall's two biggest accessory trends--Charms and Brooches.

...Beneath the razzmatazz and Broadway show productions that some runway collections have become, one discovers that for the true fashionista it's all about the never-ending quest to express one's individuality, one's personal style. Some seasons are more difficult than others in this respect. Be it the quiet, hidden luxury of the early 1990s whose muted message made it hard to stand out. Or the logo mania at the turn of the millennium which so overwhelmed fashion that personalities were lost amid the labels.

But this fall fashionistas can take heart. The trends are all about the fundamental exploration of personal style.
And the two must-haves for fashion followers are charms on their bags and brooches on their clothes.

The Gap clothing chain, that launched its fall advertising campaign with the style maverick Sarah Jessica Parker, has even given the movement the perfect tag line, "How do you wear it?" Seen on any number of runways for fall, the choices are limitless. Thereby making it possible to
create a look that simultaneously reveals a person's flair and conveys her understanding of what is in vogue.

Call them what you like - tricks, key rings, trinkets, grigri - these charms come in all shapes, sizes and, for the cash-strapped fashionistas, prices. At Prada they descended the runway in the form of robots, animals and hearts. At Marni they were shaped like wool pom-poms. And at Dior the trinkets looked like a pair of oversized dice with the word "Dior" stamped on every die. They are to be worn not only on bags, but also clipped onto belts. The charms are also friendly unisex accessories that both men and women can mix and match or even trade among friends like children on a playground looking to make a deal for the most sought after Pokemon card.

The other indispensable accessory for fall is the brooch. On the runway they were worn alone on a large collar or in groups of three clustered together at the shoulder. Brooches were pinned to the hip of dresses or wrapped around sweaters and even used as hair clips to add a bit of sparkle to a hairdo. There was the oversized brooch at Lanvin that looked like an explosion of fireworks, the stag heads at Stella McCartney and the creepy crawly spiders at Viktor Rolf, and of course there were retro-inspired brooches scattered throughout the collections. Each designer gave his own interpretation of how he would incorporate a brooch into a fall ensemble, now it's the public's turn to make this trend its own.

And just like with the charms, buying a brooch won't break the bank. Most of the brooches found at top-name fashion houses are a more affordable alternative to this season's designer handbag or shoes.
And for some the perfect brooch can be found as close at hand as the family heirloom in grandma's jewelry box. Making it not only a fashionable choice but a sentimental one as well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


  The (Truly) Moderate (Political) Voice

Since I wrote this post several hours ago, I have heard from several of you who are still trying to decide who to vote for for President. I was NOT attempting to sway anyone to one candidate over another, but rather explain my own reasoning for making my decision regarding the Presidential race. However, I truly appreciate all of your supportive comments.

On that note, for those of you who are still in the process of making a decision, I want to suggest you check out The Moderate Voice. TMV is quite possibly the least biased and most informative political site on the web. Having a journalism background, I am something of a stickler for those who purport to be "reporting the news" to be as fair and unbiased as possible (and, no, FOX News is neither--in case you were still wondering...). I get turned off by the rhetoric on BOTH sides of the aisle. TMV not only provides links divided by "Liberal", "Conservative" and "Centrist" so that you can check out what others are saying for yourself, but he also quotes those who speak from various points of view in his posts so that you can easily weigh the arguments on either side.

I am in no way affiliated with TMV. I am quite simply a fan of his brand of "old school journalism" and I think that if you are still on the fence, you might want to check his site out for yourself.


  99%-Decided Voter...

Those of you who read here frequently know that I am VERY political--not in a party-loyalist sense (I'm an Independent) but in a concerned citizen, read-everything-I-can-get-my-hands-on sense. However, I have been undecided in this Presidential election. Four years ago, Al Gore scared the heck out of me and I felt that Bush would be a more moderate conservative and, therefore, more representative of my views. So I cast my vote for Bush, even though hubby was running for office on the same ballot as a Dem. (I voted for Hubby, too.) Unfortunately, I have had a raging guilt complex about that vote for the last two years (the one for Bush, of course, not for Hubby!)

This year, I was torn, though, because I didn't feel a bit better about Kerry. Having lived and worked on DC's Capitol Hill, I know Kerry to be every bit as liberal as the conservatives say he is. I would NEVER vote for Kerry under ordinary circumstances--for ANYTHING, much less President. However, these aren't ordinary circumstances. And what scares me more than Kerry's liberalism is:

1) Having a President who doesn't seem to have the intellect to make potentially earth-altering decisions, which means that...

2) He relies on a group of VERY power-hungry wannabes who are steering him (and, therefore, us) into courses of action concocted for purely political (party) reasons that shore up his base of right-wing support, but make the rest of us look as looney as they are. Not to mention that those decisions put all of us, as a nation, into precarious security and diplomatic positions.

3) And, finally, he has a Congress that at the very least will give him unfettered support on his most politically-motivated stances, but worse will force him even further to the right (why we keep sending those guys to DC is beyond my own logical comprehension...)

When doctors are treating the sick, their creed is "First, do no harm". Our country is sick. I don't think that either Kerry or Bush is the "right" man to cure our ills and to lead us over the next four years (don't EVEN get me started on the OTHER guy...). However, a Republican Congress is NEVER going to give Kerry a mandate to do anything scary. And Kerry will keep the Congress in political check. With Kerry in the White House we may not get much accomplished with Congress fighting him every step of the way, but THAT would be preferable to having a wild-card, lame duck President who has to answer to nobody but the pitbulls surrounding him, calling the shots. Unlike Bush and his cronies (Karl Rove is SOOOO scary!), Kerry will be forced to "do no harm".

Therefore, barring some unforeseen circumstance, I am voting for the lesser of two evils. This undecided voter is (with some hesitation, but knowing I'm doing the right thing providing some political balance) voting for Kerry.

Monday, October 11, 2004


  TechnoTunes MP3 Watch : So Cool!

TechnOtunes MP3 Watch

Ok, I am NOT much of a technology buff (as witnessed by the fact that my blog is STILL leaning to the left). BUT, check out this new watch/MP3 combo (it evidently comes in lime green as well, but I didn't see a link to it). I never jumped on the iPod wagon and the watch I usually wear is a $20 number from Steinmart (retro rhinestone encusted face with a pink leather band), so I MIGHT be able to justify this as a birthday or Christmas gift.

AND they are evidently coming out with
wireless headsets which would solve the Fashion Dilemna I would face if forced to ruin the lines of a perfectly charming outfit with black wires running obtrusively from my watch to my ears!

Other than that,
this little jive machine is calling my name!


  Real Age Tip of the Day

A Hearty Juice

There's a particular kind of juice that may prove helpful for diabetics. Early research indicates that tomato juice may reduce blood platelet clumping in people with type 2 diabetes. Blood platelet clumping could contribute to heart attack or stroke under certain conditions, and diabetics are at increased risk for such heart problems. If you add tomato juice to your diet, go for low-sodium varieties.

RealAge Benefit: Diabetics who adopt an aggressive disease management program can make their RealAge as much as 8 years younger.

You can read more at www.realage.com

PS: My father, who suffers from both heart disease AND Type II Diabetes swears by V-8 A-C-E (which, of course, is V-8 with added doses of Vitamins A, C and E). We have laughed at him for years with all of his "home remedies" (including the V-8). But having lived for 20+ years after a heart attack and quintuple by-pass and complicated by Diabetes, he may be onto something. A decade or so ago, we laughed at his determination in eating and drinking a few other "home remedies" every day, as well--GREEN TEA and two cups of BLUEBERRIES daily. Now we just smile and nod...and add them to our grocery list each week.

Friday, October 08, 2004


  Dear Annie, Good for You! (and bad for me...)

Dear Annie,

With regard to this post (and another more detailed one elsewhere)...

First just let me say that I had your morning Diet Coke FOR YOU this morning. I had one for ME, as well. You see, it's ALL YOUR FAULT that I was up until 4am doing my work, which made the two Diet Cokes an absolute necessity. You've introduced me around, been a great friend and now it's taking both of our daily caffeine rations to keep me functional! (I think this is the cyber equivalent of introducing the new girl around town and then keeping your head on straight while she loses hers!)

First, you introduced me to BlogShares which kept me quite busy last night (trying to shore up the blogs of my friends whom a certain player keeps buying into and then dumping, making their values crash--I don't GET that, especially since "player" knows "the friends", too!). I figure that someone randomly handed me $2 million Blog dollars--I might as well put it to good use. All for the sake of my friends, of course!

Then, of course, you introduced me to MindSay which, like Sass (whom YOU introduced me to), I SWORE I wasn't going to get dragged into. I caved (like Sass) while waiting for BlogShare transaction times to pass last night. Sure, I could have chosen to work instead, but I felt compelled to review the latest JibJab for my friends so that they wouldn't waste their good work time on it like I had. Once again, just lookin' out for my friends....

And, of course, you and the rest of the crew have SHAMED me to get back to blogging since you have all been so stellar while I was putting out other fires on the school and work fronts and neglecting my blog. After
Rubber Duckie (YOUR intro)published her mushy gush on MindSay AND publicly challenged me to dump mine out there as well, I felt obligated to finish and post this.

Then, JCanuck charmed us all with her fascinating discussion regarding the first thing that men check out every morning (and, no, it's not "us"...). I even felt obligated to reply. Having been part of a similar conversation with some guy friends in college, I had some institutional knowledge that she wasn't just blowing smoke. It's always good to have a seconding voice, I think.

Not to mention that, somewhere along the way, I read something that made me run to Rance (once again, YOUR intro) and spend entirely too much time reading comments and psychoanalyzing a few of the "players" there. (Which, by the way, kept me awake even after I went to bed!)

AND, as if THAT weren't enough, you kept updating your blog, which made the "Update" alert on my blog go a-twitter, which made my curiosity level soar and forced me to keep coming back to your site for more of this...

All of this while I was supposed to be finishing six hand-embroidered handkerchiefs for a client's wedding. By the way, did you know that, as great as we are at multi-tasking, it is virtually impossible to type and embroider at the same time?

So you see, it is really all YOUR fault that I was too tired to get dressed this morning and had to take my children to the bus stop barefoot and in my bathrobe. (YES, I drove! Besides, even if I had been presentable, I was too tired to walk...)

Which means that it must also be your fault that I was so tired that I needed BOTH of our Diet Cokes just to stay awake long enough to finish these hankies that will be picked up this afternoon.

Which makes me think that, as much as I adore you... (and any personal responsibility aside...), you may be bad for my health! Unlike you and your beloved Diet Coke, I am not willing to dump you cold turkey. But could we perhaps work out a deal where, when I'm working on a deadline, you and all of your fascinating cronies simply go to bed early? I'm willing to work with you here....

Thursday, October 07, 2004


  Hey, Kate! That's MY Love Story...

While I have been cursed with only 24 hours in a day and 30 hours worth of work (in other words, while I was neglecting my blog), my friends have been on a ROLL! Eventually I hope to respond to all of the posts that have really tugged at me the last couple of weeks. But today I was struck by Kate's Post entitled "When Does The Fairytale Begin". It seems that she and her new Match.com "friend" are stealing a page right out of my own "Courtship Files". It's been such a great story to tell over the past decade. And NOW I'm feeling a bit territorial about it. Here's the lowdown...

On Kate's blog, she writes:

...The latest, unsuspecting victim of my overactive imagination is a guy I met on match.com. Our story is already getting off to a storybook start:
  • Guy sees girl on website.
  • Guy starts e-mailing girl, and she replies.
  • The banter ensues.
  • Guy stops e-mailing and she forgets about him.
  • Guy emails two months later asking "Where'd you go?"
  • Girl shows mercy by replying again.
  • Guy says he knew she looked familiar... and then emails her at her work account... explaining they had met in a bar three years ago... and he kept her card... all this time.

Yep. That last part was the kicker for me. I mean, who hangs on to a girl's card for three years, especially when the guy never called her in the first place?

I don't know what to make of it, but if things work out... it could be a real cute story to share with the grandkids, and I guess that would make us Happily Ever After.

Hey Kate! That's MY story! Here is "OUR" eleven year old (and significantly edited) version of this same epic tale:

  • Bachelor Guy is bored in a committee hearing.
  • Notices Lobbyist Girl in the audience.
  • Lobbyist Girl notices aforementioned Guy and his colleagues noticing her.
  • She (assuming that all three are married) gets grossed out by their obvious interest in and discussion of her and leaves the hearing in disgust.
  • But not before giving her card to a fellow lobbyist seated next to her.
  • Who just happens to be the roommate of the Leg. Asst. of one of Bach. Guy's colleagues.
  • Leg. Asst. commandeers Lobbyist Girl's business card and gives it to Bach Guy (He owes her one...BIG TIME!)
  • Rather than being brave and calling LG, BG puts LG's card in his wallet.
  • Every time BG votes for a year, he flips open his card holder and sees LG's business card.
  • He still can't muster the nerve to call.
  • Then one day he walks into his office and finds LG sitting with his Leg. Director discussing legislation.
  • He plays it cool and pretends that he has no idea who she is.
  • She pretends she has forgotten that he and his colleagues are cads. (She needs their support).
  • The next day she finds out that he's single and the "cad-ish colleagues" were simply egging him on to have the ...um...SPINE, to introduce himself and ask LG out. All is forgiven.
  • The next week HE works with LG on the legislation. It passes.
  • The week after that, he asks LG out to lunch.
  • The next month, he opens his voting card wallet and reveals his long-standing admiration of LG.

The rest, as they say, is history. Eleven years later, is it a "fairytale"? No. Marriage is rarely, if ever, truly fairytale-esque. However, it definitely has it's moments. And when things are really yucky, it definitely helps to remember that "Once Upon A Time... I disliked the person who is now sitting across the breakfast table from me SOOO much that I avoided him for a WHOLE YEAR! Then, he swept me off my feet with romantic gestures and warm fuzzies. We straightened out all of the aforementioned misunderstandings and rashly-drawn conclusions. Then, I decided that HE was the guy for me." So when the chips are down, the really great, romantic stories gain significant importance as they remind you that things HAVE been worse. But then they got MUCH better.

So, Kate, I don't know whether Match.com guy is your Prince Charming or not. I will assure you though, that no matter who comes along and sweeps you off your feet there will always be interesting stories to share and enjoy from your own "Love and Marriage" files. However, just know that if Match.com guy IS the guy, I will (as unbegrudgingly as is feasible) share "MY" story from The Courtship Files with you. We'll discuss how to divvy up the geographical story-telling boundaries later....

Monday, October 04, 2004


  You Decide: Which Photos From My Life Should I Post?


In what could quite possibly turn into the scariest post ever, I am taking the advice of the folks at Blogger and opening the floor up to you. You decide: What three photos would you like for me to post on my blog? They can be of anything (almost) about me. Whatever YOU think would give you a better picture of who I really am. A pic of my workspace (scary!)? My favorite shoes? My favorite room? A favorite vacation shot? A shot from my past?

I am certain that y'all will come up with some doozies that are MUCH more original than the suggestions I just made.

Next Sunday, I will post three photos that depict the most requested shots from you, my readers. So put your thinking caps on, figure out what from my home/life you want to see and leave your requests in the comments below.


  Real Age Tip of the Day

A Sweeter Way to Slim

There's a sweet and juicy way to avoid piling on pounds.Frequent fruit eaters experience less weight gain over time compared to people who report low fruit consumption, a new study concluded. If you're watching your waistline, keep on hand a fresh supply of the season's best apples and pears, which are high in fiber and taste, low in calories, and keep well.

RealAge Benefit: Eating a diverse diet that includes 4 servings of fruit per day can make your RealAge as much as 4 years younger.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


  The Good, The Bad...And The Downright Atrocious!

Since most of last week ran away without me, I never got around to posting many of the pics that I downloaded to share. Last week actually a fabulous week for fashion and style, with the Spring 2005 lines coming out in NYC and the emergence of the new, more elegant fall fashion that followed some of the cooler temps all over the country. However, there were also some frightening sights in today's NYT Fashion Report. What a juxtaposition!

For instance, last week I downloaded this:

Photo Courtesy of The New York Times

If you click on the photo so that you can see the details, you will note that it represents very clearly what's good AND what's bad in skirt styles these days (not to mention what's good and bad in women's taste in what's appropriate for them personally). For instance, the skirt at the top right is too die for. Morning, afternoon or evening--it's always right. Ditto many of the others, including the woman in the black and green at the lower left, the pink skirt at lower center left, and the peach skirt on the lower right.

Then, they had to counter the "Hits" with the "TRAGIC MISSES" including the woman at bottom center who seems to be wearing a parachute and the woman third from the bottom right who seemingly threw on her pre-teen daughter's middy dress.

However, these poor women were saved from further embarrassment by this week's entries in the "What Were You THINKING" fashion parade.

Photo Courtesy of The New York Times

I think these people will quickly wipe away any memories of last week's "Could've been right, but went so wrong" fashions. They were obviously looking for attention. I think they've gotten it. Hope we can "mind swipe" and move on.


  Sleeping Soundly With The "Man Pillow"

Photo Courtesy of AP/Koji Sasahara

In Japan, women can now sleep with what is known as "The Man Pillow" or "The Boyfriend's Arm Pillow". Kinda creepy, I think, but there might be those who would find it "comforting". The photo caption reads:

Junko Suzuki, a radio DJ, demonstrates how she sleeps with a 'Boyfriend's Arm Pillow' in Tokyo Friday, Sept. 24, 2004. The pillow manufactured by linen maker Kameo Corp. consists of a headless torso and a stuffed arm that curls around the sleeper. It might make some people uneasy but have sold about 1,000 in Japan since the product went on the market last December. The maker says the pillow is not only an emotional comfort, but that its shape keeps the body balanced by supporting the sleeper from both sides. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

To read the complete Boyfriend Pillow Story from AP, click here.

Friday, October 01, 2004


  Look Fabulous AND Help Fund Breast Cancer Awareness and Research

This morning I went to a fun Breast Cancer Awareness Month Kick-off Breakfast at the local Brighton Collectibles store. They are donating portions of their profits from the sales of this bracelet to Breast Cancer Charities.

Brighton has Think Pink events scheduled all over the US during the month of October and this link will show you the schedule.

Reese Witherspoon in Pink Pony sweater.

The Pink Pony Fund from Ralph Lauren donates a minimum of 85% of all funds they raise to Breast Cancer research grants and awareness programs. Click here to shop for Pink Pony Products.

The Dennison Pump, by Nine West raises funds for the Strang Cancer Prevention Center in New York City. It's available in several colors including, of course, pink.

New Balance will donate $5 to the Komen Foundation for every $25 purchase of Pink Ribbon merchandise. A few of the items that you can see here are the Pink Ribbon Bootleg Workout Pants, $44; Kinetic Jacket, $65; W801 Slide, $55; and Pink Ribbon Visor, $14; all by New Balance.The company will donate a maximum of $125,000.

The cute Ribbon Tank is $30, at www.lctq.com. Twenty percent of proceeds will benefit the Young Survival Coalition.

Of course, the Ford Breast Cancer Scarf designed by Lily Pulitzer is $35 at www.bloomingdales.com. Eighty-five percent of each sale will benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

And, finally, Estee' Lauder has launched their book "An Eye For Beauty", a new book of Evelyn Lauder's latest photographs of the natural world, each of which is imbued with optimism and a celebration of nature's capacity for healing. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


  La Petite Coquette: What They Wear Under "There"

Ever wondered what your favorite celebs are wearing under their slinky designer duds? La Petite Coquette is willing to tell you! You can click here and go to the La Petite Coquette Star Gallery, where you can click on your favorite celebrity's photo and check out which unmentionables they've purchased recently. I think it's a bit odd that this info would be "out there", but I am a bit intrigued by Renee' Zellwegger's favorite breast enhancers (okay, I admit it--I really just want to have a pair on my desk to squeeze and squish when I'm stressed) and those self-adhesive strapless, backless bras. Cool!

But the best part is the "Before and After" page that helps you solve all of those nagging bra issues, like straps that fall off of your shoulders (my issue) and bras that create "back rolls" (yuck!). So check it out!

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