Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Yes, I'm still here. I've been reflecting on all the many lessons of 2010. Stay tuned, I think I'll share some of them with all of you in the next few days.

Monday, December 6, 2010

#$%^&@!@ That George Bush and Dick Cheney!

Gas prices have hit a 26 month high and may reach $3.00/gallon before the new year. Man, those George Bush Big Oil Cronies are really greedy jerks! What? George Bush isn't in office any more? Oh. Well, thank goodness the economy is in a recovery or none of us would be able to afford to fill our gas tanks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mean Women

I've been thinking about writing this post for a long time--months even. I've formulated exactly what I want to say in my head and how I want to say it. Today I heard that one of my best friends from high school passed away after a long struggle with breast cancer. Sue was one of the funniest, smartest, most accomplished women I've ever known. She wasn't the most popular, or the prettiest, or the coolest--but she loved everyone, delighted in seeing people succeed. And she stayed that way her whole life. We knew each other from the time we were in 7th grade, became fast friends, visited colleges together, and then went our separate grown up ways. Sue held a law degree, but her passion was teaching. If you go to you can read from her current and former students how special she was. She changed lives in the classroom, just like she changed my life, just by knowing her.

Anyway, Sue's passing has spurred me to write this today.

Bullying has been in the news lately. It's a terrible thing. Kids have even committed suicide as a result of severe bullying. But that's not what I want to write about. I want to write about a phenomena I've witnessed over and over among adult women who were bullied as teenagers.

You would think that victims of bullying would grow up to be sensitive adults, aware of other's weaknesses, but accepting of them. From my observation, limited as it is, that's not so. Over and over I've witnessed grown up women become Mean Women, bullies--most specifically in the workplace. And, most of the Mean Women I'm referring to confided to me at one time or another that they were victims of extreme bullying. I feel sorry for those ladies. I'm sorry about their past. But, really, there's no excuse to become a Mean Woman yourself.

My friend Sue and I grew up when "women's lib" was a brand new movement. We had a Social Studies teacher who taught the very first class about women deserving the same rights as men, most specifically in the workplace. It was an elective and only a few brave girls signed up for it. Women who were born a mere five or ten years after me, really have no idea what it used to be like in offices. Watch an episode or two of Mad Men. My own mother who worked in the very male-dominated oil industry was told once by the president of her company that no woman would ever be qualified to become a vice president there. She fought hard, worked hard, and proved him wrong. She was the first, she was a pioneer. But, when she left she'd made sure she'd paved the way for other capable women to follow her path.

In my very first job, I worked for a state agency in Missouri. I was the only woman in the department. We were all traveling to do a video production and my boss actually told me I'd be sharing a room with him. Can you imagine? I didn't and the whole matter was taken to a human relations board to discuss if he was wrong for telling me such a thing or I was wrong for refusing. The ordeal lasted for months. Can you imagine? What a lesson for a 23-year-old. BTW, I was vindicated...but they kept him as my boss. Oh my.

I bring all this up because I think younger women have forgotten--or God forbid--never knew what it took to create an environment where they could succeed.

Now back to my premise that women who have been bullied as youngsters often grow up to be bullies. These women are survivors. They've learned to fight through the pain. If they become successful, it's because they deserve it. They've risen like phoenix from the ashes. Good for them. I'm so proud to know that the women's movement was effective enough that these women could find their place in the world. What I don't understand is why so many of them turn into Mean Women in the workplace. Shouldn't they know better? Is this what they want for their daughters?

Mean Women see other women as threats. Even when they're not. Mean Women can't be happy for other women when they achieve success. I think it must bring out some weird post traumatic disorder in them. I've seen them lie, fabricate, exaggerate, and generally disrespect the other successful women in their organization.

What makes this phenomenon so odious is that it's done behind backs and most often perpetrated against their friends. It's secret and spiteful, yes, it's mean. I asked my mom if she had witnessed this in her office. She said yes, but only among younger women who never knew what it used to be like. She told me--a little too late mind you--that women really need to watch their backs around other women in the workplace.

Isn't that sad? I don't understand why women who were hurt as children, turn on their so-called friends and go out of their way to hurt them. Destroying the careers they've worked hard to build, rather than building them up. I just don't get it.

Mean Women. You give us all a bad name.

Monday, November 22, 2010

We're #1

Woo Hoo! St. Louis is #1!

Yep. We've been rated the most dangerous city in the United States.

In a mark of an extreme and ignorant attempt at spinning bad news, the spokeswoman for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay...a woman named Kara Bowlin, tried to reassure St. Louisans by saying `the city actually has been getting safer over the last few years'. She tried to prove her point with a statistic that St. Louis crime is down 7 percent since last year.

Uh, earth to Kara. This is not good news. Not at all.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hooray for Bollywood

Because there's nothing like a Bollywood wedding reception to put a smile on your face!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just a matter of scale

At one time I thought it was the height of audacity and insensitivity when the big honcho of a place I used to work at spent a bunch of money to redo his office digs while the company was laying off people right and left.

He's been topped--at least in scale.

2 days after Barack-Star was handed a resounding defeat by voters, in part for spending about 40 million, gazillion dollars on programs the majority of folks have said they don't want and we can't afford...he hightails out of town to India on the public's dime. Well, actually a bunch of dimes. $200 million dollars a day. He says he and his besties are going there to get some new business for the U.S. He better be successful or people are really going to be in a bad mood.

Related posts:
Mobama Living High On The Hog

Let Them Eat Cake

Friday, October 22, 2010

Things I never thought I'd hear in an election cycle

1) Aqua Buddha
2) "Giannoulias has now admitted that he knew his mobster clients were involved in criminal activity"
2) "I am not a witch"
3) Juan Williams is too conservative for NPR
4) Without Harry Reid the U.S. would be in a depression

Oh, my word. What is going on??

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why so angry?

Why is Barack-star so angry? In the last two years he got everything he wanted. Massive health care bill, bailouts for Wall Street, ownership of a huge auto company, a parade of czars to push through his agenda with no legislative approval necessary, media adoration, porous borders allowing streams of illegal immigrants into the country, a date certain for leaving Afghanistan to embolden the Taliban to wait it out, financial reform that rescues unsecured union investments but gives pennies on the dollar to guaranteed bond holders, a bully pulpit with mobile teleprompters, a majority in both houses of congress that should insure automatic passage of anything his presidential heart desires, even a private Paul McCartney concert with a few of his closest friends.

So what's the problem? Lighten up, Barack-star. It's our turn. That's what happens in a democracy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yes, he likes himself just a little too much

Obama's Arrogance Starting to Get Noticed
By Jonah Goldberg

‘That's all right, all of you know who I am," President Obama joked last week when the presidential seal fell off his podium during a speech in Pittsburgh.

Even though the incident made headlines for no discernible journalistic reason, it was noteworthy as a succinct example of Obama's arrogance problem. Rather than make a self-deprecating joke, he opted to make a self-inflating one, as if to say that the title mattered less than the man.

The good news is that it's apparently not racist to call Obama arrogant anymore. Not long ago, Keith Olbermann and other gargoyles on the parapets of establishment liberalism insisted that if you were to call attention to the fact that Obama ostentatiously holds himself in very high regard, you were really calling him "uppity," if you know what I mean.

Now, what was once taboo has become undeniable. Even the New Yorker's David Remnick, author of a loving biography of Obama, tells Der Spiegel, "Obama has a considerable ego."

And here's Time's Mark Halperin: "With the exception of core Obama administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusion: The White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters."

Halperin's diagnosis was inevitable, given Obama's conviction that he represented a movement that was larger than politics or even the presidency. After all, this was the man who, as a candidate, descended on Berlin as the leader of a worldwide cause that transcended national borders. And when asked in a debate what his greatest weakness was, he plumbed his soul and answered that he was disorganized. "My desk and my office doesn't look good," he said. When a man runs as a national redeemer and says his biggest failing is a messy desk, that should be a warning sign that he likes himself a bit too much.

Of course, all presidents have healthy egos. You cannot become president, or even think you're qualified to run, if you don't think highly of yourself. Obama's arrogance problem isn't a matter of psychology but of strategy.

When Arkansas Democratic congressman Marion Berry complained that health-care reform felt like a replay of the Hillarycare debacle, Obama explained that the big difference between then and now was "me." In other words, the White House's plan for making everything work out was an unyielding confidence in the power of Obama's own cult of personality. That's why that cult's high priest, David Axelrod, pursued a strategy of greeting every problem as if it were an excuse for Obama to give another big speech.

Now that the strategy has proved catastrophic, the self-pity is pouring out. Joe Biden, in a rare interregnum of lucidity, assailed his own base as whiners. Rahm Emanuel, as he was fleeing for the healthier and more civic-minded political environment of Chicago's backrooms, said, "I want to thank you for being the toughest leader any country could ask for in the toughest times any president has ever faced."

Really? The times have been rough, we can all agree, but if memory serves, the Civil War was no cakewalk either. And that Pearl Harbor thing - not to mention 9/11 - might compete with the miserable economy Obama inherited and then ignored as he pursued his own "transformational" vanity projects.

There's an irony to occupying the Oval Office. When presidents think they're bigger than the job they hold, they shrink in office. When they think they're smaller than the honor that has temporarily been bestowed upon them, they grow into it. Obama has done nothing but shrink.

Last week, the president of the United States attacked Karl Rove by name - twice! - in a speech. He recently begged a crowd of black supporters not to "make me look bad" by staying home from the polls. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he scolded young voters that if they don't vote, it will be proof they "weren't serious in the first place."

It never dawns on him that were it not for the unseriousness of those voters, he might still be a one-term junior senator from Illinois.

"You know, I actually believe my own bull-," Obama told the author of Renegade: The Making of a President, Richard Wolffe.

Exactly. And that's why he's gotten into this mess.

© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Page Printed from: at October 14, 2010 - 10:06:51 PM CDT

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Where do we start?

Yes, I've been out of touch. Underground, so to speak. There's so much to catch up on! Where to begin? You choose...

1) Politics
2) The state of the economy
3) Recent pictures of the family
4) A review of confidentiality agreements (tsk, tsk...y'all know who you are!)
5) Great recipes
6) Places to go, people to see
7) Terrorism threats
8) College football
9) Social media
10)Spiritual matters

Missed you. Well, most of you.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just a fact

Guess who's having the time of her life...

Yep. That would be me.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


"If it's not growing, it's going to die."
Michael Eisner

Monday, August 30, 2010


In a week and three days we're leaving for a fall vacation.

I used to have a boss who resented it when people used the vacation days they'd earned or took time off during holidays. It was a weird tic he had that made you feel guilty for enjoying your time away from the office. It also caused me to wonder what was going on in his personal life that caused him to want to spend so much time at the office...but that's another story.

So, back to our vacation...

We're leaving for NYC next week. We spend two days in the Big Apple. We're having dinner with some folks we met on our trip to Italy a couple of years ago who are just about the most fun people you'll ever spend time with. Roberta is an event planner and Walter is an independent investment banker. Roberta is going to look for Broadway tickets, too.

We're also hoping to see my brother, sister-in-law, niece Megan and Patrick, her fiance. And, since we'll be there during the 9/11 anniversary, we're planning to join the crowd at Ground Zero on Saturday.

Then we board the Queen Mary II. Yes, you read that right!! The Queen Mary II--one of the most beautiful ocean liners ever built. We're crossing the Atlantic for seven days, docking in Southampton.

We culminate our trip with four days in glorious London. Oh my. Once a year the Queen opens her palace for a few commoners. We're two of them! Yes, Mr. C. and I will be inside Buckingham Palace! I can hardly believe it myself.

Besides the palace visit, we'll be packing as much in those four days as possible--everything from dinner at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants to an afternoon at the horse races to a play (The Merry Wives of Windsor) at the Old Globe.

It will be so fabulous to spend two weeks completely enjoying ourselves, with no one checking a time sheet trying to make me feel guilty for having a life.

[BTW, if you have a boss like the one above--ignore him. You earn your time off by working hard and have a right to enjoy every single second of it.]

St. Louis in the news!

Wow! St. Louis has made the national news!

1) Lambert-St. Louis International Airport ranked third worst airport in the U.S.
2) St. Louis Public Schools are paying kids to attend

Saturday, August 21, 2010

30 Days of family-friendly dinner and recipes for $7!

No kidding! All the planning is done for you.

Deluxe package with recipes printed on cards and customized menus for your family's likes and dislikes, $12.

Click here: September Menus

Thursday, August 19, 2010

On the FM

I'm going to be on the radio Friday. You can only hear me if you're visually impaired. If you're visually impaired, send me an e-mail and I'll tell you what's up. Actually, you better call me, unless you have one of those fancy computers made just for you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I love the saying "He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple." I think of it everytime someone hits a triple--which is actually quite rare. In 10 years, Albert Pujols has hit just 15 triples.

I know a lot of people who were born on third base. Very few of them (actually just one) hit a triple.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Headline of the day

Pantless Man Caught With Armless Mannequin

Now THIS is news.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The BEST Risotto

You have to try this...very chhhhhheeeeeezzzzy.

Easy Risotto

Friday, August 6, 2010


Hooray! The St. Louis Rams are gearing up for the 2010 preseason. Hullo----anyone out there listening? Oh, you don't care either?

With a record of 6-32-0 over the last three seasons, this is hardly the greatest show on turf.

I know a great promotion--bring on the vuvuzelas! At least the fans(?) would have something to talk about. (Note to readers: You can use that idea for free).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mobama living high on the hog

According to English Idioms Volume 2, the saying "living high on the hog" originated because "the best and most expensive cuts of ham come from the upper part of a pig's haunch".

Today the phrase has come to mean `flaunting a luxurious lifestyle'.

I'd say Mobama's jaunt to Spain with 40 of her nearest and dearest friends during one of the worst economic times our country has ever faced fits that definition.

I actually don't care where Mobama vacations or who she vacations with...I just think it's incredibly insensitive and hypocritical.

Kind of like when private country clubs have draconian rules to keep certain types of people out, but let in one person of the Jewish faith and one African American to demonstrate their diversity. Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

Related Post: Let Them Eat Cake

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Great Headline

As Seen On The Drudge Report:


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This is why you need to vote "yes" on Proposition C

Bloomberg Columnist: Obamacare looks worse upon further review.
By Kevin Hassett - Aug 1, 2010 9:00 PM EDT

One of the more illuminating remarks during the health-care debate in Congress came when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told an audience that Democrats would “pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

That remark captured the truth that, while many Americans have a vague sense that something bad is happening to their health care, few if any understand exactly what the law does.

To fill this vacuum, Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the top House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee, asked his staff to prepare a study of the law, including a flow chart that illustrates how the major provisions will work.

The result, made public July 28, provides citizens with a preview of the impact the health-care overhaul will have on their lives. It’s a terrifying road map that shows Democrats have launched America on the most reckless policy experiment in its history, the economic equivalent of the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Before discussing what the law means for you, we have to look at what it does to government. That’s where the chart comes in handy. It includes the new fees, bureaucracies and programs and connects them into an organizational chart that accounts for the existing structure. It’s so carefully documented that a line connecting two structures cites the legislative language that created the link.

Ornate System

This clearly is a candidate for most disorganized organizational chart ever. It shows that the health system is complex, yes, but also ornate. The new law creates 68 grant programs, 47 bureaucratic entities, 29 demonstration or pilot programs, six regulatory systems, six compliance standards and two entitlements.

Getting that massive enterprise up and running will be next to impossible. So Democrats streamlined the process by granting Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the authority to make judgments that can’t be challenged either administratively or through the courts.

This monarchical protection from challenges is extended as well to the development of new patient-care models under Obama’s controversial recess appointment, Donald Berwick, whom Republicans are calling the rationer-in-chief. Berwick will run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, where he can experiment with ways to use administrative fiat to move our system toward the socialized medicine of Europe, which he has at times embraced.

Closer to Home

A sprawling, complex bureaucracy has been set up that will have almost absolute power to dictate terms for participating in the health-care system. That’s what the law does to government. What it does to you is worse.

Based on the administration’s own numbers, as many as 117 million people might have to change their health plans by 2013 as their employer-provided coverage loses its grandfathered status and becomes subject to the new Obamacare mandates.

Those mandates also might make your health care more expensive. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that premiums for a small number of families who buy their insurance privately will rise by as much as $2,100.

The central Obamacare mechanism for increasing insurance coverage is an expansion of the Medicaid program. Of the 30 million new people covered, 16 million will be enrolled in Medicaid. And you could end up in the program whether you want it or not. The bill states that people who apply for coverage through the new exchanges or who apply for premium-subsidy credits will automatically be enrolled in Medicaid if they qualify.

Hurting the Elderly

To pay for this expansion, the bill takes $529 billion from Medicare, with roughly 39 percent of the cut coming from the Medicare Advantage program. This represents a large transfer of resources, sacrificing the care of the elderly in order to increase the Medicaid rolls.

For all this supposed reform, you, the American taxpayer, can expect a bill to the tune of $569 billion.

Front and center among the new taxes is the 40 percent excise tax on those lucky people with so-called Cadillac health plans. The higher insurance costs that are driven by the government mandates will push many more ordinary plans into Cadillac territory.

If the idea of taxing people with coverage deemed too good doesn’t bother you, maybe the new 3.8 percent tax on investment income will. That will apply even to a small number of home sales, those that generate $250,000 in profit for an individual or $500,000 for a married couple.

In vivid color and detail, Congressman Brady’s chart captures the huge expansion of government coming under Obamacare. Harder to show on paper is the pain it will cause.

(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)

[Hat tip: Kingsley]

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Be prepared!

How do you know elections are coming up in less than 100 days?

The President Of The United States chooses to diss the Boy Scouts on their 100th appear with the gals on The View.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Report: The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled was written by psychoanalyst M.Scott Peck. The first line is "Life is difficult." Amen to that. Peck goes on from there to describe a mature individual's path toward spirituality. It's important to emphasize "mature". Peck postulates that a person's education, worldly success, personal wealth, or lack thereof...are no indicators that an individual will achieve a spiritual existence. In fact, according to Peck, the path toward spirituality is so difficult most people just give up.

Too bad. Peck gives us this as the magnificent essence of true spirituality and oneness with God:

If as adults, walking around on two legs, capable of making independent choices that influence the world, we can identify our mature free will with that of God, then God will have assumed through our conscious ego a new and potent life form. We will have become God's agent, his arm,so to speak, and therefore part of Him. And insofar as we might then through our conscious decisions be able to influence the world according to His will our lives themselves will become the agents of God's grace. We ourselves will then become one form of the grace of God working on His behalf among mankind, creating love where love did not exist before, pulling our fellow creatures up to our own level of awareness, pushing the plane of human evolution forward.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ace Golfer Unholy [Challenge For You]

I love anagrams. Some people say they forecast the truth. Here are some good ones:

The Morse Code = Here Come Dots
Funeral = Real Fun
Statue of Liberty = Built to Stay Free
Elvis = Lives
Princess Diana = I end as car spin

Here's some I came up with:

Scorned gnome roping
A Thundered Furry Sis
Amateurish Ashtray Flip

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Liar, liar, pants on fire....

I had lunch yesterday with a friend who is just about the most trustworthy person I know. When she says she's going to do something, she does it. When she says she's going to be somewhere, she's there early. When she tells you how something happened, you know you could play a video and it would look just like she described it. This friend is also a very generous and open person. She will do anything to help you at any time.

I also know someone who is known for being an untruth teller (hear how gently I put that?). You cannot trust this woman with a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. I'm convinced that she lies, just to prove that she can. It's actually very strange to be around a pathological liar. Say you've had a one-on-one conversation, you both know what happened, but when you hear the liar repeat what happened--it's nothing like what went down. Now why would someone do that? They know you know the truth, but they still lie! Bizarre, huh? This woman is also extremely controlling, selfish with her time, and (figuratively, of course) takes her toys home when people don't play the game the way she wants.

Frankly, I'd never thought about there being a correlation between lying and being a selfish, narcissist. Then I read this from the Mayo Clinic: "Pathological lying is one of the hallmark characteristics of a narcissist, who does it out of a need to manipulate and maintain control."

I'm the sort of person who likes to find reasons for behaviors, it helps me make sense of nonsensical things--like why a person would ever choose to be a liar.

Next up: Trying to figure out why a person would ever believe anything a pathological liar says.

“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, July 15, 2010

News? Not so much

Four things in the news I don't care one whit about:
1) Chelsea Clinton's wedding plans
2) Mel Gibson's tirade
3) KSDK losing rights to broadcast St. Louis Cardinals baseball games
4) St. Charles school district putting in astroturf

Bonus: Yes, it's hot. I've been outside. I really don't need television and radio news people to tell me.

These are examples of why local news coverage has become entirely irrelevant in my life and probably yours. Fortunately, not watching local television news or reading the local newspaper has freed up a lot of time for me to do worthwhile things. You should try it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I was challenged to articulate my priorities. I think I can do that.

3)Good health
5)Meaningful work

What about you?

...things I don't understand...cont'd

15) The Vuvuzela
16) How the government can say it's "saved or created three million jobs" when there's still a 9.5% unemployment rate

Other things I don't understand:


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just to clarify...

I'm in a group that meets weekly that has confidentiality as one of its basic tenets. We always say `what is said in this room, stays in this room.' And, you know what? In 3 years, no one has violated that agreement. No one. Not a soul. There were no legal papers to sign, just a verbal agreement.

What's amazing about this is I've also been a party to a legal confidentiality agreement signed by many parties. This "legal" and "binding" agreement has been violated time and again by the folks who signed it. So, just to review--here are some key things to think about when you sign such an agreement and before you decide to violate such an agreement:

Confidentiality clause: The intention of a confidentiality clause is to keep matters private. A confidentiality clause means conversations, written communications, electronic communiques, heresay, agreements, and terms of settlements cannot be disclosed to anyone or discussed in any situation public or private.

Penalties for violating confidentiality clauses: When you sign a confidentially agreement, you are agreeing to remain silent on a particular issue. The penalty for violating a confidentiality agreement can result in fines and even jail time.

I hope this is helpful.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Cold War Heats Up Again

This story has made the whole summer (oil spill, looming tax hikes, killer heat wave, unemployment) a little more bearable. Complete with a sultry redhead, the story climaxed with an international spy swap in unmarked jets. Boris and Natasha live! Love it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Watch your language

Who would have guessed that "tarball" would become part of our everyday vernacular?

Sounds like something you'd hear on a playground or call your ex boss.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fly me to the moon

Plummeting poll numbers, loose lips from a top general, an oil spill desecrating our beaches, smackdown from a Judge after he tries to ban offshore drilling, and now this?

Barack-star is having a very bad week.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

He has no idea what he doesn't know

Sometimes people just don't know what they don't know.

I had a boss once who referred to Asians as "Orientals". I guarantee you he thinks of himself as one of the 'smartest guys in the room', but he's clueless.

That's what I think is going on with Barack-star and this massive oil spill. Obviously, Barack-star's a smart dude. No doubt he was at the top of his class throughout his many years of schooling. A+, A+, A+. But, he apparently missed the real world experience that separates him from the rest of us "little folks" who are trying to make a good life, while we make a good living.

In his speech Tuesday, 57 days after the oil rig exploded, Barack-star finally told us what he's going to do about the boils down to 1) appointing another czar and 2) establishing another commission to determine what happened.

That's it! That's all! Barack-star is clueless. He has no idea what he doesn't know. He still thinks he can get by by playing to the teacher...only there is no teacher! He's the President of the United States for heaven's sake. Do something. Anything. Okay, anything but appoint a czar or establish a commission.

So, while Bobby Jindal tries to get barges to his state's coastline to suck up some oil only to be blocked by the feds because the barges didn't have enough safety vests, regular folks are sending BP more than 5000 ideas daily on how to sop up the mess, and even Kevin Costner has gotten in on the act with a "dream machine" he says will separate oil from water--our President makes a speech, meets with BP for 20 minutes, and then goes out for another round of golf. Genius.

Barack-star! Being a leader is more than just talking a good game. Do something.

Related Post: Let It Be

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A century!

This was a 5-star day! Our family is busy planning a 4th of July weekend birthday celebration for my grandmother who will be turning 100 years old. Yep, you read that right--100!!

One of my jobs for the party is to create a 100-year timeline of my grandmom's life. I drove down to her little town and spent all day with her. We went decade by decade, reviewing as much of grandmom's life as possible. I heard stories about her parents, her brothers and sisters, all the different homes she's lived in, how she and my granddad survived the depression, what she did during the war when he was drafted--leaving her with 3 small children...and on and on--all the way to 2010.

Making the day even better--my uncle was there for most of the time, too. This uncle is my mom's oldest brother who's married to my dad's sister. It was great to have Gary there to keep my grandmom honest and make sure she didn't embellish her stories too much.

We also went through hundreds of pictures. Here's some advice--label your photos for future generations.

I can hardly wait to put the timeline together. If I can figure out a way to do it, I'll post it online after the party.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summertime and the livin' is easy

I was worn out from being unemployed, so I tagged along with Mr. C on a little business trip to Sanibel Island.

A stay at the Sanibel Harbour Resort and Spa was just what I needed.

Celebrated our final night with a romantic dinner.

A little sun, a little key lime pie and all is right with the world!

After dinner, a storm rolled in...

Time to head home.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Let it be

Apparently it's true that history repeats itself--and not necessarily in a good way.

In AD 64, Emperor Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned in the great fire. As a side story, Nero also persecuted Christians and executed his mother and step brother. After the fire Nero committed suicide.

In 1793, Marie Antoinette lost her head. Literally. Marie was kind of a poor, little rich girl who really didn't understand the dire circumstances of her starving subjects. Um, not good. Those folks took control of the situation.

In 1968, "Landslide Lyndon" was brought down and forced into ranch retirement, primarily due to his tone deaf handling of the Vietnam War. Despite millions taking to the streets in protest, Johnson escalated the number of U.S. troops in Vietnam from 180,000 at the end of 1965 to 550,000 in 1968. Nearly 60,000 Americans lost their lives in that "conflict".

Fast forward to 2010.

We have the most massive oil spill in the history of the world--and no clear plan on how to control it.

Our President consistently and stridently ignored the will of the American people and twisted arms, promised favors, pushed and prodded until he finally got a huge, costly, unread, and unpaid for healthcare bill passed.

Mr. O keeps telling the country that we're "in a recovery". Okay. Maybe. But the recession also saw the loss of more than 8 million (!) jobs and there's no plan to create new ones.

Bursting the mortgage bubble caused a nationwide average drop in home property values of 34%, experts say we can expect another 12% drop in 2010.

Add to all that--millions of illegal immigrants demanding benefits, jobs, health care, education; an unsustainable deficit; a move toward social programs that have already proven disastrous to the European economy; a pursuit of nuclear arms in rogue countries like North Korea and Pakistan; etc. etc.

So what does our President choose to do? Like Nero, Marie, and on!

Adding insult to injury, here are some "poignant" words from our leader trying to empathize with the little people last night:

“It goes without saying that this has been a very difficult time. Right now our thoughts and prayers are with friends in the part of the country that is so rich in musical heritage. The Gulf Coast, who are dealing with something simply not seen before.”

In the words of Marie Antoinette, "Let them eat cake."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Special treatment

Being unemployed is so stressful I had to schedule a spa day to relax.

Cheers to all my working pals!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guess this big smooch wasn't all it was cracked up to be

An inconvenient marriage?
Wow. After 40 years together, Tipper and Al are calling it quits.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Retro week

It's been a very Betty Draper sort of week for me.

Lots of homemaking--you know, cooking, cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, arranging, beauty appointments.

All in all, I'd give this week 4 stars. I'm just beginning to tap into all the benefits of being unemployed.

RIP Gary Coleman

So sad. He was just 42.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

American Idol 2010 Finale: It's DeLightful, It's DeWonderful, It's DeLovely, It's Dewyze

Crystal was the better singer tonight (she also had better songs), but I think Lee DeWyze will be crowned this season's American Idol winner.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ooo la la at the French Open

C'est une plaisanterie, droite?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

American Idol 2010 Top 3 Power Rankings: A Word To DeWyze

1) Lee DeWyze
2) Crystal Bowersox
3) Casey James

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Report: The Help

There's so much hype about this book, I was afraid it couldn't possibly live up to my expectations.

Well--it did! Read it!

Best current fiction I've read in a couple of years.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Ah, how good it feels! The hand of an old friend." ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One of my favorite people in the world is in town and we had lunch today. Everytime I'm with him is a reminder that working in the media world and being a nice guy doesn't have to be mutually exclusive.

Now that I'm unemployed, I can choose to surround myself with people with integrity. Lucky me!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

American Idol 2010 Top 4 Power Rankings

I almost forgot to post this!

1) Crystal Bowersox
2) Lee Dewyze
3) Casey James
4) Michael Lynche

Slow down

Warning to all my friends traveling on Lindbergh...

There's a cop shooting radar at Lindbergh & Clermont Lane.

Slow down.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Unemployment Update

No, I don't have a job.

But! I did take a very long walk with Grace, my son's Vizsla. Grace and I were pleased to see that folks throughout the neighborhood are busy beautifying their personal spaces. We ran into landscape trucks, retaining wall experts, painters, neighbors planting, sweeping, and pulling weeds. In general, Clermont Lane is looking quite spiffy.

Neighborhood excursion complete, it's now time for a little rest and relaxation. I need to be fresh for my book club tonight.

Book Report: Slaughterhouse 5

Unlike the aforementioned The Tea Rose, Slaughterhouse 5 is pure genius. In parts, Slaughterhouse 5 is science fiction, World War II memoir, satire, humor--and all in barely more than 200 pages. Absolutely Kurt Vonnegut at his best. So it goes.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Now that I'm among the 9% of Americans who are unemployed, I'm visiting a lot of job sites on the internet. I run across many, many great employment articles. Here are highlights from one that some of you may find interesting. It's titled, What Makes A Boss Bad. Click on the link if you want to read the whole article.

•Love brownnosers, tattletales, and relatives who report to them. They choose favorite employees and cover up and make excuses for the poor work of their incompetent favorites. They ignore selected people and discriminate against many employees.

•Fail to communicate, and may not even have, expectations, timelines or goals. Bad bosses change their minds frequently leaving employees off-balance. Bad bosses change expectations and deadlines frequently.

•Use disciplinary measures inappropriately when simple, positive communication would correct the problem. Bad bosses ignore employees until there is a problem, then pounce.

•Speak loudly, rudely, one-sidedly to staff. Bad bosses don't provide the air time for staff to respond to accusations and comments. They intimidate people and bully staff. They allow other employees to bully employees.

•Take credit for the successes and positive accomplishments of employees. They are equally as quick to blame employees when something goes wrong.

•Fail to provide rewards or recognition for positive employee performance.
These six were the top "bad boss" characteristics cited by readers. The following came up less frequently but were contributed by more than one reader. The bad boss:

•Is not qualified for the boss job by either skills or experience.

•Will not let go of problems or mistakes. The bad boss returns to discuss negative events continually and searches for faults in employees.

•Will not accept constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement. The bad boss can't deal with disagreement from employees who have their own opinions about work related issues.

•Lacks integrity, breaks promises, and is dishonest.

•Does not have the courage to deal with a difficult situation despite knowing that it is the right thing to do.

•Causes dissension among staff members by his or her actions and comments.

My job counselor at the Missouri Employment Office will be glad that I'm keeping these things in mind during my job search.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Book Report: The Tea Rose

I had high hopes for this massive door stop. I was told, "you'll love it!" "you won't be able to put it down!" "there's a sequel!". Well, you may...but I didn't.

In fact, The Tea Rose is everything I don't like about so-called historical fiction. Pick a time period, throw in a bunch of unrelated events (in this case, everything from Jack the Ripper, to dock strikes in London, to Nellie Bly the American journalist...and way, way more improbable, intersecting events), then add a modern female heroine (feisty, strong, witty, ambitious, blah, blah, blah), and a few modern storylines (gay character befriends our feisty, strong, witty and ambitious heroine)...and stretch it out for 550 unlikely, trite, and unchallenging pages...and ta da! An historical fiction book is born.

If you like Barbara Taylor Bradford books, you'll love this. I don't and I didn't.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Countdown to Mother's Day

Mother's Day is this coming Sunday.

My mom lives with us, so every day is Mother's Day around here.

Regardless...the pressure is on to find the perfect gift--that is, one that measures up to whatever my 3 siblings come up with.

Well, the competition has begun. Kudos to my sister in Memphis for getting her gift here first. No idea what it is, because it's wrapped (more points awarded).

Who says you grow out of sibling rivalry?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

American Idol 2010 Top 5 Power Rankings

I love Harry Connick, Jr. He should be the standard that all men hold themselves up to.

1) Lee Dewyze
2) Michael Lynche
3) Crystal Bowersox
4) Aaron Kelley
5) Casey James

It's happened again...

Well, after just 10 months wearing the OPA (oldest person alive) crown, Japanese Kama Chinen has passed away and left the honor to a younger woman. Unfortunately, she missed her big 115th birthday bash by just a few days.

RIP, Kama Chinen.

(Ms. Chinen's death hands the title of world's oldest person to Eugenie Blanchard, a 114-year-old French woman living on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.)

Related Posts:

OPA Passes Torch

Oldest Person Alive Dies--Again


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Things I don't understand.... (cont'd)

#14. Why people in the movies don't have to say goodbye to someone before hanging up the phone.

p.s. is it hang up the phone, or hang the phone up?

Other things I don't understand:


Friday, April 30, 2010

Another thing...

When you're not working you get to have lunch with your best friends, stay as long as you like, and then come home and take a nap.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Don't talk to strangers

Since I'm not working, I now have time to ruminate on reports like this one that says NASA has proof there's life on Mars.

Just last week genius thinker Stephen Hawking revealed that he believes aliens are among us--and they're up to no good.

This is not great news for a country that's having such a hard time protecting its 2000 mile border with Mexico.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

12:22pm home

Well, I've been profiled and updated and checked in and out by the Missouri Career Center. Gina advised me not to be discouraged (I'm not) and let me know I'm entitled to two years of continuing education--for free! I think I'll look into some computer classes. She also gave me leads on two more jobs I may be qualified for. All in all, a very productive morning.


Gina just profiled me.


When I got here there were 9 people in the line ahead of me. Now there's noone in line, and more office workers than job seekers. Next month I'm coming at 11am.

How do I get one of these government jobs, anyway? It's a very nice office.


A woman with a baby and a pink I phone is at the computer next to me calling about jobs. Someone needs to work with her on her phone skills. I hope the people she's talking to look past that and give her a job.


One thing I've noticed is everyone around here is very cheerful. It's nice to know that even though we're all unemployed and the economy stinks, we can keep our positive attitudes.

Looks like people are leaving to go to lunch. The place is clearing out.

I forgot to tell you, there's a Dollar Store and a manicure place in this same complex! Talk about convenience!


I'm still waiting for my name to be called. I think there's one man in front of me.

Scott Bakula left. He couldn't figure out how to work the computer. He said he used to have one "years ago."

I successfully applied for Job #3.


Job #2 (which I really wanted) is no longer posted on the company's website. Bummer. It was fairly close to my house, too. Also, close to the casino which would have been a big plus.


Unfortunately, I'm not qualified for the first job. Too much web/techie knowledge needed. Note to all students: Take as many computer classes as you can fit into your schedule.


Apparently, you can just come into the Missouri Career office and surf the net. It's free.

10:26 am

I've made it into the Missouri Career Center. I've already checked in (do not bring a firearm), and logged onto the computer.

It only took about thirty seconds to do my in person 4-week reporting. Even though you do it "in person" you still do it by computer all by yourself.

Now, I'm on the Missouri Career Source website scouring for jobs that I'm qualified for. They've already highlighted three for me! Tax dollars at work.

I'm a little scared, because a man who looks a little like Scott Bakula is sitting at the computer next to me and keeps asking me questions. If he was really Scott Bakula I'd be more inclined to talk to him.

They should be calling my name soon to "profile" me. (I thought that was illegal).

9:44am On my way to the employment office

I decided to wear a skirt. I didn't know whether I should dress for success or look `down on my luck.' I'm somewhere in between.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

American Idol 2010 Top 6 Power Rankings

1. Siobhan Magnus (in a surprise showing)
2. Casey James
3. Lee Dewyze
4. Aaron Kelly
5. Crystal Bowersox
6. Michael Lynche

I won't be mad if Michael Lynche or Aaron Kelly head home this week.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Live blogging from the employment office!

I've been summoned to the unemployment office for some "specialized training." I already have Bachelor's and Master's degrees, so I'm interested in all higher education. Especially for free!

I'll be live blogging from the site Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden." ~Orson Scott Card

Who knew not working would be so exhausting?

Book Report: Neuromancer

I'm not a huge fan of war movies, mainly because I lose track of who the good guys and bad guys are and who's winning the battles. But, I can still appreciate a great war movie like Saving Private Ryan or The Longest Day.

That's the way I felt reading Neuromancer, by William Gibson. I probably only understood about 30% of this book. Neuromancer is all about an underground, futuristic world of artificial intelligence, double crossing low-level thieves, computer hackers, mercenaries, and other captivating the Rastafarian pilot who figures largely in the climax.

Interestingly, Neuromancer was written more than 20 years ago and except for some dated computer references it's surprisingly modern and maintains a huge cult-like following. The characters are far more developed than the plot, which is both a good and a bad thing.

Did I like Neuromancer? Ah, not so much. But, ironically, I'm glad I read it--and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

American Idol 2010 Top 7 Power Rankings

There are really only two contenders for the AI crown this year.

Here are the power rankings after tonight's performances:

1. Crystal Bowersox
2. Lee Dewyze
3. Michael Lynche
4. Siobhan Magnus
5. Aaron Kelley
6. Casey James
7. Tim Urban

Tim should be headed back to Texas, but Siobhan, Aaron or Casey could be packing their bags as well.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yee Haw!

I'm back.

Just in case you missed me.

(And, even if you didn't).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Book Report: The Time Traveler's Wife

Here's a funny story. I never read this book whenever it was tops on the charts. I never saw it at the movies. I thought it was about an astronaut's wife and that just didn't interest me. Don't ask how I got that idea, the title is clearly "THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE."

So, it really is about time travel. And, once you kind of catch on to the flow of the book it's okay. Henry meets Claire when he's grown and she's a little girl...eventually they fall in love. That part is a little creepy to me.

The rest of the book is pretty good, but I think I liked the structure of the novel and Henry's and Claire's side-by-side timelines better than the actual story.

Read it though, it's a little bit of a challenge--but a nice love story with a twist.

American Idol 2010 Top 9 Power Rankings: You say hello, but Aaron says goodbye

1. Crystal Bowersox
2. Casey James
3. Lee Dewyze
4. Siobhan Magnus
5. Michael Lynche
6. Tim Urban
7. Katie Stevens
8. Andrew Garcia
9. Aaron Kelly

Monday, April 5, 2010

Station break

Oh my! We've certainly had a lot of changes at Chez Collett.

After nearly 20 years with my television station, and over 30 years in the media world, I find myself unemployed. I'm choosing to look at this as an extended vacation--or early, early retirement.

Wow! What happened?? Who did what to whom? Who said what? How? Why?

I don't need to go into any of the details here, if you want those you'll just have to ask. Suffice it to say that working at the station hasn't been a lot of fun for a very long time, so other than the obvious (lack of pay check), it's really a positive situation.

I've been amazed by the kindness of so many of my friends. And, well, I've also been amazed by the people who I thought were friends that I haven't heard from.

Wrapping up my twenty years at the station, I couldn't be more proud of my performance and that of my team--everyone who has come and gone, and those folks who remain. We took a station that was #4 in the market and made it #1!

In a few days Mr. C and I are going on vacation. Think of us enjoying a sunny beach during the day and a nice sunset in the evening.*

Change is good.

"There is no reason why the same man should like the same books at eighteen and forty-eight." ~Ezra Pound

* I bought all new shorts a size bigger than I usually wear so I can eat whatever I want...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

American Idol 2010 Top 10 Power Rankings: Ushering Didi Off The Stage

1. Crystal Bowersox
2. Lee Dewyze
3. Michael Lynche
4. Casey James
5. Aaron Kelly
6. Siobhan Magnus
7. Andrew Garcia
8. Katie Stevens
9. Tim Urban
10.Didi Benami

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

American Idol 2010 Top 11 Power Rankings: Mileys to go before I sleep

What a lousy American Idol. I think they should send the bottom eight home tomorrow night and save us two months of this torture. Nevertheless, here are this week's power rankings:

1. Crystal Bowersox
2. Lee Dewyze
3. Siobhan Magnus (tie)
3. Michael Lynche (tie)
4. Aaron Kelly
5. Casey James
6. Katie Stevens
7. Tim Urban
8. Andrew Garcia
9. Paige Miles
10.Didi Benami

Not another holiday.

I'm getting Passover recipes emailed to me. Oy Vey. Why am I on so many spam lists? (I guess that would be something other than a spam list, if you know what I mean.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

American Idol 2010 Top 12 Power Rankings: You Can't Always Get What You Want

I know you've been waiting:

1) Siobhan Magnus
2) Michael Lynche (tie)
2) Crystal Bowersox (tie)
4) Casey James
5) Lee Dewyze
6) Didi Benami
7) Aaron Kelley
8) Lacey
9) Paige Miles
10)Katie Stevens
11)Andrew Garcia
12)Tim Urban

I won't cry if Tim, Andrew, Katie, Paige, Aaron, or Didi go home.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Love After Love, by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Top 8 American Idol Girls Perform--Power Rankings. Turning the Paige.

Yes, there's no doubt about it. Paige Miles doesn't belong anywhere near the American Idol stage. And speaking of stages, Katie Stevens needs to go back to her high school and star in some production like Beauty & The Beast.

This week's rankings:
1. Crystal Bowersox
2. Lilly Scott (tie)
2. Siobhan Magnus (tie
3. Lacey Brown
4. Didi Bernami (I still can't stand her)
5. Katelyn Epperley
6. Katie Stevens
7. Paige Miles

Going home:

Paige Miles

Katie Stevens

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Book Report: The Postman Always Rings Twice

I love writers like James Cain. This is a small book, barely longer than a short story. Every single word counts. There is absolutely no wasted imagery in the text.

"I kissed her. Her eyes were shining up at me like two blue stars. It was like being in church."

Whoa! Seriously, folks...that's just pure poetry.

The Postman Always Rings Twice was written in 1934. Considered quite scandalous, it was banned in Boston for being just too, too racy. It's a mystery written in the noir style popular at the time. In fact, many critics say James Cain was "The Master of Noir", because he broke away from the hard-boiled detective stories popular before Postman and developed crime fiction into something far more sinister, deeper, and darker.

The story is so compelling that it's been made into a movie on four different occasions. If you rent a copy, get the 1946 version with Lana Turner and John Garfield.

Briefly, the book tells the story of a grifter's accidental meet up with the Greek owner of a diner. Then...there's adultery, there's violence, guys get punched, gals get hysterical.

A lot is packed into barely one hundred pages. Fasten your seatbelt, it's quite a ride.