Friday, April 29, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Being a Princess

The other day, while watching the endless run-up to the Royal Wedding of Catherine Elizabeth Middleton to His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, my daughter wondered what it must be like to be a princess -- and if there was any downside.

So after giving it a bit of thought, and in honor of the new Princess Catherine, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, who looked absolutely stunning in that Princess Grace of Monaco-inspired Sarah Burton gown and her grandmother-in-law's tiara (also loved the little pages in their red uniforms and totally want the dress Kate's sister/maid of honor, Philippa Middleton, was wearing -- gorgeous), I present to you the pros and cons of being a modern-day princess.



You get a prince!

That prince of a guy doesn’t do laundry or cook or change diapers. (Though on the pro side, you have servants!)

You get to live in a palace!

You think your in-laws are dysfunctional…

You get to meet all sorts of fascinating people!

You have to spend hours politely listening to all sorts of odious, boring, and pompous people.

You get to travel the world!

You constantly have to accompany your husband on business trips.

You get to stay at luxury resorts and homes wherever you go!

[Uh… uh… bedbugs? Frankly, can’t think of a downside to this one.]

You get to wear beautiful clothes and shoes, from all the best designers, who make stuff just for you -- and you get to wear a tiara!

Every woman and fashion magazine in the world is eagerly waiting for you to make a fashion faux pas – and constantly commenting on your weight.

Your picture appears in all the chic magazines!

Your picture appears in every tabloid and rag – and oh the paparazzi!

As per usual, feel free to add to either list via the comments.

And they all lived happily ever after... ?

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The pros and cons of spring

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Stepford (not my town's real name) -- 75 degrees and sunny! And as I sat at my computer in my t-shirt, clam diggers, and flip-flops looking out at all of the beautiful budding trees, I thought of all the reasons I love spring. Which, of course, immediately led me to think about all of the things I don't like about spring. (Hey, I gotta be me!)

So, herewith, my list of the Pros and Cons of Spring:



Warm weather outside!

I’m stuck inside, working.

Flowers and trees blooming everywhere!

Bugs everywhere

I have a lawn again!

That lawn isn’t going to mow itself.

Birds singing!

Effing birds chirping like an alarm clock at 5 a.m.

Hello shorts and t-shirts!

Hello stretch marks, cellulite, flabby bits


I’ll be lucky if my team breaks .500

Better mileage!

Higher gas prices + more driving

Cute furry animals frolicking on my lawn!

Tics + animal poop

Feel free to add your own Pros and Cons via the Comments. And enjoy the warm weather!

(Wonder how long it will take Dave S. to say "Seasonal allergies"...)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another '80s music flashback blog post

All these flashbacks to Prince Charles and Lady Diana's wedding and videos of the royal couple with a little Prince William have gotten me thinking about the 1980s again, particularly the music I listened to back then (which, if you follow this blog, was a lot of British New Wave and techno pop). My favorite radio station? WLIR, 92.7. And these were some of my favorite bands and singers (all of which, I believe, were British or Scottish... hmm...).

First up, Thomas Dolby, whose song "Europa and the Pirate Twins" made me a huge Thomas Dolby fan...

I was also a big fan of the Eurythmics. Interestingly, I was driving with my daughter the other day and "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" was on the radio and she wanted to know who this cool new band was (I am paraphrasing). Proof that everything old or 1980s is new again.

And look what I just stumbled on on YouTube, Blancmange's "Living on the Ceiling"! I'm so small, I'm so small...

Which led me to Bananarama's "Really Saying Something."

Which led me to.... I could go on and on, but I think that's enough 1980s music for one blog post. If you want to see and hear more, check out my other 1980s music posts (by clicking on the link). And as always, please share some of your favorite 1980s musical memories in the Comments.

Seriously, what did we do before YouTube? (Also, I miss my MTV -- the MTV that used to only play music videos not show these crappy "reality" shows.)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Protecting the crown jewels (royal prophalactics)

I'm not sure whether to be amused or appalled by Crown Jewels' new condoms commemorating the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton -- but you gotta admit the box is pretty funny.

"Lavishly Lubed." "Regally Ribbed." And the slogans are also pretty funny: "Like a royal wedding, intercourse with a loved one is an unforgettable occasion." And "Lie back and think of England." Though I think they should have added "Crown Jewels Condoms of Distinction: When You Want to Be Royally Screwed."

And if the makers of Crown Jewels Condoms of Distinction are looking to do a little cross-promotion, I highly recommend they hook up with the maker of Royal Virility Performance beer. Made with chocolate, Viagra (I kid you not), and "a healthy dose of sarcasm," it is but one of several dozen of the more, um, stimulating, products commemorating the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Sadly, it is only available in the UK.

[Question: How many of you are planning on watching the royal wedding on Friday, either live or videotaped? I'm not a big Anglophile or royal watcher but I am a big fan of wedding cake and Champagne and was invited to a party where they will be serving both while showing the wedding.]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

American Idol Top 7 sing songs from the 21st century

I wasn't going to watch American Idol tonight but couldn't find anything better to watch. (Not a Survivor fan, though rats! I forgot about Minute to Win It.) Seriously, the commercials for glee are more exciting than Idol.

Scotty McCreery. Yawn. I'm with Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, "Swingin'" was safe bordering on boring. If Scotty the baseball player was swingin', he struck out. I give Scotty McCreery a B.

James Durbin. That. Was. Awesome. I'm not a big James Durbin fan, but his performance of Muse's "Uprising" was as good as the original. I'm with J. Lo and Randy, he killed it. Best performance of the night -- possibly of American Idol Season 10. My grade for James Durbin: A

Haley Reinhart. Even before her song choice was revealed, I knew Haley was going to sing Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." It was a no-brainer. Their voices are very similar, though Haley's version didn't sound as polished as Adele's, though I'm sure the iTunes version will sound better. I don't think Adele has anything to worry about, but a solid performance from Haley. I give Haley Reinhart an A-/B+ tonight.

Jacob Lusk. I'm already bored, and he hasn't even started singing. Nothing against Luther Vandross but "Dance with My Father" is soooo schlocky. (And before y'all get on my ass about being hard-hearted, my father died way before his time, eight years ago, and I didn't wallow in schlocky songs.) I think Jacob has a good voice, but he has to prove to me that he's more than a lounge/karaoke/cruise ship/wedding singer. (Did I leave anything out, VB?) If he makes it to next week, I'm with Randy: Jacob needs to bring it. My grade for Jacob Lusk: B

Casey Abrams. Like Maroon 5's "Harder to Breathe." And not a bad song choice for Casey. But it's almost like he's focusing so hard on the words that everything else is suffering. Not Casey's best performance. Feel like I'm watching a high school talent show -- and sorry to say, Casey would not be the winner. But what do I know? Seriously, what are the judges going nuts about? Is it so loud over there that they couldn't actually hear Casey? And does People's Most Beautiful Woman have a crush on Casey? Oy. Judges be damned, I give Casey Abrams a B/B-.

Seriously, it is a sad day when the ads are more entertaining than the show. Loved that ad for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. And those new Capital One Venture Card ads with Alec Baldwin are pretty funny too. (And pretty persuasive. I recently got one, though it had nothing to do with vikings or Alec Baldwin and everything to do with no foreign transaction fees and 10,000 free points.)

Stefano Langone. If there is ANY justice, Stefano will be long gone by next week's show. But as we all know justice is blind. And apparently deaf. (But okay that segment on Stefano being a real big flirt was pretty funny. Sadly it was probably way more entertaining than his musical performance will be.) Oy en -- which is Ne-Yo spelled backwards. While "Come Closer" is one of Stefano's better performances and way more spirited than most of what we've seen tonight (a positive), I am still not a fan, though I bet anything Stefano will be safe again. Ack. My grade for Stefano Langone: B

Lauren Alaina. Okay, ENOUGH with the staircase fall already. Sheesh. Move on, people. So, Sara Evans' "Born to Fly"... not familiar with it. And didn't suspect Lauren had a fear of failure. Interesting. And here I thought she was a diva in training. [Listening...] I think Jimmy Iovine jinxed her. Not a bad performance but nothing special -- and will not bring down the house. Definitely not the best performance of the night, but hopefully Lauren will be safe -- and will shake the Iovine Curse. I give Lauren Alaina a B. And totally agree with Steven Tyler than Lauren should sing some Allison Kraus or Shania Twain.

Am a Scotty McCreery fan but think he may be in trouble this week. Actually, I think everyone except James and Stefano could be in big trouble. And will be PISSED if Lauren goes home. It was the same kind of constructive criticism that heralded Pia Toscano getting voted off. Just sayin'.

Okay, J-TWO-O. Back tomorrow with the results.

UPDATED 4/21/11: I thought for sure Jacob Lusk was going home tonight when he was in the bottom two, but it's Stefano Langone. And the irony (?) is last night was one of his better performances. Arrivederci Italian Stallion.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Explaining boys to your daughter

Just like Andy Hardy, love has found J-THREE-O. Puppy love, that is. And just like Nazareth sang, love hurts. Especially when one of your supposed good friends is supposedly putting the moves on your (12.5-year-old) man. Oo oo oo, love hur-ur-urts.

Typically when my daughter is upset, I give her empathy rather than advice, as I have read and heard enough to know that when people (especially female people) are in pain what they really want is for you to acknowledge their pain not disgorge pleasant but meaningless platitudes like "It will get better, honey. Promise." (Seriously, "that sucks" works way better.)

But sometimes when female people ask for advice, they really want advice. From everyone. So they can form a consensus. Because that is what women do. Particularly when it concerns men. And here was my big opportunity to scar my daughter for life explain how men think to my impressionable adolescent daughter.

What I really wanted to do was point my daughter to the second half of this blog post on i could cry but i don't have time, which I think succinctly explains how the male brain works. But I don't think either of us is ready to have the conversation where I explain what "head" is. (I am still not over the memory of my mother explaining what 69 was when I was around 16. Shudder. Hi Mom!)

Instead, when my daughter asked why this boy who supposedly liked her would pay attention to and hang out with this other (very pretty) girl, I blamed it on the penis. (And yes, I used the word penis.) More specifically, I began to explain that men are wired to procreate and when a pretty girl shows any interest, the penis senses an opportunity and responds. Or to quote Robin Williams, "See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time."

At this point in the conversation, my daughter, utterly mortified, cried "Mo-om!" At which point I threw up my hands and responded, "Go talk to the parent with the penis."

On the plus side, she is doing much better now -- and I have another item for my list of things to do to embarrass your teenage (or pre-teen) daughter! (And I wasn't even trying!)

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Midnight Tweet of Paul Revere

In honor of Patriots' Day (which is today), I give you "The Midnight Tweet of Paul Revere," a modern take on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," had, you know, Longfellow had a Twitter account -- or had Paul Revere had Twitter (like the Department of Homeland Security) instead of horses and lanterns to alert the Colonists that the British were coming.

Note: "The Midnight Tweet of Paul Revere" was conceived and acted by a good friend of my daughter's (with some help from her dad and a friend). And my tricorn is off to them for doing a most excellent job. Also, if you like the video, please share it on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Exclusive sneak peak at Will and Kate's royal wedding!

For those of you who can't or won't be getting up at 4 a.m. EST on Friday, April 29, to witness the nuptials between Prince William and Catherine Middleton, here is a sneak peak of the wedding ceremony:

I say, jolly good show!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Must everything that feels good be bad for us?

Why must everything I like or enjoy be bad for me (or illegal)?

Now before you let your imaginations run wild here, I am not talking about smoking or doing drugs (neither of which I do). Rather, I am referring to a slew of articles that just came out telling us that sugar is bad for us. In fact Gary Taubes, the author of the current most emailed article from today, "Is Sugar Toxic?" calls sugar poison -- a poison that is slowly killing us. (As I suffer from hypoglycemia, I know sugar is bad for me but poison?) Sugar also apparently causes wrinkles. May as well give me a gun and tell me to shoot myself.

But sugar is just the maraschino cherry (also bad for us) on the hot fudge sundae of things that are bad for us but feel so good. (Seriously, when I think of all the Shirley Temples I downed growing up, and all those maraschino cherries... shudder.)

I love the idea of hanging out at the beach or outside on a warm sunny day, but God forbid I get too much sun. Next thing you know I'll have cancer. Of course, don't get enough sun and you suffer from Vitamin D deficiency and become depressed.

I am also rather fond of fried chicken and french fries. But God forbid I eat too much fried food. I can feel my arteries clogging and hardening just thinking about it.

And milk. I loooove milk. But drink it and you'll get acne -- and worse if you are lactose intolerant, which I, fortunately, am not.

And booze. We all know what happens when you drink too much. But did you also know it can cause premature aging? (Yeah, those two glasses of red wine you had with dinner may be great for your heart but keep that up and you're going to look like a Shar-Pei by the time you're 50.)

And driving. I love driving. Fast. Not Indy 500 fast, but a nice 70 or 75 (or, OK, 80) miles per hour -- when nobody's around me, of course. But no no no. Driving above 55 miles per hour is not only illegal, it's supposedly bad for your car. (Tell that to the Ferrari and Porsche and Aston Martin people.)

And that smartphone, which the spouse gave me as a gift? According to new studies, it may be giving me brain cancer. Gr-reat.

And I am not even going to mention sex (though if you haven't seen this HYSTERICAL video from The Onion on said topic, watch it when you are not at work or surrounded by young children).

So what's a sugar-loving, fast-driving, fried-chicken-craving, sun-worshipping middle-aged woman to do?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Things that suck

I firmly believe that a little kvetching is good for the soul -- and for preventing ulcers. (Seriously, would it kill you people to leave a comment once in a while? Would it?) So instead of just grumping to myself about all the things that currently suck, and there are a lot of things that suck right now (and I'm not just thinking about the Mets and Red Sox), I have composed the following short list of things that suck, which I encourage you to add to.

Herewith, J's list of Things that Suck (listed in no particular order):

* The Mets' bullpen

* Taxes

* Cancer

* Home repairs

* Vacuum cleaners

* Congress

* The weather

* Mondays

* People who say they are going to do something but don't

* Incompetent people (especially when they are your boss)

* Catty teenage girls

* Catty middle-aged women

* Pia Toscano getting voted off American Idol (even though she wasn't my favorite)

* The Boston Red Sox

* Waiting on line

* Waiting on line at the airport

* Waiting more than 10 minutes for a table at a restaurant when you have a reservation and the place is empty

* Waiting for days for people to call or email you back

[Can you tell I have a thing about waiting? Can you?]

* Vampires

* ATM fees

* Being charged for a supposedly free frequent flyer ticket

* Modern day news coverage

* Patronage (especially when I'm not the one benefiting; see also "Incompetent people")

* The price of movies

* Most of the movies today

Okay, I feel better now.

If I left something out, let me know via a Comment.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Operation Do Your Own Stinkin' Laundry

This summer, my daughter, who will be 13, is going to a sleepaway program where the attendees have to do their own laundry. So rather than wait and let her figure it out (visions of overflowing washing machines and shrunken clothes and weeping child calling long distance dancing in my head), I decided to teach her the fine art of washing, drying, and folding clothes now.

And I am happy to say that we have now completed Phase One of Operation Do Your Own Stinkin' Laundry (learning how to use the washing machine and dryer) and are about to enter Phase Two, folding.

I was tempted to just make her watch this classic YouTube video titled "Japanese way of folding t-shirts!"

But I fear that would doom us to failure -- and a fear of folding.

Then I found this video explaining the Japanese t-shirt folding method in English (which I am unable to embed in this blog post), to which my reaction was "You have got to be effing kidding." (On the plus side, while looking at the video I found this related video on How to Rick Roll Somebody.)

There goes the buzzer on the dryer, people! Time for folding boot camp. Wish us luck!

UPDATED: I am happy to report that Phase Two of Operation Do Your Own Stinkin' Laundry: You Gotta Know When to Fold 'Em went off without a hitch (though I am taking J-THREE-O's word on this). Next up: Operation Change Your Own Gosh Darn Toilet Paper Roll.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The imminent government shutdown explained in under 500 words

I don't write a whole lot about politics because I prefer to amuse my readers not offend them. But when my almost 13-year-old daughter got upset this morning when she saw a news segment saying the government was about to shut down, and she asked me how the government could let that happen, something inside me snapped. And I let loose.

And now I'm going to share what I told her with all of you. Fortunately for you, you can close this page if you don't want to hear what I had to say. My daughter, on the other hand, had to listen to my diatribe (though she said it helped her understand what was going on -- and she's used to mom ranting and raving about politics).

In a nutshell: I explained to my adolescent daughter that under President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, the government ran a surplus -- that is, it took in more money (mainly in the form of taxes) than it spent. Then under President George W. Bush, a Republican, the government squandered that surplus, in part by launching two unnecessary and costly wars, and wound up with a deficit -- that is spending more money than it took in. And that the deficit has continued to spiral out of control, and that Congress (which has a Republican majority) and the President (Barack Obama, a Democrat) wanted to do something about it, but that they disagreed on how to fix the problem.

I then reminded her that there was a fundamental, philosophical difference between Democrats and Republicans. That Republicans believed in a small Federal government whose primary (and some believe only) job was to protect this country from outside threats -- i.e., tax dollars should be spent on defense. Moreover, Republicans were against raising taxes and taxation in general. (Though really who likes taxes? Some of us are just more realistic about it -- and like the idea of good public schools and clean air and clean water and a social safety net.)

And so if money had to be raised or saved, Republicans believed the solution was to slash spending -- on everything except defense and, OK, entitlements (Social Security and Medicare), which make up the majority of the U.S. Federal budget. Which means that you have to slash spending on things like education, and school lunches, and PBS and NPR (even though the savings for doing so would be a pittance and would solve NOTHING), and other programs that help and benefit the 99% of Americans who are not millionaires and/or in Congress.

Democrats on the other hand, while they are not against cutting spending, don't believe it is a sin or a crime to occasionally raise taxes -- and prefer to cut spending strategically, so as not to inflict unnecessary pain or suffering on Americans.

And so we have an impasse, with Democrats suggesting billions in spending cuts, some of them quite painful, and Republicans continuing to say "fuck you." (Though I didn't use the F word when explaining this to my daughter.)

And if the Republicans in Congress and the President can't reach some sort of agreement today, the Federal government will shut down -- though every member of Congress will still get a big fat paycheck (and spare me the lecture about it's only because the Constitution requires it -- I know), even though the people who actually do the work for them, as well as millions of other Federal employees and soldiers who really need the money, will not.

Does that help explain it, Sweetheart?

UPDATE #1: Many thanks to FOB CRR for sharing this article, titled "It's Not Really About Spending," which clearly puts the blame where it is due.

UPDATE #2: Just received this thoughtful email from my Congressman, which contains information about the government shutdown and which services will be affected -- and which will not.

UPDATE #3: Government shutdown avoided. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

American Idol Top 9 Rock On

Everybody's talkin' 'bout the new sound
Funny, but it's still rock 'n' roll to me.

--Billy Joel

Once again, the producers of American Idol are forcing contestants to reach back to a time before they were born (or at least before they came of age musically) by choosing a song sung by a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So, in other words, you can expect Lauren Alaina and James Durbin to rock it out. Scotty McCreery to find a country tune. Pia Toscano to sing another ballad. And do we really care about the rest? (Yes, yes, they all can sing, but does anyone really think Jacob Lusk, Paul McDonald, Casey Abrams, Stefano Langone, or Haley Reinhart is the next American Idol? And friends and family members don't count.)

Personally, I'm hoping Steven Tyler sings "Walk This Way" with Lauren Alaina (much as he did with Carrie Underwood at the CMAs this Sunday).

Will tonight be a revelation (à la Motown night) or just a bad regurgitation of rock 'n' roll oldies (à la Elton John night)? (Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer guitarist Jeff Beck already bowed out of tonight's American Idol, which cannot be a good sign, though it was supposedly due to scheduling. Uh-huh.) We are about to find out.

First up...

Jacob Lusk singing "Man in the Mirror": Dang, I was psyched to hear him sing "Let's Get It On." "Main in the Mirror"? Not so much. Yawn. [Listening -- and trying not to focus on the blindingly white outfit Jacob's wearing.] So far... pitchy. Very karaoke or Up with People -- the Love Boat Edition. ("Cheese," says the husband.) Well, this is one case where I wish he hadn't made a change for once in his life. Not to repeat myself but... to repeat myself, that was just alright for me, dawgs. It was predictable, safe, and boring. Yeah, the dude can sing, but that performance did NOTHING for me. At best it was lukewarm, Randy, not hot. Our grade for Jacob Lusk: a B, for Boring.

Haley Reinhart singing Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart": A good song choice for Haley, but I'm just not feeling the love -- or the connection. I think I'd like it better if I was just listening to her not watching her. But that said one of Haley's better performances -- and no way could I perform in those stilettos. Our grade for Haley Reinhart: B+

Casey Abrams singing "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?": Personally, I have seen enough rain. But I'm willing to give Casey and his bass a space under my umbrella. (Seriously, what instrument hasn't Casey played? When's he breaking out the kazoo and the ukulele?) Not my favorite Casey performance, but I liked it -- and DING! DING! DING! it took only six seconds for Randy to mention he also played bass. Our grade for the man with the stand-up bass (aka Casey Abrams): A-

Lauren Alaina singing "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman": Anyone else think Lauren totally looks like Belinda Carlisle of the Go-Gos tonight? Anyone? Anyone skeeved out by Steven Tyler's creepy "natural woman" comment? Anyone? And anyone going "Aretha Franklin?! '(You make me feel like) A Natural Woman' is a Carole King song!" What else can I say? It was a good, albeit predictable, performance from Lauren -- and she will totally be safe no matter what I write. Our grade for Lauren Alaina: B+

James Durbin singing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps": The question is, Will I be weeping? [Listening -- while spouse and daughter hug it out next to me.] Where's my lighter? [Swaying with arms over head.] I like that James changed it up; the scream? Not so much. Did we really need that, James? Really? SIGH. Still, a good performance, though the spouse (the guitar player and erstwhile rocker) just stated "bad song choice." Our grade for James Durbin: B- from J-THREE-O and the spouse; I give it a B/B+

Scotty McCreery singing "That's All Right Mama": Finally, some Elvis ! Kind of a cheesy performance but OMG the VOICE! [Swoon] Seriously, listen back to Scotty's performance tomorrow without looking at him hamming it up and tell me he does not fit right into the Million Dollar Quartet. Scotty McCreery for the win! (I am starting to feel like the female Steven Tyler, though I have no designs on the young Mr. McCreery.) Our grade for Scotty McCreery: A

Pia Toscano singing "River Deep, Mountain High": Never pictured Pia as Tina Turner but am willing to suspend my disbelief -- for three minutes. [Is it just me or does Pia kinda look like a brunette Gwen Stefani?] Pia can sing, but I'm just feeling that Tina Turner energy that this song requires. It's almost like she's just going through the motions, but as the spouse just said "She's got some pipes." [What Jennifer Lopez meant was "We know you can sing, Pia, but you really need to connect more with what you are singing and play to the audience more."] Our grade for Pia Toscano: A/A-

Stefano Langone singing "When a Man Loves a Woman": No. Just no. N-O, Tony Danza. Time for this lounge act to end. Waiter! Check please. Sorry, Stefano fans. Again, the guy can sing, but there are a million guys out there -- performing at bar mitvahs, weddings, and on cruise ships -- who sing just as well. And J-THREE-O is really bored (and played solitaire the whole song). Yeah, it may have been his best performance to date, but like Randy, I was not jumping up and down (or moving at all). Our grade for Stefano Langone: B/B-

And finally...

Paul McDonald singing "Folsom Prison Blues": Bad. Song. Choice. Nobody messes with Johnny Cash. Nobody. The only plus: We got rid of that red-and-white floral jacket (and the matching pants). "I can't believe he's lasted this long," just commented the spouse. Neither can I, honey, and I liked Paul's voice. Though this is one of his better performances. What? Rod Stewart's not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Paul? (For the record, he was inducted in 1994.) "Should have done Maggie May." Yup. Our grade for Paul McDonald: C/C+

That's it for me, rock 'n' rollers. As per usual will update the post tomorrow. J-TWO-O out.

UPDATE: I am officially DONE with American Idol. Pia Toscano is going home and the likes of Stefano, Paul, and Jacob are SAFE?! I blame this entirely on the judges. That's what happens when you tell everyone he's a star. Bet they're sorry they used the save on Casey Abrams. Well, no more American Idol blogging for me -- and not so sure I'm going to be watching. Hope the producers are happy now.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where's my Wonder Woman outfit?

First a confession: I loved the 1970s TV series "Wonder Woman," which aired on ABC (set during World War II) and then on CBS (set in the present day) -- and idolized Lynda Carter. But I think we can all agree that that costume was utterly ridiculous -- or entirely impractical for a D-cup crime fighter. Also, those DC winters? They can be really cold. Wouldn't Wonder Woman/Diana Prince's Amazon princess blood have frozen? At the bare minimum, there was a serious frostbite risk.

ANYWAY... flash forward to the present. As some of you may know, David E. Kelley is producing a new version of the TV series for NBC, starring Adrianne Palicki. (Yeah, I never heard of her either.) And there has been quite the costume controversy.

Apparently a lot of fans complained that the first costume -- featuring royal blue rubber pants and matching blue boots -- made Wonder Woman look like a porn star. (Though, uh, isn't that kind of the point, guys?) So the costume designers went back to Paradise Island and came up with a costume more in keeping with the original (see above), restoring Wonder Woman's boots to their original red, though keeping the push-up bustier intact. I know! PHEW! (FYI: The after version is far left.)

Now I don't know about all of you, but all the real Wonder Women I know -- and I know several -- wouldn't be caught dead fighting crime (or their boss), or driving their kid to school or to soccer practice or to dance, in blue spandex pants, red vinyl boots, and a red spandex bustier. (Though the new series is set in LA, and that may be standard practice there.) In fact, they would probably get fired for dressing like that for work -- and would be the object of derision among the other moms. (Woman: "Did you see what that Diana Prince wore to the soccer game last Saturday? Disgraceful! Husband: "I don't know. I thought she looked OK.")

That said, that lasso would sure come in handy. (Seriously, how awesome would it be to have a Lasso of Truth?)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How to embarrass your teenage daughter

I realize there are many ways -- intentional and unintentional -- to embarrass one's teenage or pre-teen daughter (or niece), but these are some of the most effective.

Herewith, 10 sure-fire ways to embarrass your teenage (or pre-teen) daughter:
  • Post embarrassing baby (or toddler) pictures on your Facebook page or blog.
  • Wear clothes much more appropriate for a woman half your age, making sure to show lots of cleavage and leg, to school events.
  • Sit behind your daughter and her friend at a movie and lean over and provide running commentary in her ear. (Bonus points if she's with a male friend.)
  • When picking up your daughter from school or an activity, be sure to call her by her childhood nickname at a volume that everyone for 50 yards can hear.
  • Attempt to kiss and hug her -- making loud kissy noises (e.g., "Mwah! Mwah!") -- in public.
  • When she's with a group of friends, utter helpful comments about some of her favorite musical groups or songs. (E.g., "Lady Gaga's 'Born this way?' Totally a ripoff of Madonna's 'Express Yourself.' Or "Do you want me to explain to you and your friends what that Rihanna song 'S&M' is about, honey?")
  • When going clothes shopping with her, make sure to comment loudly about the really loud annoying music and the pictures of the nearly naked models on the walls so the whole store can hear.
  • Post cutesie (or inappropriate) comments on her Facebook wall.
  • Grill her new boyfriend, including asking questions like, "Do you plan on having sex with my daughter?" (This is for parents of older teens, but it can't hurt to start young.)
  • Sing along with the radio in the car while driving her and her friends to activities.

Got a tip I didn't include? Leave me a comment. (Note: Keep it clean, people.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

The joke's on Mets fans. Again.

Maybe it's appropriate that opening day for the New York Mets is on April 1st this year -- because you would have to be a fool to believe the Mets are going to make it to the World Series (and probably even the playoffs) this year, what with the Madoff scandal affecting payroll and their "ace" pitcher, Johan Santana, out for several months (if not the whole season).

But I've been a fool for the Mets -- or, as I like to say, a Metsochist -- for many years. And, heck, ya gotta believe. Maybe the Mets will surprise me this year and not only get above .500 but end the season on an upswing. To paraphrase the New York Lottery guy, all it takes is some good pitching (and hitting) and a dream.

Play ball! Or, as we Metsochists like to say, Let's go Mets!