Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Apologies, Countess...

I always admit when I'm wrong, and I usually apologize for my mistakes. So, Countess de Lusseps of The Real Housewives of New York City, I'm sorry.

I am sorry because when you decided a year ago that you could sing and released your first single, "Money Can't Buy You Class," I said that it was the worst professionally released song I'd heard in a long time.

I was wrong. The worst professionally released song I've heard in a long time is your NEW song, "Chic C'est La Vie."

The RHW shows used to be my guilty, mindless pleasure, but I don't even watch them any longer because I feel embarrassed as I'm watching. I also find myself thinking "Who cares?!" as the ladies think of ways to one-up each other or insult each other. That doesn't mean that I won't read recaps on Pretty on the Outside (awesome blogger) or on because I am admitedly, at times, a nosey bitch when it comes to people who put there lives out there on reality shows. (But not the Kardashians. I have zero interest in any of them and don't understand the appeal. I do like when SNL spoofs them, though.)

So, I was nosily rooting around on Bravo (can usually glean everything I want to know just by reading the titles of the blogs) and found that The Countess - even though she got super-panned for the first song - took it upon herself to release another song that is plenty worse.

If you don't believe me, listen here.

She apparently filmed a video, too, and it can't possibly suck more than her first one, but I don't think it's out yet.

I'm not a fabulous singer, and even if I had millions of dollars, I would still know that my singing should be limited to the car or karaoke when I'm drunk. Unless I got some serious vocal training and assistance for a long time and got lots of good feedback from professionals and peers, I would not be making an album.

I'll give the Countess props for not auto-tuning the crap out of her voice, but at the same time, I think the song would have been a lot better if she had!

She has a lovely, mellow, alto speaking voice, but it does not translate into a lovely, mellow sing-speaking voice. (She is kind of talk-singing here, folks...) She is hard on some words, has no rhythm, and doesn't even sound like she's having fun because she is trying too hard.

You know what she sounds like? Exactly like a pretentious, middle-aged, rich, white woman who...wait a minute...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


This weekend, we're celebrating my Mom's 70th birthday. SEVENTY! Holy's just so hard to believe. And we're also celebrating my step-Dad's retirement! He has been teaching for such a very long time and finally decided to give himself a break.

I don't think of my folks as old or anything...they are pretty capable and in good shape. I do see some tell tale signs, though, that they're getting on (besides 70th birthdays and retirements, which are clear signals!) I was a passenger while my Mom drove last weekend and it was obvious to me that her skills are deteriorating. And, I sometimes see them less willing to try new things, like the grill or the cordless phone we bought them, because it's new and different and they're a little intimidated. They like things simple...they share one cell phone between them.

At the same time, I see their sense of adventure is still in tact. They go on little drives (about an hour) to the Farmer's Market, but then they go on big drives, too: a few years ago, they drove all the way to Mt. Rushmore (from Ohio!) armed only with a general plan, their luggage, funds and GPS.

My folks may be getting older, but I don't think they are winding down by any means.

My sister and her family will come into town this weekend to celebrate these occasions and I know that will make her very happy and proud. My step-Dad will be touched. I know it will be a lovely time.

Until then, planning, gifts, cleaning and organizing (so much still needs to be done and not enough time to do it all!) and looking forward to celebrating their lives.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


If you've been watching the Casey Anthony trial, you probably have an opinion by now as to whether or not she is guilty. I've tried to watch the summaries in the evening and keep an open mind, only because I wanted to view the evidence presented to the jury to imagine what they were thinking. But, that is pretty hard to do when I've read (like so many have) just about everything that was released into State's evidence since day one, so I feel like I have the inside scoop that he jury lacks. (I still have such a hard time imagining that they found an impartial jury who hadn't heard much about the case...there is SO much out there.)

Some of the big evening debates on HLN cover whether or not Casey sustained sexual abuse by her father and brother, whether or not Caylee could have gotten into the pool herself, whether or not her parents are lying for her, and whether or not Roy Kronk had something more to do with the case than "just" finding Caylee's remains.

I feel like those points are moot. We can debate those all day long and likely, we'll never know the truth.

The truth is what stands out so clearly to me: a mother who loves her baby does not go on a date to rent movies the night that her child dies, whether accidentally drowned or otherwise. She doesn't enter a "hot body" contest four days later. She doesn't live it up and get tattoos and steal money and commit fraud. She doesn't make up elaborate lies about where the child is, or invent mysterious people to frame her stories.

Some people would look at that summary and say that Casey had lost it. I look at it and say that she was going for broke, doing whatever the heck she wanted to do, and certainly wasn't thinking about the future.

I know that people are quick to bust out the "mentally ill" card, but really? I know there are all kinds of menal mother was a clinician for over 40 years, and I've also known my fair share of imbalanced people. Heck, I've felt a little off balance at times. But to me, if you know the difference between right and wrong...if you know that something is wrong enough to hide aren't crazy. You may be a selfish, sick piece of garbage, but you aren't crazy. And if you say you are, it's an insult to every person who is struggling with mental illness and ISN'T out partying the day after her child "disappears."

Three psychologists evaluated Casey this weekend and all came to the same conclusion: she is competent. I was not surprised that they found Casey competent, but I did think it was interesting that Britney Spears is still considered to be incompetent to testify in court, and she's been under conservatorship for years. But I still think she is better "behaved" than Casey and appears to be far less devious. Hmm.

I dont' feel that the Anthony's are especially disfunctional...from what I've seen, George and Cindy's only failure is raising a daughter who has no accountability. They certainly could not have ever imagined that a lack of discipline (and a ton of love) could have lead to this. They may have had glimpses that something was a little off with Casey...the lying, the instances where elements of her stories just didn't add up... But I think it's actually pretty common to try to overlook those red flags in the family and hope that everything will shake out. It's a phase. Things will get better. That kind of thing. They were not a disfunctional family. They were functioning. They are still trying to function, even after this incredible loss, even after this unbelieveable amount of stress.

They are now doing what humans do: adapting, surviving, trying.

Only a few days left for the Defense. What do you think will happen?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Pup is now 15 weeks old. He has learned some key things like, where things are, how to go up and down the stairs, how to coax us into giving him baby carrots and most of the time, where his pee pad is located (and how to use it).

He kills the dog toys we buy him (and I repair for him) with gusto...our backs turned for a minute, only to find that he has stuffing all over and a limp rag of a toy remaining between his paws.

He got his last Parvo immunization on Saturday, and we've started taking him outside, which he is still trying to decide if he likes or not.

And...last night, for the first time since the first week we got him, he barked. Only once. And it was because the washing machine in the basement was squeaking loudly, as it had a full load of towels in it. We were encouraging his curiousity a little...he ran to the top of the basement steps and peered into the darkness, listening to the squeaking, and we kept saying, "What's that?!" And he barked. And then ran to the safe shade of my exercise bike, where I was perched.

And we received our Karen Pryor Clicker Training Kit for Puppies last night. Within two, short, four minute sessions, he was sitting consistently. Will he remember tonight? We'll find out soon!

He is growing and growing...good dog...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sad Elvis

If you read here, you know that I do this sometimes: I get The Quiets. And if you have a blog, and you write in it regularly, you have probably experienced them, too.

It's not that I don't have anything to say. I do. I have just been keeping it to myself.

I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the elevator doors at work recently and I was reminded of something Steinvic and I saw on our Honeymoon visit to Vegas last Fall. Walking down one of the long corridors from the outside world into the casino was an Elvis.

He was walking briskly, but his head was kind of down. He had no swagger. He was kind of muttering to himself. He fumbled to light a cigarette as he walked along.

Even with his white and gold jumpsuit, his tan skin, Elvisish sunglasses and perfectly coiffed hair, he looked...sad.

I'm not sad, though. I'm happier than I have been in a long time and I feel very balanced and normal.

It's more like...I'm all dressed up with no place to go. There are a thousand million things in this world that I want to do, and that Steinvic wants to do, and that we want to do for our family and friends while we're on this planet.

And I'm not seeing progress. I mean, we're fine! We have, thank Goodness, great jobs and our health and a roof over our heads. We are THANKFUL for all of these things.

But the dreams. Dreams. I want to feel the elation of seeing some of our dreams come true.

Oh, you know what all this is about, don't you?

I'm turning 40 in less than two months. It's like that damn clock has been ticking over my head my whole life and I just noticed it a few minutes ago, and now I'm all, "Holy crap...I better get busy!"

And I can't talk about it. I try and it just sounds like bitching or a mid-life crisis. I don't want to bitch about it or label it...I want to DO something about it.

I am so talented. That isn't bragging. I mean, I'm no Elvis, but I can make stuff. I'm creative. I'm tireless. If I don't know how to do something I either figure it out or I ask someone to show me and then I conquer it. I like the feeling of accomplishment. I'm not competitive, but I like working and seeing and enjoying the results of my work. It's who I am. I have a lot to give.

So, I am charging myself with doing something about it. Steinvic reminded me yesterday, we only have this one life.

It is time...

(And I'm sorry I've been so silent. I didn't mean to be...)