Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Kick in the Fancy Pants

I preached it and until this past year actually lived it.  What led to my fashion downfall, you may ask (or not).  Life, that's what happened.  2014 was way too real for my bones, and when you combine that with reaching 'a certain age' and the joys that come with it (sleeplessness, weight gain, unexpected 'warmth'), I figured 'why bother?'  It's not as if my little corner of suburban heaven is exactly a fashion capital.  No offense to my yoga-panted neighbors.

But then I watched a wonderful documentary called Advanced Style.  Based on the fabulous blog by Ari Seth Cohen, it featured fabulous older women (yes, much older than me) who do not let age, illness, or anything for that matter keep them from allowing  their inner fashion goddesses to shine...each and every day...rain or sickness and in health...til death do them part.

  If those gals in their seventies, eighties, and nineties could still get their style game on, thought I, then there's no reason why Beth Newman at almost mid-forty-ish, couldn't do the same.  (You know I'm serious when I refer to myself in the third person).

I realized upon viewing it that I had a closet full of old friends I hadn't visited in a long while, and spent the remainder of the evening playing dress-up, mixing, matching, ripping, stitching, and such.  I felt truly good, truly creative, and couldn't wait to get my style back on track. 

The next day
I put a button-down shirt underneath an old cocktail dress.  Paired it with leggings, cowboy boots, and a scarf.  The purse is an old thrift-store find that I love but had never really put to good use.  I wore this to the grocery store, got several compliments from the husbands of my yoga-panted neighbors, and a gorgeous young employee of the store insisted on carrying my two small bags of groceries to my car.  If that isn't success, Sweeties, I don't know what is.

Then later on....
I dyed my reddish-brown hair to reddish-red hair, thanks in part to past experiences with the hue and a recent Mad Men marathon.  Joan rules.  Enough said.

What I'm buying...
 Canned music and corporate outfits that resemble one another simply won't cut it for me, nor will the exorbitant prices ($120 for a plain white button-down shirt?  Thanks but no thanks.)   Give me thrift stores, consignment stores, and the fantastic Diva Exchange clothing swap parties hosted by my friend, Marian Bell (  Or just give me your old clothing...

But then again, my style may not be yours.  I encourage you to figure out your fashion preferences and go boldly with them.  Fashion should be fun, and it's certainly a great way to express yourself. Do your homework, but most importantly get inspired.

You can't have style without inspiration.
-Isaac Mizrahi

Very true, Mr. Mizrahi, and thank you for the reminder.

Please please please check out Mr. Cohen's blog

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

'Tis the Season

Okay, I know I know I know....I made promises to scribble more diligently, but life gets in the way, boys and girls, and I've been far too busy and sleepy to keep you in the loop. Anyhow, my intentions for rectifying the situation are good, so cross your fingers, wish me luck, and then get on with your lives.

'Tis the season, so let's talk about the joy of giving, and the headache that typically comes along with it.

First of all, I don't like to brag, but I've completed most of my holiday shopping, and what I haven't bought I intend to make.  Those on my gift list should be highly concerned right about now.

Online ordering proves itself yet again as the way to go, and many members of my family (myself included) have enough snap to set up Christmas Wish Lists on Amazon.  Sure, it eliminates the element of surprise to a degree, but I'd rather be slightly less thrilled in getting what I've requested rather than overly put out because I've received garbage for which I've no use.

As an enthusiastic giver of gifts, and an equally enthusiastic receiver of one (exceptions:  see garbage), I've put together a list of helpful hints and snarky suggestions for your holiday consideration:

Be Thoughtful:  Whether it comes from a wish list or not, really think about your recipient.  What does she need? (a good night's sleep) What does she want? (tickets to see Rick Springfield at the Hobby Center on February 6).  Notice her manner of dress, the way in which she decorates her home, what she eats, what she drinks, and the how she spends her time.  If she spends her time alone, overly indulging in food and drink, a nice necklace will suffice.

Regarding home decor:  if you're offering framed photos, keep the space of your recipient in mind.  Small candle holders are a nice thought, but can be tricky.  She may have bigger household issues to deal with (squirrel infestation), and a glass what-not from Kirkland's just might not cut it this year.

Be Creative:  I personally love home-made gifts, particularly if it's something that's well executed and comes from the heart.  

Think about your talents and go from there.  You might take a moment to make a list to help you narrow down your choices. Feel free to use my list as an example:

What I'm Good At:
-presenting information
-coordinating outfits
-keeping score

What I Pretend to Be Good At:

What I Don't Care That I'm no Good At But Do Anyway:
-playing the ukulele

So everyone on my list this year can expect to receive vital information (gossip) while I sift through their purses. Don't tell me not to do it; I'm not listening.

Honestly, though, how many of our beloved actually need anything?  Do they have food, clothing, and shelter?  If so, why not put a little more time, energy, and money into helping those who don't have the essentials we take for granted.  For example:

-The Salvation Army Christmas Angel Tree Project- an opportunity to give gifts to underprivileged children and senior citizens in your area

                                          Or you could....

-Donate poinsettias or other holiday items to a nursing home or other facility that may need cheering

-Take all the toys your three ungrateful cats don't play with and donate them to an animal shelter.  Shelters will also take food, blankets, cat litter, and cold hard cash.

-Check in on a single neighbor to see if she/he needs anything done around the house (see squirrel infestation).

Let's get creative in letting our loved ones know we love them this time of year, but let's not be stingy with that love - lots of folks can use it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Greetings and Good Advice

My friend invited me to join her for a 'dumb dinner' this Halloween.  She's the most fabulous pagan I know, and refers to 'All Hallows Eve' as Samhain (look it up).  Anyhoo, as I envisioned a scenario straight out of Dinner With Schmucks, complete with a long list of dopes I'd bring with me in order to exploit, she kindly explained what a dumb dinner actually is: everyone eats silently, an empty plate next to each guest, in order to contemplate and honor our ancestors.  The empty plate, I suppose, is for any ancestors who might want to drop by and mooch a meal.  I've already got relatives on this plane who do that, so why invite more trouble?

She told me not to come if I couldn't take it seriously, so I guess I'm on my own the evening of October 31, which is fine by me.

Don't get me wrong - I love Halloween, but I don't necessarily love everything that comes along with it, which includes but is not limited to:

-Sexy Nurse/Maid/Witch/Cat/Etc. Costumes.  How you dress tells the world how you expect to be treated, and this includes your choice of Halloween disguises.  If you want to be treated like a $10 'lady of the evening', by all means shell out $100 on a bit of flimsy fabric, but prepare yourself for the consequences and don't take offense at those who might leer and/or mock.

-Gory slasher movies.  They serve no purpose but to mess with one's head, and quite frankly, we've too many messed up heads among us right now.

-Tasteless Candy.  I splurged and bought a delicious organic brand for our neighborhood goblins.  Mr. Newman is convinced they'll egg our house as a result.  I may throw in travel size toothbrushes and toothpaste just for spite.  I'm doing a lot of things lately out of spite (be ready for my next entry on voting in the upcoming election).

Now that I've rained all over your Halloween parade, let me offer a few suggestions.  These are my tried and true Halloween pick-me-ups.  You're welcome (see 'Tip Jar').

Movies To Watch:
Strangers on a Train
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Young Frankenstein

Music to Excite Your Darker Side (excluding Thriller - that's a given):
Sympathy for the Devil - Rolling Stones
Dark Lady - Cher
Marie Laveau - Bobby Bare
I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow

Spine-Tingling Reads
The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe
The Nightwatchman - David Braly
The Way Up to Heaven - Roald Dahl
Dear Fatty - Dawn French (not scary, but hilarious, plus the title alone might make us all think twice before dipping into the candy bucket...again)

Foods to Fill Your Soul:
Potato Harvest Casserole (email me and I'll send you the recipe)
Zucchini Bread
Pumpkin Cookies
Baked Apples

It is my sincerest hope that you and yours enjoy a safe and fun-filled Halloween.  May your treats be heavy, your tricks be few.  Cheers, Sweeties!

Monday, October 13, 2014

No Stranger to Fiction

A friend asked me recently if I'd ever considered writing fiction.  "After all," she opined, "writing about the drudgery of real life can be, well, drudgery to read after a while."  I gave her my standard line about 'writing what one knows,' and then went on to explain that I'm simply far too lazy to put any real effort into my written work.  With that being said, I've hit a dry well as far as my writing goes these days, so in order to overcome it I forced myself out of my comfort zone and came up with a few ideas.  I've not yet determined whether any of these will come to fruition.  If they do, then I'll have the mundane task of figuring out whether or not they shall manifest into short stories (most likely, see my comment re.:  lazy), novellas, novels, screenplays, or full-on, life-changing epic adventures.

So here's what I've got thus far.  Let me know your thoughts.  If anything strikes your fancy, I might pursue it, or perhaps give you the green light to write it yourself, you freeloader (see 'tip jar').

The Baptists Were Right - Jack finds himself at the Pearly Gates and is greeted by his boyhood Baptist preacher, Brother Con.  Brother Con informs Jack that everything he preached was true, and that the nondenominational spiritual garbage Jack practiced his entire adult life was not going to fly.  Jack must return to Earth and relive his life as a committed Southern Baptist.  He must avoid drinking, dancing, and compassion.  He must shun Catholics and homosexuals as he bellys up to the Sunday afternoon all-you-can-eat Country Buffet.  He must grow a horrible moustache.  Hilarity ensues.

Fashionably Late - Gloria is a fashion designer by day and a crime-fighting superhero by night.  When a Mexican shoe cartel vows to take over footwear manufacturing worldwide, it's up to Gloria (aka Fashion Flash) and her trusty sidekick, Pierre the Monkey (aka Pierre the Monkey) to bring down the cartel and save the shoe-buying public from exorbitant price mark-ups and low quality materials.  She also finds herself wildly attracted to Jose, a cartel henchman with a shady past.  A tearjerker.

Big Man in the White House - citizens of the United States, fed up with the political status quo, overthrow the government and elect Todd, the most popular boy in his high school, as commander-in-chief.  His good grades, athletic prowess, commitment to student causes, and his way with the ladies serve him well until he's faced with a decision no leader should ever have to face:  going to the state championship with the rest of his basketball team, or attending a global summit to stamp out virus-carrying terrorists.  Slapstick at its best!

Don't Cry for Me, Margarita - Charlene, an unhappy housewife, is fed up with her ungrateful family and heads west with her maid, Margarita, in order to find herself.  And find herself, she does - right in the middle of a traveling circus.  Margarita implores Charlene to reconsider her decision to join this team of freaks, even though Charlene has quite a knack for lion-taming (who knew!?).  Will Margarita stick around?  Will Charlene come to her senses?  Will her family even notice she's gone?  Cliffhangers abound!

The Secret Society of the Washed-Up Has-Beens - Former child star Leslie Lawrence, now a thirty-something out of work actress, decides she's had enough of Hollywood and calls on a few old friends to make changes within the entertainment community: there's Steve, an eighties one-hit-wonder who can no longer sing his one hit due to chronic respiratory issues; Midge, the pint-sized star in the 1990 documentary 'Life With Midge' who, at the age of 40, is still too short to ride a roller coaster much less get any work in film, and Glen, the once-celebrated costume designer who was blacklisted when he accidentally spilled coffee on Alec Baldwin's underpants when they worked together on Knots Landing.  Sheer terror.

That's what I've got so far.  Again, your (positive) comments will be appreciated.  Feel free, though, to offer any constructive (ie: positive) criticisms.  Thanks bunches, Sweeties!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Off The Grid

Nothing cheers the soul more than a few days in the great outdoors. 

 We found ourselves in New Mexico amongst majestic mountains, myriad plant life, hummingbirds, deer, and one bear who was too cool to have his photo taken.  The nerve.  Anyhow, a change of scenery and a much reduced pace was certainly what the doctor ordered (in addition to a special cream for an undetermined rash, but I'll save that gem for another time). 

For grins, the Mister and I took a little drive into Colorado for a bit of hiking.  As we made our way, I spied these fantastic little homesteads much removed from civilization.  I pondered what it might be like to live away from people, 24-hour grocery stores, and most likely, the modern convenience of technology.  Sign me up, I thought to myself.

The hike up Red Lake Trail certainly was a beautiful one. I'd just about mustered the courage to inform Mr. Newman that we should seriously consider a change -mountain folk living was sure to be a gas. But as I stopped for the 100th time to catch my breath, it occurred to me that in that particular area we couldn't get phone service, which was unfortunate because I was fairly certain that nothing short of a stretcher and a pace-maker could get me back down to the car. 

 We could live off the grid without hiking, I concluded. 

The quaint little cabin in which we stayed was the perfect home....for four days.  It wouldn't accommodate two people, two cats, and my vintage hat collection.  I don't keep a lot of stuff on hand, but the stuff I do keep is precious to me.  It's stuff I'd like to leave as a legacy to my nieces one day, who I'm sure will cherish it all the way to the junkyard.  Ingrates. 

So my notions of living off the grid won't come to pass, but that wonderful trip has renewed my appreciation of God's Green Earth, and it's made me take stock of what's really important; it has also caused me to eliminate a few things that no longer serve me.  I am perfectly happy to simply sit and think.  I can keep myself entertained without a number if gizmos...the exception being Netfix, because I'm just getting into Sherlock.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Presidential Pardon Me

Have you heard the one about our current commander-in-chief, who recently stated that the position of First Lady should be a salaried one?

I don’t know how you feel about it, Dear Reader, and far be it from me to get political here, but I think that it’s absolute nonsense.  Former First Lady Laura Bush agrees with me (she stated it in an article - I don’t actually know her).  I imagine the whirring sound we hear right about now is Jacqueline Kennedy spinning in her grave at the very idea.

In the article, Mrs. Bush mentioned the perks that come along with the position.  I think grand vacations on the nation’s dime fall into this category, as well as access to all the best wares American fashion designers have to offer.  You get to live rent free in a big house for at least four years, and have an entire staff of people ready and willing to do your bidding.  Depending on your political affiliation, Oprah and the rest of her ilk will sop you up with a biscuit.  What a life.

I can only imagine, though, that the role of First Lady comes with more than a few setbacks.  Media scrutiny is no picnic, I’m sure – you’re judged on everything from your primary causes to your hairstyle.  And imagine the family dinner table.  “How was your day, dear?”  is a loaded question.  The First Lady must brace herself for the response.  At times the President might regale her with stories of intrigue, high tension, and suspense.  Other times it may be all she can do to keep her head from falling into the mashed potatoes due to total boredom.

First Ladies have always fascinated me.  They didn’t sign on for the job, yet we expect them to step up and serve in some capacity.  Nancy Reagan encouraged us to say no to drugs, Hilary Clinton had health care, and now Michelle Obama is force-feeding our children healthy school lunches and encouraging us all to get into shape.  Noble intentions, but how effective are they?

Thirty years later, people still use drugs.

I won’t go into health care.

Students report that their lunches are awful.  They did that before the revised menu.  Heck, awful school lunches have been a staple ever since the idea of school lunches was conceived.

I think part of my problem with politics today is that the highest office held in our country has become a bit too pedestrian for my liking.  I don’t recall Gerald Ford swapping stories with Johnny Carson on late night TV.  Mary Todd Lincoln never graced the covers of any fashion magazine.  If you have any documentation that George Washington sat down and had a beer with a Regular Joe who disagreed with him, I’d like to see it.  There’s no mystique to it anymore, and I simply can’t take it seriously.  This isn’t necessarily a jab at our current administration.  I recall flinching when I saw Bill Clinton play saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show back in the early 90s.  I was 22-years-old, and had only been eligible to vote in one election up to that point.  Call me old fashioned or a stick-in-the-mud, I just didn’t think it was appropriate.

Nor do I think it appropriate for our First Ladies to draw a paycheck, particularly when we have so many in the country struggling to make ends meet. 

Perhaps I’m guilty of waxing nostalgic, but there just seemed to be more glamour, elegance, and a sense of true service coming out of Washington once upon a time.   Washington isn’t the only guilty party.  We can point fingers at Hollywood, too.  Yet perhaps we as citizens should shoulder the blame, for we’re the ones allowing it to happen. We’ve dumbed everything down to such a sad degree, so why should we hold our elected officials and their families to a higher standard?

Because it’s the thing to do.  Perhaps if we did, we’d see some pretty remarkable results.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming

I’ve debated whether or not to share this nugget with you, Sweeties, but I choose to do so because a) it may help someone somehow, b) it drives home the point that tact and elegance have quickly become charming little notions of the past, and c) I find it absolutely hilarious.

It started about two months ago when a former reader of this little scribbling of mine sent a personal message in order to complain about the content.  Excerpts from our exchange are as follows:

She:  it used to be so much more inspirational than this.  What’s going on?

Me:  There’s plenty of inspiring material out there for everyone.  I suppose as a writer I just feel compelled to go down a different road.

Later that Day

She:  But the stuff you write now is boring and not very funny.  I don’t get it.  You call yourself a writer, but shouldn’t writers have a point of view?

Me:  I suppose it helps to have a point of view, but I do it because I enjoy it.

That Night

She:  But aren’t you trying to run some sort of business?  I’m great at networking my own business, and I can assure you that what you’re doing won’t bring you any customers.

Me:  Aside from the occasional gig, I no longer have a business of my own.  I decided to go back to working for the man.  Life is easier for me that way.

The Next Morning

She:  Couldn’t hack it, huh?  I’m telling you, your blog is a big part of the problem.  I’m happy to offer my networking services to get you back on track.  I’ll even throw in a discount.

Me:  While I appreciate your offer, I must decline.  I’ve had every networking genius out there throw in his two cents, and to be honest with you, that’s part of why I no longer work for myself.

Later That Morning (boy, talk about persistence)

She:  You have a really rotten attitude.  I can’t believe I ever got hooked on your blog.  You’re a liar, too – promoting the positive attitude thing and then turning around and being really negative.

Me:  I’m sorry you feel that way

She:  It hurts my feelings that you won’t let me help you.

Me:  I’m sorry you feel that way

She:  Well, you’ve just lost yourself a reader.  Congratulations!


 Congratulations, indeed.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Elegant Summer Travel Tips - 2014 Edition

 I love clothes.  I love trips.  I love wearing snazzy clothes on trips.  With that being said, however, one thing remains that I don’t love:  lugging around tons of luggage, because traveling, while wonderful, can be a pain in the neck, so why add to the trouble by over packing? 
Unless one is taking a months-on-end extended holiday, one should never carry more than one suitcase and one travel-bag.  I’ve had the very good fortune to travel to many places world-wide, and did so each and every time with my belongings packed away in one mid-size case.
So, how did I do it, you may be asking yourself (or not).  I’m happy to share my elegant travel tips with you, Sweetie, provided you promise to abide by them:
1.      Go with separates, preferably in wrinkle-free fabric.  I spent ten days in Spain with only three pair of trousers and a small variety of tops and cardigans.  Mix and match, and take advantage of any laundry services your hotel provides.  If no service is available, or if you’re a tightwad, carry a small bottle of travel wash and rinse your things out in a sink if necessary.  Travel-size Febreeze is a God-send.
2.     I rarely pack shampoos/conditioners/lotions because hotels have these readily available.  If they don’t carry your brand, who cares?  You’ll be back to your tried-and-true products soon enough.  I once forgot to pack a toothbrush; hotels will gladly give you one just for the asking.  Same goes for razors, but not for restocking the mini-bar.   I learned that the hard way in Italy.
3.      This time of year, easy-breezy dresses are a must.  Rather than fold, roll and place them inside your suitcase.  This will leave you plenty of extra space for a couple of nice hats and a small accessory bag (mix and match your bling).
4.     When it comes to shoes, a couple of pair should do you.  Be sure to add a nice pair of heels in case you’re invited to a fabulous party.  I’m never invited to parties when I travel, but perhaps you’re more likeable than me. Or perhaps you just  give off a certain vibe.
5.     No need to pack a robe and slippers – your hotel will probably offer those, too.  Call ahead or check the hotel’s website before arriving in order to make sure. If not, take along one in the lightest of fabric, and substitute the slippers with the pair of flip-flops you’ve probably already packed.
6.     If you happen to be staying with friends, do take along travel-size essentials.  Nobody likes a mooch.  Don’t clutter the countertops with your toiletries, either.  Remain tidy if you want to be asked to return someday.
And while I’m on the subject, here’s a random sampling of other things you shouldn’t do when staying in someone else’s home:  complain, turn on the TV without asking, allow your hostess to clear your plate after dinner, point out the faults of your host’s home, not give them a gift at the end of the visit (preferably cash, if you’re staying with me), and nude napping.
So let’s move on to what not to do whilst staying in a hotel:  get drunk, get arrested, allow children to scream up and down the halls during ungodly hours of the morning, go out to the pool without a proper swimsuit cover-up, overindulge at the complimentary coffee bar (I’m guilty of this, so we'll take it case by case). Now that I think of it, these should also hold true if you’re staying with friends.
But the most important thing to remember is to never inundate your host or your hotel with every possession you own.  Lighten up when it comes to travel, Sweetie.  I think you’ll enjoy the trip so much more if you do.
Happy travels!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

That's Amore

They resembled those couples you see on TV commercials, the ones that promote life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness all thanks to a little pill.  Should your quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness last longer than four hours, you should seek medical help immediately.  Of course, I had no choice but to take an immediate dislike to them.
It happened at a restaurant that Mr. Newman and I enjoy on a regular basis.  It promotes a special each week called ‘Amore Monday’ – three courses at incredibly discounted prices.  Our couple in question, however, took the term literally, for such displays of PDA I hadn’t seen since I cancelled our Cinemax subscription years ago.
They sat on the same side of the booth, and had she’d been any closer to him, she would have been behind him.  Roaming hands, repeated kisses – it was quite a show, but not in a good way.  I (almost) couldn’t finish my manicotti, and you can forget about me focusing on any sort of dinner conversation with my better half.  It had been a while since we’d been to dinner and a show, and even though it was a horror show, we couldn’t wait for the next act.
He whispered something in her ear, and she chuckled in between gulps of beer that she swigged straight out of the bottle.  Okay, so maybe they weren’t exact replicas of the happy couples in those commercials.
Their check arrived and a dispute with their waiter followed.  Perhaps what they ordered hadn’t actually been part of the ‘Amore Monday’ special.  Perhaps she only drank four beers but was charged for five.  Or maybe the restaurant charged them a ‘Get a Room Because You’re Grossing Out the Other Patrons Fee’ that’s not noted on the menu. 
I don’t know how the disagreement was settled because dessert arrived, and this place makes a butter cake that you would not believe, Gentle Reader.  It’s a pretty presentation, too, or it was until Mr. Newman helped himself to a bite, knocked it on its side, and smeared the fruit topping all over the plate. 
Anyway, by the time I’d regained my composure over blatant cake abuse, the couple had left.  I’m assuming together, but you never know about these things now, do you?
On the drive home, I pondered their story.  Could they have been celebrating an anniversary?  Could they have rekindled a spark that had disappeared for a while?  Were they bonding over a happy or tragic situation? 
My guess, though, is that they were simply hammered.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Summer of My Malcontent

When I reflect upon past summers in which I had ample opportunity to do absolutely nothing, yet felt compelled to remain a little worker bee, I think to myself, “Wow, what an idiot.”

As a pre-teen, I continued my education during summer break through daily viewings of the CBS soap opera, Guiding Light (most of the little I know about life came from that show).   I then committed myself to reading any magazine I could get my hands on:  Seventeen, Young Miss., Bop – anything that had self-help hints, make-up tips, and the latest news on Rick Springfield. 

At age 16, I started working after school and during the summer months.  As an adult the allure of summer vacation drove me into a career in education, so what did I do?  I set aside each June, July, and August to work on my master’s degree (which I never got, by the way, and I don’t even care).  I then moved into an administrative role, and haven’t had any summer fun since.

That’s a lie.  We’ve taken many fantastic trips and spent a great amount of time around the pool.  I suppose my little musing today is my declaration of rebellion:  I’m not going to bust my hump working this summer.  I’ve got plenty of little tasks lined up to keep me financially sound until I return to the full-time grind in August.  The bills will be paid, the groceries bought, and a few gorgeous things shall be purchased, no doubt. 

Society tells us to work work work so we can get more more more.  I’ve got more than I need, thank you very much, and quite frankly I’ve been through the ringer the last few months, and I know that I’m no good to anybody unless I get some time to just sit and be.

Therein lies the challenge, though, Sweeties.  I find it difficult just to sit and be.

I feel guilty for doing nothing.  I always have.  Isn’t that ridiculous?

So I’ve made a little list of things I’d like to accomplish, which I know counters everything I’ve said up to this point.  Gosh, am I a contradiction today or what?  Who cares – it’s almost lunchtime and I’d like to get this thing posted.

Beth’s Summer Fun To Do List:

Proficiency on the ukulele (I dream of performing a little cabaret act in which I tell funny stories and then balance them with depressing songs.  Think about it:  ‘Guy walks into a bar…’ followed by ‘Today Billy Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge..”)

Elegantly muse more –stop groaning. Ingrates.

Sew – My nieces’ Barbie dolls are swimming nude, and that’s just not done in my family.

Read – I do this already so I shouldn’t even put it on the list.

Anyhow, if you have the summer off, I encourage you to enjoy yourself.  If you don’t, I feel bad for you, you poor slob, and I do hope you can schedule in a little fun at some point. 

PS:  Because I’m a giver, here’s my recommended summer reading list, compiled with love just for you:

My Way of Life – Joan Crawford

Jenny and the Jaws of Life – Jincey Willett

Anything by David Sedaris

Gunn’s Golden Rules – Tim Gunn

The Complete Stories of Truman Capote



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

This Just In

Goodness gracious, how my heart sang upon reading the New York Post’s coverage of the recent Kardashian-West nuptials:

If only every news outlet gave it to us this straight and then shut up about it.

I confess, though, that I don’t watch much news, don’t read much news, and don’t really care that I might be perceived as a bit ignorant when topics of conversation turn to current events. Oh, did I mention that I used to work in broadcast news?   Quite frankly, the media inundates us from every angle, and I vowed a while back not to give them the satisfaction of my attention.  Most of what society perceives as news isn’t really newsworthy at all.  It’s time-wasting filler. 

Example 1:  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that rain has consistently fallen in the Houston area for three days.  Parts of the city flood easily.  I know not to drive in it. I don’t need round-the-clock coverage.  Next.

Example 2:  All things Kardashian.  Who are these people, and why won’t they and their ilk go away? 

Example 3:  A man running for office sought treatment for depression thirty years ago.  And this affects me how?

And don’t get me started on investigative reports that pop up during a ratings period.  If you buy into this propaganda, you’ll come to believe that any and all germs will immediately kill you, your suburb is filled with loose housewives, and that we should all start wearing helmets when walking to and from our cars (dangerous sun rays or angry birds, I’m not sure which one…).  I officially proclaim us as a nation of scaredy-cat, star struck drama queens. 

Back in my brief days as a journalist, a news director told me that my written copy came off as a little ‘upper crust’.  ‘Tone it down.  Pretend you’re writing for a seventh grader.’  I don’t know if that old rule still applies, but perhaps it’s one of the reasons our language skills have drastically declined. But that’s an entirely different post that I shall save for another time.

Anyway, Sweeties, I vote we end this madness now.  Who’s with me?  Stop Klicking (;) on links leading us to the latest in celebrity drivel.  Turn off the telly at 6 and 10 PM. Read a book.   Listen to an entertaining podcast while you’re driving. Turn on some good music (Dean Martin comes to mind), pour a glass of wine, and find someone interesting to talk to (they may very well live in your house, but you haven’t noticed because you’re too busy pressing your face to a screen absorbing the latest headlines).  Call a friend.  Sit and stare into space.  I don’t really care what you do provided it’s safe and legal.  My point is, let’s band together, get real, give our attention where it’s needed, and start enjoying ourselves.  It certainly won’t garner a reporter’s attention, but that’s a good thing, don’t you think?" id="WL614">dreamhost coupons