Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Unlike Rainman, I am not an excellent driver. It took me three times to get my drivers' license, and a long while after that before anyone would go anywhere in the car with me. The day I got my temps, my mother had me hop into the driver's seat, her on the passenger's side, my two sisters in the back. "OK!" she said, "Take it slow and back out of the drive into the road." I took it fast, pealing out backwards and on an angle, right across our back lawn and into the hedges. Dad didn't fare much better, as he kept repeating, "Stay on your side of the road. STAY on your side of the road. For Christ's sake, STAY ON YOUR SIDE OF THE ROAD." Nor did the high school driving instructor who made heavy use of the passenger-side break and who was always suspiciously hung-over on the mornings after he had me as a student. Therefore, it was ironic that, out of all her children, I was the one who had to take Mom's car keys away last year.

Friday, October 25, 2013


It's Pop Goes The Friday, the day reserved for me to talk about my favorite subject - pop culture!

Ever since I was a teenager, I have had a love affair with bubblegum music. Back in high school, when everyone else was discovering Queen, Bowie, and Led Zeppelin, I had my dial set to the local AM station that played sunny beach music and one-hit wonders like The Night Chicago Died - "Nanananananana." I was young for my age, and a bit naive (I thought Happy Days was a documentary) so the songs did not need to be deep. I was also awkward and shy with the opposite sex, so innocent tunes with delicate lyrics about true love were my comfort zone. Though my taste in music has grown, I still have a soft spot for pop and regularly set my radio on the local FM Hot 100 station. Believe it or not, there is some good stuff out there. However, there's a part of me that hears the music through the ears of that 15-year-old girl holed up in her bedroom playing and replaying her Carpenters' albums. For her sake, I have a little something to say to a few of the top artists this week.

Monday, October 21, 2013


A friend of mine was recently asked to participate in the television-audience measurement system, The Nielsen Ratings. Naturally, I'm awash in jealousy because I've only dreamed of having that much power over our national pop culture. Never mind that  I'd probably claim to watch only the loftiest of PBS programming while secretly binge-viewing Real Housewives of Miami and anything on TLC. Anyway, as a new Nielsen Family, my friend began to fill out the requested information. When she reached the box that required her to admit to her actual age, she found she was left with the final option, the dreaded 50+. Not 50-60, mind you. Not even 50-75. No. In the world of  Nielsen, everyone over 50 is tossed into the same bin as people old enough to be their great-grandparents (who are mostly dead, BTW.) In other words, The Nielsen Ratings, which is used to determine the advertising rates for each television program on air, places the same value on a 50-year-old watching Breaking Bad as they do on his/her 95 year old Nana napping through a turtle-mating documentary on Animal Planet. Oh, this got our granny-panties in a wad!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


As someone who was flat-chested until my thirties, my relationship with bras has always been dysfunctional. I wanted one when I didn't need it and needed one when I didn't want it. Now, it is National No Bra Day, and I have finally been given public approval to forego wearing the thing, yet, I find I cannot. It seems I have a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to my 18-Hour and can't bear the thought of leaving it on my dresser, torturous clamps and annoying straps dangling in despair. So, I will wear my bra today, even though most days, I'd rather drown it in a pool of Woolite.