Friday, February 26, 2010

Was it PRIDE?

What to have for dinner is a nightly topic that takes TOO MUCH time in our household. I don't know why I just don't plan something and make it. OK, well sometimes I DO. But typically there is some type of discussion in which I ask "what do you want for dinner?" The conversation doesn't ALWAYS involve all 5 of us, because let's face it too many cooks... But usually, I ask Luis (if it's one of the 3 nights that he is home for dinner) or I ask the kids, or yeah, there are nights that I do ask EVERYONE. I don't remember my Mom ever asking me what I wanted, she just made dinner and it was ALWAYS terrific. But then again, she was a more confident cook than I am with a much more extensive repertoire. I shall remind you of #43 on my 100 Random Things About Me list : People tell me that I'm a good cook, but I have a limited repertoire. So with that being said; maybe I ask for suggestions because I LIKE to take everyone's feelings and desires into consideration or maybe it's because I just can't make up my mind. (Shocker!) But I think ultimately, it's because I want to make everyone HAPPY.

Well last Friday night, after an extensive discussion about dinner; Luis and I decided that he was going to cook. He was going to make Pizza for the kids (with dough from Trader Joe's - which I HIGHLY recommend. It's only $1.99, it's easy and it's GOOD.) And he was going to make Mexican eggs and bacon for he and I.

Luis did a BEAUTIFUL job on the pizza, and while he was cooking the rest of our dinner, I was emptying the dishwasher. A few minutes before the pizza was ready to come out of the oven, I grabbed my Pampered Chef cooling rack, and proudly boasted "I think I got this cooling rack for free when I hosted that Pampered Chef party, and I have to say it is one of the BEST things I ever got; because we use it all the time." And as if my chest wasn't already big enough, I think I puffed up a couple of sizes because I was SO proud of myself.

I put the cooling rack on the kitchen island and within a minute or two it was time for Luis to take the pizza out of the oven. As Luis leaned into the oven and saw his bubbling work of art, he bragged, "This pizza looks GOOD! I am THE BEST pizza maker ever!!" And with that he proceeded to put the tray on the WONDERFUL cooling rack, and the tray and pizza promptly slid right off the rack onto the floor. As it was coasting off the rack,(which seemed like slow motion to me of course) Luis shouted "Pooh" (because that's what he calls me) and I replied "What did you want me to do? Was I supposed to grab the hot pizza with my bare hands, or the tray for that matter? " But he claimed that he wanted to point out that my PRIZED cooling rack had a leg tilting off of the island and this was why the pizza crashed to the ground. OK! Since I ALWAYS double check the stability of the cooling rack (because I fear precisely what happened,) I don't believe this was the case.
Anyway, we stood there for a moment, looking at our delicious pizza oozing cheese all over the kitchen floor. The kids had come in when they heard the commotion and sadly witnessed Luis scooping the masterpiece off of the floor. They were disappointed to say the least, but I assured them that we would take another stab at making the pizza some time during the weekend and they were appeased. I told Luis "This is what we get for acting so PROUD." We laughed, and then I left for Del Taco, so I could get the kids some dinner.

Yes, I know sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. There may not be any cosmic reason that the pizza slid to the floor. It MAY BE be that the cooling rack wasn't sitting well on the island (although I HIGHLY doubt it.) It may be that the pan was slippery and that's why it careened off the rack, or, since I'm constantly seeking the GREATER GOOD, I am certainly willing to consider that it MAY have been about the pride. But, there is one other possibility; maybe I just needed something to blog about.
Till next time...

Friday, February 19, 2010


It's been a while since I've written about reality TV, or felt compelled to ~ but with no major mishaps going on in my life this week, no remarkable trials or tribulations; now seems like the perfect time to share my opinions about what's going on In REALITY...
I analogize that when "American Idol" starts a new season, it's like the first day of school. You look forward to it, you're excited for it to begin and then you realize that you have another whole year to face and suddenly it doesn't seem so great. Oh, where do I begin... I'm going to try to be as brief as possible (I said TRY) as there is a lot of ground to cover, even at this early juncture in this season of "AI." First let me say; so Paula left, big deal. I'm sure that Fox could find someone else to play Mrs. nice guy and tell the girls when they look pretty. Yes, yes, I KNOW they already did that, I'm just kinda recapping. So Fox decides to have guest judges go on the road in Paula's place - did I like this idea; NO!! I think one of the good things about Idol is consistency, and having a different judge means people were not JUDGED by the same criteria. For instance, I really enjoyed Victoria Beckham and Shania Twain, but I thought Katy Perry was a monster and Joe Jonas didn't say a word; and not for nothing, but if Doogie Howser sings anything, it's Broadway, so I don't really think that he needed to be there (but then again, I was very disappointed in his behavior on "Top Chef Masters"; so I'm probably still holding that against him.) OK, so for some insane reason, FOX chooses Ellen Degeneres to be the new permanent judge on "AI," and to this I say, just because people might like Ellen, doesn't mean that she should be seen ALL OVER THE PLACE. I liken this to the over exposure of Rachael Ray and Paula Dean. Do what you do ladies, COOK! You don't need talk shows, and magazines and several shows on the food network; and a word of caution to Guy Fieri (who I love) don't travel this road my friend. You already have Triple D (which is another one of my FAVES) and "Guy's Big Bite" and if my eyes are serving me correctly it looks like you're also going to be hosting a game show in addition to some Food Network Challenges. Get wise, Food Network and FOX; just because the American Public likes someone it doesn't mean that we want to see them EVERYWHERE. It's like if you absolutely adored cheesecake and all of a sudden you got to eat a piece EVERY DAY (without gaining weight of course;) after awhile, you'd grow tired of the cheesecake and you wouldn't want it anymore. And in "Bumpy Ride" fashion, this is my way of telling you that I don't think FOX should have cast Ellen as the fourth judge. Just because you LIKE music, doesn't mean you are qualified to judge those who are trying to MAKE music; just like she wasn't qualified to judge dancing on "So You Think You Can Dance" last summer. I mean seriously, should Simon host a talk show, a cooking show and start a magazine? NO, he should not, because he knows that he should keep himself as the commodity that he is on "American Idol," or at least he DID know that until he decided that this would be his last season; and not for nothing; do I think that this decision had something to do with the arrival of Ellen; Yes I do, and would I rather see Simon on Idol than anyone; yes I would. So in a nutshell; I'll give Ellen her chance BUT, I'm not happy about it.

Disenchanted; that's what I am with "American Idol" right now. My friend Lesa G, is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Hollywood gossip and the ins and outs; and she often shares her information with me. Several weeks ago, Lesa told me that Michael Lynche AKA Big Mike had been disqualified from "American Idol" because his dad had told his local newspaper that Michael had made it to the Top 24 and this was a violation of his contract. At the time I hadn't even seen Big Mike yet; but I kept this tidbit in the back of my mind. Michael was a very likable guy with a baby on the way. In fact his wife went into labor when he first got to Hollywood week and he missed the birth of his first child. I kept wondering if they were going to address his discharge or just try to slip someone in on us in his place (which they've done before.) And then when I saw that 16 year old Thaddeus Johnson hadn't been chosen for the Top 24, I thought I had it figured out. They'll replace Michael with Thaddeus and right the wrong of not choosing him in the first place. So my curiosity got the better of me, and I did a little Googling and from what I can tell Michael Lynche has caught himself a lucky break and is remaining in the competition along with some mediocre other guys; who pale in comparison to Thaddeus Johnson.
When I was doing my "AI"research I found that there was an incident with another contestant named Chris Golightly. Chris had made it into the Top 24, but they edited out almost all of his clips from Hollywood week and certainly the clip of him being told he'd made it into the Top 24, because they found that he had a previous record contract; which although not against the rules; he hadn't disclosed and "AI "didn't like this, so they let him go; EVEN THOUGH he didn't break his contract. But Michael Lynche who actually did break his contract is still there. HMMM! With the removal of Chris Golightly, another guy spot was now open on Idol, so this would have been a great time to recall Thaddeus Johnson,(left) but instead they chose Tim Urban; (right) a guy we had rarely seen before. So what's one to do; but create their own conspiracy theory, just as I have. My thinking, is that "American Idol" picks one to three contestants that they WANT to win the show, and everyone else is just varying degrees of fillers. They pick some people who they believe will get eliminated early on from the Top 24 (ie: Tatiana the crazy, crying, laughing girl from last year) and others who they believe will last a couple of weeks or so in the Top 12, but they know from the get go; who THEY want to win; and maybe this just wasn't Thaddeus' year because they believe he can go further another year when he just might be the One, TWO or THREE that they WANT to win. Will Thaddeus buy my theory; probably not, because he's 16 and he wanted this NOW, but will you buy my theory? I'm not implying that the show is FIXED; I'm just justifying their choices for the mediocre guys, so that it makes some sort of sense to me when I'm complaining over the next few weeks about how lousy the guys are. Remember Sanjaya??? FILLER!!
And so much for TRYING to be brief. Now, I know what you're thinking; "If you're disenchanted, don't watch." And you're right, but just because something isn't perfect one moment doesn't mean it can't change; and I'm curious enough to stick with it at least for a while longer, because there are some really good, talented girls. My prediction A GIRL WILL WIN IT THIS YEAR!
Now, believe it or not, with my busy schedule I don't really have a lot of time for TV, though I certainly could convince you otherwise I'm sure. But I DVR everything, and I watch while I'm loading / unloading the dishwasher or cooking dinner or folding laundry and then yah, I do try to allow myself a good hour to relax; and during my relaxation time the other night, I stumbled across a show that is so DIVINE, I am absolutely tickled PINK...
"RuPaul's Drag Race "season 2; just may be my new favorite show; right after "GLEE." I don't think that there's anyone who doesn't know who RuPaul is, but just in case you need a refresher, he /she is the 6'4" GLAMAZON who had the hit song "Supermodel" (You'd better work) in the 90's. She had a talk show on VH1, has done several guest spots in movies and was signed as the first covergirl for MAC cosmetics; making him the first drag queen supermodel. In short; I think that RuPaul is the most glamorous woman in show business. I love her ballsy (pardon the pun) sense of humor and her commanding personality, Oh, yes from one Queen to another, I think she is the hands down WINNER; and now she has a show on LOGO, that can also be seen on VH1. RuPaul's Drag Rce is a competition for drag queens. They typically have one challenge that they compete in as men and another where they have to get all suited up as their alter ego,drag queen personas; then finally, they do a runway competition which concludes with 2 of the contestants having to lip sync for their lives. Oh my God, can you say DELICIOUS!!! This show is nothing short of entertaining. It has the drama that only a room full of queens can bring, outrageous hair and makeup; and did I mention that the ladies MAKE most of their own costumes - move over "Project Runway." This show is da bomb babies; and I give kudos to Rupaul for keeping it real and always being true to herself. Truth be told, I spent way to long trying to find the perfect picture of RuPaul and I honestly although I've included a couple, I didn't find any that I thought did her justice; so just check out her show for yourself, and there will be no disputing my claim.

And while on the topic of "REALITY TV" I have to mention that I did in fact fall pray to MTV's "Jersey Shore." It was one of the umteen days that they were having a marathon, and yes indeedy I got sucked right in. I DVR'D it and i'll admit, was fascinated by the utter stupidity and classlessness of those that thought they were "IT!" To say that I feel sorry for their parents is an understatement, and to say that I just dated myself, may just prove that I had no business watching this show; but honestly I don't care, and i'll be sitting front and center for season 2, cause mindless entertainment can be a VERY good thing in these troubled times. If you haven't caught it; do I recommend it? Probably not. Go find RuPaul's show instead. But if you have seen it and are a fan of the "GTL", "Snookie," or "The Situation;" you'll know EXACTLY what I'm talking about; so go beat up the beat...

Lastly, I will mention the upcoming "Dancing With The Stars," as if I haven't gone on enough already...
Per Lesa, co-host Samantha Harris has left the show; and that's OK by me. Tom Bergeron is the best host ever and it won't realy matter who his co-host is; but in my opinion it should be Kelly Osborne, who was so extraordinarily entertaining and endearing last season. Got that ABC? I hear (per Lesa) that they are considering Brooke Burke and Melissa Rycroft and though either of them would be fine; I'd like to see them go with someone less predictable and more alive; so Kelly gets my vote; as if I have one...

And with that; I think i'll draw this commentary to a conclusion. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on any or all of the show's that I've mentioned; especially if i've turned you on to something new. I hope that you all keep it REAL, and find some time to enjoy yourselves.
Till next time...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lucky Me!

We have a little tradition in our home, that we call "making a nest." Making a nest is when you pile a lot of blankets and pillows on the floor and you get comfortable. So on Tuesday night, the girls and I decided to make a nest and watch "American Idol." We were really enjoying ourselves. We were watching the show, snuggling, joking around, and laughing A LOT; and while we were doing so, I kept thinking to myself "I am SO lucky!" I was thankful for the time that we had to relax together and marvelled at the fact that the girls had gotten to an age where we could truly appreciate each other's company. I had put my arm around Kelsie and all of a sudden I felt something sharp on my finger. I pulled my hand away, looked down and saw that my diamond was no longer in my engagement ring. To say that I was SHOCKED would be an understatement, and I don't know how I managed it, but I did NOT cry. I tried to remain calm and I called Nicky into the room and I told all of the kids that my diamond wasn't in my ring and that we needed to look for it. We immediately pulled up all of the blankets and pillows to look on the floor. I rationalized to myself that if the ring felt this sharp, the diamond couldn't have been missing for that long, or I would have noticed it before. The bad news was, I had been all over the place that day, so if the diamond wasn't underneath the blankets, IT COULD HAVE BEEN ANYWHERE.

The diamond was NOT under the nest, and I still manged to remain calm; even with the knowledge that my ring was not currently insured. The kids continued to look around the family room, and don't ask me why; but I went out to my car and prayed along the way. I opened the minivan door and turned on the light, and there on the floor mat, I found my diamond. I couldn't believe it! I was overwhelmed by how blessed I felt to find my diamond as it was nothing short of a miracle. I went inside and told the kids that I had found my diamond (in record time I might add. It could not have been more than 5 minutes.) I told the kids that we needed to thank God, and we all made our own silent prayer; except for Kelsie who wanted to say hers out loud. She thanked God for her family and for helping her mommy to find her diamond, and we all said AMEN!

Once I caught my breath, I did the next natural thing... I posted my status on Facebook. I wrote "just may be the luckiest woman in the world." And of course my friends wanted to know why. I responded by saying that "Besides for my family and my AMAZING friends; here's the basis for this post. Last night I realized that the diamond from my engagement ring had fallen out; (and no the ring was not insured.) Anyway, miraculously I remained calm, I didn't cry, and I actually FOUND the diamond. Is that LUCKY or what?" I knew that when I posted my status, people would inquire as to why I was lucky and then I would explain. Of course first and foremost I had to mention my family and friends because without them in my life, I would be nothing; but the incredible LUCK to find the diamond, now that was EXTRAORDINARY. My friend Dawn was kind enough to make a comment that suggested that I found the diamond because of all of the good karma that I put out into the world; and I would LOVE to believe that she is right.

My diamond is a beautiful 3/4 carat princess cut; that Luis and I bought after selling my mother's stunning, round diamond that I inherited. Selling her diamond felt like the right thing to do at the time, because I preferred the princess cut to the round and to be frank, my mom's stone was very large and working as social worker, I didn't feel comfortable showing up to my clients homes in the projects of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, sporting this humongous rock. Upon reflection, Luis and I probably would have been smarter to use the money from the diamond as a nest egg; because the ring was not / is not the definition of our love or commitment to each other; but nonetheless, we bought the ring and I have worn it proudly and happily for almost 16 years. As times have been tough for us financially I have often thought about selling my ring and though I have yet to make that decision, once I saw that my diamond was gone, I felt crippled. I wasn't upset that the diamond was missing because it was a symbol of our marriage, or our love or because it was MY DIAMOND RING. I was upset because I felt like my choice was gone. It was MY CHOICE to make, to have my diamond or not; and now my safety net was pulled out from under me. In the big scheme of things I find the ring so unimportant, that I could easily sacrifice it; if it meant that things would be easier for my family ~ but that's MY decision to make; and I'm so relieved that I have found the diamond and will again HAVE the opportunity to make that decision. Oh,the power of CHOICE is not anything that should be taken for granted and is something that we ALL need to be extremely aware of and grateful for.

If you would have asked me years ago, I would have told you that I was NOT the Queen of LUCK. I had never won a lottery, a big prize or even Bingo and given my life experiences prior to meeting Luis; I would have to say that I didn't consider myself a LUCKY person at all; but after this incident, I honestly believe that there is no one luckier than me!!

On this Valentines day, I hope that you all know how lucky you are to be loved by your family, and friends; whether you have a significant other, or not. Love is a blessing, and if Dawn is right; then perhaps WE MAKE our own luck; if we actually reap what we sow. I often write about the greater good and do all I can to facilitate it; and maybe just maybe, getting my diamond back will help me bring about the greater good for my family; in whichever way I CHOOSE.
Till next time...

Friday, February 5, 2010

70's Flashback Moment

I just got a call from my friend Lisa B and we were laughing because she was calling me in response to an email that I sent her, in response to an email that she sent me; in order to try and make some plans. She said that she thought it would be quicker to give me a call rather than go back and forth with emails, and she was right. We were laughing because sometimes it can be so much quicker to make that call instead of responding by text or email, (even if that's how you received the original message); and yet so many of us are now prone to send 10 texts back and forth, just to arrange a meeting time; or send 6 emails back and forth to make some plans; and I'm not quite sure what that says about the future of human communication.

Yesterday I called my friend Lesa G, and when she answered her cell and asked me what was going on , I replied "I just had a 70's flashback moment." Of course she asked why; and I said "I called your house and spoke to your husband and I even left a message." OMG, we laughed so hard. I told her that I was having visions of satin shorts and the roller disco rink. Think about it; how long has it been since you've actually left a message with a person? Now I'm not talking about business related calls, because even though most companies have voice mail, I do come across many who do not; and some how this doesn't phase me. But in my personal experience I typically reach an answering machine if a friend isn't home; regardless of if the significant other is home or not. I know my husband for one doesn't usually answer the phone if I'm not home; because he knows that the answering machine will just pick up if he doesn't and I am more likely to receive an accurate message from the answering machine than I am from him. Now when I reach an answering machine, most often I leave a message, but the message usually consists of me saying "I'll try you on your cell, but if we haven't spoken by the time you get this message; call me back." So after I left a message with her husband, which was " Please tell her that Paige called;" I immediately thought to myself "WOW! Why did I leave a message? I could have just said that I would try her on her cell and then leave a message on her cell if I didn't reach her;" but I think I was SO thrown off by the fact there was an actual person, other than my friend on the other end; that I felt compelled to be polite, and just like riding a bike, I left a message and it felt WEIRD!.

Remember back in the day when you would try to call someone and you would get a busy signal or just no answer and you just HAD TO accept it, keep trying or call back later? And then, answering machines became popular, followed by call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID, beepers or pagers (whatever you want to call them,) then cell phones, texting, cameras on phones and Iphones and what does all of this lead to? OK, I'll say it, a lack of personal space and time. Why has it suddenly become so important to be accessible to everyone, ALL THE TIME? How many times do you get a call on your cell when you're food shopping or with your family; and even though it might not be an opportune time to answer a call, you do? Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE my cell and I feel naked without it, BUT I do recognize that sometimes it can interfere with the important things and I think that we have to remember that as much as something can be a blessing, it can also be a curse and that everything has its time and place. Now don't misunderstand; this is not an essay on the evils of cell phones and technology, but a reflection on simpler times gone by and a commentary on our need for instant gratification. Am I guilty? YOU BETCHA; but I thought I would share these thoughts with you as they're something that I plan to give more consideration and I'm merely suggesting that you might like to as well; in the interest of THE GREATER GOOD, of course. So gimme a call and we can talk about it - LOL; just kidding.
Till next time...