Friday, February 29, 2008

i am woman hear me roar! by judi sadowsky

i went to a luncheon today to hear a formerly well known television writer speak. she told humorous stories of the good old days of t.v. when she was one of only a handful of female comedy writers around. she was tough and bawdy and claimed, in order to make it, she needed to be one of the boys. she also claimed to be a feminist and a huge supporter of hillary clinton.

i was on board with it all until she announced, proudly, with just a hint of irony, that she had "fucked her way to the top". suddenly her feminist credentials seemed tarnished. even my feminist friends who did fuck their way to the top thirty years ago, have the good grace to lie about it today. i looked at this woman, undoubtedly talented and now in her late fifties or maybe a drop older, who, some where along the way, made a decision that in order to be successful she had to shed her feminine side and become a man, or as she put it "a bad imitation of a man". she wasn't man enough to be the real thing and she had traded off enough her femininity that she was no longer either.

today, she is not all that famous or successful, though she is still out there trying. i felt sad when i left. this is not how it was supposed to be. the promise of feminism was not supposed to be that we had to trade in our lipsticks and lingerie for razors and jock straps. i thought that the promise of feminism would free us to be the best we could be and not some dime store version of a man.

Prince Charles, it's 11 o'clock, do you know where your kid is? by Sybil Sage

Blogger Matt Drudge outed Britain's Prince Harry, who for ten weeks has been secretly serving on the front lines in Afghanistan. The publicity resulted in Britain's defense chief pulling out the 23-year-old prince, deeming it too risky for him as well as his for his comrades.

The ministry asked the media to allow Harry to return home without speculating on his location. Bicoastal Broads will respect this request and maintain the news blackout.

This event, however, raises questions about blogging ethics. Has Matt Drudge now assumed the role of en loco parentis? If so, can we all rely on him to alert us if our children are not where they said they were going? How about if they've purchased false I.D.? And what are my responsibilities as a fellow blogger? If I should become privy to information about a friend's child or husband, am I obliged or entitled to go public with the story?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Anticipating the George W. Bush Presidential Library...by Sybil Sage

If the spirit of the George W. Bush Library is to reflect his policies, the building will be off limits to the American public with all archived material deemed classified. Docents would be trained by Homeland Security. Visitors would be prohibited from entering the premises though they'd be required to line up, remove their shoes and be searched for bottles of liquid. Cell phone conversations in the area would be monitored. Plans for the library would not be revealed with Bush claiming he'd fire anyone leaking them but, instead, they'd resign to "be with my family" and the former president would proclaim that the offender is "a good man."

The mission of a presidential library is to promote understanding of the president as well as of the American experience. In the case of W's library, therefore, acknowledging the current state of our economy, admission would be free. On Tuesdays foreign visitors with euros, now the equivalent of $1.50 in American currency, would be allowed into a room to watch films of George at the ranch, tour a model of Cheney's underground bunker and view Bush's favorite childhood book. Proceeds would go to Halliburton and Saudi royals.

The gift shop is likely to sell replicas of the outfit W wore in his famous "Mission Accomplished" photo, a plastic paperweight containing the statue of Saddam being removed and a doll with a wardrobe of Laura's pantsuits.

Discussions are surely underway as to location, the most likely option being adding a children's room to the Texas library established for Bush 41 with perhaps a branch in the Baghdad Green Zone.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I wish I could forgive Bobby Cutts Jr., the Peterson husband/killers and New York Sports Club

Bobby Cutts Jr., who'd been a cop, was found guilty of killing his pregnant, 26-year-old girlfriend yet felt entitled to ask the jurors to spare his life. And they did even though the presumption is he killed his lover and the baby she was carrying to avoid making child support payments. At today's sentencing, the victim's mother told the judge she was asking for Cutts to be freed at some point to share life with his son, now 3. "I hope and pray I can raise him to forgive you," she told Cutts. "I do forgive you," she told him in the courtroom.

Her sentiments were not shared by her husband...or by me. I envy this woman's capacity to forgive, which surely affords her more peace than the alternative. I wish I had the forgiveness gene. And I'm sure all the people I've been hassling this week -- New York Sports Club, Beckenstein Fabrics and Guardsman Furniture -- share my wish. It would save us all hours and hours of hassles.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Starbucks Finally Training Their Help...by Sybil Sage

Years after taking over the country, Starbucks is finally going to train their staff, which means today - for three hours - there will be no skinny soy lattes being served.

My recommendation is if you're scheduled for elective surgery, bring coffee to the operating room personnel as you don't want the anesthetist and others responsible for your well being to be in a daze. This will be a foggy day and not just in London town.

Note to Starbucks management: in addition to mentoring barrista skills, teach them to pick up trash, which is the hallmark of your chain.

Note to other chains: Follow the lead. Train, train, train.

Monday, February 25, 2008

million dollar babies by judi sadowsky

it was reported today that "people magazine" was paying jennifer lopez and marc anthony four to six million dollars for photos of their newborn twins. this big payout is nothing new, following on the heels of the sales of photos of gwyneth's apple and moses, julia's phineas and hazel, christina's max and angelina and brad's shiloh. at least tom and katie had the good grace to wait four or five months before unveiling pictures of their daughter, suri. this was done, i am sure, in order to allow suri some time to grow hair before her big debut.

i don't mean to be mean but let's face it. all these babies look alike. to be more specific all babies look pretty much alike (except for the really ugly ones but that's a subject for another day). so i have an idea for "people magazine". next time the good folks at "people" find themselves with an extra four to six million dollars and a new celebrity mom, eager to make the cover of their magazine with their newest bundle of joy, just call central casting. bring in baby boy or baby girl model and pose them with cate or jennifer biel (i think they are up next in the baby sweepstakes). the mom's get the publicity they want, the babies get to stay home in their two thousand dollar cribs and here is the best part, now "people magazine" has an extra few million to spread around.

if the magazine gave that money to feed hungry children in this country, fix up their schools and buy books and school supplies for them, made sure they all received pre-natal care and health care throughout their childhood, then we could see thousands of smiling, healthy, happy and well educated children on their cover...and that would be a really pretty picture!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

hooray for hollywood! by judi sadowsky

today is one of my favorite days of the year. it is oscar day and i am so excited! i know it isn't cool to admit it but i love award shows. my most favorite, being a child of the fifties, are the oscars, of course, and the emmy's. i am a huge fan of almost anybody that appears on the screen, large or small. i am devoted to my favorite stars and once passed up an important business dinner with the husband and his partners in order to watch rhoda's wedding. of course, that was in pre-tivo days. today i would not have to make that kind of choice, but believe me, if i had to, i would choose rhoda again.

living in los angeles, the oscars take on an even greater excitement and i hate to admit it but inconvenience as well. i learned long ago to never expect to get a haircut, a facial, botox or any kind of waxing a week before the oscar's. the same goes for dressmakers, make-up artists, jewelers or limos. los angeles comes to a full stop in preparation for the big night.

in years past, the husband and i used to go to lavish oscar night parties held in hotel ballrooms or people's homes (some as large and lavish as hotel ballrooms) to celebrate the big night. i hated it. i couldn't hear and i couldn't stand the wise cracks and snide remarks that apparently marks an l.a. sophisticate. it is considered cool, in this town, to put down the hand that feeds this city. after years of being unhappy on oscar night we have now found a perfect solution. in jeans and sweats we walk over to our neighbor's house up the street. they are good friends, hold the same reverence for the night as we do and serve really good oscar worthy food. that would mean chips and dips, pizza and some kind of gooey dessert, eaten between the final award and the beginning of the barbara walters special.

in addition to the sweats and jeans dress code i always add either a tiara or a feather boa - sometimes both. i know it might be overkill and not quite what the fashion stylists would recommend but what the hell - this is oscar night and we're in hollywood!

Suffering from Debate Withdrawal...by Sybil Sage

The symptoms -- waking up exhausted, feeling jumpy, resenting going to the gym and snapping at clerks in drugstore chains -- alerted me that something is off. I tried to get a shrink appointment, but those couches are as crowded as airline seats, which is what let me to the diagnosis. This must be debate withdrawal. I'm a debataholic!

How do we make it all the way from Thursday until Tuesday without seeing Hillary and Obama alternately go after one another, then temper it with some begrudging appreciation and rhetoric about why theirs is the superior party? We've gotten hooked on the debates. Addicted. It's not cold turkey as there's no shortage of clips and pundits discussing the two candidates, but this must be what the end of football season is to sports fans.

Sure, I can try to distract myself by watching "In Treatment" but within minutes, I start trying to figure out whom each of the patients would be supporting. Saturday Night Live attempted to fill the gap with a faux debate but despite the gold-trimmed black pantsuit, it was nothing more than methadone for those of us having the shakes.

The Sunday morning shows will placate me for a few hours, and I'm counting on the Oscar broadcast to get me through the night. As for tomorrow...like the 12 Steppers, I'll take this day by day.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

mea culpa by judi sadowsky

after sobering up and rereading today's posting which, i must admit, was written after two, maybe two and a half glasses of very good australian wine, i realized that it didn't make much sense. i had in mind the last line - we need less elvis and more ringo - and i tried to build a blog around that. a typical and classic writer's trap. i could have just deleted the entry all together but i wanted all of you, our devoted following, to know that we are human ( at least i am - sybil seems to hit it out of the park every time). so please forgive me and i promise, if you pour yourself a good stiff drink before reading, it will probably make sense to you as well.

hillary, barak or ringo? by judi sadowsky

while reading sybil's excellent blog "a house divided" i was brought back so many decades to the first time i experienced the beatles. i was a freshman in college and every girl in my dorm was glued to the t.v set in our dorm mother's room ( in those days we actually had dorm mothers and no one had a t.v. in their dorm rooms) watching the "ed sullivan show".

from the first chord of "i wanna hold your hand" we were a room divided. john or paul's name was on every one's lips as we screamed and swooned, attempting to emulate the lucky girls who were actually there, getting to experience "the fab four" live, in the studio audience. as i looked around the room i realized that the competition for john and paul was just too great. even in this tiny room, on this tiny campus in this tiny state, the odds were stacked against me ever being able to win the hearts of either john or paul and so i made a spontaneous decision and started to call out ringo's name. my dorm mates turned for a second to stare at me. "what are you, nuts"? my room mate asked. "nope, just practical". with ringo i had a chance.

maybe we have been dazzled by hillary and barak. maybe we would have been better off with a richardson or a biden. good, steady men without a lot of glamour but men who could go the distance. i saw ringo the other night on the grammy awards and, you know what, he looked damn good. he didn't have the orange dyed hair paul was sporting nor, still married all this time to barbara, was not spending two and a half years and millions of dollars on a messy divorce case. as for john, we all know the tragic end to that story - so maybe, all those decades ago, i was right. maybe what we need right now is little less elvis and a little more ringo.

Would you help someone move? How about give a kidney to a stranger? by Sybil Sage

Laura Bolan is someone we'd all like to count as a friend. When she saw a flier with a picture of 8-year-old Sarah Dickman, born with the genetic disease juvenile nephronophthisis and in dire need of a kidney transplant, Bolan, 34, offered one of hers. Without it, little Sarah would likely not have made it to the age of 15.

The pair underwent successful surgeries this week at hospitals across the street from each other in Atlanta and are doing well.

"We definitely need more people like Laura in the world," Sarah's mother said while her father is adding his name to living donor lists to help someone else, a way of repaying the woman who saved his daughter.

An organization we support is Gift of Life, which arranges donor transplants among Jews, a group disadvantaged when needing a donor with a suitable blood type because of the population having been so drastically reduced by the Holocaust.

Forward this story to:

-Everyone who's refused to help you move or said "no" to any reasonable request;

-Those who need to be reminded that they're blessed;

-The complainers, the narcissists and all others who could use a wake-up call about what's important.

Even if doesn't shame them, you'll feel better.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A House Divided: Feminists split over Hillary & Obama by Sybil Sage

My feminist friends and I haven't been this divided in years, possibly dating back to when we broke ranks, identifying ourselves either as a Paul Girl or a John Girl. While power walking and over sushi, after study groups and in e-mail exchanges, we debate:

"Do you feel it's a betrayal to support Obama?"

"Is it shabby to vote for the candidate who's most likely to win?"

"With a woman in office, you get more women-friendly policies."

"He was always against the war."

"She's ready on day one."

"Washington may give him a longer honeymoon period."

"She's so smart."

"Oh, and he's not? Look how he's inspired the young people!"

More than 1200 "feminists for peace" have endorsed Obama while another group of women's rights activists are as enthusiastically pro-Hillary. Though neither group believes political choices should be based solely on gender, at issue is how much of a priority gender should be. Where we do come together is that Mc Cain, who skipped all 15 environmental votes, must be defeated.

None of us got Paul or John. My hope is this time we'll win.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

woman on the campaign trail - how do they do it? by judi sadowsky

i just noticed, in glancing at my date book( o.k. o.k., i know i should have a palm pilot or a blackberry or an iphone or something, but i don't. i have a filofax circa 1985 - so there) that in the last week i have been to the manicurist/pedicurist, facialist, waxer, hairdresser, dermatologist and dentist. there is nothing exotic going on here - this is just general maintenance. because i always think that everything that happens just happens to me, i asked around. i conducted a poll of sorts among my friends, acquaintances and random ladies on line at my local grocery store and guess what - i am not alone! most american women spend a great deal of time and money on just keeping up appearances.

men, on the other hand, if they bathe once in a while, brush their hair and teeth and put on a clean shirt are considered well groomed. how in the world do cindy, michelle and hillary manage, day after day, to look so well put together? none of them obviously has the time to spend being powdered, painted, blown or waxed and yet somehow they manage. while it is true that cindy seems to have had her make-up permaplaqued in 1992 and hillary's pant suits are really just one pant suit in twenty different colors, it is really hard to find fault with their appearances. while not taking any sides, michelle seems to have the fashion edge, just by dint of being twenty years younger and two feet taller than the other two ladies.

i really admire these woman who have a lot more important things to do each day than i and yet somehow always manage to look ready to go. most mornings i can be found in flannel pajama bottoms and an old tee shirt of my husband's. i shudder to think what the headlines would read if the new york times came calling. it is bad enough that the little man that actually delivers the new york times once caught me in this get up.

next time there is a q and a for hillary or the other candidate's wives (let's just leave mrs. huckabee out of it, poor dear, fashion and polish does not seem to be her thing at all) i just wish someone would ask their secret. once i get that answer there will only be one riddle left for me to solve and if any of you readers out there can help me with this one, i would appreciate it. how do prisoners cut their toenails in jail? after she was released, i went to martha stewart's web site and asked her, but she never answered.

Jesus Booted from Singapore Stores...by Sybil Sage

Jesus was removed from stores in Singapore after consumers complained, offended not by Jesus the savior, but by the brand, "Lookin' Good for Jesus", a company whose logo showed Jesus flanked by two adoring young women fondly gazing up at him. Critics considered the approach disrespectful and distasteful, including the "virtuous vanilla" lip balm. Nobody mentioned my concern -- that the expiration date on a product associated with Jesus could be far more ominous than one stamped by L'Oreal.

Promising to "Redeem your reputation and more," the line included a "Get Tight with Christ" hand and body cream, "Follow in his footsteps" bubble bath, a shopping bag with a kitchy image of Jesus (reusable so suitable for trips to Whole Foods) and a coin purse for $3.99 whose copy read, "Even Jesus Saves. He'll oogle if you're frugal, my child."

Jesus is obviously a successful marketing aid for retailers and doesn't require whatever MAC forks over to spokesperson Courtney Cox. Also, there's no worry that he'll take a swing at a photographer, destroy a hotel room or be accused of taking steroids. This explains the readily available online products: "Jesus Shaves" t-shirts, Jesus Adhesive Bandages ("Let the son of God heal your hurt"), Dress-Up Jesus magnets, complete with a beach costume and hula outfit though Jesus wrapping paper has been discontinued.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bad Dairy Day for Hillary: lost Wisconsin and Ben & Jerry by Sybil Sage

After weathering the news that the founders of Ben & Jerry's are endorsing Barack Obama and offering two "ObamaMobiles" that will be giving away scoops of "Cherries for Change" ice cream to sweeten his Vermont campaign, Hillary had to contend with losing Wisconsin. It's conceivable that among the issues being debated by her reportedly split campaign staff is whether or not to approach Haagen-Dazs and ask them to come up with a pro-Hillary flavor. This may be challenging as "Pistachio Pant Suit" and "Nutty Hubby" might not have wide appeal.

With endorsements being announced almost daily and Mc Cain emerging as the likely Republican candidate, I'm hoping Westland-Hallmark, the meat company best known for prodding and poking terminally ill cows before slaughtering and selling the meat to the National School Lunch Program, will endorse John Mc Cain once they're done recalling 143 million pounds of beef.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

what's a democrat to do? by judi sadowsky

yesterday, after i parked my car and walked the block and a half to my gym, i suddenly couldn't remember if i had locked the car door. since i had left my purse in the car i walked all the way back to check and of course, the car was locked. this morning i got out of my car and left the keys, in the ignition, with the motor still running. now, granted, it is a hybrid, so the motor makes no noise, but still, i did forget to turn off the engine and take the keys. as a matter of fact, i did it again this afternoon when i went to the supermarket. i forget things. so i came up with a new campaign slogan "hillary and i are the same age and i can't remember shit - root for obama".

but then i realized that last night my son, about the same age as barack, came over for dinner on sunday. when we all finished eating he did not get up to clear the table or help with the dishes. as a matter of fact, when i began to think about it (or as the husband likes to say "dwell on it"), i realized he might have forgotten my birthday last year and so, a new campaign slogan "young and ungrateful - root for hillary".

these are the issues that all of us democrats are faced with this election cycle. both clinton and obama are viable candidates and both would probably make a good president. after all, after george bush, i think it is safe to say that anyone could be president. and so, i am like a mother with two children, i love them both the same for different reasons. i think the time has come, before it gets really messy, to put aside our concerns for the individual candidates and put our party and our country first. and if, on his next visit, my son takes out the garbage and fixes my computer, i may think differently again. check back with me in a week.

Moviemakers, we need your help with our kids! by Sybil Sage

A full-page open letter in today's New York Times from the New York State Commissioner of Health reminds Disney, GE, News Corp., Sony, Time Warner and Viacom that showing smoking on screens inspires young people to start smoking and suggests four changes these companies can make that will promote the health of children.

Past efforts to enlist the MPAA to help curtail smoking in feature films have failed. Apparently it's no easier to get through to movie makers than it is to teenagers.

If this appeal is successful, and I hope it is, I'd like the film companies to consider showing:

Scarlett Johansson cleaning up her room and calling her grandmother without needing to be threatened;

Michael Cera and Ellen Page engaging in safe sex;

Jonah Hill drinking rounds of water;

Abigail Breslin doing her homework and practicing the piano before going into chat rooms or talking on her cell;

Daniel Radcliffe making it home by curfew;

Keira Knightley speaking openly, or even just respectfully, to her parents;

Shia La Beouf getting up before noon;

All young people dialoguing without the word, "like".

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A new diagnosis: liberals are "nuts" by Sybil Sage

Dr. Lyle Rossiter, a psychologist who's practiced for thirty-five years, in a book titled, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness, maintains that liberalism is a psychological disorder. He asserts that liberals, "rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave."

Does Dr. Rossiter accept medical insurance? Oh, maybe it's not an issue since most Americans can't afford it. Liberals are nuts?!!

He characterizes the liberal agenda as preying on weakness and insecurities in the population by "rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government."

Has Dr. Rossiter treated any of Americans who feel we'd been tricked into going to war by an administration with its own agenda? Liberals are nuts?!!

Rossiter characterizes modern liberals as "whining about imaginary villains," depicting them as neurotic. Were we not told by Bush & co., "You're either with us or against us?" Wasn't this conservative government repeatedly insisting they've been saving us from being attacked? Liberals are nuts?!!

His premise is that caring about others is infantilizing. If liberal can be seen as a psychological disturbance, would not the conservative agenda qualify as narcissistic? And if liberals are nuts, perhaps it's a response to conservative policies.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

i don't need roses anymore

i am sitting here staring at the vase of long stem roses that the husband sent me for valentine's day and i feel sad. i know that many, many years ago, when we were first married, receiving roses on valentine's day was a rule that had to be obeyed. not getting flowers was a sign, to me, that i was not loved. i remember our first valentine's day of our marriage. i think the husband thought that marrying me was proof enough that he loved me but he was oh so wrong. not only did i want roses, i wanted them to be delivered to my office so that not only would i know he loved me, but my forty-eight co-workers would know as well.

weeks before the big day i dropped hints - some subtle - some not so and the whole day on february 14th i made numerous excuses to leave my desk and wander out to reception to make sure my flowers hadn't arrived and were languishing at the front desk. finally, at around three-thirty the long white cardboard box tied with a bright red ribbon arrived. i don't think flowers are delivered that way anymore but there was nothing more dramatic than that long white box. everyone gathered around my desk and i played it out for all it was worth. first i read the attached card, clutched it to my breast and then read it out loud to much oohing and aahing. back in the day, the husband was quite the romantic and knew exactly what to say on cards. then i slowly removed the lid and peeled back the layers of green tissue and there they sat one dozen, long stemmed - GLADIOLAS!

what followed involved a lot of averted eyes and throat clearing as one by one my fellow workers went back to their desks. i was crushed. gladiolas? who sent gladiolas for valentine's day or, for that matter, any day except perhaps a funeral?

that night i left the office with the big white florist box clutched under my arm. everyone on the subway smiled at me - at the lucky girl who got sent a dozen roses for valentine's day. i dragged that box up five flights of stairs to our brownstone apartment and threw it on the sofa. i was only twenty years old and my heart was broken. if this was what marriage was like i wanted no part of it. when the husband came home there were tears on my part and explanations on his. it seems, this being his first year as a newlywed, that he didn't know that you couldn't call the morning of valentine's day and order roses. by the time he placed his order there was not a rose to be had in new york, new jersey or connecticut. he knew because he tried. i didn't care. i carried on like the spoiled brat that i was.

from that day forth and forever more i have received one dozen long stemmed roses on valentine's day. no more do they come in the glamorous white box but come they do. every year like clockwork the roses come with the card proclaiming his love. this year the roses came and i felt sad. i suddenly realized that i finally knew that this man loved me and he loved me every day of the year. he didn't have to send me roses anymore to prove it but he still did - every year- because of the way, so many years ago, that that spoiled twenty year old girl scared the newlywed twenty-four year old boy to death.

Israeli Arab Woman Applying for ID Says she's 120...by Sybil Sage

Mariam Amash, an Israeli Arab who recently applied for a new Israeli identity card, said she was born 120 years ago, which, if true, would make her the oldest person in the world, six years older than the women currently listed in The Guinness Book of Records.

Proof of her age was requested from Israel's Interior Ministry, which confirmed that the woman from the Israeli Arab village of Jisr a-Zarka is, indeed, listed in the population registry as having been born in 1888, but they don't fully trust her birth certificate, which had been issued by Turkish authorities who'd ruled the region in 1888.

Relatives said Amash has 10 sons and one daughter, about 120 grandchildren, 250 great-grandchildren and 20 great-great grandchildren. If they all testify to her age, wouldn't that be enough? How often have women been known to tack on years?

A Guinness spokeswoman in London said multiple documents would be required to back up a birth certificate, such as the birth certificates of a spouse and children, death certificates, school certificates and medical examinations. Or maybe there's a record of Amash's birthday in those caves where they found the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Our sepia-toned TV writing careers

I believed it was over for those of us who'd been TV writers in the "before flat screen TV era" until Judi ventured out to "take a meeting" (if that's still what it's called). This may lead to her getting a call and having the project "put into development" (if that's still what it's called) unless the young guy she met with will worry that by making this deal, the rest of us who stopped reading "Variety" in 1990 will knock on his door (if they still have doors).

Unlike printed silk dresses that get recycled at vintage boutiques, television scribes (if that's what they're still called) were known to have a shelf life. We're encouraged to make a graceful departure from the industry once the laughs we've inspired become memorialized as lines on our faces.

There's no official retirement age, but I came up with a formula. Multiply X (the number of meetings in a typical month) by Y (miles driven to the meetings), then divide by Z (deals made). When that substantially changes, you're retired. If that's too much math, let X equal the number of times you call your agent while Y equals the number of returned calls. When X and Y have nothing to do with each other, that's the time to take a look at a room at the Motion Picture Retirement Home.

Writers who once wrote for TV get used to being asked, "Would I have seen anything you've written?"

"Tell me what you've seen," I say, "and I'll let you know."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

seems like old times - but not! by judi

yesterday i did something i have not done in twenty-five years. a girlfriend and i went in to pitch a t.v. show we had created. before i go any further, i must confess that neither she nor i had any real desire to go back to work, but pitch we did.

i, being a former, but not highly successful writer for television (my one true claim to fame was having written the game show "card sharks") and my friend, an actually successful producer back in her day, were just drawn to the idea of getting dressed up and for an hour or so playing as though we were back in the game.

on arriving for our appointment, the first thing we noticed was that the entire office was being run by teenagers - that should have been our first clue. when the gentleman we were meeting with came out to reception to greet us, he too was a mere tyke. with shirttails out and tennis shoes he led us to a corner office - his corner office. he was a big deal teenager and very polite. as he was talking, i couldn't help but think how proud his mother must be - i also couldn't help but think that i probably went to high school with his mother.

we pitched our show - quite effectively i thought. just like riding a bicycle or almost. i was in mid sentence, making what i thought was a brilliant point when suddenly my brain froze. i completely lost my train of thought. i stammered, i stuttered and nothing came out of my mouth. mercifully my girlfriend started talking, as though nothing strange had just taken place, and the meeting went on - but i was shaken.

it was the very first time that i had to acknowledge that as much as i liked to kid myself into believing that in spite of all the exercising and dieting and facials, not only was my body failing but my mind was on it's way out as well. i could still do the sunday new york times crossword and i always remember both my children's names and what i ate for breakfast, but i had to admit that i am just not as sharp as i once was. a few years ago this would have worried me. i would have been distraught at the thought that this young, very young man, would think i was old - too old to do the job. i would have been devastated at the idea that i couldn't sell my show. i would have been terrified that i wouldn't be given a chance. now, i am terrified that i will. what if somebody actually buys this damn thing. everyday i would have to show up and show the world - at least this teenage version of the world, how lame my poor brain had become.

we left the meeting and went to saks. a perfect place to be. no matter how forgetful and feeble you may be the salesladies at saks, as long as your credit card is good, will never judge you.

Change: the mantra of this campaign. It's happening to me. by Sybil Sage

Hillary appears to remain confident, smiling despite losses and staff changes, posed and hopeful despite Obama's popularity and ability to outdo her in fund-raising, yet I, who voted for Obama, am growing increasingly more uneasy. Is this voter's remorse?

From the start, I've been conflicted, not totally convinced about either candidate, albeit thrilled that a woman and African American are running. "I'll be okay with either," many of us said. "I'll vote for the Democrat", was a common sentiment.

Swept up by Obama's inspiring the young people and uneasy about Hillary's explanation of her Iraq vote, primary day in New York, I was in camp Obama. The continuing debates, discussion and persuasive arguments from friends have caused me to become less convinced.

Is it because I feel Hillary's been mistreated by the press, ridiculed, subjected to harsher scrutiny because of being a woman? Did they even go so far as to write her off prematurely?

Is it that Obama, however emotionally powerful and persuasive, keeps revving up the masses without becoming clearer about where he stands on the issues?

Doesn't Hillary have the better health plan?

One friend summed it up, "We're picking between the smart girl with the thick glasses in the front row of the classroom and the captain of the football team". It's head vs. heart.

I trust that Hillary is capable, am less clear about Obama's positions. If the mantra for this campaign has been change, for me that's happening almost daily.

Monday, February 11, 2008

There are no more character flaws, just "disorders" - by Sybil Sage

"Disorder" is now tacked onto a variety of behaviors that had previously been regarded as character flaws. The official recognition allows the condition to be viewed as distinct from the person, who is no longer responsible. This is problematic. You feel guilty dissing someone with a "disorder" and we're expected to be understanding, if not actually sympathic. People will no longer have faults, and we could be expected to tolerate:

Parenting disorder -- "Oops, I just couldn't help beating up/ shaking/ abusing my kid"

Talking disorder -- "It's not my fault that I'm insulting, interrupting, offending or revealing a secret"

Driving disorder -- "Seems like I don't look, can't stay in my own lane, need to honk"

Shoplifting disorder -- "Reaching for a credit card makes me worry I'll break a fingernail"

Boring disorder -- "You have to let me tell you endless, pointless stories"

Cutting in line disorder - "I was here first, I really need the john, I had that seat"

Cell phone disorder - "Can't turn it off even though you can't hear the movie"

Health club disorder - "Can't find it in me to get off the treadmill or wipe it down, sorry"

Saying "no" disorder - "That's not our policy, we don't care how reasonable your request"

Friday, February 8, 2008

myfreeimplants.com by judi sadowsky

i give up! now i know what the bicoastalbroads are doing wrong. it seems there is a web site called myfreeimplants.com. on this site young woman who want to enlarge their breasts post their photos and their stories as to why being a 40dd will change their life. then people (presumably men) can log on and and donate money toward a particular woman's goal.

here's the catch - every time a man logs on to a certain woman he gets to hear her story AND see photos of her. every time he logs on she earns credits. in other words the men pay to look. not a new game but apparently very successful. this site gets hundreds of hits a day. now, i am not suggesting that sybil and i do anything as crass as begging for plastic surgery but how about if, for free, when you log on, we will post a photo of ourselves? how's that for incentive? if our pithy and insightful writing is not enough to get this blog as popular as myfreeimplants.com prehaps we need to jazz things up.

i am throwing this out to you our faithful readers. what do you think?

New study: sadness + self-focus = extravagant spending

from Sybil Sage:

Don't be surprised if retailers introduce "Anti-depressant sales" and actually raise their prices now that a study has revealed people tend to spend with greater abandon when they're unhappy, particularly those who are self-absorbed.

Study participants who'd watched a sadness-inducing video (showing a boy's mentor dying) were willing to pay nearly four times as much money for a water bottle than those who'd watched an emotionally neutral clip. This suggests that high priced stores may want to open next to art theaters to reap the rewards of viewers who've just seen "The Sorrow and The Pity".

A study in 2004 had similar findings, but the recent research added the element of "self-focus", measured by counting how frequently participants referenced themselves in an essay they'd been asked to write as to how the sad situation in the film would affect them personally.

Researchers made a distinction between this sort of shopping, which occurs without awareness, and "retail therapy", when people actively try to cheer themselves by shopping, concluding that sadness can lead to extravagance.

The study will be of interest to those responsible for hotel mini-bars as well as stores such as Cartier and Prada, who may want to encourage shopping by running the CNN crawl at their entrances.

Personal shoppers report that clients spend more freely when they're blue though they often later experience "buyer's regret" upon discovering that a new pair of shoes isn't a cure-all for misery. Non-profits may want to highlight these findings as you never hear someone go into a funk and lament, "I wish I hadn't contributed to saving Darfur and Global Kids."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

how do you learn how to say good-bye?

i remember, just before i got married, asking my mother how i would know how to be married. she told me not to worry, that i would learn. that every day of marriage would teach me something new, until one day i would wake up and realize that i knew everything there was to know about being a wife. i remember asking the same question before my first child was born. how on earth would i ever know how to be a parent? my mother, once again, gave me the same answer and she was right.

every passage in life, it seems, takes getting used to and each stage involves learning new skills. being married was easy compared to being married with children and being a parent was easy compared to being a parent with teenagers. i have had to learn how to deal with a spouse who was not always healthy and with children who did not always follow the path i would have chosen. i have learned to live with just one parent, after the death of my father and then to live with none when my mother died. i consider myself a good student and have managed, through most of my adult life, to catch on quickly and navigate the sharp u-turns that life throws at you without a minutes notice. but now i am stuck.

we buried a friend on monday. a good, kind, generous man who was way to young to die. this was a man who had such a zest for life that less than a week before passing away was a guest at his own 53rd birthday party. i have buried parents and aunts and uncles and countless beloved pets - but burying a contemporary is a whole other ball game. a few days after the funeral i called his widow, just to see how she was doing. she didn't pick up the phone - the machine did and it was his voice that answered. it took me a second to compute that this was michael's voice even though michael no longer was. i left a message. the rest of the day i felt haunted by the sound of his voice. i tried to apply my mother's wisdom to this situation but i couldn't. i had to face the fact that there are some things in life that are just a hell of a lot harder than others. i had to face the harsh reality that losing a friend is not something that you can learn by doing.

Miami Sex Offenders Have Created their own Gated Community

The state of Florida is trying to break up a group of 19 sex offenders who've been living together under a Miami bridge in domed tents with a cream-colored sofa beside a generator-powered TV and XBox with stacks of canned food and drink. The faux family of felons has made a home under a causeway near the Atlantic ocean, the only blemish being the overhead traffic noise.

With their makeshift kitchen (complete with table, grill and jugs of water), a canoe for fishing, a weight bench, a pit bull named Tigger and a German shepherd called Blackie, they're better equipped than many college students or even those living in starter apartments. One wouldn't be shocked to find they'd registered for a fondue set.

Though the Florida police are trying to get them to move, who can blame them for being reluctant? They've created a Club Med for Sex Offenders.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What do we know this morning? We're headed for...CHANGE.

If the candidates have any mantra in common, it's the promise of CHANGE, a word worked into their stump speeches as often as 20--ear olds insert "like". So, regardless of who ends up in the White House, we're assured of change. I'd taken that as a given, assuming there could be no other Bush, trusting Darwin's survival of the fittest theory that all others had become extinct.

Last night's results allowed each presidential hopeful to declare a personal victory, perhaps a bit harder for Mitt Romney, but there were no losers. So, what we do we know this morning? We're destined for CHANGE. "Change" is the political equivalent of non-fat. But what does it mean?

My hope is the next president isn't the guy who's already experienced a change of life, but the man or woman who will truly come through and change our lives, never needed more desperately than at this moment.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday is like the Subway Series

The question posed to us most regularly used to be, "Paper or plastic?" but for months now, we've been greeted by, "Who are you for -- Obama or Hillary?" This is the first election where we can make no assumptions about friends or even family members, with many undecided and desperate for something conclusive that would persuade us to commit.

I was seduced into the Clinton camp by a friend's reasoning that, Hillary will "hit the ground running", only to switch to Obama when my eyes filled with tears as I watched him at American University with Caroline and Teddy (after all this time, I'm on a first name basis with everyone), choked up to see how he's inspiring the next generation to have an interest in politics.

"Don't vote for her because you think she's entitled to the presidency." -- one friend's argument.

"You're a New Yorker. She deserves to win here." -- another friend.

"What's most important is voting for the one who's most electable." -- this would be easier if I had fewer friends.

With three hours to go before I head to my polling place, I'm still waffling, not 100% convinced how I'll vote. This is a unique moment in the history of politics, less like an election than the Subway Series.

Monday, February 4, 2008

to thong or not to thong?

i sent my friend a gift this week. three pair of thong undies. as we are both women of a certain age, thongs are not something we take to naturally. my daughter turned me on to the joys of thongdom after years of nagging me about visible panty lines (known to the cogniscenti as VPL). my friend, on receiving the surprise gift in the mail, had many questions. i was happy to answer and guide her through the mystery of a new kind of undergarment.

first of all it is important to put the thong on with the wide part in front. if you don't, and many have made this mistake, you will, i promise you, get far more than you bargained for. the next question is when to wear the thong. for seasoned thong wearers, all the time is the right answer - for newbies it may be a different story. i myself have finally graduated to the point where i wear my thongs all the time now, even with a skirt. for the beginner this is not recommended. to wear or not to wear the thong to the gym - that is the question. you will find, once you have grown accustomed to being partially bare - you no longer require any undergarments in the gym. those tights, leggings or workout pants were made to be worn commando. how liberating is that?

the last and probably most important point to know about thong wearing is to never, and i mean never, glimpse yourself in a three way mirror. under clothing, thongs are god's gift to women - in the flesh, not so much. if your mate or significant other happens to catch you in the act of dressing or undressing don't panic. just continue what you are doing, taking special care to never turn your back on him. if need be back out of the room.

in my dotage, i have learned how to use a computer, cell phone, and a digital camera. just think of thong wearing as a way to stay relevant. just think of your new panties as the ipod of the underwear world. walk tall and proud with your skin tight jeans and no VPL.

Blogger's outtakes

Since I always enjoy getting to see the discarded portions of shows, I'm inviting readers in on those topics that didn't make it to the blog:

Tandoori Kidneys: a horrified look at the ring accused of stealing or purchasing organs in India to be sold to those in need.

Is Bill the price we're paying for Hillary? He's been overexposed in every way.

Mid-life Crisis: who can remember?

Memory loss: what was I going to say about this?

"If I did It": The Dutch student suspected of having killed Natalee Holloway confesses on tape and then recants it (ala O.J. Simpson). Could this become a series?

One size fits all...and other lies.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

TIVO is the new Rorschach Test

We can't be far away from TIVO being used as a diagnostic tool, replacing the Rorschach Test. My thesis is what we select to TIVO will reveal our idiosyncrasies and provide a new way of measuring personality disorders.

If your list is primarily figure skating competitions and musicals, you'd be, depending on gender, suspected of being either a female or homosexual.

Holocaust movies, war dramas and episodes of "In Treatment": clinical depression.

Sporting events, travel shows and the Home Shopping Network: agoraphobia.

Vintage movies and old sitcoms: dementia/Alzheimer's.

All of "The Godfathers" and "The Sopranos": psychopath.

Medical dramas and Dr. Phil: Hypochondria

"Dateline": pedophilia

Self-help, "Seinfeld" episodes and award shows: narcissism.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

"In" names for babies

Names go in and out of fashion, and Michael, which had headed the list for many years, has just given way to Aiden, which I find surprising as to me Aiden is all too likely to mature into an investment banker who has a problem with intimacy. But, obviously, that's not a problem for today's parents. The most popular names of 2007 were:
1. Aiden
2. Ethan
3. Jacob
4. Jayden
5. Caden
6. Noah
7. Jackson
8. Jack
9. Logan
10. Matthew

Girls

1. Sophia
2. Isabella
3. Emma
4. Madison
5. Ava
6. Addison
7. Hailey
8. Emily
9. Kaitlyn
10. Olivia

Notably missing are the cutesy names, i.e. Molly, Sheri and Nicky, as well as those that cause you to suspect the parents were on something to have named a baby Apple or Prince.

It's been reported that parents ask, "Is this name going to get her into Harvard? Does this sound like a kid who can make a jump shot? Is this the name of someone who'll be invited to parties?"

The more realistic, however, may be asking, "Does this sound like a kid heading for rehab? Will this name cause our son to get hooked on show tunes? Are we insuring our kid will turn up in the Business Section of the paper suspected of being involved in an embezzling scheme?"

Friday, February 1, 2008

go obama!!

i got two phone calls last week. one call was from a friend, inviting me to join her at the kodak theater in los angeles to watch, live, the democratic debate. the invitation entailed writing a big check, meeting the candidate at a reception and then some sort of after party. the second call came, just a few minutes later from another friend, inviting me to join her at the kodak theater, on the very same day, to demonstrate in support of our candidate. this invitation involved throwing on a pair of jeans, tennis shoes and a red sweater. no special parking or seating - just standing outside, with the crowds, shouting our candidate's name while waving our handmade signs proclaiming "seniors for obama". there was no choice.

like an old war horse who is raring to go into battle at just the whiff of gun powder, i had to demonstrate. standing in a crowd of people, mostly young, brought me right back to the sixties. in a city like los angeles, which is famous for political apathy, it was a shot in the arm to be part of such an exciting day. standing and marching and shouting, in full view of the t.v. cameras, and being looked down upon by the paternal figure of wolf blitzer ,on a platform above us, was heady stuff.

the kodak theater, for those you who are unfamiliar with los angeles, is the site of the academy awards and just up the street from the famous grauman's chinese theater. grauman's is a huge tourist destination. surrounding the theater, and the footsteps and hand prints of the famous, immortalized in cement, are hundreds of people dressed in outrageous costumes. they all are hoping, either to be discovered or to make a buck or two having their photos taken with japanese school girls or couples on vacation from serbo croatia. throw into this mix, young producers from cnn, msnbc and every other news outlet on the planet and, you get the picture, chaos - but glorious chaos. it was democracy at work.

after an hour or so of shouting and yelling, buying an ice cream cone, because a girl's got to eat, and shelling out $27.50 for an "obama '08" t-shirt, it was time to go home. as we were walking down hollywood boulevard, i was stopped by a reporter with a microphone and a camera crew. "may i interview you?" he asked, very politely. of course. was he kidding? here was my fifteen minutes that andy warhol had been promising me all these years. he seemed like a sweet, italian man. i figured my face would be plastered from rome to milan and all the way down to sicily. i would be famous in my most favorite country. after asking me quite a few probing questions, i asked him which news outlet he was with. "al jazeera and might i say" he continued, "you spoke so eloquently, for sure you are going to make it on the air." now, i had been watching this man, and before he asked me to be interviewed, he had been interviewing a female impersonator and a woman dressed like cookie monster, holding a sign that read "monsters for hillary". of course he thought i was articulate.

so tomorrow, for all you fans of al jazeera, make sure you look for me. i know i was pithy and insightful with just a touch of well placed humor and irony. i just hope that all of it isn't lost in translation.

A lesson from Suzanne Pleshette's posthumous star

Posthumous honors and accolades are fine, and while I wouldn't be opposed to having Christopher Street renamed after my death, which is a tradition in Manhattan after a notable passes, I'd rather experience the warmth and excitement of being acknowledged while I'm alive, which was my reaction to learning that Suzanne Pleshette got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame two weeks after she died. She lived for 71 years. They couldn't get to this sooner?!!

Suzanne Pleshette's star should serve as a wake-up call to all of us who don't express the affection and appreciation we feel for others. While visiting someone in the hospital several years ago, I squeezed his hand and said, "It's hard for you to talk, yet you've let us know you're happy to see us when we come into your room." That night he died.

My big concern is that the Mark Twain Humor Awards committee is going over my qualifications and may not get to me in time.