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MARC ANTHONY, WILLY NELSON ‘N I WANNA KNOW: DOES UNCLE SAM SPEAK PRADA?

I confess I have never done my taxes…not as in didn’t file them which will have the IRS  knocking on my door in about 30 seconds ‘n moi perhaps learning how to knit with my cell mate a la Martha Stewart‘. Nope, in years past I chose to have ‘professionals’  figure out how to give Uncle Sam his fair share of my hard earned income.

And, when you think about it many famous folks like Marc AnthonyWillie Nelson; The Osbornes; and Ja Rule  Slide10.aspx have tried to decide what they think is fair and have not faired well. But, as one of my all time fave performers James Taylor reminds us “You can run, but you can not hide” : 

And, though he was talking about love, the IRS -damn them-eventually finds us whether we’re in New Jersey, Beverly Hills or sippin Pina Coladas on a beach in the tax-free Caymans.

Anyway, this year I’m doing most of the work since like 99.9% of us, I’m trying to cut back on my expenses.  So no more lawyer like accounting firm with 15 partners letting the meter run even when they’re boasting about THEIR kids. Yup this year it’s mostly me.  As a result, I now understand why so many accountants are bald as I’m pulling my hair out and rubbing my head simulaneously trying to  figure out where the hell my money went and how to organize all this s…t 🙂  

It’s truly a humbling experience and made me feel a bit like Rebecca Bloomwood from the best selling book and fun albeit silly movie: Confessions of a Shopaholic which I coincidentally watched last weekend.  The movie starred Isla fisher.  For those who’ve neither read nor seen it, the title pretty much says it all…’cept for girl meets very rich handsome boy whom is her boss, they fall in love, girl lies to him then joins Shoppers Anonoymous, and boy recounts cause afterall love conquers all particularly in the movies…The End.

Anyway, trivial as the movie was it did make me realize how we can easily let things get out of control with our finances…And, in her case with her credit cards which launched her path to becoming a shopoholic at the ripe ole age of 7…

Fast forward 20 years she takes a job at a place where she is asked to help other people save money by writing a financial column.  Clearly in over her head, she decides to relate buying investments to buying shoes…quite an analogy but one that works and her column becomes a huge success…as i said this was a silly albeit fun movie/book.  So as I have been working on my taxes all well and about to loose it, I decided to take to writing this blog hoping it will help me sort through all this stuff.  And, in the spirit of Rebecca’s debut column, I am going forth and approaching doing and organizing my taxes as I would do my closet:  One line item and one pair of shoes, pants and shopping bags at a time labeled: ‘Drop 10’ (as in pounds and bills); Discard (cut the excess) and Donate (an always tax deduction)!    So there I confess and hope Uncle Sam speaks Prada too!  Spread the glove! 

LIFTIN’ N LIGHTIN’ UP WITH LONG LOST DEBBIE BOONE

There I was earlier today, lying in bed not having to rush off since it was Saturday and my son’s at his father’s for the weekend so no ‘mom’ what’s for breakfast nor business calls to make.  Nope ‘twas just my remote and me.  So after watching the news, which is always filled with uplifting stories NOT, I decided to surf the channels and find something to lift my spirits given my ‘free’ time.   And, who’d have thunk that I would stumble upon a cable show called Lifestyle Lift!  Seemed like just what the doctor ordered since I’ve been going through some challenging times lately, re-examining what I want to be when I grow up and where since this fall my son’s off to college and for the first time in my life I will be truly all by my lonesome.  Just ‘lil ole me to tend to 24/7 since sadly my parents passed away in the last few years as did my pooch…Yup, I’m gonna be an empty nester which actually is very exciting and given me a new lift on life.  In fact, I’m making a major lifestyle change:  this Momma bird is flying South and into a new nest once I sell my hacienda up yonder…that or I’ll be driving a taxi at nite to pay two mortgages.

Anyway, back to the scheduled paid program Lifestyle Lift…I thought it was going to share how to deal with life changing events like mine or things like a new baby, divorce, financial stuff etc. No sirree!  There on the screen was a pix of a woman that looked like those always flattering driver photos we take that make us either look like a convict or 20 years older.  And, to really create the mood, in the background was this familiar oldie but goodie song playing that I couldn’t quite remember.  That was until I saw the host whom looked faintly familiar and then her name below:  Debbie Boone!  I thought she had gone into Witness Protection.  And, now there was Debbie, front and center asking me “Do you want to turn back the hands of time” …Hell yes! She had me; so I raised the volume up a bit to listen as she talked about wrinkles, frown lines, chicken neck and all things in between.  Then there was that song again only this time she began belting it out live: “You Light Up My Life”. 

I felt like I had tuned into an evangelical meeting! And, to complete the scene, sitting next to Debbie smiling from ear to ear was the woman in the pix, with a halo like glow about her looking 20 years younger (of course).  I was sure any moment she was going to jump off the couch and embrace Debbie shouting, “I believe! I believe! Look at me! Look at Me!

I gotta admit the ‘believer’ looked amazing as did the other woman and men who had what they claim is a non-surgical, no anesthesia required, affordable procedure (does that mean they have an easy payment plan like the As Seen On TV stuff I buy plus shipping and handling of me J).  So I took down the number 1-877-512-6665 (btw not sure it’s toll free) and as soon as I lift myself outta bed I’m gonna call it (yes I’m still in bed writing this!) and will share what I learn…Hmm I wonder if when I’m put on hold they play “You Light Up My Life” or they’ve changed it to “You Lift Up My Life”… could be a comeback for Debbie whom by the way looks terrific…. wonder if she’s seen the ‘light’ and had it done too.  I’ll also let you know if they do butt or boob lifts LOL. Spread the glove!

GETTING INTO THE GROOVE WITH SPRING ALIVE AND ABBOTT ‘N COSTELLO

Last eve my best bud Marla, Franky, Doug and  I ventured into NYC to see an Off Off Off B’way musical called Spring Alive starring Spring Groove (I know quite a name!) which I learned about and saw thanks to Mamma Drama NY’s co-owners Erin Leigh Peck and Holly Fink.  

The show is a one act, one person terrific musical  of one Jewish woman’s journey/evolution from a typical NY gal to a rasta haired Yogi ….Or as the booklet described, its the ‘sing, pray, love’ version of  the wonderful book, “Eat, Pray, Love“.  Marla loved it and could relate totally as she’s a certified Yoga instructor.  I on the other hand am not a Yoga person and though I have dabbled in it my idea of doing The Sun Breath or Crouching Dog Position(forgive me if I’ve got the name of that pose wrong) is to crouch on my couch breathing in the bouquet of a fine wine..But i love theatre and particularly entertainment that elevates and inspires which is exactly what Spring did…along with an ensemble of dancers who brought another level of calm, grace and energy to the production.

o

Spring de joie...love those pants want a pair

But part of the fun of the eve was simply trying to find the theatre after eating at a hip enough restaurant called “Inoteca” located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Not only was the food and wine terrific but Marla and I agreed that the lighting was perfect too:  as in low enough to make one look good no matter how tired or over 30 you are!

Anyway,  pleasantly stuffed and with a slight buzz on ’twas time to find the theatre…As you may be aware NYC is filled with theaters all over the place and peeps trying to make it here cause as  Liza Minnelli has sung time ‘n time again if “You make it here, you’ll make it anywhere.  It’s up to you .New York. New York”. And, while most of us are familiar with Broadway shows and some off broadway hits like “The Fantastics“, there are lots of hopeful gems like Spring Alive which are Off Off Off Broadway.  And, for we New Jerseyians who were off, off, off our beaten path, we couldn’t find  the theatre since it had a dual address: Dawson Place and 179 A Christie Street. So as time tick ticked and we walked up and down the street again and again, each of us taking turns asking ‘where’s dawson”, “who said it was on Christie” , I felt like we were somehow living a version of Abbott & Costello‘s famous baseball routine “who’s on first?”

Now, past 8:00 and curtain time, we decided  to call for help. Marla buzzed her son  Zach whom lives nearby and is, I might add, the coolest twenty something year ole, successful hard-working hipster living the NYC dream that I know and have known since he was five. Well, within seconds,  Zach quickly pointed us in the right direction which was  right across the street from where we were standing!!!

But we weren’t home free yet since being late we were directed to the back stage entrance.  As we went down the stairs, I began to get that ‘something’s not right here’ feeling, and did my own version of crouching dog laughing when I saw that the next door said “Stage Members Only”.   At this point, my wine buzz now a distant memory, we decided to throw caution to the wind and hope the door didn’t lead us to Spring on stage and our Off Off Off Broadway debut.  Well, the good news is it didn’t.  Nope it led us onto the balcony and we took our seats without disturbing anyone.  Within seconds we settled into the calm and got into the Groove with Spring. And, the rest as they say is Namasta…Spread the glove!


KARIM RASHAD, BUBBLY IN PINK ‘N ENJOYING MORE W/LESS

Happy Over the Hump Wednesday!

Went to the launch party last night for uber hip and talented English/Egyptian designer Karim Rashid at one of the Bo Concept stores in NYC.   As an accidental New Jersey housewife, Karim and my world don’t meet often these days but when I was invited by my good bud and coincidentally their fab publicist Dolly Hiller I had to go.  For my fellow suburban moms, Karim is THE NAME in interior design, furniture, lighting and art with  permanent collections in 15 museums world wide including MoMA in NYC…So attending this soiree was a no brainer and a perfect excuse for a nite out!

Ok, so let’s begin with the man himself, Rashid…there he was standing around 6’4′ give or take an inch or two in a pink suit..yup pink…

Rashad loves pink cause he loves it’s energy, beauty and it’s positive sense/love of life.  And, how could I not immediately bond and love the work of a person who’s fave colors are the same as mine…pink and apple green!  Just wish i had know cause i would have worn my signature pink gloves and brought a pair for him!   

Rashad  loves pink so much he’s designed a loveseat for Veuve Clicquot Rose Champagne…

And, a limited edition chandelier cooler. My personal fave 

For any of my loved ones n fam reading this and wondering what to give me as a housewarming gift someday wonder no longer …BTW: Worry not, I’ll provide the bubbly and “D” studly handler for the cooler…LOL!

Now to last eve and his newest design tour de force “The Ottawa Collection”.  It celebrates his 30 years of design. Sleek, chic, affordable and oh so easy to maintain is the best way to describe this clearly urban collection that would have been perfect way back when I was a NYC working gal. Rashid described it to me as ‘sensual, calming and pleasurable without excess because at the end of the day less is more”  which is how i’m trying to live my life these days and what my whole “Living the Rid Life” (www.juliestips.com ) is all about. Here a few pix from the collection and you can learn and see mucho more by visiting his site http://www.karimrashid.com/ 

Jigsaw vases...how cool!

Love the rug! Won't show dirt!

After chatting with Rashim, the clock ticking and my free time running out,  I decided to enjoy the moment, feel the calm, the sensuality and pretend I was that NYC single working gal from days gone by.  So I kicked backed, put my feet up and enjoyed a glass of bubbly  because as RAshid said ‘at the end of the day less is more’ …Got that right! Spread the Glove!


“THE ARTIST” AND :-), # AND OMG!!!!

My son came home from his date last night after seeing “The Artist’ .  

At first I was a bit shocked but impressed that my17 year old son would take a date to this kinda movie though my son is an incredibly talented albeit reluctant artist (though he poo poos it when complimented) and very sensitive young man well beyond his years at times.  But like most of his peers, rap, texting and FB rule his world not silent, artsy movies.  So when I said ”wow…that’s cool’, he looked at me as anyone who has a teenager knows all too well, as if  I were an alien and shared: “You gotta be kidding me! It was the only movie playing and THE MOST boring thing i’ve ever seen “…” And went on without further hesitation “I don’t get it…it was black and white and nothing happened…what’s wrong with these people (he actually went on-line to see what all the fuss, acclamation was about i.e.Academy Awards/movie critics etc). Really, mom I don’t get why they thought it was so great!” I tried to probe further but he had finished his rant and movie critique having spent far too much time trying to explain this to his lame mom, grabbed some donuts and dismissed me with his loving “Stop bothering me’!

I laughed …sorta…Luke and his peers have grown up where silence in a way has become extinct since they can communicate in any  number of ways …sorta…though in my mind they speak silently more then verbally.   Think about it they write texts, FB, email, rarely speak on the phone so instead of seeing reactions and facial expressions that help give us so much more meaning they see 🙂, !!!!!, xo’s, # etc.  

Believe me I’m not saying we need pictures to give meaning nor that writing doesnt ignite our imagination…from “Gone with the Wind”  to “Good Night Moon” to “Love Story” to Harry Potter, the Twilight Series‘ to ‘Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood“,  “The Color Purple“, and “Eat, Pray, Love” to the newest bestselling phenomenon “50 Shades of Grey”…writing at any age opens our minds and imagination in amazing ways where we can direct and create our own movies silently  …But most of our kids are not writing pros that ignite imagination, they’re writing acronyms like TTS, OMG, LOL etc ….And, a silent movie, no matter what language we speak enables all of us to connect in some way with our own feelings, opinions and others.  

I suspect (and hope!) one day when for a brief moment I’m the mother he loves vs. the you’re so lame mom, Luke will share some scene, facial expression or OMG moment from “The Artist” that had an impact on him other then “nothing happened” cause as ye ole expression goes ”one picture is worth a 1000 words”.  Or in “The Artist'”, a million give or take a 100,000.  Time for me to go silent now…Spread the Glove:)


OH THE PLACES WE’LL GO W/DR. SEUSS, JIM CAREY, ZAC EFRON ‘N DANNY DEVITO

Yesterday was Dr. Seuss‘s birthday and for most of us, both as parent and child, Seuss was someone to be celebrated for bringing so much joy, imagination, insights and special moments whether it was bonding with our children, our parents or simply ourselves. Personal faves for me were The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Skeetches, Horton the Elephant (loyal 100%), Green Eggs ‘n Ham; The Lorax (now a new animated must see film starring Danny Devito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift which shows how Seuss was an environmentalist way before it was trendy) and Yertle the Turtle.  

Whatever your fave, Dr. Seuss took us through our childhood with life lessons and an imagination that just won’t quit and stands the test of time.  For me, as a young new reader I could read and look at his illustrations over and over, but Yertle the Turtle was one that holds a special place in my heart.  It was about Yertle the Turtle who went from King of the bees and trees to King of the Mud due to a turtle named Mack whom brought him down to earth with a burp.  

Written in 1958 it was about power and freedom.  But when I was little I had a special kinship with Yertle since the only pets my mother allowed me to have were those that didn’t run nor have any chance of doing their business on her pristine beige living room rug . And, god forbid we did cross that line…my mother’s wrath we would incite.  But one fateful night when my parents went out my big brother Rick and I decided to throw caution to the wind and enter the DNC zone.  For that moment in time it was exhilarating and the carpeting beneath our feet was sooo soft since no one that we could remember had ever stepped foot on it…We made designs, played tic tac toe and then my bro decided to get really wild.  He jumped on the beige satin couch which like the carpeting we were sure had never had any human interaction.   Ahhhh what fun, what freedom and the cushions didn’t even show a dent since they had indeed never been sat on!   Time ticking before mamma would return, we needed to erase our tracks.  So i raced to get the trusty Hoover out to replicate my mother’s up and down perfect nap design…Then off to bed we went sure we’d restored all to their pristine state….

Next morning as Rick and i munched on a bowl of cereal smiling betwixt ourselves that we had gotten away with our ‘escapade’  my mother asked how our evening was.  Rather then ragging about how he had to sit for his little sis vs being with his friends, my brother said “great”!  The cat so to speak was out of the bag as my mother confronted us on our trespass.  See though we thought we had done a great job emulating her perfect vac design we had missed a spot.   And the rest how we say was misery. You see my mom at times was a cross betwixt Joanne Crawford in the classic  movie “Mommy Dearest” and Bride of Frankenstein so we were doomed.  

Dare I say never  again did Rick nor I venture into the Living Room until she finally replaced that beige carpeting with area rugs that didn’t show nuttin…And the couch still looks the same as it did 30 years ago and is in the Guinness Book of Jerry Seinfeld Records since no one other then my bro has sat on it still. Now back to why I loved Seuss’ tale of Yertle…

Since i couldnt have pets that pooped nor peeed anywhere then in their own space, I had ‘Goldy’ the goldfish who lived a record four years, and the closest thing to a pet i could walk, Mack…my pet turtle.  I named him after the turtle that ‘burped’ and brought Yertle the Turtle back to earth.  And though i didn’t put him on a leash for fear of ”accidentally’ strangling him I did take him out of his tank for walks on my green and white shag rug (which didn’t show footprints nor dirt LOL).  I would also read to him this Dr. Seuss tale and share why I named him Mack…Hey as an 7 year old I believed Mack understood what I said whether his head was in or out of his shell.  My kingdom was Mack and all he could see.  And, when Mack and I were together we were free that and much later in life free thanks to 3 years of intense therapy 🙂 

“And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he, 
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see. 
And the turtles, of course . . . all the turtles are free 
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.”

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss and thank you for making my early years and those with my son special!  Spread the Glove!

LOVE ‘EM ‘N LEAP ‘EM!

Generally I don’t think of Leap Year as a holiday and certainly not one that is romantic  like Valentine’s Day. Rather, I have generally viewed it as an extra day to do those housewifely chores that bore …oh joy…Or as a freebie…a day off…I wish!  But, folklore has it and I’m gonna go with it cause I love fairy tales, that around the world it was the day ‘woman could pop the question”.  One legend dates back to a 5th century Irish nun named St. Brigid of Kildare whom asked St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland (and reason for another celebration 17 days later) to allow woman to propose to men they love who were too shy.

Love 'em n Leap em!

Well,  St. Patrick granted her request but he gave women the right to propose every seven years.  Nun too happy with this, St. Brigid  asked to please reconsider and so St. Pat did to every leap year (And, for those of you wishing to know how Leap Year began it goes way way back to the Ancient Egyptians and Julius Caesar and you can click here for the historical facts)

leap-year-trivia-11-things-you-didnt-know

Now back to our folklore…Overcome with happiness, St. Brigid leaped or rather kneeled with joy and guess what…she proposed to St. Pat!  But alas this lass was not to have his hand and he declined with a kiss on her cheek and a silk gown…hmmmm….And, henceforth giving a kiss and a silk gown became an Irish tradition for women whom have loved and lost so to speak.

Fast forward to 2012 and putting aside whether you believe this story or not,  I love as I shared at the outset, having another reason to believe in romance and happily ever four years or forever after. So though I am not planning on popping the question this leap year, I did plan a date with my significant other to watch the 2010 movie LEAP YEAR with  Amy Adams.. Spread the clover 🙂