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NEW YORK, NEW YORK IT’S A HELLUVA TOWN THIS ‘N EVERY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!

New York, New York it’s a HELLUVA town! Just like Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Jules Munshin sung in the 1944 classic movie “On the town” …well actually they sang it was a ‘wonderful town’ since they had to ‘clean up’ the lyrics for the movie version…times sure have changed eh!

For those of you who’ve not seen this gem on TCM as I have since clearly I was not a glimmer in any one’s eye or plans for centuries to come 🙂 …it’s the story of 3 sailors on shore leave in New York City circa World War Two times. I’m reminded of it cause Wednesday marked the start of Fleet Week in NYC and I was lucky enough to see the parade of ships thanks to shooting a Better TV segment that morning (which by the way you can watch this Tuesday so check local listings for some summer backyard cleaning tips!).

But as serendipity would have it, following the shoot with Better’s host Audra Lowe, my always terrific bud both on and off the set, we went down to Battery Park and found a restaurant right on the Hudson at Wagner Park called Gigino’s where Doug and I planted ourselves with vino in hand to watch and toast the ships, sailors ‘n US Navy in general passing by.  It was truly an amazing sight seeing historic clippers and battleships complete with sailors lining the edges waving and appreciative folks like myself waving back, taking photos for keeping us safe….

Like many of my shore mates, it made me proud to be an American as did our taking a stroll afterwards

and seeing the soon to be completed Freedom Tower

WOW… No matter how much time has gone by since that tragic day: September 11, 2001 or  whether you are hundreds of yards away or simply hear the date it does and should evoke an incredibly array of emotions.  Wow, again…So as we start this unofficial summer kick-off and more importantly  Memorial Day Weekend honoring those whom have given their time, soul and life for our country, I repeat “New York, New York it’s a a helluva town” and wonderful too…. Spread the glove!

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I LOVE LUCY, ELLEN DEGENERES, ‘N JCP’S NEW ADS!

I am a huge fan of Ellen Degeneres and have been since her days right before, during and after her ‘coming out of her closet” TV show “ELLEN’ ran from 1994-1998.   She’s funny, bold, smart, sexy in her Ellen D kinda way and I love the joy she gets out of doing her second fave thing ‘dancing’!  

Unfortunately, as a working mom i don’t get to tune in to her current afternoon talk show unless my son or I am home sick, but I did catch her new spots for JC Penney which are a hoot!  They’re really clever and not your same ole retail store ads. For those who haven’t seen them they take Ellen back in time to Ancient Rome to return a toga, to Edwardian London to buy a hat a la My Fair Lady and my personal favorite is when she finds herself in a Lucille Ball like 50’s bedroom setting talking about having to get to store sale at 6 am.  

As much as I’m a huge Ellen fan, I am a huge Lucille Ball fan.  I love how she was always trying to find ways to improve her life while trying to balance home, family, marriage, friendships and a career …sound familiar!!   Thought clearly much funnier then I, I have often been compared to her particularly by my X for my ‘off the wall’ housewifely antics. . . hmm and which in retrospect might have been one of the nicest compliments I got from him 🙂  That said, my accidental housewifely antics and the pink with black ‘n white polka dot gloves I wear in particular are my way of paying homage to her. Any way, seeing Ellen’s spot reminded me of an I Love Lucy excerpt from my book “The Ultimate Accidental Housewife: Your Guide to a Clean Enough House” which I thought i’d share with you as we begin to think about spring cleaning or have a sloppy man or child (who doesn’t!) in your home:

In one episode called “Men are Messy”, Lucy decides to teach Ricky a lesson since she’s tired of him constantly messing up their living room.  

She starts by divindng their apratment into his messy half and her neater half. Then, she takes it a step further by turning their home inta a real pigsty.  What she doesn’t know is that Ricky was bringing home a photographer from LOOK magazine to do a feature about their home and them! Ricky and the photographer enter their home to discover clotheslines hanging in the living room, chickens flying around and garbage everywhere.  And, to top it off, Lucy and her best bud Ethel are dressed in flannel shirts and overalls preparing to  ‘hunt’ for a black bear in Lucy’s bedroom. The photographer took pictures of all this and the good news was, Lucy made it on LOOK’s cover.  The bad news was it showed a shot of Lucy with her bear!   I guess the moral of this story is ” Men are messy so you to bear with them”…LOL! 

By the way I think the next time travel spot JC Penney should have Ellen spoof  is the Doris Day classic “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” …

That’s fair and square” don’t you think??

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!


“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 🙂 


LOVE THE STAIN YOUR WITH ‘n Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Bradley Cooper, Julie Roberts….

Happy Valentine’s Day all! ‘Tis wonderful that love is in the air and wanted to share this piece as I do every V-day! 

So whether it’s your first date, love of your life, one of the millions who pop the ‘will you marry’ question, dine alone or have been there done that for some time, Valentine’s Day can muster the romantic in you from sip to sleep.  Here are a few simple ways to deal with those heartfelt  ‘accidental’ stains that unlike love are not what we want to last! And BTW, if you haven’t seen the flick “Valentine’s Day” rent, DVR or Netflix it…it’s got all the peeps that make for good eye candy for any age and dreaming of happily ever after V-day including Ashton Kutcher, Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane (my personal fave Grey’s Anatomy studly guy!), Patrick Dempsey (second to Eric:) Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, Shirley McClaine and on and on

  • LIPSTICK:  With all that lip locking, there is bound to be some lipstick ending up on your man’s collar.  Don’t regret those kisses, put a dollop of non-gel shaving cream on those hot lip marks, dab and rinse with club soda or water.  Continue but now go ‘au natural’!
  • CHOCOLATE:  As Forest Gump said so eloquently, “I ‘m not a smart man . . . but I know what love is” .  He also said that  his momma believed “life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109830/quotes ! So now that your sweetie’s satisfied your sweet tooth and you’ve consumed that whole heart shaped box of love i.e. chocolates, you also got what you didn’t expect:  a glob on that sexy white silk blouse..  So grab some clear hand sanitizer, squeeze some on and dab out  the stain with a towel or micro-fiber cloth and switch to popcorn!  Tide to Go is also terrif in a pinch! 
  • STRAWBERRIES:  Nothing says “I Love You” like chocolate covered strawberries  but no one likes a strawberry stain.  Remove any access strawberry from the article of clothing with a spoon or knife, then  as your  touching up your doo, take aim with your aerosol can of hairspray and spritz the stain to remove.
  • SWEAT STAINS:  Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days to ‘pop’ the big question as in ‘will you marry me’.  But, alas, your nerves from popping the big question, or being the one being popped to can cause one to sweat.  Here’s an easy RX!  Just get out a big bowl,  pour in enough warm water to cover the stain, and hand crush 2-6 aspirin tablets into the bowl.  Once dissolved, put your white machine washable dress or tee shirt into it and let sit 2-4 hours.  No problemo if you get distracted calling all your loved ones to announce the big news and leave it overnight!  Then launder par usual.  Your nerves and shirt will feel and look better in the morning!
  • RED WINE:  If you spill some red wine maybe that will teach you to go for  the white wine!  That’s right, first run some cool water through the stain , then a bit of salt to help life and finish with some white wine.  Then for the rest of the eve, switch to clear libations to avoid any further mishaps! 
  • LOVE STAINS:  You want of course to be safe and use proper protection and precautions but if some of the love escapes ‘accidentally’ or prematurely onto your white sheets or boxers,  just use some hydrogen peroxide which is a natural bleaching agent so don’t use it on anything dark.  Then throw it in the laundry and go back to kissing for a bit! REMEMBER: never use hot water to soak or wash the stain, as hot water will help set a majority of protein-based stains. 
    • BONUS TIP:  Dealing with a creaky bed and don’t want to your neighbors or worse your kiddies hearing every intimate detail, sprinkle baby powder in all the joints so they don’t rub and make noise.  Also put on some romantic music and blast just in case! 
Spread the glove…safely and smartly please 🙂