BlogExplosion

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives Always Up for a Celebration: Raise a Glass to our 15,000th Visitor and 375th Post!

Ever since we hit our 10,000th visitor and 300th post back on May 8th, the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives have been looking forward to a celebration of our 15,000th visitor, but had hoped to be able to announce our 400th post at the same time. Lucky for me (and hopefully for all of you), life gets in the way of blogging, so I must ask you to raise a glass to Post #375 instead.

Sunday night update, almost 10:00pm EDT, getting ready to watch In Plain Sight:

Visitor #15,000, we don't know much about you, but we salute you....Visitor #15,000 came in directly to our home page (with no referring site) from Durham, North Carolina, via Verizon.net, didn't leave a comment, and, at least according to Sitemeter, didn't stay very long (0 seconds, 1 page view). I think the problem with Sitemeter is that, unless a visitor clicks somewhere on the page during a visit (scrolling may or may not count), a "zero second" visit is recorded no matter how long you stayed, as most of my BlogExplosion referrals are recorded as 0 seconds rather than the 20-30 seconds required to get "credit" for your visit.

I hadn't realized how important EntreCard was to my blog traffic...until last night and all of today, when the service has been down for almost twenty-four hours due to a fire at their datacenter and we hadn't reached our 15,000th visitor by dinnertime. Our only guests were coming in through Google searches and Battle of the Blogs (and I'm hoping you'll all vote for Roxiticus Desperate Housewives tonight)....do check the Sitemeter at the bottom of this page and be sure to leave a comment if you're the one.

We got this party started last night at visitor number 14,900, as Rex and the girls and I headed out to Lynette's house for a Night with the Scavos (and Mary Alice and Paul, too)....even on a weekend, we'll almost always have 15o visitors per day, but in the past 24 hours, only 90 of you have stopped by. I guess the message is clear to any blogger who doesn't have an EntreCard yet...get one! (but you'll have to wait until the service is back up and running).


I'd also like your vote on when we should celebrate the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives Blogiversary:


  1. My First Post: The Launch of Roxiticus Desperate Housewives was on August 5, 2005, so we could be coming up on our 3rd Blogiversary this summer.
  2. However, in October 2005, after only 3 months and less than 20 posts, I quit blogging due to an unpleasant incident with a mean blogger. Then, on or about January 27, 2008, I installed SiteMeter and started blogging in earnest. Since then, I've met nothing but nice new friends in the blogosphere....and that's when we started keeping track of our visitors, so almost 15,000 of you have stopped by over about four months. Or, more accurately, about 50 of my most loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers (Mariuca, LadyJava, Bestest Pal, Matt, 5-Year-Old Matthew-in-the-Corner, Maggie, Wally, Tricia, Berryvox, and more recently Jason, Erik, Sassy Southerner, Sosuna-o-lata, Shinade and Moomette -- I'll put your links in later and if I forgot you please leave a comment on this post to tickle me) have visited 2 or 3 times each day to vote on a Battle of the Blogs and comment, and the rest of our visitors come in through Google searches ("toddler gymnastics Morris County NJ" or "Easter housewife" ??!! or "Bernardsville NJ Restaurants" for example), BlogExplosion surfing, EntreCard, and SocialSpark.

The question at hand for my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers is: which blogiversary, or both, should we celebrate? While you raise a glass to celebrate post #375 and visitor #15,000, please let me know with a comment on this post.

Thanks for visiting, reading, commenting, and coming back again and again!

Roxy

Here's Something (More) About Mary


I posted before I went to bed last night about USA Network's new original series In Plain Sight, and I am really looking forward to the premiere tomorrow night (Sunday, June 1st) at 10:00pm EDT.

I checked out the In Plain Sight web site this morning and I think Mary Shannon is the character I can best relate to on the show. Just like me, Mary is tough, sexy and smart and keeps her identity undercover. Played by Mary McCormack, Mary Shannon is a U.S. Marshal attached to the highly secretive Federal Witness Protection Program known as WITSEC, assigned to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I'm fascinated by the New Mexico locale...after living in metropolitan Chicago for 40 years, Rex's brother Jake and his wife, Connie, moved out to the Middle of Nowhere, New Mexico, in November 2006. As far as I know, neither Jake nor Connie is part of the Witness Protection Program...but hey, you never know.

Mary Shannon's job of protecting Federal Witnesses—from career criminals to innocent bystanders—is tricky enough, but it's even tougher when dangerous people want those witnesses dead. On top of the myriad responsibilities attached to her high-risk job, Mary must keep the true nature of her work secret from her family and friends in order not to endanger them, her witnesses or herself. As an investment banker, I can relate....I frequently need to tell friends and family "If I told ya (about the client/project I'm working on), I'd hafta kill ya" until a deal is closed and publicly announced.

To help facilitate her witnesses' often rocky transition into their new lives, Mary has to wear many hats at any given time: mother, therapist, best friend, maid of honor, priest, rabbi, marriage counselor, employment agent, bodyguard, and occasionally, homicide detective. Same for Roxy: former disc jockey, current investment banker, mother of two girls, hot little wife to Rex, Roxiticus Desperate Housewife, blogger, therapist to the other Roxiticus Desperate Housewives...the list goes on!

As far as Mary's loopy mother, Jinx, and her younger sister, Brandi, are concerned, Mary's job as a Federal Marshal consists of lounging around the courthouse with her trivia-loving partner, Marshall, and serving the occasional warrant. My mother thinks that unless I've gone in to my office in New York City, I'm lounging around the Roxiticus Valley instead of hard at work from my home office. It's hard for Mary not being able to tell the people she's closest to what she does, but truth be told, she prefers it that way. The last thing she wants is for anyone to have to worry—that's her job, both on duty and off.

If you can't wait until tomorrow night, or you're leaving in the dark of the night to join the Witness Protection Program, click here for a video clip of Mary McCormick with a "relocation tip". Enjoy the show tomorrow night on USA Network, and do come back to Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and let us know whether it gets a thumbs up/thumbs down and why.

Sponsored by USA Network's new original series In Plain Sight

Mendham Books Website!

I've posted from time to time about Mendham Books in Mendham, New Jersey, and I recently signed up for their "mailing list." What a delightful surprise when I received an e-mail newsletter with a link to what appears to be a shiny new web site: http://www.mendhambooks.com/


Strangely enough, the informative May 2008 Mendham Books newsletter, which I will highlight here on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, claims to be "Issue 21," (implying that I'm not cutting edge but instead "the last to know"), but the Mendham Books web site doesn't reflect any of the events on the calendar, posted below. I'll apologize in advance that it is a little tough to read here, but if you click on the calendar, the link will take you to the Mendham Books web site where you can sign up to receive the complete newsletter at your own e-mail address.

It's Sunday Night at 10:00PM EDT...Do You Know Where Mary Is??

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find Mary Shannon hiding In Plain Sight on the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives home page.

With those other Desperate Housewives living their lives in private over on Wisteria Lane for the summer, what's a Roxiticus Desperate Housewife like me to do with her Sunday nights? I have good news for all of us... USA Network's new original series In Plain Sight, an all-new crime drama starring Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon, a U.S. Marshal attached to the highly secretive Federal Witness Protection Program, premieres this Sunday, June 1st, at 10:00pm EDT.

Mary Shannon is based in the greater Albuquerque/Santa Fe area, where all of the pictures in this post were taken when Rex and Grammy and the girls and I went out to visit Rex's brother, Jake, during Spring Break 2008. Mary protects and manages relocated Federal Witnesses who come to her from all over the country. While she loves her job, she doesn't find it easy to lead a double life—especially since getting shot at on a regular basis is all in a day's work. The witnesses under Mary's care can be anything from career criminals, congenital liars, thieves and murderers to those who have had the misfortune of witnessing or falling victim to a crime. For the innocents, testifying means leaving behind everything and everyone they know, cutting off all contact, changing identities and relocating to the unfamiliar southwest to build a new life as the reward for their good deed. No matter what walk of life—or which side of the law—these people come from, they all have one thing in common: Someone wants them dead.

Even with all the risk and stress inherent in Mary's job, she sometimes finds it easier to be working than dealing with her personal life, which is already complicated by the fact that her family and friends can't know the true nature of her work for the safety of everyone involved. As we say in the investment banking business, "If I told ya, I'd hafta kill ya." Keeping a false front isn't exactly a cakewalk for Mary since her co-dependant mother, Jinx (Lesley Ann Warren) and equally co-dependant younger sister, Brandi (Nichole Hiltz), are living under her roof. Jinx has never held down a job and is rarely ever seen without a drink in her hand. Brandi is slightly more ambitious. Unfortunately, the driving ambition that brought Brandi to Albuquerque was the desire to sell a suitcase full of crystal meth for her mysterious boyfriend, Chuck. But Mary's on-again off-again boyfriend, Raphael Ramirez (Cristián de la Fuente), gets the worst deal of all because after Mary's job and family, there's not too much left of her to go around—or at least, that's the trump card Mary relies on whenever Raph tries to get too close.

I'm going to tune in to USA Network's original series In Plain Sight on Sunday night at 10:00pm EDT...I think I feel a new blog coming on!

Sponsored by USA Network's new original series In Plain Sight

Friday, May 30, 2008

Welcome, SocialSpark Visitors!

So my loyal readers know that Bree blew off her good friend Mary Alice and the other Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, who were headed in to Morristown, New Jersey, for a night of Sex in the City...I bet you're wondering what I'm doing instead. If you're young and single, perhaps living in London or Paris or Milan or New York City (or where is it in Malaysia that my blogosphere buddy Mariuca lives?), it probably doesn't sound like much fun.

But here goes: Rex and I are sharing a Marcha Malbec Nuevo 2005 on the deck, waiting for the Roxiticus Sunset, listening to Rex Smith and Uncle Kracker on the iPod, making new friends and giving "props" on SocialSpark, and watching my girls play on the lawn and practice their Hannah Montana and High School Musical performance for our upcoming Roxiticus Sunset Party.

And you should know that I'm not totally antisocial...we're having a play date plus dinner (spicy black bean soup) at Lynette's house tomorrow night, and Mary Alice will be there with her kids, too...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

When I Lived in the West Village I Had Sex in the City, Now I Have Kids in the Suburbs


Until we left Manhattan, my two little girls even shared the swingset in Bleecker Street Park with Sarah Jessica Parker's baby.

Now, my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers know that I don't watch much TV. But the Sex and the City movie comes out tomorrow (or even midnight tonight in some locations), so I tried to get ready. I caught a deal on the complete Sex and the City TV series box set in my Golden Snitch from Amazon around the holidays and I had hoped to watch them on my computer while commuting in to NYC on the train. No dice. Long story involving pathetic long-life HP notebook batteries, but suffice it to say, I haven't watched a single episode. Mary Alice and the rest of the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives are off to the 7:00pm show in Morristown, NJ, followed by a late dinner at Pazzo Pazzo tomorrow evening.

Poor dear dead Mary Alice ("Why do I have to be Mary Alice? " she wanted to know, the first time she peeked at my blog. "Because you're leaving the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and moving to Southern California. I'm devastated.") is always trying to include me on Girls' Night Out (or even a Cowgirl Camping Trip out West), but it is rare that I can make it work. Since Rex and I work hard all week and employ a full-time nanny (who is going to a separate Sex and the City party with her girlfriends tomorrow night!), I'd rather spend the weekends, starting with Friday night, at home with my family. Once the temperatures reach the high 60s, that usually means a beach weekend, but we're staying in the Roxiticus Valley for a swim & tennis birthday party at the Mendham Health & Racquet Club on Sunday morning.

Is There A Doctor in the House?

Or how about a healthcare professional? Development Dimensions International (DDI) is looking for executives in healthcare to complete a brief online survey. If you are a human resources executive in a hospital or health care delivery systems, you have an opportunity to win an iPod nano for taking the time to fill out the DDI survey. At the end of the survey, you will be asked to provide your e-mail address and contact information, then DDI will randomly select one winner from the participants who complete the Quest for Health Care Excellence survey.

Development Dimensions International is in the business of designing and implementing selection systems that enable health care human resources professionals to hire better people faster by identifying and developing exceptional leadership talent critical to creating a high-performance workforce. The folks at DDI know your time is valuable, but hey, you've already taken the time to read my blog, so why not take a few more minutes and fill out the survey for a chance to win?

To take the survey, click here.

Mendham Township Schools Strawberry Festival is Next Saturday, June 7th


The Mendham Township Schools host their annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 7th, 2008 at the Mendham Township Elementary School on West Main Street in Brookside, NJ.

Since our family will likely have to stay up north for the girls' Garden State Ballet dress rehearsal on Sunday the 8th, we will probably attend the Strawberry Festival for our first time ever. And there's a rumor going around that Mary Alice might invite us over to her house for a Roxiticus Desperate Dinner that evening.

The Strawberry Festival is an annual day of family fun featuring games for all ages:

  • Prizes
  • Nail, hair, and face painting
  • Tattoos (temporary, I'm guessing....)
  • Crafts
  • Basket raffle
  • Bake sale
  • Food
  • Police demos, and,
  • Of course....strawberry shortcake!!!

Eye Candy from the Roxiticus Desperate Police Academy

I couldn't wait for "Eye Candy Friday" to post this pic of the newest...uh...member...of the Roxiticus Desperate Police Academy here in Mendham Township, New Jersey. He seems to be missing his tactical belt, but is otherwise ready for action. We are lucky to have someone in our local area who is so committed to service. Ladies, let me know what you think...

P.S. -- Susan, he's new here, so I'm pretty sure he's not the same guy who pulled you over for speeding twice in the same day!

Calendar Mismanagement: Sorry About the Invite to Pierre's South African Braai on Thursday, June 12th, I'm Going to Movin' Out at NJPAC That Night

Apologies, apologies. In addition to the invitation to join us at Pierre's South African Braai that I posted here on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, I actually sent out an e-mail to a bunch of our closest "couple friends" asking them to join us at Pierre's on Thursday, June 12th.

Talk about calendar mismanagement...I'm already going to see Movin' Out at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, NJ, that night. I would still urge the rest of you to get a table for ten at Pierre's, and tell Chef Michael Peters that the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives sent you! Here's a YouTube video of the performance Rex and the girls and I will be enjoying while you rip into your barbecued meat!

I Scream, You Scream....and I Would Really Really Scream If I Won This Contest!!

About a year ago, Coldstone Creamery came to Chester, New Jersey, right across the street from the Streets of Chester "mall" in the Shop Rite shopping center. Since the weather has grown warmer here in the Roxiticus Valley, Rex and the girls and I have all developed a very serious addiction to two of Cold Stone Creamery's mix-in concoctions: Rocky Off Road (chocolate ice cream with mini-marshmallows, roasted almonds, chocolate peanut butter bits and brownie batter) and Founder's Favorite (sweet cream ice cream with chewy brownies and toasted pecans, swirled with rich fudge and caramel). We pick up those two quarts of Grab-N-Go every Thursday night, and every last scoop is all gone by the end of the weekend.

Now, I've heard about an Awesome Coldstone Contest where you can win $30,000 by coming up with your own ice cream mix-in Creation by using the ingredients found at your local Cold Stone Creamery. Give it a cool and clever name (Shock-A-Cone is already taken, but I'm thinking something along the lines of a Roxiticus Desperate Flava). Get your friends and family and fellow bloggers to give it a try and vote for your flava online. The creations with the most votes move on to the next round(s), with a voting deadline of December 31, 2008. Winners will be announced in January 2009.

Imixamerica


The Roxiticus Desperate Housewives definitely have what it takes to create our own Cold Stone Creamery Signature Creation and get the world to buy it. The only problem? My kids and I don't meet the criteria for the iMix America contest (you have to be between 13 and 19 years old), but I'm sure plenty of you moms out there have kids who do, and you can enter to win. And I'll make you a deal...write to me about your 13-19-year-old kids in my comments section, we'll give you the top secret ingredients for our Cold Stone Creamery Signature Creation, I'll promote it here at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives to get all of our blogosphere buddies to vote for us, and when we win, we'll split the dough!

But hurry...if I don't hear from you soon, I'm going to talk to the neighbor kids down in Bay Head, as well as the Roxiticus Desperate Teenagers we use as babysitters when Rex and I need a night out on the town...


Sponsored by Coldstone Creamery

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Are You A Gawker?


Rex just handed me the May 25th New York Times Magazine, which was lying at the top of our driveway when we returned from the beach in Bay Head, New Jersey, yesterday morning. The cover story is "Blog-Post Confidential: What I Gained -- and Lost -- by Revealing My Intimate Life on the Web" by Emily Gould (that's her in the photo with all the tattoos...in response to the thousand times she's asked "Did it hurt?" she says "not as much as getting waxed"). The article is written by and about the former editor of Gawker (the snarky New York media blog) and her life as a blogger.

I found Emily Gould's story fascinating, particularly as it relates to her interaction with non-bloggers. I'm going to post my initial thoughts now, then add to them as I get a chance, so please check back from time to time. In the meantime, you can read Emily Gould's blogs at Emily Magazine and Heartbreak Soup and a few of my favorite quotes below:

On Over-Sharing: One of the strangest and most enthralling aspects of personal blogs is just how intensely personal they can be. I’m talking “specific details about someone’s S.T.D.’s” personal, “my infertility treatments” personal. There are nongynecological overshares, too: “My dog has cancer” overshares, “my abusive relationship” overshares.

On Why We Blog: I think most people who maintain blogs are doing it for some of the same reasons I do: they like the idea that there’s a place where a record of their existence is kept — a house with an always-open door where people who are looking for you can check on you, compare notes with you and tell you what they think of you. Sometimes that house is messy, sometimes horrifyingly so. In real life, we wouldn’t invite any passing stranger into these situations, but the remove of the Internet makes it seem O.K.

When it comes to Emily Gould's time with Gawker, I'm less able to relate. My mom taught me that if you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all. While I frequently ignore my mother's rants, I've stuck with that message and passed it along to my girls. Gawker's premise is that anyone who makes their living in public is subject to the public's scrutiny at all times. And it is clear to me that sites with celebrity gossip (or controversial blog posts, for that matter) grab the blogosphere's attention and generate traffic. So I try to stay out of that arena, even if it means that my readership will be limited to the blogosphere buddies I've developed through EntreCard, Social Spark, and BlogExplosion's Battle of the Blogs.

Feeding the Roxiticus Desperate iPod for Free

Mpfree_new_logo

I don't think of myself as cutting edge as far as technology goes. I think it was at least two years into the music downloading craze, and Napster had already been forced to charge for music downloads, before I got my first iPod. But I have to say, it has changed my life. I took a couple of weeks to download all of my CDs to my computer and transferred the songs to my iPod, and since then I've gotten into the habit of downloading through iTunes, Napster, and other services that I've found online. These days, I have over 8,000 songs on my iPod, and over 2,000 "five stars." All of the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and Husbands covet my iPod and I'm frequently offered five thousand bucks for it as a starting bid, then whatever party we're hosting turns into a crazy bidding war for the Roxiticus Desperate Music Collection.

Today, I'm looking back to the days when high school and college kids downloaded thousands (millions?) of songs for free. Unfortunately, what they were doing was not really legal, but today it turns out that you can Get Free Music From MPFree.com...and the downloads are completely legal. There's no cost whatsoever and no credit card is required. The way it works is that members complete any of the hundreds of offers and get free music for each one. The types of offers include entering a sweepstakes, requesting product information, completing surveys, trying new products and lots more. Once you complete an offer, you can choose from more than 750,000 free songs, including the latest hits from today's hottest artists. Unlike some of the free music sites where you can't find the "real" songs or artists you're looking for, on MPFree all songs are by the original artists on their original labels. Unlike the good old days of illegal Napster, MPFree pays royalties to the artists for every song, so the free music downloading service is 100% legal. Because MPFree is advertiser-supported, members never pay for their music downloads.

I signed up to Get Free Music From MPFree.com, but I have to confess that I lost patience with the surveys after just a few questions, so I'll leave it to the younger crowd with more time on their hands (and a lower rate per hour for their time) to get the free tunes.

Give MPFree.com a try...there's a world of free music to discover.

Sponsored by MPFree.com

Best of Bay Head, NJ: Art in the Park

Every year, Rex and I take the girls out to Centennial Park (use the municipal parking lot just off Bridge Avenue) in Bay Head, New Jersey, for a dose of Art in the Park. This year, Art in the Park is scheduled for Saturday, June 14th (raindate June 15th) from 10am to 4pm, with music playing all day long, and featuring the following local Jersey Shore artists:


  • George Allsopp from Brick, NJ -- Oils & Acrylics
  • Patricia Arroyo from Neptune City, NJ -- Pastels, Watercolors, Oils
  • Mary Jo Austin from Lavallette, NJ -- Oils & Acrylics
  • Al Barker from Bordentown, NJ -- Watercolors (his painting, "Summer Beach" is shown at the top of this post and is available at the Anchor & Palette Gallery on Mount Street in Bay Head, NJ)
  • Lisa Begin-Kruysman from Bay Head, NJ -- Acrylics
  • Ken Bernhard from Bridgewater, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Lisa C. Budd from West Creek, NJ -- Watercolors
  • William Bunting from Iselin, NJ -- Oils
  • Beverly Canham from Manchester, NJ -- Oils, Watercolors
  • Miroslaw Chelchowski from Laurence Harbor, NJ -- Watercolors, Pencil
  • Joy Clayton from Howell, NJ -- Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors
  • Carol Colvin from Toms River, NJ -- Watercolors, Pastels
  • Marie Demarco from Wall, NJ -- Pastels
  • Catherine Detrich from Middletown, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Donna Ferrante from Spring Lake, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Joel Garh from Pt. Pleasant, NJ -- Pen & Ink
  • Alexander Gletow from Brick, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Beverly Golembeski from Seaside Park, NJ -- Watercolors, Acrylics
  • Ann Hayes from Toms River, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Andrew Huntley-Robertson from Summit, NJ -- Oils
  • Paula Kolojeski from Princeton, NJ -- Pastels
  • Steve Lambert from Manchester, NJ -- Oils
  • Jack Loder from Brick, NJ -- Acrylics, Oils
  • Rober A. Loder, Jr. from Bay Head, NJ -- Acrylics
  • Lise Masson from Howell, NJ -- Oils, Watercolors
  • Ramona Maziarz from Middletown, DE -- Pen & Ink
  • Bert McNomee from Toms River, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Philip Meyer from Totowa, NJ -- Oils
  • Pauline Mickle from Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Sheila Mickle from Brick, NJ -- Calligraphy, Pen & Ink
  • Mary Monagle from Spring Lake, NJ -- Watercolor, Mixed Media
  • Raymond Moran from Toms River, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Ninetta Nappi from North Bergen, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Demetrius Patterson from Tinton Falls, NJ -- Acrylics
  • Virginia Perle from Toms River, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Ellen Ricci from Toms River, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Tracy Roccanova-Miller from Brick, NJ -- Watercolors, Giclee Prints
  • Gloria Salmestrelli from Seaside Park, NJ -- Oils
  • Ellen Scharfenberg from Toms River, NJ -- Watercolors
  • Sal Sorce from Manahawkin, NJ -- Acrylics, Oils
  • Amanda Viggiano from Pt. Pleasant, NJ -- Acrylics, Oils
  • Susan Wagner from Pt. Pleasant, NJ -- Acrylics, Watercolors
  • Tom Williams from Valley Forge, PA -- Oils, Prints
  • Gregory Zach from Wall, NJ -- Oils
  • Joanne Zezula from Brick, NJ -- Watercolors

Heads Carolina, Tails California


"Baby, what do you say we just get lost?
Leave this one horse town like two rebels without a cause.
I got people in Boston.
Ain't your daddy still in Des Moines?
We can pack up tomorrow.
Tonight, let's flip a coin

Heads, Carolina Tails, California.
Somewhere greener, somewhere warmer.
Up in the mountains, down by the ocean.
Where? It don't matter, as long as we're goin'
Somewhere together. I've got a quarter.
Heads, Carolina Tails, California.

We can load what we own in the back of a U-haul van.
Couple modern day Moses', searchin for the promised land.
We can go four hundred miles before we stop for gas.
We can drive for a day, and then we'll take a look at the map.

Heads, Carolina Tails, California.
Somewhere greener, somewhere warmer.
Up in the mountains, down by the ocean.
Where? It don't matter, as long as we're goin'
Somewhere together. I've got a quarter.
Heads, Carolina Tails, California.

We're gonna get outta here if we gotta ride a Greyhound bus.
Boy, we're bound to outrun the bad luck that's tailin' us

Heads, Carolina Tails, California.
Somewhere greener, somewhere warmer.
Up in the mountains, down by the ocean.
Where? It don't matter, as long as we're goin'
Somewhere together. I've got a quarter.
Heads, Carolina Tails, California.

O---oh, California! Carolina! California!"

-- "Heads Carolina, Tails California" by Jo Dee Messina

Roxy's been listening to country music again, and talking to Brent about his August trip to California, where housing remains so expensive, compared with new homes Greenville SC. Brent is from Spartanburg, South Carolina, and now lives in Westchester, New York. He is always amazed when he travels home to visit his family and friends in South Carolina and sees the size of the homes they can buy for less than the price of his lovely home in the NYC suburbs. As Brent and I always say since we received this quote from a vendor increasing our monthly rate for services, "New York is a special place."


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sisters: Taking Off the Training Wheels, Memorial Day Weekend in Bay Head, New Jersey




My two daughters are 13 months apart. When I was pregnant with London, I had hoped for twins, but ending up with "Irish twins" when Maddie was born has been so much better. They have been joined at the hip since London cried out with glee, "Maddie OUT!" when I brought her sister home from Lenox Hill Hospital to our co-op on West 12th Street in the West Village.

I took this picture yesterday in Bay Head, NJ, when we took the girls to a loop of sidewalk they call the "lollipop" so that Maddie could take her first shot at riding the straightaway without training wheels. As I was getting ready to hold the handlebars to steady the bike for Maddie, she wailed, "No, Mommy, I want London to help me!" They both came home covered with scrapes and bruises but with matching huge smiles across their faces.

Maddie Launches Her Web Site: I Love Dogs and So Do You!


My older daughter, London, has her own blog called The Daily Soup, and her younger sister, Maddie, woke up yesterday and decided she wanted to be a blogger, too. We've launched her blog, "I Love Dogs and So Do You!" with a picture of Cashew, who lives across the street from us in Bay Head, New Jersey.

Pierre's Restaurant & Wine Bar Asks and Answers: What Is A Braai?? South African Braai Chef's Table Dinner Planned for Thursday, June 12th, 2008


I just received an e-mail from Chef Michael Peters at Pierre's Restaurant & Wine Bar in Morristown (near Bernardsville), New Jersey. Pierre's Restaurant & Wine Bar is hosting a South African Braai on Thursday, June 12th, 2008 at 7:00pm. Rex and I are planning to attend, and we'd love to get a table of ten or more Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and Husbands together for the event. Our tables have been known to get a bit rowdy, but it is all in good fun and we hope you can join us.

What, you may ask, is a braai? South Africa is a country of carnivores, and to braai meat over hot coals is something that comes naturally to every man of this diverse country. A braai (think barbeque) is a social event in South Africa that can involve an enormous amount of planning and can be held anywhere — at home with the family, on the beach, in the forest, or in a designated “braai spot.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu is the official patron of National Braai Day held on September 24th since 2005.

Come and join the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives at Pierre’s first ever South African Braai on Thursday, June 12th. The cost is $95 prepaid per person (tax and gratuity included). We will be drinking some extraordinary South African wines from Cape Classics. Weather permitting, Pierre's will hold the reception on the front porch.

If you aren't already convinced, here's a peek at The Chef's Table Menu:

South African Braai
Thursday, June 12, 2008
7:00 PM

Reception :
boerewors, vegetable sosaties, peri-peri chicken wings, potbrood
Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2007

Menu:

grilled jumbo shrimp tails
Thelema Sauvignon Blanc 2007

spicy durban squid, cucumber sambal
The Foundry Viognier 2007

spit-roasted marinated capetown lamb
sweet carrot potjie, green bean salad
Rustenberg John X Merriman 2005

Cheeses:
aged gouda, cashel blue, cloth-matured cheddar
Rudi Schultz Syrah 2005

Dessert:
malva pudding and custard sauce
Kanu Kia-Ora 2004

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Photos from Bay Head, New Jersey



They call this "Scow Ditch"...what a funny name for such a beautiful place.

McDreamy in Dockers


As my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers know, I really don't watch much television...just those other Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy these days. The rest of the time my TV seems to be tuned in to the Disney Channel. While my girls jump around from the three Jonas Brothers to Troy in High School Musical and those twins from the Suite Life of Zack and Cody, I go decades between my celebrity crushes. I blogged a while back about my long-term thing for Don Johnson and Miami Vice in the 1980's, and back in February 2007 I joined half of America enjoying the Thursday night eye candy of Patrick Dempsey as Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy.

Whether its his hospital scrubs or the jeans in the picture above or a tux for the Emmy awards, Patrick Dempsey is a picture of classic style. If I could just have fifteen minutes alone with McDreamy in a pair of Dockers, I could put together a 30-second video and enter the Dockers contest. Then again, Rex must be an awfully lucky guy to have a Roxiticus Desperate Housewife who would use her 15 minutes alone with Patrick Dempsey to make a commercial for the Dockers contest...

Instead of crushing on McDreamy, maybe I should make a TV commercial about Rex in his khakis and blue and white striped button down shirt and enter it in the Dockers contest. Dockers is running a commercial contest...you've seen it featured here on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, as well as on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. They want to give Dockers fans like Rex a chance to show off their own classic style. While this blogger is more likely to pick up my Canon Digital Rebel than I am to shout "Let's go to the videotape," you should all give it a whirl. If any of my loyal readers make your own 30-second Dockers video and submit it to the judges for a chance to win, leave me a comment here and I'll link to the entry on your blog.

Would be celebrities have until May 29, 2008 to submit your commercial for consideration. Then Dockers will judge all eligible commercials for their creativity (30%), originality (30%), ability to highlight the Dockers brand (35%), and total Widget User rating (5%). After the submission deadline, Dockers will post the judges' top five (5) videos online to give all of us the chance to vote on the finalists, and the winner will get his or her fifteen minutes of fame (while I enjoy my fifteen minutes with McDreamy, perhaps?) when millions of TV viewers check out the winning video that will debut during the June 13th broadcast of The Tonight Show on NBC.

I haven't posted all the rules here, so click on one of my links to visit the Dockers contest. web site for all the fine print. Good luck!

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Sponsored by Dockers

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Margarita Night at the Neighbors' House in Bay Head, New Jersey

Every year, usually early in the season to celebrate our return to the beach in Bay Head, New Jersey, we get together for dinner and drinks with the neighbors across the street. Rex cooks an amazing bunch of steaks, and Jango (with the bad influence on three minors assistance of his 10-year-old daughter and my two girls) makes pitcher after pitcher of margaritas.


Tonight is that night, and we are really looking forward to it.

She said "I'm going out with my girlfriends
Margaritas at the Holiday Inn"
Oh have mercy my only thought
Was tequila makes her clothes fall off
I told her put an extra layer on
I know what happens when she drinks Patron
Her closet's missing half the things she bought
Yea tequila makes her clothes fall off

She'll start by kicking out of her shoes
Lose an earring in her drink
Leave her jacket in the bathroom stall
Drop a contact down the sink

Them panty hose ain't gonna last too long
If the dj puts Bon Jovi on
She might come home in a table cloth
Yea tequila makes her clothes fall off

She can handle any champagne brunch
A bridal shower with Bacardi punch
Jello shooters full of Smirnoff
But tequila makes her clothes fall off

She'll start by kicking out of her shoes
Lose an earring in her drink
Leave her jacket in the bathroom stall
Drop a contact down the sink

She don't mean nothing
She just havin' fun
Tomorrow she'll say oh what have I done
Her friends will joke about the stuff she lost
Yea tequila makes her clothes fall off
Oh tequila makes her clothes fall off
Oh tequila makes her clothes fall off


-- "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" -- Joe Nichols

For Hookers, Business Owners and Busy Moms: Make Bank Deposits from Your Bedroom











The past six weeks have been more than a little hectic for me, starting back in April when Rex had his knee replacement surgery, and I find that I can never seem to get it all done. Running our small investment banking firm in New York City, making sure we participate in all of our kids' important events (making lava lamps for the science fair, digging up worms for London's living organism project), keeping my Roxiticus Desperate Housewives blog up to date while preparing to launch a new self-hosted WordPress community of blogs, tidying up the house before our housekeeper comes to clean every Thursday...and when I added in trips to the hospital while Rex was there and getting him to various appointments while he recovered, paying the bills took a back seat to the things that really mattered. I missed payments on some of my credit cards, mostly because I couldn't find the time to get to the bank during business hours to make a deposit, and now I'm kicking myself over the late fees (why earn an extra $20 blogging for dollars if you miss a credit card payment and end up with a $39 late fee?).

I wish I had known about DepositNow, a new technology that lets you make bank deposits online. I could have make my deposits just like I post to my blog: in the middle of the night, using an ordinary computer. With DepositNow, I can just pass a check or money order through a scanner, and transmit it to the bank electronically, without even leaving my home, office....or bed! There's just a huge benefit to being able to make deposits online, the way I pay my bills. You don't need to go to the bank to make a deposit. The DepositNow technology will work for both my business and personal accounts and can be used with any bank account in the United States -- you don't need to change banks or open a new account.

So what's the catch? Hardly anyone knows this technology exists (it's only been possible since 2004). The other turnoff is the price of check scanners, which often cost almost five hundred smackeroos, and can't read anything except checks. So DepositNow developed their own scanner for half the price ($225) that also works as a regular scanner for documents, Roxiticus Sunset Party invitations, etc. The monthly service charge for DepositNow usually costs less than your regular cable subscription (don't get me started on Comcast!), which is well worth it if you want to be able to do all of your banking, including deposits, not just paying your bills, from the comfort and privacy of your boudoir.

Unfortunately for my blogosphere buddies Mariuca and Lady Java, the DepositNow technology does not work with banks outside the United States. But if you're here in the U.S., you can sign up for the DepositNow online deposit service and enter Roxiticus Desperate Housewives as a promo code. For every new customer who uses this code to sign up with DepositNow, Roxy gets a $25 commission and you get $25 off the price of a scanner.

Sponsored by DepositNow!

Gone Shoppin'



After a nice bike ride in sunny Bay Head, New Jersey, Rex took the girls and me on a shopping trip to The W.A.S.P. on Bridge Avenue and The Bee (just moved to a new, bigger location) on Route 35. The girls made out like bandits at The W.A.S.P., picking out "twin" bathing suit sets as well as three or four new outfits each.

Their mom didn't do too badly either...I found a nice white pinstripe suit at The W.A.S.P. and a hot midnight black and white wide strip tank dress at The Bee. We are ready to start stepping out for the summer season here in Bay Head, New Jersey.

A Day at the Beach!


We're off to bike ride and hit the beach for the day, but I'll leave you with this watercolor that a local artist painted of our house in Bay Head, New Jersey. The girls have a new set of seashells painted and have already earned $3.50 (14 shells @ 25 cents each) selling seashells down by the seashore.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rolling on the Beach Laughing...

Unlike my blogging buddy Wally Banners who writes the WTF Blog, I don't spend a lot of time rolling on the floor laughing...I find that my children look at me funny, my clothes get dirty, and it can interfere with landing new investment banking clients. However, tonight I happened upon this photo of Hillary Clinton at Demotivate Us: The Best Demotivational Posters while I was on the loose in the Blogosphere and I've been rolling on the beach laughing (ROBL) ever since:

1000 Words - This Picture Is Worth ‘Em Demotivational Poster
Demotivational Posters By Demotivate Us!

Do It In Dockers

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By now, you must be living in a cave with no TV or Internet access if you haven't heard about the Dockers contest. All around the world, my fellow bloggers and talented, creative moviemakers have been submitting their Dockers commercials to try to win the coveted 30 seconds of fame on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I'm not sure how many commercials have been submitted so far, but after an extensive search of the Blogosphere for the competing entries, I found the following video on YouTube. While I'm not sure the Dockers judges will agree, this one is my hands down favorite, and I'm sure it would get a laugh from Jay Leno, too. Go ahead, take a look, you've got 30 seconds, haven't you?





Now, if you're going to give it a shot and make your own video to enter the Dockers contest, you've only got 6 days to find your actors and cue the lights, camera....ACTION! I have it on good authority that Matt Urdan over at MichiganRafter dot Blogspot dot com wears Dockers whenever he's out whitewater rafting...the trick is getting just the right 30 seconds on video when Matt goes overboard in his Dockers.

You have until next Thursday, May 29th to submit your video advertisement to the Dockers judges for consideration. Then Dockers will judge all of the eligible videos on the following criteria: creativity (30%), originality (30%), ability to highlight the Dockers brand (35%), and total Widget User rating (5%). Dockers will post the top five (5) videos online, so we'll all have a chance to vote on the finalists, and the winner (and all the world) gets his or her 15 minutes of fame when the winning ad appears on the June 13th, 2008 broadcast of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC.

Sponsored by Dockers