Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bruce Springsteen Reads Roxiticus Desperate Housewives Blog

He played Prove It All Night.
And Candy's Room, Jason

And almost too good to be true
Rex this one's for you
Wish you were here, too
For wedding song number two
I'm in love with a Jersey Girl.

Prove It All Night: Roxiticus Desperate Housewives Spend the Last Night with the Boss at Giants Stadium

A handful of my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers may know that Rex and I were married on the beach in Bay Head, New Jersey, almost ten years ago. I wore a white bikini, and we shared our first dance as husband and wife to two wedding songs: Prove It All Night and Jersey Girl.

I've been working real hard, trying to get my hands clean,
Tonight we'll drive that dusty road from Monroe to Angeline,
To buy you a gold ring and pretty dress of blue,
Baby just one kiss will get these things for you,
A kiss to seal our fate tonight,
A kiss to prove it all night.

Prove it all night,
Girl there's nothing else that we can do,
So prove it all night, prove it all night,
And girl I'll prove it all night for you.

Everybody's got a hunger, a hunger they can't resist,
There's so much that you want, you deserve much more than this,
But if dreams came true, oh, wouldn't that be nice,
But this ain't no dream we're living through tonight,
Girl, you want it, you take it, you pay the price.

Prove it all night,
Girl there's nothing else that we can do,
So prove it all night, prove it all night,
And girl I'll prove it all night for you.
Prove it all night, prove it all night girl and call the bluff,
Prove it all night, prove it all night and girl,
I prove it all night for your love.

Baby, tie your hair back in a long white bow,
Meet me in the fields out behind the dynamo,
You hear the voices telling you not to go,
They made their choices and they'll never know,
What it means to steal, to cheat, to lie,
What it's like to live and die.

Prove it all night,
Girl there's nothing else that we can do,
So prove it all night, prove it all night,
And girl I'll prove it all night for you.
To prove it all night...

Tonight, Bruce Springsteen finishes up his Magic tour with one last show at Giants Stadium and, thanks to Mary Alice's generosity, four of the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives will be there.

The set lists from the two earlier Giants Stadium shows are totally different, giving us no idea what to expect, other than Girls In Their Summer Clothes and Born to Run among the encores of a solid 3-hour performance. Sunday's show opened with Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out and closed with Rosalita. Monday's show started with Out in the Street and ended with Twist and Shout. Encores on Monday night also included Thunder Road, the only lullaby that worked when my daughters were babies...they still ask me, "Mommy, sing Screen Door Slams!"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Favorite Mistake...What Happens When Bad Boys Grow Up?

I woke up and called this morning,
the tone of your voice was a warning
that you don't care for me anymore.

I made up the bed we sleep in.
I looked at the clock when you creep in.
It's 6 AM and I'm alone.

Did you know when you go it's the perfect ending,
to the bad day I was just beginning.
When you go, all I know is you're my favorite mistake.

Your friends act sorry for me.
They watch you pretend to adore me.
But I am no fool to this game.

Now here comes your secret lover,
she'll be unlike any other,
until your guilt goes up in flames.

Did you know when you go it's the perfect ending,
to the bad day I'd gotten used to spending.
When you go, all I know is you're my favorite mistake
You're my favorite mistake.

Well maybe nothing lasts forever,
even when you stay together.
I don't need forever after, but it's your laughter won't let me go
so I'm holding on this way.

Did you know could you tell you were the only one
that I ever loved?
Now everything's so wrong.
Did you see me walking by, did it ever make you cry?
Now you're my favorite mistake
Yeah you're my favorite mistake
You're my favorite mistake

With apologies to those of you who are not Sheryl Crow fans to the point that you might find reading this post debilitating...Rex and the girls and I had a great time seeing Sheryl Crow at the PNC Bank Arts Center last night. One of the highlights for me was her awesome performance of "My Favorite Mistake." The song was written about a relationship with a man who proves to be unfaithful and is widely believed to have been written about Eric Clapton.

"My Favorite Mistake" got me thinking about bad boys....we've all known a few, but I haven't kept in touch with any of them for over 10 years. Before I met Rex, I certainly didn't have a type, but Johnny Moneybags was my favorite mistake, an on again off again long distance relationship that I knew was going nowhere in the long term. Over time, I realized that I didn't want to be with Johnny Moneybags, I wanted to be him....the successful part, not the bad boy part. My favorite Moneybags anecdote is about the time I invited him to the dreaded black tie holiday party at my old firm, when he propositioned one of the partners' wives, an attractive woman in her 60s: "Charlotte, you know you want me, you want to jump my bones." Listening to Sheryl Crow, I've wondered what happened to Johnny Moneybags and the other bad boyz I've known...have they "settled down" with a wife and kids and changed their bad boy ways? If they're married, are they still "bad to the bone" -- do they cheat or otherwise make their wives miserable?

Monday, July 28, 2008

I Love Rock 'n' Roll, Put Another Dime in the Jukebox Baby: Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Community Theatre in Morristown, Friday, October 24th

Emergency post: while Rex and I are not going to see Joan Jett & the Blackhearts at the Community Theatre (a.k.a. The Mayo Center of the Performing Arts) in Morristown until Friday, October 24th, I received a request for a new post from Jason Buckley, whose man parts are shriveling at the thought of James Blunt and Sheryl Crow.

So here goes...I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation! Here's a YouTube video to give us all a preview of what's to come in October, with lyrics below if you need them to sing along. I just hope I can find my leather collar in time for the concert.

I don't give a damn bout my reputation
You're living in the past it's a new generation
A girl can do what she wants to do and thats
What I'm gonna do
And I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation

Oh no not me

And I don't give a damn 'bout my reputation
Never said I wanted to improve my station
And I'm only doin' good
When I'm havin' fun
And I don't have to please no one
And I don't give a damn
'bout my bad reputation

Oh no, not me
Oh no, not me

I don't give a damn
'bout my reputation
I've never been afraid of any deviation
And I don't really care
If ya think I'm strange
I ain't gonna change
And I'm never gonna care
'bout my bad reputation

Oh no, not me
Oh no, not me

Pedal boys!

And I don't give a damn
'bout my reputation
The world's in trouble
There's no communication
And everyone can say
What they want to say
It never gets better anyway
So why should I care
'bout a bad reputation anyway
Oh no, not me
Oh no, not me

I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation
You're living in the past
It's a new generation
And I only feel good
When I got no pain
And that's how Im gonna stay
And I don't give a damn
'bout my bad reputation

Oh no, not me
Oh no, not
Not me, not me

All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun...Sheryl Crow at PNC Bank Arts Center Tomorrow Night....Tuesday, July 29th!

Hit it!
This ain't no disco
It ain't no country club either
This is L.A.!

"All I wanna do is have a little fun before I die,"
Says the man next to me out of nowhere
It's apropos of nothing
He says his name's William but I'm sure
He's Bill or Billy or Mac or Buddy
And he's plain ugly to me
And I wonder if he's ever had a day of fun in his whole life

We are drinking beer at noon on Tuesday
In a bar that faces a giant car wash
The good people of the world are washing their cars
On their lunch break, hosing and scrubbing
As best they can in skirts in suits
They drive their shiny Datsuns and Buicks
Back to the phone company, the record store too
Well, they're nothing like Billy and me, cause

All I wanna do is have some fun
I got a feeling I'm not the only one
All I wanna do is have some fun
I got a feeling I'm not the only one
All I wanna do is have some fun
Until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard

I like a good beer buzz early in the morning
And Billy likes to peel the labels
From his bottles of Bud
He shreds them on the bar
Then he lights every match in an oversized pack
Letting each one burn down to his thick fingers
Before blowing and cursing them out
And he's watching the bottles of Bud as they spin on the floor
And a happy couple enters the bar
Dangerously close to one another
The bartender looks up from his want ads but

All I wanna do is have some fun
I got a feeling I'm not the only one
All I wanna do is have some fun
I got a feeling I'm not the only one
All I wanna do is have some fun
Until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard

Otherwise the bar is ours,
The day and the night and the car wash too
The matches and the Buds and the clean and dirty cars
The sun and the moon but

All I wanna do is have some fun
I got a feeling I'm not the only one
All I wanna do is have some fun
I've got a feeling the party has just begun
All I wanna do is have some fun
I won't tell you that you're the only one
All I wanna do is have some fun
Until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard
Until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard

Hooray! Rex and the girls and I, and our friends Susan and Mike and their daughter, are off tomorrow night (Tuesday, July 29th) to have some fun. We're going to see Sheryl Crow at PNC Bank Arts Center. Seriously, all we're gonna do is have a lot of fun this week, with Sheryl Crow on Tuesday, dinner and a multi-desperate-family play date at Lynette & Tom's on Wednesday, Springsteen GNO on Thursday, and London and Maddie's big Annie's Playhouse performance on Friday night.

James Blunt is opening the show tomorrow night. Rex said "Who's he?" but I think he will recognize "You're Beautiful"...I'm not sure I could put together a list of popular James Blunt songs without help from Google or iTunes, but women seem to think he's hot.

I get him mixed up with John Mayer, but I guess I shouldn't hold my breath waiting to hear "Your Body Is A Wonderland"...

I also confuse James Blunt and John Mayer with Jason Mraz...on the "if it's too loud, you're too old" theme, I'm afraid that when all they hot young boyz start to look the same...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tales from the Crypt: Underworld Spy Roxy Brings You the Second Intriguing Installment of Instructions to the Double

In celebration of the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives 3rd Blogiversary coming up on August 5th, last weekend I posted the New York Times article and my first excerpt from Instructions to the Double, the blog that inspired Roxy to blog.

Now, on Friday night, here I am back at our beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey, in bed with my Instructions to the Double archives...since last weekend, I've three-hole punched them and fit them into a binder so the stacks of pages are no longer flapping in the sea breeze.

**NOTE TO "TESS": Hey, if you're reading this post and you'd rather I didn't dredge up your past by posting from my printouts of your blog archives, please shoot me an e-mail (Bree at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives dot com) or leave a comment here. As you can see if you follow the whole story here, I'm an admirer who's just wondering what happened to you after you took your blogging private**

Now, where did we leave off with our heroine? We had just reviewed her "Inexcusable Crush Post" about wanting to do "dirty dirty things" to Tucker Carlson. Moving on to the sleeping pills:

"As for the sleeping pills. Yep, I take them. But before any addicts come banging down my door looking for prescription Ambien or the like, again, I am sorry to disappoint you. I do take over the counter, Target brand sleep aids. I have a sleeping disorder that causes me to wake up repeatedly through the night due to fluxes in my body temperature. I basically deal with this by making sure I actually go to bed early so I will get enough sleep. I haven't had a cup of coffee in years, crack a window in the heart of winter, and blare an air conditioner in the summer. But sometimes, I take sleep aids as well, in case I need to ensure rest. Also, funny fact about me that I have blogged about, I can't even swallow pills. Yep, I have to crush them and put them in applesauce or pudding. So, imagine me, in my sweats, before bed, crushing sleep aids and putting them in pudding. It's a lot less glamorous, isn't it?

My Boyfriend once told me that I do touch my breasts when I read. I never realized this and I made an off comment about it on my blog. I mention it once and I think its odd she opens with it as if it was a defining characteristic.

Ms. Olen also says there are things on my blog she would rather not know. Um, then stop reading it. Very simple.

Instead of revealing me as an uncaring and insensitive woman, Ms. Olen actually reveals her own pathologies. In the next section where she talks about the "sexual shenanigans" of her former employees, she does so to appear "superior." I find this really disheartening considering she discusses an unplanned pregnancy and infidelity. Why are these very common, rather serious problems that women face, reduced to "shenanigans?" And why is she more comfortable when she can feel "superior?" Its a sad comment on who Ms. Olen is as a person.

And her essay only gets more insidious. I take serious issue with her accusations that I stay out too late, drink too much, and have "semi promiscuous couplingS."

One, on my blog I discuss drinking. I never say how much. I think strange readers who visit this page, who aren't personal friends who know me in the flesh, should know that I am about 5' 1" and weigh about 105 pounds. Two drinks and I am already tipsy. If you come to this blog looking for "and then I pounded 5 shots of tequila and drank half a bottle of wine" you won't find it. Sorry. I go out for drinks with friends, I often, though never daily, have a drink when I come home from work. That is pretty normal consumption. Two, she portrays me as a party girl who never stays home. Check for yourself. I blog about what TV I am watching so often that I must seem like the dorkiest 20 something in all of Brooklyn. Gilmore Girls, OC, and Reality Trash I Should Be Really Embarrassed to Watch. Absolutely. And three, the promiscuous sex part is so ridiculous. In fact during my 5-month employ at Ms. Olen's, I spent two and a half months celibate. Yep. Celibate. And I even blog about my reasons for being celibate, here. [Roxy interruptus: since all I have are Tessy's printed archives, I can't give you a link to click through and I'll have to keep reading on the beach to find you the specific post]

MMM? And then my blog documents the beginning of a monogamous relationship. However, in the early stages of my current relationship, I did sleep with a former boyfriend who came and visited me. I blogged about it. My Boyfriend was furious. It seriously tested our relationship. We survived. When I discussed her use of the word "promiscuous" with an editor at the New York Times, he said that one incident could be construed as "promiscuous." I countered; saying then that the plural should be removed. I may not be a "journalist" published in a national newspaper, but I am a fairly well educated woman about to pursue an advanced degree in literature and I know that the use of the plural suggests a pattern of behavior, a pattern of behavior that is not reflected on this blog. So, in case you were looking for a nanny who hits the bars to pick up men every night, again, sorry to disappoint you. I am in a monogamous relationship, so since January, and I am very very happy.

Oh, and the Jennifer Ehle comment? I make it in regards to her performance as Elizabeth Bennet in AE's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. See a theme developing? Are you shocked that I think an actress in 19th century garb is "hot?" It's supposed to be an ironic comment because everyone always talks about Colin Firth as the smoldering Darcy. I think Ms. Ehle does a fabulous job of showing how sensuality isn't about revealing a lot of skin or having gratuitous sex; it's about an energy she exudes under her very conservative costume. Still riveted?

Roxy's wrap-up:

That's all I have for you tonight, gentle readers. As I was posting this excerpt from "Tess," I had a few thoughts and questions I'd like to share with all of you:

With whom and how do you "share" your blog? Back in October 2004, Tess wrote: "So, I sent out a mass e-mail from my oversized address book to advertise my blog and the obligatory post of" As I've mentioned before, I tend to keep my "real life" and my "blog life" somewhat separate (yes, Henson, these are our real names). The real life Roxiticus Desperate Housewives rarely read my blog, but if they did, they wouldn't find anything I wouldn't tell them to their faces. I post a great deal about the goings on in the Roxiticus Valley and in our lives -- school events, concerts, what Rex cooked for dinner, where we shop -- but my goal here is community-oriented, helping other local moms find great Bernardsville and Mendham restaurants or toddler gymnastics classes. Tess' blog reads more like my hard-copy Roxiticus Desperate Memoir, most of which will never appear online.

Next, and I think this applies to Helaine Olen's article in the New York Times as well, Tess posted on October 27, 2004: "Are there ethical considerations when one blogs? I just read bitchphd's post about her relationship with her mother and it reveals a great deal to her readers about someone they do not know who will never be able to present her side of the issue to them. These sites started to interest me because of their level of personal detail, though the medium, a website of sorts, public, though I suppose self-selected, is very impersonal. I know when I started reading I felt like a voyeur (though that might have had more to do with the narcissistic semi-public masturbatory quality of the first blog I read). I mean, when you know people will be reading, when the blog is more than just a personal journal, what should you say or not say? I think this is more than a silly question of decorum. Though I think decorum is under valued." If only Helaine Olen had given her former nanny as much consideration before putting her out there in the New York Times with no chance to present her side of the story in a national newspaper. Of course, then I'd never have found Tess' blog, and Roxiticus Desperate Housewives probably wouldn't exist!

One last note before bedtime. Many of my readers have enjoyed these excerpts from Instructions to the Double so much that I've decided to try to find, with your help, excerpts from the archives of my favorite blogs and post them over on Roxiticus Best Blogs. So, if you'd like to nominate yourself or another deserving blogger, please leave a comment here or over on Roxiticus Best Blogs, linking to not just the blog itself but the post(s) that most intrigued you. Oh, and don't forget....start with "Once upon a time..."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Girls in Their Summer Clothes: Countdown to Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium

The Roxiticus Desperate Housewives are off for one last hurrah before Mary Alice heads off to the West Coast. Back before she even knew she'd be leaving us, Mary Alice bought four tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium on July 31st... so Lynette, Susan and I will join her for a Girl's Night Out next Thursday night. There's only room for four in my Jeep, but to get all of us in the mood, here's a YouTube video courtesy of Chris McCreath...

Well the street lights shine
Down on Blessing Avenue
Lovers they walk by
Holdin' hands two by two

A breeze crosses the porch
Bicycle spokes spin 'round
Jacket's on, I'm out the door
Tonight I'm gonna burn this town down

And the girls in their summer clothes
In the cool of the evening light
The girls in their summer clothes
Pass me by

Kid's rubber ball smacks
Off the gutter 'neath the lamp light
Big bank clock chimes
Off go the sleepy front porch lights

Downtown the store's alive
As the evening's underway
Things been a little tight
But I know they're gonna turn my way

And the girls in their summer clothes
In the cool of the evening light
The girls in their summer clothes
Pass me by

Frankie's Diner's
Over on the edge of town
Neon sign spinnin' round
Like a cross over the lost and found

Fluorescent lights
Flicker above Bob's Grill
Shaniqua brings a coffee and asks "fill?"
And says "penny for your thoughts now my poor Bill"

She went away
She cut me like a knife
Had a beautiful thing
Maybe you just saved my life

In just a glance
Down here on Magic Street
Love's a fool's dance
I ain't got much sense but I still got my feet

And the girls in their summer clothes
In the cool of the evening light
The girls in their summer clothes
Pass me by

Let's go, GNO!

The Votes (and Comments) Are In...Frogs DO NOT Make Good House Pets

First of all, I want to thank everyone who commented on my post, "Do Frogs Make Good Housepets?" Old friends and new visitors offered helpful advice, and with 17 comments, the froggy post made Roxiticus Desperate Housewives feel a little like good blogosphere buddy Mariuca, who enjoys triple-digit comments on every post.

Mariuca was also our first voter/commenter: "OMG, no froggies for me please. they're much too slimy for my taste!"

Next, LadyJava checked in: "Yikess Froggy!! I'm not a great fan Roxy.. in fact I think I'm quite scared of them..lolzz!"

New visitor Lindsay, a mom with 4 kids, said: "Oh wow. Kids like all kinds of things LOL."

SpicyBug, who just launched a new self-hosted version of SpicyBugz World, added: "I don't have the answers, I'm too busy laughing. Do frogs really give you warts if they pee on you? My mother used to say that but then she was full of "words of wisdon" that bs. Do frogs eat flies? At least your home will be fly free hahahahhaha."

First time commenter Mackey stopped by to say: "Hi there... I popped in from Spicy Bugz blog. My son brought some frogs home from the lake a few weeks ago.....thenI found out that they are actually endangered & protected! I won't rat you out if you don;t rat me out:)" Don't worry, Mackey, what happens with Roxy stays with Roxy...

The ever-hilarious Henson had London, Maddie and Roxy giggling over his comment: "Whatever you do, don't let your daughter kiss one. Lord knows you don't need some pompous, condescending Prince Charmless hanging out at your house all the time, demanding meat pies and yards of Mead."

Shelia, our favorite Black Tennis Pro, shared: "You know, I had a a couple of frogs when I was little, but I can't remember a thing about how they were cared for...probably why I remember them dying, LOL. London and I have one thing in common, allergies. I'm basically allergic to all of the things you mentioned and more. I have two beautiful aquariums of fish, they fit people like us. This is probably a good internet research project, or a pet store question. Good Luck!"

So far, so good for froggies. And then the bad news and serious advice started pouring in:

From Flower Girl Princess: "Frogs are not good for children. They carry salomonella. (Turtles as well because they live mostly in water.) A tortoise can be good. Land turtles stay dry and don't carry the same bacteria. They also live forever on little maintence. (I had one when I was 12) I know the turtle law is usually for animals under 3 inches in diameter because of cases of children swallowing them, but in most states you can find a 7 or 8 inch box turtle. :)"

Mrs. Mecomber agreed: "I was going to post the same thing as flower-girl-dresses, that frogs can salmonella, like lizards do. I grew up by a lake, had loads of toads, so the speak, as a girl. I don't recall ever keeping one in a tank (we couldn't have afforded a tank, anyway). Pet stores do sell little frogs. They are small and easy to care for, but they have a short "shelf-life," if you know what I mean. Fish are great,too. Or you can start your daughter on sea monkeys! lol! I have had them, and so did my son. They are high-maintenance, though. Didn't know that about turtles in New Jersey. I'm from New York, so you can already guess what I think of New Jersey. ;)"

Matt of Meltwater Torrents Meanderings Delta chimed in and made a good suggestion for an alternative pet: Frogs are amphibians, they need a lot of water, dry land as well, high humidity. They are NOT good pets. They're slimy, they carry disease, and some are poisonous. Toads aren't any petter, but if you kiss one, one might turn out to be a prince, I don't know. I would recommend Wikipedia on Frogs--there is a huge variety depending on the species, but I wouldn't buy anything from a petstore. They tend to have sickly creatures of all species. Good luck!

As for pets, did you see my post on Norway Maple Trees not too long back? Trees make great pets. Start them from seed. Give them potting soil, vermiculite, lots of water and sunlight and they'll grow big and strong, never complain, you can put them in your yard to shade your house and lower your energy bills, and they'll even out live you. If a big full-out tree is too much of a hassle, try bonsai maples...more work, but probably more rewarding--care for it like a child, it will care for you. ;)"

iPod battery took time out to share: "I really hate frogs,I dont like their irritating voice at all."

And last but not least, Anonymous posted: "They're good for dinner...."

When LadyJava came back this morning to ask, "So have you decided on Mr Kermit yet??" I realized that I had enough witty comments and good advice to create this new post. Rex, London and Maddie and I discussed the froggy situation last night, including all of your helpful input, and decided they are best left in their pond.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Do Frogs Make Good Housepets?

London, Maddie & I went to a good old fashioned backyard birthday party for an 8-year-old girl this evening, on the other side of Mendham Township, NJ. One of the huge draws for both the boys and the girls turned out to be catching frogs in the birthday girl's pond. I only half-jokingly said to the birthday mom, "Can I take one home?" My loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers know that my older daughter, London, is allergic to dogs, horses, and most anything with hair. Now, check out the picture...I don't see any hair...maybe a frog would be the right pet for my girls? I had considered a turtle, but apparently turtles are not something you can buy legally in a pet store, at least in New Jersey.

Seriously, folks, I don't know anything about taking care of frogs. Are they reptiles? Amphibians? Do I need to provide both water and dry land in a froggy habitat? I do have an empty five or ten gallon aquarium left over from a failed fish experience back in my wild single days. Could a frog -- or two -- be happy in the Roxiticus Valley?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The New York Times Article That Launched Roxiticus Desperate Housewives: "The New Nanny Diaries Are Online" by Helaine Olen

As part of my ongoing Roxiticus Desperate Housewives 3rd Blogiversary tribute to Instructions to the Double, the blog that inspired Roxy to blog, I'd like to present the July 17, 2005 Sunday New York Times article that started it all...

[image above by David Chelsea]

"Our former nanny, a 26-year-old former teacher with excellent references, liked to touch her breasts while reading The New Yorker and often woke her lovers in the night by biting them. She took sleeping pills, joked about offbeat erotic fantasies involving Tucker Carlson and determined she'd had more female sexual partners than her boyfriend.

How do I know these things? I read her blog.

She hadn't been with us long when we found out about her online diary. All she'd revealed previously about her private life were the bare-bones details of the occasional date or argument with her landlord and her hopes of attending graduate school in the fall.

Yet within two months of my starting to read her entries our entire relationship unraveled. Not only were there things I didn't want to know about the person who was watching my children, it turned out her online revelations brought feelings of mine to the surface I'd just as soon not have to face as well.

I hadn't exactly been a stranger to the sexual shenanigans of our previous baby sitters. One got pregnant accidentally by her longtime boyfriend and asked me for advice. Another was involved in a mostly off-again relationship with a fidelity-challenged college football player. Yet those were problems I could feel superior to and that made me grateful for the steady routine of marriage and children.

This was something else entirely.

It all began one day late last fall when we were tending to my toddler and she murmured to me: "I've started a blog. I'll give you the link."

I wrote the address in my appointment book but didn't rush off to my computer to look up her site. It wasn't until a month later, after she told me she'd post the Sharon Olds poem "Life With Sick Kids" on a day when both of the boys were ill, that I decided to be polite and take a look.

I read the poem, then I scrolled down to the next entry. And the next. Amid the musings on poetry and fanatical analysis of the "Gilmore Girls" was a sweet scene of sex with a new boyfriend, accounts of semi-promiscuous couplings and tales of too much drinking for my comfort.

My husband thought her writing precociously talented but wanted to fire her nonetheless. "This is inappropriate," he said. "We don't need to know that Jennifer Ehle makes her hot."

I defended her - at first. Didn't she have a right to free expression? It wasn't as though she was quaffing Scotch or bedding guys, or the occasional girl, while on the job. Besides, weren't all recent college graduates keeping Web logs?

But there was more to my advocacy. Suddenly, with her in my employ, I felt I was young and hip by proxy. I might be a boring mother of two, but my nanny, why, she dined in the hippest Williamsburg restaurants and rated the sexual energy of men and women she met. I was amused - and more than a bit envious.

I was about to turn 40. I'd been married almost 15 years. My ability to attend literary readings and art gallery openings was hampered by two children, and my party life was relegated to the toddler birthday circuit. I imagined the snoozefest that would ensue if I were to post:

Spent the morning at the Garfield Temple playroom. Tried to read Paul Krugman while other parents gave me dirty looks as my younger son attempted to filch their kids' dump trucks.

I told my friends about the blog, and even my childless acquaintances were riveted. They called, begging for more details. "Did she wear the rose negligee, the pink see-through slip or the purple Empire-waisted gown?" demanded one after perusing a post on the proper outfit for first-time sex. "She didn't say."

But I was not as comfortable with the situation as I pretended. The blog had brought odd similarities to the fore. I don't want to overstate the case: I was not bisexual, and I did not come from a strictly religious background, as my nanny did.

Yet we had enough in common - if I took her statements at face value - to make me uneasy. In my 20's I, too, felt passionately about 19th-century English literature but had long since let it go, barely able to concentrate on The New York Times, let alone Henry James. I, too, had an abortion back then. And trouble with depression? Check. Self-righteousness and inflated self-regard? Affirmative.

When our nanny asked permission to take her laptop to work so she could work on her graduate school applications while the baby napped, I said yes. Then I wondered if she was whiling away time with flirtatious e-mail messages - something she revealed on her blog she sometimes did. And when she came down with a stomach virus twice during a period when the rest of us were sick only once, I wondered about her confessions of boozy nights out followed by coming to work hungover. Paranoia, perhaps, but reading the blog seemed to encourage such thoughts.

Yet I did not confront her. In part I felt empathy and sadness for this younger version of myself. But I also feared she would judge my life and find it wanting.

As I read her words I was transported back to my own youth and those feelings of awkwardness, fear, false bravado and self-importance. I could have told her that I understood her life more than she realized, that I had not always been the boring hausfrau she must see. I could say that I, too, once stayed out late, drank too much and slept with the wrong people. I, too, once found my work obligations a tedious distraction from creative pursuits and thought myself superior to my surroundings, just as she appeared to.

Yet my awareness of this prior life and my knowledge that I'd outgrown it didn't spare me from feelings of intense doubt about my current life, times when I was convinced I'd made the wrong choices, days when my husband and I would spend hours tearing into each other over who should clean the tub after a child mistook it for the potty. On the other hand I also got to revel in days when I loved my life and children so much that it hurt.

But there was another element of her posts that unnerved me. Most parents don't like to think the person watching their children is there for a salary. We often build up a mythology of friendship with our nannies, pretending the nanny admires us and loves our children so much that she would continue to visit even without pay.

When our nanny referred to our house on her blog as work in a seemingly sarcastic fashion, she broke the covenant. The more she posted, the more life in our household deteriorated. It almost seemed that as she created the persona of a do-me feminist with an academic bent, it began to affect her performance. The woman who was loving if a bit strict toward the children became in our view short and impatient, slamming doors and bashing pans when my toddler wouldn't sleep and sighing heavily if asked to run an errand.

Instead of opening a dialogue, I monitored her online life almost obsessively. I would log on upstairs to see if she was simultaneously posting entries below me on her laptop while the baby was napping. Too often she was.

Looking at archived entries one afternoon, I read her reactions to an argument my husband and I had when she was in the house. "I heard a couple fighting within the confines of couples therapy-speak," she wrote. "I wanted to say, smack him, bite her."

It went on like that for three ghastly pages.

"I seethed," she added.

Well so did I. But mostly I felt hurt. My issues, my problems, my compromises, my entire being seemed to be viewed by her as so much waste.

Mortified into silence, I didn't tell my husband about the post. Nor could I tell her how disturbed the situation was becoming. I was beginning to realize either her employment or the blog would have to come to an end.

A few days later her anger boiled over. "I am having the type of workweek that makes me think being an evil corporate lawyer would be O.K.," she wrote. "Seriously. Contemplated sterilizing myself yesterday."

Whatever her reasons, whatever her frustrations, this was unacceptable. She had finally crossed my threshold of tolerance.

MY husband let her go the following Monday while my younger son and I were attending a Music for Aardvarks class. Even though she had posted entries about how discontented she was with our house and children and must have known there was a pretty good chance I'd read them, she appeared shocked. My husband didn't bring up the blog with her and instead cited other factors for her dismissal. He did not, he told me, care to find himself a character online.

She did not write that we had fired her. Instead she posted an entry about her "day of bad news," including a graduate school rejection, adding that her worst fears about other people were confirmed.

As for why she ever told me about her blog in the first place, I suppose I'll never know. Sometimes I suspect she was unhappy in my house and hoped our seemingly bourgeois souls would be so shocked we'd let her go, exactly as we did. Other times I believe she wanted me to assume a more maternal role, and I failed her. But perhaps that is self-aggrandizement.

I still read her blog, though not as frequently. Her life has settled down. She writes of domestic nights with her significant other and posts less often about coitus. (Well, O.K., they did have sex on the floor of his new abode, a Williamsburg loft.) She'll soon be leaving New York to attend graduate school. It's a life of passion and uncertainty, in which chance meetings can lead to the as-yet-unimagined.

In many ways it used to be my life. I miss it still. And I don't."

-- The New Nanny Diaries Are Online -- by Helaine Olen, The New York Times, July 17, 2005

While I frequently read the "Modern Love" article in the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times, I believe it was Rex who handed it to me and said "this looks like it would be right up your alley." It took me about three weeks to read the article, develop a reaction, write about it in my print journal, Google "Helaine Olen's nanny's blog," find Tess' 8-page blog post response: "Sorry to Disappoint You,"
("If you have come to this little blog today looking for prurient details of a "nanny gone wild" and another "nanny diary" detailing the sordid life of a family she works for, I am very sorry to disappoint you"), and decide to start my own personal blog. Along with most of Tess' posts from Fall 2004 through Summer 2005, the post has since been deleted and, as the sole keeper of the complete printed archives of Instructions to the Double, I will have to type it up and post it for you here. On August 5, 2005, Roxiticus Desperate Housewives was born with the following brief post:

I was inspired to start blogging by the recent unpleasant exchange between Helaine Olen and her former nanny, "Tessy." Helaine Olen's article "The New Nanny Diaries Are Online" appeared in the Styles section of the July 17 Sunday New York Times. Her former nanny, Tessy, countered with a well-written rebuttal (Instructions to the Double: Sorry to Disappoint You) blog for all of the NYTimes readers who came looking for nannies gone wild. As a full-time working mom who employs a nanny, I'm intrigued with both women's perspectives. And, irrespective of any unfortunate connection to Olen, Tessy's blogs are interesting.

Since last weekend, I've been reading my printed archives of Tess' Instructions to the Double on the beach as if it were a novel, perhaps another one of my shameful page-turners. I continue to marvel at how well-written and intriguing her blog is, compared to my chatty investment banker's "mommy blog" following the misadventures of the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives... and then I can relate to Helaine Olen's notional 40-something mommy blog post: "Spent the morning at the Garfield Temple playroom. Tried to read Paul Krugman while other parents gave me dirty looks as my younger son attempted to filch their kids' dump trucks."

One unique element of Tess's blog is that, unlike me and I believe unlike most of the other bloggers I follow, Tess' audience was made up of friends or people she knew in "real life," rather than "strangers" known only through the blogosphere. Perhaps it was her age, which I believe was mid-20s, just out of college, when she was blogging from Fall 2004-Summer 2005. Tess' "real-life" friends and lovers were also bloggers and they all read and commented on each other's blogs...but the huge difference is that in many cases they were reading about themselves! Which is what "got Tess in trouble" with her boss in the first place. Three years later, re-reading Tess' awe-inspiring blog, I certainly am closer to "taking Tess' side" than Helaine Olen's, but as a mother and an employer of nannies, even though I totally understand her urge to "do dirty dirty things to Tucker Carlson," I know that I'd rather not read the well-written sex and drinking and life blog posts of the women who are caring for my children.

It reminds me that I am intimidated, rather than inspired, by great writing, yet spurred on by good, solid "everyday bloggers." Since I started blogging in earnest back in February, instead of over-thinking every word of every post, striving for greatness, I think of my blog as "writing practice" (see Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones (Freeing the Writer Within)) and just let the words flow freely onto the page.

Thanks for reading...I hope you're enjoying the Road to the Roxiticus Desperate Blogiversary


Instructions to the Double "Sorry to Disappoint You" Part I...on Tucker Carlson

**NOTE TO "TESS": Hey, if you're reading this post and you'd rather I didn't dredge up your past by posting from my printouts of your blog archives, please shoot me an e-mail (Bree at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives dot com) or leave a comment here. As you can see if you follow the whole story here, I'm an admirer who's just wondering what happened to you after you took your blogging private**

As part of my ongoing Roxiticus Desperate Housewives 3rd Blogiversary tribute to Instructions to the Double, the blog that inspired Roxy to blog, I'd like to present "Sorry to Disappoint You," Tess' response to "The New Nanny Diaries Are Online" the July 17, 2005 Sunday New York Times article by Helaine Olen that started it all...

"If you have come to this little blog today looking for prurient details of a “nanny gone wild” and another “nanny diary” detailing the sordid life of a family she works for, I am very sorry to disappoint you. Contrary to an essay published in the Style section of the NYTIMES, I am not a pill popping alcoholic who has promiscuous sex and cares nothing for the children for whom she works with. Nope. If you look carefully through my archives, instead you will find a young woman in her mid-twenties who decided to work as a nanny for a year while she prepared to enter the next phase of her professional life; namely the life of an academic pursuing a PhD in English Literature specifically focusing on the Late Victorian novel. But for those of you who dont want to comb through the archives, I will offer a refutation of the salacious, malicious, and really quite silly essay written by Ms. Olen.

Ms. Olen opens her essay with eye-catching details designed to paint the picture of a prurient pill popper. She notes I mention biting my lovers, having sexual thoughts about Tucker Carlson, and taking sleeping pills. So, let's revisit those entries and see if they are really so titillating:"

Judge for's a Roxy Reprint, photo of Tucker Carlson courtesy of Roxy:

Inexcusable Crush Post -- October 16, 2004

"I didn't get a chance to read on Friday because I was enjoying my day in town and not latched onto my computer pretending to work on my statement of purpose (um...I like to read novels...Please pay me to read novels and then write something about how I like to read novels)....But this morning, post-shower, and still in my yellow towel, I visited the page and was treated to delightful links of Jon Stewart on CNN's Crossfire. Not having cable, I don't get to watch this "theater" of political debate. However, NBC's Chris Matthews show introduced me to the dorky and adorable conservative pundit Tucker Carlson and I am hooked. I wish I had cable because I love to watch this man pontificate. LOVE IT. Jon Stewart actually takes them to task

And he makes some good points. I listened and appreciated his good points. But then I started to think about all the dirty dirty things I want to do to Tucker Carlson.

Why Tucker Carlson? Its not just his boyish good looks or the attempt to be fashionably subversive with the ever present bow tie. Its not just the fact that he quickly gets hot under his striped collar. Its not just the fact that I strenuously disagree with everything he says. No, its all of it together.

Disagreement and Desire are intimately connected for me.

I blame my middle school librarian. I have stopped blaming my parents for my emotional wreckage and have moved on to far more influential figures: fifth grade best friend and my middle school librarian.

This well intentioned woman knew that I was somewhat precocious and in seventh grade she handed me a nicely worn copy of Pride and Prejudice. I read it in two days and was enthralled.

What was she thinking? This is a very serious book. Not a book for a child. No.

And ever since then, tension, disagreement, misunderstanding, disapproval, foolish summary dismissals, disdain, reproachful looks, false accusations, regret, and embarrassment constitute my idea of Romance.

A completely inappropriate intellectual competitive element heightens my sexual response.

What can this lead to?

Sure, it works out for Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy (Though even Elizabeth Bennet's story ends with marriage. Just early 19th century novelistic conention or something more?)

What can this lead to?

Inexcusable crushes on pseudo intellectual political conservatives. Maybe I should have just read Sweet Valley High like the other girls and saved Austen for college."

Back to the Future (July 16, 2005): "Sorry to Disappoint You" continued:

"Yes, I mention that I want to do "dirty dirty" things to Tucker Carlson. I don't offer details. So, I am assuming that Ms. Olen's imagination ran away with her and she decided that it was very sordid. But on a closer reading of this post you will find I use Tucker Carlson, a noted conservative pundit, as an example of how opposites attract. How intellectual tensions between two people can actually fuel romantic desire. And then I do something really deviant. I compare my crush on him to the romantic tensions in Jane Austen's famous Pride and Prejudice. Yep, my version of the erotic has more to do with long walks and serious conversations. Of course, Ms. Olen does not point that out in her essay. My interest in literature and how I weave it through more common daily reflections would probably detract from her intent to show me as an irresponsible party girl. But there it is, on the blog she so strenuously objects to."

-- from Instructions to the Double, "Sorry to Disappoint You" posted by "Tessy" on July 16, 2005 --

To be continued...

Thanks for reading!


Roxy's Bills IQ....Improving, But Still Definitely Lower Than My Real IQ


While my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers may know that Rex cooks almost all of the meals for our family, something you may not know is that Roxy takes care of the bills. Both of us bring home the bacon, Rex fries it up in the pan, and along with never ever ever letting him forget he's a man, I am the one who maintains the family budget and pays the bills online

My parents, who made it through the hard times and neighborhood foreclosures of the Great Depression (just like Kit Kittredge!) through good old fashioned hard work, lived through the 1930s debt relief of FDR's New Deal, and instilled in me a hardscrabble approach to saving money. No matter how much money I earn, or how much the other Roxiticus Desperate Housewives might laugh, I will continue to clip coupons, use online coupon codes, and watch for sales at our favorite stores, encouraging the rest of my family to do the same. I consolidate debt in order to take advantage of the lowest interest rates on credit cards, and use those "magic checks" that come in the mail to find low rates on large balances until the balance is paid off. Then, to be sure to make my payments on time, I keep a spreadsheet of credit card balances, due dates, and records of my payments on each card.

While I believe I've done a terrific job of managing our Debt consolidation and don't need any debt help, there's a web site called BillsIQ that helps users to gain a better understanding of overall financial health and ways to improve your financial score. I've made enough mistakes, including stubborn battles over bills with Comcast and PSE&G, that my credit rating isn't where it should be, so I'm going to check out Bills IQ and see what kind of advice they have for a sinner like me.

Sponsored by

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday Night Good Cheer: Roxy's Got Her Own Brand of Beer! Thanks, Magic Hat!

I was just making my rounds of the blogosphere, thinking about LadyJava's slogan maker and that "Make it a Mariuca night" has a great ring to it, wishing there was a perfect slogan for Roxy... So I Googled "Roxy," to not much avail, but when I Googled "Roxy Mendham" up popped Magic Hat's winter seasonal ale, Roxy Rolles: a wintry amber ode to the open road, Magic Hat's wintry amber ramble of sweet carmelized malt and spicy hops is for those who make their own roads. Dry hopped with simcoe hops.

What's that? I do believe that's Roxy on her motorcycle right there on the bottle!

Lucky for Rex, who is sleeping soundly next to me, Roxy Rolles is a winter seasonal, so, as much as I'd like to rush right out to the local Bay Head, NJ liquor store and pick up a case, I can't...sweet dreams, Rex, we'll stick to Blue Moon Honeymoon for the rest of the summer.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Shot Thru the Heart, and You're to Blame, You Give [Customer] Love a Bad Name...Disenchanted with SocialSpark

An angel's smile is what you sell
You promise me heaven, then put me through hell
Chains of love got a hold on me
When passion's a prison, you can't break free

You're a loaded gun
There's nowhere to run
No one can save me
The damage is done

Shot through the heart
And you're to blame
You give love a bad name
I play my part and you play your game
You give love a bad name
You give love a bad name

Paint your smile on your lips
Blood red nails on your fingertips
A school boy's dream, you act so shy
Your very first kiss was your first kiss goodbye...

Since I graduated from high school almost 25 years ago, I've tried not to go back to that time of social cliques full of mean girls, and arbitrary rules imposed by school administrators. In June 1984, I delivered my valedictory address, incorporating quotes from Bruce Springsteen and Howard Jones, and moved on to college, a career, and business school, never agreeing with the notion that my high school years were "the best years of my life" and never anticipating that my "real life" would ever resemble high school.

Perhaps it shouldn't surprise me that I've turned out to be remarkably thin-skinned about the social aspects of the blogosphere. As many of my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers know, I started this blog in August 2005, but left the blogosphere for more than two years after only a couple of months and a handful of posts, due to an ugly exchange with another not-so-nice housewife. Upon my return to blogging in February 2008, I developed a set of terrific blogosphere buddies through BlogExplosion and EntreCard...we visit each other's blogs almost every day, leaving relevant and non-relevant comments, and generally supporting an atmosphere of cameraderie.

In April 2008, I joined SocialSpark, became a highly enthusiastic supporter, and encouraged all of you to join, so that we'd have one more way to connect. Over a three month period, I've made 4,118 new friends, and earned 1,005 "props" -- the SocialSpark blogger recognition of "I like your what you're doing, I enjoy reading your blogs." Yesterday, I saw all of my SocialSpark efforts burn up like paper in fire (sorry, recent John Cougar Mellencamp concert still playing in my head) when Ted Murphy, the CEO of IZEA, posted his decision to "zero out all props" on the IZEA blog (trackback: ):

"The only fair way to do this in our minds is to zero out all props and comments relating to props for everyone. If we don't do so the users who have utilized this method of building props will be at the top of the list for the foreseeable future, creating an unfair advantage the can't be taken away."

On July 17, 2008 at 1:14pm, Ted posted:

Before implementing such a drastic measure I would like to hear from the community as to why we should or shouldn't do this. I am sure I will hear a good bit from the people using this method, but my real hope is that we hear from the community at large.

Ted's loyal posties lined up behind him like a teenage lynch mob, quickly agreeing that it was wrong for bloggers to market their blogs by inviting others to visit and leave props.

Having given all of us ample time to drop our investment banking work or mothering or blogging and other activities in order to provide feedback, three hours later at 4:15pm, Ted posted:

Props have officially been reset. Thanks for all the feedback.

My new friend Shelly, aka The Mom with Brownies, who also happens to be my EntreCard advertiser today (please hop over to her blog and drop it like its hot!), left the following comment for Ted:

You will get a lot of support for this move Ted. You will get a lot of support form MOST of the members I imagine because most people do not have a huge number of props. You will have a handful of bloggers who will be upset because they worked to gain friends and props. That handful of bloggers will be upset but that will be fine because there are only a handful of them and what harm could they do to a large social network like IZEA?

I am one who did NOT leave comments on profiles or blog profiles to gain props. I am one who sent in a ticket asking the protocol before I decided to run with my personal emails and friend making social networking on Social Spark. I am one who was told to go for it by the Social Spark team. I still have the ticket.

I got the green light and spend hours, days and weeks making friends and helping new bloggers who friended me. I am one who used the "Social" system to make friends and share props as we shared ideas and comments on one another's blogs.

I am one who made a SocialSpark blogroll on her blog to promote this Social Network. I am one who helped the bloggers who are just beginning to get their feet wet in the blogging circles, by emailing back and forth helping them to get their ITK installed and blogrolls started. I am one whow worked to prop ALL of the friends I made. I am one who put in HOURS upon HOURS of work into this exciting Social Network. I am one who sent personal emails to each of my new friends offering help and giving MUCH of my time to help EVERYONE who asked for it.

I am one who worked hard for the props I got. I got Spanked Hard on this one. I feel very disheartened that this has occured, I am very sad and upset. But I'm only one voice.
But, I am only one. I was number one, But ONLY one. I will not get all of that work back. I will not get my props back. I will not be able to have my voice heard because it is "not personal." I am just one blogger, who had faith in the system, spent her time building the props, friends and contacts to gain some sort of support and was dropped flat down the list like I'm a nobody who did nothing more than just join.

But, it's "not personal" and I'm only one voice. My lost time and efforts are in vain.

I seconded Shelly's motion with the following comment:

I agree with Shelly. We worked hard to get our PROPS...I had 1,005 before the re-set. Over a three month period, I sent out well over that number of PERSONALIZED e-mails via the SocialSpark system, detailing what I was up to on my Roxiticus Desperate Housewives blog and Bay Head Blog on the day each email was sent and inviting people to check it out, and prop me "IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE." Not an illiterate "I prop u u got prop 4 me?" I also visited each blogger's profile and blogs, propping where appropriate and dropping and/or alerting if the content was inappropriate.

Further, if anyone thought my SocialSpark e-mail was spam, why would they have propped me??!! When spam makes it through my spam filter, I delete it. I don't do what the spammer asks, I don't buy the penis enhancement equipment or send my bank account numbers to my long lost cousin in jail in Africa! If 1,005 bloggers/advertisers took the trouble to visit my SocialSpark profile and prop my blog, who are you to tell them and me that the first time didn't count?

Shelly (Mom with Brownies) and I spent hours, days, and weeks of our valuable time marketing our blogs through the SocialSpark system, focusing on the big picture of making it to the top ranks and believing our efforts would pay off in the long run. We welcomed newcomers to the system, and gave help when possible to those unable to reach Customer Love in a timely fashion. And this is the thanks we get?

If you're up for additional discussion of the SocialSpark situation, I see that Shelly has posted Ted Murphy's response to her on her blog, The Mom With Brownies.

Going forward, I haven't made a decision on what to do about SocialSpark. When I made the decision to invest the time and effort into developing a high profile on SocialSpark, I had believed that SocialSpark represented a terrific marketing tool for my blog and a platform for launching my new WordPress MU community. Right now, I feel betrayed.

For those of you who took the time to read through this post and listen to my rant, I appreciate it. Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment here.

Thanks again!

8th Annual Car Show in Chester, New Jersey Coming This Sunday, July 20th

This Sunday, July 20th from 10am to 4:00pm, over 200 exotic, custom and muscle cars will line the streets of downtown Chester, NJ. The 8th annual car show is presented by the Historic Chester Business Association and sponsored by Vulcan Motor Club of Chester. While the weather looks like it will be sunny on Sunday, the rain date is Sunday, August 27th.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Morris County 4-H Fair at Chubb Park in Chester, New Jersey -- Friday, July 25 Through Sunday, July 27, 2008

Continuing the Roxiticus Desperate family tradition that started with their mom's 4-H Prep Club, the Branchburg Beavers, London and Maddie participate in Somerset County 4-H and their 4-H Prep Club, the Crazy Clovers, will be exhibiting at the Somerset County 4-H Fair in mid-August.

We also wanted to give you the scoop on 4-H in Morris County, including the upcoming 4-H Fair right here in the Roxiticus Valley...the 38th Annual Morris County 4-H Fair opens at the Fairgrounds at Chubb Park in Chester on Friday, July 25th at 9:30 A.M. and runs till 9:30 P.M. on Sunday, July 27th.

Changing family lifestyles over the past 30 years have modified the Morris County 4-H Fair, but it still keeps its county-fair atmosphere. Now that Morris County is no longer primarily an agricultural community, 4-H Fair activities encourage children and adults to link with the past through hands-on activities that are fun and educational. The “Farmer for a Day” activity, located in the Petting Barn, gives children the hands-on experience of picking apples, collecting eggs and digging for potatoes. Fair-goers may also pet a calf, sheep and goat after exploring the hay maze. The Petting Barn also hosts the Herpetology Exhibit and Show, and Master Gardeners from Rutgers Cooperative Extension will be on hand to answer homeowners' gardening questions.

Morris County 4-H invites you to come and enjoy the fun and the food, particularly the 4-H Chicken BBQ and Kids Meal prepared for you by Morris County 4-H volunteers. Other community organizations will be selling hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage and peppers, cheese steaks, pizza, funnel caked, and delicious home-made cookies.

Unlike the free Somerset County 4-H Fair, the Morris County 4-H Fair includes amusement rides, open all weekend from 9:30 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. on Friday and Saturday and from 9:30 A.M. till 4:00 P.M. on Sunday. On Friday only, fair-goers can participate in a special Pay-One Price deal: from 10 A.M. to 12 noon on Friday, there will be a special $8 Pay-One-Price offer for Kiddie Rides, followed later on by a special $20 Pay-One-Price deal from 6:00 P.M. till 10:00 P.M. The afternoon Pay-One-Price ride tickets are scheduled to go on sale at the amusement ride ticket booth at 5:00 P.M. on Friday.

All three days of the Morris County 4-H Fair offer exciting events. Each day the Entertainment Tent, Coffeehouse and Fun Station are loaded with great music groups and interactive entertainment. Those who are interested in interacting with a pony may ride one throughout the weekend at the Pony Rides. Visitors are welcome to hop on over to the Small Animal Tent and pet the many rabbits, baby chicks, and other small animals while listening to the presentation on Rabbit, Cavy and Small Animal Care. Stick around a while and see a goat milking demonstration just inside of the Small Animal Tent. Don’t forget to shop at the Children’s Country Store for plants, second hand games, toys and books. There is so much to do at the Morris County 4-H Fair!

The Somerset County 4-H Fair is Coming! August 13, 14, and 15, 2008

August 13-14-15, 2008
North Branch Park, Milltown Road, Bridgewater, N.J.

What began as a dairy show in a farm field has become one of the marquee events on the Somerset County cultural calendar and the premier free fair in New Jersey...

I have been going to the Somerset County 4-H Fair for over 35 years, since before I was even old enough to be a 4-H Prep Club member. Despite the fact that we live in Morris County, as soon as London was old enough to join last September, I started taking her over to the Prep Club meetings at the Ted Blum 4-H Center in Bridgewater, NJ (Somerset County, about five minutes from the house I grew up in). After London's first year in the Crazy Clovers Prep Club, with Maddie participating as a "tag-along" and planning to join the club in September, our family continues to believe that Somerset County 4-H is the best 4-H experience in the surrounding area.

The Somerset County 4-H Fair, rather than going commercial with rides and games, focuses on the kids and their achievements. Our whole family loves to see the dogs, cows, sheep, rabbits, goats, horses and alpaca. In the chicken tent, there's always an incubator full of eggs with chicks being hatched before your eyes. This year, I'll commit to bringing my new Canon EOS Rebel XSi and sharing lots of animal photos here.

This year's Somerset County 4-H Fair promises to be bigger and better than ever, attracting tens of thousands of visitors with its wholesome mix of arts, entertainment, agriculture, animals, science, food, fellowship and just plain fun.

The 2008 Somerset County, NJ 4-H Fair runs Wednesday, August 13th through Friday, August 15th. 10am-10pm all days. Don't worry, we'll be reminding you here at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives a few more times over the next four weeks. And late in the afternoon of Wednesday, August 13th, you can look for London, Maddie and me in the 4-H Prep Club Cotton Candy Tent!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives Super-Celebration: 25,000th Visitor, 475th Post, Plus a Truckload of Awards

Whew...Visitor #25,000 snuck right past me this afternoon! He or she came in via BlogExplosion to vote on my current Battle of the Blogs against Casual Slack (quality nonsense, served up fresh -- daily). Visitor #25,000 came from Paris, Ile-de-France and only stayed long enough to vote. Come back and comment, Visitor #25,000! Let us know whether you voted for Roxiticus Desperate Housewives! Since I lost that battle (9-6), I'm going to guess "NO."

Underworld Spy Roxy's Suspicion: My powers of deduction are telling me that the 25,000th visitor to Roxiticus Desperate Housewives was my current Battle of the Blogs competitor, Kittie of What's New Pussycat.

I'd like to take this opportunity to celebrate a couple of Roxiticus Desperate Milestones and to accept a truckload of awards!

First, a very special award from my good blogosphere buddy, Cindi, who has presented Roxiticus Desperate Housewives with Moomette's Best WAHM Site, an award for Super WAHM-owned websites. While Rex and I own a small investment bank with an office in New York City, we frequently work from home, and I almost always blog from home, so I'm happy to qualify and honored to accept this tremendous award. Thanks, Cindi! One of Cindi's blogs, Moomettesgram's Musings, is going to be watching over Roxiticus Desperate Housewives from my EntreCard widget on Saturday, July 19th, so be sure to drop it like its hot and click through to Moomette!

Next, I have borrowed LadyJava's awards lorry to transport all of the awards that LJ and Mariuca shared with me all the way from Malaysia to the Roxiticus Valley! On the truck, you'll see:

  • The Arte y Pico Award;
  • The Share the Love Award;
  • The You Cheer Me Up Award for bloggers who cheer their readers up by making them laugh or feel good in their own special way;
  • The Perfect Blend of Friendship Award; and
  • The Cool Cat (aaaahchooo!) Award, among others.

Last, but not least, I'd like to thank all of you for visiting and reading, and to let you know that this is Post #475 on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, and we're showing no signs of stopping. For the next three weeks, we're leading up to our Third Blogiversary Celebration on Tuesday, August 5, 2008, possibly to be combined with Post #500 and the grand unveiling of a brand new WordPress MU Community by Roxy...

Raise a glass!