Monday, August 31, 2009

Music Monday Theme: Lookin' Back with Brad Paisley's "Letter to Me"

Down at our beach house in Bay Head, NJ, this past week, I overheard a tearful argument between a neighbor and her fifteen-year-old son. I'm thankful that I still have many years of what Rex calls "the great run from five to twelve" before my girls reach their teenage years. The emotion and sympathy for my neighbors' (both mother and son) experience, combined with my nostalgia over creating slide shows out of only the past four months of London and Maddie's photos, inspired this week's Music Monday theme, here at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and over on Roxy's Bay Head Blog: "Looking Back," specifically to the teenage years.

Although the official Brad Paisley music video on YouTube had embedding disabled by request, I found the following "Letter to Me" video, created by a fan, to be even better. Even though I get all teary-eyed from the song about a letter to the singer's 17-year-old self, if I could write a letter to myself at any age, it would probably be to my 25-year-old self to hang in there through the years of solitude and bad dates, to let me know that Rex and London and Maddie were in my future.

No matter whether I wrote to my teenage self or my 25-year-old self, there are a few things I wish I could tell my younger self that would prevent so much heartache in the past. Not counter to the message of "The Dance," in which "I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance." But I think of all the times I cried over (or worse, in front of) a man or a boy, and how damaging it was... to myself (and self-esteem and productivity) and to the relationship. If only I could prevent my daughters from crying even some fraction of those tears, feeling that heartache. But no one ever listens to their mother, and we all have to learn from our mistakes.

If I could write a letter to me
And send it back in time to myself at 17
First I'd prove it's me by saying look under your bed
There's a Skoal can and a Playboy no one else would know you hid
And then I'd say I know it's tough
When you break up after seven months
And yeah I know you really liked her and it just don't seem fair
All I can say is pain like that is fast and it's rare

And oh you got so much going for you going right
But I know at 17 it's hard to see past Friday night
She wasn't right for you
And still you feel like there's a knife sticking out of your back
And you're wondering if you'll survive
You'll make it through this and you'll see
You're still around to write this letter to me

At the stop sign at Tomlinson and Eighth
Always stop completely don't just tap your breaks
And when you get a date with Bridgett make sure the tank is full
On second thought forget it that one turns out kinda cool
Each and every time you have a fight
Just assume you're wrong and dad is right
And you should really thank Mrs. Brinkman
She spent so much extra time
It's like she sees the diamond underneath
And she's polishin' you 'til you shine

And oh you got so much going for you going right
But I know at 17 it's hard to see past Friday night
Tonight's the bonfire rally
But you're staying home instead because if you fail Algebra
Mom and dad will kill you dead
Trust me you'll squeak by and get a C
And you're still around to write this letter to me

You've got so much up ahead
You'll make new friends
You should see your kids and wife
And I'd end by saying have no fear
These are nowhere near the best years of your life

I guess I'll see you in the mirror
When you're a grown man
P.S. go hug Aunt Rita every chance you can

And oh you got so much going for you going right
But I know at 17 it's hard to see past Friday night
I wish you'd study Spanish
I wish you'd take a typing class
I wish you wouldn't worry, let it be
I'd say have a little faith and you'll see

If I could write a letter to me
To me

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

NJ Governor's Race: Pot vs. Kettle Behind the Wheel

This just in from Roxy's Ridiculous Newsroom... since my blog is devoted to all things Roxiticus -- or the Greater Roxiticus Valley, including Mendham, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack-Gladstone, Morris County and Somerset County, New Jersey -- I have a Google alert set up for the word "Mendham," and now that our neighbor, Chris Christie, is running for Governor, there's always some tidbit arriving in my e-mailbox. Today, the Daily Record reports:

Governor Jon S. Corzine's spokeswoman blasted Chris Christie today as "a complete menace to society on the highways of New Jersey" following disclosures about a spate of moving violations issued to the Republican gubernatorial candidate over the past quarter-century — including two in Morris County.

The Daily Record didn't go on to say, but I will, that if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what qualifies....Rex, London, and Maddie have grown accustomed to my (Republican? Non-partisan?) catcalls of "I'll get out of your way, Governor" when a car or SUV passes us going 90 mph or more on the Garden State Parkway, driven by a dimwit with a car full of unbuckled passengers.

For those of you who were living in a cave with no TV or Internet access at the time, I'll mention here Governor Corzine's April 2007 accident, hailed by Fortune magazine as "what not to do in a car":

Fact Number One: Why was Corzine thrown around the inside of the vehicle? Simple - he wasn't wearing a seat belt. "It was not his habit," said a former aide, Scott Kisch, to Newsday. Kisch was Corzine's driver when he served in the U.S. Senate. "You had to tell him if you wanted him to wear it. I gave up early on." Not wearing a seat belt happens to be a violation of New Jersey state law. It is also beyond stupid. I won't drive down my driveway to the mailbox without buckling up.

Fact Number Two: Corzine was going too fast - way too fast. When originally questioned about the accident, Corzine's driver, a state trooper, had told investigators he didn't know how fast he was driving. A state police official added that speed was "not a factor" in the accident. But a crash data recorder in the Suburban told another story. It turns out that Corzine was leading a two-car caravan with emergency lights flashing that was going down the road at 91 miles per hour. The speed limit on the parkway is 65 mph. Where's the fire? If you or I had been pulled over by a trooper going 91 mph it is hard to imagine what a reasonable answer would be to the question, "Where are you going in such a hurry?" Turns out Corzine didn't have one either. He was heading to a meeting between disgraced radio host Don Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team. Important? Yes. Worth endangering your life for? Probably not. In fact, if Corzine had been traveling at a mere 60 mph, he would have had so much time that he would have beaten the basketball players there.

Fact Number Three: The state police driver had been involved in four - count 'em, four - previous accidents, two while on duty. One hopes that Corzine selects better-qualified people for other state jobs.

Fact Number Four: Police caught up with the driver of that red pickup they said caused the accident. But it turns out he wasn't responsible. He had pulled over the side of the road to make way for Corzine's motorcade, its lights blaring. When he swerved back on the road, another pickup truck behind him swerved to avoid hitting him, and collided with the Suburban. The driver of the second truck wasn't to blame, either.

Concluded the New York Times, from which much of this account was gleaned: "It now seems clear that Mr. Corzine's own vehicle was responsible for the crash."

Here's more of the "hard news" about Chris Christie to accompany Roxy's chortles and sarcasm: "Between 1985 and 2009, Christie was found guilty on 13 tickets, including seven for speeding, according to records provided by the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. MVC records on Democrat Corzine date to 1992 and show two tickets for speeding and a third for failing to use his seat belt in 2007 following a near-fatal crash in which he was riding in the front passenger seat.

"Jon Corzine, like most drivers, has had an occasional infraction, and he paid the ticket,' said Lis Smith, spokeswoman for his campaign."
Clearly an upstanding member of the driving community and a role model for today's new teenage drivers. "Chris Christie, on the other hand, has been a habitual offender and a complete menace to society on the highways of New Jersey. Every day it becomes more evident that Christie has always had one set of rules for himself, and another for everyone else," Smith said.

A phone call to the Christie campaign was not immediately returned today. Christie is a Mendham Township resident, former U.S. Attorney and former county freeholder.
When we first moved to the Roxiticus Valley in 2003, London and Maddie's nanny was friends with the Christies' nanny and the kids all played together. In retrospect, I should probably be thankful that Chris Christie was too busy working to be driving the kiddies around at high speed on the curvy backroads of Mendham Township.

Christie's driving history came under scrutiny upon the disclosure that, while U.S. Attorney, he was ticketed in Lambertville in 2005 for speeding and driving an unlicensed and uninsured vehicle. Christie ended up pleading guilty to a reduced charge of unsafe operation of a motor vehicle and paid a $250 fine. All seven speeding tickets paid by Christie were issued in the years prior to him becoming a U.S. Attorney in 2001. In 1986, Christie received two speeding tickets six days apart, in Summit and West Amwell. Though his driving record currently shows no points, between 1985 and 2000 Christie was found guilty on 10 tickets totaling 25 points on his license according to MVC records. Periodic safe driving credits enabled him to clear his record. "He is a driver in good standing," MVC spokesman Mike Horan said. Two tickets were issued in Morris County, where Christie was a freeholder from 1995 to 1997. In February 1998, Christie received a two-point speeding ticket in Harding for driving 44 mph in a 30 mph zone. In 2000, Christie was cited for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle in Morris Township, a no-point offense. In Southampton Township in 2006, Christie was cited for obstructing passage of another vehicle, an offense which carried a fine but no license points, Horan said.

Christie had resigned as top prosecutor and launched his campaign for governor when he was ticketed in Morristown last January for failing to wear his seat belt. Additional details on that traffic stop were not immediately provided today by Morristown police.

Additionally, Christie was involved in six motor vehicle accidents between 1989 and 2007, the last being in Netcong, but was not ticketed in connection with any of the accidents according to MVC.

Driving records on Corzine date only to 1992, seven years fewer than those found for Christie, for reasons not clarified by MVC. During that time, Corzine either pled or was found guilty on two tickets totaling six points, both for speeding. One was in New York City and the second was a 4-point speeding violation for driving 56 mph in a 35 mph zone in Morristown in 2000, during his successful run for a U.S. Senate
. I guess being the dimwitted unbuckled passenger, in a 91 mph collision, urging one's driver to hurry up, doesn't count.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Photographs and Kerosene... Or Music

Who can tell me where I found this lyric?

Photographs and kerosene light up my darkness
Light it up, light it up

If I were a more outgoing type of blogger, I'd offer the first one who guesses some EntreCard credits or some other exciting prize... but I'm not, so your prize will be the pride of being the first commenter with the right answer.

We have our winner! It was Mary, who remembered Rod Stewart's "Rhythm of My Heart." The rest of the lyrics appear below:

Across the street the river runs.
Down in the guter life is slipping away.
Let me still exist in another place,
Running down under cover
Of a helicopter blade.

The flames are getting higher
In effigy.
Burning down the bridges of my memory.
Love may still alive
somewhere someday
where they're downing only deer
a hundred steel towns away.

Oh, rhythm of my heart
is beating like a drum
with the words "I Love you"
rolling off my tongue.
No never will I roam,
for I know my place is home.
Where the ocean meets the sky,
I'll be sailing.

Photographs and kerosene
light up my darkness,
light it up,
light it up.
I can still feel the touch
of your thin blue jeans.
Running down the alley,
I've got my eyes all over you, baby.
Oh, baby.

Oh, the rhythm of my heart
is beating like a drum
with the words "I Love you"
rolling off my tongue.
No never will I roam,
for I know my place is home.
Where the ocean meets the sky,
I'll be sailing.

Oh, yeah.

Oh, I've got lightning in my veins,
shifting like the handle
of a slot machine.
Love may still exist
in another place.
I'm just yanking back the handle,
no expression on my face.

Oh, the rhythm of my heart
is beating like a drum
with the words "I Love you"
rolling off my tongue.
No never will I roam,
for I know my place is home.
Where the ocean meets the sky,
I'll be sailing.

Oh, the rhythm of my heart
is beating like a drum
with the words "I Love you"
rolling off my tongue.
No never will I roam,
for I know my place is home.
Where the ocean meets the sky,
I'll be sailing.

The rhythm of my heart
is beating like a drum
with the words "I Love you" rolling off my tongue.
No never will I roam,
for I know my place is home.
Where the ocean meets the sky,
I'll be sailing

We're down at our beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey, and I've been getting through some paperwork and uploading the last four months of photos (almost 2,000 shots) to London and Maddie's iMac: Maddie's first grade class trip to the Bronx Zoo, London's second grade class fossil hunt, a farewell party at Ralston Playground for London's teacher, painting flags with Kate Leigh Cutler on Memorial Day Weekend, the girls' Garden State Ballet recital, our annual Roxiticus Sunset Party, playing in the ocean on our Fourth of July vacation week, the Big Show for Annie's Playhouse at the end of summer camp, cotton candy at the 4-H Fair, Hurricane Bill's big surf this past weeken on Mount Street Beach in Bay Head, NJ...

Whenever I put music to an iPhoto slide show, like kerosene, the music lights it up... it both brings the pictures to life and takes me back to the experience with that weepy feeling of nostalgia... today I started Maddie's Bronx Zoo trip with "We Go Together" (from Grease) and "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green, mixed in some Air Supply ("Lost in Love"), Alan Jackson's "Remember When," Abba's "Knowing Me, Knowing You," and "Breathe (2AM)" by Anna Nalick. Unlike kerosene, the music leaves those photographs and memories intact to take me back another time.

"Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now lookn' back it's just a steppin' stone
To where we are,
Where we've been
Said we'd do it all again
Remember when
Remember when we said when we turned gray
When the children grow up and move away
We won't be sad, we'll be glad
For all the life we've had
And we'll remember when"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's Your Take On EntreCard?

Yesterday I received an email from the [new] folks over at EntreCard, filling me in on yet another change to the system. I have to confess that since I started a new job in February, I haven't had much time to spend in the blogosphere, and the time I do have is devoted to trying to create quality content posts and to visiting and catching up on my favorite blogs. EntreCard continues to play a role in my blog visits, as I find it a handy form of bookmarking and keeping track of who's "dropped in" to visit me. I've noticed that some of my favorite blogs have dropped out of the EntreCard system with each new set of changes and disputes, and I'm wondering how the loyal users think about EntreCard today. Leave a comment to let me know if you're still using EntreCard, how you use it, and what other tools (e.g., BlogExplosion) you're using to drive traffic to your own blog and to find interesting new blogs to read.

Hi everyone,
We hope that you have been pleased with Entrecard’s progress. The management team has been working hard to improve Entrecard and we thank you for your patience.
We have noticed that the total number of Entrecard credits in the system has grown rapidly. This has been due to the fact that more credits are being created than credits are leaving the system. If this inflation continues, Entrecard credits will be worth less and less. To ensure a stable credit economy and reduce the outstanding credits, Entrecard will no longer give Entrecard credits to the person receiving a drop. In other words, instead of awarding 2 credits for each drop (one to the dropper and one to the blog site owner), only 1 credit will be given to the dropper. This change will be effective September 1, 2009 and will last until further notice.

We have explored many other options to deflate the credit economy and we have found this route to be the easiest and fairest way to resolve the problem for the time being. While this may seem like a set back, it has its advantages. In the long run, the prices to advertise on blogs will decline making advertising more affordable.

While we recognize your concerns, please understand that it is one of our goals to have a healthy Entrecard credit economy. This is a huge change we're making and we will continue to monitor the credit economy. We will continue to make changes as necessary to accommodate a healthy Entrecard economy. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Cindy Ung
Director of Business Development

Dear EntreCard,

I truly don't have time to worry about the EntreCard "economy" (isn't the real economy stressful enough??!!). Hope things work out for you.

All the best,

You Know You're A Roughneck If...

Six sure signs that you or someone you know is a roughneck:

  1. You take your dog for a walk and you both use the same tree
  2. You burn your yard rather than mow it
  3. You think the Nutcracker is something you use on walnuts
  4. You come back from the dump with more than you took
  5. You offer to give someone the shirt off your back and they don't want it
  6. You tune in to truTV BLACK GOLD every Wednesday night at 1opm Eastern, 9pm Central time

Jackie aka Shinade stopped by the other day to tell me she's a big fan of Real Life TV shows like Ice Road Truckers and the truTV BLACK GOLD characters, who epitomize roughneck culture...even though we've become great blogosphere buddies, there's apparently a lot I don't know about Jackie... I didn't recognize that signs that she was a roughneck, and I didn't know what a hot mama she was back in the 80s! Over on Roxy's Bay Head blog, I had featured the naughty video from "Stacy's Mom (has got it goin' on)," and Jackie dropped in to let me know that the video could have been based on her very own truTV life!

Meanwhile, the pressure is building in the unforgiving oil fields of West Texas, where we've learned that the toughest roughnecks in the Lone Star State have just fifty (50) days to drill four back-breaking holes. The creator of Jackie's favorite Ice Road Truckers, as well as Deadliest Catch, brings you the second season of a show about the kind of men who can't afford to make any mistakes... if they do, it could cost them their jobs or (scary music, please)... their lives.

So... take the quiz, watch the video below, tune in to Black Gold on truTV, and leave a comment letting me know if you have what it takes to be a roughneck.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gone Surfin'

No one in our family actually surfs with a long board (though I have a cool pink boogie board and London and Maddie are getting to be quite the body surfers like their dad), but I wanted to let you know that Rex, London, Maddie and I will be spending the next couple of weeks at our beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey. I'll still be posting here, as well as over on Roxy's Bay Head Blog, but hope that my posts will be filled with the relaxation of the ocean waves crashing against the sand.

The first day of our beach vacation started out as an 8-hour day of work in the home office, but as I said to Maddie and London when we headed out to the edge of the ocean around 4 o'clock, "A short day at the beach sure beats a day at the office."

At a minimum, I'm hoping that a daily dose of sunshine and the sound of the ocean waves will calm my nerves, soothe my soul/psyche, and remind me to focus on what's really important: my family and my health. So far, so good... for me, the sound of the ocean is more relaxing than all the yoga and belly-breathing a more "holistic" person might enjoy.

I'm writing in a new pink journal whose proceeds, through the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, benefit the fight against breast cancer, which is another element of putting priorities in perspective. I thank God every day for all the ways I have been blessed.

Notes to a Beginning Blogger

It's been a little over four years since I started blogging here at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, and one year since I introduced the Roxy's Best Of... Community of local sites. Every now and then, someone will ask me how to get started blogging and I think about making a list of resources for the beginning blogger. If you're just getting started, it makes sense to start with one of the free, easy to use, blogging services such as Google's Blogger/Blogspot. That's where I started Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, and while I've branched out to many more blogs in other formats, this blog is still one of my most popular. Once you've decided to get serious, it makes sense to look into a web hosting service so that you control your own site or sites like I do with Roxy's Best Of... I find that what they call a "self-hosted" blog (or in my case, an entire blogging community) gives me a great deal more flexibility and I don't have to worry about the evil Google overlords shutting down my site. A site like Web Hosting Geeks can help you to review the choices and make an informed decision.

No matter where your blog is hosted, two of the best ways to find other blogs to read and to "drive traffic" (get new visitors) to your blog are BlogExplosion (see the banner at the top of this page) or EntreCard (see the Blog of the Day in my right sidebar). If I have the time to post more while we're at the beach for the next two weeks, I'll try to provide an updated set of helpful tips for the beginning blogger, so be on the lookout... and good luck!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Music Monday: Dream Weaver by Gary Wright

This week's Music Monday is another attempt to drive the dream demons out of London and Maddie's nightmares. When I posted about my girls' recent nightly fear of the "kid stealers," Mary was thoughtful enough to stop by with a great idea: the dream catcher.

For those of you unfamiliar with the legend, dream catchers are one of the most fascinating traditions of Native Americans. The traditional dream catcher is intended to protect the sleeping individual from negative dreams, while letting positive dreams through. The positive dreams would slip through the hole in the center of the dream catcher, and glide down the feathers to the sleeping person below. The negative dreams would get caught up in the web, and expire when the first rays of the sun struck them.

London and Maddie each have two dream catchers -- one homemade at Westmont Montessori a few years back, the other from our Spring Break 2007 trip to visit Rex's brother in New Mexico -- and when I read Mary's suggestion, I told her I would "reactivate" the dream catchers already hanging in their rooms. I learned last night that the girls had taken them down from their bedroom ceilings and used them to decorate their "band room" -- a cupboard-under-the-stairs-style closet in Maddie's room where the Butter Bites have their secret band meetings. At bedtime, we re-hung the dream catchers in an effort to keep out the nightmares. It worked for Maddie, who is sleeping soundly, but London ended up back in my bed, still worried that I hadn't locked all of the doors and that someone would get in to steal her.

I'm not ready to give up, as I think the dream catchers are a really cool concept, so we're going to pack them up and head down to our beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey. Ten days of rest, relaxation, sunshine and ocean waves may take some of the stress out of my life and give me more of a calming influence on London and Maddie.

So for this week's Music Monday, I give you Gary Wright's Dream Weaver, a positive vibe song about dreams.

I've just closed my eyes again
Climbed aboard the dream weaver train
Driver take away my worries of today
And leave tomorrow behind
Dream weaver I believe you can get me through the night
Dream weaver I believe we can reach the morning light
Fly me high through the starry skies
Maybe to an astral plane
Cross the highways of fantasy
Help me to forget today's pain
Though the dawn may be coming soon
There still may be some time
Fly me away to the bright side of the moon
And meet me on the other side
Chorus . . . . .

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Giants or Jets?

Living in the New York metro area, what makes someone a Jets fan or a Giants fan?

Despite the fact that the Giants and the Jets share a stadium in New Jersey, I think the divide tends to be that Giants fans live in New Jersey, and Jets fans live in New York, which of course includes Manhattan and Long Island. So while Rex's sons favor the New York Jets and make it to all of the games, I'm a lifelong "New Jersey" Giants fan... although I should be quick to confess that, as a teenage girl, I favored the teams with the cutest quarterbacks, with a weakness for Vince Ferragamo and the Rams (until those embarrassing Jordache jeans commercials) and Norris Weese and the Denver Broncos.

As we head into the new football season, it's time to review the outlook for "my team." Of course, whether you're a Jets or Giants fan (or Patriots or Rams fan, for that matter), you can use WaiverWire and sign up for "The Stimulus Package," a free tool to get all of the latest player stats and research reports. On August 14th, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning finally signed the six-year extension that will make him the NFL's highest paid player with an average salary of roughly $15.3 million. As a Jersey girl and Giants fan, Roxy can only hope he'll prove to be worth the big bucks. So Eli knows who he'll be throwing the ball for, and hopes that he'll find some key receivers who will be catching it for successful touchdown passes. I'm liking David Tyree, the wide receiver from my alma mater, Syracuse University, and running back Brandon Jacobs from Southern Illinois.

Right now, though, I can't think about the leaves changing colors, even if it comes with quarterbacks in tight pants... Rex, London, Maddie and I are headed out to the beach to enjoy the last two weeks of summer!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Nightmare On London and Maddie Street: The Kid Stealers

Kid Stealers. You'll find them in a lot of popular literature and/or movies for older children: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Golden Compass...the nightly news.

And lately I've been finding them in my daughters' nightmares. We don't watch a lot of television, and haven't read any scary bedtime stories in the past month (unless you count, as London did, "Dogerella" a doggy version of Cinderella), so I don't know what triggered it, but first Maddie, then London, started to have nightmares over the past few weeks about someone ("Hunkle Phil") coming into our home, or their camp or playground, to steal them.

Childhood nightmares are nothing new... growing up, my family lived in a ranch house with a dank, dark, unfinished basement in which I imagined a man lived, clanking around in chains (making all of the noises I heard late at night) with a Freddy Krueger face, waiting for someone to make the mistake of going down to do some laundry or get some ice cream out of the freezer at night. I can't even claim to have outgrown these childish thoughts... my mom still lives in the same house and I still don't like to go down to her basement!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

57 Channels and a Stetson Hat On

For some reason, this year's forced change to digital TV is a hot topic among senior citizens like my mom and her neighbors, as well as Rex's mom and her friends at her assisted living community. I've joked here on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives that I was the only child of the MTV generation who didn't have cable television growing up in the 80s. Twenty-five years later, my mother still doesn't have cable, so she had to jump through hoops to get her broadcast TV signals... when Aunt Veg and Uncle Quiet came to visit last month, we found them on the roof hooking up a huge antenna so Grandmom could finally get back to watching her favorite shows.

Now she has lots of new channels, mostly in foreign languages. The rest of the modern world is already accustomed to having at least 57 channels, including many that I couldn't pick out of a line-up (pardon the pun). Anyway, Grandmom won't find truTV's Black Gold -- the channel that exemplifies real-life television -- on broadcast TV, even with her enhanced digital signal. So she'll miss the premiere of Black Gold tonight -- August 19th at 10:00pm EDT/9:00pm Central and all of the new episodes on Wednesdays at 10pm Eastern, 9pm Central.

Here's what Grandmom's missing: In the unforgiving oil fields of West Texas, the toughest guys in the Lone Star State have just 50 days to drill four back-breaking holes. It's the second season of a reality TV show from the creator of Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch. These are men who can't afford to make any mistakes that might cost them their jobs or.... hold onto your Stetson hat... their lives. While I like to think I'm nicely suited to my career as an investment banker, all of the on-the-job training in the world couldn't make a roughneck on the oil fields out of Roxy. My first employee review as a roughneck would go down like a review by Simon Cowell in the early eliminations of American Idol.

If I qualify for a spot as a roughneck on a future episode of Black Gold, Grandmom will have to watch me at a friend's house. In the meantime, she (and all of you) can check out the truTV's Black Gold trailer right here:

embed code:


Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? (Come On, Sugar, Let Me Know)

Apologies to those of my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers who are not Rod Stewart fans, but it's that time of year again... the Blogger's Choice Awards are here, and I'm already 208 votes behind in the competition for Hottest Mommy Blogger.

She sits alone, waiting for suggestions
He's so nervous, avoiding all her questions
His lips are dry, her heart is gently pounding
Don't you just know exactly what they're thinking?

If you want my body and you think I'm sexy
Come on, sugar, let me know
If you really need me just reach out and touch me
Come on, honey, tell me so

He's acting shy, looking for an answer
Come on, honey, let's spend the night together
Now hold on a minute before we go much further
Give me a dime so I can phone my mother
They catch a cab to his high rise apartment
At last he can tell her exactly what his heart meant

If you want my body and you think I'm sexy
Come on, sugar, let me know
If you really need me just reach out and touch me
Come on, honey, tell me so

His heart's beating like a drum
'Cause at last he's got this girl home
Relax, baby, now we are alone


They wake at dawn 'cause all the birds are singing
Two total strangers but that ain't what they're thinking
Outside it's cold, misty and it's raining
They got each other, neither one's complaining
He say's I'm sorry but I'm out of milk and coffee
Never mind, sugar, we can watch the early movie

If you want my body and you think I'm sexy
Come on, sugar, let me know
If you really need me just reach out and touch me
Come on, honey, tell me so
Tell me so, baby

-- Rod Stewart, "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?"

My loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers know that I sign up for everything IZEA: PayPerPost, SocialSpark, Zookoda...last year I decided to sign up for my first ever Blogger's Choice Awards competition, but I couldn't find a category that seemed to fit this blog. The award categories include Best Animal Blogger (oldest daughter allergic to pets), Best Blog of All Time (my ego's not quite that big), Most Obnoxious Blogger (hey, my mom taught me, "if you don't have anything nice to say, best not to say anything at all"), Best Humor Blog (I'm not that funny all the time)...

Then I came across "Hottest Mommy Blogger" and wondered if enough of ya think I'm sexy. I ended up with a nice handful of votes last year, but this year I'm afraid I may be a bit late to the game. Chrissy or Dooce may be running away with the prize, but I also know I can count on my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers...come on, sugar let me know.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Feeling a Little Remote?

I just tore through Richard Russo's new novel, "That Old Cape Magic" over the past weekend at the beach. Loved it. Despite his off-colorful language (mid-effing-western, for example), my 84-year-old mother adores Richard Russo, so Rex and I stopped by my mom's house on our way home from a business trip to Philadelphia yesterday to lend the new book to her. My mom's only disappointment will be that Paul Newman won't have the starring role in the movie. One of the main character's fatal flaws, if you will, was that he was a little remote... Griffin wanted to keep not only his parents, but his wife's large family, out of their life as a couple. "A little remote" is a description that I think also applies to me, though certainly not in the extreme of Richard Russo's protagonist (antagonist?). If only I did needlepoint, you'd find my carefully stitched motto at the entrance to our Bay Head beach house: "Fish and visitors stink after two days." I love to have our friends and family visit at the beach, but I get too stressed out when required to entertain for more than one night.

At the same time, it is certainly time to eliminate multiple remotes in our household. You can see from the photo that we have four just for the family room. With a beach house come visitors, and with technology come remotes…lots and lots of remotes. One for the HDTV, one for the stereo, one for the evil Comcastic cable overlords, one for the DVD, even though I can't seem to get it hooked up quite right...…and while technology is good, the half-dozen remotes needed to turn on Roxy's TV really aren’t. Luckily, Yamaha has found the solution with its ground-breaking neoHD, a new device that simplifies your entire entertainment system: one remote, one on-screen interface, gives Roxy complete control. Talk about ease of use! Just push a button on the new Yamaha neoHD and your visitors realize it's time to pack their bags.

If this sounds like a great invention to you, check out neoHD on Facebook and enter the Yamaha neoHD Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of your own... by Tweeting: “I just entered to win a #neoHD b/c I have too many remotes, visit ( to enter” Be sure to leave me a comment here at Roxiticus Desperate Houewives letting me know if you're going to enter the contest, and why you desperately need the new neoHD.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Music Monday Tribute to Billy the Lifeguard: "Who's Crying Now?"

I've been at our beach house in Bay Head, NJ, for the past couple of perfect weekends, reading two vastly different New England beach books: "Barefoot" by Elin Hilderbrand and "That Old Cape Magic" by Richard Russo. I'll try to post full reviews of both books over on my Roxy's Best Of... Books for Grownups site, but suffice it to say that I am always in awe of Richard Russo's writing talent, and I buy all of my Elin Hilderbrand beach reads for a charitable contribution of 50 cents at the Anchor & Palette Gallery in Bay Head, NJ. Right now I'm enjoying a Pete's Wicked Strawberry Blonde and a cool breeze on our front porch, and "That Old Cape Magic" is taking me back to the Summer of 1981... when 14-year-old Roxy traveled in the back of my parents' station wagon to Kiawah Island in South Carolina. While I had stolen a small handful of kisses from older boys as an awkward pre-teen and new teenager, I had never had a boyfriend... and wouldn't until I was a sophomore in high school, dating a nineteen-year-old disc jockey who rode a motorcycle.

I was not one of the popular girls in school, but family road trips on summer vacation enabled me to shed my local identity, slip into a bikini, and get a little lucky on the beach... that summer, while my parents wouldn't let me far out of their sight, I was lucky enough to share two beach days and one evening with a handsome Kiawah Island lifeguard named Billy. As Casey Kasem might say, the song on the radio was "Who's Crying Now" by Steve Perry and Journey. Right now it's Saturday night in Bay Head, but pretty soon it will be Music Monday somewhere in the world, and officially time for me to share this one with you.

It's been a mystery and still they try to see
Why somethin' good can hurt so bad
Caught on a one-way street, the taste of bittersweet
Love will survive somehow, some way

One love feeds the fire
One heart burns desire
I wonder, who's cryin' now
Two hearts born to run
Who'll be the lonely one
I wonder, who's cryin' now

So many stormy nights, so many wrongs or rights
Neither could change their headstrong ways
And in a lover's rage, they tore another page
The fightin' is worth the love they save...


Only so many tears you can cry
'Til the heartache is over
And now you can say your love
Will never die

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Friday, August 14, 2009

In A Word? Muddy.

I don't want to discourage anyone from making it out to the Somerset County 4-H Fair in Bridgewater, New Jersey for the last day today, Friday, August 14th. Maddie, London, Rex and I had a great time yesterday, serving up cotton candy for an hour before heading over to the food tent and picking up dinner -- sausage and peppers for Grandmom, Philly cheesesteak for Roxy, pulled pork for Rex, chicken dinosaurs for the girls, curly fries for all -- and heading over to my mom's house in Branchburg according to our long-standing annual tradition.

However, the conditions at the 4-H Fairgrounds are muddier than I have ever seen them and we destroyed two pairs of Converse One Star sneakers in the mud, so be sure to wear your boots. Due to the mud, there's no parking at the fairgrounds, so go straight to the park and ride at Raritan Valley Community College.

The free family fair, showcasing kids projects from animals to rockets, trains and home economics, runs from Wednesday, August 12th through Friday, August 14th, 2009. While I didn't take as many animal pictures as I had hoped, over the weekend I should be able to upload some classic cotton candy, newly hatched baby chicks, and a few other shots to share with those of you who don't make it out to the 4-H Fairgrounds.

Continue reading...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Somerset County 4-H Fair is Here!!

Time flies when you have kids, and I can't believe London and Maddie are finishing up their second year of 4-H Prep with the grand finale -- the Somerset County 4-H Fair in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The free family fair, showcasing kids projects from animals to rockets, trains and home economics, runs from Wednesday, August 12th through Friday, August 14th, 2009. Rex and the girls and I will be there this afternoon and evening serving up cotton candy and taking lots of pictures to share with those of you who can't make it out to the 4-H Fairgrounds.

Right now it is pouring down rain at home in Far Hills, so London and Maddie are a bit discouraged, but we'll hope the weather turns around and that we'll see you all out there later today.

Continue reading...

Roxy's Little Fantasy...

Yeah, that title got your attention boys, didn't it?

Pretty soon, it will be football season and it will take more than a few naughty words to turn your head in my direction and away from the big screen HDTV. For Rex, London, Maddie and me, the middle of August still means summer, our house in Bay Head, and the beach. However, I know there are many of you who have other things on your mind... if I had a nickel for every store clerk who asked Maddie or London if they were ready for back to school, the girls would have a fat piggy bank full of nickels.

And serious football fans have their own little fantasy going on and it doesn't involve Roxiticus Desperate Housewives decked out in their latest Victoria's Secret purchases. They don't care about catching a wave or building a sand castle; instead, they're plotting their fantasy football drafting strategies with online tools and signing up for "The Stimulus Package," a free tool offered to ultimate fantasy football fans on WaiverWire. If you missed out on any government bailout funds, check out WaiverWire and sign up for your own free Stimulus Package. Rex's son, PostBoy, can give you chapter and verse on player statistics, not to mention the lowdown on how he knows who to draft and when to draft them. I wonder if this football season will be any different... PostBoy married MathGirl in February.... can she get his mind off the game? We'll let you know as the newlyweds' story unfolds right here at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Music Monday, Tale As Old As Time: London's First Dance, to Beauty and the Beast

As we neared the end of Annie's Playhouse Summer Stars camp, London told us she had a secret about the big show. She told me that I needed to be ready with my camera for the Beauty and the Beast number and that she needed a long, flowing skirt, but not much more. After the full company launched into the program with Be Our Guest, we didn't have long to wait for London's big surprise... her very first "pas de deux" with an older boy from camp, performed behind another camper's solo on "Beauty and the Beast." Congratulations, London... may this be the first in a long life of romantic dance.

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends

Just a little change
Small to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the Beast

Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise

Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong

Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast

Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Friday, August 07, 2009

My Sweet Maddie Is Crying...

...because she doesn't want Annie's Playhouse Summer Stars to be over.

The girls had such a good time and worked so hard practicing their singing and dance moves with their friends from camp over the last four weeks. I know just how she feels....and Maddie, I promise, we'll be back next summer.

We Rock! London and Maddie to Perform in Annie's Playhouse Summer Stars Show Tonight!

Roxy's having one of those proud mommy moments, as London and Maddie finish up their last rehearsal for the big show tonight at Annie's Playhouse. The girls are sooo excited to be up on stage, belting out favorites like "Under the Sea" (from The Little Mermaid), "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (from Mary Poppins), and "We Rock" (from Camp Rock). I don't want to give away her secret, but London is going to be performing a special dance (dare I say "pas de deux"??) during one of the Beauty and the Beast numbers.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Blogiversary Week: August 5th is #4 for Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, While Roxy's Best Of... Concludes Its First Year On August 12th

Spread the Word for Charity

Roxy here to Spread The Word For Charity during our big blogiversary week. On August 5th, the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives celebrated our fourth blogiversary, and on August 12th, the Roxy's Best Of... Community will celebrate one year of blogging about local towns in New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Texas, North Carolina, New Mexico, and coming soon to a community near you. So here's the travel and charity promotion: the world's top hotel search engine, Hotels Combined, is prepared to donate $20 to charity every time someone like you or me blogs, tweets or fans their site. has built the world's number one hotel search engine and they're running this promotion so more people will know about it and spread the word... Hotels Combined will benefit from all that word of mouth (or mouse, if you'll forgive the pun) and instead of spending big dollars on advertising, they will donate the money to charity. There are three options if you'd like to participate: a $20 donation for a blog mention, $10 donation for a tweet and $5 donation for becoming a fan of the Hotels Combined Facebook page. Charities include Make-a-Wish, WorldVision, and the World Wildlife Fund. Just click the link below to learn more.



Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Oh, Noo... I Forgot My 4th Blogiversary... It Was Today, August 5th, 2009

Usually I'm so good about milestones...heck, last year I celebrated for a month leading up to the 3rd blogiversary of Roxiticus Desperate Housewives. Well, a lot has changed over the past year, and in turn I need more time. I will try to put on my party hat to celebrate with all of my loyal blogosphere buddies starting tomorrow... I think I do have another week or so until the 1st blogiversary of Roxy's Best Of...

Happy Birthday, Uncle Joe

My Uncle Joe, my dad's younger brother, turns 90 this weekend. It will be a bittersweet celebration over at the U.S. Veteran's Administration hospital in Lyons, New Jersey, because my uncle is a living reminder that our freedom isn't free. He was shot in the head while serving our country in World War II and has spent much of the past 70 years in the care of the U.S. Veteran's Administration, primarily at the VA hospital in Lyons. Despite the fact that Uncle Joe enlisted in the army to serve his country instead of going to the University of Alabama on a baseball scholarship, he has never seemed bitter about his incredible sacrifice. He has his good days and his bad days, and is extremely hard of hearing, but his eyes always light up when London and Maddie dance into his room to share their latest news.

Although my dad passed away just before Maddie was born, the rest of our family will gather on Saturday afternoon to celebrate Uncle Joe's 90th birthday. My sister is bringing him some art supplies, as he's always been a talented artist and has recently returned to sketching and painting, thanks to the support of the recreation director and her small staff at the VA nursing home. Uncle Joe is a big Yankees fan, so London and Maddie will bring him a new baseball cap. And of course, we'll bring him a big chocolate cake.... I don't know about the 90 candles.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Music Monday: Chris Isaak's Wicked Game

As I noted in an earlier post, Chris Isaak is going to be performing live at the Community Theatre (also known as the Mayo Center of the Performing Arts) in Morristown, NJ, on Monday, August 3rd. I've always enjoyed his eerie sound, reminiscent of David Lynch and the 80s TV series, Twin Peaks. In fact, Wicked Game was released as a single in 1989 but did not become a hit until it was featured in the David Lynch film, Wild at Heart in 1991.

The world was on fire
No one could save me but you.
Strange what desire will make foolish people do
I never dreamed that I'd meet somebody like you
And I never dreamed that I'd lose somebody like you

No, I don't want to fall in love
[This love is only gonna break your heart]
No, I don't want to fall in love
[This love is only gonna break your heart]
With you
With you

What a wicked game you play
To make me feel this way
What a wicked thing to do
To let me dream of you
What a wicked thing to say
You never felt this way
What a wicked thing to do
To make me dream of you
v And I don't wanna fall in love
[This love is only gonna break your heart]
And I don't want to fall in love
[This love is only gonna break your heart]

{World was on fire
No one could save me but you
Strange what desire will make foolish people do
I never dreamed that I'd love somebody like you
I never dreamed that I'd lose somebody like you

No I don't wanna fall in love
[This love is only gonna break your heart
No I don't wanna fall in love
[This love is only gonna break your heart]
With you
With you

Nobody loves no one

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Speaking of the lovely LadyJava, guess who's my first commenter here at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives for Music Monday??

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Roxy's Got the Green Vibrance Going On... Drinking Pond Scum to Fight Fatigue

I haven't said a lot here about the constant fatigue I've been battling for several months, mostly because I like to serve up answers instead of questions and I'm still in the midst of working it out... with a little help from nutritionist Corinne Bush at the Far Hills Pharmacy. However, as I was drinking my daily dose of pond scum in the name of Green Vibrance, I snapped a photo to share with all of you -- one of those "you have to see it to believe it." Before adding the little packet of Green Vibrance 9.0, that was a bright red glass of V8... now green black as the top of the type pond I wouldn't choose for swimming. When Dr. Glenn Davis of Chester Medical Associates couldn't find any reason for my fatigue in his analysis of my blood work, he referred me to nutritionist Corinne Bush, with Rex as an enthusiastic supporter who credits her with saving his life two years ago. One of the questions she asked me was to name my favorite five vegetables... "corn, potatoes, tomatoes, string beans, carrots." She gave me the last three just so I'd have something to start from, but noted that while I may not be quite as anti-vegetable as my daughters, I don't seem to get a lot of green in my diet.

The ingredients read like something a spammer might leave behind on my WordPress blog: spirulina, alfalfa, barley, oat, wheat grass juice powder, hydrilla verticillata, alfalfa sprout powder, Kamut grass juice powder, pharmaceutical grade soft cell Chlorella, parsley and beet juice powder, freeze dried Zucchini powder, carrot root powder, freeze dried green bean powder, broccoli sprout powder and freeze dried spinach powder for nutrient dense health support; soy lecithn poder, Vitamin E, and Policosanol for for cell membrane and nerve support; larch arabinogalactan, stablized brown rice bran, whole apple powder and milled flaxseed representing the high fiber foods and probiotics... the list goes on and on. Aunt Veg and Uncle Quiet were here for their annual visit, and militant vegan Aunt Veg gave it her seal of approval... though I'm sure she wishes I'd join her for a big bowl of tofu, mushrooms, and broccoli instead.

Continue reading...

The Somerset County 4-H Fair Is Almost Here: Join London and Maddie for Free Family Fun -- Wednesday, August 12th Through Friday, August 14th, 2009

Time flies when you have kids, and I can't believe London and Maddie are finishing up their second year of 4-H Prep with the grand finale -- the Somerset County 4-H Fair in Bridgewater, New Jersey -- coming up in just two weeks. The free family fair, showcasing kids projects from animals to rockets, trains and home economics, runs from Wednesday, August 12th through Friday, August 14th, 2009. Rex and the girls and I will be there on Thursday afternoon and evening serving up cotton candy and taking lots of pictures to share with those of you who can't make it out to the 4-H Fairgrounds.

Continue reading...

Oh, Who Cares What Her Kids Had for Dinner? Upcoming Events at the Community Theatre in Morristown, NJ

Last Fall, Rex and I decided to check out Joan Jett & the Blackhearts at the Community Theatre (now known as the Mayo Center for the Peforming Arts) in Morristown, New Jersey. When I decided to "review" the show in my own inimitable style on Roxy's Best Of... Morristown, NJ, I was mocked without mercy on at least one Joan Jett forum. "Who cares what her kids had for dinner??!!"

At the risk of exposing myself to the retorts of the social networking scene, I've decided to lay out a few upcoming shows at the Community Theatre that Rex and I and our fellow Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and Husbands are interested in:
  • Chris Isaak tomorrow night, Monday, August 3rd (Wicked Game Music Monday post to come)
  • Blondie next Monday night, August 10th ("Call Me" from American Gigolo Music Monday post to come)

Unfortunately, I am old; therefore, Monday has become a bad night for an outing.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Boating On Lake Hopatcong Today

The weather turned around from buckets of rain last night to a nice sunny Saturday to join our friends on their boat on Lake Hopatcong. I'll bring along my waterproof camera and try to post some photos tomorrow.

I haven't spent much time on boats, and even less time at our local lakes, so Rex and London and Maddie are really looking forward to it... the girls are excited to try tubing. What is that expression, nothing better than a friend with a boat?

Feeling Ancient

This post was sponsored by Kmart. All the opinions are mine.

Just last night I received an email from London's Girl Scout Brownie troop leader, letting us know that our families were invited to join the troop on a field trip to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, again this Fall. Last year, we saw a fun live performance of High School Musical, this year we'll be attending Little House on the Prairie. Now here's the kicker that made me feel ancient... remember little Melissa Gilbert when she played Laura Ingalls on the Little House on the Prairie TV show? She's starring as Ma in the upcoming show!!!

Now if that doesn't make you feel old, think back to what you remember about Kmart Bluelight Specials from the past. Just like Melissa Gilbert and Little House on the Prairie, the Blue Light is back this weekend, today only -- Saturday, August 1st. Throughout the day, Kmart will put on the Blue Light for over 40 different and exciting Blue Light Specials. If you can't get out to your local store, other great offers will also be available online at

Since we're going boating on Lake Hopatcong for the first time ever this afternoon, I'd love to see some items for our outing as a few of the Bluelight Specials today... maybe a picnic basket and/or cooler to pack lunch to share with our friends, or some warm (yet fashionable) sweat clothes for London and Maddie to pull on when they get cold from tubing.

Follow @kmartdealsnnews for updates and more specials!
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