Tag Archives: travel

Skills for Life: Tiny Cleaning Crew

TINY TOWN BOYLast week, I went on the cutest date with the best man to Tiny TownTiny Town is comprised of a ton of little dollhouses and has a little train you can ride around the modest grounds.  We arrived early before the crowds and commenced our tour of Tiny Town.  As we got toward the back of the colony of dollhouses, I noticed two girls.  The older girl looked about nine years old and the younger one around seven.  They had a bucket and squeegee and were cleaning off the exterior of the tiny houses.  I watched and listened to the diminutive cleaning crew working.  As they cleaned the dirt off the dollhouse windows one by one, I heard the older girl explaining to the younger girl that the water was getting dirty and needed to be changed.  They weren’t complaining, worked together without conflict, and encouraged each other to rally when they got tired.  I was super impressed.  Not only were these girls participating in age-appropriate chores, but the older girl was mentoring the younger girl by teaching her cleaning skills for life.  There was no direct adult supervision, and there didn’t need to be because these two young ladies were clearly raised with a sense of responsibility.  TINY TOWN TWO GIRLSYesterday, during my teeth cleaning, I was listening to my hygienist bitch about her step-children – two girls – ages ten and twelve who are spoiled brats with zero responsibility.  These girls respect no one because they have never been taught respect.  They have no life skills because no one ever taught them how to pick up after themselves.  As a result, the girls are ungrateful and bored because they have no appreciation for responsibility.  Parents who shelter their children from work are doing their kids a great disservice.  Find age-appropriate tasks and teach your children early on that life is a balance between work and fun.  Prepare your children for the reality of life not your fantasy of an ideal childhood.  Teach them self-soothing skills and self-sufficiency, so you don’t end up gifting the world with your useless, lazy, spoiled, entitled, and ungrateful offspring.  Yeah, I sound judgmental, but when it comes to parenting – if you aren’t going to do it right, don’t do it at all. TINY TOWN KID

4 for Friday: Travel. Renew. Wait. Waste.

7 MILE BEACHThis time of year has me contemplating white sandy beaches.  Last year it was Hawaii.  This year I’m thinking the Caribbean.  Do I go cheap and sketchy (Jamaica, Dominican Republic) or pay more for the false security of the USVI?  I hate to be a neo-colonialist paranoid asshole, but I also don’t want a side order of sexual assault or armed robbery with my fun in the sun.  JAMAICAAfter visiting in person this fall, I predicted Bethenny’s shit talk show would not see a season 2.  Still no clear word on renewal, though there have been rumors of a retooling that would take the focus off celebrities and down shift into conflict (via naughtybutnicerob).  From the look of it, the show isn’t expensive to produce, so she does have that going for her.  However, I don’t think conflict confrontation/resolution is the right direction for her to go in season 2.  She shines when she sticks to her strengths: remaking recipes, debating diet experts, and confronting unlikable reality stars.  Can you stretch that into 5 shows a week and keep it fresh?BETHENNY FRANKELDid you watch Downton Abbey?  Many of you are catching this season for the first time as it airs on American television.  Some criticized the first episode of the season describing it as boring and repetitious.  Stay tuned.  A major moment of violence changes everything downstairs.  When the scene aired in the U.K., it had the fans atwitter in anger.DOWNTON ABBEYI’m going to say what nobody else in the Coven has the nerve to – that was a shameful waste of Steve NicksSTEVIE NICKS AHS


20 Questions on Bethenny

Here’s what I would want to know….BETHENNY TIX1) How did you get tickets?  It was pretty easy.  I just went online and requested a date.  I got it.  You don’t find out very far in advance – maybe two weeks, so if travel is involved understand it may be a last minute thing.OUTSIDE BETHENNY2) Was the Bethenny show well-organized?  Bethenny always says that business is all about the execution, so I was curious if her talk show would run like a well-0iled machine.  With regard to ticket reservations, I found the process easy and organized.  The day of the show we lined up in front outside at 8 am.  I would not recommend requesting tickets in the dead of winter for this reason.  Semi-enthusiastic (but definitely nice) PA’s wandered up and down the line confirming reservations and trying desperately to get folks to participate in the filming in some capacity.  We waited approximately thirty minutes or maybe longer before getting shuffled through a basic security screening.  In the hallway, was this lady…  BETHENNY HALLWAY LADYFrom there we were put in a holding room, signed waivers, watched a looped Bethenny production video, and met our fluffer.  The fluffer is the stand-up comedienne who must rally the crowd into a frenzy for Mizz Frankel.  An intense bathroom line formed.  Walkie-talkies were used to communicate the comings and goings of bathroom users.  After another hour or so in the holding pen, we were lined up by number and seated in the studio.  HOLDING PEN3) What was the studio like?  Like a Pottery Barn Teen catalog. BETHENNY STUDIOBETHENNY STUDIO 24) Were the security guards hot?  Yes. HOT SECURITYFLUFFER5) Tell me more about this fluffer?DANCE FLUFFThe fluffer was a cute female comic who’s name I totally forget – sorry.  She led a dance party.  Audience members got up and danced.  Some were good.  Most were not.  The best turns were those that involved humping various staff members.  T-shirts were given out.  Gaga was played.  We clapped.  We cheered.  We gave good enthusiasm.  Then it just drug on a little long because Bethenny was late and all of our collective excitement began to wane.  STAFF DANCE6) Anything interesting to steal?  Yes.  Thank you for asking.  I did steal something.  Before the show started, one page typed sheets of paper were dispersed among the audience.  BETHENNY ONE PAGEThis is a cut and paste from a PageSix story that ran that morning.  Bethenny claimed that 85% of the audience didn’t believe it was true.  BULLSHIT on that poll.  Who is going to tell her staff – “yeah, it’s all true.”  We all know that the contents of these stories are never entirely true or entirely false.  PAGE SIX NOV 5BETHENNY PAGE SIX READ7) How did the show kick-off?  Bethenny began with a pre-taped backstage moment where she reflects on the story mentioned above reading it line by line out loud saying “TRUE” or “FALSE” after each sentence.  PAGE SIX READ 28) What was your first impression of Bethenny?  When she finally bounced out I was relieved she didn’t spend the first minute awkwardly dancing and lip-synching to her own theme music.  She launched into her opening monologue.  I read the monitor.  It said, “take down phase.”  Bethenny views herself as some sort of pariah.  Everybody’s after her, dontcha know?  BETHENNY INTRO9)Was Bethenny skinny?  Yes, alarmingly so!  Her legs are pretty much the same circumference from her calves to her mid-thigh.  Her arms are super thin and the skin is saggy.  Her tits are waaay too big for her frame.

10) What did she wear?  She wore a very short, flared, animal-print skirt in keeping with that tulip silhouette she favors, very high YSL knock-off heels and a black sweater that was a little too big.  When sitting, her skirt bordered on too short.BETHENNY BODY11) Was she pretty in person?  Yes, Bethenny is striking in person.  Her bone structure is quite dominant.  She has a lovely complexion.  She had fake hair in, but her own hair looked good too.  Her face could benefit from five extra pounds on her frame.   BETHENNY PRETTY12) Who were the guests?  The LylasBruno Mars’ sisters in a girl group.  They have a new show on WE that I won’t be watching.  Food Network Star Big Daddy made pork chops in a food segment.  Finally, Char Margolis served up weird and uncomfortable psychic readings in the final two segments.  THE LYLAS13) What was the theme of the show? Mending relationships.  LYLAS BETHENNY14) Bruno Mars‘ sisters?  Yeah.  Bruno Mars‘ sisters.  One of these women has a 14 year old child!  Bethenny led them through a shallow, empty interview before turning on the audience for some cooked up “sister questions.”  SISTER QUESTIONS15) Were the cameras on you?  Yes.  Sometimes they would come veryclose.  I felt my face twitching.  I tried to sit up straight.  BETHENNY AUDIENCE QUESTIONS16) What was your impression of Bethenny? After ample reflection, it boils down to this: we met Bethenny on a reality show where she was a sarcastic, cynical, snarky bitch, and many of us loved her for it.  On the talk show, she’s serving us Katie-fucking-Couric and it’s totally disingenuous.  She is clearly not in a good place in her life.  She’s depleted.  Watching her trying to fake fun made me tired.  This talk show is not the right format or tone to display Bethenny’s talents. BETHENNY TALKS17) Could Big Daddy cook?  Big Daddy was super personable and it is easy to see why he won Next Food Network Star.  That said, the cooking segment was a bit of a shit show on her part and extra takes had to be completed for editing.  She chewed that one bite of pork chop for 2 minutes straight, as she kept saying how delicious it was.  It must have been tough as shoe leather. BIG DADDY

CHAR AND BETHENNY18) So what about the psychic Char Margolis?  I have mixed feelings on Char Margolis.  In the lineup outside, staffers solicited people who wanted to communicate with a departed loved-one.  That seems a little staged, no?  When she read Bethenny, Char used B for Bobby – which everybody knows is Bethenny’s father.  She also used the cliche “when you fall off the horse get back on” – it’s commonly known Bobby was in the horse business.   Char did come out the pocket with dead aunt Rose for a “confirmation,” so maybe there’s some merit to what she does.  My friend Lisa was very offended at Char’s handling of the in-vitro girl and I’m inclined to agree that the psychic was insensitive during the reading. INVITRO GIRL19) Any behind the scenes gossip?BETHENNY SMALL AND BLURRYBethenny fucked up alot and was hard on herself when she did make a mistake.  She looked sad, tired, and off.  She seemed genuinely rattled by her father’s presence.  We weren’t allowed to take pictures when Bethenny was in there.  These last few I took stealthy-style as she was on her way out (that’s why she is small and blurry).  My friend Wendy mentioned she was disappointed Bethenny didn’t stick around to sign books or grease any of her fans’ palms. BETHENNY EXIT20) Would you recommend the Bethenny experience?  I doubt very seriously that this rather amateurish production would get extended a second chance.  The beaten down staff acted like they were counting their days.  Go if you are curious about Bethenny and have four hours to kill in NYC.  If you have aspirations to be on TV, it wouldn’t be hard at all to get some face time on this show.  Trust me when I tell you they are obviously desperate to fill time. BYE BETHENNY


NYC BANKSY RATI’m in NYC.JUMPI’m going to see…SHRILL BETHENNY…while I’m here. BETHENNY GOSSIPI will have lots of gossip for you in a day or two.  BETHENNY TALK SHOW



Guys obsess over pushing out every last gasp of air between the trash can and the liner.

SINDY MARTINGuys back into parking spaces.DOUCHE PLEASEGuys nudge their junk in public. AIRPLANE ARMRESTGuys take the armrest.  HOT SAUCEGuys love hot sauce. GUYS



Lovely Louisiana: Drunk, Armed, & Angry

CLASS PICTURELast weekend, I went to visit a friend in middle-of-nowhere Louisiana.  I hadn’t seen this childhood pal in 15 years, so our reunion was teary and heartfelt.  As we walked towards each other, it felt like the space-time continuum folded.  We will always have the bond of our childhood and I love her still, but if we met today, it is truly unlikely we would make friends if only for the context of our adult lives.  I consider myself modestly well-traveled, but I have never seen some of the crazy shit I’ve seen in Louisiana anywhere else in the world.   STEEL MAGNOLIASNow I can’t speak for Louisiana as an entire state.  I visited a tiny pocket of the state known for its Steel Magnolias.  I am speaking about a narrow experience and a fraction of time, so please don’t think the following conversation is meant to drape the whole state with the same Confederate flag.  Each parish has its own personality, and these are just a few of the flavorful offerings of the one I visited.


There are drive-thru liquor stores.  No shit.  Drive up to the window and getcha a frozen drink.  Why isn’t it an open container violation you ask?  Because the drive-thru liquor store attendant didn’t put a straw in it, silly.  Gotta love that Louisiana legal logic.


These bitches are armed.  For reals.  A handgun in the purse.  Another gun in the desk drawer.  A gun in the nightstand.  A few more guns scattered about for good measure.  And don’t forget the arsenal in the gun safe at Daddy’s house.  “That’s where we keep the expensive guns,” they said starry-eyed.  I asked these southern women why they keep all these guns and what it boiled down to essentially is rape fear.  These mothers and professionals truly believe that a (black!) man is going to enter their home and then enter them.  Rape happens for sure and more often than reported.  You know what happens more often?  A criminal breaks in when you aren’t home and steals all your guns and then uses them to perpetrate other crimes.  Know what else happens?  Kids stumble up on guns and shoot themselves or others.ARMED WOMEN

Shocker #3 

In a town that is 60% black and 40% white, I found it shocking that there was virtually no racial integration.  There is still a “black” part of town and a “white” part of town.  I asked the women if they frequented any black-owned businesses or socialized with any black people.  The answer was no.  Confused, I asked why?  According to them there aren’t a significant number of black middle class in their town.  Apparently, bars cater specifically to white or black people by playing either country or rap.  How progressive.  The segregation looked at lot like apartheid.  It was truly nauseating.  That may sound like some white liberal bullshit, but I mean I literally felt physically sick amidst the palpable racial tension.  I almost vomited when I heard the N-word causally dropped in conversation.  What is this Paula Deen shit?  It is shocking, disturbing, and frankly unbelievable that some parts of the country are stuck in a post-Civil war time-warp mentality.  It is difficult not to sound judgmental, so I’m just not going to bother.  The racism is gross and there is no excuse for it.     JIM CROW SEGREGATION

Going to See a Friend I haven’t Seen in Ten


Pitchfork 2013 = friday



June 2013 Horoscopes


Happy Birthday Gemini!  Blow out your candles and make a wish for real.  This month the stars and planets align to materialize your deepest dreams.  Positive, mutable, and masculine, Geminis master their universe with their remarkable mind.  At your best, Gemini is brilliant, fun, and useful.  At your worst, Gemini dithers, is emotionally distant, and often scattered.  This birthday month Geminis will be especially attractive to the opposite sex.  Unattached Geminis, this is your month for a dalliance.  For those in love, June ignites a rekindling.  Consider compatibility and then choose wisely among your options.  Geminis get very nervous very easily.  What structure and practices have you in place to help calm down when over-agitated?  It’s especially essential for you Gemini, to deal with your unexpressed emotions and anxiety in a constructive manner.  Work requires teamwork this month and certain interactions have you bristling.  Take notice when you delight in seizing opportunities to hurt people.  You can be damn sure they do.  Even though Geminis scheme, it often backfires.  That’s because for the most part you are good-natured and wish others well.  However when hurt, Gemini can be a petty, passive-aggressive, and intentionally hateful.  That’s you at your smallest.  Geminis shine this month creatively.  Look forward to working with others to build on an ongoing project.  June’s demands could run you down, so take care of your body or you’ll feel it.


Cancer, I’m happy to inform you that run of hardship is over and this month brings with it a windfall of fortunate opportunities.  Circumstances and chemistry begin to gel, and all that you’ve been hoping for with regard to your relationship comes together in a logical way so you can move forward together.   Seal the deal with a little trip.  Make a moment in June all about romance and growing the trust and history of your relationship.  Professionally, decide now what you want with a clear head.  An unexpected array of options will unfold before you in the coming weeks and you will be woozy by the flood choices.  A focused idea of what you truly desire will make the decision-making hangover a little less intense.  This June, much of your luck boils down to appearing at the right place at the right time.  You know what Oprah says, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”  Prepare and the universe will supply opportunities aplenty.


A rising tide of career momentum culminates in a fiery burst of success this June for Leo.  Once you start to catch some of that career shine, you can relax and enjoy a little fun.  Would it kill you to put an umbrella in it?  To that end, I gently encourage you to drop that extra weight and show off your best body this summer.  Leos feel best when lean and strong.  Embrace spontaneity and accept invitations from acquaintances that could lead to some interesting introductions.  If you are planning to change up the home front with renovations or a move, do it now for the most painless transition.  Leos should consider the next several months a preparation period for bigger and better things to come.  Organize your physical space.  Set up a course to achieve clear goals.  Any relationship, habit, or obligation which does not service your new direction needs to go.  Leos value family, and a special nexus of energy makes this the perfect time to rely on their advice.


Big changes come your way this June and shift everything for VirgoVirgos love to plan, but some events just can’t be predicted.  Prepare to permanently change emotionally by what goes down this month.  There will be times you doubt yourself, but remember that you are resilient and capable of surviving and even thriving under a number of difficult circumstances.  Virgos, this won’t be an occasion where you can ignore what is plainly before you.  Professional obligations will just have to wait this month.  June brings some enchanting folks into the mix that energize that once-vibrant social spirit.  Virgos can be the most fun when you aren’t bogged down in over-analysis, nerves, or downright fatigue.  Virgos trying to make it happen in the bedroom may want to consider a trip.  A change of scene will help free your inhibitions and bitterness.  You will return refreshed and a brand new Virgo.


Get the fuck out of town this month Libra.  The stars support an adventure, so if you have the time and resources go big.  Maybe a special someone wants to go, and if not take someone else special like a free-spirited friend or your Mom.  Or why not go it alone?  What you learn from this trip could have long rippling positive influence on many different sectors of your future.  Cut a bitch to make it happen.  Libra shines at work which triggers a heavy emphasis on career, a pattern that will remain over the next several months.  Libra prefers an ordered home.  Displeased by your current domestic situation which causes unnecessary background stress, clean, move, renovate – whatever you need to do to make it right and make it tight, do it now.  Next month, when you are ballsdeep in work demands, you will be glad your home feels like a comforting hideaway instead of a hoarder’s den.


Get your shit together Scorpio because at the end of this month you set off for a full year of unbelievable adventure.  You’ve been chipping away at responsibilities, but this month your larger scheme takes root and the possibilities of financial payoff become a reality.  Scorpio plans and strategizes, but has difficulty initiating action.  Challenge your fixed nature.  Send momentum in a given direction and see what comes of it.  You won’t know until you try.  Towards the end of the month some retrograde activity could bring an unexpected bump in the road.  Strong intellect and judgment, paired with planetary support, stabilize you financially (and otherwise) through the mini-crisis.  Lately, Scorpio has physically experienced a personal renaissance.  This renewed confidence and swagger has admirers staring longingly at you from behind.  That’s just because you have a gorgeous ass.  Just put down the chocolate and stay on the yoga mat to make sure it stays that way.


Sagittarius has been longing for emotional and financial stability that has been so elusive up until this point.  What you learn Sag, is that your level of commitment corresponds to your sense of belonging.  Only now do you feel ready to commit.  June opens up the possibility both romantically and professionally depending upon where you would like to focus.  Your personal cheerleader has been working behind the scenes to clear the way for your advancement.  Be sure to acknowledge those that got you there, especially when you start enjoying those lucrative rewards for your talent.  Super-sensitive to a fault, check yourself and ask whether it is your own diva-like behavior that is causing conflict.  Why do you need everyone to agree with you?  Sags overreactions come from a deep festering insecurity.  Temper your expectations against your own self-righteous and hostile behavior.  In the end, you’ll discover it’s a wash.


Many Capricorns visit love like an animal at the zoo.  They keep themselves safely partitioned on the spectator side of the plexi.  After months of fermentation, June makes or breaks you and your prospect.  Accelerate the process by taking a trip together.  The confined space and challenges of travel will dictate whether the two of you can stand each other for the long haul.  Spend time training this month, Caps get magnified results from physical activity.  Work remains busy, but lighthearted and fun this June.  There is a strong sense of camaraderie permeating the workplace.  Much credit goes to your leadership in developing a congenial atmosphere.  No stranger to therapy, this month discover a professional that is a perfect fit for you.  Now begins a new path of healing.


Power, action, and luck are on your side this month when it comes to romance Aquarius.  Whether it is jumpstarting a sluggish love or igniting a new one, June provides all the energetic support you need to get properly laid.  A relationship that begins now will stick.  Take a trip to someplace cute and invite lust along for the ride.  Even if it is just a nearby weekend jaunt on the cheap, take a twirl with a dance partner you would normally decline.  You never know.  Dedicate a good portion of your time away to lazily loafing and catching up on sleep.  Professionally, the first three weeks of June will be your most productive in months, so ideally plan your trip for the last week.  You deserve a little fun and a little fuck Aquarius.


Family obligations soak up Pisces’s energy this month, and you dutifully rise to the occasion.  Unfortunately, this places some rather urgent matters on the back burner while you selflessly tend to the needs of others.  The weekend of the 23rd looks most promising for confidence and success.  Plan accordingly.  Friends float in and out this month providing gentle support and a friendly face when Pisces needs a soft place to land.  Particularly irresistible this month, Pisces have their choice of all the fishies in the sea.  You do some of the best courting around.  Those Pisces sowing relationship seeds will see a growth spurt of lusty passion that renews your unwavering commitment.  No matter what, the life of Pisces looks good this month and even more fortuitous in the coming months.


The adventure bug bites Aries in the ass this month and it has you entertaining all kinds of crazy and far-fetched ideas.  How about a cross-global move?  Why not a last minute trip?  Maybe a proposal?  Your enthusiasm is well-appreciated Aries, but June isn’t ideal for signing binding agreements.  Aries just ain’t thinking straight.  You won’t do much damage as long as you don’t make any permanent decisions.  Pressure from colleagues to make a decision may come mid-month.  See what you can do to extend the conversation until next month when your mental clouds will have parted.  In the event that stalling tactics can’t delay the matter, push aside all the chatter and trust your research and your gut.  As far as romance goes, get to hunting.


Taurus, you work so hard that the summer could just pass you by if you aren’t careful.  It would be a shame to waste the numerous serendipitous opportunities for romantic connections which abound in the warm weather.  Why waste that banging body at the office?  Would it kill you to show your arms?  Get a little more naked than you usually would this season.  Remember if the bitches are talking shit, that just means you look good.  The work momentum is solid and financially it makes sense to buckle down.  Plus, June serves up extracurricular cash activities that get your purse all hard and throbbing.  The planets have some mischief in store for you this month, so to the extent possible, brace yourself for a visit from Miss Calamity Jane.  The best way to get out alive is to focus on your ability to clearly communicate.  Stay out of and away from that which isn’t your business and isn’t for you to control.