Thursday, June 25, 2009

CNN anchor drops the big scoop on Michael Jackson

I cannot believe what I saw on CNN tonight. During their early coverage of Michael Jackson's sudden and untimely death, the CNN anchor had Brian Oxman, Jackson Family Attorney/Spokesman, on the phone, live from LA Medical Center.

During the interview, Oxman dropped a huge bombshell, claiming that Michael Jackson's death was a result of being overmedicated by the people surrounding him. He drew direct comparisons with Anna Nicole Smith's wrongful death, and said that the family would be looking for answers because they believed that the folks medicating Michael needed to be held responsible.

Incredibly, the anchor didn't ask him any probing follow-up questions, preferring to go instead to entertainment reporter AJ Hammer for his take on things.


She missed an incredible journalistic opportunity, and if I were in charge at CNN, she'd be fired right now.

RIP Farrah Fawcett

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day to Dads of every variety

For all of you who are Dads to babies of the human and canine* variety, I wish you a very Happy Father's Day today.

I wish my Dad was still here, but since he's not, I'll be spending the day appreciating what a good father my girls have. It's difficult enough choosing a good husband, but the fact that I ended up finding a great Dad for my girls at the same time makes me feel truly blessed.

I also have a great appreciation for my friends who are single moms, and find themselves filling the role of Dad more often than they had ever planned to. This is their day, too.

Happy Father's Day, one and all!

*Yes, Dog Dads do deserve their due. There's really no such thing as a "Cat Dad" because cats rule their humans, not the other way around.

Protesters in Iran

I'm waiting up into the wee hours because I have to pick up my daughter at 1:15am, and watching the coverage of the protests in Iran. My heart goes out to the people there, bravely speaking out against the tyranny of their rigged elections.

There is blood being spilled on the streets of Iran at this very moment, and the images being broadcast are chilling. Police officers--authority figures who should represent safety and well-being--are shooting innocent bystanders, beating people, knocking down doors and arresting the injured right in their hospital beds.

The violence is upsetting and difficult to watch, yet I am so proud of those who are engaging in this uprising, taking a stand and fighting for what is right. It's an incredible time in Iran's history, and I pray that this does not spill over into a global crisis.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Reading

My nightstand overfloweth!

Yes, I admit it, I'm a book hound. I can't help myself. Even when I have a pile of books waiting to be read, I still can't resist browsing every bookstore I pass.

The pile on the nightstand next to my bed has now reached the bottom of the lampshade that also resides there, which is the benchmark that tells me it's time to get cracking and start plowing through some of these.

Unless I get totally engrossed in a story--in which case, I finish the book in a day or two--I usually wind up toggling between two different books, depending on my mood. Here are the books I have piled up, in the order that I intend to read them:

Stern Men by Elizabeth Gilbert
This was the novel she wrote before Eat, Pray, Love (which I absolutely adored). The story takes place off the coast of Maine and centers around the long-standing feud between two groups of local lobstermen. The book's heroine, Ruth Thomas, sounds like the type of strong-willed female character that I enjoy reading about, so I have high hopes for this one.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
I've heard so much buzz about this book of humorous essays, but I confess, I've never read any of Sedaris' stuff. I like essay compilations because they're the type of books you can put down for a few days and then pick up again and not be totally lost.

A Year On Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball
This is a novel about three middle-aged women who are best friends, each looking to make a big change in their lives. They decide to buy a fixer-upper mansion in Georgia, and spend a year renovating the place together. I read a review of this book in People magazine and it made me want to go out and buy it. I started reading it a few weeks ago but had trouble getting into it, so I set it aside and plan to give it another chance.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
There's a blurb from Elizabeth Gilbert on the front recommending this novel, but that wasn't quite enough to get me to purchase it when I first saw it in the store. Then, my sister-in-law asked me if I'd read it and said that she enjoyed it very much, so she loaned me her copy. It takes place in 1946 on the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, so I'm not sure how this one will be, but I'm willing to give it a whirl.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
I'm a huge Jane Austen fan, and so is my eldest daughter, so we couldn't resist picking this one up. She's going to read it first and then it'll be my turn!

Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation by Cokie Roberts
The only non-fiction book in the bunch, which is unusual for me, because I love reading non-fiction. This one offers insight into the lives of exceptional women from our country's history, including Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, Sacagawea, Elizabeth Seton and Martha Washington. It reminds me of another book I read, First Mothers by Bonnie Angelo, which was a fascinating look at the lives and personalities of the mothers whose sons went on to become the President of the United States.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Joels Split

I read this morning that Billy Joel and his wife Katie Lee Joel are separating after 5 years of marriage.

Normally, when I hear about the break-up of a marriage, I always feel a sense of sadness--but not this time.

Billy Joel was 54 when he married a 23-year-old Katie...she was just five years older than Alexa Ray Joel, Billy's daughter.

A few years ago, I saw the Joels appear on Oprah (Katie was showing off her home and promoting her new cookbook), and seeing them together gave me the creeps. Katie is so young and so pretty, and the sight of her with someone 32 years her senior was, in a word, nauseating. To his credit, Billy did appear to be slightly embarrassed as he sat there with this gorgeous fetus by his side. He has been through quite a bit in his 60 years of life, and every bit of it shows on his face.

The end of a marriage is not something to be celebrated, but I can't help but be relieved in this case.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another teenager in the house!

Happy 13th Birthday to my beautiful Amy. You are such a joy to me and Daddy!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

New novel from Richard Bach!


Richard Bach, one of my favorite authors (Illusions, The Ferret Chronicles, The Bridge Across Forever, One) has a new novel coming in September: Hypnotizing Maria. Here's the summary from the publisher, Hampton Road Publishing:

Flight instructor Jamie Forbes guides a woman to landing her plane safely after her husband loses consciousness, then flies on to his own destination unimpressed by his act...flight instructors guide students every day.

Only after she tells reporters that a stranger appeared in an airplane alongside hers and hypnotized her into landing, and after he meets his own guiding stranger does he solve the bigger mystery: how each of us creates, step by step, what seems to be the solid world around us.

The best mysteries are the ones whose answers lie in front of us, in plain sight.

The best solutions are those moments when all of a sudden we realize what we've known all along.

The book is short--only 160 pages--so it's inevitable that I'll read it in one sitting and then have another long wait until Bach gets around to publishing something else. I wish the author was a bit less reclusive and wrote more, but then, that's part of the enigma that is Richard Bach.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Support BAMSS Theatre Works!

One of my professors from my old college days is conducting a Theatre Workshop for adults and children in Brooklyn, NY this summer. Ben Harney is a Tony-award winning actor (he won Best Actor with the original cast of Dreamgirls) and he is FANTASTIC.  His acting class was one of the most memorable experiences from my school years.   Please check out his website:  

To make a donation to the program: BAMSS Theatre Works, PO Box 30063, Brooklyn, NY 11203.