Thursday, December 20, 2007

My wish list for 2008

1. Peace on earth. You can think it’s cheezy if you want to. It’s on the top of my list and it’s staying there until we achieve it.

2. An equal opportunity healthcare system for all Americans.

3. No more dead our wounded soldiers. Ever.

4. Reversal of global warming, with the majority of our energy output coming from carbon neutral sources. And let’s figure out how to make garbage to energy work so we can stop burying all our garbage. Someday the entire planet will be made of garbage. Ewe.

5. A workfare welfare system. Nobody who is healthy and able to work should get something for nothing. And for all the women who say I can’t work because I have a child, provide a national free or subsidized day care system.

6. Fire the IRS. Why do we put ourselves through the agony of filling out tax returns every year? Just take the tax out of our pay and be done with it! Then take all that money from the IRS and put it into socialized medicine.

7. Enough affordable housing for all, including the homeless.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

What I'm Thankful For

As the holidays approach, I would like to take a few moments to reflect on what I am thankful for:

1. My husband, who loves and respects me and works hard to help us build a future together.

2. My mom, who is always there for me and is more than just a mom; she is a friend who I enjoy being around.

3. My friends, who never complain when I vent, appreciate and miss me when I’m not there, and enrich my life just by being them.

4. Soldiers. For all the freedoms I have, and all the sacrifices you’ve made so that I can have them. If I said the word thank you a thousand times it would never be enough.

5. God. Even when I forget to pray, or forget to say thank you, he is always always there for me. He never ever gives up on me, even when I’m cranky or not as nice as I should be.

6. My pastor and my church. For giving me back my spirituality, giving me a venue for reaching out and helping others and for all the new friends I’ve made.

7. My clients who keep me busy and appreciate me. This one is also a thank you to God for allowing me to be my own boss and run my own business for four years. It gets better every year.

Happy holidays everybody!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Please Watch This Video

I encourage everyone to take two minutes out of their busy day to watch this video and take it to heart.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Nicks Fans Are Concerned About the Wrong Thing

Last night on the news I heard something that really got my goat. Fans of the New York Nicks were holding up signs outside Madison Square Garden calling for Isiah Thomas to be fired. At first I thought, well, yeah, the guy does deserve to be fired. But it’s the reason why they were carrying signs that riled me.

The Nicks have lost 6 games in a row and the fans are outraged. Where were they when he was being tried and eventually found guilty for sexual harassment? Why weren’t they calling for his firing then? Was that not more important than the Nicks losing 6 games? Are you kidding??!!!!

It’s a pitifully sad day in America when we value winning over integrity and having a conscience.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Telemarketers - Are You Really That Stupid?

I have a business line at home. This type of line is not exempt from the FTC's Do Not Call list, so I am destined to deal with telemarketers.

For the past four months or so, I have been getting phone calls from a toll free number. No one calls from a toll free number except telemarketers. But when I pick up the call, all I hear is, "All our representatives are currently busy. Please hold the line for a representative."

Do they really think people are going to do that? Do they really think people will hold the line just to hear what they have to say?

Telemarketers have been trying to reduce abandon rates - the percentage of people who hang up because there's no service rep on the other end of the phone when their phone rings and they pick it up - since the 80s. Haven't they figured this out yet?

This isn't rocket science. If you're going to use an automated dialing system to get people on the phone, then make damn sure there is a representative on the line when they pick up!!!

Why should I wait for you? What do I care about why you're calling? I don't!

Ninety percent of the time I don't even pick up the call and stubborn as they are, they keep calling back. Today I picked it up just for the heck of it to see how long it would take for a representative to pick up. I waited four seconds after the recording.

Are you kidding???? I don't care who you are or what your reason for calling is. If you can't get it right, you don't deserve to speak with me. Besides, I am absolutely certain I don't care why you're calling - even if you're one of my favorite charities. I don't need to speak to you on the phone. I can go to your website.

Some day, telemarketing as an outbound service will be extinct. And the killers will be the marketers who couldn't figure out how to get it right.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It Is Not a Person’s God-Given Right to Live On the Street

I get really irritated when I hear this. And I’ve heard it many times. “We can’t take a person off the street. It’s their God-given right to live on the street if they want to.”

When you’re born, you’re given a lot of freedoms. In the U.S., you have freedom of speech, equal opportunity education and jobs, and the freedom to worship your religion of choice. But never does a parent say immediately upon birth “my baby has just as much right to be a homeless crack addict as anyone else.”

Nobody wants that for their child. And when we leave people on the street, we ignore them, turn our backs on them, when we should be helping them.

Recently, in my town, a legless alcoholic in a wheelchair was begging for money in the parking lot of a CVS. This went on for about two weeks before the police chased him away. This man looked like he hadn’t had a bath in months. His clothes were so filthy I would burn them, not wash them. I asked one day why he didn’t go to the shelter. He said he didn’t like the shelter.

Another time, a big woman approached me asking me for a dollar for french fries. When I pulled out the dollar she asked for two. She said she was pregnant and homeless. I said why don’t you go to the shelter. She said they won’t take me because I’m not clean. She looked very clean to me. What she meant was, I’m a drug addict and you have to be clean and sober to live at the shelter. Meanwhile, four hours later the woman apparently still hadn’t gotten her french fries because she was still out there begging when I was leaving the area. She tried to beg from me again and I just help up my hand and said “don’t”.

The thing is, there are these people who are rejected from the system because they want to remain an alcoholic and a drug addict. Or at the very least, they’re not strong enough to give it up.

I think that when someone is homeless, and they have nothing left, and they’re not strong enough to take care of themselves, we should do it for them…whether they want us to or not.

Like this legless guy in the wheelchair. Since he’s disabled, he would easily qualify for a bed at a convalescent center. A permanent warm, dry and clean place to sleep and three square meals a day. But he won’t go because he can’t get the drink there. I think we should pick him up against his will, lock him up in detox for as long as it takes, and while we’re at it, scrub the hell out of him and put clean clothes on him. Who cares if it’s not what he wants today? He’s too sick to know what’s best for him.

Nobody wants to be homeless. Nobody really wants to be a drunk or a drug addict. I know that people would argue where do you draw the line. But sometimes it’s an open and shut case, like with this legless man. If he won’t do it for himself, we should do it for him.

It’s nobody's God-given right to live like a pig or to beg. Technically, it is their right. But this is America. We’re all brethren under God…brothers and sisters in one universe. We’re supposed to be helping our fellow man. And I think there are times when we should be doing it, whether they want to be helped or not. They may not thank us, but God will.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Workaholics…Take Time Out to Smell the Roses

Last weekend my husband and I made a last minute decision to fly down to the Bahamas to celebrate his mom’s 80th birthday with her and other members of the family.

It was a crazy, insane thing to do because we were in and out in three days, but I’m glad we did it. I never do anything crazy or insane. Everything I do is planned and structured. If I ever do anything impulsive, you should call The New York Times.

But I agreed to do this because, when your mom is 80, or even 71 like mine, you have got to take advantage of every moment. I come from a long line of workaholics and “I’m too busy” is too often heard in our family.

During the week, one of the people I saw in the Bahamas — a man who goes by the nickname Kitty — passed away from a long illness. He didn’t look ill when we were there. He looked full of life. Just three days after we left, he was gone. He was in his mid-forties.

Today, I ran into my neighbor Liz who told me her boyfriend Mino, who is just 36 years old, is dying of a brain tumor. He had always wanted children and he will never be able to fulfill that dream.

All in all, three men my husband knew, all in the forties, died in the space of two weeks. It made me realize that life is short and I need to get out and enjoy it. I don’t spend enough time with my friends and family and I need to do more of that.

If you’re a workaholic like me, please don’t forget to take time to stop and smell the roses. And to spend time with your friends and family. Our time on this earth is borrowed. You just never know when your name is going to appear on the pages of the book of life. Enjoy it now while you can.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

PIN Transactions Are Cheapest for the Retailer

Often when I am in a store and use my debit card, the cashier will ask, "debit or credit?" since the card can go both ways. Sometimes, it doesn't matter to me, and I will say, "I don't care, which ever is easier (i.e., less expensive) for you." But not once has anyone ever actually said which is easier for them. Now I know.

According to an article on ("Merchants Encourage Use of PINs for Debit Card Payments"), a typical supermarket pays $.24 in fees when a shopper spends $40 with their debit card using their PIN, vs. $.35 when they apply their signature. For payment with a regular credit card, the fee would be more than $.50.

Thanks,, for clearing that up! I'm using my PIN from now on.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Thank You, Soldiers, for My Freedoms

I do not believe in war, I believe in freedom for all. I do not believe in fighting, I believe in soldiers. I prefer peace, but sometimes you have to fight to get there. I don’t approve of President Bush and I think he’s the worst president who has served in my lifetime, but I’m not sorry we got Saddam Hussein. I’ve wanted his head on a platter since Desert Storm.

I have a great life. I have water that flows right out of the faucet whenever I need it and it’s always there. I don’t have to walk a mile with a bucket on my shoulders. I can sleep at night without the sound of gunfire whizzing over my head. I can walk down my street without looking over my shoulder. I can go to my place of worship without worrying about who doesn’t approve and what they might do to me.

I have all this because of soldiers who fought for the freedom of this great country so many years ago and who have continued to fight for freedom around the world over the past several decades.

There is no one I appreciate more than a soldier. When I see one, I walk up to them and say thank you. I started doing this long before anyone else did. I did it in public when it wasn’t popular to do so and people would look at me funny. I didn’t care.

To all the current and former soldiers around the world, and the fallen soldiers who are now angels in heaven, thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the luxuries that I have. You are my heroes and I will forever be grateful. May God bless you and keep you always in his care.

Let freedom ring. Happy independence day.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Keeping the Memory Alive

This is a really awesome story. I'm not even going to give you any hints or details. Just watch this video. Enough said.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

GREEN WATCH: Evan Almighty

While watching a video on Yahoo this morning, I learned that all the set materials from the movie Evan Almighty were donated to Habitat for Humanity. Imagine if every movie and TV set did that!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Recycle Your Jewel Cases!

Are you one of those people who doesn’t like jewel cases? Who perhaps likes to keep your CDs and DVDs in a book? Well, don’t throw those jewel cases away. They’ll just sit in the landfill for thousands of years, because they don’t biodegrade.

Here’s an alternative solution: Box them up and mail them to Earthology Records. Earthology is a fully recycled and earth friendly CD production facility.

According to an article today on, Craig Minowa, leader of the band Cloud Cult, couldn’t find any CD production firms that were up to his environmental standards, so he built his own facility.

Their website says that all CD inserts are made on 100% post-consumer recycled paper; all jewel cases are 100% recycled or reused; both are printed entirely with soy ink; and all energy is supplied by alternative sources, from Earthology’s geothermal heating system, Allete's Wind Sense Program and Native Energy wind turbines.

Also, 10 trees are planted for every 1,000 CD production order to offset greenhouse gas emissions produced.

Are you a musician who needs to print CDs? Consider Earthology. Each CD is slightly more expensive than regular production, but you would be saving a lot of garbage from sitting in a landfill, and you would be preventing greenhouse gas emissions.

If you are the kind of music aficionado who has a stack of empty jewel cases in your closet, do something good with them: recycle them. Pack them up and ship them to:

Earthology Records
46970 Tenquist Lane
Hinckley, MN 55037

The next generation thanks you!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It Couldn't Have Happened to a Nicer Gal!

I don’t spend a lot of time with my local newspaper these days. I follow mostly the national and international news via Yahoo and the major TV networks. But we do get the Sunday edition of our local paper, The Stamford Advocate, and I like to read the Arts section because it covers the author/book writing market.

Tonight, I finally got around to picking up last Sunday’s Arts section and got quite a surprise. There on the section’s front cover was a photo of Lisa Marie Peterson — a former staff reporter for the paper.

We used to work there together — I worked in Ad Sales, she in editorial — two departments with an invisible Berlin Wall between them — but for at least a year or two, the two departments were inseparable outside the office, hanging out at the guys’ softball games on Tuesdays, the girls’ on Thursdays. We also played together on another corporate team that summer.

Also, her (then) boyfriend Jim lived in a house with a bunch of guys who played in a band. The something Cats. Fat Cats? Wild Cats? It was so long ago. They had a beach party in the middle of winter and filled the living room with sand, then turned the heat up and everyone walked around in shorts, sandals and Hawaiian shirts, with sunglasses on and sunscreen on the tips of their noses. That I remember like it was yesterday.

Anyway, I digress. So Lisa Marie, who was once a local staff reporter (and a very nice person), eventually left here to work for the Bergen Record, a hefty-sized New Jersey paper, then at one point I caught her on the front side of a television camera as a TV reporter somewhere, and that was the last I had heard of her. And every once in awhile, I would think back and wonder what she was doing. Now I know. She packed up, moved to Hollywood, had a baby girl and, oh yeah, tried to break into the really competitive field of screenwriting. But here’s the punch line: she succeeded!

Have you seen the previews for a movie called Gracie? A story of a girl who fought all the odds to play on a boys soccer team? Well, Lisa wrote the screenplay!!! And according to the article in The Advocate (by Beth Cooney), she also writes for Law & Order SVU, where she won an Edgar Allen Poe award for mystery writing.

I never knew she had these kind of aspirations, but I’m so happy for her. She also said something very interesting in the article that I completely agree with. She said she wanted to be a novelist but she wasn’t any good at it. She says that “books, movies, sitcoms, dramas and plays are very different crafts. That writers who are good at plays are surprisingly good at sitcoms but a best-selling novelist who tries her hand at adapting her story to the screen will fail miserably. I couldn’t agree more. I write novels but have never felt the calling, nor the talent, to write a screenplay. She, on the other hand, writes screenplays, but can’t write novels.

Lisa Marie deserves this success and I’m thrilled for her. Way to go Lisa Marie!!!

To read the Advocate article:,0,6705407.story

Monday, May 14, 2007

You Have Got to Rent the Movie “Music & Lyrics”

I just rented the movie Music & Lyrics starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore and I am completely addicted to it. I think the song is so great, I can’t believe it isn’t all over the charts!

This movie really got to me because it’s about singing and songwriting. I sing and if I can ever find a spare nanosecond, I have actually dabbled in songwriting. So I “get” both the song and the movie on several levels. I guess I really relate to the character Sophie Fisher. Although I will admit that songwriting doesn’t come as easily to me as article writing does. But then, that could be because songwriting doesn’t pay the mortgage. I’m a realist.

Anyway, I love this song soooo much that I bought the CD today AND even ordered the sheet music so I can learn how to play it on the piano. I will probably go buy the DVD tomorrow. Next I’m going to see if I can find a karaoke version of it. Then all I'll have to do is get my husband to learn Hugh Grant’s part.

If you like comedy and love stories, I highly recommend you rent this movie! I feel like I could watch it a dozen times!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The African Children's Choir

I was very blessed to have experienced the African Childen’s Choir this week. This is the same choir that was featured on American Idol’s Idol Gives Back show with Josh Groban. However, it was a different set of children. There are three sets of children all part of the ACC traveling around the world right now.

The African Children’s Choir was started in Uganda during the dictatorship of Idi Amin by a missionary worker named Ray Barnett. Today, the children also come from Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Nigeria and Ghana. They all come from very poor villages. Some are orphans.

As the story was told to me, volunteers tried to save the original choir members from certain death by gathering them all in a bus and driving them across the border into another country. But the borders were closed and the soldiers did not want to let the bus through. Suddenly, a little boy began to beat his drum and one by one the children began singing. The soldiers were so moved by the voices that they opened the gates and let the bus through.

Money raised by the ACC is used to build schools and educate more than 6,500 poor children of Africa who would otherwise not have access to an education. They have also helped thousands of destitute families obtain emergency food, clothing and medical care.

This is the 22nd year of the African Children’s Choir. Children from the original choir have gone on to be doctors and lawyers and are working to build a better Africa, all because of the education they received through the ACC.

To find out more about the African Children’s Choir, to make a donation or to purchase one of their beautiful CDs, go to or call 1-877-532-8651.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Go With God, Nelson

I met a man last night. No, not that kind of “met”. I’m a happily married woman. I mean, I met a man who is being deployed to Iraq. His name is Nelson.

This wasn’t the first time I met someone who either was leaving for or had just come back from Iraq. But for some reason, meeting Nelson stopped my heart.

I worry about the soldiers who fight for freedom every single day. But this was different. All of sudden, “soldier” had a name. A face. And friends. All around him, he had friends. And he was leaving them. I felt somehow guilty. Responsible.

What if he doesn’t come home alive? Now he’s no longer just "a" soldier. He’s Nelson. He’s this guy from my town who has friends and family. And he hangs out where we hang out. He sat where I’ve sat and walked where I’ve walked. And he was real.

I had never met this man before, but suddenly I became concerned for his safety. I didn’t even know him, yet I instinctively wanted to protect him. To say, “don’t go”.

When we read the body counts in the newspaper of those who died in Iraq the day before, you can’t help but feel bad. But it’s a distant sense of guilt or sadness. It’s not the kind of guilt or sadness that sits squarely on top of your heart and makes it heavy. It’s like your brain is reminding you what guilt and sadness feel like and you recognize and acknowledge it, but it doesn’t engulf you or encompass you.

Putting a name and a face on a solider changes the entire game.

Go with God, Nelson. Be safe, and come home alive and in one piece.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Place Your Bets: Will RadioShack Still be Here Next Year?

RadioShack is a “nice” store. It’s clean, everything is always in order, the colors are bright. You can never get lost in one because they’re “boutique” size. And the people are very friendly and helpful and know their merchandise. If you ask a question, they generally have the answer.

But as the CompUSA store across the street from one of my local RadioShacks closes, I couldn’t help but wonder, if such a huge store as CompUSA couldn’t make it against tough competitors like Circuit City and Best Buy (also across the street), how can a little guy like RadioShack survive?

The brand certainly has its niche. If I need a cable connector or audio or cable wire, it’s the only place I would go. But the margin — and the sales volume — on that kind of stuff has got to be pretty low. Their signature products — stereos, tape recorders, answering machines, cell phones — all their competitors sell them.

The other thing is, there’s so many RadioShacks. There’s only one Best Buy. One Circuit City. One CompUSA (for now). One Home Depot. And three RadioShacks in my town — each with less than one-tenth the merchandise of these big guys.

So how do they make enough money to stay in business? How have they survived all this time? I know they’re franchises, not corporately owned, but these people have to compete with the giants and still make enough money to put food on the table.

And what if they don’t stay in business? Where am I going to go to get those few unique things that they sell? Perhaps Best Buy or Home Depot already sell connectors and wire and I just never noticed.

The way I see it, they have a limited time span from which to completely change their game plan or, by this time next year, RadioShack could be a brand no more.

So here’s what I think they need to do. Start a corporate rewards program. Rewards programs have a major influence over where I shop. Best Buy has a great program and I will definitely go there before going to one of their competitors because I get rewards points. Same thing with CVS. Stop & Shop sells the same merchandise. I can get cards at Hallmark and get gold crown points. But for my money, CVS has the better coupons and points rewards. So I take my business there. And I will go out of the way to get to a store where I am a loyal rewards shopper, if I have to.

If they don’t start a loyalty program to grow their customer base and build a loyal following, well… I shudder to think what could happen. Anyone want to bet me that they won’t be in business by this time next year?

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Dream Come True

I have achieved a lifelong dream. About 5 years ago, I joined an original rock band, along with my good friend Cami, and we became their backup singers. For over a year, we drove an hour away to practice and record in their studio in New Jersey.
We never asked for nor received any remuneration for this work. The purpose of our efforts was to get our voices on the CD as a stepping stone to singing careers.
After several months in the studio, we moved out into the spotlight and began doing live gigs, included among them singing at Toad's Place -- a very "you have arrived" club in New Haven, CT, where names as big as the Rolling Stones have played.
Eventually, the band as we new it disbanded and regrouped, sans the female voices, as a heavier metal band. At the time, I thought all our work would be for nought as they rerecorded screams and guitar riffs, and presumably, left out all Cami's and my parts.
But recently, I was given a nice surprise. We ended up being included on the album after all, in five songs. You can hardly hear us -- it's mostly oos and ahhs. Some of the softer ballads in which we had bigger parts were not used. But still, I'm proud of the fact that my name is listed in two separate places on the CD and, noticeable or not to the human ear, my voice is definitely on there.
Listening to the CD brings back great memories of the good times we had, the great work we did and the incredible talent these guys have, and I just want to say thanks a heap to Joey Dia (lead guitarist, singer and songwriter), Marc Chandler (drummer, backup singer and songwriter) and Andy Kaden (the most incredible keyboard player you ever saw, backup singer and songwriter).
The band's website is currently under construction. Once it is finished, I'll come back and point you to it. Until then, I just wanted to share my proud moment with my loyal followers! : )

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Bob Marley Said It Best

I often have a difficult time understanding why world peace is so hard. Why can’t the Israelis just GIVE the Palestinians the land they want (and deserve) and be done with it? Why can’t England just GIVE Ireland Belfast and be done with it? Why can’t the insurgents in Iraq sit down at the bargaining table and use their words to say what drives their anger and discuss how we can fix it?

Then recently, I was listening to a Bob Marley song called “War” and it all became clear. The song very eloquently explains why we can’t all get along today, and provides a very clear explanation for what it will take for world peace:

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned… until there are no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation… until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance that the color of his eyes… until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race… Until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship…international mortality… will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained. Until that day…everywhere is war.”

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Offset My Carbon Footprint Today

Have you seen former vice president Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth? If not, you should. It should be required viewing for all. The fact is, global warming is a serious problem. Most people who ignore think it won’t affect them. It will. Just as much as crime, terrorism, or natural disasters such as hurricane Katrina.

Anyway, after seeing the movie, I was moved to do something about my own carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is how much carbon dioxide is released into the air every year just by what you do to live and survive. Driving your car. Using electricity and water. How the simple day to day things you do affect the environment.

So I went to, the website for An Inconvenient Truth, clicked on the link that says “Take Action”, then followed the steps, clicking on “Calculate Your Personal Impact”, then fill out the form about the kind of car I drive and what type and how much energy I use in the home. It turns out I produce 6.65 tons of carbon dioxide a year, and that’s low. A family of 4 with both parents driving to work every day would produce triple that amount.

So then I clicked on the link for “NativeEnergy” and I made a donation to fund wind powered electricity. It was $12 a ton and I bought 7 tons worth, or $84. So for $84, I offset my carbon footprint for the entire year! Pretty reasonable.

Again, I strongly encourage you to take the time to view An Inconvenient Truth. It’s important that everyone understand how they are being affected by global warming and what they can do to help. If we don’t all do our part, we may be facing another “ice age” type extinction and a complete do-over of the planet and its inhabitants.

If you would like to offset your carbon footprint:

To find out little things you can do every day to improve the environment:

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

What’s Wrong With the Welfare System Today

I believe in the “Workfare” system. I believe that nobody should get something for nothing unless you are disabled. If you are physically able to work, you should, and the government should not have to support you because you have children and can’t afford to take care of them. My mother worked two jobs her entire life and raised four children. I started working full time when I was 14.

That said, while there are certainly many lazy people on welfare, there are also many women who are on welfare because when they did try to go out and work, their paycheck didn’t even cover the cost of daycare, let alone rent, food, etc.

The problem with welfare is this: if the government offered subsidized daycare (in addition to food stamps and medical insurance), many women could afford to work and live on their own. In addition to insurance and food stamps benefits, if the government offered subsidized daycare, I bet 80% of the women on welfare today could handle the rest and support themselves and their family.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Socialized Medicine in Lieu of Tax Returns

Why do we need the IRS? What is the point of taking all the time and effort to file tax returns at the end of the year? I propose that we do away with tax returns, do away with the IRS, except for a team who would investigate criminal cases, and take that multi-billion budget and put it all into socialized medicine.

This country was founded on the premise of equality. Over the years, we have fought for equals rights to worship, to education, to work, to get paid, to vote. But never yet have we fought for equal rights to medical care. That is the most unequal system that exists in the U.S. today, in my opinion.

People who come from other countries sometimes say that socialized medicine doesn’t work. The lines are too long and the care isn’t the best. Well, then, make it work. We certainly can learn a lot from other countries. Figure out what they do right and copy it. Figure out what they do wrong and don’t. It’s not rocket science. In fact, if we’ve already figured out rocket science, we can figure out how to make socialized medicine work and bring equality healthcare to all.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

It’s No Longer An Option…Everybody Has To Do Their Part

I have been on the environmental soap box since I was a junior in high school. It wasn’t an epiphany or anything. I had already been environmentally conscious for a few years. But in my 11th school year, something happened. The junior class decided to sell recycled note paper as a fundraiser. I was very active in the student body and I attended the demonstration given by the representative of the paper company.

It’s a presentation I still remember vividly — and I would even say, fondly — today although it was more years ago than I care to mention. The reason is, this man did not stand up on our auditorium stage and simply spew facts at us. Instead he told us a story about how he had taken time off from the corporate rate race to drive around the United States. Barely an hour outside of his northeast hometown, he picked up a male hitchhiker. The two hit it off and the hitchhiker stayed with him for the entire trip.

On that trip, they took photos, which he converted into slides…and that was his presentation to us. The pictures were absolutely breathtakingly beautiful…foamy waves, wet sand, blue skies, breathtaking mountains, forests, birds, lakes, trees, redwoods, multicolored sunsets, oceans, animals…all the things in America that we not only don’t see on a daily basis, but that we often forget exists. He showed the beauty of America, the vulnerable parts of America — what we abuse and take advantage of every day when we throw out our trash, spew emissions into the atmosphere and take the Earth for granted.

He didn’t try to sell us on recycling. He didn’t need to. He sold us on America. It worked.

It was only a year later that we celebrated our first Earth Day. But since then, Earth Day has been like a typical American holiday. People get together and make nice one day a year and then we all leave and go about our business, forgetting that taking care of the environment is as daily a ritual as taking a shower and brushing our teeth.

Then global warming started to rear its ugly head. The tsunami happened. And hurricane Katrina. And former vice president Al Gore released his frightening documentary. Now people are starting to sit up and listen…and they’re asking what they can do to help.

If you haven’t been listening as of yet, please listen to me now. We’re killing our planet. And if you think it doesn’t matter because you’re not going to be around when it all goes to hell in a hand basket…or because it’s easy to turn your head and look the other way…you’re wrong. Entire communities are being built on top of landfills. Landfills release fumes and gases that can cause lifelong health problems.

On top of that, it takes more than 50 years for a bag of garbage to decompose. If hundreds of millions of people throw out two to three bags of garbage a week, each taking more than 50 years to decompose, how long do you think it’s going to be before there is no planet left that is not a landfill?

The time is now to start recycling every possible thing you can. And to start buying recycled materials, organic foods and alternative forms of energy. This is your planet. You don’t get a free ride in life. You helped create this mess. Now it’s your turn to help clean it up before there’s no planet left to clean.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Monday, February 12, 2007

You Didn’t Have to Like Her to Feel Bad

I feel compelled to say something about the tragedy that befell Anna Nicole Smith. I was in no way a fan, and I liken her to Paris Hilton in that I feel her notariety is her claim to fame, rather than actually doing something worthy of fame. If she wasn’t in the news so frequently, I wouldn’t even know who she is.

For days, I struggled with whether I should say something or not. I was afraid that a post about her would embarrass me, making me look less than professional. This is a personal blog after all, but it is read by many professional people I interact with, so I have to take that into consideration.

But after several days of not being able to get her out of my head, I finally came to the conclusion that, irregardless of how she lived her life, and whether I agreed with her lifestyle or not, I am overcome with compassion for the people who are suffering as a result of her loss, and I needed to let it out.

The fact remains, she left behind a very innocent and vulnerable baby girl who not only did not ask to be part of any of this tragic mess but, worst of all, will never see her mother again. And that is so incredibly sad.

In addition, I don’t think much of Howard K. Stern. He has a very phony expression and looks a bit like a male gold digger to me. But he loved her, and he is now a devastated broken man. As is Larry Birkhead.

The point is, these are not soap opera characters, although we may treat them as such. They’re real people with real hearts that are really broken. And my heart goes out to them. All of them. Parents, sisters, ex boyfriends, her ‘quote un quote’ husband. It is not for me to judge. I can only pray for them and wish them the strength, hope and faith to go on.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thanks, Sidney

My hero is dead. Sidney Sheldon. The man I have always wanted to be, and still want to be.

When I was 17, my family went on a camping trip to Lake George, New York – a beautiful, crisp, clean place with mountains and clean air and clear blue water.

After helping set up the tents and getting everything else set, I pulled out a book I had brought with me and sat down on a rock to read. The Other Side of Midnight, by Sidney Sheldon.

By the third or fourth chapter, I knew. I knew that his style of writing was exactly the way my mind worked. Contrast. First you introduce one character or theme, then the other. Then you go back and forth until you've weaved them both so close to together that by the end of the book they are completely intertwined and boom! Climax.

And I always liked his characters, especially the women. Too smart to be in a Danielle Steele novel but not so complex that they belong in a Michael Crichton book. And no bimbos.

Through all the John Grishams, Nelson DeMilles, Ken Follets and other great writers I've read, Sheldon has always remained my favorite – my idol.

Thanks for the inspiration, Sidney. Someday, I hope to join the best seller list and make you proud.

If you are interested in reading more about Sidney Sheldon:

Here's his obituary in The Wall Street Journal (you might need to be registered to read it):

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The History of Television As Told By Nielsen Media Research

Hey, if any of you readers out there have a kid in school who needs to write a report about the history of television, I just stumbled on a really great timeline and history perspective at

As the pioneers of being able to measure who watches what television when, Nielsen has the first-hand experience to write this digital documentary, which starts with the 1920s and goes through, of course, today.

Even if you're just curious about the history of television, it's a fun review. Check it out through the link below:

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We Should All Try Out for American Idol

I’m not a big fan of bars. Never was. And when I go out, I don’t drink alcohol. But what I get high on is singing, and bonding with my friends who sing.

You see, my husband Adrian and I are certified karaoke junkies. We have our set places where we go. We know all the DJs, we know all the regulars. And we’ve made some really awesome friends over the years through the karaoke circuit.

The interesting thing is, none of us suck. We’re all really good singers and should be doing it professionally, or at least as a serious side job.

Last night was my husband’s birthday, and it just so happened to fall on our regular weekly karaoke night. Everybody was full of energy because we were celebrating — Sue, Lili, Cami, Ursula, Judith, Brie, and Bryan the DJ, among others.

But I couldn’t help looking around the room at all the great friends we have and thinking, God, American Idol should look here.

I’m not a bragger, but I have to be honest here. If American Idol came to O’Neill’s in Norwalk, Connecticut last night, they would have given out at least a half dozen golden tickets. In particular, my friends Ursula and Cami rocked the house. Ursula even got a standing ovation from the crowd.

I would love to see both of them on the big stage and I know they would love to see themselves on the big stage, as well.

But for now, I thank God and karaoke for bringing me (and Adrian) such great friends. And if American Idol doesn’t discover them, that’s their loss. At least we have each other.

Check out Ursula’s MySpace profile:

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Check Out This Video: "212 the Extra Degree" -- It's Really Interesting!

One of my favorite clients just turned me on to a really inspirational video clip that is totally worth everybody’s time to watch and listen to. It’s only 3 minutes long.

It’s called 212 the extra degree, and it was made by

It reminds us that we are in control of our lives and we have the power to give 10% or 150%, and that the paths our lives take, both professionally and personally, are entirely up to us.

I encourage everyone to watch it.

You can find the video clip at:

Don’t forget to put your speakers on!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I’m Addicted to My SportBrain

I’m sure you’ve heard it before — that every step counts when you’re trying to add more exercise into your day. You should park far away from the grocery store entrance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc. etc.

Well, SportBrain helps you keep track of all those extra steps you take so you can accurately judge how much exercise you’re getting each day. But it also does much more than that. Each SportBrain comes with its own personal web page that lists:

- how many steps you take each day/week/month
- how you’re doing compared to all other SportBrainers of your sex and in your age group
- how many miles you covered
- how many calories you burned

You can record your weight, check your body mass index, and interact with other SportBrainers. They even have contests about every other month. If you reach a certain point level, you get a prize such as a SportBrain t-shirt, mouse pad or keychain. They have loftier prizes for the serious running or walking enthusiast.

I started wearing a SportBrain pedometer back in 2001 about three months before the dot com crash. Unfortunately, they were a dot com and when the recession hit, their investor funding dried up and they closed their virtual doors. I had paid $99 for the device through and couldn’t get my money back. But I kept it.

After we pulled out of the recession (around 2004), they regrouped, found new funding and reopened their doors. They still had my name and keycode in their database and when I reregistered they recognized me and welcomed me back.

To me, they were worth the wait because I really love this thing. I even wear it to bed in case I get up in the middle of the night! I urge you to go to their homepage and check it out!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

My Rating for the Arbitron Diaries Program: F

Last summer, I received a telemarketing phone call from Arbitron, the company that tracks consumers’ radio listening habits, much like Nielsen’s television diaries. Since I write about marketing for a living, I thought it would “behoove” me to get involved, so I agreed to fill out diaries for myself and my husband for 7 days.

Ironically, what I thought was going to be a simple, easy experience turned out to be the commitment from hell. After agreeing to record our listening habits, we received a letter telling us that the diaries would come shortly. They came about a week later. We also received another phone call about that time thanking me for agreeing to do the diaries and reminding me to fill them out. I didn’t feel that I needed the reminder, but okay, whatever.

That wasn’t so bad, but then, about two weeks before the diary period, the phone started ringing every other day with the same message: don’t forget to fill out the diaries. Once the official diary period started, the calls came daily. We also received another letter.

The constant calling got real old real fast. I got so sick and tired of their nagging that during one of the calls I threatened to rip up the diaries if I received one more call. They stopped calling after that.

But that wasn’t the end of it. About two weeks after the diary period, I started getting survey phone calls about radio listening habits. Either they were doing a survey or they had sold my data to someone who was. But I fixed them. Since I could identify the number every time it came in, I simply refused to answer the phone when they called. And boy did they call. They called at least 30 or 40 times over a period of four weeks. Sometimes they called in the morning and the evening on the same day. They called during the week and on the weekends. They were quite persistent. Eventually, however, their timeframe for doing the project ended and they had no choice but to give up on me.

In my opinion, this entire experience gets an F in customer service. It was overwhelmingly and unnecessarily intrusive, and I will never ever agree to do it again.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.