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November 2008
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January 2009

Can you help?

A fellow Bay Area Writer, Brandilyn Collins ( has a fan who has become homeless. She is a single mother with a sixteen year old daughter, and her daughter has started blogging the experience.

I read in the paper that 55 people, ranging in age from 18 to 78 have lost their lives this year living on the streets of the Bay Area.  It has been incredibly cold here.  Brandilyn is looking for shelter options for the family, but even if you can provide moral support to the family, comments to the blog, would let them know people do care.

There is so much money here.  I have to believe people would help if they knew how to help.  I was telling my DH how lucky we were that the heater went kaput last year instead of this one because it's so cold.  But I failed to realize just how blessed we are, and I want this family to be blessed as well.  Kristin

Just by the title, you can tell this is no ordinary sixteen year old girl.
See their blog at:



So a new book about a love story during the Holocaust has been canceled because...apparently, the couple didn't meet the way they said they did.  It's already being produced as a movie -- can you tell me why publishers don't just call it fiction and release it?  It sounds like a great story, as was A Million Little Pieces, but is anyone's version of the truth, REALLY the truth? 

Don't we all put our spin on it?  I mean, is Marley & Me absolutely the truth?  Or did the author embellish for entertainment?  And I'm sure the movie version is slightly different for entertainment purposes, so I guess I don't get the whole beacon of truth thing here.

I think anything that reminds us of the Holocaust (incidentally, the book was supposed to be called, "Angel at the Fence") is a good thing because there are idiots out there who still deny it.  One of whom just named his kid Adolf Hitler.  I think the court overturned his right to do so, but he's already named two of his kids to mimic his racist, backwoods beliefs.   I sort of feel like this couple is being abused all over again, and it TICKS me off.  When you've survived the Holocaust, you've made it through worse than publishing garbage, but dang, this is irritating. 

I'm a truth monger, so I'm not sure why this doesn't bother me, but I think it's because the couple has already endured too much, and their story is triumphant, but let's get off our high horses.  "Running with Scissors" was a memoir, as was his Asperger brother's "Look at Me, When I Talk to You".  Both very different sides of the same upbringing.  Just saying.  For the full story:

Got a New Year's Resolution?

Okay, so I know that Oprah is trying to help.  I understand she's dealt with being big and losing the weight, but I have to say, as a naturally thin person, her new "O" cover ticks me off.  First off, I'm annoyed she thinks the rest of the world watches her weight so closely -- and world, if you do, shame on you!  Secondly, I'm annoyed that the thyroid issue she's dealing with, has to be explained.


Oprah's gained weight.  Oprah, that is not worthy of a magazine cover. I'm sorry, it's just not.  Oprah needs to worry about her health and we need to worry about our stock portfolios, etc.,  but the idea that I want to read an actual article about her weight struggles, I do not get that.  We all have struggles.  Have you watched "Ruby" on the Style Network?  That's a struggle.  Have you watched "The Biggest Loser" those are struggles. 

I don't mean to demean Oprah's struggle.  I know it's very real to her, but I am so tired of her having to explain why she's big again -- it's still sending the message to women everywhere that you are worth less if you don't look just right.  SO. SICK. OF. THAT.  And I think Oprah's past that.  I mean, she's what 50 something and she's still worrying about her weight that much?

Something's just not right there.  The woman has changed the book industry, she has started a school for girls in Africa, she has done a lot where I don't think we care if she weighs X amount.  I want her to use her power to stop playing into that ridiculous idea that what we look like is what we contribute to the world.

Let's get over ourselves, shall we?

Or should I start doing a Bridget Jones and posting my weight everyday?  Like the Wii Fit chart isn't enough humiliation for a day.  (It graphs your weight, so you know how you fluctuate daily if you take the body test)   Thank you, but no.  I take the little cheer session when I've finished my yoga for the day instead.  : )  Opr_cvr-med

The Brain...

I have read so many brain books for this upcoming novel I'm writing, and someone sent me this.  I have to admit to laughing out loud.

I saw "Australia" yesterday.  Okay, maybe I just wanted to post my Hugh Jackman picture again.  Sue me.  I liked it.  I wouldn't say I loved it, but it was a nice afternoon.  Nicole Kidman is beautiful, but that woman is a human walking stick! Sigh, I remember the days people said that about me.  They don't now.  LOL 

I'm most excited to see "Doubt" at Christmas, and I can hardly wait.  It looks absolutely riveting.  I saw 7 Pounds this weekend (can you tell my kids are at Grandma's?) and  One reviewer summed it up, "Seven Pounds is so inflated with its own self-importance, it forgets to be entertaining." 

Happy Day before Christmas Eve, I hope your shopping is done!  KristinHugh_jackman

Meeting your own needs...or spoiled rotten?

I grew up pretty independently.  I had a mentally retarded brother who had two open heart surgeries as a kid.  We spent a lot of time at Stanford and I waited a lot.  I waited at the hospital.  I waited at my grandmother's house.  I waited at the Children's Health Council.  Consequently, I have an active imagination and a pretty strong ability to take care of myself.

At 13, I started working and haven't stopped.  I loved my grandmother, but I hated the polyester mini skirts I had to wear (well before they were in style), so I worked for clothes and handbags. 

And makeup.  I have had a lifelong fascination with makeup.  When I think about the great, affordable makeup available now versus when I was a kid and there was only that orange mask for foundation in the "affordable" range, I get a little ticked.  You girls don't know how good you have it!!  Have you tried Loreal Bare Naturales?  FABULOUS!!  I prefer Jane Iredale, but you cannot beat Loreal's mineral base for the price. 

Oprah had all these women talking about how they took care of everyone else, but didn't care for themselves.  And I realized, I would work myself to the bone to get my facials, have my pedicures once in a while and carry a great handbag.  Because I know what gives me energy to care for four children, a house and live like the bus driver I am. 

And now, everyone is catching must care for yourself.  I've decided maybe I'm a tad narcissistic, but DUH!  You can't give everything away and have the strength to go on.  That's what having multiple sclerosis has taught me.  You can either care for your body or wait until it shuts down on you, and then, you can care for it.

No. Thank. You.  So I hope you're out there caring for yourselves.  Offering yourself a little slice of life that gives you energy and keeps you going with joy and vigor! 

Organization is hot!

PeterWalsh Okay, I must confess outright to having a little crush on Peter Walsh, Oprah's organization guru.  I first fell for him when he cleaned a woman's 3,000 square foot house out of two warehouses full of clutter and restored her life to functional.  That is sexy.

My husband is pretty OCD, so maybe it's just my DH with an accent, who knows?  But I am organizing my house, trying to take one area at a time and just get rid of everything I don't need.  Clutter bothers me visually, and I don't work well when I've overwhelmed, so there's a practical reason for it too.  I've enlisted my kids with Dave Ramsey's chore chart for them.  I can't believe how much it helps just to have a little help around here!

This was hard for me, because I've had to learn to be organized.  With four kids, I haven't had much of a choice, but my mother did everything for me.  I am lame, lame, lame when it comes to sorting, cleaning, not hoarding (make-up and Mr. Clean sponges are my hoarding items of choice -- I'm sure there's something very Freudian there.)

Anyway, I listen to my Aussie crush (second only to Hugh Jackman) on Oprah XM radio in the morning and he gets me fired up to finish a project that day.  My house is looking so good, I can hardly believe I don't have to be embarrassed if someone comes to the door. 

Last week I took on the pantry and that was probably the biggest job, but what I've learned from Peter is that everything needs a home.  If it doesn't have one, maybe you don't need it.  My garage is full of stuff for the Goodwill and I am feeling lighter and lighter.

Are you organized?  Does it come naturally to you?  Or is it something you had to learn?  Any tips?  Here's mine for the day:
Spend one day organizing the food choices for the week.  That makes a HUGE difference for me in writing, not worrying about what's for dinner that night.  You can switch the week around if say, you feel more like chicken than spaghetti that night.  : )  IMG_2042

What is wrong with women?

I read today that Drew Peterson, the police man whose fourth wife is missing and the third one died in unusual circumstances in the bathtub, is engaged to be married for the fifth time.,,20247587,00.html

Seriously, who are these stupid chicks?  Where do they come from that they think they need a man this badly?  Oh heck, I'll take the chance he didn't do it.  He LOOOOVES me.  Oh. My.  Goodness.  Ladies, I speak for all womankind when I say STOP IT.  Stop being so stinkin' stupid.  There is stupid.  And there is dumb-as-a-box-of-hair stupid.  Ding. Ding. Ding.  That one!

If you are tempted to marry a man accused, or really, even partially questioned, in the murder of a woman.  Find a new man.  Please.  I don't know, maybe it's me, but I'd sleep better knowing my fiance didn't maybe murder someone.  Get some counseling, lady.  Find out why, oh why, you think marrying anyone who has been married four times is a good idea, especially when two of the young women are dead. 

And maybe it's me again, but doesn't this man look like a guy who would kick puppies?Drew_peterson

Brad Pitt? Get a Job!

Am I the only one in America who is not mesmerized with this man?  Sure, he's handsome.  I get it.  A little too pretty for my tastes, but I can see it. 

I watched "Legends of the Fall" this weekend on television so that it was edited.  Lord have mercy, I can't imagine what it was like unedited!  The story was like the Prodigal son, only the prodigal son is a murdering thug, and I'm not sure where the redemption came in, or if it did.  Feel free to explain it to me if I'm lame. 

Anyway, Pitt was on Oprah a few weeks' ago, promoting his "Benjamin Button" movie, which I think sounds like a great concept -- but after seeing him on Oprah, talk with all the enthusiasm of a dead fish, I thought, nah, not into it. 

Anyway, I'm getting resentful of these stars going on Oprah and the like, and using them, acting as if they're too big to be promoting their movies.  Give me a break!  Those movies pay for how many kids?  And house you've been able to rebuild in New Orleans, get over yourself and do the job.  It's not done until the promotion is done. 

I am so tired of attitude in general.  Like the lying, swearing, senate-selling governor from Illinois who won't step down.  Are you kidding me?  We have to have a lawsuit to get a guy who is SELLING an official government office to step down?  What is WRONG with people that they are so above doing the right thing and have to be forced to act appropriately?  Ie., with common decency!

Now, we're going to bail out the "big three" and insurance companies who took a $400,000 spa trip to Half Moon Bay, CA.  How many Americans are struggling to keep a job and we're going to bail out these losers who never let their dying companies cause them any pain.

It's all related, don't you think?  Pride, pride, pride.  People too good for an honest day's work, too good to play by the rules.  My new hairdresser came here fifteen years' ago from Vietnam.  Everyone in his family went to work, and school to learn English at night (five kids and his parents).  His mother did nothing but cook all day for the different shifts in and out trying to get a paycheck. 

My tax dollars are going to ensure that my neighbor doesn't have a fire in their fireplace on the wrong day.  The chickens have to have bigger cages to lay eggs.  You know, I'm all for doing the right thing, but wouldn't it be nice if more of the country just did the right thing?  Without a gaggle of lawyers on their tail?

Brad, it starts with you buddy.  You're not above promoting your movie.  Set a good example.  Otherwise, we'll have to watch more of that Heidi chick and her dysfunctional boyfriend/husband on these mindless shows.  Do the work.

Incidentally, Hugh Jackman promoted his movie on Oprah.  And Hugh Jackman brought cookies for everyone in the audience.   I edited all day.  Maybe I should have edited this.  LOL  Happy day!

Sparkly People are Happy People!

My heroine in "The Trophy Wives Club" has a tacky habit, that I have to admit, is in reality, mine.

She likes the bling.  Sparkle clothes, glittery items that are tacky.  I know they're tacky, but sparkles make me happy.  I'm a simple girl and if it sparkles, bring it on...which I guess was cute at say, seven.  In my forties, not so much.  I know it, but I don't let it stop me, because as I said, sparkles make me happy!

Enter Silicon Valley.  In a lot of ways, this place is like one big high school table.  Can you sit with the popular kids?  Or do you have to slouch off under the bleachers and remain unnoticed?  Everyone seems to do the same thing here so as not to make themselves an object of ridicule.  They drive the same cars, they shop at the same places and they stare!  Dang, if they don't stare.  

Here are a few of the reasons I get stared at.  One, if I need coffee, I will go out with my hair in a complete tizzy.  Whatever, buckle it up on my head, it is what it is. However, I do not leave the house without makeup.  I can, I'm not embarrassed to, but I like my sparkle, so I wear makeup.  One of my daughter's little friends said to me once, "My mom says you wear too much makeup."  And I thought it was cute, but I could see the little girl, who is always telling me I'm pretty (little sweetness!) had an issue with it because her mommy was implying it was bad, but she thought it looked nice.  She was conflicted.

I told her that I liked makeup.  I wore it since I was thirteen and even if it was too much, I still liked it, so that's why I wore it.  She seemed happy with that.

I also wear MBT shoes -- which are painstakingly ugly, but good for my back and my MS balance issues.  But people look at me like why??  Why are you wearing those things in public?  Now, snug yoga pants seems fashionable around here, but my MBTs are like orthopedics and garner much disdain.  Plus, I think the orthopedics are mismatched with the bling makeup.  So it makes people wonder.

Seriously though, I love people's reactions.  Even when they're rude, because it's great research for how people react to life -- and that is great for characterization.  So I colored my hair tonight.  I can't tell exactly what color it is, but if it's a little too red?  I am so putting in a rhinestone barrette and my orthopedics.  And I always have a good handbag, even if I look like something the cat drug in...and today I bought a gorgeous gold glitter Starbucks' cup for the soy mocha I carry around.

I'm going to be one of those little old ladies with too much rouge whose wearing "Grandma Rocks" spelled out in rhinestones on my T-shirt.  How about you?  Is there something you love enough to be yourself regardless of what the world around you thinks?  TrophyWivespbc