Thursday, February 26, 2009

Toby, Tidbits and a Tiny Tirade


There is no particular reason that I am posting a photo of the fabulous actor Toby Stephens, I was just in the mood and he is fantastic eye candy. Yum, yum yum!

Hilarious! Dirtiest hotels listed on Trip Advisor.
This home in the Hollywood Hills is choice, scroll down for the photos
I covet this red bowl like nobody
Roaches, yes Roaches
Photo frame clock, interesting design idea
I love writing letters, but alas, not many people do, but if you did, mail me something on this please
I want to go to Phabulous Phoenix to see this exhibit
Why cats will always rock

Oprah was sad yesterday as a special report by Lisa Ling discussed all the tent cities going up around the nation. I think what bothered me most was that these people were in their 40's and 50's and would not tell their children they were homeless. Most of them said they did not want to burden them and of course shame was obvious. Terribly heartbreaking and scary because it could be anyone of us.

Ending with a small rant here:
I am not a huge fan of Electronic Medical Records being the first thing our President wants to tackle in regards to health care. We have a nursing shortage and general practitioner shortage. We need incentives to make nurses want to teach, we need to get rid of the ridiculous amount of paperwork forced on RN's and DR's from Health Insurance companies so they can actually concentrate on their job. What also bugs me is there are a ridiculous amount of tests being performed on people only days before they die. So much to do, so little money and time to do it. Buckeye Surgeon breaks some stuff down for us all.

Peace, love and chocolate cake,
Fifi

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Puppy, People and Philanthropy


This is our beloved Jack Russell Terror, Isadora aka Izzy. She was born with cerebellar hypoplasia so she has to use a wheelchair to run and cause havoc. Before she had the wheelchair, she would roll, stumble like a drunk and hit her head, of course we think she has a permanent concussion due to that, but we may never know. Anyway, to prevent Izzy from being bored, JRT's like activity as much as possible, we ventured out to the park. This was her very first outing there yesterday and we had a blast. She walked, ran, attacked sticks and proceeded with her normal behavior of threatening others within a 30 yard radius, a successful visit indeed. I need to take pictures of her running with a 3 foot stick in her mouth. It is entertaining and I am hoping the busier the park gets, the better she will be and lose some of her aggression. This is why we hesitated before, but I think it will work out well. Plus she slept hard after and we like that the best!

I admit I am not a nice person when it comes to all the current foreclosures. I worked in Mortgages years ago and when sub primes began, me and many others knew it was risky and stupid. Thanks to greed on the bankers parts and sheer belief amongst the regular folks that the "American Dream" was their right, many people have lost their homes.
Perhaps it is me, but if someone offers you a $500K loan and you only make $35K, you sure as hell know you cannot afford it, but you hear what you want to hear come out of all the mortgage companies mouths and sign the papers anyway?!? You then feign ignorance to how your loan was structured, the lack of lawyers involved is astounding, but brokers do need to own up they did not explain shit too, then cry that Wall Street did this to you?!? I think not. I think most of us in America are a bunch of spoiled brats who want things NOW to show status and damn the hard work and the rules to get there. The coveting of cars, houses, I-pods, TVs, clothing is absolutely insane. Why not covet someones investments or savings or real estate ventures? Why not covet education in finances, estate planning or private wealth? Go covet something that can teach you how to build wealth and be solid. Purchasing a Coach bag will not make you wealthy. You will look pretty on the food bank line though. Regardless of the market, Warren Buffet and many others are hardly worried. Even at its worst right now, we still have more than most countries and this lamenting about having to downsize and not shop is really childish. We are still a new nation, so we behave like teenagers. Europe and Asia are older and should have known better, but they played with us teens, now they are paying for it too. Of course, once the economy comes back we will all forget this episode because humans do that best. Hopefully we will finally realize that "Greed is Good" was just a line from a movie and not a mantra for life.

You are all better than the above, so go and donate: Charity Navigator

Here is a wonderful charity called DonorsChoose.org. Teachers list what they need for certain projects, you pick what to donate, kids get to learn and are happy, then everyone feels good. Honestly, it is truly a terrific idea.

For fun: Fabulous way to disguise kitty's toilet

Peace, Prosperity and Critical Thinking,
Fifi


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Job Hunting Reject: "Thanks, but no thanks"

Suffice to say I am in one pissy mood. Our cat Chloe continues to defecate partly in the litter box and then finish in the kitchen or the rug. We took her to the vet, all is well, she is just rushing and not finishing apparently. We were told to try new letter so we shall. If not, there is a Chinese Restaurant down the street I will send her to. To add to all things poopy, I just got ANOTHER job application rejection. Actually, here is what they wrote.
"Thank you for your interest in potential employment opportunities within Atlantic Health.  We have received your application for the Administrative Assistant .  After careful review, the department has decided to interview other candidates whose qualifications and experience are more consistent with their needs."

So apparently, my 5+ years of admin experience is worth crapola. Co-owning an unprofitable jewelry business does not pay off either nor does being an oncology massage therapist. I am sure people who dislike me heavily out there are pleased to see my stagnation and frustration. If I was them, I would enjoy it too. Kind of like the small joy you get out of seeing an ex-friend put on a good 50 pounds. It is petty and pointless, but dammit, it makes you feel good for 3 seconds. I do not deny that I am petty, we all are, that is what makes us human and small.
I know in the grand scheme of things there are 2,000 of us applying to the same crappy job in one day, but that does not make this easier. I have a house I want to buy with the mister and go on to further education. This latest denial will not stop me, but it does make for a bigger speed bump.
I am now off to drown my sorrows with a classic film "The Palm Beach Story" and some lunch while hanging with the couch Nazi, Isadora.

Here is one link of joy for now, the fabulous Fortnum and Mason now have a USA website. Whee!

Peace, love and anti-depressants,
Fifi
PS I am having issues with the fonts in Blogger so I apologize

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Dreaded Religion Rant


I am pretty good about not giving a damn what anyone practices or not practices. Faith is such a personal choice that when people slam their beliefs down someone else's throat, I admit I get a twitch. The Joshua Project is one of these things I find unacceptable. They single out certain cultures and their faiths, that existed long before you, me, dinosaurs and Jesus Christ, and try to make them embrace Jesus. This includes Muslims, Buddhists and Jews. They fall under what is known as the 10/40 window or Resistant belt.
This is one of the reasons I loathe organized religions, especially the evangelical ones. Like it or not, we do all believe in the same God but, praise him differently. Why should you try and convert me when you can teach love and tolerance? Nope, when you are a hard core bible thumper, your job is to convert us so you get a special place in heaven and I do not go to hell.
Now, I am certainly not opposed to mission work, I think it is a wonderful thing. I understand religion goes along with it, but we must, as a nation, learn to respect other cultures if we really want to get by in this world and move forward. How can you claim to love thy neighbor when all you want to do is make him just like you? Your intent is false. There is no love, just conversion, points, a selfish need to show off to God that you got someone on "your side". I ain't buying it. I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic school for 9 years along with Catholic summer camp. Luckily I got to go to a non-religious camp at times in NY State, thank you Aunt and Uncle! The thing is, I recall my prayers and there were some great moral lessons, but I never felt I had to convince anyone my faith was better and stronger. I could love God and the Virgin Mary all I want, but how does that make me better than my Jewish husband or my Muslim friends? I guess I live in a fantasy where I want these homeschooling, hardcore biblical womanhood following people to take a second and think beyond all they know. What works for you works for you, just do not feel it would work for everyone. There is nothing wrong with sharing your love of all things Jesus, but it certainly is not Christian to say I am going to hell because I do not adhere to your doctrines. Funny thing is, not one of these people who need to read this will, so for now it is out there for the universe and if it gets to one fine, but we all know, if it did, they would be praying for my soul not to be lost during the Rapture.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Princeton, NJ


Princeton is quite a fabulous place. Not just for the beautiful campus of Princeton University, but there are terrific shops and restaurants everywhere too. It has a cool vibe and no I do not find it snobby. Now, as most of you know, I love to read and the unfortunate thing is that if you live in a mediocre town or a small town, your library shall be lacking. Thanks to your reference desk you can order books to be brought in, but there are times I wish my library had more than what they do.
Today we drove to Princeton and walked around as we were meeting friends later on. First stop was Labyrinth Books. A great store that caters to the students and residents. Very interesting selections and there were chairs for you to just sit and chill. The Princeton version of Barnes and Noble. After that we went to House of Cupcakes and I had a delicious red velvet cupcake. We decided to sit in the sun and enjoy our treats when there it was, across the street....the Princeton Public Library. This is no ordinary library, this is the motherland of libraries. We went in and I looked at my husband and said, "I hate everyone and would live here just to have access to this." By all means, let me explain and then show you pictures. There is a cafe when you walk in, an information desk that looks like it belongs at the Met Opera House, a self checkout section, a flat screen TV showing a fireplace, magazines that you can only usually get at those teeny international stores in NYC and so much more. This a place for you to sit down and live for a day. Multiples of books, 5 "Water for Elephants", 6 of "Middlesex" because the have their own local book group, Internet access, 3 floors of glorious reading material. Now I get it. When you are in a moneyed area, your libraries and hospitals are outstanding and that my friends makes me wish I had money just so I could have THAT library. From what i was told, if you lived out of the district but wanted to belong to that library anyway, you could pay $150.00 to join. I kid you not, it would soooooooooooooo be worth it. Enjoy!




Friday, February 13, 2009

Wrist, writing and (w)rescue

So this is De Quervain tendinitis which is what's wrong with my wrist. I have to keep my wrist splinted and rested as well as take ibuprofen. So my hubby gets to do my emails and posts - lucky him, ha ha!

Thanks to Westminster Dog Show I totally love the Tibetan Mastiff. Westminster also partnered with the charity Angel on a Leash.

And thanks to my continued unemployment, I have been reading a lot: right now Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is the top book. I am also registered at Daily Lit and am reading Mansfield Park. I have also been watching movies and probably have a career as a movie critic at present. I just watched Night Nurse with Barbara Stanwyck and Clark Gable. This movie was made in pre code Hollywood - what's pre code you ask? It's before religious and moralistic people got upset that adult situations were played out on screen. Drugs, sex, etc. were corrupting our youth! it's actually fascinating history and there is a whole documentary on it. Check it out if you can.

If you can please donate to the Red Cross for the fires that have ravaged Australia. While we're talking about Australia have you seen the kind firemen who helped the koala? It is good to know there are still decent people out there!

Cheers,
Fifi

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Books of the Brontë Sisters and Hollywood

I have, over the years, become increasingly annoyed with Hollywood and their poor adaptations of favorite Classics. Hollywood prefers to edit things in a way that more than not, they leave out the best parts of the novels and give a dribble of the story.
My most recent complaint has to do with the poor handling of the genius of the The Brontë Sisters. These novels are dark, despairing, romantic, passionate and sadly, not always well portrayed by Hollywood, CA. The sisters transport you to their version of the world with their writing that it's criminal most of us read these novels in high school at a time when we do not really appreciate them.

Charlotte -Jane Eyre
Emily - Wuthering Heights
Anne - Agnes Grey/The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Spoilers will be listed so stop if you want to see these films or read the books!

Due to the intensity of these novels, it seems the mini-series a la BBC or Masterpiece Theater or A&E are better suited to producing better versions and gaining a legion of fans that are fiercely protective of these works.
Let us start with Wuthering Heights starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. By the end of the film, when Heathcliff is holding his love as she dies, you are in tears and feel all his pain. Then you read the novel and realize that the movie only covers the first 30 or so pages of the book! There is much, much more to the novel, such as Heathcliff turns into a heartless fiend. The 1992 version with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche is a much more faithful following, where the cruel underbelly of the novel is truly exposed. By the time I was done with the book I wish I had written the damn thing!
Jane Eyre with Orson Wells and Joan Fontaine is wonderful, until you see the Masterpiece Theater production of Jane Eyre from 2006 with Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson. The 2006 version is truer to the novel and the actors posses a chemistry that is raw and unyielding. I actually could not believe some of the dialogue so I grabbed the novel and lo and behold, Charlotte did write those powerful words that come tearing out of Jane's mouth when, with her heartbreaking, tells Edward she cannot bear to be without him. I recently read that the 1983 version with Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clark is an even truer version!!
Oh, I also recommend the 1996 version of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall if you are feeling particularly Gothic and in need of a "longing in love" type of story. Toby Stephens again, the man is brilliant with a beautiful smile and Dame Maggie Smith as his mother. Lucky bastard!

Cheers!
Fifi

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dreams and Doings

So, the other night, I had a bizarre dream with Tom and Katie Cruise. Not sure why, there was nothing on to influence me or bring them into my head. I hardly keep track of them and I am not necessarily a fan of them or all their work. This happens at least once or twice a week where I have a dream with some random actors/actresses, and then the inevitable happens. A movie of theirs or TV show with them will come on in the next few days. Kinds creepy, yet kinda cool. Too bad I cannot do this with lottery numbers! Then I think, maybe there is more to this...perhaps I should be acting! Folly? Yes, but like I said this happens so much I have to wonder, is it my calling? Was I Sarah Bernhardt in a past life? Should I attempt Voice Over work again or send my photos into the people at Ugly Models? Perhaps I should just finish that damn screenplay and stop horsing around with it. I say this because some of you know I entered a short fiction contest through American Zoetrope, Francis Ford Coppola's company, but failed to win. That is ok, he just has not read my genius yet. I am not sure where I will go with this kids, but you are on this ride with me and it should be fun and funny.

Random Tidbit Time!

Jennifer Siegal is an interesting architect who was ahead of the game when it came to eco-design.

Need free samples? go for it, mama got her free sample of Pamprin and is very happy.

Have those expensive things called kids? Hand me downs is dedicated to help you find free second hand items for babies and young children within your local area.

Hugh Laurie of "House" and a few other actors formed Band from TV who do shows and raise money for charities of each actor's choosing. The best part is that the band kicks ass!

Speaking of Dr. House, want to know how your area hospitals rate? Go here.

I end with real estate and how I love it so. This time Ridgewood, NJ is my locale of choice.

Goodnight my dears, sweet dreams.
Cheers!
Fifi

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Continuing to amass useless info...

but it some ways, it is good I have someplace to post it all!
  • I can across this fabulous English home design site. It is quite wonderful.
  • Wanted: Graphic artist who is also a delicious baker? Look no further than CPB Gallery.
  • Looking for something different to do in NJ/NY area? Visit New York' s outdoor sculpture park Stormking. After that head to Hamilton, NJ to the amazing Grounds for Sculpture.
  • Need good advice during these tough times? Check out Total Candor's blog.
  • I want an Aga range and I want it now.
  • Bellissima Modesty Boutique carries cute styles and at a ridiculous low price. If you order from them, let me know their quality.
  • Daa glass, beautiful stuff, have seen it in person, get yourself a piece immediately.
  • Candied clementines from VeganYumYum, I want to see how many I can shove in my cheeks!
  • "Who got a bath??" make sure you scroll to see all photos
  • The ergo baby carrier is the cutest thing I have ever seen, though I doubt they make them to hold multi-multiples.
Which leads to the following rant:
Yes, we are a PC world but you know what, I am about to go against that and say this only once. Why has no one questioned the ethics of the idiot doctors who allowed a single mom with 6 kids to have In vitro and use 8 embryos? Did she have the requisite counseling and psychological profiling done before hand? Do we really believe a single mom with 6 kids is the right person for octuplets? Is anyone?! Now, she has tv and book offers...why?? To encourage rampant, reckless breeding? I call bullshit. I am sorry, but enough is enough. We still do not really know long term effects of IVF let alone having your uterus maintain a litter and this woman wants to be a childcare expert? I am sorry, what mental defect was missed? Great you want to be a mom, but you live at home at 33 years old, have 6 kids and want more? VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME!! Go be a nursery school teacher, a day care provider, do something but DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT think you will fill the empty hole in your life with 8 pups. Has anyone asked her who will care for these 14 children if she dies?? This is beyond selfish and the medical community should have stopped her somehow, someway. Big Brother? Sure, this is when you need it most. Okay, enough of that let her go with God for now.

Peace, Hugs, Cheers and Cheesecake,
Fifi



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Just a quick post


Saw IRON MAN today and it was fantastic! I am in love with Robert Downey jr all over again.

ok, small rant. Why do we have fashion experts?? I mean, I know what I like, okay, maybe we can all use some styling but come on! Someone sitting there telling me this pant is in season NOW and in September you cannot wear it?? Bollocks! I do not have the means to follow trends and nor do I want to. I certainly do not covert what "celebrities" wear. We have such an odd culture where we are conditioned to think because Oprah or Jennifer Aniston or Heidi Klum has it or wears it, you should beg, steal and borrow to do the same. Why? If I wear the same dresses or shoes will I have Oprah's business sense and money then? Will I get to "Auf" someone? It is time we move past this "celebrity" coveting and not be afraid of our own taste. As long as it is tasteful and not whorish or hillbilly, but then again, if it makes you happy, go for it.
That is all my dears, until next time!

Cheers!
Fifi

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bad Meds, Movies and Misc stuff

I apologize for being absent, my wrist is still giving me aces now and so I try to give it rest.
A shout out to Cricket - Yes, Abby would be a great pal to hang out with!
So there is this horrible show called The Doctors on CBS, started up by "Doctor Phil". What irks me is that at times, these so-called pros give extremely poor advice at times and dumb down the medicine. Dr Lisa Masterson was the one who pissed me off the other day as she berated a so-called pregnant woman, I think the whole thing was contrived because this lady acted as if she knew nothing. This then allowed the ob/gyn to sound knowledgeable and adamant about what was going to happen to her fetus. She asked the woman if she knew what drinking did to her fetus, she had a cocktail now and then, because of that she was causing fetal alcohol syndrome and by smoking she was causing defects as well. The woman claimed to have no knowledge of what smoking did. The kicker for me was when "Dr" Masterson told her to get rid of her cats because of toxoplasmosis. Idiot, someone else can handle the litter box and meat for her. Also, because she ate a poor diet, the show was going to give her a year subscription to some food delivery service that prepares meals, god forbid you actually teach the woman how to cook and learn proper nutrition. It galls me that this show does well and people get their advice from these folks. It galls me more that she is a doctor at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. You can check all their stellar credentials here.
And now onto stuff that does not annoy me. :)
Staying with the hotness that is Mark Harmon, if you never saw Stealing Home, please do.
Here are a few other flicks that you should check out and let me know what you think
The Boondock Saints
Stage Door
The Letter
Ravenous
Whale Rider

We are still house hunting and I swear NJ still sucks went it comes to prices in some areas. You go way west or south Jersey, you can do well. Why would I pay $369K for a blah home that needs a kitchen update when in other states I can get a superbly renovated house?? Or at least one that is not ugly at every angle possible. I am not a fan of new construction either but the prices elsewhere compared to here?? And do not give me that crap it is because we live next to NYC. That is no longer relevant to me as other cities have begun to flourish with fashion and arts. So here are some goodies to oogle.

Solebury Twp, PA
Doylestown, PA
Savannah, GA I do not love the kitchen in this one, but dammit it is a fabu house
Raleigh, NC again, not a fan of new construction, but this rocks
Wilmington, NC
Northampton, MA


That is all for now, chat more later!
Cheers!