Sunday, October 31, 2010

In Search of...a day after the rally blog

If it wasn't enough of a slap in the face to mainstream media that a comedian was named "the most trusted name in news," then it really must say something that the same guy could get hundreds of thousands of people to show up in Washington, D.C. to take a stand for sanity and civility.

Yes, it was a love fest, complete with Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, and Tony Bennett. There were comedy skits, sing alongs, and a soul-stirring speech at the end by Jon Stewart in praise of compromise and working together. Also, because it shouldn't be a total loss, there was a wee bit of deserved bitch-slapping of the media's incessant need to create animosity even when there can just be honest disagreement without it.

I have to say, speaking as Suzie Citizen, if I were both politicians and the media, I'd be afraid, I'd be very afraid. Oh, not because Jon Stewart wields some special power, but because he is speaking for the vast majority of Americans when he says that it's time for sanity to be restored, and that most people with polar opposite beliefs manage to peacefully co-exist and get on with their lives while living next door to each other each and every day. It seems so obvious when he points it out, but the 24 hour news cycle would have us believe it isn't so.

So I was curious to see how the media was going to cover this event, and what would be said. Since today is Sunday, I made it a point to watch This Week just to see how it would be presented. The usual array of round table participants tried to make light of it and downplay it, except for Arianna Huffington, of course. But amid their snickers and their squirming seemed an unsettling fear, from my perspective, that maybe their emphasis on leveraging the extremes had been exposed for the overt manipulation that it really is. And maybe, just maybe people have had enough of it. So I, for one, enjoyed watching Cokie Roberts squirm as much as George Will, who remained rather quiet about the whole thing. I think it is a sad day we've come to when the agenda of the media trumps the reporting of actual news. And good for Jon Stewart for shining a light on it.

I could go on and on, but tomorrow is a new day, which will undoubtedly bring with it new challenges and chances to forge a different path to holding both our representatives as well as those that report on them accountable. So please vote on Tuesday, and think twice before believing what you hear on TV. Ask yourself if the choice of news story isn't just to be sensational enough to get you to tune in. And if it is, change the channel. Personally, I'd rather watch a Seinfeld rerun.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends. And have a Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

In Search of...the rally to restore sanity

Today was the Rally to Restore Sanity. While I was not there in person, I did watch it, and I felt that Jon Stewart's closing speech was on a par with the best ones ever given. Therefore, I relinquish my blog space to him, so that if you missed it, you can take a moment to relish it now.

"And now I thought we might have a moment for some sincerity, if that's okay. I know there are boundaries for a comedian/pundit/talker guy, and I'm sure I'll find out tomorrow how I have violated them. I'm really happy you guys are here, even if none of us are really quite sure why we are here. Some of you may have seen today as a clarion call for action, or some of the hipper more ironic cats as a "clarion call for action." Clearly, some of you just wanted to see the Air and Space Museum and got royally screwed. And I'm sure a lot of you are just here to have a nice time, and I hope you did.

I know that many of you made a great effort to be here today, and I want you to know that everyone involved with this project worked incredibly hard to make sure that we honored the effort that you put in, and gave you the best show that we could possibly do. We know your time is valuable, and we didn't want to waste it. And we're all extremely honored to have had a chance to perform for you on this beautiful space, on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

So what exactly was this? I can’t control what people think this was. I can only tell you my intentions. This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith or people of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do. But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.

But unfortunately one of our main tools in delineating the two broke. The country’s 24 hour politico pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic.

If we amplify everything we hear nothing. There are terrorists and racists and Stalinists and theocrats but those are titles that must be earned. You must have the resume. Not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Partiers or real bigots and Juan Williams and Rick Sanchez is an insult, not only to those people but to the racists themselves who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate--just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe not more. The press is our immune system. If we overreact to everything we actually get sicker--and perhaps eczema.

And yet, with that being said, I feel good—strangely, calmly good. Because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false. It is us through a fun house mirror, and not the good kind that makes you look slim in the waist and maybe taller, but the kind where you have a giant forehead and an ass shaped like a month old pumpkin and one eyeball.

So, why would we work together? Why would you reach across the aisle to a pumpkin-assed forehead eyeball monster? If the picture of us were true, of course, our inability to solve problems would actually be quite sane and reasonable. Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution or racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own? We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is—on the brink of catastrophe—torn by polarizing hate and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done, but the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day.

The only place we don’t is here or on cable TV. But Americans don’t live here or on cable TV. Where we live our values and principles form the foundations that sustains us while we get things done, not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done. Most Americans don’t live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, liberals or conservatives. Americans live their lives more as people that are just a little bit late for something they have to do—often something that they do not want to do—but they do it--impossible things every day that are only made possible through the little reasonable compromises we all make.

Look on the screen. This is where we are. This is who we are. (points to the Jumbotron screen which show traffic merging into a tunnel). These cars—that’s a schoolteacher who probably thinks his taxes are too high. He’s going to work. There’s another car-a woman with two small kids who can’t really think about anything else right now. There’s another car, swinging, I don’t even know if you can see it—the lady’s in the NRA and loves Oprah. There’s another car—an investment banker, gay, also likes Oprah. Another car’s a Latino carpenter. Another car a fundamentalist vacuum salesman. Atheist obstetrician. Mormon Jay-Z fan. But this is us. Every one of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear—often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers.

And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile long 30 foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river. Carved, by people, by the way, who I’m sure had their differences. And they do it. Concession by concession. You go. Then I’ll go. You go. Then I’ll go. You go then I’ll go. Oh my God, is that an NRA sticker on your car? Is that an Obama sticker on your car? Well, that’s okay—you go and then I’ll go.

And sure, at some point there will be a selfish jerk who zips up the shoulder and cuts in at the last minute, but that individual is rare and he is scorned and not hired as an analyst.

Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway, together.

If you want to know why I’m here and what I want from you, I can only assure you this: you have already given it to me. Your presence was what I wanted.

Sanity will always be and has always been in the eye of the beholder. To see you here today and the kind of people that you are has restored mine. Thank you."

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

In Search of...please, baby, one more chance

Unprecedented is a word we like to bandy about these days, whether referring to weather extremes or the President of the United States appearing on The Daily Show, and it seems to be applicable.

Now, I think we can all safely say that our hopes of President Obama being, well, the second coming of Jesus, have waned substantially since 2008. However, if you’re me, at least, there is always a sense of longing when the President speaks, for his beautiful, inspiring rhetoric to be true. Call me a cockeyed optimist or a crazy dreamer, but I still cling to that hope. And so it was in that spirit that I sat down to watch my beloved nightly fare.

What I found was something totally different, and it wasn’t, for the most part, about the actual substance of what was said. This wasn’t a candidate on the campaign trail, make no mistake about it. This was The President of the United States, and his demeanor was commanding, if not slightly adversarial.

Jon Stewart, fortunately, was Jon Stewart, a whip smart man who manages to temper tense situations with humor, and yet never backs down from asking and saying what, most of the time, I am thinking. And so it was that he asked what I wanted to know – where is the audacity? Why wasn’t the reform as sweeping and bold as the campaign rhetoric?

I suppose that’s where the tone changed to one of defensiveness on the President’s part, and where, for a brief moment, I caught a glimpse of the frustration of this man to whom we not only entrusted our nation, but on whose shoulders we placed the burden of our unprecedented troubles, without taking much responsibility for them ourselves. We are, after all, Americans. Why can’t we have instant gratification without sacrifice?

President Obama ably listed the litany of legislation his administration accomplished in his short time in office, and how it stabilized the economy and spared us another Great Depression. He told us of the expanded national service, the historic healthcare reform, the regulation on the credit card companies, and the timbre of his voice seemed to be saying, “I’ve done more than any other guy who’s had this job, let alone in eighteen months. What more do you want from me? What will it take to please you?”

Granted, that’s my interpretation, but still the answer is simple: We want jobs. We want decent, affordable healthcare. We want to stay in our homes and not lose what we’ve paid for them. We want the retirement we paid into for all our working lives to be there when it’s time to actually retire. Heck, we want to be able to actually retire. And from our perspective, many Americans have none of these things. While we are hurting, there is nothing that can be said that will drown out the deafening enormity of our own pain. And that, unfortunately, is the truth that puts our President in the current position he’s in.

If his base (me), who called Senators, and carried signs, and rallied the troops for healthcare reform, if I don’t have health insurance after the reform passed because my premiums went sky high and are simply unaffordable for me now, then he’s got a real problem. And it’s not the upcoming midterms and the potential Democratic seats lost that is at stake. It’s his presidency. We are not a nation who particularly cares how hard one tries. We care only about one’s success. And fair or not fair, we are unforgiving when it comes to that.

I disagree with Jon Stewart on one thing he said. I don’t think it’s the campaigning congressional Democrats that are saying, “Please, baby, one more chance.” I think it is the President. The amazing thing is that, even battle-weary, frustrated, and defensive, President Obama still exudes some internal quality that makes me want to give him that chance.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Search end to this election cycle

Election Day is one week from today, and all I can say is, "For the love of all things holy, can we please be done with this!!" I'm inundated with fliers, phone calls, and placards. I'm so tired of vitriolic TV ads, I could scream. If I see Linda McMahon one more time, I'll wrestle the damn broad to the ground myself. Enough already.

I've listened to pundits and pollsters, publicists and pragmatists, and here's what I've learned: they know not one iota more than you or I do. The Republicans (Tea Partiers) are gonna sweep...or maybe the Democrats will pull it out in the end. Well, obviously it's going to be one or the other. And frankly, don't be shocked by this next statement, but I'm kind of hoping that the Republicans take at least the House if not the House and Senate and here's why. Then when a Republican congress can't fix the economy with the snap of their fingers, then we can all share in the blame equally and Obama can get reelected. End of story. So that's my Ask me again tomorrow.

Okay, one last bit of news that has no connection to politics whatsoever. Charlie Sheen. NY hotel. High on coke, drunk, violent (not to mention naked). Oh my God. Will it never end? I can't even begin to imagine the pain his family is feeling at this point. And why on earth won't the network just fire him from his TV show? What other job do you know of that allows you to be high as a kite and still get paid? Everyone is just enabling him, and sooner or later this will no longer be simply embarrassing, it will end tragically. And he's got small children. I am going to hold out hope that he will find his way like Robert Downey Jr. did. For the sake of the people who need him. So send a good thought Charlie's way, will you?

Thanks for stopping by. Play nicer than the politicians are playing. And please tell your friends.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In Search of...clean closets

I've been cleaning out my closets today, a job I've successfully put off in one way or another for years. I know this because I found skirts the waist size of which would now fit my arm. And as I mourned my twenty-five year old figure, I also took a moment amid sequin dresses I'd worn to black tie events to fondly remember some good times and days in which anything I dreamed seemed and indeed was possible. I forged ahead, making a pile to give away, but safely tucking a few dresses that I just couldn't part with back in the closet, maybe because I needed to hang on to some kind of tangible proof that these days in my life did in fact exist.

As I hauled away my past, a little misty-eyed, I found something I hadn't seen before, at least in my closets - space. Space for a future, for new things, new possibilities that would fit me now. It was a little unsettling, this void where once was crammed years of stuff. But now I've got breathing room. And that's not a bad thing.

Along with my clean closets, this weekend was about celebrating my father's birthday. He turned 82. So as a surprise I took him to see Craig Ferguson at Carnegie Hall. Now, my father (and I) love Craig Ferguson, and even though I've got my DVR set to record him every night, my father still finds it imperative to stay awake until 1:30 in the morning watching him.

So there we sat in arguably the most prestigious concert hall in the world, and out of the mouth of my favorite Scottish comedian came pearls to live by. As Craig imparted his hard earned wisdom from three marriages (with no aid from hand puppets), I realized that this would be a different world if people actually stopped and asked themselves these three questions:

Does this need to be said?
Does this need to be said by me?
Does this need to be said by me now?

Yes, thanks to Craigy Ferg (his twitter name, I think) there could be a different landscape - politically, socially, morally, you name it, if we were just to ask ourselves these three questions. And you can bet I'll be doing that before spewing forth any dribble in future blogs, too.

So that brings me to Bill Maher's show on Friday night. Bill had George Clooney, Rob Reiner, Jake Tapper, and Nicolle Wallace on. And yes, boys and girls, Ilene did her happy dance. First of all, I just want to put it out there in case Rob Reiner happens to read this. Rob, I really want to attend one of your soirees. I long for stimulating political repartee and I promise I won't steal the silverware, so please, will you invite me?

Now that groveling is out of the way, let's get to The Clooney, as I affectionately like to call him. I love that all his energies are used for doing something good with his celebrity. I love that it's always about something bigger than him, and people who would never garner the attention they need were it not for him bringing a camera crew into hellish parts of the world. I love that he's a star in the sense that truly matters.

And Jake Tapper, who, in my opinion, was robbed of the job of hosting This Week. Love him. Smart, funny, and likable are very appealing to me.

Levi Johnston was also a guest, but I really think he is in so far over his head that I have to take pity on the poor boy and save my barbs for someone with the intellectual capacity to defend himself.

So I'm off to clean out some other closets. It's time to make room for a new day.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In Search of...blasts from the past

I've been meaning to blog for the past few days because it seems that each new day this week has brought with it some sort of news that made me just shake my head in disbelief.

Let's start with Justice Clarence Thomas's wife ringing up Anita Hill and asking her for an apology...and then telling the press it was her way of extending an olive branch. That's an olive branch? Why couldn't she just leave well enough alone? To this day I still believe Anita Hill and am appalled that they confirmed Clarence Thomas. But nevertheless, I thought we all moved on twenty years ago.

Then Tom Bosley, who played Mr. C. on Happy Days died. While I know nothing about the man personally, professionally he was a presence for most of my growing up years. Like my own father, Mr. C. was attentive and loving and a hard working man who tried to instill the finer qualities in his children. So whomever Tom Bosley was in real life, I hope he knew how much he contributed to an entire generation's perception of the ideal father. And I hope he relished the role.

Then, for reasons I don't really understand, Good Morning America did a sort of a "where are they now?" piece about Leif Garrett. Anyone my age or in the vicinity of it will never forget his mane of blond hair and the spandex...and if prodded, I think we can all easily break into "I Was Made for Dancing." Leif covered all the Tiger Beat magazines, along with my personal 70's heartthrob - Vince Van Patten, but what we all didn't know was that Leif's ensuing years would be spent battling booze, heroin, and the most gut wrenching thing of all - living with the knowledge that he paralyzed his closest friend in an automobile accident. Leif looked unrecognizable from the boy whose music I bopped around to as an adolescent, and not just because he was balding and wore glasses, but because he seems like he's in a permanent state of self-destruction and it was heartbreaking to watch. Like seeing Eve Plumb last week in the basement of a restaurant doing off-Broadway, it was a bubble bursting moment in which I realized that everything I enjoyed in my youth came with a high price that someone had to pay in order to bring it to me. It's been a sobering realization that everyone suffers, and everyone struggles, and no one escapes unscathed from life's journey. But Leif, seeing him unsuccessfully fighting demons too big for most of us to imagine, and still trying to make music and find some sense of identity, well, it broke my heart. Thanks GMA for perking me right up there first thing in the morning.

I'm glad the week is almost over. I'm not sure I could take another breaking news bulletin. So here's hoping for some good news - an end to this election cycle, some beautiful fall days, and untarnished memories of TV icons and teen idols. Rest in peace, Mr. C. And here's saying a prayer for you, Leif Garrett.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In Search of...surefire ways to know you're old

Oh, I know what you're thinking - must you bum me out, Ilene, when I came here for a little relief from my daily grind? Well, maybe. But rest assured, I won't be giving you one of those atrocious lists that goes something like "You know you're old when..."

So there I was, in the basement of Sofia's Restaurant in the theatre district, the former home to Tony n' Tina's Wedding for many years, watchng Jan Brady (Eve Plumb) in a two person show. She looked good, by my standards if not Hollywood's, seemingly untouched by plastic surgery, and happy to be there. Never mind that it was off-Broadway, or that she forgot her lines several noticable times. Never mind that we were sitting in the basement of a restaurant, for goodness sake! It was depressing, and the fact that I couldn't read the Playbill because we were too cramped for me to reach my reading glasses didn't make matters any better.

And then there's Rick Springfield. He's been on all the talk shows promoting his new memoir which chronicles his attempted suicide, ongoing battle with depression, marital infidelities and God knows what else. (I haven't read the book yet.) And he's in his sixties. Rick Springfield. Dr. Noah Drake. In his sixties. I think I may need a Prozac myself.

And has anyone seen any of those Waltons kids? How about Eight is Enough? I'm a little scared. It's bad enough Mick Jagger is still bopping around. Frankly, I'm surprised he hasn't needed a hip replacement. Although, what do I know? Maybe he did.

And last night, while watching Golden Girls reruns, because, yes, that's what I do when nothing else is on, I realized that three out of four of the golden girls are dead. Dead definitely trumps old.

So before I go off to take stock of my joint pain and where I left my bifocals, I thought I'd take stock of what I'm thankful for. In this era of tell-all memoirs and knowing a little too much about people, I'm thankful for the blissful ignorance I had until now that allowed me to enjoy innocent fare like The Brady Bunch when I was a kid. I'm thankful for all those actors and musicians who were slightly older than me that sacrificed their own childhood and in doing so made mine joyful and happy. I wish those who have been troubled, but who have still managed to remain alive (Danny Bonaduce), remaining years of peace, stability, and sobriety. Actually, come to think of it, I wish us all peace, stability, and sobriety, whether you need the 12 steps or not.

I wish you all good memories and great days ahead. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 15, 2010

In Search of...a halt to my countdown

So it's 15 days until Jon Stewart's rally, and I've been counting down.

I had signed up to go on a bus provided by Arianna Huffington. It was supposed to leave from Manhattan, but now it's leaving from Flushing and dropping us off at a stadium which will require taking a train to and from the mall. Hmm... I would have to leave my house at approximately 3:30am to make sure I could get to the departure location and park somewhere. This is seeming less and less like what I had originally signed up for. First of all, I like Manhattan and am sort of unfamiliar with Queens. So the thought of navigating it in the middle of the night is not making me too happy. Neither are the ominous warnings about getting back to the buses by 4pm in D.C. or they will be gone. So I'm looking into other options.

Amtrak is over $300 round trip for the day, so forget that. Car? Where would I park it? Suggestions anyone? It looks like I may be sitting this one out, but I want to exhaust all my options first. Oh, Oprah, where are you now? I really need you and your magic wand.

So boys and girls and children of all ages, it is beginning to look like attending this rally to restore sanity would be insane to try to get to. I'll keep you posted. And if you live in the D.C area and would like a guest for one night, let me know.

Thanks for stopping by, and give peace a chance, restore sanity, and all that good stuff.

Monday, October 11, 2010

In Search of...a Columbus Day blog

On this oh-so-celebratory of days (unless you happen to be a Native American), I am celebrating the Rally to Restore Sanity, which is a mere 19 days away. I am celebrating a potential restoration of sanity this day in particular because this pre-election season seems to be spiraling out of control. There seems to be an extra dose of crazy in the air, and I, for one, am growing weary of it.

On Columbus day we have parades, celebrating those courageous men who landed on our shores in 1492 and declared that they "discovered" it. America is named for one of them -Amerigo Vespucci. (The fact that the land was already inhabited by other people we'll just forget about for now.) Anyway, I'm all for the Europeans making their way safely over here, because otherwise none of us would be here today.

So while we're celebrating some great Italian Americans, I'm thinking that it would be a good segue into the New York gubernatorial race between Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino. Now, I've had a bias in favor of the Cuomo family for many years. I like them. And maybe it doesn't come down to anything more than that. I thought Mario was a good governor, I think Chris is a good investigative journalist, and I think Andrew has done a good job as New York's Attorney General. Carl Paladino, on the other hand, can best be described as, well, oh how to put this nicely - a despicable, hateful man trying to pass himself off as a human being. Forget the love child and the tasteless racist email "jokes," bashing in an orthodox synagogue??? And then going on Good Morning American and defending his position??? Well, I've got to hand it to him. He knows how to keep the cameras rolling in his direction. He also knows how to get me to contribute to Cuomo's campaign. Keep talking, Carl.

I couldn't believe my ears. There he was, justifying his statements that children should not be "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option. It isn't." Who else's rights would he like to eradicate? Women's? Racial minorities? I can't think of a statement that could be less American than that. And to dress it up in the cloak of his religious beliefs when the job is to uphold the laws of the land, which, the last time I checked, involved a separation of church and state, is just plain wrong. I won't go into the fact that when I look in his eyes in pictures I see pure evil. I'm not basing that on anything other than when I look in his eyes in pictures, I see pure evil.

So New Yorkers, if you're listening, let's stop giving this guy his fifteen minutes of fame. Let's just let him be the example of who not to be in life, and certainly who not to vote for. Vote Cuomo 2010.

Now that I've done my stumping and my celebrating, I'm off to the sales.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In Search of...10/10/10

Okay, so I'm fascinated by today's date. Aside from being my friend Amy's birthday (Happy Birthday Amy!), there's something fulfilling about the sound and feel of 10/10/10. I'm sure there's some astrological meaning, too, though I have no idea what that would be.

Twenty more days until the Rally to Restore Sanity. That's what it is to me. And since I use Sundays to catch up on the shows I DVR Monday through Saturday, I saw that Rick Sanchez on Good Morning America made a public apology as well as let us all know that he called Jon Stewart and personally apologized. He seemed humble and sincere and not half as crazy as I heretofore thought he was. I have a feeling he'll resurface somewhere, and since Jon Stewart still has a pretty good job, I think we can all afford to be generous and wish Rick well. Maybe he should serve as a sobering reminder to us all that we should think before we speak (on radio, at least).

I've decided that 10/10/10 also means it's an exceptionally short blog day. So here's wishing you ten reasons to be grateful today, ten things that make your heart happy, and ten new goals to aspire to. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 8, 2010

In Search of...a hit show and a little shameless promotion

I have largely stayed away from shameless acts of self promotion on my blog...although, I suppose it could be argued that having a blog in and of itself is a shameless act of self promotion. Nevertheless, today I am just a tad gleeful because my good friend, Sue Fabisch, has a hit show, and I have a song in it.

It is no secret that I have been known to enjoy Costco. Oh yes, my endorphins get going just as soon as I wheel my oversize shopping cart in the door and flash my beloved membership card. I marvel at the vastness of it, the new seasonal items, the free samples of whatever they're serving. I could go on and on, and alas, I did one day with my good friend Sue. So there we were, set to write another tween song, when instead we began our laundry list of things we both loved about Costco. What ended up being penned that day was "Costco Queen," an homage, if you will.

So Sue's show Motherhood the Musical has finally opened in Florida, and the reviews are in. It's a smash. This is not surprising. The show is genius. The nice part for me is that I get to cheer on one of the kindest and most talented people I know AND I get to see and hear our song come to life. So here's the link to a review that suitably gushes over the show and the song.

And here is the link to my website where you can download the song and video for "Costco Queen:"

So on this day, with 22 more to go until Jon Stewart's rally, I congratulate my friend Sue, I encourage you all to go see Motherhood the Musical when it comes to your city, and I thank you, as always, from the bottom of my heart for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In Search of...things that make me do my happy dance

Christine O'Donnell has declared in an ad on TV that she is not a witch. I'm sure I speak for us all when I say, "Whew, what a relief!" I find it odd that we live in such a time where one would need to make that sort of proclamation, but I say, "Good for you, Christine! That'll convince 'em!"

I've been thinking a lot lately about what would make me do my happy dance. You know the one I'm talking about - where you bop around gleefully and giddily in the solitude of your own home...or possibly in the presence of others in public at the awarding of good news and with the aid of some adult beverages.

Lest you think that the news that Christine O'Donnell is not a witch, or that Rick Sanchez getting canned from CNN made me do my beloved dance, let me stop you right there. Neither one of those things could budge me from my seat. Clinton being president again, however, or the return of my twenty-five year old figure could. That aside, on this, the second day of my countdown to Jon Stewart's rally, I am pondering my own joy.

I went to see The Social Network this weekend. It was written by Aaron Sorkin, who, as we know from blogs in the past, has been the sole creator of the alternate universe to which I retreated during the long dark days of the Bush presidency. Yes, Mr. Sorkin, if you're reading this, (and I'm not exactly certain how you would be, but here's hopin'), I am not only in awe of your verbal prowess, your mastery of rhythm and phrasing, your ability to create a world where integrity matters and some people still have enough backbone to honor it, but you Mr. Sorkin, yes you have on many an occasion made me do my happy dance.

While I'm busy dancing and quite possibly prancing, why not talk about some other dancing...with the stars. Yes, I watch and I watch, and I fantasize about wearing the dresses, the glittery eyeliner, and oh, that can of spray tan. I long to look that done up and whirl around the room, where every dance would be my happy dance.

So here's what I'm thinking. And it could just be sleep deprivation talking now, but I'm thinking along with everyone buying my book (In Search of George Stephanopoulos - A True Story of Life, Love, and the Pursuit of a Short Greek Guy) and electing me to Congress so I can have health insurance, I should be on DWTS. I mean, really. If Bristol Palin can do it, so can I. And by the way, can I just say that I think it's absurd that they are considering her a star because she got pregnant as a teenager and is now telling others not to?!!! Seriously??!!! Come on. At least I wrote a book!

Well, I'm done ranting, oops, I mean blogging for now. Off to the dance studio. Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

Monday, October 4, 2010

In Search of...countdown to Jon Stewart and my top five reasons to live in Minnesota

I am starting a countdown. I'm counting down to Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity on October 30th. I just signed up to ride on one of Arriana Huffington's buses from New York to D.C. I can hardly believe I'm becoming such a "joiner."

It's not that it's unlike me to rally for something. After all, didn't I stand in front of my Tennessee Congressman's office with my bright oaktag sign that declared there's no healthcare reform without a public option? (Yes, I did.) Fat lot of good that one did me. I'm currently uninsured. Okay, so here's hoping this one turns out a little better than that one did.

I'm kind of excited. I've never participated in anything this large, at least I think it's going to be massive. I mean, Oprah gave it a tweet, for God's sake! Hey, maybe she'll be there! I can hardly wait! Anyway, I'm counting down. 26 days left. Besides, if there's anything I need, isn't it really to restore my sanity?

That brings me to my next topic. Oh yes, I could and possibly should be talking about the midterm elections, but no. Not me. Not now. I've been on a thing about Minnesota lately. Quite frankly, it's hard to remember exactly how it started, but I'm going to guess is was reading Garrison Keillor's book Homegrown Democrat that first got me thinking about the state. If basic common sense and neighborly-ness weren't enough of a draw to live in that great state, I realized that the Mall of America is located there. My eyes glaze over and my endorphins kick in just thinking about shopping in the QVC store, and so #2 on my list, after Garrison Keillor is Mall of America. #3, and these are really not in the order of importance, is Senator Al Franken. I would like to both be able to vote for him, and to say he's my senator. That might make me burst into that Lee Greenwood song, "I'm proud to be an American..." where Al Franken can both have a best selling book that blasts Fox News as well as be a senator.

Speaking of which, and this is just an aside, but I'm thinking of running for Congress. Yes, you heard me. Get your checkbooks ready, boys and girls. Ilene needs health insurance and congress people get it forever. How's that for a platform? Also, I would actually do what I think is right. Screw re-election. I just want to do a little good and get my darn health coverage. So vote Ilene - as soon as I pick a state to live in.

Okay, so back to Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic. Really, that should be first on my list of reasons.

Lastly, I have spent the last year transcribing people from all over the country. I am not at liberty to say what I've been transcribing, but let's just say that the most intelligent and well spoken people I came across were in the state of Minnesota. At first I thought it was a fluke, but there were too many of them for it to be a fluke. Now don't get all mad at me if you live in states other than Minnesota. Heck, I live in a state other than Minnesota (for now). But in my sample study I am ranking them first. Texas and Kentucky, sorry. You both tie for last. Study hard and maybe you will speak English in complete sentences one day.

So in summation, my top five reasons to move to Minnesota are:

The Mayo Clinic
Senator Franken
Mall of America
Garrison Keillor
smart people

Before you all tell me that it's cold there, I already know. I'll back a coat and boots.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends. I'll see you on my next countdown.