Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Very Big Day

I'll write more about this very soon, but today is a day that came much faster than I thought it would. Today my daughter is graduating from Wellesley College.

Wellesley is the alma mater of women like Hillary Clinton, Diane Sawyer, Nora Ephron and Madeleine Albright to name just a few. To walk through Alumni Hall is humbling and awe inspiring.

The first time I took my daughter to visit the school when she was a junior in high school I knew there was no way I could have gotten into this academically rigorous institution. Thankfully, my daughter has gifts I don't.

To say I am proud would be a huge understatement. I am proud of all of my children, for all their differences and similarities. All three are amazing people who have achieved wonderful things.

My daughter is my youngest, my baby so this is an especially significant day all the way around for both of us.

As I head off to the ceremony I just want to say thank you. Thank you to a universe that sent this girl into our family's life, because I know none of us would be the same without her.

Congratulations, Emma! I love you more than I can ever say.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Is Oprah's Crown Slipping? I Think Not!

There was a piece in the New York Times the other day that said things are not all well in "Oprahland."
They noted a dip in her ratings, fewer subscribers to her magazine and that her night-time reality show, "The Big Give" lost viewers as the weeks went on.
There has been speculation that her endorsement of Barack Obama, and her 10-week online class with Eckhart Tolle focusing on his book, "A New Earth." Apparently Christians are possibly upset with her about touting the book, which in reality does nothing to undermine Christianity.
It's an interesting culture we live in - a place where if you lose a couple of ratings (even though you're probably the wealthiest, most powerful woman in the country, maybe the world) that you could be looked at as "slipping."
Oprah still has the power to make books best sellers, movies hits and does more to encourage giving than anyone I've seen on TV.
It's a well known reality that people love you when you're on the way up and you're the underdog, but once you've reached the top and maintained that for a while, this unpleasant side of human nature seems to erupt and folks find delight in taking you down.
It seems inevitable that at some point there would be some Oprah backlash. Several years ago when Oprah did a regular segment called, "Remembering Your Spirit," critics fell over themselves saying she was proselytizing to the masses. In reality she was trying to get people in touch with their spiritual side by doing subversive things like taking a walk outside or keeping a journal of the things you're grateful for every day.
I have no doubt Oprah will rise above all this speculation. She has a thriving production company, has bought her own TV network and produces both Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray's talk shows.
Nothing anyone says can keep me from planning my trip to "Oprahland," it will be the day I get to sit on her set and talk about my book. That's my dream and I'm sticking to it. Ratings and articles in the NYT be damned.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sisterhood of the Not-So-Smarty Pants

Tonight on E! two new shows premiere - "It's Complicated" and "Living Lohan."
"It's Complicated" stars former B-list (now more of a C-minus lister) actress, Denise Richards. Unfortunately what she's most well-known for now is her extremely ugly divorce from actor Charlie Sheen. Well that's not exactly true, she's also known for having a relationship with Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi fame, who used to be married to one of Denise's friends, Heather Locklear. Are you keeping up? My sense is she's not a rocket scientist, but who knows, maybe she's hiding a 140 IQ under those extensions, but I kinda doubt it.
The other new show starting tonight, (that I not-so-secretly can't wait to see) "Living Lohan" stars the family of rehab-frequenting, alleged fur-coat stealing, maybe-girlfriend of Samantha Ronson, Lindsay Lohan. Mother, Dina now has her talons sites set on making Lindsay's younger sister, Ali a star. This woman actually has four children, heaven help us - there may be two more Lohans to see stumbling out of Hyde and hanging out with inappropriate people.
I often straddle two mindsets when writing about celebrities and kids. First and foremost I am a mother. I like to think I wouldn't want to profit from my children, but I would probably have to eat my words because I have written about them, and probably will again at some point in time, so apparently I am a big hypocrite. The other side of me is the celebrity journalist/blogger so I find it all so fascinating. For all my tsk'ing about poor Angie and Brad being subjected to endless hounding by the paparazzi, I have to admit to glancing at photos of their children and Angie's ever-expanding belly online. More hypocrisy!
So maybe for all my high-horse stances about how not-smart these two women are, I'm thinking they're a lot smarter than me. They're sure making a lot more money that I am, and there's nothing dumb about that.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

George Clooney's Rockin'Abs

The second of these two photos of George Clooney, 47, unwrapped, cropped up on the Internet this week. I was kind of surprised when I saw the difference in him from a couple of years ago, evidence right below.

It got me thinking about how perhaps having a girlfriend almost 20 years younger can really help your body.

Back when George was sporting a little bit of a tire around his waist he was a swinging single guy, and despite the softer stomach, this "Sexiest Man Alive" was still, well, the "Sexiest Man Alive."
It's so not fair that guys can still be considered very hot and sexy even if they enjoy pasta and cheese. I saw a photo of Sharon Stone this week that focused on her sagging bottom in a bathing suit, and the misogynistic guys over at TMZ were picking on Alanis Morissette because she's put on a few pounds since her breakup with Ryan Reynolds.
The pressure put on women to be skinny isn't fair. It's especially not good since Alanis had come out in the past and confessed to having been anorexic. Nice going guys! A woman overcomes an eating disorder and you call her fat! No wonder women have such body issues.
I'm happy for George that he looks so good, (Though I hope he's not becoming manorexic) but he's in the enviable position that even if he decides to back off a bit on the crunches and relax and enjoy the fresh pasta in Lake Como, he'll still be one of the sexiest men alive.
It's got me wondering though - maybe I should start dating men twenty years younger so I'll get a rockin' body too. Nah, most guys are so not worth it. I'd rather have the pasta.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Listen Up: "Candy on the Cape" Hits the Airwaves!

Starting tomorrow morning I am going to be appearing once a week on WQRC (99.9 FM ) radio giving a pop culture update. If you aren't on the Cape you can listen from the Web site.

I recorded my first appearance today and think it went pretty well! Not having a lot of experience with this kind of thing I wrote myself some copy, and got ready for my 90 seconds of air time. The only problem was, it was more like 3 minutes. I'm kind of a chatty gal. Time will tell (literally) if she uses it all or if I get edited down.

It's kind of a funny thing to do as a writer. So much of what I do involves the written word. I spend hour upon hour crafting things that read well, but trying to write something that sounds good is a little different.

The listeners will be the judge as to how or if I succeeded! Times are such that you can't just sit in your office, bedroom, or wherever you choose to write and have that be that. Now you have to do it all and be all to everyone across the board in all areas of communication. Some times we will do better than others.

Maybe if I get comfortable with radio, TV won't seem so intimidating. I'm not ready yet - I still need my notes! But, since the eventual goal is to sit with Oprah and talk about my best-selling novel, and talk about how you CAN recreate your life after 40, I'd darn well better learn to lose those notes. Just give me some time, I'll get there yet.

Listen in to see how I do on WQRC at 8:50 a.m.!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Gossip Girl" and "Desperate Housewives" End Their Seasons With a Bang

Warning: Spoiler Alert! If you have yet to watch these shows get to your TiVo immediately, watch, then come back!

Last night was the first season finale of "Gossip Girl," and the show did not disappoint. I had more fun watching this episode more than any others of late.

I will admit that part of that was because I got to watch it with my 22-year-old daughter and seven other soon-to-be-graduates from her college who had come to the Cape to relax after weeks of academic pressure leading up to their graduation. By myself I may gasp and talk to the TV, but it's nothing like being with a bunch of women yelling, "Yeah, you go Chuck Bass!"

From the opening scene of Lily Van der Woodsen waking up (on her wedding day) in bed with Rufus Humphrey it was clear this was going to be a great episode. By the end, the evil Georgina had been brought down by Blair, (yes!) and the only people who could render such an diabolical girl powerless - her parents. She's now off to a boot camp for troubled girls. but don't relax yet folks - she's coming back next season as a series regular. She'll certainly wreaking more havoc on the folks of the upper East Side.

Lily did marry Bart Bass, but something tells me things aren't done with Rufus just yet. Two of the biggest shockers were the break up of Serena and Dan, but we had to know this was coming eventually - the course of true love never runs smoothly. The final scene with Chuck was a jaw dropper. He finally declared his love for Blair, but after a mind-warping lecture from his father about how being in a relationship changes a young man, he left her hanging at the heli-port while he was busy trying to seduce his father's new decorator. A classic Chuck Bass move, just when you thought he might have a heart after all. But don't feel too sorry for Blair, she hopped that helicopter with a very cute guy, and as she said to Georgina, there's only room for one crazy bitch in their world. I have a feeling Chuck will pay.

As for "Desperate Housewives,' I was shocked by two things - Susan and Mike naming their baby Maynard (yikes!) and by the final scene, a flash forward five years in the future. I chuckled at the site of Gabrielle a bit heavier than we're used to, and as the mother of two unruly little girls. Bree seems to have become the next Martha Stewart, and she's still married to Orson. There wasn't a lot of shock that Lynette's boys seemed to be having some troubles with the law, but it was Susan five years in the future that made me audibly gasp - she was no longer with Mike Delfino, she was with some other handsome man.

It's going to be a long summer waiting to find out what happens on these two shows. Thank goodness I'll have "Living Lohan" and "It's Complicated" to sufficiently numb my brain until then.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Hooting Good Time

I went to a most unusual bridal shower today. It was for the soon-to-be daughter-in-law of a good friend of mine.
I didn't know anything about any sort of entertainment. I was so busy up until I went that I didn't have the time to get myself stressed out at the prospect of some Chippendale-type guys showing up. For some reason the thought of half-naked men dancing and wanting me to put dollars in their G-strings has never been my thing.
I brought my gift, and showed up on time (almost) and was surprised to find out that there was indeed going to be entertainment. No half-naked men were going to dance, we were going to have an hour long demonstration with owls!
Unbeknownst to me, the bride-to-be LOVES owls.
This lovely woman named Marcia from Eyes on Owls brought six with her - from a tiny Saw Whet, to a spectacular Snowy, a Screech and a couple of others I can't remember.
I had never been that close to an owl before and they were gorgeous. We couldn't touch them though, which was frustrating. I love animals and am always wanting friends cats to sit on my lap and will hold gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs - but nothing slimy. Ever. No snakes, No reptiles. Nothing personal, I'm sure there are some lovely snakes and reptiles out there, but I'm sorry, I can't warm up to these cold-blooded creatures.
I loved being able to eat chips and dip and commune with owls. There was something very fun about going to a shower that did something so outside of the box. I applaud the young bridesmaids who know the bride so well that they planned a party that was so...her. So many times parties play it safe and go all traditional. I think unusual is always a good thing.
Given the choice of men wearing bow ties and little else, or owls, I'll take the owls any day. I think they have a lot more dignity, and I didn't once out of embarrassment try to figure out just where to look. Thankfully their feathers covered everything quite nicely.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi to Marry!

It was announced yesterday that the California Supreme Court had lifted the ban on gay marriage in the state. Later that same day Ellen Degeneres announced that she and long-time girlfriend, Portia de Rossi plan to marry.
"I’m thrilled that the California supreme court overturned the ban on gay marriage," Degeneres said. "I can’t wait to get married. We all deserve the same rights, and I believe that someday we’ll look back on this and not allowing gays to marry will seem as absurd as not allowing women to vote.
P.S. I’m registered at Crate & Barrel."
As a resident of Massachusetts, a state that legalized gay marriage several years ago, I ask California law makers, what took you so long?
There was a lot of controversy here before the right to marry was passed, but I always want to ask people who were so opposed, how has your life changed or been impacted in any way by gay and lesbian couples being allowed to marry?
I know many couples who were married after it became legal in our state, and it warms my heart that these couples - some together upwards of 30 years, were finally allowed to have the same legal rights that we heterosexuals so take for granted. And really, given the 57% divorce rate amongst we straights, it's not like we exactly have the market cornered on healthy, happy relationships.
I don't often get on a soapbox on this blog, and certainly not in my journalism work, but this is a topic that really perplexes me. I believe in equality across the board, isn't that what this country is built on?
Opponents are saying that this law undermines the essence of what marriage is and are vowing to try to make it unconstitutional in California for same sex couples to marry. Hmmm. I thought marriage was a legal commitment between two people who promise to love one another. Who cares what the genders of those people are? I don't understand how that undermines anything. Thankfully, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has made it clear that he will veto any such amendment.
I know I am a bit of a Pollyanna in wanting everyone to be happy and get along. I really don't understand why people care about what good, kind people want to do in their own lives. In my area, many of the most active and caring people who do the most for their churches and community are gay men and women. I firmly believe they deserve all the inalienable rights the rest of us take for granted.
I am excited to be living in a time where the two Democrats left standing are a woman and an African American man. Maybe, just maybe we're coming to a time in history where sexual preference, gender and ethnicity will no longer matter, but what kind of person you are does. A woman can dream, can't she?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Sex and the City" is coming soon, are you SATC'd out yet?

I don't know that there are many folks who are bigger fans of SATC than me. I have been waiting for this movie for months, heck years. But now I'm worried that the extremely energetic ad campaign will do it in!

The girls have been on Oprah, the commercials are non-stop and with two and a half weeks to go until the opening date (May 30) it doesn't look like it will be slowing up!

I admit, I'm part of the publicity fray, I have a story running very soon about the movie, so I'm not helping keep the movie on the down low.

I was with a friend yesterday who said she was sure it was going to be a fun movie, but they're acting like it's the biggest event of the year. The sad thing is, for some of us it kinda is.

I watched the HBO series from the beginning, and while I will never have the same kind of life as these city-dwelling ladies, I related to their ups and downs, bad dates, lonely nights, break-ups and break downs. Having a chance to revisit them four years later is so much fun!

The day the movie opens is also my daughter's college graduation day. No, I'm not blowing off graduation to go to the movies, but I have to say, I know she and I will be seeing it the next day. We watched the show together through her high school years - yes, I'm probably a horrible mother that my daughter and I watched the envelope-pushing show together, but she seems to have turned out just fine with values firmly in tact.

So I guess I will go back to the beginning of this post wondering if there's been too much "Sex and the City" out there in the world. I think my answer is, just like the real thing, there's no such thing as too much "Sex."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

In Celebration of Mothers

I love being a writer, it's my passion, but it pales in comparison to how I feel about being a mom.

My three children are my favorite people in the world, and I love them more than anything. I feel very lucky indeed that I really like my kids as well as love them.

It wasn't always that way, sometimes in the tween and teen years there were moments of wanting to be anywhere else, but the angst was always worth it.

It's not easy being a mom. There's lots of hard work, and not too many accolades. It's a pretty thankless job. If you're in it for the awards you'll surely be disappointed.

A friend of mine told me a couple of weeks ago that when she announced to her family that on second thought, she was going on the family hiking trip, her son was not pleased and said she was a "kill joy."

Mothers are often looked at as the kill joys of the family because we're the ones who want to make sure teeth are brushed, homework is done, that you eat your vegetables and say thank you.

I love being at the stage of life I'm at because it's no longer my job to tell my kids what they can and cannot do. Sometimes they ask my advice, but I no longer have to be on them about anything. Well, except picking up all the stuff they leave everywhere. I will never cease to be amazed how long all of them can walk past a pile of their stuff on the stairs floor and counters for days at time, oblivious to what's right there.

If I had to do it all over again I think I'd lighten up. A lot. I was reading on blogs (mostly written by men) this week about how horrible it was that Suri Cruise still uses a baby bottle at two-years-old. One of my sons used a bottle until he was about three and a half. He went on to be an A student, captain of his high school football team and graduated college with honors last year. As a very young mom I was influenced and intimidated by the pediatrician and other moms who told me he was "too old" for the bottle. Really, who cares? I have yet to see any child go off to college with a bottle.

The same son hated nursery school, but I kept insisting he go. I had worked at the school and knew it was good, but again, who cares in the long run if you're a successful nursery school student? When he was applying to college it never came up.

Maybe part of the reason moms appear to be kill joys is because we take the job very seriously, and if we're not hard enough on ourselves there are plenty of other people willing to take a shot. Other moms can sometimes be just an older version of mean girls waiting to let you know how you and/or your child aren't good enough.

If I was to become a mom now it certainly wouldn't be anything goes, but I'd realize now, more than when I was 21, what's really important. I wouldn't stress about potty training, bottles, blankies and binkies. Life is hard, there are times I could use a good binkie, and if I had one I certainly wouldn't want anyone taking it away.

Maybe this Mother's Day the best gift we can get is the one only we can give to ourselves. How about this year we tell ourselves that we're good enough just the way we are. It would make Mr. Rogers very proud.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I Heart Madonna, Even Though She Kinda Scares Me

I have been a Madonna fan since the 80s. I have always been impressed, but also a little intimidated by her power and drive.

I've seen photos lately of her leaving the gym with Gwyneth Paltrow, and I can only imagine the pressure of working out with Madonna. I was thinking about that yesterday when I was at the gym, doing my workout which seems to be not challenging enough, and I cowered at the thought of how Madonna would totally kick my ass. Very scary.

Madonna isn't the best singer, we all know she's not the best actress, (hello "Shanghai Surprise") but somehow she has had one of the most successful careers in show business spanning three decades. I think it shows a determination and work ethic that is worthy of great respect and admiration.

I'm happy for her that her new CD, "Hard Candy" is getting rave reviews. The paper I write for, the Cape Cod Times, ran a piece today written by my competitor colleague, Ken Capobianco, about pop divas with new albums out. Ken, I have to disagree with you about her first single from the CD, "4 Minutes" being "lame." WTF? Have you seen the video? Compare Madonna at 50 to Britney Spears who is half her age, lamely strolling around a stripper pole wearing torn fishnets and little else.

I know your type, bucko, I gave birth to one of the biggest music critics around. My son refused to watch the video or listen to the single until I forced him on his last visit home. He had to admit it wasn't bad. Hey, you put some Justin Timberlake and Timbaland in, and you've got a great song. The moves that Madonna pulls off in this video is incredible. Give it another listen and watch, Ken. You might find it grows on you.

When I was out walking this morning I listened to the song a couple of times as I hiked around my neighborhood. I closed my eyes and pretended I could leap over cars and have Justin Timberlake pull a corset off of me. Yeah I know it's never going to happen, but thanks to Madonna all we women over 40 can still dream.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Stephen Colbert and Rain Do DDR

I am a big "Colbert Report" and "Daily Show" fan. Sadly, I feel like I get the best news from these two Comedy Central shows.

For a couple of weeks now Stephen Colbert has had a rivalry with Rain, a huge Asian pop star from South Korea, because Rain was ranked higher as an influential person than him. He even did his own Korean music video to compete with the international pop star.

I hadn't heard of Rain until last summer when my daughter returned from studying for five months in China with a computer and iPod chock full of Asian pop music. And now Rain's star seems to be quickly rising. I'm sure it's all Emma's doing :)

Not only is he popular in Korea, China and Japan, he is co-starring role in the new "Speed Racer" movie which is bound to greatly raise his profile.

As the mother of an Asian daughter I am thrilled to see an Asian performer getting this much press. There aren't nearly enough Asians on television, movies and making music. Rain may be a bit of a Michael Jackson knock-off, but I think he's pretty darn adorable and I am thrilled that Colbert has given him as much air time as he has.

Ultimately, Colbert was no competition in DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) and was left in the dust by Rain.

Something tells me though that Rain is not out of the woods just yet. I think that Colbert will continue to keep him on his threat-down list, not as high on this infamous list as bears, ("Godless killing machines") but perhaps a bit higher than Colbert's dreaded robots.

Monday, May 5, 2008

It's Almost International No Diet Day - Lift Those Forks!

Like most American women I am always thinking about what I eat, and not in a good way. It's a delicate balance of trying to be healthy, self-flagellation and a hearty dose of guilt. No wonder I have indigestion.

Tomorrow, May 6, however is International No Diet Day, so I'm planning on a one day reprieve of obsession. Well, I'm planning on it, but I doubt I'll be able to pull it off.

I know I'm not alone in having started down this road as a teen. It started at about 14 with the Stillman Protein Diet. Luckily even though I've flirted with anorexia briefly a few times in my life, I've managed to sidestep a full-blown eating disorder. That said, it still doesn't mean like many that I don't have a bit of a love/hate relationship with food. And that kind of stinks since we all need to eat.

My daughter is one of those lucky people who can eat pretty much whatever she wants and still slip into her size 2-4 jeans. Hey, she's 22. When she's home I have to remind myself that I am NOT 22, and can't have a lovely dinner AND ice cream AND stay the same weight. So not fair!

On Friday night, after a long week, I rented "P.S. I Love You," (my video guy will often give me movies a little early since I write about them). I liked it, but it was a tear jerker, and to comfort myself I had a bowl of cookies and cream ice cream. As I snuggled on my couch, wiping tears and spooning in ice cream, I knew that as soon as the bowl was empty the ensuing guilt would kick in. And it did. When I crawled into bed that night the shaming dialogue took over. "WHY did you eat that? What is wrong with you?!" Oy, it's so not fun.

So I've decided for one day, International No Diet Day, I will give myself a break, do what I want and not feel guilty.

Yeah, and I think a unicorn and sparkly pony will be making an appearance in my backyard as well.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Is it Grace, Serendipity or Just Dumb Luck?

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Cheryl Richardson, and she was incredibly lovely and sent me a copy of her book, "The Unmistakable Touch of Grace."

Cheryl is one of the most well-know life coaches around, having appeared on Oprah, lots of other talk shows and her own PBS specials.

I had talked to her about that struggle of trying to take a career to the next level - the pressure you feel and what you can do about it.

She told me that when she was initially trying to make it as a speaker and coach that she decided she had to take another job to make ends meet. She interviewed for a job at a college, and before she even started she got several speaking gigs and never needed to take the job.

As I've been reading this book I've been taking special note of when things happen, letting go and what has been showing up in my life. What happened to me this morning was a prime example.

Over the winter there was a storm that was so strong it lifted up a table on my deck and shattered it. I hadn't moved it indoors because it was too heavy for me to move by myself, and I took a gamble that obviously didn't pay off. The table and chairs had been a gift from a good friend who had gotten something new and kindly gave me the set she no longer needed - I was thrilled and my kids and I used it all summer.

I was very upset that it was broken, and since I'm not in a position right now to run out and get a new one, I didn't know how I'd be able to replace it. Last night I was thinking about it and was wondering if the small table with two chairs on my front porch would look too stupid on the deck. I also wondered how my whole family would ever fit around this tiny table.

Yesterday as I left to go to the gym I took note of all the cars lining my street, all there for an estate sale that I didn't know was going to be happening. Feeling like I had more than enough crap of my own I didn't stop. This morning however, when I went for a walk I looked over at the house as I walked by and saw a whole set of deck furniture that hadn't been there yesterday. On my loop back I stopped in and saw there was a glass-top table, four chairs, an umbrella and a chaise lounge. I went inside and asked how much it was, we bartered a little, and I got all of it for $40. I immediately thought of Cheryl's book, and thought this was one of those moments of grace. I'd put it out there that I needed something and it showed up.

I know my cynical children would tell me to get over myself and that it was one big fat coincidence, but I don't think so. These kinds of things happen too often for me to believe that. The friend who you think of but haven't talked to in months who suddenly e-mails for calls, an unexpected check that arrives in the mail, for me these are all acts of grace.

I've been reading the book every night and have been thinking a lot about the act of surrendering and letting go, not easy for a control freak like me. But I'm finding when I consciously let go of the outcome and surrender to what is, things work out and I'm a lot less stressed.

Try it - get a copy of the book if you like (As a life coach I've read LOTS of self help books and this is a very good one) and see where you might find moments of grace in your own life. I know I can't wait to see what shows up next in mine.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Is Making Me Hate "The View"

Since I work from home and write a lot about pop culture and entertainment I try to catch a bit of the various talk shows. Lately I am finding "The View" more and more uncomfortable to watch.

I'll admit it - I'm a liberal (such a dreaded word unfortunately) but it's not just Elisabeth Hasselbeck's ultra-conservative politics that are driving me to click off my TV, it's her smug ignorance and intolerance that are leading me to open up my iTunes file and listen to anything but her.

Granted, I know Hasselbeck isn't alone in her relentless carping on the Reverend Wright, but the tension on that set due to her bulldog-like hold on the topic actually gives me a stomach ache. I doubt most of you will have the 7 minutes and few seconds to watch that whole video clip of yesterday's show, but all you need is a couple of minutes to see and hear how much of a conservative mouthpiece she is. She spews "facts" from Fox News without questioning their correctness, and when presented with contradicting information she won't back down. She's got her talking points and that's all there is to it.

Whoopi Goldberg is a much more patient foil for her than Rosie O'Donnell ever was, she tries to patiently explain to her things like perhaps she can't really understand what it's like to be an African American, and is never condescending about it. I admire her patience because my head would have exploded long ago.

I'm thinking that what it may really be about is I don't enjoy conflict. I like people to get along. I'm not a confrontational person (unless pushed and pushed) and find arguing upsetting. I am apparently a shining example of my WASP-y upbringing, a family where as my brother says, our crest should read - "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - because no one wants to hear it. I'm not saying this is good, but we sure didn't have a lot of dishes being thrown.

Not everyone should think like me (though I'm pretty nice and think folks could do worse), I just wish that as I look at my mountain of bills - trying to decide, gee should I order heating oil at $3.77 a gallon OR pay my health insurance bill this week, that if there is going to be a debate it would be a helpful one. By people who can do something about it.

I think I will take a little hiatus from "The View" and stick with listening to the birds outside or some good music which by the way, will NOT include Scarlett Johannson's new CD - sorry Scarlett.