Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best Movies of the Decade

I may not be a movie critic, but I know what I like.  Here's my list of the best movies of the decade.  Most have been out for awhile so if you haven't seen them, they'll make great rentals over the holidays

1.  Slumdog Millionaire
2.  Crash
3.  Blood Diamond
4.  I am Sam
5.  Passion of the Christ
6.  Little Miss Sunshine
7.  The Departed
8.  The Devil Wears Prada
9.  Happy Feet
10. The Bourne Trilogy

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

10 Gift Ideas for Mall Haters

Time is running out.  The malls are packed.  If you can't find a parking space or you just aren't cut out for mall shopping, here are a few ideas....
1.  Shop local boutiques like Sanctuary of Davidson where you can find jewelry and other handmade, unique gifts from artists like Moondoonie.

2.  Hit the grocery store for an inexpensive bottle of merlot.  Toss in some mulling spices to make your wine gift a bit more festive. Make your friends and family extra happy by serving up some mulled wine!  My friend Maria made some last weekend and it was delicious.

3.  Christopher Radko ornaments to celebrate a 1st Christmas, honor a favorite teacher or to give to a treasured friend are available at Blacklion and a few other select retailers around the country.
and The Cultural Companies has debuted a line of multicultural ornaments in select Target and Lowes stores.

4.  Hate waiting for your favorite shutterbug to share their digital photos?  Polaroid is selling an instant digital camera called Pogo with a built-in printer.  You can find it at Best Buy, Office Depot and Costco.

5.  For the co-worker warming her feet with a space heater IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER, don't sleep on the Snuggie. Walgreens offers the best snuggie price in the land at $14.99.

6.  The faithful (sorry Tiger, couldn't resist) golfer in your life will appreciate a round of golf  at course nearby.  Gift cards can be purchased for as little as $25.00

7.  Dog enthusiasts and their furry children might like the biscuit of the month club.  Its a cute, creative gift that shows up around the 5th of each month. 

8.  Those who can't cook can certainly help set the table.  Order a beautiful centerpiece for Christmas dinner for as little as $29.99.

9.   In this economy, Starbucks has become a major luxury.  Help your favorite gourmet coffee lover enjoy the Starbucks taste at home with a Caramel Macchiato Kit.  It won't put a big dent in your wallet for $9.95.

10. Moms love comfort and convenience.  The older the mom, the more comfort she demands. Yes, they are "mom" jeans, but at least at least they aren't loaded with pleats. Order mom some bootcut stretch jeans. For $19.99 you can buy an easy care, easy wear gift for a mom who has trouble with zippers and buttons.

Monday, December 14, 2009

So Easy, Even Ramona Can Make It

Chef Billy, who was brought to town by Lowes Foods  (http://www.lowesfoods.com/)
stopped by the show on Friday.  If you have a recipe that just isn't working, contact him
at (http://fixmyrecipe.com/) and he'll help you get it right.

He backed up my claim that everybody can't cook and gave us a NO BAKE easy recipe for peanut butter/chocolate balls.

Combine 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 1/2 cup of cornflakes.
Mix well and form into balls.  Melt milk chocolate in a double boiler.  Roll balls in chocolate
and let cool on wax paper. 


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christopher Radko rocks

Wiish I could say I made this wreath. It is filled with Radko ornaments from Blacklion.

Anonymous generosity

About eight years ago this beautiful Lennox tree showed up at the station with a note attached thanking me for "the laughter." I have no idea who gave it to me, but it makes me feel like sometimes our silly little show makes a positive difference.

My favorite Christmas decorations

My multicultural collection of nutcrackers stand guard on the mantle. There are six in all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jasmyne meets Tiana

A grown woman really shouldn't be this excited about a Disney Princess, but I am.  I've been shopping for Princess Tiana goodies for my god-daughter for months (I can give you prices on the wedding doll, the toddler doll and Tiana sparkle bag).  Auntie Moma already knows where we'll be watching "The Princess and the Frog" on opening weekend!   Now ask me if my god-daughter is excited.  My answer?  Nope.  Jasmyne's mother has tried to pass along our Tiana fever and it just ain't workin.'   I've heard the movie is destined to be another Disney classic, but that happens over a period of time.  The kid sees the movie, plays with the toys, gets the DVD and then watches it hundreds of times in the car.  I just want Jasmyne to love Tiana right now!

When I was a little girl my favorite princess was Cinderella. 
We only had Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty (a.k.a. Princess Aurora) and Snow White back in those days.  I cherished my Cinderella watch, but dressing up as Cinderella?   I would've looked like a pint-sized L'il Kim (with less-than-desirable results I was twisted enough to dress up as June Cleaver for a Norfolk Zoo fundraiser, only to be mistaken for Florida Evans)  With Tiana we finally have a Princess with a look that an African American girl can pull off and my god-daughter just doesn't care!

She has grown up with Zach and Cody on TV and the Obama girls in the White House.  She sings Miley Cyrus and Beyonce songs.  It doesn't matter that Tiana is the first African American princess.  To her it's just another movie she hasn't seen yet and its good she feels that way.  She doesn't know about Disney history.
 She doesn't even understand the Disney marketing machine that sucks in kids and parents alike.  It's okay!
It'll be nice to spend an hour or so reliving the Disney princess magic with a little kid.  This week, girls night out consists of talking animals, beautiful ball gowns and happy endings. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tiger Spin

If only Tiger had learned a lesson from David Letterman, he wouldn't look so shady right now.  He's missing an opportunity to show his fans that he's a regular guy.  The world's greatest golfer had just returned from a trip Down Under (pun intended) without his wife.  She'd been left home to care for their 2 and 9 month old kids.  He's ready to relax for a bit before jetting off to his charity tournament.  Relax?!?!  Leave again?!?  The tabloids are embarrassing me and you expect to have some peace in this house?!?!?!  You know what happens next
WARNING:  the video link includes some nasty language from a ticked off mom.
(now for the spin)
Elin doesn't attack Tiger.  She attacks the one thing that he loves more than anything in this world  HIS GOLF CLUBS!! Then she takes the putter she just bent and heads for his precious Escalade!  Poor Tiger just made it worse by getting in the way and crashing into the fire hydrant and the tree.  What now?  Focus on the charity golf tournament.  Tiger can't play, but reaches out to his celebrity superfriends who are hungry for attention (insert name of popular retired NFL or NBA stars) and they help raise a ton of money for (insert name of heartwarming charity here). 

The media gets wind of a generous check from Tiger.  It covers the cost of the hydrant he hit and will help repair a few busted hydrants in another part of town.  The paparazzi get a well-planned shot of Tiger talking to the arborist who's planting a mature tree in the neighbor's yard. 

Next stop Letterman!  Dave and Tiger trade brutally funny jokes about living with a angry woman.  Dave quips that Tiger's GM got smashed by his Nike. 
Oh, how we laugh!  A few months down the road Cadillac promotes their smash-proof window technology and Nike features Tiger in an ad for the most durable clubs money can buy,  "Your Wife Will Hate Them... Just Do It."  Elin also gets hooked up with a Tag Heuer Diamond Fiction watch
 and the Tiger Spin is complete.

Gift Giver Bill of Rights

Mailed gifts deserve acknowledgement.  Gift givers shouldn't have to pay extra for delivery confirmation to know you received a present

Gift givers who don't get to spend a lot of time with your kid deserve hints.... sizes, favorite colors, games

Gift givers on a budget deserve some low cost suggestions.  Your kid may want a $50 video game, but if you know Memaw's fixed income only allows for gifts in the $10 range, suggest cookies or another favorite treat.

Gift givers deserve a heads-up on contraband.  If you don't allow certain toys or clothing let people know.  Don't leave grandma feeling like a criminal because she purchased a nerf gun.  If you have a no toy gun policy drop it into a conversation.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Aeropostale 50-70 percent off NY&Co 50 percent off. Deals galore!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Truth About New Jersey

Here we go again!  As if Tony Soprano and the table-flippin' Real Housewives of New Jersey weren't enough, now its time for MTV to exploit Garden State stereotypes.
MTV brags that the Italians in its new reality show Jersey Shore "keep their hair high, their muscles juiced and their fists pumping all summer long!"

I grew up in Jersey and yes, I do like big hair,
but despite what you see on TV its a pretty diverse state.

Sure its just another one of those Hollywood crutches... pushy New Yorker, hick Southerner, arrogant Texan, surfing Californian...  but just for once can a character from the Garden State be into gardening?

Monday, November 23, 2009

11 Lingering Questions about the AMAs

Did Janet Jackson hire a "Star Wars" costume designer to hook up her outfit for the show?
Are people freaked about Adam Lambert's performance because he had guy-on-guy action?
Was Kelly Clarkson wearing her grandma's bedazzled jacket?
Was that a permanent tattoo down Rihanna's neck and chest? 
Do celebs like Keith Urban really need wallet chains?  Are there pickpockets in the band?
How many liquor bottles does Lady Gaga need to break to let the crowd know she's disturbed?
Is knowing Taylor Swift Gloriana's only claim to fame?
Was Chris Allen, the WINNER of American Idol, a little ticked that he didn't get to perform?
Was it a coincidence that Alicia Keys' dancers had thighs that looked like hers?
Jermagesty?  C'mon Jermaine, did you have to pin that name on your kid?
Did J-Lo's magic booty help her bounce back up so quickly after she fell?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stars of the DVR

Though "Blades of Glory" was far from Oscar worthy and "Land of the Lost" defiled a cherished childhood show, I still like Will Ferrell.  Forbes puts him on top of its list of overpaid movie stars.  So what.  Will is among a select group of actors who, despite their box office bombs,  give us films that have the ability to make a lazy afternoon.... ummmmm lazier.   At least mildly amusing and starring familiar faces their movies will always get a spot in my DVR memory.
Here are my stars of the DVR. (I see very few of their flicks at the box office, but my cable subscription takes care of it)

1.  Will Ferrell
2.  Ben Stiller
3.  Adam Sandler
4.  Vince Vaughn
5.  Drew Barrymore
6.  Chris Rock
7.  Martin Lawrence
8.  Owen Wilson
9.  Gabrielle Union
10. Michael Cera
11.  Queen Latifah
12.  Anne Hathaway

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fath Test vs. Common Sense Quiz

I've been praying for months that God will send the family who needs my home.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbeLdsoSbY0.  Friday night I decided to change it up a bit.  I thanked Him instead.  I said "thank you" for the family You are sending.  I thanked Him for the healings he was bringing to the lives of family and friends who've been facing serious illnesses.   It was a statement of my faith.  I confess that my relationship with faith isn't perfect.  There are times when we make a great couple.  I'm hopeful and prayerful and filled with encouragement.   At other times, I'm fearful, doubtful and filled with worry.  http://www.givinghopethroughfaith.org/letters-of-hope-aug07.html

Mere minutes after my Friday night faith statement came a major faith challenge and what a doozy it was.  I sat down to look for an e-mail and found two amazing messages.  My friend heard from her hubby's doctor that his condition had improved so dramatically that he no longer needed to be on the transplant list!    The next message was from my realtor.  A cash offer for my house!  Wow!  So where's the test?  The offer comes without any earnest money and the buyer wants me out in about a week.  Do I move on faith or listen to the "what if" wondering if the refusal to put up earnest money is a sign they'll back out at the last minute?  Is this a faith test or common sense quiz?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Worst Kid Characters on TV

Some TV kids are the victims of poor writing, some are the victims of their own lack of talent and some simply play characters that are so unlikable and annoying that you want to immediately put them on time out.

Sorry kids your character was just unnecessary or unlikable:

Juanita - Desperate Housewives (A bully and unpleasant child character.  My mom spends every episode describing what she'd do to whip the kid into shape.  She makes Nelly Olsen look like an angel)
Richie and Judy-  Family Matters (Richie was a pint-sized Lionel Richie hired ONLY because somebody thought he was cute.  It was never explained what happend to Judy, Laura and Eddie's younger sister.  she was so useless her character disppeared with no explanation because nobdy cared)
DJ - Roseanne (they switched Beckys, but everybody wishes they had just sent DJ off to live with one of his wacky grandmothers)
Any kid added just because the series was getting stale.  This means you Cousin Oliver on Brady Bunch, Sam on Diff'rent Strokes and Nicky Banks on Fresh Prince.

Some kids just aren't good actors.  They start out cute, but their acting skills are nil.  But the most unforgivable are the kids on reality TV.  Jon and Kate are doing little Maddie any favors by showing her tantrums.  The same goes for ALL the kids on Nanny 911 and about half the kids on Wife Swap and Toddlers in Tiaras. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just Say Ho

We've trivialized all of the other girl put-down words.  "Dame" and "broad" used to be edgy gangster terms.  Now they just sound silly.    You can make life a legal nightmare for your sexist supervisor if he substitutes honey, baby or sugar for your God-given name.  We've claimed  the word "chick."  I'm also proud that in my lifetime, we've even taken the bite out of the female dog term.  In your face, Snoop Dogg!  "Bitch" is no longer a word we can't say on the radio.  In fact, I remember when pop radio stations had Meredith Brooks' song, "Bitch" in heavy rotation (http://popup.lala.com/popup/576742236132675147.  Some gal pals even use the word quite lovingly.  I think its time for "bitches" to move on.

Next up is ho (if you're from the old skool it was probably remember it being spelled differently on the bathroom stall doors).  I think the only way to tame this monster is to take it over.  The ho costume was so popular at Halloween that party stores added ho accessories to the inventory! (http://www.candyapplecostumes.com/pimps_hos.html?gclid=CK7gtrC3gp4CFYlM2god92Ripg)
We've got to stop the madness.  My strategy is to make it positive.  Our best friends and sisters must become our Support Ho's.  Girls who plant flowers must become Garden Ho's.  Call Nancy Reagan!  Let's lobby her to change the name of her campaign to "Just Say Ho!"

Sadly, during the 2008 presidential primaries,  when I saw a college kid sporting a "Bro's before Ho's" t-shirt featuring Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, I knew we had a long way to go.  But I think we can do this.  If we don't the next generation of girls will have a hard road to hoe (http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/a+hard+row+to+hoe).
(really bad pun very much intended)

RIP Roosevelt Franklin

Kids these days have the Wiggles but the children's music I grew up on came straight from Sesame Street.  If you visited our home you were sure to hear me singing my ABC's right along with Roosevelt Franklin
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww3RAgnVOIs).  I memorized his whole album "Roosevelt Franklin Sings" and thanks to him I could rock the days of the week ("http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRH5-q7iFS0)

A purple guy with a tuft of Don King-like hair, he was the hippest of muppets.  Sadly he fell victim to political correctness.  While Roosevelt Franklin taught kids lessons about accepting people who look different, talk different, live in different places and eat different foods... some folks felt he represented "a negative cultural stereotype." ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv58qiMgGvY).  Despite being a popular character he was canned. 

I'll never forget you Roosevelt Franklin, R.I.P.  Thanks for inventing him, Sesame Street.  Happy 40th birthday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dream Guests

I've got a short list of dream guests.

1. Carter, Jimmy or Amy

2. Sasha or Malia (the most elusive and fun Obamas) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hk5atMZtp29Rx-J14X1haDCpYwIQ

3. Oprah (confident enough in my interview skills to believe I could make HER cry)

4. Cecily Tyson (a.k.a. Miss Jane Pittman. Yes, I'd be ignorant enough to reinact that final scene at the water fountain where her lips are shaking as she takes a sip)http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?sku=074645895390

5. Jesse Ventura  (the Chuck Norris of politics)

Jesse is the best guest in the world. A monkey could interview him about politics and look like a Marconi/Emmy/Gracie Award winner. It doesn't matter what he's talking about.... the war, the economy, health care, gay marriage... he's got a common sense way of breaking down the politics that keeps me glued when he's on radio or TV. Props to you Mr. Body. I once made fun of the folks in Minnesota for making you their governor.  Now, Ah-nuld is thanking his lucky California stars that Jesse paved the way for a weight lifter to have big political muscles.

Last night I heard Jesse ask a question that I first read on as a "status" comment on the profile of a Facebook friend named Jerry.  Both wondered if a civil rights issue should be put up for a popular vote. What if slavery had been a ballot question back in the day? If, like Jesse, you examine gay marriage as a 100% civil rights issue, then the answer seems clear.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat on my Street

Best parent/child costumes of the night. The kid did a horror flick worthy zombie walk!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

5 Halloween Ideas in 5 Items or Less

An entertaining Halloween costume doesn't have to cost a lot. 

White mask, black hoodie, baggy black sweatpants, sneakers and white gloves
JabbaWockeez Costume (http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/JabbaWockeeZ-member-americas-best-dance-crew-759957_300_365.jpg)

Guitar, superhero mask, cape
Guitar hero costume (http://ptplteens.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/guitar-hero-rock-band.jpg)

Unitard, rock wig, crazy makeup, high heels
Lady Gaga (http://christinewho.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/lady-gaga-5.jpg)

Vest, dress shirt, dress pants, nerd glasses and fake Hawaii license
McLovin (http://thepiratesdilemma.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/mclovin-2.JPG)

Elvis wig, white hair spray, business suit, padding
Rev. Al Sharpton (http://nymag.com/daily/intel/20070730jacksharp.jpg)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


My mother, Wheezy, with my godmother, her BFF from college. Aunt Doris and mom have been tight since 1958. Their friendship gave me the gift of having a second mom.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just Say No to the Frenemy

While usually a fan a mash-up words, "frenemy" isn't one that I like.  Friend + enemy = unnecessary drama.  This week on "The Satisfied Life" (http://www.thesatisfiedlifenetwork.com/templates/System/default.asp?id=31327) we interview Susan Shapiro Barash (http://susanshapirobarash.com/content/index.asp), the author of a book called Toxic Friends.  She finds that 65% of women remain friends with someone who is difficult on some level. 

Thanks to moves from New Jersey (http://www.co.somerset.nj.us/) to Pennsylvania to Ohio to Indiana (http://www.wtlc.com/home.asp) toVirginia and the Carolinas there are lots of friends who I miss.  Distance, family and career demands.... there are so many reasons why we've lost contact.  I'd never had an official friend break-up until last year.  Frankly, I didn't even know pals did such a thing, but I thank her for pulling the trigger.  Damaging friendships are just that... DAMAGING!!!!  They rob you of the true joys of having a good friend.  When you can't confide in a friend for fear of your confession coming back to bite you... when you can't celebrate an accomplishment for fear of jealousy.... when friendship turns into a power struggle or an energy drain of epic proportions, then it might be time to say good-bye. 

I've moved enough to learn that new friends are out there.  They're hoping you'll ask them to meet for brunch after church.  They hope you'll join their club (http://www.gfwcnc.org/), invite them to become an exercise buddy or just stop by with coffee and muffins.  Just because you've been friends since Madonna's first hit, doesn't mean you have to put up with a frenemy (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=frenemy).  I've been blessed with some chicks (and a few guys) who've taught me how to be a better friend.  Give me a new true friend over a toxic old friend any day of the week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Senior Technology

My mom and I have an ongoing tech issue.  It started back in the days when I carried a pager.  When I retrieved my messages I'd hear her reading the pager instructions I'd given her.  After she finished reading, she'd hang up.  No message, just mom repeating my pager number and the instructions!  Thankfully the pager days are over (http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions/a/pager.htm)

Now our nemesis is the cell phone.  Wheezy refuses to leave it on when she's not talking.  She'll call and leave a message then turn the phone off because she doesn't want to run down the battery.  Do you know how frustrating it is to get an urgent sounding message (and they all sound urgent) only to call her back minutes later and get the voicemail.  Answer when she calls or miss her altogether.  Maybe when batteries were first invented, they only lasted for a few minutes (http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-2.htm).  Perhaps in the post-depression era battery conservation was a big deal, but its 2009!  How can I convince her that the cell phone will stay charged all day?  Should I just give up?  Maybe senior citizens and technology just don't mix! http://www.sunliving.com/seniortech.html

She's called me about 4 times today.  Each time I've called her back her phone has been off!  AAAAAAAHHHH.  It's driving me nuts!


Friday, October 16, 2009

New hair

The latest hairstyle. Its all mine. I grew some of it and bought some of it. LOL

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Can I Touch Your Hair?

From Tyra Banks letting Larry King run his fingers through her "real hair" to Chris Rock promoting his "Good Hair" movie on the Oprah show... my hair has never been a mystery to me, but when it appears to have grown three inches overnight,  I realize that its probably the 8th Wonder of the World to some.  Our VP says he's never met anyone who does as many things with their hair as I do.  Will Rock's movie shed light on the kinky hair/straight hair, real hair/fake hair questions?  http://www.nj.com/entertainment/tv/index.ssf/2009/10/good_hair_movie_review_chris_r.html
I haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't judge.  All I can say is all the talk about Black hair has sparked a few questions from listeners.

Karoline in Hickory, NC asks... I've heard you talk about how long you spend at the hairdresser before and it always kind of amazed me at the amount of time you spend at the salon. Today's (Oprah) show Chris was back on because a lot of African-American women were upset that Chris exposed their secrets. Were you upset? There was 1 woman who worked in corporate America and she didn't want people asking her if that was her real hair or a weave.

Karoline, I don't think Chris is exposing any secret you can't learn by picking up a Black hair style magazine in the grocery store (http://www.sophisticatesblackhairstyles.com/sbh/) or watching a Youtube video on hair weaving techniques (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F30Ni8jENos).  Am I upset?  Absolutely not.  The subject only becomes polarizing when people use hair texture to discriminate.

Cathy in Charlotte asks...  I hope I don't offend you by asking why so many African American women wear fake hair?

Cathy, I can't speak for all Black women.  I can just speak for me.  I enjoy the versatility.  Any good hair day gets ruined by my clunky headphones.   At least one night a week I have about five minutes to go from the studio to an event.  I'd have to come to work in curlers to look decent.  My own hair takes me about 20 minutes to style on any given day.  Add about three hours to the process if I've washed it.  Fake hair takes about 5 minutes and I'm out the door. 

April in Monroe, NC asks... I love seeing the different things you do with your hair and after watching Tyra reveal her real hair, I was wondering when/if you would do the same thing.

April, I don't think it'll be as exciting as you think, but then again I did tune in just to see Tyra's real hair
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pisyysp24rw&feature=related).  The next time I go to the salon I'll take some before and after pictures.

"Can I touch your hair?" is a question I've been asked more times than I can count.  I've also recieved hair questions from women with bi-racial children and from a White couple adopting an African child.  Learning about other people brings us together.  And let's face it, hair is important to most girls, no matter what color we are.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Booty Pop Experiment

Before photos are never flattering. It is obvious that I'm not related to J-Lo or the Kardashians.

The Booty Pop Experiment

After putting on the Booty Pop panties my Mom bought for my birthday. Now I could star in a Miss New Booty video. It feels like you are sitting on memory foam.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No Release for Roman

Let's start our own petition.  If you care about children who've been the victims of sexual abuse, then add your name to a list of movie-goers who do not support the release of Roman Polanski.  We need to let Hollywood know that we take child sex charges seriously.  I for one, will NOT support the projects of celebrities who DO support the release the director who fled the country the day before he was to be sentenced for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.  Petition for his release?!?!  What are these celebrities smoking. http://www.news24.com/Content/Entertainment/CelebNews/1048/18fc09e4eae142f49de84f01f82a6d07/05-10-2009-10-02/Cruz_signs_Polanski_petition

Tyler Perry recently revealed that he was molested as a child.  Compared to a pregnant 15-year old Charlotte girl who was shot to death while waiting for the school bus, Perry was lucky. http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/stories/wcnc-092209-al-murdered_teen_vigil.1a541d1d4.html.
A short time after Tiffany Wright and her baby, Aalihah, died the Charlotte-area was hit with the story of a North Carolina father charged in the abduction of his two daughters -- including a pregnant 12-year-old.  He now faces faces rape and incest charges. http://www.witn.com/home/headlines/62861107.html

Thankfully there are agencies like Florence Crittenton Services (http://www.fcsnc.org/programs.html) that try to help bring a happier ending to may of these horrific stories.   And I want our justice system to do its part as well.   Let's start with Roman...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cool With Rob Thomas

I thought the first face-to-face meeting post feud would be awkward, but the vibe was cool. Matt did ask Rob Thomas to wrestle right after this photo. Thankfully Rob ignored the request.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cheesy Dog Owners

I won't insult you by comparing my little poodle to your kid.  I just want you to know I won't be making fun of Jessica Simpson's alleged depression over losing her dog in a coyote attack.
 p://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20305379,00.html.  Losing a pet has got to suck ALOT.  Martha Stewart publicly scolded Jessica for not keeping an eye on her dog.  She later said she was VERY, VERY sorry about the scolding.  (http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20308089,00.html).  The apology came a little too late for me, Martha.  I purchased your products in Kmart while you were locked up just to prove a point.  Now, your decorating tips are dead to me. 

I've become one of those pet people.  I swear it sneaked up on me.  One day I was buying a puppy in Rock Hill.  The next day I was referring to him as a new addition to the family (http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/08/07/smart.dogs/index.html).  It happened overnight!  My mom is even worse than  me. She calls him "Grandma's Boy" and greets him with a belly rub and leg massage every morning.  I sneaked him into the hospital when she was ill (after all they allowed therapy dogs) and I swear her breathing improved that day.  I've never told this to anyone, but I came this-close to buying an "I heart my Grand-dog" sticker for my mom's car.  She receives presents from him (though he never pays me back for doing his shopping).  When he's getting groomed (http://www.dog-gone-beautiful.com/) or he's at the kennel (http://www.continentalboarding.com/) the house feels eerily empty without him. 

I've worked with cheesy pet owners before (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angela_Martin).  I didn't contribute  when co-workers in Columbus were taking up a collection to buy flowers for a sales rep whose dog had died.  I rolled my eyes when co-workers in Virginia Beach were taking up a collection to buy insulin when we found out that the station cat, Shadow,  had diabetes (hey, nobody was offering to buy insulin for my diabetic mom AND Shadow was not a pleasant acting or smelling animal). 

Thanks to Henri, I'm a changed woman.  I'm a cheesy dog owner. So, listen up, Marth Stewart.  If something happens to my dog Henri don't tell me to just get another dog, don't dismiss my tears (I guarantee there will be tears) and PLEASE spare me the she "should've been more careful" line.  A little sensitivity goes a long way with us cheesy pet people. 

BTW, pet people beware, cats and small dogs look like dinner to hungry coyotes http://www.hsus.org/wildlife/a_closer_look_at_wildlife/coyote.html.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Letter to the Big O

Dear Mr. President,
Not sure if you realize this but hating you (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfxVkLhlu5s) and loving you have become big business. I even spotted an Obama kiosk at the mall (http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/klepto/2009/07/28/free-market-warrior-vs-uniquely-obama/).  Meanwhile  criticizing you or defending you can get more complicated than a  Facebook break-up.

To some you represent hope for a nation struggling with economic woes in the midst of a war. For them, Obama bashing is America bashing.  If the Big O loses, we all wind up in worse shape.

To some you are just another deceitful politician making a power grab for hard earned tax dollars. You are the equivalent of Lucy snatching the ball away from Charlie Brown yet again

Your history-making status as the first Black president presents its own set of issues.  Some fear having a guy who looks like you in the office because you are the great unknown.  But for many others you embody the impossible dream. Your success is a blaring trumpet, loud enough to drown the relentless messages of hopelessness.

Over the next several years it's going to be interesting to watch how folks who may never see past your DNA and folks who may never see past your affiliation with the DNC interact (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27120.html).   I think we can all grow from the dicussions and from presenting all points of view.  Before those conversations take place we all have to remember to be prepared to criticize or defend respectfully.  I'm excited about it, Mr. President.  I've taken heat for Bush bashing.   Its only fair that I take heat for Obama defending.  I got some heat yesterday after I spoke up during a listener's complaint during our Tirade Tuesday segment. 

My Facebook friend, Kara, said, "Regardless of whether ay of us agrees or disagrees with "Tirade Lady," Ramona I was really disappointed in you for arguing with her. I've heard you and matt both keep your mouths shut during a father's tirade about paying child support because it was HIS tirade. I thought she deserved the same consideration. Tirade Tuesday is for venting, not debating... right?"

Hmmmm. Good question, Kara.  What do you think Mr. President? Please add us to your list of interviews.  We'd love to talk to you on The Matt and Ramona Show.  Give us a call at 877.567.7469. 
Thank you and please post more pictures of your dog, Bo.


Ramona Holloway

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Stupid One

"Nobody WANTS a bad marriage."  A simple statement of good old-fashioned truth from author Charla Muller (http://www.charlamuller.com/), one of the speakers at a breakfast hosted by  "Today's Charlotte Woman" magazine.  But while no one goes out looking for heartbreak, some folks wind up in bad relationships.  I divorced my way out of the bad marriage club five years ago.

Yesterday on the Matt and Ramona Show (http://mattandramona.1079thelink.com/index.cfm) we talked about the relationship red flags that people had ignored.  I had a few... like the fact that my ex had zero friends (his insurance agent was our best man).  You are probably thinking, "what were you thinking, Ramona?"  Frankly, I was thinking with my uterus at the time.  My biological clock was telling me that if I wanted to have babies I'd better get the show on the road.  My ex was telling me that he was an honest, faithful, man who was financially secure.  How embarrassing to tell my friends and family that I was wrong.  I had ignored some pretty ridiculous warning signs.  `Til death do us part just wasn't gonna stick.  Frankly, my marriage would ended MUCH sooner if I hadn't been so determined not to admit I'd been wrong. 

When we asked about the relationship red flags there were callers, e-mailers and Facebook friends who admitted they'd been stupid.  Here are a few..

Jessica - Drug issues, lack of ambition, lack of commitment, never shutting his mouth. Wow... I guess that was my fault. That's a whole lot of red flags! Lol!
Heather - I argued (to a gay man in a gay bar) that my boyfriend was straight. He left me for that same man a few months later. Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20.
Sarah - Didn't think too much about his drinking until we moved in together. Than I saw the true him!
Janet - Over a three week span of dating, he never invited me to his house but always wanted to come to mine and hang out. Oh, and he told me he was always traveling as a truck driver which was why he called me nightly. hmmm???? Reason for it all .... His best friend, who I met, called me and told me his friend was married. BIG DUH, eye opening moment for nieve, trusting me at 22. Lesson learned.
Wanda - His jealousy of other men wasn't just "cute" and a sign of adoration. It was a small sign of a VERY ugly trait that turned him into a monster and almost ruined me in a myriad of ways.

A boyfriend who likes to party can be a lot of fun until you realize he has a drinking problem.  The attentiveness of a jealous girlfriend can be flattering until she flips out.  Admitting you made a relationship mistake isn't stupid.  Its stupid to hurt someone who loves you by cheating.  Its not stupid to trust someone you love.  The way I see it is that if you learned something from your bad relationship... if you loved yourself enough to escape the influence of someone who was bringing you down.... then you are the smart one.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

MTV VMAs 10 Questions

Please answer these questions for me about the 2009 MTV VMAs

1. Should awards shows just stop inviting Kanye West and just let him accept via video IF he wins?

2. Are Lady GaGa's attempts at being edgy just plain silly?

3. Is there anyone hungrier for fame than Jermaine Jackson?

4. Do they only let lame comedians write dialog for presenters at awards shows?

5. Does Beyonce's dad threaten to pull her from shows if they refuse to let her sister, Solange, do something?

6. Could J-Lo have made it any clearer that she really didn't care about the VMA's?

7. Did you feel like giving Taylor Swift a hug after Kanye stole her moment?

8. Was I the only person staring at Lady Gaga's crotch after Russell Brand brought up the hermaphrodite controversy again?

9. Was Pink singing live while doing her circus act?

10. Why was Russell Brand asked to return as host?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Giving my Panty Hose to the United Way

For years I've watched it happen in offices around the country.  E-mails go out and signs go up letting employees know that its time to give to the United Way.  Hurray!  Okay, well maybe EVERYBODY doesn't cheer.  Frankly, I understand why some may be reluctant to hoot and holler and its my job to turn those attitudes around.  I am one of this year's United Way campaign speakers.

Those who knew me when I was working in Columbus, Ohio are probably shocked that I'm doing this.  I had a boss who ran the annual campaign like Bobby Knight coached basketball.  It was so bad that one year during the Christmas party, my buddy Matt Harris, pasted the boss' head on a poster of a gunman.  The caption?  "Give to the United Way... or Else."   As the lowest employee on the pay totem pole and a faithful church tither I thought the staff should be taking up a collection for me.  I was still living with my parents, broke as H-E-double-hockey sticks.  When I told the boss, that I had no plans to give, he decided to put me down for $2 a pay.  When I told him that $2 would buy a pair of pantyhose he dismissed me with a promise to buy pantyhose for me if I came up short.  Damn, he was forceful, but I never needed to go to him for money to buy Queen Size hose in the shade of coffee. 

It wasn't until I started volunteering for United Way agencies, in Columbus and now in Charlotte, that I really began to understand how even $4 a month can make a difference.  These agencies don't just help other people.  They help our community.  I volunteer for A Child's Place, a local agency with a serious mission... to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education.  Its a big job.  In Charlotte's public schools alone there are nearly 3,000 homeless kids.  The people who work for A Child's Place wear many hats.  They scrimp and scrape and save every scrap so that the money they receive helps the children. 
The ACP board is awesome.  Its made up of doctors who volunteer medical care, social workers who provide program knowledge and legal, financial and marketing gurus who do their very best to help.  But the needs are growing. There are 20% more homeless than this time last year, 62% more than just three years ago.  The numbers are depressing.

The Charlotte United Way has had more than its fair share of controversy, but here's the deal.  What you read in the paper shows that folks are keeping an eye on our donations.  If anybody makes a wrong move, they are handled PUBLICLY.  The United Way is rightfully and vigilantly held accountable.  Heck, board meetings are open to the public. http://charlotte.bizjournals.com/charlotte/stories/2009/08/17/story3.html

This is an important time to give.. to make a personal gift that is meaningful for you.  Your pizza money, your latte money... even your pantyhose money can help.  87% of A Child's Place families had at least one working adult living in the home when their housing crisis occurred.  So many friends and familiy members have been laid off, their hours have been cut, mandatory furloughs.  Who will will be next in line for shelter, job training or food? 

Thank you for reading this.  You can designate that your donation go to ACP or another of the 98 agencies the UW of Central Carolinas supports. 

Monday, August 31, 2009

Top Model Formula

The Lesbian, the girl with the painful childhood, the quirky girl who can't relate to other humans, the brainiac, the oddly pretty girl, the girl with the nasty attitude (http://www.denimology.co.uk/2007/12/antm1.jpg)... they're all accounted for in the upcoming season of America's Next Top Model.  Tyra Banks, Miss Jay, Nigel Barker and Mr. Jay are back too.  There's more campy acting, more pictures of Tyra (http://www.blogcdn.com/www.tvsquad.com/media/2006/03/tyra-bald.jpg), more screaming models, more tears, more runway walks that need work, more make-overs and more TYRA MAIL!

It was clear in the preview that landed on my desk yesterday that Tyra, would once again follow her successful reality formula to a T.  The only difference?  This season she turns the fashion world upside down by choosing girls 5'7" and under.  Tyra invents (drumroll please)  THE PETITE MODEL!!!  Okay, maybe Tyra doesn't invent the petite model,  but she sure goes out of her way to let the waifs know the rest of the industry doesn't have much use for them.  This is probably their only shot becoming a tiny supermodel.  Even the cover of the DVD, with Tyra, in 5 inch heels, surrounded by shorties in flats tells the story.  Outside of their photo shoots, the girls spend the entire two hour season opener in flats.  We get it.  They're not tall! 
We'll soon find out if these petite divas can bring the drama and rock the photos.  If so, count me in for Cycle 13, Tyra. 

America's Next Top (Petite) Model debuts on Wednesday, September, 9th at 8:00 pm on the CW. 

spoiler alert... the over-confident girl gets crushed with early elimination and somebody gets emotional about their makeover, but if you're an ANTM fan you already knew that would happen 

Rutherfordton gas station keeps napkins and tongs handy for pickled egg lovers.

Jerky, pickles, pickled eggs... Food safety is still important even when you sell food right out of the jar.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Door-to-Door Saleskids

The 2009-2010 school year started on Monday morning in my neck of the woods.  By Monday afternoon the kids were already making the rounds with their candles and cookie dough.  Do the kids even get a chance to learn their teacher's name before they're given the fundraising homework?

My mom and I generally buy from the first few kids who ring the doorbell.  By the time the 4th or 5th kid makes the rounds, we're pretending not to be home.  Sounds a bit rude, but we don't need more flower bulbs, coffee mugs or wrapping paper and its tough to tell the sweet little saleskids "NO" right to their cute little faces.  Most schools discourage door-to-door selling but encourage the kids to hound their neighbors.  Its a mixed message for sure. http://www.school-fundraisers.com/fundraisingtips/safetytips.html

I admire the kids who soak up the principal's fundraising pep talk.  They take to the sidewalks with order sheets in hand, trying to sell enough magazines to get a "free" t-shirt or a pizza party for their class. 
I've worked as a sales rep.  Cold calls aren't easy, but these miniature marketers take them in stride.  . 

Good luck saleskids. Don't take it personally if you see lights on at my house, but nobody is answering the door.  It just means we've already purchased a coupon book and some candy from one of your classmates.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Family's Matriarch

I Heart My PC

Hello computer with high speed internet access! Hello TV with digital cable! Good to see ya radio! Its true that sometimes you don't appeciate what you've got until its gone. I spent the last 3 days of my vacation visiting our family matriarch, my Aunt Pat. Her house is an interesting place to visit. She loves art, plants, birds and books. She hates TV, computers, radio and most paper goods (thank God she's cool with toilet paper). Aunt Pat is the wise, thoughtful woman I aspired to be... until I realized that growing and canning your own food (http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_04/beans_snap_italian.html), reupholstering your own furniture and sewing your own clothes is a lot of damn work!

NOTHING goes to waste at her house. EVERYTHING can be repurposed. Old calendars become greeting cards for the sick and shut-in at her church (http://oberlin.edu/external/EOG/AfAmChurches/Rust.htm), used dryer sheets stuff pillows, scraps of cloth become fabulous quilts and banners. Her art and clothing designs are sought after
(http://www.ourownimage.com/?con=africanamericanquiltdesign. Family and friends fight over the soups, fruits, jams and veggies she cans each summer (in a home with no air conditioning). I don't know how she does it all. She flitters from project to project while people 10-to-50 years younger are begging her to just sit down. Aunt Pat is 86 and the rest of us just can't keep up. Plopping down in front of the TV is NOT an option. When you aren't working you are planning the next project or sharing ideas (no gossip allowed).

By day three I felt guilty using the paper towels my cousin Rose smuggled in. In Aunt Pat's honor, I might start using linen napkins at each meal.... but shunning TV, radio, computers AND driving?!?! I used to think I was the anti-tech... that is until I was without my favorite tech items. Now? I'm listening to the radio while I type and next I'll be shopping for a lap top to take on my next trip.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Land O' Vanity Plates

Boring license plate design? Cheap vanity plate fees? I don't know what motivates the people of Virginia, but vanity plates are still IN! FOXEGRL, NUTN2DO, GODZGIFT... from sexy to religious, drivers there feel a need to make a statement.

The Progastinator

I'm a fan of mash-up words. Some may hate mash-ups like "staycation," spending your vacation time at home. But I have fun making up my own. I take credit for "praycation," spending your vacation time on a mission trip or spiritual journey (http://www.explorefaith.org/prayer_meditation/prayer/prayers_for_living/prayers_for_vacation.php). I'm also quite proud of "criggle." You can use it to describe things that make you cringe and laugh at the same time... like seeing your elderly uncle parading around a hotel pool in a speedo. My newest word is inspired by a friend who admits that she finds an odd sense of adventure in pushing the gas tank to the limit. I call her the "progastinator." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/procrastination

Let me first confess that I have run out of gas twice in my life. Yes, I have been a victim of my own progastination. My empty tank has been the result of forgetting to get gas on my way home from work and running too late to get gas on my way to work. There is no sense of adventure in my progastination. It is fueled by forgetfulness followed by fear.

I've been with the progastinator when she has run out of gas. Not fun! It was a cold day and we were dressed for strolling through a warm mall, not hiking in 30 degree weather. I shiver just thinking about it.

We took a road trip over the weekend. Do you know how hard it is to carry on a meaningful conversation when your eyes are transfixed on the gas gauge and your mind is trying to calculate how many miles you'll have to walk to the next exit? Will we make it to a gas station? If not, will we be mowed down by a semi? Picked up by a serial killer? Would my fashionable flip-flops (http://www.seventytwoshoeboutique.com/home.html) hold up under rocky roadside conditions?!?!?! This time we got gas before it was too late, but there were some scary moments! Next time, I take a trip with the progastinator I'm taking along some sneakers just in case.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Best Reality Shows on TV

Can't figure out which reality show I enjoy more.... "NYC Prep" with its pretentious rich kids or "Real Housewives of Atlanta" with its pretentious rich women. Both have given me very quotable lines...

Jessie, NYC Prep, "guests of guests don't bring guests" and
Sheree, Real Housewives of Atlanta, "Who gon' check me boo?" http://hiphopblips.dailyradar.com/video/who_gonna_check_me_boo_remix_video/

Prep's PC is TV's newest spoiled diva. His tantrum from the second row of a fashion show was the bitchiest thing I've seen since Pumpkin got evicted from the Flavor of Love house. Meanwhile, since last season, two of the RHOA's have downsized. A third, Kim Z, just broke up with her sugar daddy. She could've used his protection when her cast member attacked!
ooh-weeee! This is trashtastic TV!!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Open House Success?

My second open house of the summer was a huge success. No, I didn't get an offer, but two people showed up! I didn't have the heart to ask my realtor if they were a couple. Sure, I'd hoped for a line of hungry qualified buyers, but I'm still pretty darn grateful for my Saturday afternoon duo. I increased my open house traffic by 200%. Last time only my realtor made an appearance (http://www.realtor.com/basics/sell/listadvert/openhouse.asp).

I've had the house on the market for two summers in a row. As part of the staging process I've taken down family pictures and paintings that I love (http://www.homebuyinginstitute.com/staging/). Convenience has been sacrificed to keep countertops clear. I've discouraged weekend houseguests and put off plans to entertain. Living in a home you are trying to sell is a big fat burden. Ever get halfway to work and wonder... where did I leave that box of tampons? did I double check to make sure my panties are in the hamper? what did I do with my bank statements? It's just an uneasy feeling knowing that strangers will be nosing around and judging everything from your decorating style to your housekeeping habits.

While foreclosures are sending families packing I still sleep and eat in a place I should feel grateful to have. The burden mentality has got to go. God must think I'm nuts for not appreciating this place... only improving things that I think buyers will like. I miss the touches that make a house a "home." So, for now I'll keep the "for sale" sign out front, but on the inside I'm making some changes.

Friday, August 7, 2009

All Good Things...

From time to time radio station execs (http://www.facebook.com/people/Neal-Sharpe/704680414) poll listeners about the on-air staff. Last week we got the results of a survey completed by 999 people. Thankfully 999 love the show. Sadly, 899 have no love for the "Ramona Hums the Hits Game." To the 100 who gave it high marks, you know what they say about all good things coming to an end? One of my Facebook friends said it best...
Cris Allen
Did you hum Taps for it?
So, farewell to my fun, "Name That Tune" tribute. Show tunes, gospel, pop, oldies, R&B, country... thanks to working in practically every format radio has to offer and getting singing lessons from a really old vaudeville performer, I know lots of songs. But as a music lover whose passion for the art far outweighs her performing talents (piano and guitar lessons didn't work out either) humming is the only thing I can do sort of well.

My birthday is this Tuesday, August 11th (http://www.almanac.com/birthday/index.php?day=11&month=8). The only thing I want is one last time to hum on the air. Is it too much to ask for?

Monday, August 3, 2009

When Sexy Turns Tacky

There is a fine line between tacky and sexy. Play it too conservative and you look buttoned-up and way too serious. Walk the line and you might hear chicks whispering nasty things about your look during the group visit to the ladies room.

When Michelle Obama shows off her toned arms in a sleeveless dress, fashion writers call it bold and classy (http://blindie.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/michelle-obama-sleeveless.jpg). I asked my Facebook friends whether it was okay for a guy to be shirtless or sleevless in his profile shot. Most said, "hayell to the naw"

Elena Carleo
Sorry, but I agree with them- douchebag. Even if the photo was taken while he was playing ball or working out, etc., he chose to put it up on his profile, as if to show off. I don't like show offs.
Mark Epperly
Emily Howard Belcher
Totally toolish!
Sandy Woods
I say tool!
April Putman
topless? he's tryin 2 hard ... kinda toolish.

How do you know the difference? It usually comes down to three things.... size, location and extremes.

Size: I've seen girls with A cups go braless and wear their shirts unbuttoned halfway down their chests. I've seen slim men rock skinny jeans and look damn good. Fashion designers know this. That's why they send size 2 models down the runway. J-Lo and Pam Anderson could wear the same top and send two totally different messages.

Location: It matters because the a guy who uses a candid beach shot for his profile photo will be forgiven for posing shirtless while the guy flexing in his bathroom mirror will not. A strapless dress at a party is cool. At work? Not cool unless you are performing on the main stage as "Summer."

Extremes: Going overboard gets folks into tacky trouble too. If a woman shows lots of leg she ventures into skankyland if she's showing lots of cleavage too. Tight is alright unless folks can make out every nook and cranny (http://celebrity.rightpundits.com/?p=4379). I'm talking to you Mr. Biker Shorts! Sexy automatically turns into tacky when onlookers come to the conclusion that you're trying too hard.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ready, Set, Spoil

Don't blame me if your kids turn out rotten. As an auntie/godmother spoiling is part of my job. A weekend of ice cream waffles for breakfast never killed anybody. My twin godchildren are coming for a visit this weekend and Auntie Moma is preparing a whirlwind of activities and treats that will make those munchkins squeal!

I have a somewhat twisted goal. I love it when kids beg to stay at my house. I stand in the doorway waving goodbye thinking, "Yesssss! Mission Accomplished!" Of course someday they'll realize that most good moms don't let kids stay up all night or eat hot dog pizza for lunch and dinner every single day (http://www.ehow.com/how_5036787_make-hot-dog-pizza.html). Living so far away from family and many close friends means that I only get a few times a year to pour it on thick, so I try to make it good.

While my auntie/godmother job description also includes listening to frazzled moms vent and offering to help. If your kid whines all the way home from Auntie Moma's house, you just have to deal with it. :o)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thanks for the "NO"

Most toddlers master "no" right after learning "Daddy" and "Mommy." It's the most powerful two letter word in the English language. There are books dedicated to teaching stressed out, overcommitted adults how to say it (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-relief/SR00039). Ultimately if no one in your life can tell you "no" then you've just purchased a one way ticket to Trouble Town!

Looking beyond the drugs and the plastic surgery what it appears that Michael Jackson needed more than anything was a healthy dose of "no." "No," chimps don't make good pets. "No," you shouldn't befriend another kid outside of the family. "No," I won't give you a powerful, hospital-grade anesthetic to sleep (http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/07/27/michael.jackson/). You see what I mean?

I want to thank all the "no" people in my life. Thanks mom for saying "NO" to the sleepover at the house of the girl with the violent parents. Thanks to my old boss, Dan Morris, for telling me "NO" when I tried to leave WNCI to work at a radio station with shady management. Thanks to Tracey and Val for exercising the power of "NO" when I modeled the sandals that showed off my ugly toe.

I'm sure you can think of a few "NO" folks who changed your life for the better. Maybe it was the hair stylist who told you "NO" a red mohawk wouldn't look good, a spouse who gave the thumbs down to your plan to tell off your boss or the friend who said "NO" to the invitation to your pity party. The tough part of "NO" is that it seldom feels good to say it or to hear it.

11 years ago I said "NO" to a friend, and it felt like the word was choking both of us. It turns out that refusing to watch her give up was the best thing I could have ever done. https://www.thegirlfriendcoach.com/Women_Who_WOW.html. The most difficult "NO" comes from God in the form a prayer you think He hasn't answered or from a relative who sees you heading in the wrong direction. NO can give you an attitude and feel downright cruel sometimes, but be thankful for it. It can save your life... or at the very least prevent some pretty nasty fashion crimes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Taming the College List

It begins with AA batteries and ends with an underbed storage container. It's the list of things my nephew has been instructed to bring to college (http://www.ohiochristian.edu/news/ohio-christian-signs-mid-ohio-basketball-standout). Its been many, many years since I packed up and headed off to Penn State, but from what I remember, the list used to be much shorter. I remember taking sheets, towels, a comforter, clothes, shoes, hangers, toiletries, a boom box, notebooks, pens, highlighters, a calendar and a clock.

For my nephew's freshman year the university suggests he also bring a laptop, flash drive, printer, microwave, shoe rack, lock box, lamp, trash can, first aid kit... you get the idea. Being the super shopper I am, I've decided to tackle the list by hitting local department stores and the internet. I've found a few extras that I think will help him to be a better, safer student.

For the auditory learner who'll be hit with tons of college reading assignments... The Readingpen Advanced Edition is a fully portable, self-contained assistive reading device that is designed especially for people who have reading difficulties, learning disabilities or dyslexia. This portable reading tool provides immediate word support and helps students read and understand independently. It sells for $229.95 at http://www.enablemart.com/.

To deter laptop theft... The Laptop Lock has an anti-thief design to keep the sneakers away. The T-bar mechanism bar allows utilization of this lock for all notebooks, desktops, docking stations with built in standard security slot. Simply loop the laptop around a stationary object with the cut-resistant galvanized steel chain lock. It sells for $8.95 at http://www.no-retail.com/.

For all of your student's linen needs... The Complete Campus Collection is a 24 pc. set. It includes two complete changes of linens in 2 coordinating colors, 2 extra-long flat sheets, 2 extra-long fitted sheets, 4 standard pillow cases, 2 machine-washable pillows, 1 extra-long reversible comforter, 1 blanket, 1 extra-long quilted mattress pad, 1 extra-long egg crate pad, 2 all-cotton bath towels, matching cotton hand towels, 2 matching cotton wash cloths, an oversized bath sheet, a pop-open hamper, underbed storage bin and a bedside buddy. It sells for $199.95 at http://www.rhl.org/. Dorm in a Bag has only one sheet set, one pillow and doesn't come with the mattress pad, egg crate pad, underbed storage or bedside buddy. It sells for $69.99 at http://www.target.com/.

For accidents and illness... The Compact First Aid Kit includes 10 Bandages, 3 Gauze Pads , 5 BZK Towelettes, 2 Triple Antibiotic Ointments, 2 Sting Relief Towelettes, 1 Cold Pack, tape, tweezers and vinyl gloves. It goes for $5.25 at http://www.e-firstaidsupplies.com/. Of course you'll still have to toss in pain relievers, cough drops, and maalox.

For the heavy sleeper...The Sonic Boom Alarm Clock can wake anybody up. In addition to extra-loud beepers, the startling bed-quaking vibrators will rattle any student out of bed for an 8:00 am class. It has variable tone and volume controls and a detachable bed shaker. It sells for $39.95 at http://www.x-tremegeek.com/.

For the environmentally conscious co-ed... http://www.terracycle.net/ has green friendly school supplies made from old juice boxes and potato chip bags. The backpacks, binders and folders are super cute.

To all the students, parents, grandparents and aunties attempting to tame those college lists GOOD LUCK! Remember tax free back to school shopping kicks off the second weekend in August for Alabama, Louisiana and the Carolinas.(http://couponing.about.com/od/localcoupons/a/h_taxfreeshop.htm) Look for lots of specials on top of the tax break. Happy dorm loading!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sexy Swagger

For women a sexy walk is a gentle sway of the hips, shoulders back, taking small, graceful steps. For men, the sexy walk is far more difficult to describe. The male version of the sexy walk is all about confidence. I've seen a 300 pound man with a seriously sexy swagger and while Prince may be a tiny man in high heels, he can still pull off a walk that makes women swoon.

If you're looking for a dictionary definition, my mom would tell you to just watch the way Barack Obama and Denzel Washington move. Some men offer up their sexy walk with a bit of a bounce. Other men put their shoulders into it. The walk is powerful and fluid, with a gait that tells you the man knows where he's going. He's light on his feet. No fee-fi-fo-fum stomping. No giant goofy steps. He's neither rushing nor puttering aimlessly. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lollygagging.

You can often catch a glimpse of a sexy walk during a football or basketball game. Turn on an old western and watch John Wayne do it cowboy style. Trying too hard makes the man look comically pimpish, but fellas if you get it just right you'll get lots of second looks!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


It's happening for all of us. Facebook is giving us an opportunity to reconnect with people from every stage of our lives. Like the WKRP theme says, I've moved from town to town, up and down the dial (http://www.classictvhits.com/sounds.php?showid=225. ) I have Facebook friends in the two places I consider my hometowns, Oberlin, OH and Somerset, NJ. From my high school boyfriend to the vice president in the corner office, Facebook is a mix of people from every city, state and town of my journey। Facebook has brought back memories of every school I've attended (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSyNygUTOF4) and every organization I've ever joined (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/de/DeltaSigmaTheta.svg/465px-DeltaSigmaTheta.svg.png&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DeltaSigmaTheta.svg&usg=__e74asTQS3e9DeXTCD4pEfx9Bc6I=&h=599&w=465&sz=111&hl=en&start=13&um=1&tbnid=2GxSalUxDAXSMM:&tbnh=135&tbnw=105&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddelta%2Bsigma%2Btheta%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26um%3D1). Those memories are good and not-so-good. Cue the violins... I was a chubby girl with a mom who had VERY limited hair styling skills. It was the dreaded playground double whammy. There are kids who enjoy having an easy target. One of my Facebook friends, Kent, was one of those kids.

I realized I hadn't let go of my Kent trauma the moment he friended me. This was a guy who told our 5th grade teacher that he didn't want to square dance with me because my hair looked funny! In 6th grade he stopped calling me Ramona and switched to, "Big Fat Mona Rock" and "KoolAid" (I know you want to bellow "OH YEAH" right now. Go ahead, you can't help it). I finally had enough and decided to mouth off to him on the bus in middle school. Kent beat me up. Imagine the WTH? when I got a Friend Request. I know you've felt it too! One of the cool girls from high school Friends you. Fifteen years ago you weren't awesome enough to be her friend. Girls who wouldn't have thought about giving you their phone number in high school, are now sending you flirty Facebook messages, even though your relationship status says "married." Facebook can be a real Melrose Place!

It can also be the place where you put those high school rivalries aside and get a little closure. While I feared Kent had finally found me and was looking to harrass me as an adult, it turns out that he writes funny stuff on my wall sometimes. I haven't seen any prison pictures so he might actually be a productive citizen these days. It took years to figure out Kent's strategy. If he was taunting me then no one was taunting him. I can't say I blame him for doing everything in his power to keep Mooch off his back. Mooch was hard core.

Thank you, Kent. I now employ your strategy at work when the guys in the studio start cracking jokes. We call it "The Wheel of Abuse," the only way to survive is to spin it onto somebody else. I've learned valuable lessons from many of my Facebook friends. You were just a really, REALLY tough teacher.

Kent, I officially forgive you for the giant dents you poked into my self esteem. I think its time to finally let it go. Second of all, you were right, there were/are some KoolAid similarities. OH YEAH! (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.evilscale.com/images/7222007114551pm.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.evilscale.com/vote.aspx%3Fnomineeid%3D309&usg=__tT6yfZGvkYby9zEfIkxohQT1Hrk=&h=320&w=300&sz=63&hl=en&start=19&um=1&tbnid=tYeJxy8BI7Ix8M:&tbnh=118&tbnw=111&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dkool%2Baid%2Bmascot%26hl%3Den%26um%3D1)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sharing Too Much

I think I've stumbled upon reason number 279 why I am not married. I just don't think you should share EVERYTHING with your spouse. Sharing hopes, dreams and feelings? Sure! Sharing a toothbrush? No, my brother, you've got to buy your own (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKu78xJ6g1k)! Blame it on somewhat germophopic tendencies or issues related to growing up as an only child. Kissing is cool, but after the tongue action we owe it to our family dentist (http://www.northcarolinasmiles.com/) to keep our oral hygiene regimens separate.

I've done my research. There have been cases where Mr. Never-had-a-Cavity hooked up with Ms. Periodontal Disease and he wound up with a mouth full of fillings simply because her yuck mouth was contagious (http://www.ddsmiles.com/dental_information/sharing_too_much.htm). I'm not buying those arguments about living together as one. This isn't a "love" issue. Dr. Phil and his buddies would agree that sharing everything from your pension to your passions is very important http://marriage.about.com/cs/communicationtips/ht/shareheart.htm. This is simply Public Health 101 (http://www.netwellness.org/question.cfm/32821.htm)!

Love me, love my independence. I've got my own toothbrush, washcloth, deodorant, razor and my very own underwear and I refuse to share. If that's a problem for a guy then he's got the wrong germophobic girl (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C3xL3hMPP8).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The MJ Spin

I know some folks have problems with Michael Jackson's image, the rumors, and the tabloid-ready stories about crooked doctors (http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/entertainment/celebrity_news/dpgo_michael_jackson_secret_girlfriend_lwf_070209_2632815) For me, the music of MJ and his family is a bigger part of the tapestry of my life, than the image of the Black man who transformed into a White-looking man (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/michaeljackson/blackorwhite.html).

A "Matt and Ramona Show" listener sent this note about Michael Jackson on Monday:

"PLEASE PLEASE don't take this the wrong way. BUT - why are so many Blacks so crazy about him when he didn't seem to WANT to be black and he had white wives and white children? Seems he turned his back on his people."

A Black prodigal son? I can't say for sure. I won't attempt to speak for my entire race because our opinions are as varied as our complexions. But I've always hoped/believed that Michael, the Scarecrow from "The Wiz," was the brains of his wacky operation ( http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1614787/story.jhtml). He was a P.T. Barnum, genius enough to perform while running the freak show from behind the curtain. This was the man who reportedly hired the publicity agents who insisted the "National Enquirer" run a photo of him in a hyperbaric chamber (http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2009/06/exclusive-strangest-photo-ever-michael-jackson). Sadly, he created a persona so hugely popular and bizzare that it ultimately enslaved him.

Because he was such a showman, I was hoping he had a big trick in store for his final act. It would be the perfect way to kick off his 50-date London tour. If Jackson could remember to wave his gloved hand while being rushed to the hospital with a burned HEAD (http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/27/newsid_4046000/4046605.stm)maybe he could Punk the world! Beating Ashton Kutcher at his own game the Jacksons would wheel the casket to the front of The Staples Center, all dressed alike. Cue the smoke machines. Here comes the evil Vincent Price laugh! You know what comes next! "Thriller" music! Zombies move into place! MJ pops up and we hear, "I'm not like other guys!" You would've heard the cheering around the globe.

Of course we'd find out that for various dates on the "Care About Us" tour Mike had lined up big name performers like Mariah, Smokey Robinson, Jennifer Hudson, Lionel Richie, Usher, John Mayer, Queen Latifah, the little British Michael Jackson and the entire Jackson Family. Every concert would raise money for hungry kids! Wow, what a show!!!! Quite a funeral fantasy, huh.?

Instead, we got exactly what lots of us were fearing. Black-White-admired-accused, it was an unmistakable memorial service. It was a formal farewell to the first R&B cross-over superstar. He put a hip new spin on dancing (http://www.junauza.com/2009/06/art-and-science-behind-michael-jacksons.html). He put a movie-quality spin on music videos, mixing horror and blockbuster special effects. He put his own spin on rock star style (there's already an exhibit of Michael's costumes at the Grammy Museum http://www.grammymuseum.org/interior.php?section=exhibits&page=mjhistyle) And His death put a new spin on his show-stopping ability to hold our attention to the very end.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Neighbors of the Year

And the 2009 Neighbors of the Year Award goes to.... Mike and Terri Valentine! I want this couple to live near me, no matter where I decide to buy a home. The career criminal who went on a killing spree in and around Gaffney, SC might still be taking lives if the Valentines hadn't intervened. You can give detectives credit for giving the pulic a description of Patrick Burris and for determining that his gun was the weapon used in five murders. The big break in the case can be credited to the concerned neighbors who called the cops when they spotted a suspicious SUV at house across the street (http://www.wsoctv.com/news/19972995/detail.html).

Concerned neighbors are sometimes just nosey people, but mostly they are people who have a vested interest in keeping your family and property safe. After all, if there's a robber, rapist or killer on the loose and he/she is ransacking the house next door, you home could be next.

I am the product of concerned neighbors. There were the Morris' who kept an eye out for my high school boyfriend, Kevin, when my mom was at work. Packages delivered while I was away have been scooped up by neighbors and cheerfully handed over when I returned. A neighbor rang the bell a few months ago when she spotted a dog that looked like Henri running down the street (http://www.thepuppypreschool.com/Year_Book.html).

Looking out for kids and stray animals, reporting suspicious cars and burned out street lights (http://www.duke-energy.com/north-carolina/outages/streetlight.asp) are the things that qualify you for a Neighbor of the Year Award. It's not a popularity contest. A neighbor doesn't have to be your BFF to make your corner of the world a little safer. My name is Ramona Holloway and I am campaigning for Neighbor of the Year. Maybe the suspicious car I spotted casing my neighborhood did belong to the newspaper carrier. Maybe my neighbor's door was open late one night to let the dog out. I haven't cracked a case yet, but the Valentines have proven that it sure is comforting to have concerned neighbors on Anystreet USA.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Going Postal

Sorry postal workers, there was no intention to offend when I posed a question on Facebook recently. We were wondering which person on "The Matt and Ramona Show" is most likely to go "postal." Every workplace has at least one person who most folks believe could have a really unstable day on the job (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-314647/Are-sitting-office-psycho.html). When I met my ex-husband he was a Marine corps vet who was working at the post office. While the term "postal" may be offensive to some folks who work at the P.O., I know from personal experience that you've got your fair share of pent-up-anger types. I'll admit it, the media does too. Some crazy things happen in news rooms and studios. Let's consider us even.

There are three types of psycho coworkers... the ones who might snap and hurt somebody, those who might snap and destroy some company property and those who are married to someone who might snap and hurt somebody and/or destroy company property.

At my first radio job in Newark, OH I worked with desk kicker/briefcase tosser. He was a Type A+ sales dude who ultimately prepared me for the angerballs to come. I've only been scared of one co-worker. There was a guy on our promo team in VA Beach who'd get really excited about seeing pictures of people dangling from their nipple piercings. "Freak Scarey" as we affectionately called him, just didn't seem like the kind of guy you would ever want to tick off.

Thankfully, I don't think we've got any of the "hurt a coworker" types around here. Most likely to damage some station property? I'm giving that award to Matt. One of these days our discussions about taxes will push him over the edge (www.fairtax.org). Date somebody unstable? While Bandy and I get honorable mentions, you gotta vote for Doc. The guy admits to having absolutely NO dating standards. And since we've got some special circumstances here, I've gotta vote for a rebel rouser capable of leading a group of psycho co-workers. That one goes to Pete "The Angry Newsman" Kaliner. He asks some brutally tough and gruff questions during our employee benefits meetings.

If you just work with some regular folks who annoy you every now and then, consider yourself lucky. It could be worse (www.iworkwithfools.com). I just try to remember that for every annoyance I overlook, someone is being kind when I'm a pain in the behind.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Granny Panty Proposal

I've been called a prude on the radio... by my own mother (http://www.worldofwheezy.com/)! I've denied it. I thought a prude was someone who hated sex, but the dictionary definition is, "a person who makes an affected display of modesty and propriety, esp. in matters relating to sex."
So, perhaps Wheezy is right. After asking the question, "is it too old-fashioned to ask for a commitment before having sex" I decided that I should probably embrace the label.

My co-hosts Matt, Bandy and Doc (http://mattandramona.1079thelink.com/page.cfm?ID=294) all agreed that it was granny thinking to expect exclusivity before panties. But the majority of my friends who responded on Facebook backed me up:

Jennifer Nelson - I hope not, but maybe that is why I am still single!!!! Marv Placino - It makes for a romantic challenge! The goal should not be sex...the goal should be unconditional love.
Angela Eastland - Not at all. I waited until I got married and I feel like there's a higher level of trust. Julie Scott Rudisell - A committed, caring relationship never goes out of style...at least in my book! Jibril Hough - Is is old fashioned to obey God? Marie Fletcher Walton - No. Page Braswell-Goodman - Not at all! You should read "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" (http://www.joshharris.com/i_kissed_dating_goodbye.php) and "Boy Meets Girl". Gives girls (of all ages) something to think about.

If it makes me a prude to believe that sex is far more intimate than holding hands in public then I'll proudly wear a T-shirt proclaiming my prudishness. If you aren't ready for a P.D.A. at an amusement park, then you aren't ready for a private parking of your you-know-what you-know-where. Anything that has the potential to pass along a deadly disease or produce another mouth to feed DEMANDS a commitment.

Nine out of ten women will tell you that surrendering the panties too soon is a mistake if you've got your eye on the commitment prize. Sure, times have changed, but my mom says the power of the panties remains the same. Imagine what could happen if every chick insisted on accountability. It may be old-fashioned but hip huggers, Converse sneakers and neon colors (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/179/story/798317.html) were considered out of style a few years ago. Now they're all the rage again. So, I propose that we all vow to teach every little girl to get granny with the panties.