Thursday, January 29, 2009

Meeting Mr. Jimmy

Meeting celebrities is always an exercise in goofiness for me. I feel the insane need to try to be "memorable." A celeb on a book, movie or concert tour meets thousands of people. Is it possible to say or do something to get them to remember you, without making a total stalker fool out of yourself? I don't think so.

Today I met a man I've admired most of my life, former president Jimmy Carter. I remember writing a book report about him in grade school. I wondered what it would be like to be his daughter, Amy, living in the White House. I remember my grandparents calling him a "good man" and I've watched as he proved them right by helping to build houses for Habitat for Humanity ( I've donated money to the Carter Center ( because I believe the organization really is dedicated to "advancing human rights and alleviating human suffering." I probably know a little too much about Mr. Jimmy (that's what one of his Secret Service guys told me that people call him in Georgia). That's probably why I made a little bit... no a lot of... a fool of myself today. The good part is, it didn't appear that I'd made an impression on him at all. I was totally forgettable. The people who probably won't forget my Mr. Jimmy antics are the people who work at the television station ( in the building where I work.

My first problem was I didn't find out until after I got to work that Mr. Jimmy would be in the building. I was wearing a poncho, fuggs (fake Uggs) and jeans that don't do my booty any favors. I barged into the makeup room and asked Maureen O'Boyle ( how I could meet Jimmy Carter. She told me to go into the newsroom, bond with producer Jason over our mutual distrust of clowns (several clowns were hanging out at the WBTV blood drive) and ask to be given temporary WBTV employee status so that I could meet the former President. There's something about disturbing a stranger, who is trying to work, with details about why you call Jimmy Carter your "real dad" that makes you just feel.... stupid. Never-the-less, producer Jason gave me crucial details about Mr. Jimmy's arrival.

You would think that over the next three hours I might have found a good picture of Mr. Jimmy and swapped my poncho for one of the shirts in my car that I'd just picked up from the cleaners. Heck, I had time to send somebody to the book store to buy Mr. Jimmy's latest book( I did none of that. The goofy girl who lives inside me, printed out a grainy picture of him in his naval academy uniform, grabbed a red ballpoint pen and presented them to him on top of my Care Bears folder. I thanked him for the lovely Carter Center Christmas card that he and his wife send me each year and leaned in for a picture while he mumbled something about me already taking a picture of him. That's when I realized just how un-memorable I am. Jada, who works for WBTV who is also Black and about my size had gotten to him first. No, she wasn't wearing a poncho. I guess Mr. Jimmy just thought that a tall lighter-skinned Black woman with straight hair looked exactly like me, a shorter darker-skinned Black woman with curly hair. Give him a break, he's no spring chicken!

Why do I try to make a lasting impression on famous people when I know I'll probably either be immediately forgotten or come across as stalkerish? Meeting Mr. Jimmy has helped me to come to grips with the fact that I'm a goofball at heart. My awkward ways don't just surface when I meet famous people. That's how I am all the time! So, now that I can cross Mr. Jimmy off of my "people I'd like to meet list" I'm ready for awkward moments with Hillary Clinton, Oprah, Matt Damon and Desmond Tutu.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Trashies

The Ocscars have the Razzies so how about an awards show to counter the Emmies? We can call it "The Trashies." The trashiest characters, story lines and shows will receive..... what else... a trash can and the dubious distinction of being a trashy award winner. And the nominees are:

1. Any VH1 show with the words "of love" in the title.
2. Any show featuring a former contestant on an "of love show"
3. Any soap opera character who has sexed up more than one member of the same family (Brooke on "Bold and the Beautiful" this means you)
4. Any reality show cast member who makes out with more than one person in a single episode
5. Any reality show that has to bleep out more than 5 cuss words per episode
6. Any reality show cast member who has to be bleeped or have exposed body parts blurred in an episode.
7. Any story line that involves a stripper pole
8. Any show that features a cast member throwing up or relieving him or herself somewhere other than a toilet

The winners of the 2009 Trashies will be decided by people like me who are shamefully hooked on trashtastic television shows.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Single Buyers Beware

The "for sale" sign will be back in my yard next week. The house has a had a deep cleaning. My St. Joseph statue has been buried ( I know this isn't a great time to try to sell a house, but I'm ready to move.

I signed the contract and poured money into the house when my mom was sick and still living in Ohio. I was married at the time and felt I needed to build a home big enough so that my mom and crazy ex-hubby ( could co-exist without having to call the cops frequently. There were plans to fill up the house with kids, cousins and canines. By the time the house was finished, mom was packed to move South and my hubby had moved on (four months after the divorce was finalized he called to announce the birth of his daughter).

The house has a great floor plan for a multi-generational family. There is a master bedroom on the first floor and one on the second floor. The full basement is ready to be whatever the new family needs it to be. My neighborhood is super family friendly, but single buyers beware. I can count the single neighbors on one hand and still have lots of fingers left over.

The only single chick at our "Drinks in the Driveway" gatherings? That's me! The chick without kids at the annual 4th of July parade? Me again! The same goes for the annual Halloween parade. My mother made me dress up the dog last year. Did being the only person who had a dog instead of a kid in a costume make me feel very awkward? You betcha! Just in case my neighbors are wondering, not having kids is the reason why I've skipped the neighborhood Christmas cookie social every single year. I think kids have to be at least 7 to be on the neighborhood swim team and my poodle hasn't yet turned three so you won't find me at the pool.

Don't get me wrong, my neighbors are a friendly bunch. If you buy the house, be sure to cozy up to Sheldon and Regina. They throw a great Christmas party every year. I just want you to know what you're getting yourself into. I don't think I surprise any dater when I say being single and childless in the suburbs kinda sucks sometimes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Am I too Old for a Sasha Doll?

I thought I'd reached by Obama limit. Thanks to my mom's obsession, I've had to watch countless hours Obama specials. MSN, NBC, CNN, HBO... he's everywhere! TV talking heads gather to speculate on what he'll say, what he'll do, where he'll go and what he'll wear. My mom can't get enough. When I manage to escape the Obamanation, she calls me back to the TV, "Ramonaaaaaaaaa, you've GOT to see this! Come quick!"

Last night she reminded me to call my godchildren to make sure the twins would be watching the Disney inaugural special. Tonight she made me watch the Disney special... and I loved it. The show fed into my secret Obama obsession. It's not Michelle's wardrobe. Its the girls ( I am totally fascinated by Sasha and Malia. The reserved smile of Malia, the ten year old and the dimpled grin of 7-year old Sasha absolutely delight me. When little Sasha had her moment with the Jonas Brothers I was smiling from ear to ear. If I was 7, I'd be begging my mom for Sasha and Malia dolls. The play set would come with a White House and a puppy to adopt. Toss in a few Sidwell friends and I'd be occupied for hours. Those girls could sell me anything. Move over Olsen twins. If somebody finds a way to market the tiny Obamas there may be hope for the economy after all.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dating for Dinners

Dinners and gifts are nice consolation prizes, but no sane woman subjects herself to dating dudes just for the perks. Did you notice the bold/italic thing I did with the word "sane?" Just about every week on the "Matt and Ramona Show" we get a call about some dude who is going broke thanks to some chick. Just this week we heard from a guy whose sister is now debt free because she married a money man she met on the Internet. The couple had only been together a few weeks before tying the knot. A few minutes later a second guy rang in with a complaint about a girlfriend who rung up several thousands dollars in credit card debt over the past few weeks. BTW, they are still together. How do I meet men like that? Is bad credit sexy? If so, I'm not paying the mortgage this month.

The last guy I dated announced he was only buying Christmas gifts for his kids. No candy cane for me that year. I had to giggle when his little girl told me that her mommy said "daddy is cheap." Another dude wanted to go dutch at dinner because he had to, "pay for gas" to get to my house.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a gold-digger. I just want to know why it appears that the women who appreciate it the least, seem to attract guys who want to spoil them the most? I think I'll pose with a "will date for food" sign and then post it on some dating site. Maybe then I'll nab a dude who'll spring for dinner even if he had to drive all the way to my house to pick me up.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Top Dog

I'm sure my neighbors talk about my dog behind his furry little back. Henri, my toy poodle, is 12 pounds of pure attitude. He wasn't always this way. He used to be the friendliest pooch on the block. Now he's the evil little fur ball barking viciously in the window or straining to break free from the leash to kick your dog's butt. Not that your dog is the least bit scared. Remember he's only 12 pounds and the targets of his rage are Akitas, Labs, Golden Retrievers and Huskies. He picks fights with canines that outweigh him by at least 50 pounds.

He has also started acting out around the house, barking when my mom or I try to read and getting way too possessive about his food. I've consulted my dog books and talked to a dog trainer ( The result? I now look and feel really stupid.

From what I've read and been told, Henri thinks he is the alpha dog of our pack and I must reclaim dominance. I'm not supposed to feed him first anymore. If I want to feed him in the morning, but don't have time for breakfast, I spend about 30 seconds pretending to eat his food before putting his bowl down. I guess I'm not a good actor, because he doesn't seem to be buying it. Half the time he won't even look at me. My mom has suggested that I crunch on something so that he can hear me eating. I refuse to go that far to convince a little dog that I'm really eating his food. I prefer to leave the method acting to Sean Penn.

I'm also not supposed to let him enter the house before me when we go for walks. It has become a race to the door and I almost always lose. I know he didn't get spoiled overnight and won't get unspoiled overnight, so don't preach to me about being patient or rotating food bowls or putting him in his crate every time I want to read. I need a break from trying to break my dog's bad habits. Between the nasty smell of dog food in my face at breakfast and listening to him whimper while I eat dinner my head bitch of the pack act isn't going to last long.

Friday, January 9, 2009

TV Football Exposed

When you grow up in a football loving family, but you aren't a superfan, you find things about the game to keep you interested at those times when it just looks like there are a bunch of big guys pushing each other around. We've just wrapped up the college bowl season and we're right in the middle of the NFL playoffs. Sure I've seen some good games, but the gridiron action isn't what's catching my eye these days. Here are a few things I've noticed...

1. College cheerleaders ( look a heck of a lot healthier than pro cheerleaders (
2. Large breast implants are a must to get a spot on the pro squad. The pro cheerleaders are so busty, they don't dare attempt a pyramid. They'd all just fall to the front
3. It's okay for a college cheerleader to wear a ribbon in her hair to keep it out of her face while cheering. The NFL girls are obviously required to fling their hair so no ribbons allowed.

1. Football fans obviously like tortilla chips, beer and trucks. Those are about the only things advertised during games.
2. Dodge spent all of the bailout money on TV advertising. I see at least 5 truck commercials during every game... and its the same spot with the tough guys in T-shirts letting you know what kind of tough guy they are... firemen, military, cowboys, contractors. I know some yard sale people who drive trucks. Why aren't they featured in the commercial?

1. I love the Fox football robot ( He looks like the coolest Transformer ever! His dance moves get me every time. He was acting sad a few weeks ago. I was really concerned.
2. The blue line and yellow lines that let me know where the play starts and first down are the best special effects of my generation. They beat John Madden's white crayon by a mile!

1. I know they get paid to talk non-stop, but when the guys start getting nostalgic about other games they've done it is VERY annoying. It's not about YOU, Mr. Announcer Guy, it's about the game. Talk about the history of the teams, not the last time you and Bill worked together at the blah-blah-blah game in 1986.
2. Will a woman ever make it from the sideline to the booth? If a woman is covering the game I can guarantee you that she's the one on the field asking lame questions or giving reports from the locker room. She is very easy to spot. She's the only woman on the sideline not wearing a cheerleading uniform and when she talks little puffs of vapor come from her mouth. Don't worry it's not bad breath. She's just cold.

There are three ways to get your face on TV.
1. Make a sign for your team that includes a network shout-out. It was much easier to do this before Fox got an NFL contract. It is always a stretch when fans try to use words with an "X" in them. Panthers fans have it easy. The coach's name is John Fox.
2. Wear a wild team-color wig and paint your face and/or entire body. If you can recruit a few friends and paint a different letter on each of your bodies, that's a real football money shot.
3. Be a hot chick. Random hot chicks in the stands always get camera time. I think they hire horny camera dudes whose only job is to troll the stadium for attractive female fans (as if the cheerleaders aren't enough).

1. Ink rules. You don't have to have a lot of tattoos, but you at least have to have some barbed wire circling a bicep.
2. It used to be that all a sweaty guy needed to stay in the game was a wrist band, but now the ultra sweaty dudes are wearing bicep bands too. We don't want to know what's happening under those arms.
3. Back in the day there would be a single fan in the stands with a John 3:16 sign. Now a player can wear his faith on his face. What used to be a smudge of black stuff under the eye is now a place to write messages. Last night Florida's Time Tebow had "John" written under one eye and "3:16" under the other ( He's used other Bible verses in previous games. I'm sure the NCAA will ban faith face soon. There have already been complaints about it. But just as long as Tim and the other players aren't trying to vandalize YOUR face with Bible verses, let them keep their faith messages. It gives me something else to look at during the game.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Resolutions Shmesolutions

I'm becoming a New Year's resolution Hater (yes, the capital H is intentional). Every year I vow to eat healthier, drink more water, get more exercise, get more organized, read my Bible more, learn how to say "no," and do a better job of keeping in touch with loved ones. It's now 2009 and I'm roughly the same size I was when I vowed to get healthier (because you know I associate good health with getting into skinny girl gear). I'm still somewhat disorganized and over scheduled (because I hate saying "no" when nice people ask for my help). I don't have any new scriptures to quote because I'm still a spotty Bible reader. Finally, for the umpteenth year in a row, only my friends and family members whose last names begin in A, B or C will actually get a call or card from me. By the time I get to the D's I've usually strayed from my resolution to do a better job of keeping in touch.

It's not that I don't have resolution support. Yoga pants and track suits have been moved closer to the entrances of my favorite department stores. All the diet companies from Slim Fast to Jenny Craig are offering assistance. Self Help authors are getting the prime spots at my local book store ( My Satisfied Life Co-host, Sharon (, bought me a daily devotional book to encourage more Bible time. Even the grocery store around the corner is getting into the act. Lowes Foods ( has lean ground turkey on sale this week. At every turn a commercial, cousin or comrade is reminding me about those darn resolutions. Can I just eat my french fries in the car while running late to a meeting in peace this year? Let's face it... running late is probably the only running I'll be doing anyway.

I almost gave up on resolutions. Then it hit me when my friend Karen asked me today about which ones I'd made. I was too embarrassed to say, "none." In my head it sounded like I'd given up on trying to be a better person. So, I told her that I resolved to get more organized... and eat healthier... you know the drill.

This is one of those "glass half full" situations where I can choose to bemoan the fact that I rarely stick with my resolutions for the entire year or I can applaud the fact that every year I have a pretty good run of taking care of my body, mind and spirit during the first quarter.
I think its better to have resolved and failed than never to have resolved at all. Imagine what my thighs would look like if I didn't start every year by doing morning leg lifts for a few weeks?(sorry for that visual)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Too Late to Change my Vote?

Barack Obama is a likable guy. Despite his obvious leadership skills, I'm sure the likability factor was high on the list of reasons why he won the presidential election. That's also why I'd like to change my vote. Every time I turn on the news, I see another reason to spare Obama. I'm starting to feel bad that my vote is sending this nice dude and his cute little fist-bumping family, complete with a new puppy, into the line of fire. Why do I get the feeling that John McCain is somewhere snickering right now?