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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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. 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 ( 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

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

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 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

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 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

For the environmentally conscious co-ed... 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.( 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.

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 ( ) 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 ( and every organization I've ever joined ( 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! (

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 (! 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 ( 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 ( 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 This is simply Public Health 101 (!

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 (

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 ( 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 (

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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 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 (

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 (

Looking out for kids and stray animals, reporting suspicious cars and burned out street lights ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( I just try to remember that for every annoyance I overlook, someone is being kind when I'm a pain in the behind.