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 ( 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 (, 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.

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 (, 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 (, used dryer sheets stuff pillows, scraps of cloth become fabulous quilts and banners. Her art and clothing designs are sought after
( 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 ( 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."

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 ( 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?"

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 (

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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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.