Thursday, November 11, 2010

Defining a Leading Lady

There's a new definition of a "Leading Lady."  It's about more than being the wife of a powerful man or the star of a blockbuster movie. 

For the past several years, 107.9 the Link has brought new life to those words.  What started as a simple idea to recognize a few stellar women has turned into the best kind of campaign.  With the help of Leigh Brown from Remax Signature Properties and the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, we are able to tell the stories of 30 courageous and inspirational women.  Their dedication changes lives and motivates others to do the same.  Nominated by friends, family or co-workers they are exceptional leaders.

I wish you could have been at the Palmer Building tonight.  You'd have left feeling hopeful... feeling like you'd been a part of something very special.  We handed out awards and gave a $5,000 check to our leading lady of the year, Elizabeth Woods.  Elizabeth lost her husband in the war in Afghanistan.  Now she reaches out to other young widows with her organization Soul Widows.

All of the nominees were so deserving of recognition.  It's been my honor to learn from them each week.  I also stand in awe of the co-workers who do ALL of the heavy lifting to make the program possible.  If you missed the event, here's a peek at what happened on stage ...
My mom Wheezy, in United Methodist Woman mode, delivering the invocation
Our VP Rick giving the shortest speech of all time

Sheri dazzling the crowd with a heartfelt, off-the-cuff address
Matt's comedic awards announcements along with an amazing tribute
Sponsors like the Y's Molly Thompson and Leigh Brown from Remax, sounding more like Leading Ladies
    than advertisers
Delicious dinner from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
Beautiful floral arrangements from Flowers of Charlotte
Glasses filled with Cambria Wine

and behind the scenes..

Frank, Bob, Angela, Piper and a host of part-timers working their bottom's off to make sure the video, audio, set, check-in and clean-up went off without a hitch. 
From Diane Pugh, the sales star who found our fabulous sponsors, to our promotions team lead by Matt D., Brad and Jennifer... there are people in every department who nurtured the campaign.

I was filled with gratitude as I watched the Leading Ladies program come to an end for 2010.  The interviews we aired each week, thoughtfully edited by Joe McLane, often brought me to tears and inspired me to strive for the extraordinary.  I look forward to doing it all over again next year. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Best Freebies!

I found a new site that I luv.  Each year they list the top freebies.  I'm diggin' this year's line-up.


If you're a member of Sam's Club or Costco, you can get free tech support -- even if you didn't buy your computer from them.

Or, for PC problems, anyone can head to or for free help. You can search the forums for your computer's particular ailment or post a question to receive a timely response from the sites' groups of geek volunteers. And don't forget to try the manufacturer's Web site. Many post user manuals and FAQs to help you solve your dilemma.


Is your computer vulnerable? You can download malware-protection services available free online.

A PC Magazine Editor picks Panda Cloud Antivirus. Or try Microsoft's Security Essentials, which says renders subscription antivirus services unnecessary.  Time Warner offers computer protection as well.  It's included when you get roadrunner. 


Is your portfolio as diversified as you think it is? You needn't pay a financial planner to evaluate your holdings. Simply use's Instant X-Ray tool to check for balance among stock sectors, investment styles, geographic regions and more.

Then, check out's 25 favorite funds, 22 model portfolios or Mutual Fund Finder to establish the mix of investments that's right for you.


Voulez-vous parlez Francais?  Would you like to speak French... or learn another language? Put away your wallet, and hop on your computer.  At, you can access courses developed by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute in 41 languages.

At, you'll find a list of several free language lessons that you can download to your MP3 player. Or go to to see whether your public library grants you free access to its courses in 22 foreign languages and 14 courses in English as a second language.


You've got to buy groceries anyway, so why not shopt at Lowes Foods... weekly specials offer you Fresh Rewards Cash... use the cash sometime in the future on anything in the store

for more freebies click here

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bargain Hunters Crash the Site

Lowe's Home Improvement's Black Friday sneak peek was a little too successful.  Bargain hunters, using coupon codes for up to 90% off, crashed the company's website early this morning.  Be patient shoppers, the saving continues through the weekend.  Click here for more info!

Smarter than Me

My car and my computer.   No idea about what it takes to fix either when they act up.  Mechanics and IT pros are obviously much smarter than me.  So how do you know when you are getting ripped off when you need repair? is a website that keeps mechanics honest.  All the site needs is your zip code and a few stats about your car... make, model andyear.  You get a price range for what it should cost fo fix dozens of different things that could go wrong. 

Now if I can only find a way to understand my computer problems....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Making Love to My Feet

Cute meets comfy!  I put on my new Alegria boots about 5 minutes after I got them.  My feet were finally pleased.  On days when I'm not forced to torture my feet in painful 4" contraptions, I demand a shoe that pampers from toe to heel.  This is it!  I wanted something that felt as good as my Crocs, but would be more durable and look a lot more fashionable.  I can shop all day in  these! 
FYI...   Alegria is opening up a new store at Stonecrest in Charlotte. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trick-or-Treaters My Mom Can't Stand

My mom, Wheezy,  has always been a stickler for manners.  You could probably say the same for most teachers, past or present.  When it comes to Halloween, she's got some strong ideas about what is NOT acceptable on Beggars' Night.  Here are just a few:

SCREAMERS! Do not force your sobbing child to ring doorbells. Trick or Treat is supposed to be fun. Call it a night and take your crying kid home. Take pride in the fact that you are raising a child who hates going up to unfamiliar homes and asking strangers for candy! That's something we hope our kids DON'T DO the other 364 days a year.

THUGS! If you've been causing trouble in the neighborhood keep your behind at home. You play tricks? YOU GET NO TREATS!

2 TIMERS! Teach your kids that its rude to double back around the neighbood for seconds!

GRANDPAS! Do you know the difference between a trick-or-treater and a solicitor? A voter registration card! If you are old enough to vote on Tuesday, then you are old enough to buy your own dang candy! No solicitors!

PROSTITOTS! Just because they make a sexy nurse costume in your child's size doesn't mean you have to buy it! Parents, please say, "NO WAY" to the dirty Dorothy of Oz costumes. Refuse to pay your hard-earned money to turn your daughter into the street-walker version of Strawberry shortcake!

That adorable or kooky costume can pay off for the whole family!  Send your Halloween pictures to the Matt and Ramona Kids Costume Contest at

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cheap Costumes

A cow, a Care Bear, a lobster, a ladybug, a monkey and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.  Those were just a few of the costumes I spotted last weekend at the Lake Wylie Goodwill store.  You don't have to pay a fortune to dress the family for one night of Halloween fun! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Radio Job

Its a whole new radio world for us.  Lots of you have noticed and I'm thankful that you have.  It means we've done something right on "The Matt and Ramona Show" and "The Satisfied Life."  You could say that we were radio pioneers.  Our old boss, Rick Jackson, was the king of what we called "Personality AC."   The format was heavy on conversation with just a tad of the most non-offensive music known to mankind.  Our station was a talk/music hybrid and though we haven't had even one sexting scandal, its time to retire the hybrid brand.  We're making the necessary adjustments to satisfy  a new ratings system and learning a whole new job while we're doing it. 

Practically every radio pro in the country has, is or will be getting an earfiul about the effects of the new system from listeners and/or management.   Under the old ratings system, The Matt and Ramona Show and The Satisfied Life consistently outperformed the radio station as a whole in key demographics (she said while patting herself, Matt, Bandy, Doc, Wheezy, Pete, Pam and Sharon on the back).  Thanks to some musical tweaks and re-clocking (a term I made up to explain changes to the clock that tells us when to talk, play commercials or station IDs)  The M&R Show is reclaiming a top spot under the new system.  In fact, I think the mental editing we now have to do actually suits Mattman's ADD.   

More music simply wasn't the answer on "The Satisfied Life,"  so we decided to streamline the show and keenly focus on the three I's:  issues, information and inspiration.  TSL moved from an 8:00 am start to 7:00 am on Sunday mornings. Lowes Foods has graciously supported the changes.  Now we're able to continue to provide faith-based, quality programming on a secular Adult Contemporary FM station (that's pretty remarkable in the industry just in case you missed the second pat on the back for the TSL gang).

I must admit, the e-mails to the boss and Facebook comments demanding more Matt and Ramona and less music do wonders for the ego.  However, in the current radio environment, that's just not a smart thing to do.  Mattman put it best, "isn't a little 'Matt and Ramona' better than none at all?" (I chose to leave off his "you freaks" at the end)  We're all still dedicated to providing engaging topics... and we still want you to take us along for the ride.

Need a little Matt and Ramona fix?  Yearning for a Satisfied Life?  We really hope so! 

Listen anytime or anywhere with our mobile apps for your iPhone, iPod Touch or BlackBerry or Download the podcast.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Bitches Won't Be Able to Resist Him

Not sure what I'll be wearing and my mom, Wheezy, doesn't have her outfit picked out yet, but my dog is
all set for his big night out at the Westin.  It'll be his second black tie event.  Last year he attended the Ties and Tails Gala in a tasteful red Coach collar.  Don't judge me!  I got a great deal on it at the Gaffney Coach Outlet. 

While checking out the pet section at Ross Dress For Less, I found the perfect Tuxedo Shirt a few months ago.  It was just $4.99.  The bitches won't be able to resist my hot poodle!  The gala raises money for the Humane Society of Charlotte and its coming up on Saturday, October 23rd.  I'm hosting along with one of the city's most dapper dog owners, Blair Miller from Channel 9.  Tix are on sale now! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rough Season

My Godson, AJ, was so proud to tell me that he’d be playing for the Panthers this year. Not the NFL team, the cute little kid version of the team. He knows that Gramma Lou (my mom, Wheezy) and I both cheer for Carolina.

Well, despite his toughest, fastest efforts, like the NFL team, the kiddie Panthers are having a REALLY rough season.

Me: Hi AJ, how is football?

AJ: Not so good, we’re O-and-5

Me: Ummm… well…. are you doing your best?

AJ: Yes, but we still don’t win.

Me: Ummm… do you still have fun playing football?

AJ: Yes, but we just never win.

Me: Okay, put your sister on the phone

When I called yesterday, I asked his mom, “should I even bring up football?” She replied with the word, “massacre.” Poor little guy. Just not much to say when a kid’s team really, really stinks. Would it be poor sportsmanship to encourage him to become a free agent mid season?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cheese Alternative?

Can this possibly taste good?  I'll try it.  After all, I've finally developed a taste for vanilla soy milk in my cereal.  My mom's lactose intolerance keeps getting worse, but we really miss eating cheese.  Borden's lactose free American cheese slices are pretty good, but we haven't found a cheddar-like product we like yet.  Not sure I want to trust a cheese product that's claim to fame is, "it melts."  Shouldn't we expect a cheese product to melt?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The New Crib

Fixing up the house is my new obsession. They should just give me a parking space at Lowes.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Super Furniture Deal

Need a couch? Just spotted this olive green couch and chair at the Freedom Drive Goodwill Store. No signs of wear. Couch is $100 chair is $50!

Monday, August 30, 2010


Finally Did It

First it was the furniture we shared, then the house we picked out together, now finally the ring!  I've been promising myself a trip to Diamonds Direct Southpark to have my old wedding ring redesigned.  My reasons for keeping it this long were equal parts sentimental and financial.  I'd sold most of the other jewelry my ex purchased for me, but the engagement ring and diamond ring wrap were the only pieces that had any real value. 

It didn't feel right to wear them yet keeping them made it seem like I was holding onto the past.  I came across them while packing my house.  Though I had a million other things to do to get ready for the move, I decided it was finally time to take action on the last reminder of the "til divorce do us part" chapter of my life.

The result? A beautiful ring that celebrates the twists, turns, trials and triumphs I've faced so far.  It represents how far I've come and how far I can go.  I'm thankful for it and for the lessons I learned during my marriage.  I'm even thankful for my ex and grateful for the courage and support that helped me move on.

I just can't stop staring at the ring... or thinking about the possibilities.  We're not bound by what we used to have or who we used to be.  There is life beyond loss and I'm here to tell you it can SPARKLE!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Do As I Say

Funny how I find myself giving advice that I should be taking.  "Get some rest."  "Don't worry."  "Take some time for yourself." 
Sometimes listening to ourselves is the best thing we can do. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Coincidence? No Way!

Had a NASTY encounter with a dude who works at the front desk of the extended stay hotel my mom, dog and I are living in until we get another house.  Frankly, I should've moved to another suite, but after packing the house and lugging our must-have junk here, my back is hurting more than my pride (only Jesus and a tiny fear of a lawsuit are keeping me from naming the place).  The luxury stay I was expecting has been drenched in frustration (mine) and fear (mom's).  Don't get me wrong, I know there are FAR worse places we could be.  Heck, we've LIVED in worse places, but still we're feeling very unsettled. 

I went to church, just excited to get away from the room.  They aren't holding us hostage, but we've been informed (in this "pet-friendly" establishment) that the dog barks when we aren't around and that's not acceptable.  Most restaurants, stores and attractions simply aren't dog friendly and its been waaaay too hot to just hang at the park, so...  I was REALLY looking forward to church.  As soon as I looked at the bulletin and found out the pastor was out the disappointment hit.  I sighed and thought, "Oh no!  We've got a guest minister!  She probably won't be as good as the pastor!"  Well, Dr. Cassandra Jones, I publicly apologize for my misguided thoughts.  You blew me away!  Her sermon was all about going from "worry to worship" and it focused on the time she spent living in an extended stay hotel.  Her lengthy stay felt like exile, until she realized her tiny room was her sanctuary.  It was a place where her faith was tested and blossomed.  If ever there was a message meant for ME this was it. Coincidence?  NO WAY!

It's day 10 of the Suite Life of Mona and Wheezy.  Instead of worrying about closing on the new home, coordinating the move into the new home, fixing up the new home...   I'm going to spend a little time in prayer for the folks in this city and around the world who can only dream of staying in a place like this.  I'm going to talk to my pals at A Child's Place to find out what the homeless kids still need for the upcoming school year. and I'm going to try to fall asleep before Wheezy so that I'll be in la-la land before she starts snoring.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In Good Time

I'd read somewhere that if you write down 9 things you want to happen in your life every single day for 30 days, you'll notice those things start to happen.  For about 60 days I wrote, "sell my house for profit."  Well, after 2 years on the market my house did sell, but at a major loss. 

While relieved I was unloading a huge financial burden, I wasn't exactly thrilled at first when people congratulated me on finally finding a buyer.  Taking a big check to closing to pay off the banks and realtor just didn't seem like much of a victory until I started signing my name, not my current name, my old married name.

I haven't used that name in 6 years.  When I purchased the South Carolina home I was a few weeks away from finalizing my divorce.  It dawned on me that the house was the last thing in my life that somehow tied me to my ex.  We'd picked out the house together, bickered over whether we should have a basement....  I moved into it counting the days until I could sell it. 

When the economy took a nose dive and selling the house turned into the impossible dream, I prayed God would help me get my money out of that property.  That wasn't the plan and silly me, that's not how God works.  If the house had sold two years ago, my Indianapolis property issues would still be haunting me.  If it sold two years ago I wouldn't be getting such an amazingly low interest rate (thank you Dover Mortgage).  I would've wound up paying big bucks for a builder to help me make some of the same mistakes I'd made before.  Now everything I thought I lost in getting rid of the mega-house, I'm gaining in the cute little Cape Cod I'm buying in North Carolina. 

Thanks God for giving me time to learn a few more lessons. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Passion for Downsizing

The more room you have the more junk you have.  I'm downsizing from what my family calls a mc-mansion to a townhome.  I can't and don't even want to take all my stuff with me, but there is no way I'm tossing a single thing in the trash.  I'm doing my best to find good homes for everything in my old home.

Books... certain titles are being reserved for friends who I know will appreciate them.  Just gave my talk show host buddy, Pete Kaliner, my copy of "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do:  The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country."  I haven't used it as a reference since 1996.   I'm sending a few of my grandfather's books to my cousin, Cory, a voracious reader and the up-and-coming family philosopher.  The rest of the books are going to Goodwill.  Goodwill will also be getting CDs and cassettes from the dozens of one hit wonders I've met in radio. 

Business Clothes... Dress for Success.  If I'm ever a size 8 or 18 again, I'm sure they'll be out of style anyway.  Every good garment deserves to be STYLED before it becomes outdated.  I'm a clothes-aholic and downsizing from two big closets to one small one is probably the toughest task of all.  Donating those suits and dresses to women looking for jobs... well, that's just the right thing to do.

Dressy and Casual Clothes... Great Things.  Its a resale store run by my church for an in the Lincoln Heights community.  Its the first business opened in Lincoln Heights within the last 10 years and provides a unique shopping experience within walking distance of neighborhood residents.

Furniture and Housewares...  Crisis Assistance Ministry.  When families lose everything, this ministry lets them "shop" at their free store for clothing and anything you might need to set up a household.

Elephants... my elephant collection (not the entire herd, just a few dozen) will be scattered among sorority sisters.  I already know which ones they've been coveting!

I know I'm not the only one downsizing and this isn't the easiest way to do it.  It just feels like the most thoughtful way to do it.  It also helps to relieve the stress of moving by taking the focus away from the paperwork and packing and putting it on the positive....  recycling, re-gifting and re-energizing for my next phase.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Weepy Woman

I tear up when I'm laughing, I tear up when feeling sentimental and if I'm disappointed... bring me a bucket.  I usually can't help it, but Friday I was prepared.

"Charlotte Today" has been looking for a co-host.  I tossed my hat in the ring, thinking it'd be an awesome way to cross-promote my radio gig and earn some extra cash.  It became pretty clear to me that I wasn't their chosen one, so when I got an email from the producer about meeting, I braced myself for rejection.  I practiced telling them how much I'd enjoyed the experience, how much I'd learned, how much I'd love to help out whenever they needed me...  When the small talk ended and Mary, the producer, launched into the tough decision they had to make... I felt it.  Not the "wow, what a touching Hallmark commercial" tears. I felt the "I tried so hard yet my dreams are being crushed" tears.

Other management types have experienced it.  When turned down for a big raise and promotion I cried during my first contract negotiations.  When the boss told me I couldn't have Good Friday off, you would've thought I'd been stabbed in the heart by my first love.  You don't have to tell me its not professional, but at least you know I'm passionate, right?

Well, for the first time EVER, I didn't cry.  Believe me, I was close, but I distracted myself with a few jokes (pretended those jokes were so funny they made my eyes water).  It may sound like what the losers ALWAYS say, but I am truly grateful for the opportunity.  I got the chance to plug the Matt and Ramona Show during our spring book, gained a little confidence in the kitchen and hopefully people will feel sorry enough for me to nominate me to co-host on Regis and Kelly for a day.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New York Style

Even the babies are bringing it in New York City.  During a recent trip I spotted a cute little girl wearing an adorable purple and pink outfit with shoes to match.  lThese sneaks are by Daysi. 973.460.9109. She blings all things baby... bibs, onesies and more.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nail Infection+Nasty Word = Bad Day

"Eeeeewwww," yes, that's a quote from one of my Facebook friends who heard me talking about my nail discoloration during Tirade Tuesday on the "Matt and Ramona Show."  I got fake nails before heading to Los Angeles for the Gracie Awards.  I've never been able to get my own nails to grow longer than the tops of my fingertips. 

Well, I got used to the idea of having pretty nails... until the green shadow showed up.  I saw a green-ish tint, but thought something I'd used while cleaning, potting plants or trying to cook had stained the acrylic.  My fingernails didn't feel different.  Two of them just looked odd.  It wasn't until Matt shouted "FUNGUS!" that I started to worry.

Listener after listener weighed in with fingernail horror stories.  I swear I could hear the "Halloween" soundtrack in my head.  I read a message from a Facebook friend in the studio.  Dennis M wrote, "i have a friend who wore them for yrs, her real nails rotted off and all she had was pusy infected fingers."  The whole room cracked up when I read it wrong.  Let's just say Puss in Boots would be proud of my "pusy" pronunciation and Matt had a field day with his non-airable comments.

It turns out our audience has lots of fungus knowledge so the calls and messages continued to pour in.  I decided to share what Dennis M had written on my wall with the audience and the P-word happened again!  NOOOOOOOO!  Thank heavens we were on delay and the word never made it to the air... wish I could say the same for the internet.  There is no delay for folks listening online.  To make matters worse, when I tried to tweet and post on Facebook about the snafu I even TYPED it wrong. 

What lessons did I learn?  

1.  Acrylic nails are not for me

2.  Matt and Ramona is obviously the number one show for people who've had experiences with fungi

3.  Matt would have been proud to be the first person on our show to accidentally use that word on the air

4.  Many people think you can cure any fungus with Vicks Vapo Rub and Tea Tree Oil

5..  The medical term "pus" is spelled with just one "s"

Monday, June 28, 2010

What Next Chris Brown?

Wow!  As a Michael Jackson fan since birth, let me first say that while you are a hot dancer, NO ONE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO DO MICHAEL'S MOVES AS WELL AS MICHAEL.  That being said, you gave a fabulous performance at the BET awards.  You took the crowd to church!  On Sunday morning when the choir and/or preacher touches your heart...  you went there.  I believed you.  There have been lots of discussions about your sincerity.  But, I can imagine where you've been professionally, emotionally and spiritually over the past year.   Your very survival as an entertainer and provider for your family was on that stage and you did a stellar job of telling that story to the audience.  Where do you go from here?   Do more than just make music.  Make a difference. 

I'm sure your fans have been far more forgiving than non-fans.  Those non-fans are the ones who make the big decisions, the ones who make the call on whether you get to make record-label supported music.  As a woman working in this record-label supported industry I beg you to use these discussions about your future as an opportunity to help some young men.

I know women who've been battered by a boyfriend.  Sadly, I also know a woman who buried a daughter killed by her ex-boyfriend right after a high school graduation party.  Her name is Cheryl Rucker and she has used her tragedy to try to make a difference. 

There are lots of angry young men.  Some have watched their mothers get hit.  Some have been beaten down by the miserable conditions in their communities.  Others are returning from a war they've been fighting for 9 long years.  Even more than forgiveness these men and their sons need to learn a better way of handling their anger and frustration.  These young men need direction and guidance.  If you've seen the light, I beg you to help them see the light too.  You can help in the schools, shelters and military bases.  I volunteer the Matt and Ramona Show if you need support to get the word out about helping.  I'd really like to know what's next.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Take a few steps... release the romper... then repeat many times until you reach your destination.  I love fashion and think this summer's rompers are cute as the little Gosselin kid on Jon and Kate + 8 with the glasses.  But alas this is a trend I cannot and will not wear!

I knew it the minute I spotted it in a fashion magazine, but the living proof appeared before me when I went to Concord Mills yesterday.  I was walking behind a woman about my size who had on a romper.  The curvy fashionista had on all the right accessories to compliment her romper, but the garment just refused to play nice.  It kept riding up between her thighs so that every few steps she had to slightly spread her legs to free material from places it shouldn't have been hiding.  Unlike the maxi-dress, the romper isn't for everybody. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fathers Day Food

Why do ties sell so well before Father's Day, when most dads I talk to say the same thing... "don't get me anything,"  "I just want to play golf,"  "feed me and I'll be fine"?  For the father keeping a nervous eye on the family budget, the best gift comes from Hallmark and costs less than $2. 

If dad loves food, sports and TV... just shove a steak in his mouth and turn on the game.  Sometimes we give the gifts that we like to give instead of giving what people really want. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Running in Place

Ever felt like you were running at top speed and getting absolutely nowhere?  Then you can understand my day.  The pace is wearing me down and my emotions have been gushing like an oil spill.  Between planning a birthday celebration for my mom, showing the house (yes, still showing the house) and changes at work I've been feeling overhwhelmed.

I left the house shortly before 10:00 am because we had a showing, went to the bank, dry cleaners, hit two stores, had an appointment and a meeting, did the show and taped another show.  I'll get home around midnight.  Then I'll be out the door around 7:00 am for a hair appointment.  Was feeling frazzled beyond belief until it hit me.  I've got the best kind of problems right now.  

Until I make my move I have a lovely home to show and a job I enjoy that pays me enough money to get my hair done at least once a month.  As for the birthday party.... I feel so blessed to still have my mom.  She's doing well.  Wheezy made a full recovery from her back surgery and shows no signs of slowing down.  Despite the chaos (most of which is in my mind), it's all good. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Aunties

As I plan for my mom's 70th birthday, I've been spending time with family... gathering old pictures, collecting anecdotes...

The more time I spend with my family, especially my beloved Aunties, the more I understand about myself.  An hour, a day or a weekend with them does more for me than I'd get from years of therapy.  I learn from their triumphs and fears... from their convictions and observations.

The oldest is Aunt Pat.  Her real name is Martha and she's an extraordinary textile artist.  She's also an environmentalist who loves Mozart.  She spent most of her childhood living in a sharecroppers shack. She paints vivid pictures of life in the 1930s and 40s with her colorful stories.  I pray I can remember them all.
Next in line is Aunt Nell.  Her real name is Carrie Linell and she's a fierce negotiator at yard sales.  She currently has her own yard sale ministry.  She invests the money she'd planned to tithe in yard sale items and sells them in upscale consignment stores.  Most months she doubles her money.  She's the family's number one bargain shopper and self-appointed news reporter of family business.

Aunt Ada has the kindest spirit of all.  Her faith is never far from her lips.  She inspires you to seek God.  A creative jewelry-maker (before beading got popular).  She is as creative as she is thoughtful.  You need help with a project?  Ada is the first to volunteer her support. 

Aunt Reacie is the baby girl of the bunch.  She never met a party she didn't like.  At 68, she knows all the latest dances.  Fiesty beyond belief, she is always prepared to voice and defend her opinion. 

Aunt Doris, or Tante as I like to call her, was claimed by the family when she and my mom became friends at college.  A talented writer and taskmaster.  Greatness was polished at her dining room table where she critiqued book reports and speeches.  Impersonations are her speciality. 

I've taken a bit from each of them and I'm thankful for all of them. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

3 Things You Didn't See on Charlotte Today

Funny edition of Charlotte Today.  I knew it was gonna be VERY different when I got an email on Friday from Allison Andrews, the producer.  She gave me heads up that today's guests would be Coolio, the  "Gangsta's Paradise" rapper and comedian Rob Schneider from "Deuce Bigalow:  Male Gigolo."  I was not disappointed.  Rob kept reappearing on the set at times when he wasn't even supposed to be on camera and Coolio just kept doing push-ups when the camera was pointed in his direction.

What went on behind the scenes?  There were a few things the camera didn't show you:

1.  Rob trying to get Coolio interested in a vitamin company Rob's buying
2.  Coolio hitting on Colleen and me
3.  EVERYBODY on the set cracking up at Rob's jokes!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My first doll, Rose

Sorry about the sideways picture.  She was a Christmas gift and the minute I saw her I named her Rose after one of my cousins.  She still wears my cousin Rose's baby shoes!  The doll only has a few wisps of brown hair let so my mom donated one of her old wigs.  Her left arm is taped on.  I just can't bear to toss her!  Rose lives in a box in the guest room.  I've been told she is too creepy to display!  LOL

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hair Boys

Boys with pretty hair are soooooo in right now. How else can we explain Tim Urban’s lengthy run on “American Idol?” If Justin Beiber were selling a line of shampoo, he’d die a zillionaire! He’d never have to make girls faint at a mall again.

Before we make fun of the swooning tweens and teens, we have to acknowledge our own hair boys. The Jacksons inspired the Jheri curl movement. (Yes, I had one in the 8th grade. I loved what it did to my hair when I went swimming). Remember the hair band era? If you were or are a big fan of the Beatles or even Prince, then you’ve swooned over a man’s hair too! Mullet fans, who wore it better, Billy Ray Cyrus or Lionel Richie?

Face it girls, we are far more hair obsessed than most of us are willing to admit. Remember the shocking tabloid headlines about Charlie Sheen’s buzzed head? So, when your daughter has a bad case of Beiber Fever or you just can’t figure out what she sees in L’il Wayne…. just remember the days when you wanted to be front row at the Snoop Doggy Dogg concert.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Science of Clumsy

Food, colorful drinks, make-up, hair products, magic markers… I’ve fought all of the stain-makers and lost. Going to assume its just because I’m clumsy. Earlier this week I gave a Facebook shout-out to all the messy eaters and told them to give themselves a high five if they were rockin’ a food or drink stain. I was surprised to find that the M.E.S.S. (Messy Eater Stain Society) is a pretty big club.

Is it a problem with spacial relationships? Multi-tasking? Moving too fast for our own good?

Twice this week while getting dressed to head to WCNC’s studio for “Charlotte Today” I’ve messed up my shirt moments before I was supposed to leave the house. Monday while on camera I dropped bread pudding down my bra. There has GOT to be a reason why I can’t seem to stay clean.

Scientists have studied “clumsy” and found that some folks are just accident prone. They say its just as much a character trait as being good at math. In fact, 1 in 29 of us are messy by accident. Messies are more likely to be male than female. I would also venture to say we’re more likely to be humble (can’t be hoity-toity with a stain on your shirt) and far more likely to be seen wearing black!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tailwaggers (what you didn't see on TV)

Not much wildlife in the Pine Grove Apartments in Somerset, NJ.  Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom along with the deer and monkey they kept caged at Johnson Park in Piscataway were the closest thing I had to animals other than dogs.  We steared clear of the stray cats in Pine Grove.  They were a tough lot, in serious survival mode.  The cat lovers in my life?  Their arms are frequently covered with scratches from their own pets.    My college roommate got a Siamese Cat named Bob when she got her first apartment. When I visited her in Philly, Bob would perch on top on my luggage and hiss at me when I came near.   Oh, how I longed to use my toiletries.  He'd purposely tilit his head to make his eyes glare in the light!  I shudder as I type.  Pure evil kept him alive for nearly 20 years.  He died last year.  She has a dog now, I may be visiting her again soon. 

I tell you this to help you understand why I'ver never warmed up to felines..  to help you understand why I kinda freaked out... okay I FREAKED ALL THE WAY OUT on the set of "Charlotte Today."  Larry Sprinkle, WCNC's well-coiffed weather man, is the TV Patron Saint of Animals.  If it has fur or feathers  Larry wants to pet it, hold it and warn it about bad weather.  I know he wants to help me love cats too.  What you didn't see on TV was me touching the cat's ear.  It was a BIG step.  I did it just for Larry. 

The last time I did a stint on Charlotte today Larry had invited an owl and an eagle to hang out.  I kept my cool (because there was no interaction), but I also kept an eye on the birds of prey.  One wrong move and an angry beak might've poked out an eye or ripped out my hair weave!  Wild animals are unpredictable!  My radio buddy Chris Allen still teases me about the time Seaworld brought some penguins into the studio at WLNK and I thought they were attacking me. 

The good news, as long as Larry is at WCNC, animals will always have a friend.  The bad news... I'm afraid Larry is in Maury Povich mode.  Have you seen episodes of Maury where he tries to help people with weird phobias get over their fears?  I think I've been cast in the role of the woman with the oddball cat fear. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cougar Time on Charlotte Today

Hair done.  Lashes applied.  Clothes ironed. Brows waxed. 
I'm heading back for a 2nd co-hosting stint on Charlotte Today.  This time I'm taking my mom.  They wanted a Cougar and they're getting one.  I should have warned them that Wheezy doesn't take direction well.  She was a public school teacher for over 40 years.  She is used to giving the instructions and expects everyone to listen... or else she'll make you put your head down on your desk.

This could be very funny... very shocking... or both. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bargain of the Century

Thanks Rachel, thanks Dee-Dee, thanks Erin.  They were my Gracie Awards dress shopping posse.  We hit the road in search of an inexpensive, elegant dress for me to wear to the awards show next month in Los Angeles. 

Ignoring my body issues, they encouraged me to try on all kinds of dresses I would have usually ignored, mini dresses, one-shoulder dresses, brightly colored dresses....  There were a few rejects like this one.  But all the experimentation paid off BIG TIME at the Off 5th store.  We found an beautiful blue dress on the clearance rack, my favorite place to shop.  The original price tag? $1850.  I paid just $90!  KA-CHING! Bargain of the century!

More than just finding the best deal ever, thanks to the encouragement of the girls, I learned a few things about myself.  My arms aren't as bad as I think.  My legs are better than I think and the right dress can make baby look like she's got a little "back!"

Hollywood here I come!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Reality Isn't Real

I know there are still some folks who believe rasslin' is real, but I beg to differ.  I put them in the same category as folks who believe reality TV is real.  No, there isn't a formal script, but to get the camera angles right and get permission to film in various locations lots of stuff has to be set up.  Those TV bachelors aren't paying for and planning elephant riding dates, the challenges on America's Next Top Model aren't the norm for real models and learning the tango doesn't make people cry at the Arthur Miller dance studio near my house... need I go on?  Professional wrestling and reality TV are in the same boat for many reasons.  Both get accused of being fake, both feature over-the-top characters and both rely heavily on ad lib and staged disagreements. 

From "Jersey Shore" to "Real Housewives of New Jersey," I believe the casts of most of these programs are wanna-be actors and folks who don't have enough talent to become actors, but who want to be famous anyway.  And the props!!!  OMG.  There are fake boardrooms, ridiculous challenges, clocks turned into odd necklaces... but the oddest most-talked about prop of all is Heidi. Heidi from the Hills is using her entire body as a prop. Her plastic surgeries are the star of the final season of the show!

You may find reality shows tacky and tasteless, but what's the difference between a fight scene written for weird characters on a bonafide drama and the fight scenes between Real Housewives?  The size of the paycheck the producers have to hand over.  None of it is real, but some of it is definately low budget.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Can I Get an "Amen?"

Spent Easter Sunday at my mom's church, Simpson-Gillespie United Methodist.  I sat across the aisle from the self-appointed leader of the amen corner.  This was no ordinary responsive worshipper.  This guy shouted "Amen!" at the top of his lungs every time the preacher asked for a little back-up from the congregation.   He was so loud the Rev. Pegues had to acknowledge him... and once he got a little attention, he took his enthusiasm to another level.

The pastor's little helper couldn't have been more than  3 or 4 years old.  Thankfully no one told him to hush.  He stuck with the sermon for the entire 20 minutes, never missing an opportunity to show the reverend he was an active listener... a VERY active listener.   

Joyful, attentive, excited to participate in the service,  willing to share his exuberance with the rest of us... thanks little fella for setting a great example.  AMEN!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Making the Bed is Making me Weak

I'm getting weak.  This spring I celebrate my two year anniversary of having my home on the market.  I am really sick of having my home on the market.

Around Thanksgiving I got a shady cash offer (the money that was supposed to be wired from overseas never showed up).  A few weeks ago I got an offer so low that I'd have to cash in my retirement fund and get a part-time job saying "welcome to Walmart" just to be able to pay off my mortgage.  Frankly, just yesterday I was considering it.

My mom, Wheezy, says "hang in there."  She has faith that we'll get a fair offer soon.  I know my neighbors are routing for us, too.  After all, it'll hurt their property values if I sell too low.    MSN's real estate experts side with mom.  Their advice is to "stay the course" until prices are on the upswing.  Easier said than done.  The "for sale" sign in the yard is actually starting to get rusty and I yearn for the day when I can leave the house without making my bed.   But I'm staying put and cheering for other homeowners who are getting viable offers.  I figure once you sell your house, maybe you'd like to buy mine.... PLEASE!?!?!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Computer Love Phobia

I changed my relationship status from blank to "single" earlier this week on Facebook.  Several of my Fb friends thought I'd just been through a break-up.  The truth is that I've finally made it up in my mind that I'm ready to date again.  After my divorce in `04 an old boyfriend came back into the picture, but that went nowhere.  I dated a nice single dad for awhile, but it wasn't a good match.  That pretty much explains the action in my love life since I said so long to Osama (my affectionate name for my ex).  

I have to take some responsibility for snoozy-ness in the romance department .  Introduction offers have been shrugged off, internet dating poo-poo'd, the singles ministry at church ignored.  The dreaded double-nasty of a bad marriage followed by a bad divorce can be a major relationship turnoff.  I heard one counsellor say it takes at least 18 months to recover from divorce... my friend's church counsellor told him it was a MINIMUM of two years.  You have to figure out what works for you.  A good rule of thumb is you feel confident that you won't repeat the same old mistakes. 

I've got the relationship confidence, but I'm still very leary of internet dating.  For the second time in six years, I've put a profile on a dating site.  No dates yet.  This time around I refuse to even put up a profile picture.  I don't want these guys to know what I look like before I get a chance to feel them out by e-mail.  Heck, a couple private messages I received after changing my Fb status freaked me out.  I'm afraid there might be some real creep-nasties out there.  Perhaps I'm just too much of a punk for computer love.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Movie Tears

After returning from a wedding Saturday night I was on a what I like to call a "love high" and I wanted to keep the warm and fuzzy feeling alive. So, after getting home, I took off the fancy dress and pain-inducing shoes and decided to watch a "love" movie before going to bed. I chose "Marley and Me."  The movie poster featured an adorable puppy.  It stars two comedic actors and its described as a movie about "life and love with the world's worst dog."  The trailer even featured the characters played by Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson getting romantic in the pool while their unruly dog splashes by, ruining the moment.    How could this movie be anything but a romantic comedy with the puppy theme? 

About 3/4 of the way through the movie, I saw things going bad for Marley.  I stuck with it because I know Hollywood's rule... never kill kids or dogs that viewers have gotten to know by name.  Let's just say the rule wasn't just broken, it was smashed in my face!  I was hoodwinked.  I cried uncontrollably through the last quarter of the movie and couldn't stop sobbing for about an hour afterward.  Extreme?  Sure, but I tear up at Hallmark commercials.  Somebody should have warned me!  I have a precious dog for heavens sake! 

So, just in case you were looking for a cuddle film to enjoy on the couch with your honey this weekend...  THIS IS NOT IT.  If you hope to leave your lady in the mood for loving, then skip "Marley and Me."  It will leave you in the mood for hugging your knees to your chest while snot drops down your legs.  I feel its my duty to warn you so you won't be caught off guard.  Need a movie to compare it to?  I rank this in my top ten of saddest movies ever along with:

Terms of Endearment
Losing Isaiah
I am Sam
Old Yeller
Brian's Song
Million Dollar Baby
Requiem for a Dream

Hollywood, just so you know... the main character is not supposed to die especially if he/she/it is a mom, a pet (yes, that includes aliens... they never killed ALF), a kid or an athlete!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jesus Egg?!?

With all of the bunnies and Easter eggs dominating the holiday, I should probably show some love for the Jesus egg, but....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pink Cancers

Breast cancer, vaginal cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer... there's more than 1 "pink" cancer.   Thank you to the Charlotte Checkers organization for recognizing that at Saturday's game.  Just before face off at Pink in the Rink there was a moment of silence for Lori Dubois who died of ovarian cancer last week.  If you didn't know her, believe me you would've loved her.  If you've ever been to Taste of Charlotte, you've been to one of her parties.  She co-founded the city's premier festival with her husband, Matt, and his brother and sister in law.  Lori was a force of light who brought me to tears with her plea to get my co-workers and me to help her raise money for cancer research. 

When the Checkers put Lori's picture on the monitor, for a few seconds I was able to make sense of losing this 41-year old mom.  During that powerful moment of silence I believe every cancer survivor and supporter understood the importance of being there last night.  It became painfully clear that there is so much more we need to know about the prevention, detection and treatment of women's cancers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

1 Pound?!?!

Went back to the doctor last week.  I have to go every three months for a diabetes check-up.  Been making some small changes in my eating habits to help get "the sugar" under control.  Well, those small changes have brought me VERY small results.  After three months of cutting back on sweets and trimming my portions I've lost a whopping 1 pound.  1 itsy bitsy little pound. 

I figured its time for drastic measures.  1 pound in three months means I'll reach my goal right about some young preacher is giving my eulogy.  At first I thought I needed to hire a kung fu/bootcamp trainer to chase me around my neighborhood... or maybe a liquid diet that only allows me one sip of cabbage soup every four days.  I finally settled on a gown.  A gown 2 sizes too small to motivate me to lose weight before the Gracie Awards.  It's a gorgeous fucia silk Calvin Klein gown and get this... it was only $49.99.  I brought it home and hung it in a spot that would force me to look at it every single day. 

I've looked at it for five days now.  The color is starting to remind me of cake frosting.  Dang, that dress is making me hungry!  I'll probably take it back this weekend... before the store's return policy forces me to keep it.  Why not try to crash diet my way into it?  I've been crash dieting since the age of 11!  I need to stick to the healthier methods of taking the pounds off.... or should I say "pound" off. 

The small changes in my diet can lead to bigger changes if I stick with the program.  Bigger changes will eventually lead to a smaller, healthier Ramona.  I've got an appointment to see my doctor three months from now.  I've promised her that by then I'll be down 2 pounds.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What the Gracie Means to Me

Shocked and hopeful.... my reaction to winning the Gracie Award for radio comedy two years in a row.  I got the word just over a week ago from AWRT (American Women in Radio & Television).  The national awards will be handed out at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on May 25th.

Pardon me while I brag for a second... but despite being 1/2 of the most consistently funny show on the radio, I wasn't expecting to win two years in a row.  I just didn't think that could happen.  I likened it to a teacher who knows you have the right answer, but calls on another kid to let them shine too.  Heck, it took me eight years to win the first one.

Now what?  I'm not as nervous about finding the right dress for the black-tie gala I've got a better understanding of what to wear on the red carpet.  I've already secured an escort, my partner Matt Harris.  The company is handling travel arrangements and our agent, Heather Cohen says she'll greet us with open arms and champagne bottles.  Gayle King, Katie Couric, Selena Gomez, Jada Pinkett Smith and Barbara Walters are also winners this year and I plan to bug each and every one of them for pictures.  Our only issue is that our amateur photographer, Matt's wife Amy, will still be on bedrest when we take the trip. 

Beyond the ceremony I'm hoping this award brings attention to the "Matt and Ramona Show" and "The Satisfied Life."  We've been tweaking both programs in hopes of growing in syndication.  Lots of folks put lots of time and energy into creating, producing, marketing and selling our product.  I pray the Gracie is the stepping stone we all  need to climb to the next level.  

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wheezy Has a Dream!

Mom delivers Black history address at Simpson Gillespie United Methodist Church.
"there is a West African proverb that says 'it takes a village to raise a child.' Well,
our village is failing our children.  The average Black 12th grader reads on the same
level as the average White 8th grader.  Our schools need our help."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Kitchen Mis-Hap Caught on Tape

After my last blog entry, I received an angry email from a listener named Donna

"if I hear you say you can't cook one more time I'll scream.  anyone who can
read can cook.  you say you spill food too!  what are you a 3 year old"

Nope, Donna, not 3, just clutzy and confused when you put pots and pans in
front of me.  Here's the video proof from my stint on the Charlotte Today TV
Show  click here for video

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Anti-Chef

I guess some things, like food preparation, come as naturally as breathing to some folks.  Perhaps that's why so many people simply don't believe me when I say I can't cook.  If you take a heaping tablespoon of Ramona and add an oven, measuring cups and a knife, then you've got a recipe for disaster.

Co-hosting Charlotte Today has made it painfully clear that the kitchen will never be my domain.  Each day there has been a cooking segment.  On Wednesday when it was time to put the mac and cheese in the oven, I tried to shove it into the microwave.  Something always seems to go wrong when I'm in the kitchen so I'm perfectly happy letting someone else prepare the food while I assume clean-up duties.

There is a list of other things I'm positive I'll never master:
1.  shuffling cards
2.  yoga
3.  basic math (though I can easily figure out clearance rack percentages),
4.  singing harmony
5.  changing a poopy diaper (I've nearly vomited every single time I've tried)

Right now there is someone reading this list thinking that I just need more practice, or didn't have the right teacher... blah, blah, blah.   It's like when someone tells me that they hate pizza.  It sounds impossible to me, but if I expect them to respect my claims of being the anti-chef, then I've got to respect the fact that there are actually people like Matt Harris who get the "cha-cha-cha's" every time they set foot in a mall.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Charlotte Today is in for a Surprise

Anyone who knows me knows I have three basic fears... critters, cooking and vampires.  I'm worried that I'll be forced to face at least two of those fears while co-hosting Charlotte Today this week on WCNC.

I didn't ask many... okay any... questions when I received an e-mail from Colleen Odegaard asking me to hang out with her on her new show.  It sounded like fun, a new challenge.  It wasn't until I read about the show in the Charlotte Observer that I started to worry.  Larry Sprinkle's "Tail Waggers" segment would be a part of the show.  I'm totally cool with dogs.  I love my poodle, Henri.  He's even got his own profile on Dogbook (yes, I know Dogbook is corny and his name is pretentious).   The problem?  Cats!!!!!!!!!!!  Does Larry audition these cats or will we wind up with some gremlin with claws as long as Paris Hilton's extensions!?!?!  Either comedy or a 911 call will ensue.

The other issue is cooking.  I have limited success making toast.  I was hired about 10 years ago to do a cooking segment at a mall.  A chicken company was sending gymnast Mary Lou Retton around the country to teach people chicken recipes and they were pairing her with radio people.  The tour manager assured me all I had to do was introduce Mary Lou, smile and stir.  I stirred so hard that most of the chicken chunks tumbled out of the pan and started burning on the stove.

When  I told my mom about the Charlotte Today cooking segment.  She asked, "will you have to talk and cook at the same time?!?!"  Wheezy has already set her DVR.  She tells me she thinks I'll do just fine.  But I know she has set her DVR in hopes of recording something she can play for laughs at the family Christmas party.

I'm still looking forward to co-hosting.  It's a hoot to see Colleen shed the old anchor-tude and have some fun.   I'm just hoping that Larry tries to find a home for a dog this week and that the chefs lined up plan to make something like.... Koolaid.  And for the station now broadcasting the 2010 Winter Olympics, what can I bring to the table?
Well, there are those figure skating videos we did for the Matt and Ramona show....

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Translater

Hello, I'm a Panty Lover. I love having sex with lots of women, really skanky women. Yeah, my wife is hot, but c'mon, she doesn't have the only panties in the world. I'm so rich and famous that it just rains panties in my world.

I'm sure my other rich and famous friends would agree. Most go their whole professional-athlete/man-ho careers without having panties blow up their face like this! Sure many have lost their first wives along the way, but this isn't news to you.  In fact, this is only news because I took some ambien and got lazy with my cell phone. Damn, I'm standing before you today, wishing I didn't have to.

Now I have to publicly talk about how tirelessly I'm kissing my wife's ass. I know my image is more valuable to you if Elin hangs around. I've been to counselling (her idea) and I'm going back to counselling (also her idea). Elin is watching me like a hawk! We're speaking, but she wants me to let you know, I'm NOT off the hook. Just because I wanted to get some action outside of my house doesn't mean I don't want a classy wife and cute kids at home.  I'm trying to play this marriage game as skillfully as I play golf, but it just ain't working right now.

On top of getting caught, my wife is worried about people knowing the location of my kids' school. Paparazzi, lay off! You are making this worse. I've had a lot of poo-nanny from lots of different women. I've got to do more than Bill Clinton and Kobe Bryant combined!!!!!

I'm going to work the charity angle, I promised my mom I'd get spiritual again. This is the best I can do. I hope its enough because I still wanna break records and make more money than Bill Gates while I'm doing it. I'm not taking any questions, because I wouldn't even be doing this much if I didn't absolutely have to.  That's why most of you media monkeys weren't even invited to my news conference.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


It's all an audition.  From the time you show up until you get the cue to perform.  I just don't think some folks understand that and its evident when you watch "American Idol."  Can you remember one top contender who yelled at or belittled their group-mates during Hollywood week?  Me either!

I expect Michael "Big Mike" Lynch and Didi "Bucket O' Tears" Benami to make it to Idol's big stage.  Todrick Hall, on the other hand, showed his nasty side during group auditions.  I'll be shocked if he makes the top 12.  Sure, drama keeps things interesting while the judges are narrowing the field, but I'm sure producers and tour managaers don't want an evil diva on hand to make life difficult. 

The same can be said for job interviews... from greeting the receptionist to sharing a hello with the security guard... you just never know who is watching.... and judging.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympic Stories

Figure skating is my fav winter Olympics event, but I enjoy hearing personal stories about the athletes even more than watching the competitions.  Overcoming injuries and personal tragedy, conquering fear...   I eat it up.   The sacrifices they make and the desire to win that motivates them to push their bodies to the limit... I yearn to understand it and figure out how to harness it.   What percentage is God given talent?  What percentage is proper coaching?  What percentage is sheer faith?   Any ideas?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Last Minute Lovers

Searching for last minute ideas to impress your valentine?  Here are a few practical ideas:

For the eco-friendly lover Bamboo Sheets, available at Walmart, feel soft and silky.  They are naturally antibacterial and Bamboo has the ability to insulate, which means that they can be used in both summer and winter. The sheets will actually help to keep you cool in the summer months and warm in the cold winter.

If a real strand of pearls isn't in the budget try Girls Dig Pearls, a lustrous lip gloss created using real crushed sea pearls.  You can find it at Beauty Brands.

Give the gift of relaxtion at Massage Envy.  This is a one-size-fits-all present and unlike some spas, their clinics are open 7 days a week and don't just cater to women.  Ask about the "tech neck" massage for a Valentine who spends hours hovering over a computer screen.  Massage Envy offers pre-natal treatments for moms-to-be and sports massages for your favorite weekend warrior.

Wine, dine and watch a movie at the same time at Ballantyne Village Theater.  Luxury seating is available and you'll like the wine list. 

and For a gift you can enjoy together, pick up a book, any book by Laura Corn.  "101 Sexy Dares" contains 50 sealed seductions for her and 50 for him, plus one for both of you.  It promises to bring fun back into a bedroom filled with boredom.  You can find it at Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vajayjay Talk in Front of my Mom

I've been practicing my monologue for Saturday night's 2010 V-Day performance in Rock Hill.  This production of the Vagina Monologues benefits Safe Passage, a program that provides services for the victims and survivors of domestic violence.  Of course I want to do a good job, but I've been assigned a very troubled vajayjay.

This is my second time participating in a V-Day project.  The last time I did it I was assigned the angry vajayjay.  It was originally written for Whoopi Goldberg and it was sassy.  This time around I've been assigned one of the most controversial pieces.  Am I intimidated?  Heck yeah!  My mom will be in the audience.  While she loves to make me squirm by bringing up topics that NO ONE wants to hear their mom discuss, there are just some things that I feel very uncomfortable saying in front of her.  I haven't purchased her ticket yet.  I'm kinda hoping it sells out before then.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The V-Day Cure

Pamper yourself in a bubble bath, avoid sappy love songs... there's plenty of advice for single girls about how to spend Valentine's Day.  We're told to focus on loving ourselves and to resist the urge to define ourselves by our relationship status on Facebook.  If you've spent multiple V-days without a partner, you've heard it all before. 

The best way to celebrate February 14th is to show love.  You don't have to confess your crush on the guy at the gym.  Do something for someone else to let them know you care.  Find a way to support a worthy cause.  This year over "love weekend" instead of complaining about the flowers and candy my fantasy Romeo won't be sending, I'll be spending time with friends, calling loved ones and even performing in a production of the Vagina Monologues in Rock Hill, SC. 

The cure for V-Day lonliness can be found anywhere people gather... churches, nursing homes, shelters.  At the very least, a single friend would appreciate a phone call.  Reach out!  The easiest way to feel love is to give it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bring Back Quiet Hour

When I've figured it all out I'll write a book to share the wisdom.  In the meantime, I'm stumbling my way through living with my mom.  We've been roommates since 2004.  Any adult who has tried living with another adult knows there are challenges... especially when the roles change. 

We get along fine most of the time.   I make mistakes and so does she (although only one of us admits it).  Sometimes I over-indulge her (which is why she isn't driving the little car I initially planned to buy for her).  Sometimes I get so busy I don't give her the attention she craves.  Sometimes I crave privacy (dating is VERY awkward).  Sometimes I get it right.  Other times, like tonight, she makes me feel like I've done her so very wrong. 

Most mornings I make breakfast for the two of us.   With the exception of a few nights each week, she makes our dinners.  Am I thankful?  Absolutely!  If I was single, the menu would be far simpler.  My problem?  The issues Wheezy has saved up for me to discuss at dinner.  Sick friends and family, medicare complaints, terrible stories she's heard from Nancy Grace, neighbors who curb their dogs in our yard, her health issues...  all within 5 minutes of getting home.  After a day of feeling like I sucked on the air, I was simply overwhelmed.  So after hearing the concerns about the credit card company, the poo-ing pugs and low blood sugar...  when she moved onto her IRA, I asked for a reprieve.  My request was met with "I'm alone all day"  and the most disappointed look a senior citizen can give. 

When I was growing up I remember thinking my mom was a monster for instituting quiet hour.  For about an hour after she got home from work she demanded silence.  I couldn't understand it at the time because I was just a kid who loved to talk.  Now?  Let's just say I had a guilt-ridden epiphany. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Leading Ladies

I wish I could sing, because these ladies deserve their own theme song.  Last Thursday at Charlotte's beautiful Palmer Building, we honored the 2009 Link Leading Ladies.  I'd already met them during our on-air interviews.  I had the opportunity of learning from them, getting inspired by them and feeling hopeful because of them.  The banquet gave them an opportunity to meet each other.  It was a room filled with women who simply make you want to try harder, work smarter, dream bigger, serve better...

This year Cambria Estate Winery and the YMCA of Great Charlotte made it possible to honor these worthy women.  Thanks to them we were able to give a $5,000 check to Leigh Brown, our Link Leading Lady of the Year.  Leigh is a wife, mother of two and a broker and owner of a Re/Max office.  While working tirelessly to run her business she still finds time to volunteer at her church.  Through tears of joy, she promised to use the money to provide housing in Haiti.  Leigh knows a thing or two about helping people who need a home.  She sits on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Cabarrus County. Leigh uses a portion of the commission for every home she sells to go towards building a home for a family in need. Last year, she donated $60,000 to build a home with Habitat for Humanity.

As if that wasn't enough...we received this message from Suzi Alora, one of the other Leading Ladies...

"Just wanted to say THANK YOU for such a lovely evening last Thursday honoring the Link Leading Ladies. I was so moved and inspired by the positive energy in that room.

Great news, Birthday Blessings and Suzi Skinny Cakes are joining forces to give a birthday party for the ladies at Florence Crittenton this Thursday!" 

Laughter, tears, connecting, encouraging.... the 2009 Leading Ladies dinner will be hard to top.  But that won't stop us from doing it all over again in 2010.  There are too many girls and young women who need a role model for us to stop here.  There are too many uplifting people to talk about who we'll never see on the news.  So, we're teaming up with the YMCA and RE/MAX to honor more women.  Nominate the leading lady in your life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Consider Yourself Warned Simon Cowell

I remember Angela Martin from last year's "American Idol" auditions.  She was the single mom of a child with special needs who delivered a great rendition of a Stevie Wonder song.  Angela dreamed of becoming a successful singer to help pay for her daughter's treatments.  Last year after telling us her touching story, the Idol judges cut her before the public had a chance to cast a single vote.  Did I mention that she toughed it out in Hollywood even though her father was killed shortly before her trip to L.A.? 

Well Angela is back.  She was awarded a second golden ticket.  Only now, in addition to struggling to care for her child, Angela's mom is missing.  I'm telling you right now, Simon Cowell and company, if you are stringing this woman along AGAIN I will quit your show like a carb-free diet!  

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

Fearing that I was making too little progress toward my 2010 resolutions brought on a nasty case of the "woe is me's."  I know January isn't over yet. I've just been infected with the HWN virus.  That stands for Holloway Wants it Now!  Some of my worst (and maybe one or two of my best) decisions can be blamed on impatience. 

Thanks to an earthquake and a fetus my spirit is back on track. 

1)  Gotta give credit to the faithful earthquake victims in Haiti, who've been gathering nightly to praise God for just being alive, for teaching me a valuable life lesson about gratitude.  With a house lingering on the market and layoffs at work I must admit that my anxiety meter had been peaking. 

2)  Gotta give credit to Baby Harris.  Just over a week ago my co-host Matt Harris shared with me that three different doctors told him and his wife Amy that their unborn baby had a potentially fatal heart problem.  They went back for a check-up last week and the doctor couldn't find a problem.  Amy says she prayed for a miracle.  Thanks Baby Harris for teaching me a valuable lesson about hope.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Prick Free in 2010

This is the year I find a cure for diabetes.  I have a dream of being so determined to be free of finger prick testing, visits to the doctor and lifelong meds, that I discover some amazing food combination that puts this disease in remission.  It sorta happened like that in the movie Lorenzo's Oil with ALD, why not diabetes?

What I've learned so far in my quest for answers is that there is no easy way out.  From  incredibly restrictive diets to surgery, it all requires the type of vigilence that I've only been able to manage for a few months at a time.   I've found out that folks who have gastric bypass surgery or get the lap band are five times more likely to see their diabetes go into remission than patients who opt for diet and exercise classes.  I admit that more than one doctor has used the O word to describe my weight, but obesity surgery seems like such a drastic step.  I imagine having just a quarter teaspoon of salsa when my friends go to Cantina 1511 while they enjoy my favorite chopped salad and margaritas.  I'm not into clubbing or camping.  Fine dining with family and friends is my favorite way to unwind and have fun.  In fact, my mom Wheezy (who also has diabetes) went with me to last night's bariatric surgery seminar and while the doctor was talking we both had chicken wings on the brain.  I guess that proves I've got a long way to go before I'm prick free.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Breathing Easier

I spent Tuesday morning at the hospital with Wheezy and her lung doctor. She's been awfully wheezy lately. After her nasty battle against pneumonia two years ago and fear that she might have lung cancer, you can imagine how relieved we were when Dr. Hendler said we had nothing to worry about. 

We found out she was using her inhaler too much, but not using her Advair enough.  It isn't easy to keep up with all the meds.  Her list of prescriptions takes up a page.  I carry her health folder with me all the time, but there are easier ways for caregivers and concerned adult kids to keep track of all the meds.  Consumer Reports has developed a free desktop ap that lets you privately keep track of medication history.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Approach for the Same Old Resolutions

Just read my blog entry from last year around this time.  I wrote,
"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."
I give myself a C for the progress I made last year.  I did drink more water and thanks to my little dog Henri, I walk more.  A new cell phone helped me to manage my schedule and contact list a bit better.  I'm grateful for Facebook because keeping in touch has gotten easier.  I did a better job of saying, "no" in 2009 (though I felt really guilty every time I did and sometimes I lied to get out of stuff).  So, I'm not bragging about reaching any big goals, I'm just giving myself a little credit for small gains.

Making the same resolutions that you did last year doesn't make you a loser if you're trying a new approach.  So this year, the healthier eating will focus on smaller portions.  I want to do a better job of living the Bible instead of just reading it.  A little bit of progress is what I'm shooting for so that next year I can look back on some small gains that made a big difference in my life. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Vampires Don't Make Good Boyfriends

I spotted this tshirt while shopping. Sorry "Twilight" fans, there is nothing you can say or do to convince me that a blood-sucking, undead dude would be a good boyfriend.  My family would rather I bring a gang banger to the Christmas party than a vampire.  Frankly the vampire craze is a fad I hope we'll leave in 2009. I'm also hoping fashion designers will stop putting skulls on everything from leggings to earrings!