deep cover.

Thanks to this morning’s news, my secret is out. I’m not a freelance writer living in downtown Madison. Nope. I am an undercover agent for the Russian government.

We’re everywhere, you see. Gathering intelligence at farmers’ markets, fastidiously dvr’ing city council meetings and taking copious notes, and scanning local Yelp sites for left-leaning sympathizers. You see, it’s 2010, and there’s a lot of sensitive information to be found amongst the school hallways and backyards of America. A lot of heavy sh*t man, and the Russians need it.

I spend hours watching cable news, meticulously detailing each and every state secret Wolf Blitzer spouts. Sometimes I even go on the internet and download locations of embassies, factories and vulnerable U.S. holdings. I know where every major U.S. government building is located, and thanks to Google I can actually see the buildings from the street. Sometimes I even troll Washington D.C. blogs to see if I can get the inside scoop on the political scene. This is all stuff I can only find on American soil, and it’s honestly going to give Russia so much dirt on this country – who knows what will happen?

Wait – I know how this will end!!! The eff-you will be an international time suck wherein Russia spends millions on training spies to live in suburbia and gather intel from the internet and at the same time the FBI spends millions observing, tracking and hauling in people it cannot arrest because they spent their time tracking intel off the internet.
Also, we’ll all spend the day reading about these stupid spy rings and forget about the millions of gallons of crude oil invading our shores every minute. Sounds like a win-win for everyone!

Sometimes real life is made into movies. And sometimes the news just feels like a bad movie come to life.



So yeah, I’ve been lazy this week and owe you a NOLA update and pictures. Also a reading list. I’ve got a ton of excitement in my to-do basket-more info ASAP.

satc 2 sndtrk.

Yes we can! That’s my rallying cry,  dear readers. For ever since I began this humble blog with my riveting expose of Amelia Earhart, it’s been my goal to get the attention of corporate America, to have someone with deep coffers see my worth, acknowledge my contribution – and ask me to do more. And now it’s happened.

The powers-that-be at One2One Network have sent me-gratis-my very own copy of the Sex and the City 2 Soundtrack. Beyond that, they have ASKED FOR MY OPINION! Oh,how fervently have I awaited this day!

Sadly, when I listened to the CD and sad down to write my review, I felt a bit like Rory Gilmore at the ballet. I wanted so much to like the music so I could write a review full of joy and glee and appreciation for my new-found favorite summer soundtrack. Instead, I feel a little gypped. Because honestly, it pretty much blows.

The music stumbles from the start. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE covers, but Alicia Keys’ version of Rapture is thin and completely unnecessary – the producers would have been much better served with Debbie Harry’s original. Then there’s some random Dido number, reminiscent of 1999. Throwaway.

Fortunately the next two tracks, by Cee Lo and Erykah Badu are both modern and fresh and enjoyable – and they certainly shifted my mood. I thought there might be some life left in the disc, and I began to feel hopeful. Then the snakecharming, stereotypical Middle-Eastern fingerbells of the next two numbers sort of ran together and pissed me off – honestly, I didn’t make it all the way through either song. I remember thinking something about the Casio synthesizer I had in 8th grade, then blacking out.

When I came to, it was Liza Minnelli’s cover of Beyoncé’s Single Ladies anthem. God help us. Did you ever hear Pat Boone covering Ozzy Osbourne? It’s cute and all, but the novelty wears off pretty quick. And the over-enunciation couldn’t be more grating. So yeah, that’s where I stand on Liza’s first contribution to the disc.

Finally, after what has been mostly suffering, we are given a gift. Alicia Keys redeems herself with her own sequel: Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down. This is Keys at her best, her strong vocals soar and the song is invigorating and pulsating and finally breathes some life into what thus far has been a mangled mishmash of music that supposedly represents four of the strongest, most sophisticated women in the country, not to mention symbolizes one of the world’s most vibrant cities.  At this point, I think we’re turning a corner, and I’m elated.

So yeah, we turned a corner alright. What I failed to realize was that corner take us down an alley to a Whitney Houston song graveyard from 1986. Jennifer Hudson had a beautiful voice, as does Leona Lewis…but if I wanted to listen to two grown women modulate and coo throatily about love being a color, well, I guess I would never want that, would I? WHO WOULD? After the joy that was Alicia Keys, this song was just insulting, a letdown and ultimately, irritating. I started to hate the cd case, the cover art and myself for the self-inflicted torture.

Now everything was going downhill, and fast. There are two songs no one ever needs to hear again. One is I Will Survive, and the other is I am Woman. Why anyone felt the need to have the four stars of Sex and the City belt out Helen Reddy’s tired old song is beyond me. What’s worse, the women sound as if they’re auditioning for a community theater production. It’s painful. It’s then I realize the soundtrack’s producers are just fucking with us – because they follow this earsore with three standards sung by the Sex and the City Men’s Choir. And I will not say any more on that subject, because my thoughts are so vicious I can’t bear to type them.

And really, there’s not much else to say about this disappointment. Liza Minnelli does a decent version of Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye and Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors is included for some random reason. I think there might be a couple of other songs, but let’s just let them fade into the wind, as this soundtrack is sure to do.

While I was a fan of the show and enjoyed the first movie, I haven’t felt compelled to see the sequel. Many reviewers have faulted the film for being out of touch with the modern economy – failing to account for the shift in style and tastes that has accompanied the economic downturn of the past two years. If anything, my thoughts on the soundtrack echo those criticisms – the songs are bloated and indulgent of a limited taste level with little thought to how times and style have changed.

So yeah, download the Alicia Keys song. Then move on.

If you ever get inspired to sing "I am Woman," please don't. Just don't.

call me brenda.

So, while last week’s ENT appointment and MRI found my brain tumor-free, the visit did give me the gift of a summer cold. This one is a doozy – achey bones and muscles, watery eyes, stuffed up nose and a chest cough. And while sometimes when I get a cold my voice gets all hoarse and Kathleen Turner-y, so I don’t mind as much, this time I sound like Brenda Vaccaro after a sandpaper bender. Not pretty. In fact, it’s a little scary.

I know Brenda from her work in Supergirl and Midnight Cowboy (two films often uttered in the same breath) - I wasn't aware she had such an active life as a celebrity tampon endorser.


I do not have a tumor or any other abnormalities in my brain (go ahead and insert your joke about my abnormal brain here. Hilarious.) I wasn’t really worried that I did, however I would like a cause behind my ever-increasing ear pain.

Side note – I loved the MRI experience. Seriously, it was a delightful, relaxing experience. I’m sure the sedatives played a big role in my enjoyment, but whatever. I’m considering it a very expensive spa day.

You know life is good when a friend calls at 5:00 am and makes you laugh for an hour.


Tomorrow morning I’m going to slide into a dark tunnel, trapped in a tube so they can take pictures of my brain. I’ll be sedated, so I’m not terribly worried about the process (though I’m horrible at staying still and not fidgeting, so I expect the techs will be frustrated with me). I am a bit concerned about the outcome – not that they’ll find something (well, aside from my big, beautiful brain), but that I’ll go through this process and we’ll have no additional information about what’s going on in my head. Which means more doctors, more tests and more time in waiting rooms listening to women CLIP THEIR FINGERNAILS. Because yes, there are days when I’d prefer to have a brain tumor over listening to a woman groom herself.

Not my brain. I bet mine is prettier.

optimist prime.

There are definitely times when I think upbeat images like these are for suckers and saps. Then there are times when these little posters and cards bring me epiphanies and make me weepy or determined or a combination of the two.  

It's a beautiful day, today and every day.


When your hormones attack, it’s easy to get bogged down in little irritants. Hell, that’s easy for me most of the time. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m sort of bitchy and can be kinda judgy.  But I don’t want to be. I want to be nice and sweet and full of light. So yeah, I’m working on it.


Sometimes it takes an effort to be an optimist.

Okay, enough of this mushy shit.  Have a good day.

lady writer.

I guess products  targeted at women (and the associated advertising) have always pretty much sucked. Still, I’m glad I live in a time where (I think. I hope) my dream job title doesn’t have to be prefaced with lady. Oh, and that I don’t have to wear a girdle.

I bet there are a lot of pissed off j-school grads out there. The secret to a high powered editor's job really was in your pants.


Do not be afraid of evil consequences. That's a sterling recommendation if I've ever heard one!

Do we even have to wonder why women have low self-esteem? How can you win when you have to worry about your weight in so many different lighting scenarios?

And the best for last…

This deodorant's active ingredient (hexachlorophene) is a carcinogen that causes skin lesions and ulcers and spinal cord damage. But hey, your vagina smells fresh!