Roxiticus Desperate Housewives

The Best of the Roxiticus Valley: Mendham, Bernardsville, Chester, Far Hills, Peapack-Gladstone, Morris and Somerset County, New Jersey

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Thanks! A Quick Update On My Mom’s Surgery

March 10th, 2010 · No Comments

Just a quick post to let you know that my mom is doing AMAZINGLY well after her hip replacement reconstruction surgery this evening… I called her room, expecting she’d be too out of it to answer the phone, and she picked up and sounded like she wanted to dance down the halls of the hospital.

So thanks… to God for answering my prayers, to Dr. Goldman for taking such good care of my mom (the confident voice mail he left me said “that hip won’t be giving your mom any more trouble”), and to all of you for your thoughts and prayers. To friends near and far, I tried to send out a couple of personal emails and hope you received them.

→ No CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Music Monday: That’s How You Know

March 8th, 2010 · 3 Comments

After a rough week — my 84-year-old mom is in the hospital after dislocating her hip for the third time in a month on Thursday and is having very complicated surgery on Wednesday — I considered a repeat of my October “Lightning Crashes” post, but I’ve decided to go with something light and breezy instead of focusing on the cycles of life, death, and growing old.

London and Maddie have been into American Idol this season, staying up way past their bedtimes to vote for their favorites. Our entire family thinks Crystal Bowersox is likely to win it all, but Maddie has rooted for 17-year-old Katie Stevens since her audition. The judges keep telling Katie to sing something “young” and “current,” but it is clear that Katie is an old soul who can’t relate to Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, or the Jonas Brothers. We did some thinking, and came up with a few suggestions for Katie Stevens: something young, but from another decade (e.g., “Hopelessly Devoted to You” by Olivia Newton-John in Grease or It’s In His Kiss (Shoop Shoop Song) done by Merry Clayton and Betty Everett in the 60s, covered by Cher in the movie Mermaids in 1990 and featured on Roxy’s Bay Head Blog this week) or something from a Disney movie or Broadway show that would show off Katie’s “big voice”… like “That’s How You Know” from Enchanted… two summers ago, that’s all the girls wanted to sing in the car on the way to Annie’s Playhouse Summer Stars. If Katie Stevens wants to spice it up a little, there’s a Disney Rock version by Demi Lovato, too…

Ladies, enjoy the McDreamy eye candy…

(A Capella, Giselle)
How does she know you love her?
How does she know she’s yours?
(Marlon Saunders - Calypso Singer)
How does she know that you love her?
(Giselle)
How do you show her you love her?
(Together)
How does she know that you really really truly love her?
How does she know that you love her?
How do you show her you love her?
How does she know that you really really truly love her?
(Giselle)
It’s not enough to take the one you love for granted
You must remind her or she’ll be inclined to say
“How do I know he loves me?
How do I know he’s mine?”

Well does he leave a little note to tell you you are on his mind?
Send you yellow flowers when the sky is Grey? Heyy!
He’ll find a new way to show you a little bit every day
That’s how you know
That’s how you know he’s your love

(Calypso Singer)
You got to show her you need her
Don’t treat her like a mind reader
Each little something to lead her to believe you love her
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com

(Giselle)
Everybody wants to live happily ever after
Everybody wants to know their true love is true
How do you know he loves you?
How do you know he’s yours?

Well does he take you out dancing just so he can hold you close?
Dedicate a song with words meant just for you?
He’ll find someway to tell you with the little things he’ll do
That’s how you know
That’s how you know he’s your love
He’s your love

That’s how you know he loves you
That’s how you know it’s true

Because he’ll wear your favorite color just so he can match your eyes
Plan a private picnic by the fire’s glow
His heart will be yours forever
Something everyday will show
That’s how you know (x5)
That’s how you know he’s your love
That’s how you know
That’s how you know he’s your love

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava’s Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.


PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

→ 3 CommentsTags: american idol · crystal bowersox · katie stevens · lyrics · music monday · that's how you know

Maddie’s Puppy Planning

March 3rd, 2010 · 2 Comments

After extensive research, including slumber parties with our Bay Head neighbors’ cockapoo, Cashew, we have determined that London is not allergic to cockapoos. Rex and I have told the girls that, if all goes right with business and scheduling, our family will pick up an 8-week-old cockapoo puppy at the end of June. Maddie has been hard at work, compiling a journal of everything she needs to know about taking care of a dog — feeding, grooming, training, etc. She will soon start posting all of her puppy planning to her blog, I Love Dogs and So Do You, so we hope you’ll stop by Maddie’s blog and check in on our puppy progress…We think we’ll be ready!

→ 2 CommentsTags: Maddie · cockapoo puppy · i love dogs and so do you blog

London and Maddie Built the Biggest SnowPeople Ever

March 1st, 2010 · 1 Comment

Update on Saturday, March 6th: Even though I will continue to snuggle by my living room fireplace for another four to six weeks, temperatures in the Roxiticus Valley have been in the high 40s/low 50s for much of the past week. Unlike Frosty, our snow people did not hurry on their way. After the four-day snowed in weekend, London and Maddie headed back to school on Monday. While they were celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday, our four snow people tipped over and melted away. I’m still surprised at how much our family is going to miss the snow!

→ 1 CommentTags: snow people

Music Monday: Henry the Eighth by Herman’s Hermits

March 1st, 2010 · 7 Comments

I don’t think I can explain why this catchy little ditty has been running through my head, but I started to sing it to London and Maddie on our way home from their modern dance lessons at Garden State Ballet the other night, and now my girls have been singing it, too. I think we decided that too many contestants in the early rounds of American Idol chose the same song, so to avoid competing with others singing the same song, the Butter Bites could use “Henry the VIII” for their audition for Simon Cowell’s new show, The X Factor. We dare you to listen and try to stop singing it over and over and over again. This fun video was created by a middle school student for a social studies project… you’ll see a lot of the number 8… which is particularly relevant for Maddie, who turns 8 in March… we are counting down the days to her birthday and her slumber party.

I’m Henry the eighth I am
Henry the eighth I am, I am
I got married to the widow next door
She’s been married seven times before
And every one was an Henry (Henry)
She wouldn’t have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam)
I’m her eighth old man, I’m Henry
Henry the eighth I am

Second verse same as the first

I’m Henry the eighth I am
Henry the eighth I am, I am
I got married to the widow next door
She’s been married seven times before
And every one was an Henry (Henry)
She wouldn’t have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam)
I’m her eighth old man, I’m Henry
Henry the eighth I am

—— lead guitar ——

I’m Henry the eighth I am
Henry the eighth I am, I am
I got married to the widow next door
She’s been married seven times before
And every one was an Henry (Henry)
She wouldn’t have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam)
I’m her eighth old man, I’m Henry
Henry the eighth I am

H-E-N-R-Y
Henry (Henry)
Henry (Henry)
Henry the eighth I am, I am
Henry the eighth I am

Yeah!

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava’s Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.


PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

→ 7 CommentsTags: henry the 8th · herman's hermits · lyrics · music monday

News You Can Use: Simple Kids’ Snowboards for London and Maddie from the Sports Section in Mendham, NJ

February 27th, 2010 · 4 Comments

Roxy’s loyal readers know that, a few weeks back I posted about trying to find a simple kids snowboard for London and Maddie. Since we’ve had so much snow (including four snow days off from school so far this year), I’ve been thrilled about London and Maddie’s new love of the snow… snowmen, snow angels, sledding, and my hope of finding them a simple kids snowboard to use to slide down the hill in our front yard in the Roxiticus Valley (not on the mountains of Whistler, Vail or Deer Valley).


Given the amount of snow we’ve had this year and coinciding with the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, it seemed like the right time for nine-year-old London and eight-year-old Maddie to try snowboarding. However, after doing some basic Internet research on kids’ snowboarding, I had decided I would need Roxy (the snowboard and clothing company) to sponsor Roxy (the blogger) with London and Maddie’s first set of snowboard equipment (stay tuned for happy ending that doesn’t involve sponsorship). While I thought it would be fun for each of my girls to have one of those Roxy snowboards with the cool graphic designs just to slide down the hill in front of our house, I didn’t realize that snowboarding could be as complicated and expensive as skiiing… snowboard, bindings, boots, helmet… While I waited for the snowboard offer to come in from Roxy to Roxy for next season, I considered tracking down a couple of those plastic cafeteria trays used for snowboarding back in my days as a college student at Syracuse University.

Last weekend, temperatures reached the high 40’s and I decided spring was here. However, the snow returned to the Roxiticus Valley on Thursday and Friday.

Continue reading

→ 4 CommentsTags: Roxy snowboards · best of mendham nj · snow · snowboards · sports section

Err On the Side of Caution

February 23rd, 2010 · No Comments

There have been a lot of stories in the news lately that (1) break my heart, (2) remind me that there are a lot of sick, sick people in the world, and (3) make me want to tell parents and anyone who will listen to err on the side of caution.

Here in New Jersey, police continue to search for 3-month-old Zara Malini-Lin Abdur-Raheem, who has been missing since February 16th. After abducting the girl, her father, Shamsid-Din Abdur-Raheem, told police he threw her off the Driscoll Bridge and into the Raritan River. New statewide Amber Alert guidelines now under consideration would lift some of the current restrictions on issuing an alert when a parent abducts a child. I’m sure the ACLU and their ilk will have some reason to disagree, but please tell me what we would have to lose as a society by issuing an Amber alert immediately and asking questions later.

In nearby Delaware, pediatrician Earl Bradley, 56, has been indicted on 471 counts of sexual crimes against 103 children at his practice, and authorities are urging former patients and parents with any information to come forward. All but one of the alleged victims were girls and some were as young as 3 months old, prosecutors said. Charges against Bradley include first-degree and second-degree rape, first-degree unlawful sexual contact, first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree assault, sexual exploitation of a child and continuing sexual abuse of a child. “These were crimes committed against the most vulnerable among us — those without voices,” Attorney General Beau Biden said. The crimes were “committed by someone with whom an entire community and parents had placed their trust.” Parents, no reputable pediatrician will ever ask you to leave your child’s side for any kind of a medical examination. Ever. No exceptions. Never let your child out of your sight when they need you most.

→ No CommentsTags: Dr. Mel Levine · amber alert · baby zara · dr. earl bradley

Music Monday Earthquake in the Roxiticus Valley: I Feel the Earth Move by Carole King

February 22nd, 2010 · 3 Comments

Roxy and family didn’t actually feel the earth move under our feet this morning, we’re all just fine, but this just in from the Star Ledger about the Somerset County NJ earthquake on Sunday, February 21st:

BERNARDSVILLE — A 2.6 magnitude earthquake hit just before 9 a.m., prompting scores of phone calls to police but no reported damage, according to Police Sgt. John Remian.

The earthquake’s epicenter was reported in Gladstone, about seven miles away, at 8:59 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey website.

But Bernardsville residents have logged the highest number of phone calls reporting the quake, according to the USGA.

About 100 people called Bernardsville police in the following minutes, Remian said, after experiencing a loud rumble then hearing what sounded like a boom. “It was felt by everybody here,” Remian said from police headquarters. “It felt like the whole room was shaking around us, and a loud exposion afterward.”

Remian said the area, which sits on the Ramapo Fault Line, experienced a 1.5 magnitude earthquake in January. Though there has been no reported damage after this morning’s earthquake, Remian said, “this was more substantial than the last one.”

The county’s Office of Emergency Management was notified, he said, and Bernardsville Police sent out an advisory notice through the town’s e-mail and text messaging system.

I hadn’t figured out my Music Monday post when I saw the headline, making Carole King “I Feel the Earth Move” an easy choice. Here’s a terrific live performance of the 70’s hit:

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever you’re around
Oh baby

When I see your face
Mellow as the month of May
Oh darling I can’t stand it
When you look at me that way
I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever you’re around

Oh darling
When you’re near me
And you tenderly call my name
I know that,

My emotions
Are something I just can’t tame
I’ve just got to have you baby
I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down
I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down

I just lose control
Down to my very soul
I get hot and cold all over

I feel the earth move under my feet
I feel the sky tumbling down
tumbling down, tumbling down…

 

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava’s Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.



PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

And again this week, the lovely Genie Princess zoomed in from across the globe and “got the chop” as first commenter.

 

→ 3 CommentsTags: I feel the earth move · carole king · earthquake · lyrics · music monday

Next Year… Snowboards for Maddie and London

February 20th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Maddie and London have been on school vacation for the past week, but since Rex and I have been crazy busy with work we were not able to get away to sun and fun in Laguna Beach. Instead, perhaps inspired by the Winter Olympics, the girls have been out in the snow every day, sledding down the hill, building snowmen, and having a blast.

They’ve been standing up to ride down the hill on their red plastic sled, so I started to look into kids’ snowboards. We were over at Modell’s to buy softball gloves for London and Maddie’s first year of Little League (little known trivia: Roxy was a fast-pitch softball pitcher on the Branchburg Central middle school team in the 7th and 8th grade) and I asked about snowboards… they were sold out! I guess everyone in the Greater Roxiticus Valley had the same idea after watching the half pipe events in Vancouver… though I have to confess, I’m not sure I could watch my kids doing all those crazy snowboard tricks, even if/when they had grown up to be Olympic snowboarding champions.

A few hours later…

Back from the girls’ basketball clinic and having done some basic Internet research on kids’ snowboarding, I can safely say I’m going to need Roxy (the snowboard and clothing company) to sponsor Roxy (the blogger) with London and Maddie’s first set of snowboard equipment. While I thought it would be fun for each of my girls to have one of those Roxy snowboards with the cool graphic designs just to slide down the hill in front of our house, I didn’t realize that snowboarding is as complicated and expensive as skiiing… snowboard, bindings, boots, helmet… and with temperatures in the Roxiticus Valley reaching a balmy 43 degrees and toppling our snowman, it feels like Spring is here! While I wait for the snowboard offer to come in from Roxy to Roxy for next season, maybe I can find a couple of those plastic cafeteria trays used for snowboarding back in my days as a college student at Syracuse University.

And as I create a long, rambling post, London and Maddie always bring me back to the simpler things in life… they don’t need a trip to California, or lunch at American Girl Place, or $1,000 of snowboarding gear to be happy. They make snow angels. They play in the backyard. I brought two of their friends home with us after basketball and the four girls are in the basement singing pop songs and making up a puppet show. And Rex and I are enjoying another great fire blazing in the living room fireplace…where confidential materials and marked-up non-disclosure agreements burn brighter than ever.

→ 1 CommentTags: 2010 olympics · Roxy snowboards · cafeteria tray snowboarding · snowboards

2010 Olympics Music Monday: K.D. Lang Sings Hallelujah

February 15th, 2010 · 6 Comments

Since Friday, when the 2010 Winter Olympics began in Vancouver, Canada, our family has tuned in to see the opening ceremonies, speed skating, ski jumping, and luge competition. While the media have gone out of their way to yammer about a technical glitch with lighting the cauldron to start the Olympic games, I found the opening ceremonies quite beautiful and compelling, even with only three of the four flame chutes in operation.

We were all saddened by the death of 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, and the opening ceremonies provided several fitting tributes. All my life, I’ve had the oddest grief reaction to accidental death… I can’t stop thinking I need to warn the person not to do whatever caused his or her death. Back in 1998, Rex and I returned from our honeymoon to learn that a close friend and client had died after falling from the roof of his house while trying to install a satellite dish. For years afterward, I would awaken from nightmares in which I couldn’t get there in time to tell him not to go up on the roof of his house. On Thursday night, 1988 Olympic bobsledder Mark Wasko gave a terrific presentation to London and Maddie’s 4-H Prep club, and we learned how thrilling and dangerous the sport can be. While I know the Olympic authorities have done all they can to make the luge track safer for the athletes, I’ll still offer up a prayer for the safety of all of the competitors.

I couldn’t embed the video of K.D. Lang’s mesmerizing performance of Hallelujah from Friday night’s 2010 Olympic opening ceremonies in Vancouver (copyright violations), but I did track down the following video from a prior performance for this week’s Music Monday post:

I knew I had heard the song before, but couldn’t remember where… embarrassed when I tracked down the source as Rufus Wainwright on the soundtrack from Shrek! Leonard Cohen wrote and performed the original lyrics:

Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LadyJava’s Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.


PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Mariuca has already zoomed in as first commenter… check out her latest post on Mariuca’s Perfume Gallery for a Valentine candy heart quiz:

→ 6 CommentsTags: 2010 olympics · hallelujah · kd lang · lyrics · olympics

Roxy’s Winter Wonderland

February 13th, 2010 · No Comments


After the blizzard of 2010 dropped a foot of snow on the Roxiticus Valley and gave the girls two snow days, London and Maddie have a week off from school to play in the snow. Rex and I will be hard at work next week, but we’ve settled in for a long Presidents’ Day weekend…watching the Olympics, relaxing by the fireplace, and celebrating Valentine’s Day with lobsters at home tonight and dinner at Verve in Somerville, NJ on Sunday.

→ No CommentsTags: restaurants · valentines day · verve

Music Monday: Pants on the Ground by "General" Larry Platt

February 8th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Okay, okay… London, Maddie and I just can’t get the song out of our head, so I’m making “Pants on the Ground” my Music Monday post this week. So for those of you who’ve already had enough of “General” Larry Platt, I offer apologies, and for the rest of you, I offer catchy lyrics, a video of the Pants On The Ground Remix, and the back story:

The Catchy Lyrics:
Pants on the ground,
Pants on the ground,
Lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground!

With the gold in your mouth,
Hat turned sideways,
Pants hit the ground,
Call yourself a cool cat,
Lookin’ like a fool,
Walkin’ downtown with your pants on the ground!

Get it up, hey!
Get your pants off the ground,
Lookin’ like a fool,
Walkin’ talkin’ with your pants on the ground.

Get it up, hey!
Get your pants off the ground,
Lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground

The Back Story:
We got to wondering whether Larry Platt was really a General. He’s not, but he has earned his nickname. I did a little Internet research and found this story over on USAToday.com:

Take a look at the photograph below from the home page of the Civil Rights Veterans Movement website. See the young man on the left, looking directly into the camera? That’s Larry Platt, age 16.

“We had come by bus in 1963 to a church in Savannah, Georgia to plan a march to desegregate the city,” Platt writes. “Reverend Hosea Williams and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were our leaders. That particular planned march was canceled and we were singing to raise our spirits before returning home.”

Platt worked with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Georgia, organizing sit-ins in the South.

He was beaten during the Bloody Sunday march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery.

He got his nickname, “General,” from the Rev. Hosea Williams because of his heroic efforts on behalf of the civil-rights movement.

The Georgia General Assembly proclaimed Sept. 4, 2001, Larry Platt Day in Atlanta, because of “his great energy and commitment to equality and the protection of the innocent and for his outstanding service to the Atlanta community and the citizens of Georgia.”

He remains a community activist in the Atlanta area and recently has become known for publicly protesting foreclosures.

I agree with USAToday’s Idol Chatter:

If anybody in that Atlanta crowd deserved his 15 minutes of fame on national television, it was Larry Platt.

“Pants on the Ground” refers to the gangsta look of wearing oversized jeans literally falling off with your underwear sticking out and baseball caps sideways or backwards. Sing along with Roxy now: “Mouth full of gold…hat to the side… Lookin like a FOOL with your pants on the ground.”

When “General” Larry Platt tells you to get your pants off the ground, you’d best listen.

I just might have to get my girls these commemerative T-shirts from Donkey Tees.

And on the subject of American Idol, I offer Roxy’s lament:
Just when London, Maddie and I were starting to get into the show, making our plans for the girls to audition in 2018, we hear a rumor that show producers are in talks with skanky-haired dirtbag Howard Stern to replace Simon Cowell. I have disliked Howard Stern since I was a teenager when I had aspirations of becoming a disc jockey and owning radio stations one day. Howard Stern showed up with his foul mouth and misogynist attitude on WNBC radio and was exactly the opposite of my DJ role model.

Stern is FOX’s first choice to take over Cowell’s role, an insider tells the New York Post. “Idol bosses think he’d be even nastier than Simon,” a source says. “They know he would be great TV and would clash with the other judges such as Ellen DeGeneres and the contestants.” What they don’t get is that Simon is “likeable nasty.” If most mothers saw someone who looked, spoke, and behaved like Howard Stern at a restaurant or playground, we would steer our children far, far away from that derelict (see “Dirty Oars” post on Slightly Drunk blog). So I have no plans to invite dirty Howard into my family room on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I’ll just have to hope that FOX pays attention to what the voters over at People magazine online are saying.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LadyJava’s Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.


PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

→ 1 CommentTags: american idol · general larry platt · howard stern · is larry platt really a general? · music monday · pants on the ground

Ready for the Weekend (with our Pants on the Ground)

February 5th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Rex, London, Maddie and I certainly weren’t the only ones to chuckle over 62-year-old Larry Platt’s appearance on the Atlanta auditions for American Idol. A few weeks later, since every time one of us bursts into the song, it still makes us smile, I thought I would share it with any of you who missed out.

For your fun Friday, we offer up the Pants on the Ground Remix featuring “General” Larry Platt:

We got to wondering whether Larry Platt was really a General. He’s not, but he has earned his nickname. I did a little Internet research and found this story over on USAToday.com:

Take a look at the photograph below from the home page of the Civil Rights Veterans Movement website. See the young man on the left, looking directly into the camera? That’s Larry Platt, age 16.

“We had come by bus in 1963 to a church in Savannah, Georgia to plan a march to desegregate the city,” Platt writes. “Reverend Hosea Williams and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were our leaders. That particular planned march was canceled and we were singing to raise our spirits before returning home.”

Platt worked with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Georgia, organizing sit-ins in the South.

He was beaten during the Bloody Sunday march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery.

He got his nickname, “General,” from the Rev. Hosea Williams because of his heroic efforts on behalf of the civil-rights movement.

The Georgia General Assembly proclaimed Sept. 4, 2001, Larry Platt Day in Atlanta, because of “his great energy and commitment to equality and the protection of the innocent and for his outstanding service to the Atlanta community and the citizens of Georgia.”

He remains a community activist in the Atlanta area and recently has become known for publicly protesting foreclosures.

I agree with USAToday’s Idol Chatter:

If anybody in that Atlanta crowd deserved his 15 minutes of fame on national television, it was Larry Platt.

“Pants on the Ground” refers to the gangsta look of wearing oversized jeans literally falling off with your underwear sticking out and baseball caps sideways or backwards. Sing along with Roxy now: “Mouth full of gold…hat to the side… Lookin like a FOOL with your pants on the ground.”

When “General” Larry Platt tells you to get your pants off the ground, you’d best listen.

I just might have to get my girls these commemerative T-shirts from Donkey Tees.

→ 1 CommentTags: general larry platt · is larry platt really a general? · larry platt · pants on the ground

Blizzard On Its Way to the Roxiticus Valley?

February 4th, 2010 · No Comments

This just in from the National Weather Service. For the Greater Roxiticus Valley (Morris and Somerset County, NJ), there’s a Winter Storm Warning in effect starting tomorrow (Friday) at 6:00pm until 7pm EST on Saturday.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MOUNT HOLLY HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM FRIDAY TO 7 PM EST SATURDAY.

A STORM SYSTEM DEVELOPING OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO TODAY WILL PASS OFF THE CAROLINA COAST FRIDAY NIGHT AND THEN CONTINUE TO THE NORTHEAST ON SATURDAY. SNOW FROM THIS SYSTEM WILL OVERSPREAD THE REGION FROM SOUTH TO NORTH FRIDAY AFTERNOON… THEN CONTINUE THROUGH MUCH OF SATURDAY. SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL TOTALS OF 8 TO 12 INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER THE WARNING AREA. STRENGTHENING WINDS FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY MAY CREATE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WHICH WILL CAUSE ADDITIONAL HAZARDS.

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED.

We will continue to monitor the latest forecasts from the National Weather Service.

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Winter Wonderland Causes 2-Hour Snow Delay in the Roxiticus Valley

February 3rd, 2010 · 1 Comment

I’ll try to post some photos of the winter wonderland here in the Roxiticus Valley when I finally get the girls up the driveway and onto the school bus. Kris Harrison (the Mendham Township Superintendent of Schools) is really the only person I like to get a call from at five in the morning… sometimes a two hour snow delay is just what our family needs to pay back the sleep bank (and we were well into our sleep bank line of credit after London’s birthday slumber party). I’ve got a roaring fire going in the home office, Rex is working out in the basement gym, and London and Maddie are snoozing away for another half hour.

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Punxsutawney Phil vs. Roxiticus Roxy: Groundhog’s Day 2010

February 2nd, 2010 · 1 Comment

Back in February 2008, when (as usual)Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and dealt us all six more weeks of winter, I decided to get my own Groundhog…. I went outside to discuss the matter with one of the guys (or chunky groundhog girls) who raids our tomato garden every summer.

When I returned from the backyard following my Groundhog’s Day 2008 interview with our very own Roxiticus Valley Groundhog, I learned that she wanted to be known as Roxiticus Roxy and her point of view on shadows and springtime? “The clouds are so thick in the sky I can’t get a glimpse of the sun, never mind my own shadow. For those of you fortunate enough to live in the Roxiticus Valley (including Mendham, Chester, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack-Gladstone and Bedminster, NJ), Spring is Here! Now get online and order me up some heirloom tomato plants for my family to enjoy this summer.”
This year, London, Maddie and I went out to speak with our Groundhog friend, Roxiticus Roxy, but she refused to come out. “What are you people thinking? Don’t you read the weather report? 14 degrees, feels like zeeero? It is way too cold for me to come out looking for my shadow. Interpret that any way you wish, but I’m going back to sleep.”
Here’s a link to a Punxsutawney Phil coloring page…. please instruct your child to cross out Punxsutawney Phil and proudly color Roxiticus Roxy: http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/print/groundhog-coloring-page/
Our northern neighbors in Canada have their own answer to Punxsutawney Phil. His name is Wiarton Willie and he saw his shadow today. Here is his web site.

→ 1 CommentTags: groundhog day · punxsutawney phil · roxiticus roxy

Music Monday: Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks

February 1st, 2010 · 2 Comments

This week’s Music Monday post takes me back to my childhood… I was 8 years old in 1974 when “Seasons in the Sun” became a worldwide hit for Terry Jacks.

This weekend we celebrated London’s ninth birthday, and I’m feeling grateful for my family’s good health and happiness. On London’s birthday, I learned that a client’s high school age son has been diagnosed with leukemia… while they will treat it aggressively and will have access to the best doctors at their local children’s hospital, the odds of beating it are not good, so we pray for our client and her son. I spend a lot of time thinking about how, without frightening my children, I can help them to understand how very fortunate we are… how unimportant our day-to-day challenges (forgetting a homework assignment, losing a glove, a playground argument) are in the grand scheme of things.

“Seasons in the Sun,” a dying protagonist’s farewell to relatives and friends, is an English-language adaptation of the song “Le Moribond” by Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel. The original French-language lyrics included sarcasm and references to his wife’s infidelity - but these are often missing from the English-language adaptation.

Goodbye to you, my trusted friend.
We’ve known each other since we were nine or ten.
Together we climbed hills and trees.
Learned of love and ABC’s,
skinned our hearts and skinned our knees.
Goodbye my friend, it’s hard to die,
when all the birds are singing in the sky,
Now that the spring is in the air.
Pretty girls are everywhere.
When you see them I’ll be there.
We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.
But the hills that we climbed
were just seasons out of time.


Goodbye, Papa, please pray for me,
I was the black sheep of the family.
You tried to teach me right from wrong.
Too much wine and too much song,
wonder how I got along.
Goodbye, Papa, it’s hard to die
when all the birds are singing in the sky,
Now that the spring is in the air.
Little children everywhere.
When you see them I’ll be there.
We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.
But the wine and the song,
like the seasons, all have gone.

Goodbye, Michelle, my little one.
You gave me love and helped me find the sun.
And every time that I was down
you would always come around
and get my feet back on the ground.
Goodbye, Michelle, it’s hard to die
when all the bird are singing in the sky,
Now that the spring is in the air.
With the flowers everywhere.
I wish that we could both be there.
We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.
But the stars that we could reach
were just starfish on the beach

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.


PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

→ 2 CommentsTags: music monday · seasons in the sun · terry jacks

Survived the Slumber Party!!

January 31st, 2010 · No Comments

London’s birthday slumber party was a great success… the girls didn’t get to sleep until 2:30 in the morning, so we’re all a bit exhausted. Rex and I were pleased to find that London has a terrific bunch of girlfriends… polite, sweet, but FUN!

We baked the “popcorn bowl” cake ourselves… we’ve been practicing since the Christmas holidays and it came out just about perfect on the third try.

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Happy Birthday, London!!

January 29th, 2010 · 2 Comments

My baby girl turns nine (9) today!! Over the course of those nine wonderful years, we’ve moved from getting infant London to sleep through the night to wondering whether anyone will sleep through the night at her very first slumber party on Saturday…wish me luck!

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Goodbye, Uncle Joe

January 28th, 2010 · 2 Comments

My Uncle Joe passed away this morning. Last weekend, I had the chance to say goodbye. I’d like to make a special note of gratitude to the nurses who cared for him for so many years, and specifically the one who worked hard to wake him up on Sunday afternoon so that we could say goodbye. London and Maddie have always brightened his day, so the girls sang for Uncle Joe one last time… he woke up just long enough to smile through Grand Old Flag and Party in the U.S.A.

My sister has made arrangements for a true veteran’s burial at Arlington National Cemetery…full military honors, complete with a bugler and Gun Salute he deserves.

Even though we knew it was coming, I’m still filled with sadness…that more than 65 of his 90 years had to be so hard; guilt… that I couldn’t (or didn’t) do more for him; and a sense of relief and comfort that comes from my faith that he’ll soon be reunited with his beloved brother (my dad) in some form of a better, eternal life.

Goodbye Uncle Joe, we love you.

→ 2 CommentsTags: uncle joe · veteran's day

Terrorism in Roxy’s Hometown: Branchburg, New Jersey

January 25th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Back in December, before the school holidays, police arrested two teenagers who had planned a Columbine-like attack on Bridgewater Raritan High School and Immaculata High School (down the street from my alma mater in Somerville, NJ). As far as I know, that story never made national headlines, perhaps because they caught the would be murderers before they succeeded in their plan.

Tonight, I learned that the Branchburg Police (the same guys who show up to help my 84-year-old mom no matter how many times she falls and dislocates her hip) seized a grenade launcher and weapons cache from the Red Mill Inn motel room of a creepy terrorist-type after (thankfully) someone reported suspicious activity at the Quik-Chek convenience store on Route 28. Suspicious? I’d say! At the time of his arrest, Woodson was wearing a military-style ballistic vest with a reinforced steel plate and carrying a .223-caliber assault rifle that had been altered to fire .50-caliber ammunition. He was also carrying four loaded magazines with hollow-point ammunition.

Branchburg police confronted Woodson at 3:55 a.m. at the Quik-Chek convenience store on Route 28 after receiving a call reporting a suspicious person. Branchburg Patrolman Steven Cronce noticed a large bulge beneath the green, military-style jacket that Woodson was wearing, which was later determined to be the assault rifle with a defaced serial number. Woodson appeared “extremely nervous” as Cronce questioned him, and he ultimately ran from the convenience store toward the Regency Trailer Park on Route 22, Forrest. Officers found Woodson hiding in the bushes and he attempted to run, officers tackled him and used pepper spray to subdue Woodson. Nice work, guys…Branchburg’s finest, we salute you!

Detectives later searched Woodson’s room at the Red Mill Inn on Route 22 and found weapons including a .308-caliber semi-automatic assault rifle with a defaced serial number, a grenade launcher, hundreds .50-caliber and .308-caliber rounds, a police scanner, and the maps of a U.S. military installation and an out-of-state civilian community. Woodson, who is a Navy veteran, had been staying at the hotel since last week. Investigators also found Middle Eastern red and white traditional headdress.

What I want to know is what the hell the guy was doing in Branchburg, New Jersey??

Check out the whole story at the Star-Ledger’s NJ.com.

→ 2 CommentsTags: branchburg nj · terrorism

Music Monday: Two Versions of You Look So Good In Love — Jamie Foxx and George Strait

January 25th, 2010 · 6 Comments

London, Maddie and I spent part of our weekend catching up on the American Idol auditions. We’re late to the party… we just started tuning in during the final episodes last season, and the girls are hooked. After researching the American Idol age guidelines (minimum 16, maximum 28) and seeing a sister duo make it to Hollywood, the girls are already planning their first Butter Bites audition in 2018.

In the midst of an emotional weekend, I felt the emotional ups and downs of the auditions fit my mood and I found the show compelling. One of the singers who got a golden ticket to Hollywood was a guy named Bosa, who sang “You Look So Good in Love,” a song I knew from the days when I was a single Jersey girl in love with a country music d.j. in Boise, Idaho. The lyrics “take me there”… to a situation in which the singer, seeing his ex with another man, wistfully laments: “he must do something that I didn’t do, whatever he’s doing, it looks good on you.”

I told Rex, “I like this guy, partly because it is unusual to see a black guy singing country music.” However, as I searched YouTube for a George Strait video (scroll down for that one, too), the first one I found was this one from Jamie Foxx:

Oh how you sparkle, and oh how you shine.
That flush on your cheeks is more than the wine.
And he must do something that I didn’t do.
Whatever he’s doing, it looks good on you.

You look so good in love.
You want him, that’s easy to see.
You look so good in love.
And I wish you still wanted me.

He must have stolen some stars from the sky,
And gave them to you to wear in your eyes.
I had my chances, but I set you free.
And now I wonder why I couldn’t see.

You look so good in love.
You want him, that’s easy to see.
You look so good in love.
And I wish you still wanted me.

Darling I’ve wasted a lot of years not seeing the real you,
But tonight your beauty is shining through.
And I never took the time to let you know,
So before he takes you away please let me say.

You look so good in love.
You want him, that’s easy to see.
You look so good in love.
And I wish you still wanted me.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.


PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

→ 6 CommentsTags: george strait · jamie foxx · lyrics · music monday · you look so good in love

Goodbye, Uncle Joe

January 22nd, 2010 · 1 Comment

My uncle is dying. I’m filled with sadness…that more than 65 of his 90 years had to be so hard; guilt… that I couldn’t (or didn’t) do more for him; and a sense of relief and comfort that comes from my faith that he’ll soon be reunited with his beloved brother (my dad) in some form of a better, eternal life.

My dad, who passed away almost eight years ago at the age of 87, was a World War II veteran. His younger brother, my Uncle Joe, who celebrated his 90th birthday in August, also served in World War II, but has been a living reminder that our freedom isn’t free. He was shot in the head and spent the past 60+ years in the care of the U.S. Veteran’s Administration, primarily at the VA hospital in Lyons, New Jersey. Despite the fact that Uncle Joe enlisted in the army to serve his country instead of going to the University of Alabama on a baseball scholarship, he has never seemed bitter about his incredible sacrifice. He’s had his good days and his bad days, and is extremely hard of hearing, but his eyes always light up when London and Maddie dance into his room to share their latest news.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll head over to Lyons to say goodbye in person. Goodbye, Uncle Joe.

→ 1 CommentTags: uncle joe · veteran's day

MLK Music Monday: U2’s Pride (In the Name of Love)

January 18th, 2010 · 6 Comments

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?

This Music Monday post honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come here to justify
One man to overthrow
In the name of love!
One man in the name of love
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resists
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

…nobody like you…there’s nobody like you…

Mmm…mmm…mmm…
Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love…

First commenter this week goes to Mariuca, who posted U2’s Pride for Music Monday back in March 2009.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.


PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

→ 6 CommentsTags: MLK · U2 · lyrics · martin luther king jr · music monday · pride in the name of love

Flesh-Free No More! Back to Sammy’s in Mendham Tonight!!

January 16th, 2010 · No Comments

Starting on January 1st, for ten days, Rex was following a “detoxification diet” at the recommendation of his nutritionist, Corinne Bush at the Far Hills Pharmacy. Thankfully, he continued to cook for the rest of the family, so London, Maddie and I devoured steaks and lamb chops while Rex went “flesh free” and loaded his plate with salads, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Tonight, we celebrate Rex’s return to the flesh with rib eye steaks at Sammy’s Ye Olde Cider Mill Restaurant in Mendham, NJ. I will try to post a few photos from tonight’s festivities.

→ No CommentsTags: Sammy's Ye Olde Cider Mill Restaurant · sammy's