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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True Companion, Won’t You Reconsider Your Choice of Name?

January 11th, 2010 · 4 Comments

At the Adult Entertainment Expo in Vegas over the weekend, True Companion (a company in nearby Lincoln Park, New Jersey — no doubt a fan of Roxy’s Best Of… New Jersey) introduced the world’s first sex robot, and her name is… Roxxxy.

According to her inventor, Douglas Hines, Roxxy, the self-described world’s first sex robot, is not about sex. She’s about artificial intelligence and preserving the unique but finite personality of an individual in the potentially infinite realm of technology. For Hines, Roxxxy’s inspiration was a friend who died during the September 11th terrorist attacks. Hines said he wanted his friend’s children to grow up and still be able to interact with their father. The former Bell Technologies engineer began thinking more seriously about artificial intelligence and its implications in today’s society.

However, with the non-sexual robot companion market being pretty slim, Hines’ concept was changed in order to capitalize on the adult entertainment industry.

Hello, Roxxxy!

If she were human, Roxxxy might be described as having split personality disorder. The robot has five distinct but customizable personalities — Frigid Farrah, Wild Wendy, S&M Susan, Young (barely 18, the press release clarifies) and Mature Martha — as well as the capacity for the owner to create unique personalities. Roxxxy will react differently to physical interaction based on the personality selected. If you take Farrah’s hand, she will tell you she enjoys holding it. If you take Wendy’s hand, she’ll tell you she has a place for you to put it. Roxxy’s unique personalities will be “swappable” by True Companion owners, who will have to subscribe to a monthly service. It’s basically wife swapping without the “extra implications,” Hines explained.

Remember, however, that it isn’t all about sex. (If you’re curious, though, the doll has three “input centers.”) “Sex only goes so far, then, you have to talk to the person,” Hines said. “We’re more interested in creating companions.”

Roxxxy should be able to learn her owner’s likes and dislikes, as should her male counterpart Rocky (being marketed toward gay males). Will it lead to a reduced need for girlfriends and boyfriends? Only time — and men willing to pay a price point of $7,000 and up — will tell.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Roxxxy · sex robot · true companion

Music Monday: A Little New Year’s Inspiration from Mick Jagger — She’s So Cold

January 11th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Before I get to my Music Monday post this week, I have to note that Rex & I took Maddie and London to the 4-H Prep New Year’s party on Saturday night…. we had a great time, lots of food (everyone brought something different), a disc jockey with dancing and games for the kids, and I won a contest!! To decide whether the boys’ team or the girls’ team received their ice cream sundaes first, the deejay played the first few notes of an ’80s song for the adults to “name that tune”…Roxy guessed “Keep On Loving You” by REO Speedwagon and the girls won!!

Now the Music Monday theme: the temperatures in the Roxiticus Valley have fallen into the single digits, with wind chill factor making it so cold that even Rex has given up his shorts and polo shirts for pants, long sleeves, and a jacket. I needed a little heat, so I tracked down this energetic video of Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones singing “She’s So Cold” on YouTube… has anyone else noticed that YouTube seems to be embedding advertising in their videos these days?

I’m so hot for her, I’m so hot for her
I’m so hot for her and she’s so cold
I’m so hot for her, I’m on fire for her
I’m so hot for her and she’s so cold

I’m the burning bush, I’m the burning fire
I’m the bleeding volcano
I’m so hot for her, I’m so hot for her
I’m so hot for her and she’s so cold

Yeah, I tried re-wiring her, tried re-firing her
I think her engine is permanently stalled
She’s so cold she’s so cold
She’s so cold cold cold
Like a tombstone
She’s so cold, she’s so cold
she’s so cold cold cold like an ice cream cone
She’s so cold she’s so cold
And when I touch her my hand just froze

Yeah, I’m so hot for hot for her, I’m so hot for her
I’m so hot for her and even so
Put your hand on the heat, put your hand on the heat
Aw C’mon baby, let’s go

She’s so cold, she’s so cold, cold, she’s so c-c-c-old
But she’s beautiful, though

Yeah, she’s so cold

She’s so cold, she’s so cold
She was born in an arctic zone
She’s so cold she’s so cold, cold, cold
And when I touch her my hand just froze

She’s so cold, she’s so goddamn cold she’s so
Cold cold cold she’s so cold

Who would believe you were a beauty indeed
When the days get shorter and the nights get long
Lie awake when the rain comes
Nobody will know, when you’re old
When you’re old, nobody will know
that you was a beauty, a sweet sweet beauty
A sweet sweet booty, but stone stone cold

You’re so cold, you’re so cold, cold, cold
You’re so cold, you’re so cold

I’m so hot for you, i’m so hot for you
I’m so hot for you and you’re so cold

I’m the burning bush, I’m the burning fire
I’m the bleeding volcano

Congrats to Gagay, who was our very first commenter on today’s Music Monday post.

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: 4-H · lyrics · mick jagger · music monday · she's so cold

Music Monday for the Epiphany: Five for Fighting with 100 Years

January 3rd, 2010 · No Comments

At Hilltop Church on Sunday morning, we celebrated the Epiphany.

Epiphany, which falls every year on January 6th (the 12th day of Christmas) is a Christian feast day which celebrates the revelation of God in human form in the person of Jesus Christ. The celebration of the Epiphany includes the commemoration of the visit of the Magi, or “Wise Men” from Persia, who arrived in Bethlehem to bestow their gifts upon the newborn king.

Another definition of epiphany is the sudden realization or comprehension of the larger essence or meaning of something. The term can be used in either a philosophical or literal sense to signify that the claimant has “found the last piece of the puzzle and now sees the whole picture,” or has new information or experience, often insignificant by itself, that illuminates a deeper or numinous foundational frame of reference.

As I wrote at the beginning of 2009, I can’t claim anything that deep, but in celebration of the Epiphany, I’ve got an epiphany and New Year’s Resolution of my own: continuing to look for a kinder, gentler Roxy in 2010. I know I have a lot of rough edges, and can be kinda tough… on my kids, and on other grown-ups. However, at the beginning of 2009 I committed to London and Maddie that I would try hard not to yell, and I think I made a lot of progress over the past year. So I’m going to keep the Golden Rule top of mind in 2010: Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

For my Epiphany Music Monday post, I remembered the Five for Fighting song, “100 Years,” which has been around for a while, but I only recently listened carefully to the words. I think it fits with my 2010 resolutions to live in the present and enjoy the moments instead of dwelling on the past or spending too much time preparing for the future. Hope you find as much meaning in the song as I did. Happy New Year 2010 !!!

I’m 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I’m just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
I’m 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we’re on fire
Making our way back from Mars
15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
I’m 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I’m a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind
I’m 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I’m heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy, and time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I’m all right with you
15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We’re moving on…
I’m 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I’m just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
15 there’s still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you’re on your way
Every day’s a new day…
15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

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!

→ No CommentsTags: 100 years · epiphany · five for fighting · lyrics · music monday

Roxy’s Resolutions: Enjoy the Moments

January 1st, 2010 · 2 Comments

Particularly around significant milestones, I tend to spend time planning for the future, or looking back on the past (both wonderful memories and mistakes I’ve made). Today, however, I woke up thinking that I’d like to start the New Year and new decade with a focus on enjoying each moment as it happens. Right now, London and Maddie are at such a perfect age… I don’t want to waste a minute of the present dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

So we’re spending the day living in the moment… relaxing around the house, taking time to snuggle up by the perfect roaring fire. I can’t promise that I won’t have a plan to lose a few pounds, exercise more, eat better, etc., but for now we’re going to take it as it comes.
Happy New Year 2010 to all of you, and may you enjoy the moments.

→ 2 CommentsTags: New Year's Resolutions · new year's eve

Blue Moon, White New Year’s, Happy New Year 2010 to All

December 31st, 2009 · No Comments

Rex, London, Maddie and I are relaxing by a roaring fire after a perfect New Year’s Eve dinner at Ninety Acres, the new restaurant at Natirar in Peapack, New Jersey. It is snowing here in the Roxiticus Valley…not expected to create much accumulation, just pretty puffy snowflakes falling and hiding the blue moon.

Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve will be on in a few minutes, but we may wait until tomorrow to post our New Year’s resolutions. Maddie would like to share one now: her first resolution is to stay up until midnight to watch the ball drop. She’s been up since six in the morning, so it may also be the first resolution to slip through the cracks.

→ No CommentsTags: natirar · new year's eve · ninety acres

Music Monday: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

December 28th, 2009 · No Comments

Christmas Day has come and gone, but our family is still celebrating here in the Roxiticus Valley, as we get ready for the New Year 2010. London, Maddie and I are watching Rudolph & the Misfit Toys while we stuff and stamp envelopes full of New Year’s cards.

One of the songs that moves me every year during the Hilltop Presbyterian Church Christmas pageant comes from a poem penned on December 25, 1864 during the American Civil War by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I found a video of a recent version by the Casting Crowns.

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And the bells are ringing
Like a choir they’re singing
In my heart I hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

But the bells are ringing
Like a choir singing
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men

Then ringing singing on its way

The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And the bells they’re ringing
Like a choir they’re singing
And with our hearts we’ll hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Do you hear the bells they’re ringing?
The life the angels singing
Open up your heart and hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Peace on earth, Peace on earth
Peace on earth, Good will to men

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!

→ No CommentsTags: casting crowns · longfellow · music monday

Still Celebrating!

December 26th, 2009 · No Comments

Santa was very very good to us yesterday… he brought London and Maddie a Wii, and Wii Fit Plus for Roxy…should be a big help getting started on my New Year’s resolutions.

On the day after Christmas, we’re working on a jigsaw puzzle in front of a roaring fire, and Rex will be out shopping for our second big Christmas celebration tomorrow, when we’ll have 15 for a crown roast of pork from Perrotti’s butcher in Far Hills, NJ.

→ No CommentsTags: Perrotti's Butcher Shop

Tracking Santa As He Makes His Way to the Roxiticus Valley, New Jersey

December 24th, 2009 · 2 Comments

One of Maddie and London’s favorite Christmas Eve activities is to track Santa as he makes his way to the Roxiticus Valley. So far, we’ve tracked him from Russia to Korea… as we’re heading out for last minute holiday shoe shopping before the Hilltop Church Christmas Pageant, I believe he was headed for India.

→ 2 CommentsTags: santa · santa tracker

Music Monday: White Christmas by Bing Crosby

December 21st, 2009 · 3 Comments

I’ve got Elvis singin’ Blue Christmas over on my Bay Head Blog, but here in the Roxiticus Valley we just shoveled/plowed out of our driveway after almost a foot of snow on Saturday night and it looks like we’ll be having a White Christmas. Here’s my dad’s all-time favorite Christmas song by Bing Crosby, taking us all back to a simpler place and time with a wish I’ll share with all of you:

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
to hear sleigh bells in the snow

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
to hear sleigh bells in the snow

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
with every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your Christmases be white

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
just like the ones I used to know
May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your Christmases be white

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
with every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your Christmases be white

May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your Christmases be white

And may all your Christmases be white (All your Christmases be white)
And may all your Christmases be white (All your Christmases be white)
And may all your Christmases be
(All your Christmases be white)
(All your Christmases be white)

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!

→ 3 CommentsTags: bing crosby · lyrics · music monday · white christmas

I Miss My Dad

December 17th, 2009 · 3 Comments

The photo on the right, London and her Grandpa, was taken on Christmas 2001, the year before he died. London was almost one, I was (very) pregnant with Maddie.

Mostly joyous around the holidays, but I do miss my dad.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Music Monday: The Nutcracker (Dew Drop Fairy)

December 14th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Rex, London, Maddie and I are decorating our Christmas tree, trying to stay warm by the fire…I’ll post a photo of our Christmas tree as soon as we finish decorating, but it may not be until next weekend, since Rex has to get the big ladder out to put our tree topper on. We’re listening to holiday tunes… one of our favorites from the Nutcracker ballet, which we saw yesterday, is this one…

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!

→ 5 CommentsTags: music monday · nutcracker

Garden State Ballet Youth Company Performs the Nutcracker Today

December 12th, 2009 · No Comments

The Nutcracker will be performed by the School of the Garden State Ballet’s Youth Company on Saturday, December 12th at Holy Family School in Florham Park, NJ. There will be two performances: 3pm and 7pm. Tickets for the 3pm performance are $5.00 each (family maximum of $25); tickets for the 7pm performance are $7.00 each (family maximum of $35). For tickets contact: Ruby Sanchez: 973.462.6402 email: rub1 at optonline dot net or Amy DeFranco 973.216.0626 email: defr1234 at aol dot com.

Additional Garden State Ballet Youth Company Nutcracker Performances are scheduled as follows:

  • Secaucus High School on Friday, December 18th at 7:00pm
  • Rutherford Public Library on Sunday, December 20th at 3:00pm.

London and Maddie take ballet and modern dance lessons at the Garden State Ballet Randolph Studio. Although our girls won’t be performing in this year’s Nutcracker, Rex and I wanted London and Maddie to see their friends dance, and determine whether they’d like to make that serious dance commitment next year. We’re going to see today’s 3pm show, and will report back.

→ No CommentsTags: garden state ballet · nutcracker

Hacked!

December 9th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Apologies to those of you who have tried to visit and been blocked over the past day or so… I just found out that my site was hacked and contained some code that was causing browsers to block my blog… even from me!

Thank you to my good blogosphere buddies, Mariuca and LadyJava, who got to the bottom of the problem. If your site is going blank when loading, check out LadyJava’s post here and Mariuca’s post here for some help finding the problem… check your blog’s XML template for hacked code from a site called Paying Post. I should also be clear that I do not participate in “Paying Post” and did not, intentionally or inadvertently, add their code to my blog. I was HACKED!

My first repair was to go back to my old Blogger template from May 2008, but with the information about the paying post code that was hacked into my header, I was able to restore my most recent template and put my site back together again.

Roxy

→ 2 CommentsTags: blog going blank after loading · hacked site · hacker code · paying post

Music Monday on Tuesday: Dean Martin’s Classic, "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!"

December 9th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I’m getting a bit of a late start on this week’s Music Monday post… we had our first Monday of the month staff meeting at the Firm and it feels like the meetings were non-stop until our holiday party tonight. Now Rex and I are on the train home, and I’m catching up with a classic Dean Martin tribute to the snowstorm that may be on its way to the Roxiticus Valley overnight. There’s nothing I’d like better than to get the early morning phone call from Mendham Township Superintendent of Schools Kris Harrison letting us know that London and Maddie can sleep late and we can spend the day by a roaring fire… Let it snow, let is snow, let it snow!

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

It doesn’t show signs of Pauseping,
And I’ve bought some corn for popping,
The lights are turned way down low,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

When we finally kiss goodnight,
How I’ll hate going out in the storm!
But if you’ll really hold me tight,
All the way home I’ll be warm.

The fire is slowly dying,
And, my dear, we’re still good-bying,
But as long as you love me so,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

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!

→ 1 CommentTags: dean martin · lyrics · music monday · snow

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town…Saturday, December 5th at the Mendham Junior Women’s Club Winter Carnival

December 2nd, 2009 · No Comments

See Santa arrive on the big red fire engine at the Mendham Junior Women’s Club Winter Carnival on Saturday, December 5th from 10:00am until 2:00pm at the Brookside Community Club. Proceeds from this family fun event will benefit vital programs and services within Morris County.

  • Bring your camera to take a picture with Santa in front of fireplace in time for Holiday cards - arriving at 11:30AM, visiting till 12:30PM
  • Several Girl Scout, Brownie and Daisy troops will be there for a singalong… I know Maddie’s troop will be there, and London’s troop will be caroling at Kings
  • There will be games (Cupcake Walk, Christmas Tree Ring Toss, Lollipop Snowman, Bean Bag Toss) with prizes
  • Crafts: Make a Tree Ornament or Necklace
  • Activities: Face & Nail Painting, Tattoos
  • 50 / 50 Raffle
  • Baked goods, bagels, pizza and drinks available for sale
  • No Admission Fee – help MJWC help others, and have a fun time with the family while doing so!

For more information contact www.mendhamjuniors@gmail.com.

→ No CommentsTags: christmas caroling · mendham junior womens club · santa · winter carnival

Off to the HSA Meeting at Mendham Township Elementary School

December 2nd, 2009 · 2 Comments

Now that I’m working for someone else, and particularly as the mergers and acquisitions market is warming up after a long cold year, I don’t often have the time to attend the Home & School Association events that are scheduled during the day at Mendham Township Elementary School.

However, this one seemed important. Here’s the email note about it:
The next MTES H.S.A. General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday December 2nd at 9:30am in the Elementary School Staff Development Room. School Board President Mark Ford will be present to announce a new program coming to Mendham Schools. Superintendent Kristopher Harrison, Principals Dr. Ciccone and Ms. Allen and Special Services Co-Ordinator Mrs. Elaine Lombardi will also be in attendance to share what is happening in their areas.

Sounds like a lot of heavy hitters, and since I’m working from home on two client projects while Rex has a full day of meetings in New York, I plan to attend. I’ll fill you in tonight!

→ 2 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

On the First Night of Advent

December 2nd, 2009 · No Comments

On the first night of Advent my kiddies gave to me… some finger knitting, my very first clue, and a handful of confetti. Rex and I gave London their first Advent gifts, which didn’t fit in the little pockets of our calendar: matching poufy sponges for their bath.

They lit the first Advent candle this past Sunday at Hilltop Presbyterian Church in Mendham… and presumably at churches all around the world. Christmas is coming… good cheer!

→ No CommentsTags: advent

Music Monday: Bob Geldof & Bon Jovi — I Don’t Like Mondays

November 30th, 2009 · 1 Comment

As we were wrapping up a nice long Thanksgiving weekend, Maddie clearly didn’t want it to end, and told me “I don’t like Mondays,” reminding me of a very sad yet compelling song by Sir Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats (released in October 1979 and referring to a January 1979 elementary school shooting by 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer). I was reminded at church today that the holidays can be a lonely and alienating time for many of us, but I’d like to look past the darkness to a plea for a peaceful Advent season (the time leading up to Christmas). Here’s a video of Bon Jovi joining Bob Geldof to perform “I Don’t Like Mondays”:

The silicon chip inside her head
Gets switched to overload
And nobody’s gonna go to school today
She’s gonna make them stay at home
And daddy doesn’t understand it
He always said she was good as gold
And he can see no reasons
‘Cos there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be show-ow-ow-ow-own?

Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oot the whole day down

The Telex machine is kept so clean
And it types to a waiting world
And mother feels so shocked
Father’s world is rocked
And their thoughts turn to their own little girl
Sweet 16 ain’t that peachy keen
Now that ain’t so neat to admit defeat
They can see no reasons
‘Cos there are no reasons
What reasons do you need?
Oh Oh Oh Oh

Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oot
The whole day down, down, down, shoot it all down

And all the playing’s stopped in the playground now
She wants to play with the toys a while
And school’s out early and soon we’ll be learning
And the lesson today is how to die
And then the bullhorn crackles
And the captain tackles
(With the problems of the how’s and why’s)
And he can see no reasons
‘Cos there are no reasons
What reason do you need to die, die?
Oh Oh Oh

Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like
I don’t like (Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like
I don’t like (Tell me why)
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oot the whole day down

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!

→ 1 CommentTags: bob geldof · bon jovi · boomtown rats · i don't like mondays · lyrics · music monday

On Thanksgiving: A Thank You Note to Every Mendham Township Taxpayer

November 25th, 2009 · 2 Comments

We’ve started our Thanksgiving weekend, and in addition to the usual reasons we give thanks (family, friends, good health), I would like to say thank you to every Mendham Township Taxpayer, whether or not you voted to pass the 2009-10 school budget, for contributing to the school programs that benefit my children, London and Maddie. Here’s why:

After our November parent-teacher conferences, I sent the following letter to Mendham Township Schools Superintendent Kris Harrison, MTES Principal Cara Allen, and Director of Curriculum Sandy Cullis:

Rex and I wanted to let you know how pleased we’ve been with the new programs at MTES this school year. Whenever we’ve been in the school halls, we’ve felt a very positive vibe among the students that reflects your “discipline with love” style, making “respect,” “cooperation,” and “work ethic” mean more than just words on a bulletin board. From the Outdoor Learning Center to additional technology in every classroom, the changes have taken MTES to a higher level. London and Maddie come home from school every day with enthusiastic stories about their classes with Allison Klacik and Laura Gallagher, and they’re even more excited about Gateways and Quest with Dori Smyth. Last week during conferences, Rex and I had the opportunity to meet with all three teachers to discuss our daughters’ progress, and we are thrilled about the enrichment experiences they have received from Gateways and Quest. It’s clear there’s an extra bounce in their steps because of these programs.

As you may know, we have been focused on challenging our children through a Gifted & Talented program at MTES since London started Kindergarten in September 2006, and your team’s implementation and execution in the program’s first year is impressive. The daily opportunity for London to go out to Gateways to read and interact on a level with her academic peers has made a world of difference in advancing her reading comprehension, encouraging her to reach to get to a higher level, and inspiring/continuing her love of learning. Beyond academic success, Rex and I have emphasized the value of leadership to our children, and Allison Klacik let us know that London has taken a strong leadership role in sharing her Quest experiences with the rest of her third grade class. In the second grade, Maddie has really grabbed hold of the weekly puzzles in her Gateways class, and always accepts the extra challenges that Dori Smyth delivers. Maddie has made serious progress in reading this year, as well as discovering and excelling at logic puzzles. Nancy Fuller continues to make sure math isn’t left out of the enrichment equation, and her energy brings out the math whiz in all of us when the girls bring home her enrichment packets.

Please let us know if there’s anything more we can do to continue to support Gateways, Quest, and other enrichment programs at MTES, and do let Dori Smyth know that both kids and parents believe she’s doing a fantastic job. Keep up the solid effort!

Kris Harrison responded quickly and reminded me that During these difficult financial times, our schools, like others, will face deep scrutiny over every budgetary line item. As we move forward this year, please feel free to share your experiences with other families and your neighbors who do not have children in our schools as every positive story should be told. If our community is informed about how well we are meeting students’ needs there should be little worry about passing the budget and sustaining programs such as G&T/Enrichment and guidance that so often can be characterized as luxury items.”

So at Thanksgiving, I thought it was just the right time to thank each and every one of the Mendham Township taxpayers, particularly those of you who don’t have children or whose children have grown up and no longer benefit from the programs offered at our elementary and middle schools. In addition to the Gifted and Talented programs, I never realized until Sarah Springer, the new Mendham Township Elementary School guidance counselor, came into our lives how much my daughters needed her. Without airing too much of our family’s dirty laundry, I’d like to acknowledge how important a guidance counselor turned out to be: London consulted Mrs. Springer for strategies to deal with her recurring nightmares about people-stealers; Maddie has also needed a resource for issues related to stress and worries.

For parents of children who don’t participate directly in the new MTES Quest and Gateways programs, I’d encourage you to consider the idea that enrichment benefits everyone. When London goes out for 3rd Grade Gateways (reading enrichment on the seventh grade level), her friends who stay behind in Ms. Klacik’s class benefit from smaller reading groups and extra attention. When she participates in Quest (the top 10% of academic achievers in the 3rd Grade), the rest of her class has an enrichment period devoted to Master Enrichment… projects on each student’s topic of choice.

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Music Monday: Rock ‘n’ Roll Never Forgets

November 23rd, 2009 · 1 Comment

The Miley Cyrus concert at the Prudential Center a couple weeks ago had me reminiscing with my friend Susan about our own mis-spent youth. And while sweet sixteen has turned quite a bit older than thirty-one, this song captured the feeling I was looking for that you’re never too old to rock ‘n’ roll (if you’re too young to die).

So you’re a little bit older and a lot less bolder
Than you used to be
So you used to shake ‘em down
But now you stop and think about your dignity
So now sweet sixteen’s turned thirty-one
You get to feelin’ weary when the work day’s done
Well all you got to do is get up and into your kicks
If you’re in a fix
Come back baby
Rock and roll never forgets
You better get yourself a partner
Go down to the concert or the local bar
Check the local newspapers
Chances are you won’t have to go too far
Yeah the rafters will be ringing cause the beat’s so strong
The crowd will be swaying and singing along
And all you got to do is get in into the mix
If you need a fix
Come back baby
Rock and roll never forgets
Oh the band’s still playing it loud and lean
Listen to the guitar player making it scream
All you got to do is just make that scene tonight
Heh tonight

Well now sweet sixteen’s turned thirty-one
Feel a little tired feeling under the gun
Well all Chuck’s children are out there playing his licks
Get into your kicks
Come back baby
Rock ‘n Roll never forgets
Said you can come back baby
Rock ‘n Roll never forgets

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→ 1 CommentTags: bob seger · lyrics · music monday · rock 'n' roll never forgets

Reiterate Buy: Tickets to See the Hexagon Players Performance of Willy Wonka!

November 18th, 2009 · No Comments

Sorry for the Wall Street title to this post, but I’ve been working too hard this week and can’t seem to separate business from pleasure. Anyway, my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers will remember that on Sunday, Rex, Maddie, London, and I went to see the Hexagon Players’ local performance of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at Delbarton in Mendham Township. It turned out to be my favorite Hexagon performance from the past several years… we’ve seen Sound of Music, Peter Pan, Willy Wonka, and maybe one more. The Oompa Loompas really stole the show!

The last performances are scheduled for Friday night (November 20th), Saturday afternoon and Saturday night (November 21st). If there are any tickets left, Roxy strongly suggests that you go online and scoop them up. Loompadee doo!

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Cool Contest for the Butter Bites!

November 18th, 2009 · No Comments

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Popstation. All opinions are 100% mine.

Remember London and Maddie’s all girl basement band, the Butter Bites?? The Butter Bites just came out of the basement on Halloween, wearing their rock star costumes, marching down the street with the Pirate Parents pulling a wagon with a drum and an amplifier, singing songs by Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato and generally rockin’ this town inside out.

It may just be time for the Butter Bites to really take their act on the road… or at least on the Internet. We’ve discovered PopStation, an online music and entertainment singing experience where people like London and Maddie have a chance to sing their way to the Top of the Charts and qualify for their very own album deal. Registration for the contest is free. Then, every week, original Popstation songs are released from Monday through Thursday (Hip Hop/R&B on Monday, Country on Tuesday, Pop on Wednesday, and Rock on Thursday) and are available in the practice rooms
for two (2) weeks. Contestents like London, Maddie & the Butter Bites are encouraged to “make the songs their own” by adding emotion to the music. Songs entered into a contest will get voted on by the Popstation audience – no celebrity judges or panels.

I’ll say it again: practice rooms!

Now, here’s the lowdown on the prize… the BIG Deal is a VIP album recording experience… awarded every three months to one lucky (and talented) #1 performing artist. If London and Maddie win “The BIG Deal,” the Butter Bites will enjoy an all expenses paid three night stay in New York City at a ridiculously posh and hip hotel. My little rock stars will be picked up in a luxury car service and whisked off to a professional recording studio where they will spend two days recording their very own debut album with the help of a professional production team. When the Butter Bites album is done with the final mixing, postproduction and design, it will be featured on the Artists page of Popstation for all the world to see… and hear. Roxy will give up investment banking and blogging to take my place as the Butter Bites’ agent… and to make sure they don’t start pole dancing at the elementary school.

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Too Tired to Be a Second Grader at Mendham Township Elementary School

November 18th, 2009 · No Comments

I had spent the day hard at work on a Confidential Information Memorandum for one of our investment banking clients (let’s call it Project “Rocket Science”), and had just about used up my quota of brain cells for the day, maybe even the week. Not to mention feeling a bit under the weather with my first cold of the season. Add a beer to the equation… Killian’s Irish Red. Then Maddie asked me for help on her second grade math and logic puzzle homework tonight. She had finished most of the assignment, leaving only the toughest problems for mom to help out on. There were words in circles and other words not in circles, and somehow you were supposed to guess what the non-circle words had in common with each other and did not have in common with the circle words. Here’s a sample problem that Maddie said was easy…the circle words are teddy bear, doll, and blanket; outside the circle words are pants, scissors, and pliers. Well, not only am I NOT smart enough to be a fourth grader, I am too tired to be a second grader! Here’s the trick…turns out the words outside the circle come in pairs. I think I’ll put on a pair of pajamas, grab my teddy bear, and get into bed early so I can wake up tomorrow morning smart enough to be a second grader, third grader, and an investment banker.

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Just Let Me Slip On a Banana Peel and I’ll Tell You About It

November 18th, 2009 · No Comments

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Banana Shpeel. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I was growing up, my mother used a bunch of strange expressions that made me laugh, but I never knew exactly where they came from… maybe old time radio before there was television? Vaudeville? Here’s an example… when I needed her to drive me somewhere in the morning before she was dressed, she’d say, “Just let me slip on a banana peel and we’ll be on our way.” Now that I have two little girls of my own, I find myself using my own strange expressions, not to mention occasionally adopting one or two of Grandmom’s… last week when we had dinner with Grandmom, she told/sang us some old jump roping games and chants that she and her friends did when they were in grade school. Next time we’re over her house for a visit, London and Maddie will have to get to the bottom of a few of the quaint expressions we use around our house.

Speaking of crazy humor, vaudeville and slipping on a Banana Shpeel, Cirque de Soleil has a new adventure… Banana Shpeel is a roller-coaster mix of styles that blends comedy with tap, hip hop, eccentric dance and slapstick, pulled together by a hilarious narrative that sounds a bit like Grandmom and ignites a succession of wacky adventures. The Banana Shpeel story takes us into the strange world of Emmett, a romantic and innocent actor who has come to audition for a cruel and cranky producer with the unlikely name of Shmelky. Meanwhile, there’s the love story of Emmett and the beautiful Katie. and meets a bunch of absurd characters, including the strange Banana Man. But who is this mysterious Banana Man and how can Emmett escape the clutches of Shmelky and his henchmen?

I haven’t been to a Cirque du Soleil show in many years, though I’ve seen a few clips on television… and also heard a rumor that one of the girls’ instructors at Randolph Gymnastics used to perform his gymnastics on the backs of horses for Cirque de Soleil. It’s not hard to picture Jordan as the mysterious Banana Man! I’m going to look into taking London and Maddie to Banana Shpeel as their first ever Cirque de Soleil experience.

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Computer Problems

November 17th, 2009 · 2 Comments

The old HP, she ain’t what she used to be… I can’t tell if it’s a virus or a hardware/electrical problem (or a little bit of both), but my HP Pavillion notebook is giving me fits. For the past few days, a file called “DeadUpdate.exe” pops up on my screen every three to four hours (saving itself in my temp folder each time), but Microsoft Vista User Controls give me the opportunity to cancel it out before it can contaminate my laptop. I can delete it from the temp folder but it always comes back. I sent a “sample” of this virus to McAfee the other day, but haven’t heard back.

Meanwhile, I shut down my computer this afternoon, and when I came back it was dead. It kind of sputtered like a car that had run out of gas, and came back to life when I held down the F10 key. I took that opportunity to back up my files (again) to several places, but I always worry that there are certain things you never get back when a computer crashes.

Ugh! Anyone out there have any suggestions?

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