Of Katie, Morgan and My GQ (Gossip Quotient)

Friends count on me for celeb gossip. I try not to let them down. When a star’s name won’t come to mind, I’m on speed dial. I take this obligation seriously and always subscribe to People magazine, but yesterday was too much. Tom and Katie getting a divorce? I guess it’s not enough to buy a girl her own ultrasound machine and expect her to stick around. The ickiest news? 74-year-old Morgan Freeman marrying his 27-year-old step-granddaughter. Dude, you need to get back to Driving Miss Daisy, following penguins or heading back to Shawshank. Seriously. You’re creeping me out.

Who Didn’t Love Nora Ephron?


Full disclosure: “Sleepless in Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail” and “When Harry Met Sally” are all on my worst film list, but I can’t think of a writer I admire more than the late Nora Ephron. Her eternal optimism, quest for the quintessential happy ending and clever word turns put her on top of my list of great female writers. The girl loved gossip and had quirky opinions—she even ordered close friend, neighbor and fellow-journalist Sally Quinn Bradlee not to breastfeed her son following his birth! Nora went to her grave hating her neck. That’s my kind of woman. RIP.

A Coalition of the Willing Women of Wisdom


Congress may not get along, but the women of a new coalition I just joined could teach those jerks a thing or two about putting partisan politics aside for the greater good. The “It’s My Vote” coalition, launched to get out the 18-to-30-year-old women’s vote, welcomes Democrats, Republicans and Independents – heck, if the Tea Party wants to jump in, I’ll pour the lemonade and put aside my judgments. Sponsored by an AAUW grant, the group is going to beat the bushes for young women voters where they congregate, so if know where we should look, I’m all ears.

Spam I Am: There’s Much to be Said for Loyalty


I may be the only person on the planet impressed by spammers. Seriously. Take the dude (this can’t be a woman!) whose FucBook e-mail arrives in my mailbox as regularly as the sun rises each morning. If I ever feel the need to learn the secret to getting laid, I promise to let the FucBook folks know, because we’ve grown to be old friends, despite the fact that I never open messages for fear of “being penetrated” by a nasty virus. No matter. Loyalty and persistancy are in short supply these days. Keep writing, FB friends! I feel the love.

It’s Important to Bear Witness to Other Women’s Lives


I don’t recall a Netflix film receiving all five-star ratings, so when I spotted “Incendies,” a 2010 movie about a woman raised in Lebanon during the nation’s most violent, repressive years, I had to add it to my queue. Even French dialog/English subtitles don’t diminish this film’s impact. The heroine, Nawal, endured unspeakable indiginites before emigrating to Canada with her fraternal twins, but the horror wasn’t left behind. At her death, Nawal leaves a will saying she won’t be buried until the twins locate their brother and father. Rent this film. If the ending doesn’t render you speechless, nothing will.

Cat Pulls Off Great Underwear Caper

ImageFrom the corner of my eye, I see my bra walking across the floor. Could panties follow, I wonder? Nope. Just the bra. It’s Tuna emulating Chinese Lion Dancers, minus drums and crowds. I try taking the garment away. No luck. I also attempted to yank it out from underneath him once he fell asleep, but since I live for his naps, my effort is less than robust. Instead of cat toys, maybe I’ll get him his own bra — one he can grow into — just in case this proves to be a fetish rather than a kittenish escapade.




Goodbye to My Clinic Partner

For about a year, I’ve been partnered with Joan. She and I volunteer as escorts, helping women get inside a clinic’s doors safely for their pregnancy termination procedures. We show up – with at least 15 sign-, cross-, poster- and rosary-carrying right-to-lifers — at 5 a.m. on select Saturday mornings. The relief and appreciation on the women’s (and men’s) faces as we usher them past the screamers, accusers and shamers is worth getting up at that (excuse the pun) ungodly hour. Now turning 80, Joan is moving to a retirement facility this week. I’ll miss her wit, cynicism and wisdom.

Find Enlightenment Slogging Through This Blog


Far be it from me lure you away from 100 Wicked Words, but if you’re tired of advice dispensed by writers who rarely leave their keyboards, have I got a blog for you! Find enlightenment at www.getrichslowly.org/blog/archives/. Get Rich Slowly dispenses unique, creative and (sometimes) quirky solutions for common problems – like getting out of credit card hell and figuring out whether it makes sense to keep an old car. I found some topics in the archives so useful, I stopped saying that “how-to” blogs are narcissistic ramblings with little redeeming value. See what I mean and spread the word!

Eat Some Rice. Enter the Tour de France. Live Longer!


When Examiner.com sought articles about the Tour de France, I had no interest in authoring yet another profile of Lance Armstrong or writing a doping story. C’mon. Lance rocks, but the Herculean efforts of other team members — plus tips about how the sexy spandex crowd stays fit — intrigued me more. That’s when I stumbled upon a scientific study that blew me away. Read www.examiner.com/article/want-to-live-a-longer-life-grab-a-bike-and-join-the-tour-de-france?cid=db_articles if you want to know why European Tour de France competitors live dramatically longer than their fellow countrymen. The facts are irrefutable, there are no gimmicks and spandex wearing is (happily) optional.

What Happens When You Run Out of Words? Try a Little Faith.


“I’m speechless,” I respond, or “I’m not sure what to say” comes to mind and lips when my brain refuses to kick-start. Words. Everyone runs out of them on occasion. For writers, the dreaded “writer’s block” looms like a guillotine. Happily, I’m never a victim. I met a fortuneteller 50 years ago. She told me, “You never have to worry about words; they don’t come from you – they come through you.” I had no idea what she meant at the time, but I sure do today. I trust I’ll never run out of words and so far, I haven’t.