Saturday

TV Reviews:Desp. Housewives;Brothers & Sisters,Parenthood. Book Rev-Dunne's "Justice" Miscellaney, Trips, Political, Pics & More

Three TV reviews: “desperate Housewives”; “Parenthood”; “Brothers and Sisters”, Book Review of a gossipy gem by Dominick Dunne, a great guest post on doggy glasses and Miscellaney including info on the recent Christine O’Donnell debate, a trip to Pennsylvania Dutch country, some funny stories and much more.

Pic of the Day

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NBC’s “PARENTHOOD”

Cast:

Bonnie Bedelia-Camille Braverman

Tyree Brown-Jabbar Trussell

Joy Bryant-Jasmine Trussell

Max Burkholder-Max Braverman

Erika Christensen-Julia Braverman-Graham

Lauren Graham-Sarah Braverman

Miles Heizer-Drew Holt

Sam Jaeger-Joel Graham

Peter Krause-Adam Braverman

Craig T. Nelson-Zeek Braverman

Monica Potter-Kristina Braverman

Savannah Paige Rae-Sydney Graham

Sarah Ramos-Haddie Braverman

Dax Shepard-Crosby Braverman

Mae Whitman-Amber Holt

NBC Web site for this series

I’m not sure just how this series would be classfieid. I consider it in the same league as “Desperate Housewives” and “Brothers and Sisters”-both also reviewed further down.

Seems if I’m not watching reality shows I’m into shows like this, melodramatic, “chick flick” sorts of things. Some might consider them night time soap operas. That description is not lost on me.

Of course to get involved in these sorts of television shows, one must watch a few times, gain some sympathy/compatico with the characters and their situations.

PARENTHOOD is a story about a family…the Braverman family. The elder icons of this family, Zeek and Camille Braverman, are not, as many family dramas would depict, happy citizens living out content retirements while enjoying their children and grandchildren. Instead this couple, more than their own younger and wilder children even, are struggling to avoid a divorce. This struggle is part of the show’s weekly drama.

The other Braverman children include a female attorney with a discontented and irritable house husband, a son who is an executive at a shoe factory, a daughter who now works at the same shoe factory as her brother and who is, via various workplace attractions, seriously showing up her brother, and a son who produces music and lives on a houseboat.

Each of these children have spouses/significant others, children and issues. One daughter returned home to live with her parents with her two children. One son has a son with Asperger’s syndrome and many shows revolve around this odd malady. Another son discovered he had a son from a prior relationship which he knew nothing about.

That’s it.

A family, dealing with life, pretty much as us viewers live our lives.

If I were to announce that a new series will be coming out about a family that includes a daughter who recently suffered a horrific stroke and now must deal with the nasty results, another daughter who struggles with an ailing husband and that stroke-ridden sister from whom she is estranged, a brother who ran from the law for the death of a baby that seemed illogical/strange and another half brother who once lived a prosperous life and now lives on the streets.

Well it could be a series about my own life in fact and given some artful writing, some good dramatic interaction, actors with some talent….it too would be watched with dedicated interest across the fruited plains.

Try it with your own life. Just change the characters, their names and stories to match your own family and you too can have a hit drama series.

”Brothers and Sisters”

A summary from ABC’s web site regarding the premiere of this year’s “Brothers and Sisters” series.

It's been a year since the Walker family was torn apart by a tragic car accident, and in a very un-Walker like fashion, everyone has been avoiding everyone else. Truths and reality only start to set in when the family is forced to come together for Justin's homecoming party: Nora tries to prepare for the party, but is not acting like the mother she used to be; Sarah is consumed with the Narrow Lake deal; Kevin has a new career as public defense attorney; Saul and Scotty are running their restaurant; and Kitty's life has become a taboo subject for everyone. Time has changed the Walkers, on the fifth-season premiere of "Brothers & Sisters," SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/RICHARD CARTWRIGHT) DAVE ANNABLE, SALLY FIELD, RACHEL GRIFFITHS, MATTHEW RHYS, CALISTA FLOCKHART

ABC’s web site for this series

One of the “problems” of a dramatic series continuing on from year to year is the need for additional drama once the initial public fascination with the characters and storylines is jaded. There is then required an introduction of new characters and to keep the viewers coming back, storylines must get more dramatic, thrilling, intriguing and/or compelling.

So far “Parenthood” has not had to introduce such as tornados, earthquakes and awful car crashes to the storyline. “Brothers and Sisters” did have to write in a horrific car crash that left one major character in a year long coma until his wife finally pulled the plug. Another character got such bad brain damage that she does not recognize her own daughter. As indicated in the introductory blurb above, many characters have had their lives changed on “Brothers and Sisters” last year .

I do enjoy this show though I have some major issues with some of the storylines in terms of unbelievableness and the show’s extreme liberal bent. It does enjoy a wonderful time slot right after “Desperate Housewives” on Sunday nights. Without that time slot I doubt this show would ever have gotten off the ground.

First, Sally Field is a terrible actress, I’m sorry, the woman should have stuck with being a flying nun. She plays the part of the Walker family matriarch in the show and does okay as a busybody in all of her children’s lives. But her character is such an absurd liberal, as is Fields herself I suspect.

One year she had an unreasonable hatred for the American military and what it had allegedly done to her son. Said son who VOLUNTARILY joined the army, might I add? Last season this son signed up for the army again. He left his pretty wife and went to Afghanistan, a story line that made no sense and a scenario as unlikely as anything that might happen in the real world. The storyline allows dopey liberal Mrs. Walker to gripe about the awful military and its damage to her son.

This show has a whole bunch of homosexual storylines and it gets old. Almost every show nowadays has a homosexual somewhere in the story, be it comedy or drama. These homosexuals show up more on television shows than exist in real life but hey, it’s Hollywood, a haven for our homosexual brethren.

Sally Field’s character’s brother is a homosexual and had been in the closet his whole life. One of her sons is also a homosexual and the story of this “brother” and his “wife” is a staple of this series.

It would seem that the father of this clan, now dead but who turned out to be quite the man-about-town, having illegitimate children all over the place, purchased a piece of land before his death. Many of last year’s storylines revolved around just where this land is and what is the allure of it.

It would turn out that the land is situated over an aquifer and for some reason that I don’t quite get, is worth lots and lots of money.

I’ve had two wells dug directly into an aquifer and I don’t pay anybody any kind of royalties or anything. It’s water under the earth and it belongs to whoever digs down to get it. But hey,it’s California, maybe things are different there.

Despite this land, or the water underneath, being worth many millions as the business “sister” has determined, still Walker matriarch Nora had to get a job in a flower shop and the money has been put somewhere where nobody can get to it, it’s not clear why.

I suspect it wouldn’t do to have the Walkers suddenly become ridiculously wealthy so they had to get the big money, which did make for a bang-up ending last year, out of the way for storylines that would appeal to us great unwashed out here who might not identify with wealthy people and their travails.

In spite of my issues with this show, I must note that the episode aired this past Sunday, on 10/10/10, was very well written and extremely…well yeah, it was funny.

Kitty, Calista Flockhart’s character, was the wife of the guy who had been in a coma and she recently had to pull the plug to send him to his peace. For reasons that baffle me, she’s decided to go to some kind of farmhouse and live for a while, to “find” herself.

She meets a male neighbor who attracts her. He is disdainful of big city folk so Kitty pretends to be the humble home’s owner and offers to prepare the fellow a simple meal. Seems Kitty has little experience making soufflĂ©s and the thing falls and her lies are discovered and yes, it was a smile.

Her older sister, Sarah, has a birthday, her 40th, or so her very, very handsome boyfriend believes. Sarah is older than 40, however, and her attempts to keep this a secret from her younger stud fellow is a funny tale when added to the stories of her mother, and other brothers and sisters who too must keep the secret.

Matriarch Nora is considering some plastic surgery and before the hour ended the entire Walker clan was a big mess, what with lies about age, fallen soufles and boobs that no longer stay up and perky.

It was very good writing, much improved this year.

Hang around after “Desperate Housewives” and enjoy this show with its greatly improved scripting.

”Desperate Housewives”

ABC’s web site for this series.

What has NOT happened on “Desperate Housewives”?

Wisteria Lane has been hit by a tornado. Cancer attacked one of the show’s main characters. There’s been murders and car accidents, divorces, marriages, and divorces of divorces. Characters have come and gone.

This show has been around for many years now. I only became an afficiando in the past three years. Much of what has happened before was before my viewing time.

I recall Tom having a daughter by a prior relationship. Her mother was a nasty one who was killed by gunshot as my memory serves.

Well you gotta kill these characters off from time to time, it’s the nature of the beast.

In this year of our Lord, 2010, we have two more characters entering the Wisteria Lane ring. One is Vanessa Williams in the character of Renee Perry. The other new character is named Paul Young. As I understand it, Young is a former denizen of Wisteria Lane who was charged, erroneously as this year’s storyline would so far suggest, with the murder of a Martha Huber, another former denizen of Wisteria Lane.

So far the stalwart Desperate Housewives still living on Wisteria Lane include Lynette and Tom, a couple that once owned a pizza parlor but now make big bucks in the corporate world. Lynette is very fertile and recently gave birth despite that horrific bout with cancer.

There’s Gabby, a former fashion model, now this year allegedly mother of a daughter who isn’t hers, who was switched on her at birth. Gabby and her husband have two daughters although once upon a time this couple actually hired a surrogate to have a child for them. Plus you never see the youngest daughter, only the fat child. Now there’s a child actress who is heavy and plays a fat child on the show, how awful this must be.

There’s the plumber and the Internet striptease artist, the older woman who manages to insinuate herself in all story lines, the pair of homosexuals who share a home on Wisteria Land cause you always gotta have one homo couple on the show now don’t you?

I love “Desperate Housewives”. I have loved this show since the first time I watched it sometime in 2007. The storylines are great, the characters constantly change, there’s sub-plots in every show and there’s a dark humor underlying it all.

At this point though, you do have to smile. So much has come and gone and characters have changed and interacted and storylines have intermingled and murders happened and, well hey, you really have to take each year on its own.

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The Coons/O’Donnell Debate of 10/13/10

Christine O’Donnell performed splendidly in the debate with her senatorial opponent this mid-term election year-10/13/10- Chris Coons.

First, let’s state the obvious. Chris Coons is an ugly Marxist. Christine O’Donnell is a lovely, tastefully attired young woman with a most magnificent smile. Sure, it’s not the stuff that decides elections but let us imagine a Christine O’Donnell who looks like Helen Thomas and a Chris Coons resembling Brad Pitt and enough said.

Second, one of the mighty high points of the debate was a Coons Faux pas which had me laughing deep into the night.

Christine had all her ducks in a row. She did not come off as a flaky would-be witch as I’m sure the mean and nasty liberals hoped.

On the abortion issue, Christine handily got it in there that such as rape and incest comprise such a miniscule amount of abortions performed and it naught but a handy emotional talking point for the liberals. It should not even be part of the debate on abortion, best to deal with the larger issues of precious lives, even the unborn. Coons stupidly inserted the rape and incest argument because emotions rule a liberal’s life. Abortion used as a form of birth control, a waaaay more often occurrence that rape/incest, is seldom mentioned.

Further, later in the debate, on a question about Rowe versus Wade, O’Donnell correctly pointed out that should that terrible Supreme Court ruling ever be overturned it would not mean the end of abortion on demand; that it would simply mean that these decisions would be turned over to the states, where the hell it belongs and not something nine unelected jokers had any right to foist upon us. As if, insert my own editorial here, the “right” to kill one’s unborn baby is something guaranteed in the constitution.

Speaking of constitutions, damn, HOW THE HELL MANY CONSTITUTIONS DOES CHRIS COONS HAVE IN HIS AMERICA? He mentioned the constitution of the founding fathers, the constitution of the 1930’s, the constitution of the world wars, and the constitution of today. You can tell Coons attended Delaware schools because in other civics classes across the rest of the fruited plains, there is only ONE constitution, duh.

Those dolt moderators also tried to trip Christine up with an evolution question. “Do you believe in evolution?” Blitzer kept asking her and myself wanted to reach through the TV screen and slap him silly. What the hell does whether this candidate, and I love Christine understand, believes in evolution have to do with the price of eggs in China?

To my great joy, Christine responded that whether or not SHE believes in evolution is irrelevant, that the earlier discussion with Bill Maher referenced was about a local school district being denied the right to teach BOTH creationism and evolution, that such local decisions had been denied a LOCAL government.

We know that most folks believe in evolution in this country. Facts are hard to deny though most religious folks handily believe that a Mighty Creator could have planned the gradual growth of all species. Wolf and that unknown public radio babe were just trying to paint Christine as an evangelical nut, we get this out here in la-la land. She made them both look stupid.

Coons said that O’Donnell was against all things Obama and hey, by me, this is a GOOD thing. Nonetheless, Christine came right back at him, stating she was all in favor of sending troops to Afghanistan, going after Americans helping terrorists overseas, in short she listed some things that had the intended effect, which was to show her not as an anti-Obama nut case but as a reasonable thinker in line with the President when HE’S not being a socialist nut case.

Finally, I must smirk, Christine got some jabs in on the Bearded Marxist and especially about Coons being Reid’s “pet”.

Coons, heh, came up with the absolute best sound byte of the night and Christine nailed him on it, DEAD.

Let us note, however, that Coons, maybe even to his credit I dunno, did just fine as presenting himself as a liberal socialist tax and spend Democrat that will follow the Obama administration lockstep. If this is what the people of Delaware want, well hey, Coons is your guy. A vote for Coons is a vote for gubmint Death Panels, crony health care, socialism, spreading the wealth, and vilification of America. Not to mention the seventy constitutions we shall have.

It was Coons’ deer-in-the-headlights reaction at how his family’s business-WL GORE- might be affected by Cap and Trade and if he would recuse himself should such a vote come up in the Senate.

Coons went on for a bit, essentially pooh-poohing that his company produced anything that would be affected should Cap and Trade be passed upon us. Wolf Blitzer, to his credit, asked Christine what products she might know of produced by Coons’ family’s company that might benefit by Cap and Trade legislation.

“Fuel cells,” Christine responded.

Well it was just the funniest thing. Almost literally Coons slapped his bald head. “OH MY,” I paraphrase for the humor of it, “I FORGOT ABOUT THE FUEL CELLS!”

Heh. Yeah right, I got a bridge to sell cheap to anybody thinks this dolt forgot about the fuel cells.

And it’s not like Coons recovered well from this so obvious gaffe. “We produce so many products,” Coons went on, inserting foot in and out of mouth as husband and I smirked and slapped thighs out here in la-la land as we watched this fool try to get out of such an omission. “We make dental floss,” I’m not making this up….Coons remembered the dental floss, dear Lord, BUT HE PLUMB FORGOT ALL ABOUT THE FUEL CELLS!

This debate, yon ladies and gems, is the turning point for the O’Donnell candidacy. I don’t believe those double-digits polls for a minute. Coons is not particularly like here in Delaware and while Obama has a following amongst the welfare class in that Philadelphia suburb up in Wilmington, he’s hardly beloved with the working class Dems and many, many Independents in this state.

The O’Donnell campaign has some priceless sound bytes coming out of that debate last night. Get that fuel cell lie, first thing.

A Plethora of Idiocy

I came across this story and simply could not resist. Here’s a fellow who is proof that Darwin had it right. The story references a stepson so maybe the earth is lucky and he has not reproduced.

Seems Mr. Winkelman got arrested for failure to appear or some such. But that’s not the stuff of mirth as concerns this fellow.

Winkelman became a human billboard for the radio station KORB in late-2000 after a disc jockey offered listeners a six-figure payout if they tattooed the FM station’s call letters and logo on their forehead. Winkelman and his stepson, Richard Goddard, went to a local tattoo parlor and each emerged with forehead ink promoting “93 Rock,” the “Quad City Rocker.”

Of course, when the men came calling for the cash, station brass explained that the offer was a practical joke, just a wacky radio stunt.

Story HERE

Time for a Little Brag

Received this story via email one sunny Fall morn and smiled all day. So what the hell, putting it up on this blog post.

As I explained to my admiring newfound friend, the most “successful” Bloggers, defining success as actually Blogging on some sort of regular basis, are folks like myself who sit and Blog without caring whether anyone reads it or not.

Heh.

Great Blogs and it looks like you have been doing this a while.

I like your style and way of thinking and expressing view points.

I found your site searching pirate ship bow and read about your trip and your granddaughters Adventure /Pirate ship cruise.

I’m going to try blogging. I have a project that I would like to show and explain how I came up with the idea And the construction etc. 3-1/2 years of Springs-Summers and some fall time! Also writing a book about it.

I like your idea on the Garage door thingy Open/Close LOL Anyways your site is great!

The Mystery of the Shrimp

I’d removed the shrimp from the freezer, purchased frozen, already cooked, requiring a thaw to be utilized for any shrimp culinary reason from serving cold with cocktail sauce to using as ingredient in the meal.

I planned a simple repast later in the week that would include about a dozen of these things, thawed of course which is why I removed them from the freezer bag and put them in one of those plastic grocery bags to set in the sink for the thaw. After they were thawed and ready to serve I planned to put them in a plastic sealed container and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

Nap time came and went. I entered the kitchen and immediately noted shrimp tails scattered all about the kitchen floor. At least one cat sat nearby, licking lips and busily engaged with washing paws. Other cats laid all about but who knows?

Something feline, maybe something felines, had a fine shrimp meal but, alas, the tails were not edible and had to be discarded.

A Trip to Pennsylvania Dutch County

The trip seemed like it would never happen. It was summer and other events to include weddings and in-law family vacations in daughter’s side were already planned. Comes the Fall and Mother-in-law visits on MY side were also already planned.

Daughter and I finally agreed on a date and it was almost laughable fate. For she wins two tickets to the Ravens game!

We wanted to leave on a Friday night, arrive at our Lancaster, PA hotel, unpack, put on swim suits, and head to the indoor pool. After me, daughter, and sweet granddaughter Kaitlyn would play some games. Bedtime and the next morning we’d head to Dutch Wonderland, spend the day on rides and shows, then head back to the hotel and another evening at the indoor pool Kaitlyn so adored, playing games, eating snacks and just being girlfriends.

The following Sunday we’d awake, head to get a big breakfast, then ride back to Baltimore.

No way would we be able to get Melissa back to Baltimore on the date for which she’d won the Ravens’ tickets.

We changed the date but it was the last weekend Dutch Wonderland would be open.

But we did it and below, lots of video and pics and a story to share.

We begin with a pic of daughter and husband from the Maryland lottery site.

MOVIES BELOW

The Day at Dutch Wonderland Begins at Dunkin donuts.

We arrive at Dutch Wonderland.

Kaitlyn and Melissa on the twister.

Kaitlyn dances.

Kaitlyn dances again.

A ride on the Dutch Wonderland train.

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Below, some pictures.

Below a story I posted on Facebook involving cute granddaughter story and nasty liberals who are filled with hate:

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I should have been suspicious just as soon as 6 year old granddaughter kept mentioning her “high-heeled” shoes and how she would wear them during her visit to Pennsylvania’s Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park. It was a busy time, what with me having to drive up to Baltimore to pick up daughter and granddaughter, then drive up to Penna, with worries about directions, GPS devices, timing, plans and such. Thus the phraseology of “high-heeled” shoes and a 6 year old, much less wearing same to an Amusement park did tickle the back of my brain, but details of the trip drowned it out.

Next morning, we are ready to go to the Amusement park and as God is my witness, the child pulls out a pair of boot-type shoes, boots with tops that stop right above the ankles, with two inch heels that I used to call “Cuban” heels, complete with little bling thingies around the ankle area.

“I’m going to wear my high heels, Mom!” Kaitlyn shouted, pulling out these godawful things and I pondered who on earth would design such a thing for little children. “I wore them to the carnival, Mom-Mom, and I could get on every ride!”

Dawn broke over my slow-to-comprehend grandmotherly head.

For all of these places with rides have those measurement type of things, generally upright rulers of some sort affixed to a wall next to the ride. In some fashion, an indicator of just where the tops of the heads of would-be riders must be, is indicated on the ruler. Kaitlyn, deceitful as a child with a plan can be, determined she would wear those “high heels” and no ride would be denied her. IF the ride is a rocket trip to the moon, she wants to be on it, preferably without an adult co-rider.

Of course her mother, and me a little bit, refused that the child will wear those shoes while traipsing around an amusement park all day, dear Lord she’d be in agony halfway through the day. Kaitlyn pouted and cried but sanity prevailed.

Dutch Wonderland too had those ruler things on the rides, they being marked using some kind of “gem” system. Kaitlyn fell solidly in the “sapphire” category and thus was allowed on most rides. A few, however, were of the “ruby” height requirement and Kaitlyn’s head fell about three inches below this gem. When the ride operator asked Kaitlyn to stand in front of the ruler, she would quickly stand up against it, then just as quickly turn around and point out that her head hit the ruler at, well imagine that, right where the RUBY marker was. In reality, her head was at least three inches BELOW the ruby marker.

This was, as yon reader might imagine, a blatant lie. It was no mind as the ride operators have those separate measurement rods for their rides and alas, Kaitlyn had to ride the RUBY ride accompanied by an adult.

I laughed with daughter that someday Kaitlyn might run for Senator for Delaware. At which time some News Journal reporter will find that ride operator and with great flourish will publish the scoop…KAITLYN FREY CAUGHT IN LIE ABOUT HER HEIGHT IN ORDER TO FOOL RIDE OPERATORS AT AMUSEMENT PARK. The subtitle would be…”We understand this is not the first time Kaitlyn got caught in a big lie”.

Well hahaha….actually I told this rather cute little story on a local Delaware political bulletin board on which I post. Man there’s a liberal woman on that board, mean and nasty as are most liberals. The story was supposed to be, for the liberals reading this who don’t much understand the language, an anecdote about Christine O’Donnell and her witch dalliance story.

This liberal woman, a mean and very unhappy person by her comments and damn you’d think she’d go and be unhappy and mean on a liberal Blog but no, they aren’t happy unless they make the rest of the world miserable like they are, evidently read my innocent little story of 6 year old Kaitlyn and the height requirements.

Anyway, she reads the above cute story and as is mean and nasty, and naturally not wishing me to make any sort of point about how stupid liberals were about that witch story, right after my anecdote above, guess what she says?

“Obviously the child has parental discipline issues. Children at this age should know about lying.”

She makes my point quite well. For I must suppose her child, which she has one, has never, even at age six, did such things as lie about her height or goodness wear deceitful high heels for fooling ride operators.

It’s exactly why the witch story got traction. Because they have nothing else but silliness and mindless attacks as their defense.

For sure they can’t defend their guys’ record, the awful shape of the world, the economy….from Obama to Coons.

So they have to say stupid and mean stuff. Like Christine O’Donnell is a witch. Like Kaitlyn Mae needs disciplining.

It must be awful to live a life so full of such hate when you think about it.

-

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”JUSTICE” by Dominick Dunne

I found this book after a trip to Georgetown, Delaware’s brand new library which has become a huge waste of taxpayer money.

So what else is new under the sun?

Make no mistake Georgetown needed a new library as the old one was smaller than my house. But the thing they built is HUGE, way bigger than little Georgetown could possibly need. This is an age, may I remind, of electronic books.

There has also been quite a bit of confusion over this new library, including an announcement by the county council that they do not have the funds to pay for the library operating costs such as electricity, heat and telephones.

In fact, as of this writing, the Georgetown library is CLOSED and no one seems to know why. It’s been closed for two weeks.

It’s how they do, folks, the politicos, they spend money not needed, money not there, money our children and grandchildren will have to repay.

When I visited the Georgetown, Delaware library and checked out this book “Justice” by Dominick Dunne, fully one full floor had not one single book in it.

Dominick Dunne is known by me mainly as a professional name-dropper, if there is such a thing. He’s part gossip-columnist, part investigative reporter, part journalist, part fiction writer.

What I did NOT know was that Dunne’s own daughter had been murdered by her very possessive, borderline insane boyfriend.

In this book, Dunne gives gossipy, intriguing insights on many famous crimes and trials, including his daughter’s murderer’s trial, OJ Simpson, Martha Bulow, the Menendez Brothers, a little known Delaware Blue Blood murder of Diana Hironaga from here in the swamps, Martha Moxley and others.

It’s good stuff. I was spellbound. Dunne has a gossipy way of writing and by me we’re all born with a bit of a gossipy snoop in us.

I thought I knew everything there was to know about the OJ trial. But Dunne tells the story of OJ’s maid, Rosa Lopez the perjuror, how she became engaged to a 28 year old ventriloquist from Baltimore named Mike Gabriel. Gabriel saw her testifying on TV, became smitten, followed her to El Salvador where she agreed to marry him.

They divorced. Gabriel’s old girlfriend took him back. Her name is Samantha, she acts in porn, she has recently filmed her first anal-sex scene, as Gabriel informed Dunne.

Isn’t that just the coolest tidbit? I love Anne Rule but she seldom gets this kind of stuff from her sources.

Here’s another Dunne scoop:

P aula Barbieri, signed for three million dollar book deal.

Barbieri was, if yon reader recalls, the woman OJ was dating when he killed his wife and Ron Goldman.

"The sounds of their lovemaking in Robert Kardashian's house on the night before Nicole's funeral, according to an inside source, woke up the household."

Imagine that. This smirky creep took two innocent lives and on the night before the funeral of his children’s mother, he’s making loud love to his girlfriend. I’m so glad they finally got this guy in jail.

He could have, just throwing it out there, went away quietly after being granted two free murders by nuts on that OJ jury, none of whom ever wrote a book by the way cause who would read such a thing ? Instead OJ tried every trick in the book to avoid paying restitution to Fred Goldman as lawfully ordered by a court. That stupid stunt with the gun in Las Vegas….well hey, OJ’s in jail and good.

This is a great book, folks. Well-written, mesmerizing, not the same-old rehashed details of crimes, but chock full of new inside info.

Dunne’s daughter should be alive, poor child. Instead she was murdered by a crazy man who managed to get just a few years behind bars and who threatened other women in his life with his insane jealous rage.

Get the book.

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: Focus and Fraud

Did you know Shelties are one of the top agility dogs?

Well, they are, that is, if they aren't ours.

A ways back I told you one of our dogs (at the time, the only dog) couldn't properly jump onto the couch. The truth is, Hunter can't jump onto it at all. He flies into the air about three feet away and collides (whumpf) with the side of the couch. He never makes it high enough to actually get up there. Sometimes he even has trouble with

the back steps. Guia has no issues. She can even jump onto the ex-waterbed.

We had hoped Guia would teach Hunter the etiquette of leaping. No such luck. Perhaps the little fuzzball couldn't see; it was as if he had no depth perception.

So when I had Hunter in for his rabies vaccination, I asked the vet to look at Hunter's eyes. It wasn't the usual vet, and after he told me my dog was overweight he mumbled something about it not being a problem with the eyes. He then lifted Hunter's back end off the steel table and twisted him around, bending hips and knees and ankles.

"Seems fine," this doctor with a doggie degree said. "Joints and muscles are working perfectly."

"So he's just stupid?" I asked. The dog acts stupid, so it wouldn't surprise me. I've watched him walk into chair legs, trip over dog toys, and once he ran into me full-force when coming up the pesky backstairs.

The substitute vet shot me a glance which said volumes about what he thought of me as a pet owner. "Well, now, I wouldn't say that, exactly. Perhaps he just *thinks* he can't jump."

Great. I have a dog who thinks.

Still, I wasn't satisfied with the vet not looking into the eyes, especially as I watched Hunter whumpf into the side of the couch that evening. A couple of weeks later, we took the entire family to the vet for flea treatment. This time, our regular vet was in, so I again asked that Hunter's eyes be checked.

The vet took an instrument from a drawer and peered into Hunter'sright eye. "Hmmm." Change to the left eye. "Hmmm." Back to the right eye. "Hmmm. You know, I'm not really qualified to make a recommendation and I'd like you to see a specialist. Normally, the retina is clear and the 'tree' of blood vessels is well-defined. This dog's eyes are a bit . . . well, fuzzy." He gave me a card for a doggie eye doctor.

Well, why not? I made an appointment. The visit took a whole 10 minutes. The doggie eye doctor looked into both of Hunter's eyes with four different instruments (one's light shone as a slit rather than a normal-looking light) and charged me $93. The result?

Hunter has a refraction problem.

Well, hey, so do I!

But, unfortunately, you cannot hold little pictures of dog bones up and say, "Do you see it better this way? Or this way?" Nope, no doggie contacts.

Likely that's a good thing. I can just imagine the issues I'd have keeping dog and husband contacts separate, and the fights they'd have over the last of the contact cleaner solution. Just think, if Harry wore Hunter's contacts by accident, he might drive the rig into the dog park. That would never do.

The vet did say it was possible the condition will improve with age, or that the dog will learn to cope, much the way a blind dog can get around in a house where the furniture never moves.

Whumpf.

Or not.

Okay, that was focus. On to fraud!

Harry is out this week, and he's been having some issues with equipment. Something broke, he needed to order a new one, and so he called the vendor. Sure, they had one, and it costs about $3,700. We need it, so the vendor tried to run the credit card. It was declined.

Now, we sometimes have some debt. Currently, we aren't maxed on any of the cards and most are clear. This one has about $9,000 free. Should be fine, right?

Harry called me, but I was in a meeting. He left me a voicemail and asked if I know if there's an issue with the card (he already knows there isn't, but you know how you look for lost keys where they're supposed to be in case they came back? He was doing that), and he also said he needed the number to call to get the card unstuck.

Normally the credit card fraud department calls us. I don't know if you've been lucky enough to go through this, but you try to make a charge. The charge is denied. An automated call goes to your house and asks you to confirm that you recognize the charges.

Do you see the problem?

The credit card company, trying to do their part to protect us from fraud, sees an odd charge and calls the HOUSE where Harry ISN'T to see if he recognizes the charge as his.

It's a bit like drowning witches. If the poor woman dies, she must have been innocent. So sorry.

If you're not home to get the call, oh, my, the charge must be yours but what a shame you're not around to authorize it.

Sigh.

When I got home that afternoon, there was no call from the fraud department. I called Harry to tell him but he's in a bad cell phone area and it went straight to voicemail. So I left a message that the card balance was fine and fraud hadn't called.

Harry had the vendor try the charge again the next morning. Still declined, and Harry tried to call me again but I wasn't in the office. I was at home, letting Terminix in to rid us of the last of the fleas.

And behold! The fraud department had called and left an automated message on our automated answering machine.

I called back, expecting the usual "If you recognize these charges, press 1." Turns out the fraud call this time was a good thing. The vendor made a mistake when he tried to charge that $3,700 the first time. His finger added a digit and he tried to put a $37,000 charge on it instead.

Well. No wonder it was declined. Yay for the credit card company, though I'd be a lot more pleased if they didn't stop Harry's card when he pays for a hotel in one city in the morning and then fills the rig with diesel in another city in the afternoon. Yay for the vendor in being willing to ship us the part even though the card was declined, and continue to try for us every day.

And yay to Harry for persistence through all the telephone tag.

Do you think I should tell him when he comes home that the number to call is on the back of the credit card?

Michelle

The Desk Drawer writer's exercise
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Michelle

The Desk Drawer writer's exercise list

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