Dec 22, 2010

Low Resolution

The numbers may vary slightly, but the first few Googled statistics on New Year’s Resolutions are pretty much in line with the following:

  • 45% of all Americans make New Year’s Resolutions
  • 46% of those who do make NYRs, break them within 6 months; but
  • People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions


Another “fact” regarding goals in general and NYRs in particular, is that the most effective success tactic is telling others about them. The reasoning, I suspect, behind this approach is that you will be held to your resolutions through fear of failure, humiliation, or public ridicule.

Looking back over this spotty blog, I’ve noticed the spectacular lack of personal details. I say an awful lot without actually telling anything. (As an aside, I can’t help but think this shit would be a whole lot more entertaining if I could name names and such, but I have to protect the innocent...and myself). Maybe it’s just a way for me to avoid failure, humiliation, or public ridicule.

So, in keeping with both the spirit of the season and this blog, I've made a decision -- I will make an NYR, but I will not share it. Instead, I leave you with this:

My random, non-committal, fit for public consumption goal for 2011...

I will bring back the phrase “Sit on it.”

Hell, why not? Retro is the rage -- and not much else seems worth bringing back. I mean, Justin Timberlake beat me to “sexy” (by, like, five years) and I don’t think anyone is gonna bring back the economy anytime soon...

So there it is. And come December 2011, I dare any of you three squares who read this thing to hold me to it.

Nov 24, 2010

Playing the Victim

I gotta say, Bank of America seems to be making good use of their bailout money.

This morning, I received a message saying BoA systems detected suspicious access to my checking account via my debit card number. And, by Jove, there had been. This is not the first time I've had my identity stolen, but this has to be the strangest application of ill-gotten booty or -- as Hawkeye Pierce would say -- ill-booten gotty that I've personally experienced.

Someone tried to pay a "TfL/LEZ Congestion Charge" citation (basically, a $295 ticket for driving in a low emissions zone) with my cracked card. I soon found out "TfL" stands for "Transport of London. " Yup, that London.

How mentally irregular does one have to be to pay a government fine with a stolen check card number? I'm guessing to track you down, the bobbies have such personal identifiers as your name, license number, address, etc. They know who you are. Plus, I looked this shit up: in order for the fine to be as high as the amount charged to my account, the ticket had to be seriously past due. According to the TfL website, the penalty amount for this infraction increases over the time the citation remains unpaid. If you are that irresponsible, why even go through the motions? I don't know what the ultimate penalty for avoidance is, but it can't be worse than that of international fraud.

Furthermore, don't be daffy. If you are going to steal my ID, take that shit to Chanel or Harrods. F the ticket, just have your car towed. Take a cab. It's on me, literally. Go berserk!

I suppose all's well that ends well, so I'm not all that bothered by this incident. The account was closed, and I got a new card. Thinking about it, I'm actually a bit struck by the irony of using a BoA account for this madness. Imagine me using a "Bank of England" checking account to pay a Fort Lee parking ticket.

The global village strikes again.

Or, maybe it's just turnabout for my mocking of electric cars.

Nov 19, 2010

Shameless Plug

I'm thinking this announcement indicates we are somewhere between the 5th and 7th signs of The Apocalypse:

Just another way for Americans to continue the bad habit of "charging" useless crap.

Nov 12, 2010

Running the Asylum

Health dot com is a wonderful place. For those who haven’t had the occasion to visit, it’s an online oasis of quizzes, calculators, and other self-diagnostic tools over which to whip yourself into death-obsessed frenzy. It’s the type of place where 15 minutes of reading can lead you into a locked office bathroom where shaking hands triangulate a compact, wall mirror and your shoulder. You know, so you can inspect that mole that is surely going to KILL you yet, strangely, does not worry you enough to get it checked out by a professional.

At least that’s what I imagine happens to some people who read it.


While pokin’ around this hypochondriac’s paradise looking for hot pop-heath topics, I came across an article that caught my preglaucomic eye (hey, I took the quiz): “More Dementia on the Job.”

No shit, Health. Ya don’t say?

A few words into the piece, I realized the article was not some sarcastic dismissal of our Dilbert-like waking lives, but a serious examination of how neurological disease in our “aging workforce” is affecting the workplace dynamic.

Cue the experts for opinion:

"People just can't do their job as well as before," Dr. Morris says. "These changes or declines in mental ability are subtle, so co-workers will cover up at first and make excuses such as 'Well, Fred is getting over the loss of his brother' or 'We just got a new computer system.' Gradually, their level of responsibility has to keep getting reduced so the person is either let go or kept on in a largely ceremonial role."...

"Eventually the diagnosis is made when the impairment is to the point where no one can ignore it anymore," Dr. Lyden says. "People come to me because the forgetfulness has gone beyond names and phone numbers to include meetings, key decisions, and reiterating and rehashing decisions that have already been made."

..and, cut to the peanut gallery for commentary:

Let’s start with that first snippet. The person they are describing is most certainly not affected with dementia. They simply have “seniority” or “tenure.” I mean, who the hell wants to attend computer training when you are just hanging on another year or two until your nest egg fully gestates? It’s those who would willingly sit through a new user workshop and all its hard bagel, PowerPoint madness that need their head checked. As for “Fred” and any other lucky old bastard that can that milk the death of a relative as an excuse to avoid such nonsense...can you say crazy?

Yup, like a silver fox.

And, Dr. Lyden. I think it’s safe to say you have not spent one damn minute in the business world. You see, we have things called meetings, which are LED by people who exhibit the very “impairments” of which you speak. Yes, the “demented” are IN CHARGE!!! I suggest you see the forest for the trees, Doc: if it weren’t for folks forgetting key decisions and/or repeating and rehashing decisions that have already been made, we wouldn’t even have a workforce -- let alone an aging one.

Oh, Health dot com. In all your self-diagnostic wisdom, you should have included an interactive quiz to accompany this article. It could help those in our “aging workforce” determine if they actually have a degenerative brain disease or if they simply no longer give a poo.

Oct 31, 2010

The New GM

No, not that GM.

The NY Mets announced Sandy Alderson as their new General Manager on Friday. He was signed to a four-year deal with a club option for 2015. Since I know nothing about this guy except for what I read on Wikipedia and heard Friday on WFAN's Mike'd Up, I guess I really don't have an opinion on this one. He seems like he knows what he's up against and that he has a pretty clear vision of what needs to be done.

The one thing this announcement did get me thinking about is why men named "Sandy" do not seem to exist in any other facet of life except for baseball. What's even stranger is that -- unlike the Alomars ("Santos") or Koufax ("Sanford"), whose names actually lend themselves to "Sandy" as a derivative -- "Sandy" Alderson's real name is Richard Lynn. Does calling yourself "Sandy" make you sound more baseball? 

I think it kinda does, actually.

Regardless, just get us a damn championship...or the NY area will certainly come up with a new, undoubtedly more colorful nickname for ya. OK, Sandy?

Oct 12, 2010

Greek Mythology

Much has been said about yogurt being the official food of women. It’s the manna that does everything a woman could possibly ask – from beating back osteoporosis to staving off jegging-induced yeast infections. It gives us that high-protein/low-fat one-two punch that keeps us going. And, in the case of doctor-recommended Activia, it lines our insides with those creepy good bacteria that, you know, keep us going.

I had been hearing a lot of good things about this “new” kid on the block they call Greek yogurt (or Greek-style, since many brands are actually made in the US with nontraditional methods). As is the case with most web chatter about trendy eats, I knew enough to at least suspect it was contrived. Could it be a yogurt conspiracy borne of focus groups or Internet viral marketing, not out of common sense? Stranger shit has ensued.

As I readily admit, I am part of the problem. So, I Googled “Greek yogurt” to find out exactly what the stuff is (in my defense of I don’t really know any Greeks). A top result was a blog post on a particular brand of US-made Greek yogurt, Fage. I got the info I was looking for and so much more. One of the comments: “I loooooove Greek yogurt!!!! Add some fruit and granola and I’m in HEAVEN!!!!”

Oh, for the love of Zeus.

I am 20+ years removed from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but I do know Heaven is supposed to be a place of eternal bliss, love, and light. It’s the ultimate reward for a righteous life led with devotion and self-sacrifice. As such, I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with fucking yogurt. Furthermore, should “heavenly” cuisine involve fruit of any kind, it best be either garnishing my cocktail or nestled betwixt golden layers of pastry. If granola exists in the afterlife, then there really… is…no…god.

Anyway – I recently found out I did try Greek yogurt, though unwittingly. I brought a parfait (yes, the kind with fruit and granola) home to share with my husband. A few bites in, we questioned whether it had gone rancid or really was even yogurt. Next time I was at that deli, I asked.

Yep, just like all these rave reviews on the Internet, it was Greek to me.

Sep 21, 2010

Hey Now, Don't Dream it's Over...

According to the "official arbiter of recessions," the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, we are in recovery. Yeah. And so is Lindsay Lohan.

According the the arbiter of what is stupid, me, the NBER, and CNN for that matter, are in need of psychological review.

Sep 3, 2010

On the Market

I wake up to 1010WINS AM news radio. In the time it takes me to get myself ready for work, I hear a broad range of headlines and just enough detail to respond to elevator questions with honest answers.  “Is it supposed to rain later?” Yep. “Did you hear that 'The Situation' is going to be on Dancing with the Stars?” I’m one step ahead of ya.

For some reason, I was paying especially particular attention to the business recap on Wednesday. The MarketWatch reporter said stock futures were up despite less than spectacular reports from what seemed like one sector after another. Of note was a report from automakers that said sales figures from August 2010 were the WORST IN 27 YEARS. The reporter said industry folks called the figures “disappointing.”

I am aware that the stock market has no basis in the reality where 99% of people spend their time, but seriously, in what other industry is a bottoming out – 27 years in the making – considered “disappointing”? When they discontinue a favorite lipstick shade, that’s disappointing. 7-11 Slurpee machine down? Disappointing. This? This is, like, historically bad.

Among the other strange comments…some key reports showed “negative gains” (a bizarre term in itself) but, as these losses were not as bad as predicted, investors are expected to be optimistic. Huh? Oh, yeah, and the private sector “shed” 10,000 jobs.

The private sector sheds? Umm, not quite. An old, cozy sweater sheds. So do kittens. The private sector screws people.

While wrapping up, the reporter said that perhaps futures were up simply because Wall Street is just “happy to turn the calendar” on an abysmal August. I can just picture it. Those who hold the purse strings of our economy waiting out the Dog Days: “I was holding off on creating jobs and throwing shitloads of money everywhere until the gals in accounting put away their open-toe shoes. Those shoes are so very, very distracting. Now that the summer’s over and HR mandates closed-toe pumps until June, I can flip that calendar page and get down to business. OK, who wants to buy a Chevy???!!!”

Given the sense the rest of this bullshit makes, yeah, I can totally see that. How disappointing.

Aug 18, 2010

This Could Be Your Last Issue!

I am addicted to magazines. I cannot resist any offer for 75% off the newsstand price. There, I said it.

The problem with magazines is that they all somehow make me feel bad. And I’m not talking about advertising – which has been actually proven to make people feel shitty – I’m talking about editorial.

Last night, I was reading an article in ELLE by some nutso who had a life-long hang-up about being short. She would answer her door in platforms, worked at a gym but would not take advantage of the free membership because co workers would see her in sneakers, you get the picture. Yeah. She’d be in the midst of a hot date when the dude would exclaim, “you’re so short.” Oh, the horror. As usual, I’m buried in page 3 of this nonsense by the time the author actually states her height. You guessed it. She’s taller than me.

This always happens; I should know better. I’ll be reading this story about someone who experienced XYZ and how horrible it was/is, and it will always turn out that whatever XYZ was/is – I have it worse. Since I read predominately “women’s” magazines, these are almost always issues of physical appearance (you know the one about the woman who “struggled with her weight all her life,” whose “rock bottom” was like being 150 at 5’7). On occasion, I get to read about health issues, income and education. Fun, fun, fun!

At one point, this observation led me to add non female-centered publications to my subscription list. Enter Car & Driver, Old Cars Weekly, and Tricycle (the Buddhist review – how’s that for backlash?). But even these gave me grief. Yesterday, after reading some very entertaining reviews of vehicles I’ll never own, I decided to check out C/D online to see what they had to say about my car. The first search result? “The Greatest Automotive Flops of the Last 25 Years.”

C’mon, man, come the fuck on.

We’ve all heard the clichés about cars being extensions of ourselves, so I wasn’t all that surprised by this. Not that I’m calling myself a “flop,” but the author’s description of the Crossfire Coupe as a “bright-eyed hunk of weirdness” did hit a little close to home.

As usual, I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say (after all, that article on the “Yoga of Creativity” in Tricycle has totally got me doubting my talent as a writer – and a yogini, for what it’s worth) but I do know this: it really doesn’t matter which magazines I read. So much in this world is intended to make us feel bad about ourselves for one reason or another. So, whether it’s ELLE making women feel bad about floppy boobs or C/D making me feel bad about my floppy car, I just got to keep telling myself that it’s all by design.

Ads, editorial, it doesn’t matter. They’re all selling something...and at a mere fraction of the newsstand price, I'm sure they'll sell me another subscription.

Aug 6, 2010

Long Gong Memories...

My memory of college is hazy. Academically speaking, I’m not sure I took away all that I should have and, God knows, I put too much effort into things that did me no good. Evidence: that “A” in plant biology and that “C” in graphic design.

That’s why a random college flashback I had today – in the middle of a design job (how you like me now, professor d-bag?) – totally caught me off guard. This incident might very well belong in the “you had to be there” category, but on the off chance that any of you share my bizarre sense of humor, here we go...

It was spring 1996, the end of my freshman year. For some dumb rhetoric final, we had to prepare an “argument” about a current events issue and present both front of the whole class. This self-debate would be followed by three minutes of questions from the class that the presenter would have to answer from both points of view. Yes, it was just as screwy as it sounds. The only reasons I remember this exercise in state-funded schizophrenia was that 1) I hated public speaking, and 2) sitting through the “arguments” from my fellow classmates was something like watching The Gong Show.

Surprisingly, I do remember what my issue was: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s refusal to stand during the national anthem (kinda ahead of the times bringing up that shit in a pre-9/11 world, huh?). However, I don’t remember the questions I got or my grade. And, even if my life depended on it, I couldn’t give specifics on what the other kids yammered for one.

Before I go on, let me set the scene. I went to the pasty white College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. The majority of kids hailed from heartland suburban (in contrast to NYC suburban, which is actually more urban than Minneapolis), semi-rural, and rural areas. So, yeah, we’re talking zippo in the way of racial diversity or urban culture let alone any familiarity with East Coast/West Coast rap wars.

Back to Gong Show 101. A girl gets up and starts in on how Tupac Shakur is still alive and that he left all kinds of clues and shit (I’m paraphrasing) to support this hypothesis. Evidence of his faked death was supposedly in song lyrics, videos, symbols hidden in bling worn by his Thug Life crew, you name it. It was obvious that she personally believed this side of her “argument” as I remember her devoting well over the allotted 50% of her presentation time to it.

Why is this so funny? Picture a classroom of a few dozen white farm kids listening to passionately presented “facts” of malfeasance surrounding Tupac’s “death.” Facts accompanied by visual aids, to boot. And by visual aids, I mean a poster board collage consisting of photos of Suge Knight, album art, and Tupac’s tattoos.

Oh, man. I remember biting, BITING, the insides of my cheeks so I didn’t burst out laughing. Meanwhile, the rest of the class was completely befuddled. I’m sure this was the first many of them have heard of this fucking nonsense – Makaveli rising from the dead to seek revenge against the East Coast and whatnot – let alone heard a real live black person speak.

When the Q&A portion rolled around you could hear crickets (really, our campus was quite woodsy).

 As I said upfront, this story may not make any sense to anyone but me. All I know is that I’ve forgotten about it for almost 15 years and I’m putting it down now so I will remember it 4eva.

Tupac lives after all, y’all.

Aug 2, 2010

Christmas in August

I stayed in the car as John ran in to FYE to pick up a DVD for his friend's birthday. He returned with a big smile on his face. "The DVD was on sale, so I got you a present," he said.

"Close your eyes and open your hand."

As transactions prefaced with that phrase usually don't end well, I was leery. Seems I had good reason:

In case you were wondering, she "says 3 unique phrases as her head bobbles."

Jul 10, 2010

Gimme a "T"

There have been several parallels drawn by writers in both the financial and the automotive fields between Tesla Motors and the Tucker Corporation. The similarities they cite: an IPO that precedes a structured manufacturing process, a wicked penchant for PR, and an appeal to the independent spirit.

But, while I won’t buy a single share of TSLA for $17, I’ve gladly forked over $100+ for an old Tucker stock certificate (ironically, via PayPal, a company founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk). This got me thinking as to why I roll my eyes at one “dream,” but embrace the other.

I guess it has something to do with the scrappy, underdog image possessed by Preston Tucker vs. the  celebrity kiss-ass, near billionaire status of Elon Musk (although the story of Musk’s true net worth changes daily, no doubt due to his impending divorce).

Musk has been put forth as a genius entrepreneur. And I don’t dispute that characterization. He has founded highly lucrative computer software systems, a fucking space exploration company, the aforementioned PayPal, and a bunch of other crap that I’m not even going to pretend to understand.

But as anyone who is familiar with the story of Preston Tucker and the Tucker Corporation (or at least has seen the movie) knows, the “Government” – in quotes because it was multiple entities, from Congress to the SEC – was the main reason why Tucker was not given a fair chance to succeed.

Preston’s predicament could not be further from the one in which Elon finds himself. In this culture, “going green” is not only the right thing to do, but is also extremely politically popular and fashionable among those who have the dough to spend on an upscale electric vehicle like a Tesla. As such, Tesla has landed Government subsidies out the wazoo, including a fat $465 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, and will most likely continue to get government subsidies for the foreseeable future for things like providing green jobs, etc.

Furthermore, if you visit Tesla’s website, you’ll see all pricing info is followed by an asterisk. Unlike “regular” car advertising, the asterisk does not indicate a higher “as shown” price or “taxes, title, and other fees may apply.” Nope. In fact, its purpose is to signify that the price shown includes a $7,500 U.S. federal tax credit. Yup, they are actually shaving $7.5K off the MSRP for advertising purposes. If, by some divine miracle, Tucker ever got the car-buying public a federal tax credit for purchasing his 1948 sedan,  he’d be strung up by his heels for “false advertising” should he shear it off the base price and print it in an ad.

And there’s more. Part of Tesla’s business model is that they hope to “subsidize” the development of the “affordable” ($57 K w/o the tax credit) Model S with the sale of their $100K+ Roadster. That’s just screwy. Tucker’s whole premise was to provide an affordable, safe, family vehicle right off the bat. Not to sell the rich-and-famous a novelty roadster and then take it from there.

One last point (there are countless others, don’t even get me started on design!). Tucker was unwilling to sell out. There are already rumors that Tesla’s destiny is to become a tech company, not an auto manufacturer, with the intention to sell battery packs and other “green” technologies to established manufacturers. Maybe that’s why the company hired George Blankenship, the man behind the Apple Store, as Vice President of Design and Store Development. Given Musk’s history of mergers, sell-offs and other deals, this seems not only believable but inevitable.

So, as for the similarities between Tesla and Tucker? Well, I guess they both start with the letter “T.”


Jun 30, 2010

In the Bag

This weird Russian espionage thing that's gripping New Jersey and the Nation is But what’s even weirder is the news coverage. Since there is no real information on the purpose of the “deep cover” exercise, reporters are focusing on the “spies” themselves – personalities, jobs, lifestyles, that sort of thing.

In a particularly hilarious LA Times article titled “Spy suspects led average American lives,” which reads like something out of The Onion, reporters offer examples aplenty as to how these folks were super-duper superficially American – and thus were able to throw neighbors and friends off their collective trail. When not transmitting code over radio (really? radio?), the suspects haggled over mortgages, occasionally forgot their computer passwords, and used social media. One even drove a green Honda Civic.

While I admit I too would be fooled by these outward displays of mediocrity, there was one itty-bitty detail that tripped my suspicion meter. Big time. And it’s all summed up in this one sentence describing a neighbor’s account of the actions of alleged communist spy Cynthia Murphy:

“Once she saw her walking home with a bunch of daffodils and a French baguette.”

Now, if you’ve seen any television at all, you know that there is nothing that says “average American” better than a brown paper bag with flowers and a loaf of French bread sticking out of it. Especially in commercials. We see independent women loading ‘em into their CR-Vs; we witness men clumsily clutching ‘em as head-turners wink at them on city streets. And the children! We see those all-American kids hungrily grabbing at ‘em as mom returns from a shopping trip that has brought her unprecedented Wal-Mart savings.

Do you see where I am going with this? The bouquet plus the baguette was just too staged. It was a sloppy disguise move equivalent to donning a Groucho-style glasses/nose/mustache combo. Seems like a pretty comedic act for calculating communists to make after years of intense training on how to avoid detection.

Maybe they mixed up their Marxes.

Jun 19, 2010

My Other Car is a Tucker...

Just a quick pic to show how fabulous my weekend has been. Yep, that's me and the one-and-only Tin Goose. And yes, it did get better. Seriously.

Jun 10, 2010

Don't Call Me...

Multiple sources report that the blogosphere (side note: my spell check actually recognizes “blogosphere” as a real word, uggh) is “erupting.”

Yeah, again.

This time, it’s over some bizarre memo circulated by GM leadership telling employees to, in essence, stop calling Chevrolet “Chevy.” And the clarification memo prompted by this initial memo. And the YouTube video response issued to clarify the clarification memo. And the Tweets Twittered to call attention to the video...arrgggh.

The reason behind this seemingly bizarre string of corporate communication has to do with GM wanting to maintain global brand consistency. It seems only folks in the US use the term “Chevy” and there is international confusion when folks outside the US visit the Chevrolet website and see the word “Chevy.”

Most of the spewing is being done by advertising and marketing types who, in summary, feel GM is behind the times in its branding strategy. They claim most companies are now favoring shortened versions of their name (think “FedEx”) to suit the modern consumer. Blah, blah, blah.

And what’s the blogosphere without the comments from the masses? Let me also sum up their position for you. Throngs of “Chevy” guys and gals are outraged at that GM would want to take their beloved term of endearment away and force them to say the longer by one whole sylable “Chevrolet.” My theory is that people, presumably the heartbeat of America (sorry, couldn’t resist), think it sounds French or something and this is just one of those “freedom fries” things.

But, back to the eruption.

I clicked through about a half-dozen (shame on me) posts. Pros, cons, reasons, excuses…whatever. But then I came across this explanation:

"I get calls from international colleagues asking me 'What is a Chevy,’" said German-born GM spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin. "It takes quite a long time to explain to them."

Maybe I’m missing something here, but a GM spokesperson should be able to answer “what is a Chevy” in his sleep. And he is German-born, so his style should be efficient (though he does have two first names, so something’s up…perhaps he’s half French?).

So, what is the reason it is so difficult to explain why “Chevrolet” would be shortened into “Chevy”? As far as nicknames go, it’s pretty intuitive. But, these are international colleagues, so maybe there are language barriers or something.

Want to start a real eruption? Just imagine trying to explain to an international colleague why, in the US, we call fat guys “slim” and the downtrodden “lucky.” Only in America!

Jun 1, 2010


On Saturday, I went to retrieve the last of my "stuff" from my dad's house. It was sold and the official closing is just days away. I didn't exactly grow up here, but it was our family's first house. We moved in the spring of 1991, which was the summer between 8th grade and freshman year of high school. It was cool in a way because I got to start "new" and go to public school for the first time (it was Catholic school until then). It also kinda sucked because I didn't know anybody.

After high school, I began my Midwestern misadventures which brought me to Minnesota, then Ohio. Eventually, though, as an early 20-something in debt and brokenhearted, I came back to 86 Home Ave. At that point, my parents had divorced and it was known as "daddy's house."

Slowly, I got my shit together, paid my bills and met John. As luck would have it, the man who is now my husband lived about a half-mile from that house (also in debt and brokenhearted when we met). Our first date was at a Chinese restaurant two blocks away. Not too long after that August day, we got our first apartment. Again, about two blocks away.

Over the past few years, 86 Home Ave became a place to store boxes and celebrate the occasional holiday. I never really thought about it all that much. It was always there and somewhat taken for granted. A place for us kids to go when we couldn't quite make it on our own. Where there was always some kind of barking dog, or screeching birds, and more than enough Budweiser for everybody. Like every other place in this crazy world, good times were had there as well as bad.

While we were pulling away on Saturday, I couldn't help but get choked up a bit. I talked to "daddy" yesterday and he said he felt the same way.

"Life goes on," I said. "Yes, it does," he replied.

May 30, 2010

Donnell Rawlings in Da House

Literally. The lady in the apartment down the hall was shooting a comedy short. He signed our DVD and took a quick pic. We're on the list to see him at Caroline's tonight. Should be fun.

Usually, I wouldn't let a photo of me w/o makeup see the light of day...but it's ASHY LARRY!!!!!

May 20, 2010

Whatta Guy

The Food Network is hawking the Guy Fieri “Knuckle Sandwich” cutlery collection just in time for Father’s Day. Curious as I am, I had to click on the offer in my email and see what these nifty knives are all about. Uggh. There is nothing more lame than kitchen gear, well, geared toward men. But this testimonial from the Big Bite “star” is so enticing, I almost, ahem, bit:

"I’m a Hot Rod guy who knows that in order to do car-building right, you need high quality performance parts. The same idea applies to cooking, so the right knives are key. My product features a combination of the best materials with a design that will blow your mind! As a chef, restaurant owner, and TV personality, I have high expectations for my equipment and these knives meet and exceed all of them."

Just kidding. Though I do wonder how, exactly, my mind would be blown by cutlery design.

Notice how “hot rod” equates to masculinity in Guy’s peroxide damaged brain. My father can’t even change a tire, let alone be considered a “hot rod guy,” but he wouldn’t be caught dead using the lame-ass knives. Guess I’ll have to look elsewhere for a gift.

The only time a man belongs in a kitchen is when he’s installing cabinets or reaching something off the top (or second or third from the top, in my case) shelf. (Maybe that's a bit sexist --but it's OK as you'll notice it offends both sexes. Sorry transgenders). I take my kitchen seriously!

May 19, 2010

Don't Fear the Weeper

I was reading CNN dot com again. Apparently, I never learn. There was this “news” story titled Kids' Test Answers on Race Brings Mother to Tears. No...really...I...can’t...oh, no...CLICK.

Damn it.

Here’s how it started…

A 5-year-old girl in Georgia is being asked a series of questions in her school library. The girl, who is white, is looking at pictures of five cartoons of girls, all identical except for skin color ranging from light to dark.

When asked who the smart child is, she points to a light-skinned doll. When asked who the mean child is she points to a dark-skinned doll. She says a white child is good because "I think she looks like me", and says the black child is ugly because "she's a lot darker."

As she answers her mother watches, and gently weeps.

OK. I think what we are missing here is a small thing called the point. When little kids are not being absolute trolls, they often speak the truth in their simplicity. Her preference for the light colored doll has nothing to do with stereotypes of African-Americans taught at home, school, or portrayed in the media (well, maybe it does, but that’s a different essay).

If you read this at all (instead of instantly expressing outrage) when asked why the white doll was good, she replied “because she looks like me.” That’s right. The girl has healthy self-esteem and chose the one that looks like her when asked to distinguish the doll with positive qualities. And what does her mother do, she weeps. Good fucking job, ma.

As humans, it is our nature to compare ourselves to other humans. As evidenced by my whacked-out self-esteem issues, I am an expert at this. The key to making yourself feel good about yourself is to not get wrapped up in the qualities of others, whether its skin color, height, weight, education, income, whatever. And the best way to do this is to focus on our own identity and positive qualities. That’s what kids do. They are self-centered because their world really is all about them. Their gold stars and hogging all the toys and shit. If the girl said “I abstain from answering this question because it may cast me as racist” then I’d say we have a problem. But she didn’t. She thought that she was bringing attention to her good qualities not casting aspersions upon an entire population of black dolls. I call that natural.

Notice I am not saying we shouldn’t appreciate or respect differences. My point is that we should not get so painfully aware of our differences that we weep from white guilt and self-loating when a child responds the way a child should respond.

The kid is not racist; the doll is not human. The kid does not understand that stating a doll with apparently no other distinguishing characteristics except for the fact that it is a lot darker is "A LOT DARKER” is somehow wrong in this day and age. She is unaware of Andersen Cooper’s blog. The person who interprets the statement of the 5 year old to mean something “racist” is the racist -- or just so PC that they are afraid to be labeled “racist” if they don’t interpret this doll picking as an outrage.

As adults, when we think about our place in the world, we can get crazy and overwhelmed. In many ways, the word in 2010 is a giant free-for-all. If we can hone our focus on who we are and where we fit in, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Again, I’m not saying “Ohhh…whites can’t fit in with blacks.” I am saying that if we need to develop healthy personal identities before we can step forward and say “we live world where everyone has value and I am just one piece of this mosaic called humankind.”

Feeling good about yourself and correlating positive adjectives with things you identify with (even if it’s a doll) is healthy. It’s instinct. It’s survival. The kind of thing a 5 year old can remind us of.

So, read that and weep.

May 16, 2010

Mystery Bugatti?

I picked up the rest of some old and interesting photos this weekend. Many were parts of series. Already, I had found out some were original photos of a "famous" Cord L-29 and so forth. Below is one of four of a Bugatti racer that has some pretty identifyable markings. That is, if you know what the hell you're looking for.

Can anyone help me out on this? The other photos were of the engine and a full body shot with some young children looking on. It's on a tree-lined, residential street. Photo is printed on Kodak/Velox paper -- so developed in the 50s.

Let's figure this out!

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Somehow, we ended up on Atlantic Beach on Long Island's South Shore today. I was completely bummed to find out this place is verboten during the summer unless you are a member of an Atlantic "Beach Club" (dilapidated, hotel-like structures that seriously look like something only accessible by time machine). Since I didn't ask for permission, guess I'll settle for forgiveness. God created beaches anyway, right? Damn the man-made rules.

Hope y'all ain't made sick by our whimsical sweetness.

Apr 29, 2010

Any Plans for the Weekend?

Hey gals. The guest of honor called to confirm for Saturday. Let's just put it this way...she sounds pretty blunt. This is going to fan-friggin-tastic.

Good thing we'll have Belvedere and Mel's "poke cake."


Apr 27, 2010

Accessibility: The Hallmark of a Good Dictator

I read today that Hugo Chavez now has a Twitter account. Apparently, he’s joined President Obama and Fidel Castro (who I didn’t even realize was still alive) in this nonsense. In theory, this makes them all "more accessible" to hoi polloi who are obsessed with this kind of bullshit.

So, is social networking the new “Fireside Chat”? Or is political discourse officially now on the same level as “BoobQuake”?

Apr 22, 2010

Let's Just Ban the Children

I read an article today aptly titled “Tobacco in Candy-like Form Can Poison Kids.” It examined a new wave of artificially flavored, smokeless tobacco products that are, allegedly, going to confuse and/or entice the youngsters. This confusion will lead them into a downward spiral of addiction and eventual death from nicotine poisoning, choking, or cancer (or maybe all three, I didn’t read to the end).

You’re probably thinking “Wow, I want to try these.” Well, that’s exactly the point. Designed to be desired by a new market segment (read: middle schoolers) these nicotine delivery devises assume the shape of breath strips (my personal favorite as a kid), and snus. Whatever the hell a snus is.

Here are some excerpts from the at-odds experts quoted in the article:

"Nicotine is a poison, and now we're seeing smokeless tobacco products that look like Tic Tacs or M&M's, which parents can leave on the counter and children can be attracted to."


"The packaging of Camel Orbs and the other dissolvable products is ‘100 percent child-resistant in accordance with Consumer Product Safety Commission standards’ and bears a label that says ‘Keep Out of Reach of Children.’"

I won’t credit either statement because they are both equally ridiculous and the people who were quoted should be ashamed.

Anyone can see that the issue here is not nicotine-infused breath mints. It’s whether or not tobacco should be banned. This battle, which seems to come to a head every so often, is moot. It’s one fight that is never going to be won (until we have socialized medicine), because it is so screwed up. Because it is so American.

The problem is not the new Camel Orbs or snus. It’s the hypocrisy of the American Way. What we have here is a big fight among the treasured American ideals of capitalism, freedom, science (from both sides of the issue), agriculture, etc. You’ll notice I left out common sense – yeah, that was on purpose.

Looming large in this debate are capitalism and freedom.

Ahh, capitalism. “Big tobacco” has pretty much admitted that their products are addictive and cause all sorts of health issues. But, despite the “medical community” and “Government regulators” they still have a product. They are running a business. To that end, they need to keep that product viable to stay in business – support the economy and all that. How does a tobacco company keep a product viable? By reformulating and repackaging like every other fucking consumer product. Oh, and by groooooowing their customer base.

And freedom. Yes, We the People have the freedom to put whatever we want into our bodies. Except what the Government tells us we can’t, like trans-fats and sex toys (if you reside in Texas). Let it ring.

So, the “medical community” and, apparently, the youth are shit out of luck on this one.

And while the Orbs are no doubt dangerous, like most things that look pretty and taste good, I still want to try them.

R.J. Reynolds 1, The Surgeon General 0.

Apr 13, 2010


For those of us out of work or looking to move on, the Internet is just chock full of advice on how to make your resume stand out, what to wear to your first, second, and third interviews, and how HR gatekeepers are judging applicants by the kind of cell phone they carry.

It’s a mad, mad, mad, world.

The other day, I came across a particularly ridiculous piece about dining etiquette for “meal interviews.” The article was pretty common sense until it got to the part where it said not to season your food until you taste it first. Apparently this shows “poor impulse control.” Now, HR Weekly dot com or whatever may be content to buy this attempt at bullshit organizational psychology, but I know better.

At the best of restaurants, the server barely has time to back away from placing the plate on the table before the pepper mill man slips in and asks, of course, “You wanna fresha peppa?”

To that question, I do not pause and taste test my salad or entrée. I simply and confidently say “yes.” Especially in the case of white foods, like the fettuccine Alfredo the interview etiquette warned me against. I let the mill man go nuts for one reason: it obviously does not have pepper on it. If my potential employer doesn’t realize that, then there is a problem. And this is the sort of problem that is only going to get worse over time. If you can’t even see that the pallid Alfredo is in dire need of cracked black pepper, how are you ever going to notice the subtle nature of my genius?

Call me nutso, but seasoning my food doesn’t mean I can’t control myself. It means I know enough to ask for what I want. All the other interview advice says to act confidently, arm yourself with information, and sharpen your negotiating skills…so why pick on the pepper?

Apr 9, 2010

How You Like Me Now?

So, I participated in the Kia Sorento Ride & Drive @ the NY International Auto Show.

The ride was definitely not as fun as the advertising led me to believe it would be...

Apr 2, 2010

Thank You

John sold the Hyundai today. Yes, this one.

I'm gonna call you "Spanky" all weekend long..

Apr 1, 2010

Quite Kubrick

...The conjugal life is bathed in red, at first, and death and danger in blue -- until the film begins switching and juxtaposing them incessantly to create underlying tension. (From a film review of Eyes Wide Shut by Janet Maslin, NYT; 7/16/99)

 I just wanted a pic of my new shades for the ladies at the office.

Mar 30, 2010

Sold It, Sold It, Sold It!

So, it’s the last week of March and I’m not in Florida.

We had to skip Mets Spring Training & Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach because of life shit (nothing bad, just being careful). I didn’t think I’d miss it all that much, but I was wrong.  And why am I so sure? Evidence strongly suggests the subconscious is acting out again. It’s like my inner-self knows I should be on vacation and is guiding my actions accordingly. Exhibits A, B & C – all procured on Saturday: new Chanel shades, a Kat Von D Sinner/Saint compact (cheesy, yes, but irresistible nonetheless), and a “Big Brown Bag” of Bloomingdale’s friends & family sale nonsense. The only thing missing is dinner at Benihana.

At this rate, I won’t make it to any destination for vacation this year. I’ll end up sitting at home in my designer studded jeans (I told you it was bad) counting my lipsticks.

To add insult to injury, SPEED is airing at least three quarters of its bazillion hours of B-J coverage during work hours. The exception is Saturday -- but I have a $alon appointment which will probably take all day. Good lord, I sound high maintenance.

Alright. So spring vacation was a no go. Buying a shitload of expensive crap is not going to change anything. Let's be reasonable; B-J Palm Beach kind of sucks anyway. Plus, it’s a whole lot of trouble to wrangle up a $9K deposit just to be too shy to say “hi” to Steve Magnante.

Here's to Fantasy Bidding.

Mar 24, 2010

Vice Prejudice?

So, tells me Gene Simmons and his not-his-wife were on The Joy Behar show last week. They talked about sex. A lot. No, really. I’m not making this up.


We all know Simmons prides himself on his “My only vice is women” shtick. That’s itself. But I scratch my head when he repeatedly declares his disapproval of drugs and alcohol. This got me thinking about vice in general and the ranking of such vice-ey activities. Among other tangential things – can one vice really be “better” than another? And why do people perceive certain vices as unacceptable yet applaud others? In other words: why do we shake our heads (and fingers) at the fat guy enjoying a Newport, but give Simmons his own TV show?

I tend to agree with the old Julia Child quote “Everything in moderation, including moderation,” but I can certainly spot when things have gone overboard.

To be clear, I consider Simmons’ sex nonsense a “vice” just for the fact that it is so extreme, not because I am Amish. According to self-reports, Simmons has had sexual relations with approximately 4,600 women. I’m not sure what constitutes “relations,” but to rack up 4,600, I’m gonna guess it ranges from anything more than a peck to a full-on poke. Regardless, it’s a hell of a lot of women (and I’m unclear on whether or not this figure accounts for multiple encounters). 4,600 of pretty much anything constitutes a vice.

Can you imagine if someone went on TV saying they want to eat 4,600 Big Macs or smoke 4,600 cigars?

These days even saying you are an occasional smoker will get you the stink eye. You like to smoke weed? Get off welfare, you lazy ass! Let’s not forget the degenerate gamblers. And a pox on you if your vice is food-related (unless you are thin) – you, sir, are a slob and are the cause of the nation’s obesity epidemic and the sole reason why we are all going bankrupt paying for healthcare.

The bottom line is that Simmons is not alone in his vice prejudice. Not by a long shot.

Seriously, why is this? Think about only have to have sex once, for like a minute, to get pregnant or catch an STD. Even if I gambled everything I owned in one bet, the worst off I’d be is broke (Russian Roulette not withstanding).

So what gives? As is the answer 99% of the time I ask these kinds of questions: who the hell knows.

Of course, Simmons is free to do whatever the hell he wants. I just don’t get the one-sidedness of his thinking.

I guess I favor the old-time, multi-vice kind of celebs – like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Wine, women, and song…all while smoking a cigarette and letting it ride.

No one seemed to have a problem with them. But that’s way before CNN.

Mar 19, 2010

Count Me In

A high school teacher once gave me a tip for taking the SAT. She said that if at least one of the multiple choice answers could be eliminated, we should take a guess as opposed to leaving the bubble blank. The reason for this had something to do with losing only a partial point for a wrong answer but gaining a full point for a right answer. Sounds like gambling to me, but apparently wrong answers are better than no answers in certain situations.

Why the hell am I talking about SAT scores when I’m 33? No, I don’t have a teenager. What I do have is a 2010 Census form!

I must admit a little high school ‘tude kicked in when I opened the form and saw that participation is required by law. Flash it back to RHS, when my wardrobe consisted solely of punk tees and knock-off Lip Service stretch pants. I was a real rebel, I tell ya – all "God save the Queen" and whatnot. (Ironic side note: I live 10 miles from my hometown, but John just sold a batch of my old punk tees on EBay to some kid in Japan.)

Being still somewhat subversive, but with a much better wardrobe, my first inclination was to fill out the form with bogus nonsense. I mean, the government has no problem unleashing bogus nonsense on me all the time, why not give some back? I’ll tell you why, because there is actually a penalty.

The penalty, from what I can Google, is this: 13 USC Sec. 221 provides for a $100 fine for not answering the Census and a fine of up to $500 for giving wrong information. I did not pursue the matter far enough to figure out what the “up to” actually involves. I always wondered about “up to” provisions – like the “Curb Your Dog” signs that say “...may face fines up to $200 or 3 days in jail.” Does is depend on the size of the poop? What breed the judge favors? Alright, focus.

All I know is that this flies in the face of SAT wisdom. And my punk instinct...which is pulling my hand toward filling in the “Laotian” box.


Mar 5, 2010


Fort Lee, NJ is historically significant for several reasons. In 1776, somewhere around the area we now call Main Street, George Washington began his retreat. Yes, the retreat from the British Army that inspired Thomas Paine to pen “The American Crisis” –  the famous pamphlet that begins “These are the times that try men's souls.”

Fort Lee is also known as the birthplace of the film industry (the term “cliffhanger” originated on our palisades), and subliminal advertising.

But during the snowy winter months, my beloved borough’s claim to fame becomes its impossible parking conditions.

I pay $50 a month to park underneath my building. Year-round, I consider that money well spent given the fact that I can’t parallel park. In the winter, that becomes money even better spent so I – oh, who am I kidding – so John doesn’t have to dig my car out from under a heap of snow, rock the little monster back and forth like Rosemary’s baby and  hurdle the beast over the plow pile onto the road.

So with a building-covered covered parking spot, I’ve got it made, right? Not really. Winter 2010 has been a pain in the ass in terms of snowfall. It has been even more of a pain in the ass since I now have two cars and one spot. For those of you following along, I just bought a sweet car. She is the favorite; she gets the spot under the building. That leaves the Hyundai (which, ironically I’ve been driving everyday because of the snow situation) on the street to get plowed in. And ticketed.

On February 14th, just following the first of our Blizzard(s) of 2010TM, I got a fucking parking ticket as the Hyundai was in violation of the 48 hour parking rule. At first, we thought this must be some mistake...perhaps the meter maid did not see the Fort Lee resident permit because the car was plowed in over the window?


It didn’t matter anyway – the rule is 48 hours, even with permit. Still, if a car is that plowed in, they should extend the limit a day or two, right? It was the BLIZZARD OF 2010TM FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!

But, I was technically in violation of the ordinance as much as the borough was in violation of common sense, so I went online to pay the ticket.

I did not believe that online ticket payment would be a problem. I mean, police stuff is high tech now. Anyone can see how advanced our system is by simply turning on the TV. Every hour of the day there is some kind of Law & Order, CSI, NCIS, etc., where they scan a piece of belly button lint into some 3-D contraption and – Mekka Lekka Hi Mekka Hiney Ho – the crime is solved.

Imagine my surprise (yes, imagine it!) when after typing in everything correctly, I got a message saying it could not “find” my ticket information.

Where was my ticket information? Had it flown south for the winter to escape the Blizzard(s) of 2010TM? Someone call Lieutenant Van Buren.

Scratch that – phone the FL municipal court. After confirming the fine was $40, she said I could not pay online because the ticket book had not yet been turned in, so the tickets had not been put into the computer.

Say, what?

I find it completely unbelievable that I can’t pay my parking ticket online because the upload of ticket information is manual. Granted, my exposure to crime and justice is mainly through the TV, so maybe my expectations are unrealistic.

I wrote the damn check. Consider it my retreat. I guess 234 years later, these are still the times that try men’s souls.


I had pretty much finished this essay in my head a week ago, but I’m glad I left it to ferment. Last evening a friend of mine told me she once racked up over $3K of Fort Lee parking tickets while she was hospitalized. What is the point of that? If the location of her car actually constituted such a gross violation, shouldn’t they have just towed the damn thing? Do they really think that someone who would “allow” approximately 100 tickets to accumulate on their windshield would not have a legitimate excuse for not moving the car? You would think they’d run her plates, get her address, and check and see if she was OK.

To protect and serve...ummm, OK.

She went to court. The tickets were tossed.

Feb 26, 2010

Sassy on a Snow Day

I spent all day snowed in. You would think I'd have come up with something intelligent to write about.


Just did some reading...

Feb 15, 2010

Photo Finish

While going through some storage boxes under my bed (a favorite thing to do on federal holidays – along with weeding out my sock drawer and closets, and shaving my legs), I came across a very small stack of old, pre-digital camera photographs. This got me thinking as to why I have like 8,000 photos from the past five years and about six photos from the previous 28.

The answer is simple: it’s the delete button!

In the age of the Kodak Easy Share and the Samsung whatever, we have options. When a photo looks like shit – we get rid of it. No money is wasted on film or prints. Gone are the days where you had to drop your 110 film into that weird receptacle at the supermarket and hope for the best (after sealing the self-stick envelope and marking the “doubles” checkbox, of course). Today, we just click, download, and move to the recycle bin if our eyes are half-closed and our chins make us look like one of those dancing snots from the Mucinex commercial.

But it does bother me that years of my life are completely missing from any photo album. Were my pictures that shitty? Eh, who knows. I can’t “undo delete” from 20+ years ago…so I guess it really doesn’t matter.

Feb 10, 2010

Fun Hindu Healing

"Think of your body as the chariot, the senses as the horses, and your mind as the charioteer. Things fall out of balance when we allow the horses to take over. Accidents happen. The mind loses the capacity to stop the senses from causing harm in the form of too much TV, smoking, overeating, staying up late. The more we live our lives driven by the whim of the senses, the more tense and anxious we become. Until we get back into balance, stress just begets more stress."

The above was in a yoga book I received the other day. This passage struck me as I am always finding myself stressed out about something. And I do think it's from, basically, letting the "reins" off my senses/emotions (in this example a disconnect between the charioteer and the horses).

Mind, body & spirt, listen up. You will connect. You will...

In Business

It may be a bit before I have material up there that constitutes a portfolio (most of my writing & design is "work product" of current/past employers). But I do have an iron in a small fire.

It keeps me going.

Jan 27, 2010

Hope for the Haggard

I have observed a very strange social pattern in recent months: people are exceptionally cranky. Previously pleasant types are now constantly complaining. They have even taken to complaining about other people’s complaining. This has been bothering me for awhile, as I’ve been complaining incessantly too. And since my complaints are, of course, valid there has to be more to this.

A “complaint” is commonly defined as an expression of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment (or all three in some cases). Call it what you want, it all boils down to the failure of something or someone to live up to expectations. But people have been letting people down for years. From the Government to the Verizon store to our own damn kids, so what gives in 2010? Why are people so vocal with their dissatisfaction?

Let’s rock it SAT style:

The recent inundation to the complaint department is because:

a) People are waking up to the fact that expectations are high and people consistently underperform

b) We are realizing we can’t even live up to our own expectations of ourselves

c) The people who set the high standards in the first place aren’t living up to them and they are punishing us

Absent an “all of the above” response, I’m gonna go with “c.” Mostly because choices “a” and “b” assume some kind of personal responsibility...and that’s a post for another day.

So, let’s talk a bit about the folks who are setting the standards too damn high. I’m going straight to the top with this one. In 2008 Obama had the country believing we were on the verge of a new era of prosperity. The First 100 Days came and went, and suddenly the wide-eyes of an optimistic nation began to squint. Now, a good percentage of the public would agree the motto for the latter half of 2009 should have been “We went to Obama for hope, and all we got was a lousy t-shirt.”

Here’s where the “punishing us” part comes in. Call it the trickle-down effect or what have you, but I really believe people of any power whatsoever took the yanking of the dawn of hope as license to yank whatever “hope” they were in control of: promotions, jobs, free checked luggage, etc. Granted, some of this squeezing began long before Obama, but I don’t think the full and cumulative effect was felt until recently.

People didn’t get the shiny “New Beginning” and they became irritable. Take away their 401K matching (or worse) and watch the downward spiral unfurl…the big boss man says business is bad because of Wall Street. Wall Street says the problem is the Government. Government says the problem is GM paying people too much or some bullshit. And what happens? We endure pay cuts, record unemployment, and a slashing of our retirement account balances. When the dust settled, we saw the big boss man still had a job, Wall Street had a huge bonus year, and somehow our tax money went to GM (who laid off thousands last year) and unemployment insurance. It’s only natural to ask WTF. Maybe this was the plan after all – make everyone’s personal life a mess so we won’t have time or energy to question the “higher level” stuff.

But back to the complaining that got me started in the first place. There is a kind of an official phrase around my office. It’s “I can’t”. And it’s usually accompanied by a shaking of the head followed by a foot shuffle all the way back to the cubicle. This mantra is not so much an expression of defeat, but one of protest...more of an “I can’t do this much longer.”

Does this mean that we (ahem, the people) are finally getting the courage to say “I can’t” and really mean it? You know, working up the anger to revolt in a way that will make those in charge realize that there really aren’t enough undocumented workers to do all of our jobs?


Here we are in 2010. In two years, we went from a rousing chant of Obama’s “Yes We Can!” to a muttering of “I can’t.” Maybe the latter is the true rally cry which will fuel us to seek real change, in our personal lives and on the “higher level.”

We can only hope.

Jan 20, 2010

F the Solstice

Apparently I am too short and my boobs are too big to fit safely in a Solstice. So, I bought this instead: a 2005 Chrysler Crossfire. Only 11K miles. I love it. I can't believe they do not make these anymore. Fools!

This was taken at the dealership, Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich. Yeah, I had to take the search across state lines. Enjoy the photo. I am sure I will be writing more about this later...