Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category


Bruno Mars wears Benjamin Eyewear "Nicole...

(Photo credit: The Guise Archives)

 One Mom’s rant against the deification of sports.

Raise your hand if you think the best thing about this past weekend’s Super Bowl was Bruno Mars.  Now raise your hand if your school has pep rallies, cheer leaders, and neighborhood celebrations for the school band, or the drama club, or the dance troupe.

That’s what I thought.

Despite the fact that 4000 former players recently sued the NFL over head injuries – despite the fact that 1.35 million kids go to the ER each year because of school sports related injuries – despite the fact that having a kid involved in team sports results in thousands of parents  standing on freezing fields, in the rain, early on Sunday mornings when really, they’d rather be curled up with a cup of coffee and the paper, or better yet, still asleep – despite all of that —  our culture idolizes sports and kids’ participation in it, and barely looks up when a kid is a star performer in any of the arts.

It’s time we gave arts programs for school aged-kids  at least the same love we give sports programs.

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English: Cory Monteith as Finn Hudson on the G...

English: Cory Monteith as Finn Hudson on the Glee Live! In Concert! tour. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


First, let me be clear:  I am saddened by the death of Cory Monteith.  I feel for his family, for his friends, cast-mates, and of course his girlfriend, Lea Michelle. I think it’s sad any time a young person dies unnecessarily. And it’s especially sad when that person had so much talent, and touched so many.


So I’m not writing this because I think Cory Monteith didn’t deserve a tribute — I’m writing because I think he did.  And I don’t think he got one. (more…)

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, member of the United States House of Represe...

, member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Hello, my name is Ashley, and I’ll be your server this evening.  This summer, our chef has a season long special: WeinerSpitzle.  WeinerSpitzle is an only in NY combination of hubris, stupidity, perversion, and blatant disregard for the law.  We take a little bit of working class Bronx-boy-made-good-goes-bad, mix it in with the fallen star of an uber-powerful real estate dynasty, and serve it up to voters too shocked at the utter gall of it not to order it. So far, it’s the clear winner!


Only in NY.


It’s hard to believe that this election cycle we have not one but two formerly-disgraced-now-looking-for-redemption politicians in the mix.  Former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s transgression – mistakenly sending semi-nude (not even nude!) photos of his – ahem, weiner – out on Twitter, rather than to a private, consenting adult, and then blatantly lying about it, was stupid and showed lack of judgement and lack of respect for his wife, but wasn’t criminal.   Elliot Spitzer, on the other hand, flaunted the laws he had sworn to protect first as Attorney General, and then as land-slide elected Governor, when he frequented a “high-class prostitute”. (I love the distinction – isn’t  “high class” prostitute an oxymoron?  Do high class hookers have better manners?  Do low class whores chew with their mouths open?)

And now they both want back in. And according to a poll released today – they just may get their wish. (more…)

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In world where more than 80% of ten year old girls admit to having been on a diet, it behooves us to pay attention to the messages we send little girls about their bodies.  So it is not without much thought and consideration that I say that I find the hysteria over Disney’s new iteration of their newest Princess, Merida, to be crazily out of proportion.

(Insert pause for the sound of people frothing at the mouth and biting my head off here)

Now before you go saying that I have already admitted, on this very blog, to have partaken of the Disney Kool-Aid, let me assure you that despite indulging in a little corporate Kool Aid, I am still fully capable of forming my own opinions – positive or negative – about Disney. So can you. Take a look for yourself:

Merida before and after

Is she a bit more glam? Sure. Does that make her any less strong? I don’t think so. – Image from Yahoo Shine

Sorry.  But I just don’t think it’s that egregious.  Every time I see Ariel from The Little Mermaid I cringe at that ridiculous waist.  Ditto Jasmine. But this?  Not so bad. (And I’m not the only one who thinks so – check out what my friend Pilar Clarke has to say about it here. ) (more…)

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This white awareness ribbon is worn to raise consciousness of violence against women.

This white awareness ribbon is worn to raise consciousness of violence against women.

That social media and sex are intertwined is no surprise. What is surprising is how social media has become a weapon in sexual assaults of kids, tweens, and teens.
In Steubenville, Ohio, and in Torrington CT, and who knows how many other unreported places, social media is being used both during and after sexual assaults in shocking and disturbing ways.
In Stuebenville, the rapists (they’ve been convicted. I see no reason to mince words),not only committed the crime, but were so proud of it they shared it on their social media networks. The crime itself was horrific enough,but the fact that these rapists were so sure that what they were doing was perfectly acceptable behavior that posting it to Instagram seemed neither callous nor repugnant adds to that horror.  How did we get to the point where 17 year old students are so morally bereft that sexually assaulting an unconscious girl seems appropriate fodder for sharing with friends? (more…)

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Image representing Sheryl Sandberg as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

Sheryl Sandberg wants us to Lean In. Marissa Meyer wants us to come in (to the office, that is.). New York Magazine wants to reignite the Mommy Wars by re-branding them as being between those who lean out and those who lean in.

But the truth is, the distinction between leaning out or in, working in the home, from the home, at an office, virtually or not at all…it’s all moot. There is a whole new category of working woman: the digital housewife. (more…)

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Twenty children are dead.  Twenty.  It is beyond imagining that someone could do this.  It is beyond understanding how these families, the Newtown CT community, will make it through.

Like so many others, I have been glued to the TV.  What, exactly, happened?  Who was this mass murderer?  Why did it happen?  How?

And in the first days after the massacre, (no other word seems to have enough force) it made sense to watch the news, hoping for answers.

But now —- Now the coverage feels more like exploiting parents’ grief than relaying news.  The CNN anchors repeatedly use the phrase “out of respect for the families…”  Wolf Blitzer is positively apoplectic in his disclaimers: “The family came to you, correct?” he asked of a reporter who had just aired an interview of parents and their six-year-old. “You didn’t have to convince them, or coerce them? They wanted to do this.” He must have said that, or something like it, at least three times in less than five minutes.

Methinks thou dost protest too much, Wolf. (more…)

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Yesterday evening, two children from my neighborhood were fatally stabbed, allegedly by their Nanny, who then appeared to try to take her own life.

It is a horrific story.  Beyond imaginings.  To talk about how upsetting it is — well, what is there to say?  So I won’t talk about that beyond saying that I feel for those parents, for their families and friends, I cannot imagine their grief.

What I’d like to talk about instead is the media coverage.  Of course it’s sensationalistic.  Of course it feels sordid when reporters bombard neighbors, people who didn’t even know the family, with questions about the couple and their kids.  I’m used to that.  What bothers me is that almost without exception, every report about the murder — the murder of two small children — included a reference to the family’s social status. (more…)

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Sue Wicks’ Coca-Cola Foundation FIT event at the Armory in NYC

My friend Julie’s son is in an after-school football program that meets three days a week for three hours each practice.  He is 9-years-old.  If my son wants to play on his 7th grade soccer team, he needs to commit to practice three days a week, and devote a fourth day to playing games. My daughter would like to try ballet.  Of the four places I called, only one offers a less than three-day-a-week option for kids her age.  She’s 12.

It’s no wonder kids are dropping out of sports and other physical activities. (more…)

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Typewriter adler3

Typewriter adler3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I went to CE Week here in New York.  And here’s what I learned:  I’m not  journalist, and I’m fine with that.

For the second year in a row, the fabulous folks at Techlicious hosted a Media/Mom Blogger tour of the CE Week floor, highlighting various companies and products. Imagine it!  Actual journalists and bloggers co-existing and seeing the SAME things without coming to blows!

We saw Power Bag – a back pack with its own built-in charger, a family tablet from Kurio that allows you total control of what and how much content your kids can see – and to program it for each kid.

We saw Woven, a free app that aggregates your photos from all those bazillions of different websites you use to store them – Facebook, Picassa, Shutterfly, etc. etc. etc — so you can see them all in one place.  (Being able to share them from that one place would be nice — but for now at least, it’s just a viewer.  Still handy.)

We got a look at the latest ipieces ipad/app based toys from venerable toy company Pressman.  Their upcoming pool game looks pretty cool.  We saw the new, incredibly well priced streaming soundbar from RCA ($99), which also allows for video streaming from internet providers like Hulu and Netflix for no extra charge.

We learned about the super cool Control4 HC_250 Controller, which basically turns your home into a smart home.  Letting you control lights, temperature, even door locks and window shades with a remote, or from your smart phone.

Speaking of smartphones, we were treated to lunch at BLT Fish by HTC, who showed us a demo of their newest smart phone, the  HTC Droid Incredible  4G LTE.  Which has an awesome camera, a cool live widget system, and really, surprisingly good sound for a phone.  The thing has beats. I’m a Windows Phone girl…but I could be convinced.

And we got swag.  Lots of swag.  Including the Control 4. Which I called super cool just a few sentences back.

So does saying it’s cool when I got one make me NOT a journalist?  Nope.  I’m NOT a journalist because I do not get paid.  I do not get assignments.  I do not have a journalism degree.

None of this is news to me. (more…)

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