Archive for the ‘In The News’ Category

A Brighter Day!

May 2, 2011

 

Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue!

 

Never forget. Never let our guard down.

 

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It’s always seems impossible to juggle one more thing into an already hectic schedule without hemming and hawing about it but we were going to see Insidious this weekend. It was going to be Friday night after work, but not knowing what time we’d be able to get out after grocery shopping in preparation for next week we decided it would be Sunday. Melissa and Bob are coming to visit. Yes, we just saw them over Easter, but she had already planned on coming out. So, we needed to stock up on stuff, plus plan for Mother’s Day. So, Saturday, while I put in a full day of work–end of the month crunch–Ariel prepped pretty much all the food we’ll have and then we went into the city to a birthday party at Bowlmor in the city. It was Jamie’s birthday, of Ronny and Jamie who recently got married. Oh, yeah, and they made the announcement that they’re just seven months shy of being parents. Weeeee!

It’s been years since I’ve gone bowling and I must say I didn’t do too badly… 126. We only got in a game and a half. Traffic into the city was a complete mess and we arrived later than we planned. Midway through our second game, our time was up and they shut our lanes down to make way for the next party. I’m sure I was on target for a perfect game in the second round, but now we’ll never know. Might be something to look into, but around here….? Not sure where. Maybe we can install an alley in the basement.  

After the bowling party we went across the street to a club/bar and rather than go a la carte, we opted to pay the open bar fee of $50, get our wristbands so we could imbibe all night long. The way we figured it, it was a savings, especially by the time you buy a round or two. Of course, one also has to drink wisely, like with bottled beer because the liquor pours are nearly non-existent, a meticulously measured thimble-full. We drove Ronny and Jamie home, rather than their having to take the Path and it also afforded me the chance to tell my New York Hotel story yet again. I swear, that just doesn’t get old!

Yesterday, Ariel continued with some food prep and I turned into a white tornado and we headed out to the movies. Of course, even with Ingrid’s help, we still got lost up there, off Rt 3. Anytime we go up there we get lost. It’s got to be one of the most confusing tangle of roads in this entire state. Great suspenseful movie without the usual blood and gore, fires and explosions and car chases that so many movie makers deem necessary elements to a good movie. I had me kind of groaning in a spot or two, like it was taking a cue from so many other spooky movies, but it also had elements that had my hair standing on end. And it begs for a sequel.

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Nothing new on the Sony/NBC rumor to buy One Life to Live and All My Children except that one article cited that a particular actor from one of those shows, who hasn’t heard about the rumor has decided it possibly couldn’t be true. Well, how very nice for him. In the meantime, here is a link to quite a bit of information on how you can help Support Our Soaps.  There are phone numbers and addresses for executives and advertisers plus other information.

And for those of you who feel threatened by the so-called soap opera, remember this–to quote a very in depth columnists’ words (I hope he doesn’t mind)–just about every show, be it a cop show, sci-fi (ABC’s “V” is also now rumored it might not return next season), Desperate Housewives, or even your favorite “reality” show follows a similar formula, serialized storytelling, all taking a cue from the much maligned soap.

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Who Really Wins Here?

April 1, 2011

Well, I see Commander posted his own blog last night. I’m wondering how he did that, actually. I better watch it, not sure what other talents he’s acquired since his reincarnation.  Maybe that’s why his predictions have been uncharacteristically off, he’s been preoccupied with how to publish his own columns.

I understand Snooki is receiving $32,000 to imbue her life’s philosophy of “Study hard, but party harder”. One freshman at the college thought the price was a bargain considering the Jersey Shore’s popularity. Meanwhile, Nobel prize winning novelist Toni Morrison, is being paid a cool $30,000, to deliver the school’s commencement address in May,  two thousand dollars shy of the fee that’s coming out of the mandatory student activity fee for Snooki. Sounds almost like the St. Olaf Emergency Statue Fund. (episode 132: If At Last You Do Succeed, 10/6/90) That’s certainly understandable, that extra 2K will no doubt go into her trademark pouf.

And what is she going to talk about? How to be tan? How to do laundry? How to write a novel? And speaking of novel, can I sue for the opening line of the article I read about it this morning: “The pouf is mightier than the pen when it comes to speaking fees at New Jersey’s largest university”?

Hey, wait a second…is this an April Fool’s joke?

Signs of completion are upon us. The door is up, the light is lit, the debris and tarps are gone, the carpet was professionally vacuumed, the garage is cleaned out of construction materials. All that remains to be done is a fresh piece of base molding for the floor where there never was any and to cover one small piece above the inside of the door, where a beam in the roof is visible. Those will be completed today. I hope THAT’s not an April Fool’s joke. And if it really happens that the patio lights get installed tomorrow, then I’ll have to start thinking of other topics to blog about…until the stonework outside begins. Unless it’s about the new iPod Touch I got yesterday to replace my old dying iPod, one of the first origial “generations”, the type you had to turn a crank to get it started…

Have a great weekend everyone.  And just because, enjoy this clip with Ginger Rogers and Frances Mercer from Vivacious Lady (1938)

The Day The Music Died

March 25, 2011

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough was the “Brady Bunch Moment” song and it was a commendable offering and then the OH MY GOD moment—Stevie Wonder appeared. Who saw that one coming? Oh, there’s a joke basting in bad taste in there somewhere, but I need fate on my side to oust Haley tonight, so I’ll behave. Apparently it was Steven Tyler’s birthday and Little Stevie Wonder was a surprise for him.

Time for the results. First up…Pia, Lauren and Scotty. All safe! And the first three inducted into the Top 10 for the Tour.

Then Sugarland broke up the monotony with their performance of Stuck Like Glue.

James and Paul were up next and oh! Damn that Ryan tells them they’re both not safe. He meant really not safe and then Hulk Hogan comes out from behind the curtain, (I’m calling it a curtain. It’s really a doorway that slides open) a quick callback to the footage of the two contestants demonstrating their wresting skills. He announces that both of them are safe and going on the Tour and then with one sock to the face, sends Ryan flying into the audience. Paul…safe? Really?

Jacob, Thia and Stefano up next: Jacob is safe, that’s a given. Thia is in the bottom 3. Not one of my picks and Stefano also in the bottom 3. I’m all bummed and, off my game.

Casey, Haley and Naima: Naima was safe. Again, I’m glad, being that she’s my favorite but I really thought she was in jeopardy after she danced in the street. Stefano in the bottom 3? Come on, people! Damn it! And Casey was in the bottom 3. Also not my favorite, not by a long shot but come on….was America on drugs Wednesday night?

Well, you might not believe this, but at this point in my commentary there are 14 minutes left to the show so I have to make an emergency guess and say of those three, I’d like to say Casey would be the one to go, simply because he’s irritating to me, and also to my friend and supporter, Gary (thanks, Gary, btw…and you know what I mean, Brian told me what you did!) but I know, even though he’s in the bottom 3, he’s kinda popular. Look, if Haley could sail through…. and yeah, Stefano had a rough night…oh no, do could it be him? Thia did a good job though. Could they use a save tonight? I need to make a guess because Jennifer Hudson just finished singing and she looks fab! I have to say, Casey, based simply on his performance, added to the irritation factor. Oh, wait, Haley was safe, so that means I can say it… Stevie Wonder didn’t see it coming either! Nah nah nah nah nah nah!

Thia is safe, and I suddenly have a sick feeling in the pit of my teeny little tummy. The person with the lowest number of votes is Casey! YES!!!!!! Stefano is safe! They blew the save, not even a quarter of the way through his song.

So, there you are folks, the scales were definitely off kilter this week that no one, not even Stevie could see coming. And what’s this nonsense about ‘if something like this were to occur, it was pre-determined there’d be a top 11 in the Tour’. Cut me some slack, Jack!

Until next time…..

 

 

The Day The Music Died

Look at me giving Commander top billing today. Hey, that’s how I roll.

Well, the music didn’t really die, it’s sort of in state of purgatory. That’s right, my iPod is dying a slow death. But thanks to PD Rescue my entire iPod is backed up on my external drive and all ready to be loaded into my new iPod, whenever I get one. Maybe with…oh, get this…after my bitching about my check to the Federal income tax not clearing, it cleared yesterday and my return for my refund will be on its way this morning, so if my iPod can hang on for a little while longer I’ll be happy.

So, here’s something I find a tad unnecessary. It’s a new doll made by a Spanish company, Berjuan,  called Bebé Glotón, that is equipt to teach little girls about breast feeding. It comes with a halter top, decorated with two strategically placed daisies and when the dolly is placed near those daisies, it starts to make a sucking sound. It’s said that the doll will teach the other side of bottle feeding a baby. But is it necessary for a six year old to know how to breastfeed? People are arguing that dolls that come with bottles depict an unnatural way of feeding a baby, but I think that since 6 year-olds aren’t fully equipt to do otherwise, pretending to feed with a bottle is just fine. And bully for the United States Health Resources and Services Administration for wanting 75% of all mothers to breast feed for at least six months in 2011 and they think this Breast Milk Baby will help reach that goal. What’s next, baby bump pillows for those 6 year olds?

Well, Commander used up all my time, but that’s okay, because there’s always next week for some other stuff I got for you. Y’alls’ms have a great weekend now, you hear?

Once More Through The Ringer

March 16, 2011

And once more I’m a day late with this story, only because I had a couple of busy days and didn’t blog. Seems that the American Flag was once again the object of someone’s disapproval. It was displayed on a glass enclosed bulletin board in a Haddonfield, NJ board of education’s superintendent’s office, where it had been present for at least 25 years and someone decided to complain about it. The Board Administrator, Andrew Hall immediately removed the offending decal. But, Hall reconsidered and said in a telephone interview last Friday afternoon that there would be a replacement flag on the bulletin board the middle to end of next week (meaning, I believe, this week).

I immediately had one question, which should be fairly obvious, but who has that much disregard for the flag to be bullied into removing it from anywhere? Good Lord, are we that lily-livered and brainwashed in this country that we have to consistently cowtow to those who don’t like something?  What about those of us who are offended by people who find everything offensive? If anyone is that offended by our flag, let them go where the flag is more pleasing.  And the second question that came into my mind was why would it have to take so long to put another one on the bulletin board?

Had a pretty full weekend. We did some work around the house. I started some more seedlings, this time for some bell peppers. My tomatoes are growing like weeds as are my oregano and thyme. We got our soaker hoses and got them into the garden beds. We finally had a fire in our firepit Saturday night after the great disappearing act of 2011 which unwittingly turned our foursome into a threesome, and the three of us shivered ourselves into a stupor while the fire petered out.

Both days over the weekend, Jim was here working on the new closet, which, according to him yesterday should be completed by next Wednesday even though he’ll be leaving later on today to visit with his wife after his three week stay up here in New Jersey. His son will oversee the rest of the work.

Monday was my mother’s birthday and for the first time in I don’t know how long we actually did dinner on the day. We had our traditional St Patty’s Day dinner we normally have for her birthday. This year’s corned beef was the best I think we’ve ever had and quite frankly, I can’t wait for tomorrow because we’re having leftovers for dinner. Even after the near catastrophe of my soda breads baking into the heating coils in my oven (and the timer inadvertently being turned off) they came out just perfect.

Oh yeah, CO news! Still nothing. Maybe today, who knows? But as of last Friday, when I went to town hall to speak to the head guy in person, he told me the building inspector still hadn’t signed off on his inspection. The Hell….?

“Wait a minute. Do you mean ta….why you!” and then he, Tom Powers, slapped her.

There Will Be Heroes

February 24, 2011

There is something to be said for consistency. Susan Guy, Domino’s Pizza delivery person came to the rescue of her 82 year old steady customer Jean Wilson who has been ordering her thin crust pepperoni pie with two diet Cokes every day for the last three years. But for some reason, the octogenarian didn’t call on Saturday, Sunday or Monday and rather just assume she all of a sudden switched her taste to Moo Goo Gai Pan, Susan Guy’s instincts told her something was wrong and she insisted on finding out for herself. She went to the woman’s home, knocked on all the windows, trying to see what was going on and called 911. The customer had fallen, and couldn’t get up or get to a phone. She is in stable non-critical condition.

Imagine if I didn’t find something to complain about every day? You might think there was something wrong. Nah, you’d probably just figure I was sleeping. Even that–sleeping–lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and then feeling like I didn’t sleep when my alarm goes off. 

Or this? What a great idea, we thought, maybe we’ll finally inaugurate the fire pit on Friday after a long work week. Well…

   Mind you, the rain is after a bout that is supposed to start sometime this afternoon and the windy icons, though it doesn’t say on the picture, I heard on the weather this morning it could be gusts of up to 50 mph. So, now, the same scurge we carry when we go camping, with rain every weekend we go, we bring wind to just sitting and relaxing by our firepit.  …Oh, right…sorry, heroes….

Baseball’s Texas Ranger Michael Young is 3-year-old Gavin Justice-Farmer’s hero. Gavin learned that his hero was being traded and it broke the three year old’s heart. So much so that when his mother, who broke the news to him, posted the video of his reaction on YouTube, it inspired the third baseman to meet with his young fan. Perhaps it is Gavin Farmer who is Michael Young’s hero, if not the hero of thousands and thousands of baseball fans all over because of his innocence and unbiased love of the game.

The ghost of Commander came to me last night–I think he’s itching, even from beyond the grave to commentate on American Idol (I’d like to see how he does that!)–and he was perplexed by how some of the contestants for the Beatles’ round last night didn’t even know who the Beatles are. It struck him as odd how these Idol hopefuls, looking to break into the music business, have no clue of musical history.

But on a positive note, Naima Adedapo the first auditioner I really liked this season was the first one to make it to the top 24. And I don’t understand; I read that the top 24 was going to consist of the best singers, not necessarily evenly divided into 12 guys and 12 girls, but that’s what Ryan Seacrest said last night.

So, let’s see what happens. And maybe we’ll be hearing from the ghost of Commander in the near future. Stay tuned and find out. I’m kind of curious myself.

And before I close, keep your fingers crossed. Today the electrical inspector is coming back.

The Gateway Crime

February 22, 2011

You all heard about the fourth grader from P.S. 158 in Manhattan who got suspended for sticking a “kick me” sign on another student’s back because it’s a form of bullying that could lead to some form of harm or injury. Enter Barbara Coloroso who just happens to be an anti-bullying expert actually disagrees with this extreme punishment but offers an alternative approach. Says she, “I would go up to the kid and say ‘No more, not here, never. That was mean and cruel and this is a safe harbor for every kid. I want you to take that sticker off that kid right now’”. Yeah, that’ll work for a kid with a predisposition to be a complete A-hole, usually the result of having A-holes for parents. I have a better idea. Rather than continue to raise a generation of crybaby kids, who also shouldn’t know what losing in a game is all about, and ultimately end up with a sense of entitlement, let the “victim” just haul off and wallop the bully and send his ass flying and see how much longer he keeps that crap up. Let them duke it out in the school yard, just like the old days. Let the parents get involved again and teach the kids what’s right and what’s wrong. Sticky notes, bah! That’s kid stuff. How about writing something directly on the back of someone’s shirt? They say you should be wary of the quiet ones. That happened to me only once. They left me alone after that; it was the element of surprise that threw them for a loop.

Let’s just hope that the “kick me” sign doesn’t involve into the “shoot me” sign on Dallas, Texas campuses. There’s a bill about to be passed to allow college students and professors to carry concealed guns on campus to protect themselves in the event of a school shooting. Hmm, wait til that first “F” gets handed out, or a professor has an especially disruptive student–probably sticking a ‘kick me’ sign on someone’s back.

In the meantime, the necessary electric outlet was put in yesterday and later on today I’ll be calling to arrange for what will hopefully be THE last inspection. We have the application for the CO all filled out and a blank check (still another fee… what the Hell?) and when we get the go-ahead…wahoooo!

On this day in 2006, Apple’s iTunes store sold it’s 1 billionth song. It might have been the one I couldn’t download, along with the billionth and 1st, 2nd, and 13th songs. Every time I try to download music from iTunes, it either doesn’t accept my password, (which I end up changing every time because I end up having to reregister) or only one of a few songs download and I have to write and complain only to have them tell me to remove the program and reinstall it and that’s why I have such an extensive CD collection.

Of course, after this tax season and Uncle Sam gets all he wants from yours truly, (some combination of these numbers 0097611-there’s a decimal and a comma in there somewhere–I’m still reeling) I won’t be able to afford to sing to myself  let alone buy music.

Elementary

January 26, 2011

I don’t know why all of a sudden I keep forgetting details about certain things, like how I forgot to say that we cut down the doors after the carpet went down and how, in the third grade, when we were still being taught how to write in cursive, I was the first person to have Mrs. Albrecht’s permission to use my new skill for my assignments in her class. Just little add-on tidbits I should have included.  Oh, I had such neat handwriting then. Now, it’s more like I write with my feet. I think I’m in too much of a hurry, sometimes I even misspell my own name.

Did you know that too much caffeine can actually cause fatigue? I find that happens sometimes and I can have a cup of coffee near bedtime and sleep like a baby (curled up in the fetal position, blankey securely in hand…..diaper optional!) but if I have a cup of tea, I’m up all night. Is the caffeine different in the two beverages? The reason for the fatigue is that caffeine can act as a diuretic and dehydration can cause tiredness.

This is a slightly old story, maybe week old, but get our your magnifying glasses and get a close up look at this! Anthony Horowitz, the author of stories about teenage spy Alex Rider has been given the green flag to pen the first full length novel concerning Sherlock Holmes since 1915 by the Arthur Conan Doyle estate. No details or even a title have been revealed about the book due to hit the shelves in September. I know of at least one person whose eyes just widened to the size of half dollars at the mere thought of this and has probably already made a note on his phone about it. Right, Ariel?

Okay, well, I have some more house pictures of the second floor revitalization project. Gone are the dingy plain white walls we’ve lived with for the past 12 years in favor of some color and let me tell you, this faux finish kicked our butts. It’s similar to the one we used in the kitchenette, but with a slight twist.  Gone also are the linoleum floors in favor of plush carpeting….sorry Dave! And we kind of rearranged some furniture and artwork and made going upstairs a real pleasure.

   

Starting in the middle room, henceforth known as the Emma room because the bedroom furniture (the bed, night tables, dresser and chifforobe (not in the pictures…hmm) was Grandma’s : from left to right is the corner by the heater and then finished with the fireplace, also Grandma’s (not real) back in it’s place. That closed door leads to the blue room and it should be strung with police barricade tape. Right now that blue room is acting as the attic annex. Enter at your own risk. Then looking over to the closet, unfinished and finished. We fauxed in metallic copper with this awning red and beige.

An extra shot with no “before” just to show some more of the room. I made a discovery about that ceiling light–it has a pull chain that was cut off. We’re going to rechain it after we find a suitable new diffuser for it.

   

Looking out from the Emma Room to the unfinished and finished hallway and then looking from the other end of the hallway. This Precious Emerald was mixed with a metallic gold paint for texture. The gateleg table and the mirror above it were also Grandma’s.

   

The master bedroom before and after. Same old dingy no color walls redone with Blue Ocean and metallic silver. That silver was extremely thin and runny and made quite a mess so it took a second day to tone it down. Note of interest, the TV set in the first picture is approximately 30 years old, between 25 and 30. But we thought the room needed an updated TV. The viney sconces on the wall behind the cabinets were from our room we stayed for many years in Provincetown and were given to us by the former owners when they decided to redecorate the room. Over the bed, is a bric-a-brac cubby that held a bunch of junk and naturally blened in with the rest of the room and then of course finished.

Note to faux finish painters out there…allow TIME. It’s not as easy at it  might look but the results can be very impressive. And the best part is you can “fix” spots you don’t like. Just don’t get carried away and screw up a cool pattern you really love by getting overzealous.

The Disappearance Of…

January 25, 2011

The Common Core State Standards had omitted cursive writing from its standards, standards that represent a set of expectations for a student’s knowledge and skills that high school graduates need to master to succeed in college and careers. No inference is made that cursive writing is such a standard and has already begun to disappear from some classrooms and in the next few years could be completely phased out in most school systems.

It’s because today’s youth spends most of their time texting or typing on the computer or other such communications device and one teacher in an Athens, Georgia school said she’s had to stop writing in cursive on the board because a lot of her students aren’t able to read it and she has to print.

Perhaps they should also do away with English class and learning how to speak. I mean, it’s becoming such an isolated society anyway…  A prime example; take  the mother and daughter duo I witnessed one night when we were out to eat who sat across from each other, each on their phones, texting away and either completely ignoring each other or maybe they were communicating between themselves with their phones. Who knows?

But what happens when the bottom falls out and computers around the globe crash and cell towers are felled like dead trees and no one can get a signal–how will we communicate? I guess a fingerprint or an iris scan will be the way we’ll identify ourselves since there will no longer be person’s unique signature. I can see it now, running into a celebrity and asking, “Can you fingerprint my autograph book?”

I forgot to mention in my blog yesterday that along with putting the rooms back together after the carpeting went down, we had to cut down 7 doors. Thankfully I just happen to have a table saw tucked away in my bag of tricks. We considered having it done, but at $35 per door, we figured we could do the job ourselves.

You know what else might be on the way out? The use of credit cards. More and more, people are using their iPhones, Droids or Blackberrys to pay at the cash register (now there’s an oxymoron sort of). They can even lend a friend some money by bumping phones. It’s just as well anyway, because who will be able to sign the charge receipt? Michael Abbott, the CEO of Isis, a new mobile payment network told CNNMoney “This is a chance to bring payments forward from the plastic age and the vinyl records age to the digital age.” What happens if your battery is dead? Or you can’t get a signal? Or you’re walking along texting and fall into a fountain like Cathy Cruz Marrero. Come on…..really?

Here’s an aside: the woman has a criminal record and she still has the audacity to threaten the Pennsylvania mall with a lawsuit for untold humiliation after the now fired security guard leaked the footage that has been views more than 3.5 millions times in one week. So, what now?  A ban on texting while walking? Can no one use any logic anymore?

You know what’s NOT disappearing? The snow! Looks like we’re in for more starting tomorrow night and we could get as much as 1-3 or 4-8 inches by Thursday morning. Now how is that for a prediction? Looks like the repair job I did on my mailbox will get an official road test. Maybe I shouldn’t say “road”.

And what’s so bad about vinyl records, Mr. Abbott?

Another Runny Egg

January 14, 2011

Seems like I’m a day late and a dollar short yet again with a certain news story. You know, it’s no wonder why the state of New Jersey is so often ridiculed and we residents often angry. The latest idiotic bill proposal, which thankfully got withdrawn, was that New Jersey bicycle riders would have had to register their “motor vehicles”, from tricycles to mountain bikes at a cost of $10 a year with the Division of Motor Vehicles. Riders would have been required to attach a licence plate that read BICYCLE to their bikes to prove it was actually registered. The bill wasn’t meant to impose a burden or and additional cost (ahem…10 dollars?) but, according to Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, who initiated the proposal, it was meant to protect elderly pedestrians who swamped her office with calls with complaints about kids on bikes. Hmm, well it seems to me, with or without a license plate, kids will still be on bikes and there will still be elderly pedestrians. Were the bill to go through, bike owners would have had to provide year, model, color, weight, serial number, owner’s address, date purchased and the amount of sales tax they paid on it. What’s next, paying for the air we breathe?

Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks have announce their Heart and Soul Tour which kicks off in March in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. They’ll be at Madison Square Garden on March 26. Guess who’s going to try like hell to get tickets? They go on sale January 21 at 10am.

Recently I’ve been getting email notifications about a website that lists some very vital information about you, from your address to your yearly income. But you can get yourself off this site. It’s called Spokeo. Spokeo.com. I heard about this a while back from The Radio Chick, who is currently on hiatus from her interactive internet radio/tv show to promote and tour with the resurrected Gong Show. Anyway, if you go to Spokeo .com and type in your name and search. A list of names will appear on the left. When you locate yourself, click on it and then click on the address bar to highlight the info–this is your URL–, right click and choose copy. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and find “privacy” in the run of options that include “about” “blog” “directory”, “privacy”. This will open a new page. In the URL line, right click and choose paste, then put your email address in the appropriate space and type in the Captcha Code and click on the REMOVE LISTING button. I don’t remember if you get a confirmation email to activate your deactivation; you might, so be prepared. They say it could take 24 hours to take effect but when I did it, it was immediate.

I think I’ll go have a runny egg. That, for those that don’t know, serving runny eggs here in the Great Garden State was against the law back in ‘92, punishable with a $25-$100 fine, before it was rescinded.

M*SS*SS*PP*

January 6, 2011

Something missing in my title?  I’m probably gonna get myself in trouble for this, but I wonder who exactly this dingbatted move is supposed to benefit. Scholar Allan Gribben of Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama is set to publish a cleaned up version of one of America’s most beloved pieces of literature. Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn” is about to hit the shelves with each one of the 219 instances of the “N” word being replaced with “slave”. Gribben says he is eliminating a word that is a clear barrier for many people. ‘Indian Joe’ will be the new name for ‘Injun Joe’ and ‘half-breed’ will henceforth be a more peaceable ‘half-blood’. Take note, Cher! 

I learned at a young age the word was bad and in the years since I don’t think I’ve said it once, not even in a quote from some other source. The closest I’ve come was actually saying “N-word”. You may think I’m full of it, but that kind of lesson kind of sticks with you. (Rubs hand across butt cheek) And nowadays, when just about everything you say has to be measured because even if someone is having a bad hair day and has a cowlick, the mere mention of it could be misconstrued as derogatory, the use of the N-word is even more a no-no, except within that particular community. How do you figure? So, how bad a word can it be? But, to each his own. (Just let me have mine as well.)

Editing the classic story would be like editing Michelangelo’s David and cutting off his nasty bits, (I know it’s been covered with a cloth is some cases) and to cite an example from the article I read about this entire literary travesty, to make things equal across the censorship board, you’d have to take out the adultery factor in “The Scarlet Letter” as well and then you have Hester Prynne wearing a red upper-case A on her chest. Must be for her middle name. Hmm, maybe it was Abigail.

I have to admit, and I think I mentioned this at the time, but when we saw the latest production of Lillian Hellmann’s “The Little Foxes” on the stage recently, the N word was used and it was a bit uncomfortable, as there were certain members of the audience who might have missed the historical value of such dialogue. Historical yes, because it depicts a time when this attitude was more the norm and we can only learn from the past. And if future generations miss out on the passion with which these works were created, (not to mention not knowing what not winning at a game is like) then they miss out on making up their own minds as to what is right and wrong, good and bad, tasteful or not and may as well stay cooped up in their cloistered MP3 generated worlds. And then what happens when little Johnny runs across his dear departed grandfather’s dusty old copy in some trunk in the attic one day, the one that is overflowing with the N-word, this curious odd word that nobody is around to explain what it is; well, unless Gribben also initiates a total seizure of volumes with original text.

Meanwhile, such golden nuggets as “Gia danced around a little, shaking her peaches for show. She shook it hard. Too hard. In the middle of a shimmy, her stomach cramped. A fart slipped out. A loud one. And stinky,” seem to be acceptable reading material. This taken from the much anticipated “A Shore Thing” by The Jersey Shore’s Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. Hmm, on second thought, I guess that also reflects the times. Sad.