Oprah And Rosie: It’s Not Me, It’s You

Photo © by Jeff Dean.

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Dear Oprah and Rosie,

As tempting as it may seem, I am NOT going to turn on the television and watch you both again on OWN. I’m sorry but this was Oprah’s choice. I didn’t want her to leave and know many other people felt the same way. “You made your bed now……” You get the point…. All of a sudden Oprah is doing a “Life Class” I thought she was finished teaching on television? She did a Facebook chat, really? I hope this show isn’t going on the air because your OWN ratings are down, deep down in dog doo doo. It does seem like an amazing coincidence, no?

As you have taught us all it’s really alright to say you made a mistake. We understand. Hold your head high (not too high to appear infallible) and say  you tried but it didn’t work out as you had hoped. That’s what my son made me say to people after his first set of SAT scores came in. He made a great effort (well, he really didn’t study that much) and his scores were “less than he had hoped.” It’s okay.

As for Rosie, I really have mixed feelings, “cutie patootie.” I LOVED your show, watched it every single day it was on and supported you when you had a HAARURRMMGH  clash with someone. I stood behind you all the way kvelling in your sense of self and your values. Now? Not so much. I know you had emotional problems (really, who doesn’t?) and I’m glad that you feel comfortable  taking hormones (I didn’t want to chance that) but does that make me want to watch your show again? Sorry, no.  When you were with your first partner and all the kids were together and everything was, pardon the pun, rosie, I was there for you, wishing I could swim from your dock with and hoping you would help me with decoupage. I tried it on my own a few times and I did like it, but the thrill is gone. I admired your fire and your straight (no pun intended) shoot from the hip style. Nobody wants a dumb downed Rosie unless it’s the network executives. I liked the raw you but I am happy that you feel happier about yourself, bio-identicals and all. I was almost talked in to taking them but please be CAREFUL they do have risky side effects and a correlation for breast cancer in the future so please get checked often! I worry about you.

Ladies, it’s hard to go back, really it is. I don’t want to revisit an old wound. I really don’t watch much television at all anymore. I do have to say that Ellen Degeneres is consistent and kind and moved, no, slid into first place with sincerity and smiles and I’m sure a bit of strategy too. Four o’ clock is not the same as it used to be, it will never be the same. I’ve accepted that.

I wish you all the best of luck.  I think I will take my dog for a long walk on this beautiful autumn day. It’s too nice to stay indoors and watch television.

Love,

Your Old Fan

An Open Letter To Lindsay Lohan

My files (found the original; it's not much be...

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Dear Lindsay,

I am not a reporter or a tabloid hunter, I don’t have anything to do with Hollywood or acting, modeling or AA. The only thing I over indulge with are oatmeal raisin cookies, and the occasional (not THAT occasional) Almond Joy bar or half a piece of baklava. It won’t end me up in rehab or the Betty Ford Clinic but it does make my clothing too tight and uncomfortable. I wouldn’t be able to be a plus-sized model, I’d need to probably go up to a double plus.

That said, I can deal with emotional eating and extra pounds; I’m not twenty anymore so even though it doesn’t make me happy, I deal with it. I’m sure women in their 50’s can relate to me. I’m a parent of two teenagers, a boy 19 and a girl 17. I’m not a saint and either are they but we cope as best we can. My son has done things I don’t approve of, I’m sure my daughter will do the same. Thus ends the comparison. We’ve instilled good values in them, they are bound to make mistakes, but we will be here, always, to help them get it right with every ounce of our being and love.

You were a sweet, adorable kid. Don’t believe me? Watch The Parent Trap again. You got turned around. Turned around again and again and so fast that you seemed not to have a childhood or an adolescence or two strict parents on the same page. You have made mistakes, tried (feebly, in my own opinion) to correct them and failed, tried and failed again and again. Listen up, there’s hope, you are not Amy Winehouse. Yet.

I’m not being mean or cruel or trying to blame. I am begging you to wake up, leave your friends that party with you and move on, and most importantly, move AWAY.  Don’t care about Hollywood or movies for the time being or modeling. Just think about being clean, and whole, loved and TRUSTED. Turn your life around while you can. Don’t lose this chance. Please.

I’m not your mom, I’m not even a fan but I implore you to think about what you have been through and where you are going. You must know a lot of rich, DOWN TO EARTH celebrities that don’t live in Hollywood or NYC anymore. Reach out to them. Better yet, is there anyone that can help Lindsay, actors, philanthropists, solid, strict, good people-who don’t drink or use drugs and that have real values and appreciate life? Reach out to Lindsay, please. How about Rosie O’Donnell or Ellen Degeneres? The seem like sweethearts to me. If you know them CALL them or knowing them, RETURN their calls. I know, to my dismay, that Oprah is in a different place than she was once but I bet if you called her for help, she WOULD help you.

You are invited here, to our tiny house, but it would not be what you are used to. Maybe that’s a good thing. My husband may kill me but you can stay with us, upstairs right next to our bedroom in a tiny spare room. I wouldn’t rat you out to the press or to anyone. I would help you learn to trust again. There are people out there that you can rely on, you need to find them. Stick with them and they will stick with you.

Please don’t be the next Amy Winehouse, there is no need for that. You have a chance while so many terminally ill people DON’T. You have a choice. Now, get honest and get real, dye your hair, change your name and come over.

P.S. you would not be exempt from loading the dishes into the dishwasher or any other household family chore.

P.S.S.  My husband said it was fine.

From A Concerned Parent

Where I Go for News

Channel Sunshine

 

I would assume that MOST people would take this as “the news” so the internet might be a choice, maybe breaking headlines during one of my yummy television shows like Grey’s Anatomy or Brothers and Sisters or Modern Family or even Parenthood or….I think I’ve said enough. When I have bad days from chronic pain from my Fibromyalgia and Auto-immune disease, I tend to watch a lot of television. I know. My bad. But, I will not watch “the news.”I will not watch any channel for the news unless it is absolutely necessary. Honestly, I get too overwhelmed, too stressed, too sad and mad and I am left feeling completely helpless and extremely anxious.

Bad personal news, however, should always be prefaced by a “Honey, I need to tell you something” or “I have some bad news” even “I think you should sit down.”This should only be done IN PERSON. It makes my brain prepare myself for something that I know will be unpleasant or upsetting, generally both. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of good news going around right now. Here are more television analogies: Oprah, to me was good news. Ellen, funny, warm news, Rosie, straight shooter and wonderfully pro-children, pro-democracy, pro-truth and yes, a little pro-nutty but that’s perfectly okay with me.

Many years ago I used to watch the news at night; not a chance anymore. I couldn’t fall asleep after hearing about all the tragedies and the deaths, murders and dismemberment that the newscasters would cheerfully declare. You always find out the bad news, it’s the good news that should be broadcast. Life is too short, we know the bad stuff, that spreads quickly. Good news? That, should be on it’s own special channel, MY channel, broadcast and celebrated everywhere, every day, even every hour throughout the country, throughout ALL countries in the world. Don’t you think it would make for a better day? I do.

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Rumors, The Golden Globes And Ricky Gervais

ricky gervais

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“What do George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Josh Groban and John Travolta have in common?” Yes, they are all great actors/singers and celebrities. What else? They are all handsome in their own way. Other than that?  I’ll tell you. What they all have in common is that there have been many rumors swirling around for years that they are all gay: “NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT’ as the writers on the late, great Seinfeld show would say.

Who cares? Not me. Ricky Gervais threw out a line last night from The Golden Globe Awards mentioning two leading men who were known for their involvement in Scientology and for their homosexuality. Meow. I did think that was a little over the line but I’m sure some people salivated, nodded their heads up and down and smirked. It was rather forthright, but I expect that from Ricky Gervais, he is an unpredictable comedian. He was hired to amuse and to provoke people and apparently he did just that.

Some celebrities feel comfortable about coming out, i.e. the lovely Ellen Degeneres, others not so much. That’s alright. Not everyone has to go through life waving a flag for the rainbow coalition. It’s your choice….however if you are covering it up and lying, people with whisper.  It hasn’t been long enough for everyone living in the closet to swing open the door proudly. Personally I go for truth over lies any day but there are still people in the world that would not like a leading man to be gay, to them, it just doesn’t fit. Tom Cruise, John Travolta are stars in their own right and both involved heavily in Scientology. Their personal live are their own but it would be nice for them to set it straight (no pun intended.) It seemed that it was perfectly alright that two straight men Jake Gyllenthal and  Heath Ledger  played gay lovers in Brokeback Mountain. What’s up with the double standard?

What I don’t understand is that some celebrities get maliciously outed ( ok, villified) by “entertainment” magazines and by the media. What causes one star to get the slick, slippery red carpet of secrecy and others get thrown to the wolves or in this case, the press. Is there money involved? I’m not suggesting it I’m just trying to figure it all out.

Why do we even talk about it?  Curiosity. We want the truth and don’t want people pretending they are something they are not. I  I would still listen to Josh Groben’s angelic voice as often as I do now. I would see good movies if the movies were good not if their characters were gay or not. It’s 2011, I’m sorry people still feel the need, and they do, to hide their homosexuality but that is their right.

Why do we want to know what’s real and what is fake? Because they are celebrities and they are in our lives through movies, commercials, ads, talk shows, the media and magazines at the supermarket check out counters. So, come clean if you want to, we’re all here to listen. Yes, it is a little like jumping into a lake of ice water. First, there is the initial shock but very soon  everyone adjusts, jumps out or swims incredibly fast to get over that very first hurdle. Your fans are here and we are listening and waiting; for, hopefully, the truth.

Help Wanted: Celebrity Spokesperson – Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia

Those of us who suffer from Fibromyalgia (FM) get a lot of grief. Not just chronic pain, of which we get a lot, but grief, from uninformed people.  I have Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s  Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease also known as Connective Tissue Disorder.  I, like so many other  Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from Fibromyalgia Fog, better known to the in-crowd as Fibro Fog. We begin a sentence and then forget what we want to say. We go from room to room looking for…..what? We forgot.  We start again. My children roll their eyes when they claim “I just told you that story” because they have and it sounds new to me. They could probably tell me the same story tomorrow and who knows if I will recognize the story or shake my head in new wonder. My sister sometimes complains that “you told me that.” I’m sorry, I believe you.” It may be hard for you to keep quiet once in a while and just let it slide but it is also hard not to take it personally and get your feelings hurt too. It’s not something we have control over, like muscle pain or stiff joints.

Apparently “Doctors” agree we “feel the pain” but the cause itself has people stressing out and arguing. Isn’t it just a total bitch that there are still people out there that think we are all whiney, crazy, uninformed, stressed out crybabies with the need to please?  Of course, they point out, we are mostly all women, not all, but mostly. Ignorant Doctors: be skeptical if you want to but stop judging us and read the NEW research, all of it.

I was diagnosed nearly five years ago. After a routine check-up  by my internist, that had my thyroid levels completely out of whack and my massive Vitamin D deficiency, she shrugged her shoulders. “I feel like I have the flu, without the fever” I would cry but she didn’t listen to me. My internist examined me and told me “there was nothing she could do,” and she clicked her designer high-heeled shoes and tap-tap-tap, left the room abruptly. She left me alone, sobbing on the exam table, unable to get up.

Since then I have seen Rheumatologists who do believe that Fibromyalgia is a real disease and that it is indeed painful. I now go to a Rheumatologist who is even “Fibro Approved” which means he is known for his sensitivity to both our illness and our feelings.  The very fact that he is kind and soft-spoken is a pleasure, he even returns calls promptly and is not overly aggressive to try new things, but is patient to see how I am reacting to one drug, perhaps changing the dosage, not the drug.  My Rheumatologist before him answered by-email only and said sternly “Fibromyalgia is a lazy diagnosis” and barked at me to start taking strong immunosuppressant drugs, one after another. Each drug had horrific side effects that left me unable to leave my house for two months.

If I could, I would only go to a Rheumatologist who actually HAS Fibromyalgia, for the very same reason I always chose a woman to be my Gynecologist and Obstetrician. It’s nice to have familiarity, empathy and understanding. Imagine this, if all the men who worked in the financial area were stricken with Fibromyalgia, a fairly debilitating disease, would it be a more credible illness to the naysayers?  Wouldn’t there be a sudden outcry for immediate research, more funding demanded, results and ultimately a complete cure? Would you still be saying that they were overstressed worry-warts? I think not. If male business executives got Fibromyalgia, stocks for Savella, Cymbalta and Lyrica would go through the roof. Why are there still people thinking that men are more credible than women? Look at all the research for heart disease for men and very little, if any, for women? Women get heart attacks too and the symptoms are very different but we don’t hear a lot about that either.

I don’t wish this illness on an enemy much less a friend or someone I admire greatly. I just would feel so much better if we had a  famous spokesperson with Fibromyalgia to champion our cause. I mean that sincerely. Is there any celebrity in the world that has the same symptoms and wants to represent us? You would help hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.  Believe me, I LOVE and admire Oprah and don’t wish Fibromyalgia on her but IF she did have it, (or any high-profile celebrity: Ellen Degeneres, Dr. Oz, Meredith Viera, Barbara Walters, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien…) wouldn’t the world sit up and listen more carefully and intensify the search for a cure?  Try calling Oprah a whining crybaby. You couldn’t and you wouldn’t even dare. Maybe there will be a time when someone champions our cause, our invisible illness. In the meantime, wouldn’t it be something if we heard: “Next On Oprah, My Struggle With Fibromyalgia.” Maybe then we would get the understanding, empathy and research we so desperately need.

My Favorite Celebrity

OPRAH, ANUS. ANUS, OPRAH.

Image by nayrb7 via Flickr

Oprah? Ellen? BOTH!

Ellen DeGeneres

This one would have been a no-brainer until about a year ago. Oprah was my girl, I love the things she does for people. I love the book groups, love how open she is and the difference she has made in the world. But now, I also love Ellen, pretty much for the same reasons. She’s funny, she makes me feel happy after I watch her show, she’s generous. She doesn’t have a book club, nor has she opened a school in Africa but that’s fine: she makes me laugh and has a huge heart. I have to admit with the economy the way it is (horrible), unemployment and the fear of terrorist attacks, I just want to forget reality, if only for an hour or two per day. I really don’t want more drama, so I turn to Ellen (while I tape Oprah). I want comedy and sunshine and the ability to forget my own troubles and I want so desperately to laugh. Both women have changed the world with their generosity and kindness, with their honesty and with their passion. My favorite celebrity? Let’s just call her: “ELLPRAH.” The best of both wonderful, smart and generous, women. I’m proud to be a fan.

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Pop Cop: Tiger Woods, Rehab. Really ?

I thought I could do it; I thought I could ignore the whole Tiger Woods story and not blog about it. I didn’t want to add to all the misguided attention this jerk was getting, but I just couldn’t do it.  I didn’t write until now but the blog welled up inside me, finally exploded and practically wrote itself. You would think I’d be a better person than this and could let things slide, turn the other cheek, forgive and forget, but obviously I can’t and I deeply apologize for that.

Oh, Tiger, WE THOUGHT WE KNEW YE. We knew bupkes, nothing, nada. We heard, and I swear I am NOT using the word allegedly this time, that you (hmm, time to think about nicer words to use than what I am thinking) umm, copulated your way through the United States and all International time zones constantly and for many years.  People marveled at your golfing skills and I am not here to criticize your fabulous putts, shots and driving ranges. But, when you are putting and driving your shots into ranges other than your wife’s?  I have something to say.

I think I could forgive an affair, people make mistakes;  even a one night stand  (I am TRYING to be open-minded) but what you did was purely and utterly disgusting, truly you are an old fashioned pig.  Fame. Using your money, power and status for your own selfish greed, hurting loved ones.   I don’t see the beautiful Oprah doing that or Ellen Degeneres (my new heroine).  Apparently, when celebrities abuse substances, spouses and sex,  they have an addiction problem.   Excuse my language but “addiction, my ass.” Does anyone remember the word, Cheater? Philanderer? Scumbag?  It is not a new concept but apparently it is only used for “regular” people and not “so-called-stars.”Big money and cocky star status will buy you that excuse called “addiction.”   You think you are entitled because of your celebrity status, but really,  you are not.  The women you “played with” were in it willingly, I know. But, just like there are rules in a golf game, there are rules in marriage. You fail.

I love sweet things, soft sugar cookies with green sprinkles on top, a glazed raspberry jelly doughnut, rich milk chocolate, honey-laden baklava,  maple creme cookies…  This does not, however, give me the excuse to rob various bakeries and when caught, say via a PR person “I  have a sugar addiction.” Actually, I really have to try to NOT be a sugar addict or a food addict, it isn’t easy, believe me. If  I eat one jelly doughnut one night, I give it UP the next night and I try as hard as I can. Tiger Woods didn’t try, he got caught, he had celebrity status and big money; he morphed into a sex addict.  How convenient!

You made mistakes; a boat load,  a cruise ship line full of mistakes.  You still want your stardom, celebrity status, forgiveness  and your wife and children too. So far Elin Wood has been the first woman, and I thank her deeply, not to stand by her man, at least not in the beginning. She made a statement and I applaud her.  If she forgives you and you promise to be a good boy, if I were her I would still require you to have a chip implanted in your “VEPEEPEE” to keep track of you. Seriously.

Children are important!  Kids need a family and I, for one, am all for protecting the children and the family.  Work it out if you can. But don’t ever think that people will think of you the same way, they won’t. Maybe you will be a star again, a golf star,  people can be very forgiving. This time, however, another mistake will not get you the recovering sex addict get- out- of- jail- card.  Redeem yourself if you can and to put it in easily understandable albeit crude terms:  keep it zipped, no matter what.

Dancing With Daughters

Last night I committed a sin, a major sin, according to my 15 and a half-year old daughter. She didn’t tell me in words; she didn’t have to. I was in the bedroom listening to music that I like, feeling happy and I started to dance. Alone. It was just one of those moments when I felt energetic enough to do some minor dancing by myself, Ellen Degeneres style.  Having Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease, and Fibromyalgia, I don’t feel this way all too often. Methotrexate, one of the drugs I am taking twice a week is also a total kill joy. That night, however, I was given a break and I celebrated. I felt good!

On the way out of my daughter’s room she passed me, stopped, and gave me the dirtiest look I have received to date, complete with the eye roll upwards and “the look.” You know which look I mean, moms and dads, the look of hate and utter disgust.  Why? I guess because I am a “mom” and  I embarrassed her. To quote my daughter:” it was weird.” Why?  It’s NOT as if all my daughter’s friends were over or that we were in public. I was in my soft, pretty white nightgown that had petite fir- green flowers printed on it (probably the first major mistake) and happily swaying to the music from The Black Eyed Peas. I wasn’t EVEN listening to John Denver or Josh Groban, this was a bona fide group that she likes.

Yet this afternoon when my daughter was asked to go to a movie this evening with her friend, she trudged into my room asking me to give her a few reasons (hint, hint, I don’t want to go) why I wouldn’t “allow” her to go. I suggested a few things which did not suit her, and then she suddenly looks happier and says “I know! I’ll tell her you’re really annoying and that you are freaking out about all the snow we are getting.”  Mission accomplished, glad I could be of help, dear. “You’re welcome” I shouted and she glanced back at me all golden blonde hair swinging down her back, brilliant blue eyes and Forever 21 outfit and replies somewhat sheepishly: “thanks.” No problem.

I know, I know, hormones mixed with the emotional turmoil of having an embarrassing mom (didn’t we all have one of those?”) combined with the separation process. I get it. I understand it on a rational and psychological level. It doesn’t mean I have to like it  but I accept it (face it, what choice do I have?).

The next time my illness or the dreaded Methotrexate medicine gives me a reprieve, I will continue to dance to the music that makes me happy. And when I do, I will wear my 1970’s  faded neon orange T-shirt that my husband gave me and my flannel pink and rose flowered pajama pants. My door will be wide open and my voice will be loud and clear and strong.