Cheetahlicious thanks


Or “What I learned about ‘giving thanks’ at a Cheetah Girls concert.”
I took Drama Girl and her friend to the Cheetah Girls concert Wednesday night, a belated birthday present to my daughter. Despite joking around earlier that day that I would need a few shots of vodka – or a spike through the head – to get me through the evening I actually had a good time. Ok, so part of it’s that I like a lot of different kind of music — everything from the blues to rock to folk to some hip-hop…and, yes, also pop. (I’ll even admit to singing to teeny-bopper music once in a while.) But that aside, I think the concert was perfectly timed with Thanksgiving. I never would have guessed it, but watching the Cheetah Girls reminded me of just how thankful I am:
  • For my daughter — her smile and silly expressions, her big eyes and big heart. I’m thankful she has a few good friends, like M. who came with us, and can groove like she’s the only one in the room, not self-conscious at all, something I still haven’t mastered while sober. (And barely while not.)
  • For The Ex, who planned a “guys night” with my son, so I could take DG to the concert.
  • For the Cheetah Girls, who my daughter and girls her age look up to. No risqué acts, no hoochie-mama costumes or song lyrics. No one “perfect” body type or a trio of bleach-blond manequins. Just three young women who at least act like they enjoy what they do – giving off a lot of positive girl power in the process!
  • For the Cheetah Guys, those cute young back-up dancers who could really move! And, no, I’m not trying to be another member of the cat family here –cough-cough Cougar cough – I’m just saying they were equally fun to watch! As Drama Girl practically screamed in excitement during one song, “Look – that guy’s spinning on his HEAD!” How cool is that?
  • For the folks at the arena, who seeing the event was nowhere close to being sold out, moved us and others who bought the “cheap seats” (at approx. $35 per pop!) into much closer, much more expensive seats at no extra charge.
  • For being able to afford to take the kids out to an event once in a while where “cheap” = $35!
  • For the parents and guardians who were also in the audience. Watching them shimmy in their seats, smiling and taking photos of their children singing and smiling, was almost as good as watching the show itself.
  • For the mother sitting next to me. Before the concert we started chatting and she mentioned that a few years ago she wouldn’t have been able to take her daughter out like this; just four years ago this woman was being treated for a rare brain tumor. She told me how hard it had been for her then-four-year-old little girl to understand what was happening to her mother and why she could never go anywhere. I’m thankful Mary is alive to see her daughter in school and to be able to spend time with her – and a thousand other girls on a Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. Meeting her reminded me that I am thankful I and my children are healthy — and that none of us are truly “strangers”.
  • For my readers and this blog, because, hey, I can’t go anywhere now without composing an imaginary or real blog post about it! I think my fellow bloggers would agree: we definitely look at the world differently.
About the only thing I wasn’t thankful for was the overpriced food and outrageously expensive Disney souvenirs. But I’m so, so thankful I live in a place where, as a marketing professional myself, I can admire Disney’s marketing know-how…and still have the freedom of speech (and wits about me) to write a shout-out like: “Disney, you bunch of greedy bastards!” 😉
Hope you’re all having a great, thankful holiday weekend!
The Old Cheetah Bag
 Photo Credit: DisneyMusic

I lost my inner peace with my car keys

I decided to do a little Krispy Kreme run for breakfast this morning. Yes, I know. I know the donuts are globules of sugar and lard (but 0% trans fat!). Yes, I know they aren’t exactly the breakfast of champions. But we haven’t been there in months and the kids press their faces against the window and look longingly at the “Hot Donuts Now” sign whenever we drive by. Besides, I wanted one. Or two. So, no biggie. The kids got their exercise yesterday running around a playground/park we really like; this would be just a little treat.

(Mind you, I enjoyed myself at the park by sitting on my hiney engrossed in a book. Still.)

Everyone got dressed without complaint and the kids got in the car. Amazing! I was such a cool mom!

Then I realized I didn’t have my keys. They weren’t hanging in their usual spot. I looked all over the kitchen, living room, my bedroom and still couldn’t find them. I looked in pockets that I knew they wouldn’t be in and again E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E., becoming more and more mad at myself . Who ever said I was cool or had it together? What the hell was I thinking?

I started swearing. I ordered the kids to get out of the car. We went inside and I then began spewing what I like to call Parental Proclamations of Absurdity.

“Well,” I huffed in between cusses not so hidden under my breath, “I guess now we’ll NEVER leave the house, will we?!”

T-Rex groaned or gasped at this. As I marched up the stairs, I heard Drama Girl say, “Now we’ll have to be homeschooled! Yay!”

The thought of this brought tears to my eyes.

I went into the garage again, convinced God was trying to tell me to give up sugar and all illusions of coolness or control in my life. Well, fuck that. I wanted one (or two) of those goddamn donuts — and I had to find my keys sooner or later.

I retraced my steps one more time and ended up digging around in the garbage pail where I had dumped some flower clippings and weeds, plus yesterday’s junk mail. And there they were.

We went to Krispy Kreme and I felt much better.

Where has all the good spam gone?

My junk email and spam filters seem to be doing a good job these days.


It’s just not the same as before — the times when I could write long posts about the Penis Enlarge Patch, dreaming of the day I could get freelance work writing taglines for the PEP boys.

white finger pointing RBTW, if you missed the comment on that post by Cats and Beer, the PEP marketing geniuses have come up with 300+ taglines already!

But that was then, this is now.

I’m still receiving emails with variations on the same “I’m a criminal disguised as a greedy bank or finance officer who wants to split millions of dollars with you” theme, so I thought I would present to you my top nominees for Greedy African Bank Officers of 2007.

Hey, with the writers strike, the Oscars may not be much better. Take what you can get. Continue reading

Cross-channel marketing: Spam or Personal Ad?

I have re-entered the world of online dating, which I’ll tell you about this week. Oh, yes, plenty to say there, but I’m going to keep you waiting — mostly because it’s almost 8:00 and I haven’t eaten dinner yet.

In the meantime, I almost thought this email was some insanely bad proclamation of love from an online dating site… until I got to the part about “my parents died [like in a Disney film] and I have a bazillion dollars and I think you’d be the perfect person to receive it — because I like you. Even though I don’t know you.”

My dear, I am miss Angela from Asmara, Eritrea, single and 21 years old. After accessing your details in the internet site i copied out only your email address. Immediately after going through your information i made up my mind to contact you for long term relationship, because you are my choice of trust and i see nothing wrong with the choice that i have made in you…

I see nothing wrong with your choice either, Miss Angela, thank you.

Who said life here in the ‘burbs was quiet? And an email from a young woman of international mystery? My rank is picking up in the world. Maybe I should have picked Angelina for that one interview question!

Email confuses me

As you know, I get great joy from having an overflowing inbox of new email. (I have to compensate for that fact that no one calls me on my cell phone except for my parents and all I get are bills and catalogs in the snail mail.) All of these messages — the special promises of enhanced sexual pleasure, better mortgage rates and more worthy degrees of higher education, heck, even an offer to become a U.S. citizen! — well, they make me feel…loved. Desired.


Because honestly I don’t understand some of them…do you?

Example 1

Hi there

I mend my love relationship over eight months but it all takes just one night to lose her to a another guy who got bigger than my [manhood].

(Sorry, my father is beginning to think I just like to blog so I can write the word penis a bunch of times. I will try to be a bit more demure about the whole thing.)

Okay, this email brings many questions to my mind about the author: Continue reading

Travel writer returns

Hi, I’m just in from Phoenix. It’s almost midnight Eastern time and I’m munching on french fries because the $5 airplane snack box didn’t quite cut it for dinner tonight. Well, I’m typing now; the fries are over there even though you can’t see where ‘there’ is.

My trip was good. I had a fun visit with my friend and her family. It was so nice to see her and to get a chance to talk-talk over dinner, just the 2 of us. Strangely enough, I had a great night’s sleep in their cave-like guest room with the triplets and her son in rooms across the hall. Go figure. And bless them all, there’s a lot of love in that house, but it is busier than most (yes, even yours and mine) — I think Linda has so much Diet Mountain Dew pumping through her veins just to get through her days she’ll need a year to detox after the kids go to college.

After my visit I went to my business conference, where I worked, mingled, ate and smiled a lot. In between meetings and during free time Tuesday afternoon (i.e., when the golfers went out to talk business and cement relationships over 18 holes – uh huh), I edited at least 50 pages of my manuscript and drafted my query letter. And today I sketched out the story for my next book. (That may have been during part of a Q&A session, but still.) I’m telling ya – travel seems to kick my writing muse in the pants. Maybe I should set up a security checkpoint and sit pressed against sweaty mannequins in an uncomfortable seat while I type to simulate the effect at home?

Anyhoo, I’m gearing up to go back into the office, two nights with the kiddies, and then going back on the road for an overnight jaunt to NYC on Saturday. More to come on that. The fries are getting cold and I need to get some sleep…but first, I thought you’d like to read one of my favorite emails waiting in my inbox for me.

What’s up [Interesting approach in using such an informal greeting to try and bond with me, cement our relationship…]
Your new, bigger penis is only 5-6 mths away [I guess not much was ‘up’ after all]

Sorry, in order for me to meet my numbers by year-end, I need one in 90 days. But take me to play Oakmont. We’ll work something out.

Editor’s Note: I don’t play golf and even if I did, you wouldn’t want me on a golf course with you or your loved ones. Arming an uncoordinated person with an iron — or a wood — club (hell, the tees, too) is not smart. You have been warned.

It’s a big country

Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 3:43 am
Re: Important Message!

I am Mr. Pyo Hong, Chairman/CEO BIGLOBE INC.
We specialize in manufacture and sales of electrical appliances worldwide. Presently I intend to have a representative in USA/Canada.
I have gone through your country’s directory and feel you are seemingly eligible for the position of branch manager of our new branch we have proposed to establish in your region.
Endeavor to get back to me for further briefing, using the contact details below…

The whole directory?

Wow, I feel honored. That must have been one exhausting and exhaustive search.