It’s Official, I’m a Contributor!

What do Marlo Thomas, Alec Baldwin, Harry Shearer and yours truly have in common? We’re all unabashedly brilliant people? Nah.

Huffington Post Blogger Extraordinaire and Actor, Alec Baldwin--and star of NBC's 30 Rock, too!

We’ve all got chutzpah with a side of moxie?  Getting warmer.

That we all star in NBC’s 30 Rock and have won countless Emmy’s?

Nope! Only one of us can claim that.

So, what’s the number one thing we all share? Drum roll, please…

We’re all bloggers for The Huffington Post

Yes, I can now safely say, it’s official. With six posts under my belt, I’m happy to report that I’m a regular contributor to the Huffington Post! Of course some of you already know this, but for those of you who don’t, you should know that I’m pleased as punch in July. And, knock on wood, if I play my cards right, this is only the beginning.

Turns out, I have a thing or two to say about divorce. In fact, having been through one, I am now considered in some circles (consisting of me and my dog, Henry), to be an expert! I can tell you just about anything you need to know about divorce and you can trust my expertise, as much as you can trust anything you read in WikipediaAnd honestly, you can take that to the bank!

Starting soon, I’ll also be blogging for The Huffington Post’s new section, Huff/Post 50, for which I’ve already contributed my first piece!  This is a new section just for people like me.  And by that, I mean, Baby Boomers.  Finally, a section we can call our own! I definitely know a thing or two about what it’s like to be a Boomer.

So, if you want to know more, just visit my bio at the HuffPo web site (Now that I’m on their blogger payroll—which means I receive no monetary compensation—I can refer to The Huffington Post by its nickname: HuffPo). I’m told it’s an insider thing and a term that only insiders—like me!—get to use. Which makes me pretty special, don’t you think?  You can also see a list of my posts, here on my blog, by clicking on My Huffington Post Stories page.

So the next time you have a question about divorce or the Baby Boomer generation, just ask me! Drop me a line, post a comment, and maybe I’ll respond by writing it up for The Huffington Post!

Now, if I can only get to meet Arianna.  Then, my life would be complete!  Who knows? Maybe I’ll even get invited to Arianna’s holiday party (assuming she has one). And maybe Alec Baldwin will want me to give him a ride there. That would be très spectacular!

I can’t wait to see what’s in store next for me now that I’ve hitched my wagon to The Huffington Post star. Whoopee!

BlogHer 2011 Diary, Day 2

And so, my first ever conference for bloggers comes to a screeching halt.


I was just beginning to learn at the feet of giants!  And by this I mean, bloggers who have been blogging way longer than I and who have far more experience than this gal from Queens, aka, me. And yet, this week does mark my one-year anniversary of blogging. One year?

Hooray for me! That’s 112 posts in 12 months and nearly 30,000 page views!

But anyway, I was just beginning to learn the secrets to their success!  And I was beginning to recognize that Mommy Bloggers–of which I am not one–are the new Soccer Moms, and they sure have a whole lot of clout!  Witness all the private parties, luncheons, spa treatments, hosted by big-ticket sponsors—just for them! From what I could tell, Mommy Bloggers represent 75% of all bloggers.  But that is solely based on how 2 out of 3 bloggers I met were MB’s.

Here’s what else I discovered:

Bloggers are very supportive of each other:  I met many a blogger willing to answer my questions and offer me tips of the trade.  Like, how mediabistro is a great site for anyone who creates or works with content, and I can learn my clout score by going to klout, which determines your level of engagement in social media. I’m a 37 and my score increased by 1 point over the past day (which I assume is a result of attending the conference and tweeting like crazy while I was there). Here are some other highlights of my conference experience:

Here, I’m with She Writes member and Assignment & Syndication Editor, Rita Arens. Rita participated on a panel, “Owning Your Beauty: If We Change the Conversation, Can We Change the Culture?”  Hmm, that’s a tough question to answer in just one sentence. What do you think?

Each of the sponsors had a suite. Here I am in the Hallmark suite with new friends and fellow bloggers, Margo (Nacho Mama’s Blog) and Berenice (Adventures of Three). Aren’t we cute?

Lisa Stone, Co-Founder & CEO of BlogHer, moderates closing keynote with, from left to right: Fatemeh FakhraleRicki Lake (yes, the Ricki Lake!), and Carol Jenkins. The topic, “Women in the Media, Women Making Media” was very insightful and empowering.

After all is said and done, I got a chance to sit down with Lisa Stone, Co-Founder and CEO of BlogHer, and let her know just how much the conference meant to me. Lisa gave a big shout out to Kamy and She Writes.  “I LOVE She Writes!” Lisa exclaimed.

Well, it’s officially over. I made lot of contacts, new friends–and so many memories! Hasta luego, BlogHer11. Thank you for giving me plenty of opportunities to network and nosh. It was sheer heaven!

Please note: Because I was so busy attending BlogHer11, The Road Taken saga will continue next week. So, stay tuned!

BlogHer 2011 Diary, Day 1

Now that I’m blogging, I don’t get out much. What can I say, but I’m glued to my computer, and my mantra is always the same: gotta write, gotta write.  Of course, I make an exception, now and then, this being one of them.  I’m one of 3,600 bloggers attending the BlogHer 2011 conference being held right here, in San Diego.  In the same locale that just two weeks ago hosted the famous–and infamous–Comic-Con.

Well, having spent my first day at BlogHer 2011 yesterday, and returned home exhausted and full—because, frankly, there was just too much to eat—here are my random thoughts and observations on Day One:

That's me at the conference! I forced someone to take my picture.

Everything seemed well organized, except maybe the speed dating during the morning session, which is designed as a networking tool for bloggers to learn about each other. But perhaps it’s too much to expect 3,000 or so participants to form proper lines and switch to the next person every couple of minutes. Plus, it was hard to hear the instructions above all the chatter.

Men are BlogHers, too.  They represent a small percentage of the total number of attendees, but they’re here, they’re proud and they blog.  And what do they blog about? What else? Parenting and traveling.

At lunch, I got to meet the team behind Hispanicize, a resource for Latino social media marketers and bloggers.  Actually, I was not familiar with this group until today and found them to be an extraordinary group of individuals with a passion for what they do. Manny Ruiz, chairman and co-founder has a blog of his own, PapiBlogger and is blogging about his journey from Miami to Alaska, with a stop in San Diego for BlogHer conference!

I also got to meet Margo, the amazing woman behind Nacho Mama’s Blog.  Margo’s been blogging for about six years now, and has brought the art of blogging to a whole new level. I hope to learn a lot from Margo, who’s got some dance moves, too. Yesterday, during lunch, she was one of 100 or so who participated in a flash mob. Something I had never seen live. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

Margo, the Nacho Mama, does the flash mob thing.

Power strips at every table are a smart idea!  I have an iPad and iPhone and brought my charger with me, thinking I’d have to find a wall with an electrical outlet and stand next to it while waiting for my electronics to charge. Not necessary with power strips handy on every table during the breakout sessions.  Anyone who needed to, could just plug in and power up!

Dove Ice Cream makes divine ice cream.  Like I said, there was PLENTY to eat. At every turn, down every corridor, there was something to nosh on. The peanut butter swirl ice cream dipped in chocolate, was heavenly.  I also enjoyed the fruit served on skewers, which made it easy to carry to the next session. Don’t even get me started on all the food samples in the Expo area.

It’s a small world after all.  In a post I wrote for She Writes about the conference, I indicated that I’d only met one She Writes member, Sidney Patrick.  Which immediately caused another member in attendance to comment on my post.  “I’m here, too!” wrote Lauren Marie Fleming from Portland, Oregon. “Let’s meet up,” she added.  So we tweeted back and forth, making plans to meet and, gradually, we came to realize that the entire time we were tweeting each other, Lauren was actually sitting directly behind me, just a few feet away, in a session on Peer Networking.

And during said session, Lauren asked the panel what they thought about She Writes as a resource for networking.  Turns out, the person who responded, Ananda Leeke, founder of Digital Sisterhood Network, is also a She Writes member and absolutely adoresthe site.  She is a big fan and friend of Kamy Wykoff, the Founder and CEO.  “When Kamy told me she was starting She Writes, and asked me to participate, I was in,” Ananda said.  She went on to describe how it was Kamy’s passion and belief in She Writes that inspired her to get involved.  Which just goes to show you, Ananda, who’s been a member since the very beginning, knows what most all of us know—She Writes is the best place to be for women writers everywhere!

That's me with the Renna Family, including Sara Agnello (far left), the brains behind the business, if you ask me.

During my walk through the Expo, I got to meet a lovely family:  The Renna Family. Turns out, they have a decidedly delicious family business:  Michael Angelo’s Italian Gourmet Italian Food.  I’ve been enjoying their eggplant parmesan for years, which tastes very homemade if you ask me, and never suspected that there was a real family behind this company (as opposed to a corporate conglomerate).  Well, to Sara Agnello, the matriarch, who knows a thing or two about cooking, I say, “It was so nice to meet you and your loving family.”

Finally, today I collected about 100 business cards and gave out just as many.  There are a lot of cool, creatively-designed business cards out there. Some dare to be different—smaller or narrower than the typical business card—but I don’t like those, because they’re easy to lose. One blogger forgot hers, and wrote her name for me on a post-it note. She also included her blog’s name, though at first I thought she was just sending me a message. Here’s what the post-it note said:

“Life Doesn’t Have to Suck.”

I’m glad of that.  Stay tuned for Day Two!

Thoughts of Summer

Now that summer is here, my thoughts drift to calm days, warm sandy beaches, pink sunsets, the scent of Coppertone, soft breezes, and piña coladas. No, wait. Scratch that. Who am I kidding?

Actually my mind knows no seasons. In my head, it’s always business as usual, which means strange, random stuff racing through my head and summer’s no exception.  Here’s what’s on my mind this week:

Actor Kyle Chandler as Coach Eric Taylor

I love Kyle Chandler.  Actually, to me, he’s Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights, the TV series, now in its final season.  The coach is perfection personified, even better than Robert Young in Father Knows Best. FNL could be called Coach Knows Best because he always does. Others on the show think they know better and push the coach to use their son more on the field, or talk to colleges about football scholarships when the coach says it’s not time. And, guess what? The coach is always right.   Not only is he damn good looking, he’s an amazing husband to Connie Britton’s Tami Taylor, and a great father to Julie, his sometimes bratty daughter (played by Aimee Teegarden). And as a football coach, he’s strong and stalwart, with a stiff jaw and lots of poetic angst in his eyes.  Oh, I just adore Coach Taylor.

Which brings me to Super 8, the new film now in theaters by JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg.  I just saw this movie and all I can say is:

Finally, a movie that takes the best of many of my favorite movies—E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Stand By Me—sprinkles in a little bit of the enigmatic TV series, Lost—and throws in a football coach to boot. So what, if we’ve seen it all before? Super 8 has it all!  Action, drama, touch of humor and Kyle Chandler who is a cutie, if you ask me. He somehow manages to look and act exactly like the coach he plays on Friday Night Lights, but dressed this time as a cop.  Except, gone are the sweats. He even gets to wear a beret at one point, which makes him look très French. Voila! Fun movie, so go see it and tell Kyle I said, hi.

I do not want to appear rude or ungrateful to those who must deal with this, but I have to say it anyway:  I do not wish to be buried alive like that woman in Columbia. Must have been an oversight at the hospital, if you ask me. Which is why I’m going to always carry a mirror in my pocket so that, in a pinch, anyone can hold it up to my mouth to check to see if it fogs up by my breathing.  Also, if it’s not too much trouble, can someone please tell my kids that I’m going to need a landline installed in my coffin?  It’ll come in handy in case I awaken.

Speaking of landlines, I think my phone company has it in for me.  I can tell because ever since I decided to cancel my landline—and then quickly reversed said decision—the phone company has decided to make my life hell.  It’s like they want to teach me a lesson, show me who is boss. The only problem is, the real lesson they’re teaching me is, I should have followed my first hunch and canceled the service!!

She Writes members celebrate its 2nd anniversary in grand style!

I’m thrilled to be part of She Writes.  This week was She Writes’ 2nd anniversary and here in San Diego, several of us She Writes members celebrated in grand fashion. Find out more by clicking here.  We’re planning to do it again soon.  If you ask me, it can’t be soon enough.

Why is it, I have two grocery stores nearby that are part of big chains, yet neither of them carries all my favorite food items? So if I want a certain brand of hummus in a zesty lemon flavor, I have to go to one, but, if I also want a particular brand of lemon yogurt (Yes, I’m obsessed with all things lemon!), then I have to drive to the other side of town and go to the other store.  Why can’t they both carry the same items? It’s so annoying. Clearly, they don’t realize that time is money.

My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Henry, doesn’t handle well being sick.  He plays Anna Karenina and acts like he has consumption or something.  Flinging himself on the couch, he covers his eyes with his paw.  “The end is near!” he seems to be saying.  I call his name as I pour his dry food into his bowl. He gets this far away look in his eyes and I could swear I see his lower lip quiver. “My will is gone,” he seems to be saying. Henry knows, this really gets to me, but not when I’m in a hurry.  “Goodbye, Hank,” I shout as I head out the door.  “Catch you on the rebound,” I add, knowing that he doesn’t like it when I appear cavalier about his health.

Oh yes, summer’s off to a great start, thanks to my thoughts which just won’t go away.

Oh and I almost forgot–TODAY IS MY 100th POST! Yay! What a milestone!

Freshly Pressed x 3 and What Became of Joe?

Life is good. I’ve got a song in my heart and the world on a string! Joy has come in and asked me to dance. Yes, if you ask me, everything’s coming up roses!  For, this past Friday, I was Freshly Pressed, which means my blog was featured on the homepage. And you know what they say—third time’s the charm.

Yes! I have been FP’d three times! The trifecta of all Freshly Pressed presses! First to receive FP notoriety was my On Notice post, which I wrote on account that I had a bone to pick with Mr. Stephen Colbert.  Then came one I wrote, in which I confessed to re-writing my family history by conjuring up The “Fake” Family Tree. And now, my Broken Hearts & The Road Not Taken post. Being pressed can be addictive, so I better put a reminder on my Outlook not to let this all go to my head.

What do you mean you can't take me out to pee because you've been Freshly Pressed and have to stick by your computer? What about me and my needs?

Best of all, I was pressed on a Friday, and that means my blog was in the spotlight ALL WEEKEND LONG! And that means I’m probably headed for my 15 minutes by now. Note to self: check out Wikipedia tonight and see if I’m in it, because, if you ask me, that’s the truest benchmark of recognition.

So how did I find out, you ask?  Well, I had just posted my story early Friday morning, and was getting ready for work.  I checked my emails for any messages about comments.  There were two from my regular readers.  Nothing unusual so far. Then, as I’m out walking Henry, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, on his morning constitutional, I check my email on my iPhone. Lo and behold there’s a message from Erica, the Story Wrangler at

“Congrats!” she says. Your post has been promoted to Freshly Pressed on Keep up the good work!”

That’s when I start jumping up and down and screaming like a clown who’s oversized foot has been run over by two Volkswagen Bugs.  My brain goes into hyper-drive and my heart skips into a state of complete apoplexy. Suddenly, I’m too excited to walk Henry and plead with him to hold it in. I run to my computer, leaving Henry downstairs, with his leash still on. I shout to him to close the front door, which in my haste I forgot to do. In typical fashion, he ignores my request.

So thank you, thank you.  Thank you, WordPress for seeing something good in my post. Thank you, too, to all my wonderful readers and fellow bloggers who contributed to my more than 9,000 views!  Thanks to the 140 of you who “liked” my post, and to the more than 130 of you who left comments on my blog, 74 of you who became subscribers on a whim–or perhaps on a bet–and 35 of you who took the leap of faith and decided to follow me on Twitter, thus assuming I have something important or even pithy things to say in 140 characters or less.

What Became of Joe?

I loved receiving all of your thoughtful comments and responding to each and everyone of you who wrote. Quite a few of you said you want to know what happened next, and I promise you, you will soon. Others wanted to know what became of Joe.

Well, after I moved to Seattle, I lost track of Joe, but, as a result of this post, I have rediscovered him on Facebook.  Joe’s a published author and a photographer, living in another part of the country and seems to be enjoying a very fulfilled life. I’m happy to say he read my Freshly Pressed post and hit the “like” button! So I’m pretty sure that means he liked my post and is glad we have reconnected. Better late than never, if you ask me. Oh, and Joe has a blog of his own, Long Tale Short.  Check it out! The man definitely has a way with words. But here’s the strangest part of this story: All these years, Joe also has kept a copy of The Washington Book Review (which was the name of the newspaper we worked on together), and had just happened to come across it again, barely a few days before I contacted him on Friday, out of the blue.  A bit freaky Friday-ish, I’d say.

She Writes Volunteer Coordinator

Well, this has been an amazing ride. Best of all, it happened on the same day that She Writes Founder/CEO, Kamy Wicoff, announced that I have been selected to serve as the first-ever Volunteer Coordinator for She Writes, along with Amber Medina West.  Yep, she’s a Medina too, but we’re not related. Just a happy coincidence. By the way, you can visit a post I wrote titled, She Writes! to find out what I think of this resource for writers.

So, if you ask me, it’s like I won the lottery. Fame, fortune and the paparazzi surely must be just around the corner!