After months and months of resolve, I caved and opened a MySpace account in December. I did so because I was sick of "Googling" old friends to get in touch, but coming up empty-handed. Why I get the itch to make all these contacts is beyond me -- it likely creeps up when I'm feeling insecure about the strength of my "current" friendships, or some such nonsense.

There was an initial rush that came with the ability to contact dozens of people right at my fingertips. I sent out my first greetings, fishing for whatever replies I could get. Reading them was fun and brought a smile to my face. People with whom I hadn't spoken since high school *cough* years ago were right in front of me, telling me how they were. Crazy.

The fairy dust wore off quickly -- and not just because MySpace isn't my bag (the pages are far too busy and I'd much rather be cruising blogs). After a couple weeks as a MySpacer, I became very melancholy. Instead of being entertained by or interested in the adventures of my old buddies as captured in photos, all I saw were lives I was no longer a part of. And it felt like a punch in the gut.

I've always treasured my friendships, and taken it ultra-personally when they deteriorated. A MySpace buddy of mine sent out one of those famous "about you" surveys. One of the questions asked for an odd or little-known fact about me: "I lose friends at about the same rate as I make them," was my reply. Sounds pretty cynical, doesn't it? I know -- I was surprised by it myself. But it's fairly accurate, and more than a little frustrating for someone as "friendly" as I am. I hate it.

Sometimes it seems as if all the significant friendships I have will inevitably turn into MySpace icons ... except my family. It's so nice to have a supremely wonderful group of people in my family who are friends for life. And honestly, at the end of the day, between them and my husband, I don't know if there's much more I could ask for!


I've finally conquered a few of my Blogger demons. After some focused concentration on my part (which isn't easy to muster up after a long day at work), I discovered how to change some of things that needed changing. The next step will be actually posting something of value :)

P.S. Extra credit to whomever can help me get rid of the icky gray in my "posted by" boxes...

The new and unimproved Blogger

It is lame to blog about Blogger ... and shouldn't it mess with the space-time continuum or something? ANYWHO, I made the mistake of getting sucked into the new drag-and-drop template design. It sounded fun in theory, but in practice it has mucho problemo.

I have lost all my "people to see" links. Yes, Blogger handily assured me that my previous template and its information would be saved in case info was lost in the transition -- they just neglected to tell me where. So I worked up the energy to re-find and re-post my precious links, only to find I CAN'T. The "add link" button in my design phase will not work. Goody!

Despite my new hand-picked font and prettiershades of green, I am unsatisfied with this new ability to "drag and drop." For an under-experienced computer person who gets frustrated easily, it's simply not worth it.

That being said, Happy Friday everyone!


Call me shallow, but me and my girls have loved predicting this things since we were kids. I'm probably the worst at it, but I somehow still get a kick out of it. The Golden Globes are tonight, if you care...

Best Motion Picture - Drama
*The Departed
Little Children
The Queen

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
*Helen Mirren – The Queen
Penélope Cruz – Volver
Judi Dench – Notes On A Scandal
Maggie Gyllenhaal – sherrybaby
Kate Winslet – Little Children

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
*Forest Whitaker – The Last King Of Scotland
Leonardo DiCaprio – Blood Diamond
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Departed
Peter O'Toole – Venus
Will Smith – The Pursuit Of Happyness

Best Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy
Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan
The Devil Wears Prada
Little Miss Sunshine
Thank You For Smoking

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
*Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada
Annette Bening – Running With Scissors
Toni Collette – Little Miss Sunshine
Beyoncé Knowles – Dreamgirls
Renée Zellweger – Miss Potter

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy
*Sacha Cohen – Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan
Johnny Depp – Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Aaron Eckhart – Thank You For Smoking
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Kinky Boots
Will Ferrell – Stranger Than Fiction

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
*Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls
Adriana Barraza – Babel
Cate Blanchett – Notes On A Scandal
Emily Blunt – The Devil Wears Prada
Rinko Kikuchi – Babel

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
*Ben Affleck – Hollywoodland
Eddie Murphy – Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson – The Departed
Brad Pitt – Babel
Mark Wahlberg – The Departed

Best Animated Feature Film
Happy Feet
Monster House

Best Foreign Languge Film
*Volver (Spain)
Apocalypto (United States)
Letters From Iwo Jima (Japan, United States)
The Lives Of Others (Germany)
Pan's Labyrinth (Mexico)

Best Director - Motion Picture
*Martin Scorsese – The Departed
Clint Eastwood – Flags Of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood – Letters From Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears – The Queen
Alejandro Iñárritu – Babel

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
*The Departed
Little Children
Notes On A Scandal
The Queen

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
*"Listen" – Dreamgirls
"A Father's Way" – The Pursuit Of Happyness
"Never Gonna Break My Faith" – Bobby
"The Song Of The Heart" – Happy Feet
"Try Not To Remember" – Home Of The Brave

Best Television Series - Drama
*Big Love (HBO)
24 (FOX)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Heroes (NBC)
Lost (ABC)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama
*Kyra Sedgwick – The Closer (TNT)
Patricia Arquette – Medium (NBC)
Edie Falco – The Sopranos (HBO)
Evangeline Lilly – Lost (ABC)
Ellen Pompeo – Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama
*Kiefer Sutherland – 24 (FOX)
Patrick Dempsey – Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Michael C. Hall – Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Hugh Laurie – House (FOX)
Bill Paxton – Big Love (HBO)

Best Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
*The Office (NBC)
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Entourage (HBO)
Ugly Betty (ABC)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
*Julia Louis-Dreyfus – The New Adventures Of Old Christine (CBS)
Marcia Cross – Desperate Housewives (ABC)
America Ferrera – Ugly Betty (ABC)
Felicity Huffman – Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Mary-Louise Parker – Weeds (SHOWTIME)

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
*Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock (NBC)
Zach Braff – Scrubs (NBC)
Steve Carell – The Office (NBC)
Jason Lee – My Name Is Earl (NBC)
Tony Shalhoub – Monk (USA)


Hats off to the senator: "McGee named top GOP legislator"

What the...

Speechless? Almost. How is Howard Stern the King of ALL Media when he only communicates through one? And how in the HECK does he score this kind of money?

Walk away

Last night on ABC, "Primetime" revived Stanley Milgram's famous 1961 experiment in which people were asked to administer electric shocks to other people. The set-up included a scientish-looking character in a lab coat who explained to random people that a subject in an adjoining room should be sent shocks via a switchboard if he/she answered a question incorrectly. Participants were told it was not dangerous to the shock receivers.

The hidden camera rolled and showed person after person flipping a switch to send up to 150 volts of electricity through someone they couldn't see. Of course, no one was really hooked up to the device, and the "ouches" were pre-recorded. But the participants didn't know that. It was fascinating so see how far up the switchboard these men and women would go (increasing voltage for more wrong answers). The recorded shockee would finally protest to the shocks, claiming his heart was giving him trouble, at which point the man in the lab coat would reassure the participant that there was no physical harm resulting.

The point of all this was to observe what people will do if someone with authority asks them. It was also a study of responsibility -- people who wanted to stop the shocks early felt THEY were hurting an individual. People who kept going later said it was because the EXPERIMENTER told them to. One can imagine the dilemma of being told that nothing was wrong in spite of what your senses were telling you.

I must admit my own fear of falling into the category of "continuous shocker," if only because I'm very trusting of people "in the know" -- if he says it's OK, it has to be OK, right? But then I remember that one important variable that some of the participants overlooked: I'm not REQUIRED to participate at all. With all due humility, I think I actually would have been a quitter. Not because I have impunable moral fiber, but because I'm a little braver than I was as a child. Back then I was shy and sensitive and would have done just about anything to avoid a scene. But these days I let my gut do a little more of the talking. Life's too short to do things you deem inappropriate.

I also find it very comforting that the "I did as I was ordered" defense doesn't hold up in our courts. Why should it? When is is it ever OK to do something just because someone asked you to? When people aren't sure how to answer those questions, awfulness such as the teenage strip-search at McDonald's results. If you don't know this story already, it will leave you shocked and dumbfounded. The people involved in this real-life experiment of morality and obedience are certainly NOT the norm. And the whole time, this young girl said she was afraid not to comply because they were grown-ups and "you always do what grown-ups say." WHO RAISED THIS CHILD?

I realize I've crossed my subjects a bit here. They are related, though, aren't they? The moral of the story is this: In this world, we have many obligations to our jobs, our families and our communities, which means having to do things we don't necessarily WANT to do. But Lord willing, we will never feel compelled to do something we SHOULDN'T do.

2007, here we come!!

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man."
~ Benjamin Franklin