Sunday, December 13, 2009

Goodbye, The End, Finis

Today, December 13, 2009, is the fifth anniversary of ByJane. And today is also it’s swan song. Those of you who check in from time to time know that I’ve only been posting from time to time. And when I do, I generally cross-post to MidLifeBloggers--which seems like a waste of, well not paper, but bytes...or something.

And too, the kind of posts I did for ByJane seemed a bit too casual for MidLifeBloggers. With ByJane, I just wrote--whatever. Sometimes I would start in one place and end up in a totally different direction. But that was the fun of it. That is, actually, what blogging is about, at least to my mind. That’s not what MidLifeBloggers is about. When I choose posts to put up, I’m looking for what are basically non-fiction essays. They have a beginning, a middle and an end. They make a point, and they use some or all of the tools of literary writing to do so.

Still I miss writing those casual, personal posts, but all of my energies these days are going into MidLifeBloggers. That’s where I’m doing the social media dance that one does to build an audience. It’s where I’ve got plans and intentions and goals and dreams and--well, you know. So I’m saying goodbye to ByJane as the blog exists in this incarnation. This will be my last post at this url. But because I miss blogging and because I still want to do that meandering personal kind of writing, I’m officially folding ByJane in to MidLifeBloggers. There’s a sweet spot on the sidebar where you can read ByJane; you’ll just have to go to MidLifeBloggers to do it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

BlogWorld Expo & Not H1N1

BlogworldexpoShuffle, shuffle...creak, creak. Those sounds are me trying to get upright and in the saddle again after several (SEVERAL!) weeks off. First, I was at BlogWorld & New Media Expo in Vegas--about which more anon. Then I was at death's door (okay, slight exaggeration) from the dreaded flu. Well--not The Flu. But some flu.

Here's what I wrote before I got sick:

It has become the convention for bloggers that after a conference, one writes a roundup of sorts, in which one links to all those new and exciting people one met. One does this; I, however, do not. It's just another example of how stubborn I can be about doing what one is supposed to. Especially when it would be helpful to one's I hear some whispers about "cutting nose to spite face"?

To continue and finish all those thoughts....

After BlogHer'09, the roundup I wrote attracted the attention of several of the bigwigs at BlogWorldExpo, most notably Rick Calvert who started the who thing. I compared the sessions at BWE08 to those at BH09, with the former coming out ahead in substance and relevance. BWE09 was no different. The sessions were, in the main, incredibly informative. Last year I just went wherever my interest took me; this year, however, I had a plan. I started out in the news business as a radio reporter, so it makes sense that I'm interested in adding a multi-media aspect to MidLifeBloggers. Therefore, I chose the Podcasting/Audio/Video track, and the basic ones at that.

Andy Walker of Butterscotch filled his session, "Video Podcasting 101", with an hours-worth of helpful information, such as "Plan your show, perform your plan. Ad lib with structure. Whiteboard with bullet points. Improvise inside a structure." Similarly, Lee and Sara O'Donnell of Average Betty gave solid advice about all aspects from pre through post production in their session "Work With Whatcha Got: Video Production." By the time I had sat through those sessions, I knew enough to know that I'm not quite ready for prime time when it comes to videoblogging, but I've got a good idea where to start.

Because there's such a wide range of bloggers at BlogWorldExpo--political bloggers and sports bloggers, real estate bloggers and PR/Marketing bloggers, Mil bloggers and med bloggers and, yes, mommy bloggers--there are a wide variety of sessions and tracks to choose from. No complaint there at all. The exhibits on the showfloor were similarly diverse. There, too, I tried to narrow my focus to those exhibitors that had something to say to MidLifeBloggers, and in the future I expect you'll see some results of my conversations. But---you knew this was coming, didn't you--here's where BlogWorldExpo leaves me cold: the socializing.

Yes, there are parties and sponsors and keynotes and-- it all seemed aimed at guys in their 30s and their aging wannabes. Okay, it's Vegas, so probably the emphasis on waitresses with huge tits is unavoidable. But what was with the showgirls wandering around with a photographer in tow at the Opening Night party at the Mirage's JET Nightclub? And why is it that the open bar at all the "official" parties offered only bottles of warm beer? And who decided that the Closing Keynote should be Guy Kawasaki playing (badly) David Letterman to Kevin Pollak, Chad Vader and Jenny The Bloggess? You've never heard of Chad Vader? Oh, then you're not a thirty-something geek who's never gotten over Star Wars. And Jenny The Bloggess? I know she's got quite a following; what I can't figure out is why. Her "humor" (quotes intentional) seems aimed at--oh yeah, thirty-something guys and their aging wannabes.

It is possible to create a party that appeals to men and women, young and not so young. ScreenLife did it at their party to introduce their new game SceneIt. Next year at BWE10, I suggest that there be several women on the party planning agenda. And, at the least, the beer be icy cold. Oh, and a couple of near-naked dudes be sent to the various venues wander around for the viewing pleasure of the ladies. Is that too much to ask?

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Boys Are Back

...and so am I. At least occasionally. This is cross-posted from MidLifeBloggers but I don't know who reads that or who, if anyone, reads ByJane.

People who know me know that I'm a real snippy critic when it comes to movies. Much of what the film industry puts out earns Three Snorts from me. So when I tell you I thought a movie was terrific, trust me--it was terrific.

Last night I went to a screening of The Boys Are Back. I didn't expect anything special. Didn't really know much about the film except that it starred Clive Owen and had boys in it. To what end, I wasn't sure--and really, that wasn't the point in my going. It was a screening, for heaven's sake. Shades of Hollywood, for heaven's sake. Not to mention a chance to make myself feel like LA's not that far away. So I met up with Margaret of NannyGoatsInPanties and Alena of LenaLoo's Inner Green Fairy and Larissa of no blog at all, bought myself the popcorn I must have to watch a movie and settled back to see what was what.

What I saw was one of the best films in ages. I hate movie reviews that recount the plot so I won't. Suffice to say, it's a love story between a father and his sons. It's about trying your best and sometimes coming up short, but sometimes not. It's about trying and sometimes failing, but sometimes not. It's about family in all its messy glory when each member is valued as an individual. It's about males without women but not in a way that demeans either gender.

It's about filmmakers not going the quick and dirty route with heavy-handed symbolism and Lessons Learned. No manipulation by music, no cheap Hollywood tricks to create an emotional response. Scott Hicks, the director of Shine and producer of Billy Elliot, directed it, from a screenplay by Allan Cubitt, which was based on the memoir, The Boys Are Back In Town, by Simon Carr. They have created a spot of real life in a movie theatre. Truly, if I hadn't recognized Clive Owen, I would have thought I was watching a documentary. I loved the world they created on the screen and, frankly, I didn't want it to end.

I can't remember the last time I was so touched by a film. Yet, such is the world of movies these days that I don't think I would have seen it if not for the screening. Too many bum deals out there for $10.50 a pop. Too many films where the best thing going was the popcorn. So I have to thank Melissa from Women and Hollywood for getting me on the hallowed screening list. And I have to thank the filmmakers, all those involved, for creating a film that made me remember that moving pictures are indeed an art form and that the best of them reflect who we are and refract our values.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

BlogHer'09: The Good, The Bad and The Meh

  1. I liked seeing all my online friends in the flesh. Just wish there had been more time and opportunity to really sit down and talk. That there wasn’t, I think, is a function of the size and intensity of the conference. Not only is the BlogHer schedule jam-packed, but the number of outside parties and such seemed endless.
  2. The sessions—so many choices, so little time. Just wish they had been less general. I know that BlogHer prides itself on the conversational tone of their conference sessions. The emphasis for speakers is less on presentation and more on dialogue with the audience. That works very well when it’s a small group. But when it’s a lecture size audience, allowing the audience members to determine the flow of the topic ends up being a crapshoot. Will the probing questioners get to the mike? And if a question sparks a dialogue, will the dialogue be allowed to continue—or will it be truncated in the interest of others getting a chance to speak? The answers to those questions at the sessions I attended was “probably not.” Consequently, there’s no real depth to the sessions.
  3. Swag. This is good, bad and meh all together. I know there’s a debate going on on Twitter about Too Much Swag. To me the amount of swag wasn’t the issue. The focus on the commercial aspects of Blogher was. Lisa said at one session that she, Elisa and Jory founded BlogHer with four purposes in mind: exposure, community, education, and economic empowerment for women bloggers. I think the economic empowerment head is now leading the beast.
  4. When my panel was announced, I couldn’t figure out what we—one shopping blog, one lesbian blog, one the-personal-is-political blog and me, the midlifeblogger—had in common. What was our reason for being? Then during the preconference phone call, Elisa stressed that we were the panel to give voice to those not often heard. That confused me further because I don’t feel particularly marginalized in the blogosphere. But then I got to the conference and looked around, and I understood—within BlogHer itself, we are marginalized. The emphasis of the Conference is on sponsorship and the sponsors are focusing on one particular demographic; that leaves the rest of us out in the cold. I can’t tell you how many times during BlogHer’09, midlife bloggers came up to me and asked, “Where are we in all this?” I could only shrug. I dunno.
  5. Two years ago in Chicago, Butterball was a sponsor and handed out oven mitts as their swag. There was a lot of flack from bloggers about that—“what? You think all we do is cook?” This year it is obvious that the sponsors think we have a shitload of laundry to do. And meals to prepare. And we’re pinching our pennies so we’re willing to ignore Walmart’s business practices to save a cent or two in their stores. (I’m building up a head of steam here, so if you’re delicate, you might want to leave now). Talk about allowing the marketplace to define us! I have no use for Ragu's nifty wheel that allows me to plan meals for my non-existent family. Nor am I cherishing the gift bag left in my room by Tide|Bounce which contained stick on dryer sheets, all wrapped up in pretty orange paper. The one sponsor that did speak to me was Microsoft Office|Bing, and I spent more time in their suite than anywhere else. They had fantastic pastries, coffee, and their swag seemed for grownup women, rather than Mommy's.
  6. I just read Lisa Stone’s post about Valerie Jarrett being at Blogher’09. She was? Where was I at the time? Why didn’t I even know about it?
  7. For me, what is missing from the conference is substance. Did I say that before? It bears repeating I went to BlogCon Blog World Expo last year and found the sessions there jam-packed with information. It was very obvious to me that people were there for information, to learn from the experts. The sessions that I attended at BlogHer’09 were much more general, the questions more abstract, the responses much less satisfying. This may be a function of the fact that I’ve been blogging for four years and this was my fourth BlogHer Conference. Perhaps there’s a shelf-life for bloggers attending the conference, and I've passed it.
  8. I’m on the fence about BlogHer’10. If it’s going to be another hoo-hah Mommy-PR extravaganza, I’m not particularly enthusiastic. There has to be something more there for me to make it worth the cost of going.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Are We Done?

I wasn't going to post today, because--well, I just wasn't. Then I read this by MaggieDammit and she voiced so much of what I'm feeling about ByJane and MidLifeBloggers. I offer it to you just to let you know where my mind is--sorta--and that I don't know if I'm done here forever.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Pimp That Post!

Which is what I'm doing right now: pimping my most recent post for which I whine about why I'm bad at pimping (my mama done brought me up right)--and why it's crucial to this here internets thing.

The drill is this: go read the post (okay, you don't have to read it; just look at it). Click on the "I Like This" icon (you may have to sign up first but only the first time and honestly, you'll be entered in a contest to win Michael Jackson's sixth grandchild.) Then comment....and send the link to your friends... Because the more People Who Like my post, the--the--the ------- Whatever.

And then--no, we're not done yet!--Digg it and Stumble it. Those two are easy 'cause there's links to them right on the post.

I thank you.....

Saturday, June 06, 2009

In Sickness and In Health

I'm missing writing on ByJane. I'm missing doodling with keyboard and I'm missing venting and I'm missing sharing my every this, that or the other. MidLifeBloggers seems too--I dunno--grownup to just mess about on. Or maybe it's just me. Maybe I feel too grownup to mess about in public. Whatever. Stuff is going on in my life and ByJane is where I've always put my stuff. Will I post it on MidLifeBloggers as well? I dunno.

Today D comes back to my house for a while. Take note of the pronoun, people, because it is My house. It may be the address listed on his license, but he doesn't live here anymore. He hasn't for over a year now. But in that year, something interesting has happened. The family I worked so hard for--my two step-sons, my daughters-in-law, my granddaughter--that family has coalesced and solidified and...any other words you could think of for "becoming tight." It happened willnilly of D; it began, in fact, without him. But now he's in there too and we're all, all of us, happy to see each other and be together as a family.

And happy to count on each other, as one does with family. Therein lies the why of D coming back to my house for a while. A couple of weeks ago, he got the dreaded news, the one that begins with C and ends with surgery. I'm not even counting chemo and radiation in there because we're hoping it ends with surgery. D lives alone, over an hour away from all of us. He'll need to be taken care of, at the very least. At the most, which is the way I do things, he needs a loving friend to go through this with him. He did it for me when I had the cerebral aneurysm. Now I'll do it for him.

I'm shy about telling people this because it's hard to explain in this world of I hate you and never darken my door again marital splits. But the fact is that I can't not do it. I guess I really did take those vows seriously: in sickness and in health....

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jon & Kate Plus 8: Hang 'em from the highest tree

I just finished the season opener of Jon & Kate Plus 8. It was painful to watch, especially for anyone who has gone through the breakup of a marriage. Clearly they are each putting on the Brave Face that I remember so well from my own life, and that, perhaps, makes it harder for me at least to see. I get the sense that they are both doing the best they can in a crummy situation.

Meanwhile, the citizens are milling about yelling, Jump! Jump! Or maybe, to make the metaphor I'm reaching for clearer, Off With Their Heads!

I am astonished at the hysteria that this family has generated in the tabloid press, and thus on line, and therefore in Twitters and Facebooks etc. etc. etc. For a while public sentiment was against Jon, the doubledealing, cheating, oh-my-god-he-got-hair-plugs, what-does-he-do-for-a-living-anyway husband. But now, now Kate is on the rack because...because--

...because she's a woman and she isn't meek. I have a couple of book shelves full of most worthy historical assessments of the role of women, with titles like Disorderly Conduct, The Female Grotesque, and (one of my person favorites) The Madwoman in the Attic. They are all a testimony to the fact that in our culture, we have not wanted our women bold and beautiful and we have certainly not wanted them smart and articulate. Kate Gosselin fails on all four points, and thus she must be chastened, scourged, and maybe even burned at the stake.

As always, it amazes, saddens and disgusts me that it is mostly women who are casting the stones. Lord, how we love to hate each other. And we're so good at it, aren't we? While little boys bash each other over the head to establish dominance in the sandbox, we girls do it with sly innuendo and backbiting. We're the master (if I can use that word) of the verbal assault because really, that's the only ammunition our culture has allowed us.

I don't know what will happen to the Gosselins. I wish them well. I wish their period of time being scapegoats for the American shadow psyche is brief. I wish we weren't all so fucking eager to raise the flag and then, just when it's flying high, pull it down to trample it in the muck. I don't know--I guess I wish we weren't so human.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dancing With The Stars - American Idol: the last word, sort of

Indulge me while I write about my true interest in life: television of the reality genre. T'is true that I'm a People mag sort of girl. Actually, I prefer US because they never try to be high-minded about their gossip and besides, my friend, Stefanie Wilder-Taylor does fashion reviews for them.

Stephanie and others do round-up/wrap-ups of shows like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. I prefer to just pop in occasionally for the brief--140 character--insightful comment, which is why you may want to follow me on Twitter one of these days.

This week, unfortunately, my fleet fingers were otherwise occupied, so the final finales (as opposed to the penultimate finales) of both shows went by without my wit and wisdom. Or at least my wit. Or maybe just wisdom. I dunno, 'cause I tend to think I'm funnier than I am.

DWTS: Of course, Shawn Johnson won. She is, after all, America's Sweetheart. And we need to appreciate her more these days because when she finally grows up--and out--her body will settle into something resembling a fireplug, and we won't like her so much because she will no longer be Cute. Think Mary Lou Retton. Not only that, but Hair & Makeup really did right by her. Compare the look she sported in the Olympics, when I assume she was responsible for her own glitter and eyeshadow, to Tuesday night's, and there alone you're talking the difference between a girl and a woman. Now I'm wondering if she'll maintain that look--false eyelashes and all--for the 2012 Games.

American Idol: Of course, Krissss won. And I don't think it had anything to do with the homophobia thing. I think that is just an easy excuse, like the stutterer who couldn't get a job on radio because he was Jewish. Nor do I think Kris got the Christian vote. Actually, I didn't know there was a Christian Vote until he brought it up. I voted for Kris and I'm not Christian. I voted for Kris because I don't think Adam will wear as well in the public eye. The thing that made Adam so brilliant was that he Performed his songs. What he lacked was any real connection with the music and the audience. If singing is a form of communication, then Adam was Narcissus, creating the perfect picture--for himself.

Tonight begins So You Think You Can Dance, and I'll be there. As I will for the season opening of Jon and Kate Plus Eight. Aren't you excited????

Friday, May 15, 2009

What Happens To One of Us Happens To All of Us

Gwendomomma is a blogger I met at Woolf Camp last month. Now she's a blogger in need. In the infinite wisdom of our courts, her ex was allowed to plead down a domestic violence charge to disturbing the peace. This came after he cleared out their money to pay for his bail! Gwendomomma has two kids, rent to be paid, food to be bought, etc. etc. etc. We bloggers are mighty in our ability to Get Things Done, and we are perfection in the way we Support Each Other. There's a widget in my sidebar that allows you to safely donate whatever you can to help Gwendomomma keep things going for her kids and move on in her life.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Goals, Fantasies and Reality

For some reason this post wants to call itself, Be Careful What You Wish For. I don't know why, since I'm talking about happy things and good times. Success, baby, success.

A long, long, long time ago, I decided to be a magazine journalist. Just like that--pouf! Without any training or background or much more than a love of magazines behind me. My mother had brought me up that way, to believe that if I wanted something, I just had to work hard and I would get it. And my father's mantra to me was: "You can do anything; you can be a doctor." Of course now, with the wisdom of age, I know that neither of these was true, but at the time--and for a long time--I believed it and acted accordingly. I gave myself a deadline then: in five years one of the womens magazines would be asking me to write for them. It happened in two.

Last year when I started MidLifeBloggers, a small lust lodged in my brain. More magazine would come calling. They'd see the perfect symmetry between us and offer me untold wealth to sell them the site. I believe this fantasy included a home in the South of France--and the body to go with it.

Funny thing: More did come calling. Not with the South of France offer, but with a request that I post original pieces for them on their new website. Close enough, I figured, close enough.

Today the site goes live in Beta. And here's the link to my piece. It's a rant about who gets to give midlifers advice. Go look. Cheer me on! Wish me well--and who knows, Cannes might not be so far away after all.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Do you Twitter?

This is a test. All questions will be graded and put into a saucer of milk for the cat.

If you Twitter, why do you Twitter? Hear this in a plaintive tone first--and then in a WTF demand. Both plaint and WTF are heartfelt.

I have been Twittering for a donkey's age, it seems, but now that EVERYONE is Twittering--I'm kinda meh about it. No, I'm not just meh-ish, I'm downright antipathetic. And dumbfounded that anyone would friend Oprah or Demi Moore. To what end? As in, what's the point? Do you really care what bon mots those two women are flinging through the airwaves?

And all this excitement about BUILDING COMMUNITIES ON TWITTER. Again, to what end? Like I don't know enough people from the blogs that I read? I should gather arbitrary individuals to my Twitter bosom so that I can say, "Lo! I am this popular." Well, lo, I have better things to do. Like file my nails. And wash the dog.

Why not just join the Rotary if you're into building communities? Or Kiwanis? Hey! What about Toastmasters?

And while I'm on subject--not to mention a tear and a rant--what is with Social Media going up close and personal? Isn't the point of the internet to be that we don't have suck in our stomachs and wear mascara? Or comb our hair, for that matter. Or wash it? But now these Social Media groups are MEETING. In public. For chrissake. I don't have the wardrobe for this. My Spanx are getting stretched out and my cute little shoes are wearing down at the heel.

Didn't I write this post already? And post it some time back? Is this Early Onset? Or am I just a tad forgetful?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Hey You, over there on the other Coast....

You are sound asleep in your little bed. I, on the other hand, am up after eating about 500 calories of cake. I couldn't bear to be home after I got off the phone with you last night. So I went to the regular Friday night wine tasting at Raley's. This is the equivalent of a wine tasting at Giant Eagle. $3 gets you a glass and an endless pour of four or five pretty rough wines which you can enjoy with the other connoisseurs. And cheese. Sliced. And crackers. And cut up fruit. And some salami. All of this takes place right by the bakery section so it was a foregone conclusion that I would fork over another 2.99 for a square of white layer cake with white frosting and sprinkles. I didn't intend to eat the whole thing--but somehow it just happened.

This is what is known as dealing with emotional issues by eating.

Right after my mother died, I would stand in the kitchen and eat ice cream out of a 1/2 gallon container. Just me and the ice cream and the spoon. Or I'd toast marshmallows on a fork over the kitchen stove. And eat them slowly while I read a book. Then go back and roast some more. It really interrupted the reading, but I couldn't figure out how to make the toasting be less intrusive. I did contemplate a candle, but figured it would take too long.

This is a blog post. Before we reconnected, I would put this on ByJane. So I think I'll do that now too. Why waste the words on someone who is ASLEEEEEEEP!!!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

MidLifeBloggers: Our First 365 Days

Obama's just celebrated his first 100 days, and MidLifeBloggers, not to be left out of the hoopalah, is celebrating our first 365, plus or minus a couple.

Here's what we've done in that time:

Changed themes: three, maybe four times

Changed logos: four times

Published: 146 posts by 30-something bloggers

Which Provoked: 1,079 Comments, of which only 39 were not approved (don't ask)

Here's what you don't know:

There's another brain, eye, and sense of humor behind MidLifeBloggers. Janice Miller, of the Manhattan Millers, is now our official Development and Marketing person. Janice and I go way back--to tenth grade, in fact. We still, after all these years, finish each other's sentences. Mother's Superior is her blog; you'll be seeing much more of it in the future (she's got a lot on her plate these days!).

Here's what's coming up:

Registration for MidLifeBloggers. You'll want to register because--well, because we say so.

T-shirts, mugs, other CafePress goodies

A weekly link to where I'll be posting regularly (and writing that is why I've been MIA on ByJane.

This year has been quite a ride--and it's only the beginning! Who knows what the next 365 will bring...

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I am always willing to humiliate myself in order to bring you another new cleaning thingee. I am, if nothing else, a collector of cleaning thingees. Utensils, swabs, potions--whatever, I'm always up for trying them in my neverending search for the cleaning thingee that requires as little help from me as possible. The humiliation part comes in because I am scrupulous about showing you before pictures. And from them you can see how unscrupulous I am about cleaning. I've written about this before. It is what it is. Amen and whatever.

My latest cleaning thingee that promises nirvana is X-14 Mold & Mildew Stain Remover. When MomCentral sent out a call for people willing to try it, I raised my hand and waved it in their faces (virtually, that is). Several weeks later, some nice man delivered a box to my door and inside was said X-14. What particularly attracted me were the works Works WITHOUT Scrubbing. Well, glory be and praise the lord if that is so.

If I still lived in LA, I would have emptied the bottle in no time, such was the mold and mildew with which I suffered. But here in Elk Grove, the air is just a tad drier--and the house is like 80 years newer--so the mold situation isn't that awful. But it still, my cleaning proclivities being what they are, exists.
This is exhibit A, a corner of my shower stall, in all its glorious moldiness.

And this is exhibit B: The same corner, post application of X-14 Mold & Mildew Stain Remover.
I'm not sure what accounts for the difference in color--lighting, maybe--but I can assure you that all I did was spray and rinse. My lily white hands didn't have to do anything more strenuous than squeeze the nozzle on the bottle. It truly does Work WITHOUT Scrubbing!

Next I'm going to take it out in the back yard where my redwood furniture is quite sad and in need of not only de-molding and mildewing, but painting as well. According to the instructions, X-14 Mold & Mildew Stain Remover is "excellent" as a deck wash or painting prep cleaner. Its magic ingredient is "sodium hypochlorite at a level generally 60 percent higher than similar products on the market...(and it's) activated by pH adjustments.

Whatever that may mean.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

If There Is No Sedar, Is It Really Passover?

I think not. I do have a box of matzohs in the cupboard. And I plan to buy some gefillte fish with the 1/2 coupon Maneschevitz handed out. But that will probably be the extent of my Passover celebration. One might say that this year I am not passing over. One might say I am moving beyond. And if you are the one who says that, could you please explain to me exactly what it means. Or inexactly, for that matter.

I could get into all the whys and wherefores and ramifications and therefores of why there is not a sedar this year. I do know people who are having sedars. But those to whom I could invite myself to plotz at their table are some 3000 miles away. And despite my involvement in The Jewish Community (caps very important) here in Sacramento, no one was forthcoming with an invitation (and truth to tell, I would have been shocked if anyone had, such has been the success of my involvement with the Jewish Community here). My family, the ones with whom I celebrate holidays, aren't Jewish. They're doing Good Friday and He Is Risen Sunday. Last year I had a sedar for them and they all came and were exceptionally good sports, but I kinda felt like I was on stage and hadn't really learned my lines sufficiently well to say them with conviction. I guess I learned that it takes more than one mediocre Jew to hold a successful sedar for a bunch of Christians.

So tonight in honor of the Red Sea parting and manna raining down upon the Israelites, to commemorate the ten plagues which plagued those who enslaved us verily, tonight I shall be attending a comedy writing seminar. Somehow, I think God would approve.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Midlife Sex and HIV/AIDS

Back in the '80s at the height--or should I say, nadir--of the blind hysteria about AIDS, there was no little concern among my group of girlfriends. We were single, slim and gallivanters. Loved going to bars and clubs--our own 20th century version of Lindsay Lohan's life. Okay, maybe not so much in terms of the drugs, but the alcohol? Whoohoo! And the partying? Yes indeedy. I remember one road trip from Texas to LA that should have taken two days but stretched to five or six because we just kept finding another little honkytonk in another little Texas town that had to be visited. Some of us, those of us with a little looser grip on our knees, were freaked (as we said then) by the thought of getting AIDS. As far as we knew, it was a death sentence and could be caught just by breathing polluted air or kissing the wrong boy. I mean, fluids are fluids we figured. I dealt with the whole thing by, first, keeping a firm grip on my knees and, second, leaving LA and getting married.

Whew! I was safe. My girlfriends had their own solutions and none of us, as best I know today, ever showed up HIV positive. And now, of course, we're all midlife women, well past the gallivanting stage. So we're still safe--right? Not so fast.

More magazine has a very scary article this month. It's called "Killer Sex," and writer Alexis Jetter has some sobering statistics. Today, one in three women newly infected with HIV is over the age of 40. We're at risk because we think we're safe. We're married. We don't gallivant. We only date nice men and we only sleep with clean guys. Ha!

Go read the article. It will sober you up--and maybe it will safe you as well.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Natasha Richardson, TBI and Thoughts on Death

I don't want to write about her--but I can't not, because my mind won't go anywhere else. Since word of her skiing accident first came in, I can't not--think about her, that is, in one way or another.

Until the actual announcement of her death late Wednesday, I was traveling the road with her in the Traumatic Brain Injury bus. I guess a ruptured cerebral aneurysm isn't really a TBI, but the the consequences of the two things are the same. Blood in the brain where it shouldn't be. Swelling. Pressure. Destroyed brain tissue. Coma, death. Okay, the last two didn't happen to me, but the first three did, and I guess it's only natural that my mind goes to that experience when I hear about something similar.

It's a part of my life that is uniquely mine and uniquely personal and, in some ways, ever-present. It's there when I'm standing in the shower washing my hair and I suddenly feel like big, glob-like lump at the side of my skull that is the shunt. Damn--that's weird! Then I can't help but creep my fingers down my neck following the tubing right below the surface of my skin where it travels down my neck, over my chest and then--what? I can't feel it anymore but I know it goes into my stomach. Sometimes the tubing feels so discrete to me, I know I could pick it up through my skin. Pull it, and--but of course, I don't. And wouldn't. Still--it's there, a foreign part of me. I wonder when I die what will happen to it. Will the embalmers pull it out? If I'm cremated, will the shunt become a glob of melted plastic among my ashes? Or will my flesh disintegrate around it, leaving just the shunt and my bones for some future world archeologist to discover.

Yes, I think about death. Not all the time, or even a lot, but it's there somewhere in the back of my mind. Maybe because of my ride on the TBI bus I'm not so much afraid of it. I'm not looking for it; I don't want it. But I've arrived, I guess, at that point in my life where I see that--hey, guys! I ain't gonna live forever. That's sort of shocking in a way. Not that I won't live forever, but that there will be a time when I, my particular consciousness, won't be experiencing the world, won't be in the world, won't be of the world.

I wonder if Natasha Richardson had any presentiment of what lay ahead. According to the reports, she seemed to brush off the idea that anything could come of her fall. Was that because at 45, she still felt immortal? I'm sure I did when I was 45. But now--now I know better.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Why I Stay Home

I have another one of those social thingies to go to tonight. I was all hot-to-trot when I first heard about it, drinks at an Irish pub downtown, 6-8pm. I planned the 'when shall I wash my hair, do my nails' around it--all the girly stuff that makes going out an anticipatory blowout. But now that the 'witching hour is drawing nigh, I'm all--eh, meh, and bleh.

Because I would analyze the worm out of the wormwood, and because I really do see this as Getting In The Way of My Life, I'm ready to do some hard thinking-through. See if any of this sounds familiar to you--and if so, are there any ways I can outwit myself?
  • Going out means getting dressed.
  • Getting dressed means selecting from my wardrobe.
  • Selecting from my wardrobe means confronting that fact that nothing fits--and if it does, it looks like shit.
which means....
  • Confronting the ways in which my body has changed, much to my horror and dismay
which means....
  • Confronting that I'm older, aging, past the halfway mark, over the hill, out of the running--
oooops. Out of the running: that resonates. Clangs, in fact, and starts me thinking about what it was that I used to like about going out:
  • Picking a terrific outfit that would be the perfect costume (yes, as in theatre) for who I was going to be that night.
  • Loving the look in the mirror. Not as in some narcissistic venture but as in, "Damn I look good!"
  • Making my entrance, playing my character, seeing what kind of applause I would score.
  • And maybe, if I was interested, scoring.
That's pretty much gone for me now. I'm just not really interested, and I don't have the goods to venture on the stage as a leading lady any more. So what I'm left with when I go out is--what? And is this a good or a bad thing?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Late Night Fantasies...

...of work well done tomorrow.

That's me, brushing my teeth and planning--with great energy and zest and, yes, enthusiasm (is this overkill?) all that I am going to accomplish the next day. Except I don't. Because, generally speaking, I don't remember. I've taken, therefore, to making lists on Post-its while I brush which I then post on my monitor. See, here they are...all those yellow squares with writing on them.
  • Work on CSS
  • Start annotating BlogRoll
  • Start selling clothes
  • Buy nightcream
  • SEO
  • and so on and so on and so on...
What leaks out of me in the night hours between writing these lists and the morning time to do them is the details. And the enthusiasm. And the zest. And the energy.

If all that I think to do would magically get done, what a productive person I would be....

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Social Networking: Why?

I wish it weren't so, but truly I suck at social networking. I sucked at networking when it was just business-oriented. I sucked at networking when it was a school dance or party. It's not that I'm a wallflower or pathetically shy; it's just that I can't get myself to care. Even when I know I should do.

Last night I went to a Twitter meetup in Sacramento. After years of local people saying to me, "Blog? What's that?" and "Twitter? What's that?", the Web 2.0 scene has finally come to Sacramento. I am, of course, thrilled. Or think I should be.

But there is something about all those earnest people Getting Acquainted! Exchanging Cards! Sharing Business Concepts that creates in me a massive case of Don't Give A Shit!

But I should give a shit. Because I've got some business concepts worth sharing. And I've got cards to exchange that go with those concepts. And really, I go to these events ready to meet and greet and.....

Maybe that's the problem. Why do I go to these events? Actually, it's the first thing, the Getting Acquainted, that draws me. Top in my list of Life Goals is "Know Interesting People." After that is, "Have Good Conversations." And "Laugh A Lot"--that's probably number three. Not remotely near the top is Meet People Who Can Help Me In My Business. If it happens, that's a bonus.

Last night I found myself doing a circuit around the perimeter of attendees. Round and round I went, looking for a likely person to Get Acquainted with. Mostly they were all very busy doing what they had come to do: trolling for contacts, honing their Elevator Spiel. Every once in a while I would stop and introduce myself--there were definitely some people there who were Interesting People--and we would chat for a while. And then, they'd go their way. And I'd make another circuit of the room.

I think I was overwhelmed by the intensity of the Desire in that room. And maybe, depressed. Because shouldn't I have that same Desire? And if I don't, does that mean I'm doomed to fail?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ByJane Shall Go On....

So here's my quandry: what shall I do with this here little blog called ByJane? There are great things happening over at MidLifeBloggers, only some of which are apparent right now (yes, that means that there are other great things in the wings). And, true, it has become a more or less fulltime venture. But still, shall I just abandon ByJane? I've been dithering and cogitating about that for some time now. At first I thought: yes. Then I thought: no. And then I thought: is there a middle way?

I think there is, and this is it. I'm going to post on ByJane, mostly short stuff, and cross-post it on MidLifeBloggers. It won't be a Headliner--unless, that is, I find something of unusual note to say--but it will have its own little area on the main page. I'm going to call it--are you ready for this--ByJane. Creative, no? Thus, those of you who consider yourselves too young for MidLifeBloggers don't have to forego my wit and wisdom. And I still have venue for dispensing my pearls, rather than casting them (over my left shoulder) to the swine.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A No-Calorie Cupcake, that's actually good for you

I want you to close your eyes, sit back and go to that place in your mind where all is well with the world.



Okay, now I want you to imagine in front of you a red devil's food cupcake. It's moist and chocolatey and red (but not in a way that will stain your teeth, tongue, or fingers). The frosting is a pillowy dollop of marshmallow cream with the sweetest little curl at the top. Can't you just imagine burrowing your tongue into the cream? Can't you just imagine the frosting melting in your mouth (but not in a way that will add any calories to your daily intake)?

Can you taste it?


Okay, that's all that you get for today, but if you want to create your own virtual cupcake AND maybe win an Electrolux Washer and Dryer set, here's the details:
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, Electrolux has teamed up with one of America's favorite moms, Kelly Ripa, to spread a little love via a charitable social media campaign. On the Electrolux Web site, you can create and send a unique virtual cupcake to friends and family during February. For every cupcake sent, Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) as part of their half million dollar commitment to help support this worthy cause. Which means each virtual cupcake will go a long way.

What's more, everyone who logs on and sends a cupcake will be entered for a chance to win the newest front-load Washer & Dryer (an estimated $3,600 value) from Electrolux, the appliance brand used throughout fine homes in Europe for 80 years.
Tell 'em Kelly sent you--and Jane, courtesy of MomCentral.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah!

Yeah, I know I have been MIA not to mention absent from my blog and not publishing a word's worth of wit (whatever that means!) on ByJane. So sue me...

Maybe four years is long enough to run a blog?

Maybe I'm more engaged with MidLifeBloggers.

Maybe I'm tired of using my life, my every itch and inkling, as fodder for blogging.

Whatever--deal with it. Or not. As you please.

(All 25 of you...)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Why I Will Never Weigh Less

This should be subtitled: Ya Want Me Thin or Ya Want Me Happy?

I have just come back from a Sugar Run. This is when I get in my car and go! anywhere! there's! sweetstuff! I knew I had to do this when I read an email about MidLifeBloggers and didn't give a shit that I didn't care at all to find out what the sender was talking about. "Hold all discussion about logo colors. I have to get a cupcake."

But first, Molly and I had to get her some food. That dog is going to eat me out of house and home, as my mother used to say (and I didn't understand what it meant then either, hello Chris Martin).

But first I had to go to Michael's to get me a gem or two to fiddle with. And in Michael's, I met with a Very Large Woman who was insidiously insistent on jumping the queue. When I called her on it the first time, she got all humble "Sorry sorry sorry..." she said in what I think was a West Indian accent. And then she preceded to sprint for the next open cash register. Do I have to describe to you my wrath and chagrin and how I arrived at the cash register just a beat after she did and waved my goods over her head for the clerk to take. But the clerk was cowering and yelling for help and obviously wasn't going to Do The Right Thing And Instill Public Decorum. So I flung myself over to the next cash register and stopped myself from hissing a multitude of Ugly American comments.

Still seething, I got into my car, turned the key in the ignition, and--nada. So I jumped out, put Molly on a leash and we walked WALKED all the way down to the pet store. She was hyper as hell which manifests itself as Whirling Dervish act. This, as you might imagine, did not help my mood. I dragged her around the store--actually, she dragged me, more or less--and finally we WALKED all the way back to where the car was parked.

And it still wouldn't start.

So I called D, because when my car won't start I like to remind him that it's his fault I bought it. He told me to call AAA. I called AAA and the operator was just tellling me that there were no tow trucks available but he'd put an order in--. And my car started. Just like that. Obviously some sympatico thing between the AAA vibes and--whatever.

I drove straight to Starbucks because I was lusting after a cupcake. But when I got there, they had those Almond Pecan Cookie things that I'm addicted to. What To Do? What To Do? What To Do?

It was a tough afternoon, guys, so I bought both cupcake and cookie.

There is now a smile on my face (and a crumb on my chest...).

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another Account of Cleaning Woes and Wonders

I do not have to tell you again that I will do anything to avoid cleaning. Do I? Do I? No, I thought not. So when I tell you that I have found something that helps me achieve that end, you must believe me. But if you don't, I'm humble enough to offer photographic evidence. To wit, Exhibit One: my stove top in its natural state
Am I embarrassed at the schmutz (not to mention spaghetti sauce) that sullies this fine stove? Clearly I am not the woman who wipes up after every spill--or even every day. Yes, I'm embarrassed, but I'm shaming myself for your benefit. Normally in such a state, I would soak the racks in soapy water and scrub the hell out of the cooktop with my bare hands.

But not this time. This time I, thanks to MomCentral, had in hand Green Works Wipes. They are natural, biodegradable cleaning wipes, all of which sounds good, but frankly, I've found the natural stuff in the cleaning department to be a little less than efficacious, if you know what I mean. So I questioned the power of these wipes to do the heavy duty job my housekeeping requires. And now I offer Exhibit Two:The rag at the bottom of the frame is the single Green Works cleaning wipe that I used. To clean the entire stovetop. All four burners. And the racks.

T'was a miracle, I tell you. I didn't even work up a sweat...or grease my elbow. I merely wiped and the schmutz (and spaghetti sauce) came off, as is evident in Exhibit Three:

Do I recommend these? You bet I do.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Day Somethingorother of Jane's Wondrous Training Sessions

Thus far, I have had two training sessions. The first, when I completed the now-famous 18 minute mile, was a week ago. The second was this past Saturday. T'was a three miler. THREE MILES?! WTF!!!!

Here's the awful truth I'm learning about myself: I'm a quitter. When the going gets tough, I'm like out the door licketysplit. In my current [woeful] condition, that happens at about the 10 yard line. Or maybe, the twenty--I never have been good at judging distances. I hit this wall--you've heard of The Wall you hit when you're doing endurance stuff? Well, the wall I hit says, "Waaah, no way...this is hard....I can't...oh woe...." The first week, when it was Just A Mile (!), there were lots of cheerleaders along the route with signs and thumbs up and, jeeze, I couldn't cop out in front of all of them, could I? On Saturday, however, it was just me. Me and the dust kicked up by the herd of my fellow runner/walkers who were way, way, way way way ahead of me. I thought about taking a short cut--who would know?--but I didn't. I didn't because it seems grotesque, not to mention shameful, because, really, who was I cheating but myself? I guess I must have an iota of character left.

When I got home, I checked the training schedule. Oh. We were supposed to be doing these training sessions on our own during the week. Oh.

So today, I laced up my new running shoes (which look like U-boats, I'm afraid) and did another three miles. By myself. Yes, I did. Then I came home and died.....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


...and that has nothing to do with 'tough' or 'tits' or anything else you're thinking. It is an acronym--aren't we all all about acronyms these days--for Training To End Stroke. Catchy, no?
Other major fundraising groups sponsor marathons; the American Stroke Association trains you to run/walk one.

So how is it that this particular group landed such a die-hard marathoner as moi? Well, you know that ruptured cerebral aneurysm I had six years ago? That was, medically speaking, a stroke. I didn't accept it at the time. When someone somewhere in the bowels of Cedars Sinai Hospital who was doing yet another something to me, dared to call me a stroke victim, "Hell no," I shot back. "I've had a Ruptured Cerebral Aneurysm."

"Yeah," said technician answered. "Same thing."

I didn't argue out loud because, well, for one, I had a multitude of tubes and stuff poking in and out of various natural and man-made orifices. But in my mind--which never stopped working, thank you very much--I thought, No way. Strokes are what old people have, and I'm not old.

So why now am I willing to cop to it? For one, it is six years later and I have matured (although I'm still not old!). But also, well, also it just seemed time for me to train for something.

I am, as I've always made clear, a complete doofus when it comes to things physical. I don't swim because going in a pool makes one wet. I don't play sports, because they make one sweat. And I don't do exercise, because it's just so damned tedious.

Ten, twenty years ago, this was funny. Today, it's pathetic. So in a last gasp effort to master my recalcitrant body, I have signed on to Walk A Marathon in May. I shall be collecting pledges (which means I shall be hitting everyone up). I shall be out in the elements between now and then training. And I shall here be monitoring my every effort.

And won't that be a kick in the pants for those who enjoy watching others suffer....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

January 20 plus 365

Let's not let the feeling end...that sense of hope and togetherness, of being able to achieve what we must simply because we are willing to work for it.

Let's try to keep our cynicism at bay. Let's rip up the bumper stickers that say, "He with the most toys wins...." Let's tune out Celebrity Apprentice because Donald Trump's philosophy is so antithetical to the way of life we all are wanting.

Let's get our joy, instead, not from the money in our banks (what money? what banks?) but from our families, our kids, our friends, our pets (who are family and friends!). Let's remember that life is very short and there are no awards given at the end, so if we don't enjoy the ride, that's all there is.

Go look at the story of the DC 24 kids, a group of children from Chicago, who were sent to the inauguation by The McCormick Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening our free, democratic society by investing in children, communities and country. Read what going meant to these kids; share what going or watching meant to you and yours.

Play it forward. Keep the feeling going. Remember why.....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some Thoughts On Inauguration Day

I got up early this morning, very early, and watched much of the ceremony sans contacts, coffee, and toothpaste. Also sans hairbrush, bra, and shoes. Attractive? Yes, but I didn't want to miss a moment. I stood when the crowd stood and cheered when they cheered and, yes, cried when they cried. In the aftermath, I keep hearing how 'you had to be there to truly appreciate it.' Not having been there, I thought I truly appreciated what I had. Perhaps it's an indication that I really am a loner. When I thought of the missed camaraderie of watching this monumental event with my fellow citizens, I mostly appreciated not being annoyed by the vagaries of their responses.

I loved seeing Cheney reduced to being pushing along behind the others in his wheel chair. It seemed so very symbolic to me. In the past, whenever I see him on TV, I want to get me a big blunderbuss and blast through the TV at him. I steeled myself for feeling that today as well when the Evil Doer (the real Evil Doer) came trundling along looking nothing if not pathetic. Is that mean of me? Maybe. But I blame him for almost all the ills of the past eight years, and I hope in some way that he suffers for what he has wrought.

I didn't like the First Lady's outfit today. It's just a taste thing: I'm not real big on lace. And I don't think I cared for the ball gown. I'm not real big on one shoulder dresses. Again, it's just a taste thing.

I can't stop watching the coverage. I can't believe it's actually true, that this man actually became president just barely two years beyond his introduction to the national political scene. I wasn't an early Obama follower, I must admit. For one, I so wanted Hillary to go the distance. But, too, I just didn't believe all the hype surrounding Obama. When people would gush, I'd think "Yeah, yeah...and you thought George W. was such a swell fellow too." The problem was that sixteen years of vicious street fighting between the GOP and the Dems had crushed my belief in the intelligence and sanity of my fellow citizens. They seemed only able to hear who screamed the loudest or the foulest or, even, the first. I didn't see their fervor over Obama as anything different. And because I had been disappointed so often in the past, I suppose I was reluctant to allow myself to fall under his spell. So I didn't pay attention to his speeches and, truthfully, I thought I might vote for McCain. But then Obama got the nomination and Hillary made the speech pointing out the disparity between what her supporters believed and what McCain stood for. I started to listen a little. Then McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate and the Republican convention was nothing if not the same old nasty bullshit as usual. I started to listen to Obama a lot. And now I see that he truly is the only person for the job--and I can't believe my fellow citizens regained their intelligence and sanity sufficient to vote him into office. It isn't that I expect Obama to work any miracles; it's that there's a We, The People back on the job.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Emma Thompson's First Blog Post--Talking About Last Chance Harvey

lastchanceharveyposter"Dear Fellow Females,

I've been asked to offer a blog on my new film, ‘Last Chance Harvey' -- which, as a computer illiterate, I get confused with ‘snog' (British slang for kissing) and ‘shog' (Shakespearian word used by Pistol in Henry V meaning ‘leave') neither of which -- I realise-- is the correct interpretation.

But it is a comment, or view, I think, that you want, and here it is:

I shall turn 50 this year, which is not without its odd emotions and has got me thinking about being, well, old. I don't mean decrepit, I mean not infantile, no longer so attached to things, no longer so concerned about what others think, no longer so anxious to prove myself -- you may know the sort of thing I mean. It was rather a treat, therefore, to play what is-- in a way-- my first modern romantic lead in a film that is more romantic than comic (although it has very funny moments and is underscored with irony and subtle humour throughout) where I was not required to be stunningly attractive or in despair or in need of rescue, but simply an ordinary woman in her forties living a rather stale-looking life as best she can.

Along comes this rather brash American (Dustin) and he blows a great hole in her defenses (don't you think we all build them for various stages in life and then FORGET TO DISMANTLE THEM when the danger is past or the trauma has been lived through?). So what you are watching is a sudden flood of real communication (how rare is that?), the sort of communication that shifts the emotional tectonic plates and provokes seismic movement in the soul.

Again, it's rare to watch this on the screen because you need to be a little thoughtful and not require explosions of the literal kind to keep you interested. I'd guess that's a fair description of us.

If you see the picture, and I hope you will because I love it very much and am moved by it every time I see it, you'll notice I am decidedly unglamorous and at least size 16. I really wanted to look like a "normal" woman, I mean in terms of body size.

Actresses seem to be getting tinier and tinier and I do wonder how we think we can present really powerful women, matriarchs and the like, when we seem to insist upon having such attenuated physiques.

So Kate is solid - probably worries a bit about her muffin-top (mine is more like a desk-top these days if you must know) but can't find the energy to worry enough to go to the gym and can't find the time either.

She's a real sort of person, someone I could relate to entirely and I hope you enjoy her. If you do, tell your friends because the more we can get films like this well distributed the more films we can make about (for want of a better epithet) real women as opposed to (let's face it) pretend ones.

Warmest wishes to you all for 2009...From Emma Thompson, a first time blogger at fifty"

Last Chance Harvey is finally wending it’s way to the secondary, tertiary, and--what's the word for fourth class markets? I got the chance to see it at a screening last week (thank you, Women & Film). I took a friend, and she absolutely loved it. So much that happened to the characters in the film resonated with her, so she could say no ill.

I, on the other hand, am a harder sell. When I had to give a response to the production company, I said, "What's not to love about a film that stars Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman?" And that's true. They are sublime actors who bring their characters, warts and all, to life. But for all that, Last Chance Harvey is a romantic comedy that pretty much follows the formula for the genre. As realistic as Thompson and Hoffman make their characters, the overall effect of the film is, for me, hampered by the predictability of the action. Cabs are always available, plot points are always clearly made and the only suspense I felt when the couple missed their grand meeting with each other was whether the filmmakers had cribbed the plot line from An Affair To Remember. There is, then, a dissonance between the quality of the acting and the quality of the script.

But, as my friend might tell you, that's just the snobby, arrogant film critic in me coming out. The egalitarian feminist in me says: go see it this weekend (remember, that's when the box office numbers have the most weight) and make up your own mind. These days what with the economy as it is and the price of movie tickets (and popcorn...and soda--my God!), my final critique of a film is: was it worth the money? Yes, definitely--and, really, then some. Because formula be damned, this film has Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, the fifty year old actress, filmmaker, and--oh-- first time blogger.

Cross-posted to MidLifeBloggers