What's your take on Roman Polanski? Sure, he's a great film maker. Sure, his wife was brutally murdered. Sure, some probably think he's a great person. But I'm sorry. I just can't get past the fact that he coerced a CHILD into sex.

I've heard the argument that it was so long ago. So what? The only reason that all this time has elapsed is because he fled the country.

I've also heard that the victim does not want him punished. But again, the victim was a child. Recently, a monster was caught after kidnapping, and holding a child captive for 18 years. He even fathered her children. She was with him longer than she was with her family. She, too, doesn't want him punished. But I don't think the child victim can make that decision.

There is no place in civil society for adults that prey on children. I do, however, believe in the power of PRAYER. I just prefer to pray for him while he's behind bars.

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In our house, we sometimes have wacky conversations. This past Sunday night, during one of them, my 12 year old son announced that he doesn't watch movies that are older than him, because they are OLD. We all laughed because MOST good movies ARE older than him, he was born in 1996!

Well, yesterday was a school holiday and he and I spent most of the day watching tv together. And, as usual, I let him choose what we would watch. While he may not watch MOVIES that are older than him, he doesn't seem to mind watching GAME SHOWS that are older than him. We watched Password, Match Game, Family Feud and others. The episodes were hilarious--Gene Rayburn, who passed away in 1999, hosting episodes that featured Richard Dawson, Brett Sommers, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Fannie Flagg. Not only did he watch for hours, he couldn't figure out why they weren't saying obvious answers like microwave, cell phone, and internet. You should have seen his face when I told him that those shows were from the 70's. How funny!

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So, yesterday Husband and I decided that we were going to start walking together daily. It sounded like such a good idea. We decided that we would do it every morning at 8am. Again, that sounded so reasonable. Everything always sounds better when it's not time to do it.

So, this morning when I got up, about 5, it no longer sounded like a good idea. In fact, the whole thing sounded rather sucky. And by 7:30, I decided that I would rather stab myself in the eye with a flaming fork than go walking. It was already more than 80 degrees and humid.

But, I had a talk with myself. And myself understood. And we did it. Though, we were a bit late. We got to the track right at 8:30. I put on my ipod and started putting one foot in front of the other. About a half mile in, I started getting assorted aches and pains. I turned the volume up. When I couldn't bear to look up anymore, I just looked at my feet. But I kept going. And when the hour was up, I'd done 3 miles. Husband actually RAN part of the way. Well, bless his heart because that was so not in me.

On the way home, we talked about our commitment to this. We revised it a bit, as we may have been a bit ambitious. We'll walk 4 days a week--Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri. In celebration of our commitment though, we did stop at one of those newfangled smoothie places, where we got to have the yuckiest sounding ingredients blended together. It irritates me that the girls who work there are reed thin.

I need a nap...

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On Thursday night, I attended an uber fabulous jewelry trunk show at a local boutique. I covered it for Examiner.com. You can read that story here. But as usual, there's a story behind the story.

Yesterday, I got ready to write the story. I downloaded the pictures and video to my desktop. I logged into the publishing tool and started writing--and the computer CRASHED! It just rebooted itself. I was a bit taken aback, but okay fine--I guess I can live with that.

Windows came back up and just as I got to the Desktop, it rebooted itself again. I think this is where I started to panic a bit. But I tried to remain calm. The pattern started--Desktop/Reboot. After about 5 times, I remembered that I hadn't saved the video to the Flip.

I yelled for my husband. He is always so calm. He said, simply, "Let's take it in." I agreed. Within a half hour, we were in line at Geek Squad inside Best Buy. There a 19 year old genius announced that the computer wasn't working properly. Hmmph..as if I hadn't figured that out. I reminded him that I had stuff in my refrigerator older than him. He said that he thought it could be fixed, but wasn't sure if he could save my data. I walked away.

I walked right over to the new computers. They have all kinds there. Big ones, little ones, black ones, white ones, pink ones... If I wasn't such a brokeaholic, I would have bought a new one. But I am. So I didn't. Boy Genius says it should be ready by Tuesday. All I could think about was FOJ Denise's recent experience with Geek Squad...

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I come to my readers, yet again, for enlightenment. Yesterday, during a very casual conversation, it was revealed to me that many middle aged folks are getting married for the sole purpose of sex. I didn't believe it then and I most certainly don't believe it now. I even said, "Anybody over the age of 50 that is getting married based SOLELY on sex is dumb." And I got clobbered. Is it true? Do I need to clean the lens of my rose colored glasses? Is this really happening?

Now before you all give me the definition of the word "Cougar" and tell me about the new show on television, that is NOT what I'm talking about. I'm NOT speaking on older folks who date younger folks. That is NOT what I want help with. I am talking about marrying someone for NO OTHER reason than sex. NOT love, NOT commitment, NOT financial security, NOT anything except SEX.

If this is true, I will be majorly disappointed in my peers. Perhaps I give them more credit than they deserve. I just find it strange that teens are having sex without marriage and their parents are getting married FOR sex. Is there something that I'm missing here?

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Last month, the good folks at Disney Interactive Studios invited me to bring my kids to preview their new holiday lineup of video games. The event was last week. It was exclusively for bloggers and I had a ball. It was completely FABULOUS! They know how to throw a party!

First of all, they had it at one of the most hip hotels in Miami--the newly opened and ultra swanky Epic. Then they had a nice buffet filled with stuff for kids, but they also had things for the grownups. In fact, there was so much that part of the buffet had to be set up on the outside of the room.

There we met Stephanie and Angie from Axis, the agency that put it all together. The room was full of big screens where we could play the games. It also had hip white leather furniture. Talk about fun! My favorites were the not yet released Princess and the Frog game that will come in both Wii and DS format, and the karaoke-ish Disney Sing It Pop Hits, which is available in Playstation 2/3 and Wii. Kendall absolutely loved newest installation of the popular battle game-Spectrobes, called Spectrobes Origins.

The also had new FOJs Mark Orgel and Sunny Ing onsite from Disney Interactive Studios to give us the skinny on all the new games, including how to play. They even sent us home with a gift bag of Wii games and other Disney goodies. We've been playing them at home. I would highly recommend their offerings this holiday season for good wholesome fun that the entire family can enjoy. I can't wait for their next event. Here are some pics. Please email me if you need more info about the games!


video

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Well, I know I'm supposed to be looking for blessings in every circumstance, but I have a couple things that I need to rant about. I'm sure the blessing is there, I'm just having trouble seeing it at the moment. Feel free to point them out. Thanks in advance...

1. The photography studio called and said ALL of daughter's senior pictures were on a corrupted disk, so we have to go back in and retake. When I asked if we would have to endure the 4 hour WAIT again, they tried to turn it back on me, saying "it's that time of year." I quickly turned on my Beyonce voice--"You must not know bout me! You must not know bout me!" Needless to say, she agreed to honor our appointment time, without the wait. I intend to hold her to it, too.

2. Dear Son is graduating from middle school this year. He brings home a form for the class trip the other day. Of all places, they are going to Washington, DC! As if he doesn't see Washington a few times a year already. But anyhow, the tourist tour is always interesting, especially when you are a kid. I kept reading the form and I soon got to something that crossed my eyes. The trip is $925 dollars for 4 days! Good grief! DC, the Nation's Capitol? Where all of the attractions are free or close to it? Oh wait, this could be a clue--"CHARTERED PLANE." Chartered plane? to DC? Are you serious? Commercial flights can be had for $150 or less all day long! Hmmmm..I think we will sit this one out.

3. While I died to get my Flip video camera, I've discovered that I don't like to edit video. Hmmmm..the things u dont see coming...Anyhow, I've spent 4 hours now editing a 38 mins of video into a 4 minute clip. WHATEVER!!!

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It's a sad day in my neighborhood. After a lengthy undercover operation, several government officials were arrested and charged with corruption. These officials include a former city commissioner, and the SITTING county school board member, in whose area I reside.

This is the one that shocks me the most. While I've never been particularly fond of her, I have worked with her since I've come to Florida. Last year, another dear friend ran against her and, though I campaigned vigorously for him, he lost. She's been our school board member since 2000 and had much more support and money.

Her house of cards started to unravel last month, when she failed to submit a required financial disclosure statement with the Florida Commision on Ethics Last week, she announced that she was taking a medical leave, but whispers of a pending federal indictment swirled. Then, this morning, she was arrested at her home. She's been charged with bribery, extortion, and wire fraud.

How can we expect of our youth, what we don't expect of ourselves? I'm speechless at this...

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About a month ago, my cousin called me all excited about Fantasy Football. She asked if my husband and I would join the league that her husband was creating. I agreed, noting that neither of us knew anything about FF. She didn't either, but her husband has done it and loved it. He sent the email invitations and we created our teams.

Initially, I asked what I was supposed to do. She said to just wait for the draft. The draft came. I was assigned players. I asked what I was supposed to do next. She said that he would send out an email with instructions. He didn't. The season started. The first week I came in second. My brother came in first. He sent out an email gloating and saying that we weren't worthy opponents. I sent one back saying I had no clue what I was supposed to be doing.

So, now it's the end of the second week. I just checked and I'm now in first place--WOO HOO! But again, I haven't done anything. Can someone out there please explain to me how to implement strategy? There HAS to be more to it than being assigned players and waiting for game scores. I have HEARD of trades, and bye weeks, etc. but I have NO idea how these processes work. So please help me. Again, I understand the game of football. What i need is a quick tutorial in fantasy football. I need to preserve my first place status.

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Ok, I know you all won't believe me, but I tried not to blog about this. I really did. I didn't want to do it. But I had to. It's been burning in me and though I've been dowsing it regularly with that new Dasani water with lime essence, the flames keep coming back.

So, me and Dear Daughter went to the photo studio on Saturday. It was quite an experience. And how things have changed. When I sat for Senior Pics, I wore some old rag, they threw a cap and gown over it, snapped a few poses and I was done. This newfangled stuff was different. They took the senior pics with the drape and boa and that was fine. But now they have "PERSONALITY PICS." Huh? What the heck are personality pics? I quickly found out.

Personality pics are informal pics that you get to choose your own outfit for. In theory, it makes sense. Athletes pose in their uniform. Twins pose together, etc. However, in reality, it was NOTHING like that. Kids showed up with suitcases of outfits, some changing 10 or more times. They treated it as if it were their own personal photo shoot, complete with hair and makeup, usually done by Mom, but sometimes there was an additional person that the family had paid. It was unreal.

My daughter wore jeans and a tshirt, as she felt this adequately portrayed her personality but most of the girls had VERY suggestive outfits on. Things you would see in a men's magazine. Cheeks hanging out of shorts, boobs hanging out of tops--and, lest you forgot, these are high school KIDS. And again, parents were actively participating. The photographers had to admonish parents for running into the shot to unbutton yet another button and hike up a skirt a bit more. There was even one angry Mom who left in a huff because the photographer wouldnt allow her daughter to until her bikini top and use her hand to hold the tiny piece of fabric in place. What???

Is it me? Is it? Am I the ONLY parent in South Florida who doesn't wish to have my daughter's body on public display? I guess I can see why the kids would want to do this, but why would parent's allow it? What does this say about us as a society?

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So, it has come to my attention that I have offended some readers because my opinion does not mesh with theirs OR that I've not tackled some subject that they feel I should OR that I did tackle some subject that they feel I shouldn't have. Some have emailed me with their displeasure, others have sent messages through word of mouth. I feel that I need to re-state the ground rules. Here they are:

1. It is my blog. I write whatever I want. It is from my own perspective. I don't consult with ANYONE before I write. My husband has no idea what I've written about until he gets the email. My MAMA has no input. I've don't mean to imply that my opinion is necessarily the "right" one, but it is mine. I recognize that your experiences may be far different. I welcome all comments and criticisms. I've NEVER not published a comment. My intent is NOT to bring harm.

2. See rule #1.

That is all...

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So, today's another milestone day. Daughter #2 is taking her yearbook pictures. Where did the time go? Next year this time, she'll be well into her freshman year of college.

I've found that I'm reliving my senior year in high school through her. Well, as much as she'll let me. I've had to catch myself and not tell her what way to wear her hair or which outfit to choose for the "personality pics." And, she's also had to remind me several times as well that it's her year, not mine.

That's always the challenge as a parent--to let them use their own wings, even when you see the obstacles that they don't see yet. How does one do that? I find it very difficult. What about you? Are you the parent of an adult or even semi-adult child? How do you bite your tongue? Is it as difficult for everyone as it seems to be for me?

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Yep, FOJ Friday is back!!! Let me introduce FOJ Ray Doswell. I met Ray a couple years back when he became a client of mine. He is the Vice President of Curatorial Services for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. And EVERYONE knows that baseball is my favorite sport!

Ray was born in St Louis and spent his formative years in East St Louis, Illinois. Teachers played a huge role in his early life, inspiring him to become an educator. This led to various degrees, including a doctorate in Education.

In case you haven't heard of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, it was founded in 1990 by a group of local baseball baseball historians, community members, business people, and former baseball players. It began as a small, grassroots organization and has blossomed into a major attraction for the city. The Museum preserves the history of African American baseball in general, with emphasis on the professional Negro Leagues that existed from 1920-1960. The Museum tells stories through multimedia exhibits, art, photographs, and artifacts. Ray has been involved since 1995.

His greatest challenge is staying ahead of everything. The museum world has to anticipate learning trends and audience needs 1-3 years ahead of time. Through his work, Ray has met some great folks. While he thinks that baseball fans are amazing, it brings him special joy to meet someone who is learning about the Negro Leagues for the first time, or someone who thought they knew all about baseball, and discovered, after visiting NLBM, that they didn't. He's even more satisfied who has no affinity for baseball, but reallly gets hooked on the history lessons that the Museum provides.

I asked Ray what advice he would give to someone looking to get into non-profit work. Here is his response--

"Anyone who has interest in working for a non-profit organization, especially service organizations and museum, must remember this; LEADERSHIP=SERVICE. You show leadership to your community and your family by the work that you do, which typically involves some level of service towards others. Most times, that work is not glamorous or financially rewarding, but it is so important to always keep the mission of your organization first and foremost in your mind. My work often keeps me away from the actually gallery space and visitors. So, when I need a reality check, I go down from the office to see how people react to what we have provided. I read the visitor’s log and see people from everywhere who appreciate what we have taught them. I get to talk to people of all ages about what they learned that day in the museum. It energizes me to go do the job better."

Ray encourages everyone to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and become members. It's truly a moving experience. While he wants us to support NLBM, he also thinks that it's important to support museums in your own communities who strive to preserve American history.

You can email him at rdoswell@nlbm.com. You can also friend the Museum on Facebook.



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So, I saw the doc yesterday. He looked over my last 5 weeks of infusion therapy and the resulting labs and declared that the infusion seems to be working--HOORAY!!!! Then he said "BUT." I hate when there is a "BUT." The "BUT" is that he wants 5 more weeks of twice weekly iv iron. YUCK! YUCK! and YUCK!

However (notice I didn't say BUT), the infusion room is a very humbling place. As I've said before, it's pretty hard to sit there and feel sorry for yourself when I'm getting a bag of iron and everyone else in the room is getting chemotherapy. My mantra for this year is "Find blessings in every circumstance." In this particular circumstance, the blessing is pretty easy to find. So, I'm making progress, though it is a slow process. And if this is as bad as life gets for me, it's actually pretty good.

So, what's new with you all? What blessings have come into your lives? Share with me!


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Today is the big day. I see my hematologist. I've completed the regiment of 10 iv infusions of iron in 5 weeks. Now, we get to see if it has helped. If it hasn't, I have absolutely no idea what he will say.

Let's hope it has. I'm claiming it! I'll let you all know all about it tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers!



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Having just come off of a weekend road trip with my parents, I'm now preparing for another road trip in a couple weeks. This one will be over the course of 3 days, with the husband, the kids, and yes--Dad.

The weekend trip actually wasn't as bad as expected. Dad sat next to me and served as both the navigator and the passer of snacks. Mom sat in the back, but watched the speedometer like a hawk, reminding me of the speed limit and the possibility of a ticket. It wasn't anything new. We did have a great meal at Cracker Barrel, where Dad cheated on the little puzzle game that they have on the table and Mom checked out my Kindle.

I was prepared for it being insane and it wasn't. It worked out so well that I'm actually looking forward to the next one. This time, I plan to have the husband drive so I can capture all the fun on video. I'm excited.

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I don't watch award shows. But I have heard all about the one that aired last night. I wasn't surprised at the behavior that others found so appalling. This isn't the first time that the offender has acted in such a way.

Wasn't he the same guy that got hijacked a telethon to say that "George Bush didn't care about Black people?" And speaking of that incident--why was it okay for him to disrespect a sitting POTUS, but not okay for Joe Wilson? Why weren't folks up in arms about that? It's not always about the message, but sometimes more about how the message is presented...

We really need to demand respect for ALL people. We really need to be careful who we idolize. We really need to require more of celebrities. They are out of control.

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Yep, it's my birthday. The big 4-6!!! Boy, do I feel the love! I've gotten a ton of birthday wishes and I've also gotten a few fabulous gifts--so far, I've gotten my Flip video camera, a pair of Ed Hardy sneakers(pics to come), and I even got myself a gift. I got the first season of True Blood so that FOJ Lisa and FOJ Jan can stop being MEAN GIRLS. I plan to celebrate at Bahama Breeze tonight, so stand by for video tomorrow.

I have the most wonderful family, friends, and readers. I love you all and appreciate everything that you've bought to me life!

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As most of you know, I love a good snack. In fact, snack time is my most favorite time of the day. And it shows...

But I digress. I do, indeed, love snacks. I'm even willing, in most cases, to try a new snack combination. Many years ago, FOJ Stacey, invited me to try her movie snack combo. She mixed chocolate covered raisins into her buttered popcorn in the movie theatre. I tried it and, sure enough, it was delicious. Ever since, I've been buying popcorn AND raisinettes at the concession stand before a good flick.

But, I saw something yesterday that stopped me cold and rendered me speechless. And that is NOT an easy thing to achieve. While, people watching, I saw a young man, in about his early 20s, I would guess. He was in public. He had a small backpack. He was only about 6 ft from me, so I'm SURE of what I saw. He reached into his backpack and pulled out a package of regular Ramen noodles. He opened it and pulled out the seasoning packet. He opened the seasoning and sprinkled them on the hard, uncooked noodles. He then proceeded to eat the noodles--UNCOOKED. He bit and broke off small pieces of the noodles and crunched them like chips. I could NOT stop watching him. I have NEVER seen that one before. Took him about 5 mins or so to finish the pack. He took out a napkin, wiped his mouth, and chased it with a bottle of water. Of course, this all happened roughly 5 hours BEFORE I got my new Flip video camera. But now I have it and it's fully charged. If I ever see him again, I will capture video of it. See, THIS is exactly why I need one...

Have you EVER seen anyone eat uncooked ramen noodles? Have you done it yourself? Is this something I should try?

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This weekend, my Mom and I will be putting my Grandmother into a nursing home. It is time. This is the sunset of her life.

Recently, I've been wondering about my own sunset and my own mortality. What will I leave the world? What will I leave my family? Who was I while I was here?

Sobering, aint it? I can only say that I have plenty left to do and the sand in the hourglass seems to be running more quickly than ever.

Do you ever think about your legacy to the world? If you left today, would it be what you desire? My answer is a definite NO. I best get to work.

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Some say today, 9-9-09, will be the end of the world. I would like to hope not. I'm so not finished living. There are many things on my bucket list that I haven't done yet. I'm ill prepared for the end today.

Why do folks believe in such superstitious things? Why do they pass them on to their kids? Yesterday, my son came home from school and asked if I knew the world was ending today. I told him that I knew no such thing. In fact, I was so convinced that today would be no different than yesterday, that I insisted that he do his math homework.

On the other hand, I've heard of everyone from brides to film companies, coveting this date for their weddings and film releases. Everytime one of these triple digit dates comes up, we have this nonsense. Carry on, folks! Besides, my birthday is this weekend and I haven't gotten my flip video camera yet. Surely the world can't end before that!

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When I was a teen, my mom made pot roast weekly. It looked similar to the picture above. It was actually VERY tasty. She put carrots and potatoes in with it. But, because I was a teen, I grew to hate it. I grew to anticipate it with disdain. I proclaimed that when I became an adult, I would NEVER have pot roast again. EVER.

Well, guess what? In the last few years, I've actually had moments when I craved Mom's pot roast. In fact, I could go for some right now, with smashed red potatoes. Isn't it funny how we seem to come full circle? How 30 years ago you could not have told me that I would ever want pot roast again--let alone crave it?

Do you have a similar story? Are there things you said as a child that you would never eat/do/say again and now you find yourself eating/doing/saying it? Tell me about it.

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I have always wanted to have a great singing voice. As a young child, I was convinced that I would be a singer when I grew up. Unfortunately, nobody in my life told me that I couldn't sing.

I was even in the school chorus. I think I did it for 5 or 6 years. Nobody wanted to stand beside me. Apparently, I have a problem staying on key. Whatever!

Finally, I realized that I did not have that talent. I am NOT a good singer. But then, that was about the time that "Putting on the Hits" arrived on television. Do you remember that show? It was all pantomime. You just pretended that you could sing, and did all the moves. I've GOT moves. I just don't have a voice. Not that it deterred me. A few years back, at a gospel brunch with my family, the band leader asked for folks to come up and sing. Who do you think did it? HAHAHAHA..now THAT'S a video that should have made it to YouTube!

So, here's my question--What talent do you wish you had but you don't? When did you first know that you didn't? Are you like me and still sing out loud and clear??




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Last Thursday, I was invited to a great Spa Night event at the Acqualina Hotel in Miami. In case, you've never heard of it, the Acqualina is one of the nicest hotels in the country. I jumped at the opportunity to go. You can read my review of ESPA at Aqualina here.

But what I really wanted to talk about is what you WON'T read in the review. How about I embarassed myself YET again!!!! Here's the story--

I decided to wear a peach colored linen suit with either a black or white tank under. I couldn't decide which. And whichever color tank I wore, I wanted to pull my hair back with the same color headband. One of the elastic stretchy ones.

I kept exchanging the tops and headbands, not able to decide which I wanted to wear. Finally, I decided on the black tank, but then I couldn't find the black headband. I had JUST had it 2 seconds before. I thought it was on the bed. I looked on the bed. I looked beside the bed. I looked under the bed. No black headband. And it was time to go, so i simply switched tanks and put on my white headband and headed out. Mind you, I was standing in front of a FULL LENGTH mirror the entire time.

So anywho, I get to the Acqualina, valeted by car and went in and introduced myself to the very nice man at the front desk. He went to get my contact and while I waited, I took pictures of the lobby. When my contact came, a very lovely young woman named Jessica, she escorted me into the Relaxation Room to begin the experience. I have to say, ESPA was nice! It is probably the nicest spa I've ever been in. It's 20,000 sqare feet spread over 2 floors of pure luxury. The event was pretty swanky too. I was rubbing elbows with the creme de la creme of Miami. It was great.

I was so impressed that on the way home, I called FOJ Monique to gush about it. I told her every detail. I planned to go back next month. I came in to get undressed and THAT's when I discovered it!!!! Do you know that I had that black headband on all the time--AROUND MY NECK????? I was mortified!!!! How could I have worn that around my neck the entire time?? And I didn't even notice how HOT my neck was until I took it off. I had used it for a sweatband!!!! Do you think anyone noticed?? Do you think that they thought it was a new fashion trend?? If you happen to see women wearing headbands as chokers now, please know that I started it.

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Lately, I feel like I've needed the help of readers more and more. Today is no different. Please help me with this question--WHY would you NOT want your child to hear an address from the President of the United States, advising him/her to stay in school and stay off drugs??

Please help me. To me, your own political affiliation should not even come into play. What difference does it make what party the President represents? Isn't this a message that any parent would want their child to hear? Especially coming from POTUS?

I'm very unclear on what the fear is? Will he say something that, when played backwards, will have a new meaning--like Missy Elliott did a few years back? Will he turn them into Democrats? I think he realizes that kids don't vote.

Please. If you have school aged kids in your life and do NOT want POTUS to address them, please tell me why. I simply don't understand. For the record, my kids will be present and accounted for on Tuesday.

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