Monday, February 11, 2013

Live with Kelly (and Me)

This post is part of a Generation Fabulous bloghop. The February theme is celebrity crushes.

I have never been one to advocate hero worship, and thus have had very few celebrity “heroes” throughout my life. Oh yes, there were the people I admired: the civil rights activists, the teachers; the Mother Teresas of the world...and of course members of my family at different times during the years. But there really was never anyone whom I would recommend putting on a pedestal. (I’ve been saving that honor for yours that will ever happen!)

Kelly Ripa probably falls into none of the categories that I’ve mentioned--I don’t think she’s a philanthropist, and I daresay that she’s not a civil rights’ activist.  So it might come as a huge surprise to anyone who knows me (and actually I am quite surprised about it myself) that I am a Kelly Ripa wannabe!

Call me shallow, call me vapid...I’m going out on a limb here by admitting this, and I think that alone should earn me some sympathy points. All I know is that most mornings at nine a.m. you can find me in front of my TV waiting to see Kelly and her hunky cohost Michael Strahan come through the door with a flourish. 

What will she be wearing? Will it be the black Manolos or the gray suede Nina Riccis?  I especially love the black and white Stella McCartney dress she used to wear last year, and there was a little purple number that was another fave of mine.  I drink my morning coffee and listen as she and Michael banter back and forth about her kids, her husband...her life. It’s my guilty pleasure--to live vicariously through Kelly Ripa. 

Could Kelly and I be friends? She’s a blonde and I'm “brunette,” she is a TV personality, and being a celebrity in my own mind does not make it so.  She earns 20 mill a year, and I...don’t even ask. She’s 42 and I am...not. OK, OK, so there are not very many things we have in common...we’re both little, does that count for anything? (Yes, I know, she’s little-er than I what!) Who’s to say that the person you admire has to be like you? In fact, I bet most people admire folks who are nothing like them for that very reason.

But wait a minute...she and I are not all that different. She’s a mom...a working mom. I’m a working mom! So what that she earns a “few” shekels more than I do. She’s out there in the trenches everyday...getting her hair and makeup done...toiling away and interviewing the likes of Ben Affleck, Catherine Zeta Jones and Brooke Shields. She’s under a lot of pressure having to be cute and witty under all those hot lights.

She’s got three children who test her patience just like mine did way back when. And she’s a hands-on mom: picks those kids up from school in her chauffeured SUV(after her morning show and daily two hours of private training at the gym). She shuttles them to doctors’ appointments and after-school activities (and shares the load with her Adonis-lookalike hubby Mark to whom she’s been married for over 16 years). That’s a tough row to hoe, but I can relate...sort of.

In all honesty, I do admire her. I think she’s adorable and a very savvy businesswoman. The little girl from a working class family in New Jersey has earned her stripes.

And I was wrong about her not being philanthropic: last week she participated in the  Empire State Building Run-Up for charity. (Wonder how many pounds she lost on that one--she’s probably even littler now!) Kelly, in addition to about 700 people from around the world, including some elite athletes, took part in a vertical race, up 86 flights of stairs. They climbed a total of 1,576 steps, starting at the lobby and finishing at the observation deck. And she finished in 18 minutes! (She was a veritable Tinkerbell flying up those steps--I admire her strength, determination...and knees!)

The charity Kelly was running for was Team for Kids, the primary charity fund-raising vehicle for New York Road Runner’s youth services division. Funds raised through Team for Kids provide “free or low-cost school and community-based health and fitness programs to children who would otherwise have no access to regular physical activity.” The programs serve nearly 100,000 children each year in more than 400 schools across New York City and beyond.

Kelly and her crew raised over $80,000 for Team for Kids at the Run-Up, so don’t be a hater on Kelly; or on me for being a Kelly Ripa wannabe. A person could do worse.

Love ya, Kel...I think I can call her that now. Say “hi” to Michael for me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Grounds For Insanity

There’s a plastic container on my kitchen counter filled with what most people think is dirt. It’s’s coffee grounds. I once read somewhere that sprinkling spent coffee grounds in your garden is good for the soil. It seems they are loaded with nitrogen, calcium, and magnesium--nutrients that are beneficial to the plants.That was many years ago when I lived in the suburbs. I would make my coffee and once the used grounds had cooled (and dried--you can’t do much with wet, sticky grounds), I would run into the backyard and toss them in whichever patch of soil was closest. I really believed that those grounds were the reason my Meyer Lemon trees did so well. The fruit was plump and juicy and gave off a heady aroma when the pre-fruit flowers blossomed. I daresay my tenants are tending to the tress in the same manner I did. One can only hope. 

I live in the city now and I have neither garden nor much soil near me. So, the container sits on the counter waiting to be emptied.

It’s not just because I have no garden that I don’t regularly toss the grounds. I live on a floor that is too high up to keep going out each time I make a pot of coffee--that’s excuse number one. The other excuses range from, “I can’t handle the dog and the bag of grounds at the same time, I can’t let anyone see me tossing something into the building’s bushes, I can’t let anyone see me on the elevator with a plastic bag filled with an unidentifiable brown substance.” So, the container sits on the counter and waits.

I prefer throwing the grounds out at night, when no one is around. But my husband usually gets night duty with the dog, and he says that it's my project, so it's my dumping responsibility. Right before it rains is a good time, because the grounds can really soak into the soil then.  But I don’t often plan ahead, and once the rain starts, I usually have an umbrella in my hand--too cumbersome.

The best time to unload the grounds is right before a snowfall. They then get covered up and smashed below the surface. We haven’t had much snow lately, but they do predict a storm is on the way, so perhaps this week is the week. 

The container is getting pretty full, and if that snowfall doesn’t materialize, I’ll have to start throwing the overflow down the disposal. And really, since I don’t have a garden, and I don’t have to worry about the building’s soil, I should just forget the whole thing and chuck the entire lot. 

Problem solved.