Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nuptials Near...

Regular readers of The LG Report know that LG's wedding date is fast approaching. Very fast.

Many years ago, one of LG's friends was standing at the alter of a Catholic church awaiting his future wife at the start of their wedding ceremony. 

Just as the beautiful bride reached the top of the aisle and was about to embark upon her father-escorted walk to the alter, my buddy's best man whispered to him "Hey, John, just remember, there's only one thing worse than being alone when you're old."

"What's that?" asked John.

"Wishing you were alone!"  

That story comes to mind far more often than LG would like to admit when contemplating marriage.

Ah, but that exchange was just an attempt at humor by the best man.  It wasn't genuine advice.  And, in fact, John and his wonderful bride are still married today, almost 20 years later. 

Still, there's a teeny, tiny, microscopic little bit of LG that fears that this is what he's getting into:

When, in reality, he'd like to be signing on for this:

But let's face it men, nobody gets to sign on for the above in the real world.

Truth be told, LG is marrying the love of his life and couldn't be happier.  He's not sure how much, if any, of the wedding and reception will be chronicled in The LG Report.  That issue has to be discussed with his new life partner; LG is sensitive to the process of joint decision making now that he'll be one-half of a married couple -- especially since he's violated the rule a few times already! 

But whatever is decided, this is what LG expects his marriage to be like:
 Thanks, as always, for stopping by!


Monday, May 23, 2011

The Sorbsy Cup 2011

Once a year, in late May or early June, a group of about eight guys (half from the Philadelphia area and half from the New York area) get together at the South Jersey Shore to contest The Sorbsy Cup, a golf competition between average-ish golfers from those two metropolitan areas.  Average-ish is probably being kind, but just go with it.

This has been occurring for just over ten years.  It's really is of no significance to anyone other than the participants, but it's a good excuse to get together annually with some buddies who you would otherwise not see on a regular basis.

For this year's competition, LG (captain of the New York team) took it upon himself to make a new trophy.  Here's an interesting fact that you may not know about trophies: If you carry one in public, people will approach you with no reluctance to ask where you got it and what you did to earn it.  The New Sorbsy Cup looks like this:

LG scoured the internet for a large-and-ostentatious trophy that wouldn't cost him an arm and a leg.  He could find none cheaper than $600.  So he decided to make his own.  This Sorbsy Cup was originally intended to be a vase for reeds and tall artificial flowers when it was offered for sale at an outlet of the Michael's craft store chain.  LG picked it up for $18.25 and invested another $3.25. in a can of chrome spray paint at Home Depot.   One of the competition's participants remarked that the seashells on the bottom of The Cup looked a little "feminine," but LG explained that they were in keeping with the Shore location of the matches (a bit of quick thinking on LG's part, thank you.) 

Here's a picture of Sorbsy, the creator and namesake of the event, holding The New Cup:

LG regrets to announce that Team Philadelphia won the event this year (Team New York was the defending champ), and so they get to bring home the hardware and show it off for the next 12 months. 

Here's a snapshot of just one of the many groups of fans who asked to have their pictures taken with The Sorbsy Cup.  A $5 fee was charged for each photo and donated to charity [Not really, but it sounds good.]

The girl on the left has probably never had a worst photo taken of her than this one.  But, then again, they all look better when posing next to Sorbsy (sorry Sorbsy, that's what you get for winning The Cup.)  

And just in case you think that The Sorbsy Cup is contested in high-class locales, here's a sign that was in the men's room at one of the bars that was frequented: 

That's it folks, short and sweet today.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In case you missed it...

Official symbol of LG's Bachelor Dinner.
Sorry, LG has no pictures from the Bachelor Dinner last Saturday night.  It was tame.  Honestly.  You'd be bored if there were photos.

Below are some status updates from LG's recent Facebook postings.  Since most of you are not LG's Facebook friends, you haven't seen these bon mots.  Those who are, no doubt, will enjoy seeing them again. 

Without further adieu...

Human or "animal companion?"
The PC Police no longer want us to use the word "pet," it's considered offensive to dogs, cats, etc. "Animal Companion" is the proper designation they now say. All these ridiculous PC edicts annoy me, they're really becoming an animal companion peeve of mine.
A number of people have asked Facebook if it would create a special "Lust" button for my comments because they want to do so much more than just "Like" them. I appreciate the support, but Facebook just notified me that it can't be done.
Male ballet dancer.  But you knew that.
I'm on a train to NYC, where there's a major league baseball game tonight, and a number of adult males have come aboard dressed in New York Yankees jerseys. I'd hate to see how they dress when they're going to the ballet.
The world is really getting screwy. Cops raided Larry Flynt's house and found a stash of Korans.
Reality TV has gone too far (again). There's a new dance competition show coming on soon starring Kirstie Alley, Rosie O'Donnell and Roseanne Barr. It's called "Dancing With the Planets."
Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. how many are left? ... Five, because deciding and doing are not the same thing.
Newt dictates his Tweets.
Newt Gingrich just announced via Twitter that he's running for president. That would seem like a really cool, evolved way to make the announcement -- if his first name wasn't "Newt."
A "Mark Zuckerberg" of Facebook's home office (never heard of the guy) called a few minutes ago to ask me to stop posting status updates so frequently because all of the "Likes" that my postings attract are straining the Facebook servers. He says they should have the issue resolved by May 21st, which, coincidentally, is when the world is scheduled to end.
Coming soon to a concert hall near you.
These corporate sponsorship deals are getting ridiculous. I just heard that Wu-Tang Clan is now Wu-Ovaltine Clan.
Breaking News: Apparently Bin Laden chose his hideout city because he was a big fan of Abbott and Costello.
The U.S. military is recruiting very boring people who tell dull stories in a monotone voice. Why? They want to use them in drone attacks.
I'm the last guy to brag, as you know, but I'm pretty pleased that even strangers in Africa have heard that I'm an honorable man who can be trusted with large sums of money.
That's about $24 of wampum right there...
Native Americans are offended that the code name "Geronimo" was assigned to Bin Laden during the recent raid. In an attempt to assuage them, the U.S. government offered monetary compensation to Geronimo's tribe. Unfortunately, the government offered to pay in wampum, thereby probably compounding the injury.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Bachelor Dinner

Tomorrow night is LG's Bachelor Dinner. 

Note the intentional - and judicious - use of the word "Dinner" and not "Party." This will be a low-key dinner, not a "party."

LG has been the ringleader/promoter/organizer/chief troublemaker of far more than his share of bachelor parties over the years.  Thus, he has a lot of guys gunning for him.  Luckily, some of them couldn't make it tomorrow night due to scheduling conflicts.  LG purposely waited to get married until some of these gentlemen would be otherwise occupied with their wives and kids. 

This is NOT what LG's Bachelor Dinner will look like.

As we all know, what happens at bachelor parties, stays at bachelor parties.  

LG gave a lot of thought as to what to write tonight...and decided upon a short and sweet post.  

This will not be "The Top 10 Things That Happened To Me At Bachelor Parties" or "My Wildest Bachelor Party Stories."  

No, sorry friends (mostly, my apologies go to the female readers, since the men already know these things...), this will be much more tame.  

So here's what LG will throw out for public consumption: 

"Three Totally Random, But Somewhat Amusing, Stories From Bachelor Parties That LG Has Attended."   

Here we go:

1.  About 15 years ago, LG was present at a bachelor party held in a suite at a Marriott in the greater Princeton, New Jersey area.  The bachelor was a college buddy of one of LG's friends.  LG didn't know the guest of honor but, of course, this didn't stop LG from participating in the evening.  The only thing that LG cares to relate from this night was a quote that one of the party attendees uttered at the conclusion of the festivities (which was at about 5 a.m.):   "They're never going to be able to use this suite again, the hotel will have to turn it into a storage room or something."

2.  LG's was one of the architects of the bachelor party of good friend ("Mr. X" for our purposes) of his from college many years ago.  Mr. X was a bit over-served at the first bar that the group visited that night.  This was through no fault of LG's, of course.  Although LG himself was almost thrown out of the bar for innocently trying to take a few photos.  Longer story for another day.

LG threw an arm around Mr. X and led him to the next stop on the planned tour of Manhattan, which happened to be a fabric-free place of entertainment.  Mr. X, having been over-served, was a bit belligerent with the employee collecting the cover charges at the door.  Mr. X kept yelling at the man, as LG was trying to fish the equivalent of two cover charge fees out of his pocket: "STAMP MY HAND!  STAMP MY HAND!"  After what seemed to be an exceedingly short time, the man behind the counter said "That's it, you guys are out of here.  Get out, I'm banning you from our club!" 

"Fine, who cares!" LG yelled back at the man, "We'll go to the place next door!" thinking that this was what America was all about, good old-fashioned capitalist competition.
With that, LG and Mr. X, and the 15 or so gentlemen in their party, turned to walk to the next place, about 40 steps away, an establishment known as "Dangerous Curves."  

LG could hardly believe his eyes when the attendant raced out from behind his booth and over to the Dangerous Curves doorman, where he said "Don't let these guys in, they're banned!"  Apparently, the same management owned both clubs.  Bummer.

3.  LG ran a bachelor party for a close friend of his (do you see a recurring theme here?)  Let's call that person "Mr. Y."  Mr. Y's then-wife's boss showed up at the beginning of the party and said "I've been warned about you.  I've been told not to let you make a fool of me."  Let's call this gentleman "Boss X." 
This is 100% true.  

Within 90 minutes, Boss X was drinking beer out of a glass cigar tube that was lodged in another man's butt crack.  

Yes, 100% true. 
And these stories are not even in the Top Ten.  Maybe a book will come of this some day. 

LG will try to get some pictures tomorrow night, but no promises. 

If you have any of your own bachelor party snippets to share, please feel free to do so in the Comment section below. 

Thanks for stopping by.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


A number of people left nice comments about The LG's Report's Mother's Day post, so I'm providing a short follow up.

I could probably write a full book about my mother, but that'll have to wait for another day.

My mother was very smart (she skipped two grades in school), and she had a lot of good life wisdom to dispense, although I didn't take much of it seriously when I was younger.  I thought that I already knew it all.  Despite my perceived superiority, the gods always seemed to be on my mother's side.  I remember an incident, when I was about 12 years old, when I became upset with something my mother said while we were both standing in the kitchen. I don't even remember what the issue was anymore, nothing earth shattering, I'm sure.  Anyway, although I was normally not this insolent as a child, I said to her "Well you can just go to Hell!"  I then turned to storm off, not realizing that the cabinet door under the sink was open.  I immediately walked into the door and did a Dick-Van-Dyke-type flip completely over onto my back.  As I laid on the kitchen floor staring up at my mother, she simply said "See, God got you for that" and walked out of the room.  

To say that my mother was a very competitive person would be an understatement (although the apple didn't fall far from the tree with me in that regard.)  We used to have epic - absolutely EPIC - battles over the Scrabble board.  She was great at coming up with little-known words, although sometimes I would bust her when she got a little too creative ("Well it should be in the dictionary if it's not," she would say.)  Needless to say, the dictionary got a lot of use during our games.  

One time I was desperate to beat her, and, I hate to admit, I resorted to turning over a lettered tile so that it appeared blank in order to make a game-winning word.  My mother didn't notice that there was an extra blank tile on the board as I folded it up and claimed victory.

I did eventually confess to that indiscretion, although, I must admit, it was while delivering my mother's eulogy in front of a packed church in 1993.  Still, I feel certain that she heard me and chalked up another "W" for herself in our Scrabble rivalry (she was well ahead anyway, so it really made no difference...)

Pretty much every day, at some point, I think of something that my mother said or did when she was alive.  When I was dating my college girlfriend in the mid-1980s, my mother told me that this particular girl was "...the best thing that ever happened to you."

Of course I didn't listen, and I failed to put enough effort into the relationship.  I know this because my college girlfriend broke up with me on New Year's Eve in 1985.

I'm happy to report, however, that 26 years after she dumped me, my college girlfriend and I will be getting married, at the end of this month.

It just goes to show you, you're never too old to take your mother's advice.      

And somewhere up above, my mother is smiling down, now being one Scrabble game victory and one awesome daughter-in-law richer.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother of Invention

[Editor's Note: This is a re-posting from Mother's Day 2010.]

My mother, Anne, who passed away in December of 1993, had a great sense of humor. She exercised it with discretion however, unlike her son, who has been known to don hillbilly teeth and dangle a string of rubber snot after a fake sneeze. To each their own.

The story I'm about to relate is one that I think of fairly often, especially around Mother's Day and my mother's birthday in July. It starts during my senior year at Villanova in the mid-1980s.  The fact that I was in college in the first place, I should point out, was attributable to my mother. In my last year of high school, I had decided that I didn't need any additional matriculation.

"Ma, I don't need to go to college, I'm smart enough already," I remember announcing in our kitchen one day.  I honestly believed it.

My mother wisely disagreed.

I don't know why, but she had determined that Villanova was the right college for her sonny.  I felt strongly that if I was going to be forced to pursue higher education, it should be in a warm climate, like Florida or California.

My mother would have none of that however.

By employing a series of subtle psychological maneuvers, the likes of which the CIA has still not seen to this day, my mother tricked me into choosing Villanova. Not only that, but I went believing that it was my idea in the first place.  But that's a story for another day...

                                           LG, his sister Maria and mother Anne in 1989.

One of my college roommates, Steve, came to visit me at the Jersey Shore for a few days from his home in Maryland over the Christmas break over our senior year. Steve had been an Orientation Counselor for the incoming freshmen that previous autumn.  Orientation Counselors were generally outgoing and personable upperclassmen (and women) who were chosen to help assimilate newly-arriving students to life at Villanova.

Orientation Counselors were expected to follow a whole list of written rules.  There were, I believe, some unwritten ones as well.

Steve, circa 1983, at a tailgate.
Chief among the unwritten, in my opinion, was: Do not take advantage of your status as an Orientation Counselor/Upperclassman/Mentor to date freshmen in your orientation group.

Steve must've missed the discussion of the Unwritten Rules. When the orientation dust had settled, he was dating a freshman.

I can feign righteous indignation at his actions now, many years later, but had I been in his shoes (for which I applied, but was not selected), I probably would've done the same thing.  But I digress...

Steve's girl's name was LizAnne. She was from Summit, New Jersey. One night during his visit, we were returning from a bar at about two in the morning when Steve noticed the "Summit Avenue" sign about three blocks from my house. 

"Hey, can we steal that sign for LizAnne? She'd love it," he said.

We were in college, it was the 1980s, and having street signs in your dorm room was cool.  Honest.

"OK, I have an idea," I said, never being one to turn down a challenge, especially at two in the morning.

There was a length of sturdy boat rope in my trunk, and a trailer hitch on the back bumper.

"We'll tie the rope to the hitch and wrap it around the sign and pull it off the pole," I said.  It was McGuyvering at its best.

Being very familiar with the mission-critical considerations of committing mischief at night in a car (which differs from other types of nightime mischief), I turned off my lights so that any potential witnesses wouldn't be able to read my license plate.

We circled the block, arrived at the sign, and fastened the rope around it. Nobody in sight.  It was a calm and clear night.  Great conditions for stealing a sign, I thought.


I gunned the engine and lurched the car forward about ten yards. The Summit Avenue sign exploded off its perch and shot under the car.  However, in the process we pulled the pole beneath it almost flat to the ground. 

The front end of the sign-stealing car, a 1977 Chevy Concours.  The license plate has been intentionally cropped, just in case the police read this. The "Juggernaut" label on the hood is an unrelated story for another day.
Uh oh, major damage.

Steve fished the sign out from under my car using the still-attached rope and we high-tailed it out of there.  I drove to my house with the headlights off.  No sense taking chances on getting caught, I thought.

About a week later I was back at school when my mother called.

"A policeman came to the door this afternoon," she said.

My heart stopped momentarily.

"For what?" I asked, pretending to be shocked.

"He said that someone stole the Summit Avenue sign last week, and that a neighbor saw a car with a Villanova sticker on the back window pull away. The officer said that the only car in town with a Villanova sticker is yours. He's seen it parked in front when you're home."

"What did you tell him ma?" I asked, knowing that I had a problem on my hands.

"I started screaming at him, I told him that my son would never steal a sign and that he should get off my porch and go bother someone else!" she said.

My heart, which had briefly re-started, stopped again.

I didn't know what to do, but somehow the instinct to tell the truth kicked in. I figured my mother, who apparently thought so highly of my honest nature that she would shoo away a police officer, would understand.

"Uh, mom...uh, I actually did steal that sign," I confessed.

"What?! What are you talking about?" she asked.

"When Steve was visiting, he wanted it for his girlfriend, she's from Summit. We hooked a rope around the sign and pulled it off with the car. I can't believe someone saw my Villanova sticker. It was dark out and I had the lights off. Damn, I can't believe this, this stinks."

"I don't know what you're going to do, they'll be looking for your car when you come home," she said.

"Well, anyway, thanks ma, I appreciate your sticking up for me. I'll figure something out."

Immediately after hanging up, I went out to my car and scraped the Villanova sticker off the back window. This was Step One in my plan to throw the police off my trail.

It just so happened, that semester I was taking a course in play writing at Rosemont College, an all-girls school near Villanova.  I hit upon what I thought was a brilliant idea: I bought a Rosemont College sticker and put it on my car's back window, right where the Villanova sticker used to be. This, I thought, would fool the police but good.  They were over their heads when dealing with this master criminal!

Just about every friend I had asked why I had a Rosemont College sticker on my window.  Invariably, I'd launch into a detailed account of the Night of the Sign Theft.  People were generally understanding and sympathetic to a maneuver designed to keep the cops away.

That sticker stayed on my car for well over a year, until, finally, I got tired of telling everyone the story in Boston, where I had moved for law school. By then, I figured, the statue of limitations on sign theft had run out.

For over 20 years, I had been telling that story whenever a related topic would arise in conversation, such as sign theft (a popular topic among my friends), police visits (ditto), car window stickers, or the like.  Then, one day, about two years ago, my sister, for the first time ever, overheard me telling the story at a barbecue.

"Don't you know the truth about that?" she asked with a disbelieving air.

"No, what?" I replied.

"There was never any policeman at the door. Mommy made up that whole story to scare you into not doing anything like that again. I thought you knew."

I was busted, BIG TIME.

More than 15 years after she passed away, my mother was still getting the last laugh on me.

Somewhere above, I'm sure she's looking down and getting a good chuckle every time her sonny tells this story -- with the newly-discovered ending.

This is a good weekend to take some time to reflect upon, and appreciate, your mother, living or not. She no doubt made a lot of sacrifices to get you to where you are today -- maybe even a few involving a white lie or two, all for your own good.

Here's wishing a very happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there, you deserve it!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Australia - The LGR Interview Series Heads to the Land Down Under!

The LG Report's Interview Series once again ventures overseas, this time to visit with Cate in Australia.  She's the author of the very cool blog "I'll Think Of A Title Later." (that's a live link folks, handle with care...)

So let's get on with it mate! (LG is adopting his Crocodile Dundee-inspired accent for this one.)

The LG Report:  Cate, thanks for visiting with us today at The LG Report.  As you may know, here in the United States, we refer to Australia as “The Land Down Under.”  Do you call America “The Land Up Top?”  And which do you prefer, being down under or on top?   Geographically, of course.

Cate: United States? Is that what US stands for? I thought it was just “Us” as in “Us Versus the Rest of the World” or “Us Whom the Universe Revolves Around”. Well, you learn something new every day. We call you “The Idiots Over There.”  I’m kidding.  Maybe.  Mostly you’re just “The Yanks” or “The Screamers” – this is based on what we know of Americans, our main reference being Ellen and Oprah show audiences.

And for the record, I love being down under. Geographically, of course.

The LG Report:  You were born, raised and still live in Adelaide (or its suburbs, we couldn’t be bothered doing all that much research into the issue, yawn…), which ranks as one of The Economist’s "Top 10 Most Livable Cities" in the world.  An Australian tourism website says this about Adelaide:

Whether you want to party or relax on your next holiday, South Australia's capital city has it all. With spacious boulevards and vibrant inner-city districts, sophisticated architecture and lush gardens, plenty of accommodation to choose from, Adelaide is the perfect venue for all sorts of holiday activities - big or small.

Can you give us your own “Insider’s” description of Adelaide in one or two paragraphs?

Cate:  Your researcher was probably too busy watching Ellen.

Adelaide is the perfect weather city. We don’t get the humidity and storms that Sydney and Brisbane do, nor the cold wet Melbourne months, nor the excessive heatwaves of Perth. It’s also the perfect size, not the rat-race of the bigger cities. We don’t have the big theme parks or giant bridge and harbour that draws busloads of annoying tourists from all over the world, but we have beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, world class wine regions, internationally acclaimed cabaret and entertainment festivals, and two pandas at the zoo.

We are commonly known as “The City of Churches”, “The Festival City”, “The Wine State” or “The Place Where the Bodies in the Barrels Murders Happened.”  Oh, guess I shouldn’t have told you that last one. [Editor's Note: We didn't know what Cate was referring to either, but click THIS LINK  for more info on the murders.  They'll be referenced again below, so it might be worth your time.  We found it curious that Cate knew a lot of details about the murders that had not previously been revealed to the public...hmm...] 

The #1 grossing film in Australian history.
The LG Report:  Here in America we have a very accurate view of life in Australia.  We understand, for instance, that you people spend a lot of time throwing shrimp on the barbie (we know that our written accent is impressive.)  We also are aware that you spend a lot of time boxing kangaroos.  What’s your personal record in boxing matches against kangaroos? 

Cate: We used to throw shrimps on the barbie, but the Little Persons Union lodged a complaint and got it banned.  

Boxing kangaroos is a daily battle, I have no idea what my record is, but we have to be prepared at all times. Because you know thousands of kangaroos just roam the streets here, right?

The LG Report:  How did you get the nickname “Chook?”  We don’t know what that means (if anything) in your country, but from the context in which it appeared in your blog, we gather that it’s not flattering.  Can you also explain what it would mean?   Please don’t be a chook about this.   

Cate: I think being the youngest of four children, and my parents were getting on a bit in age, they just couldn’t remember my name. We had a chook shed with a couple of chickens in it which I used to love feeding and collecting eggs from, so I think I just became one of them, I was Chook. Makes me kinda glad we didn’t have a pet pig.

The LG Report:  Who’s your favourite (yes, we’re spelling that word your way to be polite to our guests) American and why? 

Cate: George Clooney. You really need to ask why?  For his humanitarian work, of course.  He does do humanitarian work, doesn’t he?
Little-known fact: This is is the official flag of Australia.

The LG Report:  Your blog is very funny.  We love the tag line that says “My soul was removed to make room for all of this sarcasm.”  What does your family think of your blogging? 

Cate: My husband and kids know I have a blog, but they don’t read it, they have seen maybe half a dozen posts. The rest of the extended family has no idea and I’d rather keep it that way so I can keep writing about them. But if they knew I’m sure they’d be….. thrilled. Maybe pleased. Okay, perhaps a little annoyed. Let’s face it, they’d slaughter me.

The LG Report: The spelling of your first name is a bit unusual.  Cate Blanchett also spells Kate with a “C.”  Of course, you may say that other people are spelling “Cate” with a “K.” Are you related to Cate Blanchett?  It is our understanding that nobody has ever seen the two of you in a room together at the same time.  Also, do you have any shrimp on the barbie at the moment and could we bum a few off you? 

Cate: I spell Cate with a C because my full name is Cathryn with a C. Unlike the new Duchess of Cambridge (the skinny chick who married Prince William) who is a Catherine but spells Kate with a K, I have remained true to my initial. You will also note that Chook starts with a C.
This is how Australia appears from space.
As for my connection to Ms Blanchett, that remains a matter of National Security. We can’t be seen together. The restraining order hasn’t expired yet.

The LG Report:  If you were advising a tourist who has never been to Australia on what to see and do in your country, what would be your #1 recommendation for them?  If they could only do one thing, what should it be?

Cate:  Well, there are these barrels I’d like to show you, you can even climb inside one if you like…. No?

Okay, I have to grudgingly say Sydney. The Harbour, the bridge, the whole shebang.  It is truly breathtaking.  I couldn’t live in Sydney, way too expensive and busy for me, but it really is the one ‘must-see’ for a tourist.

Stay away if Cate invites you in.
The LG Report:  Adelaide is sometimes called “The Learning City.”  We learned that recently.  Therefore, it is already helping people learn new things.  If you could learn one skill, including how to fluently speak a particular language or play a specific instrument, what would it be and why?   [Note: We ask this because we want to see how different the average Australian’s ideas are from the average Americans.  Of course, we don’t know how an average American would answer this question since all of the readers of The LG Report are so far above average, but please answer anyway…]

Cate: I think we like to call ourselves the “Learning City” on websites so we can charge foreign students exorbitant amounts of money to come and study here, but that’s just between you and me.  I would like to learn to operate my DVD player /laptop/computer/phone/camera correctly.  Oh, and play the drums.

The LG Report:  What one post would you suggest to a new visitor to your blog to give them a good flavour (again with the Australian/British/Canadian spelling, you’re welcome…) of what your writing is all about?  

Cate:  Diary of a Narcissistic Blogger  is a tongue-in-cheek look at bloggers in general, which gives a pretty good idea of what I’m about (Click here to read.)  And From Nappies to Nikes: Thanks For The Mammaries is more of a sarcastic glimpse at my life as a wife and mother (Click here to read.)

Okay, I know that’s two, but I’m Australian, I don’t follow instructions well, the boxing kangaroos have damaged my brain.

The LG Report:  In one or two sentences, can you explain what the heck Australian Rules Football is all about? It’s a mystery to Americans. 

An Australian Rules Football team in uniform.
Cate:  There’s these really sexy guys with really gorgeous bodies wearing shorts – and NO padding and NO helmets – and they run around chasing a ball and tackling each other and getting all hot and sweaty and their muscles are gleaming…. What was I supposed to be talking about again?

The LG Report:  We know that Australians enjoy their fill of American movies from Hollywood.  Thus, we assume that you’re familiar with American movie stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise (if you’re thinking that LG looks like a cross between all of these fellows, you’re not alone…)  Is it true that the recent Mark Wahlberg film “The Fighter” is being re-made for Australian audiences with a kangaroo in the lead role?   

Cate:  Noooooo, we want Mark Wahlberg, the kangaroo can have Christian Bale’s role though.  Or maybe Amy Adams, she had a brawling scene, didn’t she?
LG accepting the Nobel Prize for Blogging.

By the way LG, you need to check your reflection again, I think your mirror might be cracked.  Just saying.

The LG Report: Cate, we’d like to sincerely thank you for participating in today’s interview.  We particularly appreciate your indulgence because we know it must be difficult to type with the keyboard above your head as it must be there “down under” in Australia.   In closing, if you could convey one message to Americans and all peoples of the world from Australians across your great nation, what would it be?  You, Cate, are, for our purposes, the Official Spokesperson for All of Australia.  What do you have to say?

Cate: It must suck to be you and not me.

Seriously though, thanks for having me, and if anyone ever visits Adelaide, please look me up. I have a lovely barrel you can sleep in.


Thanks again for playing along Cate, we love your MOST EXCELLENT BLOG  and encourage all our readers to check it out for a hilarious look at life Down Under.  And in Australia too!  

Thanks again for being such a good sport and remember to keep moving your feet when boxing those kangaroos, they can be tricky!  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The LGR Interview Series: Bossy Betty, You're Not in Kansas Anymore!

The LG Report 50-State Interview Series continues to roll on, this time to meet up with the incomparable Bossy Betty, author of her EPONYMOUS BLOG (Worde to the wise: click there to find the blog before Bossy Betty orders you to do so), which is extremely witty and well-written.  It also frequently contains stunning photographs.  Bossy Betty will be representing the great state of Kansas.   

[No Betty, I won't sit over there, I'm fine right here.  Yes Betty, I'll get you a bottle of Evian, just wait one second.  Yes Betty, I'll speak clearly.  No Betty, I promise, I won't run a video of this on YouTube.  OK, we have to get to the questions now...]

In the interest of full disclosure, we should reveal that Bossy Betty doesn't actually live in Kansas anymore, but she did grow up there and, in our opinion, is a great spokesperson for her home state.  We tried to get a current resident of Kansas to speak with us, but both of them were working the fields when we called.

Bossy Betty currently lives in that paradise/den of iniquity/home of great weather/overcrowded Hell-Hole known as Southern California.  We may sprinkle some SoCal questions in just to keep Bossy Betty on her toes. 

So here we go.

The LG Report:  How did you get the nickname "Bossy Betty?"  And can you provide some examples of you at your bossiest?

Bossy Betty:  First of all, I would like to say that despite this hideously uncomfortable chair and this lukewarm, nearly-expired bottle of Evian, and your obvious lack of knowledge of the social benefits of breath mints, I am happy to be here.  I really don’t remember what your first nonsensical question was, so let’s continue this ordeal while I am still mildly interested.

Notice the heavy Kansas traffic in the background.
The LG Report: How long ago and why did you leave the Sunflower State?  Did it have anything to do with the totally lame-o state nickname?

Bossy Betty:  Sir, I resent your implication that 1) I “left” the Sunflower State.  Though I am no longer physically present there, a part of my heart will always be embedded in the Harney Silt Loam (the state soil of Kansas.)

2) The nickname “The Sunflower State” is not, as you so eloquently stated, “lame-o.”  It has style.  It has alliteration.  It has five syllables.

And, by the way, just what is the name of your blog again?  Hummmmm?  Do you really think you should be throwing stones?  Really?

The LG Report:  What was the single best thing, and the single worst thing, about growing up in Kansas?  Please do not mention Dorothy or Toto in your answer. 

Kansas, personified.
Bossy Betty:  Growing up in Kansas under clear, clean, expansive skies, gave Betty a certain clear, clean, expansive personality that is evident in her kind and gracious behavior. 

The tornadoes that occasionally came, wreaking havoc and destruction may have also tinted Betty’s personality a tad.  The weather in Kansas is a great example for those who want to incorporate mood swings into the fabric of their personalities.

The LG Report:  Does it frost your cake that another state, Arkansas, has your entire home state name embedded in it PLUS two extra letters?  What do you make of that?

Bossy Betty: I have never heard of that state and would not endorse, nor acknowledge it if I had.

The LG Report:  Bossy Betty, you're a teacher by profession.  The National Teachers Hall of Fame (which, by the way, LG thinks is incorrectly punctuated; he believes it should be "National Teachers' Hall of Fame," with the possessive apostrophe, but who is he to correct the teachers?) is located in Emporia, Kansas.  You're from Kansas.  Coincidence?

Bossy Betty: When children are born in the hospitals in Kansas, a certain percentage are immediately wheeled into separate and special nurseries to begin their lives as teachers. 

These babies are selected on the basis of their superior lung capacities and their low-flinch response when markers and erasers are thrown in their direction.  They are trained from birth to be members of this hallowed profession. 

First grade is the start of their twelve-year apprenticeship which they begin by directing other children on the playground, correcting the work and grammar of other classmates, and charting the behavior of those children they believe may possess criminal tendencies.

These mini-teachers-in-training are, without a doubt, the most popular children in the classes.

Bossy Betty didn't fall for the decoy "Mountains in Kansas" question.
The LG Report:  Did you do a lot of mountain biking, downhill skiing and high-altitude rock climbing in Kansas as a kid?

Bossy Betty: Because of the extensive training in pencil sharpening and glare-giving that Teacher Babies/Adolescents must go through, I had no time to engage in these hoodlum-attracting activities. 

(Even now, my Teacher Training is coming in handy as I simultaneously give you an answer to your question, thereby deceptively “validating” you and your unstable self-esteem without giving any credence to your irrational question meant merely to bait me into a ridiculous response.)

The LG Report:  If you look up a list of Kansas landmarks on Wikipedia (not always accurate, we know, but good enough for the low standards of The LG Report), you'll see:

The world's largest ball of twine (disputed), created August 15, 1953, in Cawker City, Kansas

These unsuspecting tourists are unaware of the dispute.
Two other towns claiming to possess the World's Largest Ball of Twine are Darwin, Minnesota and Brooks, Missouri.  Knowing that it must burn your butt that there's still a dispute over which locale truly has the world's largest ball of twine, what would you say to the people of Darwin, MN and Brooks, MO if you could address them directly?  We may very well have some readers from those towns, so measure your words carefully.

Bossy Betty:  I have never heard of those other states and would not endorse, nor acknowledge them if I had.

The LG Report:  Living in Southern California, we assume you've slept with Charlie Sheen.  What was that like? 

Bossy Betty: Tiger’s Blood.  Adonis DNA.  Winning.  Duh.

The LG Report:  Kansas is known for Leavenworth Prison (technically, United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth), one of the federal prison system's most notorious lock-ups.   As a kid growing up in Kansas, it would be only natural that you would have spent some time there, making friends with prisoners, smuggling knives in via your underwear, etc.  What was that like?  

Bossy Betty:  It is a misconception that this prison is in Kansas.  If you look carefully on a map, you will see that the squiggly line that marks the northeast border actually dips down into the town of Leavenworth, circles around the prison and draws it in to the state to the east, a state I have never heard of, nor would acknowledge if I had. 

The LG Report:  If you were charged with creating a new state motto to lure new residents to Kansas, what would it be?  Please keep it to 15 words or less, and do not mention Dorothy, Toto or the World's Largest Ball of Twine (obviously, because it's still under dispute.)

Bossy Betty:  The current state motto is “Ad astra per aspera” which means “To the Stars Through Difficulties” which bespeaks the immense trials and tribulations of the early settlers and the incredible trauma that “Bloody Kansas” went through before and during the years of the Civil War.  However, these days, let’s face it, it sounds like a slogan for an upstart pharmaceutical company. 

My suggestion for a new motto is “Many Varieties of Our State Flower Have Centers That Can Be Enjoyed As A Snack Or As A Small Meal.” 

The LG Report:  Bossy, if I may be so familiar...  What's that, I may not?  Ok...Bossy Betty...can you give us a link to one or two of your blog posts that would be among your most representative (and enjoyable) for a first-time visitor?

Bossy Betty:  Who me?  Really?  Me? Oh, OK, if you insist.
[Those are both live links folks; click on them to enjoy more Bossy Betty!]

The LG Report: What topic will we never see you blog on and why?

Bossy Betty:  My experience here today.  I think you know why.

The LG Report:  OK, we'll wrap it up with this question Bossy Betty:  Your hubby and two sons, how do they cope with all the bossiness?

Serve this at 80 degrees and Betty pours it on your head.
Bossy Betty:  Let’s just say when they are home, the pillows on my chair are always fluffed, the Evian is always chilled to 79.5 degrees and their breath is always fresh.  

It’s not their fault that they need to spend so much time away from our loving home.  Darn World Peace Conference.  They always seem busy with it.



Thanks again for stopping by Bossy Betty, it was a very enjoyable experience.  And we remind our readers to wander on over to Bossy Betty [live link again] (the blog) to check out some very fun -- and funny -- writing.  

Editor's Note:  Just as this blog posting was being completed, a number of major news sources revealed that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan.  Click HERE  if you'd like to read some of LG's thoughts about being in downtown Manhattan on September 11, 2001.