Queen of Daytime

And after 19 years worth of nominations and continuously being passed over, Susan Lucci won the Emmy for Best Actress in her role as Erica Kane from the soap All My Children.

There, it’s out. I watched the show nearly its entire run. College students were known to sit in the student union and take in each episode. A friend got me hooked on the show shortly after it debuted in 1970. No, I won’t apologize. And throughout the 80s — it would have been completely out of character for a stay-at-home mom not to become an avid soap fan. However, I do want to point out that this 60-minute indulgence was my one guilty pleasure.

I lived vicariously through the character of Erica, and the actress Susan Lucci. Then a funny thing began to evolve. Each year for nearly two decades Susan Lucci was nominated for a daytime Emmy, and lost. Nominated repeatedly without the prize. I think sour grapes would have been completely justified. In the awards ceremony of 1999, something had apparently broken the losing streak. The presenter on stage called out, “The streak is over…Susan Lucci!”

I have noticed Susan’s career since. She had a recurring role on a nighttime semi-soap called Devious Maids in a role very similar to her daytime role. She appears on QVC demonstrating exercise equipment. But, I think the funniest character she has taken on is her parody of herself as a diva on a Progressive Insurance commercial.

Susan/Erica, thanks for all the years of over-the-top pure-escapist fun.


The name of the Communication Studies course I took in my first Fall semester at CSU Sacramento. On the first class meeting our professor made it clear that the bulk of our work would consist of reasearch for six class presentations and provide data to support the carefully mapped out subject of our papers. Little did I know what my topic would engender.

My speech attempted to address and identify the many faces of mental illness citing people such as Abraham Lincoln and a host of famous artists, authors, and actors. I don’t think any of the personalities I named really came as any surprise to the class as we have heard stories over the years and perhaps we have become immune to any potential surprises. However, a moment of unanticipated disclosure came to me by virtue of a young male student who had just listened to my presentation.

As we all filed out into the hallway, this young man approached me and said, “I’m bipolar.”

It was so matter-of-fact that I offered, “How are you doing?”

He responded, “I am doing pretty well.”

I thanked him for sharing such a personal, private matter.

I received a B+ on the presentation. I received a student’s trust.

They’re Back

The raccoons. On several occasions, over the past six months, we have heard and seen ample evidence to support the fact that our backyard plays home to raccoons. Up to five on one evening. They make strange sounds. I knew it wasn’t the familiar feral cats — six of those mangy felines make the yard their stop-over, but that’s another story. The raccoons are much more interesting. When the quintet appeared it was with some fanfare. I heard their weird chatter and I turned on the patio lights to witness the animated display. The smallest of the group was in the pool. It looked like the two larger members were disciplining the smallest. Eventually, peewee got out of the water. The atmosphere, charged with a lot of high energy just moments before, was reduced to calm.

As for tonight, I spied a solo member of the tribe sitting in a wood patio chair outfitted with a brand new cushion. The interloper made itself at home in the comfy arrangement. That is not to suggest that the raccoons are not welcome, on the contrary, they are nocturnal guests with an open invitation to surprise us and entertain. They never make a mess. They display proper decorum.

Curious animals. They appear to come out of nowhere. We do have a “wall” of ivy running the entire length of one side of our backyard. Do they hide in there throughout the day? Are they burrowing animals?

Mindful of the fact that these creatures may potentially carry rabies (although ours appear healthy) I never venture out while they pay us a visit. From inside the house, I enjoy watching our masked friends accommodate themselves in our yard. They have carte blanche to make future appearances.

So, How Did I Do?

Those who know me well know that I would never bluster, boast, or brag. Not gonna do it. Instead, let’s make this a revelatory tale.

Grades. Those sometimes troublesome assessments that are inescapable components to our journey throughout academia. They are ingrained within the system. An “A” serves to buoy. “C” is a bit unnerving with the potential to crush our dreams. “C-” is precariously close to “D” which might as well be a failing grade. At the college level, “D” represents a failing grade. I escaped the wrath of “D” — barely. My low grade in Introduction Methods Communication Research nearly proved to be my undoing. This was a statistics class. Foreign. Painful. Mind-numbing.

I re-entered college as a 51 year-old co-ed. Determined to let nothing deter my efforts, everything had to flow uninterrupted. I closed my eyes and cringed when I went to the computer to accept my fate. There on the screen was my final statistics-class-from-hell assessment. “C-” clearly stating that I had, in fact, passed the class.

Going through desk clutter the other day, I discovered the transcript heralding the news of my work.

That nasty C-.

Looks like I did alright.

Get Along Home Cindy Cindy

As we all gather ’round the campfire (well, our patio fire pit) we launch into singing that popular refrain.

It wasn’t popular in our house until about thirty minutes ago. We had established that a song with that name — my name, misspelled — is a traditional folk song. We debated whether the lyrics included “Get along home…” or the alternative version, “Get on home…” It was covered by Elvis, Johnny Cash, and even The Mormon Tabernacle Choir to name a few.

Apparently, according to a number of Google entries, the song lyrics serve to remind us Cindy was so sweet that the honeybees swarmed around her mouth. Really? Ick! I take it the bees suspended their inclination to sting while making maneuvers around Cindy’s lips. It wouldn’t do to wind up with swollen lips. Although some women, not even named Cindy, pay a fortune to have a plastic surgeon inject into their lips a substance that will produce similar results to what Cindy might have gotten for merely being sweet.

“Get along home Cindy Cindy, I’ll marry you some day.” Well, that part sounds promising. But, how about this? There is a version that ends with one phrase that defies all things sentimental where this song is concerned. You thought the honeybees swarming around Cindy’s mouth came off as a bit strange?

My Cindy is a pretty girl
My Cindy is a peach;
She throws her arms around my neck
And hangs on like a leech.


Never give rhyming jobs to someone from the swamps.