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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 12/11/09


I haven’t chimed in on the Tiger Woods thing the last few days because frankly, it was just getting too gross for me. I mean, hookers, three-ways, drug-fueled sex binges. And you know what’s the worst thing about it? No, not that there are now TWELVE WOMEN (including cocktails waitresses, hookers and porn stars). The fact that HE NEVER USED A CONDOM.

You know, if I was his wife, this would be the single most infuriating thing. I would forgive him his doggishness before I would forgive the fact that he risked the health of me and my children. Cuz don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did.  

The guy had sex with a stripper at his bachelor party! And he’s been screwing around the whole time he was with his wife. Including when they were conceiving. He could have given her AIDS. She could have, in turn, passed this on to their children. As far as I’m concerned, his behavior was reckless and he risked the lives of innocent kids.  All for his gratification. What a pig.

I don’t know if ELIN will stay with him. If she has any self respect, she won’t. But then $80 million dollars and the upper hand for the rest of their marriage is a LOT to pass up. Even I’d have to think twice.  Leaving him might be a stupider move than when Julianna Margulies passed up that 3 year $27 million dollar “ER” contract to “do movies”. We know how that turned out…cough, cough, SNAKES ON A PLANE, cough.

But then, Julianna wasn’t so publicly humiliated. There are rumors that Elin is thinking about staying with Tiger because she doesn’t want her kids to be a product of divorce like she was. Sounds like PR spin to me. As I said, I suspect she’s won the upper hand on the prenup and is calling the shots which, if she is smart, includes only “acting” married in public and having nothing to do with him in private. Whatever. It’s her life and she has to decide what is right for her and her children. At the very least she shouldn’t let him near her without a clean bill of health and a condom or two or three.

In any case TIGER who, as it turns out is actually more like THE COWARDLY LION, has finally made his apology. We all knew it was coming. It’s what these guys DO. After they’ve consulted their attorneys, PR guys and handlers for the best way to word it. And know what? I believe him. I believe he’s is extremely sorry….that he got caught and that it threatens his career and his billion dollar empire. Because that’s where guys like this hurt most…in the ego.

Here’s how the apology went. The strikeouts – as usual- are the subtext courtesy of MAMMAKAZE.

“I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children and NIKE my $100 million dollar endorsement contract,” Woods said. “I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry that I got caught and that I ask forgiveness although I shouldn’t have to because well, I’m Tiger Woods and should be able to do whatever the hell I want because I’m the greatest golfer in the world. It may not be possible to repair the damage I’ve done especially to my career and my potential to break golfing records and make a boatload of money in the process, but I want to do my best to try like so many horndogs before me.”

The PGA Tour said it supported the decision by its biggest star.

“His priorities are where they need to be, and we will continue to respect and honor his family’s request for privacy although it totally screws us because he’s the only reason people even watch the boring game of golf to begin with,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement, the tour’s first public comment since Woods mentioned his “personal failings” on Dec. 2. “We look forward to Tiger’s return to the PGA Tour when he determines the time is right for him and it better damn well be soon or we’ll be back to $45,000 purses and ratings lower than the reruns of The Golden Girls.”.

One of Woods’ favorite playing partners also said it was the right thing to do.

“I think it’s great that he’s going to put his family first and work things out,” Steve Stricker said from Naples, Fla. “Golf will always be there albeit it no one will tune in and we’ll all be forced to sell our mansions and move back into 3 bedroom split-levels in Ohio. He wants to make sure his marriage is right and everything is good on the homefront by buying off his wife and all the hookers who are crawling out of the woodwork. We’ll sure miss him on tour until he gets things taken care of. Because let’s face it, without Tiger we’ll be back to teaching old guys in yellow pants how to improve their golf swings.”


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Author: toni


We recently learned that we lost a family member to suicide. Without going into the details, those closest to him did not see it coming. Although I’m sure they are looking back over every memory, every moment with him to see if there was something, anything that indicated he was heading down such a path. He was going through a divorce, but lots of people go through divorces without resorting to such extreme actions. So there had to be something more. But we will never know because he’s not here to tell us.  

He left behind three beautiful, adoring children. And as a mother, I simply can’t imagine that. He was such a wonderful and kind and loving human being and a terrific and devoted father. It is hard for me to imagine that he would make such a choice knowing what it would do to his kids.

But as a human being… one who has gone through a deep depression at one time (I have referred to this before as The Year of my Great Depression)… I can understand the kind of pain that can bring someone to this point. Because that psychic pain can be so agonizing that it is actually physical pain. Truly it is. More painful than anything I have ever felt. And it is relentless and can certainly drive you to the point where you think you cannot live with it another minute.

What kept me from going over the edge?  My brother John. Knowing how connected we were and how much he relied on me, and we on one another. Knowing what it would do to him to leave him behind in such a way. So it was thinking of HIM, not myself, that stopped me from going the distance.

And I’m glad I did, because you know what? Things got better. I never believed they would because when you’re in the midst of that kind of pain, you simply cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. And what a long, dark tunnel it was.

It took a while but slowly, eventually, the pain started to subside. To my amazement, time was indeed the healer. And eventually hopelessness was replaced by hope. The world around me, which had literally lost its color, began to come to life again. And as it did, so did I.

And I emerged eventually from the darkness, with the help of my brother and my good, good friends who were there for me every step of the way, without judgment and with great love. (I love you all. You know who you are).

And when I came out of that dark tunnel, I was a stronger person. Rebuilt from the ground up. I know it sounds cliche, but I was truly a Phoenix, arisen from the ashes of my former self.

And because I hung in there and didn’t take the dark step, I was able to move to a better and stronger phase of my life. I was able to open up my heart and that’s when I found Randy the perfekt husband. He had been there all along as my friend and because of what I had been through I could finally see him as more. We got married and had a beautiful daughter JULIA. And I have never been happier. And I now look back on that blackness with disbelief. Because I cannot imagine that I almost gave all this up.

And this is what I want to say to anyone out there who is feeling that shroud of sadness envelope them. Who is feeling hopelessness and desperation (which can be especially painful during the holidays).


Because it does. If you can hang in there, you WILL emerge. It doesn’t last forever. I promise you.

But sometimes you can’t do it all alone. Sometimes you need help. So reach out. Please. To friends, to family, to clergy, to strangers at hotlines. Whatever it takes to help you through. They will understand, they will help. They will not judge you. They love you. Do NOT keep it to yourself.

And if living for yourself isn’t enough of a reason in the moment, then think of living for others. Think of those whose hearts you will break with your selfish act. Because it is the ultimate selfish act. This is just as valid a reason to live. And it can help get you through the toughest of times until the pain fades. AND IT WILL FADE.

It’s true, that other old cliche that time heals all wounds. It doesn’t mean there won’t be scars. We all carry them. Physical ones. Psychological ones. These scars are our war stories. And there is no life that is lived without encountering some battles. And the scars from those battles are what define us as individuals. And as human beings. It’s part of the symmetry and the beauty that is life.

So I just want to remind everyone out there, as a survivor of sadness…Hang on. Please.


I wish with all my heart I could have said this to our family member. I don’t normally talk openly about such things so he never knew this about me. But I’m talking about it now in case someone else out there might benefit from my experience.


And if you need help, if you’re feeling desperate, alone or hopeless

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at


A free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.
Call for yourself or someone you care about
Free and confidential
A network of more than 140 crisis centers nationwide
Available 24/7

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Author: toni

~ 12/09/09


Hey. Did you hear that the adorable little hamster toy known as a Zhu Zhu Pet might be toxic? Did you also hear that it is the Cabbage Patch Doll of the 2009 Christmas Season? Did you ALSO hear that Julia desperately wants one for Christmas?

Oh the dilemma. I mean, Julia doesn’t ask for much. Ever. Her wish list has never been more than three items long. And they’re NEVER items like Wiis or X-Boxes or motorized scooters. Like this year she’s asking Santa for Hermione’s Time Turner Necklace (Noble Collection Price $49.95) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book (paperback, less than ten bucks). And finally, Mr. Squiggles the Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster ($9.99).  

Well, naturally I wasn’t going to deny her this little thing… likely as it is to end up in the bottom of her toy chest after about a week along with the creepy cat that “mews” and that LittleUgly doll that’s just, well, a little too darn ugly.

So, about two weeks ago, I went hamster hunting. I was STUNNED to learn they were out of stock everywhere except a few online places which were selling them at the “desperate parent’s price” of $61.00 a piece!

Uh, heck no. I wasn’t going to spend that for something that probably cost .99 cents to manufacture (granted as a result of slave labor in a country without labor laws). No way. Despite Randy the Perfekt husband’s insistence that we SHOULD indulge her this one thing. Besides, he had pulled the same toy in the Salvation Army’s Children’s Gift Charity Program at work. Seems an UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILD from a bad neighborhood asked for the same toy and Randy was going to get it for him at ANY COST.

Fortunately, on a visit to Toys R Us last weekend to buy the other two charity toys Randy pulled, we learned that a limited shipment of Zhu Zhu Pets was coming in that very afternoon! But only for Toys R Us Rewards Card holders and only if you stood in line for two hours to be among the lucky few. Only one per customer by the way.

So we signed up for the Rewards program AND another endless stream of unwanted daily emails, and were both prepared to come back that afternoon to stand in line so we could get two.

But then there was ANOTHER TWIST. Green consumer group The Good Guide came out and said that the Zhu Zhu pets were among the most toxic of the holiday season! Apparently, they were covered in high levels of antimony, which I had never heard of but which could, among other things, cause cancer, immune system disorders and the development of special spidey skills.

Uh, Uh. I announced. We CANNOT in good conscience give these toys to children.

RANDY: Are you kidding me? This underprivileged kid is statistically at risk to die in a driveby shooting by the time he’s 16. I’m not going to deny him the toy of his Christmas dreams on the possible chance that he’ll develop an immunilogical disorder at age 72. I’m getting him the hamster.

ME: Then you’re standing in line alone. I am NOT getting one for Julia.

RANDY: Fine.

ME: Fine.

So as Randy stood in line for 2 hours in the cold and got that Mr. Squiggles hamster in all its toxic glory for the 6 year-old underprivileged child from a bad neighborhood,  I (in the warmth of our home) explained to Julia that for her health and saftey she would NOT be getting a Mr. Squiggles and was not to bother to ask Santa for it in her letter as Santa ALWAYS defers to parents’ wishes and better judgment. It’s a Christmas rule.

She looked at me with those big chocolate eyes and said she understood, which she really didn’t. And when Randy brought Mr. Squiggles home she looked at it longingly (through the protection of packaging and plastic of course). She sighed. I felt all kinds of awful, but knew in my heart of hearts that, as a mom, I was doing the right thing. Despite the fact that probably half the toys she already owned were made in China and were probably covered in antimony and all other manner of rectal bleeding-inducing chemicals. But I wouldn’t let my mind go there. I felt right about my current parental decision.

And then, yesterday, after two days of feeling that righteous yet “sopped in guilt” feeling, the news came out.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission found Zhu Zhu pets to be “safe”. 

WHAT THE–????!!! NOW you’re telling me? NOW that the critter is SOLD OUT again and there isn’t a chance in hell I’ll be able to find it for my kid in time for Christmas for less than a bajillion dollars – or at least the cost of water and gas bill payments?

Of course by safe they probably mean “containing acceptable levels of carcinogens”. But isn’t that what we as parents aspire to? Acceptable levels? Because really, is anything TOTALLY safe? We WANT it to be, but let’s face it. It’s an unsafe world in which we live. Don’t believe me? You should see the bruise I’m sporting on my knee courtesy of the dangerous footboard at the end of my bed. See, danger lurks EVERYWHERE.

So, now I have denied my daughter the one favorite gift she wished for this Christmas. Well, unless I go online and buy it from those hamster scalpers… damn them.

You know I’m gonna do it. See what playing it safe got me? Overpaying for a hunk of junk from China that’s gonna end up in the bottom of the toy chest along with creepy cat and Ugly.

Sigh. At least Randy didn’t say “I told you so”. Out loud anyway.

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Author: toni

~ 12/04/09


Okay. Enough with the gossip and scandal and who’s sleeping with whom. It’s time to turn from Tigers to Pigs.  

Following is a letter of advice from my friend BABETTE who is a Psychiatric Clinical Specialist and Nurse Manager over at the VA in Los Angeles, about the swine flu

It is not meant to be alarmist. Simply to make you think.  



“My advice to everyone is to take as many precautions as they can. We first heard that H1N1 would hit younger children especially hard because those of us who were around when the virus first made rounds in the 1970’s had likely been exposed enough to have some immunity. The other high risk groups included people with respiratory or cardiac problems because this virus seems to hit the respiratory tract really hard, and the failure of one organ system can lead to  catastrophic failure of other organs (kidney, liver). Pregnant women were considered at high risk because infection with H1N1 could cause premature contractions and miscarriage as well as pneumonia for the mother which could kill her. Distribution of the vaccine did not go as expected, with bizarre decisions made by who knows who about who should get what. Batches of the vaccine are still trickling in to major medical centers with mixed responses. The people that did not get vaccinated yet that do not know anyone affected probably think the fuss is overdone.

Those of us that watched a healthy 40-something ex-Navy serviceman become unable to speak and appear to have either had a stroke or brain inflammation (meningitis, encephalitis) or the 50-something psychologist with a diagnosis of asthma deteriorate from being short of breath to massive organ shut down and life support in less than 2 weeks are either giving thanks for having been vaccinated or scrambling to find someone who has the vaccine to give. These last two cases should have been non-existent or mild based on the “adult with probable previous exposure” so all bets are off.  People with ANY viral infection are most contagious BEFORE they have a fever or cough. The person in line at the supermarket, the kid in your child’s class- would not look sick when they are most able and likely to transmit the virus to you or someone you love.

Some of my staff have reported that when they had a fever of 103 and called their doctor to make an appointment they were told not to come in ‘until it reached 105′. Some clinics treat well people in the morning and sick people in the afternoon, but lets face it- the well people may be those that have it and just haven’t gotten the symptoms yet. You really need to think about not getting sick rather than taking a chance on a “virus distribution center” called a doctor’s waiting room.

Tamiflu is out there, but some doctor’s are still slow on the uptake. It is also expensive (cheapest I heard of was $90 for a treatment) and it is most effective just after you’d been exposed but before you have symptoms. Not an easy needle to thread.

If you have any respiratory condition and have not been vaccinated, for heaven’s sake go get it done. If you are pregnant, go get the vaccine (it may be available with all of the preservatives stripped out of it at some women’s clinics, if you are so inclined- but the vaccine is more important than the concern about the preservatives). If you are in neither category but spend time in crowds or interacting with a lot of people as part of your job, get vaccinated.

If you persist in not wanting to take this precaution (I like to say that “I can’t get it and I can’t give it” if I am vaccinated) then start wearing an N-95 surgical mask when you are in crowds, carry around hand sanitizer and stay several feet away from anyone that is coughing. (According to UC Berkeley, you have a 52% chance of being infected when someone’s cough carries the flu virus into your eyes, nose or mouth. Nice.)

My advice to everyone? Take as many precautions as they can.”


There you have it. From someone in the trenches. Ultimately, you have to do what you feel is right for you and your family. Hope this helps.

If you have any more questions about the H1N1 flu or vaccine go to:

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Author: toni

~ 12/03/09

I don’t know about you, but this whole Tiger Woods cheating scandal has turned into a real hot button issue in our household between me and Randy the perfekt husband. Not since the whole BILL CLINTON/MONICA LEWINSKY thing has there been such “discussion” over the center island. (It’s always over the center island as that seems to be the physical divider that symbolically represents our philisophical divide).  

From the outset our feelings/opinions were clearly drawn along the male/female lines.

For example, when the allegations first came out – way back at the beginning before little was known – Randy refused to believe that Tiger was screwing around. He thought Tiger was too “straight-laced” and nerdy to stray.

EXACTLY! I retorted. The nerdier they are before they become famous, the more susceptible they are to those leggy, surgically enhanced women who wouldn’t in a million years have thought about jumping in bed with them if they weren’t rich and famous. I mean, look at the woman he married. Tall, Swedish, blonde… au pair. Okay, he didn’t go completely into supermodel territory. But I bet he would have, had he been less shy.

Guilty! I announced to Randy, being a believer of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” And I’ll bet there’s more than one.

Then the “facts” began trickling in. Facts that have come to include THREE MISTRESSES, a widely played phone message (ouch, that’s gotta be embarrassing) and what’s shaping up to be an all-out ballistic attack by his wife ELIN with a 3-iron, the casualties of which included their vestibule, an Escalade and Tiger himself.  

What a schmuck. “Sexting” his mistress on Thanksgiving weekend with his wife, kids, mom and mother-in-law in the house. Like Bill Clinton, I ask Tiger, for god’s sake, can you not keep it in your pants for one weekend?! (Well, with Clinton I thought after his near misses with Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones, he’d have the good sense to keep it in his pants for the duration of his term).

Turns out, they can’t keep it in their pants. Know why? It’s not the sex. It’s the power. They think they are above it all. They think they can have affairs with cocktail waitresses, and interns and that these young women aren’t going to run and tell their friends they’re screwing someone famous or keep their semen-stained dresses from the drycleaners. I mean, they have to believe this, right? Or they wouldn’t do it. Right?

When Elin Woods’ former boss Swedish golfer JESPER PARNEVIK came out and said that he hopes “Elin uses a driver next time instead of a 3-iron”, I told Randy “He’s probably screwed around on his wife, too.” To which Randy replied indignantly,” Oh, because Tiger cheated, that means EVERY guy cheats.”

See what I mean about hot button issue? It brings out the male/female “differences” on the topic of cheating. Naturally, I’m right. But it’s not worth getting into a huge arugment with my husband over. After all, we own three sets of golf clubs. And 3-irons are just too readily available.

Well, in the end, like I knew Tiger was cheating, I know Tiger will be forgiven. I don’t mean by his wife. I don’t know her state of mind… or prenup. I mean by the public. By his fans. The nerdy guys who tune in week after week to watch him hit that little ball and buy the putters and golf shirts with his name on them in the hopes of improving their swing. Know why? Because Tiger slept with attractive women.  

That’s right. Because the women he screwed around with…were hot. And every geeky guy in every locker room is imagining himself in Tiger’s place and saying… “Yeah, I’d hit that.”

See. This is my theory as to why Bill Clinton was so vilified. If he had pulled a JOHN KENNEDY and slept with someone like MARILYN MONROE, he would have been more easily forgiven for risking his presidency and the future of the Democratic Party in the next election.

But because he chose to risk it all for Monica Lewinsky (no offense to Ms. Lewinsky, but she’s no Giselle Bundchen) folks were furious! Especially guys. Especially guy Democrats. How could he risk everything… for her?! Yep. If Clinton had had an affair with Claudia Schiffer, Gore might have taken the next eight years.

And this is why Tiger will ultimately ride out this storm. He’ll profess his “humanness” and “weakness” (they all do) and ask for forgiveness (again, they all do). And his wife will probably stand by his side. Likely after he’s purchased a “house for her finger” like KOBE BRYANT did his wife VANESSA after getting caught in his indiscretion.

And his endorsements will miraculously reappear (if they ever disappear to begin with). And all will be right with the golfing world. And guys in yellow and green plaid polyester see-thru golf pants everywhere will high-five each other and wish they had his balls and driver.

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Author: toni

~ 12/02/09


I like Facebook. I admit it. It’s cool and fun (mostly) to keep in touch with people you haven’t heard from in years.

Okay. Also, it can be a little creepy and a little TMI at times. And I do see the dangers it poses to human interraction. As in, it eliminates the need for it. It gives us the sense of being in contact without really having contact. Of having friendships that aren’t truly friendships. Of having relationships without, well, actually being in one.

And we all know those people who carry the whole Facebook thing a bit too far. You know who I’m talking about. You all have those friends that post incessantly about every little thought that crosses their mind or bit of food that crosses their gullet. I’m convinced that these are the people whose moms ooh’d and aah’d over their bowel movements when they were kids.

These are also the people for whom Facebook has become their whole social world. Not me of course. There are whole weeks days hours minutes that go by without me checking my Facebook.

Well, here’s a guy that doesn’t have my self-restraint.  And on his wedding day too. Tsk. Tsk. Don’t want to imagine what that wedding night was like. “OOh, baby, I want to– oh hey! Check it out. Steve’s having a nicoise salad for dinner tonight.”

Check it out. It’s pretty funny.

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