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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Blog Wars: Why Do Bloggers Think They Must Curse and Spew Hate to be Effective?

Blog Wars: Why Do Bloggers Think They Must Curse and Spew Hate to be Effective? by Paula Neal Mooney

Twice this long weekend I've caught Blog Wars -- an excellent documentary by filmmakers James Rogan and Phil Craig on the Sundance Channel.

Blog Wars covers political bloggers and their effectiveness or (bulldozing) in a variety of campaigns. Thru Blog Wars, I was once again reminded of conservative bloggers like Michelle Malkin and other smart folks.

I admit I don't subscribe to a lot of political blogs, save for The Huffington Post, but that'll change in 2007. Blog Wars taught me that I need balanced views from both the left and the right.

But the main thing I kept thinking while watching Blog Wars was, What is up with this trend that bloggers think they must be so negative and ranting with cuss-filled posts to be effective?

I'm not necessarily speaking of the blogs featured in Blog Wars -- I've only scanned those. I'm talking about folks like Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr, who runs the addictively readable blog PerezHilton.com that was featured in a 20/20 piece that was pre-empted Friday night on the east coast with news of Saddam's hanging. Anybody got it? It's no longer available from the code I just embeded. Here's another report of PerezHilton from Geraldo:

So, I admit I'm a hypocrite cause I can't help clicking over to old PerezHilton or the folks at PopSugar to check out the latest celebrity they've skewered. But I always ask myself: Why do these and other blogger think they need to dog out other folks to be celebrity reporters? I'm all for the truth, but can't we write about other people in a positive manner?

I admit that in my real-life, I still let a cuss word fly here or there when I'm really angry. But when it comes to writing, I like the advice Will Smith's grandma wrote to him in his journal (but didn't speak of) when she found cuss words in Will's initial rhymes. She wrote that a person with a real vocabulary doesn't have to rely on curse words to be effective.

I agree. In fact, it's more challenging and effective to come up with other adjectives that f*$k.

So there's what on my gut for today. It'll be interesting to see if PerezHilton is taken down in the mega-millions lawsuits pending against him. On one hand, I hope the Lord strikes a deadly blow to all the hateful blogs out there, but on the other hand, I kinda like PerezHilton. He seems so cuddly and lovable. Not on his blog, that is.
Paula Mooney's Musings

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

If you had only 15 seconds to tell the world...

15 Seconds... by Paula Neal Mooney

So wonderfully funny the way the Lord works things out. Just last night I recorded my first ever 15 seconds worth of video on my hubby's cell phone, and uploaded that 15 seconds full of video to YouTube, the first time I ever uploaded a 15 second (or any kind of second) video on YouTube.

While on YouTube, my hubby and I caught the 15 Seconds video contest for CBS on the front page. "Wow, look at that," I said, marveling at God's whole flow of life. Check out the 15 seconds rules here and the 15 seconds video promo here:

I'll plow thru all the 15 seconds rules later (gotta live my life out of the blogosphere for a little bit, you know?) but here's the gist of it:

If you had 15 seconds to tell the world whatever you want to, what would you say? Well, now's your chance to be seen and heard on national television, courtesy of CBS Interactive. Post your 15-second video on YouTube, and CBS Interactive will select one to be broadcast on TV. The first selection will air on CBS Sunday, February 4, 2007.

Every two weeks, CBS Interactive will select five videos from the "15 Seconds on CBS YouTube" group and post them on cbs.com. These videos will qualify to run on national television.

Paula Mooney's Musings

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Hey Ted Murphy - You made a black woman take off her hair weave...

Hey Ted Murphy - You made a black woman take off her hair weave... by Paula Neal Mooney

Well, actually, I only took off my "phony tail" and didn't bother to put it back on -- nor any make-up on my vain face -- on the short video I just shot below begging to win one each of the SWEET "ten awesome new 6 megapixel digital cameras and photo printers from our friends at HP" that you're giving away to us PayPerPosties at PayPerPost, who is generously paying for this post (if accepted) whether or not I'm blessed with one of those HP babies.

As much as I would love to submit one, please note that this isn't a video blogging opportunity. Why? Because, like any good PayPerPostie, I read the rules thoroughly and learned that those submitted videos "must be at least 30 seconds in length," and since I only have my hubbby's video phone to record with, this sucker is only 15 seconds. Check it:

Okay, so now that I've researched you more, Ted Murphy, King of the Posties, I've learned that you are not from HP, but the CEO of PayPerPost.com yourself. "We encourage them to be honest," you told the New York Post about us posties. And that's what you've got here -- an honest blogger.

So here are my reasons why you should "mack me out" with the HP photo gear:

* I'm honest. Check out my review of the HP digital cameras that aim to make folks look skinnier. Not scathing, not butt-kissing neither. Right down the middle of the Honest Blogging Road. Bloggers and customers can spot a fake blogger a mile away.

* I dropped my (non-HP) digital camera on the ground at Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, but even before that, it started taking really crappy-looking pics. Who can blog with that?

* I love HP stuff. I admit that I already own (there's that honesty popping up again) an HP Printer-Scanner-Copier which I already blogged about loving so much that I added it to my list of gifts that people should buy other bloggers waaaaaayyyy before this PayPerPost contest ever started. An HP printer specifically for printing photos would make my pics really pop.

* I'm the kind of woman who is so concerned about looking good, I drive with my knees so I can apply eye-liner in the rearview. But for you, Ted Murphy, and some that great HP equipment, I stripped my face and fake hair bare.

That's gotta deserve some HP swag, right? Sure as shootin' -- with a new HP camera, that is! Just let us know when you get a shipload of HP camcorders that'll hold more than 15 seconds of recording video...

This post was brought to you by HP.

Paula Mooney's Musings

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The View May Hire Sherri Shepherd

by Paula Neal Mooney

Just when I was about to write an open blog post to Barbara Walters begging old Babs to hire comedienne Sherri Shepherd for a permanent gig on The View, I caught this little tidbit on Canada.com

Canada.com claims that a deal is already being worked out to make Sherri Shepherd a permanent replacement for Star Jones' empty spot on The View.

I still sent emails to Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck

(It's no wonder why Rosie's email option is missing -- all that negative feedback about her Asian news reporter impersonations must've killed their servers.)

I begged the ladies to make Sherri Shepherd the "token" View lady. (No, I didn't really say that...)

Anyway, if you haven't caught Sherri Shepherd on The View lately, you've missed a real treat.

Not only has Sherri Shepherd been hilarious, Sherri's regaled The View's viewers with her tales of woe: Shepherd recently caught her husband, Jeff Tarpley, cheating on her when she checked his email and saw pictures of some woman with her "legs all up in the air."

Sherri Shepherd is a Christian -- the best kind of Christian, in fact -- the kind that isn't Pharisee-like in their holier-than-thou false pretenses. Sherri said that she had just finished doing a Bible study when she found Jeff's philandering photos, so only the Lord prevented Sherri from bashing Jeff's head in with a lamp or something else.

Already having spent eight days in jail before for unpaid parking violations, Sherri said the Lord told her that she didn't want to go to prison for killing a man. Sherri and Jeff have a cute little boy with a huge Afro together.

Sherri must be the more successful of the duo (how Jeff must be kicking himself right now) because all I can find about Jeff Tarpley are a list of minor acting roles.


Either way, Sherri is letting go of her anger and working on true forgiveness, because as she said on The View: "One body cannot hold onto all that anger."

I'm seriously praying that this sistah, one who shares a couple of similarities with me -- Sherri Shepherd and I are both from Chicago and were born on Earth Day, April 22nd -- gets the permanent gig on The View. Shepherd's a single mom paying child support and alimony, so she needs it.

As Sherri Shepherd wrote on her uproarious MySpace blog: "I've sat on my behind long enough. I got a little one that I must take care of, so know that if you purchase this DVD, 10% is to my tithe... 80% is to Jeffrey and the other 10% probably has to go to my hubby's attorney :O)"

So let's all help out the clean comic Sherri Shepherd -- whom God is indeed blessing and enlarging her borders -- with lots of prayers and emails to Babs' heart and inbox! Love y'all!

Paula Mooney's Musings

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

When I think of my sweet home Chicago...

When I think of my sweet home Chicago...by Paula Neal Mooney

I just finished watching this video of the PayPerPost Postie patrol cavorting about my hometown, the only city I ever knew the first sixteen years of my life -- sweet home Chicago.

The little square image brought back so many memories -- my favorite part perhaps seeing the wintry-chilled breath coming out of the subjects' nostrils as they trolled a frigid Magnificent Mile down by the old Water Tower that survived the Great Fire, and the modern Water Tower Place where I've shopped.

So many secrets beneath those bustling streets. The pedestrian walkways beneath the rumbling Loop, where downtown employees trot from skyscraper to skyscraper without ever going outside. Memories of the day that a creepy voice whispered from behind me, "Thank you for letting me watch you..." Eck.

But there are more great memories than bad from my sweet hometown -- which is why I'd love to do a postie patrol like this and cavort again about some city as great as Chicago or wherever the chance to win HP stuff develops. I'm all about the swag...

Check out these digital photography tips. Brought to you by HP.

Paula Mooney's Musings

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Ann Coulter Calls Kwanzaa a Lunatic Blend of Black Racism...

Okay, I was going a bit crazy here...I like some of the writings and Christian viewpoints Coulter espouses in her work -- but the divisiveness is not necessary.

I don't love Ann Coulter. And now that Ann Coulter has dissed the so-called African-American holiday called Kwanzaa, calling it "a lunatic blend of schmaltzy '60s rhetoric, black racism and Marxism," I don't love Ann Coulter all the more for being a white woman bold enough to diss a Kwanzaa celebration in a manner that I always thought but dare not spoke of.

I get the Kwanzaa cards in the mail around Christmastime and never appreciate the attention they take away from the birth of Jesus. Kwanzaa supporters will say it's all complimentary, but like Ann Coulter writes, I believe we've been duped into giving credence to some fake fight-the-power holiday.

Kwanzaa kinda reminds me of the fake red-black-and-green-Africa-on-a-leather-medallion sporting brothers who went to Florida A & M University with me, the kind who chided me for reading Cosmo -- a "white girls" magazine, after all, they'd say, as they summarily dissed their Nubian queens to the high heavens.

They were false facades to an ideal, not the real thing itself. And Ann Coulter has now exposed the window dressing of Kwanzaa for what it really is: A way to detract from Christ's birthday celebration, with its supposed worthy community principals shrouded in African (or at least African-sounding) names.

Bah humbug to Kwanzaa. Ann Coulter just exposed what I'd been thinking for years. Coulter is a smart lady who doesn't apologize for being intelligent and conservative and sexy and alluring while she blows the liberals out the water with their theories of "no religion" and such.

I stood in Borders blown away by Ann Coulter's on-point observations in Godless: The Church of Liberalism. While I admit that Ann Coulter's comments dissing the most prominent 9/11 widows were over the top, I'm right in line with Coulter on this Kwanzaa thing.

And I love the way Ann Coulter closes her recent article criticizing Kwanzaa with this Bible verse: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

That's what I'm saying, Ann...

Paula Mooney's Musings

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New Movie Trailer from Chris Rock Looks True-to-Life...

by Paula Neal Mooney

I love it when artists put all of themselves into their projects, spilling the truth about their innards -- come what may. Looks like this is what Chris Rock has done in viewing his latest movie trailer for I Think I Love My Wife. Watch it now...

Chris Rock is proving he is human and makes mistakes like we all do. Of course, upcoming books will tell just how human he was and how much his wife, Malaak Compton-Rock, must forgive...

But I'm glad to see Chris Rock back in the director's chair for I Think I Love my Wife, a movie he also penned. I'm even more overjoyed by reports that Chris Rock may not have filed for divorce after all, and am thrilled that Chris and Malaak Rock -- I still love the way her first name rhymes with Rock -- they were meant to stay together! -- attended the Living Legends Foundation 13th Annual Dinner all hugged up together last month, with reports saying that Rock may not all filed divorce papers after all.

Forgiveness is good. I'm more interested in seeing couples work out their marriages and stay together than those who divorce. Let's all say a prayer for that family unit...

Paula Mooney's Musings

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

All the DiggNations' Men...

by Paula Neal Mooney

I feel a little like Dustin Hoffman's character in All the President's Men, a book-turned-movie about two Washington Post reporters whose investigative journalism exposed what later turned into the Watergate scandal that forced President Nixon's resignation.

It all started innocently enough, with the reporters covering what was initially thought to be a robbery at the Democratic Party National headquarters. We all know how that ended...if only some sleuth would get to the bottom of that Chappaquiddick incident...

Anyway...my plight started just as innocently a couple of month ago, when I tried to submit a post to Digg.com and got an error message. Upon Googling the error message, I turned up not only other legitimate users who've also been banned by Digg, but plenty of accusations that Digg -- who prides itself on allowing average citizens to control their front page news -- and other organizations have paid people to Digg certain stories to the front page.

So, I did what bloggers do, I blogged about it. See I Was Banned from Digg.com for the dirty details. In that post, I told people to quickly Digg my Orble blog post about being banned. Soon thereafter, that Orble URL was banned from Digg too. Uh oh...I must've pissed off the nerdtrons, I thought. Again, I did what any techie would do and figured out ways to Digg my pieces from other locations.

I pretty much forgot about the issue till I saw my Digg-banning plight listed in the post called And the List of Domains Ditched by Digg Keeps Growing. Today I decided to write a news report about it, and digging around the blogosphere turned up some pretty unfavorable stuff about Digg.com, ironically, a site that I love to troll for upcoming interesting stories. Here's just a sampling of what Digg.com detractors have found about banning and Digg payola:

* The Hypocrisy of Digg and Spam
* How to Be a Dirty Digger
* Digg is Killing Itself with Domain Banning
* Legalizing the Underground Digg Economy
* Open Letter to Kevin Rose
* Top Digg Users Taking PR Payola?
* Digg Corrupted: Editor's Playground, not User-Driven Website

It's funny that my news report about the melee called Digg Bans Legitimate URLs and Draws Fire from the Blogosphere has already been reported by the Digg Army as possibly containing inaccurate content. It also trips me out that some Digg commenters summarily dismiss all the banned URLs as "containing no content" before they've had time to absorb any of them or write witty comebacks like "that blog sucks anyway" and such.

But I am hoping and praying the best for Kevin Rose and Digg.com and Revision 3. If Digg.com returns to its original purpose of letting the public in general decide which stories should be popular -- without techie tricks and under-the-table payments -- it will be around for years and years to come. After all, Digg.com developers obviously have the techie know-how to make this happen. They just need to implement it honestly and forthrightly...

Bookmark http://www.paulamooney.blogspot.com/ to see where this Digg banning story ends..


How I Used MySpace to Catch a Thief...

by Paula Neal Mooney

There was a certain photographer (who shall still remain nameless as long as he no longer bugs me 'cause I'm not trying to completely ruin his life) that contacted me with an over-inflated invoice because I'd attached a pic he took to one of my articles.

He'd displayed it on the web without those cool logos that legit places like Big Stock Photo splash across their copyrighted pics, so I considered it fair game...

Anyway, after I got Mr. Shady Photog's email, I removed the photo and went on with life till I heard that said photographer was trying to extract all kinds of crazy payments from another related site for copyright infringement.

Help me, Holy Spirit, I prayed.

As God always comes thru so creatively for me, He told me to do a little digging into this shady photog's life.

I did so and found his MySpace page.

Setting myself up with a profile of a pretty blonde white woman, I contacted the photog and pretended to be a poor, gorgeous, model-in-waiting ready to do anything for free sexy pics.

The horny (and possibly married with kids) photog took the bait and engaged in a conversation that described exactly what illegal and bad-for-business situations he'd provide free pics.

Snap! I had him.

I saved record of our email conversation and told him I was filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau -- the logo that the Lord showed me in visions.

Thankfully, I never heard from shady sleazy guy again.

Which just go to show you, people could be talking to anyone on MySpace.

I'm not beyond using a myspace chat conversation tracker program, who's sponsoring this post thru PayPerPost.

Looks like this Spector Pro does everything, including recording every chat, IM, email, web site URL, search terms, keystrokes and the like.

PC Magazine selected it as an Editors’ Choice, and I trust and respect PC Magazine.

My mom snooped on me and I hated it back then but I don't really blame her now.

Yes, it's nice to foster the close relationship with tweens and tweens and probably 5-year-olds that now know how to chat on MySpace, but I'm all for parents (and cheated-upon wives and cuckolds) staying ahead of the technology game and finding out about their loved ones' travel plans before they hop aboard jets to the Middle East to meet some stranger in person that they met on MySpace.

There's my two techie cents.

Bookmark http://www.paulamooney.blogspot.com/ and drop back in for another two techie cents tomorrow.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Santa Claus -- Go Straight To The Ghetto...

Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto...by Paula Neal Mooney

...that was just one of James Brown's songs that has been ringing in my soul all day. I also loved the haunting, echoing tone when James Brown sang "This is a man's world, but it wouldn't be nothing without a woman..."

How fitting that a man who commanded Santa to go the ghetto and "fill every stocking you see...'cause that was once -- me!" would pass away on Christmas day.

It's even stranger and a little more melancholy that the folks close to me who loved James Brown the most -- my grandfather (Daddy Elmer), my mother and grandmother (GranRuby) -- have all died themselves, so I can't call them up and say, "Wow, can you believe James Brown died?"

I first felt that feeling when, shortly after my mom died, I saw Muhammad Ali in a Vegas casino. I went back to my hotel and glanced at the phone, but realized that the folks who nurtured me on the sounds of James Brown while rallying for the rumbler in the jungle on TV were all gone.

Still, this Christmas day was the best on record. It wasn't all the stuff that made it great, the materialism that threatened to swallow me whole -- even more noticeable with the Pope's edict today to worship God and not technology, which I read about, ironically, thru technology.

It was the peace, the family time. The lolling about and being warmed watching Cheaper By the Dozen 2 on satellite.

Then it was the satisfaction I felt my driving thru the rain to drop off two of the Turbo Tail Tiggers that I'd stocked up on, planning to flip them on eBay or somewhere, but landing them at a women's shelter instead. Obeying Jesus and being His hands for one moment was really the gist of what it's all about. I've got a long way to go...

Bookmark http://www.paulamooney.blogspot.com/ and travel with me.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Devil is a Workaholic...

The Devil is a Workaholic...by Paula Neal Mooney

Tonight I watched The Devil Wears Prada and was surprised by just how amazingly good it was. No chick-lit-turned-sappy-romance-movie-fluff there. I never got the chance to read Lauren Weisberger's so-called thinly veiled roman-a-clef of her stint as assistant to Anna Wintour, god-in-chief of Vogue, but I'm glad she wrote it.

I'm sure Lauren is now glad she took all that guff for daring to write about her demanding boss, seeing as though Streep has been nominated for a Golden Globe for her magnificent performance.

Of course, I can't help wonder how much of the book and movie are based on Lauren's real-life run-ins with Anna, a reported career-aholic. I can't wait to see the upcoming documentary about Anna. But The Devil Wears Prada movie really brought into focus what important things in life get left behind (read: family) when we focus too much on any addictions in life...which is why I'm posting this puppy and going to bed soon, so I'll be awake enough to smile at those bright shining faces wanting to play with a mound of toys tomorrow...

Bookmark http://www.paulamooney.blogspot.com/ and find out what we gave them...

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Confessions of a Corporate Nomad...

Confessions of a Corporate Nomad... by Paula Neal Mooney

This is one of my favorite pics of me and my husband -- and not just because of the sideways angle that whichever blessed passerby who took this puppy used to make us look ultra-thin, but that it was taken inside the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a sanctuary actually built into the gorgeous red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

It was circa February 16, 1997. I remember this clearly because we got engaged during that trip. We'd just relocated from Chicago Title and Trust Company, where we met, to work for a different company in Akron, Ohio. Sedona was just a little vacay.

I lit a red candle and said a prayer in that church. For how could I have known that four years later we'd leave Ohio to work for a San Francisco Bay Area firm, then move back to Ohio a year and a half later?

Corporate nomadism, I call it. Changing cities, chasing that ever elusive higher pay grade...staying one step ahead of the dreaded reorgs. Some of our belongings still have the multi-colored stickers from multiple moving companies. God worked it all out for our good, though, even when we screwed up.

We've been back in Ohio (sounds like a Pretenders song) for almost five years now, and I like being still. But when my husband's company bought an Austin, Texas, company on Friday I asked him, "Ready to move to Austin?"

We were just joking, on the surface. Both of us know that if it came down to relocating again or starving, we'd opt for the former. All this came to mind when I was just researching a search engine marketing firm called Apogee Search that PayPerPost is paying me to blog about, and discovered that they are located in Austin.

According to the Austin Business Journal, Apogee Search is upgrading their Austin office digs from 3,200 to 7,000 square feet, and will double its staff by the end of 2007, so that helping-businesses-with-search-engine-marketing-thing must be working. So I feel guileless, very un-snake-oil-salesmenlike telling folks to check out joining their rank of growing customers...

And all the best to Bill Leake, president and CEO of Apogee. But, Lord willing, I'm praying I won't run into him in the grocery store any time soon. I like putting down roots and building friendships that can take years to foster. Life as a corporate nomad ain't always what it's cracked up to be...

But bookmark http://www.paulamooney.blogspot.com/ anyhow -- cause I can blog from anywhere in the world...

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Beyonce Refuses to Rush Jay-Z into Marriage and Fatherhood...

by Paula Neal Mooney

Beyonce was interviewed in the January 2007 issue of InStyle magazine -- thanks for the heads-up PopSugar.com! Love you guys even though you never responded to my interview requests :-( -- and had some interesting read-between-the-lines quotes about marriage, motherhood and Jay-Z.

But more about that later.

The thing that stuck with me was Beyonce's response to the weirdest thing in her fridge: "These little Soy Dream ice-cream sandwiches," Beyonce quipped, saying that the Soy Dream ice-cream sandwiches were "so good, I eat one every night."

Hmmm...my little blogging mind thought...the way folks are lining up ordering the Master Cleanser diet fast that helped Beyonce shed 20 pounds for Dreamgirls (which I STILL want to undertake as soon as the new year comes), I'm sure they'll be chomping at the bit (literally) to find these Soy Dream ice-cream sandwiches.

No easy feat, turns out.

Googling "Soy Dream Ice Cream Sandwiches" didn't get me far, till I came across this Taste the Dream site that shows the Soy Dream Ice Cream sandwiches and other products.

Looks like they don't sell the Soy Dream Ice Sandwiches and other products directly from the site, but they do have a store locator that lets folks type in their zip code and try and find any Soy Dream products at local health food stores.

No luck for the old 44313.

But I bet my local Mustard Seed Mart has the Soy Dream stuff. I'm really going to make a change in the way I eat in 2007 -- with a whole lotta Holy Spirit help.

I'm embarrassed to write that I chowed down not only on a whole little bag of KitKats last night as we watched the new excellent Charlotte's Web movie - go take your family! -- but I came home and ate even more of Cold Stone Creamery's version of German Chocolate Cake ice cream.
I need a junk food break.

I will eat healthier.

At least these Soy Dream Ice Cream sandwiches look like they are good for folks who can't take dairy. Let me know Soy Dream Ice Cream eaters!

So, about Beyonce and marriage and motherhood.

When the InStyle reporter showed Beyonce a wedding photo to get to the bottom of wedding rumors between Beyonce and Jay-Z, Beyonce said: “It looks like a nice wedding – and very expensive. Unfortunately, it’s not true.”

No wonder Ring the Alarm from the best-selling B'day is so raw and real.

No wonder the Irreplaceable song is just about every teeny-bopper's (and then some's) ringtone.

I love that song too.

It shows a bold, strong-facade producing hurt.

"You must not know 'bout me, you must not know 'bout me...I can have another you in a minute..."

Maybe that's what Beyonce needs to do, seeing as though her last quote provided the most insight and wisdom and perhaps sadness about who might have the coldest marital feet in the relationship:

“You can’t rush a man into anything -- whether it’s a relationship, marriage or having children. When he’s ready he’ll let you know,” Beyonce said.

Bookmark http://www.paulamooney.blogspot.com/ and check out my news report about Beyonce here...

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Paula Neal Mooney