Ok, this is strange…. Payment Data Systems, Inc. Announces the Launch of the Carmen Electra Prepaid MasterCard(R) and the Carmen Electra Gift MasterCard(R)
“Carmen Electra cards set for launch,” San Antonio, Texas-based Payment Data Systems, Inc. will begin aggressively marketing its first celebrity card program this September, the Carmen Electra Prepaid MasterCard gift and debit cards. The cards are issued by MetaBank, an issuer of prepaid cards headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D., and are available online in two versions of Electra’s image.”
Why Carmen? I would have thought the marketing machine, one woman department store we know as J.Lo would have discovered this before Carmen. So, maybe Carmen needs a new revenue avenue. Maybe Dave is taking all the money in their divorce. Could this be a new way to find her next husband– whoever invests the most in the gift cards might be worth looking into? If I burnish my image into a debit card, Rob, will you carry it with you in your wallet and flash it at every Starbucks purchase? To keep up with Carmen, though, I think I’d first need a boob job and a really, really good photographer. Suddenly…$$$$. Forget it– I’d rather have that couch in the rec room and I know you want that Plasma TV. OK Rob, you make the choice… 🙂

Goodbye Leanne

“When I was little, I never dreamed of my wedding day. I never dreamed of a big house or lots of money. I dreamed of a family and raising my children.”
— Leanne Sasso-Lusso February 26, 1971 — July 17, 2006
I believe she really meant what she said. Yet, she’s gone. Maybe that’s why I can’t get that Elton John song, “Goodbye Norma Jean” (or England’s Rose) out of my head. It could be because the way she died was so awful. In part, because she was so incredibly loved – INCREDIBLY LOVED – by her community, family and friends. She’s become a sort of tragic figure in my mind. The funeral home said that they’d never seen anything like the crowds who came to mourn. People waited in line for nearly 2 hours to pay respects. We were there as family, yet given where we live, I felt much like an outsider to this working-class Boston community.
But this peek into her extended world confirmed for me that she was to so many people what she also was to me… a force to be reckoned with, a hospitality queen, a magnet who drew us all into her world with love, generosity, humor, and beauty. “We’re family” she would always say to me when I thanked her for doing something nice… the bountiful meals at Maggio’s, the coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, the opening of her home to us on Boston visits, the generous baby gifts, the RedSox World Series Tee Shirts, the hotel deal when we came to Larissa’s baptism…
She was mother, wife, restaurant coordinator, family hostess, social worker, party planner, philanthropist, friend to all. Yet, in that full life she was desperate. I can’t imagine what she must have been feeling. I don’t understand it. And frankly, it’s hard to wrap my mind around how/why she could leave those children, whom I know she adored, without a mother. There are likely things we’ll never know, puzzle pieces we may not find. I wish she know how much I loved her, how much we all did, how much we’ll miss her.
Ron has his hands full – to raise their kids with sweet memories and stories of her, yet in time, with honest answers about how she was hurting. Because we will never get her back, we must choose how to move forward in her memory…. I choose to keep my memories vivid, joyful, bigger than life – like all of my times with her were.
Follow-up: Leanne’s Dream Foundation was established to continue Leanne’s selfless volunteer work at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. The foundation will raise funds and coordinate volunteer activities to support and implement programs for disadvantaged children, disadvantaged women, and the handicapped and elderly. For more info visit

still editing!

It’s almost ready– I’ve edited the thing down to about 4 minutes. Yes, that’s some fast guac-makin’. I had a nightmare of a time with audio– lots of noise and hiss. It’s mostly cleaned up (good’nuf, this ain’t NBC!) Next time I’ll have cleaner audio to start with– so many things to think about when you want do this stuff right– lighting, sound insulating, scripting, shot-planning, etc. I’ve got some voice-overs to do and that should wrap it up. I’m already starting on the next episode and thinking about the third– Tonya made a list of show ideas and then my mom doubled it. This is getting crazy!
At least here’s a peek at the results of episode one:
Yeah, pictures of chips and dip, that’s just what you came here to see– don’t worry, kid pix are on the way…

ready for my close-up

I’m going to make the leap into the vodcasting world. For those not in the know about vodcasting, it stands for video podcasting, or Video On Demand-casting. What’s podcasting? Go here. On to my story…
I decided that doing a cooking show, or a least starting with one, would be my best avenue for doing a vodcast– all my skills align well in this area: cooking + a/v tech + web tech == me.
So this past weekend I transformed my kitchen into a TV set. Two cameras, lights, computers, all-quiet-on-the-set, and action! I proceeded to whip up my guacamole recipe, make a great mess and some bad jokes, and produce a final product that disappeared within ten minutes of Tonya and Graham spotting it.
Four hours from set-up to finished recipe– and that didn’t even include clean-up (which Tonyad did!) Wow. Way more work than I thought and I still haven’t began editing the final video. Hopefully I’ll finish by the weekend– just in time to record my next recipe. Yikes!
So what does someone who sets out to share his cullinary skillz with the online world make for dinner after a big day of video production?
That’s right: Peanut Butter and Jelly.
Recipe forthcoming…
Oh, and after video-taping myself doing a cooking show, the new formula is: cooking + a/v tech + web tech + dork == me.
I hope you’re hungry.