Just as I think spending big bucks on a wedding is ludicrous I have the same train of thought for a funeral.  Because of the economy more people are opting for cremation which happens to be my number one choice, recession or no recession. They say the average cremation costs between $700 and $1200 while a funeral can exceed $10,000. C’mon people, do you really think your loved one wants you to spend that kind of money. I know they have very fancy coffins…how can someone not think that is a total waste of money. I bet they even make Louis Vuitton pillows claiming they will rest in peace more comfortably. Get the basics and donate the rest to a good cause.

I found this interesting…35% now choose cremation nationwide and 63% opt for it in San Diego. My guess would be that San Diego is such a pretty area that people want the ocean for their final resting place. Even though I live in SD I want my ashes in Boonton NJ…that is where my heart is. I also know I don’t want anyone wasting money on anything…well if anything I would like a cool DJ at my lifeparty playing all my favorite songs.

Now this is just wrong…I read that some people prepay for their funeral so the family will have no worries…that is fine. BUT, some families actually ask if they can downgrade so they can have some money back. Are you kidding me…that’s just sick and actually against the law.

Everyone has different views on death…Annie Lennox says in a song “Dying is easy it’s living that scares me to death”. I share her thought.


Catholic School Days

Meryl Streep is nominated for best actress in Doubt, which she plays the head nun of a school and thinks a boy is being abused by the pastor. As always she did an awesome acting job. Throughout the movie I kept thinking back to the days when I attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in the small town of Boonton, NJ. I had to tell myself to concentrate on the movie and not on Meryl’s character which kept reminding me of Sister Georgita, the meanest nun in the school. Her presence alone and the way she made her entrance into the classroom would have won her the Oscar for strictest nun in the convent! She only taught us Math and Science but when she walked into the room I would literally get sick to my stomach, she was so intimidating which is of course what she wanted. I do remember her pulling ears of students (usually the boys) and the way she would hold a ruler was pure torture. If I had to say one good thing about her I would say that I did ace Algebra in High School and it was all because of her.

Catholic School does have its pros and cons. My fondest school memories are of grade school more so then high school which was public. I liked the small class of 32 kids that I had from 1st through 8th which stayed with mostly the same kids. I didn’t mind the uniform much either, I knew exactly what I was going to wear each day giving me more time to sleep in. I never liked having to line up for everything…changing classes, going to the bathroom, going to and coming back from lunch, going to the auditorium…LINES, LINES, LINES!!! And every time someone came into the room we would have to all say in unison “good morning Sister Adrienne”…ugh. Talking was only allowed at lunch time, there was no talking allowed while walking in all those damn lines. I also remember practicing singing a lot in church…maybe that is what gave me the confidence to karoke.

You can imagine the culture shock I had when going to a public high school where you were allowed to wear halter tops, talk in the halls, pick your classes and even smoke on covered walk…WOW. I felt like Dorothy opening that door from black and white to the colorful oz.

I would love to hear anyone’s Catholic school memories.

Small Towns

When it comes to Christmas I’m glad I was a kid back in the olden days, not as far back as Laura Ingalls though, we did have T.V. to watch all the Holiday CLASSICS!

One of my best memories at Christmas was visiting Santa Claus. Every day on my way home from school I would sit on his lap in a small town park…not some big commercial mall. The whole park (Gracelord Park, Boonton) was decorated so nice and in the middle was a little red house that Santa sat in. Since this was right on my way home I had to get clever and change my identity so Santa would not know I already got a DELICIOUS red or green lollipop (much better than a candy cane).  One day I would wear pig tails, then maybe the next day I would do just a pony tail. By the time Christmas came I had run out of hats, coats, names, voices, hairstyles and was exhausted. At least by next Christmas I would be a couple of inches taller…ha ha Santa! I bet today they stamp your hand and give you and ID number; you are in no way getting 2 candy canes!

Maybe it’s where I live now; I just don’t see the decorated parks like I used to see back in N.J. Are they out there, do they still exist, does anyone care!! Ut oh, I feel like Charlie Brown now.

Back to School

OLMC in 1882

OLMC in 1882

If you are mall shopper like me, you can see the hustle and bustle going on for back to school shopping. From grades 1st through 8th I only the pleasure of buying supplies since I went to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and was given a uniform. I was always ready to go back to school…did that make me a geek? Whenever I ask kids now they look at me like “are you crazy, I don’t want the summer to end”. After surveying many teens, of course my curiosity got the best of me. I was told by a 12 year old that it is a “generation thing”. I wasn’t sure if I agreed with that so I called my sister (who is my generation) and she thought school is so much harder today than it was years ago back in the dinosaur days that we went. I guess I do have to agree with that, it does appear that there is more homework given and kids with all their sports/activities are having a hard time getting to the unimportant studies. I think today kids are given too much to put on their plates by both parents and teachers. There are more stressed kids today then ever…sad. So in conclusion…I guess I wasn’t a geek, I was just fortunate enough to grow up when school/life was easier. I don’t think I even knew what stress meant until much later in life…whew!