Monday, April 21, 2008

Okay - really?

New children's book takes on mommy's plastic surgery

By LEANNE ITALIE | Associated Press Writer
3:02 PM CDT, April 17, 2008

Divorce. Bullies. Foster care. There are books for children on just about every tough subject these days. But mommy's plastic surgery?

A Florida plastic surgeon has written about just that in "My Beautiful Mommy," a picture book due out April 28 that tries to calm the fears of kids with parents getting tummy tucks, breast enhancement procedures and nose jobs.

Dr. Michael Salzhauer said so many moms brought kids to their appointments that he was motivated to stock up on lollipops in his Bal Harbour, Fla., office. In "My Beautiful Mommy," he explains mommy's recuperation, changing look and desire for plastic surgery.

"Many parents don't explain to their kids what's going on," said the father of four, with his fifth child on the way. "Children are very perceptive. You can't hide a major surgery from them. When mom goes down for two weeks after a tummy tuck it affects them."

Illustrations show a crook-nosed mom with loose tummy skin under her half shirt picking up her young daughter early from school one day and taking her to a strapping and handsome "Dr. Michael."

Mom explains she's going to have operations on her nose and tummy and may have to take it easy for a week or so. The girl asks if the operations will hurt, and mom replies, "Maybe a little," warning she'll look different after the bandages come off.

The girl asks: "Why are you going to look different?"

Mom responds: "Not just different, my dear -- prettier!"

Big Tent Books in Savannah, Ga., is racing the book out after the Internet lit up Wednesday with word of its upcoming release. The initial 4,400 copies will be available for purchase only through the Web site of the company, which provides editorial and publishing services to picture book authors for fees.

Salzhauer acknowledges the subject matter may seem distasteful to some.

"There are people who are going to read this and say you're indoctrinating kids and idealizing beauty. That's not the intention of the book at all," he said. "The intention is to allow parents who are going through this process anyway to have a vehicle to explain it to their kids."

Diane Kuplack understands.

At 37, Kuplack has six biological children under the age of 12, including 5-year-old twins, along with two older stepchildren from her husband Matt's first marriage. She said it was "nerve-racking" trying to decide what, if anything, to tell her children about the breast implant surgery she scheduled for Friday.

Kuplack, who lives in Weston, Fla., and is a patient of Salzhauer's, read the book to her children.

"The older ones loved it," she said. "We were nervous that if we didn't say anything at all that they would notice I look different when I came home. It really helped them understand because it explains everything so well. They didn't have any questions after that."

The book, told from the perspective of the grade school-age daughter, has the groggy mommy home from the hospital the day after her double surgery, sitting up in bed sipping chicken soup with grandma helping out. Soon mommy is out of bed but still not able to do any heavy lifting, so the girl and her big brother pitch in around the house.

At the breakfast table, the girl tells mommy how she's learning about butterflies at school and mommy laughs that her bandages make her feel like a cocoon.

Then the big day arrives -- mommy's bandages are gone and illustrator Victor Guiza lights up the new and improved mommy with a sparkly princess pink background.

"Mommy, your eyes are sparkling like diamonds," the girl exclaims. "You're the most beautiful butterfly in the whole world."

Jerry Seltzer, general manager of Big Tent's parent company, Whimsical LLC, sees the obvious niche for "My Beautiful Mommy" in plastic surgeons' offices and among moms undergoing cosmetic procedures. He admits he initially wondered about the content.

"I thought, 'Gee, mommy looked awfully good before the surgery.' But I felt confident because it was appropriate for the market," he said. "Women are out there getting the surgery."

Salzhauer said he performs about 200 tummy tucks and breast procedures a year, the bulk on mothers. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, representing most of the nation's board-certified surgeons in the specialty, reported nearly 348,000 breast augmentation procedures and 143,000 tummy tucks on women in 2007.

"My patients do worry about their children when they're going through this," Salzhauer said. "The book just goes toward trying to make the process as understandable as possible for the kids, so they can feel included and don't have to make things up in their minds on what's going on."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A little odd...but sweet I guess...

From matching gems to the perfect match
Hacker proposes to girlfriend via casual puzzle game Bejeweled.
By Mike Smith

A hacker's romantic gesture
You're probably accustomed to seeing big-screen proposals at ball games, in crowded restaurants, and scrawled across the sky by aircraft. But popping the question by hiding a message in your intended's favorite computer game is rather more unusual.

However, for computer programmer Bernie Peng, it obviously seemed like the perfect idea. He spent a month reprogramming his girlfriend Tammy Liu's favorite video game, gem-matching hit Bejeweled, so that it would display the all-important message when she reached a certain score. As Peng told Newark's Star-Ledger: "I thought it was pretty cool, in a nerdy way."

Did she agree? Fortunately for Peng, she did, and the pair plan a September wedding. Popcap, the company responsible for Bejeweled (and consequently untold hours of lost productivity in offices around the world) is flying the couple out for a Seattle honeymoon, and supplying copies of Bejeweled to hand out as wedding favors. A word of advice to any guests, though: don't sit next to two other people wearing the same color, or all three of you will vanish.

You can try the game for yourself right here -- but don't count on it hiding any marriage proposals.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just in that type of mood...

I adore this commercial.

“Either you’re in…Or you’re out…”

Nina Garcia Said to Be Out at Elle

Friday, April 11, 2008

By Stephanie Smith

Elle is said to have parted company with its fashion director and “Project Runway” star and author Nina Garcia sources said late Friday.

Neither Garcia, Elle editor in chief Robbie Myers nor a spokeswoman for Elle could be reached for comment.

More on that article, click:

More on the train wreck..

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Oh my.

Bride, Groom Spend Wedding Night in Jail
The Associated Press Published: Monday, April 7, 2008

A weekend wedding turned into an unforgettable first night for these two newlyweds. Police said a bride and groom spent their first night as a married couple in jail after their wedding party at a Vallejo home got out of hand.

When police had to return a second time to the home Saturday night, officers stunned both the groom and his cousin with a Taser when they both became aggressive towards the officers.

The groom and cousin were arrested for allegedly resisting arrest.

The bride was taken into custody on suspicion of public intoxication.


Information from: Contra Costa Times

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Be kind, don't litter, 'county bum' warns

County enforcement agents target wastefulness
By Rachel E. Leonard
Published: Thursday, April 3, 2008

This man is no ordinary bum - he's an undercover police officer looking to catch litterbugs who throw trash from their vehicles.
This panhandler isn't keeping an eye out for your money. Just your trash.

Spartanburg County environmental enforcement officers call him the "county bum," but he's one of their own: an undercover officer who poses as a homeless man to catch litterbugs in the act. Clutching a sign reading "Be Kind," he frequents intersections throughout the county to help nab motorists who toss trash and cigarette butts out car windows or dump ashtrays on the roadside.

The "bum" calls in the offender's license number over a police radio, and a nearby officer in an unmarked vehicle - a "chase car" - catches up and issues a warning or ticket. Don Arnold, county environmental enforcement director, said officers are thinking outside the box when it comes to litter enforcement.

"We think that it's been good, and I think the awareness of it, as a preventive measure, may help," Arnold said. "When the word gets around, you have to be careful, because the people sitting out there may be 'the man' who's sitting out there, waiting for you to violate the law."

Cigarette butts, which take anywhere from two to 20 years to decompose and are not biodegradable, can also wash into streams and can spark brush fires, he said.

The last sting took place Friday during a three-day environmental enforcement campaign. The "bum" officer, whose name is being withheld because he works undercover, said some people try to give him money, but he motions them away and tells them, "No thank you, just be kind."

"You get all kinds of different looks, from just stares ... a lot of them just read the sign," he said. "You can tell some of them, from the expression on their face, they feel sorry for you."

The undercover campaign began last fall, and the Friday operation resulted in no citations. The officer said one person threw a cigarette from a window, but he couldn't verify which car the litter came from. Environmental enforcement Sgt. Jamie Nelson said local TV publicity about the sting could have put motorists on the lookout, but officers will be hitting the streets again in the future.

"It was a good day," Nelson said. "No one threw anything out while we were there, which is another aspect of the job."

Officers did ticket motorists on local interstates for unsecured loads after seeing trash fly off their trucks. During the three-day campaign, the officers issued 58 tickets, 36 of which were for litter violations.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

We have a website!

Be's basic...