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DIANE FARR has just begun a nationally and internationally syndicated newspaper column in Herald Tribune Newspapers replacing Dave Barry. Her column is called Humor Hotel. For further comments on the pieces also visit Tribune Media Services


Don’t order the Reindeer

Posted on September 4, 2012

On my first night in Alaska I noticed my in-room dining menu offered “reindeer Sausage” for breakfast. I actually winced reading this. I am sure the reindeer population probably needs to be controlled and that reindeer-meat distributers deserve to make money like all the other slaughtering industries, but as an ignorant New Yorker who grew up kind of believing that meat was “made” inside a butcher shop – I was not going to be trying any of those Vixen’s legs.

Or so I thought until one sunny evening in Anchorage when I finished work at 11pm and the sky was still bright. I was dreaming of scrambled eggs. When my food server asked for my meat preference to go along with the eggs, “reindeer sausage” just came off my tongue as if I had been eating it all my life.

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Click here to dislike

Posted on August 5, 2012

After recent articles in The New Yorker, The Week and posts in every twentysomething’s blog about Facebook being too intrusive and totally outdated, I now have enough confidence to close down my page.

I don’t maintain a regular Facebook page, just a fan page, so maybe I’m missing the point of Mark Zuckerberg’s epic empire because I don’t get to see all the good news about people I’ve lost touch with. Even if I did, I’m still not sure the chance for a midnight snack of happy hyperbole would be a good enough reason to check in before going to bed.

I’m usually the only one who posts on my fan page; people really only talk about me if they “Like” me. In and of itself, this screams that something must be wrong with me and every other artist who needs a page on the Internet to keep a running count of people willing to call themselves “followers.”

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Flying With Toddlers: A Survival Guide

Posted on August 5, 2012

I’m a mom who travels for work and likes to take her family with her. Flying with three kids under the age of five is the single hardest part of my job.

Getting through airport security with a stroller, a car seat, a diaper bag, my own gear and a squirmy toddler may be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The second hardest thing is taking that toddler onto an airplane for several hours where both passengers and airline employees act like my kid is ruining their lives.

After more trial and error than one woman and her therapist should ever have to bear, I’ve learned that flying with a young family is like a team sport- winning is all about the preplan! Don’t spend hours worrying about how you will manage it. Instead, spend hours buying, borrowing and then packing the following:

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Are Band-Aids a Gateway Drug?

Posted on May 30, 2012

My kids will do anything for a band-aid. Including lie or steal. By three years old each of my children have already learned to stick out a lower lip, squint their eyes as if about to cry and whimper about an “ow-ie,” while they do a side-step towards the bathroom medicine chest. I swear my five year old can even tilt his head towards the “band-aid closet” and intimate to me, “All this behavior will stop if you just GIVE ME THE BAND-AID.”

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The Hardest Job in the World, Really

Posted on May 30, 2012

I find Barack Obama to be masterful at delivering one-line responses to republican jabs. He is appropriately measured to each word-missile sent his way, yet also unpretentious and seemingly frank. And he keeps his answers current to pop-culture thinking.

Usually, anyway.

Except in the recent exchange when Barack responded to a comment made about Mitt’s wife. “There is no tougher job than being a mom” is not a phrase that our man in the oval office coined. However, Obama’s repeating of it kinda made me dry heave.

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Recession Tips From a Sometimes Unemployed Actor

Posted on May 9, 2012

I began auditioning for acting jobs at the ripe old age of twelve. Thirty years later, including a fifteen-year run on television, I sometimes just get offers for work. But at others I am still required to run, Pell Mell around Los Angeles or New York, interviewing for film and TV roles.

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Jet Blue-in’ It

Posted on May 9, 2012

What exactly are the airlines doing to their flight staff?

Multiple theories abound about why stewardesses have replaced nuns in Catholic schools from the 1970’s as the forbidding people standing over you when you just want to go to the bathroom. The general attitude of the flying staff has gotten markedly and consistently harsher over the past decade, seemingly in direct relationship to their jobs becoming more militant. We’ve heard about the pay cuts, the longer hours, the shorter turnarounds for pilots and crew members. Which is enough to ruin morale for any employee.

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Why you have a crush on Jeremy Lin

Posted on Feb 27, 2012

I hadn’t watched a basketball game since Patrick Ewing was kicking butt up and down a New York court. And even then, I was really only watching to see Pat Riley guide all the giant men under his watchful eye in the mid-’90s because he wore an Italian suit fabulously and I wanted him to pick me out the crowd and make me his leading lady.

Twenty years later, I’m watching Knicks games again for the newest star on the hardwood floor because, like the rest of America (and probably most of Asia), I’m totally charmed by Jeremy Lin’s story.

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Could the Kardashian Divorce be the answer to our Recession?

Posted on December 12, 2011

The Kardashian-Humphries wedding is reported to have netted $17.9 million. I don’t think that even includes the 2 million dollar ring (from the guy who was allegedly “mooching off of Kim”) that kick-started this entire circus between a man, a woman, a cable TV outlet and every tabloid magazine on earth.

Nor does that purse include the 10 million in gifts given to America’s sweetheart/sex-tape graduate on her big dress up day. Doesn’t it make you wonder what might happen to all of the gear Kim took home as wedding gifts now that the inevitable has come?

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Holiday Cheer

Posted on December 12, 2011

There is nothing like starting off the holiday season with a little mace-to-the-face. Which was the case for one highly unsatisfied customer already this year. I remember being taught something in school, about the day after Thanksgiving being called “Black Friday” because it is the day that many merchant’s annual sales tallies go from “in the black” to “in the red”. However, because of two other highly unsatisfied and also injured customers, who were shot when they came under gunfire on this day while attempting to purchase goods – I think Black Friday now should be called “Stay-the-Hell-Home-Friday.”

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Anxiety in the Palm of my Hand

Posted on September 26, 2011

(Note: This column was written three weeks before the death of Steve Jobs at the announcement of his retirement.)

If someone were to ask me what I value most in life, my first answer would be my children. Although sometimes the truer answer is “alone time away from my children.” I’d quickly want to include my husband, many friends I can’t live without and a varied career to that list.

Yet I have so much proof that it’s all a lie. Because I will ignore each and every one of those people and things I say I value, at least once a day (but usually more often) when faced with a little, red, blinking light on my mobile phone.

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The Etiquette of Blogging

Posted on August 19, 2011

There is nothing more exciting than creating a pretty new blog as a forum for discussion about something you’ve worked hard on and seeing strangers have comments for you. It feels flattering that people you don’t know have taken the time to read your thoughts and now want to dialogue about it.

Right up until you read these comments. Because since they are made anonymously, blogging has become a vehicle for all those devoid of social skills – probably because they have no friends to discuss their opinion of art, law or blue jeans with – to say torturous things that are generally reserved for people fighting in armed combat.

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The Luck of a 20-carat Engagement Ring

Posted on June 23, 2011

Kim Kardashian is keeping me up at night. I’m not at all sure what this woman is famous for, other than having a beautiful face and ass that America got familiar with via her sex tape, while her and her sisters were also filming a reality show. And any triumph that I might have felt that a woman with olive skin and black hair who is larger than a size eight surpassed being known for sex alone, was squandered when Kardashian became engaged this week and the circus over her “score” began.

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Bi-Racial Couples & Mixed Race People May Not Be As Understood As the Census Suggests

Posted on June 9, 2011

As a mother of mixed race children, I was thrilled with the recently released findings of the population census – that since the choice to check more than one race became an option ten years ago the growth of the biracial population is now up more than 50% in many parts of the country. This news felt really inclusive to me, while reading about it at my kitchen table.

But not so much when I left my house.

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New York Times: Bringing Home the Wrong Race

Posted on June 3, 2011

IT was the morning after our first “I love you,” and I was filled with happiness on my way to breakfast with Seung Yong Chung. I couldn’t yet pronounce any of his three names better than many of you just did, but I called him “Sing,” like all his friends did.

For weeks, Seung and I had been spending our nights together, but in the transient city of Los Angeles, waking up next to someone (even regularly) is not a sign of commitment. Our mutual willingness to blow off work, however (or at least roll in late because we were lingering over breakfast), did make me feel certain that Seung would soon become my boyfriend.

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“Because You Are a Blabbermouth!”

Posted on May 31, 2011

Amtrak pulled over one of its trains this week to allow the police on board to remove and arrest a “loud cell phone talker” – charging the woman with disorderly conduct. This particular cellular-sloth had been on her handheld non-stop, over a sixteen-hour journey from Oakland, California to Salem, Oregon – in the “Quiet Car.”

The Quiet Car would be the train car with large signs saying “No Cell Phones Allowed” but it seems that this chatty passenger had such a sense of self that she believed these signs did not apply to her. She also felt entitled to become belligerent when the “Lord of the Flies” effect took over and another passenger playing the part of Piggy confronted her about her volume. Not at all tired post her multi-hour talking spree, this big mouth still had enough energy to become aggressive with the other passengers, which is when the train was stopped and the police were called in.

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Going in for the Goddesses!

Posted March 30, 2011

I refuse to follow Charlie Sheen on Twitter. Not because I don’t enjoy his mania just as much as the other three million followers he garnered this month. In fact, I think I enjoy his hubris-filled Hamlet rendition more than most because I also work in television. I have felt beat up by a producer, here and there, throughout my career and a studio, too, on occasion. And although I have fantasized about denouncing them and calling everyone I’ve ever worked with a troll, in real life I’ve acted more like a battered wife than a batterer.

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The Year of The Shoe

Posted on March 7, 2011

I live in the city of Los Angeles, which is all a buzz at the moment with the shocking and dramatic breaking news. The news about pilot season, that is.

Not the news of Tunisia’s regime change or Egypt’s opening of the Suez Canal or the people of Libya who are desperately trying to stay alive, when their own leader declared a virtual war on them. Or the happenings in Bahrain, Yemen or Iran. Rather, so many of my incredibly smart friends and colleagues are calling, texting and tweeting the big news of who just got themselves a one time appearance on a TV show.

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Please Don’t Feed the Twins

Posted on February 4, 2011

“Yes” is the answer I find myself repeating over and over while having lunch at the mall with my daughters. Sadly, I’m not saying it to them though. I’m giving the affirmative to the slew of strangers approaching us that I have no interest in talking to.

My daughters are twins. They are two years old and cute and smart and everything else every mother thinks about their little ones, but that’s not why they get so much attention. Strangers want to talk to them simply because they are twins.

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Get That Nut Away From My Child!

Posted on January 7, 2011

I was feeding my kids pistachio nuts right out of my mouth when my 2-year-old daughter Sawyer starting coughing. She coughed a lot, but then settled down. So we piled in our minivan to go have Christmas lunch with my in-laws. Sawyer coughed more en route and eventually threw up. We pulled over, cleaned her up and she was happy again. With no other signs of sickness, it seemed the excess coughing must have caused her to vomit.

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Giving up the Parental Gear This Holiday Season

Posted on December 10, 2010

My favorite Christmas gift as a soon-to-be-mom was a Hooter Hider — a piece of fabric with a strap attached to hang it over your neck. This clever garment leaves both hands free so a mother can adjust a baby, drink water and maintain her privacy while simultaneously breastfeeding. Yes, this expensive excuse for a blanket was stylish, but mostly it seemed like a mantra for the kind-o-momma I wanted to be: one who had all the most-updated, hip, compact and “right” gear, making me the most equipped and chic mommy at the playground.

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Why I Hate Myself for Going to Starbucks

Posted on November 15, 2010

There is a voice in my head that tells me everyday not to pay three dollars for a cup of tea. It’s not even coffee! And perhaps not even real tea.

The “non-fat, chai tea latte, with no water” that I order every day from Starbucks has no tea bag in evidence. Rather, a barista (which is Italian for college educated yet temporarily lost and hating oneself for pouring yuppie drinks) pours my tea into a paper cup from a box. No leaves, no steeping, no proof of tea at all. And for this “beverage” I pay 400 times its cost. And I do it daily.

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Death of a Lone Star and American Television

Posted on October 16, 2010

The Death of a Lone Star and American Television

I feel like I committed television manslaughter by not watching Lone Star in time. Yes I put this critically acclaimed new Fox drama on my DVR—to watch it on my schedule—but we viewers who record are not calculated in overnight ratings. When Lonestar was made the first cancellation of the 2010 TV schedule, immediately after it’s second viewing due to low ratings, I began to mourn it.

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Where Have all the Good Girls Gone?

Posted on September 17, 2010

Elin Nordegren finally said her piece publicly last week, after holding her tongue for three-quarters of a year. If someone had made a cuckold-ess of me at least 10 times in less than half that many years of marriage, I fear I would not have behaved with such grace.

Yet Elin barely spoke of her own loss. She mostly used her on-air time to address what she’s been accused of. Saying she didn’t beat her husband with his clubs last November (although I was hoping she did for the iron-y,) that she did not know he was sleeping around and that all the money she has “gotten” in divorce can’t buy happiness.

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My Kids Have Weird Names, Too

Posted on August 23, 2010

It’s not as easy to find a child named after an Apostle as it used to be. Fewer Marks, Thomases, Peters and Pauls are around — which is the polar opposite of when I was growing up. One of my peers has a father, brother and husband all named John. Yet, when she gave birth to a child, she named him Kenya. Kenya is Caucasian and Jewish, and I’m pretty sure no one in his immediate family has ever even been to East Africa.

And so it is with all the kids I know. Many have location names from a place they do not hail from. Like the young New Yorker I know named Raleigh and a Mexican-American preschooler I know called Havana — and their friends London, Lima, Berlin, India and Asia. Then there are the gender-backward names for girls like James, Frankie, Parker, Michael and Elliot, as well as the growing trend in showing off your highbrow English lit or art history degree by naming your baby Daschle, Harper, Emerson, August, Matisse, Tristan or Rosalind.

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Same Sex Marriage is on its Way, Like it or Not

Posted on July 26, 2010

Just as Portugal’s president ratified a law allowing gay marriage, making his country the sixth in Europe to do so, Argentina became the first Latin-American country to make same-sex unions legally binding this week. Canada, Iceland and South Africa also shine on this list, but in only five U.S. states and Washington, D.C., are we willing to let love conquer all.

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God of Wine & Fourth of July

Posted on June 30, 2010

Fourth of July is so fragrant. Sun block and gas grills and white wine perfume America, as we celebrate our freedom. It is also the time of year that I say prayers before bed, as it is the anniversary of Kate Flynn’s passing. Kate didn’t just pass though…she was actually taken.

On July 2, 2005, Martin Heidgen decided to drive his car after a game of beer pong and drinking at a bbq. Mr. Heidgen was so entitled in his drunken stupor, that he either turned himself around in a traffic circle or drove down an off ramp onto a New York parkway – and raced into the night, in the wrong direction. Five motorists would later testify to the lengths they went to warn, stop and report Hiedgen’s behavior. But it wasn’t enough to end his 70-mile per hour show of force.

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Mommy’s Little Polymer l click here to view reader comments & the article

Posted on February 2, 2010

Every playgroup my kids attend and every grocery checkout line I’m stuck in with other mothers subjects me to yet another discussion about the dangers of plastic. Bottles, plates, utensils, food containers, sunglasses, DVDs and every toy in my house are coming to get me and mine, say the ladies. Never mind the massive islands of discarded plastic now clogging our planet’s seaways, creating an environmental threat as worrisome as the BP oil spill killing all those quack-quacks and fishies.

But back to the polymer minefield of my home: moms are advised to reduce all our use of plastics. Healthychild.org warns, “If you’re serving your dinner on plastic, you’re likely eating a little plastic for dinner.” What the heck am I supposed to use then?

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Does This Naked Woman Look Like Me?

Posted on June 2, 2010

In just two years I have delivered three babies and recently finished breastfeeding the last two — at the same time. I’m praying for an immaculate resurrection of my entire torso, but it hasn’t happened yet.

So when I was offered a role on “Californication” as David Duchovny’s new love interest, I accepted only if the producers would proffer me a body double. (If you haven’t seen the show, nudity occurs on “Californication” as often as smog in the city it’s set in.)

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What Makes a Housewife Desperate?

Posted on May 5, 2010

One hour into my new job on “Desperate Housewives,” Felicity Huffman asks me, “You have three kids under three years old? How are you managing it all with work?” I can’t even meet her eye as I shamefully reply, “Work is the best part of my day.”

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‘Blazing Saddles’ and Vanity Fair

Posted on February 2, 2010

“Where the white women at?” asks Cleavon Little in “Blazing Saddles.” Obviously Cleavon didn’t have a subscription to Vanity Fair.

Looking at the cover of Vanity Fair’s March edition — you know, the Oscar-season paean that features “up-and-coming” neophytes better described as “young” and “underfed” white chicks — I found myself channeling Madeline Kahn from that same Mel Brooks film:

“I’m tired.”

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Please Don’t Touch the Celebrity

Posted on March 12, 2010

My name is Diane Farr. I’m an actress. If you were to bump into me, your first thought might be, “I think I went to high school with that girl.” But, you didn’t.
If you keep this thought to yourself and continue jogging your memory, you might envision me with a gun or a fire hose. This is not because I’ve been lurking around your house. I have played a cop, a firefighter and an FBI agent over the last decade on TV. If you have managed to keep all of these thoughts to yourself so far, you may then approach me and say, “I know you!” Even though you don’t.
If you push yourself, you might get my name right. But more than half the time you will say, with tremendous excitement, “You’re Jamie Farr!”

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The Cheetah App | click here to view reader comments & the article

Posted on February 2, 2010

Ah, Tiger. Not only is your game blown on the course and the road, but now it seems your wife is heading north and your endorsement contracts are going south, too. I plan to support your wife at whichever path she takes, but your sponsors? They’re being short sighted. There are all kinds of new deals just waiting for you!

For starters, your team should reach out to Apple immediately. You have just shown America the iPhone App that every philanderer needs. If iPhone is ready to harness the cheetah in every tiger, the ‘hole-in-one app’ can fortify that lie you have taught us can become ‘an evidentiary voicemail between friends.’

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