Trish Vradenburg's blog

February 14, 2013 - Trish Vradenburg

Dear Abby: I have always wanted to have my family history traced, but I can’t afford to spend a lot of money to do it. Have you any suggestions? — M. J. B. in Oakland, Calif.

Dear M. J. B.: Yes. Run for a public office.

Such was the incisive wit of Pauline Friedman Phillips, known to millions as Dear Abby. Affectionately nicknamed “Popo” by friends, Dear Abby was the advice maven of a generation – or rather, generations.

Dear Abby: Are birth control pills deductible? — Bertie

Dear Bertie: Only if they don’t work.

February 10, 2013 - Trish Vradenburg

It occurs to me that my mother never told us some basics about what she wanted should she ever have Alzheimer’s. True, few people think in those terms, but since both my grandmother and mother had Alzheimer’s, there’s a good chance I will be next. So, here’s my first list for my husband, daughter and son:

1. I must have a puppy to lick me and stay by my side and think everything I do is wonderful.

2. Hair: I must always be a blond with shoulder length hair. No pixie cut. Only Mia Farrow and Peter Pan can carry that off.

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DaughterList
January 29, 2013 - Trish Vradenburg

Marilyn Monroe had beauty, fame, riches, and men. But, in the end, she had nothing.

Unable to remember lines, totally unreliable, and often falling into deep despair and paranoia, Marilyn increasingly turned to booze and drugs. In August of 1962, her psychiatrist Ralph Greeson, who had prescribed so many of the drugs she used, found Marilyn Monroe dead in her Brentwood home. The coroner determined her was due to “acute barbiturate poisoning” leading to a probable suicide.

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Brain Damage
January 14, 2013 - Trish Vradenburg

Rita Hayworth was a dazzler. Women wanted to be her; men wanted to be with her.

She was a graceful and electric dancer. Her mother was in the Ziegfeld Follies, but wanted her daughter to act; her father, a renowned dancer, wanted her to dance. They both got their way.

Margarita Carmen Cansino was born in Brooklyn in 1918. In 1937, feeling that her name typecast her, she dyed her brown tresses a blazing red and became Rita Hayworth. She was on her way to fame, fortune and a life in the sun.

December 11, 2012 - Trish Vradenburg

A shameless rogue with a conscience that must have been surgically removed at birth, “Dallas” character JR Ewing was envied, loved, despised, almost killed, and yet he was impossible to resist.

No one could have played him with such magnificent relish – an irresistible villain – like Larry Hagman. This was a man who embraced life with a joyous sense of abandon: he rode a Harley-Davidson wearing a chicken suit, made love flying a plane, put bourbon on his cornflakes.

The major difference between JR and Larry was that everyone loved Larry.

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Caretaker
October 20, 2012 - Trish Vradenburg

For years I was a sitcom writer; my shows were always in prime time. I have been writing voices for Designing Women, Family Ties, Kate and Allie. Yup, that’s me – except not really. They have been what Julia Sugarbaker would assert on her soapbox, what Alex Keaton would wisecrack to his way-too-liberal parents, what Kate would say supportively to Allie. I would give them lines, but they were never my voice. That’s the trick to writing for others on TV: you write in the characters’ voices.

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Media Coverage
August 27, 2012 - Trish Vradenburg

The Alzheimer’s Party. Haven’t heard of it? Well, you ought to familiarize yourself with it; there is an election in less than three months and our existence may well depend on it. Is Alzheimer’s an atom bomb that will destroy us? Well, in a way, yes. And this is our chance to disarm it. Together, those with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them are a party of 20 million strong. As the Alzheimer’s Party, we cannot be ignored.

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AgingElection
July 23, 2012 - Trish Vradenburg

It’s easy to pick Sargent Shriver out of a picture. The rule of thumb is this: if ninety-nine people look solemn and there is only one person smiling, that person is inevitably Sargent Shriver. And if those people in the picture could come alive for, say, ten minutes, you could come back and find ninety-nine more people smiling. So what does he know that the others don’t? He knew how to embrace the joy of life. In short, he was contagious.

What a gift.

June 14, 2012 - Trish Vradenburg

Editor's note: This guest post is by J. Patrick Berry, a former partner of the law firm Baker Botts LLP where he currently serves as Senior Counsel. The views expressed below are those of Mr. Berry and do not reflect the views of Baker Botts LLP. Mr. Berry is a founding board member of USAgainstAlzheimer's and is also the author of Escape from Enchantment, a novella based on his own family's experience with Alzheimer's.

May 3, 2012 - Trish Vradenburg

Originally posted at www.healthcentral.com

The other day my husband and I were making out our Last Will and Testament. Not a fun chore, to be sure, but ultimately necessary (though, of course, we're never going to die).

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