Monday, January 27, 2003

An AMAZING Weekend!

I cannot begin to say what an incredible weekend the universe gave me. My friends, my family and I were blessed over and over again, and I am full of gratitude and humility at the generosity.

The weekend began on Friday evening with a trip to La Frontera for Jer’s 32nd birthday. It was wonderful to see all of my gang with big smiles and easy conversation, jokes bouncing from one table to another, and a few tears of intense laughter. I rediscovered Chet’s and Dee’s wit and even enjoyed the jokes about women in comfortable shoes (thanks Lorene). I can’t remember when I have laughed so hard in so long, it felt good to be together in that atmosphere of positive energy and mutual respect. Our waiter, Jose, was great in his imperfection, and even enjoyed a piece of cake with us. Notably absent was my honey, but she had to work, so it was understandable.

Then, it came. The phone call I had been anticipating for almost ten years. MY MOTHER BEAT DOW CORNING!!! Our attorney came to our house on Friday, and she signed the papers, settling her breast implant lawsuit for $100,000. Not nearly enough for the pain she has gone through over the last 27 years, but something, anything, that validates her ordeal and will ease her life. I anticipate she will be looking for a new house to retire in, one that is easily accessible and will provide for her as her health deteriorates. I am so thrilled, it was beyond words, I simply broke into tears at the table in front of everyone. I am not sure my friends understood the impact of this call, the fact that all the work my mother and I have done finally paid off. But it was great to share it with them, nonetheless.

Friday evening was spent with Lindi (after she got off of work), watching the new Alanis DVD and generally being silly/stupid with each other. We had an evening to ourselves, as Sarah was spending the night with Deanna and Brittany, and it was wonderful to just ‘be’ with one another.

Saturday was packed with shopping and preparing for our party on Sunday. Costco with Lindi’s mom was fun, visiting briefly with my parents to pick up my clothes and sundries for the weekend (I didn’t come home), placing wagers and then running to Lindi’s brother’s for his birthday party. Quite a packed day, but nothing compared to Sunday.

Sunday morning was filled with bread dough, cleaning, organizing, cooking and everything else you could think of. Poor Sarah woke up with a bit of a head cold, so I gave her what she needed to accomplish, and she did it, without complaining, then rested until guests arrived. The menu: Connie’s homemade pizza, lil smokies, cheese, crackers & summer sausage, chips & salsa, homemade guacamole, apples & caramel dip, a HUGE veggie tray, any soda you could possibly imagine and an ample supply of Bud Light. Since my father used to work in a pizzeria, his Superbowl Tradition has been to make homemade pizza, which has now been passed down to me, along with the secret Pizza Dough recipe from my mother. EVERYONE loved the pizza, and it was well worth the efforts to please our friends. Jenn deserves best prize for constantly egging on Lindi, whose Superbowl pick was losing soooo badly. And Dee stole the evening with her Interpretive Dance of how the game was going in the 3rd Quarter. I ended up winning the Pool at the party and one of the pools at my Dad’s house, too.

The best part of all: Lindi and I placed a side bet: she took Oakland, I took TB. The loser has to fix the winner a fully home-cooked meal, from appetizers to dessert, of the winners choosing.

Like my mother and I always say, Never underestimate the Underdog! Wonder what sounds good for dinner…

I am continually blessed and feel so strong, so positive, about how things are going in my life. My circle of friends is something extraordinary, and I am so thankful for them. I am blessed with a wonderful woman to share my life with, blessed with a young lady who I am honored to help and share and love, and I know that right here, and right now, are the best times of my life. It may be gray in the clouds, but I am bathed in exquisite light and love and laughter. Thank you to everyone who is walking this path with me. You add to the journey.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

A Gastroenterologist claims these are actual comments made by his patients
while he was performing colonoscopies........

"Take it easy, Doc, you're boldly going where no man has gone before."

"Find Amelia Earhart yet?"

"Can you hear me NOW?"

"Oh boy, that was sphincterrific!"

Could you write me a note for my wife, saying that my head is not, in fact,
up there?"

"You know, in some states, we're now legally married."

"Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?"

"You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out. You do the Hokey

"Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!"

"If your hand doesn't fit, you must aquit!"

"Hey, Doc, let me know if you find my dignity."

"You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?"

"Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"

What's In a Name?

Your Heart Number is 5
Makes you a bit of a free spirit. You enjoy your independence and may be a little resistant to letting yourself get tied down. You crave variety and are liable to enjoy anything that's new and different.

Your Personality Number is 9
Makes you appear to be a very kind and caring individual who's always willing to help take care of the needs of others. Your feelings run deep and people can tell that you really care.

Your Image Number is 5
And you may appear to be many things to many people. Restless and curious, you crave variety and are always on the move. You love adventure and are eager to explore everything you possibly can.


Damn Wednesday's....

I walk into work yesterday morning, happy to greet the day, knowing my desk was clean and I had worked my ass off on Tuesday... and I walk into a spat between Cranky Greek Man and my other boss. I felt like a kid coming home after school to find her parents fighting. His mood didn't improve much, and we both nearly walked to show him just where he could stick his happy little business. But we thought better of it since he was going to be out of town on Thursday and Friday. It's been rather nice.

Bought a CD in the last 10 years?

I overheard something on the radio yesterday regarding a Class Action lawsuit against the distributors of CD's from the years 1995-2000. Apparently, this classaction lawsuit claims that the distributors used unfair business practices to increase the cost of CD's sold in the United States, and thereby defrauding the American public. There will be a fixed amount of funds set aside to distribute to all claimants, and you would think there isn't enough to go around. The trick is that not everyone is going to file a claim. "The number of claims filed will determine the actual amount of the individual refund but will not exceed $20.00 per claimant. If the number of claims filed would result in refunds of less than $5.00 per claimant, there will be no cash distribution to individual consumers. Rather, the cash portion of the Settlement shall be distributed to not-for-profit, charitable, governmental or public entities to be used for music-related purposes or programs for the benefit of consumers who purchased Music Products."

This sound too good to be true? It's not. I just settled with the Johnson & Johnson company for $35 for the overpricing of contacts I bought in 1997. I just happen to keep all of my prescriptions in my medical file and I was contacted by attorneys in Tennesee who were suing J&J for fraudulent advertising/inflating of Acuvue contacts. I sent in a claim form, a copy of my prescription, and they asked me if I wanted cash or coupons. Last week, I cashed a settlement check for $35.

This seems to be a new wave of litigation: the MASS ASSAULT. I kinda like it, it's as if the little guy has attorneys watching out for the everyday issues in the consumer market.

So, if you would like to be included in a reimbursement distribution, you can register at

If you're curious, the CD lawsuit reads as follows (take a breath...):

MDL Docket No. 1361
Judge D. Brock Hornby
: This Document Applies to All Actions
Except Docket No. 2:01-CV-125-P-H
(Trowbridge, et al., v. Sony Music
Entertainment, Inc., et al.)


TO: All persons and other entities in the United States and its Territories, who during the period of January 1, 1995, through December 22, 2000, purchased prerecorded music compact discs (“CDs”), cassettes and vinyl albums from retailers.


Pursuant to an Order of the Honorable D. Brock Hornby of the District of Maine (the “Court”), and in accordance with Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, you are hereby notified:

Of the preliminary approval of a proposed Settlement of this Litigation between the Plaintiffs, consisting of certain States, Commonwealths and Territories of the United States on behalf of themselves and as parens patriae on behalf of natural persons residing therein and the Plaintiff Settlement Class, and the Defendants, certain distributors and retailers of prerecorded Music Products (consisting of CDs, cassettes and vinyl albums) (“Music Products”), under which the Settling Defendants have agreed to pay in settlement of all claims between the parties, Cash and Non-Cash Consideration, in the total amount of $143,075,000 ($67,375,000 Cash and $75,700,000 Non-Cash Consideration).

Of the certification of a Plaintiff Settlement Class which is comprised of all natural persons in the States of Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Territories of Guam and American Samoa, and all non-natural persons or entities in the United States and its Territories who purchased Music Products from one or more retailers during the period of January 1, 1995 through December 22, 2000.

Of your right to share in the proceeds of the proposed Settlement if it is approved, and your right to object to the terms of the Settlement.

Of your right to request exclusion from the Settlement.

That the Court will hold a hearing (“Fairness Hearing”) on May 22, 2003 at 10:00 a.m., in Courtroom 2, United States Courthouse, 156 Federal Street, Portland, Maine 04101, to consider the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy of the proposed Settlement and other matters. If you are a resident of one of the Plaintiff States or a member of the Plaintiff Settlement Class and would like to share in the distribution of the cash portion of the proposed Settlement (assuming certain conditions set forth below are met) you must submit a timely and valid Proof of Claim as set forth below. If you do not request exclusion from the proposed Settlement and you serve the Court and Counsel with timely notice, as provided on page 11 below, you have the right to appear at the Fairness Hearing and comment on whether the proposed Settlement and other matters being considered should be finally approved by the Court.


The Plaintiffs are comprised of two groups: the Plaintiff States, Commonwealths and Territories of the United States (the “Plaintiff States”) in their sovereign capacities on behalf of themselves and as parens patriae on behalf of all natural persons residing therein who purchased Music Products from one or more retailers during the period of January 1, 1995 through December 22, 2000 and the Plaintiff Settlement Class. The Plaintiff States are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The Plaintiff Settlement Class includes all natural persons in the States of Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Territories of Guam and American Samoa, and all non-natural persons or entities in the United States and its Territories who purchased Music Products from one or more retailers during the period of January 1, 1995 through December 22, 2000. Excluded from the two groups comprising the Plaintiffs are the Defendants’ subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, and employees, persons who purchased Music Products through Music Clubs, as well as those persons who after notice of the Settlement timely and validly request exclusion from participation in the Settlement.

The Plaintiff States are represented by their respective State Attorneys General. Lead Counsel for the Plaintiff States are the Attorney General of Florida, and the Attorney General of New York, the Honorable Eliot Spitzer. Lead Counsel for the Plaintiff Settlement Class are Joseph C. Kohn and Steven M. Steingard of Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C.

The Defendants in this matter are certain distributors of Music Products, Capitol Records, Inc. d/b/a EMI Music Distribution, Virgin Records America, Inc., and Priority Records LLC (collectively, “EMD”); Time Warner, Inc., Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corp., WEA, Inc., Warner Music Group, Inc., Warner Bros. Records, Inc., Atlantic Recording Corporation, Elektra Entertainment Group, Inc., and Rhino Entertainment Company (collectively “WEA”); Universal Music & Video Distribution Corporation, Universal Music Group, Inc., and UMG Recordings, Inc. (collectively “Universal”); Bertelsmann Music Group, Inc. and BMG Music (collectively “BMG”); and Sony Music Entertainment Inc. (“Sony”) (collectively referred to hereafter as “Distributor Defendants”) and certain retailers of Music Products, MTS, Inc. d/b/a Tower Records (“Tower”), Musicland Stores Corp. (“Musicland”) and Trans World Entertainment Corp. (“Trans World”) (collectively referred to hereafter as “Retailer Defendants”).

Beginning in May 2000, numerous class action complaints were filed in federal court against the Defendants by purchasers of Music Products. In August 2000 a complaint was filed against the Defendants by certain of the Plaintiff States that was ultimately joined by other states, commonwealths and territories of the United States all of whom now comprise the Plaintiff States. All of these actions were consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in October 2000, before the Honorable D. Brock Hornby of the United States District Court for the District of Maine.

The Plaintiffs have alleged in two separate amended complaints that the Defendants conspired to illegally fix and control the pricing of Music Products sold to consumers through Defendant Distributors’ adoption and utilization of Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) programs in violation of the Sherman Act, state antitrust and unfair competition and/or consumer protection laws. The Plaintiffs have further alleged that as a result of the conspiracy residents of the Plaintiff States and members of the Plaintiff Settlement Class have been injured by paying more for Music Products than they would have paid in the absence of the illegal conduct. The Defendants have denied and continue to deny each and all of the claims and contentions alleged by the Plaintiffs and any violation of law. The Court has not made any determination as to the merits of any of the claims or defenses of the parties to this Litigation.

The proposed Settlement pertains to all cases which have been consolidated as the Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1361, except Trowbridge et al. v. Sony Music Entertainment Inc., et al., (Docket No. 2:01-CV-125-P-H).


The Court has conditionally certified the Plaintiff Settlement Class defined as follows:

all natural persons in the states of Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Territories of Guam and American Samoa, and all non-natural persons or entities in the United States and its Territories who purchased prerecorded Music Products (consisting of CDs, cassettes and vinyl albums) from one or more Retailers during the period of January 1, 1995 through December 22, 2000.


The proposed Settlement reached by the parties to the Litigation settles and resolves the Litigation against the Defendants in its entirety and was granted preliminary approval by the Court on October 21, 2002.

Cash and Non-Cash Consideration

Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement with Distributor Defendants, they will pay Plaintiffs a combination of Cash and Non-Cash Consideration. The Cash payments total $64,300,000 and the Non-Cash Consideration totals $75,700,000. The Cash payments will be deposited into the Settlement Fund. The Non-Cash Consideration, consisting of approximately 5.5 million music CDs of a broad selection of genres, will be the subject of a cy pres Distribution discussed below. The Settlement Agreement provides that the Distributor Defendants individually pay the following amounts:

(1) EMD shall pay $6,500,000 in Cash and $8,500,000 in Non-Cash Consideration;
(2) WEA shall pay $13,650,000 in Cash and $15,750,000 in Non-Cash Consideration;
(3) Universal shall pay $18,850,000 in Cash and $21,750,000 in Non-Cash Consideration;
(4) Sony shall pay $12,523,500 in Cash and $14,701,500 in Non-Cash Consideration; and
(5) BMG shall pay $12,776,500 in Cash and $14,998,500 in Non-Cash Consideration.

As provided in the Settlement Agreements entered into with the Retailer Defendants, each has agreed to pay Plaintiffs the following in Cash Consideration to be deposited into the Settlement Fund:

(1) Trans World shall pay $800,000.
(2) Musicland shall pay $2,000,000.
(3) Tower shall pay $275,000 in twelve consecutive monthly installments unless Tower should merge with, consolidate with, or be acquired by another corporation or individual, or if Tower should sell or transfer a Controlling Percentage of its capital stock to another corporation or individual, or if Tower should sell at least 70% of the fair market value of its United States assets to another corporation or individual, in which case Tower shall pay $325,000, less any cash installment payments previously made to Plaintiffs.

The Non-Cash Consideration will consist of prerecorded music CDs. For purposes of determining the amount of Non-Cash Consideration, such Consideration shall be valued at twenty percent (20%) less than manufacturers’ suggested retail price as of the date such Non-Cash Consideration was selected by Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs for inclusion among the selections available for distribution.

Injunctive Relief

The Settlement Agreements with the Distributor Defendants and the Retailer Defendants each provide for injunctive relief. The Plaintiffs and Distributor Defendants have agreed to the entry of a permanent injunction, which would prohibit the Distributor Defendants for a period ending August 30, 2007 from adopting, maintaining, enforcing or threatening to enforce any policy, practice or plan which makes receipt of any cooperative advertising or other promotional funds contingent on the price or price level at which any product is advertised or promoted. Distributor Defendants would also be prohibited from agreeing with any dealers to control or maintain the resale price at which the Dealer may offer for sale or sell such Distributor Defendant’s Product. Additionally, Distributor Defendants could not for a period ending August 30, 2005, announce resale or minimum advertised prices of product and unilaterally terminate those who fail to comply because of such failure. Distributor Defendants may however, announce suggested retail prices for their Product.

The Settlement Agreements entered into by Plaintiffs and each of the Retailer Defendants, also contain injunctive provisions. These injunctions would prohibit the Retailer Defendants for a period of five years from soliciting, demanding, requesting, advocating or encouraging any distributor or wholesaler of music product to adopt or implement any policy, practice or plan which makes receipt of any cooperative advertising or other promotional funds contingent upon the price or price level at which any music product is advertised, promoted, offered or sold.

Release of Claims

The Settlement Agreements provide that once the Court enters an order finding the proposed settlement fair, adequate and reasonable and all appeals have been resolved or all appeal periods have expired, those Plaintiffs who have not timely requested exclusion from this Litigation shall be deemed to have and by operation of the Judgment shall have fully, finally and forever released, relinquished and discharged all Released Claims as set forth below.

The Released Claims are all claims, demands, rights, liabilities, and causes of action, whether known or unknown, asserted or that could have been asserted against any or all Defendants or any of their related parties in connection with the facts, transactions, events, occurrences, acts, disclosures, statements, omissions, or failures to act alleged in the Litigation, whether under federal law or under the laws of any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Northern Mariana Islands, including without limitation claims arising under the federal and/or state antitrust laws, as well as claims arising under any state or federal unfair acts, practices or competition laws or other laws or the common law. Released Claims include without limitation any claim arising out of or relating to any minimum advertised price (“MAP”) policy related to Music Products or to any conspiracy, whether horizontal or vertical, involving MAP related to Music Products and any effect of MAP on purchases of Music Products from retailers, or any other claim related to MAP policies relating to Music Products, except that the Released Claims do not include claims arising out of or relating to direct purchases from Music Clubs, as that term is addressed in Trowbridge, et al. v. Sony Music Entertainment Inc., et al. (Docket No. 2:01-CV-125-P-H).

The foregoing description is only a summary of the proposed Settlement. The full terms and conditions are set forth in the Settlement Agreements, which along with the complaints and other documents pertaining to the Litigation may be inspected during regular business hours at the Office of the Clerk, United States Courthouse, 156 Federal Street, Portland, Maine 04101 or on the Web site Additional copies of this Notice and the claim form may be obtained on the Web site, by calling 1-877-347-4782 (hearing impaired should use TDD/TTY, 1-888-314-5051) or writing to Compact Disc MAP Antitrust Litigation Administrator, P.O. Box 1643, Faribault, MN 55021-1643.


The Plaintiffs have submitted to the Court a proposed plan of distribution which provides as follows. The Settlement Agreements between Plaintiffs and Defendants provide for the distribution of that portion of the Settlement Fund remaining after payment of notice and administrative costs1 and fees and costs associated with litigation and settlement pursuant to a claims process whereby, to the extent feasible, all such funds shall be distributed directly to persons who purchased Music Products between January 1, 1995 and December 22, 2000. However, the funds remaining in the Settlement Fund after the payment of the costs and fees set forth above shall be subject to a cy pres distribution pursuant to the Cy Pres Distribution Plan discussed below if the number of persons filing valid and timely claims for payment would result in such persons receiving a payment of less than $5.00 per claimant. Persons filing valid and timely claims for payment shall not receive a payment per claimant greater than $20.00. Any funds remaining in the Settlement Fund after the payment of the costs and fees set forth above, and after all direct payments to Music Products purchasers, shall be subject to cy pres distribution. Claims for a share of the Settlement Fund may be submitted through the use of the attached Claim Form or by visiting the Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation Web site at ALL CLAIMS MUST BE SUBMITTED NO LATER THAN MARCH 3, 2003. YOU MAY ONLY CHOOSE ONE METHOD TO FILE YOUR CLAIM. IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE THE CLAIM FORM TO SUBMIT YOUR CLAIM, YOU MUST COMPLY WITH THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE CLAIM FORM IF YOU WISH TO HAVE YOUR CLAIM CONSIDERED FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE SETTLEMENT FUND. IF YOU CHOOSE TO FILE YOUR CLAIM USING THE WEB SITE YOU MUST COMPLY WITH THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE WEB SITE IF YOU WISH TO HAVE YOUR CLAIM CONSIDERED FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE SETTLEMENT FUND.

Plaintiffs and Distributor Defendants have agreed on the prerecorded music CDs to be provided to Plaintiffs by Distributor Defendants. Per the terms of the Settlement Agreement between Plaintiffs and Distributor Defendants, these CDs are to be distributed by the Plaintiffs pursuant to the Cy Pres Distribution Plan (to be submitted to the Court with the Motion for Final Approval of the Settlements) to not-for-profit corporations and/or charitable organizations and/or governmental or public entities, with express conditions ensuring that the CDs be used to further music-related purposes or programs reasonably targeted to benefit a substantial number of the persons who purchased Music Products from one or more retailers. The CDs to be distributed under the Cy Pres Distribution Plan may not supplant existing or anticipated funding of such programs. Cy pres recipients of these CDs will not be able to substitute the CDs obtained through the distribution to replace those already budgeted for purchase. The Plaintiffs propose to allocate these CDs among the States by population, each State to receive a share of the CDs in proportion to that State’s percentage of the total population of the United States and its Territories and Possessions.


The Settlement Agreements provide that the Plaintiff States may apply to the Court for a portion of the Settlement Fund to be awarded to the Plaintiff States for payment of attorneys’ fees, expenses and costs in an amount to be approved by the Court. Such payment shall be apportioned among the States in their sole discretion and such apportionments shall then be used by each State’s Attorney General for one or more of the following purposes to be chosen at his or her sole discretion: a. Reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred by such state; b. Antitrust enforcement by the attorney general of such state; c. Deposit into a state antitrust or consumer protection account, (e.g., revolving account, trust account), for use in accordance with the state laws governing that account; d. Deposit into a fund exclusively dedicated to assisting the state Attorney General to defray the cost of experts, economists, and consultants in multistate antitrust investigations and litigations.

The Settlement Agreements further provide that Counsel for the Plaintiff Settlement Class may apply to the Court for a portion of the Settlement Fund to be awarded to Counsel for the Plaintiff Settlement Class for reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred by the Plaintiff Settlement Class. The attorneys’ fees and expenses sought by Plaintiff States and Counsel for the Plaintiff Settlement Class will not exceed 21.5% of the Settlement Fund and 10.1% of the total Settlement. The applications of the Plaintiff States and Plaintiff Settlement Class Counsel will be filed on or before February 3, 2003, with the Clerk of the Court and will be subject to inspection and review during regular office hours.


If you are a resident of the Plaintiff States or a member of the Plaintiff Settlement Class, you may receive the benefit of and you will be bound by the terms of the proposed Settlement described above, upon approval of the Settlement Agreements by the Court. You have the following options:

1. You may remain a member of the Plaintiff States or Plaintiff Settlement Class. If you choose this option, you do not have to take any action. However, if you wish to share in the proceeds of the Settlement Fund (and all appropriate terms for a cash distribution are met), you must submit a timely and valid Claim Form. If you submit your Claim Form via mail, it must be postmarked no later than March 3, 2003 and addressed to Compact Disc MAP Antitrust Litigation Administrator, P.O. Box 1650, Faribault, MN 55021-1650. If you submit your claim via the online Claim Form at, the Claim Form must be completed and electronically submitted no later than 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time, March 3, 2003. If the proposed Settlement is approved by the Court, you will be bound by any judgment entered by the Court including the release of claims contained therein.

2. If you do not wish to be bound by the terms of the proposed Settlement described in this Notice, you may request to be excluded from the Settlement. To do so, you MUST send a written request for the exclusion to:

Compact Disc MAP Antitrust Litigation Administrator
Post Office Box 1643
Faribault, Minnesota 55021-1643

Your request for exclusion must be postmarked by or before March 3, 2003, must clearly state that you want to be excluded from the Settlement, and must provide your full, legal name(s), address, telephone number, and the name and number of this Litigation (In re: Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1361). NO REQUEST FOR EXCLUSION WILL BE CONSIDERED VALID UNLESS ALL OF THE INFORMATION DESCRIBED ABOVE IS INCLUDED IN ANY SUCH REQUEST.

If you do not request exclusion, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement, even if you do not file a Proof of Claim. If you validly request exclusion from the Settlement, (1) you will be excluded from the Settlement, (2) you will not share in the proceeds of the proposed settlement which are available for distribution as described above, (3) you will not be bound by any judgment or release entered in this Action, and (4) you will retain the option to pursue your claims, if timely, on an individual basis at your own expense against the Defendants.

If you are a resident of the Plaintiff States or a member of the Plaintiff Settlement Class, you may, but are not required to, enter an appearance through counsel of your own choice and at your own expense. If you do not do so, you will be represented either by the Plaintiff States or Counsel for the Plaintiff Settlement Class.


The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on May 22, 2003 at 10:00 a.m., in Courtroom 2, United States Courthouse, 156 Federal Street, Portland, Maine 04101, to determine whether or not:

(1) the proposed settlement should be finally approved;
(2) the Plaintiff States’ and Plaintiff Settlement Class’ claims should be dismissed;
(3) the applications for an award of counsel fees and reimbursement of costs should be approved; and
(4) the plan of distribution for the Settlement Fund and the Cy Pres Distribution Plan should be finally approved.

Plaintiff States’ residents or Plaintiff Settlement Class members who approve of the proposed settlement need not appear at the hearing or take any other action to indicate their approval (persons wishing to file a claim should consult the instructions set forth above and on the attached Claim Form).

Any resident of the Plaintiff States or member of the Plaintiff Settlement Class who has not requested exclusion may appear at the Fairness Hearing to show cause why the proposed Settlement should not be approved, the claims should not be dismissed, or to present any opposition to the plan of distribution or the application of Counsel for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of costs; provided, however, that no one shall be heard and no papers or briefs submitted by or on behalf of any such person shall be accepted or considered by the Court, unless that person has filed with the Court at the Office of the Clerk, United States Courthouse, 156 Federal Street, Portland, Maine 04101, on or before March 3, 2003, a Notice of Intention to Appear and Object containing his/her full, legal name(s), address, telephone number, and the name and number of this Litigation (In re: Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1361) and the basis for such person’s position, and copies of any papers in support of that person’s position and, contemporaneous with filing such documents, has served such documents by hand delivery or first-class mail on the following:

Counsel for Plaintiff States
Lizabeth Leeds
Office of the Florida Attorney General
PL-01, The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050

Counsel for Plaintiff States
Linda Gargiulo
Office of the New York Attorney General
120 Broadway
New York, NY 10271-0332

Counsel for Plaintiff Settlement Class
Joseph C. Kohn
Steven M. Steingard
One South Broad Street, Suite 2100
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Counsel for Distributor Defendants
William J. Kayatta, Jr.
Pierce Atwood
One Monument Square
Portland, ME 04101

Counsel for Retailer Defendants
Joseph Groff
Jensen, Baird, Gardner & Henry
P. O. Box 4510
Ten Free Street
Portland, ME 04112-9546

Compact Disc MAP Antitrust Litigation Administrator
P.O. Box 1643
Faribault, MN 55021-1643


Dated: October 25, 2002 BY ORDER OF
The Honorable D. Brock Hornby
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine

Monday, January 20, 2003

Just for a Little While

I am gonna take a Blogging break. Thank you to Lorene, Dylan, Toni, Lindi, Jenn and Dee for standing behind me and supporting me, and thank you to JJ and Steph, as well, for still being fond parts of my life, regardless.

I will not allow this person to accomplish what they set out to do. I am simply going to break, let everyone know how I am doing through email and relax for a while. You know where to find me if you need me.

Remember, friendship is stronger than anything, even hate. I am sticking to my guns, and not allowing hate or ignorance rule my life. My love and my passions will do that for me.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

It Was Brought to My Attention...

That an anonymous visitor to JJ's blog wrote a comment that was rude and ignorant beyond all reasoning.

To this person (and I have a sneaking feeling as the day wears on who it might be...):

I understand if you feel as if you have some ownership invested in this circle of friends, or by some great and magical gift, you know what the hell is going on in my life. Don't mistake my kindness for a willingness for you to put on armour and become my knight. I have one, and she stands beside me, quietly, and patiently, asking IF I need her. While her feelings have been sandwiched in this debate she has been RESPECTFUL of me and of JJ and has stepped out of it. She allowed what needed to happen in order for the air to be cleared and some sanity to be raised.

Your opinion of something YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT is clearly, and unanimously, NOT NEEDED. If you feel as if you still have ownership over anything, GET OVER IT. JJ and I are big girls and can handle each other in a raucious debate with ease, and maybe a little frustration, but it is OURS and those we choose to involve.

You were not one of them.

Next time you want to be a catty bitch, do it to JJ's or my face, in the light of day, in front of everyone, so we can all see what an ass you truly are.

ADDENDUM: If you did not post the comment, I do sincerely apologize. Most recent knowledge has confirmed a different name/ initials. I am the FIRST to admit if I have been wrong. But I stand by what I said... you can tell because I wrote my name to it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Thank You, Christopher...

I promise, Lorene, this is the last word on the subject, only because it was so beautiful and sent to me so timely, that it made me cry.


The young mother set her foot on the path of life. "Is this the long way?" she asked.

And the guide said: "Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning."

But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years.

So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried, "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."

Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, "Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come."

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children, "A little patience and we are there." So the children climbed, and when they reached the top they said, “Mother, we would not have done it without you.” And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up at the stars and said, "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today, I have given them strength."

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: "Look up. Lift your eyes to the light." And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And mother said: "I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them."

And the children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates." And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: "We cannot see her, but she is with us still.

“A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”

Your Mother is always with you.

She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street, she's the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks, she's the cool hand on your brow when you're not well. Your Mother lives inside your laughter. And she's crystallized in every tear drop. She's the place you came from, your first home; and she's the map you follow with every step you take. She's your first love and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you.


Sunday, January 12, 2003

Lazy Lazy Sunday

Laundry, cleaning and emailing is in order today, along with cleaning of the air. Thanks, Lorene for the talks the last couple of days, you help me see things as they are, not necessarily as I see them to be.

Talked at length with Jennifer. She has been in such a place of transition the last year, and is now seeing that faint, glimmering pea-sized light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. I can say that I am very proud of her for pulling herself out of a very scarey place in her life and fighting for her own self worth. I can see the return of the Jennifer who everyone knows and loves and I am happy to see her returing. Besides, it's nice when a friend calls and says, "I just needed a Connie-call."

Splitting my time between two houses is causing a lot of stress on me, not to mention the strain on my back from two separate beds. My mom's health isn't getting much better. I have tried to get her to go back in for her Esophogeal Echo, but she is always finding some excuse. Her hands haven't healed completely from surgery, and it's been months, so her pain is a constant issue. Obviously, she can't do the housework and cooking like she used to, so a little of that load is shifted to me, which I take gratefully, since the woman did it for me for the last 30 years.

It has been so difficult postponing moving in with Lindi and Sarah until June, and I feel like I am cheating myself in a way. I know that if I moved out now, which is easily doable, I would still be splitting my time between households, it would just be between my home and Mom's. Lindi has been so patient and understanding about it all and will wait until I feel comfortable. I am wondering if I ever will. I had better by October, that's all I can say! :)

On the good news front, Lindi and her doctor had another nice long chat about her arthritis. Turns out the majority of the pain she is experiencing is coming from severe Carpal Tunnel in BOTH of her wrists. Her doctor feels that if she has the surgery now (which she had better or risk the cutting of her tendons) her arthritis pain would be minimal since she wouldn't be dealing with two problems. So, surgery is on the menu, it's now just a matter of when. She is in hand/wrist splints now and the pain got worse before it got better, but she seems to be coping a lot better now. Her doctor also perscribed a medication for her arthritis, but it is too soon to tell it's effects... Vol-- something or other. Can't remember exactly since the prescription is generic...

Should be an interesting next couple of months. Lindi is obviously worried about the cost of the surgery. I told her not to worry, her mother would take care of the surgery part (being the head OR nurse at Cottonwood) and I would take care of the money. She is well covered on both ends.

And on the employment front, I was offered a position over the phone at PVH... making $10/hour. I will gratiously refuse. If they can't even match what I was making when I left, that's just a slap in the face, besides the fact that I am already trained, $10/hour is entry level with no experience. C'mon, people, pull your heads out. I can walk in there and be put in 4 different areas with perfect profficiency, and if I took it, Lord knows they will do just that - put me everywhere to do everything without compensation. That's worth more than $10/hour, easily. I am not leaving a $14/hour job for that. Fuck it! (Right, Toni?)

Oh, and Sarah was on Channel 4 with Chris Van'oker the other night with her class, talking about war and the reinstitution of the draft. She got hosed. She had one glimpse shot, and the rest of the interview was mostly with the boys in class. That's okay, she was excited and it seems to have really sparked an interest in acting and performing that I knew was there. And she had great hair... long, long story. :) She and I have been working on her voice, as she really wants to learn to sing. She has classes at school and I am teaching her to harmonize. She still has a 13 year old voice, but the potential is there. Her grades have come up considerably since we transfered classes. She had a bit of a confrontation with a boy in school who was inappropriately touching... ok, the asshole groped her in class... and by the time Lindi and I were done, the boy was suspended. Sarah didn't want to press charges, although the police officer told us she had enough to get the boy arrested, she was satisfied with the discipline of the school and his parents and she moved to another class. For being 13, I wonder how she found the strength and maturity that she displays in tough situations. She did exactly what she should have done, with a cool, clear head and fought back. I am proud of her... and I know it comes from Lindi. She's a good kid.

Taking Advice from Toni...

There is no pleasing some people. And no amount of words is gonna do it if they've pigeon-holed themselves into believing what they want. It's annoying when someone thinks they are right... all the time... and leave no room for someone who thinks otherwise.

So, in the incredibly wise and straightforward words of Toni... 'Fuck it!"

And New Changes...

It has been an afternoon of especially trying emotions on many levels. In examining the events of the past few months, I have come to some conclusions that I think will really bring this new year into a more safe and introspective place.

I am so very grateful for the friendships I have developed over the last 15 years. These bonds, while sometimes separated by time and distance, are strong... they bring me comfort and reassurance that although others can't see the value in me (and sometimes I can't see the value in myself)... they can. I have also come to the realization that I don't throw people out of my life, and sometimes other people don't understand why, and for that, I am looked on as weak or insecure. The fact is that I value each person who has come into my life and I will not allow someone else to dictate to me in any fashion who I deem important. I realize that there are energies that are not good for me, but I can't "turn off" emotional bonds. I guess that is, in a way, a weakness, but it also a strength in that I know, deep down, that every person is valuable, a creature God has created, and worthy of at least a minute of my time. I am no better than anyone, and for that I recognize and have faith that lessons abound and I am a better person for having known each soul who has crossed my path.

And, in the immortal words of Lorene, "For every person who chooses not to be in your life, there are five down at Reams in the checkout line you will befriend."

While bonds may be broken from the other side, I have a big heart, with lots of room... and patience and reassurance that there may be a time where reconnections are possible. If not, then the time spent is still precious to me and I will continue to love life and love the people in it, regardless of who they are. I will not submit to hate. I will not submit to insecurity anymore. I will be a better, stronger, livlier person for who I know I am and the capability of loving another spirit and all the beauty contained within.

Wow... Some Really Interesting Opinions...

This comment was left on my blog by someone who I respect a great deal:

"... get over this whole being a mother thing. You are not a Mother untill you have carried a child for nine months, and go through the pain of birth. you're not a mother untill you go through the sleepless nights, the dirty diapers, the teething, the growing pains, the baby's first steps, the baby's first words. It's a growing and bonding process that takes place through the lives of the parent and the child, mainly from birth to the teens. You can't walk into a thirteen year olds life and instantly become a "Mother". You are meerly the girlfriend of her mothers."

Interesting perspective. And, funny enough, I agree. People shouldn't walk into children's lives and assume a role of a "mother" or a "father" and think that everything is hunky dorey. Naturally, giving birth and the bonding process that follows is HUGE and full of honor and respect. I do understand that someone from the outside of my relationship would see it that way, especially someone who has fathered two children and who I hold in high regard as being a good father.

However, I am not merely the "girlfriend" of a woman with a child. I am Sarah's step-mother to be, in exactly 9 months. The bond between Sarah and I is an intense and strong one, and not one I take lightly. I never called myself her "Mother". She has one. I am a mom figure, however, and this responsibility I do NOT take lightly, much as my friend Stephanie who is the stepmother to two wonderful children and who is more of a Mother to them than their own. If birthing a child is criteria for being a "mother" then 30% of parents who adopt aren't Mothers.

Birthing a child doesn't make you a parent any more than making french fries makes you a gourmet chef. It's the love, dedication and willingness to do whatever it takes to help guide and be involved in a child's life. This we both agree on. I am surprised at your venom, but I understand you don't know the daily rituals and routines that have become common in my life when it comes to my new family. I am more involved in her day-to-day than her father. I am the one she comes to when she can't find the words to speak to her own mother and more times than not, I am the one who helps the two of them to communicate and see each other perspective. And soon, I will also become her legal guardian with the ability to make decisions that could help her medically and legally. I have already began a college fund for her to help her in her educational process, and in June, I will be a full-time parent to her.

I am wondering what you would have me do, turn back the clock so that I can change a diaper at 2 am? How about taking her to the doctor when she needed a tetanus shot or holding her while she pukes from the stomach flu or going to her at 6am so that she can have her hair done for a special event at school or staying up until 1am so that we can talk about her intimate and private ideas about wanting to have sex too early and the other things she thinks her mother won't quite understand... I can see how my role is such a small, insignificant one.

I am not negating the role anyone has in their child's life. I am simply ascerting mine. And I will be goddamned if anyone, including you, will tell me I cannot be a mom figure to this little girl. I wasn't there for her first step, her first tooth or any of the things you mentioned, not because I didn't want to be, I simply didn't know her then. But I will be there to help her in decisions about boys, sex, drugs, suicide, friendship and all of those hard-to-reach decisions that will effect the path her life takes.

And, frankly, I would give my life for this child. I can't think of anything more important. No, I won't "get over it". There's been far too much of that in this generation of parents who don't take responsibility for their children.

So, I do agree with you. But by your estimation, partners can't be mothers, adoptive parents can't be mothers, foster parents can't be mothers and anyone that doesn't fit into the "traditional" platform can't be mothers. Wow. It would seem we are a generation of parentless families.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Hee hee hee...Connie did a bad thing inviting me to blog on hers! -Lorene

Oh, and One More Thing...


That's for my honey.

You've been dating HOW LONG?

The 6 month anniversary was a nice, and difficult, day. Dinner at Robintinos and an early night (Lindi had to work) didn't allow us to do everything we wanted, but it was great to spend time with her.
While talking on the bed with her and Sarah, the song that I had sort of "picked" for Lindi, actually sang to her and wrote in one of my first love letters to her... one I thought of as "our song", came on the CD player. So, of course, I get all mushy. Then Sarah pipes up, "Hey, Mom, isn't that Karen's song?"

I about puked.

Karen is the ex-wife, and not one I particularly care for. I stopped and looked at Lindi. She had this sort of deer in the headlights with the rifle on it's butt kind of looks. Come to find out the song I had picked was also the same song Karen had given to Lindi and considered their song. I was totally nauseated. It felt tainted, almost second hand. Lindi, my wonderful Cancer's opinion? "It's just a song, it's not how you feel about me."

OK... let me take you into the Virgo world. It is full of meaning and symbolism and songs and emotion are tied in together. When I chose this song, every word and every emotion I felt came to life when I met Lindi. There isn't another that could ever replace it. It was the song that comes on the radio and your heart stops for a moment and you think of that person and smile, imagining the last time you danced to it. It was the song that was going to play in our wedding. It was not just "a" song... it was "the" song. Hell, it was written by Bob Dylan and sang by Garth Brooks. How freakin' perfect can you get?

It took a couple hours later before I realized something very profound. Karen may have gave it to her, but I am the one who means it. I am the one who is living it, and I am the one who will be with her for the rest of her life.

So, in the end, it is "our song" regardless of her past. We are the ones it was meant for.

To Make You Feel My Love

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
There's nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rollin' sea
And on the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
But you ain't seen nothing like me yet

There is nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
Make you happy, make your dreams come true
To make you feel my love

Friday, January 10, 2003

First of All...

Let me thank Shane and Chet for burning me an AWESOME Christmas MP3 CD, over 150 songs, which I was able to use to create CD's for some special people for Christmas. You guys are wonderful!

And Where Do I Go From Here?

I am in a lot of emotional pain right now and I am a little lost. The action of someone who I thought was a close friend have my stomach in cramping knots and I am trying to sort it all out.

I guess I always thought I was a nice person. A good person. Someone that would others count as a friend and respect me if ever it called for it. My friend was put in a situation of chosing one person or a bunch of persons or choosing me. They ended up not chosing me. I feel like the last kid picked for Dodge ball or the girl who didn't get asked to her Senior Prom.

So, I am stuck. I am hurt worse than I have been hurt in a very long time, and yet this person is dear to me.

So, to this person: I am sorry you have to do anything that would put you in this situation to chose anyone(s) feelings over mine.

To the other(s) who have the problem with me: Sorry I am such a heinous bitch you can't stand to be around me.

So much for a happy 6 month anniversary.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

And As the Fog Rolls In…

I can’t tell you how strange and exhilarating yesterday was in my life. With the fog came some personal resolution and further introspection that has me a little tied in knots.

My former employer wants me back. I am not sure how I feel about that, since the main reason I left was due to an Office Director who had a big problem with big women who were not only intelligent but who didn’t cow-tow to his every lying whim. It was a challenge for both JJ and I to stay in this office and co-exist with this little man, both in stature and in integrity.

My sister, who is a nurse at the same employer, was literally tracked down by the Chief Nursing Officer to find me, to tell me that Little Man was no longer there and that they would love to have me back. I was stunned, shocked, overwhelmed and flattered. But knowing how the world works, I am not getting my hopes up that the offer is valid until I see it in writing.

I loved my old job, and I was good at it. I know that hospital, and I know how to help people. The thought of going back makes me happy, but scares me… would this be a step back for me, or am I really going anywhere here with the cranky Greek man? The fact that they sought me out on the advice of a former co-worker who I didn’t really care for myself impressed me.

I discussed this with my love, who told me she knew I wouldn’t be happy until I was back in a hospital, which is true, and that she thinks it would be a great opportunity, provided they are willing to pay what I was making before I left… or better. Lorene agrees. I am batting it around. I think I will call to see if the offer was serious or if they were just blowing smoke.

Also of contemplation: A friend of mine, who is about as physically large as I, was just released from the hospital after having Gastric Bypass surgery. She is weak and tired, but has already lost 20 pounds since 12/30/02. This action prodded my mind into wandering on this subject while watching JJ and Lorene dedicating themselves to their goals by working out (Good Job, Ladies…) and my own desire to be thinner. Is Gastric Bypass a cop-out? Is it lifesaving? I am proud my friend had the resolve to change her life in such a way… but I also know she also had the strength to do it without surgery.

What do YOU think?

Be Careful What you Tell JJ...

So, last Thursday, the lovely JJ send me this GORGEOUS calendar of half naked Firefighters... yes, male... who were scrumptious beyond all belief. So, being the witty Virgo I am, I reply...

"I have never wanted to be in a burning building so much in my entire life."

At 3:45 pm that same day, my entire building was evacuated, and the fire department called, because of unexplained smoke in the hallways. I had the opportunity to stand outside for over an hour while Firefighters swarmed my building, finally locating a burned out compressor on the roof which had been sending the smoke through the ventilation system. No one hurt, but three rigs, one ladder truck, two Paramedic units and an ambulance later, my passion for men and women in uniform was quite satiated.

Be careful. JJ is as scarey as Lorene sometimes.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Been Doing Some New Years Thinking

Christmas was full of blessings, to include a phone call from my Mother's brother, whom she has never actually met, and time spent with family and friends. I was very sick with Bronchitis and ended up taking the 26th and 27th off from work, only to be slammed with Year-end when I returned to work on Monday. New Years' was quiet and peaceful, no parties this year, just champagne and a kiss from the woman I love.

I have been writing in a journal and have been examining a lot of what has happened this year compared with the same time last year. I have also been re-reading some of my blogs as well, as they seem to add to insight. In some ways, I feel I am in the same place, and in a great many others I feel grown. This has been a hard year. It has been one of non-trust, and the breaking of heart with some people. And, much like Lorene, the finding of some strong bonds that were just under the surface.

I think I am just discovering who I am in many respects and I am anxious to see what 2003 brings. I realize I am swimming in rivers of insecurities as I open myself up and I have to recognize that the whole world isn't out to "get" me or my friends aren't abandoning me. It bothers me when I realize that no one responds to my blogs anymore, but then this place is more for me to vent and chronicle my life rather than a "yearbook" to be filled with comments and jokes.

This year will be not only self discovery but an opportunity for self-acceptance and appreciation, something that has been lacking. I, for one, am looking forward to it.