Posts filed under 'Pop! Goes the Culture'

Dear Ben

On two occasions recently, I’ve had disagreements with people, and on BOTH occasions, my reactions were off, and I’m stewing inappropriately about it. I’m not averse to confrontation, nor am I averse to admitting when I’m wrong, but the thing is, I had the OPPOSITE reaction to the one I wanted to have in both situations.

To wit: It seems I only go one of two ways in a disagreement lately, which is to dig my heels in entirely and declare my righteousness, or to fall on my sword completely, and in BOTH recent cases, I have had the OPPOSITE reaction to what I now think I SHOULD have had. As in, when I should have taken full responsibility and apologized, I dug my heels in, but when I should have dug my heels in and told the person to eff off because THEY were being totally inappropriate, *I*, instead, fell on my sword and declared MYSELF to be the inappropriate one. And now I want to go BACK to both parties and rectify the situation, but THAT would just be STUPID, because NO ONE WANTS TO REHASH AN ARGUMENT.

And yet, there it is. I think in the case of saying hey, I was wrong back then, would be fine, but in the case of saying hey, remember when I apologized and acted like I WAS in the wrong? HA HA, just kidding, YOU ARE A TOTAL DOUCHE! I don’t think that would work out so well.

Anyway, I should tell you that I got my wish, and it turns out I’m a carrier for MTHFR, but, well, it seems to be a non-issue, as it’s not active, and please don’t make me go into any more detail than that, because I don’t have it. I am DETAIL-LESS on the topic, mostly because everyone seems to think that it’s a carrier issue (which an alarming number people have) and not an active condition. This, combined with my fetal chromosomal defects — which are the kind that account for up to 40% of miscarriages, leading it to be a non-carrier issue — makes everyone STILL believe that it’s dumb-shit luck, but lo, off to the geneticist I go anyway, and I’m not even sure why. It all seems to be CYA at this point, but I also have to tell you that for all the insensitivity of my doctor’s office (mean nurses! incompetent medical assistants! receptionists lacking brain cells!), I am BEYOND impressed with my actual DOCTOR, and the way she’s treating this, and me, with such thoroughness, to make sure that I move forward knowing we did all we could.

Is your head spinning after reading that paragraph? Because my God, seriously, I suddenly feel like those people who post every detail of their fertility numbers, including betas and progesterone and all these things I don’t understand, but read with rapt attention like I do. But despite all the bullshit, having a doctor who seems to actually be paying close attention to me feels really good, even if it took two flipping MONTHS to get to this point.

So! Three pop culture points, and then I’m out like a MTHFR:

1) I am stupidly both surprised and NOT surprised by the JLo-Marc Anthony divorce. I mean, I always got the impression they were FRIENDS before they got married, like, for YEARS and that has to suck. On the other hand, remember when JLo was basically the Runaway Bride and married EVERYBODY? On the THIRD hand, I heard that he was a controlling, borderline-abusive bag of dicks, and for some reason, with her serial dating/monogamy history, I could somehow SEE JLO putting up with such shenanigans, because despite her attitude, she’s always seemed fairly insecure and conciliatory.

For example, who says that men don’t compliment you on your body because “they’re afraid of [your husband]”, as she did in People magazine ? NO ONE SAYS THAT, unless you think your man is insecure and/or YOU are afraid of him. If I were a celebrity, I wouldn’t say that about Adam. I mean, Adam is definitely protective of me and WOULD kick some ass on my behalf it was warranted, but it’s not like MEN ON THE STREET are just cowering from his presence. (Sorry, honey.)

Also, what’s with his creepy negotiations in getting his DISGUSTING SKELETOR FACE on American Idol ALL SEASON LONG? At least with the divorce, his foul mug will be off the show, although my God, he’ll probably figure out a way to work that in to the DIVORCE SETTLEMENT. WHY DID YOU HAVE CHILDREN WITH THIS MAN, JENNIFER? DIDDY WAS A BETTER CHOICE.

You see the analysis I’ve put in here, yes? Are you afraid? THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD BE AFRAID OF. Not Marc Anthony. THIS. The amount of time I’ve spent thinking about the two of them is criminal.

2) January Jones is having a baby, father unknown. I am DYING to know who the father is, and if he’s MARRIED, like, say, Bobby Flay, as everyone is speculating, then MY GOD, COME ON, JANUARY. Quit being an amoral asshole. Also, can someone PLEASE tell me how these goddamn celebrities just keep FALLING PREGNANT right and effing left by these MYSTERY MEN? Or, in the case of Arnold, just GETTING people pregnant? HOW? I mean, obviously this has never been my personal strong suit, but COME ON.

Meanwhile, I try to imagine my reaction if MY husband came home and told me he impregnated another famous woman, and I just CANNOT. I can’t imagine a situation that does NOT involve me just PASSING OUT COLD and never waking up.

3) Mona from Who’s the Boss? on True Blood. HA HA HAHAHAHA. Also, how in God’s name is Curb Your Enthusiasm STILL ON THE AIR?

*Jennifer Lopez. Remember Ben, Jennifer? Remember how you wrote an ENTIRE ALBUM to him, including a godawful song about him? And … AHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHA God, I am mean.

47 comments July 17th, 2011

Rolling in the Deep

This is going to be all OVER the place, y’all. Just like it used to be! Bullet-style:

– One of the things that plagues me on a fairly regular basis, is when one of your friends — someone you really like, who has proven to be of decent character and all that rot — is ALSO friends with someone who has proven to be morally bankrupt on more than one occasion, in my admittedly-strict viewpoint. Now, before I go on here, I want you to simmer down, Warren Beatty, because this song isn’t about you. I can think of at least two people who would think this is about them, but really, Warren, it isn’t.

But what do you do? I’ve voiced my opinion — even more gently than I normally would, I swear! — once or twice, and I’ve even PERSONALLY been screwed by the person in question and said something and YET THE RELATIONSHIP CONTINUES. Mind you, it’s not that I expect them to CHOOSE ME over them — this isn’t that kind of high school drama — it’s that I am MYSTIFIED how someone can still be friends with someone who has PROVEN to be such an absolute douche.

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. It is honestly one of life’s greatest mysteries.

– If you’ll indulge me a moment of Glee, I was ALL HOT AND BOTHERED to see the return of Jesse St. James in what is certainly the most ridiculous crush imaginable. Yes, I am a 35-year-old married mother with a huge crush on an openly gay man playing a teenager, and while I have no issue with either of those things, of course, the problem is that no matter how you slice it, the fantasy doesn’t work. I would either have to turn into a man OR a teenager and neither really works for me. Yet, it persists.

However. They turned him into a one-dimensional vapid asshole, when yes, I realize that he royally screwed Rachel over last year, I ALSO thought there was some complexity to him and it’s … gone. I am ALSO angry at how they’ve turned Rachel into a sniveling GIRL who also suddenly turned stupid. Last season, Rachel was multi-dimensional, and what made her amazing was her incredible insight into HERSELF. And now she’s fawning over Jesse and saying things like, “He’s so smart! Can you believe he flunked out of college?” after he says something amazingly inane. And so we’re left with Kurt (and his personal orbit), the only character with any sort of heart, and honestly, it’s pissing me off, because it seems like Ryan Murphy is just re-writing his own history, and the only person he has any sort of generosity to is himself.

Also, uhhh, weren’t they juniors LAST YEAR? How long can they drag this out?

– I also have Strong Feelings on Friday Night Lights, and I’m telling you right now that I’m live-tweeting the episode for my bosses at Smart Pop Books, because an essay of mine is in the upcoming anthology on the show in its entirety. So, you know, fair warning. And while I LOVE this season, I have VERY LOUD OPINIONS on the finale, and as such, I can’t wait until all of you (all, um, four of you who watch it) have caught up so that we can discuss.

– One of the things I am shocked to discover that I am struggling with is getting Sam to enjoy reading. I KNOW. I KNOW. Are you as floored as I am? I am, above all things, A Reader. The periods of my life when I wasn’t relying on a book for my primary form of evening entertainment are few and far between. Even still, I’m usually either reading or writing, even while the TV is on in the background. I mean, I love TV, but if I had to choose, I’d choose a book any day of the week.

So how is it possible that she’s my child? We set aside time to read every day. I read CONSTANTLY. I’ve even taken to reading her books by myself, with rapt enthusiasm, just to make them seem interesting. Yes, we watch TV, but with few exceptions (involving DJ Lance), she’s really not that into it, and she almost NEVER sits still to watch a whole anything unless she’s positively exhausted OR it’s first thing in the morning, so I’m not panicked that she’s a TV head or anything. (I WISH she was one of those children who sat quietly and watched television for more than six minutes at a time. I could use that to my occasional advantage! NO DICE.)

She just … does other things. Swaddles Brobee. Draws. Listens to music and dances. Draws some more. Plays with her animals. Paints. Dances some more. Sings. Dances. Music. God, this kid is SO INTO MUSIC. And when there is no music? SHE MAKES ME SING SO SHE CAN DANCE.

And forget reading before bed — she’s ALL business. Once she became a prescient human being, she dropped the bedtime reading routine before it really got going. When she’s ready for bed, she wants to be IN THE BED. The second we start the bedtime routine, “BYE MAMA! NIGHT NIGHT!” and she’s finished. She wants to be in bed, lights out, my annoying mug out of her face. It doesn’t seem to matter how early we start — the moment she senses bedtime is nigh, she’s all about it, as soon as humanly possible, and thank you. (Yes, I know I’m lucky. Our bedtime ritual is three whole seconds long. “Kiss Daddy!” “BYE MAMA!” Aaaaaaand, fin.)

I’ve gotten her books on her favorite subjects — animals and bugs — and it sort of works, but man, if I had one trivial wish for my daughter, it would be that she loves to read, and right now, despite my best efforts, she’s not nearly as into it as I’d hoped.

Also, can we talk about the bug obsession for a moment here? BUGS. Ants are “cute!” Worms are “awesome!” She picks them all up and tries to take them home as pets! God forbid we see a bumblebee, because kid is BESIDE HERSELF with excitement. “It’s a BEE! A BEE!” and she lurches toward it, hands open. Explaining that although bumblebees look fuzzy and friendly, they REALLY need to be left alone, was a surprisingly rigorous parenting challenge.

But still. Books. Man. I mean, Adam and I both read. We have stacks and stacks of books and Kindles full of reading material. I have a to-read list that is more than 250 books long and I can’t get my kid to sit still long enough for “No, David!”?

Tell me: is all hope lost? Will she eschew reading forever? Will I be stuck raising an entomologist-slash-oboe player? Any tips are welcome.

– Speaking of TV, uhh, sort of, the only show I’m really looking forward to other than True Blood is “Falling Skies,” and I cannot WAIT.

– Speaking of BOOKS, we have plenty of interest in the book club, so stay tuned for more — as soon as I get it cleaned up and a new spam system in place, I’ll be hitting a re-launch. And to say I appreciate the offers of help is an understatement. I think this time it will probably be better than the last, because there was an INSANE AMOUNT OF INTEREST from people who … weren’t all that interested. I think this time has the potential to be smaller and more engaging. Honestly, even if only two of you said to do it, I would have. Fortunately, we have a bit more — but far fewer than the 600 we had the first time.

Thanks, everyone. I hope you have a fantastic Thursday. We’re getting our beach passes, finally, although it is the furthest thing from beach weather you can imagine. Hope springs eternal, even if spring doesn’t.

*GLEE’S VERSION WAS AWFUL. AWFUL. AWFUL. I liked Haley’s better on American Idol and that is SAYING SOMETHING. Oh, Adele. You are, indeed, incomparable. (I love her.)

74 comments May 11th, 2011

Teenage Dream

First of all, we had a real heart-stopping moment when Alert Reader Sabrina mentioned that she hasn’t been able to find Take 5 candy bars anywhere for like, AN ENTIRE YEAR, which sent me into such a tailspin that I not only checked Hershey’s website, but I stupidly CALLED THEM, just to make sure, and lo, they are, it just turns out they aren’t a Reese’s-branded product and ergo, would not be in any Reese’s variety packs. This is stupid, because it CONTAINS peanut butter, and for the love of Jebus, does Hershey’s make anything with peanut butter that isn’t Reese’s branded? What is this shit?

Related: Growing up in PA, I often went to Hershey Park. Yes, the town really does smell like chocolate. You should go there. Also, stop by the pretzel factory and make your own pretzels. I think there’s one in Intercourse. Or maybe Hanover. Obviously I’m very specific with my memories here.

Secondly, this isn’t really a post, since I’m over at Jennie’s today (Thursday) for her Real Marriages series, talking about how I sometimes pick a fight about stuff I don’t care about because someone else said I should care. There are Rocky quotes.

Separately, but not, it’s funny, Jennie and Mike have a great relationship, and that’s completely obvious when you hang out with them, so her Real Marriages series kind of makes me laugh in a way, because she could write the whole thing and it would say, “It’s great. We fight, but we love. We are normal and happy. The end.” There are some people, I think, who you just GET why their spouse loves them so, and why turning their head would be nearly impossible. Jennie is one of those people. She’s warm and funny and a little quirky in the best, most endearing way, and she just stands out in a way that someone like Gisele Bundchen and her preachy, bland personality never will, and it’s just like, well, yeah. Good luck, ladies, getting Mike to look away from that one, because she’s super-special. Not that anyone is trying or that Mike would or anything, and oh dear, what started as a compliment has taken A VERY WRONG TURN, but hey! I’m in too deep! MAYDAY!

(Separately: I love Mike, too. A lot. Hi, Mike!)

And finally, did I tell you guys that the new Smart Pop Glee book is out? Well, it is. Filled with Glee! I actually think it’s one of my favorite Smart Pop titles as a whole, so I hope you get it, read it and enjoy it. Just in time for this bizarre second season, am I right? (WILL SCHUESTER, YOU SUCK) My essay is the free one on Smart Pop this week, and Maria Melee has an essay in there, too, and she is basically formed of awesome. I’m giving away two (2) copies to two readers, so leave me a comment saying “Glee me!” if you want in. If you want to comment, but don’t, just don’t say “GLEE ME!”

I’ve also been asked to contribute to an upcoming book on what is perhaps my all-time favorite show on television (yes, even more than True Blood), on a topic I cannot believe I’ve been trusted with, and I’ll tell you more later, but for now, let me just say: OMG and also HOLY CRAP and a little, NERVOUS TUMMY up in here.

Happy Thursday!

*Katy Perry, and the only part of this week’s Glee that I enjoyed, sadly. The rest was a lot of screaming at the TV. Screaming! LOUDLY.

61 comments November 10th, 2010

Spicks and Specks

Do you know what I did last night? DO YOU KNOW?

I watched ants crawl in and out of Terro traps. For hours. I was completely and sickeningly unable to focus on anything but the ants crawling in and out of the pool of boric acid, watching their bellies swell to the point of impeding their ability to walk, and I just sat back, procrastinating on a shit-ton of work with a glass of wine. I mean I sat on the goddamn OTTOMAN, which isn’t even COMFORTABLE. And worse! I was reporting on their progress to, um, Twitter! And Adam! OH LOOK, BABY, THE ANTS ARE EATING THE TRAPS! I was rubbing my hands together and cackling in an unironic fashion, over and over again.

It was very sad. And I’ve done it before. The Terro traps are like ANT TEEVEE.

Anyway. A few things, almost entirely unrelated:

– The last few days with Sam have been almost magical. The snuggling! The laughing! Oh, it’s been a never-ending funbag of giggles and independent play and yes, an odd attachment to our refrigerator magnets and plastic pieces of mail, but still! So enjoyable. And then, as quickly as it began, it all melted down like a nickel on the floor of Chernobyl, and today she wouldn’t leave my side, and by my side, I mean, she had to be ATTACHED TO MY HIP in the most literal fashion, and God, it’s like a constant YO YO up in here, I tell you.

– Yes, it’s true, I thought the Hell’s Angels were a philanthropic organization and that the concept of organized crime in motorcycle gangs was a total myth. This came out via a conversation as I was viewing Sons of Anarchy with Adam, which he watches regularly, though I don’t. He was attempting to catch me up, and the conversation went something like this:

So, that woman became a surgeon, then she realized that this whole biking thing is who she is, and she wants to be an Old Lady.

An Old Lady? Like the Old Spice Lady?

No, like a biker’s chick kind of thing.

Oooh! I get it! Like the Pink Ladies in Grease! Well, Grease 2, actually.

Not really like that at all.

Well, yeah, but Stephanie couldn’t be a Pink Lady after she broke up with Johnny, because it means they’re T-Bird chicks and –

No.

It turns out, after the conversation progressed, that Hell’s Angels are kind of scary — okay, fine SOME, or whatever, I don’t know, really, I just learned about this whole One Percenter thing — and on the FBI’s list of organized crime … somethings? And that they are not, in fact, like the Guardian Angels, which is what I thought they were, and I think I thought — no, seriously — that the Hell’s Angels wore berets under their helmets, and … well, that’s probably enough.

This is almost worse than the time I thought that Russell Simmons was famous because he was the founder of Russell Athletic. You know, the sweatshirt people.

I hastily add that I thought this because ADAM TOLD ME THAT, thinking that the joke was obvious, and no. No, it wasn’t. In fact, it was so far from obvious to me that the way I discovered that this was, indeed, not true was because I TOLD SOMEONE ELSE, and was all, Oh yeah! Russell Simmons! The sweatshirt guy! Which, um, ha ha, no.

Ahem.

Moving on.

— So yesterday, I was driving somewhere with Sam (back in happier moments, before she decided she hated me), and the Bee Gees came on the radio (OLD LADY RADIO AHOY), and … you guys, have you HEARD the Bee Gees recently? Have you realized how AWFUL they are? You guys! It was WORSE THAN THE CHIPMUNKS. How did they ever make it? How were they not laughed out of the recording studio? HOW AND WHY ARE THEY DOING FALSETTOS ON PURPOSE, ALL THE TIME?

It was as if I heard them anew, truly, and I was more appalled than I can accurately convey here. It was horrifying, and I was retroactively embarrassed for them, even Maurice, God rest his soul. I say this even though Andy Gibb was my first crush ever, thanks to Xanadu, which I realize he was not in, but at the time he bore a striking resemblance to Michael Beck and when you’re five, it all blends together, because all you want to do is be Olivia Newton-John on roller skates singing about magic and then getting sucked into a mural with Gene Kelly. Or something. Either way, hand to God, one of the first memories I have is of sitting on the toilet, calling for my mom and then when she popped her head in, announcing, “Mom, I love Andy Gibb. LIKE A GIRL.”

(She remembers this. Neither one of us are sure why I insisted on telling her while still seated on the toilet. I mean, I was FIVE.)

(Random aside: did you know Maurice Gibb died of something called VOLVULUS, where your intestine just sort of flips over itself and gets all twisty? OOH LOOK, something new to be afraid of! I shall now panic every time I’m constipated!)

Well, this turned into a hot mess of Old Ladies, Pink Ladies and Volvulus Panic. I hope you have a great Thursday.

*A BEE GEES REFERENCE.

44 comments October 13th, 2010

Past in Present

So, many years ago, I had to fire someone. In retrospect, this is ridiculous, because I swear to you, I was MAYBE 25, had zero experience doing such things, and was counseled to do so in a way that was as close to asking for a lawsuit as one can get without filing the paperwork and suing yourself. Granted, this person should not have retained her job — she was terrible, unreliable, sometimes willfully defiant and yet (YET!) consistently asked for a promotion. It was a lethal combination, as you can imagine, and after first counseling her to look for another job through the power of gentle suggestion (she didn’t get it, or refused — not sure which), I had to fire her.

It was hideous. Hideous! She bawled! She was shocked! I was frozen, basically reading off of a piece of paper like an idiot so that we WOULDN’T get sued, when all I wanted to do was hug her. And again, why the eff HR wasn’t doing this was beyond me, but there I was, a totally incompetent 25-year-old manager who had no business managing, firing someone under the guise of a one-person layoff.

It was one of the worst things I’d ever had to do.

A few hours after she’d left, her mom called me to yell at me. Her mother called me! HER MOTHER. And she called me a dumb low-life and all kinds of things that were probably true at the time (seriously, I was only a manager because I brought in a piece of business that was a lot of money, end of story). Now, her mom and I had tangled previously, when Marla (yes, let’s call her that), called in sick, but didn’t leave information where some VERY IMPORTANT MISSION-CRITICAL documents that had been due the previous day were kept, so I had to call her at home and … well, she wasn’t home, she was in NYC visiting her boyfriend and THAT was awkward and awful, and yes, her mother yelled at me for invading her privacy, when … well, it was Marla who blew off the deadline AND was busy porking on a futon in the Upper West Side, so who’s really at fault here?

Fast forward to Saturday, and I’m in line at Gourmet India at the mall food court, because that’s what you DO when you have a kid who hates sitting still at a restaurant and you have no food in the house and you just want to EAT without it being a HUGE PRODUCTION, and dear Jesus, people, SHE WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

GAH GAH GAH. I kept silent and just sort of quietly panicked at the memory, and my only consolation is that she looked fabulous and didn’t bear any visible scars from the horrid, no-good awful faux layoff I inflicted upon her in my youth.

And whatever, don’t mock me for my food court Indian selection, because while I know it’s kind of gross, seeing as not only are you in a FOOD COURT, but everything meat-like is draped in some kind of heavy sauce that could be masking the remains of Max and Ruby’s doubtlessly deceased parents up in there, let me tell you something: I lived without decent Indian for FIVE YEARS. The last Indian place near us in Vermont featured a very old Indian matriarch, all wizened-like, who sat behind the hostess desk and SHAVED THE SKIN OFF HER FEET WITH A RAZOR THE ENTIRE MEAL.

I can handle Gourmet India, is what I’m saying. And besides, I would very likely eat the asshole of any animal anywhere (I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country! I ate scrapple!), provided it was done with the right sauce and plenty of cilantro. I’ve always wanted to be Indian, if only so I could learn to cook their food. Not to denigrate my own cultural heritage — I’m Hungarian and Italian, which, while no gastronomic slouches, have cuisines I like to sum up as follows:

Hungarians: Throw some paprika and sour cream on it. Extra points if there’s cabbage. You think I’m kidding, but if you’ve ever had eastern European haluski, you know that I’m not.

Italians: Do we have tomatoes and basil? Excellent. Here’s dinner.

And of course, there’s the Pennsylvania Dutch: Can we pickle it? What if we throw some hard-boiled eggs in there? Excellent! What if we fry up a pig’s stomach to go along with it? EVEN EFFING BETTER.

(Side note: pickled beets and eggs is one of my favorite things, ever, and my dad made some DELICIOUS ones last week)

(Side side note: Shoo fly pie is just SILLINESS in a pie crust and yet people go BONKERS for it. Basically it’s molasses and crumbs. BARF.)

But Indians! Such spices! Beans! Cilantro! Coriander seed! (Same thing, different form) THINGS THAT HAVE FLAVOR. AND LACK ENTRAILS, MAYBE.

Well, this went to a place I wasn’t planning. Sorry about that. A few housekeeping tidbits, yes?

– I’m reviving the Book Lushes after a summer hiatus. Stay tuned!

– Speaking of books, I’ve started reading Alexa’s, (yes, this Alexa) and cannot stop. I can’t stop. I’m not one to blow smoke in this area, so when I tell you that this is exceptional — that SHE is exceptional, both as a person and as a writer — you must believe me. And you must go out and get it for yourself, and then report back to me how big of a genius you think she is, because you will. She is. It’s SO GOOD, you guys. It’s like, LAUGH OUT LOUD good, and funny and poignant and heartbreaking … IT IS SO GOOD. IT IS SO GOOD. SO GOOD. SHE IS SO GOOD.

She is also a friend, and I am really proud to say that, and proud of her. But that does not mean she hasn’t earned my respect as a hugely talented writer with the first chapter alone. Holyshit.

– While an odd segue, I wrote a few things other places on the internet, both kind of pulled from my ass and thrown on the table like a lump of something unpleasant, yet strangely … compelling? Or maybe just unpleasant and confusing. One at Polite Fictions, the other is a recap of this past week’s True Blood for my bosses at Smart Pop. (And a reminder that you can buy my essay for less than a buck AND the entire book is still available!) To those recappers who do this on a regular basis, I salute you. It was great fun, but it was also so much freakin’ work, and hours and hours of rewinding and pausing and note-taking and DING DONG, I HAD A CRAMP, that I have no idea how you do it on a regular basis.

Happy Wednesday!

*Feist

25 comments August 17th, 2010

The Winner Takes It All

Three things, the most important of which is a winner:

1) My parents are coming to visit this weekend, and I’m super-excited, because they haven’t seen Sam since her birthday (the longest they’ve ever gone without seeing her!) and in that time, she’s transformed into a PERSON. With words and everything! Not a ton of words, but you know. She’s ONE. I love having my parents visit, because, well, I love my parents, so there’s that. They always leave before we want them to, explaining that they’ve overstayed their welcome or such nonsense, when honestly, they could stay for a MONTH and I wouldn’t be tired of it. It does make me wonder, however, if they think WE’VE stayed too long when we’re there longer than four days? And how they’re going to feel with me being there for like, a REALLY LONG TIME before BlogHer, with the end of the visit culminating with a weekend-long babysitting fest with my very active PITA daughter? WHAT SAY YOU, MOM AND DAD?

However. I just realized that their visit means that I won’t be watching the season premiere of True Blood live. HORROR. HORROR. HORROR. I mean, I’ll get over it and it’s worth it, but all of you will be watching Eric naked (I HEAR HE IS NAKED IN THE FIRST EPISODE) and I’ll be totally unaware.

2) We have a winnah! Well, TWO winnahs! (More on that below.) But if you didn’t win, and this, sadly, is most of you, the book is available lots of places! And today, I was on their blog talking about, what else, True Blood. You can take a gander at a sample of my essay, too.

3) Winnahs! So I did the Random Number Generator thing, and I couldn’t figure out how to get it to show up here, and while I sort of suck and I’m so sorry about that, PLEASE know that I am telling the truth here. In fact, I’ll tell you that the first time I ran the numbers, my own comment showed up and … well, I don’t need to win my own book. And the winners are … #9 and #50. So Terri and Wendy, hit me up with your addresses, and books will be heading your way directly from our friends at Smart Pop!

Have a great weekend!

*Abba

16 comments June 10th, 2010

Burning Up

So! Facebook. Is it not the worst thing to hit the internet? Am I not at the cutting edge of internet wisdom with that statement? God. The flame wars! The crazy political posts! The parents who post pictures of their children’s poop and worse, photos of their children on the toilet whilst potty training! UNSEE UNSEE UNSEE. And, just yesterday, some TOTALLY CRAZYPANTS comments from a woman (an adult who, as far as I know, is not special needs in any way) I know only tangentially, but am mysteriously friends with on Facebook involving … the death of her goldfish.

This woman, oh my lands, people, described how she “knew true love” because of this goldfish (named, appropriately, Girlfishi) and how an unfortunate Sophie’s Choice-like scenario (YES, REALLY, SHE SAID THOSE EXACT WORDS), left her having to move the goldfish from one apartment to another, causing Girlfishi horrible trauma and leading to her untimely death. She then left an indecipherable rant as her status about how some people aren’t properly respecting her mourning and how she’s learned who her real friends are by how they respond to the death of her, ahem, GOLDFISH, and how Girlfishi was a special fish and she is beyond heartbroken and … well, folks, I’ve got nothing here.

Wait, that’s not true, because I think I’ve got a solid OH COME ON, LADY, in there somewhere. Also, I think what freaked me out more was all the commenters who leaped to her defense on the mourning post with how deeply sorry they were for her loss and how losing a pet IS like losing a child, yes, yes, it is, and all I keep thinking is, SERIOUSLY, A GOLDFISH. I mean, for some people losing a pet is like losing a child, yes, and I can go with it to a point, but no, I’m sorry, you can’t compare your goldfish to my kid. It just won’t work.

No disrespect to goldfish everywhere.

In other news, and this is going to sound very spoiled, and believe me, I know, I KNOW! I was totally spoiled, I KNOW!, but we used to live two minutes away from Adam’s office — for Sam’s whole life — and then (THEN!) we had two glorious months while Adam was between jobs, and honestly, I got used to having him around. He was home for dinner every night, save for the days when he traveled, because even if he had to work late, he came home to eat before heading back in. And in those two months, he was home every day. Every day! And now he’s got a commute, and working late and missing Sam in the evenings and it’s … it’s very sad. We miss him, although I also know that he’s enjoying what he’s doing. (He likes to work. He always has.)

It is also turning me into a bit of a crazy housewife, and I’m not proud of it. The combination of moving, (my) work deadlines, instant houseguests and suddenly being home alone for 14 hours a day has left me feeling completely overwhelmed with the status of how MESSY everything is and how! much! there is to be done and some nights he gets home and I’m standing there with my hand on my hip all but SCREECHING about all the shit that has to be done! And it’s GARBAGE NIGHT and while yes, I realize you just walked in the door, WE HAVE A LOT OF GARBAGE. HOP TO IT. I HAVE TO GO GET SOME WORK DONE. DO YOU KNOW WHAT MY DAY IS LIKE AROUND HERE?

My face is all contorted and wrinkled in disgust just reading that, but there you have it. Last night I poured a rare glass of wine (booze used to be a lot more fun; now it just makes me want to go to sleep IMMEDIATELY after the first sip), plopped myself in front of Glee and told myself to get over it, because really, Jonna, REALLY. The next thing you know I’m going to be getting myself into a state over ring around the collar and dishpan hands! How WILL we ever go on?

Speaking of Glee, can I admit to you all what happens when Jesse St. James appears on the screen? My heart beats faster. No exaggeration. Gross, right? Gross. I’m THIRTY FOUR YEARS OLD. And also? Just now I found myself lost in a comment thread of teenagers who really believe Jesse is a real person, and they’re fighting about it. Like, seriously fighting about it. I witnessed apologies to the group and some kind of crazy statement about how they probably HURT JESSE’S FEELINGS and sorry, Jesse! I LUV U. And they were serious. Yes, very serious.

I don’t see me and my quickening heartbeat too much above that, to be honest. I mean, a) it’s a fictional character, eclipsed only by the crush I had on Fred from Scooby Doo. Yes, a CARTOON; b) the kid is like, 22 in real life, IF THAT; c) HE IS ALSO GAY, not that it matters, because let’s be honest, an unavailable cougar with a kid is hardly his ideal mate, even if he were straight as an arrow.

How many times am I going to talk about this? MANY, IT SEEMS. Well, I would, if the season wasn’t ending. Boy, you’re all glad about that. I’m one step away from talking about how a goldfish taught me love.

Speaking of seasons ending, I still haven’t seen the Lost finale. I KNOW.

Happy weekend! Ooh! Memorial Day!

*Madonna. And also, um, Jesse St. James in the Very Special Madonna Episode. What?

27 comments May 27th, 2010

Never Ending Math Equation

One of the fun facts I neglected to mention about the Bitter Days of Fluedom was that in addition to waking up barfing my face off, there was yeast. YEAST! You guys, my doughy boobs returned with a vengeance and so, in addition to fever, puking and general desire to off myself as quickly as possible, my boobs! My boobs! MY BOOBS WERE ON FYAH!

Anyway, honestly, in the grand scheme of things, I had bigger issues, so I barely noticed. But to close the yeasty loop, in the event that this will help someone else with the Endless Pattern of Thrush, I’ll tell you, we kicked it without a second dose of Diflucan OR Nystatin, neither of which were very pleasant to deal with. The Nystatin because it made Sam gag, hork and cry, and the Diflucan because it made her tummy so upset she was screaming for two hours every time she took a dose. So …

Probiotics, y’all! I SWEAR. How crazy hippie is that shit? I hit up the natural foods store, and loaded up on this stuff for me, and the Baby Jarro-Dophilus for Sam. Plus, um, kefir and yogurt, for good measure, like, three times a day, BARELY sweetened with agave only if absolutely necessary, and THE YEAST IS GONE. POOF. IN LIKE 24 HOURS. Die, yeast! DIE!

***

I’m a budgeting wizard — no, seriously, I can squeeze the shit out of any budget and maximize savings like nobody’s business. Honestly, I am SUPER financially responsible, and get a total kick about saving money and … well. It’s a nerdy hobby, but very effective. It’s also a bit consuming, because there are so many opportunities to go overboard, when really, sometimes it’s just not worth it.

The other day I got myself in a totally pointless tizzy because I discovered that each of the three places I shop — or can shop — has the best price on something totally different. Ergo, for me to REALLY get the best price on everything, each grocery trip should be to three different stores, which … seriously, that’s just stupid. I have a baby, for God’s sake, and she’s usually with me. But then it’s so frustrating because sometimes it’s a swing of like THREE DOLLARS AN ITEM. The hummus at two grocery stores is $2 more than at the tiny grocery store (for half a pound), and the deli I like is $5.99 one place, but $3.99 another, and DO YOU SEE HOW THIS COULD MAKE SOMEONE CRAZY?

(Or no? Have you decided that I’m crazy? You have, haven’t you? I don’t blame you!)

Which brings me to something I just haven’t been able to do. Now, this may be shocking, but I don’t use coupons. Are they worth it, or do you find that you just end up buying things you don’t need?

***

Dude, did you guys SEE The Millionaire Matchmaker the other day? With the guy who brought a second girl on their date? And the girl who was all, he wanted to pick me, so it’s only fair that I’m here? OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. Oh, how I love that show, you guys. It’s horrible! It’s SO HORRIBLE! Everything about it is horrible, and yet, there I am, parked in front of it on Tuesdays.

However. I have a big problem with Patti Stanger siding with Jill Zarin on the Real Housewives of New York City. BIG PROBLEM. And I’ll admit, I’ve lost a little respect for Patti. And worse? I am genuinely bummed about it, as I am Team Bethenny all the way and it’s … well, it’s impacting my ability to enjoy The Millionaire Matchmaker.

Also? I want to see Kelly’s Playboy spread. Judge me if you must.

Have a great weekend, you guys.

*Modest Mouse

32 comments April 1st, 2010

Speechless

So.

Last week happened.

That was something. If by “something,” I mean something horrible and soul-crushing and easily the most challenging two and a half days of my entire — no, seriously, ENTIRE — life.

(Warning. This is kind of painful, but I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO SAY. IT WAS THAT BAD AS MY TWITTER FOLLOWERS CAN ATTEST AS I LIVE-TWEETED THE HELLFIRE.)

The short version is this: I got the flu — the achy, shivering, feverish, want-to-die kind — plus barfing. The pukles! I GOT THEM! I woke up at 2 a.m. Wednesday morning thinking, boy, that London broil was a bad idea … I wonder if it was old? And by 3, I was in the bathroom, still holding onto hope that it was just a passing food thing when I realized, hm. Adam seems to be holding up just fine. By 7, I was starting to panic, and by 7:30, I was back in the bathroom ready to gouge my eyes out with my Venus razor. By 8, I realized desperately that Adam was leaving on a business trip (an interview in Boston, among other things), and I was supposed to go with him to visit my sister and have dinner with our friend Eve and there was no way in HIZELL I was going to make it.

Now all this seemed fine and good until I realized that while *I* was off the hook for traveling 300 miles (IN A CAR THAT WAS MOVING), Adam was still slated to be there, by hook or by crook, which meant that *I* was going to be home alone with a baby and a dog and The Pukles and … oh heavens, my friends, it was awful. Awful. AWFUL. It was EPIC in its awfulness, and I plopped my kid in front of the TV all day, every day (THE GUILT) and I watched the same! Laurie! Berkner! DVD! over and over again, and I acquainted myself with The Wonder Pets, and twice, I threw my screaming little baby into her crib while I desperately ran to the bathroom to throw up because she was doing something like reaching for the scissors on the counter and … oh.

Random aside: she’s effing tall enough to reach for shit on the counter. She’s not even 13 months old. She’s SO EFFING TALL, you guys, what is this MINIATURE GIANTESS I am raising?

Anyway, the whole thing was a horror show, and honestly, no exaggeration, CHILDBIRTH was easier than that shit, yo. CHILDBIRTH. I was in tears, I had a 102-degree fever, I was throwing up, I was desperate — oh, so desperate — for sleep and by the time Adam came home with sweet, sweet relief on Friday afternoon, the house looked like someone broke in, I hadn’t showered since Monday and Sam was happier than a pig in shit because she was basically wading in piles of it.

I tell you though, and I don’t mind saying this, for I feel I’ve earned it: When Adam came home, and everyone had survived? Dude. I felt like I was fucking BADASS, which is, when you think about it, ridiculous, but I’m telling you, it was like running five marathons with a colicky baby strapped to your chest while getting poked in the lady bits with a ceremonial sword or two. (Maybe the one Jacob and the Man in Black keep trading back and forth?) I LIVED. THE BABY LIVED. Oh y’all. I can do ANYTHING.

Meanwhile, the dog. My God, the dog. The dog was acting like some kind of FREAK DOG the whole time Adam was away — she followed me around underfoot, she barked at the air, she barely slept. Since he’s been home, she’s been passed out on his chest, snoring, every chance she gets. If I may anthropomorphize for a moment, I think she felt like she had to be on high alert because her alpha was gone. (I am not the alpha. Or even the beta. I’m pretty sure I’m her underling. She heeds the BABY better than she listens to me.)

Family
Guarding the important people, before all hell broke loose.

Several epic naps, a husband who cleaned the entire house from top to bottom (including the CARPETS, people) and plenty of time lounging and I am almost recovered, at least physically. Mentally, it’s going to take some TIME, y’all. Like, YEARS.

In other news, I’m going to be in another Smart Pop book! This time in a guide for Glee! GLEE! It comes out in the fall, just in time for the second season. There’s also a contest if you want to submit your own essay on how Glee has impacted your life for a special section in the book.

GLEE!

GLEE!

Trust me when I say re-watching an entire season of Glee, over and over again (this time focusing on Mr. Schue and that irritating, no-good Emma Pillsbury. THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID IT. EMMA SUCKS.) is SO MUCH LESS TRAUMATIZING than two seasons of True Blood. (And infinitely easier than a day filled with C-SPAN.) TRUST ME. Let’s see: perky, whip-smart high school students embroiled in situations that don’t involve blood, guts and gore or John Boehner? Easy! Hell, after deconstructing two seasons of True Blood, teenage pregnancy seems downright wholesome.

And with that, happy Monday, y’all. May you all remain puke-free.

*Lady Gaga

41 comments March 28th, 2010

Down to Earth

I took the dog to get her anal glands squeezed and get a rabies shot today, and if THAT doesn’t set the tone for a day filled with unprecedented awesomeness, I’m not sure what does. No, wait, let me back up: the day started with me cleaning my daughter’s, um, STUFF, out of her armpits after a blowout, which is something that hasn’t happened in MONTHS and happened because … oh God, I don’t even KNOW why (her diaper is the right size, I assure you), but I am sure my future holds a day where I don’t have to wonder if today is going to be the day that I have to clean someone else’s poop out of their armpits, you know?

ARMPITS. This is not unlike the time she was a wee, wee infant and somehow did her business with such force it landed on her FACE.

This was followed up by a rather strongly worded lecture of gibberish as she stood naked at the end of the coffee table this evening, full on SCREAMING at us, complete with arm gestures. Aaaand moments later … more poop. While naked. On the floor. Just after a bath. How delightful!

Internet, I’m sorry for those back-to-back gross stories, but honestly, it’s like I never believed this shit (HA) actually happened until it did, and worse, I’m actually shocked at how unfazed I am by it all. Sure, no one likes to be living with their very own miniature version of Tubgirl, but … well. This is what you sign up for, I suppose.

My nonchalance probably ties back to the fact that frankly, I would rather change an entire preschool full of diapers than clean up one (1) yard of dog poop. Anything but dog poop, folks. ANYTHING.

***
So hey, um, here’s a pop culture observation a day late and millions of dollars short: There are a PLETHORA of magazine covers dedicated to how Vienna “deceived” Jake (the latest Bachelor, if you were wondering), and honestly, I never really had a problem with Vienna, but that’s not even what I’m about to talk about. What I’m wondering is, why has no one bothered to dissect the fact that this guy is GROSS. JUST GROSS. And … ugh, the guy is just a walking bottle of MASSENGILL and they’re worried about whether VIENNA deceived him? Oh COME ON. They should be worried about the fact that she is YOUNG and IMPRESSIONABLE and is now chained to a DOUCHE.

***
Hey, you know what sucked? Big Love. The whole season. Sucked. And the finale? SUUUUCKED. I think I’m done. I have no interest in this new world order of theirs. Sorry, Big Love. I quit you. Not even using Peter Gabriel’s cover of “Heroes” in the final scene could redeem you. NOT EVEN PETER GABRIEL CAN SAVE BIG LOVE.

***
So! Relocating, Or the Potential Thereof. There are so many parts to this story — many moving parts, including jobs that have been left, job offers received and turned down, my years-long strict adherence to Suze Orman that put us in the position to be able to be OK no matter what happens — but the simple emotional part is this: UGGGGHHH. We always knew that Vermont would likely be a temporary stop on our, um, journey (ON THE WINGS OF LOVE), and before that there was Florida, and before THAT was the place I consider home, given that our families are there, and I lived there for ages and ages, which is Boston.

Boston, by the way, is very likely where we’re going to end up, um, eventually. But as it turns out, I like it here — quite a bit, as it turns out, and I wouldn’t mind staying (it’s not off the table entirely). I’m surprised, however, by the emotional response I’m having by thinking of being back home, which is that when I left, I was one person, and when I return, I will be a completely, and I mean COMPLETELY, different one. When I left, I was in my twenties, relatively newly married and way into my career and living a completely stressed-out competitive existence. Now, I’m in my thirties, have a child (and want more), and am neither stressed, nor competitive. And I know you don’t have to be who you were just because of where you are, but, well, I challenge anyone not to make the same comparisons, when you think about it.

It makes me wonder if you really can go home again without some serious emotional turmoil, and the answer appears to be no. The truth is that I am having a hard time with both the uncertainty and with what seems to be the inevitable certainty. (Is this making any sense? It’s just that DETAILS ARE BORING.)

We’ll see. At the moment, it’s the most likely possibility, but in some ways, the country is our oyster. But you know what else? I’m over the nomadic existence. So there’s that, too.

Unexpected introspection! It’s what’s for your Tuesday.

PS, the book has been picked. Get ready for Joan Didion, y’all.

*Peter Gabriel. Yes, from Wall*E. It’s one of my favorite songs. What of it?

30 comments March 15th, 2010

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