Archive for the ‘pop culture’ Category

Warning to my regular readers: I’m about to get political. If that’s not your thing or you lean to the right, you might want to skip this blog post.

I don’t typically write letters to the editor, leave comments on political blogs or that sort of thing, but after watching the presidential debate of October 16th and watching this Thursday’s Morning Joe, I felt compelled to write. I am a working mother of 3 small children – for all intents and purposes, I am that suburban working mother that both campaigns are trying to reach out to.

I was profoundly disturbed at the dismissive tone by the majority of male members of the panel on this morning’s program. Mika repeatedly tried to discuss the topic of Romney’s disconnect from women voters via the “Binder Gate” while the men just sat around, smirked and continually tried to dismiss the topic as not important, not relevant, etc. Mika looked incredulous at this reaction. I was floored at the tone of men on the panel. Floored.

Joe Scarborough repeatedly beat Mika down, then went so far as to wax on (as he does) and try to identify the plight of the single, working waitress who doesn’t care about these women’s issues at all (as if Joe Scarborough would have a clue what a working class single mom cares about).

I typically agree with Mark Halperin and look forward to his insight, feedback, informative tweets, etc. but when he sat there, stone faced and refused to acknowledge the importance of the topic – in fact – basically said “Can’t we talk about things that are important?”– well, I lost a great deal of respect for Mr. Halperin and most of the male panel who seemed to agree with him.

Bottom line? The “Binders of Women” comment does have legs and is incredibly relevant to working women. How do I know? I am a working mother myself. You want the feedback of the person both Romney and Obama are trying desperately to reach? The suburban working mom? Well, here I am. I work full time outside the home and care for 3 small children, financially supporting my family of five while my unemployed husband stays home and cares for the children.

During the debate, Mitt Romney’s overall tone with regards to women made crystal clear how out of touch he really is with women, especially working women and middle class women. I realize he was trying to show what a enlightened male he is by referencing how he let his employee have a flexible schedule to go home and make dinner, but for him (and the morning Joe pundits) not to realize how infuriating a comment that was makes it clear that you’re all missing the boat on this one. Do only women make dinner? My husband makes dinner regularly as I don’t often make it home in time to do so. I believe he also used the phrase “*If* women are going to be in the workplace…” *IF* women are going to be in the workplace? Is he serious? Women have been in the workplace for decades. I felt like I’d stepped into a time warp.

Mr. Romney did anything but convince me he has my best interest at heart. He showed himself for what he really is – an out of touch plutocrat who will say anything to anyone to get elected. His record speaks for itself – at no time has he shown concern for women’s issues through his policies. For him to try and propagate this narrative that he is the savior of the suburban working mother is absurd and insulting to my intelligence. “Show it, don’t say it,” Mr. Romney. Show me the POLICY. And not one that you blatantly distorted in an ill conceived attempt to try and make yourself look appealing to women voters. SHOW ME A POLICY.

On news shows such as yours, I hear of pundits and politicians speak of the income inequality and the disappearing working class. While I’m glad people are talking about this, I know that we are but mere statistics to these people, while I actually live this every hour of every day.

My husband would be considered one of the “long term unemployed” – someone who has dropped off unemployment statistical charts. I work in the public sector and enough for our family to get by. The health benefits my family receives by working in the public sector are what keep me here, but due to the state’s economic crisis, my position has been slated for elimination for the last 2 years.

The conservative right wants to talk about how ARRA didn’t work? Well, let me tell you how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act did help our family and probably countless others. I happen to work for a public entity. Thanks to ARRA, I was not laid off in 2010, 2011 or 2012. Without those ARRA funds, I would have been gone in 2010. With my husband also unemployed, I shudder to think where we would be right now. When my husband became unemployed in 2009, he was a recipient of extended unemployment benefits – the full 99 weeks – something he would not have received had ARRA not been available. The ARRA funds kept us afloat. They did work. They prevented this middle class family from heading into financial collapse. While the past 3 years have been incredibly difficult, I can’t even imagine what our lives would be like had ARRA not been in place.

I am a long time viewer of Morning Joe and will continue to watch. But please do me a favor? Give Mika the respect she deserves. And you might think of adding a few regular female pundits to the panel to give a better cross section of ideas and opinions.

Maybe Mitt Romney has a binder he can let you borrow.




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So we had no satellite service over the weekend. I won’t get into why, I’ll just tell you that I went over to the dark side a little.

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who can live without cable and those who cannot. I fall into the second category. I have realized that I feel like something is missing in the morning if I don’t have Morning Joe playing in the background while I scurry around getting ready. My night isn’t complete if I don’t have a Chelsea Lately playing in the background while I futz around on the computer at night.

Before you panic, I’ll just preface this by saying all is well in the world. The cable is now functioning and I was able to watch both the Dancing with the Stars and the American Idol finales. Crisis averted. I did miss the Bachelorette premiere, but I don’t really care for her anyway.

My husband was completely nonchalant about the lack of cable. “Won’t even miss it, you’ll see,” he taunted.

We’ve know each other for about 10 years. At that moment, I felt like he didn’t’ know me at all.

During the weekend, I don’t have much time for television, save for a few hours at night, so it wasn’t as painful as a mid-week cable outage would have been. Still, I missed Justin Timberlake on SNL and my Sunday morning news shows (all that can be watched online, I realize that).

I did watch a few things online and through my streaming Netflix (a lifesaver for the kids). Two different 911 conspiracy documentaries sucked me in and had me questioning things. Why did flight 93 completely disintegrate leaving no discernable wreckage? Why are there no shots of the plane wreckage at the Pentagon? Why did people hear explosions in and around the towers before they went down?

But I digress.

I think it’s important to just be candid about our weaknesses. I am a television-aholic. 100%. I have a problem. No question. I admire the people who live without television. I am sure they are much more productive than I. Their closets and silverware drawers are likely much neater than mine. Not to mention the inside of their cars.

But I’m at peace with my addiction. I’m sorry, I can’t live without Bravo in HD at 46 inches. I can’t.

Now excuse me while I remotely program our DVR to tape Oprah’s final episode.

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I have a confession to make. Now, hold on to your hat.

I’m addicted to another reality show. I know, hard to believe, right?

I am completely addicted to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Completely and utterly.

Not sure if anyone out there in cyberland is watching the AWESOMENESS that is REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS, but if you’re not – you mustMUST YOU HEAR ME – watch this.

If you are watching, how juicy and wonderful is this new guilty pleasure??????

I was a little worried when Jersey Shore ended, but turned out I was worrying in vain as RHOBH came in to fill the void.

My thoughts on the characters thus far:

Kyle – Love her. As Brad (from Rachel Zoe Project) said on “Watch What Happens Live”  – she is a combo of Demi Moore and Brooke Shields. She also seems – in context – the most real of the BH housewives. Most down to earth. Likeable.

Taylor – Ridiculous trophy wife. Her husband is just a boring tool. And yeah, $60k on a kid’s party? That was disturbing, quite frankly. I mean, I know it’s par for the course in BH, but hello? Narcissistic, much?

Kim – I have a soft spot for her as I remember her from childhood. That said, she has issues. She doesn’t bug me too much. Yet.

Adrienne – I was kind of on the fence about her until I saw she has twins and another child close in age. :p Now, I like her. Watching her have a meal with her family validated that even oodles of money will not create well behaved little kids. She’s a bit plasticy looking and I don’t think she likes her husband very much, but she is ok.

Lisa Vanderpump – Adore her. She is scathingly witty and very honest. She is over the top with the pink and Giggy and the gay husband, but I do like me some Vanderpump.

Camille – Ah, yes. Camille. What can I say? She is so obnoxious. Where to start? Her speaking of her 8 homes or how she had surrogates for her children and now has 4 nannies for them? Or how 3500 sq ft is very hard for her and her family and staff to live in? Or how BUSY SHE IS? OR TIRED SHE IS? That is the hardest one for me to listen to. I want to reach into the tv and strangle her 4 nanny ass when she talks such nonsense. Oh and let’s not forget her talking about how wonderful her breasts are.

What disturbed me the most about Camille was discovering that her and I are the same age. No, correction, she is 6 months YOUNGER than me. Good god in heaven. She is truly an obnoxious tool and as far as the fight between her and Kyle, I’m TEAM KYLE all the way.

That is all. 🙂

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1. I think I am going through perimenopause. My cycle was something like 3 weeks last month (unprecedented for me) and I have this annoying rash on my face (also pretty unusual for me). Could all this old lady discontent I’m surrounded by be rubbing off on me?

2. I am addicted to some incredibly unpleasant shows. Case in point, Jersey Shore. Can’t get enough. Am giddy on Thursday nights. Actually think Pauly D. is cute. Am rooting for “The Situation” on Dancing with the Stars despite his overt misogyny on JS. Second case in point? Hoarders. Find it beyond disturbing, but can’t turn it off. I grew up in what I would describe as a mid-level Hoarders house, so this show has led me to this whole “Children of Hoarders” web community. It’s pretty heavy stuff, a childhood full of shame and secrecy and profound suppression of any memories surrounding it (not unlike children of abuse) but that is another post for another day.

3. Sofia old has taken to saying “HE-LLOHHHHHH?!??!?!!” (a la Angelina on Jersey Shore) and calling me either “Lady” or “M-O-M” (em-oh-em). Uh yeah, when did my 5 year old turn 14?

4. David pooped in preschool yesterday. Steve had to be called to come and change him. I’m sure a call or email to me will be forthcoming. (They are supposed to be potty trained and not supposed to wear pull ups). I’m going to have to explain David’s issues and hopefully they will let it go.

5. Some of you may recall my springtime “Kindergarten Madness” – my difficult decision regarding trying to get Sofia into a wonderful public school (“10 out of 10” on Greatschools.net) a few miles from us vs. the school we decided to send her to? Turned out our school was on the “wrong side of the tracks” (in effect) and we were not able to get her in, despite our street name being listed within the “10 out of 10 school’s” boundaries on the website. Imagine my surprise the other night when I asked about the potential for a K-1 class (there are 2 at capacity Kinder classes now) when I was told that the few students who registered late…were sent to the “10 out of 10 school!” Holy shitballs.

When they increased class size during the summer, it created room there. I think my jaw hit the floor. People camped out all weekend to go there, I really want Sofia to go there and because people registered late…they get to go there? I’m currently debating trying to do anything about it, or wait until next year. I’m leaning towards waiting because a) the aftercare where we are is cheaper and b) Sofia seems to be doing just fine. That said, 2 of her good friends (and kids of my friends) are going to the “better” school and ultimately, I would really like her to go there. Just ’cause. HARUMPH!

6. It is gloriously beautiful here today. Honestly. Days like this are the reason people come to live here. It doesn’t get much better than this.

7. This weekend, Sofia and I are attending an “informational” meeting for Daisy Girl Scouts. I know I am going to get sucked in. I know that Sofia is going to eat it up. Apparently some of the “older girls” have something planned for the little ones. Wish me luck…

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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What was it about that movie? Describe A movie you once had memorized.

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat…”

“So, eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.”

“Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.”

Three of my favorite quotes from my all-time, favorite movie.

Since I was 7 years old, I have been obsessed with this movie. I have often wondered why this movie, out of all the others, is what I remember most about my childhood. It created a lifelong fear/fascination with the ocean, its power and potential.

I think part of the reason for my fascination with this movie was that when I went to see it in the theater, I was very young and it terrified me beyond belief. My father did his best, may he rest in peace, but he wasn’t always in tune with appropriate boundaries. Obviously, taking a 7 year old child to see JAWS on the big screen was probably not the most responsible thing to do.

That said, I loved this movie then and I love it now. The beginning sequence, when the nude (nudity for a 7 year old, really dad?) girl is running on the beach at night, then swimming to the buoy, then getting violently tugged and ultimately eaten by the shark was the scariest thing imaginable.

This movie personified the era of larger than life movies of the 1970’s. Spielberg got right up for those extreme close ups, the actors heads blown up to the size of the movie screen. There is something incredibly mesmerizing about that kind of filmmaking. I have never been one to rent movies, mostly for this reason. I like movies to be extraordinary, jump out of the screen and take me you to another place and time. This movie set the bar high for me.

This movie represents summer at the beach, East Coast style. You can practically smell the baby oil as it wafts through the air, hear the ice in the cocktail glasses, taste the salt in the air. I think I was attracted to it because having grown up about 2 miles from the coast, this beach was everything my cold, blustery one was not. Warm, sunny and populated with people having fun. Well, until Pippit disappeared and the little red headed kid became the shark’s lunch.

Even after viewing the movie at multiple times over the past 35 years, I get giddy when I see it’s on television. I have to watch it again, no matter that I’ve seen it hundreds of times, know every twist and turn, every line, every nuance of every scene. It’s that good.

I wonder what, if anything, will be my kids’ Jaws? I could sound like a really old person and say that this era of skilled direction and flawless filmmaking is long gone, but I won’t do that. Every once in a while, I’m blown away by something, so I’m hopeful.

This post was written as part of Mamakatslosinit Writer’s Workshop. Come check it out!

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For the Twihards…for the rest of the world who could care less about that vampire B.S., you may want to skip this post…

In anticipating of next week’s Vampire Diaries season premiere, I thought I would share some of my thoughts about my favorite new show of last year.

I’ll preface this by saying I watch an ungodly amount of trashy reality television (Bachelor Pad? Bad Girls Club?) I do. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate well crafted, scripted television.

Mad Men is the best scripted drama on television today, in my humble opinion. End of story.

My second favorite scripted drama? The Vampire Diares – or TVD as its known amongst its fans.

I just want to put it out there that if you are a Twilight fan (and I know so many of you are), you should absolutely check this show out.

From Wikipedia

The Vampire Diaries is an American supernatural–fantasy horror television series developed by Kevin Williamson, based on the book series of the same name(7 books so far) by L. J. Smith. The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), who falls in love with vampire Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), and soon finds herself caught in a love triangle between Stefan and his older brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) while the brothers are also being haunted by the past they’ve had with Katherine Pierce(Elena’s identical faced Ancestor) (played by Nina Dobrev as well). The series also focuses on the lives of Elena’s friends (Bonnie, Matt, Vickie, Caroline)(In the books, Merideth),family (Jenna, Jeremy, John, Isobel) and other inhabitants of the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia.

When The Vampire Diaries premiered on The CW Television Network on September 10, 2009, it attracted the largest audience of any series since the network began in 2006.[1] On February 16, 2010, The CW announced that it had renewed the show for a second season, which is expected to premiere on September 9, 2010

I know, I know. I know what you are thinking! I thought the same thing when it premiered late last year. Twilight rip. Big time. It’s the story of a teenage girl, a small town and a mesmerizing vampire. Clearly, there will be comparisons.

But the dirty little secret? The first book was written in 1991, back when Stephanie Meyer was graduating high school and listening to Marky Mark. So, it actually predates Twilight by 14 years. Not only is it not a rip, the argument can be made for Twilight being a rip of TVD. Just sayin.

I don’t really care which one came first. I fell in love with Twilight and I’ve fallen in love with TVD. I think there is room out there for both.

I watched the first season of TVD before I ever picked up the book. Once I started to get into the series, I tried to read the first TVD book. I was immediately turned off because the book Elena Gilbert is a blonde goddess, uber popular and shallow, kind of a “mean girl.” The tv Elena Gilbert has dark features, but is popular but profoundly compassionate, so it threw me off. I tried reading the books again this summer and became hooked. Other than the primary character arcs, the tv series does not follow the mythology of the books at all, but I have enjoyed them both as I’ve grown very attached to these characters.

The buzz around this show is growing. It recently swept the Teen Choice Awards, winning 7 awards. The kids like it. I like it too. And I’m no kid.

Some of the reasons why you should check out this show:

Ian Somerholder.

Prior to this show, he was Boone from Lost. It didn’t take long for the image of the good brother who dies too young to be completely erased from memory. Damon Salvatore is a brother, but he’s bad. Very, very bad. For me, there is nothing hotter than a smart, witty, off-limits bad boy. I can’t imagine a more perfect Damon. Bravo casting. This kid is hot, y’all. And he can act! A former model, he’s breathtakingly beautiful, but has a real presence. He is the real deal.

Nina Dobrev.

As Elena Gilbert, she is young, breathtakingly beautiful, but has the acting chops to go very, very far. I love Twilight as much as the next person, but this girl is no pouty, sullen, one note Samba (a la Kstew) – She fits the role seamlessly and is real and likeable.

A Love Triangle – beaucoup de la chimie

Unlike the love triangle with Edward Cullen and Jacob, where it’s pretty clear who Bella should ultimately “be” with, we never really know who Elena should be or deep down, wants to be with. There is a * sick * amount of chemistry between Elena and the bad boy brother, Damon, so much so that as the season unravalled, I found myself pulling for dangerous Damon, instead of her “true love” Stefan. All of their scenes explode off the screen…

Never has this been more evident than in this scene, from the Season 1 Finale. I like this version of it because it cuts off before giving away any more of the finale, should anyone actually decide to check out the series. Never underestimate the power of a good kissing scene.

I mean, how can you go wrong when you have these two guys fighting over you?

Kevin Williamson.

The writer/creator of Dawson’s Creek, the Scream movies (he’s currently filiming Scream 4) and I Know What You Did Last Summer, he’s kind of the John Hughes of the new generation, if John Hughes did horror movies. He is the executive producer and this is his baby. The show is kind of a modern day Dawson’s Creek, if that town was populated by vampires. So, if you were a DC fan, even more reason to check out TVD!

The pace.
There is a lot going on in this show. The writing and plotlines are crisp. Just when you think you know where they are going, they veer off in another direction in a most compelling way. This being a serialized drama, they have to keep things moving, much more than a film will. You will never be bored.

The location.
The town of “Mystic Falls,” Virginia is really shot in Covington, Georgia. A picturesque, Atlanta suburb that is the “Hollywood of the South,” (Dukes of Hazzard & In the Heat of the Night were filmed there). Truth be told, it’s a heck of a lot more appealing than Forks, Washington.

So, there you go. Season 1 is on DVD and Netflix

You can watch some previews and full episodes from Season 1 for free on CWTV.

If you’re looking for a series that is sheer entertainment, this is the show. The Season 2 premiere is next Thursday, September 9th on the CW.

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Despite the fact that my husband once again joined me for some Bachelorette viewing drama, Monday night was painful. I truly felt bad for Ali as she was blindsided by Frank’s news of his unresolved feelings for an ex.

My favorite moment of the episode? When she emphasized how she had given up everything in her life for this chance to find love, Frank interrupted her with a whiny “So did I!” to which she responded with a “Apparently Not Everything.” Best.Moment.Ever.

He really put his foot in his mouth with that one, in my opinion. Cute, funny, neurotic guy turned out to be a selfish, insecure, dumb ass guy. Honestly, I think that as he got closer to Ali and realized how much power she had over the situation, it freaked him out and caused him to go running back to what was safe, what he knew would never hurt him. Armchair psychology, 101.

I think it goes without saying that he will regret this decision. Honestly, from the way she reacted last night, I would bet money that she would have picked him in the end. Even my husband concurred with this.

So on to the bachelors who are left.

I think they are both hot, that goes without saying. Still, I’m not crazy about either of the remaining bachelors with Ali, but if I had to pick one for her, I’d pick Roberto.

Ali seemed to enjoy her time with Chris and Roberto equally. My only hesitation with Chris (great guy) is that I’m not sure they are well suited to each other. I think he is Mr. Salt of the Earth, but there’s something missing. I think it was very telling when Ali said she had never pictured herself moving back to Boston (…until she met him, someone she really doesn’t know very well at all). That is where he’s from, what he’s about, etc.

And how amazing did Tahiti and the upcoming episode in Bora Bora look? Paradise on earth!

Last night, I went to book club at a local restaurant/bar and only 2 of us showed up. We spent the rest of the night discussing “How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen…” over a glass of wine or two. Oh, who am I kidding? We basically spent 2 hours discussing the Bachelorette and how we hope she picks Chris so Roberto can be the next Bachelor!! Good times….

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