Sunday, February 26, 2017

I'm having an affair with Oscar!

I LOVE THE ACADEMY AWARDS! I do. I know that spending any amount of time gawking at celebrities and hearing "Dahling, you look mahvelous! Who are you wearing?" gushed over and over and over again by sugary-sweet, ass-kissing celebrity reporters is most likely killing brain cells and lowering my IQ. But, I care not! I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!!! I have a whole Oscar day routine. I stock up on Nacho Cheese Flavor Doritos (the best chip ever invented, and no one will ever be able to convince me differently, so don't even try), as well as a bottle of diet coke, a package of red vines, jelly beans, and, most importantly -- CHAMPAGNE! Not real champagne, of course, because only the celebrities I'm watching can actually afford the real stuff. But, Barefoot Bubbly Pinot Gris is delicious and budget-friendly, so I can get TWO bottles. Anyway, just before the red carpet starts, I banish my husband and boys from my bedroom, light up the cinnamon potpourri, take a hot bath or a shower and have my first glass of champagne. Then, I put on my silky pajamas, rub my feet and toes with luxurious lotion, slam a diet coke, open up the Doritos and red vines (saving the jelly beans for later in the show), and pour my second glass of champagne. I quickly text my friends, who know how much I LOVE Oscar Sunday and text me throughout the show ("Can you believe that dress?" "Did he really just say that?" etc., etc...), and then I snuggle into bed to watch the red carpet. The red vines and the first bottle of champagne are usually gone by the time the actual show starts, if I'm on track!

Now, if this sounds fun to you, and you're thinking you may want to join in on this fabulous yearly tradition, I have a few tips for you: 

TIP #1
It's essential that you get your significant other and/or children their OWN SNACKS. That way, they don't bug you for some of your treats during the show AND they totally support your alone-time every year, because they know that they are also going to benefit from your  Oscar bedroom vacation. (I also make sure to give my kids a small bowl of my Doritos and a couple of red vines, and I pour my hubby one glass of champagne -- It never hurts to be generous, eh? And, it seems to guarantee that they'll leave me alone during the show.) 

TIP #2
During the red carpet, if you switch back and forth between the Canadian channel AND the U.S. channel, you can miss almost all of the commercials and maybe get a little more celebrity action. 

TIP #3
Eat light the day before and the day of the event. Otherwise, the junk food and liquor could leave you feeling guilty the next day. And, it's important to hydrate on the commercials, so you're not nursing a hangover on Monday morning at work. 

You can always work up to your Oscar routine by warming up with a Golden Globe Awards bedroom vacation earlier in the year. I highly recommend it. 



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Can You Actually DIE from Cabin Fever?

We're about to begin our 4th snow day from school, and I think I'm in serious danger of losing my mind. That's four days, in a row, (six, if you count the weekend) trapped at home in a teeny little house with an 11-year-old and a 12-year-old. Boys! If you've never lived with two boys of this particular age and stage of development, then you may be thinking, "What's she griping about? Cute little boys? How much trouble could they possibly be?" Perhaps you envision them playing nicely together, as I kick back and enjoy the peace and quiet whilst sipping a hot cup of tea and reading a good book...Yeah, you're delusional. At this age, it's true that they can still resemble those sweet little boys you may be picturing. But, then, a wave of pubescent hormones hits and turns them into obnoxious, sarcastic, ungrateful little monsters! And, back and forth it goes...Totally unpredictable, too, so you can't really prepare yourself for the puberty punch. It just happens.

Day one really wasn't too bad. We stayed in our pajamas, watched too much T.V., played kitchen table ping-pong, and everybody got along reasonably well, with only minimal griping and arguing. The biggest issue for me on day one was just the sheer volume of noise produced by my beloved sons. In a house this small, there's no escape from every little sound. And, when you're trapped inside by snow and ice, all that noise is amplified. Two boys giggling or wrestling or arguing sound more like ten! And, by mid-way through the second day, they had run through every game, every toy, every activity they wanted to do and were starting to bicker over every little thing! My nerves were frayed, I was ready to snap, and I stared longingly out at my car, buried beneath the snow and ice... So, after sending them out to play in the frigid weather for a while, I hypnotized them with pizza and more T.V. (Please don't weren't here, feeling my pain!) In spite of pizza and T.V., by this time, they were starting to deliberately push buttons and get even more snarky with each other, and with me. I mean, imagine the gall of me asking them to pick up after themselves after they've had almost two full days of lying around doing nothing! How could I be so demanding and unreasonable??? What a terrible mother! Based on the amount of eye-rolling, whining, and just-under-the-breath muttered comments, you'd think I was physically torturing them! By the time hubby got home from work, I was already in my pajamas, half-way through my second glass of wine, and hiding in my bedroom trying to pretend I didn't have children at all! Picture then, the third snow day. All three of us, infected with cabin fever and ready to climb the walls, trapped in the house yet again. I actually ignored the T.V. news people urging us all to stay in our houses and avoid the roads, dug my car out from under the snow, and braved the hazardous streets to take us all out to lunch and a movie. The fresh air and change of scenery worked wonders. We were almost back to our pre-blizzard selves, and I naively thought that we might be OK and avoid actually killing one another. Until we got back in the house, the cabin fever took over again, the boys started arguing, and we got the call that school is canceled again tomorrow.

Breathe, girl. Just, breathe... 


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Are we really THIS stupid?

First of all -- My sincere apologies.

I know I just said that I was going to strive to be more Leslie Knope-ish. More optimistic and positive and all that... But, then I see the latest Donald moves (and tweets) and watch his people awkwardly and blatantly deflect and say things like, "Well, we know he said THIS and did THIS, but what he REALLY means is ________" and, in spite of my best intentions to be more positive -- I JUST CAN'T STAND IT!!! HOW CAN ANY SEMI-INTELLIGENT, DECENT HUMAN BEING STAND ANY OF THIS?!!! 

“When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice." That's a Trump quote from his inaugural speech, which he insists he wrote himself, so... Pence literally JUST restated that quote to George Stephanopolous, as a way of defending his friend Donald's most recent executive orders and tweets. I know Pence said it, because I was watching it happen. So, no "alternative facts" here...How can Pence bring up that quote with a straight face, after the sheer volume of sexist, racist, xenophobic comments Donald has made from the very start, plus his "wall", and the ban on Muslims he had promised during his campaign and just ordered last week? (I mean, seriously people. Xenophobia literally means fear or hatred towards people from foreign countries and cultures, which Donald's actions and comments clearly demonstrate! Mr. Pence, how is that not "prejudice?" And, since any idiot can see that it absolutely is  -- How can King Donald be a patriot? By his own definition, he can't be, as his heart clearly has PLENTY of room for prejudice.)

How does Pence keep from bursting into hysterical giggles as he hears himself lamely defending Donald's bullying and bigotry and erratic, immature behavior with deflection and justification and re-interpretation of his tweets and the constant replaying of campaign soundbites? I can only imagine Pence finishes these interviews and goes home to drink heavily and pray for forgiveness from his christian god (which is, apparently, the only legitimate one anyone in our country should be allowed to worship).

And, speaking of "hearts"...This morning, when challenged about Donald's comments and actions, Chris Christie said, "But, I know the president's heart.' How nice for you, Chris. Maybe you can find that heart you insist you know so well, have it repaired, and somehow get past the three-headed Cerberus known as Bannon/Kushner/Priebus to put it back in King Donald's chest cavity. It's clearly badly damaged, because, in spite of his assurances that he is the president "for all americans", it seems to only beat for his own children, anyone around the world who can further his friends' and family's business empires, and any white, wealthy, straight, male christians.

By the way, we all noticed how his people kept Kellyanne Conway away from the media after her very public "alternative facts" and "Bowling Green massacre" blunders. That's been a breath of fresh air, at least. Watching her talk in circles and squirm under the pressure of having to defend the orange-hued demagogue she worships, all while rigidly keeping that odd, creepy smile on her face, has been truly painful and pushes my blood pressure into dangerously unhealthy territory. I appreciate the break from having to watch that particular train wreck.

Oh, I shudder to think how many people adamantly refuse to see what's happening right in front of their eyes and are actually buying into this total, steaming, pile of crap! 



Thursday, February 2, 2017

I want to be Leslie Knope!!!

If you haven't seen "Parks and Recreation" then, in my humble opinion, you've missed out on one of the most amazing, positive, inspiring, lovable characters ever created. Leslie Knope -- The courageous, passionate, wide-eyed optimist who doesn't take "NO" for an answer, fights tirelessly for what she believes in, and wraps the people she loves in unconditional sappy love, whether they want it or not. I want to drink wine with her, go to Vegas with her, sing songs with her in the car, have a pajama party with her, and basically just be her best friend.

Unfortunately, Leslie Knope doesn't really exist, so I can't be her BFF. But, maybe I can aspire to be more like her. Maybe I can keep the idea of her in my heart and try harder to beat back hatred and anger with acceptance and love. Maybe I can try harder to keep pushing through when the odds are stacked against me. Maybe I can put a little more effort into being positive and optimistic when people around me are drowning in negativity and pessimism. Maybe I can try, every single day, to make the world a little friendlier, a little happier, a little better, even when I feel weary and scared and beaten down and and just want to snuggle my kids, kiss my hubby, and curl up in bed with a giant chalice of red wine.

So, as I lie here in bed (with a chalice of red wine right next to me, I admit), I pledge to be more like Leslie. I will strive to channel her indomitable spirit, her positive outlook, her never-ending faith that things can work out if you believe and are willing to work hard to make it happen, and her fierce, undying love for her friends and family.

These days, with all of the hatred and intolerance in the world, we all need a little more Leslie Knope in our lives.