Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A step in the right direction

In the grand scheme of things this may not be too exciting to a lot of you, but for me it's a very exciting step. I love to write and I love the entertainment industry (my focus is TV, but I love it all) so when I was given the opportunity to write an article for the paper my friend works for, I freaked out. I really never thought it would actually come through, but it did. I did an interview on the phone with a screenwriter who was beyond nice (a big plus for a first interview) and wrote two articles about Frank and Issac Gildea and the movie that was written about them. The articles are OK, but there they are in print and that is all that matters. If you want to see them, here are the links:

entertainment section

sports section

Now on to trying to get another writing gig somewhere. Anywhere! Thank you to all those that helped me with this, even if it was just letting me freak out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

East vs West Terminology

When I say East vs West, I'm not talking cultures - that discussion would require a level of intelligence that I do not possess, especially while battling the plague. I'm talking East Coast vs West Coast. Why can't these two coasts get along? Wasn't the loss of Tupac and Biggie enough to settle our differences? 

The reason I bring this up is because today I was talking about summer plans and I said that we may take a day trip to the "shore" as part of our plans, at which point the person I was talking to looked at me as if I had just spoken Chinese. "Shore" is a foreign word out here. It's the "coast." I've lived out here for almost over 11 years, so I know this. But growing up back east, shore still comes to mind first.  Let's just call a truce and everyone agree just to call it the "beach," okay?

Then there are brand names. Hellman's/Best Foods, Dreyers/Edys, Carls Jr/Hardys.  Why??  Just, why?? First of all, Best Foods is stupid, and it should be called Hellman's everywhere. I love when we get an east coast feed commercial on cable (often during a sporting event that is east coast based) and the commercial is for Hellman's and not Best Foods. Yes, it is ridiculous to care about that, but I do!

I'm sure there is some valid and reasonable explanation for these things...... no wait, I changed my mind. There is no good reason. It's annoying and as someone that has east and west coast ties, it just gives me a headache! We are not two different countries, although recently South Carolina has made some strides in the argument that they should be, so we should call things by the same name! If McDonalds can be McDonalds all over the world, than all these companies should be able to come up with one name for the whole country!

By the way..... could I have come up with a more ridiculous blog topic today?  You're welcome.

(**Happy Birthday NPH.  I heart you.**)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"The Hardest Job There Is"

If you aren't a mom, you may as well stop reading now. You will probably just get annoyed with me. The point of the blog is: if you aren't a mom, you just don't get it. And this not meant to be disrespectful in any way. You can't help it. All of us moms felt the same way you do before we had our kids. I know before I had Emily I thought, "Oh, I know... life will change, it's hard, blah blah. I know! I understand!" But, I didn't. And if you aren't a mom, you don't either. No matter how much you think you do, or you want to.

This enlightenment is automatic, like a light switch. Not the moment the baby is born.  Mostly because you are either in a drug-induced haze, or in a lot of pain. Either way, you are not completely coherent. And the whole idea that you just brought a life into the world (Nevermind how it came out! Natural or c-section, that's a lot to wrap your head around!) leaves you in sort of a cloudy state so you can't fully comprehend these things. Plus you have a ton of nurses all around taking care of the baby for awhile, helping you figure out nursing/feeding, diapers, cleaning. All that jazz. It's that moment when they wheel you out of the hospital and you stand up, put the baby in the car seat and realize, "Oh, shit. This thing is my responsibility for real now. For like 18 years. At least." That ride home is probably the longest one you will ever have.

And after that light switch is turned on, the bulb only gets brighter. There are tons of moments where you just suddenly "get it." The first night where the baby cries constantly for no reason. Even the best sleepers have this night. The first night the baby bumps their head or falls down (usually at some fault of your own). The first trip you take with your kids. The first trip you take without your kids. All these moments, the little and big, lead up to "getting it." And I don't claim to be all knowledgeable - I'm only knowledgeable up to a (almost) 7 year old girl and 3 year old boy!

I've been thinking about all this a lot the past couple of days. First, I was at the OB/GYN for my annual violation (as I like to call it) and when she asked my occupation and I said "mom" she said "Ah... the hardest job there is." I kind of wanted to hug her. Since we met about 90 seconds before, I decided that probably wasn't a good idea. Later in the week I got a lot of "I know what you means" about some mom stuff. Though most of them were coming from non-moms. With all due respect, no you don't!  I felt like a bitch because it was the first thought that came to my head. But after a few texts with my go-to Mom friend (Thanks, as always, Erin), I felt better about my initial bitchiness. Then I went to see Sex and the City 2. Far and away my favorite scene took place between the two moms of the foursome, Charlotte and Miranda, because they said the things you aren't supposed to say: kids drive you nuts. Sometimes you just want to hide in the pantry closet and cry it out. And by "sometimes," at least for me, I mean a lot of the time. And moms who don't have nannies have it harder than anyone. No job is harder. I had a job that stressed me out so bad my doctor told me to start my maternity leave a full month before my due date to avoid an early labor - and even that job didn't make me want to hide in a pantry closet and cry it out.

A know a lot of you just had babies over the past year. Somewhere in the vicinity of 4815162342 of you. (Teehee.... I miss Lost.) And I'm sure so many of you are starting to realize all that "understanding" you did before wasn't really understanding. You can sympathize, of course, but you can't understand. So new moms - welcome to the light. (Not the light from Lost.  That wouldn't be good.) And non-moms - It's ok, you don't have to understand. We don't expect you to. And we love you for it. There is a part of us (whether or not we admit it aloud) that wishes we could be the non-mom again for a couple days. Preferably in our friend's beautiful NYC apartment with a closet full of couture, of course!

As I finish this post, I realize I ignored two kinds of moms - adoptive/foster and step. As for the adoptive/foster, you are the same as the bio-mom, for sure. Just without the stretch marks. Bio-moms are crazy jealous over that! :)  As for step.... well that is an entire other bag of worms, and one that I don't feel I can discuss. I am not a stepmom, I don't have a step-parent of any kind. So like non-moms who should not talk attempt to understand moms, I would not even begin to attempt to understand being a stepmom. I'll leave that blog to my soon to be sister-in-law! ;)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Some stuff in the news

Normally I don't talk about news stuff too much, especially if it ventures into the world of politics, because I find it brings out the stupid people. Then I end up in circular arguments with people that just make me want to punch them and then drink heavily. It's not worth the aggravation. But, I've been reading a couple of things recently that have driven me nuts so I wanted rant about them on here. You're welcome.

First up - the Times Square bomber. Let me say what we all know to be true. That guy is an ass. An idiotic ass, as it turns out, because he couldn't make a proper bomb. Come on, dude. It's the age of the internet. Anyone with a access to a computer can get instructions and a video on how to make that thing. I'm glad he's an idiot because no one was hurt, but he is still an idiot. And a horrible human being. However, that does not mean that when he is arrested he should not be Mirandized. The fact that this is even an argument is, frankly, a little disgusting to me. Also disgusting that backing me up is Glenn Beck. *shudder* Charles Manson was Mirandized, Jeffrey Dahmer was Mirandized. Some idiot failed bomber, even if he is a terrorist, still needs to be Mirandized! What the hell, people??

Next - one of the only women I hate as much as Nancy Grace: Gloria Allred. What the hell, lady? All she does is defend women who had affairs with famous men. Why do these women needs such rigorous legal representation? How exactly were they wronged here? They KNEW they were sleeping with married men, so I don't see how the label "victim" can be applied to these women. What the men did was disgusting, and so was what these women did. If the men were upset when these women decided they were going to go to the press with their affair, well that makes sense. Neither the man-whore husbands or their whore mistresses are victims though. They are both just whores. (PS - I still root for Tiger to win. And I still love Bones and Buffy/Angel. Just saying. But I'm on Team Sandra all the way. If you add Nazi paraphernalia into your adultery, well, I just can't root for you in any way. Sorry, Jesse.)

Also, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton?????!?!?!?!?  Seriously?!?! Sorry..... that's not really news per se, but I just read it and I can't get over it.  That is just crazy!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm not in hiding... I swear

It's been nearly a month since I've written. Bad blogger! How sad for all of your that I haven't been updating you on my life! (Hey! Blogger put the spellchecker back on the tab! Woot. Now my blogs won't be so full of spelling errors!)

Anyway, I've been very busy with school so that I've been neglecting this blog. But I am done for the next 4 months!!  WOOHOO! And despite horrible professors, I managed to maintain my 4.0 GPA. Suck it, professors! That's right, I'm very mature. Let's see.... what has been going on. My baby turned 3 last week. I'm still fat from being pregnant with him, so it was depressing on multiple levels when I had to put 3 candles in the cake. One candle for every 10 pounds I could lose! HA! Hopefully the weather will stop being sun then all of a sudden downpour of rain so I can go run/walk with him in the stroller more often. I only want to go when it is nice - it isn't fair to poor Owen to be stuck in the cold rain because mommy is fat!

I've also been dealing with Emily and her speech teacher. I do not like that woman. At all. She is adamant that something is wrong with Emily's hearing, but the Ear Nose and Throat doctor said there isn't. Twice. And did some slightly invasive procedures to be extra thorough. Which traumatized my poor daughter. I'm beyond mad that I felt I HAD to have him do that to her because of this woman who probably just refuses to change her speech therapy techniques as needed for each student and therefore has decided that there is something wrong with my kid. God forbid there should be something wrong with how she is teaching  - which by the way, was the doctor's prognosis: She needs speech therapy with different techniques. Oy! I'm a little nervous to see how this woman is going to react. If she tells me to send Emily to someone else I may lose it.

Not much else is going on here. I've been in a funk, so that has a lot to do with my lack of blogging. Who really wants to hear about my funk? (Sorry, Nicole and Erin, that's all on you!) Trying to get out of it. At least I know I will be able to get hugs from Nicole in about 2 months!! I miss hugs. Ha. Don't worry.... Kevin gives me hugs, people. He is a good husband.

Alright, I'm going to go watch some DVR. Hurray!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Almost Done...

...for a few months anyway. I am in week 12 of my 14 week courses for this semester. I don't think that I can properly express my joy in ending this classes, however I will give it a whirl.


Ahem. It is not that I don't enjoy school. I'm a big nerd and I really do enjoy learning and reading and all that nerd stuff. However these two classes have been extra ridiculous. First, let me start with the required course. Intro to Research. First of all, if you are in a graduate program, I'm thinking you probably know a thing or two about research because you had to have graduated from some sort of undergraduate program, right? I did learn a few good tips though. Honestly, instead of Intro to Research it should be called "Pre-cursor to Your Thesis. Start Worrying Now." A lot of the assignments were busy work, and completely unrealted to anything I am doing. They related to more scientific research as opposed to Humanities based research, but, again, still some interesting stuff. My biggest issue is if this is supposed to be a pre-cursor to my thesis, I wish I had had a professor who even knew who Joss Whedon was as he is the topic of my research. However, when I gave her my topic proposal, she had to google him and still was unsure who I was talking about. Really? I mean, I understand I guess, but, Really??  She has not been much help... But again, almost done. Also, I thought for this class I was going to have to write a 20 page mini-thesis, but it turns out I only have to write an 8-10 page thesis proposal. Score!

Now on to the other class... Art 623: Aesthetics. It is basically an art philosophy course. I had such high expectations for this one! Art- LOVE! Philosophy- LOVE! (I repeat, nerd) And overall the course could have been great. We read A LOT of different philosophies on art. A different philosopher every week - from Plato to Tolstoy, we ran through them all. However, when we had our discussions, our professor almost never chimed in, so we could have all been completly wrong and never known it. Great conversations with the class, but who knows if we really learned anything. We all think we did, so that's great I suppose! Even if we aren't really any smarter, we think we are and isn't that really all that counts. We have some great things to throw out at a cocktail party. Who goes to cocktail parties by the way? Not I. Sad face.... But I digress.... (I miss Mr. Fried's English Class. Anyone else?)

Then there is the grading of the papers. Like I mentioned, we are in Week 12. My Reasearch professor has finally finished grading through week 8 (and discussions through week 10. But let's face it, she doesn't really do anything for those except see if we participated, right?). My Art teacher.... only through Week 4!! You read that correct. That means between now and April 29 (the end of the semester) she has to grade 10 weeks of papers for all of us. But it took her 12 weeks to grade the first 4! She did mention she was sick at one point - even in the hospital, however it was an in and out thing. And she went out of town for several days this past week, so she is probably feeling OK now. Honestly, with this class, it didn't matter from one week to the next what the previous grade was. What I did in week 3 had no effect on week 4. It does matter in research as previous week's assignments will come together in the final proposal. My biggest problem with the Art professor is this:

In my MLA template on Word I had forgotten to change the font in the header to Times New Roman. I never really noticed, so every paper I turned in the first SIX weeks of class have the wrong font there. However, as soon as I received back my first paper graded (again, in Week SIX) I saw the note that I had the wrong font, and immediately fixed my MLA Template so all future papers would be correct. Problem is, she keeps grading papers that do not have the change because they were turned in before I received the note! And she keeps giving me attitude about having not changed the font! This week I had enough and finally wrote her back about why the font wasn't changed in all these papers and that when she finally catches up to papers that were received AFTER she graded the first one, she will see the change. I said it nicer, but I didn't want to.

Normally, when we get the end of the semester survey about our class/professor, I breeze through it and don't say anything. Boy howdy, will I have some stuff to say this time! I'm taking the summer off this year. After the past few months I need to decompress. Here's to hoping in September the same issues don't arise! I'll let you know.....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Oregon Duck Fans- Putting the Fool in April Fools

For those who don't follow college football- I live in Corvallis, OR, home of Oregon State University (The Beavers). About 45 minutes to the south is Eugene, OR, home of University of Oregon (The Ducks). They represent one of the oldest rivalries in college football. Honestly, I don't really care about The Beavers, but I will say, a lot of Ducks fans are ridiculous and, frankly, kind of dumb. Not all - I have friends that are Ducks fans, and they are lovely people who are not stupid. HOWEVER, many proved how dumb they were yesterday. Bringing the stupid even harder: the press.

(Side note before I go on: this was the LEAD story on the local news last night. And they played it like it was something serious!!  Oy.)

The Oregon Ducks players have been getting into a lot of legal trouble recently. I won't go into all of that, for many reasons. Their quarterback, who is currently suspended for his legal troubles, Jeremiah Masoli, is the focus of the story. Eugene minor league baseball team, The Emeralds, posted on their site that Masoli was going to pitch for them this season to keep in shape since he can't play for The Ducks this fall. Of course, this was just an April Fool's Day Prank. The Ems were trying to have fun. The press decided to make a big story out of it, decending upon The Ducks training camp yesterday like a pack of wolves with stories of a "source" (I use the term loosely, because I doubt there was even really a source) claiming that Chip Kelly, the coach, was making a lot of early morning phone calls about it, seeing if it was true. Kelly laughed at the press, literally laughed AT them,  and that no, that is not true, saying, "I am not stupid. I can look at a calendar and see what day it is."  Oh Chip! You're so funny! But it was still reported like this was a bad idea of a joke! How dare the Emeralds tease Eugene like that! Boo hoo.

They were probably upset to find out that Google didn't really change their name to Topeka and that Starbucks was not adding two more sizes (the Plenta and the Micro).

I can't believe this is news. At least it wasn't another weather report! We get it. It's raining. Do we need to talk about it for FIFTEEN MINUTES?!?!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Protective Parenting

Maybe I'm overprotective. My daughter is a funny sweet girl who is also a little sensitive. She wants everyone to be friends, and doesn't understand why everyone isn't. (Ahhhh... to be 6!) Her only real friends until kindergarten were her cousins who were friends with her whether or not they wanted to be. She loves them without question no matter what happens with them. They are family and even though she gets annoyed with her brother, she can't understand why sometimes they don't seem to want to hang out with her. Then in kindergarten she wound up with the most amazing class ever. You know that class you dream of having your kid be in - the perfect teacher, the nice kids, happiness all around? That was her kindergarten. There were, of course, a couple kids who were less than perfect sometimes, but that's to be expected. But even they got along with everyone. Those 20-something kids were a cohesive unit.
Now we have her 1st grade class. There are some sweet kids.... most of them are kids that were in her kinder class. And then there are some that make me want to scream. This morning my girl was running to the line (it's always a race to get there first) and one of the boys ran to stop her and literally grabbed her arms and held her back so that someone else could get there first. It was a boys vs girls thing. The boy in question is actually one of the not so bad ones. However, he was manhandling my little girl! And there were TWO parents standing right there, neither of which thought to say, "Um, we don't touch each other like that!" So I had to yell from 20 yards away, "Please let go of her." He apologized right away. He's 6 or 7, and doesn't understand that maybe that's not ok. But the parents do!! Ugh.

Like I said, maybe I'm overprotective.

By the way... despite being held back, she still beat the other kid. Heehee.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Corvallis vs Everywhere Else

I've lived in Corvallis for a little over five years now. Not once has it really felt like "home." This is not to say I don't like it here, it is a nice area, but when I was in NJ, NY and CA I felt at home almost immediately. These areas aren't perfect either. For instance, NY and CA have sales tax, something I have grown used to not having here in OR. I'm spoiled like that. I also want to say that this blog isn't an indication that I'm going to move. I couldn't afford it right now anyway. This entry is basically a bit of whining about why I would like to live elsewhere, but acknowledging the things that keep me here.

First of all - almost all of my friends live somewhere else. My best friends live in either NY or CA. My best friend in the world is having a baby any day now and I don't get to meet him until he is 3 months old. And even then, I'm only going to be there for 24 hours! I only got to see her when she was maybe 3 months pregnant - and unlike me at 3 months that brat wasn't showing. (I'm not bitter over my whale-like state while pregnant. Really.) When I was preggers with Owen, one of my other best buds was preggers with her second that was also a boy. I would have loved to have done that together in person instead of via email! Sometimes I just want to drag my kids over to Erin's so we can watch Bones (THURSDAY!!!) while the kids destroy toys, but it's a 500 mile drive or 2 hour flight, so not really happening. I have my group here, and I LOVE my MHMs.  (When are we going out again girls?) But in a lot of ways it's not the same. I hope that one day it will be more like it is with my other friends if we all stay in the area for a long time. But there is something about just hanging out with someone who knows you really well and has for a loooooong time. I don't have to explain me - they already know.

Another Corvallis negative - food and culture. Oy. Granted, I lived 14 years in the NY Metropolitan area (or near it at least).  Food was yummy. Pizza was real pizza. Chinese was GOOOOOD. Field trips were to The Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Bronx Zoo. Shopping was awesome. There were huge malls everywhere with more stores than I could know what to do with, or possibly spend my very little money at. California had a million places to eat that were awesome. (In case you haven't noticed - it's all about the food for me. It's why I'm fat) There are places there I still want to go to and haven't.  And I cry a little when I think of Saporros or Smalleys. Even Bubba Gumps. How many birthdays did our group do there? Here the restaurants are alright at best. I have yet to be blown away by anything food wise in Corvallis. Thankfully, we recently got a Chipotle, so I can get a yummy over-priced burrito now. Every chinese place is just "eh." There is good sushi! But sushi is sort of good or really not, right? Don't get me started on the pizza. There is some good stuff that they call pizza. It's not really pizza as far as I'm concerned.  But it is still pretty good. I almost wept when we got a Trader Joe's. Seriously. There were some tears. As for culture.... well, I can go to Portland. They do OK there. But....

Okay, now before you think that I hate Corvallis, I should say that I really don't. Unlike Salinas, I will not get shot here for making the wrong hand gesture while talking in the car or for wearing the wrong color to the mall.  Or just walking in the mall at all, for that matter. People here seem unaware of what living in a gang area really means. I think some of them think those shows on the History Channel are fictional. It's all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows in Corvallis. We had one kidnapping/murder before I moved here. But neither the victim or the murderer were actually from Corvallis, if I remember correctly. Since then.... ummm.... those frat boys sure cause a ruckus downtown. Of course, given enough to drink, so do my MHMs. :) As far as public schools go, Emily's is alright. It's not the greatest (there is no art program and the music program is minimal at best) but the teachers are good, and the administration does seem to really care about the students. Specifically for me, the entire faculty seems to know who Emily is, and not for bad reasons. The principal is very active in making sure Emily gets all she needs and makes sure he is always keeping up on her progress. He has even started asking about Owen - making sure they are ready for him when he arrives. Em goes to speech, so he was asking if I think Owen will need it too, so we can stay on top of it before he even starts. By the way - Owen turns 3 next month! He doesn't start kindergarten for over 2 years!

We also live in a nice neighborhood. Thanks to my momma, we live in a house far beyond our means. It's not big. As my daughter often points out, all of my friends have nicer houses in the area. But, the backyard is huge (biggest in the entire neighborhood. You can google earth it.) and it is only a 5 minute walk to the school. Even more exciting - soon the house will be just ours. Woo. And speaking of my momma - she lives 40 minutes away. I can't imagine not living near her. She is the only babysitter I trust. Bonus: she does sleepovers on occassion! 

Sooooo..... what's my point? I guess I don't really have one. Aren't you glad you wasted your time reading this? Seriously though, I guess it's just that moving around a lot can suck. Especially when you wind up essentially stuck someplace when you would rather be somewhere else. But if I had to get stuck somewere, I am glad that it is here. And that I managed to get into Hoover school so I could meet the MHMs. At least they know I am mean, bitter and sarcastic and I don't have to pretend to be nice and "super-mommy" for them. (My kids eat candy and chips people - deal with it! They also eat green beans and brocolli, ok!?!? But that is a topic for another blog/rant) But I also really really miss my people! I guess that is the real point of the blog - I miss you guys!!  Love you!!

Ok.... next blog, less upsetting. Promise.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Rest of Me

I spend a lot of time on the computer. Between school, my TV blog, Facebook, email, and all the other sites I frequent, a lot of my time is spent with my pretty pink laptop. A portion of the reason for this is because almost all my friends live so far away, and FB is the best (or at least easiest) way to keep in touch. Recently I've been having the itch to blog things that aren't TV related. I like to share my random thoughts with people, and I know everyone likes to hear them. (You do, don't you. Lie if you have to. My ego is fragile.)  Sometimes the 140 characters Twitter offers isn't enough (and isn't TwitLonger just cheating?) and I hate having extra long Facebook statuses. It's just annoying if you have to press "read more." So I decided to start this blog. Now I can bore you all with the rest of the the crap going on in my life besides TV watching. To be honest, it's not that much. But Seinfeld was a show about nothing, right? I'm sure I can come up with some crap to talk about on here!

What's on the agenda today?  Laundry!!!  Don't worry, I'm not going to bore you with stories about my laundry. Unless you want to hear about that....  No, I didn't think so. I also have some school work to get to. Is this semseter over with? I could go on with my frustration with the classes and teachers this time around, but I'm not sure that is appropriate. Don't worry... give me a couple weeks. I'm sure I'll remove the filter. Those who know me know that I don't really have one most of the time.

Something to look forward to....