How to Not Incite Rage When You Tweet

purse

Did you watch the Oscars? I sure did, complete with a magnifique French Les Mis-themed dinner: French Onion Soup, crepes… and piping hot controversy casserole.

If you watched the show like I did, you were snuggled up with your Twitter account, scrolling along to the beat of as folks from all walks of life weighed in on everything– the dresses (Too much nip! What was she thinking?!), the host (He sucks! So lame!), the awards (What a rip he wasn’t nominated!) and… the innocent nine-year-olds (I’m not going to post what The Onion said here. Look it up yourself). Noticing a theme?

The Onion’s gross grossness slapped us all in the face with the cataclysmic levels of snarkiness, flat-out rudeness and riot-inducing cruelty that’s fully permeated our public opinions on pop culture. On each other. On sweet, sparkly dress-wearing little girls. How do we pump the breaks on all of this– and pump ‘em good?

  1. Chill On The One-Upping. It seems that he– or she (we don’t know if Offending Tweeter was a woman, after all. Stop assuming things, ya big sexist.)– who shouts loudest is re-tweeted the mostest. It’s like everyone’s just sitting there eating movie snacks and trying to think of the meanest, most shocking thing to say– just for the sake of getting attention. Not classy, not funny. That’s just being a Grade-A jerk.
  2. Nice Can Be Funny.  Host Seth MacFarlane’s getting a lot of criticism for his mean-spirited humor. But remember when Tina went googalooga over ‘Bill Rodham Clinton,” and Amy sat doe-eyed next to Clooney? Their biggest laughs came from admiring people, not making fun of them. Classy.
  3. What Would Your Mom Think? I’ll fully admit I’ve written things I’m not 100% proud of (but not ashamed of, either). Here’s the test I suggest, no matter how old you are: would you be embarrassed if your mom or dad read it? If it would shame the very people who think everything you do is all kinds of call-your-grandma fantastic, then maybe do a quick re-write.

The Onion has since apologized, and let’s hope they learned something. Maybe we can all learn something, too.  I’ll start. Hey, did you hear where Quvenzhané Wallis got her super-cute puppy purse? New Yorkie!

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Why I Begrudgingly Call Anne Hathaway My Hero

anne

I’d like to tackle a truly polarizing topic: Anne Hathaway.

It’s very rare to come across a fairly cultured, in-the-know kind of person who actually likes her, and I include myself in that group.  If you’ve paid attention to her, her interviews, or her speeches over the last few years, you’ve probably noticed the following:

  1. She’s pretentious.
  2. She takes herself very seriously.
  3. She probably uses words like “brave” to describe acting.
"I was in the movie, too... you guys?"

“I was in the movie, too… you guys?”

In 2006, she was on Oprah, along with her Brokeback Mountain co-stars, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams and Jake Gyllenhaal.  During that interview, something struck me:  The other three were obviously very close-knit (and by “obviously,” I mean two of them had a baby together and the other one was named godfather).  Anne was the outsider– she wasn’t dark or deep or layered enough to fit in with their clique.  She probably watched Ugly Betty alone in her trailer with a pile of Jelly Bellies, while Heath, Michelle and Jake smoked and drank and talked about Jack Kerouac while playing Russian Roulette with a rusty knife for the duration of the shoot.  During that hour of daytime television, they weren’t mean to her, they didn’t ignore, her, but her whole being screamed, “Hey, what about me, guys?”

I can’t tell you how much that feeling resonates with me.  My grade school self, my high school self, my college self, my career self.

So what about her, guys?  A few years later, she’s on top of her career.  She’s alive.  She’s happily married.  She is a Golden Globe winner.  She will most likely be an Oscar winner in a few short weeks– all for a part that let her theatre geek nerd light shine, unapologetically (in a film that Beef would like to point out only got a 63 on metacritic).

She cut off her Princess Diaries hair.  She literally starved herself on lettuce leaves to look like she was dying.  She worked really, really hard, the way she wanted to– and it’s paying off for her.  She’s super happy and super proud of herself.  And she super should be.

And yet, if you Google “Anne Hathaway Annoying,” your computer will crash with a bajillion hits.  She’s still nobody’s darling.  I mean, “Thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will forever more use as a weapon against self-doubt”???  COME ON!  Nerd alert!   In fact, it is the very fact that I find Anne rather abrasive and self-important that I respect her so much.  F those Brokeback Mountain cool kids.  She did it on her terms and did what made her happy and didn’t care what anybody else said or did.

And that, my friends, is kinda brave.

anne-hathaway-les-miserables-golden-globes-workplace-ecards-someecards

7 Reasons Not to Hate Me for “7 Things On Mom’s Holiday To-Don’t List”

holidaytodont

I am so blessed and proud that my Huffington Post Parents piece was not only “bigger” news than Kate’s pregnancy yesterday, but that it was– and is still– featured on their homepage today.  The comments, however, are kind of surprising me.  I know, people saying mean things on the internet? Well, I never!!!!  My intent with the post was to poke fun at the pressure parents put on themselves to produce (and yes, PRODUCE– parenting is no different from pulling off The Oscars, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians or Wheel of Fortune) the Perfect Christmas for their kids.  I, more than anyone I know, am guilty of planning things out in my head one way… only to completely fall apart when things don’t go according to plan.

This happens a lot.

Writing about my personal life has taught me to toughen up and not take too much personally– even though people calling me a lazy mom or suggesting that I drink a lot is pretty personal.  And only half true.  But I know what these people don’t– I’m a great mom, and Mom Who Loves Christmas.  I can prove it!  Would a Bah Humbug Mom go to Home Goods every other day to Ooh and Ahh over the seasonal hand towels and bundle up their daughter for a joyous six-minute stroll through Zoo Lights before the reindeer poop hit the roof?  Here’s the “real story” behind the 7 Things on Mom’s Holiday To-Don’t List.

  1. Bake. No, I’m not hosting a cookie exchange.  Yes, I did make cookies with my mom growing up.  And they were TERRIBLE.  Raw on the inside, burnt on the outside.  My mom is a lot of wonderful things, but she isn’t a baker.  So for me, the meaningful holiday memory is what my mom DIDN’T do– and I love her more for it.  Besides, I made Rice Krispie Treats last weekend, and Posey and I shared one together.  She liked it.  That counts, right?
  2. Make Martha Stewart crafty homemade gifts. I believe that there are lots of folks out there who are making gifts this year.  I also believe there is a .01% chance that you are one of them.
  3. Get a real Christmas tree.  My fake-ass cheap tree looks glorious.  It’s also my cat’s most favorite place on earth to sit beneath.  The baby is too young to care yet, but the cat is seriously at peace under that thing.  I’m also an excellent cat mom.
  4. Remember to light the candles on the first or even second night of HanukkahI looked it up.  Hanukkah starts at sundown this Saturday.  If there is an accident resulting in the baby getting singed, it’s on you.  A good mother doesn’t allow an open flame in their home.
  5. Watch Miracle on 34th StreetWhy would I watch this when the world has given me Blake Shelton’s Not-So-Family Christmas as an option? Why, I ask? (Side note: Yesterday, Beef mused aloud, “I wonder if there is going to be another Michael Buble Christmas special this year?”  A boy can dream.)
  6. Take a seasonal family photo.  Just last week, I got super-mad that we have no professional family portraits with Posey yet.  I saw so many leaf pile shots of my friends’ families frolicking– the kids all smiles, the moms all sassy in new boots– that I demanded my husband book us a session as my Christmas gift.  Then, we took Posey to get her photo with Santa.  I’m not going to say that Santa dropped her, but I’m not going to say that he didn’t.  She squirms a lot.  I think I’m going wait til I have a better guarantee I won’t get super-mad that we spend money on super-bad pictures. (PS– Didn’t people see the picture of us that accompanied the post?)
  7. Mail out holiday cards before December 26th. Fine.  Send me your address.  But I really will have to ask you for it again next year.

And to all of you nice people out there who’ve been writing me kind comments and emails:  Santa is sure to put you on his “nice” list this year! Thank you!

Oh, Toodles!

At first, I think I projected “likes” onto my girl.  As in, “She just LOVES that Lamby!” (No, it’s in front of her face, and she doesn’t know how to turn her head) or, “She is OBSESSED with that lion rattle and won’t let go!” (Nope, she doesn’t know she has opposable thumbs and possesses the power to drop things.)  But eventually, one thing rose to the surface above all others and was able to capture her attention— and her little heart:

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is a cartoon on Disney Junior and possibly the world’s best invention, perhaps even beating the toilet and Ziploc bags and ZzzQuil.  I know it’s not recommended that babies under two watch television, but who are we kidding? I’d rather she watch this than Game of Thrones, which her father was totally okay with. In every episode, Mickey calls on his mouse-eared floating iPad named Toodles (“All we have to say is, ‘Oh, Toodles!‘”), who presents four “mousketools” of the day to help them solve whatever dilemma’s afoot, be it Donald turned into a frog or Goofy turned into a baby. More likely than not, somebody got turned into something, and they need a key/banana/watering can/shoehorn to fix the problem.

This morning, two of the people I love most got stranded for the second day in a row at an airport in Europe, and the first thing that popped into my mind was, “Oh, Toodles!” Where the hell was he when I needed him? Here are the Mousketools I could have used today:

  1. A competent American Airlines representative
  2. A literary agent who’s just wild about my pilot script
  3. A phone that connects to the internet in places outside my bathroom
  4. And finally… the Mystery Mousketool: An invisibility cloak to shield me from judgment when I walked out of a Boot Camp class today

What are you hoping Toodles hooks you up with?

Pregnant Claire Danes is a Winner

A mellow yellow and pregnant Claire Danes won an Emmy tonight for Homeland.  Her golden moment reminded me of Natalie Portman’s Black Swan Oscar win– because both actors received their trophies while expecting.  I imagine it must feel odd to win one of those (an Emmy or an Oscar, not a baby), but even more so when there is a stranger swimming around under your maternity Spanx.

But maybe I know a little bit how it feels. I mentally bookmarked a few major highlights while I was pregnant for the “Remember to Tell Her About this Day Someday” collection.  I think every woman does this to some extent.

Cool Stuff that Happened While I Was Pregnant:

  • A trip to Hawaii: Posey kicked like crazy during a magic show we attended. In fact, it was the only week of my entire pregnancy that she moved around consistently.
  • Price William and Kate Middleton’s Wedding: I woke up at 3 a.m. to watch it… with her. It was one of the first things we did “together.”
  • The Final Week of Oprah:  Not only was it a moment in American cultural history for everyone who watched, but I (and therefore Posey) were a part of it, behind the scenes. There’s even a brief glimpse of us in the final show as she bid adieu to the staff.  Will Claire and Natalie watch their moments on the future-version of YouTube one day with their kids? Cause I’m sure going to.

Alone, these events were pretty magical. But the fact that I got to share them with someone who would one day hopefully proudly share the tales at school one day… it’s an award-winning feeling.  What “While I Was Pregnant” story can’t you wait to tell your kid about?

Maui, 2011.

 

…But You Will.

Two things on TV made me openly weep in the last two days.

This morning, I saw a commercial for Dreft. Unless you have a baby, most likely you don’t know what that is, so I’ll tell you. Someone figured out how to market a laundry detergent specifically for baby clothes, and it’s like 10 times more expensive than any other detergent. But I used it religiously for months, because IT’S RECOMMENDED BY PEDIATRICIANS. So the commercial. It said:

“You have a child forever, but you only have a baby for one year.”

I only have 13 days left of that year. So I lost it.  But ultimately, Dreft should be crying, because Posey switched to All Free & Clear half a babyhood ago.

And then there’s Glee.

I’m behind, so I just watched the season premiere yesterday.  If you watch the show, you may share my sentiment that the best character by far is Kurt’s Dad. Kurt’s Dad is the Midwestern, Salt o’ the Earth, Car Shop-Owning Guys’ Guy who happens to be the single father of a gay son. And he couldn’t be prouder. In the episode, he encourages Kurt to follow his dreams to New York City, where he’s sure to find more people like him– people not afraid to be different. Kurt’s scared, but his dad reassures him that At the airport, Kurt tells his father, “I’ll miss you, Dad.” His father responds, “You can always come home.” Kurt exits car. Kurt’s dad says to himself…

“But you won’t.”

Ohmygod. I just started crying again TYPING it. I watched this while Posey stood beaming at me from her “play yard” (read: brightly colored cage). For now, I literally have her locked up under my watch. And yes, she falls over and bumps her head a lot on my watch. But she’s all mine, and we’re together every single day. And I know it won’t be like this forever, because while you have a child forever, you only have a baby for One Year.

 

 

 

My Name Is Posey, and I’m a Baby

For a few weeks now, Beef’s been singing I just met you/ And this is crazy/ My name is Posey/ And I’m a baby….

Seems we weren’t the only ones changing the words to Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe.”  Pose and I can’t get enough of Cookie Monster this morning!

Chris Brown on Today

I understand that human beings make mistakes.  I know my outrage is nothing new, and Sasha Pasulka summed up a lot of folks’ feelings perfectly on HelloGiggles.

BUT– I am sickened by the way The Today Show is touting their big “get” this morning.  Ann Curry just spoke with an 8-year-old girl whose mother brought her to the plaza like it was the cutest thing ever.  This kid is EIGHT— and the women in her life today, both her mother and someone she sees on TV– are all telling her its okay to idolize someone who beat up his girlfriend.

I’m glad that Chris Rock made his opinion known on the Today appearance yesterday.  What’s gross is the way the hosts are all laughing.  I don’t get it.  What’s funny?

Here is a photo of Ann Curry at a 2009 luncheon to help end domestic violence.  Al Roker also attended.

Melissa & Joey & Me

One of the best worst summer shows has returned to TV, and Beef couldn’t be happier.  Last night, he came home grumpy from an especially hard day’s work.  While most stressed-out dads would pop open a beer to ease the pain– Alas, his wound was one there was no bandage for.

“I wish Melissa & Joey was on tonight.”

Poor guy.  There was nothing I could do for him about that, so I did the next-best thing.  I made him Joey Lawrence’s Sweet and Citrus Summer Fish Tacos , which J.L demoed last week on Live with Kelly!   They were pretty good, and Beef pointed out a better name for them would be:

“Joey Lawrence’s Sweet and Citrus Summer Fish Tac-Whoas”

I’m not entirely sure when our love affair with the 22 minutes of genius that is M&J  began.  Wait a sec, yes I do.  It was after ABC Family unleashed on the world a little film called My Fake Fiance– pairing up the unstoppable  @MellyJHart with the multi-talented Joey L.  Basically, our lives changed, and when we heard they were doing a show together, we were all in.

Here are the Top 5 Reasons you should be watching, too:

  1. She’s a councilwoman.  He’s her lost-everything-in-a-ponzi-scheme manny.  What could possibly go wrong???
  2. Joey’s hairline is different in every episode.
  3. The innuendo is just enough to make you uncomfortable that it’s on ABC Family, and you sort of want to call up the programming director and ask if he or she is sure about all of this.
  4. The pilot script actually refers to them as Hailey & Jack, so you know they weren’t just cast because of their first names.
  5. Franklin & Bash is on Tuesdays, so there’s no conflict.

Melissa & Joey airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c.  You’re so welcome.

…Wait, you didn’t see My Fake Fiance?!  Here’s the trailer.  Finally, a love story you can believe in.