My 2014 Snarky Emmy Remarks (Because I’m so Qualified to Give Them)

26 Aug

As Seth Meyers and his BFF Amy Poehler would say, Really, NBC? Really?!

The Emmy’s on a Monday? Sigh.

Look, I work until 6:00 and don’t get home until about 6:30 (okay, 6:20, but still). Then there’s the whole making, eating, and cleaning dinner business. I need to be able to watch my red carpet at 4:00 and my awards shows at 5:00 in order to have time to gather my snark. Plus I get up at 5AM. Last night at 10:00 by the time (spoiler alert) Breaking Bad won best drama (Yay!) I was fighting to keep my eyes open. I might have snored a little. Or drooled.

(Oh, and by the way, if you just got angry with my little spoiler alert above because you haven’t had a chance to watch the Emmy’s yet and it’s sitting in your DVR queue all ready to go, what the hell are you doing reading my Emmy comments? Really, Silly Person? Really?!)

So, due to the lateness of last night’s show and my selfish need for 6 1/2 hours of sleep, my report today will be rather short, but here goes…

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has obviously sold her soul to the devil. (Or has the best plastic surgeon in the history of the universe, but my very discerning eye says no, because it looks like she has had zero work done. Bitch!) Because, seriously, who goes from looking cute when she’s in her 30’s

Julia-Louis-Dreyfus-circa-1990s

to va-va voom stunning when she’s 53.

 

Damn, she’s gorgeous! (As Marley would say, “That’s not fair!”) Oh, and her dress was gorgeous too. Seriously though, deal with the devil. If not for any other reason, for the lack of under-arm fat. I could never wear a dress like that – my under-arm fat would be spilling over the sides! She’s 53, people! 53!!! But I LOVE her. And she is fabulous in Veep. I’m so glad she won. (And if I were Bryan Cranston I would have made out with her too!)

I really liked Allison Janney’s dress, but was that velvet? In August? She’s lucky it wasn’t 100 degrees yesterday. I will forgive the faux pas because she looked smokin’.

 

Lena Headey’s dress was gorgeous (and so was she), but I don’t know what surprised me more, her short dark hair or her multiple tattoos. (All those tats don’t seem very regal, and you know, queeny.)

I did not like Julianna Margulies’ hair at all. It was pulled way too tight and made her ears look elfy. Her dress was fine, but she is too skinny. Please Julianna, the Emmy’s are over now. Go eat a meal.

 

Some more dresses I liked…

Michelle Dockery looked regal, graceful, stunning. A true Lady, indeed.

2014-Emmys-Michelle-Dockery

Michelle Dockery – Photo Credit: Evan Agostini

 

Marley did not like Kaley Cuoco- hair, but I did. And I did not love her dress last year, but this year it was one of my favorites.

2014-Emmys-Kaley-Cuoco-Sweeting

Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting – Photo Credit: Frazer Harrisson

 

I’m not sure how I feel about Anna Gunn’s dress. I want to love it, but I don’t quite love it. (And I LOVED her dress last year.) I do love the color, so let’s say I like it. Plus she looked awesome. And I’m so glad she won again. She deserved it. She was A-MAZ-ING in her final season. Amazing.

 

 

And once again, Julie Bowen’s dress just seems to miss the mark. I appreciate that she tries to be bold and a little different, but I do not like that neck thing on her dress. (What is that?)

 

And speaking of missing the mark, this dress? Uh, no!

 

And was it just me or did Peter Dinklage look really pissed that Aaron Paul won for best supporting actor? Like, really, really pissed. Sorry Peter, you were awesome this season, Game of Thrones was awesome this season, but this was Breaking Bad’s year.

 

 

Speaking of Game of Thrones, I will end my post with a swoon-worthy photo of Kit Harington. (You are so very welcome for the eye candy ladies!)

2014-Emmys-Kit-Harington

Kit Harrington – Photo credit: Frazer Harrisson/Getty Images

 

I’d love to know, what did you love or hate about the Emmy’s or Emmy’s’ fashion this year?

Photo credit: Julia Louis-Dreyfus circa 1990s

Hello Old Friend

25 Aug

I have a good friend I’ll call Joe who lives on the East Coast. I met him and his friend, who I’ll call Jack, in Ireland in the summer of 1986 while backpacking through Europe with my friend Simmah. Since he lives almost 3,000 miles away from me we’ve never seen each other much.

Odds were against us remaining friends. Not only because of the distance, but because the following summer I ended up falling madly in love with Jack. And for a very short while he loved me back. Then he broke my heart. But that’s another story.

Joe and I don’t talk on the phone very often. I’m not the best about keeping in touch and he’s even worse. (Way worse.) But I still count him as one of my dearest friends. You know those people that you don’t talk to for a couple of years and then you visit them or call them and –BOOM!- you pick up right where you left off – no awkwardness or resentment about phone calls not made, emails not sent? That’s how it is with my friend Joe.

He’s not on Facebook, so we can’t keep in touch that way and somehow over the last three or maybe even four years we’d completely lost touch. It doesn’t seem possible that we let it go so long without talking, but sometimes the minutiae of daily life gets in the way of things that are precious.

About a month ago I found an old picture of us – Joe, Jack, my friend May and me- taken in 1989 during a weekend spent at a beach house in New Jersey. (I had gotten over my broken heart and had started a cautious friendship with Jack again.) I snapped a photo of the picture with my phone and texted it to Jack and Joe. Remember these people? I asked.

The three of us started texting a bit and Joe told me he was going out to Oregon in July. Looking at colleges? I asked. Our boys are the same age. He told me yes and that also his son was running a race. I had no idea that his son was a runner.

What does he run? Chandler’s a runner too. He does XC, 800M, 1600M.

Joe texts back: XC, 800M, 1600M.

What are the odds?

What are his PR’s? I text. (That’s Personal Record for those of you outside the running world.) Chandler’s are 1:58 for 800M & 4:32 for 1600M.

But Joe is slow with the texting. And I don’t mean slow like me where my fat, old thumbs take a minute to type a ten word text. I mean slow as in he must be doing something else because sometimes it takes 10-20 minutes for him to reply. So I lose patience and Google his son.

Oh. My. God. His son is fast!

Nevermind just Googled him. Shit he’s fast. That’s awesome! Chandler only has to speed up his 1600 by 25 seconds to beat him!

His son’s 800M time is 1:52 and his 1600M is 4:07. And he’s high school state champion for the one mile. I watched the race where his son ran a 4:07 online. I show Chandler and Dave and we are all in awe of his speed. I’m so happy for my friend Joe.

We talked on the phone for an hour the next night. We couldn’t get over the coincidence that our sons ran the same races. Middle distance races – the races most runners hate. We texted during his son’s Oregon race and spoke again the week after.

We talked about running and college, reminisced about old times, and scolded ourselves for losing touch for so long.

“Talking to you makes me realize how much I miss you,” I told him.

He has always been one of my favorite people. He can make me laugh like few others and he’s truly just a good, good person.

We tell each other “I love you” when we hang up the phone. But not in the way that would make either of our spouses jealous. The way you say I love you to a cousin. Or a sibling. Or a true long-lost friend.

I’ll kick his ass if we lose touch again.

 

 

Are Yours Real or Fake?

21 Aug

When I first started blogging I didn’t really think about it. I just jumped in and started to write. I chose my name as my blog handle instead of something clever and cute because I wanted to get my name out there (and because try as I might I’m really not that clever and too old to be cute).

And one of the things I didn’t really consider was whether or not I should use my children’s real names when I blog. Some people do, some people don’t, but the point is, it wasn’t even a consideration with me. On my very first blog I wrote about my kids’ inability to get along and just typed out their little names for everyone in cyberspace to see.

Hello, Bad Mom of the Year Award 2008.

Of course I may be a bad mom putting my kids’ names along with their private business onto people’s computer screens, but I always change or eliminate my friends’ names when I have a funny or potentially embarrassing story about a girlfriend to tell.

For example, last week when my girlfriend told me that she was mortified because her cleaning lady found her vibrator under her bed and placed it standing up and her night table, I told her that that would definitely be something I’d have to work into my blog. (See how I just did that?)

“If you use my name I’ll sue you,” she told me.

“I would never,” I said. And I won’t.

Yes, I am a bad mom, but really, really good friend.

I have another concern as well: as my kids get older and I tell the world my story, do I have the right to tell theirs? I’m not very discrete and I know that I tend to over-share, but I really don’t tell all of it. Trust me, there are so many gems I would love to write about as they would be fantastic, interesting, sweet, funny blogs, but I don’t in the name of privacy. (And let me tell you – it kills me I keep them to myself!)

I’ve thought about going through every blog I’ve ever posted and changing my kid’s names, but considering I’ve written well over 100 and can’t even get to the things on my list that would only take 5 minutes of my time (some of which are incredibly & ridiculously important), I don’t see it happening any time soon.

And I wonder too, why does it really matter? I’m just a suburban mom who writes a little blog. I don’t think anyone cares or has given it any thought. (Until, you know, now.) We all know the names of famous people’s kids. Why not un-famous people’s kids?

Am I harming them? Have I told too much? Eh, that’s what psychiatrists’ couches are for.

Six years into blogging and seventeen and a half years into motherhood and I’m still trying to figure this whole Internet and blogging and motherhood thing out.

Has anybody really figured it out?

*Edited and slightly updated this post first appeared on the now-defunct skirt.com blog on January 10, 2011.

 

You’ve Got Spam

1 Aug

I’ve become lazy with my blog. No. Make that blazy. (Have you noticed?)

But that hasn’t stopped the spam from coming. Usually it gets detected by my Akismet app, goes directly into the spam folder and I ignore it. I do skim the folder occasionally. Usually it’s someone hawking SEO or designer purses or weight loss pills in poorly worded English. Something like this:

It was hard to find your posts in google. I found it on 17 place, you should build a lot of quality backlinks , it will help you to get more visitors. I know how to help you, just search in google – k2 seo tricks

Thanks, but I like to keep my blog hard to find. You know, exclusive. Like one of those trendy clubs without a name or address on the door. Keep the riff raff (and 99.999999% of the blog reading population) out.

Sometimes the spam will compliment my writing in hopes of me clicking onto their website. (I guess?)

I especially like this one from a blog called Education Bandwagon:

I believe that is one of the so much significant information for me. And i’m glad studying your article. Howwever want to observation on few basic issues, The web site taste is perfect, the articles is actually great :D. Just right job, cheers

Oh, I’ll be hopping on that Education Bandwagon alright! I hope they’re a tutoring site. Chandler needs some help getting his SATs up.

Every once in a while the spam slips through and ends up in my comments waiting to be approved. And those ones are the weirdest of all. Like this one for example:

This build-up of abdominal muscles will push out against the fat and make your belly fat to appear larger and thicker.
It can cause you to collect fat specifically in your abdomen.

(Okay, you’re obviously selling some sort of diet pill. But then the next sentence says…) 

Considering that the estimated total number of breeding African penguins in 2010 is equivalent to the number of penguins rescued in the Treasure oil spill just 10 years earlier,is cause for grave concern.

Um… what?!

And then there was this one…

Lawat leaf extracts are traditionally used in preventing hair loss, promoting hair growth and releaving itchiness and skin inflammation. It can affect the appearance, confidence, and maybe even the self esteem of a person.

(Okay, so this time, some sort of hair loss prevention site. But then…) 

She did not seem too enthusiastic about it and claimed that she had just been to the toilet and did not feel like peeing any more.

Yeah, and you thought the penguin thing was weird, right? I mean does she not want to pee because she’s losing her hair? I’m confused.

The weird search terms keep coming in as well. Here are a few of my recent favorites for your amusement:

ジョニーウィアー ウェディング (Thanks to Google translator I know that this means “Johnny Weir Wedding” in Japanese. The crazy thing is three people searched for it. Yes. In Japanese.)

spongebob ross or pants (uh, that’s Spongebob Square Pants, Silly!)

charlene bad mom (I am not!)

what the hell is vajazzling (It’s this!)

And a special shout out to all of you who are looking for pictures of Bradley Cooper or Enrique Iglesias shirtless or naked – you are my people!

So yes, I’ve become blazy. My muse has checked out, gone on vacation. Perhaps she’s in Europe with half of my Facebook friends. I look forward to her speedy return. But hopefully I’ve managed to amuse you in her absence.

My Grandmother’s Candy Dish

17 Jul

 

 

One of my strongest childhood memories is of my grandmother’s candy dish. It sat on a table in her living room between her couch and the front door. It was almost always filled with M&Ms. Sometimes they were peanut, usually they were plain, but any other candy would be sacrilege.

No trip to Grandma’s was complete without reaching into the candy dish for a little nibble.

When we were children my brother and my cousin and I would try to sneak into the candy dish as the grown-ups were usually in the kitchen or in the den. Of course this was no easy task as the candy dish has a lid with little tines that must be matched with the scalloped edges of the dish in order fit properly. This results in a sound being made every time the dish is closed. Ting.

Candy Dish with M&Ms

 

“Who’s in the candy dish?” was always the call of my grandmother from the other room no matter how carefully you put that lid on. I am telling you after a lifetime of trying, it is almost impossible to put that lid on without making a sound.

Sometimes, rarely, but sometimes, the call would be, “It’s empty,” as if you didn’t already see that cursing the fact that not only did you get caught trying to sneak candy but there was nothing to actually sneak.

The funny thing is my grandmother would always say yes if you asked her if you could have some candy. (Of course mom might say no.)

The candy dish was my great grandmother’s originally and my mother and her brother played the same candy sneaking game when they were kids.

When my grandmother came to live with my mother the last six years of her life of course the candy dish came too. It now sits on the bar of my mother’s sun room.

Yesterday I was at my mom’s house with Marley and my mom and I heard the familiar ting of the candy dish lid.

“Who’s in the candy dish,” my mother called though of course there could only be one answer.

“You know that candy dish is mine,” I told my mother. “I’m calling it right now.”

“Good luck,” she said. “Everyone wants that dish.”

“Well I only have to fight Richard and Carrie,” I said referring to my brother and my cousin.   “And I’m the oldest.”

“Christine and Jason want it too,” she said referring to my step-sister and brother.

“No way. They’ve only been in the family 25 years and I’m older than them too.”

The funny thing is the dish does not go with the décor of my house at all. If I saw it at an antique store I wouldn’t give it a second glance. But I don’t care. The ting of the lid brings me back to my childhood every time I hear it.

Like the scent of someone’s cologne can take you back to that crush on your college professor or the smell of the air after it rains can bring you back splashing in puddles on the street you grew up,  the sound of that candy dish brings me back to my grandparent’s home…

To spending hours going through my grandmother’s dresser drawers and walk-in closet to play with her costume jewelry and try on her silver high-heel shoes.

To fuzzing the top of my grandfather’s buzz-cut-head as he sat in his easy chair in his zippered jumpsuit lovingly calling me a pesty kid.

To my grandmother rolling across the kitchen floor to get something she left on the counter on her wheeled dinette chair rather than get up.

To my grandparents hugs. To my grandparents kisses.

Oh how I ache for more of their hugs and their kisses.

Ting

That candy dish is mine.

 

Milk Glass Candy Dish

 

This piece originally appeared on skirt.com on March 7, 2011.

Things That are Bad for You

3 Jul

Last week I had my writers’ group over to my house. I was speaking to my uncle before my friends came over and he said I had to wear the present that he and my aunt gave me for my birthday. They gave me an apron. And while that doesn’t really seem like something one would wear to a writers group, because I am a good niece, I did.

Wine-how-classy-people-get-wasted

So nice to know I’m classy!

You may wonder what one does at a writers’ group, so I will tell you. We drink a lot of wine and talk too much about things that have nothing to do with writing. (So it turns out wearing the apron was a good fit after all.)

Actually we do have an agenda. We chit-chat for about 30 minutes as people are showing up, we have a writing prompt and spend 10 minutes writing whatever that prompt brings to mind, we all read our prompts aloud, then we each have ten minutes to discuss our goals for the next month. We can also send over a piece we’ve been working on before the meeting for feedback. If we were orderly this would all take about two hours. It usually takes four. (Mostly due to the drinking and talking too much about non-writerly things.)

I was in charge of the prompt (which can be a word or a phrase or even a question) and I chose “things that are bad for you.” The great thing about writing prompts is the varied responses from everyone. I love to hear my clever and creative friends read their prompts aloud.

Kim did not like my prompt. She started to write a story that was very similar the piece she’d emailed earlier in the day for feedback, but she felt that story had already been told, so she crossed it out and just made a list. I thought her list was fantastic as it wasn’t really a list of things that are bad for “you,” (as in everyone), but rather things that were bad for her.

And with 2014 officially half over, on this 19th day of my 49th year, the year I am trying to make productive, trying to make count, trying to make matter, it inspired me to make a list of my own. Because I want to stop doing things that are bad for me. And I have always found that things are so much easier to achieve when I have a list.

 

Things that are bad for me

  • Staying up late
  • Time-sucking activities (Candy Crush I’m talking to you!)
  • Procrastinating
  • Being late
  • A third glass of wine. (Not that I ever have that!)
  • A second cup of coffee
  • Forgetting what the words “portion control” mean (What do they mean again?)
  • Not writing
  • Not working out
  • Not stretching
  • Not making lists
  • Chandler being gone for 5 1/2 weeks (though this is very good for Chandler)
  • Being forgetful
  • Being unorganized
  • Jealousy
  • Self-doubt
  • Lack of motivation
  • Being lazy (especially when my laziness becomes blazy, which is a term my writer’s group came up with that means being blasé about your laziness. We’d campaign to get the word into next year’s Merriam Webster, but that would take way too much effort, thus being the exact opposite of blazy.)
  • Excuses (see above)

I could probably go on and think of 20 things that are bad for me instead of only 19, but I’m blazy remember?. Besides, I feel myself bordering on negativity. And that’s not my style. Perhaps I will counteract this post with a post listing things that are good for me. (Like Bradley Cooper obviously.)

Bradley-Cooper-shirtless

Yeah, I chose a picture of Bradley Cooper shirtless. You’re welcome.

 

Oh, and my kids, of course.

But as I said, another post.

I’d love to know… what are some things that are bad for you?

 

 

Suburban Moms Go Acoustic with Mikey Wax

24 Jun

This was originally posted on skirt.com on January 31, 2011. It’s been edited. Heavily. (Though, probably still not nearly enough.)

I’m reposting because my friend Mikey Wax is performing at Hotel Café on Tuesday, July 1. You should go see him. Here’s why…

Hearing live music is one of my greatest loves in life. Innocently flirting with cute young boys is another. Last Monday night I hit the jackpot and go to do both.

My daughter’s elementary school held a fundraiser that was a little bit outside the box. It was the brainstorm of super cool mom who’s really into new music and an artist named Mikey Wax caught her attention.

And for good reason – he’s incredibly talented. (And super cute…in case you were wondering.)

Anyway, Mikey performs concerts at people’s houses. For free. All you have to do is guarantee 25 people and he will make it out to your house to perform for you and your closest friends in the hopes of building a fan base and selling his CDs. (And trust me once you hear him perform you’ll be buying a CD!)

Debbie saw that he was planning a trip from his home state of New York out to California for some shows, booked a date with him, and created a Mom’s Acoustic Night Out fundraiser. Tickets were only $10 and seating was limited to 50 people.  We held the show in the school library and Debbie turned our library into a funky coffee house by ditching the fluorescent bulbs and bringing lamps and candles and twinkly lights. There was tea and bubbly water and baked goods. (Oh, if only we weren’t on school property and could have had wine!) She even made laminated passes for everyone.

As school fundraisers go, it was pretty awesome. Mostly because Mikey was awesome.

 

mikey-wax-house-concert

Photo of Mikey Wax courtesy of Laura Starks Photography

 

His voice was amazing and his songs were just fantastic. He’s young and adorable and has a really great presence about him. Hello suburban cougar moms – having this guy serenade you and your mommy friends in an intimate setting is even better than flirting with a hot waiter. (And everyone knows how much I love to do that!)

Before the show he was chatting with my friend Laura and me and telling us about his house tours and how he usually stays at hotels, but sometimes ends up crashing at the house where he plays.

“Where are you staying tonight?” Laura asked him. “You know Charlene’s happily married but she really likes young guys. Do you want to stay at her house?”

Yeah I love it when my friends whore me out.

 “Oh, and my husband is out of town. Hmmm, how could we explain it to the kids?” I said.

I think he might have blushed.

“Don’t worry, I’m kidding,” I said. Then I turned to Laura, “You know you’re kind of embarrassing me. I usually like to have these conversations after a few cocktails, not at the school library.”

After the show a few of us took him out for a drink and bought him some dinner. (Oh, shut up!)

He was pretty enamored with Southern California. Of course every east coaster who visits in January is enamored with Southern California. What’s not to love – it’s sunny and 75 degrees outside. Sunny and 75 in January is the reason why tiny little houses with ugly backyards and no closet space cost over a half a million dollars.

He talked about his musical influences and growing up in Long Island listening to Billy Joel.

When I was 25 or 26 I went to a wedding in Long Island that was next door to Billy Joel’s house and at one point Billy Joel just came over, uninvited, and started wandering around the pool area where everyone was having cocktails.

“Wow,” he said, “when was that? In the 90’s or something?”

I thought back, “Yeah, I guess it was in 1991.”

You know, back when Mikey was six!

That’s when I realized my time flirting with a cute musician was over and it was officially time to go home.

Watch this video of Mikey and become an instant fan.

Then go see him next Tuesday night at Hotel Café. Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased here.

Or if that’s not possible contact Mikey for a house show. You’ll be the coolest mom in your ‘hood and get to hang out with a cute musician.

That, my friend, is what I call a win!

 

 

 

 

 

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