Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cupid's Arrow Missed at My House

Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it. Funny cards, mushy cards - every Hallmark moment that puts $3.99 in that conglomerate's pocket, even if the cards are lame and not genuinely funny. I love flowers, all types but carnations. Even the ones sold by the guy under the bridge that just sort of hang there, wilted, unopened buds, in your vase on the kitchen counter. I especially love the only holiday of the year that does not require a running start - no six weeks of shopping, two weeks of cleaning, and three days of cooking performed solely by me for the benefit of everyone else. This day, I can share in. I can receive a token gift, a gesture that says "I love you." A moment of warmth and romance in a world where you often wonder how it all came down to this. I know you're all with me here.

For 25 years, I have wanted the same thing for Valentine's Day. A card and a heart-shaped box of chocolates from a candy store. Actually, the heart shape is negotiable. Roses, jewelry, lingerie, dinner out - nice, but not necessary. Is this hard?

For 25 years, Jim has not been able to pull it off.

We had this conversation last week, so I could give him some guidance and a pep talk coming into the event. I opened with something like, "I know this is impossibly hard for you, but for Valentine's Day, I would like a box of chocolates from Winfrey's." (Winfrey's is our local candy store.) Jim gave me all sorts of assurances. In fact, he was sure I was wrong, and that he had properly delivered the goods on multiple V-Days in the past. I absolutely knew he'd screw up.

I even bought him a card with a woman in bed, reading, while her husband danced in his boxers with a rose in his teeth. It said, "Couldn't you just get me chocolates?"

So Valentine's morning, I came downstairs, and there it was on the counter. A double-decker sized box of chocolates. The Deluxe Whitman Sampler from CVS, on which he had scrawled, "See, I can get it right. Love you."

I didn't say anything when he came downstairs. After a half hour or so, he brought it up. "Are you happy with your chocolates?" "Well, they're not Winfrey's," I said, as delicately as I could. "Winfrey's?" he said. "I thought you said Whitman's." He must have looked all over.

All I can say is my middle son just shook his head, and said, "When Dad asked me if I wanted to go out Valentine's shopping with him, I said no. I went to Winfrey's." And got his girlfriend the heart-shaped box. I've trained him well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Grammys Score a Hit

My son says I'm too critical in my blogging, so here are some nice words.

Really enjoyed the Grammys. I thought it was great to see some of the oldsters - Bruce (yikes, hate to say he's old, but at least he was pushing a new album, so he's old and productive), Paul McCartney, Glen Campbell, the Beach Boys. It was good the establishment didn't wait any longer to give those guys their day, because next year might be too late for it too still be sweet-nostalgic and not sad. But pairing them up with Foster the People, Maroon 5, Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton - good idea, made them ageless and relevant. Again, next year might have been too late.

Just a wee bit of criticism? It was too early to hear Whitney done by Jennifer Hudson, although she looked and sounded great. It would have been better to have some video clips of Whitney herself. And Nicki Minaj? Now, I haven't read anything about what she was trying to pull off, and maybe I missed something critical when I decided to take a shower just before she went on. But, when I got out of the shower and tuned in to see what I missed, I thought the Grammys were over, and I was watching a horror movie. I'll admit, I questioned the programming choice, but I decided not to watch cause I don't like that type of stuff before bed. Then I heard some applause, and it occurred to me that maybe it wasn't a movie. And then I looked closer, and thought maybe Gaga was really desperate in her efforts to remain cutting edge. (I'm not a Nicki Minaj fan, so I didn't recognize her. But I didn't like it either.) Oh well.

End on a positive note. Kate Beckinsale, as usual, looked great!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bradying Right Out of the Ch-Ching

Oooh . . . Bradying. It's like planking, but perpendicular, and not fun. So unBrady. Dejection. Knocked on your a--. Not the image of the Stetson hat. Not even of comfy Uggs. I'm not hearing the sound-truck music of the endorsement parade. Would anyone have come up with Bradying if Giselle hadn't stirred the pot? Don't think so. Giselle will sail right through though. I have a funny feeling this type of stuff only raises the value of her brand.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Madonna and the Halftime Flash in the Pan

I know I closed out my Superbowl discussion yesterday with my analysis of Giselle's post-game rant. But halftime is another matter.

I sort of hated the halftime show. To be fair, I haven't ever liked Madonna. She scared me at the beginning, the way Gaga scared me at the beginning. I woke up one night in the early 80's to see Madge on TV in a wedding gown rolling around on the stage doing "Like a Virgin." It was edgy, at the time, and strange-scary - I clearly remember how uncomfortable and weirded out I was, so I guess that passes for Art. But then she became infamous and somehow "representative" of genius, as if that can occur, took it upon herself to wear the cross (ha! Madonna double entendre there!) of whatever cause it is she represents (just liberalism, I think, that "I'm so free-thinking, I don't know I'm stuck in a box" type of thing), and self-destructed. Same thing with Gaga - she was just-dancing along with her poker face, ear glued to her telephone, doing great, and suddenly, she's stuck in an egg belting out uninspired, politically correct, self-aggrandizing drivel, that ironically, sounds like Madonna in the way-back machine. Look at me, what an artistic genius I am - I was born this way! And you thought it was all about why we can't all just get along, imagine no religion, and it don't matter if you're black or white. (Been done.) Just in case you thought she wasn't cutting edge, she tells you that she is - "I'm on the edge, the edge, the edge...." But she's over the edge. Has-been. More soft sizzles of self-immolation.

Back to Madonna. She is apparently mad that MIA briefly flipped us all the bird and sang "I don't give a ---" in the middle of Madonna's new single, originally entitled "Give Me all Your Luvin''". (See, when you change up the spelling a little - this is not ZZ Top's "Gimme All your Lovin'." It's "Give Me" and "Luvin'." The "Luvin'" part - the u for the o - genius. Art there.) I'll agree that MIA did not display proper decorum for a nationally televised family event. (Although I thought her lyrics fit right in. Doesn't Adam Levine sing the same line in "Moves Like Jagger"? I didn't know it wasn't part of the song.) But yeah, we don't want to see and hear that stuff - just give us more Viagra ads, so we can enjoy our wings and chili en famille, please. Assuming all participants were briefed that they were to remain clothed and stick to the lyrics and choreography, Madonna has the right to be miffed.

But really? She's not. Cause you know what we'd all be talking about if MIA hadn't saved the day with her middle finger and mild profanity? How OLD Madge got. Honestly, she pranced around in those heels and her skinny legs looking not a day younger than Dolly Parton. Did you see her not quite make it up to the riser on her first attempt? Same thing happens to me in the bleachers at my son's basketball games. Old. Just don't put it on stage in front of the world trying to look young. You just make yourself irrelevant. Gotta take it in a different direction, if you ask me, girl. The days of kissing Britney on the lips are over. You can't shock, not in that edgy, good way, anymore.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Giselle's Tebow Fail

Why am I so motivated by Tom and Giselle to comment in the blogosphere? Well, not really Tom this time. Just Giselle. Condolences to Tom and the Pats.

You just have to react to Giselle the last few days. First the email, seeking prayers and karma, etc. for Tom and the boys. I didn't really get why people found this so wrong. Aren't they the same people who get a kick out of Tebowing? "Course, we don't KNOW what Tim's saying to The Greater Power when he feels the urge to take a knee before kickoff, but isn't it a safe bet that it might include something about winning the game? I mean, maybe not. Maybe Tim thinks it's wrong to waste His infinite time and attention on something as trivial as game results. Especially just before kickoff, when He's probably getting Himself a cold one and some wings. Or maybe Tim suspects that He has a bet riding on the other side, or that, as it turns out, He's a Giants fan. Or worse, that some other QB can catapult his own prayers higher and faster, and with more accuracy, than Tim's own (not so hard to imagine, is it?) Maybe Tim's all about putting a word in for the common good, health, safety, saving the children and world peace as part of his pre-game prep. Maybe. But that doesn't make Giselle's request for those near and dear to her, who bask in the shadow of her towering loveliness, wear her sandals and have her designer cast-offs taken up and let out by their dry-cleaner's tailor to stay in Her good graces by throwing some good karma in the Pats' direction. So let's give the girl a pass.

But now that we've given her the pass - CAN SHE CATCH IT? Sadly, G isn't good at catching passes. UNLIKE Wes Welker, for example, WHO IS!!! Her post-Superbowl rant about how, as godlike as we all know her hubby is, when he is in his carnate state, he can't both throw and catch his passes, was just not very, shall we say, "in the spirit"? As in "team spirit."

So that concludes this year's Superbowl.

P.S. Psyched for this year's San Francisco Writer's Conference? Feb. 16-19. Find out more @sfwriters and @writersdigest.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Turning *0 Years Old

It's been a while since I've posted, but a handful of people have stumbled upon my blog lately, and asked me why I've been away. No good reason, just the usual reasons. It's sort of ironic though that prospective clients/colleagues in my various lines of work checking me out professionally come to this, and are more taken with it than any of my so-called credentials. Oh, well - they stick around. They don't know if I'm good, but at least I'm funny.

This morning, as I dropped the kids off at school, I gave them my normal "Have a great day!" goodbye, to which my middle schooler responded, "Don't tell me what to do," as she slid out of the car and didn't look back. And you think to yourself, "I gave up my life for this."

This reflection has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I hit one of those dreaded decade birthdays over the weekend, and have cause to reflect momentarily on my-life-such-as-it-is-to-date. I had lunch to celebrate my demise with my college roommate (and it was a great lunch at Jumpin' Jays in Portsmouth, NH - go there - they were so nice to me about the big *0, and gave me a free dessert, a gooey toffee cake thing, which at *-0, you might as well just go ahead and eat, cause who are you kidding, you're old, and no one's looking). So back to lunch - my friend gave me this book of essays on turning the big *0, and you would think such a book would be uplifting, and make you see the bright side of *0. No siree. This book was REAL. It went for the big *0 jugular, with nuggets like: At *0, you only need one meal and two lights snacks a day, so just accept it and stop eating. And, at *0, you take the unpublished novel, your secret ambitions as to what you'll be when you grow up, the plans for the dreamhouse, etc., put them in a big pile, and light a match. You're old. It's never going to happen. Sorta not what you imagine when you pick up a book of essays on turning *0. I bet at the end, it gives you advice on pre-paying for your funeral and buying your casket online.

I'm not even going to how at the Big *0 plus one day, I discovered that my eyelids are drooping. Seriously, I need clothespins. How did that elude me till now? Did I not notice that I have to manually open my eyes to peruse my face in my 5x magnifying mirror? (Which my mother took one look at and said, "Why did you buy THAT?") Not a big one for facing facts, my Mom. But she looks great for not looking close. I think I'll take my aging advice from her. She's styling, and dreaming big, and I think that's what really keeps you going. She just better not tell me what to do.

Have a great day!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Consumed by Kids

I am consumed by my children. Sort of like how Bella gives birth to a half-vampire offspring that eats its way out of her uterus. I'm sure there's a higher-minded literary reference, mythological or whatnot, and I should probably know, having dabbled in that realm with my own writing lately!

But anyway, I'm consumed. Early decision deadlines are creeping up on us, with essays and decisions still hanging out there, in utero, partially formed, if we keep with the metaphor. The collegiate one, living independently, unincubated, cries out for a "care package" to prove my maternal love - everyone else is getting them. FLY, little bird, FLY! Another just has to have a multi-thousand dollar mountain bike - just HAS TO in order to STAY ALIVE - understand? My failure to provide is like pushing the little runt away, all the more for the bigger, stronger, more favored ones, to hear him tell it. The youngest NEEDS to attend a two week $1500 music/theater camp which will show her how to nail auditions, play two instruments, and pave the way to stardom, whereupon, she informs me, she will move to Hollywood and never contact us again. We can follow her on Twitter. The middle kid, as usual, is no problem. He's been independent, adult and supportive since he popped out fifteen years ago. So, I haven't posted for a while.

Anyway, I'm entering a Lucky Agent contest sponsored by the Guide to Literary Agents blog (link in my blogroll below) - with the hope that the literary wonder that is my book Pantheon: Virgin Sacrifice will be discovered. Fingers crossed, so blame any typos on that.