Archive for September, 2011

Fashion for the Clueless

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

I understand your confusion, but this is not me.
(Photo from here)


Tonight I’m attending the Poppy Boutique grand opening with my friend, Morgan.


And the second I discovered we’d be going together, I emailed her and said, “Hey! You should style me in Poppy Boutique clothes! It’ll be real fun for you!


And then, halfheartedly:


“Oh. And I can style you too.”


Which is when I’m sure she enjoyed a hearty laugh at my peri-menopausal expense. Because here’s the thing: Morgan is fashion style master. Like super much. Like major much. Like look at this much. And I’m…


Flower moccasins and black bras under white t-shirts.


And not ironically.


But because she is as kind as she is chic icon, she agreed to find me a day outfit, and a nighttime look. Just for fun, not to buy (that is for my husband).


And I in return, will suggest day/night looks for Morgan, and then wait patiently as she finds something better and puts it on.


We will take pictures of this STYLE EXTRAVAGANZA! and tweet them tonight.


As long as she doesn’t pick this for daytime:



What’s that? Oh my God! You’re totally welcome!


(This post is not sponsored by, nor sanctioned by, Poppy Boutique. In fact, Poppy doesn’t know me or my flowered moccasins.


This post is brought to you entirely by PMS and hope.)


Good Movies That Aren’t Blockbusters

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Re-posting this…because I want a good movie and I’m sick of all the usual suspects…


{After hearing from several people that they’ve seen these movies, I’m going to deny that I’m hopelessly out of touch and instead re-name this post to:
Non-Blockbuster Movies That You Might Want to See Again, like Box of Moonlight.)


So I don’t know, some of you may have seen these movies. Probably have, in fact. But these are lesser-known movies that I recommend for whatever reason, some simply because they’re entertaining, if not outstanding. Let me know if you see one of these and liked it.


The Tense Drama:


Unexpectedly good cast and script. In a nutshell, Deterrence is about a newbie United States president, trapped by a snowstorm in a diner, facing the prospect of deciding whether or not to detonate a nuclear bomb.


The Weird:


Strange Shakespearean adaption mingling scenes from the past and present. Beautiful — and sometimes disturbing — imagery. Although there was a storyline, to me, Titus was a series of poetic and dark sequences rammed up your arse. The action is by turns unrelenting and meandering. Only get this if you’re into a movie experiment. That said, this movie shook up my neurons in an ultimately good way.


The Funny:

Real Men

This is a cable standby, and I love it. It’s short and funny, perfect for a quick bite of ridicularity. I love the pairing of Jim Belushi with John Ritter as an FBI agent and hapless insurance salesman, respectively, who team up to save the world. Real Men revels in its silliness and you will too.

Galaxy Quest

I’m sure you’ve caught wind of this one over the years, but it never fails to make me laugh. I’ve watched bits of it a lot over the past week. It’s about an aging Star Trek-like cast of TV characters who are called upon to assist real deal extraterrestrials in saving their planet.


The Romantic Comedy:

Nina Takes A Lover

Completely thought this would be stupid. But overall, a delightful and ultimately heartwarming romp. (Where did I get this back of DVD cover voice all of a sudden?)

Kissing Jessica Stein

Movie about a frustrated woman looking for love, who ends up dating a girl. The scene where they disclose their Mac lipstick shades to each other is classic. Friendly lesbian romantic comedy. (Wow! Still sounding like Mary Hart.)


The Thought-Provoking:


Is Julianne Moore suffering from environmental sickness or isn’t she? Is there anything to New Age healing? Is all this in our heads?


And, if you like Taut Thrillers:

Try Arlington Road

Great pacing and suspense. Makes the paranoids among us not look so paranoid. You need loads of suspension of disbelief for this one, but I’ve got that in spades. Also, I’m paranoid. So win-win!


If You Like Old-School Scary Movies:

Check out Burnt Offerings

I’ve recommended this one before, and after watching it again last night, I stand by it.

If you like spooky movies that haven’t forgotten how to build suspense, tension, mood and atmosphere, this is for you. It’s not in your face, but rather a slow cooker of spookiness.


Others You May Have Heard Of, Or Seen Once, But Are Worth a Re-Visit:

Living Out Loud. (I also really like the soundtrack.)

Holly Hunter rocks and rolls and gets an erotic massage. Also, bonds with an unlikely pseudo-romantic partner. Great movie about how to find yourself after a divorce. This is about taking your power back. (Quick show of hands: who can tell I write promotional copy for a living? Egads!)

One True Thing

I have to say I made the mistake of watching this soon after my mom passed away. And now I know that was probably a good thing. The parallels between this movie and my life are many, but suffice to say, it’s about a woman coming to terms with her mother’s impending death.

Road to Perdition:

Jude Law may be morally decrepit, but he’s a heck of an actor. This movie is big, dark and wonderful. Based on a graphic novel, it’s got that make believe gritty sensibility to it, but soon you transcend the excellent cinematography and become immersed in the story of a father and son running from a mob hit man in the 1930s.


Favorite Movie Soundtracks (Bonus Category):

Empire Records

Stealing Beauty

I louver almost every song on both of these soundtracks and with my fickle heart, that’s rare.


Poor Math Skills Equals PMS

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

“OK. Count by twos…what’s missing? BLANK 54, 56, 58, BLANK.

What’s missing? What NUMBER? What number is MISSING? BLANK, 54, 56, 58, MOTHER EFFING BLANK.

It’s not that hard. Fifty-tttttttttttwwwwwwwwoooo. 54, 56, 58, sixxxxxxxxxttttyyyy—-

Oh forget IT! You’re all hopeless. Get ready to go to the dumb farm.”




“For God’s sakes! What’s six plus nine? SIX PLUS NINE? SIX THE FRICK PLUS THE DAMN NINE?

It’s 16! 16! SIXTEEN!

Guess where you’ll be at 16 if you can’t learn simple equations?

Pregnant. That’s where. One plus one plus nine equals one. Get it NOW?

What is wrong with you people?”




“OK. Look at the lame ass cardboard clock. What time is it?

Time. What TIME?

That’s not a seven. Why the hell do you think that’s a seven? It’s an eight, you dimwitted dingleberry.

You don’t learn how to tell time, you might as well just sign your stupid passport right now for Stupid Land.

Honk! Honk! Get on the short bus!

You can’t even tell time.”




And that’s why I shouldn’t volunteer to help my daughter’s second grade class learn math.


PROMPTuesday #165: It’s Divine

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Write a letter forgiving someone/some people for something they did.

You never have to show it to him/her/it.


But write it anyway.


First time to PROMPTuesday? Read a bit about it here. Want to see what’s been written in the past? Catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive here.


Helping the Help

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

I’ve recently been given a project that will take me 22 years to complete, minimum, and it’s due in two weeks. I took the workload on late last month, and according to my math-sucks-butt calculations, I would definitely be able to finish it all by the October 9 deadline. However, using my husband’s constantly-doing-math-in-his-head-JUST-FOR-FUN arithmetic, I’d need to work 10 hours a day for a month to finish what needs to be done.


So we have ourselves a problem.


Because of the kids and the school and the soccer and the sleeping and the cooking and the birthday-present-buying and the not-head-exploding and the butt-sitting-in-a-chair-all-day and back to the kids.


Homeys don’t play the-be-quiet-mom’s-working game.


And then there’s the fact that their mom can’t say no.


To other people.


Like: “Hey! Can you write us an article on book nooks?” to which I say…




to which they reply:




to which I say…




to which they remind:


“It’s due in 10 minutes!”


to which I remark:






“Can you edit this 83-page document about the massive bummer of megacolon affliction?


to which I say: “OF COURSE!”


to which they say: “There’s 29 more like them coming in forty seconds!”


to which I say




to which they say:


“Do them all now!”


which is when I put crack directly on my cerebral cortex and become someone my family wants to shoot in the face.


Complicating matters is that I really only have three workable hours a day when the kids are in school. And then there’s the days they’re not in school, which with the budget cuts, is pretty often given all the “Professional Development Days” and “Just a Random Day Off” and “PSYCHE! No School Again Today!” days.


(I promise that when I’m paid to write, I get to the point much quicker than in paragraph googolplex.)


Because the point is, according to my calculations:

Katrabillion projects due + Three hours a day + Not enough coffee beans in all the coffee-producing nations of the world + “PSYCHE! No School Again Today!” = Mashed potatoes for breakfast and a fat butt.


I’m still working out the math.


Furthermore, all this is to say that my husband has really stepped up to the plate.


The last two days he took complete control of the house and the kids, and even did laundry and made food. HE MADE FOOD!


The problem is, he’s a much better housekeeper/cook/organizer than I am.


Such as for instance, I actually found the milk in the fridge this morning as it was not obscured by half-open cans of refried beans and an exploded heirloom tomato. I FOUND THE MILK! In addition, the coat rack by the door did not have Coats of Many Colors hanging on it. No. There were only the coats we needed. No more, no less, no full-body parkas for a freak San Diego snowmageddon. JUST A FEW COATS!


Also, it’s possible for people to make dinner without complaining how no one appreciates you and would someone please do the dishes after. A WHINE-FREE DINNER!


He even, and I do not say this lightly, set out the girls’ soccer clothes the night before so as to avoid the morning-mad-scramble-of-missing-cleats-doom. THE NIGHT BEFORE!


This is all very disturbing to me.


I just expected that my crazy way of doing things crazily in a crazed manner all up in the crazy was the ONLY way.


So I’m gonna have a talk with him about maybe nutting up his game so I don’t feel so inadequate.


Right after he’s home from buying a birthday present IN ADVANCE OF THE 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE PARTY for Toots’ friend.




This has got to stop.


P.S. Having my husband take care of the mom stuff really is awesome. I worked all day yesterday while he sorted the laundry, picked the kids up from school, grocery shopped, and made a delightful dinner of meat and potatoes. He even did the dishes afterward.


Even just one day of not worrying about the details?




PROMPTuesday #164: Reading Club

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Let’s make it Book Review Day! Here’s one I wrote for The Book Thief awhile ago.


You do one too! Or if you’ve already written one, link it up here.


First time to PROMPTuesday? Read a bit about it here. Want to see what’s been written in the past? Catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive here.


This is for You Writers

Monday, September 19th, 2011

The Writer’s Manifesto from Goins, Writer.


Normally, I’d put a short post like this in my sidebar, but this is important and divine and should be front and center.


I hope it resonates.


The Sprint Navigator Experience

Thursday, September 15th, 2011



A few months ago, my husband and I canceled our seemingly lifelong Verizon Wireless membership and switched over to Sprint.


I know.


It’s just that we heard Sprint was much more affordable and had improved service. Over say, the really crappy service it offered before. Which is like saying Britney Spears can sing. Certain laws of the universe just don’t change.


As I’ve since discovered.


Let me start with the “Navigator” option:


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: Navigating to 123 Mockingbird Lane. Please hold.


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: OK. Drive 4.5 miles on Highway 5 and turn left.


ME: Left? Left where?


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: Turn left at the road.


ME: What road?


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: *Bing bing!* We cannot get Sprint GPS signal in this area.


ME: What?


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: *Bing!* You now have GPS signal.


ME: Oh good.


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: *Bing bing!* We cannot get Sprint GPS signal in this area.


(I have now gone 4.49 miles)

ME: Oh for God’s sake.


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: *Bing!* You now have GPS signal.


ME: So where do I go??


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: Turn left at the road. The one with the tree.


ME: But there’s so many trees!


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: You missed the road with the tree. Please make the first legal u-turn.


ME: I’m on a highway!


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: Please make the first legal u-turn.


ME: But then what?


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: *Bing bing!* We cannot get Sprint GPS signal in this area.


ME: {{I’d insert conversation here, but insanity is silent}}


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: *Bing!* You now have GPS signal.


ME: {{I’m in Fresno}}


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: You did not make the first legal u-turn. Turn left here.


ME: Where’s here? Where, where, where, you stupid, idiotic, moth-


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: *Bing bing!* We cannot get Sprint GPS signal in this area.


ME: {{Desperately dialing Verizon to say I’m sorry. I’ll change. I can be the woman it wants me to be. Just please take me back.}}


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: *Bing!* You now have GPS signal.


ME: Forget it. I don’t want to go to 123 Mockingbird Lane anymore. Can you just tell me how to get home?




ME: But there’s a canyon there.




ME: Off the edge of the canyon?


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: *Bing bing!* We cannot get Sprint GPS signal in this area.


ME: {{About to Thelma-and-Louise it into the canyon}}


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: *Bing!* You now have GPS signal.


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: Please make your first legal u-turn.


ME: The first legal u-turn is a cliff.


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: Now take a left at the tree.


ME: Please stop talking.


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: Your destination is on the right.


ME: Destination? I see a desert shanty full of shifty-eyed inbred hill mutants.


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: You have reached your destination.


ME: {{Desperately dialing 911 as a broad-shouldered mutant advances picking roast baby out of his tooth and brandishing a weapon fashioned from femur bones}}


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: We’re sorry. 911 is not supported by the Sprint Network.


ME: I could really use some help here!


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: Sprint’s navigation experts have determined that you are in a geographic area marked “Killer Hill People.”


ME: What do I do? What do I do?!


SPRINT NAVIGATOR: Please make your first legal u-turn. Turn right at the road with the human head picket fence and then a quick left at the empty gas station with the light that flickers on and off ominously. Whatever you do, don’t t–


ME: Where? Don’t turn where?? {{stopping to get gas as a nice man in fur overalls fills my tank with unleaded}}


SPRINT NAVIGATOR:…alk to the man in fur overalls.