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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kids and hyperbole

Post Edit: For my new site and blog, go to kidsaretheworst.NET

This morning I got an email from a writer at Buzzfeed. I called her back and she asked me a few questions about my Instagram account @kidsaretheworst. Within the hour she had posted a buzzfeed article about how kids are the worst and the numbers climbing on my Instagram account have made me laugh all day long. It was hopping, baby.

And then I go to find the article to post and share with all y'all and I happened to read the comments. "I would have never acted like that as a child." "Now parents think misbehaving is cute and funny and can't wait to share it on social media." "Who leaves their kids alone that long?" "Negligent parenting."

Of course, I can just roll my eyes, because GOOD FOR THESE PEOPLE that were apparently the most amazing, well-behaved children in the history of history. And bless their hearts for hoping that they never have kids that make messes. I sure hope these parents or soon-to-be-parents have bladders of steel, because they should never use the bathroom or take a shower while their child is around. Not even sleeping, really. I had a kid fast asleep when I hopped into the shower once and when I was dressed, I went to check on him in his room. Guess what? He wasn't there! But the DVDs were all over the family room, scattered like confetti. And he was in the middle of it, happy as a clam. You're right, my kid is the spawn of the devil and I am the worst parent in the existing world. 

Give me a break.

The point of @kidsaretheworst is to have a community where we can all laugh instead of cry at the craziness of child rearing. Sometimes it is the most blessed opportunity in your life and you can't imagine what could be better. Other times you want to cry because you feel so overwhelmed and alone. And then your child gives you a hug or/and says something adorable, and you know you can once again rule the world. That's parenthood, ladies and gentleman. 

I have one child who is sincerely the best kid in the entire world. He does the laundry for his little brothers, makes lunches, takes the dog out for potty every morning, takes out the garbage and brings the can in without being asked, tells me I am beautiful, smart, and funny, gets good grades, listens to his teacher, says please and thank you, and so on. He is seriously a great person already at almost 11 years old. He was the most difficult toddler in a 10-mile radius, though. He threw every toy he had at his bedroom door. He wouldn't stay in time out. He would announce loudly at the stores that he hated me. He wouldn't eat any of his dinners, ever. He made me cry in those two years of toddlerhood more than I have cried in the other 11 of my 13 years of being a mother combined.

@kidsaretheworst is HYPERBOLE! It is meant to calm the parenting heart that wants to cry. It is funny and lighthearted. It is a community that congratulates you for trying to be a good parent. Because I am pretty sure everyone is trying their hardest to raise humans that are better than they are. So, give everyone a break that is trying. Don't assume that you know how they parent, what their child does, or what is going on in that home. Ease up, wontcha? And either laugh with us or don't. But take it down a thousand with your parenting/childhood elitism. Please and thank you.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bachelor, SouleMates, Women Tell All

I gotta say, this Women Tell All was one of the more interesting of its recent kind. There are always those former contestants that feel the need to butt into conversations with pearls of wisdom such as "This wasn't about friends, this was about Chris!" I can't even remember their names 12 hours later. Good for them, I guess.

Couple thoughts:

BRITT: how does her makeup never run or ruin? She cried so much (never asking for Chris Harrison's silk pocket square. I mean who would do THAT?) and yet her makeup stayed perfectly in place. Her lipstick was on point. How does she? And I can't tell if she is a really good actress with a genuine heart or completely clueless. Next Bachelorette?

CARLY: I had such high hopes for her eyebrows. Her hair was lighter, her dress was shorter, and her brows were moderately less awkward, but not enough. Oh I'm just splitting hairs now. Wait. Wink wink. I really felt bad for her, an insecure girl masking her fears through mockery. Hey, I can't pretend I haven't been there. It's rough.

KAITLYN: Chris could not explain that situation enough even if he tried. I'm still a fan of hers. She's cute, she's imperfect, she is funny, and she is my vote for the next Bachelorette. You?

JADE: don't hate me for this, but did she get new boobs since filming? Ok, I hate myself for that. But really. 

BLOND ASHLEY: I still claim she is the sanest of the bunch. She never felt comfortable with the cameras and couldn't relax and "be herself" so they call HER crazy. Yeah, no. Plus, she looked the classiest by far. Take a note, ladies. More is more.

ASHELY I: facial expressions! Kinda fun, but she could ease up a bit, dontcha think? At least she was kinda amicable in making up with Britt. Yeah, she coulda been wrong. Or drunk. Or mistaken. But she was not having any of Kelsey. Which leads me to...

KELSEY: two words: pocket square. That little interaction with her impending tiny tears and then how she blew her nose in Chris's silk hanky... sums up why nobody believes her. She is not trustworthy. I do believe that she feels she should not have gleefully rejoiced in her "amazing story" because that affects Sanderson's family. Not cool. But I think she knows that. Other than that, she is working her PR. I don't think she will be the next Bachelorette. But I bet she goes on to Celebrity Apprentice. Because she's so smart and eloquent, yo!

CHRIS SOULES: looks tired. And maybe not so happy with the outcome? Hmmm??

CHRIS HARRISON: I wondered what he did while on Bachelor vacations during the dates. All he was there for was to clink his fork on a glass announcing the end of the cocktail party and to announce the final rose of the evening. What else does Chris H do, I wondered. Writes books, obviously and apparently. I'm sure it will be ... wait for it... AMAZING!

What say you?


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bachelor, SoulesMates episode 9

Hey Bachelor friends! Last night was such a shocker. Nah, I'm kidding. I mean, I was a bit bummed that (SPOILER ALERT) Kaitlyn went home, but it's because I think Chris liked her more. Think about it. Chris said to both Kaitlyn AND Becca that he was falling in love with them. He told Chris Harrison that he thought MAYBE he would fall in love with Whitney the next week when he saw his family. I think he feels like Whitney is the more sure deal of someone who will live with him in po-dunk Arlington. She has minimal family connections, and they are only 3.5 hours away from his home. It seems a more analytical move and not a soul move.

Yes, I hate myself for thinking this much about it.

Things I thought while watching last night:

Chris and Kaitlyn: "Everyone is so friendly here; they all smile." Uhh, probably because you have a camera crew following you around.
Did the monkeys pee on Chris's armpits, too?!

"Why are you shaking?" "I knoooooow." But, seriously, she was shaking? Oh Kaitlyn. Does anyone want her to be the next Bachelorette or is it just me?

Whitney's date:

Oy, she talks a lot. I love my sister more than anyone but she irritates me more than anyone. Throw family under the bus for a chance at the farmer!

Oh geez, the music when Whitney and Chris kiss before the romantic suite and decide they could make babies right away in Arlington. Foreshadow much? "I can't wait to spend the rest of ... the night with Chris." Oh, so not your life, just the night. ha!

Becca's date:

She is the only one who doesn't jump in his arms and wrap her legs around Chris. And Whitney says she is the immature one. Fantastic stuff.

Becca gives limp handshakes. Why does anyone give limp handshakes? It's so off-putting.

And then they go stand in a river. What? Whitney gets to go on a boat ride, Kaitlyn gets to spend time with monkeys and Becca is told by men that she needs to "make love" and then stands in a river. I think Becca has gotten the short end of the straw on all of her dates. Come on! 

Seriously, though, Chris seems to laugh the most when he is with her. And if I could tell my kids one thing about a future spouse, it is to pick the person you laugh with the most often and most easily. And that laughs back. 

There was so much sweat in this episode that I don't think Kaitlyn had any more water in her body to use as tears when she departed. I seriously felt bad for her and not so great towards Whitney.

Again, I kinda hate myself for even caring at this point.

What are your thoughts? Women Tell All next week... is it going to be a typical over-hyped, under-delivered snoozefest? Talk to me!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

SoulesMates, episodes 7 and 8

You're probably over wanting to talk about the 5 hours of Bachelor over the weekend. I'm already a bit over it, but I didn't want to let you all down. I was in San Diego all weekend and just didn't want to type everything out on my phone. Womp womp, I know. But can we talk San Diego for a hot second? WOOWEE, that place! We stayed in La Jolla and one of the kids asked why we couldn't move there. We told them it was ridiculously out of our price range. Johnny said, "I will work really hard so I can retire early and buy a house in La Jolla." Yep, that's the dream. And since you're 10 and already planning on it, can you buy Dad and me a guest house, too? K, thanks.

Chris Soules, back to you, you farm boy with the heart of gold. (Doesn't sound as poetic as a hooker with a heart of gold. I think since farmers are the heart of America, we are already assuming they have good hearts. Whatever.)

The extra hour of Chris Tells All was a total SNOOZE fest. Even Andi crying about her break up had me zoning out and falling asleep. Best of luck to her, and all that, but {snore}. I still think that blonde Ashley is not nearly as crazy as the producers want us to believe she is. Conspiracy theory brewing that maybe she is so sane that they wanted to cover up the fact that she saw them behind the scenes up to no good and BETTING on the girls so they pieced all her whacky moments and made her seem lucid but insane. Hmmm. 

Sunday night's two hours thoughts, in no particular order:
*Britt is used to getting her way. She is gorgeous, sweet, and has NO IDEA she is being manipulative. I remember some of my earlier relationships where I acted not unlike her and had no clue that my form of communication was immature and seemingly disingenuous. Is there a word for unintentional manipulation? Because that is what I did and I think Britt is the same. (Please note I am in NO WAY comparing my youth to her beauty. I mean, come on. So we are clear.)

*Jade seemed to be unimpressed at the city and home of Chris. I think he chose her to come see it because she seems so meek and came from a small town. Maybe it was his way of showing someone and preparing himself and the others, in some way, for the shock and potential disappointment. Jade was almost sullen the entire time. 

*Chris really likes Whitney. She seems easy to please and eager to fit in. But her VOICE, heaven help me. Maybe he likes her voice because then his laugh doesn't seem so obnoxious. The mural was cool, but she reacted like it was AMAZING. Good for her. I mean, nobody has made a mural out of my likeness, so maybe I would react similarly.

*The three-on-one was boring. I thought we would be done with these. Britt blew it. Carly blew it, because the one who snitches on other girls NEVER makes it to the top three. Name one time. It is SO friend zone material. Ice skating, hanging out, blah blah blah.

Monday night:

*Becca. What in the world? Are their dates so boring and uneventful that they choose to show almost nothing of them? This was the snoringest snorefest of all dates. Hanging out on the couch is what you do AFTER a date. Whatever. They are either preparing us for her departure next week or for her to be molded into whatever next Bachelorette they want. Except that she's a virgin, we know next to NOTHING about her.

*Britt's crying at the rose ceremony was not because her heart was broken, it was because she couldn't find a way to come out glowing. The loud cries right by the front door were partly meant to make Chris feel bad, I guarantee it. Maybe even in the hopes that he would come out and comfort her so she could not feel like she failed so much. And Carly rejoicing at Britt's crying didn't make me feel so bad for her when she got dumped 5 minutes later. I get it, she was gorgeous and you felt like she was a liar. But contain your excitmement over someone's loud tears and we might feel bad for you when your own tears get louder. So, goodbye beauty and the eyebrows. See you in two weeks at Women Tell All ("I thought Carly was my FRIEND!" sob sob sob).

*Becca's hometown was weird. And by weird I mean BORING. Poor girl, it's all so vanilla with her. This was the first time I got Alan to watch any of this season's Bachelor with me and he said (in between looking at his phone) that Chris should run away from her because she obviously has issues. Her family sure seems to want America to believe she is a cold-hearted witch. But they kissed on the ferris wheel, so that's cool.

*Whitney takes us to Chicago where we see that the family she told Chris she doesn't have just the day before seems to be a pretty tight-knit family after all. A sister, grandma, and involved uncle might not be the same as the blended parental units the others have, but pretty solid nonetheless. Earlier at her work we see Whitney being all smarty about making the babies, almost forcing Chris to give a sperm sample while (gasp!) looking at Playboys. Can you imagine Playboy magazines making it onto wholesome Bachelor entertainment? The horror. She ends the night with a very expensive bottle of wine that Chris will have to reimburse her for if he doesn't choose her. But, I am highly suspicious that he will. VOICE LESSONS! ;)

*Kaitlyn's "hometown" of Phoenix was cute. Kaitlyn is cute. She's no dummy, either. She takes him to do something he is obviously horrible at, and then tells him how great and fun he is. Then her family loves him (I think) and she plays from Chris's book of hometown dates and sends out her message to him via large signage (remember the plane over the cornfields when Andi visited him?). All she didn't do was have him play hide and seek with her family. I will be surprised if Chris picks Kaitlyn, but she will be an excellent Bachelorette next season.

*Jade. Oh boy. Doomed from the first moment. I can't even remember if they did anything fun. All I remember was the awkward home reunion and the even more awkward hotel reveal while she was wearing fuzzy socks. Chris was not excited to see her nude photos (and VIDEO! oy!), which should have been a warning light for Jade to not show him. That was SO uncomfortable and although I don't think it was a deal breaker for Chris, it definitely helped him pare down to the final three.

I am so torn. I wish I could see any of these girls being content to live in a miniscule town in Iowa. I mean, right?

What do you think? What juicy moments did I forget to mention? WHO IS GOING TO BE THE NEXT BACHELORETTE?


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

SoulesMates, episode 6

Poor Kelsey.

Nah, just kidding. That girl is crazy. Bless her heart

So we return to her "panic attack" on the bathroom floor and someone asks her about the brownies! The brownies? I want to see these girls eating brownies, because I swear all the producers offer them is alcohol and appetizers. But Kelsey is still witty and super smart when someone asks her during the "panic attack" about these alleged brownies. She thinks they are store bought. Ahhahaha. I wish I could write Kelsey's laugh "Ah-hahr-hahr-hahr." "Tonight on the tile floor with an oxygen mask solidified the start of our relationship." Aaaaaand that's disgusting.

Ashley talks about Kelsey getting to play "the widow card": "I don't have a sad story so it's not going to like end up well for me." Cry cry cry. Gets a rose. Then, "I'm like ridiculously relieved. So good!"

Do you see these girls shivering during the rose ceremony? New Mexico is cold, y'all! Jade is shaking. I can barely look at Kelsey standing there waiting for a rose because I see Jade behind her SHAKING. And I'm shocked that I'm sad Mackenzie is leaving. She'll get to be with Kale, her son, not the lettuce, but she has been surprisingly enjoyable the last few weeks. All 21 years of her. "Samantha has had terrible things happen to her, too... but didn't use it to level up." What was your sad story, Sam? The world wants to hear sadness as it pertains to finding true, lasting love on the Bachelor. Why would you keep it from us I mean, Chris? Fine, be that way and walk uphill back to your hotel room. No limo ride for you!

Becca "is the only one I haven't kissed and I'm totally ok with that." Well, to quote the church lady, "isn't that special?!" Bless your heart, Chris, but you've been a totally lipslut. And while their date was apparently boring because they showed so little of it, their kiss made the cut and made the rest of us feel a bit uncomfortable. But, isn't that how most first kisses are? Regardless, Becca is strong (Chris keeps telling us). She admits that she is laughing at Chris's giggle. She's tough, because she doesn't giggle.

Kelsey says words she isn't prepared to use. 

Oh snap. I kid you not, dear reader, I wrote that first sentence just before Kelsey says, "I get it. I'm blessed with eloquence. I use a lot of big words, because I'm smart." Whoa. What? We are not one same page. I was just thinking that she doesn't know how to use the words she is trying so hard to seem effortless. It's exhausting. But then she tells us that she uses those words "because she's smart." MmmHmmm. Keep telling yourself that. Maybe with more practice and less cameras recording your trunky usage of "big words" you will sound as smart as you think you are in a decade. 

"I'm in Deadwood, I'm gonna speak my song!" That whole song singing with Big and Rich was... whatever. Britt is really pretty, but she keeps reminding me of a lioness. The way she poses her head so severely when looking up at Chris or over at the other girls. Something about it seems very lion-like. No? And yes, Chris cannot sing. And yes, Carly justifies her "cruise ship singer" status with not blowing it and getting an after-recording piano track to accompany her. But her eyebrows seem to be getting only more defined in their frowny shape. I'm praying for her that by Women Tell All, someone will have fixed that sitch for her. 

Jade. Poor Jade. 

Britt gets to run off and see a concert "she doesn't even care about" but gets to see Chris enjoy it and that's all that matters to her. I'm with you, Britt. I am not a fan of country music, but that was still pretty cool. Except that the other girls were left to chat about where you had been for an hour. When they returned, that was rough. Everyone's crying, Chris bows out so they "can enjoy the rest of the evening" and Britt tries not to be happy. AWKWARD. Whitney explaining how she feels self conscious around gorgeous Britt was probably the most honest and sincerely sad moment of the whole season. We've all been there, Whit. You got this.

Then the 2-on-1 that both Kelsey and Ashley are super stoked about. Ahem, liars. Kelsey lies that she totally knows what the Badlands are. 
K: "Oh yeah, I know all about the Badlands. I am so excited to finally see them." 
A: "What are they?" 
K: "The BADlands. You know." 
A: "No, like WHAT are they?" 
K: "They are the lands... that are bad. Oh, why do I have to be SO smart?"

Ashley gets so miffed that she proclaims: "I just can't even." What? You can't even what? You're a freaking "freelance journalist" Ashley. I'm sure you can come up with verb to finish that thought. Apparently she has a MASTERS degree. I am shocked and impressed, not gonna lie.

I love when Ashley calls people fake. It's kinda my favorite. To see her lashes, makeup, extensions, spray tan and then hear "I'm real, she's fake" just kills. 

Kelsey: "She has too much makeup on to be genuine."

And then the Kelsey stare down while Ashley looks out at the Badlands and drinks her journalist wine. Their eyes finally meet and Kelsey daggers, "I know what you did." I feel like I've seen that on a horror movie. 

Ashley, "Just because I don't use big words like you doesn't mean I'm not smart." That was good. Stay there and sit tall, Ashley. You can do this. Ah shoot, nope. She walks off, but really STOMPS off searching for Chris (what was he doing all alone in the Badlands? weird.). He breaks the kissing off forever with Ashley because his sister told him that there are no aesthetician specializing in eyelash extensions in Arlington, Iowa. SO, she probably wouldn't be happy. "And you think BRITT would be?" ooh, burn. But Amazon can deliver crates of dry shampoo to Iowa, so I think Britt will be OK.

Kelsey is out, too. And Chris takes the helicopter home SOLO while the two jilted enemies stand on different plains of the Badlands.

Whew. I am exhausted, but now that Kelsey, Ashley, and Mackenzie are gone, who will cause drama and discord? What will cause Britt to cry so much? (maybe Amazon doesn't deliver to Arlington!) Who do you think will be final THREE?


Monday, February 9, 2015

mediocrity and science

I could list a dozen reasons why I am a crummy mother. Truth is, those who know me well know that I let my kids do a lot for themselves. I jokingly mask my guilt and call it "teaching children self reliance!" Another truth is, I don't really have that much guilt about it. On occasion, I see a child competing at high levels in their field of activity and I worry that I am not providing those experiences for my own children. My kids are mediocre at most things. It's true.

In our house: 

  • Kids do their own laundry. The 5yo gets help from his 10yo brother. I help them fold. 
  • Kids wake themselves up every morning. They get their own breakfasts. They make their own lunches. I make dinner. They help clean it up.
  • Kids take the dog out every morning for potty. 
  • Kids walk to school. Kids walk home from school.
  • Kids do their own homework. The 8yo needs a little hand-holding.
  • Kids clean their bathroom. Now you know for the next time you visit.
  • Kids do their own science fair projects.

Their bathroom never looks spotless, their rooms are always slightly messy (if not completely), their closets are maddening, their breakfasts are questionable, their lunches are fine, they get to school on time every day. 

I was going to write a long diatribe on why I hate science fair projects. My oldest two had to do another one this year, and even though I only made moderate suggestions and helped them procure their items for conducting their experiments, I was exhausted by it all. I have been a judge before at the school science fairs. I have seen the difference between projects that kids do all by themselves and projects that no elementary school child would be able to do even 1/10th unaided by an adult. And it miffed me to no end that the children with the parent-completed projects had the highest scores. The other parent judges were so ridiculous in docking points for children who had handwritten posters or titles that were crooked. Maybe a child had a silly project, so their scores were lessened, deemed "little practical application in the real world." No duh. Elementary-aged kids are not thinking practical life application when they think of science. They are thinking of how balloons float and how many elephants could stand on one skateboard and awesome stuff like that.

So, when my 10yo decided to conduct an experiment on how quickly dishwasher packets dissolve in different liquids, I was all, "sure dude." And when my 13yo wanted to see how different home hair dyes lasted, I was like, "sounds good." Because it is supposed to be THEIR project.

Yeah, I had a whole post in my head denouncing these fairs because they favor the parental-involvement projects, of which my children have none. 

Remember the diatribe of 2012 denouncing the Pinewood Derby for scouts? Remember how that turned out and I felt pretty foolish? Well, GOOD THING I didn't make a fool out of myself about the science fair (except I kinda just did and if you've talked with me in the last two months I probably have been vocal about it as well). Because Johnny (my 10yo) came home with a trophy and an invitation to the district finals. I wish I were kidding.

The district finals. I should add that our printer has been malfunctioning and I made Johnny write out the entire poster's contents in his best handwriting. And that I left for Hawaii before it was finished, not sure of how it really turned out. I was just glad he finished and he was proud that he got a good grade.

And then he comes home with a trophy.

I tell you what. My mediocre kids are SOMEHOW turning out pretty well considering their mother.
And my withholding of random personal exasperations is turning out in my favor as well. Who knew? (my mother. my mother knew. she warned me. but I am slow to listen. no surprise.)


Friday, February 6, 2015

fifty shades of movies

This morning as the kids were leaving for school, My 13yo daughter remarked that my 10yo son was wearing a lot of gray. He had on gray jeans, gray shirt, gray shoes, and his gray student council sweatshirt. She told him, "Johnny, you are fifty shades of gray." Alan and I ignored it until Johnny came into our room and proclaimed: "I AM fifty shades of gray." Yeah, we couldn't let that keep going throughout his day. So we told him to not say that because he didn't understand the connotation. He asked further and we told him it was a mature reference and pretty inappropriate. And that was that.

Guess what I didn't do? I didn't make him sign a petition. I didn't tell him that it was a book based on Twilight (which he also doesn't know more than it is a book about a girl and vampires). I didn't tell him that it has to do with a virgin college student who falls in love with a wealthy man who is into S&M. Come to think of it, I didn't even tell him what S&M is. Weird, right?

Last month our family went to see the movie Into the Woods. Maggie and Alan have loved the musical since Maggie was in kindergarten. They have the Broadway production on DVD and Maggie watches it every. single. time she is home sick. They went to the local production at Hale Centre Theater when Maggie was in first grade. It is their favorite musical as father and daughter. And they were kind enough to invite the rest of us to see it with them when in came to the movie theater.

We loved it. All of us. I thought it was a great story, especially at the end when it wasn't so happily ever after and the hard lessons of life were shared. "Careful what you say, children will listen." And how sometimes what we think are obvious lines of good and bad in life are not always the case. "People make mistakes, Holding to their own, Thinking they're alone... witches can be right, giants can be good, you decide what's right, you decide what's good... Just remember, someone is on your side." I hope my kids always find confidence in their conscience. Just because I tell them that white chocolate is disgusting and then they try it in Switzerland when they are 21, that doesn't make their mother always wrong to them. Children need to grow and make mistakes and learn about life. That's the nature of it all, amIright? (hint: yes, always, Ahhnna!)

But a week later I saw an article someone linked to on the Facebook about how Into the Woods was a horrible call by Disney and touted anti-establishment and secularism. I was baffled that someone could cry out to Disney (you know, the GIANT conglomerate of companies that is in it for the saving of souls money) claiming that they should know better about making fairy tales ugly. Dude, fairy tales ARE ugly. Hansel and Gretel much? Little Mermaid ever (the original)? Let's be honest, most stories we call fairy tales are really folktales and were meant as cautionary moral tales to keep adults honest and kids out of trouble. So to expect Disney to continually bastardize folktales to fit into their conceptualized "happily ever after" style merely because it is what you have grown accustomed to and prefer to spend money on is like saying that I, Ahhnna, should only write about the Bachelor because that is all I have done for the last month. Except I make NO money from this. And they adapted a PLAY that already existed to be turned into a movie. 

Maybe instead of lamenting Disney's choices for film making, you can decide to NOT GO or do your research before spending your money. Maybe. I've seen plenty of dumb movies. I didn't like Interstellar recently. I don't care if it was awesome to you. I mean, that's cool if it was and we can chat about it, but you shouldn't care if I am mad that I wasted my money and date night seeing that particular film. It was also when I first felt my pulmonary embolism, but I don't think that is why I thought the movie was ridiculous. 

Now Fifty Shades of Grey is coming to a theater near you and people are angry that it is made into a film. There are constant petitions posted on the Facebook (yes, I like adding THE before Facebook to make it feel more like a living entity. Also, sounds super formal and that's funny in my head). People are writing and decrying about the sanctity of the movie theaters where this show will be playing. Come on, that's funny. Movie theaters are the least sacred space in the world. Well, next to Las Vegas and strip clubs. You can watch all the filth that goes on in Las Vegas and strip clubs in a movie theater, though. And cockfights, slavery, adultery, drug use, underground sex slave trading, murder, anarchy, and so on. Nobody was mad when George Clooney and his gaggle of handsome men stole bunches of money. Nobody screamed out that Seth Rogen still gets funding to make horrible movies. Wait, North Korea did and guess what happened? MORE PEOPLE saw a presumably crummy movie. I presume it is crummy without having actually seen it because, well, Seth Rogen. Actor AND Director. I can't believe people pay him for this. Good for him, I guess.

It's a tale as old as marketing time. There is no such thing as bad publicity. Thousands of people never planned on seeing Fifty Shades, but now all of their friends and the mothers of their high school friends are crying debauchery, pornography, and even rape for a film that they never planned on seeing anyway. But, like always, the more people talk about it, the more interest is piqued and the more people go to curiously see what all the hubbub is about. It's asinine, really. We are all playing this game. It is not going to stop showing at the theater. Disney is going to continue to make money any way they can. Seth Rogen will keep getting jobs (sigh). Interstellar is still going to make me want to pull my hair out and wish for three hours of my life back. 

Do what you gotta do, but remember that the loudest way you can change movies is by not spending money on those you don't want to see/agree with. And stop giving publicity to movies you don't want others to support. I am not supporting any movie here, although I am aware that my complaint on others giving bad publicity is still some form of publicity. Alas. 

What's the best movie you recently watched? Worst?


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

SoulesMates, episode 5

Guru photo bomb

Chris and Carly going to the Love Guru, Tziporah, was one of the most uncomfortable moments... wait for it... in Bachelor History. The first few times I did yoga, I wanted to laugh while doing my Ohms, and it looked like it was taking Chris all the power he had not to laugh when singing Ohm. And like an octave too high. When Carly fed him that strawberry, did anyone else think he looked like a hobo with all that chocolate on his teeth and mouth? This has to go with the one-on-one date to Costco as some of the most awkward non-amazing dates in, yep, Bachelor History.

"Now Carly, go to downward dog," says Tziporah. "Chris to become more intimate in your long relationship with Carly, grab the inside of her thighs..." woah "... and then press yourself against..." woah "...and move..." WOAH! Are any of my kids or parents around? This just got a bit more late night TV all of the sudden. Chill, Tziporah! First date. You knew that, right?

And I am afraid of the school this love guru went to that refers to clothes as masks. In the winter, I am all about layering my masks all day long. I guess it doesn't get very cold in New Mexico, but... wait a minute. Sitting on his lap means straddling him? That makes New Mexico Santas seem creepier. Well, it worked. I think they successfully went past the friend zone. Thanks, Tziporah! 

What is that thing called that took the love of my life away? Oh yeah, congestive heart failure. That's life, honey. I know I'm going to regret writing this, but I expected her to do a finger clap with wide evil eyes when she said, "They never found out WHY his heart failed." 

Carly, "there is some of the most beautiful... PHYSICALLY beautiful... people I've ever met" among the other Bachelorettes. Smart girl. I didn't expect to like Carly very much and now I do, except for her eyebrows. Grow those out a little, Carly. Trust.

I'm hoping it is just editing that made the rapids ride seem like 3 minutes long. Otherwise, LAME! Jade falls out of a boat and suffers from hypothermia, but all the girls are jealous. Get a grip, ladies. I am sure Jade is jealous that the other girls don't have to wear snow gloves and ugly man socks. 

I LOL'd at Kelsey's "I'm fine" and cackle placed on the canyon scenery with the hawk cry. Great edit!
At the evening date, are those appetizers around the rose their dinner? Lots o' booze and a few apps. Chow down, ladies!

Jordan. dun dun dun. She sees that she drank too much, Chris accepts her to the night date for another chance and as soon as she sits down with the other girls... DRINK! Ashley is so mature that she knows Jordan isn't ready to get married... like Ashley is. KardASHLEYian (ha) doesn't want anyone to be nice to Jordan because that would mean they don't like Chris. Niceness Love. I get it, but worry 'bout yo'self Ashley. And apparently Nice = Rose. 

I still think Becca needed a rose. My money is on her for being the virgin that makes it to the Fantasy Suite. I felt icky writing that, not gonna lie.

Britt and her sleep-in makeup are amazing. The glitter on the eyes was the first giveaway. Just in case. It's a good thing she got the surprise wake-up date, because girrrrl was ready. And what seemed like a crippling fear the night before suddenly has Britt jumping up and down, super excited to float in the air IN A BASKET! Because Chris was next to her. She aint scared none now.

Then they get to "take a nap" with the door closed, because cameras are so noisy for sleeping friends. Or, as Kelsey guessed, they could be "delv[ing] into the wondrous land of physical affection." Delve. Hehe. Is this Britt's way to start delving into having those 100 babies that she really doesn't want? 

After such a relaxing nap with Hollywood-waitress-just-here-for-love-I-swear Britt, Kelsey decides that Chris is ready to hear her sad story. Can I just add that "Sanderson Poe" is the most incredible made-up name in... wait for it... Bachelor History. Unless it is a real name, then it is still an incredible one.

I mean, I have to write this: "Isn't my story amazing? I mean, it's tragic, but amazing. I love my story." uhhhhh what? Kelsey is nutso. I'm just going to write publicly, in case the Bachelor Producers read my opinions on their franchise and take such notes seriously (heh!): I do not want to see Kelsey's story of her picking up the pieces of a broken life to find love again. I'm thinking Becca would be a great next Bachelorette.

I like how Chris says Santa Fe as "Sanda Vay!" 

No cocktail party, but girls be mad that Kelsey took her private time for the amazing, tragic story and their story isn't as tragically amazing as hers. Now Chris won't love them because they aren't tragic.

So, I'm not a doctor (yet) but if you're having a panic attack do you cry "Panic attack" while having one? Seems questionable. 
Medic: "What is going on? I can't understand your reactions and pulse and fake fall." 
Kelsey: "Panic Attack!" 
Medic: (Ok, seems iffy. Maybe she's disoriented) "What's your name?" 
Kelsey: "Kelsey" 
Medic: (Well, she's clearly aware, but this is a bit much even for a panic attack) "Do you know where you are?" 
Kelsey: "I'm in my love story. America is watching me pick up the pieces!"


Oh, geez. Fine. I will wait until next week. Looks to be equally thrilling. Hopefully with a lot of fears used against the Bachelorettes. 

What did you think? Who is going home at this rose ceremony? 21yo mother?


Thursday, January 29, 2015

SoulesMates, episode four

"He can probe at that area later on." Ashley I in the tent talking about her virginity.

"All I want to do is go on a date and dress like a princess." Ashley I

She sums it up best when she says, "I can't describe how frustrating I am!" Yeah, but we can. Because you are, sister.

Don't you worry, I heard Chris say "Jade and I's fairytale." Oh I heard it alright.

That muddy race in wedding dresses was COMPLETELY fixed for Jillian. Even her dress was the most conducive to racing. I mean, come on Bachelor CEO and Creative Directors: We see right through your Jillian-needs-a-one-on-one scenario!

Maybe Ashley S is the most sane of the group. Did you see her exit interview? The only thing I want to say to Chris is... nothing! Amazing.

What do you think? Who will be THE virgin that will make it to the Fantasy Suite that Chris Harrison has teased us with? 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bachelor SoulesMate, ep. 3

Will I ever write about anything other than the Bachelor? I sure hope so. But for now, please find my 2 AM Bachelor recap drivel sufficient:

"Make yourself pretty. Wash yourself. We're going to work on making this amazing adventure together." Jimmy Kimmel gets it! I wasn't sure Id like him around this sacred space, but by golly I think he gets it. Because:

The $1 amazing jar was genius. Did you know it was going to be that word? Amazingly, I did. The first thing they've done that has actually been amazing was adding this jar. Don't ever leave, jar!

Kaitlyn with her wine glass in the limo surprised at being at Costco was priceless. Welcome to the real world where we can buy anything we want at Costco including  "enough ketchup to fill a hot tub." Oh wait! No we can't, because of these pesky things called real budgets. It's actually a real dream date for me to go to Costco and buy loads of food and plastic chairs and those plastic balls. That's exactly why I've wanted to buy some of those. For making out. That was even too tacky for the Costco, kids.

With Jimmy Kimmel around you can really hear Chris's giggle. That would get old after a few months. Or days. It's like an animal. Not quite a dolphin, but something. What animal is that giggle? Kaitlyn is lying about not being jealous for the sweet, sweet love in the fantasy suite. Whatev. Threesome? Oy vey. "Get the ketchup!" Oh geez, keep Jimmy around! Except I don't want to hear Chris laughing that much. They're even using the Costco chairs and a ton of meat leftover. Camera crew is salivating. Until they see Jimmy eating it in the hot bacteria water I mean hot tub.

Now onto the hoedown showdown. I gotta say that is the least creative title for a bumpkin relay. Cmon Kimmel writers! All these girls open their mouth so desperately in laugh preparation when Jimmy talks. A-gape! Is shucking corn a euphemism? Seems like one. That's all I will say. 

"I started to feel nauseous" because your gagging the warm goat milk is making me feel nauseated. So, sure. Buttcheeks McGee killed that jump over the pig fence. Slow mo for the gold! 

Carly, "so I'm awkward and stuff but I'm a woman and you're a man so I've got to take advantage." You'd think that she is rarely around another man with a statement like that. That was so not smooth. 

Kiss count: 7
Repeat kiss: 2 for the night, but still 7 and a bad sign to bring in a wedding comment.
Kiss count: 8 (was the ButtCheeks McGee aka Jillian getting a kiss? What is THAT story?)

McKenzie wasn't "too bold" but just silly and (I'm gonna say it) immature. Weird that the 21yo is immature, but true. She needs to go spend time with her Kale (son, not salad).

The "amazing" ding is my favorite part of the whole dramatic season so far. As was crazy-eyes Sarah's reaction after hearing who got the rose. What was so shocking? I need to know!

Poor Whitney's voice. I don't doubt that a few months with a vocal coach would do wonders for her. It's not her "real" voice, you know?! Being genuine is apparently a "real genuine quality to have," so says Whitney. So let's crash a wedding, cuz YOLO. More like Yo-LOL. Eyeroll.

Wedding crashers... I think they realized the idea was more fun than doing it. That's at least how I felt watching it. It wasn't as fun for me. "Chris is such a great dancer!" as he does the drunkest dances known only to 14yo boys and drunk farmers, apparently. Did you see some adult holding a stuffed bunny on the dance floor? Does anyone else feel for the bride and groom? Does anyone believe it wasn't staged?

Kiss count: still 8? Did he kiss Whitney last week? I need to check my notes.

Pool party? yaaaaaay pffffft. Chris does the Bachelor-contract-binding cannonball into the pool. NOW the party can begin. 

Let me honestly say that suicide is a big deal and super sad, but... this is weird and kinda manipulative to tell this story at a pool party when you've kinda dated once. Am I wrong? Perhaps. But this feels like her big card to play. Chris can't let her go home after this. Even his hug on her bikini'd back feels awkward, despite the "heartwarming" music playing. I feel sad that this sad story was Juelia's chance to stick around. Anyone else uncomfortable?

Britt. A gorgeous waitress in Hollywood. Totally here only for love. not at all a springboard.

"Fuels the fire under my butt" hahaha gag. Jade needs a little time with Chris, so they test the bed out. In her 4 inch heels. Nude bikini top is really making America think they saw more to Jade. Don't get too excited.

Kiss count: 9

Jillian in the tub: hey y'all! Holding onto his leg when the other girls join. Has Jillian already been in the kiss count? Was that her before? Oh man this is messing me up, y'all!

Kiss count: 10?

Insecure kiss on the balcony with "virgin" Sarah. I was kinda hoping for a bit of an accident. Not like falling off, nothing too severe. But maybe an arm slip. Or a loose brick. Come on, you thought the same thing. Virgin suicide!

Jimmy, don't leave. I think Jimmy should be the Chris Harrison for the inevitable upcoming season of Chris Harrison being the Bachelor. 

Goodbye girls I barely know. It's like the Producers intentionally only let us get to know the girls who stick around longer. So weird, right? Who is the OTHER virgin? 

Goodbye Jimmy. You're all I never knew I always wanted on this incredible journey!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bachelor SoulesMate, episode 2

oh what a night.

If you didn't know that our Bachelor Chris was a country boy, you sure do after tonight's episode full of tractor races, paintballin' and hoes down. (Too far? Nah.)

It all begins where we left off last week, with poor, tall yoga Kimberly vying for another chance after being let go. They didn't get a chance to talk and she wasn't going to let this evening (wait, it's morning now) opportunity pass her by to meet her farmer husband. The girls inside are not amused as they sit on the hard floor. Kaitlyn muses:  “Remember two minutes ago when he said goodbye to you? Goodbye means see you later, like, see you never.” She wasn't tired at all.

"I mean, once it's done it's done!"

But Chris Harrison comes in to tell Bachelor Chris that this isn't a game, yo. "This is your life. There's no rule to that." He is SO wise. So BachChris keeps the yoga instructor and we get to see some tired ladies fake clap for the "Kim broad" coming back to the game
, er I mean journey to marriage.

Tara the previous-lush or "Sports Fishing Enthusiast" (country way to say unemployed?) was feeling pretty comfortable on the tractor. Tandra from Sandy (yeah, that name could have only been a Utah name) was super competitive, but Ashley I, the journalist with the probably totally super real lashes won! And what does she get? To sit on Chris's lap in the tractor for five minutes. Hooray! Instead of picking her for the 1-on-1 time, he picks PYT (and I mean the Y) McKenzie.

The other girls are all justifying why Chris chose McKenzie (the girl who was born when he was a teenager--probably when he got his ear pierced). She likes big noses because you know what they say about a guy with a big nose...? Their boogers look small by comparison. So sexy on a man! Oh and don't forget about Aliens! And she hopes he doesn't think she's a psycho for having a kid. She worked all the way up to having Kale (her son, not her lunch). So admirable... for the millions of people who have to work up to and after they have their kids. Chris mentions that her discussion raised a lot of red flags, but that didn't stop him from kissing her. 

Which leads me to the tally:

Girls kissed: 2 (at least 5, no 6, times)

Makeup artist Megan is smart. She says "he and I" instead of the normal Bachelor butchery of "him and I" AND she grabs Chris's hand constantly and keeps that touch going. I wouldn't recommend it in real life, but on this show touch is paramount from the get-go. If you want to "progress" on "this journey" that is. She has her sad and incredibly personal story of losing her father which obviously and awkwardly l
ead us to a rose and a makeout session.

Airplane count: 1
Helicopter count: 1
Girls kissed: 3
(most romantic for Chris... so far)

At the haunted outdoor zombie-shooting arena, many girls scream and one says,
"This is literally my worst fear!" Super specific fear, I would say. Literally? This? Wow, those producers are amazingly accurate. Instead of facing said literal fear, she starts pouring some har liquor in the limo before getting out.

After onion-pomegranate Ashley P proves that she shouldn't be wielding a gun and hopefully is doing massive drugs (which seems preferable to being outright crazy somehow), Chris finds some time to kiss super "funny" dance instructor. 

Girls kissed: 4

Ashely P. finds the truth, like BOOM! "
What's the truth, BOOM?" "Go find your own truth!" How did Ashley get past the producers and psychologists for real? "I want you to hide...!" You know I gotta stop writing down her lines because it is just too easy. 

Cocktail party has two more kisses! Ashley I. tries her darnedest to prove that virgins are for lovers by granting three belly-button ring wishes (that Chris had to rub--grody) and kissed him like the desperate Kardashian-lite gal that she is. And mysterious bartender Amber got a kiss. Drunk T wanted some sloppy lipstick makeout sesh, but was too sloshed to make her case with the big C.

Girls kissed: 6

End of episode two, Chris Soules has given his kisses away like a teenager gives pieces of gum from a large pack to everyone in class. Like Oprah giving cars. 
Like a Costco employee gives samples of frozen bagel bites on a Saturday. He is loose, y'all! 

What do you think? Is Chris an earring-wearing, old farmer playa? Is anyone else grossed out with his kissing 21yo McKenzie?


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bachelor SoulesMate

First Episode, or as I like to call it, the "I'll See You Inside" episode. 

I drank my Crystal Light with caffeine at 11:30 and finished the gigantic premiere of Chris Soules as Bachelor at 2:30 am at my dear friend Barbie's house. But you can call her Babs. I may still be punchy from the late caffeine. Not as punchy as the drunk cowgirl, but we will get to that one later.

We skimmed the first hour of Bachelor alumni, but can I just say Bless Erica's heart with her gold jumpsuit and perma phone in hand, keeping the tiara wearing alive. Good for her! And Kasey (is that her name? The girl that got engaged on Bachelor in Paradise to the weird balding stripper from Andi's season.) and her comment that they are "80/40 on the timing" for the wedding date because there is nothing more  confusing than adding by 10s to get to 100. I don't mean to brag, but I'm fairly certain my 5yo can tell you what plus 80 makes 100. But I don't want to brag. But he could. 

It didn't take long for Chris to learn all the trite Bachelor sayings. He even came up with a doozy, comparing his success in agriculture to his obvious not-yet success in partnership: "Farming is a lot like love." Why? Because it takes a lot of hoes? (BadumChhh!) he said the reason but I was shutting out all the lame love aspirations for this "adventure". Bless his heart.

Chris says he wants to "fall in love and bring IT back to Iowa" not her, but IT! Well now. And you know he really loved trying on all those clothes. Methinks the farmer doth protest too much. I won't comment on his disliking "needles in his @$$." (Again, I'm highly caffeinated at 2:52 am. I won't remember writing any of this in the morning. Bless my heart.)

My favorite comment during the first limos was one woman who said, "Chris is an amazing... (long pause) looking guy." Oh, so close to being a compliment about his personality. Sweet spirit.

Ok. Here were my thoughts I wrote down as the girls exited the limo:
  • 1st hug was huge with tears! She needs to explain what a "free hug" means?
  • Human tissue HEART was an attack of the meet-cute. More like an acute meat! Ha! I kill me! 
  • Cowgirl says "this is me, this is real." Well don't be shocked when you feel "out of place." At least Chris remembered her on her second limo entrance. She looks like she'll get drunk a lot.
  • More girls? Whaaat? Lock them out! Ha, the insecurities for being one hour earlier.
  • These jealous girls from the first 15 are crazy hilarious. But nobody is jealous of the pig from Scottsdale. Or the WWE diva (in training--which means what? Unemployed? In Greenland?)
  • Music changed for sexy Jade. The last one. Guarantee she is last three.
Best quote from the cocktail party: "It's like Christmas morning for you, but your presents are women." Or was it the onion girl who then thought an onion was growing from a TREE, which she thought was a pomegranate but I'm fairly certain was a grapefruit. That was super weird. Bless her heart.

First impression rose was switched, post kiss. And I don't know I was as onboard with that kiss as the Live audience was, but they're always a bit fanatical, so...!

" Ayand" I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot of conjunctions in two more syllables than they are accustomed to being pronounced. In high squeaky voices, no less. Bless their... vocal coaches.

The wide eyes and eye rolls, exhales during the rose ceremony were the. best. ever. As will be this season. Full of drunkards, apologies, tears, and long solo walks in barren snowy fields, apparently. 

You watching?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year Mistakes

The past three days have been littered with resolutions, hopes, and oftentimes the proclamations that "THIS YEAR IS GONNA BE GREAT!" "Major success in 2015!" "Watch out world, I am going to make this year AMAZING!"

I consider myself an optimistic person. Maybe through a form of pessimism I am supremely optimistic. I figure if you expect things NOT to be amazing, but work hard, stay true, and be kind, then you'll always find happiness. Maybe that is not the formula to take on the road and evangelize to all the self-help crowd who want to make a million dollars this month, but it works for me. And this is why all of these vapid over-promised sentiments have me going a bit crazy. Because sometimes LIFE SUCKS, but you still need to find a way to be happy and love. I didn't want a pulmonary embolism in 2014. I didn't want my son to break his femur in three places on the trampoline. I didn't want to miss both family vacations this year because of the former two. I didn't want the femur to cost so much of the money that I hoped to put in finishing up the repairs on our home. I wanted to finish more, do more, accomplish more. 

But guess what? I still feel it was a great year. My kids all turned important ages: 13, 10, 8, and 5. We got a dog. We apologized a dozen times for that dog biting our friends and strangers. We made new friends. We successfully introduced our eldest into middle school. I tried a few new ventures. Some are sticking around and some are mere ghosts of dreams. We had Mommy School with Rhett. Alan and I went for walks past midnight almost every night in the summer. We enjoyed the company of many friends and family in our home. We got cozy on the couch with all seven of us on many nights. We hiked hard trails and felt proud of our bodies and abilities. Al and I went to Mexico. Ashton was baptized. We adopted Edgar, our skeleton. We went on adventures and more estate sales than I can count. Rhett got stitches. Johnny was in a play. I learned a lot about my maternal grandfather through editing his memoirs.

I came across a Neil Gaiman entry about New Year Wishes, all of them beautiful and hopeful without the sticky triteness so often accompanying New Year goals. This one in particular stood out to me:
And for this year, my wish for each of us is small and very simple.
And it's this.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever. 

For 2015, I want to make big, fat mistakes. I don't expect this year to do anything for me; it's not going to be shiny and successful all on its own. And even if I work mega hard and push on every door, there will still be heartaches and headaches. 2015 won't let me down because I haven't put huge expectations before it. It's going to be a year with a number and one that I hope I can experience the length of it. I hope my entire family gets to experience it with me. I am not going to worry if it's good enough, but just that I get to have it and fill it and wonder at the whole of it. 

Happy 2015, friends!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sickness for Christmas

I have decided that next Christmas I am not going to plan A DANG THING before Thanksgiving. This year I had the Christmas cards laid out, one gift for each kid purchased, and my sisters' gifts all ready to make before Halloween. That's right, BEFORE Halloween. This was going to be the year I would have a chill Christmas. We would go ice skating downtown, see the trees at the festivals, do an old-fashioned Christmas by Candlelight, see lots of lights, watch lots of Christmas movies, make lots of Christmas treats, and I was going to crush my pushup goal I had set for the end of the year.

And then three weeks ago I had chest pain. Which was just disconcerting enough that I thought, "I don't want to be THAT mom who dies because she ignores chest pain. You know, the place where most of your VITAL organs are." So I drove myself to the ER one Sunday morning and after a stream of tests a clot in my lung was discovered--a pulmonary embolism. I decided that was one of the least horrible of the options they suggested could be the cause. And even now, after three weeks of discomfort and pain, 5 1/2 more months of blood thinners to go, and missing out on my family's big Thanksgiving brouhaha, I still think it was the best of the bad things to get. (Especially since I am one of the lucky people who did not die from having a PE--hooray!)

I was out of commission for a few weeks. Some days the pain was really frustrating and it was hard to breath just walking up my stairs. Lying in bed got old really fast and I wanted to go DO and to ACCOMPLISH and to TRY. Every time I pushed myself, I would pay for it the next day. The blood thinners messed with my appetite and fatigue. I just felt crummy. Add to that the stress and guilt I felt for being the only one of my siblings not traveling to Arizona for Thanksgiving and it has been =AWESOME!=

But I am feeling better. Unless you count the cold and fever I got a few days ago. Whatever. My body must have taken notice that I was close to enjoying Christmas and said, "Ok, now is our time to make her take notice. What else is she gonna do?" 

I have watched a lot of Christmas movies. Mark that one off the list! Do you know what I have noticed about most made-for-tv Christmas movies? They are horrible. I used to think they were horrible in a wonderful kind of way. Nope, I was wrong. They are just horrible. I could write one right now and it would probably be produced. That's the kind of writing required for these kinds of shows. All you need is a self-absorbed MAN/WOMAN who has forgotten what is really important in life. Then decide from one of the three choices on how they get that "Christmas spirit" back:
  1. They magically have the opportunity to live an alternate life. Is it a dream? It sure feels like it, for the first 30 minutes. Then an hour later--when they get their real life back--they realize how selfish they have been (like the opposite It's A Wonderful Life).
  2. Someone from their past comes back into town and makes them question who they have become. Could be a former nemesis or someone who tests their life's path. Hopefully there is a singing number to make it extra awkward.
  3. They meet Santa. They don't realize he is actually Santa until the end. We all know it the entire time and can't believe they don't see that it is the real Santa. Also, Santa helps them save (fill in the blank store/shelter/restaurant) from shutting down.

There is one I am halfway through right now as I was writing out my Christmas cards that has a town all up in arms about a Baldwin brother wanting to take the cost of a nativity out of the tax payers' funds. When someone DARES to say, "Happy Holidays" offense is deeply taken. This one is KILLING me, because for once I actually side with a Baldwin brother who is not Alec.

Last time I watched this many horrible Christmas movies was the December of 2009. That year I had also prepared early for a relaxing Christmas because I was about to have my fourth child. Then I got facial paralysis and months of all kinds of doctors and tests. It was the least relaxing Christmas of my life. 

So, yeah. Next year I am not doing a single thing for Christmas before the end of November. I want it to be stressful and anxious and completely consumed with Christmas.

And little time for made-for-tv Christmas shows. 


** Let it be written that I am feeling much better and plan on Christmas being a breeze and a blast this year. The only things I won't be able to do are ice skate and meet my pushup goal. So, not to shabby. I'm incredibly lucky and yes, I will say it, BLESSED!