Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Parenthood is awesome

Don't worry -- this isn't going to be one of those sappy posts where I yammer on and on about the joys of having children, about how I've loved every minute of it from hearing their sweet giggles to changing soggy diapers to scraping dried oatmeal off of my forehead.

No, I'm talking about my new favorite show, "Parenthood." Not that being a parent isn't awesome, although I don't understand anyone who says they actually enjoy changing diapers. Perhaps they're referring to the bonding moments that take place during this intimate time, or the symbolic nature of the act? I tend to think they're just lying liars. Although I have to admit just thinking about the oatmeal makes me tear up a little.

In case you haven't had a chance to catch the show, it's on Tuesday nights at 10pm on NBC. No I'm not being paid to write this -- I'm just excited that there's something on TV that I actually look forward to watching. Rigel hasn't come on board yet -- it's definitely more in the 'chick flick' genre -- but he does find it slightly more palatable than my other fave, "Hoarders." Notice I said slightly.

But Kira and Kiyomi love it and watch it with me, even though they said they were grossed out by a recent episode that showed, "old people having sex." That old person would be one of the main characters played by Peter Krause, that hottie ancient relic in his mid-forties. Funny, I wasn't grossed out in the least bit by seeing him naked from the waist up.

I've become a huge fan of "Parenthood,"and if I'm not careful I think I could turn into one of those crazy people that starts to exhibit strange groupie behavior. That's right -- if you catch me peppering my speech with quotes from the show and wearing an oversized Parenthood sweatshirt that I've bedazzled myself -- it might be time to step in and stage an intervention.

Just don't do it on Tuesday night.

Here's a a preview of tonight's episode. If you like it I can make us matching sweatshirts.

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tags: | | peter krause

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Earth Day FAIL. Or is it?

Happy Earth Day! I was hoping to write a post today about how I was honoring our planet on this special day. Maybe I'd be writing this on a laptop powered by solar panels while wearing a pair of hemp jeans and sipping on a smoothie made from sustainable crops. Or sending you reports from a city beach somewhere, where I was picking up soda cans and cigarette butts with my kids and filling their impressionable young minds with love paeans to mother earth.

Well -- didn't happen.

Instead, I'm having a decidedly un-earth day, because I'm in a bit of a frenzy right now. The kids are home early because of a fair and open house at the school tonight, they have friends over whose parents couldn't pick them up, and I'm frantically trying to prepare for Kira's 14th birthday party here on Saturday. So in other words there aren't any Earth Day sonnets being written and I think I actually walked by a couple of soda cans laying on the ground. In my driveway.

But you know what? Because all the women's magazines tell me to be good to ME, I'm going to go easy on myself and find the ways I did honor the earth. Today wasn't a total bust - here are some ways I found my Earth Day moments by turning lemons into lemonade. Or should I say 'juice made from organic locally grown citrus.'

1) I've been cleaning the house today in preparation for around two dozen 14-year-olds descending on my house this weekend, and every single light in the place is on. Even the waffle iron light is on which is weird because I haven't made waffles since 2001. Earth Day moment: I didn't use the vacuum cleaner! So what if I used enough electricity today to power the entire state of Wyoming -- all the microorganisms who call my couch their home will live to see another day.

2) I had the dishwasher and the washing machine on simultaneously. While I was rinsing off the sidewalk. And hosing off the cat. Earth Day moment: I didn't shower today. So what if I used enough water to supply the entire state of Utah -- all the microorganisms who call my navel their home will live to see another day.

3) In honor of Earth Day I could have walked the four blocks to the school to pick the kids up, but since they had their friends coming over and I needed to pick up lunch, I drove my van. Oh, and the other reason -- I hate to walk. Earth Day moment: At least I don't drive a Hummer.

4) Oh, and that lunch? Because of time restraints I regret to admit that it was McDonalds. Seeing as their burgers are made from extinct rain-forest toads and pandas, probably not a good Earth Day choice. Earth Day moment: We recycled all the wrappings! Even the cardboard drink tray, which I turned into a chandelier. You'll just have to believe me.

5) Getting back to that cleaning, instead of using natural cleaners made from vinegar and puppy sweat, I used all manner of toxic chemicals ranging from bleach to industrial-strength etching acid. You would too if you saw my bathtub. Earth Day moment: I used sponges instead of wasting paper towels. Okay they were endangered sponges from The Great Barrier Reef. Nobody's perfect.

But all in all it was a good day, and I'm about to drop all the kids back at school and I'll have a few minutes to myself before I have to head back for open house. I think I'll have a glass of wine during my little break. Organic wine. Enough to help me write that sonnet.

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tags: |

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

In case you haven't heard, I really loved the Paul McCartney concert

I'm going to apologize up front to those of you who are sick and tired of hearing me talk about this damn concert, but it really was that good and I wanted to post some pictures here. Besides, it's either this or five paragraphs on why it took me three hours to clean our guest bathroom. That's right -- don't make me cut you with my housekeeping stories.

As you might know, Kiyomi is a HUGE Beatles fan, and besides really wanting to take her to see one of the two remaining band members we all really wanted to see Sir Paul. (I was the only one who has seen him live, way back when he was with Wings.) Also, we've taken Kira to see her share of concerts and we wanted to take Kiyomi to see someone of her choice -- can I just tell you how grateful we all are that she really dislikes Justin Bieber.

Oh, I think I might have offended all you Justin Bieber fans out there. I'm sure he's got some talent, and it's just a matter of his sound maturing. Like maybe when he's potty trained.

First of all a word on those tickets, which cost us a small fortune. Thank God Rigel and I are millionaires and have huge piles of cash laying around the house specifically earmarked for concerts! So it wasn't painful in the least bit to spend all that money for four seats in the last section of the Hollywood Bowl, and totally worth it I might add. Besides those piles were starting to become a nuisance -- constantly sweeping up hundred-dollar bills is really exhausting.

It was decided that the girls and I would take a shuttle and Rigel would meet us at the concert (he works just blocks from the Bowl) rather than deal with the hellish parking -- not only is their infamous 'stacked' parking a nightmare, but once the concert ends you're stuck in a gargantuan traffic jam. Rumor has it there are actually still some people attempting to find their way out from when the Beatles played there in '64.

But with only minutes before we had to catch the shuttle my van wouldn't start. I handled this minor setback with my usual calm manner -- by cursing, beating the steering wheel with my forehead until I was bloody and then blaming the whole thing on Rigel. Luckily one of our nice neighbors took pity on me and lent me her car -- it might have been after she heard me yelling at the girls to get out and push the van the five blocks to the shuttle stop.

Everyone knows the best part about seeing a concert at the Hollywood Bowl is being able to picnic there beforehand. We weren't able to find any grass to eat on, so along with a few hundred other people we had to settle for a curb near the entrance, right in the path of the service vehicles. Luckily I had wine to make it all better, and lots of it because I had to finish the bottle before we went in - I found out we couldn't take any alcohol inside. Surprisingly, I didn't have any problems finding several people who wanted to help me out so it wouldn't go to waste. And I'm proud to say I taught my kids a valuable lesson that day -- waving a bottle around and yelling, "Free wine!" is a quick way to make lots of friends.

Now that I've told you every detail leading up to the event I'm exhausted and you'll just have to make do with these photos and video. I'll just say that the concert was fantastic and there really is something so moving about hearing McCartney sing the Beatles songs live. And he did a lot of them: Let It Be, The Long and Winding Road, Blackbird, just to name a few. (You can see an entire set list here.) But the best part was seeing how much Kira and Kiyomi loved the concert, and how they knew the words to all these legendary songs that were written way before they were born. Take that, Justin Beiber.

(These were taken with my new favorite camera, the Kodak Z950. Considering we were sitting way in the back, the zoom on this camera is amazing.)

Here's a video of them doing one of my favorites, Got To Get You Into My Life. My camera work on the first few seconds will probably make you nauseous and want to vomit, but hang in there. How's that for a setup.

(Video also taken with the Z950.)

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tags: | | paul mccartney at the hollywood bowl

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