Ginny's on a role. Her second movie review in two weeks, and its a real gem.
Ginny's on a role. Her second movie review in two weeks, and its a real gem.
Caught up on my Naked and Afraid viewing the other night.
I sat on the couch, wearing actual pants not woven from a banana leaf tree, and ate a savory slice of my homemade Boboli pizza. I won't lie to you. I quickly found myself longing for a side of giardia. Discovery Channel is really on to something genius here. One part Biggest Loser, one part I Shouldn't Be Alive, this show has all the makings of a hit show. No one really cares much about the sunburn or the cottonmouth snakes, the unrelenting rain or sea-urchins-as-meal scenes. What we really care about is the weight loss.
There are plenty of nutters out there who would happily walk through jaguar filled jungles with raw meat strapped to their balls, if it meant they could drop 45 pounds in 21 days. True, one guy nearly died drinking funky yellow fever infected water from a still pond. Now, I'm not a survivalist. But even I wouldn't drink funky water from a still pond - unless I was a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding and needed to drop 30 lbs in 2 weeks. If Discovery Channel pairs this show with Say Yes to the Dress, there's truly no stopping them. I vote that every Discovery Channel show should have a naked, uncensored edition. Deadliest Snatch? Check. Gold Rush: Unearthing the Gloryhole? Check. My favorite gold miners? Yes, they need to get naked too.
Jack Hoffman: Todd, get the dozer down here. We need to get to the bottom of this glory hole!
If you don't have 3 weeks to spare traipsing around with a naked stranger, I have the Naked & Afraid diet here for you to follow. *results may vary.
Naked & Afraid Diet, Suburban Edition
Remove clothing, exit house
Walk around in your backyard while holding a large stick, complain of bug bites and loud neighborhood children who insist on running across your fu**ing lawn
Attempt to weave yourself a pair of shorts out of recycled newspapers.
Fashion a bra out of Silk coconut creamer containers
Rub 2 rocks or 2 sticks together for 30 minutes, marvel at blisters in an attempt to light mulch on fire
Watch youtube videos of drunk frat boys lighting fart fires
Sleep in your child's sand pit or small plastic pool
Ask your neighbor if they have a Snickers bar when they pass you on the way to the garage in the morning
Drink standing rain water from the puddle in your driveway
Cue colonoscopy prep session
My 70-year old Jersey mom went to the movies this weekend.
For those of you who follow this blog, you've heard a bit about Ginny over the years. She know more about pop-culture than most tweens. She also has an appetite for the E Channel and Access Hollywood like no other, and often leaves me the most hilarious messages about whatever movie or show she's just seen, or how she's losing sleep over Sandy Bullock's heartache. Thought I'd put her to work as my entertainment correspondent for Jersey Girl Genius. She's now going to the movies on my dime, reporting back on whether it was dynamite (1-5 on the dynamite scale) or a total bomb (1 - 5 on the bomb scale.) Officially introducing Pop-Culture in 60 Seconds, with Jersey Ginny. Today's installment, Ginny goes to the movies to see We're the Millers. Enjoy. She gave it THREE dynamites. One for Aniston's body, apparently.
Megalodon: Meaning "big tooth" in Greek, is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 28 to 1.5 million years ago during the Cenozoic Era.
Megalodong: Prehistoric shark the size of a Greyhound bus with balls that look like fur seals.
You need seal-sized balls to market this show as a documentary. Just as you'd need them to ram the underside of a large fishing boat, bite the tail off a humpback whale and act like an overall gnarly badass on Discovery Channel's Megalodon, last night's Shark Week premiere. What appeared to be a promising "scientific" documentary quickly swam into Sharknado territory, right down to the Ethan Hawkish marine biologist and his blonde sidekick, both actors with IMDB profiles. Everything was a bit bigger last night. Yet bigger, in this case, did not equal better. High production quality, HD Amazing Race style action shots, a 1-ton prop whale and even a 5-mile wide Chum Slick used to bring the monster to the surface. My chum slick brings all the sharks to the yard. I think Ethan Hawk was paid an extra 10 grand everytime he said the word Megalodon. I counted at least 26 references. That, or he's hoping to start his own Megalodon drinking game. Would have at least made tuning in with friends a bit more purposeful.
I prefer the shark attack survivor stories Discovery profiles over this Blair Witch Project meets Sharknado mockumentary. Highlighted clip above is worth every second, by the way. If only to see what this kid's hair looks like on a regular basis. He's a real live cartoon character. Aussie Surfie Sideshow Bob.
The way I see it, if someone's lost an arm or a leg and lives to tell, there's certainly an important lesson to be learned and wisdom to bestow. That lesson may be "don't dive for abalone when the water quality is murky" or "don't carry shrimp in your pocket while surfcasting, unless you want to be eaten by Bull Sharks in Florida" but that's a show that may actually save your life. The only thing Megalodon achieved? Trending on Twitter, but for all the wrong reasons.
I'm a Shark Week purist. Give me the Top 10 Deadliest, Air Jaws 5 or hell, give me The Science of Shark Sex even and I'll be happy. Just don't give me Jaws 3 and package it as Bowling for Columbine. Discovery Channel, if it weren't for sweet Grandpa Schnabel up at the Big Nugget Mine, I'd just tell you to go ahead and Bite Me.
I'm in 17C today.
No first class upgrade for me. This means I will not be getting my breakfast serving of dehydrated eggs, with a side of exploding yogurt. Have you been a victim of first class exploding yogurt? Not sure if its the pressure or what, but no matter how slowly I peel back that lid, there's always a backsplash of something containing Splenda that winds up on my nice, freshly laundered dress shirt. Today, I'm in coach with the other plebs, making a meal out of my 4 pretzels. You can keep your Splenda 2C. At least there's wireless to keep me occupied. Even coach gets access to eBay.
I've found that my GoGo is way too SlowSlow, which means that I will not be able to stream my latest binge, Orange is the New Black. If you're looking for hard hitting, gritty, true tales of life behind bars in a women's prison, I suggest you watch Locked Up Raw instead. Reincarnation of Oz it is not. It's more like The L Word goes to Shop Class, and is about as gritty as Oprah's camping trip was with Gale. Except this crew gets donuts. And shoes that look like Toms.
Are we that starved for cute gays on TV that we'll tune into Orange in droves? Yes. I suppose so. Yet this show's popularity and "must see" chatter has reached near cronut worship, which I think is a bit over the top. Before I strip-search this show, let me first start with the good.
The girl went to Smith. Any school with an A capella group called the Smithenpoofs deserves a prime time shout out. And it's pretty accurate that most Smith girls are LUGS. Lesbians until graduation. Is LUG an outdated term yet? That's what we called them in 96, when I graduated. Maybe now it's "lesbian until transitioning" which seems to be a lot more common now than it was back then. But I digress. Smith girl makes good on her felon past, entertains the masses in the process. Win Win.
What this show does very well is the backstory profiling. Jenji knew she couldn't film the entire series behind bars, which is a real victory for the viewer. Because of this, we get to see Red (aka, the Moscow Mule) speed walk with the Russian mob wives and then slowly blossom into the den mother meets Scarface character that she does so damn well. She's one of my favorites and one of the very few who doesn't appear to be pretending to be on a show about women in prison. My money's on her having gotten very Rain Man about her role, spending time in a women's prison, living and breathing the culture that shapes her character.
I'm also a big fan of Crazy Eyes Suzanne who does an excellent job at looking menacing, twitchy and creepy at the same time. When we finally meet her parents, I loved every second of that quick glimpse into what shapes her.
Some of the other women need a bit more Stanislavski in their jumpsuits. Nicky Nichols, aka Natasha Lyonne, perhaps best known for her roles in But I'm a Cheerleader and American Pie, hasn't won me over yet. That accent is distracting, as is her unkempt hair. Ok, we get it. She was a junkie so always has to look a shade of crazy, down to the sticky mascara. Her accent is right out of the 1982 Annie movie, borrowed from one of those scrappy New York orphans. I keep waiting for her to say "Why I Outta!!!" while grating her knuckles against someone's scalp. Not a high point for me. There's another member of Red's crew who sounds like she's gargling marbles. Lorna Morello, aka Yael Stone. Not sure where she's supposed to be from, but she fades in and out of something that slightly resembles Bronx meets West Side Story meets cottonmouth. I need subtitles for her, not the Russian. Did they run out of money when it came to the dialect coach?
Piper is what I like least about the show. She reminds me too much of Marsha Brady to take her seriously. I keep waiting for Ben Stiller to make a guest appearance as a porn stashed guard who makes the women play strip dodge ball. I know she's supposed to be a fish out of water, a delicate wallflower. But most fish, if flung from the confines of their palatial bowl and castle, will do anything in order to breathe again. She clings to the doe-eyed bambie number a bit too long into the season. Even Martha Stewart, within the first 48 hours, knew she had to be someone's bitch in order to get access to icing sugar. Pipers don't thrive in prison, they get swallowed up by bald, tattooed power lifters named Sweet Pea who are convicted of second degree murder and then make you their inside spoon. Hoping that she becomes a three-dimensional character at this point.
I love Jason Biggs, but I don't love him in this role. I don't believe the relationship between him and Piper, and there's zero chemistry. I'd sooner see Jason Schwartzman in that role than Jason Biggs. At least he has good hair.
Despite all of my bitching, I'm still watching. I'm still jonesing for this show. No one is dragging me kicking and screaming to my Apple TV and force-feeding me this show. Why do I keep coming back for more, when it's flawed, cliché and gratuitous? Because MadMen is over, and I need a new summer fling to tide me over until I can get a hold of that crystal blue on Breaking Bad August 11th. These women could all use a little Jessie Pinkman workshop, bitch. Next time they get busted, I suggest they call Saul and skip the second season all together.
Holy fu**ing buckleberries! The royal baby is here! The royal baby is here!
I wonder how The Dutchess feels about the fact that her vagina is currently trending on twitter? Better yet, I wonder how Pippa feels about her sister's twatter on twitter? Pippa's on twitter and she's not pleased by all of the chitter about her twatter. Now that the baby is here, let's all just take a deep breath and jam your hype. Eat a crumpet, put on a jumper and don't get your royal bathers in a bunch.
I've learned a few things about proper celebrity baby naming procedure from the Shiloh's, Sparrows and Banjo's of the world, but naming a royal is a horse of a different colour. Celebrities, in particular rockers and A-list actors, tend to gravitate towards names with an overzealous combination of helpless baby animals, cities or states and a Benjamin Moore color palette. Place names from above categories into a greasy fedora once worn by Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden and shake. Whatever emerges in whatever order you draw the names will be the moniker of your next child. Presto! Meet Halifax Fawn Dakota or Poppyberry Breeze Bemidji.
To name a royal, there is a lot more history to consider, however.
The following is an actual conversation between Kate & William, whilst lying in bed, reading The Sun on their Royal Kindles:
William: How about Cnut?
Kate: Cnut? Are you mad?
William: What? Perfectly respectable name. He was the former King of England from 1016-1035
Kate: Cnut? King Canute? Do you think that sounds regal? I don't like how you can re-arrange the letters to spell the royal twattage, for one. I veto Cnut.
William: Royal Twattage. Right then. I hadn't considered that. Do you fancy Henry? Very regal, very strong, what do you reckon?
Kate: I have two words for you. Tudor Dynasty.
William: What about James?
Kate: Too Scottish.
Kate: If he goes to University in America, they'll call him Dick.
Kate: I've never known a well liked or coordinated Alfred. Alfred is the last child picked for Polo, he's not an heir.
William: Aethelwulf? From House of Essex?
Kate: I don't think I'd shag anyone called Aethelwulf, sorry loves.
William: We could call him Blue. Royal Blue, perhaps?
Kate: Too pedestrian.
There are names that say heir to the throne, and there are names that say heir to the greeter with nice abs at the Abercrombie and Fitch store. I have a hunch we won't have a royal Hunter, Addison, Ace, Maxwell, Sparrow, Jayden or Blake on our hands. The modern duo may pick something unexpected for the child, but it will still need to sound commanding. My royal pounds are on the name Spencer, in honor of Princess Diana. But that's just my non-royal hunch.
It's no secret to the three of you who read this blog that Y & I love to watch bad TV. Especially when we're completely brain dead, sleep deprived or enjoying our (summer) cocktail of choice: St Germain w/ Blood Orange San Pellegrino and a squeeze o' lime. I think back to how we binged on Breaking Bad and Homeland when Callum was a newborn - and I get the shakes. I happily huffed an entire 3-season canister of Walter White, then chased it with a shaky-lipped xanax cocktail of Carrie Mathison and Mandy Patinkin like a strung out junkie. Those were the days. Now we're lucky to squeeze in a few precious moments with Tabatha while she kicks serious arse, takes those filthy hairy keys and takes over, before one of us is passed out, mouth open and slackjawed, drooling on the couch.
It's not easy to squeeze it all in. When you have to choose between sleep or waiting around for the Bachelorette to take a leap of faith off a skyscraper in Dubai, you know times are tough. Which leads me to my latest gripe. Naked & Afraid, the new Discovery Channel reality show, is not worth freebasing. It's neither naked, nor terrifying.
Within a few minutes of landing in their destination and greeting each other with their boobs and bits out, someone has woven a grass skirt, kilt or an argyle ball sweater out of banana leaves. One of the women on the last episode was so adept at making things out of the elements, she was no longer naked after 20 seconds. I'm sure she has a contract with Pottery Barn or Anthropologie to weave hammocks, chandeliers, 800 thread count egyptian cotton sheets and umbrellas at this point.
To the hopeful contestants who are looking to apply for the next season, I issue you a real challenge. Board a domestic flight at least 2 hours in duration from JFK's terminal 2 on Delta (aka, Pinnacle Airlines) with a 20 month-old. Walk down a sweaty maze of tunnels when it's 102 degrees in search of your plane. CLIMB stairs to board your mini plane, sitting on the tarmac, while carrying a 25 pound child, three carry-ons the size of a fire hydrant and one pair of baby-sized Keens so rank they could double as a bottle of ether. You are not allowed to bring an iPad, diapers, benadryl, alcohol, food or toys. You must refuse all offers of pretzels, peanuts or cookies. You cannot accept your coca-cola product, browse the snack box selection or opt for your lukewarm water without ice. I'll happily wipe my ass with your bamboo shavings if you hold my naked squirming toddler for three hours, as you attempt to prevent him from either
a) kicking the seat in front of him
b) pushing all of the call and light buttons overhead
c) opening and closing the tray table
d) opening and closing the window shade
e) harassing your nipples and armpits in an attempt to simultaneously nurse and burrow into your skin.
It's not that tough to survive 21 days on a tropical island, if you're a parent. It sounds heavenly to be shipwrecked. Let me be your island-mate? I'll climb trees with my ripped right arm, crack open coconuts with my thighs and sing you songs from PBS shows like Caillou and Dinosaur Train, all while foraging for bananas, finding water holes and cooking your fish over an open flame. Bring it on.
Written in 15 minutes while driving.
Gonna go out tonight
We’re gonna hit the town
There’s something I need to do and
I can’t have you around
It starts with a Brazillian
And then a little spray tan
I’m gonna bedazzle my cha cha
The bling’s the thing for me and my man
Have you seen the bright lights
Inside my pants
Jennifer love Hewitt does it
Ghost lady knows romance
Have you seen my glittered up
Tierra also had it
But bachelor Sean he shot her down
They’re not like granny’s
Now Available in a thong
They’re not like granny’s
I was driving while I wrote this song …
When I was 17, I moved from Teaneck, New Jersey to 1600 Grand Avenue in St Paul to attend Macalester College. That was 17 years ago and I’m still here. Long gone are the keg stands and the booze fueled nights streaking across the big lawn. But there are still all-nighters, and plenty of caffeine. I’m a mom now. So the all-nighters I pull are lit up by a turtle nightlight that sprays colored stars on my son’s nursery walls. They have been spent staring at a baby monitor, making sure he’s still breathing, that the lovey we placed in his crib is clutched tight, wondering if he’s going to cough himself awake or decide he’s fully rested at 3 am.
I haven’t lived in New Jersey since I left, but all of my family is on the east coast. We visit several times a year, crowd into small apartments in Brooklyn and marvel at how there are just so many people everywhere we go, and how life just seems so much harder in the big, over crowded, loud, concrete city.
I stay in touch with family through Facetime and with my mother especially, through voicemails. My mother’s name is Ginny. She’s 69 years old, born and raised in Union City, NJ. She watches a lot of E Channel and Access Hollywood. She also has a lot to say about parenting.
(*beep!) in the (very Jersey) voice of my mother:
“Hi hon, it’s me. I just heard about Sandra Bullock and that guy with the tattoos. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I couldn’t sleep last night. I just felt so bad for her. She’s so sweet and he’s such a douche. How could he do something like that? I hope she has someone to talk to. Maybe that woman that she did the blind side with? It’s going to take a long time for her to get over this. I hope she’s close with her mother. Poor thing.”
"hi love. I’m sorry, I got your email today but I couldn’t figure out how to reply to it and the guy who does the computer stuff was on his honeymoon. Did I tell you he got married? He’s so nice, Daniel. His wife works at Houston’s in Riverside Square. Look, I know it’s hard but you have to put callum down in his crib. I know Yvette is breast feeding and its easy to roll over and feed him, blah blah blah, but trust me, at some point, you’re gonna regret it. Let him cry, he’ll be fine. Have a glass of wine and watch dancing with the stars and he’ll be asleep before you know it. I can’t believe that Kate Gosselin is on this show, isn’t she terrible? Talk about two left feet …”
“Hi hun. Are you watching the Golden Globes? You don’t have to call me back, I just wanted you to know I bought Callum some of those sleeper sack things you wanted at Red, White & Blue for $1.25 and some still have the tags on them. I have the TV on and that chick from E, the one who just adopted a baby, she just looks so, so thin. I hope she gains some weight. I saw Bradley Cooper on Good Morning America and he is so nice. I never understood why he was sexiest man alive, all that People magazine crap, he doesn’t do it for me. But he has very pretty eyes. REALLY LIGHT BLUE. Oh wait, he’s about to talk to ryan seacrest about his movie. Did you see it? The Playbook? That girl is sensational in it, the one who was in those Harry Potter Games movies. She looks sensational. I’ll talk to you later. (kissing noises) Love you. Bye.”
“hi love. I just missed your call, I was in the shower. I came home from Shop Rite and the stray cat I’ve been feeding, Tom, was waiting at the door. He came up real close and gave me a good sniff, but I don’t want to try and pet him. I think it would scare him. I feel so bad for all of the stray cats. I wish I could just bring them inside, but Midnight would start hissing. I’m so sorry you’re allergic, but I know you’re an animal lover so I know you understand. I saw Ryan Gosling on one of the talk shows and he brought his dog with him. He had something on his leg or his paw like a cast, but it was so cute – and very docile. He just keep sitting there waiting for ryan to feed him bits of apple. Look, I’d be docile too if he was sitting on my couch, trying to feed me some apple. He’s cute in a pretty way I think but way too young for me. You know who is so sexy? That sanjay gupta on CNN. Sexy. Anyway, I have to unload my shopping but I’ll talk to you later. Love you. And thanks for sending me those Uggs. My feet are so warm. Bye bye!”
Jodie Jodie Jodie. I love Jodie Foster. I always have, always will. From the moment I saw her in Stealing Home, and the twenty or so times I've watched it since, I knew she was like me. I have always known (or, hoped or suspected, rather) that she was gay. In 1991, I dyed my hair to match Clarice Starling's reddish brown locks, perfected the southern twang, wondered if this meant I could really and truly do anything I wanted to in life. If she could do it, I certainly could.
My gaydar, along with trusty gay sensors on million of other fans all over the world, have always set off the rainbow buzzer. Was it the way she dragged that period frock of hers around in Sommersby? The lingering glances between her and Kelly Mcgillis during her Accused days, or the way that I saw right through to the gay-in-her tay-tay in the wind? Gay, straight, it had nor has any bearing on her acting chops or her believability as an actress. I think you're with me when I say "we knew and we don't care."
Yet her speech at the Globes last night left me wondering just what in the bloody hell was in that bad batch of pâté she was eating at table 114? This was like a Sarah Palin gone rogue moment, spurred on by too much moet and 2 slices of bitter pie. Even Mel Gibson looked slack jawed and vacant in the eyes. Sure, not everyone has had some whack job attempt to assisinate President Reagan in a sick attempt to get you to notice him. That would make anyone long for the life of a recluse. I'll give you that one, Jodie. But the coming out tease (will she, won't she) was just in poor taste, as was the privacy tirade. There's a time and a place and it wasn't well chosen. We get it. You're a reluctant star. You feel badly for Kristen Stewart, we read the op-ed, and you identify with her exploited, tortured soul. You resent the attention and the shinging bright light that has been cast upon you, demanding that you reveal more of yourself. Wave that gay flag, Jodie! Wave it proud! Wait a minute. Is she going to wave it ... seriously, she looks like she's about to wave it. Oh god, the Publicist is going to lose it. Are those freedom rings in her left hand? No. Wait for it ... Wait for it ... I think I see rainbow stripes peeking out from under the podium .... here it comes .... here it comes! ... And no. She hates flags and her monther is dying of dementia. I'm depressed.
As far as award show acceptance speeches go, on a scale of 1 - 10. 1 being classless and tacky and 10 being anything that comes out of Judi Dench's mouth, I give her speech a 5. It was equal parts honest and confusing. Equally as off course as it was direct. Did I drink too much Moet? This is the speech you didn't hear last night. And maybe someday, it's the one we will hear. She has some Oscar gold left in her yet. That is, if she isn't done with acting entirely.
Jodie's Speech: Take Deux.
Thank you, Robert. Thank you so much. (crowd starting to settle)
This is such an incredible honor. (applause dying out now) I want to sincerely thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this award. When I first heard that I was going to be this year’s recipient, I thought about what a fearless pioneer Cecil B DeMille was. And to be thought worthy of this achievement, I am truly humbled to be standing here tonight with all of you. Looking back at some of those clips, I’m reminded not only of the power of cosmetic dentistry (laughter) but at how many lifelong friends, trusted colleagues and mentors I’ve worked with over the last 47 years. In 1975, Robert DeNiro taught me about method acting – over lunch, at a deli on 43rd street, while showing me how to light a cigarette properly. He taught me that acting wasn’t just about “being natural, being yourself” as I had been taught up to that point. I learned that I could bring depth, intrigue, mystery and interest to the character I was portraying, and I never forgot the lesson. I want to thank you for that. I also want to thank Marty Scorsese, my friend; you’re an incredible human being, and one of the most genuine, gifted directors I’ve ever worked with. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat if you ask me to. Tony Hopkins, Jonathan Demme, thank you for your kind and generous spirit.
To all the other actors, directors, producers, crews I’ve had the pleasure of working with all these years, thank you for helping me to enhance my craft, to bring my best to every role, and to challenge myself in ways that I didn’t know possible. To my children, who are here with me tonight, there is no role that brings me greater joy than being your mother. I love you with every fragment of my soul. To my own tireless crew, my publicist, my manager of 30+ years, everyone at table 222, you know I would not be here without you. I am forever grateful.
Cecil B DeMille, aside from being a superb actor, was also a master of silent film direction. I wanted to take a minute to talk about the art of silence. We live in a world today, which comes as no surprise to many of you, where our every move is documented. Where our love lives and loves lost are tabloid fodder, our failures, our fashion faux pas, more so than our greatest achievements, fuel a seemingly insatiable craving of the masses. I know that I cannot change this and I don’t set out to. I unfortunately I know all too well that there are some people who are willing to go to any length to get your attention. Despite the odds, I have always strived to live a very private life, to keep what’s most important to me close to my chest. To fight and claw to protect what is sacred and cherish that there are some aspects of your life that no one is entitled a window into. This silence is not to be mistaken for shame or for hiding. I have always been proud of who I am. Yet if by my declaring to a global television audience of millions that I’ve been out of the closet as a proud lesbian woman for more than 25 years helps a young girl or boy struggling with their identity, then this is my true lifetime achievement reward.
On that note, thank you Cydney Bernard, for being my brave co-parent, ex-partner in love yet my true, lifelong friend. To my mom who may not have understood much of this tonight, I love you, I love you, I love you. You are a wonderful mother, and I hope you know this and trust this and take this love with you when you are finally ready to let go.
I've had the best intentions of getting back to the blog over the last four or five months, but the demands of the real world, the one that doesn't allow me to search thirty minutes for the perfect visual to snarkily accompany my new mommy analogies, have definitely gotten in the way. My son is now 10 months old. He's pointing at everything, chirps and squeaks out little noises like a bottle-nose dolphin, and has become pretty good at feeding himself microscopic pieces of food with those little pincers of his. Food that I cut up for him and then cut in half again, I should add. Chokaphobia, people. It's real. If you learn nothing about reality TV, Dancing with the Stars or the scientifically proven formula for predicting the next Bachelor from reading this blog, then let this one piece of information stick with you. For the love of God, whatever you do, please do not feed your babies popcorn. I once read that a child's airway is the size of a straw, and popcorn is the number one choking hazard for little ones. I smell melted butter and I get the shakes. My neurosis may have just saved a life. Who knew I was in the lifesaving business? Watch out, Dr. Phil, there's a new mustache in town.
Looking back at former entries, I wish I could have a bit of a talking to with my former childless self. If I could, I'd let her know what she was in for, how to prepare, and that no matter how sleep-deprived I get, having a kid will always be the best and most important thing that I've ever done. Sleep is over-rated. You know what's not over-rated, though? Eating out at restaurants with your wife, taking your time between courses, cozying up to a good conversation, the nightly special, the best pinot noir that Santa Barbara County can offer.
Sadly, this type of dining experience is now long gone, and all but a foggy, distant memory. Eating out at restaurants used to be easy breezy in the beginning, when our baby was a motionless burrito. For a while, babies are a lot like drunk frat boys. They drink, they wet their pants, and then they sleep and sleep some more. They sleep a lot in those early months, which makes things like dining out or going to the movies during nap time completely doable and enjoyable. Before long, your child will begin to have opinions about things. And this is when parenting start to get interesting. What was once a harmless quick change from ones-ie into PJ pants may soon turn into a carnival ride. Throughout this process, you may find that you'll give up objects of great monetary or sentimental value, just to keep your child from contorting himself on the changing table. It's a deal you make with the devil in exchange for serentiy. The day I willingly handed my son my too expensive to utter eye-glasses, was the day I realized that parenting a 10 month old is a lot like juggling angry kittens. I try not to get peed on, scratched or bitten on a daily basis. If the kitten enjoys the yarn ball, by golly, let the kitten play with the yarn ball. Sure, you may find your kitten has tied itself to a chair or ingested a teensy bit of wool, but those 30-90 seconds of free time make it all worth it. And no one got hurt, not even the sheep. Also very important.
Dining out with Callum these days has been quite tricky. I highly recommend partnering with someone who breast feeds. You have no idea how quickly a good boob can turn the beat around if things start to get ugly or those breakfast burritos are starting to get chilly. I must say the words "Honey, maybe he wants milk?" at least 10 times a day. Am I a slacker, unwilling to put the time in and take that lonely restaurant stroll with our child, while my wife tries to eat her banana pancakes more quickly than a Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest victor? Absolutely not. But one can only stroll so much before one's breakfast starts to look unappetizing. The mighty, all-powerful breast-feeding boobies, really do deserve their own holiday. I worship at the altar of the mama latte. Yoka-toka-latte-mamma. Free your lady's marmalade.
Read on for my contribution to the world of baby bloggers and all of the what to expect books out there.
What To Expect When You're Expecting To Have An Uneventful, Leisurely Brunch with your 10-Month Old:
1. The Crusty Stare. You may get looks when you walk in. Expect these looks, welcome them, embrace them even, yet don't let them unhinge you. So you're saying you're not baby friendly in here? I'll show you baby friendly, Mr. We've been lucky to escape the glare, as we have a go-to brunch spot where everyone is incredibly friendly and understanding. Its kind of like Cheers, except no one is bald and I've never seen anyone from the post office eating there. They know us well and they know us by name. They know that we will actually get on the floor and pick up the dropped Puffs, the microscopic pieces of uneaten chicken, the dropped toys, the too ripe peach that was agrily flung from the high-chair and dusted the scarf of the woman eating behind us with a very fine, almost undetectable peach spray, two sets of car keys, sophie the giraffe, everyone's menus, the forks, six wooden blocks, the water bottle, the straw, two spoons, paper napkin holders, and one cotton sock.
2. Eat an entire meal in 30-seconds or less. This is key to the dining out with toddler, aka, juggling angry kittens scenario. Eat quickly or you may find a baby hand graze the yogurt that crowns your fruit salad, or a small wooden train driven through your hashbrowns. Without fail, your child will also experience what is typically referred to as a MBO (major blow out) approximately 2.3 seconds after your food arrives. Choose a restaurant with a wide roaming or grazing space, so that you can take your chicken covered child out of his sticky peach-juice high chair and carry him around the restaurant to look at fascinating things like thermostats, mirrors, fake plants, menus, doorknobs, and strangers. Once you've circled the runway a few times, check in on mom. See where she is in her hot dog eating contest. If your breakfast burritos are starting to wilt, its time to switch things up or use one of your lifelines (I refer to this as phoning in the boob.)
3. Make sure they have to-go boxes. Despite the best laid plans, you may not have that spare ones-ie in the diaper bag when you need it most. Sometimes honey boo boo just needs to skip the throwing of the puffs all together and get down to bathtub time. If you're fortunate to finish your meal before your child has torn through every toy, tater tot and key chain you own, be sure not to leave a ring of fire on the floor encircling the base of the high chair. Clean up those puffs and the peaches, recover lost and intentionally dropped articles. Wait staff appreciates the extra effort and it may mean the difference between a crusty-eyed stare and a welcome smile the next time you return.