28 September 2007

Your brain on trash TV

This is your brain on trash TV

Yesterday I did something I haven't done in a long, long time.

I spent my son's nap watching trash tv.


Dr. Phil: The episode was about a hobo named "Jerry" who up and left his wife and two kids for a life spent roaming the Mississippi, paddling downstream and staying in various camps with other like-minded individuals along the River's banks. A couple of documentary filmmakers decide to make a movie about this "free spirit." The daughter, now in her 20s, catches wind of her deadbeat dad's screen debut and contacts Dr. Phil, who then reaches Jerry through the movie's producers. Jerry agrees to appear on the show to confront his daughter, who blames him, at least in part, for the fact that her brother, who spent his youth smoking weed with his dad, committed suicide. Chaos ensues. Nothing's resolved. Jerry thinks he's done nothing wrong.

Montel: Young girl at age 11 starts abusing drugs, becoming sexually active, and prostituting herself to older men for drug money. Now substance-free, the teenager smiles and chuckles as she explains her past to an appalled Montel, who vows to catch the man - whom she met while working out at the gym - who started her turning tricks. This episode left me with several questions. 1.Why did the girl think this all was so funny? 2. Where in THE HELL were her parents? 3. What 13 year old works out at a gym?

Steve Wilkos: You probably never heard of him. Neither had I. He's a former Marine, Chicago police officer and former "head of security" on the Jerry Springer show. Interesting combo. His new talk show just started airing this month and yesterday's episode was a white-trash smorgesbourg of people in bad situations. A drug-happy teenage girl who refuses to give up her baby. A toothless father who lands himself in jail more often than he changes diapers. Wilkos is relentless and badgers his "guests" until they agree to get help. This Springer protege is right on track. Today's episode is about a young girl who is in a cycle of consistently birthing children, then giving them away.

I can feel myself getting dumber.

27 September 2007

A mom's William Tell overture

I don't say all of these things yet, but know they will soon come.

25 September 2007

Adventures in Hip Hop

Monday was lesson two of my quest to become Kanye West's new backup dancer. They way I figure it, the most talented man in Hip Hop should have the most talented female dancer appearing by his side.

Two friends and I decided a few weeks ago that we would take a Hip Hop dance class at a local dance studio. It was my idea actually, as I have always fancied myself a hip-hopper, ever since the day, oh so many years ago, I made up a routine to TLC's "Hat to da back." I still remember it to this day.

We're in the "advanced" class, not because of our exploding talent so much, but because the time worked out for us. I'm proud to say we are keeping up and are giving Beyonce a run for her money. Ok, not so much. But the instructor, who is extremely talented, hasn't kicked us out yet.

We've been working on a routine to West's "Stronger," and when I practiced it in front of my son, (of course screaming toddler-appropriate words over West's profanities), he actually said, "That's great mommy," and walked away. He's two.

Anyway: The pros: hip-hop is a great workout and a good stress reliever, not to mention a way for me to retain my "streetness." The cons: There is a recital at the end of the year. And no, I will not be telling you when it is.

16 September 2007

And we danced...

Whoever said guys can't pole dance. Boy, were they wrong.

The seemingly quiet Derek proved that as I caught him with my camera mid swing around the pole holding up the tent at the annual Mother's Club Cocktail party.

The night began with a rendezvous at the The Black Cow and four glasses of pinot noir for me. (Thanks to Tommy for expensing our bill. Nice!) Then we headed over to the party, which takes place at the ridiculously gorgeous and enormous home of one of the Club's members. Its stellar setting right on the River made for an elegant evening, or as elegant as an evening can get when you have a gang of pole dancers hogging the patch of grass designated for groovin'.

It was a bit more sparsely populated than last year, but there was still plenty of food, drink and good laughs to go around. And feel-good music from Don't Call Me Shirley rounded out the night, which ended when we were the last people on the dance floor, scavenging at the hors d'oeuvres table in an attempt to stave off morning hangovers. It didn't work.

For us, thank goodness the little man was with Grammy and didn't arrive back home until this afternoon, giving us some much needed time to recuperate, which we did with a load of grease ordered from the local pizza shop.

Anyway, check us out. It was a night to remember....or not.

10 September 2007

Shorts- Drinking wine, sand dollars and a little boy in women's shoes

Sunday I took a trip down to Newport with my mom and aunt and a few other post-menopausal women for a wine tasting at Newport Vineyards.

It proved to be a great afternoon with a tour, the tasting and good company. I impressed the group with my vast knowledge of wine, i.e. that I knew the carafes of water at the tasting counter were for rinsing glasses after each taste and the ceramic canisters were for dumping said water. The tasting manager responded kindly to the intelligent questions I posed to him in my quest to raise my wine IQ and my mother lovingly complained that he filled my glass a little more than the others. He also responded very diplomatically when one of the women in our group told him that one of the wines stunk. When the others looked at her aghast, she said, "Well, it does. It has an awful odor!"

The woman conducting the tour taught us much about the wine-making process, including that you shouldn't look down on wines sealed with a screw cap. (If you are buying one sealed in such a way, test first to make sure that it does not wiggle.) Towards the end of September, the public is invited to watch Newport Vineyard's grape-crushing process, and I am thinking that wouldn't be a bad way to spend an early fall afternoon.

I left the winery with two bottles of white, including their delicious ice wine (the tasting manager described it as liquid creme brule), which is made from grapes picked frozen from the vine. Their reds, unfortunately, were a little under par.

Then after the tasting, we adjourned to the home of one of the women in our group, who prepared some delicious grilled chicken, all accoutrements supplied by the rest of the gang, (excluding me because I was rude and showed up empty handed). Fun was had by all, though I felt a little out of my element with all the talk about hot flashes.

My new obsession is sand dollars. I don't know why, but when I spotted a few others collecting them on the beach last week, I too decided I had to collect as many as possible. (Up until now, I have been obsessed with those little spirally shells, but this is a whole new ball game.) So I've been to Plum Island three out of the last four days. Today, in 65-degree weather, we drove down the 6 mile dirt road to get to Sandy Point Reservation. I dragged my toddler up and down the beach looking for the things, which I have decided I will make into Christmas ornaments for people. (If you get one, and don't want it, throw it back into the ocean.) It's not really a hobby befitting a 32-year-old, but nonetheless we spent two hours scouring the beach. When I saw an elderly couple cupping several of the purple-ly fragile shells in their hands, I inquired about them, and they skirted my questions and hustled down the beach, as if I had just asked where their buried treasure could be found. Who knew?

I found one (and I practically had to dive head first into the icy waters to retrieve it) and that brings my grand total up to 8 or so.

And this - well, this is a picture I felt I needed to share. Not something Rich would be thrilled to see. But they are very stylish shoes - even if they are worn with sweat pants!

03 September 2007

Summer's last hurrah

Labor Day - the unofficial end of summer. We decided to go out with a bang, and packed up the family car and made our way down to Falmouth early Friday morning. We were welcomed into the home of our best friend's dad with open arms. HIs accomodations were superb as he basically let us have the run of the hiz-ouse all weekend, a generous thing to start, and even more so when you are bringing along a two-year-old.

The weekend was filled with good eats and spirits, and even better company (including that of Golden Retriever Bailey, who had no shortage of slobbery kisses for all us guests). Upon arrival, we immediately set off for the British Beer Company for some lunch. Though our waitress was nearly deaf and messed up our orders, she was too grandmotherly to snub, so we left her the 20 percent tip and made for the beach across the street complete with a great view of Nantucket Sound.

Early mornings were spent lounging as the cool breeze blew through the trees and rustled the leaves that are too soon going to change and fall. The beach was just a short walk to the end of the street and the gusty wind did not deter us from relaxing, reading and exploring the shoreline where hermit crabs, fish and the odd shrimp-like creature crawled and darted around our feet.

On Saturday, DG and I played tennis, albeit a sub-par game and in the evening we all went to The Flying Bridge and enjoyed a mediocre meal (Native baked scrod sprinkled with Ritz cracker crumbs) but a spectacular view and walk along the boardwalk.

I, unfortunately, missed the no hitter thrown by Red Sox rookie Clay Buchholz on Saturday night, as I was upstairs for three hours trying to get an ornary toddler to fall asleep, which he never really did. But all other house guests assured me that it was very exciting.

Sunday morning we went to Moonakis Cafe for breakfast. Everyone else on the Cape seemed to have the same idea, as there were dozens of people milling around outside when we rolled up hungry and in need of caffeine. But once ushered inside, the food proved to be worth the wait. I stuck with my old standby of a cheese omelet, but ordered the little man some legendary blueberry pancakes so I could sneak a taste. Dee-Lish-Us.

The weekend was a great summer send off, and no traffic to or fro to boot.

Early Sunday afternoon, as we packed up our things, it was already sinking in. Back to life. Back to reality. No more beach at the end of the street. No more eating and drinking like there was no tomorrow. Work awaits. Deadlines loom before me. The chimney man is coming at the crack of dawn Tuesday morning. But then I remember the Cape and the breeze blowing through the trees.

And as we cross the Bourne, then head up 495, we notice that trees are already starting to change. Auburn reds pop through rows of green. Then there is talk of apple picking and halloween. A twinge of excitement runs through me as I entertain thoughts of Christmas. And I know that while the end of summer means the end of a lot of things, it also signifies the beginning of lots of others. And I am glad for it.