Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Oscars! We're not Going this Year

My husband is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This is the group that holds the Academy Awards. Being a relatively new member, we attended the awards the last two years. I blogged about going here and here.

This year, we decided not to attend. As my posts show, we had a blast going the first year, but not as big a blast going last year. However, we did consider going for one reason: Billy Crystal. It would have been a blast seeing him host. We decided to try to get orchestra-level seats only. These are extremely expensive, but VERY hard to get. The few available orchestra seats are meted out via a lottery system. Many people apply for these seats. We knew by putting in for these seats only, we were not going to be attending. Sure enough, we ended up not getting tickets for the event.

My husband and I were okay with this. The novelty of attending had faded. It just wasn't that much fun last year!

As it turned out, it was a good thing we didn't spend the money to attend. My husband has had quite the battle with the flu. For awhile, it looked like the flu was winning (let's just say a ride in an ambulance was involved at one point). He finally seems to be doing better, but was still running a fever last night (I don't know about today yet, he still hasn't emerged from the bedroom). There was no way we could have attended this year. The tickets are non-transferable, so we would have been out the money.

So, we'll watch the Oscars from home. We'll certainly have a better view of the event than from the balcony seats we had in the past! Plus the bathroom breaks are much easier to take at home. I still haven't figured out how the commercial breaks seem so long from home, but so short at the event itself.

George Clooney will just have to almost break my foot another time.


I'm linking this post later this week to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. The letter this week is "O." How could I not link up when O is for Oscar?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Natural Curiosity

It's time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! We're already onto the second half of the alphabet: the letter "N." N is for natural curiosity.

My daughter had always been curious. She's always wanted to know everything about everything. This natural curiosity is what fueled her to learn to read at age 4, and to almost immediately dive into books and magazines that teach her about the world.

A dear friend of mine has two children that are much older than my daughter. They're also quite brilliant. When they're done with their books, my friend loves to unload them on us. My daughter LOVES receiving these books! She's read about ancient Egypt, different countries and cultures, and different religions around the world.

Now, to give you a little background. We're Jewish, but we're not observant. We don't go to temple or observe the holidays. We try to bring some spirituality into the home by praying every night at my daughter's bedtime. This consists of us taking turns to thank God for a few things that happened during the day. It's a nice way to end the day and show appreciation.

My daughter's knowledge about Judaism, however, is pretty minimal or so I thought. The other day as I was driving my daughter home from school, she asked me when we were going to our next Bah or Bar Mitzvah. She hadn't been to one in a couple of years, and I was surprised that she knew what one was. I told her we didn't have any coming up, and I asked her why she was interested. She responded that she wanted to see what one was like before she had hers.

My husband and I weren't planning for our daughter to have a Bah Mitzvah. I told my daughter that it requires attending Hebrew school for 2 days each week and attending services at temple regularly. She said that she knew this and was interested in doing it.

I asked her how she knew about all this, and she answered that she read it in her World Religions book. She said she spent the most time reading about Judaism since it's her religion.

I must admit that I never saw this coming. My husband and I have to have a serious talk about how to proceed. Do we have our daughter put a lot of time (and money) learning to read Hebrew and learning about her religion and culture or do we try and find other ways to occupy her time?

Books are a wonderful thing. But a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Just Call Me Grandma!

Soccer is losing its luster for us. This time around, my daughter plays on one large team. They do drills for half an hour, then break up into two smaller teams to play a game. The coach picks different team captains each week, who then pick and choose the players they want on their team. Did I mention that my daughter is the only girl this time around? She also happens to be the weakest player out of the group. Guess who gets picked last each week? Actually, this week she was picked second from last--winning! The kid picked last this week appears to be on the spectrum as he has a really hard time concentrating and tends to flap his hands a lot out on the field.

To bolster my daughter's playing, my husband thought it would be great to get to the field a little early to kick the ball around with our daughter and give her some pointers. While they were doing this, one of her teammates came over to join them. My husband was less than thrilled as he had a list of things he wanted to work on with our daughter. I thought this would be a great opportunity for my daughter to bond with a kid on the team and build some goodwill points.

They were having a blast together, and my husband was still able to make his drills work, more or less. Everything seemed to go well until this boy said to my daughter, "Your grandpa is doing a good job being goalie!" I laughed my ass off because the kid thought my husband was my daughter's grandfather instead of father. Until it occurred to me that the kid probably thought I was my daughter's grandmother. Then his comment wasn't as funny to me!

The drills seemed to help my daughter's playing a bit! She scored a couple of goals during the drills. We have two more Sundays left in this session. I'm thinking we're done with this league. It was fun while it lasted, but it doesn't seem to be fitting our daughter's needs anymore.

One weird thing that has been happening are the parents that yell at the boy whom I suspect is on the spectrum. They get angry about his inability to focus on the game. so they threaten to take away his video games if he is not focusing on the game more. Yeah. That should help his ability to focus!

So, our next item on our agenda is to find another sport or league for our daughter to participate in! Wish us luck!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Voice of my Own

The other day, I was sifting through my email to see if there was anything interesting. You know, any offers to check out the new Disney Resort in Hawaii or to be wined and dined over a weekend to write about the latest sports car. Then I remembered that I never get emails like that. Sigh. There was an interesting email regarding my blog, however. Somebody offered to write posts for me for free. All I had to do was let them drop in a link for a company they worked for. Or not--they were flexible.

Part of me wanted to grab the opportunity and say, "Yes! Please write for me." That's the part that feels this well is running dry, particularly with my crazy schedule and just not having the time or energy to write anymore.

But the other, wiser part of me deleted the email. The whole point of this blog is for me to share my viewpoints and my perspective. You don't have to agree with me--in fact, you can respectfully disagree in the comment section--that's always fine. But you know that you're reading my dribble--for good or for bad.

A blog is a very personal space. It's a chance for a writer to express themselves and what's happening in their lives. Having an occasional person visit with a guest post is fine too. Oftentimes, guest bloggers are "friends" who share similar issues and sensibilities. But to have a complete stranger write a post and forcing it to fit whatever link they want to promote just seems wrong to me. It seems disrespectful to my readers and somewhat dishonest.

So, you'll just have to put up with my crappy writing and stupid topics (did I really analyze my spam mail the other day? Oy).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam!

It's that time of the week again! Time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. Well, it's actually a little early to be doing that. I usually write a post on Sunday night and then again on Tuesday night. Tuesday's post is the one that I link up. This week, the Grammy Awards ran really late, and it was too late for me to write a post after them. So, I'm writing my post on Monday night. I figure it's close enough to Thursday to link up, right? The letter this week is "M." My topic is on spam mail.

Usually, I delete my spam as quickly as it arrives in my email inbox. Things have been so crazy lately, however, that it started to pile up. I let it pile up for 3 days, and I had over 150 email in my spam folder. Of that, about 4 were actual emails, including an electronic Valentine's Day card that my daughter sent to me (she's beyond sweet). The remaining 150 emails were truly spam.

I tried to breakdown the different categories they fell into. I couldn't account for every single one because many were just beyond boring. Or stupid. Here's the breakdown:

Deals on new cars: 3 emails

Deals on overstocked items: 3 emails

Dating sites: 9 emails (these included Christian dating, over 40 dating, over 50 dating, and African-American dating).

Tax Services: 4 emails

Insurance of some kind: 5 emails

Online pharmacy: 4 emails

Satellite television: 4 emails

Credit scores/Background checks: 6 emails

Coupons: 4 emails

Giftcard offers: 8 emails

Penis enlargement: 7 emails

AARP membership: 1 email

Wow, that only accounted for about 50 emails. I still had another 100 spam emails that were just too insipid to try and categorize.

The biggest shock was that AARP only sent me one email. The other big shocker was all the dating sites. Hello, I am married. I once heard that something like 50 percent of dating site members are married. That's one scary statistic. Do they purposely market to married people?

That's a scary thought!

What's in your spam folder?

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Animal Way

At bedtime, we've been reading The Little House on the Prairie series. The other night, we read how Pa Ingalls predicted that they were going to have a long winter because they found a muskrat house with extra-thick walls. He said they knew the winter was going to be extra rough so they were prepared. Laura Ingalls was fascinated with this and asked how the muskrats knew that. Pa told her that G_d told them. Laura asked why G_d didn't tell this to humans. This led Pa to get philosophical and talk about how G_d needed to talk with animals since he didn't give them free will. He doesn't need to talk with humans since he gave us the tools we need to fend for ourselves.

My daughter became quiet and thoughtful after hearing this passage. She then stated that she believes animals have religion too. She qualified her statement to say that they practice their religion the "Animal Way" and not the way humans practice religion.

I wonder if animals' religion cause them to kill others who don't practice the religion in the same animal way that they do?

My daughter isn't the only person in this family with deep thoughts!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Looking your Best

It's that time of the week--time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! This week, we have to write about the letter "L." Ironically, Blogher's Life Well Lived series wants me to write a post this week about Looking your Best! I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone since these two things came together so well!

The question(s) I'm supposed to answer are:

Do you have a favorite blogger or YouTube channel for hair tutorials?

Do you create your own?

What's your best tip for finding the best tips?

Now, when it comes to hair, I've lost the hair lottery. My hair is very thin and fine. It seems the older I get, the worse it gets. I'd like to say that I rely heavily on the internet to find ways to get my hair to look better. Honestly, it has never occurred to me to check out hair tutorials on YouTube. The most I can claim to do is to do internet searches in order to find hair products that would work with my hair without weighing it down too much.

My tip for finding the best tips is: ask a hair stylist that you adore for tips! They know hair, and if they're good with your hair, then they'll steer you in the right direction.

The best tip I've ever received for my hair was from a hair stylist I used to go to in Beverly Hills. She knew her stuff. Many famous celebrities went to her to get their hair done. She was a wealth of information. One of the best tips she ever gave me was to buy the Caruso Steam rollers that were being heavily advertised on television infomercials. She was usually against any type of heated appliance such as curling irons for my hair. But she insisted that these rollers would add body to my hair without damaging it. She was right--they are fabulous! I still use them to this day!

Please check out the tips other bloggers have left here.

Are you interested in a chance at winning a Kindle Fire? Then comment here!

I'd also love to know the best tip you ever received for your hair. Where did you get it?

I think we sometimes get so wrapped up in our busy lives that we don't always look our best. My pledge for 2012 is to put a little more effort back into looking good!

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Two Year Blogging Anniversary!

Today marks my second year of blogging! I can't believe I've been at this for 2 years now! I still feel like a newbie--except one that's having a hard time coming up with interesting things to write about!

I'd like to say that I have plans to start my third year with lots of interesting ideas that will take my blog in all new directions. Unfortunately, I haven't had much time lately to even come up with good ideas to blog about!

So, I'll keep plowing along, hoping to unearth the occasional gem, although I'm sure I'll mostly come up with dirt.

Thanks for staying with me on this journey! When I started I really needed the outlet. Now, I'm happy to say that I don't need that outlet anymore--at least on most days. Things have been going well, and I just don't have as much to whine about. There's still plenty of things to poke fun of, which I'm sure I'll continue to do!

Here's to two more wonderful years of blogging. Aw, heck--make that three more years!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We Need to Talk about Kevin

It's time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. The letter this week is K. K is for Kevin.

My husband and I watched We Need to Talk about Kevin the other night. I highly recommend this movie. While it's beyond depressing, it covers some interesting topics such as unconditional love through horrible acts and the mother's role in these acts.

I don't want to give much away, plot-wise. I will say that Tilda Swinton plays Eva, a mother of a son who committed unspeakable acts of violence. She spends a lot of the movie wallowing in guilt and loving this "monster."

The question the movie left me with is: How responsible is the mother when her child does an unspeakable act? Some of you might jump in and correct me and say the question should be how responsible are the parents. I am purposely posing the question with just the mother being responsible. Why? Because society always seems to put all the blame on the mother when things don't go well.

Are mothers responsible? This is a general question that probably can only be answered on a case by case basis. In the case of the movie, they show Eva to be a less than perfect mother. She's not naturally maternal. She seems to resent being a mother and giving up the freedom she had before becoming a mother. Actually, I really related to her character! Does this provide the ingredients to cause a child to be amoral?

In the case of the movie, I'd have to say, "No!" Kevin was shown to be a sociopath or a psychopath since the time he was a young toddler. It just seemed to be who he was. Yet, I found people who commented on the boards at the IMDB site seemed to place a lot of the blame on the mother character. Interestingly, one review I read at this site complained that the movie was too extreme in making Kevin an obvious sociopath when a more interesting movie would have been to be more ambiguous to raise more questions regarding nature vs. nuture. Nevertheless, a sizable number of people commenting blamed Tilda's Swinton's character for how her son turned out.

I find an interesting parallel with the topic of autism. While experts have found no evidence that a mother is responsible for her child's autism, many people in society blame the mother anyway.

Why is the mother always blamed? Why can't people at least pick on both parents?

Just wondering!

Anyway, if you have a chance to see this movie, I highly recommend it. Just be sure to get a prescription of Prozac for after the movie. It's not an easy movie to watch.