Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm in a Boasting Mood!

It's time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. We're on the letter B. B is for Boasting.

Last year around this time, my husband and I were faced with a dilemma. Do we send our daughter to a highly-regarded gifted magnet that she was accepted into? As I type this sentence, the answer appears to be ridiculously obvious. Yet it really wasn't at the time. We loved the school my daughter was in. She had a lot of friends and was doing well academically. Yet, I was concerned that over time, her friends would not have much in common with her and would notice some differences. The gifted magnet seemed to offer a better environment for my daughter to be around other kids who like quirky things too.

The decision still seems obvious, right? Well, it's hard to pull your child out of a school she likes. It's also hard to bring her to a school that has concerns about accepting her. The magnet coordinator and resource teacher both thought my daughter wouldn't be able to handle the curriculum, which was advanced. It also required the students to oftentimes work outside their comfort zone. They were concerned my daughter wouldn't be able to handle the creative approaches and wouldn't thrive there.

The decision was SO difficult for us to make! Thanks to a bloggy friend of mine, Dani over at I'm Just that Way and That's Just Me, the decision became easier to make! While Dani lives halfway across the country now, she grew up in my 'hood. Her former mother-in-law used to teach at the gifted magnet school. She very generously gave her time to meet my daughter and provide her feedback, which was to go for it!

So, my daughter entered the second grade at a new school. She was sad about leaving her friends at her old school, but she loved her new school from the moment she entered it! She did well socially and academically. Among her triumphs was that she received an award for her masterful story writing. This is especially cool since the officials were doubtful that my daughter would be able to keep up with the other kids creatively. (hah!). She was one of the top readers in her class. Also, she scored at the highest level on a standardized test that measures cognitive abilities.

So, I just had to boast to say that not only is she able to handle the curriculum, but she is absolutely thriving at this school! 

It's really nice to know when the road you choose to travel is the right one!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Atrocity!

It's time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. We're starting the alphabet all over again, so the letter this week is "A." A is for atrocity!

My daughter takes different enrichment classes everyday after school. They're really fantastic! One class is on animals, another is on creating television commercials, another is a martial arts class. She also takes a magic class and flute lessons! These classes are part of her school's after-school enrichment program.

One day, when I was picking her up  from her animal class, the teacher was giving the kids mealworms to take home. They were supposed to use them to feed to the lizards, but my daughter and the other kids wanted to save their lives. Each child received two mealworms. I didn't like the thought of keeping worms in the house, but my daughter was excited by it. She's been dying to have a pet. Unfortunately, both she and my husband have allergies to dogs and cats. We bought her a fish, but she still wants an interactive pet.

Anyway, she immediately named her "pets" Mealie and Wormie. We put them in a large butterfly cage and gave them oats to crawl in and eat. We also put carrots in as they use the carrots for their hydration. My daughter loves watching them crawl around and eat. We did some research on them and discovered that they're more related to caterpillars than to worms. They metamorphosize into beetles that can bite. Because of this, my daughter agreed that we would release them once they turn into beetles.

The next week at her animal class, she found out the teacher that gave the mealworms out was actually a substitute teacher that wasn't supposed to do this. The regular teacher was pretty irate that she had done this. The other students all talked about how their mealworms died. For example, one gave his mealworm water to drink, causing the mealworm to drown. My daughter was the only student who still had two mealworms that were alive and thriving.

We later found out from the teacher that we are not supposed to release the mealworms or the beetles they turn into because they are not native to the area. By releasing them, we could potentially destroy the whole ecosystem of the area! This was the real reason the teacher was angry about the sub handing out the mealworms to the kids. So, he told my daughter that once her pets turn into beetles, we would have to kill them.

This made my daughter cry.

As much as I hate the mealworms, the thought of killing them upset me as well. I told my daughter, that we would just have to keep the beetles then. She reminded me that they might be different genders, then we'd end up with a much bigger problem.

Oh damn. That's right!

I talked with the teacher last week and asked him if he'd take the mealworms back. In front of my daughter he said, "Oh sure! We could feed them to our lizards!" I explained that my daughter didn't want her pets fed to lizards. He responded that we could keep them until they turned to beetles, then kill them. He definitely was not getting the situation. I asked him if there were any mealworm farms in the area that he could send the mealworms to. He said they they did have their own mealworm farms. I then made it clear that's where we wanted our mealworms to go to.

I hope he remembers about send the mealworms to the "farm" when we return them. 

Ugh. The atrocity!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rolling in the Deceipt

My daughter came home from school the other day. She was excited because two of her boyfriends at school were writing this really amazing song that they wanted her to sing a part of. She told me that they're calling it Rolling in the Deep. She couldn't remember how the song went exactly, but she sang me some parts that she could remember. It started with "There's a fire starting in my heart. Reaching a fever pitch and it's bring me out the dark." Another part goes, "We could have had it all. Rolling in the deep."

I asked if she was sure that they wrote that song and weren't just singing a song that's already out there. Because, um....there's already a song out there with those exact lyrics and title.

My daughter said she was convinced that they wrote the song. She asked, "Isn't it possible for different people to write the exact same song?" I told her that it was impossible. Everyone comes up with their own vision of things. I added that the lyrics also seem too sophisticated for two 7 or 8 year old boys to come up with. The lyrics just seemed to adult to me. The song was about the pain of heartbreak, which I don't think her friends have experienced yet.

My daughter countered that they could have wrote the song with the same words, but the meaning could be totally different.

At this point, I gave up and told her to ask her dad when he comes home. He's a songwriter, so he's more knowledgeable about what it takes to write a song. She agreed and asked him. He immediately responded that it was impossible for two different people to independently write the same song. Considering that Adele's song was so popular and so widely lauded, it's more likely they heard her song.

I then showed my daughter a YouTube video of Adele singing her song. My daughter stared at it with an open mouth. After the video ended, she admitted that there is no way her friends wrote the same song on their own. She asked me to print out the lyrics for her. Her friends were writing out her part, so she thought it would be funny to tell them not to bother--she already has it.

I liked her sense of humor.

Unfortunately, when she got home from school the next day, she was convinced that they happened to write the same song as Adele.

Oy.








Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Zoinks! A Hollywood Premiere!

It's time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. This week we're doing the letter "Z." I think this is something like my 20th time going through the alphabet. I'm done dried up. I have nothing for the letter Z (which was also true for most of the alphabet this time around). So, I'm forcing the Z-word to be Zoinks! But this post is really about my night attending a Hollywood movie premiere.

My husband works in the film industry, or in L.A. we call it The Industry. He works in post-production, so he usually doesn't get much opportunity to rub elbows with the rich and famous. Although sometimes he gets to! He also rarely gets invited to attend the premiere of a movie he works on. It does happen occasionally. The last time he was invited to a premiere, our daughter had an accident the day before. While she wasn't injured badly, her injuries were a bit delicate in nature and required me to spend the day at home with her, missing the premiere.

My husband was finally invited to another premiere. This time, there were no accidents or illnesses. I was able to attend the premiere with him! The movie? What to Expect when You're Expecting.

As we approached the theater, the crowd was going crazy. We couldn't see who it was that arrived though. I'm assuming it was J-Lo. Security approached us and asked if we were attending the premiere. I thought he was going to show us to the red carpet, but no such luck. He showed us our walkway to the theater. Let's just say there was no red carpet involved. They put a pathway in behind the red carpet's backdrop. So, not only were we not allowed to walk the red carpet, but we couldn't even gawk at the celebrities on the red carpet!

As we made our way down the hidden pathway, we did see one photographer taking a picture of us. No, he wasn't the media or paparazzi. He was a tourist hoping to land the big celebrity photo. As people walked by, he asked, "Are you famous? Are you famous?" I felt like replying, "Are you totally clueless?" Are you totally clueless?" Why he would think a famous person would shun the red carpet on a movie they were supposed to be promoting is beyond me. Instead, I pointed to my husband and said, "He's VERY famous!" This made the tourist really excited, and he took many photos of my husband.

There were assigned seats for the movie. I had no idea how we lucked out, but we ended up with awesome seats. We were near the front (but not too close) near the center. The actors from the movie were scattered around us. The seats directly next to me were empty. I wonder if no-shows like Chris Rock or Dennis Quaid were supposed to have those seats?

After the movie, we went to the after party at the Roosevelt Hotel. I've never been there before, but it's gorgeous! It's a storied hotel that is supposedly haunted by many spirits including Marilyn Monroe. I didn't see Marilyn there, but I did see some other celebs, although I didn't seen any of the major female stars of the movie--with the exception of Brooklyn Decker.

My husband and I did get into an in-depth conversation with a famous woman whose known for her marriage to a beloved rocker who committed suicide in the 90s. This woman is now famous for her addictions, but at one time fronted a rock band and has even done some acting herself. Anyway, we had a surprisingly enjoyable chitchat with her. I also had the chance to shake hands with a VERY hot actor who has a smaller role in the movie (mostly with his shirt off).

We actually didn't stay at the party for too long. Being old fuddy-duddies, we were ready to call it a night pretty early on. But it was fun to have the experience of attending a premiere!

Zoinks!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Are You Mom Enough?

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day! I sure did! My daughter really stepped up and made my day special. It was more than I could have ever had hoped for!

I'm sure everyone has seen all the hoopla around Time Magazine's Article: "Are You Mom Enough?" My husband subscribes to Time (not for much longer) but I haven't had a chance to read the article yet.

I know a lot of moms who do attachment parenting. I also know a lot of moms who don't do attachment parenting. Whose kids do you think will grow up to be the happiest?

I think both sets of kids can grow up to be happy, well-adjusted adults. Making kids feel loved and secure helps pave the way for them to grow to be happy adults. I don't think attachment parenting is the only way to achieve this goal. I also don't think attachment parenting guarantees that children will feel loved and secure.

Nevertheless, when Moms love their children, they are mom enough. It's just that easy!

Over the weekend I found a website where moms have a chance to vent their feelings. At least, that's what I thought it was at first. After reading some of the entries, I realized it was a place for moms to vent about how they hate motherhood. These were clearly women who never should have had babies. Many posted things like, "I wish my baby died during the pregnancy." It was awful to read!

I finally stopped reading after one mom talked about how she left her family. Her one regret was that she didn't sign over her parental rights so she was stuck paying child support and seeing her kids when her former husband saw fit. She advised the other women on this board to not make her mistake. She advised them to sign over their rights and just leave, adding that when the kids grow up, they'll seek their moms out then and form a relationship then.

Oh joy!

Those women are NOT mom enough.

The rest of us are definitely mom enough!

Don't let the stupid media make you feel any less than you are! If you love your kids unconditionally you are mom enough!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yikes or What Happens if Mel Gibson Worked as a Telemarketer

It's time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. This week we're on the letter "Y." I can't believe we're so close to the end of the alphabet! Y is for Yikes!

We've all been annoyed by telemarketers. They have a right to make a living just as everyone else does. But I find their calls so annoying. However, usually when they call, I interrupt their spiel and tell them I'm not interested and to take my number off their list. They usually thank me politely an hang up. Occasionally, they might just be rude and hang up. That's okay. I don't care.

Last week, however, was an entirely different story. A telemarketer called and launched his speech. I interrupted him, asking him to take me off his list. He ignored me and kept talking louder. I asked him again. Still, he ignored me and continued with his speech. I firmly asked a third time to take me off. I was afraid that if I just hung up on him, my phone number would remain on his list.

Finally, after the umpteenth time of trying to get his to stop his spiel and acknowledge my request, he lashed out at me. He told me to stop yelling at him, which I wasn't doing. He then told me I was stupid if I thought the 100 calls a day I received a day were all from him.

I thought, "Um, no--just this call. Please take me off your list." It wasn't a far leap to go from that rant to just calling me a stupid bitch. At this point, I calmly asked for his supervisor. He called me a stupid bitch a few more times. I still asked for his supervisor. Like he was going to seriously get him. I have no clue what I was thinking.

Finally, he concluded his call with his closing pitch: saying obscene things that Ms. Jenny won't allow me to write here and still keep my post PG-rated.

Yikes!

I think I hit a nerve. I wonder if I was his last telemarketing call. I HOPE I was his last call. Either that or Mel Gibson started working as a telemarketer.

Lesson learned: When you receive a telemarketing call, first get the company name, then get the caller's name, THEN tell the caller you want to be taken off their call list.

Friday, May 4, 2012

My Top 5 Favorite Movies

My husband and I both love to watch movies. He loves anything super-depressing. I like quirky comedies the best! We're not the most movie-compatible people. Nevertheless, we usually agree more than disagree on whether a movie is good or not.

Because this is my blog, I have total freedom to list my favorite 5 movies. I have to be a bit honest, though. I left some amazing movies off my list. Yes, we all know that Titanic was great. I wanted to go with movies that might not be on everyone's radar right now.

Number 5:

Adaptation

I think this movie had one of the most original screenplays ever. It quirky, twisted, and funny. It was fun to watch Nicholas Cage and Meryl Streep play real people in fictional ways. It was even wilder that Nicholas Cage's fictional character, Donald Kaufman, was actually nominated for a best adapted screenplay Oscar. How in the hell did that happen?

Number 4:

When Harry Met Sally

I love, love, love this romantic comedy. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are amazing as they ponder the question "Can men and women truly be friends or will there always be an agenda?" The movie is sprinkled by wonderful, quirky stories about how other people met the loves of their lives. Think those stories are true? They're not. They're written for the movie. They do seem so real though!

Number 3:

The Big Easy

A super hot Dennis Quaid goes after an unconventionally attractive Ellen Barkin and quirky hilarity ensues. Okay, maybe not. But it's a great cop thriller set in the backdrop of New Orleans. This movie got me into Cajun and Zydeco music and dancing. It also has one scene in it that will leave you needing a cold shower. Or something else.

Number 2:

 Raising Arizona


My favorite Ethan and Joel Coen movie. It's also one of my favorite comedies ever. And yes, it is quirky. Nicholas Cage (how on earth did he end up in two of my top 5 favorite movies?) and Holly Hunter kidnap a baby because they can't have one of their own. Sounds hilarious, right? Well, it really is! It also has one of the funniest car chase scenes ever in it!

Number 1:

Almost Famous

Cameron Crowe wrote and directed this mostly autobiographical movie about how he toured with an up-and-coming band when he was only 15 years old. This movie is funny, touching, and endearing. It captures an era that I missed by about 5 years, but I love experiencing it in this movie. It introduces us to Zooey Deschanel in a great performance. Even more amazing is Kate Hudson. Cameron Crowe directed her in her only great performance to date.  Frances McDormand also gives an amazing performance as Cameron Crowe's mother.

At the time the movie was released, some people I know complained that Frances' character was unbelievably over the top. If you watch the commentary track, you'll quickly realize that the character was portrayed pretty realistically. You see, the commentary track is done by Cameron Crowe and his real-life mother. I never watch the commentary track, but with this movie, it should be required viewing--a day after you watch the movie on its own, of course.


What are your favorite movies?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Xtreme Close-Up

Another round of Alphabe-Thursday with Jenny Matlock is quicking coming to a close. It's hard to believe we're on the letter "X" this week! As always, I'm cheating on X. X is for Xtreme Close-Up.

I live near a section of Los Angeles that has been home to many reality shows: Newlyweds, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, It's Complicated, to name a few. I've had many friends who have either taped a segment of a reality show or have been slated to, only to have the show die a quick death before taping began.

I was beginning to feel a bit left out of all the excitement!

That all changed this past weekend when my daughter and I filmed a segment of a potential reality show. I'm not allowed to talk about this show specifically. I will say that I believe it was a pilot episode and hasn't been picked up yet. So, all the filming may never see the light of day.

That's okay with me! It was just fun participating in something a little different.

I wish I had Xciting tidbits to share, but it really wasn't all THAT Xciting. We had to wait an hour and a half from our call time before they filmed us. An hour and a half is an eternity for an 8-year old! My daughter became increasingly whiny during the time we were waiting. On the one hand, I can't say I blame her. But I did warn her that this would happen and to be prepared for it.

The surprising part was the actual filming. There were no reshoots. What unfolded and what they captured was authentic. If they didn't capture someone's expression, it was their loss. That really surprised me! The total shoot time for us took only about 20 minutes or so.

They warned us that once filming started, there would be cameras and microphones everywhere to capture our reactions. They weren't kidding! At one point, I asked my daughter, "What do you think?" Before she could even answer, a big boom microphone appeared just over our heads. It came out of no where! I had a hard time not busting up laughing when that happened.

So we had our 15 minutes of fame. Um... make that 2 minutes since that's probably all that will remain of us once editing is done. Assuming, of course, that the show gets picked up!

On to the next reality show! Maybe someone is interested in following around a quirky (albeit boring) mother and daughter as they take on uber-cool Los Angeles?

Anyone?

Anyone?