Sunday, December 19, 2010

Confessions of an addict

I have to admit, and very hesitatingly so, that I have an addiction. It’s not as bad as some others, but I’ve been afflicted ever since I was a little girl. I AM a TV-holic.  Yes, that’s right, I watch so much TV that I have dreams I am characters in some shows.  Last night, I was helping the “Psych” detectives solve their crime.   
Now don’t judge me. I have never watched one episode of the Bachelorette or any Housewives series. Whew…I feel better already. But I do like reality TV. I watch only the intellectual programs though…i.e. Survivor, The Apprentice (and not only the Celebrity ones, but the “Real” people ones, too), Amazing Race. You know…the ones you can only gain knowledge from. 
I used to be addicted to Wheel and Jeopardy, but once Vanna and Alex started aging, they were too hard to watch. Made me think of my own mortality, and TV watching is supposed to be enjoyable, so who needed that reminder?
I remember when I was little, I would love to get sick so I could stay home from school and sit in front of the black and white TV all day long. My mom would spoil me with Skippy peanut butter and grape jelly on top of Ritz crackers, on a TV tray, with a big, tall glass of whole milk.  I would watch the game show, “Concentration”, which was highly educational, testing my memory skills. Therefore, missing school wasn’t a huge waste. In fact, I was better off.
Bozo the clown was another favorite, until a little kid from down the street started calling me Bozo because I had such frizzy hair. That really turned me off to Bozo. Screw Bozo. Stupid clown.
I realized I was an addict when I would start organizing my social life around my TV shows.  Friday nights were spent with JR and Bobby and Wednesdays (?) were with the Carrington’s.  Once VCR’s were invented, my social life was salvaged.  But if the tape ever got eaten, I would be in a bad mood for days.
I love DVR’s.  In fact, I’m debating whether to get a second one so I can record 4 shows at once and not just two.  There are days that I have 3-4 programs airing at the same time and I have such a dilemma.  I have kept my old VCR for those emergencies. I don’t really remember how to use it, so it’s a good thing I don’t really have a social life so I can be home to watch one show, while the others are recording.
I don’t ONLY watch mindless TV. I do get my current events from Matt, Meredith, Ann and Al. Good thing they come in 5 minute segments or I would be tuning them out pretty quickly. That’s why I don’t read the newspaper too often.  Concentration” didn’t help me THAT much.
And thanks to my bad memory, watching Friends and Seinfeld every night, to this day, is like watching a new episode each time. Chandler and Kramer still crack me up.
I attribute my career to my addiction. I live in the advertising world. Had I not been a TV junkie, who knows where I would be today.  So I give a huge THANK YOU to Maxwell Smart, the Brady’s, Samantha and Darrin, (who taught me all about advertising), Captain Stubing and Gopher, Gilligan, Flipper, and of course,  Oprah. Because without Oprah, really, who would any of us actually be. No one could exist without the wisdom of the great one. Isn’t she the Divine one? The Chosen one?  At least, isn’t that what she has made us believe?
Ahhhh…the power of Television.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Today I am a student. Tomorrow I am.....

Remember when graduation was upon you and you realized “Oh my god I am going to be a real adult…like now!?”  No more mommy and daddy taking care of me.  No more waking up, rolling out of bed and going to classes looking like I just rolled out of bed. No more partying during the weekdays.  This is it. I am going out into the real world and I am responsible for me. 
I’m so glad that’s not me now.  But it is my daughter. She graduates this week. Her very last class for the rest of her life. She said to me the other day…”I’m sad. I love going to school and to class.” WHO SAYS THAT?  I sure didn’t.  I couldn’t wait until that last day of school…even though I was scared to death.  I hated school. Oh…I loved the college life, but I hated school. I hated going to classes. I couldn’t focus. I was good for the first 5 minutes, then that was that. Off my mind went into the chasm of my tiny little brain. My brain can only hold so much, and science and other subjects just didn’t earn a spot there. Boys did. Partying did. But education? Not so much.
I was responsible though. I did do my homework. I did study for the tests. I did end up graduating. I’m not sure I learned anything, but I did earn my degree and that’s all that mattered to me at the time. It got me where I wanted to go and I have been there ever since.
My daughter, however, has a brain. A very large brain. It holds so much more than mine does. And her brain functions really well.  It also causes her to ask tons of questions. Which is probably why she is so smart.  Annoying, but smart. (kidding)…She remembers the answers to the questions. Unlike me. I ask a question.  I never listen to the answer. I wonder why I ask the questions if I don’t listen to the answers. I haven’t quite figured that out yet. I think my intentions are good, but my tiny little brain doesn’t have room for those answers either.  It’s very selective. I look like I’m listening to people answering my questions, but I’m already on to the other questions I’m going to ask and not listen to.
I’m kind of surprised I’ve made it in the business world. Or in any world, for that matter. I don’t remember anything.  I guess that’s why I write.  I can document my life in words.  My daughter will also thrive in the business world, because she retains everything and has that really big brain.  No matter what she sets out to do, she will be a huge success…even though she changes her mind every week on what career path she is taking. I have faith that as soon as she is done with finals on Friday…she will know exactly where she is headed by Saturday.
Me, on the other hand……..if I could only remember what’s next.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The "How To's" of Self Grooming

In these times of economic hardships, we have to take necessary steps to make ends meet. What that means is cutting back on some of the luxuries that we’ve grown accustomed to.  Of course what one luxury is to one person can be completely different than what it is to another, but that’s beside the point. Let’s talk about MY luxuries (or lack of) since I’m the one blogging.  
Upon becoming single once again, I had to give up a few of my indulgences, although to most, these are normal weekly or monthly events.  Have you ever tried to dye and cut your own hair?  It’s a major feat! You can twist and contort your body in ways you never imagined just to get to certain strands of hair. Try looking at the back of your hair in a mirror and figure out exactly what needs to be cut. Mine’s probably a little easier than most since it’s all one length and down to my waist…but still…it’s a little mind boggling to look in the mirror and think you are cutting one side when you’re really cutting the other. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out mirror reflections. Like when I’m at the gym and looking in the mirrors at men. I try to figure out if the ring on their finger is on the married hand or the right hand, and I invariably never get it correct. If you’re standing facing the mirror…why doesn’t the left hand go on the left side when I’m looking at someone else, and when you’re sideways…wow…that really screws up my rationale.  So I just assume they’re all married and make myself believe they’re probably all jerks anyway!  (Sorry…I tend to digress).
Ok…Back to cutting hair. There is no way you can take the scissors and reach behind your back and just cut. Tried it…failed. It only took me 10 nano-seconds to figure that one out once I cut up instead of straight across. So what I tried was grabbing all my hair into a pony tail, bending over, bringing it over the top of my head and cutting the ends. Then I flipped my hair back, took the hand mirror, and checked out the back of my hair. But what you don’t realize is that if you use one arm to hold the mirror, it doesn’t balance the way you are seeing your hair. One side is higher than the other. I tried it with the other hand, and amazingly, the same thing! If you use both hands, you really can’t maneuver the mirror the way you need to. So you guesstimate. I found out I’m not very good at guesstimating…so I convinced myself the new style is zig-zag hair.
The walls of my bathroom are also in vogue now.  The new décor is to have black splotches in miscellaneous, albeit, strategically placed areas. And the sporadic marks on the vanity counters eventually fade, but I still try scrubbing them with nail polish remover.  I haven’t seemed to master the art of dying and getting the dye ONLY on the hair. Soon after I wash out the dye, I am now a person with the ugliest looking tattoos on my forehead, cheeks, neck, shoulders, arms and chest. No matter how hard I try, and how much baby oil I lather myself in to be able to just wipe the dye off any body part, I’m tattooed for two days. Therefore I can’t go to the gym because I can’t put my hair up in a pony tail because my whole face and neck area are covered in what looks like some foreign disease. Good thing I work from home.
And of course, I have to love French manicures. I couldn’t just be happy with one color polish…nope…gotta have that white tip that you have to get just right to look professionally done. Ever tried polishing your nails with the hand you don’t write with. You have got to have the patience of Mother Teresa. I go thru a 10 oz. bottle of polish remover every week. I actually just keep a case in the house, since I have to use it on the counters for the hair dye also. What keeps happening is the white tip just keeps getting thicker and thicker as I continue to polish. Maybe I should just paint my nails all white.
So there you have it.  How to save yourself a few bucks in these times of trouble. And along the way you learn some new home décor tips and how to temporarily adorn your body. And my girls always know the best present for mom…a day at the salon.

Monday, December 6, 2010

have YOU grown up yet?

Do you ever think back to the stupid things you did as a teenager? Or maybe you didn’t do stupid things (yeah, right). I know I sure did! I look at my daughters now and think, “Have they pulled the wool over my eyes as many times as I did to my parents?” They should only know the stuff I did, although they, too, have done some pretty stupid things themselves. The angst I must’ve given my parents.
Let me tell you how frickin’ stupid I was! Take it from me…stupidity was my middle name in my teen/early 20 years. My sexual escapades alone could make for a great book, but I’ll use discretion in my tales of teenage horniness. My mom had no clue that my high school boyfriend and I were “doing it”… let alone doing it right on the couch in the den only 10 feet from where she was in the kitchen. Really?  How unbelievably stupid were we? Pants pulled down right in my own house with my mother home. Then we would get up and go in the kitchen for our after sex snack, like no orgasms had just taken place. And she had no clue! Helllloooo MOM!
We also used to go park and fool around in the back seat of his dad’s Lincoln. We went to other neighborhoods so no one would know who we were. We didn’t think that since no one knew who we were, that the people in the house we were parked in front of, would call the cops. So there we were, pants pulled down <again>, when an incredibly bright light came shining through the rear window on our naked bodies. We looked up with our innocent eyes to the cop staring in the car. “Wanna step out of the car please?”  “Uh…can we pull up our pants first officer?” He let us go with a warning and a little snicker as he walked off.
I was the last of my friends in high school to smoke pot, but I made up for it once I got started. And I would always drive stoned. Very smart! In 1972, I had this 1962 black and white striped Chevy Nova with primer paint on the back fender, corvette bucket seats, some odd stick shift thingie, (even though it was an automatic), and an ignition that didn’t even need the key to start the engine. The “skunk” was the biggest piece of junk that any stoner could hope for because I didn’t care if I hit parking meters and curbs, which I did on a regular basis.  Every day after school, I would round up the group, we’d go to someone’s house, smoke a little, listen to Pink Floyd, then drive the skunk to Baskin Robbins for a huge ice cream sundae. And since my friend worked there, we would get all the ice cream we wanted for free. Kinda stupid on his part….but hey, it wasn’t my job on the line.
In my 20’s, my friend and I were going to a really upscale restaurant in Beverly Hills.  At the time, my car (not by choice, believe me!), was a gold Plymouth Duster. U-G-L-Y and quite embarrassing to drive up to the valet at this very exclusive restaurant. So I went to my parent’s house to ask my dad if I could borrow his Mercedes. His first reaction was…”Are you kidding me? Of course you can’t borrow my Mercedes.” “Why not Dad?” No answer was actually needed…pretty much a rhetorical question on my part. But I gave my mom my sad little eyes and she convinced my dad to let me take it just for a few hours. “I swear dad, nothing will happen. I will be so careful. You’ll see.”  So he hesitatingly handed me the keys to his precious Mercedes and out the door my friend and I went.
We walked down an incline to where his car was parked inside a car port. We got into the car and I adjusted the seat and all the mirrors, put on my lap belt (no harness seat belts back then) and put the key in the ignition. I put the car in reverse and before I knew it the car was exploding out of the car port right smack into a pole. Holy SHIT! I hadn’t even made it out of the driveway! I probably don’t need to tell you what happened next. They heard the crash, came running out and my dad would’ve pulled his hair out had he had any. He was screaming on top of his lungs and I was just standing there shaking in my pants.
“So dad, can I still take the car?”
I’m sure you can guess what his answer was…but you’re probably WRONG!
He said, “Take the f**king car…you can’t do any more damage than you already did!” And off we went.
It took me 2 years to pay off the $1000 damage I did INSIDE their own garage!
Ya gotta love kids!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm dying to tell you...

I don’t think there’s anything creepier than planning for your own funeral. I was visiting my mom last week and there was a package sitting on the floor from a company called the Neptune Society. I asked her what was in it and she said “my urn”. I was like……. “WHAT? What do you mean your urn?”   She said, “Well, I think it’s my urn, but the box is too heavy for me to pick up”. Heavy?  It’s empty…what could possibly be heavy in an urn that is not holding a body. And she ordered her own urn? Seriously? Ewwww!!!!!! Really, really creepy!
I lifted the 28 lb. box trying to figure out what could make an empty urn so heavy. I opened the package and saw the most beautiful wooden box inside made of mahogany. It was larger than I expected and definitely not in the shape I imagined an urn to be. It was a BOX. Our bodies are going to be ashes in a BOX. A beautiful box, nevertheless, but a box.  And it was causing me to go to places in my head I was hoping to never go to…like how big a pile would human’s ashes make?  And how heavy would they be? And what happens to our teeth? We need a BOX this big? I don’t know if it will fit on my mantle. Do I want to have conversations with a BOX on my mantle?  I mean, who wants to go there? I sure didn’t…but it was kind of hard not to.
I opened the box and inside were more beautiful boxes, a candle, a beautiful wooden square block for god only knows what, and note cards. HUH? Should my mom write the cards prior to the memorial, thanking everyone for coming? Could you imagine being the recipient of a thank you note from someone who just passed away? And who of her friends would still be alive by the time her time came? So many questions I don’t know the answers to. And honestly…I’m kinda glad I don’t know the answers. But I can’t imagine what my mom was going through planning all this.
And what were all those other boxes for? There must be some ritual we are not aware of that those are used for. Sprinkle a little in each to hand out as souvenirs at the memorial? As everyone is leaving you hand them a little box, “Thank you for coming. Here’s your parting gift”. 

Why are we going to that place no one really wants to go to until we have to? We will have enough time to think about that once she kicks the bucket. Again…did not want to know the answers at this point in my life, or my mother’s life. She is still living, for god’s sake. And where will we put her. She’s not really any help either…her answer is…  “I don’t really give a shit…I’ll be dead”. Well if you don’t give a shit, why’d you order such a beautiful, expensive box. I guess that’s why my dad is still sitting in my sister’s garage, in another box within his box. Really?  She couldn’t give him the guest room? At least make his box more comfortable than in the cold, damp garage. I, personally, would rather sprinkle him on the golf or tennis course. Those were his passions. But noooooo…he’s hanging out with the luxury cars in my sister’s garage. At least he’s in good company. Although cars weren’t his thing. I’m sure he’d rather be in the closet with the sports equipment. Or maybe at my mom’s house waiting for her box to be by his box. I think for my mom’s box…I’m going to have a picture of her head pop out on a spring every time I open it.

                      At least that will make me smile.