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March 2012
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May 2012

The Real Housewives of Jersey. Did yous watch?

One of the great things about Italians is you don't have to guess how we feel. We'll tell you. And if we don't, you can just read it all over a faces. No secrets here.

So this season's storyline with Teresa bugs me. Not because Teresa doesn't have issues -- she clearly doesn't want to hear anything she doesn't want to hear -- but because her family should be there for her. She's holding everything together. Her husband can't keep a job, isn't a very good house-hubby and may be going to jail for forging his signature, his brother's signature, etc. This woman has to raise four kids, earn the money and keep the IRS off their backs all by herself. Yeah, she's going to act out. You think?

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Teresa tried to say she's sorry, but the truth is, she isn't sorry. She said what she thought -- and let's face it, the Manzo boys wanting to open a strip car wash is cheesier than all get-out. They're not kids. If they're old enough to dream up such a corrupt idea, they're old enough to take people's opinion on the matter. Caroline doesn't need to protect them from that. The fact that she was encouraging the idea didn't make her a cool mom either. It made her an enabler.

I'm mostly angry at Joe Gorga because I actually think he's making it worse between his sister and his wife. Shut up already. If you don't want the women to fight, don't tell them, she said this about you.

Incidentally, I don't think Melissa is a gold digger. I don't think she's a singer either, but her second song is much better than her first. But the fact that we have to endure Joe Gorga wanting his wife is more than I can take. We can use our imagination as you eat at the "Beauty and the Beast" giant dining room table across from each other. That's enough innuendo for any of us.

I'm also angry at Caroline Manzo, who wants to control everyone and their thoughts. If you think differently than her, you're wrong. What bugs me most about her is how passive-aggressive she is in trying to get everyone on her side. Then, she tries to act like the adult. Where Caroline is involved, trouble is always close by -- that's not a coincidence. But then she blinks those big, fake eyelashes and acts like, what happened? I'm just fighting for my family here!

Finally, let's discuss Ashlee. As her mother Jacqueline watches Ashlee's baby videos, it never occurs to her that this beautiful child will turn out too stupid to get on a plane. When you have dropped her off at the airport doors with plenty of time. Seriously, that is one entitled child and it is time she learned the value of a dollar.

That's a great storyline though for parents of children who refuse to grow up. The fact that Ashlee has enough to dye her hair blonde and inject her lips, says it's time for a reality check. Maybe they should have her on that show, "Princess" on MSNBC. That woman would rip her to shreds.

Now I want to watch "Birdsong" again to do penance for wasting my time on RHONJ.


Birdsong on Masterpiece

I think I have to read this novel now. I'm so glad I fared all the war parts to watch this Masterpiece. It was SOOOO good. Did anyone watch it? All the drama of a Bronte novel without the mental illness.

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Some of the war scenes were pretty hard to take and a lot of the underground dialogue was hard to understand, but oh my, the message...the sacrifice. So worth the trouble.

"There is nothing more than to love and be loved, Sir."

I may have to own this one. Oh, and the guy who played Stephen is Eddie Redmayne. He'll be the new Marius in the Les Miserables' movie.


Mother's Day

This is the holiday I dread. Not from a receiving standpoint naturally, but a giving standpoint. My mother is nothing like me. Stuff doesn't make her happy. She's had the same handbag (to my horror!) for ten years.

With Mother's Day coming up, I'm starting to panic. Then, I saw an ad for "Les Miserables" and I knew what I wanted! It's coming to San Francisco again soon. It doesn't sound like it will be as good of a production, as its at the Orpheum, which is a theater in a dire part of town. But I will go. I will love it. But the last time I saw it, I took my mother and so I called her to see if she wanted to go again. (As a cruel joke, I suppose.)

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She told me that going to Macy's beforehand was the best part (and my mom hates to shop!) I remember she was so happy when it was over and said, "I thought that would never end!"

"Mom, it's only intermission."
"Noooooo!" Said in her best Luke Skywalker.

So while I know what I want (isn't that the easy part?) I'm still no closer to my mom's gift. She said to come up and visit her, but somehow lounging around her house while she waits on my kids doesn't seem like a very good gift to me. Any ideas?

Elle took this of me last time I was there. In my defense, it had been a long day with Elle and her cousins (she was trying to guilt me into playing soccer with her and I was watching the Antiques Road Show and that's all I wanted to do!) But yeah, not much of a gift. I need ideas. What do you get for the girl who wants nothing? And how did I come from this person?


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True Beauty

This week I got my "Most Beautiful People" magazine with Beyonce's smiling face beaming at me. And she is, beautiful. Was there any question?

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This may sound ironic coming from my spoiled self, but isn't it fairly easy to be beautiful when you have the world's make-up artists at your feet, good genes and a stylist? In contrast, I don't find this woman any less beautiful visually. But when you hear who she is, and no offense to Beyonce, but we worship all the wrong things in America, you'll see what being beautiful under pressure is.

This is He Peirong. You may not know the name, but she risked life and limb to lead Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese activist, from house arrest to safety. It is believed that Chen is now in US custody. We can only hope because Peirong is currently missing and believed to have been arrested.

As I listen to my Vietnamese neighbors in my office, the son is practicing "In the Mood" on his saxophone and it makes me smile. There is no better American song. On Friday, I watched the Blue Angels fly overhead in a perfect, tightly-knit formation of three.

Be grateful, you're in America. We may not always define beauty as we should, but it's all around us.


Where are you cheap? Where do you splurge?

I have no problem spending good money on a handbag. That's no secret, but I have issues with spending money in the kitchen. As is evidenced by my pots and pans. Today, after my mother finally bought new plates and gave me the ones I had in my single-girl apartment back, AND after seeing my single-girl dishes were in better condition than the ones I owned now, I decided I've inherited this trait of being cheap in the kitchen. Therefore, it is not my fault. LOL

However, hearing my mother say it was stupid to have eaten off plates she didn't really care for in lieu of buying her own -- which weren't that much -- I've decided it was true. It was time to get better pots and pans.

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Today, I bought new pots. Lovely, copper-bottom ones that should last and are pretty to look at. At least until I have my first boil-over of potatoes while I multi-task. Rather than buy a full set of pots and pans (many of which I'll never use and take up much-needed space) I just bought the ones I use. That way you don't have all those extra lids kicking around.

I went to T.J. Maxx, so I'm still not willing to spend my hard-earned cash willy-nilly in the kitchen, but it's a step.

Where's the irony in your life? What will you spend too much money? Where should you invest more?


Jeopardy "Star Wars" Question

So my boys and I watch "Jeopardy" every night. I handle the literary questions, they get history, science and pretty much anything meaningful.

The question the other night was what killed Yoda. My son said "The Force" but the contestant said "Old Age" and got it right. I'm like, you cannot be serious. You missed a Star Wars question?

No, they told me. They didn't miss it. Yoda ALLOWED the force to take him -- and some such information. I don't know, old age and the force seem like two different reasons to be dead, but they explained to me that the guy had the geek answer. They gave the NERD answer, which was the right one. What would Alex Trebek say?

Now comes word, there is more backstory ahead. In a new book, we are about to learn the secret of the origins of the Jedi order.
http://news.yahoo.com/dark-horse-tells-secret-origin-star-wars-jedi-180202407.htmlI'm sorry. My Jane Austen obsession has NOTHING on this stuff.

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What is unseen is eternal

I was thinking about how much that "skeptic" on Anderson annoyed me, with his lack of respect towards other people's opinions, but the more I think about him...I feel really sorry for him. This verse came to mind:

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor 4:18

Imagine if you could only focus on what is seen. What is concrete. What is here and now. How depressing would that be? How lacking in life and love to me.

I know I'm an eternal optimist. I have to look to the brighter future when life is sad, or how does one carry on? I was watching "The Dead Files" last night -- one of my ghost shows where the lady supposedly talks to the dead. ALthough these people saw and heard things in their own house and really didn't need the lady.

Tangent: If you had something touch your exposed skin at night? If your child was playing with imaginary children that you could hear, and you had seen the apparition of your house's former owner, what exactly does it take for you to move on? I mean, I know moving is a pain and all, but HELLO?? Your child is playing with dead people and something is violating you in your sleep. This is why people scream when dummies go into the haunted house to investigate. Use some common sense!

So back to being optimistic. LOL In the show last night, there was a spirit who was supposedly depressed, and you could feel her energy of depression in the house. It just totally hit me, what if you're a miserable cuss in life and that is your hell, that you continue to be that miserable cuss for all of eternity. How much would that stink?

God promises us so much more with eternity and I for one, feel sorry for people who can't grasp that there is more to life than what we can see and touch.

Incidentally, these are Italians.


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Redding? Seriously?

So this morning, I read the article, the ten most dangerous cities for women in America. Now, it starts off with all these towns like Memphis, TN, -- a few industry-less towns in Michigan -- but it gets to number six and it's Redding, CA.

Seriously?

Redding is the most boring, hot town on the planet. And it's dangerous? I always thought it just sucked. If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know my travel rule is that I won't go anywhere that my cell phone doesn't work. Ie., I do not want to be in the middle of nowhere staying at some backwoods hotel where a bar of soap is considered an amenity.

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Enter Redding.

The last time we stayed in Redding, we had borrowed my parents' RV. You're already getting the picture right? I am not a fan of the RV. But Redding is like a taste of hell. It is SOOO hot and smells like sulphur. So we stay at this really crowded RV park. Just what I want -- to be closer to OTHER people in a RV. Because you know, I may want to buy some aluminum can/macrame art.

I do believe this is after my tantrum at Mt. Lassen. Lesson to DH: camping in volcanic ASH is not a vacation. Soaking it in as a spa treatment, let's talk. Camping in it without cell phone receptivity, alongside the alien-chasers, not so good.

So I'm in town on this "vacation" and I use the term loosely. I'm trying to have a conversation with my editor while we're in town and my cell phone kind of works. Right at this bridge in fact. I never walked across it because I was trying to work something out while in town baking like a chocolate chip cookie.

We have friends who live there now. They just invited us up. Something tells me that I'm busy that weekend. I'm just going to say it's dangerous. And I'm scared.

Add this to my list of excuses as to why I cannot travel to foreign Californian lands.


UFOs & Crazy Men

Seriously, I had no idea how much this personality type bugged me until I saw this guy, professional paranormal skeptic Joe Nickell, on Anderson Cooper the other day.

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He was SOOO disrespectful!

Listen, I don't care if you believe in UFOs, or not. (I don't personally as I've never seen one.) HOWEVER, when you're a skeptic, you look at the facts and take down information on what people have seen and experienced and THEN you make your judgment. You can't work backwards when you believe your hypothesis is fact.

What Joe does is tell people they're crazy and that what happened to them couldn't have happened because "that doesn't exist." Oh my gosh, to me, that's as bad as a Nazi denier. "It didn't happen because in my realm of understanding it can't happen, therefore you're nuts, and I'm here to tell you that you saw Jupiter, not a flying saucer."

As I said, I've never seen a flying saucer (But I would totally love to, as I love any good story. Pick me! Pick me! I also want to add, Mr. Aliens, that I would be totally great to pick because people think I'm nuts anyway, so if I say that you exist and abducted me, people would totally nod their heads and say, "Okay Kristin.")

Back to Joe. Joe is a tool. Joe is not a skeptic. A skeptic is open to both sides of the story and will change their mind when they see evidence to the contrary. By saying that someone else's experience didn't happen, and shutting down any form of opposition communication, you're not a skeptic. You're just disrespectful. You're unable to imagine that anything can happen to someone else because it has never happened to you. That is a small mind! An open mind looks at all the possibilities of the situation.

So where does faith enter into Mr. Nickell's world? If he has to SEE and TOUCH everything to say it exists and faith is being certain of what we cannot see, then faith is what? See, here's my problem with this type of thinking. He has complete faith in the fact that UFOs don't exist, though there is evidence to the contrary. He denies all evidence and calls people names rather than deal in facts. That to me, is ignorance.

Here's my issue with Mr. Nickell. There have been a LOT of people who have seen UFOs. Didn't China shut down one of its airports last year because they didn't know what something was? If it's proven it's a military drone or the like, fine, but don't say it didn't happen, look at the evidence.

All I'm saying Mr. Nickell is the universe is vastly bigger than you. Open your mind. Just for a moment, try to imagine that someone else's experience may not be yours, but it could still happen.

I just can't imagine living in a world where I think I know it all. Why even exist if I know it all and have to convince others I'm right, and they're crazy? Don't insult people's intelligence by telling them their UFO is Jupiter. Is there a scientific explanation? Probably, but look for the scientific explanation, don't tell people they saw a planet versus something moving. Hello!


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The Unraveling of Wentwater


Unraveling

I received an advanced reader copy of this book, and it's taken me a long time to get to it, but once I picked it up...I couldn't put it down.

For one thing, I'm a sucker for good writing and wow, can C.S. Lakin write! I'm in awe of people who can take us to imaginary worlds that don't exist and make them feel real. She does this in this book and brings a very creepy but magical fable to life. It's a story of superstitions and the reality within...if you're looking for a little escapism in your busy world, I highly recommend this one!