Previous month:
April 2016
Next month:
June 2016

Heather's New House #RHOC

Admittedly, I don't watch the Real Housewives of Orange County.  I cannot identify with these women.  It may as well be another country.  However, Heather Dubrow and her husband Terry built a new house -- a 20,000 square foot house with 14 bathrooms.


It's a beautiful house, but you know how little guys compensate by driving big trucks?  I have to wonder at their need to build a brand new house while their kids were so young.  So I've lived in fairly large houses.  Granted, nothing near this size, but it really annoyed me.  You can never find anyone when you want them, and it separates the family.  Granted, I have the wisdom of a few years on Heather, but I certainly hope she doesn't regret this build when her kids have gone off to college.  It happens so fast.

And fourteen bathrooms is just utterly ridiculous.  People are suffering in the world and while I don't lament anyone making money and spending it their way, I think the overkill of this is very Marie Antoinette and out of touch.  It also cements my decision not to watch these women.

I thought I was the only one...#TheBachelorette

I have a visceral reaction to Jake Pavelka.  I cannot stand the man.  I think he's abusive and single for a dang reason.  When they're talking about him, like who is he dating on Twitter, I am thinking, who cares?  Be glad it's not you!  

He's 38.  He apparently has a job and starred on "The Bachelor."  The reason he is still single is because his personality SUCKS.  Oh, I know those are strong words.  Certainly not kind, but every time I think of the abuse he hurled at HIS pick, Vienna, I want the women of America to unite against his crazy-making, gaslighting, narcissistic ways.  Now, it seems, they have and I finally feel vindicated.

There's an entire article in the Washington Post on why Twitter went nuts at the sight of Jake on our Bachelorette premiere.


Quite frankly, I didn't think Chris Harrison's appearance on this episode was much better.  He clearly didn't like Vienna, and he allowed a woman to be cut down to nothing on national television.  That was bullying, and I'm sure Vienna has learned.  Something tells me, Jake is a learning experience for a lot of women.

My First Impression Rose goes to...#TheBachelorette

I love JoJo as the Bachelorette and how all the masculine men are coming out of the woodwork for her.  Who knew there were that many left in America? 

Because I'm a Marine mom, I have to select Alex (the Marine and a twin) for my first impression rose.  Someone, not sure who, made fun of Alex for being short.  You know what, dude?  Say that to his face.  We'll see how his height holds him back.  While he was out defending your country?  You were probably home with the Bachelorette Super Fan eating ice cream and tearing up! My Marine is 6'3" and he could take you down with one hand, but trust me, so could Alex.  Height is not an issue.

My daughter liked Jordan.  Until...Luke entered the picture and rode in on a white horse.  (Unicorn) He even called himself a country boy.  Jordan and JoJo seem to have a good connection though, so I'm going to predict he'll be hanging around.  He's from Chico.  She's from Texas. They seem good together.

Jordan comes back to make his move.  They're really cute together and he gets the first real kiss.  I love how she goes on about his butt and how she needs to do some squats.  She's so real.

The SuperFan annoys the heck out of me.  Why is he there?  And who would admit to that? I don't think I'd even admit to that.

Will, the DJ with "All for One" behind him needs to go.  Even a romantic serenade isn't enough.

I can't tell if Chad from Oklahoma is dark energy or light.  I'll wait on him.  Leaning towards no.

Daniel is the first to get drunk, which makes him sound more Canadian and go off on the Dayum Daniel viral video. He pokes another man's belly button, then starts stripping off his clothes. We then get a parade of drunk men invading JoJo's confessional time.

 INTERRUPTION:  My daughter just asked me, "Can I go to a goat farm with Caitlyn this weekend?  We're going to make goat cheese." 

How random is that? California is so weird. One minute I'm watching drunk men in underwear stumble across my television screen, the next I'm making plans for goat farms.

 Back to the show.  Ali is playing the piano and he's great at it.   

Santa is attractive. No one was expecting that.

All the guys think they got the first impression rose.  Which is how the Bachelor differs from the Bachelorette.  No one is overthinking what they said wrong, or did poorly.  They all think they're God's gift to women and expectant of that rose.

James seems sweet.

My daughter is now more in love than ever with Luke because he brought her boots. My daughter thinks we're in Texas and wears cowboy boots and a Stetson everyday.  Luke gets Elle's first impression rose, but Jordan gets JoJo's. They have a natural chemistry.

I thought "hipster" would win for the best job title tonight, but I'm going to have to go with Evan's title: Erectile Dysfunction Specialist.  Just no.

Oh heck no.  FARQUAT is back.  I abhor Farquat!  Jake Pavelka is back.  I love the guys talking.  They're like, "How old is that dude?"

Right?  He's STILL single for a reason, not a season, ladies! But he is there to offer advice only.  Why would he offer advice?  The one guy who was borderline abusive on the aftershow is going to offer anyone romantic advice?  I think not.


Luke the cowboy!

Will, James T., Dwight, Derek, Christian, Chad (gonna guess he's the villain this season) Jake, Alex the Marine OORAH!, Robby ??, Brandon (needs a haircut), James, Ali, Santa, Will, James S. (The superfan who must be a producer pick.)  Vinny.  (Vinny looks like a sociopath!) Evan, Daniel. I can only assume that is for entertainment purposes. 

Going home: Kilt guy Jonathan, some guy who looks high, Peter from Chicago who is still the gentleman.

Okay, it looks like a great season.  

 From the previews, Chad has the roid rage.

Revenge is never worth your time and energy #BillO'Reilly

I've been talking to my kids about revenge and what an utter waste of time and energy it is.  Karma, or as we say in the Bible, you reap what you sow, ALWAYS comes around.  Let's take the case of two (most likely) narcissists and their divorces.

The first narcissist, Donald Trump, was so blatant in his affair, that he actually brought his mistress (Marla Maples) along on a family ski trip to Aspen. Said mistress confronts wife Ivana, a divorce ensures and Donald moves onto marry Marla.  Naturally, that marriage doesn't work out.  So Trump pays off wife number two and moves on to wife number 3, Melania.  


Donald let it go. He paid the exes off and moved on with his new life.  As did his exes.  Now that he's running for president, the exes are relatively silent on the Donald.  It's only money and he can make more.  In turn, he's happy as a clam.  That, my friends, is moving forward, not getting caught in a whirlwind loop of revenge and being right. (FYI, I am in no way saying to live your life like Donald Trump.  I'm only saying let's compare him to another narcissist.)

Narcissist #2 is Bill O'Reilly of Fox News.  Bill is a dirtball of epic proportion who sexually-harassed women at work.  Yet, when his wife of 14 years left him and started a new relationship, Bill couldn't take the blow to his ego.  He had to get back.  She received a $10 million payout -- which, I'm sorry, but that seems cheap to me if you have to be married to Bill O'Reilly, who clearly has an anger issue. She began dating her now husband during their legal separation.  O'Reilly is now suing his ex-wife for $10 million, saying she had an affair while still married (but separated) and used the money of their agreement to finance her relationship.


Let's look at some facts in this case that prove to me Bill O'Reilly is hellbent on revenge and can't let his ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy, live in peace.

  1. Their divorce was FINAL in 2011.  It's 2016 -- dude, move on!
  2. She has full custody of their two children.  One of whom testified against her father in court.  She said that daddy had dragged her mommy down a staircase by the neck. He denied the charges, but the fact remains, his ex-wife clearly wanted to leave him and he didn't think she had the right.
  3. In 2013, O'Reilly brought in the Catholic church (allegedly) by telling them that though his ex-wife was divorced and remarried, she was still taking communion.  She got a letter of chastisement from her church.  (Because apparently, they didn't stone her as O'Reilly might have wished.)
  4. Bill O'Reilly makes $18 million a year.  $10 million to support his ex-wife and two children is a drop in the bucket.  This is about revenge.

Now, let's compare lives, shall we?  Trump is running for president and going on about his merry way with his new wife and son.  O'Reilly is 66 years old and battling a woman who he's been divorced from for over 5 years.  Someone is cutting their nose off to spite their face.  Take a lesson from the Donald.  Move on.

So I asked my kids, how do you want to spend your years on this earth?  Embroiled in an ugly battle that takes you down with it?  Or happy?  Bill O'Reilly, you seem like a miserable human being.  Let your ex-wife go and find some peace.  I'll bet you could afford to buy an island.  Why don't you buy an island?


Let's Talk about Madonna's Tribute to Prince...


It was bad, sure.  Madonna doesn't have the voice or the range to sing Prince.  Nor does she have the capacity to appreciate his genius, most likely.  But that didn't stop her.  Because Madonna loves Madonna and believes she can do anything.  I LOVE to sing Prince at the top of my lungs in the car.  (Ask my kids.)  I think I may sound better.  I could be wrong, of course, but we'll never know.  The Billboard Awards decided, hey, this old chick from the 80's is still around.  Let's get her!

And so it was...

My Version of Romance Vs. My Daughter's...

I grew up on a steady diet of Jane Austen.  I'll admit it.  I'm a "sapiosexual" -- love me a smart man. Mr. Darcy was my downfall.  My daughter, however, loves a cowboy.  A much more marketable hero.  If only I'd gone that route...


Last night, we watched, "When Harry Met Sally" -- one of my favorite movies.  Elle could not understand Mike Wizowski as a hero. She's like, "Every time he talks in the car and I can't see him,  I'm just seeing Mike Wizowski and I want Sully." 

(I just watched "Monsters, Inc." for the first time last week.  How cute is that movie?) 


Back to romance.  So Elle says, "They're driving me nuts.  All this talking.  Why can't they just get together already?"

I said, "This dialog is gold.  Nora Ephron wrote it!"

She said, "Here's how a romance should go:  They meet.  They fall in love.  Someone they love, dies.  The end."

That's right.  The girl is a Nicholas Sparks' fan.  


It's a different world out there.  I feel old.

Dickens' Wife Catherine

I've always been fascinated by Charles Dickens' wife, Catherine.  She bore him ten children, came from an upper-crust family compared to his own, and ultimately, divorced him.  Though he left to live with his young mistress, Ellen Ternan, his children struggled with their own success in their father's shadow.  What fascinates me about the story is that Charles married her because he desired what she had -- a good family.  Free of the shame of debtor's prison in his own childhood. Instead, he didn't fix anything, he just made money and thought that would fix his "daddy" issues.  It only created more, sadly.

The Worthless Brood of Charles Dickens

When I read the above article, Charles Dickens sounds bipolar, quite frankly.  Unstable most certainly.  I'm sure his father's continual debt problems were simply a different way of dealing with manic highs.  That's my armchair diagnosis, which is worthless, but it makes sense to me. When he left Catherine, it is said that he banished her from their home. Never a great father, he did his best to get the children to side with him.


No doubt, Charles was a complicated man. Probably didn't see any of his troubles being his own doing, but now, the truth about Catherine is surfacing.  That she was a happy-go-lucky girl who probably fell under the weight of the responsibility for her home and many children. It's amazing to me how we forget that a great author could not have written had his wife not taken over his responsibilities to  the family.  We just see the hero.  Not the heroine behind him -- who enabled him in more ways than one.  

According to a new book by her great-great-great-granddaughter Lucinda Hawksley, Catherine was also an author, an actress and a cook -- all  of who she was became eclipsed by the great weight of being married to Charles Dickens.  

Catherine Dickens by Lucinda Hawksley

What fascinates me most about this story is that Dickens had an opportunity, through is talent and lack of financial worries, to create the family he dreamed of.  Instead, he made a right mess out of his own family and then disappeared into the sunset with his mistress.  Meanwhile, the quiet Catherine did her best to raise the family, giving up her dreams and aspirations most likely.  I find this story so sad because for all his character brilliance, Dickens never got what was wrong with his own.  I suppose that's true of most of us, but I think Catherine should have her due.  

Jane Austen, First -- Parenting, Second...

First off, you should know, I literally NEVER plan anything for myself.  It's rare.  My life is usually based on my kids' schedules and that's kind of pathetic.  So there's a new Jane Austen movie out today and my oldest and I planned to see it this morning.  It's based on Lady Susan, which isn't my favorite, but I imagine the screenwriters did a great job with Jane's dark humor. And Jane is Jane.

So what happens?  My kids tell me they're out at noon today.  And son needs a haircut and a corsage for prom.  Daughter needs to get up to take care of her horse.  You know what I told them?  Wait for it....

YOU CAN FREAKING WAIT!  Mom is going to the movies!  They looked at me like I'd grown a third eye in the middle of my forehead.

They both looked at me, shocked.  Like, how dare I have a life?  I mean, is that a life really?  Going to the movies on a Friday morning?  It's still the slightest bit sad when you're comparing it to an actual social life. 

My kids are not toddlers. They are all adults, save one.  Perhaps I should have taken a stand earlier, you say.  Perhaps I should have.  The important thing is that I'm using my sword of protection today.


Let's hope the movie inspires me to finish my book quickly and move on to the next one.  Oh, Barbour put out a rerelease of one of my older novels.  It's in the Valiant Hearts Collection.  Look for it at Wal-Mart and online. : ) 



Foiled again by cute shoes!

My Tory Burch crab espadrilles came yesterday.  They are darling!  Even cuter in person, but alas, they run big.  I had to send them back to get a smaller size.  I'm just whining here because it prevents me from looking at the edits I need to fix.  



My son is home from college and he gets the Brit sense of humor, so he's going with me tomorrow to see "Love & Friendship."  So excited about that.  I hope it doesn't mean I have to pay him back by watching a Star Wars installment, but I will if I have to.


Just to make this post more random than ever.  (Yes, I'm ADD today, all right?  Sue me.)  At the Chinese bakery nearby, they do this thing where they sell "Tea Eggs."  Which is really rather brilliant if you think of it.  You get your caffeine and your protein in one fell swoop.  It looks disgusting (but smells like a good, black tea.)  And everyday, they're sold out, but I have yet to see someone buy one.  One of these days, I'll try one.