Friday, July 24, 2009

SMA Friday!

...already! It never fails to amaze me, the amount of Hugh there is on the internet. I think this one was taken on he and Tracey's wedding day?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Because he's ANCIENT!

I noted this on facebook, but it cracks me up so much I'm putting it on my blog too. (If I manage to get it up on Twitter is that like a social networking hat trick?)

We were at my dad's house yesterday. The Ellen Show came on the TV. (Because the television is never off at my dad's house.) It was Ellen's birthday, and all kinds of celebrities sent video messages. All of the sudden DD1 turns towards the TV because one of the stars has caught her attention.

"George Clooney? Is he still around?"

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Blog

So, here's the deal. There are two shows on reality TV shows that I watch every season without fail. One is Bravo's Project Runway (which after a long delay premiers on August 20th) and the other is HGTV's Design Star (which premiered last night).

I follow these two shows, and I do recaps on them which usually contain my unflattering and somewhat judgemental comments. Am I qualified to fire away at these people? No. Not even remotely. Which, I think you'll agree, makes it even more fun. I had posted my recaps on this blog last year, but they are lengthy and not really related to what I usually talk about here. Which is Hugh Jackman. Who has never been on either show as far as I know.

Anyway, I started a new blog and if you watch these shows with me this summer we'll have a lot of fun over on My Selective Reality.

Join me over on the dark side!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Walter Cronkite

When I was a child the voice of the evening news was Walter Cronkite. The evening anchor for the CBS News, he was invited in to our household every night. I didn't revere him as a child - because to me the News was an interruption to Gilligan's Island or The Brady Bunch... I hated watching the News. But my parents loved the News, and Walter Cronkite was an evening fixture at our house. As I stop and think about Mr. Cronkite, I wish I had been more aware of who he actually was, and what he represented to our society.

In 1963 (no, I wasn't born yet - but I remember my mother telling me about this), Walter Cronkite reported the death of John F. Kennedy to America:

(on air) the editor handed Cronkite the bulletin. Cronkite stopped speaking, put on his eyeglasses, looked over the bulletin sheet for a moment, took off his glasses, and made the official announcement:

"President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time." (glancing up at clock) 2 o'clock Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago."

After making that announcement, Cronkite paused briefly, put his glasses back on and swallowed hard to maintain his composure. There was noticeable emotion in his voice as he intoned the next sentence of the news report:

"Vice President Johnson *cough* has left the hospital in Dallas, but we do not know to where he has proceeded. Presumably, he will be taking the oath of office shortly and become the 36th president of the United States."

On February 27th, 1968, (in this very famous broadcast) Walter Cronkite correctly predicted that the war in Vietnam was not winnable:

Tonight, back in more familiar surroundings in New York, we'd like to sum up our findings in Vietnam, an analysis that must be speculative, personal, subjective. Who won and who lost in the great Tet offensive against the cities? I'm not sure. The Vietcong did not win by a knockout, but neither did we. The referees of history may make it a draw. Another standoff may be coming in the big battles expected south of the Demilitarized Zone. Khe Sanh could well fall, with a terrible loss in American lives, prestige and morale, and this is a tragedy of our stubbornness there; but the bastion no longer is a key to the rest of the northern regions, and it is doubtful that the American forces can be defeated across the breadth of the DMZ with any substantial loss of ground. Another standoff. On the political front, past performance gives no confidence that the Vietnamese government can cope with its problems, now compounded by the attack on the cities. It may not fall, it may hold on, but it probably won't show the dynamic qualities demanded of this young nation. Another standoff.

We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds. They may be right, that Hanoi's winter-spring offensive has been forced by the Communist realization that they could not win the longer war of attrition, and that the Communists hope that any success in the offensive will improve their position for eventual negotiations. It would improve their position, and it would also require our realization, that we should have had all along, that any negotiations must be that -- negotiations, not the dictation of peace terms. For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. This summer's almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation; and for every means we have to escalate, the enemy can match us, and that applies to invasion of the North, the use of nuclear weapons, or the mere commitment of one hundred, or two hundred, or three hundred thousand more American troops to the battle. And with each escalation, the world comes closer to the brink of cosmic disaster.

To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy's intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.

This is Walter Cronkite. Good night.

Walter Cronkite was the man that reported to us in 1969 that man had landed on the moon.
Walter Cronkite was the voice we heard reporting Watergate and the resignation of an American President.
When something important happened on the world's stage during my childhood, it was Walter Cronkite who reported on it.

Walter Cronkite died yesterday at the age of 92. May he rest in peace and may his family be comforted at the knowledge that we are all impacted by his death, and send our blessings in their time of sorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2009

SMA Friday!

Just under the wire! Almost forgot it was Friday!!!
Here's our hot Hugh:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 14th

My mom always liked Bastille Day... because she was born on Bastille Day!

Happy Birthday, Mom. I hope they have excellent chocolate cake where you are!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Finally took the girls to see UP.

I'm not going to lie - I sobbed through the entire first 10 to 15 minutes... and then intermittently choked up throughout the rest of the movie. (Seriously, I spent the first 15 minutes thinking, "This is a DISNEY movie?" Bambi has NOTHING on this one in the realm of lump in the throat and unabashed tears.) The animation was crazy cool, and the story was touching, funny, sad, clever, magical, happy, and beautiful. The characters were amazingly "real". Doug was endearing, trying so hard and he was so genuinely loving. I've had dogs like that, and would love for my dogs to have a collar like that. How much fun! Plus, the old man was hilarious, in part because he reminded me of my dad in a way. My dad? Would totally send that kid out snipe hunting.

It was a great movie, but I think the old man losing his wife before he was ready hit a little too close to home for me. Every time he crossed his heart I cried. DD2 kept leaning over to pat me on the arm, and DD1 would whisper in my ear while giving me a squeeze, "It'll get better mom, just hang in there." How funny, that now they can comfort me instead of it always being the other way around. Sometimes I get to see a side of them that surprises me, and I'll always remember UP being one of those experiences.

P.S. My SMA post back in May that featured the SMA and his wife? Has been hit 39 times in the last 13 hours - mostly from Europe. All over Europe, not one little clumping of a specific country. Why??

Friday, July 10, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to decorating the bedroom...

Because y'all thought I'd be ON that by now, right? I have the bedding, I even have the bed. I need to get some stuff from the container store for turning her shelving unit in to a desk unit, remove the Pooh wall border, and make a stop at the paint store... but the Ipod docking station is bought by golly!

HOWEVER... before I decorate that room, I have to empty the closet that I've been storing things in since the girls were babies. (It was the nursery - and what newborn needs an entire closet? Half of it is taken up with storage... well more like 3/4.) I cannot leave my stuff there, as when you are nine you can easily fill an entire closet with your wardrobe.

Whats that you say? Move the stuff to the basement?

Therein lies a problem.

When we moved in, the basement was were we put boxes we would "get to later." During the nine years we've lived here the basement has been were we stored things, dumped stuff we had no place for, and where I'd lug tubs of "stuff" after a big cleanup. The desk with my main computer is down there, my photography stuff is down there, and the washer and dryer are down there. My friend, SA, has some stuff stored in our basement too, as she was already living in TX when her condo was sold. The extra stuff ended up in our basement. There was literally NO MORE ROOM for anything else.

So, on Monday night I started to sort. By Tuesday night we had several bags of trash (lawn and leaf size), lots of empty boxes, and a small Goodwill pile. By Wednesday night I had 5 more bags of trash, way too many more empty boxes, and a much larger Goodwill pile. Things that I need to work on AFTER I finish the initial sort would be the entire bin of pictures collected from about 15 different locations around the basement, a huge amount of stuff for Husband to keep or toss (technical stuff, mostly obsolete - but that isn't a decision I'll make), cables... hundreds of assorted cables, my grandmother's dishes all sorted out and stacked, one large box of mildewed bedding that I swear I have never seen before (Husband's from before I even knew him I think and I think it's headed for the dump), an entire copy paper box full of stuff to shred, and a drafting table that I haven't used since college but have moved to 6 different locations since graduating.

I am about halfway through the main room. This does not count the storage under the stairs that I am not dealing with at this time.

Hopefully I will be done with this unexpected "project" by Saturday.
Then I can start on the bedroom.

So, in essence, part of decorating my daughter's new bedroom is cleaning out the basement. Don't you hate it when that happens?

SMA Friday!

Ahhh, lets end this week on a good note, shall we?

Nothing says "have a great weekend" like a little Hugh!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Great New Book!

If you ever check the lists to the right, you'll see some of the blogs I follow. One of them is the QC Report, which I cannot recommend highly enough. Entertaining, well written, sometimes cerebral, honest, and funny. This is the blog of Quinn Cummings: Academy Award nominated actor, longtime Hollywood participant, and now a full time mom and inventor. When I heard she was writing a book, I waited until had it for pre-order and signed up. I received the book yesterday ("Notes from the Underwire, adventures from my awkward and lovely life"), and it does not disappoint! (I'm restraining myself to read it slowly... one or two chapters at a time and then force myself to put it down so I don't read through it too quickly - it's that good.) It's not a book about her Hollywood adventures, although they do not completely escape mention, but a book in which "she tackles the domestic and the delightfully absurd." If you're looking for celebrity snark? It isn't here. (Which I DID know before I purchased, btw!)

On her blog, Quinn opened herself up to questions in exchange for a blurb on that individual's website. Since I'd recommend her blog (and now book) to anyone without her doing such a thing, and you all know how nosy I am... well, I couldn't resist.

My question appeared on her blog today. I've cut and pasted it below - but you should really link over and read through her blog. You'll love it!

P.S. My question won't surprise any of you who have heard me rant about young Hollywood behavior! (example here)


It's a Dodi's Life asks:
Knowing what you know about the Hollywood lifestyle (from being a child star and later a casting agent), and seeing how some of the young actors Hollywood are tempted with excess, what would you say to your daughter if she asked if she could go into acting?

QC Report: If she couldn't breathe right unless she was acting, if you peeled apart her mitochondria and found "Performer" writ there, I'd still be very hesitant. I had a rock-solid upbringing and my mother didn't confuse me with an ATM and I still consider myself damn lucky I got out intact. Fortunately, I believe my daughter has other paths drawing her.
posted by Quinn Cummings at 10:12 PM

Thank you, Quinn!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Why your children shouldn't read "fantasy" genre books...

I blame Harry Potter.

Today DD2 wanted a powdered sugar donut for breakfast (luckily we had a couple of donettes on hand, leftover from the weekend). She's happily eating a donut while I was making her sister some peanut butter toast.

Then all hell broke loose. I didn't hear the first sentence... because I'm trying to set a personal best for time spent ignoring my children this Summer, and I pretty much zone them out unless they are loud.*

DD2 (screeching): "Don't you ever say that to me again!"

DD1 (defensively, and loudly): "You DO have powdered sugar on your face! Mom! (DD2) has POWDERED SUGAR ALL OVER HER FACE!" (Wait, thinks mom, why are they fighting about that? I'm going to give them a moment... see where this takes us.)

DD2 (still screeching, not sure why): "YOU are going to have PEANUT BUTTER all over your face!"

DD1 (comes to a sudden halt, and begins practically hyperventilating): "MOM!!!! (DD2) is making PROPHECIES in the kitchen!! And you know no good can come of that!"

Suddenly we don't have predictions or obnoxious come-backs, we have prophecies. Her sister is now Sybil Trelawney and DD1 is the chosen one to bear nut butter on her face. This? Is my life.

(*This comment? Was a JOKE.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

SMA Friday

Here is Hugh, wishing Husband and I a Happy Eleventh Anniversary today! He looks good giving us well wishes, doesn't he??

Well, maybe he does look a bit upset - probably because he wasn't invited to the wedding.
You know, on the other hand, I think he might not be wishing us well at all... that isn't a "Hope you have many more happy years together!" look in his eye, is it? I think it's so sad when people can't be happy for other people. I'm disappointed Hugh, I really am.

(Have a great weekend, a safe 4th, and may the rain stop long enough for fireworks!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Messiest House

OK, on my facebook I joked about the episode of Clean House in which they found the messiest home in the country. Ha Ha Ha, and it wasn't MY house! Small victories taken where I can find them all all that, I have to laugh at how many of us can joke about our messy homes.

But this episode was really sad. The host of the show even cried, as it was so.... so.... much? There are seriously no words to describe how overwhelming it was. They had to stage the garage sale in an empty store, they had 5000 visitors to the sale, and they made OVER $17,000! (At garage sale prices... that is a lot of crap sold. Proceeds from the sale went to charity.) This woman had so much stuff in her attic that her living room ceiling was collapsing.

I downloaded a few pictures from The Cincinnati Enquirer to show you how messy your home isn't:

This is the living room...

The Home owner's bedroom...

The kitchen...

...and the basement. You could do a 360 degree turn and never see a wall.

The thing that bothered me isn't that they came in and helped this woman out. That doesn't bother me. I don't believe this show "rewards" people's bad habits - everyone needs a hand sometimes. What bothered me is that this isn't just a messy house. This isn't a woman that can start the flylady system and in 6-10 weeks be on top of her home. This is mental illness - and the show should have arranged for some counseling, because this isn't going away. This woman had to buy a third Christmas tree because she couldn't remember where she had stuffed the other two she already had. There were rodents living within the clutter in this basement, and the homeowner actually got mad at the end of all this. She was really upset that all of her stuff was gone - and I have not doubt that, since this episode was taped 3 months ago, she has started collecting again. She was "attached" to all of this junk; gift bags from 15 years ago, hundreds of blazers she never wore, stuff that was behind all that stuff in the basement that she hadn't seen in over 10 years - didn't even remember she had... she didn't want to let go of it. She'd "sort through it later, when (she) had time."

Now, I want you to know that I normally really like this show. Most of the people they help have portions of their homes that have gotten out of control with clutter, or they need help bouncing back after a personal trauma temporarily threw them off track... and they're really good at helping these people and their individual situations. I think Niecy Nash and the rest of the crew honestly want to help others. However, if they're going to help people they need to really help people. Have counselors and/or psychologists weed out who is mentally ill as opposed to who is just an over achiever at slack house keeping. Because if they don't? It doesn't matter how much furniture they give them or how pretty they leave it looking... it's exploitation. In the end they may not have helped this woman at all, not in ways that really matter.