Can’t Explain

What does it say about American media, when David Letterman has to be asking the tough questions? Gotta love Dave for saying what everyone’s thinking to McCain’s face.  McCain still gives his stock answers, but Dave still pushes him hard.  Make sure you note the song the band plays as McCain takes the stage.


Palin Debate Camp

This is a couple days old, but I just found it today.  Pretty funny.



I was out with some women friends the other night, and one of them complimented another on her fabulous shoes.  The shoe lady said, “Thanks, I bought them as revenge when Scott took that golf trip to Arizona last month.”  I was like, WHAT???  I don’t get that. Are we the chicks from Desperate Housewives?  Who thinks like that? Who buys an expensive item to take vengeance on a spouse?  That makes no sense to me.  Isn’t his money your money?  If you end up without the funds to pay the mortgage because you spent $600 on shoes, are you not both out on the street?  And besides, did Scott really care?  Did that $600 really make a dent in his Porche-driving pocket?

Silly girl.

Park It

Glorious day today.  Planning to spend most of it in the park.  We went yesterday, and it was perhaps the best day we ever had there.  J latched onto some little kid, and the two of them spent hours on a blanket in the shade, pouring over the science section in J’s Brain Quest workbook. T3 ran with a bunch of kids his age, getting out all of his surplus energy, and Ee did what she usually does, the swing and slide circuit.

This morning, Ee and T3 were watching Hi-5 on Discovery Kids.  They love this show, for some reason.  To me, it seems like a bad high school musical.  Same kind of production values, I guess.  Plus, there are only 20 or 25 shows total, and Discovery runs them ten times a week.  Ten times a week!!  Do you have any idea how many times my kids have seen these then?  They know all the songs and moves by heart. How many three-year-olds do you know who can do jazz hands?  Mine does.  It’s cute, but in some ways, kind of frightening. Anyway, Ee says that she likes Karla on the show, and T3 says, “You can’t like Karla.  She steals other people’s songs sometimes.”  What??





Don’t you wish you had this much time on your hands?


Wish I had that many Legos too.


This is kind of funny too.

Let Me Ask You Something

How freaking funny is this?

Good to Be Home

Just got back from a fabulous week at the beach.  Good family time, with near-perfect weather.

One of my mental snapshots is a moment when I was getting dressed for the beach, and T3 pointed to my exposed bikini area and said, “Mom, you’re growing hair. Are you going to become a man?” 

It was a surprisingly relaxing vacation though.  The kids got into a groove on the beach, playing with other kids and boogie boarding.  Ee would play a bit, then get her ice cream before sacking out totally under the umbrella for like three hours.  It was awesome.

At night, after the kids were in bed, Manfrengensen and I got into Mad Men, every night ON DEMAND, which was really compelling. We watched the whole season in a week. Reminded us a lot of The Sopranos in its tone and sense of morality.  We both found the character of Peter totally sleazy and disturbing. Kind of wished Don had gone Tony Soprano on that guy and kicked his ass.  All in all, very well-written with interesting characters and attention to authentic period props and sets. Can’t wait to see the new season starting June 27th.

In addition to the quality TV-time, Manfrengensen also read a couple of books, and I got about a third of the way into Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

The boys started camp today, and they both loved it. I had thought that just having Ee all day would be so easy, but it turned out that we had QUITE A DAY together…I think she wanted to stick close to home, but I had to go grocery shopping. She was not at all happy with me, even though I took her out for lunch. That was the best part of the day, the only time she was smiling at me.  Just sitting next to her in the booth as she ate her grilled cheese was so much fun.  She was happy, and every once in a while, she would lean over and press her forehead against mine, smiling and looking deeply into my eyes.  Then when we left, she was back to asserting her independence, which is good, but you know, it takes patience to deal with sometimes.

She spent the rest of the day pulling out things (with a preference for things with multiple parts) and leaving them on the floor. Then when I asked her to help clean it up, she would say, “No, you.” Pretty much anything I asked her to do, get her clothes, find her cup when she wanted more milk, whatever, the response I got was, “No, you.” And in between that, she would stall with this kind of escalating sing-songy two-syllable “Why?” as in  Ee can you please put your shoes on? “Why-y?” Because we have to go out. “Why-y?” Because we need groceries. “Why-y?” Because we need them for dinner tonight. “Why-y?” And the line would continue until…until she broke me.

The day flew by, and then the boys were home again.  She was thrilled to see them, and the three of them went right upstairs to play with cars, dolls, and other toys they’d been missing.  It was great!  Whatever they did, they all got along and didn’t need me to mediate at all.  It’s great when everyone plays nice.


And the Award Goes To…

Isobel Stevens/Katherine HeiglGrey’s Anatomy‘s Katherine Heigl for having the guts to call it like she saw it. Ms. Heigl withdrew her name from consideration for this year’s Emmy Awards, because she felt the material that was written for her character, Izzy Stevens was not good enough.

Read the story here: Heigl Shuns Emmys

Good for her!  She’s so right.  The plot line for her character was awful this season.  The writers and producers took her down a path that was so wrong that it was almost insulting to viewers. I guess it started last season, but after a fight with his wife, George O’Malley got drunk with Izzy and they slept together.  Then this season, based on their vague memories of an “amazing” sexual experience, he decided to leave his wife to pursue a relationship with Izzy, which totally didn’t work out.  The two of them spent weeks trying to make an awkward love affair work, and it was awful to watch.  It made me cringe, and in fact, I stopped watching until the season finale.

Heigl herself said in a recent interview that she felt the affair was nothing more than a “ratings ploy.”  I also felt like when the producers realized the viewers thought the relationship was wrong, then they abandoned the story.  How are we, as viewers, supposed to invest in these stories and relationships that go nowhere? (More below)

And other than that, what did Izzy have to do this season?  After rolling around unsuccessfully with George, biting her lip and trying to avoid his wife for a few episodes, she was basically relegated to a background character, standing around with a clip board and working between the real action of Meredith/Derek and George/Lexi.

Izzy’s an interesting character.  She worked her way through med school by modeling, she’s got an illigitimate daughter that she’s never seen, but the writers don’t work with that.  Instead, they use the sex and throw her in bed with George.

Private PracticeSome have speculated that Heigl may actually be working to find a way out of her contract with the show, another smart move, if you ask me.  Shondaland seems like it must be the cattiest place in the world to work. The show itself is super-chicky, to the point that the men are plastic and one-dimensional, mere eye candy, and this fall’s Private Practice looks like it’s going to be even worse in that department.  Anyway, the writing In Shondaland is so…whatever the opposite of misogynistic is..that I could swear in Season Two of Grey’s that the writers were just trying to find ways to make male genitalia suffer.  Sometimes it seemed like they made up conditions just to be able to use the word “penis” on the air.  It was all very Elaina Bobbitt.

But back to the chicky nature of Shondaland.  I still don’t understand why Isaiah Washington had to leave the show.  Yes, he said a stupid and regrettable thing.  Yes, he brought it up again at the Emmys, again, stupid and regrettable, but he apologized. He tried to make amends.  He went to counseling, did his service, jumped through all the hoops the media or whoever demanded he jump through, and then, he was fired in the end.

Think about it — again, yes, what he said was stupid and regrettable, but if we fired everyone who said something stupid or regrettable in their work place, wouldn’t the economy collapse?

And really, I don’t care about any of that as a viewer of the show.  As far as I can see, those in Shondaland should have been jumping for joy over the attention all the controversy brought to the show, but instead, they held a grudge, and wrote him out.

And that sucked.  Because as a viewer, I spent three freaking seasons rooting for Burke to win Christina, to get her to open up to him and give him the love he deserved for being so patient with her crazy shit.  So then what happened?  I the shocking season 3 finale, he left her at the altar.  Didn’t make any sense at all, given the story arc of the show, and as a viewer with the kind of emotional investment I just described, I felt like we’d all gotten the shaft.  The whole thing was completely unprofessional.  No respect for the viewers at all.

So any way, my hat’s off to Katherine Heigl.  I know ultimately, these things don’t matter, but I still respect her for respecting herself and her craft.


I am officially finished with this show.



I Love the Smell of Napalm in the Morning

Bad MorningHave I mentioned that I am not good in the morning?  Plus it doesn’t help that I am currently addicted to MySims, and even though I quit playing it at 11:30, my brain kept going until almost two.  Ee woke me up at 6:30, insisting not only that I let her get out of her crib, but also that I dress her in full Cinderella regalia, and I couldn’t find the shoes. Tired.

Lately I have taken to muttering f-bombs under my breath when they are not in the room, which I know is not a good thing because one day, I’m going to turn around and one of them will be behind me wanting to know what that means, and I will feel even worse for muttering.

I wish I could be more like Manfrengensen.  He’s more the patient, nurturing parent.  He’s Father Teresa. I’m just a crazy mom.

Ee’s watching Dora the Explorer now. She likes those Super Babies.  Try getting that song out of your head.


The crazy thing is, that’s not the worst song on the show.


Anyway, the carpenter is here working on our shower.  We have run into some other issues.  Turned out that we couldn’t take the walls out because a pipe was running through one of them.  We could have removed just one of them, but then it would have looked kind of asymmetrical, so we are leaving it.  The carpenter is here replacing the floor that the plumber had to cut into to replace the drain.  The plumber removed the pan that lined the floor under the old tile.  The thing was made of lead.  Who knows how old it was.

Yeah, kind of on the negative side today, so I guess I will tackle the George issue.


The Case Against Grey’s Anatomy

(Part 3)

Are they kidding us with how many women fall for George O’Malley?  In the first season, he was pining for Meredith, but of course, she was off chasing McDreamy.  But then, somehow in a drunken and vulnerable moment, she slept with him.  Ew.  Then in the second season, he started messing Meredith, George, Izziearound with Callie, and eventually married her.  She claimed George was her McDreamy.  But then he had an affair with Izzie, which was actually one drunken night that they tried to build on (can you ever really build something solid on a foundation of a drunken night though?) so he left Callie O’Malley and tried to make it work with Izzie, which of course, it didn’t.  Now, he has moved into a platonic living situation with Meredith’s sister Lexi, and Lexi is pining for George. Ew.

There is way to much swinging of partners round and round in this show.  I can’t keep up any more.  All of it means nothing, adds up to nothing.  I just don’t care about any of them.

It’s like the writers are running a political campaign.  They try their ideas, find the polls don’t like them, then they abandon the course and try something else.  But what I feel like as a viewer is that I can’t invest in any of these story lines.  It’s just going to be abandoned in the end.  They all go nowhere.  Waste of time.

Next up, my final random thoughts on Grey’s Anatomy….


One last thing. Sad about Sydney Pollack. He was one of my favorite directors, and I loved him in Tootsie.




Weekend Getaway

The summer has begun in earnest, and we are down at my dad’s beach house, a wonderful place where the family comes together in a completely dust-free environment.  It’s fun, though Manfrengensen says it’s like Gattica. If you shed an eyelash, they’ll find it.  If you leave a glass unattended on the counter, when you come back from the bathroom it will be gone.  Stepmom is cool, but very fastidious, and it’s her place, so them’s the rules.  Saturday night I left my sweater and jacket downstairs, and her first words to me Sunday morning were about all my “jazz,” which I immediately took upstairs, feeling sorry and somewhat criminal.  It’s nothing personal, it’s just her thing, and sometimes I wonder if her thing might be borderline OCD.  But she’s got other things too, and some of them are actually good.

Will SmithMy brother and I watched The Pursuit of Happyness Saturday night, which I have to say was pretty good in a way that brought about the appropriate emotional responses in me at the appropriate moments.  I cried at the end, though I thought it was too abrupt.  They spend almost two hours bringing you down into this guy’s spiral, and then in the end, hooray he makes it, hugs his kid, and the credits roll.

Saturday night Manfrengensen and I came in from our ice cream walk to a dark house.  Everyone had gone to bed, so we figured we would set the alarm for the night.  Well, of course, I pushed the wrong buttons, and the thing started beeping, beeping like the countdown on Fox’s 24,  My brother was coming down the stairs as we fiddled with the buttons, the thing beep, beep, beep, beep.  I hit the right combination bomband the thing stopped.  He said, without turning, in that dry, deadpan, monotone way he has, “Did you cut the red wire or the blue?”

We’ll see if this moment is any kind of harbinger to what kind of summer it’s going to be with 10 people sharing a house.

It’s great to be with my brother, who is now in his forties (as am I). He’s been sick with a cold, and the cough is lingering.  How many times this weekend did I hear that cough and assume it was my father?  My brother is a lot like him, and that is a wonderful thing.

Back to Grey’s Anatomy

(Part 2 of the series)

So, anyway, more about Grey’s Anatomy,  specifically Meredith and Derek.  First of all, Derek can do SO MUCH BETTER than Meredith.  I don’t know if it’s the way Ellen Pompeo plays her or the way she’s written, but Meredith Grey is the most whiney, annoying character ever written for prime time television. It’s been four seasons, and rather than getting her shit together, Meredith just seems to get worse and worse as far as emotional train wrecks go.

Several times over the course of this series, the writers have threatened Meredith’s life.  She had a burst appendix, she almost let herself drown, etc.  Each time, I didn’t feel like the drama was real.  I just didn’t believe they’d kill off the title character. Not in this case.  Not for this series.  But, man, did I pray that they would.

Meredith DerekSo now she’s in therapy with some doctor in the hospital who apparently has no other patients, because Meredith seems to just burst in to the woman’s office whenever she has an emotional epiphany, which apparently happens several times a day.  Are we to believe that the shrink is just sitting around waiting for Meredith to work it out and come back to her?  This doctor appears to have a lot of time, perhaps too much time on her hands for filing.  That’s no kind of shrink.  No wonder Meredith is still such a mess.

So at the end of the season, a season in which Meredith and Derek have mostly been apart, and Derek has been dating a nice, patient, understanding nurse (I liked Rose.  Rose is cool.  Rose could see the writing on the wall.  She was cautious, but she couldn’t help loving McDreamy.  Who could?  I ask you, who could? He’s the Loverboy.), Meredith shows up at the end of the episode and does this sappy romantic thing, so we can assume they are getting back together.  A lot of fans of the show are mooning over this moment, but I’ve got to tell you that it made me want to GAG.


Next, why is George such a chick magnet?….



The Case Against Grey’s Anatomy

(Part One of a Series)


First of all, let me just say that I have to doubt this show is guided by any experts in the medical field.  It reminds Manfrengensen of that line in Toy Story where Sid says, “No one’s every tried a double bypass brain transplant before!”  Some time ago, Meredith and McDreamy broke up (more on that later) and in order to keep their sexual tension alive, the writers contrived this plot line where the two are working on a clinical trial in which they attempt to shrink brain tumors by injecting them with a viral cocktail.  (Interestingly, this is kind of the plot of a novel by Allegra Goodman called Intuition.)

Grey's Anatomy Season 4


In last night’s “shocking season finale,” they claimed to have “killed” 11 patients thus far in the trial.  They had two kids they were going to operate on.  The kids were in love.  They were virgins.  Her parents wanted to keep them apart.  They wanted to try sex before they died, so McDreamy and Meredith guard the door to one of their hospital rooms McDreamywhile the kids do it.  Like McDreamy (remember, he’s a neurosurgeon — last season he was up for Chief of Surgery for Pete’s sake) has nothing better to do? Doesn’t he have other patients he needs to be worrying about?

So the kids get it on, and there’s a tearful goodbye where the boy tells the girl, (get your vomit bag ready here) “I won’t die.  I’m not finished loving you yet.”  I’m not finished loving you yet. And then he croaks on the table. Meredith and McDreamy go back to the girl and her parents to ready them for her surgery.  They tell her that no one has lived through it yet, but they are going to “adjust the viral cocktail” and hope that she will make it.  Adjust the viral cocktail??? The same night?  Are they kidding me?  I mean, wouldn’t the FDA require that they test said cocktail on lab animals at any time during this trial?  You can’t just go around injecting humans with viruses in hopes that something will happen.  STUPID.  Stupid plot line with no basis in reality.  None.  Why don’t you just give her a double bypass brain transplant while you’re at it?

Tomorrow, the case against Meredith and Derek “The Legend”….