Thursday, February 28, 2008

Movies Are Ruining My Love Life

I rented the new DVD release, "No Reservations" this past weekend. I'd seen it in the theater last summer, so I knew what I was getting into when I popped the disc in my DVD player.

The movie, a remake of the German film, "Mostly Martha," is about a very controlled chef, played by Catherine Zeta Jones, who due to the death of her sister, takes in her niece (Abigail Breslin) and has to accept the help of a new assistant chef in her kitchen, Nick, played by the extremely handsome and charming Aaron Eckhart.

As I cozied up on my couch for the 90 or so minutes of this film I found myself transported, transported to a place where men are just...perfect.

Eckhart's Nick is handsome, funny, irreverent and caring. As I watched the movie I kept thinking to myself, "Why can't I meet a guy like that?" Well, there's a reason: men like this do not exist anyplace except in the brains of female screenwriters. The film was co-penned by two women - and I'm betting two SINGLE women who themselves would love to meet a man like Nick.

The problem is no man can ever live up to a guy who loves your orphaned niece (in case you have one), will come to your house and cook for you, is strong and manly, yet sensitive and caring, sings opera for fun, and never watches sports - not that we see anyway.

I am convinced that romantic comedies have made it next to impossible for women to find love in their lives because no flesh and blood man can live up to the images we've been bombarded with since we first laid eyes on Prince Charming as little girls.

In a column, "Marry Me!" in this month's Atlantic Magazine, writer Lori Gottlieb contends that maybe women should settle and stop looking for the Nick's of the world. She says if you've hit 30 and want to have a family maybe you should stop be so picky already and marry the guy you're dating despite his shortcomings.

I'm well aware that at times I don't want to just be in love, I want to be in love in a movie. I want someone who is that perfect constellation of wonderful attributes - kind, loving, strong, can lift heavy things, funny, smart, ethical, looks out for me - yet doesn't try to control...yeah, he totally doesn't exist, but he does on film and in books.

I think the beginning of my adult downfall was Mr.Darcy, Jane Austen's male protagonist in "Pride and Prejudice." In the beginning he seems arrogant and, well, proud (something very bad back in the 1700 and 1800s) but as he falls in love with Elizabeth Bennett we see this other side of him - the side swept away by love. How can any man ever compete with the image of Mr.Darcy walking through the fog, high boots, coat flowing behind him, to coming to get Elizabeth?

Yeah, I'm pretty much ruined for love now. But maybe I have to realize, as I work on compromising, that I'm no Catherine Zeta Jones either. Apparently it's just all one big compromise, but that doesn't have to be all bad. Especially if he will trap the big scary bugs and always knows the correct answer to, "Do these jeans make me look fat?"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pee Wee Herman Sashi

This is my cat, Sashi - short for Great Warrior Musashi (my son, Ben named him).

Yesterday I got up in the morning fully planning to go to the gym, (really) but I noticed he wasn't acting quite right. Sashi and I spend a lot of time together, so I know his habits pretty well, and I observed he was having a bit of tough time peeing. Yes, this is what my life has been reduced to - knowing when my cat does or does not pee.

Knowing that male cats can develop urinary obstructions, I called the vet and took him down right away. Well, that's over-simplifying the getting him there process. Most cats somehow develop super-feline strength when faced with being shoved in a box that they instinctively know isn't going anywhere good. Luckily my vet isn't far, so the screeching express was relatively short.

The vet whisked him off, felt his belly and determined that he didn't have an obstruction, but they wanted to keep him for the day to get a urine sample from him. I'm no vet tech, but I knew this was more involved than asking him to pee in a cup. Hours later I called and they'd had no luck, but were sending him home with antibiotics and a new expensive food.

When I got there they informed me that I was going to need to get a sample from Sashi, and they gave me a product called "Nosorb" -black pellets that I use, well, the CAT uses instead of litter. I then have to, within 30 minutes, rush said sample to the vet's office. I cannot even begin to imagine how I will get him to do this. Or how I will then, like a pilot rushing a heart in a cooler to be transplanted, zoom there with my vial of cat urine.

I haven't attempted the urine catch yet, but I have managed to get a pill down the cat's gullet, so I have accomplished one task. I have no idea how I will fool him into peeing on something that he will clearly know is not his litter. This is a cat who, if I forget to scoop his litter that day will take a plastic bag and put it in the box to remind me. He's no dummy.

This is probably a good way to keep me humble and remember that Sashi does indeed seem to be the boss. Yesterday, while waiting to go pick him up I did two interviews - one with a Boston entertainment reporter, and one with Dr. Bernie Siegel. If for one minute I got feeling like this is pretty cool what I get to do for work, and aren't I kind of special,wrestling with my cat to take a pill and making my day about collecting his urine sure put me in my place.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's Oscar Day!

A few weeks ago here in New England, people spent a Sunday anticipating the Super Bowl. Well, that didn't turn out the way folks in this part of the country wanted, but I have to admit I was disappointed for a few minutes, but for me, life as I knew it went on pretty quickly.
Today is my Super Bowl Sunday, it's Oscar Sunday! The players don't physically get knocked around in quite the same way, (though all the endless Pilates classes, waxing and Botoxing are pretty rigorous) but for me it's much more exciting.
I wrote back in January about how sad I was when the Golden Globes award show was cancelled, and feared that the Oscars would meet the same demise. Thankfully the strike by the Writer's Guild of America ended two weeks ago and everything is normal in Hollywood once again. Well, as normal as anything ever is in Hollywood.
I had my appetite whetted for awards last night with the Independent Spirit Award show. This event has become one of my favorite award shows because since it's on cable, anything can happen. The host last night was Rainn Wilson, and we got to be mock-shocked by things like "Juno" scribe, Diablo Cody, using a word like mother****** in her acceptance speech for best first screenplay, and a short film starring Wilson with Dennis Hopper initiating him into the world or being an indie film star. Let's just say, making Wilson dress as cross-dressing hooker was one of the mildest tests he had to endure.
I think though that the biggest shock of the evening was Angelina Jolie revealing her much-anticipated baby bump - she really is pregnant folks! But if you look at the picture you may wonder what happened to Brad's pants - I think we all have an uncle who wore those very same pants back in 1973.
For me the festivities will begin at noon on E! where I will listen to people try to spin five hours of nothing other than workmen straightening the red carpet, maybe fashioning a cover if it still looks like rain into something interesting. And maybe we'll see some very crazy fans taking to the stands in hopes of catching glimpse of their favorite star hours later. Not exactly riveting television, but for me it's pre-game activity at its best.
There are a few things I'm waiting to see once the action gets started:
1.What will Clooney's girlfriend be wearing for her major red carpet premiere? Whatever it is I will be sure to feel very bad about the pajamas I'll be wearing at the same time while I'm thinking, "That so could have been me!" Well, maybe in an alternate universe it could be me.
2. I'm curious to see how Regis Philbin does on the red carpet. For a guy in his 70s Reege is still damn sharp, I'm betting he'll do great - and he sure as hell can't be worse than Joan Rivers.
3. Will E! have their "shoe cam"? This camera that starts at the stars feet and works its way up seems like something invented as a joke by the same kid who used to drop change on the floor in order to look up women's dresses.
4. Will Bjork be there and what the hell will she be wearing?
All right, I'd better get going. I've already been for a hike to get the blood flowing, but still need to shower, dress and find my special Oscar tiara that I always wear during the show. Don't judge me, we all have our own things we do to feel special. I don't come to your house and tell you you look stupid in that Tom Brady jersey, do I?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

There may be no free lunch, but George Clooney can come to my house anytime

I read this great article by Joel Stein in Time Magazine today about having George Clooney to dinner at his house in Los Angeles. My crush on George Clooney is well known to everyone who's ever talked to me or read anything I've written. I think he's... just wonderful. He's smart, self-deprecating, charming, funny, committed to helping others and hello, look at him!

What I found so charming about Stein's account of the several hours Clooney spent at his house was how down-to-Earth he was, and how he pitched right in when he heard a beeping sound coming from an unknown source. He got up on a ladder, flashlight in hand looked around Stein's attic, and checked out a breaker box in the basement. All this hands-on energy got me thinking; I think I need to have George come to my house for an interview. Not only would this big the biggest celebrity interview of my career, (apologies to Carly Simon, Ray Romano, Kathy Griffin, Anthony Michael Hall and all the other other celebrities I've interviewed and have now insulted) but I could also really use some help around my house, and now that George has shown himself willing and capable of performing household tasks it could be a win/win event for me anyway - George already has it all.

While I had some time I began jotting down some things he could do (it's only fair to give him a heads-up as to what will be involved so he has wardrobe options and brings the right tools) and have come up with I think the ultimate "Honey-do" list (a term I must admit I've always hated, but any chance to call George my honey I'll take).

1. I really don't like cleaning out my shower drain, it just kind of freaks me out a little. I'd love a break from this slimy task. Plus there would be the added bonus of seeing George on his hands and knees in my bathroom
2. A few years ago I had the brilliant idea of planting rambling roses in the front of my porch to, in theory, trail lovely pink roses around the railing. Well, they've rambled, tangled and hardly bloomed now making the porch look more Amittyville Horror and less lovely Cape Cod Cottage. They desperately need to be cut back, so bring some good gloves, George - they're thorny.
3. I bought a DVD player to have in my bedroom last summer and while I am fairly handy, I cannot get it to work, mostly because for some unknown reason, my TV refuses to leave channel 3. You're a big-time actor/producer/director George, you must have skills in this area. Then, if you like, we could perhaps hang out and watch a movie. I'm up for it if you are!
4. I have a back staircase with a very high ceiling where both lights have been burned out for months. This is a design flaw for sure because I cannot for the life of me, figure out how the hell to replace them. You're a smart guy George. I bet you could figure it out.
5. There was a scene in "Chocolat" where Johnny Depp, after checking out her screen door, says to Juliette Binoche, "I'll come by to take that squeak out of your door." There was something about the way he said it that you just knew this had nothing to do with a door. George, you can come by anytime to take the squeak out of my door.

I'm thinking that since Joel Stein did the whole dinner thing that I should do something different. I'm thinking milk and cookies - I make great chocolate chip cookies. There's nothing more innocent than milk and cookies, right?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Scott Baio has taken my brain hostage

I think I have the writer's strike to blame for my current problem. Yeah, it's all their fault. Left to my own devices with no well-written stories to amuse me, I've fallen into a trap of watching embarrasingly bad reality TV. This is not my proudest moment, confessing this to the world at large is not easy. But they say realizing you have a problem is the first step toward recovery. so here I am.

I am hear to stand (well, sit, I can't type and stand) that, "My name is Candy and I am a bad TV-aholic." This is where you all respond and say, "Hi,Candy."

It might also be the bad weather, winter in New England doesn't exactly lure you to be active and inspired. Also, I write about entertainment and pop culture as my job, so I HAVE to know what's going on. I know, they warned me about this - I'm rationalizing my addicition, aren't I? One look at my DVR schedule shows the nasty evidence, there's no hiding from the truth.

I think the only way to get beyond this is to just lay it all out there. So here my friends is my story.

It all started pretty innocently with "Scott Baio is 45 and Single," last year. I don't know why I was watching, Baio is a bit of a douche and not all that bright, but I started watching and wanted to find out if his long-suffering life coach got anywhere with him. So when the series closed last season with his proposal to his girlfriend, Renee, and her announcement of being pregnant, well OF COURSE I had to find out what happened! So, my DVR has recorded "Scott Baio is 46 and Pregnant," this winter.

I scoffed when I heard about "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew," I couldn't believe anyone would want to watch a group of D-list celebrities with drug and alcohol problems, but hell, I've been there talking to the TV and shaking my head telling Jeff Conaway, "Yeah, well, if you are that bent on ruining your life, maybe you should leave rehab!" Obviously I should not change careers and become a drug counselor. And then of course I was disgusted when the holier-than-thou Daniel Baldwin (by the way, being a called a "Baldwin" no longer means you're hot - those ships sailed in the early 90s) left the center and one of the young women in recovery (a former porn star) confessed that he had been texting her while he was a patient, wanting her to send him photos - and this was the guy with a pregnant wife at home.

I could go on - there's "Keeping Up with the Kardashian's," "The Hills," and "Project Runway" (by far the least cringe-worthy of the above selections - at least these people have talent)

I am hoping that in a few weeks, when my favorite shows like, "The Office" return, I will be able to pull myself away from these horrible people. Seriously, when did I decide I wanted to waste any time or valuable brain cells thinking about Kim Kardashian or Lauren Conrad? I am totally disgusted with myself.
This does remind me however, "Keeping Up With the Kardashian's" returns to E! on March 9. I have to know that, some of my Pop Goes the Culture readers might want to know!
Pardon me while I go set my DVR. Baby steps, friends, I'm still taking baby steps.

Monday, February 18, 2008

All-Time Top-Five, or something like that

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a big "High Fidelity" fan- both the Nick Hornby book and the John Cusack movie. I can relate to the power of pop culture - music, movies and television have in everyday life that protaganist Rob Gordon feels. Like Rob, I often catagorize things in my life with all-time top-five lists.

I look at music as fuel for my life. It can make me cry - just the opening strains of some songs can make me cry. The Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova song from the movie "Once," "When Your Mind's Made Up," makes me cry every time I hear it. And it can also inspire and energize me, like listening to India.Arie, "There's Hope."

I go out walking most every morning and I can pretty much plan what kind of day I'm going to have by what I play on my iPod.

Right now I'm working as a journalist, I'm on the third rewrite of my novel (tentatively titled, "The Best Worst Year"), have this blog, and am working on a movie treatment with my brother, Mark, and younger son, Ben. It's a lot to balance. I am often surprised I'm not typing in my sleep. I go through down times for sure, times when I feel like I can't do one more thing, but music helps me, and when I go outside for a hike I bring my iPod and it sets me up for the day.

I knew I had lots of writing to do today, so I tried to program myself to be creative and inspired. Here are five songs I find inspiring that I listened to this morning as I walked in the drizzle and gusty winds:

1."Stronger" - Kanye West. I listen to this song every single day. I find the lyrics powerful and energizing.
2. "Lose Yourself" - Eminem. I know, this isn't very original of me, but come on, there's nothing like hearing how bad Eminem had it living in the 8 Mile to make anything you have to do not seem so overwhelming.
3. "Suddenly I See" - K.T. Tunstall. Between the beat and the lyrics I feel like I'm a girl who can do anything after this one.
4. "Faith" - George Michael. Sure his personal life seems a little sketchy at times - stop driving around looking for love, George! But this song helps me keep the faith that I can keep going.
5. "Friday I'm in Love" - The Cure. Hey, a girl can only work so much, there has to be some love in there too, right?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

You've Got Mail - but uh oh, it might break your heart

I read part of a study by the Nielson company - those ratings folks, that had been commisioned by Google about how we use e-mail, and it was sorta scary.

Apparently 17% of men have secret e-mail accounts their partners know nothing about, 25% of couples have joint e-mail addresses (What?! Strip me of all personal identity now why don't you!) and a large number of men seem to feel it's all right to break up with someone via e-mail. Classy!

As a writer I am well aware of the power of the written word, well, not MY written word necessarily, but some writers written words are quite powerful. What is scary to me is that in our overly communicative world - texting, e-mailing, and IMing, we're really bad at actually TALKING to each other. When we have time to craft a finely tuned e-mail to someone we like all they see is the witty, clever and oh-so-appealing us, and they don't always see the real us (read my previous post for evidence of the real me in action).
We all observed in the movie, "You've Got Mail", how you can fall in love via e-mail, especially if you are facile with the written word. It's incredibly powerful, and in this new world of instant access all the time, it's something to be used judiciously.
I had one of those experiences of being wooed by words, and I have to say it is awfully fun. There is nothing like that feeling of excitement from hearing that little ding and seeing a post from your beloved (or close facsimile thereof) and seeing what wonderful things they have to say to you. It takes fliritng and foreplay to a very different - cerebral cyber level, and creates an anticipation that is unparalelled in my experience. But sadly, as the relationship fades, so does the intensity of those notes, and they just pale in comparrison to what you once received, holding no more passion than your online cable bill. It's bad enough to get dumped in real life, but when your computer stops delivering, well, it's a sad day in html land.
As we progress technologically it's going to take time for our hearts to catch up. Somehow I don't think we were designed to handle all the input coming at us. I think we need to be careful with what we put into cyberspace; we may have the means, but we're only human.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

When Candy Met Bridget

Valentine's Day seems like the perfect time to talk about dating and how completely horrifying it is.

I confess. I am a bad dater. In my real life I can talk to anyone about anything, (well, almost anyone about anything, I'm not terribly confrontational though) but when it comes to a guy I actually like, I become a spaztastick idiot who cannot string a coherant sentence together, and if I do I am revealing WAY too much and am emotionally slutty. It's not easy being me my friends.

I was reminded of how spazzy I am in the middle of the night last night when I had to get up to go to the bathroom. In my cold-induced thrashing about I had knocked off several pillows (don't even get me going on why I have so many pillows on my bed) and on my way to the bathroom I caught my toe on one and had I not had my cat-like barely-passable reflexes, I might have beaned myself on the corner of my bureau. I am truly poetry in motion.

Several weeks ago I went on a date to an art opening and even topped myself with my klutziness.
Often part of my problem with dates is my choice of outfits. One night a few years ago I nearly set my flowy sleeves on fire on my gas stove while trying to impress my then-boyfriend by making quesadillias. I hoped he hadn't noticed, but I'm sure he did.
So on this particular evening I decided that instead of dealing with a coat (despite the frigid temps) to only wear a pashmina, which, during the course of the evening I managed to drop about six times, tangle myself in twice. but that wasn't the worst part; no that came later. When looking for a pen for him, I spilled the entire contents of my purse on the floor sending tampons, keys, lip gloss, a notebook and God only knows what else across the floor. The guy was truly a gentleman, leaving the womanly products to me, but still helping me retrieve all my things. I was mortified, and yet somehow, the mortification only added to the spaziness. It was a trying night for all involved I think.
I try to think that there is an endearing quality to all this. Afterall, most everyone loves Bridget Jones, don't they? Bridget and I have a lot in common. We both tend to over-share, we're both not the most coordinated of women, and we're both fools for love being too easily seduced by the the Daniel Cleavers of the world. Like Bridget I hope for a scenario like this, but am more likely to end up like this.
I haven't seen that guy again, though someone else I met that night asked me out last week. Somehow I think he must have missed the floor show, or he's just a really big romantic comedy fan.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hearts and Noses Afire

It occured to me this morning, as I was sitting here in front of my computer, that it's Valentine's Day Eve. I know, it doesn't get the press that Christmas Eve does, but when you're single, Valentine's Day is sort of in your face from the day after Christmas on.

Anyway... as I sat here I started to laugh at myself, because frankly, the way I was looking, even if someone loved me dearly already, they wouldn't be too excited by what they saw at that moment.

See, I still have this cold, and frankly, I have looked so much cuter in my life.

First, there are the clothes. Since the only creature with a pulse that I saw yesterday was Sashi my wacky cat, I didn't put a lot of effort into the bedtime outfit. I was going purely for coziness and comfort. This ensemble consisted of my sushi pajama pants (with pictures of sushi, not actual sushi) paired with a long-sleeved t-shirt (that didn't match) and then, for the final flourish, a Hello Kitty bathrobe that just gave the outfit that certain something something. Yes, I was a vision.

When you add to this the drippy, raw nose and the matted hair, well, it was pretty sad.

I saw a segment on the Today Show about the art of being sexy and how you shouldn't have to try too hard, well, I think I get bonus points today.

I don't have a hot date for tomorrow - yet. But you never know what might happen. I have to run out a little later to get some more Kleenex and orange juice, who knows what cute fellow virus sufferer I might meet in the cold and flu aisle. We just might be a match made in drippy heaven.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Run and Sniffy

I have a cold. It's been so long since I've had a cold I can't even remember when it was. Three, four years ago maybe?

I'm not good at being down and out, partly because I'm self-employed and can't ever not work, but mostly because I don't have the patience for not feeling well. I just can't stand lying low and resting, too much to do!
So, here I sit, dripping and running and hoping like hell I feel much better tomorrow.

I am always on the lookout for holistic ways to get rid of a cold and have had some fun today - in between drinking lots of tea and blowing my nose - to see if there are any natural cures out there that might have escaped my attention in the time since my last cold.

I know one of the best things about homemade chicken soup for colds is garlic, but I read online that you should make garlic soup, and add onion juice to it. I already knew about onions - I've heard them called "nature's antibiotic," and I think if I were to make garlic soup laced with onions I won't have to worry about anyone getting close enough to me to give me anything else. Perhaps this would be a good preventative cure - keeping germs and people far away.

There was also a remedy that stated how eating hot peppers will help. I decided to sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes into my omelet tonight, and once my nose stopped running (a good thing I presumed) it became even more raw with the wiping needed to stop the flood. Maybe not such a good idea.

Years ago I read somewhere that you should put your feet in hot water, then into cold, and do this several times to draw the virus from your head. The only thing that happened when I did it was I spilled the pan of cold water (I had the hot in the bathtub) and when I went to get a towel to clean up the large puddle, I slipped and almost hit my head on the vanity thereby narrowly missing something far worse than a cold. Klutzy girls and water on tile don't mix.

Apparently there really isn't much to be done, it's a matter of waiting it out and looking like Rudolph's sister in the interim.

The only upside I've seen so far is that the idea of crawling into bed with the new book that was sent to me doesn't fill me with guilt thinking that after writing all day for work I should be working on my book in the evening. No, I have to get into bed because I have a rhinovirus, and he's a pretty sketchy looking character who will require all my effort to battle down.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Be Hap Hap Happy Like Me

I spent my day today (Sunday) writing about happiness. I have to say that spending Sunday working didn't make me particularly happy, but now I'm happy because my story is done and filed. Well, it's not filed because for some reason my editor's e-mail keeps spitting it right back at me every time I send it. That doesn't make me happy either.
I got the idea for this article because I saw the author, Marci Shimoff talking about her new book, Happy For No Reason: 7 Steps To Being Happy From The Inside Out, on the Today show. I had seen Marci Shimoff in The Secret and liked her very much, so I thought others would be too.

On the author's Web site is a quiz you can take - the Happy For No Reason quiz. I took it and it turns out that I am in fact, one of the lucky folks who is basically, happy for no reason. That's good to know, because like everyone, on any given day there are many reasons I could choose to not be happy.

As one of the perks of my job, I got to interview Ms.Shimoff and she's well, pretty darn happy, and very lovely. She told me a story (that I didn't get to put in my story but will share with you) that was pretty inspiring. She told me that she had put on her vision board an index card on which she'd written some very precise intentions for this new book. She wanted a certain amount of money for an advance, she wanted the book to go to a particular publisher, for the book to be published in 2008, and to be on the best-seller's list.

Well, the freaky thing is that she did get the advance - to the penny - she'd wanted, with the publisher she wanted, the book was published on January 1, 2008, and it debuted at number 2 on the New York Times best-seller's list. Kind of gives you pause doesn't it?

I am pretty passionate about creating the life you want, and find people like Marci Shimoff incredibly inspiring, because it serves as a great reminder to all of us that the life we want to be living is right there. It might require working some Sundays, and it might take a lot more elbow grease than you originally thought, but it really is all right there for you.

So, even as tired as I am now, I'm going to sit down with some magazines, some scissors and most certainly an index card, because I have some manifesitng to do.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Freeze Frame

I've long thought how freaky it is that people (meaning mostly female actresses) are freezing their faces with botox, and having surgery that takes away all the character of their faces.

When I was watching the SAG awards a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by the incredible beauty of actress Julie Christie, and what an incredible beauty she still was, now in her late 60s. Christie was an incredible beauty as a young actress, and she still is. How lovely to see someone confident enough to not succomb to the pressure to look preternaturally young.
In America we live in a culture of striving for perfection, and never looking older - hey, 40 is the new 20, 30 must be the new 15! How encouraging it was to see a woman as stunning as Ms. Christie not pulled and trussed and pumped full of botox.
Sometimes when I see Nicole Kidman it makes me kind of sad that at the ripe ancient age of 40, she feels the need to freeze her face and make it devoid of any character or movement.
It isn't just women who have altered their appearence by any stretch of the imagination (or skin). My lord, I saw Bob Dole on CNN the other night and coulnd't believe what he's done to himself, and remember he used to shill for Viagra as well. And what about Kenny Rogers? Before and After If his face was any tighter his eyes would be in the back of his head.
I saw Cher being interviewed this morning denying she's had much work done and I just wanted to scream - hello! The emperess' face is frozen!
I read once that Catherine Denueve said, at a certain point a woman has to choose between her face and her ass. So maybe therin lies the solution - if all these women were comfrotable weighing more than a small child their faces might age a little more gracefully. And oh yeah, maybe if you didn't smoke to stay skinny that would help too.
I hope as I age I have the courage, and hell yeah, the good genes to allow my face to show the life I've had. Well, there are some things that would be all right if they stayed far away from my face I don't need to be reminded of EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fairy Tales Can Come True - But Only Until You Hate Each Other

All right, so I do not really believe in being Cinderella, not completely anyway, but I do like the idea of going off into the sunset with a man who is incredible and deserving of me. But, I now find there's a glitch in that plan because of a new study that was just released. Researchers say that the longer you are in a relationship the more annoying your partner becomes to you. Apparently all those little traits that seemed so endearing when you were just dating later become a reason to get stabby.

This is more than a little discouraging, especially for someone who's been single for a while and has high hopes for a something a heck of a lot better than someone who has a shelf life of say, a year, and then becomes someone you'd drop a toaster in the bathtub on.

See, the thing about dating is that everyone is on their best behavior. I've long said people don't send themselves out on those initial dates, they send an ambassador of themselves. That person is infinitely patient, laughs at all your jokes and finds the fact that you snort when you laugh adorable. Yeah, six months from now they will be ready to send you packing for that snort.

I've dated people who seemed so wonderful in the beginning, and then, a few months down the road, you realize you're not dating the same person anymore. The guy who said he had no problem with going to romantic comedies with you has suddenly developed an extreme allergy to Katherine Heigl, Julia Roberts and Reese Witherspoon. And I have to say, the super-late-nights he has to spend at work seem more annoying than noble, and where I once might have held dinner and waited patiently, soon become leftovers in the fridge and me fast asleep.

I'm not sure what the solution is to this because it seems sort of inevitable that over time once the cascade of hormones has calmed down, you get back to using your brain again. It's only then that you see things that were always there, but you just chose to ignore.
Having grown up with the image of that lovely Disney "Cinderella," I have to say a part of me still holds out hope not for Prince Charming, but for a guy who makes me laugh, is there when I need him, and knows what to do about that strange smell my car is making.
And it's not all one sided. I am good for a lot of laughs - at me, not with me, I make really good onion soup, know how to knit super-awesome scarves and make the best "Scene It' or "Trival Pursuit" partner you could want. What more could you ask for?
Perhaps the secret is figuring out what's really important, and whether or not focusing on the small annoyances is worth your energy. I am a big believer in picking my battles and not sweating the small stuff. Unless of course that small stuff somehow involves anything to do with persistant whistling, toe nail clipping in bed, or teeth picking with a toothpick or matchbook. Hey. I'm only human.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Single With Cat Seeking To Retain Appendages

I just read that the grandaughter of the late Presdient Theodore Roosevelt, Theodora Keogh, 88, died in North Carolina, and I'm kind of freaked out.

You see, Theodora was a novelist (hello! aspiring novelist here!) and she kept a cat for companionship (yes, I have a cat too - see the similarities growing?! ). Her cat wasn't any ordinary house variety though, it was a margay, a South American wild cat of some sort apparently. Mine, fortunately is a Maine Coon mix, and as far as I can assertain, pretty tame

Apparently there was an evening when Ms.Keogh had too much to drink, and while passed out her beloved margay (who chose not to reveal his/her name) chewed off her ear. You read right, so maybe now you can understand my panic - single women living with cats may be eaten by them!

Living single with a cat is a sterotype for sure, but I am quick to point out that I only have one, he doesn't wear funny hats (and neither do I for that matter) and I have a firm grasp on the fact that he' s a pet. Sure I talk to him, and yes, he eats before I do, I take breaks from work to play fetch with him, and since he decided he wants to sleep on my bed with me I have switched sides because he likes mine. Okay, so I'm sort of his bitch.

Since I read and saw "Bridget Jones's Diary" several years ago, I've had a fear of being alone and eaten by wild dogs, (it could happen!) but I never had any worries about cats - until now.

As close as Sashi and I are, I am now concerned that he may turn on me one night. I'm not a drinker, but now I feel like I have to sleep with one eye open, and apparently both ears covered.

I feel bad about Theodora's passing, 88 is a good, long life and it was probably just her time, but I must admit; I do wonder if anyone questioned that cat.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Super Crazy

This photo shows just about how much I know about football and the Super Bowl.
I can't tell you a thing about the game, but I can tell you all about Tom Brady's ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan announcing her prenancy after they'd broken up, her giving birth to his baby last fall, and how he took up with Giselle Bunchen during the pregnancy. You know, all the important stuff.
I don't know how I turned out like this. I have an older brother, but we didn't have a dad around while growing up, so we didn't have a dad sitting in a recliner watching sports to influence us. And actually, being more the intellectual type, our dad probably would have either been reading Time or watching Meet The Press instead. So basically, we're I'm a total loser about sports.
My son Ben played football all through high school and his freshman year of college, and even after going to game after game, I never got it. I knew when they shouted his name it was good, and like a moron I just cheered when everyone else did. Basically I was there to make sure he didn't end up on a stretcher, try to stay warm, work the snack bar and see my friends.
So, hearing all of this may make it seem incredulous that I am going to a Super Bowl party, but there's so much more to the Super Bowl than the game - duh! Of course I have to watch!
Here are my all-time top-five favorite things about the Super Bowl:
1. The commercials - everyone will be talking about them the next day, and they can seem quaint years later. Like remember before the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, all those commercials for now-failed companies during the Super Bowl? Kind of makes you nostalgic, doesn't it?
2. For years the Patriots (along with the Red Sox) never quite made it to the big show. We had curses to overcome, players going to other teams and lots of other things I know nothing about. But, over the last several years these teams have become world champions, and like the sappy girl I am, I love a happy ending.
3. You never know what celebrities will show up. There might be Matt Damon (if he can take a break from his busy schedule of f#$&ing Sarah Silverman), his buddy Ben Affleck and his adorable wife, Jennifer Garner, and the aforementioned, Giselle, but probably not Bridget. Yeah, I'd say definitely not Bridget.
4. There's never anything bad about seeing buff men in tight pants.
5. The entertainment - and by entertainment I mean anything other than the game. Alicia Keys will be performing before the game, and Jordan Sparks (winner of last year's American Idol) will sing the national anthem, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (hmm, really? They don't seem like Super Bowl guys) will perform at halftime. It doesn't hold much of a promise of another wardrobe malfinction (I love Tom Petty, but with the clothes on please) but it should be entertaining.
All right, so I'm all set for the big game. Of course I hope the New England Patriots win (hello, I do live on Cape Cod) but mostly I'm just hoping for something excting to happen - off the field, because all that on-the-field stuff is just way too confusing.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Girl Power!

I was at a going away party for my friend Laura last night. She is going to France for six weeks - the first four by herself to study French, then two with her husband. I admire her more than I can say, and can't wait to vicariously experience all she's going to do.

As I sat there last night, looking around the room at all these women, it got me thinking about how much of who I am I owe to the women in my life. I thought about the Spice Girls and how important girl power and the women I know are to me. Because, really, don't the Spice Girls always make you think about the meaning of life?

There is of course the original woman in my life, my mom, who, at 83, I'm very grateful to still have in my life. We're very different in lots of ways, but she taught me about working hard, being independent and not giving up. She has never critisized my choices as an adult, or as a parent. Not many women I know can say that. Plus, she doesn't think I'm insane for being a writer.
Another incredibly important woman in my life is my daughter Emma, who at 22 is not only incredibly beautiful and smart, she's also one of the funniest people I know. She makes me laugh so much and brings a lightness into my life when things start feeling a little hard. (that's what she said) That my friends is an homage to my girl.

I'm lucky that I have such an incredible assortment of women friends in my life. Talented, smart, funny women who all touch my life in different ways.

There's Mary Lou, who makes these incredible bears, is no-nonsense, and does everything she can to not let you know how truly sentimental and sensitive she is. Lou, who makes me laugh until I think I'll wet my pants, but is also so caring and thoughtful. Laurie is a wonderful writer, mother, wife and friend. She also keeps me on my toes and makes me think about why I feel the way I do about all sorts of things. She's also one of the best-read people I know, and I value her opinion about my writing probably more than she knows. Jennifer is so funny, so bright and is so caring and sensitive, and knows so much about writing, her input invaluable. Deb is my hero - back in school at 50 while being a mom, wife, freelance journalist and aspiring novelist. Pat S is a great writer who works so hard, and is loyal to the core. Cait is thoughtful, and always makes me feel cared about. Judy always makes me feel like I'm good at what I do - be it writing or parenting - even when I don't think so. Nancy is stronger than anyone I know, I am in awe of her.
I could go on and on, but I won't. These are just a few of the amazing women I know. I hope that perhaps this has gotten you thinking about the women in your life. If it hasn't that's cool, you can still have a great time dancing to the Spice Girls! "I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want..."