Thursday, January 19

But I still will drink my tea every day

ITEM!: As of yesterday, I am 44 years old. I am officially in my mid-40s, and there's no way of tiptoeing around that. As a reminder of how my body is aging, I choked on my hot tea at work this morning, and it too me no less than 10 minutes before I had recovered enough to have another sip, or to stop coughing. I'm not a quick recovery anymore, and that is super humbling.
ITEM!: Sydney and I will be attending the Women's March in Phoenix on Saturday, and I'm super excited. Why am I marching? What kind of injustice could I possibly be fighting? I fight the injustice that would force itself on those who don't have a voice, or who may be the object of said prejudice, actions and behaviors. I march because I want those who may try to perpetrate an injustice know that the people are watching them, and the people will be heard.
ITEM!: I've watched the movie, Now You See Me 2, no less than four times over the last three days, and I'm not especially proud of that, but there's been nothing else interesting to watch. What I won't be watching tomorrow is the inauguration. I'm sick to my stomach that this man is going to be president, and I won't be a party to any ratings numbers going towards his swearing-in. In fact, my televisions will be tuned to channels that couldn't possibly show the inauguration, even as they'll be off, so there won't be a hint of my viewing habits going to him.
ITEM!: I just finished the last of my birthday Krispy Kreme doughnuts as my late-night snack, and my body is not pleased. I've got the worst acid reflux right now.

Monday, January 16

A visual wormhole on A&E

I got totally sucked in to watching the Leah Remini docu-series about Scientology on A&E tonight. I watched three hours straight of it. I find myself super intrigued as to how this organization is a church, and how it can get away with being so horrible to its followers. Also, whenever people spoke about leaving the "church" lands and compounds, they used the word "escape." People would have to escape to lead normal lives away from this organization. That's frickin' scary in every way.
I'm morbidly curious in the inner workings of Scientology for some reason, and I find it motivating and inspiring to hear the stories of people who have left it to live full lives on their own. The stories about the leader and all the upper-level executives are chilling. I haven't gone so far as to record the show, but I am interested to see what happens next. If this time right now was a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I'd be camped out on the sofa and watching this show all day.

Sunday, January 15

I will read you and you and you

I spent some time alone in my local Barnes & Noble yesterday, which is a wonderful treat. And when not buying something to read used to be a horrible way to exit the store, I now am pleased when I leave with an empty bag, but also a phone full of pictures of books to add to my queue at the local library.
On this particular Saturday, I had forgotten I wanted to get some food before getting to the store, so I even enjoyed a private, quiet lunch in the store's cafe. A delicious spinach and artichoke quiche and some ice water totally hit the spot. Then, to the stacks, where I found about five books to add to my library queue, and reconfirmed my interest in four that already were on the queue.
I typically like to spend at least two hours in the store on my days like this, but yesterday was just a one-hour day, which is still totally awesome, don't get me wrong. I love that Barnes & Noble is such a nifty place to loiter in the book stacks. (Just walking into the store and smelling all those books is a warm fuzzy for me.) And I love that no one else in the family wants to go with me, so it's a delicious spot of Kimmie Time. Of course, having said that, I would totally love it if Sydney enjoyed coming with me and hanging out in the books, too.

Thursday, January 12

The best kind of cleanse

I'm in a mood, and I am clearing shit out. I'm always in this kind of decluttering frame of mind in January, but this year it feels exaggerated. I can't wait to get rid of stuff.
I went though my kitchen drawers today. Why I have so many things to cook with, as a person who does not cook, is a mystery. But why I had three baby-sized whisks is a bigger mystery. Where did they even come from?
I cleared out the excess barbecue tools, all the random cooking tools, and all the plastic cups we never, ever, ever use. I'd love to get rid of some appliances too, but who knows if I may regret that. We may need them some day. I mean, we even used our Crockpot, like, twice this year.
Question: If I have two waffle irons, and one makes Texas-shaped waffles, do I really need the second, normal waffle iron? I'm thinking no. So I may be going through the kitchen again before I consider myself done in there. ... Do I choose between the large, normal food processor or the little mini food processor? They both seem important with their own jobs. So they'll stay. I don't even know what else is in that cabinet, other than the juicer that would be useful if we managed to get any oranges this year, which we haven't. ... No more kitchen talk.
In my house, I look around and I see so much stuff that it makes me want to scream. I know I've got too much around here, and I'm over it. Here's hoping this cleansing of stuff reaches a conclusion, rather than just motivates me through the downstairs and then peters out before I make my way upstairs.

Wednesday, January 11

No kidding, sleep is delightful

I remember that I filled out one of those random Facebook questionnaires a few years ago, and this one answer that I wrote is as true today as it was back then.
The question: What is your favorite time of day?
My answer: That moment when I am in bed and decide that it's time to go to sleep, and I roll over and close my eyes.
The continuing truth of that statement hit me this morning when I woke up and looked at the clock and saw that it was 5 a.m. The absolute knowledge that I had another two hours of good sleep ahead of me made me actually smile, for reals, and then roll over and go back to sleep. And I remembered that happiness when my alarm blared at 7 a.m. And I wasn't half as angry at the alarm as I usually am, because I remembered that blissful feeling at 5 a.m.
Brian was getting ready for his day shortly after my alarm was rude but not maddening, and asked me how my sleep was. I told him, confidently, that I really enjoy sleeping: "I like sleeping. I like it a lot."
And all day today, the fact of that has danced around me, like a random little halo, and has made me smile, a whole lot, because I knew that I would have more sleep tonight.

Tuesday, January 10

I break up with you and you

The state of my DVR is exploding right now. And with January and the new mid-season premieres comes my disillusionment with some shows. On this night, I've broken up with Grimm and probably Sleepy Hollow. I was totally over Grimm at the end of last season, but having watched approximately 40 minutes of the new season's premiere, I decided that I definitely was totally over it, so it's been stricken from the DVR programming. As for Sleepy Hollow, I was super pissy about them killing off the main female character, and now they've moved the main male character into a new city, and with all new people, and I don't like change. Also, I miss Abby. So, I may give this one the benefit of the entire episode's viewing, but I don't hold much hope for it.
For your enjoyment, I'll list all the other shows on my DVR right now: Agents of SHIELD, Taboo, Shadowhunters, Conviction, Elementary, Emerald City, Life in Pieces, The Good Place, Modern Family, Blindspot.

Monday, January 9

They should have been more awesome

I did not enjoy the movie Sing.
As far as the plot goes, I would have been perfectly happy watching only the auditions at the beginning, and the show at the end. As characters go, the entire movie was an irritant to me. Specifically, the female characters. Let's go through them together, shall we?
1. Elderly secretary. Depicted as someone who is incapable of doing their job, makes horrible mistakes, and is the comic relief because of her age and of course, because she's the secretary.
2. Teenage rocker. Depicted as the girlfriend with no backbone to stand up to her boyfriend, is meek when he tells her that she has to sing back-up, and is accepting when he tells her that she can't write songs because he does it. Participates in the contest because it'll be good for both of them. He cheats on her and she still pines for him.
3. Unappreciated housewife/mother. Depicted as the downtrodden, unnoticed mother and wife. Husband doesn't help and falls asleep as soon as he comes home. Kids don't value her as a person, and don't even notice when she's not there, so long as their food gets made and lunches are ready. Has to sneak out of the house to pursue her dream. Husband only notices that she's a real woman after she performs on stage and is cheered on by the audience (he required validation from a crowd to find her desirable again).
4. Shy, timid ingenue. Depicted as a painfully shy girl who knew she had talent but was so afraid of performing and scrutiny that she wouldn't audition, and wouldn't stand up for herself when she did go back the next day to audition. Even in the end, she had to be pushed onto the stage to sing.
Not a single one of the female characters in this movie had a backbone, or any confidence in themselves, or any gumption to get out there and push themselves to follow their dream. This is a movie that, presumably, wants to inspire young girls to be ambitious. How is it that every male character knows their worth and has the confidence and cockiness to sing and perform (and promote a theater), but the females are so meek and unsure? Of course, by the end of the show the girls are all singing and dancing, but not by their own efforts. It's when the males in the movie give them the confidence.
My goodness, girl, you're a goddamn elephant. Get your butt out there and sing.

Thursday, January 5

I prefer reading to most other activities

Tonight, I started reading one of the books in my To-Be-Read Pile. This particular book, Anne Rice's Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, has been hanging out for a minimal amount of time, maybe just a month or six weeks. I had my library books though, so the actual books I own were taking a back seat, but now, without the library books, Lestat moves into the driver's chair. Anyway, at this moment, I'm about 100 pages into the book, and I anticipate being done with it by Saturday night, at the latest.
I made a promise to myself, not a resolution, that I wouldn't get into anymore library books until I finished at last half of my owned books, and now I'm well on my way to accomplishing this. I have three books in my pile. My pile, interestingly, is only three books. The pile itself has more than that, though. I've gotten one book from my daughter, who thinks I need to know the Warrior Cats mythology, and one from my husband, who thinks I need to be motivated to write a book about motherhood by reading a book about motherhood, called Sh*tty Mom.
To both of them, I say, "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm happy reading what I want to read." I don't think two people who have to be forced kicking and screaming to read anything not for school should be able to tell me what I should read. Not to worry, those two books will mysteriously disappear from my shelf in the next few days, for sure.

Wednesday, January 4

Day 2: Resolutions holding strong

Having written about the resolutions last night, I put some of them into practice, both immediately and today. FIRST, after I finished last night's blog post, I sat down and read, flipped, skimmed through all the magazines I had on the floor next to my bed. The pile moved into the recycling box downstairs was sizable, but it felt good to get them off my floor. I even managed to read through an article or two, so they weren't completely wasted, either.
SECOND, I stopped at Jack in the Box for lunch today. I did order a side with my hamburger. You want to know what I ordered? I ordered the side salad. Yes, you read that right. SIDE. SALAD. And I have to tell you, it was delicious. It was definitely additional food, but all the same, the salad itself was only 20 calories or something like that, and I didn't use much dressing, so my calorie count on the meal was significantly less than it would have been had I ordered the curly fries. Also, did I say already? It was a tasty salad!
THIRD, I wiped off the stove top immediately after making Sydney's scrambled eggs tonight, so that particular resolution is a winning one, too. FOURTH, and I know that I said I would try to answer questions less bitchy, and by extension just kind of be less bitchy, but I pulled my kid from her room and was sure to have both my housemates' eyes and attention when I reminded them that they are both intelligent people who do know where the dishwasher is. I reminded them that they need to put their dirty dishes in there. "But it's full." No, it's not. If it is, say something to me so I can tell you to just put the dish in the sink, and then I at least know you tried to put the dish in the dishwasher. Me being less bitchy means they need to be more helpful.
Happily, I didn't say much about the Midnight Snacks or any resolutions against them, so I have no compunction about heading downstairs in a few and having a couple pieces of fudge while I make myself a hot tea.

Tuesday, January 3

For the first time in a long time, some resolutions

I like January 3rd. It's a very nice, non-committal very early day of the year, with minimal significance. The 1st of the month ... well, holds a lot of significance. I spent mine sitting on the sofa. On the 2nd, I had promised myself that I would do some things, and I did. We went to the movies, and I took down the Christmas tree. Today, back to work and getting a hair appointment.
Last year on this day, I lamented all the sweets I still had in my kitchen from the holidays. This year, I could do the same thing. I made fudge again that no one else is eating again. There are still a lot of sugar cookies in my pantry again. Candy and whatnot are plentiful, again. My Midnight Snacks have been insane the last few days, of course.
I've been asked a couple times about my resolutions for the new year, and some of them are to be healthier, but within the parameters in which I can work. So, that means baby steps. Hamburgers and such, still allowed. French fries, curly fries, onion rings and the like, as in sides, not allowed. No more soda, which is really easy, to tell you the truth. I prefer water and milk anyway.
Another resolution is to read the magazine as soon as it arrives. I've got a pile of old magazines that will probably not get read because they're so old, and that bugs me. From now on, the magazine does not get taken upstairs, and gets read that day. Upstairs next to my bed is the black hole for magazines. They mold and die there, so they will no longer be brought there.
Wipe out the microwave when the splashy stuff is still hot, because then it can't harden where it splashed. My mom did an awesome job of cleaning my microwave when she was out here at Christmas, and I will not let it get gross again. Also includes wiping the stove top.
Answer questions a bit less bitchy. I've come to notice that when asked stuff I sometimes would rather bite than answer nicely, for no real reason at all. Also, I will do better about getting up to be helpful, rather than be lazy and unhelpful. Getting up and walking into the kitchen may be the only exercise I get some days, so I really should do it without complaint. Flip side, everyone else needs to do their part, too, to make me less bitchy and more likely to want to help.
Honestly, the attitude adjustment may be the most difficult thing to pull off.
Damn it, I really do love french fries.

Friday, November 11

Protest? Yes. ... Riot? Decidedly no.

I'm good with protests. I think they're a valid, productive and satisfying way to show that people are unhappy with something. I've got no problem with the protests going on throughout the country right now displaying the peoples' unhappiness with the new president. Violence is bad though, and when protests become violent, they turn into riots, and that's no good for anyone. The message gets lost in a mist of fear, fire and smoke.
But before everyone gets all angry at the kiddos who are doing this, remember that electing Trump for president was not the will of the people. It's the will of the Electoral College. And remember that these kids have no other outlet to show their frustration. As far as most as concerned, they couldn't vote for their president because they're too young, and now they're stuck with one that will probably do more damage than they'll be able to fix well after Trump leaves office. ... Also, remember all the Republican supporters who promised to do exactly this, but vowed to bring their guns and whatnot, too?
There was a protest at Arizona State University today, and had I been in school, I would have joined. Also, I would have voted. My irritation is that if any of these protesting kids could have voted, but didn't vote, they've got no place in the protest. It's like my mom always said, "If you feel bad, but haven't taken anything for the pain or sick, you can't complain." In essence, don't whine if you haven't done your part to make it feel better.
Those protests should be for the Hillary voters who are dissatisfied with their candidate winning the country's popular vote, but losing the Electoral College. They're for those who wish to stand in solidarity with the minority groups that will be facing a very rough road for the next several years, because their vote wasn't enough to help protect them from prejudice and evil. They're for the people who feel so helpless and frustrated that they just want to go for a walk with like-minded humans.
Protests are a good thing. Keep them that way.

Thursday, November 10

Lost potential, but a road has been paved

So let's talk for a moment about the lost promise of our first female president.
I remember, perfectly, blogging several years ago about my wanting to see a female president at some point in my life. I had thought, just a few days ago, that I may be able to see such a thing while in my relative youth. As well as that, I was in love with the thought of my daughter not knowing that a president couldn't be African American or a woman. Up until eight years ago, presidents had been only two things: white and male. Now one has been not white.
But hey, look at that, now the president is going to both of those things again.
I cried during Hillary's concession speech. Me and almost every other woman who had hoped she'd be our champion in the White House. Sydney was touched by it and cried with me, as I had hoped she would. And when Hillary asked for the attention of the little girls who looked up to her, my daughter sat up straight, and listened to her. I was so proud of her for that. And I cried even more. (Let's not mention the dismay over how the statement about young girls knowing that they are valued and powerful needed to be said at all. Because they shouldn't ever have to be reminded of that. Ever. That should be a given not to be questioned.)
But when I think about it in a more abstract way, it was a matter of 12 years or whatever ago when I wondered if I would ever see a woman president. And a mere 12 years or whatever later, I almost did. I plan on living for quite some time more, and if we can get this close in 12 years, perhaps we can actually achieve it within the next 30 or 40 or 50 years.
I'm in mourning for the potential that was lost a couple days ago. And I hope that someday, I will be able to vote in a woman president. (This assumes that the first female president will be a Democrat, because, well, you know. Duh.) The ultimate glass ceiling has yet to be shattered, but someday, it will be. And again, I hope I'm there to see it.

Wednesday, November 9

Gonna tackle this in parts, I think

I'm stunned, you guys. Like, straight stunned.
Who in their right mind would have thought that that man would ever become the president? Like, for real, become the president? All the polls were wrong, all the people who talked to the pollsters lied (or didn't have phones), and the data was off to a dramatic degree. I have to think that if the people who had planned to vote for Trump felt like they had to lie to perpetrate some kind of grand political coup, then they knew what they were doing was intrinsically fucked up.
And those people deserve the results of this election. What they're going to discover is that their new president won't be able to deliver on the bigger promises that they think mean the most to them. He won't bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, because workers in the United States are too expensive to employ. He won't build some ridiculous wall along the southern border of the country because that is a ridiculous expense that no president would want to undertake. He won't be able to stop terrorism or anything like that, because if it could be stopped, it would have been already.
What he will be able to do is gut the Affordable Care Act. And he'll be able to "fix" agreements around the world that have been made with allies and not-so allies. He'll be able to destroy the economy by increasing the already crazy deficit, and he'll be able to destroy the environment by ignoring science. He'll be able to turn this country into a joke, and take away all our credibility in any and all arenas. As I say it, it all sounds pretty horrible.
And it may be, but it may not be. As Seth Meyers said tonight, we know that the president-elect has been on both sides of all issues, so his actual decisions or leanings may be, I say diplomatically, in flux. He's probably sharting himself all day today because he didn't really think he was going to win. I doubt he even wants the job, because really, it pays less than he was getting; his income will be public knowledge; and he won't be able to put his name on the White House. I kept waiting for him to yell "Cut," and then "Scene," and then walk away with an entire season of the reality show, American Horror Story: White House.

Friday, October 7

Sure. I'm sure you respect all the women

I have so many words about the vile audio tape that was released today and the light it shines on the Republican nominee for president, and I'll get to them over the next few days, but right now, I want to talk about tonight's Real Time with Bill Maher. Usually, I don't watch this show. You see, I think Bill Maher is a bit of an asshole, and has a tendency to talk over his guests to get his jokes said on cue. But since Maher's program is probably the only show that will tackle the Trump audio tonight, and because he had Mark Cuban on the show as a guest, I took a shot and sat through the broadcast.
I find myself, at this moment, pissed at myself, and Bill Maher, for my momentary lapse in judgment. Of course, they did start the panel discussion with the newly heard audio of Trump and his pussy grabbing. But let's quickly take a look at the panel: Bill, Mark Cuban, James Carville, and some British guy I don't remember his name. All men; no women.
Of course, they were horrified by the audio. They were so disturbed by the contents and the words, and they were quick to assure all the women out there that celebrities do not act like that, and that they do not grab pussies.
And then they discussed Trump's attempts to seduce the married woman, and then they all laughed over how Trump thought that seducing a woman with furniture would work anyway. James Carville laughed and said something to the tune of, "Hasn't he heard of jewelry?" Maher suggested that women have gotten more expensive because a man has to buy an entire dinette set now to seduce them. And then they all had a hearty laugh again, about the married guy who tried to get a married woman to cheat on her husband and failed.
And then Maher defiantly pointed out that he was sure that every man on that panel, himself included, has never been anything but respectful to all women all their lives. I declare shenanigans on that with the loudest and most effusive snort ever. There is no way that all the men laughing around that table at the failed attempts of a pussy grabber, with no real gravitas regarding the sexual assault such a person has no doubt committed, could look back on their entire lives and not see a single moment or several when they've objectified a woman for her body or looks, or commented on her ass or breasts, or copped a quick feel when they thought she wasn't paying attention or wouldn't care, or thought, for real, that they could tap that if they wanted to. That "locker room banter" is way more pervasive than any of them will admit, and their enlightened stance right now is due entirely to the noise women have been making over the last few years, and how bad it really sounds out loud.
I've told Brian several times over the last couple years that Maher makes comments that are dicky and rude to women, and has very little filter for how his humor is misogynistic as shit more times than not when talking about a woman. (Tonight even, his New Rule statement about the teacher's looks, for instance, rather than commenting on her actions; and how the Muslim woman who posed in Playboy fully clothed is obviously not what the magazine is printed for; and also his side conversation with Carville about influencing Carville's wife/partner/person to change her political leanings. Now that I think about them, I could list you a billion examples over the years, which also include slut shaming. [Editor's note: The above post image is real, and a perfect example of Maher's"respectful" "humor."])
It's bothersome to me that this potentially important and, yes, respectful conversation, which could have been enlightening to some of the men who watch the show, instead devolved into a laughing chat about how not to seduce a woman who isn't interested in a man. There were four men on a national stage who could have made a difference in the tone of this horrible exposure today, but instead they laughed it off while demanding that we believe that they respect all the women ever.

Thursday, October 6

And then there was television again

We're not deep, deep into the new television season, but enough shows have premiered so I can make some sweeping pronouncements. Well, maybe not sweeping, but there are a few shows that I'm putting on season-record in the DVR.
Conviction: Starring Hayley Atwell, the awesomeness that plays Peggy Carter in the Marvel Universe. She plays the part of a brilliant attorney, of course, who also is being blackmailed into leading a team of investigators into finding out if some cases are a matter of mistaken identity. The first episode was pretty compelling, so I'm in. I like her a lot, and it's a female-led procedural with a protagonist who kicks butt.
Designated Survivor: Kiefer Sutherland, who, I realized tonight, mumbles quite a bit, stars as a Cabinet member who becomes president after the Capital building is blown up on State of the Union night. The premise is interesting, and while the "politics" are frustrating, it's captured our attention.
The Good Place: This one, starring Kristen Bell, is a giggle and a half. We are thoroughly enjoying it. Recommended.
Other new shows I've recorded the first, or first couple, episodes of, include Lethal Weapon, Frequency and Timeless.

NOT NEW SHOWS:
Blindspot: I will admit to you that we've begun hate-watching this train wreck again, because it's so silly. Quantico: This one is still recording on the DVR, though I broke up with it last season. It may be up to Brian to keep this one going, but I anticipate him ditching it soon, too. Drunk History: This show is a national treasure.

There are a couple other new shows that I want to watch, but they haven't premiered yet, so I'll withhold judgment on them until that time.