So I’ve been keeping a secret for the past few weeks. It’s been a monkey on my back – in a positive, happy kinda way.
After 7 years with a company I thought I’d spend the rest of my life at – I resigned. The 5 weeks before my resignation were a whirlwind. I wasn’t job hunting – even though I wasn’t happy. All I did was join LinkedIn – and in the words of Sheldon Cooper – !bazinga!… someone reached out. Things moved quickly and I was offered a really cool job.
As with all we do in my little unit – we talked/obsessed/freaked it out. Can we do it? Do I give up the holy grail of working from home for a long commute? Can we do it? Are we crazy? Yep.Yes.Yep. And of course we are.
We decided to jump in head first – as is our habit.
The saddest part in all this excitement and happiness is my team. It’s been a long, funny, hard, frustrating ride – and I’ll miss every moment of it. Well…not every moment. But I’ll miss them.
So in a couple of weeks – right before the holidays – I’ll start my new adventure.
It feels good to talk about it. To not hide it. It makes it feel real (because I’m a true product of the times and things don’t feel real until they are on social media. There. I said it).
Phew. That felt good to get out. Wish me luck. I’m stepping in. Going for it.
Walter White. Jesse Pinkman. Saul. The vacuum shop dude. Todd the dementor. The Aryan brothers. Breaking Bad, I miss you already.
Last night was the last episode before the series finale next week, and I’m already distressed. I may or may not run around after next Sunday shouting, “I don’t want it to end bitch!”.
We started our night watching the Emmy’s – but at 9pm, like the good meth-lab soldiers that we are, we switched the channel. It didn’t hurt that the Emmy’s were strangely boring and flat. Neil Patrick Harris – I don’t blame you. I blame the producer who thought Carrie Underwood singing a tribute to the Beatles was a good idea. The Beatles deserved better. I would rather have had Miley twerking “Come Together” – that’s how boring Carrie was. Also – how could Bryan Cranston NOT have won an Emmy? Sorry Jeff Daniels, but we all know you don’t really need to act when you’ve got great writing from A-aron Sorkin (Key and Peele shout-out).
Back to THE BEST SHOW ON TV. Yes. The best. If you don’t agree, you aren’t watching it.
Where do I start? Hank’s dead. Marie isn’t wearing purple anymore. Finn’s principle is not the brightest tool in the shed. Didn’t we all guess Jesse’s attempt to escape would end like that? And don’t even get me started on what happened with Andrea. Really? Todd the maniac shows up at night and knocks on your door and you: 1) open the door and 2) step out on the porch after he lures you with the worst “I’m-going-to-kill-you” line ever?? Sigh.
And Walt. He’s been left out in the cold. Literally and figuratively with only his barrel of money to keep him warm.
The genius of the writing on this show is that even in episodes that aren’t action packed – or as surprising as last week (and really my heart can’t take any more) – there’s always some gold nuggets to walk away with.
Todd and the Aryan gang of ghouls taking a break from death and destruction for some Ben & Jerry’s.
Finn telling his father to “die already”. Devastating.
And my favorite. Jack teasing Todd about his crush on the meth queen by repeating a line used by Woody Allen to describe his messed-up relationship with his step-daughter. Woody stole that line from Emily Dickinson (in a tweaked way). So in essence….Jack, the white supremacist, Jack the killer of Hank, Jack quotes Dickinson.
It’s been a busy week and I have had no time/energy/ambition to post. I’ve spent a large chunk of time in my car commuting back and forth for work – in fact I’ll be on the road again today!
I usually listen to Howard Stern in my car. If he’s on repeats I listen to CNN or NPR. If nothing’s happening there, I listen to 1010 WINS (those of you in the NY Tri-State area will know what this is. AM radio at it’s best). When I’m tired of hearing about the traffic on the GWB I give in and switch to a music station. Music isn’t always my go-to (my daughter and husband are screaming at the screen right now) – sorry.
During one of those music moments this week I heard Lady Gaga’s new song, Applause...
I’m not crazy about it. You know why? It sounds an awful lot like another song. A song by one of my horrible reality show Housewives. Last year, in the New Jersey edition, Melissa Gorga came out with this hot mess called On Display...
If you brave it through both songs, and it’s hard to do, you’ll notice they are very much alike. The main is chorus is the same!! No? Is it me? Have I just been trapped in my car for too long?
I like today’s title because it implies that this is some sort of long-standing series or tradition. That in my archives somewhere you can find Spring ’05 or something.
In reality this is only the 3rd post I’ve ever done on my insatiable appetite for pop culture. Everything from gossip mags to fashion to TV binge watching. Everyone that knows me and loves me forgives this slight flaw. Don’t get me wrong – I also love politics and world news. You and I could talk about the new Pope for hours. We could debate his “reformed views”.
But you know what’s more fun to talk about? These things:
Anything on Bravo. Top Chef. Top Chef Masters. Top Chef Losers. All of it. Andy Cohen and team plan their programing just for me, or so it seems. I know I’m repeating myself, I’ve told you this before. But it continues to be a very important part of my life and I think you need to hear it/read it again. The above photo is proof of my devotion. When we were in the cabin this summer, this is what I did the majority of the time there. I meant to write a post about it but I took naps instead. I’ll only highlight my new obsessions – not my oldies but goodies (All the Housewives, All the Million Dollar Listings, etc). I’m loving Below the Deck. What happens when an expensive yacht is chartered for a weekend of fun and sun? Who are the funny/kooky/crazy folks working the ship? Tune-in and find out people. It’s so good. It satisfy’s all my “behind the scenes” obsessions. I don’t really care about the party – I want to know who set the party up, and how, and what went wrong. I have to believe that some of this is staged (I can’t imagine paying $20,000 for a charter and then giving the OK for Bravo to show that I’ve brought an illegal substance onboard?) – but all is forgiven. One of my least favorite, favorite new shows on the channel is Newlyweds: The First Year. It’s kinda….Andy hold your ears…boring. All the couples are boring. I was excited about the Indian Bollywood dancer/singer gal and the beard..er…guy she married..but they are boring too. Once you get over how much of her face is botoxed, there’s really not much there. That brings me to my new classic. It’s Princesses: Long Island. Partly because these gals are in on the joke. Partly because I’d be friends with any of them. I love this show! Here’s a trailer for those who have never heard of it. Get thee to a tv set asap!!
Orange is the New Black. Like Game of Thrones, you just have to get through the copious amount of nudity (and all the Lesbian action). We gave it a shot because I was telling someone that my husband and I were sucked into a series on Netflix called Top of the Lake. So my pal suggested that I would also like this new show – which is actually produced by Netflix. Having now watched Orange, I’ve decided that he’s a total nut job. The two shows are completely different. Night and day. Totally. Like there is not one connection to why one person would like one and the other. But the weirdo was right – we love it. Funny. Uncomfortable. Sad. So good.
Ray Donovan. There are a ton of things wrong with this show. I can’t stand the woman who plays the wife. Jon Voight is good but the overacting may get annoying after a while. The plots are full of clichés we’ve seen before thanks to The Sopranos and Mad Men and Breaking Bad. But this show has one thing that none of the other shows have. One insanely sexy thing. Liev Schbreiber. I’ve loved him ever since The Daytrippers,Big Night and A Walk on the Moon. Watch all those movies now and then you’ll see why I would watch Liev in literally anything. Or nothing. Ahem.
The Bridge. I can’t watch it. I love AMC (or is it FX?) but I’m distracted by Diana Kruger as a Texas cop. Her German accent keeps seeping through and i just can’t look past it. I’m sure it’s a swell show, just not for me.
American Ninja Warrior. I have a 9-year-old son. Sometimes I have to watch things for him. All of those times involve some sort of wrestling, karate show. This is the best of the lot. Fun, short, full of action, and most importantly, short. Also I count watching people do physical activity as physical activity. Is that bad?
On another note – I’ve finally convinced my daughter to watch The New Girl and The Mindy Project. She loves them both, like any true child of my loins would and should.
While I was hunting for old pictures last weekend I found this little gem.
My last day interning at Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, which I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. What does that mean? A deep down desire to be yelled at everyday for free? A need to be locked up with 13 other people in a room the size of a closet and answer phones all day? I’ll put it on the list for my future therapist.
Know what I notice? How silky and shiny my hair is. That hair had never seen a colorist or a straighter. I weep for that hair. It’s so youthful and carefree. It’s totally clueless to the frizzy years that are ahead. Sniff.
Ignore the purple plaid shirt (which happens to be buttoned all the way up – nice) and bright red lipstick. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be grunge or glam – the 90s were confusing.
Legends. Myths. Epic Stories. Exaggerated fables. Things we talk about year after year and sadly or hysterically, pass on to our kids.
For example, my father came to this country with $8 dollars. Sometimes that figure goes down slightly due to current market fluctuation, but it’s around that number. My sister and I would hear about how he got a job, an apartment, and a car solely with his work ethic and determination. “How did he take a taxi home from the airport?” “Where did he stay?” “How did he find a job?” we’d ask. But that wasn’t part of the story.
A friend of mine told me that his Aunt Judy’s favorite story is about how her parents fell sick with the flu one winter and she and her brother (ages 5 and 7) cooked all their own meals for a week. This seems plausible if by “cooking” they mean making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a bowl of cereal. I could live on that for a week. And I have.
My husband and I have continued this great parenting and child rearing technique. We tell our kids in vivid detail about the night my husband proposed (tears, laughter, and a man purse were involved). We tell them about how, as a young child in NYC, he tried to jump an open cellar on 87th street and missed (a trip to the ER and multiple stitches were involved). We tell them how he ended up at Billy Joel’s ranch in Long Island as a teenager and has dozens of pictures of Christie Brinkley to prove it (then they ask who Christie Brinkley is). I tell them about interning at “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” and ironing Brad Pitt’s shirt because his luggage never made the flight in. I never met him. I handed the shirt to an assistant producer who handed it to a producer who then gave it to his agent to give to him. But it’s like I basically touched Brad Pitt.
What’s great is that now my kids have their own family legends to tell. My daughter was born in the hospital room next to Al Roker’s wife giving birth to his first daughter. This was the pre stomach reduction Al. My mother rode down the elevator with Al and in her beautiful accented English regaled him for minutes with the marvelous coincidence. He was nice and nodded.
Year’s later, while we were vacationing in Montauk – we had another legendary incident. On a particularly cloudy afternoon, we decided to skip the beach and go bowling. Before we hit the ally, we stopped for pizza in a small town outside of the Hampton’s. I don’t remember if I’ve told the story before – so I won’t go into the details now – but that’s when we ran into and had our 1.8 minute conversation with Sir Paul McCartney. Epic.
This past week, while on vacation, we added to one of our legends.
My husband went back to work a few days into our week at the lake. He texted me from the train that sitting in the car in front of him, blocked for privacy, was none other than Al Roker – post stomach reduction. Apparently he has a house just miles from where we were staying (that’s what it said on the internet). I begged him to take a picture or start a conversation with our old friend Al. It could go something like,” hey! Remember me? I fathered the kid that was born next to your kid.” or “Hi, small world! We have our firstborn together and now this!”. He refused. He did however stalk him off the train and get this shot going up the escalator at Penn Station.
It’s almost July and I’m almost as dark as a coconut. My brain is also baking in the sun.
I’ve been sitting on rocks, and beach chairs, and deck chairs and patio chairs.
Last weekend the world’s most beautiful baby came to visit (trust me, I know beautiful babies). He was also the most chilled out baby I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s the Bob Marley of babies. Relaxed, content, happy and completely contagious. I’d show you pictures but then I’d have to kill you.
His parents tagged along too. We had a ton of fun in the sun. We ate and drank and were merry old 40 somethings – which means we were fast asleep by 11pm after House Hunters International ended.
Because the baby’s momma and papa are city folk, we treated them to a good old BBQ. Below is the Greek salad I made. Nothing special at all. Just the usual Greek salad stuff. But I used the very first gift I ever got as a married woman for it. This platter was a gift from one our my husband’s favorite aunts. She sent it after she’d forgiven us for running off and getting married. I thought about her and the night we got the gift when I was making the salad. Do you do that? Does your mind wander to random emotional moments as you chop lettuce? No? Just me?
Anyway. It was a good time. They stayed the night and left after breakfast. I tried to hide the baby but they remembered and took him with them. Bastards.
But I had a distraction. My kids and I were going up to Rhode Island to stay with some very good friends. Conveniently, one of my very best friends has kids who are besties with my kids. Yes, I said besties. I also like to say selfies – cause I know it annoys people. Anyway we had a blast. Here’s a brief synopsis of what was covered during our time there: WWE, teenage tantrums and how to not become an alcoholic while enduring them, WWE, impending civil war, the NRA, women’s equality in the workplace, crazy bat-shit family members, WWE.
Here’s the motley crew doing some sort of WWE pose. Notice my girl on the right who refuses to partake. Notice my boy on the left who’s completely indoctrinated.
I wasn’t going to do a Game of Thrones (GoT) blog because:
There are a billion posts about his already
I know not everyone watches it
I don’t want anyone to know how nerdy I really am
But I have to. I can’t stop thinking about it. I never read any of the books so I wasn’t prepared for this. My husband and I started watching the show together the first season. He was in for a few episodes, but they started losing him quickly. By the time Melisandre gave birth to the shadow demon that killed someone (won’t say who) – he was out. He loved the ”imp”, the whole Stark storyline, and of course the gratuitous nudity – but add magic and dragons to the mix and he’s done.
I stayed with it. Who knew this many plot twists and storylines could be so entertaining. Who knew Daenerys aka Khaleesi would be the strongest female character on TV? Who knew main characters could die this easily and all the time! Here’s an excerpt of a Rolling Stone article that described what would happen if Mad Men were written like GoT: ”imagine Don Draper has a fight with Roger Sterling. And then kills him. And then he kills Peggy. And Joan. And Peter..”
And it’s not all nudity and death. Well, it’s really a lot of that – but there’s humor too – and really good writing.
I know I’m on a slippery slope. I blame Harry Potter. If it weren’t for me buying into those dark wizards and muggles, it would have been harder to love all this Seven Kingdoms mythology. What’s next? Hobbits? Damn you Hogwarts!
Anyway – back to GoT. I’m not going to add any specifics for those of you who haven’t started the series. I’m almost jealous of you. Oh to have three full seasons of GoT to watch uninterrupted this summer. Do it! If you live close enough, I’ll do it with you. And I promise not to squirm and blurt out,”please don’t kill all the Starks!” like I do at home.