Friday, January 31, 2014

My New Favorite Show

"True Detective"



Have you watched True Detective on HBO? If you have HBO, you should try it. I can't get enough of the show. It is a slow burn that leaves me wondering and worrying. I savor the show.  A little at a time.  Sometimes I have to pause it because I can hardly take it (exactly how I felt when watching Breaking Bad). Matthew McConaughey (I always want to say heyyyyyy, ho, heyyyyyy, ho at the end of his name) has the best part. He is intense. Disturbing.  And mesmerizing. I never really thought I'd say that, but it's true. (He is also really, really REALLY good in a movie called Mud, and I need to see him in Dallas Buyers Club).

Side note -- you need to watch every single episode of True Detective. !!!! IN ORDER !!!! Or else don't bother. I'm a stickler for these things! It's all or nothing! And it is a short series, so every little bit counts.  If you don't have HBO, don't fret -- I am sure it will be released on DVD sooner or later.  It better be!

Enjoy!

P.S. In other important news (HA), so far I don't love this season of Girls (but last season was awesome).  Maybe it will get better?  Maybe.  I also hate this season of American Horror Story: Coven (but last season was INCREDIBLE, so I slogged through the entire season of Coven -- what a mess). And Season 4 of Downton Abbey has been rather disappointing lately.  I watch Intelligence because my boyfriend Sawyer / Josh Holloway is in it, and he sometimes takes his shirt off.  NOM NOM.  Do YOU have any tv recommendations for me?  I love TV.  Way too much! 





Thursday, January 30, 2014

Big Baby

71544686JM011_Artist_Ron_Mu

Happy Baby Rhino

baby-whale-photo-1

big-baby

Kait-The-Big-Baby-Head-M

Feeding a Baby Tiger

sexy baby

Big sis

Bigger and bigger

Big Baby

Baby C in the Teacup

baby hippo

Big Brother is Hungry

Big-baby-babies-6853337-500-343

BIG babies

Baby Face

BABYALEX

BIG... small...

Big Baby

The Little Boy With Saucer Eyes...

baby giraffe

baby haven is here....

Gorilla Baby


Have you ever cried at work?

The other day I made a mistake at work.  Rather, I didn't catch the mistake of a third party.  My boss discovered the problem, and that wasn't good.  Horrible, furious, angry, withering ALL CAPS emails were sent to me, and I didn't take it well.  I ended up losing it at work.  Like a big baby, I cried.  Giant, wet, lolling tears spilled down my face.  Repeatedly.  In front of my poor co-workers that didn't really know what to do or say.  

Sadly (pardon the expression!) this isn't the first time I have cried at work.  These are not proud moments, but whaddya gonna do.  If they happen, they happen.

Long ago when I was thirteen years old, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  For months my siblings and I didn't know what was going on -- my mom was going to numerous doctor appointments with my dad in tow, and she always came home crying. She locked herself in her room for a long, long time.  And we could hear crying.  Every day.  Every night.  For months.  My dad finally sat all of us kids down and said, "Your Mom has breast cancer.  We think she will die."  It was awful.  Truly, truly awful.  But for some reason I didn't cry.  I held it in.  For YEARS I refused to cry.  Years and years.  I just wanted to be strong and KEEP IT TOGETHER.  But something happened after many years went by, and I figured it was ok to cry again.  Sometimes I think tears/emotions are poison that needs to be let out. So, I allow myself to cry if need be.
 
On a quasi-cheery note, I was able to get the above-mentioned work mistake corrected.  But I am having a tough time getting over it all.  I have moved on from the SAD stage to the ANGRY stage.  But I'll get over it sooner or later.  Maybe one more good cry (in the comfort of my own HOME) will help me MOVE ON already.


P.S. On an extra cheery note, the doctors were wrong.  My mom survived breast cancer long ago, and is still kickin'.  Which equals tears of joy.  :)



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Word Play

bourne again

Christian Mangle

AFP/Getty 520485991


I guess I have always loved letters. And words. Teeny tiny connected lines can be used to communicate in countless ways?  How fab is THAT?!  And then comes the fun of altering those words, and altering the communication.  Mixing, matching, and replacing letters to make new, unintended words has always been a cheap thrill for me. I love how switching ONE LETTER (ladder, latter, litter) in ONE WORD (ward) can (con) make all the difference in the world. Typos are even better!  Altered communication by mistake can be highly entertaining for a word nerd. HOORAY! 

Anyway (ANYWAY is my mother's favorite word -- she uses it about 150 times a day), my Photoshop skills featured above aren't all that, but thought this post might give you a tiny chuckle.  Or not (knot, net, nit, nut). 

P.S. I took my first typing class when I was a teenager.  Once I learned to type, I couldn't stop.  I was obsessed with it.  Every single word I heard, or saw, I mentally typed in my head.  It was MADDENING.  I couldn't stop typing!  Everything!  I'd watch tv, and I'd mentally type every bit of dialogue spoken.  I'd read a book or magazine or newspaper, and mentally re-type every word that I saw.  I'd hear conversations, and I'd type them up in my head.  MADDENING. Thankfully this phase passed after a few months!


If the visuals above aren't making any sense, the first one refers to the Jason Bourne movie series; the second one refers to that foccacta religious cult dating service called Christian Mingle; and the third one refers to the most annoying art fair I can think of: Art Basel. 





Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Gulp

jason_momoa_


Remember Jason Momoa?  NOM NOM!  My sister sent me a link to this Thelma Adams article about Jason Momoa (plus movie trailer below).

Cross that one off my bucket list! Last night I had dinner with Jason Momoa, the actor who bedded the Khaleesi in some of the hottest love scenes on TV as the Dothraki king Khal Drogo in HBO's Game of Thrones. The occasion? WWE Studios was hosting a dinner for a dozen or so to celebrate the SAG winner's directorial debut, Road to Paloma. He also wrote the Native American biker drama, which co-stars Momoa's wife Lisa Bonet and comes out in July.

Here are nine nuggets that emerged over steak and fried chicken at Butcher's in Park City:

1. There's no truth to the rumors that he was cast as Aquaman in the delayed "Batman vs. Superman" movie – but he'd be happy to make it a reality if he were asked.

2. Although Momoa, 34, was born in Hawaii, his parents split. His mother raised him in Iowa – Madison County to be exact. One of his high school buddies actually had a role in the Meryl Streep-Clint Eastwood movie The Bridges of Madison County.

3. When you're 6' 5" and very muscular, ordinary chairs are too small for comfort – and he tends to tip back in them to the danger point.

4. Momoa has a number of tattoos – one on his arm said, "Bride of Gypsies," which is the name of his company. Another on his upper arm just above the elbow is rows of black triangles that represent shark's teeth – so that when he's in the water, sharks will recognize him as one of their own.

5. His dream project is to write and direct what he calls his "Braveheart." It's a heroic historical drama based on the true story of the Koolau Rebellion, or the Leper Wars on Kaua'i. As Momoa pointed out, Jack London immortalized the relatively little-known conflict in his short story Koolau the Leper.

6. Momoa has two children, 5 and 6, with wife Lisa Bonet. He kept in touch while in Park City by talking on his phone with them while snowboarding down a mountain.

7. While shooting the first season of Game of Thrones in Ireland, Momoa had more than a few awkward moments. When he went to the local pub, he didn't exactly blend in. Who was this giant guy with, as Momoa put it, a "70's porn mustache" and eyeliner? He was just an actor studying his lines – in Dothraki – and calling for another glass of Guinness. By the time he returned to shoot the second season, the locals were buying him beers and calling him "mate."

8. On February 27, the Sundance Channel will premiere The Red Road a twisty contemporary noir in which Momoa plays a lead role as a New Jersey Native American with a mysterious past opposite New Zealander Martin Henderson, Julianne Nicholson, Tom Sizemore and Bonet.

9. Momoa, a big man with a big heart, gives good hug – and is the absolute life of the party.







OMFG. What a hunk of burnin' love!!!!



Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Stepparent Thing

I don't have the greatest perspective on this, so please bear with me as I try and organize my thoughts.

I grew up in a family of six.  Four kids, two parents.  My parents are still married after all these years (their 50th wedding anniversary is this summer).  As a kid, there were many times when I hoped/insisted that I was adopted, and many times that I wanted to trade my parents in for others.  Pretty sure they felt the same way about me and my siblings.  Lol.  Such is life.  For better or worse, we are family and we are stuck with each other. 

Needless to say, I have not had to endure a divorce.  I have not experienced my parents dating or marrying others.  I can't even imagine what THAT is like.  Not easy.  Not easy at all.  But I know all marriages don't work, and families often break up.  Such is life.  These things happen.

My boyfriend was married to his ex-wife for many years.  I think eleven years.  They had three kids together.  Their marriage ended several years ago, and it wasn't easy on any of them. 

When the boyfriend and I first started dating, the fact that he had three kids made me a little nervous.  But the boyfriend was brutally honest with me from the get-go -- he told me I would never be a mother to his kids -- they already had one.  Gulp.  True enough.  But his kids are great, and we seem to get along and genuinely LIKE each other, so that has been good. 

The kids' mother has a boyfriend.  The same boyfriend she has had for several years.  I hear things about this man, but I don't know him.  The things I hear are not always nice (the kids don't seem to really LIKE him), but they are coming from my boyfriend and his kids.  Who knows what is really true -- we all have skewed perspectives.

My own skewed perspective is that this man took on a lot.  He accepted a woman with a couple of failed marriages under her belt, and her three kids. He bought a house, and the girlfriend (my boyfriend's ex -- god this must be confusing) and her kids moved in with him (the kids are there part-time -- my boyfriend and his ex share custody 50/50).  To me, he made one hell of a commitment.  He has lot of pressure.  He took on an instant family with baggage.  And lord only knows what kind of baggage HE has.  

This guy also knows he will never be considered a "father" to these kids; they already have one.  I hear he is strict.  Sometimes not so nice.  Sometimes mean.  I am not sure what to think since I am not directly involved in the situation.  I'd like to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, but my loyalty lies with the kids.  But I still want to be fair.  You know? Not an easy situation, but one that millions of people have to deal with. 

I would imagine that things get awkward when the mom's boyfriend tells the kids what to do.  Or when he tries to discipline them.  Or when he and their mom fight.  Or when he tries to show them love.  It all must be so awkward.  He must know that he is not 100% accepted, and that the kids talk shit about him, and that the kids oftentimes resent him.  That can't be easy.

I see the kids most weekends.  I am friendly with them.  No pressure.  I try to make them laugh, and they definitely make me laugh.  It is an easy relationship, but perhaps not a DEEP relationship, or one that has great meaning to them.  I think they like having me around, but I know they don't tell me their deepest/darkest secrets.  I don't try and boss them around.  I tread lightly, as I think their lives are already complicated enough.  They probably see me as a sidekick.  But at least they don't see me as any kind of threat.  At least I hope not.

Last year I was watching an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians (shameful admission, I know) when Bruce Jenner (at least I think it was him) said that being a stepparent is a thankless job.  Sadly I think that is oftentimes true.  

Last night there was an incident between the kids and their mom's boyfriend.  Mom's boyfriend was angry.  Kids were very upset.  My boyfriend got a call in the night from crying kids and had to pick them up.  Nothing terrible or abusive happened, but there definitely is tension in that household.  And when these kinds of things happen, the kids worry their mom's boyfriend might kick them and their mom out if he decides they are too much to deal with.

Do you have any experience with this?  Any perspective on it?  This is basically yet another post without a point to it -- just thoughts that are swirling around in my noggin' giving me a headache.  And I'd love to get the perspective of others. 

Side note: A friend of mine (aged 43) lost her father a few years back to illness.  My friend's mom lived alone after her husband passed away, and did not date for several years.  She randomly met someone, and they hit it off.  Really hit it off.  He asked her to marry him, and she accepted.  My friend and her brother recently met their mother's new husband, and really didn't like him.  Not much.  Not much at all.  Their new step-dad must be seeking approval, and he may not ever get it. So far, he doesn't have it, but the kids want their mom to be happy, so they are just trying to let things be.  Afterall, this man won't be raising them or telling them what to do.  But what a situation.  The whole thing makes me wonder how I would handle it if my parents decided to date another person someday.  Yikes.  Yikes, indeed.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Shame Face


I do not like the cone of shame

Facets of Shame

Shame-faced

Bill-Clinton-frowning

Blush in Shame

Shame

anthony-weiner-6

shame-600x320

SpitzerFace


The boyfriend sent me this text yesterday:

I was playing basketball outside with the boys and I got the courage to dunk it.  I dunked it right through the hoop... straight on to my face.  

My reply after laughing out loud was:

Did somebody record it on video?!??!?!? 

I think I loved hearing the boyfriend's story because it made me forget about my recent shameful activity at work. SIGH. It was not good. Not good at all. 

We keep the doors locked at work for security purposes.  If one has a key, one can enter and exit at any time.  If one doesn't have a key, one must press the intercom button outside of the gallery, and one of the employees has to release a buzzer via the phone system, and physically get up to open the door and let said person inside the gallery.  

So anyway, the other day my boss left the gallery to go to a doctor appointment.  I was talking with my co-worker when my boss buzzed the intercom system, asking to be let in. Meaning: my boss forgot his key.  AGAIN.  I thought I clicked off the intercom system when I turned to my co-worker and said, "How hard is it to remember to bring your fucking key to work every day?!"  Next thing I knew, my boss was STILL ON THE INTERCOM, and he exclaimed, "JUST OPEN THE DOOR!!!"  

UGHHHHHHHH.  What this means is that THE BOSS HEARD MY RUDE AN INAPPROPRIATE (yet true) COMMENT.  HE HEARD IT. HE KNOWS WHAT I SAID. ABOUT HIM.  BLEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

After this took place, I pretty much had a red face for the rest of the day.  SHAME FACE.  And I kept slapping my forehead at my idiotic behavior.  I'm 43 years old and I still make stupid mistakes. Constantly.

Thankfully my comment wasn't considered grounds for termination.  Hooray!

And I am pleased to report my boss has not forgotten to bring his key to work since this particular incident took place.  :]

Have YOU done anything shameful/idiotic lately?  If so, do tell.    







Wednesday, January 8, 2014

About Those Accommodations...

heavens gates bed victims


Your boss informs you that you are required to lucky enough to go with him and a few co-workers on a week-long business trip. He lets you know that he has rented a house for the week, and that you will all be staying in said house.

Your reaction is:

a) How fun! I've always wanted to have a week-long adult sleep-over with my beloved boss and fan-fucking-tastic co-workers after working 10 hour days for seven days straight!  I can't wait to see my colleagues without makeup!  In their jammies!  With morning wood!  This will be great!!!! 
b) Hmmmmm.  I sense a possible orgy.  Better get some new lingerie.
c) Hell fucking no. I'd rather sleep in my car than share quarters with you freaks.

 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The iPotty




Parents can give children a comfortable and fun place to learn to use the potty with the child-friendly iPotty from CTA Digital. This potty training seat features a special stand to securely hold the iPad and safely entertain kids while they play with apps. The adjustable stand can be rotated 360 degrees to switch between horizontal and vertical views and also includes a removable touchscreen cover to guard against messy accidents and smudges. Parents will be pleased with how simple it is to keep the iPotty clean and minimize messes, with its removable inner potty bowl, potty seat, and splashguard. A clip-on seat cover can be attached to convert the potty to a child activity seat, so they can safely play apps, read and watch videos on the iPad at any time. The stand can also be adjusted to 3 positions or removed entirely to make extra room and easily store away. So, take a step ahead in potty training, delight children and make the learning experience easy and fun with CTA Digital's iPotty for iPad.


So what are you waiting for?! Get your iPotty now!  Like Pavlov's dog, your kid can always associate pissing and shitting with expensive Apple products! 


available for purchase here




Thursday, January 2, 2014

Prison Loaf / Food Punishment

I heard this story on NPR today, and thought it was interesting....


In many prisons and jails across the U.S., punishment can come in the form of a bland, brownish lump. Known as nutraloaf, or simply "the loaf," it's fed day after day to inmates who throw food or, in some cases, get violent. Even though it meets nutritional guidelines, civil rights activists urge against the use of the brick-shaped meal.

Tasteless food as punishment is nothing new: Back in the 19th century, prisoners were given bread and water until they'd earned with good behavior the right to eat meat and cheese.

But the loaf is something above and beyond. Prisons and jails are allowed to come up with their own version, so some resort to grinding up leftovers into a dense mass that's reheated. Other institutions make loaves from scratch out of shredded and mashed vegetables, beans and starches. They're rendered even more unappetizing by being served in a small paper sack, with no seasoning.

Prisoners who've had the loaf hate it. Johnnie Walton had to eat it in the Tamms Supermax in Illinois. He describes it as "bland, like cardboard." Aaron Fraser got the loaf while he was serving time from 2004 to 2007 in several different institutions for a counterfeit-check scheme. He loathed it.

"They take a bunch of guck, like whatever they have available, and they put it in some machine," Fraser says. "I would have to be on the point of dizziness when I know I have no choice [to eat it]."

No one knows exactly how many institutions use it, but Benson Li, the former president of the Association of Correctional Food Service Affiliates, estimates that the number is over 100. At least 12 states — including California, Texas and New York — serve it in state-run institutions, as do dozens of municipal and county jails across the country.

In Pennsylvania state prisons, "food loaf" is made with milk, rice, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, oatmeal, beans and margarine. The Clark County Jail in Washington state serves a version with most of those ingredients, plus ground beef or chicken, apples and tomatoes.

Law enforcement says the loaf isn't so bad. "It's a food source; it contains all the vitamins and nutrients and minerals that a human being needs," says Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who has used the loaf in his jail for five years. "It's been approved by the courts. I've had it myself — it's like eating meatloaf. "

But prisoners who misbehave don't just get it once. They have to eat it at every meal, for days or weeks at a time. That's why it works as a deterrent, says Sheriff Clarke.

"If you're up on a first-degree murder charge, or some serious sexual assault of a child, you don't have much to lose in jail," says Clarke.

"But when we started to use this in the disciplinary pods, all of a sudden the incidence of fights, disorder, of attacks against our staff started to drop tremendously. The word got around — we knew it would. And we'll often hear from inmates, 'Please, please, I won't do that anymore. Don't put me in the disciplinary pod. I don't want to eat nutraloaf.' "

Scientists say it's the monotony of eating the loaf that's the real punishment. Marcia Pelchat, a physiological psychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, says humans have evolved to crave a variety of food.

"Having to eat the loaf over and over again probably makes people miserable. They might be a little nauseated by it, they're craving other foods," says Pelchat.

And it can sometimes stop prisoners from eating altogether. "It's very difficult to consume enough calories to keep your weight up if you're on a boring diet," says Pelchat.

That's why human rights advocates say it's unethical to use food as punishment in this way.
 

"Given that food is clearly recognized as a basic human need to which prisoners are constitutionally entitled, restrictions on food, taking away food has always been sort of legally right on the line," says David Fathi, director of the National Prison Project for the American Civil Liberties Union.

There's no guidance from the government on using the loaf, but the American Correctional Association, which accredits prisons and sets best practices for the industry, discourages using food as a disciplinary measure.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons says it has never used the loaf in its facilities. Still, the loaf persists in other parts of the corrections system, and no agencies or organizations are keeping track of where and how often it's used.

So Benson Li, the former president of the Association of Correctional Food Service Affiliates and the food service director at the Los Angeles County Jail, offered to help us find that out.

At a recent meeting of the association, Li conducted an informal survey at the request of NPR. About 40 percent of the prisons and jails that responded said their use of the loaf is diminishing, 30 percent said they do not use nutraloaf, and about 20 percent said their use was about the same or slightly growing.

Li says that, overall, the results suggest that the loaf is gradually being phased out.

"[Prisons and jails] are using less or some of them are using sparingly — maybe just two to three times in the last year," he says.

Li says he thinks one of the reasons for this is that prisoners have been challenging the loaf in the courts.

"You have seen a lot of different inmate claims and lawsuits against the Eighth Amendment in different states," he says.

One of the provisions of the Eighth Amendment is that "cruel and unusual punishment" not be inflicted on prisoners. So the prisoners who are filing these suits are hoping the courts will rule that chewing on loaf day after day is unconstitutional. And, believe it or not, there is precedent: In the 1970s, the Supreme Court ruled that a potatey prison paste called grue should be outlawed under the Eighth Amendment.

The loaf has held up better than grue. Of the 22 cases brought since the beginning of 2012 alone, none have succeeded. But Li's informal survey suggests that the court cases are making the corrections industry increasingly squeamish about serving it.

And Fathi of the ACLU says this is part of a bigger transformation happening in the industry.

"The fading of the use of nutraloaf is part of a larger long-term trend toward professionalization and, in most respects, more humane conditions of confinement," he says.


Thoughts on this?????  

I guess the thought of "food punishmemt" really isn't new.  Like many parents, my parents withheld dessert when I misbehaved.  Occasionally they would send me to bed without supper if I was being a complete asshole.  But my parents wielded another food punishment tactic. When I found a meal to be particularly disgusting (anything with BEANS in it, or revolting things like squash or zucchini) and I was having trouble making myself eat it, my parents would turn on the timer.  Say 20 minutes.  And then they would say: YOU HAVE 20 MINUTES TO EAT EVERYTHING OFF OF YOUR PLATE.  OR ELSE.  So I would sit there and squirm and sometimes cry and wait until about 19 minutes had passed.  Then, panic-stricken, I would try to gobble down all of the food before the buzzer went off.  Ugh!  But prison loaf sounds a hell of a lot worse to me!