Saturday, January 30, 2010

My problem with the Disney Channel (and Nickelodeon)

Because I have children of a certain age, I get to watch a disproportionate amount of "thoughtful childrens programming." Most of this high quality entertainment is delivered to us thanks to the good people at the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Now let me first go on record by saying I LOVE PHINEAS AND FERB! I don't want anyone to think that it's about the network's themselves, because I enjoy Spongebob Squarepants as much as the next guy. In fact, I find Plankton downright compelling. The cartoons, I find somewhat entertaining, although I'd like to see Timmy Turner cast off the edge of tall building someday. Where I really struggle is with the "live action" sitcom type shows on these two channels.
The other day, I was subjected to the Suite Life of Zack and Cody Marathon. There's several hours of my life I will never get back. It's pure drech! Put that together with Corey in the House, Zeke & Luther, and that total Teen Nightmare Hannah Montana and you certainly have a Circle of Scavullo Hell that I don't ever want to visit. Even ICARLY gets on my nerves (although I do think Freddy is kinda cute and Spencer is somewhat endearing). But, let's face it, these shows are inane, ingratiating and have no socially redeeming value. The bottom line is they all have the same premises which go against everything I believe in.
1. All adults are apparent morons who can't find their way out of a paper bag.
2. All pre-teen and teenage children are smart, sassy and glib and can outsmart any adult at any time.
3. School and work are merely the downtime between fun times at the beach, at the smoothie shop, making the webshow or performing for millions onstage.
4. People don't work, they just sit around their amazing homes and apartments saying clever things and waiting for new, fabulous things to happen.
5. It's better to mislead people rather than telling the truth. One must hatch elaborate plots and ruse's in order to ensure you get what you want. After all, it worked so well for Jack Tripper on Three's Company, why not for Zach & Cody as they fool Moseby one more time. UGH!

This is a great lesson for our kids. I can't wait til my daughter comes home and says she wants have her own webshow. And I certainly won't supervise her while she's transmitting god knows what to thousands of people around the country. Of course not.
But what' s a parent to do? Ban Hannah and Zach and Cody completely? That would give this gaggle of morons too much credit. If I were to decree that these shows were forbidden at my house that would give them too much weight and make them all the more compelling. Therefore, I am taking a much more subversive and subtle approach. I just criticize the hell out of them when they are on the box. Often, my kids will argue with me, most vehemently, but hopefully I am making a little bit of a point. Jeez, how far we've come. I don't think my dad ever had to comment on the "krofts super show" or "Sigmund the Sea Monster>" I suppose that's mean we've evolved right. I don't know, you decide. In the meantime, you can find me watching Phineas and Ferb, one of the best shows on TV. That Doofenshmirtz just kills me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My ego's writing checks my body can't cash!

I am over-committed. There, I said it. I have too many commitments. I was reviewing my calendar today and realized that I am completely overscheduled. OK, let's start with the fact that I work full what one could only describe as a "time compelling" position. That's a nice way of saying it isn't a 40 hour a week deal. Now add to that the fact that I currently serve on not one, but two non profit boards. One for my kids school and the other for the Boys and Girls Clubs. Oh and did I mention that I am on the Steering Committee for the Annual St. John's Bazaar? And let's not forget the Boys and Girls club annual campaign committee. Well sure, that's plenty...but ya doesn't end there. There's also the spaghetti lunches and school open houses that I just can't say no to.....need cookies for the christmas fair, I'm your gal........Help with the set up for the Annual Steak and Burger I am.
Now it's not all philanthropy, there's also a lot of good healthy fun in there too.....a bunch of moms are headed to a cottage for a weekend getaway? I'll be there with my famous martinis and a batch of banana bread. A great friend wants to get away to Boston for a few days of shopping...bring it on.....I'll make the Amtrak reservation. Someone needs to go to Vegas for a business conference at work....???? Oh I guess I'll go, if I have to.
But, the bottom line is, I'm pooped. At some point, I am going to have to jump off the merry go round. I'm thinking probably around the year 2020. In the meantime, who's up for Bunco on Friday night? I sure am!
They make medication for this don't they?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

B90X---Serious Bible Reading

I think I have blogged before about my desire to invest more in the spiritual side of my life. In the past twelve months, I have been much more committed to my spirtuality and I am making my church and prayer a much a bigger part of my life. Now, I know some of you are saying, "jeez this woman is a walking contradiction!" And, indeed folks I am to some degree. I love a good party, I am an assertive confident gal who loves a good off color joke and has been known to use the F word on occasion (perhaps too many occasions) but deep down, I love my god and he loves me. To some of you it may seem hard to believe, but I spend a good deal of my time praying.
So, to that end, I have decided to read the bible....from cover to cover....the whole 90 days. Why? Because I can. Because I should. Because I am drawn to it for some reason. I have been a sometimes practicing, sometimes lapsed Catholic (currently practicing) for 40 years and I have never really read the bible. Sure, I know some passages, like those ones that they always read at weddings and the ones about Christ's birth and the Crucifixion, but I have the feeling that I have missed alot of chapters. Who the heck was Hebbekuk? How in heaven's name did the sons of Cain and Abel live for 850 years. What's a cubit. These are questions I have and perhaps they will be answered...perhaps not.
So, I found this B90X plan which is a program to read the bible in 90 days. A facebook friend turned me onto it. So, you guys know me...I say "No time like the present" and I started reading in earnest.
And this really is a "Good Book" It's got everything magic, love, betrayal, vengeance, all of it...and that's just the first chapter. Sounds like a page turner...Amen.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekends were made for Michelob...

Remember that commercial? What the hell happened to Michelob? I don't know anyone who drinks Michelob anymore. Sure, there are plenty of girls who drink Mich Ultra to keep their carbs down (note to those girls, it's not the Mich Ultra that will make you fat, it's the big plate of Nachos that you have with it). But seriously, where is regular old Michelob? While we're at it, how bout these beers?
Old Milwaukee --I guess it really did get better than this
Schaeffer--The one beer to have when your having more than one
Busch--Why does "head for the mountains of Busch" seem so inappropriate now.
Miller- "When it's time to relax, one beer stands clear, beer after beer" Again, encouraging binge drinking...feels wrong.
Milwaukees Best and Meister Brau--these beers were so cheap they couldn't afford a slogan or a commercial.

Thinking back on wine too, remember when people's idea of fine wine was Carlo Rossi? If you really wanted to impress people at the holidays you broke out the Almaden or some Pink Catawba. There was a solid decade in the 90's where most of my wine consumption came out of a Franzia box. (me likey the box o wine)
But now, it appears our tastes have matured. Now, my fridge is usually stocked with Heineken and Corona. I rarely drink wine that comes in bottles bigger than 750 ml....except for my favorite Pinot Grigio from Cavit. Does that mean I'm a snob? No it means that as I matured, I realized that booze didn't have to taste like crap. When you are going through your jeans looking for quarters to buy some beer, Heineken is out of the question...the 12 pack of Meister Brau Kinkers is the way to go.

Since I am feeling a bit nostalgic may be I'll pick up some Franzia for next week's Jet's-Colts game.....or perhaps a six pack of Michelob. I think I'll throw on some leggings, a big sweater and a banana clip too...what the hell. Whose coming over?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wii Fit!

We got a Wii for Christmas. For the kids. I then went out and bought Wii Fit. My "Wii Fit Age" according to the Wii balance board is....wait for it.....61 years old! Huh? Just because I can't do the center of balance games properly...oh and the fact that I am pushing maximum density. Well, let me tell ya, you get smacked in the face with a Wii Fit age of 61 my friends and there's a sure fire motivator. Since I stepped on the Wii two weeks ago, and had this dose of reality, I have lost 6.5 pounds. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that I have been sick and had no appetite, but still progress is progress.
Also, I think a major motivator was the impact my weight had on my Mii (that's the little Wii character you make for yourself) When I first signed on two weeks ago, I selected my Mii hair color, eye color etc. to make my own personal Wii character. I named it "Mama" since that's what they call me round here. Anywho, "Mama" was an adorable little Mii in her white workout pants and blu cropped workout top. Then, it happened. I stepped on the balance board for the first time so the Wii could record my weight and BMI. And guess what happened to little "Mama"? Just guess. Yup, she blew up like a balloon. All of a sudden, the cute little Mii was busting out of her adorable workout gear.
What a blow to the ego. If it didn't look so freaking funny, it might really be tragic. But, alas, I am resilient (or in denial, you decide). So, since then, my portions are smaller, I am taking the stairs more and I spend 30 minutes a night doing Rhythm Kung Fu to help my situation and hopefully bring my "Mama" back into proportion. Hopefully, god willing, I can get that Wii Fit age down too......61 years old.....Sweet Jesus! That's kooky.
wish me luck.

Monday, January 11, 2010


The long slog from Christmas to Spring has begun. This is such a funky time of year. Nothing much to look forward to, no big holidays, birthdays, events coming up, it's just time to hunker down and get through the winter! And when you live in Maine, the winter is long....and boring....and cold. Typically, during this time of year I try to start planning a trip somewhere for me and the hubby so we have something to look forward to. But this year, Marker and I are on the "Beans & Rice, Rice and Beans" plan so we can accomplish some fairly lofty financial goals this year so that means no Bed and Breakfast getaway for the Parkers anytime soon....pity.
So, I guess I will have to focus on planning some fun stuff close to home. Maybe this weekend I will clean my that's living!
I do have one business trip coming up....I am heading to Vegas in March for a conference. I am trying to convince my best pal Carrie to go with me. But, being in a similar financial situation as me, she is hedging. That being said, I think I can wear her down. I have some airline miles lying around that would probably be enough to get her out there and then after that it would just be me, her, slot machines and the 2.99 buffet. I think it sounds marvelous don't you? Now I just need to convince her of that. Wish me luck!
So anyway, that's something to look forward to. In the meantime, I have to get busy planning exciting winter activities, like rearranging the linen closet...good times.
Stay warm kids!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

On the Train!

Michaela and I are currently on the downeaster train to Boston. We boarded in Portland about an hour ago and we are about halfway there. I must say, train travel is really underrated. This is a great way to go. Big spacious seats in coach class, a cafe car that serves toasted bagels, a friendly conductor who stops at every seat and offers boston information and directions. The airlines could take a lesson. Of course, I also heard Amtrak makes no money, so maybe they don't have the right financial strategy. However, as far as travel to boston, I am sold on the Downeaster. This is fantastic! I sit here blogging and sipping a cup of Green Mountain coffee watching the snow covered scenery out the window. Lovely.
Well, there's a blizzard headed to Maine. It should hit tonight and could make my return trip a bit hairy. The good news is, I am a "go with the flow" kinda gal. I brought a pair of clean underwear and my toothbrush just in case I get stuck somewhere. (isn't that clever of me?)
So for now we will just amble along the railway to Boston, hoping that Michaela's flight is going to take off. If not, there's always Copley Plaza shopping :-)!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Day One

I have decided to do nothing today. That's right, you heard me....absolutely nothing. I love New Years Day because it always symbolizes a new beginning, a fresh start, the opportunity to right last year's wrongs. So, I feel I should lounge, relax and contemplate 2009 today and plan for 2010 through quiet meditation and sleep. Perhaps I will throw in a bit of PC Solitaire and a few games of word twist just to challenge my cranium a bit. Yes, this is a good idea. A day of pure relaxation.
Now, my motivation for doing this is not merely spiritual and esoteric. It's also because my liver and kidneys are currently working overtime to process the copious amounts of wine and champagne I imbibed with my pals last night as we rang in the new decade. I have, what the layman call, a hangover. And at 40 years old, hangovers hurt. Way more than they did at 20. So I think it's best to allow my tender organs recover. I must pull a Gloria Swanson and "take to my bed" for the day. I hope to rise around 5:00 ish and have some noodle soup or something. Then, around 7 tonight, I think a long soak in the tub might be in order with the most recent copy of people magazine.
Yes, 2010 is shaping up to be a fantastic year!

God bless you all this the first of a glorious new year!