Mar 4, 2014 What's Going On
Yesterday I wrote down some thoughts about the Oscars. For the record, I thought the show was boring and not very funny. And there were several instances that had me shaking my head and wondering WTF just happened.
One of those was watching Kim Novak.
It looked like she had had so much work done on her face she could barely talk. Her lips were ridiculously plumped, her eyebrows were unnaturally high, and her cheekbones were in a really weird place. It looked like the top two-thirds of her face was a mask with eye holes cut out.
And for saying all of this on twitter and facebook and in my post, I got some hate mail.
(Which, BTW, I’m not going to respond directly to. I put my thoughts out there in public. If you want to discuss them with me, you can put yours out in public too, in the comments section. You even get to remain anonymous. But I’m not going to take the time to engage in that kind of back-and-forth over email.)
Obviously I wasn’t the only one who thought this – it was a hot topic during and after the Oscars. And there were some eloquent defenses of why someone might do that to her own face. This is a woman who was constantly belittled during her career and that had to have done some major damage to her sense of self-esteem.
But that’s exactly why these things need to pointed out, why we need to say that doing THAT to your face is ridiculous, and does not in any way make you look younger or better.
I have nothing against plastic surgery. Based on what’s going on with my own body after gaining and then losing a lot of weight, I’ll be surprised if I don’t end up getting some things nipped and tucked in the next few years. But there is something so wrong about trying to restore yourself to another era.
Aging happens to everybody. If you have amazing genes, you age fabulously. Most of us won’t be so lucky – life’s not always fair. And it must be one thousand times worse when looking good was a huge part of your job for decades.
But my goodness, how many women have to turn themselves into plastic freak shows before we all come to the conclusion that aging naturally looks better? I can’t remember ever thinking of an older actress “Wow, she looks old.” If she’s old, she’s supposed to look old. I have many times thought “Wow, she got fat” or “Ugh, I can’t believe she wore that!” But aging? That you have no control over.
There were some really great looking older women on that Oscar stage. Did some of them have work done? I have no idea. They looked good, but they looked their age. So if they got something nipped or tucked, good for them.
But there’s a line. A desperate, ambitious, sad line that you do not want to cross. And if the uproar over Kim Novak makes someone else think twice before trying to restore her face to the 1980s, then I don’t feel bad at all for throwing Kim Novak under the bus. She was standing in the middle of the road already.
Mar 3, 2014 What's Going On
The theme of last night’s Oscars was “WTF just happened?” They started out with promise. Ellen’s opening monologue was fantastic, and Pharrell’s performance of his song “Happy” was possibly the best, most fun Oscar performance ever. Lupita Nyong’o schooled everyone on how to give an Oscar acceptance speech (although, I started the skinny shimmery headband trend TWO DAYS before she did, so she’d better not try to claim it!). I was hopeful that it was going to be a great night. But it went slowly (and I do mean slowly) downhill from there.
WTF happened? I mean, compared to actresses like Sally Field, Glenn Close, and Bette Midler, who all came out looking older but like themselves, Kim looked like someone who is aging the opposite of gracefully. A little plastic surgery goes a long way, especially on the face. The thing is, twitter and facebook exploded with appreciation for the older actresses who either hadn’t had plastic surgery, or had done it so artfully that you couldn’t tell. I can’t wait until the money people catch up with the fact that the public doesn’t want to see plastic, stretched faces as women (and men!) get older. We want to see real people who can actually still act with their facial features.
Ellen did a couple of bits with pizza that just went on waaaaay too long. Eventually she had three pizzas delivered, and she brought them out to the first couple of rows. I was cringing as I thought of pizza grease dripping on all of those expensive dresses and tuxes! Most of the people involved seemed game, but my goodness, give them Saltines next time, or something else that won’t drip! Those people spent all day getting ready! (Well, the women anyway.) Save the pizza for 3am when they’re home and in sweats.
You had ONE JOB John Travolta! #Oscars
— SelfishMom (@SelfishMom) March 3, 2014
While introducing Idina Menzel to sing “Let It Go,” John Travolta butchered her name so badly it was really a totally different name. A name that immediately got a twitter handle with thousands of followers. Was there a problem with the teleprompter? Did he have a mini stroke? Was he stoned? Whatever it was, it bled over into Idina’s performance. And again, were there technical difficulties? It was not…great. She seemed to be fighting tears from the moment she started, and she swallowed a couple of words early on. Her mic hand was shaking a lot, and her big notes were somewhat painful. WTF. I don’t know if the name thing threw her off, or if there was more going on. This should have been one of the greatest moments of her life, but instead it was a bit of a disappointment. Hopefully most people will blame it on Adele Dazeem, whoever that is.
All in all, the telecast was long and underwhelming. But it was an honor just to be nomin- oh, right. It was just long and underwhelming.
Jan 27, 2014 What's Going On
I would like to state up front that by posting this, I have doomed myself to making some kind of horrible, embarrassing email mistake in the near future, because karma is a raging bitch with PMS.
Now that that’s taken care of…
I’m guessing that most of you know how to use email. You know what goes into the “To” box and the “Subject” box and luckily for you, the “From” box is usually filled out for you (what a time saver!).
But for some people, when they want to write to more than one person, things get tricky.
Yesterday I got an email from someone I didn’t recognize, saying she was leaving a company I’ve never worked with. I archived it and didn’t give it another thought.
Earlier today, a bunch of emails came in replying to her, wishing her well, this person I don’t know.
Ah yes, there it was: HUNDREDS of names in the “To” box, plus another dozen or so in the “CC” box.
Now, for those of you who are too young to remember typewriters, “CC” stands for “Carbon Copy.” If you wanted to make TWO of the thing you were typing at the same time, you put carbon paper between two sheets of typing paper and voilà, an original and a carbon copy. Isn’t it cute that whoever designed email used that anachronistic term for sending out copies to more than one person?
There’s also a “BCC” box, for “Blind Carbon Copy.” This is for those times when you don’t want other people to see everybody’s email address, like, oh, I don’t know, when you send an email to every single person in your address book.
More emails rolled in, asking people to please not hit “Reply all” when writing back to the original sender. And then a bunch of Mensa candidates wrote in asking to be removed from the list, as if it were a newsletter, and OF COURSE they all hit “Reply all” as well.
And then there were more emails asking people not to keep replying to everybody, and then other people asking everybody to just stop writing, period, and the madness would stop.
It hasn’t stopped.
At this point it’s more entertaining than annoying, but just barely.
And this happens fairly frequently. The funniest part is, it’s usually someone who works in PR, who should know better. But hey, I love seeing who else has been invited to the same event I have, especially when I’m being told that it’s “exclusive” and yet there are two hundred other bloggers on the invite list with me.
So now, I have hundreds of email addresses that I could do whatever I wanted to with. It’s a good thing for those people that I’m not an asshole. But maybe some of them are, and they have my email address now too.
Find the “BCC” box, and use it. Don’t be an idiot. Email isn’t new.
Jan 13, 2014 What's Going On
This morning I headed out to JFK airport, for my Global Entry interview (it’s a pre-screening program that gets you through customs and TSA checks quicker).
As I drove toward the parking lot for Terminal 4, I saw a few people hanging out near the kiosks where you get your parking ticket. As I pulled up and opened my window, a boy who looked to be about twenty walked up and pleaded with me to help him. He’d lost his ticket, and the guard had told him that the only way to get out was to convince someone else to get him a ticket, drive around, and then get their own ticket.
There was ZERO chance that I was going to do this. I mean, for one thing, what if they were trying to scam their way out of paying what they owed? What if they’d been parked there in short-term parking for three days and owed $100, and didn’t want to pay it?
I also couldn’t see how this could work: if I drove through and got a ticket and gave it to them, how would I get out without a ticket? And you can’t just back up and go through again to get another ticket, there are those spiky “Don’t Back Up” things.
This can not be how it works if you lose your ticket, right? There has to be some kind of procedure, I’m sure this isn’t the first time this has happened!
I told him he was putting me in a bad position by even asking. In fact, he probably would have had more luck asking me for money to pay his ticket. And I got my ticket and drove away.
And yet, even though I had done nothing wrong, I felt guilty. Was there something I could have done to help him?
I was only in the terminal for about fifteen minutes, and when I came out the three of them were gone. Hopefully they found a solution that didn’t put someone else in the position of breaking the rules.
I’m a rule follower. Always have been. I take instructions literally and warnings to heart. I try to teach my kids that rules are only made to be broken if they are putting someone else in danger. This definitely didn’t qualify. So I can’t figure out why I felt bad (and still do, a little) for not helping total strangers.
Jan 7, 2014 What's Going On
This Old Spice commercial is getting a lot of play – two million hits and counting on YouTube, free advertising for an ad that I’m guessing will play during the Super Bowl.
The media is putting people into two camps: those who find it funny, and those who find it creepy.
I’m in a third camp: I find it sad.
The moms are sad. They look sad, their clothes are sad, their hair is sad. The song they sing is, of course, sad. And the message is devastatingly sad: don’t grow up.
I saw one of the creators of the commercial on TV this morning. He said, “No mom wants to see her boy turn in to a man.”
Smart, confident moms want to see their children – boys and girls – grow up and go off into the world. We’re not afraid of that stage, because we never stopped having our own lives, in addition to being mothers. Life for us will not end with an empty nest, it will grow.
I’m excited to see what’s next for my kids. Sure, I get wistful sometimes. Just a couple weeks ago I was thinking about how sad it will be when my kids are no longer waking me up at 6am on Christmas morning. But I will gladly give up that morning in exchange for my kids getting to experience that feeling with their own children.
I know it’s only a commercial. I don’t want to take it too seriously. But I don’t find it funny, and apparently I’m the target audience. If one mom in a commercial is portrayed as being a sweat-pants wearing, make-up-less sad sack I can look past it – we all have those days. But a whole group of them? That’s not us, not the moms I know.
The moms I know are enjoying their kids now while being excited for their futures. You won’t catch us stalking our kids on dates – we’ll be on our own!
Jan 2, 2014 What's Going On
As awesome as I am, this is not a post about how I don’t need to change anything in my life. There are many things I wish I did better, or more consistently, or more, or less, or…or…or…
But January 1st is a shitty time to try to make those changes. For one thing, I have a lot of perfectionist tendencies. This does not mean I do everything perfectly, oh no. It means that if I can’t do it perfectly, it doesn’t get done. So, if I vow to do something starting on January 1st and I mess it up on January 4th, guess what? I tell myself “Oh well, next year.” My brain is pretty much incapable of saying “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start fresh tomorrow.” Won’t happen. I can’t start things on the first of the month, or Mondays, or at any time where I might risk breaking a perfect pattern.
Case in point: when I finally decided to lose weight last year I started on a random Tuesday in March. And it stuck.
But maybe you don’t have that particular affliction. January 1st is still a terrible time to try something new. It’s really winter now. And if you live in a place that gets a real winter, everything is going to be harder for the next few months. The energy that you should be putting towards your resolutions will instead be spent bundling kids up in extra clothes, chasing down lost gloves, shoveling, brushing off cars, and being cold. Do you really want to add to that burden? Think of how energized you’ll feel in spring?
Also, if you’re at all Christian-ish and celebrate Christmas in any way, you just finally got done with gifts and trees and lights and cards and big fancy meals and trips and whatever else you did to celebrate. Your school-age kids were underfoot for almost two weeks and you’re finally going to have some time to yourself to catch up. I will call this month a win if I actually do catch up on the things that didn’t get done in December. Why in the world would I want to add something extra right now?
I’m not saying don’t better yourself or make goals. I’m not saying to wait until some perfect time when the rest of your life is in order and the stars are perfectly aligned. I’m saying…wait a few weeks. Or a few months. Start that new project on a nice sunny day in February. Sign up for a 5K in June so that you don’t have to start running until spring. And for goodness’ sake, spread it all out or it’s just going to be overwhelming and undoable.