Posted in Good Things, Pop Culture

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Dark and Twisted

It’s October and the news is a continual loop of shit with the government trying to oppress freedom of speech and the marginalized. Sometimes it is just too hard to pull out of the darkness. This week I chose to revel in the anger and sadness. So here’s a list if you are like Lydia Deetz:

The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell: One part Food Network, one part Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, a third of the absurd and you have the most original baking show I have ever seen. It’s hand clappingly good.

Destroyer: This latest performance from Nicole Kidman looks like her performance is going to decimate the audience with her portrayal of a LA cop who goes undercover with tragic results.

WTF with Marc Maron: Marc Maron is a comedian who also plays Sam Sylvia on Netflix’s GLOW. His podcast is him navigating through the Hollywood scene and interviewing celebrities. His brutal honesty about his neuroses is relatable and almost made me feel bad about laughing.

http://www.wtfpod.com/

Mandy: I honestly don’t even know how to describe the experience that is this Nicolas Cage led 80s horror style movie. Outrageous fun? Not for the squeamish? A work of art? Every year I find a new horror movie that floors me. Hereditary definitely left a lasting impression. But Mandy will be at the very least an annual viewing in the month of October while spreading the word to horror movie aficianados.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Good Things, social media

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Badass Women Edition

How was your week? Are you having fall weather where you live? It rained here last night and even gave us some lightning (woohoo!). I hope you all had a wonderful one. If not, yay for the weekend! Even if you have to work, I hope you are able to take some time to yourself and relax. So pull up a chair, relax on a comfy couch, or even stay in bed and pull up the covers. Here is your list of the good for your listening/viewing pleasure:

Chvrches, Love is Dead:

Chvrches is an alternative band that became popular with the single “The Mother We Share.” Their new album is Love is Dead. Lead singer Lauren Eve Mayberry’s vocals and angsty lyrics make you want to sing every song at the top of your lungs.

Spider-Man, Into the Spider-Verse:

After Chris Miller and Phil Lord were released from directing duties on Solo, I have to admit my excitement for the movie went down a notch. So when I saw the trailer for this new take on my favorite superhero, I was elated. Different Spider-Mans in different dimensions, a confident Gwen Stacy, and Spider-Ham are just a few of the elements of this Marvel film that will be released in time to be the only Christmas present I need.

Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from A Star is Born

Need to release some tears? I love watching movies I know are guaranteed to make me cry because it releases all the sadness that builds up, whether it be from something I am going through or depression getting me down. I saw A Star is Born 8 days ago and haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Shallow is the first single that was released before the movie debuted and even though I have listened to the album over and over, this is still my favorite.

 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I didn’t watch the 90s sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch ( I was reserving my Friday nights for Full House fan). But when I saw the trailer for this reboot with Kiernan Shipka, my inner-brooding teenager added it to the Netflix queue. It looks dark and eerie, has costumes that invoke Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, and Ross Lynch as her mortal love.

Ozarks

This is my oh-my-god you have to watch this show because it is SO GOOD recommendation. The story has been compared to Breaking Bad where our antihero Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) agrees to do things for the drug cartel to save and protect his family. They move down to the Ozarks to launder money. And if something can go wrong, it does (my anxiety went through the roof watching the first season but I just couldn’t stop). The cast of the show is outstanding. Laura Linney as Wendy Byrde and Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore are stunning as Marty’s wife and his employee. They burn the typical wife and white trash little girl stereotypes to the ground. I never thought I would watch a drug cartel drama to escape reality but here we are.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Word Therapy

Tears of Rage and Joy

I forgot to take my medicine yesterday. Woke up today feeling like I had cried all night: tired, puffy eyes, and ragey. The tears want to flow and I have no self control to stop them. Anger at the world is taking up so much space in my brain that I am starting to forget things ( I would tell you what but I can’t remember what those things are). I want to stop watching the news but want to stay informed. I want to encourage people to vote but don’t have enough followers on social media to feel like I will be making a difference. It’s become harder and harder to stay focused. A thought pops in my head and is gone in an instant. The demon voices are louder than the “it’s okay” voices. With my phone in my hand I just keep scrolling with no willpower to just put it down and walk away. This feeling of mania sucks the energy out of me. The walls are inching closer and closer and I am too tired to stop them. I want to give up on writing and take a nap. My nerve endings are at full attention, daring to be battled with as another form of punishment. Music only illicits two kinds of emotions: sadness or annoyance because it’s too much. I am that cartoon where the character walks around with a cloud over its head and a sourpuss face.

I hold my head in my hands for a period of time. I pick up my phone. I read a chapter of the book I am currently reading. The cloud is now impairing my vision. I am exhausted. The rollercoaster of emotions is taking it’s toll but my stubborness tells me to keep writing. I feel like I have nothing of substance to say. At this point I am just spewing verbal diarrhea.

15 minutes later

I have taken a breath. I feel brighter. Watched a funny video on the internet. Feel motivated to write with a plan. Sitting up straighter. Did some internet retail therapy browsing. Ready to dive back in. I know that I can only count on today. Tomorrow is something I can’t control so I let it go. Still feeling tired and not 100% focused. Will breathe until I get it right. Will cry if I need to.

This was all in the span of one hour this morning. It didn’t help that I didn’t make my medicine. But when this storm of top to bottom emotions come on, all I can do is ride it out. I have to repeat, “it will be okay.” Most of the time I believe it. I won’t stop saying it. I will try and be kind to myself. I will not stop being vocal about the injustices of the world. I won’t allow myself to give up even when my brain tells me that all hope is gone.

I am going to go eat a piece of chocolate. Be kind to yourself and others on this World Mental Health Day. We owe it to ourselves if we are going to win this battle. Sending you love.

Posted in Good Things

Worth It

Last weekend the first Milk Bar in Los Angeles opened. But no matter how much I begged and pleaded, I couldn’t convince hubby to brave the traffic and participate in the opening day activities. If you are a fan of the Netflix series’ Chef’s Table, you know what Milk Bar is. Founding chef Christina Tosi has a bit of a sweet tooth and likes to go to the fair to test out desserts to get inspiration for new creations. She is famous for her “Crack-pie.” This led me to making a list of my favorite places to eat in Southern California for breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert:

Breakfast

Sidecar Doughnuts in Costa Mesa: Their Butter and Salt yummy goodness took me back to the Arizona State fair where I tried the love of my life, deep fried butter. It was soft, warm, and the perfect blend of its two ingredients.

Remember when Oprah and Gayle went to the Texas State fair on their road trip?  That was the gateway to my love affair with fair food (and introduced me to the aforementioned deep fried butter)

Lunch

Fat Sal’s in Hollywood: This restaurant is famous for their gigantic sandwiches.  You can either be ambitious enough to eat it on your own or share it with someone you love. My favorite is the Fat Buffalo with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, blue cheese, etc. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

Dinner

Braise and Crumble: Hubby and I discovered this restaurant in Pasadena on a date night. Their Fried Chicken Po’Boy was delicious but the Gorgonzola potato salad is what we fought over and took home to let the kids try. If I could buy a gallon of it and figure out how to freeze it without it going bad, I would.

Dessert

Magnolia Bakery: It’s amazing the lengths I will go to try a dessert I see on Instagram. Such is the case with Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding. I drove 12 miles of LA streets to try this pudding and it was worth every inch we moved in the Saturday traffic.

Burger Parlor: Burger Parlor is a burger and fries restaurant we love to go to in downtown Fullerton. Their burgers give Shake Shack a run for their money as far as my hubby is concerned while I love their turkey one. But their Cap’n Crunch milkshake is quite possibly the best shake I have ever had. You would think it might be too sweet but every time I have it I think:

Now if you don’t mind I am going to go eat my feelings after my workout as this week’s news has been hot garbage.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Word Therapy

Flags

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Curls made this flag. She talks to me a lot about the LGBTQIA identities: bi, gender fluid, nonbinary, etc. I don’t know all the different ways kids identify themselves these days. But I do know that it’s ridiculous that people get upset when a Sesame Street writer states that Bert and Ernie are gay. Don’t bring sex into a children’s show they say. By that rationale, shouldn’t that mean there are no couples at all, straight or otherwise?

Acceptance and understanding is not something I see a lot of these days. Shouldn’t we leave Earth better than when we got here?  To come from a place of love and knowledge to try and understand the next generation? The following is a list of LGBTQIA terms and their corresponding flags. I hope it helps.

Asexual: Someone who does not feel sexual attraction or identifies as a sexual orientation.

Asexual flag

Bisexual: When a person is attracted to some men and women.

Bisexual flag

Cisgender: When your gender identity accurately reflects your sex assigned at birth, aka being “straight.”

Gay: People who identify as men and are attracted to some men.

Gay flag

Gender: A set of social, psychological, and emotional traits. Refers to social and emotional feelings and norms. Gender characteristics can change over time and vary across different cultural contexts.

Gender fluid: A term used by people whose identity shifts or fluctuates. Sometimes these individuals may identify or express themselves as more masculine on some days, and more feminine on others.

Gender Fluid flag

Intersex: People born with sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies. Hermaphrodite is no longer an acceptable way to refer to intersex people and is understood to be by some as a slur.

Intersex flag

Nonbinary: A person who identifies as neither male nor female and sees themselves outside the gender binary.

Non binary flag

Pansexual: Someone who is attracted to people of all gender identities, or someone who is attracted to a person’s qualities regardless of their gender identity.

Pansexual flag

Queer: An umbrella term to refer to all LGBTQ people as well as an identity which advocates breaking binary thinking and seeing both sexual orientation and gender identity as potentially fluid. Historically it has been derogatory and can still be viewed negatively by some.

Sexual Orientation: The deep-down, inner feeling of who we are attracted or “oriented” to emotionally, erotically, and/or sexually.

Transgender: A broad umbrella term that can be used to describe people whose gender expression is non-conforming and/or whose gender identity is different from their sex assigned at birth. They may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgerically. People must self-identify as transgender in order fo the term to be appropriately used to describe them.

Trans flag

References: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/style/lgbtq-gender-language.html

https://www.nyu.edu/students/communities-and-groups/student-diversity/lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-and-queer-student-center/glossary-of-important-lgbt-terms.html

Posted in Good Things

Saturday morning cartoons

I miss waking up Saturday mornings with a bowl of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch and orange juice in my McDonald’s Hamburglar glass to watch cartoons.  Smurfs was my favorite but I also loved Tom and Jerry, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and the Snorks.  Curls and Red will never know the delayed gratification of waiting all week to watch these 15 minute long shows before being pushed out the door by their parents to play until the street lights came on.  Now it’s Musical.ly, YouTube, and at least a tablet or videogame console to occupy their time.

I for one would still like something to look forward to at the end of a long week of working, running my kids all around town, and just handling STUFF.  We all need a little happy so I compiled a list of clips that either made me laugh, cry, or both.  Enjoy and have that extra donut with your coffee or tea.  I won’t tell anyone.

Celeste Barber: I just recently discovered this unabashedly funny Australian comedian who spoofs celebrities.  She has a following of 4.7 million on Instagram for a reason and her recent collaboration with Tom Ford had me dying:

You can find her here on Instagram along with more footage of her with Tom.

John and Hank Green: I will love the Vlogbrothers until the end of time.  And what John did for Hank’s book release had me in tears:

Billy on the Street: Billy Eichner started the new season of his loud and energetic show on Youtube.  Him running down the streets of New York with celebrities while screaming at passerbys always makes me cringe and laugh.  The first episode is with Emma Stone but I have also attached one with Paul Rudd (who wouldn’t want to sleep with him??) and Keegan-Michael Key:

Mary Halsey and Missy Elliott: If you haven’t seen the clip of Mary Halsey covering Missy Elliott’s “Work It”, you can find it here.  Then you can watch this clip of Missy surprising her on Ellen.  The anticipation of watching Mary performing knowing that Missy is about to come out on stage made me feel like a kid waiting for her presents on Christmas morning.

Posted in Good Things, Wellness

Bringing the 60s back

Y’ALL. I checked my beloved weather app this week and it could get as low as 61 degrees at night. I am savoring that chill. I am imagining the fireplaces being used all around town because any weather below 65 degrees makes us Californians bust out the scarves and hats. I need my denim jacket at night and it is GLORIOUS. It makes me dream about my fall wardrobe which led me to scouring my go to websites Target and Gap and even checking out others (Eshakti). Hubby and I have three scheduled dates for fall and I need new outfits, right?

Foster the People concert

Since we like to do stuff as opposed to buying stuff, this concert is to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. Hubby would probably think something is wrong if I wore a dress and heels so jeans and a tank it is:

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Universal Thread Tank 

Gap Grey Girlfriend Jeans 

Silver Metallic Hi Top Chucks 

Pacifica Firebird Lipstick 

Baublebar Silver hoops 

Horror Made Here

This year we are braving the studio lot at Warner Bros for their horror event. I will be counted on to do lots of screaming and running so again comfort is key:

 

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Nightmare before Christmas T

Gap Cords (my top fall go to) 

I am dying over these penny loafers 

There is no more back to school for me (can I get an AMEN?) but I still need this backpack

Dear Evan Hansen

In November we will be going to see the musical Dear Evan Hansen in Los Angeles. As I type this I am trying to contain my excitement because it is SO FAR AWAY. While I wait I will have the cast recording on repeat and purchasing my theater (say that in a snotty tone to get the real effect) wardrobe:

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Have you heard of Eshakti? I was clued into this website by a brilliant group of women and all I can say is dresses with pockets (It also gives me that Marvelous Mrs. Maisel feel, which is my new favorite show if only for the droolworthy costumes but also because it is hilarious)

T Straps 

Baublebar Crawler earrings to make feel a little punk rock 

Gold Clutch

And just because I have a thing for overalls and stripes:

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Universal Thread Charcoal overalls 

Gap long sleeve stripe crewneck 

Gap grey ankle boots 

Are you excited for sweaters, jeans, and boots? Is it cold where you live yet? Tell me so I can live vicariously through you!

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Wellness, Word Therapy

You are not alone

The first time I tried I was in my teens. The second I was a mom to two babies. I had lost all hope and I couldn’t see life getting any better. Everything that could go wrong did. I tried to lock myself in the bathroom with a mouthful of pills. I was stopped by the person who loves me the most. I was told to look at my children. I was asked if I really wanted to do this. He called family, telling them he didn’t know what to do. I spit the pills in the toilet. Things did eventually get better. I was lucky.

Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and countless others that we don’t know but don’t make them any less important. They took their own lives, no matter how happy they looked to us. “Within the past year, about 41,000 individuals died by suicide, 1.3 million adults have attempted suicide, 2.7 million adults have had a plan to attempt suicide, and 9.3 million adults have had suicidal thoughts.”-NAMI

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. If you read or watch the news you know mental health is a hot topic. Finding help and getting the coverage for it is stigmatized. Speaking about it makes people uncomfortable. But we have all felt despair at times in our lives. Imagine feeling so hopeless that leaving this Earth feels like your only option? Here are some stats from NAMI that alarmed me as the mother of two kids with their teenage years around the corner:

  • 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 live with a mental condition
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24
  • 37 % of students with a mental health condition at age 14 and older drop out of school

Follow this to know what the 10 common warning signs are.

As much as I talk about anything and everything, I don’t like to talk about how I got to a place where I tried to end my life. Depression has definitely affected me my whole life but I never thought during those two times that it would lead to making that decision. It came on suddenly with such an overwhelming feeling of desperation. I wanted to do something drastic so I didn’t have to feel what I was feeling anymore. I am grateful every day that I failed. With my medicine, writing, and exercise, I can now identify when I am feeling bad and why. I can see things with perspective. I know I am strong enough to handle whatever is thrown at me. I didn’t before. Back then I felt all alone in the world. But I wasn’t then and I’m not now. None of us are. And if you don’t feel that you can reach out to friends or family, here are some places that you can:

NAMI

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Trevor Project

You are loved.

Posted in The Happy

Tire Swing

We drive over the gravel as the rocks and dirt kick up behind the car. We pull alongside a minivan and turn off the ignition. The kids hop out of the car before we can say, “Wait!” We hold hands as we head pass the little shack on the left with the organic honey and knick knacks to buy. I blink to get the dirt out of my eyes as the spores attack from every angle. We head up to the right towards a makeshift square made up of bales of hay with a Peanuts flag waving from the top. We stop at the tree right before and see the kids waiting to be pushed on the tire swings. The tree branches hang over to give shelter from the dark sky and full moon, the only real light. The kids laugh and scream as they fly through the air on the tire that used to be too high for them and now they drag their feet when they come back towards the tree. I breathe in the air, thinking I can smell the baby Christmas trees that will be for sale in less than eight weeks. When the kids have been given equal time on the tires with the promise that we will come back for one more push before we leave, we head over to the pumpkin patch. Twinkling lights light the way as we check out the orange and white pumpkins that have been picked up, put down, dropped, and deposited in one of the wheelbarrows scattered throughout. Once we decide on a couple, their dad goes to have them weighed while I take the kids on a hay ride. We cough and sneeze but still laugh as we circle the farm in the darkness.

Scarlet Tire Swing

Ever since we moved back to the OC last year, I have been trying to make the kids as comfortable as possible and help them realize that making them leave everything they knew was a good thing. Taking them to new places, encouraging them to find new friends, and hopefully establishing new traditions. We have been taking the kids to multiple pumpkin patches since they were babies. But their favorite was Wickerd Farm. It has all the caveats that other pumpkin patches have plus the beloved tire swing. So I am making a list of places to take the kids this fall so we can make some new memories.

Wesley Tire Swing

OC Children’s Book Festival

Curls loves her books and what better way to encourage that with a book festival geared specifically towards her and her brother. On 9/30 they will have 125+ authors and illustrators plus book sellers and other vendors.

Annual Sandcastle Contest

Since we are lucky enough to live close to the beach and the weather will continue to be warm until November, the Corona Del Mar sandcastle contest on 10/7 will be fun to check out.

Disneyland’s Halloween Party/Knott’s Spooky Farm

The Disneyland Halloween party is an event we have been going to for years. The kids love wearing their costumes, seeing others dressed up, trick or treating throughout the park, and riding Haunted Mansion decked out a la Nightmare before Christmas. They close the park in the early evening to regular guests which helps with the crowds and also put on a fireworks show narrated by Jack Skellington with Disney villains making an appearance. Knott’s Spooky Farm is not as done to the nines as Disneyland but seeing the Peanuts gang in costume is fun.

Irvine Park Railroad

Irvine Park Railroad has paddle boats, a train, a hiking trail, and a pumpkin patch during the fall. They even do a weigh in for large pumpkins. Now we just need to find out if they have a tire swing….

Do you go to a pumpkin patch before Halloween? Or do you buy your pumpkins from the store?

Tire Swing

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin'

Cinespia

On Saturday August 25th, the family and I headed up to Los Angeles for a day of fun. My long suffering husband rode shotgun as I drove us to the Skirball Cultural Center, Sparrow Mart, and finally, Cinespia. We covered a lot of the freeway system and would you believe that my hands still hurt from gripping the steering wheel (road rage side effect)? We had some struggles throughout the day with the traffic, missing Sparrow Mart, and just becoming hangry. But we also experienced Jim Henson’s world and checked off an essential LA event, Cinespia. It almost felt like a last hurrah for summer before we gear up for Fall.

Skirball:

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Stood in line for about 20 minutes just to buy tickets and then another 45 minutes to get into the exhibit

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A reminder for anyone who needs it

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Kermie welcoming us in

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Fun fact: I dated a guy in high school who looked just like Beaker. I will always love Beaker.

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The Dark Crystal: creeping me out while also making me love them since 1982

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 Forever in my heart

If you aren’t aware of Kehinde Wiley, you should be

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Reality Check at Skirball: Red threw a fit, rolled his eyes, and kept saying “I’m bored.” Red and Curls wouldn’t stop fighting and irritated me so much that I snapped at one of the employees when she wanted to only give us one program (which I apologized for after I calmed down).

After Skirball we drove back down the 405 to Sparrow Mart, an art installation at The Standard Hotel in Downtown LA. The artist created the inside of a grocery store from the 1980s and everything was made from felt.

We got there before they closed but were told after standing in line for 10 minutes that the last person to get in would be the woman who was in front of us. I wasn’t surprised and understood since it was the last day but it was handled poorly by the employee. Curls was crushed as all she wanted was a baby brussel sprout but alas it wasn’t meant to be.

We picked up Shake Shack before heading over to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to watch the Tom Hanks’ film Big. I have wanted to attend Cinespia for years. When I got the email for the 30th anniversary screening of Big I jumped at the chance. And it did not disappoint:

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The rainbow and palm trees just fill my heart up

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Finding his best light

Now bring on the pumpkins, the Nightmare before Christmas soundtrack, and all the scary movies!

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!