Category Archives: Pop Culture

Academy Awards liveblogging

Hey out there! Long time no blog! I’ll do a real post later, but tonight is the academy awards and so I must liveblog. Or actually it will probably semi-live-blogging since I’ll probably have to pause the ceremony while Chad puts the girls to bed. MY LIFE IS HARD. Anyway, keep checking back in throughout the night for my HILARIOUS or possibly just insane observations.


  • First observation: Good god, Jennifer Lawrence is taller than Kristin Chenoweth. I realize that everyone is taller than Kristin Chenoweth, but seeing J-Law and Chenoweth together made it look like one of them was a special effect.  It’s cool, though, because I kind of want to put Chenoweth in my pocket, and I want to be BFFs with Jennifer Lawrence.
  • I’m actually not finding the red-carpet convo as annoying as usual. Like, some of the questions are only slightly idiotic. And they’re actually letting the actors talk about things other than their outfits. J’approve!
  • OK, could Bradley Cooper’s mom be any cuter? SO CUTE.
  • Is anyone else over Nicole Kidman? Anyone?
  • LOVE Charlize Theron’s hair. I want that cut.
  • Just one of the many ways in which Hugh Jackman is awesome is his lovely relationship with his amazing wife. I heart them.
  • Jennifer Anniston: big points for not wearing black or nude dress – love that color red – but could you EVER do something different with your hair? It’s the Oscars! Go with an up-do!
  • Um, I *think* Halle Berry was going for “Old Hollywood” as in Joan Crawford, but if you ask me, that dress is more “Dynasty” as in Joan Collins. NOT GOOD.
  • Mmmm … George Clooney with a beard … drool … Continue reading

Just call her Po

Driving to preschool today:

SYLVIA: Mama, I see the sun!

ME: Yep, there it is.

SYLVIA: It’s followin’ us!

ME: (feigning interest) Is it?

SYLVIA: Yeah, lookit! Ober dere! Maybe I fink it wants a playdate.

ME: (pause) A what now?


ME: Well, that would be pretty interesting. What do you think you’d do on a playdate with the sun?

SYLVIA: (thinking) Mmmm … the sun can’t talk.

ME: No, the sun can’t talk, that’s true.

SYLVIA: Yeah, it gots no face.

ME: Right, it’s not like the sun on Teletubbies. No face, no way to talk.

SYLVIA: I luuuuuub dat baby-in-the-sun.

ME: I know you do, honey. You love all kinds of babies.

SYLVIA: Maybe I can have a playdate wif a BABY.

ME: That sounds more doable, yeah.

I Write Letters

woman-writing-letters-by-charles-dana-gibson Dear January,

Nice try with the rain and all, but I still hate you. Next time try some free first-class tickets to Belize.




Dear Idiots Out on the Lake Calhoun Ice,

Are you OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MINDS? It rained all last night. It’s still above freezing today. There are large swaths of melty patches all around the lake surface. You really think it’s a good idea to hang out on the ice with your shitty collapsible chair and nothing but a bargain-bin parka to protect your ass? Really?! Well, don’t come bitching to me when you fall in and die of hypothermia. IT’S NO MORE THAN YOU DESERVE.

OK I don’t really want you to die but COME ON,



Dear Brain Chemicals,

AGAIN with the seasonally affected depression? Can we not move past this phase? I mean, winter blues are so early millennium. Plus, it’s hard to get anything done from a recumbent and/or fetal position on the sofa. Start a new trend.




Dear Oscar voters,

You guys, I haven’t even SEEN Argo yet and I know Ben Affleck was robbed. Ditto Kathyrn Bigelow, you misogynist douchebags. Nice job on Silver Linings Playbook, tho.

Now send me some best picture screeners, dammit,



The Snowman

You know what you should watch tonight? This:

A) David Bowie does the introduction, and B) it is full-on wintery wonderful. And that’s saying something coming from this cold-weather-hating lady. Go on. Click play.

You can’t spell “Christmas” without “r-a-c-i-s-m”

Today was a good day. Chad let me sleep in, which he always does, which is why I will never divorce him no matter how often he makes me listen to Bryan Adams songs; we took the girls to see Santa and his elf, Albert, and for the first time ever *both* girls were brave enough to sit with Santa; and then we had lunch and sat down to watch some holiday programming on Netflix. Sylvia requested The Nutcracker, Maurice Sendak’s awesomely designed version of the ballet, so we rocked that. Then Ellie chose “Christmas Classics, Vol. 1,” a collection of short Christmas-themed animations from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. So: awesome, right? We embrace classic animation! Max Fleischer rules!

And the first video, the original cartoon of Rudolph, is just what you’d expect. Snow-Whitish animation, cheesy music, Reindeer doing silly things. All good. The second short, “Santa’s Surprise,” however, is … how can I put this … RACIST AS FUCK. OK, no, that might be too strong. On a scale of racism where 1 is a Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial event and 10 is a KKK rally, this movie was, like, a 7. So it could have been worse, but it’s still not something you want your kids watching.

It’s funny, because when you describe the film, it actually sounds kind of progressive. The story is that after Santa gets home from his journey around the world delivering gifts, an assortment of kiddies from different nations get together to make a Christmas surprise for Santa – they clean his house, get him a tree, and leave him a nicely wrapped present. Kids of all nations and colors working together! World harmony! It’s sweet! Except for how all the non-european kids are represented by the most screamingly blatant stereotypes you could possibly imagine. The little Asian boy personifies the Yellow Menace, the African boy is like the love-child of Little Black Sambo and Aunt Jemima – you get the idea. It’s bad enough when they’re just marching around singing about how they’re going to make a surprise for Santa, but then they start cleaning up and the white girl is sweeping whilst the black kid is shining shoes “to a boogie rhythm” and the Asian boy is … sigh … doing the laundry.

The thing is, it’s a short film, and I was so taken aback that all I managed to get out was “Um, this movie has some problematic racial stereotypes, kids …” (“What’s a stereotype, Mama?”) and then it was over. Fortunately, the rest of the shorts were harmless. UNfortunately, I’m pretty positive the girls are going to want to watch this collection again, and I have no idea how to explain in 6 and 3-year-old terms why that second film is a problem. I guess I could just forbid the whole thing, but that seems extreme. I feel like this is one of those educational opportunities you hear so much about, and I AM BIFFING IT.

Also I just found out that Bing Crosby was an asshole. So, you know. Whee!

Oscars 2010 liveblogging

OK, there are about to be a whole passle of people at my house for the awards viewing, but I have been requested to live blog the event, so I will do my best to share sporadic snarky thoughts with you as the evening progresses. Just know this: if Avatar wins Best Picture, I WILL CUT SOMEONE. Let’s enjoy! (New content will be at the top; scroll down for older stuff.)

Summary: Pretty boring ceremony overall, but some nice moments and LOVE that Avatar was limited to tech awards. I only predicted 13 categories correctly, an all-time low. Better luck next year.

10:57 – Are you shitting me right now? They played “I am woman, hear me roar” as Kathryn Bigelow exited. Gross.

10:55 – AWESOME. I hope this milestone is rapidly followed by a whole shitload of other female directors, producers, technicians, and all those other male-dominated categories. Woo!

10:50 – Is anyone else over Sean Penn? Please let Meryl win … pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseDAMMIT. OK. Sandra Bullock’s year. It’s cool. Well, now I’m just crying. Nice speech, lady.

10:35 – Yay! Jeff! The Dude abides!

10:25 – I’m sure these homages for the best actor/actress nominees are incredibly embarrassing for the performers, but I really like how they all get honored and recognized.

10:15 – Enough with the lamp backdrop!

10:10 – So how did they pick which stars were going to preview each of the Best Picture nominees? Because, Keanu Reeves? Really?

9:50 – I just … what the hell does the dancing mean? Why are they break dancing to the Hurt Locker score? Now they’re doing fucked up robotic mime shit for Up. WHAT IS GOING ON?

9:45 – OK,  I need something fun to start happening. Maybe a pie in someone’s face, some explosions … this dance sequence is NOT DOING IT FOR ME.

9:35 – Still not sure about Sandra Bullock’s dress, but her hair is bee-you-ti-ful. Whoa, dramatic entrance for Demi! Oh … it’s for the in memoriam section. Here’s where I discover all the people who died that I thought were already dead.

9:20 – Kristen Stewart is bringing out my inner cranky grandma again. For Christ’s sake, LOOK HAPPY. Or at least DON’T LOOK BORED. I have no patience with that disaffected youth crap. GET OFFA MY LAWN!

9:12 – Honestly. Charlize. No one with your genetic gifts should have CRAZY SATIN TUMOR ROSES on her boobs. Why?

9:10 – Look, I just really need James Cameron’s wife to eat a sandwich, OK?

8:58 – Well, this one (supporting actress) isn’t even a contest. But, wow, what a strong category this year. Love the flowers in Mo’nique’s hair.

8:50 – Dammit, I’m only five out of nine for picking the winners. This having kids thing is WRECKING my pop culture cred.

8:40 – Oh, Ben Stiller. You’re allllllllmost pulling this off.

8:32 – Can we just have cute Frenchmen accept all the awards? I applause you, monsieur.

8:30 – My mom: “Why is Carey Mulligan wearing chandeliers on her ears?” Nobody knows, Ma. Nobody knows.

8:25 – Um, is Judd Nelson dying of some wasting disease? Dude looks ROUGH.

8:15 – Tina Fey and Robert Downey, Jr. need to do a project together. They’re both funny as hell, and also I would sleep with either one of them. TMI?

8:02 – Seriously. Who likes Miley Cyrus? Anyone? Bueller? I would say that I was SO OVER her, except I never was under her in the first place. Wait … that sounds wrong. She’s making my inner crabby grandma come out. STAND UP STRAIGHT, YOUNG LADY.

7:55 – That was an awesome Jimmy Kimmel commercial.

7:50 – OK, I loved the opening. Way to Busby Berkeley it up! And Christoph Waltz, whose win I TOTALLY CALLED, is adorable.

7:05 – GEORGE. You are letting us DOWN. You’re our generation’s Cary Grant! Cary Grant does not wear a freaking MULLET. What the what?

7:01 – Hi, Sherry Shepard. Perhaps you should invest in some more supportive undergarments.

6:40 – Gabourey Sidibe, I frickin’ LOVE you. You look gorgeous, and I love how much you’re enjoying this whole thing. OMG. “If fashion is porn, this dress is the money shot!” LOVE.

6:15 – WHAT IN THE HELL IS SARAH JESSICA PARKER WEARING? Really? You can’t get your dress to actually fit you in back? Also, here’s a tip: ideally, your hairdo should not be bigger than your actual HEAD. Unless you’re, say Marie Antoinette. And we all know what happened to her. Just sayin’.


I realized the other day that the Hatchling’s awareness of standard fairy-tale tropes comes almost exclusively from the Shrek movies. Which, given the philosophical problems that I, as a post-millennial over-educated white feminist have with said tropes, is A-OK with me. Princess in need of rescuing? Fiona is a black belt in karate and does quite a bit of rescuing herself. Prince Charming? The Shrek version is a handsome, cultured, self-involved prat. All the Shrek movies nicely skewer the traditional folktales we grew up with, and if the humor is often sophomoric, well, certain members of our household consider that a bonus. Of course, I also grew up on and LOVE the traditional versions, philosophical problems notwithstanding. Which is all by way of saying: we watched Snow White* for the first time this week, and you know the scene where she cleans the dwarves’ cottage? You know, before they come home, so maybe they’ll let her stay? Because nothing makes this young girl happier than cooking and cleaning for a bunch of slovenly old men? Yeah … uh … so the Hatchling cleaned the entire living room during that scene. Like, picked up all her toys and put them away, picked up all the Sprout’s toys and put them away, and brought all the dirty dishes into the kitchen, all while singing a little song and doing a little dance. Just like Snow White.

FEMINIST QUANDARY, Y’ALL. I mean, fuck: the living room looked really nice!

*Which, can I just have a history geek-out moment here, because HOW COOL IS IT that I, in 2010, can sit on the sofa and watch the VERY FIRST EVER animated feature-length film with my daughters? I mean, that is cool! Sure, it looks dated, and yeah, the plot is totally dumbed down, but STILL. It was the very first of its kind, and I have it right in my living room. I dig that.

Cats, man. Cats.

Two tewtelly ass-ome cat videos, introduced to me by my students.

Munchkin Cat. OMG teh cutes will killz u.

Kittens Inspired by Kittens. This is totally something I can see the Hatchling doing in about a year.


Steal This Message

My friend J.B., father and longtime Democratic operative, is sending his kids to school tomorrow with the following permission slip:

“Despite the warnings of right-wing radio hosts, and fully cognizant that my daughter risks learning a lesson in civics, I, nonetheless, grant her permission to watch a televised address by the duly-elected leader of these United States, President Barack Obama, on the controversial subject of the importance of school.”

I so wish my kids were old enough that I could steal this for them.

Sunday Fluff

So something about the death of director John Hughes really feels like the end of an era for us Gen X’ers. I mean, the man’s movies pretty much defined “cool” for most of us, and I can still personally quote entire scenes from Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. So I started thinking about other movies that significantly contributed to my ideas of what teen life could (or should) be. I limited myself to movies that were released before I graduated from high school (1989). Here are my top ten, in no particular order:

1. Meatballs
2. Caddyshack
3. Sixteen Candles
4. The Breakfast Club
5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
6. Vacation
7. Say Anything
8. Dirty Dancing
9. Pretty in Pink
10. Grease

What’s on your list?