Un-Valentine’s Day

Well another year has passed, which of course means another year of me being single.  I actually really enjoy it, but if there’s one day that has to try and convince me that I’m a lonely and pathetic person because of it, it’s that abomination of a 24-hour time period: Valentine’s Day.  Really, this is just the stupidest holiday we have, and this is taking into consideration we also have Columbus Day.  I mean, what did that guy ever do?!

But really, what this is about is how gross people get around and on Valentine’s Day.  I’ve got one set of grandparents that are vacationing in Hawaii.  Gross.  I’ve got another set that will probably have a nice dinner, drink some wine, go home and watch Dancing with the Stars or Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Ew.  My parents will probably tell each other that they love each other.  I mean, come on!!

Stop it! Just stop it!

Stop it! Just stop it!

Listen people, I get it; you’re in love and you like being around another human being for long periods of time.  You like to talk about feelings.  That’s great.  I’m so glad you’re happy, but keep that crap away from me.  On Valentine’s Day, if I see a couple holding hands, I’m going to shout, “Get a room!” at them.  If I see a couple making out, I’m going to yell, “Gross!”.  If I see a couple with their clothes off about to have sex, well, I’m going to call the police because that is public indecency.

I know it sounds like I’m bitter about being single on Valentine’s Day, but I’m really not.  One of the best parts about being single on Valentine’s Day is being able to do whatever you want with impunity or fear to ruin a “relationship” by not buying the “right” roses.  Sometimes I like to buy a box of chocolates and tell the cashier they’re for a special someone, but really I’m my own special someone and I really like chocolate.  However, I can’t really do that this year because I’ve already done that twice this week, and three times just seems desperate.  Other times I like to watch romantic comedies and heckle them for being “sweet” and “sincere”, but I’m currently banned from all AMC movie theaters nationwide on Valentine’s Day.

This year, I might try something different.  Since I’m dating myself, I might take us out for a nice couple’s dinner at the all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse that I live above.  And nothing says, “I love me” quite like a box of donuts in bed.  I might even go to Applebee’s and get the 2 for $20 lunch special for the both of me.  And if anyone asks if I’m waiting for someone else, I will proudly state that no, I am not waiting for anyone else, I am merely treating myself to a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, is there a problem with that are you judging me can I have a third bottle of that pinot noir and bring me more meat too, thanks.

Happy Valentine's Day to me!

Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

So to all of you happy couples out there, I sincerely wish you a happy Valentine’s Day.  I hope you enjoy your time together and don’t run out of things to talk about.  And if you see one of us helplessly single people staring at you across the restaurant tonight, we’re not judging you.  We’re merely staring at you to make you uncomfortable so we can enjoy our Meat Lover’s Meat Plate for Two without gagging at the sight of you holding hands in public.  Get a room.

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The Beyoncé Halftime Show (Brought to you by Sasha Fierce)

There are many things I love in this world: my family, my friends, food, and air conditioning, to name a few.  And then there is the one thing I would throw that all away for, even if just for the opportunity to be in awe for five seconds: Beyoncé.  Ever since my sister first introduced me to the sweet, sweet sounds of Destiny’s Child, I haven’t been able to get over my addiction to Beyoncé.  With each passing year, this passion grows larger and fonder for the world’s most fabulous force of nature.  Normally, I would assert that this sort of hyperbole would be inappropriate, but we are talking about Beyoncé here!   There is no way you could ever possibly over exaggerate anything about her, ever.  I mean we’re talking about the woman who rented out an entire floor of a hospital for the birth of her first superbaby.  Granted, it was probably so they could redecorate with red carpet and crown molding and marble and art pieces from the Louvre, but that only furthers my point.

The Blue Ivy Carter hospital wing

The Blue Ivy Carter hospital wing

Way back when it was announced that Beyoncé would be performing at the halftime show of the Super Bowl, I was giddy.  Then, that giddiness turned ecstatic when I found out that there would be a Destiny’s Child reunion.  So between all of that buildup, the San Francisco 49ers playing in the Super Bowl, and the fact that I had been drinking mimosas at a crowded bar in SF since 11am, by the time the lights went down for the halftime show, I couldn’t stand it anymore.

Me, unable to stand it anymore

Me, unable to stand it anymore

And then the Queen rose.

The beginning of my mind-splosion

The beginning of my mind-splosion

I have never seen anything prettier rise out of anywhere (except for maybe chocolate coming out of a fountain).  Her fierceness could be felt through my bones, and I knew that I was about to enter 12 minutes of nirvana.

Naturally, she started with ‘Love on Top’ (of course she did!) because like love, she is also a sensation that can’t be destroyed.  Quite literally, she is made of fierce, and to quote Sir Isaac Newton, “Fierce is an element that can’t be destroyed”.

Does this look like something you can destroy?

Does this look like something you can destroy?

And then, the segue into ‘Crazy in Love’.  With each ferocious stomp of her (I’m sure) perfectly manicured limbs of destruction, my heart quite literally stopped.  Other things that happened with each stomp of her high heels: earthquakes, buttons popping open, haters being silenced, spontaneous orgasms, and the heavens being shaken.

"What's all that racket going on down there?" ---Zeus

“What’s all that racket going on down there?” —Zeus

Next there were some other songs that were not my favorite (NO JUDGEMENT), but there was some pretty sick technology-schmecnology going on.  Basically the consensus was that the best backup dancer Beyoncé could have was more Beyoncés.  And it was fabulous.

You get a Beyoncé!  You get a Beyoncé!  You get a Beyoncé!

You get a Beyoncé! You get a Beyoncé! You get a Beyoncé!

Then, the event that everyone said they were ready for, but no one was actually ready for: The Return of Destiny’s Child.  And there was much rejoicing.  As always, the performance was perfection on stage, even with Beyoncé making up for Michelle’s ungreatness.  For it isn’t truly a Beyoncé performance without her doing something charitable, like putting up with a walking train wreck like this:

Get it together, Michelle!!!

Get it together, Michelle!!!

As for the next song, I knew it was coming.  You knew it was coming.  But you weren’t ready for that jelly: ‘Single Ladies’.  It had it all: impeccable dance moves; fabulous hair; her dancing army of clones; ‘tude strong enough to strip the paint off the Golden Gate Bridge.  Just try to keep up, world.

The hair! The look! The army of dancers!

The hair! The look! The army of dancers!

Last but not least was the emotional destruction of your soul: ‘Halo’.  Probably my favorite of all the Beyoncé songs, and boy did she deliver.  I thought at some point God was going to come down and tell Beyoncé to come back up to heaven because we were not worthy.  Which we are not.  We are not worthy of the Beyoncé.

Kneel before Bey

Kneel before Bey!

And so ended my nirvana, and like a crack addict coming off a 3-day binge, I curled up on the floor of the bar and cried that I had nothing to live for.  After that soul-shredding performance, what do any of us have to live for?!  Nothing.  Except for her live show at the HP Pavilion in San Jose on July 2nd.

I was stuck like this for the rest of the game

I was stuck like this for the rest of the game

May Beyoncé have mercy on your soul.  Beyoncé be with you.

Welcome Back

So, as none of you noticed, we have been on a bit of a hiatus here at The Ironical Chronicle.  I could say it was do to a slew of momentous life milestones.  I could say it was due the obligations of living in the adult world.  I could even say it was due to a freak storm that completely wiped out electricity, and thus all possible forms of communication.  However, you all know it was due to sheer and utter laziness.  Surprise.

In all seriousness though, it has been a busy few couple of months.  In the firstly, I received an offer to become Grand Emperor of China (White Version), but I had to turn it down at the last minute because I forgot that I’m mildly racist.  So I took a desk job instead.  That being the case, I had to break the news to my parents that I was moving out of the house.  They took it pretty stoically, considering I am far and away their child, but I could have sworn I heard giggling in their room that night.  On the night I was moving, we had a big party to see who would take my room.  It was very sweet.

It was also very drunk, as usually happens when you get my entire family together in a room by ourselves.  Like the Bluth’s staged intervention with their alcoholic mother, this turned out to be one of the better Gullickson parties.  Needless to say, in the morning I was still drunk and facing the prospect of 6 hours trapped in the car with my ruthlessly cheerful talkative father.  This was probably the most hellacious experience that seemed like would never end.  And I’ve been to a Catholic wedding.

It looked something like this

It looked something like this

After about a month in Northern California, I finally found a place in the heart of the city that is 375 glorious square feet of bachelor living!  That’s right!  I am single, and ready to come home alone and struggle to make a basic dinner for myself.  Cooking is always exciting because I have a gas stovetop, and I never know if any of my meals are going to be my last.  I’ve never been so focused in my life.  But, I am extremely proud to say that I am now able to cook chicken without it being raw in the middle.  I am also extremely proud to say that my stomach has never been more resilient.  And I’ve been to Malaysia.

This looks like my living room!

This looks like my living room!

As of now, I’ve been working and living in the adult world for about 6 months, and let me tell you, I just want to retire.  Or marry rich.  Or win the lottery.  Cause it sucks.  You have to get up early, and on your own, without your mother to wake you up or anything!  It’s hard!  Also, you have to make your own food, and clean up after yourself, and be held accountable for your actions.  What kind of bullshit is that, am I right?!

Anyways, now that I’m living in a new city on my own, I will have plenty of tales about my misadventures, interesting events around San Francisco, and embarrassing stories about my interactions with other humans.  Like, for example, how I always carry spare change with me around the city to give to homeless people, who then in turn I become tight with, who then in turn tell me about all the places that have the cheapest alcohol.  Usually it’s convenience stores that sell rubbing alcohol by the jug, but I’m pretty sure I’m on to something there.  There is nothing cooler than having an army of homeless people, trust me.

To the select (read: awesomest) few who are still aware of this blogs existence, get ready for some awesome posts.  Because I’m awesome.  And you’re awesome.  Let’s be awesome together.

Ben

Our Dear Readers

My dear readers, it has been a while since anything has been posted, and we apologize for the lack of comedy and inspiration for the past month.  Mostly because TV shows are over, but also because us correspondents haven’t had many new posts.  Well, that’s about to change!  So, to make up for this fact, I’m dedicating this post to you, our dear readers, and what makes us here at The Ironical Chronicle love you so much.

One of the best parts of having this blog is being able to see the google searches people use in order to link up to your site. Recently, NY Correspondent Gen and I had a great laugh about some of them, so we’d like to share them with you:

Cheeseball jokes
Instructions to make a human centipede
Khloe & lamar dvd cover
Love is useless
Dr. pepper brownies
New styles lady blazer
Cool celebrity encounters
Beyonce falls Michelle Williams laughs
Is Jan Terri a real person?
Lonely girl
Sexy mature incest
“vanilla ice” tracksuit
Pizza delivery

Now obviously, these search items reflect not only the type of reader we attract, but also the type of material we put out. All in all, it is very disturbing. However, I didn’t mention what the most searched item on the internet that led people to our site was. With a whopping 61 searches, ladies and gentleman, your winner is:

Helen Mirren Boobs!

That’s right!  The only way our blog has any sort of audience is because people want to see pictures of Helen Mirren’s boobs. Or they are waiting for my follow up to “Top Ten Helen Mirren’s Boob’s Movies”. This number of searches did not include “Helen mirren tits”, “Helen Mirren boob”, “helen mirren bra pics”, “mature boobs hanging” or “Helen mirren breast size”.

Apparently the only way we can attract more people to our site is to try and figure out what type of boobs people want to see, and then include those hot topics on our site. I mean, anyone can find pictures of Lindsay Lohan’s boobs or Christina Hendrick’s boobs on the internets these days, so what’s our competitive advantage? That’s right: mature boobs.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, and for our site hit count, are some historically regal boobs:

Maggie Smith Boobs

Dayum girrrrrl, you lookin fine!

Barbra Streisand Boobs

Hello, gorgeouses

John Travolta Boobs

Bazoongas!

Bette Middler Boobs

Flaunt it if ya got it!

Jack Nicholson Boobs

His man boobs must be hungry

Judi Dench Boobs

Bada bing, bada boobs!

So, thanks for reading this blog folks, and be sure to come back soon for even more great posts like this!

Also, sarcasm!

Golf is Hell

I’ve made some pretty big mistakes along the way, such as getting a Dorothy Hamill wedge haircut and buying a white linen couch for our family room, but no mistake was larger than getting one of my kids involved in golf.  It all started so innocently.  Peter had tried soccer and wasn’t really into it anymore.  Great news for me; soccer sucked!  Being a Tiger Mom wannabe, I was determined that he was going to have some kind of activity (aka not hanging around at home bugging me).  He had played a little golf with his Aunt and Uncle and had a good time; plus they said he had “talent”.  Why not give it a try?  So, off he went with a $50.00 set of golf clubs and the intent to “have fun” and “make friends”.  That’s all it was; simple really. Unfortunately for me, he was noticed by the club pro as having a “nice swing”.  Once that swing was noticed, we were introduced to the nightmare world of junior golf.

How could golf be a nightmare you say?  How hard could it possibly be, you ask?  Golf appears to be such a calm, courteous type of activity. Players seem to be enjoying themselves in a beautiful setting on a lovely day. It all looks so civilized and friendly and casual.  They take their hats off after the round and shake hands.  They have names like Bob and Chad.

It’s a complete lie.  Trust me, I’ve been on the sidelines of this “sport” and I can tell you, with great authority:  Golf is Hell!

Just say no. This is what hell looks like. Trust me.

Once the junior golf thing really got rolling (pun intended), I had the privilege of being personal assistant, chauffeur and one woman cheer squad as we travelled the country in pursuit of the holy grail: a top ten finish at a high level tournament. He played golf, and I took care of everything else.  We went to Detroit and Stockton and Grand Rapids and San Antonio and more.  Here’s a list of just a few of the many insane episodes of our golf adventures:

Fly into Cleveland at 10pm and drive 4 hours to a tournament?  Check!

110 degrees and 98% humidity?  Check!

36 degrees and hail?  Check!

Driving rain and 30mph winds?  Check!

Break golf club during the round?  Check!

Forget to wear contact lenses during play?  Check!

Hide out under the deck of a house during a lightning storm in the middle of a round?   Check!

Forget golf shoes and play the round in sneakers? Check!

Golf ball landing in crotch of a tree?  Check!

Hit by golf ball while walking the fairway?  Check!

Get lost in the housing projects of Chicago and have to ask for directions at an inner city gas station?  Check!

You name how ridiculous the effort and the situation and we doubled it.

In the beginning, I tried to stay out of it.  I didn’t know that much about golf anyway.  I stayed in the hotel while he played, waiting for the call to pick him up.  Turns out, it was much worse not knowing how it was going.  Besides, you can only watch so much E! News before you lose your mind.  So, I started following along in the round, I figured I could carry the Gatorade and get some exercise.  Little did I know that I was entering the 9th circle of hell.

What I quickly learned is that you must maintain a very pleasant facial expression at all times.  No matter where that stupid ball goes.  For anyone who knows me, this is not easy.  OK, a total impossibility.  All I can do sometimes is turn around and stare at a rock to try to regain my “that’s ok that you had to hack it out twice from the sand trap” face.  I’d like to see your facial control when the ball goes in the water on the 18th hole and he misses the cut, or the ball goes out of bounds and you’re looking in gopher holes in the desert for the damn thing.  Screaming after a ball bounces off the cart path and over a cliff is, unfortunately, frowned upon in polite golf society.  Also, not so great for your player’s confidence.

There isn’t really anything, sport or not, where just one mistake can make the difference between 1st and 20th (ok, maybe brain surgery).  The entire game revolves around managing mistakes. How fun can that possibly be?  A puff of wind at the wrong time, a tiny miscalculation of distance, a cough during a backswing.  An additional element (as if that was needed) is plain old luck.  A bad bounce off a cart path, a 2 foot putt that rolls around the hole and pops out. Those are just a few of the thousand things that can make a round go sideways.  Like the game needs any more stupidity?!

Just go in the stupid hole already, you stupid ball!

I’ve learned to not say “Let’s talk about that triple bogey on hole 13” after a round.  I know that post-tournament ice cream for him and a glass of wine for me has healing properties.

Essential tool for tournament survival.

I know that there’s always a chance for a win, that is until the ball hits a tree and lands under a bush, beside a large rock, near the water next to a sand trap.

There is a small comfort in the knowledge that there’s always another tournament and another chance at the prize.  It just means that we’re back on a plane and then in a car, going to another tournament in the middle of Indiana, in November, trying to find the hotel at midnight, with an early tee time the next morning.  Sigh…

It still doesn’t make me miss soccer.

This is what a Nike ad looks like…

Back in December, my dad unearthed our box of camcorder tapes. My family got a video camera when I was about 7 and we were really, REALLY into it for a couple years; my life from ages 7-10 is highly documented. Outside of that timeframe, I’m not quite sure what I did because it’s not forever imprinted on a VHS tape somewhere. Among the gems of our tapes was our masterpiece classic “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” (in which my brother puts on the type of British accent that you would only find in a movie like “Richie Rich” and tours our home) and a recording of my soccer team awards picnic. As my coach was handing out my coveted participation trophy, he announced: “This is to the player who, at the beginning of the season, didn’t know what to do with the ball. But she has improved a lot and she doesn’t run away from the ball anymore!” I gleefully accepted my trophy for playing on the Red Apples, not realizing that my biggest accomplishment in an entire season was not running away from the ball. This did not bode well for my future.

Around October of last year, I decided it would be a good idea to run a half-marathon. I don’t know what came over me, but somehow I found myself registering for a race and forking out a whole lot of money to run 13 miles in one day. I thought that maybe with a specific goal in mind and maybe some neon colored spandex, I could become one of those people who got some sort of intrinsic joy out of running.

I’ve had my encounters with running in the past, but they haven’t been too kind too me. In high school, I came home from the first day of JV field hockey crying because there was too much running. My sophomore year of college, a friend and I tried briefly to become runners. We made a training schedule, put big bows in our ponytails, and attempted to look like we knew what we were doing as we slowly trotted along. That attempt ended as quickly as it began–though that ½ mile that we could prance down the street without difficulty was pretty great.

I promise I earned this and didn't just steal it.

I ran the 13.1 in March and contrary to what my 7, 14, and 20 year old selves would have believed, I actually survived. I told some of my kindergarteners at school the next day that “I ran a race at the beach” and they immediately wanted to know if I won. When I told them I came in 4,082 out of 8,000, one boy commented “that’s really bad” (thanks, buddy.) My lessons in kindness were not all lost though, because I did have one sweet one look up at me and say “Oh…I wish you came in first,” which made me feel like the best.

I haven’t yet found that endorphin-fueled existence that I’ve been waiting for, but I have found running to be a really great excuse for carbs. I’ve been on a big scone and bread baking kick lately, which has made me keep running so that I don’t look like a monster in my hot pink running spandex. Around mile 8 of the half marathon, I kept thinking that all I wanted when I was done was a couch, a warm scone and a cup of tea. I’m not ashamed to admit that I wanted that way more than the four free Yuengling’s that were waiting for me at the finish line. It’s not the Nike motivational ad I was hoping I’d feel like back in October, but I suppose running for the love of scones works well enough for me. Motivation is motivation right?

Chocolate Chip Scones, adapted from Molly Wizenberg’s Scottish Scones in A Homemade Life (sidenote: a delightful read)

1 ½ cups flour (1 cup whole wheat + ½ cup all-purpose is how I go)

½ cup rolled oats

½ tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp cold butter, cut into ½ inch pieces

2 tbsp sugar

¾ cup chocolate chips

½ cup milk or cream

Optional and delicious: a handful of dried cranberries and/or chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, oats, salt and baking powder. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal and the butter is reduced to pea-sized bits. Add the sugar and chocolate chips and stir to incorporate. Add in the milk or cream and stir gently to combine. I find it easiest to just mix with my hands at this point, but a spoon works fine too. Form the dough into a rough mass and turn it out onto the counter. There will be some excess flour at the bottom of the bowl—don’t worry about that, just turn it out onto the counter with your mass of dough and incorporate it as your work with it. Form the dough into a disk, about 1 ½ inches thick, and cut it into 6 pieces. Transfer the scones to a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the bottoms are lovely golden brown. They’re best eaten with 1-2 days. After that, freeze them (wrapped  individually in plastic wrap and stored in a zip-top bag) and defrost in a 300 degree oven or toaster oven.

Run the World (HBO)

Time and time again I’ve written about the aspects of living at home that are enjoyable:  Family, home-cooked meals, blah blah blah.  Well I’ve been feeding you bullshit for a long time.  Now it’s time to get down to brass taxes, shoot from the pelvis, and hear it straight from the horse’s lips: HBO is the greatest thing to ever happen to me.

Unlike Beyonce, who is undeniable yet only human, no other force has had a greater impact on my time living at home than HBO.  For those of you who don’t know what you’re doing with your life, I have some great advice: move home, make your parents pay for premium cable, and ditch all your friends.  I know many of you have trouble juggling your social life, what with all your party invites and dinner with friends and even trips to make fun of fat people at the mall (that’s still a thing, right?).  I, fortunately, do not have that burden, which is why I spend my Sundays (and Fridays and Mondays and Wednesdays) with my loyal friend HBO.

There are so many things to love about HBO, so I’m gonna break it down for you right here:

Game of Thrones:  This show is so awesome it actually made me read books again.  Ever since the first season last year, I’ve been on a year-long Game of Thrones diet.  Let’s just say it involves lots of wine and calling people whores.  Now that the second season is heating up, my life is complete again.  This season is chock full of nudity (bonus!), gruesome beheadings (double bonus!), and intricately woven explorations into the nature of power, where it resides, and what sort of influence the real or perceived effect of power has on an individual and society as a whole (OMG I just jizzed my pants!!!!).  Did I mention that someone is gruesomely killed every episode?!?!

Oh yeah, you talk about matters that concern the realm! You talk about those matters all season long!

Veep:  The only thing funnier than the concept of  the Vice Presidency is Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  Her and lady blazers and lady f-bombs, none of which are lacking on this show.  Whip-smart British humor and a strong supporting cast (Buster Bluth!) also help.  Additionally, there is in fact a black woman on the show, so it’s not like I’m a racist for watching shows with only white cast members.  Right, guys?!?!?!

I'M A MONSTER!!!!! Oh, wait, wrong show...

Girls:  For some reason I keep thinking this should be the theme song for the show.  Alas! it’s not.  However, there is something humorous about former co-eds drifting in NYC trying to get their shit together (Am I right, Gen Blau?!?!).  And despite the fact that the show was created by, written by, produced by, directed by, and starring women, the only thing that brought me to the show was the name of a bearded middle-aged man that was on the advertisements.  Am I right, Judd Apatow fans?!?!

Something is missing... Wait! Where are all the penises?!?!

TrueBlood:  Supernatural soap opera involving vampires, vampire hookers, werewolves, werewolf hookers, hookers, witches, bitches, fairies (the winged kind), fairies (the gay kind), mind-readers, lip-readers, lip-lockers, shape shifters, shape shifter sex, regular sex, shower scenes, gumbo, Oscar winners, lesbians, black panthers (the mammal), funny accents, demon babies, and Southern manners.  Need I say more?!?!

The most demonic of demon babies. Seriously, don't let the smile fool you. There's fangs there...

Curb Your Enthusiasm:  This last season might have been the best Curb season ever.  From a pleasure-inducing Prius, to Bill Buckner finally catching something important, to one of the greatest debates about performance-enhancing drugs not involving Jose Canseco, this was truly a season to remember.  The biggest takeaway:  I’m an elderly Jewish curmudgeon at heart.  Am I right, old people?!?!?!

My spirit animal

The Wire:  Sometimes, in social situations, I pretend like I’ve seen The Wire.  This is embarrassing, I know, because it’s supposedly the greatest show ever, or whatnot, but every time I try and watch it, I realize I’d rather not think while I watch TV, so I don’t.  It’s like the television version of War & Peace: a classic must-read that all pretentious educated people talk about, but you don’t want to put in the time.  And it uses big words.  Also, you prefer picture books.  Am I right, college grads?!?!?!

!

Yeah, yeah, I get it, ok? I should be watching your show. Now stop judging me with your eyes!!

Mad Men:  Okay, so technically this show is on AMC, but it’s like an honorary HBO show.  Kinda like how the two non-Beyonces were honorary Destiny’s Child members.  Also, this was just an excuse to put in a picture of Jon Hamm.  Am I right, ladies?!?!?!

So, as you can see, HBO and I have a great relationship, and we ain’t about to taint it with real people or anything.  In fact, to quote Game of Thrones:  “HBO is my king, and my king is HBO”*.

*Technically, the quote was actually “my husband” not “HBO”, but at this point in my life they’re practically interchangeable.  Am I right, Ben?!?!?!

I Heart Florence Even More

I know that you are aware of my obsession with Florence+the Machine.  My recent attendance at her concert has made it an even bigger obsession, if that’s even possible.  I don’t mean a stalker kind of thing, just a greater love and appreciation of her music and her personhood.  The concert was held in Santa Barbara at an outdoor ampitheater, scheduled to start at 8pm.  I hate being late, so for an hour long trip, I made the family leave at 4:30.  You always have to take into consideration the traffic in Southern California; apparently not so much on a Saturday afternoon.  With my husband Jeff (aka Mario Andretti) at the wheel, we made it in 40 minutes.  The family was really kind to me about the early arrival.  Sighs, eye rolls and lots of sitting in the car staring at me ensued.  That was really fun!  I had planned ahead for once, and brought a little pre-function picnic.  It was a little weird to have dinner at 5:00, and it only killed about 10 minutes.  Great, more family time!  Finally, it was time to walk to the venue; a pretty setting on a chilly but clear night.  I had prepared with a hat, gloves, hand warmers and 20 pairs of ear plugs.  Ever the Mother, I wasn’t going to be responsible for the potential hearing loss of my 13 year old.  By the time we were seated, there were about 10 people there and we were 5 of them.  Thank God heavy pours of wine were available.  As I looked around, I did notice that my husband and I were pretty much the oldest there, by about 30 years.  I had a feeling we might be spoiling the vibe of the groups of groovy looking youngsters around us, but I didn’t care, I could heart Florence just as much as they could.

 

That’s me and Florence. I’m practicing my moves pre-concert.

The concert opens with the theme of her latest CD, ” Ceremonials”  with huge tribal looking draperies in the background.  Then Florence comes out in a medieval priestess looking robe with a black cat suit on underneath.  There aren’t any big TV screens and we’re a little far back to see her in detail.  Again, I didn’t care, because there she was; even if a bit tiny and far away.  The music started and she owned the stage!  She was a whirling, twirling kind of otherworldly wood nymph. She’s so charismatic that you really can’t take your eyes off of her, even if you have to squint.   She sounded great, the crowd was into it and there I sat, proud of myself for being a true fan, knowing all the lyrics.  I knew enough though, to not ruin the experience for the people around me by singing along in my screechy, totally out of tune voice.  I was just happy to be there, soaking up the scene.  That is, until the song “Spectrum” came up.  It’s one of my favorites and the one I like to do some interpretive dance moves to when I’m doing my nightly walk.  It was late into the concert, the smell of weed was in the air, and most of the people were standing and really into it.  It was my chance to let it all hang out and officially join the concert.  Confident that Florence would have wanted me to, I get up and not only sing along, but do all my interpretive dance moves to the song.  Jeff is laughing his head off on one side of me and Conrad (the 13 yr old) is on the other, with his hood pulled over his head, hoping to God that he doesn’t see anyone he knows.  My older kids, Anna and Ben, are both in the standing room only section at the front.  They already knew that this might happen and planned ahead to be somewhere else.  Fortunately, for the people around us, the concert ends soon after.  We meet up and all agree that the concert was too cool and that Florence is a star.  I’m still in a bit of an afterglow from my evening with Florence.   I do love my family, but I think, for a while anyway, I love Florence more….

Consider Me Dead

I have been taking improv classes because, as you, my loyal readers know, I am a gimundo ham and I really like to perform. That said, improv has always been something that has intimidated me, so I figured it might be neat to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. It’s super fun, but a lot of times I find myself in the shower the next day, thinking of a line that would have been much better. Now you’re picturing me in the shower. You’re welcome.

But I digress. A part of the class involves going to see improv shows at UCB with the intention of studying the craft. It just so happens that my class on Sunday afternoons lets out at a perfect time for me to go over and stand in line for ASSSSCAT, the free show at 9:30 every week. To get tickets, you wind up sitting in line for almost 2 hours, but it’s worth it because it is always so funny. You usually get to see writers and some performers from SNL and other UCB shows, as well as some TV actors. Amy Poehler was one of the four founding members of UCB, and legend has it that every once in a while she shows up to perform, but you never know the actual line up until you are there. I have always maintained that if I got to see Amy there, I would straight up die. Well, to paraphrase Reba, consider me dead.

This is a referenence to my third favorite Reba song, and this image is a still from the video.
"But Gen, should you really use references that you have to explain?"
Shut the fuck up.

After waiting in line for 2 hours last night, my friend and I went in and took our seats. We were just sitting there gabbing, and Adam Scott and Rashida Jones came in and sat down 2 seats away. Rashida Jones had on very hipster glasses. I tried to play it cool, but honestly I have never been so star struck. At least , I hadn’t been so star struck until Amy came out at the start of the show (and that’s saying something because I once walked behind Mad Men’s Roger Sterling for like 3 blocks, which is probably enough to give ANYBODY a half-chub). I screamed like a 13 year old at a Beiber concert. I honestly didn’t know that I had that kind of reaction in me. I lost my shit. It made my Law and Order meltdown seem pathetic.  But the show was amazing. Seth Meyers and Bobby Moynihan from SNL performed, along with Sue Galloway and John Lutz from 30 Rock, Adam Pally from Happy Endings, and a bunch of my favorite regulars from ASSSSCAT. I can’t overemphasize how excited I was/am.

Oh, buddy.

I am taking away a few lessons from this experience. 1) I should always try to go to stuff. Earlier in the day I felt so tired and hungover that the thought of going felt painful. Thank goodness I was meeting a friend there because if I hadn’t gone and then found out about the line-up, I would have been so mad. 2) Amy Poehler is just fantazmo. Super funny. I can’t even. 3) Maybe- just maybe-  13 year olds have something going on here with their unbridled excitement for things like the Jonas brothers when the Jonas brothers were still a thing- I can’t help but think that if I could capture the enthusiasm I felt last night and harness it for evil, I would be unstoppable. And kids get that excited all the time! Just saying, we should probably all beware. Amy Poehler taught me that.

BEWARE

How To Stay Married For Thirty Years

I thought it would be helpful to you dear reader(s) to learn how to stay married a really long time.  I’m highly qualified to give advice in this area because I’ve been married a really long time.

First of all, choosing your partner well is essential.  I selected a large Norwegian Eagle Scout.

Husband material.

Lots of things are strong about this choice.  He has good survival skills, so if you’re ever lost in the wilderness he can start a fire.  Also, if you just need stuff done, like pitching a tent or changing a tire, he’s really good at that kind of thing. He can diagnose weird noises in the car.  He knows how to work all the TV clickers.  He can lift heavy items in the garage and open jars.  Loyalty is a big deal for an Eagle Scout, which is a good thing when you’re married.  His heritage is helpful, because he can handle bleak landscapes and long winters. He’s built to thrive under harsh conditions; trust me, these attributes come in handy for a long marriage.  Another good quality is his ability to understand the 80/20 rule:  I get to talk 80% of the time and he gets to talk 20% of the time.  He seems to be really OK with that arrangement.  He also understands that all anniversaries and Valentine’s Days are gifting opportunities for him to me.  Any gift to me is for my use only and should not have any practical value whatsoever.  This rule had to be established after our first Christmas when he gave me an electric toothbrush and a dust buster.

This is what I'm talking about. Screw the toaster oven!

Oh ya, just a couple more things that are important.  You get one shot at certain comments such as  “So, what exactly did you do today?” in a snarky tone.  Also, he’s learned through trial and error how to artfully answer questions like  “What do you think of my perm?”, “Does this make me look fat?”, “Do you think I’ve gained weight?”, “How does this make my butt look?”, “Do you like my mother?” and “Are you listening to me?”.

Here’s the breakdown of what you should do if you decide to marry somebody.

Year 1.

Away we go!

You must get married, otherwise you won’t make it to Year 2.  No living together!  You must have the pressure of having to return all the wedding gifts to keep you together in that first year.  Also, move once.

Years 2-5.

Buy a fixer upper house.  Stay super busy spending all your spare time remodeling that house and putting in an entire yard while working nights, full-time.  Shared projects, sleep deprivation and lots of debt are the glue to a long term marriage. Move twice.  Also, get a puppy.

Years 5-15.

Have 4 kids and move 3 times.  That alone will give you lots to talk about.  Spend most of your spare time at soccer games, cello concerts and school events like the geography bee.  You’ll have many opportunities for that quality time all couples need.

O.K, so we're sort of like the Duggars, but not really. It just feels like we have this many kids, even though we don't. I guess this is the ultimate in married with children. Such overachievers, it's disgusting...

Years 15-25.

Make sure your husband takes a job where he commutes Monday through Friday and you only see him on the weekends.  It’s like a dog-year marriage.  You may have been married to him for 25 years, but you’ve really only spent 16 total years of time together.  It keeps it all a bit fresher.

Years 25-29.

You’re really too tired at this point to do anything but just stay together.  Neither one of you is on that 50 is the new 40 track.  You have so much baggage that you even own the cosmetic case.  Therefore, your appeal to someone new isn’t too high.  Why would you consider changing anything now?  He barbeques and takes out the garbage; you grocery shop and pay the bills; it’s all so efficient and seamless.  Oh, almost forgot, you still have a 13 year old at home.  One more thing; move again.

Year 29-30

Unless one of you has a complete mid-life crisis and buys a red Corvette, I think you’ll make it safely to year # 30.  Fingers crossed…

Happy 30th Anniversary Honey! You're the best!

So, dear reader(s), there you have it.  I hope you’ve found this helpful.  If you do decide to take on a 30 year marriage yourself, good luck!  It’s wonderful, for real.