The (Goblin) Also Rises

This is the second in a weeklong homage to one of the greatest musicians of the modern era.  Please don’t look for any other videos other than the ones I’ve posted, or else it will ruin the surprise.

As I’m sure you know by now, my heart is open, like an open book, open to the wonder that is Jan Terri.  Hopefully, yours is no longer closed.  If so, don’t worry!  We’ve got four (4!) more days to change your mind emphatically in favor of the genius of Jan Terri.

This second is classic vintage Terri, and ranks #2 on the TFGJTVOAT (Top Five Greatest Jan Terri Videos Of All Time. Duh!) scale.  Are you the type of person that doesn’t think there are enough Halloween themed songs out in the musicsphere?!  Are you a goblin conniseur?!  Do you like to dance?!  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions (or if you answered “no”, but still want to see where this is going) then you will love, I mean LOVE, ‘Get Down Goblin’.

This is one of the all-time greatest Halloween-themed songs, right up there with ‘Monster Mash’ and ‘Believe’ by Cher (surprising, I know).  Any song that starts off with a haunting organ solo and flickering black and white shots only portends greatness.  While Ms. Terri tears it up in the song with her fervor and passion and astoudingly audible voice, the real treat of this video is provided by the back-up choir.  These three Muses pull triple duty as women of the night who croon the catchy chorus, “Get down goblin/get down goblin/get down”, and provide some impeccable choreography that will leave you trying to practice it at home.  Obviously Beyonce has seen this video, and was no doubt inspired by the sheer inventiveness and ferocity that these chorus girls bring.

Again, I find myself rambling on when you’re not even reading what I have to say!  All you want is to see the video!  Golly, sometimes I can be so pedantic, but who isn’t when they’re talking about their inspiration?!

Again, enjoy

I sure hope we’re not “losing you” tomorrow as we continue to “get down” with Jan Terri!  Join us!

An Inspiration Forgotten, But Not Gone

This is the first in a weeklong homage to one of the greatest musicians of the modern era.  Please don’t look for any other videos other than the ones I’ve posted, or else it will ruin the surprise.

Dear readers, sorry I have been MIA for so long.  It is perfectly explainable, I swear!  Recently, a friend of mine reintroduced me to one of my inspirations, and I have redevoted myself to the enjoyment of this person’s talents.  There are only a few people (on the entire planet!!!) who know this person, which makes it even more special.  However, I have decided it is time to share this person with the world.  And by the world, I mean the 10 people who read this blog.

My inspiration is an exceedingly talented musician, nay!, artist, nay!, entertainer!  That’s right, I’m talking about the timeless, the one-and-only, the indomitable: Jan Terri.

This week, I will devote one post a day in tribute to the legend, nay! the icon, that is Jan Terri.  In the literally hundreds of seconds I spent scouring her severals of videos on the Youtube, I think I’ve been able to narrow her bevy of hits into what I am now referring as the Top 5 Greatest Jan Terri Videos Of All Time (TFGJTVOAT).

The first is her greatest hit, naturally.  It is called ‘Losing You’, but should you ever play this while trying to woo someone into your bed, or impress with your sophisticated musical tastes, there will be no threat of you losing anything.  Except maybe your pants and underwear simultaneously.

First off, leather needs to be featured in more music videos.  Second, Chicago has never looked more beautiful than in this music video.  Third, mullets are making a comeback!  Fourth, there is nothing sexier than a woman with a voice, and Jan Terri knows it.  Fifth, Michael Bay was the camera operator for this shoot, but he was only able to film 1.3 seconds of footage, so they had a stray cat film the rest.  And the cat did a great job!  Sixth, I need to stop and just let the video speak  for itself, because my words don’t do it justice.

Enjoy

I have also written down the lyrics as I understood them, so don’t be shy about singing along!

I don’t wanna lose you tonight/You’re the only thing that matters
I don’t wanna lose you this way/Just need your love

I don’t wanna lose you tonight/You’re the only thing that matters
I don’t wanna lose you this way/Just need your love

Losing you will be the hardest thing to do/My heart is open like an open book, and yours is closed
I never thought it would be like this/So how do we move on?

CHORUS X2

Remember long walks, sandy beaches, all those swims together?/We were like a merry-go-round going around in circles
You said we’ll always be together/But you weren’t telling the truth
You were telling lies

CHORUS AGAIN

Pick up the phone, give me a call, and talk to me
It shouldn’t have been like this/I can’t take it no more

CHORUS PART III

I don’t wanna lose you tonight
You’re the only thing that matters
I don’t blah blah blah blah
Just blah blah blah

Blah blah blah blah blah blah….

Love for the Useless

I really hate watching Sports Center, and yet somehow I seem to find myself watching it several times a week. Whenever I go to the gym at my office (which I primarily do because there is cable there), it is ALWAYS on. If I ask to change the channel, I am asked “to what…” in a voice filled with confusion and fear of any potential Kardashian viewership. But 30 minutes never feel so long as when whoever and his friends blah blah blah something about baseball. Ugh.

Ugh, shut up.

I am not a super girly person. In college, I was often referred to as the queen of lounge wear because I wore almost exclusively waffle print thermals in a variety of unflattering colors. Fashiony, I am not. But there are certain things, like my media intake, that I do girl out on. I love E! I love Kardashians. I LOVE wedding- oriented reality television. Man, did I have a field day with the Royal Wedding. I wish every day were the Royal Wedding.

That's me in the middle. This outfit got a lot of shit, but in my defense, it was a road trip. And only Julia is together enough to wear a dress in a car. Come on.

As an aside, I would like to use this blog as a platform to say that among my many hopes for the future, I wish that one day, my daughters will live in a world where they are not called psychos for being 23, single, and going out of their way for a good marathon of Bridezillas. A day when they will not be judged for how many times they have watched Kim’s Fairytale Wedding special, but rather commended for their ability to intelligently discuss the problematic societal issues it highlights and also how stupid Kim’s headpiece was. I hope that they will feel no shame if, you know what, it’s really cold out and they think they will just sit there and watch Say Yes to the Dress with a big old glass of white wine, thank you very much. That day, my friends. That day…

Can we all agree on how stupid that headpiece was?

But I digress. Please don’t think me vapid for my taste in TV. I would ask that everyone remember that when I find it useless to listen to some ex NFL players talk about where Peyton Manning might play if he leaves Indianapolis, it’s exactly like how some might have found it useless when Randy from Say Yes to the Dress hosted a special where he speculated what Kate Middleton’s wedding dress might look like. But don’t you see, guys at my office? It’s all the same! It’s all useless! I wouldn’t put you through the latter, so I wish you’d think twice before subjecting me to the former. Let’s just find something we can all agree on.

Law and Order: SVU, anyone?

Teenage Survivor

You’d think that with twenty-five years experience raising children; the last one would be easy.  Not the case.  The problem with having a thirteen year old when you’re in your fifties is that while they’re gaining strength and knowledge and energy, you are losing yours.  Let’s face it, he gets pretty much whatever he wants, whenever he wants it.  We’ve lost our mojo…I guess we used it up on the other kids. We have figured out at this point that it pays dividends to keep him busy just about every minute after school and on weekends, encourage him with his grades, make quality time for his homework…blah, blah, blah. It’s just so been there, done that…for the 4th time…

I confess, I’m going to have to be dragged to the finish line for this one…here are just a few reasons why…

Driving…really?  I’ve got 3 more looong years to wait.  Why does he have to have any friends?  That means I have to stay up past my 8pm bedtime to go pick him up!  Can’t he have some compassion for me?

Go get me some milk at the store, and try not to drive like Ryan Gosling in the movie Drive...although, that would be really cool!

Cooking…really?  We can’t just go out for a glass of wine and a piece of cheese for dinner like everyone else my age is doing?  Why does he have to still be growing and requiring nutritional meals of vast quantity?  How inconsiderate!

Wasn't that a delicious dinner darling? I do love a nice gouda with a fruity Pinot Noir! Isn't it great to be grown-ups!

School Work…really?  I still have to point out why getting an A is worth the time and effort?  It’s not that hard for God’s sake!  How many times do I have to repeat the FOIL concept in my lifetime?

“Values”…really?  OK, here it is for the 400th time…behave, don’t drink, don’t do drugs, stay in school.  Done!

Puberty…really?  Again? I want a turn at being hormonal…I WANT MY TURN!!!

I’m noticing how little in common I have with my friends now.  They have sent their last one off to college. while I’m sending my last one off to high school.  They have the time to go exploring the Galapagos Islands, skiing in France, golfing in Scotland, sleeping in, downsizing to a cute condo on the beach, strolling aimlessly arm-in-arm for the day, wherever they happen to be.  They can have 8 almonds, a piece of coconut cake and 2 glasses of Pinot for dinner at 5 o’ clock.  They can watch a subtitled movie on a Saturday afternoon or take a nap or have the TV clicker right where they left it.

A girl can dream...

I guess we’ll have to be content with a chatty, funny, thirteen year old.  We’re going to have to tolerate Jalapeno Pringles, “pwning the noobs”, paper towel holders as rocket launchers, gun noises, trying to understand why a “killtacular” is such an achievement, golf tournaments in god-forsaken places, LOUD rap music, nightly wrestlemania (usually right at my bedtime and occasionally ending with someone getting a bloody nose), being the only Mom (amongst a bunch of teenage boys skipping school) waiting in line at Best Buy to get the latest copy of Call of Duty, vats of Mac and Cheese, Cheetos, root beer, beef jerky, hair gel, snarky t-shirts, piles of stinky shoes and Legos everywhere.

He's developing hand-eye coordination...or so he says. Can anyone tell me what a "Killtastrophe" is?

Fingers crossed…

Safe At Home

My husband and I have the pleasure and sometimes the pain of having two adult children living with us.  They are pretty much grown-ups.  They have college degrees, real jobs (even benefits and a 401K) and a credit card.  They wear suits and can discuss in detail subjects such as:  IPOs; what an S-1 is; say things like “we are somewhat risk adverse with that particular client”; understand top line profits and have taken quite an interest in the European debt crisis.  They could try to explain all these things and more to me in English, Spanish and Chinese and add a power point presentation, if needed.   They are fun to have around.  Dinner conversation is more interesting, a trip to Costco makes more sense and they can pick up bread at the store if I forgot.  Aside from the fact that they can’t quite afford to move out yet, they are the model of maturity.

For some reason, despite their demonstrated abilities to be grown-ups, I can’t seem to stop myself from getting caught up in that completely lose-lose area of trying to parent these twenty-somethings. Now that I get to see their personal habits and lives up close, I see so many ways that I can help them improve themselves.  There is just so much they don’t know!  Managing their health, navigating the workplace, fashion, fitness, dating, personal hygiene, driving, car maintenance, finance, the 5 year plan.  You name it, I have advice for it.  I either read about it, saw it on the Today show, got a mass email about it or even had personal experience.  Therefore, I’m confident that I know SO much more than they do that I’m quite qualified to be involved all levels.

You don't need him, you have me: a live-in know-it-all!

Most of the time, I remind myself of the “lose-lose” element to parental advice and manage to keep my mouth shut about it all.  That doesn’t mean that worried thoughts don’t follow me around.  Things like whether they’re going to get up for work on time, eat a good breakfast, cut themselves with the bagel knife, leave the stove on, get in an accident on the freeway, get lost, get carjacked, get road raged, run out of gas at night in Compton, lose their cell phones, get a poor work review, pay the credit card bill on time, walk alone in a dark parking lot, drink too much, date a jerk, don’t have any dates, get a flu shot (I mean it, Ben!), skin cancer, identity theft, washing their hands before eating, Hepatitis A, bird flu, earthquakes, tape worms, nuclear fallout from Japan, e-coli, tsunami(s), salmonella, bed bugs, aspartame, tuberculosis exposure, Ragnarok, terrorist attack and hantavirus.  Wait, I almost forgot about hearing loss from loud music, polar ice cap melting and mosquito-borne diseases!

Don't worry, I've got this covered for you too.

That is just a regular Tuesday for me.  It’s even worse if they’re out for the night, as I can’t quite get to sleep until they get home.  Unless it’s after 8pm, then I’m already asleep.

I’m exhausted and I’m pretty sure this is making me age prematurely.  I want my days of ignorance and denial back.  Some of this is sort of like watching how sausage is made; you’re way better off NOT knowing.   Catching up once a week over a steak and a nice bottle of wine and getting the glossed over highlights sounds lovely about now.   Maybe, I’ll be the one to move out…just to give my mind a little rest.

I almost forgot; I have to worry about tornadoes and dust mites too!

Conflict Resolution

I’d like to wrap up the week by reflecting on the art of the passive aggressive note. As young people, we move from home to more socially diverse environments, and it can be tricky to try to develop the skills to appropriately handle conflicts that come up with coworkers, roommates, and cab drivers alike. I believe this can be especially tough for women, as we sometimes don’t want to appear too aggressive or bitchy even if the truth is that we have the word “DEMON” branded across our very hearts. I, myself, have participated in more door slamming, stomping, and aggressively loud music playing more times than I would like to admit. Come on ladies, we all do it. It’s a girl thing, am I right? Like our periods!

That said, my favorite tactic that some young women employ to manage conflict is the passive aggressive note. You know what I’m talking about.

Ugh, I remember I wrote the worst one ever to my freshman suitemates who never cleaned the bathroom. In hindsight, it really is no wonder that my roommate hated me so much. I was just the worst.

Still, we mature. And today, I am faced with an issue. See, in my office everybody likes club soda. What no one knows is that I love club soda more than any of them and I dare them to cross me about it. But I digress. To set the scene, you must know that I have a mini fridge below my desk where I keep water bottles for guests. Employees aren’t supposed to take the waters, but they often do. Now, the office always runs out of club soda around lunch time, so, when freshly stocked in the morning, I like to take extra cans of club soda and put them in the mini fridge. I feel as though it is my right to do this because I have a mini fridge. Agree with me, please. Dissent on this matter will not be tolerated.

You might understand, then, how I am upset when one particular coworker of mine comes back to the mini fridge, apparently goes “OOH THE LAST CLUB SODA,” and snatches it away without the slightest consideration about how why it might be in the fridge in the first place. ‘Cuz now, all the club soda is gone and I have no club soda for HOURS until they restock! Ugh.

I won’t be mad in a few hours. It will be OK. If the problem arises again, I will address it like a normal grown. But at the moment, I’m feeling like a passive aggressive note might be just the ticket. Minus the passive part.

Yeah, I poisoned the club soda.

We Can Make That Movie!

 

Two weeks ago Miden Wood, Logan Herries, and I teamed up to make a movie in 24 hours.

Logan                          Miden                      Amelia

 

It was difficult to set aside our differences because we all hate each other so very much but we managed. We received our official challenge at 6 p.m. on a Friday.
Genre: Working Girl/Shop Girl
Line of Dialogue: “Why are you singing?”
Prop: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis Postcard

We sat down to brainstorm over dinner at Friends Cafe. Friends Cafe was an odd place to brainstorm since the three of us aren’t really friends at all. We are nemeses. We talked about the conventions of Working Girl movies for about an hour before landing on Mary Tyler Moore.

If you’re not familiar with Mary Tyler Moore…

 

Our film was inspired by the following conversation.

Logan: I want to see a film where Mary Tyler Moore gets stabbed.
Amelia: (slams hands down on table) We can make that movie!

(Miden sits in silence, shoving her mouth full of Korean food.)

So, with the help of some friends, we made that movie!

 

Here is our final product!

 

 

My Afternoon With Chelsea

My younger sister Susan has a very generous friend with a plane.  That plane came to L.A. recently, carrying Susan and her closest friends to celebrate her 50th birthday in high style.  Why L.A.?  A date with Susan’s favorite comedian, Chelsea Handler, and a taping of the Chelsea Lately Show.

She included me in the plans, as I live nearby and wanted to help her celebrate her big day.  A major concern about inviting me was the dress code for getting into the Chelsea taping.  Apparently, you”re supposed to look “cool”  in order meet the show’s hip and groovy audience standard.  Susie has seen me (apparently way too often) in my variation on a theme outfit:  a black track suit and tennis shoes.  Being quite the fashionista, she knew she had lots of work to do to get me to that “cool” level.  It started with subtle hints via email; a lot of them.  The word COOL was capitalized and underlined.  She called me more than usual, allegedly to ask how the week was going, but veered pretty quickly to an interrogation on whether I had planned an outfit yet.   She had several suggestions, most of them meant I had to do some serious shopping and I just didn’t have time nor the capability to find the right thing.  I pulled together the “coolest” pieces (that weren’t sweat suitish) from what I already had, took a deep breath and hit the road.

I met her very fun friends and realized pretty quickly that I didn’t quite get as close to “hot” as they did.  Susan and her friends were making the most of a three day party and they were going to wait to sleep until the plane ride home.  These Moms were gettin’ down and everyone had better get the hell out of the way!  I could tell pretty quickly that they were having the BEST TIME EVER!

Off we went to lunch at a very trendy restaurant.  Screwdrivers, mojitos and a few salads later, we were pre-functioned enough to go to the taping.

We lined up to get through security (which put the TSA to shame).  Chelsea must have some stalker fans or be a frequent Al Qaeda target, because it was just short of a strip search to get in the door.  We all made it in and were seated in the front row center.  I was feeling a little bit smug about my head to toe coverage outfit because the studio was about 55 degrees.  Thank God the warm-up comedian made us clap and laugh at absolutely everything, it helped to keep us warm.  Literally.

We were 10 feet away, for real! Clapping and laughing our asses off, hoping for a wardrobe malfunction.

The show begins, the round table comedians come out, Chuy arrives and Chelsea seems to appear out of nowhere.  She hits her marks, reads from the teleprompter, interviews Leann Rimes (wearing the smallest outfit ever…we were just waiting for her boob or her peekachoo to hang out), gives the promo for E News and vanishes.  At this point, I’m exhausted from the hard work of being an audience member.  All that clapping!  All that forced laughter!  All that trying to maintain body temperature!

Afterwards, we met in the bar of the fancy hotel the group was staying in.   It was a great spot to chat about the show.  Susan was thrilled to have seen Chelsea, and we all agreed that it was an unforgettable afternoon.  I soon head for home, as the ladies are getting fired up for phase 3 of their plans for the evening…something about dinner, more drinks and dancing.  They invited me, but it was way past my old lady bedtime to even consider.

The show aired the next night and I gathered the family to watch, as I thought that maybe there could be a glimpse of me somewhere during the program.  Jeff is the first to point me out  “Hey Babe, there you are!  I’d recognize the back of that big noggin just about anywhere”!  The whole family clapped and congratulated me!  I have to admit, it was pretty exciting to see the back of my head on T.V.!  Now, Susan and I have an awesome memento of her birthday.  The view of the back of our heads, side by side.  Mine quite large and brunette;  hers, normal size, cute and blonde, kind of like when we were kids.  A beautiful sister moment…if you look closely enough.

Can you find us? It's like the "Where's Waldo" of the back of our heads...

(46) Days

Happy Mardi Gras!

To celebrate Fat Tuesday, I have snacked literally all day. I upped my usual daily intake of white cheddar popcorn from two little bags to three little bags, and let me tell you, it has been great. I’m eating a bowl of lucky charms as I write this. What kind of adult eats lucky charms at work? The kind that hopes to receive dental insurance someday soon, that’s what!

But like any perpetually-guilt-ridden-mostly-Catholic-semi-grown, I know that it would not be prudent to embrace the socially endorsed gluttony of this day without committing to a sacrifice that would counterbalance how gross I’ve been today. The issue that I come up against is deciding what to give up for Lent.

Here are some of my options at the moment, together with a concept of what this sacrifice would mean for me:

  • Thai food- This would mean no Thaiday Friday. Thaiday Friday is a holiday that I made up and celebrate with myself every week where I order tofu red curry for dinner and eat it in my bed while I watch the NBC Thursday night sitcoms online.
  • Wine- This would mean that my veins might flow with blood, for a change, instead of the Sauvignon Blanc that fills me now. It would be a trial for me, to say the least.
  • Professional manicures- I guess I don’t really get enough manicures to make this a legitimate sacrifice.  Plus, if we’re operating under that old “Sunday is a break day” rule, I probably wouldn’t be giving up anything at all.
  • Weekday drinking- This would mean me altering every single plan I have made for the next 2 weeks. Maybe I should take a critical look at myself.
  • Kardashian related media- Khloe and Lamar season 2 just started. Come on. It would be a big deal for me.
  • Carbs- This would make Thaiday Friday a little complicated too. Weekday carbs maybe? Is that a thing? Ugh, I know, I know. If it were easy, it would not be a sacrifice.

If you have any other ideas, I invite comments and suggestions. Regardless, you can bet that I’ll be drinking plenty of wine this eve. It’s always good to prepare for spiritually cleansing deprivation, no matter what.

Ender’s got game.

Now that my second semester of grad school is in full swing, people ask me about my thesis and what I want to “concentrate” on. I try to conjure impressive answers…they’re usually different every time, and rarely ever true. It’s not that I don’t like what I’m studying or where I’m at. It’s just that these questions about the future really make me wonder what I want.

After deep introspection and meditation, I realized what I want. I think I kind of reached that moment everyone talks about – when life just makes sense.

I realized that I want the life of my neighbor’s dog, Ender.

He is the cutest and LAZIEST dog you will ever meet. I kid you not. This doggie means business when he refuses to go out for a walk. He stands with his feet firmly rooted to the ground or just sits on the sidewalk. Seriously. He just sits his big butt down and looks at you like “uhhh, if you’re not gonna carry me, we aren’t gonna be moving” Not to mention, when you say “Ender, sit!,” he kind of makes an effort to look in your direction, but just continues walking until HE decides to plop down. And boy, when he does…he’s not moving any time soon.

You will see him in the supine state above most of the time. It’s awesome. And I am so jealous. I would do anything to just lounge around all day, maybe reading a book or two. MAYBE. But really, I would just curl up and take nice, long naps.

And the best thing about Ender’s life is that he gets away with EVERYTHING. Why? BECAUSE HE IS SO CUTE!

You see him?? He is adorable. And so, even if he doesn’t sit or roll over or jump with his two front paws, it’s all ok…because his cuteness balances it out.

So yeah, I’m in grad school, writing papers and making presentations when I SHOULD be just taking a nap. Oh Ender. You make me realize everyday that you are living my dream…that this is what I should be doing: