Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Schmoscar

I tried as best as I could to ignore the Oscars. There's just something about a bunch of rich people wearing expensive clothes to give out awards for who can pretend the best that doesn't really do it for me. The catty pre-show red carpet comments and post mortem fashion reports I totally dig (and by the way, Miley, that dress was done better without the sparkles by Oscar de La Renta).

I'm biased, I admit it. I'm not a big Hugh Jackman fan and prefer Jon Stewart to, well just about anyone in the world--except Tina Fey. But if you want a nice, safe Oscar ceremony with only one or two jabs at those in the room, then Jackman is your man.

It was nice to see the 5 presenters, but instead of an awkward reason why they love the nominee, how about a little more about the movie or role that was nominated. Let's be honest: most of those nominated roles haven't been the biggest box office draws.

And lastly, I was disappointed in Heath Ledger's family. I know they aren't actors, and it's rude for me to criticize, but I expected some tears. The people in the crowd (yes, mostly actors) were more touched by his win than his family seemed. My mom has been gone for 9 years and if I won a local award that was even slightly connected to her, I think I would crumble in tears. Squeeze one out and you would've had me. But they didn't. They just read their nice speeches and gave Matilda a shout out.

Can anyone tell me why Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer were there in the second row? I know she's an actress, but was she in a movie in 2008? Or was this just a cruel joke from the Oscar planners to have her so near Brad and Angelina?

So many questions, so little time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It was More than Enough

I admit it. I watched the Dateline interview with Nadya Suleman last week. The mother of the octuplets and 6 other kids is a woman who has me enthralled. I can't turn my head from the train wreck that is this media blitz.

I'm not someone who judges others for having kids out of wedlock. I don't think a wedding band qualifies you as a good parent. And I think it's wonderful that people feel a deep need or calling into motherhood.

What I don't understand are the following:
  • If you believe that things are "God's Will" but use artificial means to get pregant, aren't you defying God's will?
  • Using government financial aid for things other than directly related costs can be deemed illegal and is taking away from the hundreds of thousands of people going to school and supporting themselves.
  • If destroying the embryos was not an option for her, why did she have so many made?
  • If reputable adoption agencies would turn you down because of your inability to provide consistent financial support, shouldn't that be a sign to rethink having kids or how many kids to have?
  • How can one person's lips grow to three times their normal size in a few years without surgical help?
  • How can you blame the media for the hailstorm around your life when you are constantly commenting to the media AND using the attention to raise money through your own web site (that has since been taken down)?
I hope the kids grow up healthy, and adjusted. I hope there is eventually peace in that home. I hope the nuts out there stop dropping death threats on Nadya Suleman and all those around her. I don't expect to have my piddly questions answered because it's not my life. But I couldn't help but ask them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm going to take my investing advice from the government, too!

I opened my Marie Claire last week and was happy to see Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore and Ginnifer Goodwin on the cover. Mostly because I like all three actresses and thought "What the hey. I'll actually read an article about celebrities being interviewed. It was a bad decision.

Sure, the movie was "He's just not that into you," but do I really want to hear what three celebrities have to say about relationships? Yes and no. Yes, if they're going to dish about their famous loves and losses. No, if they're going to try and explain everything they've learned about love and themselves in a moment of self-discovery.

Jennifer Aniston is divorced. Ginnifer Goodwin is single. Drew Barrymore has been married and divorced and married and divorced and married and divorced. Do I really want to take relationship advice from that? Do I really care about their moments of epiphany that hit the average non-famous person about 10 years earlier? Does being rich mean that instead of worrying about the money coming in, the rent ot be paid and all that, you get to ponder about yourself for hours on end? Apparently the answer is yes.

I don't live an unexamined life. I do put thought and effort into my relationship with Chef. However, I don't talk with him about it for hours on end and set my boundaries and constantly express my wants and needs. Maybe that's why we're together.

So, in other words, 30 seems to be the age to the questions: How old are you before you really stop caring if Jennifer Aniston finds life fulfilling?Or how old are you when you could care less if Drew Barrymore finds happiness?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Last of the Birthday Celebrations

This weekend, my stepfather and his fiance visited me for my birthday. It was officially the last of the birthday celebrations and just like the others, it was wonderful and special. Jack came down and met Chef and I at our apartment. We introduced him to the cats (particularly Genghis who is the most social) and had a great time.

One special thing that happened was the passing along of my mother's engagement ring. I have the ring my father gave her. Or actually Chef has it to be utilized in the melding of many different rings that will eventually make up the engagement ring he chooses to give me.

However, for many reasons, I decided to keep my mom's engagement ring from Jack as it is. It is a gorgeous ring and one that she was very proud of for many reasons. Mostly because it symbolized the love she got from a wonderful man who made her happy. Naturally, I cried when he gave it to me. I thought of the last time I'd seen it on her hand. It was on her hand in the casket at the showing. I remember the car ride Jack and I took together on our way up to the funeral.

"That ring is yours," he said. "Your mom told me to take it back, but I wouldn't think of it. It's yours now or whenever you want it."

I didn't want it then. I was 21 and while I appreciated the ring as it had been between Jack and mom, I couldn't appreciate what it really meant. I hadn't been in a relationship and also knew that I wasn't mature enough to take care of it. So we decided that I would get it at 30. To make the birthday even more special and to give me time to experience all the things I would need to to give the ring value to me.

I knew when I opened it up and the tears flowed that I had made the right decision. I knew that it would mean something different to me than it had my mother. With her, it had meant someone who valued her so much that he would do anything for her. Even celebrate her daughter's 30th birthday when she couldn't be there to do it herself.

To me, it represents the independence she found right before she got it, the security she felt with it and that the only two women that have worn it were strong enough to realize they didn't need someone to rely on, but were open to love nonetheless.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I Went Red For Women

In full disclosure, I work for the American Heart Association. Most of you know that, but I just wanted to get it out there again. And on most days I love working there. Friday was one of those days.

Friday was National Wear Red Day were we get together and have a bunch of things (people, schools, buildings, etc) Go Red in honor of women and heart disease. The first few years it was to raise awareness that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Now that more women know that than ever before, it's also to get people to take action.

What seems like a small day of awareness and media on the outside is actually the end result of months and months of planning. To be honest, as an American Heart Association employees, I chuckle every time I get a call mid-January from a company that would like us to help spread the word on heart disease in February. Mostly because more conversations start with a person telling me "February is Heart Month, you know?". Trust me. I know.

But I digress. This past Friday was a different day for me than any other. I got to spend the day at a local mall (I didn't buy a thing and it was probably my best day at a mall EVER) talking to women about Go Red For Women and being a part of a local casting call and beauty event. Macy's Ecotage salon came down and did hair and make up for anyone who wanted a touch up. It was a lot of fun. Probably the most fun and touching part was listening to everyone tell their stories of choice. Choices they made after they had a heart issue or choices they made now to prevent one.

I am truly amazed at these remarkable women. Not just those who told there story, but also the 20 or so volunteers that came out to help facilitate the event. Not 6 months ago, we did not have a strong base of volunteers to help us get the message out. What I've learned (and it's an important lesson) is that all you have to do is ask.

So even now, two days after Wear Red Day, as I look back at the event and the couple hundred people that took part in some way, I feel lucky to have a job that lets me have days like that. Where months of work culminates in a day when I get to tangibly see and hear the lives that are changed by the place I work. I get to marvel at the talent of my co-workers and their level of commitment. I get to see the passion and devotion of people I just met who want to be a part of this message.

I Went Red For Women. I hope you did too.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Smoke it if you got it

I woke up on Monday morning to the news of Michael Phelps and his date with a "marijuana pipe." First of all, I was wondering what a "Marijuana pipe" looked like. I know what a onie looks like, a bowl, and a bat. I've seen bongs, but never have I seen a "marijuana pipe". (My IU education has taught me many things well.)

So, after much curiosity, the Today Show showed the actual photo of Michael Phelps taking a huge bong hit. I don't know for sure if it was huge, but he's a large guy and has swimmers lungs. He totally has to take a big ol' breath to get properly high.

I don't think that smoking weed is that big of a deal. Of all the drugs that someone can use, it seems to have less effects to society than even alcohol. Billions of dollars that can be better used are spent every year by the DEA to fight weed instead of things like cocaine or meth or even prescription drug abuse. California passed a law making the sell of marijuana for medical use legal. However, because federal law supercedes it, the DEA spends time and resources shutting down legally operating facilities. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

But whatever my personal feelings are aside, Phelps is an idiot. It's bad enough that he got a DUI at 19, but what idiot is on the cover of Sports Illustrated and then thinks that he or she can smoke weed at a college party without anyone noticing. There are cameras everywhere!! Anyone can snap a pic with their cell phone and the world can see it in less time than it takes to pack a bowl.

So, while it won't affect my opinion of him that he's a potsmoker, it does affect me that he's an idiot. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, come up with a better apology.

I'm off to finish my glass of wine. Legal and delicious. And it won't make you cough.


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