Friday, December 28, 2018

Christmakuh 2018

You know what I don't care about? Fluoride. That's the issue du jour I saw today on social media. The dangers of Fluoride. Not that this is a new assertion. I remember it coming up when it was time to give my son vitamins. To Fluoride vitamin or not. I think I first opted to not. Then I opted in. I've had fluoride and I'm fine. This isn't like- well, we lived without seat belts and we're fine. No, I just think there are bigger things to worry about. Just felt like telling you all my feelings on this today.

I realized writing this blog, whether zero or thousands read it, is my therapy. I need to get the stuff out of my brain or it all bubbles up inside until I'm uncomfortable. Like gas. I don't get gas from it, but I get angry. I'm still angry but maybe just not "as" angry.

So, the gift giving holidays are over- Hanukkah and Christmas of course. We attended two Menorah lightings, had friends over for Christmas Eve. Ethan got some stuff. I'm not into spoiling him with "stuff". I'd rather he have camp and whatever creative outlets he's into like guitar, voice, etc. And we NEED swim or the kid doesn't sleep. But we do have a little gift giving.

We got him a Chromebook for "the holidays". I told him that would be pretty much his only gift because it was two hundred dollars. He was fine with it. Why did we get him this when he is barely allowed to use an iPad, he has virtually no access to the internet on purpose and no video games? Because SCHOOL. I don't know what makes the school or teachers, or whomever is responsible for these decisions, think every kid has a computer or internet access, but they keep sending home "links" for the kids to go to study this or that. Extra math, or Word-something (literally Word something- I have no idea what it's really called) - I get links to this. Then I'm like, in my head, "what pray tell is he supposed to do this on?".

I'm not giving him my laptop. And he needs to learn to type, so I'm not giving him the iPad. I know they use Google Chrome, which I don't really get, but I know it's Windows and on Chromebooks. He can get to whatever he's doing in school on there so that's what it's for. However, I do still think it's pretty presumptuous for teachers to assume kids all just have access.

I found a good Black Friday deal at Target for an HP so I bought it. I think I gave it to him right away- not waiting for Hanukkah, because the holiday was coming in days anyway, and he already knew what he was getting.

The jig is up. He asked if Santa was real in the summer, B gleefully told him the truth, and that was that. I didn't feel any need to make any holiday magic then. He's almost ten. It was a good run, but really, call me Scrooge, but isn't it magical to have all an only child in a nice town, with good schools, and parents who love him already has? I mean, he got a computer. He certainly isn't underprivileged in any way.

I did also get him headphones, because he listens to music in his room at night like he's DJ Pauly D. It's so loud, you'd think he had a full D'Jais happy hour going on in there. I thought maybe he could use the headphones so I don't have to hear Marshmallow/Bastille one more time on a loop.

Since Hanukkah and Christmas had a long break in between each other, I did have time to grab him something small for Christmas if I felt like it. I'd bought my friend's daughter Gymnastics Coach Barbie and he saw it before I wrapped it. He said that it was cool and he likes playing Barbie and Ken with her when he goes to their house. He said- "It's kind of fun". He's an only child with a close girl friend. He's going to play whatever she wants to play and he's a roll with it kind of kid that way. He just wants to play and doesn't care what. He'll find a way to make it fun for him.

He never really liked action figures or superhero figures. They don't have clothes, cars, houses, bikes, and other accoutrements though. Barbie and Ken have a whole world of crap that they can do and use.

When I was in Target, I saw they now have "Fashionista Ken". This isn't the the blonde eunuch Kens of yesteryear. These are hot, buff, fashionable Kens of today. Ken has cool-ass clothes too. It's a whole new world.

So I picked up a Fashionista Ken, in a camo shorts, a jersey type shirt, and sunglasses. Oh, and dyed tips. It's still plastic hair, but it's cut, styled, and colored like any proud Jersey shore fist pumping summer resident. And Ken himself is only just under ten dollars.

The clothes are expensive though! No way I was buying Ken an outfit for ten dollars a piece. I went on eBay and bought a decent used lot for ten dollars instead. B just shook his head and said E would never play with any of this.

You know what WAS magical? On Christmas morning when I sent E downstairs for something, he saw gifts, and asked who they're for, since he didn't think he was getting anything. I said they are for him and he was surprised and happy with his two gifts. 

HA! Au contraire, husband. All was quiet for forty-five minutes Christmas Day evening, with not even the tv on. I didn't even know where in the house E was, when B called me into the sunroom. E had taken all the Ken clothes and organized them into color and activity coordinated outfits. BINGO. THIS, is how I'm going to teach him to match and pick things weather and activity appropriate. I hadn't had much success with this prior with his own clothes, but this, for some reason, putting clothes together for someone else, he found fun. He had- High School Ken, Surfer Ken, Date Ken, Work Ken, etc. And everything matched!

I love that my kid is so versatile. He was putting clothes on Ken in between watching Cobra Kai on tv with us, and doing his own versions of wax on, wax off, and the crane. I'd also much prefer he play with a hundred Kens to one game of Fortnight (which he doesn't have and probably would be playing on if he did).

Ken was hit. What was not a hit was what he was going to store these Ken clothes in. I'm gearing up to write one of my famous angry letters to Mattel. Old school Ken had a brown armoir back in the day. There was also a vinyl ken carrying case back then too. Today? They make a Barbie Ultimate closet a Barbie and all her clothes and accessories can fit it, but no Ken closet! Ken has to keep his clothes in a baggie like he's perpetually doing the Walk of Shame, but Barbie gets a whole closet? I know in the doll world, women rule, but come on. If you're going to give us Fashionista Ken with ten bucks an outfit clothing, then Ken deserves an Ultimate closet to hang up his designer duds too.

I hunted too- I Googled. I looked on regular toy store sites. I scoured eBay, Mercari, and anywhere else that came up. I found collector cases that ranged from tattered to usable in all sorts of price ranges for used items. So I know a current new closet doesn't exist. Is there a call for it? Well, I don't know if there are a lot of boys playing with Kens, but GIRLS do. Maybe Mattel's marketing department is looking at it incorrectly. As in, thinking, there probably isn't a call for it because there aren't many boys playing with them. Not taking into account that girls might want a closet for their Barbie male friends and/or boyfriends/husbands.

I wasn't buying the Ultimate Barbie Closet for Ken because it's thirty dollars and already filled with Barbie clothes and shoes. That would be a complete waste. So what's a mom to do? Write a letter. Hey- if it got the EZ Bake Oven gender neutralized from pink to silver, then maybe I can get a Ken closet to store his wide aray of cool kicks and club clothes.

A male friend from school came over the other day with his mom. The first question they asked is what he got for Christmas. I didn't know if he was going to tell or not, because you know, boys + dolls = stigma. I think he was a little nervous to tell but he also has me in him so I think he partly wanted to be like- "a doll, AND??". But this is a close friend of his and a REALLY nice kid. I guess he showed his friend because the friend's mom texted me later that now her son wants Fashionista Ken too. I'm more than happy to start a Fashionista Ken movement for the boys. It's safer than what I hear is being looked at on the internet by boys only two school grades ahead of them!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Month O'Festivus

I realize I should be all puppies and rainbows or gumdrops and candy canes in December, know, the HOLIDAYS!! But that's just never going to happen. Not in December, not in January, and not in any month following those. B likes to call me the angriest person alive, and I might be. So I'm just going to keep compiling all my anger and putting it down here. I'll just call these December posts my "Month O'Festivus" where I air my grievances as they come up.

Let me explain how I start my day once I leave my house to come to work. And that's assuming nothing happened at home to grievance about. For example, but not limited to- not being able to find something I have to ship to someone, finding something E left home that should be at school, cat barf, out of something I need, etc. Let's assume I got through my morning at home without too much issue. Then, I get to work and where do I have to park? IF there's even parking?


Ok, so that's my car. You see the proximity to that flag. And you can't tell, luckily today, what that flag says is, but it's the epitome of assholery wrapped in douchebaggery. It's a "TRUMP 2020- NO MORE BULLSHIT" flag. Yes siree. Granted, the local townsfolk wrote letters to this Bag of Dicks to please take it down because of the profanity. It's like fifty feet where like half the elementary school crosses the street to go to school. You know, so if you're walking your first grader to school, they can say, "Mommy, what's bull..shit?"

Sure, sure, that's assuming you're not me and your kid never heard the word bullshit. Whatever. Point is, it's on a main road, THE main road, and this is just not that kind of town. It's not Deal or Toms River. We don't have Trump flags flying all over the place like he's our dictator. We have a decent amount of PRIDE flags and some Irish flags, but not THIS mess. Thankfully, any Trumpism here is kept pretty much on the DL. Nope- not this fool. Right in my face. I start off every work day pissed off and going off on him (and/or her) in my head.

As an aside, could you imagine having flags all over saying, "CLINTON" or better, "CLINTON: NO MORE BULLSHIT". Or best- "OBAMA: NO MORE BULLSHIT". No, BECAUSE IT'S RIDICULOUS and INSANE. These Trump flags are the equivalent of idol worship.

Yes, he took it down, covered the "SHIT" part with tape or something, THEN PUT IT BACK UP. You need a Trump flag, as a relatively new renter, THAT bad, that you'd go to all that trouble? It's fascinating and rage inducing all in one.

Before the tape over the "SHIT"

Alrighty...Now that I got that out....

As a follow up to the other day's entry, we decided to watch The Path on Hulu. We just got Hulu with that Black Friday deal of ninety-nine cents a month for a year. Why not?? I'm trying to figure out how to cut our extra exorbitant cable bill so we're trying out all the streaming. I have Netflix and Amazon Prime. I still need network TV. Hello, Sunday night Castle re-runs. But I'm going to look at seeing how far I can cut down the cable. I just have to figure out how I'll be able to watch Bill Maher.

I'll just add into my grievances that I don't understand how every month my cable AND my cellular service bill just climb higher and higher with no rhyme or reason. No overages or anything. Just..."fees". It's all a crock and you can't do anything about it. They just tack on whatever and you have no choice but to pay. It's highway robbery.

Anyway, We're on episode four or five of The Path and it's really good so far. Of course, I get crazy at how easily people can be brainwashed, but it's definitely an interesting eye into how that all goes down. Certain people are just easy marks to believe anything. It's sad, scary and fascinating. I picked it also because E did background work in the third season, I think, so I figured we'd check it out and see if we can spot him.

Well, it's Thursday and I'm now on the couch watching General Hospital. So I'm going to end here and hope I'm out of grievances for the next few days. Feel free to add your own though. I won't even challenge you to the Feats of Strength!


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Immersed in Fantasy

I got a notification from my Know It All Facebook page that I hadn't updated in too long or something, so here I am. Instead of doing the laundry list of other things I should be doing, like fighting with the f*cking douchebags at Affinity Credit Union for being like the mafia, I'd rather write. However, Affinity can suck it. They just keep sending me bills for random amounts of "late fee" money for my old car, then when I call to fight them on it, they just transfer me from moron to shining moron. It's a good time, especially when I DON'T HAVE THAT KIND OF TIME TO DICK AROUND. Add them to my hate cape

Anyhow, I could sit and debate Baby It's Cold Outside, however, IDGAF about that. My take on that is- STOP DEBATING IT. It bothers some people. That's valid. Some people think it's crazy to analyze to this extent. That's valid. It's all valid. But stop trying to invalidate each other on it. I'm seeing diatribes on this topic on social media. I want to poke my eyes out.

If it sounds rapey to some, then it's rapey to some and they don't have to like it. I don't like it because it's ultimately shitty old timey music to me. I like my sayings to be old timey but not most of my music. Not that old timey. I'll go with the 70's being the earliest I want to hear music from. And if you think my musical taste sucks, that's okay too. I just played Bitchin' Camaro for E the other night. So you might as well judge my parenting too.

I actually don't want to talk about any current events because at this point, I'm just sitting back and waiting for stuff to happen, good and bad, while immersing myself fully in Vanderpump Rules. I have to say, we really need Vanderpump Rules right now. When real life, your life, political happenings, etc, gets you down, makes you want to walk into traffic, we have the kids at SUR as a shiny bright light. I can't imagine any better Chicken Soup For The Soul than Stassi, Ariana, Sandoval, Jax & Brittany, James, Doute, Lala & her man, Katie & Schwartz, and Scheana & her iPhone. This is the only reality show ever that I watch the episodes over and over.

Speaking of TV, I'm amazed and delighted with the success of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. This show is everything. Not that I thought Amy Sherman Palladino could ever make a bomb. Even Bunheads, while not widely received, I believe got a raw deal being on some obscure channel. She managed to make a deliciously palatable to the masses, scripted show, about Jews. I didn't think I'd ever see it. I've written about this before- we get the standard sitcom with the nebbishy Jewish husband and blond Shiksa wife (Mad About You) or Friends with characters that are supposed to be Jewish but couldn't be less (Courtney Cox as Monica Gellar, never spoken about on the show, even when they did the Hanukkah armadillo episode with Ross). But a whole show with endless Jewish references? Unheard of and I'm loving it! Of course I know what a valuable commodity a fabulous brisket could be to trade for favors!

I know it's been getting some backlash for the way Midge is as a mother, how you never see her with the kids. Please. That's not the point of the show. Every great show gets backlash anyway. Look at This Is Us. Everyone LOVED it, so people found ways to pick it apart. Including me- Alpine to Philly in a hop skip and a jump? Just. No. But that's just how the cookie crumbles (see- old timey sayings). Everyone loves you, applauds you, then tries to knock you down a peg.

We burned through the first season of Maisel's eight episodes last year and then in three days when season two came out a week or two ago. If you haven't seen it, I haven't done a great job explaining it. I don't know how palatable a show about Jews sounds to the average non-Jew, but trust me, it's worth the watch. I posted the countdown to the season two release on my Facebook page and the people proclaiming their love for it the most were my non-Jewish friends.

I'm actually looking for another show for us to watch. We're abandoning Blindspot. It really jumped the shark after the first season. I rarely abandon and I LOVE that actors that were in LA Complex keep popping up in it. Ennis Esmer is a treasure. But it takes hella concentration to watch that show and I just can't devote the brain power to it. And I don't care. Jane's bad now. Great. Not interested.

I did find a show that could make me pee my pants. We just got Hulu and I had wanted to check out Difficult People, because I love Billy On The Street. It does not disappoint. IF you REALLY know pop culture. B and I are pop culture aficionados. We have been binging this show since all our other shows are on holiday/winter hiatus. This Is Us, A Million Little Things, The Good Doctor, The Resident, The Connors, Will & Grace, Murphy Brown are all on our TV watching schedule and we're all caught up. We LOVE 9-1-1 but I'm not sure if the season is over or if it's just on winter hiatus. Currently we're also watching Ray Donovan too. This week's looked like it would/could be the finale, but surprisingly it wasn't.

Nothing is really jumping out at me to try though. I know, I know, the Handmaid's Tale. But it sounds so depressing. Feel free to give me some suggestions though, based on what I've said we watch. We also watch The Blacklist. And I watch all the ABC Thursday line-up - Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, and I hate-watch Station 19. I just don't like any of the characters on Station 19. I also watch the Chicago Trilogy (PD, Fire, Med) on the treadmill. SMILF comes back on Jan 20th and we'll be watching that. I'm not watching Dirty John. I don't know the whole story, but I do know it's a lot of Three's Company nonsense where we all know the truth and Connie Britton has to play the moron. I don't like Connie and her gorgeous mane playing the fool.

So help me out. What to watch?