Sunday, December 4, 2011

An apology and an announcement

This is hard to say but I'm going to have to just come right out and say it.

I know you've been wondering. You've probably even wanted to ask me. And to spare you any more wondering, I'm going to go ahead and admit it: I've been ignoring you.

There, I said it. I'm sorry. I didn't meant to hurt your feelings, I didn't meant to make you feel neglected and ignored. And this time it really isn't you. It's me. All me.

See, I've been keeping a secret from you and I hate keeping secrets. I'm no good at keeping my own secrets, mostly because it requires too much to keep track of in a brain already filled with the plots of way too many mystery books and convoluted television shows and the lyrics to entirely too many songs I would absolutely deny knowing if you asked me.

But now we're ready to share our secret, so I'm back. And our secret it:

I'm pregnant!

Yep, baby #2 (henceforth known as Peanut) is on the way and expected to arrive in mid-July. I'm excited. The husband's excited. Lea's even excited although she has no idea why and probably wouldn't be if she knew it meant she'd have to share her parents, pets, toys and (possibly) clothes with someone else for the next 18 years.

Whew. I am so glad I finally got that off my chest. And now, back to blogging!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Remember when Glee was good?

God, Glee sucks so much this year.

Am I the only one who thinks so? I can't be the only one who thinks so.

As I was watching what I expected to be last night's triumphant return after the World Series, I found myself thinking "Clearly Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are just putting every good thought they have into American Horror Story and Glee is getting whatever's left at the end of the day."

I love Glee. I have since the beginning. My husband and I own about 90 percent of the songs from season one and two and I listen to them on my 45-minute commute probably 4 out of 5 days of the week. Lea and I danced to a song from the Glee Rocky Horror Show at least once a day for all of November 2010. She loves the Time Warp, FYI.

But this season, we've downloaded maybe three songs total. The shows have been okay. A few have even been good. But overall, it's all falling flat for me.

Unfortunately, it's all part of a problem Glee has struggled with since it's inception: An inability to balance. They are always too heavy-handed in one direction: particular story themes, certain characters, certain types of music, etc. Luckily for me over the last couple of seasons it's been characters I like or themes I'm interested in, so I didn't mind too much. Sure, there were a couple plot lines I just couldn't buy into, like, say, Finn being able to forgive Quinn for lying to him about being the teenage father of her baby when she cheated with his best friend but he can't forgive Rachel for making out with same best friend. But, the music was fun so I could overlook it.

But now it's not. Now it seems like it's all show tunes and while I like show tunes, I want a little more variety. The story lines are "Eh." Not really believable - why would Rachel run for student body president against Kurt and Brittany when she knows no one likes her after all? How can Mercedes possibly feel that she is actually entitled to solos and lead parts when she never puts any effort in to it? And why for the love of God is Quinn insane and Shelby so stupid?

But that's Glee. The things they do well, they do very well and when it's your thing they're doing, it's great. But when it's not your thing... well, it's like a weekly slushy to the face.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

American Horror Story

I've been wanting to blog about American Horror Story for a while now. But I kept stalling, mainly because I can only ever think of one way to describe this show and my mom's going to be pissed if she ever sees it. So I put it off, waiting to think of some better, more eloquent way to say it.

And you know what? I couldn't come up with anything. Because "fucked up" is just the only way to describe this show. So here it is:

American Horror Story is fucked up.

I can't even begin to guess what aspect of the show has been the creepiest so far. The train of thought in my head goes something like this:

That guy in the black latex is just the creepiest son of a - Oh. But wait - the abortion doctor chopping up their son's body and then - Oh no, it's the home invasion in episode two. Those people were freaky and so deranged and it's definitely the home invas- oh God but remember when...

And so it goes. But the truth is that if you like horror movies, if you like to be freaked out and you like mysteries, you need to be watching this show.

It's on FX and from the guys behind Glee and the creator of Nip/Tuck. And it's like these two men got so tired of the bubblegum world of Glee, the Broadway tunes and bright colors and pop of it all and they thought "We need a place to send every single dark thought we have" and then they created American Horror Story.

The premise for the first season is a family relocates from Boston to Los Angeles, hoping to leave memories of the husband's (Dylan McDermott) infidelity and the wife's (Connie Britton) miscarriage behind. Unfortunately they move in to the single most cursed house on Earth and insanity, creepiness and, naturally, horror ensues.

One of my favorite features in the show is the way they introduce their own theories of famous Hollywood mysteries and weave them into the house's history. So far, we've seen their take on the death of Sal Mineo and reportedly later this season they'll introduce the Black Dahlia.

If you like horror, give it a shot. I've been recommending it left and right and so far, no one's been disappointed.

What do you think of American Horror Story?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fall TV review: Parenthood

In my opinion, Parenthood is the best show we watch. H would probably argue it's Community or maybe Modern Family. Before we picked up Parenthood over the summer, I would have said Dexter. But Parenthood is the one that gets me every week. It's not big or showy or flashy. It's quiet and moving but it works.

The biggest reason for that is Max. He's the son of Adam and Kristina and in the pilot episode is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a disorder on the autism spectrum. Max's storylines have made me laugh and made me cry. Early in the first season, a new behaviorist comes to work with Max and asks his parents what they'd like to work on. When she asks"Does he have friends and playdates?" Kristina replies "No. He doesn't really have any friends."

Gets me every damn time. And I'm usually a cynical, insensitive jerk so that's saying something.

The actor who plays Max, Max Burkholder, does a phenomenal job with the material and the show has been praised for its portrayal of autism. A lot of the credit goes to the show's creator, Jason Katims (also behind Friday Night Lights), who has a son with autism.

If you have any interest in autism or Asperger's, I really suggest checking the show out.

But Parenthood is good for many reasons beyond Max. The relationships and dynamics between all the characters are intriguing, touching and sometimes hilarious.

This season, each branch of the Braverman family tree has been dealing with something big: Kristina and Adam welcomed a new daughter, Nora. Joel and Julia made arrangements to adopt a second child after trying last season to conceive and learning they wouldn't be able to. Crosby and Jasmine are trying to figure out how to move forward as parents after ending their relationship. And Sarah's daughter, Amber, moved out on her own for the first time.

All in all, I'm enjoying the season. There have been a couple missteps, like Sarah's ex-husband showing up again and Peter Krause's Adam trying entirely too hard to be cool for his new business venture, but overall the show has maintained the elements that made it good: The mix of sad moments with hilarity and the intriguing pairing of characters you don't get to see together often like Max and Amber. If I had any complaint about the season so far, it'd be that I would like to see more interaction between the Braverman siblings, a part of the show that I've always loved.

What do you think of Parenthood?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall TV review: Desperate Housewives

Remember when Desperate Housewives was good?

Me too. And at the risk of jinxing it, I think it might be again.

I have watched DH from the beginning with some notable gaps. I used to love it but over the last few years it was pretty "eh" most of the time. Even bringing in the great Vanessa Williams (you'll always be Wilhelmina Slater to me) didn't give the show the life it should have.

But then there was the seventh season finale and the premise for the next season left me more than a little intrigued.

Here's the deal. Gabby revealed in season 7 that her stepfather had molested her when she was a child. Unfortunately she said his name three times in a row while sipping chardonnay which in Fairview means he's going to show up on her doorstep in about two commercial breaks.

And so he did and then Carlos killed his creepy ass. Naturally, Susan, Lynette and Bree chose this moment to go check up on Gabby and walked right in to the scene of the crime. Naturally, they all decided to hide the body, clean up and pretend it never happened because no one on Wisteria Lane ever calls the damn cops.

They also all apparently have some rare kind of amnesia. I'm not sure but somebody should check the water or something. While preparing to write this post, I realized that three of the four main housewives have been married to a man who killed someone or tried to fill someone. Remember when Bree tried to cover up her daughter's teen pregnancy by faking her own pregnancy and claiming the child as her own? Or when Susan started cleaning her house in lingerie on a webcam to pay the bills?

How do you just move on from knowing your neighbor is that kind of bat-shit crazy to coffee at the mailboxes every morning? Amnesia.

But anyway the conspiracy to cover up a murder left us with an interesting premise for the first time in years. The interactions between the housewives have always been what kept things interesting - this new tangle in the ties that bind them was sure to offer up some interesting plot lines.

And it actually has. I've enjoyed watching Carlos and Susan struggle with their guilt and I'm fairly certain Teri Hatcher gave up botox for these episodes because I haven't seen her face move like that since Lois and Clark. Lynette and Tom's divorce has been heartbreaking to watch if only because I really thought they were the Wisteria Lane couple that would last. Bree's crazy has been back full force and Gabby is back to silly storylines (PTO president? Really?) that make the best of Eva Longoria's comedic acting abilities.

Actually as I'm writing this, I find myself wishing I lived on Wisteria Lane. I could stroll across the street to have a glass of wine with the girls and since it's Wisteria Lane, no one would care that I was getting plastered at the neighbor's while my kids did God knows what.

But I'd probably be murdered by one of their husbands before I could even ring the doorbell.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The disappearing blogger

I know, I know. Bad blogger. I was on a roll there and then disappeared.

However, I promise you, this time it was different from my usual "Oops, I forgot I started a blog and honestly would rather play Sims."

You see, I have been Sick. The husband has been Sick.

And worst of all, the baby bug has been Sick.

Shockingly, Lea has a pretty solid immune system. I'm not really sure. I did nurse for three months and the research suggests that would help with the immune system but I've always assumed that it depended on the mother also having an immune system.

Which I do not.

Okay, I do but it is about as effective as the pull and pray method of birth control. If I come into contact with a person with a cold, I'll end up with the cold. It's guaranteed. And every single time I get a cold, I get an ear infection. If I cough once, I'll cough a thousand more times before it's over and the CVS people will start giving my husband funny looks thanks to the amount of different types of cough syrup he's purchased for the duration.

But somehow Lea has remained fairly healthy. Sure, there have been a few colds here and there but nothing near what I expected from my friends' tales of motherhood.

I remember the first time Lea got sick. It was December of 2010 - she was about 8 months old. She had a fever and a cough and the poor thing just wanted to sleep. And so that's what she did. It was the first time since she was about 3 months old that she had slept while someone was holding her and as much as I hated to see my baby sick, it was nice to hold her like that again and for her to snuggle up with us.

Foolishly, when she started getting sick this time, I figured that things would be okay even though both the adults in the house were also sick. She'd sleep a lot and we'd cuddle when she was awake and in a couple days, we'd all be back to normal.

You're probably laughing at my naïveté right now and I don't blame you. Why? Because you're right and I'm a moron.

A runny nose and a cough couldn't slow this kid down. She was bouncing off the walls, as usual, climbing on everything she could think of, plotting how to get every object out of her reach. Her father and I were sick as dogs and she exploited it, taking our weakness and slowness as carte blanche to wreak havoc.

So that's where I've been. Doing my best to kick this cold's ass while getting my own ass kicked by my 18-month-old. But everyone's back on the mend so I'm back and in the coming days I plan to cover Community's epic bottle episode, Secret Circle's visit from the Grim Reaper, the Braverman's newest edition on Parenthood and the latest dish from Wisteria Lane on Desperate Housewives.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall TV review: Ringer

Well if the most recent installment tells us anything, it's that Buffy sorry, Sarah Michelle Gellar's new show Ringer is about whores.

Or at least the show's characters are throwing around the word a lot. The truth is it's about liars. Not a single person on this show is telling the truth about anything. The men are lying about sex, love and money; the women are lying about all that too and their hair colors (I'm looking at you, Gemma).

In case you haven't been watching: SMG plays the part of twin sisters Bridget and Siobhan. Bridget used to heart drugs and strip but then she stopped but it was totally too late because naturally she had already seen some mobster kill someone the one time she wasn't too high to remember it since Sunnydale collapsed. Siobhan is a cold, calculating bitch. She's married to Andrew and living in the lap of luxury thanks to her him but cheating on him with Henry. Henry is married to her best friend Gemma. Oh and she's knocked up with the boyfriend's baby. Her friends and family call her Shiv and I'm fairly certain it's because she's killed a few people with her ice queen stare.

Supposedly Gemma and Henry have a set of twins running around themselves but they've never been seen on the show so it's possible Siobhan shivved them with a stiletto when they spilled juice in her car or something.

The series begins with Bridget testifying as a witness against the mobster but then she gets scared that the murderer is going to murder her and takes off to find her sister. The twins spend some time bonding on Shiv's boat in the worst green screen scene ever made and Bridget falls asleep. When she wakes up, Siobhan is gone except for her wedding rings which Bridget promptly takes along with her sister's entire existence.

But - surprise! Siobhan's still alive and in Paris. Not only that, but someone wants her dead too.

Sound ridiculous? It is. It really truly is. This show is never going to win an Emmy, but it's fun, the drama is delicious and the twists and turns are abundant.

This is a show to just enjoy, not one to think about or critique or expect too much from. It's fun, the mystery is intriguing and the show is fast-paced with answers and developments every episode but two more questions for every reveal.

And the best part? Ringer's already picked up for a full season so no worries about early cancellation!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall TV review: Gossip Girl

Promise not to call children's services and/or my mother, okay?

I am, as I type, watching last night's Gossip Girl. My impressionable young daughter is in the room and currently staring in awe at Blair Waldorf.

Not that I can blame her, Blair is fabulous. I'm just hoping she is taking in the fabulous fashion of this show and not the general trampiness (or trampy-ness - does anyone know how to spell that?).

Speaking of trampiness, the father of Blair's baby was revealed last night and in the worst news ever to be voiced-over by Kristen Bell, it's Prince Louis. And she was Veronica Mars, y'all, she's delivered some bad news, including the Season 2, Episode 1 break-up of Logan and Veronica.

But luckily, the episode left Chuck-Blair fans with a little bit of hope that maybe the kid is a BASS-tard after all when Blair furtively slipped the baby-daddy-news into a drawer in her vanity. Of course that could be misdirection - if Louis were the father, it's not like she'd want to leave the paternity tests results out in the open for him to find. That's gotta raise some questions, although silver-tongued Blair could probably talk her way out of it.

Still, coupled with the fact that Blair seemed to have an epiphany after seeing GG's blast about Chuck and his dog, I'd say Mr. Bass isn't out in the "Who's the Daddy?" race quite yet.

Dan has been playing the role of Blair's own personal Maury Povich this season and for the first time in years, I'm actually finding Lonely Boy interesting. I know there are many fans out there who think Dan and Blair have significant romantic chemistry - I don't see it but I fully admit to being a Chuck-Blair fan (I know, I know, Chuck's an ass but despite the fact that I am happily married to a Good Guy, I always root for the Bad Boy - it's fiction, I'm allowed my guilty pleasures).

Even more surprisingly, I'm interested to see how Dan's book plays out. As a writer, I've always wondered how people would react if I wrote a book - would they look for themselves in my characters? Be mad about how I portrayed someone who fills their role in my life?

Chuck's storyline the first couple episodes bored me to pieces but with his reaction to Blair's pregnancy, I'm finally intrigued to see what happens to him again. He's been on the road to redemption so many time - I'd like to see him get somewhere with it this time.

Oh yeah, Serena and Nate were in the episodes too. I apparently didn't care enough to remember what they were doing but my notes say "Liz Hurley always looks like she's smelling something foul." You'd think she'd be a little happier to have someone as pretty, charming and let's face it, kinda dumb, as her newest boy toy. But I hate the way they are portraying her character: TV shows seem to always be making journalists out to be unethical, devious creatures. The truth is most of us are too busy to try to figure out ways to hack into phones and when we're not too busy we're usually either too tired or too drunk. Sometimes both.

While in L.A., Serena ran into Ivy-Charlie and brought Ivy-Charlie back home with her. Ivy-Charlie promptly decided to blackmail her employer/fake mother who, frankly, had it coming. But I still didn't care enough about the plot line to write down fake mom's name.

All in all though, I'm interested in Gossip Girl again after mostly checking out for season four. I'll admit, Blair's baby drama and the fact that she's got the biggest storyline is a big part of it but I care about 3 out of the 5 main characters so I'd say we're doing pretty well so far.

What do you think of Gossip Girl so far this year? Do you think Louis is the father or is it a fake-out? Do you care?

UPDATE: Luckily, Lea stopped caring about Gossip Girl about 20 seconds later and promptly began trying to climb every single piece of furniture in our house. Congratulations, Blair Waldorf, this is your future!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall TV review: How I Met Your Mother

Note: Because I started the blog just after fall previews, I'm going to be doing a "review so far..." type of things for my favorite shows over the next couple weeks and then start reviewing and recapping regularly.

How I Met Your Mother is one of the husband and I's favorite shows to watch together. We both enjoy it and find it funny so it's not like, say, Pretty Little Liars where I'm enthralled and he just makes fun of it the entire time (leading to the great "Just go in another room dammit" summit of May 2011 and the subsequent "If I choose to watch your stupid, ridiculous show with you, I will keep my snarky comments to a minimum or leave the room" treaty of July 2011).

Seven years in and we still really enjoy the show for the most part. But I have to ask: Does anyone actually care anymore who the mother is?

For me, Ted is by far the most boring part of the show. I couldn't care less at this point about his journey to find love. I'm dying to know who Barney marries and I really, really hopes it is Robin and I think I'll be seriously disappointed if it isn't. Marshall and Lily are probably my favorite married couple on television and as a mom myself I'm interested to see how they handle parenthood.

But Ted? I am not even the slightest bit curious after seven freaking years of waiting who his wife will be. And I have no clue who she is! I can only imagine how his poor children, who already know who their mother is, must feel. I bet all they think when he's rambling on is "God, I will never ask my father another question, ever."

And as we all know now the actual answer to the question of "How did you meet our mother, Dad?" is "I met her at a wedding." That's it. That's the answer.

But I love the show so I'm grateful for Ted's long-windiness even if it means I have to put up with boring Ted in the midst of all the awesome.

But I would like to assure you: When my daughter one day asks me how I met her father, the story will go "We met in college then started dating a few years later." It will not include every single man I dated in the meantime and ever last drunken and/or sexual exploit of my 20s. I'd like to keep her therapy bills to a minimum,thank you very much.

So far this season, I'm really liking where the story is going. I like the growth of Barney's character and seeing him figure out what he really wants out of his life. I'm enjoying Robin's journey of realizing that she's in love with Barney but trying to figure out how to respect his decisions. I even like seeing Lily and Marshall navigate the early stages of their first pregnancy, despite my long-standing belief that in TV shows and The Sims, babies ruin everything.

How are you liking the season so far? Want to share your theories about who the mother is? My current favorite is that she's Barney's half-sister - which explains why she would be at the wedding.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A rose by any other name

The husband and I had a hell of a time choosing a name for daughter.

We already had a name picked out for our first boy but when we found out we were having a girl, we just looked at each other and said "Well, now what?"

I liked Molly; he liked McKenzie. Finally we settled on Lea, a name that was actually H's suggestion and I agreed only if her middle name could be Nicole (after my sister) and we spelled it L-E-A instead of L-E-A-H.

But the majority of our discussions of girl's names were filled with justifications of why the other's choice just wasn't acceptable.

Our problems were compounded by the fact that the husband is a teacher and I am a journalist who covers education. In the five years we've been out of school and working in our fields, we've stumbled across some of the most ridiculous names ever to exist. And let me tell you - it's astounding what passes for a name these days.

My personal favorite terrible names stories actually stems back to high school. A year below, there was a set of male twins. Their names were Rocky and Stoney. Rumor had it they had a younger sister named Pebbles.

In the city where I work, there's an infamously-named woman named Le-a. At first glance, I swore she had the same name as our daughter but with stupid punctuation. But as it turns out, that "-"? It's actually a dash. As in La-dash-a.

I think the worst name I've ever seen though was a little girl in a kindergarten class at a school I covered in my first job as a journalist. She was a doll. Petite with curly brown hair and big brown eyes and a sweet smile.

And her mother named her Stormie. STORMIE. Not even spelled correctly.

I always wonder to myself: What do these parents have in mind for their kids when they grow up? Do you think a man named Stoney has any chance of being elected mayor? Have you ever met a doctor named Stormie, M.D.?

What's the worst name you've come across?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Oh, boy

Yesterday, a pregnant friend of mine found out that she is having a daughter. We were discussing it and both saying that while we would have been happy to have a boy too, we were really glad for some reason to be having a little girl.

I spent the first few months of my pregnancy convinced that we were having a boy. Up until the moment of the ultrasound, I would have bet you a pair of Manolos that the child kicking me square in the kidney had a Y chromosome.

I was wrong. It was the first of many times in motherhood I would be.

I'm not a big crier but finding out that Lea was a girl was the first time in my life I had ever cried tears of joy.

And as I was talking to my friend yesterday, I finally figured out why: I was just so damn relieved.

Don't get me wrong: I want a son. I hope one of our kids is a boy. We even have his name picked out - Nathaniel. The husband picked that name for his older brother who died while serving in the military in the mid-90s and of course I agreed because:

a) I think it's sweet and these things are the kinds of things that made me fall in love with this man.

b) I like the name.

And last but not least,

c) How the hell do you say no to that without ending up looking like the biggest bitch ever to walk into divorce court?

I mean, I tore the divorce lawyer pages out of our phone books the day I told the husband I thought Pretty Little Liars would be a fantastic theme for our daughter's second birthday and that was a reasonably good plan because I told him at like midnight and I knew he'd be too tired to keep looking after he found out I'd already removed the pages. But if I were to refuse this particular request on say, the excuses I used for most of the names he suggested for our daughter (most commonly "Nope, a girl with that name stole my boyfriend senior year" or "Aaron, why do you want our daughter to be a stripper?"), I'm pretty sure he'd be pissed off enough to remember that divorce lawyers could be easily found on Google.

But the truth is, even though I want a son someday, and I know that I would have been happy to have a son for our first child, I was relieved. Why?

Because I know jack-shit about boys.

Becoming a parent for the first time was daunting and for me, it came with a steep learning curve. I had to look up how to play with a newborn because I was certain I was supposed to be doing something but had no clue what that something was. The day the shrubbed up little piece of grossness that was her umbilical cord fell off, it was just gone, never to be found again and likely digested by one of our dogs. In the first month of our daughter's life, I watched every single video on burping a baby on youtube (including a few misleadingly labeled videos from enterprising young men on how to learn to teach yourself to burp louder, grosser and in haiku form) and there are a lot of them.

Throw a penis in the mix and I'm hopeless.

About 88 percent of my ability to communicate with the males of our species relies heavily on flirting and all that will do is bring those busybodies from Children's Services (or maybe the worst cops in America) around. I've heard the stories from my friends about a stream of pee flying at your face when you remove a diaper. One of the very first decisions you have to make if you have a boy is what to do with a piece of skin wrapped around a body part you don't even have.

At least I'll know how to teach him to burp like a pro.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Benson and Stabler: Worst cops ever

I love Law and Order. I've seen pretty much every episode of every spin-off except that Los Angeles disaster. I once owned a cat named Briscoe, after Jerry Orbach's character, Lenny Briscoe, on the original. In college, I would watch re-runs on TNT when I studied, as I fell asleep at night and I lived for the three-day weekends when Mondays were nothing but back-to-back episodes. I once bought a wedding magazine just because Mariska Hargitay, Benson from SVU, was on the cover and I had more than a passing crush on Elliott Stabler.

All that said, Benson and Stabler may be the worst cops ever to appear on television. That includes Barney Fife and his one bullet.

The last few nights, the husband and I have been watching the most recent season of Law and Order: SVU on Netflix. And with pretty much every episode, at least once, we look at each other, laugh and roll our eyes at something.

I realize that this is a TV show and of course they make it more dramatic than it really is. But if an actual police officer fire 1/10th of the bullets any SVU cop has, they'd still be on desk duty at the pearly gates.

It's also astounding what they put their victims through. I'm going to go ahead and say this and it might be a controversial position but when you're dealing with a rape victim, I don't think questioning them until they're a sobbing puddle of Wicked Witch of the West is a terrific strategy. Putting them in an emotionally-charged confrontation with their attacker also seems a bit unnecessary.

Now I don't usually like to tell people who carry guns how to do their job. That includes not only cops but also soldiers, career criminals and people who work at laser tag facilities.

But I have a suggestion for Detectives Benson and Stabler: Please, for the love of God, use your damn radio. You do not have to be the first ones on the scene. You are not the only person who can save your victim and you could probably prevent a lot of unnecessary deaths and traumas by just alerting the bazillion other cops in the city and letting the closest officer get there first.

But no. Not Olivia and Elliott. They'd rather ride in themselves, after the ish goes down, and then stand there, dumbstruck, as if they couldn't possibly understand how they could have been too late. Never mind that if one of them had just picked up the stupid radio en route to the scene, someone could have been there long before them. Then what excuse would they have for Mariska to stare off pointedly, tears welling in her eyes? She has Emmys to win, people.

But perhaps the most disturbing part is how many of the people they are supposed to be helping end up committing murder themselves. At least a couple times a year, the episode ends with the accused struck down and a sobbing, shaking victim clutching the weapon. Most of the time, the jerk deserves it and truthfully, probably deserves a whole lot worse. But still, I think the fact that your victim turns vigilante as often as Stabler draws blood from a perp or, I don't know, knocks up his wife, has got to come up on your yearly review somewhere.

And yet, I keep on coming back for more. But as a journalist who sometimes has to cover these types of things, I'm glad the Bonnie and Clyde of law enforcement are based in New York City and not Ohio.

Oh, my daughter? The one without any clothes. Yep, that's her.

Our family has a pretty simple, if not strict, bedtime routine: snuggles, a book, quick bath, PJs and then Lea has a cup of milk and heads to bed. That's the idea, anyway.

Tonight, things took an interesting turn.

Lea and I were in her room, picking out pajamas and ended up with a fun pair of Halloween jammies: a pair of black and orange pumpkin print pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt that says "Witch way to the candy?"

Get it? Witch/which? For some reason baby clothing designers loooooovvvveeee puns. It's a natural second career for a divorced Hallmark copy writer who just can't bear to write another "Congratulations on finding your soul mate!" wedding card.

Anyway, Lea's in her cute, super-clever pajamas and I give her the milk and then let her spend a few minutes burning off some energy and drinking it while I take the dogs out, feed everything that walks on four legs and straighten up.

And by the time I walk back into the room, my child is sitting in the middle of it, with her shirt only on one arm and it pulled over her head like a hood.

I stop in my tracks and stare. Within seconds, the shirt is off and discarded to the side and Lea's gone about her business without it.

Later, while recounting the story to the husband, who was at soccer at the time, I found out she did the same thing with him this morning.

Here's the alarming part: Within the last few weeks, Lea has also been able to remove her pants. And her diaper.

At the rate she's learning new tricks, the baby Bug should be able to easily open the door and drive within a matter of weeks. Finding the car keys won't be an issue since they are one of her favorite things to steal and hide and she's usually the only one who knows where they are these days anyway.

So, please, if you see a blue-eyed child in some state of undress, parent-less and giddily telling strangers "Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi." over and over, return her, will you?

But you'll have to bring her to us - she'll probably have our cell phones too.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Oh-so proud

I mentioned in my intro post that I have a family. A1 is my endlessly-patient husband who puts up with all of my crazy. Bug is our 16-month-old daughter, who seems to have inherited a great deal of my crazy. Here's a recent photo of the two of them:

Now, if you know anything about babies, you might be thinking to yourself, she looks a little on the small side for a 16-month-old. You'd be right for two reasons. One, she's 13-months-old there (I may have exaggerated the recent thing a little). Two, she is very small.

For at least half of her life at this point, we've been concerned about Lea's size. She's fallen off the growth chart a few times, wears a size considerably smaller than her age would suggest and I have to feed her like I'm the witch fattening up Hansel for Christmas dinner with my coven.

At almost 16-months, she weights a whopping 18 pounds, 5 ounces. That puts her in the first percentile on the growth chart but it's almost 3 pounds heavier than she was 2 months ago, so we're pleased.

While we were at the GI specialist's office last week, Lea showed off one of her current favorite skills. We stripped her down to her bare bottom for the weighing, then sat her on the scale to see what the verdict would be. The scale reads out in something else and then we check the conversion chart because, well, I'm a journalist and he's a social studies teacher - we don't know math.

Every time we do this little ritual of ours, I catch myself holding my breath. Despite the fact that they know we feed our kid and she's clean, happy and (otherwise) healthy, I'm always afraid children's services is going to show up to make sure we aren't starving her.

This time, when the scale gave us our judgment, and we all looked to the conversion chart, it was happy news.

And our happy baby, sitting buck-naked on a piece of paper on a scale, clapped. That's right, she clapped for her own weight gain, smiling proudly at us.

This is one of Lea's new favorite habits. She also claps when one of us walks in the door and when we go to wake her up in the mornings or get her up from a nap. But most of all, she loves clapping for herself, and loves even more to clap for herself while saying "AAAAA ee-yuh" (translation: Yay Lea!).

Obviously, sharing a BMI with supermodels is doing a lot for her self-esteem.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Big Brother 13 - Brenchel lives, a little piece of me dies

Previously on Big Brother... Brendon went home, Rachel cried, Lawon made a move nearly as awful as his suits.

On Thursday's Big Brother, we saw the resolution of Lawon's brilliant plant to sacrifice himself for eviction based on his (incorrect) deduction that he would come back in the house as HOH.

Naturally, he was wrong. The other HGs did, in fact, fulfill Lawon's wish to be voted out but that's where the plan fell to pieces. Instead of automatically coming back in as HOH, Lawon had to compete with a previously-evicted HG of America's choosing to return to the house.

And, damn you America, you chose Brendon.

Now, personally, I think this is some of that producer-meddling we hear so much about - that's right, I call hijinks. Because personally I don't know of a single person who voted for Brendon. And looking around at the most popular BB forums and sites, it doesn't look like a lot of other people were voting Brendon back in the game. I myself voted for Cassi/Olivia Wilde, if only for the amusement of seeing Rachel's head explode.

But, no. America chose Brendon and Brendon handily won against Lawon.

And then it happened. Rachel ran toward her man, leaped through the air and wrapped her legs around him as she hugged him.

She's done this a few times and it never fails. It creeps me out to see it every. single. time. I'm not even exactly sure, but there's something about it that just seems so wrong to me and watching it makes me feel like I'm seeing something I'm not supposed to. And the discomfort of seeing it, the thought of watching these two jackasses and their idiotic arguments and banter for even another minute let alone another week, it took over and I felt a little piece of my heart shrivel up and die, the same way it does every time I meet someone who actually likes Sarah Palin.

Of course with these two, the only person who feels like they shouldn't be watching their intimate moments is the audience. They have no problem getting down in front of the BB cameras and we all know Brendon likes to share.

So Brenchel lives to continue to steal pieces of my soul and innocence, bit by bit. The show ended with Danielle looking peeved and Rachel telling Brendon all about how mean everyone has been to her.

Oh, well. At least we can hope for an epic fight between these two if Brendon wins a veto again - because he clearly learned this week that Rachel left in the house on her own will fall apart. I don't think he'll make that mistake again.

What did you think of last night's episode? Was Lawon's move the dumbest in Big Brother history or does Marcellas still own that honor?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Previously on... my life

Welcome to my new blog, If you aren't a mildly-obsessive television watcher like me, you may not know that The Previously is the name for that recap at the beginning of a tv show that reminds you of what just went down last week, presumably as a nod to the fact that your crack-like addiction to the DVR is slowly rotting your memory. For example:

"Previously on Rock of Love... skanks acted like skanks."

"Previously on 24... Jack Bauer woke up, ate breakfast, showered and killed seven terrorists before dawn."

"Previously on Gilmore Girls... pretty people spoke really, really fast."

"Previously on Bridezillas... bitches went crazy."

I have always enjoyed TV. I know that gets a lot of judgement and that's fine - judge on. I judge the hell out of you for not understanding the hilarity of Chuck, the pure amusement Big Brother brings or the delicious drama Pretty Little Liars serves up.

Outside of television habits, I'm a happily-married mother of one and a happy-just-to-be-employed journalist.

On this blog, I'll be dishing about all of that and my favorite television. Some of my favorites shows of all time include: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, Scrubs, Pushing Daisies, Veronica Mars, Arrested Development and Twin Peaks. Current favorites you'll probably see pop up on the blog include Teen Mom in all its forms, Big Brother, Pretty Little Liars, Chuck, Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Bones, Castle, Gossip Girl, Bored to Death and Dexter.

You'll probably also sometimes hear about the ridiculous (and usually slightly trampy) adventures of my Sims, whom I always name after favorite TV and movie characters.

See you next time!