Category Archives: TV Shows

I love OWN. There, I said it.

My husband is working a lot right now so there is an abundance of time on my side in the evening after the kids go to be to indulge in the sort of TV programming that doesn’t rank on both of our ‘must watch’ lists.  I’m actually being generous here… I’ll leave it to you to come up with a more colorful version of his opinion about most of my viewing choices but it rhymes with ‘drap’.  Let’s set the scene…

I curl up on the couch with my favorite afghan blanket crocheted with love in 1970’s technicolor by my beloved Grandma Frieda and hit the line up on my DVR.  Ooh… a new Housewives… maybe.  Then I see it.  My latest dream lineup.  Rosie and Oprah’s Lifeclass.  A bag of Parmesan Goldfish and a glass of icey-ice water and I am settled in.  I realize I should also work on my son’s baby blanket, but I just started a new sweater instead.  Don’t judge me.

I am really loving the return of Rosie O’Donnell on her new evening talk show, The Rosie Show.  I’ve always enjoyed her and am thrilled to see her back on TV.  To me, she is real, genuine and kind.  I know there are a lot of people who don’t like her, her politics and her opinions.  Fine.  Don’t watch her.  I will gladly watch and enjoy.  Here’s what I like:  Over the years, I’ve found that I have a knack for trivia.  Specifically 1970s-1980s pop trivia.  If you need a TV sitcom theme song, I’m your gal.  If you want to know the original artist of a remake on the radio… call me.  Of course, this was pre-internet and now you just search for it in seconds so that sucks but I digress… The point is, I always hoped that this crap taking up space in my brain and frankly, freaking people out with why I think this information is valuable to store in the first place, would one day bring me fabulous cash and prizes.  Rosie has proven me right.  She gets on stage and connects with the audience.  She proves that her brand of personality connects with many and annoys some too.  I get that.  I do this on a daily basis and to see someone else do it on TV makes me feel a little bit better.  Sometimes she puts her foot in her mouth, sometimes she overshares.  She is a fan and when she talks with her guests, she connects in a way that makes you believe that she is interested in what they are there to say.  I must admit, though, I am jealous.  This was my dream job and Rosie has it.  Ro- can I call you Ro?  If you need a guest host, call me.  I’m from Chicago so I have a place to stay so you wouldn’t even need to cover my hotel.  I will sing showtunes.  I will dance and complain about wearing Spanx.  Call my mom and her friends and they will vouch for me.  I could totally do that.

(NOTE:  This totally wasn’t supposed to be a love letter to Rosie O’Donnell.  I could have cut it or edited it, but this is really what I wrote and I’m trying to limit my inner critic who told me to hit delete.)

Next up is Oprah’s Lifeclass.  For some time now, I have craved a little more spirituality and growth in my life.  I want to be a better me, a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter… you get it.  I must admit, I was a little skeptical when I first saw promos for the show.  Was this going to be a how-to guide about the way my life should be, according to Oprah?  Would there be Kool-Aid to drink?  Who is Oprah to tell me how to live?  Normal skeptic stuff, not necessarily towards Oprah herself, but there seemed to be a sort of evangelical feel to it, at least to me.  And yet, I decided to watch.  I was wrong.  This is exactly what I had been craving.  Oprah takes many of the life lessons that she has learned over the 25 years of doing her show and looks back on how, when and why these were important lessons for her.  In her experience, she has come to know that when something resonates with her, it does with others too and this is the opportunity to review and take a deeper look at these lessons.  Last night, I watched one that talked about our need to be validated.  There was a great discussion about Toni Morrison’s quote, “When your child walks in the room, does your face light up?”  I’m thinking about myself as a mother, a child, a wife.  There is a lot there to digest and that is what makes this show valuable to me.  I can use these lessons and spend moments each day looking at how I live my life and hold a mirror up to my actions.  I know that sometimes, like many parents, I put technology in front of my children.  There are moments when I would rather look at Facebook than look at another Lego tower built by a three-year-old and while that makes me human, it also makes me sad.  The last thing I want is for my son to believe that someone on Facebook who I rarely, if ever, actually speak to is more important than him.  That isn’t to say that I should always drop whatever I am doing for my children.  I think it is important that they learn that sometimes they need to be patient and let me finish whatever it is that I am doing, but this lesson reminded me to check with myself before asking them to wait.  Especially, if I’m watching an important show… (kidding!)

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Filed under Motherhood, Personal Growth, TV Shows

Today You Are A Man. Here’s Your Baby Blanket. It’s Almost Finished.

baby blanket

The little one turned three last week.  I have yet to finish his baby blanket.

When I found out I was pregnant, I went to my favorite local yarn shop, Jennifer Knits, to pick up the ingredients for the perfect baby blanket. I didn’t yet know the sex of the baby so, just like I did with the big one’s blanket, I picked neutral colors. Pastels in yellow, green and a mixed yarn… soft, pure cotton, Italian. Yum. With both boys’ blankets, I decided to make my own pattern since it really was going to be a large square/rectangle and I find that to be great way to liberate my creativity.  Just like most things I do (see dates between this and last blog post), I start with feverish energy and after the buzz wears off, I settle back into procrastination, and this blanket was merely the newest example.  I had finished exactly one section and lost my enthusiasm for the project.  It sat for several weeks on the coffee table in a knitting bag.  Occasionally I would pick it up and knit a row or two but really, I was over it and onto the next thing.

I could easily blame this on being pregnant, working full time and having a toddler.  I could tell you that I was just so busy and tired that I kept putting it off, thinking I had more time and you would believe me.  But it’s all a lie to make myself feel less guilty about the fact that given a choice of doing nothing and ANYTHING else, I will almost always choose nothing.  I love to lie on the couch, relaxing.  Me and my remote watching nothing of any value, munching on Goldfish crackers and thinking about things that I should be doing.  So, when I am pregnant, working full time and have another child, if I get a minute to do NOTHING, I will, even if that means having my mother ask me (more than once in the past three years), “Did you ever finish his baby blanket?”  No, I’m now committed to having it done in time for his Bar Mitzvah.  I just bought 10 more years and I think that earns me a little break, right?  I think a new season of The Rachel Zoe Project is starting soon.

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Filed under Motherhood, TV Shows, What Really Happened

Do Over!

If you could have the chance to do something over, what would it be? When playing a game as a kid, if our turn didn’t go as we’d hoped, all you needed to do was shout ‘do over’ and get to take another shot.  Now, I know that our experiences are valuable and make us who we are today but don’t we all have that one moment in time, if given the opportunity, we’d like to ‘do over’?

I was watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey the other day (yeah yeah, don’t think I can’t see you rolling your eyes) and saw one of the women, Caroline, having a talk with her daughter, Lauren, about feeling beautiful and happy at the way she looks.  I want to reach through the camera and tell Lauren that she will regret how she spent her twenties if she continues thinking that way.  But I can’t because even if I did, and she didn’t have a restraining order put on this crazy lady who is yelling at her through the television, she is 23 and needs to figure it out for herself.

I remember being about 20 years old and needing a dress for my sorority formal.  Sitting in the dressing room, I cried because nothing would fit.  I had gained a lot of weight during college and I remember watching my mom’s heart break, watching her daughter hurt and knowing that there was nothing she could do about it.  She tried so hard to make me feel better but really, there was nothing she could do.  I remember her telling me how wonderful I was and that I would be so much happier if I could just lose the weight.  I believed in my core that I was a fat, undeserving mess and finding a disguise that fit was my only objective.  I ignored every word my mother said except, “…if you just lost the weight”.  Looking back now, I want to understand why I felt that way.  I had about 100 things going for me and yet I refused to acknowledge anything but the one thing holding me back.  I had a wonderful, loving set of parents who adored me, a boyfriend who cared about me too… lots of friends who if, in hindsight, I had gotten out of my own head long enough, would have been tremendous assets in my future.  I was smart, funny, and wait a goddamn second…

I am.

I am smart.  I am funny.  I have a tremendous heart and am just a plain old nice girl.  I want to go back to that girl sitting in that dressing room and shake her and tell her that her whining is just a waste of time and there is a whole world of people to love and waiting to love her back if she would just get the hell out of her own way.  I to tell her that we lost all that weight, plus more, and still focus on things that aren’t perfect, ignoring the 100 things going for us.  But I can change it.

Do over!

What would happen if I lived each day trying to focus on what is right in my world and not the things that aren’t going my way.  What would happen then?  I might just look back at 40 and say that was the best time of my life.

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Filed under Personal Growth, TV Shows