Thursday, March 24, 2011

They're baaaaaaaack.... Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield

Recently, Blogger extraordinaire Stephanie Faris posted about young adult Novels. This got me thinking of my very favorite: Sweet Valley High series. Oh how I loved those books. I started reading about them when I was about 11 or 12. I devoured them until I was about 14 or so. I just outgrew them. When I started to write this post, I did a little googling. (I love to Google) The last book I remember reading was the 25th installment in the series, “Nowhere to Run”, which came out in 1986. According to the Sweet Valley website, there are a total of 143 books, not including several “Special Editions”. Apparently I gave in to smut pretty early on. I passed on the first 25 novels to my younger cousin. She had just moved to Florida from Haiti and I just new she would love t hem as much as I did. Of course she did. I think I tried to read some of the Sweet Valley High College books, but by then I had moved on to Jackie Collins. Who cares what Liz and Jess are up to, if you can read about the antics of Lucky Santangelo? No contest.

Well kids, Francine Pascal is back. (Apparently she never really went away, I just stopped reading her) And so are Jessica and Elizabeth. Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later is coming out (in hard cover—no less) on March 29, 2011. I won’t lie to you I am getting this book. This takes place 10 years after they have graduated High School and they are now in their late 20’s. Yes, yes, I am well aware that I am hurtling towards 40 at an alarming rate; however I am totally up for this book.

According to the Daily Beast, there is sex in this one. Does Liz finally have sex with Todd? If memory serves, I think Todd had come back to live in Sweet Valley. He had moved to Vermont, Dad got a big job. (insert dramatic sigh here)

My problem, with reading teen novels as an adult, is that I keep thinking, just do it already. But as mentioned in (Sometimes it's ok to give in to the trash) young men and women shouldn’t just do it already. Sex is not a Nike slogan. They should wait until they are ready. Then just do it very carefully. With condoms. I suppose the more important question is why am I reading Teen or Tween novels? (Shrugs) Some things become part of popular culture and there is such chatter about them that you just sort of cave.

So help me, that’s what happened with me and Harry Potter. I may recycle a post I wrote about that. My obsession with HP is epic, and it concerns my friends and family.

At any rate, I am looking forward to reading about Jessica, Liz and the old gang from Sweet Valley.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

La Liz...

Elizabeth Taylor died today. And I feel… a way about it. Not really devastated or anything. But more like… it’s the end of something. The end of an era. (I don’t like that phrase, it is clichĂ© and kind of boring, but it fits.)

Like so many other things, they don’t make stars like they used to. Elizabeth Taylor was one of those stars with the untouchable glamour. There was a level of class that you could just see. You looked at her and knew that she was special. She was clearly beautiful, clearly talented, but there was something else about her. She had “legend” written all over her. When do you suppose the legend status got attributed to her? National Velvet? Butterfield 8? North & South? The Simpson’s? (Simpson’s, she did the voice of Maggie) So basically somewhere between National Velvet and The Simpson’s she became THE legendary, Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

I suppose the question is what makes a legend? Do you have to have been in the game (whatever that game is… sports, acting etc) for a certain amount of years? Do you have to have accomplished something extraordinary or special? What is considered special? Was she special because she was beautiful and talented? Was she extraordinary because she was a wife 8 times over? Was she special because she did time at Betty Ford? Was she an extraordinary she was a mother, grand-mother and great-grandmother? Was she special because of her commitment to AIDS? Perhaps one or two or all of those attributes? Perhaps in spite of them? I don’t know. I’m just asking.

I do think that there has to be a certain classic quality that a legend has to have. You can’t be a flash in the pan. Is it possible to gyrate your way into legend-hood? One can argue that Michael Jackson moon walked his way in.

Do you remember that song by Britney Spears? “Gimmie More”? The male voice in the song refers to Britney as legendary. Every time I hear that I sort of roll my eyes. Britney Spears…legendary? Notorious? Sure. Infamous? You betcha. Legendary? Not so much. Maybe in about 20 to 30 years and frankly I doubt it. As talented and beautiful as some of our leading actresses of today are, I just don’t know if we are creating legends. Scarlett Johansson doesn’t scream legendary to me.

Again, I wasn’t a rabid fan of Elizabeth Taylor, and will likely rarely (if ever) think of her or her films. However, her death after 69 years in the entertainment industry, did strike me significant.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Life sans Facebook and Television...

Life sans Facebook and television is hard. I couldn’t really decide what to give up for Lent, so I gave up both. No Facebook and no TV till Easter. I have not had the burst of creativity or desire to be productive at home, or at work for that matter. But it’s only been 4 days. 36 days left.

So what have been doing? Ummm not too much, I’ve been on the Internet…a lot. I’m not really looking for anything special, I’ve been looking at scrapbooking stuff and looking for and reading other blogs. I stumbled across Steph in the City. I used to read Steph’s blog on MySpace. (Remember MySpace?) Steph recently had a blog that suggested if you want people to read your blog then you have to read other blogs and comment on them. Totally brill Stephanie. So I’ve been doing that. Reading and commenting other blogs. According to my Blogger stats, I’ve gotten more traffic. Not more followers, but more traffic. I’ve also been reading the archives of An American Mom in Paris. Dear, dear MJ, you are hysterical and the antics of the Loosh KILL me. Vous ĂȘtes vraiment extraordinaire et votre famille est simplement adorable. What else what else? Ah yes, I’ve also been listening to a lot of NPR. There is a lot of interesting music out there. Yesterday I listened to what I think was Arabic rap. Also the BBC, I love how those Brits speak. Lots of Japan and Libya talk.

While, not going on Facebook has been challenging (While at work, FB is my go to time waster) not watching television has been much harder to do. I live in a house with people who do nothing but watch TV. Further, I realized the moment I get into by bedroom, I turn the TV on. I’ve taken the batteries out of my remote control to try and help myself along.

Last night I toddler-sat while my friend went to see Steve Harvey in concert. [Side bar, I hate that guy. I find him judgmental, not that funny AND a bad dresser]. Anyway, the little guy watches a lot of Nick Jr, and I found myself watching Yo-Gabba Gabba and several other similar shows. BTW, the pink thing on Yo-Gabba Gabba looks like a butt plug and the one eyed orange thing looks like a vibrator. I’m just saying. WTF is up with that?

Does anyone thing I cheated? I hope not, because I feel like I was being punished. This morning I heard my mother (Yes, I live with my parents. No, I didn’t always live with them. Yes, I am also horrified and disgusted by this. Yes, I am working on getting out. Target date is August 2011) watching Sunday morning on CBS. I love that show. They were interviewing Bryan Adams. I hearted Bryan in HS. I still do. To make matters worse, they also interviewed Daniel Radcilffe (Harry Potter). I may not have mentioned this but I am a Harry Potter freak. My ringtone on my phone is the theme to Harry Potter. My screensaver is a scene from the movie, etc. I’m so bummed that I missed it.

I’m not twitching nor am I foaming at the mouth. But it could happen. I think it might.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Givin' up is hard to do: Lent

It’s Lent time again. For those of you who are not Catholic, Lent is the period of time from Ash Wednesday through Easter where each person makes some kind of personal sacrifice. According to the Bible this is the same 40 days and 40 nights where Jesus fasted, and prayed in the desert.

I grew up Catholic. I got baptized, received Holy Communion, Confession and Confirmation. I spent 12 long years being educated in the Catholic school system. So I guess that makes me Catholic. I guess.

Here is the thing, when I go to church I don’t feel much of anything and I think that I should. This has been an issue for me for years now. I believe that religion should provide you will a sense of peace and contentment. I’m also a pretty leftist person. Meaning—I believe in a woman’s right to choose. I believe that Lesbians and Gays have a place in our society and should be treated just like everyone else. I think that priests and nuns should be able to get married, not necessarily to each other, but they deserve companionship that marriage provides. I think that nuns should be able to perform mass. I think that sometimes divorce is necessary. All those beliefs go against what the Church stands for. So how Catholic am I really?

In spite of those feelings, as soon as Lent rolls around, I am compelled to participate. Ashes on Ash Wednesday, no meat Fridays, stations of cross on Good Friday, Easter Sunday mass and giving up something for Lent. Yes my friends, these are the shackles of Catholicism. I also know that no one is making me do this. This is coming from me. So until I am ok with NOT participating, I MUST participate. Yes, I know it’s weird. No, I don’t know why. I say all this because I am looking for something to give up. For years I gave up some favorite food or drink. However, I am doing Weight Watchers and feel like that is hard enough; I don’t think I can give up anything else that has to do food. Shopping? I don’t really shop like that. So no. I’ve been thinking and I narrowed it down to two things. First thing(s) Facebook (I can't figure out how to link to my FB page) and Twitter. Second thing Television.

Facebook and Twitter: I am very connected to Facebook. VERY. To be clear not "April" the other me. As a matter of fact, if you want to friend me on FB--please. April's FB page is sad!(lessofapril@gmail.com) LOL! The second I have a moment, I am on checking my status and the status of my friends. I make comments. I tee hee and ho ho. I am not nearly as connected to Twitter as I am to FB. Although, I do use Twitter to updates folks about blog updates.

Television: I don’t watch episodic television much anymore. I watch the news. I watch Family Guy every single night. And I watch a hell of a lot of HGTV. Someone once told me that their TV is almost like a light bulb. It’s just on all the time. Mine is like that. Even if I’m not watching. Turns out that Fat bridesmaid (Whose name I just realized I don’t know. I looked for it on her amazing blog and couldn’t find it.) Anyway she has given up Television for Lent, so far so good I think. She keeps on meandering into her her living room to turn the TV on, but she hasn't mentioned twitching or foaming at the mouth so I think she's going to be ok. Her doing it makes me think it's a great idea.

So what to give up? Not sure. But by this Friday I will have decided.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wishin' and Hopin' vs. Satisfaction

Wishin', and hopin', and thinkin', and prayin', Planning and dreamin' each night of his charms. That won't get you into his arms. So if you’re looking for love you can share, all you gotta to is hold him, and kiss him, and love him. And show him that you care. Show him that you care, just for him. Do the things that he likes to do. Wear your hair just for him, 'cause, you won't get him, thinkin' and a prayin', Wishin' and hopin'.'Cause wishin', and hopin', and thinkin', and prayin', Planning and dreamin' his kisses will start. That won't get you into his heart! So if you're thinking how great true love is, all you gotta to is hold him, and kiss him, and squeeze him, and love him. Yeah, just do it! And after you do, you will be his. You gotta show him that you care just for him. Do the things that he likes to do. Wear your hair just for him, 'cause,You won't get him, thinkin' and a prayin', Wishin' and a hopin'.'Cause wishin', and hopin', and thinkin', and prayin', Planning and dreamin' his kisses will start. That won't get you into his heart! So if you're thinking how great true love is! All you gotta to is hold him, and kiss him, and squeeze him, and love him. Yeah, just do it! And after you do, you will be his. You will be his.Ani DiFranco

That is probably the worst song ever. And I know that Ani DiFranco is not the original singer of this song, it was originally recorded in 1964 by Dusty Springfield. (I didn’t just know that---I googled) But Ani, with her unshaved armpits, gives that victim song some street cred. I just was trying to think of song that had to do with wishing and hoping for stuff and that kept popping into my head. Anyway to the topic at hand…

Oh weight loss surgery. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought about it. As a matter a fact last year maybe the year before I went to a weight loss seminar and there was something about it that seemed so sad. Frankly the conclusion I came to, is one that I stand by, the problem is not what I eat. (Though I do eat some bad shit) The problem is in my head. There is a reason why I eat the way I do. Bored? Sad? Lonely? Angry? Etc. Having weight loss surgery is not going to fix that. I have to figure that part out or I’ll end up like Carnie Wilson. No bueno.

A colleague is having the procedure done in a few weeks. And I admire her honesty. She is has come to a conclusion that she can’t do it alone. And she has asked for assistance and is going for it. I wonder why I can’t do it. Just let it go April, just have the surgery. Get started with living the life that you have always wanted.

While I am sorely tempted, there is a part of me that feels like I should just do my best and do the work that it entails to follow a weight loss program. It is hard? Yabetyerass it is. But I just feel like the feeling of accomplishment, the feeling of satisfaction, would be so awesome and so uplifting, that I can’t help but feel as though I have to make that happen. Like so many things, it’s not going to just happen by my wishing it so. I spend an inordinate amount of time wishin', and hopin', and thinkin', and prayin', planin’ and dreamin' about stuff. I think I just need to start doin’ and workin’. It all cannot be left to God. The responsibility rests on my shoulders. God will help me help myself, but he won’t work it out so I wake-up a size 8. (Ummm Lord? Would that really be so bad? ) and of course the answer to my blasphemous question is that yes, it would be a bad thing. There is something to be said about working hard for something.

I went to WW this weekend and spoke with my former leader. We’ve decided that I am going to try it on my own and go to her meetings once a month. I will weigh in at home once a week, record it in my tracker at home and officially record it at the meetings. I’m good with that.

So there shall be less wishin', and hopin', and thinkin', and prayin', planin’ and dreamin' and more doin’ and workin’ and trying to get the satisfaction that alluded the Rolling Stones.

I can't get no satisfaction, I can't get no satisfaction. 'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try. I can't get no, I can't get no. –Rolling Stones

Yes I can. -April

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mommy Dearest...

There is a reason why I keep this little blogging project of mine a secret. How could voice my thought on things that might hurt people’s feelings? Seriously.

I have a good friend. Who is a single mother to the yummiest baby ever. For lots of reasons, after she had her baby, she moved back into her mother’s apt. The moment this happened I was concerned that it would go wrong. First of all her mother is no longer in her bedroom. My friend and child are in there. Granny’s out in the living room. Grandma cooks, does laundry and takes care of baby. All the time. My friend often goes off and does what she wants, leaving baby behind. Now let me very clear. She is NOT shaking her thing, nor is she drinking or drugging. She is running errands, going shopping etc. Sometimes she goes scrapbooking with me—day crops, weekend crops etc. Basically doing all the things she did BEFORE she had a kid.

I don’t have a child and I don’t know the ins and the outs, but I don’t understand this. Yesterday she and her mother got into a tiff about something. Money. Let the record also show that she pays rent and other bills in the house in addition to giving her mother some cash now and then. She is no deadbeat. Her mother called her selfish and she of course got angry and defensive…here is the thing. While maybe she was not being selfish THIS time, I find that her behavior is often very self absorbed. Further I’m not surprised that this hasn’t happened before or more often. I wonder if the reason that she got so angry is that somewhere deep down inside, she is knows that that she is sometimes selfish. SMH.

She loves her kid. She is in love with that baby. I am as sure about that as I am about anything. She loves being a Mommy. But she doesn’t seem to want to toss everything else aside to be his Mother. Isn’t that what happens? When you become a mother, your needs, and desires come second don’t they?

Don’t they?