I always thought of myself as a cool grandma. Thanks to morning news shows which have become more about pop culture than actual news events, I’m up to date with all the latest trends, fads, movies and music. The other day, my granddaughter invited a friend over after school. When the bus dropped them off at our house I said, "Yo shorties, fo’ shizzle my dizzle and what’s the bizzo?"
"Your grandmother is really weird!"
"I know! Let’s go in my room and play Xbox."
That was a rude awakening. No matter how cool I thought I was, there was still a generation gap. Just like the generation gap that existed between my grandmothers and me. They lived during a time when children were to be seen not heard.
My maternal grandmother never talked. It was like pulling teeth to engage her in a conversation. Most of our communication consisted of, "What grade are you in now?" "Fifth." "That’s nice." This would be followed by an awkward silence until I left and went to the basement to read mildewed copies of Nancy Drew books. Which probably inspired my lifelong love of mystery novels. I wish I’d had a better relationship with my grandmother because she was very creative. She sewed beautiful quilts, wrote poetry, and painted pictures. She also made delicious pies.
My paternal grandmother was the opposite. She talked all the time, practically non-stop. Her house was like a sauna because the last time a window had been opened was when FDR was president. She was a staunch member of the Republican Party and had met Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater.
My paternal grandmother was also a part-time gypsy at fundraisers and charity events. She wasn’t just playing a part since she really believed in palmistry. She liked to read my palm and tell me things like, "Your love line is chopped up and your life line is very short." Those are things every child wants to hear.
She also told me over and over again that I needed to take typing in high school because it would prove to be a very valuable skill. When I was 13 years old, Betty Friedan started NOW (National Organization of Women). Since I was a feminist it really bugged me whenever my grandmother brought up typing. I wanted to say, "Grandmother have you ever heard of Women’s Lib? Maybe I don’t want to be a secretary. Maybe I want to be a boss with a secretary of my own!" Of course I never said that because I was taught to respect my elders plus I couldn’t get a word in edgewise if I tried.
As it turned out, typing was a required class at my high school and since I went on to become a newspaper reporter it did prove to be a very valuable skill.
Someday my granddaughter will be a grandmother and then she’ll experience the generation gap for herself.
"Why aren’t you in school?"
"They’re reprogramming our hologram teachers."
"When I was child we -----."
"I know grandma, back in the old days you didn’t have hologram teachers. You had human teachers with Smart Boards. You also had to ride the school bus because you didn’t have transport pods. I’m glad I didn’t live in those days."
Jessica Simpson has recently joined the ranks of pregnant celebrities who have posed nude on magazine covers. The list includes Demi Moore, Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Nia Long, Christina Aquilera, Claudia Schiffer, and more.
When I was pregnant I never felt the urge to pose naked on a magazine cover or anywhere else. In fact I didn’t even want to get undressed when I was in labor. Since hospital gowns are so skimpy, I designed my own the garment – the floor length birthing muumuu. The doctor wasn’t thrilled about it.
Back when I was pregnant in the 80’s natural childbirth was really big. I convinced my husband that we needed to take a Lamaze class. The class taught focused breathing and relaxation techniques.
Before the class was over, we all watched a movie on natural childbirth. I think the couple was European because their names were Dagmar and Bjorn and Dagmar didn’t shave her legs. I’m convinced that if high school boys and girls were forced to watch this movie the teenage pregnancy rate would go down. In fact the pregnancy rate for all age groups would probably dwindle. For some reason, I didn’t really find the close up shot of a baby’s head coming out of a vagina inspiring. In fact I found it terrifying and scary but it was too late to change my mind.
In the movie the doctor kept trying to give Dagmar drugs, “Please be reasonable. You’ve been in labor for 40 hours. You’re exhausted. Just let me give you some drugs to make the delivery easier!”
“No I will never use drugs! I want to have my baby the natural drug free way.”
“Wow that Dagmar is so brave. I pity the doctor that tries to force me to take drugs!” That’s what I thought after watching the movie.
My due date was December 14th. Every year at work we drew names for a Christmas gift exchange. That year I told everyone, “Just leave me out of it since I won’t be here. I’ll be on maternity leave.”
Well December 14th came and went. Christmas came and went as I watched everyone at the office open Christmas gifts. Luckily I had a boss that was supportive.
“What are you still doing here? I thought you were supposed to pop that kid out on the 14th. Your water better not break here since we just had new carpet installed!”
Finally on December 30th my doctor decided they needed to induce labor. Back then, they didn’t have birthing rooms, or water births. The maternity ward was packed with expectant mothers so they wheeled a bed into a storage room and that’s where they put me.
At first everything was fine. I was practicing my Lamaze breathing techniques. But after ten hours of painful contractions, I was starting to reevaluate the whole natural childbirth plan.
“Would a little drugs really make a difference? When my mother had me, they put women to sleep and when they woke up they handed them a baby. That sounds pretty good to me. After all, I turned out okay except for a recurring nightmare that I’m being attacked by a giant pair of forceps.”
I told my husband, “Go tell the doctor I changed my mind and I want drugs!”
“You don’t need drugs. Just focus harder on your breathing and relaxation techniques!”
“Why don’t you go and lie face down in the parking lot and I’ll drive a semi truck over your back every half hour and we’ll see how focused you are on breathing!”
I grabbed the first man that walked into my room and put him in a strangle hold, “I want drugs. Do you hear me? I want drugs! I can’t take any more of this pain! Get me some drugs!”
“Lady I’m just a custodian. I came in here to get some cleaning supplies. Please let me go you’re hurting me.”
“Don’t you have any connections on the street? Are there any drugs in that storage cabinet?”
Well the good news is that after three days of natural childbirth (I never got any drugs), I finally gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Two years later I went through it all again and gave birth to an adorable baby boy. Once I held my babies in my arms the morning sickness, stretch marks, excessive weight gain, heartburn, and labor pains were all worth it. Until they turned into teenagers and then I started to have doubts.
A Minnesota man was recently arrested after he stole $25,000 worth of liquid Tide from Wal-Mart during a 15-month period. Law enforcement authorities said that because of the recession, more people are stealing laundry detergent and reselling it at flea markets and other places. They’re calling it Liquid Gold.
I can just imagine the following scenario:
A middle-aged woman is standing on a street corner in the seedy run down part of town. An old rusty car pulls up beside her.
“Hey can you help me out? I’m looking for a fix?”
“Well you’ve come to the right place. All my stuff is top of the line.”
“What have you got?”
“Purple Power, Deep Blue Blast, Mauwie Wowie Whitening, and California Concentrated.”
“What’s the Mauwie Wowie Whitening?”
“That’s for whites.”
“Wow that’s racist! What about the Purple Power?”
“That makes colors really bright and vibrant.”
“How much does that cost?
“”Five dollars for 100 fluid ounces.”
“That’s crazy how can you sell it so cheap? Give me 100 fluid ounces of Purple Power.”
“Here you go I hope you enjoy it.”
“What the hell? Is this some kind of joke? What’s this crap?”
“It’s liquid laundry detergent. I’m selling it on the black market.”
“Forget it. I’m looking for drugs and I don’t give a #%$& about laundry detergent!”
“That’s too bad because judging by your appearance you could use some laundry detergent plus a shower.”
“ &%$# you!” The guy drives off.
"Some people just can’t take a suggestion."
When it comes to trends and fads I’m always the last person to the table. I just started saying, “Whazzup?” When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first released I wasn’t interested in reading it and I never encouraged my kids to jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon because I thought anything that was so popular with the general public couldn’t be good. After all, they’re the same people who made Snuggli’s a fad and the TV show “Two And A Half Men” a hit which I don’t watch because of its mean spirited humor.
But my granddaughter got a copy of “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone” for Christmas which I started reading to her at night. I have to say that I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying the book. She falls asleep after three pages so it’s taking us a long time to get through it.
The book inspired us to watch the movies which inspired me to come up with the idea of combining Harry Potter, one of the highest grossing film series of all time, with another high grossing series, Twilight, to create an even bigger gigantic, mega hit series!
Harry Potter And The Order Of The New Moon
When Lord Voldermot and his Death Eaters create a rein of terror in the Wizarding World, Albus Dumbledore decides to send Harry Potter to Forks, Washington where he will be safe among the muggles, vampires, and werewolves. Harry enrolls in high school where he meets Bella Swan:
Bella: “Aren’t you that new boy, Harry Potter? Where are you from?”
Harry: “I’m from England actually.”
Bella: “This is crazy, but ever since you came to town people have been seeing owls everywhere.”
Harry: “That’s interesting.”
Bella: “I’ve seen you with a really big hairy guy. Is that your father?”
Harry: “That’s Hagrid he’s my guardian. I’m an orphan actually.”
Bella: “That explains why you’re so dark and brooding. I really love that in a man. My old boyfriend spent a lot of time brooding I really miss him. He went to Italy”
Harry: “I miss my friends. I feel like I don’t fit in here.”
Bella: “That’s just the way I feel. You know Harry, you’re kind of cute. Have you ever considered getting contacts and waxing your eyebrows?”
Harry; “Not really. Have you ever considered using blush?”
Bella: “Touche. Why did you move here?”
Harry: “It wasn’t safe in England. People wanted to kill me.”
Bella: “Get out! I’m not safe anywhere because someone is always trying to kill me, too.”
Harry: “Why do they want to kill you. Except for the fact that you’re pale and always moping about you seem perfectly nice.”
Bella: “I feel like I can trust you, Harry, but this is strictly confidential, I’m in love with a vampire and the other vampires don’t like me. I met this vampire couple at a baseball game and first the guy tried to kill me, and now his girlfriend wants to kill me. I’m like what’s your problem, I barely know you!”
Harry: “This is also strictly confidential, I’m a wizard and there’s a dark, evil wizard named Lord Voldemort that wants to kill me. When I was a baby he murdered my parents and tried to kill me, too. Luckily my mother dressed me in a Kevlar onesie so he didn’t succeed. Apparently he holds a massive grudge and he won’t rest until I’m dead, he takes over the world, and gets plastic surgery so his face isn't all white and sh.”
Bella:” We can’t let that happen! I have friends that are werewolves and vampires. I’ll text them and we can all meet in England. Let’s kick some Voldemort butt!”
Coming soon "Breaking Dawn In The Deathly Hallows."
For someone who hates to cook, I spend a lot of time watching the Food Network. I don’t watch the cooking shows; I like competition shows like Chopped. If you haven’t seen the show, four chefs compete before a panel of three expert judges in the appetizer, entree, and dessert rounds using weird ingredients like sea urchin, gummy bears, Hungarian cucumbers, and tequila. They’re judged on creativity, presentation, and taste. They have 20 minutes to make an appetizer and 30 minutes each for the entree and dessert rounds. After each round, someone is chopped until the last chef standing wins $10,000.
The show amazes me because they only have 20 minutes to create an appetizer. It would take me that long just to unpack the mystery basket. If I were on the show I wouldn’t have the slightest clue what to do -
Chopped Host Ted Allen: “Let’s meet our chefs”
Chef Jon Xavier: “I’m not worried about the competition. I was trained at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute. None of the other chefs have my talent or expertise.”
Chef Waldo Benson: “I was torn about competing today. Yesterday my beloved cat, Mr. Whiskers died. My heart is broken but I know Mr. Whiskers would want me to compete. I can just picture him up in heaven saying, ‘Meow, go for it!’ If I win I’m going to donate the $10,000 to a homeless cat shelter.”
Chef Susan Whittaker: “I’m a little nervous. I’m not a chef, I’m a food stylist, but what I lack in training I make up for in creativity.”
Chef Deb Claxton: “I think there’s been a mistake. I’m supposed to be on the show America’s Worst Cooks. What soundstage is that filming on?”
Ted Allen: “Chefs open your mystery basket where you will find calves liver, chocolate pudding, parsnips, and grape soda. Good luck!”
Chef Jon: “I’m going to use the chocolate pudding to make a calves liver mole, parsnip tureen, and grape soda and wine reduction. I’m already thinking about how I’m going to spend my $10,000 because these other chefs look pathetic.”
Chef Waldo: “I was completely stumped until I channeled the spirit of Mr. Whiskers who told me to make a calves liver and chocolate pudding Ragu and a endive and parsnip salad with a balsamic vinegar and grape soda dressing.”
Chef Susan: “This competition is really tough but I’m here to prove that food stylists are just as competent as chefs. I’m going to make fried calves liver and a parsnip and green apple salad with grape soda and chocolate pudding dressing.”
Chef Deb: “I’m staring at the ingredients and I’ve got nothing! I’m just going to throw them all into a big pot, cook them, and hope for the best.”
Ted Allen: “Times up. Now it’s up to our judges to taste your dishes and decide who will be chopped!"
Judge Scott Conant: “Chef Susan, I am really disappointed in your dish. While it looks beautiful the ingredients just don’t come together.”
Judge Aaron Sanchez: “Chef Jon, I really enjoyed your dish. That was a great idea to make a mole calves liver. Well done.”
Judge Chris Santos: “Chef Waldo, I thought your ragu was delicious but your salad needed more seasoning.”
Judge Conant: “Chef Deb, in all my year’s as a judge on Chopped, I have to say that I have never tasted anything as terrible as this. I’m not even sure what this big blob of goop is supposed to be. Normally, the judges take time to deliberate after every round before deciding who will be chopped, but in order to save time because I need to have my stomach pumped ASAP I’m just going to say, you’re chopped! Please do the world a favor and order take out from now on!”
Chef Deb on her way out of the building: "I don’t agree with the judges decision. Just because I gave them all food poisoning I don’t think they should have chopped me. My dish was the most original!"