Category: Pop Culture


I noticed on Facebook Victoria Beckham was trending because of a kiss. I was hoping she was caught kissing another man and David would finally be available …

Alas, no. Victoria is trending because of this picture on Instagram.


9.674 comments and quite a few were along the lines of  “Eww sorry I’m old fashioned it looks like they making out,” and “It’s nice but you’re not supposed to kiss you’re children on the lips. I’m not trying to be rude but it’s true.”  

Do what now? After reading a few articles about this, I had two thoughts:

1. What the heck, are you on crack? Should she wish her daughter a happy birthday with a firm handshake?

2. Stop sexualizing motherhood. Really. Stop it. It’s weird and gross.

If kissing your kid on the lips is wrong, I am very, very, very wrong and not sorry. Lips are for kissing and one day he won’t want me to kiss him anymore. I am stocking up now. It’s how we show love and I love my kid.

With that said, I am off to kiss my kid.


Talk to Matt Marr & Jackie

Or ‘That Time I Was on a Podcast with the Guy from that Commercial and I was Geeking Out‘.

During my long commutes I was spending time sitting in traffic and listening to podcasts and came to really look forward to the Dear Mattie Podcast. Matt Marr is an actor in LA who just happens to be a clinical therapist and a lover of people and their stories. His podcast features his friends and listener submitted questions and lots of hilarity. Of course I friended him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I pretty much cyber stalked him and talked about him as if we had been BFFs since preschool.

Then I found out he liked me too! He’s been a follower of the blog and loves seeing pictures of Mike. Basically the only two requirements to be my friend (insider tip). THEN he asked me to be on the podcast. I had a few weeks to become charming and get my eyebrows waxed.

We recorded last week via Blab and I swear, I could have chatted with him for HOURS. It was just like sitting around the table eating Triscuts and drinking Naty Boh on a Friday night. As you do. So if you want, check out the podcast don’t do it at work (we might have said a few no-no words).

You can download it on iTunes, Sticher or listen to it here.


Hamilton: Dear Theodosia

I am basically obsessed with the Broadway musical Hamilton. From the minute I get in the car to the minute I get out of the car at home I am listening to the cast album. Even Mike asks for the ‘Ta Da’ song, which is called ‘You’ll Be Back’. At night when I can’t sleep I YouTube all things Hamilton – interviews with the writer and actor Lin-Miranda Manuel, mashups, bootlegs … it’s a problem.

What’s Hamilton? It’s Alexander Hamilton’s life story (loosely) set to hip hop music. I have never learned so much about history and retained the information like I have until I heard Hamilton. I find the story of how Miranda came to write and star in the musical utterly fascinating.

One song I play over and over again is Dear Theodosia. It is a love letter from Aaron Burr to his daughter Theodosia and from Alexander Hamilton to his son Phillip. It really makes my complex feelings about being a Mom seem so simple and beautiful. Of course, the dynamics between Hamilton and Burr during this duet could be a term paper on it’s own, but I’ll save that for another time.


Friday Five: Holiday Movies

I am not really one for choosing to listen to Christmas music, but when it comes to Christmas movies, that is another story. Sunday afternoons in December (and now November) when Mike and S. take their naps it is my time to snuggle under a blanket and turn on Hallmark or Lifetime to find a holiday movie. The lower the budget the better. And they all follow the same recipe – a rich person becomes poor and learns the true meaning of Christmas, an adorable child asks Santa for a mom for Christmas, a scrooge is met by three ghosts and their life changes. As long as there is love, a life altering event, eye candy and a kid – I eat these movies up.

So for Five on Friday, here are my five favorite ‘made for TV’ Christmas movies. And don’t you dare judge me!

PicMonkey Collage

{Comfort and JoyJane is a self absorbed executive who gets into a car accident on Christmas Eve and is saved by her husband … but when she left the office she didn’t have a husband! She finds out she also has two kids and lives a modest lifestyle. Will she ever wake up to her real life, and does she really want to? 

{Snow GlobeOkay, so not really a Lifetime or Hallmark movie, but it’s ABCFamily so it is close enough. I actually own this on DVD! A lover of Christmas with a crazy family finds a snow globe and, surprise, she ends up being able to travel between her life and the snow globe world. Turns out one of the citizens of the snow globe world travels to her world and chaos ensues. It’s pretty entertaining.

{Will You Merry Me?Ah, a tale as old as time – a Jewish girl from LA falls in love with a Christian guy from the mid west and now they are introducing their families. And his family is REALLY into Christmas. Like, their last name is Kringle. Some say the jokes are offensive, but coming from the same (sort of) situation, where in laws are learning new traditions, it is pretty lighthearted.

{Ebbie’s ChristmasQuite possibly my Momma’s favorite non-traditional Christmas movie. It’s the classic Christmas Carol with a modern (for 1995) twist. Ebbie owns a department store and, of course, hates Christmas. Three spirits visit her and try to change her.

{A Diva’s Christmas Carol I may, or may not, have this on DVD. It’s another take on A Christmas Carol, but is based around Ebony (get it?), a pop singer. Frankly, you had me when I saw the cast – Vanessa Williams, Chilli from TLC and Kathy Griffin.

Friday 5: Halloween Movie Edition

I’ll be honest – I am not a Halloween person. I mean, I get it. But I don’t get INTO it. I think when Mikey gets a little older it will be more fun, but right now I could take it or leave it.

I am kinda the same when it comes to scary movies. I am for SURE not a gore type movie fan, but I do enjoy a psychological thriller. During the day. When it is on in the background and I am doing something else. And I know the ending.

So for my Friday Five I thought I would pay homage to my five favorite scary movies (in no particular order)!


{The OthersThis is by far one of my favorites. Nicole Kidman and her two photo-sensitive kids live in a huge house towards the end of WWII. Three house servants arrive and Momma kinda loses her mind and thinks the house is haunted. But wouldn’t you if you were stuck in a dark house all day waiting for your husband to return from war? By the end of this movie you will want to immediately start over to see if the ending makes sense.

The intruders are leaving, but others will come. Sometimes we’ll sense them. Other times, we won’t.

{The Happening}  I get a lot of crap from loving this movie because it is more hacky then scary. Basically nature starts turning on humans by releasing a chemical that makes humans off themselves. Mark Wahlburg, and his wife, Zooey Deschanel try to save their best friend’s daughter and well … humanity. I have to admit, on a windy day I have to convince myself it isn’t Mother Nature finally seeking her revenge for my love of styrofoam and bottled water. 

My name is Private Auster. I’m stationed at Westover Military Base about ten miles back. I think they’ve been affected by whatever’s happening. I lost communication with them. When I approached the base, I saw military personnel in… the barbed wire in… the fence. So I suggest no one take that road.

{Blair Witch ProjectIf you live in Maryland, you have to like this movie by default. It was pretty groundbreaking at the time with the shaky cam and ‘found footage’ style. I think that approach just covers up horrible acting since they are ‘real people’.

I’m afraid to close my eyes, I’m afraid to open them

{The Bad SeedI’ve talked about this movie before because Rhoda is a bit of a messed up kid. But in the perfect way. I think what is scary about this movie is it all seems so normal. Hey. It’s all normal until your 8 year old kills her classmate for a penmanship medal. Watch this movie if you are having a tough day with your kid and you will instantly feel better.

Christine Penmark: Rhoda, what happened to old Mrs. Post in Wichita?

Rhoda: There was ice on the steps and I slipped and fell against her, and that was all.

Christine Penmark: That was all?

Rhoda: No. I slipped on purpose.

{CarrieLet me be specific. The ORIGINAL Carrie. This movie has all the makings of a a terrifying story. A high school outcast with telekinetic powers. A whack-a-do momma who has a prayer closet (and I’m not talking a calming meditation type closet either) and pig’
s blood at Prom.

Margaret White: I can see your dirty pillows. Everyone will.

Carrie: Breasts, Mama. They’re called breasts, and every woman has them.

My Perfect Celebrity Playgroup

It’s no secret that I have a love affair with pop culture. Us Weekly, Celebitchy and yes, even TMZ, give me my fix. More recently I have loved watching pregnant and parent celebrities. It makes me feel like, yes, celebs – they are just like us!

With that in mind, I have put together my favorite celebrity moms and dads for my playgroup.

Melissa McCarthy

“It plagues me. I feel intensely guilty for working,” says McCarthy. “You have to be able to provide for your kids. But I feel like it’s a weird modern phenomenon that you always feel guilty for it.” – Parade Magazine

I love that Melissa is a working mom who has a lot of money and resource, yet still feels the mom guilt we all feel from time to time. She also tells the funniest damn stories about her girls, so I know she would keep us laughing. Oh, and we could totally share clothes.

She is now BFFs with Sandra Bullock and her son, so I might consider letting them join us every so often.


Jennifer Garner

“There’s an internal battle. I need to work, I need to work, I need to work, and I need to be home with my kids and the kids win. It’s about getting the kids up and fed, getting one to school, getting the other down for a nap, going to the grocery store, picking one up from school, getting the other one down for another nap, cooking dinner . . . I live my life at these two extremes. I’m either a full-time stay-at-home mom or a full-time actress.” – Huffington Post

No, I am not including her so I can get closer to Ben.  She is so often pap’ed, yet she never looks like she is prepared for it. She has on sneakers and hardly any makeup and the kiddos look like they dressed themselves. If I know Mike is going to be in pictures, I make sure his shoes match. Not Jen, nope. And I LOVE that. I think she would add some realness to our group and be a good ‘taker carer’ to all of us parents.


Neil Patrick Harris

“The older they get, the more I love being a dad. Now that they’re talking, I’m really loving the camp counselor end of parenting,” he says. “I’m all about reasoning. If they fall and are okay but crying, David [Burtka, his partner] will be the hugger, and I’ll be the ‘Show me where it hurts; let’s talk about it’ one. I come from a family of lawyers, so explanation is crucial.” – People Magazine

Another funny guy! I bet he would riff with Melissa really well on the playground. I am drawn to how he describes what kind of father he is and how he has evolved over the last three years. He has really been honest in the media and seeing him go from an unsure, backseat dad to a very involved dad has been nice. I think he would be known for giving us facts about kids and parenting styles.

Have you seen his twins? Those kids are too adorable for words.

Savannah Guthrie

“My 3am wakeup call sounds a lot different now,” Guthrie added. “Sweeter…” – Twitter

I love, love, love Savannah. As the newest Mom she can use a lot of support. When she said Vail is wearing mittens because she is too scared to cut her nails the internet exploded. Gimme a damn break, every parent has been there. I think she could benefit from my group – especially from Jen – for parenting advice and getting over the first time celebrity mom hurdles.


Jimmy Fallon

“I just want to hang out with my daughter,” he said. And he does a great job, according to his wife: “He is the fun, goofy, make-her-giggle kind of dad.” That’s something Jimmy is very proud of. “I make my daughter laugh every day,” he said triumphantly. – People Magazine

The excitement Jimmy has for being a Dad warms my heart. ure, he would be a fun addition to our group, but he would also be the one the kids flock to for high fives and tickles. I also like how open he was about their infertility issues. I wasn’t going to include his wife in the group until I saw this quote from her:

“Men don’t get left with babies ever, so they’re told the message is, You can’t really do this,” says Nancy. “Everyone plays that game. And that’s some BS. Walk away and let him handle it.”

Get it girl. You are welcome on my playground any time.


Joel Madden

“I mean, we’re not the first people to have babies so you’re going to be alright no matter what,” he explains. You have to have your own experience and learn as you go. Kids are very resilient and you just have to take it a day at a time.” – People Magazine

Oh Joel, how I loved you during my late 90s mall punk phase. We are from the same state so I feel like we would be instant friends on that fact alone. I like how he lets his wife shine and is protective of his kids. They have both spoken out about how they are doing things different than their parents did and that is admirable. I bet he would share some tips on that front.

Who would be in your celebrity playgroup?

The Soundtrack to My Life

While driving into work today I was listening to my iPod and heard ‘Sincerely Me’ by New Found Glory. I was instantly transported back to the 9:30 Club in (probably) 2004. Something Corporate opened for NFG and they pushed an upright piano on the teeny tiny stage to play I Woke Up in a Car. I was instantly enamored. I can still see the stage from my spot on the balcony.


Some people have scents that take them back to a moment in time, but for me it’s always been music. If I had a set list for my life so far it, it would be these songs:


Walk Like an Egyptian (The Bangles): One of my earliest memories is doing the Egyptian walk around the couch with my Momma when she put the record on.


Papa Don’t Preach (Madonna): I LOVED this song in elementary school and knew all the words. I used to listen to it on the boombox in the garage and sing along. It was about 8 years ago when I figured out what it was about.


Let That Pony Run (Pam Tillis): Mike, if you are reading this, CDs are the mirrored things that you can find in antique stores. They play music! My first CD player was a Christmas gift in 1992 and the first CD I played was Homeward Looking Angel by Pam Tillis. Let That Pony Run was soulful, sad and spoke to life as an adult. Everything a 9 year old country music fan wanted.


Friends in Low Places (Garth Brooks): I was 13 at my first concert was Garth Brook’s Red Strokes Tour at the US Air Arena. My Mom and I had the best time ever.


All I Ask of You (Phantom of the Opera): My grandma was a big fan of opera music and usually had the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack playing in the kitchen. Since then I’ve seen it on stage 3 times and it always makes me smile.


Peace Be Still: Many of my summers were spent at Camp Mardela in Denton, Maryland. Sometimes as a camper, mostly as a camp counselor, a few times as kitchen help. One song I still love and still repeat to myself in moments of high stress is Peace Be Still. Short, calming and meaningful.


Shit Town (Live): Really any song by Live will do. I was trying to be an ‘affected’ teenager which I probably succeed to some extent. But I used to put my Live CD in and crank it up. I am sure I drove my parents insane, but I don’t remember them saying anything. Shit Town was a favorite of mine because, well, it had a cuss word. I was such a bad ass.


No Scrubs (TLC): I enjoyed my last two years of high school, but the first two will remain unmentioned. So many good songs and artists in the late 90s! I remember warm days driving around with friends singing along to girl group TLC proclaiming our desire for No Scrubs. This song would have more useful in college.


I Hope You Dance (Leanne Womack): As Senior Class President in high school I had to ‘steer’ my classmates towards the perfect graduation song. Thankfully I Hope You Dance beat out Free Bird by just a few votes.


Sincerely Me (New Found Glory): As mentioned earlier, college brought a lot of mall punk with New Found Glory being a favorite. I have seen them live about a dozen times. I even have one of their releases on vinyl (still sealed!) and a signed CD when I met them at Tower Records.


East Coast Anthem (Good Charlotte): If you grew up in Maryland in the late 90s and went to the WHFStival (which is very likely), you had to love Good Charlotte – the local ‘punk band’ who went mainstream. We all knew East Coast Anthem because, well, on the east coast we ride until the day we die.


Damn Right, Rebel Proud (Hank III): I was trying to be a cool sister and decided to take my then sixteen year old brother and his best friend to Rams Head in Baltimore to see Hank William’s Great Grandson. That sentence alone should say a lot. I mean, we like Hank, so why wouldn’t we enjoy his legacy? Well. I should have listen to his music first. I wouldn’t let those two out of my sight and I might have told them not to mention the details to parental units.


Try (Nelly Furtado): In 2004 I was ending a long relationship and even though it was my decision, it wasn’t easy after three years. It is definitely a great breakup, pick yourself back up song.


Drops of Jupiter (Train): S. was a big Train fan before I met him and even though I knew their hits, I grew to really love their b-sides. We even saw them in concert a few times.


Better Together (Jack Johnson): S. and I took finding our first dance song VERY seriously and tried out a few before settling on Better Together. The lyrics were perfect and didn’t require dance lessons.


Shake it Out (Florence and the Machine): I’ve mentioned this song on the blog before, but it became popular as we were going through fertility treatments. I used to listen to it on the way to Shady Grove to have my follicles counted and cry.


50 Ways to Say Goodbye (Train): When I was having my C-Section, S. and I had to laugh because the radio in the operation room was playing one of Train’s current hits. Perhaps not the ideal song for a baby to hear as they enter the world, but it was perfect for us.


Three Little Birds (Bob Marley): I lamented about how I didn’t know many lullaby, but when Three Little Birds came on Pandora one night, Mike really responded. Now it’s ‘our’ song and he still loves it.


Don’t Worry Child (Swedish House Mafia): Being laid off was really tough emotionally and financially. There were a lot of unknowns, but I the Swedish House Mafia reminded me that heaven has a plan and I shouldn’t worry. A quick aside – I always pictured this band playing in an Ikea.


What would be on your life playlist so far?


“I Am Who I Am” – Gwennie P.

Does anyone feel sorry for Gwyneth Paltrow? I heard she stuck her pedicured-Louboutin-size-9 in her mouth again. This time it was comparing being blasted on the internet much like a solider in war. Well. Sort of. Maybe.

If you Google “Gwyneth Paltrow quotes” there are some great results about her insanely hilarious, out of touch ramblings about preferring death to canned cheese and Cup of Noodles, her looks going downhill when she turned 29 and how un-fun the glamorous Met Gala was. You probably remember the uproar from her quote about working mommas. I am pretty sure you didn’t miss it because the internet exploded, but here it is:

“I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening,” said the polarizing Paltrow. “When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,’ and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”

As a working momma, I got prickly with this comment. But I have preached not judging other mommas (or daddies) for their decisions – as long as their kids are safe and relatively happy. Gwennie has proven time and time again with her hilariously embaressing comments that she is out of touch with commoners, such as myself, but I can’t get mad at her for this.

Sure, she has nannies. Sure, she only works long hours for short amounts of times. Sure, she probably has a chef and a maid and … whatever else I wish I had. But isn’t she away from her kids part of the day? Handing them over to someone to make sure they survive? She is putting the same amount of trust in that nanny that I put in our daycare provider. I still miss Mike daily and wonder if he misses me, if his needs are met too. Don’t all working mommas feel this way? Why does it matter if that momma is selling Avon, working part time at McDonalds, working high profile trials, finding a cure for cancer or starring in a summer blockbuster.

I guess what I am saying is a momma is a momma no matter how you look at it. An ‘easy’ lifestyle is relative and the grass is always greener.

But seriously, Gwen. Sweetie. Stop talking. You’ve been through a lot. Just hole up in your penthouse, take a nap and lay low. I’m sure your nanny has things under control.


True Story

“People often ask me, “What’s the difference between couplehood and babyhood?” In a word? Moisture. Everything in my life is now more moist. Between your spittle, your diapers, your spit-up and drool, you got your baby food, your wipes, your formula, your leaky bottles, sweaty baby backs, and numerous other untraceable sources–all creating an ever-present moistness in my life, which heretofore was mainly dry.” 

Paul Reiser