Thursday, August 30, 2007

You know those daydreams you have when you’re a imagine yourself checking into a hotel somewhere, just you, maybe your husband if your lucky or so desire. Kids happily spending the week with grandparents, auntie, or family friends. You and a small bag filled with only your clothes, your necessities -- no crayons, coloring books, Hot Wheels cars, stuffed animals, granola bars, Cheerios, sippy cups or other kid paraphernalia. You imagine a few days of life as it was before kids -- sleeping in without a bed wetter, a nightmare, or a vomiting child to awaken you. A leisurely breakfast while reading the paper, COVER TO COVER, if you want. Endless days to spend as you wish, heading to the museum to see the exhibit you want to see, staying in your pajamas until 4 p.m. if you want, afternoon matinees, eating when you are hungry and drinking as much as you want and engaging in other adult behavior with your partner of choice.

The next time your having that daydream in your head, do me a favor and make sure to specify to the daydream fairies that you would like to spend that time vertically, instead of horizontal with your facing looking toward the floor for a solid two weeks.

Don’t make the same mistake I made!

My recent surgery to repair the torn/detached and general insufficient retina gave me a whole new view of the world.

Heads up! Finally, I am back looking at the world face forward, instead of face down. A few times I ventured out, once I was feeling a bit back to the normal and the walls of the hotel suite were beginning to close in on me. I walked to the Starbucks around the corner, desperate for something better than the bottomless mug of crap hotel coffee on offer at breakfast. My head was still down, and I felt like some sort of freaky character in a student film project who stumbles along the street, mumbling and not making eye contact.

I’m sure that my forced horizontal inverted prison sentence was a way of life teaching me a few lessons, but it’s still a little too soon to digest them all and see the big picture. They’ll come to me at some point. The wound is still a little too raw.

I did get to watch some stellar examples of the crappiest American television ever produced. The TV on offer while most of the American public is working is some of the scariest stuff I have ever witnessed. Here are my top three observations/favorite TV moments:

1. There is an entire channel dedicated to showing game shows. Not surprisingly, it’s called the Game Show Network. Since there aren’t exactly that many game shows on TV any longer, they show reruns. Of game shows. From the past 30 years. Why an episode of Joker’s Wild (Higher! I’m gonna go higher!) from 1985 is of interest to anyone is beyond me. Maybe they are catering to the subsection of the population that is housebound and bored to tears (OK I spent a few moments in that group). At some point, if you’re bored enough, I guess a replay of Match Game from 1978 will entertain you. A chance to see D-list starts of the 70s lowering themselves to embarrassing levels and making "funny" jokes with loads of sexual innuendo. Of course, today they would have their own cable show, but that’s another channel.

2. Stage moms are still really scary. My favorite line I’ve heard on TV for a long time came from a stage mom who accompanied her lovely 13-year old to the Dr. Phil show for a segment called “Make My Kid a Hollywood Star.” 5 kids, competing for a prize package that included 4 months in a serviced apartment in Hollywood, auditions with agents and producers, and exposure to all the stuff you need in order to get your kid on TV, I guess. The 13-year-old was cute, but looked unbelievably uncomfortable on stage and during the minute she was allowed to perform, managed to change keys at least three times in the song she was singing (though she wasn't supposed to). Hmmmm, maybe a few lessons are in order. But really, as Dr. Phil, pointed out, “they are all winners.” All the non-winners (formerly known as losers before it became a self-esteem issue) were given iPod nanos, X-box 360s, and a vacation. Not too shabby. So they interview all the moms and kids after the winner is announced, and Stage Mom says “I’m not here to judge. They girl that won was ok and I guess she has ‘the look.’ BUT I DID NOT TRAVEL ACROSS THE COUNTRY FOR AN XBOX 360!"

Meow! Watch your back!

3. As my good friend Danika says, “Americans do crap food really well.” But a cooking show hosted by a down home southern girl named Paula Deen took the cake (pardon the pun). She shared a dish with her viewers that started with a chunk of leftover baked macaroni and cheese. She wrapped that in bacon, dipped in in flour, then dipped it in a beaten egg, then rolled it in bread crumbs, then dropped it into a vat of boiling hot peanut oil and deep fried it. OH MY! I felt my arteries clogging just looking at it. Seriously, I cannot think of anything more disgusting. Really, it’s the worst. I don’t know where to start. My stomach is churning just thinking about it. Fried funnel cake at a county fair - OK. Fried onion rings - sure. But fried macaroni and cheesee...PLEASE.


...It’s just plain embarrassing now.

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