Monday, August 26, 2013

You can Do what you want- BUT you are doing it WRONG!

Last night I sat with my husband trying to get a little current musical education. We don't watch MTV much anymore- most of it being entirely inappropriate and generates uncomfortable feelings all around. One can only have so many jumping off points for conversation with kids about drugs, sex, and poor choices. So- having missed the initial airing of the MTV video music awards- we chose to watch an instant replay on VH-1. Phil and I were the only ones who appreciated that irony.

The first commercial had us agape as a caricature of a human being aka posterchild of all things that can go wrong in plastic surgery. I do not watch reality tv. I see commercials for housewives of various locations and professions and can't tell anything apart- and considering they all subscribe to the hideous Saw- clown face ideal of facial characteristics- how could I? But even the kids were slack jawed- what is wrong with her face? I momentarily wondered if the show's producers planned on letting her die on tv from anaphalaxis, her lips were so big.  The show- something about a monkey in Miami. Now as someone who uses the moniker, monkey - I was horrified lest my nickname be tarnished by this.

Lady Gaga opened, leaving everyone slightly Gaga about her lack of Gaga. Her many wardrobe changes mid stage seemed rushed and I was distracted by the unevenness of the wigs and ultimately watched just to see if one would go flying off. I wasn't shocked or particularly offended by the thong baring- you pretty much expect it in this caliber of show. I was more bothered that she wore it to watch the rest of the show in. I can't even remember which theatre it was in- but I definitely support the use of disposable seat covers now, ew.

Kanye- was Kanye. Way too self important, arrogant, trying too hard to be something. Which actually was a good lead in to the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana. I get that Miley Cyrus feels compelled to shed the Disney image and do what she wants to.  I get that she is trying to grow up and be edgey. I am not crazy about the lackadaisical approach to life- we all are responsible for our footprints.  But in the words of my ever astute husband- SHE IS DOING IT WRONG!  Before she even performed, he paused the show and made me watch the actual video so he could watch my facial expression and/or prepare me for what was ahead.  It was not shock- it was more confusion. It left us collectively scratching our heads and wanting to bleach our eyeballs. We googled her age- 21.  Not an uncommon age for kids to take those big gigantic steps away from parents and start forging their way. She is doing it wrong.  Kiera, freshly showered, had quietly slipped onto the couch-escaping our notice. Phil pushes play- the display of atrocity begins. I realize Kiera is there as Hannah Montana is bent over twerking on Mr. Seaver's son.  I look at Phil in horror. He pauses. If we ever- EVER -  she is giggling uncomfortably and realizes she's dismissed to bed hopefully not while visions of rabid teddy bears twerking dance in her head. Over and over- Miley is just doing it wrong. Lil Phillip sighs and says- I think this is a cry for help. I have to agree. Unfortunately I think the party in question is the only person who doesn't know where this trainwreck is headed. Even the camaramen seem embarrassed to watch.

The redeeming quality of the show came with a message of acceptance from Macklemore with introductory words from a really tall dude who seemed slightly out of his element as he presented the argument  judging a person for sexual orientation is no different that judging a person for their skin color. Unfortunately logic doesn't generally transcend the world of bigotry. The meaning and emphasis slightly and ironically lost when shorter dude goes on to announce that "He stand up for everything he believe in as far as everybody being equal, color, homosexuality,  white boy- Macklemore". Really? One step forward, 2 steps back. I don't care what your message is- articulation is a key element. Fortunately we were left with Macklemore's performance.

God Love Justin Timberlake for the mini concert and further earning hero status by reuniting N'sync.  Watching Gaga quiver in her seat like a preteen - a little comical. Yet a good example of how to perform- that being good at what you do will create genuine awe. JT- visibly uncomfortable with the attention and willing to share glory with his former bandmates- who without- his journey to success would have been very different. A far far cry from Hannah Montana- disavowing all connection to both her father and brand that created her. We are left with Miley- a caricature of a girl who might some day become a woman if shed can she the maniacal fluffy teddy bear of her own creation that seems to be strapped to her back.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

All that Glitters

I am not much of a girly girl. I am pretty convinced that is why I have been blessed with 3 girls.  Marrying a guy who grew up with 5 brothers gave me a pretty blank slate in the womanly wiles training category. It's bitten me in the bum a few times- example- Kiera was prone to particularly mean diaper rash. Despite the male half of our partnership continuously boasting of his world record holding times for diaper changing- application and removal of diaper ointment suddenly became a game changer.  After 2 calls to apply- and 1 call to assist in the tub for removal- we bebriefed the impracticality of the situation. His defense- I'm pretty sure there are laws against this- my question- against what- bathing your daughter? I'm pretty sure there are negligence charges in store if you don't.  After a particularly wise and experienced neighbor heard me talking about Kiera's rash and our challenges- she supplied me with a bottle of cornstarch and instructions that the bottle shouldn't last a week if I'm adding enough to each diaper- and after a week it should no longer be a problem. She was right- crisis averted. Until next time.

Crisis 2. Nail polish.  When Kiera was about 2- I tried painting her nails. Other girls we knew had their nails painted- I thought it was what you were supposed to do. So I did. Kiera, preoccupied from an early age with being like her peers and pretty, shiny things- sat unusually still through the process. When completed- she proudly held up her bright pink nails for her brother to view. He promptly came to me with a pudgy 3 year old hand held out and asked- Me too? It wasn't really a dilemma- although Kiera favored girly and pink- I always encouraged her to try whatever- let her play cars and trains and baseball with her brother. I would have let him play dolls and lord knows she asked him plenty- but he would take his matchbox cars and retreat to a quiet space.  Why should it be different for him- not a big fan of nail polish on boys- but maybe a toe or two and he wouldn't feel left out. After 2 toes, his dad walks in from work and suveys the situation- boy on table- fat foot in hand, bottle of nail polish in my other hand. Boys DO NOT wear nail polish- he said. Both kids look at me, lil Phillip's face falls and pulls his foot from my hand.  Conceeding that my knowledge of boy stuff was equivalent to his of girl stuff- I knew I had made a game changing error. Kind of like one of Phillip's first diaper changes- before my husband briefed me on the shield, swap technique for boys and their problematic little firehoses. You only have to make some mistakes once.

The instruction manual for girls should have 5 chapters devoted to glitter. Where it is, how to avoid it, how to rid yourself of it once you have been attacked, how to contain the wayward gifted glitter and an entire section on glitter cards and other sneaky places glitter is hidden. No manual can prepare you for the utter joy glitter brings most 5 year old girls. It is inexplicable. Glitter makes everything better, shinier, fancier, prettier. Most of us learn the maintenance of glitter is far more annoying and spend the rest of our lives focusing on containment. A few incorporate it in to daily use with careful selection of profession. Birthdays and holidays are particularly problematic in the containment. At times you just conceed and grab the vaccuum. So when one inadvertently grabs not one- but 2 packages of PAAS eggs dyes that have glitter in them- one knows the universe has aligned to get you. If one sets aside said glitter in hopes that the 3 princesses might not notice- one would be shocked at how quickly 2 of the princesses can find the entire collection of lost and mourned scissors and wield them in a manner only tinkerbell might be proud of.  So this year's Easter festivities included glitter egg dye. Phil surveys the cups- the top layers shimmering with pretty goodness. Is there a blue  dye WITHOUT glitter in it?  Nope. Remember our discussion in September and how I disapproved of both the NCAA and NFL injudicious usage of glittery goodness on football helmets? Apply that to your egg design- if it's gone as far as football helmets- there's no turning back. He carries on with his traditional decorating scheme- pleased that at least an orange and green cup were left unglittered so at least his football egg could retain its matte dignity.

So today, I am cataloging said Easter pictures and I get a call from his work number. I am slightly nervous- as he is supposed to be flying and I do not like calls from the work number on flying days.  I say hello and there is a pause- I have an emergency... I hear laughter....I have an emergency funny story I have to tell you- Phil tells me.  I sigh and look at the clock- he hasn't even taken off yet- I don't know why I was worried. --SO you know how I brought a hard boiled egg in for a snack. (yeah- I made sure it made it into his bag- as yesterdays snack sat on the counter all yesterday morning leaving me to erroneously try to figure out which child did not finish their breakfast)  Well the question came up in the brief as to why I might be covered in glitter this morning. And suddenly dealing with all the glitter for the past 3 days is TOTALLY worth it. SO what did you tell them?  No time to shower after the club last night.  Good save- after all that's what parenting is about right?