Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mama Mia

As most of you know, I'm a big fan of Dooce. It's the five year anniversary of her blog, and for the first time in probably two years, she opened up a comments board on her blog. She wanted to know about moms... moms who stay at home, moms who work, which is better, which each person prefers.

Apparently, Heather (Dooce) gets a lot of slack for staying at home. These folks argue she's slapping the feminist movement in the face by wasting her college education on being a stay at home mom. This, of course, made me revisit my own definition of feminism.

Here, in my comment on her page, you'll see what I came up with:

Hi Heather-

Congratulations on being able to make it work. You are living out my dream. Staying at home, raising a great kid, and writing. For money! It's perfect.

My mom was very much forced into every situation she found herself in. At age 20, she moved to Los Angeles to be an actress, was here six weeks and found out she was pregnant with me, and moved back home to Ohio and married my dad. My dad had a good job for a 26 year old, and she was able to stay home for a while, but eventually, she went back to work part time. She would take me with her when she went in the morning to clean this local bar. I would run around the dance floor, sometimes offering my help, other times just exploring. She and I would have the run of the place.

She continued working part time jobs - housekeeper, receptionist at a ritzy country club, accounts receivable/payable at various businesses. She was always home when I got home from school, until I was about 13. At this point, she'd had 2 more children... my sisters were 5 and 3 when she went back to work full time, and I babysat. Every day after school. Every day in the summer. Until I graduated high school. Today, my sisters feel more like my own children than they do my siblings.

If I could change anything for my mom, I would have had her go to college. She's been unhappy with her work her whole life. She's hated every job she's ever had. However, she would've been unhappy staying at home her whole life as well. I wish she could have gone to college, so that if she wanted to work, she could work at a place she loved. And if she wanted to stay home, it would have been an informed decision, not something she was forced into doing.

I'm a firm believer that the most important thing for a child when it comes to this is to see happy parents. If a mother is stuck at home with her kids (meaning, she doesn't want to be there), the kids are going to sense that. If a mother has a job she loves, and can find the energy and brain space to devote a lot of time to her children, the children are going to see a happy, fulfilled parent. It's most important for YOU to be happy with YOURSELF, to be fulfilled in whatever you're doing, because THAT is what Leta will learn from you.

Personally, I would love to be able to stay home with my children (when I have them). Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely. Living in Los Angeles, working in cable reality television, being gay (unable to reap any benefits of marriage - so far), and partnered with a beautiful social worker, I'm sure we will both have to work. However, we both enjoy our jobs, and we both love children... so I think we'll make it work and we'll find a way to raise some cool kids.

As for my daughters, I just want them to always have an option to make themselves happy.

Feminism isn't dropping your kids off at daycare and pursuing a high-paying career. Feminism is being proud of being a woman, recognizing what you want, no matter what it is, and finding a way to get it.

So says me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Remember when...

A few weeks back, I had lunch with my friend Chara. The subject of blogs came up, and Chara informed me that I, along with her current unemployment/stay-at-home-mom status, inspired her to start a blog of her very own. Every time a friend of mine starts a blog, I realize quickly that just about everyone is a better writer than I am, and maybe I should stop encouraging people to start blogs and effectively "steal my thunder." Then I remember: I have no thunder to begin with. Blog away.

Anyway, Chara was referencing my blog, and said, "Yeah, I read Katie’s blog, but every entry is about how drunk she was the night before, or how she went to this party or on that roadtrip." I wasn’t sure if I should be A) happy that she’s reading my blog, because she’s a great writer and a smart girl and I respect her opinion, or B) really offended and thereby revoking my friendship card with her. My blog isn’t all about drinking, nor do I lead a life of extravagance, where at the drop of a hat I will travel all over the land for a good time. Hrmph.

Having said that…

This weekend started innocently enough. A night at Girl Bar in Los Angeles, with Justine and Gina. We drank (for free…long story), we danced (a little), we had a lot of fun. Justine warned me she’d have to call it a night rather early because she was going to Vegas to see her mom the next day.

Then we started talking about Vegas… then we started talking about how I wanted to go to Girl Bar in Vegas the last time we were there, but instead wound up going to Rain in the Desert at the Palms with a bunch of hot straight girls… then Justine said: "I have an idea! You and Gina should come to Vegas tomorrow. You can stay with me at my mom’s, you can gamble during the day and we can go to Girl Bar at night!"

Now, this conversation came on the heels of a very disturbing email I received from my friend Chrissie last week, involving discussion that the Imperial Palace might be torn down at any time. The IP, as we call it, is our most favorite of all casinos, mainly because of their Dealertainers pit, where Ricky Martin will deal you black jacks, Dolly Parton will charm you with her southern drawl, and Bette Midler will shake her breasts over the table at each deal for good luck.

In my mind, the choice was rather simple. So I said, "If you can convince Gina to go to Vegas, I’m in."

Trying to convince Gina to go to Vegas is like trying to convince a Labrador Retriever to play fetch. It’s a sure thing.

We found ourselves in the car at 4pm on Saturday, full of Sharkeez fish tacos and a little bit of beer, on our way to Las Vegas. After getting stuck in traffic three times, Gina managed to get us there by 8:30. Nothing like going 105 miles an hour in the middle lane. We arrived, chatted it up with Justine’s mom, dropped off our stuff, and headed out in Justine’s car. We were at Girl Bar by 10:30, on the guest list, thankyouverymuch. We enjoyed the sights (the dancer looked like Kate Beckinsale!), and we drank our share (2 for 1 until 11… direct quote: "So, we should each buy one now and down it and then buy another before 11?" Justine, everybody. I feel somewhat responsible for this alcohol loving girl). We did a few obligatory drunken strolls through the nearest hotel (Aladdin), and we drove home and went to bed around 2:30.

The next day, Gina and I braved the strip and went to the Imperial Palace. And for the first time EVER, I left Vegas ahead. Not only was I head in gambling, but I was up on the weekend. I won a whole $50. I spent $30 in gas and $20 on food. Basically, a free trip. To Vegas. To the IP. With two of my favorite people. And we were home in time for The L Word.

On the way home, I was thinking Chara might be right. Maybe my life is a little crazy. Maybe I do go out a lot. Maybe I have one too many stories that start with, "I was sooo drunk…" And then I remembered: that’s what life is about. My plan for this long weekend was to do nothing. Relax. Watch movies. Sleep. I had a blast doing everything but that. I did something that will make for a great story in a few months or a few years. Or at least a great "Remember when..."

And really, I can’t ask for anything else.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Now you know.

1. I’m afraid of clowns.
2. This dates back to my childhood, when I had recurring dreams about clowns who lived at a store in the Campbell, Ohio area. The store was called Bargain Port, and it was a port of bargains. And scary, mean clowns.
3. I’m convinced my mom took me to the doctor for these recurring dreams. She insists she did not.
4. I fear weakness in myself.
5. I’m always afraid I’m not as smart as I make myself out to be.
6. I write much better than I speak.
7. I love it when my pillow is cold on my cheek.
8. I actually enjoy having freckles.
9. I was only grounded once in my whole life, and it only lasted about an hour.
10. I received only one detention, in middle school, for responding to the question, "Can I borrow a nickel?" with a "Yes," when the lights were out in the cafeteria. When the lights are out in the cafeteria, you’re not allowed to talk. I still think this was ridiculous.
11. I’m excited to turn 30.
12. I have had a lot of new-friend crushes.
13. I am not confident in myself about 80 percent of the time.
14. I play it off like I’m confident 98 percent of the time.
15. My shoe size is 8 and a half. It was10 in middle school.
16. I’ve never been outside North America.
17. I live 2 1/2 hours from Mexico and have never been there.
18. I don’t have a passport.
19. I have average credit. Not good, not terrible. Average.
20. I got a 29 on my ACT the first and only time I took it. I’m still proud of this.
21. Had I gotten a 30 on my ACT, I would have gone to college for free.
22. I owe $15,000 in student loans.
23. I still think I should’ve taken the ACT one more time.
24. I was in four spelling bees, and never won any of them.
25. The words I missed were, in order, starting with fourth grade: gymnasium, embroidery, grievance, and parallel.
26. I love spelling.
27. Since September 11, 2001, I’ve had 9 dreams involving planes crashing.
28. Five of these dreams occurred in the first six months after 9/11.
29. I have lived in Los Angeles for five years, seven months, 1 week, and 1 day.
30. I started reading when I was four.
31. I started kindergarten when I was four.
32. I’m happiest when I’m writing, or talking about writing.
33. I talk about writing way more than I actually write.
34. I buy, on average, about a book a month.
35. I read, on average, about a book every three months.
36. I’d like to read two books a month.
37. I hate reading electronics instructions, because I think it’s more fun to figure it out on my own.
38. My mom is convinced my second grade teacher is hugely responsible for all of my successes in my life.
39. My mom made it a point to make sure both of my sisters had the same second grade teacher as I did.
40. Neither of my parents went to college.
41. I’m the only grandchild so far on my mom’s side to graduate from a 4-year university.
42. I’m the second grandchild on my dad’s side to graduate from a 4-year university.
43. Out of all of my cousins, I’m the only one who moved away.
44. I live farther from Ohio than any of my other relatives.
45. My closest relative is my cousin who lives in Vacaville, CA. That’s about a seven-hour drive from Los Angeles. She moved there last year, and I’ve seen her once since then.
46. I haven’t had Thanksgiving dinner with my family since 1999.
47. I’ve never been molested.
48. I’ve never been physically abused.
49. I think I’m lucky.
50. I’ve never been in a fistfight.
51. I never skipped a class in high school without my mom’s permission.
52. I had my first alcoholic beverage when I was 19.
53. I didn’t like coffee until I moved to LA when I was 21.
54. I love coffee now.
55. I’ve had a series of celebrity obsessions. The major two have been Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie. Julia Roberts made me realize I wanted to work in Hollywood. Angelina Jolie made me realize I’m gay. It’s weird, but it’s worked.
56. My favorite song is "Two Step," by Dave Matthews Band.
57. My favorite color is blue.
58. I majored in Theater in college.
59. I was 3 classes away from a double major in Psychology.
60. I lived away from home for only 9 months while I was in college. It was my junior year, and I rented a house with two friends. It was a three bedroom, 2 story house, with a basement and an attic, a huge front porch, and a nice front and back yard. It also had a driveway and a garage. We each paid $150 a month to live in this house.
61. I get jealous easily, for reasons I know aren’t valid.
62. I consciously work every single day on my jealousy issues.
63. My favorite book is "Catcher in the Rye," which I first read when I was 20 years old. I’ve read it three times.
64. When I was younger, I wanted to be the following things, at different times: animator, astronaut, teacher, Shakespeare scholar, actor, scientist (to discover the cure for AIDS), marine biologist, veterinarian.
65. I hate math.
66. I got straight As in Calculus my senior year.
67. I’m a terrible liar.
68. I’m a democrat.
69. I’m pro-choice, but not pro-abortion.
70. I’m against capital punishment, but think Scott Peterson and Alejandro Avila, the guy who killed Samantha Runyan, should be executed.
71. I like wearing glasses.
72. I have a very skewed vision of marriage and am generally not for the institution. I think gays should be allowed to marry, but I don’t know that I’ll ever marry. Still, I’m envious of people who get to have all of that.
73. My parents are probably going to get divorced soon. I can’t believe they’re still married.
74. My dad is a recovering alcoholic. Well, he was. He’s since started drinking again. This infuriates me more than I can possibly describe.
75. My mom and dad got married because my mom was pregnant with me.
76. I’m blessed with fairly healthy skin.
77. I’ve never broken a bone.
78. I want to learn how to play the guitar.
79. I want to learn Spanish.
80. I have not seen even one episode of the any of the following shows: Lost, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Sopranos, 24.
81. I love to sleep.
82. I believe in God.
83. I hate guns.
84. I consider myself adaptable to different situations.
85. I hate mustard.
86. I read a lot of news.
87. I love learning.
88. I love Trivial Pursuit.
89. My feet are happiest when they’re freshly pedicured.
90. I rarely wear makeup.
91. I do not own a digital camera.
92. I don’t like to arrive to a movie theater after the previews have started.
93. I don’t trust the President of my country.
94. Popcorn gives me a stomachache.
95. I’m allergic off-brand Band-Aids.
96. I still like sleepovers.
97. I’m envious of how close my 2 sisters are with each other.
98. I Google people from high school.
99. I don’t like when people spit.
100. I’m good at keeping secrets.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More fun with Google... and a little Yahoo.

I visited Sitemeter today, which I like to visit every few weeks to see who is reading this and how they're getting here. My friend Jeremy often posts on his website about what search strings are brining up his website. I figure I'd share some search strings that are bringing up my website.

Someone found my website by going to Google and typing in "faux hawk women." My site was on the 2nd page of the results.

Probably my favorite string: someone found my site by going to Google and typing in "Being funny in conversations."

And lastly, someone went to Yahoo and typed in "Jessica Smith's breasts" and "Laguna Beach," and two sites came up. Mine, and Jeremy's. Mine was first. This might upset Jeremy, who likes to think of his site as the Unofficial Site of Jessica Smith's breasts.

Then again, who uses Yahoo to search anymore?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Quotes 2/10

The following quotes have made me laugh in the last 24 hours. Those which are left un-attributed have been left that way to protect the innocent.

"Thanks for the 'non-solution.'" (air quotes used here)

"I'd rather blow a horse."

"I pretty much have toothpaste around my mouth... at all times."

"Oh my gosh, it's so cold in here, I have mosquito titties all over my arms!"

And finally, one from TV last night:

"Wherever you go, around every corner you turn, I'll be waiting... nude." (Jack on Will and Grace)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I'm not *really* talking about work, right?

I am not a fan of talking about work outside of work, and especially on my blog, but I had a conversation with my field producer yesterday that she keeps replaying, and I think it accurately portrays our working relationship.

Me: You want the good news or the bad news?

Field Producer: The bad news.

Me: The bad news is, I forgot to get a release from this guy for the shoot this weekend.

FP: Okay. What's the good news?

Me: The good news is, if the guy has a problem with the release, you'll talk him into signing it.

I later discussed with my friend Lisa how my producer could sell snow to an Eskimo, and Lisa agreed but one-upped me: "She could talk a dog off of a meat truck."

The real good news: I got the release signed. The guy was totally cool about it.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Wherein I realize the need to have the option of categorizing my entries.

I've been keeping a blog for about a year and a half, and I still haven't managed to figure out a way to organize my entries. I'd love to have a system where I could tell my blog to file this entry under this and that entry under that. Alas, I don't know anything about anything, and therefore I'm forced to sift through this blog and my older one, looking for an entry about Target that I know that I wrote, although I can't remember when and I can't remember about what specifically... and now I've just given up and decided to write without linking this previous entry.

So here goes.

I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to go to Target late Saturday morning after a drinking spree which started at 6:30pm on Friday and ended with me unable to sleep Friday night. Everyone thought putting a Target at Santa Monica and La Brea was such a good idea. It'll be so convenient!

It's not.

Sure, it's close, but everyone that goes there is in a hurry to finish shopping before the one hour of free parking elapses, and therefore, this street corner has become one of the most violent in the city. Okay, that's an exaggeration.

At least four times someone in a hurry bumped into me without saying "excuse me." As soon as I got there, I went to get a cart. Naturally, six other people needed one exactly at the same time as me, and they had no problem cutting in front of me to get one. Finally, I forced my way in, and I was pulling my cart out, a woman was trying to pull one out right next to me. Of course they got stuck, and the lady would not stop. Finally, I stopped. And THEN she stopped. I glared at her. "GO AHEAD." She pulled her cart out and smiled. I did NOT return the smile, thank you very much.

I commence my shopping experience, and I begin looking for a silverware separator. Where would this be located? Probably in the flatware section. Probably in the section with all the utensils and such, right? I looked for maybe 15 minutes for silverware separators, and finally, I asked a clerk.

"Where can I find silverware separators?"

"Oh, they're in the back of the store with Pets and Chemicals."

Pets and Chemicals?

This is the moment where I flash back to the movie Better Off Dead, when Lane (John Cusack) is at dinner at Ricky's house, Ricky being the fat kid from Head of the Class, and Ricky's mom says that Ricky and Monique (the cute French foreign exchange student) are learning the International Language of Love. Lane points first at Ricky, then at Monique.

"Him? And her? That makes sense."

I'm TRYING to be tolerant with you, public, but you make it so easy to hate you. You're pushy when it's not necessary. You're rude and inconsiderate.

I can't really pass blame onto anyone, because I'm the dumbass who went there on a Saturday to Pick Up A Few Things... and nothing that I even NEEDED. It was just a few random things for the apartment. I realized this when I had the following conversation with my friend Wendy:

"You went to Target on a Saturday? What did you need?"



"Oh my god. I just went to Target on a Saturday and I didn't even need to go. What's the matter with me?"

Items purchased: silverware separator, 2 loofahs, vitamins for Wendy, birthday card for co-worker.

Items considered: microwave.

Items searched for and not found: chalkboard eraser (for Wendy's daughter).

I have to say, the pain of the day was eased when I got to go home and separate the silverware into the new separator. I like organizing things. What can I say?