Category Archives: tv i really shouldn’t be watching

holly would rather watch “snapped” than talk to me

so yesterday, sunday, i was talking to holly about something–i don’t remember what, but it must have been important enough for me to take the effort to project my voice from the kitchen, where i was loading the dishwasher, to the living room, where holly was on the couch watching, yes, “snapped,” the oxygen channel’s scintillating show on women who murder.

so i’m talking and i don’t know if holly thought i couldn’t see her or just didn’t care, but as i speak, i see the volume level on the tv go up. she’s not responding to me, and it keeps going up until i walk over to the couch–where holly is mesmerized by some gruesome crime scene–and announce that i cannot believe she’s trying to drown me out with the tv, and doesn’t she even care enough about me or our marriage to engage in conversation?

“babe, i’m trying to watch something!” she says, then starts laughing so hard that she starts to hiccup, which i secretly relish b/c it always seems like good, if harmless, payback for whatever the hell she’s laughing at, which usually has something to do with me. this obnoxious laughing-then-hiccuping thing typically occurs when i’ve caught her doing something bad, which she actually thinks is quite funny. which only pisses me off even more.

this is a totally stereotypical thing to say but whatever: at that moment, when i caught her tuning me out with the tv, i felt a real kinship with my straight sisters all over the world, because this seems like something only a man would do–to drown a woman out with the tv.

(holly’s going to burst out laughing and then hiccup wildly when she reads this but i don’t even care. YOU DESERVE IT.)

i’m starting to wonder: why am i going thru the trouble of marrying this woman over and over and over and over–FOUR TIMES I’VE MARRIED HER–if she acts like such a man?!

anyway, i stomped off, vowing i wouldn’t talk to her the rest of the day, but of course i did. i can’t help myself b/c i love her. i also usually have a lot to say, but that’s besides the point.

last night i decided to “bond” with her over one of her favorite shows, “harry’s law,” which i don’t know why they call her harry? but still, it’s a pretty good show. and i decide to bring up the whole turning-up-the-tv-while-i’m-trying-to-tell-her-something thing, you know, during her favorite show. (in my defense: i did wait for a commercial.)

“that was really rude,” i tell her, crossing my arms, trying my best to scowl but smiling instead b/c she looked small and cute on the couch. (dammit!)

“babe,” she said. “you talk a lot! and i listen a lot! but sometimes i just want to watch tv! and you’re always interrupting when i’m trying to hear something!”

“IT’S RUDE!” i exclaim. “it’s rude to turn up the tv when someone’s talking to you! it’s not like i couldn’t see!”

then she tells me that it’s rude to interrupt whatever she’s watching, especially b/c i start talking during the most important parts. i decide to stop before we really get into it–and before “harry’s law” comes back on (admittedly, i wanted to see if this one guy killed his wife like his brother-in-law in the mental hospital says he did).

look, i understand that my partner needs to unwind sometimes by watching tv. i get that. but i’m a person. I’M HER WIFE. i wash her clothes that she leaves all over the place. i will not be drowned out by the television. (holly, you’re hiccuping again, aren’t you? good. hiccup. if you don’t like what i’m writing here, leave a comment. that’s what the comment section is for.)

i’d like to hear from women (and perhaps men?) out there whose partners–i’m guessing most of them are actually going to be husbands and boyfriends, you know, male types–turn up the tv when you’re talking.

do they think we don’t notice when the house actually starts shaking from the explosions on the A-team movie?? why do they even want to watch the A-team movie?? everyone knows the best thing about the 80s was “the golden girls”! when does that movie come out?! DISCUSS.


part two: it’s cold & bright on the set of the anderson cooper show

"hi, i'm anderson. i know it's cold here, but my smoldering eyes will keep you warm ."

part 2 of a multipart series about our 3-weddings-3-states-1-day BFGW anniversary extravaganza (click here for part 1)

we determined the most sensible thing to do after my big fat jersey high school reunion was, of course, go to a taping of the anderson cooper show.

i mean, what else are you supposed to do after an evening saying things like oh yeah! i totally knew that was your identical twin! (twice!) and yeah yeah! i totally meant to wear jeggings while the rest of you beeotches had to wear GOWNS.

the next morning, before getting on the road to nyc, we hit the ritz diner, where we ate unnaturally large, fresh cheese blintzes (delicious) while holly joyfully discovered taylor ham. (as a non-pork-eater, i’d never tried it.) no one at the diner could actually explain what taylor ham was, which, personally, would worry me a little. this did not bother holly one bit, as she announced to the cashier that she’d like to get some for her family for christmas.

anyway, yes, anderson. anderson cooper is holly’s gay boyfriend. as soon as his new show hit the air and she found out it taped in manhattan, she decided we needed to go. being a planner, i.e. the one in our relationship who’s able to plan beyond what’s for lunch that day, she got free tickets like a month in advance. we were pretty  psyched.

we rolled into the park slope neighborhood of brooklyn, i.e. the place where almost everyone i’ve ever known from every facet of my life–i’m talkin jewish sleepaway camp, middle school, college, first jobs, you name it–lives, sunday afternoon to stay with our fabulous friends meredith & tiffany, who are basically famous for being one of the first same-sex couples to marry in new york. they also both have great hair and seem too attractive to actually be gay. (sorry to go there but i’m gay and i’m totally going there)

to add insult to injury they’re able to run up to their fifth-floor walk-up with vegan-food-stuffed reusable grocery bags, laundry and bikes all strapped to their backs while holly and i basically had small heart attacks every single time we went up there while each carrying a single ikea pillow.

whatever. we live in baltimore. we dodge bullets. we feed stray pitbulls. we…oh hell. we stay inside hiding all day. that’s why we’re both out of shape and i have a vitamin D deficiency.

so of course i wake up monday morning, holly’s big day, w/a five-alarm migraine–the kind where i can’t even eat or look at a ray of sunlight–and we get to the building where his show tapes just as the last elevators went up.

“sorry, ladies,” the fancy elevator guy told us. “you just missed the last elevators up to the show. you’ll have to wait on standby.”

it was like i could hear holly’s heart literally breaking. i felt so bad. i obsessed over how bad i felt until anderson’s psycho fans came along and then started obsessing about how the hell i could get away from them while staying in line.

first, a disheveled looking lady came up to the surprisingly friendly elevator guy to tell him she had “a message” for anderson. and that she needed to go upstairs to give it to him since she couldn’t find his email address on the website anymore. i kept wanting someone to tackle her bc she was holding a lot of bags. (hello! bombs!)

then a lispsy gray-haired guy came up to us and asked us 10 million times how we got tickets for the show even tho he said he had tickets for the next day. then, while holly was in the bathroom, he had me take a photo of him standing next to a photo of anderson. then he asked the elevator guy if the fact that he worked on a cruise ship would get him up there while i covered my hands in antibacterial gel bc i had touched his camera.

then the crown jewel of psycho male anderson fans came along: this mustached middle aged dude with an on-and-off-again yarmulke (i.e. the little skullcap jewish, mostly orthodox, men wear on their heads). he immediately honed in on holly as a friendly bystander and started loudly singing to oldies to her. i was rude to him, of course, i don’t even remember what i said, i just wanted him to go away. then holly got mad at me bc i’m always freaking on the crazies.

you only make them crazier, she hissed thru her teeth. even tho i told her she was wrong, i knew she was right. but it was too late. the damage was done and, to be completely honest, he really did just get crazier. in the meantime, bc of my pounding headache, everything seemed very loud and very bright. things were not, as you might say, off to a great start.

our luck changed fast tho. the elevator doors opened–DING! “ok, they have room for four more,” the elevator guy said. “you guys are in.”

YES. things were getting better.

we got into the elevator and crazy mustache yarmulke man asked the poor anderson cooper lady that happened to be in there already a million questions until we got up to the 5th floor.

we wound up sitting in a balcony above and off to the side of stage for the first segment while mustache man stood not sat two inches behind me, breathing on my hair while simultaneously waving to anderson like he was on a navy ship about to set sail for five years.

despite the little voice in my head that warned me not to freak out on him, i finally turned around and whisper-yelled, directly into his face, can you move back??? then he loudly mumbled about how i act just like his bitch sister-in-law and then i prayed for the remainder of the segment that he wouldn’t hit me on the head with a chair.

we moved down to the main area for the rest of the segments. i should note that the set of his show, like all big television sets, i suspect, is outrageously cold. i’m usually five to seven degrees warmer than everyone else around me so this is really saying something. it’s also pretty much the brightest place on earth. not the best place to have a migraine, is all i’m saying.

and of course! of course anderson had to stand right next to us for what felt like half of the damn penn state show (it was a special on the penn state sex abuse scandal). i kept telling myself to keep my head up so i wouldn’t have a double chin on air but i knew it was useless so i focused on the view outside and my relief that psycho mustache man wasn’t behind me breathing into my hair and comparing me to his sister-in-law who probably isn’t as much of a bitch as he says she is.

we had a pretty good time, all things considered. kathy griffin (LOVE HER) showed up for a new year’s segment and they practiced slicing champagne bottles open with knives. and his fabulous mom, gloria vanderbilt, suddenly appeared. i kept wanting to tell them all we were getting married three times the next day but i figured i’d hold it in bc anderson would be reading it here on my blog anyway.

anyway, if you happened to see the penn state show, that zombie girl with the ponytail, double chin and massively dilated pupils next to anderson is me. and i was totally wearing the sweater i wore to my big fat reunion, so if you were there and you saw me on tv i don’t want to even hear about it.

more bad decisions: i watched “the mummy” last night and now i’m totally freaked out.

"you look just like my ex-girlfriend who's been dead for 3,000 years and whom i miss terribly! kiss me!" "no! i don't! eww! get the hell away from me!"

you have your good decisions (vegetables) and your bad decisions (doughnuts/fried vegetables/french fries). i pride myself on good decision making (many vegetables, very few doughnuts, moderate-to-low fries) but last night i really tanked when i decided to watch “the mummy.”

we all know my ability to tolerate horror movies, even when they’re really faux-horror-pseudo-lesbo horror movies. (i.e. i have absolutely no tolerance and scream like a little girl). i’m sure holly would have stepped in and told me to change the channel, you’re going to scare yourself, especially at night, etc. etc. but she was on the phone. game on, i thought. i live to be unsupervised.

i kind of always wanted to see it. besides being a closet sinatra fan and “today” show Superfan (i’ll get to that later this week), i am also a lifelong ancient egypt nerd. as in: my very first book report (4th grade) was on mummification. (i wonder what my teacher thought when i explained what canopy jars are for? hint: storage for mummy guts for use in the afterlife. she never liked me. had her for 5th grade, too. i’m sure she was thrilled.)

so when it was on while i was doing dishes last night, i was like, what the hell, let’s see what this mummy movie is all about.

i missed the beginning but i think what happened was that these egyptologists found an ancient book of spells or something, read one out loud and awakened the beast, who was basically an angry-ass mummy that really missed his old girlfriend who was used as a human sacrifice at some point. i have no idea. but that’s what it seemed like.

he goes around killing everyone, awakening the ancient dead and sucking the life force out of the other egyptologists so he can get stronger. he also opens his mouth reaaaalllly wide, screams and creates sandstorms. oh and he brings these ancient cockroaches back to life that eat and kill people. nice!

i mean, it was pretty cheesy, but also pretty freaky and of course i couldn’t stop watching it. during the last 10 minutes holly got control of the remote and kept switching to “army wives” during the commercials and i was like BABE! WHAT THE HELL! I WANT TO FINISH WATCHING THE MOVIE!

she kept insisting that “she knew when the commercials would end and she would turn it back.” but i was like, “YOU HAVEN’T EVEN BEEN WATCHING THIS EPISODE OF ‘ARMY WIVES.’ WHY IN THE HELL WOULD YOU WANT TO WATCH THE LAST FIVE MINUTES OF IT?!”

to which she responded: “I DON’T KNOW! I JUST DO!”

(and yes, we have turned into the costanzas and now shout all of our conversations.)

she eventually relented and we watched, in awed silence, perhaps the worst commercial known to man (thanks, next day floors! note: this is low-budget baltimore at its finest, folks. welcome to our world), at which point holly turned to me and started complaining that you see? we didn’t have to change it yet. at which point i elbowed her in the mouth (in my mind) and told her to hush up, i needed to get ready for the final minutes of the movie.

so yeah, the end is how you’d expect: they kill the zombie mummies, save the girl, say another spell and grumpypants gets sucked into the ancient egyptian underworld. then the antiquity-filled tomb collapses, they get out in the nick of time, etc.

then i went to bed scared of my own shadow, holly said “you see? i told you you shouldn’t have watched it” and i had to sit thru a special encore of “army wives” anyway, during which i sighed heavily and kept bugging holly to turn it down. her response was, of course, that she watched my dumbbutt mummy movie and now i was going to have to deal with “army wives.”

there is no moral to this story. just that a) the lady in the mummy is really pretty b) mummies probably have really bad breath and c) i’m totally going to have to see “the mummy returns.”

what would you do if you found out i was a fugitive? would you turn me in or live life knowing your wife could never ever get a parking ticket or else you might lose her forever?

susan lefevre in 1975, left. marie walsh, ex-fugitive mom, right. pretty mugshot! you go, girl!

you might hate me for saying this, but i’m not the biggest oprah fan.  she’s incredibly good at what she does. but honestly? i’ve always imagined she’d be a bee-otch to work for (confirmed by these annoying behind-the-scenes shows on her new cable network–which holly inexplicably likes to watch while we’re trying to go to sleep, don’t even ask me why–and all her producers seem very, extremely scared of her) and therefore find her show hard to watch.

i also don’t enjoy the fact that she’s on the cover of every single issue of her magazine. she is, however, a big friend of the gays and i enjoy her interviewing style. so that might cancel it all out.

anyway, it was with great surprise when i found myself absolutely glued to her show yesterday, which focused on this lady, marie walsh–just your typical upper-middle-class, tennis-playing, horse-riding mother of three (or four, i forget)–who was, unbeknownst to her husband and family and everyone else, actually a fugitive on the run for 32 years. yeah, i know.

her real name was really susan lefevre and she was arrested at 19 for selling 2.5 grams of heroin to an undercover state trooper in 1975. (it sounds like it was a set-up but i don’t know.) and it was her law-abiding grandfather that helped her break out of prison. (you can read all about her story here. she has a new memoir out b/c, apparently, you have to either be snookie or a longtime fugitive to get a book deal these days.)

holly and i both got really into watching the show and at a certain point, after oprah talked to this woman’s husband, i got to thinking:

what would holly do if she found out i was a fugitive? not that i am. (really, i’m not. tho saying that does make me sound kind of suspicious.) no really. what if i had escaped out of prison and was on the lam for like 25 years (this would, of course, make me a seven-year-old fugitive) and changed my identity and had totally kept it a secret from my partner and one day she found out?

so i asked her.

“it depends on what you’d done,” she said.

my gut reaction to her answer was disappointment. [versus, say…when she rated me “an eight” (and that was “including my personality”) on a scale of one to 10 when my gut reaction was red hot seething anger. you can read all about that disastrous conversation here and don’t say i didn’t warn you. ew i’m getting angry just thinking about it.] b/c i was prepared to say i would support her as a fugitive no matter what. b/c we’re married and best friends and together for 10 years next month, and hello, we love each other.

so i thought about it.

“yeah, i guess you’re right,” i announced. “i mean, if i was a murderer, that could be a source of worry. but if i sold 2.5 grams of heroin in 1975 it’d be different.”

(now she’s saying, as i write this, that the bigger issue would be lying. like, if i lied about that for so long, what else could i be hiding? quiet holly! i’m trying to blog. she’s kind of right but whatever, i’m totally not talking about that right now.)

i told her that i would support her as a fugitive no matter what, and commit myself to living a life devoted to making sure she never got a parking or speeding ticket. (this would be difficult, as she’s a pretty risky parker sometimes. also she sometimes speeds but usually only b/c i’m always running 10 to 20 minutes late so she needs to drive faster to whatever event we’re going to so it doesn’t, you know, end before we get there.)

anyway, despite my disappointment, i’m going to stick to my original thought which is that yes, holly, i would stick by you if i found out you were a fugitive. i know that you’d never hurt a fly, so how bad could it be? plus i wouldn’t mind moving every few years. i might even let you get a motorcycle, b/c, you know, fugitives need motorcycles. and fugitives’ wives need jet-black motorcycle jackets with lots of unnecessary zippers to wear on their fugitive partners’ motorcycles. and i’d have to get, like, badass boots to match. these are my priorities, folks.

anyway, i’m wondering: would you stand by your woman or man if he or she was a (non-violent) fugitive and was hiding it from you for, like, 32 years. discuss.

cry for help: i can’t stop watching “i shouldn’t be alive”

trust me, without the proper snacks & hydration, i probably wouldn’t be.

i’m not a big tv person. sure, i love my today show. i love a little ellen here and there. cooking shows even tho i have no patience for cooking b/c i’m always too damn hungry to follow directions and wind up screwing everything up. obviously i love my golden girls reruns even tho holly won’t let me watch them anymore, don’t ask me why. (i’m sure she’ll be annoyed i wrote that, but whatever. that’s what the comment section is for.)

but i’ll tellya what: every now and then a show comes along, and you cannot. stop. watching it. for me, that show is “i shouldn’t be alive.” it’s on animal planet. hell if i know why, as the stories are always about humans but whatever.

if you’ve never seen it, the scenario is usually something along the lines of a couple/few dumbbutts go on a backwoods/water-oriented/mountain, etc. adventure and something goes terrible wrong and then they’re stranded and in a race for time to a) survive and b) get rescued somehow. it is damn good tv.

they weave interviews w/the person or people that went thru the ordeal into the narration and have actors dramatize the whole thing. it sucks when all of the people aren’t interviewed b/c then you know one died. i hate that.

anyway, our household television viewing usually goes something like this: holly’s watching something downstairs. i shout BABE WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING three or four times from the sink (where i’m doing the dishes) until she hears me over the running water and whatever’s on. (i’m sure she now regrets the tragically hip open floor plan she designed for us, which allows to me to yell like a jewish grandmother across the entire first floor whenever i want.)

she pretends not to hear me until i become unbearably loud and then she says something along the lines of stop asking so many questions/sit down and watch this, will you?

i have a very short attention span for tv, but sometimes i’ll actually sit down and watch whatever she’s got on. that’s how i started watching the new york/beverly hills/new jersey housewives. also america’s funniest home videos, which i used to really not like but now kind of enjoy b/c holly’s taught me how to laugh when ppl fall down (except old ppl and little kids; we don’t like that–hello, we’re not evil).

anyway, “i shouldn’t be alive” (ISBA) was one of those shows. and on the weekends it’s like these ISBA marathons. we try to get up but we can’t. my fingers and toes and the tip of my nose get freezing cold even tho duh, i know they’re going to be saved!

on more than one occasion, i’ve told holly–as i shiver w/nerves next to her on the couch–that i’m quite sure i’d be the first to die in one of those scenarios. holly says people surprise themselves in those dire-straight type situations, but i’m telling you, low blood-sugar runs in my family. if i don’t eat every three hours i’m toast. i get migraines w/out the proper amount of caffeine and water. not to mention the fact that my overly sensitive cervical spine (i.e. neck), which will undoubtedly get irritated w/out at least one feather pillow. the sad thing is here you think i’m kidding but i’m actually not.

i’m like the 21st-century jersey-girl version of the princess and the pea.  “oh my gaaaaaaaawsh. ew, i can’t sleep on the ground! is there a starbucks around here? oh my gawsh how do you know those berries aren’t poisonous?” oh and let’s not forget the lack of my precious straightening iron. if i don’t wind up bear food and actually manage to get rescued, my hair would be a mess.

oh i also failed to mention that i can only tread water for like three minutes tops so if this is an ocean adventure gone awry, i’d drown almost immediately b/c i’d be too panicked to take off my shirt/jeggings/whatever and blow it/them up into a flotation device however the hell you do that.

i’m going off-topic here. what i’m trying to say is, if you haven’t watched the show, i doubledog dare you to turn it on, watch for 5, 10 minutes and then try to turn it off. it’s nearly impossible. kind of like american idol tryouts except worse. and with wolves.

this is what happens when i let holly choose all the movies we watch

christina: "do you think jessica's ever going to get to see 'burlesque'?" cher: "i doubt it."

when holly and i met and started dating a million years ago (ok, more like nine, but a million sounded funnier), we would wander around the adams-morgan (now defunct) blockbuster and she would absolutely shock me w/the movies she wanted to rent.

no, they weren’t porns (you guys are really something, you know that?). but they weren’t exactly the type of movies i expected my beloved then-girlfriend to propose watching. 

they boiled down to a few major categories:
(in fact, they still boil down to these few major categories.)

cop comedies
things being blown up but with some romance thrown in
car chases with some romance thrown in
high school boy humor
college guy humor
just plain dumb
and (thankfully) romantic comedies

romantic comedies are my number one favorite. well, that and cheesy rags-to-riches stories. (a la christina aguilera’s burlesque–but we’ll get to that in a minute.) thankfully we’ve always agreed on the romantic comedy genre or else we would’ve broken up ages ago. 

anyway, eventually i stopped saying “ew” each time she suggested something from one of these categories (save for romantic comedies), and agreed to rent some. after all, i loved her and “relationships are about compromise,” so, whatever. i shut my mouth for once and actually watched them.

and you know what? lo and behold, some of the movies she wanted to see actually turned out to be pretty good. highlights include but are not limited to: “the hot chick” (that one was a doozy; highly recommended), “american pie,” “superbad,” “deuce bigalow: male gigolo,” “eurotrip” (omg that one’s so funny) “the animal,” “get him to the greek,” and “american wedding” (also a doozy).

i should also make note that there have unfortunately been some lowlights. these include but are not limited to “paul blart: mall cop” (this would go under the “just plain dumb” category). i can’t remember any others at the moment b/c i think i purposely forgot them.

the point here is: it’s important to open your mind and let your partner rent some movies she wants to see even tho you have no interest in watching them b/c you think they’re dumb. you may also surprise yourself by liking some of them, making your partner swear she won’t tell anyone you liked them but then blogging about it all anyway.    

ok, the story: after holly finished her final semester’s classes last month (as in: she’s done forever now! she graduated college this past sunday! congratulations, honey!), we decided we’d celebrate by seeing “burlesque.” i would not shut up about seeing that damn movie. it seemed so inspiring. we saw a preview for it in the theatre months ago and i was pretty much obsessed with seeing it from that point forward. holly also thought it looked good–tho probably b/c she wanted to examine prolonged close-ups of cher to figure out what/how much work she’s had done. no wait that’s me.  

i digress. anyway, as it were, life happened and we didn’t get to see it when it came out. weeks went by, then we had an extended “groundhog day”-esque christmas trip to holly’s hometown in western pee-ay (as in: like the movie, every day we woke up thinking we would leave but didn’t–don’t see that movie if you haven’t btw). seeing how i was so good at my in-law’s house for 10 days (10 days), holly assured me that my prize would be seeing “burlesque.”

“don’t worry, babe,” she said, gently patting my hand over the car console as we drove thru her hometown. “we’ll see it when we get home.” 

so we get home after new year’s and guess what??? friggin “burlesque” is out of the friggin theatre. we had our heart set on going to the movies so i agreed to go see “little fockers” even tho i really didn’t want to b/c of the commercial that shows ben stiller’s character cutting off his finger or something when he’s carving a turkey and blood’s spurting out everywhere. i agreed to go but only b/c we were celebrating holly’s then-upcoming graduation and it’s what she wanted to see.

we went to see it and it wasn’t great. it’s one of those movies where everything goes wrong. i’m not fond of those. i mostly want to cover my eyes or just walk out. [for the record, i looked down when ben stiller cut his damn finger. of course i looked up and there was blood everywhere. (i never look down long enough! dammit.) but at least i didn’t see it flying around the room.)

then we spent the weekend watching more movies, this time at home. i told holly it was her graduation weekend and to pick out whatever movies she wanted. i wouldn’t complain. it was totally up to her. i patted myself on the back for being a good wife.

here’s what we saw:

“dinner for schmucks”
easy A
“knight and day” (tom cruise & cameron diaz action thriller/romance)
“the A-team”

“dinner for schmucks,” i couldn’t even make it the whole way thru. and, despite my love for the show as a kid, “the A-team,” yeah, i lasted about 10 minutes and  went upstairs. it was so loud and everything, and i mean everything, was exploding and i couldn’t understand the damn plot. “knight and day” also confused me but cameron diaz was funny/pretty enough to make me keep watching until i started to get it. many things exploded in that one, too, but at least there wasn’t much blood. “easy A” wasn’t bad, but i wouldn’t recommend it. holly, of course, liked it. she pretty much liked all of them.  

in conclusion, i still just want to see “burlesque.” i don’t care if it sucks, i still want to see it. i want to see it in the theatre, where it’s loud and i will walk out feeling inspired and wondering if cher is, in fact, the undead.

an additional conclusion of this story is to give in and watch your loved one’s damn movies once in a while. but if it’s “paul blart: mall cop,” do yourself a favor and just walk the hell away.

p.s. sorry i’ve been gone so long! i’ll be back again soon, promise. xo.

this is why i don’t watch horror movies

don't do it! she's evil!!!

 i remember the first time i saw a horror movie. it was the late 80s. jon bon jovi’s hair was still huge and frosted (oooh how i loved him back then). my hair, too, was enormous (tho accidentally) and i didn’t care. i still wore a size 5. i had a walkman with puffy earphones. times were good. 

anyway, freddie krueger, as you may (or may not) recall, was all the rage. and, without knowing any better, when my friend suggested we watch the newest “nightmare on elm street,” during our long-awaited sleepover i was like SURE! i flipped off my white keds and settled in for the show. man, i was dumb back then. 

i sat thru the movie, petrified. then, when my friend turned out the lights in her attic bedroom (it had to be the freakin attic, didn’t it?!), suddenly everything was scary. i remember laying there on the carpeted floor in my sleeping bag, eyes wide open, convinced freddie was going come thru the window or the wall or the plumbing and slash me. i kept hearing these windchimes. oh my gosh, the windchimes. needless to say it was a rough night for me. 

so fast fwd 20-some years to last night. holly and i walked up the street to vote in the maryland primaries. on our way back, she suggested we go relax on our roofdeck. i told her i was feeling too sick. she’s had a terrible cold the past couple days. i’ve had a weird headache i feel might be a cold coming on. in fact, i made us not one but two pots of my late grandmother’s chicken soup (w/matzah balls and egg noodles). we just had a couple bowls before we left to vote. 

“how about we just watch a movie on the couch?” i suggested. 

she agreed. i don’t know if she was on the phone or  playing on her phone or what, but i was fairly unsupervised (never a good thing) as i flipped thru the on-demand movie options. i went to hbo, then movies, then comedy. i come across “jennifer’s body.” hmmm. i had heard of that. i knew it was a vampire movie. but it was under comedy. and megan fox was supposed to make out with some chick. my homosexuality got the better of me (it usually does when it comes to these sorts of things) and i clicked “ok.” i knew it was dumb but i did it anyway. 

the sound came on and holly looked up. “what did you pick?” she said. oh all the sudden she’s interested.     

“‘jennifer’s body,'” i told her, innocently. 

“WHAT?! WHY?!! that’s a VAMPIRE MOVIE. you’ll never last five minutes!” 

“whatever, babe,” i said. “megan fox kisses a chick. i think i can make it at least that far.” 

well as soon as the scary music started and the camera panned over a backyard in the dark i knew it was a mistake. 

“maybe this wasn’t such a good idea…” i said. but for whatever reason, we could not stop watching. i swear movies like that are such a train wreck. 

have any of you seen “jennifer’s body”? while i suppose it’s kind of tame for a horror movie, it’s pretty gross and pretty damn freaky. in a nutshell, megan fox turns into this demon vampire thing that seduces high school boys and then rips them apart and eats their insides. (silence) yeah, i know. she also scares the begeezus outta you because she keeps showing up all bloody on the side of the road!!! granted, the kiss scene was damn good. but honestly, totally not worth all the carnage to get to it. by the time it ended, i was highly traumatized. highly. cold hands, sweaty palms, the whole thing. and totally scared. as was holly. 

“you feel hot!” holly said, touching my forehead. 

“i know!” i said. “i think the movie gave me a fever!” 

despite my aching head and her bad cold, we both started laughing hysterically. then i proceeded to try to recreate the kissing scene except for i suddenly leaned back, made my hands into claws, let my bangs drop into my eyes, opened my mouth really wide, bared my teeth and hissed which scared the hell outta holly. she screamed like a little girl then i screamed like a little girl and then we both collapsed into laughter. then i did it a couple more times. which i know was mean, but damn it was so funny. i wish you coulda been there. 

“STOP DOING THAT! YOU’RE SCARING ME!” she screamed. “you have black hair!!!! like a VAMPIRE! like MEGAN FOX! I WANT MY WIFE BACK!” 

by that point i had scared myself, too, so i demanded that she go back to the kitchen with me so i could put away the soup, which had cooled by then. i was not going by myself lest megan fox jump out of the oven, trick me into making out and then eat my insides and leave me for dead. 

i took a slotted spoon and started taking out all the vegetables and whatnot so i could just put the broth away. when i was on the second pot (the one we hadn’t eaten), about my third time in i found something red in the spoon. it was kind of big and red. from a distance it looked like a dried chili pepper or something. i looked closer. it looked like a… 

“ohmygosh. OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” 

“WHAT?” holly yelled from the couch jumping up (she had abandoned me in the kitchen after all–thanks, babe). 

“i…i…i think i found a GRASSHOPPER in the soup. or a CRICKET. a BRIGHT RED CRICKET IN THE SOUP.” 

a vampire cricket! 

“get. over. here.” 

as i held back gags, she took a look and screamed. then i screamed. we were both screaming when her mom and twin sister called. while she told them about the movie and how scared we were and then about the huge insect we just found in our CHICKEN SOUP, my gears turned. everyone has mice in this city. rats (and cats) out back. sure, some bugs. but never something like this. hell, crickets don’t even chirp outside, let alone land in your kosher chicken soup on a tuesday night. 

the parsley! i thought. the dill! THE DAMN PESTICIDE-FREE HERBS. (we’ve recently gone organic.) 

“dammit, honey!” i exclaimed. “it was the damn parsley or dill! i soaked them like three or four times but i never separated the leaves. i bet the bug was hiding in there.” 

by that point, heidi (holly’s twin sister; identical twin sister), was on a roll, laughing her head off about how scared we were over some teen vampire flick, and now the giant red cricket in our soup. 

“one, two, freddie’s comin for you,” she whisper-sang over the speakerphone (DAMN THE SPEAKERPHONE). “three, four, better shut the door….” 

i gasped. the freddie krueger theme song! 


i drowned her out with the garbage disposal, which i turned on to grind up the vampire cricket. i turned my head away as i poured in the soup, but it was no use. i saw the damn thing out of the corner of my eye. 

at that point i’d had enough. i was ready for the sun to come up. i just wanted to go to sleep. it took a while to make my way into bed, however, since i flipped on every single light in the house after the movie ended. (oh please you’ve totally done that after a horror movie) 

“i’m scared,” i told holly after i got into bed. 

“you see?” she said, flipping on bravo. “i told you not to watch that movie. i told you it was a bad idea.” 

she was right. again. the moral of the story is that i need to ignore the hype and stick to the romantic comedies from now on. also that megan fox scares the sh*t outta me. and always wash leafy herbs carefully.

those housewives

despite my better judgement, i began watching bravo’s “the real housewives of nyc” last year. anyone who knows me knows that i have no airs when it comes to entertainment (or anything else, come to think of it). if it’s fun and i like it, i will watch it. or listen to it. and freely admit it. [case in point: britney. also: t.a.t.u. (fake russian lesbos), “maid in manhattan,” “how to lose a guy in 10 days” and etc.]

i am very rarely an appointment tv watcher. meaning: i just watch my shows when they happen to be on. so i’m cleaning the kitchen last night, and it’s on. this is good kitchen-cleaning entertainment so i was thrilled.

anyway, this one lady (i forget her name but she has red hair) brings one of the other ladies [the “hot” one; no, not that one (the suspciously square-jawed chef) the other one (the one who likes to jog in traffic; wtf, i know, right?!)] to a private appt. with some sort of…purse maker. french lady? anyway, they’re sitting on the designer’s couch with a bunch of bags in front of them. like, on a coffee table. and they just look like…bags. call me “gay” (woman “gay” not man “gay”; two totally diff things and you know it and it’s ok to think it b/c i think it, too) but they really don’t look all that special. one is purple. another is red. one or two look like a snakeskin material.

so it’s the is the red-hair lady’s “birthday present”  (ok, i figured out who she is) to herself or from her husband or something. she’s like, hmmm, i think i like that one. yes, def. that one.

from my vantage pt, it looks like a knockoff of something i could find in tj maxx. [or, as my beloved late grandma would call it: “jt maxi” (oh grandma, you were so funny)] it’s red. and then the camera does a close-up of the pricetag: $16,000.


holly and i were watching together at this pt (yes, i was taking a break from said kitchen-cleaning) and were like, what? it was like a joke. a few more thousand dollars, and that’s the (low-end) starting salary of a recent undergrad. that’s more than some *cars*. that’s insane. and the craziest thing is that she barely thought anything of it. i can’t begin to wrap my mind around that sort of wealth. $16k could help us out a lot. that could alleviate a lot of worries for a lot of ppl. but for her it’s just a bag.

then her husband surprised her with a new, huge, black benz suv, and she whines that it doesn’t connect to her iphone or something so he says, ok, this one will be mine. i’ll get you another. (silence)

then there was a blowout fight about a tennis match. and like, jewelry shopping and some interior designing.

i know the entertainment value in these sorts of shows is the ridiculousness of it all. the great majority of ppl in this country don’t live the way these ladies and their families do. and so we all watch, mouths agape, as they “live the good life” and buy $16,000 bags and fight over tennis and freakout about charity events and shoes and boobs and decorators and whatnot. and mostly, it’s just entertainment for me. anything annoying i can usually forget in about 10 minutes (or less; yes, i have the attn span and sometimes the memory of a hamster, just ask holly and she’ll tell you). but that $16k bag thing last night really got to me. like it’s burrowed its way into my brain.

even in a good economy it’s hard to make ends meet, let alone treat yourself to something nice. (hell, holly and i have been together eight years and we have yet to even take a real vacation together. we didn’t even go on a honeymoon.) i guess i’m just trying to say…just…wow. i mean, look, if you have the money, i guess…you know? who am i to say? but that sh*t just blows my mind. and yet, i will continue to watch. and be disgusted and shocked. and watch again. total trainwreck that is reality tv. if you watch the show, i’d love to know what you think about all this. even if you don’t watch it. you know i love hearin from my peeps (no, not the marshmallow easter peeps! you. it means you 😉 )

in other news: passover cannot pass over soon enough. i made matzah pizza tonight! help!