Monday, April 30, 2012

Massage Fail

Let me explain how the events of Saturday morning came to pass.

Last Wednesday, I noticed an annoying pain on the top left part of my back, underneath my left shoulder blade.  As the day went on, the pain went from being an annoyance to a maddening, uncomfortable pain.  I asked Jacob for a back rub before bed, which helped slightly, but I woke up the next morning with the pain worse than the day before.  I told my boss about the pain in my back and she told me that during her last pregnancy, she'd had back pain that she couldn't shake the whole time, and at times she'd just break down crying because it was so frustrating and painful and it wouldn't go away.  Not what I was wanting to hear.  She recommended her Chiropractor, but like my mother, I'm a bit skeptical of that profession, so I said I was considering getting a massage to see if it would work out the pain.  Jodi was a huge help; she went through the phone book for me, writing down a list of places that she had been and really liked that I should try to call.  Her top choice was going to be able to get me in that day, but when I told them I was pregnant, they said they weren't comfortable with that and cancelled my appointment.  I was devastated.  The next place I called was the place Jodi said was the best in town.  She said they were super hard to get into, but that I should just try to see if they could squeeze me in because it would be worth it.  Unfortunately I got no response after like 10 tries, so I moved on to the next place on the list.  This lady, Pam, said the soonest she could get me in was Saturday morning, 10am.  Not knowing if I could get anything sooner, I snatched up the appointment.  Because my back was hurting so bad, I continued calling back the lady (Nikki) that Jodi said was the best.  I must have listened to her voicemail about 20 times that day, and finally called it quits Friday morning.  I figured she wouldn't be able to get me in before the Saturday appointment, so I just stuck with that.

Now, I should say, in my entire life, I've never had a massage before.  I have ALWAYS wanted one, and I ask for one at basically every holiday.  Here I am, though, massage-less up until this point, and I was crazy with excitement and anticipation for Saturday morning.  So Saturday morning rolls around and my back is killing me, but Jacob had gone out and got me blueberry muffins for breakfast, and I was able to sleep in a bit before my appointment, so I was feeling pretty good about how the day was going to shake out.  I was leisurely enjoying my muffin and orange juice when I realized it was 9:47, and I needed to get the heck out of there.  I frantically got dressed, but then got really self-conscious because of the underwear I was wearing.  I just had on a normal pair, but they were sort of cheeky, so I didn't want her to feel like she was staring at my butt cheeks the whole time, so i was like, "Uh oh.  Better change underwear!"  So I run back into my room and put on a pair I thought would give me more coverage, get dressed again and head out.  I had never seen the place I was going to, and I only had their address to go off of, which is pretty dangerous for me.  It's a general rule in my world that the first time I drive anywhere, I get lost.  Doesn't matter how easy it may seem, if I'm driving to a location for the first time, I'm guaranteed to make at least one wrong turn AT BEST.  So in anticipation, I had scribbled down the intersection and address on the piece of paper I had the appointment time on.  As I got close to the area, I didn't see anything but houses, so I was like "oh crap....I'm super lost".  At this point it's like 9:59 and I'm super frazzled and so I do a U-turn in the middle of the street.  I see a sign on the side of a building a few blocks down that says massage on it, so I'm like "YES!  There it is!!"  I pull up, but can't find the door to the massage place.  I run into the nearest door (a hair salon), and as I'm running up to the closest hair stylist to ask how I get to the massage place, I trip on the carpet and nearly take the girl out.  She takes a step away from me and quickly points the way to the massage place, which I run happily into.  I should have thought it was strange when the room I went into was just a small waiting area with 2 chairs and no lights on.  There was a door inside that had a sign on it that said "Quiet, Massage in Session", but there was no soul in sight, so I had no way to say I was there for my appointment.  I waited awhile, proud of my good fortune that I'd been running so far behind but the masseuse didn't know I was late since the previous appointment was going over.  I started to get a bit frustrated, though, and at 10:09, I sent a text telling Jacob things were weird and I wasn't sure what was happening.  Immediately I got a call from Pam (the masseuse) saying "Hi Hayley, I had you down for a 10 am massage?"  I was like "Yeah...I'm here" which is precisely when it clicked that I was in the entirely wrong place.  Between the piece of paper that I'd scribbled the address onto (which was the original list of places Jodi had written me), and calling the other masseuse, Nikki, dozens of times to get in earlier, the other massage place must have seeped into my brain, because that's where I was.  I stuttered and stammered my way out of the (thankfully) empty massage place, and blamed my unfamiliarity with the town on my perceived retardation to Pam on the phone as she tried to give me directions where to go.  I was so overwhelmed with having to find the place, knowing I'd get lost, that the masseuse stayed on the phone with me and stayed outside until I got there.  Talk about embarrassing.  She was super duper nice about it, but I just felt like such an idiot.  In my defense, she was working out of an old house (that I had driven right by previously) that didn't have the best signage.  Ugh.  Not a great start.  I was apologizing profusely, and she led me upstairs to get started.  We went over the pain I was having and she had me get down to my underwear and get under the blankets.  When she left, I sent Jacob a quick text to update him, letting him know that I am, in fact, an idiot, and that I'd gone to the wrong place.  I started to undress, worried she'd come in before I finished, so I was just haphazardly tossing my clothes into a pile as they came off.  I dove onto the table as soon as I got down to my underwear, but realized that I'd put on a pair that offers more cheek coverage, but sags way low.  That's when I realized that she'd be seeing like an inch of my butt crack the entire time.  Horrified, I mentally beat myself up over my choice of underwear until I realized I had other issues--I'd left my socks on, which I'd pulled out of the dirty clothes in my rush to get ready.  I didn't know if massages normally included foot rubs, but if that was offered, I DEFINITELY wanted one.  But at this point I knew it had been several minutes and she was likely to walk back in any second.  Did I want to chance leaning over, and hanging my naked top half out of the covers to pull my socks off?  I decided it was worth the risk, and as I was pulling off my right sock (top half of my body COMPLETELY exposed), the door opens.  I flung the sock across the room and awkwardly said "sorry!" and went back to burying my face on the table.  I agonized over the fact that I'd only gotten one sock off and was like "should I say something?!?! Should I ask her to take my other sock off???  What if she doesn't even do anything with my feet?!"  I reassured myself that she would probably not even get to my feet, and since I was under the blanket, she'd never even know that I only had one sock off.  I had just enough time to let myself relax at the thought when she said "I'm just going to prop your feet up with this pillow."  So up go the blankets and she's grabbing my ankles and putting a pillow below them...Oy.  I'm sure she already thought I was deranged, but seeing me in one dirty tall sock with absolutely nothing on the other foot probably really troubled her.  I wanted to explain, but at that point, I figured it was worthless.  The appointment continued on in this awkward vain as I tried to subtly figure out what to do with my arms and how my face was supposed to fit in the hole.  After several minutes, I realized it shouldn't feel like my cheeks are being split open, so I tried be cool about inching myself up.  I thought I played it off really well, and was much more comfortable once I had my face in there better, but then the face part started squeaking.  With every rub, as my body would move, the bed would make this loud squeaking sound and I just wanted to yell "SORRY, I ACCIDENTALLY WENT TO THE WRONG PLACE BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO ADMIT THAT IT'S BECAUSE I CALLED THE OTHER LADY SO MANY TIMES AND I PUT ON UNDERWEAR ON ACCIDENT THAT SHOWS A LOT OF BUTT CRACK AND NOW YOU'VE GOT THE TOWEL PULLED DOWN LOW TO RUB MY BACK BUT I CAN JUST FEEL THE DRAFT ON MY BUTT CRACK AND I ONLY GOT TO TAKE ONE SOCK OFF BECAUSE THE BLANKET WAS FALLING DOWN AND MY BOOBS WERE EXPOSED AND MY FACE HURT IN THIS THING SO I MOVED UP BUT NOW IT'S MAKING NOISE AND I DON'T WANT TO MOVE AGAIN BECAUSE IT WOULD BE OBVIOUS."   Ugh, I just felt like such an idiot, you guys.

 Unfortunately, because I was so late, she was only able to do a half hour, which was glorious, but went by way too fast.  Overall, for my first massage experience, it was....awkward. I don't think I'd go back to her solely for pride.  I'm sure she thinks I'm a complete idiot and I don't blame her.  The massage felt awesome, and I'd love to have another one, I'm just not really to mentally beat myself up like that for awhile.  Unfortunately, I haven't felt much relief in my back, either.  It felt better after the massage, but it's gone back to being really uncomfortable, so I've been using the heating pad for relief.  Hopefully it feels better soon, because if I break down and need a massage again, I'm pretty sure she won't answer my phone calls.                

Sunday, April 29, 2012

RHoNJ Episode 2 Recap

So tonight's episode of RHoNJ was hilarious to me.  There were several moments that made me laugh out loud and some of the people on the show I love more than I ever did before.  Here are some highlights of the show:

Jacqueline talking about how she and Chris have decided to send Ashley to live with Jacqueline's brother and sister in law.  I'm confused how her brother will have more authority and power over her, but maybe he's a army colonel and they just haven't explained that.  Jacqueline is discussing her reasoning for wanting to send Ashley to live with her aunt and uncle and she says "Ashley's been going out everyday--partying, self-destructing."  I can see why the best possible situation is to send her to live in Las Vegas.  I can't imagine that a troubled 20 year old could be tempted there.
 If only she had some family in Salt Lake City or Bismarck, ND she could send her to live with.  Can't do much in those places.  What I am super confused about is the whole "sending her to live with her uncle thing".  Jacqueline and her husband say they're basically making her move out to Vegas, but Ashley only packed one bag and she hardly even said bye to anyone and they were describing it as "going on a trip."  CAN WE GET A LITTLE MORE CLARIFICATION ON THIS, PLEASE?

Normally I love Caroline and I'll totally back her on basically anything she does, but I'm totally uncomfortable with how she talks about Lauren's weight.  She walks into the nutritionist saying "Lauren has a problem with her weight" then describes the superficiality of the makeup industry.  It's not like you're really inspiring a lot of confidence from her.  I actually think Lauren is a really pretty girl.  Yeah, she's a little bigger, but that doesn't mean that it needs to be pointed out to her.  Geez, go easy on the girl.  The nutritionist gave her a diet which looks a little sketchy to me--egg whites and some berries and some chocolate powder?  That doesn't seem like it would take care of all the vitamins and nutrients she needs, right?  When Lauren was talking her diet, I wanted to cry for her "I think the diet will work because it's the closest thing to anorexia.  As long as I can live I guess I'll be fine..."  HOLY CRAP, YOU GUYS.  THAT'S AN EATING DISORDER.  It just makes me sad for her, honestly.  And I think that's pretty irresponsible for Caroline as a mother to condone that sort of behavior.  Take her to a REAL nutritionist who will teach her about portion control and changing the proportions of the meat and veggies and carbs and whatnot and hire her a personal trainer.  YOU CAN AFFORD IT.  Her issues with food are NOT healthy and it really irritates me.

I loved listening to Teresa and Joe's conversation about how they're selling the pizza place that they've owned for, what, like 3 weeks?  Him saying it wasn't working because he doesn't have a driver's license is a bit suspect.  Something tells me there's more to that story.  That, or he's just too lazy to run a restaurant, which is more likely because running a restaurant is no joke.  When he points across the street to the gas station they're trying to buy to tear down to build a nursing home, I just rolled my eyes.  You don't need a car for construction, or what?  This dude is so stupid.  When Teresa asks if the gas station knows they're about to get kicked out and he says no, he's like "It's a gas station, it's not a big deal."  That's pretty arrogant for a man that can't hold a job for me than a month.

I LOVED the plug for Rich's Exxon station that he owns.  I loved how they tried to play it off like they were showing his gas station because Rich was teaching his son a lesson.  What's the lesson there?  Yeah, you're sophomore class President, but you're not maximizing your potential unless you're managing gas stations?  Lofty goals, young man.  No, the producers were just foaming at the mouth at the potential to juxtapose Joe Guidice's run down crap gas station he was trying to buy with Rich's "fancy" well maintained station.  It was pretty obvious, but I still enjoyed it.

When Albie was driving Ashley to the airport, I was taken aback by his description of her.  "Ashley thinks she's Ke$ha.  She has Ke$ha music going in her head.  She thinks a limo's gonna pull up and there's gonna be shopping bags and champagne and flashing lights and that's it.  That's how life should be."  Does Albie know who Ke$ha is? 
She's like the grungiest/least glamorous person on the planet.  Was he accidentally thinking of the Macaulay Culkin movie Richie Rich?  Because that's a much more accurate analogy.

Chris's reaction to Ashley missing her flight to Vegas was so awesome "sending her to the counter is like sending Santino [his dog] to the counter".  Also, PLEASE tell me Jacqueline named her dog Santino after Project Runway Santino Rice.  They have the same scraggly hair...I don't think we can rule that possibility out.
Seeing everyone's reaction to Ashley missing her flight was so awesome.  Or maybe they were just SO DISTRACTED BY HER FACE.  I know I was.  I couldn't get past it.  I thought I couldn't dislike that girl anymore, but those giant lips and gross tan have made it worse.

Here's something that really stumped me when Ashley came in from missing her flight.  How did she get her checked bag back?  That's not how airports work.  They don't find your bag and bring it back to you if you miss the plane.  Did she forget to check her bag?  How did she make it through security?  Maybe she never even checked in and was just walking up and down outside of the terminals.  I wouldn't be shocked if she tried to carry on a bomb.  The girl is stupid. 

Teresa's description of her cookbook "it's a book you can't put down once you start reading it, that's what everyone says to me"  IT'S A COOKBOOK!  People aren't reading it for the cliffhangers--but what's she going to do with the oregano?!?!?!

I want to know why Joe Guidice is constantly challenging other men on their height.  I mean no disrespect when I say, I think he could legally be considered a little person.  Who does he think he's taller than?

I had to fast forward through Melissa singing you guys.  I just can't do that to myself.

I loved when Albie, Chris and Chris went over and had dinner with Joe Guidice.  I love those guys.  When Chris said "Milania's a terrorist" I nearly through-the-nosed my milkshake.  [Jacob made me a milkshake and it was DELICIOUS.  He's the best].  Chris's commentary through the dinner was just so funny.  I want to hear him talk about drunk Joe forever.  His reenactment of Joe claiming to have the second best brain to God in the world was hilarious.  Like Joe conceded, okay, God's got the best brain on earth.  Then me.  Then Chris said he misses the days where Joe used to get drunk and pass out and they'd throw ham at him.  Can we be friends, Chris?  Because I think you're great.

Teresa's book signing made me so uncomfortable, but I was super entertained by the really awkward girl from Oklahoma asking about Joe's legal troubles, and asking if the rumors were true and responding with "I love you regardless!"  You could tell Teresa was like

I was super confused/concerned about how they ended the episode with that video montage of Ashley as a little girl and Jacqueline crying over Ashley's baby pictures as the plane was taking off.  It made me super uncomfortable Ashley die?? Have all these jokes about her flying anxiety and plane crashes just been foreshadowing???  I'm pretty sure she doesn't die, but that was a weird way to end the episode, right?

Next week's episode looks legit.  Looks like we get our first big showdown between Teresa and the others.  I love this show.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

So Pathetic

Oscar's on the couch and Jacob's on the dog bed. Yeah, I'd say we spoil our dogs.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kids Books

While I was home last week, I got sucked into my old bookcases.  I can't even tell you how much I loved reading as a kid.  I still do, but there's just something about seeing those old books I used to love.  I don't know, it's like the homiest feeling.  I imagine that's what people feel like about stuffed animals or baby blankets.  That's how I feel about my favorite books.  I came across two of my very all time favorites while I was home, and I am now on the hunt to find copies for my little brewing baby.
I present to you, George and Martha Rise and Shine and Mary Alice Operator Number 9.  I never realized before, but they're illustrated by the same guy.  His design aesthetic must have really spoken to baby Hayley because I ADORED these books.  My mom used to read a book to me every night before bed when I was really little and she had Mary Alice memorized because I would basically just pick that book every single night.  I cannot emphasize enough how much I love these books.

Once I got a little older, maybe like 6 or 7, I went through a phase where I still loved certain books, but felt the need to add sarcastic comments to some of them.  I'm pretty sure I needed more friends, because I made a LOT of annotations in a LOT of books.  One book that got the Editor Hayley treatment was a Sesame Street book, Ernie Gets Lost.
Despite re-reading it last week, I'm a bit fuzzy on the details of the book.  The obvious premise is that Ernie gets lost in a shopping mall, but I can't figure out the relationship he has with the lady he's shopping with.  I think they describe her as his friend Maria, but obviously she's some sort of guardian who pays for his things.  But he lives with Bert, so I don't get why he isn't shopping with him.  ANYWAYS, one of the first pages shows Maria getting ready to leave the house with Ernie.  As she's reaching for her coat, I felt the need to add valuable insight to her character.
For those of you who can't tell, Maria is thinking about a chicken drumstick.  I have no idea what I was going for there.  Maybe I figured she wanted to eat rather than shop with Ernie, or perhaps I just figured out how to draw drumsticks.  I guess we'll never know...
As Maria gets ready to leave, Ernie's making a mess, emptying his piggy bank and imagining the things he's going to get.  I was captivated by the imaginary toys (you should see the notes I made in the Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear and Get the Gimmies) and I decided to circle the toy I was interested, in case my mom saw my notes and ever came across a real-live "Pigeon-Land Game".  I also wrote in the words "I want" in case she didn't get what I was going for.
As you can see, I hadn't quite perfected drawing glasses like I had chicken drumsticks, so I drew like four pairs on this page.  Why wouldn't he have multiple pairs of glasses strewn at his feet with his change?
The story progresses with Ernie and Maria riding the train/subway/bus to the mall.  I felt like the author's information was satisfactory, but I thought the illustrations were missing a certain something.....
And that something was a mutant pig-girl creature stalking Ernie through the bus window. 
I'll skip some of the other pictures because they're even blurrier, but that's when my sarcasm really blossomed.  So as the story goes, Ernie and Maria get separated and he thinks he spots her, so he follows a woman up the escalator, but SURPRISE! it's a stranger.  On each page, as you see Ernie looking for Maria, I've written "stoped!!" (I couldn't spell stupid.  The irony) and as you see Maria looking for Ernie, I drew thought bubbles having her say something like "yes! I lost him!"  That's actually pretty dark for a little kid.  Finally, Maria and Ernie are reunited (SPOILER ALERT) and they embrace on a checkout counter.  Though they both seem happy, I took away a different interpretation.
If you can't read that, Maria's thought bubble reads "NOT!  I hate him!"  Poor Maria.  You'll shake that weenie one of these days.  
To reward Ernie's poor instincts and inability to follow her directions of staying with her, she purchases the Pigeon Land board game I very much coveted.  
Innocent Ernie's thought bubble is Maria.  He's just happy to be back with his guardian.  Don't be fooled by the smile on Maria's face; her thought bubble shows us she's thinking of a dollar bill because she's just thinking about how much money she's throwing away on Ernie.  She's like: What happened to that change you counted out, Ern?  You couldn't pay for your own crappy game?  And the salesman?  You guessed it.  He's thinking about chicken drumsticks.
The book ends with Ernie returning home to Bert, who is WISHING and HOPING Ernie comes home with the Pigeon Land board game.  It's literally all he is thinking about.
So there's the cliff notes version of Ernie Gets Lost for you folks.  Now don't let a 7 year old's dark humor fool  you.  I would LOVE to have this book for my child.  I would also really like the version I drew on though, because I'd want my kid to grow up understanding the depth of the story.

As some of you know, thanks to a pesky (and somewhat delayed) wisdom tooth, I had to go to the dentist while I was in Houston.  It's a gross understatement to say that I LOATHE the dentist.  It's the absolute worst.  I cry literally every time I go, no matter what's being done.  In my life, I've probably been to 10 dentists and I've had 9 horrible experiences.  Only one dentist has ever been good, and that's Dr. Timothy Barkley.  I am the biggest anti-dentite you'll ever find, but I really like Dr. Barkley and have always felt comfortable with him.  Thankfully he was able to squeeze me in when I was home because I was in so much pain, I couldn't open my mouth wide enough to brush my teeth.  A 2 minute visit and some Amoxicillin and I'm right as rain now.  I bring this up because as I was going through my books, I came across The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist.  Even at a young age, I had already been traumatized so much that I knew Brother and Sister Bear were in for a terrible trip.
Now let me say this, I'm a huge Berenstain Bears fan.  I had a ton of the books and read them really regularly.  To me, though, this story has a major flaw in that the bear cubs get sent to the dentist because Sister wakes up with a loose tooth.  Are you kidding me, you're gonna take her to her first trip to the dentist for that!?  Let that thing fall out on it's own!  Don't pay the dentist to pull it!! Or is Bear dental insurance like way better than human insurance?  What am I missing?  So here we have Brother and Sister eating breakfast, with a fresh wiggling tooth for Sister. 
Her thought bubble displays how self conscious she is about her goofy tooth.  Brother of course is no help, since he's laughing at her.  I'm not sure what I was going for with Mama Bear's thought bubble that just says "Ohhh!"
As brother goes off to school, mocking Sister, she's thinking "He's stoped!!" (I'll figure out that spelling one day), and we realize (through my artistic additions) that Brother's school bus is actually the Tooth Fairy.
 I like how the Tooth Fairy looks back at sister like "yeah...I got this."
Once the Bears get to the dentist and Brother starts with his checkup, I felt like I needed to knock him down a few pegs for how he teased Sister. 
I went ahead and drew some plaque on each of his teeth so he could see how those of us with bad dental experiences feel.  It's not so much fun when the dentist tells you your teeth are in terrible shape, eh Brother?  Also, do bears not have tonsils?  Thanks to Brother's cockiness and lack of hygiene, he does, in fact, have a cavity, which the dentist fills on the spot with seemingly no anesthesia.
His thought bubble says "I fell stoupid" which obviously should be "I feel stupid".  I'd like to believe though, that was little Hayley's way of sticking it to Brother by purposely misspelling that to make him look stupid.  It's a complex story.
At the end of the book, we see Sister happily run into her parent's bedroom to show off the money the Tooth Fairy brought her.  Both parent's look obnoxiously smug, which I'm guessing is where Brother gets it from.
Both parents are simultaneously saying "Gatr", which I think means "Got Her!" while both also thinking "NOT!".  I can't explain what I was going for there.

So there you are.  Those are a couple of my favorite books from my childhood, as edited by myself.  Obviously I missed my true calling, which is writing AND illustrating books.  I'll leave you with something I found in one of my coloring books which is extremely bizarre.
Alan Hemberger was a news anchor in Houston in the early 90s.  I did not watch the news.  I don't know why I put that in my coloring book.

It's kind of terrifying to see how a child's mind works, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Well Jacob is totally hogging the computer downstairs and I don't feel like typing on the iPad, so it looks like it might be another blogless night. I mean, I guess it's a good thing since he's paying our medical bills, but still...I actually had pictures to put on there! That'll have to wait till tomorrow I guess.

In other news, I had a doctors appointment today. Everything is pretty good so far. I should be feeling the movement of the baby any day now, though I may have already felt him/her. I don't know. Maybe I'm just really gassy. My blood pressure and the baby's heartbeat (147) were both good and I've gained about five pounds so we're plugging along. I did talk to the nurse about a little lump I found in my breast, and when she did a breast exam she found one in the other one. They are probably just cysts and it's no big deal, but I have to get an ultrasound done on them in a couple of weeks, which is a little scary. Like, I said, it's probably nothing so I'm not even going to worry about it yet. Although my nurse did say to me "I'm not overly concerned about it, but during pregnancy your hormones are so crazy, so if it is breast cancer, it can really flourish"......Well thanks for those uplifting words. On another note, I did NOT anticipate her doing a breast exam when I went into the appointment (despite me bringing it up) so when she had me put a gown on and raise my arm, I felt pretty bad since I forgot to shave my armpits the night before. Doubly upsetting for us both is that she had to start the breast exam by checking my lymph nodes, meaning that she had to feel around my armpits, which were sweaty in addition to being hairy. I'm pretty sure she Purell-Ed the crap out of her hands when she left my room and I can't say I blame her.

Anyways, it looks like these medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits are really a thorn in Jacobs side, so I should probably see if I can help him out at all. More tomorrow, I promise! I found some of my favorite books from when I was little, so I took some pictures of the illustrations and comments I felt were vital I add to the story. I have to say, I knew how to add another layer to the plot, that's for sure. Lots of secrets, lots of characters thinking the opposite of what they're saying. I've always liked a complex story, even if it's about the Berenstain Bears.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Let's talk about dreams for a little bit, okay?  For the past several months--at least since we've moved--I've been having extremely bizarre dreams that involve a guy named Jason who I went to middle and high school with.  The dream is never the same, in fact, it has been different every time, but about once a month, I'll have a vivid dream involving Jason.  Thankfully none of the dreams have been even remotely romantic in anyway, but it's still SUPER weird.  I'm not sure what triggered it or why it keeps happening, but it's been pretty much like clockwork that once a month he pops up in one of my dreams.  What's really strange is that my subconscious is so focused on Jason for really no apparent reason.  I never had a crush on him, we never dated, and we weren't really that close.  I considered him my friend, and he was a really nice guy, but we didn't hang out or anything.  I'm just not sure why my brain is clinging to him so much and continually involves him in my dreams.  Sometimes the dream revolves around him, and other times he's just hanging out with me in the dream.  It's for sure happened every month since we've lived here in NoDak, but I can't remember if I had the dreams when we were still living in Houston. 

Vivid dreams aren't unusual for me.  I dream every night and replay the dreams in my  head the next morning while I brush my teeth.  Some of the most notable dreams include me being shot and killed by Mister Rogers or the dream I had in 4th grade about the Menendez brothers going on a shooting spree in the Trinity parking lot.  They killed one of my classmates, J.P., but I hid behind some cars, so I stayed safe.  The last part of the dream that I remember is my (awesome) teacher, Mr. Goedecke, leading the brothers off in handcuffs, telling them they were going away for a long time. 

So ANYWAYS, back to Jason-I've forgotten most of the dreams I've had about him, except for the last couple.  Last month, I dreamed I was on a bus trip, headed to a basketball game, and for some reason Jason and I were in the aisle of the bus, doing squats.  I'm sure there was more to the dream than that, but it's all I remember.  Last week I had another dream, and I'm not quite sure this one counts towards my Jason tally.  So in the dream, I was having a VERY in-depth discussion with Jason's father (who I've never met in real life), about which Madonna movie was his favorite.  Let me make something very clear--though I never met Jason's dad, I did know Jason well enough to know that his dad would NOT be interested in Madonna's music/movies/life, so I'm not sure where my brain came up with that combo.  So back to the dream.  So Jason's dad and I were discussing his favorite Madonna movie, which he told me was Corrina, Corrina.  FYI, Corrina, Corrina is a movie about a widower who hires Whoopi Goldberg to take care of his daughter.  In no way does it involve Madonna.  So anyways, Jason's dad is telling me how this is his favorite Madonna movie because he finds it so moving.  He loves that the story is about a young Persian immigrant, like himself, who is able to make his way and become successful in America [see previous plot description].  He also remarks how much the movie impacted him because it featured his very favorite Madonna song, Flashdance (doubly inaccurate).  Though I was confused by the details, I was moved by Mr. Shayan's love for the movie, as he was crying the entire time he talked about it.  Weird, right?  I just don't get it.  So I've really been desperate for a resolution for this whole thing.  I would LOVE to see Jason again or talk to him and be like "oh by the way, my brain is kind of short-circuiting about you".  I'm sure it would really freak him out, but I don't care.  I want to know why I'm so fixated on him.  Unfortunately for me, Jason's like a ghost these days.  And by "like a ghost", I mean he's not on Facebook, so I have no idea how to catch up with him.  I know he still exists, because people have told me they've seen him out and about in Houston, but I don't know how I'd ever see him.  I was trying to come across pictures of him, and found this picture on another one of my friend's Facebook. 
Bear in mind, it's from 4th grade, but that's the best I could do.  Jason's the one with the tape on his forehead, making a peace sign that looks like he's picking his nose.  Weirdly enough, I'm standing next to him, sporting a terrible center hair part which I'm pretty sure I kept up until college.  Oh, and the guy totally stealing the picture by pretending like he's peeing--that's J.P., the one the Menendez brothers killed.  Poor J.P. 

While I was in Houston last week, I had a couple of scary dreams.  One is still really vivid and detailed, so I won't go into the whole thing, but it involved a plane crash.  I had just gotten back to Dickinson and had flown separately from Jacob for some reason.  I was standing outside, and I knew Jacob's plane was due to land anytime, and I looked up and saw three planes on a crash course.  One plane was massive, like the types that go overseas, one was a regular plane, and one was a super small plane like gets flown into Dickinson or Bismarck.  I watched, horrified, as all three planes crashed into each other, knowing that Jacob was probably on the little plane.  The crash was basically right over my head, I knew the wreckage would land just outside of town, but I couldn't even move to drive to follow it.  I just stood watching, paralyzed, as I saw only three people get ejected from the planes, screaming horrifically, but floating down via parachute.  I remember thinking that only those three people would survive and it was the most terrible moment ever.  There was more to the dream, but it's a lot fuzzier and there was no resolution when I woke up.  Only hours had passed over the span of the dream, so I had no way of knowing if Jacob was alive.  THANKFULLY, my sister sent me a text which woke me up from the nightmare.  Frantically I sent Jacob an email telling him that nothing could ever happen to him, lest I spiral completely out of control.  Because he doesn't care about my blood pressure, he never responded to that email..............I called him later and was like "didn't you get my email?!?!!? I had the scariest dream!!!!!!!"  His response: "oh yeah...what's the deal?'  I know you can't read that with the tone he used, but it was very uninterested.  Thanks for mustering the sympathy, bud.
The next night I had another weird dream.  I had a dream that I knew that my home builder was coming to kill me, so I asked a girl from down the street to come stay with me in our basement storage area and create these plastic shields to deflect bullets. 
After several hours with no shots, I went upstairs to see what was going on, and I realized that men were climbing up our deck and coming into our backdoor to use our bathroom.  I figured out that these were the men who'd been sent to kill me, but they told me that they weren't going to shoot me, but instead were instructed to beat and stab me to death.  I gathered all the men in my bedroom and was like "okay guys, honestly.  Would you really punch and stab a pregnant lady?"  I made them go person by person and say whether or not they would each do that.  Most said they wouldn't, but a few admitted they didn't care.  Then I made them go person to person and agree that they wouldn't hurt me or try to kill me.  Again, most agreed, but some didn't, but I told them that majority rules, so they were all like "well, guess we have no choice but to leave."  So it worked out, I guess.  Still kinda scary, though.

So that's about where I stand currently on my dream situation.  If any of you know a good therapist or have a hobby of analyzing dreams, please let me know.  OR if any of you are distantly related to Sigmund Freud, I'd really appreciate some insight.  Seriously, I think my brain needs to be reformatted because these regular dreams about Jason and/or death are getting WEIRD.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


 I have to post this video because I can't say the phrase "And we're back!" without thinking of this old skit.

I can't explain why, but I really love it.  Okay, for real though, I'm back now, so I should be back to (fairly) regular blogging.  Since it's been awhile, I have a lot to say, which means I'll probably have zero to say tomorrow night...

So we're back in DikDak now, which is kind of bittersweet.  I mean, really it's only sweet in that I'm super glad to be back with my boys.  I missed them like crazy all week while we were in Houston, and I'm so glad to be back with them.  Being back isn't that great.  It doesn't help that our weekend ended on a really crappy note.  First of all, let me say where I'm at right now with traveling.  I can't even say that I hate it, because that's not strong enough.  I loathe  flying.  I dread it and I hate every second of it.  I was so miserable on each of the four flights I had over the last week and I just am NOT looking forward to doing it again in like 6 weeks (but I AM looking forward to Michael & Kayla's wedding!!!!).  I was super nauseous on every flight and I just hated it.  Not to mention that traveling is just such a pain where we live.  I'm sick of driving to Bismarck and I'm sick of taking these tiny little planes to Denver.  I'm pretty sure the baby is too, because those flights were seriously miserable.  So yesterday we land in Bismarck and realized they've lost all THREE of our bags, which seems like statistically that shouldn't happen, but it did.  Then, we drive home and Jacob starts inputting our receipts and realizes we've got fraudulent charges to BOTH of our debit cards.  So that sucks.  We still aren't sure how someone was able to hack into our account, but it sucks.  So's just not been great since we've been back.  Thankfully our bags showed up today, so I guess I can't complain too much, but seriously, that's ridiculous.  Since we've lived here, I've only flown United 3 times.  They've lost my bags twice.

But BESIDES all that, I had a really great week last week.  It was so nice being back in Houston and I had a great time with my family.  Everybody was super surprised, and my only regret is that I didn't have my camera out and ready to take a reaction picture when we pulled onto the street and I leaned out the window and yelled at my sisters.  I got some pretty great faces.  The surprise must have been great for my niece because she attacked me with a hug and then immediately ran in circles, laughing.  It was awesome.  While in town, I was able to get some awesome food (love you, Whataburger!), and I went to Target 4 times.  ALSO, I was able to go to my favorite frozen yogurt place, so I got my Raspberry Pomegranate/Euro-tart on!
And it's non-fat!!  To me, that's a super successful week.  Also, I was able to buy some maternity clothes, and I got some super great deals, so I'm really excited to start wearing those...but hopefully not for a few more weeks.  Anyways, it was an awesome week and I'm really glad it worked out that we were able to fly down there.  I'm already missing the sweet kiddos we got to see while we were in town...

In the 24 hours we've been back, my life has already fallen right back into what it was before we left--consumed by tv.  Tonight was the premiere of season 4 of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Since I missed the second half of the previous season, I spent most of the afternoon watching a season 3 marathon so I could get caught up.  I'd like to say I was doing other things while watching it, so I could justify that and say I was at least being productive, but the most I did was switch couches with Oscar.  I was anxious to see how the last season went because I knew that everyone I know that watches it hated Teresa by the end of the season.  Previously, I've never had a problem with her, so I was curious what happened that made everyone turn against her.  Yeah, she's always been selfish and pretty dumb, but whats the harm in that, right?  It's not like she's some trashy teenager pulling someone's weave out...
I've always been inclined to like Teresa, and I think, subconsciously, it's because I grew up loving the Muppet's.
I don't mean that as a compliment, Teresa.  So after getting caught up and watching the first episode of this season tonight, I'm not really sure what I think.  I mean, Teresa still seems really selfish and dumb, and she definitely does NOT have the ability to see things from anyone else's perspective, but I'm not sure if I hate her.  She seems much more mean-spirited, but she also seems kinda clueless, like she doesn't even realize when she's offending someone.  I guess she's the new villain of the show, though, which is fine, because it makes it more enjoyable.  She's just not nearly as entertaining as Danielle was when she was on the show.  Talk about a villain.  That lady was pure evil.  BUT she was great entertainment.  Here's the thing, Bravo.  If you're looking for a cold-hearted villain to really draw in ratings, I just don't think you can beat Danielle.
Teresa may be mean and egotistical, but Danielle is a complete psychopath.  What can I say, she's great tv.  The season premiere otherwise was good.  It was mostly centered on where everyone stood with Teresa and how her relationships have been effected.  The season overall looks super awesome and I'm pretty sure we've found a replacement for Dance Moms on the blog.  Looks like Monday mornings will be RHONJ recaps.
There were a few other things that stood out to me during the episode: 
1) Caroline, Lauren and Jacqueline were walking through their neighborhood and Jacqueline made a comment about how she feels old because the construction workers don't even pay attention to her anymore.  She turned to one of the houses with workers and yelled "There's nothing wrong with this!!"  The only comment I'll say about that is that I want to be best friends with Jacqueline.  She is the greatest.
2)  I'm troubled by all the drastic changes Ashley is making to herself.  First of all, she had her named legally changed to Ashlee, which I'm assuming is influenced by Ashlee Simpson.  I can't express how much concern I have about that.  I refuse to spell her name with two E's when I talk about her.  Also, she's dyed her hair blond, and it's really not a great look for her.  She's naturally got this super beautiful black hair, and she totally jacked it up with some expired Garnier Nutrisse or something like that.  Look, I'm the cheapest person on the planet, but even I would be like "hmmm this is probably something I should pay a professional to do."  It just looks really bad.  To go along with the bottle blond, she's also taken up fake tanning in a bad way.  Either that, or her new-found love of tattoos is worse than any of us realized and she's had her entire body tattooed orange.  She looks like a melted Dreamsicle.  What was perhaps that MOST frightening to me was the obvious injections/fillers she had put in her lips.  Might I remind you she's only 20 years old.  She's entirely too young to be messing with her face and the fillers do NOT look good on her.  Honestly, it looks like her lips are having an allergic reaction to all the chemicals she's subjected her body to with the tanning and the hair dye.  What I'm wondering is how she's paying for all of this.  We know she doesn't have a job...
So obviously her mom and/or step dad are paying for her unnecessary changes, but that seems a little counter-intuitive since they're always preaching about how she needs to become more independent and become a real adult.  It's just shocking to me how I love Jacqueline so much and how her daughter might be one of the most annoying people on the whole planet.
3)  I can't tell you how happy I am to see Kathy's sister, Rosie, already getting some screen time this season.  She's a gem and I wish they'd add her as a full-on cast member.
That would never happen, since she doesn't exactly have the lifestyle they're looking for, but I totally love her.  I'm not sure if it's the hats, the gruff attitude, or the wardrobe full of menswear, but Rosie reminds me exactly of Megan from Bridesmaids.
 So...yeah.  That's basically episode 1 of season 4, RHONJ.  Not a super in-depth analysis, but it's not really a deep show, you know?  

Okay, I've actually got a lot more to say, but I really need to get ready for bed.  I am DREADING going to work tomorrow.  I'm expecting it to take me at least an hour to go through my emails and I know our staff meeting is going to make me want to rip my own face off.  Ugh.  I am so ready for tomorrow to be over with.

No Surprise

Hey, thanks for building this deck for me, Dad!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I'm hanging out at my parents house and I just stumbled across something wonderful--Dance Moms On Demand. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. We'll see what my mom thinks after listening to it; she'll either hate it or love it for how trashy it is. I'm really hoping she'll love it. If anyone will have something terrible to say about Vivi, it will be my mom.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Operation Sneak Attack

There's going to be a little hiatus for the next few days, as I'm in Houston visiting family. I surprised them, which is why I hadn't mentioned the countdown to Houston that's been going on in my brain for the past month. Anyways, I'll try to sit and write something soon, but no guarantees.

Happy Tax Day Dana and Tracy! Hope it flies by and you can enjoy a couple of margaritas at the end of the day!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Commercials and Whatnot

First of all let me say that for some inexplicable reason, my blog exploded today.  Despite not posting anything, I got the highest number of hits I've ever gotten in a single day.  The only thing I can attribute this to is Dance Moms.  So again, it looks like now I REALLY need to step it up and find a new show to watch.  Obviously people want to watch bad tv and then read breakdowns of that tv.  And I want to be the person to provide that service for you.  It's my life's work.

Speaking of writing, I got stuck writing this thing for work this week.  It was like a five page document that I had to create, and I can't tell you how much I struggled with this thing.  At one point I had to shut the door to my office and mute my Pandora so that I could focus.  In total, I spent about seven hours working on this thing, which is way longer than I should have.  Part of it is because I'm a perfectionist, and another part is that I had crazy writer's block.  Turns out that if I can't relate something back to pop culture, I literally have nothing to say about it.  When I finally got it finished today, I didn't even have the energy to read it back through one time to proof it.  My brain was so fried, it felt like I'd just taken a Finance final.  It was terrible.  I just don't think they'll let me slip Seinfeld or Parks & Ref references into a document that will get circulated through a Catholic health care system, you know?  Which honestly, is stupid.    

I say this in all sincerity, but I am so ready for tax season to be over with.  Before I get a couple of
from you accountants, I'm saying that for your sake.  I'm just ready for the accounting people I like (Dana, Huntie, Tracy, Ashli) to go back to having normal sleep and work schedules.  More importantly, I'm ready for these people to be available for when I need to discuss things like nursery art and shocking pop culture connections.  [DID YOU KNOW JESSE EISENBERG'S LITTLE SISTER WAS THE PEPSI GIRL?!?!]
So you guys, as much as you're ready for tax season to be over with, trust me when I say the rest of us feel the same way.  I know I can't really complain since my life is pretty cushy, but still, it's hard to enjoy a Real World/Road Rules Challenge finale when you know you can't discuss it with your brother for like a week.  But you're almost done, you guys!!

Last night Jacob had to go to Bismarck to get deck supplies, and since I'm lazy, I decided I deserved to get some Arby's for dinner.  If I said it was good, I'd be wrong.  It was incredible.  I could have easily had another roast beef sandwich.  I'm not even kidding when I say that I dreamed about it last night.  I could never be a foodie.

So I may not be snobby about food, but I will tell you something I am snobby about--commercials.  For about 99% of commercials that are currently on tv, I think the person who conceptualized them should be lobotomized.  Here's one exception:
Yeah, it's gimmicky and just relies on how dreamy David Beckham is, but I kind of love it.  I can't help but be sucked in by his charm every single time I watch it, just like the Burger King workers.  Also, I love the way British people say banana.  Call me crazy.  Another acceptable television commercial is this one:
I love this for three reasons.  1) I love watching people dance to 90s music--especially in slow motion 2) I could watch the guy in the blue shirt for a full thirty minutes.  He is a national treasure.  And finally (and most importantly 3) any Montell Jordan reference makes me happy because it makes me think of Tom Haverford
What about you guys?  Any commercials you will actually watch, versus fast-forwarding through?  I'll tell you right now, if you say the talking baby commercials for e*trade, we'll never speak again.  Jacob loves this one, and it makes me a little sad for him.
 But it also makes me laugh when Jacob just yells "The Street!" from across the house.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


You won't find anything else quite so precious, I promise you that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Excuse to Use Funny Pics

This is going to be a short post because I'm super exhausted.  Unfortunately for everyone around me, this is the SECOND day in a row that I have not gotten a nap, and things are starting to get real.  I didn't sleep very well last night thanks to some pain in my leg and a couple of scary dreams, so I plan on an early bedtime tonight.  Also, Jacob will be gone most of tomorrow evening on a Lowe's run to Bismarck, so I'll probably do a nap tomorrow afternoon AND early bedtime.  Honestly, if I was bed-ridden, I think I'd get by okay.

Well it's been a week since the season finale of Dance Moms and I'm already totally missing it.  Not only that, but I'm missing the bump it gave my blog hits.  Not gonna lie, it feels pretty awesome to see that 100 people have clicked through to read the Dance Moms Finale Breakdown.  That's how you know you're really tackling the meat of what's going on in the world.  So now that it's over, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  Looks like I need to find another show to blog about, but I don't know what else could be as entertaining/over the top as Dance Moms.  Any suggestions?  I know Dance Moms: Miami is an option, I just feel like those people might be trying a bit harder than what I appreciate.  I like a natural, unexaggerated crazy.  Anyways, I need to figure out what the heck I'm going to blog about.  If you've got any ideas or suggestions, send them my way.

Presented without any explanation, I give you my current favorite picture, and #1 reason why I love the internet:
 I love it for many reasons, the very least of which is that it reminds me of Gob's terrible syntax, and gives me the excuse to show this clip:

In other news, I'm really hoping to get started on some art projects soon.  I've got some stuff I want to paint for the baby's room and I've had crafting-fever for like 7 months, so I really want to get on that.  Problem is, we don't have Hobby Lobby in town so I need to wait until I can go to Bismarck to get what I need, which is KILLLLLLLLLLING me.  Dickinson, just man up and get a Hobby Lobby so I can paint my animal pictures!!!!!!  I got told again today that I look pregnant which...I get it it.  I'm gaining weight.  HEARD YOU LOUD AND CLEAR.  But if one more person tells me that this week, I think I'm going to lose it.  I already feel like I look like Jessica Simpson,
and I have 25 weeks to go.  Also I got told today that I looked really tired.  I'll never understand why people say that.  Next person that says that to me is getting the response "you look super sick.  You should go home."  That will get them out of my face.  On an unrelated note, I still haven't made many friends here.  Weird, huh?

Over the weekend, Jacob and I watched Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (the American version), which I had been DYING to see.  Personally, I really loved it.  I thought it stayed true to the book without being too hard to follow (the book is pretty detailed and complex).  Personal opinion, but I thought the casting for this movie was much more believable than the Swedish version.  Don't even get me started on the guy they cast as Mikael in the Swedish version....anyways, I really really liked it.  So much so that I'm considering re-reading the book.  Otherwise I'll probably start The Girl Who Played with Fire this weekend.  Warning to those of you who haven't read the book and are interested in the movie--there are some rough scenes.  They are downplayed for sure from the book (thank goodness), but still rough.  I fast-forwarded through them.  It's certainly not a "fun for the whole family" kind of movie, but I think it's got a great plot.  Anyway, I'd really recommend it to anyone who read and liked the book, or anyone who was interested in it.  It's a long movie, but personally I didn't think it dragged on.  I was prepared to be pretty rude about Rooney Mara since I find her to be so pretentious in real life, but I thought her take on Lisbeth was as charming and witty as that character could be without losing her edge.  Overall, I gave it 5 out of 5 stars on Netflix.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter and Other Current Happenings

Happy belated Easter, everyone!! I hope y'all had a great weekend and got to spend time with family and/or friends and enjoy some good church services. We had a pretty great Easter weekend. Jacob got Friday off, so he spent the day getting started on building our deck. I had to work (despite working at a Catholic hospital), but since everyone else took the day off, it was a pretty relaxing and enjoyable day. I chatted with my boss for awhile and then spent the rest of the day creating and putting together some coloring books for one of our doctors to take to a Kids Health Fair. Not a tough days work, that's for sure. Friday night we went to Good Friday service, which we both realized we were much too overdressed for when we walked into the Lutheran church and were greeted by elders in jeans, one of whom had a long, scraggly ponytail. I will say their Good Frisay service definitely made me miss Trinity. Sunday was basically the same thing- we went to the Lutheran church, but I don't think either of us were that crazy about the service. They're doing the best with what they've got, but I think it made both of us miss home. For Easter dinner, we had some friends come over- the couple that watch our dogs whenever we go out of town. Plus they brought their dog, so it was pretty fun. As I was setting up the house, getting ready for them to come over, I realized this is the first time we've ever had anyone over to dinner. Excluding my parents and our siblings, we have never had people over for dinner. Ever. I'm not really much on entertaining (or people), but Mike and Nicole are super nice and I love their dog like she's my own, so we had a good time. I made chicken cordon bleu, mashed potatoes, roasted green beans, fruit salad, sangria and rolls for dinner and Nicole made a strawberry cheesecake and a blackberry cheesecake. It was a pretty good feast, I think. Overall, it was a pretty great Easter weekend.

Well here's something that will come as a surprise to approximately zero of you, but I feel like I need to announce it on the blog. Jacob and I are expecting and the sweet little baby is due October 7. So far I've been feeling pretty good, just extra sleepy. Thankfully I have a black puppy dog who has accepted a daily nap with me into his routine. One thing that has changed since I got pregnant is that I have not made it through the night without having to wake up to pee. Before this point in my life, I think I have only woken up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom MAYBE a total of 10 times. I literally cannot make it through a single night anymore without being awoken by a dangerously full bladder. Every time, as I'm going to the bathroom, longing to climb back into bed, I'll realize that I was just dreaming about something water related--I was either playing in sprinklers, stuck in a downpour, running through a waterfall. All sorts of subconscious alarms going off telling me to wake up before the dream becomes all too real. I fully anticipate wetting the bed at some point during this pregnancy. Good thing I'm practicing my Kegels!

Since I told my coworkers last week about the baby, they've all been telling me that I'm starting to show and will be needing maternity clothes soon. This displeases me very much. I'm only 14 weeks along! I shouldn't be showing so much yet! I know they're just trying to be sweet and get into the whole thing, but they're just making me feel like a giant heifer. I'm thinking I'll just skip the maternity clothes and go straight to shopping for muumuus at Dress Barn.

In other news, I'd like to give a quick shoutout to Mandy and Jonathan, who are celebrating their 7th(?) anniversary today!! I can't believe they've already been married so long, but at the same time, I don't even remember what it was like before we had Jonathan in our family. He's a great brother in law; he's hilarious, he's honest, he gives great advice, and he's the perfect audience for telling stories (especially disgusting ones). I tell them this all the time, but I remember the first time I actually met Jonathan-they'd been dating for awhile but Mandy had been super secretive about the whole thing (as she's known to do), and a couple of my sisters, who had dragged information out of her, would jokingly refer to him as Juan when they brought him up. Well imagine my shock when I'm introduced to Mandy's boyfriend for the first time, and he's not some Latin hunk named Juan, but a white guy named Jonathan. I mean, no offense to him, he's a great guy and very handsome, but he was just so much more vanilla than I was expecting. Anyways, after seven years of marriage, they have two of the sweetest and coolest kids I know who ALWAYS make my day better. So happy anniversary, Mandy and Jonathan! Love you guys!

Today I realized something while doing the laundry. When your dogs jumps from one couch to the other to nestle in your fresh, warm laundry, he's really reached a whole new level of spoiled. My sweet little Oscar, just resting his head on some clean, hot undies.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Post Dance Moms Fatigue

I had every intention of writing an actual post once I got through my Dance Moms breakdown, but it's midnight already, which means I've been writing about Dance Moms for more than 2 hours.  What has my life become?  Looks like you'll have to wait until tomorrow to get information about what's going on in my life (spoiler: nothing but dance moms). 

Okay I really need to get to bed.  I don't think they'll appreciate my lack of work tomorrow when I tell them I stayed up late blogging about Dance Moms.  I'll say I was doing something really important.  Like blogging about some topical news story.......not one single story can I name.  Clearly my television priorities are not on current events.  And you know what?  I pride myself on that.

Dance Moms Finale Breakdown

Alright, here's the deal.  I've watched Dance Moms and taken notes and I have a lot to say.  If you don't watch it and aren't interested, you can probably go ahead and skip this post.  If you do watch it but haven't watched last night's episode, this will have some spoilers.  Having said that, let's jump right in.

First of all, let me say I did NOT realize that tonight's episode was the season finale.  Had I known, I would not have deleted it immediately after watching it.  Knowing that was my last dose of Dance Moms is a little bittersweet.  The sweet part of that being that it was an hour and half long episode, and it was full of drama.

For those that need a refresher, the big drama last week was that a representative from the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC was coming to a dance competition and Abby made sure to pound that into the girls heads that it was very important that they impress him, in hopes of being asked to come audition for the summer program at Joffrey.  Surprise, surprise, after their performance, the representative did come backstage and tell the girls they were invited to audition.  Shrieking ensued.  Cut to this week, where Abby is freaking out about going to NYC with the girls for the audition.  Meanwhile over at the Candy Apples studio, Kathy is talking about the "open audition" in Manhattan that she's taking all her girls to.  So all that drama of that last episode was totally pointless, right?  Because they didn't need to be invited, they could have just shown up.  NOT COOL, LIFETIME.  I want to believe the drama in the lives of these girls is REAL.  I don't appreciate the unnecessary theatrics.

The episode is just kind of typically cringe worthy for the first 15-20 minutes.  Abby's voice is annoying, she's trying to sound really self-important, and Kathy is super obnoxious and tries to make personal attacks on the Dance Moms while trying to make them look trashy.  Once auditions start, that's when the fun really begins.  They show Abby's girls going into perform in front of the judges one at a time.  The judges consist of two guys who looked like prissy Blake Sheltons and one 50 year old lady who was the most uptight ex-ballerina you've ever seen.
Brooke goes in to audition, and in her interview she says "judges may love tricks or they may hate tricks.  You never know."  Then they show her dancing for the judges.  And by dancing, I mean scooting around on her chin with her legs over her head like some sort of inverted spider.  The camera cut to the lady judge who looked MORTIFIED.  As soon as Brooke finishes dancing, the lady says "Well I don't like tricks."  Pretty sure she thought Brooke was a whore.

Next to audition is 7 year old Mackenzie.  In her defense, she's pretty much only utilized as the super cute little girl who's great at tumbling, so she had no prayer at getting a spot in a classical ballet academy.  The routine she performed for the judges involved her jumping around and then turning her back to the judges and shaking her butt like a contestant on Toddlers & Tiaras.  Look, I know less about dance than Lieutenant Dan, but there are two things I know: 1) Britney Spears' performance of Gimme More at the 2007 VMAs was probably the poorest display of dancing ability ever showcased by a mammal
and 2) When you're in NY auditioning for a respected ballet school, you shouldn't copy the moves from Ricky Martin's back up dancers in the "Shake Your Bon Bon video". It just isn't appropriate.  Once again, I'm pretty sure the lady judge thought Mackenzie was a whore.

 Here's one thing I loved about the uptight lady judge--one of the Candy Apples dancers was doing her solo audition, and the lady couldn't even bring herself to comment on the dancing.  All she could say was "Do you really think you need that much makeup in a ballet audition?!"  TOUCHE, UPTIGHT LADY.  This girl did look like she had fallen in a paint tray, so I'm kinda with the mean lady on this one.

This thought occurred to me as I was watching the girls go in for their solo auditions: TELL ME VIVI WILL TRY OUT FOR THIS LADY.  Honestly, I can't even imagine what the judges would begin to say about Vivi.  They were pretty brutal with all the girls, so I can't begin to imagine what they'd think about Vivi.  Keep in mind, Vivi's mind and heart aren't really in this thing.
"I'm just here because my mom said she would buy me tacos".  Let's let that sink in a bit, shall we?  Thankfully Kathy was actually objective enough to not put Vivi through that.  She waited in the hallway while her friends tried out.  For her sake, I'm hoping she had a lap full of tacos to snack on.

Next to audition is Maddie.  The judges make a comment about how she's more suited for Broadway, which I tend to agree with.  The girl can dance, but she also WAY overacts with her face when she dances.  I know she's just getting really into it and trying to connect with the judges, but when she smiles that hard when she's dancing, her overbite gets worse and she looks a little bit like Mr. Woodchuck.
No judgement--I had braces too and she's already got more athleticism and grace than I do, but I just think someone should teach her that the people in the back row DON'T need to see your top teeth when you're dancing.

During auditions, they keep cutting to the moms and Abby and Kathy waiting in the hallway, trying to sneakily catch a glimpse of how their girls are doing.  I found myself extremely distracted and entertained by Kathy's double C earrings.  Do they even sell Chanel in Ohio?  I used to live there, so I'm going to say no.  Also, if you want to convince people you're wearing Chanel earrings, they shouldn't be giant half-hoops with big rhinestones bedazzled on them.  Cheapens it a bit, no?

While the moms are in the hallway, at one point Kathy is standing over Christi's shoulder, yapping on about how classless Christi is.  All the while, Kathy has a giant slice of pizza folded in half and shoving it in her face.  She's literally talking with her mouth full and has grease on her face while she's accusing Christi of being trashy.  It's a pretty incredible moment.  If the words weren't coming out of her mouth at the exact same moment as partially digested pizza particles, I would have assumed it was the work of some incredible editors over at Lifetime.  To top it off, Kathy insults Christi by saying "I SEE THOSE BOBBY PINS IN YOUR HAIR!"  I have run through that "insult" with a million different scenarios in mind and I cannot figure out how that was supposed to be put Christi in her place.  I put a bobby pin in my hair everyday, Kathy.  Does that make me trailer trash??

During the group ballet audition, Kathy starts to make fun of one of Abby's dancers and basically says she sucks right to the girl's mom.  Here's the thing.  Obviously Kathy is slimy and she just says stuff to get a rise out of people, but how do you make fun of a 14 year old?  TO HER MOTHER?!  That takes serious balls.  The mom just kind of rolled her eyes, which is much less of a reaction that I would've had.  I just...I know you should never sink to anyone else's level, but I really don't get how these moms refrain themselves from just losing it one time on Kathy and going for the low blow.  Make fun of Vivi!  She's awkward and she can't dance!!  It's just too easy.

Once the ballet auditions are over, the girls have a competition to attend.  Naturally the Candy Apples are signed up as well, so it's another showdown between the studios.  It was actually a pretty boring showdown since Abby mailed it in on this performance.  Despite pressuring the girls about needing to win to retain their national championship, she choreographs a terrible and boring dance, which basically involves them rolling some props around on the stage.  The group ends up getting TENTH place, which is apparently the lowest they've ever come in and everyone is shocked and embarrassed.  Even more horrific is that they lost to the Candy Apples by 1 point.  Kathy comes into the dressing room afterwards to brag about the victory, but...lady, you still got 9th place.  That's not very good.... Strangely enough, when Kathy comes in to gloat that they beat Abby's girls, Abby breaks down starts weeping, and calls Kathy Satan.  I don't disagree with that, but I have an important question.  Why are there not locks on these dressing room doors?  There are little girls CHANGING CLOTHES in there.  Shouldn't there be better security??  Anyways, I did find the Candy Apples dance to be more entertaining, but that's of course because it involved Justice, dancing his heart out in a white satin bedazzled pant suit.  Also, the routine featured Vivi, who stood in the corner the whole time while the other dancers actually employed some of their talent.  Then, at the end of the dance, one of the dancers carries Vivi off stage.  COMMENCE SLOW CLAP.

While Maddie and Chloe get ready for their solos in the dressing room, Chloe's mom, Christi, gets a call from Joffrey saying Chloe's been awarded the scholarship to the school.  Chloe is understandable excited, but downplays it for the sake of her friends, while the camera cuts to a borderline psychotic Maddie.  Shortly after, Maddie starts throwing a fit for an unknown reason, to which her mom punishes her by announcing how many days Maddie's phone is being taken away for.  The number escalates as the fit continues, but nothing seems to get through Maddie's angry, crazy eyes.  She's going to be....a rough teenager girl to handle.  I'll say that.

Here's something I'm curious about.  When it was time for the girls to perform their solos, Kathy put on her best Cheshire Cat grin and told the camera she had a great plan for how to steal Chloe's thunder.  She had one of her girls, Kendall, perform a solo called Queen of Hearts (or Red Queen, something like that), obviously knowing that Chloe was going to be performing the same song/theme.  It was just very strange to me.  And then both girls had similar costumes (since they were playing the same character).  Obviously somehow Kathy knew about it and was able to find out before hand to screw poor little Chloe over, but how did she know?  Again, I know nothing about dancing, but I can't imagine dance instructors are allowed to call up people at the competition and be like "oh hey, what's this other dance studio doing this week?"  Surely the Lifetime people didn't tip her off to make more drama.  OR DID THEY?!  Well played, Lifetime.  In the end, Chloe had the last laugh because her solo was incredible and she kicked Kendall's butt and won 1st place.

When Maddie takes the stage for her solo (post dressing room hissy fit), she gets through the first minute of the routine before forgetting the dance.  Rather than pause awkwardly (like Nia) or twirl around (like Chloe) when she forgot, she just completed a turn and immediately ran off the stage crying.  Had it not been for the expression on her face and the quick exit, I would've just thought it was a quick performance.  She hadn't even gotten all the way backstage before she started screaming that she wanted to do it again.  In a sad (and uncomfortable) moment, her panic attack seizes her and she goes in for a hug on the production assistant.  She realizes he is a stranger and pulls out of the hug and starts beating her chest saying how she has to go back on.  It was a freakout unlike I've ever seen a child see and it made me very uncomfortable.  I genuinely felt bad for her, but at the same time, it had happened to every other girl in her dance group at some point, so it's really  not that big of a deal.  A huge part of me wanted to high-five the competition producers for not letting her go back on.  Sometimes you don't always get what you want, Maddie.  Ya burnt!  After Maddie goes running off stage, the camera goes to the moms in the audience and we see Abby crying.  The moms (understandably) jump all over that, and once they're back in the dressing room, they confront her about her obvious favoritism.  Despite the same situation happening to each of the other girls in the group, Abby showed zero emotion for the others when it happened, only scolding them and telling them to learn their lesson.  For Maddie, Abby sat in the dressing room, stewing and crying, even refusing to come out and watch awards.  It was very strange.  I genuinely don't know why Abby was crying so hard about Maddie and why she was so overwhelmed by the girl forgetting her dance.  She's 9.  It's bound to happen.  The episode ended cryptically, with Abby storming off, leaving the competition, telling the moms that the girls don't need her.  She makes it seem like she's over the whole thing and done with it, but really, I think she was just having a bad period and she wanted to go home and see her dog, Broadway Baby.

And that wraps up the season, you guys.  I'm legit sad that it's over.  I'm not sure if I'll watch Dance Moms: Miami or not.  I recorded it, but I haven't decided yet.
Let's get real, I'll probably be watching it this weekend....