I believe… I was… Christine

Though it wasn’t someone I knew.  But, while listening to her vulnerable, shaking voiced testimony this morning an incident where I was pinned by a man when I was 13 came flooding back.   

I grew up in Los Angeles.  It was the Fall of 1979.  I went to a progressive public school located on Robertson Blvd next to Hamilton High School.  WE were a magnet.  We had open campus privileges.  Now, if I walked as far as Fred’s Bakery to get a cheese bagel for lunch, which we often did, things were fine.  But, it was kind of known that if you went further the street felt more dangerous.  But, one day my friend and I wanted to eat something different so we walked the Taco Bell.  It did feel less safe than Fred’s Bagels.    We looked at the menu and both decided we didn’t want to eat there.   

about 6 months after the incident. Working as a dancer/ actor at the Renaissance Faire in Agoura.

I only half noticed these noisy guys who had come in.   I cannot tell you anything about one of the guys.  But, the one that is in my head was white, had longish sandy blonde hair, not the clearest skin, but not ugly.  Light colored shirt.  They were talking loudly.  Maybe they were already singing.  Like they were high or drunk.  My friend and I walked towards the exit.  We were passing them.  The blonde guy pinned us against the wall. He was singing then has he ambushed us. It happened very fast.  His arms were over us, but not touching. his hands on either side of us.  He leaned in so close to me I could smell his warm breath.  He was singing “Good girls don’t, good girls don’t, but I do.” The Knack song.  I had never heard it before then.  Now, here is the funny thing about human responses in a crisis.    I was a mouthy, wise cracker then ( as now).  My friend was quiet, soft.  But, in that moment I was frozen.  I was terrified and didn’t know what to do.  My gentle friend on the other hand, did.  She grabbed my hand and broke hard against his arm and ran dragging me behind her.   Once she bolted, I thought, oh, yeah , run.  But, had I been alone, I don’t know if and when that would have ever kicked in.   That’s why when people say, well, why didn’t so and so do this or that I think STFU, you have no idea how you will react.  I want to think I’ll be like the Rock in a movie, but I doubt 

We ran all the back down Robertson to our campus.  When we got there students were hanging out on our tiny patch of asphalt.  I remember us telling a few of them, “oh, this creepy guy grabbed us…”  But, I don’t recall having “Let’s go tell the teachers.  Let’s call the police” thoughts.  I was shaken and grossed out.  I was embarrassed we had gone all the way to Taco Bell.  Which some people did comment on.. “oh, you can’t go that far down the street”

Life went on.  I had been out of touch with that friend, but a few years ago we reconnected.  We enjoy going to drink wine or have dinner.   I said something about that icky neighborhood we went to school in.  “oh, we bought our house near there.”  She said, not thinking in it icky at all.

“Oh, I’m sure it has changed”  I said, not wanting to insult her neighborhood

One night I said to her, “I really want to thank you for being so brave and grabbing my hand that day in the Taco Bell when they gross guy cornered us.  I was frozen with fear.”

She had NO IDEA what I was talking about.   She didn’t remember it at all. 

Does that mean it didn’t happen?  No.  But, if that guy who sang the Knack song was up for a Supreme Court Seat and I told my story would I be believed?  But, I know it happened.  I also know that when I hear that song ..almost 30 years later, I feel like I’m going to throw up.

is cheese like heroin?

This weekend I’m in another Food: Fact or Fiction on Cooking Channel.   Here is a clip where I tackle the issue of why we love cheese.  ( why would we not?)  In this clip  host Michael Mckean actually says my name!   Been a fan for years.. if only we had been in the same room..and got to be funny together.  That would be an 11.

cobb salad fun

Ever wondered where a Cobb Salad came from?  Well, check me out of Cooking Channel’s Food: Fact or Fiction and find out.  Airs this weekend.  (Jan 14th 7pm PST)

They chyron me as “Home Cook”.  Hmm, host of the previously aired Daphne Dishes too long?  I’ve taped a few of these and I enjoy doing them.  The only bummer is they are all shot in an un airconditioned loft in Downtown LA.  We shot most of them in the warm months.  Because it is a noisy area we have to shut the hip industrial windows when we we tape and I probably had sweaty pits here.

But I digress…

What’s on Hand Pasta! ( and slow jam)

Easy dinner in a dash.

Happy New Year Humans!!

New Year’s can sometimes feel almost as compulsory as Valentines day — a crime against humanity– but this year was ok.  An impromptu party at my sister-in-law’s pretty condo with her exuberant husband, one of my sisters and awesome husband (Kevin Tent who edited Downsizing and directed the hilarious Crash Pad) a couple good girlfriends, one with a date  ( btw they did not follow the dictum that couples never sit next to each  other.  We gave them a hard time but they said because they were not married it was ok.  I judged in silence). Our favorite divorced bachelor (don’t even ask for his contact, his queue is longer than Space Mountain).   My nephew Charlie– 20, handsome, smart– showed up with 10 of his closest friends for a cameo.  Nice group.  I yelled at one kid for being on his phone before greeting us.  I was so proud I knew some of their names!

Damn it 2018, you better behave

I did counsel one young man who gushed that he would marry his present girlfriend.

“No, you won’t” I said.  She gave me a little look that said, “Yeah, tell him.”

“Maybe you can break up and get back together, but you are too young.  You don’t know yourself enough. Just enjoy the moment.”

In ten minutes I tried to impart much of what I have learned about being in relationships.

“Everyone is responsible for their own orgasms.  Woman cannot just lie there and wait for fairy dust.  They need to learn about themselves, know what they want and be vocal. Men do not know what is in our minds or how our bodies work… believe me!”  I think this is when my nephew’s mother (aka my sister) almost spilled her dry martini as she wedged herself between me and the besotted youth.  What’s the matter?  They are 20.

I digress.  We had a caterer because after the last 6 weeks I’d cooked more times than Mario Batali has shoved his junk on women in his restaurants.  ( was that my outside voice?)

IF a woman looked liked that she would be arrested and certainly not be given national TV shows to host.

So, here is a regular night dinner.  No fireworks or sex ed, or unwelcome attention  Just mid week, kids avoiding homework and I’m making dinner.  I want to go to the grocery store like I want to be close to Mario Batali  (oh, the humanity) so I’m a big fan of grabbing what’s on hand and making it happen.  With food, not fatty’s junk.

I hope you enjoy the little vid.

Green Onion Pasta

no makeup.jpg

I’m back.

I felt a tad flattened for a while after “Daphne Dishes” wasn’t picked up.  Throw in some personal stuff and feeling father time was sitting on my face– and not in a good way– I got discouraged.  Lost my creative way.  Fell into “what’s the point?” and my health insurance costs a fortune.  I gotta get a job at Hertz. Plus, the 2016 election and all that followed.  America, how did we get out of bed?

But, after my Siddhartha like journey ( i.e. networking, talking to casting directors, agent, etc and most importantly my mother) I realized the parade may have kept moving, but I can jump on a float.  The hard part is I have to build my own float.

When I thought about what means the most to me it’s 1) my kids 2) comedy 3) political issues 4) food ( 2-3-4 shift positions often).  To that end in addition to this being coolmom.com it is also coolfoodmom.com and coolactivistmom.com.  Because as my kids get older they still take a shit ton of my time, however I can’t exploit them as easily.  They are on to me.  Plus, I remembered my breasts aren’t just milk bags and I do have nice curvy hips and oh, yeah, there is a woman there.

I do really miss Daphne Dish’s, so I will do my best with my limited resources and lack of production value and reboot some cooking, comedy, sass.  Here is my first attempt.

 

Angst about anxiety

I hear about a documentary and I think “damn, that sounds so interesting!  I’d love to see that.”  But, I almost never do.  I barely get to the movies unless I’m escorting my kids to an animated film…then I prefer to go to a theater that has wine.  It relaxes me when I see animals talking.

But, when I was invited to watch a documentary about teens and anxiety I did watch it.  Not on a “screener”  ( which I NEVER get unlike everyone else I know in Los Angeles), not streaming, but got in my car and drove.  Drove to Westwood no less.  I hate driving to Westwood.  Not as much as I hate driving to Glendale, but much more than driving Downtown.

Why did I go? I now have a tween.  I can see that middle school seems more challenging than elementary school.  Not academically, but socially, the vibe, the lack of play.  Schools seem to think that at 12 no one wants unstructured outdoor time.  Join a sports team!  (more anxiety.)   My husband came with me.  He has already had 3 other children go through teen years and he seemed to have less insight into the process than I have.

The movie is called “Angst“.  It’s a lot of people talking about their anxiety, so I did feel a bit anxious watching it, but the good news ( and for short attention span Brogdon this is very good) it clocks in just under an hour.  There are different teens describing what they went through, some of what made them better.  Various therapist talking about treating teens with anxiety.  Now, there were moments watching were I thought, “Gee shut up you nice looking, largely white kids who live in America and are scared to go to school.  You are not in Cambodia scared your back yard has unexploded land mines.”   But, then I am not worried about land mines either and my children’s worries are probably more like the kids in this film.  Urban, metro, educated families. Makes sense they would get anxious.. they have a mom who stresses about driving to Westwood  ( also cause it’s all crap chain restaurants, except Falafel King, thank God that is still there).

Two things really jumped out at me as take aways for parents:  1) if your kid has chronic tummy aches it is probably anxiety.  Which doesn’t mean “tough it out”, but address the underlying issue.  2) one therapist said it would help young people to process feelings if their parents did openly as well.  Example a parent might share with their youngin:  “I had a disagreement with my friend at work.  I didn’t know why she was mad at me and I ignored it, but it started to bother me, so I asked her to get a coffee with me and we worked it out.”  Remember being a teen in your darkened bedroom with headphones on listening to Pete Townsend’s solo works and thinking ” I am the ONLY ONE in the world who feels like I do”  ( on hi low carpeting as I recall).

When Mark told some friend’s of ours about it the next day he summed it up well, “It scared the shit out of me.”

I don’t want to be a spoiler, but near the end of the film a FAMOUS person surprises one of the kids and speaks frankly about their struggles with anxiety and depression  (which kinda sorta go together a lot).  It’s a real high point and I’m sure the producers high fived when they booked THIS PERSON. “woo- hoo, we have our ending”

So, check out the film.  The film makers have a comprehensive website with resources.  Also, if you want the film to be shown at your school or youth organization they will set that up for free.  They will help facilitate talking points, etc.

Cool “something” coming soon

So,  long story short:  As my kids got older, as youtube dominated the net, as I lost my production partners (aka…people who paid for cameras, editing)  I’ve kind let this thing die.. a bit.  It’s also WAY harder to making any nickels compared to the old days (2008).  Now everyone and their dog has vlogs.

Well, my old partners have morphed into Kin Community and they have kindly handed me all my vids, the rights to this site, etc. (here are the keys, start tagging!  So, I would like to re-engage with coolmom.com.  However, I still have who are at an age where vlogging about them is more problematic than when they were still in diapers ( Vivien is 11, Rex 8)  They know how to say things like “Don’t post that picture mommy”.   I do not have financial partners so my production value will look like home made porno… with clothes on.

This kid has no idea he is being exploited so his mom can turn a buck. Lordy, I miss that sausage leg

This kid has no idea he is being exploited so his mom can turn a buck.
Lordy, I miss that sausage leg

HERE ARE ALL THE 500 PLUS VIDEOS I DID.. GOOD, BAD, INBETWEEN.

Also, as my kids become more independent so did I.  I  do not identify myself as a mom as much.  I still like “you are a great mom” as my fave compliment, but I also have discovered my body again… sex… exercise… reading…. washing my car.  Things that were not possible just a few years ago.

Between my own years of community work ( and some guy named Trump, heard of him?)  I’m engaged politically.

I had a Food Network show ( you might have heard about it). Helped launch my husband’s latest venture Prawn.

So, this site will be less cute kiddo vids and I think more Cool food mom, Cool activist mom,  Cool mom whose breasts still look damn good after nursing two babies for two years each… just a few ideas.  I  also want to spruce up some of the best ones from the old days.

When then President Obama you to stop by.   My talented friend Ronnie Butler jr.

When then President Obama you to stop by.
My talented friend Ronnie Butler jr.

Have some more?  Let me know…  Look for me here.. breasts and all!   Let’s see where this goes.

Mommy and me massage

While trying to finally clean up my computer I stumbled upon photos from a mom blogger event from 7 years ago.  I use to go things like this a lot.  People with baby products would demonstrate or give stuff away and bloggers mention it on their site if they like it.

At this juncture I was not working outside the home that much, so I strapped on Rex and went to EVERYTHING.   Here I was being taught how to massage my little guy.

SONY DSC

I’m the one with real baby (doll not included)

Long strokes away from the heart I think?

I'm just chillin

I’m just chillin

Here I’m going for the little toes, which 7 years later I still adore.  Even at the time I wasn’t sure if a baby massage technique was so important, but rather that a parent or caregiver strokes, hugs, caresses them.  Studies show an untouched baby is wire monkey.. I know I am.

I look back on this period 1) thinking how cute Rex was and how nice it was to easily take him anywhere.  But, 2) remember who tired I always was.  Well, gee I’m not sure.  Am I tired here or really trying to learn this thing? tired new mommyOh, maybe I’m doing a “happy and you know it clap your hands?”  Oh, warming up the oil?  I’m so geared towards food I think those little plates with oil are in need of some fresh bread to dip into.

The other important part of a ritual like this is that it made ME feel better.. not nessarily doing the perfect massage for Rex ( by the way, never got a tip) but slowing down and spending a few minutes touching your kid feels so good.  Now, it’s rubbing their back at bed time, or when they let me hold their hands walking.
massage babyOh, my look at my pink blackberry!  Gosh, I miss those… I made less typos.  So, I’m out of the mommy blogging, swag party business… I don’t have time and I don’t have a cute little co star to take around with me.   More and more when people would pitch me products I’d say, “you know there are SO many sites that are a better fit.”  I did like experiences, like this, though.   I was a little perplexed by why I’m wearing those white sunglasses.. but I think they were given to me.