Kourtney Kardashian’s Real Body After Baby

As if we didn’t already know that magazine want to make regular woman and moms feel like crap when it comes to their bodies, check out the difference in Kourtney Kardashian’s body… one is real, one is not. Good for her for saying the picture was a fake.  All of those magz are airbrushed like cream cheese on a bagel. That might not be the best analogy, but you get the picture.

It’s News! Sort of.

On the eve of The State of the Union speech by President Obama, I was trying to watch some political shows per usual.

“Vivien, let me watch the end of ‘Hardball,’ and then I will play dress up dolls with you.” I played dress up dolls while Hardball was on. Compromise.

I’m sure you are like me. You sit at home watching the news or reading it online, and you think,

“No, no you aren’t getting it.”

or “Um, that’s not how I see it.”

So here are a few of these random thoughts in no particular order.  I would love to hear from you about when you challenge the conventional wisdom of a news story. Political, pop culture, whatever.

QUIT CALLING IT A HUG! Florida Governor Charlie Crist did NOT hug Obama. It was nothing like that pathetic shot of McCain Squeezing George W Bush like his momma after she has been out of town for a few days. Crist grabbed Obama’s arm while they shook hands. It wasn’t even the “Straight Man hug,” the embrace while they each loudly pat each other on the back. Crist may be an overly tan moderate who has gotten on the wrong side of some conservatives, but news people stop saying he hugged a guy he didn’t.

MASSACHUSETTS SENT OBAMA A MESSAGE TO SLOW DOWN ON HEALTH CARE.

Yeah, not really. The Bay state sent a message that charisma plus retail politics still rules the day. That race was decided the same way most are: who is more likable? Who would you rather have a beer with? Martha Coakly seemed cold and officious and couldn’t talk about baseball (among other gaffes). Scott Brown is a hunky, likable pro choice Republican. He handled questions very well and the first person he called when he was elected was Vicki Kennedy. That’s a smart politician (weird comments about his daughters came after he was elected, oops). Yeah, the economy still stinks, people get nervous about some big proposals, but I think if I had met Scott Brown years ago I probably would have slept with him.  I’ll vote for that… in my mind.

WILL OBAMA STOP TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE AND START TALKING ABOUT JOBS?

I may scream if I hear some hack pundit say this one more time. Way to allow the health care business–and it is a business– to set the debate. It does have to do with jobs, it does have to do with job creation. If a business is crushed by the cost of insuring their employees, will they hire more people? No. Will they try to hire less employees and only pick up freelance people whom they don’t have to pay benefits too?  It’s already happening. If health care costs eat up the little profit margin a small business has, will they stay in business? The costs are soaring. I’m still perplexed at how cost containment isn’t more front and center for the debate on both sides. I’m not saying the Obama plan can fix these issues. I am a big hair less Dane or Swede in my heart when it comes to health care, I’m for cradle to grave, but fat chance getting that in the US. Bottom line, health care debate is NOT separate from jobs.

OCTOMOM PLEASE KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON

Barf, who wants to see that head case parade her newly bounced back body? Not me. Right, I’m sure you are mother of the year with your 14 kids and your workout routine. Good for you. Go away.

And most importantly,

MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Can we please discuss how our emphasis on being a war machine bleeds education and safety from our kids, robs the middle class of resources, and leaves our mentally ill and poor to wonder the streets and annoy as we walk out of Trader Joe’s? One doesn’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool hippie to see that these huge companies that make the weapons and support staff (Blackwater anyone?) hide behind our patriotism and support our troops sloganeering. It’s called war profiteering, and it’s so ingrained in our country, few see it, and less speak about it. It’s not a mainstream discussion, and this mother thinks it should be.

What are some of your fist pounders or head scratchers?

Just cuz he’s cute…

Golden Globes

One of the hazards with being an occasional basic cable host is that when you are NOT hired to cover an event you sit at home and “cover” the event in your head. How I would ask different questions, how it would feel. That’s the inspiration for this vid.

Also, people say, “Covering the red carpet must be fun.” It can be, but it can also be brutally hard and humbling. I will never forget covering the premiere of “Titanic” in the late ’90s and yelling, “Tom, Tom Arnold” as he blew past me.

Sylvester Stallone blew me off; I’ve been blown off my Demi Moore. You know, big names, too many to count. But I don’t know if it gets any lower than being blown off my Tom Arnold.

Oh, wait, a few months ago I was blown off by Janice Dickerson, a new low.

Haiti: What Do You Say? (Momversation)

Th launching pad for this discussion on Momversation (a sister site) was the earthquake in Haiti.  Do you allow your kids to see the footage?  What do you say?  But, sadly every few months, it seems there is some big awful tragedy that we have to decide how much of a filter our kids need.  Toward the end of the vid Karen of chookooloonks.com asked, “What age do you take off the filter?”  My stepson is 16, and he has no filter when it comes to current events. I tried to think when that was lifted. I think it was bit by bit, but he had his own computer at 12. At that age he can go on any news site and see stories. I think there is also a danger in becoming jaded to tragedy.

Now, whether a kid that age should have unfettered access to the net is another question…I don’t make those decisions.  For my bio kids I would think twice about it.

In this Momversation you will learn what kept me up at night as a kid.  What kept you up at night?

Create Your Day

I encourage all of you to “CREATE YOUR DAY” by going to WWW.QUAKEROATS.COM/CREATEYOURDAY and discovering an oatmeal creation that will best help you tackle the day that lies ahead for youth.  For every bowl of oatmeal created on this site, GoodBite.com & Quaker will donate $1.00 to “Share Our Strength”, a charity dedicated to ending childhood hunger, up to $25,000.  This goal is no small feat, but with your help we can do it.  $25,000 will go a long way to helping Share Our Strength continue their important work.

Behind the Scenes

A lot of people (4) ask me how I shoot my videos. It happens two ways. Either I put my little video on a tripod like I did in this vid and wing it solo or about every 5 or 6 weeks a cameraman and a producer, my friend Rob Morhaim, come to my house and we shoot about 12 vids that then I scroll out of a few weeks. Those ones look better; there are nice lights and a bigger camera. I am more physically limited in what I can do with the homemades. Sometimes the content is fine, but I do like to try to make things look a little different when I have my crew. We just did a shoot day, and we had lunch catered. Which means my husband brought us soup and sandwiches from his lunch place in Culver City, their Point. The onion soup is ambrosia!

I am wardrobe and makeup gal. And in this video I should be fired.

Healing Hunter

Any gripe or complaint in life has to be dropped kicked to the curb when compared to what I think is the THE SINGLE HARDEST thing a human could go through: being the parent of a seriously ill child. I was friends of friends with a nice couple Zen and Lenore. I met Lenore when she was pregnant with her son. Her fiance Zen was taking my headshots. She already knew he was going to be named Hunter. Vivien was about one, and we had mommy talks. I later heard through our mutual friend that they had had their son and gotten married.

Then when Hunter was 16 months I got an email for a fundraiser. Hunter had been diagnosed with Leukemia. I was dumbstruck. His parents are this cool, hip couple. Attractive, kind, living a very normal life. I know there is no profile for people dealing with tragedy, but I was stunned to hear they were going through this.  I went to the fundraiser. I think like a lot of people I didn’t know what to say, how I would act… what can you say to a mother whose child lies in a hospital seriously ill? Other than I will pray for him, affirm for him, see him whole, vibrant, healthy. The only constructive thing I could think to do was bring them food.

I visited Lenore and Zen and Hunter at LA Children’s Hospital a few times either bringing food from Campanile or homemade. There is no good food at that hospital, and they are too devoted to their son to leave him to go anywhere good. I was shocked at how they had to live. Bad enough to go through the agony of seeing your precious, beautiful boy full of cords, wires, poked and prodded, but most of the time they only had half a room. They were all living in half a room. One would sleep on the bed with Hunter, the other would be on the chair bed. They had their possessions piled high. DVDs, computer, change of clothes. And separated by only a curtain, another family was going through their own hell. Lenore and family were there for 5 months. (A friend who was helping with fundraising for the hospital said, “Well, I’ve heard the families can give each other comfort.” I said, “That’s BS; would you want to share your life crammed in half a room with complete strangers?”)

Yet, they were so positive and so gracious. They said they were humbled and felt lucky because there was a chance their son would be all right, but they had seen kids there who were so ill or disfigured they wouldn’t. I was so touched by their courage.

And then joy, they got out. Hunter was better. He would still need to see the doctor monthly, but his signs were good. Yeah. His family had had it with LA at this point and quite rightly thought a healthier lifestyle for all of them was in order. So, they moved to Oregon.

One day Lenore was in town, and we met for lunch. It was great to see her out of a hospital. They loved where they lived, and even going to Portland once a month for checkups was ok as they liked the hospital more than in LA. They were paying down their medical debt to a manageable level. I was so relieved. Maybe life is like a movie with a happy ending.

But some movies have sequels that shouldn’t be made. And I got a  notice about another fundraiser. Hunter’s cancer had returned. No, it can’t be I thought, how can they go through this again? Then there was a quest to find a bone marrow donor for him, made more complicated by the fact that Hunter is of mixed race, so it’s harder to find.  Then he did have the transplant. Things were going well. More life in the hospital, then out of this hospital. Back and forth. Many visits to the ER when his fever spikes. Recently, on her FB page Lenore said all was good.

And now, his fever has returned. I am stymied by what this little boy has had to go through. By the courage of he and his parents. Lenore wrote an essay called Teardrops and Smiles on his website recently, and I asked her if I could share it here. She said yes.

It is so unfair. I don’t have the words. But these are hers.