Skipping the Super Bowl

Couldn’t care less about the Super Bowl.  I don’t think I’ve watched since the Janet Jackson episode.  That one I was at gathering in San Francisco and I was so irked with the placid, fleece wearing group of watchers.  They lacked dynamism and reinforced my decision to move back to LA where the quality of life can be harder, but people have more pep.flag football

Instead of rooting for big corporations to injure young men’s bodies I’m hosting a seminar on Sparkling wines with two other moms from Vivien’s school as a fundraising event. A sommelier wine friend of mine is educating us while we get soused.   We didn’t mean to do counter programming, but after checking for religious holidays, national holidays who knew we had to worry about football?  Two ladies dropped out and I was left to think… why?

Isn’t it kind of a feminist issue the amount of time, money, energy that is put into propping up sports which offer NO advancement to women?  One dad chided one of my co host for holding an event on Super Bowl night. We have to watch all your action movies on date nights and feign interest in football?  Would he reschedule his beer night for figure skating finals?  What message do we as moms send to our daughter’s if we follow along the hubby to watch his game of men?  Shouldn’t we be going to a Take Back the Night rally?  Or in my case, Take back the wine lounge.

I’ve gotten into the particulars of a game when I was being paid to understand football for a show I hosted.  But, otherwise the enjoyment of Super Bowl parties is lost on me.  Let’s sit around, drinking beer and eating mediocre food, no one looks good, not much conversation is going on and watch a TV.  If I liked football I’d watch from home.  Of course some women on their own enjoy the game.  But, plenty don’t and feel they need to cozy up to their dude.  I’d the like the time back I spent sitting next to some dude I thought was Mr. Right on his couch eating pizza and acting like I gave a shit.

If you don’t like Football don’t pretend.  The Football Industrial Complex doesn’t need you.  Thoughtful feminist who think for themselves and raise girls to not fixate on men’s needs do need you.

 

Recent nostalgia

I’m looking at pictures of my kids when they were younger like they just got married.  Rex is near 5, Vivien 8 and my stepson is 20. Okay, with him, big difference, but it’s not like Rex still doesn’t need an overnight diaper.  Yet, I’m gazing at their little pictures.

Rex’s sausage legs and curlsfamily trips

Vivien pre braces

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Or her round face babyness.cute baby

Not sure why it’s hit me, this looking backward.  I was in Inglewood this morning for a vet appointment and it hit me, “Aren’t I near Grandma’s old house?”  My grandma died when I was in high school.  I liked her very much and have fond memories of her ground floor apartment next to an Astro burger.  No, not like having Rose Kennedy as your grandma, but we always had a great time.  She would make us penny hot dogs.  Hot dogs, cut up in slices.  She always had a pot of Irish stew on the stove.  A big stack of old computer paper that we could color on on the unused side.

Inglewood in the 1970's

Inglewood in the 1970’s

I looked up Astroburger.  It is still there.  So was the building with the apartments that my Grandma Maxwell lived in. a house in inglewood The neighborhood was not great 30 years ago, it looks worse now.  There is a big fence in front of her building.  No plants.  But, otherwise, pretty much the same.  I wish we had taken pictures of our time there.  I only have the images in my head to go on.

You know when you get off the freeway and you see a little house or apartment, or maybe it’s next to an auto part part store, or next to Astroburger and you think, jeez, that sucks to live there.  Glad I don’t live there.  Well, people are living full lives in those non pinterest post worthy abodes.  Kind words, good smells, and lots of crayons.  Sausage legs and round faces.

 

Not like the old times.. hanging with Mayor Garcetti

Ah, remember the good old days of calling supporters from Eric Garcetti’s kitchen while he munched on leftovers?  Well, I do and the I miss the jazz of the campaign.  Sure I worked a lot for no money, but I met some great people and it was an exciting atmosphere.  Well, we won which meant other people got jobs in City Hall and I didn’t have to drag my kids to canvas on Saturdays.

"this is where you say, 'and I couldn't have done it without Daphne Brogdon'"

“this is where you say, ‘and I couldn’t have done it without Daphne Brogdon'”

So, I was pleased to recently be invited to city hall with other supporters for a quick photo with the Mayor, Mayor Garcetti.  As luck would have it I was walking toward the wine table just when The Mayor walked in.

“I miss you!” he said as we hugged.  Ah, with running the second biggest city in the world do you remember the old days?  You know, 7 months ago?  We quickly caught up on family and my work, he wanted to hear about Mark.  As he walked away to get in position to greet the throngs I said aloud to no one in particular, “I got a moment!  I got a moment!” I got my picture… Daphne Brogdon and Mayor Garcetti

My first picture with EG as Mayor!  There is a difference between a candidate and office holder. There just is.  One can’t help being a little more formal and deferential.

I worked the room and met other civic minded people.  Interesting people who have been nibbling at the edges trying to create a better city longer than I. All of us either on neighbor councils, commissioners, volunteers in social organizations.  So, in that way the campaign continues.

New member of the family

For the first time in my life I am a dog owner.  We got Cody the Cockapoo just a couple of days ago.

Rex had asked Santa for a dog, but Santa told him he couldn’t cross state lines with a live animal. He said he would bring a toy dog.  Rex understood.  Both the kids got toy dogs, but still wished for a real one.  Like in “Miracle on the 34th street” Santa has his ways.

When Mark and I discussed what kind of dog we wanted our list was, 1) not too big, 2) not a puppy, 3) not a shedder 4) male.cockapoo

One morning I get a call from my neighbor Joanne asking if I knew who anyone who would like to take a 6 year old, Cockapoo, boy dog.  I said, we would.  I said “well, bring him by and we will see.” Mark sat nearby and said, “there is no “bringing by”, you see it, you’ll want it.”

It’s an odd story of how he came to be with us.  Joanne said another family in our area asked her if they wanted to take him.  Why, my friend and adult daughter asked?  Knowing Cody was a nice dog.  They said they were moving to North Carolina and couldn’t take him and they were going to have leave him at a rescue pound.  Last I heard they have dogs in North Carolina, so I don’t know what the story is, but unless a hurricane is about to heat and you have to run for your life I don’t know why you would leave your family dog behind.  But, our gain.

The kids were in the back with two of Viv’s best friends when we brought Cody back.

“Do you like this dog?”

“yes”

“Want to keep him?”

“For the day?”  They asked.

“Forever”  Vivien jumped and hunged her friend.  Rex was speechless.

So far everything is fine except ONE thing.  The dog is a bolter.  At first I thought it meant he was looking for his old home.  But, I’ve been told he did this with them too.  So, no open front doors here.  He has a huge backyard that is secure he can ramble around, but hasn’t ventured out much yet.  Also, they never fixed him so I have to do that.

But, since I’m new to dog ownership I welcome any helpful hints to all this.

The kids are happy and we a more complete family.

Rose parade

Happy New year folks! Getting back into it…

I feel I always greet a new year with optimism, hope, fresh resolve.  Now I think, Why bother? Maybe it’s better to adjust my expectations.  Then life could look more rosy at benchmark’s along the byways of 2014.

Speaking of Rosey…my family and I went to the Rose Parade this year.rose parade float It’s that one time of the year where dear old Pasadena, California for one day becomes the center of the country with petals glued to a hulking object over wheels and some dudes from the mid west knock heads ( or Northeast and West this year).   People camp out for days to get the primes spots on Colorado Blvd, the main drag of the Rose parade.  Why anyone would camp out on concrete over night, save for a political demonstration perhaps, I don’t get.  But, I want to witness it. The night before the parade I slowly drove my Cheerio wagon down Colorado with my kids.

“Look, you guys, look at all the people camping out on the sidewalk.”  They gapped in wonder at the throngs in their parka’s.  Folding chairs, blow up beds, many had wood fires in portable pits.  Some sat and drank, some looked bored and then…INCOMING.  Whap! Our car was hit with whipped cream.

Rex: “Mommy, what was that?”

“Whipped cream, I think it’s a thing.”  wide-eyed and amused we saw a grown man hurl a tortilla at our windshield.  It slowly slipped down, left a goo mark as it was coated with honey.

A few more tried to pelt us. There was some silly string.  I never felt in danger, yet felt, hmm, this could turn into anarchy pretty darn fast.  I moved into  the left turn lane as we approached the street I needed to turn onto.  Provident, as the car that was left in the right lane was bombarded by three woman with white gooey stuff… some whipped cream type thing.  I thought, “Where are they going to the bathroom?”  I’m sure they added some porta potties, but I thought, “Where are they brushing their teeth?”  It was all too grisly to consider.

The last time, and only other time, I spent New Years eve in Pasadena I was single and I was with one of my best friends Whitney.  We use to travel to exotic locales for NYE, but work schedules prevented us from doing so that year ( I was hosting a show for Discovery at the time), so if you can’t go tropical, of course you go Pasadena. We had drinks where an old improv friend was bartending.  A pathetic bar that had been a funeral home at one time.  Now, that same friend Josh Temple is a successful host for DIY and was wandering the streets of Pasadena for HGTV for their Rose Parade coverage and I’m Not hosting a show for Discover ( ironically, all of those channels are owned by Scripps).  I got a text from a friend when I was on my way to dinner, “Josh is interviewing people by floats.” Performing improvisationally is a much better fit for him.  Oh, what time will do.

After spending a challenging night on a slowly deflating air mattress with Rex’s foot in my back, neck, face we woke to meet the parade.  My sister made a fantastic coffee cake and then we walked a mere 8 blocks and we were right at the barricade of the parade.

Vivien and Rex gaze must have brought Michigan State good luck.

Vivien and Rex gaze must have brought Michigan State good luck.

No compromising our hygiene for this spot.   I thought I would most like to see the floats.  There were some pretty ones.  Though Trader Joe’s was so lame, “Relish the dream’ with bunches of olives and such.  Yeah, we get the message, “We sell condiments!”  Come on corporate America, try to look like you care about the greater good. Especially considering all the money I shell out at TJ’s they could have stepped it up.  We saw the Rose Queen, KC and the Sunshine band.  Clearly since he gave up coke it’s harder for him to keep up his figure.

KC is the big guy up top, in the front

KC is the big guy up top, in the front

But, what I really enjoyed was the marching bands.  This bands are 10 times bigger than most high schools.  Some are forced to wear the most god awful outfits, but they perform very well.  Thick nylon ish jumpsuits. rose parade marching band There must always be a struggle between “are we performing in cold or heat?”  With girls mid sections being the loser.   There are some though, that don’t finish on their feet.  Maybe they partied a bit too much the night before, or the thick nylon plus heat did them in.  For them there are vans, “loser bus” my Pasadena friends called them.  I once saw an over heated tuba player prostrate next to his instrument gasping in the van as the crowd jeered.

Everyone claps for the people following the horses.  Ah, show biz!rose parade pooper scoopers

It was pretty warm and I wish I had dressed in cooler clothes.rose parade spectatorsno mistaking me for the belly daners.belly dancers at rose parade

But, didn’t matter what I wore.  After an hour Rex was DONE.

Get up Rex, who know show slept there last night

Get up Rex, who knows who slept there last night

He had stayed up to 11 the night before.. trying for midnight.  The kids were hot so we walked back before it was done.  It is very worth seeing up close.  Not, sleep on public street worth it, but couch surfing worth it. It’s a nice moment in a string of various moments.  Like a year.  Like a life. It’s all about expectations.