Ah, the toddler years

We just got back from a fun camping trip with families from Rex’s pre school. Rex is part of the “cool Senior set”  4 and 5 year olds who are all about to chuck the sand box for long hours of structured learning.  Oh, they have no idea what a buzz kill that will be.IMG_0670

I have bagged the trip before because it always falls on my birthday ( thanks, thanks), but because it’s our swan song we went.  So glad we did.  Great time, great people and being sung to by a campfire as I look up at stars ( non existent in LA) is a nice way to bring a new year in.  Though why I  had to hear so many times “29 again?” Chortle, chortle.  Hey, why is it SO funny that I would be 29?  Do I look THAT bad?

One bummer was that oddly NOT ONE family had an older sibling Viv’s age.  There was on 7 year old boy, but different universe.  Not one older sister.  Note, to self, if we go again kidnap a third grade girl for the weekend, “don’t worry, we will take care of her and bring back on Sunday.”

family and llamasLOTS of people with little kids.   I loved holding the occasional baby.  That sweet new human smell they have is like NOTHING else.  It’s a primal connection.  Nature knows what it is doing.  I whiff that and I would take that child in and make them my own if needed.  HOWEVER, all the toddlers, 3 year olds only made me pat myself on that back for demanding my husband get a vasectomy. Seeing so many people trying to reason, cajole their 2 and 3 year olds gave a tiny bit of glee.  I don’t have to deal with this ( much) anymore.

The irrational, no reason, OCD, crazy people that rule you.  No thanks.  My fiver old is no walk in the walk.  I don’t want to go through that again.  So, I looked for a snap shot of when I was in that mode.  When all you can do is crack up, or find the comedy.

But, Gosh, look at those curls!  Sniff, sniff.

Who says I don’t cook?

mark peel and daphne brogdon cook

we had fun and worked off each other well

A few weeks back Mark and I were guest on Hallmark Channel’s “Home and Family”.  It’s a great domestic oriented morning show.  No trash stories, helpful and fun.  Wish it was on my cable carrier.  Anyway,  We did a Chicken Thigh Throwdown. Everyone thinks Mark is nightly making me great meals. My standard line was, “sure, if I went into his restaurant.” But, at home I do most of the cooking and since we don’t have any restaurants anymore and my work has been…meek.. the last couple of years I’ve been cooking more than ever.

Mark getting his mic...I hope

Mark getting his mic…I hope

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 The idea was Mark would do the “restaurant” or fancy version of chicken thighs and I would do the easy, your family will eat version.

mark peel and daphne brogdon cookAs someone who made her living for years as a TV host I really appreciate a good host.  Christina Ferrare and Mark Steines are great and improvising and brought out the best in us.  It was the first time Mark and I have cooked together out of our home and it was a lot of fun.  In case you want to try either dish, here are the recipes.  Enjoy. http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/homeandfamily/recipe/markpeeldaphnebrogdonchickenthighthrowdown

parent teacher conference

We just had our meeting and in general Vivien is doing very well in school.

As the hardworking teacher showed us the work and what they are learning I kept thinking, “I didn’t do any work like this in 3rd grade… or ever.”  Granted I had kind of a Bo-Ho education.  Not all kids get to opt to watch a Bette Davis double feature instead of learning long division.  But, 1) the work does seem harder now and 2) it’s just different.  The terms are different, the nomenclature of their work is so unknown to me so that if they didn’t include “notes to parents” in some of her work books I’d be unable to help her.

I think of the kids in her class whose parents don’t speak English and I wonder , “How can those kids succeed?”  So much homework, new terms, plop on  a different language you are sunk.

My only question at the conference?  When will they get more free play?  Answer:  they won’t.

Here is another burst of educational insight I had when Rex was younger and I still had my fab camera man Chung Ming shooting my vids  ( I just recently got to work with him.  Love that guy)

My other insight is bring your kid’s teacher a sandwich.  I did and she was happy.

imovie is cramping my style

So, my computer went on the fritz.  I sprang for a new mac.  All of this meant I couldn’t blog for a while.  Then when the new machine arrived I thought, “ah, finally, I can edit my videos.”  But, I’m stalled.  The new and improved imovie is not my friend.  I’ve watched  a you tube video and it doesn’t help.

So, why does mac put out products without explantation?  My texting wasn’t working on my iphone.  My sister Cecily, who is tech savvy, picked it up and figured out how to fix it.  I feel like you have to learn how to handle mac products on the street, no one tells you.  Like sex.

new imovie no good

 

I got this far, but stalled.  Sigh.  I’m sure there is genius there, if I could only unlock it.

Oscar ’14

As much as I wish the rainstorm had fallen right on red carpet Sunday, I watched the show with wide eyes.  I can’t help it.  I was born in the Heart of Screenland (Culver City), I’ve commented on the fashion as part of my job in the past and I even knew a couple of people in the big show.  (I’m so 3 degrees from famous)  I’ve eaten the pizza Ellen ordered!  I was on the list for an after party, not Elton’s.  But, after I put on my make up I got a text that the party was a turkey and not to bother.  When a film hasn’t won their party can go like half and  half left out.

At home Mark and I made dinner for our family who had come over and I got Red Carpet (wearing) Ready!

red carpet watching ready

 

Thanks for asking, I’m wearing vintage cashmere sweater and yoga pants.  Oh, no, I don’t buy it.  They send it to me.  Yes, picked the first thing I put on. The real red carpet was a snooze.  Not sure what happened, but I saw 4 celebs and lots of commercials, canned bits, and those weird talking heads on E!  Liked this clip of fashion from Vanity Fair party they sent me.  Miss Jane Fonda looks fab.

Ellen did a great job.  Also, kudos to all these thoughtful acceptance speeches.  Jared Leto, the lady from “12 years a slave”, the guy who wrote the movie.  I wasn’t wishing for a trap door to sink the narcissists till more than half way through the show.  Lame award goes to the director of “Gravity”.  Maybe he should have spoken in Spanish, cause he kind of rambled and didn’t have a point in English.  The director of “12 years” had a dud speech too.  Best picture award ususally does.  Best Short Action Animation in a Festival and Made on their Credit Card has more heart and vulnerability than the guy who will get ads taken out for him in the trades just to congratulate him.  I can’t get over his name being Steve McQueen either.  Do the kids even get that?  Is his wife named Ali McGraw?

Loved that they actually performed the nominated songs.  Didn’t like the years they didn’t. How about Travolta butchering Idina Menzel’s name?  He wasn’t even close.  Maybe he should do a PSA for dyslexia?  All great songs, except my old buds U2.  No “In the name of Love”.  Um, and why did Pink sing instead Liza Minneli?  Also, I like Bette Midler and she looked and sounded great, but do we need a reminder of “Beaches”?  Weren’t Kim Novak’s lips enough?

I found a great way to get through the slower bits of the show.  Oscar Bingo.  It’s a mix of fashion, celebs, and hack words and expressions.  Here is the winning card held by my niece Lily, and my card which did not.oscar bingo Lily’s, (on the right) has “Cuff”in the upper left box, as in worn on a lady’s wrist, metal.  Then anyone from “American Hustle”,  “incredible”, anyone saying that word.  The word “Amazing” was on someone else’s card and was marked fast.  The center box is suppose to be “Bow Tie”, but I wrote “Box Tie”, clearly thinking of what the stars inject in their faces.  Next is “person with accent”

Vivien’s card had  one we didn’t hear, thankfully, last night, the winner telling their kids to “go to sleep.”

Rex was undone.  “Why are you all watching this? It’s so boring!”  As he tumbled on the coach before donning my rain boots, a helmet, clutching a styrofoam “sword” sans pants.   “I know it is Rex.  But, I’m not budging till it’s over.”