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.

Happy Birthday to me

Gang,  This is the longest I’ve gone since a post.  It’s tough when you are in a mid life crisis, raising kids, family obligations, working, looking for more work, mourning your Food Network show, exercising, doing community work and resisting the worst President I’ve ever known.

It remind me of one of the my favorite signs from the women’s march. “ugh, Where Do I Start?”

I’m going to try and post something funny soon.  Right now I’ve been binge watching old videos from when my kids were super tiny.  They are now 8 and 11 and I’m already nostalgic for their younger selves.  So, I’ll leave you with one that has been on a loop here lately.  It’s something I made for Mark’s professional FB page years ago.  It’s so cute!!

Oh, and March 22nd is my birthday.  Thanks for being here!

Inauguration… it’s coming

Being a Pro Hillary, Non Trump person I have felt kind of like the Grinch.  We take the trappings of Christmas away and Christmas comes anyway.

It comes without mandate!

It comes without civility

It comes without logic, equality and voting rights!

It comes with Putin, voter suppression, the FBI meddling and Newt!

But, it comes nonethless.

inaugural protestMy kids were making fun of Donald Trump before I barely noticed him as a viable candidate.  The kids got it first.  He was a big presence.  They don’t like him and I say, you guys I’ve lived a lot longer than you all and I’m telling you, this is NOT the kind of person we have as a president.  People usually at least try to be gentleman and mend fences.  Not here.

So, as I prepare to March Saturday  ( I hope to get some protesting in Friday too, but I have to work, so you know work/life/protest balance) I keep thinking, what is on my sign?

There is the I can’t accept you dude genre:  “Repeal and Replace Donald Trump”  Which is kind a cool because it sticks up for ACA too.  Or “I’m not with him”.   But, since he is in, I’m not sure that strikes the right tone.

There are the single issue signs.  Several protest Friday in LA focus on Immigration rights and protecting the Dreamers.  So many good causes to champion in the age of Trump. Protecting the climate ( 2016 was THE hottest year on record  Don), Health care, funding for education, housing, safeguarding financial system, etc, etc.  As long as no on is threatening harm to a human I’m down with whatever sign.

As a woman I certainly do NOT feel represented and was looking forward to seeing someone who looked like me as POTUS.  Who had to get her clothes ready for work and give her child attention while she had cramps and nag her husband to help her unload the dishwasher.  Who had been a solid professional, but had men look at each other in a meeting while was ignored.    Who was shushed so a man could be heard.  I’m very sad at the large amount of white woman who did not vote for Hillary.  “Something about her I don’t like”.  Was John Kerry or Al Gore the kings of personality?  Did they always ring authentic? No, but I supported them because their policies more closely aligned with me.  Sadly a confluence of internalized misogyny and lure of celebratory and lack of critical thinking won the day.  So, that woman will not take the oath.

So, I keep thinking.. when the whoos down in whoo ville circle up, what do I want them to see on my sign?  ( not that many will see it, but go with me)

Some say, don’t go too negative.  Trump will just dismiss critics. Maybe true, but I also need to do this for my own self expression.  So, I’m going to have a two sided signs.  One is a suggestion for how I think our future POTUS should act and one is a cause that I would like us to unify around.

One side was a friend of friends idea:  “We need a leader, not a tweeter”.  His assault on our psyche with that nonsense needs to stop.  Most of us plebs tweet and blog because we have no platform otherwise.  This guy is the most famous dude in the world.  Why is acting like a teenager?  What no snap chat?

The other is to support the first thing I ever marched for as a kid: ERA.  The Equal Rights Amendment.  It never passed.  That’s right.  It is NOT in our constitution that women are equal.  So, I think I’ll throw on my “Don’t blame me, I voted for her” T-shirt and hold up my sign. There is a great article HERE that holds out hope that sometimes the leader you think is your worst enemy can surprise you.

The best thing I can say about him now is I hope he surprises me.  I hope you acts more inclusive, rational.  But, I doubt it.

 

I

I’ve started to write, stopped, started.. head been whacked since election.  Also, so much to say!!  Serious stuff too.

But, Don’s appointment to Secretary of Energy made me think of something funny.  We remember Rich Perry’s famous “oops” moment when in a primary debate in ’12 he forgot one of the 3 departments he would dismantle if he became president.  It was wildly made fun of and he was soon out of the race.  Oh how have things changed in 4 years!  Trump did 100 things more outrageous and said dumber things in his debate, but didn’t matter.  Now, he is appointing Perry to one of the departments he wanted to dismantle.

Well, back then I included Perry’s debate gaffe as one of my “If a mom talked like….”  So, I’m posting again.  So funny, one of the points I was making back then with this series is that women are held to a different standard than men.  Ha, ha, so true ( laughing through my tears)

I’m still with her

I’m still with her.  

But, I’m at a loss of what to say to my kids.  There is all the stuff any good parent says to their kids: “Be kind, be smart, do your homework, treat people with respect, do onto others, be humble, don’t grab women’s pussy’s.”  But, it rings hollow now because the guy who just got elected broke all those rules and is being richly rewarded.

for election watch party

for election watch party

Why did women vote for him?  You really think he will create jobs Michigan?  Why is he building a wall against Canada?

I am proud of Hillary Clinton.  She worked so hard.  She put up with abuse and ridicule that 99.9% would have crumbled under.  She came so very close.  She won the popular vote.  Last night I had hoped to sit between my mother and daughter and cheer the first ever female president of the US.  Instead I held my daughter and niece as they sobbed and my mom had already left saying “I can’t take it.”

my kids helping me make calls for Hillary two days before election

my kids helping me make calls for Hillary two days before election

By saying I’m with her I also mean I’m with people of color and immigrants, gays, handicapped, POW’s, my gosh, our Generals!  All the people President Elect Game Show host has insulted in his 18 month campaign.  

This morning as Vivien cried, “Mommy, what do we do?”  I said, “I don’t know.”   So, it was all the more helpful when Hillary talked right to her.

“To all the little girls watching…never doubt that you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance & opportunity in the world.”

We must keep reminding them this in the face of living in a country which elected a man who boasted about grabbing women’s privates, who condescended to Hillary all the time.  In the face of having watched the debates where she was vastly more articulate and informed than him and yet, she will not be the president.

Making history... voting in the morning.  Hopeful and wearing white for sufferagettes

Making history… voting in the morning. Hopeful and wearing white for sufferagettes

I‘m with her means I salute my mom, a life long feminist.  I was a little girl when the ERA wasn’t ratified and now, years later… sigh.. same old story.  The old white boys club.  The FBI, Trump, GOP and some misguided working class people who think he is their champion.

I resent that he is a guy who never did a day of community work in his life.  There is commitment to public service.  I’m wondering the point of all of mine.  I’m discouraged.

I’m with her because I’m not going to be a nice little girl and go away.  I’m a proud Nasty Woman and I’m staying that way.  History does not run on a smooth trajectory.  I know this election is on the wrong side of history, but we are on this zig zag nonetheless.   

I’m with her because I’m going to support my daughter and son to be feminists.  Who judge a person by the content of their character.  Brother, this President Elect is wanting in that department.

Would have been nice instead of talking about polls… that were wrong.. if the media had EVER done a compare and contrast with the candidates policies.  But, who am I kidding? It wouldn’t have changed the outcome in a society riddled with sexism and adoring of reality TV.

I was overjoyed that my country elected a man of color in ’08.  Yay!  My country isn’t as racist as I thought it was.  But, it is as sexist as I thought it was.  SEXISM RUNS THROUGH ALL COLORS AND CULTURES.  

I’m still in shock.  A cross between being jilted, a death, a bit of 9/11, of “what world is this?” feeling.  But, when I manage to wash my hair again I hope to have a plan.  Because a big part of me wants to become a hermit and live deep in Michigan.. if only to vote in the next election.

Sorry Dudes, Trump is ruining it for you

I’ve always been political.  News junkie.  First professional job in broadcasting was as a news anchor for a local NPR station.  So, I can get heated. But, never before have I felt so personally traumatized.  Sure, Bush v. Gore was VERY upsetting,

But, Trumps behavior and millions condoning it has me questioning every relationship with men I have ever had.

You see,  like many women I’ve spent  my life accommodating the male persona. I’m a feminist, but I’ve still done it.  Maybe less than others, but in a world where they are often your boss, or the majority of your co workers, it’s hard not too.    From making sure my dad had the seat at the head of the table and a plate of hot food, to nodding politely when some male stranger said something condescending.  Well, he is an old guy, he doesn’t mean to demean. From “Smile honey” to  bosses who made lewd comments about me or other women I worked with.

something I pasted together

something I pasted together

The worst were several males and bosses I worked with in radio in the 90’s.  Pigs.  I worked with some great, respectful men of all ages.  But, hands down the worst were at KGO radio San Francisco.  Constant sexual comments.  I would smile, and then every few weeks go into an empty studio and cry.   I wanted to work in radio.  What was I going to do?  It was top down at that place.  I eventually learned to become like my torturer.   When they would say something gross, I’d shoot back , “Yeah, but you have a small dick.  So, can I have the AP report now?”   It hardened me.    I spoke of one incident to a woman superior.  She made excuses for the guy, “But, he never touched you, right?”  No, he never did. But, I was stuck with him and a guy engineer on a remote broadcast who made everything we spoke of into a way to bring in my body parts.  Once I wasn’t working for the station directly, but for a show taped there, it sheltered me a bit. Like an abuse victim I didn’t stand up to any of these men till I saw it being done to a younger woman who had started working there.  Unable to defend myself I did tell one guy to not talk to her like that anymore.  “I thought it was a compliment?”  He said.  “No, no woman wants two senior men to her at work to hold up a Victoria’s Secret catalogue and say, ‘Yes, it does look like her.”   I couldn’t reprimand the other guy, he was even higher up.

NOT JUST SEXUAL

As I moved onto TV I had all different type of co workers and bosses.  MANY who knew were the line was.  (Consensual sexual relationships between co workers is fine..albeit later Awkward. )  However, this taking care of the man isn’t just about letting some fat, fart think he has a chance with you.  It doesn’t have to take a sexual form to be menacing and manipulative and to keep women from freely expressing themselves and their ideas.   How many times have you been in a meeting with a male boss who mansplains you to boredom?  Who is detailing something middle management figured out months ago?  Who shows you how to do something you already know?  Who assumes you do not have what a certain task will take?   Who silences you so a man can speak? Who wants endless praise for one idea he has come with?    But, most of the time I  humor them.  Laugh, smile, rag on them later when I’m at happy hour with a co worker.  The few times I have protested, I’m alone.  So, I  back down and I needed the paycheck.

Sorry, guys I probably would have kept doing it, but now that I see this heavy, lurching manness writ large with Donald Trump I’m done.  I’m calling it and I’m not going along with it.  Trumps intense meanness to Hillary Clinton in the second debate made my stomach hurt.   I watched it with others and the men in the room were also upset.  “I have to have a drink” one said.  It was so tense.  In order to get along, Hillary rarely fired back. I get why.  It’s NOT a level playing field and she is carrying Bill’s sins on her coat tails. Though I don’t know why when a woman is cheated on and gets angry at the other woman she is an abuser?  Couldn’t a woman calling a woman she is angry with be called “locker room talk?”   No, because entitled men reserve excuses for themselves and the brotherhood.  Pat Robertson and his ilk think it’s fine.

I know there are good guys who don’t even realize their impact on woman sometimes.I  t could be from someone who otherwise I think is a lovely person.  Maybe a super liberal,don’t matter.  They stand too close. their voices are naturally deeper, louder. They think everyone wants to hear what that have to say.  I had a boyfriend years ago who was large.  6’7”, 240lbs.  He acted very contrite and respectful around women.  I was surprised at how gentle this giant was.  I asked him about it and he said, “I know my physical size is very intimidating to women and I don’t want them to be scared of me.” He did not abuse his power.  Sometimes Mark says something that startles me or Vivien.  When we say, “why are you yelling?”  He says, “I wasn’t.  I’m not even mad.”  It’s the timber.  The other day at Bombo he came in during my shift and started telling me IN FRONT OF OTHERS about the correct ice to lemonade ratio.  I just nodded as I thought screaming  “Don’t Mansplain to me”  might be bad for business.  In a private moment I said, I know this is not what you intended, but here is how that felt to me.  He understood.

OUTSIDE OF WORK

The belittling of woman is not confined to the work place.  Oh no.  It can be from dear people who don’t even know they are doing it.  Being who I am I freely express my opinions on all types of topics.  One thing both men, and some woman have said when I do this MAKES ME GO NUTS.   It’s a line that has a few variations… but it undercuts whatever the speaker has just said.  Here it is:

“Daphne, tell us what you really think?”  Followed by chuckles.   It could also be, “Daphne, go on, tell us what you really think?”   Chuckles.  Or “You never have to guess what Daphne thinks about something.”  Continued chuckles.   I have had women do this to me too, usually when we are in the company of men.

Frankly, I don’t know how it’s taken me so long to say, as I recently said to my husband when he did it too!,

When I said “That is so sexist and belittling.”  (he got it)

 

However, I have NEVER heard any gender say that to a man expressing a definite opinion.  EVER.   If you have ever said this ask yourself, why?  Were you uncomfortable with the statement?  Was it controversial?  Because if it was a hot button issue one could say instead,  “I appreciate you feel really strongly about this, I just don’t want to create any friction on a night I thought we were going to do Jager shots out of hose.”   But, if it’s not something like, oh, where does life began, but perhaps a well articulated critique of a popular author, why say it?

 

The saying is the personal is the political.  It certainly is here.   I remember in ’08 thinking, yeah I guess I’ll vote for Hillary, but I’m not getting in a later about it.  Then in a primary debate Obama dismissed her with “You are likable enough, Hillary.”  She smiled and took it.  I was a plane for Texas helping her campaign win the caucus.

Yes, I usually vote Democratic.  But, I’m pining for the days of Romney, McCain, even W.  They would have competed against Hillary Clinton strongly.  They would have made powerful arguments for their conservative vision.  They would have pointed out were they think her policies were flawed or not executed.  Good for them.  They would not have stalked her in a debate using their physique to intimidate her.  They would not have commented on faces and body parts of a female competitor.   I already abhorred Trump for his lack of intellect, his reality show pedigree, his race baiting, his hostility to anyone who doesn’t look like him, his insults to Gold Star families and POW’s. I also do not like how he has advanced the coarsening of our societies dialogue.

I have sometimes placated and tolerated men with a  sense of entitlement, humored them.  But, I’m not doing it anymore.  Thank Donald Trump.

 

 

 

 

Garden Camp

IMG_0098

crafts hung on the tree

We aren’t big camp people.  I never went to overnight camp because my parents were afraid of child molesters and mosquito bites.  Vivien has given me the evil eye, “I’m so not happy with you mommy” stare when I’ve pushed her to go to camp.  The big assemblies and rah, rah, “We are the Mighty Turtles!” cheers shut her down.  While I see a fun day of crafts, and waterplay she sees an over earnest intrusion into her psyche.  Both can be correct.

great camps for kids in LA

popsicles made from the garden

But, last year a friend told us about the  garden camp.  It combined two of my favorite things: nature and old parts of LA that posers who live in Brentwood or dine on Sunset blvd wouldn’t be caught dead in.  Correction, they don’t even know these areas exist.  You see The Garden School Foundation started about 11 years ago to educate Title 1 kids (ie, low income) kids about nature, nutrition, and wearing floppy sunhats.  In the West Adams district of LA, an area famous for beautiful Craftsman homes and the evisceration of LA’s upper class African Americans when the 10 freeway plowed through it’s neighborhood in the 1960’s, sits the 24th street school.  A typical LA unified asphalt covered elementary school.  But, there is a hidden part!  A big one.  A 2 acre garden in the back of the school that abuts the 10 freeway. It is an oasis in the urban jungle.  A drink of water in a concrete desert.  A snow ball in the desert.

There are sweet garden teachers who show the kids how to make humus with a blender powered by a bicycle, how to grow kale and make art with beans..and glue and stuff.

One of my favorite things to this burnt out mom is that you do NOT send them with snack or lunch.  They eat from the garden.  My kids ate salad every day and liked it.  They came home excited to try recipes.   Rex has tried to make a few things since he went.  Do I have to spend 30 minutes cleaning after he does so?  Yes, but at least he is trying!

sweet garden teacher

sweet garden teacher

Vivien even liked it because the groups were small, there was no assembly or cheering. Plus they are OUTSIDE all day.  OUTSIDE around pretty green things, not the outside of their school in Hollywood with homeless, smells of pot and obnoxious billboards.

“I wish school was like this” said Rex.  I wish life was like this.  I could sit in that meandering, folk art strewn garden for hours, even if the hum of the 10 murmurs nearby.

City kids need any bit of nature they can get.

DILF

Anyone who knows me my credo is “I’m married, not dead.”  Yes, I’ve gone years in the most unattractive cargo like pants, stains on my shirt as my haggered face drops my kids off at school, having not YET had a shower.  But,  sometimes.. and more lately as my kids get older I remember THIS  ( touching my body) is MINE!!  I forgot about it.

So, whether it’s at a school function, at a park or a soccer game I’m not just thinking about my kids.