Posted in Good Things, Pop Culture

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): Summer Playlist

Unless I love a song, more likely than not I don’t know the lyrics. If you are in the car with me and you listen, you can tell when I don’t know the words. I will either start to hum or get vwery, vwery quiet. And then the chorus will come and I will be singing at the top of my lungs. My poor daughter knows this and has to suffer while her brother and I sing in our miniscule electric car every day, to and from school. With school out a week from today, she can at least leave the room when we play music videos on YouTube. These videos will be on our big screen during dinner and for random dance parties throughout the summer:

  • Bleachers “Don’t Take the Money”
  • Portugal the Man “Feel it Still” (my hubby’s pick for song of the summer)
  • Weezer “Feels like Summer”
  • Foster the People “Doing it for the Money”
  • Sir Sly “High”
  • Kaiser Chiefs “Never Miss a Beat”
  • M.I.A. “Bad Girls”

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Pop Culture

Must See Movies of the Summer: Adult Edition

Even though summer doesn’t officially start until June 20th, we are already into summer movie season. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 rocked (literally-the soundtrack is awesome). This past weekend King Arthur bombed (Damnit Charlie! Stop accepting roles in terrible movies). Cars 3, Spiderman: Homecoming, and the inevitable Transformer sequel are still ahead of us. As a family we will see a lot of movies. But I am looking forward to the following films that I can see without my kids:

  • Baywatch (May 25th): Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, and Alexandra Daddario bring the cheesy television show to the big screen. I don’t want to be excited for this movie but damn if I don’t laugh every time I watch Zac fall in the pool.
  • It Comes at Night (June 9th ): Scary movie with Joel Edgerton, his director Trey Edward Shults from The Gift, and visuals that look terrifying. Summer was a giver of good horror last year with chilling films like Don’t Breathe, Lights Out, and The Conjuring 2. I hope 2017 brings more of the same.
  • The Beguiled (June 30th ): Sofia Coppola is one of my favorites. I don’t love all of her work but when she gets it right, it leave a lasting impression (The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation). Her muses Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning join Nicole Kidman in the story about a girls’ school during the Civil War. When Colin Farrell’s soldier arrives in need it shifts the dynamic between the women and takes turns you wouldn’t expect. Creepy and unsettling.
  • Baby Driver (June 28th ): The one I am excited about the most. Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) gives us Ansel Elgort (Divergent) as the most talented of getaway car drivers. Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Lily James make up the cool cast about a group of bank robbers and their boss. I’ve only read and heard great things about this one and the release date was already moved up from August to June due to all the buzz.
  • Atomic Blonde (July 28th): Charlize Theron as a spy in 1980s Berlin with James McAvoy as her handler and music that includes New Order, Bowie, Queen, and Depeche Mode. This spells fun and lots of action.
  • A Ghost Story (July 7th ): This trailer looks pretentious and a little weird. But it gives enough emotional content with the love story between Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara that I am intrigued.
Posted in Word Therapy

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): Mother’s Day Edition

As a mom I:

  • Limit electronic time
  • Make my kids read on the weekend and during summer
  • Won’t allow them to have phones until they are in middle school
  • Yell and cuss
  • Still use time out for sassy talk (with a side of no electronics)
  • Make one dinner and one dinner only each night
  • Don’t share my desserts
  • Forbid social media like Facebook or Twitter for now (Music.ly is allowed with many limitations)
  • Tell my kids, “I’m okay with that” when they tell me I’m mean

But I also:

  • Make sure my family of four eats at home together at least 5 nights a week
  • Love to sit and read with my kids
  • Put my phone down as much as possible
  • Volunteer at their school
  • Chase my dreams so the kids know they can too, no matter how many obstacles get in the way

Every day I feel anger, fear, happiness, contentment, frustration, adoration, and exhaustion. As much as my anxiety tells me otherwise, I know I am not the only mom who feels this way. So for Mother’s Day I am going to give myself a break and realize I am doing the best I can. I love these kiddos and never take for granted the time I have with them.

Mothers Day 3

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Word Therapy

That Time of Year

 

Summer countdown

 

I am equal parts terrified and excited that we have 13 days of school left until summer. Sleeping in, no schedule, and no homework sounds perfect. Kids fighting, not so much. So for our sixth year in a row, the Wilson Summer Bucket List will be taken out of the hall closet. You can read about our previous years here and here. Last year we were lucky enough to take our first family vacation to Austin, TX. This year we will be having a staycation. But since we live in awesome California, we have plenty of places to visit, stuff to do, and food to eat. Below is a list for the summer, where we always leave room for the unexpected:

Traditions

Knotts Berry Farm-our budget Disneyland. We don’t have Mickey or Minnie but we have Charlie Brown, and isn’t he cuter anyways? I wrote a long time ago about why we love Knott’s so much.

Waterpark-we have one less than 10 minutes from our house and Knott’s has its own Soak City right across the street from the park.

Beach-I mentioned awesome California, right?

Ice Cream for Dinner-Scarlet has already asked if we can do this more than once.

80s Movie Education-Last summer we did The Last Starfighter. At Christmas we watched Gremlins. On the schedule this year: WarGames and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Museum-We love The Broad and LACMA.

Rollerskating-The kids skate for free and they each have their own skates. Enough said.

Movies-DUH.

Read, Read, Read

New

Hiking-no Joshua Tree during the summer but here is a list of places that we are considering.

Universal Studios-Harry Potter Wizarding World for us Potterheads.

OC Fair-$12 beers, corn on the cob, 80s bands trying to make a comeback, and an ocean breeze.

Angels Game-my little ball player is excited for his first professional baseball game.

Impeachment March-Fingers crossed we won’t have to do this because the impeachment will have ALREADY HAPPENED.

2017 Summer Bucket List

What do you have planned for this summer?

Posted in Word Therapy

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): The Hate You Give

It has been a long 3 ½ months. I’m angry. I feel helpless. Reality is like humidity with its oppression. The first month I stayed strong. I donated. I was an armchair activist to the nth degree. I marched. But as time has gone by I find myself going inward. I still donate when I can. I share stuff that I feel is important on social media (calling your reps, bringing attention to special elections). But with the investigation of Russian’s involvement with the election dragging, it’s hard to stay motivated. What I have continue to do is to stay informed and read. This week I finished The Hate You Give by A.C. Thomas.

The Hate You Give is the story of 16 year old Starr. One night she is leaving a party with her friend Khalil when they are pulled over by a police officer for a broken tail light. By the end of the encounter with the officer, Khalil is dead and Starr is the only witness.

The book is a young adult novel. A lot of popular YA novels have white female protagonists (Katniss, Bella, and Tris just to name a few). Starr is black. She lives in a run down neighborhood that has seen better days. And her story could have come from this week’s news. It is a story that needs to be heard and not denied. The epidemic of black kids being killed by police officers has been around longer than I have been alive. With social media and body cameras these days it has become more high profile. But yet this is the first time I have picked up a young adult novel and read about a teen black girl and what she faces.

I read a review of The Hate You Give and decided to check it out. It is a good book. I cared about the characters. The story made me sad but I wasn’t shocked by the events because I read the news. I hate reading that anybody has to feel afraid when they see a cop. Or that their mom and dad have to teach them how to act around police officers so nothing bad will happen to them. I was brought up believing that they are here to protect us. I don’t believe that all cops are bad. In fact, I know that the majority of them aren’t. But why isn’t that same viewpoint given to people of color?

I want to scream how unfair it is and throw a temper tantrum. But I know that won’t do a damn bit of good. So I will continue to read, listen, and educate myself. I will donate to those organizations that are affected. I am only one person. But if I can change my perspective and hopefully pass that onto my own kids, I know I can keep fighting.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Pop Culture, Word Therapy

13 Reasons Why (Spoilers and Triggers)

Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) was drama. That is what all the kids in 13 Reasons Why say about a teenage girl. She has committed suicide and then left a set of tapes behind to tell her story. When I was in junior high I tried to swallow a bottle of pills. I walked into the kitchen, opened the cupboard where the medicine was, and took out a bottle of pain killers. I opened the bottle and tilted my head back to pour them down my throat. My mom saw what I was trying to do and grabbed them out of my hand. She then put the bottle back where I found it. I don’t remember a lot after that. She may have told me to go to my room. I don’t know if I meant to succeed or just wanted the attention. I know I was in a lot of pain. I have written a lot about being bullied. 30 years later and I feel like I should be over it. I’m not. That is why I think shows like 13 Reasons Why are important.

I started the most tweeted about show of 2017 a couple of weeks ago. It is the story about the aftermath of Hannah’s suicide. Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) is given the set of tapes to listen to. We don’t know the extent of his relationship with her. Each tape tells the story of Hannah’s interaction with one person from school and how it lead to her suicide.

I don’t blame one person for what happened to me. I can’t remember exactly who the kids were who tried to “pants” me as I walked into school each day. Or the kids who gave me the nickname “Buffy” and wrote stories about me in English class. Or the guy who walked up to me unprovoked and told me my hair looked like shit. It was a collective effort between teachers and students where kids target somebody to take the attention off themselves and teachers who weren’t trained how to look for signs of bullying.

As a parent, the hardest part so far of 13 Reasons Why is watching how the girl’s parents are affected. They are shown filing a lawsuit against the school while going through Hannah’s room to give them some reason as to how this could have happened. We see in flashbacks that Hannah had a typical relationship with her mom and dad. She talked to them but not about what was happening. A lot is focused on how they are looking at the problem afterwards. Suicide prevention posters, counselors trying to to talk to students, and graffitied walls in bathrooms are painted over.

I have anxiety and self worth problems every day. I don’t know if the bullying is a direct cause of either or just a chemical imbalance that I am always trying to address. What I do know is I wish I had grown up feeling like I was worth something and that I wasn’t alone (which is a huge part of having an anxiety disorder). I’m not a therapist. I don’t have any professional training. But what I see on the show is that Hannah is either being laughed at, grabbed, or dismissed by the other students. She tries to stand up for herself. But in the end she deals with it. It is easier to accept the negative rather than fight for the positive.

I had a conversation with my daughter last week before bed time. She told me, “Mom, kids make fun of me because I like Star Wars. They say girls shouldn’t like Star Wars.” I told her, “I’m sorry Baby. People can suck. They are going to judge you no matter what you do. So be who you are, even as hard as it will become.” If I have to tell my kids that every damn day for the rest of lives, I will. As a mother I have to accept that kids will be mean and there isn’t much I can do about that. But I can teach my kids their own self worth.

I was always going to put this up on my blog. But I debated posting it on Facebook. Twitter, sure. I feel a cloak of privacy on Twitter that I don’t get on Facebook. You can feel the judgment. But if I am going to accept all the parts of myself, even the ones that are dark and make people uncomfortable, I have to be all of it. And if people can’t handle that, oh well. That is what acceptance means to me.

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): Catastrophe and Kingsman: The Golden Circle

I’ve had one of those weeks where I feel like I am over sharing on social media (started doing Instagram stories and I’m obsessed) and that my blog posts are just shit. I tell myself to move forward and that since I have really focused on my blog I have gained 100+ followers (Hi New Followers!!). They say write what you know. I know and love pop culture. Today I am excited about two things: Catastrophe, an Amazon series and Kingsman The Golden Circle, a film.

Catastrophe tells the story of Sharon (Sharon Horgan) and Rob (Rob Delaney). They are a married couple who stayed together after having a fling and Sharon became pregnant. Rob is an American who moved to the UK to be with Sharon. They are loud, rude, and not great people. And that makes them 100% relatable and hilarious. They don’t hold back when they are talking to each other and as a person who doesn’t have a filter I can’t get enough of their conversations. They have friends who are so weird that it makes them look normal. The sadly departed Carrie Fisher plays Rob’s mom and she is brash and narcissistic. I love this show because it shows the imperfections of marriage where the couple still love each other (I could hear the groans of the characters as I wrote that). Season 3 premieres today and I am going to try and not watch all of the criminally small amount of episodes (six) this weekend.

My apologies Mr. Bond, but I prefer Eggsy. Kingsman The Golden Circle arrives September 22, 2017. It is the sequel to 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service. It is based on the comic book by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons (Kick Ass) . It is about a secret group of spies that bring in Eggsy (Taron Egerton) to make him one of their own. They then take on an evil genius (Samuel Jackson) who wants to control the world with his technology. It is cheeky and has action that is equal to, if not better, than a 007 movie.

The trailer for the sequel hit Tuesday and I was on a high all that morning after watching it (over and over again). We see Eggsy’s evolution, even cooler weapons than the last time, an underwater car, and explosions galore. They take everything away from our hero (have I mentioned it’s Eggsy?) to give him a reason to kick some ass. Their use of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” almost makes me forget that Orange Asshole Face used it at his joke of an inauguration (almost). There are hot blondes and a cowboy (Channing Tatum). And it doesn’t matter how awful the hair cut is or how ugly the glasses are, Halle Berry is still beautiful. And the finale gives us a certain someone wearing an eye patch that made me squeal with glee.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!