From the monthly archives: December 2012

My dear friend had her annual holiday tea at the Peninsula Hotel yesterday. It was our usual time to “catch up” with a two-hour year-in-review before we all ran off to our respective family winter breaks. Of course there was the required group picture in front of the Christmas tree, and, of course, the shot was posted on Facebook.

This is how crazy I am. Instead of seeing the tagged photo and remembering what fun I had hanging out with my long-time sisters, I became pre-occupied with the fact that the shirt I wore made me look pregnant. As an aside, one of the girl’s brought a handful of of pix taken at a bachelorette party from 10 years before where we all looked like super-models on a tear. (Those weren’t posted, btw.) Talk about body issues. Please, my next book could be exclusively made up of years of journal entries beginning with what I ate, if I worked out or Do I feel fat today? Certainly, at my age, one should rightfully cease to care about the silliness of this stuff except that with Facebook, etc. anyone from your high school guidance counselor to a camp mate to an old flame to your chiropractor is privy to your bad-hair-chubby-chinned memories.

Remember that Seinfeld episode where George thinks of a great retort to a conversation he had and then the next day he goes to deliver it but it’s lost its power. I feel that way plenty, like I wish I had said this or that, then what-the-hell, it’s too late.

That’s the reason I’ve taken to my blog instead of putting a simple one-line protest under the posted Facebook pix claiming that, “Hey, I’m a size 6, I just have big boobs!” (because that would be psycho, right?) What better place to clean out the rattling halls of my brain from the I should have said blah blah blahs… than my public soapbox? Since everything we do is so broadcasted, why not just rant here? Explain myself. I didn’t eat healthy, exercise, quit smoking a million years ago and keep up my hair color to have a bad-angled picture of myself floating around cyberspace for eternity. But, then again, now that I’ve said that, it’s like a do-over. Here’s the picture, I admit, I’m a kook. Everyone’s gorgeous as ever and I’m obsessively vain.

There’s no end to this madness. Damn the beauty industry, curse L.A. and its homecoming queen-based culture. Why couldn’t I have been French?

While I’m clearing the air, so to speak, I may as well share a story that has driven me nuts forever. At a Beverly Hills Oscar event a couple years ago with this same group of girls, I visited the fabulous home’s washroom. It was occupied by a now ex-husband of one of my friends. After he leaves and I go in, I almost pass out from how much he compromised the place. I suffered through my two minutes in there and when I came out, a very well-known TV Star (who is the husband of another guest) goes in after me. In that split second, I needed to say, “Wasn’t me.” But I didn’t. I laughed oddly and ducked back into the festivities. Guilt by association. Only a forensic scientist could have pardoned me after that. Ever since that night, I run into this guy time after time and I know he thinks I’m the culprit who destroyed the powder room. I’ve told people in our common circle the story in hopes that maybe they’ll tell him and he’ll finally know that I wasn’t the pig at the party. I doubt he reads my blog, but hey, if you know the story and who I’m talking about, pass this on. Wasn’t me.

So, let’s review. I’m a nut-job, I’m not the size of a Metrobus, and I didn’t inconsiderately take that dump at the fancy awards party. And ultimately, I’m grateful for my health, my family, my life and I’m proud to be an American and none of this matters. Was the disclaimer Miss USA enough?

I feel so much better. Thanks for listening and Happy Holidays.

Pam Alster, former TV writer & suburban mom brings a decade of living on the dark side to light in her novel debut Robin’s Blue available now in Kindle and Paperback. www.pamalster.com Find her on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter @plexigirl.

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One of my favorite shows on TV is Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. The stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, both Fox’s MADtv alum, are indisputably talented writers and performers –from Obama’s Anger Translator Luther to their LMFAO parody of two party guys that just want to go home, they consistently nail the essence of the ridiculousness of modern American life.

Why I love the show, however, is not for the obvious reason of their almost perfect pitch, well-ended sketches (which SNL rarely achieves), but that they explain the genesis of the bit. It’s awe-inspiring to be taken on the journey of their creative process and then get a peek at their method through their expert facilitation.

Another thing that seems to work for Key & Peele is that technology allows them, with the modest budget of Comedy Central compared to major networks, to digitally film stuff with special effects that would have less impact is limited to the stage.

Though they are not returning with new episodes until Fall of 2013, Tivo this past season of Key & Peele on Comedy Central or catch some clips on YouTube. You’ll be hooked like me.

Pam Alster, former TV writer & suburban mom brings a decade of living on the dark side to light in her novel debut Robin’s Blue available now in Kindle and Paperback. www.pamalster.com Find her on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter @plexigirl.

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Snowflakes : Cartoon Santa Claus , vector

 

Some mom’s and I were on an email tear over gift ideas for our kids. I have an eight year old daughter – not that hard. Justice, American Girl, blingy things, art-n-crafts, Judy Moody books. But it can be an intense time with what you have to do to get ready for the holidays.

I think we can safely agree that we are over Oprah’s Favorite Things. It was fun when the show was on and we were all-in on the unsuspecting audience getting a cart-full of overpriced loot. But now that it’s pretty pictures in a magazine, seriously, am I going to spend $285 on an Italian Vegetable Soap assortment? Reality, people.

But don’t stress. First off, MAKE a list. Then schedule two hours for Marshall’s and some quality Amazon time. That’s right. Marshall’s. Amazon.

I found legit must-have’s in every department – men’s, kids, home, shoes, DVD’s, books, Xbox. Hip, high-end. I even scored American Girl crafts. New. Shiny, happy. Stocking stuffers of beautiful glass magnets, Swarovski Crystal key chains (for your little diva’s backpack), Sketcher sneakers, a gangsta hoodie, and, of course, everyone’s fav, underwear. Get to it.

Don’t forget your nieces and nephews. For pre-teen and teens, they don’t need your weird translation of what you think is happening in their world, they want their freedom. Say “I get you” with Abercrombie, Hollister or Gap gift cards so they can pick out what they will actually wear. Need more? iTunes or GameStop. Joy.

Nix those tired scented candles and $10 wine for your hostess gifts. Buy a set of Riedel stemless goblets or a box of groovy glass-i.d. bling for parties. Everyone craves them but finds it too indulgent to buy for themselves. Not over-priced, just WANTED.

What of the hard-to-buy person who has everything? How about a monogrammed beach tote from Lands End in various sizes and colors for under $40? And why give your husband a $400 gadget that you can’t afford or another tie with Calvin Klein boxers? All he wants is sex. Put a ribbon in your hair and give it up, girl. Merry X-mas.

I didn’t forget about you. With all these deals I’m throwing your way, pick up some swag for yourself. I got an August Silk cardigan for $19.99, a couple of $20 glam tops and velvet Hue leggings at Nordstrom’s Rack.

Rock it.

 Pam Alster, former TV writer & suburban mom brings a decade of living on the dark side to light in her novel debut Robin’s Blue available now in Kindle and Paperback. www.pamalster.com Find her on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter @plexigirl.

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