Sunday, January 29, 2006

we could have won $10,000

I have a really shameful confession to make. I watch "America's Funniest Home Videos". I know, I know. But every Sunday, we have dinner, bathe all the girlies, and settle in for some laughs watching groin injuries, silly animals, and cute (and gross) baby antics. Ah, sweet family time.

Tonight, after our shameful TV viewing, I helped the girls brush their teeth. They got these suction cup toothbrushes at the dentist on their last visit. They're just regular toothbrushes, but at the end there is a suction cup. This is handy when preparing three toothbrushes -- put on some toothpaste and then stick it onto the vanity, awaiting use. (With normal, non-suction-y toothbrushes, they can roll if you try to balance them on the backs and then there is upset and bedtime is ruined. Ruined!)

So, I'm doing a follow-up brushing for Bebe and I glance over at ChaCha and I immediately started to laugh. She'd stuck her toothbrush to the wall and was standing on her tiptoes, brushing her teeth by moving her head around the toothbrush. Damn, I wish I'd had the video camera right then. It was hysterical.

I'm sure we would have won some big money on AFV. Heh.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

more tv talk -- american idol

I really love "American Idol", as I wrote yesterday. I especially enjoy the audition shows -- I think they are some of the most entertaining moments on television right now. Archie does not share this love. Usually, he leaves the family room and goes into the office/guest room to escape. I often go back and make him come and watch particularly awful contestant hopefuls. (The only exception was the year George was a finalist and Archie actually watched some of the competition. Next to Kelly's big band performance in the first season, George's rendition of Elton John's "Take Me to the Pilot" was a big hit in our house. Then George had to go and do "Against All Odds", which I think we should all agree is a horrible song and it should be banned from all future AI installments. Archie would sit and grimace through almost all of the other performances just for George, but once he was gone, Archie lost all interest.)

So, last night, Arch was not amused when I interuppted his web surfing and told him he had to come and see an audition. But I was tricking him! I wanted him to see a really amazing singer; he was certain he was going to see a mentally disturbed person speak to the world through song and demonstrating to us all that madness takes many forms. Heh. I wanted him to hear Paris Bennett.

People, this girl can sing. Archie's jaw dropped a little. She's 17 and completely adorable. I think her audition is the best one in the history of the show. Archie and I agreed that her audition alone will probably generate interest in her, even if she doesn't get out of the early rounds in Hollywood. (And, unless we discover that ventriloquism was involved , I can't imagine that happening.) So, I'm going out on a limb and predicting that she's gonna take the whole shebang this season.

I'm sure I'll live to eat those words. But she was good.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

my crazy love of reality tv

Hi. My name is Katie and I am addicted to reality TV. Almost every show I have a season pass for on the TiVo (the best and most important invention after the television itself) is some form of reality TV.

"American Idol" is just starting for the season. I adore the audition shows -- really bad singing and acting out are very, very entertaining. I have spent the last however many seasons trying to figure out if the people who can't sing are mentally challenged or spoiled or just insane. My conclusion is that most of these people have never had a lesson or performed for anyone aside from family and close friends. Because, if you have ever done anything for another observer, you know that the party who has no vested interest in you will tell you straight if you are good, bad, or indifferent. And I am proud to say that I can spot the bad singers right away -- they are the ones who are always talking about how fantastic they are and how singing is their way of connecting with the world. Uh, yeah. If either of those things come out of your mouth, you will suck. The people who are good just come in and sing. Also, if you wear a costume or have some gimmick, we all know you have not a nano-ounce of talent.

To prove that I am strange and lost in a time warp -- I also love "Skating with Celebrities". Because it is great fun to scream at the TV when the woman from Fox sports starts to skate, "Ringer! Ringer!" And I love that the judges are like a skating version of the "American Idol" judges. You have the hardass coach who is harsh and mean -- just like Simon. Dorothy Hamill is so Paula Abdul -- except that Dorothy was actually good. But she still wants to be nice and encouraging. (Also, is there a secret to Dorothy's youthfulness? She looks amazing.) And then there's the skating journalist guy who can be blunt or sweet, depending -- a very whitebread Randy. (He does need a codephrase like "Dog!", though.)

And, because I'm old and creaky, I must watch "Dancing with the Stars". Although the use of the word "stars" is debatable. Heh. This year, the stars are, in general, much more talented. And we have more of them! Every week when I express love for a couple, they are voted off. Sigh. I just love every cheesy moment of this show. Tom Bergeron's lame jokes. The outlandish arguing of the judges. All the crazy costumes! Don't even get me started on the batshit musical selections. Heh. Hi -- I'm a middle-aged mother with no desire to do anything but watch semi-celebrities try to dance.

Oh, and those are just the shows that are currently on. I am nuts about "America's Next Top Model". I never miss "The Amazing Race". Hell, I am sucked in by the drama and nuttiness of "Celebrity Fit Club". Gunner Nelson? Dude, you're not even remotely fat. (And you've had liposuction twice? I don't even know what to say.) And every season of this show has a contestant who goes off the rails in a spectacular, substance abuse haze.

Please don't hate me. I have a problem.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

dna update

This afternoon, Charlotte wanted to practice saying "deoxyribonucleic acid". She started chanting "deoxyribonucleic underpants". Who knows why? Not me. But it is much funnier than deoxyribonucleic acid. "Underpants" is just more amusing than "acid". Underwear that carries the genetic code? That's comedy genius, right there.

fire! fire! fire!

Last night was Archie's work holiday party. We got all fancy and had an evening out. We ate at a (or as Archie likes to say, probably the) French restaurant here in Fremont. It was very delicious. I had a struggle about dessert. They had a chocolate souffle, but we were headed over to San Francisco for the party, so we wanted something we could get a little faster. And then I noticed the flambe menu. (Please imagine the accent over the "e".)

I love flaming desserts. So we had Cherries Jubilee, because how can you go wrong with cherries, liqueur, sugar, orange, ice cream, and fire? You can't, is what I'm saying.

We chatted and talked and drank (just a little) at the party. They had a swing band and some people were dancing. Archie and I swore we'd take dancing lessons for the millionth time. I would love to learn how to really dance, not my bobbing hopping Snoopy dance. Which looks pretty stupid when I'm wearing heels.

The kicker was I still felt like I was playing dress-up, even though I'm 40 and that's definitely a grown up age, right? 40 year olds dress up and eat fancy flaming desserts and drink champagne and all that. And I know I'm at least a little grown up because I put my dress on a hanger and my glittery shoes in their shoebox before I went to bed. I'm so responsible.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

the very literal child

The twins are very imaginative. When presented with a box to play with, they turn it into a castle or race car or rocket ship.

Today, Cha was sitting in our latest box. When I asked her what it was, she answered, "A box."

Sunday, January 08, 2006

farewell christmas tree

Yesterday we took down the Christmas tree. I thought we were kind of sad for having the tree up so long (although we weren't really healthy enough to enjoy it much) because in my family, the tree came down on New Year's Day. Archie expressed surprise at this and said his mom kept their (live) trees up until February! He said she'd take really good care of them and only dismantle them when they were just too far gone. I guess there are still ways my husband can surprise me -- I had no idea.

Now our living room looks kind of different and empty.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


While waiting at the dentist's, Charlotte and I were perusing the Scientific American. She pointed to an illustration of DNA.

"What's that?"
"That's DNA. A double helix. Can you say deoxyribonucleic acid?"
"Dee-oxee-riiibo-new-cley-ic acid!"

Later, as I was having a filling finished up, I heard the dentist asking Cha if deoxyribonucleic acid was her favorite word.

"No. Fart is my favorite word."


There was an article in the magazine about studies with rats and that the hormones of pregnancy, birth, and lactation not only influence mothering patterns, but that they also have an effect on the intelligence of mothers. Being a mother (at least, if you're a rat) makes you smarter. Seriously. The mother rats did better on mazes!

"Archie, listen to this: When mother rats are offered a choice of cocaine or their pups, they choose the pups. Babies are a drug!"
"Mmm hmm."
"At least, rat pups are a drug."

Later in the evening, I brought up that conversation. (Was it a conversation? Maybe it was just me talking.)

"Hey, remember when I told you babies were a drug?"
(Archie pauses the DVD player and turns to me. I'm bad for interrupting "Network".)
"That reminds me of that old Robin Williams bit about how having a baby is like doing drugs. You know, you're awake for days..."
"Yeah. You're paranoid and covered in bodily fluids."
"Yeah! And think about it -- they both cost lots of money."
"Are you done?"

Maybe motherhood making you smarter really does only apply to rats.

Monday, January 02, 2006

i may love brent musberger

This holiday season has been not so wonderful, what with all the sick and blah and rain.

But the Fiesta Bowl, a minute away from halftime, is turning into my great bright spot. As Brent just said, "This is an old-fashioned, Buckeye butt-kicking."

I also love Troy. Oh, yes, I do. Santonio Holmes needs to stop the grandstanding, but I'll let him have his little moments as long as he keeps scoring touchdowns.

Go, Bucks! Beat the Irish!