My Family, the Sitcom. Episode #2

Since I’ve been home in BC I’ve taken to writing down some of the stuff my family says  because they are pretty entertaining. Here’s a round-up of my favorites from the first 13 days of December. Enjoy the insanity!

On this week’s episode my Dad’s BFF learns how to “LOL”, my parents get acquainted with UrbanDictionary.com, we discuss heated toilet seats and DIY hair-cuts, I get caught “sleep eating” and we all learn the true definition of a “Me-Party.”

I watch this movie whenever I miss my own family. We are also the proud owners of a chronically malfunctioning mini-van. More on that later.

 

My Dad’s friend speaks the truth. 

(A conversation I had with my Dad’s friend while at dinner two weekends ago)

“Simone, what does LOL mean?”

“Laugh out loud”

“That’s what I thought. It’s confusing though because sometimes people use it after stuff that doesn’t sound very funny”

 

Dad learns a bad word.

(On our way home from dinner)

Dad: “Simone, what’s a Dingleberry?”

Me: “It’s gross. I can’t tell you Dad”

Mom: “We should probably tell him”

Me: “No!”

Mom: “He’ll find out sooner or later”

Me: “NO. I’m not explaining this! NO just NO!”

Mom: “Well, it’s….”

Me: “NO Mom. NO. Dad, just look it up on Urban Dictionary when you get home”

Mom: “Urban Dictionary is a real thing?”

 

Warm in a bad way.

(also on the way home from dinner)

“Did you try ______ (my Dad’s friend)’s new heated toilet seat?”

“It was very warm in a weird way. Like, I wasn’t sure whether it was heated or whether a thousand butts had sat on it, one after another”

 

My sister’s Ex-Boyfriend.

(Convo between my sister and I)

“He had terrible hair”

“He cuts it himself”

“You can tell”

 

Late night Seinfeld mumblings (I’m weird too).

(Whenever I’m home visiting, my Mom and I like to end each day with some “Seinfeld Time” – this usually involves watching the nightly news, then two episodes of Seinfeld – or if we are feeling really wild, we’ll also throw in a Frasier re-run. I almost always fall asleep during one of the Seinfeld episodes. My mom will often have conversations with me while I’m asleep (or partially asleep?) on the sofa. Apparently I say some pretty weird stuff. I had her take note of things I said last week during my nightly Seinfeld mumblings so I could share them with you guys.)

“I want to go to a garage sale and buy Christmas trees” (makes perfect sense)

“Farts smell weird” (yes, yes they do)

“I’m awake! I’m awake!” (I clearly wasn’t)

(Apparently this one time, I didn’t even say anything- I just momentarily woke up, ate a handful of crackers and then promptly went back to sleep. It’s wild times over here people. Wild times.)

 

Party of One.

And finally, my favorite saying this week (courtesy of my best friend’s boyfriend who works at a Golf Course)

Random Golf Course member: “Is it OK if I come by at 10am and play with myself?”

BFF’s boyfriend: “I’m OK with it if you are”

 

Do you have any great quotes from the past week? Tell me yours!

Am I a Woman…Or Am I a Muppet?

If I’m a Woman, I’m a Muppet of a Woman. 

You’ll only get the musical reference above if you’ve seen the new Muppet Movie, which is exactly what my best friend and I did on Tuesday night.

I’ve written before about my undying love for the Muppets. I grew up with the Muppets and they were such a huge part of my childhood. I know the idea of a 30-something woman being into a bunch of puppets probably sounds pretty lame to some people (and I’ve learned to never , ever bring it up on a first date) but I’m OK with that. The Muppets captured my heart as a kid and just never let go. I’ve always associated the Muppets with everything that is magical and innocent. Watching the Muppets as an adult reminds me that there is still good in this world.

{If you want a better understanding of why I love the Muppets I would suggest reading this post by Hipstercrite that she’s written about the new movie. I kind of have a huge blog crush on her right now.}

A car full of Muppets driven by a 1980's robot = awesome.

I’m also a huge Jason Segal and How I Met Your Mother fan. Just like I know all the Muppet songs by heart, I can relate almost any life experience back to an episode of How I Met Your Mother (High Five!) which I do often (this has already happened once today) So, when I found out Jason Segal (HIMYM) was co-writing the new Muppet movie I was so excited that two of my favorite things would be coming together.

To say I was excited about the movie would be the understatement of the century. However, I also wasn’t sure what to expect. Although I loved all the Muppet movies from the 70’s and 80’s that I grew up with, some of the more recent ones left a lot to be desired (Muppet Treasure Island anyone? *shudder*). What if I didn’t like this movie? Would that mean that I had somehow grown up and lost the ability to appreciate Muppet humor? Is this even possible?!

Just like I believe you read certain books at the perfect time in your life, I also believe the same is true of movies. An example of this would be when I saw Lost In Translation in the theatre. The movie echoed so perfectly the slightly lost, drifting feeling of being a 23 year old about to graduate university. It was what I needed to see at that time to make me feel better.

Now enter The Muppets.  The movie turned out to be everything I had hoped for and then some. They managed to capture the whimsy, magic and humor that I loved about the original Muppet movies while giving it a grown-up twist with some of my favorite actors (Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Rashida Jones) and lots of cameos from other cool people I adore (Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis, Neil Patrick Harris, Kristen Shaal). I spent the whole 98 minutes of the movie with a huge smile on my face, in complete awe: “The Muppets are back!”  I laughed. I teared up in parts. I fell back in love with my fuzzy friends. Given everything that has happened over the past few months, it was what I so desperately needed to see right at that moment. I needed to be swept away in song & whimsy & magic & a sea of brightly colored huggable felt bodies. I needed to laugh.

Brothers Walter & Gary {Proper dental care: It's important - even if your teeth are made of felt.}

My smile spread extra wide as soon as this song came on. My best friend leaned over and said: “I think this one is just for you. I can totally picture you dancing around to this at home!” She knows me well. Unfortunately, the actual scene from the movie  ( which features a killer disco dance routine) wasn’t available on Youtube, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.

 

We all need a “Me Party” every now and then.

There were so many things I loved about the movie.

Another great moment was a piece of dialogue that occurs near the end of the movie between Gary (Segal) and his Muppet brother Walter. Gary and Walter do everything together. They travel to LA, meet the Muppets and after many plot twists, the Muppets ask Walter to join them. Walter, who has always felt out of place as a Muppet living amongst humans, has finally found his tribe but he’s scared. Gary reassures him that’s it’s OK to go and says something to the effect of:

“Growing up is about becoming who you were always meant to be” 

It’s so true. You sometimes have to take those scary risks to get to where you need to go…and it’s OK to be a bit scared.

Walter & Kermit

So, when I read an article on Wednesday morning that said FOX news is now accusing the Muppets of being Communists intent on “brain washing children” and inciting class warfare, I thought “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read!” The Muppets are all about friendship, love and togetherness and what they can teach us is simple: That it’s OK to be different or a misfit – there’s a place for you in the world, anything is possible if you believe in yourself and go after your dreams & that you can make this world a better place through song & dance. I’m really grateful the movie reminded me of this.

If their movie does have a secret anti-corporate agenda, GOOD! Bring it on. In case you were wondering, the way I feel about FOX news is pretty much the complete opposite of how I feel about the Muppets.

I'm a 31 year old Muppet of a Woman and I'm Ok with that.

I Think My Family Needs their Own Sitcom

I’ve been home on the West Coast for a little over two weeks. Being home is both weird and good. Here are a few quick observations:

1) The more things change in the rest of the world, the more things stay the same in my hometown. I’m now working out at the same recreational facility I went to for swimming classes as a child. The change-rooms look and smell identical to how they did in 1985. Yesterday while at the chiropractor, I saw the secretary of my elementary school. I only recognized her because she also looks identical to how she looked in 1985. This has lead me to believe that my town actually has some weird Cocoon thing going on where elderly people & the places they frequent are magically rejuvenated so that nothing or no one ages past the time when Cocoon, the movie (1985) first hit theaters.

2) My sleepy seaside town has more coffee shops per capita than I ever thought possible. Our main drag has taken to imitating Vancouver’s Robson St and have somehow allowed one Starbucks to open right across from another Starbucks. This is real people! This stuff happens! (but only in the Pacific Northwest) All of the coffee shops in the downtown are busy all the time yet no one seems to be particularly alert. This could be because everyone is stoned. This is actually a likely prognosis and would explain the large number of white guys with dreadlocks here (MEN OF VICTORIA, IS THERE A HAIRBRUSH SHORTAGE? WHY DO YOU ALL LOOK LIKE JUSTIN BOBBY? BUT, HEY, THANKS FOR REMINDING ME WHY I SCRATCHED OFF “DATING IN VICTORIA” OFF MY TO-DO LIST YEARS AGO – Sincerely, Simone)

Cloned and looking sad at a coffee shop near you.

3) I’ve been trying to stay busy. Last night I went to go hear one of my favorite authors, Chuck Palahniuk read from his new book. It was fun & inspirational & he signed my book & gave out free chocolate bars. I’ve also taken to writing down things my family says on a daily basis. I always said I’d never blog about my family but these people are pretty entertaining. Here are my favorite quotes from the past two weeks:

My Mom on J-Kwon’s song “Tipsy”

“Tipsy just doesn’t sound right. That sounds like something that would happen at an afternoon church picnic like if someone started making Daiquiris. Not while people are…”

“I think the term you’re looking for Mom is…getting crunk”

“I thought that was a dance”

My Grandma responding to my Mom’s jokes about the “Love Shack” – our local sex shop located in a strip mall off of the highway:

“Don’t make fun of it Janis. Those products have helped a lot of people”

(Grandma?)

My mom on kinky sexual practices:

“I went to Google BC Ferries to get the updated sailing schedule but I wasn’t wearing my glasses so instead I got a bunch of listings for BC Furries. Boy, there are a lot of people into that!”

My Grandma on Sex:

“Sex…it’s not all it’s cracked up to be”

(Once again, I’m not sure what she’s talking about here & I’m not sure I want to know)

In the movie of my life I'd want Betty White to play my totally badass Grandma.

A confusing conversation that occurred between me, my sister, her gay best friend & my Mom. I’ll let you guys try and guess who said what:

“Remember that really manly looking female janitor we had in elementary school?”

“Yes! Marla”

“Marla used to be Martin”

“No-way. Are you sure? I thought she was a lesbian. Did you see her shoes?”

“I thought that was a man”

“What?!”

“She was always wearing coveralls. It’s hard to tell what’s going on under those things”

“What’s for lunch?”

“I don’t know. Maybe you should make your own lunch”

“I heard she/he used to be a basketball star before she became Marla. She was a really great electrician”

“Freaking trannies always stealing my thunder”

“What the hell are you talking about?!”

“Lunch. What’s going on with lunch?”

“I think the proper word is transgender”

“Is it? That just doesn’t sound right”

“Judging by how she rocked those coveralls, I’d say she was more transjanitor

And, now you’ve met the people I’ll be spending the holidays with. These people are fabulous. Someone get them their own show!

Things I’ve Learned from Being on Reality TV

When your life is already in a state of chaos, what do you do? Agree to be in an episode of a reality TV show!

About a month and a half ago, my friend Nicole sent me a text that said “Do you want to be on reality TV with me on Tuesday?” and for some crazy reason I didn’t even hesitate before saying “Yes!” (What’s wrong with me?!)

Before you start imagining me holed up in some beach rental, drinking jungle juice all day & starting fist fights with my room-mates, I should probably mention that I Nicole and I were on the show For Rent which airs on the Home and Garden Network. FYI. The show is about apartment hunting – the apartments are for rent, not Nicole and I. Having moved 9 times in the past 10 years, I was there to be Nicole’s moral support and help her find the apartment of her dreams…all on camera. The show is supposed to be airing sometime in the Spring in case you want to catch us in action. My Dad (who doesn’t have cable) has already told me he’s planning on renting a hotel room for the night so he can catch the show. I will never live this down.

Filming a show is a weird experience to say the least so, I’ve come up with a list of a few things I’ve learned during my very brief stint on reality TV:

1. TV time isn’t real time: It takes 5-6 days of filming (which took place over the course of 3 weeks) to create a 22 minute show that is actually meant to take place on 2 days. About 4 of those days were spent filming footage that’s meant to be the same day. This means you’re wearing the same outfit again & again. By the time everything wraps, if you haven’t had time to dry clean stuff between filming days, you’ll probably want to burn that outfit.

2. You need to choose your wardrobe wisely: There are a whole bunch of things you can’t wear on camera: very dark or all black clothing, crazy patterns, stuff that’s branded…and the list goes on. When I received the initial email about the show and read the section pertaining to wardrobe: “Choose your outfits wisely. This episode will probably re-run for years to come” I went into panic attack mode. YEARS? Oh my god. WHAT HAVE I GOT MYSELF INTO?!

3. You need to get used to constantly having a hand up your shirt: The hidden microphone that you have to wear is attached to your body under your clothes. The mic pack is attached to your back and the actual microphone is placed inside your shirt or the front of your bra. This means that you need to get used to the idea of having a hand down your shirt at various points during the day as they insert the mic, adjust it multiple times & eventually remove it. Luckily all the sound people are totally professional so it’s not really that weird…but it’s still kind of weird.

I was on a reality show....but not this kind of reality show.

4. It’s all about REPETITION! REPETITION! REPETITION! Even for reality TV, the director will do multiple takes of the same scene. This means that you may have to repeat the same conversation again & again & again so that they can get various camera angles & enough dialogue to edit later. It also means that you might leave the set at the end of the day and have the following conversation:

“So, what did you do this afternoon?”

“I pretended to eat lunch for 4 hours. You?”

5. Eating on camera is even more awkward than eating on a first date. I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Eating on camera becomes this disgusting, self-conscious activity where you’re suddenly hyper aware of every little sound and movement that’s happening inside your mouth. It just feels gross and wrong.

Luckily Nicole and I have never needed to write each other anonymous notes like this. Last time I saw her grinding with multiple fat women and she caught me with my head between a cocktail waitress's breasts, we just staged a good old-fashioned "Omg, you need to get your shit together" face to face intervention.

6. Reality TV involves a lot more acting than you’d think: When you have to do multiple takes of the same scene, acting is required. How else are you going to make lines like “Mmmmm, guacamole!” or “I love those window treatments!” sound spontaneous after 12 takes?

(This makes me wonder, exactly how real is most reality TV?)

A confessional that would never happen on a reality show about apartment hunting...unless of course you're talking about trying to fit a large EQ3 sectional into the living room of a 400 square foot King West condo then, this sounds about right.

(The most important ones of all)

7. I actually like being on camera: I thought I would feel super awkward on camera but I actually liked it! Throughout my childhood and teen years I was heavily involved in dance and drama. After high school I did a year of theater school, had some small parts in some student films and discovered I’m connected to Kevin Bacon by six degrees. Performing used to be a huge part of my life. I’ve missed it and realized that I need to find a way to incorporate it back into my life.

8. Having a blog can change your life in weird and wonderful ways. Sometimes you just have to say “yes” to opportunities: If I hadn’t started this blog, I never would have met Nicole and I never would have had this experience or met some of the fabulous people I met through it. People who don’t blog might think writing about your life online is a waste of time but, it really can lead to cool, unexpected things.

Life is like a Rolling Stones song

A few weeks ago, when everything started to change in my life, I came to a few startling revelations:

1) All of the buttons were popping off all of my winter coats. Everything needs dry-cleaning. I didn’t even have a normal coat to wear to drop off the messed up coats. I wore two sweaters instead.

2) Almost every pair of my everyday (read: flat) shoes are in a state of total dis-repair: missing heels, walked down heels, broken straps etc. I consoled myself by saying “It’s OK, I always have the black boots” (my favorite pair of black riding boots that I walked all over NYC with & have survived four Canadian winters). That’s until I looked down at my feet and noticed a giant hole in the hole in the toe. How did I not notice this until now?  Wait, why is my foot bleeding through my sock?

3) My feet hurt. All the time. Most of my flat shoes make my feet cramp &  with every step this horrible electric current feeling shoots up my leg. This has been getting worse over the past year but I haven’t done anything about it. I have no idea why.

4) On the flip-side, I have a brand new Alexander Wang blouse hanging in my closet with all of the tags still on. I haven’t worn it because there is a small dirt mark and it needs to get dry cleaned first. I’ve had this blouse since June.

5) I can’t remember the last time I visited the dentist however, I do remember the dentist asking me if I would “like to visit the toy cupboard” after he finished cleaning my teeth. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything because (wait for it…wait for it) I still go to the same Children’s dentist I’ve been going to since I was eight – which I realize adds a whole new layer of dysfunction to this scenario. My dentist has murals of Disney characters on the walls and Spongebob Squarepants playing on flat screens all over the office. Add in some laughing gas and it basically feels like one giant acid trip. During my last appointment, I got chatted up by a seven year old boy, who looked me over, scrunched up his face and said “You’re big! Why are you here?” All reasons why I’ve been avoiding going back.

I’m basically a walking personal disaster and one step away from wearing a bathing suit as underwear.

I was explaining this whole scenario to someone close to me and they said: “This is all a physical manifestation of the break-up and everything that has been going on in your life” then, they grabbed my hands from across the table and said “You need to love yourself more Simone”

It’s true. I do.

But, how do you start loving yourself again after you’ve neglected so many things for so long?

Last week I was pondering this question while at my new makeshift office (Starbucks). I was having a particularly Humpty-Dumpty-ish morning. I woke up feeling broken like my guts were all raw & yokey & splayed out for everyone to see. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself.

I was getting ready to plug in my lap-top cord (the battery bit the dust about 10 months ago – another thing on my laundry list of things that have fallen to the wayside) when the girl next to me grabbed the end of my cord and said “Here, let me!” before plugging it into the wall. The next day, I went back to the same Starbucks and a man offered to do the same thing. This made me smile.

Even when times are tough & everything feels raw and scary and like nothing will ever feel comfortable again, the Universe will give you the tools to help you cope. It’s like Mick Jagger sang: “You can’t always get what you want. And, if you try sometime, you get what you need”

Help arrives in the form of:

A small purple bedroom that’s all yours that comes with a lovely room-mate who accompanies you as you move all of your stuff out of your old place (The place that once belonged to two people) and helps dry your eyes as you literally close the door on your old life – the one that seemed picture perfect but, really wasn’t. Kindhearted souls who see you for who you really are, remind you that you are going to be OK but know that you can’t do it all your own so, they come over to put together your Ikea furniture, never asking for anything in return. Best friends who listen to your emo-meltdowns, feed you when you forget to eat and make you laugh.

When I told Ange about the demise of my black boots, she said “Here, take these.” and reached into her closet, pulled out a fantastic pair of black boots that she no longer wears and handed them to me.

When I told my friend’s husband that I really liked one of the side tables in their living room (it was the exact item I needed to complete my new bedroom set up) he said “Take it. I’m throwing it out anyways”

You get what you need.

I’m still trying to figure out this “loving yourself” thing however, this is my strategy so far: Fixed what can be fixed and get rid of whatever is broken, stained, torn or just doesn’t make any sense to keep in my life anymore. Make those doctor appointments, dentist appointments, chiropractor appointments, orthotic fitting appointments (all things I did this morning!) Accept the love that is all around me. I’m hoping if I do these things, I’ll eventually be able to fix myself. This is why I’m in BC at my Mom’s house – because I feel like this is the place where I can make these things happen.

This process also might include buying this print:

Words of wisdom from one of my favorite fashion icons.

I think it’s going to look perfect in my new bedroom.

How do you love yourself?

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