Archive for the ‘Entertainment & Media’ Category

June 8th, 2014

I Am Who I Am (Disclaimer)

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When my daughter, Frankie, was in kindergarten, she asked me how to spell FREELOADER for a homework assignment. I thought it was funny so I put it on my Facebook wall.

This prompt was rather presumptuous, wouldn't you say?

After the photo went up, someone very special sent it to the right person and it went viral. If you’re not familiar, here’s one of the links (but come back after you’re done!) http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinchack/kids-who-are-too-literal-for-their-own-good?bffb

Frankie’s online presence was a fun time for our family, especially Frankie. She got a little bummed when her piece was introduced on TV and the host assumed she was a boy— but still, she enjoyed her early moments of online fame. Frankie’s homework made a lot of people smile, but not everyone. Keep reading this post »

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May 5th, 2014

The Camp Director’s Wife

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My husband, Cody, is one of the owners/directors of an overnight camp for kids in Northern Michigan. Every year, Cody moves up to camp at the end of April to start setting up. My girls (4 and 7 years old) and I visit when we can, but we can’t move up for good until school is out. We may only live there during the summer, but it’s a part of our lives all year round. It’s not just a job, it’s our lifestyle and part of who we are. And we are very lucky.

But with that lifestyle comes responsibility. Because we work with kids, we are role models, whether we want to be or not. For me, it was an appointed position. I never filled out an application, there was no interview, I got in by marriage and the position, quite honestly, was one I was not completely prepared for. Keep reading this post »

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April 25th, 2014

Learning Curve

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I messed up.

I’m not even sure how to start, it was just one of those things that while it was happening I never even considered that there would be repercussions. I never thought twice about it. Does that make me a narcissist? Maybe I’m on overload? Lazy? Stupid?

I don’t know. You tell me. This is what happened: Keep reading this post »

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April 22nd, 2014

Why the Jews?

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When I was a kid, my dad once told me that there are many, many people who don’t like Jews. I didn’t understand what he was telling me. Where I grew up, it seemed like everyone liked Jewish people. It was harmonious. It was happy. I don’t remember one minute of anti-Semitism. But the world outside of my suburban incubator, that’s the world my dad was talking about—and out there, there are a lot of people that don’t like Jews.

And I don’t get it.

Why the Jews?

What did we ever do?

We’re just minding our business. We’re not bothering anyone. The only ones we’re really bothering are each other.

I’m familiar with the stereotypes, and yes, there may be some truth in stereotypes, but honestly, I feel like some of the ones pertaining to the Jews are blown just a little out of proportion.

–The Jewish mother that inflicts guilt. OK, yes, but that’s not just us. Jewish mothers, admittedly, seem to have perfected it—but I don’t think you have to be Jewish to be good at dishing out  guilt—I think guilt is just part of being a mom. Although, who knows? Maybe guilt is embedded in our Jewish DNA because as I write this, my 4-year-old is walking around our house, saying to no one in particular: “What am I, chopped liver?”

J–ewish men are nerdy guys who can’t fix anything. There might be a little something to the “can’t fix anything” part, but so what? Is that a reason to hate us? And besides,we’re not pushing our nerds on anyone, they’re our problem. (Well, not mine; I found one with a tool set.)

 

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–Jewish women are princesses and they are pushy. OK, that one might be a winner. But the princesses we boast are only making the world a prettier place (especially if they wear crowns) and I take offense to being stereotyped as pushy, even though, I, a little bit, can be. But only sometimes.

–Jews are cheap. That’s another big one, maybe even the front-runner. What is that about?

My grandfather and my uncle were both in the clothing business so my mom grew up in that world. She used to always tell me that it’s “silly to pay retail.” So, because of her, and the education I got from her side of the family, I prefer not to pay retail if I don’t have to. I mean, I’m not in the middle of the produce department waving my arms around, haggling over the price of bananas, and I’m not standing in the middle of a department store asking for a better deal on a blush brush, but if I’m shopping and there is a sales rack, I try to get something from that area. Does that really make me cheap, or does it make me a super awesome shopper?

Shakespeare also hasn’t done a lot to help us. Remember that play The Merchant of Venice? No? Well, neither do I, but I do remember one particular character: the Shylock. He was the Jewish moneylender. He was also a villain as big (and as crooked) as his nose. Thanks, SHAKESPEARE! Not only were you perpetuating a horrible and ugly stereotype, but you also preserved it forever on paper. Thanks, A LOT.

I have no idea how or when the negative Jew rumors started. I guess at some point, a long time ago, a Jewish person pissed the wrong person off, that person spread it around, and we haven’t been able to live it down since. But it’s been like this for so long.

When will it stop?

Of course, hating Jews is not nearly as accepted as it used to be. Just this morning I was reminded of how much the Jews were persecuted in the past when I asked my 4-year-old to put away her toys.

4-year-old: Mommy, you are treating me like a Jew.

Me: You are a Jew.

4-year-old: Mommy! You are treating me like a slave. You are like King Pharaoh.

If memory serves, I think King Pharaoh was forcing the children of Israel to build cities and construct roads—I don’t think he was asking them to PICK UP THEIR TOYS, but it’s nice that she has some education on the subject. It’s important for her to know that the Jews of yesterday went through a lot, A LOT, in order to made things better for us today.

The hatred may not be as accepted, or as ubiquitous as it used to be, but for many— it’s still a motivator. There are still so many people who cling to not liking us. They don’t want to like us. It’s like they NEED to not like us. But I think if they actually knew us, they would feel differently. It would be so nice if the haters took a day off from making us out to be deplorable people and, instead, embraced what we (not me) have brought to the table:

How about a corned beef or pastrami on rye? Maybe some chicken noodle soup while you’re watching re-runs of Seinfeld? Lipstick, jeans and the remote control. Color TV, contraceptives and valium (yeah, valium). Where do you think all of that came from?

You’re welcome.

We’re not so bad. And if you still think we are, trust me, we could be a lot worse: We don’t complain that we lost our MVP when he started his own religion (which seems to be doing really well last time I checked). We’re not out car jacking, shooting up malls or robbing your house. We’re just doing our thing, saving for a home in Boca and trying to figure out what we want to eat for our next meal.

Don’t let a few distorted stereotypes turn you off, and please, don’t let losers like David Berkowitz (he was actually a Satanist, but he was born a Jew so now we’re stuck with him) and Bernie Madoff… (another loser—I want him off our list too) ruin it for the rest of us.

Some of us are good and some of us aren’t. We’re the same as any other culture or religion in that way. All the bad stuff you hear though? Most of it is just hype and exaggeration. As a whole, most Jewish people have good hearts and mean well. You have no where to go for the holidays, or for dinner? We’ll invite you over, you’ll eat ’til you barf, and we’ll send you home with leftovers. GOOD leftovers. Babka, blintzes and sprinkle cookies. Why would anyone hate someone like that?

Plus, everyone knows it’s not a good idea to cut off your nose to spite your face…no matter how big it might be.

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Thanks for reading!

Check us out at https://www.facebook.com/dimsumanddoughnuts(the best FB page EVER!)

Also, I’m on Twitter https://twitter.com/RobynCoden

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April 19th, 2014

#Facebook Forever

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I love Facebook.

I’m not even one bit embarrassed to admit that. Most people don’t like to admit that they love Facebook, or even like it, but I do. I don’t care. Everyone is always “Oh, I don’t really go on Facebook” or “I’m not really a Facebook person” but not me.  I go on almost every day. If I don’t go on it’s because I’m on vacation, or dead. Keep reading this post »

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April 18th, 2014

10 Things No One Gives A Crap About On Facebook

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This is a re-release of an old post but it kind of goes with one I’m working on now, so you have to read this one first (or again)…

Here we go:

10 Things No One Gives A Crap About On Facebook

1. Let’s pretend that you‘re scrolling through your Facebook News Feed and you come to my status. It says: I’m at the movies! Would you care? No, you would not. No one does.

How about this one: I’m at the movies with Eminem! You might care a little bit, but now I’m just bragging (and lying).

2. If your Nana dies, please refrain from posting it as your Facebook status. Your real friends will already know about Nana and the people who don‘t know, don’t care. (Sorry, someone had to say it). Get the “F” off Facebook and go do what you should be doing: Crying over your sweet, dead Nana. Keep reading this post »

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April 15th, 2014

Let It Go

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My oldest daughter is in 1st grade. She gets tested weekly on “Dolch Words.” (I don’t know why they’re called “Dolch Words,” they don’t seem like anything more than “Spelling Words” to me.) We are supposed to work on the words every day. We do not. But, when we do…I have noticed that she does this when I give her a word to spell:

let it go

 

Keep reading this post »

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April 15th, 2014

White People Problems (Part 1)

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I started a new blog but came back to this one after exactly 2 posts. This was one of the posts. If you’ve already seen it, sorry. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It did pretty well on the other site, you might like it!

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I must be out of my mind to start writing again. But, I have to. I threw that Introduction to The Family page out there so now there is pressure. Plus, time is passing and I curse myself every single day that I’m not documenting this time in our life. So, with good intentions, I was totally ready to come home, sit down and write for awhile—but I totally forgot all about the construction and demo work starting at my house the very same day.

It is loud. Loud, Loud, Loud. And there’s like men all the over the place. Actually, I think there are only three men, but I swear, no matter where I need to be, they are there. Of course most of the work is being done in the kitchen, where I pretty much spend 90% of my life, so now with three fairly large men and myself, there isn’t a ton of room to move because it’s not that big of a kitchen, but also– it’s not that small. So MOVE!!!

But I feel bad because they are all so nice.

Keep reading this post »

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April 17th, 2013

Do The Right Thing

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The other day, one of my friends told me to listen to Dennis Prager on Talk Radio AM 1400.

Do you know who Dennis Prager is?

I didn’t. My friend mentioned him once and told me that he talks about relationships, and that he’s really smart, so OK, I gave it a shot.

I only had time to listen for about 10 minutes, but he was good. He gave positive, sound advice and he came off very “wise.“ He is the guy who basically tells you to do the right thing. Most of the time, you already know what that is, but he tells you anyway and for some reason, when he tells you, it makes you want to do it. When I was done listening, I asked my friend if Dennis Prager is Jewish. He “sounded” Jewish. (You probably won’t know what that means unless you’re Jewish). My friend told me that he used to be a Rabbi.

Uh huh.

I knew it.

I turned Dennis Prager on again today when I was on my way to pick little Lovey up from pre-school and though he wasn’t talking about relationship stuff, he brought something up that I found kind of interesting:

He brought up a hypothetical situation (at least I think it was hypothetical, I didn’t catch the beginning of the show) of two Republican Senators talking in private while, unbeknownst to them, they were being recorded–and then the recording was leaked to a Republican newspaper.

HOLY SHIZZLE.

How cool would it be to hear or read that conversation? It’s like a behind the scenes look at real politics before the polished version hits the public. It’s flat-out RAW. Oh, the drama!!!

Of course I would have wanted to hear it.

But then Dennis Prager (the wise one) brought up a valid point:

Do we really have the right to hear what happens behind the scenes? Do we really want to?

And that got me thinking…

Do we truly want to know everything that goes into a political decision or is it better to be on a need-to-know basis?

Think about it: We already have a lot going on in our lives. Should we be burdened with political scrambles when it’s not our job?

In addition, how would you feel if you were having what you THOUGHT was a private conversation only to find out that it wasn’t so private? How violating is that? Think about how you act in private. Take a minute and really think about it.

I’m sure you’re good most of the time, but sometimes, just sometimes, I bet you’re not.

And what if that got out?

OY.

But this is politics!

Maybe if our leaders were being watched, or at least knew they ran that risk, maybe they would think twice about some of the decisions that they make.

If you were being watched, wouldn’t you think twice about what you say and the decisions you make?

Take reality television shows. The people on those shows know they’re being watched. Even at their worst, I would think that they must have some semblance of cognizance.

But is that good for politics?

Politics is not a reality show. I’m not sure if we should be privy to all the steps involved before a decision is reached.

Isn’t knowing everything maybe just a little too much?

Or no?

When it comes to politics, the decisions being made do, after all, affect us. That’s something to think about.

This is all a lot to think about. I know. I have been thinking about it for days… My head hurts. And now, so does yours.

Sorry.

It’s interesting to me that this all came up on Dennis Prager’s show because I feel that if I brought this subject up to him, he would probably say that it doesn’t matter if we’re being watched.

As long we do the right thing.

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March 2nd, 2012

The Friend Philosophy

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Raise your hand if you remember that Chris Brown beat the CRAP out of Rihanna back in 2009.

Me too!

But I think the Grammys forgot.

I was kind of shocked to see Chris Brown on stage at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards singing and dancing like he wasn’t the guy who shoved Rihanna’s head into the passenger window of a car before using her face as a punching bag.

I’m familiar with the unwritten rule “Forgive and Forget,“ but there are exceptions. How about a little discretion, Grammy’s?  Next time why don’t you just book Michael Vick to be one of Brown’s back up dancers?

There’s a lot of hate and bitterness in this world so the concept of forgiveness is, in theory, a good one. But should every act of wrongdoing be forgiven? Are we to hide resentment each time someone betrays our confidence, pounds our self esteem or lets us down? There are circumstantial grey areas that surround each isolated incident so, as a parent, the subject of friendship and forgiveness can be a hard one to teach.

My 4-½ year old, Sweet Pea, recently told me that one of her friends is mean to her sometimes. What? What is THAT about? That girl is LUCKY to have you as a friend. You’re way cooler than THAT kid.

But I didn’t say that.

I told Sweet Pea that she didn’t “need that kind of friend” to which she responded: “Yeah, I don’t need that.” I told her what she does need is someone else to play with when that girl is being mean. I instructed her to temporarily move on to greener pastures until the girl is ready to be nice. And once she is ready to be nice, and she apologizes, it would be a good move to forgive her.

I thought my advice was stellar.  Sweet Pea’s friend, for all intents and purposes, is not really a bad kid and let’s face it–girls (of all ages) can be mean at times, Sweet Pea included. That’s why I was shocked when Sweet Pea looked at me and said “Mommy, I don’t want to be friends with her anymore.”

Jeez, Sweet Pea, take it easy. That’s so…final. OK, the kid was a little mean to you. I don’t know if that warrants ending a pretty solid friendship. That friend has some really good qualities. She is good about playing the dog when they play “Dog and Dog Walker.” (Dumbest game ever, by the way) and she always opts to be one of the ugly step-sisters when they play “Cinderella.” I honestly have no idea what they are playing half the time, I’m just happy they’re not including me, but I know that friend has some redeeming qualities because for the most part, my kid loves being with her.

With that in mind, I know I have to acknowledge Sweet Pea’s statement about ending the friendship. I’m sure she’s probably  bluffing, but it still seems like a good time to open a dialogue about mommy’s “Friend Philosophy.” (Much of this I learned from my own mom.) It’s probably a little early for Sweet Pea to get into something so deep, but the advice is both solid and reasonable–and beyond that, I think it will serve her well in the future with ALL of her friends.

Here it is:

Every friend wears a different hat. You might have a friend who is fun to shop and eat with. She gets the Shopping and Face Stuffing Hat. Maybe you have a friend who you can confide in but she’s no fun to shop with. That’s OK because she gets the I-Keep-My-Mouth-Shut hat and that is a good hat to have even if she’s no fun to shop with. Perhaps you have a friend who you like to go running with (or something horrible like that). She would get the Running Hat. And so on and so on…

So, Sweet Pea’s friend doesn’t always get to wear the I’m Nice hat. So what? She looks cute in the I’m Fun hat and when she is mean, her behavior is probably harmless and manageable. Plus, if she is a friend who selflessly steps up to be Ken every time they play Barbies, I’d say she’s worth keeping around.

It’s very rare to have one friend who can wear every hat, and it’s not fair to expect such a thing. We have to accept our friends for who they are and for what they are capable of giving. Some give a lot and some give enough, but few (if any) can give all. That’s why most of us have more than one friend. Variety is good, and everyone is comfy in their hats.

But what about the friend who is just a total anchor? The friend who you’re truly done with? What about the Chris Browns who used to be in a very Loved hat, but somehow lost their way–and their hat? What do you do with the toxic people who no longer have a positive place in your life because their redeemable qualities have been replaced by bad energy, drama and stress?

If you truly have a person in your life who is just completely and utterly draining and bringing absolutely nothing positive to bring to the table (and I’m so sorry if you do) well…that person, if at all possible, probably needs to be ejected. And that’s not an easy thing to do. Cutting someone out of your life is rough, but protecting yourself is necessary.

I know that Sweet Pea’s friend can be mean at times, but she is certainly not at toxic status. Some of us–many of us–have people in our lives that are poison. If you, sadly, know of what I speak–don’t despair! There is a hat for that person. It’s the YOU SUCK SO BAD THAT I JUST CAN’T HAVE YOU IN MY LIFE ANYMORE hat.

If I were Rihanna, that is the hat I would get for Chris Brown–and if there is a hat that says LOSER, I would grab that one too.

He will look great in it at the Grammys.

 

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