Sunday, June 26, 2005

"The News"

Who doesn't love the news? I love the end of the day when Christopher and I cuddle up close, and watch Debra Norville report the day's happenings. It's always a little alarming to think of what I might have missed had I just stuck to FoxNews, MSNBC, CNN, or the Drudge Report. For those of you who miss Inside Edition, lemme give you the rundown.

First of all, Topher and I are always a little suspicious about Debbie's adam apple. I don't like going around starting internet rumors, but it has been a hot topic around the Clark Family. She's a beautiful gal, but we do see her bop-bop-boppin' along as she exposes the horrors of fast-food kitchens, plastic surgery gone wrong, or a good old-fashioned kitten stuck in a tree.

Which leads me to my next topic: Debbie's hard-hitting journalism. I don't know if any of you know this, but Debra's willing to do just about anything to get the scoop. My favorite story of all time is when Ms. Norville went inside a female prison for three whole days. We were with her as they confiscated her personal possessions and forced her (with her prior consent, of course) to wear an unflattering jumpsuit. We were there, with nightvision, as she tossed and turned on her lumpy mattress with NO PILLOW night after night. We were there with her as a guard told her she "missed a spot" while mopping; we felt her fear as she, too, jumped in fright at the comment. We were there when, seconds after the "prison mopping incident," she interviewed the guard as to why she made such a comment. We were there when the guard said, "Well, you missed a spot." And, finally, we were there when she saw the light of day and booked it on down to the nearest Wendy's. That's when I knew we were kindred spirits, because that's just what I did when I made it onto American soil after a year in England: I went right on over to Wendy's for a #1 with cheese, no pickle. Now we're connected for life.

Debbie used to be on the Today show, for like a week, and she got really bad ratings because everyone missed the old blonde reporting the news, so they kicked her off and Inside Edition's been her bread and butter ever since. I feel kind of sorry for her because that must have been embarrassing. I mean, how do they explain to you that you're not the right blonde to report the news because the American people liked the last blonde, who left of her own decision, more than you? It's a tough ratings-minded world out there and I just want to show my support to Debra EVEN THOUGH she messes up all the time and never reshoots. I'm always screaming at the tv, "It's not LIVE TV, Debra! Do another take! It won't kill you!" She messes up all the time, even on a 2 sentence intro, and she won't redo it. It kills me! I can just see her rolling her eyes between takes, taking a drag of her ciggy with the make-up lady, saying, "Well, it's not like it's the friggin' TODAY SHOW!" (Debbie wouldn't swear) Which makes me feel bad for the adam's apple remark. Just ignore that.

One thing Inside Edition does that bothers me and Topher to no end is that they recycle stories. They'll have a new story about a lip-gloss that makes you lose weight or a kangaroo who walks on stilts, and they'll try to sneak in a story we've already seen about a car who drove itself on a wild police chase. They must think we don't watch every night, or don't watch closely which goes to show that Debra is, once again, underestimating her audience.

So if you're up late at night and you've been out of touch with the world, click on over to Inside Edition, channel 4, 11:30ish/12 ish some nights (it's right after Access Hollywood), and watch Debra Norville, she could really use the support.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Who do you think you are?

We've just returned from our much awaited, much anticipated family vacation. Let me first start out by saying, for the record, that I'm under no delusion that there is such thing as a "vacation," in the traditional sense, for parents who take their children on a trip. This was a vacation for the kids, I fully admit that. I have a dream that one day Topher and I will go back to New York for a proper vacation (which consists of sleeping for the first two days). But that's after babies have been weaned and the ban my children have from going to Grandma and Grandpa Valentine's house has been lifted (they're still on probation, time suspended for good behavior). I think Christopher, although a very good sport, still held on to a little bit of the dream, manifested in that novel he packed and the ipod he brought along. But it's good to have a dream.

Growing up, in Lincoln, Nebraska, our family "vacation" was coming to Utah. That 16 hour drive, interrupted by one luxurious night at the Cheyenne, Wyoming Holiday Inn, was the vacation we came to expect every year. Don't get me wrong, we loved coming to visit our cousins-complete with sleepovers and slurpees. And most importantly: no one had a trampoline in Nebraska. My brothers and sisters and I would hear about our friends' families going to Hawaii to surf or to Vail to ski, but that wasn't who we, the Valentine's, were. We ate carrot sticks and sandwiches in the wood-panel station wagon, and we took great pride in that. (As an adult, I"m not so sure why, but I still hang onto it.) We weren't deprived or anything, I mean, we went to Disneyworld once, when I was 12, but my mom made all seven of us matching shirts (in different colors--I was teal), so we learned there was a price for everything.

So growing up with my no-frills summer vacations, who do I think I am going to the front of the line at every ride at Disneyland? I loved it, don't get me wrong-- it was the only way to do Disneyland with small, small children, but I felt extremely guilty about it, darting my eyes down everytime we rushed ahead, following Golda, our VIP guide, to the front of the line while she explained boldly to the ride operator that she had an important guest with her and could we, please (she was extremely polite--I'm sure there's special training for that and Disneyland, but it creeps me out to think about it for very long), go on the ride this very minute? I was stung when audible whispers floated above us, because I imagined they were wondering which one of my children had cancer. But no, we went with my brother, the rock star, who said that fame is fleeting and we might as well use it while we can, because he won't always have it, and that made sense to me, so although I felt guilty about it, I fully took advantage of my brother's fame. I'm such a Gemini.

The universe is balanced, and we did blow a tire in Cedar City, and this somehow made me feel better about getting free stuff. We did have to buy a tire, afterall. We suffered. But then again, while we were lifted up on the bed of a tow-truck, kids still buckled in, Miles, our oldest, yelled, "This is the best vacation ever! We're taller than everyone!" and that was before the beach and Disneyland. I guess we could have packed the minivan with carrot sticks and driven three miles and called it good.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

My First Blog

It's my first blog, so you can understand my anxiety. It seemed like a simple task (setting up a blog), but right away my first three "clever" titles were taken (imagine my horror) and I quickly came to understand that this was serious business. I had mistakenly approached this creation with whimsical fancy, and I was punished for it. I can see that now. Apparently this "blogging" has been going on for a long time, and I am, once again, technologically in the dark ages. To illustrate this fact, I will reveal something personal and embarassing (it's the least I can do to reel you, the reader, in): I don't have a cell phone. But I don't want to bore my reader/s (hi honey!) with my apprehension and doubt. I will go forward and write with no more apologies or explanations of sleep deprivation (I have a newborn--doh, I just did it--oh, judy!)

I think it's important to first explain the above mentioned title, "oh, judy!" What were my other, more clever ideas, you ask? "My funny valentine"('cause my maiden name is Valentine--get it? I didn't say it was REALLY clever): taken, " sweet, comic valentine" (you get where I was going with this, huh?): taken, and "on any other day" (which is a police song): taken. I was just about to give up when "oh, judy!" popped into my head. It's an expression some friends and I use to refer to someone who does something so ridiculous, yet so tailored and predictable to their personality. Example: it's 11 p.m, Christmas Eve and you're buying batteries for your kids' toys. You bump into an old friend (Judy), who you haven't seen for over a year, buying milk. You small talk, each explaining why you haven't kept in touch, but have meant to. You end the interaction with "Merry Christmas!" and (Judy) replies, "Oh, Yeah. . . I guess it is Christmas. . . I completely forgot!" Oh, judy! An alternative expression on the same line: "that's so raven!" (a reference to the Disney hit show "That's So Raven!" starring the little girl from the Cosby Show. Apparently she has psychic powers and does OUTRAGEOUS things. Antics. When she does one of these things. . . say, falls into a vat of pudding JUST as her prom date arrives, you say, "That's SO Raven!")

So that's my first blog. I'm tempted to rewrite it, overanalyze it and deconstruct it in how it represents me, but I'll just do that in my head. . . oh, judy!