Living With Don Johnson

Archive for August 2011

Wendy is home!!! It’s time to do a happy dance. I’ve missed her so much. Don Johnson let her stay up until I got home from work so that I could see her. We’ve all got tomorrow off, so that we can celebrate Don Johnson’s birthday and relax.

Wendy comes home tomorrow! I can’t wait. By this time tomorrow, Wendy will be snuggled safely in her own bed where she belongs. I’m so excited.

So, I imagine that this post has the potential to start a lot of drama. And I do mean A LOT of drama, but you know what? This is my blog, so I’m going to say it anyway.

The cost of movie tickets in California is beyond crazy, but Don Johnson and I like going to the movies. We go as often as we can when Wendy is with her father or at school so that we can see the grown up movies without having to worry about a sitter. That being said. If you have a small child and you can’t find a sitter, then please don’t take your small child to an adult movie. Your child is not interested in the movie. Your child wants to be playing or talking or sleeping in bed. Your child does not need to see that particular movie.

It’s one thing if it is a children’s movie and you are taking your infant along while you take your child who is of movie watching age (I know some kids were okay in the theater as young as 3, but for most kids, I’d say about the age of 5 is a good age for the movie theater) to see the movie. But I’m talking about movies where there are adults who are there on a date or adults who don’t want to listen to other people’s kids.

Now, I know what you are going to say. “But Kate, they paid for their tickets to the movie just like you did. Just because they are parents doesn’t mean they can’t go to the movies.” True. However, did they pay for a ticket for the kid in the infant carrier? Probably not. And I’m certainly not saying that parents can’t take their kids to a movie in a theater. I’m saying please don’t take your small child to a movie not intended for small children. It’s as simple as that. You don’t take your kids into a bar, right?

Here’s the thing. I’m a parent. Don Johnson is a parent. Between the two of us, we have the three Darling children. We know what we are talking about. When the Darling children were younger and we wanted to go to the movie theater, we found sitters. If we couldn’t afford sitters, then we just didn’t go to the movies or we stayed home and rented a movie. That way if we had to take care of the Darling children, we could pause the movie. You can’t pause the movie at the theater! So, if your kiddo cries at a crucial point in the plot and I can’t hear, I’m screwed. I can’t go up to the projector room and ask them to rewind it for me.

I know that new parents and parents of small children are stressed. It’s hard. I get it. I know, believe me. All you want is a couple of hours to stare at Vin Diesel (or Robert Pattinson, Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp, pick your poison), but wouldn’t you be better able to enjoy the time you are spending at the theater with your loved one if you didn’t have to worry about feeding or changing a diaper or finding a binky throughout the movie?

Yes, when you walk into a theater dragging a toddler or carrying an infant car seat, you do in fact hear a collective groan. We aren’t thinking “oh what a cute baby/adorable toddler/kid.” We’re actually thinking, “Oh crap. They brought their kid to the movies. There goes the night. Hope he doesn’t scream the entire time. I wonder if I can get my money back if he does. Seriously, who does that? I paid for a sitter. Why couldn’t they?”

Little Johnny and his sister Little Suzie will be okay if you leave them with a sitter for a couple of hours. I promise. And you’ll be able to enjoy the movie yourself. I spent almost 4 years without seeing a movie in a movie theater because Wendy wasn’t able to sit still in the theater.

This rant is inspired by the lovely people who decided it was okay to bring their infant to an R rated movie at 8 o’clock at night.

Thank you so much.

Sincerely,

The woman who groaned and sighed outloud when I saw you walk in with your stroller

 

P.S. If you read this and get offended, I’m sorry. I’m merely stating my opinion on infants and small children in movies not intended for viewing by infants and small children. I don’t care if you take your kid on the airplane or out to dinner at a nice restaurant with linen table cloths. I don’t even care if you breastfeed in public. You have that right. You even have the right to take your baby to an R rated movie, and I can’t stop you. But why would you take your baby to an R rated movie in the first place?

I made these cookies yesterday for some friends who were coming over (and I’ll be taking the remainder to work on Saturday).

Jello cookies are something that I grew up with. When my mom was dating my (step)dad in high school (they were high school sweethearts who finally got married 30 years later), she learned how to make these from his mom. She made them for me and my brother when we were growing up. I always seem to remember them being made around Christmas time. She’d make strawberry cookies and lime cookies (red and green for the holidays). Sometimes, instead of making drop cookies, she’d roll the lime flavored ones out like a sugar cookie and cut them out using a christmas tree cookie cutter. It made really cute Christmas cookies that she didn’t have to decorate.

Over the course of 27 years or so, my (step)dad’s family lost the recipe for Jello cookies or just stopped making them. He married my mom 2 years ago (high school sweethearts who went their separate ways for 27 years, remember?). I made Jello cookies as a dessert one day because I knew that they were coming over for dinner or something. Imagine my dad’s surprise when he saw that I’d made Jello cookies! A recipe created by his mom that he hadn’t had for years. I’ve made these cookies quite a few times in the last two years. Here’s the recipe:

3/4 c margarine or butter

1/2 c sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 1/2 c flour

1 (3 oz) package of Jello*

Cream butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix in salt, baking powder, jello, and flour. Dough will be stiff. Roll into 1″ balls and smash with glass dipped in sugar. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until cookies are set up and slighlty brown on the edges.

*I usually use strawberry jello which results in a bright pink cookie. Wendy likes pink, what can I say. The only flavors I have tried that don’t work out well are lemon and orange. The flavors don’t seem to be strong enough to flavor the cookie and you wind up with a cookie that tastes like flour.

So, as you’ve probably figured out by now, I work at a used bookstore. I adore the written word, and I will take the written word in any way, shape, or form.

That being said, I absolutely love my eReader. I got it as a gift last year for helping a friend with some English classes. The best thing about my reader is that I can store a bunch of books and not have to worry about actually storing a bunch of books. I live in a small apartment, and my bookshelf space is severely limited. I can load 9 or 10 books onto my reader and take them on the airplane with me, and it only takes up the space of one small book versus trying to find the space for 9 or 10 books. Not to mention that eBooks are a hair cheaper than purchasing a hardcover book.

I still read and love actual books. My mom buys books and then sends them to me when she is done reading them. But, again, I have that storage problem. I’ve got books stacked on top of books in my bookshelves.

There is a definate debate about eBooks versus bound books. I don’t quite get it. The bound book advocates talk about the feel of the book in their hands and turning the pages. They like to talk about how the literacy rate is going to decrease because of eBooks and eReaders. They talk about how they can read books anywhere.

I, however, do not feel this way. Like I said, I love my eReader. I can hold it in my hands. I can actually hold it in one hand if I so desire. I have a cover on it to protect it, but the cover also serves to make it feel more like a book. To be honest, when I’m reading, I usually take off the cover because it bugs me. I can still turn pages, but I can do it with the flick of a finger. One of the things I think is fantastic is that I never have to look for another bookmark ever again. My reader automatically saves my spot. My reader isn’t backlit, so I can read it in all the same places that I’d read a book. If the power goes out, and I don’t have a flashlight, I can’t read a bound book either. The only time I have a problem is if the battery dies while I’m reading. And so far, I seem to have a pretty decent amount of time for each battery charge. I won’t lose all my books if my computer crashes since I can sign into my Reader account on any computer and have my books right there. And the Los Angeles Library offers eBooks. I just need to get a library card for the LA Library system.

As far as the literacy rate, I have no control over that. But, here’s my opinion on it. Reading is reading is reading. It doesn’t matter if you are reading the back of a cereal box or the Grapes of Wrath. Reading a comic book is considered reading to me. Reading those stupid Manga/anime books (can you tell I don’t understand them?) is reading to me. It doesn’t matter what you are reading as long as you are reading. I don’t think that eBooks will damage the literacy rates. Let’s think about it for a moment  shall we? We already have kids graduating high school who can’t read. How will giving them a book in a new format change that? Will we have more kids graduating without knowing how to read. We live in a techno world, and we need to be able to adapt. Kids today have a love of technology, so it makes sense to offer books to them in a way that fits in with their lifestyles.

The book people like to talk about the “smell” of old books. Can I share something with you? That smell that you love about old books? More than likely, it’s some sort of mildew. At the bookstore, we don’t take books that have the “old book smell” because they don’t sell.

You should have seen the reaction I got when I mentioned eReaders at work. It was something. You’d have thought I was talking about killing puppies. It should be interesting when I actually bring in my eReader today to read at my lunch break.

I finally feel like me again at work. When I was hired, I filled out all the official paperwork and whatnot with my given name, Katherine. I love my name, but Katherine isn’t what I generally go by. It’s on all my official documents and papers, but in everyday life, I’m Kate. I’m Katie to a select few and Katherine to an even smaller group. I didn’t mind being called Katherine at work. I answer to it. It was when they started calling me Kathy that I started to have a problem. I’ve never been a Kathy. Ever. My mom knew when I was born that she wanted to call me Kate; however, since she wasn’t able to have any nicknames growing up, she wanted me to have a name that provided me with ample choices for nicknames. She was going to call me Kate regardless of what anyone else called me. When I was little, I was Katie. My grandparents and aunts and uncles still call me Katie. In about the 2nd or 3rd grade, I decided that I wanted to be grownup, so I wanted to be called Katherine. That only lasted a year at most. Have you ever tried having to write a name with 9 letters on worksheets in elementary school? There is never enough space. Once I was done with Katherine, I was Kate. I’ve been Kate ever since. In high school, I was Kater to many. My mom still calls me Kater. Kater is actually on my letter jacket from high school.

After attempting to correct people at work each time they said Kathy, I just decided to ask for a new name tag today. And now, I have a new name tag that says Kate. Most of my coworkers are still calling me Katherine, but the ones who were calling me Kathy are now making a genuine attempt to call me Kate. I feel like myself again. While I answer to Katherine, I always feel like I am either pretending to be someone else or else I feel like I’m in trouble because while growing up, I was Katherine whenever I got in trouble.

My blog is a fairly new blog, and right now, I have no aspirations as to what I’d like my blog to become. At this particular moment in time, my blog is mostly a place to write like I can’t on my Facebook page. I have no word limits on this blog. I can post what I want, when I want, and say it how I want. I don’t have much experience writing in the blogging world, but I decided to put my toe in and test the waters.  I do, however, have lots of experience reading in the blog world. I have my favorites that I check out every day or every couple of days. Blogs that you’d expect me, as a mom, to follow like Rants from Mommyland. I also tend to follow quite a few cooking and baking blogs like Bakerella and Smitten Kitchen. And I follow my friend, Holly, at Bring on the Holly. I’ve been following Holly for a few years now. We’ve been friends for a few years now. Our kids are 7 now (or about to turn 7), so, yeah, I’ve been reading for a few years now. I started with her blog about life in Germany as a way to get to better know a coworker and new friend. We experienced our pregnancies together. And I still smile to think about the two of us walking (or was that waddling) around the base to get to the PX. I read on as I moved back stateside, and she left Germany and the Wurzburg blog behind to follow her then-husband to England and a new blog. And I continued to read as she left England to move back to California to once again start over in life and a new blog. I’ve always liked that she starts a new blog with each new stage in her life, but she maintains the old ones so she always has those memories tucked away in a corner of the internet.

Recently, Holly posted on her Facebook page that she was struck with, what seems to be, a somewhat severe case of blog envy. She’d written a blog post and hit the wrong key and lost the entire post. She took a break and started killing some time on the internet. She stumbled across a blog that made her start to question her blog. Does she have enough readers? What can she do to get more readers? And other questions of the sort. From what I understand, bloggers can often fall victim to blog envy or ,as I like to call it, the Julie Powell Syndrome (JPS). Yes, that Julie Powell. The one who was the subject of that little movie titled “Julie & Julia.” You see, Ms. Powell started a little blog to document her attempt at cooking every recipe in…well, you’ve seen the movie, so you know the plot. What I am getting at is that Julie Powell was extremely lucky that her little blog got picked up and turned into a book and then a movie. That isn’t something that the average blogger can expect to happen. Sure, we’d all love to have our blogs picked up, but realistically, what are the chances of that happening? There are a lot of blogs out there. They cover every imaginable subject and then some. Yes, some bloggers are able to achieve a high number of readers, but we have to remember that, in most cases, they have something that I certainly don’t have: a huge advertising budget. They can purchase the ads to advertise their blogs. They can afford the professional blog designers and marketing people. They don’t have any problems purchasing things to use as a giveaway. Do we honestly think that The Pioneer Woman would be as successful as she is today without having the monetary backing from her family? I don’t know. Some of her recipes have me wondering. (Yes, I’m knocking the PW. Don’t get me wrong, several of the recipes that I’ve tried have been pretty good, but I’ve also found the same recipes in other cookbooks. So it isn’t like she is actually creating all of these recipes by herself. It’s all marketing, people. Seriously.) As smaller bloggers (or newer bloggers as in my case), we often look at these types of blogs and wonder “Why can’t my blog be like that?” It’s a dangerous spiral to get caught in.

As a new blogger or an up and coming blogger, we need to remember and think about why we got into blogging in the first place. Was it to have a space to share your dreams? A place to share your poetry? A place to share pictures of your kids and day to day life with family and friends who don’t live close by? You have to blog for yourself and not fall victim to the Julie Powell Syndrome. Even if no one discovers your blog or even reads it, you’ve done something. You’ve written something that may have made someone smile or taught them something new. You never know.

To Holly, who is in the midst of blog envy, please know that I check your blog at least every other day, if not every day, to see what you and R are up to. You are a huge part of the reason that I decided to start a blog. I read your blog and thought “I could do that.” And one day, I finally decided that I could. And you know what my little dream was? To have my little blog listed over on the side of YOUR blog under the heading “Blogs I Like.” Your blog is what I eventually hope mine will become. Please don’t fall victim to JPS. There are people out here in blogger land who look up to you and your blog. And if you don’t want potential clients to read it, then make it something you do want them read. Or you could always make a new blog, a professional blog that deals with topics and ideas that you do want clients to see. Whatever you decide to do, please don’t abandon your current blog. My days wouldn’t be quite the same without my little dose of Holly. And who knows, maybe one of these days, the stars will align and we’ll be able to get together and see each other.

À bientôt


%d bloggers like this: