Legend of Two Wolves

The Great Facebook Wars & The Battle of Two Wolves

Facebook had me completely annoyed by 6:15 this morning.
I think that’s a new record for me.
I woke up at 5:30, made coffee at 6, turned on the computer at 6:10 and was almost immediately annoyed. A battle was raging, like usual, and everyone was voicing their opinions. I made the comment that maybe no one really CARED about our opinions, which was met with even more heated opinions. I deleted the comment in a huff and got the kids ready for school.
An hour later, we were carpooling with the neighbor boys and the kids had turned my attitude completely around. They were so funny and full of life that it caused me to pat my daughter’s leg and say, “Thank you. This is what I needed.”
It made me think of the parable about the two wolves, so I told it to the kids as we drove to school. I had to paraphrase it this morning, but here’s what I found online:

A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other.
One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.
The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, “The one you feed.”

My daughters groaned and rolled their eyes. Continue reading →

Pixels, mother!, Alien: Covenant

Your Opinion ≠ Reality (A Film Critic’s Lament)

A friend of mine just saw the movie mother! and made an interesting statement about it on social media. She didn’t like the film at all, and she went on to say that anyone who said it was “brilliant,” was just jumping on some artsy-fartsy bandwagon.

She’s not alone in this opinion. I’ve watched the mother! debate rage all around me, and even took part in a few of them. Not because I loved the movie. I didn’t. In fact, I’m still not sure how I feel about it, even after reading countless explanations and a dissection from director Darren Aronofsky himself (find that HERE, and see if it makes any sense to you). I debate in favor of mother! because I recognize it has artistic merits and that it spoke to many people in a way that it didn’t speak to me. That’s an important and sometimes difficult lesson to learn when you’re a critic of anything:
Your opinion DOES NOT EQUAL reality.

I might think that a movie is good, while other people consider it a complete waste of time. I liked that stupid Adam Sandler movie, Pixels, while every other critic in the world torched it like a dumpster. I also hated the new Alien: Covenant, and stood in abject horror as the critics around me screamed “Brilliant! Instant Classic!!!” Continue reading →

Flags Lining Street

Am I a Good American?

I took a walk yesterday and noticed the American flags that lined my street. It was 9/11 and an important day of remembrance so I wasn’t surprised to see them. I was, however, surprised when an unexpected feeling washed over me:

Guilt.

It took me a minute to put a name on it but as I stood and looked at those flags, I felt an unmistakable sense of guilt and a question popped into my mind:

Am I a bad American?

It wasn’t something that had ever occurred to me before. I’ve always been proud of my country and felt that I knew my place in it but I’m not so sure anymore. The things I feel strongly about, like freedom of speech and the belief that all men and women are created equal, are actually topics of debate now. Concepts that have always been pillars of truth to me are now disputed and sometimes even considered unpatriotic. In fact, about 50% of my country disagrees with my core and most basic beliefs.

So who is right? What does patriotism mean when an entire country is split on what is patriotic? Continue reading →

9/11

What My Mom Remembers About 9/11 (written by my daughter)

My daughter had a special assignment from her History teacher this weekend, in honor of 9/11. The students were asked to interview their parents and get their accounts of September 11th, 2001. Neither one of my girls had been born by that day, so the only things they know about it are what we’ve told them. The story below is what Emma wrote during our interview, and she was sweet enough to let me share it here.

Everyone remembers what they were doing when they received word that the World Trade Center was under attack. While most people stopped what they were doing and huddled around a TV set, my mother reported the whole thing live as it was happening. She was part of the Jagger & Julie Morning Show on 102.1 the Edge, and her main job was to report the news. She had an Associated Press feed on her computer that she watched throughout the morning to collect breaking news. They were live on the air when a news headline came up that said, “Plane Crashes into World Trade Center.” Mom clicked on the link to get more information, but the story only said that the price of stamps was going up. She was confused and announced live that she had received word that a plane had crashed in the World Trade Center but the story was about stamps. Her co-host, Chris Jagger, went to the phones to see if anyone knew what was going on. That’s when they saw that all of the phone lines were lit up with callers trying to tell them what was really happening. Continue reading →

Trusted World

HOW TO BE A BETTER DONATOR (for the sake of Harvey’s Victims)

I spent a few hours at a donation center this morning, sorting through items collected for Hurricane Harvey victims. I encourage everyone to do the same, and not just because it’s so desperately needed right now. I learned a lot today, about the items that are donated and how, despite good intentions, they aren’t always useful. Volunteering some time at a donation center can teach us all to be better DONATORS in the future because, let’s be honest, this won’t be the last time we have to pull together and help.

First of all, think about packaging. Countless old shopping bags showed up today, filled to the brim and often tearing along the sides. Recycling is great but a plastic or paper bag filled with goods is flimsy doesn’t stack well. Boxed items are easier to pile on a pallet and move around. Think about separating and labeling your donations, as well. Valuable time is spent digging through bags and filtering goods into specific stacks, but boxes filled with soap and labeled SOAP, for example, had an immediate home.

Volunteering at the donation center gave me insight into what NEEDS to be donated, as well. I saw thousands of water bottles and diapers, but some of the donated items had never occurred to me, like adult diapers and baby formula for sensitive tummies. There was a stack of back-to-school items as well, which evacuated kids who are visiting North Texas schools now will definitely need. That hadn’t even crossed my mind.

Clothes
Smells like armpits & onions.

The enormity of the task at hand really hits home when you start sorting through the donated clothes. See that pile above? It’s a day’s worth of stained, torn or just plain STINKY clothes that were donated but considered not-usable. I even pulled a few pairs of used panties out of the bags (thank God for rubber gloves). Gently worn clothes are OK, but consider donating a cheap pack of undies from Target instead of cleaning out your own underwear drawer. Continue reading →

Film Festival

The Women Texas Film Festival (& Why You Should GO!)

We talk so often about the lack of representation in film and the rotten roles women are usually offered. We complain loud and long about the sad number of female directors, writers, and even critics but we know the truth. The film industry runs on $$$$$$ and that will ALWAYS be the deciding factor when it comes to what-gets-made-and-when.
That’s why we need to show up.
We need to get behind every solid piece of film-making that is offered by women and, if you aren’t already on board, The Women Texas Film Festival is a fantastic place to start.
The Women Texas Film Festival runs August 16th through the 20th and is the only full-fledged, female-focused film festival in Texas (read it’s D Magazine feature HERE). Continue reading →

McGarry & Fisk

OUT & ABOUT: Back-to-School Events, Concerts & Cary Elwes (Plus My “Annabelle: Creation” Review)

I was on Good Morning Texas recently, talking about all the events you need to hit before the kids head back to school. Yes, it’s already that time! I’ve got everything you need to know about new movies, sports and activities for the kids so watch the segment HERE, then find the links below. Continue reading →

Wall-E

Me: The Cockroach Assassin (An Old Blog for Summer Break)

I simply can’t write during Summer Break.
I’m blaming my kids, since they’re home from school and currently draped over various pieces of furniture, staring at mind-numbing electronic devices. They would honestly let me sit at the computer all day long if it meant they could continue their non-activity but watching them sit there MAKES ME CRAZY.
Isn’t that strange? That watching someone do nothing at all could make you want to snatch that iPhone out of their hands and stomp it to death?
It’s this particular mania that has led me to countless pool-trips, friend-visits and dollars spent on Groupon, just so they’ll PUT DOWN THAT DAMNED DEVICE!
It’s also why I’m posting a very old blog from my even older Blogspot account. I can’t find the brain-space to write now so I’ll just share stuff I could write then. Enjoy!

MOTHERF**KING ROACHES

Did you know that cockroaches are warm to the touch?
Well, I didn’t actually touch him. I just stepped on him one night in our old house. Continue reading →

Breast Health

ODE TO MAMMOGRAMS: The Good Ol’ Lean & Squish

I made a routine trip to the doctor today and it reminded me of a not-so-routine-trip a few years ago.

See, I had scheduled a mammogram after finding a lump and was very apprehensive about the appointment. For the record, this is a common thing for me because my boobs are like 2 fun-sized bags of Reese’s Pieces. I’ve been berated for years now by one nurse who claims this odd condition is a result of my coffee addiction. I’m a dedicated junkie though so NO, I won’t be dropping that habit any time soon. Plus, this particular nurse has a wonderful Jamaican accent so I sort of like to hear her bitch at me anyway.

This lump felt different though and a 10-foot-deep pit of dread had settled in my stomach. I walked in for my mammogram that day CONVINCED bad news awaited. In my mind, bagpipes were playing as I disrobed and not the fun, drunk kind you hear on St. Patrick’s Day. My favorite nurse was there and she gave me the usual lecture, but even SHE seemed a bit reserved. The doctor decided he should get a better look with the (deep breath here) sonogram, just to be safe. Continue reading →

Trump

IS DONALD TRUMP MAKING YOU FAT? (How Click-Bait is Messing with Your BRAIN)

My kids love to tell me how much better their generation is than mine. This is what I want of course, being their mother, but they’re so cocky about it that I have to debate them. My girls point to the internet, and how they’re infinitely more informed than I ever was. I have to remind them that this influx of news doesn’t always educate and often just makes it harder to find the truth.
Take for instance, your social media feed at this very moment.
If it’s anything like mine, it’s filled with angry stories and click-bait to websites you’ve never heard of. These posts usually support someone’s political stance and, before you scream LIBERAL or CONSERVATIVE at me, all sides of this particular fence are guilty.
I recently decided to stop reading any story that had a political slant or wasn’t from a network news website (they need ratings too badly to express opinions). I did this because it has become increasingly impossible to tell truth from click-bait.
I can tell you, as someone who runs a website, that we will do anything to get your click. Yes, sometimes even lead with a sensational title that speaks more to your itchy click-finger than it does to the actual post (See above-Sorry!).
I stopped reading click-bait posts from unfamiliar websites and turned my attention to podcasts, which has been truly eye-opening.
I spent the last few months listening to stories about true crime and old Hollywood. I learned about S-Town and went on an extended hunt for Richard Simmons. I’ve eavesdropped on physicists debating life on other planets, and listened in on couples therapy. That’s when something incredible happened. Continue reading →