A tale of woe

I was so close.

Last night I took a ride on an emotional roller coaster. I hate roller coasters, emotional or otherwise, so you can imagine that I did not have the time of my life.

It all started with my husband, as rides on emotional roller coasters often do. He sat down on the couch and turned on the television. It was not sports. That was the first clue that something unusual was about to happen.

Then he reached for the remote that changes the set-up from TV to whatever it’s called when you can stream shows from Netflix/Hulu/etc. right to your television. Clearly, I’m not well-versed in this technology, but I knew enough to know that something amazing was about to happen.

You see, my husband does not enjoy watching television shows. He prefers movies. There’s only one show he’s ever actually watched with me and liked, and it was “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on Margaret Atwood’s book of the same name. It was at that moment that it occurred to me that he was going to tune into the first episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale” SEASON 2. I knew that it was being released like any minute but totally forgot about it until that very second and I cannot even express to you how incredibly stoked I was that this was going to happen momentarily. I was so happy I started screaming, prompting my kid to scream down from his bedroom, “What’s wrong? Are you crying?!?”

“Oh no,” I replied, “Everything is finally so, so right!!”

So we’re sitting there, the anticipation of the new season pretty much killing me, when all of a sudden my husband says, “Uh oh.” Terrified, I asked what was going on. Did the internet go out? Was the house on fire, making us evacuate and delay our viewing? What?!? He replied that the new season was not going to be released for two more days.

Do you know what it’s like to achieve nirvana and then suddenly plummet down to the deepest depths of despair in two seconds flat? I do. Because that was me.

And if things weren’t bad enough, he asked me the one question that made me hit rock bottom (I already thought I was at rock bottom, but he inexplicably was able to bring me further down). This is what he asked me: “Do you want to watch a pack break instead?”

For those of you who don’t know what a pack break is, I envy you. Sometimes I think back to the days when I didn’t know what a pack break was, and I actually weep. A pack break is a type of YouTube video in which a person records him or herself on video opening baseball card packs. Then this person discuss the cards they’ve received AT LENGTH, including what number it is in the sequence of production, the condition of the card, etc. I imagine if there is a hell, it’s a never-ending loop of pack breaks being broadcast on 50 different computer screens simultaneously, and I am forced to sit in a chair in the middle of them all.

I mean, to go from watching the first episode of a new season of “The Handmaid’s Tale” to watching a pack break was JUST TOO MUCH TO BEAR. I became despondent. Irritable. Irate. And that was just in the first 60 seconds after the suggestion.

We ended up watching the first episode of “Jessica Jones,” so the evening wasn’t a total loss. It was good. No “Handmaid’s Tale,” but what is, am I right?

I think I’ll take today to recover from having experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows all within a five-minute period because, honestly, it’s taken a lot out of me. Let this be a lesson to you: Research when your favorite shows are dropping so this doesn’t happen to you. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

Image from The Stranger.

Home sweet home

Back in the day, I was a HUGE X-Files fan. That is until I saw one particular episode called “Home,” and then I went off it completely. Cold turkey. No going back.

For those of you who didn’t catch that one, here’s the gist: These three brothers whose last name is Peacock live in this creepy old house. A deformed baby is found buried nearby, and Scully and Mulder are called in to see what’s up. The sheriff of the town, which is aptly named Home, implies that the Peacock family has been inbreeding for years, but there are only three brothers (who are deformed themselves) and no women living in the house. So, it’s hypothesized that the brothers have kidnapped a random woman, impregnated her, and, when she gave birth, buried the baby.

Well, it turns out that the brothers did not in fact kidnap a random woman and impregnate her. They are actually “breeding” with THEIR OWN MOTHER. Who has NO ARMS OR LEGS. Who also LIVES ON A SLED UNDERNEATH THE BED. I have tried my whole life to block out the scene in which this woman is discovered–where Scully and Mulder roll her out on her sled from under the bed–and it has HAUNTED me.

I believe two of the brothers were killed but the third one escaped with the mother. They were off to start a new inbred Peacock family together. The details are fuzzy because by the time I got to the end of the episode, I was pretty much curled up in a fetal position on the floor, rocking back and forth and weeping softly.

That was the last X-Files episode I watched until last year, when Fox rebooted the series and I figured since I was a grown up now, I might be able to handle it better. I got hooked, and now that a new season just started, I am similarly hooked. (Note: I will only watch episodes during the daytime hours. Shh, it’s a secret.)

So today I watched one of the most recent episodes, which had this amazing actress in it named Karin Konoval. She played twins, one of whom was a woman while the other one was a man, and she was fantastic. I only know her name because I Googled her and during my important research stumbled upon the fact that she portrayed Mrs. Peacock (legless! Armless! Lives on a sled under the bed!) all those years ago.

I found her on Twitter and decided I needed to write to her directly. I tweeted to her:

“You traumatized 12-year-old me in the Home episode of #TheXFiles but I finally forgive you after watching you as Judy/Chuck. You made me positively giddy with your awesomeness.”

I have to admit — I did this more for me than for her because I needed some closure from all that trauma she stirred up. I guess I needed to show myself that she was, after all, just acting and there was no armless, legless woman living on a sled under a bed in real life. At least I don’t think there is.

I sent the tweet and was about to x out of my research on her when I noticed something: The Home episode premiered in 1996. It got me to thinking. I was not, in fact, 12 years old as I initially recalled. I wasn’t 11 or even 13.


It appears that I was actually an adult at the time of that episode’s viewing and it also appears that I was a complete sissy.

In my defense, though, Fox never re-aired the episode because it was so insane and freaked people out so much. It wasn’t just me. But I can no longer use my age as a defense. I mean, I must have watched it in my dorm room in college. My memory is completely faulty, and I’m told as you age, that’s the second thing to go. I can’t remember the first. *Ba-dum tsssss.*

This is your brain on Honey Boo Boo

This is my brain being brainwashed by Honey Boo Boo advertisements.

I seriously do not know what is wrong with me.

A few days ago, the following popped up in my Twitter feed: “You’ll never believe what Honey Boo Boo’s mom looks like now!” Let me be clear: I have never watched that Honey Boo Boo show, I don’t care about that Honey Boo Boo show, and I certainly don’t care about the mom on that show. I just kept on scrolling because I literally couldn’t care less.

Then, the next day: “You’ll never believe what Honey Boo Boo’s mom looks like now!” with a short video below the tweet, showing random people’s reactions to what I could only guess was their seeing a recent photo of Honey Boo Boo’s mom. They were all shocked, of course. For a split second I wondered why, but kept scrolling.

This stupid ad continued to pop up in my Twitter feed over the next couple days. I came to realize that all this hubbub was being created to plug a television show that would be focusing exclusively on Honey Boo Boo’s mom’s transformation. It was premiering, I don’t know, yesterday or something because the ads freaking flooded my Twitter feed.

Fast forward to today. I’m scrolling through my feed and ONCE AGAIN see the ad for this show. For some reason it catches my eye. I think, “Hmm. I kind of DO wonder what Honey Boo Boo’s mom looks like now. I bet you I could just Google a photo real quick and check it out.”

WTF? Where did that even come from? I feel like there were subliminal messages in that ad or something. Or maybe the ad just wore me down and I have a weak constitution.

I ended up feeling absolutely compelled to Google what Honey Boo Boo’s mom currently looks like. Since I really didn’t know what she looked like before, though, the transformation turned out to be meaningless to me. And that’s how I ended up wasting three minutes of my life.

I’m here to warn you all: don’t get sucked in like me. It’s a trap. I guarantee you nothing good can come of this Google search. It will leave you empty and unfulfilled. Use your time for more worthy searches. You’ll thank me later.

Image from CS Globe.

I’m gonna drop her like some stitches


There are a lot of haters out there. For example, I was watching a television show the other day and on this particular episode, a woman’s husband had been kidnapped. She approached the “head” of their family and asked what he was going to do about it. This is how it went down:

Head of family: “I will take care of it. You don’t need to worry.”

Wife: “You’ll take care of it? You’re lying in this hospital room recovering from being poisoned! You’re not doing anything to find my husband.”

Head of family: “Believe me, I know what I’m doing. Just stay out of it.”

Wife: “I will NOT stay out of it. What do you want me to do? Go home and KNIT? I am going to go find my husband!” (she walks out and slams door behind her)

Now for those of you who don’t know, I am a rabid knitter. My most favorite thing in the world is to sit down with my knitting needles and a skein of yarn and knit to my heart’s content while watching some kind of period drama on PBS.

I don’t know what this woman on the show has against knitting. Why she gotta hate? Is knitting too “domestic” for her? I’m sorry, but I’m sure if I offered her one of my handmade hats or sweaters, she wouldn’t be so quick to turn it down. Who in their right mind refuses cozy warmth made with love?

Furthermore, if somebody said to me, “Meredith, I need you to not worry about anything and just go home and knit,” I would be ALL OVER THAT. You certainly wouldn’t have to ask me twice. Heck, you wouldn’t be able to get me to stop for anything.

So step off, lady. Knitters gonna knit.


I watched what happened! LIVE!

A few weeks ago, I was a very, very luck girl and got to attend a live broadcast of the Bravo show Watch What Happens Live. No, I was not there talking about my book STRAIGHTJACKET, or even about the three other novels I’ve written that are patiently waiting to be plucked from obscurity. But I WAS there to see some celebs and meet the one, the only, Andy Cohen (who is not only THE nicest guy in the history of famous talk show host guys but is super adorable).

Here’s how the magical evening went down:

My friend and I made our way into the waiting area of the studio and were greeted by a production assistant/bartender. He was standing behind a reception desk/bar that had lots and lots and lots of alcoholic choices. A few other audience members trickled in, but in all, there were only about 15 of us.

I caught a glimpse of Andy getting ready for the show and freaked out. Well, I only freaked out on the inside, but nonetheless, a door slammed closed, immediately shielding me from the star power. I spent my time taking photos in front of his poster, photos with his new book, photos with my friend, etc.

Soon it was time to go into the studio. BUT not before a little talk from the production assistant/bartender. He basically told us we needed to go ape-shit crazy in the studio when Andy came in, when the guests were introduced, when the show was going into and coming out of every commercial break, and so on. He even made us practice whooping it up.

I have to admit – this stressed me out SEVERELY. I am not a loud person. I don’t like to cheer. Like ever. I try really hard at my kids’ soccer games, but even then, I keep it at a comfortable level 2 (out of 100). We kept practicing our screaming and he kept saying we needed to be louder and more enthusiastic. This stressed me out even more, because if somebody asks me to do something, I need to GET IT DONE. To the extreme. Could I pull off all this cheering? Would I make the production assistant and, more importantly, Mr. Andy Cohen proud of me? Time would tell.

Finally it was time to file into the studio. We were lined up in a specific order and led into here:



I don’t know what I was expecting, but the studio was TINY. My bedroom is bigger. For reals. But it looked just like it did on television.

After all 15 of us were seated, Andy came in, followed by the two celebrity guests: Porsha Williams from The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Laverne Cox from Orange Is the New Black. If you’re not familiar with Laverne Cox, she is the first transgender person ever to appear on the cover of Time. Not too shabby.

Three things struck me immediately about these women: 1. They were very tall. 2. They were very pretty. 3. They knew how to work it:


Porsha taking a selfie with Laverne (right).

I was sitting there, maybe 10 feet away, just staring at them totally awestruck. You just don’t SEE people like this in Kroger (no offense deli ladies; you know you’re my faves). I can’t even really explain it. They just had this je ne se quoi.

The show went by quickly. People called in to ask each of the women questions. It was such a small set and tiny group of people that you almost forget thousands of people are watching live.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering by now — how did the cheering go?!? Well, I screamed so loudly that my throat started to hurt. Was it enough? Was production guy happy with the results? At the end of the show he said that we all did a good job, but did he really mean it? Why would he say “good” when he could have said “great”? I am STILL stressed out to this day wondering if I measured up to his expectations.

The best part though came after the show when my friend and I got to meet Andy and have him sign our books. He took a photo with us, and then asked if we wanted to sit down in the ACTUAL INTERVIEW CHAIRS for a photo! I almost threw up. Truly. But we did:


From left: Andy Cohen, my friend Karen, and me getting “interviewed.”

He was so super nice. I was star struck. Even worse than the time I was 8 and ran into a local news anchor at the history museum who asked me where I was from and I was so star struck that I just shrugged. Andy asked me if I had any questions. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I think I said nothing. Smooth as silk, baby.

The whole experience was great, and I want to thank Andy Cohen and my brother (it’s nice to have family in high places, no?) for the opportunity of a lifetime.

The quicker picker-downer

This family must have a ton of fun together!!

I have a beef with a commercial. Again. I swear, I don’t know why the ad industry is out to make me feel like I don’t have a very good handle on this parenting gig. The ad industry is to mothers what fashion magazines are to women’s body issues. I swear.

The most recent offender: a Bounty paper towel commercial. I’ll post the link to the commercial below, but just to summarize, it opens with two little boys, one of which is blowing bubbles into his chocolate milk, splattering it everywhere. His younger brother is cracking up like it’s his job. The mom looks over, and get this. She SMILES. Then she says, “When we’re having this much fun, why quit?” Fast forward to after the incident, and you see the mom on her hands and knees scrubbing up the mess with a Bounty paper towel.

Um, what?!? So you see your kid blowing bubbles, getting chocolate milk all over himself, the table, and the floor, and THAT’S your response?

I suppose if your goal is to raise a kid with no manners, no concern for other people’s things and the community at large, then you’re on the right track. Go team.

In my house, this is how it would go down:

My kids: (laughing hysterically and blowing bubbles into their chocolate milk)

Me: What are you DOING!?! Stop that THIS INSTANT! You’re making a huge mess!

My kids: But it’s fun.

Me: You know what’s NOT fun? Cleaning this friggin’ mess up. Which is exactly what YOU’RE going to do. Here, take this ENTIRE ROLL of paper towels and get to work. Because you’re going to need every last one. And you can’t just wipe it up. You’ll have to spray it with cleaner AFTER you wipe it all up. And THEN it’s still going to be sticky for days. And days. And every time I walk over a spot and my shoe squishes against the stickiness, I’m going to think of you blowing bubbles in your chocolate milk and FREAK OUT ALL OVER AGAIN. I mean, who does that? WHO?!? DOES?!? THAT?!?

So am I a bad person for not having “fun” with my kids as they mess up the kitchen? I know, maybe we should all trash the house together. I’ll draw rainbows on the walls with a Sharpie while you pour cement into the washing machine. Because that’s a good time.

Geez. These advertising dudes need to get a clue.

As promised, offending exhibit A:

What I’ve learned

There is NO WAY that you are tougher than any of these people. Even the little girl.

I’ve learned a few things over the past week. Some of them have come from personal experience, others from reality television shows. In no particular order:

1. If you need plastic surgery, never (a) determine what procedure you need yourself via the internet; (b) go to Mexico to get said surgery done; (c) see your “friend’s cousin” for the procedure; and (d) be excited because it’s only going to cost you $150. Bad things will happen to you.

2. Never let your guard down when reading a book. You might think it’s all fun and games and you can relax, and then suddenly somebody gets tortured. (Outlander = trauma level 10).

3. Fifty Cub Scouts running laps around a campfire holding pointy sticks and impaled marshmallows means that I’ll come close to losing an eye.

4. I wish I had the confidence to knit, standing up, in a public place, during, for example, the abovementioned gathering like the nice lady I met who does it because “it reduces my stress level by 1000%.” That lady=the bomb dot com.

5. Sometimes you just gotta take a nap.

6. Sometimes one nap isn’t enough and you’ve gotta take two naps. In one day. Two hours apart. With a blanket. Both times.

7. There are many people who search the Internet looking for “how to make a good bed” and according to my blog traffic, I’m an expert. Score.

8. Alaska is not for wusses.

9. Neither is New Jersey. Especially if you’re a housewife.

10. A coat of beeswax can make outdoor light fixtures look like new. You’re welcome.

Scandalous! Again!

This is me watching Scandal. Except my hair isn’t white. And it’s longer. And I’m not a drawing.

I’m in quite a pickle. If you remember, my most recent bing-watch-worthy show is Scandal. I’m still obsessed with it after all these months, but every episode is completely traumatizing me.

Now I thought torture and DOGS GETTING SHOT was bad. But the episode I watched last night brought it to a whole other level. Yes, it was preceeded by “Viewer Discretion is Advised,” but I I thought I could handle it. I WAS WRONG.

I can’t go into detail because I might vomit, but if you’re a fan of the show, you might remember about eight episodes into season 3 there’s a woman being held in a jail cell that is so desperate to get herself out that she’ll do anything. And I mean anything.

There was blood. And gross squishy sounds. And me hiding under a blanket, screaming and breathing very, very hard. And I swear I’ve been scarred for life.

But what am I to do? I NEED to watch this show and see what happens. I can’t just skip the episodes that have the “Viewer Discretion is Advised” disclaimer. You skip one episode and you miss so much you might as well give it all up.

Like I said, quite a pickle. I’m open to suggestions.

I’m just wild about Harry

I have a new pastime. It involves doing two things simultaneously. And they MUST be done simultaneously for maximum effect. No, it’s not smoking crack and drinking.

My two most favorite things in the whole world are currently:

1. knitting

2. watching episodes of Mr. Selfridge

In fact, as I’m writing this blog post all I really want to do is knit and watch Mr. Selfridge.

What’s Mr. Selfridge, you may ask? Only the most rad PBS period drama about, well, Mr. Selfridge. He opens a department store in London in the 1910s (which really happened) and what follows is hilarity and mayhem (which may or may not have really happened, but just calm yourself down because it doesn’t matter. Don’t be a hater).

The clothes! The accents! The situations they get themselves into! THE Jeremy Piven, who plays Mr. Harry Selfridge and who I love love love!

The show is good on its own, but when it’s paired with an hour-long knitting session WHILE said show is on? I can’t even talk about it. CAN’T. EVEN.

Finally, I’m done with this blog post so I can go do my thang.


I love every single one of them.

My most recent television obsession is “Scandal.” I’m in the middle of season 2 and it’s so, so good. But now I have some problems, all because of “Scandal.” Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. I am the only one in the house that watches it, i.e. my husband won’t watch it with me. So I have no one to freak out with after a particularly good episode. I have been known to bolt from the TV directly to my husband, jumping up and down, screaming something like, “OMG! He got shot! I can’t believe he got shot! I’m freaking the hell out!!” This kind of stuff doesn’t really faze him anymore after 15 years. Which is good.
  2. I’m becoming traumatized by “Scandal.” But I keep watching. Each episode is getting worse. First a dog got shot. I can usually handle a little bit of gory violence, but if it’s directed toward a pet I literally can’t handle it. And then there was torture. I CANNOT HANDLE TORTURE. Even when the episode is preceded by “Viewer Discretion is Advised,” I still watch it. And that little phrase usually sends me channel surfing before any permanent damage can be done to me.
  3. I didn’t start recording season 3, which is on TV now. I’ve been watching the first couple of seasons on Netflix, and I realized that after I binge watch the last of the season 2 episodes, I’ll have to wait however long for season 3 on Netflix. Sucks. Big time.
  4. Spoilers. They are everywhere. It’s so hard to avoid them. These idiots online are going to ruin it for me. Ughh.

First world problems. I’ll tell ya.