Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 18 and 16. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fear the Man Bun!!

Once upon a time there was a young girl who met a boy with a man bun. He was charming and had a pretty smile and said all the right things. The young girl thought "wow, he's smart and funny and cute and I've never dated anyone with a man bun before." The girl and the boy began seeing one another but the boy was not ready to commit to the word "dating". Tragically, 4 years before, he had 'issues' with an ex-girlfriend and was ever-afraid to use that term again. So he never did. Ya know, because 'dating' is such a terrifying term.

Photo credit.  Who's really the man and who is the dog?
They saw one another and enjoyed one another's company, but there was no real term for their situation. And one day, the boy with the bun decided 'it's not you, it's me.' And he dumped the girl. Really, it wasn't her, it was him. And his man bun. 

Lo and behold, not long after the dumping, there was another girl in the boy with the man bun's life. "Wow, that didn't take long" thought the original girl. She moved past the boy with the man bun but it still stung because she had no idea why she was dumped. Cold feet? Did she pressure him? Was his bun too tight? She'd never know.

One fine evening, both girls found themselves at the same place and in the same room. Never one to shy away from a good conversation, the original girl approached the new girl in the boy with the man bun's life and said "Hey are you dating 'man bun'?"

"Well, I WAS, but not anymore" she replied. Turns out she, too, had been jilted by the boy with the man bun. And she, too, was given no good reason. Here's the thing: they say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Well, what's more powerful than one woman scorned? How about two women scorned by the same boy with the same man bun?

The two jilted girls became fast friends.The shared stories and relished in their similarities. Sometimes good really can come from a bad situation, and the two girls formed an alliance. This alliance made the boy with the man bun very nervous. His friend (he who has no man bun) has approached the two girls numerous times, no doubt on an information gathering mission for the boy with the man bun. But the girls did their very best impression of the penguins of Madagascar. They 'just smiled and waved'.

They say that everything happens for a reason. It's possible that both of these beautiful young women were dumped by the boy with the man bun so that they would bond together and become life long friends. Stranger things have happened. But I believe the real lesson here is, if you are an impressionable young woman and are approached by a boy with a man bun, ask him how he feels about the word "dating". If he turns and runs away, and all you see is his man bun bouncing behind him, turn and run the other way. You're too good for him.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Partially Empty Nest......

I’ve got a secret to share with you. For a while, I thought I was a terrible mother.
It’s true. I want you to know that I was honest when I said I would miss my daughter when she went off to college. I truly do miss her. It was out-and-out heart-break when we dropped her off. That wasn’t a lie. Nor was it a lie when I said life would change dramatically when she was away and we were left behind. But that dramatic change? I’m not going to lie, a partially empty nest hasn’t been all that bad. You can read more about the adjustment over at Grown and Flown where I've got a guest post! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Very Cool Giveaway from Spin Master!

Have you ever heard of Spin Master? Do you like fun games you can play with your family? How about prizes, do you like those? How about giveaways? Well I've got one for you.

Check out this amazing new Quick Cups video from Spin Master and enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of three grand games packages including Fibber, Moustache Smash, Boom Boom Balloon, Shark Mania, Rapidoodle and Quick Cups! Check out the Spin Master YouTube channel.
Also available are 10 fantastic runner up prizes of the Quick Cups Board Game. Quick Cups is a great game where kids can out-perform their parents if they have a quicker eye and hands. It's a game for everyone to play and ANYONE can be the winner.
The three grand prizes are worth $125 each! Plus there will be 10 runner up prizes too. Check this video out and enter at the Rafflecopter below.

 This is a sponsored post, I was compensated but all opinions are my own. Enter here! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 22, 2015

OMG Bloodline!!

I want to start by telling you that a) I don't normally recap or promote shows on this blog and b) I was not compensated, or even asked by Netflix to discuss this show. I'm discussing this show because it kicks major ass. No one paid me, no one bought me dinner (although if Kyle Chandler or Bill Kelly want to do so, I'm not gonna argue). By the way, Bill and I have favorited each others Tweets on the Twitter, so we're totally besties now. Right Bill? Call me!

Photo credit

Anyway, this show is intense. SO intense. I've wanted to watch it since I first heard about it, but you may or may not be aware that life is busy. The show was released in its entirety on Netflix in April and at that time we were planning my Father In Law's funeral, my daughter's high school graduation and party, our band banquet (I'm the Chairperson) and about a million other things, so I didn't actually get around to watching. Over the summer I did finally catch up on all the episodes of Bones that I'd missed and when I finished the last episode of  Bones Season 10 I thought, "hmmm, what can I watch now?" Then it hit me! I'd been wanting to watch Bloodline and BOOM! NOW IS THE TIME!

Photo credit
Buckle up, Snarklings because this show is a roller coaster. It's extremely well-written, the acting is superb, the story is addictive and the secrets! SO MANY SECRETS! On the outside, the Rayburn family appears to be your upper-middle class tight-knit warm and fuzzy family. A large family gathering starts the show as friends and family gather at the family's Florida Keys Inn, aptly named the Rayburn House. Seriously, I want to vacation there.

The ne'er do well oldest brother Danny (played amazingly by Aussie actor Ben Mendelsohn) comes in on a bus from out of town and you immediately want to hate him because he appears to be a good for nothing failure. Every family has a Danny. He's your lowlife cousin, your slacker brother in law, the one who is always looking for a get rich quick scheme that involves the least amount of work. As the show goes on, we learn why Danny was on the outs with the whole family. And it's a doozy. Second oldest brother John, the detective, the keeper of the family, the one who holds it all together is played by one of my all-time favorite actors, Kyle Chandler and he is perfection in this role. He has officially left Coach Taylor behind and is dark, brooding and super sexy in this role. Linda Cardellini plays Meg, the Rayburn daughter who is engaged to John's detective partner Marco (Enrique Murciano) but is getting some booty on the side. And little brother Kevin is played exquisitely by Norbert Leo Butz. Seriously, every family also has a Kevin: a hot-headed immature guy who will fly off the handle with his short fuse, drink and get high but at the end of the day, he's committed to his family and will do anything for them. Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard round out the case as Ma and Pa Rayburn (actually as Sally and Robert Rayburn).

There are drugs, human trafficking, lots and lots of drinking and smoking and that's just the first 20 minutes of the first episode. The kingpin leading the bad guys is Wayne Lowry, who is played by a guy I'll ALWAYS love as Aaron from 24, Glen Morshower. No kidding, he could play Satan and I'd love him because Aaron was such a great character in 24. But I digress.

If you don't want to know anything more than I've already told you, stop reading and watch the damn show yourself. Because SPOILERS are coming. Go on, go. Go get on the Netflix and watch.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

For those of you who stayed, HEY what's up?! So yeah, Bloodline! As the show opens, John is narrating and it sounds like he's giving a confession to the cops (and DEA Agent Clay Grunwald played by the uber-talented and really fine-looking Bill Kelly). As the episode comes to a close, we see a scene where John and Danny are dressed in seer-sucker suits (no lie) in a mangrove in a torrential thunderstorm. Danny's looking kinda dead. John puts him in a boat, gasses him up and lights him on fire. What?

Yeah, intense. "We're not bad people. We just did a bad thing" is what he says. And the whole time, you're thinking he's talking about killing Danny as the bad thing they did. Won't you be surprised to learn what he's talking about.

Second week in, Pa Rayburn suffers a stroke but you're led to believe that maybe Danny had something to do with it because he tells Pa that he has something he wants to tell him "Before you die."  Meg (who is the family lawyer) was supposed to change Pa's will to cut Danny out, but guess what! She never followed through with it. So now Pa's hanging on by a thread and she's torn. Does she go through with filing the paperwork? To do so she'll need Pa's signature, and we don't even know if he's in his right mind, because he wakes up from his coma and calls her Sarah. What??

Photo credit
As the days go by, we learn that Sarah was the OTHER Rayburn daughter. Pa's favorite, the golden child. Poor Sarah. Here's one of the major secrets revealed: Sarah overheard a big fight between Ma and Pa Rayburn, and Danny ran upstairs to get her away from the wickedness. He took her by the hand, led her out to the docks and took her out on the family's boat. He was 16 and very much NOT a legal, responsible adult. And while under Danny's watch, she died. When Pa Rayburn learns that Sarah, his favorite child, has died, he beats the ever-loving snot out of Danny. Ma Rayburn coaches the remaining Rayburn kids to lie to the cops when they ask what happened. And one by one, each child tells the same story: Danny was hit by a car while Dad was at the hospital with dead Sarah.

It makes you want to feel badly for Danny, it really does. He didn't do anything wrong except be 16 and try to help. I was so torn for those first few episodes wanting Danny to be accepted into the family again because really, he was 16, and it wasn't his fault. But as the episodes go by, Danny gets harder and harder to feel sorry for. He pulls some epic douche moves (like moving drugs using the family's boat and storing them on the expansive family property). That ensures that, if caught, Danny's not going down alone, he's taking all the Rayburns with him.

I finally stopped feeling sorry for Danny when he took John's daughter Jane out on the family boat without telling anyone in the family. John become frantic, searching all over the Keys for Jane. He finally speaks with a staff member at the Rayburn House who tells John that "Danny said to tell you it's okay, she's with a responsible adult." BOOM. I hated Danny from that point on.  I just really wanted him to leave, get on a bus and FINALLY leave town for good. But that doesn't really make for compelling TV so he stays and we get to watch the family fall apart.

I'm not going to give much more away because if you've stayed with me up to this point, I'm hoping you'll say to yourself: "Damn, Snarky, that sounds like a great show and I totally want to binge watch it right now!" I will tell you this: pace yourself. The show is so good but if you make a pig of yourself like I did, and watch it almost all at once, you'll be sorry. Because once you've finished your little binge, you'll have to wait until April 2016 for the next season. THAT'S the part that sucks. I want instant gratification. I want to know NOW what happens after the fallout.

I will also say this: I'm going to miss hating Danny, and I do hope they keep the actor in the show for flashbacks. And I hope you enjoy the show as much as I did and will be watching when it comes back on in April.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Go Amanda! It's Your Birthday!

I had to go in and edit that little bit of script at the top of this page today. You know, the description of what Snarkfest is all about. I had to change it from 18 & 15 to 18 & 16. Why? Because my baby girl, my youngest daughter turned Sweet Sixteen today. How is it even REMOTELY possible that I have a daughter in college AND a baby who is 16?

It was just last month that I was dropping her off at Pre-K and she held a death-grip on my leg.

It was just the other day that she walked onto the soccer field for the first time and just stood there.

It was later that same afternoon that she was in goal and LOVED it.

It was last weekend that she picked up a volleyball and realized that she is a pretty damned good volleyball player.

It was just yesterday that she learned to play the alto sax and kicked ass in the Marching Band, Symphonic Band and Jazz Band.

It was only this morning that she won the Knights of Columbus Foul Shooting competition for her age group. In the entire state of WV!

It seems like only a moment ago she was my little baby. And now, she's 16 years old. Driving. playing in the band, playing on the volleyball team, fitting 4H meetings into her already crazy busy schedule. And yet, she still holds my hand, still hugs and kisses me goodnight every night.

Happy Birthday, baby girl I love you to the moon and back.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ANOTHER Giveaway from DCKids and Warner Bros!

Hey Snarklings, got another giveaway for you from the folks at DC Kids! These folks are awesome and are always giving something away. This time around you could win 1 of 5 amazing gift sets from Warner Bros. including Teen Titans Go Action Figures & T-Tower Set, a Batman Unlimited Action Figure, DC Super Friends Gift Set and Batmobile! Sound good? YES!

Now you can create your own ultimate super hero with a fun name, look, powers and more! Also check out some amazing new videos from Warner Bros, including favorites like Scooby Doo and Batman Unlimited. 

There will be many more updates over the next year so be sure to subscribe to their channels here:

DCKids Channel

WBKids Channel

Now how about that giveaway??  It's a Rafflecopter giveaway so check out the requirements below and get to entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway And then check out these cool videos:

*Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

An open letter to football broadcasters...

Dear Sports Broadcasters at NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2, The Ocho, ETC.....

Why don't you show marching bands performing at halftime during your football broadcast?

Let me break it down for you: According to the NCAA Division 1 Wiki page, there are about 85 team members on an average college football team. In contrast, in some colleges and universities there are 4 times that many marching band members. I'm not good at math but that's a lot of potential eyes.

You folks show play after play when the ball is on the field. You show the play, you show the replay, you show the replay from the 35 different camera angles you have. But at halftime, you don't show the marching band. Why??

My girl. I bought the pic.

As a parent of a member of the Pride of West Virginia Mountaineer Marching Band I'm really quite annoyed at you. You see, last Sunday, my daughter along with the other 300+ members of the Pride traveled to Pittsburgh to perform their pregame and halftime show for the Steelers home opener against the San Francisco 49ers. The Steelers game was not televised in my area (only the Redskins game was televised, every other sports channel had water polo or some other 'sport'). I was struggling to find the Steelers game online and finally came across a shady and suspicious site that was live streaming the game, and I'm sure my computer is now infected with about 5 dozen viruses. And for what? You didn't even bother to MENTION that the band was performing. For those kids, it was the chance of a lifetime performing at Heinz Field. But for you, it meant nothing.

My daughter's old high school band director has some souped up Sunday NFL package where he gets to see every second of every Sunday football game and he, too, was watching the Steelers game, looking for the WVU band. But alas, they showed no band. Oh wait, I'm lying. He DID tell me that they showed the band for about 3 seconds but there was no sound. Only the endless droning of the football commentators rehashing what we may have missed in the first half.

Look, if I'm watching a football game, I'M WATCHING IT WITH MY EYES OPEN. You DO NOT have to tell me what happened in the first half. I was sitting right there watching it. I saw it, I'm not an idiot. Sometimes I'm even drinking and I STILL remember what I saw. It's crazy but I really don't want to watch highlights of plays I JUST SAW. I WANT TO SEE THE BAND.

Let me get back to those numbers I mentioned at the beginning of this rant letter. Imagine, for a moment, how high your ratings would be if you just showed the marching band's halftime performance! 300 band kids out there, with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, associates, band directors, and we ALL WANT TO SEE OUR KIDS ON THE FIELD. That's literally tens of thousands of eyes on your broadcast, waiting patiently to watch our kids.

I promise you, I am not taking anything away from the football players. I love football players, I wrote about one here. But the band members work their asses off every single day to perfect their music, their show, they bring so much joy and entertainment to so many people. It's just a shame that this entertainment isn't ever shown on your broadcast. I'm not just talking about pro football, I'm talking about ALL football broadcasts. Let's show some respect to the band programs out there and get some cameras on these young men and women!

Yours truly,