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!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dear Media: Get your heads out of your asses...

Dear People in the Media,

I don't normally write letters but felt that this issue deserved a strongly-worded note to you guys, so here goes.

WHY hasn't ANYONE brought attention to the fact that Presidential Candidate and Major Blowhard Donald J. Trump screwed the people of Atlantic City? Why isn't this being brought to light?  While his bankruptcies HAVE been discussed in the media, not one of you seems to think it's a big enough deal to bring to the forefront. I think that's a damned disgrace. He. Ruined. Lives.

Seriously, four business bankruptcies. And whose lives were affected by those bankruptcies? Certainly not his. He came through without a penny out of pocket. But the little guy, the electrician, the plumber, the builder, the concrete worker. So many others who were promised payment for building his empire in Atlantic City, and so many were left with mounting bills, unpaid employees and possibly personal bankruptcies of their own because he failed to pay his own bills. I don't know the statistics but I do know that hundreds and possibly thousands who helped build Trump's hotel/casinos were not paid for the job they did and if they WERE paid, it was not the full amount.

How many lost their jobs, their businesses or even their homes because Trump did not pay his bills? Does he care about the little guy? No. He cares about his own pocket, his own bank account.

WHY ISN'T ANYONE MAKING THIS AN ISSUE??

Waiters, waitresses, casino workers, housekeeping, facilities, security, cooks, cashiers. So many people left jobless when his businesses suffered cuts due to declining revenue. It just completely blows my mind that this isn't being seen as an issue worth discussing.

THE MAN WANTS TO RUN OUR COUNTRY. If elected, he's going to run it right into the ground. We will be the laughing stock of the planet. He'll call smaller countries 'pussies' like he did when mocking Ted Cruz. And before you get your knickers in a fucking knot, I know he didn't say it, he repeated it, but did he have to? No he totally did not. But he doesn't care what comes out of his mouth. He believes his own hype but he doesn't have a plan to back up the hype.

How is he going to "Make America Great Again"?? He doesn't know. He's just going to. So there.

Have faith, trust him.

Sorry, but no can do. I personally know that he screwed over a shit ton of people in a town where I used to live and work. I've seen what his business plan has done to the city of Atlantic City. He decimated that town and that's what he'll do to our country if, God forbid, he's elected.

In conclusion, I just want to see this issue brought up as more than just a passing question in a debate or an interview. I want headlines about it, I want to see every major news outlet interviewing the folks who were left in his path of destruction in Atlantic City. I want to see him held accountable for what he did to a city that had great promise. A city now in ruins. I don't want to see our country in ruins if he's elected.

So please, get your heads out of your asses and put the spotlight on this.
Thanks,
Snarkfest

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Shock Value!! Or why I don't like Zayn Malik anymore...

As a mother to 2 teenage girls, I hear a LOT of music in my house. A. LOT. Some of it's okay and some of it sucks, but for the most part, I don't mind it.  Over the last few years we've listened to One Direction a bunch. Their music is fun and peppy (yes, I sound like I'm 90). For the most part, I like their stuff.



I remember telling both my girls back when One Direction released their movie that IMO Zayn probably had the best voice AND that if the band were to break up, it was my feeling that Zayn would be the first to leave. Apparently, I was right. Now Zayn has moved on and has released solo material. 16 played me the video for his new song the other day, and let's just say I wasn't impressed. (Let me also say that I'm not linking to it because I didn't like it enough to share it with you 4 or 5 folks who read me on the regular).

It became clear to me in the first few seconds of watching the video that One Direction had become too tame, too clean for Zayn Malik. Then I heard him drop the "F" bomb during the song. That was all I needed to hear. I walked away from the computer, shaking my head in disappointment.

Now you guys know me, I'm not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, and I've dropped my fair share of "F" bombs. But I don't do it for shock value, or to piss people off or show how cool I am. I drop the effer when I'm pretty pissed about something and "darn" just won't do. And I am not afraid of music with cursing. Hell I LIKE Eminem because he is who he is. He started out with the mouth he continues to sing with. He didn't change to be someone else purely because he wanted to escape an image.

But Zayn's use of the "F" bomb was purely for attention. It is MY opinion (and remember, this is my blog so if you came here to read and you don't agree, you don't ever have to come back, my feelings won't be hurt), that Zayn is so glad to shake the clean boy-band image he had while a member of One Direction. He didn't want to sing the tame, safe lyrics any longer. He wanted to branch out on his own, be his own man, be true to himself and write from the heart. Or the crotch. Whatever.

The point is, he got what he wanted. He's officially shaken off the "Boy Band Member" label. No longer will moms look at him and think "what a clean cut, well-mannered boy". Well, not this mom anyway. Now I will look at him and think "I'm not buying concert tickets for my daughters to go and watch you sing songs about f*cking because you CAN, now that you're no longer in a Boy Band". It's really a shame, too, because he really DOES have a beautiful voice, and maybe one day he'll settle down and reign in those wild horny thoughts and go back to singing songs that aren't mean to shock. But for now, I'm saving my money to pay off the One Direction and Adele concert tickets from my credit card bills.

Friday, January 29, 2016

AMBUSHED! It was a 'Paint and Run!'

It all started off innocently enough. My friend Susan who is a real estate agent asking for suggestions for painting rooms. This was the group text we received. Nothing suspicious at all.




Let me give you a tiny history of what this is about. We moved to our home in 2006. The house was built just a few years earlier and every wall was builders grade white. In the 10 years we've lived here, we've painted the girls' rooms,  our morning room and our master bath. I did our powder room on the first floor a few years ago but that's it. Every other room is white. And it's ugly. I've always hated the walls in my house but never took the time to do anything about it. A few months ago, a group of friends were at my house and we were discussing my disgust at my walls. My friend Susan joked that one day she would sneak into my house and paint the walls while I was out. 

I thought she was joking.

Clearly, she was not.

I received that group text this past Tuesday at 4:00 at night.  I gave her a general idea with tans, blues  and beiges. When she asked me to be more specific, I told her she was a pain in my balls. See?




Flash forward to Wednesday morning: 16 had asked me to wake her up before I left for work because she 'wanted to be productive'.  I woke her at 8:50 and then left for work. My neighbor, Running Nazi Crack Ho drove me to work. At 5:10 she picked me up from work and we had to go back to her office because I needed an insurance question answered. We were there an exceptionally long time. When we finally pulled into my driveway, she asked if she could borrow some half and half. We walked into my house and this was what happened next.




This was my thought process when I walked into my house. 

Why are there 7 people in my kitchen all yelling "SURPRISE!" It's not my birthday, I'm not pregnant so it's not a shower. That's weird. And what's that smell? Why does my house smell funny? When I looked to my right I noticed my dining room was no longer white. It was teal. That's when I said "Are you crazy??" And when I walked into my kitchen and looked at my family room, that's when the tears came. This is what I was crying about:


My plain white walls were replaced with cream colored walls and a chocolate brown accent wall. My house was cleaned and painted by some unbelievably amazing friends (and some fantastic teenagers that were brought along for the ride). Here's another look at the family room:


In my kitchen, we had one spot where we've been measuring my daughters' height since we moved in 2006, and Susan's daughter Bella saved that spot so we'll still have it to look back and enjoy.


Here is my morning room:


And lastly, my dining room. Those curtains were already hanging and they go perfectly with the color:


How unbelievably lucky am I to have such incredible friends? Friends who would take an entire day to sneak into someone's house and spend 8.5 hours painting every room downstairs while their friend is at work. It was like an episode of the old TLC show "While You Were Out" without the hay, sand and records on the wall.  I'm blessed beyond words, and "thank you" just seems to fall short.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Why don't I live on the moon?

My 16 year old wanted me to take a "How much smarter at science are you than a 4th grader" test on the Buzz Feeds. I took the test and apparently, my 4th grade science teacher was awfully generous with my grade. I came across this question and thought,  "this is a trick question". So I answered it. And I was wrong. But this begs the question: WHY DON'T I LIVE ON THE MOON??



Thursday, January 14, 2016

Snape, my heart cries.....

By now you've all heard the news about the passing of Alan Rickman. If you didn't know, I'm sorry to be the bearer of such bad news. And it IS just that. Bad, sad news. While I did not know Mr. Rickman personally, he touched my life and the lives of my children so deeply with his portrayal of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series that I can't help but cry over the news of his death.

Photo credit

He was a huge part of our children's lives. We read the Harry Potter series alongside our children so it's not just like one of OUR contemporaries has gone, but a big part of what shaped our children's childhood is gone as well. Don't get me wrong, I did like David Bowie but I wasn't a super fan, not like my huge love for Duran Duran. I was sad at Bowie's passing, but Alan Rickman's passing has really hit me hard.

When 18 was just 7 years old, we were in the Navy Exchange on Pearl Harbor, HI and she brought me a copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, telling me she wanted to read it. I told her to put it back and go see if they had the very first Harry Potter book. It didn't make any sense for an 8 year old to pick up the 6th book in a series when there were 5 others to read first. She put #6 back and found #1, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  I am not kidding when I tell you that this child absolutely devoured the book. We'd be poolside and would try to get her to put the book down and come into the pool with us and she was having none of it. "Just let me finish this chapter, please. Then I'll come in." I was dumbfounded.



She finished that first book before we left Hawaii. She celebrated her 8th birthday on the plane coming home and when we landed, she wanted to find the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as soon as it was humanly possible. She was hooked. By the time she finished the second book and started on the third, I had to find out what the hype was about. At that time many of my friends were hooked as well. So I started reading the series and I, too, was addicted. Severus Snape was the character you loved/hated and when we watched the movies, there could be no one better in the role than Alan Rickman.

Yes, he was amazing in so many other roles: he was GENIUS as Hans Gruber in Die Hard,  Harry the flirtatious boss in Love Actually, the alien Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest and even Ronald Reagan in Lee Daniels' The Butler. But none strike me so much as his portrayal of Snape. I've watched the Harry Potter movies over and over with my children and he is as much a part of their lives as he is mine.

I remember when John Wayne and Elvis died, being so sad for my mom because those were her favorites. And now, losing someone so key in my own children's developmental stages is just as hard. Reading the series gave us common interests, gave us things to talk about, and it brought us together as more than mother and daughter, but as peers working toward a common goal: finishing the books, seeing where JK Rowling was taking us. And knowing where the Snape character ends up, how much he changes, what his true feelings were, as played by Alan Rickman, it just breaks my heart that he's gone.

So RIP, Alan Rickman. Thank you for all the amazing roles you played and all the enjoyment you brought to us. But mostly, thanks for giving my daughters and I something in common. We will never forget you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hello...........It's me

The one who hasn't had an original idea since the early 80's.  When I was younger and free.

Okay I'll stop now. But seriously, the holidays have come and gone, as has my college freshman. We dropped her off this past weekend and now it's time to take down the decorations and put the holidays away for another year.



In other news, we've had this awful smell coming from the basement, and we're fairly certain that something died down there. The stench has slowly started to dissipate, thankfully, because I was this close to calling a priest to perform an exorcism down there. Because damn. The problem is that our basement is a catchall. Don't know what to do with something? Throw it in the basement, we'll deal with it later. And now the basement could pass for the latest episode of Hoarders.  So locating the offending odor has been difficult.

The world is mourning the loss of David Bowie today. One of my dear friends was a huge Bowie fan when I was in high school and I hold her responsible for helping to shape my musical tastes. I went to my very first concert with her at JFK Stadium in Philly where we saw Madness and The Police. This was in August of 1983. I blame her for making me a concert whore. She also took me to my first Duran Duran concert in March of 1984. So when we all heard the news of Bowie's passing, my thoughts went to her because she was such a fan.

What else is new? Oh yeah, I've started getting back to running and trying to get myself into a shape other than round. You'd be proud of me: Since the beginning of January I've run over 26 miles. I'll run the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in May like I do every year, but my running goal for 2016 is to run the Freedoms Run Full Marathon in October. That race is 16 miles of flat ground on the C&O Canal followed by about 5 miles of nothing but ugly ass hills. Good times.  But I totally need this goal because.... my ass.

I recently hosted Norine of Science of Parenthood for my annual Moms Night Out, only this time it was a book tour that brought the moms out. Norine and her writing partner Jessica are promoting their new book, which is very cool. I met these two funny ladies at BlogU14 where they were voted "Most Likely to get a Book Deal". And now they have a book deal! I'm hoping at this year's blogging conference, BlogU16 I'll be voted "Most Likely to be Hired as Mike Rowe's Close Personal Assistant". Hey, a girl can dream, right?

So now you're pretty much all caught upon what's been happening at Casa Snarkfest. Bear with me as I find my voice again. I'm sure it's there, it's probably just buried under boxes of Christmas decorations. Until then, Happy 2016 folks!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

You're in the Army now (for the week)...

This post is one I published exactly a year ago about 18's experience in San Antonio. If you're an old friend, please enjoy it all over again with me. If you're a new friend, this is why I am so proud of my kids:

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On July 21, 2014 my oldest received a letter from the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) which stated that she was accepted as a member of the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. Over 2000 high school seniors auditioned for this prestigious honor and only 125 were selected to march in the band. And my kid was one of them.



Overwhelming? You betcha! Even HARDER to believe? We couldn't tell anyone publicly until the members of the U.S. Army's Bowl Selection Tour came to her high school to make the announcement.....on November 21. Did you happen to catch that we found out in July and had to wait 4 full months before we were allowed to discuss it? Yeah, that was easy. (NOT)

No FB announcements, no Tweeting it, no posting it in an Instagram story (whatever that is). Nope, close friends and family only. Do you KNOW how badly I wanted to shout it from the rooftops to everyone I've ever met in my whole life? I don't know who had a harder time keeping it a secret, Jenn or me. Anyway, the day came and with tremendous fanfare and media presence, the announcement was made and we could FINALLY tell everyone.

She received an all-expenses paid trip to San Antonio, Texas. They made all the travel arrangements, picked them up from the airport and once there, put them up in the Grand Hyatt Hotel, had them on a regimented schedule (as the Army will do), fed them, clothed them, provided them with beautiful instruments, fed them some more, transported them to and from rehearsals, had members of the U.S. Army Field band not only play FOR them but play WITH them, speak with them, mentor them. They were busy from morning wake up until evening bed-check. I missed her terribly, but knew that she was safe, in good hands and being well-taken care of where she was. We texted a bit when she had (some) downtime. I think she was sick and tired of hearing how proud of her I was.

My girl, second ginger pony-tailed girl from the left with the unzipped jacket. 
They had 4 full days to learn their drills and perfect their music. If you know anything about marching band, it takes nearly a full semester to perfect a halftime show. This band had 4 days. The band director told us parents that they initially blocked out 24 hours over the course of those 4 days for rehearsal. Then they cut it back to 23, then 22.5 and finally, they PERFECTED their show in 21 hours. THAT is nothing short of amazing. Everything about the week was amazing.

She's in the lower left part of the star, right around the 40 yard line. Can you see her?
And then it was Saturday and time for the game. We sat in our seats and watched the band march onto the field and play the National Anthem. Chills. We watched the game and when the band marched out onto the field for the halftime show, my youngest daughter Amanda found Jenn and pointed her out to me. I never took my eyes off of her from that point on. And I cried. And cried. I didn't WANT to cry, I wanted to watch the whole band perform. But I couldn't stop watching my daughter. Thank God the Army was filming it and we could watch the whole performance later at the wrap party. For me, there weren't 124 other band members out there. There was only one. She was awesome.

When I did watch the whole performance at the wrap party, I was blown away. The show was flawless. Visually perfect, musically stunning. Those kids, I can't say enough about them. The Army gave them the week of a lifetime. The staff from All-American Games arranged everything, the Army gave these kids the guidance, Jupiter, Mapex and Majestic provided the instruments, Adidas and DeMoulin provided every piece of clothing the kids wore including the band uniforms. NAfME made it all possible. The kids just brought their talent, their enthusiasm, their personalities and their joy and they shared it with 30,000 people that day in the Alamodome in San Antonio.

EDITED TO ADD THIS! If you want to see all the highlights from the week AND watch the actual video of their performance on Saturday go here for all the fun!