Friday, August 24, 2018

Ben’s in rehab-again :(

As a Masshole, the mid-to late 90’s was all about Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for me. Ben was my favorite being tall, dark and handsome. They were golden, local boys done good. As their careers exploded we had a sense of pride that these were “our” guys and if they could make it then any of us could! Matt seemed to have an easier time adjusting to the money and fame, marrying a civilan and raising his family away from Hollywood. (And, in my opinion, not dating Gwyneth Paltrow helped him immensely). We have watched Ben’s ups and downs and as we all saw two days ago, his wife Jennifer Garner drove him to In and Out then to rehab. I will always have a soft spot for Ben and I truly wish him healing and to get well with sobriety.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Real Housewives of Dallas recap

The Real Housewives of Dalls: Bubbles and Brooding  By Pop Culture Kelly
Courtesy of TamaraTattles at

Hello! Tamara was kind enough to let me recap Dallas for all you lovely TT fans. Hopefully I do her proud and y’all let me come back next week!

We start where we left off last episode at D’andra and Jeremy’s anniversary party and of course with the fear of God in Rich’s one good eye at the idea of marrying Leanne that very night. It is all just a joke on Rich and Leanne-she ain’t Locken him down that night! Oh D’Andra, you are such a card!!! D’Andra feels that there are deeper issues as to why they are taking so long to tie the knot but it remains to be seen what those issues are. D’Andra and Jeremy make toasts and Jeremy makes a crudely-sweet toast to D’Andra’s hotness and his horniness towards her. Normally I would find that inappropriate with children in the room, but Jeremy is so hot and can do no wrong so whatever. #crush. Stephanie and Leeanne bond at the table and they share some of their stories of their respective painful pasts. Stephanie opens up about her suicide attempt which honestly shocked me. They feel they are getting to know each other on a deeper level which is nice to see. Brandy, who previously texted D’Andra declining the party invite, arrives with a gift and an agenda: she wants to speak to D’Andra to clear the air. She’s upset that D’Andra has disparaged her and wants to find out why, but she also is in such a great place with the new baby that she doesn’t want to dwell. Cary is happy to escort Brandy and her potential argument over to D’Andra. Leeanne is concerned that it will not end well and the girls hover by to observe the big talk. It’s civil and probably disappointing to most of the girls (I see you Cary!). But Brandy and D’Andra decide to move on from any issues and the party ends on a good note, with a drunk Stephanie (good drunk not scary Dorinda drunk!) attempting to ride a Lion statue that’s in front of D’Andra’s home. Yes, I just typed that sentence.
Stephanie is meeting her party planner to plan a housewarming/Brandy adopted Bruin party. They are calling it a “Bubble and Bru” party, part champagne/part Bruin. They’ve kept the adoption on the down low so everyone (minus Cary and Stephanie) will be learning of the adoption and meeting the baby for the first time. The God-awful living room pool is gone and the house really does look beautiful. Stephanie spent 1.7 million in renovations and it looks absolutely worth it. Stephanie calls Brandy to go over the guest list and Stephanie encourages Brandy to invite Leeanne and D’Andra ,which Brandy agrees to.

D’Andra arrives at the Ultimate Living office where Dee is currently at the helm. D’andra discusses rebranding with the marketing department who are on board with modernizing and rebranding. They are focusing on Green Miracle, which is their flagship product. D’Andra decides this is the time to talk to Dee about the marketing. Tension is in the air with these two, as things haven’t been the same since Mama Dee wrastled the keys to Ultimate Living (and financial freedom) away from D’Andra. D’Andra holds her own, attempting to discuss packaging and rebranding with soft pouches. Mommy Dee is channeling her best Joan Crawford: No soft pouches. NO SOFT POUCHES EVER!!!!!!!!!! She is not having it. It seems like Mama Dee, who started the company from the ground up and has been in control of all marketing/branding decisions, is having a very hard time letting go and deferring to D’Andra, who is coming from a different perspective. D’Andra is looking to widen the consumer base whereas Mama Dee unwilling to pander to a new base and potentially lose faithful consumers.  Clearly this has been long simmering as Mama Dee pulls out the only child/you’re secretly jealous of me card. Yikes. D’Andra insists she’s not jealous of her mother and in her talking head points out that youth, a stable marriage and baby like skin are on her side.  I mean…if Mama Dee wasn’t 77 they could be siblings the way they are arguing. Anyway, Mama Dee claims D’Andra verbally abused her over the phone the last time they spoke-which was a month ago. Dee controls every aspect of D’Andra’s finances and D’Andra fears they will never have a decent mother/daughter relationship with Dee manipulating D’andra through the purse strings.

Stephanie has her mother, grandmother and grandfather over for dinner. They are deeply religious which Stephanie finds has gotten her through tough times. Stephanie and her mom go upstairs where Stephanie tells her mom how she and Leeanne bonded over their difficult pasts and how it’s thawed some ice between them. Leeanne opened up about her 4 past suicide attempts and Stephanie tells us that when she was 22 years old, she had tried to commit suicide herself. She was in an emotionally abusive relationship that made her feel worthless and constantly judged and when that ended, she felt she had lost her friends and couldn’t handle it. Thankfully her mom was home at the time and when she took a bottle of pills, she went into her mom’s room to tell her what she had done. Her mom called an ambulance immediately, and her mom tears up when she thanks her again for telling her what she had done before it was too late. Stephanie felt guilty about putting her family through that pain but her mom is nothing but proud of her, especially for opening up to Leanne and letting her know she’s not alone in her pain. The love is real in this scene and I want to hug them both.

Cary and Mark are renovating their home so they are now staying at Cary’s parent’s house while her parents stay at another house out of town. Mark is cooking dinner for Cary and Zuri and Zuri is growing up fast! Cary claims she’s not as Type A as her parents but Mark disagrees. Shocker.

Leeanne goes to a shop with her friend Jeannette and shop owner Cassie who has helped her “create” a, for lack of better words, a “build-a-dress”. There are 4 different variations of a black dress: one with ruffled sleeves, one with a fishtail you snap on, one with a cape and one with it all. Leeanne dubs it “the Infinity dress”. Leeanne dreams of it being on a shopping network. Honestly, I don’t get it but Leeanne is acting like her dream just came true so sure, we’ll go with it.

Brandy is mommy’ing all over Bruin, getting him ready for his big debut at Stephanie’s party. Her house is very full with 3 kids, her husband and a million pets and her day must start at 7am to prepare to look good for 7pm. Same here girl, same. They arrive at Stephanie’s and her house looks amazing. She went all out for baby Bruin, complete with a cotton candy machine for the kiddos. Brandy is overwhelmed at Stephanie both for having the party and for introducing them to Bruin. Stephanie brings the  Redmonds to hide upstairs in the bedroom, and Kameron is the first to arrive with her husband. Both Kameron and hubby are appalled at Stephanie not being there to greet them. The. Horror. Stephanie finally comes downstairs and Kameron tells her she’s figured out that it’s a baby shower for Brandy. Stephanie feels that Kameron missed her calling and should be a detective and not a pink dog food maker. She throws Kam off the trail by saying it’s Stephanie who has a surrogate and is expecting a boy, not Brandy. Kam is happy yet suspicious of this news. I agree with Stephanie-Kam would be a lot more successful and animals would be much less sick if she stuck to what she was good at.

Stephanie runs upstairs and tells Brandy that Kam figured it out, but that her elaborate lie won’t ruin the surprise. Cary knows about Bruin and brought a gift with a blue bow, which Inspector Kam noticed immediately. Stephanie confesses that Cary is in on it but seriously, MISSED CALLING! D’Andra, D’Andra’s boobs, Leeanne and a horses mane that Leeanne cut and glued on her head arrive next. Cary marvels at D’Andra’s bosom and Stephanie is delighted that it wasn’t a bitch Leanne cut in order to get that ponytail. Stephanie is so happy that they are getting along and really, all the girls are. Stephanie takes the microphone and introduces the Redmonds family, complete with their adorably ginger new addition. Kam is all upset that knew/didn’t know/then really knew she knew when she found out with everyone else. Phew!

That is a wrap for episode 2. Thank you for reading and a HUGE thank you to Tamara for trusting me to do this. As long as no one sends soft pouches in protest, I’ll see y’all next week!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

A break from Pop Culture-Best Friend Day.

This Monday morning, after an intensely heartbreaking episode of Game of Thrones and very little sleep, I want to blog about something positive and uplifting. And, since it's National Best Friend Day, why not blog about friendship? It's something everyone can relate to and hopefully everyone has at least one or two good ones. The kind that lift you up, that are there for the good and the bad, the kind that get you through times you just don't think you'll make it through. The kind of friends that have your back no matter what, but who will call you out and let you when you are wrong. Those kind of friends, that's what makes it all worth it. Especially when you feel alone-they remind you that you are far from it. 

"WE" is a simple word but so powerful when you feel alone. The "I" in single mom can especially be overwhelming, so when "I" becomes "WE", it changes everything. It changes perspectives, it changes ideas, attitudes, it gives's a big deal. When I found out (VERY unexpectedly) that I was going to be a single mom, it was my friends (and sister, she is in this category) that got me through. They rallied around and let it be known that "WE" would be ok, "WE" got this. When said sister was diagnosed with 9 brain tumors and it felt like the world completely stopped spinning, it was them who, once again, said "WE" would get through it and she would fight those tumors with the strength of all of us behind her. Most recently, when I found myself happy, falling in love yet terrified to my core after meeting a man and introducing him to my son/family, it was them again who said "WE" think he's amazing, "WE" think he's worth it, "WE" want you to let that guard down finally and be happy. And I thank God for them for being able to see that that he was worth the risk- especially after realizing they have all been right! =)  In short, they continue to be the "WE" behind me. I feel like I can do anything because I have this amazing core group of friends that will help dust me off when I fall, but will push me to try it again. They are diverse in background and ethnicity's but their true character are all similar. Some are quiet, some are loud, some are married and are mothers or fathers, others are single and mingling. Some give quiet strength and advice, others will put it right there on Front Street and simply say "STOP BEING AN IDIOT". But what they have in common is that they all have hearts that are huge, they all have compassion and empathy for anyone in their life, and they all (in their own way) are funny as all hell. I find those combinations to be harder to find, so I treasure these lunatics of mine with all my soul. 

To my circle of friends, the girls and boys in this crazy crew: Thank you. Thank you for being there, thank you for ALWAYS being there for my son and I. Thank you for taking the frantic 10pm phone calls when I inevitably cannot get out of my own way. Thank you for telling me when I fuck up-yet loving me anyway. Thank you for seeing not only my side but all sides of things. Thank you for having the baseball bat ready at all times when someone does one of us wrong-because when one is wronged, we all are wronged. Thank you for being there through the good, the bad, the ugly, the ridiculous, the absurd, the boring, the hilarious, the REAL. I love you more than you can ever know and appreciate you from the bottom of my heart. Happy Best Friends Day y'all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I've taken a bit of a hiatus on blogging because, well, life. But I am back today to speak of what is now the hottest thing happening in pop culture: Ms. Caitlyn Jenner. Initially I had been following this story at sort of a distance because I really can't stand anything Kardashian related. Much to my relief and surprise though (thankfully) it is a singular story of someone whom I find extremely brave-and it's gotten to me. I heart Caitlyn Jenner. I heart her and I heart the mostly positive responses I have been reading regarding the whole transition. People seem to be letting go of judgement and ridicule that has plagued people that are "different" in the past -it's a progression that brings tears to my eyes honestly. The transgender community has such a high rate of suicide that it's a beautiful thing to watch someone so public become whom he was always meant to be-a gorgeous woman in every sense of the word. 

When he was Bruce Jenner, the Olympian, I always liked him. Years later, he was the only thing I could stand about the Kardashians. The thing that always struck me about Bruce was that he loved to give back. He was always out doing motivational speaking, trying to better other peoples lives and not taking for granted the role model status he earned. He took being an Olympian and a public figure very seriously and I love that she is doing that now. Other people may disagree, but I feel like Caitlyn coming out on the cover of Vanity Fair was the least self-serving thing on the planet to do. She is being so public so that other people, people like her, to live their true selves through her example and is willing to take the brunt of any mean, hateful, vicious comments to do that. She will be the face of the transgender community but in all honesty, the easy thing to do would have been to disappear and live a quiet life in the tropics. She certainly has the money and means to do that. But to grace the cover of an international magazine and to put out there in no uncertain terms that this is who she is-to me, that's the bravest thing in the world. (And, just a footnote, she is absolutely stunning).

 I cannot imagine being uncomfortable in my gender. I mean, sure, there are times (as all ladies know!) that it sucks to be a woman with our biology. We all know body struggles, wishing we were shorter, taller, thinner...but I have never once felt like I wasn't meant to be a female. That internal struggle of feeling like you are not "right", you were born "wrong"-that has to be the hardest thing in the world to deal with. You live with that every second of every day and it has to be torture. I hate to think of anyone in the world struggling, honestly, but to struggle with something you literally have zero control over has to be excruciating. I applaud anyone brave enough to break barriers, cut through the bias, the judgement, the discrimination and the mean spirited comments to be who they are. I doubt that I could ever be so brave. It honestly warms my heart to see this happening. Progress and acceptance are a lovely thing-it's truly a testament to our times to watch this happen in such an accepting way. This couldn't have happened twenty years ago, so to be a part of a time where we can accept people for who they are makes me so, so proud. 

 In Bruce's interviews you can see how he was in so much pain about transitioning, how sad he was that he caused his family hurt and pain. On the now infamous cover, she radiates happiness. Her children have accepted her and will still love her for who she is-and that has to be the most freeing feeling in the world. I give a lot of credit to his children, his ex wives, and his family for being as accepting as they are and for having the ability to come to terms with mourning the man they knew, and embracing the woman they have in their lives now. It couldn't have been an easy thing but it IS a beautiful thing. I hope that anyone going through something similar finds her story inspiring and that it helps those who need it. So shine on Caitlyn Jenner, shine on. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

As my BFF pointed out, it's been a hot minute since I've blogged last. Life gets in the way sadly, but there has been a LOT happening on The Walking Dead so I'm going to do something a little different: I'm just going to discuss how I feel about things and those who want to contribute please feel free to do so. I know some people have a hard time commenting on here so you can comment under my Facebook page if you would like. There's a lot to discuss so let's go!

-Rick. Rick is officially clean shaven, showered and hot again. Pheeeeeeew. That was a LONG time coming! He is back to his cop roots but still is really, really not believing everything Alexandia seems to be offering. He enjoys but is scared of Carl and Judith settling in and being kids again because, the world outside is completely different. It's almost as if Rick and his gang are the bad guys now and its a sad realization actually. The people of Alexandria seem like really good people (for the most part) and my gut feeling is that Rick and crew will eff that up big time. Le sigh.

Carol. WHOA Carol. She has become the single most badass cardigan/khaki wearing character in all of television history. Bold statement you say???? Mayhaps. BUT. Who else could threaten and terrorize a child with a sweet voice, an angel face and a cardigan-and you actually can't blame her???? NOONE. NO.ONE. Not a single person. She is covert PTA mom who by day is sweet and naive but by night is gun and chocolate stealing BADD ASS MOTHA EFFER. She so completely rocks that if anything happens to her either, we all riot. #Scarol.

-Michonne is soooo ready to drink the Alexandria kool-aid and who can blame her? She's distrusting but not Rick-like distrusting. She truly wants to be settled in a place where she can have a life again. It's a sweet notion but with Gangsta Rick at the helm, who knows how that will work out????

-Sasha. Poor Sasha. She is having PTSD like whoa and cannot grasp that these people, for the most part, have not had experiences anywhere near like she has had. She is grieving the loss of Bob and Tyrese and almost resents the people of Alexandria who's biggest worry is what kind of meal to make, not how to survive on a second to second basis. It's a lot to swallow for sure, but Sasha seems to be slowly losing it. I hope she recovers before blowing a seemingly great gig-like running water and electricity!

-Darryl. Darryl is the most fish out of water when it comes to Alexandria. I think a lot has to do with him always being an outcast, even pre-zombiepocolypse. He has never quite fit in anywhere except for within Rick's group, so he is really having a hard time acclimating to the people of Alexandria. Aaron, however, is making headway and it's actually a very sweet friendship developing. I like it a lot. And if Darryl dies, like so many people are predicting, I will riot in the mean streets of Northborough like noones business. Don and Ann will be with me-three people rioting in a small town will make headlines, trust. 

Eugene. My sweet, sweet Eugene is nowhere to be found and I'm about to riot about that! I need my mullet fix quick, fast and in a hurry!!! I want to see him awkwardly discussing nerd stuff with the PTA board at Alexandria. I want him to be all stalky and weird and on my tv screen damn it!!!! <end rant>

Everyone else seems status quo. Glenn and Maggie are doing well, Ginger Abe is hilariously drunk and everyone else is trying to make it work. There are only a few episodes left to the season which petrifies me because the action part of TWD hasn't been too happening. Which tends to mean that they will make up for it at the end...and I'm scared of that. I don't want to lose anyone else, especially not an OG. The rumors are that Glenn or Darryl will die at the end of the season- if I could punch rumors in the face I so would. At this point the only ones that could go, for me, would be Father Badtime or Rosita. They don't bring much to the table. If one of the core group goes, I riot. Northborough PD you are on warning. It will be ON.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Walking Dead recap: In Mourning

It's been 3 months since The Walking Dead mid season finale and I, like all y'all, couldn't wait for it to come back. But now, after seeing the premiere episode, I want to go back. I want to go back to when Tyrese was ok and we were mourning just Bob and Beth. Now I feel like we're just going to stay in mourning with no end in sight. Damn you TWD writers!! Damn you all!!!

The episode begins like an acid trip gone wrong. There are weird, sepia images with a picture of twin boys, a house with blood dripping on the frame, Maggie crying and Father Gabe giving a funeral. We all assume of course that it's Beth that they are grieving and giving a funeral for-but we are all wrong. Sadly, very much wrong.

Rick, Glenn, Michonne, Tyrese and Noah head to Noah's house where he believes his mother and twin brothers are. Rick insists they go since Beth was going to help Noah get there, and everyone agrees. They arrive at Noah's old neighborhood and it's completely destroyed. Noah breaks down in tears-his hope for his family having some sort of zombie-resistant shelter is gone. Rick, Glenn and Michonne go searching for supplies while Noah runs to his house, with Tyrese in tow. Tyrese insists on opening the door first and he sees a woman who's head was bashed in laying on the floor. The work of humans or zombies? We don't know. Noah goes to the woman, his mom, and covers her with a rug. Tyrese hears a noise and goes to find out what it is when, inexplicably, he gets mesmerized by a pictures of Noah's twin little brothers. Of course it's that moment when a twin, now zombiefied, appears and bites Tyrese in the arm. Noah hears the commotion and kills his little brother. He sees Tyrese is bitten and runs for help. Tyrese is fighting for his life and in doing so sees images of the recent dead. He sees the girls, Lizzie and Mika. He sees Bob. He sees Beth singing (apparently not even death silences that girl) and he sees the Governor and Kyle-who taunt the crap out of him and who try to get him to question what has gotten him to this place and to question his decisions. Kyle is still a d*ck in death and the Governor is still a narcissistic a-hole. God I miss him!!!  Noah and crew come back and immediately chop off Tyrese's arm in order to try to save him. They (painfully) manage to get him to the truck and that's where he sees the girls and Beth and what we now know are his angels, who tell him that it's "much better now" where they are. Tyrese dies and we see that the opening montage was not a funeral for Beth, it was a funeral for Tyrese. They put his hat on the cross they made for him and now we are left as they are: mourning and not knowing what comes next.

I know a lot of people didn't really like the episode but I loved it. I LOVED seeing the Governor again and to see what it must be like on the cusp of life and death, the things that come back to you when you're wondering when to keep fighting or just give up. And, I think it was a fitting end for Tyrese. He's always been, from day one, a man of heart and goodness. He's been the moral compass and he deserved an episode dedicated to him. So I'm happy with it. I hope y'all were too!!!!  Things look bleak again this Sunday but I hope everyone is as happy as I am that it's back!!! =)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Strength of My Sister

It's been a hot minute since my last blog and since The Walking Dead won't be back in a few weeks, I felt the need to write about something. I've taken Pop Culture breaks in the past and will do so again because the more I think about it, the more awe-inspiring this particular topic is. Short history for the newbies: mere days following the birth of my beautiful niece Brianna, my sister Ann was diagnosed with 9 brain tumors. She had surgery in August 2013 to remove two of them so there are 7 remaining. It is something she lives with daily, a struggle that no one but her can fully understand-though we as her family try hard. She lives with this day in and day out with humor and deprecation, NEVER ever uttering a "why me"-even on the days when she has had seizures with no explanation, or why she walks in a room and forgets why she's there, or has conversations and cannot recall them five mintues later. It's not uncommon to forget her struggle-I know I do. She makes it look too damn easy! She made brain surgery look like cakewalk-with the exception of the shaved area on her head that showed off her "frankenstein" incisions, you would never know all that she went through. She managed to horrify seasoned ICU nurses with her "I'm just going to move myself off my bed and into that chair with zero assistance" less than an HOUR after her six-plus hour, intensely invasive BRAIN surgery was completed, begging for an iced coffee and then informing the the physical therapy team that she was leaving the next day because her nephew had his first football game and she was going to be there. She couldn't actually make it to the game of course, but her determination got her home so that he could go running into her arms and re-live the whole game to make her feel as though she had been there-and that's all that mattered to her. She works full time, raises a daughter and is an amazing Aunt to my son...she is a wonder, truly. We've been through hell together, she and I. We lost our dad together at such young ages, our grandmothers and too many Aunts and Uncles that mattered so dearly to us to count. When my ex and I broke up after I learned I was pregnant, the ONLY reason I knew it was going to be ok was because she told me it would be. For as much as I complain about her and how much she may drive me crazy, she is my rock. She makes things that seem impossible, possible. She has this grounded presence that levels my over-dramatics and is the yin to my yang. She is real on every level-what you see is what you get and that is why she is so loved. She is the epitome of authenticity and is 100% true to herself. She pretends nothing- which makes her everything.

This is "MRI" week, her regular 6 month MRI check up to see if the tumors have grown/changed is this Friday. It's always a strange week leading up to it as so many thoughts go through your head. You can't help but go back and forth between all the different scenarios of what could be but all you can do is just pray that the old "no changes, see you in 6 months" is what it ends up being. I had to write this because of her quiet strength, her humor and her humility. I know that I couldn't endure what she does with the style she does it so this is for you Annie Bannanie. You will kill me for this I'm sure, but you can always refer back to this for when you feel like the world cannot understand or that things are just piling up too high to deal-we got this. We ALWAYS got this. You will continue to amaze and rock the shit out all that comes your way in YOUR way. Nothing is easy for you and yet nothing is ever taken for granted. You've inspired me on so many levels and I know that you, in your "Ann" way, inspire others around you too. 2015 is the year that Dr. House will figure this out and that miracles will happen. Or, in the off chance Dr. House remains a fictional doctor, we will continue to think positive and pray that there is cure out there. It WILL happen and good things are coming your way-there is no one on earth more deserving. xoxoxoxoxoxo