Thursday, July 19, 2018

Ninja Your Way Into Gratitude





Given that life has turned into a surreal world even David Lynch couldn't conceive, I really have no business being so damn excited about my new blender purchase. What I mean by that is I sometimes feel guilty when I'm happy. Because:



My old Ninja finally died sometime in the middle of last night. Therefore I could not make my frothy breakfast. I resorted to putting my potions in a cup and shook really hard. Not the same. But it gave me the energy I needed to go one of my all-time favorite stores, Bed Bath and Beyond.

I hadn't been there in a while, actually, the last time I attempted to go, everything went south because some crazy lady going 80 mph decided not to stop at a red light just as I was turning left. It's such a crazy story you can read it here under Halle Berry. This is why we all have insurance because of assholes.

Speaking of assholes that blow through red lights, here is a video from last week I took while out for a stroll.



Yeah, this guy had his entire family, including a baby, in his car, and maybe he was thinking, fuck that red light, the soccer game is on, then he smashed into this lovely old lady. I hope she is okay. We carefully pulled her out of the passenger side. She seemed fine, but off to the hospital because weird ongoings happen to your body the day after a car accident. Out of earshot of the police, I said to the driver, channeling my mother: "Shame on you, risking your entire family! A small child no less! You could've killed them all and this poor elderly woman.  For shame!! Slow the fuck down moron. Red means STOP!"


What passes for "normal people" lately:


I'm certain my admonishing him will have ZERO impact on his future driving skills but it sure made me feel good. Since there were so many witnesses maybe he will lose his license. I know they don't do this in the US, but it ought to be a law-- channeling my father. If you run a red in Germany, for example, you lose your license for life! But they get the autobahn! Fair trade.

Back to the blender. Here's the thing. I use this baby for everything. Not just my incredible shakes and smoothies --




(How awesome am I that I made that? ^ ^ ^ )

--which I began making after this interloper crashed one of my bbq's.  But Cesario changed my life. And apparently, many others read here -- nutrition. 

I use it to make everything free-banana bread, sugarless cookies, Gochuchang sauces, Pomme purees, lentil nut butter, coral worm dips, giraffe weevil floats, metallic eyeshadows. It's endless. I hate cooking so if all that is required is dumping the ingredients into this sucker, a pinch of witchery then watching it whirl, my entire family is seriously indebted to me.



Given they all have different food plans... lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant, meat intolerant and just generally intolerant of my cooking, it's opened up a magic door. They will eat what I make, as long as I use this blender. My daughters believe since I use the Ninja to create food, I had no involvement, therefore eat they shall! Better still, they make their own damn food. Because it requires so little effort, not one snapchat story or Tana Mongeau video will go unmissed.







Look, the world has gone mad, mad! It's been so severely tilted I lost all my bearings and food is one of the few constants I find comforting. Until I see this happen to the madman---


--I really need my blender. The level of gratitude I have for Ninja, which then leads to a mental compilation of many things I am grateful for, is immeasurable. I take it when I travel, even if just the valley because what if I get stuck there?

Other tricks of the Ninja ----and unbeknownst to anyone, I can also toss about say, Chia seeds, Flax,  Maca, Tumeric, Smart Paste.  They never know and never will because they will never read anything I write. So it's win-win.

I used to laugh at parents that "snuck" spinach in their kid's pasta sauce. First of all, gross. But you can easily drop a tablespoon of green powder into an apple shake.

I should mention I bought a super cheap one, on sale, this thing of beauty. Why on sale? Because a newer version is out. They do exactly the same thing. Plus I can't stand all those buttons, dials and instructions. Jesus.

This young cute boy was helping me and I saw one for $17.00. A Kitchenaid.



Me: OMG! Look! It's so retro. I had that in college. How cute is that!!
Boy: Oh, that doesn't work very well. I wouldn't get that.
Me: It's vintage!  I'm having all these incredible college memories. I can't believe you still sell it.
Boy: No one buys those. It's really cheap and bad.
Me: Stop putting it down! I want a new salesperson.

I'll leave you with this. I'm not full-on Paleo, but this website is great for ideas on mixing and matching all things smoothie.

Since my gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free banana bread is gone in two days, I've upped my game. Onto Zucchini, shredded cauliflower, chocolate chip, cranberry, any berry, guess the berry bread.



Until I have my beach house, and the horse is out of the hospital (thank you comic genius John Mulaney) this definitely helps get me through, and as a bonus, the family is getting healthy without their permission.

Rhonda Talbot on life, family, children, politics, food, comfort, health, smoothies, blenders, John Mulaney, gratitude.





Thursday, May 3, 2018

How House Cats Get Super Glued







Every morning I wake up in a state of shock. I'm still here? The world has still gone mad? And also I feel kind of crazy. Wait... this shit is still going on? That lunatic is still in office? And this is still my life? I'm still raising kids? It's been 28 years? Does it ever end? NO!



How do I know? Because some teenage girl is asking me to do something. At 7:30 a.m.! After a few seconds, I realized, oh, yes, that's my daughter, Audrey, this is my bed, I have to get up and start life.



Audrey: Mom, wake up. I've covered in bug bites. Or fleas.
Me: What? Who? Do I have to get up?
Audrey: It's pretty bad. I have bites everywhere. Maybe you should look at them.
Me: No, that's okay. Just try not to sweat today.
Audrey: Oh, and I used all the Calamine lotion so can you get some more?

My head was back under the pillow. How is this a thing? She's an indoor cat. I hate fleas. Fuck fleas.

Before I even attempt life, I have to have coffee. Stumbling down the hall zombie mom fashion, suddenly feeling all itchy, I'm sure I was grumbling under my breath, "If one person says good morning I will stab them."



I was pissed off and on a mission. All I wanted to do is put that flea repeller on the cat. It must be done immediately. I boil water for the coffee then open the junk drawer. This particular drawer is actually very organized. There are a few handy tools like a peen hammer and the cat crap.

I yank the cap of the tube, scoop up Socks and slather it all over the back of her neck. One crisis solved.  I know I will have to wash/boil all the bedding, but coffee, paper, and a pathetic attempt at meditating and then maybe.

I notice the cat is squealing but I figure that's normal. But then Socks gives me this death glare.


I notice my fingers have a sticky substance on them. Gross. I try to wash off the cat back poison and it won't come off. Weird. For a second I thought it might make a good facial mask.



The cat is still howling. My daughter is now getting upset. The cat is going berserk.




Audrey:  What is wrong with Socks? She's jumping all over. Why is her fur so hard?
Me: I put that flee stuff on her back. That's a normal reaction.

This daughter never trusts anything I say, so she checked the organized junk drawer.

Audrey: Mom, it's super glue. OMG! She's going to die!

Just then her twin (Evelyn) rambles out of her bedroom. This girl is usually long gone by now, off in her carpool. I rarely see her in the morning because she's gone before I wake up.

Ev: Mom, I overslept and missed the carpool.

Me: WHY DID YOU DO THAT?

Ev: It happens. Can you drive me? Also, fill my lunch card.

Me: No! I'm having my coffee and need to calm down. Everyone leave me alone.

Meanwhile, Audrey has been Googling "what happens when a cat gets superglued?" Apparently, there are tons of websites, examples, it must happen a lot.

Audrey: Mom, Socks could die! It's toxic. Dad!! Mom maybe killed Socks!

Normally their father is already gone, but for some reason he overslept! I didn't even notice him.

Dad enters. "Why is Evelyn here?"

Me: Okay okay I superglued the cat and Evelyn missed the carpool. Can you quick drive her to school and drop the cat off at the vet.

Dad is a calm presence and also knows I'm the worst kind of morning person so he treads lightly like this is no big deal. Maybe he once glued a cat. He checked the packaging.

Dad: Yep. Super glue. I can't believe this doesn't happen more often. They look exactly the same.
Me: See!  The tubes look exactly the same!


Audrey: No they don't! You are just both blind. Put your glasses on. Oh my god!
Me: Well, they should make the print bigger!
Dad: I can barely make it out with my glasses on.
Me: See! Also, that's the flea repellent drawer, not the glue drawer.

Ev: Well, the fleas are probably dead in that one hard spot.

I'm still in denial about even needing glasses. I wear reading glasses. But I don't put them on when I wake up. I take them off after I'm done reading for the night, then collect them around 8:00 the next morning after everyone is gone and I can read the paper.  Who puts their glasses on first thing?

Nobody! And that's how cats get glued.

Anyway, I'm sure Socks is fine, getting a lovely bath and shave. Meanwhile, I'm getting the hell out of here before the kids get home.


Rhonda Talbot weighing in on parenting, cats, sleep deprivation, sight deprivation, teenage girls, superglue, mornings, life.

PostScript - Socks is home, fine, washed, happy... and has a little bald spot. Plus, bonus, she was incredibly happy to see me. I thought she'd be mad but she's a good sport.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

What Does Raising Teenage Girls Have To Do With Dylan O'Brien?





Apparently Everything. He is Everything. But who knew? First, I had to figure out who he was. There was a popular TV show Teen Wolf, then other stuff, then a movie franchise concerning running through complex mazes, which I thought was a form of parkour.  But I see this and get it. Every teen girls poster dream boy.


Or at least twin E and her group. I guess Dylan would be to the equivalent crush I had on Neil Young when I was 14.


Okay, now that the girls are rapidly approaching 15, I need to figure a few things out.

So I thought I'd read a quick "How to Raise Teen Girls" post to make sure I'm still on top of things. After Googling, I settle on the first one on the search bar.

The thing is parents never know if they are doing a good job. If they boast having a strong handle on parenting skills, they are lying. But love to them. Perfect parenting does not exist. Imperfect parenting is the best we can hope for.

This post is about girls because that is what I'm raising at the moment. I'm sure these strategies can be applied to boys, I think.

I already raised a boy, and sort of forgot how I did this so I recently asked him. He really deserves his own post, but for time management, he's a tech engineer computer science type working up in Seattle. He has lots of other interests from playing drums to competing in Mario Smash Bro contests and everything in between. He was super fun to raise, but also I was super young. I even enjoyed Disneyland back then. Not so much, now.



Me: On a scale 1-10, how did I do in raising you, or subtext "How do you rate me as a mom?"
H:  Eleven.

See, he knows if he had said, say eight, I would have kept him on the phone. "Why? What did I do so wrong? Did I forget something? I never lost you in the park! ... ad nauseum." He knows how to stay ahead of the people crazy curve; so there's that. He'll sometimes tag me on one of these.

Big ups.

Anyway, back to the teenage girl twins.  Might I just say, I'm delighted they are healthy and they are doing just fine? By that I mean, my own personal philosophy regarding children is to keep them safe, alive and try to create a world where they can have a better life than you. Or as Diane Ladd so eloquently said:

Let them stand on your shoulders so they can see further than you did.

Pretty simple. Yet this requires an extraordinary amount of sacrifice because you are no longer the priority. Your kids are. And my belief is if you're incapable of lifting your kids up to your own possible detriment, in every possible manner, then reconsider having them. For the love of god, don't have kids because you think they will keep you young. Addressed here. 

Back to article:

It would be irresponsible of me to move forward until we address the obvious;  they are the first generation of kids growing up where "gun drills" have replaced the more innocuous "fire" drills.

This is something we parents can't actually comprehend, but when talking to kids, YES, they are highly anxious. In case anyone is wondering.

But this is only one small part of their forever increasing anxiety. Forget the normal teen angst, social issues, hormonal insanity and educational pressure, this added layer also has to wedge itself into their developing brains and somehow they have to be okay with it.

In any case, let's see how I'm doing.

Here are the suggestions to best raise teenage girls.

REMAIN CALM  --  The idea being when they freak out over something or say something "crazy" don't react. In fact, the article suggests, count to five. -- Okay, will do. As in this has never happened.

First, I could not think of one time my kid said something so whacky I blew a gasket, started foaming at the mouth and then set my hair on fire.  Plus, for me, I'm already super chill. I wish sometimes I could get more amped, about anything, but no. I must like being calm. Even when I'm upset. Okay, I'm basically water.

Like all kids, they occasionally complain and with good reason; the insane piles of homework or a  difficult teacher or some jackass at school that interrupts class all the time. If they didn't I'd be concerned. Also, I happen to agree with the girls. I hate homework. I really do. All that busy nonsense when they could be working on their own interests, or cleaning my house. Plus, I have no love for the apathetic teacher or the class clown with fire ants in his/her/they pants. So vent away.

Nothing these two girls say I would interpret as "crazy," an overused word that's lost all meaning.

I was raised in real crazy. We were not concerned with homework, we were concerned with when the eviction notice was about to arrive or what sister would overdose on heroin that day. Yet my mother did not react. She was always calm. When my 16-year old sister said she was moving to Florida with her Hells Angel boyfriend, my mother yelled: "Wear a helmet!" When my other sister suggested she wanted work at a bank so she could steal money,  my mother said: "What a great idea. Why didn't I think of that!"

To date, the most outrageous statement my girls recently uttered was probably:  "I've never seen a cloud shaped exactly like an elephant. I'm calling bullshit."





Whatever the goings on, I retreat to my sanctuary; my beloved bedroom filled with soft pillows, clean lines, and perfection. This is my personal space and everyone knows it, so they only enter when they consider their situation a true emergency. Like, "I'm starving!"




LET HER SOLVE HER OWN PROBLEM:   Yeah, no pushback on that one. For example, go make your own dinner. As if I don't have enough of my own problems to solve!

These two rarely ask for my advice. They might ask for some help, as in, "Could you collate these 11,500 pages for me?" or "Can you spell check this 450-page poem and don't change one word, thanks."  I'm basically their assistant that does busy work we all hate to do. Including me. But I love them, so I do their busy work.

The last time I offered advice, one of the girls was upset about a friend who was ''beefing" her. (what?) Of course, I want to make her feel better, so I go on about how girls are so immature, clearly, she's giving you the cold shoulder because she's jealous or something along those lines.

E: "No, she's pissed because I stole her phone and threw it in the trash at school, as a joke but now it's gone. Also, she's British! This is beyond anything you can help with!" This daughter has a predilection for British folks, but also loves all peoples;  mixed peoples with various combinations of Asian, African-American and Santorini Greeks but with a British accent.



Her "dream" guy, the one she'll consider dating when she's in college, is a racial collage, a pinboard of sorts.  Equal parts Asian, African-American, a bit Italian and this splash of ancient Greek. And of course, the British accent.



I thought these fellows looked interesting, but a funny thing happened when I put all of that info into the Google. I came up with this guy, Laurence Coke. I mean, come on! How cute is he?


In carpool today, I was telling the girls I was in search of a mixed race teen boy for my blog and I came across this guy. They were "shook." (Again, what?) Then screamed and laughed.

"Mom, how did you find him?! He's so-and-so's cousin! You met him at their BBQ! He came up on Google? OMG!"

What a bizarre coincidence. In any case, my daughter was rightfully mortified, as she is by everything I do. But her friend liked that I was writing this article. She is the sweetest.

When it comes to boys, again, they will solve their own problems. We aren't there yet.

I retreat to my room.


COMPLIMENT REGULARLY:  --  As opposed to what? Criticizing them? Passive aggressive needling? Also, I think it's a mistake to compliment your kids all the time. They grow up thinking that shit is real.

If I told my daughters how pretty there were, how smart they are, how amazing they perform at everything, they would go into the world so ill prepared that the first critical remark might send them into a clinical depression.

Instead what I do is evaluate their progress, and praise that, or not. I also might compliment a certain way they handled a situation or how they carried a difficult school project all the way through. When I do complement their appearance, it's with extreme caution. This is an area, particularly for girls, filled subterfuge.

I once suggested, "Maybe you should stop brushing your hair so much. I love the curls, you flatten them." Well, what she hears is --  You think I don't know how to take care of myself? You think I'm not taking pride in what I do? You think my hair is ugly? THEN: "Well I hate curls. Plus it's my hair and I'll do what I want. Don't comment on my hair. Ever."

I retreat to my room.


TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY:  That is, when they have an issue, don't just say, "Oh, it's high school, it will pass, it won't mean a thing in a few years. The most popular girl, also the main cheerleader and homecoming queen now pole dances at a strip club."

Okay, I would never say that and have never heard other mothers say it. Just no. It's some sort of weird parenting throwback go-to. Who wrote this thing? Plus, who would say this to their daughters?!

If there is a super popular girl at school who also runs the Latin club, is the star of the drama club and excels at everything, good for her! As long as she's enjoying this and not doing it to please some helicopter parent, good-for-her.

Of course, I take my daughters seriously. Do I care if those pants at Buffalo Exchange are no longer available? Hell no. But the girls do. They also both know this is not of import to say, me. Or anyone else, not their age. But I do have a car. This is where I come in handy. We'll find those damn repurposed pants if it takes all day.


Believe it or not, every pair is different ^ ^ ^. How do I know this? Because she tried them all on while I deleted 5000 emails on my phone. Five hours later, she "accepted" one, albeit not her first choice, then later slashed them with a razor blade. When I was 14, I had exactly two pairs of jeans. They had holes, not by design.  Hanging around in vintage warehouses all day with my daughter is love. That is love!

By the way, there was nothing in this article about trick questions. Which is what I get, more than actual conversation. Just yesterday my daughter asked, in a long, drawn-out whistful way,

"Mom, didn't you just love being a teenager?"

Okay, this is fraught with all of it, trip wires, hidden explosives, poison darts and flat out trickery. If I say, oh sure I loved it; she will think there is something wrong with her because she was probably hating her life at the moment, which is why she lobbed that at me. If I say, it sucked, she will no longer trust anything I ever have to say.

So, I answer like this: "I must admit, I've loved all my years.  Teens, 20's, 30's  40's and after that, I stopped rating."


Then I retreat to my room.


LISTEN MORE:   Okay, now I'm just getting pissed off. All I do is listen. Not because I'm so incredible and patient but because when they are in a chatty mood, they never stop talking. They invade my private space and talk and talk and talk. Until they figure out what the hell they are going to do. If I go to my office and shut the door, they come in and talk.

If I put up a sign that says I'm working, they come in and talk. If I teach them boundaries about that, that's ignored because it's considered urgent talk.



I don't listen to validate or affirm her feelings, I listen because I'm trapped. But by the very nature of listening, I am validating their feelings. But I must admit, I do enjoy their trips into chatty-ville.  There is no better way to learn about your daughter than to be on the receiving end of a long-winded rant. Or an epic observation about well, anything.

Unless... Unless... their conversation-at-me takes a deep dive into uncomfortable waters, like,

"I'm not as smart as my friends in MATH."

Well, then I break all the above rules.

I fly off the handle, say crazy shit, throw dishes, try to solve the problem by figuring out which horrible girl said this to my beloved daughter, or was it one of the evil nun teachers?

In which case I email that pest and ask ---

"What's up? You want my daughter to go into the world and think she's stupid at math? Where is your female empowerment!"-- Then I resort to complimenting the daughter. ---"You're a goddamn genius. A goddamn genius! The rest of the world is stupid. Give me the math problem, I will figure it out myself. Then I will get that kid expelled and the teacher fired. This math is insane! Who can do this?"

After my red rage rant-a-thon, having not listened at all to the girls, they lead me to my room, tell me it's no big deal, and also none of my business.  "Take it easy, Mom, calm down, we'll work it out. Why don't you watch one of those Sandra Bullock comedies you like. Where she's super mean but then becomes super nice."  Which is pretty much all of her romantic comedies but I do love them.


After I'm calm, but kids. ^ ^ ^

I retreat to my room.

Here is the thing. When in doubt.



Rhonda Talbot weighing in on teenagers, girls, motherhood, parenting, emotions, love wins, Happy Birthday.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

My Downward Insulin Spiral to Near Death!




Not too long ago, I had a BBQ gathering, stuffing my face, making jokes, while getting into the spirit of the upcoming outdoor Karaoke contest. Then seemingly out of nowhere, a lovely fellow whom I had never met must have overheard me say, "Ugh, I feel so bloated," as I chomped into another burger.



Here is what I heard:

"Well, that's because you're on a downward insulin spiral! You're about to become a major diabetic. Chances are you'll have to have your gallbladder removed! Then develop liver cancer! Say hello to the Grim Reaper. He's standing beside you!"

This lovely man, Cesario Tio, probably did not say anything like that, but that's what I heard. First, why is this stranger talking about my gallbladder? Also, do I really need a gallbladder?

To save you trouble, readers, yes you need it.  You want to keep this thing happy. If you care, you can see more here -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallbladder

Nonetheless, who was he to tell me anything about my life? He was about to get an earful.


Most likely he said, 'Maybe you feel bloated because of all the refined sugars you consume.'

I looked at Cesario, who is incredibly fit, runs marathons, and is devoted to clean eating/living otherwise known as Paleo. In addition, he's very kind, helpful, incredibly educated on all matters of food and he's entrepreneurial. He just wants people to understand what they eat is actually very important. More on Cesario here
But I knew nothing of this person so I thought he was judging me, and insulting me and I was furious. 
"Well, Mr. Paleo guy, I happen to eat very wisely. This little BBQ is a one-off. So I had a burger. And pie. And cookies. But I don't drink, I exercise and I eat healthily."
"What do you eat for breakfast?"
Who was this guy? Now my girlfriends are leaning in, seeing how I'll handle this nutrition-freak interloper.
"I'll have you know I eat a trough of plain yogurt, covered with oatmeal, sunflower butter and a pile of fresh fruit. And some almonds. And coffee." 

I was waiting to be congratulated on my excellent food choices but:
"Then what do you do? For activity after breakfast?"
"Activity after breakfast? All the action happened before breakfast, kids, carpool, possibly stopping for gas. After I eat, I write. For hours." 
Technically that's true, but often there is more sitting and staring than actual writing. Still, how was this Cesario's business?!
"So after consuming over 150 grams of sugar and probably 2000 calories, you sit down for hours?"
A trick question, this menace of a man.
I went into some red rage and stalked off into my kitchen. One of my gal pals, Sydney, followed.
Me: "What the actual fuck? Who invited that guy? Fuck Paleo!"
Sydney: "He has some serious issues. Why is he attacking your breakfast? It sounds great by the way and super healthy."
Me: "Right? And I didn't even mention that I drink five glasses of whole milk a day. Not to mention bread. Loads of bread. Am I getting a gut?"
I was pulling on my excess stomach material.
Sydney: "Oh for god's sake, no. That's just baby fat leftover from the twins."
Me: "They're 14. I can't keep using that excuse."

We dissected this poor guy, conjuring up some imaginary life he had with other Paleoites as they ate root vegetables then ran uphill for 500 miles. Pathetic!


Sydney and I went back and forth, putting down the entire Paleo concept, community and decided Cesario was simply stuck in a cult.

The night ended up being really fun, lots of bad singing, dancing, and more pie.

The next morning I was still angry. Out of sheer spite, I made a "green" protein shake, something I found off a Paleo website. I have to say it was delicious. Then for lunch, no bread, just chicken. For dinner, fish, yams, and spinach.

I did this day after day until I forgot why. Suddenly I was off of dairy, white bread, most bread actually, and sugar, save a few gummy bears. And I felt amazing. My pants started to fall off, my stomach shrank, everything shrank. I had more energy than I had had in years. 
Like this but not me: And I don't have an earring in my belly.



I learned a lot about myself that night. 1) I'm can be overly sensitive to anything. 2) I can create entire scenarios about people to suit my own perceptions of who I need them to be. 3) I can be a dismissive bitch. 
Okay, so none of this is new. I've been working on improving myself since birth. It's a slow process.
But like so much in life, we only see what we want to see, and that's not a great thing. At least for me. Deep down, I knew my food plan was lacking, but I just didn't want to hear it. So thank you, Cesario, for having the 'gall' to call me out. It changed my life. This one small BBQ inspired me to learn about food, find new ways to consume food and live a healthier life. Because I'm now practicing better eating habits, so are my kids. It's a win for everyone. 

An interesting anecdote -- In the Chinese language, gallbladder 膽 -- is associated with courage, boldness, bravery, heroism and apparently is where you make your best decisions. Where you chart your life's actual path! Who knew?
Still on course to that big white beach house that awaits me.

Rhonda Talbot weighing in on health, diet, Paleo, BBQ, random men, inspiration, gallbladders, beach houses and the kitchen sink.

Monday, October 30, 2017

It's Raining Daddies in New York or STOP With the Middle-age Male Fantasy Films!





I can't believe I am addressing this again. Films where predatory, old, white saggy ass men lust after teenage girls. I was so outraged a couple years ago regarding the film The Last of Robin Hood, which focused on Errol Flynn's (50) sexual relationship with Beverly Aadland (15), I had to make some noise. Here is the post under GROSS.  They tried to gloss this ridiculous movie over by suggesting that that was how things were back then. WELL, here we are in 2017. So much for that rational.

And in bizarre coincidence one of the two films, Woody Allen's A Rainy Day in New York casts the lovely Elle Fanning as the supposed 15-year old girl. Her sister Dakota Fanning, played the 15-year old Beverly Aadland. I have no idea what this means, but I love the Fanning sisters and all of their 248 movies.




But, NO, just NO. You don't have to play these roles. Walk away. Run! Everyone in Hollywood wants to cast the Fanning sisters. So why say yes to this trash?



I'm not interested in bringing up the entire Allen history, because this entry is not about that.

It's about how is it possible there is not one but TWO of these films soon to be released?

The other one is Louis CK's I Love You Daddy. His 17-year old daughter (Chloe Grace Moretz) is stalked essentially by a 68-year old creepy film "god" John Malkovich. EEEWWWW. There is an unofficial tag line: "Everybody is a Pervert." Newsflash: Only perverts believe this.

Woody Allen is not about to defend his next venture into Lolita-land but he did defend Harvey Weinstein, calling him a "sad, sick man." Good lord. Well okay then. That explains it.


Louis CK, however, is defending his movie, a defense that sounds very familiar. "I grew up with that. Manhattan is a movie I saw as a kid, and I was like, "Okay, that's what people do."  Really?  It is? People do this? What people? You mean people like you and Woody Allen? Manhattan was made nearly 30 years ago. Has Louis not changed his mind since he was a teenager? When will adolescent middle-aged men grow up? Oh. Never. Of course. Men like him and Woody and HW and on and on and on.

It's as though men over 45 read or reread Lolita and think: "Wow. I want to make that film! I want to undress a gorgeous teenager and pretend to have sex with her, or at least watch!"


Also, who are these movies for? Certainly not women. I'm sure Louis CK is hoping his huge fan base will come along for the ride. I got an email to that effect. You know, those casual emails he sends to his fans, like we're best friends. "Hey Rhonda, I've been SOOOO busy. I made this flick. I really want you to come see it. In fact, YOU can get a ticket early, like today, even though it opens in November. But you can claim your lucky seat now." AS IF and ----


(I wanted to make you feel like you are “going to the movies”.  I think you will really enjoy going to this movie)  How the hell does he know what I will like? 

This was the longest email I ever received from Louis. TWO pages. Me and millions of others, basically begging us to see this film. Weird.

Woody Allen did not send me an email.

I don't plan on seeing either film. As much as I love the cast, in both.

But for two incredibly privileged filmmakers that can do whatever they want, stop with the old man having sex with girls trope because it's not a real trope! But it is a real fantasy that nobody but the filmmakers and "people like them" want to indulge in.

This is why I wish I was a billionaire. In addition to basically doing good works everywhere, I could own a studio and produce films -----written, directed and acted in by women about matters that are interesting, reflect our actual lives and are relevant to our culture. Films that have an impact. Films that are enjoyable. Films that could even make a difference. MEN, you've had your chance. FOREVER. Step down. Pass the baton. You're going in circles. You're making me sick.


Rhonda Talbot weighing on in misogyny, films, predators, male fantasies, Woody Allen, Louis CK, and all that crap.




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Women Have More Power Than They Know




Women in Film put out a statement today on the Weinstein catastrophe. As I was writing this I checked to see what the victim count was. Thus far over 25. From Rose McGowan to Asia Argento to Rosanna Arquette. << link My little rant here is on this statement. Lots of good ideas but how to implement?
While it's a very fine statement, exactly how do we get men, male colleagues, to become our allies and speak out when they witness any discrimination of any kind? This is certainly a wake-up call for many, but the town is run by men and until women make an incredibly bold move, not much will change. The men run the boardrooms, hold the keys, have all the money and power.

But there are a lot of extremely powerful women with deep pockets that could certainly create companies that promote strong female leadership. Women that would sit on the board. Women that would finance the movies and hold the similar keys.
In a patriarchal world that goes back to the beginning of time, time then is what it will take to keep pushing the boulder up the mountain. Except that's the wrong metaphor and needs to be changed. Sisyphus was never meant to succeed. Women are not under some ancient curse. They can pull that rock and foist it over the top; they can do it together and the men/allies that help will only benefit.
Am I, are we, reaching for the stars? Sometimes it seems that way. Speaking of stars:
What if female A-listers stopped starring in or producing tentpole movies, money that lines the pockets of various unsavory characters?
What is powerful female executives and financiers stepped back until there was some visible change?
I believe women have more power than they know. More than half the movie audience is female. Take women out of movies, and good luck with half an audience, a movie audience that is already rapidly shrinking.
According to Hollywood Reporter, these are the most powerful people 2017. A handful of women. But a good handful. So MEN on this list, are any ready to make changes? To be stand up guys? To think about the 52% of women that go to see your films?
The only thing this industry, like many industries, understands is money.
Mess with it, take it away, threaten the bottom line, and men will suddenly pay attention. Maybe then men will start speaking out, stepping up, and stopping any assaults they see, witness or hear about. Maybe then industry leaders will follow through on the mentioned excellent mandates.
I also don't believe these male colleagues have to have sisters or daughters in order to be motivated to to step up. Men don't need a daughter, sister, cousin, aunt to know what sexual assault is.
Harassment is never acceptable. Women have the right to a safe work environment. Let's hope this did begin to turn the tide. But certainly HE is not the only one. He may be the most vile. But it's the entire entertainment environment and it's sordid history of abuse that he has given a very public face to. A despicable human I can only compare to one other, the one the leads the nation.
Also why can't there be a YELP/Rate My-- for bosses and companies. There are in other industries. At the very least people would know some of what others carry around as secrets. Currency. This town uses secrets and gossip is bargaining power. Rather than on hidden boards inside Hollywood, put that business on a public forum. People might think twice before taking certain actions, knowing they may be outed.
**makes decent films. A bully. A predator. Stay away. Not worth it.

WIF statement:
Women In Film encourages women to continue speaking up about sexual harassment, which is an all-too-common form of discrimination. That so many people, particularly other men in power, knew about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior and didn’t say anything is an indication of how deeply entrenched discrimination is in the film & TV business — and in culture overall.
We are hearing more and more shocking accounts from women affected by Harvey Weinstein’s behavior; women emboldened to finally speak up because others have before them.  We will likely hear about other men in the entertainment industry who have harassed women, because the problem is far more widespread than people have been willing to discuss publicly.

In order to do something to end sexual harassment, we must require industry leaders to: (1) mandate gender inclusive boards and decision making groups (2) mandate inclusive hiring practices from the top down, from executives to support staff. Ensuring that there are more women in positions of power will change the culture and result in decreased sexual harassment and discrimination overall (3) mandate that lasting legal penalties be applied without compromise, bias or settlement, and these penalties be enforced for those found guilty and complicit in these crimes of discrimination. The bottom line is that no one should be held to different standards; regardless of their power, money or fame.
Women need allies. We need our male colleagues – who have mothers, sisters, daughters and friends – to step up and speak out now and whenever they are witness to discrimination of any kind.

Rhonda Talbot weighing in on Harvey Weinstein, Miramax, Hollywood, sexual assault, entertainment business, misogyny, discrimination, power, women.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Thing One and Thing Two - What She Knew





Look how innocent back in the day.  ^ ^ ^

Not that anyone asked, but when I had twin girls 14 years ago, while in the hospital, the incredibly kind night nurse that I wanted to take home with me forever, also made a prediction about the girls.

She had an uncanny ability to read a newborns face with astounding accuracy. This woman had super powers. The way she swaddled those screaming babies into a sleep, how she carried one in each arm, roaming up and down the hallway with such crazy confidence I never once asked where she was taking them.

In any case, she said this.

Nurse:  Good news and not so good news. Baby A will be a very easy child. Even a delight.  Baby B, well, she's got some attitude. She's got plenty of that attitude!

What the hell did that mean? Was this secret maternity ward fun? 6th floor shenanigans? Twin time lunch break games?  Then: Bye bye and good luck with that.





How could she have known that when they were twenty four hours old?

I'm not going to summarize 14 years, so:

Today --Baby A, out of school but fretting over homework due in 2 months, spends her time reading, writing and making short films. I'm posting this one because it so clearly identifies her situation in life and what's wrong with public schools. Oh wait. Did I write that? --She works her ass off, and does everyone else's job to ensure her perfect 4.0 life status and kind of doesn't mind. So she's building a youtube site to vent. (Apple doesn't fall etc.)

This here clue in:   Rome Alone


Baby B.  She's outside on the hammock doing that teen business on her phone chatting with the "squad" in a language I can't decipher because it's not language. It's words without vowels. She basically lives in her own fancy, butterfly- filled fantasy.  (Apple doesn't fall far from the tree etc.)




While A is studies, science exploration, action figures and hiking with like-minded friends, B is Sephora,  you tuber girls, Buffalo Exchange, styling outfits, going to all-boys "summer school" to study "Algebra". None of her T-shirts, for example, have a bottom half. What is that?  Anyway... she's super sweet. She's either saying SHUT UP or STOP TALKING...not sure.




I suppose this is an example of her art, which I fished out of the trash.


Someone told me I ought to try and market some of their pieces for, say, coffee mugs or something... right.. that's me. Oh, hey you --getting your $15 dollar cold brew, you market person hipster guy/girl, put this on a T-shirt for me.


So, there you go. Little slices of A and B.


Rhonda Talbot reporting in on twins, children, parenting, hahahahah, teenagers, art, public school, private school.