I can’t really storytell, as I’d like to, so I’ll give y’all a rundown of my day yesterday. It was quite a day.
I started, as usual getting up a bit before seven, breakfast and lunches for the kids, and then driving them to school at 8. By 8.30 I was back home making beds, cleaning up breakfast, and getting ready for my day.
I had a most extraordinary brunch (yes BRUNCH on a Wednesday… I know my life is perfect) with a woman who is ten years older than I am. I am 39, she is 49. My daughter is 11, her daughter is 21. My son is 8, her son is 18. My husband is ridiculously handsome, hers is too. They are both very old. She and I, we will change our definitions of old, as needed.
I learned a few things from my new friend. The kids are going to start setting the table. Right now, they clear it after dinner and I enjoy the washing so I’m okay with that, for now, but I’m not setting the table any more. They’re old enough and it’s a quick chore. We’ve also had a few issues with Jane and her adolescence, basically Jane is changing, and my husband and I are standing in the middle of it all with our eyes closed, fingers in our ears and we are singing la la la la la la while trying not to cry. Clearly, we have a handle on the situation.
Jane wants to read Breaking Dawn, we are not permissive parents. This house is not a democracy, and though I value my children’s opinions, it’s my house, with my rules and I say that without wavering. Breaking Dawn is the fourth book in the Twilight series and there’s sex in it. Jane is begging, and I think I’ve reached a compromise with her wherein I’ll read the book and yank out the pages that are simply “too much”. She is happy with that.
Please do not comment about book burning, censorship and whatnot. Jane is my child, I get to mess this up as I see fit.
My Brunch date (who can see clearly 10 years into the future) suggested letting Jane read the whole book. My stomach lurched. Then, she went on to explain to me that Jane would self censor, as her children had. Jane would probably not read the parts that made her uncomfortable. I tried to not sound shrill, “but what if she does read them?” I asked.
“Then she’s ready for it.” Was the sage reply.
I don’t know where we’ll land, but eleven is a funny age. Jane isn’t a child and she certainly isn’t a teen. She is a bright, willful, articulate and strong girl. She is everything I ever hoped for, and every step toward independence is a step away from me. I am hearing the words, I have no decisions.
From brunch, which was delightful, I hopped in the car and sped to Pasadena.
The Television Critics Association has their annual whatever there, and PBS invited me to attend. I like PBS. I like everything about it, from the shows to the mission to the lack of advertising. NPR is my constant companion in the kitchen. Most often when large companies invite me somewhere, I stay home. When PBS calls, I run.
I got to PBS just in time for lunch. Yes, lunch. I plop myself down with a table of Mom Bloggers from Los Angeles and the staff of PBS’ Digital Nation. They’ve got some great projects, and it’s fun for me to see what people outside my tech bubble think of technology. Whenever I’m in a room with mainstream media there’s always a sense that they think we’re stupid, and we think they’re dinosaurs. Both sides are right. I will not elaborate.
After lunch there were more sessions, I can tell you that PBS’ lineup looks great. I have access to a few of the shows, and when I have time to watch some of them, I’ll let you in on what I loved. I must warn you in advance. I am not a journalist, I am not a television reviewer. I’m a chick with high speed Internet and a blog. I have already seen Food Inc. Watch Food Inc with your whole family. When I tell my children that I’m not taking them to McDonalds because I love them, well, Food Inc shows them just how much.
Tavis Smiley interviews Hilary Rodham Clinton and asks her some tough questions. He was very tight lipped about her responses, but he promised we’d be surprised. He said that he noted that he was the only person of color in HRC’s press pool, and that Hilary Rodham Clinton’s response to that was “disappointing”. I cannot wait. It airs on January 22nd.
Jamie Lee Curtis was quite the actress while talking about the movie Dirt. I’m sure it’s a great movie…. well, I think it might be. I’m going to watch it. Hopefully there’s a screener in this bag they gave me.
There’s an interview room, and I went up there quite late, after 6pm to give a little interview. As I sat (collapsed really) in a chair outside the room I realized that Tavis Smiley was inside giving his interview. Did I forget to mention that I am a huge fan of Tavis Smiley. As his interview wrapped two of the the most stunning women I have ever laid eyes on walked out of the room. Publicists. Apparently women who are too beautiful to be runway models are publicists. I am a heap of short fat and Jewish wrapped in cashmere and sensible shoes and the eight foot tall winner of the DNA lotto says, “would you like us to introduce you?”.
I said something, I don’t really know what it was, but I stuttered and he didn’t. Apparently Mr. Smiley is not in awe of Mommy Blogging goodness. He was nice and gave me a sideways hug. Because he is tall, I basically fit into his armpit nicely. I didn’t have a camera handy but it looked like this.
I blathered a little, the publicists smiled the familiar smile, and I did my interview.
Post interview was dinner, drinks and Mary Chapin-Carpenter. Dinner was nice. I got to be the third wheel on Laura‘s date night with her husband. Laura is fantastic. Then something happened. Mary Chapin-Carpenter was interviewed for us all. We were in a tiny room, maybe 100 people and a stage?
MCC answered all the hard questions, starting with the “seeming” incongruity of growing up in Princeton, New Jersey, graduating from Brown and then making it big in Nashville. She spoke honestly, and without guile, everyone loved her, even those of us who had never seen her before. Ms. Chapman talked about music in advertising being a great way to pay the bills for a young band who needs to, she clearly has watched American Idol, and said that it’s existence cannot ruin a musician’s career.
And then she sang. Something happened that I haven’t seen in a very long time. I found myself smack dab in the center of a big group hug. The room loved Mary Chapin Carpenter and she loved us back. There was a palpable energy, and I became a fan. Forever.
I don’t have words for it, but I know it exists, like oxygen. Mary Chapin Carpenter gave oxygen to a room that didn’t know it required any. She gave of herself to the audience, without holding back, with great honesty and frankly, there was a mistake or two. She generated such goodwill with her words beforehand that we were giving back to her.
Humility, goodwill, talent. That’s what I saw at PBS.