Browsed by
Category: That’s Entertainment

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid- The Ugly Truth” Tour and I was cool enough (for one day) to hang on the tour bus. (Part One)

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid- The Ugly Truth” Tour and I was cool enough (for one day) to hang on the tour bus. (Part One)

Totally got to hang on the Wimpy Kid bus. And, yes, it rocked!
Totally got to hang on the Wimpy Kid bus. And, yes, it rocked!

My cool points totally went up this week when I was able to meet the author of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” book series, Jeff Kinney and the two stars of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Movie, Zach Gordon (who plays the main character Greg Heffley) and Robert Capron (who plays his best friend Rowley).  To be perfectly honest, I am not sure what I expected but no matter how awesome I thought these guys would be, it didn’t come close to how amazing Jeff and these young men actually are in person.  Totally a ZOO-WEE-MAMA kind of day! (And? I really want that bus. It might be hard to maneuver in the carpool lane but I am guessing I would be taking half the school home if I did drive it. But it was suh-weet!)

It truly was a pleasure to be able to sit down and talk with Jeff, Zach and Robert.  I was joined by fellow bloggers Gretchen aka Texan Mama and Crystal of Crystal & Co. along with Matt Mungle of the Dallas Morning News and The Mungle Show.  We all jumped right into a conversation. I would call it an interview because we were of course asking questions but it honestly felt more like sitting down with good friends and friends of my kids.  For every question we asked, we were delighted to be entertained with a anecdotal stories from their every day lives. They drew us into their circle as if for that time, we were one of them. (Let me be the first to say, I would be honored to be a part of the Wimpy Kid Crew anytime, any day.) I guess that is one of those things I love about being honored to do these type of interviews: I am able to become a part of the lives of people I truly admire for even a little while. Sometimes, too drawn in as evidenced by my joking, laughing and not so reporter-like questions. But what I do and do well, is ask the questions the core audience want to know. At least, I think I do.

Me with the Wimpy Kid Crew along with bloggers Crystal and Gretchen
Me with the Wimpy Kid Crew along with bloggers Crystal and Gretchen

So are you going to share the interview, Jenn?

Of course I am. That is Part Two.  Part One (This, duh!) is the part where I tell you about the people and a bit about the experience.

1) Yes, Jeff is really as humble, kind, and awesome as you think he would be.

2) Both young stars are the type of young men you would want your own kids to be friends with. Polite, funny, kind, and normal! (That is a great thing.) And I have to add for Robert that in the movies they put him in really tight vests that were not the most flattering on him but he really is a fit, good looking kid without a bowl cut.  Oh, and that Zach’s hair really doesn’t have that part in his bangs and it doesn’t stand up in that back like it does in the movie. I just had to clear that up for them. Since we’re tight now. (Or so I tell my kids so they will keep thinking I am the coolest mom ever!)

3) You have to go get the new book Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth today. Seriously. If you have kids who have read the series, this is a must have. If you have kids between 8-15, you have to get the whole series. I promise it is worth it.

4) A little peek into something many people may not know about The Diary of  Wimpy Kid book (and I tell you this so that if you are sitting back thinking this is not for you because your kids are either non-existent, too young or too old) Jeff Kinney actually wrote this book for adults.  Sort of a nostalgic look back at the time we all went through and did our best to survive. Yes, this book was written for adults. Find out what Jeff had to say when I asked him how much of the book he had to change in order for him to adapt it to a younger audience…

Vacation- All I ever wanted! Vacation- Had to get away!

Vacation- All I ever wanted! Vacation- Had to get away!

I went on vacation and fell in love.  Yes, it’s true.  I went with expectations of enjoying some time with my family and maybe catching some good beach time but it turns out, I fell in love.  Many of you know Clint could not go with me on this trip.  It was me and the kids and a total of 23 people in one house.  Yet, each morning, I would sneak away to meet my new baby and we would spend a few stolen moments together.

We met here the first morning I was there.  I was just relaxing on the beach and he caught my eye.

"Our Spot"
"Our Spot"

It’s not like I could resist jumping up to see him and meet him.  I knew my eagerness would scare him away but it did not.  He approached me cautiously but didn’t flee.  My heart leaped with joy.  In 17 years of vacationing here, this had never happened to me. What I thought was a one time meeting became an every day experience.  At the same time every day I would race to the beach to meet him and there he was.  Even my son met him face to face.  I suppose my only regret is that we missed each other my last day at the beach.  Maybe he was too sad.  Maybe he knew I would be too sad.  Maybe it was the idiot teenagers chasing everything that moved in the water that caused him to stay away.  Perhaps it was for the best.  Goodbyes are never easy.  I tried to get a picture of him one day, but he raced off too quickly.

This is a rendering of him along with a picture that looks very much like he does:

Rendering of my ~Crush~
Rendering of my ~Crush~
~Crush Look Alike~
~Crush Look Alike~

What?  Like you never went to the beach and met a sea turtle that you had a crush on and then met up with him every day? Oh, please, it isn’t like that kind of stuff just happens to me.  Is it?

But it wasn’t just folicking with sea turtles.  Oh, no!

Everyday I spent laughing with people I love, sharing amazing food and spending time relaxing and refocusing.  I did a lot of writing.  This was the view from my office:

My Office View

Oh, but it certainly was not all work!  Not at all!  I spent some wonderful time with these people whom I love:

Who needs poses when you have laughter
Who needs poses when you have laughter

I think some of my favorite times were spent with my brother and sister.  We always laugh when we are together.  Always.  Being with them is so good for my soul.

Oh, the tales we could tell on each other!
Oh, the tales we could tell on each other!

Of course, I spent time with my amazing children.  And, well, you know the tale: Getting two teenage boys to pose for more than a couple of pictures is sheer TORTURE.  It is practially downright abusive to them.  But, I did get a few.  Here is one of my favorites with my and my babies:

Yes, my boys are that much taller than I am!
Yes, my boys are that much taller than I am!

At the end of the day, there was much to laugh about.  Especially for your kids when they knew that you were about to be attacked by a flock of seagulls.  And totally not the kind that will sing to you.  The kind that absolutely will poop on you.

The Flock of Sea Gulls didn't even sing to me as they flew over!
The Flock of Sea Gulls didn't even sing to me as they flew over!

But at the end of the day we all enjoyed beautiful sunsets together.  We knew another perfect day was ending when we saw this:

Another perfect end to a perfect day
Another perfect end to a perfect day

Though some of us night owls tended to get back up after the house of 23 was quiet and calm.  when we did, we were treated to beautiful sites such as this:

If you were a night owl,  you enjoyed nights like this
If you were a night owl, you enjoyed nights like this

So, there is a brief glimpse into my vacation.  Oh, there are tons more pictures I could share but the time, the bandwidth, the “that is so sucking vacation chill from me” is going to cut it here.  (I have many more on Facebook!)

THE END!
THE END!
Wii gets fit

Wii gets fit

Ahhh, summertime. That time when you should allow your kids to rest, yet enrich their minds. OR if you live with me, a time to stay up late, eat junk food and play games when we are not out in the sun and fun. (Seeing as there has been very little sun, we are doing a lot more inside “fun” here.) And what is the power game of choice? Wii! (And, no, I do not work for them, am not being paid by them and am gaining nothing by telling you how much I enjoy the Wii we have. Just in case someone decides they want to get all up in my grill about it. I’m just saying, I like it. Mikey likey!)

Here is the Queen of Our Wii holding court.

Wii Queen holds court

I have to admit, there are times I kick the kids off to play myself. I have fun with the Wii Sports and the Wii Play. In fact, here are some pictures of the whole family playing at the beach when it was either raining or everyone was too sunburned to go back out into the blazing Florida sun. Do you Wii? What is your favorite game?

I am just going to link to the WiiFit in action. I TRIED to embed it, but it keeps screwing up my template. Hello? WordPress? Not making me happy. Anyway, here is the link: Wii Fit at E3.

I think I am in love with a new game coming out soon. I learned about it from E3 and found this video of it from the conference at Gametrailers. I am so going to get my hands on this one: Wii Fit. Check out that yoga, baby. Now that will be worth all of the YouTube payback videos that my sons post of me. Because trust me when I say both of my boys will love getting even that way. Take a look for yourself and tell me what you think. I think it is going to be a lot of Fit Fun!

(This entry is cross posted at Aggroqueen.)

Book Review: The Big Payoff

Book Review: The Big Payoff

[Editor note: The following is a review of a book I received complimentary and was asked to review. In the future, all reviews will be handled on a separate page of my blog. Thanks.]

I recently joined the great ladies at MotherTalk and I

I have a new baby!

I have a new baby!

There is a new baby in my house.  Clint brought her home to me.  Talk about shocked.  I never in a million years expected it.  He came home a week ago and told me he needed me to help him get something out of his car.  I was oblivious to his game, so I hop up and go out to help.  He hands me a box and tells me to carry it in because it is mine.  Me?  Still clueless just stare at the box.

Huh?  What is it?

Clint tells me to look closer.

“It looks like a laptop box.  What’s in it?” (I am so smart…S-M-R-T)

He just stares at me blankly.  (As I AM so well known for being the queen of stupid questions.)

“Well, I hope it is the laptop I just got you.”

“Wha…?  I mean….. Huh?  You got a …..  It’s a….. The hell?” (I am also quite an eloquent speaker when I am stunned.) “What do you mean a laptop?  What for?  Who is it for?  What?  Huh?” All while I am hugging it to my chest in case he is telling the truth and then someone dares to take it from me.

I must’ve hugged that box for 15 minutes stating and restating the above.  Finally, he asked if I was going to open it. 

OHHHHH OPEN IT!  It is more than a BOX!  That is so cool.

Want to look at my new baby?  Her name is Avery.  She is so beautiful and fast and has a lot of space and is fast and is beautiful.

image

So, I can work and be blissful as I work.  And, if I want to, I can even watch a DVD.  AND I can lick her and rub my breasts on her and not be kicked out of Fry’s for doing that!

Want to know what else she can do? Do you? Do you?  She can do this:

image

Oh, yes, people!  I can play World of Warcraft on my freakin laptop.  The world is sweet.  Which means Aggroqueen, she can start kicking some blogging butt, baby!  (Which, by the way, you are going over there to check it out, right?  And you are leaving comments, right?  And you still love me, right?  I really don’t want to have to SHOW you why I chose the name AGGRO-queen, my friends.  Okay, I am all talk.  But really, I am lonely without you over there!)

I do so love Avery!  Email me.  Msg me.  Game me.  I want to play with her all day long and there is only so much “I am working” that I can do before I want to play, play, play!

Read More Read More

Ayun and the Mamalama Ding Dong tour bus pull up for some coffee

Ayun and the Mamalama Ding Dong tour bus pull up for some coffee

imageIt is not often that I will find a person, place or thing to gush about.  Okay, I gush alot, but you totally need to understand that this particular gushfest involves a role model, a person I admire more than coffee (yes, that much) and a woman who took time out of a hectic publishing schedule to answer the questions of a wanna-be, naive author who had nothing to lose by bombarding her with questions.  Who am I talking about?  Why the amazing, cooler than cool, badder than bad Ayun Halliday.  (Ayun as is rhymes with ray gun, just so you know.) I will admit that I pretended to be all cool when she asked me to be on her virtual bok tour, but that lasted about 5 seconds before I fainted, came to and emailed her back an emphatic YES.  I have admired her for years, so it was a no brainer.

To celebrate the UK release of her book Mama Lama Ding Dong:  A Mother’s Tales From the Trenches (The Big Rumpus in the United States) she called upon several bloggers to host her tour bus for a day.  Today is my day, so pull up a cozy chair, grab a drink and sit back while I completely gush about this amazing woman and her writing.  (If you are not familiar with her, check out this interview to get to know her a bit better and then check out her website.  While you are there, sign up for The East Village Inky.  You will thank yourself (and me!) if you do!  We’ll wait here and braid each other’s hair until you get back.)

Back?  Good.  Now, let each of us Dare to be Heinies and dish about the book.

When I first read this description of motherhood in the chapter, “The Daily Grind”, I nearly wept with the realization that someone else not only felt this but ADMITTED it :

The pain of childbirth is a white hot constellation of torture, almost impossible to describe, remember impressionistically at best.  It inspires respect.Taking care of the little criminals day in and day out is another matter. Cutting their food into crouton-size cubes, wiping their spills and their heinies, washing their hair, forcing them to give the ball back, maneuvering them through the grocery store, clearing their mouths of golf balls, dice and Monopoly houses, goading them to pick up their toys, strapping them into the car seats they loathe, reading those hideous Richard Scarry books incessently…that’s like being eaten alive by ants.  Not even red ants, just the regular ones.

I fell in love as I read that passage and realized someone “got it” and was brave enough to put it out there.  I cheered her on while pretending silently that I loved the daily drudgery and didn’t feel frustration because that is what you do in Stepford.  In the coolness that is her New York neighborhood, you can say things like that.

imageHowever, when I read her exerpt on lice–the FIRST time–I laughed.  Oh, how horrible!  That is hysterical!  I cannot imagine! That was before my daughter had brought home lice.  When I came to that point in mamalama dingdong, there was no laughing.  I screamed, threw the book and began to weep before I remember that at one point I laughed.  Obviously if Ayun can laugh about the horror, I could try.

She writes: 

“Head lice were outed on the children’s program Arthur this year in an effort to de-stigmatize the problem. I guess I’m glad that lice have hit the mainstream, thought what’s next for Arthur and his pals? Heroin addiction?”

I for one was thrilled to read of the horror she described just to know that a bad-ass mom like Ayun could be infected with the dreaded lice, then a Stepford mom like myself, surely would not be immune. 

I wish I could quote this whole book to you, but that would be silly (and plagarism!).  I mean, you WANT your own copy.  You really do!  I have a copy if both The Big Rumpus (so dog eared it needs tape to hold it together) and Mama Lama Ding Dong.  I love them both!  (Okay, they are the same book with different names and different colors, but it feels so new and fresh to pretend that I am just now discovering the amazing Ayun Halliday.

Ayun is the kind of author who makes you feel as if you are sitting there with her sharing stories over a cup of coffee.  A woman you want to make your personal friend.  By simply reading her books, your cool factor is bumped up at least a notch or two.  She is just that good!  But don’t take my word for it, go get a copy of Mama Lama Ding Dong:  A Mother’s Tales From the Trenches (The Big Rumpus title=”The Big Rumpus”>The Big Rumpus in the United States) and laugh yourself into a new friendship with an amazing woman and mom!

Read More Read More