I live in Eugene, Oregon with my husband and our sons Riley (7) and Dylan (5). Prior to August 2010 I spent many years as a software marketer, these days I work from home as a freelance writer. I enjoy photography, comic books, R-rated movies, and things that smell like coconut.
Here's an unsettling story that makes me play the What Would I Have Done? game in my own head: on Wednesday evening, a 4-year-old girl was playing in front of her home in Albuquerque's North Valley neighborhood when a stranger picked her up and drove off. A group of teenagers witnessed the kidnapping and raced to tell the little girl's mother, Melissa Torrez, at which point the family called 911. Torrez didn't wait for the authorities to respond, however. She instantly ran for her car and began chasing the man who took her child.
I certainly hope I'm never called upon to find out what I'd do in that sort of awful situation, but I can't help but wonder. Would I have had enough adrenaline coursing through me to take vigilante action? Would the mama bear instinct have completely taken over? Or would I have been flatlined with terror, unable to decide what to do next?
Some people give Jimmy Kimmel a hard time for routinely asking parents to pull mean pranks on their kids in the name of quality television entertainment. Personally, I can't get enough of those awesomely cruel videos of children weeping over their terrible Christmas presents or reacting to the upsetting news that their parents ate all their Halloween candy, but if you prefer your Kimmel Kid Programming to be a little more on the awwwww side, may I recommend The Baby Bachelor.
In the clip, Kimmel pokes fun at ABC's The Bachelor/The Bachelorette franchise with a little help from his adorable nephew Wesley. Wesley is single, lives with his parents, and he's looking for love ... while perched in a stroller and dressed in a pint-sized tux. This video is so freaking cute you just might forgive Kimmel for his kid-pranking ways (although in true Kimmel form, at least one child does a bang-up job of crying on cue for the camera).
I haven't watched The Office for the last couple years, but I had to tune in for the series finale last night. Even though it's been a while since I was truly invested in the Dunder Mifflin Paper Co., I was curious as to how they'd wrap things up after nine seasons. As NBC described it, "Months after the airing of the documentary, the workers of Dunder Mifflin, past and present, gather for a wedding and a final round of interviews. Mysteries are solved, hatchets are buried, pranks are prunked [sic]."
Like most Office episodes that happened after the superior (in my opinion) Jim and Pam Will-They-or-Won't-They Years, this one had moments that fell a little flat, or dragged on a little too long. Storylines were resolved right and left, but mostly it was a nostalgic reunion within a reunion ... and standing out among the occasional feeling of "meh" there were plenty of wonderful, pitch-perfect scenes.
Today contributor Jennifer Galle is a stay-at-home wife and mom to two little girls. She's also an NRA Basic Pistol instructor and the National Membership Director for the A Girl and a Gun Woman's Shooting League. In a recent article titled "I Am a Mom With a Gun," she writes,
"... while I’m like many other moms across America, there is one little twist in my daily routine that may set me apart. When I go to the grocery store, I grab my car keys, my purse and I put on my holster. Yes, I am a mom with a gun. So was my mom. And someday, my daughters may be too."
I am too. A mom with a gun, that is. I definitely don't take it to the grocery store -- in fact, it rarely leaves our safe -- but I own one and I know how to use it. My husband is a hunter and a gun enthusiast. And our sons will grow up learning how to safely handle and shoot firearms.
I somehow missed the buzz surrounding Gravity, the new space thriller starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, but now that the full-length trailer has hit the web, I'm officially on board with everyone else who's counting down the days until it hits theaters. For one thing, it's got George Clooney, and cinematically speaking this guy can do no wrong. (Excepting, perhaps, his 1987 performance in Return to Horror High.) Also, if the actual movie is anything like the trailer, it's going to be one holy hell of a nail-biter.
Based on what I just watched in the teaser clip, Gravity is going to light up nearly every single one of my personal phobias: confinement, running out of air, the unfathomable shrieking black horror of empty space. Not even a superhot astronaut like Clooney can make this movie's scenario less terrifying -- and that, of course, is why I can't WAIT to see it.