33 + Pregnant....by pemora

If you follow me on twitter, you know that maternity leave + 3am feedings means that I have been watching A LOT of TV. While I have been loving the SATC reruns and never-ending marathons of Cheaters, the show that just gets under my skin is 16 + Pregnant. Of course, I continue to watch it. But the show, and its participants, drive me bonkers.

Beginning of PSA: Teens, if you are uncomfortable looking at, talking about, purchasing and using condoms, you should not be having sex. Period. Parents, if your child comes to you to talk about birth control, it is most likely that they are already having sex. So, your response of ‘you shouldn’t be having sex’ is a tad bit too late. End of PSA.

I find myself getting so angry at these kids, especially at the end of each episode, when the teen mom looks sad (and exhausted) + explains how much harder parenthood is then they had imagined. Uhm. Cue loser Price is Right horns now....OF COURSE this ish is hard. That’s why teens should not be having babies!

I feel my old lady blood pressure rising.

If my kids want to have sex before the age of 24, I am going to find some brand-spanking new parents and make my kids live with them for a week. Here is the abbreviated list of what I want them to learn:

1. Babies make you instantly realize that you are broke. I don’t care how much money you actually have, everyone is in the poor house when a baby arrives. Even with 2 incomes and a number of gift cards from family + friends, the weekly trips to Target/Babies R Us/99 cent store deplete any and all cash. So how is a teen, who’s baby daddy probably works at Cinnabon or Lids, supposed to manage it?

2. Sleep? What’s sleep? I feel like the no-sleep thing is the most talked about but often ignored aspect of parenthood. So, I will describe what sleep deprivation feels like -- its like Freddy Kruger ripping out your eyeballs 1mm per 30 seconds. For the next 18 years of your life. On every episode, the teen mom looks like a walking zombie. This is why.

Parenting. Illustrated with crappy picutres.

3. Say goodbye to friends. Now, my friends are unbelievably patient, loyal and supportive (because they are grown). And, thanks to a great husband who encourages me to go out, I have the time and ability to see my friends. But, it is so damn hard to hang out. By the time I clean up (1st shower in 3 days?), get dressed up, and meet up with people, I usually want to turn around and go to sleep (see point #2). I had dinner with some ladies a week ago and it was all I could do to not put my head on my friend’s lap, curl up in the fetal position, and take a 2 hour nap.

4. What happened to my body? This show is about teens, whose bodies bounce back like nobody’s business, so, this point is all about old lady me. But WHAT THE HELL happened to my body? Why does every square inch of it want to look down at the ground?

5. You go crazy. This, I think, is the most important lesson that all teens should learn before having sex. I’m not sure if its the hormones, lack of sleep, or the smell of formula, but every parent turns into an irrational, scary, raging monster. For almost every question asked of me, I have to give myself a 10 second tape delay before answering. If not, my general response would be, “how the eff should I know? I’m a mom and I don’t sleep!” I recently found myself in a Twitter argument over the merits of Ja Rule. Seriously?! Ja Rule? But that’s the thing...I am now officially crazy.

So, there. Kids don’t have sex. Don’t have babies. Wait until you are old like me, so that you can look back on your teen years with heart-wrenching longing.  


Bad Teacher [movie ]....by jayare20k

You guys see something funny...?


Full disclosure? When I’m not busy mapping human genomes, bullfighting, or posting snarky comments on the internet… I teach social studies to middle school children. The latter is the most perilous (and amusing) of my hobbies, so I was excited to see that a movie called “Bad Teacher” was on its way. I have found that teaching kids can be a rewarding yet vile, corrupt, inappropriate, and even hilarious enterprise. Judging from the previews it seemed like this Cameron Diaz vehicle would give exposure to those aspects of my job.

(FYI – I write spoilers. This isn’t exactly “Citizen Kane” we’re talking about, so if that sort of thing bothers you I suggest you visit www.uptightmoviedorks.com.)

While BAD TEACHER is not entirely unfunny… I felt like this movie missed the mark. The title evokes memories of Billy Bob Thornton’s role as “Bad Santa.” That film was great because the main character continued to push the sleaze envelope until the audience found him to be – on some level – a likeable character. Unfortunately this film never gives us a reason to root for the bad guy.

Cameron Diaz is believable as an inept gold digger, however she isn’t compelling enough to hold down an entire movie as a loveable asshole. I’m willing to concede my own misogyny here when I say that cruel and crass men strike me as funnier than cruel and vapid women. Maybe it was coping with a female asshole lead that caused the writers of this screenplay to back off the sleaze. The story occasionally swerved into the right path – I was a fan of Cameron lighting her bong with the gas range and offering to suck her fiancĂ©’s dick like she was “mad at it.” Still, there were plenty of low-life jokes that were left unclaimed.

For example: Why did the writers introduce and then virtually ignore the train wreck of a Craig’s List roommate? Why did we never get to enjoy the meek and corruptible co-worker slipping into depravity? Why pay such short thrift to Cameron’s scheme of ripping off her bra and giving it to the shy boy as a trophy? It’s as if the writers made a conscious decision to develop an amoral character, but backed off when it came time to have the character behave terribly. The “Bad Teacher” set-ups never play themselves out in a satisfying way. I can’t help but think that somebody involved with this film held back because the film had a female lead.

I also felt like the actors paired with Cameron Diaz never really found the funny they were capable of. Jason Segel shared no comedic chemistry with any of the characters, which is a shame because I think he’s a funny guy. His talent was pretty much wasted by spending most of the movie making exasperated “oh no this bitch didn’t” facial expressions. Lucy Punch was meant to play goody-good foil to Diaz’s sour bitch… you know, the type of person so sweet and doofy they make you want to cringe? But her character also suffered from passive writing, and the inevitable “meltdown” scene left a lot to be desired. Justin Timberlake’s character stood out, but was notable only because of the strength of his joke delivery. The dry-hump “Oh Face” scene is just another reason why I think JT needs to join the cast of SNL for an entire season (Here are a few other reasons).

The writers were on to something early on when Cameron Diaz taught her class by showing “good teacher” standards like STAND & DELIVER and LEAN ON ME, all the while behaving indifferently towards her own students. The interaction between the kids and adults is what was missing from this movie (and is what ultimately gave an “asshole driven” film like BAD SANTA its heart). The audience spends most of this movie observing adults interact inappropriately… yet most real teachers seldom interact with grown-ups for more than a few minutes daily. Dealing with – and then warping – pliable young minds should have been what BAD TEACHER focused on.

Educators in the audience must have squealed with delight when Cameron Diaz graded papers with “Stupid,” “Stupider,” “This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read,” and “Christ, what the FUCK are you talking about?” Socking kids in the face with a kickball because they miss an answer? In my dreams. Classic “good teacher” movies earn that status by highlighting a positive relationship between teacher and pupil. This movie would have done well to find a funny juxtaposition to that model.

I wanted to laugh at all the things I wish I could get away with in a classroom, but never would do. I wanted humorless teachers to be outraged, and uptight parents to wave insipid placards in protest at the local theater. I wanted to be made uncomfortable by watching someone tinker with the dark side of having the power to influence young people’s minds. Instead I got a movie that showed promise, but never lived up to its potential. It was the stuff that mediocre grades are made of.
jayare can be found spouting nonsense on his own twitter feed @jayare20k, or on his blog consumption addict.


Throwback Thursday....2Pac - I get around

Happy 40th Birthday, Tupac!

(as a feminist, I know I should not like this song or video...but, damn, it is one of my favs)