Friday, October 25, 2013

Ray Donovan: A Healthy Fantasy or no?

Purrrrr. And no one will, Ray.  No one wiiillllll.

Okay, I just LOVES me some Ray Donovan.  He just TOTALLY does it for me.  I have been mulling around a blog post in my mind about the show since its inception on Showtime a couple of months ago, and I kept trying to think of an angle other than elaborating on the character arcs in the show, or examining plot twists and their underlying meaning, and then today, while eating at Piada by myself (don't feel bad for me, I LOVE being alone, especially when B works from home-another post I intend to write entitled "Why I hate it so much when Brad works from home: The anthology") it CAME to me.  Johnna, just write about how HOT he is and how you fantasize about him all the time when you are driving your kids around and the rest will fall into place...and it did.  Well, every artist has his process, I guess.

Soooo, if you are not familiar, Liev Schrieber plays Ray Donovan, who is basically a kind of "closer" or "security firm" of sorts for this attorney and this other guy, who I have determined is really wealthy, but they haven't really given you a background on him.  Ray is a bad ass mofo, from "the neighborhood" in Boston, who has "relocated" to L.A.  The clients are usually Hollywood types that get themselves into some sort of trouble (read: dead hookers and/or sex with trannies) and then Ray Donovan has to clean up their messes.

Okay, that's enough.  Let's get back to how hot he is.  Basically, I feel about Ray Donovan, they way that my twelve-year-old daughter feels about Harry Stiles.
I swear.  Sometimes this blog unexpectedly makes me laugh so hard.

 I would hang a poster of him on the inside of my closet and have him be the last thing I look at before I close my eyes each night, if it weren't so sophomoric.  Yet ANOTHER of society's standards that I have to abide by.  Ugh!
This is the poster I want.  "Good night, Johnna. Sweet dreams.  See you in the morning...or maybe later tonight."

However, interestingly enough, I have found that I am not necessarily attracted to Liev Schieber, just Ray Donovan.  But, let's back up.  So, while I was watching the series, I became increasingly mesmerized with Ray Donovan, and I would look forward to watching each episode on Sunday nights, forcing myself to stay awake, even though I would be exhausted.  Then, he started creeping into my subconscious and I started DREAMING about him.  And let me just tell you, that we were NOT having a business meeting, if you get my drift.  Unless by business meeting you mean I'm in sales and he's my no. 1 account. (  LOL.

So, at the time, I had Liev Schieber confused with Ray Donovan and I began googling him and paying too close attention to the details of photos of him and his family in the "Stars, They're Just Like Us" section of my US magazine, and I would think impure thoughts like, "Maaannnn, Naomi Watts gets to TAP THAT any time she wants," followed by "but he aint' MARRYIN' her though. Whore."
Desperate.  He's sooo not into her, see?  I kid.  She is amazing.

But, then I started watching OTHER movies he was in, and they kind of sucked sometimes and I was all disappointed that he wasn't being Ray Donovan, and then I decided that he probably trims his toenails in bed and I figured I can get THAT shit at home, and I became all disillusioned with the MAN and decided that I needed to separate the two and just focus on the CHARACTER, so as to not to disrupt my fantasy life.  Whew.

So, now let us analyze the fact that I am attracted to a total sociopath.

Is it that when he makes sexytime with his onscreen wife, Abby, (Paula Malcolmson) that he seems ultra hot and attentive and dangerous?  It doesn't HURT.  Actually, it looks like it might.  Daaaaaaammmmnnn, Ray Donovan.  You Craaaazzzyyy.

Look.  There he is in his bathroom. 

Is it the Boston accent (from "Southy") that I'm attracted to?  You betcha'! I've been into Boston accents since Good Will Hunting.  I especially like when they pronounce "yoga" with a soft "R' on the end.  As in, "No, I don't go to Mass anymore, I do yogar."  Classic.

Is it the stereotypical "bad boy" thing.  I mean, Ray Donovan literally goes around fucking people up for a living, whether they are morally wrong or not,  it is always whatever is in his clients' interests.  Don't get me wrong, though, he is a gangsta with a heart, and that is part of what makes him so appealing.  Still, how embarrassing.  I am officially a cliche.  I may as well be enamored with Julia Roberts' character in Pretty Woman - that "hooker with a heart of gold" phenom gets me every time.  Jesus.

Ewwww. I love it when he's on his PHONE.  It's intoxicating.

I also need to be careful here, because Brad is gonna read this and burst in from his hour and a half drive from Medina and slam me against the pantry door or something.  Well, I guess if I'm being honest that beats the dry hump I get every time he spies me unloading the dishwasher.

I digress.  I guess my point is that Ray Donovan is a deeply disturbed, aggressive, cheating, lying homicidal bully for hire...and I've got it bad for him.

IF I had to pinpoint EXACTLY why he intrigues me so much, it is how PASSIONATE he is about every category of this life - wrong or right.

I realize he is a character, and he is acting, and therefore, his actions must be over the top because he stars in a DRAMA.  I also am aware that Ray Donovan in real life would be a total buzzkill.

I've got ENOUGH drama in my life with braces and Fall production and learning how to do fishtail braids on YouTube.  The last thing I need is my husband storming in with cuts all over his face demanding that we all go down to the panic room.

Truly, dissecting my crush right now is demoralizing so I need to stop here.

It just goes to show that a fantasy is meant to be just that - the IDEA of something, rather than what it would be like to interject it into your real life.

Ray Donovan is appealing to me not only because he is completely inaccessible (I'm talking about Liev, here. Duh, I'm not THAT far gone.) but because he does not exist, he is a fabrication that I am able to project onto him anything I want to.

I often wonder if Leo DiCaprio ever experiences this, when he picks some random Victoria Secret model out of their most recent catalog.  Is he disheartened after a three day bang session with them, only to wake up one morning and discover that they don't speak a LICK of English?  I mean, he tends to be a serial, modelizing monogamist, so I am miffed.  Do they both learn sign language?  Does he hire an interpreter?  I could go on forever.  But, the real question, here, is that at what point does he realize that his fantasies about her do not correspond with their reality?

ANYWAY, my advice to you today is to get Showtime if you don't have it and watch Ray Donovan.  The entire season is On Demand.  Spoiler Alert:  Jon Voight steals EVERY scene he is in.  He, and this show will CLEAN UP at Grammy time.  If you don't believe me, check out my predictions on Homeland two years ago.  (

Oh, and don't analyze your fantasies.  Not if you want to RETAIN those fantasies, that is.  And don't blog about them either.  I let Brad read this last night and he's already sporting a five o'clock shadow and strutting around in expensive Italian suits, only after showering up at his new boxing gym, natch.
Oy vey.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Why marriage is subject to MY interpretation

Our wedding day, nineteen years ago. Oh, no, that's not a filter.  That is a photo of a photo on our wall.  Hence, the reflection of my Iphone.  Classic.  Nothing but the best for my audience.

Today is my husband, Brad, and I's 19th Wedding Anniversary.  (I am fairly sure that is a poorly structured and grammatically incorrect sentence. Who cares?) Following tradition, it is customary to reflect on your relationship, and as I was changing the sheets this morning, I was thinking about what I wanted my "shout out" on Facebook to be.  This is also a long standing "custom" passed down from generation to generation on one's anniversary.  No, silly, not changing the sheets - posting a status update about the state of your marriage and then TAGGING your spouse.

My initial thought was to post "To my SMOKIN' HOT husband on our 19th Wedding Anniversary" and then I thought, Noooo, that's too short, how 'bout  "to my SMOKIN' HOT husband on our 19th Wedding Anniversary.  Everyday since October 22nd, 1994 has been like Christmas morning." And then I thought I'd add a little dash of honesty, "like, except for every third Thursday or so, when I want to stab you in your jugular while you sleep" and then I thought, "Oh, hell, I'll just write a blog.  My Boo DESERVES that."  This is the way my brain operates, y'all.  If you give me a mundane task, my psyche compensates by dreaming shit like this up.  Sort of like when someone loses their sight, another sense of theirs becomes heightened.

Sooooooo, here we are.  Fasten your seatbelt, Brad, and stop group texting your friends because I have chosen YOU and our MARRIAGE as the subject of this blog, which I then, intend to generalize to other married people, where I will then TRANSFER all of my aggression on to them. SIGH.

So, let's be clear.  Brad lives in a house full of females. At any given time, there is a hormonal meltdown going on and you cannot take three steps without stepping on a tampon wrapper or a hairband.

I think one of my favorite things that Brad does, is when he tries to engage one of our daughters while she is literally the eye of a menstrual storm, and he is shot down so hard and so fast that I make a mental note to check and see if his penis still exists.  And then I forget, of course.

Ewww that video is scary.  But, not HALF as scary as when Brad tries to impart some testosterone laced wisdom on our girls.  When he uses a sports analogy, well, that is just icing on the cake.

ANYWAY, in my eyes, marriage is subject to interpretation.  What works for one couple WOULD NOT work for another couple and so on and so forth.  I am sure I am not telling you anything you do not already know.  It's just that the MORE I look around at other couples, the more THEY all look similar and mine looks well, UNIQUE.  Except when it comes to husband bashing, that is.  THAT, my friends is a universal language.

Any marriage therapist will tell you that in every marriage, you make concessions.  You HAVE to, in order to coexist.  Compromise is the only way to to truly cohabitate with another person and then when you add LOVE to it, then the power structure becomes that much more complicated.

For example, when Brad and I were first married and we lived in a tiny studio apartment in Boulder, Colorado (Sooo fun.  GREAT time in our marriage)  he would watch football as I folded the laundry, even though I was sitting RIGHT next to him, and our stackable unit was RIGHT next to the television he was watching.  When I would complain, he would pick up a towel and spend the next 45 minutes folding it.  Now, I thought this was ADORABLE at the time, because he had just put a ring on it, and I was in that delusional honeymoon period where ironically enough, everything that I found captivating about him then, I simply ABHOR now.

You see, I made concessions then, about the laundry, and without realizing it, gave him the permission to NOT help me, and now with a family of five, I literally feel like I live at an Asian dry cleaner in New York City. Especially since our dryer vent has a bunch of puncture wounds.

But, then like all oppressed people (read: French Revolution/Storming of the Bastille and Kanye West/Not enough people realizing he is the Second Coming) you begin to rebel.  But, like all rebellions, it revels itself in increments, until the proverbial straw is placed on your sorry assed, laundry schleping back, and you do something so outlandish and so out of character that you even surprise YOURSELF at your own audacity.

For instance, the other night, we went out with our friends Jackie and Andrew.  I have mentioned Andrew before in several posts ( and he is an absolute TRIP to go out with.  You see, Brad and I are not married to him, so we anticipate his idiosyncrasies the way one might anticipate their favorite HBO series on a Sunday night.  But, for his wife, she is OVER IT because she lives with it, so she is relegated to little acts of rebellion to maintain her sanity.


Let me explain.  Ohhh, I am so excited to share this with all of you because I have literally thought about it ALL WEEKEND!  Anyway, we are sitting at the expansive bar at Gallo's, in the corner, so it is as if we four are at a table together, but we are closer to the booze and the t.v.'s.  So, Jackie tells me that she and Andy were there the night before for Andrew's mom's birthday, and that she became so irritated with him at one point that she left the table and went and sat outside for a minute.

I'm intrigued.  I live for this shit.  There is NOTHING more dissatisfying to me than to go out with another couple that feigns respect for one another.  Let me put it to you this way, if you sit down with us for dinner and begin with some opener about how your husband surprised you with a sitter "for no reason at all" and whisked you away to a spa last weekend, you are DEAD to me, and you are in marriage counseling. Fact.  Sell it some place else, sista'  'cause I ain't pickin' up what you're puttin' down.  And that's why Facebook is such a joke.  But, I'll stop there, because I am trying to keep this post from being a hate blog, especially since it's supposed to be wishing my husband  a "Happy Anniversary".  It's okay, though, 'cause he's met me...and met me...and met me.

So, anyway, Jackie says that Andrew orders a glass of red wine and makes a big point about getting the $10 Cabernet, instead of the $7 Cab "cause it's SHIT," he declares and then he tells Jackie to order it for him, if the waitress returns while he is in the restroom.

So, the waitress returns, and she orders the $7 GLASS and he comes back and asks if she ordered the $10 one, and she lies and says she did, and no one is paying attention at the table about what is going on but the two of them, and then Andy is all "This Cab is fantastic!  It is sooo much better than their other $7 one" and all this bullshit and then he circles his pointer finger in the air above the rim of the glass and bellows, "I'll take another round!  This is delicious.  I can really tell a difference between a $7 glass of Cab and a $10 glass of Cab, because I have a refined wine palate." Jackie was imitating him at the bar next to me as she recanted the story and apparently, as he pontificated about his palate, he was swirling the wine in his glass and looking through it, and it was poised in the air as if he was about to make a toast.  We were howling with laughter.


Now THAT marriage is REAL. 

But, then, that is only MY interpretation of a marriage.  I don't think you have to have a reenactment of War of the Roses or Mr. and Mrs. Smith every evening, but every NOW and again you need to take little shots at each other to retain your sanity.  Otherwise, in my mind, if you don't, you will blow like a shaken up 2-liter of Diet Coke.

I met Brad when I was 19-years-old and he is the love of my life.  We have three bright, hilarious daughters and an insane dog.  We have been through a lot together and our marriage has gotten worse sometimes before it got better, but each time we've come through something, we have done it on our own terms, with our own special set of marital coping skills that we have acquired over the last 19 years.  I suppose it is based on our parents' marriages and is a combination of our special set of circumstances and each of those factor's outcomes.  I also view our marriage as something fluid and continuous and that it has to be, because there is so much more to be experienced.

Of all of the vows that I recited 19 years ago, "For better or for worse" pretty much encompasses OUR MARRIAGE.  What is implied here, is that we will go the distance, and that being apart in this life is not an option we are going to chose. 

I think it's in the subtext here that "obey" can kiss my ass. Brad and everyone that knows me, KNOWS that obey is not in my vocabulary. But, it BETTA' be in HIS, or he is gonna FEEL MY WRATH.

So, my gift to you, today, other than this heartfelt post that will surely be translated into many languages, is also a confessional of sorts.  For the past year, I have been buying new socks every month, rather than laundering them.  I am dangerously close to adding underwear to my list.  I anticipate by 2015, our washer and dryer will become obsolete, much like the relic that is our treadmill, and the long forgotten ironing board. With any luck, and my free will, our laundry room will resemble a ghost town at some point in the near future.

Brad, it is no secret that you have suspected just a tinge of peri-menopausal-induced instability on my part, and for your anniversary I am copping to ONE of my tiny revolutionary strikes against you and our marriage.  No, no, shhhhhhh, don't speak, my love.  You're welcome.

On a serious note, Brad, to me, marriage is all about weathering the storm with someone.  Love is not a new ring or a trip to The Maldives or the finest dinner money can buy.  What I look for in a mate, and what (thank the good Lawd, here) I feel is synonymous with LOVE is ACCEPTANCE.  To have someone see you every which way and still like you, and want to be with you, is true love in my eyes.  I'm talkin' about unadulterated grown up love - the kind of love that endures, the kind of love where you say you are sorry, not because you lost a marital power play, but because you really are. Because maybe you shouldn't have lost your cool like that. And because the other person didn't do anything to warrant it.  And because you care what the other one thinks and how they feel about what goes on behind your closed doors.

Brad and I have mastered this dance and I am appreciative because I believe that it is just human nature to show your most unpleasant sides to the ones you care for the most, not only because they live with you, but because you CAN.  Thanks for the acceptance, B, and hopefully I show my pleasant sides at least as often as I reveal the ugly. I just love you to pieces.

Happy Anniversary, honey.  And so help me GAWD, if you dump your filthy, nasty Medina overnight bag in my kitchen tonight, right under the laundry shoot swinging door thingy, instead of loading it in there, I will jump on you like a Mama Puma, anniversary or no anniversary. Ya' feel me?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Female Prisons, Netflix addiction and Matt Lauer's Shame

So, lately I have been feeding my addiction for Netflix.  It began innocently enough with the series "Orange is the New Black" and culminated with me forcing to keep my eyes open at midnight on a Wednesday so that I could watch the series finale of Breaking Bad.  I've given myself over to the dark side, fo' shizzle, you know, in between bike rides with my kids and unloading the dishwasher.

I had fallen behind with Breaking Bad, which I trumpeted many posts ago (see: and I recently relapsed.  Props to me - I LOVE congratulating myself when I recognize a trend, well before it becomes into public focus, and then I am simultaneously irritated when my discovery becomes mainstream.  I LOVE to be all "I spotted this five years ago", but, I HATE it when something I discovered early on, is regurgitated back to me via the Today Show, resplendent with it's witty banter and fresh flower arrangements.  Let me put it to you this way, when Breaking Bad is featured as an audience participation game show out on The Plaza, I feel like the fifth seal has been broken.  And while we are on the subject, don't you think that Matt Lauer cries himself to sleep every night, while in the fetal position, in his Brooks Brothers pin striped pajamas?  I know he makes a TON of money, but if I had to do some of the stupid shit they have him endure each morning, at some point I would question my place in the World. Maybe he laughs all the way to the bank each Friday (no longer an applicable analogy in today's direct deposit-obsessed society) but I can be willing to BET that he has some dim moments watching the replays of that luge run with Al Roker.

ANYWAY, let's start with Orange is the New Black.  Obsessed.  Let's face it.  I am NOT PG.  I am R rated kinda gal, and I enjoy gritty, shiv-infested, girl on girl prison drama.  It is funny, because I started watching it and it just RESONATED with me, and I kept TRYING to enjoy my day-to-day life, but I kept making excuses to go down in the basement where our WII (Netflix streaming, y'all)  is kept, where I would feign laundry tasks, as I sat upright on the edge of my seat, to watch my

WHY?  Why am I so ENAMORED with this series that features a former debutante from New York, engaged to a stereotypical Jewish American Prince, (played flawlessly by Jason Biggs, I might add - his parents in it are even BETTER, his mom refers to their housekeeper as "the girl" who "left soup" at one point) who began a tawdry lesbian relationship after college with a Heroin Distributor (my favorite character - Laura Prepon of "That Seventies Show") who, then, in turn, names HER to the Feds ten years later, which lands the protagonist, played by Taylor Schilling, belly up in a women's correctional facility, because she carried a bag of drug money ONCE, out of an airport, ten years ago.  Exhale.

My girl crush.  On a lesbian.  Totally normal for a housewife of three.  Deep in my addiction, yo'!

Okay, that SEEMS like a lot of absorb, but that is NOTHING compared to the drama (pronounced drAMa, as in I "AM") that ensues once she is INSIDE the prison.  On the day of intake, the managing guard who introduces her to prison life says, "Women fight with gossip and rumors."  No truer thing has ever been spoken.  And what damage we can do, when we set our minds to it, right ladies?  Can I get an AMEN?  Who needs whittled-down, pointy toothbrush handles and flat-head screwdrivers to inflict pain, when we can just use the good ol' fashioned weapon of communication to annihilate each other?

Anyway, I kept asking myself, "Why can't I stay away from this?" and "What is it about this series that I IDENTIFY with?"  And then it hit me.  All female...drama...fighting...OH MY GAWD, I LIVE in a women's prison, albeit low security, but STILL!

I immediately began fantasizing about my three girls wearing orange jumpsuits that I fully intend to monogram with "Upper Arlington Correctional Facility" for Halloween.  Where?  Where can I get my hands of some plastic shackles?  I know it might inhibit little Eves' mobility, but they need to be AUTHENTIC.  I would make sure they didn't shower for days so their hair was all greasy, or they could wear do rags....shivs in their back pockets...meth mind was a flurry of activity.  Let me just say this...I cannot WAIT for the Halloween parade at school! 

No more princess costumes for you, beaacchheess.  You're in MY world now.
Awww, Elaine, the best dog I've ever owned.  I need to show Scarlett that pic.

Fast forward. I am at my aesthetician's (say this with a lisp, please, I always do) Amy Linville, who does my brows, (which is NOT easy because at one point in high school, I started shaving between them because it seemed less labor intensive than using tweezers), and we are discussing Netflix addiction and I explain to her that I am mid-episode of OITNB.  Well, we start pontificating about how difficult that is for a person with a Netflix addiction and then, of course, I start using analogies like "leaving half a glass of wine on the bar of a restaurant" and the like, and then I escalate by saying "like leaving half a line of coke on the mirror" and then there is this uncomfortable silence.  Whoops.  There I go, again.

You see, a fault of mine, I mean, ONE of a series of faults of mine is that I like to PRETEND that I have done drugs that I have not done.  Crystal meth is a another such conversation halter.  Truly, (see:  I have never done or have even been around cocaine in my life (now, that's not true.  I was around people in college on it, I just found out later,) because of the Len Bias incident, but I simply LOVE to use jargon associated with heavy drug abuse like "dirty riggs" and "cooking spoon" and "chasing the high" (see: and so forth, in casual conversation.  If I can work any of these into a conversation at a school function, all the better.

Most of my knowledge was obtained through my social worker experiences - as one, not assigned to one, and the rest of it comes from T.V. and the world wide web.  I could have been a WRITER for Breaking Bad.  I've been doing personal research on meth labs all my adult life.  (see:

So, let me be clear, that I can say with COMPLETE confidence that I have never done cocaine, and no one will ever be able to say that I was party to it, because it never happened, and there are no grainy videos of me smoking SALVIA, and no topless selfies, (probably because that became a trend after I nursed three babies, but back in the day, given the technology...)  I AM CLEAN, I tell you, CLEAN. There may be, however, some Eastern High School Talent show footage which I will happily cop to, once it is dug up by Matt Lauer for our "top of the hour" interview one day, because NO ONE and I mean NO ONE can cover FAME's "Out Here On My Own" like I can.

Ok,  You don't even know WHAT I found when I googled to find this pic.  So you know.  FYI - NOT my kitchen counter.  Reminded me that I need to get some baking soda, though.  My refrigerator smells.  Guidance nugget:  it can be used for THAT too.

Alright, back to Netflix.  I read this great article in GQ a few months back on how Netflix is changing the face of premium television.  It is also changing the way we VIEW television, in that it is producing and releasing entire SEASONS of series, SANS commercials, and in the process it has produced addicts, such as myself that BINGE on it's programming instead of vacuuming the Living Room.  They have decided to COOK the cocaine in a spoon and then we are to INJECT it, instead of SNORTING it because it is a much better HIGH for a fraction of the cost.  And this is all well and good until the SERIES IS OVER AND YOU HAVE TO WALK UPSTAIRS AND WAIT AND WAIT for them to HURRY UP AND MAKE THE NEXT SEASON SO YOU CAN CLEAN YOUR RIGS OFF AND START LYING YOUR ASS OFF ABOUT WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN AND WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DOING WITH YOUR TIME WHEN YOUR KIDS ARE AT SCHOOL.

This is a pictorial metaphor for what it feels like when a series concludes on Netflix, ya' dig?

Listen, I have several pieces of advice for you, today.  First, don't do drugs and if you do, don't video or photograph yourself (or BE captured on film by someone) doing drugs. (Rihanna, why haven't you been arrested like the rest of America would be, or at least had your Instagram account suspended?). 

Secondly, contact Amy Linville to do your brows, 'cause she's a wizard, and she is really smart and really fun to talk with, and very reasonable.  She will also let you use her ipad to watch Netflix while you wait for your hurr to be did.  Contact me for info.

Love that I found this wizard photo.  This is NOT Amy.  Clearly, Eves inherited my brow problem.

Thirdly, and this has got to be pretty obvious at this point - DO NOT be afraid to force your children to dress up as something highly inappropriate for Halloween.  It is what parental dreams are made of.  Like I always tell MY children before I am about to embarrass them in front of their peers, "It's PAYBACK time, muthafuckas.  We all just DOIN' time up in heeeaarrr in 'dis piece."

Oh, and get Netflix and watch Orange is the New Black, because all of these references are infinitely funnier if you do.  PEACE TO DA' MIDDLE EAST, YO'!