Thursday, March 5, 2015

Unbreakable: Win a Year's Worth of Netflix

Motherhood is a lot like a cult at first. There's so much allure in the beginning-- the sense that you're contributing to the world in a great way, the hope of being an integral part of something bigger, the promise of a new community and sense of perspective of which only members of the club have access and, of course, the cherubic, big-eyed, velvety-soft, sweet-smelling exclusive club card that is essentially your key to all of the above.

You drink the Kool-aid (or more likely, the breast milk, during late night confusion, curiosity, or flat-out craziness) and participate in intensely reverent conversations about diaper brands and growth statistics with people who you would never have chosen to socialize with if not for being VIP members of the same club.

Is it rewarding? Of course it is. (At some point in the future, after the age of three.) But people recruiting parenting converts very rarely start their pitch with a promise that you'll get poop on your hands and feel ostracized at club meetings (also known as play groups and/or the seventh circle of hell). If there was a glossy brochure, the promise that you'll smell faintly of vomit for several months wouldn't be in the member benefits section.

But eventually, sometime soon after preschool, you stagger out of the early childhood fundamentalist cult. Maybe you put on your least dorky clothes and venture out in an attempt to reconcile the old you with the new you. Perhaps, like Kimmy Schmidt, you end up in a nightclub where someone asks if you like Molly and you enthusiastically answer: "Do I?! She's my favorite American Girl doll!"

You set out to find yourself. You seek out friends of your choosing. You figure out that Molly is a drug and wish you could take some to forget the cringe you feel when reliving your social gaffes. You are unbreakable.

As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, I was fortunate enough to get an advanced screening of Tina Fey's new show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. (Yes, I'm bragging. It even had my name watermarked over it -- I know that's so I couldn't illegally distribute it but it still felt super glamorous and fancy pants to me.)

During the first episode I laughed while inwardly cringing at what seemed like over-the-top ridiculousness and the naïveté of Kimmy Schmidt. I particularly love Jane Krakowski's character, a posh mediocre mom who at one point told her son, "Actually, Buckley this is not your worst birthday ever. Your worst birthday ever was when you busted my genitals."

But the more I watched, the more I sensed a side of Kimmy Schmidt that I could relate to: the one struggling to discover who she is while trying to recover from the adversities of daily life; the one promising herself that she could do anything for 10 seconds. She is silly and absurd and sweet and awkward and resilient. Like you and me. 

But I hope you don't wear light-up shoes like she does.

To celebrate the show's arrival on Netflix tomorrow, I'm hosting a giveaway and I swear it's not a ruse to hear your funniest, cringiest, deepest, darkest, sweetest secrets. But in exchange for your funniest, cringiest, deepest, darkest, sweetest secrets, one of you is going to win one year of free Netflix.

So leave a comment here, or on the Ashley Quite Frankly Facebook page, or @AshleyFrankly on Twitter (or all three, every day for extra entries) about your unbreakable moment. Feel free to take creative liberty with what that means -- the winner will be chosen at random so I'm not looking for the next Hemingway of short stories.

For example, one of mine would be:

Due to an odd reaction to drugs, I thought I was on a boat during one of my labors and tried (hard) to trade my soon-to-be baby to a nurse in exchange for safe and immediate passage back to unmoving land. No deal. #Unbreakable #KimmySchmidt

Just like Kimmy Schmidt, I've been taking life 10 seconds at a time for the last 12 years or so. Maybe more, but I can barely remember what the old me was like and maybe that's a good thing because the new me is really growing on me. So, join me in sharing your unbreakable tales and definitely watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix starting March 6th. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have to watch at least three episodes because I said so. It's not a condition of the contest or anything, it would just be great if someone would listen to me for once.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Musical Trio

From Big Kid in the car the other day:

"Look, I'm not trying to tell you how to live your life, but when you have some guy chanting in Sanskrit, some lady rapping about her badonkadonk, and the Ramones screaming about being sedated all right in a row, maybe it's time to organize your play lists."


But probably not.

I actually think Girish, Missy Elliot and the Ramones kind of go together.

Kind of.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Singing and Dancing

"Mom, don't take this the wrong way, but you're not a very good singer," little kid informed me.

"I know. I really wish I was a good singer but I think I'm tone deaf. Even when I try really hard, I just can't sing. But it still makes me happy. Kind of like dancing, which I'm also horrible at."

He nodded in agreement. "Maybe you could take singing lessons?"

"I don't know that it would help. Did you know I took dance lessons for years and years as a child?"

"Well, that was a huge waste of gram's money."

Yes. Yes it was. Sorry I suck at expressions of joy, kids.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

General Housekeeping

So, I suck at housekeeping. Of any kind. My home, my email inbox, my blog, my car, my hard drive, my mind -- it all needs help and organization.

I recently switched moderation off of comments after realizing the process required to submit a non-anonymous comment was ridiculous. Then I went weeks thinking no one was commenting, because blogger doesn't send notifications now that moderation is off, and I'm not going to check my own blog 500 times a day (not that I'm getting 500 comments a day...or 5, but still, that's how often I'd check if I did check) so I've been ignoring everyone and missing everything. Sorry about that!

This is undeniable evidence that I need to switch to a different blogging platform, a chore I've been meaning to accomplish for at least two years. Admitting that is kind of like putting it on the official "to do" list -- which isn't an indicator that it will happen any sooner but at least it's on a list now.

The Woman I Want To Be makes enough money to secretly hire a housekeeper to come twice a month and she doesn't tell her husband. Maybe she also has a personal assistant to organize her email, blog and hard drive. And a pool boy. And a pool.

And more jobs to afford it all.

It's all on the list.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Khaki Shorts Puppet Show

So, I don't know if I told you all but Big Kid has decided he wants to be a puppeteer when he grows up.

This is not even on the top 1000 list of jobs I had envisioned for him. Has any parent in the history of the universe hoped that their child grew up to be a puppeteer? I tried to ignore it for a while, but this desire has persisted. He now knows more about Jim Henson than Jim Henson knew about Jim Henson.

Once I realized this wasn't going away, I bought him these. These were expensive: 

But Jim Henson makes his own puppets. Using these puppets might be a form of puppet plagiarism.

(I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.)

So he made a puppet, and it's his favorite:

and he is creating a skit show with these puppets, with a narrator named Khaki. The series title is "Khaki Shorts," which I think is hilarious. The puppet above is named Dominick, which was little kid's contribution to this whole ordeal. Please pray those expensive puppets make an appearance soon--I've been working on convincing him that it's what Jim would have wanted.

Every few mornings I wake up to find scribbled notes on his white board and he apologizes for having to get out of bed and record these ideas the moment inspiration strikes. He loses sleep over this stuff. I find it both disturbing and delightful. I'd love to share photos of the white board with you but he has asked me not to release spoilers.

He finished his first skit the other day and it would mean the world to him if you'd watch it and like or subscribe to his channel. I shared it on my personal Facebook and he has been buzzing over the numerous likes and encouraging comments.

Here's the link: You're Toast
(It's only 13 seconds.)

I will keep you posted on his progress (and on the future of those pricey puppets.)

I hope he grows up to be the happiest puppeteer who ever lived.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


"Mom, you're proof that beauty comes from the outside," little kid told me the other night.

"You mean the inside?"

"No, I mean the outside. You're not always nice, but you are always beautiful."

Eh, I'll take it.

I'm actually pretty flattered.