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The Whites of Breaking Bad
Parenting, Pop Culture

What Breaking Bad Teaches Us About Parenthood


Spoiler Alert: I’m not gonna talk about any details that will give away key plot points, but I will give you enough background so if you’ve never watched arguably the best television show in history, you’ll get my drift … and probably settle in for a binge right then and there.

Breaking Bad is a show — well, a magnum opus, actually — about the American Family. The basic premise is that Walter White, a milquetoast chemistry teacher when the series opens, finds out he has lung cancer. In his zeal to provide for his family and leave a legacy of more than just crippling medical bills, Walt begins “cooking” and selling methamphetamine.

The cancer comes and goes, but the meth? Whether crystal form or paper form (as in money), it becomes a constant as Walt morphs from Mr. Chips into Scarface.

Skyler White, Walt’s long-suffering wife, provides the “moral compass” to the show (well, until she doesn’t). What is most fascinating about Skyler is how much people hate her. You would imagine that the despicable crimes of a drug kingpin (Walt) would earn the ire of fans, but actually, everyone is cheering for Walt and praying that he dodges one more bullet and stays 20 steps ahead of “the bad guy” one more time. read more

Bitch’in Life

When It’s Finally Hip to Be Square


Let me first start by saying I always hated that song, and Huey Lewis and the News never did it for me.

Not even now, when the use of ’80s music can make a good indie flick even better and more ironic. (Witness 500 Days of Summer, although even that is somewhat dated now.)

I have a lot of friends who still happily set their XM radio to the ’80s on 8 and leave it there. Not that there’s anything wrong with that — in fact, research says that what you listened to as a teen stays stuck in your head as a matter of physiology, and not just bad taste — but I like to think I’m still pretty hip.

Key words being “like to think.”

For example, my brother recently texted my husband and me that he was at a fancy schmancy software party and the Black Keys were about to take the stage — were they worth staying for?

Big Daddy and I thought my bro — who is three years younger than me — was pulling our chains. When it became clear he really didn’t know who they were, we couldn’t believe it. After all, the Black Keys tore it up at the Grammys, and didn’t that make them mainstream? Of course we’d first caught them a few years ago, when they were just an early act at a big outdoor music fest…. read more

Bitch’in Life, Parenting

On Becoming a Grownup


Rites of passage are tricky things.

For the person going through the rite of passage, things are relatively clear. Once you do these things or reach a certain age or stage, you’ll be on the other side, starting fresh as a newly minted next-phaser. Take my son, for example. This weekend he becomes a Bar Mitzvah, which means that in the eyes of the Jewish people, he’s a man, responsible for his own actions and expected to follow laws — 613 of them to be exact.

That the Jewish people figure a kid entering the throes of puberty is at the right age to take on a boatload of responsibility is very intriguing to me. My son is the last of his friends to go through this ritual, and I always smile when I listen to the bar and bat mitzvah speeches when the kids talk about all the ways they will begin to prove that they’re ready to accept more responsibility for their own lives. These things normally include doing a better job cleaning their rooms, voluntarily doing other household chores, and being nicer to their siblings and more respectful to their parents.= read more