Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Archive for February, 2011

Today is weird.

Rain is a big deal here in Southern California. With the slightest bit of moisture, all the news channels are on StormWatch [insert year here] and they have nearly every tiny reporter they can find out in the street wearing rain slickers and waiting to tell you how wet it is out there.

Last night it rained furiously here. The forecast called for rain in the morning, and while I knew people who had snow, hail and rain… there were nothing but blue skies here.

I went out to run errands, and it was literally as though there was some dome over our city, keeping clouds away. I got lunch, went to a couple stores… and still, nothing but blue skies. Yet, everyone drove as if it was going to start raining any second!

People sped and cut each other off. They were all in a mad rush to get home before the rain began! If you were not aware, people who live in Southern California are not made of flesh and bone- they are made of sugar and will melt in the rain. Or they are all the Wicked Witch of the West. Take your pick, my pretties.

To be fair, there is some concern about rain here. When the suburbia sprang up and modern systems put into place, city planners seemed to forget that it always rains heavily in the late winter and early spring. If you hear people who claim that it “never rains here,” they’re lying. I’ve lived here since I was 3, and it always rains around this time of year. Sometimes not very much- and other times you get a lot of rain. Yet, city planners forgot, and so the drainage systems always overflow and streets flood.

Date Night

As I’ve said, I am fortunate to live with my in-laws. First, we get along. I’m not making this up simply because they can read this blog. It’s the truth. They welcomed me into their arms when I was their son’s first girlfriend and have never been anything but wonderful.

Anyhow, the advantage of living with my in-laws is that if schedules line up… I have a babysitter available. My mother in law offered to watch the kids on Sunday night, and we jumped at the chance. We decided that we wanted dinner, and I felt like having burgers.

We decided to give Five Guys Burgers a try. It’s relatively new in SoCal, and not exactly somewhere we can take the Little Kidlet (since they serve peanuts in open containers). I’d heard that sometimes the wait can be long, depending on when you get there (since it’s the same way at In-n-Out), but we apparently timed it well. We didn’t have to fight for a table, and our food was ready quickly.

They give it to you in a big greasy paper bag. I’d like to thank my friends who told us split an order of fries- the smaller size was plenty for the two of us. Don’t let the cup they put the fries in fool you, they tend to add plenty extra. We each got the Tiny (single patty) cheeseburgers- okay, I got a bacon cheeseburger, and dug in.

I’m not sure if it was the hype, or what, but it just didn’t live up to what I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great burger, and certainly a million times better than what you can get at McDonalds or Burger King. But I didn’t feel like the beef itself was as flavorful as either In-n-Out or Fatburger (which are my two favorite fast food burgers). We’ll definitely go back- we had a great experience… but boy, this was a prime example of how hype can backfire.

Neat notes- they had a board which mentioned where their potatoes came from, which certainly was a nice reminder that the fries (like In-N-Out) are cut fresh.

Since getting burgers barely took up any time, we were trying to figure out what to do with the rest of our night. On the way to Five Guys, we’d passed a miniature golf course and I suggested we play- even though it was probably 55 degrees out. Which we did! And just like that, it went from a night out to a date night.

Back when TheBoy and I had first dated, he’d taken me a miniature golf course. I was unbelievably competitive, and while it was a fun date- I still remember with sadness that I lost. This time, it was probably what that first date should have been. We were simply enjoying the experience.

We were behind a large group of people- 6, to be exact. While this shouldn’t have been too bad, none of them seemed to be remotely good at playing miniature golf. I admit, I’m not so shabby at it. There was a miniature golf course in the town I grew up in, and usually any reward you’d get at school would be a free round of golf. And since I was usually on the honor roll and had perfect attendance, I got a lot of them. Also, other than the roller rink (which I knew the owners of), there really wasn’t much to do in town.

We had plenty of time to chat, hold hands, and do all the things that you don’t get to do after kids come into your lives. Don’t get me wrong, our dinner dates are wonderful- and we talk about everything on them. But this had that magic feeling that those early dates did, coupled with the comfort that you get from knowing someone so well. We had inside jokes to make this time, and there was nothing to prove.

The night ended with hot chocolate. Not a bad way to cap off the night, is it?

Boycotts, Gay Rights, Soapbox time?

Recently, a friend of mine posted that he was boycotting Chick-Fil-A for their direct involvement in groups supporting bans on gay marriage. I have been boycotting them since these allegations popped up. It’s saddened me that so many people say that they weren’t surprised, since Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays… but you know what? There are plenty of companies that take such a stance, and most of them aren’t openly endorsing discrimination. There are plenty of Christians who support equality in marriage.

Anyhow, my friend also said that he hadn’t been to Target in ages, either.

I wasn’t boycotting Target. While I was disheartened at their decision to support candidates who were so outspoken against gay marriage… they weren’t directly endorsing events or committees committed to barring gay marriage from being legal. With Target (and Best Buy), I was more upset at the Supreme Court for deciding that corporations could donate money in the same way that individuals can- because it opened the door for Target and Best Buy to do just this. And they donated (originally) to a PAC that was about economic reform in the state where their headquarters are based- money which was distributed to that particular candidate.

But the real reason I couldn’t boycott Target? Target is the only place around here to get the body wash and lotion that the Little Kidlet needs because of his allergies. (Well, except for Wal-Mart, but I’ve been against shopping there since it came out about how little of their products are made in the USA- and how they were intentionally scheduling people so that they wouldn’t have to offer benefits) I would love to simply order it online, but considering how pricy the stuff is anyways ($17 for a bottle the size of the big Johnson & Johnsons), I can’t afford to tack on shipping- and we have to buy that brand. So yes, activism takes a backseat to my son’s health.

So I was relieved to see that Lady Gaga had spoken with people at Target while negotiating a deal to offer a special edition of “Born this Way” in their stores. With lots of strings. She wanted them to pledge to be more careful about who they donate to, and to commit themselves to helping out LGBT charities. Which they apparently agreed to. (They’re phrasing it in a much more vague manner, but they do seem to be admitting that they’re going to be more careful about who they donate to in the future)

Coupled with the Obama Administration ordering the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), I’m pretty happy today.

And I’m feeling much better, thank you.

Sick Sickity Sick

Yesterday we bought annual passes for Disneyland. We went (TheBoy and I for my birthday), and it just seemed like the right time to get passes again. We used to go regularly (we also used to live about two miles from Disneyland), but when the boys were littler, it was tricky.

It was a great trip- up until I started to shiver and couldn’t stop. Even sitting in the sun wasn’t helping, and I was starting to feel dizzy. So we came home, and I took my temperature- over 100 degrees.

Everyone’s been great. TheBoy’s picked up the slack and his mom’s been even more helpful than usual (and I never mean that sarcastically), and I’ve been able to get some rest. Right now, I’m upstairs, sitting by myself, waiting for my temperature to go back down…

Guess I’ll use this time to finish some blog posts I’ve been working on!

A few things to think about…

Rather than write about one subject (I’ve been a little brain dead this week), I thought I’d post a few links to news stories that I thought were interesting.

Serene Branson, the KCBS reporter who suffered from asphasia on camera while reporting on the Grammys had a migraine that mirrors a stroke, but didn’t have a stroke. As I suffer from migraines, this is the sort of thing that scares me.

The response to Serene Branson’s on-camera appearance has bothered me. There were those who insisted that it was a stroke, and felt she should have gone to the hospital. Which I agree with- while it wasn’t a stroke, the symptoms were all there… and better to find out it wasn’t than to not follow up after having had a stroke. But then there were those who simply thought that she’d either been drinking or it was jitters, and mocked her relentlessly.

I saw the video, many times, since everyone was covering it on TV and on the web. And every time, I saw the fear in her eyes as the wrong words kept coming out of her mouth. Which told me, it wasn’t just nerves. People with nerves stop and start over… she just kept going.

While I know we love to mock, let’s remember- sometimes there are more serious things going on.

Crystal Renn, the now famous plus sized model who gained weight after recovering anorexia is now being told that at a size 8, she’s “too thin” to be considered plus-sized. Not only that, she felt pressure to gain weight- which she admitted would just be starting a different eating disorder at this point in her life.

Isn’t it entirely possible that this is a sign that we need to drop the labels? Plus-sized in models-speak doesn’t mean the same as it does in real life. If we’re judging someone because they aren’t heavy enough to be considered plus-sized… doesn’t that say that we’re still sending the wrong message? Crystal Renn, at a size 8 is healthy. If she’s happy and looks good, then why can’t that be enough?

Maybe we should just start a campaign for healthy women- of all shapes and sizes. Remember Queen Latifah’s Jenny Craig commercials? Her goal wasn’t to drop dress sizes, it was to lose a little weight to become healthier.

And while I don’t have a link, I just want to say that Charlie Sheen should stop calling in to the Dan Patrick show and focus on his recovery. He still seems to be unable to recognize that it’s up to him to recover, not the people who are rehabilitating him at home. He’d rather joke about wanting to go back to work, than realize that he needs to focus on taking care of himself- not for himself, but for his kids.

I haven’t watched Two and a Half Men in some time. And you know what? I really won’t be watching it now. It ticks me off that a studio continues to reward him for his bad behavior because his stale sitcom keeps bringing in ratings. And unless Charlie Sheen dies, this is the last thing I’m going to say about him in this blog.

Gender roles? I stomp on them.

This week, I saw two things that made me wonder how we’re raising our kids these days… and why we haven’t come further. First was an old advice column from 2002 on Dr. Phil’s website.

In the column, a woman asked for advice about her 5 year old boy who had two older sisters and preferred to play with “girl toys” and wanted to wear girl clothes. The page is making the rounds of LGBT blogs, who are rightly concerned by Dr. Phil’s attitude. While he says that it could just be a phase, and clearly isn’t an indicator that her son is gay (which by the way, the mother never seemed to have mentioned). But he tells her to push the child towards boy clothes and boy toys, to direct him from anything that might confuse him.

Again, this is from 2002. It isn’t a new post, but it’s still on his blog. If he had changed his stance, then he should have removed the post, or clarified something on it. But he didn’t.

So what was the second thing? A friend of mine was lamenting that her son was being hassled about taking ballet. You know, since that’s for girls.

Can I just say once and for all, ballet is not just for girls. If it was, you wouldn’t have a Prince to attempt to save Odette in Swan Lake, a Nutcracker Prince or a Rat King. There would be no epic pas de deux filled with lifts.

My sister was a ballet dancer, and while there were rarely any boys in her classes when she was a girl, as she got older and moved up into more advanced classes… there were men. And obviously, the company she danced with was filled with them too. And you know what? Most of them were straight.

My friend’s son reminds me of a boy who lived across the street from us in high school. He was the sweetest little boy, whose greatest love was dancing. The summer my sister and I babysat him and his little sister, was a summer filled with two things- Barney and dance parties. You could put on any CD and he’d dance, dance, dance. But he loved to watch my sister dance, and tried his best to follow along. So he started to take ballet, and actually starred as Peter in a ballet of Peter and the Wolf. His dad had an issue with it.

Just so I can have it somewhere, here’s what I say to anyone when they try to say that ballet is just for girls. Ballet isn’t just for girls. It takes a great amount of strength and skill to dance the way that male dancers do- which is why a lot of professional athletes take ballet for agility (admittedly, a lot of pros turn to pilates and yoga these days). Just look at Gene Kelly, who was well versed in all sorts of dancing, but brought in ballet to many of his films. He danced with grace, but with an athleticism and masculinity that set him apart from other dancers. (No knock to Fred Astaire who seemed to glide effortlessly, but Gene Kelly made sure you knew it took a bit of effort- and it was worth every bit of it) Then look at Patrick Swayze. He grew up at his mother’s dance studio and played a lot of tough guys in Hollywood. Including a tough guy who danced in Dirty Dancing. (Exhibit A: Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly “Moses“. Exhibit B: Donald O’Connor “Make Em Laugh” Ballet Exhibit A & B: Mikael Baryshnikov “Don Quixote” and a snippet from “White Nights“)

I get frustrated when people try to enforce gender roles. It’s deemed (mostly) acceptable if a girl is a tomboy, but weird for boys to want to do girl things. Let’s look at TheBoy and I. Yes, I am exceptionally girly. I cook, bake, sew, love make-up, jewelry and high heels. I also prefer my hair on the shorter side, really dig menswear (I even rocked a tie in the 6th grade), prefer action movies to chick flicks (though I do enjoy them), have played RPGs (the kind with dice and occasionally dungeons), love scifi, played video games (if I had more time, I still would)… oh, and I can use power tools. TheBoy? Grew up watching chick flicks and does enjoy watching them. He loves going to see plays and musicals, cooks and bakes as well, cleans… and honestly doesn’t know the difference between needle nose pliers and regular pliers.

Everywhere you seem to go on the internet, people complain about Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, who is a tomboy. She wears her hair short, dresses like a boy… and you know what? It could just be because she has two older brothers. It certainly has nothing to do with how she’s being raised, since her sister Zahara is a girly girl. And yet, you see people go on and on about how Angelina Jolie is raising her to be a lesbian… when she’s 5. (Lets not even get into the fact that you can’t make someone gay. You’re just born that way)

But that sort of attitude is everywhere. A blogger wrote about her preschooler being sneered at by mothers when he dressed as Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween. Last summer, my cousin bought my boys a cold bake oven (which we couldn’t actually use the mixes, since the Little Kidlet is allergic) that was Disney Princesses oven. Purple and pink. And you know what? To those two, it didn’t matter that it was purple and pink and had all the princesses… it was just an oven. They played with it for weeks, making us little treats out of Duplos.

I hope that everyone here remembers Katie, the first grader who was bullied because she liked Star Wars and was a girl. She was told that Star Wars was for boys, and for a few weeks, legions of geek girls were out there to tell her that sci-fi wasn’t just a boy thing. When I was writing a comment on Katie’s mother’s blog about it, my oldest sat next to me and asked what I was reading. I told him the whole story. He looked at me, with the strangest look on his face. “That wasn’t nice. Don’t they know that Star Wars is cool and for everyone?” I admit, he knows I love Star Wars. So at least I know I’m teaching him that girls can like whatever they want to like.

There really aren’t many things that are girl things and boy things, at least as far as toys and past times are concerned. Can’t we just be good parents, and support our kids in what they do? So what if your son wants to learn how to bake? He might become a famous pastry chef. What if he wants to dance? Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov had to get their start somewhere. Your daughter want to be a pilot or an astronaut? Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride paved the way for other women in the skies and space.

I believe that my role as a parent is to support my child, no matter what. I’m there to keep them safe, healthy and happy. If they want to learn to use a skateboard, I’m there with the helmet, safety equipment and bandaids. If either of them want to learn how to dance, I will find them a dance studio and take them to and from class. Because that’s what you do. You support them and love them. And you teach them that there’s no shame in being themselves.

So let’s ditch the gender roles. Maybe if we do, when our kids grow up there won’t be blatant sexism and discrimination (or at least they’ll be aware of it and better prepared to deal with it than we are). That might be a bit much to hope for, but really- if we aren’t changing the way our kids see the world, how is it ever going to change?

Valentine’s Day Past.

I’m not very big on Valentine’s Day. Sure, when I was a kid it meant special treats and Valentine’s from my friends… but as I grew up, I admit I soured on it.

Not because I didn’t have a Valentine (though through high school I never did have one), but because it seemed like forced romance. Let me explain. I grew up with a dad who was a civilian working for the Navy. He worked in a couple different divisions, but all required travel (the first moreso than others). My dad would be somewhere and come back with a small gift for my mom, or sneak off to her favorite boutique and find out from the owner what jewelry she’d been looking at. They were wonderful gestures, and seldom for anything other than to tell her that he loved her. They didn’t need one special day of the year to show off how much they loved each other.

Then you had some of the people I worked with. I met a few women who actually got upset if their SO didn’t send them a giant bouquet and take them out for a fancy lunch- not because they really wanted the flowers, but they wanted to brag. One woman had a boyfriend who took her out to a nice restaurant and gave her flowers there- so she brought them in the next day so that she could parade it around the office. They were so obsessed with having the appearance of the perfect boyfriend/husband, that whatever their husbands did could never be spontaneous or deviate from their explicit wishes. It just seemed so… Stepford.

That said, there is one Valentine’s Day that was especially special to me. It was 2000. TheBoy had already proposed to me, but without a ring other than a little silver ring that I happened to wear on that finger anyways. We’d talked about looking at rings, but between work and school, just hadn’t made it to any jewelry stores to look.

For Valentine’s Day, we decided to go into The Park (aka Disneyland). It was TheBoy, his best friend and his wife and my best friend C. We went on a couple rides, and while in New Orleans Square, stopped off at the Jewel of Orleans (which was an estate jewelry store).

I wanted to show C and Ry’s wife something, too. On another trip to Disneyland, I had seen something unusual. A simple gold band with two small offset diamond rings. I joked that it was a Star Wars fan’s dream, like the twin suns of Tattooine. We laughed. The ring itself was a much larger size than my tiny little ring finger… but I loved the setting. Simple, but unique. I had joked to Ronnie that if it was still there- since it was much less than the rest of the rings (which were usually thousands of dollars)- that it was meant to be. And it was there.

As the girls oohed, he hemmed and hawed and said that he just wasn’t sure if we could. Then we left to go get some clam chowder bowls and enjoy a fun Valentine’s meal. We sat there, and midway through the meal, TheBoy excused himself to go to the restroom. 5 minutes passed, then 10, then more… We joked about him falling in, falling ill… and then C said, “You don’t think he went to get the ring?” I said no, and we sent off Ry (the best friend) to make sure that TheBoy wasn’t ill in the bathroom, and Ry came back shortly. And just sort of smiled and said he was alright. So we all knew that he was buying the ring. When TheBoy came back, he didn’t say anything about the ring, so we didn’t say anything either.

Time passed, and I had assumed that he had just been asking them about buying it and hadn’t gone through with it. Then while I was balancing our bank account, I noticed a charge from Jewel of Orleans. Nowhere near as large as the entire ring, but it was clear that he’d been making payments on the ring and accidentally used the card for our joint account instead of his account. I mentioned it to him, and he finally admitted that he’d bought the ring on Valentine’s Day and had been paying off the balance.

This is my engagement ring w/ my wedding band. Yes, we did have to have a custom band made, since there’s no way a standard band would fit around it.

So there you have it. My favorite Valentine’s Day. A pretty ring, fun with my best friends, and clam chowder- all at the place where I met TheBoy.

I still love love love this ring, by the way. I’ve never seen another setting like it, and while the stones aren’t that big, they fit the scale of my teeny tiny hands- and they’re a pretty good quality. I’ve tried on other people’s rings, and even 1 carat seems giant on my hand. Guess TheBoy lucked out in that respect. Some day I want to get another band (like my wedding band) to put on top of the engagement band, and then get them all sandwiched together with white gold.

So that’s my favorite Valentine’s Day…. what’s yours?

The Super Blah.

Yesterday was the Super Bowl, the highlight of American sporting events and home to the edgiest commercials that ad agencies can put together. Right?


I admit, I’m not a big football fan. But I am a big fan of great advertising (I am in love with The Man Your Man Could Smell Like) as well as the halftime show. Following Janet Jackson’s nipple issue, the halftime shows were scaled back. I, for one, didn’t mind Paul McCartney- since I can’t afford tickets to his concerts. But really, the halftime shows have been dull, especially the Black Eyed Peas. Which isn’t a surprise- they’re an act that’s better experienced via the radio or in a club, not live. And certainly not in a giant stadium.

The Super Bowl didn’t get off to a good start. Christina Aguilera blew the National Anthem. Which was surprising since it’s not like it’s the first time she’s sung it at a major sporting event- I seem to recall her singing at the NBA finals. She not only screwed up the lyrics (which is somewhat forgivable for me, if you factor in nerves), but committed the cardinal sin of a bad rendition.

To future anthem singers, just sing the damn song. I know, everyone wants to do for it what Whitney Houston did. But let’s be honest, she really just sang the song and she sang the hell out of it. Christina threw in every trick she could, and sounded horrible doing it.

For those who say that it’s ridiculous of me to criticize her when I wasn’t the one up there… Here’s a quick and dirty recording of me singing the national anthem. You get a bonus dose of the Little Kidlet yelling in the background, and I haven’t warmed up- but even that is better than Christina was. Not only that, I’ve sung the national anthem at assemblies, our city’s DARE assembly (which was filled to the brim with kids)… so yes, I have sung it publicly before.

National Anthem

As far as the ads go, it was pretty hit and miss. There were a few great spots (the Eminem Detroit one was good), but not all of them were surprises. The Volkswagen Vader spot had already hit the internet. For me, the bright spot was actually a Fox promo- the “House” send up of the Mean Joe Green Coca-Cola ad.

Then there was the Tibet Groupon spot. In which, it started with a serious bit about the plight of Tibet, and launched into a pitch for a Groupon coupon for a Himalayan meal. Not surprisingly, people were upset. I was going to link to a tweet Timothy Hutton had posted last night, but it seems that he deleted it. Basically he said that the Brits were right, and Americans have no sense of irony.

I will say this, I saw the other two spots, and thought they were fine. But I did feel that the Tibet spot went too far. Make fun of Saving Whales or Deforestation. They’re both subjects that people have mocked- and while yes, it’s sad that whales die… it’s not like Tibet, where people have given up their lives to try to get freedom.

To quote Jeph Jacques, it would be like having a Groupon ad that went something like this.

Think he’s exaggerating? Not really. Just because it didn’t happen on our soil, doesn’t make what’s gone on in Tibet any less serious.

While Groupon has maintained that they did offer links to related charities on their website… it was still in bad taste.

So there you have it. The game was sorta boring, the halftime show wasn’t very memorable and neither were the ads. Except for Groupon.

But the real highlight? I thawed some steak, pan seared it and finished it in the oven… and served it with some beer battered onion rings.

A little labor intensive, but well worth it.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Raising Strong Girls.

I know, I have two boys. Writing about girls might seem silly, but well, I was a girl.

Raina Telgemeier, artist/author of “Smile”, tweeted that she’d gotten her first mom-rage review of her book. An autobiographical look back at her own experiences, it’s received plenty of accolades and has gotten lots of girls into reading comics. (It’s a great read)

The review, on Amazon, raged that their 10 year old daughter had gotten a copy and *gasp* it was completely inappropriate for their little girl. Why it mentioned girls sort of having boyfriends! A girl was teased and never got the guy (she didn’t even warn for spoilers)! Someone was pantsed!

Looking at this particular reviewer, they also raged against “A Smart Girl’s Guide to Boys” for not being age appropriate for their 10 year old as well.

When I was 9, I had my first major crush on Joey McIntire of New Kid’s On the Block. I wanted him to be my boyfriend and hug me. Seriously. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a 10 year old reading “Smile.” Nor is there anything wrong with “A Smart Girl’s Guide to Boys”, which is supposed to promote girl’s self-confidence in keeping their own identity while crushing on boys.

I grew up with friends whose parents took the Rapunzel approach. If you keep them away from boys, nothing can happen, right? Those were the girls that talked about nothing but boys at sleepovers, and the ones who secretly started dating earlier than all of us.

I had a boyfriend when I was 12. He lived down the street and already was about a foot taller than me. Our “relationship” consisted of hanging out and him walking me home from the bus. We danced at a school dance- the awkward slow dance with what not seemed like 10 feet of space between us.

Out of all the girls I knew, I had the most realistic idea of what dating was like. Not because I’d watched endless episodes of 90210, but because I hadn’t. My mom talked to me about dating and what relationships were like, and what was and wasn’t appropriate for kids my age. And I listened. Because I knew she was right.

The answer isn’t to say that something is inappropriate and complain about it. It’s to sit down with your children and talk to them about it. What might not be right for your child, might be right for another- but the only way to deal with anything is to talk to your kids about things. Not go on the internet and wonder why anyone isn’t thinking of the children.

Plug: Raina Telgemeier also did the Baby Sitter’s Club graphic novels that are out there on the internet- also excellent reads for girls. Or even those of us who remember reading BSC when we were kids.

LAUSD wimps out.

Jamie Oliver is passionate about teaching children to eat better. He revolutionized school food in the UK and his reality show “Food Revolution” had a very well received first season here in the US.

The first season had Jamie Oliver trying to change the minds of Huntington, West Virginia about how they see food. Huntington had come up in a CDC study as one of the unhealthiest cities in America. The show was naturally filled with conflict, as the citizens preferred fried and processed foods over Oliver’s healthy alternatives.

For his second season, Oliver decided to go to a larger city and work there. Los Angeles. After beginning to film at one school, LAUSD halted all filming and revoked his permits to film at another school because they were concerned about how the reality series would make them look.

Because of course, publicly stating that you’re afraid of looking bad won’t make you look bad.

He was outright denied access to regular LAUSD school and had been shooting at campuses that are operated by MLA Partner schools (which are under contract with LAUSD).

I’m sorry LAUSD. I know that reality shows thrive on conflict, but surely you could see that letting Food Revolution shoot at your schools would be a bonus? Jamie Oliver has been able to provide quality food at the same cost as processed meals, so there shouldn’t have been budgetary concerns. Even if individuals looked bad, it would have been easy enough to spin it in a positive direction- simply by saying that change is difficult, but you’re pleased with the results.

Ultimately, the losers in all this are the children. By publicly stating that you’re worried about how you’ll look, you’ve just told everyone that it’s okay to avoid trying something new (no matter how good for you it is) simply because it might change how others think of you. Which is exactly the message that everyone wants to send to kids, right?

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