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Archive for the ‘Television’ Category


posted by BatSheva Vaknin 1:23 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012


…delete them.


SOOOO annoying. I’m sure their little cyber fingers get all spammy & excited as they crawl across my blog when they discover the many porn-related words I use in my various blogs… including – uh – the WORD “porn” in one of the titles, and – oh yeah, the fact that my URL (“”) is just one little “the” away from BEING a porn site. (Did you try typing it in without the ‘the’? Don’t say I didn’t warn you…)

On the other hand, spammers I can handle with the click of a mouse. But the real deal? The people who actually live, breathe & work in that over-sexed environment?

Totally out of my element.

The other night, I uncharacteristically flipped around live television channels (normally I would ONLY watch a show I’d already DVR’d, or else just catch a show on, but this was a post-Christmas-pre-New Year’s programming draught and the pickins were mighty slim.)

After surfing the TV guide menu, what was the TV program I randomly chose?

The AVN Awards.

I’d never heard of them. Turns out, these are awards for PORN MOVIES. Good God. I don’t watch porn. I don’t like to even remember that it exists. The whole subculture of porn – the makers, the doers and the aficionados – makes me sad because it is a medium that is 100% based on instant (sexual) gratification which in my book translates into instant negativity for the doers, the watchers & the world.

Sorry folks. You didn’t realize you’d tuned into “Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin) Fallwell,” did you? But honestly, it’s not a “moral” issue I have with it – who really cares if something is “moral” or not; what does that mean anyway? It’s different to us all.

I DO, however, take psychological/emotional issue with porn, because I’ve spent enough years in therapy to know that no one just “loves sucking cock” for the camera (not to mention many, many more graphic actions that I was both shocked and mesmerized to see lauded and feted on the AVN’s) without having had one f***-ed up childhood in one way or another.

Oh, great, I just basically sent a Valentine’s Day card to all the cyber porno-spammers with the phrase I used in that last paragraph. Sighhhhhh…

Anyway, even more than the psycho/emotional problems I see with porn is the spiritual ‘problem’ I have it with it. Meaning, in a nutshell, that porn creates additional layers of negativity and chaos in our already-chaotic world. Let’s leave it at that before I get lynched by Ron Jeremy’s fan club.

But before I sign off, I have to add… does anyone out there know how to set parental controls on the TV? Is it even POSSIBLE set controls on my son’s iPod/internet? I mean, it’s one thing to have a store on a street with a pornographic name, but it’s quite another to make it easy for children to see live video of things I hope they won’t come across EVER.


O, Tipper Gore, where art thou?


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I really, REALLY don't want my son to trip across the TV channels and fall onto this face. Figuratively speaking, of course.

My boyfriends, Matt and Trey

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 2:14 PM
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Well, obviously, not really. But a girl can dream. It’s not so much their “Comedy Gods” status that make Matt Stone and Trey Parker so desirable, though that doesn’t hurt either. I wanted to see Book of Mormon as much as anyone when I was in NYC. But on the other hand, I didn’t want to sell my children to come up with the ticket price.

But… for the couple of hours I spent a few weeks ago in the hallowed halls of the South Park studio (or “Casa Bonita,” as they inexplicably call it), I did indulge in a fantasy of sorts. NO, not sexual. Height-ual. Matt and Trey, you see, are both super tall. Both of them! And get this – so are (again, inexplicably) almost all the other (also cute, I might add) guys who work there with them.

For a girl (me) who’s always looked over everyone’s heads even when I wear flats, it was awe-inspiring to be in the midst of such unadulterated height. I mean talent. I mean height. I mean talent.

Don’t make me choose!

Usually, we have to choose. As young girls, we fall in love with the Tom Cruises and the Princes and the Marky Marks of the world. And then our hearts are shattered into a million tall pieces when we meet these celebrity titans in person and realize they stand only an inch or so above a five year old boy.


Even my friend Arthur who directed the South Park documentary 6 Days to Air towered above me. (He was the reason I was allowed to even breath the Matt & Trey airspace – I was interviewing Arthur for a riveting piece that was published here if you really want to know.) So, don’t judge me for feeling just a little like I wanted to camp out and stalk and altogether never leave Casa Bonita. It was fun to be the short girl, if just for a few hours. Oh, and it was amazing to watch them create South Park, too.

Screw you guys, I’m going home. (Excuse the language – that was Cartman, not me.)


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Even in dresses, these cats are long tall drinks of water. Thirsty, anyone?

Flashback Friday! (Up All Night)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:45 PM
Friday, December 9, 2011

Flashback Friday!

Every Friday, I will post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memories, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Up All Night

Sister, sister, please let me hold him. I wanna make him stay up all night, here we go! All night long!

Can you name that song?

Boyfriend from camp around age 14 introduced me to that song. And now, it’s stuck in my head, on a loop.

Because I’m wired.

I doubt I’ll be up all night tonight – it’s only 11:13pm, so I’ll finish this blog, watch one TV show or so, do my before-bed routine, then sleep… and with luck (translation: no children waking me up all night), I’ll get a good 5 hours or so before it’s up time again.

I don’t like to go to sleep at night. I would rather watch TV, surf the computer, or write emails. Or blogs. Sometimes I’ll go to the gym late, though that means I need to shower when I get home, unwind (TV), which pushes bedtime even later. Or do errands – I mean I do have 3 kids after all, & a full time job. Who has the time during the day? Yes, I’m that weird girl who hits Trader Joe’s at 9:55 pm (5 minutes before closing) and then gets to Target by 10:20 to do a good half an hour of shopping there before closing.

The funny thing is, I love to take naps. If I’m tired, on a weekend day, my favorite thing in the world (short of sleeping in, in the morning, which I haven’t been able to do ONCE since I was preggers with my 7 yr old, so you do the math on that one), is to fall into a cozy, comfy, warm, enveloping sleep. Ahhhhh.

But at night? Hell to the no. Especially once everyone goes to sleep. It’s finally ME time. Veg time. Relax time. It’s not such a big deal, but usually I push the envelope throughout the week so much that once a week or so I crash when putting the kids to bed around 8 and sleep the whole night through. [Editor's note: or I get sick. Like I did last week. :( ]

At least I don’t actually have insomnia anymore – almost never, unless I take something caffeinated too close to bedtime. My whole childhood I suffered from terrible bouts of insomnia. I spent many nights from as early an age as I can remember (not that I remember much, see “Memory Loss” blog for details) awake to hear the first birds chirping, the first light rising, and finally, finally, the long-awaited awakening of whatever family member happened to get up first. Mom, usually.

By then, I’d be spent, exhausted, a pale ghost. I’d finally fall asleep and then wake up late, if I could. Then the cycle would start again.

By college, I was partying like crazy. (What was I doing? Use your imagination. Yes, that is what I was doing. Yes, that too. Yes. Seriously. Yup. Yes, at Yale, believe me, nerds know how to party, too.) I was partying like it was 1999, and that just made my insomnia go into an even higher octane gear (if there is such a thing??) and I would go sometimes days or even one week without really sleeping at all.

It only took me another seven years, give or take, before I got help, and helped myself, and broke that pattern.

But that’s another story.

You know what? All this writing is starting to make me sleepy.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

My actual bloodshot, exhausted eye. Live from Los Angeles. Don't be a hater.

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Heavy Petting

posted by Sheva 11:43 AM
Monday, November 28, 2011

I told my kids they are not allowed to kiss a boy or girl on the lips until they are married.  I originally told them that no one is allowed to kiss on the lips until they are married, but then some kids’ TV show went and ruined all my big plans.

I can’t remember now which show it was – the loose hussies of Waverly Place, the slutty Sonny with a Chance, or the trollops of Shake it Up – but whichever it was, they showed the pre-teen kiddies snogging away and dashed my hopes of protecting my children from the evils of pre-marriage smooching.

“They’re kissing!” screeched my son gleefully.

“Ew!!” seconded my 5 year old daughter.

“Close your eyes!” I demanded. “And shut off the TV! You’re only allowed to watch Little Bear from now on.”

The chorus: “Awwww!”

But I don’t think I’m wrong. Already my 5 year old tried twice to French kiss me on the mouth when I reached down to give her a goodnight kiss. Horrifying! I blame the media.

Even my two year old is tired of Little Bear. She wants Sponge Bob, Phineas and Ferb, or “Nigel the mean guy” from Spy Kids 2. Recently, I read a study that showed how kids were instantly dumber after watching a half hour of Sponge Bob. Nonetheless, I have made the executive parental decision that I am infinitely more okay with them being dumbed down than I am with them learning to French Kiss their mother by watching Disney pre-teens suck each other’s faces.

I figure they can bounce back from momentary Sponge Bob-induced retardation. But once you’ve French-kissed the wrong authority figure? The one that, unlike their mother, decides to kiss them back? Not so easy.

Now, yes, it’s true, I was making out with boys at the way too early age of DON’T EVEN THINK I’M GOING TO ADMIT TO ANYTHING, NOW GO TO BED!

Are they gone? We mommy bloggers have to be ever-vigilant.

For the rest of you (who are not my children), I admit, it is possible that the sleeping bag incident was not isolated. And that my advice to my kids about no kissing before marriage could be construed as hypocritical. But I was the classic case of Mommy-and-Daddy-Get-Divorced-and-Parents-Were-By-Products-of-the–Free-Love-60’s-And-Godless-Jewish-American-Intellects-So-Daughter-Has-No-Moral-Compass.

My kids, on the other hand, (so far, with fingers crossed, wood knocked, and many “BLI AYIN HARAs” repeated) are the product of an unbroken home and spiritual parents who are respectful of physical boundaries.  They don’t have the same excuse I did, to act slutty & stupid. Except for the small problem of the rampant sex I can’t seem to stop from popping up on every billboard we drive by, every advertisement on TV, and every pre-teen Disney show that corrupts their minds while I’m not hovering over them with the remote.

Where’s Tipper Gore when you need her?


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Get those man-eating lips away from my children, you hussy!

I’m a Stalker

posted by Sheva 11:44 AM
Monday, November 21, 2011

It started innocently enough. Over the past six months, I have been obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy. I have read the Wikipedia synopses of every GA season (because if I don’t know what is going to happen over the next several episodes, I can’t talk myself out of STOPPING to watch episode after episode and finally go to sleep), and I obsessively browse through pictures of the GA stars online via Google Images.

The other day, however, my relationship to the cast of Grey’s Anatomy leapt to a whole new level. Because the other day, I found myself standing in the checkout line of the small Whole Foods-esqe Erewhon Natural Foods store, face-to-face with her:

And – at the EXACT SAME TIME, with her:


Sometimes living in LA is soooo awesome. Like when you spot a live version of a character you know intimately from being obsessed with his/her show.

I even said hello to the 2nd one. I said to Ava/Rebecca (her TV names – who knows/who cares what her name is in real life??!!), “Wow, it’s so weird to see you because I basically see you every single night because I’m watching all the seasons of Grey’s Anatomy back to back and then my other all-time favorite TV show is The Good Wife.  I’m a big fan.”

Um… yeah. A little stalker-ish.

Now I know I wasn’t actually, ‘purposefully’ stalking either of them… however, I firmly believe that “like attracts like.” In other words, I created my reality. I drew them to me.

Hmmm… I need to focus. Focus, Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)!

So that, instead of the B players, I can start drawing him into my life:

And her

And him

And him too:


Okay, I know he’s not in Grey’s Anatomy, but if I’m going to be stalking, I may as well stalk the best of them, right?


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Dress Up x Infinity

posted by Sheva 11:29 AM
Monday, November 7, 2011

So I figured the picture that accompanied my last blog merits a little more explanation.

[BTW - Pardon the title of this blog – lately, everything in my house goes to ‘infinity;’ how many snacks my kids want, how many more TV shows they’d like to see, how much longer they’d like to stay awake, etc., etc.]

I never have enough occasions to dress fabulously and/or be in the company of fabulously dressed people. So, lucky me; I was invited to attend a party celebrating the intertwining of my friend David Shamouelian’s design label, Romeo and Juliet Couture, with one of my all-time favorite TV shows, (aside from House, Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Wife… and Modern Family and The Daily Show…) Gossip Girl.

The party was so Hollywood-y. Dark lighting, edgy looking well-dressed people drinking, chatting, stealing glances around the room to identify who and who is not a celebrity, and no dancing despite the awesome DJ. The truth is, if I hadn’t been with my dear friend (and David’s wife) Suri, I may have stayed for one quick drink and then run out. One can only people-watch for so long in the dark, especially when the celebrities – the actress who plays the older ditzy sister on Modern Family and a handful of young models and rock stars who are worshipped by Tweens everywhere, made me feel more or less like the grandma that apparently I’m on my way to becoming.

But, back to the party! Because, as I mentioned, I did NOT have to cut out early, because I DID have a friend to hang with.

Suri and I posed for each other for about ONE HOUR on the red carpet, in front of the big PR billboard advertising the new launch. It was awesome.

I know, I know, shocking that TMZ didn’t run our photos the next day.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

David Shamouelian, CEO of Romeo & Juliet Couture, his wife Suri and lil' ole me.

Eat your heart out, Serena Vanderwoodsen.

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Flashback Friday! (Television Trumps Memory Loss)

posted by Sheva 11:33 AM
Friday, November 4, 2011

Yikes… I was going to re-post my old blog, Memory Loss, today. But when I read thru it… sometimes old blogs are meant to be just that – old blogs (that live for eternity on cyberspace, hibernating, lying in wait for the perfect time when they’ll  jump out into the public again and freak your current self out).

So instead, here’s a shallow-er one for you to sink your teeth into-or, you know, to tap the tips of your teeth onto:

(BTW, if you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.)

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – I Want my Primetime TV – the BLOG

Can we talk? About TV?

Wait – don’t go! What did you think of that last episode of Lost?

Still here? Whew.

Truth: I’ve never seen Lost. I’m really glad. Because when I get into a show, I get INTO a show. I go deep.

Me and House, for example? We’re lovers. (No need to tattle to my husband – we’re kind of in a threesome, anyway.) Bones? Silly show. Stupid! But I’m hooked. 24? Don’t even talk to me, I’m busy being angry that it’s only 1 hour once a week, and Jack hasn’t had a truly hot girlfriend since the girl who was in Lipstick Jungle went crazy. Fringe? Fucking creepy but AMAZING acting & characters & yes, I’m hooked. Lie to Me? I’m having an affair behind House’s back with Dr. Lightman…

[editors note: Update - 24 is long gone, and Fringe has long gone off the deep end, and now that Lie to Me has bitten the proverbial dust particles, GrownupGirl's obsession with Dr. Lightman has been  replaced with a much deeper and more worrisome obsession with ALL Grey's Anatomy's characters, men and women.]

[Hahaha just kidding. There's no "editor," just me, Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin). Hi! Okay, back to your flashback blog...]

…Not to mention all the reality shows I’m hooked on, like America’s Next Top Model (don’t hate me because I’m beautiful), Last Comic Standing (so sue me, I like to laugh), So You Think You Can Dance, and the annoying but impossible not to watch, American Idol.

[Update: Don't watch any of those shows anymore. Could it be that I'm growing, evolving? Or just that I have less free time? You, Simon Cowell, can be the judge. Or you, Adam & Christina and CeLo.]

A year ago before we cut costs here at the homestead, we also had Bravo, Showtime & HBO, so you could have just added Project Runway, Top Chef, Shameless, Entourage and Big Love to that list. (NO I am not into True Blood. Vampires are gross unless they are steamy 2010 versions of 1980 Rob Lowe heartthrobs… yes I’m talking about you, Mr. Pattinson.)

I guess it’s obvious why I’ve never had the time to do a blog before now.

OMG did I forget to say GOSSIP GIRL? Love. Don’t ask me how old I am, it’s none of your business. That show rocks. Usually.

I caught the pilot of Grey’s Anatomy and I already know that if I ever have another baby I’ll watch that whole series on DVD like I did 24, Weeds, and Project Runway to get caught up. What? I have 3 kids & I work full time. Without post-maternity bed rest, how else could I have found the time?

[Update: Um... I guess I hadn't yet heard of Hulu when I originally wrote this blog. Who needs a DVD when I can stream old episodes anywhere, including on the treadmill at the gym?!]

I remember the days of being single, and busy – writing a novel in the evenings, working in an office during the day, going out most nights…

OH – I forgot Modern Family. Run do not Walk to see that show. [Or - just sit on your couch and remember to program the Tivo. Okay, I'll shut up now.]

And I’d never abandon Law & Order SVU. Mariska, you are the Koolest. Plus my old Yale friend Jamie Waterstons’ dad is so likeable. Wait, which Law & Order was he on? [I lied. I do have one more thing to say. I actually don't watch Law & Order anymore, ever. Sorry, Jamie.]

[But I am addicted to The Daily Show, which sometimes stars another ex-Yalie, John Hodgeman.]

O, Sex in the City, how I yearn for you! The golden days of yesteryear.

I’d write more, but I need to sign off & finish this episode of The Good Wife.

It’s fantastic.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

This party was awesome because my friend and I spent the entire time taking pictures of each other in front of the 'photographers' board' on the red carpet. Eat your heart out, Blair & Serena..

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posted by Sheva 1:49 AM
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What exactly is a “ME-cation,” you probably didn’t ask yourself as you (hopefully) read my last blog, since you probably already sussed it out that it was the brilliant product of combining those two familiar and yet – for parents – often contradictory words, “me” and “vacation.”

Well, since you asked…

A ME-cation is a vacation you take in your own home, with your own kids (some of them, at least). The main two stipulations for a ME-cation are the following: 1. Husband must go out of town to a place where he will be having a great time (so you will not feel guilty on your ME-cation), and 2. You must have a trustworthy nanny and/or babysitter you can hire to work extra hours during the time he is gone.

That’s it! Simple, right? Here are some more great tips:

1. Take private Pilates lessons, twice a week. I recommend Stacey Zimberg, she is incredible.

2. Go to a movie with girlfriends (or, more precisely, with the one girlfriend who sticks by you after the other two bail because the movie is later than you originally thought it would be and they are already tired. It’s okay, I wasn’t mad. They weren’t on a ME-cation, I was!)

a. Make sure that movie is Crazy Stupid Love or at least a fun action adventure or a feel-good romantic comedy, ideally starring Ryan Gosling.

3. Dream about Ryan Gosling. No, seriously, I did have a dream about him. Like, in the morning, while I was still sleeping. Don’t worry, it was G Rated, I love my husband!

4. Talk to your husband (and, in my case, your son) lots of times throughout the day and night on the phone. Feel happy for him/them that they are having a blast, and feel happy for yourself that you are too.

5. Stay up until 1, 2, maybe 3:30am watching Grey’s Anatomy. BECAUSE IT’S CRACK.

6. Go out to drinks and a late dinner at a cool Abbot Kinney restaurant with three awesome girlfriends who you never spend enough time with.

7. Take your daughters on special trips to ice skating, ice cream, and kids’restaurants, for fun “girl time.”

a. Make sure to bring a “mommy friend” or meet friends there so you can have ‘grownup’ talks while the kids have fun! (I told you, this is your ME-cation, woman, who are you, the babysitter??)

8. Don’t cook. Allow your friend to make a full meal for your kids and you, and don’t feel an ounce of guilt as they eat two entire dinners worth of her food in one sitting and remark that it’s “The best food they’ve ever eaten.” Feel the warm glow that happens when your children are well-fed. Who cares who fed them! They ate, and they liked it!

9. Impose upon your excellent cooks/nice/have kids the same age as yours neighbors to host you for two Shabbat lunches in a row.

10. Take a nice long nap after lunch on Shabbat, and don’t worry about your five year old daughter who is playing by herself the whole time you nap. She’s fine.

11. Take the girls swimming in the neighbor’s pool.

12. Make sure your husband’s garden is watered and cared for properly every day (AKA have the nanny do it on all days you are ‘unavailable’).

a. Pick the cucumbers that are ripe and get prickly fuzz all over your arms and be happy about it “because it’s not always easy taking care of things while he’s gone.”

13. Go surfing!

That’s about it, folks! Now go book your spouse that flight…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Long Live the Go-Go's!

Grey’s Anatomy. AKA, Crack.

posted by Sheva 12:26 PM
Monday, August 22, 2011

Let’s get this out of the way: I’m addicted to Grey’s Anatomy.

Because what started as an eager, consensual relationship, has morphed into something uglier: a need. I’m too involved.

Every day. I must – MUST – have my fix – must satisfy that endless need, must watch another few episodes, every single day, sometimes staying up until 1, 2, yes even  3:30am at night to keep watching, despite the full cognizant knowledge that this is going to end badly.

And by that I mean, of course, that Meredith and McDreamy may not live Happily Ever After.

I’ve already Googled & Wikipedia-ed the upcoming seasons and episodes (I’m almost through Season 3 now), so I know which characters’ love will last (basically, none of them), which characters will leave the show (many of my favorites), and which new ones will join. (HER?! Come on, not her…?!)

I get angry at the cast and the writers. How COULD they make those two break up again? How can Burke just ABANDON us like that? Who cares about Private Practice, can’t Addison just STAY? But then I watch another show, forget about all that, and get sucked right back in.

Yes, I cry like a baby and laugh out loud in pretty much every single episodes. Bastards! But I also watch each episode with a smirk, silently mocking each goopy, over-dramatized scene, saying COME ONE YOU HAVE GOT TO BE F***ING KIDDING ME! to myself as Meredith Grey informs yet another dying patient that, “sometimes you really can’t predict the future” as she simultaneously shows us with her eyes that she is at that exact same moment in time teaching herself the same lesson – that same lesson that JUST SO HAPPENS to apply perfectly to her latest dilemma.

Come on! So maudlin. So never happens like that in real life – that we give advice or hear someone speak and realize at the same time how it exactly applies to that personal situation we’d been grappling with. Showing that, every episode, so obviously, it’s so writing/acting/directing 101!

And yet.

I find myself simultaneously thinking, Meredith is so right! That patient really can’t predict the future, and look, look how now she gets it, because she can’t predict the future either. SHE CAN’T EITHER!

I’m too involved.

I think about the characters of Grey’s Anatomy randomly throughout the day, daydreaming about their secret crushes and current liaisons.  I get annoyed at the writers for having the doctors drink so much alcohol, seemingly all the time on their time off. I mean, come on, really? Who drinks that much?? I don’t!

But I’m not a doctor… I mean, do doctors drink that much on their time off? Do they, Meredith? Just because they can’t predict the future?

Ha. I think not. But I have to admit, it is pretty sexy watching all those smoking hot doctors get tipsy and do things and say things that only the alcohol would make them do and say.

Shit. I’m too involved.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

This chick is SO taking over my life right now.

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