Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Being out of commission has its advantages. I missed the entire start of this round of trouble in Gaza. I hate trouble in that area. Freaks me out no end (I think it’s a hangover from my Baptist school days; nothing says Armageddon like trouble in the Holy Land). But I also felt like I accomplished nothing. You know how in the roll up to the holidays, you’re just a machine. Your whole weekend is nothing but checking items off your list – bought this, cleaned that, mailed this, baked that. After all that, it’s kind of hard to see laying on the couch, filling tissue after tissue and shotgunning Robitussin straight from the bottle as a real achievement. Woo-hoo kicked snot’s ass! Yeah!
Friday, December 26, 2008
Okay. These people have no excuse. If they are geeky enough to want to bio-engineer life forms in their garage, then I know for a fact that they are geeky enough to have watched every sci-fi-mad-scientist-creates-thing-that-is-supposed-to-save-mankind-but-turns-into-a-hideous-phlegm-monster-or-turns-people-into-brain-eating-zombies movie ever made. These are the kind of people for whom Mystery Science Theater was invented. What up, my geeks?
And while I applaud the initiative they are taking, I also offer this Asimovian word of caution: glow-in-the-dark bacteria that makes yummy yogurt safe for the world to enjoy = good; a 40-foot strawberry yogurt mutant with lactobacillus minions the size of Volkswagen Beetles = bad. Tinkering with the wee beasties is not for the faint of heart. Lets be careful out there, kids.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
And as a holiday tip, I thought I'd share: I got an e-mail from World Market that they are running their Electric Reindeer wines for half-price. I don't know if pricing is consistent across the country, but in my neck of the woods that makes them about $2.50. And it's not a bad low-cost hooch.
But here's something I discovered last Christmas. We found a bottle of the Electric Reindeer White Zinfandel that had been shoved to the back of the cabinet. My guess is that it was 2 years old. I've always heard that the best rule for cheap wine is to drink it immediately. For the most part they don't age well at all. But we decided, what the heck? Popped the cork and found that this particular bottle had turned into something amazing. It tasted like a really expensive Sauternes. Sweet and full-bodied, like peaches and honey. Whatever magic can happen in a wine bottle did. Like an alcoholic Christmas miracle.
Anyway. If you can find the ER White Zin for a couple of bucks, I'd suggest buying 2. One to shove in the back of a cabinet and hope that you'll have a little miracle a couple of years from now. And one to drink right now, just for, ahem, comparison purposes. Cheers, y'all.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Of course I was.
It was The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon, starring Shannon Doherty (henceforth referred to as "That Talentless Whore" or "TTW") and none other than Michael Shanks, Stargate's Daniel Jackson.
When my sister and I lived together (for several years before she committed marriage last summer), one of our favorite things was watching Daniel Jackson getting the crud kicked out of him on SG1. Until he went off for a year and came back less nerdy and more butch. Liked him better nerdy. But even though Daniel changed, we still loved the Shanks.
So my sister and I indulged in at least a half hour of ranking on The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon. It was one of those made for SciFi movies that specialize in cheap location shots, one or two name stars, two or three vaguely recognizable supporting actors, lots of really bad production values, except for one really good CGI monster, and a script that I'm pretty sure is produced in a sweatshop somewhere outside of Toronto where dozens of teenage fanboys are forced to copy/past lines out of old Flash Gordon and Land of the Lost scripts. I mean there's just so much to mock. And my sister and I do it so well. "Do you suppose, as an actor, you find yourself playing second-fiddle to That Talentless Whore and suddenly find yourself thinking 'Gee, maybe Dad was right. I should have had a backup plan'?" "Who's the woman with the blond hair? It looks like she's wearing a hat made out of a giant Cinnabon." "Shanks is looking good. Very scruffy." "Yeah, the hanging suspenders look good, but the boots are a little precious. Nice Aztec accent though."
It was kind of nice to have a good old-fashioned mockery session with my sister. I don't think we've done it since she got married. But we're like two old vaudevillians. Once we start that old routine, we just fall right back into the old timing.
I did notice a few things through my misery, however.
- The rascally, noble brother had a really nicely shaped head. Think Miguel Ferrer, with more hair. And he could pull off a single-pearl dangle earring. Not every man can. Especially in pantaloons.
- Even if you’re doing period costumes, you shouldn’t feel forced to do period hair. The one blond dude in the cast had a conspicuous lack of product in his flaxen locks, and it was starting to frighten the women-folk. Even if you want to be true to an era that did not have mousse, throw some bacon grease in the boy’s head. That wafty ‘fro was very distracting. Good actor. Bad hair.
- This show may have contained the WORST song I’ve ever heard on stage. Really bad. But not so bad that I know it was supposed to be bad on purpose. It sounded like the 3 singers had read the lyrics off the back of an envelope 5 minutes before the curtain came up. I’d say they were off-key, but I’m not even sure there was a key to be off of. Just mouth-droppingly bad.
- When we picked up our tickets, the box office person had said that this wasn’t a sold-out show, so if we wanted to move closer, we could during the opening remarks. Thank all the gods we didn’t. There was a scene where the wily manservant disguises himself as a woman, with help getting dressed from audience members. You know the drill: flirt with the girls, tell the men to keep their pea-picken hands to themselves. Luckily, for us, we were safe in the top row. Don’t get me wrong, he was very funny and obviously had experience working an audience. But I don’t do audience participation. And those people can just smell the fear on me. Sadistic bastards love making me sweat. But I was far, far away and behind a railing, where he couldn’t get me this time. Ha-ha!
All in all, a good show, and a good time had by all. And I got to go home and enjoy a nice, hearty cough in private.
Eat a hamburger like normal people, Shamu.
Honestly. Who eats that much raw fish? I like sushi. There have been moments when I have loved sushi. But even if I could afford to live on the stuff (and, not being a fancy-schmancy TV star, I can't), I do read the newspapers every once in awhile, and know that most fish have high levels of mercury. I used to enjoy a tuna fish salad sandwhich once a week (I can't even afford to live on canned tuna), but cut back to a once a month thing because I was afraid that I'd start to look like one of the X-Men. You'd think one of his sushi chefs would have said, "Dude, you need to lay off the ahi."
Friday, December 19, 2008
Last night I went to the Thursday Night Live at the Dallas Museum of Art (or as I like to refer to it – the Dallas Museum o’ Fart. Who doesn’t like a good fart joke?). It’s free admission to the regular collection, and a jazz cabaret in the café space. Sweet. Two things I noticed:
- The Olafur Eliasson exhibit is two words: awe and some. There are a few photographs and some more-or-less traditional art pieces, but the coolest pieces are the installations. By the time we got to the end of the exhibit, my whole brain was overloaded from looking at things in weird ways. For instance, there was this (and I know this sounds silly) black fan, like the kind that you’d have as an oscillating fan in your house, that was suspended from a cathedral ceiling by a long cord. The way the fan blew, it would swing around in these random arcs. Part of the fun was just watching the way it would twist and spin as it flew over head. But there was also the way you’d catch a puff of breeze on your face when it would turn just right, and the strange hum and whir that filled the whole gallery from the motor. A lot of the installations took some time just standing there to figure out what they were doing. It was almost too much to see all the exhibits. I was almost in mental shut down by the time we were done. But if this one comes to your town, it’s definitely worth going to see, brain fry and all. (http://www.dallasmuseumofart.org/Dallas_Museum_of_Art/View/Eliasson/index.htm)
- I really hate jazz. I mean in an almost-to-the-point-of-violence hate. When we finished with the Eliasson exhibit, we wandered down to where the jazz combo was playing. I’m assuming this was good jazz. There were a lot of long hair types sitting around, rocking out to the funky tones. But what do I know about jazz? For me it was like getting hit over and over again with a dead catfish. Aaaaghh. Aaaaagh. Why do you keep hitting me? I realize this is a deficiency in me. Millions of Miles Davis fans can’t be wrong. And I understand the French love the jazz. But me? I’d rather listen to a quintet made up of a jackhammer, a cat in heat, a ’78 Ford Pinto engine, a string of bottle rockets and Weird Al Yankovic on accordion playing Stairway to Heaven. Backwards.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Okay. You know how you can tell that this isn't a "this is what I believe in" issue, and is really just a little jerk who likes to push people's buttons?
When have you ever, ever, in the history of birthdays, ever been to a party where a kid's FULL name was on the cake? Regardless of whether their middle name was Robert, Francis, Butterfly, Lesley or Englebert. In fact, the only time I ever heard my middle name as a child was when my mother was mad at me. And I don't even have a middle name. She'd just make one up to yell at me.
Adolph's daddy just gets his jollies making other people squirm. I'd almost respect him more if he was an honest rascist, rather than a dishonest pain in the collective ass. To quote James Tiberius Kirk speaking to Harcourt Fenton Mudd - "You are an irritant."
Poor kid. You suppose we could go to a local bank and start a fund for the therapy he's going to need eventually? I'm good for at least one session.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Okay. I have absolutely zero to say about Playboy putting a nekkid Mary on the cover of their magazine in Mexico. I'm not a Catholic, or otherwise of the Christian faith, I'm not Mexican and I'm not a porn connoisseur. I'm not qualified in any way, shape or form to comment on bare-breasted Blessed Virgins.
I do love that they got Father Cutie to comment on the story. Father Cutie. That's up there with Father Whatawaste, and it's his real name. Oh, my gosh. I just found his picture. He is cute as hell. So glad I'm not Catholic. I'd be going to hell right now for sure.
So last night, I get back to my home train station late. It’s been doing the freezing mist thing for a few hours. Barney the Wonder Truck looks like a glazed donut. I get in to start the engine and defrost my window. After 10 minutes, it’s not blowing hot air. I whip out the Super Duper Ice Scraper with Extended Handle and Brush. I go at the ice with a vengeance. And it reacts with indifference. I persist. It relents. And by the time I get the side and back windows, things on the bottom edge of the windshield have softened up enough that I’m able bang off the ice pretty quickly. Of course, I can no longer feel the tip of my nose. But no matter. I’m on my way.
Right past the big church (denomination will remain unnoted for reasons that will become apparent momentarily) on the corner. Who has their FUCKING SPRINKLERS ON! Spewing water right on to the sidewalk and street. It may be a long time since I was in a pew, but I do know this is not Christianity in action. What would Jesus do? JESUS WOULD PUT HIS GODDAMN LONG JOHNS ON, DRIVE DOWN TO THE CHURCH AND TURN THE FUCKING SPRINKLERS OFF! You know, so that people won’t be driving through a freaking death trap tomorrow morning. I know the church wants to help you get to heaven – but only eventually.
I wake up and it’s cold as hell. And my usual route is over a bridge that ices. So I take off a little early to go the safe (yet longer) route. And get to the train station late. I hustle. I’m not going to make it. I will be standing on the platform for 20 minutes waiting for the next train. Then I hear a ding-ding. The conductor is looking at me – the door is still open. I RUN.
I’d like to say right now – though I don’t even know your name – Mr. Conductor, I. Love. You. Seriously. Today you are my best friend in the entire world. I love you more than any other train conductor on this planet (even George Carlin, may he rest in peace). You are a gentleman, and a prince among men. May the tracks rise up to meet you. And may your days be merry and bright. And you look very nice in your uniform.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I’m kind of waffling this year. If I make a resolution to learn something, it’s going to have to be low/no cost. Belts are tightening, my friends. And learning to brew my own beer, while appealing, when it will probably cost me $20 a pint, and I could buy 3 6-packs of Miller High Life for that price, just doesn’t make good fiscal sense.
So that leaves me with 2 top contenders: learn to play the ukulele or write a book. Both have their own kind of appeal.
The ukulele I already own. And I have a stack of books. So really, it comes down to sitting my ass down with the uke in my hands and applying my fingers to the frets. And I making it my resolution could give me the push I need. I really like that feeling of knowing at the end of the year that I accomplished what I set out to do. And being able to pick out a recognizable song next December sounds doubly appealing. I have a few friends who are lobbying for this one. Mostly because they like the idea of a friend who can sit around the campfire strumming out a tune. I’ve pointed out that this would probably also be accompanied by me singing (a truly horrifying prospect), but strangely they are still backing Plan Ukulele. Masochists.
Then there’s writing a book. That one actually scares me. Because I think it’s very probable that I wouldn’t achieve it. And I’d really like to. I’ve always thought I’d do it some day. But I’m almost 40, and someday hasn’t shown up yet. I worry that this is just too big of a goal. And I’m not even expecting that I write a good book. Just a book would do. Here’s the thing – I know even bad books are hard to write. Lots of sitting your ass down and applying your fingers to the frets, metaphorically speaking. And, it’s truly cowardly, but I’m afraid to try because if I don’t, I will be phenomenally disappointed in myself. Is it better to try and fail, or not try and keep your illusions that you could if you really wanted to? Good question. Guess I’ll have to answer it by the end of the month. Unless I can come up with a third option.
Well, seriously, you could see this as offensive, or on the other hand, I suppose we could take it as a sign of how far we've progressed that a black, blind governor can become the new Gerald Ford. Because seriously, I've seen the sketch and it looked to me to be recycled jokes from the 1970s when Chevy Chase was tripping over podiums as Betty Ford's better half. Maybe it's SNL's attempt to go green, since the gags were all 90% post-consumer product. And it's pretty typical of my assessment of the current crop of performers that when they steal from classic Saturday Night Live sketches, they don't even go back and rip off the funny stuff. [FYI - if you're going to crib from the Not Ready For Primetime Players, always go with Dan Ackroyd or John Belushi as the sure thing. Samurai Tailor or the Bass-O-Matic this wasn't.]
I wouldn't take this as any indication of whether it's now okay for comics to take shots at a black politician. Can SNL be funny about race? Better question is, can they be funny at all?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
And the show was lovely. It was the Sarah Ruhl translation of Eurydice. And all the actors were good. Eurydice was cute and delicate in just the way I’d choose to be if I hadn’t decided to be strong and quirky instead. Orpheus was a nice looking fella, and a brave enough actor to choose to be slightly unlikable. The father was a foxy older gentleman, and my absolute favorite in the show. And Hades was creeeeeeepy as hell. And funny at the same time. Not an easy trick.
And I say the show was lovely. And I’m about 80% sure of that. Because the theater was in a basement that had giant pillars spread around, so that at least a third of the audience couldn’t see at least 20% of the show. In fact, I’m not at all sure what happened to Eurydice at the very end. I’m assuming that she threw herself into the Lethe. But given that it was entirely behind that damned column, she could as easily have strutted off the stage doing the can-can for all I know.
It all made me remember the experience that I had in high school that made me love going to the theater. It was at Arena Stage in D.C. They did a production of Tartuffe. With actual actors in the cast from the Comedie Francaise. I had no idea what it meant, but I was very impressed anyway. And it was all incredibly good. Until the end. When there was this horrible noise. And the walls started to shake. And tiles fell away from the walls all around us. Then the floor fell out in the shape of a cross. And the ceiling opened up. And a tall black man in a cassock came through the opening hanging out of a helicopter. And there was wind, and smoke, and flashing lights. And it was wonderful. Gasp. Applause, applause, applause. And that's what can happen when good actors have a good performance space (ahem, Undermain Theater).
Some people have an experience like that and it makes them want to be an actor or a playwright, or just somehow a part of the theater. Me, it made want to go to the theater, again and again, for the rest of my life, and be entertained. And I hope someday I’ll have that kind of experience again. It’s a lot to ask. But, as my Momma says, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
First, I can't find the styrofoam dealy that my pops gave me, with stern warnings about the dangers of frozen pipes. So, I run around looking for a substitute. I find: an old towel, a plastic grocery bag, a piece of rope. Good to go.
I'm wearing my awesome Minnetonka indoor/outdoor, slip-on houseshoes, which are perfect for quick trips to the dumpster, and raids to the backyard to wrap imperiled faucets, that last mere seconds. I put on my serious weather coat, warm gloves, the ugliest hat I own, and I'm ready to do home protection.
I go out the sliding door, and pull it closed because, contrary to the rumor that my mother spreads, I'm not trying to heat the whole outdoors. And then watch as the slide bar falls into place. Oh, fuuuuuuuuudge. But I didn't say fudge.
I'm locked out. I looked at that slide bar when I moved in. Knowing full well that this very thing would happen, someday. It wasn't practically inevitable. It was inevitable. I just kind of hoped it would be in freezing temperatures.
I pushed the door a few times to see if I could bump it out of the way. I actually would have been appalled if it did. It's supposed to keep the door from sliding open. Just hopefully with me on the inside.
Of course, I have no keys, no wallet. Why would I take keys and a wallet to go into the backyard for 30 seconds?
Luckily, I know two things you don't know. One, I have a keypad front door lock. No keys necessary. But, you ask, what about the 6-foot fence. And I say: Two, a misspent youth as a tomboy has left me with mad fence climbing skills. That's right, baby. I shinnied up that fence and dropped on the other side like Barbara Felden in fake fur-lined houseshoes. And aside from the ice flakes that dropped in my collar, and the fear that my neighbors called the cops about the person breaking and un-entering my house, everything was just fine. (And the cops didn't show up. Neighborhood Watch my ass.)
I hurried back to the front door, got back inside the house, went back out the sliding door, carefully securing the slide bar, wrapped the faucet, and went back inside to shiver and call the person who gave me the keypad to say THANK YOU!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
It was a stupid mistake. And even stupider because it’s not the first time I’ve made it.
Yesterday they said there was a cold front coming that should have hit right after last night’s rain.
I woke up this morning to a rather warm day. Not summer warm. Fall warm. Light jacket warm. I thought, “Hmm. This isn’t as bad as they predicted” as I grabbed my beloved jean jacket (sartorial weapon of choice) on the way out the door.
Little did I know that the cold front that was supposed to be hard on the heels of the rain, said “Oh, no. You go on. I’ll catch up.” And stopped to have huevos rancheros somewhere between Albuquerque and Taos. I don’t fault the call. New Mexico makes some good heuvos.
But the cold lollygagged it’s way into town around lunchtime. And right now, it’s 33 degrees, with a wind chill that puts it at 26. Brrrrrrr. And me with only a jean jacket.
Makes my Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
It was a stupid mistake. And even stupider because it’s not the first time I’ve made it.
Yesterday they said there was a cold front coming that should have hit right after last night’s rain.
I woke up this morning to a rather warm day. Not summer warm. Fall warm. Light jacket warm. I thought, “Hmm. This isn’t as bad as they predicted” as I grabbed my beloved jean jacket (sartorial weapon of choice) on the way out the door.
Little did I know that the cold front that was supposed to be hard on the heels of the rain, said “Oh, no. You go on. I’ll catch up.” And stopped to have huevos rancheros somewhere between Albuquerque and Taos. I don’t fault the call. New Mexico makes some good heuvos.
But the cold lollygagged it’s way into town around lunchtime. And right now, it’s 33 degrees, with a wind chill that puts it at 26. Brrrrrrr. And me with only a jean jacket. Gives me the chillvers just thinking of it. When will I ever learn?????
Fine, he's hot. But I'm still just really starting to hate this man. Doom and gloom. Doom and gloom. The sky is falling! The salads are fattening! Eat carrots dipped in wallpaper paste! Air has too many calories!
Nobody is that good looking.
I've heard this kid on the radio. And I don't really even care if it's a put up job. He's just adorable. And hearing a nine-year old talk about relationships is just plain cute as a fluffy blanket full of big-eyed puppies.
Beyond cute, he's got tips that I know a few post-pubescent men could use. Like if you want to talk to a girl, you have to talk about things that girls like, and most girls don't like video games. And girls don't like bragging. Oh, and basic hygiene is a plus. It's remarkable how many men can get to 40 without twigging to these eternal truths.
For every man who has ever said he'll never figure out women, and shook his mystified head like we were riddles wrapped in enigmas needing therapy, I'd like to say - The nine-year old figured it out! Some riddle.
Monday, December 8, 2008
A week ago, I had a bad headache. One of those kind that can wake you up from a dead sleep, lingers for hours, sometimes days, and is almost impossible to get rid of with anything short of a sledgehammer to the head. It started slow in the evening, and jerked me out of sleep at about 2 in the morning. I stumbled to the kitchen on the way to get some Excedrine, though I didn't hold out much hope. On they way, I passed a box of dark chocolates from Starbucks that I'd bought, and had this impulse to eat some.
Usually, I'm very careful about what I eat when I have one of these headaches. The rule is don't eat anything that you'd mind seeing again an hour later. But for some reason, I really wanted that chocolate. (Me? Crave chocolate? Surely, I jest.) I hesitated, contemplating choco-barf, but did it anyway. Then swallowed some Excedrin and collapsed on the couch.
Strangely, about 5 minutes later, my headache started to ease. Then 15 minutes later, when the Excedrin should have kicked in, it disappeared completely. With this type of headache, complete relief is really rare for me. Usually I run through my entire arsenal (Excedrin, Advil, neti pot, warm compress, cold compress, sleep, hot shower, sinus medicine) and only get the edge taken off. But this was a complete better, not just a little better. I tried it again on Friday, and had similar results.
Dark chocolate, like red wine, may be a headache trigger for some people, though I've never had a problem with it. So, if that's you, I'd skip this tip. And I wouldn't say this is an excuse to go out and scarf a pound bar of Hershey Dark (like I need an excuse). What I've used has been one or two bite-size pieces. It's not a scientific study, peer reviewed or double-blind. But this could be information that you want to keep in your back pocket in case you have a monster headache that just won't go away. When you've maxed out on pain relievers (and maybe I'm not the only one this happens to), it's a little something extra you could try. As somebody who knows from headaches, I just thought I'd pass it along. And may you never have to use the information.
This always induces one of my Dr. McCoy moments. You know, the episodes of Star Trek where good ol’ Len McCoy would crank about not liking having his atoms scattered all over the universe, thank you very much. Oh, Bones, you contrary old country doctor, how you fuss. Of course you’d take the transporter because it’s the fastest most efficient way to get planet-side. What do you want to do? Take the shuttle craft down, ya silly? All the cool kids are jumping on the big dots on the floor (in triangle formation) and sparkling off to glory and adventure. And you’re worrying about your molecules. You can’t be afraid of the new technology.
Well, actually, frequently I am. Especially when it comes in pill form. But I really start to feel like I’m being an old silly because the side effects that come with a lot of the new miracle drugs sound worse than the cure. I have migraines, but the current most prescribed migraine medicine has side effect that list up to and including heart attack and seizure. I’ll just keep the headaches, thanks.
But drugs to make you smarter. Hmmm. That’s a tough one. I wouldn’t mind being a little brighter. I would love to be able to do math in my head and understand string theory. And if there was a little bitty pill that would make me sharper, why would I be an old silly about that? First of all, because I’ve seen every sci-fi movie and tv show where scientists administer intelligence drugs, and the person becomes a genius, then the drugs fail, and the person knows their going to not be a genius any more, then they end up wearing overalls and backwards baseball caps in a group home and smiling a lot and not even remembering that they used to be a genius. Or dead.
Okay, yeah. I might be acting like a cranky old country doctor on this one, and getting upset about something all the cool kids will be doing. I could end up being stupid about something that could help me, especially in contrast to everybody else who has been popping genius pills. But I don’t trust the drug companies to come up with a pill that’s side effects aren’t worse than being plain old average dumb.
Friday, December 5, 2008
The financial industry teetered. We bailed them out. So now the American people are basically shareholders in some of the biggest financial institutions in the U.S. Which to me seems just 2 degrees off of “liberating” the banks for the greater glory of the People. Viva la revolucion!
And now the car industry is ready to crater. And we’re going to bail them out too. But with the condition of government oversight of their actions. Terrific. Because that worked so well in the USSR. I’ve always wanted to drive a Volga.
But we definitely don’t want socialized medicine. Because socializing things is bad.
The style bitches at OMG were bagging on Tina Turner for this outfit. “What was she thinking?” they ask.
Let me break it down for you, OMG. This is what she was thinking:
- I’m Tina Turner, bitch. I can wear whatever I want.
- I’m gonna give the fans what they paid for. [This is obviously a stage costume. That picture wasn’t taken at the Piggly Wiggly. When Tina goes on stage, she brings it. You know when she walked on stage, which I’m dead certain was in a cloud of stage fog and back-lit (because she’s Tina), you know the crowd gasped. Which is what they paid for.]
- Look at these legs. [She’s 69. Y’all better recognize.]
So, frankly, OMG needs to check theirselves. They aren’t worthy. Go pick on somebody your own teeny-tiny size. Leave the giants be.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Thank you, Sweet Jesus (or whichever Eternal Force for Goodness in the Universe is responsible), for answering my silent prayers and getting those damned, ugly, misogynist, trashy, ugly, distorted-body-image-inducing, consumerist, ugly, ugly, ugly dolls off the market. And, now if you could only make the remaing dolls spontaneously burst into flames. It's not for me. It's for the kids.
And if you're not too busy, Jesus, please make every shirt that Hugh Jackman tries on also burst in to flames. That one's for me, Lord.
Merry Christmas to me!
Merry Christmas to me!
Merry Christmas to me-eeee!
Merry Christmas to me!
Okay, this is my un-guilty pleasure. I loves me a good Hallmark Hall of Fame. Especially ones around the holidays. I just love flopping on the couch, wrapped up in a big blanket with a cup of cocoa and a giant box of tissues, ready for the tears to flow and the heart to warm.
And sometimes Hallmark de-liv-ers. ALL of the Sara Plain and Talls were tear-fests (and where I developed an enormous love for Christopher Walken); Miss Rose White didn't get me until the very end, then I cried like a baby. Sometimes they go a little too righteous and austere like the Painted House. A little bit of poor people, suffering nobly goes a long way for me. Or just plain syrupy (Riding the Bus with My Sister - ugh! ugh! ugh! WHY?). But when they get it right, there's nothing better.
I especially love the old school Hallmark commercials. Like the one where the little boy who, oh, hold on I'm going to cry, needed help reading comes back to read his teacher her Christmas card - whaaaaaaaaa! So good.
And this special features a teacher, which is almost guaranteed to make me cry. And bonus points for a teacher with a disability. I'm hoping there will be apple-cheeked children, a tough old principal who learns to care again, and maybe somebody who gets really, really sick, but pulls through just in time for everyone to learn a valuable lesson. Get the Kleenex!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Because I hate getting out of bed. Early or late, rain or shine, hot or cold. The act of throwing back the covers and putting my feet on the floor is just bloody unpleasant. And that’s how you have to start every day. Sigh. And unless I start sleeping suspended upside down in the closet, I don’t see any way around it. Because, even when you try to avoid it, you do have to get up and out some time. If nothing else, a urinary imperative will eventually force the issue.
Really, the only true way to change it is to do something very Zig Zigler and change my attitude about getting out of bed. Be positive about starting the day, and throw back the blankets and greet the day with a smile and a hearty howdy-do! I don’t really see that happening. And unfortunately, I’ve never been able to convince people that I’m the reincarnation of Louis XIV and as the reigning Sun Queen, I should be allowed to conduct business from my boudoir. People just refuse to be my courtiers. So not fair.
I don’t know whose idea this starting the day with the rise and shine business was. But it’s just not working for me. Though I guess it’s better than the alternative. Just.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The only thing that made it hard was that we were in the second to last row. And some kid behind me starts kicking the back of my seat about 20 seconds after the lights came down. And kept it up in this random tattoo (whump . . . . whump. . whump………whump) all the way through the first act. At the intermission, I turned around to ask the little dear to keep his or her feet on the floor, and found that the tot was actually a teenager. Maybe a tween. But definitely old enough to know not to kick the flipping chairs. I found myself so taken aback that I didn’t say anything at all. Mostly because I couldn’t think of anything more courteous to say than, “Were you raised in a barn?” And that might have put a pall on the evening.
Then when we sat down for the second act, she started in before the house lights even dimmed. And her mother says, “Honey, don’t do that. It’s hard on the chairs.” ??????? Well, let me tell you, it ain’t exactly a day at the spa for the person in the chair either. Once again, complete befuddlement. Once again because all I could think to say was, “Are you raising her out in the barn?” But I just decided to stiff upper lip it. She’s at least trying to take her kid someplace other than the mall, credit where due. I just tried to simmer down and enjoy the rest of the show (whump . . . whump). Lovely.
For example. Last night I’m on my way into a store, and a lady sitting on the sidewalk with several large bags (make your own inferences) calls out to me: “Hey, there! I’m not panhandling or asking for a handout or anything, but do you have any money you can spare?” ………………………………..Uhm. Now I did not have a dictionary on me, but I’m pretty sure asking a stranger for spare change would be pretty close to the definition of a handout. And since I noted the glaring absence of a bell, a bucket or a Santa suit, I’m going to have to say that if you are in public asking a person for money, you are either a panhandler or the CEO of a car company. Now I wouldn’t want to admit I was running GM either, but given that she wasn’t wearing a $5,000 suit, I’d have to guess that she was indeed a panhandler.
So that leaves me the question – is she in such a level of denial that she can honestly ask for money, but not consider herself, well let’s just say it right out, a beggar? Or is it part of a con in which I’m supposed to think, “Well, she just said she’s not a panhandler. She just needs money”, like it’s a totally different thing? I think there’s a lot of both those types of people out there on the streets. And it’s virtually impossible to tell which one you’ve got standing in front of you in that moment. The bad one and the sad one look exactly the same.
Monday, December 1, 2008
First, I didn’t get out of work until late. So, I’m behind the clock as it is, with a timetable that needs to accommodate 2 pies, and preparing the green bean casserole to be ready to go in the oven first thing T-day morning. And I need to stop at the grocery store for eggs and foil. And miracle of miracles, I breeze right through. I figure this is a good sign. Everything will go just fine. Optimist.
I start cooking the cider for the Apple Cider Pie recipe I got from the Washington Post. Then I’m baking the sweet potatoes for the other pie. I’m rocking. I’m rolling. I do the gluten free nut crust for the sweet potato pie. I put it all together and throw it in the oven, that for once I’d remembered to pre-heat. Bam, baby! I am on fire.
Oh, wait, is something really on fire? No. It’s just the nuts in the pie crust have swelled up over the edges and are burning around the edge of the pie pan. I go back and look at the recipe. Sure enough. It was supposed to be a no-bake crust. Damn! Absolutely nothing I can do about it now, other than turn on the Vent-a-Hood fan, wipe off the edges and tell everybody they can eat the middle of the pie even if the crust tastes like Kingsford Sure Fire.
Fine. Fine. I can’t let one or two little problems slow me down. I’m on to finish the apple pie. I layer my apples, finish the cider filling, lay down the crust, cut out the little vents, crimp the edges. Looks pretty if I say so myself. I pop it in the oven and sit down to review my green bean casserole recipe. Sniff. Sniff. What’s that? Oh, it’s just that I didn’t pinch the edges well enough, and I’ve got an apple cider volcano in my oven. If my 4th grade science project had erupted that well, I’d probably have gotten into the earth sciences and have my own show on National Geographic TV by now - Gotta Love-a Lava. So, now I have to wait until the pie finishes, then clean out the oven. It is now midnight. It will be 1 before I’m ready to start the beans.
Or would be ready to start the green beans if I hadn’t bought cream of chicken soup instead of cream of mushroom soup. Aarrrrgh! For one crazy moment, I consider just going ahead and telling people that it was a new recipe I was trying out. But Thanksgiving is no day to go off the reservation on a classic dish. So, I had to table the green beans until morning when I could go back to the grocery store and get the mushroom soup. I go to bed at 1:30, knowing I’d need to get up at 7:00 to make it to the store. Sigh. No rest for the wicked. Or at least very little rest for the occasionally naughty.
In the end, everything tasted fine, more or less. But I could hardly keep my eyes open to eat it. In the final review the apple cider pie was rated good by those who ate it: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/recipes/2008/11/19/lost-nation-cider-pie/ . The sweet potato pie was rated as excellent (even with the overly toasted nut crust, my bad) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/calleys-sweet-potato-pie-recipe/index.html . And well, the green bean casserole was green bean casserole. How much can you expect?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Hapa holuhdays evuh buddy!
Like last night on the train. The woman across the aisle from me was totally seat hogging on a crowded train. She was well-dressed and precision quaffed. And totally blocking access to the window seat. Did I mention the crowded train part? Basically she was getting by on the fact that, in our “classless” American society, people rarely have the nerve to challenge rich, white women. And Queenie just sat there flipping through Food & Wine magazine (aristo) knowing that it was highly unlikely that anyone was going to call her on her pigginess.
I really, really wanted to say something along the lines of “Seat pigs burn in hell” or “You make Jesus cry when you are selfish” or, my personal favorite, “Move your ass you rude cow!” But I bit my tongue. Because, who knows, maybe she has a horrible neurological disorder that makes it hard for her to have anything touching her entire right side. Or maybe she was born with an extra pair of ass cheeks that made it impossible for her to share the seat. Or maybe she was raised by a pack of wolves, the poor dear, and never learned BASIC COURTESY.
Oh, yeah, nothing judgmental about that at all. So, knowing that I was not being kindhearted, I just seethed. Better to boil and bite your tongue, than to possibly cause embarrassment to a woman with two asses.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Saddest of all is the denial guy. And I can see why he is in denial. That bald spot has to be a hard thing to face (figuratively). Because once upon a time, not long ago, he must have had great hair. Dark, silky, a little curly at the ends, just past collar length. He's only average looking, but that hair probably bagged him a lot of chicks once upon a time. Run your fingers through it hair.
But he does have a fairly significant sparse patch forming in the back 40. Lush hair framing a follicular crop circle. Ouch. I can see his dilemma. The only real way to shore up his fading crowning glory is to go shorter. Less weight on what's there would kind of fluff things up enough to disguise that bit "where the pillow rubs in the back". It's a good tactic. But he'd lose the best part of what he has left to do it. That's a hard call to make.
But it happens to us all. Jowls get draggy. Butts get less bouncy. A few silver strands among the gold. I've reached an age where I've made a ruling that I will never again be photographed in profile. The amount of contortion that it takes to make my double-chin disappear would challenge a 15-year old Chinese acrobat, let alone me. So, I feel for ya buddy.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Why am I bringing sweet potato pie? Because I like it. I like it enough to say "Forget you, yankee. Eat mincemeat" to anyone who doesn't like it. And even though I grew up in Texas, I never had sweet potato pie until I was almost 30. And then I wept for all the Thanksgivings that I had wasted on pecan pie. But even though I've been trying to make up lost time since then, and there's a lot of pie gone under the bridge. I've never actually made one myself.
So, I'm cruising the food sites looking for a likely candidate. And may I say, some people have some very strage ideas of what constitutes sweet potato pie. Rachel Ray adds a banana. I know. It's appalling. I knew the bitch was crazy, but I didn't think she was that crazy. And I saw several recipes that called for 4 eggs, or more, for some sort of custardy filling. And y'all are just nasty. If your sweet potato pie wiggles to the touch, it. is. wrong. Shame on you. Shame!
But I found one that seems to balance the egg to sweet potatoe ratio. And calls for what I consider a healthy amount of spices. I'm going to go off the reservation a little and do a nut crust, instead of the regular. I've got a gluten sensitive guest. So, I'm going to violate my own purist credo here. But not giving a guest a raging case of IBS is the hallmark of a courteous cook, in my humble opinion.
My friend Nancy and I used to call them “Everybody’s lookin’ at me” moments. That moment where you’re walking through the sushi bar and all heads turn to look at you. Damn! I must be looking cute. Cause everybody’s lookin’ at me. Then you sit down and realize that your fly is wide open and you’re wearing safety orange underwear. Not that I would have any idea what that’s like.
So I’m walking behind this gal on the way to the train. She’s got the jeans tucked into black, high-heeled books look going. And a big, fat white price sticker that flashed like a strobe light with every step. Do I tell her? I had a couple minutes to figure it out before we got to the platform. And it truly is figuring. Some people are grateful of being informed of the fly open-price tag-booger on the nose-toilet paper out the back or your pants situations. I had a boss who informed me after a week of employment that the code for a slip showing below the hem of her skirt was “There’s snow down south.” And I was encouraged to use it. Other people get kind of offended when you point out a wardrobe malfunction. They can get a little huffy. It’s a small percentage, but if you’ve ever had it happen to you, you can be kind of gun shy of pointing out the slight faux pas. Personally, I suffer that “AAARGH! Why didn’t anyone tell me!” moment. I’d always rather know.
And I’ve been known to leave the occasional tag on for bragging rights. Like tying the 12 point buck to the hood of your car. “Look! $9 at Ross!” Then I lift up the bottom of my foot to prove it.
All things considered, I decided to bite the bullet, and let her know about her tag. Sisters gotta hang together. She knew. She just couldn’t get the tag to come off. And she must have paid too much, because she didn’t even show me the bottom of her foot.
Friday, November 21, 2008
There's naming your kid something unique. There's naming your kids something unusual. There's even naming your kids something whacky. And then there's just being an asshole.
I know I've ranted about this before. But this just takes the cake. These two simpletons aren't even from the Bronx. And Bronx would be just barely acceptable if the kid's last name wasn't Wentz. Bronx Wentz. Bronx Wentz. It sounds like a goose with asthma. And Mowgli! What kind of douche bag names their kid Mowgli? Hey, I love the Jungle Book too. But I'm not naming a kid Baloo. Even freaking Britney Spears drunk off her ass didn't name her kid MOWGLI.
Wentz, your name is Pete. That sweet baby could have been Pete Jr. PJ. Who doesn't love a PJ? Or even Ashleigh Jr. (spelled the boy way) is boldly unique, but not bizarre. AJ. Or Ash. Nope, we leap frog over these logical, inoffensive alternatives and pick Bronx Mowgli Wentz.
Ugh. Bronx Mowgli Wentz (BMW, double ugh!) you have my deepest sympathies. It's going to be a long haul to 18. Poor baby.
That’s the way I’m feeling about my beloved Theatre 3 and their inexplicable adoration of Light in the Piazza. I went to see their production in November. And I was deathly silent on the topic. Because, everybody else I know who has seen the show adores it. Thinks it is beyond romance. The story. The music. And T3 itself seems to be really over the moon. They extended the run. They send out bubbly e-mails about it. They are gaga for the Piazza. I’m more eeee-gaga. That show just hits my gag reflex.
If you’re not familiar, it’s the story of an American mother and daughter on vacation in Italy in the '50s. Daughter meets cute an Italian boy and they fall in love. Molto romantico. The wrinkle? The daughter got kicked in the head by a horse as a child (yep, kicked in the head by a horse) and she’s a little slow. The boy and his family don’t notice because evidently all Americans sound a little slow to them. So the mother then has to decide whether to let her daughter follow her heart. Oh, and did I mention that the girl has a tiny bit of an anger management problem as a result of her little accident? Little bit. Ain’t that a kick in the head. So romantic.
Oh, and by the way, the mother never does get around to telling the boy’s parents that their sweet new daughter-in-law has the mentality of an 8-year old. I kept thinking, “Well intentioned family who basically tricks a man into marrying a potentially unstable woman. Isn’t that how Mr. Rochester ended up with a crazy woman locked in the attic of his house? Then she burned the house down?” I really, really tried to see it as romantic. But all I could see was a marriage beginning on a lie. A really, really BIG lie. That could go horribly, painfully, catastrophically wrong leaving nothing but agony for anyone involved. I can’t even think of this as morally ambiguous. It’s just wrong.
But Theatre 3 keeps sending me e-mails about this wonderful, charming, heart warming, funny play that no one in their right mind should miss.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
But it's not even really cold yet, and I'm kicking down the street with a topper. I saw several people wearing hats on my morning commute, and they just looked so urbane and stylish. I thought "Me too! I wanna be fancy too!" So, I've been digging in my closet, and I've picked up one or two. I've got a black and white driving cap, a gray cadet cap, and green felt flapper hat and a green tweed newsie. And I'm scoping for something like a fedora or a pork-pie.
There's something about the hat. It makes me stand up a little straighter, walk a little swingier. I'm doing a very subtle Miss-Jay-approved sashay. Who says you need to be a 6-foot, 102 pound model to strut it out. Tip that hat a little to the side and you're doing your little turn on the catwalk. Hats are magic.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Okay. This article just walks the line between making me giggle nervously and being completely ooked out. Women really go out and get their cooches rebuilt. Wow. I don't even like the idea of a scalpel being in the same room with my lady parts. And that part about getting your G-spot "enhanced" with collagen. How exactly does the collagen get applied? A needle? Ah, hell no. Not happening.
I just don't get it. Don't women have enough things to get insecure about? They have to add in a part of their body that, statistically speaking, very few people will ever even see. Assuming you're not in certain professions. I can understand the part about getting things, um, rearranged, if it's actually causing discomfort. But just for looks? I mean, how often does someone stand in a line up, so that comparisons can be drawn? In my experience, not often. And people who actually take pictures of their bits and send them to a website asking for criticism? I can't even process a response to that. "Oh, no, girl. Yours are cute. Look at mine."
Some days, I think we've come a long way, baby. Some days I just think we're wandering around without a clue.
He avoided jail time for not delivering junk mail? Hell, I think they should be giving him a parade.
Confidential to my letter carrier: Throw it away. I'll never tell.
I ate well. Isn't it funny that even though you've had plenty, a big spread will just put you into Thanksgiving mode? I just leaned back on my chair and thought, "No, where's my zert?" Doesn't matter if you've eaten more than you normally would in a day. There's always room for punkin pie.
And I quote: "a particularly blatant shot of bare-chested Jackman lathering up under the shower."
Did somebody just take all the oxygen out of the room. Can't think. Brain shutting . . . down. Must . . .
Okay, I'm back. Let me just state for the record that I think Hugh Jackman is a fine actor with a remarkable stage presence and I respect him greatly. Even standing bare-chested in a shower all lathered up with soap and dripping . . . oh, my.
And I'm a big Baz Luhrman fan. From as far back as Strictly Ballroom. In fact, I just like Aussie cinema. They really have their own thing going on down there. So, I'm looking forward to seeing this movie for a number of reasons. In spite of the every creepier Nicole Kidman (Step away from the Botox, honey. You're starting look like Madame Tussaud's best work.). Anyhoo, it sounds like a Must See on the Big Screen experience to me. Soap!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
But it's irrelevant. For one reason, and one reason alone. And it's not to bolster the economy. It's not to fend off The Great Depression Part Deux. Quite simply, if Barack Obama is going to make good on his plan to reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources, he's going to need the auto industry on board. Granted, they should have been on board all along. But they're greedy corporate blood suckers. And greedy corporate blood suckers don't get on board out of the goodness of their hearts. They get on board because there's a gun to their heads. Well, gentlemen, let me introduce Mssrs. Smith and Wesson. Also known as Chapter 11. Start making energy efficient cars, or die.
Or at least that should be part of the deal. If the American tax-payer is going to pull those idiots' collective nuts out of the fire, I think we need to get something back. And if I'm ever going to achieve my dream of owning a car that runs on banana peels and moonbeams, this is the time to a firmly apply a boot to the ass of the auto industry.
Here’s the catch: Once you get used to eating small meals frequently, when you go past your limit, watch out. It’s like something else takes over. A Tasmanian Devil or a Langolier. Last night, I had errands to run and was at about 3 ½ hours past my last meal. And it hit me. This crazed need for food. An angry and crazed need for food. I pulled into the Taco Cabana and nearly grabbed the counter girl by the neck and growled “Give me food now or I will eat my own arm and make you watch!” I was able to maintain a civilized veneer. Counter Girl may not even have suspected what a close call she had.
But I ordered waaaaay too much food. When you’re that out of control hungry, there are no breaks on that little bobsled. You’re ordering anything that sounds good. And it all sounds good. And it probably all should be topped with queso. I would have mentally added up the calories as I drove away, but I was already trying to steer and break into the chip bag at the same time. There were only so many processes my brain could handle at the time. Probably just as well.
So obviously, I need to start carrying an emergency stash in my purse. Something shelf stable, that won’t get easily crushed or melt under variable purse conditions. Hmmm. That’s going to take a little thought. But it’s worth the effort. Going all Langolier at the Taco Cabana is not something I want to make a regular occurrence.
Monday, November 17, 2008
But there were so many books to read, and it never seemed to show up at the Halfie, so I never quite got around to it. Then there was going to be a movie. Why bother reading when I can be spoon-fed the entire story in under 2 hours? [Don’t give me that look. It’s YA vamp lit. It’s not like I opted to watch the Great Gatsby instead of reading the book.] Film away. I’ll wait.
But then I started hearing from other people who read the book. And the commercials seem to be reinforcing the opinions I'm hearing. It appears that our brave heroine isn’t all that brave. In fact, she spends a lot of time being menaced and getting saved. And the commercial just reinforces it. Tall, dark and platelet-poor boy says “I feel the need to protect you” to thin, pale and damselish girl. Oh, really, O-neg breath? The fangs and the blood mustache indicate that you’re not really qualified for the “protector” role.
Seriously. Once we’ve been to Sunnyvale, can we really go back? The only man Buffy Summers needed to protect her was Mr. Pointy. Cause she knew that even though your dreamy dead-guy boyfriend may be able jump in and dust the menacing fang case for you, but he can also decide you look yummy. And not in the good way. Sometimes, you can scream and scream, but the only one around to drive that stake in is you. Girls who stand around wilting while they wait to be saved end up Happy Meals on Legs.
So thanks much, Stephanie Meyer. We learned that every girl’s a Slayer. Except evidently your little shrinking violet. Yawn. Not interested.
Then I slept in until 10 on Sunday morning. Missss-take. I felt like I’d wasted a bunch of my weekend. MY weekend, and the Sand Man is just frittering it away.
And it wasn’t like I ever got that boat even close to bailed. No matter how much I accomplished, I was still up to my knees in the briney stuff. Bailing with a teacup.
And I did. I got a lot accomplished. My house is cleaner than it’s been in months. I fulfilled obligations – social and familial. Hell, I even baked a freaking apple crisp. Still. It’s just never enough.
Plus, I feel like I behaved like a nut job all weekend. My energy was all over the place. I was like a mad thing, bail, bail, bail, bail. Waaaaaaaaaa! Running around like a loon. What about this? What about this? And this, and this, and this, and this. I despise feeling crazed.
I just need to chill out. Get my focus back. Unblock my chi. Either stick a finger in the hole, or just accept that the damn boat is just going to leak. Be at peace with it. You know. Relax.
Oh, crap. That's another thing I forgot to do this weekend.
Friday, November 14, 2008
The President Elect has read Harry Potter? He's a Mac guy? He collected Spiderman and Conan comics? Geeks rejoice! He's one of us! He's one of us! He's one of us! He's one of us! I've never felt so personally close to a Commander in Chief in my entire life.
Oh, my gods. We may have a President who . . . . knows better than to violate the Prime Directive.
I am so not joking about this. I trust my fellow geeks in a way that I don't, you know, them. Geeks get it. We love the elegant solution, the killer app, the gadget. We put our hope in science. But with caution (a genetically engineered virus that will turn belly button lint into clean burning fuel - mmmm, might want to be careful with that). We believe that evil should be defeated. But that what is different is not necessarily evil. We believe in heroism and valor. We believe in peace. We want to live in the future. And we want to start building it now.
And if Barack Obama is one of us? Smile, people. Smile.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
And in my own in-depth scientific studies, I've discovered that eating a bar of chocolate can complete cure the craving to take a walk.
The problem is, it is seriously difficult to develop a passion for the instrument when you have to play the kind of songs that are in the beginners books. They are chock full of the folk classics of yester year. Little Brown Jug? Freals? In my ever-so humble opinion, Little Brown Jug is the hillbilly version of Gin and Juice. If you are musically inclined, I’m sure you just blaze through LBJ and head on to the Izrael Kamakawiwo'ole Song Book. But seeing as I’ve got, not just a tin ear, an imitation tin ear and absolutely no musical talent at all, I’m going to be stuck slogging though freaking Little Brown Jug and Michael Row the Boat Ashore (gods help me) for a very long time. Not exactly fanning the flames of my desire to learn.
I’m not expecting to learn Ants Marching or When Doves Cry (but how cool would that be?). I really want to learn Hawaiian music. I like Hawaiian music. But there isn’t one bloody hula song in any of the 4 books that I have. Oh, they’ve got Für Elise. Yep, Beethoven’s Für Elise, as I'm sure he always intended it to be played - on a $30 ukulele. AND Boil ‘Em Cabbage Down. But not even Little Grass Shack. Sigh. This is going to be hard.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Feet! Severed! Still in the shoe! In the river! No progress! Feet! Severed feet!
Never going to Canada! Never. Not as long as I have feet.
Maybe it was buying my nephew the coolest, hand-made wooden flatbed-truck with extra cars that ride in the back. I just can't wait to give it to him.
Maybe it was agreeing with my friends to skip gifts this year for each other, and donate to a charity like heifer.org instead. There's something about the idea of giving a flock of baby chicks or a hive of honeybees to a family that needs it that must makes me feel all holly-jolly.
Or maybe it's just that I've invited people over to drink hot buttered rum and watch the Stephen Colbert Christmas Special. Nothing like getting tanked and laughing your ass off to put you in the holiday spirit.
But something about this year is making me happy to see the holidays roll around. I heard a holiday tune and my face didn't go all grinchy-scroogy. I'm listening for the jingle of bells. I think this may be the best Christmas ever.
It's so nice to know that the popularity contests don't end when you graduate from high schol. Take the Rolling Stone poll for greatest vocalist of the rock era. I take no issue with Aretha. Queen of Soul, and all that. My kvetch is farther down the list.
Bob Dylan in the top 10? Really? Was there a requirement that you actually had to listen to the person before you voted for them? Cause Bob Dylan sounds like a cat with adenoids on helium. All respect to his skill as a song-writer and icon of a generation. And for plugging in, he's got a lock on the rebel thing. And he's definitely a unique vocalist. The man is loved for reasons. But great? No. No.
Bob Dylan ahead of Roy Orbison. Janis Joplin. Freddy Mercury. Even ahead of Iggy freaking Pop. It's rock. It don't have to be pretty. And Iggy is a hell of not pretty. But rock vocals do have to have power, balls. It has to make your hair stand up on the back of your neck. And with all due respect, Bob Dylan as a vocalist doesn't. At least not in the good way.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
But in this case, I'm going to have to put out the Sister Siren - cause frankly All Women MUST Stick Together on this one.
I just read this quote from a book called ‘‘Brocabulary: The New Man-i-festo of Dude Talk’’ by a man named Daniel Maurer. In it he defines the term ‘‘Trojan whores — hot chicks that you hide amidst in order to get into a club: ‘The doorman wasn’t going to let us in but we told these Trojan whores we’d buy their drinks all night if they took us in with them.’ ’’
Huh-what? Did he just call a group of women that he does not know personally "whores" on the basis that A) they are hot, and B) they are nice enough to let him ride their skirt tales to get into a bar. Uh-huh. Dude. Not cool.
I understand that he's bitter that it's easier for a hot chick to get into a bar than the rest of the world (i.e, him). But the reality of the matter is that when he gets in the bar, he wants hot chicks to be there - ergo . . . you do the math. Unfair to the rest of us who aren't hot chicks, but that's the way of the world. And the hot chicks did not make the rules, and it's not really nice to call them whores because they get past the velvet rope.
But that's exactly what he did. So I see 2 possibilities: either he's a bitter little troll who hates women, or he's a writer who makes money pandering to bitter little trolls that hate women. And, as they say, a difference that makes no difference is no difference. He's a troll no matter how you slice it.
So here's where our Girl Power Moment comes in. It's a free country, and he's allowed to say whatever he wants. But you also have the freedom of association. God Bless America. So you don't have to date this guy. You don't even have to talk to this guy. And you certainly don't have to ever help him get in a club. Cause he's going to turn around and call you a whore. Here's his picture for future reference:
Oh, and GIRL POWER!
It started to rain around 8:30 pm. I thought, mmm, rain makes me seepy, wan go bed. So I shut off the lights and went upstairs to cuddle under the blankets and read. At the top of the stairs, I think – what the eff is that noise? Did I leave the light in the guest room on? I open the door and there’s a hurricane. In my house. There’s rain coming from the ceiling, straight through the ceiling fan, shorting it, so that the light is on, the blades are moving, and it’s whipping rain around the room like a mini Cat 3.
I know I stood there with my mouth hanging open, trying to process what I was seeing. I was half expecting to see a soggy Anderson Cooper jump out of my closet and start a live feed back to the studio. It was that bad.
It took me a while to figure out that I wasn’t able to turn the fan off at the switch because of the short and then go and figure out which breaker to throw. Then I spent about half an hour on my hands in knees, feeling around in the dark for puddles to mop up before they ruined the laminate floor. Isn’t that a lovely image?
The only real piece of luck was that it was only coming in through the ceiling fan (!) and I had an empty Rubbermaid carton that I could throw underneath the leak. Of course I had to listen to the dripping every time the rain kicked up again throughout the night. I guess you could also consider it lucky that we have a dry forecast for at least another week. So hopefully I can get the HOA to come out and fix things before I get another weather event inside my home. Ah, the joys of home ownership.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Not that you don’t see attractive men. But it’s the pretty boys that rule the screens these days. Hmmm. How to define it. Handsome is groomed but not primped. Handsome is a firm jaw instead of kissable lips. A handsome man is masculine without trying, rather than with a little bit more effort he could pass for a girl. I’m not saying pretty is bad. I’m just saying the handsome is a flavor that I’m not finding on the buffet these days.
There are plenty of overgrown pretty boys (Brad Pitt, Zac Efron, Terrence Howard), frat boys (the Wilson brothers, Seth Rogen, virtually anyone in a Judd Apatow movie), sensitive guys (Ryan Gosling, Milo Ventimiglia, Adrien Brody), rough hewn types (Tommy Lee Jones, Daniel Craig, Clive Owen) and quirky galore (Vince Vaughan, Ben Stiller, et al). All nice in their own way. But after awhile, you get tired of Lean Cuisine. A bit of steak would be nice.
Of overtly, straight-up, plain ol’ handsome, I can think of George Clooney and Denzel Washington. That’s it. Hugh Jackman is handsome, but he verges on the pretty. But even the handsome verging on the pretty is getting scarce. You don’t see a Cary Elwes any more. Kevin Sorbo doesn’t show up much. It appears to be hard for the handsome man to get a job in Hollywood these days.
I’d hate to see the handsome man disappear entirely. The guy that can pull off white dinner jacket. The guy you and your mom agree on – “Oh, my yes, he’s very handsome.” Maybe they exist. Somewhere out there in the wild. And all it will take is one wily casting director to spot one – maybe at the yacht club or a charity ball. He’s the one with a gin martini and a pocket square. Isn’t he handsome?
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Okay, am I the only one? If these two guys walked into a bar where I was enjoying an adult beverage, I'm pretty sure I'd be thinking "Heyy-eeeyyy." Complete with the patented Lindsay Wagner hair-tuck-behind-the-ear maneuver and the surreptitious scoping action. I don't usually dig the power-broker type. But, ooooo, you just know that they reek of influence like a 9th grader reeks of Axe and sweat socks. Just makes my estrogen churn.
Not that I think Obama picked Rahm Emmanuel as the ultimate wing-man. Unlike the previous attractive President who knew how to work his mojo, I'm pretty sure Barack Obama is gettin' home cookin'. But I do think they'd rate a mm-m-mm down at the watering hole.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
And the fact that we do have a POTUS with a little melanin speaks to a new reality in America. Sure, there’s Joe Six-Pack, but he just might be black. And there are more than a few Jose Six-Packs, and Xiu Six-Packs, Mo(hamed) Six-Packs and Jane Six-Packs. All proud to be Americans. And possibly color doesn’t have to be the single most pertinent fact of identity. Or the deciding factor in an election.
Oh, Mr. Obama isn’t exactly your average American. He graduated from Harvard Law, people. And if I had to bet, I’d say his probably more like Joe Pinot. Suddenly, we’re in an America that can call the bi-racial son of a middle-class, single mother an elitist. And elect him President. Huh. Whoda thunk? I'm kind of impressed with us today.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
When my Mom went to vote when I was a little kid, I'd try to sneak a look under the curtain (Mom took voter privacy very seriously) and see what was going on. I couldn't wait to be old enough to use one of those things. But in the 20+ years I've been voting, I've never gotten to use one. Today I had to use a legal sheet of paper and a Sharpie pen. Sucks.
No stickers. No buttons. No curtains. No fair.
But I'm standing there feeding my ballot (the SNEAKY ballot where if you weren't paying attention, you might not have noticed that the county hospital bond issue was on the BACK - yeah, if you thought you got that one over on me, you ferrets, well, ya din't! Ha!) and of course I did what all Americans do - I basked in the glow of my patriotism. Then looked around for my sticker.
No sticker. None. Not one. Can I call that voter tampering? Cause I'm a child of the 80s. We respond to stickers. I feel an overwhelming sense of achievement when I get a sticker. It's a rush. I look forward to my "I Voted Today" sticker. It seals the deal. (And by the way, next year could we get Scratch N Sniff "I Voted" stickers that smell like apple pie? That would be awesome.)
Not even to mention all the places that are offering free stuff if you have one of those stickers today. Total gyp. Other that "I live in a free country and get to vote" thing. That's a pretty good deal.
Monday, November 3, 2008
You know they have law-suits drafted and ready to submit to the court first thing November 5. Whoever loses will sue first. John McCain has the ACORN thing. Barack Obama has the voter intimidation and suppression thing. And it will be ugly.
Given that they both have grievances in this area, it might mean that they're both being cheated against equally, so the outcome might actually be fair, if not actually legal. Don't it make you proud?
Saturday I was having a lucky day. Verging on magic. Everywhere I went, there was a good parking space. I found Gold Toe socks at the $ store. I found a used copies of Clue and the Full Monty at the Movie Trading Company. I found the end table that a friend was looking for at the World Market. Not just good. Perfect. And half off. Oh, yeah. I was running late for a show, so we stopped at a place for dinner that I had had a bad experience at (the Liberatus Day Hushpuppy Debacle), but knew would be pretty fast. And it was fast. And fantastic. Even the tartar sauce was good. And I hate tartar sauce. I'm telling you, the Universe loves me.
The next morning, I go over to my parents house to help them put away the Halloween stuff. My Dad is making waffles. Could the streak continue? It's so nice out, I'm in my barefeet. What could be better? Then as I'm taking stuff out to the car so that I can leave, I step out the door and onto a wasp.
Yes, I was still in my barefeet, thank you for asking. Holy cats. Such pain. I'm sure there are things that are more painful - gunshot wounds, getting hit by a bus, cattle prods. But of normal things that could happen to you, a wasp sting on the bottom of the foot has to be right up there. Wasps are mean.
On the positive side, at least it happened at my folks house. A place where they actually have meat tenderizer to put on a flaming foot. If it had happened at my place, all I could have done is rolled around on the floor moaning and damning all stinging insects. But as it was the pain, though excruciating lasted only 10 minutes or so. But thank you, Universe. I get the point.
Friday, October 31, 2008
I thought it was about time that I updated my Halloween “playlist”. I LURV Halloween/Dia de los Muertes. A lot. And music is just all part of it. If you don’t get the willies when hear Tubular Bells from the Exorcist, you need to check your pulse. But let’s face it – not easy to dance to. So here are my current favorite Halloween jams:
- Vampire Girl by Jonathan Richman – Jonathan gets “intrigued when they look like a vampire girl.” My kinda fella.
- I Put a Spell on You by Sreamin’ Jay Hawkins – Okay, it’s a cliché, but sometimes it’s a cliché because it’s true. Play it for your sweetie.
- Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boingo – Best zombie song ever.
- Zombie by the Cranberries – Best zombie song . . . oh wait a minute.
- Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon – Even Tom Cruise looks cool lip-synching this one.
- Halloween by Dave Matthews Band – Love is scary.
- Vampires, Mummies and the Holy Ghost by Jimmy Buffett – I’m with you Jimmy. These are the things that “scare me the most” too.
- The Time Warp by Riff Raff – For all my sweet transvestites out there.
- Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads – Come on. David Byrne is scary.
- I Want Candy – Hellz yeah!
And a #11 Bonus - Don't Stop Me Now by Queen - If you've seen Shawn of the Dead, you know why. And hell, it's Queen.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
You know that thing where you want to yell, “Do what I want you to do, not what I tell you to do?” You make one tiny wrong little click and it futzes up the whole thing. And you’ve done that thing right a million times before. The computer knew what you wanted. It just is in a pissy mood and decides to do what you told it to do. You know. Just to piss you off.
It’s like when you tell a kid, to share. Then they look at you with big, round, innocent eyes – “You said to share the Snickers with Jimmy. So I gave him the wrapper. What? That was part.” Oh, you knew exactly what I meant, young man. Don’t hand me that.
So you ask the computer for the Accounts report. And it gives you the Accounts report. All 4,000 pages of it. Instead of the 14 pages tiny section of the Accounts report that you always ask for. Every time. You never want the entire Accounts report. Nobody wants the entire Accounts report. It’s 4,000 pages. And it makes no difference that, yes, you did ask for it. But the computer knew that’s not what you meant. It’s just being a weasel. Don’t hand me that! You knew what I meant!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Two scientists are standing in the lab, looking at mice. One scientist says to the other, “You know, you keep farting. And that should be pissing me off. But for some reason, I can just feel my blood pressure going down . . . EUREKA!!”
Which is where my magical thinking comes in. Somehow, I believe that if I’m cold all night, I must be burning calories trying to keep warm. So it’s like exercising. Without actually, you know, exercising. Aerobic shivering. And it makes me feel all hearty and pioneer-like to tough it out. I can usually make it about a week. But after 7 nights of waking up 10 times because I’ve rolled out of the warm spot, I’m pulling out the woolies and electric blanket.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I have never seen so many porcelain dolls in my entire life. Rows and rows of them in all the shops. Victorian ones with the curlicue hair. Country girls with Branson aprons. Realistic ones that look like crying babies. Indian princesses. Fairies. You name it, Branson has it. I'm not sure how something can be kind of pretty and really, really effed up at the same time. And, of course, lots of the little girls LOVED them. They'd just stand and stare at them, with nearly the same blank expression as the dolls. But a lot of mature women were just as glassy eyed over them.
Of course, I had an Aunt Freda (actually a great-great aunt), who just loved those things. She had them all over her house. She even kept her dishes in the dishwasher so that she could display them in the glass-front kitchen cabinets. And she'd make vignettes with them at little doll parties. I shouldn't complain though. The way heredity works in my family, I could have a latent doll gene, and wake up one day and just drive to Branson and buy one of everything. But even if I do, I'm locking them in the closet on Halloween.