Friday, June 6, 2008

Thay it ithn't tho

I'm really just hoping this one isn't true. I'm not a Drew Barrymore fan. But if she's in another movie with Adam Sandler, I'm there.

But a tongue piercing? Is she nuts? Drew Barrymore already has a pronounced lisp, that even the pseudo-marginal-oh-so-posh British accent that she occasionally puts on can't hide. A tongue ring ain't gonna help.

Aside from health implications, consequences for employment prospects and the fact that you have to live in fear of high power electro-magnets, a tongue piercing gives you a lisp. Yeah, yeah. It can be "pleasant" for an intimate partner. Whatever. There are other things that you can do that are pleasant that don't make you sound like, well, Drew Barrymore. And that's just if you start out without a speech impediment. What happens when you already have a lisp? I doubt it will reverse the problem.

Drew, honey. Unless you plan to start making silent movies this is not a good idea . I know you've got that wild child, free spirit rep to maintain. But why not just get another butterfly tattoo? Or take up tantric sex? There are all sorts of hippie dippie things you can do that won't lead to you sounding like you've got a mouth full of tapioca.


You know the phrase "it's not the heat, it's the humidity"? I can testify, that is true as hell. Because I've lived two places that are hot as hell. And how much moisture is in the air makes a huge difference.

I've lived in a desert. And when it's dry, there's not that much difference between 82 and 102. You just don't feel appreciably hotter. Which can be dangerous, because you get dehydrated and don't notice. Then you're passing out on the side of a mountain from heat prostration. I've heard. But just for comfort level, a hot summer isn't all that big of a deal.

On the opposite side of the coin, Dallas is pretty humid. It's not as bad as places right up on the coast, but we have out moments. Moments where it's like living in Hulk Hogan's armpit. Last night as I walked to my car at the train station, it was probably only 90, but I wanted to just lay down there on the blacktop and die. Ugh.

But then I got to my car. And here's where humidity has it's advantage. The faster you go in your car with the windows rolled down, the cooler it feels. Something about the water in the air just makes you feel cooler. Now in a dry climate, you go fast with the windows down, and it's like hot sandpaper is blowing in your face. Like it's going to rub your skin right off. Unfortunately, with gas prices the way they are, jumping in the car and riding around with the windows down is no longer an economical way to cool off. I think it's going to be a long, hot, sticky summer.


Big doings at my house yesterday. First, I installed ceiling fans. Yeah!!!!! They are so fabulous. And in two ways. Obviously, they make my place incredibly comfortable. My place is small, and I put fans in every big room but the kitchen, so the air just really flows around. Sweet. I can put the air to a much higher temperature and still be really comfortable. You can't underestimate the value of that going into what looks like it's going to be a very hot summer.

Second, the fans replaced some ugly ass light fixtures. The bedrooms had those generic, square, glass, nothing lights. You know the ones that are flush but have open edges so the dead moths just kind of accumulate in there? Uck. And the dining room/laundry room/exercise room had the most heinous chandelier ever manufactured. Every time I'd walk by it, I'd be filled with uncontrollable feelings of hatred and loathing at its unequivocal ugliness. The worst part was that it had these free-hanging glass panels. Every time I'd make the transition from dining room to laundry room, I'd rollout my laundry cart, and smack the damn chandelier. Acommpanied by out of control clanging as the glass panels would clank against each other. I know I do dumb things. I don't need sound effects to punctuate it every time. But the fan looks terrific. Lots of lovely air when I'm exercising or laundrying. And very pretty light for dining. I'm so bloody clever.

I also had the dishwasher replaced. It was the original machine. Over 20 years old. Here's the thing. Dishwashers have become so efficient, that we don't remember how much they actually sucked 20 years ago. The weren't really dishwashers, per se. They were more like an autoclave for your plates and utensils. You had to wash the all food off your dishes before you put them in the "dishwasher". They were really dish rinsers, rather than actual dish washers. But they have come a long way since then. Only mine was 20 years old. And had become even less effective in those 20 years. The last time I used it, it didn't even clean off the coffee that had dripped on the door. It was basically a giant drain rack for the dishes I had hand washed. And it was basically driving me crazy. I can't stand machines that don't do what they should. It's like having a lazy servant. And I will not have that. So the dishwasher had to go.

Texas had a tax-free weekend for Energy Star appliances over Memorial Day weekend. Sweet, right? So I picked up a reasonably priced machine, and paid for installation. But, if you were with me through my move-in you'll remember, my kitchen was such a greaseball when I first moved in, I figured that I should pull out the old machine the night before, and just to a little cleaning before they came for the install. I knew there were 2 screws that I had to undo to get the machine out, so I whipped those out. Put my fingers around the sides. And pulled the entire front door off. I'm pretty sure a person can't look dumber than the dumb/shocked look you get standing there with the door of the dishwasher in your hands. Which got me to the "oh, screw it" point. I just leaned the door against the machine, and waited for the helpful Sears delivery lady to come cart the piece of crap away. Lazy, no-good servant! You are dismissed. And don't expect a reference!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hey, get off my lawn!

I've only seen one picture of Barak Obama and John McCain standing together.  They're hard to find.  You know why?  McCain is no dummy.  He looks crusty standing next to Obama.  There's older and experienced and there's just plain old.  And standing next to somebody like Christopher Dodd or Ron Paul, McCain looks fairly reasonable.  Plus he's got a cougar wife.  That helps.  He just looks like a politician.  

But you stand him in close proximity to Obama and he just looks old.  And he can talk the experience line all he wants, but you can't help but want to tell Grampy that he'd better sit down and take his blood pressure medicine.  It's like if I was on the Bachelor (in some bizarro world where all the laws of probability and common sense are turned upside down), I wouldn't want to stand next to a 19-year old at the rose ceremony.  Sure in those extra years, I've gained wisdom and perspective.  But my ass is also riding about an inch and a half lower than it was before I hit the 2 decade mark.  A little distance between me and the sweet young thing would work to my advantage.

So as they look for McCain's running mate, maybe this is something they might want to take into account.  Mitt Romney standing next to him might not be the best idea.  Maybe they should get somebody like Arlen Specter or Ted Stevens. Ted Stevens was Jesus' Sunday school teacher.  Too bad they can't get Robert Byrd since he's a Democrat.  He's old as dirt.  He'd make McCain look practically spry.  They could call it the Grumpy Old Men Ticket.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fun with words

Here's a dilemma I've never quite unraveled - if you know that the correct way to do something is one way, but that's not the way everybody else does it, do you still do it the correct way? Okay, that's confusing. How on earth would you know what I mean by that? Sorry. Allow me to elaborate.

I'm a bit of a word nerd. I like words a lot. It's not like I would sit down and read a dictionary. But if I hear a new word, I will go look it up (my Momma raised me well), especially before I go use it myself. And if I'm not sure how to pronounce it, I won't even attempt it. But there are some words that are fairly common usage, that for one reason or another I know are commonly mispronounced. Like:
  • Forte: When you mean loud it's for-tay, but when you mean "a personal strength", it's fort.
  • Fillet: It's usually confused with filet (pronounced fil-ay), which is for meat, rather than fillet (fill-eht), which is for fish.
  • The Dutch cheese gouda is pronounce gow-da, rather than goo-da (of which I was informed by a reliable source who was standing in a windmill and wearing wooden shoes at the time).
  • The you pronounce the final "g" in VanGogh in the Dutch manner, rather than saying VanGo like he was some sort consonant droppping Frenchy (also pointed out by the wooden shoe sporting, and slightly cranky, Hans).

Would I ever correct someone for saying these things wrongly? Nope (my Momma raised me quite well). But, I always hesitate before saying them myself. Should I pronounce it the right way, and then have to explain myself when somebody attempts to correct me (other people's Mommas appear to have fallen down on the job), and sound like a real uptight snoot? Or just say it the wrong way? Which totally goes against my natural fussbudgettiness. I could potentially take aside each and every person that I ever come into contact with and privately have a detailed rundown of commonly mispronounced words (hitting liberry and aks along the way) before we ever have to use them in conversation, but I doubt everyone would find that conversation as amusing as I would.

For the most part, I ditch the schoolmarm routine, and just say things wrong, even though it does twist my drawers just a little. Goo-da is just as tasty as gow-da, after all. I may be uptight when it comes to this kind of thing, but that can just be our little secret.

To quote Kevin Nealon - "Dip-dip-dip"

You know while I'm on the subject of entertaining, sort of, I think I'll pass along a little recipe that I've been wearing the heck out of lately. I've used it to entertain twice, and made it a few times for myself. Basically, it's the cheapest party dip on the planet. You can make it for basically the cost of a can of beans, and takes about 5 minutes to make. But it gets rave reviews. I love it when something's fast, cheap and easy, and it tastes like you're really slaving away in the kitchen. Here it is:

1 can whole black beans (rinsed, very important)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Throw it in the blender and spin the crap out of it. If you want a runnier consistency for using as a vegetable dip, add some more olive oil or lime juice, and keep scraping down the sides with a spatula. Taste it to see if you've got enough salt.

That's pretty much it. I've used white beans too, and they were just as good. The recipe is basically hummus, which would have garbanzo beans and tahini, but who has garbanzo beans and tahini in their pantry? I've also thrown in some spices like cumin, chili powder and onion powder. With the white beans I added a tablespoon of peanut butter to add some nutty flavor. I've just riffed on the recipe basedo on what I have on hand. I mean, it's a can of beans. If you screw it up, what's the big deal? Goes great with corn chips, bell pepper, pita and toasted baguette rounds. So yummy.

Ernest Hemingway would kick Tyler Florence's ass

I wouldn't call myself a mixologist. But I've been known to rattle a shaker every now and then. And while I'm not the most knowledgeable cocktail geek, I do like to learn about knew drinks and try them out on willing guinea pigs. But, as it turns out, I'm something of a purist.

Last night I was watching a show on FoodTV, where Tyler Florence (who I wish would get hit by a bus. I don't mean so that he would die. Gently hit by a bus) made a drink that he called a ginger blueberry mojito. Nice, right? Alright, I'm with you Florence, you human speed bump. Keep mixing. We've got a pitcher with limes, blueberries and mint, muddled together, good, good. Ginger simple syrup, too much syrup by the way, but I'm still with you. Then he pours vodka in it. VODKA!?!?!?!? You heathen. You infidel. You apple-tini slurping poseur. You bad bartender. You do not put vodka in a mojito. It's Cuban. Jackass.

He said he did it because it has a "cleaner" flavor. Fine. I accept that. But it if doesn't have rum, it ain't a mojito. Since he did finish the drink with soda water, it can properly be styled a "fizz" or even a "rickey" given the sugar and limes, as they are a looser defined class of drinks. But not a mojito. You can't just slap any old name onto a drink, just because it's trendy. And don't even get me started on those apple-tinis.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Photos don't lie - ha!

If you haven't seen this blog, it's hilarious. It is full of the goofs that publishers and ad people make when they change pictures. The number of people who show up in print with more, or less, than 2 arms really argues for a "back to basics" approach to math in our school system.

And if you ever, EVER hear anyone say that they feel bad about their bodies compared to the "models in magazines", sit them down and make them go through this website page-by-page. Un-buh-liev-a-bull. Apparently, even the models don't look like the models in magazines. Truth in advertising my rosy red behind.

Wait for your pitch, Hil

Oh, I hope Hillary Clinton isn't the VP nominee. Not because I think she would or wouldn't make a good VP. What this primary has taught me more than anything else is, whether it's long and drawn out or a race to a nomination, I really couldn't care less. It all degenerates to a cult of personality in the end, and doesn't amount to a hill of beans worth of difference between the candidates. The chatter debating Obama and Clinton has descended to the level of debating Team Anniston and Team Jolie. This election could have been covered as easily by US magazine as it was by Time. I paraphrase Sam from Burn Notice when I say "you know politicians; a bunch of bitchy little schoolgirls."

The reason that I hope that she isn't the VP nominee, is because of something I heard on a news network, which for the comfort of some readers shall remain nameless, but rhymes with PNN, last night. One of the talking heads pointed out that VP isn't the only job she could be offered. How about Supreme Court Justice? My eyes went twinkle. My lips went oooooooooooooo. Nice. Let's face it. She's qualified. In spades. And the potential this has to make the ultra-right foam at the mouth is absolutely limitless. Talk about throwing the cat amongst the pigeons. Bwah-ha-ha! And that's not a 4-year term. You can be on the Supreme Court until they pry that gavel from your cold dead hands.

Justice Clinton. Somehow that just reeks of . . . mmmm. . . justice? Plus, I'd love to see her and Scalia get in a fistfight. My money would be on Hil.

Not MY Parents

Okay, I've been seeing the commercials for the summer series Swingtown on CBS. Evidently it takes place in 1976, and is about a couple that moves to a cul-de in the burbs where they find wild and crazy '70s phenomena like open marriages, swinging and key parties. Call me Prudy, but I just don't think that kind of thing should be on TV. Not because it's sex and "dirty". (I'm all about that.) The Swining 70s are just kind of a gross subject.

Cause, let's do the math. Young adults. In 1976. They're talking about my generation's parents. eeeeewwwww! Okay. And I know it wasn't my parents. And I'm sure it wasn't your parents either. But we are all going to say that. And it did happen. It was somebody's parents getting freaky with the neighbors on the shag carpet down in the rumpus room under the lava lamp and the macrame owl while the Starland Vocal Band played on. Uh huh. Ew.

And it's not just that it was our parents. It's our generation's kids' grandparents. Their Grampy and Grammy getting naked in the hot tub with a glass of sangria and Mr. and Mrs. Applebaum. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggghh! CBS needs to take this filth off the air immediately. For the sake of the kids.

Get back to where you once belonged

I know I'm harping on this. I've blogged about it before. More than once. But I just can't stand the space invaders on the train. Especially in the seats. Standing it's more of a free-for-all. There are a limited number of places to hold on to, and somebody standing too close to grab a bar is better than them falling on top of you. But the seats? The contour of the seats indicate a clear definition of spacial boundaries. Mine. Yours. Maybe it gets back to territory wars in the back seat of the station wagon when I was a kid - "See this line on the seat? It's the line of death. Cross it and die." The backseat is like all land wars. The most bitter battles are fought over the smallest amount of territory. I could have childhood PTSD, and people crossing over on to my side of the train seat give me flashbacks. "In coming! We're being attacked! Return fire! Medic! Medic!"

Yesterday, this guy was sitting next to me, and no matter what I did, he ended up not just in my space, but pressed against me. Lightly, I'll admit. But still. Here's the thing - it's freaking hot outside. I've just hauled ass from my office, in the heat, to make it to the train and stood, in the heat, waiting for the train. Now, all I want to do is let the moderately cool air of the train circulate around me. He's disrupting my air flow. I am already warm and moist. Another warm and moist body helpful. At least not in this situation. I move. He moves. I move back behind his arm, he settles back in the chair. I lean against the wall, he sprawls out like the train bench seat is a freaking LaZBoy. Why do I never have a can of pepper spray when I really need it? I should have been born a hedgehog. Hedgehogs don't have these problems.

Monday, June 2, 2008

5 for Fashion

I may not be a fashion maven. I may not be a fashion icon. I may not even be fashionably unfashionable. But I do live by a fashion code. I have 5 immutable laws by which I live. Oh, sure, it's just fashion. You can play. But there are a few hard and fast rules of the road that I have collected along life’s hazardous runway. I give them to you as my little gift.

  1. There’s only so far you should go for a look: Sure you can suffer for fashion. But here’s the thing, as good as those shoes look when you’re standing in front of your full-length mirror at 8:00am, how good will they look when you’re hobbling along like the undead at 3:00pm? Blood dripping from your shoe will kill any look. Sex and the City takes place in a magical land where Cosmos have no calories and Manolos don’t make you go “ow ow ow!” If you don’t live in this marvelous land of make believe, no your limits.
  2. If a store does not have at least a 3-way mirror, they are virtually asking you to return anything you buy. Don’t feel guilty about it: Really, they are just setting themselves up for failure. Single mirrors lie. Either you will get home and do a thorough inspection with adequate reflection or, lacking those resources, you will ask a trusted friend, “Does this make my ass look fat?” And if you have to take it back, the additional paperwork they will have to do is in no way your fault.
  3. Not everyone needs to see your underwear: In fact most people don’t. From thongs that say “howdy” from over the waistband of your low rise jeans to expensive “lingerie look” glad rags. Whether it’s underwear that was meant to be underwear, or a slinky satin Versace evening slip dress with corset boning and the finest lace trim, I say a difference that makes no difference is no difference. You’re still standing on the street corner in your skivvies.
  4. When it comes to sweaters, you can never be too fluffy: Witness JoAnna Loudon (the lovely Mary Frann on Newhart). She was the goddess of the fluffy sweater. Okay, in retrospect, the shape of her sweaters was a little, shall we say, geometric in the extreme? (Shoulder pads from hell.) But the fluffiness? The fluffiness. Nobody has ever done it better.
  5. If you are going to the beach, test your bathing suit for adequate tensile strength before you pack. Save yourself the heartache. No matter how traumatic it is to shop for a bathing suit, it is worse to end up washed ashore with your bottoms riding at half mast. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Ale Ale Ale

You know between the Dem primaries, cyclones, earthquakes, the raid on the polygamist compound, and about 30 other minor to major hullabaloos the last couple of months, I've been watching a lot of CNN. A lot. It's become music to clean my house to.

So, I'm watching the results in Puerto Rico yesterday. Hillary looked fab. And why shouldn't she win PR? San Juan is practically a suburb of NYC. And you have to love a political meeting that plays Ricky Martin's the Cup of Life. Frankly, I think this is an overlooked rally gem. "Here we go!" You can shake your bon bon and get your political freak on at the same time. Far bettter than Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow, which if I never hear again it will be too damn soon. Freaking Fleetwood Mac.

But anyway, before I got sidetracked by visions of Ricky Martin workin' it in flat front chinos and a tight ribbed shirt (ah, good times), my actual point was - Does Wolf Blitzer ever sleep? He's on CNN all the freakin' time. He's got the Situation Room. Then if there's an election he's tag teaming with Anderson Cooper. And it seems like he's on specials all weekend. I believe the word is "ubiquitous". The Wolf is a machine. I mean that literally. I'm starting to wonder if he was created in an advanced robotics lab at CNN. I'm kind of watching now to see if somebody accidentally bumps into him, and a maintenance panel falls off. Bet there's an Energizer battery in there. Ale Ale Ale.

TIME: Quotes of the Day