Friday, August 29, 2008

Another vice rides into the sunset

Sigh. Sad. Another one of my youthful indulgences looks like it's biting the dust. It appears that my body just can't tolerate sodas any more. I mean the regular, full-calorie versions. If I drink a can of Coke or Dr. Pepper, it just seems to screw me up no end. My blood sugar just goes all wonky. My vision gets blurry. I feel tired and bogged down and rotten. I'm pretty sure it's the unuadulterated high-fructose corn syrup that's jacking with my metabolism.

And I luuuuvvv soda. I love the bite. I love the sweet. I love the way when you take a big swallow it's like the bubbles scrape down the back of your throat. And, of course, the caffeine buzz. I grew up on peanuts and Coke as a big treat. And I think Dr. Pepper may be the Official Drink of the State of Texas (non-alcoholic division). I get chills up my arms when I hear the sound of a soda can being opened. There's just not one thing I don't love. Aside from the fact that it makes me feel like unholy hell afterward.

I tried to keep sodas as a treat - you know, if I cut back calories here, I can have a Coke later today - but even then, I end up feeling like caca. Just not worth the pain. And diet soda is just not an option for me. Even if I can get over the taste (a big if), artificial sweetners give me headaches. Luckily, I do like club soda. All the fizzy, none of the corn sweetner. But, it's just not the full soda experience. Good. But not as good.

So this is just one more thing that I lose on the road to old. Like being able to do the splits or wearing ultra-low-rise pants without a muffin top explosion. Another little bit of youth sliding away. Sigh.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Fall Crop

Okay, two points.

Actually, first Lisa de Moraes from the Washington Post is probably one of the funniest TV reviewers out there. Though, going by this column, I think she may need to take a vacation - hating everyone and everything is not a good sign. Even in a TV reviewer.

But, to return to my salient points:

One - The return of Cupid: I don't know how this happened, but I'm all for it. The original Cupid from back in the 90s, starring Jeremy Piven and pitilessly cancelled by some evil, pointy-headed TV exec, was golden. And whenever I talk about good shows that got cancelled without getting a fair shot, Cupid is on the list. And evidently, the same show is being given another chance. And with the lovely and talented Bobby Canavale, I'm hoping it's got a fighting chance. The premise is that this guy thinks he's the real Cupid. Everybody else thinks he's nuts. Heartwarming hilarity ensues. It was well written and had some snappy dialogue. And I'm looking forward to it. [And speaking of brilliant but cancelled shows, Mr. Network Executive, can we give Profit another try? Please? Please??]

And on to point

Two - Nathan Fillian in Castle. I think everybody needs to get together to get behind this show. Nathan needs one in the win column. It seems like as soon as I've figured out he's in a new show, it gets cancelled. And we cannot have him labeled Nielsen box poison. No actor deserves it less. If a show he's on goes down, it's not because he isn't working his ass off. So personally, I say everybody should watch Castle. Even if it's, through no fault of Fillian's, so bad that it makes your ears ring and your eyeballs bleed. We cannot let him go down with another ship.

Otherwise, I haven't heard much about this fall season that's made my ears prick up. Y'all heard of anything?

Little things

It's funny how stupid little differences can make you like something better. Do green M&Ms taste different? No. But I still like them best. Maybe it's that green is my favorite color, and green M&Ms are a near perfect shade. Maybe it's that the green ones "make you horny", ant that still makes me laugh. Maybe it's that they seem to be slightly more rare in your average bag. Whatever. Though I love all M&Ms, I just relish those green ones a tiny bit more.

And there's a paper clip on my desk that I rescued out of a jar. Why? It's tiny. Just smaller than a standard small clip. Don't know where it came from. And it's not technically different than other paper clips. It wil will probably hold about as many sheets. It's not special really. It's just that it's cute. And I'm saving it. Will I have some super-duper special project that will need an extra cute paper clip? Unlikely. I'm only keeping it because I like it. Eventually, I'll run out of the regular, not cute kind, and I'll have to use my special paper clip. And I'll be a little sad when it's gone.

Proud Mary

Project Runway Spoiler Level Red: Pretty spoily, unless you've been paying attention to the last 3 episodes. In which case, you knew who's butt was getting jettisoned this week. Because, when a designer shows a major case of his design writing hubris checks that his boutique can't cash, you know they gots ta go.

And as a side note, loved Leeanne's design. If I ever have to go to a fetish party at Versailles, that's the dress I want to wear. And if for nothing other than the vision of a model shoving wads of muslin in the sides of her underwear because she's got the hips of a 12-year old boy (eat! EEEEAATTT!), it deserved to win just based on the chuckle factor alone.

And on to Keith. Keith. Keith. Keith. Pride goeth before the Auf. Here was your mistake: you assumed that because the judges disagreed with you that they were stupid, therefore you designed something stupid, hoping they would like it. Mistake. Big one. And after having seen that dumb little number he threw up on the Runway, and the back sass he gave the judges (smarting off at Laura Bennett? Honey, that Mama's spanked bad little boys before. Watch it.), I would have thought that he'd be relieved to get bounced.

Until I saw his taped exit confessional. People. He cried. Because he was going to have to go home and be gay in Utah. Oooh. Ouch. Honey. I'm so sorry. That really must suck. I'm actually hoping that one of the other designers gets sick, and under the Official Jack/Chris Ruling of 2007, Keith gets to return. Maybe Blayne gets a bad case of the DTs because he goes into melanin withdrawal as he hasn't been able to tan for over a week, or Stella gets a bad case of scotch. Anyway. Buck up, little soldier. You'll be okay. I just know it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pushing Pie

Allow me to summarize this article for you:

Pushing Daisies blah-blah-blah blah-blah-blah blah-blah-blah Free Pie blah-blah-blah blah-blah-blah Dallas: September 20.

Or at least that's what I got out of it.

And our Most Improved Award goes to . . .

Yes. Blink your eyes and look again. The redhead in the swanky/chic embellished yellow suit and vertiginous, gam accentuating heels is indeed Tilda Swinton. I know. I didn't believe it either. Blink blink.

I now find myself in the awkward position of having to apologize to Ms. Swinton for any comments I made about her fashion sense after she wore the Sac de Hefty to the Oscars this year.

No, wait a minute. I don't apologize. That black trash bag of a dress was totally heinous. Add a kicky headdress and she could have played T'Pau in the Star Trek re-make (whoa. geek check). There's really no excuse for showing up at the Academy Awards looking like a bag lady. Literally.

But this outfit says that either I gravely underestimated her fashion sense, based on one deeply unfortunate instance, or she got a stylist. Or a psychiatrist. Cause if you can pull of a suit like this (and if you're a tall, thin redhead with good legs, why couldn't you?), there's no reason to be dressing yourself in the Derelicte line of clothing from Mugatu.

So, now what up with Frances McDormand? I had no idea she knew my Grandma well enough to borrow her sandals.


Of course. Of course as soon as gas prices start to drop. Then. Then we get another sonofabitchin hurricane headed straight for the Gulf. Shut down oil platforms. Worry about the refineries. Kiss the "cheap" gas goodbye. Goddammit. I can blame the oil companies for many things. I think they're responsible for a lot of stuff. I still can't quite blame them for major weather phenomena. That's a little too General Zod-style mayhem even for my level of paranoia.

Who I can blame for this little cock up is the National Weather Service. Gustav? Who names a hurricane "Gustav"? Come on. Gust-av. It's right there at the big beginning! Bad name for a hurricane, people. Bad. Why not just name it Windy? Or Blofeld? Or the Big Bad Wolf? Every ancient civilization knew that names have power. Naming a hurricane Gustav? Well that's just foolish.

Personally, I hope Gustav decides to play against type and just has a nervous breakdown in the Gulf. Just falls apart. But frankly, if it ends up getting out of hand, I'm blaming the NWS for this one. It's just like naming your kid. If you name him Neville, don't be surprised if he becomes a securities fraud defendant. And if you name it Velvet - don't be surprised if she ends up on the pole. And if you name it Gustav, don't be surprised when it blows.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In Black and White

I'm currently fascinated with old movies. In my completely enamored state with DVRs, I can go through the Turner Classic Movies list, and check off anything that looks likely. I'm picking up some of the classics that I always think I should have seen, but never have. Like Rope, Swing Time, African Queen.

And I can just pick up stuff by actors that I like. After having dissed Gene Kelly awhile back, I suddenly find myself kind of fascinated with him. It's probably all those sweater vests he wore. I dig a cute fella in a sweater vest. Or if Jimmy Stewart (my favorite since I was 3), is in a marathon, I can just go crazy and record everything.

The nice thing about the DVR is that it removes any sense of guilt. I can start a movie, and so what if it's a bore? Delete. No harm, no foul. Or in the case of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, I can fast forward through the boring bits to the dance sequences. Like Carefree. Phenomenally boring movie. Not even close to one of their best. But it has Ginger Rogers in the most BEAUTIFUL DRESS EVER MADE. Seriously. She wears it in the "Change Partners and Dance" sequence at the end. It's a full floor length black beaded lace with a low back (because Ginger had a gorgeous back) and a scalloped hem. And when Fred dips her, you can see through the lace of the skirt. Unbelievable.

One of the things that I noticed is that women's roles in the 40s and 50s were a lot different than what you see today. And in a way that surprises me. You think of that era being pre-feminist revolution, and that all the women would be repressed, suppressed and depressed. And probably not all that bright. Not so. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire didn't fall in love with dumb bunnies in those movies. The gals were usually just as sharp as the men, and gave as good as they got in the dialogue department. You can't have witty banter without two smart people. And in the old comedies, it was all about the banter.

And in the repressed department, I think it's kind of open to interpretation. No, you never saw sex on screen. But they actually don't say sex isn't happening either. What goes on off stage is open to the viewer's interpretation. If you think Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds go home and have milk and cookies together, then that's what they do. Or if you think they're making with the whoopie, there's nothing to say that's not what's happening either. And in fact, with Ginger Rogers you definitely got the feeling that she knew what was what. No flies on her.

Okay, I probably couldn't give up my modern movies entirely in favor of the old films. I like explosions, cursing, sex scenes, fart jokes and, well, technicolor as much as the next person. But it does make a fun diversion to see the old flicks. I'm kind of looking forward to the re-make of The Women that's coming out. I've seen the old black and white on TCM, and it will be interesting to see just how different that movie will be. Watching all the classics is definitely giving me a knew perspective on what comes out today.

The girl in the corner said, "Boy, I wanna warn you"

It's a funny thing to divide a check when you have "nice" friends.

Nice people get screwed dividing a check for the most part. They split the check 3 ways when they had iced tea and soup, and the rest of the party had martinis and steak. They politely don't mention that they didn't want an appetizer, even though it was for "the whole table". They slip a couple of extra dollars on the table when the waitress gets shorted on tip because figuring out 15% is just too difficult on $50.24. Going out to dinner with a large group of people is a minefield for nice people.

Except when it's all nice people. Then it's a whole different kind of melee. You're so relieved that these people, your very, very nice friends, will not under any circumstances screw you over. And you are worried that they are so nice that they will screw themselves over. "No, that's my two beers, and you didn't have any of the fries, and didn't you get my lunch last week, I know I got the parking, but it wasn't nearly as expensive, and you had to drive much further. . ." And it's not just one person trying to make sure everything is fair and even-steven. It's everybody. Ballroom blitz.

Eh. Nice problem to have.

Monday, August 25, 2008

How does your garden grow?

You know what the definition of "insane" is? Going over to other people's houses to help them with yard work, when you yourself bought a house with no yard because you hate yard work. To quote Jack Black - "Cuckoo!" Complete with the finger circling the area near the ear.

I don't like grass. I don't like dirt. I don't like bugs. I don't like dirt or bugs to be on me. Flowers make me sneeze. I have delicate skin that will tear and blister because a garden implement is within 6 inches. And most of all, I don't like hard labor. Some people are built for physical activity. I'm built for long naps. About the hardest labor that I take any satisfaction in is shaking a cocktail shaker.

But, in spite of that, I've spent 3 consecutive weekends helping other people with their yard work. It defies all logic. And as consequence, I hurt like hell. The body that does not enjoy the bendy-twisty-lifty thing is triple pissed at me. And who can blame it? There were perfectly good naps that I could have been taking instead. Instead, I'm making the "ahwoof" sound every time I try to sit, stand, turn or bend. Plus, for the third Monday in a row, I've arrived at work looking like I've spent the weekend bare knuckle fighting. Tore up, scratched up, bruised up hands. Insane. This is no way for a petite flower to live.

And the worst of it comes from the only gardening activity I even remotely enjoy. Trimming things. And to get out of playing in the dirt, I'll always grab the loppers and head for the nearest tree, bush, trees or unruly palm. I love taking my clippers and snipping them into submission. A branch here. A twig there. Snip snip. Rather satisfying. But then of course, you have to clean up after yourself and cut the big branches into tiny bits so they'll fit in the garbage. Which is probably why my hands now feel like I spent the weekend free climbing El Capitan. I'll say it again, this is not way for a petite flower to live.

TIME: Quotes of the Day