Friday, April 3, 2009

By Request

Here 'tis. The infamous purse. Please note that it was taken in the unflattering light of an office, and NO ONE looks good in office flourescent light. Also, note the complimentary topstitching and unusual foldover top with handles. This purse features an asymetrical accent seam, brass fittings, exterior zip pocket, phone and sunglasses pockets, and an adjustable shoulder strap for under-the-arm or hip lengths. Will accomodate a large paperback and a small water bottle.

If it sounds like I'm rationalzing, it's only because I am. There was actually nothing rational about this purchase. Zing went the strings of my heart.

Bad girl! Bad!

I really am starting to think I was a magpie in a past life. I have this bizarre acquisitive streak. I see something I want, and my beady little eyes light up and my fingers start to twitch like Snidley Whiplash in a Dudley Doright cartoon.

Sometimes, it's a good thing. I especially like silly little things that I think might be useful at some point. Like those little ziplock bags that the extra buttons on a shirt come in. And I especially like it when they come with a tag that's attached by a tiny safety pin. Oooooo. Those are good. And just a few minutes ago, I was polishing off the last piece of gum in one of those little plastic Eclipse jars. My palms started itching. What can I do with this. I peeled off the labels and I have this terrific little container. The lid even screws off. And it has two - count 'em, two! - flip tops. It's like Christmas!

Sometimes, it's bad. Like last night. I was at the TJMaxx and saw this purse. It was a Lucky Brand. And right now they are making these insane-making cute purses. I don't know who their designer is, but they get right in my kitchen and start cooking. And I can be looking at a rack filled with 200 purses and zoom right in on the Lucky purse. With a Golum like "My precious!" Me want, me want, me want. Unfortunately, all I can do is want, because they are crazy out of my price range. Even at off-price stores. A hundred bucks for a purse? I think not. (Don't even come near me with one of those psycho expensive Birkin bags. I spit upon them.)

Until last night. Cheesy peas. There it was. Green. Leather. I'm like a fiend for anything in green leather. And it has this this crazywierd design. And a long strap that you can wear across the body. Oh sweet mother of pearl. I petted it for 5 minutes. I'm sure security was called. I forced myself to walk away. It was $80 instead of the usual $100. But still. That's not my 'hood.

Then I was half way across the store, and thought if I go back and find some woman touching my purse, I might have to punch her in the throat to snatch it back from her and run away. What could I do? It was my purse.

Long story short (too late), I went back and got it. I got the cold sweats standing in an unmercifully long line to buy it. But I did. I spent that unholy amount on a purse. I'm so ashamed. But I'm ashamed while I pet my purse (precious!). I'll have to figure out a way to do personal finance pennance until I pay myself back for this one. Ramen for 6 months or something.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ready, Teddy?

I don’t know why I started watching Better Off Ted. I hadn’t really marked it as a “gotta give that a look” show. The star looks like the love child of George Clooney and Milo Ventimiglia (and I don’t really heart either one of them). And it’s a work-based comedy. And I find those kind of dicey. The Office, in both its Brit and US incarnations, makes me want to curl into a little ball and make a small keening noise until the pain goes away. Not ready to laugh about that yet.

But regardless of the setting, I’m glad I got sucked into this one. It’s smart. It’s funny. It’s a little twisted. It may actually be too good to make it on network television. But I’m going to ride this one till the wheels fall off.

Ted’s basically a decent guy who works for a basically indecent food company. They conduct experiments on the employees. They can’t seem to keep straight the concepts of office day care and office day labor (the kids are painting the stripes in the parking lot and performing janitorial services). They are trying to make “cowless meat” (don’t ask). Ted’s slept with his immediate boss and wishes he hadn’t because he would like to sleep with his immediate subordinate and can’t because he’s used up his “office affair”. He doesn’t want to be that kind of a boy.

And there you have the outlines of the first 3 episodes. But the show is really about more than the outlines. There are all sorts of small subplots and quirky details that make it feel more fleshed out than the average sitcom start up. The dialogue is sharp, and they’ve hired actors who deliver it fast and tight. The snappy patter flies more like something out of a 40s comedy like Philadelphia Story than most of what you hear on the tube these days. If it takes smart to play dumb, these actors must all be dumb as a box of rocks in real life.

Which, in the end, is why I’m kind of thinking that this show may be too smart for its own good. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe years of cable shows that have found core audiences that they didn’t have to play down to has prepared the way for a smart comedy on network television. Either way, go take a look. You may be catching a good thing before it disappears, or you may be in on the ground floor of next year’s must see TV.

Grab a hankie

I watched soap operas once upon a time. And my recollection of when I stopped is kind of vague, but I’m guessing it was in college. But I have to say, that the news that The Guiding Light has been cancelled is kind of a bummer. Kind of like hearing that the last drive-in movie theater in town has closed. Sure I hadn’t made it there in awhile, but it was part of my history that I kind of liked knowing was still there. I guess not many people had made it back to Springfield for a long while.

I think I saw that there are only 6 surviving daytime soaps. Which means that a lot of them have shut down over the years.

I kind of started wondering, what if you did what they do with old rock bands: Take the key players who want to get back out on the road and make a super group. Like a Super Soap. They all move into the same anonymous small town, near some metropolis (only known as “The City:). Luke and Laura. Erica Kane. Hope and Beau. Marlena and John and Tom. Opal Gardner. Josh and Reba. All the vixens, super couples, villains and disaster magnets. All of them causing trouble, swapping spouses, dying, resurrecting, coming in and out of comas, discovering evil twins, having mental breakdowns and generally wreaking havoc. They could call it The Bold Edge of General Hope of Light and Passion in the Days or Our Children’s World.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Were the President and First Lady visiting England or Lilliput?

Oh, my god. The Royals look like midgets next to the Obamas. It even looks like Michelle wore low-heeled shoes, and she's almost a head taller than Phillip. Do you suppose it's against protocol to pick up a monarch and say "Oh, you're just so cute I could squeeze you!"

Everything I know about mythology I learned from Clash of the Titans*

A remake of Clash of the Titans. Why, yes, thank you. I believe I will have a slice of that.

Clash of the Titans was horrible. Wonderfully horrible. Deliciously horrible. "Oh, sweet Jesus, is that Lawrence Olivier?" horrible. Horrible with a lemon twist. And I loved it. But I can totally see a remake. And I definitely think they need to bring back Clockie the Owl, or whatever his name was.

My only question is who's the baddie? The article says Hades. But my memory says it was Caliban (in the original, a truly dagitrocious mixture of half-assed claymation, and fully-assed creature makeup). I actually hope they do go off book and make it Hades, played by somebody yummy. I loves a bad boy. Especially a bad boy with a good day job.

* Actually, this is not true. But CotT was responsible for me diving into the old Edith Hamilton and reading the real myths. Good stuff.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Little Dickens

My folks are out in Arizona helping my brother and s-i-l before their second baby is born. And it's been a rare treat for me. Because the most help they can be right now is to take care of my nephew. So, I get all the little deets on what my adorable little nephew has been up to.

Sadly, for his parents, the kid is a smart little bugger. And if you want to have a placid life as a parent, you'd better hope your kid isn't smarter than the average bear. Especially, when he gets a stubborn gene from one of his aunts, and an inventive streak of toddler petty theft from the other. Man, heredity can be a bitch.

And it's all a ton of fun for me. I finally get revenge by proxy for all those years my little brother was a pain in my patootie. [I engage in a hearty Errol Flynn laugh - ha! ha! ha!] For as amusing as the anecdotes from his soccer class are (evidently 2-year old soccer involves standing on a spot, then running to kick an orange cone when it's your turn), it's not nearly as funny as when he crawls on a dresser to steal a bar of hand-made oatmeal soap from the craft fair and then when he gets caught runs out of the room with the soap bar in his teeth (evidently the boy runs better with his hands free - told ya he's smart). Ah, it's an image to make ya smile.

So, for any older sister out there, who feels the pinch of that elder status, when it seems like your younger sibs get away with murder - your time will come. Indeed, your time will come.

Put down the mouse and step away from the PhotoShop

Well, maybe it's progress. After years and years of women being PhotoShopped into offputting plastic perfection, finally here's a picture of a fella who's been turned into a frankenfreak by the publicity department. Usually it's the women who get turned into Barbie's anorexic cousin.

This is a publicity photo for Cupid. Featuring the lovely and talented Bobby Canavale. And lurvely he is. With a rockin bod. And for me, a rockin bod does not constitute looking like a 14-year old emo boy who lives on black licorice and diet Coke - whoo. Give me a second to get that imaginary taste out of my mouth. I really need to be more careful about what I write sometimes.

Anyway. They've skinnied him from a man to a mouse. And done something very prissy to his face. I'm not sure who this picture is supposed to appeal to. Personally, I'm not into guys that it looks like I could snap like a twig. Maybe they're marketing to teenage girls. Bobby does look very non-threatening in a half-hawk and hipster T.

And I certainly hope this isn't a sign of trends to come. Women have been doomed to the airbrush almost as long as there have been cameras. And I kind of hoped that parity would mean that women would be portrayed more realistically, rather than also subjecting men to the same electronic primping and pruning. We girls have been through enough body issues. I wouldn't wish them on anyone else.

And so it begins

Well, Contractor Steve has started working, with his trusty assistant Oscar, on the disaster that is my half bath.

Steve’s a pretty cool guy. True Texas. Not in that big buckles and yeehaw kind of way. The real kind. He’s tall, but stoops to not be intimidating. He’s soft spoken, but straight talking. His hair is still military short. He’s proud that he and his wife are celebrating a 23 year anniversary this week. And even though he’s about as white bread looking as they come, he speaks street Spanish like a good Tejano. Handy thing for a contractor.

He’s been running numbers, and he thinks he can get my kitchen counter done for me as well as the bathroom. Sweet. Like everybody, I’m nervous about the economy. But I’m just going to bite the bullet and consider this my part of the stimulus effort. You’re welcome, Mr. Obama. And it’s an investment in my home. Bathrooms and kitchens, right? That’s where they say to put the money.

But I am getting kind of antsy on the old “taste level” question. Since I’m having all this work done, should I just make it “tasteful” and pretty? Or should I go for something fun and funky? Funky is more my personality. But it’s not exactly good for the resale value. I’m leaning towards a kicky bathroom and a boring kitchen. At least with the bathroom, I know I can make it boring very quickly, should I ever need to sell fast. I just keep thinking back to all those houses that I saw when I was looking, and thought “Geez, people. Just because there are 1,476 shades of Glidden doesn’t mean you should use them all.” And it just makes me want to punk out and paint everything in eggshell, ecru and taupe. Yawn.

Anyhoo. They’re cutting into the walls as I type. By tomorrow I should a really scary picture to post.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Inspired or expelled?

I can honestly say that what happened to me on Friday was fairly unique.

I was reading a newspaper review of a play, and suddenly, the idea for a 4-character play popped into my head. I thought, "Oh, that's interesting. I'd better write that down." It's something I've gotten into the habit of with the blog. I'll think of some idea that could be a decent post, and I'll jot it down, because I've got a memory like a sieve, that's been used for target practice.

So, I pulled out my notebook, and wrote down those 4 characters. Then, a fifth kind of appeared on the page. Then the opening lines. Then, more. After about an hour of writing I thought, "Well, I'll run out of stuff here in a minute." But little bits and bobs kept popping into my head. And I'd write to a place where I could work that in. And at some point, I wrote a line and thought, "Oh, I wonder what Jan will say about that." And then she said something back. And I was surprised. I don't think those words were in my head before they appeared on that paper. Where the heck did that come from?

Looking back at it, I can see stuff that I've read, stuff that I've seen, stuff that I've wondered about and people I've known. But it's all kind of stewed up, from a pot that I didn't even know was on the stove. And three hours in, I had a one-act play.

I've never written a play before. I've never thought about writing a play before. I've written bad short stories and ghastly poetry. But I would have said the 3 paragraph blog is my oeuvre. I'm shockingly lazy. The 90-second rant about Project Runway would seem to be about all I have the oomph for. 17 pages of dialogue would have seemed to be beyond my scope.

But there it is. I'm not sure how or why. But I can't deny its existence. And I also can't vouch for its quality. I have absolutely no experience with having produced something that can't be read in the space of time you could drink a small cup of coffee. So I'm going to let it sit in a drawer and macerate a bit. Of course, I also don't have any experience with writing anything that's not a blog (or, if I'm not too ashamed to admit it, really ghastly, poetry that should be treated like a fart in an elevator - embarassing, toxic and will hopefully dissipate unmentioned). Whether what showed up on my desk on Friday is a nice little piece of coffee cake, or a fart, only time will tell.

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