Friday, May 15, 2009

Economists see an end to the recession

I'll have some of whatever it is they've been smoking.

Do you believe in magic?

I’m starting to have this theory that everybody has a “magic number”. A certain age where everything about you just pops into focus, and you’re the best you’re ever going to be. The most attractive. The most in-tune with the universe. The most of who they are.

Have you seen Jeff Goldblum on Criminal Intent? Wow. He’s never looked better. He’s never had his acting so fine tuned. He’s hitting on all cylinders. He’s always been a personal taste kind of guy (and let me say, I’m kind of fond of that flavor), but he’s just knocking it out of the park right now. And what up with Tom Hanks? He’s always had a regular guy appeal. But the publicity shots coming out of Angels & Demons are showing him in a new light. And me likey. Who knew? I may actually go see that (and if he can make me sit through a Dan Brown movie, that’s saying something, pace Ewan MacGregor).

And I’ve seen it happen with people I know personally. Sometimes it’s having a kid. Or accomplishing a personal goal. Or just having an ah-ha moment that clicks everything into place. And it’s like somebody you know, only better.

I’m really hoping my “magic number” wasn’t 19 and I just wasn’t paying attention. Or that if it was, then at least I’ll maybe get a second one somewhere in here. It sounds like something I could really enjoy now. I’d hate to think I missed it.

The other Spock

Okay, so this is a Star Trek adjacent story. Then it takes a left turn.

My niece and I saw Star Trek separately. Obviously from 2 different perspectives. Me – grounded in the Canon, as a second generation fan. Her – well, I’ve done my best to give her a good grounding, but she thinks Twilight is good scifi. What can you do? (Well, actually, Lilith Saintcrow has a new YA book called Strange Angels coming out, and I’m hoping it will put a stake in Edward Cullen’s sniveling little heart.)

So, I was curious on her take on the whole Trek thing. If Star Trek is going to survive, it’s going to have to grab kids her age. She was pretty into it. Liked the characters, especially Scotty (I knew making her watch Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz would pay off! I’m not a complete failure as a role model.), dug the whole Enterprise thing, thought the fx were good, wants to see the sequel. All good news.

Then she says, “What kind of name is Spock?”

“Um, Vulcan.”

She looks very doubtful.

“And well, there’s the child psychologist from the 60s. Dr. Spock.”

“There was somebody who really had that name.”

“Yeah. He was famous.”

And here’s where I broke bad.

“Everybody read his books. He had all these theories about raising kids. Like that you should spank a kid 3 times a week.”

“What?! What if they hadn’t done anything wrong?”

“At least 3 times. It’s good for them. Until they’re 19.”

“WHAT!? That’s just not fair. You can’t just spank somebody for just no reason. That’s just mean. What if you hadn’t done . . . anything. . . wait. Are you joking?”

Ah. Goofing on a kid. Priceless.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shoulda checked with me first.

Navy and White. A classic, subtly sophisticated spring combination. The sartorial equivalent of the swallows return to Capistrano. Simple, chic, foolproof.

Or maybe not.

You know what can blow a lovely navy and white summer suit?

White patent, mary jane stripper shoes.

And I know stripper shoes when I see them. Platform with a narrow base. Leatherette that screams "no animal was ever in danger of being harmed in the making of this shoe." Appropriate for a naughty nurse, and will stand up to the punsihment for your kick ass version of White Wedding with a double inverted pole spin.

So, a fashion tip from me to you, before you do your spring shopping. Don't make this mistake.

At least not before Memorial Day.

Not my forte

Okay. This is my not-so-secret shame. I am a giant wussburger. Always have been. I am really easy to run over. It's a big reason why I've become good at doing things for myself. Because I just HATE confrontation. Especially of the "Um, would you, please, if you don't mind, not screw me over? If that's okay with you, I mean." Wussburger. This is one of those instances where self-loathing is kind of warranted. I can hear part of my brain saying, "Speak up, you little cupcake." That part of my brain really hates it when I do that. Defending somebody else? I'm fine. Hell, I'm one tough bitch. Defending myself? I might as well have "WELCOME" tattooed on my forehead.

Like last night. I go into my newly completed bathroom, admiring the walls, admiring the new counter, admiring the new light fixture . . WTF? Most decidedly not admiring the end of my toilet tank lid that has been broken off. I mean, not cracked, not repaired. Just totally broke off. Son of a . . . Which means I'm going to have to call Contractor Steve. After he'd picked up his final payment. Dagnabbit. Because there's no way that conversation can go anything other than "What the fuqua, Steve?" Even in the politest way possible, that's basically a WTF. I know it. He'll know it. There's the whole miasma of calling you on this WTFiness. Gawd.

I'm perfectly within my rights. But I hate it. I hate that implicit criticism. I hate even the hint of getting in somebody's face. I know other people live for it. My sister could get a family crest emblazoned with Don't Tread On Me. I've watched her grab her knives for a street fight over this kind of stuff. Believe me, they did not know who they were messing with. Me? I spent about an hour on line trying to figure out if there was a way I could fix this myself and never have to make that call. Then I spent all night agonizing about it. What to say? How to say it? Can I just get my sister to call him?

Well, I pulled up my big girl panties and made the call. It went okay. He's going to make it right. I knew he would. I just hate having to ask.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I believe we've identified where the odor is emitting from

So, Paulina Porizkova is bitching because she got tossed off of Top Model. Um, I'm just guessing, but I think she may have been fired because she sucked. The one one full episode I watched this season featured here critiquing the models acting performance. Huh, wah? This would be the woman who wasn't even convincing when she had to act in love with Tom Selleck. Tom Selleck. In the 80s. Not convincing. Tom Selleck. Giving acting advice. And being arrogant about it.

Well, then.

I think I need to sit her and Terrence Howard (late of the Iron Man) down and explain something.

You cannot be the only stinky part of a good movie and expect to keep your job. Even if you are hella gorgeous. You can be the only good part of a stinky movie and keep your job (see Brendan Frasier/The Mummy). Or you can hide in ensemble stink in a good movie (see Michael Keaton/As You Like It). But if you are identifiably where the smell is coming from . . . you're toast. Just take your lumps.

Ya know, I'd kind of prefer to think they're just screwing with me

Have you ever watched Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer, talk about disciplining your dog by making your hand into a teeth-like grip and forcing your puppy by the back of the neck into a submission posture?

These are the moments where I'd like to get my bitey hand on the scrawny necks of the medical establishment, in order to wrestle them to the ground, and yell - "ADMIT IT!! You have no idea what the flying f*** you're talking about!" They just pull stuff out of their collective, white coated asses - hum, yep, sounds good, shore does, yup, yup, yup.

They just send us all off on the anti-oxidant goose chase. Everybody should! Happy little chemicals that will run around with mops, clening up all those nasties in your body. Doesn't that sound good? Ohhhhh, unless you're trying to lose weight or ward off diabetes. Not for those two things. Just those. In that case, all the exercise you're trying to do would be hosed. So really, you'd just be exercising for fun. And that was why you were doing it anyway, right? Fun?

And who precisely in America is not trying to lose weight and fight off diabetes? Have you seen America?

Honestly. And doctors wonder why no one thinks they are gods any more.

Love the one you're with

Here’s why I love the rise of the local music festival. It gives you second chances, or in some instances, next best things.

Like last year in Little Rock when I got to fulfill a whacky teenager’s long ago dream and see Huey Lewis and the News (you can’t judge me!). Okay, yeah, I’m one of the old chicks reliving her youth (or the youth I wish I had), but the benefit of being an old chick is that I don’t give a rat’s rear what sweet young things think, and I’m going to dance.

And this year’s Wildflower Fest here in the Dallas Metroplex this weekend is going to give my niece and I one of those next best things, on something we never had a shot at the original on. For me, it’s the Wailers. Bob Marley died before I discovered his genius. And the fact that I’ll never actually get to experience one of his shows has always been a big loss for me. But seeing his old backing band (in I’m sure some sort of “frozen juice concentrate” form, but still) is about as close as I’m going to get. I’ll take it. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Redemption Song and 3 Little Birds.

For my niece, there will be Bad Fish. Reputed to be the best Sublime tribute band going. She finds it equally (if not understandably more) frustrating that Bradley Nowell ODed when she was 4. Really quite careless of him. I think she’s also a little pissed that she wasn’t taken to a show when she was 3, so that she could at least say she was there. Careless of her mother not to plan ahead. I find it kind of funny that she’s digging on music from my heyday. You know. The old stuff. Classic. Anyway.

We’re both going to scratch some very old itches, as best as we can. Remember what we never knew. Like smelling madeleines and remembering Proust. We’ll take what we can get. Sometimes the next best thing is the best medicine.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do and/or Die

You know, back when I was in high school, one of my teachers looked out onto our freshly scrubbed innocent faces and said, "You know that SSI deduction some of you are starting to see on your first pay checks, that you're going to get back when you're old enough to retire? You're never going to see it again. Kiss it goodbye, suckers."

Okay, the suckers may be my addition. Looks like Mr. Hinkleday called that one. I've been forking out on every paycheck for over 20 years, while all those seniors have been blowing my hard earned cash on Polygrip, slot machines and Jack Daniels.

Actually, I don't begrudge them. I went into this with my eyes open. I sleep better knowing that my SSI contribution keeps some granny from having to eat dog food (though evidently it tastes just like pate [,0,6580998.story?track=rss], and I think that says more about pate than it does dog food). I like old people.

And I had hoped to be one some day. But it's now looking like I'd be better off taking up a dangerous hobby. Forget knitting. I need something with a higher mortality rate. Like base jumping. Or unprotected sex with Colin Farrell.

It's too bad. I had high hopes for that master plan to die in bed with my pool boy, Chet, at 87. Now it looks like he's going to out of my price range. Pity.


Green Day just put out another big ass rock opera album. And by all reports, it’s good. Whoda thunk?

I mean, seriously, if you were holding a copy of Dookie in your hands back in the early ‘90s, monster album though it was, would you have guessed they would be relevant in 2009? Personally, I would have laid money on them making it another 3 years, beating each other bloody, breaking up, spending 20 years making nasty comments about each other in “where are they now” interviews, and then getting together for a love-me-for-the-money tour. Who knew the brat princes of pop-punk had staying power? And something real to say?

And that’s the way with a lot of bands. It’s a craps shoot on who will make it. In the 80s I’d have said Terrence Trent D’Arby was the real deal. Gone with the mists of time. I’d have said everybody in Depeche Mode would be dead before the millennium. Still putting out the tunes. I’d have said the Beasty Boys were one trick ponies. Turns out they’re kings of all media. Talent can fool you. Bad life choices may not be fatal. And sometimes swagger just hides a fiendish work ethic.

Kind of makes me wonder. Will Lady GaGa be cranking out the hits 20 years from now? Will we wonder whatever happened to Coldplay?

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'll just say it - Boldly Go

Okay, I’m going to try very, very hard to give a decent summary of Star Trek, without giving anything away. A tall order. But I HAVE to talk about it. So here we go, in as non-spoilery way as I can be without sounding like my blog has been redacted by the CIA. I think I can do this, but if you want to keep your brain pristine until you’ve been to the mountain, come on back after you’ve seen it for yourself.

So, anyhoo.

As far as re-boots go, this one is nearly pitch-perfect. It re-introduces the ‘verse, establishes a very capable ensemble cast, keeps the plot humming along, and wows your eyeballs more than once. The opening sequence is a flawless, complete short story. If you’re standing on the edge wondering if you’re going to jump for this movie, it kicks your ass right over the cliff. And the special effects serve the story, rather than wagging the dog. This is fully integrated sci-fi, that is more than bang-bang-boom-boom, but still has plenty of bang. And if you are familiar with Trek lore, there are plenty of little tasty treats spread out through out the movie that will keep you snack happy.

And though this is truly an ensemble cast, three notes (and I’m getting close to the spoily boundary here, but just trust me): Karl Urban – damn, boy, who knew you were capable of that? You pulled off a truly original Spock insult that actually sounded like it came out of DeForest Kelly’s mouth. Kudos. Simon Pegg – I feel completely vindicated in my early support of your casting. I think the warp engines are in safe hands. Chris Pine – I was willing to be convinced, though not initially enthusiastic. But there was a minute when you sat in the Captain’s chair . . .

This movie not perfect. There is one character that just stinks of JarJar Binks. And Winona Ryder? Huh? Was this some sort of 6 Degrees of Christian Slater thing? And does Chekov always have to annoy the spit out of me? Always? And not for nothing, did somebody lose a bet to cast the young Jim Kirk? On the child actor appeal scale, this kid is no Haley Joel Osment. In fact, he’s no Danny Bonaduce. We’re talking Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch. And lastly . . . the eyebrows, people. The eyebrows.

If you’re thinking you will, go as soon as possible. There are things that could very easily be totally ruined for you, and you will feel betrayed and angry. I don’t want that for you. Either beat the babbling crowds or invoke an inviolable shell of silence that will be penetrated only under the threat of swift and sure violence.


Good weekend.

Saturday was a Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers show down at the House of Blues. And for some reason things just hung a little weird all night. My sister was able to ride along for the first time in a long time, which was great, not wonky. We headed over to Dick’s Last Resort for dinner, place that pride’s itself on the insouciance of its wait staff. Which is fine. I’m perfectly willing to play along with a little sass. But our waiter kept insisting that he needed a slap on the fanny in order to get me a beer. !! Seriously, if it was actually socially acceptable to give someone a spanking in order to make them get me a beer, I’d have kids by now. (Kidding) Anyway, I gave him a couple of token pats, but really, I’m not cougar material. That takes a lot of effort. And that naughty boy needed more discipline than my pimp hand could mete out. Pert though his posterior may be. Besides, I was saving energy for the show.

And thank goodness I did. Weirdness energetically ensued. Though we did score the coveted sofa seats for the opening act. Nice. We could only see about 10% of the stage from there, but I discovered that sitting behind a column ain’t so bad when the slice of stage you can see contains a view of 2 tall-drink-of-water guitar players and a scruffy drummer. I was content. But then we moved into the crowd for RCPM.

The drunken eejit factor was extremely high. And my sister has an absolute knack for attracting the most . . . unusual sort of bar fly. She spent several minutes getting a tutorial in how to make devil fingers from a very wobbly gent with the most fro-tastic head of kick-my-ass-red hair I’ve ever seen. She tried to explain that she did indeed go to ASU, and, as a proud Sun Devil, no lessons needed. But she’s not terribly fluent in drunken eejit, and I'm not sure communication every really occured. Add in that we had to side-step a sloppy little bar brawl that turned into an I love you mannnnn. And we were next to another wobbly gent who really loved giving the high fives. And at some point I found myself in a spontaneous group sway (those break out quite regularly at Peacemaker shows – feel the love, y’all) with the arm of some random guy (who was built like a brick chicken house) thrown around me. Hey, I said it was a weird night. I didn’t say it was a bad night.

Anyway, the show was great, per the usual high standard, weirdness not withstanding. Though at one point, I started trying to mentally calculate, not for the first time, just how many shots Roger Clyne had shared with fans. By midnight, he must have been sweating pure tequila and Dos Equis (shall we say, an interesting notion, in and of itself). And as a side note, Roger, I’m rather fond of you in a person-I-don’t-actually-know kind of way. And I’d like to think we’ll be doing these happy/sweaty/tribal, Peace-filled shows until I’m 60. Take care of that liver, darlin’. Just sayin’.

And all of that was followed by a bleary Sunday morning viewing of the new Star Trek movie (more on that later – but for now, suffice it to say, let the choirs of angels sing – AWEsome!) and my niece’s Hawaii themed surprise B-day party. Good weekend.

TIME: Quotes of the Day