Saturday, August 15, 2009

Belly up to the bar, boys

So, evidently, the latest hipster dude thing is to sport a Buddha belly. And not a Keanu Reeves Little Buddha belly. A "rub me for luck" Buddha belly.


Have you ever noticed how few boy trends have anything to do with being better looking? Guys do things for their own inscrutable reasons. Just cause they think they're cool. Trucker hats? Yeah. No chick but a lot lizard is digging on that look. Giant cargo shorts with broke ass sandals? No. Sorry. No. And the whole George Clooney haircut back in the 90s, that went around so fast that it could have been used by the CDC as a study in epidemiology? On some men it was fine. Not as fine as on Mr. Clooney, but it was not a complete disaster. On other men, it was not helping.

The whole metrosexual thing would appear to be an exception. But what started out as a tendency to leave the house in clothes that fit, with his hair combed and fingernails clean (oooo, baby) quickly devolved into an obsessive level of silverback grooming that was no longer attractive. At least not to women.

And now a pot belly. But you know one of them did it, then they all did. For whatever wave of the zeitgeist the boys are surfing this summer. But you know it ain't about the ladies. Because, while some girls do dig a "prosperous" tum, it's not the general rule. Most gals can work with a potbelly, or around it. But going out to look for it? Not so often.

And I've never heard of women as a group gaining weight to be trendy. Never. Not once. But it looks like these guys are just grabbing a couple extra Miller High Life's and letting it all hang out for fashion. What are they? DeNiro?

Of course, this could all just be a mis-identified trend. It could just be that after years of tensile stress from being in skinny jeans, the fat on these guys may have worked its way up the stove pipe legs, and out the waistband. Had to erupt somewhere.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Can you stand the heat?

So, Top Chef Masters has come down to the Battle of the PBS Chef Titans Showdown of my dreams. With Hubert Keller, French Chef of Luuuuuv thrown in for the flavor. This is the black tar heroin of television. I’m going to have to go to rehab next Wednesday night (I said no, no, no). I thought Michael “Say my name!” Chiarello might have been toast, but evidently ugly food that tastes pretty okay wins over possibly giving the judges food poisoning from a raw bar blistering in the sun.

I’ve said all along that TCM has been a fun change from Top Chef, just from the fundamental lack of bitchy witchy that’s been maintained throughout. And what happens the minute the former TC cheftestants show up – let the pissing match begin! It was like the entire temperature of the room changed. Though the way the team matchups came was pretty funny. Of course Hubert picked two girls. Play on, playah. And when Rick Bayless picked Blais, I knew something cool (ha!) was going to come out of it. But the real fun was watching Michael Chiarello go all Italian Stallion on his sous chefs’ asses. Frankly, I think they should have taken their spankings and liked it. There’s a reason these guys are on Top Chef MASTERS and most of you got kicked off Top Chef. [And not for nothing, MC call me any time. I’d be happy to tell you your name.]

When it comes down to it, in spite of Hubert’s magnificent mane and mile long legs, I’m backing my boy Rick Bayless. I’ve spent many happy Saturday mornings, eating Cheerios and watching him grinding on that molcajete, cooking me up something yummy. Plus, it’s a roots thing. He’s an OKC homey. Any way it goes down, the finale is going to kick ass.

[Can’t wait for TCLV!]

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pense before you parle

Only the French would ban a woman in a head to toe bathing suit, and not Gerard Depardieu in a Speedo. Geez. If you want to talk unhygenic . . .

At the movies

Okay, this is a little more long-winded that I usually am. But it was an idea that caught my brain, and I thought I’d take you along for the ride on the train of thought . . .

I think I finally figured out the flaw in trying to read most movie reviews. Most reviews don’t take the audience into account. Other than the person who’s watching it. Either they think it was good or bad or didn’t suck. But for the most part, the reviewer watches from a very specific viewpoint. Most regular people don’t.

Take as a case in point a movie I saw this weekend, Secondhand Lions. I remember when it came out a few years ago, I barely gave it a second glance. It seemed to be some sort of a kids flick with middling reviews. I looked back at and it had a 60% fresh rating. Pretty meh. But this Saturday morning, I was feeling kind of under the weather, so I just wanted to lay on the couch and take in a movie through osmosis. Secondhand Lions was the first thing I saw. And honestly, it was a lot better than I expected.

As art? Not so much. Even with Robert Duvall and Michael Caine. As an overall movie, maybe even then it wasn’t that good. But as a family flick, it way exceeded expectations. It was a movie that you could sit down and watch with a 5-year old and an 85-year old. A little action, a little nostalgia, a little romance, a little life lesson. And a lion. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa and the kids could all sit and watch this movie and have a good time. That’s a lot of people to make happy. And it’s not an easy job.

But if you just went by an overall rating, you’d have passed it up. I did. But if I could break it down by categories, I’d put it like this:

Overall: B-
Art film: C (anything with Duvall and Caine gets at least a C just on cred)
Kids film: B+
Family film: A

Why the higher rating between kids and family? Any movie that kids can enjoy, but doesn’t make an adult want to stuff popcorn in their ears has a higher degree of difficulty.

And you could do this for genre films too. The Star Trek reboot movie was a solid A as a Star Trek film. But, gun to their head, any sci-fi fan would have to admit that as straight up sci-fi, it was only a B. No ground was broken. It didn’t push the genre envelope. Nothing that hasn’t been done before. And that’s a key element to go missing in a sci-fi film.

That’s really the flaw in most aggregator review sites. It give you more information. Just not necessarily better information. Most movies succeed and fail in several different arenas. And it depends on what you want at any particular time as to what you want to succeed. Sometimes I go to the movies as a chick. Sometimes I’m a sci-fi fan. Sometimes I’m somebody’s granddaughter or aunt. Sometimes I’m the 8-year old that still thinks fart jokes are funny. And sometimes I just go to the movies. A thumb or a tomato just doesn't cover it.


My energy is all screwy. Like in a seriously, hippie, my chi is out of whack way. It’s kind of come and gone for the last year or so. Usually it takes something drastic, like shaving my head (Britney, I do understand you) or base jumping or something to blow this kind of stink out of my head. But I’ve just kind of let the funk linger. I’m starting to get musty.

I think part of it is that I’m tired of being me. One of the things I learned to appreciate moving around as a kid is that every new town, every new school was a chance to be somebody different. Not Sybil different. But just a tweak here or there. Some small personality change that would seem like a cry for help to people you know - Is something wrong? You don’t seem like yourself – but really is just somebody you’d like to be.

Like at my last job, I was a whackier version of myself. Always with a funny story, or a new foreign accent, or a practical joke. I’d always been quieter before, but this was a sales group, and I could be a bigger personality without seeming out of place. I’ve been at this job for quite awhile now. And whackiness doesn’t really fly. So I’m quieter. Not as funny. Not as creative. Which was cool, at first. It’s very relaxing to not be on all the time. Now I’m just kind of bored with it.

But I’m not looking to change jobs. And I’m in a place where my family and friends all know me. I just don’t want to BE me. Not this me. The French have that thing, “biens dans sa peau”, or comfortable in your own skin. Which I guess I am. Comfortable enough. I’d just like to shed the one that I have. But I haven’t figured out how you change who you are without changing where you are.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Mom Pants and Me

So I'm at the Costco on Sunday, to pick up coffee (Costco coffee beyond rocks) and I do my peruse through the clothing section for work shirts. And I see these courdoroy pants for $9.97. I have a complete love affair with courdoroy. LM fabric that feels all cushy, what's not to adore? They're Dockers with the label that says they sit "slightly below the natural waist". Hmmm. I pick them up. Decent flat front. Good angle on the pockets. Just straight enough leg. I flip them over. . . you can't fool me! Those are Mom Pants. There is a certain full, generous, easy fittin' expanse of ass in Mom Pants that is unmistakable. A sort of bwoop-bwoop siren that announces that your backfield is always in motion. And not in that cute, rounded, badonkadonk way. It's just wide. MPs are one stop on the I Give Up Highway that leads straight to Red Hat Club Accessories and Ladies' Fashion Coordinates.

But they were $10. And black. And I really, really need a pair of easy, black work pants. So I just did it.

And I gotta say, I'm loving the Mom Pants. There is absolutely no threat of muffin top. I don't have to watch the way I'm sitting. I'm covered. My hips are all nice and loose because there's not "waistband" cutting off my circulation. It's just all very freeing. My mother would say I look "very nice." In ma big ol' Mom Pants. Comfort, my friends. Comfort.

Everybody kept telling me that things start to fall apart at 40. I just had no idea this was how the wheels fell off. I've hit the slippery slope. And I'm going to be yelling "wheeeee!" all the way down.

TIME: Quotes of the Day