Thursday, September 3, 2009

Spinning Like the Last Broomstick-skirted Hippie at the Grateful Dead Show

Okay, I’ve gotten to the semi-basket case stage of planning my trip to New Orleans. And at this point, I’m going to have to just admit that it’s me, not everybody else, when it comes to manic-depressive travel planning. I’m about to spin into a bi-polar wreck in the next two weeks. What to pack?* Is my wardrobe nice enough that I won’t be thrown out of the lobby of my hotel? (It’s appears to be a nicer hotel than I’m used to, thank you, off-peak travel, and I’m not sure my usual rags are up to snuff. I'm afraid I'll be mistakend for a vagrant.) How’s the weather? Any rotten old hurricanes threatening? Umbrella? Hat? Jacket? Parka? Though my trip to DC reconfirmed my long-held conviction that you can never pack too much underwear. It’s moldy in New Orleans. Zyrtec? AllergenBlock? Benadryl? Tamiflu? Face mask? Iron lung? And to laptop or not to laptop? How many notebooks? What if I pack 3 in anticipation of a literary firestorm, and only come up with a paragraph that could have been written on the back of an envelope? Will I feel like a complete self-aggrandizing asshole?

See? And it’s just me. Imagine if I was planning for several people. Scary.

And while I’m admitting things, I might as well just throw in that I’m kind of enjoying my little spin out. It’s a fine line between pleasant anticipation and full-on drama queen flameout. At least for me.

So, I’m printing out little pages from the internet. Checking on who’s playing at Preservation Hall. (Does it really matter who it actually is? No. I don’t know one band from another, but I just like knowing.) I’ve got my hot-off-the-presses 2010 Fodor’s Guide flying to me on wings. One eye on the Weather Channel.


* It will help you envision my little turbo-flip moment if you imagine Sabre Dance playing in the background. Yes. My life has a soundtrack.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Star Potential

I know this will sound wrong to some football fans, but I sincerely hope that such a courageous, selfless, clear thinking young man will not waste his life on something like football.

Not that I don't think that someone shouldn't offer him a big fat scholarship to play ball at a first tier college. I just think it would be an absolute shame to blow that much potential on the NFL. Not that it can't serve a purpose. Get the education. Make some dough. But he should make sure that it's just a stepping stone and means to a greater end.

You take that kind of potential and valiantly lead troops into battle. You take that kind of potential and make the world a safer place carrying a badge. You take that kind of potential and run a big company with responsibility and vision. And it would be a crying shame to waste a brain and a heart like that on ruining your body and ending up a 40-year old cripple just to make some old rich owner richer.

And I'd be saying the same thing if he was the super-talented lead in the school play and was thinking of running off to Hollywood to be in the movies after high school. All that stuff is entertaining, but the world has plenty of entertainers. What we are in dire need of is leaders.

So mad I could spit.

Just discovered that Kinky Friedman is running for the DEMOCRATIC ticket for governor of Texas. I'm just. How is. What the. Fragglezibble.

Betrayed. Just betrayed. Can't talk any more. Just going to go in a corner and be sad.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mad People

A real live snap taken at a local DART train stop (if you look closely, you’ll peep a blurry me looking perplexed), that had me putting on my imagining cap. Here’s how I envision the ad meeting going:

“Love the artwork, Stew (*all ad companies should have a Stew – jb). The model looks very happy to be getting an interest-bearing checking accunt.”

“Thanks, Annie. We worked really hard on this one.”

“One thing . . . is there a reason she has a glowing crotch?”


“Her cooch, Stew. It’s glowing.”

“No, no. That’s a flower. It’s there for perspective. See the field of flowers?”

“Yeah, well it’s making her look like she’s got a radioactive vagina.”

“Oh, who would notice that? She’s happy! It’s interest-bearing checking! Whoo-hooo?”

“Well, maybe she’s happy because her uterus is going off like the Bat Signal.”

“Actually, given the location, it would be the T. . .”

“Finish that joke and I’ll call HR again, Stew.”

“But you said . . .”

“Never mind what I said. I have a uterus. I can say whatever I want. And I say a crotch with an aura is not the image we want to project.”

“But the changes to the artwork will cost and extra $50,000!”

“$50,000? Hmmm. We’ll go with the glowing va-jay-jay. Screw it.”

“I have HR on speed-dial, Stew.”

Monday, August 31, 2009

Scooch on over here

The weird thing about that Jason Mraz song "I'm yours" is that I'm not sick to death of it. It just hit some record for an ungodly number of weeks on the charts. And why wouldn't it? It's catchy as hell. I downloaded it. And I smile every time it comes on my iPod.

And I am notoriously fickle. When I turn on a song, I turn with a vengeance. I loved Train's Meet Virginia for about 3 weeks. Bought the album. Loved it. Then all the sudden, somewhere in the desert, I started to HATE that song. I ripped it out of my tape player and threw it out the truck window. It was like an autonomic muscle response. No thought. Just hit eject, and whip it right out into the Sonoran night. To be peed on by javelina's, I hope. If I'd thought about it, I wouldn't have littered. I blame Train and that hooky mass of cliche that was polluting my airspace. And forever after, I have hated Train with a passion that is only eclipsed by my loathing for Nickelback.

But, I'm Yours appears to be made of teflon. It's so happy and cheerful. It's like a warm hug from your not-real-bright boyfriend. So friendly and inoffensive it may have been written by Sanrio. It's like a vanilla Puddin' Pop given to you by Bill Cosby himself. And those are the very qualities that should make me want to fly it out the window of moving vehicle. And yet, and yet. Play it now and I would scat along.

Where the heck am I?

There’s an article in the weekend’s Wall Street Journal about the renovation of the Little Nell Hotel in Colorado. They’re spending a butt load of money to move away from the old regional style of decorating (antlers, raw timber) to the modern look. Setting aside that “modern” bores the pants off me (by all means, if you can’t come up with anything creative, any idiot can do boilerplate modern), what really ticks me about this is that I’m getting really tired of going to a city and not being able to tell where the hell you are because every design scheme you see is dripping in “taste” – yawn, yawn, yawn.

Okay, some of this is a Texas thing. We like slapping Texas stars and tooled leather on things. But, I want to see hippie chic in Seattle. I want to see southern charm in Savannah. I want to see pastels and deco in Miami. I want a splash of Federal in DC. But everybody’s so damned afraid of being tacky, they retreat back to neutral palates and bland design. Sure modern works in a lot of big urban centers. But I expect modern in NYC to be different from modern in Chicago, and both to be different from modern in LA.

And humans bring it on themselves. On the one hand, we criticize people who are outside the norm that we expect. And on the other, we breed fear of being criticized for being different. So no one one want to offend. No one wants to be offended. So we all end up wandering in a tiny little box that gets tinier by the minute. A tiny modern box, with no rough edges, no color and no FLAIR.

So I say bring back the wagon wheel chandeliers. Bring back the Amish hex signs. Bring back the coffee cups with blue crabs and the saguaro cactus salt and pepper shakers. Be proud of your town. Let the d├ęcor say “Welcome to ____” rather than “If it’s Thursday this must be ____”. What’s the point of getting up and going somewhere, if it just ends up looking exactly like the place you just left?

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