Friday, November 6, 2009

That girl really is a chameleon

It's probably a measure of her fashion bag of tricks that I glanced at this picture that was tagged "Lady Gaga" and thought "Geezis, what is she wearing? Oh. That's the podium."

And I don't mean that as a smack, really. I like the Gaga. She makes interesting use of proportion and has a very cohesive fashion vision. Yeah. She's nuts. But, for me, not in a bad way.

I'm just saying that if she showed up dressed as a silver cork screw with an MTV logo sticking out of her head, I wouldn't be surprised. She could probably pull it off.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Not the Eureka moment I was hoping for

[Cross-posted to Facebook]

So, I went to the Master of Liberal Studies information session tonight. And everybody that spoke was pretty gung ho. But any snake oil salesman will tell you, you don't send doubters out as recruiters - you send the true believers. Okay that's cynical. But there was a lot of happy clappy about how the world is changing, and organizations need the kind of integrative, imaginative thinking that they teach in an MLS program. The world will open it's doors for the wonderful brain you will possess after successfully navigating their course. I'll be competitively positioned. Finally.

Funnily enough, I heard much the same thing 20 years ago when I decided to change from an education program to liberal studies 20 years ago. And I can tell you, in the 20 years since, I've never once heard anyone say "You're an English major? Thank God you're here!" I've had to beg borrow or steal every job I've ever had. And it hasn't exactly been a steady climb up the ziggurat of success.

They also talked about how they'll teach us to be "outside the box" thinkers.

I've been an outside the box thinker my entire life. Sometimes I'm so far outside the box that I have trouble remembering exactly where the box was. I also have trouble understanding why people want to live inside a box in the first place. And for their part, box dwellers usually like their box, and really wish I'd quit trying to kick the sides in.

Career-wise, I've come to realize that I'm a square peg. And you can try to jam a square peg into a round hole, but mostly you'll just end up bruising the pegs corners and pissing off the hole. I've also come to realize that career-wise, the holes pretty much own the playing field. Not their fault. They're good at running organizations.

It's a problem. And one that I'm not sure an advanced degree will fix for me.

I'm going to need to find something that I can do for the next 30 years or so. I think it's a basic human need: to be useful. I must be good for something. I just can't seem to figure out what that is. There are other square pegs out there. Some of them just seem to be much better at it than I am. I need to figure this out. I just have this nagging feeling that I need to do it soon, before it's too late.


You know what? While I’m ranting. Let me say something about this article. “Mariah Carey shows her ugly side”.

Beg pardon?

That really pisses me off. I look at that picture of her as a social worker in a movie, and I don’t see ugly. I see dozens of women that I know. Women who have real lives. Women who get up every morning and try to look presentable so that they can go do their jobs. ESPECIALLY women in caring professions (and men too, thank you kindly) who put up with a lot, in bad light and no time to eat, let alone reapply lipstick and fluff their hair. She doesn’t look like Mariah Carey. She looks real.

Not all of us get paid to be air-brushed to perfection. Not all of us are ornamental. We have purpose. We have lives. And just because we only get to spruce up on the odd special occasion, and most days we’re lucky to have our hair combed and most of our buttons done right that doesn't make us less. And it sure does not make us ugly.

And for the ones who are out there every day, on top of everything else, trying to make a difference in people’s lives - the social workers, medical professionals, soldiers, cops, firefighters, teachers - they aren’t just not “ugly”, they are beautiful.

The Shoe-Bootie Conspiracy

This is one of those instances where I suspect there’s an international conspiracy of “fashion writers” and clothing sellers. It really is a campaign of misinformation designed only to sell clothing. Even if it makes buyers look like fools.

Look at this article:

It’s mostly blah-blah-blather, common sense (color on what you want to emphasize, black on what you don’t) and benign fashion babble (a chunky bracelet will distract from a big butt – Well, no. But nice try). It’s a big internet and they have to write something to fill up all that blank space.

But then you get down to the shoe-booties. No. AAAAANNNNGGGHHH. Wrong. Shoe-booties are the most heinously wrong fashion mistake perpetrated on the female population since pink spandex bicycle shorts. They don’t look good on ANYONE. They foreshorten the leg, which always, always, but always makes you look chunky and dumpy. Always. No exceptions. They make Rhianna look like she’s got tree stump legs. They make boney Gwyneth Paltrow look like she’s got tree stump legs. And they will make you (no matter who you are) look like you have tree stump legs. The only time they don’t make your legs look like pig trotters or a cloven-hoofed spawn of Satan are when you wear them under pants. Where you can’t see them! It's a shoe that looks good on a shelf. Bad on your body.

The only reason they are hot right now is because you don’t have them already. Shoe designers are trying to trap you into a fashion mistake that you will suddenly, one year from now, think “Dear God, what was I thinking??!?!!?!?” And will need to go out and buy an entirely new shoe wardrobe to replace all those hideous shoe-booties that you bought. They get you coming (Shoe-booties are hot! Buy 8 pairs! In every color!) and going (Shoe-booties are stank! Get rid of them!). They are loathesome.

And this so called “Style Caster” is telling us that they will slim our figures! Lies. Lies. And more lies. Shame on you, you shill. You patsy! You betrayer! Fie on you!

And don't get me started on OPEN-TOED shoe-booties. Gah!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pictures in Evidence

So, I was at Mom & Dad’s on Sunday. My niece asked about the 2 pictures on the living room wall. Mom explained that they were both done by her grandmother. One is a needlepoint of 2 pheasants. The other is a folk art picture of a farm boy feeding pigs in front of a farm house. My great-grandmother had used a picture of my grandfather as a boy to draw on a piece of wood. She probably found other pictures of the tree, the house and the pigs in magazines. Because my Grandpa swears they never had pigs when he was a boy. Then Grandma D. took a pen knife and cut a relief of the drawing into the wood, and painted in the picture in.

Who knows where she got the idea. Or how she decided to do it. But Mom says she always signed and dated these little projects of hers.

It’s kind of nice to know. This impulse to do a little project. To see something, or just dream it up, and think “Oh, I could do that.” The little pleasures of working out details. Overcoming the little hitches that come. That tiny, secret grin and the feeling of “aren’t I clever” when you’ve made something from nothing. It’s all genetic. All carried down in blood and bone.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thanks for switching on that light bulb

So, this congress member says that the health care bill is more dangerous to Americans than any terrorist threat from any country.

Let's clarify. The health care issue has ALWAYS been more critical to the savety of the average American than terrorism. ALWAYS. Even on September 11, 2001, a bad health care was a threat to a larger number of Americans that all the terrorists in the world, put together.

Terrorism is bad. Terrorists are dangerous people. But I'm more likely to get jacked by a germ than by a wild-eyed fanatic any day of the week.

We should have always been dedicating more resources to solving this problem that affected every American with a pulse. Unilaterally, from all sides of the issue, from all political parties, from all walks of life. Terrorism is a threat to our way of life, but it's probably at least 3rd or 4th on the list. Behind health care, energy and ecological decay. Not saying we shouldn't have spent money or time on the issue. But don't you really wish that we'd spent the last 10 years and gazillions of dollars that have been spent chasing boogie men on something that might actually make a difference to 99.9% of Americans?

So, thanks Rep. Foxx. Glad to see you're finally on board. Could you be a love and maybe pass the word to the rest of your colleagues? Thanks.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Free Bird

Okay, so Dallas’s Free Night of Theater program is this month. They did it a little different this year, rolling out a week’s worth of tickets at a time. So I’d pull up a week at a time and see if anything clicked. But between vacation and teenager-sitting and Halloween and RCPM and family stuff and friends stuff, I just never seemed to be able to make any of the shows that I was really interested in work. So a couple of weeks ago, I decided “Oh, well, maybe next year.”

But it was making me nuts. There was free stuff. And none of it was mine. Part of it is the hangover the poor college student mentality, in which any free food, alcohol or entertainment is irresistible. Pay for dinner theater where you’re served hot dogs, Miller Lite and watch drunk circus clowns hit each other over the head with tire irons? No. Of course not. But if it’s free . . . Well, that’s different. Why didn’t you say so? Two please.

Part of it is my heritage. I come from a frugal people. And what’s more frugal than free?

And there was free stuff going on at FNoT. And none of it was mine. I snapped. Come to me, free stuff. You must be mine.

So I found a one-day window that I could make work for a show. And low-and-behold, there was one show that fit. Hallelujah. Two for Talk Radio, please. Of course, I’m not really sure what the point of Talk Radio is without Eric Bogosian. [Sidebar: I have this total thing for Bogosian ever since they had the sub-plot on Law & Order: CI where he was dating the female medical examiner who is significantly older than 21. He always had that bad boy anti-charm. But playing alpha male with an age appropriate female? Mrowr. Works for me.] But, in the words of the poet, that which is free is necessarily good. Or something like that.

TIME: Quotes of the Day