Friday, January 28, 2011

Where angels fear to tread

Okay, it is not news that Rush Limbaugh is a jerk. I'm betting in his more honest moments, Limbaugh would admit he's compensated quite generously to be a jerk.

In an ideal world, someone would have looked at him after he busted out his ching-chong routine (and by the way, Rush, you're no Sid Caesar), somebody would have said, "Duuuuuude." There's a great power in that word. It can pull a person back from the edge of jerkwadiness. If used appropriately, "Duuuuuude" can save a situation from certain social disaster. Even in talk radio it is a custom. Robin Quivers is compensated generously for applying the "Duuuuude" when Howard Stern goes to the outer edge of jerkwadiness.

But I've been there. I remember one specific incidence where someone referred to her sister's fiance as "you know, a ching-chong Chinaman." There were literally so many things wrong with a woman in her 20s saying that, I just completely froze. My engine was so flooded, I not only couldn't think of anything appropriate to say, I couldn't think of anything to say at all. "Duuuuuuude" was beyond my powers of speech.

These little landmines of racism just lay in casual conversation. Someone that you know thinks that way, but you think has enough sense not to voice it, will just casually throw it in. Or even someone you think of as a reasonable human being will go to the ching-chong place. Or the beaner place. Or the watermelon place. Places where most of us have the decency, if not only the sense of self-preservation, to go.

But some people feel that expressing themselves in this way is their right as an American. Free speech. But all freedoms have prices. And the fact that you voice a racist, insensitive pile of manure, comes with some people will think you're a jerk, and use their freedom of speech to tell you so. Freedom is not free.

Not that you care about my opinion. But, you're a jerk, Rush.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yeah? What's so "super" about it?

Well, you may or may not have heard, depending on your feelings about the football, the Super Bowl will be in Dallas. I was only vaguely aware of this until about a month ago. And let’s just say, my anticipation level is not high.

Not so much that demon football will be taking place in my town. Frankly, I care not. If fat men falling on each other is your thing, have at it. Have a beer and a wing for me while you’re at it. (And no, I don’t watch “just for the commercials”; I got a DVR so that I wouldn’t have to look at commercials the other 364 days of the year; no commercial is that good.) What really has me tweaked is the fact that I’m just really not at all sure that Dallas can handle it.

I lived in Phoenix when they hosted on year, and the whole thing pretty much ended up as a non-event. PHX routinely hosts a major bowl game and a large scale PGA tournament. They have a very well designed traffic system, and a tourism-based economy that is focused on the winter months. I barely even noticed a change during the Super Bowl.

Dallas isn’t like that. We have extremely unpredictable weather. Not the massive winter extremes of Pittsburgh or Wisconsin (see, I even know the teams – I’m not completely sports ignorant). But we get freak storms so often that they don’t even qualify as freak any more. It’s just Texas weather. And our traffic system SUCKS the big wazoo. Really. We don’t have nearly the number of cars of bigger cities. But we have whackado interchanges, poor signage, HOV lanes that never let you get off, and major arteries that bottle neck in some very odd places. Add to that the fact that we’re not really a tourist destination of any note (you should see how much trouble I have trying to figure out how to keep out of town guests amused), and you’ll know how ill-prepared our hotels are going to be for the massive influx. Oh, and our cops can’t do crowd control to save their lives. We’d be better off hiring a bunch of ranch hands to come in and move ‘em around like one big ol’ cattle drive. Seriously.

Possibly there are thousands of tiny adjustments and maneuvers that the local municipalities have been taking care of discreetly and behind the scenes. Doubt it. But I could be eating crow come February 7. Doubt it.

Helena Bonham-Carter gets the nom!

Oh, it's on like Donkey Kong.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Here! is where you start to pay! In SWEAT!

Okay, so I started taking this class called Power Stretch. If you’ve heard of Power Barre, it’s kind of like that without the cardio. A hybrid of ballet, pilates and yoga. And as I’m categorically opposed to cardio in all forms, I thought this might work. Since I’m in my 40s and need to start worrying about things like falling and breaking a hip. And it doesn’t it has that Black Swan appeal, and yoga without the Om-business. What could be bad about that?

Well, the moment when she tells you to lie on your stomach and stick your big toe in your ear. Okay, it’s not that bad. But I’m not super-flexible to start with, so I went in with the attitude that I’ll do my best in class, and try not to complain too hard when I feel like a rubber band that’s been wound too tight the next day. Or two days. Okay, as long as I’m back to normal by the next class, that should be fine.

The teacher is like a cross between a Texas cheerleading coach and a white Debbie Allen. Sort of like the perfect behind, perky yet firm. She keeps things moving pretty fast. Possibly because she doesn’t want you to have time to think, “Hey, wait, can I do that?” And lawd help ya if she catches you not pointing when you should be pointing, or flexing when you should be flexing. But, then again, she’s pretty sympathetic when you can’t achieve perfection, as long as you’re trying. “Okay, leg stretched , flex your foot, and grab your toes. Or your calf if that’s easier. . . Or your knee.” Bless her heart for not looking at me on that one.

I hurt like hell the next day. And I hate it when I can’t do stuff right. So I hate about all 45 minutes. But I’ve told myself, Rome wasn’t bent in half in a day. So I’ll give it a full cycle, and see what I think at the end. No thinking until then. And maybe I’ll come out with that perky yet firm butt. Probably not. But a girl can dream.

TIME: Quotes of the Day