That accent ain’t workin’

10 Nov

Hot damn, Charlotte Ann!

The battle of bad accents continues to rise

A few years ago Tom Cruise made a movie called Valkyrie.  It was a German movie, about Germans who are speaking English, but they sound German.  Because it’s a movie about Germans.  In Germany.  Critics and moviegoers were in fits because Cruise didn’t even attempt a German accent.  Not so much as a “Gesundheit” after a sneeze.  I dunno.  I think he did the right thing here.  Maybe Tommy felt like if he couldn’t deliver an authentic replication, it would be an insult to Germans, not to mention really distracting for the audience.

I get that, if it’s what he was thinking.  There is no shortage of movies and TV shows that stick in my mind only because of how god-awful the accents are.  I will forget the film entirely and just remember bad lines. Especially the Southern doozies.  Please feel…

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Hot Body

26 Oct

imgresWhen I contemplate my mortality, I wring my hands over what I’ve done and what I’ve left undone. Who’s with me here? What are my regrets? Will I be leaving my family in a lurch? Have I said everything I needed to? Am I straight with Jesus and God? Will my children be provided for? Will my Girlfriends remember what they are supposed to get out of the house asap? These are pretty deep rabbit holes to fall down and have prompted much discussion among friends and family about “End of Life” decisions.

In an eerily timely fashion, this musing dovetails with the 15th anniversary of my own Mother’s death. Normally, talk of death and funerals would be dour at best, but like Hot Damn, my Mother wasn’t like other girls. After Mother’s first Cancer fact finding MRI in 1990, Carolyn had a realization. Amid all of the jittery nerves, white noise knocking, bad lighting and tight quartered reflections, something became clear to Mother. As is? She was not going to look that great in a casket. For one thing, her hair was a mess and she could see how the wrong shade next to the skin could really wash out a girl’s complexion…probably even more than not being alive. What to do? Carolyn began processing her “visitation look” pronto.

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This is NOT my mother, but wasn’t this lady fab?

Initially, I thought this was a folly. Perhaps the influence of too many male decorator friends? But Carolyn won me over when I was forced to recline flat on the sofa, mirror in hand, so that she could prove her point. There was simply no denying how great my neck and décolleté looked with next to zero gravity. But it was also inarguable that something was lacking. Oh, oh, oh!  How much better would it be with falsies??? Mother had totally nailed it. You gotta come correct with your eye-lash game.

Years later, it was clear the direction Cancer was going, and Carolyn became super proactive in making sure that she was going to be the most fabulous looking “resident” at Patterson’s Spring Hill. Mother picked out the right Home-Going wig, found just the perfect warm shade of coral nail polish, bought long, bushy false eyelashes that would have made RuPaul proud, and even splurged on a new Oscar de la Renta gown, spending an obscene amount of money having it altered accordingly as she shrank. In fact, she gave kudos to Cancer for giving her the waif figure she had spent years eating cottage cheese and chain-smoking trying to achieve. Let’s take a moment to reflect: How great is it that Carolyn found that sort of optimism in her decline? I was even dispatched to get shoes dyed to match the dress, because she was old-school like that. This sort of attention detail is why I, myself, die a little bit every time my kid stands at the door wearing athletic shorts and a stained t-shirt ready to go out to dinner. Sigh.

Every media outlet is chock full of full of stories about violent riots, impending doom, stock market defeat, shootings and apartment fires from overnight. Most of us live in a constant state of bracing for the worst. According to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et. al., a slew of us Americans are now particularly fretful over the certain swift ass-kicking we’re all in for by Ebola. At the root is not just fear that we’re all going to die, but it is compounded with worry that it’s going to happen in the blink of an eye.

It’s all well and good for us to tie up loose ends while having our look pulled together and ready to go as the pearly gates are opening, but what if Ebola strikes and there just isn’t the time, because of the quarantine, to run around and make everything just so. How prepared are any of us for an untimely death, really? I’m not just talking about estate planning, insurance payouts, handing over the safe deposit box keys, or updating living wills. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched the evening news covering a tragic death and my come-away was, “Is THAT the best picture they could find”?  “It’s grainy.” “He looks like a gangster.” “The decedent is clearly 30 years younger in that snapshot.” “Where are her teef?” This is just unacceptable. How does this happen that there are no recent or decent pictures available? It’s a final insult to a “loved” one.

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Girlfriend Carol finds herself especially vexed, not by the emotional strain that her hypothetical sudden death will leave for her people, but by how ill prepared her family might be should she be in need of an impromptu funeral. In particular, will her husband be able to get his grief-striken shit together enough to provide the papers with a totally flattering picture for her, ahem, full page obituary spread? Most likely, that would be a NO. Without direction and pre-planning, none of us will ever get to be obituary chic. However, Girlfriend Carol has a solution: a mandate that once a year we all hire a professional photographer, or an artsy friend with a nice set of lenses, to snap us at our best. Be captured in an elegant setting with soft lighting on a day with low humidity. Be “caught” looking pensive in a field of blooming lavender. Act natural while holding an adorable puppy. If you aren’t pressed for time, get cozy with photoshop. Chisel that jawline, add symmetry to your eye brows, whittle away your batwings, or erase those crows’ feet in a way that Botox never can! The worst case scenario is that you don’t die soon enough and the picture goes on to make a memorable Christmas card, show up on a future senior yearbook page, or it simply makes a wonderful framed reminder on the piano of just how prepared you are. Either way.

Pumped Full of Pumpkin

25 Sep imgres-5

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Last night I was ruminating about how I hadn’t busted my Fall 2014 hymen yet by savoring the first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season, despite the Starbuck’s gift card that Girlfriend Stacy sent me for my recent birfday. Yes, I just turned twenty nine (again…shhh). Big Daddy threw me some side eye and said, “I don’t understand how you can love everything pumpkin so much, while I know it’s gross”. I was all like, “Um, duh! It’s because I’m a White Girl, and You. Are. Not”. I don’t know exactly why the delicious Pumpkin has become the mascot of White Girls everywhere. Maybe it has to do with our feelings evoked from gazing at Martha Stewart’s face peeking through an elegantly disheveled arrangement of pumpkins and Indian corn or how from an early age we coveted the versatile buckle adorned ankle boots worn by Pilgrim women in all of the the first Thanksgiving depictions which also featured lots of pumpkins, but I think it is just been woven into our DNA somehow.

As such, we are such an easy target. Just adding the suggestion of pumpkin to an offering gets me and a herd of White Girls coming with pupils dilated, tongues swollen and wallets wide open. Me? Personally, I am like the Bubba Gump of pumpkin: baked pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin and cinnamon scented bees’ wax candles, cold pressed pumpkin seed oil, slow roasted pumpkin seeds with sea salt (pepitas if I’m feeling exotic), savory pumpkin soup with a dollop of crème fraîche, maple glazed pumpkin loaf, pumpkin hued cashmere sweaters, jet puffed spiced mallows for when you have to do coffee at home, whipped pumpkin butter, pumpkin spiced harvest ale, even Eggo’s limited edition Pumpkin Spice Waffles…I’m so dedicated that I’ve even had a pumpkin body scrub at the Ritz Spa. It was everything I could do to not lick and inhale myself in front of the aesthetician. 

* And yes, I realize that Bubba Gump is neither White, nor a Girl, but it fit, so just deal. 

Two of only a few major pumpkin missteps that I can carve from recent memory have come from the brain-trust of Pontiac, who thought they could force fugly cars into being palatable dollops by giving them the pumpkin spice treatment:

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The (Loser) Cruiser

The Aztek

The Aztek

It did not work. The result looks like some sort of mechanical transformer car/cockroach.

But something has happened this year that has me recoiling from my beloved pumpkin anything, just ever so slightly.  Apparently the Market has caught on to this pumpkin-infused economy and has sought to exploit it with thoughtless commodities that just don’t fly for the average White Girl’s sensibilities, or anybody’s for that matter. It turns out that sometimes pumpkin isn’t the best ever. For instance:

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Pumpkin Oreos. Why? Oreos should be one thing and one thing only: chocolate wafers with the snow-white cream that you scrape off with your front teef. I should have seen it coming, though. Oreo has polluted their brand with all sorts of fucked up flavors: mint, birthday cake, berry, peanut butter, marshmallow crisp, cookie dough, lemon and don’t even get me started on what flavors they are pandering in Japan. 

These come in several  limited edition "wrong" flavors

These come in several limited edition “wrong” flavors

Pringles Pumpkin Pie Spice Chips are Fifty Shades of No Way. Correct me if I’m wrong (don’t really, though), but potato chips should be salty with varying amounts of delicious grease. Potatoes are potatoes. Why are we trying to make them be pie, candy canes or toast? Let’s just allow potatoes to be great the way they are.  This is food bullying. Someone needs to consult The View about this.

Honey Boo Boo’s sister, Pumpkin…Another thing that’s just crying out for help!

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There are so many wrong turns in the land of Pumpkin this year, such as pumpkin spiced almonds, which is like making sunflower crusted macadamia.  What about Hershey’s Pumpkin Spiced Kisses? I tried to eat on one, but it just made me so sad that I couldn’t swallow it.

As far as being pretty to look at…Chobani and Yoplait both have created a pumpkin spiced flavored yogurt.  I guess it could be an ingredient for an apple dip, but it just looks like the post-meconium poop of a three day old baby.  Pumpkin spiced yogurt might just be the ugliest step-sister of the bunch.

Punk'n Poo

Punk’n Poo

Exactly how much does the Market think us White Girls crave the pumpkin? Well, there was this…

Come into Autumn

Come into Autumn

Earlier this month, the internets was in a lather over images of a Durex Pumpkin Spice Condom.  It turned out to be a soul-crushing cruel hoax to the skinny hipster dudes looking for an angle on getting laid during football season.  Said a Durex spokesperson, “Durex has heard that people are saying we launched a ‘Pumpkin Spice’ condom. We can’t claim this one, but we do love it when people spice up the bedroom.”  However, all hope is not lost…or is it? You decide.

Glide it on your gourd

Glide it on your gourd

In 2013, just a day before my last twenty-ninth birthday, the Lord of Lube, Astroglide, announced that Spicy Pumpkin Warming Liquid, would debut in fall 2014.  The company promised that the Spicy Pumpkin Personal Lubricant will feature the same quality as other lubricants offered by Astroglide. Oh, yay. A spokesperson said the product is “water-based, water-soluble, and condom-compatible, but with the subtle taste and smell of America’s favorite gourd.” As far as I can tell, after a quick feel-up of their website, this new lube has not yet been released. However, if you are in a hot and bothered hurry, companies such as Sexcusemoi and Pumpkinhead have products available online to light up your jack-o-lantern. 

Happy Fall, Everyone!

Dead Market

5 Aug NoDiHSticker

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To launch a successful product or business idea a lot of things swirling in the cosmos need to align.  You need to have a widget or service that is unique, with an identifiable market that will either benefit from or want said widget/service.  Or if you are crafty, you will be able create a demand for it, like they did with the Pet Rock in the 1970s. Once all that big picture stuff is established there is all of the unsexy and technical stuff that has to be finessed, like building prototypes, culling investors (or getting your parents to stroke a check), manufacturing, distribution, packaging, sales, marketing, evolving the widget, hiring employees, plus yada-yada-yada, all in no particular order.  Heads up: I majored in English and Special Education, not Business.  Don’t blow up my comment box with what I left out or how I’ve over-simplified the process.  Mmm-k?

But that was then.  We live in modern times with evolving models where businesses can get a foot in the door selling only mere possibility, or be funded by Kick-Starter campaigns, they can outsource everything to China for, like, a nickel or claw their way into appearing on Shark Tank, like girlfriend Jenny did with her Hold Your Haunches pants, and blow it up.  (You go girl!)  But many emerging “cottage industries” have just buried the whole having a meaningful product thing in favor of brainstorming niche ideas while seemingly getting super-duper baked in their parent’s basement, building the requisite website and then enjoy the fat stacks coming in.  The internet, and YouTube in particular, has proven time and again that there are VERY specific audiences and consumers to be exploited.  For instance…

Are you getting ready to sell a house or buy a house?  According to website diedinhouse.com, having any type of death in a dwelling can cost you “thousands of dollars”.  How?  No idea, they just say so in their commercial.  DiedInHouse admits that, “You may not be a believer in ghosts, but you do not want to live in a house that someone died in, no matter the cause. You also may not want to invest your money in a home that had a death, because it could possibly decrease its value and make it harder to resell.”  No matter what the cause?  I’m actually okay with a house where sweet Grandma died in her sleep at the ripe age of 97 as long as it doesn’t smell ripe. Does that make me creepy or something?

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Oh, no!  What’s a girl to do?  DiedInHouse contends that the G’u’v’ment is not doing its job and failing us all by not enacting more laws to protect citizen buyers from getting stuck with “stigmatized” property.  Allow me the slow hand clap of congratulation for DiedInHouse; not only did they identify and groom a niche problem, but they have developed and offered the solution, too.  Praise be to God!  Well payed, DiedInHouse, well played. For the low, low price of $11.99 per search (compared with a possible range of up to $39.99…a range that I think was just pulled out of a dead guy’s ass), DiedInHouse will provide the curious, under-informed prospective buyer with a ghoul report.  This report will contain a “vitality status of previous residents and people that are associated with the residence”.   Of course, “the US Government did not start digitizing death records until the 1960s.  Even today, there are government records that have not been digitized.  Most of our data is from 1990 to present”. But, take heed because DiedInHouse cheerfully reminds clients that, “if we are not able to find a death record in our search, keep in mind that does not mean that a death has not occurred there….Our disclaimer states that DiedInHouse.com is merely a great tool to use to assist you with finding out if someone has died at a specific address.”  Or you could just ask the current owner.  Or Google.  Whatever, man.

To support their assertions of financial harm and drawn out listings, DiedInHouse cites two well known and recently sold Death Houses. 

What horrors await behind the front door?

What horrors await behind the front door?

After well documented hot mess Amy Winehouse trotted outta rehab in her Fuck Me Pumps and flew over the rainbow while clutching the wings of a pegasus named Heroin Cocktail Sparkle her father, Mitch, listed Amy’s Camden Square home in North London for sale at £2.7 million.  It eventually sold at auction for £1.98 million.  That does seem like a big downgrade for a 3 bedroom house, which included a widely-in-demand custom recording studio, in a neighborhood mostly populated by architects, barristers and writers…HOWEVER, at the time of listing the average home value for that street was £871,092 while the average asking price for homes on the market was £1,215,611 with the average closing price settling at £618,333.  Maybe the discrepancy between list and sales price was more about unrealistic expectations and less about the pallor of death or chalk outlines.  After all, the home did sell for a whopping £1,371,666 more than the average of other home sales in the area.  Just putting that out there, DiedInHouse.

You are not Alone...in not wanting to get murdered by the asking price

You are not Alone…in not wanting to get murdered by the asking price

Another famous residence DiedInHouse cites is the home where Michael Jackson, crooner of possible DiedInHouse theme song “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough”, took his last and longest nap.  The house, an architectural Gobstopper, sold in 2012 for $18.1 million, down from its initial asking price of $28.995 million.  Whoa!  Talk about taking a beating…but wait.  The house had been sold in the real-estate heyday of 2004 for $18,500,180.  At the time of his death, the King of Pop was renting it for $100k a month.  About 5 months after Jacko donned his jammies and eye-shades for the last time, the house was listed and quickly scooped up by Hubert Goez, CEO of douche bag clothing house Ed Hardy, for a cool $18.050,000.  Note that the year was 2009.  How were your investments and bank accounts doing in November 2009?  Mine were either wheezing or filled with tumble-weeds.  Just months after closing, Goez and his wife, Roxanne, presented the house for sale for a staggering $28.995 million, inflating the value by a ghastly 62.25%.  Unbelievably, there was not an immediate bidding war.  I know.  One year later they wanted to be startin’ something by bringing legal action against Linda Welton, a woman who operates an outpost selling umbrellas, coolers and maps to the stars’ homes. In their complaint, The Goezes asserted that, “potential buyers are bothered upon approach by the quite visible and annoying constant illegal stopping and/or parking of cars in front of the home on what otherwise would be a quiet residential street.”  Let it be noted that they did not file a complaint against the devious former owners for not disclosing the dead Michael Jackson that used to be in the upstairs bedroom.  Also note that it then sold for $50k more than the Goezes originally paid for it.  I don’t know of too many other properties where the sales price only took a 2% dip during this time period.

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I dunno, all things considered, it seems like these real estate survivors have ended up with fairly lively returns.  Having not seen any sort of tax files, I can’t say whether or not DeadInHouse is making a killing, but just looking at the quantity and profile of advertisers they boast on their website, I’d certainly say their business  is alive and kicking.

Naked Ramblin’ Man in My Mind

22 Apr Ramblin-Confederate

ramblin_raft_race_down_the_chattahoochee_river_atlanta_georgia_may_21_1977_raft_made_of_various_sized_tire_innertubes_tied_together_in_the_riverThere are two things that I remember vividly about Memorial Day weekend 1979.  One is that I had been bitten by either a black widow or a brown recluse spider earlier that week and my left elbow had swollen to double its normal size and turned a shiny bright pink color.  Our family pediatrician, Dr. Sandberg, had to meet us at his office on a holiday weekend, which seemed like a big deal.  Within a couple of days all of the epidermal tissue on my forearm had gone necrotic, turning jet black before withering then falling off in huge sections. The other thing that happened that weekend is that I saw my first naked man.  Guess which one has had the most lasting impact.  

Just imagine what's out of frame.

Just imagine whats out of frame.

He was white, sunburned, kinda tubby and was making “it” dance as he stood arms akimbo, legs askance whilst straddling a makeshift raft floating down the Chattahoochee River past where I stood on the banks of Powers Ferry Landing.  My Mom, because she was gawking and squealing, didn’t cup her hands over my eyes fast enough for me to miss out on that first floppy wiener sighting.*  Memorial Day weekend 1979 is forever etched into my visual recall.  The good news is that moving forward, pretty much any future naked man that I would ever see was certain to be a stone cold fox on my mental comparison chart.  The sad news is that I now traverse that very spot on the river several times a week and so Mr. Red Flabby Naked Man flashes across my mind’s eye every damn time I cross the “3rd bridge” that connects Rays on the River and the infamous Riverbend Apartments over Powers Ferry Landing.

Sponsored by Bud

Sponsored by Bud

See, back in the day there was a little thing in Atlanta called the Ramblin’ Raft Race.  It was kind of a big deal that started out in either 1968 or 1969 as an end of the year social for Delta Sigma Phi fraternity at Georgia Tech.  After a few years, word spread and pretty much the entire city turned out for it, either as a spectator, organizer or a participant.  At it’s peak, about 300,000 people were actually in the river during the race; it was even covered by Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News.  Hell yeah, that’s how we used to do here.

I actually remember seeing this raft from this spot.  Weird.

I actually remember seeing this raft

The quality of rafts ran the gamut from basic inner tubes strung together like a Cuban refugee train, Huck Finn tribute floats, hollowed out VW Bugs and sunken rooflines to feats of naval engineering that were multi-level, carrying pianos, gazebos and giant sneakers.  They may have mimicked Eastern Airlines planes, tiki huts or paid homage to grand paddle wheel or civil war boats.  However, all rafts were equipped with a shit ton of weed and lots of ‘hooch. I seem to recall there also being a handful of hot air balloons in the air, the smell of bbq mingling with the other assumed smells and  hearing a lot of Allman Brothers, Skynard, .38 Special and music that would later make up half of a Yacht Rock set list.  

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So, in doing the math…

hot sun + river water + crowd + the good shit + bad decisions = NAKED PEOPLE

Of course when all of those things come together, hilarity soon follows.  Like the naked people who shouldn’t be and who didn’t use sunblock, because it may not have been invented yet.  Because it was 1979.  Or the countless drunks falling off of their rafts.  Luckily, the Chattahoochee is fairly shallow and full of rocks for a body to wash up on.  There was only actually 1 drowning ever associated with the race…and it happened the day before in 1980.  However, those river bed conditions also lead to a lot of stuck floats, falling apart and overturned floats, and even the occasionally abandoned float, like the aforementioned piano.

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Sadly, like all the coolest stuff from the 1970s, the Ramblin’ Raft Race had an end date of 1980.  We can thank the square Carter brother, Jimmy, for that.  In 1978 Jimmy signed a bill creating the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area which was the death knell for what could later be called the White Wet Freaknik.  A lot of people falsely believe that the environmental impact the race had on the river played a part in its demise.  Not true.  Actually, the river was just fine, it was all of the spectators trampling the banks that posed the most damage.  The AJC reported in 1980 that, “new management took over, and before long the feds were openly fretting about controlling the ‘thousands of beer-swilling, dope-smoking rafters’.” If Jimmy wasn’t amused by the

ways of his far cooler little brother Billy, he certainly wasn’t charmed by the patrons of the Ramblin’ Raft Race. I still think that just like Jimmy couldn’t be happy for and endorse the greatness that was his brother’s Billy Beer, he couldn’t allow his home state’s Ramblin’ Raft Race’s greatness to continue either.  

 *I have another floppy wiener on the river story from 1988 that involves ditching school and a Laura Ashley petticoat .  It can be better told my my friend, Kiersten.  She has sound effects.  How many floppy wiener river stories do you have?

Aside

NoTel, No More

6 Mar images

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Hot Damn had a little swim in Lake Me followed by a sobering attitude adjustment this week.  See, I’ve always had a secret smug satisfaction with some low-key character traits that set me apart…you know, the sort of things that used to make Big Daddy coo, “You’re not like other girls…”  Of particular pride is that I am not a hotel snob.  If my bags are packed, who cares where I’m sleeping.  AmIright?  I know this is my personal truth.  Don’t believe me?  Check out these two compelling examples:

1.The summer my brother and I traveled across Europe, each armed with a Eurail pass, a hostel membership card, a deluxe backpack, $2000 in travelers checks (in lieu of a credit card) toted in my flesh colored money-belt and absolutely no plan.  We happily slept on trains, benches, sofas and sometimes beds.  The less money we spent on accommodations, the more we had for fueling the wanderlust.  I washed my hair in train station sinks and never held a blow dryer.  It was cool.

2. A motel just outside of Charleston, S.C. called The Lord Ashley Court.  You had to pay a $10 deposit to have the phone activated in your room. The cable for the TV dangled from the roof and was snaked through the window.  There were rollie-pollies on the shelf above the sink.  I stayed here two years in a row during Spoleto.  The first year was by process of elimination, the second year was a choice.

So, this week Snakebite and I needed to spend just one night in Sewanee, Tennessee.  Our options were slim and it was the Best Western Smokehouse Lodge that was both recommended and available.  I did briefly pause at the $72 per night reservation, but then recalled a darling Best Western where I once stayed in Chaing Rai, Thailand on the banks of the Mae Kok river.  That this would be just fine for us girls for a scant 12 hours was a given.

My Facebook status when we finally got checked into our room:

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When we checked in at the front desk, the “lobby” was kinda packed with what I thought might be the stragglers from the weekend’s mountain family reunion/meth-cook recipe swap.  Lotsa mullets, jeans without back pockets, hoodies that had seen better decades and extreme smoker teef.  Turns out this was the lodge’s cracker-jack staff on perpetual break.

On the bottom floor, our room overlooked a parking lot flanked pool and a retention pond.  The walkway outside of the room was built of peeling painted wood decking boards.  Any time someone walked the plank it was loudly announced.  It was also super slippery, which I didn’t realize was foreshadowing.

A well rested Snakebite on the gangplank

A well rested Snakebite on the gangplank

We got 2 queen beds, piled high with pillows stuffed with…cotton balls?  We sat down at our tiny laminate table to our Sonic feast and rallied for the saddest Oscar party ever.  Before you judge me for feeding my sweet daughter Sonic as a sit down supper, know that my choices were a skeevy Pizza Hut, Hardees, McDonalds, Waffle House (which my digestive system will not abide) and the adjoining restaurant which tempted with offerings such as fried frog legs, fried chicken livers, fried catfish fillets, fried pies and something called a BeerCooler, a bargain at $3.  Probably, their food was awesome in a country cookin’ way, but at this point I just couldn’t belly up to the food jamboree.  Sonic’s sweet ‘tater tots was THE healthy option.

Look at all of the dirty, smudgy human paw prints.

Look at all of the dirty, smudgy human paw prints.

Once I began tending to my evening face-wash-tooth-brushing routine I discovered that we had been furnished with just 1 bath towel.  So, I had to undo the lock-chain on the door (the deadbolt didn’t work so much) and go back to the front desk.  I tried not to touch the actual door as I think CSI will be coming back to lift someone’s prints in the near future.  But in the present, at 8:30pm on a Sunday, they hadn’t gotten to the laundry just yet.

On the way back to the room I pit-stopped to get some ice and that’s when saw the vending options…

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Because what else do you need to compliment a 2-liter of Mountain Dew?

I don’t know if the machine hasn’t been restocked in years, or if it was full on Friday and the methy guests snarfed it all up over the weekend.  Either way…

With the Oscars underway, I brushed the ladybugs off of the top of my bed, secured my handgun, plus an extra loaded clip, by my side and settled in.  And by in, I mean on top.  I wasn’t getting under anything.  After I plugged in the window-unit heater, I had to turn up the sound on the TV every 4 minutes to compensate for the noise, then turn it back down 4 minutes later when the unit rested.

Ready for anything

Ready for anything

During commercials I fielded texts from friends with helpful advice like, “send pictures” and “check for bed bugs”.  That last one had the same effect as the annual lice letter from school.  I immediately became, and have remained, itchy.  Thanks, Claire.

My morning shower didn’t do much to quell my scratching.  My focus was trained on the wallpaper that was caulked to the top of the wall against the waaay water damaged popcorn ceiling.  I’m not real clear how the ceiling height even passed code.  Yet another thing about my visit that had me scratching my head.  Oh, and there was a shoe print on the outside of the bathroom door…like someone had locked herself in while her abuser was trying to get in a kick to the spleen through the closed door.  Shudder.  Who can get clean in that set-up?

Gross.  Just very, very gross.

Gross. Just very, very gross.

The good news is that we woke up alive that morning.  The bad news is that the crappy weather system forecasted for Tuesday stepped it up and blew in early to wrap my car in an impenetrable ice condom.  I don’t have a scraper for my windshield, so I of course appealed to the concierge.  No help.  They would not let me borrow a scraper.  I guess they thought I’d either keep it for scraping my meth pans, or use it as a shiv and shank them.  Luckily, 15 minutes of the defroster going full tilt coupled with the edge of a Starbucks gift card cleared enough ice to let me drive to 4 different gas stations in search of a scraper.

What did I learn from all of this?  I need to keep an ice scraper in my glove box?  Done.  I should keep healthy snacks in the car?  Yep. Or is it that I’m no longer as traveler carefree and cool as I once I was?  That summer when I slept in train stations?  I was 17.  And my weekends of slumming it at the Lord Ashley Court?  Early 20s.  Things have changed, I’m older with excellent credit and it’s time to check myself and recalibrate.  Damnit.  I do like fancy sheets, marble bathrooms, pristine door jambs and in-room safes.  I like a fleet of kiss-ass front desk staff.  And even though I may not order a fruit cup and La Croix from room service, I NEED that option.

So long hostels, motor-courts, motels and couchettes.  I’ll be at the Four Seasons if you need anything.

A Mother’s Gift, Valentine’s Day Edition

14 Feb mVSnqz8tkUo3SCHtSOH0Cxg

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Usually, Valentine’s Day is for lovers, crushes and children coerced into dropping adorable cards, assembled by their mothers the night prior, into some poorly executed glue-damp decoupage shoebox assembled in home room. However, my mother was not usual. A friend once described her as being the woman to whom ALL drag queens aspired. She was over-the-top and wildly inappropriate when it came to boundaries. As I was growing up in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I noticed that the other mothers taught their children to exercise caution and to look out for Atlanta’s Child Killer. However, my mother was teaching, “A stranger’s just a friend you haven’t met yet.” She was also given to blurting out missives, in front of my friends, like, “This song makes you want to lay down on the floor in a dark room…alone!” I sense her ghostly swoon every time I hear Squeeze’s “Black Coffee in Bed”.

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To this day, I still don’t know why the coolest and cutest boy I knew at age 15 was with me after school when I walked in our backdoor on Valentine’s Day 1986. Mother was standing at the kitchen counter, Eve 120 ciggie in hand, next to her Valentine goodie to me: a saucy heart-shaped box fixed by a giant crimson metallic bow. I was horrified, knowing that the odds of it containing something mortifying were sky-high. To her credit, Mother didn’t know I’d have that boy with me, either.  But still, she urged me to open her gift. When I lifted the box, the lack of heft signaled it wasn’t chocolate. I should have stopped right then.  I didn’t. Beneath pages and pages of pink and white tissue was a shiny red satin and lace teddy. Like, something they whore on Knots Landing. As Mother proudly announced to us that, “Every woman should get lingerie from Cupid,” I worried what I’d really be getting was a loose “reputation”. I mean, whose mother gives her 15-year-old daughter something that has a snapping crotch?  Um, that’d be mine. As it turned out, I don’t think that boy ever disclosed to anyone what he saw that day. So, instead of lasting embarassment, I got… mystery. Though we never dated, he never looked at me the same way again. He probably wondered if I was always sporting trashy Frederick’s of Hollywood lingerie beneath ripped jeans and a Hüsker Dü t-shirt. I morphed into a sort of obvious curiosity that day. And I am still totally cool with that.

Courtney Stodden’s split gets publicly exposed in a new way

7 Nov

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Did anyone else notice the earth’s axis tilt yesterday from the energy flare that was generated from the slow hand-clap at the exact moment the Stodden-Hutchison separation was announced?  It was validation day for all the haters who don’t believe in the ever-lasting love magic that can totally be real between a 51-years-young man and his 16-year-“old” bride.  While true love may know no boundaries, sadly we have learned the hard way it has a drop-dead date.

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She’s the one that’s 16???

An Official Statement was released from Courtney Stodden’s representative (Mom) confirming the worst fear of parents and pedophiles everywhere: Children will grow up and leave you, but they still expect you to oversee their responsibilities and pay for their shit.

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For those of you readers who don’t speak Press Release, I have selflessly busted out my special decoder ring to expose the cloaked truth:

“After two and a half years of marriage aggressive fame-whoring, Courtney and Doug have has decided to become legally publicly separated.  This is a mutual and amicable decision that they’re making together Courtney feels her star is on the rise.  As you know, Courtney was married ambitiously gave “it” up at a young age.  Now, at nineteen a legal age, she’s interested in exploring life as an unmarried single young adult  boning other dudes, preferably ones who can make bank – – with the freedom to explore her independence solicit offers from the likes of Vivid Entertainment or book Club dates with Tan Mom.  Doug supports Courtney 100% is living in abject fear that Courtney will spill his beans The two will share custody of their precious pup prop, Dourtney, remain living in the same house (for now while shopping their reality show pilot*) in separate bedrooms, and Doug will be co-managing taking his finder’s fee cut from launching Courtney’s public awareness campaign.

We love each other very much Our ‘careers’ are mutually dependent at this point, want for each other’s happiness earning potential to grow, and will continue being the best of friends for life but we can no longer stomach making sexy time with one another, for obvious reasons.”

* Hot Damn’s insight: Look, the house is rented and they can’t afford to break the lease; Doug put down a deposit and all of the utilities are in his name.  Courtney hasn’t had enough time to establish the required credit to rent her first studio apartment in North Hollywood yet. And besides, …it’s a hassle applying for an additional location permit and hiring more crew to film in 2 locations.  Because I think we all know the MTV show will be announced in 3-2-1…

I know that I am really going to miss seeing splashy candid pictures of these two out inspiring unscripted romance and keeping it real on their private couple dates, like to the pumpkin patch….

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Nice punkin’s

…Celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus…

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‘Ho! ‘Ho! ‘Ho!

…Or just out grocery shopping on a Tuesday

ImageBut forget about my loss.  I’m sure that my sadness is pale in comparison to what poor Dourtney must be going through.  I can only hope that when Doug has his custodial time with Dourtney on Wednesday nights and every-other-weekend that he doesn’t downplay  Dourtney’s need to be fierce at all times.  Because that would be tragic.

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Stay strong, bitches!

No shirt. No shoes. No service.

28 Jun wenn20469841

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Jesus H. Christ.  Would someone please get Iggy Pop a fleece, a Coumadin ‘scription and some Jergen’s Original Scent, stat?  That is all.

leToy dogs are not weapons. Kinda.

2 May

The happy couple

It’s May and there are snow storms hitting the country.  Snakebite might escape summer school. I just read a weirdo story that happened in my ‘hood..not Florida. Strangeness is afoot.  You need to read this too, and then we’ll talk. Click the link.

Okay. What in the hell? How awful to be beaten with a dead, wiggly-necked Pomeranian by a Dude that looks like a back-up dancer for Color Me Badd.

I need to get it all-straight in my mind. Stay with me.  Dude is 27 and his Woman is 40.  Dude is angered that he is living in an apartment on Roswell Road with some dried out woman 13 years his senior. Got it. Makes sense. What did a Dude named Emmanuel Alfredo Tadeo think his life would be like on Roswell Road versus verdant south-lands? Champagne dreams perhaps?  This is life lesson #1: going forward, shit ain’t gonna be right.

The lovely couple had been arguing while Dude was slamming liquor shots. Alone. Well, with her judging presence. Who pulls out a shot glass and orders themselves Goldschläger and Buttery Nipples at the kitchen dinette? This is life lesson #2: this relationship is going nowhere. He’s not the one, Andrea.  You and your dog need to go for a long walk. A very long walk: quickly!

This will MAYBE protect you from the Tooth Fairy. Nothing else.

Word to the not-so-wise: If you are going to have a douchey boyfriend, who’s got nothing to lose, except maybe his Visa , “staying” with you (and you aren’t Cher), you should get a dog that knows how to take care of business. A Pomeranian is not going to protect anything other than a fabulous pair of ballet flats or a snakeskin clutch in the entry hall. To quote, “During the argument, Tadeo allegedly grabbed Armintrout by the hair, threw her against a wall, and beat her about the face. Afterward, he went looking for the dog, which he found cowering under a table, according to police.”  Life lesson #3: if your dog is cowering, it’s gonna go down. Count your bruises, lick your wounds and get ready for more. It’s about to get interesting.

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So, Dude went outside, snapped the “dog’s” neck and then re-emerged, using it like num-chucks. I don’t need PETA all over me, so I won’t mention how a Pomeranian must be useful for something. That would be rude. Totes. So I’ll give you life lesson #4. No matter how wimpy the animal, said animal isn’t a weapon. (Well, unless it’s waaaay olden times and you’ve attached a sharpened jawbone to a spear while hunting or protecting the gatherers. See Clan of the Cave Bear…it’s Daryl Hanna’s best acting. Ah-hem).  If someone is flinging something dead at you and it isn’t a sheared mink car coat, get out.

What have we learned? People are screw-ups. Disregarding age in relationships doesn’t work for poor people. Doing solo shots at a kitchen table is no good. Women should always have back-up, be it a taser, pistol, blade, brother on call, or a nasty dog.  Due to the upgraded charge, a Pomeranian is now considered a deadly or dangerous weapon…for an assailant. Like a brick or a bottle gleaned from the ground. It is no defense for a victim.

I am not shocked that Woman didn’t want to press charges and was uncooperative. What does shock me is this excerpt: “Rose said the alleged crime has shocked the community.”  The date of this event was June 2012. It is May 2013…and today is the first that I have heard of this. This is my stomping ground. How could the community be shocked by something they don’t know about?

Last bit of advice: Google works. Had Woman just let her fingers do the walking across her keyboard she would have seen at least 3 prior booking photos of Dude ranging from battery, visible harm, cruelty to animals, d.u.i., and theft by taking. Had Dude Googled Woman, he’d have know that she’d been booked before, too…with prescription pills without a license and possible meth.  Aah, true love. It knows no boundaries. Apparently, like does attract like.

UnPimp Pope

14 Mar

Cue Handel’s Messiah, ‘cause there’s a new boss-man in Vatican City!

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Now, I am not Catholic, so I haven’t had much riding on how things were going to turn out, but I have been watching to see what color smoke the Church was blowing these past few days. Once a new Pope is elected, he typically eschews his slave name in favor of a new one. Why? Apparently it has something to do with a 6th century Pope whose birth name was Mercurius. Records suggest that he felt it was a bit too pagan and therefore unfitting to a Catholic Pope. I prefer to believe that he was just embarrassed to be named after a planet and seized the opportunity to correct his parents’ wrong. Any child of Frank Zappa would do the same thing if given the chance! He picked John II. The practice has sort of stuck, but you don’t have to change your name. But all the cool Popes do.

A Pope’s choice of name is his very first way of branding his Papacy. The new guy chose his Pope name to honor one of my favorite saints, and apparently his, too, Francis of Assisi. Saint Francis is remembered for his humility, gentle nature and understated elegance.

Who knew there were Corgis in olden times?

Who knew there were Corgis in olden times?

New Francis likes to keep things streamline and straight-forward in a simple tone-on-tone white get-up paired with a simple wooden cross. But I’m not sure that I like it. It doesn’t say “Pope” to me. Historically, the Pope has dressed like a pimp… and why not? It’s no coincidence that there have been eight Popes named “Urban” and thirteen Popes named after a Pimp’s favorite plea, “Innocent”.

And who among you can dismiss the similarity in ward-robing?

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Ex-Benedict in a flirty red and white ensemble

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Festive pimp attire

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Theme dressing for St. Patrick’s Day

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Theme dressing to coordinate with the $$$ from the bitches

And how about how they roll with their homies? Popes and Pimps both like to trick out their rides.

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The Popemobile

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A fine-ass Pimpmobile

And whether it’s Taylor’s Tawny Port or gin and juice, it is enjoyed from the finest chalice.

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Raising his cup in style.  Holla!

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It don’t mean a thing if it don’t bling-bling. Know what I’m sayin’?

A polished Pope and a street-wise Pimp well know that the devil is in the details. You gotta accessorize if you want to successorize!

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The higher the mount, the closer to God

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This can also be used to smack a John that doesn’t want to pay

And neither ever, ever forgets his walking stick when going out on the ‘ho stroll.

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“When you step out of the front door,” my mother always said, “you are an ambassador.” Never step out unless you are fully fly.

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I am afraid that Pope Francis intendeds to deviate and create a new Papal identity, one that is decidedly less glam.  Someone needs to get in touch with Humanitarian Dennis Rodman to let him know that the Pope is switching gears and will no longer be pimping the office. After his whirlwind trip to visit to North Korea to spend time with his bff, Kim Jong Un, Rodman has already arrived in Rome, anticipating a Papal fist-bump. According to reports this morning, Dennis Rodman’s people are in touch with the Pope’s people for a rendez-vous. Says Rodman, “I want to spread a message of peace and love throughout the world.” And crunk.

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Statistical sore spot

6 Mar th-2

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The Centers for Disease Control just released data that my home state of Georgia ranks fourth, nation wide, in reported cases of Syphilis. What a dubious title. Apparently, 7 out of every 100,000 residents find themselves with festering mucus membrane lesions. Ewww! Having watched my fair share of The Bachelor, I just assumed that a single swipe from the residence hot tub would have secured California for top honors in the Syphilis Awards. Somehow California showed up for eighth place. Well, we know what happens when one assumes, right? It turns out that all contestants are tested for STDs and the house plus “Fantasy Suite” are fully stocked with condoms at all times. Ewww number two.

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However, it actually makes more sense that our nation’s capital city, Washington D.C. “came” in first place with 27.7 people per 100,000 infected. Turns out that they indiscriminately screw more than just the economy around Capitol Hill. But, we already knew that, didn’t we?

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What is truly a shocker is that the pride of North Amereica, Florida, did not register in the top five. I know! This is such a head scratcher, considering the stories of true romantic love that the AP routinely reports on from the sunshine state.

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Did you hear about the Weeki Wachee couple that landed in central booking on a recent Monday morning? Swingers Tina Norris (39) and her beau, James Barfield (56), graciously hosted an impromptu orgy in their home. Invited were two men, another woman or two, but NOT their roommate, for fun, games and a boat load of drinks on Sunday evening. (This blogger wouldn’t be shocked to learn that bath salts were also in attendance) It’s the Florida way. Things boiled up when the host and hostess made eye contact and didn’t like the way the other was getting on with the guests. Specifically, James didn’t like Tina tag-teaming the men and Tina didn’t appreciate having to see James sexing up the other chick. Tempers flared and a naked rumble from one end of the house to the other left scratches, bruises, bloody lips, busted furniture and broken dreams in its wake. Sounds like someone forgot the safe word and to never make eye contact. The guests did the skedaddle as Tina and James continued to brawl. The sleeping roommate awoke and called the po-po before trying to peel Norris off of Barfield. Arrests were made to the nude and combative couple at 6am.

According to the CDC,

“The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis, is to abstain from sexual contact or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.”

Consider this my Public Service Announcement for 2013.  The more you know.

27 Feb

Hot damn, Charlotte Ann!

The old adage says that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  Well, that remains to be seen.  What I do know is that February is just about played out, which means that Black History Month is fixing to close up shop for 2013.

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Black History Month began as a Negro History Week way, way back in the 1920’s.  Then, during our country’s bicentennial year, 1976, President Gerald Ford said, “Aw, hell.  As long as we’re celebrating all this making of America shit, let’s make Negro History Week a whole month and quit calling it Negro…sounds too much like nigger.”*  And so it was in motion that each February we would set forth to acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of the African Diaspora.

During the 1970’s the most obvious uptick in black awareness took place in popular culture, and nowhere was it more…

View original post 599 more words

Do you love Black History Month?

27 Feb Soul shake 2013!

The old adage says that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  Well, that remains to be seen.  What I do know is that February is just about played out, which means that Black History Month is fixing to close up shop for 2013.

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Black History Month began as a Negro History Week way, way back in the 1920’s.  Then, during our country’s bicentennial year, 1976, President Gerald Ford said, “Aw, hell.  As long as we’re celebrating all this making of America shit, let’s make Negro History Week a whole month and quit calling it Negro…sounds too much like nigger.”*  And so it was in motion that each February we would set forth to acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of the African Diaspora.

Don Cornelius (1936-2012): Dick Clark's brother from anotha motha

Don Cornelius (1936-2012): Dick Clark’s brother from anotha mutha

During the 1970’s the most obvious uptick in black awareness took place in popular culture, and nowhere was it more accessible to a li’l Hot Damn than on the tube.  TV shows like Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons and Good Times were mainstream fare.  On Sunday afternoons the only thing on TV to watch was Soul Train (you MUST click this link!), dotted with commercials for Afro Sheen.  Based on the later, I figured that all black teenagers were happy-go-lucky Negros that dressed funny and who, more than anything, liked nothing better than to smile, sing and dance for the man.  This notion continued into the 1980’s with must-see t.v. Diff’rent Strokes and Webster, shows where stuffy white people’s lives were greatly enriched by adopting plucky, yet stunted, black kids.  Although there was that one time they showed Roots, but that was during the school week.

That's Atlanta's own Nipsy Russell on the far right

That’s Atlanta’s own Nipsy Russell on the far right

And in cinema there was much ado about “all black ensemble” movies.  That’s cool and all.  Who can’t dig on Shaft?  And where would Quentin Tarantino be without the muse of Foxy Brown or Cleopatra Jones???  But there was a weird movement to release “black” versions of “white” movies.  You may remember Michael Jackson’s acting in The Wiz, co-starring Diana Ross, or the reimagining of Cinderella into the urban Cindy.  In this version, Cindy is too ghetto to have a glass slipper and instead loses her dirty sneaker.   I’d be pissed if I was a black chick…just sayin’.  There was also  Blacula, Blackenstein, The Black God Father and Black Shampoo to only name a few.  Of course this trend continues today, with the recent black version of Steel Magnolias with Queen Latifah and the just announced new Annie with little Quvenzhané Wallis revising the lead role of the loveable ginger-haired, freckle-faced Annie.  I think about how African-Americans would feel if we turned the tables on their art, but then I remember that “we” have Vanilla Ice.

I was also acutely aware of the Negro College Fund along with Ebony and Jet magazines, which I thought of as being like the Thunderbolt Newsletter for black folk.  But it seems like it’s really happened more in recent times that Black History Month is actually about more than Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, working together or that George Washington Carver invented peanut butter…btw, something that I can’t believe the hysterical hippie-white women that run the Peanut Allergy Police Squad haven’t jumped on and vilified.

Soul shake 2013!

Soul shake 2013!

I live in Atlanta, which I think is kinda like ground zero for black history.  We are home to scads of historically black colleges, many civil-rights leaders, and several music legends (and rappers…ugh!) while boasting big-city credibility. During this past month our city made a point to participate in a day of service to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. plus Atlantans have been enjoying seeking out gallery showcases of specifically African-American artists, taking walking and eating tours of the Sweet Auburn district, sitting in on museum lectures, strolling educational exhibits, visiting jazz festivals, listening at literary events at the Margaret Mitchell house, praising in gospel choir concerts and clapping at dance theaters.  Oh, and then there was the Bronner Brothers International Fantasy Hair Show

This is how Atlanta celebrates BHM

This is how Atlanta really celebrates BHM

I think that this picture really tells you everything you need to know about how far we have come with our civil relations.  There’s no way this could have happened in 1953.  I mean, three of those cheerleaders are brunettes!

* This may not have been an exact quote

And, what in the hell is “Black Love”?  Anyone?  Do black people have a special kind of secret love that whitey can’t get in on?

The smell of Fame…Fame stinks

14 Sep

Any one else catch Lara Spencer interviewing Lady Gaga on Good Morning America this morning?  During the spring of 2011 I discussed Gaga’s perfume development deal here.  Well, hold out your spritz wrist because it’s ready for market and the fragrance, a black tinted potion, previously reported to combine scents associated with blood and semen, is called Fame.  However, I think that l’eau d’Bullshit might be more appropriate.

Who the #?!@ puts their bare pit front and center on a perfume ad?

If I didn’t already love GMA’s Lara Spencer, I surely do after watching her keep a straight face while stifling what must have been  very strong visceral urge to roll eyes, throw shade, pee herself then ultimately fall on the floor and dissolve into a puddle of snort-giggles.

Seriously, tell me about Fame. I won’t laugh.

For this planned interview, Ms. Gaga wore a long fuscia sheath dress, a gold-tone crown reminiscent of stalagmites sprouting from her forehead and long, pointy fingernails.  Gaga’s delivery was very dour and stoic, as though discussing herself in relation to her sense of scent was of the utmost importance.  While watching the interview, I felt kinship with the Long Island Medium, as I was able to visualize a teenage Gaga Stefani Germanotta sitting in her bedroom listening to a Sisters of Mercy cassette and writing awful haiku in a black and white composition book.

Here are some of the provocative and deeply meaningful things that Gaga had to say about her new scent:

On why she chose the color black for her perfume:  ”I wanted the black liquid to represent the duality of fame.  The beautiful smell of it, but the dangerous evil propositions around the corner.  It does spray clear.  It doesn’t get on your clothes.  It’s just a nice little artistic statement.”

Lara then led Gaga with a statement about how aromas and scents can lift the mood of a room and change the conclusion of the evening.  As if possessed by Gloria Swanson’s dramatic, self-aware Norma Desmond character in “Sunset Boulevard”, Gaga had this to hiss out in response: “It’s quite like me, I think…I’m a good party ender.  Yesss…Or a party favor.  Anyone would want me to go home with them.  I smell like fame.”  Here, again, I think bullshit is interchangeable with fame.  Even I could smell it from my sofa in Atlanta.

A load of…fame

While gazing off into a sideways distance, Gaga leaned in, dragged her gilt metallic spiked nail finger from her neck down to her décolleté and oozed out this gem: “The fans, when they want to smell me.  They say, ‘Gaga, can I smell the fame?’”  Oh, puhleese!  The last time anyone demanded to smell me, it was my mother when I was in high school.  And it wasn’t me she wanted to smell…it was my breath.  Which of course smelled like…bullshit fame.  And a freshly chewed breath mint, combined with 5 pumps of Binaca masking the feint bouquet of Mad Dog.

Gaga cautions that this Fame is a sexy fragrance; one shouldn’t even go near it unless she is hell-bent on seduction.  In fact, she even warns Lara that “you should never wear it if you’re not likely to look for a lover because it is going to attract them.”  It’s like heat in a bottle.  Well, if that’s the case, I might just save my cash, hit up the CVS and buy some Designer Imposter fragrances instead.  Those fragrances seemed to always inspire strange men to follow you with a fist full of bought flowers every time you stepped outside.  I mean…same result, less bullshit.  Right?

Someone get the vomit bucket!

Speaking of men, Lara asked Gaga what a man should smell like. Like all women of fine breeding, Gaga said that she likes the smells of leather, tobacco, “alcoholy smells and things that smell like you’ve been in a bar being bad all night.  I really like that smell.”  So, stale beer, boot bottoms, ciggie butts and upchuck?  Jodie Foster entertaining on a pinball machine?

She describes her hopes and dreams for her first foray into the world of perfume as, “I wanted it to be a very slutty perfume, because that is sort of the addictive nature of fame.  It is that it is seductive; you want the life of the person that is famous.”

I don’t think she understands what “slutty” is.  Or maybe she doesn’t understand what “seduction” is.  Odds are favorable that I don’t either, but I do understand that slutty doesn’t seduce.  I took Human Sexuality 201 for college credit after all.  Slutty just throws itself out there for the taking with no regard for self-respect, long-term consequence or dignity.  Oh, wait.  So, is Gaga saying that she is slutty because she has fame?  Mother Theresa was famous, but I wouldn’t necessarily call her slutty (though the late Christopher Hitchens might have disagreed)

Holy slutty fame!

Then things got weird-ooooo.  Gaga starts talking about how sexy her Mom was when Gaga was still Stefani Germanotta.  Mom apparently was a real sexpot and Daddy was down for Mom’s sexy, seductive vibe.  Stephanie and her sister really enjoyed seeing their parents not being private about hugging and kissing.  The End.

Ewww.  My kids practically puke up their entire G.I. tract if Big Daddy touches the top of my head.

Lara then voiced over rolling footage of a “performance” from last night’s Fame perfume launch party, held at NYC’s Guggenheim Museum, where Gaga treated fans to watching her get her neck tattooed as she lazed in a giant replicated Fame perfume bottle while noodling around on her ipad.

Thank Sweet Jesus that her hair can grow through this mess

Someone needs to call Dr. Drew stat.  I caught a whiff of someone that needs to spend some time at the Pasadena Recovery Center for the next season of Celebrity Re-hab.

Screw dieting

13 Jul

What do you do when Weight Watchers, Atkin’s, Cambridge, Sugar Busters, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, Cabbage Soup, Opti-Fast, Grapefruit, South Beach, The Zone, The Lollipop Diet, eating for your blood type and ingesting tapeworms fail to get you slim? Maybe you might compliment your fad diet with some cardiovascular movement in the form of a step-class, walking in those fugly Sketchers shoes, do Pilates, swim laps or even sit on the sofa palming a shake-weight while watching Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. Californian Pauline Potter decided the best way to drop weight was to quit messing around and just plain get busy. But not at the gym, oh no. Pauline has been getting busy in the sack; a special girdered bed is the sexercise studio where she is dropping the fucking pounds.

Last year, Pauline contacted the Guinness Book of World Records to turn her 643-pound self in as the fattest living woman. Her thinking was that good old-fashioned shame would kick start her weight loss. A case of the broken/divorced heart sads led Pauline to a Big Mac enriched 10,000-calorie daily diet after her internet-found husband split in 2008 when she was unable to bond with his son. Luckily, said ex-husband, 140-pound strong man, Alex, caught scent of Pauline’s new found celebrity and came a knockin’ to see if they could get a rockin’. Alex reports that during that meeting a year ago, they “trained” six times in the first 24 hours of being together. Since then, Alex slips in 8 times a month and works out with Pauline up to 7 times in a day. Pauline and Alex report that Pauline has whittled off 98 pounds. By losing nearly a hundred big ones, she is even now able to stand on her own…which I find surprising after what bangs out to be bumping uglies every 3 hours and 42 minutes.

Alex seems to do the majority of the heavy lifting. “Even though one of Pauline’s legs weighs more than I do, we’re able to position her body to make sex enjoyable for both of us,” he says matter of factly. Reports the newly svelte 545-pound Pauline, “I can’t move much in bed, but I burn 500 calories a session –- it’s great exercise just jiggling around.” Each time they sexercise she burns 500 calories?!? How she has figured this calculation is a mystery to me. And 7 times a day? Does she just keep an antibiotic drip going to combat the constant UTIs?

Friends who have faced fertility issues have confided in me that sex kinda loses its excitement and freshness during the “ovulation cycle” each month when they have to get cookin’ as much as possible to optimize stirring their eggs in the baby gravy. They often resort to role-playing, toys and the Fredrick’s of Hollywood catalog to spice things up. I can only imagine how, after what adds up to 56 sex sessions a month, spread through only 8 days, keeping it “fresh” can be an issue in so, so very many ways. However, that Pauline is a clever minx when it comes to being appealing: “My bed is strengthened and, although I can’t buy sexy lingerie, I drape a nice sheet over me.” A nice sheet? Does that mean high thread-count, a pretty floral pattern?

If Big Daddy ever comes home with a new set of sheets for me to try on, he will most certainly not get to work out with me.

Fiddy Shades of You’ve Got to be Kidding

9 Jul

This week’s New York Times Best Sellers list is a head-scratcher for me.  Number 1?  Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.  Number 2?  Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James.  Number 3?  Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James.  And slipping in at Number 8…yep, it’s the freakin’ Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James.  In the event that you have been tied up for the past few months, the Fifty Shades books are filed under Mommy Porn.  As I understand it, the “plot” explores the erotic relationship between an inexperienced college co-ed and a slightly older, complicated business man who likes to get his freak on with props.  Snore.  Consequently, the books now have people in the BDSM, that’s Bondage-Domination-SadoMasochism, community all twisted up that their fetish is being demonized as a psychopathology.  But, that’s not who’s snatching these books off the shelves.  So.  What.  Ever.

Here’s a quote from the first book that I found online:

“He grabs me suddenly and yanks me up against him, one hand at my back holding me to him and the other fisting in my hair.
“You’re one challenging woman,” He kisses me, forcing my lips apart with his tongue, taking no prisoners.
“It’s taking all my self-control not to fuck you on the hood of this car, just to show you that you’re mine, and if I want to buy you a fucking car, I’ll buy you a fucking car,” he growls.”

I think that Forever by Judy Blume may have been more titillating and for sure better written.  I don’t even know what “fisting my hair” would do besides warrant 15 minutes of “me time” in the bathroom with a bottle of Johnson & Johnson de-tangling spray and a wide-tooth comb.  Ouch, now that hurts!

Over the weekend, girlfriend Tracy said that one of her friends had just posted on Facebook that she had gone to her local library in hopes of checking out one of the Fifty Shades books.  She landed at number 300 on their list of frugal, horny housewives waiting for the book.  Given the subject matter, I am pretty sure that I would want a fresh, unused copy that has not been clutched in over 600 spontaneously self-molesting, public library hands.  I don’t want to be glued to those borrowed pages.  Ewww.

Have you read one, or gasp, all of these books yet?  I haven’t and it is making most of my girlfriends about to crawl out of their skin from frustrating disbelief.  “Oh.  My.  God…you HAVE to read them!”  “Read them with your husband…you’ll be so in the mood!”  “I couldn’t wait to get home and be alone; you know…”  Call me easy, call me predictable or call me consistent, but I still respond enthusiastically to a bottle of red wine and Big Daddy asking, “Did you start working out again?”  Really.  That’s pretty much the entire how-to manual of getting just about any woman to give it up.

A stitch in time

3 May

Because I am usually the last to get clued in on any internet-based trend, I’ve only been obsessed with Pinterest for just the last few months. I have got all sorts of boards going, where I am collecting recipes, planning garden projects, culling home décor ideas and getting motivated to craft my little heart out. I recently pinned this project:

Cute, right?

It’s a sewing project…that involves ordering a pattern…and figuring out how to plug in and thread the sewing machine that my mother bought me about 14 years ago. How cute would Snakebite be in these tops this summer? Then it hit me. Oh, crap! Maybe I should also order the needlepoint canvas for this pillow:

Was I seriously considering sewing clothes for my daughter? After the trauma of enduring my mother’s homespun get-ups that I was forced into wearing, did I really think that this would be a good idea?

The year was 1976 and a store called Stretch and Sew opened its doors about a mile and a half from our house. My mother welcomed them with open arms and really went for it. She took classes and learned to cut patterns with gusto. For everything.

Hot Damn trivia: Did you know that as a kid I used to figure skate? From about ages 5-11 I took weekly lessons at Ice Land and practiced about 2 to 3 days a week. I felt like I had mad skills with “toe-jumps”, “lutz jumps”, “axels”, “figure 8s” and “shooting the duck”. But skill can only get you so far. I needed style. Every time I went to the rink I would end up in the pro-shop ogling the sherbet colored polyester dresses bedazzled with twinkling plastic crystals. Did I ever get one? Hells no! My mother just knew that she could use her sewing prowess to make me one that was, “just as good, if not better” than the overpriced pro-shop offerings. Noooo! Instead of a glittery dress, I got matte polyester skirts, one in solid black and one in solid red. Even though they were a bit on the long side, Mom also crafted some matching panties that looked like custom diaper covers.

The sewing bug had bitten my mother hard by 1979. That summer her design and seamstress confidence grew and she made me a couture swimsuit. This was the year that Christy Brinkley was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue for the first time. I swooned for the bathing suit that was basically a waterproof version of an Ice Capades dress.

Wouldn’t I have looked hot, at age 9, in this?

Mom made me her own version in non-lycra infused red polyester that harkened to my skating skirt. It did not have any beading, but it did have a v-cut. That worked out really well what with the non-stretch fabric and my blossoming buds. I wore a lot of t-shirts over my suit that year to allegedly “keep from getting sunburned”. We didn’t really have sun-block lotion yet.

But the real coup d’état came when I started 6th grade at our local public middle school where I stuck out like a huge, festering sore thumb already. To make matters worse, we had to dress out for P.E. class. After the first gym class, it was clear that I was way behind in not just physical ability and coordination, but also in dress-out attire coolness. I was not going to be comfortable in the tiny Dolphin shorts and OP t-shirts favored by the hot, popular 6th grade goddesses, but I could certainly rock the 2nd tier-cool Gap sweat pants, pushed up with maybe a Panama Jack t-shirt. But guess who could make me something more “stylish”. Gawd! Did she hate me and want to see me fail socially? That woman made me a tracksuit of maroon terry cloth…with bootleg pants…and a v-neck long sleeved top that featured elasticized cuffs, with some added flair. On the top, where perhaps an Izod logo would have rested, was an embroidered bouquet of wild flowers in high contrast white thread. While she was at it, she made a “track suit” for my 16 year-old brother. It was powder blue velour. Meow. Lucky for him, he could drive to the mall and buy whatever he wanted. I don’t think his get-up ever saw the outside of his car’s trunk. But me? What could I do? Wearing that maroon mess would have meant adolescent suicide.

I never allowed a capture of me in the sweat suit.

As luck would have it, there was one out: orchestra. As long as you played in the school orchestra you were not required to take P.E. I eventually became the first string violinist in 7th grade, not because I was so talented and dedicated. It was because I knew that if I didn’t excel with that fiddle, I’d be failing at the chin-up bar while wearing Mom’s sweat-suit. Today, my violin lives with me still. However, the only song that I can remember how to play is the one that goes, “There’s a place in France where the ladies wear no pants, there’s a hole in the wall and the men can see it all.” Classy, as always.

A Rowse by any other name

5 Apr

For two years my mother and her sister were called This One and That One.  The family story was that my mother and her identical twin sister were not legally named until they were about two years old.  I don’t know if my grandparents didn’t already have names prepared because twins coming out threw them for a loop, or in olden times you just didn’t even think about names until there was an actual live birth or if maybe it was because it had been ten years since their first born and by the time this duo appeared my grandparents were just in a “been there, done that” haze, figuring that they’d get around to it eventually.  My mother said it was because one of her older sisters, Vesta, not Billie Sue, would instantly bastardize any prospective names into grating nicknames that drove their mother batty.  I have no idea if this is true, but Carolyn and Charlotte eventually made it into the county records.

Recently there have been several stories in the news about parents experiencing “Baby Name Regret Syndrome”.  Really?  Can this be a shock?  Is it because people are now naming their children impulsively, without thinking about the long-term effect of having a “cool” or an “ironic” name?  You need to save those sorts of monikers for your pets.  The research cited in articles has been mainly concerned with pointing to the myriad of kooky names that celebrities adore festooning their children with.  And there are many, like: Bronx Mowgli (Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz), Blue Ivy (Beyonce & Jay Z), Moxie Crimefighter (Penn Jillette), Pilot Inspektor (Jason Lee) Bear Blu (Alicia Silverstone), Antonio Kamakanaaolhamaikalani Harvey Sabato III (Antonia Sabato, Jr.), Moroccan and Monroe (Nick Cannon & Mariah Carey), Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom and Little Pixie (Bob Geldolf & Paula Yates) Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily (Paula Yates & Michael Hutchence), Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen (Frank Zappa), Zuma Nesta Rock (Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale) … the list could do on for pages.

I agree that those are all truly awful, but I doubt that any of those parents have the slightest regret over their unique choices.  But those poor kids!  Mon Dieu.  And I thought that being named after my Aunt, Charlotte, was a cross to bear what with it being long and difficult to spell.  Can you imagine Jason Lee’s kid having to ever do anything at the Social Security office?  “Yes, Pilot Inspektor…no, Inspektor is with a ‘k’, my parents thought it would be more custom than Inspector with a ‘c’…Yes, that is why I am here; I was just granted the court’s permission to legally change my name to Pete Jones.”

My favorite celebrity name goes to the son of Jermaine Jackson.  I think he was trying to send a message to his little brother, Michael, whose children’s names are Prince, Paris and Prince II (the name so nice, he used it twice!).  The message is that Jermaine’s child is also Jackson family royalty…hence the boy’s name: Jermajesty.  Take that, Blanket.

Sometime’s parents take their naming inspiration from iconic brands or products that they feel convey certain panache: Mercedes, Tiffany, Remington, Porsche, Brandy, Diamond, Bentley and so on.  Couples who thought a destination wedding was a good idea might be partial to destination names such as Brooklyn, Dakota, London, Sierra or Phoenix. If you catch an episode of Toddlers and Tiara’s, on accident…of course, you can hear a lot of names that are certain to catapult a prostitot to future success.  Can’t you see your future self, handing over control of your portfolio to a broker named Paisley, Sparkyl, or Kragen?  Perusing the Social Security site, it is clear that many parents will go to great lengths to make sure the letters “j”, “k”, “y” or “z” find their way onto the family tree: Kaylynn, Jayden, Jazlyn, Xzander, Kloe.

Living in the South, I am used to people having some eccentric “family names” or having a last name for a first or middle name.  Heritage names are popular with everyone.  And there is no shortage of names that hearken to a family of French origin, like La Quon, or nod to a family’s obvious Greek heritage with something like Shantavious.  But the names that totally throw me into fits are the ones that are just made up words, blends of other names or common names that have a custom spelling, so that the child will grow up feeling special.  By and large, I’ll bet they grow up realizing that their momma is illiterate and didn’t know how to spell.

A couple of summers back, I was being checked out at a Wal-Mart in Florida by a woman whose nametag was a cluster of letters…”Sh’airaleete”.  Yes, there was the telltale apostrophe of high-class in there.  I couldn’t resist commenting on what an unusual name she had.  I then asked, “How do you pronounce it?” I was almost knocked over when she said, “It Charlotte.”  Um, no.

Livin’ la vida Lotto

30 Mar

Let it be known that I got my Lotto cherry popped today.  Well, it’s not technically popped until 11pm tonight, when I find out that I’ve been screwed out of $5.  Right now I’ve only got Lotto’s tip in my grasp.  And it’s soooo big!

It’s true; until today I have never bought a lottery ticket.  But the siren call of $640 million dollars got me a bit hot and bothered.  No lie.  And it’s been kinda nice.  All day I have surrendered to the fantasy of “What if…” But we both know the truth is that anything over $100 million is just being a blow-hard.  And if I am totally honest, I could make do with just $15 million.  I would happily donate the lion’s share and I would get Georgia’s labor market back in full swing by sub-contracting out a myriad of jobs beginning with digging me a pool in the backyard.

Hot Tub got in on the action, too.  He gave me money to buy a lottery ticket for everyone in the family…his gift of Hope for the people he loves.  Aaw.  He was so thrilled to hold the sheet and when Snakebite got home from lacrosse, he could barely contain his thrill as he revealed the ticket and told her what he’d done for her.  The response had all of the sadistic enthusiasm of the fellow inmate who beat Jeffery Dahmer to death with a broom handle in prison.  There was yelling, belittling, gnashing of teeth, crossed arms of disapproval and full on steam shooting from her ears.

From the beginning, Big Daddy and I have always scoffed at the unfortunate, uneducated proletariat who spend their rent money on playing “their numbers”.  Snakebite has especially bought into our message that lottery tickets=life’s losers.  

Once, about four years ago, a ten-year old Snakebite spent the night with a friend from school.  The next morning when I went to pick her up I hung around for the usual Saturday morning debriefing of “how things went”.  The host mother got a big grin on her face and told me to settle in, because I was going to love what she had to tell me.  Apparently, after school they made a pit stop at the grocery store to get some sleepover fortification.  After passing through checkout, the mother went to the customer service desk to buy $25 dollars worth of lottery tickets.  At about the time she was up, she noticed that Margaret was looking distressed and on the verge of a making a puking scene.  With great concern, the mother asked, “Sweetie, are you okay?  Are you going to be sick?” as she was feeling Snakebite’s forehead.  Young Snakebite blurted out, “Don’t do it Mrs. Elliot!  Don’t you know that the lottery is a scam?  You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than ever winning!!!  You need to save your money for important things like life insurance and college.”  The mother was stunned; having expected to hear something more along the lines of how bad lunch had been at school that day.

Mrs. Elliot assured Margaret that the groceries had already been paid for, they were current with their mortgage and school tuition had been taken care of; clearly, there was no need to worry.  Snakebite’s response?  “Well, you’ll always have your property taxes to pay for!”

So, that very practical ten-year old, who is now fourteen, is thoroughly disgusted that her mother and brother have been revealed to be losers, who are going to end up living in a trailer park if they are lucky.  I have long wondered what it would be that I would do that would truly offend and embarrass my child.  Turns out it’s lottery tickets…unless I win.  Then I bet 10 to 1 she’ll be kissing up to me and Hot Tub, big time.

painting by Brian Stewart

Old and Crotchety…Moi?

29 Mar

I know.  I know.  I’ve been absent a bit lately.  Okay, a lot.  Sorry, if by chance you have been counting on me.  Here’s the deal:  I left my full-time-part time job helping pageant queens, prom organizers and bridezillas get their whole-sale sparkle on a few months back.  This was a good thing.  Everybody wins and I had the opportunity to really pursue writing as a full-time gig.

What happened instead was holiday bullshit and an opportunity to get to know Kelly Ripa better….damn minx.  How much do we LOVE Kelly?   I wrapped packages, made merry and took care of stuff.   And then God never sent me winter.  I had to take advantage of nice days while thought I could….and here it is almost April and not a full-length fur made it out of this house in 2012.  Some mink car coats maybe made it out twice. But not any more than that?  Sads.

Imagine this over and over plus, 2+ acres. Sometimes I hate my yard.

So, I have thrown myself in to full-on Stepford.  For instance, today?  I gave my front loading clothes washing  robot a mechanical colonic with white vinegar, then bleach, then a hot rinse, finished by a diluted bleach wipe-down, coupled with a dry cloth buffing.   My hands now smell  like a tidy rest-stop.  Yesterday, I painted my kids’ bathroom ceiling sea-glass green.  ‘Cause why?  I dunno.  Seemed cool.  And the day before that?  I  divided and transplanted perennials, wrote sympathy cards  and re-heated left-overs.  Are you as satisfied as I am?  Doubtful.

It is entirely possible that I am either having a midlife crisis or an existential crisis.  Either way.

And the ring goes to…

13 Mar

I would be remiss if I did not mention that last night’s episode of The Bachelor was brought to you by Fairy Tale Fantasy Capes for Villainesses and Good Girls Alike. Both Bachelorettes arrived via chopper to a staged Swiss vista, complete with added bits of snow and a single remaining rose, wearing long capes clasped at the neck.

So, on last night’s The Bachelor finale it was no surprise that there was lots of talk about “seeing a future” which continued between Bachelor Ben and Bachelorette Courtney, Bachelor Ben and Bachelorette Lindzi, and also Bachelor Mom Barbara and both Bachelorettes, Bachelor Sister Julia and both Bachelorettes. But none of that mattered as much as whom Bachelor Weiner was seeing a future with, using his one good eye. It was a hard decision for Bachelor Ben, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to know it was going to be with often naked Courtney. And thank heavens for that, because Bachelor Ben is certainly no rocket scientist.

Separated at birth: Francine from Arthur and Bachelor Ben

Knowing that squeaky-voiced Courtney was going to be winning, it made the rejection of Bachelorette Lindzi excruciating. It was like listening to the lamb going to slaughter as Bachelorette Lindzi’s voice was heard saying, “I want Ben to be my husband. I’ve never felt this kind of love for someone. I can’t believe we’re here at the end of this journey, but it’s sort of a beginning…the beginning of a lifetime of bliss. I’m confident that I could spend the rest of my life with him and be really happy. I hope I live happily ever after with Ben. I love Ben. I love Ben. It feels really good to say that. I love everything about him…just being with him, and how he makes me feel. That’s love. This is the moment that girls dream of their whole life. To see him down on one knee and to just finally know how he really feels is going to be special…I hope that I am engaged after today. I’d like to throw it in.” Then Bachelor Ben hits Bachelorette Lindzi upside the head with a verbal frying pan when he tells her that she’s what he’s been looking for his entire life, and how he had a big moment at her hometown visit in Ocala when he could see himself with her and with kids in their future and that he has fallen in love with her. Then once she is good and stunned, he goes for the jugular when he tells her that he, “needs those moments to last a lifetime and, uh, I’ve found that with someone else…I’m in love with someone else”.

Bachelor Ben gave a gigantic Neil Lane sparkler, final rose and his manhood to Bachelorette Courtney. She exhaled a little girl giggly “of course I will” and was awash in the look of self-congratulation. Then they played kissy-face, exchanged “I love yous” a lot then gloated about happiness and forever.

The truth

Now, if you believe the tabloids…and I do, Bachelor Ben has been hooking up with chicks left and right between the final rose ceremony taping and it’s public reveal. It’s only unbelievable because he’s still working his Peking Man hair-do. Bachelorette Courtney was seen making out with someone, too. I guess what I want to say is, Congratulations Lindzi. Girl, you just dodged a bullet. You win!

Planet of the Bachelor

1 Mar

My shame is great, as it should be.  In the last week or two, I somehow fell into watching The Bachelor.  Sure, I’m a little late to the party, but let’s be honest…it’s only the last few weeks that really count any way.  Right?

I do have to respect that the franchise isn’t afraid to admit to what it is.  Back in December, when ABC was trying to get audiences amped up for the then-coming season, the preparatory commercials just showed a close up of a chick bawling her eyes out, with mascara juice flowing out of her eye-holes, bemoaning, “Whyyyyy?”  I knew that’s pretty much how the first few episodes would go and that’s why I’ve only just recently checked in.  You know, my time is precious.

This is the face that has launched a thousand cat fights?

Let’s just talk about Bachelor Ben for a minute.  The chicks vying for him are all acting like he’s the second coming of Elvis.  I hate to be snarky, that’s not my style at all (go on and insert your eye roll here…I just did).  But, can I be the only woman alive that recognizes that he could also be called “Link”?  As in, he is the missing one… 

I swear that now going forward, any Monkey Shines nightmares that I have will have Bachelor Ben’s face superimposed in them.  The thought that simian singleton, Bachelor Ben, could be coming for any of my single girl friends now haunts me in my sleep.

The need of all of the contestants to sound profound and how they go about it is simply baffling to me. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard any Bachelor say, in their going-in-deep interviews, how he can, like,  “See my life with (insert hometown date bachelorette’s name here)”.  Gag.  That’s not, like, special powers, Bachelor Ben.  I can picture my life with all sorts of people.  Call me imaginative, but don’t call me in love, pensive or smart.  Can I see my life with Adolf Hitler?  Sure!  I could see me dumping him because he is a total ass, plus I’d never be able to abide that dumb toothbrush mustache.  Could I picture a future with Kobe Bryant?  Yes, it involves me looking the other way while he cheats on me and then I get kick-ass jewelry and shop away my sads.  Just because you can picture something doesn’t necessarily mean you do any of it!  Or even want to. Picturing an alternative future doesn’t mean that can can bend spoons with your mind.

Like a Tom-cat in a patch of kittens…dumb kittens.

And then the women.  Oy vey!  Let me just pause here to note that out of 25 women, 44% have names that end with the long “e” sound and 32% have names ending in ‘”a” and 24% have names ending in a consonant.  There were 2 Ambers, 1 Casey and another Kacie, 1 Lindzi and another Lyndsie.  I believe there was one Biblical name represented.  I don’t know what it means, but it must mean something.  “I mean, I am really in love with Ben now!  I know it.”  “I knew I was falling for Ben that first time we were in the jacuzzi.”  What is wrong with them???  This week, the girls all had special dates and overnights with Ben in Switzerland.  They are all in love with Ben, and then knew that he could see a future with all of them, too.  Because that’s what he told them all, right before he forked over the invitation to forgo their single rooms and spend some “alone time” in the “Fantasy Suite”.  And btw, you know that “alone time” is Bachelor code for boot knockin’, right?

Bachelor Ben was on a “I just did it with three girls high” when last week’s discard, Kacie B., made a surprise! trip to the land of neutrality to tell Bachelor Ben that she only wants for him to be happy.  Because she loves him.  From the beginning, all she cared about was his happiness.  Because she is selfless and self-sacrificing when faced with the love of Bachelor Ben.  Oh, and she also wanted to know “Whyyyyy?  What did I do wrong?”  Why can’t they all just move to Utah and become polygamist, since none of them seems to be too bothered that they are all nailing Bachelor Ben?   Well, except that the other girls might see to it that Bachelorette Courtney has an accident that leaves her horribly maimed and unable to speak.  Back to that impromptu visit by Bachelorette Kacie…Hell, I can barely pull it together to get to appointments five miles from my house on time.  How did love-lorn Bachelorette Kacie manage to have her passport ready, alongside a bank account that could afford a less than 14-day advance ticket purchase fare to Switzerland, where she just happened to know where she could find Bachelor Ben, alone in his hotel room, in between all of his international wooing, looking camera-ready in a tie and a head full of dried dippity-do gel?

The episode ended with Bachelorette Nicki leaving sans rose.  Next week is the big season 16 “Women Tell All” reunion show, so it’ll be two nail-biting weeks before we white-knuckle through Bachelor Ben’s mother and sister meeting their possible future skank-in-law to find out if Bachelor Ben will choose Bachelorette Courtney or Bachelorette Lindzi (yes, that is how her name is spelled).  I will NOT be watching the tell-all show.  After watching a Flavor of Love reunion, there is no way that this could ever stack up to my expectations of what a reunion show should be.

Flav knows how do do right be his Baby Mama

I’ve given up

23 Feb

Everyone is acting like they are all a bunch of crazy Cajuns with the Mardi Gras stuff.  The beads are flying, bars are having “parties” and my grocery store bakery is overflowing with those grody looking King cakes.  For my family, about as Mardi Gras as we get is eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.  The idea behind that isn’t just another one of my “breakfast for dinner” whims.  No.  Lent season has begun and in practice, a household uses up all of their decadent ingredients before beginning their penitential preparation during the forty days preceding Easter.  The pancake supper is sort of like a distant cousin to making what I call Snowstorm French Toast.  That is when all stores sell out of milk, eggs and bread at the announcement of “snow forecast” in Georgia. 

Lent is a time when people try to repent, give alms, pray and to do without by giving up something that is indulgent.  The eschewing of chocolate, gossip and alcohol seems to be popular with my people.  I myself have given up these things, and other vices or luxuries as well.  Sometimes I make it all forty days, and other years I have broken down and admitted that I am an imperfect child of God.   One year I gave up putting French Fries in my mouth.  It sounded daring at the outset, but was super easy.  It turns out that I really don’t eat them that often, so it kinda worked out for me.  The most difficult Lent season was the year I decided to deny myself from allowing something else that starts with an “F” from coming OUT of my mouth.  I vowed self-denial by eliminating using the word “fuck”.   It was the most difficult forty days.  Ever.

Hot Damn comes from a long and colorful line of serial potty-mouths on her mother’s side.  I have one cousin, we’ll call her Melissa, who is the most prolific and cunning cuss-wordsmith that I have ever met.  She works at her craft in the way a tennis champ might work at her serve.  It is dazzling how she can work a “bleep” word in to the most somber of occasions.  I sat next to her during my Grandfather’s funeral and about wet myself from her commentary.  Then there was the six-week  college Thanksgiving-thru-Christmas break when I worked part-time in her office.  One morning when I came in, I must not have been accompanied by my usual rays of sunshine, prancing fawns and chirping bluebirds, because  said cousin looked up from her desk at me and said, and I quote, “Well, God-damn-shit Charlotte Ann; who the fuck pissed all over your cornflakes this morning?”  That one question pretty much had everything!  So, you now know from whence I come and the struggle that I faced by denying myself the best profanity of all time.  Busting out the f-word is just part of my fabric.

Spending that forty days biting my tongue and rethinking my word choice not only prepared me for Easter that year (I know that Jesus was way appreciative of MY sacrifice), but it gave me the foundation to listen and sing-a-long with music in the car with my kids.  For instance, before Cee-Lo released his sanitized “Forget You”, I was blasting the original song, but loudly substituting the line as “Well, fudge for you-oooo-ooo0!”  I turned it into a song about baking for someone who’s done you wrong.  Isn’t there something in the Bible about loving your enemy?  Again, I was making Jesus proud by passing along His teaching.

Yesterday I conducted an informal Facebook poll to find out what my people were going to hit the pause button on for Lent this year or what they had disposed of in years past.  Some were true eliminations like Jackson quitting chocolate, John saying “no” to carbonated drinks, Tracy and Gabe not checking Facebook (won’t happen) or when Donald stopped making martinis (but not vodka tonics).  Others were more wishful, like Kim halting toilet scrubbing or Claire giving the finger to caring in any capacity.  Then my cousin Mary Sue replied that she would be giving up “cousins”.  Ouch.

Wanna go for a ride?

22 Feb

So, I know it’s been a long year that you fine people have been waiting, no doubt with bated breath, to find out about how my whole car hunt thing turned out. I dithered on about it here , here and even here. It was about this same time last year that I was told my trusty Toyota, Suki (I name all of my cars), was knocking on death’s door and that she had only weeks to live. By the way, it was the dealership’s mechanic who broke the news to me while graciously offering to escort me to the dealership showroom to look at the “fantastic group of 2012” offerings, or sit tight while he replaced my rear axel for a couple thousand dollars, with more repairs to follow. It was my choice, he assured me. I opted for an automotive band-aid instead. Suspiciously, with only new front brakes, tires and an oil change, that SUV of mine managed to eek out another 13,000 miles of carpools, trips out of town and commutes to work.

To recap, my list of parameters was that I wanted a new SUV/Crossover/Wagon that has great fuel economy using cheap gas, optional third row seating, a black exterior with a tan interior, all the techy bells and whistles, free maintenance, oh, and I wanted it to come in under 40k, including my trade-in. I was giving myself a month or two to indulge in due-diligence. I tested just about everything: Subaru, Toyota, Honda, Audi, Cadillac, Buick, Acura, BMW, Volvo, Lexus…I couldn’t get all that excited. At a few dealerships, I drove several models. Some cars I drove several times. All told, I drove over twenty different makes/models. I made spreadsheets and charts. Took the family to visit certain cars. It boiled down to this: for the amount of money I was willing to barf up, if I were going to get the all of the fun stuff I wanted, I’d have to get a 5-seater. Given seat belt laws and our lifestyle, that just wasn’t going to work for us. I suffered from a debilitating case of analysis paralysis. The family was getting frustrated with my inability to make a move. I just couldn’t get comfortable enough to pull the trigger, but I came close twice. All the while, Suki’s health was in a downward spiral. Things quit working, the driver side air bag was bulging, the antennae just stopped, the rear hatch gave up, and finally she started grinding and refusing to go any higher than third gear. Even Snakebite and Hot Tub started seeing the white light when we were out on the road. It was time to send this car over the rainbow… or to a hard-up landscaping crew.

My last ride before I jumped ship to Toyota was a huge, pimp-style Mercedes. We kept that car until it was fifteen years old. She was unreliable as hell and cost us thousands of dollars a year in maintenance plus untold hours of inconvenience and frustration. But I had inherited it from my mother and it looked great and was pretty dreamy when it was actually moving. Of course, by the end, it wouldn’t go in reverse. After we got rid of it, I brushed my hands together and said “never again”. I even chucked my goofy “Mercedes Only Parking” sign that someone had given me for our garage. I meant business.

On a lark, I found myself at RBM of Atlanta, just to see. Just to look. Just to assure myself that I would never go back there again. And there they were: glossy German SUVs with voice activated systems, burled wood inlays and sexy new car smell. A salesman quickly came over and started to give me the stats. I put on my best dour “I’m not impressed face” as he had me sitting in the third row and folding seats with the touch of a button. While my body language tried to remain stoic, I was falling in love with a $75k car. Shit. “My” salesman, Steve Szczupak, assured me the he was going to become my new best friend. Then my best friend asked the magic question that was going to lead to a speedy break-up: “So, how much are you looking to spend?” I came clean and he gently redirected me to a 5-seater. I drove it while Steve was imploring me to “drive it like ya stole it” and “stomp on it”. It did not suck; it was everything I had hoped it would be, with the exception of those much-needed extra seats. Damn.

And then we started talking about “previously enjoyed, certified” cars. Say whaaa? All of the warranty love with none of the depreciation? Okay. Free car washes anytime I want? Roadside assistance for life? Good coffee in the waiting room? I was open. And then there was a deal. And I was smitten. And you know how when you’re in love a lot of the ideas you had before suddenly seem a little silly and trite? Your heart takes over and your mind can’t help you. I felt like Pepe Le Pew when he first sees the French pussycat.

Here she is in all of her silver exterior, black interior, premium unleaded, never-again-a-Benz glory. I named her Augusta:

As an aside…I believe in signs. We made the deal on what was Big Daddy and my sixteenth wedding anniversary. Other than it being poetic to be getting a new ride on my sweet sixteen, I literally bumped into Joan, who was a bride’s maid in our wedding. And then when we got in the car, Kiss’ “Christine Sixteen” was on the radio. It was meant to be. The planets were in alignment. And then the next night? The couple that we went out with for Augusta’s inaugural night on the town bought their car from my new best friend, Steve, too. Go figure.