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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.

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Pumped Full of Pumpkin

25 Sep

pumpkin-spice-latte

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!

Aside

NoTel, No More

6 Mar

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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.

No shirt. No shoes. No service.

28 Jun

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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.

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.

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

Pink ribbon…untied

6 Feb

I have long been uncomfortable with charities whose primary goal is to “raise awareness”.  What does that even mean?  To me it just sounds like a kinder, gentler way to say “ strategic marketing”.  There is one charity in particular that has long plagued me.  Sure, I have participated in some of their sponsored races, or bought the special edition Lily Pulitzer scarf in October.  But it’s about liking the print and wanting to run.  I’m not trying to establish my commitment to letting people know that I am “aware” of breast cancer.  If only it were that simple.  As the daughter of a mother who died from breast cancer, and a friend to a whole slew of women who have been through the ringer, I’d say that I had heard of breast cancer before Estee Lauder came out with that damn pink ribbon in the 90s.  I have felt as though if I said anything questionable about the You-Know-Who Foundation or others, it would be just like denouncing kittens and chubby, wittle-bittle babies while throwing a Heil Hitler salute.  Because, what kind of monster doesn’t want to support “awareness”?

Whew!  Last week, after The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for the Cure  made a political statement that they would no longer be providing grants to Planned Parenthood to aid funding of early breast cancer detection and screening for poor and uninsured women, the world went bonkers.  Facebook blew up, Twitter was freaking out…it was as big as Kim and Kris breaking up.  And now, I am finally free to express how grossed out I am and how I really feel about all of the pink crap that Komen has partnered in schlocking to the masses in the name of “awareness”.  The marketing practice, called “pink-washing”, targets consumers who think they are doing the right thing and making a difference by purchasing all sorts of items in the trademark soft “cancer-pink” color.  It’s so deceptive.  When I see pink I think feminine, fun, cheerful, upbeat, positive.  Pink is good.  Pink is sooo not cancer.  The breast cancer logo ribbon should be ashy and clammy, if possible.  It should convey feelings of nausea, anxiety and resentment.  It would be less misleading.

So the partnering companies come up with all manner of wares that they are looking to sell under Komen’s umbrella of warm and fuzzy good deeds.  Everything is billed as being “for the Cure”.  And you had better not mess with calling anything “for the Cure” without it having been cleared through Komen’s legal department first.  They have trademarked “for the Cure” as their intellectual property and Komen spends about $1,000,000.00 annually to preserve that “right”.  What could be better than convincing your consumer base that they are actually doing the world a favor every time they purchase a limited-edition pink nail polish, or that very special pair of pink rain boots?   The partnered company purports to donate a potion of proceeds toward “the Cure”, with an amount that usually caps at between $10,000-$30,000.  Remember Yoplait’s pink lids?  You saved the pink aluminum lids from your yogurt and mailed them back in to Yoplait and they would donate $0.10 per lid…up to $10,000.00.  I have to wonder if the U.S. Postal Service wasn’t in cahoots on that deal, too.  But a lot of these products are, well…let’s just say that some of the  “for the Cure” partners and products seem like very odd bedfellows to me.  For instance:

Do not adjust your screen.  That IS a pink-washed bucket o’ Kentucky Fried Chicken pictured above.  What, you may ask, does the Colonels’ 11 secret herbs and spices have to do with breast cancer research or awareness?  Beats the hell outta me.  It’s weird, right?

Meet the “Handgun for Hope”, offered by Discount Gun Sales for $429.99.  No lie.  This is a  Walther P-22 limited production pistol with an “exclusive DuraCoat Pink slide”.  The pink part commemorates breast cancer.  Because nothing says “Save the Ta-tas” like a cap in some one.

Have you ever fretted that the language barrier between you and your domestic help has kept her from knowing how important breast cancer awareness is to you and your family?  This pink Swiffer will assure her that you are “good people”, and she may even do a better job and quit pocketing the loose change from the dryer now that she knows!

You know, one way that you could really celebrate a Cure is with a pink flat-iron.  Sure, all those women with breast cancer are loosing their hair from chemotherapy, but that doesn’t mean that your hair has to look all frizzy.  

Again with the hair products?  It seems a little insensitive, especially from a company called “Bed Head”.

If you really want to impress your house guests with your philanthropic spirit, you might consider stocking the powder room with Cashmere’s couture toilet paper.  Let everyone in your home tell breast cancer how they feel about it by wiping their ass with pink 2-ply.

This past October, lots of sports teams got in on the pink-washing.  Hot Tub wore pink sweat bands during football games that one of the moms got for all of the boys.  Some boys wore pink shoe laces.  It’s a nice gesture and all, but I am pretty sure that not one 10 year-old boy was dumbfounded when presented with the pink ribbon terry wrist bands only to ask, “Breast Cancer?  What is that?”   They all already knew.  I knew what it was when I was six.  We don’t need pink rubber bracelets, pink cordless drills or a pink George Foreman Lean Mean Grill to be aware of breast cancer.  Do we?

Oddly enough, despite all of the awareness and all of the funds that have been raised for more marketing of awareness and research, scientists are no closer to finding a cure for breast cancer, nor a definitive cause.  What we know now is what we knew thirty years ago…early detection through self exams is your best bet.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy pink stuff.  If you like pink, then buy it. October will be your month!  I like pink and I even have a pink flat-iron, but not the official cancer one.  But maybe, just maybe consider stepping away from the pink ribbon engraved blender and instead send that money that you “think” “might” get donated to a charity to a local hospital, a hospice center or to a family who is getting further crushed by mounting medical bills.

Choking on chunked and formed movie scraps

2 Feb

I have long been popping a gasket about how there just seems to be next to no original ideas left for Hollywood and television executives to make do with.  TV shows get made into movies; movies become TV shows.  Why?  I will spare you the full, unedited, throbbing forehead vein version of my disgust and just toss out some examples and then some.

Last year had me contemplating building an ark in which to save myself from the flood of reprocessed films of yore that squirted out of 2011 and 2010 like commercial chicken nugget paste.  And I am not even going to count sequels (there are a ridiculous amount!), prequels, installations, novel-to-screen or adaptations of foreign language films in this.  So, let’s see what that left us: 2011 coughed back up Footloose, Arthur, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Conan the Barbarian, The Three Musketeers, and The Muppets to name a fewThen 2010 reintroduced us to Nightmare on Elm Street, Robin Hood, The Karate Kid, Avatar in 3-D, Grease Sings-A-Long (actually the same flick, but re-released as a sing-a-long…shoot me now!), The Last Exorcism (it’s the same as The Exorcism, but new), I Spit on Your Grave, The Tempest, True Grit, The Crazies (featuring ex-pat fellow blogger and mother of Hot Tub’s BF, Kathryn), and Clash of the Titans.  And upcoming for 2012?  Get excited to re-rendez-vous with modern versions of: Total Recall, Halloween, Spiderman, The Great Gatsby, A Star is Born (The first R movie Hot Damn saw in a theater.  It was 1976.), Les Miserables, Logan’s Run, Dirty Dancing, Anna Karenina, The Crow, King Lear, Mad Max, Frankenweenie…and blah, blah, blah.  This week Reese Witherspoon was asked about a remake of her 1996 movie Fear, starring Justin Bieber.  She responded, “Fine. Great. That would be cool. Would he be playing me or Mark Wahlberg?” reports The Huffington Post.  Love her.

 

But recycling old celluloid and “reimagining” past plot lines isn’t that new.  I accept that updating a black and white movie with people speaking in those stilted 1930s accents opens up an audience base for a great movie to be enjoyed by a younger audience.  But then, the big studios decided to recreate successful TV shows.  I’m sure we’ll all be camping out for the likes of The Three Stooges, Dark Shadows, and most certainly 21 Jump Street this year.  Again, why?  Those shows eventually got cancelled for a reason.  There is also going to be a Glee  movie.  Just yuck.  Then studios twisted Saturday cartoons into big-budget movies like: Yogi Bear, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Smurfs.  And so many movies based on comic books!  Recently: Batman, The Avengers, Superman, The Green Hornet,  X-Men, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk (what were you thinking Edward Norton?), Captain America and so on.

Last year’s success with 3-D reissues such as Jackass 3-D, Saw 3-D and The Lion King 3-D got studio moguls all kinds of worked up to dust off and tweak “old” money-makers and suck them drier than when they were licensed on Betamax, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, cable, in-flight, on-demand and in some cases to network channels.  Moving into 2012, you can pay an up charge and re-see Titanic 3-D, Finding Nemo 3-D, Beauty and the Beast 3-D, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3-D, The Hobbit 3-D, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3-D.  In discussion are 3-D re-releases of all of the Harry Potter flicks, all of the Lord of the Rings.  On a side note, how long until Vivid Entertainment penetrates this technology?  Ron Jeremy in the glory of 3-D, can you imagine??? 

But Hollywood hadn’t hit bottom yet.  This year will give audiences movies based on dolls; G.I. Joe 2, comes out in June.  Rights have been bought by Relativity Media to base a movie on Stretch Armstrong.  I suspect a story line will explore Stretch being pulled too tight and how the hard, red gel that bursts from his “skin” is contained.  My brothers used Band-Aids.  The sequel will introduce his pal, Stretch Monster, who also oozes red.  It will be a lesson about how we may be different on the outside, but on the inside, we are all made of the same goo.  But wait!  There’s more!  In “oh no, they di’nt” news is the dearth of movies being released inspired by board games.  Not video games like ­Lara Croft: Tomb Raider or Tron and it’s update with a CGI Jeff Bridges (awful, both times!).  I’m talking about the likes of Ouija, based on the banned-at-Church-lock-ins game where a group of girls summon spirits from beyond to answer burning questions like, “When will I get my period?”,  “Has Sonya Adams done ‘it’ yet?”, or “Does Mark Hood like me back?”  No shit.  You’ll have to wait until November 9, 2012 to find out how it all goes down.  In boo-hoo news, Universal Studio has benched plans to make its movie about Clue.  But this is my inspiration for this blog:  Deep breath… 

Sony and Happy Madison have conspired, with the blessings and partnership of Hasbro, to bring to life on the silver screen…wait for it…Candy Land.  Plans have yet to be released referencing follow-ups with Hi Ho Cherry-O and Chutes and Ladders to complete the unholy trinity of the dumbest board games ever to be cinematized.  I am pretty sure that “Hungry, Hungry Hippos” or “Tic-Tac-Toe” would provide more riveting story lines. Worse still is that Adam Sandler intends to both co-write and star in the live-action/adventure-family film.  Mon dieu!  Of the forty four titles he’s acted in, thirty seven he’s produced and seventeen he’s written or co-written, I can vouch for only four…three of which he neither wrote, produced nor developed. 

I should probably consult an entertainment attorney or something first, but I am pumped to announce that I am soliciting to receive funding for a screen-play that I am going to write about sitting in a Cracker Barrel playing the triangle/golf tee game while drinking sweet tea out of a mason jar.  The working title is I Ai’nt no Eg-No-Ra-Moose, I’m Just Plain Dumb.  Cathchy, no?  I will also need to find out whether or not Jim Varney has been cryogenically frozen and if not, I need a contact number for Jesco White.

It’s Goop that lets you know you’re alive!

13 Jan

If you scanned my brain from a satellite in space while I am sitting in carpool or as I am handing my coupons over to the grocery cashier, you might pick up the refrain from The Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime” swirling through my grey matter. Remember? The drone of , “Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was…Letting the days go by, letting the days go by, letting the days go by.” Sometimes I get too gelled into my family’s daily routine or hyper-focused in whatever I am working on at the moment and stuff just runs together and turns into mental white noise. I wouldn’t say that I move through the days numb, that would be Sad Housewife territory, but it can lean towards being a little flat Monday through Friday. This isn’t unique to me and different people have developed different strategies to keep them looking forward and from stalling out. A lot of type-A personalities lean toward high-risk leisure activities like sky-diving, snow boarding or day trading to feel invigorated. Middle-age men play World of Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty for a healthy change of pace. Moody teenage girls listen to Nine Inch Nails and cut themselves on their thigh to find out if they still feel anything. Me? I subscribe to Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop. I’ve discussed it before, here. It comes right to my inbox once a week. I scroll through it and feel like sticking a screw-driver in my ear. My intelligence feels insulted, I’m outraged by how detached a person can be and yet so self-righteous about it, I am overcome with a smug every-man superiority and feel proud that I am able to function in a world that 99.9999% of my peers can understand.

Briefly, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, Goop is Gwyneth’s way of sharing her really amazing talents and resources with us common people, so that we can learn how to create and live a clean, holistic, green and fabulous life that is spilling over with wonder, nurture and growth. Just like Gwyneth does. (Insert smile, head tilt and chirping birds here) Gwyneth gives us great gift ideas, guides us in how to shop for ourselves, exposes us to the coolest of cool stuff that we wouldn’t otherwise know about and now won’t be able to live without. She teaches us craft projects and lets us in on some of her best travel secrets from all of the really amazing places that she gets to visit. Gwyneth knows where to shop, eat and stay practically everywhere!

One of Gwyneth's totally great suggestions

But, best of all, Gwyneth shows us the path to being better citizens of the planet and dispenses lots of directions in regards to mending medical ailments and proper nutrition.

Judging by my Goop-o-Meter, 2012 is going to be a banner year for feeling alive and the one where I come to discover that Gwyneth and I are like identical cousins. Last week, Gwyneth told us that the start of new year is a great time to give our digestive systems a break, reset our bodies and get an energetic boost by engaging in a 21-day cleanse program, proceeded by 3 days of preparation and 7 days of reintroduction. See, according to Gwyneth, our digestive tract gets clogged with toxic sludge and other debris is trapped in the folds of our intestine. It then leeches into our cells and blood. Yikes, y’all! It makes us irritable, have bad skin and we feel sluggish. We need to heal ourselves and poop out all of the bad mojo. For a mere $425 (includes free 2 day shipping! Can you say, “what a deal?”), we’ll get protein powder, supplements, a manual and access to an online community of other people who have or are currently cleansing, too! And the best part is that we get to have an actual lunch each day that we will make ourselves from ingredients we already have on hand at home like hemp milk, carob powder, wild game, blue-green algae, teff, nama shoy and plenty of sea vegetables. Done, done and done!

Yep.

Thank heavens I had a new Goop in my inbox yesterday, because I’ve really been thinking about how to get my kids turned on to eating these new, clean foods too. Because she is all-knowing, Gwyneth anticipated that a lot of us plebs would be needing some kid-friendly recipes. And boy-howdy, did she deliver! Snakebite and Hot Tub’s mouths are positively watering for “Baked Salmon, Cauli and Capers” because really, what kid isn’t crazy for capers? And I’m going to have to find out if I can freeze the “Nori Handrolls”. You can bet that sheets of seaweed filled with the likes of beetroot and mung are going to be in high demand at my house! Did I tell you that Gwyneth knows what she’s doing or what? She is the sage of my generation, my Ravi Shankar.

I think it’s great that Gwyneth is starting the year off with a cleanse…because she is so full of shit.

File under “Special Interest”

12 Jan

There is a new Facebook fan page called “Beautiful and Bald Barbie!  Let’s see if we can get it made”.  A couple of mothers have started a “movement” to urge toy maker Mattel Inc. to manufacture a shiny pated Barbie to promote awareness of childhood cancer and acceptance among young girls who have been afflicted by the disease.  Social network activists Rebecca Sypin and Jane Bingham believe young girls grappling with hair loss due to cancer treatments, Alopecia or Trichotillomania will find comfort and inspiration by a late 1980s Sinead O’Connor styled Barbie.  I am pausing and taking a breath before I proceed.  Inhale.  Hold it.  Exhale.  Okay…go.

As a kid I played with Barbie and her friends, including “Growing up Skipper” whose breasts would magically “grow” when you wound her arm around like she was getting ready play fast-pitch softball.  I would braid my Barbie dolls’ hair, put it in a chignon and sometimes I would make Barbie a brunette with a chocolate scented Mr. Sketch marker.

"I'm mad at my parents" Barbie

I even made one Barbie punk with a spiked mohawk.  I used scissors to clean up the sides and Elmer’s Glue for the lift in the middle.  Ken wasn’t fooled.  He thought Barbie looked like a cross between a back-up dancer from Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield” video and a mall food-court poser.  Eventually, her mohawk got bent and I took my scissors out again, creating what was essentially the Ghost of Britney Spears’ Future.  I had myself a “Skinhead Barbie”.

Of course, Cancer Joe will likely lose his beard, too

Getting in on the esteem-building-bald-doll action is the spirit of the same people who made wuss boy doll “My Buddy” happen in 1985.  Suggestions that there should also be a bald G.I. Joe are now on the table so that young boys will have a cancer doll, too.  Inhale.  Hold it.  Exhale.  WTF?  Firstly, when I was a kid, G.I. Joe had a flocked Sergeant Carter buzz cut that was pretty darn close to bald.  Anything more and he would have been mistaken as a Kojak action figure.  Secondly, if G.I. Joe were suffering from chemotherapy induced hair loss, I would hope to hell that the military would excuse him from active duty and let him convalesce at his hometown V.A. hospital.  On a side note, would he come with a camo hospital gown?

Barbie wannabe Jenny Lee

Don’t get me wrong, because I do get it: the idea to give kids a doll that they can identify with, but…Barbie?  I thought that “modern and liberated” women hated Barbie exactly because she stands for everything that is physically unidentifiable or attainable for girls. “Real” women and little girls don’t grow up to look like Barbie and so what “she” exudes is a false sense of what is appropriate beauty, or something like that. Were Barbie to be sprinkled with magic toy dust and become a living girl, she’d be 6’0”, weigh in at 100 lbs and wear a size 4.  With measurements of 39″/19″/33″ she would have to come with a kick stand to keep from toppling over.  I don’t care if it’s “African-American Trial Attorney Barbie”, “Pan-Asian Scientist Barbie” or even “Old-School WASP Stewardess Barbie”, no little girl will ever attain Barbie’s solid rack or high check bones without being injected with Mattel Inc.’s plastic.  And forget a college fund; to identify with Barbie, she’ll need a weave fund. Once “Cancer Barbie” goes into remission, you can bet your sweet ass that her coif will be long, strong and goin’ on.  And you can snap that down in a Z.  Personally, I think that if I were a little girl with cancer, “Cancer Barbie” would hit a nerve.  “Mommy, why is bald “Cancer Barbie” smiling, looking great and playing tennis, but I feel like crap?”

Now, I know that this could evolve into a clever fund-raising idea, and maybe Mattel Inc. will eventually come out with a Chemo Barbie that will be packaged in a pink box and sold in October.  And if they do, I hope they would make her realistic, something that little girl cancer patients actually could relate to, with sores in her mouth, brittle bones, a port site, gaunt, and pissed off.  Oh, and then they could sell her with some accessories, like a freezer full of casseroles, that Barbie doesn’t have any appetite for, from Barbie’s well-meaning friends.  There could be a collection of turbans, a pulp kidney dish and a Snuggie for those “sofa days”.

Despite the grassroots excitement being generated on Facebook, Mattel Inc. issued a letter that they do not take suggestions from outside sources.  Hasbro Inc, the makers of G.I. Joe, has issued no comment.  The truth is that if either manufacturer gets invested in this, then every special interest group is going to want their own Barbie mascot.  First on the list would be a call out for a LGBT Barbie/Ken mash-up.  Can you imagine?  Barbie’s body and Ken’s hands and feet.

"Midtown Kandy"

You aren’t the special person this year

16 Dec

So here we are on the cusp of knotting up another year.  This means that people are in a shopping frenzy, a decorating tizzy and in a state of baking mania.  Parents with waaay too much time on their hands are doing precious, clever and generally creepy as hell things with their children’s elves.  Teenagers are taking exams and foaming at the mouth over what their Christmas get is going to be.  Working adults are wringing their hands over their “holiday bonuses”.  But news rags and publicity pimps have been busy compiling their lists of the most “Intriguing/Interesting/Fascinating” people of the year.  They got rolling en mass this week.  People Magazine and Time Magazine hit stands, Barbara Walters did her televised celebrity lap dance and again I was amazed just watching her frozen Joan Crawford eye.  And America’s aging sweetheart, Katie Couric, got in the game and did a wrap up of the big news of the year, too.  Isn’t that nice?  Honestly, Katie’s recap was a bit too legit for me.  I like to read or watch trash and then feel all highbrow and sanctimonious by blogging about it later.

 

Barbara Walters ran down her “10 Most Fascinating People of 2011” this week.  Of course, I have issues with it.  Didn’t catch it?  Not to worry, that’s what I’m here for.  Big Daddy and I made our own predictions last week.  We nailed six of them.  That is a big, fat D-.  I guess my expectations were a bit too lofty.  Since I blogged 2010’s list here and here, I figured you people would be expecting a recap again this year.  In keeping with her usual droll style, Barbara picked mostly jack-wagons.  And another thing?  Barbara needs to learn how to count.  There weren’t ten people; there were fourteen.  Well, except one has expired, so really it was thirteen.  It went down like this:

Katy Perry:  She is fascinating for being the human embodiment of an overly frosted and jimmied cupcake.  She dropped out of high school, kissed a girl…and she liked it, and married a former heroine addict.  Bravo!  She’s kinda cute and harmless, I guess.  But one of the most fascinating people to come across my radar in the last year?  Maybe if I lives in a paper sack or in an Occupy Anything tent city.

Simon Cowell is honest, generates a load of revenue and makes people’s dreams come true and yet, he’s still a tool.  He admitted that he wanted to get busy with Paula Abdul when they were on American Idol together.  The best I can say is that he would have been able to save the cost and liability of slipping Rohypnol in her drink.

Pippa Middleton is fascinating because she rocked a bridesmaid dress.  Really?  Baby is fascinating because she got back?  I am certain that had Sir-Mix-A-Lot been asked to weigh in on this topic he would have said, “Aw hell no!  Maybe if she’s 5’3″.”  God, help us.

Shucky-ducky, Herman Cain made the list!  I wonder if he would have made the cut if he hadn’t suspended his campaign amid lurid skirt chasing rumors.  Would Barbara have found him fascinating were he in a position to Obama bash while on top of the world?

Amanda Knox has actually held my attention for the past few years.  However, Barbara didn’t manage to score a sit-down with her.  Instead she just showed a newsreel mash up with Barbara’s own voice over.  That’s a fail.

Donald Trump allowed Barbara to tug on his coiffure to prove that it’s not a piece.  Who actually thought that follicular mess was fake?  No one would manufacture something like that.  I kinda half expected it to spring to life and bite her though.  I never thought it was a toupe.  I always assumed it was a yellow ferret draped across his pate.

Duo Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, you know them as openly gay couple Cam and Mitchell from “Modern Family”, were featured.  Are Eric and Jesse fascinating, or is it their television characters that we clamor for?  Well, straight Eric plays the flamboyant Cam, while the more reserved Mitchell is played by for-real-duh-gay Jesse. That’s not fascinating.  It’s acting.  I guess I can be thankful that Babs didn’t try to shove the cast of “Glee” down my throat.  That would have bumped the 10 turned 14 even higher.

Derek Jeter, thankfully, refused to answer Barbara’s probing questions about his romantic dalliances.  She’s such a dirty old lady!

Now, much has been made about Barbara’s hard line tactics with the four main chick Kardashians.   That’s right, four train wrecks for the price of one.  Reuters reported of the segment, “Walters actually went there, telling Kim, ‘You don’t really act, you don’t sing, you don’t dance … you don’t have any — forgive me — any talent!’”  Wow.  She really went in deep.  That was such a risky line of questioning.  I wonder if anyone has ever pointed out that Barbara also neither acts, sings nor dances.

But the mostest fascinating of them all?  Steve Jobs.  Barbara said that he was intended to be her number one all along, but he crossed over the rainbow before she was able to score some face time.  I don’t want to put words in the man’s now silent mouth, but that is one way of having to avoid intrepid questions like, “If you were a tree, what kind do you think you would be?”  Too soon?

 

This week, Time Magazine released their annual proclamation of their “Person of the Year”.   I didn’t think they could get any lazier than that 2006 gimmick, when they named You as their top pick.  Remember?  The magazine cover had a shitty reflective panel on the front so that you could gaze at a distorted version of yourself on the special cover!  Aren’t you so important?  Aren’t you just the most special little snowflake?  Puhleese.  It was like a participation trophy for grownups.  No, this year Time proved once more that they could just dial it in when they crowned Protesters as their whatever in the hell it is that they are calling it now.  Protesters?  I doth protest!  They didn’t even whittle it down to a type of protestor.  I protest about crap all. the. damn. time.  Hot Tub protests by walking mad to his room and then slamming the door.  If he isn’t sure that the message was received, he’ll open the door and slam it again, extra hard, for good measure.  Store clerks at Toys-R-Us protest with a colossal eye-roll if you ask them anything other than where they get their crypto-gel done.  Don’t we all protest?  About work, other people, The Man, our health, the weather, school, our kids?  Without being specific about the type of protestor, we all just got Person of the Year again.  That means that everybody is special, which to those of us who don’t live in a jar of glitter know means that no one is special.  Congratulations, Time just made us all blah.  Again.  Awesome!

Really, this whole matter of an end of the year naming of people to lists of fascination is really just a roll call for the main players in the country’s own News of the Weird.    These aren’t necessarily people who are truly intriguing or have accomplished much of anything besides distracting the collective from the sputtering economy, expanding health problems, abductions, child murders, foreclosures, overweight kids, neighborhood meth labs, garden variety jihads, and personal responsibility.  To that end, I am aghast that, by far, the most fascinating rose of all was not plucked for the Top of the Everything list:

Sixteen-year-old child bride Courtney Stodden is like something created in the basement of Perez Hilton while tweaking out on a meth-mushroom bender with a side of speed-ball and Lindsay Lohan assisting.  She is so fantastically awful and over-done that I can not turn away!  And her fifty one-year-old geezer husband gives me some serious heebie-jeebies.  I have yet to dedicate a post to Mrs. Hutchison, because I just don’t think that I can summon the right words to capture all of my feelings.  You understand, don’t you?  I vow, though, to spend a chunk of 2012 bringing her story of courage and love to the people so that next year, Courtney will take her rightful spot in Barbara’s hot seat.

Car flair can stick it

22 Sep

More observations from the road

If Snakebite were allowed to cuss, which she is not, this is what she would have said to me on a recent road trip, “Mom, what in the hell is with all of the shit people put on their cars?”  Because I am raising her to be a lady (uh-huh) she instead asked, “What’s with all the car flair?”  Living in an area where private schools are numerous, country clubs are abundant and people like to throw money at whoever is running for office, we are used to seeing a lot of bumper stickers.  Now, I have always thought that this cleverly served a three prong purpose: first, all of the school annual fund support stickers keep meddling mothers off your back in the carpool line.  That sticker lets people know you’ve done your part and so you can move on to chatting about something more important than the school’s scholarship kitty or the endowment fund, like who’s gotten bad lip injections or where to download DSW coupons.  Secondly, “The Club” membership sticker lets potential car-jackers know that you have a mean backhand, a nine iron under the front seat and are damn near close to broke after paying tuition at aforementioned school on top of monthly dues.  That Club sticker says, “I got nothing to lose, so bring it!”  And lastly, the political campaign sticker tells state troopers that you are connected and you will likely weasel out of paying off any speeding ticket; that even pulling you over for a finger wagging is an exercise in futility.

But Snakebite pointed out all this other stuff and before I knew what was happening it seemed like every car we saw had some sort of gratuitous crap on it beyond the 1980’s Baby on Board hold over, that smug “Coexist” one or bragging rights for a seven-year old honor student.  If your seven-year old isn’t an honor student, I will pray for you.  You know when I’ll be impressed?  When that sticker says “My child graduated magna cum laude from Princeton and I didn’t have to pay a dime.”

Just gag

We were particularly struck by the silliness of the giant rear window monograms.  I admit to loving having my stuff engraved or embroidered.  My brother, Chris, thinks that this is total bourgeois behavior, but I have to disagree.  It’s practical…it’s the time-tested upper-crust version of masking tape with your name written in Sharpie.  When babies all look alike and have the same smocked outfit on in the Church nursery, it is a much more genteel way to keep up with which one is yours.  And how many times have I left a cake server somewhere and had it returned because my scrolly letters were on the handle?  Well, actually never, but it would be true if I were forgetful enough to leave it some place.  But on a car?  Why?  Doesn’t it beep when you press your key?  Isn’t your license plate really just a Government Issue personalization…and it’s metal and one of a kind, not like that die-cut plastic peel-and-stick thing.  We give this two thumbs down and a frowny face.

Aww...just precious

And then there are the stick figures…we’d seen those before, but this was a new twist.  They have been flaired further by having team logos on their tiny t-shirts.  Puh-leeease!  Dork squared.

If only my car had a lapel...

‘Member when Hollywood slobbered all over AIDS awareness and introduced us to the red lapel ribbon?  Then breast cancer awareness took it on in pink and it snowballed from there.  I really couldn’t say which color is for what group, until now.  Thanks to magnetic car ribbons with the cause written on it, I can keep up.

However, not all car flair is on the body of the car.  A lot of people like cutesy antennae ornaments like this…

Punk rock car

Then there are people who have considered the body of their car, hog or truck an actual body and have made it anatomically correct.  That’s nucking futs!  May I present the best of the best?

Hot Tub made this truck writhe in pain by administering a swift kick

They are sold under many names, but Truck Nutz is the original.  They come in array of colors, including brass and chrome.  Some brands have kinky chains attached.  Despite my kids thinking they were hilarious, they are fairly controversial.  A case is going forward to trial in South Carolina sometime this month to neuter this novelty accessory.  States like Tennessee, Florida, Virginia and Maryland have tried to have them banned in the past on the grounds of indecency.  That’s especially ironic for Florida.  Letting your truck’s sack hang is you First Amendment right for the freedom of expression.  But just to be on the safe side, I’m ordering mine in camo.

Undercover ballz

Is middle age the new teenage rebellion?

29 Aug

So, I spent a week in Daytona Beach Shores with the tots recently.  When my mother died, my brothers and I inherited her place there.  If it were a car I might put a “Don’t laugh, it’s paid for” bumper sticker on it.  Would it be cooler if she had bought a house in Sea Side or the Outer Banks?  No doubt.  But she grew up going to Daytona as a girl and associated the longest, widest beach in the world with elegance, fun and great memories.  She never seemed to notice the ratty No-Tell Motels, comical NASCAR fans and even got a kick out of the dental-challenged old biker dudes that would flirt with her at the Oyster Pub.

Truthfully, Daytona is good for my soul.  We come down here and very few people know the phone number.  It’s much smaller than my Atlanta house so cleaning up is fast.  I never run in to anyone I know.  Most of the restaurants are pretty awful so fretting about where to have a broiled platter is not a taxing mental exercise.  Laundry is minimal.  The worst part is listening to Snakebite and Hot Tub piss and moan about going anywhere that doesn’t involve ice-cream or how they are hot and tired.  I try telling them about all of those Make-a-Wish kids who are literally dying to come to Florida and they look at me like I’m nuts and whisper back and forth behind my back.

The beach scene down here is not exactly a collection of pretty young people.  It’s the old timers who are the standouts.  In the morning, there are all manner of old, leathery people walking and jogging.  One morning I saw two old dudes paddle-boarding and a kicky older lady rocking her bikini and dancing her way down the beach in a combination of Electric Slide, tap dancing and the Charleston.  All dances that were popular in her day…and she looked amazing.  When these old-timers smile, their teeth are intact.  It’s like the realized promise of the 1970’s Geritol commercials.  This gives me hope for my golden years.  I may not be buff and have it goin’ on now, but maybe by the time I’m scratching seventy-something I’ll be sporting a thong and a belly chain.  You gotta dream big, people.

However, later in the day when the sun is pointed straight down, the AARP have abandoned the sand and surf for bridge matches, golf rounds, paddling the black-water creeks or painting lessons.  Okay, maybe they are sitting in a doctor’s office getting their Coumadin level checked or having a prostate exam.  I don’t really know where they go, but when they do, the B team comes in and, oh my.

I am all for letting your freak flag fly, but at some point you have to know when your flag just don’t look good.  What is wrong here?  The old people have their looks together, and the 20-50 demographic is a mess!  In the last ten years this group has played catch-up at the boardwalk tattoo parlors, gotten aggressive with a piercing gun and found somewhere that sells a new line of clothes inspired by Warrant videos.

What I am figuring out is that the new middle age is the old teenage rebellion.  These kinds of shenanigans used to be the exclusive property of misunderstood fourteen year-olds whose parents are divorcing.  By college they have it all out of their system and just move on.  Instead, I think there is some delayed happy childhood going on, what with all of the esteem-building crap that came out of Psychology Today and Phil Donahue, and people aren’t registering their disappointment with life until they are older and don’t need parental permission for that eyebrow piercing.  I think I’m on to something with this one.  All of these current middle age-ish people have been told that they are special snowflakes that can do and be anything.  It’s when they figure out that they aren’t going to be a princess or run Vivid Entertainment that the self-loathing sets in and they just proceed to pierce and ink the hell out of it to re-create that special, unique person again.  Then they showcase it in coconut oil and an ill-fitting swim suit or short-shorts.  Whoa.

Now, I admit that I take “fashion risks” when I am anonymous at the beach.  I may wear strapless, though my upper arms really need sleeves.  I forgo any make-up and never touch a blow dryer.  But it kinda works.  I swear.  And it certainly helps that tan+fat=muscle.  Always.  That said, if the majority of the people I see on the beach look half that way in “real life”, I might have discovered why unemployment is so high.  It has nothing to do with the economy, but with the pool that employers have to pick from.  I mean, is this who you hire to be the face of your business?

You know you’re in Florida when…

5 Aug

The billboards start to look like this…

(The “thumb’s up” picture on this sign looks suspiciously like G.I. Joe’s Kung Fu Grip)

Then, you have to reach around those…

When you are trying to fill up a hot, salty cup of these…

And you have to wait for Barefoot Bobby to finish buying lottery tickets at the gas station register counter…

And as you are paying, the cashier throws you the “You ain’t from around here” shade when your teenage daughter comes stomping into the store, fuming and furious that her brother is “using improper grammar on purpose and sounds like” one of these…

Getting a head start on graduation

24 May

As May comes to a close there is a flurry of graduation ceremonies.  I have gotten announcements for both college and high school commencements from family members this year.  Thank God, there were no actual invitations, so that I can just look at the pictures on Facebook and hit the thumb’s up “Like” button from the comfort of my sofa.

Speaking of Facebook, there is no shortage of status updates from attendees of all sorts of graduations this spring, for instance: “I can’t believe my baby is going to be in kindergarten next year.”  A-hem.  Or, “I cried all the way through the fifth grade graduation.”  Whaaaa?  Holy shit people.  Pull it together and look at the big picture! You know what would have me bawling my eyes out?  If 13 year-old Snakebite was still in pre-k or fifth grade was going to be the ceiling of Hot Tub’s experience with school.  If everyone else moved on and my kid was on auto-repeat I’d be a shrieking mess.

At what point did celebrating finishing elementary school become, like, a thing?   Isn’t it a law that all children have to go to school until they are sixteen or something?  By that account, these “graduations” should just be called “end of the year recital” or “final singing performance”.  Graduation, really?  I don’t remember any sort of transition ceremony for anything aside from getting to “bridge” in Brownies…and that was done in a classroom with two moms and a handful of nine year-old girls.  We got colored paper napkins, two trefoil cookies and some orange Hi-C when it was over.  Has this memorializing of expected everyday accomplishments become like a participation trophy for grown-ups?  Is it so if tragedy befalls, a mother can look back and say, “Her graduation was such a special day for our family, we were so proud,”? I don’t want to minimize getting over life’s hurdles, but is plowing through pre-school really one of them?

Who does this pre-graduation graduation business mean something to?  Not the kids, really.  When Snakebite “graduated” from fifth grade she wasn’t bursting with pride that she had carried on with our rich family tradition of knowing the branches of government and being able to cypher.  She just wanted to know if she was finally getting a cell phone.  She did.

We don’t have any special end of anything coming up this month that warrants a certificate and reception.  It’s making me feel a little out of the loop.  Can I just start having graduation fetes every spring for hitting my mile stones?  Like, this year I could graduate from being a stone-cold bitch to just being an ass.

Baby can’t work. Baby needs him check.

19 May

In the mid to late 90s, girlfriend Laurel’s husband, Mark, had the best job ever.  While taking a year to study for the MCAT and apply to schools, he had a part time gig working for an insurance company.  Not as a paper pusher.  Nor was he adjusting, estimating or cold calling for sales.  Mark had a “rape van”, a notebook and a camera with a telephoto lens.  He would stake out people who were making fraudulent disability claims and snap pictures of them mowing the lawn, lifting 55 gallon drums and working at roadside veggie stands.  He was a detective.  I love that shit!

Now a days, with the internets and all, being a disability detective isn’t quite as sneaky or invasive as it once was.  Dishonest, lazy people are usually not so smart, and a lot of them are creepy.  And are proud of it.  They will pretty much just hand you any damning evidence of what losers they are on a silver platter.  Or a TV show.

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn saw an unusual video clip from the National Geographic show, Taboo, that made the viral rounds recently.

It chronicles Stanley Thornton’s home life, where he lives with his caretaker/roommate Sandra Dias.  Stanley spends half of his day wearing a footed fleece onesie, drinking apple juice from a bottle, playing with Legos and listening to nursery rhymes.  Miss Sandra soothes him when he is cranky and makes sure that his diaper is always dry and that he gets plenty to eat.  Stanley is in the hundredth percentile on his growth chart.  At over three hundred and fifty pounds, him is such a big boy!  Stanley is an adult baby.  No.  I did not say that he is an adult, baby.  An adult baby.  Huh?

In the video you can catch a glimpse of how Stanley lives as an adult baby.  He sleeps in a scale size custom crib that he built himself.  Stanley spends play-time in a special converted play pen that can support his chubby, wittle thighs.  He carried out the modifications on his own.  Currently, Stanley is putting together a scale size high-chair where Miss Sandra can feed him mashed bananas and rice cereal.  Thank God the film crew skipped changing time.

Here comes the choo-choo train. Where's the tunnel? And OMG...are those Miss Sandra's breasts?

But wait, babies can’t build furniture, can they?  I mean you have to go to the Home Depot to pick out and buy the materials.  There’s measuring, sawing, drilling and screwing involved.  How can Baby Stanley do this?   Well, Stanley can put on his big boy pants and do all sorts of big-kid stuff too.  He can drive, design and build furniture and he even runs his own website, www.bedwettingabdl.com  The only thing he can’t seem to do is work at a j-o-b.  Baby Stanley and his caretaker, Miss Sandra, a former nurse, both receive Supplemental Security Income benefits in addition to support from the great state of California.  Both claim to be disabled and unable to work.  Whaaa!

Sen. Coburn has questioned why benefits are being paid to these two.  In a letter to Inspector General Patrick P. O’Carroll, Jr., he asserted that Stanley and Miss Sandra’s benefit collection just might be improper.  In response via email to The Washington Times, Stanley threw a little temper tantrum…clearly he is in his “terrible twos” phase.  Stanley did the written equivalent of holding his breath until his face turns blue:

“You wanna test how damn serious I am about leaving this world, screw with my check that pays for this apartment and food. Try it. See how serious I am. I don’t care…I have no problem killing myself. Take away the last thing keeping me here, and see what happens. Next time you see me on the news, it will be me in a body bag.”

Oh, Stanley.  It sounds like someone needs a nappy-wappy.

"Hush little baby, don't say a word..."

Recycled fashion: cool couture or haute mess?

9 May

Remember this dress?

It was made by and worn by costume designer Lizzy Gardiner when she won an Academy Award way back in 1994.  It was fashioned from 254 American Express gold cards.  It was pretty bad-ass, and ended up being a great marketing device for the credit card company.  And for better or worse, it also became an inspiration for people to start crapping out their own get-ups crafted out of everyday items.

Sweet date, nutty mom

Did you hear about Wisconsinite Tara Frey’s prom dress this year?  Her mother spent six years collecting Starburst candy wrappers and folding them with tweezers.  Once she had a mound of them, they were then woven into a dress, shoes, and clutch bag.  Mom even assembled a matching vest for Tara’s date.  Do you really want your daughter’s prom date to look at her like she’s a sweet piece of chewy candy???  I know Tara’s pain.  When I was in the sixth grade my mother made me a sweat suit to dress out in for PE.  She made it out of maroon terry cloth with white trim.  The fitted elastic waist pants were boot cut and the top was v-necked with an embroidered bouquet of white flowers off to the side.  It. Was. Awful.  And I had to wear it, just like Tara had to wear that candy trash dress.  At least my Mom didn’t alert the media outlets and there were no camera phones for snarky middle school girls to take pictures of me failing middle school fashion rules and the Presidential Fitness Test.

The Sexual Revolution convinced women to be creative and to, uh, think outside of the box with every thing from their societal roles to what they wear.  This sort of thinking led to the likes of Wendy O’Williams electrical tape fetish…

The movie Fried Green Tomatoes even poked fun of the notion when Kathy Bates’ character festooned herself in Saran Wrap to get her husband’s motor running.  Btw, it didn’t work.  Can you imagine why not?

The best way to preserve left overs

Slutty girls love to make non-traditional choices with their clothes.  But the ones that eschew tube tops and hot pants for belted trash bags or beer can bustiers send the message that they are more creative than other slutty girls.  And more creative slutty girls are more…creative?

Don't say you weren't warned to stay out

But it isn’t just over-sexed co-eds who love to turn old items into new fashion.  Hippies and proponents of the green movement have been making itchy sweaters out of hemp, shoes out of old tires and parachutes plus purses out of bastardized blue jeans for, like, ever.  Ugh.  I’m not even inserting a picture here.  If you’ve been to a Whole Foods or a Farmer’s Market recently you already have the visual.

And every season on Project Runway there is a challenge to make an outfit out of something like plants or house wares.  Edgy.  Nothing says take me out to a nice restaurant like a ball gown made of forks and cinnimon cans.

But hipsters, crazy moms, high school hookers and pot farmers ain’t got nothing on hobos.  When you live in a newspaper tent at an underpass, you’ve risked it all already and your fashion choices are merely child’s play.  You feel free to experiment with texture, structure and material.  The homeless folks wardrobe inventions are infinitely more wearable and useable than most crappy craft creations.  Take this guy, for instance…

Bag lady's husband

This dude is always dry when it rains.  And if he’s near by when your dog drops and unexpected deuce on the sidewalk, you can get a bag from him.   And what about this milliner…

New twist on a Box Top

his chapeau (that’s fancy French for hat) not only shields his eyes from the sun and keeps his head warm, but when that pesky sun goes down he can crawl inside of it.  Essentially, he has transformed himself into a snail.  Speaking of transforming, check out this mass-produced hobo inspired look…

This is called the Selk Suit and it is a sleeping bag suit.  It picks up where the Snuggie left off.  It has soles so you can walk behind a shopping cart all day long and not tear up your feet.  It has sleeves so your arms are mobile and your hands are free to hold a bottle of Night Train in one and a short in the other.  Genius.  This is where form follows function.  This is fashion with a purpose, not like this…

Being a mother is the pass jackpot

5 May

Just in case you missed the assault of flower delivery, jewelry store and greeting card commercials, there is a BIG holiday coming up.  No, I’m not talking about the U.S. Distributorship for Corona and Taco Bell sanctioned Cinco de Mayo.  It’s Mother’s Day. This year will be my thirteenth year of getting in on the action.  The first handful of pregnant months I had were filled with a lot of “Oh shit!  What have we done?”  I never really liked kids all that much and it occurred to me around month five that there were only two ways “it” was going to get out of me, and neither seemed all that agreeable.  And babies are one of those things that you can’t ever give back without looking like a total monster to your friends and family.

Aaaw!

Luckily, it came out, we named her and gave her food.  It went so well that we added a boy one.  Big Daddy is an architect and he likes symmetry.  We couldn’t have planned it any better.  Oh, wait.  It was planned.  As it turns out, being a Mom has been pretty cool.  Sure there’s that whole thing about witnessing the miracle of birth, the outpouring of empathy for mankind that makes me cry when I watch Oprah now and the unbridled love for anything that is needy.  That’s all true.  But there are so many other perks…

Teen boogie shoes

For instance:  on Friday night I am chaperoning a dance at Snakebite’s school.  I am way giddy over getting to watch middle-schoolers in their social element.  Snakebite is socially cautious, so she’s not a good measuring stick for what Good Morning America tells me is going on with teens these days.  I am getting access to whether or not they all really want to be Kardashians and Biebers like E! News says, if they are sucking on meth pipes like 48 Hours insists they are, or if 1 in 10 of them might be pregnant like in InTouch Weekly swears.  If I weren’t a mother, I’d just be some creepy middle-aged woman hanging out oogling a bunch of 13 year-olds with excessive interest.And I love going to Little League games.  It’s okay because I’m a mother.  Any other singleton hanging around the batting cages necessitates an email blast to the community, snapping a secret picture with my iphone and possibly a call to 911.

Being a mother gets you a weight gain pass, too:  “Oh, did you see Mrs. X at the reunion?  Jeesh, did she blow up!  What?  They have three kids?  Are you kidding me?  She looks amazing for three kids.”

And a fashion pass.  “Mom jeans” didn’t just name themselves. Women who have a glass, or two, of wine every night could seem a little sad.  For mothers, it gets shrugged off as “therapeutic Mommy Juice”.  She’s just unwinding.

But best of all, being a certified mother allows me to make snarky and informed comments when I watch I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant, The Duggars: 19 Kids and Counting, Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2 or Supernanny.  And I can make grand, sweeping proclamations about random kids in public centering around what I wouldn’t put up with…and it counts.

Grimm casting

2 May

I think that the call went a little something like this:

“Hello.  Is this Central Casting?”

“Yes.  How may I help you?”

“We’re putting on a wedding with a sort of fairy-tale theme going on.  We’ve got a handsome prince, a beautiful commoner becoming a princess, carriages with prancing horses, indoor trees…in other words, the dream.  We even have a step-mother.  However, we are looking to add in some evil step-sister types.  You know, something straight out a Brothers Grimm book.  Do you have anything to fit that?”

“I think that we have just the girls for the job.  I’ll send them right over.”

Gagging on Gaga

19 Apr

Stefani Germanotta Lady Gag(a) rolled into town last night to do her thang.  Hot Damn had better stuff to do, like staying at home to wash her hair.  Because I’m never far from some sort of communicating device, I saw lots of pictures and was pummeled by the play by play on Facebook and Twitter.  Of course Gaga continued her ridiculous banter where she lovingly called fans “her little monsters”.  Personally, I have always understood calling someone a monster to be unflattering.  Aileen Wuornos; that’s a monster.  Ten year old girls with bad musical taste and newly minted gays?  Not really.  But, a case could be made…

Gaga fan let the cat INTO the closet

Known for her outlandish get-ups and performance art styling, Stefani’s Gaga’s look is cutting edge.  Of what, I am uncertain.  Just days ago, adorable “little monster” fan Angela Barnes really went for it when choosing an unconventional standout look to wear to Gaga’s Oklahoma City concert.  Feeling the pressure to dress to impress, Angela got very creative and reigned in the family kitty to inspire her costume.  Oh, wait.  Maybe inspire isn’t the right word choice.  No, no.  I think it’s sacrifice.  Yes, that’s it.  Twenty-year-old Angela mutilated kitty and streaked her face and a long coat in kitty’s blood.  She also put kitty’s liver in a makeup compact…presumably for freshening up her face at the show.  “Little Monster”?  Perfect.

In the past couple of weeks Stefani has been in the media a lot.  There is the video of her busting ass at a concert…

And she’s releasing a new single.  It’s called “Judas”.  Just in time for Easter.

Gag(a) also did a photo shoot and interview for The May cover of Harper’s Bazaar.  I don’t think I have ever rolled my eyes as often or as forcefully as I did when I read it.  Because I have gone there, you don’t have to.  You’re welcome.  In summary, interviewer Derek Blasberg asked about the new pointy horns that “sprouted” from her head and shoulders when she incubated and was reborn on the Grammy Awards show.

Horned cover girl 

“Well, first of all,” she says, “they’re not prosthetics. They’re my bones.”

Okay, so when did the bones appear?

“They’ve always been inside of me, but I have been waiting for the right time to reveal to the universe who I truly am.”

Did she will them to come out for this album?

“They come out when I’m inspired.”

Is she worried that this new look will inspire other people to “grow” similar bones?

“We all have these bones!” she says tersely. “They’re the light from inside of us.”

Errant bones that grow and shrink at will?  We have light inside of us?  Oh, crap.  My doctor has said nothing to me about this, but it could explain so much.

Stefani continues to yawn on nonsensically when she turns her focus to slighting pretty Hollywood types…

“I have never had plastic surgery, and there are many pop singers who have. I think that promoting insecurity in the form of plastic surgery is infinitely more harmful than an artistic expression related to body modification.”

Gaga says, "No".

“And how many models and actresses do you see on magazine covers who have brand-new faces and have had plastic surgery, while I myself have never had any plastic surgery? I am an artist, and I have the ability and the free will to choose the way the world will envision me.”

Wait one hot minute.  So, she has the right to alter her appearance through body modification, but no one else can?  What. A. Bitch.  But then she qualifies her stance on traditional celebrity culture for celebrities and barfed out this gem:

“Am I going to try and embrace Hollywood and assimilate to that culture?  I put my toe in that water, and it was a Kegel-exercise vaginal reaction where I clenched and had to retract immediately.”

In her final attempt at sounding provocative and meaningful,

“I’ve always wanted to be an adjective.”

Object of thirteen year old sci-fi dork fantasies

I have an adjective:  fucking ridiculous.  There.

Play sexy

29 Mar

Everyone is in a tizzy over Abercrombie & Fitch’s new bikini for young girls.  It’s called the Ashley and the smallest size is for eight-year-old girls.  The big gripe isn’t so much that it’s on the skimpy side of things, but that the top has push up pads in it, so that young girls don’t feel self conscious about their chesticles.  It can really cause a lot of anxiety for a girl to not be able to fill out her swimsuit.  Especially in the second grade when she isn’t yet confident enough to tell her playmates at the sandcastle to “Suck it!”.  Really, I don’t see what the BFD is.  Parents buy baseball inspired outfits for their young boys that say “L’il Slugger” on the front, anticipating growing an NBL pitcher.  Daughters twirl in ballerina inspired dresses, dreaming of one day being a principle dancer of a famous ballet company.  Maybe the aspirations that some parents assign their daughters are a little less lofty and a bit more…pedestrian.  Now, doesn’t that bikini top start to make sense?  Because,  let’s make no mistake…eight year-olds aren’t driving themselves to the mall and throwing down the plastic for some new swimsuits to train in.  Mawma and Diddy need to get that money-maker out there early if they want their little precious to be successful in dancing, acting on an “unscripted set”, landing a pro-ball player in lieu of college or where ever she sets her sights.

There is a lot more to it than an A&F bikini to usher little girls along the twisted path of sexual dysmorphia and daddy issues that will lead to an early start on a fruitful career at Tattletales.  I’m not even going to talk about lucite shoes, degrading rap lyrics or Club Disney shows.  I’m a talk about toys.  For decades, feminists have ranted and raved about the unrealistic body image that Barbie dolls presented to young girls.   Mattel mitigated that by giving Barbie her choice in profession, ethnic friends and recently letting her divorce that eunuch husband of hers, Ken.  He was boring.  In more recent years, the Bratz dolls upped the ante by being soft and plush…a perfect snuggly slut baby doll for toddlers.  But just like Hollywood can’t come up with many new ideas, toy makers are now looking to the vamp up past victories for today’s market place.

Strawberry Shortcake works as a stage name

Strawberry Shortcake first came on the scene in the early 1980s.  Her acrylic hair was actually infused with the scent of fresh, wholesome strawberries.  Her friends Blueberry Muffin and Lemon Meringue smelled just as sweet.  What do you think their new-millennium effigies smells like?  I’m betting it’s a combination of cigarette smoke, stale beer and motor-court bedsheets.

Brushes teeth with a bottle Jack

Rainbow Brite now looks like an anime Ke$ha getting ready to dose up with some ecstasy and hit a rave.  I’ll bet she pays at the door with all $1 bills then grinds her jaw all night while giving Starlite the Catherine the Great “come hither” eye.  Shudder.

Pole ready

Dora the Explorer has been to see Dr. 90210 and also made friends with celebrity hair weaver, Ken Paves.  Dora has lost her pudge, injected a little Restylane in her lips, gotten Kardashian extensions and is just shy a pair of leggings and a trapeze top of the pole.  Last year, Nickelodeon teased audiences with her makeover by releasing a silhouette of Dora, before the “big reveal”.

Looks like a mudflap

Just like on Fox’s The Swan.  I wonder if Dora can say “Love you long time” in Spanish.

Hope Magic Milan has condoms in her purse

Not all little girls want to spend time with dolls, though.  They can be a little creepy at night when the full moon is shining through your bedroom window.  What is a parent to do if they want their daughter to have appropriate toys to model and role-play being flirty with???  Thank heavens for the toymaker Playmate (seriously) and their contribution of a line of fashionista whorses.  They are called Struts.  Rhymes with sluts.  Pictured here is Magic Milan.  She is wearing high-heeled horseshoes, dangly earrings and what appears to be a purple and black lace bustier.  Damn, that’s one hot filly!

Trollz...with a z

Even Troll dolls have been retooled.  Now they are called Trollz, because substituting a z for an s is kewl.  But these little figures have a powerful messsage for today’s wallflower little girls: just because you’re a troll, doesn’t mean you can’t be sexy.  Miley Cyrus has built an empire on that premise.  Oops, did I type that out loud?

Sour puss

24 Mar

Oh, spring time…you minx!  You…with your blossoms and blooms, your warm sunshine, sprigs of green grass and patio dining.  Your chirping birds, outdoor festivals, and open windows feed my soul.  The things to love and glory in during the late days of March and early days of April are many.  But every action has an opposite and equal reaction, or something like that.  For every morning without an overcoat, there is a dude with flabby man-boobs thinking it’s okay to jog shirtless around the park.  For every whiff of the white clematis vine over my garage doors, there is a pint of pollen being dumped in my face holes.  And for every missing Christmas tree lot there is a god forsaken lemonade stand.  I may just be the Grinch of spring.

When I was a kid all I wanted to do on a pretty day was have a lemonade stand.  My mother put the ixnay on it almost every time.  My kids want to have a lemonade stand, too, and I continue the family tradition of not letting them participate in that kind of messed up economic system.  In what universe does it make sense to pour Gatorade into Solo cups and charge $.25 for it???  Maybe this is the sort of thing that Venezuelan nut-job Cesar Chavez was talking about earlier this week when he said that capitalism destroyed life on Mars.  After supplies for sign making, the pain-in-the-ass cost of sticky lemonade getting spilled all over my kitchen counters and floor, and about $10 at Publix for cups and concentrate…well you do the math, genius.  But you know what’s worse than my own kids wanting to just give it away?  Other kids’ lemonade stands, that’s what.

Hall had a baseball game last Saturday and at the corner just before the driveway to the ball field was a gaggle of about 5 or 6 kids with a lemonade stand.  I think they wanted something crazy like $.50 for a cup of warm, diluted Crystal Light.  Because there was a stop sign, I had to stop and they all started coming at me like a bunch of hobos with squirt bottles and rags at the North Avenue exit.  My first instinct was to lock my doors and grab the mace.  You know what though?  I wasn’t going to be intimidated, plus no one’s Mom was there to give me a disapproving glare.  I didn’t buy their lemonade.  I had a big water bottle with me already (because I live in Georgia and prepare for hot days in the car) and was just fine.  To show that there were no hard feelings I shot them my best smile and a wave.  They jumped up and down, then started yelling at me like a pack of jackals and giving me the fist in the air.  All I could think was, “Oh, how adorable.  What a bunch of little a-holes.”  How is that for a warm spring afternoon at the ball field?  It’s the stuff of Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post.

Gwyneth is special

9 Mar

Anyone who knows me for reals, knows how much time I like to dedicate to highlighting that style of parenting that is all about a child’s almighty self-esteem.  You know the parents that keep telling their kids, “You can do it!  You are special!”  Step off Mom.  Back away Dad.  Just because your precious can do something, doesn’t mean they do it well…doesn’t mean that they should continue doing it.  Thanks to them, I am stuck in a world where there is a whole segment of society that is convinced that they rock at everything, and they have no shortage of enablers out there clapping along like trained seals and nodding like heroine-kicking bobble heads.  Sometimes those enablers are Hollywood producers, media outlets and a lot of people who’ve just gone numb.

Concentrating on the chords

For the love of God, please make Gwyneth stop.  Tell her no.  I can’t take it anymore.  Yes, good job Blythe Danner and Bruce Paltrow with the whole encouraging of the acting.  That worked out just fine.  No qualms.  But then Daddy thought that Baby could sing real pretty and made a whole movie for her to sing in.  Remember Duets, with Huey Lewis?  The easy-listening stations loved their croon, “Cruisin’”.  I ‘spose it was serviceable.  I mean, I sing in the shower and at stoplights, and it’s so awful it jars even me.  I can appreciate that “Cruisin’” was inoffensive, but I won’t say that it was great. It was enough and that should have been the end of it.

Adult-contemporary Gwyneth

After failed relationships with Brad Pitt, remember their matching hair-don’ts during their brief engagement…

Wonder Twin powers...activate!

and Ben Affleck, she married the most boring front man ever, Chris Martin of Cold Play….

Bland

Lack of excitement and moving “across the pond” was the perfect storm of smugness  and boost in self-regard for Gwynie.  This is when she started name dropping “Madge” and witnessing about macrobiotic diets and cupping.

Looks like a nasty case of ringworm to me

There are a couple of years where there isn’t a picture of Gwyneth without that dumb yoga mat rolled up under her arm.  At some point her encouraging mother and ass-hat friends must have said, “Oh Gwyneth, please share your knowledge and wisdom with the world.  Pretty pleeeeease.  You can do it.”  And then she gave birth to something with a worse name than Apple or Moses:  Goop.  That’s her blog.

The "All Doing" Gwyneth

Gwyneth dispenses advice through her blog and directs her audience to things that are super accessible, that can only enhance their lives and make them feel better, smarter and superior, like colon detoxes that run about $1200 a week, the best French pharmacy beauty finds, planning a trip to Hong Kong or Stella McCartney’s must have workout pants.  It was when I read this particular entry that I started stitching my Gwyneth voodoo doll once I quit choking on my own tongue.  She recounts a day in her life from waking up and decorating and stuffing shoe boxes for a Toy-drive with her selfless children before taking them to school, to personal trainer time, fittings (which six outfits am I going to pick for someone to pack for my trip???), phone calls, baking cupcakes, giving foot massages and a girls night out.  At no time does she make mention of a nanny, assistant or troll, and yet the kids got home from school, someone cooked their dinner and we assume that she didn’t leave them home alone while she went out for a glass of organic ice wine.  Ughhhhhh!

Then there is this damn Glee situation.  I don’t watch that show.  Can’t stand it, actually.  But the rest of the country wets their collective pants every time there’s a new episode and I am besieged by whatever happened.  Damn Gwyneth, or as Dlisted’s Michael C calls her, Fishsticks, was on it again this week.  The last time she sang a sanitized version of Cee-Lo’s “F*ck You”.  It got replayed ad nauseum.  And as a further eff to my ears, she did it again for the Grammy’s.  To quote Cee-Lo, “Whyyyyyyy?”  This time around she tried Joan Jett.  Exactly.  Of course, that totally makes sense.

As if

I suffered silently through her live performance of her Country Strong song during the Academy Awards.  You know, the award show where, on the red carpet, she said that she really wants to work with Jay-Z.  I think that was just after she made a point of telling the reporter that earlier in the day she ate an entire turkey burger with the bun and drank a Guinness.  You don’t say?  But I must draw the line.  This week, Atlantic Records signed Fishsticks to a $900,000.00 deal for a full-length album, or whatever they’re called these days.  Again, Whyyyyyy?

How can we make this stop?  Why does America keep saying, “Yes” instead of “Shut the hell up and just act!”?  Do we really need to make Gwyneth feel good about her mediocre singing?  Does she really need our approval about colon cleansing and farming out the bake sale stuff to the help?  People, I am begging you to turn away and end this foolery now.  It’s what’s best for all of us.