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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

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

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

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

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

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The (Loser) Cruiser

The Aztek

The Aztek

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

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

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

These come in several  limited edition "wrong" flavors

These come in several limited edition “wrong” flavors

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

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

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

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

Punk'n Poo

Punk’n Poo

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

Come into Autumn

Come into Autumn

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

Glide it on your gourd

Glide it on your gourd

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

Happy Fall, Everyone!

Dead Market

5 Aug

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

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

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

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

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

What horrors await behind the front door?

What horrors await behind the front door?

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Nov

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

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She’s the one that’s 16???

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nice punkin’s

…Celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus…

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‘Ho! ‘Ho! ‘Ho!

…Or just out grocery shopping on a Tuesday

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

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Stay strong, bitches!

leToy dogs are not weapons. Kinda.

2 May

The happy couple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UnPimp Pope

14 Mar

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

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

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

Who knew there were Corgis in olden times?

Who knew there were Corgis in olden times?

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

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

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Ex-Benedict in a flirty red and white ensemble

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Festive pimp attire

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Theme dressing for St. Patrick’s Day

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

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

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The Popemobile

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A fine-ass Pimpmobile

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

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Raising his cup in style.  Holla!

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

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

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The higher the mount, the closer to God

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

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

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

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

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Statistical sore spot

6 Mar

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

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

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

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

According to the CDC,

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

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

Do you love Black History Month?

27 Feb

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

IMG_1442

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soul shake 2013!

Soul shake 2013!

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

This is how Atlanta celebrates BHM

This is how Atlanta really celebrates BHM

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

* This may not have been an exact quote

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

The smell of Fame…Fame stinks

14 Sep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A load of…fame

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

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

Someone get the vomit bucket!

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

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

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

Holy slutty fame!

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

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

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

Thank Sweet Jesus that her hair can grow through this mess

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

Screw dieting

13 Jul

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

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

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

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

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

Fiddy Shades of You’ve Got to be Kidding

9 Jul

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Rowse by any other name

5 Apr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Livin’ la vida Lotto

30 Mar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

painting by Brian Stewart

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!

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.

I’m not jerkin’, you can buy a merkin

19 Jan

Feeling fancy?

I thought about getting snarky about Paula Deen’s outing as a diabetic this week, but it’s kinda already been done to death by other bloggers and Anthony Bourdain. There isn’t much more to be said on the subject. Besides, I couldn’t let this jewel slide past y’all…

Apparently, the merkin business is making a come back. Seriously. Aren’t sure what a merkin is? Did you think I was talking about George W. Bush being proud to be a ‘Merican? No. It’s merkin. Sit down and take a deep one while I explain. Merkins are “pubic wigs” that are documented as being “worn” as far back back as the 1400s by hookers to either a) camouflage STD blisters and lesions on their money-maker or b) cover up a hoo-ha that was shaved to combat crabs and lice. Eew. Nowadays, merkins are occasionally worn by actors or actresses whose roles require a frontal nude scene and they need to either a) skirt around “technical” nudity issues or b) appear more faithful to the era they are portraying. For instance, Evan Rachel Wood smeared on some spirit gum and slapped on a bushy merkin for her role as Veda in the Golden Globe Award winning “Mildred Pierce”. Her 1930s era character, it seems, would not have sported a landing-strip styled coochie.

Flair for your fair

It should be no surprise that a “star” of the “Real Housewives of New York” franchise, Cindy Barshop, is championing today’s merkin revival. Is it ironic that a klassy reality “star” would be pedaling the wares of old, diseased and crusty prostitutes? Not in the least. Barshop owns a waxing salon where she is hawking two varieties of luxury wigs for confused clients. First, they get their downtown lady bits waxed bare and then replace their God-given nether-mane with either a plume of colored feathers, called the “Carnivale” or with a thatch of fox hair, which can be custom dyed. Think baby-doll pink or sky blue. It’s called the “Foxy Bikini”. Be prepared to spend upwards of $200 for this special look, which is touted to typically last about 3 days.

My head mind is swimming. It has just never occurred to me to get that kind of spiffy down there. Certainly, a lavender fox pelt is much less aggressive than some other recent trends in tootie grooming. The fetish community goes wild for piercings and tattoos down there. One of my favorite moments from “The Jerk” is when Steve Martin’s Navin R. Johnson is recounting Patty’s tattoos and pointing to his crotch says, “And she’s got one up here that says ‘slippery when wet’!” For the less committed, there are temporary tattoos that can be applied for some kinky flair.

Another trend that I find to be a real head scratcher is Vajazzling. This is the professional application of clear and colored Swarovski crystals in designs to accent the no-no place. Of course, if you are good with tweezers and a mirror, you could get one of the DIY kits. The results should last about 5 days. Looking at the company’s official website, it is noted that one may choose to Vajazzle because, “For some people, vajazzling is just about feeling good while others have significant reasons to go for the bling, which may include coping with a terrible break up or getting back the lost attention of your partner.” I can’t imagine that I would even want to regain the attention of a partner who is only lured in by shiny objects. Are these sad women sleeping with The Situation?

Apparently some men are also glamming their ham. Dudes could also sport a merkin, though I think that the “Carnivale” could be a bit tricky, looking more like a crazed mutant peacock and less like a festival. Vajazzing is not sexist.

Pucker up, Man!

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"

University drops smoking

7 Jan

Atlanta’s own Emory University had an announcement to make this week:  No Smoking Allowed.  Anywhere.  Not in campus buildings, dorms, outside of the library, not in a box next to a fox, or even in your own car with all of the windows rolled up.  Huh.  All tobacco products are banned from any place on campus.  This means cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipes, hookahs and bongs.  What is college without bongs???  I don’t know this world anymore.  Maybe this is why so many “online universities” are popping up.

I am presently not a smoker, but I used to be pretty hardcore.  I am seventeen years “clean”.  And that is a good thing now, but at the time I thought quitting was a power play and a hassle.  It’s like this: when Big Daddy and I started dating he would light my ciggies for me and was all gentlemanly about carrying a lighter in his pocket for my igniting needs.  Then things started getting serious and the hammer dropped: “I can’t marry a smoker.  You have to quit.”  Like a real woman, I recognized that if it’s a contest between always having a date who wants to give me jewelry and tagging a butt outside of a bar with a bunch of weirdoes, then I’ll take the former.  Done.

The saying isn't "Cigarettes are a girl's best friend" now, is it?

It was in the early 1990s that the tobacco Gestapo rose through the ranks and started messing with me.  It started with no longer allowing smoking on airplanes.  Before a 27-hour flight to Korea, I found my self in the glass enclosed smoke pit it the airport power smoking with the best of them.  Next came to eliminating a restaurant hostess’ most important question: “Smoking or non-smoking section?”, to no smoking in restaurants period.  And that extended to mall food courts, too.  Never again would I smell a group of pale, Goth teens sucking on clove cigarettes while enjoying an Orange Julius.  The lovably cool Joe Camel was crucified and Marlboro points were moot.  Really, Big Daddy’s decree was rather timely, because the other Man was taking away all the freedom of smoking anyway.  I imagine this is how motorcycle enthusiasts felt when states began enforcing helmet laws.  Sure, the Man was looking out for the people’s “health”, but it was also draping a wet wool blanket on the joy.

So hard?

“They” say the quitting smoking is harder than weaning off of heroine.  Having never snorted, shot, smoked or anything else one can do with that stuff, I couldn’t say if this is true or not.  But it was my fear.  Thus, I had never before tried to quit, never wanted to and frankly didn’t see a reason.  My only experience with someone quitting smoking was with my step-dad, Tom.  And that was a doozy.

Let’s back up a bit.  I come from a long and rich line of smokers.  My parents smoked.  Their friends all smoked.  My aunts, uncles and cousins smoked.  In every public room of my house, there was a silver box or beautiful little julep cup full of Vantage 100s waiting to be smoked.  Every room had at least two fancy Waterford ashtrays.  This, by the way, isn’t a sign of growing up in a trailer park…this was classy, abundant and gracious living.  At the grocery store, buggies had clip-on aluminum ashtrays for housewives that liked to puff a cigarillo as they trolled the cereal aisle and thumped the produce.  Large canister ashtrays were in every department store.  And the “better” stores, like Neiman Marcus, would bring you a glass of wine and a beanbag ashtray for your Mom to the dressing room.  We had a huge basket at home of all of the different embellished matchbooks that we would collect from restaurants, banks, hotels…anywhere.  And lots of places also had their own logoed ashtrays.  We took a lot of those too.  It was a golden era.

See that ciggie wand. It's high-style!

Now, back to Tom.  At some point, maybe around 1986, Tom had a sketchy lung x-ray that turned out to be fine, but he was all shook up and he cold turkey quit smoking.  Never in the history of ex-smokers has there been a more smug and self-congratulatory ex-smoker.  Tom took every opportunity to wax on and on about his will power and discipline.  We just all rolled our eyes and closed our ears.  Fast-forward to the spring of 1989ish, when he travelled to Texas to see his middle son graduate from college.  Upon his return home, Tom was fidgety, restless and seemed to have developed a case of adult onset ADD.  The man had chronic ants in his pants and was using a stream of flimsy excuses to get the hell out of the house all of the time.  He kept every car’s gas tank topped off, bought every single size drill bit, one at a time, from Home Depot.  He picked up dry cleaning, ran nonsensical errands and was continually shaking the change in his pockets.  There was no doubt in my mother’s suspicious mind that Tom had rekindled love with his ex-wife while at their son’s graduation.  We assumed that he was really going out to call his former wife and whisper sweet nothings from the Gulf station’s pay phone…hence all the coin jiggling.  Mom hired a P.I. to tail him.  Tom wasn’t romancing his former yellow rose of Texas.  He was smooching on the filter of a cigarette.

Pretty little cancer sticks

 Because Tom had been such a pain in the ass and gloated so much about his dynamic power to just quit, he was unable to admit that he had begun not just smoking again, but making up for lost time.  When confronted, he denied, denied, denied.  “Catch Tom In The Act” became a fun family game.  When I uncovered two cartons of Vantages in the pool pump house, he blamed it on the next-door neighbor’s 12 year-old son.  If I was at the house and he would declare he was going to buy some wood screws, I would insist on going to Home Depot for some mythical need too, just for fun and to watch his squirm.  Because we worked together at a chemical plant, I would run up to the warehouse overlook window to spy him huddled behind a 20 ft. tall pallet tower of bleach boxes…smoking.  One time, unbeknownst to Tom, I was behind him on Powers Ferry Rd.  when he tossed a spent butt out of his car window and it landed on the hood of my car.  Swear.  In Hawaii, my oldest stepbrother, also named Tom, busted him smoking an Eve 120, snaked from Mother’s pack.  It was a new low.  Eve 120 cigarettes are super long, ultra-thin cigarettes decorated with flowers along the filter.  My macho, manly, retired Air Force fighter pilot Dad was hiding out with pretty, pretty lady cigarettes.  It turns out that the graduating stepbrother…hadn’t.  He hadn’t even gone to most of college.  Poor, disappointed Tom was too embarrassed to tell my Mom, who most certainly would have had lots to say about it.  Instead, he turned to his old pal, tobacco.  We were just relieved he wasn’t having an affair with the ex.  We thought it was kind of a hoot, but he remained ashamed of his smoking habit until he died years later.  While it was openly known he was smoking, he never did smoke again in public.  His pride just couldn’t have handled it.

My own bout with smoking cessation?  Well, my motivation was…motivating.  It took me about three days. As this post has already grown into a novella, I’ll save that funny story for another time.  However, I will say that if stopping is harder than kicking heroine, then I think all of those scabby, shaky, puking black-tar junkies are a bunch of lightweights.  I have no respect for them.  Losers.

I’ll wrap it up with this little thought nugget.  I have one friend who still smokes, but she’s cut waaay back.  I have one aunt and two cousins who are still smokers.  You can no longer smoke at work, at the grocery store, while pumping gas, at your favorite restaurant, anywhere in the airport and now, with Emory’s decree, there is a precedent to prevent smoking while enclosed in your own private property.  And the cost of a pack of cigarettes is out of hand.  Do I think it’s “good” that people aren’t smoking anymore?  Yep.  I feel much better, though I didn’t realize I even felt bad.  My kids are totally freaked and obnoxious when they see or smell someone smoking.  But, I have to wonder if some of our country’s employment shift and woes can’t be tied to the vigilante lynching of our tobacco industry.  What are all of those former tobacco farmers growing now?  Corn for corn syrup?  All of the matchbook factories, ashtray fabricators and rolling plants…what has become of them and their employees?  How about the person whose job it was to remove dead smokes from the big, commercial ashtray canisters and then refills them with fresh sand to imprint the hotel’s logo into it?  I just have to wonder if while the end of smoking is good for us, has it been bad for our economic health.  Someone get me an impact study, stat!

Maybe they can get jobs at the smokeless cigarette kiosk at the mall?

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.

Chaz wasn’t the first to waltz across my screen

26 Oct

I recently had occasion to meet a woman who is “on strike”.  This past month, I’ve seen a lot of people on strike in the news, be it in protest of Georgia’s death penalty, Wall Street bonuses or hotel labor practices.  However, this lady was my first in-the-flesh striker.  Her cause?  “Get that Chaz Bono offa my Dancing with the Stars!”  Whoa.  Really?  “I never thought I’d see something like that in my lifetime…”  It turns out that the perversity that is Chaz Bono, twirling and dipping on live TV, pretty much sums up everything that is wrong, wrong, wrong with the world today.  She must be awash in relief in the wake of Chaz’ booting from DWTS last night.  I’m relieved too since this was all we have had to worry about.  Silly me; I have been fretting over dwindling job opportunities and escalating foreclosures, but it turns out that those sorts of things aren’t really root problems at all.  It’s Chaz, and the gays and the “ I don’t know whats” on public parade.  Personally, I did find watching Chaz waltzing across my screen uncomfortable, but not for THOSE reasons.  They kept putting him in those tight, stretchy outfits and I was afraid he was going to burst out of them like a bit of ruptured haggis.  I was afraid for my eyes, not my morality.

 

But as far as I can remember there have always been plenty of gay, lesbian and transgendered characters on television.  People talk about how amazing it is that there is EllenPeople magazine loves to slobber all over Glee for giving us a gay character.  Really?  This isn’t new.  It’s just that no one really had much to say about it.  Why?  I don’t know; I don’t care.  Any given episode of Hollywood Squares, which began airing in 1965, was likely to feature Rip Taylor, Charles Nelson Reilly, Paul Lynde or all three at once!  Back in the day, attention wasn’t so much focused on a character or actor’s preference or sexual identity, but you’d have to have been a moron to miss it.  Maybe we were all just a little more polite and didn’t need to exploit that kind of thing in the media so much.

Wildly popular early 1980s show Too Close for Comfort was premised on the two Rush daughters moving in to their parents’ deceased transvestite neighbor’s apartment.  The cross-dresser never makes it on screen, but loveable Monroe Ficus, played by Jim J. Bullock, sashayed through 118 episodes of the show.

And what about the ex-con turned sassy decorator, Anthony Bouvier, on Designing Women?  Oh, those southern women were too polite to ever state the obvious, but…am I right?

 

It is generally accepted that Jo Polniaczek on The Facts of Life was playing on her own team, if you know what I mean.  Nudge, nudge.  Wink, wink.  Even though in the past year the actress, Geri Jewell, who played Blair’s cousin, Geri, ‘fessed up, it was tomboy Jo, who set off the gaydar.  To “butch up” actress Nancy McKeon, the wardrobe department gave her a ponytail and a leather jacket.  In her spare time, Jo liked to work on her motorcycle.  Any questions?

There were so many other gay characters on the shows I watched as a kid.  Both goofy Alice and Sam: the Butcher on The Brady Bunch were most certainly bearding for one another.  Don’t you think?  And one being neat and one being sloppy wasn’t the only thing odd about The Odd Couple.  Come to think of it, Skipper and Gilligan were always happy to let Thurston Howell III, clutching his teddy, bunk with them on Gilligan’s IslandBewitched had stereo-typical clotheshorse Uncle Arthur, M.A.S.H. featured Corporal Max Klinger, who was begging to be called out for cross-dressing.  Janet from Three’s Company.  Hello?…oh, there are just too many to get into them all.  But the characters weren’t just limited to live action television.

Sensible Velma from Scooby Doo?  There wasn’t enough weed in the Mystery Van to convince Shaggy that she’d ever be receptive to hanging out and having a Scooby Snack with him.   I certainly didn’t need Charles Schultz to pen a memoir to tell me that Peppermint Patty and Marcy from Peanuts would one day become life partners.  And Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie.  That was a given.

Am I off course here?

Ding-dong! The Doctor will see you now

13 Oct

I swear that I am not picking on the fine people of Florida…it’s just that they make it so easy.  Here is a real headline from 2006: “Man Offers Free Breast Exams, Finds Some Takers”.  Here is a real headline from today: “Fake doc busted for offering door-to-door breast exams reaches deal”.  This all went down in Fort Lauderdale.  Of course it did.

The back story is that a 76 year-old-man, Phillip Winikoff, went knocking door to door in an apartment complex, offering to give women free breast exams.   Most certainly he either got this idea from a gas station t-shirt or from watching back episodes of Beavis and Butthead on Hulu.  Did they have Hulu in 2006?  He carried a little black medical bag to lend himself an air of legitimacy, which worked at least twice.  There has been no mention made as to whether or not he completed his look with the prerequisite stethoscope around the neck or a beeper affixed to the waistband of his sansabelt trousers.

Two women came forward who had been “examined” in the comfort of their own homes.  One patient, a thirty-six year-old female, decided something might be sketchy when her free breast exam included a bonus cervix check.  That was the tip-off.  Really?  It wasn’t that he wasn’t wearing one of those reflector head mirrors, or carrying a clipboard?  Jeesh.  Some people are sooo gullible.  Anyway, patient #1 called the police and the faux doctor split.  He was picked up by authorities while he was in mid-exam with another patient in the same complex.

Had the now 81 year-old Dr. Mr. Winikoff not reached a deal with the court, he could have received 45 years in prison for sexual battery and another 10 years for practicing medicine without a license.  The details of his “deal” have not been made public, but he seems to have avoided going to the big house, where he could have been on the receiving end of a lifetime supply of free proctology exams.

Vampires in Florida…What’s up, Doc?

4 Oct

Boo!

Anyone else remember when parents groups got all bunched up about the harmful societal effects that the Bugs Bunny cartoons were having on children?  This was probably around the late 1970s or early 1980s, when media rags like Psychology Today ramped up distribution and talk show host Phil Donahue was jaw-jacking through the miracle of television to Moms while they folded and ironed the laundry.  The gist was that violence in cartoons was causing aggressive behavior in pre-school tots that would later blossom into full-fledged criminal activity.  From then until now I don’t recall any news story of a teen attacking anyone with a cast-iron skillet, a moody adolescent trying to capture the object of his desire by placing an open lasso on the ground with some snacks within the circle or anything about luring children into cauldrons of boiling water to make Hasenpfeffer stew.  I have yet to receive delivery of a bomb making kit from Acme.  Of course, cats do continue trying to catch birds and chicken hawks are still breaking into hen houses.  What do I know?

Insert laugh track

However, I’ve had an unsettled feeling since that first Twilight movie, that trouble was afoot.  I was a bit off-put by how many grown women were going into full swoon over a young Robert Pattinson as misunderstood vampire, Edward Cullen.  Then another faction of women went weak in the knees for the taut Taylor Lautner as loveable werewolf, Jacob Black.  A t-shirt empire was built on whether you were on “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob”.  Ugh.  Ladies, puhlease.

Even Jacob, err Taylor, agrees with me

But it didn’t stop with housewives and their t-shirt messages.  Why not celebrate your love of all things vampire or werewolf with something less likely to shrink in the wash…though more likely to discolor and sag with time.  Enter the Twilight tattoo trend:

Someone is bringing the sexy back

 

Future turtleneck affecianado

If the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote inspired groups to boycott Warner Brothers cartoons, then surely the hint of pedophilia and body mutilation would have parent groups gabbing about the dangers of books and live action movies that romanticize bloodsuckers and body changers by coating them is glitter sparkles and soft fur over six pack abs.  Nope.

Unsexy undead Nosferatu...the way it should be

Maybe if the parent watchdog groups hadn’t been slacking we would have our vampire problem under control in this country.  Anyone else see this story in the news last week?  I must warn you, it’s out of Florida, so it is going to be full-frontal weird.  Panama City, Fl teen Stephanie Pistey, age 18, and four of her friends lured a 16 year-old boy to a house where he was beaten to death then dumped in a storm drain.  Oh, and the house?  It was where Stephanie was babysitting two children.  Stephanie’s explanation of why she was involved in this scene had her telling police, “Since I was like, 12 … I know this is going to be crazy, but I believe that I’m a vampire. Part of a vampire and part of a werewolf.”

Liger's cousin

Really?  A vampire in the sunshine state?  How can this be?  Then I looked at her Facebook page.  Stephanie likes blood, doesn’t read much, hates God and has atrocious spelling and grammar habits.  Her music pages included the likes of Soulja Boy, Hannah Montana, but the most revealing clue of all into her sinister psyche is an endearment to Miley Cyrus.  That. Explains. Everything.

Miley preparing to suck

Rolling old school

24 Sep

So, you think that you roll old-school because you don’t have a smart phone or rely on the internets?  You think that you live a simpler kind of life because you have an herb garden on your deck, take public transportation when you can and have a recycling bin?  I am here to tell you that you a’int nuthin’ compared to the bass-ass luddites in Kentucky.

Meet eight members of the gangsta Swartzentruber Amish sect out of Graves County, Kentucky.

They were booked into the big house for keeping it real, by refusing to bow down to the Man.  Were they going to affix orange reflective triangle flair to their buggies?  Hell no.  Were they gonna pay the fines for not jazzing up their buggies with what they considered to be religiously offensive flair?  Oh, hell-to-the-no!

Trump that, homies!

 

Moving into presidential elections

1 Aug

Oh, Gawd. And so it begins again…George Lopez has thrown in the first “if Sarah Palin becomes the president then I am moving to Canada” yawn. Every election, all manner of actors, musicians and “in the papers” types try to excite prospective voters with their fussy threats to vacate the premises if their favorite candidate doesn’t win. Remember when Alec Baldwin famously announced that he’d be singing “O Canada” if Al Gore wasn’t elected. Then he backpedaled, saying that he didn’t use words like “definately” or “unequivocal”. What evs. He’s still here and it hasn’t changed my life a bit.

But it brings into to focus that there is a presidential election brewing in our country. I don’t ever really get too stirred up until much later in the game and even then, I kinda take a “God’s will” attitude. The presidency just doesn’t seem to be as badass as it was for, say, George Washington or Teddy Roosevelt. Ronald Regan was pretty rock n’ roll. He left office last century in 1989. Since then, things have gotten a little, well, tacky and informal. I don’t want to see my leader having beer summits, talking about boxers v. briefs, chatting on daytime talk shows or jamming with a band. I want him, or her, to be stern and unyielding, not warm and fuzzy. I want intimidating, but not nuts. Bold, not loud. Sensible, not safe. Basically, if a person could embody a Diane VonFurstenberg wrap dress, he or she would get my vote.

We’re more than 17 months out from this next election…a lot can happen. No one needs to get all bunched up just yet. And really, will things change? What will be different? Barack Obama took the last election with a platform that promised hope and change. I realize that it’s only been a few years, but I don’t really see it. I think a lot of his supporters hoped that Obama would ride in on his majestic unicorn and wave his magical wand over late mortgages, disconnected utilities, sick children, terrorists and all would be well. It would be better than a campfire kumbaya. It would be the final full orchestra scene of a big stage produced musical, where everyone stands swaying with clasped hands while singing, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony)”. Confetti and balloons would drop, glistening tears of happy would be shed, children would smile in wonder, the infirm would drop their crutches and everyone would glow.

This time around looks like it may be more like a three-ring circus. Donald Trump’s hairpiece rumbled about running and tabloid goldmine Sara Palin remains viable. What if this next election takes the shape of the 2003 California recall race for governor? Among those 135 candidates were bitter child actor Gary Coleman, mogul author Arianna Huffington, porn star and Celebrity Rehab flunkie Mary Carey, purveyor of smut Larry Flint, and even Atlanta’s own incarcerated Scott Davis. Of course an Austrian bodybuilder turned Mr. Universe turned seven time Mr. Olympia turned box-office darling turned prolific breeder, Arnold Schwarzenegger, won.

According to our U.S. Constitution, to be eligible for candidacy in our country’s top election you need only be a natural born citizen, at least 35 years of age and have been a resident for 14 years. I’m out, because I adhere to being perpetually 29. But the door is wide open for a President Ron Jeremy, President J.R. Ewing or even a President Baldwin.