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No Knock, Knock: “Who’s there?”

12 Oct

F9FE48AD-838D-4120-AEE3-DCAF0DAA71A9This is pretty much one of the worst texts any mother can receive from her daughter, but it’s especially panic inducing when said daughter is living in a dorm… in another state… as a college freshman…with no pre-college friends… and is fighting a throat infection. “What could possibly go wrong? She’ll be fine,” I said to a worried Big Daddy months ago to quell  his Daddy-fears swirling around Snakebite leaving for college. When your precious daughter’s chronic shyness and inability to read subtle social cues has limited her exposure to most of the typical lifestyle experiences of average 13-18 year olds, you just worry that her naiveté on a college campus makes her the perfect mark for a certain kind of budding psychopath-narcissist. Apparently it does. Let me tell you about it…

Between 2am-3am last Monday morning, October 2, 2017, Snakebite was roused by someone rubbing her leg while growl-whispering her name with urgency. She propped up and made out a dude standing near the top of her loft ladder and hunching above her bed. He said he was there to check on her, to see if she was feeling better. She was stunned, but told him he should leave. He said that he was hoping to spend the night cuddling with her because it was cold outside. He had walked 45 minutes to get there and thought she was being rude and ungrateful by not inviting him to get cozy. She calmly said he had to go, citing that she and her roommate have an understanding about not having over-night guests without an advance agreement. It’s the time-honored “blame it on the dog” of trying to politely decline a hook-up when you’re a girl who feels uncomfortable, but who is nice enough to want to spare someone’s feelings. Snakebite’s roommate, who was also sick and a known light sleeper, immediately sensed when someone was entering their room. C’N (not roomie’s real name, but I haven’t nicknamed her yet) began to make some sheet rustling noises so that both the intruder and Snakebite would know there was a witness. That’s pretty crafty, really. When he realized they weren’t alone and got nothing but unwavering pushback, he angrily left, slamming the door.

Who was this ‘Whee-hours Creeping Cuddler? Just some guy that she’d only just met the prior Friday while hanging out on campus. (College is in the mountains, so people are constantly standing or lying around outside, just waiting to be interacted with.) That was just 2 1/2 sleeps from this early morning wake-up call. They had hung out, chatted and Snakebite also gave him a ride to the Walmarts to buy some cold medicine; he was coming down with the crud. Snakebite had Snap-Chatted (I hate that app so much), or whatever the kids call it, with him some over the weekend, but Saturday and Sunday was mostly spent inside trying to stave off a developing sore throat.

What do we know about him…now? Well, this boy isn’t a student, he’s on Tender looking for something, he’s on the verge of being homeless because his roommate is sick of his shit and kicking him out of the trailer. He’s unemployed since being fired from his job at the Mexican restaurant next to Walmart. At 20, The Cuddler doesn’t have a car. Word on the street is that he loves and owns pistols. In the three years as an adult in the eyes of the law, he has been charged with assaulting a woman, resisting arrest, manufacturing marijuana, selling or delivering weed to someone under the age of 13 and sundry misdemeanors. There’s no telling how stuffed his juvie record might be. On Twitter he once posted shirtless selfie-mirror pictures to broadcast a chiseled physique accompanied with an a.p.b. diatribe covering how he’d been bullied in high school for being a fat kid, but now he is jacked. It finished with a simple statement that he wants to be “known”. Are you getting the shudders yet? He proudly boasts that he would never date a girl weighing more than 135 lbs. (Good thing he’s on the short size.) One of his Facebook profiles says that he went to “modeling college” in California and was a Hollister “site model” (millennial-speak for Floor Sales Associate at the mall), but when I googled him, I only found a few editions of Fuzzbusted that he had featured in as a “print model”. Is Snakebite crazy for passing on this prize? I mean, who in the hell gets fired from a Mexican restaurant in the mountains? These are the broadest strokes of the whack-a-doodle who fixated on my baby, figured out where to find her and waited until someone either entered her dorm with their magnetic card swipe or exited the dorm and then he just slipped through a closing door. Within minutes of his dismissal from the dorm, a barrage of angry, threatening, pleading, belittling and scattilogical texts began filling Snakebite’s phone.

D1BE8E69-96D5-41C4-89E3-9184B8045D7EWe are grateful that the ‘Whee-hours Creeping Cuddler is no master-mind. This could be a different post, otherwise. Despite having a poor, not so good plan, he still managed to find his way to Snakebite’s top-floor and end of the hall dorm room to shimmy up her loft ladder without her waking up. She had never even told him what dorm she lives in. I can’t imagine that getting caught trespassing, entering, assaulting two girls and communicating threats will garner this parolee any brownie points with his P.O. (parole officer).  The Cuddler should soon be bunking in his own sort of dorm… I hope he provides “companionship” to a very lonely, cuddling cellmate on chilly nights. What’s worrisome is that if this mountain-top moron was able to get himself inside of Snakebite’s dorm room, it must not be too difficult for any determined uninvited guest to get in dorms.

Friends, please, please, please remind your daughters and her friends to never assume that because they are in their own dorm room they are out of harm’s way. Talk with your kids, but daughters, especially, about how:

  1. Not everybody that they meet hanging out in the Quad is a student. As a college freshman it’s difficult to tease apart the nuances between a student who grew up close-by and an up-to-no-good townie who hangs out on a college campus because in a teensy town, that’s the only place that provides groups of similarly aged playmates. Some townies may even seek buttoning down a relationship with a college kid as a ticket out of their shitty town.
  2. Take new paths…literally. Tell your kids to not broadcast their schedule on social media and to switch up their routines when possible. Walk different routes to classes and back to the dorm. Be unpredictable. Notice what people she regularly sees when she’s out moving around. Be with, and visible to, other people when walking any long distances.
  3. Call the University’s golf-cart-student-safety driver to get her to the dorm at night or to her car parked in a far way lot.  It’s also a great way to meet a bunch of nice guys.
  4. Any guy your daughter meets that comes on too strong and too fast with his deeply personal emotional background information, sprinkled with affirmations that she is the sort of girl that brings out his romantic glow, is bad news. Your daughter needs to trot in the other direction. A fella that stakes a claim on a girl at their first meeting usually has some messed-up impulse control disorder, which is commonly found among a sea of other issues.
  5. If a boy that she has recently met quickly develops jealous opinions and beef over her former boyfriends, wants to know her passwords so he can explore her phone for any evidence of potential rivals, evidence of another romantic relationship or disloyalty, tells her about the past girls and women who have taken advantage of and wronged him only to callously leave and/or he complains that the time she spends with friends or family makes him feel lonely and like he’s not a priority…he is a raging unfillable pit of narcissist neediness and your daughter needs to call an Uber.
  6. Screen capture technology is a threatened girl, or freaked out guy’s, best friend. Tell your kids to screen-shot any sketchy digital-age stuff being sent to them. Save it. It may later be just the evidence a judge needs to issue a warrant or a restraining order.
  7. The door should always be locked. Always, whether one is inside or leaving. Don’t ever hold the main door open for anyone who isn’t known to be another dorm resident.

That accent ain’t workin’

10 Nov

Hot damn, Charlotte Ann!

The battle of bad accents continues to rise

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

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

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Pumped Full of Pumpkin

25 Sep


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:


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:


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!


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!

A Mother’s Gift, Valentine’s Day Edition

14 Feb


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


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

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.


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!


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?


Ex-Benedict in a flirty red and white ensemble


Festive pimp attire


Theme dressing for St. Patrick’s Day


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.


The Popemobile


A fine-ass Pimpmobile

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


Raising his cup in style.  Holla!


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!


The higher the mount, the closer to God


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.



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



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.


27 Feb

Hot damn, Charlotte Ann!

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


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

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

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Old and Crotchety…Moi?

29 Mar

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

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

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

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

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

The next big thing

24 Feb

I am suspicious when anyone tells me that something is going to be The Next Big Thing. Especially when the decree comes from any sort of industry insider.  Did you know that being a prognosticator of trends is a job?  It is.  However, they have the success-fail ration of a new millennium condo-developer.  Let’s discuss some past fails:

Once box office gold, now just a footnote

In 1988 the nation was assaulted by the persona known as Yahoo Serious.  Out of nowhere he was everywhere.  D’ya remember the scrawny ginge who looked like a sanitized Johnny Rotten?  Yahoo’s popularity was catapulted by a crapfest called Young Einstein.  It was based on a fantasy of Albert Einstein as a cool dude who was into rock n’ roll, surfing and beer.  While it made crazy money, thanks to a magical PR team, it is not ranked on Rotten Tomatoes, nor has anyone submitted a plot summary on imdb.  It has slipped into cinematic obscurity.  He was on the cover of Time Magazine.  Seriously? Yahoo actually made two more movies that no one has ever heard of.  His trail runs cold in 2000, after he sued Yahoo! for trademark infringement.  His coffin was nailed shut when his suit was tossed out of court because he was unable to prove that he had damages or harm from no longer being able to promote or sell his “product” under the name Yahoo due to confusion with the search engine.

No really, it totally works!

Did anyone else’s Mom fall into Pyramid Power in the 1970s?  Mine was all into it.  The idea was that the great pyramids of Egypt hold supernatural properties that can be channeled to preserve food, keep razor blades sharp and amp up your sex drive.  It doesn’t stop there.  Pyramid Power was touted to harmonize your environment, charge crystals, give you spiritual enhancement, personal empowerment and mitigate tooth pain.  It had something to do with the mystical, geometric shape of the pyramid.  People would sleep in special pyramid tents and would have little blocks of pyramid clusters that they would put in the pantry, knife drawer or the dog bed.  My mother usually kept a pack of ciggies on top of her pyramid block.  I’m not sure what kind of power that imbibed; she died of cancer.

Odds are pretty strong that if you were into Pyramid Power, you were also a practitioner of Biorhythm hocus pocus.   The idea here is that people are affected by their biochronometry.  If you can track your rhythms and cycles you can optimize your peak times for performance of tasks.  Huh?  It must be noted that women were known to be on a 28 day cycle.  Perhaps this knowledge could be helpful to dumbass men to know when to not annoy the women in their lives.

Betamax, so long

Betamax was poised to revolutionize making and watching movies at home.  It got its ass kicked by VHS.  And the CD squashed them both.  The end.

Bastard son of car and truck

Banking on the notion that there are people who like the look of a truck, but the fuel economy and shock absorption of a car, Small Trucks were created.  It started with the El Camino, but everyone knew it was just a car that had been given a Frankenstein once-over.  Nissan, Toyota and Mazda came out with tiny, compact pick-up trucks.  I still don’t understand it.  Every time I see one I think that Godzilla is going to come from behind a strip mall and pluck it from the road.


Each year color guru Pantone releases its Color of the Year.  It’s a big deal in any kind of industry that is attached to the design world.  Major purchasing decisions are based on the color forecast. Last year’s color was turquoise, which they described as a protective talisman.  This year’s color is Honeysuckle.  This color is going to change your life, according to their press release.  It’s bullshit.  It’s Pyramid Power in Technicolor.  How is a color going to change my life?  What’s weird about this is that I have honeysuckle vines in my yard and this color doesn’t grow on any of them.  It’s more of a trumpet vine hue.

But you know what?  I would love, love, love to have the job of forecasting the next big thing.  How cool would it be to be the puppet master of pop-culture?  Failing that, I’d like to work for J.Crew coming up with new names for old colors.  If anyone knows Jenna Lyons, feel free to give her my digits.  I have some thoughts on new ways to describe “green”.

Dress-up speedball

13 Jan

Tiara or mitre for a really fabulous pope?

January is a month that many Americans have earmarked as the one when they will adopt a new lifestyle, amputate old habits or start making little changes.  It’s a month where budgets start anew and students have a clean semester.  For me, it’s the month when I first became aware of child pageants and the month when we start getting ready for “the season” at work.

My first glimpse into child pageants started here

Like most people I don’t think I ever gave child pageants much thought until the mysterious death of young JonBenet Ramsey dominated the headlines in January 1997.  If people were interested in the investigation, they became absolutely rapt once it was revealed that she was a child beauty queen.  The pictures of a tarted up tiny girl in full, professional makeup and perfectly scaled miniature Vegas-style show girl dresses with sparkly heels was both disturbing and, if I am being honest, fascinating.  From there the American public has become morbidly curious, not only about the fun-sized beauty queens themselves, but about what kind of horrific parents put their tots on parade, who actually sits in the audience at these spectacles, what kind of people become judges.  This subject has snowballed into a reality-based industry spawning TV shows, HBO documentaries and coffee table books.  And, who didn’t love Little Miss Sunshine?

A little somethin'-somethin' for the coffee table

In 1997 I had no idea that I would one day be working in an ancillary arm of the Pageant Industry.  I am a girl Friday for a jewelry wholesaler specializing in prom, bridal and pageant baubles.  In addition to the oversized rhinestone and crystal jewelry, we also manufacture and sell all manner of tiaras, sceptres and crown themed jewelry.  Who knew?  In the five years that I have been doing this, I have come across lots of pageant folk and there is most certainly a profile.  The Pageant mothers are usually faded beauties who have a lot of vanity tied up in their daughters…and occasionally their sons, too.  They still love hair and make-up, but have usually kinda let it go, by loving donuts more, if you know what I mean.  For a day of shopping at the Mart, a pageant mother is likely to be clad in a velour track suit, platform flip-flops, full jewelry including a toe ring, hair in some kind of up-do and dramatic make-up.  The Dads are usually repressed queens or oddly macho.  My favorite glitzy dad customer has a daughter who is a state pageant winner and went on to Miss America.  I won’t say who she is, but her “sweet” daddy has bragged to me that he has to pick out all of her outfits, down to nail polish and bra choice.  Ewww!

The show Toddlers and Tiaras has done a lot to educate Jane Q. Public about pageant culture.  Have you seen it yet?  My favorite “character” is a little girl, straight from central casting, named Makenzie.  She has a super raspy voice and looks like a pint-sized Delta Burke.  There is no doubt in my mind that in forty years when she’s all growed up, she’ll be wearing a floral print moo-moo with a ciggie hanging out of her mouth.  My friend Allison thinks she’ll be telling a state trooper to kiss her ass because she won’t be puttin’ out the cigarette until she’s good and goddamn ready.  I like that visual.  I digressed….the parents on this show always say that hitting the circuit is a bonding time for their family, just like families that are involved in sports, ballet or any other activity.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, but those just don’t carry the creep factor of twisting together sexual objectification and quality family time like pageants do.

My eyes! My eyes!

Its gotta be fairly normal for children to be piqued by pageants though.  Right?  I loved to play dress up as a wee one.  But actually getting involved in the lifestyle?  This is something other; this is dress-up on a speedball.  With a liberal dose of parental emotional agenda heaped on top.  It just gets weird.  It seems to be a largely low-income and small town deal, which makes the expense involved a real head-scratcher.  Entry fees can be a few hundred dollars, but it’s all the other stuff that is truly staggering.  Dresses can hover in the $1000 range, then there’s paying for professional makeup and hair, coaching, head shots, staying in motels, not to mention the countless bags of pizza flavored Combos that must be purchased while on the road.  Parents also spring big for spray tans, hair falls and flippers. Flippers are those grotesque fake teeth that the little girls wear to disguise their pediatric dental situations.  Usually, they just make them look like Matt Dillon in There’s Something About Mary.

Matt Dillon in a big boy flipper

I could go on and on about pageant stuff.  The truth is that for every seven head cases I’ve met, there’s a normal one.  Last year’s Miss Atlanta, Laura Stone, is one of them.  BUT, as colorful as the pageant moms and daughters are, they are NOTHING compared to the brides that somehow score a mart pass.  That story is for another post!

Amateur night

30 Dec

Happy New Year Everybody!

New Year’s Eve is the cosmos giving the world it’s own open-mic at the Improv.  It’s an annual event where everyone feels the pressure to be wild, wacky, dress like a slut/gigolo and create barf art the next morning.  It’s the ultimate Amateur Night, complete with goofy glasses and sparkly noise-making props.  Why?

My Militia was bigger than yours

Admittedly, I gave in and ran with the throng in my late teens and early 20s.  Atlantans, remember that national headline making New Year’s Eve 1988 soiree at the Marriott Marquis?  The one where furniture was thrown into the atrium, windows were broken, people got trampled, huge planters overturned and general hell broke loose?  Hot Damn was there; she remembers.  I fled the scene to go hang by the fireplace at Clarence Foster’s.  Children of the 1980’s, do you remember when we finally were able to fulfill Prince’s wish and “got to party like it’s 1999”?  I had a two year old and my mother had just died…I just wanted to sleep like it was 1970.  In more recent years we were locked and loaded for the big Y2K celebration.  We were stocked on liquor, pantry staples, jugs of filtered water, candles, paper calendars, batteries, firearms and ammunition.  I remember sitting on my deck with friends and when the stroke of midnight came, it also went without pause.  I mean, I’m glad I didn’t loose data or have to shoot someone trying to steal dogfood out of the garage, but it was mildly disappointing, at the least annoying, to not even have the lights flicker.

You can't get this view from the ground

Now that I am older, wiser and decidedly more lazy, we don’t go out on New Year’s Eve.  We’ve got nothing to prove, but we do have a kick ass deck and den.  We may have friends over and play games with the kids, but the main pull is watching Atlanta’s stellar attempt to compete with New York, London, Hong Kong and Sydney’s rich and lauded celebrations.  Atlanta has given us the “Peach Drop”.  The Peach Drop has it’s own web page filled with fun facts.  Here’s a fun fact: Hot Damn was at Underground Atlanta the first year this went down, in 1989.  I was terrified of getting shanked, so I bolted for Fat Tuesday’s.  The site states that this televised event is watched by millions of folks around the globe.  Say what?  Our tradition of watching safely from home has only been sweetened by the addition of a DVR, so that certain bits can be rewound or paused for closer inspection and catty commenting.  Like when the Peach didn’t drop in a fluid motion and jerked all the way down.  Or the year the headliner was so baked, we had to pause and make up funny imaginary dialog for him.

Really? The best we could get? Really?

Already, this year’s Peach Drop is shaping up to maybe be the most craptacular yet.  The headliner is host Katherine Jackson and son, Tito.  (You know Tito.  I couldn’t pick him out of a line up, but he has my almost favorite Jackson name.)  In addition to performing “soulful harmonies” of the Jackson 5, Tito will be kicking out some of his own original jams from his upcoming album.  This means that we won’t need to pause the TV for potty breaks and drink refills.  And there will be “other Jackson family members” present and celebrating, too.   I am praying that I will get a glimpse of Jermaine’s child, Jermajesty…who has the   b e s t  n a m e  e v e r !

Shame on me

13 Dec

I have been to Family and Friends weekends at rehab places for people three separate times.  I like the introductions, trust exercises and the craft services at these kumbaya affairs.   Wherever there is a group of people trying to kick something you will find a bottomless coffee pot and sweet, sweet, sugary snacks.  Me:  “Oh, that is awful that your Crank addiction stems from Grandpa locking you in the closet and diddling the family dog while you listened.  Do y’all have anything salty?”  A feature of the therapy is the “shame talk”.  It yawns on about how our loved ones get into their predicament because of their fear of exposure and great shame over (insert issue here).  This is where I zone out.  The gist is to out yourself with your hang-ups.  You know, let your freak flag fly, so you can gain accountability in your life.  Remember Gordon Gekko’s “Greed is Good” speech from Wall Street, inspired by Adam Smith’s 18th Century bestseller, The Wealth of Nations?  The guiding notion is that seeking out self-interests spurs creativity and independence, which benefits everyone from the butcher, the baker to the candlestick maker.  I feel the same way about shame.  Shame is good!  Keeping some things concealed beneath cloak and dagger benefit mankind.  When is the last time you were cornered at a cocktail party by someone telling you about his “thing” for plush animals and huffing gold spray paint?  Where is the shame???  Or the client that wants to tell you about their “wrongful arrests”?  Don’t they see that I have fashioned earmuffs with my hands and am rocking?  Quit making my ears bleed!

Shame and fear have kept me from a lot of mischievous behavior.  I never tried cocaine in college or ever.  There was the fear that if I liked it, I’d blow all my money on the snorty stuff, my parents would have to get involved and be all disappointed.  I don’t wear bikini tops with hot pants to Wal-Mart because I would be horror stricken to end up on that Ugly People of Wal-Mart website.  I don’t berate the kids at the Grocery store because I don’t want people to see what kind of mother I really am.  See, my shame is good for everyone around me.  But I can’t help wondering that if I could ease up on my iron curtain, every day would be like a Summer’s Eve commercial.  Maybe it would be restorative for me to expose some of my secret shames.


1.  The Blue Lagoon – The acting is 100% awful, the story has holes all in it, but I just can’t quit this movie.  Christopher Atkins in that ridiculous muslin diaper is a-okay with me.  The rumor, at the time, was that Brooke Shields’ mother wouldn’t even let her see the movie because it was rated R.  I actually have several other secret shame movies.  Anyone seen Mandingo?

2. Carnival Food – Funnel cakes, mini-fried donuts, apple dumplings, roasted turkey legs; I could go on and on.  I should know better than to gnaw something that has been deep-fried in a cheap camper by a warty old man with green, blurry tattoos. It’s all wrong on every level.  But one whiff of a fried dough turd under a mound of powdered sugar makes me loose all reason.  Of course I am only good for about three bites before my secum begins to spasm.

3. Granny Panties or, as I often call then, “turtleneck underwear”.  They couple best with flannel pajamas, greasy hair and a Lifetime movie.  It’s like a cotton hug for your fanny and bloated stomach.

4. Ross Perot I can neither justify nor explain this.  I am on record as wanting to go on a bear hunt with Sarah Palin, so maybe I just have affection for tiny politicos who like to speak in odd metaphors.

5. Prop Comedy That’s right, I said it.  I could go highbrow and drone on about Harpo Marx and the genius of Vaudevillian comedy, but that’s not my truth.  Carrot Top and his big trunk, Gallagher with the Sledge-o-Matic, Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3,000 or Steve Martin being a wild and crazy guy with an arrow through his head.  I can’t help it.  I’ll most likely be shunned by many over this.  I AM the lowest common denominator.

So, now that I’m out about a few things, to be honest…I’m not feeling all that liberated or integrated into a greater community.  Maybe a better list would be the things that I secretly hate, but keep hidden because I know that people will think I’m a monster.  Things like Christmas caroling (shoot me, please) and theme dressing.

Anyone have a shame they want to talk about?