Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It Aint Fever Cheating me of Reason, That's My Neighbor

Um, so yesterday I might have mentioned that I thought Gary from Gary's Old Towne Tavern on Cheers lived in my building, but that I thought it might be the fever making my eyes a bit less than reliable and the time on the couch trapped in my apartment making me delusionally make my apartment a bit more interesting than it deserved to be. WRONG!!!

So tonight I pull in to park my car, and there's the guy I mentally call Gary speaking with the nice neighbor from upstairs who also is a sports fan. (Really, my ranting blogs are all coming full circle here. The other thing that was awesome? The nice guy who actually is a sports fan qualified ME as an actual sports fan, indicating to Gary that we follow sports a lot more than he does [! and that other guy next door to me!]). Amazing. If he only knew I called him the only actual other sports fan in the building. Mutual respect. Booya.

So I talk to I-think-it's-Gary and Sports Guy Upstairs for a while, and am introduced by name to Joel, the would be Gary. I'm from Pittsburgh, he's from Philadelphia. We chat a bit. Chat about sports affiliations. Sports Guy Upstairs talks shit about Big Ben Roethlisberger, I don't try to defend him all to much because how can I right now, and Would-be Gary talks about loving trees, loving the air, fighting the man, all the stuff that makes it verrrry likely that he's an actor. whose been living in California for a while. I almost ask. I almost ask if he acts and bring up my Gary's Old Towne Tavern suspicion, but then realize if he's not an actor at all but rather an avid activist who hates televisions and those who use them, I'll be on the outs. Wanting to keep up the neighborly vibe without giving off my own creep vibes, I decide to just take my context clues, leave my "good to meetchas" and head back to the interwebs.

Joel from Philadelphia plays Gary of Gary's Old Towne Tavern on Cheers. And what's more? His headshot could have been taken today.

Now, the coast difference makes this difficult as I know my brother who would absolutely be as impressed by this as I am is in bed asleep. Or not checking his email. So here I am, left to bring the enthusiasm of sitcom love to the crockpot for dissemination.

Remember all that stuff about Boner, and how Boner as a character was like a real person in my childhood? Gary, aside maybe from Francoise, who tried to steal Woody's girlfriend by tauntingly saying "Woody, I'm going to steal your girlfriend!" in a French accent, is probably the most loathed character on Cheers! A great source of bar rivalry episode fun, but the guy we loved to hate with the Cheers gang. And now he lives upstairs!!! I mean, Andy Andy was also great, but he was also crazy. (And now the reason I typically add an "Andy" after one-named Andys in my head, because it just sounds right).

So yeah, to answer your question, yes. Yes I will be saying, "Hey Joel, didn't want to freak you out if you weren't Gary, but I wanted to ask you if you were Gary and then internet stalked you and found out you were!!! That's awesome! And way not creepy, right? Great. Nope, not planning on stealing your mail. If you were wondering....Nope. And you probably weren't wondering. I'll stop talking now. YOUR BAR SUCKS!"

And then I run away.

Sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came...

a.k.a. - t.v.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get where troubles are all the same. I think the t.v. might have a beer waiting.

Monday, March 29, 2010

You give me Fever!

Well, maybe it was fishcrockpot soup, but something certainly gave me fever today, which resulted in me doing a lot of sleeping, cracker eating, and liquid drinking. In a disjointed bit of haze today, I must admit that this crock is way beyond phoned in.

I did watch the rest of Undercover Boss from last night and yep, it made me cry. I think this one is a bit more insanely emotionally direct to the aims of American people than Extreme Makeover Home Edition, and let me tell you why. That one takes tragic stories of exceptional people and families, just trying to raise good families with good values, and often overcoming crazy adversity to do so, by living the American dream of home ownership. It helps people have a home, which guess what - Americans want. Longstanding thing we try to achieve. Yep yep yep.

This Undercover Boss show??? Captures and delivers the ideal that hard work will be recognized. While hard work is its own reward, honest, commited, hard work and can-do spirit, even in the face of hardship and lack of personal, financial, or emotional resources, is worth doing well and will, eventually, be recognized and appreciated. This takes people in the business-running/decision-making capacities of companies and forces them to do the real hard stuff - the roll up your sleeves down and dirty, under-appreciated grunt stuff. And beyond that, it shows them just how necessary that work is to the bigger picture. So this show rewards the idealized American work ethic. The people who give 110% every single day and also have families and are beating tremendous odds at home (these folks were working through: homelessness, poverty, being single parents, natural disasters, etc.) are rewarded with a good job recognition hug from the CEO, and news that the company they bleed for will be helping them with what they need. Really really gets to core American can-do spirit hard and fast and effectively. Oh yeah, I cried.

Then today, not sure if it's the fever or not, I watched an episode of Cheers and became convinced that Gary from Gary's Olde Town Tavern, longtime rival of Cheers, lives in my apartment building. HA which would be awesome. And would explain the odd hours that guy seems to be around if he's a working/former actor. But it really does make me want to stare at his face when I see him rather than scurrying out of sunlight like a vampire without a parasol. Perhaps IMDB could help? I dunno, maybe it will give his street address.

And finally, Ricky Martin is gay. Which I think is actually less shocking to me than Clay Aiken coming out, only because it seems like old news now and Clay Aiken was so hell-bent on telling us he was not going to hell due to wrongful sexuality and the like in his initial fights against being gay. But maybe Ricky has a new album? I dunno. But good for you Ricky Martin. Good for you. Ole Ole Ole! Total el mundo a pie! I'm happy that you're gay! Enjoy it.

Well, bed beckons. La vida loca can make a blogger tired.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Unwitting Arrival in the Century Club

Upon logging in today, I noticed I've written 100 posts, according the blog manager feature of this thing. I was rather surprised, I have to say. Were this a sitcom (as that framework manages how I perceive most things in my world, which is probably another reason I enjoy the character Abed on the sitcom "Community" so much, as he relates everything to entertainment forms from his childhood), we'd be having a 100th episode retrospective. Or a clip show. Or a super long version of the theme song to play us out at the end of the show.

Seeing as I had not realized this was the case prior to logging in, I'll have to consider that idea for tomorrow's post. Perhaps a flashback to better times in these murky waters, given the angst of late? Could be fun! Also, it seems that last year's crock posts were really really a lot longer. Is that good, bad, or ugly? Probably all of the above. Maybe they were more interesting?

The weekend winds to a close with me a bit tired and groggified, having channeled my angst of yesterday into an evening with a bit of debauchery and the booze that should flow to the lips of the young, and their livers of exceptional functionality, their kidneys that filter and process like the mind of Stephen Hawking - fast and well. West Virginia did win yesterday after all, which was a bit of fun. I saw the neighbors - whose exploits I've detailed in excruciating detail - return home looking maybe a bit dejected? But their arrival did confirm my theory that that dude does not actually care about sports all too much. They were strolling back in when there were less than 2 minutes left in the game and this guy's proclaimed team was within 7 points of making a comeback. Again, not that I care if he doesn't care. Not everyone has to love sports, but why fake it in your own home with your own wife and the door open? Anyway. Congrats West Virginia! Hope you have another one in you, at least.

As the sun set on the weekend (painfully as always) bringing a veil of depression in anticipation of a week where a desk and a distinct lack of natural sunlight will be the home of my activities and hours I found myself considering the Sunday night television line up. I kind of wish the Sound of Music had been on. I think it'll be on on Easter. Usually is. But man, it always seemed like that movie would be on, tempting me away from my homework on nights when I had a lot of it. Tonight I think I would have watched a bit, and tried to use the commercials to achieve the things I was supposed to have already taken care of. Julie Andrews was not around, but there's an amazing amount of pick-me-up television airing on Sundays. The Extreme Makeover Home Edition and the newer show Undercover Boss, which involves a company big wig working at the lower levels of the company, gaining a new respect for the work they do and, of course, helping recognize them for being great in a big, surprise-laden way.

I was watching a bit of tonight's episode which featured a CEO of many Christian-owned theme parks going to theme parks across the country and meeting hardworkin' folk who really cared about doing a good job and wanted him to do the same. There are even some extra touches, like we get to see a rich CEO staying in a fairly shabby motel with the bad art and bed comforters that fairly shabby motels are famous for. It was in one such hotel that this gentleman prepared himself a microwave dinner. I haven't seen enough episodes to know if that's standard practice among contestants, or if this guy was just enjoying a Hungry Man enchilada for the treat of it, but it really seemed sort of overly "common" of him. Like, was I supposed to take from that that everyone he works with who is not a CEO also eats microwave meals? Or is he roughing it because he has to? Was this meal a hardship. Was that the message.
Whatever the intent, I did find myself fairly engaged in the show and wanted to see the big reveal. But i ended up DVRing as I had a shower to take and a blog post to post. Somewhere in that first activity, I had the notion that it would be hilarious if they did a show called undercover boss that was actually bosses going undercover to see what their employees did. Because it would be different. The tips from insiders? There would be a lot more, "Usually the boss comes in late on Mondays, so I end up getting here around, I dunno, 9:30, 9:45? What I'm saying is, don't kill yourself getting here. So not worth it."

There'd probably be a fair bit of information given about co-workers too. "Her? Well, as long as you don't steal her pens, or use any of her office supplies without asking, you can stay on her good side. Oh, and she LOVES Jesus, so don't make any jokes about that either. And consider adding her to your SPAM list. Lady loves email forwards about kittens, prayers, and blonde jokes."

The undercover boss would get to play solitaire, minesweeper, tetris, sudoku. Look at facebook, myspace, youtube, and other sites. Write personal emails. Take personal calls. Make personal calls. Send e-cards to family. Send someecards to friends. Send emails to friends to discuss being annoyed by professional obligations. Send emails to discuss personal plans after finishing professional obligations. Check flight prices. Check celebrity news. Check mate - be beaten by the computer in a game of chess. Thumbs-up some facebook statuses. Comment on others. Look at pictures of friends, friends spouses, friends significant others, ex's significant others, everybody's babies, sonograms, or dogs and cats. The boss would be emailing others about how crappy a work task was. Looking for a reason to loiter in the hall. Text message a friend. Think about what's for lunch. Think about what's for dinner. Think about doing laundry. Think about getting back to that weekend sunshine.

The real undercover boss show? I almost think it'd be entertaining too. As entertaining? More? Hard to say. But It'd sure resonate with the hard-working American folk just waiting for their microwave meal and a reality show at the end of the day.

Most important thing about work ethic? Cut vents in the plastic covering or your microwave meal will EXPLODE.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Country Roads Take Me Home...To a Quiet One

Today I woke up late after not being able to sleep because I was so fired up by my neighbors last night and I felt guilty. I felt bad about writing a rant about them, I felt bad that I’d been so affected by their actions but done nothing about it, and I felt bad that I was becoming even more Andy Rooney in my youth. I don’t want to be the angry, ranting cynic. I don’t want to actively wish ill upon others like, say, a meteor would crash through their apartment and silence them. I did not like it. Felt guilty.

And as I went out to enjoy the sunshine and people in the rest of the world were exceedingly friendly today for some reason, I again felt bad that I’d been stewing in negativity.Things are great.The sun is shining and warm on our skin.

AND THEN I CAME HOME. Argh. They must just have a different concept of both volume and what it means to live in a building with some common airspace. Guess whose favorite Portuguese music was back on, though at least at a reasonable level? Yep. I think they saw me shooting lasers from my eyes at them through their screen door as I let myself into my apartment. But this time, I did not care. And then it got worse. The husband (you remember, the good cop bad cop stripper) is apparently a last minute sports fan in the NCAA tournament. Our cable must not be on the same timing (mine is usually a little slow for some reason) so for a while I assumed he was watching a different game than I was, so seemingly random were his completely overzealous and very telling shouts of “Yeaaahhh BOOOY!” and “Aww YEAH!” and the like in comparison with what I was watching. It was very clear to me that this guy is not a diehard sports fan. He’s just not. He’s overcompensating. And ridiculous. And shouting things that don’t match the action on the t.v.
You know who is a sports fan? The guy who lives upstairs. The guy who wears sports affiliated clothing and hats every day. The guy who is a carpenter and has a UNION bumpersticker in his front window (of his apartment) and a cross on his door. The guy who asks me about the Steelers and USC every week during the fall because he knows I care. The guy, who I’m SURE is also watching these games, but is not screaming wildly to prove to his loud wife that he is such a fan. Nope. No. Not that guy.

How do I know that annoying neighbor was watching the same game I was? Because he said (of COURSE loudly enough for me to hear) “We’re going to beat those yokels!”

He’s referring to West Virginia, who is currently playing Kentucky. So yep. KENTUCKY is talking smack about West Virginia. Really, sir? Maybe you haven’t heard any jokes about KENTUCKY. Because they’re pretty much interchangeable punchlines in the stupid line of jokes you just went for. He also (thankya jesus!) left his apartment with his wife, whom he had to tell that the game was important, wearing a Kentucky jersey. Sheesh, ya’ll. I hate being bitter. But this is on my doorstep. And unless I move out or close my door and windows on the best day of spring thus far, it’s all up in my face. I now hope West Virginia beats the crap out of Kentucky. Then once they’re home and I know it, I’ll turn on “Country Roads” by John Denver and let it blare its way into their apartment. All yokel-like of me. Let's GOOOOOO mountaineers!

Also, that guy that lives upstairs? The real sports fan? I sure hope he doesn’t think I’m the jerk having parties and screaming! Because he might. And he gets up at 5 a.m. to go to his job. Which means he goes to bed early. Might not want to hear Portuguese music late night. I want to put a sign in my window that says “Hey neighbors, I try not to be a jerk when possible” just to clarify. Sheesh.

Also, as I was annoyed by the neighbors again, I was writing the blog post I was going to post tonight. I do get that I could wait and count this as my double day of catch-up, but I’m just going to go ahead and post it now, but consider myself off the hook. It’s a little pointless to wait maybe, since one rant is bleeding into another topic.

For days I’ve been supposed to list the answers to the lyric sources of my found poem. I actually went back to the found poem I wrote last year from song lyrics to see how much overlap there was. I used the exact same lyric twice, but I used several songs again (though different lyrics). It was interesting too to see that the last poem was much longer. It also somehow seemed more positive. Like last year’s seems to say “Live and let live” but this year’s is far more “Live and let die.” Based on all my ranting, not that surprising. I'm a negative nancy. A debbie downer. An ANGRY RENT PAYER!!!! And now, Andy Rooney.

The poem, their songs, and artists, appear below. Those with asterisks after the artist indicate song repeats. Those with asterisks directly after the lyric indicate that was used before.

You're too pretty in the daylight - The One Thing -INXS
I can't stand losing – I Can’t Stand Losing You - Police
I know I'm not wrong – I know I’m not Wrong – Fleetwood Mac

Grow flowers in the desert – In a Big Country – Big Country
Reflect the stars – Africa – Toto*
Holding hands – Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears*
Down the road* – Kyrie – Mister Mister
To the world – Message in a Bottle - Police

There's nothing you and I – I’ll Stop the World and Melt with You – Modern English*
Crystal Blue – Manic Monday – Bangles
Freedom without – Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House
Change – Change – Tears for Fears
Chase you even – When Doves Cry – Prince*
Your sweet nature – Brand New Lover – Dead or Alive
Burning down – Burning down the house - Talking Heads

Think twice do – Billie Jean – Michael Jackson*
Like dolphins – Heroes - David Bowie
Like the deserts – Missing – Everything But the Girl
Like a lover's voice – In a Big Country – Big Country
Leave me standing*- When Doves Cry – Prince *

Lets' go – Let’s go - Cars

Friday, March 26, 2010

Here Comes That Old Feeling Again...

My rage! It's a growing problem! Ah! Control Control Control.

I used to have a neighbor named Yoko. She was sometimes kinda loudish on the phone when her screen door was open. But I could tell it was when she was talking to someone far away. It was one of those situations where you compensate for distance and the hearing of others. It was ok. And rare.

Yoko moved away and some new kids on the block showed up. When I was in middle school, the New Kids on the Block were very popular. I thought they were terrible. I especially hated the song "Have a funky, funky Christmas." It's insulting to funk. And Christmas. Apparently not much has changed in the way of my opinions of new kids on the block.

I was really looking forward to a Friday of sloth, gluttony, a little laundry, maybe some reading. I had sloth, gluttony, and a little laundry, but all of this was done in the rising tide of my rage and angst as my neighbors (not Yoko, and not on the phone) had a continuing social gathering from about 6:30 p.m. to the present. It makes me feel old. It makes me feel like I hate fun. But I want them (still do, as I did all night), to shut the fuck up.

Now, I try not to use the F word in the writing as it's not real great, and I know several folks who might sometimes navigate the crockpot stew who don't love the F word or expect me to use it, so I really try not to stoop to filthy, but I really really really wanted them to shut the fuck up. Not the hell up, the fuck up. And maybe that was because they were talking about sex for a good, I'd say more than half of the evening. This laugh riot climaxed with the return of the husband to the apartment where he joined wine drinking already in progress and was greeted with "Oh good, the stripper is here! WOOOO!" His wife, who must have the vocal projection capacity of, oh, I dunno, I'm going to say Paul Revere or friggin' James Earl Jones on Broadway, and I do not think I'm exaggerating here, then asked him if he was the good cop or the bad cop. His reply?
"Man, I would love to know what you ladies have been talking about all night!"

It took everything in my power to not open my door (which I'd been forced to shut around 6 p.m. when she was playing Portugeuse music so loudly that a neighbor asked me if it was me playing it because my apartment is closer to the shared courtyard), and say "Hey, come on over bad cop, I can tell you every word, especially those of your wife! Apparently she thinks you make a normal amount of noise while having sex. I know this because she was SCREAMING ABOUT IT WITH FRIENDS." (If I were Sophia Petrillo, I would have done so).

Their door was, at the time of my hearing such information as if I were in a face-to-face conversation with her and not sitting on one side of a locked door and her on the other side of a half-open door. She even at one point admitted "she's always been loud, she just screams, that's what she does."

Yes. And how.

Why did I not go over there and say HEY! Can you shut the F up?

Well, I don't want them to know I'm old and uncool and want them to be respectful of the comfort boundaries and expectations I have for my home on a 9:30 on a Friday evening (which involve silence and the hum of the television and refrigerator, my two best buds). I don't want them to think I'm that jerky neighbor who always complains because - oh yeah, I already ratted her out once when they brought a barking dog to their apartment and then tried to leave...which led to that dog barking it's yippie little head off while running the length of our apartments' shared wall, stopping occasionally to scratch desperately at the wall for release. Guess whose apartment building does not allow dogs????
This one.
I like me a good dog. I do. Much more dog person than cat person. But not crappy barky yippie toy spoiled annoying dogs. Who hate being alone. After that one there was like a month where she really shot me eat-shit and -die looks. Now she only sometimes remembers to fake friendliness. It's nice though, I have a "You're so friendly, except what I mean is not at all" song that I sing when I see her.

I have to admit to myself that I think a third reason to avoid confrontation (a fourth - i dislike confrontation) might be that I knew that once I went over there and apologetically asked them to shut up (which I'm sure I would have done like, ohhhh could you do me the great kindness of possibly lowering your speech volume and that of your accompanying bass-heavy Portuguese music) they would talk about me, and I'd probably be able to hear it. Well, this happily un-fashion jean-clad, t-shirt from college-wearin', didn't shower recently, crumb-covered lady at home on a Friday is just fine with it. But somehow I could not endure the woman who daily annoys me with her telltale high heels on the concrete outside my window (I do not think she owns shoes that don't make noise) kvetching (Oh yes! Conversation 4 - you're on J-date? Can you find my sister a nice Jewish boy, she needs one too) with her girlfriends as they sipped on their fifth glasses of wine (this was the wine served at my wedding!) about how I'm a lonely, bitter, pathetic, often shabbily dressed and generally unkempt, unfriendly neighbor who probably doesn't even know what these graphic dirty web sites we're cackling about entail. What a loser (was that guy bald? was he a doctor? what's the problem???).

Just don't want the month of icy stares. Don't want to be the bad guy. Don't want to be the loser. Don't want to be the bad cop! Don't want to have to be fake friendly when what I really want to say is Shut the fuck up. You live in an apartment building, not a sorority house.
The shrieks, squeals, and sex talk pitches achieved tonight are all well within the range of standard sorority fare. Kappa Kappa I'llbe Damned'A if I want to live in a sorority house now. I am old. And a loser. And the bad cop. And the bad guy. And I want to spend my evenings without hearing about how you're a screamer by way of you screaming such information.

The best part? The husband came home and about 40 minutes later, began the sentence "See, guys think about sex like this..."

Oh good. More expertise.
Well, if I hear any screaming tonight, I'll know where it's coming from.
My response will still be, shut the fuck up.

I know I know

I was supposed to reveal the song sources from yesterday. Yes, but amazing things have happened. I hung out with a rocket scientist and he was the SECOND MOST IMPRESSIVE scientist I hung out with this evening.

Maybe you've heard of him? BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY!!!

Turns out, that guy is awesome. Like no, not just as you remember him on the show, but because he was absolutely gracious and hilarious with his celebrity, and brutally honest. And completely into school spirit. Bill Nye the Science Guy received his science guy training, at least in part, at Cornell. Cornell's basketball team attempted to do the impossible (Butler!) and make it to the Elite 8 in modern times of the NCAA tourney. They would have had to have taken down Ashley Judd and the entire state of Kentucky, but by gum, they looked (at first) like they might do it. And they never gave up!

I just attended, as the guest of a Cornell alum, a Cornell game watching. It was downright inspirational. What did I say outloud? "I would give to Cornell's annual fund right now, this turnout is amazing."

Really, I did not know there were that many big, red people in L.A. There SURE ARE. And after they lost???? THEY CLAPPED. THEY WERE EXCITED FOR HOW FAR THEY HAD COME.
I mean, my goodness. They were enjoying the sport for the sake of sport and camaraderie. It was a beautiful thing.

And then Bill Nye the Science Guy walked past. And someone had nerve. And a camera. And he loved it.

Thank you NCAA tourney, you do NOT fail to impress. Cornell? For the love of Ivy....you are it.

Next year, but still.

Great show.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Found Again

Last year I did a found poem from song lyrics and I liked it, and instead of talk about what I ate for dinner and my incredible meat-lust (I dare say it was carnal), I've decided to try that again. This is also in lieu of an entry about how I formally apologize to anyone with whom I've been in debates over the correct lyrics to the song "Africa" by Toto (yes there were several people!). In recent listenings I have discovered yes, yes I have been wrong about such things. They say a lot of different wonderful things in there. It's a very good song. Also to my friend Kelly, "Brandy, You're a fine Girl" has grown on me. My apologies.

Anyway, here's the find. Tomorrow - where they came from!

You're too pretty in the daylight
I can't stand losing
I know I'm not wrong

Grow flowers in the desert
Reflect the stars
Holding hands
Down the road
To the world

There's nothing you and I
Crystal Blue
Freedom without
Chase you even
Your sweet nature
Burning down

Think twice do
Like dolphins
Like the deserts
Like a lover's voice
Leave me standing

Lets' go

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

To this Koi Mistress

I realized that I spend a good bit of time most evenings, or rare daytimes immediately before writing a new post, staring at the fish that now live atop the crockpot's page. Only today did I happen to become entranced enough to notice they sometimes look like they are fighting. One fish will charge across their electronic aquarium, or birds-eye e-pond view, and disrupt other fish from chatting with one another. It seems these fish, like most people, may not be immune from jealousy, or the paranoia of conspiracy, or perhaps worse - boorish, unthinking interruptions (I specialize in these myself). Are fish as susceptible to social pressure as the rest of us? Do they really take it hard as adults if they weren't the cool kid in school? I could see how it could make sense. Especially to fish.

I certainly sometimes wonder about how much things are nature's own cleverness, and evolutionarily influenced to our advantage, and how much they are the trappings of the nurture and any number of social constructs. Today I read an article discussing biological and evolutionary reasons for children of the same parents, raised in the same household, to hold politically opposing opinions or beliefs. There was some speculation about Oedipal conflict and rebellion and distinguishing oneself from siblings for evolutionary advantage, as near identicals - were they to be at a disadvantage somehow by a charecteristic (I think it was applying this thinking to politics if I read correctly!) would both die or be killed, whereas if the two offspring became diversified by their own accord, at least one would be likely to survive. That thinking makes sense to me, but it's really fascinating to consider applying such innate tendencies toward political views. The article did also go on to say brain chemistry matters in decision making, so no two brains would function 100% the same. But still. Fascinating. I think this was in Newsweek.

I feel like I may have brought up such issues in the crock previously, or maybe I've just thought about them before so I think I've written about them before, but stop me if you've heard this one - if shame is such a merciless emotion, does it serve an evolutionary advantage? I think it's only after years of talking to others about personal low points that I had the realization that my inability to either forget or lessen the effects of shame, even from my youngest moments and deepest memories, was not unique. Lots of people are horrified by what they've done or said, or how they've behaved, previously. Even when they were five years-old and so young that their actions could not possibly be prevented due to their young young age. But the feelings of shame from their five year-old selves are as raw and potent as they were then. Shame sticks. Even when it's something a rational person could say, forgive themselves for. Really? You peed your pants once, inappropriately? Yes. Many have. Join the club.
But why do you still recall that moment and cringe? Why is it so powerful?

I'm guessing the shame memory hardwiring taps into the part of us that understands acceptable cultural or group behavior. So if you do something that would be unacceptable to the pack that could say, lead to the pack abandoning you or worse, you keep the lesson stored deeply enough that it's at the survivalist level. Why are most of the most painful shame moments SO emotional though (like when you were caught saying something you shouldn't, rather than peeing when you shouldn't)? I'm guessing to modify behavior with ironclad certainty. I don't know. Also, I realize this is not a novel, groundbreaking take on the concept of shame, but it's interesting to think about in more depth, at least to me. Is that in there because, somewhere at some point along the line, we figured out we cannot do it alone?

I think so.
That, and to keep Friars in the business of roasting.

Monday, March 22, 2010


So I just looked at the calendar today and realized that this coming Sunday is Palm Sunday, meaning that Easter is a week after that. I found this to be particularly shocking for a number of reasons. 1. How is it almost April? 2. I'd better hurry up and think about pulling a double-post day if I'm going to be done with the Lenten crockpot on Easter, 3. Cookies! 4. Man, I don't even feel like I've been writing posts for that long this time. 5. Man, I sure have fallen off that church wagon I was trying to stay on for Lent. 6. Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, hippity hoppity Easter's on its way...(that's from a record we had growing up, one stored close to the Disco Mickey Mouse record).

I would like to think that it has not seemed like that big of a deal to write every day for Lent this year because I was acclimated to the schedule last year, but I think there's a far greater likelihood that I have not been doing as good a job this year. It's been more of a task than a target for creativity without bounds. More blargh than blog. :(

I don't say that to go fish(crock)ing for compliments, but rather to phrase the apology of whoops, sorry I've been phoning it in a bit more this year. Or at least I feel like when I have written things , they've been more angry and direct and full of judgment (and the requisite run-on sentences). Last year, I don't know. Maybe I included more music? Maybe that kept me honest and optimistic? Maybe I'm a curmudgeonly bastard now (as I always have been, deep down), using the internet as a platform for ranting and jibber jabber (as most do)? I haven't even followed up on Prince challenging MJ and Paul to a game of his choosing. They've been left dangling in cyberspace! Terrible.

In order to combat this bad energy, poor form, I will offer up the following as the rallying cry to myself to get my head back where it belongs.
Am I hiding, somewhere behind those eyes? Let's find out. A week and change left to go. Let's see if I can change it up!

This never disappoints.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How Funky is Your Chicken?

Maybe it was the addition of "Gap Band Radio" to my pandora.com station list. Maybe it is the preference the local old school station shows to the Gap Band due to personal relationships with Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band? Maybe it's that it was recently Sly of Sly and the Family Stone's birthday and suddenly it was my "family affair." Or maybe it really hit me when I downloaded "Stomp" by the Brothers Johnson and realized it was an instant mood-improver and boogie-maker that my life had been missing.

Whatever it is, I recently have begun to think I may have been inappropriately born after the age of disco roller skating venue popularity. I realize that a lot of coordination would be needed - both physical coordination and coordination of outfits - for me to have been successful in that scene, but man. I kind of love a healthy dose of disco and funk. This is also true of the Disco Mickey Mouse album, a fabulous spoof homage of the biggest hits of the disco era. "Macho Duck" - hit. "Watch out for Goofy" - classic. "Welcome to Rio" - don't even get me started unless there is enough room for my limbs to flail. I mean it.
Ooh, a sample exists!

When I was young enough to be going to basketball games when my brothers were still playing at the less than j.v. level, I remember being enchanted by the cheerleaders and their synchronization. An especially memorable cheer also somehow fits into this other life I could time travel to enjoy. It was a call and response cheer between 2 halves of the cheer squad.

How funky is your chicken?
How funky is your chicken?
How loose is your goose?
How loose is your goose?
So come on everybody, and shake the ole' caboose.

How funky is your chicken?
How funky is your chicken?
How loose is your goose?
My goose is TOTALLY loose.
So come on everybody
COME ON everybody!
And shake the ole' caboose, WOO!!!

There was a lot of jive, as it were, in that cheer. Done by the all-white cheerleaders at the small Catholic grade school. I loved it.
My goose IS totally loose. That's probably why it resonated with me so significantly. That and my extremely shaky caboose.

Nanzty Boys

Well folks, it is indeed a miracle I'm writing at all as I've been involved in some concentrated game watching beer drinking chip eating efforts since about 4:30 p.m. today, but I'm making it! I thought today might be the day I made it to two posts, but not so, not so.

I started to write this earlier, then failed.
Basically, while watching Murray State and Butler, prior to Northern Iowa and Kansas, I saw a commercial featuring Jim Nantz reprimanding a dude in a lingerie store with his girlfriend. The premise of the ad, similar to Bette White eating a Snickers and being less than friendly about it, was that Jim Nantz, the Guy Smiley of college sports broadcasting (really, his favorite phrase is "Oh my!" was berating a dude for letting his girlfriend force him to go bra shopping instead of watching basketball during March Madness. Now, as I spent the day in the company of more women than men interested in March Madness, I take issue with this ad as it contributes to the lore that March Madness is a male phenomenon. That, my friends, is bunk.
Also, if you're dating someone who wants you to shop during something you love, you're dating a bitch. So consider that.
Or consider, as Jim Nantz suggests, that you have no spine, and need to say you'd rather watch basketball. That said, and FOR REAL YO', seriously? Are there tons of men dating women who hate sports who love their men? Am I the only one who does not know these women? Even the women I know who care nothing about sports aren't terrible people who'd love to deprive men of sports watching if given the chance. Like, yeah, I get it, mean Jim Nantz is funny. But guess what?




Please reconcile these, American media. I'm not the only woman who gives a crap in America. I'm one of many.

All that said - Wake, good job guys. Love you.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm Lovin' It

So, I think last year we reached the point of the Lent blog where I spouted on about my love of March Madness and how it's such a pure sporting endeavor and a chance for actual merit to shine through in do-or-die situations and you get to see fairly young kids be kids and cry in joy and in disappointment in pretty rapid fashion, no? And that maybe I spent days reiterating how it's soooo great and compelling and engrossing and I love it and it improves my work day, and possibly my work performance, because I'm so jazzed and alert? Well, after Wake's win last night, I woke up today walking on sunshine. It was like waking up and remembering, yeah. That DID happen. That was awesome. Still is. All day today I had a little Wake beneath my wings.

Today I enjoyed the refreshing (literally re-newing their accuracy, not refreshing like ice cold Coca-Cola) banner headlines of game scores all day at work. Cornell? Cornell? Are you kidding me? Cornell???

THAT is fantastic. Go Big Red. If not now, when? And it is within this spirit that I look forward to tomorrow's Wake vs. Kentucky matchup with something that's not quite optimism, but something similar. There's something a little bit extra - like a faith in magical realism as being possible. A pre-emptive suspension of disbelief? I pass this on through good vibrations to the Demon Deacons who are, I'm sure, nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of Cinderella teams dance in their heads.

Things I don't like - the tainting of the tournament by crappy refs' crappy calls. I only saw the last 1:03 of the Robert Morris vs. Nova game, but apparently they'd been jobbed resolutely in the time leading up to that final minute. And today, as I watched New Mexico State battle Michigan State and a very cheap, nearly never called unless it's blatant like a fourth-grader does in pee-wee leagues in a bout of over-excitement infraction was called - lane violation on a CRUCIAL foul shot, I thought MAN. Not you NCAA. Don't make me question this whole thing.
Don't cheat for the franchise teams. Not good. Not cool. Not right!

Anyway. March Madness, to reiterate, when done fairly, is awesome. It makes me giddy.

And back to today's title - I'm Lovin' It.

McDonald's, not to call bullshit here, but whaaaa? There are several billboards in the Los Angeles area near McDonalds locations that advertise mini meals. I think they're $2.99. But the meal pictured is a drink, a bag of fries, and a double cheeseburger. How is that mini? That's more than a happy meal! And it's 2 patties 2 cheese slices, right? So, all that's missing is some special sauce, lettuce, and sesame seeds in the requirements to comprise a Big Mac. How is that mini? It's not! And I am all for American's taking some inventory of themselves before eating McDonalds all the time. I don't think you should go away entirely as I need your goods and services when I am hungover, traveling, in need of coffee, really craving a cheeseburger with the chopped onions and pickle combo, or like, in need of a salt lick that would come from your french fries or any other product available. Ahhh the breakfast sandwiches too. Good. I don't think you should bear all the blame for our obesity. I get it. We're eating your stuff. That's us.
But "mini?" Don't you think that's taking a few liberties with the whole power of words? That's a bit like calling a Suburban a Mini (like a Mini Cooper) just because it's not a Hummer. A stretch Mickey D's.

Another stretch that I actually would like to see the ad agency brainstorming notes to learn the answer - there's a commercial that airs during the basketball coverage that shows a woman knowing the value of a dollar throughout her lifetime. She starts tiny - buying a fish for a dollar. Then she's a hot teen - she buys sunglasses for a dollar. Then she's a savvy moneysaver who also enjoys food - she's buying things on the McDonald's dollar menu. That's a value. But I swear that there's a shot of the Filet O' Fish. Maybe not? But I think there is. Which made me think - wait, is your pet fish in that sandwich you just ate? Because at the end of the commercial she leaves McDonald's totally content with her valuable meal selection, and puts on those bargain shades in the sun. But my question was - wait, where's the fish? Then I thought...oh. Filet O'ed.

Is it a filet o' fish? If so, do they use a fish as the 1st purchase on purpose to get you thinking about the filet o' fish?
Is the ad campaign in your brain?

Well, before I'm accused of being a McDonald's conspiracy theorist, let me share some great seasonal story time with you. This actually got me!

Bah da da da dahhhh I'm Lovin' It

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Forest! Wake! Forest! Wake! Forest!

So Wake Forest, a team that has been in the doldrums of confidence and performance in recent weeks, won their opening round game against Texas. Why this is amazing, in a day full of some of the most stunning tournament upsets in recent memory? Prior to time expiring, you didn't really get the sense that Wake believed in themselves even. This was not a team of destiny, it was a team of fate. And totally accepting of that fate, good or bad. But in the last moments of overtime after several opportunities to salt away the game were squandered, a miracle shot went in. Prior to that? My quote? "We are going to lose. We've quit playing. We'd need a miracle." And we got one from Ish Smith. A shot that fell when it mattered. Unlike the poor Texas guy who bricked not one but two free throws when he could not afford to. The shot fell! The confidence boost came! Elation! Wake was on the right side of a buzzer-beater for once.

Wake and UT were an 8/9 matchup, meaning really it should have been anyone's game. The underdoggedness was not what it was for some truly victorious underdogs - Murray State, Old Dominion, Northern Iowa, Saint Mary's...these were some maybes, but never, ever were they counted as sure things. In any other tourney, one of them winning today might be the focus of the "cinderella story?" super interest story. One might see a giant spike in admissions applications and merchandise sales. One might get to be at the top of the Sportscenter hour. But as it is, it was a day of upsets. And I think the biggest upset for me was not being upset!
Wake won! Believed in themselves when I'd quit!
My apologies, Wake Forest. Thine is a noble name. Constant and true.
Though my fandom is constant and true, my faith was not. I apologize.
And on Saturday, let's do it! Go Deacs!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The March Milestones that make the Road that Rises to Meet You

Lent, the NCAA tournament, St. Patrick's Day, Girl Scout Cookies, with a dash of Fat Tuesday and Easter and baseball and the time change around the edges. I'd say Lent and March comprise some of the most expectant days of the calendar year. There's somehow, in the space far enough away from the holidays and MLK day, and just after Punxsutawney Phil announces six more weeks of winter and Mardi Gras pronounces the end of fun, a glut of time spent in the expectation of big things to come. And good things at that.

More sunlight. Warmer weather. Daffodils that have survived snow and frost. Easter that will release the penitent from their bonds of self-denial and back into the sticky embrace of chocolate or cookies or booze or caffeine or Facebook (though I've noted far fewer people giving up Facebook for Lent this year than last)! And a basketball tournament that will break the monotony of work life and the post-football world and allow for a spiral of excitement and elimination that tornadoes its way to crowning a new champion of college basketball. To my personal sense of the calendar year, St. Patrick's day is a very important respite from the life of un-fun or waiting. It's a little reprieve from our better behaviors and a one-stop shop for fun and excess. An allowance of our more basic instincts - drunkenness and singing, irresponsible weekday behavior, green, green and more green.

I spoke with my brother and sister-in-law by phone this evening after they'd enjoyed the thrills of a bar on the east coast. Somehow my brother and I fell to discussing the general lack of fervent participation - regardless of fashion sensibility - of the majority of people on the streets today in the wearin' of the green. My brother was, to my great joy, outraged and appalled by people's failure to wear green. I explained I wore green on green on green, looking totally even more fashion-inept than I usually do, because that is what one does.
"Oh, I did too!" was his reply.

Yes. Yes. Because that is what one does! It's St. Patrick's Day! When else will you wear all green? Come on! Participate!

It was a moment of shared point of view stemming, no doubt, from our childhood in a home that featured some family fun hoopla for St. Patrick's day - lots of green was worn, parades were attended, songs were sung, cabbage was boiled, beef was corned, green bagels were eaten and the subsequent unexpected side effects of green food coloring were discussed. The shared point of view also came from our childhoods occurring in Pittsburgh, a city that cares about St. Patrick's day a good bit. Sure, some of that is from the many Irish immigrant families in the area, but more so, I'd say it's from the city's need for a break in the long winter's dreariness. A break made of whiskey and soda bread. Lent and winter and cold and March and the bleak black and gray of wardrobes used to being dragged on bedraggled bodies through slush and ice and snow to the safe warmth of office spaces only to be forced out again into the dark cold of night, and back home again to the welcoming glow of Jeopardy! after a dinner that was used as much to warm the bones as to feed them. Winter can take its time, especially in March. But not when everyone is smiling drunk and wearing enough mismatching green to confuse a chameleon.

Sure, it was about 80 degrees here today. Or more. Yes, more. The "bleak winter" is not so much a fact here as it was in Pittsburgh, but the March drag is still a reality. St. Patrick's day injects the newness of youth, even if only in excess, back into the month, with staggering ever, and ever staggering, sweet sweet green.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Kids, the discontent continues. Perhaps the ides of March? Or actual madness for March madness?

Also, for anyone who happened to read my cougar rant about March Cougar Madness a few days back, please note that a magazine, I think Esquire?, is also having the hottest women bracketology contest for readers too.

I don't know why this frustrates me so. I guess because I do not appropriate tournament brackets to heterosexual males as much as it would appear mass media does. Really, many of the most rabid March madness lovers I know are women. Many of the most degenerate casual gamblers I know are men, but I still don't equate NCAA brackets with men, or men of a certain degree of gambling addiction. I consider filling out brackets a tradition that is a wonderful take all comers equalizer that opens the joy of NCAA basketball to all. So glorious, in fact, that it makes me ask - can you imagine if there were an equivalent NCAA football bowl situation?!?! Crazy even to ponder.

Once the games begin on Thursday there's quite a good chance that the crockpot will turn, as it did during the Olympics, to matters of buzzer beaters, surprise upsets, tournament favorites, and other things Jay Bilas might say on television. Just a warning.

Today had all the makings of a hybrid of two of the best books of my childhood - Wacky Wednesday and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day. The reasons are not important, and many reside within my own little brain crockpot, but I think I should have known to just turn around and go home when I heard some hilarious soundbites on NPR during my drive to work.

The first was a British gentleman explaining to Renee Montagne (Montane? Montaine? Montaigne? MawnTayun? Anyway...) who David Beckham was. "You have to understand, Renee, he's somewhat of a national hero here."
It was sooo hilariously matter-of-fact and understated. So British. Such a British reaction to Renee's question - which was absurd and somehow flippant enough to be condescending and also so very stereotypically NPR in its reflecting the total lack of grasp of David Beckham's influence on soccer as a sport globally, and particularly, in England. Oh, and let's not forget America. He was basically sent to colonize America for the kingdom of soccer. Look at that - total fragment. And another describing the fragment. And another right there (and here!). Anyway, Renee was asking a sports reporter being called upon to represent the expert opinion of sports in England whether, at 34 going on 35, Beckham wasn't getting a little long in the tooth to be running around playing soccer? The implication was something akin to, "I mean, yeah, he had a pretty devastating injury, but shouldn't people lower expectations? I mean, he's been playing for what, more than ten years? Can't this guy just admit he's getting old?"

Really, like I cannot imagine that being asked on an American sports show without the "sports expert" responding with yells. Phones would ring off the hooks. Email inboxes would flood. What?!?! It's DAVID FREAKIN' BECKHAM. Kind of a big deal to the sport of soccer. I can't even imagine Renee asking that to the guys on Click and Clack and not getting laughed off the air. It's David Freakin' Beckham!

Anyway, I was still pondering that when another story aired involving the record breaking sale of Michael Jackson music rights (record breaking in two ways! Crazy! and booo....bad one). The interviewer was asking another British expert - this time a music rights guy - if MJ would become the new Elvis in his posthumous popularity and sales. After a rather lengthy comparison and explanation that actually made a lot of sense, he capped his interview by saying, "The time is right for a new dead artist."

I mean, grace in soundbites of a high degree. If he waits, oh whaddya think Renee, another 10 minutes? maybe he can get old man Becks. He's sure to kick soon.
Actually....that's kinda the thing....
He can't kick.

Nina Totenberg, take me away!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Turn and Face the Strain

Apparently my biorhythm or internal clock or turkey popper has a very sensitive time frame for proper function. Even the one hour time change has rendered me useless. Yesterday I gave over to the sloth, but today I am really out of it, which I find to be especially annoying given that there's much fun sunlight to go out an enjoy!
Not me! I had to come home and immediately take a nap, and even then I woke up groggy and freezing cold. It's like 80 degrees today and I'm huddling with soup in front of my space heater.

Many might wonder if this slowed function results more from completely disrupting my sleep pattern by way of staying up half the night on Saturday to have wild n' crazy fun with the younger kids whose bodies handle such events on a regular basis than from daylight savings. Here I am two days later, limping to the finish line of the day and then plunging for the couch like it's the crash cart ready to take me to the locker room after returning a kick off for a touchdown and pulling something in the end zone.

Gatorade. Cortisone? I've been shooting myself up with English muffins.
Nooks and crannies. That makes them very restorative. I think the Thomases lived down the English lane from the Pine Brothers, actually. Should be no time before I'm feeling 100% refreshed and reinvigorated.

Speaking of the British and devastating reduction in function, how about David Beckham tearing an Achilles heel. YEOW that must be painful. And yikes he may have to rely more on his cologne/underwear/fashion/eyeglasses/sunglasses modeling than soccer to pay the bills.

Hm, I somehow feel like I've managed to qualify myself as being in the realm of superior athletes when, in all honesty, what I'm saying is I'm apparently too old to go out and have wild fun and not feel the after effects for days. And days.

Yikes! Going to have to work on finding the equivalent of modeling to fall back on to figure out how to overcome this!

Man, I do not feel like I am making sense.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sun-day Sun-day Sun-day!

Today's the Sunday that we make a sleep sacrifice to gain sunlight. The reversal and reprieve of the loss of sunlight Sunday, where suddenly the weekend's end approaches even faster. And before long - bam! - hibernation sets in.

Today marks the official repeal of the hibernation lifestyle! Great news. But in the immediate - as with any time change, I'm out of it! Disoriented! And hibernating harder than ever!

I've taken advantage of the day's sloth by enjoying such delights as English muffins and a t.v. airing of the movie Knocked Up, which I had never seen before. If anything, that movie confirmed my feelings that I'm definitely a Paul Rudd fan and not so sure I'm into Seth Rogen as much as everyone else. I also enjoyed an episode of Law & Order featuring the dream team! A young Jack McCoy working with Jill Hennessey's Claire and for Adam Schiff. Brisco and Lenny. They're all there!

Hm, I just checked the spelling on Jill Hennessey's name and in so doing learned that apparently my sloth and hibernation was spent in the company of many a Canadian! Jill Hennessey, like Seth Rogen, is from our neighbor to the north. O Canada! Thanks for the olympics. And for a believable assistant district attorney. And a guy who reaaaalllly likes the weed jokes.

Anyway, I'll see all of you tomorrow in the vitamin D rich environment of newsun times!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Scattered & Hopin' for Beer-battered

Well crocker fans, I'm sorry to report that I feel my shoulders have been living up around my ears lately, as I somehow have remained wound pretty tight this week, even into the weekend. Though I've accomplished much today, I still think I was generally impatient while doing so. That, plus the fact that the tasks involved were less than my favorite, made me a face full of furrow! Dunno. It will stick that way, I know. Just ask the botox folks. My scowl will damage my brow. So it goes.

I guess I'm being full disclosure honest here in saying writing this, my shoulders are still hunched. This is as to-do list item today. Yes, it is good for me, but it's kind of feeling like flossing right now. I'd much rather just do a shoddy job brushing my teeth and get into bed. Which I almost can!

I managed to do six loads of laundry, including washing my sheets (ALERT- world's most boring blog post! But hey! Every day means every day unless there's a happy hour to go to!). I hate making a bed. Hate it. Much prefer scrubbing a bathroom sink to making a bed. Maybe because I'm not great at it? And impatient? And want Martha Stewart results with Marty McFly effort (maybe he rolled out of bed late for school? maybe I just like Back to the Future?)? Well, my comforter is on drying cycle number two right now, and once that's out, I can end my hm...four hour extended effort in laundry - including having to go to the store to get more quarters! What a great excuse to buy an US Weekly.

That's the US Weekly pictures I'd like to see in the "celebrities are just like us" section.

Charlize Theron is one quarter short of the four she needs for her last load to dry and is wondering if a European coin wedged in her junk drawer for ages will jam the machine or trick it into functioning! Just like us!

Jake Gyllenhaal just dropped his clean favorite shirt and several pairs of underwear in the seemingly permanent, overflow soapy, dirty water puddle in his apartment building's laundry room. Looks like an F bomb is flying out of the pretty mouth of THAT brokeback star! He CAN quit laundry duty!

Eva Longoria Parker's laundry day ugly non-functioning waistband pants fall down while she walks through the courtyard of her building while carrying an arm full of partially wet-from-the-one-crappy-dryer clothes revealing a bit of her laundry day, hole-ridden underwear to neighbors! Hanes NOT her way!

Just like us.

The clock informs me my comforter should be at least more partially dry! Gotta go put laundry day to bed!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Whatta Maroon

Bugs Bunny used to use the phrase "What a maroon" often to describe morons. Bugs Bunny is a pretty funny guy. Today, I felt like a maroon on many occasions. The F in TGIF was really big today, and very pronounced. I somehow had no energy, too much nervous energy, too much silence, and I kept putting my foot in my mouth and stepping in it. And then putting my foot back in my mouth. Then falling on my ass because my feet were in my mouth.

This week has gone ahead and beaten me down, but in more of a mind game sort of way. Like, I didn't anticipate it's moves, but this week really made me fight to get out of check mate quite a few times. And in my evasion, I only built the pathways to my own downfall. Poetic work out there, week. You've won. My crown touches wood in defeat.

The topper for me came at the hands of what I must assume to be middle school girls, perhaps the cruelest and most vicious creatures on God's earth aside from wolverines (they hunt for sport) and actual sociopaths (not good).

I went swimming this evening at a local community pool. The adult practice is preceded by a middle school practice. The transition in the locker room between the two practices involves a lot of the word "like," a lot of shrieking (ungodly, unnecessary shrieking), and a lot of catty, petty, ridiculous, but obviously important, extracurricular social assessment. Even though I'm sure I must have been that horrid, I honestly do not remember being that horrid. And having no concept of my body, voice, or space in social constructs governing human interaction. Sure! Walk right in front of me! Sure, flail your arms while talking about what Tyler said in math class while blocking the only exit. Why not take a twenty minute shower with your friends where you're not even naked and are very much only getting your hair wetter than it already was in the pool. I mean, ten people are waiting, but hey! Go for it. You've got a lot of surmising to do. There IS a dance coming up.

Perhaps such lack of sympathy has caught up with me in the karmic sense. I arrived at the pool in a frenzy of excess energy - thrilled to be released from the defeat the week had just handed me, and pumped up by Air Supply, whose cd had allowed me to breathe again, spiritually at least. I had to hurry. I was wearing a bulky sweater. My shoes could be classified as "brogans." This stuff was not all going to fit in my bag. I opted to use one of the four rows of lockers of varying sizes to store my clothing, and just take my bag and swim crap with me to the poolside.

Well, my goggles broke and I was a discombobulated mess all practice long, which - whatever, there are worse fates. Like returning to the locker room to find the locker where you left your clothes EMPTY. (Yes, I had used a locker without a lock. I'm a fool).

I was glad I had packed the bigger towel. Especially since it appeared I was going to be driving home toga style. I enlisted the help of friends in my frenzy - "I think someone stole my stuff. Like, my pants, my shirt, my sweater, my shoes, my underwear...my clothes." While this was a hilarious notion, we all could agree on that, I was still furious at the prospect. These were crappy clothes. I kept rechecking a 3 locker radius of the one in which I'd left my stuff. Livid. Who does that??? I was certain it was middle school.

Then, one of the friends who was busy opening every locker on the row asked, "Are these your clothes?"
Sweet relief. There was my stuff, balled in a pile.
However, relief was soon replaced with fury. At least the theft option appealed to my sense of the possibilities that someone either needed clothing badly, was a kleptomaniac, or thought the clothes could fulfill a need somehow. When I realized the clothes had just been moved to trick me into thinking my clothes had been stolen and incite my panic, I became even more pissed off. Who DOES that?!! Who plays nasty tricks for the sake of being cruel?
Middle school girls.
Middle school girls.

I was so mad. I wanted revenge. I came up with the idea of leaving a turd in clothing that was just decoy clothing for them to move. Jokes on you! That's a turd you've got now, not just my underoos!

Is that akin to middle school prankness? Yes. Does it seem horrendous? Yes. I was appalled at the thought myself. But somehow, after a roller coaster week of a sort, I wanted it to happen. Just so I could say, "Doesn't doing mean shit for no reason infuriate you on a human and intellectual level???"
But I don't think middle school girls work that way. And I hope I don't.

Oh well. TGIF at last.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cougar Pause

A quick note of actual personal opinion. I was driving home today, wondering about the extent of the damages in the opening rounds of NCAA basketball conference championships today, pondering the immediate and abysmal loss by Wake Forest, when I heard the local radio station advertising a March "Cougar Madness" tournament. Women can send in pictures of themselves being couga-riffic and be entered in the bracketology of cougars. Should they advance to the final round and win (based on picture only), they also win a new car. When they did one of these contests before for guys, you know what was "madness?" Mustaches. The male equivalent of this was mustache growing. Which, to my knowledge, does not carry one specific set of stereotyped associations with it. Depends on the type of 'stache. Cougars? Not so. That's very specific.

Now, the cougar phenomenon is a fairly recent one by popular culture standards, with it taking, I'd say, what, three to four years for the use of the term cougar to describe older women hunting younger men to become so universally understood that it could become the name and premise of a popular television show on a major network? My issue with it is hm...how do I say... its popular use in culture as a term that is not inherently offensive, stereotypical, and indicative of still entrenched gender/power/sexuality/money stereotyping and perceptions. Guess what laaaadies? Cougar is pretty insulting! Um, a premise and notion fully embraced and exploited by the SNL skit "The Cougar Den."

Here's what 93.1 Jack FM's website gave as a definition of a cougar, thanks to Urban Dictionary:

Cougar-Coo-garr- Noun. A 35+ year old female who is on the “hunt” for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male. The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar in South Bay (or other cities)waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path. “Man is cougar’s number one prey”

First of all - 35!?!!!?!!!! Wowsers! This entry MUST have been written by a 17 year old because, folks! 35 is not. that. old. Secondly, note that the description of the woman is inherently insulting in its insinuation that women in question are both lying in wait to attack (physically and violently - with their sexual desire) young men, and are desperately exploiting their bodies' sexuality to do so. Please note that this is not an endearing term! It makes women animals. And desperate hags. In one fell swoop! Women who OBVIOUSLY are too old to have sexual desire that's valid directed toward younger men are DESPERATELY waiting and slinking across bars and clubs trying to ATTACK men. This is not a positive view of women! Anyone?

Aside - Appropriate uses of "cougar"
1. Distinguish the awesomeness of John Mellencamp in relation to other people from Indiana named John. He rocks harder. Long after the thrill of livin' is gone.
2. To name a fine member of the Mercury family of automobiles. I remember these from my childhood. The Cougars and the Sables. (BOTH ANIMALS). Sleek, sophisticated, and a lot of burgundy interiors.

The presumption of the term cougar is NOT that women can date, bed, attract, marry younger men and do it with finesse, ease, and the same careless abandon as some men who prefer younger women. Those men, by the way, are called "heroes," and "good catches," and "yacht owners." But does anyone say, oh they are some desperate old men getting hair plugs and fake tans and wearing really tight graphic tee shirts to try to bang unsuspecting much younger women who won't see them coming? No. The implication in most cases THERE is also that the young women are either stupid or golddiggers who are fine with the age and beauty imbalance because they enjoy the financial perks of their older, caretaking bang partners. Does anyone ever say hey, those young men are golddiggers, gettin' with cougars like that? No, not to my knowledge. More like, ohhhh he got CLAWED by that cougar. And God forbid a younger man might actually be ATTRACTED to an older woman!!!! WHAT?!?! Impossible! The inherent presumption is that an older woman could only attract and retain a younger man by sexuality tricks and essentially, entrapment. Like bears get entrapped. Yep. Hunting snares and attacks on younger, unsuspecting men who get fooled by their cleavage into thinking they're of a socially acceptable age.

Old dude bags a young chick - hero, and she was looking for that guy anyway.
Old lady bags a young dude - she's so desperate, he must have mommy issues, I bet she's paying his college tuition and trying to recover from a divorce because her husband left her for the aupair in her twenties.

I found the use/misuse/casual embrace of this, to my thinking, insulting term for women by the Jack FM web site to be particularly telling. They have their own list of members of the cougar hall of fame. Yes, Demi Moore is on there, and Madonna too. They like 'em young. But then Marisa Tomei is on there apparently for being hot and over the age of 35. So it's not because she's an attractive woman who is over the age of 30 that you like her, it's because she's still sexual in any way over the age of 30, which must be an anomaly in the larger scope of the female population? Great. The most hilarious to me? Catherine Zeta F-ing Jones! Folks, she is MARRIED TO A DUDE WHO IS WAY OLDER! If anything, Michael Douglas is the cougar! She's just a very attractive woman over the age of 30! Her husband is not called desperate hunter of an unsuspecting, willing to do anything younger woman. He's called a very lucky man. A hero even. Because wow. Hasn't he achieved in finding someone THAT hot?

I tried to watch the show Cougar Town because it's creator gave us Scrubs, a show full of quirky fun that I love and enjoy in all its syndicated glory, and even in its new iteration, Scrubs the Med School years (which I compare to A Different World from Cosby, which brings us back to Marisa Tomei), as the characters frequently say what they're thinking, even if it's not quite appropriate. Cougar Town - I couldn't get through it! Courtney Cox's character was caught early in the morning by another neighbor (formerly the powerhouse power-bitch on Scrubs - an entitled rich bitch who used and abused men and owned it without any neuroses about if she should, could, or had the right to - a great character written for her by her husband...Bill Lawrence who also created Cougar Town) while outside too early in the morning to be awake, so the neighbor knew she had to have been getting busy with that young hottie she bagged, but also inquired about her makeup being so perfect so early. Cox's character described waking up super early so she could put on full makeup so that the young guy would never know that she looked like hell, and old hell at that, early in the morning. Totally hysterical LAAADY time in commiserating on the need to perform TRICKS to ensure physical attractiveness to maintain sexual success with younger men. And obsession with appearance, and neurotic mania, and just a great, wonderful, shrill conception of women as they age.

Didn't Oil of Olay used to say grow old gracefully as their ad campaign? Sure, they were advertising avoiding wrinkles, but at least they were advocating the reality of aging. And grace. The term cougar removes all the grace from women and replaces intelligence with desperation, lust, over-the-top sexuality and cunning to target that which would be unattainable without these - sexual interest from any man not as senior as his lover.

A depressing outlook!
I take pause with these paws.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Penalty Lap!

Hey guys! Did you notice I missed yesterday's post? I say that to the larger world of unlikely stoic readership, but realize that for many - nahhh, it was no big deal. It was for me though, as it constitutes a break in the Lent pact, but one for which I'm willing to take the heat. I will either have to have a day with two posts to make up for this OUTRAGE, or I'll have to go a day longer. Somewhere the penalty lap will be calculated. Much like the winter olympic biathlon - no target can be missed without penalty.

Really, I already believe I've written an aside about my love of the biathlon somewhere in days past, but here I go again. Combining guns and skiing! Amazing! And it involves a penalty lap system and, for my money, most closely resembles a drinking game in its machinations. If you miss a target (after skiing to it with your RIFLE on your back), you have to take a penalty lap. So the sport involves endurance strategy, precision marksmanship from a variety of positions, and sprint skiing, depending on one's aim. What a sport! And I generally hate guns!

Much like those athletes, please know I am aware that at some point, I have to take a lap before moving forward. Publicly acknowledged and intention to pursue action declared.

Why did I fail (totes epic fail callback!), you ask? Drinking on a Tuesday! Behaving like it was Friday! Woo!

At the beginning of the week, my coworkers and I found little cards advertising our employer's mental health services that posed the question, in bold no less, What does it mean to be mentally healthy?

Great question. And the answer? Well that was provided with a checklist that included actual check marks as bullet points (which I apologize for being unable to simulate here).

"Mentally healthy people...
  • Feel good about themselves
  • Feel comfortable with and relate well to others
  • Meet the demands of life with relative success"
Upon reflection, I realized WHOA! I sure don't think I'm checkin' those check boxes in pen. And pencil seems like way too much commitment. Um, could you be more specific about "demands" and "relative"? And when you say "good" does that mean like, absence of flu-like symptoms? Or do you mean able to make it a week at work without having to give oneself a pep talk about not crying at one's desk? Or like, being able to look down when in the shower without giving oneself a pep talk? And when you say "relate" does that mean like, by blood? General success at sharing genetic material with "others"? Because, yep! Yep, I feel comfortable that I do do that. And I would even say I do it well. Being related to other people actually contributes greatly to my "relative success." It's awesome! I'm so related. I've got like, four first cousins and then a bunch of other folks stray down the DNA. Also if "others" involves imaginary conversations I have with either real people I see in the real world, or characters in my imagination, or say, the Microsoft Office helper dog I've named Bobbydog who spends a great deal of time on my desktop (he reads books! he's hilarious!), then yessss. Yes, I relate the hell out of others. All the time.

But with a little more thought and some discussion in my immediate cubicle zone, we determined no, that's probably not what they meant. So when the opportunity to go to an inter-collegiate alumni group event became available to me, I decided to challenge my mental health and go, knowing my preference for my couch and television would really not lead me to more actual "relative success" than it already had. And THAT, is how I ended up drinking drinks on a Tuesday. At cut rate prices. And I even interacted with others! Due in no small part to the drinks! And name tags! Wonder of wonders! I might need to sharpen a pencil to get ready to make a mark next to bullet point two there. Baby steps.

When I got home from this adventure, I decided to make myself a delicious, post-midnight omelet, like ya do. I noticed the piles of mail strewn across the coffee table, left idling near the t.v. remote I usually cradle like a baby. I was reckless with my spatula work, and I didn't care! Those eggs could wait until tomorrow to be scraped from the pan and the stove top. I was going to throw my jeans in a heap with the rest of the clothes I'd been wearing this week - whatever man, I had just related. This mess would be here tomorrow, and that's when I could be a responsible little apartment dweller without anyone knowing the difference.

Well, imagine my dismay when I arrived home today feeling the pain of having slept about three hours less than I normally do on Tuesday nights, having drunk several more cut-rate beers than I normally do on a Tuesday night, just ready to get back on that couch and let that t.v. remote know it had not lost its control over my emotions, and realized the handyman and my building manager had been in my possibly tornado-struck-mess-level apartment to fix a fuse unannounced. Well, they may have literally been walking on egg shells, but at least they didn't have to feel bad adding paint chips to the shitstorm. For several moments, I did not feel good about myself. I did not feel comfortable about how the state of my home had related to others. I did not feel like I'd met the demands of life (surpassing "squalor" in the apt descriptor of your home's cleanliness has to be on a list somewhere, right?) with relative success. And I thought, oh crap, I didn't write either, I have got to clean up my act. But then I got on the couch, and realized I had not the night before and thought eh, no one's perfect? I can relate.

Monday, March 8, 2010

More Orca-stration

Sometimes it's odd how one discussion topic you never think about leads to weeks and weeks and weeks of mentions in passing and general attention to a topic. Such is the case with Sea World. I have not been to a Sea World in my life thus far. I somehow have no interest. I think I remember Sea World in Ohio? Like it was advertised in Ohio? Am I confusing Cedar Point with Sea World? In any event, I did not go. And I remember being stubbornly, and now I feel like almost irrationally opposed to going to Sea World on a college spring break service trip in Florida. We were there working on houses in the last El Nino year I remember as very very rainy. Florida getaway that helps people trip!!! turned into our van full of college dorks who did not either go home or go away with our Greek-affiliated friends to somewhere booze-filled going to KMart and desperately hoping we could find flannel anywhere in Florida in March. I think I paid $2.88 for a flannel shirt. It was on sale, and it was the best $2.88 I'd ever spent at that point, as underdressed and underpacked as we all were.

Toward the end of the week, we had the opportunity on our one day off to take a day trip if we wanted to. Orlando was within our sights. We could make it, but no one wanted to spend 90 bucks for 3 hours at Disneyworld. Another idea that was floated to the group was Sea World. Somehow, despite my massive desire for group cohesion, I was nearly violently opposed to driving 3 hours to go to a dolphin and whale show that cost a lot of money. It seemed like a terrible idea and a terrible use of time, particularly since I was enjoying the access we were given to the YMCA (also our overnight home) facilities. They had an outdoor pool in March. To me that seemed way better than watching whales swim. I could swim! For free! (The novelty of swimming has never worn off, really. God bless my grandmother who took her grandchildren to Florida to see Mickey Mouse only to find out that they were as, if not more amused, by the hotel swimming pool. By "they" I mean me). I remember just refusing to cave. Like saying I'd rather just go see Orlando than go see Sea World.
I think that is what we ended up doing, because the needs and wants of our group were so varied at the time. Some people were ready to pay any amount of money for action. Some people had 5 bucks and a free day. Mediation went to the common denominator of "let's just go."

After being enchanted by the vehemence and hmm...almost uncharacteristically fiery debate about Sea World and its merit or lack thereof in the face of the recent killer whale attack that was being broadcast on NPR, I had another Sea World encounter this evening. I was in a locker room (about to go swimming...was not joking about that novelty before) and heard one hm, nine year old girl say to another:
"Guess WHAT." (leaving no room for her friend to not say "what?")
"On Friday, I'm going to Sea World."
"You're so lucky!!!"
"I get to leave school early. I have to."
"I wanna go, you're so lucky."

It made me laugh because it really was the most earnest expression of privilege and envy by the young that I'd heard in a while. Totally genuine interest in Sea World's splendor. And its power to be worthy of missing school - the ultimate in childhood value systems.
Despite being quite a bit older, it made me think, really? You're jealous? I can't ever remember wanting to go to Sea World when I was young. Or ever, actually.

But the instinct of sharing good news about getting to do something fun that gets you out of an obligation that's not fun? I don't think that ever goes away.
Really. Think about a meeting ending earlier than expected and sending you home sooner than you thought you'd be going home. Even if only by 15 minutes, it still feels pretty special.
And the next day, you'll probably tell someone. Their response?
"Really? You're so lucky!!!!"

We're all still chasing that whale, wherever it may be.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Some thoughts from today's most popular guy

"The Oscar goes to-"

This phrase will be uttered again and again tonight and that little pause before the envelope is opened will be full of tension and a four- or five- or ten-way split screen of actors doing their best to act like they don't care, don't need it, fully love everyone in their category, or in the case of many women, like they're not about to pass out from hunger while simultaneously worrying if their hair is holding its curl and their tits are holding their perk. But does anyone ever stop to consider the tension and AGONY we, the Oscar statuettes experience? No. Absolutely not.

Being an Oscar statue, sure, it's a glamorous life, but the most glamorous part really happens on one night. Then, after that, there's a far better chance of oblivion and dust-gathering on a bookshelf than you might think. At least the Olympic gold medals get to go to middle school gymnasiums or on the front of Wheaties boxes, but we Oscars are made for one night of glam, and are then left to the whim or mania of whomever might happen to take us home.
The pressure is awful. We're the mail order brides of the entertainment industry! No choice in the rest of our lives, and there's just as much chance will be used to prop up someone's encyclopedia of French film collection as there is we'll be painted green and given any number of undignified appendages by Hollywood eccentrics (read: drug addicts). The last place an Oscar wants to end up is coked up and sunk at the bottom of someone's Oscar celebration pool party in the Hollywood hills. We're heavy, remember. By the time Consuela finds us on Tuesday, we'll be halfway hellbent on mildewing, and given about as much attention as one of the other silver candlesticks or sex toys that our owner has demanded she polish. The rich. The famous. The praised. Gag me.

Which they do!!!!
When you're kiln-molded to have no discernibly functioning lips, do you think anyone wants to hear what you have to say, or if you think Avatar was some derivative morality play, or if you'd rather be melted down for use in the Franklin Mint collectible coin series for purchase by some old lady in South Dakota than go home with Tarantino? Have you seen him when he's "just being himself?" Come on. Yes, I would delight in the chance to be held in Colin Firth's gentlemanly arms, but will I get the chance? Probably not. Much better chance of going home with some weirdo named Eveleengela who finally earned the recognition she deserves for achievement in costuming for her work in some foreign film no one saw. Great. A lifetime of wearing tiny, couture outfits for the amusement of her dinner party guests. I'd love to be a living doll. Sure, that's why I've been working out so much for this physique.

Really. Turn the cameras around, Ryan Seacrest. Great! Eva Mendes looks stunning again? Wow, shocker. Has she DONE ANYTHING OF ARTISTIC MERIT aside from looking orgasmically satisfied in a shampoo commercial lately? Come on. Why is she even here?!? You wanna talk hot bodies? Turn the cameras toward gold. They love us. Do you know how many times I've been described as "statuesque" in my day? Often. Let's just say often. Probably as much as you get compared to Dick Clark. But does anyone give a damn? No. Just some sweaty palms clutching my rock-hard, gilded ass and pumping me above their head like I'm the whistle on their choo-choo train. Guess what? The view from up here? I can see down your dress. Looks like you're giving yourself a little boost in the boobs, huh? Tape much?
You can't tape solid gold. There's nothing to hide.

There's always the tiny hope of going home with a French ingenue and living out your days overlooking the tower from the wide-open perch on her table near the window. There's the lottery-stats hope of going home with Meryl. But most often it's either a spot next to the Yoda gumball machine of the technical merit geeks, or under a hot spotlight next to some other lesser industry awards in the office of someone who spends most of his day on the phone using the F word. Le Sigh. What can I do about it? A life of glamor is, after all, a thing of beauty. There's always a chance to go home with the animators. They seem fun. As long as it's not a writer. Anything but a writer. Gawd! I'd rather be the beer-laden, frootloop soaked, baby-butt-hugged bowl of the Stanley Cup than go home with a writer. Insufferable. Mostly the sobbing. And especially the singing.

Wish me luck tonight. The envelope? Please.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

All that crap

Sometimes living in L.A. is hilarious, like when it's raining in a fairly typical rain fashion the day before the Academy Awards. The news of the evening comes on at 11 p.m. as planned, miraculously so, given the inclement weather. The top story? The weather.
It's raining. It's winter. So it's a winter storm.
Rain is on the roads! And the Kodak Theatre, home to the 82nd Annual Academy Awards....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!

The top story's weatherman reveals the rain might stop. Maneuvering away from footage of cars on roads, we go to the graphic display of tomorrow's outlook.
Morning - partially cloudy
61 degree Red carpet
Evening - 20% chance of rain

Red carpet? Is that a time of day now officially? Or is the carpet kept at a constant 61 degree temperature? Either way, it's assumed it is of note to everyone.

Story two - The rain's effects on the Academy Awards.
Cutaway to someone live at the scene, a giant Oscar statue shrouded in protective plastic behind her. Concern on her face? Evident. Pronounced. Gripping.
A lot of preparations have been made for tomorrow...
Will this city survive? And, by associative property, will the rest of the world since they're obviously relying on this epicenter of award action to serve as a social barometer for the nation. Just ask media-rologist James Cameron (too tired for my Avatar rant now, but know it's inside if I've spared you thus far).

All this hype reminded me of something I saw while digging around in crocks past, looking for Mr. Roboto. Something that seemed quite appropriate. At least watch until the one minute mark, that's all I ask. After that, it's funny because the point is undercut by the giant fake tree forest illusion on stage behind them, but still a good one. Also, I believe Tommy Shaw in this video (is that him? a replacement?) may be the inspiration for Kate Gosslin's new hairstyle and extensions. Another grand illusion of its own.

"Dont you go believin' in movies and tv and rock videos and all that crap, Come On!"

Dennis DeYoung of Styx

Friday, March 5, 2010

Learning To be a Housewife

Yesterday's quiz answer? I think I'd be H.M.S. Ginnafore. Still thinking about what the HMS stands for.

I've spent some crock time devoted to my devotion to Bravo programming, let's be honest. Well, last night I realized just how much I rely upon television to provide order in my world. A circuit tripped in my apartment at the exact 30th minute of the episode of Project Runway, leaving me in the dark figuratively and literally. Not only was I not going to know what happened (still haven't caught up yet, no spoilers), I also knew I was not recording the remainder of the episode! Or the Real Housewives finale! Terrible news! And imagine my consternation today when I did not know whether or not power would be restored in time for me to come home on a Friday night, hunker down with the Guide menu of my DVR, and record some programming I missed last night. WOW. I was tense all day! And mad at my building manager all day! Why such callous disregard for my need to plug in entertainment-providing appliances!?!?!

Well, joy of joys, I came home to discover power restored. Sure, there's one circuit that's just been left in the off position that appears to be unresolved and possibly a fire hazard, and sure, maybe there are paint chips from around the circuit breaker all over the kitchen floor, but hey! There are also back to back episodes of the Real Housewives franchise - an OC finale, and the NYC season premier.

Heaven...I'm in heaven....

Housewives on t.v. are professional bickerers. I kiiiiinda hate bickering! Yep! But man oh man, am I watching this shit. So, to honor this for being as ridiculous as it is, I've decided to take the "Which housewife of Orange County are you?" quiz on the bravo web site. Let's see who I am!

Uh oh, question one and I've already failed. "Who do you consider your best friend?"
Options for this are daughter, boyfriend, husband, and mother. Um....none of the above? Can my best friend be my best friend? Guess not. Let's pick mom. Question 2 - another failure! "Do you consider yourself a workaholic?" Isn't this one a yes/no?
No, no it's not.
Uh oh, how do I handle conflict with my significant other? Do you mean my best friend? Wait, that's my mom.
Uh oh! Am I comfortable making big purchases? This involves my man's opinion or gifts? Eek! Whole Foods sushi was a big purchase for me this evening...
Ahhh finally we've found a question for me. After speculation about whose celebrity fan club I'd join and my parenting style, a question about what gets me up in the morning, and the perfect answer - a bucket of coffee!

Twelve questions later and we've figured out who I am. Though I've seen quizzes in both Seventeen and Cosmo that seem more applicable to my lifestyle, I probably think this quiz is correct in its correlation with my OC Housewife style. I'm Jeana!
"Always able to keep a cool head amidst the chaos of her bickering brood, Jeana is a powerhouse realtor and the one most likely to dole out the best advice to a fellow housewife in a tough situation. Being Jeana means you're a kind soul, an amazing listener, and above all a true and genuine friend. Sure, you tend to have high expectations of the people you love, but it's only because you want them to realize their true potential."
Does this mean I'll do Playboy? Or let my daughter get implants? Or maybe that I'll host some good pool parties. We'll see. And yep, one day of minor television discontinuation might in fact make me an OC housewife in my obliviousness to real problems of the world. That one....yeah. Way more on point!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Abbreviated thoughts

Today I was thinking about L.L. Cool J. Why? I have no idea. I really think I'd be an excellent candidate for a brain mapping study that examines childhood music and television exposure and that effect on long-term thought organization.

Really, if you ask me to sort by lyrics, the process typically goes much faster in my brain than say, sorting by importance. Somehow, when I thought of L.L. Cool J, I thought of the song "O.P.P." and how good it is. I then thought hm, abbreviations are pretty awesome, as are using them forever, as L.L. Cool J has done in his career, even as he works for Sears as a fashion designer. Sure, ladies love cool James, but ladies also love Sears. Ludachris cutting out the Luda for acting? Well, I get it, but how great is Ludachirs as a name? Good. L.L. Cool J didn't switch for Sears or his cop show. And I guess neither did Ice-T. Ice-T made me think of Ice Cube, and then the end of all of that were my grand conclusions that: 1. I'm down with O.P.P., and 2. Today was a good day.

Uh oh! In looking up a picture of L.L. Cool J, I just discovered Sears ditched his clothing line!!!! What??? Maybe the love of the ladies does not come from the same ladies? Terrible news. I can only hope he will rectify this situation and become a part of L.L. Cool Bean, the direct mail catalogue for every urban outdoorsman.

This is a crock question I pose to readership - if you were going to make initials to throw at the front of your name that meant something, which letters would you choose? And what would they stand for?

I'm going to have to think on this one.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Now That's a Crock, If I've Ever Heard One

So I am a hm...whore for Bravo television programming? Hm. Maybe not a whore but certainly not very discerning in what I'll watch. One of their more train-wrecky programs that I tend to watch but can't really believe I watch and may carry a bit of the personal shame spiral in watching more than once is the Millionaire Matchmaker. This show involves one very high octane "matchmaker" L.A. yenta taking 2 individuals (usually men) per show and parading hotties in front of them in a cocktail scenario. Each dater picks a match, then cameras follow them on one date that is usually conveniently located at a resort, day spa, restaurant or club that might enjoy promotional benefits of being seen on national television as a romantic location (same premise as just about everything the Real Housewives do when they happen to "go away" to an amazing, named, five-star chain resort once every three episodes). The other option is for these folks to go on a date that's completely ridiculous and outlandish, and very unlikely to be duplicated by the viewing public. Usually the dates either go blandly well, or are total disasters. In either event, Patti is shamelessly self-congratulatory, either saying "of course, because I knew that was the match for you" or "of course, because he didn't pick the one I picked for him." For one who talks about the phallus as much as she does, she's pretty infallible in her own mind.

I believe the fine print of the show indicates that all participants filmed on the show are given services in the Millionaires' Club (the dating service that costs like $25,-000 - $50,000 bucks to join) gratis. That means free, even in fine print. So yeah, it's a thing, but more than anything, it's a show.

And the men are most times characters - whether deluded, eccentric, or so utterly self-absorbed they're unable to converse with others one-on-one in any significant way, it of course makes for disastrous dates, and good television.

Though the show holds my attention well enough, quite often while I'm doing other things, it's really Patti that I would like to know more about. Not in an Access Hollywood or E! News kind of way, but in an A&E biography way, and even then in the A&E before they went kind of trashy cable sort of way. Back when the voiceover guy for A&E was boring, deep, and dignified. No scintillation at all. Dog the Bounty Hunter was not on the payroll yet. That A&E - please take me back to Patti's Jersey childhood.

Those are the people I want digging into Patti's past. Her own parents have been on the show, but somehow I want to hear high school friends' impressions and see the middle school pictures of her with braces and, I'm assuming, a lot of curly hair. I assume this because her hair is now probably very expensively chemically straightened, and I believe I've seen her call curly haired women things just shy of "hussy," given the kink in their hair's disposition. It's an irrational hatred and meanness that I think has to have some internal autobiographical source in relation to her own hair, but psychoanalysis is not what keeps Bravo in business. In fact, quite the opposite.

The show also devotes usually 4-7 minutes per episode to Patti demeaning women who come to her "club" to be considered as candidates for matchmaking. True to pimp form, Patti breaks these women down without mercy, bitchslapping them with insults about physical appearance, fashion sense, hair styles, age, career, and, of course, hair texture. It's the most absurd part of the show, but I'm also guessing the biggest audience grab of each hour. Patti insulting women and telling them they're not good enough to be paraded before men at a cocktail party like whore-derves - it makes no sense. Is that supposed to make me think her club is that selective? Or that she hates women? Or that she hates herself and takes it out on women who want men's approval by hating them as meanly as possible? Or that she's good at television.

She's certainly good at lip gloss.
Anyway, if anyone knows the scoop, please update her rather underwhelming Wikipedia page .
But don't tell her that. She hates it when people challenge her authority on anything.