Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Stories from the ancient history of me...

Once upon a time, boys and girls... I lived in a fantastic loft near downtown on Harwood next to what was then Austin Steel Mill from 1988-1994. We had hookers in front of our building but that was ok, because they were interesting to watch from the roof. We would hang on the roof, smoke and drink, and a good time was had by all. It was beautiful and quiet, and close enough to downtown for a spectacular view. Time seemed quite charmed, then.

There were 13 lofts in the building, and the neighbors were the best. Gradually I've lost touch with all of them, but I hold fond memories of one New Year's eve when we all dropped acid and listened to local rockabilly god Reverend Horton Heat. You haven't lived until you've heard his
meisterstrück Marijuana or Psychobilly Freakout completely trashed. But I digress.

Great neighbors came and went, but among them were Thom, who now runs (or ran) the Texas Embassy restaurant in London, Tom & Peggy (photographer & makeup artist who moved to open a gallery in Oregon), Richard and Ashley, (he, photographer, she - jewelry designer), artists Jeff & Cindy, and sundry others.

I know you're dying to know how that garishly colored cake fits in, and you're probably guessing it's some sort of memorial to Selena or something. Nope. Fat Tuesday 1993, we gathered in Richard & Ashley's loft for a king cake, which is a New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition. The cake is sliced up and doled out to everyone, and whoever ends up with the piece with the little plastic baby Jesus inside will have a very fortunate year.
As hostess, Ashley wielded a huge knife and cut into the cake then drew the knife out with the little plastic doll partially dismembered and stuck to the knife. She found the king, but this was a rather auspicious way to come upon it. Later that year, Ashley and Richard divorced, I met husband and moved to a conventional neighborhood, and we all scattered to the winds. Ashley moved to Houston where I assume she still lives. She made some incredible jewelry which I and my sister still wear. I heard that Richard moved to San Francisco with some other artists. Since I don't plan to abstain from any amusements, Fat Tuesday can come and go for all I care. I do relish the memory of that one time, though. It's a sweetly melancholic remembrance this time each year: scattered friends.

Monday, February 27, 2006

OK. Time for housecleaning again. When the golden niece was about 3, we began having "girly day", and I would pick her up early in the morning every Wednesday, and we'd go to breakfast and make a list of all the fun stuff we would do. We went to tour the now departed Mrs. Baird's factory once, and we nearly always stopped by their discount bread store and took bags of bread to the ducks at a local lake. We had lots of creative projects going, and we liked to go to the marvelous Froggies five & dime on Knox, which is a great Christmas stocking-stuffer store, by the way.

So the beloved nephew is now 3 and we had our first auntie-nephew day recently. We went Downtown so he could see all the cranes working, which thrills him. There was fencing at one corner of this site and we stood there and watched a concrete hopper filled from a cement truck, and then they hooked it up to the crane and lifted it over to fill in a wall. This was very exciting for nephew, and the job foreman even took note of him and came over to talk to us. He looked quite the little man in his hard hat. Then we went and shopped for his first piggy bank, and he found an adorable doggie bank he really likes. I bought him a Bob the Builder set last night with a backhoe tractor thingie. He likes to see how things are put together, and I think he has the mind of an engineer. We'll see. In any case, our first outing together was a success. Here for your enjoyment are some of his first job-site photos.

Niece is 9 and planning to become a veterinarian. My cat-obsessed sister said "great, then I can have my cattery and you can treat all my cats for free." Golden niece said "oh no, you'll pay just like every one else." I have trained her well, I believe. You should have seen our power shopping binge at Nordstrom Rack the day before Christmas. In about 25 minutes, we found gifts for the last 8 people on my list, and spent about $200. I'm teaching her my power-shopping ways. Good thing she's aspiring to a well-paying field. Then again, she's going to be tall, lean and leggy, and she won't need a high dollar wardrobe to look like a million... No one cares what a pretty girl is wearing, yeah?

So, morbid curiosity got the better of me and I had to take a gander at Lisa Loeb's reality show called #1 Single. I've always thought of her as not the type to do that sort of thing, rather less mainstream than to do something so personally exposing. (Wouldn't you think so,
Liz??? I mean, you went to high school with her, didn't you?) I'm chalking it up to the pressure from her Jewish mother who's constantly talking about babies and being a grandmother. Maybe it's her way of saying "Look mom, I'm really trying here." That's some evil pressure, I would think. And then to top it off, she's looking for a man in New York City??? Puh -leeze! The guys she keeps going out with are SO unmanly. Yuck. No wonder everyone there is trying to boink the firemen - the rest are just girls with dicks. Yuck. (The amazing Zelda had an excellent post on dealing with a highly-feminized man recently). This one jerk kept taking phone calls during their dates and then left her at the zoo after getting a phone call. I'm thinking either NYC women are stupid about men, or our Lisa has some self-esteem issues. Phlegmmy would have been on the curb hailing an effing cab before his rude ass got off the phone THE FIRST TIME.

When I met husband, the second time he came to pick me up for a date, I heard someone at the door, which was ajar so my dog could come and go as she pleased, and I went around the corner, and there he was with a screwdriver, tightening my doorknob. I thought "I'm going to marry him." He unflinchingly kills bugs with his bare palm. He can fix anything that is wrong with my vehicles, or at least duct-tape them together ably enough that we can get it to my pa's garage, and he does plumbing and electrical. AND he has a great brain - he's a computer engineer thingie - great problem solver. Very talented, technically minded rugged dude. When I think of choosing a mate in the Darwinian fashion, a physically capable and rugged computer dude is pretty much the ideal for me.

But GAw!!! Those New York City guys. Ick. I'm amazed the population isn't shrinking in that town.

Anyhoo - that's my Monday mornign ramble. Y'all have a great week.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I've been sitting on this subject for a while, and it's about time I pop the pimple and let fly with some pent-up angst. I've a fair bit of ire stoked here, so I hope you will forgive me if this turns into a convoluted harangue. So long as you agree with me 100% by the end of this post, I don't care how unhinged I may seem in the process.

About 2 years ago my husband's brother married a girl from the San Francisco area, where he has lived and worked for the past 8 years or so.

SisterInLaw is a nutritionist, and self-proclaimed health nut (passive-aggressive princess), and BrotherIL is just the sort of moldable, eager-to-please male women like that crave. He always wanted to get away from Texas, and I have no doubt there is a wee bit of self-loathing in his stripe of liberal feministic mindset. She claims to have him on a very strict dietary regimen, and in fact, the time he came to Dallas before the wedding, he said the crap food he was eating here had so bound him up that he was stuck in his hotel room most of the visit, and went home days early. Well, fine. Whatever.

So, since no one but my husband and his brother are allowed in their parents' house (I'm not kidding - they live 5 miles from us in Dallas, and after 12 years of marriage, I have never been in their home) BIL & SIL stayed with us when they came to Texas in Oct 2004. I was delighted they were coming, and having been aware of the digestive, er, difficulties BIL had the previous visit, I spared no expense stocking the kitchen with the very finest (read, expensive) organic produce and anything in the store that looked healthyish. I let them know that when they arrived there would be fresh fruit, cheese, and sandwich stuff at our house. So we waited for them to come from the airport. And we waited. They were 2 hours late when they finally showed up, but they said they had to drive around for a while until they found a Jason's Deli to eat. OK. Fair enough. They're tired, traveling and hungry, maybe they want predictable fare. The next meal, they wanted to go to Chili's (?!) and got some fajita-type product. Subsequent meals out only confirmed my belief that they were not at all picky about what they ate. They didn't eat a single banana, orange, apple or any other fruit I provided the entire week they were here. The day before they left, we were driving around, and SIL said "we need to stop at the store and buy some fruit" and I suspect husband's quick response was in hopes that I wouldn't let fly on they ass, as my fingers were digging into the automobile upholstery. He said "there is lots of great fruit at the house already." Most inexplicably to me - they don't believe in eating beef until it's cooked into an inanely gray and tasteless state. My philosophy is that if God didn't intend us to eat raw beef, then it wouldn't taste so good raw. For my steaks, just knock the horns off and wipe its ass, slap it on my plate and I'm one happy phlegmmy.

Before their arrival, I decked out their bedroom/bathroom with everything I could think of to make the space welcoming and comfortable for them. The only thing I could have added would have been a mini bar, but I knew I didn't care THAT much about impressing them.

Despite all this obvious effort on my part, little was said of the welcoming cordiality of my preparations. Again, fine. Whatever.

However, it was not long into the visit that I started hearing about how a place should be more diverse, and that SIL was thankful she grew up in San Francisco where she didn't just see white republicans everywhere. OK. No longer fine here. This was election season, and every other house on our street had a Vote Democrat! sign in their lawn, and no Repulican signs to be seen. My hackles are rearing their ugly heads at this point. The smug superiority was absolutely insufferable, and pretty much culminated in a heated discussion (I'd held my tongue long enough) the night before they left. The condescension was too much to endure another minute. I was delighted to see the back of them, to say the least.

Husband's parents have just completed construction of a palatial new home in one of Dallas' toniest suburbs, and BIL & SIL are coming to visit during the first week of April. Here's the amazing part: they are going to stay at the in-laws' new house with them. (Glory to the day of my deliverance.) Oh, to be a fly on the wall and see how sick of each other they all get. Fortunately, I have a large family gathering in Arkansas the following weekend, and I may just have to leave town early to go visit some art gallery spaces in Arkansas and Memphis to see if they would carry my work. Thank God for legitimate excuses!

I'll don my best cotillion voice and purr how I'm so disappointed I won't get to spend more time with them while they're in Texas. Actually, I'd like to take them to a rot-gut true blue Mexican joint that serves the best Chicken mole in town (my favorite). I should take them to places to let them see that Dallas isn't all white. I'll bet they'd shit themselves. We could go for Dim Sum in the Asian Gangland area of Garland. Go for a Sunday outing at the every-color trash playground of Traders Village. (The incense guy has 3' long joss rods with designer fragrances as well as "new car" and "pussy." I know. I know.)

So, that's my rant of the day. I'm sure my bullshit detector will be pegging over the next five weeks in anticipation of the hallowed visit of the anointed ones, so no doubt there will be miles more ranting to be done.
All I know is, if your head is so far up the ass of political correctness and multi-culturalism, you should at least be sensitive enought not to criticize the homeplace of people who are graciously hosting your worthless ass. Thanks for letting me vent.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sex Pistols tell Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to stuff it...

In their note declining the invitation to attend the ceremony marking Sex Pistols' induction into the R&R H o' Fame, Sex Pistols derided the fatuous self-adulatory ceremony which is ridiculously expensive to attend and therefore exclusive domain of industry insiders.

By the way - John Lydon's Rotten Television was a great show - too great to last. Hollywood freaks out when confronted with straight-talkers. And by straight talkers, I'm not referring to Sean Penn or that useless Clooney or Sarandon/Robbins-bot. The truth is often not pretty, and John doesn't mind not looking like a loved-up himbo or celebutante, God love him!

I saw the John's Public Image Ltd @ the Bronco Bowl in Dallas, all those years ago. He came out in white suit covered in fluourescents and bathed in black light- and every body was Happy.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In Arkansas, we call this grinning like a possum.

Blind gossip item from the UK's 3AM girls revealed:

22 February
2006 WHICH
actress left organisers in chaos when she pulled out of accepting
her award with
hours to spare? The A-lister decided she didn't want to fly
to the UK, so a
fellow star was drafted in at the last second.

Wow. I wouldn't have thought Reese Witherspoon would do that, but I watched the BAFTA ceremony on BBC America
(much truncated for American audiences, I expect) and Christina Ricci said a terse Thank You for the Best Actress award for Reese. Rather tacky, actually. I expected she was more genteel than to bail on such a high-profile event last-minute, especially when she was taking top honors.

Yes, hide! Hide your face in shame, Reese! Come to think of it, with that period attire you may want to use a fan to cover up that gummy possum grin of yours. And those nails! Sheesh!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Recently my sister got out her guitar and her John Denver songbook, with which she's been serenading the family for years. This is generally pleasant as long as she doesn't venture into JD's repertoire with a very broad tessitura. Indeed, challenged beyond an octave, my sister's sense of tonality borders on the pathological. One such song is "The Eagle," which all and sundry in the family beg her to stop singing within 2 bars. *shudder* (Incidentally, I trained as an opera singer in college, so I don't know whose baby we brought home from the hospital all those years ago). Coyotes have been moving into her neighborhood in record numbers. I have a theory why...

Anyway, my niece is quite familiar with John Denver's body of musical work. She asked my sister how he died, and she explained he shuffled off this mortal coil while flying an experimental plane off the coast of California. Niece looked puzzled and said "Isn't that weird? Didn't he write that leaving on a jet plane song?" Yes. Sister giggled herself silly over that one. Me too. Clever girl.

Back to the pimp-o-lympics™. Rocky (racquel) had to go and invoke the ultimate horror of the image of these medals snuggling into unruly thatches of Italian chest hair. I would point out the Italian ladies are by now no doubt familiar with 21st century depilatory methods, so let us not be catty.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Of course, I'm always saying how I like funky off-beat sorts of things, but this donut/cd/wtf-is-it medal design for the 2006 Italian winter Olympics is taking that liberty a bit too far. See exhibit A - Mark Spitz with his big swinging deck of medals and tell me what's more impressive? When people hold up their medals for the money shot after the medal ceremony - they always look like they're about to take a bite out of them, conjuring wooden nickel bite-tests of a bygone era. I think considering that Italy is one of the most innovative design centers of the world, they could have come up with something remarkable and fresh without making such a bizarre departure from standard medal design. But that's just me. Certainly, no one will ever confuse these with the medals awarded at any other Olympics, will they? If that was their goal, they certainly succeeded.
It's time you met some of my creations.
Two new pieces I just finished for the gallery. The large glass blue and white beads on the blue spiral were made on torch in my studio with Italian Moretti and German Lauscha glass rod. The green necklace is just seed beads, crystal and vintage mother-of-pearl buttons I've been collecting for ages. Most likely each of these necklaces is comprised of more than 3000 seed beads, each picked up by needle individually. The loop for the button closure is brick-stitched delicas from Japan which are beautifully uniform tiny beads, so they lock up nice and tight when you weave them together. These necklaces are about 20" long, and the beads are woven on about 20 feet of single strand nylon thread.

Yes, I have impeccable eyesight. I don't like my work to be all matchy-matchy - anyone could do that. I like a loopy unexpected energy to my work and I think I achieve that. You don't have to like it. I just thought I'd show you. I'll show more pictures of other styles I make later on.

Monday, February 20, 2006

If you are easily repulsed, don't read this entry. Come to think of it, if you are easily repulsed you wouldn't be here anyway, so never mind.

I took the opportunity today to behave in a veal-like fashion in honor of the exceptionally cold weather. Husband, on the other hand, went into turbo mode and finally hung some shelves in my studio as well as completing other sundry tasks about the house, and he ended up poking about in one of the closets. At one point he actually held up the vacuum cleaner and asked "are you jealous of my girlfriend?" Ah, mirth.

Now mind you, although our large house is pretty full, we haven't by any means filled all closet/storage space, and other than a cursory wipedown of all closet shelves I could reach, I didn't climb on a ladder to see what was on the topmost shelves after we moved in. We moved in in July 2004 and these shelves have remained as they were when we took possession of the place. So today, in what was one of the teenage daughters' bedrooms, husband found the item in the photograph on a top shelf. A ziplock baggie containing a pack of former fat-free Butterball turkey cold cuts that have morphed into some altogether different life form.
Hmmm... hiding food waaaaay up in the closet? Sounds like an eating disorder to me. Husband said it was a frightening combination of the twin towers of ultimate stink: foot and ass, and I decided to take his word for it and not see for myself. You see how that works, kids? Trust your spouse at their word and build stronger bonds. Everyone's a winner.

Anyhoo... it kind of reminded me of the last house we bought, which was a 1910 fixer-upper in a quaint little historic district of a Dallas suburb. As soon as we closed the deal and got the keys, we went over to the house with a crowbar and prised open the hideous false front that had been built around the 7' long Victorian bathtub, but oh there were surprises within. The floor had rotted out below the bathtub tap, and there was a hole through which squirrels had secreted an enormous stash of nuts. At the other end of the tub, there was a false closure on an adjacent cabinet, and someone had left their own stash of 1979 Playboy and Penthouse magazines. The magazines were a bit worse for wear, as they had been exposed to moisture. What made them the most interesting was the ad on the back of one that featured O.J. Simpson coming correct with an afro in a Dingo boot ad. We laughed at these and threw them away, of course. About 5 minutes later someone invented ebay, and 5 minutes after that "someone" killed O.J.'s wife.

Perhaps the nearly ambulatory crap in that baggie would like to join the search for the real killers.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Old man winter got off his lazy ass and finally gave Dallas a proper seeing-to. For only the second time this winter we can pack in our shorts and sandals, at least for a couple days. I sagely ran out to the nearest bead emporium yesterday to stock up on thread and crystals for a couple projects that are in the hopper and husband went for firewood and provisions (milk and cookies), so we're all set for a productive lie-in for at least 2 days. We're sitting mid-day back-to-back on our respective computers. He's slogging away on some techie work crap, and I'm writing to you lovely folks. Last night I fixed up a little portable nest for the doglet with a wicker laundry basket, a feather pillow and a t-shirt cotton sheet. She's snugly ensconced therein and looks like a little doggy bunting settled in for a winter's nap. Soon we'll rouse her from her slumber and take her on a little walkie in her parka - we must show off those winter fashions while we have a chance. There's a bottle of white wine in the fridge that wants cracking open, and we've got some backup if we run out of that. Tonight will be a new installment of the BBC production of Dickens' Bleak House on PBS, and that makes me fairly giddy. In short, it's a perfect day. Woohoo. Snuggle up and be cozy, peoples!
Anniversary week. On the phone with husband, we were uttering sweet unrepeatables about the chain-gang that is wedded bliss.

He: Oh, I'm getting a lot of voice mails.
Me: Must be the media dying to interview you and see how you've endured 13 years of marriage to me.
He: * after a bout of hearty laughter* That's really funny because it's only been 12.

Who says men don't keep up with that shit? Happy Anniversary, Husband. Maybe the next 12 will feel like 11, then we'll be square.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I don't know if anyone will ever see this post. The last 3 posts I have published in blogger have disappeared utterly. They're corked up in the ether. Done. Finito. Kaput. This is a trial balloon. I'll save the bon mots for when I know it will last. I'm so addicted... Oh, and sorry about the sad state of comments - some aren't coming through at all, some are coming to my email only, and some are getting through to blogger with no problem. It's a mystery...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Giving a little something back to the world of poultry, some humans are making strides to reach out to our chicken brethren and begin the healing. This news dispatch came Feb 7 from Arkadelphia Arkansas - just a frog's whisker away from Bill Clinton's hometown of Hope.

Woman Does 'Mouth-To-Beak' to Save Chicken

Cliff's notes version of the story is a woman found her brother's pet exotic chicken (named BooBoo) floating beak-down in a pond, and she decided to see if she still "had it" from her glory days as a medical professional. She sealed over the beak and nose holes with her mouth and breathed life anew into the fowl. BooBoo is fine, tanned and rested, and is most likely plotting world domination.

In a related story, the January 13 edition of the Times online reported that the 3+ million year old remains of a child have been determined to have been
killed by some sort of bird of prey. This revelation must be taken seriously. Birds used to eat people. This is like a Twilight Zone episode. Horrors!

Of course, this all reminds me of my
own salient writing on the subject of how we should respect the noble yard bird. Soaking the chicken pieces overnight in buttermilk make them SOOOO much better when you want to fry it up properly. In an iron skillet, of course. Some say frying with the lid on makes them crunchier. Home-made fried chicken - it's WHY we climbed on top of the pile, people. You see? We are the masters of the food chain because we fought our way up there, and it's important that we not send mixed signals about who should be eating whom on this planet.

Now the crafty chicken is worming its way into our good graces, becoming house pets, and the like, and I'm sensing a dangerous trend in the other direction. When husband and I lived in McKinney, we had a lovely neighbor who had boutique variety pet chickens. She'd take turns having one sitting in her lap on the porch swing each night, and she'd shampoo and blow-dry them weekly. Being utterly mesmerized by the peculiar as I am, I thought it was an innocent lark, but now I see it was part of a vast right-and-left hotwing conspiracy to ingratiate chickens to their captors and thus gain the upper-hand. Now people are doing CPR on chickens? Trust me when I say the chickens are just waiting to take over. The world will be one big chicken plantation, and we'll be working for the chicken-man. Not pretty, people. This is crazy talk. Crazy and scary. Someone comfort me, please?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Don't we all just love and prefer Hillary Duff's old God-given teeth to the new Martha Raye-style chompers she now sports? Talk about a crunked-out grill. Any day now, she'll be doing commercials for Depends™ and AARP™.

In other late-breaking news: Saddam Hussein is going to stand in as substitute for judges on American Idol. "YO dawg- you're going to Hollywood!"

Didn't his mama learn him not to point? I'm seeing six more pointing back at him. Oh, I forgot. His mama probably lived in the barn with all the other brood mares. Hmm... What would Saddams mama blog???

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Saddam Hussein dyes another day...

Saddam Hussein may have sworn off food, but that rippling mane and those eyebrows don't lie: Hussein-in-tha-membrane's been on the down-low with Miss Clairol. We'll see if he gradually covers up the mostly salt/dash-o-pepper beardage. Up next: He'll swan out into the public eye in black Armani Xchange turtlenecks and flat-front black trousers from Calvin Klein. I can't wait until he "crunks" out his third-world grill. Large & in charge & keeping it real for tyranny! Go, dictators!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oh, and just one more for all you space cowboys, gangsters o'love and fellers called Maurice:

Happy Valentine's Day, Husband!

May we suggest for your listening pleasure: the perennially fresh funk of Back in Love Again by L.T.D.

Please to enjoy!

[come to think of it, wasn't the bassline in Robert Palmer's Looking for Clues a nod to Back in Love Again??? Good shit. Gotta love it!]
Evil candy heart suggestions. Bad tasting candy to lend dazzle camouflage to the aftertaste of love gone wrong. Mostly. Ok. The Phlegminist is for me. Y'all can fight over the others.
When you care enough to send the very best. "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker." Thank you, Dorothy Parker.
Yes, let's cut to the chase, shall we? Happy Valentine's Day, you sexy, sexy people!

It's a dead heat, but these two are running for the barn in the Bobble-Head Olympics™. Awwww, Nicole Ritchie broke up with her betrothed? Don't worry Nic honey, someday you'll find a nice gay man to settle down with just like Star Jones. Aren't they kinda morphing together? I think it's weird how alike they look...

Monday, February 13, 2006

I suppose there's a lid for every pot. I kept seeing photos of different guys with this free mammogram box get-up, and I couldn't help noticing the variant of cup size which is a very time-saving feature for men. We ladies can quickly discern if our funbags are the gauge the gentleman in question is seeking. For example, the guy in the daylight (no doubt attending a municipal tractor pull/barn raising event) likes them small and perky, whereas the eager fellow in the above photo likes them spreadin' out so far and wide that they have their own zip code.

Now, boys, I know you go into a fog when you see the breastage, but you really disappoint me with your lack of originality. If you were truly creative, you'd have breasty holsters on all four sides of your "clinic", the better to serve the female of your kind. Step it up, will ya? I expect better from you in future.

Oh, and one day soon, me and my posse are going to design our own mobile-proctology unit for helping out you guys as a thank you for your concern about our reproductive health. We love to see you cough, and we promise to be gentle. Trust us: we're professionals.
I'm a last-minute kind of person. I've always been extremely creative and solving design problems are very like fun puzzles to me. Sometimes the solution doesn't come until I'm painfully close to established deadlines, and I wish this were otherwise. However, when the answers come, they are the best possible solutions, so I prefer to wait than to start slogging away and wasting materials on sloppy firsts. Virgin shit is so overrated anyhoo, unless we are talking things available in "extra-virgin" states, like olive oil.

The glass art gallery in Dallas is waiting for more of my jewelry. I finally took some in the day after Thanksgiving (I buy glass rod and gold leaf there, and they've been asking me to let them sell my jewelry for a couple years now). They sold the shit out of it over the holidays, and they are waiting for more, and greater variety, at that. Of course, I've been making lots of heart beads, and it would be nice if I reaped some of the spoils of last-minute Valentine's Day gifting. The problem was I didn't have an attractive and time-effective design for the necklaces to hang the hearts from. I finally bought some raw silver chain and jazzed it up with crystals - an idea I only hit upon this afternoon. (I'll try to get husband to photograph some of these and get them posted later today.)
I'll deliver it in time to get about 24 hours of Valentine's sales. huzzah.

Here is a photo of a groovy bag my friend
Liz made for me. It's knitted and felted. She makes the most amazing sweaters. She's currently teaching knitting classes and being pursued by publishers for some of her designs. Isn't it great having talented friends???

Oh, this is turning into a rambling, housekeeping/what's new sort of post, so why stop now?

DVR/Tivo has changed my tv watching habits forevuh. I used never to watch commercial television, abhorring commercials as I do, but now I can whiz through them, there is occasionally something worth watching in between commercials.

I admit I have succumbed to the guilty pleasure of American Idol, but always after broadcast. I don't know his name, but there is a guy who has advanced through auditions who would be the end product if Bob DeNiro and Joe Cocker had a love child. He has salt-and-pepper hair, and is unusual in his technique, but he is an amazing singer. I hope he wins, because he is so NOT Hollywood. Watch this space.

I'm also enjoying Project Runway. Santino's (pictured left)monotonous pedantic (effeminate) drone has gone from annoying to endearing, and he's such an out-there weirdo that by now I'm hoping he wins. He's made some piss-poor choices, but he has strength of conviction and doesn't waver when challenged about his designs. Go Santino! Woo hoo! My love of the Santino was cemented when he critiqued a fellow designer's creation by saying "You can't polish a turd." I'm going to say that all week. That's my bon mot de semaine. ...or whatever week is in French. (Need to bone up a mote on my vocab before I start slinging it around like I understand it, don't I?)

HBO series ROME bears a second mention here. Hopefully HBO will pick it up again for a second season, rather than pinching it off mid-dook like they did Carnivale. Yeah, everyone but me thought that was a steaming pile, but I loved the costumes and the performers. Brilliant first season, second season: not so much. Deadwood is a-ma-zing, darlings. Good good shit. Any series with the magnificent Brad Dourif gets my vote. Awaiting another season of that, too.

What is up with all the plastic surgery programs these days (I know, third post in a row mentioning America's favorite elective surgery)??? Discovery channel has all these programs on that are paid for by American Society of Plastic Surgeons, but they are presented as straightforward educational programming when in fact they are merely hour-long commercials for their industry. You'll note there are very few "plastic surgery gone wrong" shows, and as I've mentioned, most plastic surgery only goes the wrong way. It's a screwed up world.

Have a great Monday. I can't wait to give your Valentine gifties tomorrow. They'll be über-special for all my little lambs.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

...and speaking of plastic...

Just found this--HAD to post it. Sheesh. That forehead looks so taut you could bounce a bowling ball off it. This is worse than her pee-pants photo. I'll bet they injected ass-fat under her eyes for that preternaturally not-baggagey look.

Now that I'm looking at this magazine, I'm astonished these publishers can stay in business. I could stick a pencil up my bum and write more engaging copy than "do-now desire boosters" and "your shocking holiday safety diaries." WTF???

This shit goes a long way toward explaining how not-found-in-nature countenances are celebrated as beautiful. Disturbing.

Why oh why must people mutilate themselves? Nicolette Sheridan - well, we all knew she was desperate, but the work she's had done recently makes her look more like 50 than 40. Yuck. Patrick Swayze is starting to look like the scary lady puppet from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and once-charming Meg Ryan is obviously off the reservation with child-bearing lips and frighteningly tight skin below her once-crinkly eyes. If Victoria Beckham were a piece of fried chicken, she'd be the stringy meatless wing that is the last piece left in the bucket. Some of the worst breasty implants in the business, too. Can't they learn to gracefully deal with the reality of aging? Obviously not.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I told you about Lisa, whom I met on the phone a couple weeks ago. We met for Indian food for lunch and determined we have parallel lives. (She: International Banking. Me: Extreme backgammon!) I recall mentioning here that men at the next table were trying to hear our irreverent and bawdy conversation. I ran into Lisa on Thursday afternoon and we picked up the conversation where we'd left off the week before. We are so meant to be friends.

The subject of children came up. I told her that husband and I tried for about 7 years to have a baby, and were unsuccessful, with nary a late period or miscarriage to boast of. At last, we went to a fertility specialist a few years ago, and they told us there was nothing wrong with either of us. I'm still ovulating and healthy, and my husband has "super sperm" (their term, not mine). [You DID want to hear all this awkwardly personal shit about me, didn't you?] Lisa said they'd never used birth control and have never gotten pregnant in the last 7 years, so it was weird we have THAT in common too.

Naturally, talk turned to the rudeness of relatives and sundry who say "when are YOU going to have a baby?" in the same sort of tone they would use to accuse someone of stabbing a puppy. Wow, it happens to Lisa, too! Like me, one of the things she hates about going to church is that unless you have pounded out an infant-- almighty fruit of your stronger vessel's loins-- other women can't think of a thing to talk to you about. Because, as is commonly known, we childless women spend all our free time stewing goats' heads, organizing Bacchanalia and involved in subversive activities like reading and extreme knitting. I feel decadent just thinking about it!

I told of how at the restaurant after my Grandmother's funeral in July, everyone was admiring my sister's lovely children (whom I worship, as you know). A kindly cousin from the other side of my family had come to be supportive of me and my folks, and this was very sweet. Alas, her apocalyptic redneck spouse came too, and you could hear the oxygen sucked utterly out of the room when he asked "so when are you and husband going to have one of those???" Somewhere across town, a bit of cutlery clinked on porcelain. I turned to him, unflinching, and said "Apparently, we are infertile." It was an "oh shit" moment I'm sure everyone was gossiping about for days. After a couple minutes sputtering, he choked out an apology.
Lisa said she would try that response in future.

Lisa: One aunt told us we owe it to the world to have children, and that they would probably be incredible athletes. My husband said 'do you not think our children could be incredible rocket scientists?'"
(Not having met him, I LOVE her husband for placing greater importance on thinking children than performing children)
Me: How is it people don't recognize they are being very presumptuous in their questions?
Lisa: I don't know. Short of telling them to fuck off, what do you say?
Me: Should I start every conversation with women at church by telling of my experiences with the fertility doctors and the alien vaginal sonar probe they used to find out I'm healthy and normal? Should I say God is punishing us? Should I say God has rewarded us and we're about to buy a vacation home in the Caribbean?
Lisa: You shouldn't have to say anything. People shouldn't be so rude.
Me: I could say that the next step with our fertility program was to get injected with drugs so we could have a whole litter!
Lisa: Yeah! Who wouldn't want 7 babies at one time? That's crazy talk.
Me: Yeah! One for each teat!

We were HOWLING, darlings. I'm loving me some Lisa. More to come, no doubt. I can't wait for the day I can blog about how our husbands will be dazzled to see us both in one room. She already told me her husband is going to say "oh no. there's another one."

Friday, February 10, 2006

There are perfect sounds to accompany every time and space. Beautiful clear days that are warm on the cusp of hot are Tom Petty days. Lately it's been shorts & t-shirt weather in Dallas, but the air is dry and slightly crisp, and temperatures drop quickly as the sun dips below the horizon. Days like this were made for Supertramp and ELO, so that's what I'm listening to lately. The sun roof is open, windows are down, I'm howling like a bad karaoke queen, and I couldn't give a shit. I'm going to take the long way home and be the grasshopper that played all summer. Days like this I'm likely to end up in Oklahoma or halfway to Austin. Supertramp sounds clean and beautiful to me, and I listen to it infrequently enough that it never grows tiresome. This music seems full of imminent possibility, rather than the trite dullness of mere sexual conquest or the diminishing returns of a sullied life gone woefully awry.
Could we have kippers for breakfast,
mummy dear, mummy dear?

They've gotta have 'em in Texas, 'cos
everyone's a millionaire.

Me: You're like me - your mind cuts through all the trivia and arranges everything in an instant, doesn't it?
Him: [Nods]I really like your shoes.
Me: Thank you. They're Fluevogs. You really should get some for yourself.
Him: You know what I think? I think you're really wild.
Me: Blink. Blink. Smile.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Which butter substitute would Mohammed choose?

OK. I have just GOT to rant about this one. I don't need the confirmation of the major media to know I'm right about an issue. Being right is my natural state. In fact, I'm SO right that I'm Libertarian. So there it is.

Anyway. There's been a story in the news the past couple days that has really smoked my buns. A long-term study on low-fat diet found that a
Spartan culinary fastidiousness did not lessen the likelihood of developing colo-rectal cancers and heart-disease in middle-aged women. I heard this on CNN, NPR and on 820 AM, liberal and conservative news organizations. Each had an expert pontificating on the subject saying that perhaps in a 50 year old woman, 10 years of good diet wasn't enough. So what-- you're screwed if you ever ate a twinkie? They said you have to follow this drab diet for a lifetime to reap the benefits - so what's the point? The fact is that we don't have a lifetime to wait for their theory to be borne out, and they don't admit the very real possibility that diet may not make so much difference after all. The fact is that we all are genetically predisposed to have certain illnesses or conditions, and with every one of us it's a time bomb, and no amount of careful planning or dietary abstinence will keep us from dying. What I've always said is people work their asses off to circumvent what's going to kill them anyway. Why not just enjoy ourselves and make the most of the time we DO have?

I'll never forget the straight-faced delivery of the outrageous "documentary" Super Size Me (Super Smug Me, more like) after they have wrought fear and horror over a crap McDonald's diet so extreme NO ONE eats that way, they say (sorry, I'm gonna mangle the quote here, but the spirit is the same) "if you continue to eat a fast food diet, you could end up here." The film then shows a graveyard. I was aghast - it was so heavy-handed and lame that I couldn't believe anyone would recommend this shit-bomb of sensational manipulation - it too much stretched the bounds of credibility. Well guess what, assholes? Vegans and healthfood nuts die. Yoga and aerobics instructors die. In fact, gurus die. And they are no less dead than the rotund Junior Samples from Hee Haw or Dodi & Di or Albert Einstein..

No one here is getting out alive. The life we have is a gift, and the best we can do is to enjoy it in the company of loved ones and in the pursuit of ideals we find noble. Yes, within reason, we should take care of our bodies and have a care what we consume, but I think we have crossed the fine line from sensible to insanity when we navel-gaze and obsess about such things. Moderation in all things--especially moderation. Get out there and live, eat some paté and a deep-fried Mars bar, and take what you hear in the news with a grain of salt. Make that a dash of salt.

Oh, and pass the wine and hand me that extra stick of butter.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

When I was a child in the early 70s, I listened to the radio all the time. FM was hot, and with the exception of maybe 2 album rock stations, the stations I listened to broadcasting from Memphis were
pop/soul/rock/R&B hybrids, and thus set me on a musical journey in which I crave great variety. I remember LedZep & the Who, David Bowie, T-Rex, Sweet, and glam rockers leavened with goodly doses of Isaac Hayes (Don't let Go leaps to mind), Gladys Knight and whatever pop fluff was being churned out at any given moment. This mix of disparate elements seems perfectly natural, and this is what I love about British radio that can no longer be found in the USA in major markets. I'll never forget the feeling of driving up the M25 and hearing an of-the-moment girl group (All Saints, actually) song followed closely by a non-hit track from Big Country's The Crossing, nearly 20 years old. THAT is radio worth listening to. Don't give us the same crap every hour, on the hour. Executives killed radio, but that's another post altogether.

Anyway, enough about the depressing state of broadcast radio and thank the harpies for satellite radio and MP3.

When I was about 8, my mother got me that blue Bobby Sherman album (on vinyl - yes, children, cds came in vinyl when I was a girl) for Christmas. It was a gatefold sleeve, and a la Warhol it had Bobby in blue, in green, in red. I took my groovy new felt-tip red marker and drew a big sloppy kiss on his cheek. I'll find it soon and post a picture - I know you're DYING to see it. Bobby Sherman was the cutest thing ever (forget that milquetoast Donny Osmond), and I knew we were meant to be married. For heaven's sake, I'd seen Night Gallery and The Sixth Sense tv shows - I knew how this stuff worked. Obviously he needed to be frozen until I grew up. In the lazy approach I take to everything, I never confessed this strange thought to anyone until here and now and you, dear reader. Don't you feel special? What's funny is I sorta invented Cryogenics, dint I? I'm sure I'm owed money. Anyway, somewhere Bobby Sherman is a policeman, and I'm a shrewish hausfrau in Texas and ne'er the twain shall meet. I still remember thinking of what a sunny gorgeous place Seattle must be (HA!) - for that is what I pictured when he sang "The bluest eyes you've ever seen in Seattle, and the hills the greenest green in Seattle. Like a beautiful child growing up free and wild..." But I never did get my Bobby Sherman lunch box with matching Thermos™ and magnet. *sigh*