Sunday, April 30, 2006

Occasionally, I REALLY enjoy being a girl.
Sometimes, when your new retainers are killing you and you've been stressed out and you're crampy and irritable, the only thing for it is a nice lovely bath. One of these glorious fizzy bombs from Lush is the cure for what ails me. I recommend the Sex Bomb, pictured, or the butter ball, or Waving not Drowning, or read the ingredient lists to find one with a fragrance that rings your bell. Took a bath and got into nice jammies early Saturday night, then curled up on the sofa with a book under a quilt. Ah, deliverance.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Took my leetle doggie to the vet today to have her teeth cleaned, and ruh roh raggy - she had to have 3 teeth pulled. In dog years she's 72. Problem is, I don' t think we can go the denture route if she ends up losing all of them. I guess we'll start brushing them or getting them cleaned more often. Anyhoo, she also had a little cyst on her shoulder that had to be removed, and she's kind of groaning and twitching, so I've given her some pain medication. This is tough for me, because she is such a butch little thing that almost nothing makes her cry out in pain - not shots - not being stepped on - so I don't like seeing her in a diminished state. Hopefully she'll snap out of it quickly. I prefer seeing her as the little ball-busting bitch with the natural bulletproof spirit of tequila at half the calories. My kinda gal.

I get my retainers for my teeth tomorrow. The top retainer will have red and blue sparkle resin, and the bottom retainer will be baby-aspirin orange sparkle resin. The bottom will have a little penguin sticker embedded, and the top will have a pair of bunnies and a little pig. CUTE! Now I can mesmerize little kids by saying "I have a penguin in my mouth - wanna see?"

Babies and little bitty kids have always been drawn to me, for some reason. I think it's the shape of my face - expressive, big blue eyes- they do that to my dad, too. Then again, maybe me and my dad are so delighted by the sight of little kids that it's a mutual admiration society. Walking into Jason's Deli tonight, a newly-walking little girl in a bubble-suit teetered excitedly to the door and grinned at me like she'd been waiting all day just to see me. Her mother scooped her up even as she was still reaching for me. Then the little 2 year old in the high chair at the next table kept flirting with me and jabbering to me about her food. It was cute. I figure if little babies like you, well, you can't be all bad. I guess babies know fun people when they see them, and as I've said before, I'm always delighted to see someone who's willing to play along. Life is sweet!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Step away from the Kool-Aid, people...

I'd like to congratulate the 'tards of America who've been voting for that tone-deaf bumpkinette Kellie Pickler for finally coming to their senses and putting an end to rewarding her mediocrity on American Idol. After so many tin-eared performances in which KP sang nails-on-chalkboardingly-off-key (yes, it's a word, I just made it up) and the judges went on to praise her performances, it was simply too good to be true that she was upbraided by them two weeks in a row, and now she's OFF the show? Hallelujah. I'm thinking the romance is over between Simon and Kellie or sumpin'. Clearly, they started off listening to her through their beer-goggles. Oh, wait - that's Coke in their cups, right? Um. Right. Anyway, apparently AI judges confused bombing with da bomb. It's a fine line, but you can hear it after you clean the blood out of your ear canals.

Anyhoo, the blind Italian pop phenom Andrea Bocelli correctly guessed KP is blond. There you go. Perhaps the Lee Press-on Nail™ in her coffin was the woefully wrong choice of the Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody, which is hopelessly dull, my darlings. I intercoursing HATE that song, and I chalk hits like that up to mass public pyschosis, honestly. Ew. Then she invokes "thayut pawtuhry seen in Gawust" which made me projectile vomit my Jason's Deli. Thanks bitch. No, really: thanks to my bitch, Valentine, who ate up my Kellie puke. Dogs clean up life's little messes. Vaya con carne, Kellie Pickler.

And speaking of colossal boners, in other gleeful celebrity-bashing news, Kevin Costner's in the hot seat for giving himself a happy ending after a massage at a Scottish Hotel during his honeymoon in 2004. I read this story as a blind gossip item, and -if I'm being honest - he's the first megawatt celebrity I thought of. I knew someone who worked in the film industry who said KC was notorious for using the same line on all the women working in production staff on films he worked on. He'd interfere with one woman for a few days or a week, and then toss her over as soon as some other hapless braintrust succumbed to his hackneyed come-ons. Oh, and apparently they were incredibly cheesy, lame pick-up lines, too. I guess when you're that rich/famous/powerful, it's sorta like being Brad Pitt or something - people don't put up much resistance no matter how stupid whatever comes out of your mouth is. Of course, "that depends on what your definition of 'is' is." Then again, I guess married Scottish masseuses with a bit of self-respect will put up a fuss. Good on the lassie, and I hope she wins her court case. And a big pack of sanitary wipes for her massage station. I guess now we know why they cut out his part as the corpse from The Big Chill, because coffins don't come with a pup-tent feature.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

This morning I dreamt I was listening to an ipodish thingie and it started beeping over and over, and I yanked it apart, pulled the batteries out, smashed it with a hammer, threw it into a ditch and it never stopped beeping. Then an airplane sorta gently crash-landed atop the building next to me. Apparently I was dreaming but hearing my alarm going off. For 45 minutes. THAT, my darlings, is why my alarm is on the bureau across the room. I would hit "snooze" every 15 minutes for about 5 hours before I'd willingly get out of bed if I had the option. Maybe if I had a stinky rooster strutting around the place crowing and doing its best Mick Jagger impersonation, I'd actually wake up in the mornings.
Speaking of roosters, my mother-in-law is an adorable kook(when I'm in a good mood - when she's annoying, she's just a hare-brained bitch). She kept saying she was searching and searching for big ceramic hens for her new kitchen, but they HAD to be hens - not roosters. When we went over, she proudly showed us her first 2 big ceramic hens. Cockscombs? Check. Big, scrotum-like wattles under the beaks? Check. She was crowing about her beautiful hens. Why spoil her happiness by telling her her hens were hims? She is a very well-educated woman, but she has some of the most dingbat ways I've ever seen. She pronounces shrimp "srimp," but mushrooms are mushrooms. Go figger. More on her later.
Speaking of wack alarm clock stories. Waaaay back when I was mere child of 22, I got my first loft in Dallas with a friend. She worked in a salon and the door of a hip local nightspot, and she was always out all night and came home 3 or 4 am, plastered, with intent to get up at 7 am and go to work. Well, fine, whatever. Our loft was large, and my bedroom was a goodly bit away from hers, but you know how the sound of electric alarms carry in a big concrete box? Well, HER alarm would wake ME up and not her. I found this maddening. So, I did what any hapless kitten would do in that situation and used the only thing in my arsenal. She had a separate phone line from mine, and after her alarm had been going off for long enough that it was obvious she wasn't waking up, I would pick up the phone and dial her number. She would wake up and turn off the alarm for the phone. I'd quietly hang up on her and play possum if necessary until she left the loft each morning. Sometimes I would fall asleep before she left. She never knew, I don't think. Ah, those halcyon pre-caller I.D., pre-star-69 days! *snicker*

American Idol watch: Who Should Go Home - that tin-eared Kellie Pickler
Who WILL Go Home - immensely talented Elliott Yamin

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Wow- now that terrorists are making bolder attacks on Arab communities like Egypt, maybe they'll pitch in and help put down the viper of Muslim extremism they've been nursing in their bosom these millennia. Neat!
Coyote Fugly.
I was flipping channels tonight and I came across a startling spectacle on CMT, a channel I never normally watch for any reason. Freakishly, my sister called a short while later and said there was a terrible mess on tv that I simply HAD to watch and it was the same thing. Kismet! What riveted my gaze so effectively was "The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search" which is a reality show of contestants vying to be the triple threat of a hot'n'sexay singing & dancing bartender who can make customers thirsty yet submissive. The winner will receive $25,000, and who knows what else? The CMT series is making stops in several US cities including Nashville, NYC, Austin and San Antonio for auditions.
On the NYC show, the hair-flinging girl in the top pic is dancing her little heart out, but she just doesn't quite have it. Rather pitifully, they keep doing the mini-interviews with the girls, and she seems to think she has it all sewn up - that she's the only one performing well. It's very through-the-looking-glass how like the Elizabeth Berkley Showgirls character she is, glazed-over with a naive desperation. I kept expecting her to take her top off at any moment, which would have improved my opinion of her, by the way.
Another standout moment of off-the-mark heartstring tugging was the girl who started crying because the story of the CU movie was just like her life story and her dad just died. Ew. Awkward. Nix on the sad story thing - her ass was cut from the competition forthwith, as she was a crap dancer. Thank you, drive through.
The people thinning the herd of auditionees kept talking about how there are no standouts in the audition- like no one is bringing anything to the table that is memorable. Maybe it's just that these girls only want the exposure of being on television (cue Cartman singing "I'm gonna be on television") to showcase their singing/songwriting talents, but they really need to do their homework and bring a little more than a pulse and a burning desire to the audition. What blows my mind is there is choreography they are taught and expected to perform from the movie - the classic Coyote Ugly dance, and these girls are having difficulty with it. No wonder these bitches seem apathetic - they have a primer available on VHS and DVD, and they didn't bother to bone up on it in advance? Well, they don't really look like they want it at all. Based on what I've seen so far, they need to give the $25 grand to some chick who already is working for Coyote Ugly instead of these lukewarm sorta-wannabes. I'll DVR some more episodes, because I feel I need to take one for the team and watch this mess, so you won't have to. Really, I'm thinking of you.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Burns, baby Burns. Disco inferno!

Dallas' new fire chief was announced this week. The dapper and handsome Eddie Burns of Fort Worth(LOVE the butch moustache) was the man of the hour. Anyone besides me think this is funny and kinda cute? Chief Burns. Like, wouldn't someone named "Dowser" or "Waterman" be a more apt choice for fire chief?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

hugh over at gaping void is a brilliant cartoonist. Very clever chap, that. Anyhoo, Ted is a lot like my SanFran in-laws, so I thought I'd just continue with that theme for another day.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Want to catch up on a bit of reading but don't have much time? Go to the
Book-A-Minute site and find out all you never knew you needed to know about the time-honored classics of literature, Sci-fi and children's stories. Makes Cliff notes look like dragged-out affairs.

Here's an overshare of my own. Things found embedded in my
dog's poop - foil yogurt lids, condoms, assorted candy wrappers and my long hair (from when it was long, and even my medium-length hair these days). The hair thing is disturbing, because the poop dangles by a hair that is still ensnared in her entrails, and I have to grab a leaf to wrap around it and pull it out of her bottom so she'll stop doing the crabby squat-walk because she's freaked out that something is dangling back there. OK. Next time I'll get a photo for you. You'll love it.
I used to know someone whose Doberman ate his mom's Isotoner gloves. Isotoner used to give a guarantee that if your gloves ever wear out, they'll replace them. Well, when the mangled gloves came out the other end, she baggied them up and sent it to the Isotoner folks, who promptly sent her a new pair. Nice to know some people still take pride in their workmanship and in the quality of their products!
You've got to admit that all this stuff is WAAAAY more fun than stepping on a hairball at 3am on the way to the terlit.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bit of housecleaning here. Haven't done that lately...

Wow, US Death rates dropping. And yet, from the same source last August, US Obesity continues to expand... from this can we extrapolate that the extra tonnage provides an insulating cushion from the Grim Reaper?

Hmm, how could that be happening when the smug gits like those who made "Super-Size Me" are working so hard to persuade us we've never been less healthy? I've been waiting for us all to start dropping like flies early because we haven't all signed up for sweat-lodge yoga and vegan diet bullshit. Could it be possible that Super-smug me is just a bit of hall-monitor-style condescension that is not borne up by facts? Tell ya what - let me know when the health disaster strikes. They need to get their story straight - I'm sick of the shrieking Cassandras in the media wanting to play the hysteria both ways. Tired, folks, just plain tired.

Took doglet to the vet today, and she's going in to get her teeth cleaned next week. I'm probably going to run down to the vet's office and watch the procedure. Hell, I've been enjoying her atrocious dead-fish product breath for long enough, I feel entitled to the jollies of seeing her enamel jack-hammered clean. Woohoo!

My job is tapering off a bit, which is good. I was already planning an exit strategy and this works out very well. Beginning May I'll work one day less a week, which means more time for making jewelry and more importantly, goofing off. Goof-off time has been in woefully short supply of late. Yes, I know I've blogged almost daily, but that falls under "public service" category, don't you think? Time to kick back in the pool, put on Jack FM and catch up on reading.

Tuesday is tv night for phlegmmy, as I hook up to the borg and mainline a grand snort of American Idol, then the delightfully sardonic House, with the capper of Boston Legal. The ONLY reason I started watching these shows (NEVER did before) is because I got DVR, which I know I have ballyhooed on previous occasions. The great thing is I can put them off until another day if necessary. I'm going to make American Idol predictions each Wednesday for the next few weeks. I'll predict who should go home and who will go home. This week provided the ultimate travesty - of 7 performers, Kellie Pickler was in the top 4 with her abortion of a rendition of Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (from the musical Pal Joey - check out Ella Fitzgerald to hear it done up proper) which she had NO chops for, my darlings. Then she freaked out and started running for the barn, concluding her singing more than an entire measure before the orchestra. SOOOOO amateur hour. Frankly, I'm bewildered by her popularity. 10% what you say, 20% how you say it, 70% how you look when you're saying it. I guess AI audience is drinking the Kool-Aid.

Had Indian food for lunch, and was able to eat pakoras comfortably for the first time since July '04. Yay! I had to buy a baby Hello Kitty toothbrush because my gums are raggedy since they dremeled the resin bracket-holders off my enamel. Yeowch. I'm not being obsessive or anything. I've only flossed, like, 8 or 9 times since Monday morning. I heard a statistic once that the average USA usage of dental floss per capita is 12 inches. I was shocked it was such a short amount. Husband said my mom and I alone use 12 inches per year per usa citizen. wow.

I'll have to photograph my Nasturtiums, which are going bananas. They're amazing. I also got a great verbena I've been trying to find for years, and several varieties of Bee balm (monarda, bergamot) which is the herb flavoring of Earl Gray tea. It smells luscious, and the flowers are particularly attractive to hummingbirds. Garden is looking pretty swell, I must say.

Well, have a great Thursday, you sexy bunch of people!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


OK, we've reached fever-pitch in the celebrity crisis center when we've gone THIS far beyond The Emperor's New Clothes. Tom Cruise simply wasn't wacky enough when he threw a doo-doo hissy on Oprah's show. He had to go one step beyond (several steps, truth be known) and remove all doubt forever and ever amen. He's got some kooky ideers about how women should be doing the whole birthing thing, and well, that makes as much sense as me giving relaxation tips to a guy getting his prostate checked, but anyhoo... We'll see how long his relationship with the implantee lasts after his admonitions requiring a drug-free birth and a week of absolute silence during the baby's first week. Suggested baby gift: a magazine rack, because this child is going to have a lot of issues. Unfortunately, no such moratorium on pre-birth idiotic statements exists in the Scientology pedagogy, and Tom worked overtime to persuade us that he is more than a whole bubble off plumb, disgorging that he intended to eat the placenta of the newborn. (Here are some placenta recipes I found online along with handy tips for preparation. I know. On the same site there are the rules of placenta etiquette - use the seafood fork on the right, and it's considered the height of rudeness to eat the umbilical cord before the chorion - who knew?!!! This website knew. I expect you'll all be thanking me for saving you embarrassment down the line, but no need - I'm just helpful that way.)

Here's a little tip for you, Tom-boy - that is what we in the business call an overshare. By golly, eat whatever bodily waste you see fit -- toenails, boogers, pet dander-- but for goodness' sake, please don't tell us about it.

I considered (boy, how I considered it!) posting a placenta photo on my blog, but by golly, there's enough ugliness in the world already, innit? Nothing can wash away the bitter tang of celebrity idiocy faster than a turbo-dollop of cuteness, which I have courteously provided.

Just remember as the winged monkeys swoop in, there's no place like home. Poppies! Poppies! Poppies!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My braces, she is off today. Getting the damned brackets snapped off was weird, but the absolute worst thing about it was the dremel tool they used to grind the messy resin bits off the surface of the teeth. Drool ran down my cheeks and onto my neck. Braces are a pain in the ass to get on and to maintain, but the dremel heating up the tooth is brutal. I've never had a cavity, but I now understand people who are horrified of dental procedures. Tooth pain is the WORST.
I'll be checking in later and posting at length about Neko Case's phenomenal show at the Granada Theater in Dallas last night. Her voice is astonishing, and it was a fun crowd. If I weren't so wiped out from last week's travel, I'd be going to hear her in Austin tonight. Alas, maybe I'm getting old, because common sense is ruling the day and my butt is staying in Dallas.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A meme of fours...
The immaculate Tam over at View from the Porch threw this meme my way. I've never done one of these before, even though my friend Kim at Little Somethings tagged me once a long time ago.

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1.) Snow cone technician
2.) Proof operator - banking
3.) Letter sorting machine operator US Postal Service
4.) Neiman-Marcus sales (spent all my money at my job, happily so)

Four movies I could watch over and over:
1) Bladerunner - Brilliant realization of a brilliant book - no small feat
2) Withnail and I
3) The Edge
4) Enchanted April

Four websites I visit regularly:
1) Tam's View from the Porch
2) Ben's Daily Review
3) Life on Earth and Other Accidents
4) Little Somethings

Four of my favorite foods:
1) a very fine cut of beef, tender and mooing. Again I say knock its horns off and wipe its ass and I'll declare it table-ready
2) sushi
3) Grandma Smith's green beans and fried potatoes
4) Grandma Kent's buttermilk biscuits

Four most wonderful places I've been:
1) Chiracahua Canyon in SE Arizona, early in the morning as the sun warms the sages and the fragrances come alive. Enchanting
2) Monument Valley Arizona/Utah
3) Isle of Skye and the Highlands of Scotland, during the bitter cold of winter - nothing matches this desolate beauty
4) State Highway 7 in Arkansas, particularly around the town of Jasper

Four songs I could listen to every day:
1) "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair" Nina Simone
2) "Grace" Jeff Buckley
3) "Pocket Full of Change" Rain Tree Crow
4) "Teardrop" Massive Attack

Four people I'm tagging:
1) Ian at the Bungee Venture
2) lj at Life on Earth and Other Accidents
3) nongirlfriend
4) kim at Little Somethings

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Art of Ugly Americanism

According to
this article in the UK's Telegraph, the US State Department is issuing a broadsheet with tips for Americans to be less ugly overseas. I contend that if we celebrate the culture-crushing idiocy of television like "The Amazing Race" which is all about showing our asses overseas, then there's no use pretending we weren't raised in a barn.

This is a show in which (I've only seen snippets) several American couples are plopped into strange environs (Calcutta, Lima, Moscow) with very little money/resources/no language skills and told to get from point A to point B by any means necessary. Mayhem ensues! The idiotic "heroes" are then filmed as they fight with each other, insult the locals and basically chew the scenery in their path (watch as they gleefully stiff the local cab drivers!) in their effort to win what I assume is a large cash prize.

Well, shit, people, if we treat the world as our own personal theme park, what else can we be called but ugly? This is a celebration of shamefully bad behavior. My opinion is that if you are decent to and respectful of other people, you needn't waste time worrying what they think of you.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Ah, the sylvan pleasures of the countryside! The nightly ritual of heavily scrutinizing all one's private bits to remove any passengers which may have hitched a ride on your person for the day. Ticks and chiggers carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lime (lyme?) disease and other manner of pathogens, and they are disgusting. Grandpa used to pick them off himself after deep-woods hunting excursions and then he'd drop them into a mason jar of alcohol he kept on the bureau. That's a bit strange, don't you think? Could it be that my morbid curiosity stems from an early exposure to such icky things? Anyway, just as I was thinking "wow, I'd really love to live in the middle of the woods and have a huge wild sort of garden, and just order delivery of wine and cheeses of the world, and heigh ho! What's that itch on my ankle? Ew. Big evil tick." Not on my watch, bucko.

Fun Tick Project:

You will need:
1 Candle, burning
1 pin or needle
1 or more ticks

Pull the tick off your dog/cat/arse alive and wriggling
Touch the head of the pin to the melted wax of the candle
Touch the head of the pin to the tick's back, and the wax will adhere the little devil
Roast tick at outer edge of flame until it bursts

Remember - the best fun is low-tech!

Anyway, halfway down the magnificent Arkansas Highway 7, and having serious scooter envy - love all the hard-asses on motorcycles out owning the open road on perfect days like this. Home tomorrow night.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

wow, the miracle of wireless. I'm writing from a motel in northeastern Arkansas. We drove all day yesterday and arrived late. Lots in the family were sharing little cabins in a local vacation lake resort, but I insisted on finding a motel so I didn't have to worry about someone letting the doglet out. The spectres of 3 bloated dogs and cats in the area was scarecrow enough for me.

Remember Flossie? Well, her boyfriend came up from Texas for the funeral, and I asked my dad where he was staying, Day's Inn or Best Western. Dad said he was at Best Western, which pretty much cemented my choice of Day's Inn. So I got checked in and schlepped over to my room and guess who's vehicle was parked a few doors down from me? Yup, him. Crappity crap crap!

Anyway, after the funeral today I saw him and another notorious bullshit-spinner in the family locking horns. Since they both have the most superlative and emphatic experiences EVER, I expected a rip in the time-space fabric to occur, eating up the world as we know it into a negative vortex of conversational suckage.

Back at the motel tonight, I noticed Flossie's borefriend made like a horse's ass and parked his big-assed suburban in two spaces at an angle. Weenie!

Driving away from the funeral this afternoon, someone called me up and cussed their head off about a note they got from the office where I work from someone today. I explained that I was just leaving a funeral and that I knew nothing of the circumstances and couldn't make a statement on what anyone's intentions were. Between this kind of shit and the staggering income tax bill for this year, I'm going to have to quit the job soon and concentrate full-time on my jewelry. At least hopefully no one will ever cuss me out over my jewelry.

But back to my grandma's funeral. It was absolutely beautiful, and it was a peaceful and lovely service. My grandpa asked me to sing and made a few requests. I sang 4 songs and was able to hold it together almost the whole time, but the final song I was the end of the service and I felt like my lungs froze and there was no air and I couldn't get out the last 3 words as tears spilled over the banks of my eyes.
The countryside was awash in flowers - dogwoods in bloom, lilacs perfuming the air, phlox growing wild along the roadsides. We went down about 10 miles of steep and winding country dirt road, much of it only one lane wide to the place where the old timers of my family are buried. It was absolutely beautiful. Grandma was an absolute saint, and she deserved a lovely send-off.

Tomorrow we'll head back to Texas in a meandering fashion, probably taking the magnificently scenic Higway 7 down the Ozarks of western Arkansas. We could hurry home tomorrow and have Saturday and Sunday to goof off at home, but I think a more ponderous journey home befits the occasion. Tonight the moon looked full, and the sky was so clear and full of stars. All this breathtaking beauty is a suitable tribute to a kind and gentle soul.

I'll be back Saturday or Sunday, probably. Have a great weekend, and remember to cherish your loved ones.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

By popular demand, here is a photo of one of my pieces. I call my style neo-trashical. This piece is comprised of copper, glass, pearls, garnets, Thai Hilltribe silver and Indonesian sterling silver. None of the beads in this piece are my glass beads, but this is a great example of my own warped take on baroque classicism. The necklace was brilliantly photographed by Dallas artist/Renaissance man Jackson Bailey. You can find out more about this brilliant artist at his site here. His lovely wife Lisa Bailey is a talented artist in her own right and her creations are for sale at The Ole Moon in Dallas on lower Greenville.
After I changed my mind about moving to NYC to take the next step in pursuing my career as an operatic singer, we moved to a loft in 2000. We found out our neighbors, Lisa and Jackson, had met at the same sushi place in Dallas in 1993 one week after husband and I met there. They met early July, and we met late June. Lisa and Jackson were married in September, and we wed the following February. It was just funny to happen into people who had remarkably similar experiences to our own yet we'd never met before. Anyway, they are a gorgeous couple, and some of the kindest and best people you could ever meet.
I'm on my way to Arkansas early Wednesday morning. If I can, I'll pop back in for a post sometime during my trip. Everyone have a great week and I hope you're all having beautiful weather like we're having here - it's been achingly lovely out. Y'all take care of yourselves.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The photo on the far right shows my grandma Smith when she married my grandpa in 1936, and my aunt took the near photo quite recently. With an earthy beauty I would liken to Ingrid Bergman, my grandmother was a handsome and elegant woman, with capable strength and energy that defied the ravages of time and Alzheimer's. She was a quiet and unpretentious person, taking delight in her gardening and keeping a fastidious home. No animals were allowed inside her house, but she liked to have cats around the farm. An occasional crafty cat might find its way in, but would soon be sent airborne out grandma's door, courtesy of an obliging broom. Grandma was the very epitome of grit, and my dad told me many times of picking fruit with the family for money, and he and grandma each picked double the volume of anyone else. I remember as a young girl seeing her heading out to feed animals a long walk away with a 100 pound bag of feed on one shoulder and a five-gallon bucket of water in the other hand. She was the modern representation of a pioneer woman, uncomplaining of her lot and a comforting presence to all the family. She had bright, clear blue eyes and an adorable smile that was just on the verge of timid, as if she were a bit thrifty with the humor. She grew amazing strawberries and made toe-curling apple pie and chocolate cakes, all from scratch. I don't know how on earth she did it, but her potatoes and green beans were absolute miracles - they were the best ever, and something I'll miss the rest of my life. Grandma died about two hours ago, and I feel lucky and blessed to have had her for so long.
Albert Einstein said if he could see farther than others, it was because he was standing on the shoulders of giants. My grandma's strength, constancy and very goodness made her a giant to all those who knew and loved her. She was a lovely treasure and will be dearly missed.

Monday, April 10, 2006

What mortal fool dares to awaken the slumbering she-beast?

So, I've not been getting proper sleep lately, and circumstances caused me to get about 4 hours on Friday night and then about 6 on Saturday, and I've been completely wiped out, so I was going to sleep in today.

I was dreaming that I was overseeing the operation of a large warehouse thingie and there was a big kitchen attached and I had a little Nemo fishy in a wine glass but somehow I cut off his tail and he didn't make it, for some reason. And I went to help with the dishes but they were just finishing up (timing, my dears) and so I was in some big mall and I went into a store with tile for kitchens, but the only tile they had was transparent glass with different textures that was lit from underneath and it had a nacreous sort of finish and I was just about to choose--

BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! Clock says 10:49. Shit.

WTF??? So much for sleeping until I awaken naturally, for a change.

I hopped out of bed - this is probably someone coming to rob the place, better at least have a look at the sorry sumbitch.

I grabbed a robe, and threw it over my pajama pants and teeny little top thingie. My hair is trained on about 40 distant nebulae, eyes puffy and eye-boogery, prolly. Hmmm, out the side window - tall, natty investment banker guy, very dapper. I guess I'll open the damned door.

At this point, I had two choices: open the door with one hand whilst modestly holding the robe shut - but I risk the dog running out, or I could hold the dog in one arm while opening with the other hand. I chose b, and the robe sprang open (what? Robes come with belts? Huh.) along with the door, and he was treated to my celestial fruitcup of cleavage. He leaned slightly toward me, and I braced for the impact of him falling in, but he maintained his balance.

He: Hi Rita. I'm sorry for disturbing you. Here is my card. I'll come back another time.
Me: Hm.

I think he was thrown off his game. Brian R Bogard, AAMS didn't introduce himself to my bodacious tatas. Thank you Edward Jones, for caring about my investment opportunities, but if I don't get enough sleep soon, I'll be managing my investments in a maximum security cell from the comfort of the Gatesville unit of the Texas prison hospitality department.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

While I'm preoccupied with other matters, I give you the following reason #945 why I love Jack Russell Terriers:

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sad news for my family Friday. My father's mother is doing very badly. She is the grandmother with Alzheimer's I mentioned recently. She was taken to the hospital this morning. I grieve for her and for the awareness she's lost, but mostly I grieve for my father, who feels her loss most keenly of all, I believe.
I was working to get as much jewelry made as possible these past few days, and today I had to wrap it up and get ready to set up for the show, so late this afternoon I loaded everything into my chariot, and went in and took a shower and washed my hair. I felt tired, drained, and went out into the back in a robe to let my hair dry a bit in the windstorm that dragged the cool front in this afternoon. Though they bowed with the wind, the flowers held onto their petals, denying the wind its brutal prize of denuding them of color. I brought a book and sat in the sun by the pool, but I didn't read a word. I sat looking to the east, and waiting for the neighbor's giant trees to snap with the fury of the wind. I kept thinking of grandma, and what a brief glimmer of time on earth a life is. Beyond the edge of the roof I saw the moon sliding into view, that great rattle bead in our celestial hula-hoop. This moon was sentinel to her childhood, overseer of her life and its seasons. Will this be the last moon's sweep of my grandmother's life?

Friday, April 07, 2006

I have a confession to make. You already know I like crap cinema, but sometimes the depth of my depravity goes around the back 40 and laps itself. I'm talking about the doo-doo-mud-pie that is Lifetime Channel. Proudly, I can say that tonight I watched only my second Lifetime channel movie ever, but that estrogen-heavy network is batting 1000 so far. Pegging on the shrieking in horror/eye-rolling/speechless quotient is quite a feat, indeed.
The first Lifetime movie I caught was flipping channels in a California hotel a couple years ago. The timeless gem that had me in ecstasies was a film called Mary & Tim in which Candice Bergen's Mary is seduced by the young buff retarded son of her best friend after the best friend's funeral. I love CB - she's just fun to watch, and all the while I can sense the wheels turning behind her eyes, "good gawd, is this what my career has come to? I was in Gandhi, for heaven's sake!" Good shit. Phlegmmy says check it out!
Then tonight, doing beadwork, I turned on the idiot box and was lured to the Lifetime channel yet again by something entitled "The Princess and the Marine." Paydirt!
Let's get started.
Synopsis - True story about a US Marine (actor sported a fade that needed a bit of a touchup, frankly - see photo top left) who falls in love with Bahraini chick who turns out to be a Cherokee princess - scratch that - Bahraini royalty. Yee haw. The decidedly less photogenic couple on the right, incidentally, are the real-life inspiration for this film.
So, they're in LURVE, and sneaking around ensues, but he's a good guy and wants to do shit by the book and not disrespect her. yay! So, she's got these Bahraini FBI-ish guys in suits with doo-rags and earpiece mics that are following her around. I kept thinking, damn, this Bahraini woman looks kind of La'in. Sorta like a Puerto Rican playing the Mexican Selena. They go to the movies and sit on the same row, separated by friends and empty seats, and the film they go see is "First Knight." Ugh. Translation - that may not have been what the real couple saw at the theater, but First Knight was such a colossal turd that surely it was cheap to reference it in this film. Cheaper than, say, the infinitely superior Killer Klowns From Outer Space. But I digress.
(Confession #2, this is the point where I flipped channels to watch 2 eps of My Name Is Earl, Juliette Lewis ep was great, btw)
So, I flipped back to catch the All-American marine/princess wedding in Vegas and the slap-on-the-wrist ceremony for the out'o'line Marine. This film was released in 2001. I was kinda yawning into my beadtray and wouldn't have even mentioned this here, except it was all made spectacular by the film's post script.

Old doodad girl got US citizenship in 2001, and they divorced in 2004.
I'll let that soak in.
So, long after the movie was released, and on a network that is of- by- and for the movie equivalent of Harlequin romance novels, they bothered to go in and add the tragic fact that this glorious, innocent, wonderful and pure-hearted love ended in d-i-v-o-r-c-e??? Way to kill a bad-movie buzz, folks. I cackled.

Kinda brings to mind the bristling irony of Lady Diana schlepping down the aisle with 100 pounds of meringue to marry a guy who all the world would later hear on tape moaning how he longed to be Camilla's tampon.
Ain't love grand?

And you know it's all made up
How come your face has ceased to be you?
All your doubts and greatest fears
They will be confirmed at the preview
Celluloid has shaped the day
And put the cat amongst the coughers
One business lunch on drugs
Now you're waiting for the next big offer
The Movie of Your Life John Wesley Harding
ADDENDUM: I thought of this just a short while ago. Candice Bergen - who is simply marvelous - lost her husband Louis Malle in 1995, and Mary and Tim was made in 1996, and she was executive producer. Perhaps she did that film to keep herself busy after the loss of a beloved spouse, which is perfectly understandable. And shit, it IS entertaining.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

You're wondering what kind of people set me afoot on this planet. My parents are brilliant people, some of the funniest, cleverest you'll ever meet. I grew up hearing them banter like Nick and Nora Charles, sans alcohol, and it did warp me slightly, and I'm always giddy when I come across folks with the ability to play along. Dad loves to say outrageous and slightly naughty things, while mom has the rapier wit which she holds in reserve until she trots it out to make the quick kill. I'm some sort of blend of the two - mom's lighting wit, dad's irreverence, and my very own variety of inability to keep my mouth shut.

Once, I was getting mugged in downtown Dallas (Feb 29, 1988, leap day!), and the mugger said "gimme your purse." It sorta didn't register, and so he grabbed the strap of my purse and said "gimme your fucking purse." I looked him in the eye and said "No fucking way!" He proceeded to beat the crap out of me with his fellow mugger, and I chased them and got their license plate number. That car was pulled over in connection with another robbery a month or so later, I identified him in a lineup, TWICE, and then in court, he got 10 years and a $5000 fine. They told me it was a rarity that a victim could identify a mugger. I think that is just plain stupid - how can you forget the face of someone who assaults you? That is just lazy.

OK, that wasn't an illustration of wit, humor, or brilliance - just my inability to hold my tongue. It worked out ok anyway. My dad got hold of the investigating detectives and kept in touch with them, and I think that meeting of minds had a lot to do with them staying on the case. I've always known that if anyone ever messed with me, my dad would do a Charles Bronson on them. He'd kick their ass till they peed, and then kick their ass for peeing. Then he would stop playing nice guy and get really mean. Maybe that's why I open my mouth too much - I'm just not afraid of anything.

One of my favorite mom & dad stories is when I was a kid and we lived in West Memphis, Arkansas. A friend of dad's called up in the middle of the night - passing through town with a desperate car problem. Dad told him to come over and he'd fix it. Now, it just happened to be one of the most brutally cold nights of my life - the ground outside was completely frozen with an even colder wind chill. The next day, we were scheduled to get new carpet, but the guy with the car problem didn't know that. When he arrived, dad looked at the vehicle, figured out what needed to be done, and went back into the house with the guy. Mom was up, probably sitting in a 3am haze. Knowing her, she was shooting eyeball daggers at this demanding inconsiderate lout for disturbing the household. Mom didn't so much as bat an eye as dad pulled out a box cutter and cut a huge square out of the living room carpet to lay on on the ground under the car. Meanwhile, the guy is shitting himself, thinking that dad just butchered the nice family carpet to help him out, and boy didn't he feel like a jerk? He was sputtering and apologizing profusely to my mom, and she just stared at him blankly. I don't think they ever told him. Wicked wit and a flair for drama. Yup, my folks have STYLE.

So, that's where I get it. This would be the appropriate place to tell you that when I was 12 I got my mouth washed out with soap for teaching my 3 year old sister the word "butthole." Now HER 3 year old says "ass." Don't blame me for that one. That is to say, cursing wasn't tolerated in our household - mom and dad didn't do it, and we were made to comply with that policy. That is to say, too, that the potty mouth thing I thunk up all on my own. I'm just classy like that.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

OK, a couple teeny complaints here.

I don't give a shit who you are. DO NOT invite me to your million dollar house and expect me to take off my expensive shoes and walk around on your filthy floors, THEN put my expensive shoes back on dirty feet. HELLO!??? They're intercoursing floors--not holy relics, baby! These floors were made for walking. At the in-laws' new home, I was expected to go to the master bath with everyone else and watch the darling baby niece (she is a cute girl) have her way with the big jacuzzi tub, when I was informed we are still removing our shoes to walk on the floor in this part of the house. I didn't say anything, but I stayed behind, happy not to be part of the expedition, 'cause I'm not taking off my fucking shoes, bitches!

OK, you knew this was coming. A month ago I bitched and moaned about the sister- and brother-in-law coming from San Francisco to visit. Apparently one of her pet peeves is that her profession has two spellings, and she rolls her eyes at the most common: dietician. Frankly, I've seen it spelled that way all my life, so I'm going to stick with familiar usage since it pisses her off so. Anyway, her sanctimonious, condescending bitch-assed-ho self proceeds to catalog for everyone what tremendously poor dietary choices her husband has made at every meal. Before dinner, MIL and SIL were orbiting each other in the kitchen while the men manned the grill outside, and I sat quietly at the table marveling at these two harpys getting on each other's tits, wishing I had a bowl of popcorn while watching the show. They are both neurotic control-freaks, so it was a golden moment of double-payback time. MIL won, by the way, since no one can out-freak her.

Exquisite steaks were grilled, but while the others of us feasted on gorgeous side dishes from Central Market, BIL had a spartan baked potato with his beef. She had a chicken breast from a deli with a potato. She offered him some of a mystery packet of stuff to garnish his potato with, and he said "no, it's my vacation, I'm going to have butter." At that point I was thinking "good for you, man! Slather the good shit on, put up your feet and relax." So what does he festoon his naked spud with? I can't believe it's not butter - a butter substitute! WTF??? This is a vacation? Shit. I guess he's lucky she let him have a steak. Gawd, and she's his second control freak wife. I guess growing up with a mother like that, he just wanted another woman he could go on auto-pilot with. Mission accomplished.

It's annoying as shit that this woman has the most underdeveloped sense of irony I've ever seen. Saturday I said something about a tv program, and she said imperiously "we have a child now, we don't have time for television." So imagine my amazement (not at all, actually) when last night she gasped and said "The Amazing Race is on!" and sparks flew off her feet as she hastened to the television to hook up to the borg. Apparently, she doesn't consider her addiction to that show and CSI to be television. Television is what crap people from Texas watch - people who eat real butter and misspell her vocation.

Props to husband to doing a bit of a tidy-up on the house, because BIL needed to come here and use our internet connection for some work stuff today, because dial-up wouldn't be good enough. Well, um, ok. Our house looks like someone picked it up and shook it - the dining table is covered in papers, and although I'm using my studio now, there is still jewelry-making stuff all over the coffee table. At least the plants look healthy.

So WHO came to my messy house today when I wasn't home? Only the whole damned family, and get this-- SIL proceeded to open every closed door "Oh, what's in here?, etc" Fucking GRRRRRRR!!! My hackles are officially up. Here's the funny way I found out about it, too. BIL and SIL were talking about how their 21 month old is a brilliant child and will probably be a veterinarian or a horticulturalist, because she loves flowers, and she must have stopped 4 or 5 times at my house to look at my flowers. This amazed me- because she was only 3 months old the last time I knew of her being at my house. I swallowed my bite of sweet potaters carefully as I pondered the fact that although I'm expected not to walk on their floors in shoes, the entire fucking clan makes free to invade my home and inspect rooms with closed doors when I am in no way prepared to receive them. Well, there you have it.

Saturday I explained to SIL how I spent a lot of time in Arizona last year visiting my dying grandmother. Last night, she brought up how we should have seen how beautiful the Arizona desert was then, everything blooming profusely because of heavy rains that winter. I brushed away a tinge of melancholy as I said "yes, it was extremely beautiful."

Then I'd had enough. I declared in my mind that the Sister in law show was officially over, so I bent the room to my will. She was talking about her tattoo ( a chain around one ankle--how radical!), MIL and FIL nearly pinching a loaf at the thought of tattooed DILs, and I said the endorphin thing was incredible. She said she didn't get the endorphin thing, in her usual trope of one-up-manship, so I embarked on a tale of a biker guy I used to work with who was trashed on booze and who-knew-what-else with a bunch of friends one night and they copied a Budweiser label onto his shoulder and went to the tattoo artist and insisted he tattoo the image exactly as they had rendered it. Sobered up a day or so later, they found they had done the budweiser thing in reverse image, so it looks right in the mirror, but nowhere else. He was a great guy, and fun to work with, though I never knew him very well. But this tale of truck with a rougher class of folk than our genteel family had the effect of horrifying the room.

Now, I'm the first to say I'm not very smart, because if I HAD been smart, I would have ended the story with "and THAT's the guy I got hepatitis C from! Isn't that funny?"

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

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Perhaps someday someone will 'splain me what I did wrong here. I'm thinking this is the same hiccup that produced the twin-jet wonders of Flossie yesterday. Who knows... Anyhoo, above is a video (hopefully) of John Waters demonstrating why I love him so. Well, if the link doesn't work, click HERE and watch. Like me, Waters has an endless fascination with loopily unhinged characters. The scene of Mink Stole smoking a cigarette in her iron lung in Hairspray is a classic moment of celluloid in my book. (or was that in Cry Baby? Dunno, I've slept since then). Then there's the fact that to keep people from talking to him on airplanes he always brings a copy of "Lesbian Nuns" to read, which seems to be a smalltalk killer. Anyway, here for your viewing pleasure is a reminder of how the cinema has gone downhill in the age of political correctness.

Monday, April 03, 2006

There's a kooky older lady who dates a 70-something friend of my dad's. Dad's friend is a pain-in-the-ass all by himself, but along with Flossie, they form the ultimate gruesome twosome. Flossie exhibits many hallmarks that would make a classic lovable old Texas big-haired gal, but she has some extremely irritating traits that trump all the good stuff.
In the positive category, Flossie has an enormous meringue 'do of salt-and-pepper hair that you just know she wraps in toilet paper every night. She wears enormous dangly earrings and gigantimous necklaces like the classic 60s jointed owl pendants, and their little tails hang precariously from the sheer precipice of her quad-Z-cup bosom, a fluttery metallic reminder of the 800 pound cleavage in the room. Big ugly rings. Keeping with the gold theme, some of her eye teeth are crunked out, with a rim of gold gleaming from aound the perimeter of several pearly yellows. Lee Press-on nails-- LOVE that shit! Eyeglasses that were ugly when they were new 15 years ago. Loud clothing. She can be very sweet and endearing and has a way of calling every waiter "honey" that makes her seem grandmotherly toward them. Yes, she is a Quigman.
In the negative column - Flossie wears a garish, cheap perfume that will cling to your hair and clothes from the moment she enshrouds you in her bear-like hug until the next time you wash them. Honestly, it's up there in the world-series of stink. Perhaps most damning of all to the public at large is that she is seen out with the wastrel guy she dates, dad's friend.
Sometime I'll post about him and tell how he goes into crowded restaurants and tells the host that he is diabetic and his enormous fat useless ass needs to be seated immediately. I've no idea if that has ever worked, but I know he's done it more than once. Obnoxious.
But the thing about Flossie that is beyond redemption in my eyes is her flagrant giggling and flirting at my father. I can understand that, by virtue of hanging around that gasbag she dates, she gets to enjoy the company of my extremely handsome father, but bitch! Please! Have the decency not to act girlish and coy at a man in front of his grown children. This one might just kick your ass. (If my mum doesn't first, that is)
Once Flossie and her man insisted my parents go on a short trip to a holiday resort with them. They flew on a small propeller plane from Dallas, to a small airport mid-way, and then finally on to the resort. This small plane was run by a long rubber-band extending from the prop to a big hook at the back of the fuselage. Flossie and the old goat sat their big butts at the very back of the plane, and my dad, from whom I inherited my terrific spatial sense and knowing that there was a woeful amount of weight at the back of the plane, watched the pilots struggle to get the plane off the ground. There was one seat on each side, and an aisle in the middle, and the pilots were fully visible to all passengers. At the mid-point stop, the two pilots got off the plane and re-arranged the baggage under the floor so that less weight was in the back of the plane, and had Flossie and partner move forward and sit over the wings. No lie -Flossie & Co. were probably about 700 pounds of horseflesh.
What does make me sad for her is that her 50-ish meth-head son burned her house down last year with her annoying little dog named Destiny in it. In my opinion, naming a dog Destiny is just asking for trouble. I could write an entire series of crap novels based on dog events:
Destiny Craps on the Carpet
The Mailman Cries Destiny
Groomed for Destiny
Destiny in Flames
Yes. I feel terrible about it - that last one was so wrong!
I did a spell-check and my artistic rendering of Flossie multiplied by cellular mitosis, apparently. Don't know what I did wrong.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Today I thought I'd just show some little old lady photos I like. We spend lots of time oohing and ah-ing over the extreme cuteness of dogs, children and - let's face it - ME and my shoes, but we don't talk much about how cute some little old ladies are. The cutest of all has a link at bottom, but I didn't want to lift the image from the photographer's blog, so you'll have to make an effort if you want to see her, but she's worth the trip.

Cute city gran - "Don't make me hit you with my handbag!"
Rocker Gran, party on!
Little Rascal Gran (equally at home wielding a dustmop or a shotgun)
Surprised Gran, probably entered a pie every year in the state fair of Indiana

Click HERE for the cutest little old lady of all. I just love her.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Several years ago, when sister was pregnant with this little man, she smelled a wretched, horrid burning smell. Having just moved into a century old recently renovated home, she was freaked out that the house was on fire. She called and was asking me about faulty wiring and the smell of a smoldering house. At last, she decided the situation was dire enough to merit calling the authorities, so she called 9-1-1. Down the street from the fire station came the big trucks, chock full of hunky, strapping firemen. She was standing on the porch big and pregnant (and barefoot, if I know my sister), wee niece hanging onto her apron strings. The fire chief pulled up in front of the big trucks in his suburban and started walking toward the house and said "OH, it's a skunk!" and turned around -laughing- to tell the other firemen before they dragged out their equipment. The skunk had crawled under the house and "uttered the inaudible discord of his race."(Thanks, Ambrose Bierce!) and everyone got a good laugh out of it, actually: she's quite pretty, and they were relieved not to fight a fire, and seeing as she was pregnant, they all just kind of gave her a pass on it.

So, the smell was not the city's problem. What to do about the odor? Well, what COULD be done? Nothing. Meaning well, and horrified that their progeny would be traipsing around town redolent of skunk, my folks and husband went over and rolled moth-balls under their house before sealing up the spot at which the skunk had been gaining access to the crawl space. Sister, moody, pregnant and just a mite tetchy at this point, was enraged at our folks. Naturally, they went over and removed the mothballs forthwith, and all of sister's rage was transferred from the skunk to the mothball brigade.

Well, I have to tell you, she and her wee bairns smelled a teeny bit skunky for a couple years. Their clothing had the faintest tang of skunk-action. It was weird. I got really used to it, but it was just part of the scenery, eventually, and always there.

If I called up mom today and brought up the subject, she'd probably get all pissed and start fuming about "those babies running around smelling like skunk."

If I called up sister today and brought up the subject, she'd swear she can still smell the mothballs.

It's like watching a tennis match, sometimes.
I'm looking forward to the day when they both laugh about it.