Friday, June 30, 2006

...and so we have wrapped up half of 2006. Odd, that.

I took all last week off to do something altruistic. I was involved in a vitality-draining, soul-sucking commitment that broke my old ass plumb the hell down, you know what I'm saying? I was exhausted. Something about dealing with huge terrorist cells of other people's offspring is incredibly enervating.

Dissolving into a puddle Friday night in a compromised state, I downloaded a pitifully remedial little game called "Cake Mania," which I would wager is aimed at 8 to11 year old girls - which just happens to be my demographic. I LOVED it instantly.
(OH, But DON'T download it whatever you do - it's done something wonky to my machine.)

Anyway, I started playing it about 10:45 Friday night, and I knew it must be getting late when the inside of my eyelids started feeling like sandpaper. Yet, still I perservered making cakes and running my little bakery through trials and tribulations and disgruntled customers. It's not a problem--I can quit any time.

Husband came into the room and said "do you know what time it is?" I said no. He said "it's 1:30," and looked at me as if he expected me to sputter an excuse or something. I chirped back - "oh wow, that's late, cool. thanks for telling me."

He turned and went back to bed. About 10 minutes later he came back in with a flourish worthy of Bela Lugosi and squatted in a dancing-about-a-cauldron pose with legs akimbo, arms upstretched like the Planet of the Apes orangutan scarecrows, practically shouting "You're wasting your life!"

I stared at him blankly as is my custom when confronted with abject idiocy. *blink* *blink*

He finally STFU and went to bed. The next day he was all apologies and he said he was sorry that he-- and here he stuck, unable to finish putting into words what he'd done, so I helped him finish the sentence-- "overloaded your jerk chip?"

Yes, he agreed with me.
The whole "wasting your life" thing is relative, innit?

I mean, shit, what the hell was I doing all week when I could have been earning money but no, I gave my time freely and spent hundreds of dollars on extras for the kids at the event??? After all that I was foolishly squandering my time, and certainly was not entitled to a spare minute to cool my boots at the task of some mindless entertainment?

Funny, but from his reaction and the big 5-dimensional drama queen stank, you would think he just busted me with a bottle of everclear in one fist, a joint in the other, engaging in lewd acts with the landscape guy while watching midget porn.

A little bit of perspective and proportionality is always helpful when you're setting out to condemn the people you deal with in life. In the case of someone in your inner circle you wish to remain in contact with, perhaps it's best to give a free pass once in a while, even if you do see them sprawling, glassy-eyed with their fingers twitching on the crack-pipe mouse of a short-bus game. That way apologies are not needed later and one might spare oneself lots of embarrassment.

I'm just saying...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Say it, don't spray it.

I HAVE a fabulous photo of my retainer on my Canon Rebel XT that I spent like a million dollars on, and for some reason my computer suddenly won't pull the images from the camera. I wish I knew someone who knew something about computers so they would help me with this. I'm having this sort of issue quite a lot, lately. Something was working fine on my computer and then little elves came along in daylight (obviously daylight - I'm here half the night!) and body-snatched computer components. Obviously I need to run out and charge a new computer. Dude, I'm getting a Dell.

ANYway. I was going to show you a picture of my bottom retainer, which is sort of an orangey-pink sparkle resin with a little pink and white bunny sticker embedded. It is super-cute. My upper retainer is teal glitter resin with teeny penguin and weenie-dog stickers.

Everyone at my orthodontist's office acted amazed that I wanted the colored wire for my braces - but frankly - if I'm going to be mush-mouthed and sound like a 'tard for months or years, I'd like it to be obvious to others WHY my diction is so, um, moist. I followed suit and requested funky resins for my 'tainers, and why the heck not? No use prevaricating about the bush-- if they actually succeeded in making the resin look natural, well, then your mouth would look deformed inside, wouldn't it? Anyway, the colors were fun and a nice change of pace.

Went today for my two month anniversary checkup since getting my braces off. Ortho takes himself very seriously, and though he seems affable and is a little chatty while he's glomming his mitts all about my piehole, all his assistants stand mute and never participate in the conversation. It's really weird, because with wires and crap sticking out, the guy ends up monologuing. There's been a lot of turnover in assistants, too. I got my braces exactly 23 months ago, and not a single assistant from that date still works for him. I wonder what is up with that? I have a theory...

Anyway, I walked in today and noticed something different and knew it must be his gun-metal gray hair, which was longer and a little bit less buttoned-down than before.
Knowing how seriously he takes himself, I looked for an occasion to rattle his cage. I asked if he changed his hair, and he said he thought he'd let it get a little longer for a change.

As I was leaving, he told me that in 3 months when I come back, he'll instruct me to just wear the retainer for sleeping. YAY! I celebrated by breezing by him and said, "Thanks! See ya then, Hippie!"

Speaking of Glitter - did anyone see that abortion of a movie by the same name starring Mariah Carey? Unbelievably shitty - it's almost worth checking out just to see the unfolding panorama of trite hackneyed dialogue and of course, there is also much enjoyment to be made of Mariah's cringeworthy acting. If you're like me, you'll utter the next line before she does. She's in an abusive relationship and keeps going back to it, and instead of anything realistic happening, he gets bumped off by some gangsta-types on the threshhold of her international stardom, saving the producers the trouble of resolving the sticky wicket of domestic violence. This is sort of a rilly embarrassing knock-off of A Star Is Born (see the 40s original - brilliant film, that.) That was handy, because it saved the filmmakers from having to resolve an ugly scenario that involves a Svengali-type mentor/dominator whose prodigy quickly outgrows him.

Also, check out the best Eric Roberts film Star 80. Tragic story, true, but very well realized in this film. Chilling, actually.

Sorry for any typos/spelling errors, but I'm 'bout near crosseyed, and I'm going to bed. See youse around the blog.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I have fallen in love with cotton pajama bottoms. It's funny - you guys have really kept that a secret.

I'm going to let you in on a little-known fact about pajamas in their most glorious state. In the morning, I'll get out of bed, look at the computer while I munch my cereal, and then go pull weeds in the garden. Then, covered in sweat and grit, I'll jump in the pool still wearing my pajamas.

It's fun to swim around, to tread water with lovely light fabric trailing about you. It feels better than I could possibly describe. You should all run right out and try it this instant - you'll thank me for it. Maybe the Victorians got it right with those bathing costumes with miles and miles of fabric.

Then again, you don't want to go overboard.

Man, blogger's inability to download my photo is harshing my mellow.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I didn't attend university full-time until my early 30s, and at that point I'd read a bit and knew a little about life. While my life experience informed my view of the materials presented, my tiny talent for writing coupled with a penchant for the slightly off-kilter made for great fun. Indeed, I suspect my high marks in courses reflected how refreshing my view of the subject was after the professor read reams of desperately off-mark scratchings from my unengaged peers. My preference was for intense literature classes in which the whole merit of the semester rested on a mere 2 or 3 tests, preferably essay questions.

One particularly memorable course involved the origins of classical literature, with a particular focus on mythology including Gilgamesh and of course, Odysseus. On the final exam for that term, I hit a bit of a hiccup - unusual for me in those settings. The question involved extrapolating what Odysseus' Mrs. had got up to while he was away, the killing of the fatted calf at his homecoming, and yada yada yada. Our study of Odysseus (and my first introduction to that story) had been at the beginning of the semester, and I had rather dismissed the trials of his put-upon wife, Penelope, whose name I had a bitch of a time remembering, simply referring to her in every combination of adjectives for "long-suffering wife" I could conjure.

This was unfortunate, because my head is a zero-sum game- new information is crammed in only by purging the memory banks of other, previously important data that I crammed earlier material out in order to retain. I went round the bend in agonies trying to come up with that ancient sounding name that began with a P.

I made an A+ on that exam. The teacher didn't mention in remarks that I never used Penelope's name, but I clearly knew the story in and out, so perhaps she was giving me a pass. Or perhaps I trumped all other considerations when I cleverly wove a reference to Steve Miller into my recounting of Orpheus and Eurydice.

The story goes that Orpheus and Eurydice are so besotted with each other, that when E. is bitten by a snake and dies, O. is so forlorn that his mourning songs of sweetness and longing inspire the pity of gods of the underworld, and Hades and Persephone tell him they'll let him come to the underworld and spring his wife and bring her back to live with him. The one condition of this arrangement is that when he finds her, he may not look upon her, but must walk ahead of her and not see her until they are out of the underworld. Near the end of the journey - the end is within reach - he turns and glances at her, only to see her wrested from his grasp for all eternity, dadgummit.

Naturally, the line from Steve Miller that comes to mind is from Big Old Jet Airliner, when he says "you've got to go through hell before you get to heaven." I DID get a comment on being the first student to draw such an analogy. Incidentally, despite my garbage in/garbage out airlock on data storage, Steve Miller, old commercial jingles, and every embarrassing thing I've ever done or said seem to be exempt from the ranks of flushable data - those precious things will always be with me.

Anyway, I know reading and writing is not so simple for everyone, but it can be such a delight and such a great escape from mundanaity. What makes it all enjoyable is a very slight shift of focus, like looking at one of those magic eye images where the tiniest shift of focus allows a different dimension to unfold. By all means, we learn by hearing the accepted interpretation of stories, but it is important that we find a personal resonance for these stories and ideas. Also, for me the hallmark of good writing is the reader can take imagery in a wholly different direction than that envisioned by the writer, and in that way, the excitement of a story may expand exponentially. This is (or should be) a universal concept - not everyone can sing well, but everyone can be trained to sing better than they do. Same dif. But I'm rambling again, aren't I?

Oh, and one more thing: some people call me the space cowboy.

Monday, June 26, 2006

All my family came over today for a belated sort of Father's Day gathering. Niece and nephew are spending the night here, and I flipped the tv over to On Demand to find some toons to knock out the wonder boy. He's a little dynamo, and it's hard for him to get to sleep. He was talking about the crocogators and slightly wound up.

I found some Power Puff Girl episodes and turned one on. To my delight, the episode featured Him, who you might have guessed was my favorite villain of the series. He's a magically delicious prancing pooftie bad-guy. Kinda like a darker version of Prince only in red instead of purple.

The floormats of my last pickup were Power Puff Girls, andI sorta think about cleaning them up and putting them in Loulou the Baby Shoe™(my new chariot) sometime. I wish there were Billy & Mandy floormats available. Any cartoon that involves retarded characters with names like Evil con Carne is music to my eyes. Good stuff.

Anyway - sorry I've been sort of a cross-eyedy vegetable when I've posted lately - we should be back to the same old more interesting crap tomorrow if I can get a little rest, and then I'll be back in the swing of leaving my crappy comments on all your blogs, too. Have a great Monday.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

police sting nabs flashers on NYC subway

Are flashers dangerous, or just stepping in to fill a void of blog fodder?

I went to Chicago once with a classical vocal ensemble and we went to a tony suburb to the north to rehearse in front of a high school's music students before our big concerts. On the way back to our hotel downtown, we stopped in Evanston to let a couple violinists and a pianist off at Northwestern University to practice. The violinists and the pianist both had international competitions upcoming, and rehearsal space had not really been arranged for them for our trip.

Several hours later, they wrapped up at Northwestern and hopped on the local train system to head back downtown, I suppose that would be the EL.

The violinists were two Korean girls, and the pianist was a brilliant young musician from Russia who I was privileged to have accompany me on a regular basis. A Muscovite, Natasha is a shy and quiet person who lets the piano do her talking. In fact, they were all three very nice and rather sheltered girls who enjoyed a cloistered existence because of their exceptional degree of musicianship.

Heading to downtown Chicago during rush hour is apparently less crowded a trip on the train, and they handily found a bench seat side by side and facing the opposite side of the train. A man got on the train and sat directly opposite them, letting his overcoat fall open to display a vista of wedding tackle arrayed like a bowl of fruit.

Of course they all three noticed and were inwardly freaking out but acting like they didn't notice and not reacting. No doubt, the minute they were out of sight/earshot of the offending person, they dissolved into paroxysms of giggling embarrassment...

When I was about 13, I was walking to school and I heard a big whistle from somewhere behind me. It was very cold and the sun was rising toward my back, and when I turned around, everything looked sparkly, like the trees and houses were diamond encrusted with the sun shining through their coating of ice. It was very bright, but the back of the house from whence the whistle had come was in shadow, so it took my eyes a second to adjust. There, framed in all his naked glory stood the (little did I know) magnificent form of the star of the high school football team. His hair was russet, and the carpet matched the drapes. And the hairy gorilla underarms.

He was probably stoned and thought he'd give someone a thrill. I turned and walked swiftly onward to school. I wish I had a photograph to show you. After that, I took a longer route to school which didn't involve walking past that house.

I didn't tell my dad, because I just thought it was retarded high school boy antics, and my dad would have put a world of hurt on him. And his dad.

Best Halloween costume I've seen was a guy from Dallas named Gary Wendt - a real character. He dressed as a flasher in overcoat, etc., but strapped a camera to his midsection with a spring-loaded device and caught a picture of everyone's reaction as he pulled open the overcoat from his seeming unclothed body. (there were shorts underneath, thank goodness). Like a big old goober, apparently my photo turned out the best, with a look of amazed delight on my face as I looked expectantly at his crotch. No matter what my face said in the photo, I was very relieved when he had on shorts. I actually expected him to have an array of cheap watches for sale when he pulled open the coat.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Today's blog:
What a dame's legs ought to be, according to the Phlegm Institute.

Exhibit A is the famous legs of Betty Grable showing why they were insured for about a million bucks in the 1940s. The idea of these legs--bless them-- got a lot of our guys through WW II, and what could be more American than that? We'll forgive Betty that ghastly frock that is wheeling about her like the rings of Saturn, because she is so damned cute. Hers is a sweetly comic turn in Walter Lang's 1941 joint Moon Over Miami. You must love technicolor.

Next up is the engineering marvels that are the legs of Gwen Stefani. These are textbook gams, barely suggesting there is bone underneath all that
girliness, which is a wonderfully female trait, in my opinion. Gwen is so cute that it really wouldn't matter if her legs weren't astonishing, but they are. In a cover story in Vogue a few years ago, I read an interview in which she said she was hungry all the time, but that she was afraid of having the merest bit of extra avoirdupois in photographs or on stage. Sounds a mite obsessive, and a little sad. But still there are those legs. Have a cheeseburger on me, Gwen. You've earned it.

Next, there's the gloriously voluptuous body of Jennifer Tilly, and particularly her very pretty and sorta thick legs.
She is a comedic giant in film, although she has been a bit below the radar in general with her role choices. Bullets Over Broadway is worth seeing for her performance alone, not to mention the brilliant other performers in the film, and the acidly comic script, exquisite costuming, etc. She was great in the sort of bad yet riveting Dancing At the Blue Iguana. Yeah, that film was probably panned as a colossal stinker, and I don't care. I don't think she's topless in it, but she does play a goth stripper. I haven't seen her as the Bride of Chucky, but I'll bet she rocked in that one, too. She said laughingly in an interview that she knew when she took that role that her career was on the downhill path.

Finally there is my perennially favorite actress Patricia Arquette. She was a revelation in True Romance, and the scene where she kills James Gandolfini with the typical things one has scattered about a cheap motel room is my all-time favorite fight scene. She was marvelous as a sociopath with the delightfully dry Ellen DeGeneres in Goodbye Lover. GL features a great number of wardrobe changes, and she looks fantastic. Some of the looks she sports in that film are evocative of 40s high glamour and Carmen Miranda/Dorothy Lamour style. Good stuff. Plus, Ellen (playing a cop who is investigating some mysterious deaths in PA's social circle) delivers some golden lines:

DETECTIVE POMPANO (Ellen DeGeneres): Okay, look for the needle in the shit pile. These are crowd shots from all five murders. We wanna separate potential suspects from your average scumbag citizen.
DETECTIVE ROLLINS: Ma'am, you know, we're sworn to serve and protect. If you hate everybody so much, why are you doin' this job?
DETECTIVE POMPANO: Because every once in a while I get to shoot somebody.

Wow, funny how even starting with such a pleasant topic as lovely legs I still manage to end up at misanthropy...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Here's the doglet about 2 months ago. You'll notice the half-mast eyes and tucked tail, indicating the fugue state she enters when she is in the sunshine after being cooped up half a day in the opulent house she has been so generously provided, all the while soaking in the exorbitant air conditioning. She actually stands in the sun, shivering for some reason. Sometimes I think she has doggie Parkinsons- she IS 14 1/2, after all. I keep looking for signs of Katharine Hepburn-ness, but it seems more a case of fleeting moments of quirky behaviour interspersed between protracted bouts of extreme napping that could rival that of any 30 pound house cat. Even for a crotchety old gal, she's still a helluva bitch.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I love love love the stuffing out of Red Dwarf, the British outer-space comedy series. The writing is absolutely brilliant and the acting is spot-on. This, for me, ranks with Star Trek as all-time best tv space series.

The two lowest-ranking people on the vast mining ship Red Dwarf, Lister is a charismatic rule-breaking happy-go-lucky loafer and his roommate Rimmer is a super-dorky by-the-book loser (picture a nakedly ambitious Barney Fife with a yellow streak a mile wide) . Lister is fired and put in stasis before returning to earth for bringing a cat on board the ship. 3 million years later, Lister awakens from stasis to find that all humans on the ship were turned to little piles of powder, and that he is the last living human. Anywhere.

Holly, the ship's computer, has slowly gone mad after twiddling his thumbs for 3 million years. He's adorable - a disembodied head floating on a vid screen. The pregnant cat had her babies on the ship and from them a new life form emerged - a vain dandy James Brown type called Cat.

Turns out the ship's computer has just enough juice to support one hologram of a former shipman as companion, so the perennially dim Holly has chosen neatness freak Rimmer, who constantly harasses Lister about his slob ways. His hologram status is the reason for the H on Rimmer's forehead. Kryten (the android pictured above with Lister actor Craig Charles) is a service android who is picked up a ways into the series from a wrecked space ship. Kryten has a groinal socket for cleaning attachments - you've go to see him vacuuming the place to really appreciate him.

Opening episode of season 7 was Tikka To Ride, in which the ship runs out of curry, which is a disaster of epic proportions to Lister, who is partial to a chili-cheese-chutney-egg sandwich. They manage to travel in time to re-stock curry supplies for the ship, and end up in Dallas Texas, 1963. They accidentally prevent JFK's murder, and he goes on to be prosecuted for crimes and leaves office in manacles. Our heroes travel in time yet again and tell JFK how badly things will end for him on the tarmac of Idlewild airport in NYC. JFK is utterly downtrodden and Lister tells him that in their version of history, JFK died a hero, and this very airport is named after him. Anyway, turns out, they take him along to travel in time yet again and JFK is the mystery gunman on the grassy knoll.

What's not to like? Oh, and the dialogue is brilliant.

Rimmer: We're going to have to switch to Red Alert!
Kryten: Are you sure, Sir? That will mean changing the bulb.

Check it out on Amazon or at the Sad Geezer's Guide to Red Dwarf.

Poppies rank among my favorite flowers. They poke their beardy little pods up through the scalloped-edged leaves, languorously stretching ever skyward until the bud stands a full foot above her lowly earth-bound neighbors. Then the encasement of five-o'clock shadow gives way and a saucy flounce of papery petals unfurl, remarkably tenacious in a windstorm.

The poppy bloom is one of the most elegant of the flower queendom. She is at once classic and contemporary, young and ancient, Asian and New World, highly addictive contraband and peace-and-relief-giving medicine. All this in the clever packaging of a grand dame who is a raving beauty with the gypsy-like self-possession to show up for her photo-shoot without shaving her whiskery legs. Gotta love those poppies!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I really need to take a moment and talk about the Dixie Chicks. Yeah, I'll get to other aspects of this topic, but I really want to get to the issue that's first on everyone's mind when they think of the Dixie Chicks. What the devil were the photographer/stylist/makeup artists up to when they did the make up for the cover shoot for that new cd?

These are not inherently attractive women - let's be honest - and they need all the help they can get, especially now that they all seem like they need a cheeseburger and to be forced to attend a Daughters of the Confederacy meeting. The cover shoot is sort of a sepia toned image with very dark, smudged smoky eye makeup, which makes them look like disembodied bewigged skulls floating above couture-clad stick insects. Empty eyesockets in photos freak me out. It's very strange.

No doubt Natalie Maines' latest ravings are simply another bid to remain relevant in a notoriously fickle market. However, I'm sick of the fence-straddling, and I'm going to call it out when I see it. The published quote from the latest flap is as follows:

"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."

OK, let's peel just a few layers of the irony onion here. Dixie is by definition the states of the Southern and Southeastern US that joined the Confederacy during the US Civil War. Shit. It's just a place, what's the big deal? Why are they not called the "Botswana Maidens," the "Lithuanian Lasses" or the Cantonese--?? I'll stop now. Uh, why are they called the Dixie Chicks? Because when it serves their purpose (like to sell concert tickets and cds) they are stepping up to cash in on the sense of place, pride and regionalism of the people who are considered to be the traditional backbone of the country-music fan base. However, if there's a political point to be made, they are willing to go on record as being above such petty bourgeois concepts such as patriotism and regionalism. Um, ok.

Furthermore, derisively invoking the words "this land is our land" most notably used in the form of the song of the same title by the universally esteemed American folk balladeer Woody Guthrie raised my eyebrows into full-throttle mode. Shit, unfortunate choice of words, I'd say. That song didn't say "golly, what a great country to be white in" or "join your local KKK" or "isn't it great we drove the Indians out so we could wallow in the decadent abundance of this land we intend to ride hard and put up wet." No, Woody Guthrie was dirt-poor and saying that although he had nothing but his guitar and the next train he would hitch a ride on, this land was every bit his as much as any Carnegie or Hearst or Rockefeller, and by golly, he was going to stand up and say so. Guthrie's music was about universality, not exclusivity, and I think for a group like TDC with their folksy roots to go off on such a poorly worded harangue is short-sighted and self-contradictory. Guthrie's song ended "this land was made for you and me," the you in that equation being the collective of everyone who comes here. Even if she didn't intend to quote WG, any former folkie should know better than this horrid faux pas.

And to go back to the old 2003 saw from TDC concert in London in which they whined about our president - some of the most acutely intelligent people I know are from the UK, and they don't assume that we all voted for Bush any more than we can assume they all voted for Thatcher. I know that some in that audience appreciated their comments at that moment, but that statement was tantamount to saying "we know y'all are probably just too thick to know that we didn't all vote for the same guy, so, uh, we want you to know we didn't."

In any case, it makes them seem more nakedly cloying to trade on an image they give lip service to decrying. By all means, trash this country and everything it stands for, protest deposing Saddam Hussein - suck his dick if you like - but before you go shooting your mouth off half-cocked, please invest in a higher-memory irony chip, bitches!

telegraph article on Dixie Chicks

Monday, June 19, 2006

By the way - to all the lovely folks on my blog roll - I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger lately, so I've not made it round to all of you, but I hope to get back in circulation sometime this week. STILL love all of you, of course!

Flipping thru my dvr yesterday, I found (SURPRISE!) it unintentionally recorded part of the Britney Spears/Matt Lauer interview from last week, so I watched half-assedly whilst working on a creative project.

Yeah, Britney's floppy fake eyelash was totally defeating me. It was like - omg - why not groom/act/dress like total white trash while denying you ARE white trash?! This girl is removing all doubt that she is a packaged product who had no creative control or drive in her career trajectory. She's a product who has been molded according to the desires of focus groups and entertainment executives, and nothing else.

She's gonna crash and burn and if she lives long enough, the come-clean tell-all when she's trying to re-launch her career as an old sad half-used-up has-been at the age of 30 is going to be super ugly. I'm feeling sadder for her by the minute.

Does anyone remember the MTV awards where Britney and Christina Aguilera performed with Madonna, and M kissed Christina on the mouth, a quick, barely happened sort of kiss, and then B & M mugged down? Funny, much was made of that moment, the big kiss and all, and Christina sort of shrank (sp?) into the wallpaper while the other two acted nasty. It's funny how ironically smart Christina now seems for not taking advantage of a potentially outrageously dramatic moment. Oh, and never mind that Christina was the only one with real singing chops on stage that night. I guess she didn't have to resort to gimmicky theatrics to have appeal. But I'm chasing rabbits, aren't I?

Oh, and the shit about child endangerment - totally overblown. The driving with the kid on her lap was stupid, admittedly, but the nearly falling could have happened to anyone, even without platform sandals and a cocktail in the other hand. Who among us could pass the test of this level of scrutiny? None, I'm thinking. The mere fact that she is mobbed by media everywhere she goes would make a person screw up in ways they wouldn't normally.

The question we all need to ask ourselves is after the media have cooked up needle-after-needle-full of Britney mania, and all the while the public helped by holding the spoon, why are the media they so eager to depose her as an American icon? People need to wise up and realize what a fickle whore the media are. Remember what John Lydon said at the beginning of the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK": Ever get the feeling you're being cheated? We are definitely being cheated, but if we are so stupid collectively, maybe we deserve it. After all, they are not going to give us a true and genuine thing if we can be sated with the patently false and contrived.

Regarding types like Matt Lauer/Katie Couric/blah blah blah celebrity "infotainment" presenters, I give you my take on that. I think there are millions of people sitting home who simply do not get out much, and they see "perky" Katie and pretty boy Matt and they eventually come to think these little people in their televisions are speaking to them, personally, and that they are having a personal relationship with these overpaid poncey shit-for-brains. (Um, WHY are they called "talking heads?") Like I said to my friend Liz on the phone yesterday, "If you get hit on the head with a hammer enough times, eventually you'll just go with it and start bleeding." Hence, love of the tv "talent."

Ew, I just kinda puked in my mouth when I included the word "talent" in that paragraph.
Have a great week.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Today - Father's Day - is an especially important day to me.

I've told you about shooting the guts out of dad's watch with my brother's bb gun when I was about 3, saying I was aiming at my toe, and him telling me he wished I'd hit my toe. Well, that's sort of typical of dad's approach to things with a gentle spirit of humorous good nature. It's not that he was not dismayed to lose a brand new watch, but moreso that he's not a materialistic sort of person, and on some level must have been amused by the event. 37 years later, I still can't believe I didn't get a spanking for that! I would have spanked me.

I could tell you a new story every day for a year and not be finished extolling his admirable qualities. In the early 70s, we had a Bronco II with a powerful winch on the front. We lived in West Memphis Arkansas, across the river from Memphis. The land in that area is completely flat--lots of farmland along the roadways-- and along each roadway a bayou is carved into the earth for drainage/irrigation. When the weather turned cold and we got that rare coating of ice on everything, dad would go out in the Bronco and pull cars full of people out of ditches. I can't tell you how many times I've seen him do things like that and then refuse all offers of payment for his kindness. He would be embarrassed to be asked about it, but if he did talk about it, I believe he would say that God placed someone in his path whose needs he could help meet, and that it is his duty to do so. By observing him I have learned more about true loving kindess than could ever be gleaned from anywhere else.

I think people in this age feel they need to provide their kids with lots of things that show they have high social standing, but that is absolute twaddle. The time people spend with their children is of far greater importance to the child's future than any material object they may be given. I remember sitting in the Bronco and "helping" dad put in a new clutch when I was about 8. I've been hunting with dad, fishing, and on hundreds of thousands of miles of road trips. The summer of 1974 I came to Dallas with dad (mom was expecting sister and stayed home) and he let me man the helm of the radio control. I remember "Sister Golden Hair" by America and Elton warbled "Bennie and the Jets" as I blissed out on the joys of the road in what would become a life-long love affair with driving and listening to good music.

I also remember one two week trip in late '83 up to Arkansas to pick up grandparents, out to California, then up the coast to Washington state, all to visit relatives. We had a 1976 LTD that dad souped up, and it was the ultimate ass-hauling machine. Dad is indefatigable and would drive through the night sometimes, and I'd stay awake with him and talk. (I'm a night owl, too.) We'd slip into the familiar mode of me directing the radio dial, and just talk about things. I knew he could handle it - he's one of those people with such an acute mind that he couldn't accidentally fall asleep, but I hated him to be alone, so I'd stay awake. I loved that - the radio playing softly (Africa by Toto was the song of this trip) everyone else sleeping, and that's when the great unspooling of tales of dad's adventures would occur, spinning magic that only adds to his legend in my heart.

In a way, I owe my fearlessness to him. Dad is a natural-born physical powerhouse who is a bit intimidating, despite his gregarious good nature. People seem to get the message toute-de-suite that his children will not be trifled with. Once my brother was injured in P.E. class, and my dad came to the school and gave the coaches a talking-to. Not only were the teachers mortified of having my brother injured again, they had me sit out P.E. too (I was in the year behind bro's), rather than risk any further injury to the children of such a man. (It's funny when men who think they are badasses meet someone who actually IS a badass!) I'd say those people made a good call. In crises in my adult life, he's rushed to my aid too. I have the confidence that only comes from knowing there is always a giant in my corner, and that no matter what sort of retarded goofball antics I get up to, he loves me unconditionally and will do whatever it takes to defend me.

I have to wrap this up sometime. You know he's a saint to me. If every person were blessed with a father like mine (and I honestly wish everyone did), there would be no need for prisons or homeless resource centers. Dad sent my sister, brother and me into the world with the sense of security one could only have if their papa were a hybrid of Charles Bronson and Mother Teresa, and quite frankly, that is what a father should be. He is incredibly self-effacing, generous, humble and honest and still has managed to provide a gorgeous home to our family and take care of our every need, and then some. He is a good and faithful husband to my mother, and by example I have a real sense of the standard that is the true measure of a man.

Dad is the kindest, fiercest, most brilliant soul I've ever had the privilege to know, and I'm honored to call him mine. I love you, dad. You're the best, and I couldn't be prouder of you. I thank God daily for blessing me to be born into your home.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

No good deed goes unpunished.

An acquaintance, Chuck, dropped by the office today and I asked how his trip was to New York recently. He said it was fine, but that something bizarre happened when he got back to Dallas.

Chuck is a big black guy, played college football, but quit to concentrate on his non-athletic studies. He is not personally in danger in the line of work he does, but let's just say it involves what must amount to a steady run of adrenaline when he is on duty, intense situations and harsh environments. He is in his early forties, and is typical of late baby-boomers who were spoon fed post-punk and britcoms, and in a lot of ways he reminds me of my favorite schoolmates of suburbia from the days of yore.

When he was thinking of buying a home earlier in the year, I encouraged him and said he'd be crazy to miss out on the bargain he found. What worried him is the house was in a cloistered little neighborhood in Oak Cliff (just southwest of Downtown) and that he had never lived any place that bordered a rough sort of neighborhood.

He flew in on Sunday, exhausted and ready to be home in his new house, and as he was driving down Hampton road, he saw a young Mexican woman running, maybe 19, carrying a baby car seat with a small infant inside, shrieking and crying, obviously in hysterics.

Chuck pulled over and said "Ma'am, do you need help? Can I give you a ride somewhere, are you alright?"

She got into his car and started telling him where to drive her. She said her boyfriend disappeared with her car and her niece, and the brakes aren't working and he just beat her up, etc. So far, this is hysterical but seems plausible and clearly she needed the help, although she never thanked him or in any way acknowledged that he did her a tremendous kindness. It probably seemed rather "day in the life" to her.

He drove along, and she asked to use his phone. She dialed. Next she started yelling into the phone "You fucking nigger! You are not ever going to put your hands on me again, you motherfucker, or I will kill you!" She hurled the N bomb again and again in an otherwise artfully non-repetitive volley of bilious invective.

Chuck's mouth fell open - here this creature is, accepting a ride from him and using this offensive language as if he were not there. Chuck takes a dim view of such language, and is slowly realizing he's stepped into a real mess.

They arrive at the destination, and she looks around, and instructs Chuck to drive another place nearby. They get there, and she jumps out of the car and runs over to another car, presumably her own -and starts yelling at the man behind the wheel.
I asked Chuck if that guy was, in fact, black. Chuck couldn't see him.
Anyway, she is such a crazed lunatic that the guy floors the accelerator and the car pops the curb, soundly clipping the back of a tricked-out Cadillac Escalade with 20" spinny rims, doing some serious damage and causing quite an uproar.

Oh, the shit is ON at this point. Homeys appear from all over the barrio to see what is happening, and Chuck, being a gainfully employed legal taxpayer, is out of his element. Period. He finds this a tiny bit uncomfortable.

Chuck said to the woman "I have somewhere else I have to be" and she turned to him and cocks her head, and then lays down some neckwork saying "You can't leave now. Nobody's leaving." You see how that works? He was nice to her, and now he'll have to pay. (Incidentally, spellcheck suggested I substitute "Negroes" for "neckwork" in that sentence.)

This is getting creepy for Chuck. He said "I'm not involved, I just tried to help, but I have somewhere else I have to be." He hopped in his car, and took off, relieved that it was all over and he'd soon be at his new home after 2 grueling weeks out of town.

He's driving away, and his cell phone rings, and a man's voice starts yelling and cursing "who the fuck is Chuck? What are you doing with my woman?"

Friday, June 16, 2006

I finally figured out the look Janet's surgeon was going for:

Melsama bin Gibson.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I'll set this one up and let YOU knock it down:

Tonight my sister told me about a young woman she worked with in San Diego. This was a skinny little anorexic chick who met a Mexican guy one night and he impregnated her, and the fruit of that blessed union was a little boy that she simply couldn't stop bragging about. In a bizarre twist, she married the guy.

Sister said she was not incredibly bright, and that they all got so verrrry sick of her talking about her little genius. "He can say his alphabet!" "Really? How remarkable. We've never heard of a child knowing their alphabet."

This girl looked like a concentration camp victim, and was apparently bulimic because the digestive acids had eaten away the enamel on her teeth. Nice.

They were all working in a beauty supply/salon (NO, they didn't give massages!)

Apparently she was genuinely sweet and generally a very hard worker because she came up with the ultimate call-in-sick excuse ever and was not fired for same.

She called in and begged off work for the day because of a brutally painful ingrown pubic hair.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

This is the anti-curmudgeon post.

Ya just gotta love a 3-legged dog. They don't sit around feeling sorry for themselves, licking their stump and feeling like less of a dog, just because they lost that leg. Dogs are the sultan species of getting on with life and living the shit out of it. God bless dogs for being such lovely and noble companions.

I read in a magazine a couple years ago about a woman who was skydiving and had a serious chute malfunction, leaving her plummeting to earth stinted only by less aerodynamic positioning of her body. The force of the impact fractured nearly every major bone in her body and stopped her heart. However, fortune was with her that day. She landed on an enormous fire ant mound in a field, and the thousands of simultaneous bites she received all over caused her body to produce even more adrenaline (like she wasn't already churning it out by the bucket!) and this surge of adrenaline re-started her heart. She made a nearly full recovery and was skydiving again within two years. I'm guessing she was a three-legged dog sort of person.

The ultimate anti-curmudgeonly music is any cd by Asleep At The Wheel. Western Swing is the canine of musical styling: loyal, dependable, rock-solid, and downright jolly. If you can listen to this music and not feel just a teeny bit buoyed, well, you probably don't like dogs either. If you don't like dogs, you need a change in your life, is all I'm saying, m'kay?

There's something to be said for climbing back on the horse that threw you, and riding it. Dogs work over-time showing us how to do that. Have a great day.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Heavens, I'm tasty and expeditious!

I received an anonymous comment from someone that they didn't want to be posted - no ideer who you are, but I love you back anyway - and they said nice things about my blog including the above compliment cobbled from a Prairie Home Companion schtick. That movie looks funny, actually, and I'll prolly go see it too. I'm still wanting to see "The Notorious Bettie Page." Sacrilege! It's a world gone amok when I can't find time to fit in a movie, dammit.

As Tickersoid so rightly stated, poo is always a safe bet for a provocative post. It's funny how such a foul subject can remain so perennially fresh. Perhaps it is the unfolding onion peelings of horrors that unfurl when one is confronted by a 3-dimensional wall of stink.

The Mavericks won game 2 of the playoffs, and I'm thinking they're going to win the whole shebang. No sports fan I, husband 'bout dropped his transmission tonight when he got home to see me watching the game. In years past at the mention of NBA playoffs, I would have genteely said "I don't know. I'm just not a baseball fan." This had the twin jets of revelation which let the listener know that A) I don't like their particular team, and B) I don't particularly like any team who plays any sport in general. It saves time, actually, lets people know we're just not EVAH going to be on the same page.

However, NBA playoffs is sorta a big deal, and there is a lovely everyman quality to the players of the Dallas Mavs. There's a restaurant I've been going to since about 2000 where I started seeing this unusually tall man, blond hair. He looked like a regular guy, and was always with other decidedly regular (if shorter) guys. It was really funny to me when I found out that guy was a pro ball player- Dirk Nowitzki - and apparently didn't go in for the star/entourage/v.i.p. bullshit. Apparently the others on the team are equally unpretentious, and tv interviews show them scrambling to give team mates credit and hail the group effort rather than getting high on their own armpit vapors.

So, obviously there's been lots of buzz about the Mavs, and I work in the Downtownish-area not too far from the arena, so it's natural the subject would come up again and again. Don't think of me as a newly hatched sports fan - that ain't gonna happen - but the Mavericks and their home-spun and true-love ways have definitely won me over.

The new season of Deadwood started tonight, and though she had very little screen time, I was reminded of one of the most endearing aspects of the show:
Calamity Jane. She's a pitiful sot, really, but a good soul. She is such a hard-knocks character that you feel sorry because obviously not one thing has gone right for her, and she's just got to make her way in a very hostile world. "Every day you have to figure out how to live all over again," she said on tonight's episode. One character asks her to tell the story about her experience as a scout for Custer, and she says something like "Custer was a selfish bastard. THE END!"

Jane is a gritty woman who hasn't resorted to prostitution in an age when career options were mightily limited. I love the way CJ is written, and the long-dark-teatime-of-the-soul of the actress' portrayal is heart-achingly compelling. So if you have the urge, indulge yourself by flipping over to Deadwood at 8pm Sundays. You'll go for the human debris and mud-caked environs, but you'll want to stay for Jane.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I'm about to purchase a digital camera, and I'm a bit nervous. I need something that I can take photos showing intricate detail of my beads and beadwork. Having purchased several cheapie crap digital cameras over the years, it's definitely time to step it up. My girlfriend Kim over at little somethings blog takes extraordinary pictures with her new Canon Rebel XT.

Anyone have any recommendations on a camera which would perform well but not break the bank? I'll probably make this purchase in the next 2 days...

I went to the salon yesterday to get my hair did, but I was waiting on my hairdresser to finish up her previous client (no, no happy endings there, thank you very much), so I went to the bathroom. Their bathroom is extremely small with no real ventilation. I'm guessing some hung-over stylist drank a gallon of Guinness (or Manhattans - WHATEVER!) and then went to Taco Cabana after the bars closed the night before. Evidence was that the prior bathroom occupant took a big hairy dump which can only have been life affirming for them, and damning for the unfortunate who followed them in the space. Add to that they sprayed the room full of Lysol - GAG! So now instead of smelling like evil poo, the room smells like evil poo and equally suffocating Lysol. YUCK.

You know how that works, though - no matter how bad your own poo smells, everyone else's always smells worse to you. At least, that's the case with me, since mine never smells bad.

Friday, June 09, 2006

I have often heard that the most compelling of the 5 senses is olfactory. Sense of smell can be incredibly powerful, and it's so easy to be transported to another time in your life by exposure to a scent which is very similar to something from earlier in your life. Smell imprinting is a mind-boggling thing.

I was walking near a grade school in at city in Belgium once, about age 22, and I smelled bread baking that was a dead ringer for the scent of bread baking at the school in which I attended 5th & 6th grades. It was a very cold winter day, and the heady yeasty smell was glorious, even though I never really cared for the bread in the cafeteria. It was just a fragrant snapshot that seemed like a time machine.

I don't think mimeographs are done in schools any more, but those of us who are old-fartish will remember the halcyon pre-photocopier era of school in which all our tests and class handouts were printed in the office on a bulky and loud dinosaur of a mimeograph machine. I would always volunteer to help hand out the stacks of mimeos, because they were cool to the touch, slightly moist and perfumed by the mimeo fluid, which I found heady and oh-so-pleasing. Yeah, yeah. That's probably why I couldn't have babies, right? Whatever.

Then there's that other fragrance of yore which I'll never smell again, but which I found delightful all those years ago. Gather round children, and marvel at the thought that gasoline used to only come in leaded. Leaded gas had a strange and distinctive odor which was glorious in small doses. I wouldn't want to be locked in a small airtight space with the stuff, by any means, but even though I was a kid at the time I always liked hovering near the gas pump when dad filled up the car, or at least hanging my head out the open window and taking a nice deep whiff.

I feel a pang of remorse for the aroma treasury which has been snuffed forever by freaky-outy environmentalists and a government run amok.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

This has been bugging me for a long time.

There are some wonky language options on my bank's drive-through cash machine. I mean, wtf is Hmoob?
[when all else fails, google it - Hmoob is Vietnamese, apparently]

But what really baffles me is the braille lettering on the machine. On a drive-through. WTF is someone blind doing driving up to a drive-through cash machine? Am I missing something?

And that reminds me of the little handi-capable wheelchair logo beside the letter verification on blogger - um, if you're blind and need to click on the audio version of their letter scramble thingie, then how can you function on the internet, anyway?

You know those little pin toys that you can put your hand behind and the pins leave a 3-D version of your hand, or whatever you've collapsed the pins over? Well, someone needs to invent a braille version of the internet that functions like that. Don't you agree?

Then again, there would be an over-abundance of 3-d versions of obscene things, no doubt. That's just what we need more of, don't we?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Oh, and no hard feelings - I'll remove this post as soon as I have an apology from the misguided party, mkay?


Here we go. There's always gotta be some kook who thinks they've got it all figured out, and they won't be happy until everyone else is pinching a loaf about our imminent destruction. Seriously - there are even losers who spend a lot of time and energy organizing/attending "prophecy conferences" - can you believe that? What a waste.

There's one big bunch of fraidy-cats who are freaked out about today's date 06/06/06. Well, here's a bulletin, Einstein: Today's date is 06/06/2006. You're overlooking some numbers there. I don't think the world will end today, and even if it did, I think Slim Pickens had the right sort of "ride it hard & put it up wet" philosophy about it. Que sera, sera, bitches!

God grant me the serenity to change the things I can change,

to accept the things I cannot change,

and the ammunition to make the difference.

When I was in 8th grade in 1979, there was a doomsday cult that determined a particular date that Fall was the end of the world as we knew it, and of course, we all had the fear of being nuked by Russia at any moment. We'd just come through a fake "oil crisis" and Americans decked out in "I'm with Stupid" t-shirts and flipflops were being held hostage in Iran. A liqui-shit-storm of apocalyptic mojo seemed quite plausible, actually.

The little old ladies working in the cafeteria at school were clucking like a bunch of hens, jumpy as shit, and freaked out in general. A couple trumpet players from the band decided to give them a little treat. They crept to the back corner behind the serving ladies and tuned up the most celestial-sounding fanfare they could muster, and a shocked silence swept the room, then a wave of nervous laughter when everyone figured out what was going on. The old ladies had a litter of kittens each, and the world kept on turning.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Favorite Teachers Department

When I was in high school marching band (no, I never went to band camp, but I did play flute), we were practicing marching on the football field and it was a brutally hot September. I remember I was wearing my favorite jeans--tight with red stitching and a cute red leather western belt and red t-shirt. This was 9th grade. The year was 1980. Fashion - it's more important than you might think...

We marched military style, which was a great point of pride with us - movements had to be extremely crisp and clean, every turn done with mathematic precision so you didn't end up getting your chocolate in someone else's peanut butter. Or vice versa. All our competitors had switched to the easier, more gimmicky corps style, which had flags, rifle twirling, mostly brass instruments and cheese, glorious cheese! Pa-Tooey. Anyway, we were the best, and we were the best while doing the absolute hardest style. Oh, I'm sounding nerdy, aren't I?

Anyway, that fateful day the band director yelled "Forward: 1, 2, 3---BAND! HALT!" It's funny that I heard him give the order to halt even though everything was black, but I didn't know why. I had fallen out and was on the ground, passed out from the heat. Next thing I knew, I was laying on my back on the football field, looking up, some wiseass was humming "taps" in the background(funny!), and Steve Pike, the jr hi band director, was unbuckling my belt. Ew. I mean, he was ANCIENT, like, 30, and this was slightly at odds with my imaginings of being undressed by a male, at that point, and far too public for my taste. Fortunately, no mouth-to-mouth was required.

Mr. Pike sent someone to the field house for ice, and I spent a really dull remainder of the practice sitting with a pack of ice on the back of my neck. I was fine, really!

Anyway, Mr. Pike is the guy in the middle of the picture, below, and the lady sitting in front of him is Carole King, songwriter extraordinaire. Mr. Pike is an inspiring Mr. Holland-type music teacher. He now works with inner-city jr. high kids in the Los Angeles area, and I've no doubt he's utterly changed and even saved some lives by giving these children a creative outlet and a proper introduction to various forms of music. He was one of the finest music professionals I've ever met, including all in the professional sphere I've dealt with in my pursuit of an operatic career.

Mr. Pike is one of those rare people with the technical skill of the finest musicians in the world, yet who sublimate their wish to perform to their wish to introduce others to the buoyant properties of making music. That is why I can remember him fondly, even though he did embarrass the crap out of me by unbuckling my belt in front of absolutely everyone.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Ultra strange dreams. A junkie made me deliver his product to a customer and she died and he blamed me. Never have dealings with junkies.

I was doing a goofy Isadora Duncan-type dance on the top of a verdant bluff overlooking a river, when a barge came along with a symphony playing and about 200 folding chairs for an audience. There were 6 people in attendance. I felt sorry for them.

Then the river turned into a street and there was a marching band, and someone I knew in high school came careening along the avenue in a pickup truck, narrowly missing the baton twirlers.

Then I was in charge of a dance troupe who were to open ceremonies of entertaining some sort of dignitary. He arrived, but all my fellow dancers were late, so I had to improvise to the song, and the dignitary was Lou Rawls. My solo dance was better than the group thing, anyway, and he loved it.

Then my in-laws had to provide burgers for all the audience, and they were sitting at picnic tables, angry because my inlaws ran out of buns and had to run to the store for more. They were taking the cooked hamburger patties out of a dishwasher.

Have you ever been more exhausted when you wake up than you were when you went to sleep?

What does it all mean?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Wow. Just totally wow. The flea market at Canton Texas is astonishing. I was there 5 hours and barely scratched the surface. For $15 I got a tray of tiny bisque doll parts which I'm going to set in sterling silver and put on necklaces. FABULOUS crap all over the place. Lo and verily I did much dickering, and did my best to save the vendors the trouble of taking their wares back home.

Several vendors had my giant chickens, and at a fraction of the price of everywhere else, including that great junk store in Quanah. However, I fell in love with some other, bigger sculptural yard art which I'm probably going to get instead of a big chicken. I may go back Monday with the pickup truck and get one of the small chickens (3 feet tall, those).

I got there early enough to rent one of those motorized little old-people buggies, and it was hilarious, because I was about half the age of everyone on these scooter thingies. When I passed them, I made the "peace-out" hand signal I always see motorcyclists give to one another in passing. This upped my street-cred exponentially. The looks of bafflement they gave me were priceless. That's right: I'm bad, I'm nationwide.

Today I also invented the drive-by come-on, whizzing by and asking vendors "how much for a bit of your salad?" and "awesome dog!" and (to a vendor with a big donkey sculpture) "Nice ass!" I'm all about the love, baby.

I had a pork kebab which was wood-fire smoked right there on site, and it was the best meat-on-a-stick product I've ever had. I have wanted to say meat-on-a-stick on my blog for as long as I can remember, and now I have a reason. *Joy!*

If you're ever in Canton, you've gotta find the little Amish lady from Oklahoma - she's darling and sells wonderful breads - yay jalapeno loaf! - and she's sweet as can be. Her 22 year old son just died of cancer - sad - and such a lovely lady. Buy bread from her - it's awesome!

I met some people from Allen, Texas which is north of Dallas, and I met some folks from Tennessee who have a very spoiled dachsund and a silky terrier, and some guy from London. It was like the state fair without the fear of being mugged, raped, or having a sky ride carriage fall on you. Good times.

I picked up some green tomatoes and little sweet onions from a veggie vendor and now I'm at me mum's house and she's going to fry up the 'maters proper. I grew up on fried green tomatoes, and they are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy, just like beer. Thank you Benjamin Franklin.

I hope all you sexy people are having such a wonderful weekend you can barely stand it.

Oh, and what was up with that wacky Blogger system yesterday? I felt like I'd lost my best friends!
I heard last weekend that the new season of Deadwood commences on June 11, and I was ecstatic. This show is more testosterone-laden than the Sopranos, if you can imagine, and full of grit and sundry varieties of filth. I love it.

The overseer of all the goings on in town, whorehouse/saloon master Swearingen functions as the ultimate Filthy McNasty, cursing his kidney stones, barking orders at cowering minions and plotting world domination, occasionally interrupting his harangues to berate the unfortunate female under the desk.

My joy was short-lived, as I've just learned that HBO will not renew Deadwood for another season. Desolation! I loved Carnivale, but I always knew its days were numbered: the public is only going to buy so many showdowns between a messianic figure and a minion of Beelzebub. But Deadwood? You'd take away my Deadwood? Alas! Say it isn't so?

OK. I'll fight through it. Just don't even THINK about taking away Rome, HBO, or you'll have me to reckon with.

Me, addicted to tv? Nah.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I'll just start off by saying I loved The Color Purple, and I loved the shit out of Oprah in The Color Purple. She's a natural actor, and a pleasure to watch. She's also a savvy marketer and has built an empire, and good on her. I'm happy for her. Lately her hair has been some of the best ever, and that's just ducky.

What I have a problem with is that piece of shit show of hers, and all the obsessing that happens on it. The few books I've had the misfortune to read that she recommended there were TERRIBLE. These books were trite schlocky crap I could've stuck a pencil in my bum and penned more masterfully, but I digress.

Oprah does shows on topics that are "relevant" and even "vital" to have a fulfilling life in western society. In honesty, I've watched her show about 3 times in the past 5 years, so most of what I know of the show comes directly from other people who watch her daily. One of the shows I saw was about proper digestion of food, and the audience had the privilege of hearing intimate details of Oprah's poopy habits. Joy. Talk about an overshare.

On another episode of her show an "expert" talked about how static electricty from your car upholstery and cell phone can make you explode at the gas pump when you stop to fill up your car. Seriously. If this were true, considering how surgically implanted most people's cell phones are, then gas pumps would blow people up in every city, every day of the year. Honestly!

On the phone with someone today, they were freaking out about today's show about the bird flu, and how we'll all be housebound for 4 months and that we're all just totally screwed. To this I respond: Why bother with anything, if we're all just screwed? Why don't we just not get out of bed? Why leave the house? Why not just snuff it?

Fuck that billion dollar whore who can afford to insulate herself from life and all the while she's scaring the shit out of people!!! Has she done a show on the nuclear winter we'd experience when a comet collides with earth? How about alien invasion (oh wait, she had the Tom Cruise episode -same thing)? How about the epic tragedy of countless millions without the gumption to leave unhappy, unfulfilling loveless marriages? Oh, she doesn't do scandal anymore, right?

These scary shows are leavened with the respite of extravaganzas where Oprah heaps millions of dollars worth of gifts on the lucky studio audience. There is a certain good cop/bad cop quality to this style of presentation, and it seems like a recipe for manic-depression, to me.

I'm not saying there is no reason to fear bird flu or whatever, just that there is a certain boy-who-cried-wolf quality to being a shrieking Cassandra about every little thing that could go wrong in life, and eventually, a healthy person will be emotionally worn down by the sheer fatigue of pondering every conceivable doomsday scenario. Life is just too short for that bullshit, in my opinion. Yeah, a lot of things in life are shitty, but we have to suck it up and find something worthwhile despite the deck stacked against us, right? Am I right about that? I think I'm right.

There is so much great shit to watch on tv, that I can't believe so many millions of Americans - predominantly women - go back to the Oprah show trough on a daily basis to get slopped, and especially when what is presented is so bleak. This stuff is depressing on the order of a cavalcade of Dickensian horrors. Can someone splain me this, because I just don't get it?

Whew! That WAS another rant, wasn't it? I feel better!