Monday, December 31, 2007

Turning Point

Apologies for my long absence from posting. It’s not that I wasn’t thinking of you guys.

I’ve moved houses and am no longer living in a certain artsy district.

I’m not far away though, and I do have everything I need in my cozy new place: Pinky, Bath & Body Works Body Cream in the Sensual Amber scent (also, still burning with “Winter” scented oil), my riding and hiking boots, Diet Coke, Netflix, my bright red chenille throw, a copy of The Great Gatsby, FurGirl, soft corduroy slacks, and the world’s greatest light fixture.

If you are thinking I left a certain S-person off the list, you would be wrong. He is not, in fact, among the essential items that made the move.

There are a lot of things I could say about how I feel about that, but the truth is that, like so many things in life, somebody already wrote a song about it. So I am going to defer to my girl, Alanis Morissette, the patron saint of rock-n-roll relationship angst to help me out here:



I’d like to dedicate this post to those people who have selflessly extended a hand when I really needed it and shown an incredible amount of care and concern during these last weeks. You know who you are. The most heartfelt of Bizzyville super snaps to each and every one of you. I will always be grateful.

I don’t expect this site will turn into a train wreck blog in which I chronicle each and every painful step of my personal situation. This business of blogging, for those of us who are drawn to it, can be such a strange mixture of sharing and holding back. This is one of those times that really bring that dichotomy sharply into focus.

In any case, it may take me a while to figure out what I’ll be saying here in the near future. Figure it out I will, though, never fear.

And I hope you’ll be here with me when I do.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pinky Takes a Nap


I couldn't resist posting this sweet photo of Pinky getting some R&R. It can only be fate that she blends so well with the bedclothes. Obviously, she was born to be mine.

We've had some issues relating to getting the wireless reconfigured around here and some other goings on that have made posting a little difficult. My apologies for this. I appreciate all of you that read and feel completely responsible for wasting at least five minutes of your time per day.

Rest assured that I take this duty seriously, but the truth is, it may get worse before it gets better. Please try to bear with me!

In the mean time, I'd like to wish you a very happy holiday and to thank you for stopping by Bizzyville. It's been a banner year for this little blog and I've loved having your company in my little corner of the interweb.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Truth about the Truth

Well, there's certainly nothing like waking up to a juicy political scandal to distract you from your holiday woes. If you can't follow the link, and have actually somehow managed to not have heard, a woman named Rielle Hunter is alleged to be six months pregnant with John Edwards' baby. Or, excuse me, Love Child.

I don't guess anything like this, true or not, will ever break again but what I don't harken back to the old,

"I. Did not. Have. Sexual relations with that woman. Monica Lewinski."

Like Clinton, Edwards has denied having an affair with Hunter, a former worker in his campaign.

Unlike Clinton, Edwards may be telling the truth.

But if he isn't?

Whoa. If he isn't.

Here's the thing. If he isn't, he should. And now hear this all policitical candidates for important public office, especially president (because I know you're reading):

Tell. The truth. About. Affairs. When you. Get caught.

When are you caught? You are caught when your paramour starts telling all her friends about it, and the press gets wind of it, and they ask you about it. You are well and truly caught if someone besides your wife happens to be carrying your biological child. These days, you are very likely caught if you've ever left a sample of your DNA on your girlfriend's couch, bedspread, crotchless panties or, oh let's say, blue dress, for example.

You can refuse to dignify the question from the press with an answer at first (giving you time to 'fess up to your wife which is almost certainly going to be worse than confessing to the public by a factor of approximately ten) and, in this fashion, you can forestall the public situation for quite a while. Pray for a miracle. Say, another twin tower disaster to obliterate your personal indiscretion from the minds of the media for a while.

But if it persists? If it's true, and it won't go away, yes, the best option here is honesty. As crazy and counter intuitive as it sounds. Never, EVER deny an affair if it happened.

Granted, it's not fair. Agreed, it's nobodys business. It really isn't. But this is the world we live in now.

Remember here, the Clintons weathered the Gennifer Flowers story. The American public can forgive a guy for lying to and cheating on his wife. What they really don't like is your lying to them. What else will you lie about, they wonder.

Telling the truth will be painful and embarrassing and it could mean the end. But I don't really think so. Telling the truth immediately throws the question out of the public spotlight (after some flapping and finger-pointing) and back into the private arena where it belongs. Back over to your house where, at best, your wife is busy sharpening up her kitchen knives and, at worst, putting her lawyer on speed dial.

Telling the truth puts an end to the public scandal. Takes the wind out of the sails of endless speculation. And puts to rest whether or not you have the stones to tell the truth to the public in a difficult situation.

I like John Edwards and I think a lot of voters to do. But right now, John desperately needs to be one of two things: innocent or honest.

Those, in my opinion, are his only options.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Ghost of a Christmas Tree Past (Not)

I was talking to someone today about past Christmases and, as it inevitably does, the subject of the Christmas of 1989 came up.

I was but a wee young lass, recently divorced. Chase and I had moved to a place of our own only a few months before. Those were the early heady days of the original Nintendo and Super Mario Brothers. By the time of the move, both Chase and I could rescue the princess in the Mario game reliably. We had graduated to The Legend of Zelda, a video game that simulated the quest of a young knight, Link, and we worked tirelessly to conquer this game.

Though Chase was four and I was 25, we were pretty much dead even in our skills at the game controls. Okay, he was a bit quicker to react than me, but not by much. I had a tiny ancient second TV in my bedroom balanced on a tall, rickety cardboard box, and this was the set to which the Nintendo was wired.

Chase and I spent countless hours floating at the foot of the king sized waterbed I somehow came out of that divorce with*, each of us with a control in hand, taking turns working to collect Rupees, elements of the Tri-force, and painstakingly working our way through the various levels of dungeons and castles, deserts and forests.

This obsession reached its apex one Friday after work and day care when we rushed in, excited about having mastered a particularly difficult level the night before and eager to get back to playing. (That was the great thing about Zelda; finally, you could save your progress and came back later. Not so with Mario Bros.) We shucked off our coats, ordered a pizza, and took up our bobbing positions and controls at the foot of the bed and plunged into the game again.

We played and played. And then we played some more. We played until I awoke with a start Saturday morning, my control still in my hand. I turned over to find Chase similarly positioned. We had fallen asleep, at some point, while playing.

I gave Chase a shake to wake him up and watched as the surprise came over his face as he, too, registered what had happened. We laughed hysterically.

And then we sat up and started playing again.


*This bed was unimaginably huge and I had only one set of sheets to fit it. They happened to be blue. The bed was so gigantic, that often times, Chase would wake up in the night, pad into my bedroom, and climb into bed unbeknownst to me. I can remember waking up many mornings, and slowly opening my eyes to see a tiny Chase asleep waaay far at the other side of the bed, asleep, gently bobbing peacefully in the opposite corner on the vast sea of blue sheet.
***

And that is the end of that scenario. I’m leaving it as is and posting it because when I wrote that first sentence? I had every intention of writing specifically about the Christmas tree I had that year (and I still mean to some day!)

While I don’t think what I wrote is particularly fascinating, what does fascinate me is the process of creating, and the fact that, when I sit down to do it, I’m not always in complete control of the end product.

I suppose this sounds crazy if it’s never happened to you, and perfectly reasonable to you artist types who set out to paint, say, a rabbit, and out comes the Eiffel Tower or something.

In this particular case, what I actually wrote is from the exact same time in my life, and the incident probably happened within a few months of the Christmas that I had originally intended to write about. But when I began to type? That Christmas tree story just did not come out.

It has only been recently, since I’ve begun to write more, that I’ve experienced this phenomenon regularly. Re-reading Ann Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” is particularly reassuring in this regard. She quotes E. L. Doctorow:

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

And since I'm beginning to contemplate a run at producing some fiction?

Ahem.

Let’s hope so.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On Perfectionism

It's only been in the last few years that I've admitted to being a writer out loud (and just typing that makes me cringe a little).

Most importantly, only recently that have I been actually writing. The books I read as a child were so important, and even holy, to me that I got it in my head that the people that wrote them must be kind of like mini-gods.

Writers, I thought, must be incredibly wise and talented people who effortlessly churned out graceful prose whenever they felt like it. Probably while ensconced in important, echo-y, whisper-quiet rooms. Much like those you might see in a grand old library or a castle or possibly St. Patrick's Cathedral.

I learned differently as I grew up, of course, but still. I had the idea that, to twist a phrase from F. Scott Fitzgerald,

"Writers are different from you and me."

But I've found through the years that the truth is, to twist the alleged response of the earthy Ernest Hemingway,

"Yah. They write more words."

While I haven't thought of myself as a writer until recently, someone else has. And, perhaps not surprisingly, that someone is my mother. She has been telling me as much since I was in my twenties,

"You're a writer, Bizzy. You just don't know it!"

And boy did I not know it. I REALLY didn't know it back in those days. When she would say that, I would feel a little sorry for her.

Poor Mom. I'd think. She's SO out of touch.

But of course she wasn't, not really.

And in these last few years when I myself have actually started to write more words, and bounce ideas and observations off my talented published writer mother, and other writerly types, it's been a revelation. A revelation about the similarities, and especially the difficulties, we all face in the creative process.

And they are legion.

To my mind, though, the most difficult obstacle of all the wild, whacked out reasons why I (and many others) don't create is the demon Perfectionism. It's never good enough. It's never "just right". In fact it's bad. Embarrassingly so! Good lord, it's AWFUL. Terrible, humiliatingly bad, bad stuff.

Perfectionism, in fact, is what kept me paralyzed from just going on and writing words for so long. It whispered to me that nothing I could possibly do would be good enough. It told me I would never, ever rise to the level of Writer. It re-read the stuff I did write and screeched, "What were you THINKING? This is horrendous!"

Occasionally, I would write something that, even to my critical mind, was sort of okay. Actually, kind of not bad. And at those times? The demon would be meanest of all. He would say, "Yah, okay, so it's bearable. But it's NOT. GOOD. ENOUGH. (And it never will be)."

There are several reasons why I'm able to write my words now despite the demon. Mostly the secret is to just go on and do it, I think. Write, revise, maybe revise again and then? Well, it is what it is. No, it's not Alcott or Bronte or Shakespeare, but I like it and maybe someone else will too.

This morning I re-read what Anne Lamott has to say about perfectionism:

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.

I hope you're not looking at your feet.

But if you are? Take it from one who knows. It's never too late to stop.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Night of the Living Joan

First off, congratulate me, I'm WORKING! I mean at home, like I'm supposed to be.

I've been a very good girl today: productive and industrious and Getting Things Done. Things that are not related to Christmas or household chores, but real, true work-related things! It feels good to be productive and I remain amazed at how difficult it is to be that way in one's own home as opposed to an office. Maybe I'll get the hang of it some day.

Anyway, that didn't prevent me from starting a little post for today about Botox. I have my priorities, after all. I was going to call it, "To B. or Not to B."--HA! I kill me sometimes! I swear I do.

So, I'm prattling away on my Botox post and I'm pretty much making fun of everybody that's over-Botoxed, especially the Bride of Botox, Mrs. Dr. Phil McGraw, whose face hasn't moved since some time in the late 90's, and I'm trolling around in Google images looking for a photo to post of the BofB when I come across something. Something so disturbing that all my little thoughts about Mrs. Dr. Phil and Nicole Kidman and all the other preternaturally smooth, night-of-the-living-dead, over-Botoxed people just fly right on out of my poor little head.

And, maybe I shouldn't, but since my whole Botox post is now kind of over, I figure you guys deserve to know.

About Joan Van Ark. Remember Joan? Heavily made-up but attractive resident of Knot's Landing? She used to look like this (when she lived in Knots Landing):



But now? Now, friends, I'm sorry to report that this is what's left of poor Joan:



Are you still with me? How horrifying is that? And is it really, really preferable to what she would look like naturally right now (Joan is age 64)? Sadly, along with her obvious fondness for plastic surgery, Joan also looks to have given up solid foods:

Poor Joan. I don't really think she has much to lose by having a cheeseburger now and then.

I don't have a clever wrap up for this post beyond, just, WTF? Is it really so horrifying for a woman to age that looking like a Halloween version of one's self is preferable?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Big Trouble

I was talking on my cell phone this morning when an unfamiliar number beeped in. And an unfamiliar number always makes me a little nervous, so I wrapped up my conversation and took the call.

It was my Vet's office (my vet's office?) informing me that someone in Lowertown had possession of my dog.

First off, I did not know my dog was missing.

In any case, Margot, the helpful Vet employee, gave me a number to call and when I did, I wasn't too surprised to hear the voice of Patience Renzulli on the line. Patience had gotten a call from my neighbors, Bob and Connie, who described a soggy FurGirl (it would be raining [if you'll excuse] cats and dogs.). Not entirely sure of FurGirl's origins (she is shaved and in a sopping wet state probably harder to recognize), they had secured her within their side porch fence and called Patience (expert on all things dog related) who told them to get the number off FurGirl's rabies tag and in this way traced her to my vet's office.

To say that FurGirl was lost is a bit of a stretch. Bob and Connie's house is within shouting distance of my own and FurGirl couldn't have been "missing" more than about ten minutes, fifteen at the outside. And while I'm sure FurGirl was probably somewhat disoriented by the rain, the more serious infraction is this: FurGirl has been trained since babyhood not to go into the street without us. And you can't get to Bob and Connie's without crossing Madison Street.

I explained this to Patience whose immediate suggestion in this serious disciplinary situation was to give FurGirl "a hug and a treat". I thanked her for the advice and got off the phone, pulling on a jacket over my jammies (yes, life is good when you're in your jammies at 10 a.m.!). Naturally, I could not locate an umbrella so I went on without it.

Almost as soon as I hit my back yard, I could see FurGirl doing the "Over here Mommy!" dance on Bob and Connie's side porch, just across Madison, her nose just visible above the fence.

I slogged over and opened the gate whereupon FurGirl leapt out, immediately alarming Bob and Connie's dog, an English Bulldog named Audry Hepburn, who was at her usual guard station inside the house at the front window. FurGirl was feeling frisky enough to engage in some nah-nah-nah-nah-nah, I'm-outside-and-you're-not barking and posturing with Audrey, something she absolutely would not have had the nerve to do were Audrey on the outside of that window.

Now sopping wet myself, I wasn't much in the mood for fun and games and I called FurGirl back and we set off toward home. At which time FurGirl had to come to the full realization that she was In Trouble.

Now, there are those that say dogs have a short memory and they forget everything in ten seconds or whatever, but I assure you, FurGirl knows the rules and she absolutely knew that she sure as heck should have never crossed over to Bob and Connie's for any reason.

By the time we got up the steps and in the house, FurGirl was doing the old slinking around very low to the ground routine in the hopes that she would maybe become invisible under the circumstances.

I left her on the back porch while I shucked off my jacket and wet shoes.

By the time I got back to the porch? I found this:



A sopping wet Furgirl at her most pathetically contrite holding her poor, poor defenseless baby, Number Five the stuffed Serta sheep, within her gentle, motherly chops.

I suppose a better doggy Mommy might have followed through with some appropriate disciplinary action, but me personnally, I'm a much bigger sucker than that.

In the end? She got the hug and the treat.
***
And a Bizzyville SuperSnap to my concerned friends and neighbors: Bob, Connie, and Patience.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday Randomness


I meant to post that photo along with my others of Cincinnati, but somehow forgot. I'm not sure what church that is and I've exceeded what I consider a reasonable amount of google time trying to figure it out. So...there you have it: an unidentified Cincinnati church that adds a beautiful touch to an impressive skyline. I do like the warm light in this shot. It's taken me forever to figure out that I'm not really taking a picture of whatever my chosen subject might be, but rather I'm taking a picture of the light on that subject. Or at least that's how I see it.

My obsession with the "Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man" CD continues. I hate to rehash, but good lord, I don't know WHEN I've ever been this in love with a CD start to finish. This work is just genius. I don't know how I've missed Rufus Wainwright either, one of the contributing artists to the CD, he actually performs two songs: "Chelsea Hotel" and "Everybody Knows". The latter of which I'm powerless to prevent myself from posting (I think I've already at least linked to the former).



[Another aside: I notice that Rufus contributed to the "Across the Universe" soundtrack.]

I'm going to do my best to shut up about this dynamite CD now. But I'm not making any promises.

Now that I think of it, I can actually recall previous love affairs with CD's that were probably as passionate, though they are certainly few and far between. The Buena Vista Social Club (soundtrack)is definitely another and the similarities between the Leonard Cohen and TBVSC are sort of striking. Both excellent documentaries with kick-ass soundtracks about music from another era.

Another would be Supernatural, Carlos Santana's Grammy winning bright burning comet of a collection. Which would make two in a row with Latin themed music. Probably not a coincidence.

The third would actually be the Time Life Essential Jazz Collection, a three disk set of the best of the best jazz standards that I picked up in New Orleans years ago. I can find it available nowhere on the web except here. Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Count Basie...every one a must have. These are the CD's you play for absolutely any occasion and they are perfect. These three disks stayed in my player solid for well over a year when I first bought them probably seven years ago and come out for almost any party or get together, my own personal happy hours, or just Sundays cleaning the house. Love, love, LOVE.

Have you had a major love affair with a CD and every song on it? I'd love to hear what it was in the comments section.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Worth Seeing



I laughed, I cried. Don't miss "Lars and the Real Girl" at the MAC through Sunday.

Taking a Trip; Being Careless

Wow, a lot has happened since I’ve been away. I’ve been back at Bizzyville HQ for several hours now, every minute of which has been taken up by reading up on my favorite blogs and checking out happenings on the interweb.

I am thrilled to see that Beyonce Knowles has hips reminiscent of my own, continue to be in love with the cuteness that is Charlie at the Daily Coyote, enjoyed giggling at the mental picture of Patience Renzulli conversing with a nekkid Keyth Kars, was relieved to know that Jessamyn’s pregnancy is coming along fine, and loved reading these lists even though I may have known much of that stuff already and remain completely confused about the state of Aynex’s love life—Aynex? If you have a boyfriend, I totally need to know who this man is! I have an inquiring mind, and I haven’t got all day over here! (And, please note, this is not an all-inclusive list by any means.)

I don’t know if I mentioned it earlier, but I was away in Covington, Kentucky, which is just across the river from Cincinnati, at a conference. The Radisson, while a tad threadbare, assigned me a nice room with a sleep number bed and this completely amazing view:


I spent a considerable amount of time on my frigid (not to mention teensy) 11th floor balcony snapping photos of the Cincinnati skyline, but never really got anything I was happy with. I always prefer the night time skyline shots, but simply in this case, could not eliminate the night time shake--possibly because of the freezing temps and windy conditions.

Here is a close (relatively speaking) up of the strange building in the first shot just to the east of the main Cincinnati skyline. I automatically assumed it must be some sort of a public space from the way out architecture, but a helpful waiter told me the building is actually recently constructed condo space, the most expensive unit of which will go for a cool $5.5 million. I can't quite decide if I think this design is visionary or insane. But I'm leaning toward the latter.



Next is the day time version of the night time skyline shot above. You can much more clearly make out the Ohio River and the bridge:


Otherwise, I really didn’t venture out into either Covington or Cincinnati much at all. It was cold in them thar parts, much colder than here, with actual snow on the ground and everything. After the five-hour drive in, I wanted nothing so much as a hot bath, a cold diet Coke and, well, junk food.

I don’t know what my problem is, but the minute I drive beyond the city limits of this town and hit the interstate for any kind of out-of-town trip, it’s like I’ve never seen food before. And not just any food. I’m talking about food that is either fried, dipped in chocolate, or includes nuts of any kind. It’s scary. I am that tragic character in the MacDonald’s drive-thru ordering the combo meal topped off with a “diet” coke. Like it matters.

I am not so much this way when traveling with the S-Man, or with friends. It’s mostly when I’m alone that I succumb to the siren’s song of peanut M&M’s when topping off the tank.

Junk food aside, the conference was a good one and it was nice to have a little getaway.

The return trip, however, proved to be a little challenging.

It all started when I jumped in the car and began arranging all my crap for the drive home: books on CD in order of preference, purse, jacket, cell phone, cell phone ear bud…ear bud…ear bud?…it was nowhere to be found.

I’m not sophisticated enough to have graduated to Blue Tooth technology and the wireless headpiece which, honestly, puts me in a mind of Star Trek anyway, but I am completely enamored of the little wired ear bud that plugs into my cell phone and makes it possible for me to talk hands-free. Especially while driving.

Once I confirmed that my little wire was nowhere in the car, I mentally retraced my steps the last time I had it. Which would have been probably when I checked into the hotel, two days ago. I have a habit of unplugging it from the phone at the end of a conversation and dropping it into my lap when driving.

This would mean it could have very well been in my lap when I pulled into the Radisson to check in. Not good. As it happened, I was parked not far from the entrance and so I started up the car and retraced my drive back to the covered check-in area.

I remembered just where I’d parked, a little beyond the main door and out of the way of the majority of the traffic. At first I saw nothing. But the more I looked, the more I could make out the shape of a wire, just barely visible against the black pavement. I could hardly believe it, but there it was. I joyfully jumped from the car, but realized very quickly as I approached that, while my wire was just where I’d dropped it, it was also smashed to smithereens.

As I picked up the remains of my little wire, responsible for so many convenient hands- free conversations, I had to admit that, knowing me? I’m probably also the person that ran over it.

I had parked in the exact same spot while reloading the car early that morning. A shiver ran up my spine as I came to the realization that my little wire may well have been helplessly pinned beneath my very own tire as I heedlessly tossed the ridiculous number of bags necessary for me to go out of town even on a simple overnight stay into the cargo section of the car.

Gingerly, I got back into the car, and placed what was left of my little wire in the passenger seat for a last ride. I stifled a sob as I tried to come to terms with that fact that, for the next three hundred miles? I was going to have to HOLD MY CELL PHONE TO MY OWN EAR MANUALLY WITH MY VERY OWN HAND any time I placed or received a call.

Dear God, is there no end to the indignities I am to suffer in this life?

Another glance at the remains of my little wire brought things quickly into prospective: It’s very possible they have replacement cell phone ear bud wires at Wal-Mart, right? I mean…they sell iPods there, right?

Wrong.

A stop at the Carrollton Wal-Mart quickly brought me back to reality. It was going to take nothing short of an ordeal at the Cingular store to replace what I’d lost.

By now, I had both placed AND received a call while holding the phone to my ear ALL BY MYSELF. One of these calls, from a concerned S-Man who, upon hearing of my terrible ordeal, gallantly offered up his own blue tooth (which, to be honest, he never uses).

But my cell phone doesn’t have Blue Tooth technology!

Ruefully, I thought back to my last visit to the Cingular store wherein I had eschewed the Blue Tooth technology. Ridiculous! (I’d said.) Who needs it! (I’d asked.)

I’m an idiot! I said to myself.

An idiot, as it turned out, in desperate need of an order of MacDonald’s French fries.

As I pulled back onto the interstate, one greasy hand regularly dipping into the fries, the other steering back into traffic from the on-ramp, the rain began. Hard, driving, persistent, windshield-wipers-required, endless rain.

And then, of course, my cell phone rang.

Oy vey.

I’ll stop my tragic little narrative here (and not a minute too soon, either, huh?). I’ll just add that it rained and it rained and it rained for three hundred miles, ultimately rendering me so exhausted that I had to cancel a visit to the eighty thousand-song karaoke machine originally scheduled for today.

Now that's tired.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tagged

The self-proclaimed "fun-sized" Aynex Mercado, filmmaker and blogger extraordinaire, has tagged me to share fun and random facts about myself. Here are the official rules:


Blog Tagging Rules: Link to the tagger and post these rules on your blog. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


And now on to the minutia of moi:
  1. I am tattooed. It is a peace sign on the back of my right shoulder and it is identical to the tats of two friends. We all got inked together on a wild trip to Dallas some years back. I would not admit to this except that I was busted by my own child (who was around twelve at the time) who spied my art only two weeks after I got it and was all, "Ohmygod MOOOooM! You're TATTOOED!" Um, well, yah. He seems to have grown up with no ill effects and is still not tattooed himself. That I know of.

  2. I have, with my own eyes, seen Elvis Presley. I saw The King live and in concert when I was thirteen in Champagne, Illinois only about nine months before he died. And, yes, he was quite large, but was also still capable of inducing hysteria in an audience the likes of which I don't think I'll ever witness again in my lifetime (and I've been to a lot of concerts). The whole experience turned my thirteen-year-old skeptical self into a believer. Not the kind that thinks he's still alive or wants to worship at Graceland, but the kind that knows with certainty that Elvis really was The Bomb and has an irrational love for this song (noise).

  3. This is probably going to come as a surprise, but the S-Man and I tend to have serious disagreements sometimes. Perhaps the most bazaar happened early on in the marriage. I have no recollection of the subject matter of the conflict, only that at, at the time, the S-Man had just mixed and heated a huge bowl of nacho cheese. Knowing the S-Man has a particular aversion anyone messing with his food, I decided to reach over and snatch the entire bowl away from him just has he was making a particularly heated point and was on the verge of dipping a naked tortilla chip into the bowl. I grabbed the warm molten cheese and took off with it at a run holding it, for some ridiculous reason, aloft. As I was sprinting toward points unknown, and hearing an angry S-Man thundering up behind me, I belatedly came to the realization that perhaps that was a really bad idea. And, indeed it was. Ten minutes later, we were both covered in nacho cheese (in a bad way). Which, incidentally, actually makes a pretty good conditioner. (And, if you're wondering, no, he never did get to dip that chip, nosiree.)

  4. There are two kinds of cars, IMOP: silver and ugly. I've driven nothing but silver since 1989.

  5. Reading this book changed the way I think forever. In fact, I found it so compelling that I read it in a single sitting which took most of one (work) night.

And I think that about covers random and weird. [I have to interject how annoyed I am that blogspot formatting is losing the fact that I double-spaced between items on my list. It's that kid of crap that is, ultimately, going to make me LOSE IT for good.]

I'm tagging One Kentucky Writer and Suz at Large.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Checking In

I’ve finally gotten good and started on my work project and not a minute too soon, either. This is the second day I will have spent pouring over statistics. I’ve developed a compromise that keeps me from running to the fireplace for a quick arse warming: I sit with a heating pad tucked between my back and the chair, set perpetually to low, and this keeps me in my chair in a productive state much longer.

My house is cold, I think, even in summer, a theory the S-Man finds ridiculous at best and insulting at worst. If I say I’m cold, he often reads me the temperature off the thermostat, “By God, it’s SEVENTY DEGREES in this house”, information that, while I’m sure it’s accurate, makes me actually feel no warmer.

We had a quiet weekend and now that I think of it, I’m not sure I actually ever left the house. I did make Pad Thai for dinner on Saturday along with some Tom Kha Gai soup, which, even though lacking the more exotic ingredients, was still very tasty.

Last night, I made a batch of chili and, thus fortified, we decided to brave the (extremely) windy night for a walk. As luck would have it, the temperature dropped over ten degrees from the time we set off until we got back and so the last half of the outing seemed a bit like a struggle against the elements. The S-Man and I imagined the horror of our fellow Lowertownians at awaking Monday morning to find us frozen solid in, say, the Paducah Bank parking lot, or perhaps near the Etcetera Coffee Shop only steps away from life-giving java.

Lately, I've found myself completely unable to wear anything on my feet besides what I call my "riding" boots. I purchased them a couple of years ago, from TV no less, and they somehow, miraculously fit like a glove. Almost knee high, they are made of serious leather and it's taken me a couple of seasons to break them in. Now that they are broken in? They have taken the place of my beloved hiking boots as my very favorite footwear. I wouldn't put it past myself to start pulling them on under my flannel gown at night. There's just something about powerful footwear that is transforming, don't you think?

Otherwise, I continue to be surprised every Sunday night when I come to the realization that Monday morning is no longer something to dread. What a gift these last six months of peace have been. And, heck, who knows, there may be more in store.

But this week promises to be a very busy one. I am traveling in and out of town beginning tomorrow and on through the weekend, so not sure how often I’ll be updating.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Daily Coyote


A Wyoming woman undertakes the care and feeding of an orphaned baby Coyote. This is her blog.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Homework: still a drag.


Ya’ll?

I cannot work at home.

Seriously, how do people do this? How do they shut off HGTV and stop playing just one quick game of online spades and get off the phone with their mother and quit checking in with their favorite blogs and not tweak their Christmas project for the 10,245th time and stop snickering about ridiculously inappropriate inside deals and quick running to the library and stop unloading the dishwasher and tossing in a load of laundry and not stand in front of the fireplace until their ass is good and toasty and quit petting the dog and then realizing the dog smells REALLY bad and then coming to the conclusion that what the dog actually smells like is a cross between poop and vomit making it necessary to shoo the dog out to the back porch where the poor thing is relegated to her fluffy, cushy dog bed with her own personal space heater nearby and then trading e-mails with friends arranging a trip to the north country where a rumored eighty-thousand (that is not a typo) song karaoke machine awaits…

Oops! There I go again. STILL not working. See how I am?

Oh, what am I doing now?

That’s right, people, BLOGGING instead of working.

But that’s all going to change. I’m putting the pedal to the metal, nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the plow!. I’m going to buckle down, get serious, no more Mrs. Nice guy! I’m going to work my little fingers to the bone, hoe that row, tow that line.

And I’m going to do that right after I meet a friend for lunch and post this bit about my "espionage personality". (Thanks to Suz At Large [a.k.a. Hannah Senesh] for this link. Find out your espionage personality here.)

he "If You Were a Spy..." quiz on gURL.com



I am a...
virginia hall

Are your friends constantly amazed with your new hobbies? Whether you can speak Italian, bake a pie from scratch or maneuver your way through a parallel park-a-thon, your uncanny expertise probably surprises those around you. Like Virginia Hall, you're probably intelligent, persistent and a tad of a perfectionist. Read more...

Which spy are you?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

iLove it!

Founding members of Project AIDS Orphan, (from left) David Okong’o, Monica Bilak, and Paul Bilak, focus attention on World AIDS Day (Dec. 1st) with a groovy new tee shirt designed for sharing and a walk around the Lowertown Arts District. Read all about it--in a piece contributed by yours truly--at iList Paducah.

Yet Another Video

I know..I KNOW! But I'm working!

And you need to meet Achmed the Dead Terrorist.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gun "Safety"

If you're one of the bazillion people who have already experienced this video, just move on along, there's nothing to see here. But, if you haven't seen it? You seriously need to check out the goings on when one enthusiastic DEA Agent lectures a classroom full of around 50 kids and adults on gun safety.

The incident took place on April 9, 2004 at an event sponsored by the Orlando Minority Youth Golf Association.




(I should probably feel bad about how hilarious I find this video. But I'm afraid I just don't. I'm posting it now because a certain someone told me she hadn't seen it. And everybody needs to see it. At least once.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

DRAGONFLY!

This morning I went to a two-hour “burn the turkey” yoga session.

I should have known to get worried when yoga teacher Tim asked me if I was “ready to sweat”. Because, for me, the answer to that question? Is always, always no.

Nevertheless, I did sweat. A lot. And my turkey got burned and I am, in general, completely worthless right about now. Whew! I seriously wonder if I’ll be able to get out of bed tomorrow.


We learned a pose that cracked me up called “the dragonfly”. The pose is something you sort of pop into all of a sudden like. I managed to do it exactly once.

The thing that I found amusing about it is that I think something done suddenly is often funny. Is it just me? It’s like one minute…nothing. Next minute…DRAGONFLY! I wish I could find a picture of the version we did, but I’m not having any luck. Anyway, look out….DRAGONFLY!

And then I thought about Derek Zoolander. And his trademark “blue steel” look which in my extreme state of yoga torture suddenly seemed like much the same thing…BLUE STEEL!:


Probably loses something in the translation. But in an intense state of yoga contortion? This is very, very funny.

Otherwise, I received my Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man CD and have been listening to it ever since. Ohmygosh, this is such good stuff. Sure, it’s dark. But some of it is also campy and the quibbles I had with the vocalists while watching the movie completely fade into insignificance when listening to this absolutely lovely remarkable CD. I’m putting it my side bar THIS minute.

Lastly, we saw “Into the Wild” last night. The movie definitely had some good moments, but overall? Too long. Too drawn out. Sean Penn needs to seriously get over himself. The droning whack-you-over-the-head-incessantly ending brought to mind Penn’s performance in Mystic River—you remember: Is that my DAUGHTER in there?” “Is that MY daugher in there?” “Is THAT my daughter in there?”….etc, etc.

Hello? Sean? Ever heard of “less is more”?

Maybe that’s how poor Robyn Wright Penn stays so thin. Imagine how Mr. Intensity reacts if, say, his eggs are overdone?

Maybe...in that situation Robyn should...

DRAGONFLY!

Friday, November 23, 2007

When Projects Attack


My recent lack of bloggage is disturbing, even to me.

I'm blaming it on Christmas and my gift "projects" that I've alluded to in an earlier post. I'm not trying to be cryptic, but I can't talk about it since giftees are blog readers. And, really, it's not even all that original. It's just that I'm the type of person that, in certain situations, can get a little OVERLY obsessed with projects and a little hyper-sensitive to detail and just a tad anal retentive in general.

Couple these tendencies with a major holiday and gifts for loved ones, and you've got a recipe for marathon sessions at the computer tweaking this and adding that and maybe getting a little, well...carried away.

Which is where a concerned friend came in just the other day when she called my cell phone:

(My cell phone rings…not recognizing the number I answer in a professional tone…)

ME
This is Suzanne

CONCERNED FRIEND
It’s just me.

ME
Oh, didn’t recognize the number. Hi! How the hell are ya?!

CONCERNED FRIEND
Fine. So, how are you?

ME
Fine! Just fine! I’m working on my XXX!

CONCERNED FRIEND
Really? You sound really, um, upbeat.

ME
Yep! I’ve been at it for hours! I’m going to e-mail you a picture of XXX.

CONCERNED FRIEND
I’d love to see it. So…how many hours is many hours?

ME
I’m telling you, I don’t know when I’ve had this much fun. And, earlier? I discovered I can also make XXX! So, I’ve been working on that too! I mean, the possibilities? They are endless!

CONCERNED FRIEND
It sounds like it. So, back to my question. How many hours?

ME
Well, let’s see. It’s the strangest thing. I woke up at 3 a.m.! I mean I NEVER do that, right? And I couldn’t go back to sleep so I just started working on XXX and then I was like, wow, I can do this other thing and…

CONCERNED FRIEND
Suzanne?

ME
…I was like, ohmygosh! That opened up a whole NEW realm of possibilities and…

CONCERNED FRIEND
It’s 3 p.m.

ME
Yah?

CONCERNED FRIEND
Let’s do the math together, now. That’s TWELVE hours.

ME
Well, I’ve gotten TONS done on this! I mean I’ve XXXed and then XXXed...and at that point, I was just like, well, heck, might as well…

CONCERNED FRIEND
Suzanne?

ME
Yah?

CONCERNED FRIEND
Is there any wine at your house?

ME
Wine! Sure! We have tons left from Thanksgiving! Do you need some…?

CONCERNED FRIEND
Okay, listen to me carefully now. I want you to step away from the XXX.

ME
But..I’m starting on this other thing that…

CONCERNED FRIEND
I need you to go where the wine is.

ME
(sighs)
Well, okay, I’m walking now…

CONCERNED FRIEND
Okay good…

ME
You think I’m too wound up, don’t you? Well, I’m really not. I just get this way when I’m really into a project, it’s just like, wow, I can’t stop and then I…

CONCERNED FRIEND
Have you located the wine?

ME
Yes, here I am! Like I said there’s tons! What do you think? There’s this Australian Shiraz which, is really good, and then there’s the Clos Du Bois Chardonnay, oh, but wait! I forgot about this Beaujolais….”Beaujolais”! Don’t you just like to say Beaujolais…

CONCERNED FRIEND
Okay, PICK ONE!

ME
Right this minute?!

CONCERNED FRIEND
I’m waiting…

ME
Okay, okay. I’m going Shiraz.

CONCERNED FRIEND
Now…

ME
Pouring!

CONCERNED FRIEND
Excellent.

ME
Damn, that’s good. Hey, I guess this is what everybody means when they say, “Wine for medicinal purposes”, isn’t it? Because, twelve hours? Now that I think of it? Is a REALLY long time!

CONCERNED FRIEND
Okay, now, I’m going to need you to go to the Jacuzzi.

ME
A soak! What a GREAT idea! I’ll head that way…

CONCERNED FRIEND
Do you have your wine with you?

ME
Hey, I’ve got the glass AND the bottle! I’m not THAT crazy!

CONCERNED FRIEND
Very good. Now I want you to call me if, after you have a soak and you drink that wine, if you’re NOT sleepy…

ME
I got it. But I think you don’t have to worry.

CONCERNED FRIEND
Great. And, Suzanne?

ME
Yah?

CONCERNED FRIEND
If you start to make a ***(=hilariously funny thing which I can’t say, but I’m dying to), I want you to call me back okay?

ME
You don’t really think I’d make a *** do you? But, honestly, are ***s really THAT bad?

CONCERNED FRIEND
Just remember.

ME
Right. ***=bad. Got it.

CONCERNED FRIEND
I’m going now. Remember what I said.

(clicks)
Learn more about Buy Nothing Day here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yoga, Sushi, Shopping


I continue to be innie and also busy working on work stuff. (Think Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles, "Work, work work....work, work, work...")

In my innie state, I haven't been going to yoga, and wasn't planning on going last night. That is until someone lured me with promises of sushi. Honestly, I think you could get me to do about anything by dangling a Dynamite Roll in my face.

It turned out I had a great time and felt MUCH better after some down dogs and hip openers. After sushi, we mosied over to the Jewelry and Handbag Warehouse where they were having an insane sale that was either buy-one-get-one-free or buy-one-get-one-half-off. One among our number managed to get a set that included a matching black bead necklace, earrings, and bracelet for $1.99. I got to try on tiaras. Rings with ridiculously large sparkly stones were tried on and waved about. Scarves were donned and considered ($4.99!).

Eventually, the warehouse staff had to make an announcement that the store was actually CLOSED that had to have been aimed directly at us. Because we were the only people in the store. So, we had to take off our sparkly rings and scarves and head on home. If you're interested the sale goes on until Nov. 24th.

Monday, November 19, 2007

This Just In: PR Judge Heidi Klum Fugged

Just so's you know.

The Holiday Season Begins

Whew! I have been waaay out of touch these last few days.

We had our Thanksgiving early this year, Saturday night to be exact. No particular reason, just felt like doing it early and, as it happened, all of our kids were able to be present. Yay! Not that I got photos or anything (ARGH!).

I'm sort of innie these days, probably because of the looming Christmas season. I am going to make my gifts a little more homespun this year. This is both a necessity and something of a fun little creative challenge. I have, in the past, tended to throw money at Christmas until it finally went away. Effective, but not very fiscally responsible.

In other news, I was a little surprised to see this at the iList blog while catching up this morning. I know Gabe Camacho, he is the former husband of a friend, but I never knew he was the literary type. Turns out Gabe is a founding member of the Paducah Writer's Group , an organization dedicated to "fostering and promoting area writers".

A big Bizzyville Super Snap to Gabe and the PWG.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Because I Care...

Lots of real life things to do today, but I thought I'd drop in and share some random stuff. First, from MTV, a Celebrity Deathmatch between DeNiro and Pacino with a heaping tablespoon of Brando:




From my boyfriends and girlfriends at TED, a shot from the moon of an earthset:


Last, at some point today, the PR Blog will post a list of links to sites recapping Project Runway on which yours truly should also appear. It's not up yet, but you can check this link. In that same vein, don't miss this wonderful recap from Melanie McFarland of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Absolutely NOT recapping Project Runway Season 4, Episode 1


Here I am! Posting! Almost on time.

Unfortunately, this may not continue to be the case for a while. Work is, once again, rearing its ugly head. Again, good for the checkbook; bad for the blog reindeer games. I'm going to do my best to keep up my posting schedule, but I can't make any promises.

Last night, Christa and I stayed up waaay passed our bedtimes (well hers, certainly) to take in Episode One of Project Runway/Season Four. This major event included not only fashion but a fabulously exotic, delicious Indian chicken soup Christa prepared that I, personally, think she should post the recipe to, because it was TO DIE for. Very, very curry and delicious. The perfect antidote to these suddenly chilly fall temperatures.

I'm not going to recap the PR episode here because, one, that would take forever and, two, plenty of others are doing a great job of it, particularly one of my favorite bloggers, The Manolo, not to mention the Official Blog of the show itself, blogs from some of the stars of the show, AND blogs (watch the video on this link, there's noise) by former contestants. I will say that I had, last night, already dubbed the extra large male designer Fred Flintstone, and Christa had already pointed out that that one dress (top row, second from left in the composite at the top of the post; click for a larger image) with the ridiculous train looked like it was pooping fabric before Heidi Klum said it.




Okay, now paragraph three into my non recap, I just have to comment that Christa (I think) and certainly I differed with the judges on who the winner should have been. While Rami's winning design (above) was certainly nice and all, and he did a great job of draping, I just cannot get passed the fact that the thing just screams BLANKET to me. This whole feeling is just reinforced by the color. The thing looks like you could snip a few seams and use it as a saddle blanket. Is it just me? Could he not have gone for at least maybe a dove gray, something silvery perhaps?

Personally, I think the best design (one I can't find an individual photo to post of) is top row center; the B&W (I am almost obsessively in love with the combo, not that it's original or anything) with the turquoise trim. I LOOOOVE that dress!

So, there you have it. Good thing I didn't waste a lot of time recapping the PR.

Otherwise, you may remember my semi-drunken tirade about the tiny purse as essential night-out gear, or vacation/shopping accessory.

However, I'll have to admit to recently buying (yet another) tiny purse at Aphrodite Gallery last weekend, and then finding myself unable to resist the temptation to pare down and carry it on an every day basis.

Not that it's been easy, mind you. I found myself at Kroger this morning without my debit card (accidentally left behind in the Big Purse) and I constantly have the nagging feeling that I'm missing something very important, then can't put my finger on what that might be. It's sort of scary to be that light when you're used to carrying around what amounts to a piece of luggage on your shoulder.
It's all going to take some getting used to.



So, there it is, the latest TP. I threw in the Diet Coke for scale, and then couldn't resist adding my Tiny Stapler.

I love my Tiny Stapler.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Snaps to John and Kate (Now updated with clumsy but interesting edits at the bottom of this post)


At the risk of making this blog all about what I’m watching, which I’m not at all certain I want to do, I have to comment on the Discovery Channel show, John and Kate Plus 8.

First off, most of you know this already, but in case you don’t, I am the mother of a grown son. My boy Chase is placid and laid back today, but believe me when I say that hasn't always been the case.

He learned to climb out of his crib at around eight months of age (he took his first steps at seven months). When he was around ten months old, I was awakened to the sound of the front door of our apartment slamming closed at dawn one morning, and knowing the two of us were alone in the apartment, quickly deduced that my baby had climbed from his crib, undone the front door deadbolt, swung open the door and was now off on an early morning outing.

Without me.

While coming to all these conclusions mentally, my body had kicked into Mommy Overdrive. I had leapt from the bed, tore through the apartment and landed in the hallway, automatically in a full on ninja crouch, in record time. Unfortunately, there was no baby in sight.

I studied the five possible doors he could have gone through: three leading to other apartments and two that lead to (HORRORS) The Stairs.

As I briefly paused to plot my next move, I heard a muffled conversation coming from the next apartment,

“And how are you today,” an indulgent female voice said.

I knocked on the door. It was opened by a young man I had occasionally passed in the parking lot.

“Um, hi, is my baby here by any chance?” (Words, trust me, no mother really ever imagines herself saying.)

He opened the door wider to reveal Chase sitting at their kitchen table, as the man’s wife stood at the stove.

“We didn’t know whether to fix him breakfast or bring him home,” she said, “He just wandered in a minute ago.”

“Ah, thanks, but we’ll be going now,” I said as I retrieved my missing baby from their kitchen table, thanked them, and silently resolved to immediately buy a lock for the OUTSIDE of Chase’s bedroom door, something I had pondered, but felt was slightly inhumane up to that point. I had that day stumbled upon something far worse than locking a baby in his room: missing baby.

And so it is with this story (and many others like it) in mind that I watch “John and Kate Plus 8” a Discovery Channel series about a Pennsylvania couple with twin six-year-old girls AND six three-year-old sextuplets.


I know I should tear myself away, but when they start showing those J&K+8 marathons? I just can’t stop watching. The shock and awe keeps me coming back for more. I can’t stop asking myself: what would I have done with Chase and five other little munchkins just like him? Oh, and a set of older twins.

Dear God.

Still, John and Kate seem to manage remarkably well. Kate comes off as something of a drill sergeant, occasionally, tending to resort to screeching dog commands i.e., “Go!” “Stay!” at poor John on a regular basis, but overall, I have to give them credit for just getting out of bed every morning.

In that situation? I’m not sure I would.
[Edited to add: And, speaking of too much TV watching, all you HGTV fans out there need to check out Suz At Large's expose on Free Style. Turns out, HGTV defines "free" as $1,000. ]
[Edited AGAIN to add: The iList Blog gets the scoop on William Sledd's BRAVO show. The pilot episode is to be filmed IN PADUCAH. Get the details here.]

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Leonard Cohen-I'm Your Man



I noticed "Leonard Cohen-I'm Your Man" DVD in the documentary section at the library last night and, remembering I had added the film to my Netflix queue a while back, was thrilled to check it out for free.

I have to say, I was unprepared for how fascinating and uniquely talented a character Cohen is. The movie, lovingly directed by Lian Lunson (who has a blog), tells Cohen's story through a series of interviews with Cohen himself, cut with live performances of his songs by some seriously talented performers of today (some not so much, but this is a small quibble), and interspersed with interviews of his famous disciples, among them Bono and The Edge of U2.

Cohen himself, a monk, songwriter, poet, philosopher and novelist, born in 1934, is still hugely magnetic at seventy-one, the time of the filming (2005). In his youth, his looks were (credit to the S-Man on this) a cross between Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman. His music is, in a word, dark. This isn't the sort of stuff you toss in the player and bop along cleaning your house to on a Sunday morning. It's more of a rainy post-break up alone with a bottle of wine what's-it-all-about Friday night kind of deal.

Cohen, a Canadian, enjoyed the majority of his commercial success in the 1960's and 70's when he released folk albums. Judy Collins had a hit with his song "Suzanne" (of course, I have to throw that in). Rober Altman used Cohen's music exclusively as the soundtrack for "McCabe and Mrs. Miller". Cohen published two novels, The Favourite Game in 1963, Beautiful Loser in 1966, and a volume of poetry, Flowers for Hitler, in 1964.

Whether you're a Cohen fan, or a completely ignorant goober about him, like I was, "I'm Your Man" is a must-see. The interview footage of Cohen is fascinating and the performances sometimes even transcendent like this one of Rufus Wainwright's.

You abandon your masterpiece and you sink into the real masterpiece.

-Leonard Cohen

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Unbearable Lightness of a Clean Jacuzzi

Well, I did it. It only took half a day, a 24-hr Clarinex, a surgical mask, all manner of chemicals, and the flexibility of a contortionist, but my Jacuzzi? It is now clean. As opposed to how it’s looked for the last…I don’t know how long. Which is like a team of coal miners enjoyed a post-shaft pre-shower happy hour in there.

On the other hand, there is nothing I value more than good, nearly scalding hot soak before bed. During the renovation of the house, I could hardly believe my luck when the S-Man told me I could have my very own Jacuzzi. And I do mean my very own. The S-Man describes bathing as “Reclining in a pool of one’s own filth.” Ahem. (Almost as memorable as his declaration on wall-to-wall carpet: “Nailing your dirty underwear to the floor and walking on it forever.” We haven’t had carpet since.)

Anyway, the S-Man’s dire opinions aside, I could hardly wait to enjoy steamy neck-deep jet-fueled soaks. Our first night in the house I turned on the water adjusting it to the exact near-scalding temperature that I particularly enjoy (one that leaves me a faint shade of lobster red), lit all my vanilla scented candles that I had scattered about, and placed my freshly laundered fluffy white terrycloth robe nearby. The stage was set.

After the tub had been filling for about 15 minutes, I stopped in to check the temperature. It was not hot. Not warm. Not lukewarm. But cold. The tub was barely a third of the way full and the hot water supply was exhausted. Choking back a sob, I went to confer with the S-Man who then spent some time with wrenches and various tools in the water heater closet mumbling and cursing, ala Darren McGavin in A Christmas Story. He emerged after a time saying the whole thing was fixed but would likely have to spend some time re-heating.

I set my bathing sights on the next day when I repeated the candle-lighting-robe-tub-filling process. This time the jets were almost covered when the hot water ran out. Better, but still not workable. Thereafter ensued a more heated (no pun intended) exchange between the S-Man and I that eventually escalated to include phrases like [edited] and [edited].

In short? I had all the hot water I was getting.

Not to be denied my red-hot soaks, I developed a strategy. I began by filling the tub with straight up hot water, not even engaging the cold. This gave me about half the hot water I needed. I resolved to then wait until the water in the tank could heat up again and fill the tub the rest of the way.

In an extremely happy coincidence, it just so happened, at just that time, Wheel of Fortune was on. So, FurGirl and I relaxed with a few puzzles while waiting for the next wave of hot water. Meantime, the S-Man came home from a meeting and disappeared into the bedroom to change clothes. He returned a bit later saying, “You forgot to let the water out of the Jacuzzi.” To which I replied, “I’m not finished filling it,” to which he responded, “I let the water out.” Thereafter followed another of our rapidly escalating exchanges that I ended by screeching, “Unless there is a dead body floating in the Jacuzzi….wait, oh hell no, even if there IS a dead body floating in the Jacuzzi? DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING.”

Once agreed on that point (and we are agreed on that point, I assure you) I set about again employing my strategy on the tub a few nights later. This time I progressed passed phase one and after an hour or so had a fully filled steamy hot tub of vigorously undulating water. All for me. I had my candles. My robe. The stage was set. I shucked off my clothes. I…

I realized? Our Jacuzzi is fairly tall and enclosed by a cold, tile wall. And it doesn’t have one of those built in steps like you often see. Nope. Which meant that I had to, much like mounting a horse, throw a leg over and then sort of…take a little hop to actually get in (I can only imagine the ridiculous sight this is).

But once in? Ohhhh…..heaven. The clouds parted, the angels sang, I soaked, I turned my favorite shade of lobster red. Life was good. Life was very, very filled with hot steamy goodness.

Eventually, I emerged from my reverie and, noticing that the water was beginning to cool, I shut off the jets and prepared to de-Jacuzzi. However, the reverse of the horsey mount into the tub? Proved to be a little more dangerous. Because this time, I was soaking wet and every inch of the bathroom floor is ceramic tile. Meaning I was going to have throw a wet, slippery leg over the side while clutching for dear life on to the tiled surround. Not exactly the ending one would envision for a leisurely soak. Of course, the S-Man was far too important to be at home at the time.

Nevertheless I made it out (barely) and made a mental note to get a rug so I’d at least have a more skid-free landing target. I did discuss the possibility of a step installation later with the S-Man whose reaction to the sad, tragic, horsey-hop story was, “Really?! Can I watch next time?”

Eventually, I would become acclimated to the particular idiosyncrasies of my own particular Jacuzzi and, Lord knows, it’s worth all the staged, timed filling and the horse hopping.

And, while I know one isn’t supposed to use oils and bubbles and salts in the Jacuzzi, as you know, I’m a girl who loves her products. The day of course had to come when I became overcome by temptation and decided I’d add just the TINTIEST drop of Winter Candy Apple Bath and Body Works bubble bath to my second stage filling one night after turning on the jets and wandering off. I returned to the bathroom to find a mound of bubbles worthy of an I Love Lucy episode towering a good three feet above the edge of the tub.

Most recently, I reasoned that bath SALTS shouldn’t be a problem and so I added some innocuous looking but darkly colored, salts. Which the jets then proceeded to pulverize into fine hard to remove sand, and then fling on to the walls resulting in the coal miner’s party I referred to at the top of the post.

Which in turn provoked the latest round in the absolute WORST thing about the Jacuzzi. And that is cleaning the thing. I’ve tried everything. Those cleaner scrubbies mounted on a telescoping arm and brushes with reeeally long handles and every known bathroom spray and cleaner. There just aren’t any two ways about it. I have to climb into the thing and spray and gently scrub and dry. Cleaning the bottom? Eventually means a sort of ridiculous balancing on my stomach on the rim, legs extended, kind of in a flying Superman pose. But way more precarious.

This last round of cleaning was so traumatic (see paragraph one) that I actually managed to stay out of the Jacuzzi for two whole nights unable to do anything but admire that hard won sparkle.

But eventually, I again succumbed to the seductive siren’s song of hot, hot water. In fact I’m so suggestible that way that, midway through writing this, I filled the tub.

I’m off to soak THIS minute.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Waitress

The big news of today is that, after reading this, (finally!) a post by one of my all-time heroes, Nora Ephron, it made me wonder if I post too often. I mean, is it not better to come off with a really wonderful post, ala Nora, very occasionally than to blather on just about every day?

I certainly have examples in my own life that more occasional, introspective posting might be better.

'Tis a puzzlement.

In other other blogger news (?), Rob Rummel-Hudson continues to chronicle his experiences being a "fancy pants" (his words) published author. Reading posts like this, demystifies the book deal process. It helps to be a really good writer. The book is scheduled to go on sale in February, 2008.




While trolling around my various favorite movie sites recently, I stumbled across the information that "The Waitress" starring Keri Russell (Felicity) will be released on DVD this month. I saw the movie back in the summer with with my friends, Mary and Christa, and we all all three loved it. While searching for a preview I could grab so I could recommend the movie here, I ran across the news that Adrienne Shelly, who wrote, directed, and co-starred in the film, was brutally murdered in her Manhattan office not long after the movie wrapped, just at a year ago.

I'm surprised I didn't catch this news at the time, I fancy myself at least marginally "up" on these things.

[On the other hand, I have just now finished up Season Three of Grey's Anatomy. ]

In any case, I was very saddened to hear of Shelly's death. I remember thinking as I watched The Waitress that whoever was behind such a clever piece was very talented and likely headed for even greater success. Saddest of all, Shelly left behind a three-year-old daughter, Sophie, who had to have at least partially served as inspiration for a story about having a child.

So do add The Waitress to your queues and must-see lists. Unfortunately, it is the last of its kind.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Official Breakfast of Bizzyville


As I was whipping up my favorite breakfast treat just now, it occurred to me that you guys might want the recipe. For the quickest, simplest, yummiest almost practically diet breakfast food ever.

For some reason, I've always had an early morning sweet tooth and the S-Man's (giving credit where credit is due, please make a note) cinnamon tortillas are just the thing. All you need is:

Satan's Cinnamon Tortillas

A flour tortilla
Real or fake butter
Real or fake sweetener
Cinnamon

Spray pan with some non-stick stuff and lightly brown tortilla on both sides. Remove tortilla from pan. Spritz or spread butter on tortilla. Sprinkle with two envelopes of fake sweetener (or sugar), sprinkle with some cinnamon. If you're spritzing, re spritz the whole thing. Roll it up. Eat. Repeat as necessary.

While this obviously isn't a calorie free breakfast, even Weight Watchers only counts a tortilla as 1 point. If you use fake everything else, it's a fairly responsible treat. For a cinnamon roll hound such as myself, it is one heavenly substitution for the real thing.

Otherwise, have a chuckle from one of my favorite blogs, Go Fug Yourself. The girls were forced to fug the amazing Christie Brinkley (and, by the way, snaps to Christie for immediately kicking her fetus diddling hubby to the curb when the affair came to light) but in the usual fug tradition, did it in the most amusing possible way.

BTW? Our girl Christie there is FIFTY-three. If she's had work, it's damn good work. I saw an interview with her once where she claimed the secret to her beauty longevity is her vegetarianism coupled with a strict regimen of daily scrubbing the living crap out of her face with something abrasive. I can't remember what the abrasive thing was. Christie's reasoning behind what would seem dangerous scrubbing is the fact that men scrape the top layer of skin off their faces every day with a razor, yet seem to have fewer facial wrinkles as a result. Christie figures she'll mimic that on her own million dollar face. Looks like it's working (although, let's not pretend the girl doesn't have an army of estheticians on her team as well).

Okay, where was I? Ah, yes. Sharing a few links.

I know ya'll are probably sick of my love affair with TED, but I can't help it. I want to run away and join TED and save the world and rub up against really smart people. I've also, probably due to a viewing of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" at a too-young age, had a long running aversion/ fascination about electro-shock therapy. I know it still goes on to this day...but how can it be justified (I've wondered)?

Which is why I found this TED talk on the subject by surgeon and author, Dr. Sherwin Nuland, especially interesting. Midway through the lecture he makes a rather startling skirt-lifting revelation. The whole thing is around 20 minutes, but if you have an interest, it is fascinating.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Kentucky Fried...Omen?

Newsweek's Howard Fineman muses on (SFW) what the election of Not Ernie Fletcher might mean for the nation.
***

In other political news, I received an e-mail from the "California Draft Gore" campaign, a movement to get Gore on February 5th California presidential primary ballot. Activists in the organization have been working to gather signatures toward this goal since October 8th. The effort has been made more difficult by the recent fires in the state and also, as they've gotten to less populated areas, they are having trouble getting adequate coverage.

The e-mail goes on to say:

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine just after he won the Noble Peace Prize, Al Gore was asked what he had to say to those of us who are working to bring him into the race. Here is a part of his answer: "If I do get back in the political system in the future – well, keep that energy stored up and let's have a go at it then." A few days before, Gore's Chief of Staff, Roy Neel, said that Gore has not ruled out a run in the future and then defined "future" as "after today."

Hmm.

Contributions are being taken here.

I see Reds and smell like Key Lime


Today I had to get up very early (pre-dawn, even) for an early morning appointment. This included a fairly significant drive there and back that gave me time once again to listen to a good chunk of my Warren Beatty book.

I'm toward the end now, finally, and much of that section focuses on the movie "Reds" that Warren produced, co-wrote, directed, and starred in during the early eighties. The film eventually won three Oscars, including an Oscar for Beatty as Best Director.

Thing is, I never saw the movie. At best, I've only seen bits and pieces. So, in a fit of complete hedonism, when I got into town after my appointment, I popped by the library, checked out a copy for free and spent the better part of the afternoon piled up on the couch taking it in. (Don't tell the S-Man. He gets crazy when he thinks I'm lollygagging on the couch eating high quality dark chocolate and watching Warren Beatty movies on a perfectly good work day.)

To give you the basics, the "Reds" plot centers on John Reed (played by Beatty, natch), an American journalist and passionate socialist living and working in NYC during the years leading up to WWI. On a trip somewhere obscure he meets Louise Bryant (played by Diane Keaton), an equally passionate feminist and writer. The two fall in love and Reed persuades Bryant to move to New York. There she is thrown in with Reed's circle of intellectual friends which include liberal thinkers and luminaries of the time like playwright Eugene O'Neil (played by Jack Nicholson), Reed's bestest friend. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Eventually Reed and Bryant marry and together travel to Russia to cover the revolution together. At some point, the passionate Reed, unable to help himself, crosses the line from journalist to revolutionary. Much drama ensues.

My impressions were as follows (because, aren't you dying to know?):

  1. At 194 minutes, the movie is just too long. It's good, but it's not that good.
  2. The similarities between Reds and Dr. Zhivago are unmistakable. They are both epics involving star crossed lovers set against the backdrop of the Bolshevik revolution (though Reds is a little more centered in America.) Reds does not stand up well to that comparison.
  3. Good gosh a'mighty, this is the sexiest role I've ever seen Jack Nicholson play. He is positively sssmokin' as Eugene O'Neil. As far as I'm concerned, his performance is the best in the film.
  4. How the crap does Diane Keaton manage to snag all the great roles not to mention all the great guys (she's on Beatty's "list")? I don't get it.
  5. I enjoyed seeing a film about people on fire for their work and willing to go all the way for what they believe in. Isn't that what it's all about?

On a different, but no less important note, thanks to a link from my friend, Keena, I have learned that my girl smell is Key Lime. Not surprising since it is also one of my favorite pies. I'd link to Keena, but her vlog is now private. You should know that her girl smell is Lemon. I believe it is of vital importance that you determine your girl smell. It is obviously not wise to go through life unaware of these things.

Your Scent is Key Lime


Sassy, real, and totally smooth
You're a total flirt who's always ready for a challenge!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Kentucky Fried Election

I have to say, Election Day was pretty traumatic for me.

I am a person who believes in voting. Believes it is the least I can do for all those passionate people of yore who died so I could enjoy the privilege. But the state of Kentucky? Well, it is such a den of good-ol’-boy politics and back-room deals that even I, seriously, just considered staying home in my red long handles and ignoring the whole crappy situation.

The Governor’s race between Ernie Fletcher (R) and Steve Beshear (D) has been just sad. Incumbent Fletcher has basically done nothing but campaign by trying to distract from his disastrous first administration. He does this by focusing on the random topic of legalized gambling, an issue that isn’t really even an issue. Unless you ask Ernie Fletcher, that is. Because…Ernie Fletcher is NOT going to allow legalized gambling, nosiree! (What does Ernie Fletcher think?) Ernie think: Gambling: BAD. Ernie think: Not gambling: GOOD! Ernie stand for: truth, justice, and NOT GAMBLING.

This is more understandable when you consider Fletcher’s first administration included nothing but: a) a major hiring scandal and b) that time Fletcher scared the sh!t out of Washington, DC, NORAD, and the defense department, and damn near got his a$$ shot right out of the sky, when his plane buzzed dangerously close to the no fly zone while transporting him to Ronnie Regan’s funeral.

Fletcher’s opponent, Steve Beshear’s major campaign premise is: he’s mostly definitely NOT Ernie Fletcher! Nope! Still not Ernie Fletcher! Steve would like to talk about how bad Ernie Fletcher is and please ask you to please keep in mind that he continues to NOT be Ernie Fletcher!

And THAT, friends, is the Kentucky governor's race! ‘Cmon down, there’s surely a relative of yours around here somewhere we can fix you up with during your stay!

Long story short, I voted. I wasn’t happy about it, but I did it.

***

Congratulations to....Positively NOT Ernie Fletcher!