Friday, August 31, 2007

Blades of Glory

The S-Man and I took in the latest Will Ferrell movie, “Blades of Glory”, practically the day it was released on DVD.

Loaded with cameos by legendary figure skaters like Dorothy Hamill, Bryan Boitano, Sasha Cohen, Nancy Kerrigan, and Peggy Fleming to name a few, and gobs of insider cracks, "You started working with that Ukrainian skater, you know, the one that looks like Elvis?? And I moved to the Ukraine, and it was cold, and everyone had guns and smelled like soup." This film is a send-up so specific to the sport that I'm surprised it got produced at all.

Ferrell plays the heinously heterosexual (fyi…often the exception rather than the rule in this sport) Chazz Michael Michaels, a skater who shoots actual flames from his fingertips at the end of each routine. His nemesis, Jimmy MacElroy, played by John Heder, is your stereotypical “good boy” skater. Big-haired and blonde, almost every single bit of clothing worn by Jimmy MacElroy is covered in sparkly sequins.

When these two face off in Stockholm at the Olympics and end up in a wrestling match on the medal podium, they are banned from the sport.

Until a technicality in the rulebook allows them to mount a comeback.

As the first male-male figure skating pairs team.

Together, Chaz and Jimmy face Fairchild Van Waldenberg and Stranz Van Waldenberg, psychotic brother/sister pairs skaters played right-on by Amy Poehler of SNL fame and Will Arnett who I’ve never noticed before.

There’s also a subplot involving Jenna Fischer, but it’s really not that interesting.

Overall, not every single second of this movie hilarious? And I can’t give it an across-the-board recommendation? But if you think Will Ferrell is even remotely funny? And you have watched figure skating at all? You owe it to yourself to rent this movie.

Trust me.

Technically, I suppose, Blades of Glory is a send up of the international figure skating scene in just the same way The Ballad of Ricky Bobby was a send up of NASCAR. But we don’t watch NASCAR in this house and we don’t watch movies about NASCAR in this house because NASCAR is so wildly offensive to me that I simply can’t even BEAR it in any way shape or form.

Just ask the S-Man, nothing gets me going as fast as when we accidentally catch some snippet of NASCAR news or clip in which some boob of a sportscaster starts referring to NASCAR drivers as athletes, for God’s sake. Athletes! It makes me CRAZY I swear to GOD. Oh, yah, Dale Earnhart, Jr. totally compares to Roger Federer or Michael Jordan or Mary Lou Retton, or Apollo Ono or fill-in-the-blank.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say the entire spectacle of NASCAR should be illegal. NASCAR is not about striving for excellence in physical conditioning, its about a bunch of testosterone-ridden weenies driving around in a circle REALLY FAST until somebody 1) crashes 2) dies 3) crosses the finish line and gets to kiss a girl with big boobs. This...this is not a sport, people! It is many things: bad for the planet, stinky, stupid expensive, dangerous, irresponsible, but sport? Sport it is not. I’m sorry.

Okay, I’m taking a deep breath here, and we’re moving on.

Now, where were we?

Ah, yes. Blades of Glory. Very funny if you’re a figure skating fan. And fairly funny even if you’re not.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Party Time

Just when we thought the Summer of Unemployment couldn't get any better?

It gets better.

Because FurGirl and I, well, we are on our own for a spell!! The S-Man is briefly, temporarily, away.

Meaning....MEANING!

Woohoo! Two blondes, one remote control!

Wheel of Fortune! Reality shows on the big TV! Pasta! Abba! (noise) Indigo Girls! (noise)

I'm telling you, it's completely wild and crazy around here.

We have a strict no-dogs-on-the-furniture policy, but still, when the S-Man goes away, there always comes a moment. A moment when FurGirl mosies over to the leather couch, places one paw carefully on the forbidden cushion, and then gives me The Look.

The Look means:

Okay, we both know he's gone. I watched him load up the suitcase myself. How about you show a sister some love and let me curl up for a little nap on this here cool, soft couch?

And, I would, I really would.

Except way back when FurGirl was but a wee lass, back even before we moved to this house, FurGirl and I had a little secret.

Back in those days, the S-Man was the first to rise on work day mornings and take a shower. FurGirl, asleep on her special rug beside the bed, would routinely wake up, and the minute she heard the shower start, would stand, and execute one of her graceful, gazelle-like leaps from the rug, landing noiselessly into to the bed next to me. Together, we'd snuggle up and enjoy those last blissful fifteen minutes of sleep before I, too, had to get up and face the day.

And, even though FurGirl would be in a dead sleep, the SECOND the S-Man slapped the lever to turn the shower off, she would immediately jump up, do a reverse leap back to the rug, and be arranged exactly like she had been earlier by the time the S-Man returned to the bedroom to get dressed.

This arrangement went on for quite some time. Until one fateful weekend, I woke up uncharasteriscially early, and decided to get up and make breakfast. I was cooking away in the kitchen when I heard a terrible ruckus coming from the bedroom.

By the time I got there, poor FurGirl was cowering in a corner and a shocked, confused and, exceedingly PISSED OFF S-Man was propped up on one elbow in the bed.

ME
What happened?

SATAN
Your bitch! She just all of a sudden JUMPED INTO MY BED!

ME
You're kidding!

SATAN
OF COURSE I'M NOT KIDDING!

FURGIRL
(I got confused! Holy sh!t! Save me, Mommy!)

ME
Strange.

SATAN
Yah, I'll just BET it's strange. Have you been letting this dog GET IN MY BED? Because, if this dog has been getting IN MY BED....

ME
I'm fixing breakfast!

SATAN
(stuttering...)

ME
Pancakes!

SATAN
These sheets! I paid...

ME
'Comon, Furgirl! Let's go potty...

SATAN
...thread count...

FURGIRL
(Takes a last panicky look at the livid S-Man and then manages to somehow propel herself toward me, her big furry body only an inch or so off the ground.)

SATAN
(Takes a furious swipe at her from the bed...)

FURGIRL
(Reaches the bedroom door, slinks out onto the hardwood in the hallway and immediately tries to run. Her feet find no purchase on the slick floor, however, and she stays unmoving in the same spot, her feet working furiously under her. I give her a helpful push on the ass with my foot as the S-Man leaps from the bed toward her...)

ME
Now, now....


FURGIRL
(Reaches the front door and arranges herself in the "Good Girl" sitting posture, panting hopefully.)

ME
See? She's a good girl!

SATAN
Good girl my ass.

So, yah. Ever since then? I figure I'm just better off not encouraging her.

But, I have to say. I'd have paid a dollar to have witnessed that moment when a poor unsuspecting FurGirl leapt into the bed only to find....SATAN! And the same moment when Satan rolls over to find...FURGIRL!

BwaHa!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Big Ball of Yarn

I was simultaneously freaked out and delighted to find this original commercial for Quisp cereal posted on YouTube. Quisp was the favorite cereal of my childhood. I ate it, straight from the box, during countless hours of viewing shows like Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, and The Jetsons. The cereal was flavored similarly to Captain Crunch and was shaped like little flying saucers.

I remember seeing this commercial. And I have to wonder, was THIS bit of advertising what drew me to the cereal? Because this? This is one weird commercial. A space dude knits a giant scarf in outer space?

All I can picture is a couple of Cheech and Chong-like Mad Men sitting around a conference table smoking some really righteous weed during the Summer of Love saying things like…

MAD MAN #1
DUDE. This Quisp campaign, I don’t know. Just a plain old space man is SO boring…

MAD MAN #2
Totally.

(Mad Man #1 and Mad Man #2 pass the doobie back and fourth about fourteen more times in complete silence, then…)

MAD MAN #1
You know, man, I been thinking.

MAD MAN #2
Oh, WOW! I can’t BELIEVE this! Because I’VE been THINKING TOO!

MAD MAN #1
I been thinking about outer space.

MAD MAN #2
ME TOO! This is unbelievable!

MAD MAN #1
And don’t planets sort of remind you of…big balls of yarn?

MAD MAN #2
(reverently)
Right on, man. That is just so. Like, RIGHT ON.

MAD MAN #1
I’m thinking the Quisp space guy could like…he could knit…maybe a

MAD MAN #2
SCARF! He could knit a giant space scarf!

MAD MAN #1
It could be…

MAD MAN #2
What, 86 miles long?

MAD MAN #1
Dude. Are you crazy? It would have to be eighty-SEVEN miles long.

MAD MAN #2
(Reverently again)
Eighty-seven, man. You are so right about that.

MAD MAN #1
Knit one…

MAD MAN #2
Purl two! Knit one, purl two! Far OUT!

MAD MAN #1
My Gramma used to say that.

MAD MAN #2
Far out?

MAD MAN #1
No, stupid, Knit One…

MAD MAN #2
Mmmm….Gramma. She makes the grooviest cinnamon rolls…

MAD MAN #1
Is there anything to eat around here?

MAD MAN #2
Just this box of Quisp cereal.

(The Mad Men enthusiastically dig into the Quisp in silence for about ten minutes. Then…)

MAD MAN #1
(suddenly)
DAMNIT!

MAD MAN #2
(startled)
What is it man?!

MAD MAN #1
I forgot, we were supposed to work Shecky Green into the Quisp commercial somehow as a favor to my Uncle Morty!

MAD MAN #2
Don’t sweat it, Dude.

MAD MAN #1
Easy for you to say. Poor Shecky hasn’t worked in years. How does he fit into the Big Ball of Yarn commercial?

MAD MAN #2
He’ll uh…., he can uh….

MAD MAN #1
He’ll have to be the voice of the Quisp astronaut guy.

MAD MAN #2
Right ON, my bruthah!

MAD MAN #1
Dude. You are so stoned.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Girlin' Up the Guest Room

First, as I predicted, the Paducah Sun printed a correction today on LauraK's URL. You can see it here. Yay!

Secondly, a confession. Ya'll know I broke up with Design Start last Sunday after Sparkle Josh's show was cancelled because his wedding reception design wasn't trashy enough. Well, I accidentally saw the episode that aired Sunday.

I'm bad.

I was glad to see the judges finally...FINALLY eliminate obnoxious designer RobB Mariani although this should have happened much earlier on. This guy was far too annoying to be a real contender for his own show. I will likely watch the remaining episodes, although I won't be doing my recaps like before (take THAT, Design Star!), as I've said from the beginning, it is almost a certainty that Todd Davis will be the winner.

In my own design world, I ran across Tommy Hilfiger bedding on mad crazy sale at Dilliards on a shopping trip with the S-Man this weekend. Anyone who has shopped for bedding of even marginal quality lately can attest to how stupidly expensive this stuff can be. Since, as most of you are aware, Bizzyville HQ is located in the guest room, I am regularly exposed to the really boring sage green bedspread that was on the bed.

"Was" being the operative word in that last sentence.

In an uncharacteristic fit of retail madness, I returned to Dillards w/o the S-Man on Sunday and purchased the set. How was I able to accomplish this sans income from gainful employment, you ask?

I'll put it this way...bedspread regularly $200, a mere $80; pillow shams regularly $40 on sale for $18; bed skirt regularly $50 a steal at $23; horrifying Satan with wild and crazy bedding every time he walks by the guest room? Priceless.

Seriously? I love the stuff. I think it's sort of tropical and definitely on the girly side. I moved the bed on an angle (another no-no in Satanland) and used a screen to mostly cover the exceedingly hideously large electrical box and then added the string of lamp lights (I am obsessed with strings of tiny lights of all descriptions). I'm seriously considering painting that electrical box the same color as the wall since it drives me INSANE that you can still see the ugly top of it peeping over the screen.

Also, the comforter is actually reversible. On the other side are stripes like the ones you see toward the foot of the comforter. So, should I never need to cover up those fabulous flowers? I could. Although, I really don't see that happening.

I've begun working on my framing project using an old window salvaged from the house during the renovation. I scraped and cleaned the glass last night and am working to get over the fact that the ancient glass has pits and imperfections in places. Which is good. Intellectually I know this adds to the overall charm of the aged look? I mean, you can't go out and buy aged glass. Or you can't buy it at WalMart, anyway. But, in fact, I have a problem when things aren't JUST SO.

I'm working on it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mile High Dilemma


I awoke Sunday morning to an internet, er, situation.

Local fashion blogger, model, event planner, image consultant, personal shopper, and Chairman and CEO of Mile High Promotions, LauraK, while at the same time having the extremely good fortune of receiving ink in the local newspaper twice in three days, was also facing the frustration of a misprinted URL in a feature story on Sunday.

While a really determined web surfer could Google LauraK, this still amounts to a huge missed opportunity for an up and coming blogger. In fact, it probably takes another blogger to fully appreciate the special kind of horror this sort of situation engenders. Because, FYI? Us bloggers? Are Hit Junkies, plain and simple.

In the Sun’s defense, the paper is still in this town (although they do have a web presence and are definitely branching out, especially lately) primarily a paper paper. And it would not surprise me if they re-printed her URL correctly. The URL they did print is for a site still under construction.

For the record, the URL for Mile High Style Blog is:

http://milehighstyle.blogspot.com/

So, get on over there and show a traumatized sister’s hit counter some internet love.

Meanwhile, in my little fashion corner of the world, I continue to obsess over my jewelry pin boards, which, since I last wrote about them, have not only been approved of by LauraK (Have I mentioned LauraK? You can find her here), but have also expanded to include four boards:


I redesigned the two newer boards last night using canvas material instead of the cheesecloth. And, I have to say? I’m seriously loving the canvas more. Where did I get the canvas? Why, from the S-Man’s painting drop cloth, of course, which I have long admired, thinking somebody should make curtains from the material. It wouldn’t surprise me if I go ahead and break down and re-do my original two boards with the canvas. Also? I’m considering dispensing with the clips all together and using the Velcro, which I initially purchased to use as an invisible hanging device, instead. I don’t know, though.

Would that be TOO much excitement?

Probably so. Stay tuned.

Otherwise, I can’t quite believe I’m just now catching on to THIS (noise but worth it) rolling frat party seeing as to how I loves me some Vince Vaughn. I’d just like to know exactly why I wasn’t presented with the opportunity to get in on the Memphis show? Hmmmmm?

Lastly, but definitely not leastly, there’s a strange smell over at the blog of One Kentucky Writer. You need to go investigate.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

That Girl

Ya’ll know how much I’ve enjoying chronicling William Sledd’s meteoric rise to, well, somewhere besides his bedroom at his Mom’s house. Since way back in November, I’ve been having all kinds of fun with the whole situation. And you’ll notice that, even back then? I was writing about that girl.

You know, the other person in the Denim Edition of the Ask a Gay Man Video series? The most popular video in the Sledd arsenal which, to be exact, at this very moment, has racked up 3,084,296 views since it was posted back in October of last year and continues to rock the worlds of fashionistas and fashionista wanna-be’s everywhere with its wit, originality, and right-on fashion advice about that most important of American accessories: the jean.

“That Girl” is Stephanie and, along with the Denim Edition, she has co-starred with William in several of his videos including a video challenge from Yahoo! News wherein William dressed himself and Stephanie for a mere $14 with clothing purchased at the local Salvation Army and, most recently, the Wedding Cakes video, featuring Stephanie and William enthusiastically sending up cooking shows by filming their own version of how to bake up a fabulous (bright pink) wedding cake (for your wedding or commitment ceremony).

So, when it came to pass that Stephanie came over for lunch at my very own kitchen table the other day? I was all,

“Don’t even think I’m not going to blog about this!”

I grabbed my camera and was hopping around and getting all Annie Lebowitz with my bad self, when girlfriend all of a sudden whips her OWN camera out of her purse and lays this photo on me:

HA! How much do we like a girl that likes her sushi up in here?! Oh yah!

Stephanie reports that this particular photo of the sushi love was taken on a recent trip to St. Louis where she ate that entire boat you see there. Herself. And for those of you that love the sushi? You know it’s not even a thing.

Along with being sushilicious, I can report that Stephanie is also a Virgo meaning along with being attractive and in possession of an impeccable sense of style and taste (and I’m told quite a shoe collection), she also has a latent ability for performance which she is clearly very much in touch with, and, as if all that isn’t enough, quite a flair for design.

But wait! There's more, she (shhhh….don’t tell anybody) has a blog.

I’d be watching that space if I were you.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sicko

I interrupt this spate of shameless self promotion to tell you to please, for heaven's sake, RUN to Maiden Alley Cinema and see professional propogandist, Michael Moore's latest offering, Sicko.

The S-Man and I took it in last night. The film is, at turns, hilarious and horrifying, but always deadly serious, and examines a subject near and dear to all our hearts in this country, the health care system. View the trailer here.

I laughed, I cried, and along with everybody else in the packed theater, applauded when it was over.

Moore's best work to date.

Show times:

Saturday, August 25th
4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 26th
4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m.

Friday, August 24, 2007

It Had to Happen (the cell phone call from the S-Man)

In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.
-Andy Warhol
***

(ring)
ME
Hello?

SATAN
Lies! Lies! Lies!

ME
Ah, you’ve seen the paper?

SATAN
It’s just all a BIG FAT lie.

ME
Listen, I really can’t talk right now. I’m famous .

SATAN
YOU KNOW I don’t vet everything you write about me!

ME
(heavy sigh)
Of course you do. All the major pieces, at least.

SATAN
It’s just NOT true! I’m asking for a retraction…

ME
What was that? Just a second, I’m getting another call…

SATAN
Who is it?

ME
My public, of course.

SATAN
Oh, for the love of God

ME
Gotta go…
(click)
***

I figure it’s just a matter of time until, like poor misunderstood Lindsay Lohan, I’ll start menacing people by tailgating them in my Subaru while wearing somebody else’s pants and then I’ll,

“Need to get away from everyone”

but then, unfortunately, I

“won’t know how”.

And when that day comes? Look for me in the bathroom. Because, usually? I am alone in there.

It’s just a little emergency plan you need to have in place when you’re famous so they don’t send you off to rehab all of a sudden like.

Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues

OHmygosh, ya'll!! How excited are we to have tickets to see the legendary Bob Dylan live and in person in September at the fabulous holy church of music, The RYMAN Auditorium in NashVegas!?

Pretty DAMN excited!

HEY! That's ME! (clucky chicken)


So, today’s issue of the local newspaper, The Paducah Sun, features local bloggers in the recently established “Download” section. Besides this here site, One Kentucky Writer, The Official Blog of iList Paducah and Mile High Style all got ink. Go us!! I hope you can jump to the story from this link.

Otherwise, I’m still luxuriating in the latest issue of Real Simple. I can’t help it. Some people are into the Bible, some the Torah, others still the Quran. Me? Just giveth me one new issue of Real Simple per month, thanks.

Inspired by a piece about how one woman conquered her tangled mess of jewelry by using pin boards, and having struggled with the exact same problem myself for YEARS, I set about creating my own version of a pin board.

I had to break down and make a trip to Walmart for corkboards and white glass tipped pushpins, but I found packs of four corkboards on sale for right at $5.00. I wrapped two boards (they are pretty thin by themselves) with the material from a pack of cheesecloth I had laying around the house still in the wrapper and taped the loose edges in the back down with duct tape. I then clipped the boards together with a large binder clip* which conveniently also served the dual purpose of acting as the hanging device.

Next was the fun part—sorting and hanging my jewelry. If you’re like me you have a ton of stuff you never get around to wearing, not because you don’t like it anymore, but rather because you haven’t SEEN the stuff in the last five years. You have one earring but not the other one. And who has time to dig into the far reaches of some dark box to find that blue bracelet you’re only about forty percent sure you still have?

Anyway, here’s my result:
My boards are somewhat less sleek than the RS version, but I think the cheesecloth is more tactile and the whole look turned out wonderfully. I’d go so far is to say it’s even a little boutique-like giving the act of selecting earrings the feel of shopping which, let’s just admit it girls, can only be a plus. (You can slap me any time.)

While I like the jewelry on a bland background, I can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t also work with fun geometric patterned fabric as well. Maybe even a mix and match sort of thing.

Otherwise, I continue to be in a complete lather about the upcoming release of the documentary film “Crazy Love”. I saw the couple the movie is based on interviewed on Larry King Live and just could not get enough of this story. Unfortunately, the darn thing isn’t getting released to DVD until October, for God’s sake. ARGH!

Anyway, view the trailer here and tell me you aren't dying to see it too.

*There is just no end to the things you can do with a binder clip. If you don’t have any on hand? Run to the store and buy a variety of sizes immediately.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Inspiration, WS, and a Recipe

I read this fantastic quote yesterday in the September issue of Real Simple and knew I had to share:

Our deepest fear is not that we're inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond all measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world.


How's that for a little pick-me-up?

I'd link to the ensuing excellent article entitled, "What are you waiting for?" by Gail Blanke aka "The Motivator" but it is, alas, not available online. I can send you here where many of Gail's other empowering pieces are posted.

In other news, in case you haven't noticed, William Sledd has finally (by choice) busted out of his state of relative local anonymity. First, there was this piece from Mary Thorsby heralding William's cover shot and extensive feature article in a local magazine on newsstands now. Then this morning, I awoke to find a story in today's Paducah Sun (here's hoping that link holds).

On a more personal note, I've just recently begun to take advantage of the Amazon Grocery. My love affair with the Amazon Marketplace has been well documented here, I continue to have a very itchy trigger finger for buying reasonably priced used music and movies. The Grocery, however, I have come to more out of need and frustration over the hit-and-miss availability in this town of organic and (somewhat) more exotic foodstuffs.

My first order was placed after having a complete meltdown at Kroger after filling my cart with all the ingredients for Pad Thai and then finding my favorite brand of Pad Thai sauce randomly unavailable in its usual spot. (For the record, I know I should be making my own sauce, but dang, who wants to buy fish sauce?)

I stomped home in a huff, logged on and ordered an entire case of the sauce which conveniently landed on my doorstep just a few days later.

I was hooked. Although...in my unemployed state, I generally do try to control myself somewhat. Most recently, after having a hard time finding brown rice available in any sort of decent quantity even at Sam's, I logged on and ordered this (RiceSelect Royal Blend, Whole Grain Texmati Brown & Red Rice with Pearled Barley & Rye Berries, 32-Ounce Jars (Pack of 4)). One hundred and twenty eight glorious organic ounces of it.

It arrived yesterday and last night I lit some incense, slipped into my Birkenstocks, grabbed my camera, hummed a Joni Mitchell tune to myself and proceeded to cook up a batch of my delicious, satisfying diet friendly, low fat, high fiber Spanish Rice which I'll share with you now. You don't have to wear Birckenstocks while you cook? But it does seriously help to bring out your inner earth mother.

Suzanne's Spanish Brown Rice

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Chopped Onion
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander (I use more)
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin (I use more)
2 Cups Liquid either--chicken or beef broth or 2 cups water and bullion cube
1 Cup Brown Rice or Brown Rice Blend, rinsed and drained
1 Cup of your favorite salsa (the spicier and more exotic the better)

Garnish
Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Chopped and Salted Avocado
Fat Free or Low Fat Sour Cream

  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet with a lid. Add onion and saute until translucent over medium-low heat. Add the coriander and cumin and saute, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  2. Add rice blend and saute for a bit, then add liquid (and bullion cube if applicable) and some salt. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cover and reduce heat to low (lowest possible setting) for 45 minutes. You may meditate now.
  3. Stir in salsa, and some of your chopped cilantro re-cover and cook, still on very low, for an additional 5-10 minutes.

At this point your dish will look lovely like this:


Serve garnished with cilantro, chopped avocado and sour cream. Enjoy this guilt free, low fat spicy, organic delicious and satisfying one dish meal. You won't eat it all in one setting because this recipe makes A TON. The good news is that it keeps brilliantly in the fridge and makes a wonderful side dish for any meal.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Going New Zealand

I had dinner with a friend recently whose youngest child just went away to college. Many of my friends are now experiencing, some for the first time, the empty next phenom. I myself had this experience far too early in my child’s life (but that’s a whole ‘nother story).

I think all parents, at one time or another, but usually on those Tuesday nights when you had to work late, your kid has a ball game in fifteen minutes, there is absolutely not one clean towel in the house, you’re frantically searching for a missing cleat, everybody is generally starving, and ohmygod where the HELL are your car keys you just had them a second ago, and your kid picks this moment to announce he has a science project due TOMORROW, all parents (or all Mommies at least) resort to that same magic thought:

When he/she/they grow up and go away to college? I’m gonna sleep all day every Saturday. I’m gonna soak in an uninterrupted bubble bath every single night. I’m gonna take control of the remote? And never let it go…etc.

And while that’s a really nice concept? It just doesn’t work that way in real life.

Unless, of course, you’re a Dad.

Because Dads are different. I call it the New Zealand Effect.

I know a Dad (who shall remain nameless) who put their child on a plane to New Zealand and, because I was with said Dad for the entire eight days their child was out of the country, I know. This Dad? This Dad did not spend one second of his time worrying/obsessing/freaking out about their child’s extremely remote whereabouts.

Instead, this Dad went calmly about his business for the duration of the trip and then proceeded to forget what time this child’s return plane was landing, prompting said child to borrow a friend’s cell phone and remind this Dad, “Hello? It’s me, your child? At the airport?” Of course, this Dad (without a second’s guilt mind you—CHUCKLING about it, even) jumped in his car and went and picked up the child.

And life went on as normal.

A Mom in this situation?

Well, a Mom would spend the duration of the flight (which she would learn immediately including flight number) convinced she was keeping the aircraft aloft with just her thoughts. She would need a phone call upon touchdown, a regular check-in call…etc.

A Mom would know and be able to immediately calculate (even though she normally sucks at math) the time differential between the US and New Zealand and thus always be able to envision her child at any given moment and what they should be doing i.e., waking, lunching, flossing (as if!).

A Mom would know what time the return flight was taking off (in New Zealand and US time), and would be aware of the exact times and durations of any connecting flights and or layovers. A Mom would again keep the craft aloft with her superior mental powers, and if necessary, be more than happy to join those guys that signal airplanes with the orange-coned flashlights on the tarmac in guiding her child’s plane safely to the proper gate.

Unfortunately, these handy Mommy skills that kick in some time during the third trimester and are oh so necessary for the next eighteen years or so are utterly useless when your little darling strikes out on his or her own.

Basically, literally over night in many cases, a Mommy has to go New Zealand (Daddy-style).

And it’s a whole lot harder than it sounds.

The freight train of evolutionary instinct that is Motherhood just doesn’t stop on a dime. Oh no. You gotta apply the air brake and then the thing screeches on down the track for miles afterward.

The good news? The good news is that, when your child’s plane comes in for a landing and you don’t know about it? They’ll call.

Eventually, you learn to negotiate a new sort of relationship. And come to know your child as a friend which is probably the most rewarding of all stages of parenthood.

Occasionally, you’ll have to reach back into your uber-Mommy skill set. They’ll actually need you to guide them to the gate with your orange flashlight. Which, as a well prepared Mommy, you always keep handy on a nearby shelf. Because you knew this would happen sooner or later.

More and more often though, your child learns to stand on his or her own.

And so do you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

WWWSS?

I have to say, it was a rather exciting morning at Bizzyville HQ.

After all the stress, embarrassment, and near heat stroke conditions at the yard sale, we finally got the payoff (well, besides the cashola).

Long time readers will recall that the view outside my office window has been that of a very unattractive rented semi truck trailer parked in my back yard for well over a year. Inside this monstrosity was all manner of crap we didn't actually need but had no place to store.

I'm happy to report that's all in the past now. Thanks to this guy:


Who, without much fanfare, single handedly managed to load up the now empty semi and haul it away in under thirty minutes and without crashing into either our house or our barn.

Unbeknownst to said guy, he had quite an audience in my friend, Keena, and I who up in my office watched the whole process excitedly and I documented the event by snapping about a zillion photos.

And those of you seeing these photos may say to yourself something like:

Self? Why would she not just raise the blinds instead of taking pictures around them?

I myself asked myself this same question upon reviewing the pictures afterward. And I'll tell yourself the same thing I told myself:


I have no idea.

Naturally, among the many comments bandied about between Keena and I during The Big Event, one of them was: WWWSS? (What would William Sledd say?) About those overalls? Because, dude is SO not pulling that look off.

Actually, that's a rather easy question to answer, even without the benefit of WS nearby, isn't it?

Speaking of which, thanks to a tip from fellow blogger ChristaD, you can catch the latest press on WS in an i-Caught webcast story from ABC News (you might have to endure a preview first). Also, William is now updating his blog on at least a somewhat regular basis here.

Anyway, back to the story at hand, it all ended when Overalls jumped in his truck and backed up the now loaded semi precariously near the house below where Keena and I were screeching flapping about it:



And then he drove away.



Whew. I found this whole ordeal so exhausting that, afterwards, I simply had no choice but to soak in a hot jacuzzi for a good forty-five minutes. Not sure how much longer I can keep up this pace.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Design Star Season Two Challenge Four: No Joy in Mudville

Y'all. Last night's Design Star. It was a tragedy on so many levels.

With six designers remaining the challenge was to create a Las Vegas wedding reception for 75 guests on a budget of $10,000. Two designers would be eliminated.

The competitors met with the the happy couple, Vegas natives Bruno and Stephanie, who wanted (at the same time, mind you) a lavender princess-style design and a rockabilly Vegas themed red and black design.

Ahem.

The designer coming up with the plan selected by Stephanie and Bruno would lead the group in transforming a basic hotel conference room into the event they envisioned. The designer with the concept judged to be the worst would be eliminated off the bat.

I'll just get right to it and tell you that annoying designer, RobB Mariani won this challenge with a design so heinous it was laughable. Lavender feather boas, giant spinning dice, a DJ platform surrounded by huge painted flames, and a reproduction of the famous Vegas sign blinking away over the bride and groom's table won the day. The couple loved it.

Christina Ray, whose design favored only the wishes of the bride, was tearfully eliminated.

Next, under major time constraints, the remaining competitors set about frantically transforming the hotel space. Designer Will Smith was probably the most vocal critic of RobB's design. Once down to the dirty work, the team came to the realization that RobB's original drawing was not to scale. This meant that many of the elements like the spinning dice, blinking sign, etc. loomed much larger in the space than intended and it ended up being a major challenge just to fit it all in.

But fit it in they did, every tacky, screaming, blinking element. I don't think this photo adequately illustrates just what a hideous design this is, but it's the only one I could find on the site:



Will you look at that? "Winning" design? Please.

The show lost me right there. None of the designers, should they win their own show, will ever be expected to bring that kind of tackiness to the masses. And if they did? They'd be fired, assuming the show ever even made it to air.

I am unsure, then, why the producers thought a princess-meets-biker themed wedding reception was an appropriate design challenge. It is, essentially, a no-win situation. Give the couple the tackiness they want? And lose your integrity as a quality designer (assuming you were one in the first place). Give the couple a tasteful design? And be eliminated for your lack of trailer park sensibilities.

Did the producers think this would be funny? Because, after living through three previous challenges with these designers, I can assure you, it was most certainly not funny. Obviously these competitors all have their hearts set on winning their own show and are putting it all out there on the line in front of millions with each and every episode (and making good money for HGTV in the process). It seems to me, at a minimum, the show could give them in return a reasonable challenge that would bring out the best their talents have to offer.

Can you see where I'm going with this?

Yes. Charming, talented, pithy sweetie-pie Sparkle Josh Johnson was eliminated. And if he'd been eliminated in a reasonable challenge? It would have been one thing. But to be eliminated as the result of a trailer trash wedding reception? Is just not okay. Nevertheless, Josh shows himself to be a class act in his exit interview.

It could be my imagination, but even the judges looked fairly disgusted about this whole challenge.

Hello, HGTV? What were you thinking?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Inland Empire

Last night, my friend Christina and I decided to settle in and watch my latest Netflix rental, "Inland Empire". With a cast that included Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Harry Dean Stanton, Mary Steenburgen, and Jeremy Irons, it's no mystery that I would want to add this film to my queue. Plus, here is the description blurb:

Nikki (Laura Dern) is a married actress who ends up in bed with her co-star (Justin Theroux), but is it an affair or just acting? When the two start calling each other by their characters' names, the faint line between fact and fiction gets even fuzzier in this David Lynch mystery. Jeremy Irons stars as Kingsley, the director of the film within the film who does little to help the characters -- or the audience -- distinguish reality from fantasy.

Sounds intriguing, no?

And perhaps it would have been except for one thing: The David Lynch factor. Because you just never know about a David Lynch film (see: Mullholland Drive, etc.) and Inland Empire was no exception.

I'll just try to sum up the plot for you (and, don't worry, there's no such thing as a spoiler in a David Lynch film). Laura Dern and Justin Theroux and are starring in a movie directed by Jeremy Irons. Laura and Justin learn from Jeremy on the first day of the shoot that the film is actually a re-make of the original film which was never finished because (dramatic pause) the original stars were murdered.

Unfortunately, this is the first and last bit of coherent information the film has to offer. Otherwise we are treated to (in no particular order): a beat up hooker crying in a hotel room, a crazy woman with a screwdriver, a pistol, a jealous husband, random scenes in Poland, various sets and sound stages, three people dressed up as large brown furry hares (as in "rabbits") on a stage, France, mobsters, a scary clown face, a chorus of hookers, something about a watch and some silk, the circus, something about animals, an unwanted pregnancy, ketchup, some VERY SIGNIFICANT letters on a metal door, a game show, gratuitous startling moments, and endless ominous music.

At least sixty percent of the movie was made up of this:


Extreme close-ups of Laura Dern.

We are now on a first-name basis with all of Laura's pores and have a more than nodding acquaintance with the inside of her nostrils. If she wasn't before filming this movie, Laura is now an expert on what I've come to call the "concerned-bordering-on-terrified" with a twist of "eyes-glistening-with-unshed-tears" facial expression . I cannot begin to tell you how often the film featured this look. Almost constantly.

When Laura wasn't expressing The Look, she was often screaming or vomiting blood. I have absolutely no trouble imagining that this film could have sent the girl into a complete emotional tailspin. I have no idea how you dig deep enough to emote terror and misery in response to what seemed to me to be no logical plot stimulus whatsoever.

Laura? If you're reading, honey, please get into therapy. You deserve it.

During the course of the of film, Christina and I had conversations that went like this:


ME
Are those horses?

CHRISTINA
NO! They're rabbits!

ME
Rabbits?

CHRISTINA
Look at their ears.

ME
Oh, right. Their ears.

CHRISTINA
They could be donkeys.

ME
That's it! Donkeys. They look like donkeys.

SATAN
(coming in late)
Are those rats?

ME
They could be rats.

CHRISTINA
They are HARES.

ME
Sometimes Laura Dern calls the donkeys. On that phone over there.

CHRISTINA
Back to the Warsaw ghetto.

ME
That girl disappeared.

CHRISTINA
This scaring me.

ME
Look! The watch! Now we have to burn a hole through the silk.

CHRISTINA
Wait, it's hooker time again!

ME
Oh my god, no.

CHRISTINA
She isn't going to...kiss the hooker?

CHRISTINA AND ME
NOOOOOOOOooooooooooo!

(But it happened anyway.)

Here's the thing, though: we kept watching.

You could say we were hoping in vain for some sort of coherent resolution (which we were) or you could say we were morbidly fascinated (which we were), but the truth is we threw away time we will never see in our lives again. For hours. On a movie with no discernible plot and absolutely no payoff whatsoever.

Which is why you gotta say David Lynch has got something going on.

I'm just not sure what.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday


Good morning all!

I'm in a good mood because I'm pathetically grateful that it is 11:30 a.m. and the temperature is cool, breezy, and less-than-ninety-degrees. Whew. I don't know about where you are, but it has been DAMN HOT around these parts. The kind of hot where you walk out the front door and actually have the physical sensation of feeling your wrinkles deepen. The kind of hot where your make-up just lets go and slides off your face in sad, slow, defeated rivulets. The kind of hot where, when you come in from it to an air conditioned room, you can think of no better sensation on the planet and are temporarily stupefied by the sheer relief of it.

In short: it's hot down here! Are you hot? I'm HOT! It been so HOT out there! Whew! Did I mention--it's HOT!

Yah, I'm kind of a hot weather whiner. You probably didn't notice.

The S-Man and I had a lovely dinner last night with our friends, Julie and Scott at Max's, one of our favorite local eateries. Afterwards we stopped by Mentor House Gallery where we were lucky enough to find the proprietor home and graciously willing to open her gallery to a few tipsy loiterers. Luckier still, we got a tour of the private living space designed by Paulette Mentor. Oh my gosh. It is truly amazing. Original and imaginative, whimsical and lush, it is no wonder this space has been featured on one of my favorite channels: HGTV.




I personally continue to fall further in love as I work to refine my home office space. And, while I'm sure your average decorator could have come up with this idea while in a coma (and has), I'm loving my little "clothesline" of momentos, recently completed with the addition of an original print by Charlotte Erwin. Yah, it's supposed to be in my window framing project, but dang, how good does it look on my clothesline? I'm toying with the idea of stringing more clothesline and having more art/cards/momentos. I think it looks good, is easy to add to and, I'll just confess, I have an inordinate affection for clothespins which probably can be traced to my childhood when my Mom let me play with them while hanging clothes on the line.
Oop! Got to make a salad this minute...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Shopping and a Great Doc


After posting the other day about how I constantly occupy myself with projects of my own choosing, I decided to take myself out for fun and games. Having received a (very) small unexpected windfall check I headed over to Big Lots where I treated myself to a strange collection of odds and ends, mostly relating to my ever developing home work space.

I spent an inordinate amount of time lollygagging in the scrap booking aisle. Long time readers may recall that I possess a rogue crafting gene which often works to influence me to embark on projects to produce things that I would never EVER actually want to display in my home.

Anyway, I nearly succumbed to the siren song yesterday. Did you know there are hole punches that make holes in the shape of flowers? Triangles? Squares? Stars? Pinking scissors that leave the edges of your paper in all manner of exciting scallops? And stamps...oh, Lordy. I loves me some stamps.

In the end, I walked away, opting instead to feed the 13-yr-old girl that is still alive and well (and still in possession of firm shapely thighs) inside me by purchasing a paper covered satchel in a pastel blue stripe and flower in which to store my note cards and mailing supplies. Ah...the joys of organization. SO satisfying.

Later the S-Man and I watched "51 Birch Street". The film begins with documentary film maker, Doug Block, making routine videos of interviews with his elderly parents, Mike and Mina Block, married over 50 years. The story takes a turn, however, when Mina contracts pneumonia and dies suddenly leaving behind a stunned family, a lifetime of diaries chronicling her innermost thoughts, and a husband who remarries a scant three months later, leaving their confused son to question everything he ever thought about his parents and setting him on a quest for answers about their, as it turns out, complicated relationship.

For some, this might be considered boring subject matter, but for me it is the stuff of fascination. Why do people get married? Stay together? What is love? How happy can two people hope to be in a life long relationship? The story of the Block's marriage, ultimately recounted before the unflinching eye of the camera, is both routine and unique; heartbreaking and hopeful. I was spellbound.

View the trailer here.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Great Food, Great Project

We had dinner with friends Monica and Paul last night. And, while I knew Indian food was on the menu, I was not quite prepared for the feast of the senses that awaited us at their comfy kitchen island. Aromatic, tasty, and exotic are just a few of the adjectives that come to mind. Yes, all that and BREAD. Of the homemade variety. Then there was apple pie. Couple this extreme yumminess with wine and good conversation and we were lulled into such a stupor of satiation that we almost forgot to leave. Eventually we did though, they put a loaf of homemade sourdough in our hands and pointed us toward the house which is, luckily, within shouting (and easy walking) distance of theirs.

I'm not sure how to repay such extravagant hospitality, certainly nothing coming out of my kitchen would compare. But one thing is for sure, I know Monica and Paul would like you to be aware of this:

By the year 2010, there are expected to be over 20 million children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic.

In Kenya, there are over 600,000 AIDS orphans today. There is no government social welfare system to support these children nor is there access to free public education, soup kitchens or health care. In Kenya, one out of every three adults is HIV positive. There is more myth than education available to the general public regarding the transmission of AIDS.

One out of three. Ponder the ramifications of that statistic for a minute. This translates to an estimated 4.2 million orphans who will have lost their parents to AIDS by 2010 if current HIV infection rates do not decrease drastically. This means that every third child in Kenya will be an orphan.

Children who lose a parent to AIDS suffer the grief and confusion experienced by any orphan. However, their loss is often worsened by prejudice and social exclusion, including the loss of education, health care, even of the property they are entitled to inherit. The resulting poverty and isolation can create a vicious circle, placing them at greater risk of contracting HIV themselves.

In response to the growing crisis, with the help of Paul and Monica, Project AIDS Orphan, a non-profit coporation was formed to help address the needs of children impacted by the epidemic. The strategy of PAO is a simple one: to maintain children in the communities and villages in which they live rather than in an institutional setting. This is more cost efficient and less traumatic for a child already devastated by the loss of a parent.


Your tax deductible donation can make a huge difference to a child in need. Your check, made out to Project AIDS Orphan can be sent here. With your help, education needs are addressed as the PAO provides school fees, books and uniforms. Food, clothing, and shelter are provided with financial assistance to surviving family members. Because these children can stay within their family, or at the least clan or tribe, the project helps to maintain a consistent sense of nurturing and spiritual well being for the child. The PAO site now also features a blog, so you stay up to date on the progress of the important work your funding can help support.
I am mailing my check today. Maybe you will too?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's Wednesday...already?


Okay, time is just flying by way too fast for me. I had envisioned this time off work as leisurely and lazy with looooong stretches of delicious uncommitted time laying itself at my feet in an endless, yummy ribbon. Instead, there just seems to be always something to do. Although I'll have to admit it is positively FABULOUS not to be the alarm clock's b!tch. And it is also true that my time is way more often than not filled with the projects of MY OWN choosing. Which is pretty huge.

The yard sale process, while certainly painful and, above all, embarassing, has had a huge impact on my ability to arrange my own personal space. My closets are so much more neogtiable than before. The treasures we were unable to part with, I am determined now to enjoy on a daily basis.

The S-Man could not let go of the vintage fan at the top of this post, so I retrieved it from its dusty storage space and, with my Dad's help, cleaned it up and gave it a proper home on the living room mantle. It still actually works, by the way. It probably looked way more like this when it was new, although the model we have is considerably larger than the 12" desk fan pictured there. Seeing that picture makes me want to completely restore our fan. I am surprised to learn there were electric fans as early as 1908. I can tell you that our fan is incredibly heavy. I can lift it, but just barely.


Also in the can't-let-go category for the S-Man was a vintage manual "noiseless" Underwood typewriter. This typwriter would have originally come with a groovy carrying case, but alas, we just have the machine itself, which is actually pretty cool. I'm old enough to have learned to type on a manual typewriter, but not one as ancient as this which comes to us from the 1930's pre-dating not only me, but my parents as well. The typewriter has officially found a new home in a display case at the top of our stairs where we now walk by regularly.


I have also found the time to rearrange my office space in the guest room giving me twice as much work surface (by adding another table) and way more file storage space (the cool rolling metal file holder with a handy shelf below to the far right was a gift from my friend, Christina) which should (should, mind you) make me tons more efficient and organized in the very near future. Right now, this space is my very own personal slice of heaven and continues to be a work in progress.


Lastly, I have also rescued this window, one of the many original windows that we removed from the house during the renovation process. I'm planning to clean and scrape the glass (leaving the paint as is) and then use it to frame some fabulous original calendar prints from various Lowertown artists that have been stored away and and oh-so-very-wrongly unenjoyed for several years. I'll post a photo of that project when it is complete.

And speaking of all things vintage, I have jumped on the Mad Men bandwagon. I read this post just a few days before having lunch with my friend Jill, who also urged me to tune in. If you aren't watching already, you guys have to see this show. Set in the early 1960's in NYC, the show gets its name from "Mad"ison Avenue, hub of the advertising world, and centers on a group of advertising execs. I can't get enough of this bawdy bunch constantly smoking and drinking their way through the fascinating era of my early childhood. From the fabulous folks at the AMC channel, you can view this show On Demand for free and catch up by Thursday night when new episodes air. See the sexy preview here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ready for School


Chase's laptop came today, and there was much rejoicing. With the first day of fall semester exactly a week away, the timing couldn't be better.

I, of course, was immediately ready to take the computer to some smart computer person, hand it over, and ask them to do whatever needs to be done to it to get it ready for action. Chase, on the other hand, showed up picked up the computer, and was ready to walk out the door with it a few minutes later.

"WAIT!", I said.

"What?", he said.

"Don't we need to do something to it? You know, some sort of technical thing?"

"You just load up the disc , Mom. It's really easy."

So, yah. The computer is gone. I hope it all works out for the best.

In other news, those of you who are aware of my fish problem, might be interested to learn that I now bear not only the psychological scars of sharing my home with the heinous thing, but I now have also experienced physical injury as well. I was walking by the other day when my ankle glanced off one of the many, as it turns out razor sharp, protruding petrified gills. This resulted in a cut so deep that it actually drew blood.
The nightmare continues.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Design Star Season Two, Challenge Three and the RSS SOS


It was the individual challenge showdown tonight on Design Star.

(SPOILERS AHEAD!)

Each designer had an identical blank three walled room which to decorate containing a generic couch, two end tables, a coffee table, lamp, ottoman and bookcase. The budget was $399, the catch was that, with the exception of two gallons of the paint of the designer's choice, the budget had to be spent at the Dollar Store. The rooms did not have to be practical, just well designed.


Not suprisingly, the winner of this challenge by at least a mile if not more, was iron man Todd Davis. His room, which he called, "High Tide Barrell" was a brilliant and inventive portrayal of an ocean wave overtaking the items in the room. I can't say enough about how clever and original this design is, so I'll just go ahead on and post a photo:

There you go. If that isn't the room of a design star, I don't know what is. MeOW.

Coming in second, third, fourth, and fifth were designers Christina Ray, Will Smith, Kim Myles and, damnit, the annoying RobB Mariani. I was happy to see Kim finally prove herself since she seemed to have just sort of blended in on the other challenge and then damn near got axed because of her involvement in the Neeraja tile debacle.

The final three designers, heads on the block were: Scott Corridan, Adriana, and ohmygosh, SPARKLE JOSH. SJ's room, "Celebuteen" was judged too sparkly, with too much going on. See for yourself:

Vern Yip was more forgiving than the other two judges and gave Josh credit for the candle sconces (on the left wall).

Next, Scott Corridan. Ya'll. Poor Scott. I really do think he is a good designer. But his room tonight? Looked like the Dollar Store threw up in it:



I mean, WTF? Seriously. Buh-bye, Scott. Thing is, I really do think this room would have been in the running if he had edited out about three-fourths of that unending kitsch. The paint job is really interesting (and approved of by the judges) and the color choices are very good.

Lastly, Adriana. Her room was just plain old boring. I have suspected all along she didn't have the right stuff, and tonight was her Waterloo.

Meanwhile, the show ended with Sparkle Josh promising to, "bring back the sparkle."

Let's hope so.

(You can see photos of all the rooms and get even more information here. SFW)

***

And now for something completely different...

If you're like me, you keep reading on the web about RSS Feeds. And when I read about that I think,

Self, you seriously need to figure out what an RSS feed is.

And then I remember I forgot to Swiffer dust my mantle.

Luckily, my good friends at Netflix posted a video that explains the whole ding dang thing. See it here.

100 Website You Should Know

From the smart folks at TED, check out their top picks for a hundred websites you should know and use. Bet you find at least two new favorites. Find them here. (SFW)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Busy in Bizzyville

Like, OHMYGOD! I totally missed a day posting! Bummer!

Okay, I'll stop the La Lohan talk. But seriously, I did miss a whole day posting, something that hasn't happened since I was miserably employed. The truth is, I somehow am now busier than I was when I had a job.

I know. What is UP with that?

Plus, my Dad and company is in for a visit and this can only mean one thing. The copious consumption of adult beverages. Which, as you may recall, I have suddenly developed zero tolerance for, meaning after about two of said beverages, I'm walking into walls, singing karaoke, and forgetting what day it is.

So, it wasn't long into last night's festivities at my kitchen table before everyone's attention was naturally drawn to this:

What is that you ask? Well, I wasn't going to mention it, but SATAN BOUGHT THAT. Yes! Paid money! For an ancient shellacked fish with a bayonet for a nose. This is an affront to my taste so henious, so unimaginable, SO REPULSIVE that I have been unable to even JOKE about it up until now.

Even at this minute, I'm not sure how funny it is considering we JUST HAD A YARD SALE during which we pawned off all our unwanted crap on our unsuspecting neighbors, and the next day...THE. NEXT. DAY. Satan has the nerve to enter my house carrying that monstrosity like a trophy. For once, I was rendered completely speechless with horror. Me. Speechless. In case you can't tell? The thing is probably five feet long nose to tail.

So, yah, we spent a considerable amount of time last night deliberating on what we should do with the fish. Personally? I was all for spiking the thing, nose first, into the front yard for Satan to find when he returns (he's momentarily out of town). There was talk of my guests taking the fish home with them by installing a small wheel on the tail of the fish and towing it the 250 miles back to central Illinois. What would they do with it when they got there? Say it with me: WHO CARES? Lastly, we discussed suspending it from the roof and then, in our inebriated state, we wandered off and forgot about it.

So yah, the fish is still in my living room.

I'm thrilled.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Evening


This week's film at Maiden Alley Cinema certainly looks to be an interesting one. Here's the description at the MAC website:

"Evening is a deeply emotional film that illuminates the timeless love which binds mother and daughter -- seen through the prism of one mother's life as it crests with optimism, navigates a turning point, and ebbs to its close. Two pairs of real-life mothers and daughters -- Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha Richardson, and Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer -- portray, respectively, a mother and her daughter and the mother's best friend at different stages in life. Overcome by the power of memory, Ann Lord (Vanessa Redgrave) reveals a long-held secret to her concerned daughters; Constance (Natasha Richardson), a content wife and mother, and Nina (Toni Collette), a restless single woman. Both are bedside when Ann calls out for the man she loved more than any other. But who is this "Harris," wonder her daughters, and what is he to our mother? While Constance and Nina try to take stock of Ann's life and their own lives, their mother is tended to by a night nurse (Eileen Atkins) as she journeys in her mind back to a summer weekend some fifty years before, when she was Ann Grant (Claire Danes), a young woman who has come from New York City to be maid of honor at the high-society Newport wedding of her dearest friend from college, Lila Wittenborn (Mamie Gummer). The bride-to-be is jittery, and turns to her maid of honor rather than her own mother (Glenn Close) for support. Ann stays close to her friend, yet is even closer to Lila's irrepressible brother Buddy (Hugh Dancy). Unexpected feelings surge forth once Ann meets wedding guest Harris Arden (Patrick Wilson), a lifelong friend and intimate of the Wittenborn family. Ann's love for Harris will change her life, and those of her daughters, forever. "


A list of gifted actors this long in any one production is the subject of an ongoing gag of mine and the S-Man's. Our theory is that too many big names is the kiss of death for any film. Maybe this one will be the exception. I'm certainly intrigued to see two pairs of real-life mother and daughters as well as one of my all time favorites, Claire Danes, even if she does seem to have acquired a whole new face along the way.


Alas, the kiss-of-death theory might hold true once again. I've now done a little checking, and the Rotten Tomatoes site has the film coming in 72% rotten and according to Roger Ebert:

There are few things more depressing than a weeper that doesn't make you weep. "Evening" creeps through its dolorous paces as prudently as an undertaker. Upstairs, in the big newport mansion, a woman is dying in a Martha Stewart bedroom. She takes a very long time to die, because the whole movie consists of flashbacks from her reveries. This gives us time to reflect on deep issues, such as, who is this woman?

(I can't help it, I love a good snarky review.)
Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

FREE for the taking!


Well, they aren't pretty, but all that furniture you see: two weather beaten dinette tables which were once red, a cannonball bed, and a dresser barely holding it together long enough to remain upright, can be yours for nothing. They are currently in my driveway off the alley. You'll have to beat the Salvation Army truck, though, which is reportedly coming this afternoon.

In Which I Pimp My Own Self Out For a Job and Dis Lindsay Lohan

You'll be happy to know that I am only drinking iced tea rather than whatever I was drinking when I wrote that drunken, disjointed, all-over-the-road post about several unrelated things not too long ago. I am drinking iced tea this early in the morning (read: pre-eight o'clock) because the heat in these parts is stultifying. You walk out the door and it immediately renders you witless. I, personally, turn an alarming shade of pink. Because I am sensitive. They are scrolling bullitens across the TV screen during Dr. Phil. They say something like: It is super hot out there! Beware!

Poor FurGirl. She is not cut out for this kind of weather. When I let her out for her morning pee-pees, she's gone just long enough to get relief and then she's right back on the porch fogging up the french door with her franting panting. When I let her in she gives me the,

"What were you DEAD? I've been waiting a good FIVE MINUTES for your lazy a**".

Then she drags in, collapses on the floor in a boneless heap, not sleeping mind you, but rather just staring miserably off into space martyr-style. Enduring. When I pass by, if she has the strength, she gives me the look that says: I'm too furry for this sh*t.

Myself, I've taken on a gallery project and have also begun a job search. How would YOU like to hire me?! My resume is very pretty and I am oh-so-qualified for so very many things!! E-mail me if you'd like to peruse the res. for your very own self.

I am open to almost anything, although it would be great if I could do something creative or at least something in which I could be creative sometimes. Obviously I'm a writer and I have a frightening amount of work experience in a wide variety of stuff like: event coordination, organizational challenges, human resources, organizational communication, banking, city government, performing arts, original ideas, benefit coordination, program administration, brassiere advice, OSHA, COBRA, FMLA, and plenty of other scary acronyms.

An added bonus: I am a vicious multi-tasker. For instance, at this moment, I am drinking iced tea, learning how to craft a toy wooden boat (from HGTV), writing this here blog post, periodically checking two e-mail accounts, fielding calls relating to my gallery project, and reconfiguring my Netflix queue.

So, yah, e-mail me for more information. I want to stop all this silliness and focus on you and your work related problems. All the day long. By the way, have you lost weight? Because you look fantastic.


Meanwhile, I just have to comment on the newest issue of Elle Magazine. That's it over there to the left, featuring the ever troubled La-Lohan front and center. And if you were here in person? I would immediately morph into valley girl dialect (which, by the way, I am quite good at, just another of my mad skillz) and give you this monologue:



Like, OHmygod! I am, like, SUPER depressed! Because, I am, like, totally young and, like beautiful, and rich and famous, and bitchin', and life is, like, SUPER hard! I totally have issues. I, like, need to escape from it by, like, doing really expensive blow and wearing other people's jeans and stalking them while I'm, like, totally f*cked up behind the wheel of my super nice car! Because, I am, like, completely depressed...for sure! Did I mention that? OHmygod, it is just, like, a total bummer! My shrink is, like, totally super worried about me.

How pissed have the guys at Elle got to be about her immediately returning to rehab, when they've signed on, essentially, to do her come-back cover. Ouch. In case you can't make it out, the tag line on the cover says:

Exclusive! The Lindsay Lohan Interview "I'm glad I went to rehab. I needed to get away from everyone and I didn't know how."

Poor Linds. Evidently, she evidently forgot again how to get away from everyone (I, myself, find myself forgetting how to get away from people all the time. Don't you?). Since she went back to rehab again, like, what? Yesterday? The day before?

On the other hand, is the yummy color of that dress to DIE for or what? (I'm looking at you, Jeanna.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Scary Carrie

I don't know about you, but I think the SJP commercial launching her new fragrance "Covet" makes her look like a serious bunny boiler rather than a sexy siren the masses want to emulate olfactorily.

Maybe it's just me.

The Hootie Call...

As you may or may not know, Hootie and the Blowfish will be appearing at the Carson Center on August 14th. Intrepid blogger girl, Mary Thorsby, will be interviewing the band.

Now is your chance to get that burning Hootie question you've always wondered about answered, since Mary is taking your suggestions for queries to put to the group. Leave your question in the comment section of Mary's post.

Monday, August 06, 2007

My Own Life: The Recap

Okay, so, I'm back! Discussing my very own life instead of some TV show!

Hi!

Unfortunately, I am also drunk which you are also going to have to bear up with.

So, the S-Man took me out to celebrate the double toothpick anniversary. We would have celebrated sooner, but we were having a hellacious yard sale (you may have heard). As we do most anniversaries, we toasted each other's incredible stamina to endure this difficult union. Also, we discussed the possibility of ending this torture. I'm at least sixty-two percent sure we're staying together. I can't be certain, however, since the Reisling purchased by benevolent benefactors across the way, Jeannie and Harvey, was mighty tasty. And there are blank spots.

The yard sale was a success, I guess, in the way that we are a) All still alive and b) Still speaking to each other and c) In posession of a large wad of cash we would have not otherwise enjoyed. The sale began at around 7:30 when we untied the junkyard dog we procured to guard our spread out crust-covered treasures (don't you just love having us in the neighborhood?) because we are not, ourselves, early risers. The sale went on until around noon when everybody lost the ability to breathe and speak and also move in temperatures past ninety-five degrees.

I'm happy to report many of our neighbors supported us out of pure southern hospitality mingled with pity and, let's be honest, a touch of fear. Because--did I mention? We had alot of stuff. That you would never, EVER need. Nevertheless, we were happy to see our friends, whatever their motivation, and merchandise was moved. The fabulous Charlotte Erwin came away with the much coveted star spangled denim jacket, and I think we'll be seeing more of it at performances of the Lowertown Ensemble. I'd say their names, but I can't think of it. I'm doing that drunk thing wherein your try to snap your fingers? And then they just won't snap, but just sort of rub together ineffectually....WAIT! "The Relocators" That's it, yah!

Okay, moving on.

After that it was time to celebrate a very special birthday. This meant a trip to my Grandmama's house and the forced eating of cake and ice cream. I endured this like the trooper that I am.

The story of when Maw-Maw's house burned down was recounted. I had forgotten this was one of the very first stories my mother ever told me. How, in February of 1952, she awoke from a dead sleep at her grandmother's house to find one entire wall consumed with flames and the whole house on fire. How her little (three-year-old) brother's sore throat and his on-again, off-again, desire for drinks of water may have saved their lives, causing them all to sleep a little lighter and thus remaining semi-conscious enough to eventually realize the house was aflame.

Mom told the story again. How she awakened to the sound of her grandmother's voice at the foot of the bed calling her grandfather's name, "Eddie...EDDIE!" Mom told again how they ran through the living room, the vinyl unbearably hot beneath their bare feet and how, just as they were almost out the front door to safety, that flaming wall collapsed, singeing off the back my grandmother's hair.

Mom would have been twelve years old in February of 1952. I had always imagined her running toward the door in the flaming house, her waist length (was it still waist length) hair streaming behind her, her grandmother on her heels barely escaping death from the flaming wall. I had always imagined, however, that Maw-Maw had Mom's three-year-old brother, Tim, in her arms.

But on Sunday, for the first time, I asked, "Who carried Tim?".

"I did", Mama said.

And so, I had to revise the whole mental memory. Mom, not alone, but clutching her little brother and running for the door. Mom who was only a child herself, saving her little brother. Of course she would. Automatically. And I thought, wow, what must it be like to have a big sister? A big sister who scoops you up when the house is on fire and runs with you in her arms to safety?

And I remembered the verse on a card I keep on my dresser:

This fleeting world

is like a star at dawn,

a bubble in a stream,

a flash of lightening

in a summer cloud,

a flickering lamp,

a phantom, and a dream...

And I remembered to remember what a miracle it is that any of us are here and to appreciate each and every day for the wonder that it truly is.

Because, really. What are the chances?