Wednesday, August 30, 2006

This Just in: Vacation Recap Delayed Due to EPIC Television Event

FOX -- Thursday at 9pm: I strongly urge you to tune in. Wait--I take that back! Rather, I COMMAND you to tune in. Do as I say. You shall thank me for it. Celebrity Duets is the cat's jammies, YO! Here are the contenders--

ALFONSO RIBIERO-- Celebrity Duets, you had me at Alfonso Ribiero. I mean, the concept of the show didn't dazzle me...it's a slight variation on last year's "But Can They Sing?" (VH1) except with an unfortunate Ahmet Zappa shortage (waaah!) . So it was not the premise that drew me in, but rather the promise of seeing Alfonso on my screen once more that compelled me to tune in (them italics by the way are intended to showcase my mediocre pun humor) And he did not disappoint...I didn't think he could top his 1st duet ("Knew You Were Waiting For Me" with Kellie Williams) but later he sang with James Ingram (some song--"I Will Be There" or "God Will Be There" I couldn't really tell which one they were singing.. originally James sang it with Michael McDonald) and they blew the roof off tha muthafunker! Plus, he promised to treat the public to a li'l Carlton dance if he makes it in to the finals. Yesssss. I now have a new plea to close out every bedtime prayer: "Dear God, please help Alfonso Ribiero duet his little ass off and win on Celebrity Duets" Truthfully, I'm also wanting to request an Alfonso-Tom Jones duet later in the season, but I think adding that on would just be greedy.
CHRIS JERICHO-- of WWE fame and a mediocre VH1 clip show regular. He was the first eliminated and quite rightfully so. First off, he did this slow country song (unpleasant to begin with, before you add the crappy wrestler singing) and he had on an unfortunate jacket (I'm sure it was leather, and probably beaucoup bucks, but it looked like shiny Halloween costume vinyl--oh and he had the collar turned up..homage to Fonzie?) and as he gazed sweetly into Leanne Womack's eyes, his hand hovered just above her shoulder, as if he were frightened and not entirely sure that she wasn't electrified. The whole tableau + his amateurish singing made me think: jock in the high school musical. It was BAD. He improved slightly on his 2nd duet, but that's only because it was a faster song that allowed him to holler and run around.
CARLY PATTERSON-- some former Olympic gymnast. I don't think "former Olympic gymnast" should ever be a subset of the "Celebrity" category because they're just not very interesting people. Sorry, sweetheart. She was very awkward in her duet with James Ingram (song was "Somewhere out There" and I must confess I love that song. I discovered that this program featured a lot of songs I was sheepish to admit I liked. In other words, I came for the Alfonso Ribiero....I stayed for the schmaltzy tune fix) and they wrapped up the fiasco with the HOKIEST. ENDING. EVERRRRR! At the end, when they sang the last word (a high "truuuuuuuue") they looked into the camera, with their noggins pressed ear to ear, and slowly drew their mics away from their mouth. ACK! Just typing what they did does not adequately convey the horrid hokiness of it... you've got to catch a rerun of this premier and see for yo'self.
LEAH THOMPSON-- She can really belt it out, but that didn't surprise me. Wayne Brady was hyping her up like she's this amaaaazing novice, some kind of prodigy, but I knew better (stupid Wayne Brady!). I remembered her stint as a fabulous, world famous, Jem-like rock idol. Yes, it was in the movie "Howard the Duck" but that still counts as experience. On a purely aesthetic note, she looks great...even better than in her Amanda Jones days. Probably because she has downsized her coiff and no longer wears the blazer-business casual shorts combos.
LUCY LAWLESS-- In keeping with my superficial appraisals.... lemme just say..Lucy is looking much better now than in her Xena days. A big part of it is her hair-- she went blonde (which usually I don't advocate, but it's more flattering for her, really) Wardrobe was a factor too, I guess, it was nice to see her in some softer, more human threads than in that bull-dyke armor get-up she's famous for.
Her 1st duet was "Time, Love, & Tenderness" with Mikey Bolton. Now, she didn't make any obvious vocal missteps that I could detect, but then again, Los Bolton tends to drown everything else out. Like, really, he creates this sound vacuum where all you can hear is his tremendous , straining-at-a-stubborn-stool singing. But she was good when she sang with Smokey Robinson. I thought they might smooch. There were definitely sparks there. Also there was...
HAL SPARKS--- Holycrap that segue was AWESOME!!! Anywhoo Hal is, for real, competing on this show. I was totally surprised to see him there. Like, he seems to have a too irreverant/ sarcastic persona to be on a show like this. A show that I could see him mocking. But not only was he surprisingly present, he was surprisingly good, I thought. His "Tracks of My Tears" (con Senor Robinson) was terrific, although the third music producer judge (David Foster) panned his performance. But it was completely uncalled for, I tells ya. It was as if, at that moment, the approximate mid-point in the show, Foster realized "Hey, I'm the no-name, non-celebrity judge. If I hope to garner any attention, I had better adopt the poor man's Simon Cowell role ASAP" I wasn't as crazy about the 2nd duet with Gladys Knight. They did "I Heard it thru the Grapevine" which, for starters, is a piss-poor choice for a duet. And Hal kinda bypassed the soul and tried to rock out and it just came out all surreal.
CHEECH MARIN-- He wasn't awful. His performances were like good karaoke, but he's no real contender.
JAI RODRIGUEZ--- I knew he'd been on Broadway, so I knew he'd fare pretty well. I'm not much of a Jai fan to begin with...he is the most useless 1 of the QE Fab Five. Like, all he does, basically, is buy theater tickets and tell the straight guys to be nice to their girlfriends. They SO could have Kyan do that. 'Cause you know Kyan has the spare time... he sits around for an half an hour salon appointment (hand-holding if need be) and then later spends 2 minutes showing the pupil du jour how to moisturize. But I digress (shocker!). Jai is a sniveling little toadie and I want him to miraculously mess up and get booted. Ok, what really burns my arse is this... Alfonso did his 1st duet with Kellie Williams, got heaps of praise (RIGHTFULLY SO) and that Foster guy says to him "You have really set the bar tonight." And then later, after Jai did his 1st duet (with Gladys Knight...some slow, bluesy song I don't remember) Foster says "Now you have set the bar!" And he was like stressing the "you" in a way that implied he was SOOOO foolhardy & hasty with his props to 'Fonso. I sense a rivalry a-percolatin'. You need not ask what side I am on. I love you, Carlton!!

The third best thing about this show is the crazy ass middle chair of the judges panel. You know on reality TV talent shows, you have to be bat-shit crazy and/or flaky to occupy the middle chair of the judge's panel. Celeb Duet's resident loopy judge---Little Richard. He is barely coherent, it's awesome. Most of his astute judgements are along the lines of "HOOoooo!" and "My, my, my, my, MY MY!" and then he has these ostensibly racy but actually nonsensical bits of innuendo--I hereby dub them "Little Richardisms" as they are entirely a product of the musty fruit salad that is his brain.

And Wayne Brady as host...well, I can't mock that. Brady is a perfectly amiable host (though he's no Ahmet Zappa, nuh-uhhh!) During the commercial breaks, they played a trailer for this upcoming movie that Wayne Brady's in. Yes, you heard right, they're letting Wayne Brady be in a movie! Anyways it's called "Crossover" (I think) and it's about like, underground basketball games and I think the players do silly trampoline jumps, acrobatics, and kooky Harlem Globetrotter-esque shenanigans during their games (yet they're TOTALLY street about it , dawg) and from what I can glean from the trailer, Brady plays some slick, possibly criminal managerial-type dude who is running the show. I don't know if I can buy him in that role. I mean, maybe I'd be able to swallow it, if I hadn't seen that one Chappelle's show he guest starred on. He did this skit w/ Dave Chappelle where they go out for a night on the town and Dave discovers that Wayne Brady is actually this vicious pimp ("Does Wayne Brady hafta choke a bitch??" HAAA! CLASSIC!). So his part in this movie seems like it'd be an extension of that skit. Which would be just peachy if this were a comedy, but the trailers make it clear that they are aiming for serious cinema...y'know real Oscar contender type stuff like "Roll Bounce"...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Shawarmas-R-Us

I just looked up what a shawarma is because there was a Shawarma restaurant on nearly every damn block in Ottawa. And I hadn't a clue what in tarnation a shawarma was. I suppose the most elemental way of finding out would be to pop into to one of these zillions of shops and procure me a shawarma. But none of these establishments looked all that enticing, nor did any of them look excessively clean. So I did my shawarma research on the net. It looks like something I'd like to try. I'm adding it to my mental "Vittles to Try" list along with escargot & caviar. I am really f****ing hungry and this post topic is not helping matters.

Mi amiga Lisa brought in eggplant parm for my lunch today. It was REALLY phenomenally yummy. I dunno why it gave me the shits instantaneously. A very enjoyable lunch experience nonetheless.

And still speaking of eats ('cause I haven't the good sense to change topics) I have an epilogue to my SUNDAY AUG 20 installment of my vaca recap.... I was pretty hungry that night by the time dinner rolled around. You'll recall I had that infamously AWFUL FALAFEL at lunch and I only made it 1/3 of the way thru it. So the whole gang went to the Hard Rock Cafe to sup. They put on a good feed there and I do like it, actually, but I can't help feeling a little sheepish about dining there. It just strikes me as the ultimate, tourist-geek move. Yet our clan seems to have a habit of hitting up the local Hard Rock Cafe when visiting any big metropolis. I guess that makes sense, as we are like, the neauvo-Griswolds. To be fair, we did refrain from eating at the Ottawa HRC. And they do have one there, in the Byward Market area, I used their potty and their ATM.
And then on --
Monday AUG 21--
We toured Old Montreal. I do like me some "old world charm" and it was indeed charming in that very fashion. We even did the horse drawn carriage tour which I enjoyed mostly due to the fact that I didn't hafta cough up the $$$ for it. My dinner was "eh" but I did enjoy the demi-pitcher of sangria. I put demi-pitcher in bold (twice,now) because everyone kept ridiculing me as some kind of legendary lush for drinking a "WHOLE PITCHER OF SANGRIA". That's what they said anyway. But the fact is that there was a pitcher and a demi-pitcher offered on the menu, and I ordered the demi-pitcher. Which any half-cognizant babboon knows is NOT the same thing as a whole damn pitcher. As this is the official written record of the Summer 2006 Montreal-Ottawa Expedition, I felt this was the forum to clear up that discrepancy. I may be a bit of a lush, but I'm no legendary lush. Understood?
And then later that night we went back to Old Montreal bar hopping. I think my new fave drinkie is a Bellini, but the challenge is going to be finding a joint 'round here sophisticated enough to make me a decent one. I had set myself a mission to get Greg schnockered because he was absolutely TRANSFIXED by this Hugger Busker fellow and I wanted to get him a little loosey-goosey so I could coerce him into tackling the Hugger Busker or maybe dry humping him. HB is a pretty transfixing dude, I was a bit intrigued myself. Basically, he is a street performer that stands still like a statue (these faux-statue-guys seemed to be really big in Canada...wonder what kind of annual income that nets ya?? Hmmm..) and he has a sign that says "FREE HUGS". And, seriously, you can go up and hug him..gratis. Somehow, Hugger Busker has worked this simple act into a 500 word freakin' dissertation on his website http://www.huggerbusker.com/hugger/about.html
You can't really tell it from his site, but the guy was really talented at the standing still bit. He was the best human statue I spotted whilest on vaca, and I think I saw like 4 or 5 of 'em. I did not, however, sample his hugging skills.
Tuesday AUG 22--
Our last day in Montreal--we checked out of Montreal's Delta Central Ville Hotel and went to St Joseph's Oratory. This church is colossal. Really beautiful too with a big gallery of religious artwork. I was particularly stoked to see some original Mucha prints (you know how I dig the Alphonse Mucha) he did 8 or 12 illustrated plates that comprised the Lord's Prayer. But my church tour was somewhat ruined by a really poor choice of footwear. I wore these faux Adidas looking slides that had rubber nubbies under your feet and I guess said nubbies are for comfort? The idea is they're supposed to tenderize your soles like you have steaks at the end of your ankles?? I dunno, but they got to be very ouchy. And when my feet hurt I get crabby and antisocial. Doesn't everybody?

Okey doke, I was hungry 20 min ago and now my stomach just said "Blurrrga mlrrrrrg waa" to me, which I think is intestinese for "GO GIT SOME FOOD, BITCH!" I will have to continue with my travelogue tomorrow....
Ciao babies!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Back in the States...ain't it great?

Y'know I was in the office a whole HOUR early this a.m.as I mistakenly believed our customary Monday morning meeting was on as per usual. However, the bosslady had today off so the meeting was off too. But I did not bemoan my error, figuring instead I'd use the excess time to post on the ol' blog, since I neglected it for all last week and I had much vaca. minutiae to report. But my posting intentions went down the drain, as I sat, fingers poised above the keyboard and the only words springing to my groggy noggin were " Duuuuh" and "uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnh" and "Arrrr, f*cking A". So-yeah, am NOT a morning blogger. I can barely verbalize a complete sentence before 10am, I dunno what I was thinking. I certainly cannot make with the witty, pithy, bloggy goodness until noon at the earliest.

I really dug Canada. Y'know everytime I go on vacation, and I'm all enchanted with the exotic locale I always imagine I could relocate there. I even thought that about Mexico, which in retrospect was foolishness. Mexico has the excellent telenovellas and the year-round warm weather going for it, but other than that...ehh. I can get my guacamole fix anywhere, really. And I don't wanna go on a huge Mexico bashing rant right now (and veer irretrievably off topic) but Mexico is smelly. Not good smelly either.

But as I was saying, I've always been easily dazzled by a mere change of scenery and have fantasized about moving to every spot I've ever vacationed at. But seriously this time, I could really live in Canada. For real, yo. Ottawa is such a good li'l starter city-- ideal for someone who is jonesin' for a more city-fied life, but not quite up to the full-on "urban jungle" experience (ie: NYC). And the people really do seem nicer...I dunno why that is. Maybe it's a case of a stereotype reshaping reality-- y'know after 100 or so years of people touting the Canadians as exceptionally pleasant & polite, well they sorta felt they had a rep to uphold. Well, I dunno that I can authoritatively proclaim that Canadians are nicer than Americans...I mean, I just hit 2 cities: Montreal & Ottawa. When I amass my fortune and can drop out of the stupid-dumdumhead workforce, I will tour the entire country. Maybe I will find that I was wrong and people in...ohhh, say SASKATOON ( I enjoy saying "Saskatoon" and "Saskatchewan" too, for that matter) would rather stab you in the head sooner 'n look atchya. But I think I am right about all the Canadians. They are a delightful people.

So, lemme give you a play-by-play of my vaca. I'll try to make it an abridged play-by-play, if I can (but y'all know I've NO talent for brevity)
SATURDAY AUG 19--
Went to Parc Safari in Hemmingford Quebec. The major attraction of this place (and the first thing we did) is a drive thru area where they have certain animals roaming free that you can feed from your car. This would be the "safari", I'm presuming. (By the way, I must keep "safari" encased in quotes in this instance because I do believe to be on a bona fide safari I would hafta be on an entirely different continent, in a Jeep, clad head to toe in khaki and sporting a pith helmet) Anyways, the animals in this area are all of the herbivorous, non-killing sort, all more or less amiable (though they do have a traditional cage zoo with more dangerous fauna on display). Like they have : zebras, giraffes, llamas, some sort of antelope, and yak-like critters with ginormous, long horns and rather moist noses. And they had camels and a rhino too, but those guys weren't budging for nobody. Well, actually, the rhino mighta been penned in, I can't recall. But the camels were definitely free range but were very resolute in their aloofness. Like, you coulda stuck a filet mignon dinner w/ loaded baked potato out your car window (instead of the standard issue kibble) and still-- not happenin'. These camels were NOT gonna play ball.
The llamas were pretty damned aggressive though. A pack of them made the kids a bit nervous, and, in turn, the squealy, nervous kids made one of the llamas nervous and he spit all over me, Seth & Chloe. BUT WAIT. It was even better than that! The spitter actually had his llama maw crammed with chewed up kibble so it was almost like being BARFED ON by a llama!!
Good times.
But the llama spew incident was not half as funny as Greg's near mishap with a zebra. At the start of the safari, there's a multitude of signs urging folks to please DON'T feed the zebras. Apparently, the zebras are a smidge overeager in their acceptance of num-nums, and some safari-goers have been nipped. Why they don't relocate the zebras to the cage zoo, I couldn't tell ya. I think half the people feed the zebras anyway. Especially them that smuggle bags of carrots on safari (I say "smuggle" but truly I didn't see any posted mandates saying you had to feed the animals only Parc Safari brand yummies. But the carrots...I dunno...it just felt wrong to me) since a carrot could easily be proffered to a zebra without endangering one's digits.
Well, Laura did not seem to agree with me about zebras getting fed just the same, and she was quite sympathetic towards them. As we drove through a pack of them, they were all on Greg's side (the driver's side) of the van and Laura was shaking the food box at Greg and commanding him to feed the zebras. But he was resisting, and wanting to abide by Parc's decree of "veuillez ne pas alimenter les z├Ębres". So in a last, desparate bid to nourish the persecuted zebras (and also because it was HELLAH funny) Laura dumped a pile of kibble right onto his crotch. HA! A zebra snout did make contact with his loinal regions, but there was no nippage, according to Greg. I'm sure I'd have heard a shriek of some sort if there had been. But alas, the guy's got some stellar reflexes. He baled the comestibles outta his lap with much speed and a goodly amount of panic. But y'know, the guy is so adamant he wants to stop procreating now at 4kids... if he'd not been so hasty, the matter may have been resolved in his favor. And practically speaking--well, I don't have the figures here in front of me-- but I'm quite certain that a vasectomy is a much more costly procedure than having your wang chomped off by a zebra. Greg is a pretty frugal dude. After an initial shock of ouchiness, he probably would've realized the hidden benefits of such a mishap. So yeah-- cheap homeopathic spaying, for one. And quite the anecdote as well! How better to remedy a conversational lull than with ,"Did I tell you about the time my penis was bitten off by a zebra?"??

Ok, Ok, I've gotten tah rambling. I will try again for brevity as I forge ahead, but I fear my vacation recap will have to be done in installments...

Sunday Aug 20--
Rained like hell. Went to a science museum in Montreal. It was a pretty large place but for all its size, it was not much better than the wee Montshire Museum (Norwich VT) But I did enjoy it...I like those hands-on exhibit, kid's museum type places. I don't have any recollection of what the name of this place was but if you happen to go to a science museum when in Montreal, and opt to grab some eats at the food court across the street... do not--I repeat, DO NOT-- get the falafel sammich. The falafels might have been partially composed of ground chickpeas but judging from the taste it was like only 3% chickpeas and mostly a mixture of sandbox sand and lint. But, on the upside, I do get the gratification of being able to sincerely proclaim "THAT FALAFEL WAS AWFUL!!"

Well, I was hoping to get as far as Tues in my recap but I don't think I can manage it. That's all for now, sports fans...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Don't worry K, 40 IS THE NEW 30

...so that makes 30 the new 20? And yours truly just wrapping up her encore teenage years??

Anyways I was going to skip blogging today because my Monday's post became an epic affair but I thought instead I would just use today's blog expressly for the purpose of "hollering" :
Happy-ass Birthday, Kara!!

I have a little somethin-somethin' to send via USPS (or UPS maybe), but I don't think I'll be able to get that en route until after I return from vaca. So I emailed an e-card to tide ya over, but am not sure if that worked. So I am posting my sincere & warm fuzzy greetings in this forum, since I KNOWS you're a religious patron of this blog (possibly my ONLY reader). I'm not just idly tossing that adjective in there, I really do mean religious. I know how you light candles & incense, and then do a chant in Esperanto that extolls my wit before you commence to reading this here blog. Oh, yeah, and you put on an Enya CD too. Don't get all paranoid, there are no spies or cameras witnessing this blog-mass. I had like a Raven Baxter style vision, and I'm pretty sure I'm right!!
Well, so far no psychic peeks into your birthday, so I can only hope it is going along terrifically!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

"Always a bridesmaid, never a bride..."

...it's not an expression I use, but somebody said that this morning, pre-Monday morning meeting when I was delivering my synopsis of my nuptial-filled weekend. I grabbed the bagel knife and jokingly perpetrated a stabbing. It's all hearty guffaws, now, but -I WARN YOU-watch it. Studies have shown that if you're a single woman over 30 who's been in over 1/2 a dozen weddings and somebody says that to you, there is a 90% probability that you will actually stab that person, regardless of how sweet and god-fearin' you may be. Well at present I am 2 &4/5 decades old and next June I will be in my 5th wedding. There's only so much longer you will be able to say that to me without sustaining (at least) a nasty scratch. So YUK IT UP NOW, CLOWNS!

I think what my cronies here really wanted to know was how I fared in the infamous wedding shoes. They all knew it was more or less my inaugural run in 4" heels and I think were expecting me to hobble in on crutches. There may have been a secret office pool that I wasn't informed of...

So I was able to keep upright on my mega-heels and, considering the circumstances, it was a near-miraculous achievement. Edson Hill Manor (the site of the whole fete) is on these hills that overlook a grassy meadow. The ceremony was held in said grassy meadow. We were not starting our aisle procession in the meadow--aww hells no-- because Jill wanted to "make an entrance". Instead, we descended to the meadow via uneven, somewhat rickety stone steps that had been jammed into the steeeeeeep hillside. Y'know I wish I could convey the steepness of the hillside in another way than adding extra "e"s to the word "steep". Actually, I just recently bought myself a reference book of old timey Yankee dialect & sayings that I'd hoped would aide me in expressing myself more colorfully. But unfortunately that book doesn't have any "steep as..." sayings for me to employ in this instance. But I can say that for me to attempt those stairs in those shoes... well I was crazier'n a shithouse rat. Could be that that's exactly what makes me such a popular choice for a bridesmaid: willingness to suffer for fashion and perform feats of breathtaking audacity. So yeah, Jill was going to get her dramatic entrance, I was resolved. It was either going to be a spectacular series of bloody somersaults, or easing down the hillside at the pace of a centagenarian inchworm. Luckily for yours truly, it ended up being the latter approach. And after my stunt work was through, it was a great ceremony, and an all around beautiful day. It was unseasonably cool for August, and I was soooo thankful for that, because the last thing I wanna be doing when all eyes are on me like that is to be over-glistening. Ok, well maybe "all eyes on me " is overstating it a smidgeon...after all... there were some people that were pretty focused on the bride and groom. Which was truly awesome of those people since, surely they had to battle that phenomenal mojo that emanates from my person.
Jilly & Billiam depart today for sunny Curacao. Such a pisser about the latest air travel regs... what it essentially means is that the poor honeymooners are going to have to buy all their potions, lotions, and sexy oils when they get on the island. You just know you can get better deals on that stuff in the States. Doubtless we have more purveyors of randy accoutrements...more competition= naughty stuff cheap. Well, y'know I haven't actually read the regulations, it just may mean they have to check all their goopy /liquidy paraphenalia. Which is still a bit of a hindrance...it will disable them from using their potions, lotions, & sexy oils while on the plane. I hope that was not a major honeymoon objective and that they have a great trip....

But enough prattling on about g-damn honeymooners, after all, I try to write this blog from the embittered singleton's perspective (write what ya know, eh??)...

I feel a new kick coming on. I've been kind of intrigued,as of late, about the "beat generation"...reading up on Kerouac , Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and their subsequents like the Merry Pranksters of the 60s. I'll tell you how this came about...just to illustrate how these "kicks" originate with me. They are not manufactured or decided upon. The new obsession just alights on me by happenstance. Y'see I was on www.thefreedictionary.com trying to track down the etymology of the word "yammer" or expression "yammer on" because I use that word all the time (that site, by the way is super handy & informative...I use it daily) and for some reason, when I looked up yammer in the wikipedia part of the site, it redirected me to "Howl". Not the word "howl", but Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl". And I got kind of caught up in the background info surrounding that poem, and started reading up on the beat entourage that Ginsberg palled around with. It's this whole rather intriguing counterculture that I've never really delved into before. I've read Kerouac's "On the Road" but that was years ago...I could do with a refresher. I'm going to get through the current book I'm reading ("Broken Trail" a remnant from my recent Westerns kick) and then revisit "On the Road", maybe read another Kerouac even. I don't know if I want to read any William S Burroughs ... I saw the film of "Naked Lunch" many many years ago but it still resonants with me how monumentally perplexing and bizarro that was...I fear that reading Burroughs would be even more of a wtf??? type of experience. I do wanna read "Howl" too... I could probably check that out now without it being too much of an interruption to my Western....
The only actual Beat writings I've read since the kick-off of the kick is Neal Cassady's Joan Anderson letter
(read it here: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Workshop/5083/letter3.html)

I found Cassady interesting because he didn't really publish anything or publicly contribute to the "movement", he was just this background figure in the crew that everybody seemed to find integral-- Kerouac based 2 of his novel protagonists on him, and Ginsberg was in love with him! Also, some late 90s movie "The Last Time I Committed Suicide" was based on this letter. So, from that fact I figured-- a whole feature film based on a letter! Must be some letter! And so I had to read it. What I wanted to find out after reading it, and what I've not been able to find out in all my perfunctory Beat research is--what became of Joan Anderson? I hope she did not make another--a successful-- suicide attempt.Another thing that makes my new Beat kick appeal to me-- Jack Kerouac was pretty foxy. You'd think that would be a total non-factor, what with him being dead for nearly 40 years. But he wouldn't be the first dead guy I've developed a weird retroactive crush on. Check out JK's pic here: http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Jack+Kerouac Maybe that's an artfully done book jacket shot, but hubba-hubba! nonetheless. Don't bother checking up on Ginsberg-- he was nothin' to write home about. Eh, he was gay anyways...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mahna mahna

Oy. .. I never did get Mark's freight credit issued and faxed to him. Oh WELL!
Have y'all ever seen Pants Off Dance Off? It's really the only reason I ever stop my channel surfing on the Fuse network. A lotta of people find it idiotic ...it is , I suppose , but it's idiotically hi-freakin-larious. Basically, volunteers from the public sign up for this show and they pick a video and dance in front of it. And strip. Stripping pretty much amuses me, even if it's done well. I mean, it's incredibly funny if done ineptly, but stripping in general is just amusing. Anyways, there was some article about the show on msn the other day. Basically it was an article about how the show is gaining popularity and given its trashy nature, does it deserve said popularity?? A mostly pointless article... but I did glean one worthwhile factoid from it-- the new fall season of Pants Off Dance Off is going to be hosted by Jodie "Stephanie-from-Full-House" Sweetin. http://fuse.tv/jodie.php WELL, PIN A ROSE ON HER NOSE!! Ok, actually, I'm pleased to see she's working again. Even when the Full House powers that be were marketing the hell outta Michelle "You Got It Dude!" Tanner, the middle Tanner daughter was always my fave. Even when it dawned on me that I absolutely detested Full House, I still liked Steph. Now if only they could find a gig for Kimmy Gibler. Gibler or Gibbler? Ahhhh, who the hell knows??? But really, if Kimmy could get herself checked into that Surreal Life condo, you know she'd have a show of her very own shortly thereafter...

yuh. Have a GREAT weekend.


I just lost 10 minutes of precious lunch time because this cheap asshole customer was haggling freight charges with me. I wish it was cool for me to announce, in my most politely chipper tones (while customer is mid sentence) "This asinine conversation is truly important to me, but my lunch hour just started. We're going to have to either wrap this up now or you may continue your blathering at 1pm EST. Goodbye!" **click** To be fair, I shouldn't call him an asshole, he was perfectly polite. But he just kept belaboring the same point over and over and was irritating the piss outta me. He wanted to know why the shipping dept charges the amount they charge for a particular package. I don't know..(Hell, I don't even think the shipping dept knows) I don't know...I don't #$%&^ing know and the answer won't suddenly alight upon me if you ask me 30 more times with slightly different wording each time, you annoying bastard. I've never been overtly RUDE on the phone (aside from it possibly getting me in hot water, I'm not a confrontational sorta person anyways) the closest I get is unprofessionally curt. As I was just now. And I was saying "yuh" a lot. Not to be confused with "yeah". "Yeah" is apt to be regular-calm Sandra and then sometimes I'll add extra e's to my delivery: "Yeeeeeah"..the extra e's are for empathy. But "yuh" is definitely how unprofessionally curt Sandra sez the word. Those in the know here, hear me say "yuh" and they know that means "yes" and also it means, "I am PISSED OFF but unable to tell you to *&*$# off."
So finally, he was in the middle of asking me about the logistics of our freight billing for the 31st time when I suddenly break in with "OOOOOOK! I'll credit you for that full freight amount (even though my boss didn't authorize that) and fax that credit over to you this afternoon Mark. WHAT'SYERFAXNUMBERTHERE?" He sounded a little taken aback at how I'd completely interrupted him, but he dutifully rattled off the fax #. And then I'm all "A'right, GREAT. You have a great weekend. Buh-bye." It was a very deliberately toned "You have a great weekend" (hence the italics) I'm sure he heard me say "have a great weekend" but I think the underlying "Eat shit and die, jackass" message was imparted just as loudly.
I'm a bit stressed today, that could have somethin' to do with it. I've got tomorrow off and you know what that's like... got about a thousand loose ends from this week that need tyin' up...or chopping off. That's one of the many, many reasons the Monday -off 3day weekend is preferable to the Friday-off 3day weekend.
It is bizarrely arbitrary what captures my attention sometimes. Last night I postponed my slumber until 1:30 am because I was absolutely transfixed by the "Different World" marathon on Nick @ Nite. What can I say? Dwayne Wayne & Whitley are an EPIC love story. It's like Romeo & Juliet but without all theMontagues and Capulets and suicide. Oh, and Romeo has these terrifically doofy glasses....

Monday, August 07, 2006

the social hub

I did Burlington this weekend. Hadn't been there in some time and I'd missed it. It's like a game preserve for hot men there. Which is not to say hot men are extinct in the rest of the state, but they are for sure an endangered species I'm sorry to report. When you see a fine lookin' fellah in southeastern VT, it's a bit of an event and aforementioned hottie stands out like hottie fish in a pond full o' mediocre fish. But in B-ton..it's uhhh, sensory overload. But that's a good thing. I really got to flex my ogling muscles, which had actually atrophied somewhat.



But y'know, as much as I love it, I dunno if I could live in such an environment fulltime. It's a bit like when Mags hired a guy in our customer service dept last year. I was really, really STOKED... for all of an hour. But then, the more I thought it over, the more I was hoping the new hire would be gay. (Ended up he was NOT gay and NOT bad lookin' either, but no matter.. he ended up lasting just 2 or 3 mos, so ultimately he was nary a blip on my life's radar) I wanted a gay guy coworker because, well, it would be an opportunity to have a gay guy in my entourage. Not only is a gay guy friend awesome (top perk: you can casually attend an event with a pal, but if said pal keeps his yapper shut it appears you went to the trouble of acquiring an actual date ) it also happens to be one of the mandatory steps on the path to official fabulosity. I just know I have fabulous potential in me...I can feel it...
But I have digressed big time. Aside from befriending me and helping me to attain fabulosity, a gay coworker would simply mean it wasn't another hetero guy in the office. A hetero guy would mean...I dunno, it would just be a HASSLE for me-- y'know- the daily application of makeup, outfit contemplation, and doing something with my hair aside from merely running a brush through it. Probably not as much singing showtunes and talking about poop (bummer!). Anyways if I lived in the big Vermontropolis, it would be that on a macrocosmic scale-- I would probably feel the need to be presentable 24/7 (or nearly that much...22/6 perhaps).
Anyways, I was up there for Jill's bachelorette party and it was a grrrreat time. So the S.O.P. for bachelorette parties... the bride-to-be's posse ornament her like some kind of slut pinata and make her do "challenges". All in good fun, yes, but I detect a slight sadistic undercurrent to the proceedings. It could be my jaded outlook influencing my perception but I don't think so... I think I've made a real observation that's quite SIGNIFICANT to modern sociocultural anthropology. I could yammer on further but methinks I'd be better off to save it for that big anthropological tome I'm workin' on.

I was staring at Jill's tiara -- rhinestones spelling out the word "Bachelorette" and it occurred to me what a limited word that is. It seems no one uses "bachelorette" except in the context of bachelorette parties and appearing on The Dating Game.

So we chatted and grazed @ Jill's sister's casa for a bit and then we went out to the bars. We had a big van taxi...because we's smart and none of us wanted to not drink (heaven forfend!) We went to 3 bars: Red Square, Metronome, and then RiRa's. The abridged version is that I got my drink on, got my dance on and am praying the photographic evidence does NOT get emailed to me. I'm all for making an ass of myself on film, provided I never am subjected to the resulting photos. For instance, when I did my Maine trip the other weekend, I kept picking up seaweed at the beach, well, just because I like playing with seaweed but because I was feeling goofy I pretended like I was chowing down on ucky kelp for the camera. Amy got some pics of me looking pretty maniacal-- well, I presume I looked maniacal, because I did not look at the pics. Anyways, from this weekend, I'm sure there's a good number of pictures of me innebriated and dancing, which, even for the photogenic elite is not a set of photogenic circumstances. And there's a picture of me with some guy who later tried to sit on my lap (he was not invited to do so) ...don't wanna see that one either. Anyways it was all taken on a digital cam, so no hope of that being an undeveloped 35mm roll occupying someone's junk drawer for the next 5yrs and a good possibility that I'll soon get an email with subject line like "Jill's Bachelorette Bash---PICS!!" Yeeeeah, I'll look through 'em (but not without cringing )

When barhopping in Burlington, I've often thought of the city as my state's "social hub" It's like Jane Austen's England...where some of the towns in the countryside will have their small dances periodically, but the real work of the social season is done in London. And all the desperate hubby-hunters make certain to have an aunt in town, or somebody they can bunk with to be near the action "Ah yes, Jemima is staying in London with her neighbor's cousin's godmother for the season.." It's pretty much the same in modern-day VT. I guess the more things change the more they stay the same. (I'd like to know, incidentally , exactly who originated that asinine proverb) So yeah, maybe that's why my bar expeditions have been so fruitless...I've been contemplating Jane Austen too much and therefore unable to fully achieve that blank and vapid look that really lures in the menfolk.

They should tape a season of The Real World in Burlington. I mean, I know B-ton is not one of your major, world renowned cities, but it's got character. And a Real World locale doesn't have to be a HUGE city, it just has to have-- a space to make a spectacular Real World pad, a bar or two, and be able to provide fun made up jobs for a party of 7. I'm sure Burlington has all that. I would start watching the tired old show again, just in the hopes of catching glimpses of familiar sites. And presuming that other Vermonters could very well share in this compulsion, the Real World could accrue up to 623,050 (2005 VT population estimate) new viewers. I don't know much about ratings, (I don't even get how that info is gathered really... es mucho mysterioso) but 600,000 viewers might not amount to much for your average TV show. But The Real World could probably use any little boost it can get, I'd bet. That show is to reality TV as Joan Rivers is to comediennes--y'know still on the air but -OY! sooo old & haggard. I tend to watch the 1st Real World eppy and then forget it for the remainder of the season. If it was set in VT though, I'm sure I'd stick with it better than that. And I know the MTV powers-that-be are cognizant of VT (unlike some other folks I've encountered in NYC) as they shot 2 MADE episodes here (one in Barre, another in Bethel).

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Boob Tubage

I never did catch Rock Star INXS the other night. Even worse, I missed Last Comic Standing. That's why I solemnly vowed that I WOULD catch Project Runway--may God strike out my parents' cat's left eye if I went back on my word. Seriously, that was the terms of my solemn vow. If you make a vow and don't stake anything, you're just half-assing it. So anyways, I did watch Project Runway (Kermit is purring the purr of immense relief, lemme tell ya) and here be my 2 or 3 cents on the episode--
Bradley-Bonnie-Uli :
*Uli—must have been SOOO thrilled & thankful to have immunity.Good poker face, girl, and congrats on suppressing the happy little jig you were wanting to dance
*Bradley—I love Bradley. I’m not entirely convinced of his talent but…I just love him. He reminds me a bit of the dog he had to dress in challenge 3—scruffily cute, sweet natured
*Bonnie—I’m glad she’s gone. She so distracted me with her fickle hairdo. I didn’t know whenever she made an appearance if it was going to be ironed-smooth hair Bonnie or kinked up and crispy haired Bonnie? Ha ha, sorry that was mucho catty. Truly, I thought she did NOT deserve elimination. Her outfit mighta been a little outdated but it wasn’t nearly as horrid as the monstrosity that Robert created (slit up to the—as Vera W. charmingly put it—“fanny” and engulfed by a dumpy Hefty Cinch Sack raincoat—bleeccch!)
Why then, was Bonnie unjustly eliminated?? Was it more karmic retribution like last week’s elimination? (Katherine was unappreciative of sweet Malan and got hers. And Bonnie was slightly offensive to sweet Bradley this ep…) Or (and this is more likely) was Bonnie just too slow to assert a real charismatic persona? I mean, Robert’s already got his niche (Nick II) so isn’t he just better TV???
Robert-Vincent-Kayne--
As for the shoulda been losing team...
*Vincent-- I was sort of appalled by his "blindly-follow-the-leader" policy. Maybe it's because he's an older guy ... could be that an utter obedience to authority was just more drilled into his make-up as a young Vin. But I did NOT expect such submission from...
*Kayne-- Since when does he have trouble opining? Maybe they perceived it as "supportiveness", but K&V, definitely didn't do Robert any favors by keeping their lips zipped. And while I'm yammering on about Kayne, I just hafta say that he's getting to be sort of a pain in the arse. I certainly don't object to him narcing on Keith, but his b*tchy "Do you see that you brought this on yourself??" comment was too much. What is he-- Keith's mom? On the other hand, I LOVED Laura's confessional --"Keith-- what an a**hole. I'm glad he's gone" So I guess b*tchy is alright by me...just not preachy-b*tchy.
*Robert-- Lucked out. He shoulda been booted. Outfit was shockingly barfy--and his sketches had been so terrif. More than just a crap outfit, this was crappy teamwork (or edited to appear that way?? I am soo cynical...) It was not so much a design team as a dictatorship. Which is weird, because Robert sooo doesn't seem like a control-freak tyrant who can't take a suggestion. Also (warning: more catty snarking) I'm waiting for Robert to integrate one of his beloved tightie tank tops into one of his designs. I think he'll find they look even better on the ladies. Probably he just wears 'em around the house for comfort's sake but --oy! Everytime I see a guy in one of those tanks I'm expecting to see a Schwinn nearby (possibly a barbell).
Keith-Jeffrey-Allison-
*Jeffrey-- It's funny that he found Keith so detestable, because for the first couple of episodes I found Keith & Jeffrey to be nearly interchangeable. I mean, they woulda been totally interchangeable if it weren't for that GINORMOUS neck tattoo. But anyhow, J seemed a bit less scary to me in this ep...cooler, more human. I'm warmin' up to him...
*Keith-- Took his dishonorable discharge really well. I mean, he said some sorta bizarro things in his final confessional-- "The worst thing is I didn't even use the books" which I guess is very honestly unremorseful. And then his "I had some more tricks up my sleeve"..that made me chuckle. But weird remarks aside, he was very chill about the whole thing. It would've been pretty plausible for him to be p*ssed..particularly at the informants...but he was civil in his departure and apologized to everybody. I think maybe that's why Kayne's snotty self righteous comment struck me as especially irksome.
Angela--Michael-Laura--
This was the model of teamwork that the V-K&R group shoulda aspired to. See, for example, how Michael & Laura reigned in A's rosette mania. Of course, Angela was pretty hungry for guidance...
*Michael Knight-- I am only disappointed that no one's made a talking car joke yet. Too bad there is no Santino around-- you can bet he wouldn't pass up such an opportunity.
*Angela-- The outfit was very cute and I think it was a fair victory. It was cute how stoked Angela was with the win. Yeah, I'm sure she knows how out of her league she is, but geeez, I can't blame her for wishing all the others would quit dumping on her. Why don't they dump on Vincent instead (or as well)? He's every bit as loopy...
Two other disappointments-- Michael Kors is back next week. I got accustomed to having Vera Wang on the judges panel. I liked her. She said "fanny". Also it was nice (for a while) to have just one judge who was not trying to rip the contestants' hearts out.
I was also displeased with Tim Gunn's little plug for the Saturn Roadster. Where was it he went? A monastery? An abbey? Whatev! He should've picked up Andrae and made haste for the nearest Red Lobster.

Aside from PR, I was also tuned in to MTV Hits. On the free preview channel, like I toldja a few posts back. Except...I dunno why I'm still getting it. I generally get a different channel on 99 every week but the MTV Hits preview is goin' on 2wks now. Maybe it's because of MTV's birthday. Actual MTV is completely ignoring its 25th. I remember they made a big fat deal about their 20th but for the 25th I've heard nary a mention. Why??? Is MTV ashamed? It's now too old for its own target demographic, is that it??
Anywhooo, I gotta tell you about some of the vids I've caught recently...
Finally caught Justin Timberlake's new video "Sexyback". So it's more like his audition to be the new 007, right? Silly JT. Don't he know he's at least 15 yrs too young? Maybe he thought they were doing like a James Bond Jr -type prequel or something. Anyways I dug the song. I think it will take a few more viewings for me to comprehend what's going on plot-wise in that vid...
I am lukewarm on Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man" (it's good, yet nothing I would spend $$ on) but I just love that 30s era aesthetic in that video. I also love how she's arisen, Phoenix-like from the miasma of skank that was "Dirrrrty" and is now very classily sexy. I don't think that classy is meant to be an adverb, but I'm forging ahead, people. It's sort of like her revenge on Brit (revenge for what? Well, for one-Britney inexplicably got the better, tongue-ier smooch from Madonna that time on the MTV music awards) Now C's the stylin' one, married to a respectable guy who doesn't burden the public with his overt skeeziness or bizarro Portugese rap songs. And Britney--oy, don't get me started..
The video for Panic! at the Disco's "I Write Sins not Tragedies" is MAAAAARVELOUS. I like that song-- it's the only 1 of theirs I know, really. But I think, merely by perusing the back of their CD (onetimeatBestBuy) that I like them lots... all their song names are at least 1/2 a sentence long. They seem to be a particularly verbose group of fellows and I happen to value verbosity (AS IF YOU COULDN'T TELL!). I hadn't seen their vid previously, and it blew me away.
Did you know that Alan "Jason Seaver" Thicke has a male spawn, one who is out there on the airwaves "chasin' the dream"? Robin Thicke has a song-- I presume it be his first single...I mean the dude has prior albums (I did some amazon.com research) but this is the first I've heard of him so any previous singles hardly count. Anyways it's called "Wanna Love You Girl" and it's awfully repetitive and more or less CRAP. If it weren't for the Pharrell cameo, I'd think it was the 2nd coming of Color Me Badd. But I can't be too disdainful of li'l Robin-- first off he collaborated with my boy Pharrell so he's got a smidge of the blessed Pharrell taint on him. Also, he is very visibly his father's son. He totally has a Jason Seaver schnozz and the same shape hair (and I didn't think coiffures were genetically passed on) and I find that strangely endearing.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

in the still o' the night I hear the wolf cry honey, sneakin' around your door..

Not to dwell on past postings, but I gotta give myself perseverence points for posting that David Coverdale pic. It didn't take me all that long to make the pic, Microsoft Paint masterpiece that it is (I'm not technologically hi-falutin' enough to be dealing with Photoshop just yet) but it took me for-freeeking-EVER to post it to the blog. I musta tried a kazillion times--both at home and here at work. It would give me the pop up that reads "Image Uploaded" with the DONE button to click but then the pic still would not appear on my posting. And then today I kept getting this whack message about my COOKIES. Quit yo' cookies jibba jabba and post mah damn picture foo'!! I was extreeeemely vexed and frustrated...it was like Mucha's birthday all over again.

I made a fairly kick ass dinner last night. It was a garlicy chicken penne. It coulda used some shaved parm and mushrooms but I was improvising with whatever I could find in the 'rent's kitchen and mushrooms & parm were not available. Actually if I'd dug into the insanely copius stores of canned goods my parents have been stockpiling since Nixon was in office, I probably woulda come up with a can o' shrooms after a half hour or so. But I didn't even look...first off, I love fresh mushrooms but find the canned variety to be an utterly different (and unsavory) dealie-o. Also, I don't exactly share my parent's conviction that any food in a can (regardless of any "Use By" date stamped on it) is good eatin' for at least 3 millennia.

I was squatting in the folks' casa one weekend, when they were gone outta town, and there was absolutely nothing worthwhile on the telly. These are the times when I always end up watching Food Network. Watching Food Network makes me simultaneously peckish and compelled to be culinarily creative. So here's Giada De Laurentis (she is like, the WORST F.N. personality, by the way I really dislike her) is saying what a simple recipe she's doing, that you can just make with everyday items you've got laying about the pantry-- y'know: fresh thyme, capers, creme fraiche, that sorta stuff. And I go out to the kitchen to find... American cheese, saltines, canned potatoes...y'know that sorta stuff. It was a pisser...having your cheftastic skillz muzzled like that.
A'righty kiddies..time for me to jet. I have some shopping to do before Rock Star INXS graces my tube....