Scalia, funster that he his, noted that handguns are Americans' preferred weapon of self-defense in part because "[they] can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police."
You know the saying, " Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime."?
Well, I like to apply a similar sentiment to volunteerism. In other words, we can all bitch and moan about the problems in this world and hope and pray that maybe someone will come along and fix those problems for us. Or we can light some fires under our own lazy ass toes and go out and do something. If you have passion, Party People, you can move mountains. Or maybe a bit o' that ol' dinero to help out a worthy cause or two.
As many of you know, my main cause is animal welfare, specifically as it applies to pit bulls. I won't go into all the reasons why here. Suffice it to say, these dawgs, once America's favorite canines, are presently getting an über bad, totally undeserved rap in these hysteria-motivated times. Le sigh. It's tough out there for da pits.
But plenty of awesome, impassioned people around the United States are fighting back, working towards the day when Breed Specific Legislation is a thing of the Dark Ages past, and responsible people everywhere have the right to own whatever kind of dog they want, including the American Pit Bull Terrier.
One of those people working towards that day, a local gal named Kassie Brown, is putting together a gorgeous calendar inspired by the organization Pin Ups for Pups. It's called "Burque Babes & Bullies" and it's going to feature twelve stunning photos of Albuquerque pin up gals with their pit bulls. Even better, Kassie and her girlfriends are donating 100 percent of net proceeds to help me and other impassioned pittie people continue in our efforts to spring the best of the breed from our shelters, place them in loving, responsible homes, and educate law enforcement and the public at large about this wonderful but misunderstood breed.
Calendar is due out in November. Stay tuned to these pages for ordering info.
Now, go out and inspire some passion in yourself, won't cha?
Especially when it entails covering the grand press opening of a swanky new casino hotel/resort just down the road from Moi. You writers out there will know what I'm talking about. You get the press release via email the week before the event, during which time you manage to skip over all pertinent information except the words FREE FOOD, and immediately mark the day on your calendar in red. This is all you think about for the next five days because, well, you write for a living and thus are easily amused.
Morning of event, you put on your big girl clothing and shoes, hop in the car, hit the trip mileage calculator button thingee on the speedometer ('cause you may bill the client for the time, but you bill Uncle Sam for the wear and tear) and head out.
Arrive. Sign in at front desk. Slap on name tag. Stand around nodding importantly to fellow members of the press while at the same time making smart comments about the decor and taking mental notes about the fact that your city's number one news anchor looks like she just had her boobs done and what in the name of all that is holy is she wearing on her feet?
Take the 1.5 bazillion hour tour of the facilities, led by a way overdressed PR rep who looks like they just graduated Junior High School, and who proceeds to drone on and on about distinctive use of native materials blah blah blah and innovative incorporation of green build concepts yackety yack yack yack and renewed dedication to economic development for tribal members yada yada yada. Scramble frantically through brain for an intelligent sounding question that isn't already answered on the press release, fail, and then sigh with relief as number one news anchor in the city does your job for you. This is why, despite the horrific shoes and balloon boobs, she is on television and you are, well, not. Scribble your pen against your notepad, nod thoughtfully for the 10 gazillionth time and mentally wonder when in the heck you get to eat.
Because, really, outside of the schwag? Food is the true blue reason why any of us bother to show up for these events at all.
Which, in my case always raises a pertinent question: Just how much deep fried Panko/coconut shrimp Proscuitto wrapped pan seared scallops Bruschetta dusted with apricot glaze and topped with Gorgonzola and diced pear in a port reduction sauce oysters on the half shell king crab legs prime rib with ancho chile horseradish sauce strawberry cheesecake pistachio dusted chocolate mouse bombs Can I eat at one sitting?
You'd be surprised.
Now, excuse ay Moi while I roll myself over to the sofa for a Fresca. And check out my schweet schwag.
You know, I think Michelle Obama just sealed my vote for Barack. Not because I agree with her (or her husband's) blithering Marxist Lite claptrap, but because, well, let's face it Party People. The gal can dress.
Neither of the candidates have presented me with a more pressing reason for punching the ticket in their favor. So why not the fact that Michelle has almost overnight raised the stock price for Black House/White Market with her decision to wear one of their $149 frocks for her appearance on The View the other day?
eBay's already all abuzz. There's one up for auction right now, a size 6 petite, that's up to $76 and climbing. Marxist, Schmarxist, capitalism will always win so long as The eBay exists. And Michelle – or, for that matter, Barack – isn't going to be anywhere near Congress, so lighten up.
If Michelle does nothing but serve as an example for millions of American women around the country that you can break out of schlumpy without paying an arm and a leg to do so, well, heck. That's a good thing. Besides, who else was going to do it? Hilary? Sweet Jeebus, that woman set fashion back eons with her dogged polyester pant-suiting. You mean to tell me all that money makes such a succulent sound but it can't buy a decent Chanel?
And, despite the fact that Cindy McCain is an awesomely gorgeous woman, well, let's face it. John did not age well. Sorry to say this, but the man looks like a frog. I mean, could you imagine the two of them posing for a photo like this?
I think not.
Which brings me to this additional point of enlightenment. Maybe, after eight gazillion years of buttoned up Bushes, it isn't change the American people want. It's sex appeal.
That's the title of the back page feature in New Mexico magazine, and it refers to the fact that even in today's 21st century, many people around the country and the globe still seem to think the Land of Enchantment is, in actuality, part of Mexico and not the United States.
I've been getting this as long as I can remember. As a kid, my NYC born 'n' bred cousins used to ask me if we had indoor plumbing and running water. Oh, and if the local Indians lived in tee-pees. Never mind that New Mexico farmers have been moving water across vast distances of land in a sophisticated series of interstate acequias long before the Pilgrims even touched their tacky-ass buckled shoes on the shores of the New World and that only Plains Indians did the tee-pee thing. To the contrary, New Mexico's native peoples have been living in highly organized townships called Pueblos for over 1,000 years and, before that, in highly organized cliff dwelling communities for gah only knows how long.
In fact, one of those pueblos, Acoma's Sky City below, is the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States, believed to have been established sometime in the 9th century AD. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Jamestown.
Makes you wonder what in the heck fire we're teaching kids in our schools, huh? Because people are still confuzzled about New Mexico's official status. Witness this over-the-phone exchange, reported in New Mexico magazine, and relayed by a secretary of a Los Alamos, New Mexico (you know, where the nuclear bomb was invented?) firm, trying to order something from a company located somewhere on the civilized Eastern Seaboard:
Customer Service Rep: And where would you like this order shipped?
Secretary: 123 Main St., Los Alamos, New Mexico.
CSR : We don't ship out of the country.
Secretary: That's fine, but this address is in the country.
CSR: No, you said to ship it to New Mexico.
Secretary: Yes, New Mexico is a state in the US.
CSR: Sorry, but we can't ship out of the US.
Secretary: Do you have a supervisor I can talk to, please?
CSR Supervisor: This is Tim. Can I help you?
Secretary: I hope so, Tim. Your employee doesn't seem to understand that New Mexico is a state in the United States, and so refuses to ship me your product.
Supervisor: Well, that's true. We can't ship out of the country. I'm sorry ma'am.
Secretary, raising her voice a little: Have you never even heard of the state of New Mexico? It's one of the big, square ones? It's right between Texas and Arizona? It's one of the 50 United States?
Supervisor: I'm sorry, it's just our policy not to ship out of the US.
Secretary: Tim, let me get this straight. Your company is going to lose a $14,000 order because the people in your customer service department are too moronic to know or comprehend that the state of New Mexico is a part of the United States?
Supervisor: Yes, ma'am. That's our policy.
Secretary, completely exasperated: Well, I guess there's nothing more to be said, is there?
My bats are here – a pallid bat nursing colony that since the beginning of time has parked itself under the beams of our porch to raise their young and decapitate every Jerusalem cricket in the universe, cavalierly discarding their carcasses onto the floor, a habit which never fails to just gross me right the fork out. And, despite the fact that S.B. built them a rocking new bat condo two years ago, they still insist on living under the porch and shitting all over my stucco.
Sigh. What am I gonna do. Serve them an eviction notice? Besides, they're really, really cute.
The hummers have showed up, too. Greedy little bastards. 'Nuff said. Except, I should own stock in Sugar Cane.
And the rabbits. Oy. Here's one I keep tossing our rotten apples to in an effort to guide its attention away from my marigolds, basil, and parsley. Look at the lil' fucker go. He had that thing gone in, like, 2.458 seconds. Then he moved on to the basil.
Where was Ivan, you ask?
But you know who I can't find anywhere? Madonna. See, last summer, she and her girlfriends were all:
But so far this year, the condo remains empty. Sniff. I miss my spiders.
Oh, and this thing? Hasn't changed a bit.
I poked at it the other day. Squishy. Double sniff. 'Twas a tomb in the end, most likely.
SHOES TO END THE WEEK: (Or, who says there's no good porn for women?)
Oscar, you can do no wrong. A flirty skirt shoe for sure. And in the fall, with tights and slacks. See, how practical I am? Always thinking ahead to future outfits. And, as always with high heels, you get in a jam, you just take them off, flip them over, and they become quite an effective weapon.
* * *
Ah, these. I love them simply because they exist. And because they come from the Church of Christian Louboutin, never mind what was most likely in the Kool-Aide that day at the design table. Plus, I bet SHE could really get her Icelandic Warrior on wearing these. If she keeps off the ice.
* * *
Is there any better way in which to channel your inner Rosalind Russell than with a retro suede t-strap?
I don't think so.
* * *
Finally, the most gorgeous blue suede shoes in the universe. I want to marry them and make beautiful blue suede shoe babies.
There are words I adore – "eclectic," "bling," "eBay," "Corvette Stingray," and "do you want wine with that?", to name just a few.
But muffin? I hate even thinking the word. It's just never up to any good. Consider: "Muffin Top." Which is what you get when you are over 30 and the only exercise in which you indulge involves a slo-mo trudge back and forth to the refrigerator for your fifth hit of Ben and Jerry's that evening alone, and you're doing it, not in your bathrobe or some such other cover up, but in one of those candy apple pink belly cropped tops that's two sizes way too small but who cares, it was on sale. At Hollister. Yew.
However, being as I also bake, there is no way to fully escape the dreaded M-Word when I get a hankering for something other than cupcake/cookie/cake/pie/mousse. So if you like 'em too, head on over to the baking blob where I try once and for all to answer the age old question when embarking upon an afternoon of M-Word baking: Butter or Oil?
Which is NOT where I went because I cannot afford to stay here:
Which is the most muy fabuloso hoteloso I've ever seen. And if I can't stay at the Wynn, I just walk on by. Besides, gamble with money? Surely you jest.
I only LANDED in Vegas so that I could make the fifty bazillion hour trek through the most lonesome section of the Mojave desert known to man and a few coyotes to get to the good stuff in Utah. (Insert here: crickets chirping and a bunch of covered wagon-type women schlumping along behind their husbands going, "John? You dragged me away from my cushy Bostonian town home with the lawn and gardens and ladies luncheons and adorable outfits to pioneer this?") Look, I'm not making this up. Is this not the ne plus ultra of desolate, or what?
And you're talking to a gal who loves her some desert. But this is just wrong. This is mother nature and God pissed off at the same time.
There is some civilization. It's called Mesquite, Nevada, and it's located about twenty-five minutes northeast out of Vegas on the border with Arizona, and it's, like, God really, really on a bender, because imagine the photo above, only with a golf course, a Wal-Mart, twelve Taco Bell Mansion subdivisions, and a casino offering $39 massages and all you can eat King Crab legs – in the desert, Party People – for only $15.95 per person. Oh, and somewhere a few miles right before all this, someone had taken the trouble to hike out into the middle of the dusty scrub and decorate it with a big ol' "Ron Paul for President" sign.
Anyway. That was day one. I was not driving. I was looking out the window and thanking my lucky stars that I wasn't born a pioneer woman.
Okay, so then we get there and there's lots of hiking, climbing, running, jumping, boot camping. And eating. With high heels. And a couple glasses of Pinot Grigio. Well, okay, a lot of glasses of Pinot Grigio. Cause that's how I roll when I spa.
Then, the trip back. More crickets. More me thanking my lucky stars and wishing reading in the car didn't make me nauseated.
Then there is the fifty bazillion hours we sit in the Las Vegas airport. Any of you ever get stuck in this 9th circle of Dante's hell? Used to be, there was nothing to eat here except Cinnabons and $15.00 Wolfgang Puck wrap sandwiches. Now there is some place named something like The Tequilera or something, that serves up surly waiters nicknamed Gucci, $15.00 Cuervo 1800 margaritas, and the most gawd awful food known to mankind, only made fifty million times worse by the fact that there was no salsa to go along with it because of the tomato salmonella scare.
So not only did I end my trip hung over and with a grumbly tummy, I ended it famished.