Thursday, July 31, 2008

When the Going Gets Tough . . .

. . . Some folks do drugs or drink. Over eat. Have inappropriate sex with strangers in Eastern European train stations.

Moi? I help out the economy.

Two recent purchases.

Numero Uno:

Normally, I am not a sweater. In fact, so little do I sweat regardless of exertion level or outside temperature, I'm sure I would be considered a genetic freak by any number of scientists who study these things. But it's been one hell of a rainy summer, with moisture hanging thick as snot in the air, and so I now schwitz copiously whenever I venture outside. Run a few miles or hit a bucket of balls, the result is the same. Yew. So I figure, this will keep the sweat out of my eyes for my race this weekend. And, I think it looks kinda über cool.


Remember how everyone in the universe thinks one of our fifty is missing? Well, the advantage to THAT is that I got away Scot Free in the Duty Free, scoring both some deeply discounted Clinique SPF 15 gloss and one of my fave perfumes of all time. I love, love, love, this cherry pie meets Bulgarian rose meets vanilla and musk perfume. It's deeeeeeeelightful, but, alas, MIA in this part o' the country.

"Gracias, Señorita" is what the sales girl said after handing me my shiny new purchases. Oh, no. Thank you. And your obvious lack of geographical savvy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mute Monday: Brand

Just popping in from a Marriott in Detroit with the following observations:

1. The Detroit airport no longer looks like it was built by someone whose design sensibilities included a tongue-in-cheek homage to Jakarta International Airport circa 1975, minus Mel Gibson When He Was Young and Sexy and Not Bat Shit Crazy, Y'all.

2. The Detroit airport is now this light and airy thing reminiscent of something Eero Saarinen would have designed and even includes one oh-so-über nifty Scandinavian design shop called the Pangborn Connection that K9 would die for and which I had to hold myself back from entering.

Soooo, what does this have to do with Mute Monday?

Well, Moi's fave brand of course. Otherwise known as:

Be still my heart.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Under Pressure

I want to be like this bumblebee I found bopping around one of my butterfly bushes yesterday: amiably going about its business in a calm, unstressed manner. Unlike the honeybee, bumblebees do not live in large hives, nor do they lose their stinger and die when they sting something. Which they rarely do, because they are exceptionally good-natured. Their nests are small, their family units intimate, so they are not under obligation to produce honey for commercial use. Their value simply lies in their ability to fly from blossom to blossom, pollinating this and that for the betterment of mankind as a whole. They're also really cute and make a soothing buzzing sound as they go about their business.

However, for the next 4-6 weeks, I will be more like the honeybee – work, work, work, work, working. Because I have stupidly over committed herself with both work and family obligations. The sound I am making is: ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH! The feeling I am feeling is : Oh, shit. It all starts by leaving my happy hive tomorrow at the butt crack of dawn for four days in Detroit and it won't end until sometime around August 31st.

Okay, universe: lesson learned. Before the fact, even. But I still have to get through the fact.

I'll check in periodically this week. In the meantime, enjoy, Party People, and be like the bumblebee, won't you?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In the Time of Chimpanzees I Was a Monkey

Tip-toeing back into a blob post . . . 'cause, shhhhhh, who on earth knows what's going to set y'all off next. Given what's happened here this week, I have decided to put on the back burner a number of posts, including my rant against Dish Network's dumb ass decision to cancel its contract with Zoom Network, which means no beloved Fashion Television por Moi. Cough. Sputter. Light. Fading. Must. Hold. On.

Instead, I will share something that makes my heart so happy I'm almost embarrassed for myself. Beck is coming to Albuquerque's Kiva Auditorium on Tuesday, September 23rd of this year. Yeah, yeah, I know he's a Scientologist and for that I have yet to figure out how to forgive him. But I think Odelay and Midnight Vultures just might take care of that for me.

If, like Moi, you adore Beck so much you have a lyric memorized for every one of your life's experiences (you've only got one finger left, and it's pointing at the door) please feel free to share your favorite song and/or lyric. If you don't know who Beck is, goodness gracious, what rock have you been hiding under these past fifteen years – go find out now! And if you don't like Beck, then, WTF? Non. You are beyond zee help.

As for Moi, trying to pick a favorite Beck song is like trying to choose between Louboutins. But this one is up there for sure. One of the cheeriest pop songs ever written about a serial killer:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Today is a Good Day to Die

If you are a squirrel.

Thanks to the diligent work of the Big Shamu, I have in my possession incontrovertible proof of a heinous act of terror perpetuated upon one of our most sacred members of human society. Thankfully, said member possesses quick reflexes and a wealth of resources when dealing with such threats.

Acting alone, but with instructions from the top brass operating out of the dreaded Topeka Terrorist Cell, this deluded kamakazi critter launches an attack from above:

But with her reflexes tuned to eleven,
Martha the Undaunted snags the lil' forker.

And makes a lovely neck scarf.

Tremble, Lieutenant Maximum Damage, before the fate that awaits you as soon as dawn breaks and I've finished my coffee and found my shoes. You and your kind, you're headed to Bergdorf's. And the Pirate's BBQ.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mute Monday: Science

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Squirrel Wars for Mute Monday, theme Science. One of my favorite topics. Which means, can I remain Mute about it? Not so much.

I got a late start on the topic and am afraid I will be copying most of what everyone else has set up, so I will stick once again with only one image. Of one of the greatest minds ever. Who came to us out of the dark ages of mysticism, fascism, fear, and conformity and believed that just about everything was possible. How cool is that?

Who do we have today who compares? Silent voices. Unseen faces. Toiling away while the rest of us line up like lemmings to pull the blanket right back over our heads. I hear there's property you can buy on the moon. In the meantime, question everything, 'kay?

Friday, July 18, 2008

To the Victor Goes the Slimy Spoils

See this famblee of squirrels?

After we finished the pool two summers ago, they moved themselves in to a tony little spot under our decking. Mom, dad, a passel o' chillruns. Dad's in insurance and travels. Mom drinks and wanders the pool deck in inappropriately sized bikinis. The children are lil' punks to the core.

Of course, Snow White's Freakin' Wilderness Camp has not been the same since.

The squirrels, they completely took over the neighborhood. They knock over the bird baths. They steal my fifty million dollar a pound sunflower chips directly from the feeder. They chase the bluebirds. They titter and chitter from the tree tops, making me think I'm hearing voices. And they drive Ivan nuts.

Ivan, he'll chase or tree anything that moves: cats, squirrels, chipmunks, horny toads, rabbits, crows. Once, at our old house, he treed a bobcat. So intent was he on killing that thing, S.B. and I had to drag him off the hilltop back to the house and lock him inside for eight full hours so he could get his mind off the kitty. Fuggedaboutit. Later that day when we finally let him out, he bee-lined himself for that tree and sat sentry for another hour, whining the whole time for the bobcat.

I've written before about Ivan' love of killing all manner of creatures. All that's changed since is that he's a little bit slower.

Still, if he's patient enough and works the program, he can still get his man:


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blobus Interruptus, Or: Why, Oh Why, Didn't I Go to Law School?

My Fantasy:

My Reality:

I crawled out from my cave and went to see Sex in the City this weekend. I know, I know. I must be the last known female in the universe to have done so. Well, all I have to say (other than ohmyfreakingodiwantthoseshoesbeltbagdressapartmentvacation!) is: okay, where do I sign up for the life in which I spend an hour or so tapping out a sassy lil' column on sex and candy and then get to take the rest of the day to shop for Manolos and lunch for sushi?

Huh? Tell Moi. Where?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Men Play the Game; Women Know the Score

On Wednesday, my good buddy Wicked Thistle and I met up with our respective laptops at a local coffee shop with the goal of eating overpriced pastries and sipping trendy, overpriced caffeinated drinks. And to eventually stop gossiping, eating, and sipping, and maybe tap out some writerly-type stuff on our laptops.

Wicked is a full time teacher and a closet writer. I’m a most-of-the-time writer and a not-so-closet shoe fetishist, which is ironic much, because on those rare occasions when I muster up enough cojones to actually sit down and calculate my really real per hour pay? I shouldn’t be buying a newspaper much less a pair of these:


Normally, I’d never go to a coffee shop with my laptop to write. When I have an assignment, I write at home. On my iMac. In my running clothing because while there may be just enough time to get in a workout before the day starts, there most certainly isn’t enough time to change and shower. Yew. I know. Glamorous.

Anyway, there are several reasons why I make an exception for Wicked:

A. She is a most excellent writer and when I am around her, I am inspired to excellence. Or at least shorter sentences.

B. She never, ever, ever finishes an entire piece of cake and since we know each other well enough by now to share girl germs, that means I get extra.

C. She is two years into a relationship with a man who sounds suspiciously similar to Moi’s own enginemeering-type Spousal Unit, and therefore the path she is treading is one upon which I have already tripped. In flats. Which means I get to have a laugh or two.

So as a prelude to writing, Wicked and I did the gossip thing, and then the what do our recyclables say to the neighbors about our drinking habits thing, and then the, well we’re not really all that bothered by Daniel Craig’s small headedness (and do these celebretard types, like, Google themselves in their off hours, and, if so, do you think there's a chance DC's lawyers would send an email asking us to cease and desist in our disparaging talk about his body parts?) thing, and then, one final thing before actually writing, the All About Our Spousal Units thing.

During which convo I made an observance that isn’t it interesting how some men, upon tipping over into the big 4-Uh-O territory, also seem at the same time to turn ever so slowly into curmudgeons when it comes to the goings-on in the world?

I said to Wicked that I’m not sure I could handle it if, in our twilight years, S.B. morphed from Super Duper Sexy Calm Guy into Bat Shit Crazy Yelling at the Television Guy. Especially if said morphing involved the frequent use of the phrase “back in my day” and the wearing of those weird ass polyester jumpsuits with the little belts at the waist.

Even if S.B. does it during our really, really twilight years together, that is still no excuse, because even at eighty bazillion years of age I will have nonetheless doggedly upheld MY end of the bargain by not putting myself out to pasture with buckets of Ben and Jerry’s and all-you-can-eat buffets with the girls. In other words, I will most likely fool myself into thinking I still have a shot at the tennis pro down the road (an attitude predicated, of course, on there being mucho plastic surgery breakthroughs within the next forty years.)

And while Wicked did give me her classic, “Good grief, what planet are you from?” look, she did eventually have to agree that this would, indeed, be a relationship killer of epic proportions.

Naturally, the conversation then swung 'round to present day annoyances, like the way our spousal units flip with white lightening speed through the channels whenever commercials pop up and how that is, in actuality, tremendously more irritating than actually watching the commercials themselves.

Which is when I dispensed yet another brilliant piece of relationship advice: Always, always, always be on the lookout for ever more clever ways to mess with your man’s mind. In other words: hide the remote. It's the marital equivalent of putting peanut butter on the roof of the dog’s mouth. You’ll only get away with it a couple of times, but those couple times? Priceless.

So, I want to know: what's your relationship equivalent of peanut butter?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So Shocked, No Title Comes to Mind

New York City's Chrysler Building is one of the most hands down beautiful things ever constructed. Not only is it an American architectural icon, it is symbolic as well of a kind of clear-eyed economic and artistic vision that is in woefully short supply today.

And now Prudential Financial has sold its 75 percent stake in the building to the Abu Dhabi Investment Council. The business arm of Abu Dhabi's gub'ment.

What was that line in Blood Diamond, where Leonardo di Caprio responds to Jennifer Connelly's request for an interview? "No thanks, I usually like to get kissed before I get f - - - ed?"

Uh, huh.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

No, But I Did See the Movie

You know, for a writer with aspirations of one day publishing one of the forty million crap novels I have languishing on my hard drive, I sure don't read a lot of contemporary literary fiction. That's because I think most of it is pretty lame-o.

Recently, my feelings were confirmed by one of my fave crap magazines of all time, Entertainment Weekly. Of their recent listing of the 100 Best New Literary Classics of Last 25 Years, I've read, oh, maybe a tenth of one percent.

But I've seen every single one of their 100 Best Movies.

That's because in almost every case these days, it seems, the movie ends up being better than the book. You couldn't prod me to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy for all the Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby in the world, but I thought the movies were nothing less than breathtakingly epic. Same goes for No Country For Old Men (we'll get to McCarthy's books in a second). About the only exception to this rule that I can think of is The Golden Compass, which sucks major ass. The only entertaining thing about it is:

A. Scoping out what, exactly, Nicole Kidman has had done to her face (Ah, hah! There, see, she raised a brow!)


B. Trying to decide if Daniel Craig is, indeed, über hawt or only meh-I'd-do-him-in-a-pinch-I-guess hawt.

Sorry, where was I?

Oh. So, I couldn't disagree more vehemently with Entertainment's choice of the number one best books in the last 25 years than if you'd suddenly pitched Moi into a room full of Marxists who were all wearing Crocs and gypsy skirts.

Why? Because Entertainment magazine's pick for best book is, steady now, Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

Yup. That's a big 10-4 WTF!?!?

Let me cut to the chase: In my opinion, Cormac McCarthy is no writer. Yes, I said it. He may be a thinker, and, as such, reveals an unusual willingness to take Big Mac-sized bites out of grand themes like good versus evil, man versus nature, fate versus free will. But he executes those themes with all the elegance of a third grader wielding a Sharpie to illustrate what mommy made him for breakfast that morning. McCarthy doesn't write so much as he lists. And he does so with such joyless, humorless determination, one has to wonder if his preoccupations are more sadistic than they are redemptive.

And my Gah do the critics just dribble themselves silly extolling the virtues of McCarthy's "economic" style. Puhleeze. There's economic and then there's downright stunted. Take Hemingway, for instance. That man put the curt in economic for sure. But he was also elegant and eagle-eyed, every word serving both form and function. Witness his cut-to-the-chase description of Francis Macomber's wife in one of the finest short stories ever written. After a couple short paragraphs of spot on observations about her hard-heartedness, he sums her up by calling her, "simply enameled in that American female cruelty."

That's so excruciatingly well done, it makes me never want to pluck at another keyboard for the rest of my life and just go sell candy at the mall.

McCarthy, however, gives me hope.

Check this out:

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before.

That, Party People, is The Road's freakin' opening sentence. A sentence so clunky and tongue twisting, it just makes me want to throw the whole thing into the compost pile where all those clunky little words will thankfully decompose and bring their beauty not to the world of words, but to my basil plants instead.

Wait, though; it gets better. Check out what passes for dialogue in Cloud Cuckoo McCarthy Land:

Can I ask you something? he said. Yes. Of course. Are we going to die? Sometime. Not now. And we're still going south. Yes. So we'll be warm. Yes. Okay. Okay what? Nothing. Just okay. Go to sleep. Okay. I'm going to blow out the lamp. Is that okay? Yes. That's okay. And then later in the darkness: Can I ask you something? Yes. Of course you can. What would you do if I died? If you died I would want to die too. So you could be with me? Yes. So I could be with you. Okay.

Whoa. Not only is McCarthy smoking some pretty good weed, his editor is for sure whacked on crack. 'Cause that shit don't float unless you're high on drugs and sporting an extremely itchy case of The Emperor's New Clothes.

So what do I think is the greatest book written in the past twenty-five years? To me, it's a three way tie between Lonesome Dove, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and Bonfire of the Vanities. Where did they fall on Entertainment magazine's list? #24, #73, and #57, respectively. All behind Waiting to Exhale, which is a nifty lil' piece of Emancipated Chick Lit If You Happen To Like That Kind of Thing, but come on, and Jonathan Franz's The Corrections, a novel so stultifyingly insignificant that you need a microscope to plumb all one-quarter-of-an-inch of its depths.

Another surprise? Not a single book by James Lee Burke, in my opinion, one of the greatest writers putting words on paper today.

I swear, someone just needs to put me in charge of everything. Until then, I'm putting the book down and heading off to the movies.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mute Monday: Patriot

“It's a great country, where anybody can grow up to be president . . . except me.”

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, Us!

Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness – it all rocks.

I also can't help thinking on this day of all the people I know who emigrated to this country and made it their own. Starting with my mother. This is a page from one of the many photo album/scrapbooks she kept throughout her life, and it contains just a few mementos of her voyage over to New York City from Germany in 1963.

Seeing this makes me think of the incredible price she and others like her paid to come here. And I'm not just talking cash. Can YOU imagine leaving all that you've ever known – your place of birth, your family, your friends, your way of life – to embark on a voyage to a place totally unknown to you except as an idea? That's unbelievably, mind-boggingly gutsy.

She's not the only person I know who did this.

To all of Moi's immigrant friends – from Germany and South Africa, Iran and Iraq, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Great Britain – I know this isn't the place where you were born, but I do so hope that it has become the place you call home.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Shoes For Thought

Some of you loved them. Some of you hated them. Most of you doubted I would ever wear them. Well, I'm happy to report that, in the sixty five thousand seconds since I first Dillard's carded and couponed their happy asses into my closet, I've worn them exactly SEVEN times. Yes, indeedy. That comes out to, let's see, uh, divide by seven, carry the five, and then, uh, $3.50 per wearing!

And I'm about to do it again. Because tomorrow is a holiday and we all know what holidays mean to me. Yes, yes, a sanctioned opportunity to stuff myself silly and not go for a run, but also: BLING. Holidays are when the shiny shit comes out of the closet, Party People. And what could be blingier than our Glorious Nation's Birthday?

Most importantly, however, another wearing means that my total price-to-wearings ratio is now at . . . uh . . . um. . . Never mind. I think one mathematical calculation is enough for one day. Let's just say, the more I wear these, the lower that ratio number will go until, ta da! Sometime next year I'll be wearing these babies for next to nothing.

So what will you be wearing to celebrate the Fourth?

And please, do not tell me one of these:

Party hearty. Party safe. But do NOT party fugly.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Throwing Your Two Bit Cares Down the Drain

Despite the fact that my poleetical leanings tilt decidedly towards the libertarian end of the spectrum with some slight slouching towards anarcho-capitalism (only wearing a really good outfit and heels), it is indeed a fact, Jack, that most of the people in my life are Demochromatics. And I love them anyway. Because, like Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.

But my friends also know that I can't pass up a good opportunity to point out the essential idiocy of ANY politician and that the Demochromatics are, well, up next.

I mean, check out this bit of nonsense.

First of all, of course the shindig is being held in Denver. So apropos. Once a bastion of laissez faire Old West spirit, Denver in the past 50 years has devolved into what I can only describe as one of our country's most starched-stiff fascist city states and that's with whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry on top. It may slum like it's all ultra 21st century P.C. cool, but behind the scenes, it will slap you silly for one misstep outside the status quo.

Irony much?

Gah, how I would LOVE to be there to witness all those buttoned up Chamber of Commerce wags get jiggy with their hippified teen spirits. Ah, I love the smell of warmed over patchouli in a crowd. NOT.

But you know what really horrifies Moi? The SWAG. Organic cotton fanny packs? Are you kidding me? Really? That's, like, so 1995. Besides, not everyone there is going to be outfitted like they just got out of yoga class. Arianna Huffington, bless her liberal ass heart, at least knows how to dress. I simply can't imagine The Fraulein deigning to wear one of those things.

Psst . . . Arianna, dahlink . . . come on over to Moi's side. I'll give you candy. Gift certificates to Sephora. Andrew Sullivan, Camile Paglia, and P.J. O'Rourke at your table. Duck confit, shot that morning by Troll's cousin Boo and prepared by I Am Not. Lots and lots of champagne and tequila. Cakes by EmmaK. Moi's Weapons of Mass Distraction flitting about in flirty skirts and high heels making all the big boys blush. Live performances by Bjork and Beck, Primus and White Stripes. And Justin Timberlake. Dancing on tables. Coat room antics. General all around, good natured, no-worries-about-our-carbon-foot-prints-and-whether-
the-noise-will-impact-the-mating-habits-of-the-spotted-owl debauched fun.