Friday, October 31, 2008

Whether Tempter Sent or Tempest Tossed

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things:
to love
what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life
depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.
– Mary Oliver

Happy Dia de las Muertos.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's My Party and I'll Wear My Heels if I Want To

First of all, I would like to begin this blob post by sending virtual smooches to all of Moi’s liberal and conservative homies for playing nice AND for so thoroughly articulating your beliefs. While I may disagree with many of them, I sure do respect the heck out of all y'all for at least having them. It takes a certain class of human being to give serious thought to the proper nature of government and I’ll give props to anyone who puts in the time to formulate a set of ideals and back them up.

But, being who I am, I oh so do want to have the last word. Because, if I'm reading our parties correctly, it seems to me that they have BOTH got it wrong.

The Democratic party as it currently exists seems to me to operate from the idea that human beings are nothing more than hapless victims for whom life is terribly, terribly hard and unfair. Thus, say the Democrats, it is the proper role of government to take by force the property of those who thrive and reapportion it to those who have not earned it. In the process we are all robbed of our dignity, purpose, and self respect.

The Republican party as it currently exists seems to me to operate from the idea that human beings are nothing more than criminals for whom life is one big cesspool of temptation. The proper role of government therefore is to propagate feelings of shame and fear in order to make us behave. In the process, we are all robbed of joy, courage, and the justifiable moral outrage needed to fight the real evils of this world.

I subscribe to neither view. As a friend of mine said to me recently, “We need a new box.” Well, yes.

And, also, no.

It’s like my chocolate cake. For years, not content with what had proven to be a perfectly delicious recipe, I spent a tremendous amount of energy searching for something even better. But in the end, I realized, I couldn’t get much better than the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa box. It is moist without being fudgey, with a well-defined grain that holds up to just about every frosting/butter cream/coating you can throw at it. You can sheet it, layer it, cupcake it, or Bundt it. You can dress it up or down. But it essentially remains one of the best, most serviceable chocolate cake recipes around.

Our government is like that. We don’t need a new cake recipe. We need to dust off and polish the one we already have. Sorry, those are some really weirdly mixed metaphors, but I think you get my point.

Certainly, there are many people in this country who DO desire a new government, one based on either or both of the philosophies I outlined above. Have at it, I say. They won’t be the first people in history eager to wield power and control. And they certainly have many fine examples of tyranny throughout the ages from which to draw.

But they need to do it outside of Moi’s sandbox.

So, that's my last word. You can leave yours here in the comment box, but continue to play nice, por favor.

Tomorrow, inspired by the assistance I was able to give my lovely amiga Da Pirate regarding a Frye Boot fashion dilemma, I will be back with a SHOE POST. Yes, Czar, I do wear the stuff in the house . . .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

That Music's Lost its Taste So Try Another Flavor

In a recent article posted on Lew Rockwell, writer and economist Mark Thornton points out the basic ways in which our presidential candidates define the concept "American." Definitions that pit the ideology behind Barack Obama's concept of "folks" against that of John McCain's "friends."

Thornton, on the other hand, much prefers the word "foes."

From the article:

The truth is that if the term has any real meaning then neither of these groups has a monopoly on the term American. In fact, if we could generalize, then neither would be called real Americans.

Folks are usually neo-liberals and democratic socialists. They either have no clue about the role of the Constitution, private property, sound money, and free markets, or they just see them as impediments to their fairy book vision of the future.

Friends are neo-conservatives and fascists who might talk a good game about the concepts above, but when push comes to shove, the foundation concepts of America are shoved aside in pursuit of empire, greatness, and imposition of "morality."

Foes are intellectually and ideologically opposed to both friend and folk. They know that the policies of both groups are impractical and the cause of all chronic social ills. Beyond the practical, they see both groups and their ideologies as unethical and immoral.

Therefore, we know that America is about freedom, sure, but there must be something more to it that does not involve "freedom to take over the world" and "freedom to control other peoples’ lives." The meaning of America is, simply put, freedom of individuals to their lives and what they wish to make of themselves. Every other consideration in society should be structured around that point.

Full text here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Zen Fascists Will Control You

Here it is, already Tuesday and yet I still can't shake a conversation I had with someone this weekend who looked me straight in the eye and said with all sincerity that she believed it was 100 percent okey dokey if the gub'ment fines us all for doing things that go against the "common good." In particular, she said, she thought it was a simply splendid idea that the powers that be in D.C. levy a hefty fine against our asses if we refuse to recycle our household waste.

I didn't put up much of a fight.

Not just because I was stunned, but also because I was operating on three straight days of no sleep and about a bazillion glasses of wine at that point. I don't think I could have found my feet, much less formed a coherent argument against her faulty thinking. And besides, guess who would have come out looking like the fascist? One simply does not argue against clean air and water, regardless of the fact that whether or not I recycle my plastic milk jugs et al has about as much impact on truly clean air and water as my spinning around in circles has on the earth's tilt on its axis. But for the record, if all y'all are wondering if a conservative gives a shit about the environment, well what part of "conserve" do you not understand? Of course I recycle. S.B. makes me.

So anyway. It got me to thinking. This is sure a nifty little credo, this idea that the government knows better than we do what's good for us and what isn't. Because if that's so, then elect Moi to office right now 'cause boy, oh boy, do I have some ideas of my own.

Personally, I would also levy fines against:

1. Anyone who has more than one child. We have 6 billion people on this planet and if you don't believe that our environmental crisis is due in large part to the fact that we're straining ourselves to find enough food/water/shelter/$100,000 a year jobs for each fifty gazillion babies born every second, then I have a plot of land in New Orleans I'd like to sell you.

2. Anyone who has sex. Having sex ups your chances for catching and transmitting an STD, a couple of which are potential death sentences. So if you have sex, you may as well just face the fact that you might kill someone.

3. Anyone who eats fast food. Fast food is loaded with saturated fats, which clog arteries, which leads to heart disease, which leads to increased health care costs.

4. Anyone who doesn't get at least 30 minutes per day of aerobic exercise. See #3 above.

5. Anyone who smokes, drinks, does drugs. No one should have that much fun.

6. Anyone who wears Crocs. Not only are Crocs butt ass ugly, but they're also made of plastic in a manufacturing process that I am as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow must be terribly detrimental to the environment. And did I mention they're butt ass ugly?

Isn't this fun? Now you play. If you were Dictator For a Day, how would you drain the will to live out of your constituency?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yes, Virginia, Orange IS a Neutral

Sometimes, I give up on being bossy and let other people take over the reins of my life. Hence, my propensity for gathering together a passel of folks throughout history to whom I can look for inspiration and life lessons. When in a bind, I simply ask myself, "What would HelenKeller/CourtneyLove/AynRand/ThomasJefferson/Jesus/
ParkerPosey/Etcetera do?"

One of the etceteras is Jonathan Adler. I was reminded how much I adore him this morning while perusing Shamu's recent Top Design blob post. His rules for living have been posted up on my fridge forever and I thought I'd post them here in case they give you inspiration for your life. Or just brighten up a crummy grey day.


Your home should make you happy.

When it comes to decorating, the wife is always right.
Unless the husband is gay.

Believe in carbohydrates and to hell with the puffy consequences.

Handcrafted tchotchkes are life-enhancing.

Tassels are the earrings of the home.

Believe in the innate chicness of red with brown.

Be underdressed or overdressed always.

Dogs should be allowed in stores and restaurants.

Throw out your Blackberry and go pick some actual blackberries.

Colors can never clash.

Blow your nest egg on cooking pots.

Jonathan Adler lamps will make you look younger and thinner.

and finally . . .


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Good, Evil, and Everything in Between

I've been reading since I was five years old. And not just the backs of cereal boxes or the label tags in clothing, but whole books. Non-fiction for edification, but novels for the sheer fun of a good story, which I like told through the eyes of big juicy characters grappling with brain busting themes.

But because those kinds of novels are few and far between, I'm also totally down with pop fiction. So long as it's not a Harlequin Romance (yuck) or something Chick Lit (Plum Sykes, I'll see you in heaven, ya biatch, and then we'll see who gets in the last badly written word on shoes). But Carl Hiaasen or James Lee Burke? Those guys are some of the best writers putting words on paper today. You can disagree with me if you want, but you know, deep down, that I'm right.

Still, I have been missing our current "literary" scene's lack of Big Novels lately. You know, something along the lines of Lonesome Dove or Gone with the Wind. And don't stick Don DeLillo in my face, either. Sorry, I don't care if you need a forklift to carry around one of his books, Delillo (I'll toss Jonathan Franzen while I'm at it, too) is a small writer.

Although, I think there's a glimmer of hope. I picked this up last week.

I can see why it won the Pulitzer Prize. If you haven't read it, do. It's epic.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Like a Bicycle Needs a Fish

Guy Ritchie's Devil on the Right Shoulder: "Dude, you SO scored!
It's MADONNA, man!"

Guy Ritchie's Angel on the Left Shoulder: "
Run, Guy, run. NOW."

Two things I love about S.B. One, he usually only talks when he has something to say, and Two, when he has something to say, he's a crackerjack at distilling an issue down to its essentials.

Especially when it comes to my obsession with celebretards, which has caused the kind of long-suffering eye-rolling in the man that even my shoe fetish can't touch.

For instance, on Brad Pitt's leaving Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie: "Duh. Angelina's waaaaay hotter."

Now, on the Madonna/Guy Ritchie bust up: "Duh. That woman is more trouble than she's worth."

So, Party People, what's your best, one-sentence piece of self-evident relationship advice that most of us tend to ignore?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Something Smells Rotten on the Emperor's New Clothes

As much as I adore fashion, I am by no means unaware of the yawning gulf that exists between the glossy pages of most women's magazines and the way in which really real women actually live out their lives.

But it's not the clothing that makes me angry. After all, even the most outre outfit can be deconstructed down to a manageable level in terms of both wearability and price. That's why God invented consignment shops, eBay, Zappos, and Banana Republic.

I'm also not talking makeup. There hasn't been a culture in existence since the Big Bang that hasn't in some way decorated their faces to heighten or broadcast their sexuality, power, or social status.

And I'm down with that. After all, one of the half dozen things the coming Fascist Regime is going to have to pry from my cold dead hands is my ever present tube of Mac Lip Glass in Fluster Rose.

No. My beef is with the ridiculous amount of shit shoveled in our faces by the segment of the $20 billion a year cosmetics industry specifically geared towards keeping us youthful. It simply amazes me that women living in the 21st century remain stuck in the dark ages when it comes to believing the hype surrounding the ability of facial serums – many of them priced into the stratosphere – to turn back the tide of aging. Without going all Chemistry 101 on y'all, let's just say that there's not much difference between what's packed into a $130 jar of La Mer and a tube of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly.

Then again, I guess it's easier to slather on a potion and cross your fingers than it is to do what it actually takes to remain wrinkle free, which is:

A. Stay out of the sun forever and ever, amen.

B. Don't use your facial muscles. That means, no smiling, frowning, yawning, or making kissy-kissy noises at infants and puppies.

(This Catholic monk, who has never seen the light of day or whistled Dixie, is fifty million years old!)


C. Eat.

Oh, and maybe, just maybe, smell. Because, according to a U.S.-based fragrance company by the name of Harvey Prince, all you have to do to appear younger is spritz yourself with a hearty dose of their new perfume, Ageless Fantasy ($120!!!!), which, says the company's prodigious amount of "research" and "clinical trials," will make those of us who wear this frag appear up to ten years younger by the opposite sex!


As if, when it comes to male/female relationships, we're not all already deluded enough.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Problems in Hand are Lighter than at Heart

In honor of A.B. who, in response to these strange daze, recently burned down her blog and former persona . . . Be like the squirrel, girl.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mute Monday: H is For . . .

The Moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the Sun.
William Shakespeare

Saturday, October 11, 2008

319 Days of Sunshine, Except . . .

There are some things in this world you can count on like the time told by a Swiss clock. Like the arrival of a German train. Like the inability of Italians to tell you how they feel without punctuating their opinions with flying hand gestures. I won't list them all here. Just this one: when the International Balloon Fiesta comes to town the first two full weeks of October each year, our weather cooperates with absolutely gorgeous, sunny, warm weather during the week and drizzly, cold, windy weather on the weekends.

I was born and and raised here, so I've had my fill of the fiesta, but I still get chills at the beautiful, preposterous sight of hundreds of bright orbs bobbing merrily in the skies over Albuquerque. I also like thinking about all the millions of happy-hearted folks from around the world who arrive here each year in anticipation of the fun they'll have at the major weekend mass ascensions and Glow-Deos and chainsaw carving competitions. So what if the service in restaurants is tense and the lines at the grocery stores are long? To say nothing of fiesta "fashion" (brrrrrrr). Albuquerque during balloon fiesta is filled with the kind of happy-to-be-here/happy-to-have-you energy that buoys my own heart. And then sinks it, when I realize that it can all be dampened by days like this.

So here's a song for y'all. It cropped up for the first time on my iPod yesterday during a particularly crappy three-mile run. I forgot how much I like these guys and their lush, melodic compositions, slightly melancholic, but not in a deadly serious, hey, which of you buzz killers brought the Joy Division records? kind of way. More in a sun will come out tomorrow but for now I'm floating around in my bathrobe and contemplating my belly button kind of way.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Gentlemen Prefer . . .


In my perusal of some non-goobermentorial news to brighten my early fall a.m., I just came across this gem of a story:

By Associated Press

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut judge has given the brush-off to a blonde woman's lawsuit claiming L'Oreal Inc. ruined her social life when she accidentally dyed her hair brunette with one of its products. Charlotte Feeney of Stratford says she can never return to her natural blonde hue, a shock that left her so traumatized she needed anti-depressants. She says she suffered headaches and anxiety, missed the attention that blondes receive and had to stay home and wear hats most of the time. A Superior Court judge dismissed Feeney's 2005 lawsuit Monday, saying she never proved her allegation that L'Oreal put brown hair dye in a box labeled as blonde. The company also had disputed the claim. Feeney referred questions on Wednesday to her attorney, David Laudano, who has declined to comment.

Well, now. I've dyed my hair just about every color in the universe, including chartreuse green and violet purple, and I can tell you this: those blondies, they do get a lot of attention. So I feel for Charlotte, I really do. Because it doesn't sound like she's got much inside that head of hers that can recommend her as a quality human being.

But what I really want to know is why she thinks she'll never return to her natural color? Jeezus. Just how dumb IS this dumb blonde? It's called time, honey.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What Have They Done for us Lately?

What if I came up to you tomorrow, pointed a gun at your head, and told you that if you didn't give me all your money, I was going to blow your brains out? And what if a cop just happened to have witnessed my actions, pulled a gun on me, forced me to give up, and then arrested my happy ass? Most likely, I would go to court, be found guilty of attempted robbery by a jury of my peers, and locked up for a good, long, time.

Then riddle me this: why are members of our Congress still walking around free?

Y'all ever hear the words "taxation without representation"? That's what happened last week. The American people spoke NYET to the bailout and Congress la, la, la, la, la-ed themselves to the point of puking and passed the bill anyway.

That's YOUR money they're stealing, Party People. You happy with what they're doing with it? If so, well, it must be nice living over there on Fantasy Island. If not, wake the heck fire UP: You don't have to pay . . .

Just go ask Alice . . .

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just for Fun

This was up at Troll's and I'm posting here for some levity.

Which are you?

Leading Man Test

Brassy Broad Test

I'm Kate Hepburn, who famously said: "Why slap them on the wrist with a feather when you can belt them over the head with a sledgehammer?"


Saturday, October 4, 2008

No Need to Reinvent the Wheel . . .

. . . just oil it up and get it spinning again.

Many of us are justifiably angry over what has transpired in our government over the last couple weeks. Because we have ceded so much of our individual liberties to our rulers over the past one hundred years or so, we are now facing one of the greatest economic – and in many ways moral – crises in the history of our country.

Many of us are crying foul.

Many of us are calling for change.

Some of us for out-and-out revolt.

Which is fine and dandy with Moi. But let's not make the mistake of changing or revolting against the fundamental principles that created this government – they do, after all, make about as much sense as any principles justifying the rule of one entity over the other. I think we simply need to get back to basics and revisit the very documents that outline the principles upon which this nation was founded. Remind ourselves who we are and what we're doing here.

The Declaration of Independence, one of the most "revolutionary" documents ever written, is a good place to start this re-acqaintanceship, to let the voices of the past ring through to the present and hopefully smack us out of our complacency and weak will. This, along with so many other of our founding documents, are some of the greatest things ever written on the nature and purpose of government, yet when was the last time any of us delved into the Bill of Rights? The letters of Thomas Jefferson? The Federalist Papers? You can access the Declaration in its entirety here, but this, of course, is the juicy part:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Friday, October 3, 2008

RIP Liberty and Justice For All

Call the bastards in Washington and tell them you have NO CONFIDENCE in their ability to lead this country. Ever. Again.

(clicky for music)

From Ron Paul's Address to Congress after bail out bill passed:

No one in our society seems to understand that wealth is not created by government fiat, is not created by banks, and is not created through the manipulation of interest rates and provision of easy credit. A debt-based society cannot prosper and is doomed to fail, as debts must either be defaulted on or repaid, neither resolution of which presents this country with a pleasant view of the future. True wealth can only come about through savings, the deferral of present consumption in order to provide for a higher level of future consumption. Instead, our government through its own behavior and through its policies encourages us to live beyond our means, reducing existing capital and mortgaging our future to pay for present consumption.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

No Silence Allowed

Eighteen U.S. states plus the District of Columbia allow a recall of their senators for voting against the wishes of their constituencies. Believe Moi, if New Mexico were one of them, I'd be working on a petition faster than you could say 75 percent off sale at Neiman Marcus.

If you live in one of these states:
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, or Wisconsin.

Logo onto:

and find out how to remove the bastids from office.

We may not be able to beat them silly about the head, but we can do THIS.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Am . . . Not Doll Parts

(pssst: not a real baby!)

You know, I should have based this week's Mute Monday on the ultimate F-Word: Fake. A condition so prevalent in our society it's become the New Real. Fake boobs. Fake nails. Fake fat. Fake flowers. Fake feelings pasted on politicians hoping to make us think they care. And, of course, one great big gloriously fake economy.

So it was no surprise to me when I turned on the Today Show this morning (I know, I know, but it's like a train wreck. Can't help but look.) and saw this:

Women who luv up fake babies :

They’re called “reborns”: incredibly lifelike baby dolls that sell for up to $4,000 to adult women who collect them, change their clothes, and in some ways treat them like real babies.

“It fills a spot in your heart,” Lynn Katsaris told TODAY’s Matt Lauer Wednesday in New York as she cuddled “Benjamin” and “Michael” in her arms. A realtor from suburban Phoenix, Katsaris is also an artist who has created 1,052 reborn dolls and sold them to women around the world. She was one of three grown women visiting the show with five of the the bogus — but eerily realistic — babies cradled tenderly in their arms.

Now, is that creepy or what?

Watching these deluded women, I was reminded of my own brief experience caring for a fake baby. Junior high, 1978, third period Home Economics. I thought we were there to learn how to make pancakes and design a smashing pair of velvet bell bottoms. But, no. Our teacher had another idea in mind. She presented each of us with an egg onto which she'd carefully drawn a cutsie baby face and glued a lacy baby bonnet. We were then given very stern instructions to keep this egg with us at all times and treat it with the utmost care to make sure it didn't crack. For the entire ding dang semester.

I guess the point of this exercise – other than making us all bat shit crazed with worry about what would happen to our grades if we happened to, oh, let's say inadvertently leave our egg on the crosstown bus while on the way to the mall to buy a pair of Candies – was to teach us the seriousness of parenting. Which is kind of ironic if you think about it, because when it comes to a bunch of hormonally-infused 13 year olds, isn't that kind of putting the cart before the horse?

I'll let you work that one out.


This particular story also got me to thinking that if I ever found myself faced with having to fill some holes in my heart? Well, it's not going to be with a facsimile of the real thing, you can bet on that.