Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gotta Be Startin' Something

Every coupla decades, or so, like clockwork.
Swine Flu Epidemic of 1976

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What I'm Not Buying This Weekend

I'm participating in a new Meme Thingee started by Margo over at Life in the Short Lane.

A shopping spree to be sure, but without the changing room hassles, the credit card bloat, and the inevitable remorse-slash-panic-slash-tummy-tumult that occurs about two hours later, when you realize you went home at two with a ten and woke at ten with a two. Ladies, you know what I mean. That Trina Turk peasant blouse for 50 percent off that looked so Boho fabulous in the store under those hallucination-inducing lights now looks like something your mom would have worn to schlep the vacuum cleaner around in those last few minutes before your father's inevitable return from the 9-to-5 trenches.

So, here's what I'm not buying this weekend:

Le sigh.
I so long for one of J Crew's fabulous bib necklaces for summer. They're a great way to fill a neckline on a low cut blouse or strapless summer dress. But at $175, no way, Jose.

Also from J Crew and quite the bargain at $135 given its high quality material and perfect tailoring. Alas, that's $135 smackaroos too many por Moi.

So, that's, what, a savings of $310.00, right there. And, we haven't even talked about the shoes I didn't buy, which you can for darn sure bet clock in at another couple hundred.

I don't usually do flats unless it's a running shoe or riding boot, but these Antik Batik Porter Tong Brass Beaded Sandals (currently at Piperlime for $200) are to die for. With whipped cream and one of those weird ass pink cherries on top (but no nuts). The perfect shoe in which to frolic along the beach in Malibu to the background sounds of breaking surf and Fleetwood Mac's Rumors and me without a care in the world except how in the heck fire am I going to pay for it all.

Oh, wait! I don't have to pay for it because I didn't buy it! Wow. Virtual shopping is going to save me soooooooo much money.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Been on the Couch Looking for a Bed

And going back through all my Memphis Soul records and iTunes downloads. Found this rare video of the magnificent Ann Peebles singing her hit, "I Can't Stand the Rain," which was funkified into a terrific disco song by Eruption (with lead vocals by the equally magnificent Precious Wilson), which is what Allison SHOULD have sung on this week's American Idol, but oh well. I could rule the world, if only people would return my phone calls.

Happy Funky Friday to you all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No Comprende, It's a Riddle

I know, I know. It's math, right? So I'm not surprised that it has recently come to light that the original 1868 survey of the Four Corners – the only place in the United States where four state boundaries come together – is off by 2.5 miles.

According to readings by the National Geodetic Survey, today's official marker is supposed to sit at blah-blah-blah W longitude and yada-yada-yada N latitude. But according to three different Internet sites for distance calculations (including an FCC site and GPS visualizer) the really real readings actually stand at yeah-yeah-yeah; alrighty-then; and whatever-man-I-believe-you miles.

Then, most likely thanks to all that Red Bull and Doritoes he's spent years consuming down in his parents' basement, some smarty-pants member of the Utah Association of Geocachers used two other Internet sites, Google Earth and the Great Circle Calculator, resulting in a definite determination of a 2.5 mile miscalculation.

Makes you wonder what else we've miscalculated over the past couple hundred years, right? Then again, I'm not really surprised we got it wrong. It's a wonder we could even locate our own feet in 1868, much less anything else using, what, a pencil, piece of paper, and our fingers? Okay, so maybe an abacus was involved there somewhere.

Or maybe, just maybe, the original survey had someone like me along:

Intrepid U.S. Geologic Surveyor Dude #1: Okay, guys, I know it's late and we're all tired, but let's check these calculations one more time. Future generations are counting on us to get this right.

Intrepid U.S. Geologic Surveyor Dude #2: Hey, Moi! (whistles). Get back here and get with the program. We don't need you getting lost again.

Moi: Oh, come on. This is way too hard, and I just broke a nail. How do we know any of these number thingees are correct anyway? Calculators haven't even been invented yet. What do you say we just mark this spot right here, call it a day, and go pound down some brewskies at Ye Olde Tavern down the road? I'm buying.

Still, what to do? There is hardly a family in America that doesn't have tucked away somewhere in an album or fraying cardboard box, a photo of themselves frolicking on the official Four Corners Monument.

Therefore, according to an article in Desert News:

"There's little chance of moving the monument, especially because millions of dollars have been spent to improve it and because the current state lines have been firmly established now for 110 years."

There you go, folks. Commerce first.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hair's the Thing

I'm bored. With my head. Which is a constant source of frustration for me. Not that I don't have a good hairdresser. In fact, I have the world's BEST hairdresser – a woman so talented, that if she were to quit the business tomorrow, I'd have to shave my head because, non, no one else will touch zees tresses.

When I leave her salon, sure, my checking account is one-hundred-and-fifty gazillion dollars lighter. But my hair looks like this, all the unruly cowlicks tamed into sleek submission:

However, because I am such a lazy ass and quickly tire of all the work it takes to keep it looking that way, eventually, I just end up doing this:

Seriously, I could have an audience with the Pope or Johnny Depp would have finally returned my phone calls but if I couldn't get in with my genius hairdresser? Meh. Up you go.

So. I am thinking: Why not cut to the chase and just chop it all off again?

My hairdresser thinks I should do this, complete with color. I've given Posh a lot of shit in this blog over the years, but you gotta hand it to the girl, she always has a great cut:

Or even shorter into the ne plus ultra of super short pixie cuts, a la:

Can you imagine how easy this is? Oh, yeah, I forget. I've done this before. It's über easy.

Although, S.B. really likes long hair on me (Ever wonder why all men love long hair? My theory is their Cro Magnon genetics, which run all the way back to the days when they used to PULL us by it.), this is the woman he'd leave me for if she ever returned his calls.

Cute, no?

Or, not?

Tell Moi. What should I do:

1. Go shorter, but leave enough length to still pull up and back.
2. Posh it semi-short and blonde-ish.
3. Pixie it!
4. Leave it alone and go spend the money on a new pair of shoes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Forces of Evil in a Bozo Nightmare

This is the title of a recent report that oozed out of the brains of our esteemed Homeland Security scholars:

Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.

The PDF of the edited version of the original 200+ page document that was shortened down to about 10 pages can be found by a simple Google search.

I'll include a few highlights here, though, including the definition of what constitutes extremism:

Rightwing [sic – told you: scholars] extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment [sic], rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely [boldface mine]. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

Further, the report goes on to cite returning veterans as possible persons of concern:

Rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

So all y'all who believe it is well within our rights to protest against gub'mint abuse of our Constitution and our civil rights, keep a look out:

DHS will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization.

Dang it. Now I gotta come up with an outfit for when they come a knockin'. Cause here's what this "extremist" believes:


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Obligatory Anarchic Protest Post Against Stooooooopid Ass Tax Day

Don't you just love this song's groovy '60's vibe? Every time I hear it, I imagine Twiggy in something way cool Mary Quant-ish go-go dancing down the steps of the Capitol Building and flinging daisies at all the stuffed suits.

Yeah. It's what I would have done, had I gone to the Tea Party. But today, I just don't have it in me to fight the power, y'all.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why Can't We Be Friends?

In the six years or so I've been doing volunteer animal advocacy work, I've met all kinds of interesting people. The vast majority are dedicated, focused, and rational, working tirelessly to ensure the welfare of thousands of companion animals. I have also seen many well-meaning people with the best of intentions burn out quickly from the strain, and, really, who can blame them? The work is mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausting.

And then there are the true blue nut jobs. The man who believes all animals living in the U.S. should have the same rights as people under the Constitution. The woman who pays a small fortune to animal control for allowing her four house cats to merrily roam the neighborhood, doing their small part to decimate an already shaky songbird population. Another who dresses her pug up in costume, a different outfit for every day of the week.

But nothing I've seen or experienced can top the German woman who this past Friday took a dive into the pond fronting the polar bear exhibit at the Berlin Zoo. Naturally, someone videotaped the entire thing, and what's most interesting to me is, the expression of happy idiocy on the woman's face right after she lands in the water. Obviously, she "wuvs" animals and just wants to let them know she is their fwend. Either that, or she had access to some really, really good drugs. Then one of the critters and his buddy decide to do what polar bears do best: attack and eat yummy flesh! Mmmmmm . . . tastes like chicken. Ooops, sorry. Make that PORK.

If it weren't for the fact that the bears themselves would have been killed had they been allowed to finish their meal, I would have said, "Meh, have at her." That is, after all, what top-of-the-food-chain mammals do best: Thin. The. Herd.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Each year on Good Friday, thousands of people throughout New Mexico journey on foot to El Santuario de Chimayo, known as the "Lourdes of the Southwest." Some walk only a few miles, some journey for days from the southernmost reaches of the state in order to reach the church on time. My mother made the walk once, with one of her good friends. A lifelong practicing Catholic, my mother rarely spoke of her faith, but it was with her always, as much a part of her identity as her skin and her bones, her mind and her heart. Chimayo was one of her most favorite places on earth and she loved to go there to soak in its beauty and spirit.

After she died, my stepfather asked me to come by the house and go through my mom's "cabinet," a big wardrobe in their guest bedroom/office, in which mom had kept her collectible pottery, glassware, and jewelery. My stepfather was adamant that I take as much as I wanted from this cabinet, since mom and I had collected and traded many of these items together.

Among all the Fire King glass and Bauer pottery and German china I discovered a small clear glass vial filled with dirt. I remember my mom telling me once on a visit to Chimayo that she had taken some of the "holy dirt" inside the shrine, which many people believe has special healing powers for both physical and spiritual ills. I took a lot of mom's things that day, but I left the vial, pushing it instead into the far left corner of the cabinet's topmost shelf.

I think my mother would have approved of the joke. Although respectful of his wife's faith, my stepfather remains what he's always been: an unapologetic atheist. As far as I know that vial is still there, and I get a giggle out of knowing that as my stepfather sits in his office, his back to the cabinet, cruising the Internet or sending out emails, or working on his lists, that small vial of Chimayo dirt radiates its healing powers out into the room, whether anyone living in it believes in them or not.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stand And Deliver

Who would believe, in this day and age and given our far superior technologies and fire power, that Somali thugs would continue to menace cargo ships on the high seas? It happened again yesterday when the American-crewed and captained cargo ship Maersk Alabama was carrying emergency food relief to Mombasa, Kenya.

While the crew eventually retook control of the ship, the pirates are still holding the captain, Capt. Richard Phillips, hostage. It seems the Somalis did not hold up their end of the bargain, returning him when the Americans released one of their own hostages. Not. Fair. Then again, when do jackals ever play fair?

Apparently, this is becoming a common occurrence.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, a watchdog group based in Kuala Lumpur, since January of this year alone, pirates have made 66 attacks and are still holding 14 ships and 260 people hostage. Other than blowing their happy asses out of the sea on sight, there isn't much we can do. How do you hold sanctions against a pirate?

In other, less menacing, pirate news, it seems that there is at least one other person of rational age and thought living in this town who is as cuckoo over shoes as I am. The Pirate herself showed up at lunch yesterday wearing what has for me long been a coveted piece of footwear. The Pirate, a savvy shopper if ever there was one, scored hers at a deeply discounted price at Piperlime.

Yes, folks, the mythical BCBG Ivanka color blocked shoe, al la:

Only her pair is the pinky-nude patent leather with grey elastic straps and patent heel, much more apropos for spring. You go with your bad ass self, girl.

Moi, I'm lemming for this version, which, it seems, is not about to let itself be discounted anywhere. Not even on the 'Bay. Grrrrrrrrr . . .

Arg, matey, you will eventually be MINE!

Oh, and this is off topic, but still: yesterday marked the fifteen year anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain, an event which upsets me to this day. Normally, I could care less about the self destructive tendencies of hollow-brained, fame-seeking super star wannabes who happily whore themselves out for a bit of glitz and glam, bite off more than they can chew, and then boohoohoo themselves to death when they find themselves incapable of swallowing.

But there was something different about Kurt Cobain. Not the least of which, his monumental musical talent and stunning ability to craft not just effective, catchy rock songs, but ones underlain with the kind of honest, raw emotionality that transcends any accusations of self indulgence and shoots straight into the upper echelon of poetic brilliance.

Because our world desperately needs musicians like Kurt Cobain, I will forever remain pissed off that he chose to remove himself from this earth instead of figuring out how to reconcile his sensitive nature to the harsh realities of the limelight. That he couldn't find, in the words of his much more grasping wife (whose talent for self preservation is as breathtaking as Cobain's failure) "ten good reasons to say alive," is one of contemporary art's deepest tragedies.

One of the last songs he wrote.