Thursday, December 28, 2006

Note to Andie: Hang in there — college is better.

The thing about Duckie vs. Blane is, these are Andie’s only choices. It’s high school. As Happy Harry Hard-On once said, “High school is the bottom. It doesn’t get any worse.”*

For a girl like Andie, there’s no dating someone normal, e.g. a second-stringer on the basketball team who’s in your trig class, or the guy who goes to your school but you only know him because he works with your friend at Chili’s. You’re not a freak (or you’d manage freak boyfriends at least), but you’re weird enough that you’re socially radioactive to the middle strata, you can’t help lift the lowest strata, and the highest strata are too busy being insecure themselves to date someone like you because you might weigh them down. You get:

1) Duckie, who is adorable and adoring but — let’s be honest — really kind of annoying sometimes, and for the next ten years or so, is incapable of moving out of his studio apartment in Friend-Only-Town.

2) Blane, who’s “hot” by the standards of your school, but weak of character and pretty much the Mayor of Doucheburgh. His ability to grow a spine (using some of the Miracle-Gro obtained from this experience with you) is debatable, but clearly these are the best years of his life, and that’s never a good dating prospect.

Go away to college, Andie, far away. It’ll be great — the seeds and stems get shaken out and separated from the buds, and you’ll find lots better pickins. Promise.

This post brought to you courtesy of the fact that HBO still shows the same lineup now that it has been showing for 20 years, and I had several days off of work recently.

*If I had a dollar for every time I wrote that on a folder, book cover, or textbook margin, I would have like a couple hundred dollars probably. Teen suburban white-girl angst, yo.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

“I want you to write … a theme: ‘What I Want For Christmas.’”

So how was your xmas? Mine was pretty great. The turkey came out fab, thanks to Mr. Gleemonex’s skill and artistry, despite the fact that the bird was, shall we say, indifferently plucked — what, because it’s organic and free-range and all that happy horseshit, it’s OK if y’all miss a couple feathers? Must we carry the hippie shit to its logical conclusion — the avian equivalent of unshaved armpits?

But anyhoo, great turkey, my best dressing ever (if I do say so myself), excellent wine (the Michel-Schlumberger 2004 La Brume Chardonnay, and a 2004 Ridge zin), and the SIL/BIL/2kids contingent only showed up about 2 hours after we told them to.

I do fear that I’m becoming The Childless Lady Who Isn’t a Bitch, Exactly, But Likes to Keep Her Nice Things Nice — e.g. when the three-year-old asked for juice, and was given it in a glass (not a plastic cup) because we don’t have any other kind of drinking vessel, I followed her every move with my eyes and was grateful for my MIL taking the Hovering Duties for me so that I didn’t have to … I could just see spillage (on my nice tablecloth), breakage (of a glass I’m sentimentally attached to), injury (glass + 3-year-old = bleeding, pain, ER visits).

Oh well … and also I got excellent xmas gifts, e.g.: gear for my bass (a compression pedal, cord for same, strap locks so I don’t accidentally clock myself [again] in the face, clip-on light so I can see my tabs during drunken musical jackassery in the near-dark), Beatles Love, books on anticipated travel destinations of the next year (Tuscany, Molokai), bookstore gift card, kickass fondue set, and another year of the Sunday New York Times.

And now, on to New Year’s Eve … ill-starred though it appears to be (awesome plans got torpedoed by events beyond my control, backup plan scotched due to the intended place burning to the ground last night, etc.) …

Friday, December 22, 2006


Time now for an Unironic Recommend: loudQUIETloud, a film about the Pixies. Netflixed this the other day, and have watched the movie, all the special features, and the movie a second time with the commentary.

The movie follows them from their reunion through their 2004 tour, and it’s not a “Behind the Music” sort of thing at all — just sort of an observant camera — and they don’t really go into much history, because that’s not really the point.

The sound editing is AMAZING — the crazy-ass energy of their shows comes through spectacularly well. Them old fat bald motherfuckers can ROCK!

There are things it’s really uncomfortable to watch (a scene in a van with a downward-spiraling David Lovering comes to mind), and things that are really beautiful (Charles/Black Francis and Kim in a tiny church in Iceland), and things that are raw and strange (an interlude with a girl and her friend waiting outside a show venue 12 hours before the show because she’s such a huge fan), and things that are touching (Joey “visiting” his kids via iSight), and things that are totally fucking hysterical (a deleted scene with Kim buying some stuff in a music store and the 19-ish clerk recognizes her name on the credit card, but doesn’t seem to recognize the woman standing there as the Kim Deal) — and plenty of scenes that clearly illuminate why, no matter how much ass they kick or how hard they kick it, they were more or less bound to break up via fax.

The members of this band are four mondo bizarro people — I suspect that’s why their music is so fucking good. Pixies sound like no other band — their legions of imitators can’t come anywhere close. I have this vague fear that I’ve seen all their shows I’m ever gonna see,* because these fuckers can’t relate to each other at all, and they’re bound to implode again someday. But loudQUIETloud fucking rawks, and I guess that’ll have to do for now.

*9/30/2004, Greek Theatre, Berkeley CA
5/30/2006, Warfield, San Francisco, CA (early show, got Kim’s setlist & Frank’s pick)
5/30/2006, Warfield, San Francisco, CA (late show, got my mind blown out)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bumpuses! Aaaaiiiiigh!

So I just ordered a 22-pound turkey for Xmas Day. It’s going to feed me, my husband, his parents, our brother-in-law, and our 3-year-old niece; the 5-year-old nephew and husband’s sister will not be partaking. Twenty-two pounds for five people — although I only eat the white meat (get that turkey leg away from me, fool!), so it’s actually fewer than five.

So why the 22 pounds? Cause bitch, I like leftovers.

For real, the second-most-essential ingredient to purchase in the holiday meal plan is white bread, for a week’s worth of sammiches. Some heathens argue that other things go on the sammich — e.g. the unholiest of unholies (lettuce), or, say, leftover dressing. They are wrong. It’s white bread, generous mayo, and turkey turkey turkey.

I will also be attempting to refine my dressing — it is based on the incomplete idea of the recipe made by my grandmother, who passed away a few years ago. It may surprise you, Internets, but my cold black heart does have a few warm pockets, and one of those is my Grammy. Her “thing” was cooking for us, and MAN could she cook. A style all her own, its origins in the old-skool farm, with butter (you don’t want to know how much!), fried things, pies to knock your knees out from under you — and this dressing.

As one of the favorite grandkids (me, bro & sis were the kids of the Favored Son), and one who spent huge chunks of my first 25 years at her house, I got a great many of the Secrets of The Cooking, more than did any of the other grandkids (she told my cousin that the recipe for her heartstopping pecan pie was “just what it says on the back of the Karo syrup bottle”).

But she didn’t tell me everything. She had to work for 50 years to develop all this — she wasn’t just going to HAND it to me. I respect that.

So I’ve spent the last nine holiday seasons working on it — I’m getting closer … I’ll be closer still, this weekend …

What’s that? You want to know what’s in it? Well, Internets, like Grandmother, I’m not tellin. All I’ll say is there’s no auslander shit in there like raisins, or nuts, no weird spices or foccaccia crumbles. Never you mind — it’s moist, it’s rich, it’s one of the best things my grandmother left me. Maybe someday you can have some if’n you’re over at my place for the holidays.

Friday, December 15, 2006

You can be my wingman anytime!

Internets, can I just tell you that Top Gun is the gayest movie ever? I mean, it’s gayriffic! Gaytastic! Gaytacular!!!

I loved this movie SO BAD when I first saw it in the theater (I think I was 12). This one friend and I saw it several times then, and rented it like ten times in the next year or so. I pretty much had it memorized.

But I hadn’t seen it for YEARS, until we chose it from the stack o’VHS tapes at this cabin up in Tahoe a couple of weeks ago, and lemme tellya — it. was. hilarious.

I love that there’s all this bullshit macho military posturing, all this towel-snapping bonhomie, all this Cold War military rah-rah, and no women anywhere (except a cute but tragic widow and a be-permed and be-highlighted Kelly McGillis, who by the way is awesome and I do love that she was Tom Cruise’s age or older, instead of some 19-year-old bim like they all are now).

And all the gay stuff that just sailed over my head at age 12 was hysterical this time around. Besides the infamous “Playin’ With the Boys” volleyball laff-a-thon, in which they’re all oiled up and flexing, shirtless, with — again — no women anywhere, there’s all this other stuff: shenanigans in the steamy-hot locker room, a guy saying to his friend during a military class lecture, “This gives me a hard-on,” and the other guy nodding confirmation, ceaseless streams of ambiguous dialogue (I howled when Skerritt, at the end, post-Pornstachioed!Goose-death, tells Maverick that if they don’t assign him “a new rear,” he’ll “ride behind” Mav himself), and this one scene that goes on FOREVER of Tom Cruise standing at a sink, IN HIS TIGHTY-WHITIES AND NOTHING ELSE, leaning over and gripping the edge of the sink, with his ass stuck out into the room. Skerritt comes in and talks to him, and he stays in this posture for the entire scene, which is almost entirely in long shots so you can see the be-tighty-whitied ass in all its glory. We were DYING.

I think I love this movie even more now than I did 20 years ago.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mightabeen: Careers Decided Upon and then Rejected at Various Stages of My Life

Young Gleemonex reads a lot, and has a very active imagination …

--Prima ballerina for the New York City Ballet (note specificity of both “prima ballerina” and “NYCB” )

--Teacher (note lack of specificity)

--Lawyer (it is a requirement of graduation that all liberal arts graduates consider this during their senior year; you have to prove it at the same time you pay your outstanding library fines.)

--United States Senator (D-Texas, and good luck with that, huh?)

--Graduate of the Air Force Academy (they, like, said I would be an officer?)

--Book editor for a major NY publishing house (cured of that by the $18K/yr salary offered by the one publishing industry recruiter that showed up during on-campus recruiting senior year of Ivy U., and the 200 people who tried to get an interview spot for this plum job)

--FBI agent (buh?)

--Consultant (I … don’t actually know what these people do, except that I thought it would be cool to go into some business with problems, and fix them. I’m not huge on follow-through.)

--Pro tennis player (hard to do when you pick up the sport at 14, never have a coach, and get beat by such tennis whizzes as a girl who had to go throw up during the match — I mean, yeah, she was ranked statewide, but she had the frickin flu, and her serve still got ALL up in my grill.)

--Surgeon (yeaahh, except for I hate all math, science, blood, guts, pressure, the idea of 10+ years of training, and holding another person’s life in my hands)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


OK so I don't know how my liver is going to make it through December. I mean, since Thanksgiving week, the vodka-soaked revelry has been unceasing. I have three drinkin' parties between now and Tuesday (mostly work-related), and am likely to drink a lot on the weekend because that's the day my houseguests arrive and they're staying for 54 days. (Not that me drinkin' a lot in a weekend is all that unusual, I must admit.) It's like I'm living in a novel written in the 1950s. Those people could put it away.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

There's nothin between us and him but a thin layer of gabardine

The whole bullshit hoo-ha over "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" has me and my co-workers -- corporate HQ communications folk -- riffing on what the employees of our stores are supposed to say to customers. It really goddamn pisses me off that "Happy Festivus" is now off the table, thanks to some unstable-ass racist jerktard's verbal diarrhea pouring out during some kind of psychotic break onstage.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Goin off the rails on a crazy train

I tell you what — there is a whole lot more crazy on BART than there is on the commuter bus from the burbs.

I missed my damn-ass bus this morning, the one that takes me straight downtown to within a couple blocks of work, and had to take the other bus to BART, and thence to the last SF stop. So right after I get on the damn train, some guy gets on, an older guy with one of those little carts that homeless people and old women use for their stuff.

He sits down and starts this SCREAMING ARGUMENT with … no one. In Spanish. Staring into the middle distance, furious. And keeps it up non-stop, probably till the end of the line (he was still going strong when I got off). People were giving him space — I guess because of the sheer volume, but also to give themselves a fighting chance if The Crazy (Screaming Variety) suddenly turned into The Dangerous Crazy (Physical Confrontation Variety). Ipods were deployed (mine at full volume). Books were opened and stared at. Backs were partially turned. No one said anything, though (in New York, at least in my years there, somebody would probably at least have said “Shut the fuck up, man!” or something). Mostly, people were trying to pretend he didn’t exist.

That is a stressful way to start the day, y’all. This kind of thing never happens on the commuter bus — it ain’t sexy, but at least it ain’t crazy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

“He can trouble ME all he wants!”

Quoth Kelly Taylor, bitchy and bershon queen blonde of Beverly Hills …

Oh, Internets, the Brenda Years have returned! After many tiresome months of nothing but those latter-day, non-canon episodes with people I don’t know and plots I never followed — the years when I wasn’t watching, and Melrose had already come and gone — they’ve started over. And if you have a TiVo (and/or don’t have a job), happy days are here again!

Yesterday I watched a very very early ep, in which Brenda (who hadn’t had her teeth bonded yet) first laid eyes on Dylan (who was already like forty and getting power alleys and forehead wrinkles), and Kelly (who sported a short red shoulder-padded jacket and tall shorts) goes “Dylan McKay … what I would DO to go out with him!” with sexx-ay relish, and Brenda’s all (backwards hick-from-Minnesoter-y) “I don’t know, I’ve heard he’s trouble” (note that we are to understand the motorcycle he rides as the signifier for Dylan’s baddness, which baddness is the signified — don’t say I didn’t learn anything in kollege — hey, Prof. Schamus!), and Kelly (exxperienced California-girly) goes “He can trouble ME all he wants,” as if A) that would actually be very much trouble at all — I mean, the guy does still show up for high school every day and isn’t a druggie and doesn’t pressure sophomore virgins to do it with him in cars or stank-ass abandoned houses, unlike the yet-to-arrive-on-TV Jordan Catalano, about whom I have REAMS of as-yet-unwritten blog posts, believe you me), and B) as if those BH rich kids haven’t all “troubled” each other more by third grade than anyone from my high school had by age 25.

Oh MAN, I love this show …

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fun Game for Drunks: You at Fifteen

So like a year ago, my friends and I were volunteering at a bigass charity event, and one of the other volunteers was this really awesome girl, K. We knew she was younger than us — we’re all 28 – 40 — but we didn’t realize how much younger until we were all bitching about having to go to work tomorrow after all these cocktails (Grey Goose was a sponsor of the event and we are wily with appropriating our own perks), and she said something about having to go to school tomorrow. So one of the guys goes, “Oh, you’re still in school? Where?” (Meaning, of course, which college in the area). She’s like, “[Whatever] High School.” And we all just about fell out of our shoes — she laughed at us and told us she was fifteen.


I know damn well that though I thought of myself as quite Mature for My Age at 15, Practically An Adult, GOD!, I had nowhere near the poise and social grace of this girl, nor her sweetness and sense of humor, nor her unstudiedly cute hair and subtle makeup — I was a spaz, man.

So I spent the next couple of hours drunkenly demanding to know what each of my friends were like at fifteen (these are all California émigrés, people who met when we were 21-plus, so we never saw each other’s Truly Unfortunate Years). There’d be a lull in conversation and I’d pick a new victim, jab a finger at them, and bray, “YOU AT FIFTEEN — GO!!”

“I was a jock — real skinny though — my head was bigger than my shoulders …"

“I lived on a mountain. We didn’t even have basic cable, so I was reeeal hip at school.”

“That was before I got tall …"

And as for me, young Gleemonex? You don’t need to know all the details, Internets … suffice to say, I was quite the overachieving A-plus student, I had seen Major League six times in the theater, my jeans were as high-waisted as anyone else’s (which, in 1989, was hiiigh), and there may or may not have been a perm involved. A spiral perm.

And now -- now you know too much …

Monday, December 04, 2006

She’s filled with secrets

I have an unholy obsession with the comic strip For Better or For Worse. Ten years of reading this fucking thing every day. I can’t explain it, I don’t understand why it should be, and I’d quit it if I could, but … I can’t. I hate everybody on it — I mean, Michael is a douchebag, his wife is a harpy in situ who tricked him into getting her pregnant, the parents are depressing assheads, April is the very model of the perfect teen (ugh), and LIZ — Liz is a stinking coward who quit her awesome and fulfilling job, screwed over a bunch of people who depended on her, and ran from an exciting adventurous life and romance with one of Canada’s Finest to move back in with her parents and (crushingly, inevitably) end up with her high-school boyfriend, Granthony (aka Pornstachio) with the aforementioned asshead parents’ full support, manipulation and approval. Gaaaaah! I've been able to shake other habits (Footballers Wives: Overtime, Boston Public, Dear Prudence, etc.) -- why not this one? Whyyyyyyy?

Friday, December 01, 2006


The best show you didn’t watch and now have totally missed, but I hear they’re making an American version, which probably will suck: Saxondale.

Steve Coogan (you might’ve caught 24 Hour Party People a couple of years ago?), on BBC America (purveyors of such fine fare as Life on Mars, Little Britain, and Footballers Wives, plus of course the original The Office) — he’s an ex-metal roadie (for e.g. Tull, “the Purple,” etc.) and current American muscle-car fanatic who now owns a pest-control business, lives in the burbs with his girlfriend (owner of a shop that sells T-shirts, mostly featuring graphics of popular figures smoking dope), mentors his truly space-cadet young employee, goes to anger management classes led by a total dork (court-ordered, due to his nasty divorce), faces frequent humiliation and frustration with the c**t who doles out the pest-control assignments, and is prone to name-dropping windbaggery about the good old days of his hard-partying youth — seriously, you should try to TiVo/download/borrow this thing. It’s fuckin hilarious.

Tommy Saxondale, bailing on his anger management class:

"I'm gonna leave now for two reasons. One: I don't want to lose my temper, which I think you'll agree shows some growth, and two: this clown's just let one go ... don't deny it."