Wednesday, April 30, 2008

lather, rinse, repeat (ad infinitum)

So I was delayed again this morning in my post-"Quiet-Room"-visit pump part cleanup by Mister Handwasher.

I have to rinse and sterilize (in the microwave) all the parts of ye olde pumpe, which I usually do at the sink & microwave off of the cafeteria. But lately my visits there have coincided with Mister Handwasher's morning ritual -- this 40-ish Asian guy who stands there at the sink with his sleeves rolled up, washing washing washing washing rinsing re-soaping washing washing washing washing rinsing re-soaping washing washing (etc.) for like ten goddamn minutes. It is unspeakably irritating. I want to tell him he should get therapy (if it's an OCD thing) or stop doing whatever superdirty thing that requires his hands to get washed so very much every single day, but I am non-confrontational like that, so here I am, blogging it to the whole friggin Internets.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

or maybe it was Hamm's, I don't know

Am I the only one who missed this insanity? Jimmy Fallon taking over Conan’s slot, while the goofy (yet surprisingly and hottly cut) redhead gives Leno the boot? I didn’t even know my boy Conan was moving up an hour (shows how Up on Current Events I am, right?).

Why would anyone want to leave the late-late show? So much more freedom, a smidge more cred – it’s like if you’re a really good writer, they eventually make you editor, and then managing editor, where all you do is manage. Which blows. But it’s the only way to make more money, so you take it, and sit around getting bitter and miserable from all the goddamned managing you have to do and you don’t get to write anymore and why couldn’t they just have kept paying you more to do the same job? Damn.

So, two more points on this, and then I’ll let you go on your merry way:

1) Fallon? Really?

2) Why are there no women talk show hosts? I mean, aren’t we a bunch of talky bitches, as a species? I don’t mean casserole/tampon/you-go-girl shit like Oprah or The View (which I’ve heard Howard Stern dismiss contemptuously as “a bunch of fucking yentas sitting around running their mouths like always,” a statement with which I cannot disagree). I mean: Conan’s show, but with some funny broad behind the desk. (And please, please do not write the words “Sarah Silverman” in the comments – THAT is not what I mean at all.)

I’m saying, someone like my friend Rich Hilary (who used to lie in wait for me on the way to class on sunny spring days, brandishing a sixer of Black Label in my face and DEMANDING that I accompany her to the lawn instead and drink this fucking cheap beer and get a goddamn tan already, you SAID the professor doesn’t even know how many people are in your class, let alone your name or whether you’re there or not, bitch!). Somebody sorta loud and brash, with wide-ranging interests, an amazing ability for recall, devastatingly sharp wit, a keen sense of the absurd, the ability to draw secrets and truth out of absolutely anyone, and a blazing fearlessness in re: stepping over the line. Come to think of it, why not Rich Hilary? Or, I don’t know, Sars (of Tomato Nation & TWOP fame)? I’d totally watch that.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

The 16-Crayon pack: better than the 8-pack, poor cousin to the 64-pack w/sharpener

A few of the things I’ve been privileged to stumble across on the Internets (a series of tubes) recently:

Idiocracy, a very good movie that you should all see, gets less “funny ha-ha” and more “funny bash-your-head-against-a-wall” by the day … and Salon’s Heather Havrilesky seems to share my feeling:

Gazing at that bottle of fat-free water in the display case this morning, I wondered, how does this story end? What happens to fierce, egotistical, clumsy, dumb-as-dirt animals like us when we start to lose our power? … In fact, the one good thing about being raised in a downward-spiraling country dominated by aggressive morons is that the comedy just keeps getting better and better.
I'm sick to death of having my feminism called into question because I'm for Obama, and not Hillary Clinton. It's about HER, not "a woman," dammit. The great Sars, a feminist of the first order, explains what’s wrong with Hillary’s candidacy:

I cannot be the only one who finds the idea that Clinton is better positioned to beat McCain ridiculous. … But my personal preferences aside, there is just no goddamn way Clinton is going to do better against McCain than Obama. None.
But y'all know I ain't all serious. So: one blogger's Top 30 Pam & Jim Moments. Oh man, you guys. This is where I show you all what a GIANT MUSHBALL I really am in my secret heart. Squeeeeeee!

Which led me to this:
A week ago Wednesday I went to sleep after drinking my nightly bedtime cocktail – triple sec, bitters, grape juice, and two bottles of Nyquil – and all of a sudden I was thrown into the strangest dream I ever had. I was a seahorse broad living in this underground suburban housing community …
And this … so say we all!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not so fast, twinkletoes.

So last night on the tee-vee I see yet another promo for some sort of new dance-off show. People, Internets, America: What the FUCK is with all the goddamn dancing?

Where are these dancers coming from? And the singers? And the singing dancers, not to mention the dancing singers? What call is there for so much “competitive” “reality” pro/am prancing about and/or warbling, and at what off-off-off-off-off-off-off-Broadway performance venues do all these people practice their art before being summoned in front of a camera by the apparently insatiable demands of the American television-viewing public?

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Monday, April 21, 2008

' ... and you could do it on a cloud, and not get pregnant OR herpes.'

So we watched a couple movies this weekend – No Country for Old Men was every bit as good as you’ve heard, maybe even better, and BOY does it stick with you. An instant classic of the Coen brothers' canon. Juno, on the other hand …

Mr. Gleemonex requested I start the post with this:

Function: noun
1 a: the act of taking on or displaying an attitude or mode of behavior not natural to oneself or not genuinely felt b: speech or conduct not natural to oneself : artificiality
2 obsolete : a striving after
synonyms: see pose

I’m not saying it was a terrible movie (although Mr. Gleemonex might). There was plenty to recommend it, namely one Michael Cera, plus also the parents and Jennifer Garner, and a couple of nice and/or funny moments, but William H. SHATNER was that screenplay a bust. Even allowing for the possibility that I’m harshing on it because of Miss “Diablo” “Did You Know I Used To Be A Stripper? Well I Totally Did! And Also I Have Tattoos!” Cody and the fact that as an Oscar winner for Best Original Screenplay, she’ll have cred for years to come and we’ve not seen the last of her yet, not by a long shot – even allowing for that, it was still some precious little indie thing that your basic first-time screenwriter should’ve maybe workshopped a little more.

You don’t have to pack seven kewl popcultrefs into an eight-word sentence, for instance, and the whole 1977-vs.-1993 music dialogue tiresomeness is nakedly meant to show how much you know about music and how much teh awesum you are, and rings totally false. There is a term in fanfic – “Mary Sue” – which neatly describes what you did there, and with the character of Juno in general, which maybe someone should’ve pointed out while this thing was still in preproduction.

Plus, all that fucking Moldy Peaches on the precious mincing indie soundtrack? Makes me want to punch people in the fucking throat. Songs that sound like they were made by graduate stoodents who are really into “early music” can’t do anything BUT blow. Learn it, know it, live it.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

I do whatever the happy fun box tells me to


OK, with that out of the way: Which was more satisfying: the amazing real true eeeeeeep! of the Pam & Jim moving in/getting engaged stuff, or the surprise ouster of the formerly awesome but now totally smug douchebag Ozzy? Oh my, it was a good night for the Tee-Vee. And tonight, toniiiight! BSG, y'all! Wooooooooooo!!

[/happy demented camper]

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

In which I take up a cause, and rally the Internets to its defense.

OK, Internets. Goddammit. I've had this post brewing for a week or two about how when celebrities have babies, there's all this intense scrutiny about their bodies and how fast they can get back into pre-baby shape and how that SUCKS because yes, their jobs do entail more public ogling than most of us are subject to but A)that shit trickles down to the rest of us and nobody needs that and B)"celebs" are still PEOPLE and biology is a bitch so LAY OFF.

[Pause to marvel at me actually defending celebrities ... ]

But then yesterday afternoon, I'm in the grocery store and I see that we've stopped pretending it's the usual celebrity baggery and have turned it into a blood sport. One of those awful rags, I think this one was In Touch, dispensed with the relative politeness of the other celeb gossip sheets (e.g. US Weekly, which is practically Atlantic Monthly by comparison), and went straight for the throat. The entire cover is pregnancy-one-upsmanship: Side by side photos of J.Lo and Christina Aguilera, with a banner headline blaring POST-BABY BODY WINNERS & LOSERS, and several little side headlines, including one that says "BEST NEW BUMPS" (i.e. if you carry big-all-over instead of soccer-ball-out-front, you're a fucking failure and a worthless person and should probably just kill yourself now, to spare the rest of us the sight of your adult female body). Jesus H. Shatner playing bocce ball w/yr grampa, y'all.

It's this kind of insanity that's responsible for the horrors of "Mend it like Beckham," not to mention a general cultural attitude that says there's something wrong with you -- the civilian woman -- if you don't look like your old self (or better!) within a week of giving birth. FYI, that shit is NOT REAL. Pregnancy and childbirth are whole-body experiences that are goddamn close to entirely out of your control. Your body will do what it wants to do, what it needs to do to make and birth a baby -- you're just along for the ride. Anything beyond the basics requires luck, genetics, and an ass-army of surgeons, nutritionists, nannies, stylists, doctors and assistants to pull together, and I guarantee that in their private moments, these celebrity moms want nothing more than to curl up into a ball with their newborns and sleep like the dead -- just like the rest of us. So can we please, please lay off, on just this one subject? Permanent moratorium? KTHXBAI.


PS: Lest any haters infer defensiveness based on my personal situation, full disclosure: I happen to have been one of the lucky few whose body returned more or less to normal fairly quickly. This is due to a combination of the following factors, any one of which, had they been different, would have screwed the whole deal: Starting physically fit and at a normal weight, working out throughout the pregnancy, not having any complications that would sideline me (hyperemesis, preeclampsia, migraines, excessively loosened joints or balance issues, etc.), having cravings that ran more to fresh fruit than to ice cream (a MAJOR surprise to this sugar-baby, I tell you whut), getting diagnosed with GD and put on a no-sugar (and no-white-bread, no-starch, no-juice, no-anything-good) diet that actually caused me to lose weight in my third trimester, breastfeeding like it was going out of style, feeling ready and able to exercise (a little) again at about three weeks postpartum, and sheer genetic luck of the draw.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

One lone kernel of candy corn rattling around in my skull, masquerading as my brain.

Five Things Sucking the Creativity Right Out of My Scalp Today:

--Sustained awakenings at 1:30, 3:30, and 5:30 a.m. Brought to me by The Amazing Non-Sleeping Baby, who seems to have temporarily absconded with Standard Regular 11-Hour-Overnight Sleeping Baby. I want the SR11-H-OSB model back.
--Blogging for Dollars. It's a good thing -- possibly even a great thing -- but it does take brain energy away from Damn Kids.
--Potato chips. They're quite delicious, although a handful of them (and nothing else all day long) doesn't make much of a meal.
--"What are we having for dinner?" "I don't know, what do you want to have for dinner?" Do I really have to explain this? Surely you good people understand.
--The nightmare of a daycare we visited today with Kid Fossil. Eight kids, all boys, ages 1-4, total chaos, owner couldn't finish a sentence without veering off into some other direction (mostly about her life story and the kids she's had in her daycare, and meanwhile she asked our daughter's name like FIVE TIMES & couldn't seem to retain it), assistants didn't make eye contact, parents are discouraged from bringing food (they make their own, and it involves boiling beef bones, apparently as flavoring for the pureed carrots), kids were climbing over the play gate separating the kids' area from the formal living room (via stacked wooden boxes on one side and a child-size chair on the other), I saw an assistant feeding two kids from the same bowl of rice cereal, there's no shade in the outdoor play area, which is "fenced" with a 3-foot-high white picket fence and is across the street from a house with a large BEWARE OF ROTTWEILER sign.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

I do not think you know the meaning of that word.

Comes as NO SURPRISE WHATSOEVER that that vile loathsome swine Cheney and his little group of ball-cancers in human form gave the big okely-dokely to "harsh interrogation tactics." I am surprised anyone found actual evidence of same, and risked his or her life to bring it to light. But that's not my point for today. My point for today is:

Harsh? HARSH? You think that shit is "harsh"? "Harsh" is when I use the Internets to bag on douchey celebrities who never did me any harm, just because I can and I think it's funny. "Harsh" is a snack I make with a handful of crushed ice, a tablespoon of salt, and the juice of seven limes. "Harsh" is when it's five minutes till closing time, but they've already locked the door and won't let you in to buy one damn pack of AAA batteries. "Harsh," you sick bunch of bloodthirsty animals, is not a word that describes a torture technique we cribbed from the Spanish Inquisition and the fucking Khmer Rouge.

Tell you what, let's have a waterboarding demonstration on the Senate floor, with all C-SPAN cameras a-blazin. Any legislator who is on record anywhere in print or online as saying it's either "not torture" or "is sorta torture, but it's OK if we do it" gets to give it a go. Waterboard all those pigfuckers. THEN we'll see whether it's fucking "harsh" or not.

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Monkey on yer back

Witnessed a tragedy today at Starbucks: A man whose coffee needs have clearly turned from pleasant little pick-me-up/morning ritual to a beast that rides him with a firm whip hand. Waiting for my faintly ludicrous double tall skinny vanilla latte, I see the barista set down a tiny cup and call out "Quadruple espresso!" Guy reaches for it -- early 30s, unremarkable work wardrobe, iPod clipped to strap of messenger bag -- and I go, "That's hardcore," with an appreciative eyebrow raise, expecting some acknowledgment in the same spirit. He just looks at me with haunted eyes, clutches the cup like it's going to try to get away from him, and moves on. Oh, the humanity.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

SF moment

Seen on the street a couple blocks from work on a perhaps ill-advised takeout lunch run: A dozen or so young Chinese tourists, snapping multiple photos via camera and cameraphone, of a pair of protestors (two of perhaps hundreds) on their way to the torch route, just shutter-clicking away as if they were Brad & Angelina -- both had "Free Tibet" signs, but neither were among the wackier protestor types at all. One girl asked for and was granted permission before the photo session began, and turned to her companions, with a gleeful "chinese chinese chinese FREE TIBET chinese chinese!" The tourists seemed to find the whole thing totally hilarious. Like, pants-wettingly hysterical. I wish I understood what the deal was, man.

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Utter cha-hos

So the Olympic torch is supposed to pass by The Corporation's building twice today, and we've been warned it'll be a zoo. As a matter of fact, there are people lining the Embarcadero already. And on the one hand, god bless 'em -- it'd be pretty hard (not to mention Highly Unadvisable) to try to do this in China, so they're drawing attention to the issue the only way they can. And it's bizarre to me that the geniuses who organize the torch run, not to mention the people who awarded the Olympics to China in the first place, thought they'd get away without anybody making a stink about it. That shit is fucked up, y'all.

On the other hand, gaaaaaah. The torch-bearer is not the issue here, people. It's a HUGE honor to be selected to carry the Olympic torch, and what should be a memory of a lifetime is going to be tainted by people screaming at you and possibly physically attacking you. Plus, in this city, nobody can fucking focus -- I guarantee you there'll be just as many people out there on the route with "FREE MUMIA" signs and "wacky" costumes & body paint, blathering about some fringe/tiresome dead-horse issue that has nothing to do with China's human rights record, dancing around like it's some kind of party or something.

Mixed feelings here, y'all.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A little meme time

Meanoldmommy (whom I suspect is neither mean, nor old, though the evidence on her blog suggests is indeed a mommy) done up and tagged me. Here be the rules – break them at your peril!

1) Write your own six word memoir
2) Post it on your blog; include a visual illustration if you’d like
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

So, my memoir in six words:


Knock y'selves out, Panda!!!, HHL, bgirl, GenEx, and slugger.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Four minutes older, but sometimes it felt like four years!

Bitch, do not lie to me: If you are a woman between the ages of twenty-eight and forty-two, you totally mainlined Sweet Valley High "novels" back in the day. And perhaps, like me, you may or may not have made an audio recording of a staged reading of several chapters of one of them at your friend’s house one everlasting summer afternoon when you were eleven.

Um, but anyway, SVH was an apparently endless series of partially-hydrogenated petroleum-based confections featuring a pair of vapid blonde twins, the physical description of whom would have found much favor with the Nazis: blonde, blue-eyed, 5’6”, those stupid identical “lavalieres” (whatever the fuck that is) that they wore. And of course, as we all remember, both were “a perfect size six.”

Well, yada yada yada Gossip Girl et cetera, Random House is reissuing the books, but with some key updates (helpfully highlighted in the press release), including trading in the legendary red Fiat (the fuck?) for a red Jeep Wrangler (um, the fuck?) – and people are getting all bent out of shape over the fact that the girls will now be “a perfect size four.” Which, ugh. Yes, that is about twelve kinds of horseshit that little girls don’t need. However, with the vanity sizing that’s gone on in the intervening 20-odd years, it kind of amounts to the same thing, and won’t give anyone an eating disorder who wasn’t on track for one anyway.

In my mind, the real damage those fuckin books did was to present being sixteen as the end-all be-all of female existence. Sixteen blows, man. Yeah, sure, you can drive, but you still have two-and-half more years of high school, you feel me?

So anyway, mostly this stuff is harmless, though deeply, deeply stupid – the “adventures” of the twins (Elizabeth, the studious noodgy Gallant to Jessica’s prick-teasing Goofus), their older bro Stephen, their Jim-n-Cindy Walsh-like parents (whom my sister and I decided drove a “maroon business car”), that c**t Lila Fowler and that even bigger c**t Enid Rollins, ultradouche Bruce Patman, castrato Todd Wilkins, sad hapless Winston Eggbert, fatass Lois Waller, token part-Latina Penny Ayala and the rest of the silly-ass gang of one-dimensional twits being unleashed on a new generation is bigger news to me and the other old hens of my generation than to The Kids Today.

Case in point: I did not look up, even on Wikipedia, any of the names or details of the stuff I just wrote about. This was from memory, over twenty years since I read my last SVH. If only my three years of Honors Spanish had such staying power …

PS: Sorry for the lack of updates lately, y’all … I’m victim of a cornucopia of time-suck events lately (including the thoroughly dispiriting one of looking for daycare for Kid Gleemonex), but don’t worry – I’m always thinking of you folk, and I’ll be back on the once-a-day schedule asap.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Two Vastly Different Varieties of Televisual Entertainment

1) So we tried to watch Inland Empire Saturday night, and people, we made it maybe 20 minutes into this three-hour epic. I can count the number of times I have abandoned a movie mid-viewing on one hand with a couple fingers missing (Reservoir Dogs, the truly loathsome and irredeeemable House of 1,000 Corpses), but we just couldn’t do it. Totally incomprehensible, and also, unbelieveably tense-making. My shoulders were up around my ears, I was filled with dread -- we got through the awesome-yet-scary-as-hell Grace Zabriskie’s first scene, and then had to call it. I think this is the final installment of a Lesson Learned: I love Lynch Lite (Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive) and can’t really handle Lynch Dark Roast (Inland Empire, Wild at Heart). Good to know.

2) BASEBAAAALLLLLLLL! How bout them Yankees, folks? Opening Day proper got rained out, so we’ve only seen the one game (yesterday’s), but it was groovy. My beloved Paul O’Neill commentatin’, Melky and Jeets on the field, Giambi pulling actual baseball out of nowhere ... I gotta tellya, I have all kinds of good feelings about the Joe Girardi era. I loved me some Joe Torre, but it was time – it was past time, if you want to know the truth – and Girardi seems like exactly the right man for the job. Mariano Rivera’s smile just lit up the night, y’all – and that warms the cockles of my cold, dark heart. All’s right with the world.

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