Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cause I'm sick of your mouth and your two-percent milk

Three Things To Delight And Surprise

Looks way too skinny to be durable, according to the baseball prospectus in 1996 (about the all-time saves recordholder and future Hall-of-Famer, now 41 and still lights-out). I think all writing ought to be like the writing in this here document, forever and ever.

--Jo: There's a blog I read called A Cup of Jo. I kind of love her -- fresh, sweet, interesting, full of gorgeousness. It's almost always an upper for me. But then a small and ugly part of me sometimes kind of hates how fabulous she is; surely the Germans have a word for this conflicting emotion. ACOJ never approaches Gwyneth-flavor smugness -- she's not that way, at all. But everything is so perfect, so design-y; her friends are all these wealthy-looking work-at-home-in-fabulous-cities types; there always happen to be professional-quality photos of professional-quality photo-ready Perfect Moments ... it just (through no real fault of hers) sometimes manages to make me feel bad for eating takeout for dinner and watching TV on the couch instead of biking across the Brooklyn Bridge for a lovely dinner with some lovely friends at a lovely little bistro, you know?

--ROWE: We bout to do this up in my work, y'all. End of this month. HOLY SHITCAKES.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Swatch dogs and Diet Cokeheads

So the Family Gleemonex went to an alleged "Art & Wine" Festival (at which I saw very little art, and only a couple of opportunities for wine) in the neighborhood last weekend, which turned out to be mostly about the awesomeness of bouncy houses as far as Kid Gleemonex was concerned.

Me, I spent most of the time fascinated, repelled and horrified by these bevies of young ladies from the area's middle and high schools (they were identified by school logos on their ultra tiny-fit tees/tanks and on cheerleader uniforms -- a big part of this festival was performances by school groups in the big tent at one end of the grounds).

Now, recall, we moved here for several valid reasons, such as: great schools (as identified by their California API scores). But these girls -- o readers, these girls we saw.

Roving packs of them, all dressed more or less identically: Tiny tee or tank, shorts of an impossibly tiny smallness in a length such that you'd be able to see the bottom edge of underpant if they wore traditional underpants, which they didn't (them shorts could accommodate thongs only), and some sort of sockless shoe at the end of their early-puberty colt-length toothpick-skinny legs. They roved around in packs, long straight shiny hair aglisten, makeup expertly subtle (with occasional glittery accents), wee t-shirt-bra-clad chests caved in in that painfully self-conscious way that is universal and utterly, biologically unavoidable at that age.

We, my peers, Gen X -- we did not look like that at that age. We shared the chest-caving and the pack-roving, but that is all. We tried as hard as we could to look sophisticated and cool, but our makeup was clownish, our clothing raided from the Golden Girls' condo, our hair permed and curling-ironed and sprayed and mostly utterly inept, our bras stretchy and ill-sized garments out of a box from the Teen section of Dillard's. You could see that we were children, no matter what WE thought of ourselves.

But the Kids Today ... not only do I not know how they get this way -- the sheer energy, the time it must take to develop skills like those -- but also, I am scared to death by what it means. They look so ... adult, but in a creepy way. I know their minds and emotions are in more or less the same place ours were, but they look like 25-year-olds, they look available to men and boys (who, assuredly, will take this look at face value, and subject them to things they aren't ready for). I'm fucking this up here, I'm not saying what I mean -- there's something about it that makes them look like prey, is what I'm kind of getting at. I don't want to go back to the weirdness, repression and body-shaming of my day, and I'm not trying to shut down anyone's, like, sexuality or whatever -- but these ARE still CHILDREN, and it's seriously unnerving to see them present themselves (pretty successfully, if not for the chest-caving) as adults.

Homeschooling begins to make a twisted kind of sense ... ugh.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.'


This -- the below -- is what nearly half of the country believes. They're CHEERING the thought of an uninsured person dying for lack of health care.

Sully has the video. You can hear these vile swine cheering -- the applause drowns Ron Paul out.

It's times like these that make me wish I believed in an actual, literal Hell. Instead, it's right here, like a bunch of guys who brought smallpox and hunting knives and rabid pitbulls into a mosh pit where the rest of us were pogoing around and bouncing off of each other, and they locked the doors so nobody gets out and as they all thrash around and slash each others' and innocent bystanders' throats, we're all gonna get stomped and crushed and bleed out along with them.

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Monday, September 12, 2011


It’s over, which is typically where I come in, so, knowing that about me as you do, indulge me, eh wot?

I fundamentally do not get 9/11 anniversary reactions in the “USA! USA! USA!”/PATRIOTISM NOW vein. At all. Yes, in those first few hours and days, we were wounded, we took it personally, as if someone had assaulted our own grandmama, but why should it make anyone – especially this far out -- feel a surge of patriotism? Especially considering what that well-meant but misguided impulse from millions of grieving and outraged hearts was used for, under Bush/Cheney – it was twisted against us, funneled into things so evil and horrific that we couldn’t have imagined them at the time. We’re still neck-deep in that toxic sludge, and I worry sometimes in my three-a.m.-insomniac way that we’ll never get out – we’re going to drown in it – and it didn’t have to be this way, so fuck you and your “USA! USA! USA!” bullshit right in the ear.

I also fundamentally do not get the “God Bless America” reactions – there’s a huge overlap with them and the USA! types, but it’s slightly different. I am, as you know, somewhere between atheist and agnostic, so of course I really wouldn’t take comfort from god-based platitudes, but someone on Facebook wrote that it “helped that I went to church today” and someone else agreed, adding “It also helped to sing ‘God Bless America’ while wearing the red, white and blue scarf I bought at Ground Zero when the buildings were still smoldering...” Because, see, that wouldn’t help me AT ALL. That fucking song drives me batshit anyway, always has (even back when I was a believer, I thought it was a little bit “Fuck y’all, I got mine”) -- come ON. God bless America – damn, I feel like we’ve been pretty well blessed over the years, don’t you? Billions of people on this dying planet know nothing in their entire lives but misery and dirt, and we – born on third base and forever thinking we hit a triple – want the big sky-fairy to give us MORE? Another band-aid for our Big Gigantic Owie? How about we learn some lessons, grow up, join the community of humanity instead, and quit acting like we’re so goddamned Speshul?

And finally, I fundamentally do not get the “NEVER FORGET!” types. Because seriously – who would? Who COULD forget? Ten years go by, it still feels like yesterday to me – there’s no forgetting something like that. The thing is, I never know if these people mean “Never forget the victims, and honor their lives” – which, OK, yes, I get, although it’s a little bit mawkish if you didn’t lose a loved one in the attacks/aftermath, kind of piggybacking on disaster-porn overload in general – or, as is more likely if you’re posting this on Facebook or your blog as comment-bait – “I PERSONALLY have never forgotten this thing that those dirty ragheads did to us and I hope we stay at war with dirty raghead nations until every last one of the dirty ragheads is exterminated and if you don’t agree you are a godless Muslim commie homo socialist fascist who deserves to die along with them so GOD BLESS ‘MURKA.”

It was horrible, it will always be horrible, for the rest of my life the very thought of it will render me breathless with the memory of the fear and grief and astonishment, I will always wonder how things could have turned out differently for America and the world if someone else’s hand had been steering the ship of state when it happened – but we have to stop using it as an excuse to ruin everything in the entire goddamn world because we’re mad and sad.

Sorry to be such a downer … I’ll be more fun later, honest.

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Saturday, September 03, 2011

"It's HARD to hit home runs, and where the heck didja get TWO of 'em?"

God, you guys, I love Paul O'Neill sofa king much!

We record every Yankees game all season long (we have that MLB Extra Innings thing from DirecTV), and my favorites, my real must-watch games, are the ones where Paulie's in the broadcast booth. He's really knowledgeable and sharp about what's going on, but he's also just this goofy dude, a Midwesterner despite all those years playing in New York, and he cracks me up every time I hear him. Last night I thought I was gonna stroke out, listening to this (as near exact a transcript as I could make):

[lull in game play]
O'Neill: Where do people hang out on Labor Day weekend?
Singleton or Kay: ...
O'Neill: I left [for the Stadium] early, thinkin there'd be all this traffic, but there was nobody on the road.
S/K: Maybe they left yesterday.
S/K: Last beach weekend.
S/K: The house shares all end.
O'Neill, to whom the words are in English but make no sense strung together: ... the ... house shares ... all end ...
S/K: Yeah, Jersey Shore, the Hamptons -- guys have shares ...
O'Neill, musingly, baffled, at half-volume: ... shares? ...
[actual baseball commentary]
[some time later]
S/K: So yeah, the shares run Memorial Day to Labor Day, then you gotta get the housecleaners to come in.
O'Neill: So it's like Animal House out there?
S/K: [laughter] Sorta ... not exactly ...

And then there was this, where in another lull in the game, the camera guys zero in on a sixtyish woman in the stands who's knitted a little teddy bear in a baseball cap and is now embroidering something on the front of its shirt. They all try to figure out what it says ("Texiera?" is one guess), then Paul opines:

O'Neill: Knitting. My mom used to knit. [kind of aggrieved] I'd go in a room and she'd be sitting there knitting, and it just looked so boring.
S/K: [laughter]
O'Neill: I mean, there's so many things you can do ...
O'Neill: I'd always just leave the room.
S/K: Maybe she didn't really, she only did it so you'd leave.
O'Neill: [giggling] Three brothers and one sister ... maybe so!

How can you not love this guy? Shatner bless ya, Paulie!

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Friday, September 02, 2011


I am on vacation this week, hangin' out with Kid Gleemonex, which has been awesome. Lots of fun stuff (you parents with just boys are missing out on the foofy tea-room restaurant experience, no kidding around), crafts, baking, lots of just nothing in particular (that's in short supply when both parents work, I tell you whut, and honestly it is restorative to the soul).

And but so one day, we went to a local park -- part of the appeal of the area where we live now is that it's absolutely lousy with well-tended parks. We took a picnic, and ate on our blanket in soft green grass under a shade tree -- it was lovely. But then, because we are at a park, we have to do park stuff.

Know what's fucking boring? Parks.

We went over to the sand play area, which to my surprise, for once in her life did not interest my kid -- five or six toddlers mucking around in the sand in the glaring sunlight, moms and nannies and what have you arranged nearby in what shade they could find, most either reading or on iPhones. The slides were too hot -- direct sun, doncha know -- so Kid Gleemonex wanted to swing. Christ, swings are boring for the one who is not doing the swinging, even when your kid is adorable and wants you to push her at varying speeds such as "monster fast," "rabbit fast," and "grass fast." Eventually she got done swinging and went over to the water play area (you push a button and these jets set into a rubberized surface start shooting at random intervals -- a little like the Bellagio only you can play in it and there's no music or light show or booze).

So I took my book* over to a shaded bench and read while she went to TOWN on that water thingy. And here's where I want to get back to the thing about all the moms and nannies on their iPhones and/or reading -- I never understood that, before I had a kid. I was all, oh that's so sad, why do they even HAVE kids if they don't want to play with them? But now I get it. I do. Parks used to be a place where you'd send a kid to play in relative peace and grown-up-free safety -- think about all those Amy & Laura books, the Fudge books, where the playground has nothing to do with parents whatsoever. But now instead of letting them go nuts and burn off all that kid energy farting around with other kids, we're supposed to ENGAGE with them -- hover right over them, climb up the fucking slide if we can fit through the thing, mediate sand-toy disputes with other small humans ... and that is FUCKING BORING. They like playing on playgrounds because they're KIDS -- to them, it's discovery! and skills! and daring! Which is great! But the actual stuff they do in these settings is b-b-b-b-boooooring for adults.

It's only that guilt -- "I should be over there, running through the water jets with her ..." that taints things. So I decided to let it go -- the kid was having an absolute blast, and it would've been less fun and over sooner if I had participated, so we each enjoyed our own age-appropriate activity, and we went home exhausted and happy.

The take-away: When you go to the park, take a book or something.

The end.

*The Help, if you must know. Shut up. SHUT UP I KNOW, OK?

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