Monday, March 25, 2013

Debbie Reynolds was yukking across the stage in a silver Afro wig ... to the tune of "Sgt. Pepper," from the golden trumpet of Harry James.

Thoughts While Watching My Kid's Dance School's Spring Repertory Show

It was the older kids, mostly 10 and up, and I took her because it's fun to watch dance shows in a great, restored old theater and she wanted to see her own dance teacher and kids she knows from the school. So: 

--Streisand. Jesus. Are you fucking kidding me, two different Streisand numbers? And of course one of them was the worst song in the history of recorded music ("Send in the Clowns," obviously).  Un-fucking-BEARABLE.

--Tap looks like so goddamn much fun! I'm serious, I hated tap back in the day -- I was a ballet purist -- but I've reconsidered now that I'm old. That one Louis Prima number, particularly, was a blast.

--Some of these gals ... ah. How to say. Some of them could use a little womanly guidance in re: the art and science of chestal support garments. This fact made me actively cringe, because I know the girls are only preteens or teens, but take it from someone who's been stacked like Mamie van Doren since fourth grade: You're gonna dance, you're gonna need a real bra.

--The song "That's Life!" has been permanently ruined for me by the Howard Stern Show. Thanks to the parody song about Baba Booey, "Those Teeth," I could barely even deal with them dancing to it, for the laughing-on-the-inside going on in my head as I overlaid the lyrics with "Those teeth! (those teeeeeth!) They are green and / they are grey, his breath's so horrendous / his dentist passed away!" etc.

--Similarly, "Luck Be a Lady" -- hilarity-ruined by Krumholtz's a cappella version in Slums of Beverly Hills. We actually called Krumholtz "Luck Be a Lady" (with utmost appreciation, mind) for years before we learned his name, up here in the Gleemonex household.

--None of those gals would think it was funny if I added a strangled, hooting "Puh-in on 'e Riiiiiiz!" into their cool jazzy dance to the hybrid Astaire/Taco version of that song. They would think there was something really wrong, and sad, about me, is what, especially if I kept laughing for like three days about it the way I am actually doing right now.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

"But Darling, if you HAVE a baby, you can't BE the baby anymore."

Things That Are Awesome Today

--This gallery of album covers done up like old paperbacks. I cannot stop with the love for these. I must have them all.

--The NCAA Men's basketball tournament. I mean, fuck Harvard, for reals (I almost picked them because Ivy League yo, but then I was like, nahh, fuck 'em, and damn if they didn't spoil a bunch of shit for a bunch of people. Gah!). But I love watching these games -- the whole thing is fun as hell, even in years like this one in which I didn't watch a single bball game before the tournament.

--Some kid's bday party on Saturday, which the invitation specifically says we can drop off our kids. This is BIG -- because for the first couple of years of kiddie parties, you have to go, and stand there the whole time making awk conversations with the other parents (whichever one lost rock-paper-scissors, like you did). There's usually cake, which is good, but still. So I'm excited and hopeful that this is the start of a new era of happy, brief independence for Kid Gleemonex and her peers.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A thing I did this morning, because Jane Doe could've been my HS classmate

One of my million political tumblrs posted a request made by the family of Steubenville's Jane Doe for any donations to go to Madden House, a women's shelter near her. So I did that, and if you are so moved, there's the link -- each donation, even if it's one dollar, shows this girl that we support her and we hear her.

Now, beyond my disgust at humanity in general and those vile sociopaths who raped Jane Doe in particular, the reason I donated was: Jane Doe could've been my high school classmate. Yours too. Any of ours, really -- another day, another child rape by star teenage athletes, another round of victim-blaming and lamenting the unfairly blighted futures of these wonderful young men.

And it's that last that really gets me -- the town gathering these wastes of carbon to its bosom, defending them, screaming abuse at the victim. She's a whore, a liar, a slut who just wants to ruin these guys' lives. What the FUCK.

In my high school, football players were gods. They could've gotten away with anything. A stern talking-to from the coach and/or running some bleachers till they puked, and all's well. I don't know if anything this serious ever happened (we didn't have phone cams and Facebook back then -- just dirty rumors and whisper campaigns), but I have the sick feeling that if it did, and the news got out, my own family -- and up to a certain age, when I started to get conscious of things around me -- even I might've sided with the rapists. That culture -- football is everything, MEN are everything; the players deserve this hero worship, this godlike treatment, the right to take whatever they wanted from all the people around them. Maybe it's harmless, like that hilarious/awkward moment in S1 of Friday Night Lights where Matt, on a date with Julie, thinks "QB1" doesn't have to pay for movie tickets. But maybe it's more. She shouldn't have gone to that party. She shouldn't have been drinking. She shouldn't have flirted, she shouldn't have left the house so casually in possession of a vagina -- how stupid of her! Boys are boys, it was all in good fun, right? Why's this whorebag slut so sensitive? Why does she want to ruin our boys' lives?

Puke till I'm dry, puke some more. Dry heave. Ugh.


Monday, March 18, 2013

On a similar note:

That Marissa Mayer chick can shut RIGHT the fuck up about nobody gets to telecommute and blah blah blah lookit me I only took two weeks of maternity leave. Good for you, bitch, with your custom-built nursery right next to your office. Where's my custom-built nursery? Right. Exactly.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

My stuff is stuff, your stuff is shit.

Ugh, this guy, this "Living With Less -- A Lot Less" guy. Not that I don't have the occasional fantasy of moving the fam to Pezenas with nothing but what will fit in the carry-ons, and I will never ever argue the point of having "stuff" just for stuff's sake, but ... come on.

1) We lived in an eensy apartment in SF for six years. It had a Barbie stove and refrigerator, a pocket door to the one bedroom (through which you had to walk to get to the bathroom), and everything had to be organized very carefully, to the point where it was more of a hassle to get out the guitar to practice on it than it was worth. I loved that apartment, our tiny courtyard, the whole life we lived there. But eventually, you get tired of the moving-the-table-out-from-the-wall-so-your-guest-can-also-sit-at-it-for-dinner thing. It feels like a dorm room. (Which, n.b., Mr. Gleemonex and I also did in fact share for a year; my single room in the "new" dorm, with a twin bed, a desk, and a closet. We are pretty good at sharing small spaces, he and I.)

2) WTF is with your need for roommates, bro? Were I a single gal, I'd do whatever it took to have my own place, ALONE. And were I a rich'un like this guy, I'd buy a place that suited my lifestyle, not a series of gigantic historical houses which I had nothing better to do with than fill with roommates and assume the troublesome ass-pain of cutting my own goddamn lawn (have you ever heard of gardening services, dude? They're AWESOME.).

3) This quote: My apartment sleeps four people comfortably; I frequently have dinner parties for 12.I guarantee it's not as comfortable for the other 3-11 people as you think. Particularly with only the one bathroom. 

4) I think it's key that he met an exotic foreign girl and traveled all over, footloose and lightweight -- slumming, roughing it, with nothing but the enormous bank account waiting for him back home -- and that this is what taught him the Life Lesson that less is more. I congratulate him in the way that I congratulate all rich white Americans who did such daring, intrepid, wild things and learned such deep Life Lessons that they can now share with us. 

5) He acts like it's not just the right choice for him but in fact morally superior not to own anything. OK, I don't do gadgets, cause that's not really what turns my crank, but I do have books (so many books!), some clothing, objects of sentimental value from my life, art that makes me happy, devices upon which to listen to music and/or watch TV & movies, a bass guitar and amp, the comfy Cost Plus chair I'm currently blogging from, art supplies, things for my kids (books, furniture, etc.). I don't think I'm hurting anyone with this stuff, and I don't think it's anyone else's lookout what or how much material accompanies me on my journey through life. 

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

BULLETIN: Damn Kids email hacked -- don't read any emails from "Your Mom"

Hey kids, sorry for the troubles, but if you got an email from "Your Mom" this morning, and it's not from your actual mom, it was some asshole hacker out of Turkey trying to sell you ViAGrera or Hot sexey older married ladiyes who want to get friendly wiht you today or send me money cause I'm stranded at gunpoint in London.

None of those things are true! I'm safe in the Silicon Valley, not selling anything (these peridots of wisdom are free, y'all!), and while I *am* a sexey older married ladiye, I don't want to get friendly with any of you, at least not in that way.

Christ, don't these fucking cocknuckles have anything else better to do with their fucking time?


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Your stepmom's cute." "Shut up, Ted." "Remember when she was a senior and we were freshmen?" "Shut UP, Ted."

Apropos of this post by my homegirl Francine:

Further Instances of Harassment to Which I Have Been Subjected

--The driver's ed teacher who none of the three of us girls wanted to be the last person in the car with. He went ON AND ON about how it was time to trade his wife (the mother of his three young children) in for a younger model, haw haw haw; he wore very short, tight white shorts during all our driving sessions (and mentioned, not infrequently, how "underwear just gets in the way" in his coachly athletic pursuits); he always wanted to stop in at DQ, get a booth, and buy us shakes instead of logging the required road-hours.

--The 6th-grade science teacher who'd run a filmstrip every week or so, during which he'd sit in the back of the room on the corner of his desk, hand jinglin' the change in his pocket. If you know what I mean. And back then I didn't but now I do.

--The boss who insinuated at least twice weekly that if only he weren't married, HOOOOOOO BOY would he and any of several of us younger female employees have a real good time together.

--The bra-strap snapping epidemic of fifth grade, in which for several weeks a group of boys -- the mean, popular ones -- spent literally all of their available time trying to snap our bra straps from the back and from the front. When we complained, the teachers -- all female -- were like, " ... now boys, cool it, mkay."

Good times!

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Monday, March 11, 2013

"I hated the Wakefield twins like I hated my Barbies: blonde, perfect, zero relatability."

Once again, the inimitable Sarah Brown said something that made me think (that's her in the post title). Her tumblr links to a (rad!) piece by a Sweet Valley High ghostwriter, and Sarah says she never really liked these books, although women around her (our) age are supposed to bond over the love of them. Which is true, except -- for me, it's never been about loving them, just about having read them.

Any nostalgia, or any fondness, I feel for SVH (about which I have written a few times here on this blog) is just the generalized nostalgic/fond way you remember pretty much anything you used to do all of a damn hot summer afternoon when you were eleven.

Mostly what I remember was that it was important to read them; everyone else was, so you had to, to be in the know. We'd trade them back and forth -- me, the Sociopath, Lab Partner, Berwie, half a dozen others. We'd rank the male characters by boyfriendworthiness (Sociopath always liked Bruce Patman and the Wakefield dad the best; she was, of course, the only one to think of including somebody's f'ing dad), the cars by which one we wanted most when we turned 16 (surprisingly, my eventual ride -- the 1980 Buick Skylark -- was not on the list), we'd take personality quizzes to find out which female character we were, we'd con somebody into taking us to the Golden Triangle Mall to buy the new ones at B. Dalton as soon as they came out.

So I participated, you know, and not unwillingly; that shit was pretty fun as a shared experience. But the feelings the actual books produced in me were almost entirely negative. I knew that I would never look like the Wakefield twins, but I learned that theirs was the only desirable kind of beauty. I knew they came from money, and learned that not having money was shameful and a thing to hide from your peers. I knew what boys were like and what boys liked, and learned that the first was "alien" and the second amounted to "not me." I learned that there was always supposed to be drama and scheming going on amongst one's friends and that your sister would always be your rival.

These things are mental handicaps, and part of the baggage that I've been busting open and sorting through all the years of this blog -- talk about power! Whoa. And to me, that's the bond most of my generation of women shares -- we were all a little warped by SVH, or at least it's impossible to have avoided them completely, so love/hate/meh/puke/whatever, you have some kind of opinion about them one way or another.

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Friday, March 08, 2013

There is no way to explain the terror I felt when I finally lunged up to the clerk and began babbling.

Random Stories About My Dad, Vol. 2: Things Not to Say to My Dad, and Why Not to Say Them

"Where's Sara Orleanna?"
It's none of your business where my wife is, nor why she is not present at this moment. And if that's not what you're asking -- if this is, as is most likely, just a way of making small talk -- don't do that. I don't do small talk. If you're genuinely inquiring as to my family's welfare, you best phrase it differently, Jack, cause all you did there was piss me off.

[via telephone, when it is you who has called my house]: "Who's this?"
You called me, Bubba, and it ain't your lookout who's answering my phone. The proper way to begin a telephone call that you initiated is, "Hello. This is Bubba Joe Ewing. May I speak with Harper, please?"

[via telephone]: "Is Harper there?"
Maybe, maybe not. What rude asshole is asking, and why do they think they deserve to know the whereabouts of my daughter?

"Whatchall doin' this Saturday?"
It exactly zero concern of yours what plans my family does or does not have this Saturday or any other time. If you are asking this intrusive question preparatory to making a social invitation, you should instead present your query thusly: "Ellen May and I are gonna fry up a mess of catfish this Saturday afternoon. Would you all like to come?" And really -- better to make your invitations via the mail (which doesn't put me on the spot) or in person to my wife, because social shit is most properly a lady's purview.

[at the table, as my waitress] "Y'all still workin on that?", "SOMEbody sure was hungry!" or anything unrelated to whether or not you may be of service at this time. 
My progress through my meal is none of your business. When I want your waitressing attentions, I will signal you to action. Meanwhile, kiss off, Sweetcheeks.

"I'm Bubba Joe Ewing."
Your name is Bubba Joe Ewing. YOU are not Bubba Joe Ewing.

[adult] "Hi, Rob."
My name is Robert.

[person under 21, or any age person who is offspring of adult friend] "Hi, Rob." OR "Hi, Robert."
My name is Mr. Fox.

NB: For most of these, it ain't like he'd cut you, or else throw a big hissyfit right in front of you at Easter dinner or anything, but the rules were the rules and if you broke them he would think less of you. Except for that last one. The quickest way to get your teenage ass banned from our house (and most particularly banned from dating me or my sister) was to act like Dad was your pal, your equal, your buddy. Don't do it man, just don't.

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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Plus someday it's going to AMAZE you how thoroughly well you remember all the lyrics of late '80s/early '90s Aerosmith, and you'll wish with heretofore unknown intensity that you had that brainspace free now.

And While I'm Thinking About It, Teenage Me (Not That I Would've Listened to Old-Ass Me):

You have to stop writing quotes all over stuff from songs you've never heard, books you've never read, and philosophies you don't understand. I'm serious, stop it. Instances of this were legion, but I (blessedly) can't remember them all; however, here are some specifics:

--Bruce Springsteen songs. The lyrics of "Born to Run" are pretty great; they speak to the teenage heart ("no one in this shithole gets me, and someday I'm hittin' the road with the One who does," basically). But OMG when you actually hear this song, some ten, fifteen years hence? You are not gonna BELIEVE what it sounds like. It sounds NOTHING like what you think in your head. You're going to feel like a dummy when you realize that. Although it's not anywhere near the cringeworthiness of this next one:

--Ayn Rand. I cannot even. What the fuck. You think it makes you ultra-cool, like some kind of teenage iconoclast, to scribble upon your geometry folder, "I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life." Where did you even get that from? Jesus. You and this fuckin guy and every "got mine, fuck you if you can't get yours" douchebro on the planet. 

--Communism. You actually do not understand what this is, as evidenced by your simultaneous adoption of hippie style, careful lettering of "END COMMUNISM" on a collage poster you made of a whole bunch of cool '60s stuff, and arguing with the stupid chucklefuck of a Government teacher* that "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" is truly the only valid structure for a Christian society. Go to the library, read up -- no skimming to sound smart this time, OK?

*Truly, sincerely, the man was a stupid chucklefuck and a complete asshole besides. I fucking still hate that guy. 

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Monday, March 04, 2013

HERE? In CLEVEland? Why, I didn't even know we still had a team!

OK so this might be a little fucked up, but the only way I was able to resist my craving for some of those goddamned cheddar biscuits and some popcorn shrimp at Red Lobster the other day was to remember that 1) My politics forbid it, now more than ever (their CEO is one of those fucknuts who threw stompy hissyfits and vowed to cut workers' hours so they wouldn't have to give them health benefits under Obamacare), and but also and more importantly 2) If I happened to choose to go there on the day the next public shoot-em-up mass murder happens and this time it's in that particular Red Lobster, well, even if I ain't one of the victims per se, I'll be found out, I'll be revealed as one who lets her weak, base physical cravings override her politics, the spineless fraud.

This post brought to you by insomnia. And commas.

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Friday, March 01, 2013

Keep Calm and Kick Argentina's Ass

Random Stories About My Dad, Vol. 1

Remember the thing in the Falkland Islands, back in 1982? I was eight years old, I barely remember it -- it's one of those sort of hilarious* "wars" that was baffling to Americans (because we weren't in it, and all we care about is wars that we're kicking ass in, USA! USA! USA!) and over before anybody really got a grip on what what was happening. 

So, I don't know, but my dad -- who for purposes of this blog, I'm going to call Robert Nathan Fox -- must've been at loose ends that spring and early summer. He was a writer who worked construction of all types to pay the bills, so both the work and the money had their ebbs and flows and riptides and eddies and cataclysms and whatnot. He was super into the Falklands War, and he -- so therefore, we -- came down reaaaal heavy on the British side of things. I think that despite his affinity for Latin America and Spanish speakers globally, he sympathized with the Brits on grounds of the Old Order, the Right and Proper, the Empire on Which the Sun Never Set -- very taken with that sort of prim yet romantic faded grandeur, he was. I remember Sunday lunches at my grandmother's (his mom) where he'd read the latest news of the war from the Ft. Worth and Dallas papers to us; quizzes on the former colonies of the British Empire; scoffing at Argentina's upstart stupidity in picking fights with Mother England, who taught "these Nazi-hiders" everything they knew about civilization. Or something like that -- I was eight, I was heavy into Garfield at the time, so who knows. 

One day, we even made a Union Jack -- my dad cut up a sheet*** and brought us some huge wide-tip red and blue permanent markers (provenance unknown, like every other thing he ever brought us), marked the stripes using his drafting table and engineer's precision, and set us kids to colorin'. We flew it outside for the duration, then it hung in his office upstairs, where it hangs still. I can't look at it without thinking of the way he could carry people along on the tide of his own enthusiasms, make them think his was the only true and right way of seeing a thing, at least for awhile, and somehow get more color out of life than most people were accustomed to seeing. Rule Brittania!

*A lot less hilarious when you realize, as I did when reading this Wikipedia article, that nearly a thousand people died in the course of its 74 days, ugh. 

**When they got paid, that is, which was a pretty erratic and unpredictable occurrence, which is one of the root causes of me feeling insecure around people who came from money, and more specifically came from financially stable households -- no wild swings up, down, sideways, just knowing that the mortgage would be paid and there was enough cash for food in the house because at least one adult in the house had a job that came with a paycheck on the reg. My Psyche: You Din't Ask, But I'm Tellin! 

***Which if he followed true Dad Form, was likely one of my mom's good, new ones. [facepalm]

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