Archive for November, 2010

How Do I Hate Thee? Let me count the ways…

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I hate the way you give me anxiety bordering on a breakout of hives.

I hate the way you’ve made me call the heavily accented lady at the help desk (is she the only one who answers or is it just fate giving me her each time???) three times before noon with my stupid questions.

I hate that even if I put in my best effort, I’m not entirely sure I’m going to build a website that’s anything more than the equivalent of a messy crayon drawing obviously done by a slow child.

I hate that real experts cost thousands and thousands of dollars and often don’t deliver that much more than what I could have cobbled together myself and  yet leaves me feeling totally dependent on them should catastrophe strike.

No amount of Joomla! books will bring me comfort...unless it turns out a web designer comes with them.

I hate that it’s snowing (not your fault, but maybe it is in some kind of extended global warming sort of way.)

I hate that I keep wishing I was rich and could make this somebody else’s problem.

I hate that of I’m the ‘technically savvy’ half of the new business venture I’m part of, because that basically means we’re doomed, at least technically speaking.

I hate that it’s 1pm, and I’m still in my bathrobe, and I’ve already cried twice, and I’ve done nothing for three hours but work on setting up this website and ultimately achieved what an expert probably would have pulled off in fifteen minutes.

I hate celery.

I hate waiting in long lines.

I hate shoveling.

I hate feeling incompetent.

I hate being stuck: literally, figuratively, and metaphorically.

I hate waiting.

I hate not knowing.

I hate how I get in my own way.

I hate whiners.

I hate that I’m whining.

And yet…oddly enough…I actually feel rather better, so I suppose I’ll stop my whining now and knock off a few other items on the to do list, and wait to see if the DNS server changes I made were actually done correctly. And, with any luck, I’ll continue my tortoise and the hare (me being the tortoise) progress and have something to show you in a few days.

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

We shall see…

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With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams…

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

…it is still a beautiful world.

Sometimes it’s easy forget that, but there may be no truer testament to the preciousness of life than the way people fight to hang on at the end of theirs.

And babies.

Babies and death – the beginning and the end – are the poignant reminders of why we stick it out, even when it doesn’t seem to be worth it.

Lately I’ve been doing some intense – and truth be told, painful – inner child work with my friend/teacher/guide/and soon-to-be-business partner. It’s a workshop she developed 20 years ago and hasn’t really done since, but something I wanted to learn to facilitate. She decided that the only way to teach it to me was experientially, and thus, the two of us have been going through it together, day after traumatic day.

If sitting in a living room with one of your closest friends bawling about the pain of your infancies or toddlerhoods or pre-school years and crayoning with your non-dominant hands and discovering how those old wounds are haunting you still as an adult doesn’t sound like much fun, well…it isn’t. But alas, if you’re doing something in your life that you don’t want to be doing – thoughts, actions, addictions, inertia, you name it – then your subconscious is at work, and it will continue to ‘act up’ until it is healed. The only way out of it is through it.

Although perhaps a depressing thought to many (really: who likes therapy? My best friend once referred to it as “the most fun you’ll never have.”) the light at the end of the tromp down inner child lane is the hope of throwing off false beliefs, limiting negative self-talk, and other self-sabotaging behavior and recapturing some of the unrepressed joy that’s seldom seen outside early childhood.

If you don’t quite remember what I’m talking about, take a gander at this little guy: possibly the single greatest enemy Planned Parenthood has ever known.

(I love the stress-relieving sigh at 2:32. If they decide to clone this baby, I’m going to be the first one in line…)

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A little something for the lady readers

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Because once in a while I get a sign of life that you’re actually out there.

Tony Bourdain naked

This kind of makes me wish I was a man.

Oh, and apologies for the assumption that you’re straight, ladies…or that there aren’t gay men out there who would also appreciate this ummm…. moment with Tony Bourdain. I believe this was taken early in his success, and his excuse was that the photographer got him drunk.

(***Note to self when fame finally hits: while with professional photographers, take it easy on the Jack Daniels and stay away from butcher shops.***)

Jack Daniels on the rocks

Ice is for pussies.

That reminds me, while talking to my brother the other day we got onto the topic of things that can only be loved or hated (New York City, Las Vegas, marmite) and he brought up tequila. Now believe it or not, I fall down the middle on tequila – I’ve never had a horrific hangover experience such that I hate it, I’m happy to drink it on occasion, but I don’t seek it out either. So there you go.

This is probably why no one calls me anymore: I’m contrary. (***Second note to self: Be less obnoxious.***)

Anyway, my own dangerous drink is mentioned above: Jack Daniels. Not so much because I’ve gotten sick on it (although there have been a few rough mornings here and there), but because it makes me mean. Seriously. It does. If things are going to get volatile or I’m suddenly going to remember some old business that I never quite forgave you for (even though in my ‘regular’ life I am not a grudge holder) or flip a pool table and get in a fist fight, it’s going to be the Jack talking.

So anyway…

My brother then waxed on about Scottish whiskies and Canadian whiskies and the thing is, that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s the Kentucky bourbon that’s the beast, and I’m wondering if it doesn’t have something to do with the people making it?

Irreversible Decisions in a bottle

I don't like Jager at all. Yuck.

Bear with me here. Did you ever read Midnight’s Children? Or Like Water for Chocolate? And in both of them, food was a medium of people’s emotions or character: the wedding cake was ruined by tears or the chutney of someone good and kind was perfectly sweet and soothing.

Booze made in the Appalachias makes you crazy.

It’s true.

Take it or leave it.

When I saw Dave Attell a year or so ago (or whenever that was), he asked the people in the crowd to name their drink, and he’d tell you about your upcoming night. One woman yelled out Jack Daniels and Coke. “Coke?” Dave asked, “What kind of Coke?”

“Diet Coke!”

He shook his head sadly, “Jack is the wildest horse in the stable. Why do you have to go saddle him with that?”

Papa Ewok Star Wars

This has absolutely nothing to do with anything except that I saw it and it made me laugh, so there you go.

And for those still doubting me, listen to this little insight from a bartender that I just randomly found online while trying to prove my stupid point: “Jack does turn people into assholes. I think the thing is about Jack, is it is double distilled over charcoal AND aged in charred oak barrels. This double distillation is called the Lincoln county process. Regular bourbon and most brown liquors are only aged in charred oak barrels. Curiously and also backing up this idea that Jack makes people crazy is the fact that Lincoln county Tennessee where they make Jack Daniels is a dry county, no alcohol can be sold.”

In conclusion to my completely worthless rant, let me add that Jagermeister makes people wildly inappropriate or even violent…with no memory of it afterwards. That, I would say, is par for the course for the Germans with their Third Reich and “showers” and magical mystery herbal liquor so secret that no one knows what’s in it.

I rest my case.

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In short and while high on caffeine

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Let me level with you here: I have less than two hours in which to write this, wash my hair, and then go to Bank of America and close my account (screw you, bastards! I’m finally free of your outrageous monthly fee!) before taking the pets to their annual check up at the vet. All of this is fine except for the washing of the hair which I am (and I should probably not put this into writing, but here goes nothing) historically really lax about and often push off to tomorrow what I could wash today.

My new hair...or half of it, anyway

The problem is, I got a new short haircut on Monday, and now it looks incredibly, horribly DIRTY. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am no stranger to really dirty hair, it’s just that I put some dry shampoo on it and put it into a bun or a French twist or a ponytail…but now there’s not enough. I can’t hide my laziness. My slovenly tendencies are out there for all the world to see: I have to face the fact that the situation can no longer be swept aside, and I must go wash it or be mistaken for Corey Feldman.

Have you seen the cover of the DVD for the Lost Boys II with him on it looking all old and awful? I spotted it while waiting in line for the Redbox last week and actually started laughing out loud.

Good grief. He must be seriously hard up for cash. (Not that I’m not. Makers of Lost Boys III: call me! I do a great Corey Feldman impression! Or the dead one: the other Corey. I can take a whirl at being him too.)

So, simply put, this is the only blog post you’re going to get today: a lament about how I need to go and wash my hair before I go and wash my hair. Oh, and a photo of half of of my new hair. You’ll just have to imagine the other side. Let me give you a hint: it’s even better.

(No, it isn’t.)

Please note: if you like said new hair less than my old long hair (and you know who you are people who told me you preferred my hair before the last time I cut it!) remember what your mother should have taught you: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.

Namaste.

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Haircut anxiety and other nonsense

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Okay, so my haircut is in three hours and 25 minutes, and I’m having major doubt and related disquietude. Oh, the pathetic problems of the shrinking middle class…

This hair scares me...and I'm realizing how easily mine could go there.

So it’s hair. It grows back. I know these things.

I like change, that’s not the issue.

The issue is looking like a mess: and not a hot one. Or, more specifically, having something on my head for six months that looks like a dirty mop on a good day. And this morning I turned on the TV and saw Joan Rivers and others tearing apart the new haircut of Keira Knightly, at which point I realized it looked almost exactly like what I was thinking of doing!!!

And this is a gorgeous woman. You could argue that nothing could undermine that, and you’d be right. Well, you’d be right until you saw this hairdo. Then you’d be forced to admit that it’s truly distracting and not in a good way.

And then there are the color dilemmas. Blonder? Browner? Redder? I constantly change my mind. I should probably just give up and start wearing wigs.

I was kind of settled to go back to being lighter, more golden, and then I saw that movie Hereafter yesterday (meh. I had a lot of plot complaints, and if you’ve ever seen a movie with me and I’m unhappy with the character’s consistency or unclear as to what is motivating them, I point these things out over and over in a frustrated whisper. “Why is he acting like such a dick? He needs to get therapy and get over himself.”  ”If you ask me, learning that someone was dumped at the altar is a major red flag. Normal people don’t get dumped at the altar. Something is way wrong with that chick. Mark my words.” I’m sure it’s super annoying which is probably why I was brightly told at the end of the movie, “You could be a film critic!” Did I go too far when I suggested the French lady hadn’t just suffered a concussion during the tsunami incident, but obvious brain damage?)

Ashlee Simpson red hair

I do kind of like this fake red hair color.

Anywho, Bryce Howard (or whatever her name is. The daughter of Ron Howard) is in it and she has this nice, really dark red hair that I was eyeballing, but then there’s the whole “that’s a really fake color, even on a natural redhead like the Ron Howard chick” issue. Or is that an issue? But red fades – and fast – and that is an issue.

So there’s the red and the going lighter (or more toward my natural hair color), and then there’s going way darker or doing something super punk rock, like a bizarre color, which also appeals to me…at least in theory.

So I suppose we’ll see what happens in a few hours. Mostly – although she does not yet know this – I’m putting the whole overblown mess in the hands of my stylist, Lee. Along with two dozen photos and a rehash of what’s been written above – and probably some firm instructions in the vein of “please don’t set me up with something that’s so much work that I can’t pull it off and/or end up looking like Phil Spector when I roll out of bed in the morning.” – it’s all about whatever Lee thinks it should be.

But enough about that. It’s hair: it grows.

What else is going on? Well, the McRib is back.

I never really knew it went away, but apparently it did…and now it’s back. And in limited supply. And only some stores, which has in turn created a frenzied hype such that someone has set up a website to track sightings of the elusive sandwich.

Oh Lord, that looks vile.

I’ve never eaten one, but now I’m curious. I can’t imagine it’s that good. I like ribs, but rehydrated and reformed ribs smashed between some cheap bread leaves me cold. That’s kind of the McDonald’s experience in a nutshell: you think “Ooh a Filet O’Fish. That sounds good!” and then you spend $4.00 on it and the fish is a tiny nugget in a sea of bad bread and tartar sauce and you wonder how they fooled you into this.

I imagine the McRib is similarly disappointing, yet still I’m curious.

I’m starting to wonder if my interest is some kind of subliminal advertising with a delayed-release effect that McDonalds implanted in my brain in my youth. Case in point: the Shamrock shake. It’s not very good. In fact, it tastes a little bit like grass and it’s the color of grass and maybe that’s because they discovered it’s cheaper to go with a 50/50 grass/mint mix and went for it. I don’t know. I don’t work there. What I do know is that as a kid, I would have committed crimes to get my hands on a Shamrock Shake.

Here’s the ad from that era, which offers up absolutely no clues as to the hold they had on me then and still wield now.

Vaguely insulting to Irish culture and definitely dumb, it got into my little mind and made me want things I hadn’t even known existed. Until this point, I associated mint with the jelly my mother served with lamb…not exactly a favorite food memory. But some bad dancing and fake Irish accents, and I’m all over the scene.

I’ve watched that ad a couple times now, and checked myself in the mirror for signs of mind control. My eyes are a bit dilated, but I’m not particularly hungry…although I wouldn’t turn down one of those breakfast potato hash brown things if someone showed up at the door with one, yet it would take that level of service to move me.  So maybe it’s not the advertising or the illusion of scarcity, but straight up doping?

My dad always accused them of putting an addictive substance into the Big Mac.

I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten a Big Mac (seriously. Too much lettuce. Too much bread. Not appealing), but there’s definitely something going on with the Filet O’ Fish. Speaking of which, I could kind of go for one right now. Alongside a McRib and some fries and and that thing where the bread is like pancakes and there’s a sausage patty inside. I have no idea what it’s called. Hell, throw in a Shamrock shake while we’re at it. I like to show up for my  equally dreaded and anticipated haircuts nice and full.

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