Sunday, July 30, 2006

WtF ?!!

While returning a movie to Blockbuster's earlier, I noticed two large SUV's in the parking lot with their tailgates open. About ten very large people were sitting in camp chairs, eating from a buffet set on the hoods of both vehicles. There was a gigantic beer cooler on the curb, and a stereo system blasting in overdrive.

Behind the frolicking fat people was a gas station in full swing, spewing exhaust and gas fumes over all. San Francisco probably has more parks than any other city in America, all of them beautiful and several within easy walking distance of the Blockbuster's parking lot.

Meanwhile, about 50 feet away, a bum had set up his own bucolic campsite on the sidewalk. He had just pissed against the building, and was trying to get a little shut-eye. This is actually a lovely neighborhood, and he has the most affordable digs around. I thought of loitering to see if he got invited to the party, but the rest of my life was waiting for me.

It really makes you wonder about Darwin.

One Girl's Wolf

I miss my gray wolf, Baby. She was born in captivity in Massachusetts, where I then lived, and severely abused by her first owner, who blinded her. She was about six months old when I got her through the Humane Society after the owner's boyfriend, a member of the Pagans motorcycle club, saved her from certain death.

She weighed only 32 pounds and had been beaten with chains. She was afraid of everything, but after a few weeks of being treated kindly, she house trained herself and moved into my bed. I realized that if I was going to live with a wolf I should be the alpha animal, so I bit her muzzle when necessary, as alpha wolves do their subordinates. She promptly responded by licking me under the chin as befitting every other wolf in the pack. She grew into a magnificent creature who was even smarter and sweeter than any dog I've ever known.

She once disappeared and aware that there was an egg farm nearby, I ran up the hill to avert disaster if the farmer saw her near his free-range chickens. When I arrived, gasping, she was lying at the end of the farmer's driveway with her front paws crossed, grinning like a Walt Disney cartoon while chickens hopped onto her back and slid down her nose, clucking. I led her home by her collar and several of the chickens followed us down the hill, reluctant to lose their furry playground equipment.

Baby went everywhere with me. We moved to Vermont for awhile, then moved again, pulling a horse trailer with my daughter's two ponies all the way to Florida, and finally settling in Western North Carolina. We navigated the entire east coast with Baby's head out the car window, thoroughly enjoying the adventure.

When I put her on a leash and took her to town, she always attracted a crowd. People would exclaim over the gorgeous dog and beam as she licked their children's faces. If I felt mischievous, I confided that she wasn't really a dog... but a wolf. Immediately, the baby she was licking would be snatched away and held over their heads as, stammering, they asked me if "it" would bite, if I wasn't afraid "it" would turn.

Baby disabused many people of their PR-induced fears of wolves. Thousands of years of scary children's stories have given the wolf the image of a rabid, mindless killer. This is anything but true.

Wolves are gentle, even timid, highly intelligent, loyal, loving friends to those who offer them kindness. Wolf packs in the wild kill when necessary to survive and feed their young, but they take only the old and sickly animals from a herd. There are no recorded incidents of wolves ever attacking a human.

One neighbor called the Fish & Wildlife Department to report that I was harboring a vicious wild animal on my property. When the agent came to my door, I told him she was a Husky-Malamute mutt.

"I guess you're right," he said. "A wolf wouldn't be wearing a bandanna. " And he left. They really should train their wildlife officials better.

When I remarried, Baby formed a strong bond with my husband, a musician. We bought a house near Nashville with land for her and my Samoyed, Angel, to roam, and Baby marched around the perimeter daily, protecting us from potential enemies she couldn't see. We staged group howls, Baby on lead with her rich, deep voice. Angel wasn't much of a singer, but enjoyed these performances. Perhaps they stirred her cellular memories of when dogs were wolves.

Baby died of cancer at 13. We buried her in a shady corner of our backyard, near the creek, and a few years later, moved across the country. It doesn't seem to matter where I am, though. Baby still visits me in my sleep, and I get to hug her again.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Who Says You Get No Free Lunch?

Open Letter to the Scabrous Vile Freeloader at Whole Foods this Afternoon:

First of all, you need to wash. With soap. Even though the bulk bins are near the fish department, it was impossible to smell the fish with you there. Body cleansers are two aisles over, on the left. Go there now.

Second: Seeing you standing there scarfing samples from all the bins with both hands, chewing with your mouth open as if it were perfectly all right to chow down on foods that Other People (remember them?) might otherwise purchase made me want to puke up a lung. What gives you the right to ruin my day like that? Because of you, I went home with only prepackaged foods. And now I have to wait a few weeks at least until Whole Foods replenishes their supplies. Until everything you tainted with your nasty ass paws is gone.

I wanted to say something to you. I stood there with my little cart for a good ten minutes staring at you with hatred and disgust while you continued to masticate loudly, as if you had every right to do so.

I'm ashamed that I didn't confront you after all, but you looked so much like an Al Qaida operative that frankly, I was chicken. I don't think you were homeless. I still wouldn't have bought the treats I came in for, but I would have had some pity. No, I could tell you have a home somewhere, a filthy, evil-smelling, dank space with bat guano dripping from the exposed beams, no doubt, but a place you call your own.

If this is your idea of eating out, you need to relax with a rat poison chaser. The Whole Foods version of this item is probably organic and biodegradable, but we can work with that. If I ever see you in that store again, I WILL rat on you to the first manager I see. And that's a promise.

I Vant to Suck Your Blood

Who would have thought I'd be so excited to find gas for only $3.13 a gallon? As opposed to $3.49 9/10 for Regular in my own neighborhood.

I think it's miraculous that we don't have rampant murder at the gas pumps every day. We complained when the price went to $2.00 a gallon, but we kept buying it because our entire culture is built on gas consumption. We watched passively as it climbed up, up, up, speculating as to whether it would actually reach $3.00. Until it did.

I can't imagine how it must be for those who commute to minimum wage jobs every day. There is something terribly obscene about forcing people to choose between milk and toilet paper so they can get to work.

Where is it going to end?

The Anti-Pam

I feel dirty after my last post. Here, then, is the antidote. The antitoxin. The antipam.

Hobbies of the Rich and Famous

Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock are being married in a round of ceremonies that brings to mind serial murders. The World Series of Connubial Bliss. The first event will take place this weekend in St. Tropez, followed by re-runs in Malibu, Detroit and Nashville. And any other amazingly lucky cities they decide to honor with their nuptials. She probably has a different dress for every one of them. White, of course, because she is nothing if not virginal.

Do they really think multiple ceremonies will exponentially increase their chances of having a successful marriage? Or are they just putting off the inevitable, that after the wedding(s) comes, gulp, marriage? Omigod. Eventually they will run out of celebrations and maybe even have to talk to each other. Now that could be newsworthy since it has not been established to my satisfaction that either of them has any familiarity with the thought process.

After all, this is a girl known primarily for the size of her plastic knockers, a girl whose print on the sidewalk at Graumann's Chinese Theater is surely not a hand. I don't know a lot about physics, but I'm pretty sure that if I were so endowed by nature or surgery, I'd have to walk on all fours or buy a wheelbarrow. While his main claim to fame was a single about cunnilingus, "Yo Da Lin In The Valley," off his album "Grits Sandwiches For Breakfast," for which Central Michigan University was fined $23,700 by the FCC after airing it. His other credits include a song quaintly titled, "Pimp of the Nation" which refers to "pimpin' Barbara Bush." Sweet. It's not clear whether he's referring to the president's mother or daughter, if that matters to anyone.

I mean, this is your basic young American couple, the kind of folks who have turned this country into a laughingstock which may sink giggling into the sea if things get any sillier.

What's not to love?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Georgia on my Mind

I love this story about Georgia O'Keeffe. Late one night, she was home in Taos when someone knocked on her door. She tried to ignore it as she cherished her solitude and wasn't expecting company, but the knocking continued.

Finally, she opened the door to a stranger who said, "I want to see Georgia O'Keeffe."

She stared at him in disbelief, then uttered, "Ventral." She slowly turned her back and said, "Dorsal," and shut the door in his face.

I tried to get my cat to pose for dorsal and ventral pictures, but she was busy painting. When her exhibit opens, remember you heard it here first, folks.

There Goes the 'Hood

I dislike being accosted on the street by people who want me to sign petitions, give money or blood, whatever. They rarely acknowledge such banalities as "Sorry, I don't have time." And no matter how cleverly I avoid making eye contact, they pounce with talons and far too many words extended. It makes no difference if I'm hip deep in conversation with someone who Matters, or am juggling a purse, camera, smoothie and a stack of books, they still swoop down like vultures and demand my attention.

What is more, they ARGUE with me if they don't get it. (Great salesmanship, definitely. Piss 'em off and they'll buy for sure. Nay, me pretty. That doth not me chain yanketh.)

What really irks me is that when I sprint by a second time on my way back, they jump me AGAIN. Just like the panhandlers. Do they not Look at the people they harangue? If I look exactly like everyone else passing their parking meter, then what is so special about MY signature that they need to persecute me in order to obtain it? If they are going to depersonalize me on top of everything else, I don't think I owe them even a second out of my life.

I've grown tired of politely expressing disinterest and I don't carry a gun, so I now tell these insensitive creeps that Someone Down The Street just got me. (Since they always work in pairs a block apart, they can't prove I'm lying; their interest immediately wilts and they begin looking wildly beyond me for the next sucker.)

I wonder if when they were kids and all their friends wanted to be firemen, doctors, lawyers, or Indian chiefs, they smugly told those misguided waifs that such ambitions were puerile. That when THEY grew up, they would be Annoying Assholes. They would badger the hell out of passersby for minimum wage and the spurious pleasure of antagonizing strangers with too much self-control to snatch them baldheaded.

I wish they'd pick a job, any job, and leave me alone.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ews of the Day

My husband just broke the news that when he was a child, he ate peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches. It reminded me of my third grade playmate who once took me home for her special after-school treat, Wonder bread with ketchup.

I had a friend who never had anything to eat in the house -- her then-boyfriend remarked that she would starve her children to buy an eye liner. She once offered me a sandwich made of two pieces of dry bread around a few leftover cooked green beans. I declined, claiming that I wasn't hungry.

When I was at boarding school in 10th grade (until my parents figured out that I could underachieve for less money in public school,) the favorite sandwich in my dorm was white bread with American cheese, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. It's amazing what you can get used to when you crave peer acceptance.

My friend from Greece once served me a boiled onion sandwich with a side of air. A little mustard could possibly have saved this one.

Let me say right here that I think anything with anchovies is inedible, but I have known one poor misguided soul who enjoyed them on baguette with mayonnaise and strawberry jam.

Send me YOUR favorite culinary triumphs on bread. I won't promise to try any of them, but a good Ewwwwww now and then is healthy for the system

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pandas & Yetis & Blogs, oh my

I was skimming random blogs and found a new site about the Yeti. He has always intrigued me so I read the single post with interest and decided to leave a comment. Besides, I'm still pretty new at this and I like to encourage other bloggers.

I clicked on the comment page and it said, "This blog does not allow anonymous comments."

Huh? What's with that? Isn't that kind of the POINT? Aren't we hoping that others will relate to something we write and begin a discourse? Well, damn. I love it when somebody writes to my blog. It makes me feel a little less like a lone voice crying in the wilderness. Silly me. I really thought we all wanted to engage, if from a safe distance.

Okay, then. Here is MY picture of the Yeti. Nyah nyah. Who needs your stupid blog anyway?

Well, she who blogs and runs away lives to blog another day. This time I found a charming site on pandas. I love pandas. In fact, I love pandas even more than I love Yetis. And one of the comments was from a guy who stated that pandas make great eating. This was really too much. I had to know if he was serious, if anyone in China would actually serve an endangered animal that is their major non-political claim to fame. I had to write a comment.

But wait. There it was again. "This blog does not allow anonymous comments."

Who, exactly, IS allowed to comment on these blogs? Can anybody clue me in as to why someone would run a blog like an exclusive social club?

Years ago, I was so offended by the Biltmore Hotel's Men's Bar in NYC (No Women Allowed) that I strolled through it in a short red dress and dangerously high heels. I sashayed slowly all the way to the far reaches of the bar as dozens of old codgers choked on their manhattans and extra dry martinis with a twist, then turned around and promenaded verrrrry slowly back again, the whole length of the bar, finally letting myself out on the sidewalk. You could have heard an olive drop. The cigar smoke in there was deadly. I didn't want a drink. I just wanted to make a point.

Now, all these years later, I find out that in some mysterious way I don't qualify to leave a comment on somebody's blog. It gets my dander up. It pisses me off. It just makes me want to dig out that old red dress and strollllll.

Here, then, is my separate but equal picture of a panda. And anybody who wants to leave a comment is more than welcome to bring it on.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Jackson Two

Michael Jackson's ex-wife and brood mare, Debbie Rowe, is suing him for monies he promised to pay her when they divorced in 1999: $1 million a year for three years and $750,000 annually for six more years. Little Debbie also received a house in Beverly Hills and a 1998 Ford Explorer. She says he stopped making payments to her in October, 2003.

In the lawsuit, filed July 3 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Rowe seeks an immediate payment of $195,000 for attorney fees and $50,000 in living expenses so that she can continue pursuing her child-custody case against Jackson.

She is the mother of his two children, Prince Michael Joseph Jackson, 9, and Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson, 8. She had agreed to visit them only once every 45 days and to give up her parental rights in 2001, but asked a judge to reinstate them in 2003 after she learned of Jackson's arrest on child molestation charges.

Has it ever been established how the children were conceived or whose DNA they actually carry? Maybe the petri dish should get some kind of payoff as well. I wonder what King Solomon would do. On the one hand we have a father (perhaps) who is, well, more than a tad strange and who has an unfortunate little habit (perhaps) of molesting children and likes to dangle them off balconies, while on the other hand we have a mother whose maternal instincts rival those of turtles who lay their eggs in the sand and wander off. What would Solomon DO?

We tend to believe as a society that the foster care system is a fate worse than death. We are bombarded with news stories and psychological treatises proclaiming that children are always better off with their own parents, no matter what. I think we need to reexamine this assumption very carefully and to question whether we should continue to operate under such a premise.

It is also believed that parents with untold riches should retain custody of their children because they can do so much for them. It's a great tragedy for any child to lose his parents and his identity because they are the two people on earth who are supposed to put his needs and concerns first. But it must be asked if in fact they are doing right by them, or if their own lusts and vanities are taking up so much of their time and energy that there is little left for their children. We need to establish and enforce standards that parents must abide by if they are to be allowed the privilege of raising their own children.

Social service agencies are overwhelmed by the vastness of this problem, the sheer numbers of children in need of help. Still, they must stop accepting that it's usually better to keep families together because it's so much easier than locking horns with parents, especially wealthy parents with excellent lawyers and household staffs that lie for them.

It's time to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of children, even those with celebrity parents. And perhaps it's the only thing that will force those parents to grow up and stop eating their young.

Carl's Jr.'s Spokeslut

Meat the Press

It's been clear for a long time who Carl's Jr.'s preferred customers are -- people so zestful that they would dip fries into a puddle of ketchup on the floor of their pickup trucks just for fun. People for whom letting it all hang out is a cherished prerogative. People who might feel uncomfortable eating at the more elegant McDonald's. And that's saying a lot.

Only Carl's Jr. would have a commercial featuring an unborn child giving his mother attitude and threatening to rip out her insides because she eats jalapenos. The laconic overvoice, the one you want to smack, says "the spicy six-dollar burger with crispy jalapenos ain't for babies."

As if that weren't enough, the fast food chain has paid Paris Hilton $400,000 to do a commercial in which she washes her Bentley in a thong bikini. The ad features water hoses shooting all over the place while she lathers every inch of the car with thick foamy "soap" before taking in (all in) a huge burger which is too big even for her mouth. And that's saying a lot, too.

What is our fascination with this person, anyway? She first came to our attention in an amateur sex video leaked by an ex-boyfriend, whom she sued but later settled with for a very meaty chunk of the action. It can't be so titillating that heiresses actually have sex, but this girl has made herself a pornographic icon, for which she gets paid huge sums of lucre.

Unlike other prostitutes, though, she has plenty of options. She may be stupid, crass and not even pretty, but it's a pretty safe guess that she doesn't need the money.

The word is that Carl's Jr.'s business is booming since they began airing these ads, as well as the one on their website of Paris which even they deemed inappropriate for TV.

I suppose starring women in their commercials is progress for a company that formerly targeted young men. They want us to know that they don't discriminate, that it's all right for women to be crude and disgusting too. And that, ladies, is so very comforting.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Booty and the Bus

Took the bus to my doctor in Chinatown today. Needed painkillers. I don't like drugs so I tried to avoid this for a couple days but had reached critical mass, and parking is sketchy there.

As soon as I sat down, a woman who must have weighed at least 350 squeezed her considerable bulk into the seat next to me and proceeded to overflow onto my thighs (yes, plural) with mounds of solid shifting masses of flesh. Mt. St. Helens on the Muni. Perfect when you're already in pain. I'm not big enough to withstand such major encroachment. My life was flashing before my eyes, including a lot of old Warner Brothers cartoons in which Bugs Bunny was mowed flat by a steamroller and popped up unscathed in the next frame. I always wondered how he did that.

Every time the bus lurched, she slammed into me again, virtually pinning me to the hard plastic bucket seat with her bulk and a large stroller she was holding, although there was no sign of a child. Uh oh. Ya gotta wonder where she lost it, and when she might notice. Of all the buses in the world, she had to waddle into mine.

When my stop came, I made several attempts to extricate myself from under the avalanche before getting free. By now, Kielbasa Thighs had huge mounds of endomorphic mutant flesh overlapping mine. That bus was seriously overpopulated with her on it.

After my appointment, I boarded another bus for home. This time, a family of tourists grabbed five seats in a row and began shooting water pistols at each other. The father, whose humongous backpack kept assaulting me, was shadow boxing with his kids, one of whom kicked at him repeatedly but got me instead. They were all eating salami sandwiches and belching. The salami breath in there was loud. The bus was so crowded that I couldn't disengage. I hadn't filled my prescriptions yet, so wasn't getting any comfort from them.

Across from us a bum lounged over two seats with his bedroll, wearing a filthy jacket open to reveal his hairy bare chest and stomach. He scratched his head incessantly and was throwing such a wake that the entire bus stank. A hundred people holding their breath at once. No doubt his last encounter with soap was before the Millennium. The LAST Millennium. He could have benefited from the water pistols. When he stood up to get off, his pajama bottom fell down to his ankles. His butt was hairy, too.

Hell in a handbasket just got a lot more accessible.

I really didn't think I could hurt much more, but that is never a safe assumption to make. So I'm home, medicated, and waiting for miracles, and lemme tell you -- I EARNED those painkillers.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How is Truffle?

Everyone is asking about her. We've had inquiries from a half million of her closest friends. We are truly touched by the outpouring of concern for our little girl.

Her condition remains stable and is expected to continue at this level forever.

Truffle's Rotten Day

In martial arts, an adept is able to change his chi, which is sort of like lowering his center of gravity so that in effect, he is rooted to the ground.

Cats know how to do this instinctively. Faced with stepping out of their carriers onto a vet's examining table, 9 out of 10 cats will change their chi, suddenly offering about 400 pounds of resistance and requiring that they be airlifted out the top, squealing and hissing.

Truffle was subjected to a battery of tests archly named The Senior Wellness Profile. She didn't like it. And to be honest, neither did we. Three hours is a very long time to be at an animal hospital, although the staff is very kind.

Truffle, who is normally so relaxed that people mistake her for taxidermy, especially disliked a woman at the appointment desk with numerous piercings and bright orange Raggedy Ann hair. I'm not sure exactly what she told her, but it was definitely catty.

Our first clue that something was wrong was when she neglected to tramp through my hair in bed Monday morning. She seemed disoriented and had no apparent appetite, but it later developed that she wasn't sure she could walk to her bowls. When I brought her breakfast in bed, she scarfed it down and asked for more. She was acting generally spooky and seemed to have some visual problems.

Today she is back to normal, or what passes for normal around here, but the doctor performed a number of tests and plans to do more if necessary when the results are in. So now we wait.

And wait ON. For Truffle now demands to be carried to her bowls, even though her ability to walk is no longer impaired. Not a problem. It's the least we can do for Truffle. At 16, she has been with us for a very long time, and despite her recent unflattering press, she's an incredibly sweet cat.

She is snuggled in her favorite afghan on the bed now, having feasted on chicken sprinkled with fish flakes and performed a manic ritual cleansing. Her hair is spiked out like wet porcupine quills, and she is purring as if she invented the purr.

I am scratching the large hives I acquired at the animal hospital, right before I realized that the waiting room cushion I sat on had soaked my jeans with mysterious fluid from an anonymous donor.

A good time was had by none.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Semper Fidel

A story in the news that I find oddly troubling is about a 33-year old refugee from Cuba who is joining the Marine Corps to repay America for the freedoms he and his family now enjoy.

Such appreciation is a most noble impulse, and it's gratifying that a born again American totally gets what our nation purports to stand for. His wife and young daughter are sacrificing as well because he won't be paid for his two months of basic training at Camp Pendleton. It will be hard for them to make ends meet.

"I'm very proud of him," his wife said. And you have to admire the sense of obligation and courage that makes a person volunteer for the armed forces when most recruits are 15 years younger. How much easier it would be for him to lay low, enjoy his new status, and set about building a new life for his family.

Of course his income will improve drastically once he's actually in the service, and he'll be eligible for benefits for the rest of his life.

But oh, the irony if this man who has been here for only one year should die in Iraq, as so many Americans do every day. It isn't that I value his life more than theirs. All lives are valuable. He doesn't have to go, but neither did many of the other men and women fighting there. They're all so young. Their lives are supposed to be ahead of them.

He says that his life has just begun, now that he's in a free country. As an American, he is one year old. It doesn't seem right to send infants off to war. There is something aberrant about the idea that being a good American means learning to kill people, but too often we justify things because it's easier than trying to change them.

Many will think my views naive. I'm sure they're right. It's probably wrong to deplore a thing without offering an alternative, but I have no solution to this enormous cataclysm that claims us all in one way or another. All I can do is ponder these many lives lost for dubious gain, and feel sad.

"The main goal of the future is to stop violence. The world is addicted to it."
Bill Cosby

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Day San Francisco Won the World Cup

I ran out of coffee and went to my favorite cafe in North Beach to buy some. My first clue that something was up was the lack of parking spaces, which I blamed on tourists cruising for cannoli. When I finally snagged one by lurking in a back alley until somebody left, I found myself down a rabbit hole of immense proportions. Everyone who ever lived came back to earth today to parade in vehicles and on foot, screaming and waving Italian flags.

"Aha," I thought. "Surely it must be an Italian festival day of which I am not aware." It was clearly a great excuse for public drunkenness. All manner of folks were strolling and swigging out of paper bags, normally the province of derelicts.

If any hapless souls in this city had a fire today, they were out of luck because the entire firefighting force was promenading hooks and ladders down Columbus Avenue. Shrieking girls in bikinis waved Italian flags from sunroofs, although it was a bit unclear what, exactly, they were advertising.

There were battling marching bands in red, white and green uniforms as well as a guy dressed (only) in an Italian flag. It was St. Patrick's Day without the Irish.

My coffee shop was blaring some godawful "music" that sounded like a cross between disco and rap, breaking the decibel barrier and a lot of eardrums. Even with palms clamped firmly to my ears, it was painful, so I left without coffee beans. Long line, and I'm not really a junkie. Besides, there was no way the barista could have heard my order.

I finally asked a young man reveling on the sidewalk what Italian holiday this was. To his credit, he didn't say, "You moron," but gleefully explained that Italy had just won the World Cup. To my credit, I didn't ask him what sport it was in.

"This is really BIG for Italy," he said. "We have a new holiday."

The celebrations are expected to continue for the rest of my life.

Friday, July 07, 2006

A Sad Tale With No Ending

I need an html doctor who makes house calls. I tried to add links to my favorite sites, but when posted, they all ran together with the http:// etc. info. After many tries, I deleted them but by then I had managed to lose my previous posts list. While tampering with that, I dislodged my archives. After hours of trial-and-error cutting and pasting, I have determined that there is no way to restore the original default templates if you don't know what the hieroglyphics mean. I had one lousy word stranded above my profile, which I was unable to delete, so I deleted the most recent post. Good idea, no? Well, NO. The next one immediately split off some of its title and placed it above my profile.

I am in html Hell, people. What is more, the geniuses who created Blogger, and I don't mean that sarcastically, are alas, unintelligible to illiterati like me.

I'm going down for the third time.


He's back!

I think he likes doughnuts.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Be Quiet and Use Trash Can

commanded a sign outside Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, the Black Hole into which I was suctioned after going to Home Depot for herb plants to season the healthy food I cook.

But it's okay because I didn't finish any of the doughnuts. Everybody knows you only gain weight if you eat the whole thing, so I always leave a little ort smiling on the plate. It's also a scientific fact that if the doughnut belongs to someone else, you can't gain weight. My husband is 9 feet tall and has visible bones, so officially they all belong to him.

Then I took the empty box home and planted it in the garden with the herbs so it would replicate.

My husband says that one of the things he likes about me is that I know so much about science.

Is it a bird?

A giant snowflake?


It's a rare Albino Peacock!

Fabulous, huh?

Hazy on the concept

California pizza is an oxymoron. Pineapple, alfalfa sprouts, baco-bits, artichoke hearts and chicken wings doth not a pizza make.

I'm from NY so I've had the best. Admittedly, I'm a snob. But a proper pizza does not ever have steak tartar or sushi on it.

And what is this thing called Stuffed Pizza? I saw one that was not only double-crusted like your mom's apple pie but had fritters and ranch dressing in it. Is this some kind of sick joke or what?

Why not just pop an English muffin doused with ketchup in the microwave and call it a pizza?

Enough, already

Yay, Barry!! He did it, as no one doubted he would. He's the man.

The morning paper is full of disclaimers, reasons why he doesn't deserve the accolades. With every great achievement come the detractors.

I'm sick of hearing people talk stink about Barry Bonds' alleged use of anabolic steroids. He says if he took them, he was unaware of it at the time. Whether or not this is true, it seems as if these detractors are more interested in discrediting his record than in watching one of the greatest athletes of all time at the top of his game.

Sure, they're illegal. I get that. But how does taking steroids really differ from taking vitamins, energy drinks, and other performance aids? It's just a matter of degree. His phenomenal success is far more a matter of speed, accuracy, timing, coordination and talent than sheer muscle mass anyway. If anabolic steroids could actually make that much difference, we'd be seeing countless athletes performing at Bonds' level, as it woud be absurd to think he was the only ballplayer in the world to use them. But fame comes with its own magnifying glass.

Incensed that he presumed to challenge Babe Ruth's record, people conveniently forget that athletes ALWAYS try to surpass the best in their sport. It's what keeps them going, season after season. It's what people in every endeavor try to do. If nobody lusted to be better than their predecessors, what would be the point in society continuing to breed new humans?

Babe Ruth had a glorious career and inspired millions of athletes. Of course he HAD to hit like he did - being built like a water buffalo didn't make him much of a runner. He was a great athlete, but he wasn't a sacrosanct saint. His record was not off-limits. He was the one to emulate and to trump.

Barry Bonds worked his ass off to measure up to the Babe. And then he passed him. We are lucky to witness in our time one of the best athletes of ALL time performing his magic on a playing field.

I have to be honest here: I'm not a big fan of athletic events in general. I really don't care who wins the pennant most of the time. But I do admire a superlative athlete in top form, however he got that way, as much as a person who excells in any other field through hard work, sacrifice, dedication and immense talent. And I think everyone else should, too.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Celebrate and Remember

Bikini Season is upon us

"Women shop for a bikini with more care than they do a husband. The rules are the same. Look for something you'll feel comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow."
- Erma Bombeck

This summer marks the 60th anniversary of the bikini.

Swimsuit shopping can be one of the most painful experiences of a woman’s life as she comes face-to-face, three ways, with every furtive chocolate bar she ever consumed, an event made even more wretched by the fact that department store dressing rooms always have the most unflattering light possible. You'd think they would install soft pink bulbs of very low wattage to hide all but the most glaring bodily horrors, but the fashion industry has always traded on misery.

The history of this gear we love and hate so much began far before the introduction of the bikini swimsuit in modern times. Roman mosaics of 300 AD depict women wearing two-piece bathing attire, and ancient Minoan wall paintings circa 1600 BC provide evidence that they've been around even longer.

In 1946, one year after the end of World War II, when the world was still gasping at the audacity of the United States to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two French designers marketed the bikini swimsuit. Jacques Heim, a fashion designer and beach shop owner in Cannes, introduced the “Atome,” named for the smallest then-known particle of matter which had become so notorious. He sent skywriters above the beach at Cannes advertising "The world's smallest bathing suit."

Within days, Louis Reard, a mechanical engineer and designer wannabe, also sent skywriters over the French Riviera marketing his own creation, “The Bikini — smaller than the smallest bathing suit in the world,” named after the famous Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Marshall Islands where the U.S. was still setting off test bombs. It's fair to speculate that the projected success of the bikini was also based upon shock.

"A bikini is not a bikini unless it can be pulled through a wedding ring," said Louis Reard.

The thong bikini appeared in the 1970s and was introduced to the American market by Rudi Gernreich. Inspired by the traditional garb of Amazonian tribes in Brazil, it quickly gained popularity and is still going strong today.

"Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital."
- Aaron Levenstein