Monday, December 26, 2005

A couple of stars and a bag of popcorn

Movies, movies, movies. Here's what I've seen recently:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire *****
This was a terrific movie for Potter fans. Ralph Fiennes is oh-so-wonderful as the baddest bad guy in the wizard world.

King Kong **
There's no plot, just special effects. Could have been better. An idea: Give the characters some dialog. Another idea: Give me a reason to care.

Memoirs of a Geisha **
Poor girls. All dressed up and nowhere to go. At least in the book we learned about the intricate hair and makeup ritual and the many layers of clothing worn under the kimono. The movie was boring and the actors' accents made the dialog difficult to understand.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ***
Weird, very weird. But in a good way. I still love Johnny Depp.

Elizabethtown *
Boy oh boy. Bad. Very bad. There were at least three different movies here, none of them very good. Were Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom even filmed in the same room with each other? Only one scene in the entire movie worked for me -- the one where the Paula Deen character took Orlando into the bedroom with all of the family pictures on the wall. That felt true and real Kentucky-like to me.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Radio hell

I am sick of hearing Christmas songs on my public radio station. I wrote them to tell them so.

On the other hand, I was thrilled to hear that my least favorite radio personality is leaving town.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dott Comments Guide to Holiday Gift Giving

Welcome to the 2005 edition of the Dott Comments Guide to Holiday Gift Giving.

I will remind all of you that MONEY MAKES THE BEST GIFT EVER. A small ($5 or $10) donation to one of the organizations on this list will go a long way.

All are near and dear to my heart and I promise that I personally know someone who works at every organization listed here.

Appalshop
Bridgehaven
Hospice
Just Solutions
Fairness
Kentucky Foundation for Women
Pleiades Theatre Company
Urban Spirit
Walden Theatre

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Babycakes goes "home" for the holidays

Babycakes left for Israel this morning.

I "helped" her finish packing last night (after we made one more trip to Target for extra socks) by figuring out how to adjust the bright blue ARZA WORLDWIDE strap to fit the luggage. (I think it should just read "Hey! Jews traveling here!" but nobody asked my opinion.) She should arrive in Tel Aviv at around 2 a.m. our time.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Holiday shopping suggestion

I'm sure there are many people on your shopping list who would enjoy this.

The World's First Bible on DVD -- from one of the many testimonials: "After everything had settled down from a busy day, My Wife and teenage sons watched the book of Matthew. We were mesmerized. We then watched the Holy Land Pictures."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Emotional roller coaster

I'm up. I'm down. I am giddy. I am despondent.

Sorry people, that's how it's gonna be.

Check back with me in January.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Was there ever a doubt in your mind?

Your results:
You are Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman
100%
Supergirl
95%
The Flash
85%
Iron Man
85%
Green Lantern
80%
Superman
70%
Robin
62%
Catwoman
60%
Spider-Man
45%
Batman
40%
Hulk
40%
You are a beautiful princess
with great strength of character.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

My rules about food

1. If it is consumed before 12 noon it must be real breakfast-type food. What is "real" you ask? Fruits, breads-pastries-cakes, cereals, egg-type stuff, bacon-ham-sausage, milk or yogurt. Hey, these are MY rules! (No pizza, but exceptions can be made if you've been up all night.)

2. If it contains cream cheese it is NOT sushi.

3. Anything that contains peanut butter is NOT dessert.

4. There's no such thing as bad chocolate, old chocolate or useless chocolate. Period.

5. Don't serve me food that I have to gnaw off a bone. Gross. Really.

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Sick and wrong

These URLs are unfortunate ...

Who Represents?, a database for agencies to the rich and famous: http://www.whorepresents.com

Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views: http://www.expertsexchange.com

Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island: http://www.penisland.net

Need a therapist? Try: http://www.therapistfinder.com

An Italian Power company: http://www.powergenitalia.com

The Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales: http://www.molestationnursery.com

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Shameless promotion

I got this from the lovely and talented Well Dressed Librarian.


My blog is worth $4,516.32.
How much is your blog worth?

I am not worthy ...

I think I need to start a support group for people who neglect their blogs.

Until yesterday I hadn't posted anything to my blog in a month. A MONTH! Jeez-o-peet!

I had some excuses. I had to pack, and then I was in New Mexico for nine days, and then I had to unpack, and do laundry ...

Who wants to join my group? Hey, I know you're out there.

Monday, November 7, 2005

I'm a cowgirl

Since my last post I have 1) travelled to New Mexico and 2) decided to become a cowgirl.

I have the boots to prove it.

Happy birthday to me.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Lost in thought ...

So last season I was obsessed about how the whole premise of the tv show LOST was based on Jungian archetypes (and I can prove that).

This season validates me in so many ways. You know how we all read (except those of you who weren't BORN yet, and you know who you are) Psychology Today magazine back in the 70s? Well, can you say homage to Bucky Fuller and B.F. Skinner?

I'm gonna get me a Dharma jumpsuit with Station 3 The Swan emblazoned on it. You just watch.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Come out, come out wherever you are

National Coming Out Day is October 11. This year's campaign theme is "Talk About It."

Okay. I think I will.

I think I'm out in most places. At work for sure. I have a picture of babycakes on my desk.

However I'm not out to the teachers at my son's new school. But it's still early in the year. Give me time.

What do you think?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Domestic bliss

A week alone in a hotel room sucks.

Sure, the first day or two it's great. Someone cleans up and you can eat and watch TV in bed. I don't get that at home.

I miss babycakes and the way she smells. I am so bad on the phone that I think it's best I don't even call.

When we're together we can easily talk about nothing. Or sometimes we don't. We read each other's minds. And laugh. And sleep. And eat.

And that other thing.

Can't wait to get home on Sunday.



Monday, September 19, 2005

It's a small, small world

The scene:
Airport

The cast:
Our Heroine (me)
The Woman

The plot:
Another in a continuing saga wherein our heroine can never go to the airport without seeing someone she knows. In this case, someone with whom she went to high school (a long time ago in a tiny small town).

The dialogue:
The Woman: "Aren't you from [name of small town]?"
Heroine (wearing confused look}: "Yes, I am."
The Woman: "I'm Jane [last name]."
Heroine: "Oh yes, I remember you."

A long conversation ensues. Much information is exchanged. Divorces and children are discussed.

The Woman: "I now live with [X], do you remember him?"
Heroine: "Yes, of course. Actually, we're related ... his grandmother and my grandfather were sister and brother ..."

At this point our Heroine decides to investigate train travel for her next business trip to avoid this occurance in the future.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Napping in D.C.

Babycakes and I spent the weekend napping in Washington, D.C., that is, when we weren't eating.

Okay, it's my fault. I had one (maybe two) martinis too many Thursday night. An error in judgement. I had not packed for our 7:40 a.m. flight Friday.

After attempting to clear the toxins from my system (yeah, you're imagining the right form of purge) I decided to take a dramamine tablet at the airport moments before we boarded the plane.

When we arrived in D.C. I decided to nap some more ... then we went out to forage for food in the lovely Dupont Circle neighborhood where we were staying. A couple of gourmet pizzas later, we were back in the hotel sleeping some more.

Saturday was spent at the Museum of the American Indian which has the best food court of all the Smithsonians. All the food was traditional native foods ... corn (we call it maize), beans, bison, salmon, turkey ... and oh yeah, the exhibits were good too.

After the museum we came back to hotel to nap. Then we went to the Adams Morgan neighborhood in search of Ethiopian food ... and pie.

Today we slept late, ate breakfast, shopped and had lunch at City Lights, a terrific chinese restaurant in Dupont Circle.

I had to move hotels (to be where my meeting is being held) and sent Babycakes off to the airport this afternoon.

Then I took a nap.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

She's leaving home, bye-bye

The eldest child has flown the nest. Alas, she's taken her toothbrush (and half of everything else she found in the bathroom closet) to live in a charming carriage-house-y, loft-like abode about half a mile east of here.

Tonight we shopped for sundry items needed for her bohemian existence.

A colander. A kitchen knife. Peanut butter. Angel hair pasta. A broom.

Her brother asks, "Do you have plans for her room?"

"Yes," I say. "It will remain a shrine."

"Yeah right," he snorts.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Mojo happening

Trust issues abound. The rain won't stop. Boxes won't close. Misunderstandings occur. Plans won't jell. The bleeding won't stop. Projects won't end. Schedules change.

People are asking "how did this happen?" We know there's not a satisfactory answer. But we continue to ask, to blame, to protest, to say we don't understand.

My wise friends tell me "let go," even though they know it is not in my nature. But some things can't (won't) be controlled.

Lessons to be learned.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Crazy as hell


You are Don Juan From "Don Juan De Marco."

Woobaby! You are Don Juan - dark and handsome, and the world's greatest lover. Some people find you to be a bit insane (or is that insanely sexy?). While you may not be playing with all 52 cards, don't let that get you down - you're a true romantic at heart.
Take The Johnny Depp Quiz!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Work-Sleep, Work-Sleep. Repeat.

The past four days have been work-sleep, work-sleep, work-sleep and work-sleep. Every meal (and cocktail) has been work-related since last Thursday. Blog tending suffers with this schedule.

But during this busy time I've noticed the following:

- I like my boss. She says 'thank you' a lot.
- I'm lucky that I work with smart, talented, creative and funny people.
- I'm trying to learn to say 'thank you' more. Bear with me.

Friday, August 5, 2005

Happy birthday (I think)

I've been invited to celebrate birthdays with some people who were born in 1975.

Holy shit I'm old. I was arrested twice before they were even born.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Can you get seasick on Lake Michigan?

Babycakes and I spent the weekend in Chicago (you'll hear more about our trip in later posts, but you can see pictures now). The weather was gorgeous and we wandered down to the lake, lured by the giant ferris wheel at the Navy Pier.

I wanted to go up in the big tall wheel but babycakes reminded me that she doesn't enjoy heights so we decided to go for a ride in the tall sailing ship instead.

Bad idea. I lost my lunch. Right there over the side. Three times. No, we don't have pictures of THAT.

I always forget that I don't do well on boats on open water. I can handle a canoe or even white water rafting but clearly I need to stay close to the shore. But this boat was so pretty with its tall white sails and the water looked lovely and the cruise was only an hour and a half ... I was sure it would be just fine. Besides, this was not the ocean, it was Lake Michigan.

I think I've learned my lesson.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

What is your favorite word?

Mine is "effluvia." It's the perfect description for the little bits of my life that float about in my environment.

I've added my favorite word to this terrific Web site. Now you do it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

15 minutes, no fame

I was recently interviewed by MsHellion. (See the rules of engagement at the bottom of this post.)

1. Who is your hero and why?
My (S)heroes are the suffragettes who fought for the right to vote for women. They were brave and committed. I wish I could be more like them in my own life.

2. What is your favorite yiddish word and why?
Shpilkes, prounounced: Sch-pill-keys. I love the sound of the word. It means nervous energy. Babycakes said our children had shpilkes when they were small because they never seemed to sit still for very long. I think it made them wiggle more.

3. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Just getting back from a trip abroad, my 10th in the past 12 months. I want to see the world and I plan to do it.

4. If you could rid society of one ill, what would it be?
Religious intolerance.

5. Given the choice, which would you be, a star or a planet?
A planet, and one with a friendly atmosphere for humans. Come visit me. I'll mix drinks.

Do you want your own interview?
- If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "Interview me." "Blow me" or "Eat me" are NOT acceptable substitutes.
- I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different. I'll post the questions in the comments section of this post.
- You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
- You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
- When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Mazel Tov

Babycakes took me to watch one of her relatives get married last weekend. Oy veh.

You'd think I'd know a bit about Jewish weddings by now, but no, there's always more to learn. At this wedding we were given a little booklet "... an informative guide about the many Jewish customs and traditions ..." I'd like share some of them:

B'Dekan -- where the groom greets the bride before the ceremony and lowers the veil over her face. I think he does this to be sure he's marrying the right woman.

Ketubah -- the marriage contract. The couple has to sign it before the wedding ceremony begins. Then they read it (in both hebrew and english) during the wedding. Most couples frame it and hang it in their house until they decide to get a divorce and then I think they throw it at each other.

Circling the Groom -- this doesn't have a cool hebrew name because it's stupid. The bride goes around and around seven times. The entire audience counts (silently, but you can see their lips moving). I think they only get married if she can still stand up.

The Chuppah -- this is the tent they stand under. You know it's not a Jewish wedding if they don't have a Chuppah. At some weddings they force the bridesmaids to hold it up during the ceremony but I'm glad they didn't do that this time. It was a long ceremony. Those girls can get pretty tired.

The Yichud -- apparently, the bride and groom go to a private place after the ceremony for "a short while." What's that about? Do they have sex? Right there in the synagogue? I didn't get enough information about this but I'll do some research and get back to you.

All in all, it was a lovely event. Babycakes told the bride's brother, "We'd invite all of you to our wedding but, as you know, WE CAN'T GET MARRIED." He said, "I can't do anything about that. I'm a lawyer, but I only do real estate."

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Obsessive + Compulsive = Nutcase

Some days it's worse than others.

The people who live with me are well aware of my towel folding neurosis. They see me coming with a laundry basket full of clean towels and they run. I just believe that there's a right way and a wrong way to fold towels. I happen to know the right way. I'll teach you if you want me to.

I could blame it on my mother. She wore sets of matching nitegowns, robes and slippers. Her underwear drawer was arranged by color. All of her shoes were in boxes stacked neatly on the shelf of the closet. The only time I ever saw my mother without her nail polish she was hospitalized. (Oh God, she must be really sick! Look at her fingernails!)

These days I spend a lot of time wiping off sinks. Every single time I walk into the kitchen that sink gets wiped. At work, I fill my coffee cup and then I wipe the sink in the kitchenette. I wipe the sink after I wash my hands in the bathroom. It doesn't matter if the bathroom is at home, at work, in a restaurant or a gas station. The sink gets wiped.

And I am constantly opening or closing doors. Doors have to be either all the way open or all the way closed. When they are in between I get nervous. The same is true for drawers or cabinets except that they must always be closed unless you are taking something out or putting something in. And it shouldn't take you very long to get that done. I'd say fewer than 5 seconds should be the optimum time to have a cabinet or drawer open.

And make sure it's completely closed when you're finished, okay?

Monday, July 4, 2005

Things I've learned (while spending the weekend in the woods)

When the Web site says the cabin "sleeps 8" the correct response should be BULLSHIT.
Even after Kelly pitched her tent (that's right) on the upper deck and Carolyn inflated her air mattress on the floor we still didn't have enough sleeping space.

Eight women sure can bring a lot of stuff for three days.
We had an entire box of videotapes (no, we didn't watch any) and I think a hundred magazines. Besides tents (!) and air mattresses and folding furniture and enough food to feed a small country we also had a complete, professional-grade karaoke machine (with two microphones). My number was a spoken-word version of House of the Rising Sun.

Even a half-mile hike can be strenuous.
The trail was nicely marked in the nearby state park -- .05 miles. What we didn't realize was the elevation change of approximately 500 feet. Imagine a staircase. Now imagine that there are no stairs, only mud, rocks and roots. Just a walk in the woods girls, we're almost there, really.

All the "cool" people wear my shoes
I just bought a pair of Chacos, which are very nice and I highly recommend them. However, I've started to notice that they are very, very popular. We came off the mountain long enough to eat pizza at the place where all the climbers, rappellers and kayakers hang out and I counted about 50 pairs of Chacos. I'm not sure yet whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I love air conditioning
Sweat and sleep do not mix. And getting completely naked was not an option. It was hot. Once again, the Web site lied. The cabin had a pretty poor excuse that they claimed was an air conditioner plus a fan. But we had ice. And tequila. And beer. I survived.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Eight women, one cabin

Inventory for a weekend to be spent in the woods:

Women - 8
Tequila - 1 Litre
Board Games - 5
Books to read in the hammock - 4
Bottles of bug repellent - 4
Computers - 0

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Scrambled eggs

My body has served me well over the past 50 years. Unlike many other baby boomers I've never hated my body or wished it to be other than it is. But now I've decided that it would be just-fine-with-me-thank-you if my body stopped producing eggs. I don't need them anymore. Menopause, I welcome you.

I've never considered menstruation to be "a curse." My cycles are regular and my periods have always been brief and pain-free. All forms of birth control worked for me with no side effects. And when I wanted to get pregnant, I did, immediately.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not interested in losing my ovaries or uterus or going on hormone replacement therapy. I'm just ready for the estrogen levels to change and stay changed.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Six word novel

From Utne magazine:

"Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in six words. The result: For sale: baby shoes, never used."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A portrait of the blogger as a young woman


A college friend just sent me this photo from "back in the day." See if you can find me. (Click on the photo for a larger view.)

No, we didn't dress like this all the time. We were going to a costume ball ... most of us dressed as gansters and molls.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Sleeping through the night

When my children were babies I couldn't wait for them to "sleep through the night" because that meant that I, too, would sleep through the night. It's worse now.

It was 6 a.m. Sunday morning when my son woke me up saying, "Hey mom, I stayed up all night. Isn't that cool?"

And it was 5 a.m. Monday morning when my daughter woke me up saying, "Mom, it's 5 o'clock and I just want you to know that I have to leave for work [at the coffee shop] now and I didn't want you to think I was sneaking out in the middle of the night."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Mr. & Mrs. Fabulous


Imagine Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn spouting witty dialogue whilst wearing bulletproof vests and wielding AK-47s. That's just a bit what the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie film Mr. & Mrs. Smith is like.

Or maybe its like Rock Hudson and Doris Day doing that slapstick physical comedy thing they'd do when they were trying to ruin each other's life but this time they're trying to kill each other. Yeah, that's it.

I'm sure I missed some of the best lines because I was laughing so much.

Here's one scene: Brad and Angelina are trying to evade three heavily armed BMWs while driving like a bat out of hell in a stolen minivan. She: "I'm an orphan." He: "So who was that man who gave you away at our wedding?" She: "A rented actor." He: "I thought I'd seen your father in Fantasy Island."

Another bit of dialogue (they are hired assasins): He: "How many, you know, have you done." She: "You go first baby, how many have you done?" He: "Well I haven't kept close count but I'd say between 50 and 60." She: "357." He: "357. Really." She: "Well, some were doubles." He just looks at her. [Imagine the classic Spencer Tracy "I dismiss you" wave of the hand here.]

This movie works on so many different levels. There's sexual tension and hilarious comedy. (Remind me to tell you about Angelina's dominatrix scene.)

You've got to go see this film. Call me, I'll go again.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Songs that remind me of summer

I will not be tagged today. How about this instead: Five songs that remind me of summer:

Wild Thing - The Troggs
Hotel California - The Eagles
Ode to Billy Joe - Bobbie Gentry
Summer in the City - Lovin' Spoonful
Little Red Corvette - Prince

Your turn.

Pomp and circumstance

See graduation photos

I have been pondering these questions:

- Why do they STILL give awards for perfect attendance?
- Where can I purchase stock in companies that provide caps and gowns and graduation announcements?
- Why do speakers at these ceremonies try to be funny and poignant at the same time?
- When did 14 year old girls start to look and dress like supermodels?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Make mine a double

Did you know that if you have a cocktail or two BEFORE your 8th-grader's band concert everything sounds so much better?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Hangover, Sunday

Hangover? Yes, but it's an emotional one.

I dearly love my oldest child but she breaks my heart. I always forgive her (because I'm her mother) and then I have my heart broken again and again.

Friends, new mothers and fellow bloggers enjoy this time while you have it. You too may find out that you have created a perfect and flawed child who takes you to the very brink of hell and back.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

New York, Spring 2005

NEW! See the photos.

Babycakes booked a B&B called Ivy Terrace on East 58th, just down the street from Bloomingdale's. It was lovely. Thanks Vinessa.

Loved the art, hated the "experience" of the newly-reopened Museum of Modern Art (photos posted soon). For example, we found that the first floor restrooms had no toilet paper after we (and several hundred other people) stood in line for over an hour in the rain to get in. We frequently PULLED doors that we should have PUSHED. It was hard to collect our raincoats and umbrellas because our claim tags had color codes and the collection windows had letter codes. You'd think a museum that houses the best examples of modern design would get its own design right, but you'd be wrong.

The Museum of Sex (which opened in 2002) is much smaller than MOMA but it takes itself quite seriously. We wandered through an exhibit featuring early stag films and another celebrating the art of pin-up photography. You'll be relieved to know that no photos were allowed. This museum had the kind of gift shop you don't get at your (ahem) traditional museums. Babycakes said she was bored because there were "too many straight people."

I didn't see ANY straight people later that night at Henrietta Hudson's in the village but I did see plenty of women who looked too young to order the beer they were drinking. And they looked like real NY lesbians, not like the LA lesbians on Showtime. And have I told you that I love it that New York has NON-SMOKING bars and restaurants?

Today, Sunday, we ate our favorite New York foods: lox and bagels, cheesecake and street pizza. We shopped at Zabar's and took in a matinee of "Hairspray." I'm barely awake enough to finish this post ...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Addicted to information

Now I know who and what to blame for my foggy-brain syndrome.

From NewScientist.com, "The relentless influx of emails, cellphone calls and instant messages received by modern workers can reduce their IQ by more than smoking marijuana ..."

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Fifteen things about me

1. I worked on a documentary film crew when I was a teenager. When I was 19 I stopped and went to college.
2. My favorite color is red. Purple comes in second.
3. The Rolling Stones will always be my favorite band.
4. I like black and white photography best.
5. I wore Earth shoes.
6. I used to be a vegetarian but now I eat almost anything.
7. To me, ice cream is the perfect food. If you add fruit and a cookie it counts as a meal.
8. I dropped out of graduate school. It was a combination American Studies/Women's Studies PhD program. Sometimes I'm sad about it. And yes, I swear I didn't know I was a lesbian until years later.
9. I own two fur coats
10. I used to be a bartender. I'm disturbed by the trend of serving almost any cocktail in a martini glass and calling it "stupid-tini" or something.
11. I have voted for a republican, but it wasn't for anything important.
12. Ted Danson was my waiter in a Manhattan restaurant. It was before "Cheers."
13. I need nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to have my teeth cleaned.
14. I had an imaginary playmate until I was 3. Her name was Coco.
15. I took French in both high school and college and I all remember is how to spell hors d'oeuvres. Well, that and merde.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I've been naked there

La Guardia Airport

Bell Rock (one of the vortexes) in Sedona, Arizona

Traveling Interstate 81

The Clinch River

... your turn now.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I've been LOST for some time now ...

I'm really, really hooked on the ABC-TV show LOST.

I don't know what makes it so appealing for me. Maybe it's the vicarious pleasure I get by watching the characters survive in the jungle. Maybe it's Kate. Maybe it's the way the writers are into the slow reveal in how they tell the backstories of the main characters.

Who's my favorite? Hard to say. I didn't care at all about Hurley until we learned that he'd won the lottery and believed that the numbers he played brought him bad luck. Now I love the guy. And how about Sawyer? He's so bad he's good. Reminds me of one of my pretend boyfriends (which I now know, thanks to my live-in therapist/girlfriend) is just one of my versions of self.

Nothing in the show is predictable. Everything is possible on that island. Life, death, and leaving your wheelchair behind. The characters represent Jungian archetypes which is why we can relate to them.

I don't ever want them to leave.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Yep, it's broken

Jack's soccer career is over. For this school year at least.

It was the second game of the season. He was goalie. He hadn't seen much action so far because the other team sucked. Really. They sucked.

Then suddenly there was a flurry of action at Jack's goal. What looked like hundreds of middle school soccer players converged in a frenzy of kicking and falling down and pushing and where-is-that-ball-because-it's-mine-mine-mine.

Ninety nine players got up and rushed in another direction but the goalie was still on the ground clutching his arm.

The referee finally noticed and called a time out then the coach came over and took Jack off the field (but not after he was forced to surrender his goalie gloves to his replacement). I'm sitting in my folding chair watching to see what will happen next. Play resumes.

Some other players start icing Jack's arm and I notice that he's obviously in pain. So I decide it's time to walk around to that side of the field (not run like a frantic mommy, but walk calmly) to see what's going on.

I ask Jack, "Are you okay?"

"No!" he winces.

This is NOT like our Mr. Stoic Butt. I think we need to go to the emergency room and say so. Coach agrees.

At the hospital the clerks in admission quickly offer ice packs and tell us that even though the "rule" is only 1 person with the patient in the ER it's okay for everyone (including Hannah who rushed over when we called her) to go back with him. The ER doc is kind and gentle and says "uh hmm" a lot. The X-ray tech is fast and says something that makes Jack laugh. Then the nurse comes in and says, "I'm just a nurse, but do y'all have an orthopedic doctor that you like 'cause I saw the X-ray and you're gonna need one."

They equip him with a temporary splint-like thing and tell us he'll be fine for tonight but get in to see the orthopedic doctor in the morning.

Yep. It's broken.

Cat hunting is barbaric

I do not approve.

I'm grateful that my human allowed me space on her (lovely and entertaining) blog to discuss this issue with all of you and I am sure that our readers are as upset as we are. Please visit www.dontshootthecat.com to learn more.

If cat hunting is allowed I shudder to imagine what might come next.

-- Moe, the cat

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Photos from London


London was terrific!

We're exhausted, partly because our return trip experienced delays. We sat on the runway for two hours (meaning that we were on the plane for over 12 hours total) then had a three hour delay in the Atlanta airport due to weather.

We were typical tourists ... I can't say I expected anything else. Judge for yourself when you see the photos.

Enjoy the photo album here.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

In case there's any doubt about the matter

When it is clear that I can no longer recognize and respond to my friends and family I DO NOT WANT life support (including ANY SORT OF feeding mechanism, tubes or whatever they invent next), take NO heroic measures to keep me alive, DONATE any organ I have that would be useful in another human or for scientific research, and CREMATE my remains.

If you don't, I swear to god and goddess that I will return and haunt you until you are so miserable that you take your own life.

Just so we're clear about this.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Parting shots

My desk and my conscience are clear. I'm leaving on a jet plane tomorrow. I might come back.

While I'm away (you know who you are):

- Please be nice to the new employees. We want them to like us.
- Don't forget the kitty litter. While we're at it, don't forget the cat.
- Solve it yourself. I'm not there to ask. You know what to do.
- Miss me. Deeply, utterly, terribly. I'd do the same if I were in your place.

Monday, March 28, 2005

L Word

The new "pretty" women (Carmen and Helena) on the "L Word" are nice but I wish they'd add some ordinary looking lesbians.

And who besides me thinks that Helena is a baby cannibal? She doesn't like Tina, she's just after the baby!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

March Madness

This is a basketball.

Apparently, it's used in a sport played in college and they have tournaments every spring to determine who is the baddest of them all.

I think it will be the University of Louisville this year.

Really, I don't have a clue about sports. But when I came into the TV room yesterday, babycakes was watching THE GAME and I sat down and ... two fucking hours later I was a basketball fan.

See, Louisville was losing throughout the entire game. But in the last minute they tied the other team and the game went into overtime. And then they won.

That's basketball.

God save the Queen

She can't wait to see me.

I'm leaving for England in a few days so I thought I'd post a few pre-trip thoughts.

- I feel sorry for Prince Charles
- I was/am a slut for stories or photos of the late Princess Di.
- I worry that London will look like Disney World because I've never seen buildings that old in person.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

So I just totally stole this photo from DOOCE

This is a stolen photo.

I love the idea of this shirt because really, everything is material for the blog.

Beware of what you say or do. It could show up here in a slightly altered form. Yeah, I might change your name to something your friends won't recognize. Or I might not.

And for those of you who haven't heard of her yet, go visit DOOCE for yourself.

Here's a challenge: Tell me why you think I answered the way I did

The "stick" is a kind of weird chain letter whereby some other blogger passes this list of questions on to you to answer. So go ahead, tell me. Why do you think I answered the way I did? Because it is all about me. You didn't know that?

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. (Bladerunner was based on this.)

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Yes indeed I certainly have. Lara Croft, the Tomb Raider. In fact, I'm thinking of her now ...

Last book you bought is: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. On Ms. Hellion's suggestion.

Last book you read is:
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I'll never be good. I don't know why I even try to read these self-help quasi-spiritual books.

What are you currently reading? Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolfe. It's taking me an awfully long time. Can that woman write a run-on sentence or what?

5 books I would take to a deserted island:
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Dollmaker by Harriet Arnow
How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life by Louis Bloomfield
The Bible (King James Version)

... and I pass this stick on to Thommy!

Yes, there WILL be a quiz

My friends link to their friends' blogs. I now "know" people I don't know.

Some of these same people I know also link to people they don't know but they like their blogs anyway.

It's always nice when people link back but sometimes they don't. Is there a rule about this that I should know about?

Comments are dangerous. This I've learned.

Then there's the Dooce factor, i.e., never blog about work. But what if you change all the names and places? Is it okay then? If so, I've got some stories.

Should I be talking about real people with their real names in my blog? Or am I only supposed to do that if I'm mad at them or if they already use their real names on their blogs?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Really, it's gotten out of hand

Now that I'm 50:

- I can't read blogs with black backgrounds
- I can't drink more than two martinis without feeling bad the next day
- My knees make funny creaky noises when I climb the stairs
- Hair grows where it shouldn't
- My tolerance for FM Radio DJs is gone

Monday, March 14, 2005

Why we blog

I've been telling stories all my life. Sometimes I write them down and show them to people but mostly I just tell them. All the time. Every day.

People who know me are nodding their heads right now. Sometimes I just won't shut up. Even when I should. I just go on and start telling another story.

Most of the stories are true. Mostly. Well, they started out to be true and then they became funny or meaningful or sad and the whole truth slips away a bit to reveal the funny bit ... or the sad part.

The characters are real but the names have been changed. Or the names are real and the characters are composites. My children aren't really that wild but they do say some pretty funny things. Just not all on the same day.

Except one the day the boy-child said this (and I wrote it down verbatim and kept it because it was so perfect): "I don't believe in heaven or hell. When I die I'm going to Pittsburgh to play the saxophone."

Really. It's true.

Kitty cocaine

The cute cartoon character cats on the colorful packages lured us. "Awwww, look how cute? Won't Moe just love these?"



I still remember the day she saw the first package of ... Whisker Lickin's.

First it was just recreational. But it didn't take long for her to learn to do tricks for the tiny morsels.

Now the cat has turned to a life of crime. Begging, stealing, and now violence. Anyone who enters the kitchen is threatened. First she wraps herself around our feet in an attempt to steer us (or maybe trip us). If that doesn't work, she resorts to biting.

Moe is an addict. I feel I'm to blame.


"Please help me kick the habit." 

Friday, March 11, 2005

Cantors on Broadway

Last night, babycakes and I accompanied the Ella-in-Law to a musical revue at one of the local synagogues.

The show was billed as 350 years of Jewish music and featured local and imported cantors singing their hearts out.

I was enchanted. And I never even liked showtunes before babycakes introduced me to musical theatre. Now, I'm hooked. The best number of the night was "What is this Feeling?" from the broadway show "Wicked".

No, I didn't wear the Shiksa pearls, but Ella looked tastefully regal in an all-black ensemble. (I hope I look that great at 80!)

Monday, March 7, 2005

I have to go read now

Earlier today I posted a list of 100 movies and now it's time for the books ... thanks Carrie, for the inspiration.


A title in BOLD means I haven't read it yet (but I will, really) and * means I love this book and recommend it highly.

The list is Random House's List of 100 Best Novels, the Board's List.


1. ULYSSES by James Joyce
2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald *
3. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce
4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
7. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
9. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck *
11. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
12. THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
13. 1984 by George Orwell
14. I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves (does Masterpiece Theatre count?)
15. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
16. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser *
17. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
18. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
19. INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
20. NATIVE SON by Richard Wright *
21. HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow
22. APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA by John O'Hara
23. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos (shouldn't this count as three?)
24. WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
25. A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster (I saw the movie ...)
26. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
27. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
28. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
29. THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell
30. THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford

31. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
32. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
33. SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser *
34. A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
35. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner *
36. ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
37. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
38. HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
39. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
40. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene

41. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
42. DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
43. A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
44. POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
45. THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
46. THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
47. NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad

48. THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
49. WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence *
50. TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
51. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
52. PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
53. PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
54. LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner

55. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac *
56. THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett (does the movie count?)
57. PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford
58. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
59. ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
60. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
61. DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather
62. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
63. THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever

64. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
65. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess (does the movie count?)
66. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham (again, the movie, yes)
67. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
68. MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
69. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton

70. THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell (this should count for four)*
71. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
72. A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul

73. THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West *
74. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
75. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
76. THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark

77. FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
78. KIM by Rudyard Kipling
79. A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
80. BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh (Masterpiece Theatre again)
81. THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH by Saul Bellow
82. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner

83. A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul *
84. THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
85. LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad

86. RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
87. THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett
88. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
89. LOVING by Henry Green
90. MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie

91. TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
92. IRONWEED by William Kennedy
93. THE MAGUS by John Fowles
94. WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
95. UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
96. SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron
(yes, the movie)
97. THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
98. THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain
99. THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy

100. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington

I'm 94 out of 100

How many have you seen? The titles in BOLD are the only ones I'm missing. This is from the AFI's 100 Greatest American Movies list.

1. CITIZEN KANE (1941)
2. CASABLANCA (1942)
3. THE GODFATHER (1972)
4. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
6. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
7. THE GRADUATE (1967)
8. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
9. SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993)
10. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)
11. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
12. SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
13. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957)
14. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
15. STAR WARS (1977)
16. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
17. THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951)
18. PSYCHO (1960)
19. CHINATOWN (1974)
20. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (1975)
21. THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940)
22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
23. THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)
24. RAGING BULL (1980)
25. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
26. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
27. BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)
28. APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
29. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)
30. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)
31. ANNIE HALL (1977)
32. THE GODFATHER PART II (1974)
33. HIGH NOON (1952)
34. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
35. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
36. MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)
37. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)
38. DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)
39. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)
40. NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)
41. WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
42. REAR WINDOW (1954)
43. KING KONG (1933)
44. THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915)
45. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)
46. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)
47. TAXI DRIVER (1976)
48. JAWS (1975)
49. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
50. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
51. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940)
52. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)
53. AMADEUS (1984)
54. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)
55. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)
56. M*A*S*H (1970)
57. THE THIRD MAN (1949)
58. FANTASIA (1940)
59. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)
60. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
61. VERTIGO (1958)
62. TOOTSIE (1982)
63. STAGECOACH (1939)
64. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977)
65. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)
66. NETWORK (1976)
67. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)
68. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951)
69. SHANE (1953)
70. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)
71. FORREST GUMP (1994)
72. BEN-HUR (1959)
73. WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)
74. THE GOLD RUSH (1925)
75. DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)
76. CITY LIGHTS (1931)
77. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
78. ROCKY (1976)
79. THE DEER HUNTER (1978)
80. THE WILD BUNCH (1969)
81. MODERN TIMES (1936)
82. GIANT (1956)
83. PLATOON (1986)
84. FARGO (1996)
85. DUCK SOUP (1933)
86. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
87. FRANKENSTEIN (1931)
88. EASY RIDER (1969)
89. PATTON (1970)
90. THE JAZZ SINGER (1927)
91. MY FAIR LADY (1964)
92. A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951)
93. THE APARTMENT (1960)
94. GOODFELLAS (1990)
95. PULP FICTION (1994)
96. THE SEARCHERS (1956)
97. BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
98. UNFORGIVEN (1992)
99. GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967)
100. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)

Friday, March 4, 2005

Fish on Fridays

So far this week I have:

1) Registered my son at a Catholic high school
2) Admitted to having been Catholic once
3) Turned down an invitation to attend a Catholic Fish Fry
4) Told someone I used to be a bad Catholic but now I'm a bad Unitarian. He asked, "What? Did you vote Republican?"
5) Given up Lent for Lent


Sunday, February 27, 2005

Sunday breakfast at the diner

Pancakes and bacon, yum! So glad I'm not vegetarian anymore.

I looked up from the short stack on my plate to witness babycakes jumping out of her seat. Turns out, her phone had started to vibrate on the table top and she thought it was ... well, we don't want to know what she thought it was.

Later I suggested that if her vibrating phone startled her so much that she switch it to one of the 48,000 available ringtones provided by her service provider.

"I'd rather be startled than annoyed," she replied.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Flashback to the '80s

When Mel Harris showed up on West Wing this week I had an automatic flashback to the show thirtysomething (1987-1991).

Read this thoughtful essay about the show by Susan Emmanuel for a quick reminder of what the show was about and why it struck a chord in so many people my age.

We (I was married with small children) didn't watch the show at first. We tuned in only after a college intern at my workplace came over to our house for dinner one evening. After homemade lasagne and salad she chirped, "You guys are just so thirtysomething!"

Know what? We were.

Finally, photos from Acapulco

I opened a Flickr account and uploaded a (tiny) photo album from our Acapulco trip. I'll add more when I have more time.
Enjoy

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Highway to hell

I was on the freeway a lot today. Two hours there [long meeting] and two hours back. There were good stories on Morning Edition until the radio faded out and then there was nothing but country music and jesus so I listed to Girlymen on CD and counted the number of dead animals on the side of the road.

There were about 100. Mostly racoons but a few skunk and deer (oh my god they are so big) and some that could no longer be recognized but judging from the fur I'd guess dogs, cats and coyotes.

And then I started noticing the bottles filled with yellow fluid. These were coke bottles and half-gallon milk jugs and other containers that wouldn't normally be filled with any liquid of that hue ... then I remembered hearing about how long-distance truck drivers don't stop to pee they just do it into bottles and toss them out the window.

Gross. Really.

I think somebody needs to get out there and clean up the side of the road.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

This is not about work

So this morning after the sixth person appeared at my office door with comments like "this'll just take a minute" and then three people start having AIM conversations with me about things I don't want to discuss and then the phone rings and it's my doctor asking how my ankle feels because he just looked at the x-rays again and he wanted to be sure I could walk and I say, "I can go upstairs just fine but going down really hurts," and he reminds me about how I am supposed to trace the alphabet with that foot several times a day and am I putting ice on it? "Yes," I lied and the phone rings again and it's my daughter's therapist returning my call and I tell her that I've decided not to pay her anymore.

This is not about work.

Monday, February 21, 2005

I heard the news today, oh boy

Dear Hunter S. Thompson,
You don't know me but I've driven by your childhood home countless times wondering, what was it that inspired you to write the way you did? And did you really drink that much and drive around with rifles in the back of your car?

I admit, I use the "fear and loathing" phrase way too much. I assume that everyone knows where it comes from, but I'm not sure that's true.

I loved you, you old cynic you. And you'll be missed. And I affirm your right to choose when your life would end because you know, that's the only thing we really have any control over anyway.

Rest in peace.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Everybody's got something to hide ...

Yeah, I'm sorry. Haven't been around for a while.

I blame work ... and others (you know who you are).

There hasn't been a lot of sleep, too much time driving in the car, too much anxiety, too much blaming and not enough sex (hear that babycakes?)

Something's gotta give, and soon. There are no more blue ones ... and I can't sleep.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Things about which (I am embarrassed to say) I know nothing

I like to think of myself as a generalist, or someone who knows a little bit about a lot of things. But I know there are gaps in my interest and experience. Some topics are just so uninteresting to me that I have ignored them completely. For example:

Algebra
I decided long ago that I was never going to need it. However, I was an excellent student of plane geometry.

Jazz
I like music I can hum along with. The improvisational nature of modern jazz confuses me. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to get it.

Tent Camping
Yeah, I've slept outdoors (once, I think) but never inside of a tent. Is it fun? Am I missing anything?

Astronomy
I've heard of Hubble. I know the names of the planets. That's about it.


Monday, February 7, 2005

I am easily overwhelmed while shopping for a new computer

It's time to upgrade. This rickety old Gateway and its state-of-the-art Windows 98 operating system just doesn't do it for me anymore. Despite my best clean up efforts, we're infected with spyware and adware (Jack, stay away from those file sharing and gaming sites!) and I'm sure I've deleted several essential registry keys which might explain why the computer chooses to reboot itself randomly.

I've never been an expert on hardware so I've invested countless hours during the last several days at www.dell.com kicking the tires on some new machines.

I'm worried. Have I picked the right combination of components? Am I paying too much? Should I buy a Mac? Will I forget to save some essential files?

It was so easy to buy a car. Honda. New. Reasonably-priced. No, I don't need to see the engine or how to open the trunk because I've owned five or six Hondas already in my life.

Why can't computer buying be this easy?

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Get thee to a poetry reading


My friend Eek! is one of the masterminds behind InKY. So go already.

Movies I hate ...

After the Oscar nominations were announced I started thinking about my favorite movies and also about the movies I hate. Here's my list (in no particular order):

Terms of Endearment (1983) Whiny and wimpy. I wanted her to DIE already.
Dressed to Kill (1980)Frightening misogyny. Gives transexuals a bad name.
Saving Private Ryan(1998) Just like every other WWII movie but this time with horrific special effects. The 20 minute violent sequence at the beginning had no redeeming value.
Cast Away (2000) Meaningless drivel. Tom Hanks spends a few years on a desert island and learns nothing.
Walking Tall (1973) The first movie I ever paid to see and walked out of.
The Scent of a Woman (1992) This movie ruined Al Pacino for me.
The Piano (1993) Women were supposed to "understand" this movie. I didn't get it.
Mr. Holland's Opus (1995) One more reason why I hate Richard Dreyfus.
Chasing Amy (1997) Kevin Smith's wet dream about lesbians, featuring a disgusting Ben Affleck.
Shrek (2001)Tasteless and lowbrow animated garbage.
There's Something About Mary (1998) Grown men love this movie. They think it's funny. It's not.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Can you say melanoma?

Suntans are unhealthy. It's true. I'm not sure that my Northern European and British Isles ancestors ever had to deal with this.

When you get a sun-BURN that means that the sun is actually BURNING YOUR SKIN. And the tan you get? That's your skin cells dying as they turn brown and then FALL OFF. And while it's happening it's incredibly itchy in places where you can't reach (like the middle of your back). And when your scalp peels it looks like dandruff to everyone else.

Feel sorry for me.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Don't you just love my tan?

We're back! Tanned, rested, and not hung over anymore. Senors & senoritas, it was FABulous (Si, charge that to my room, por favor. Gracias.)

Ten things you need to know about Acapulco:

1) They have different money there, but that's okay because Babycakes had it figured out in about 5 minutes so I let her pay for everything.

2) The taxi drivers are fucking nuts. They drive their blue-and-white VW beetles like bats-out-of-hell. Acapulco is a city of hills and they use leaded gasoline so I was immediately car sick whenever we drove anywhere.

3) The so-called "Mexican" food we have here in Louisville is NOT authentic. I love Qdoba but it's so wrong.

4) You can spend money every 5 seconds there because someone will always just walk up to you and ask you if you want to buy something. This is not necessarily a bad thing, unless what they want you to buy is a timeshare.

5) If you ask where the bathroom is in Spanish, they will answer you in Spanish. This is not helpful. Just speak English if you only know three words in Spanish. Everyone will be a lot happier.

6) Canadians LOVE Acapulco in the Winter. They were everywhere, speaking French and drinking. Well, everyone was drinking but the Canadians were louder except for those assholes from Chicago.

7) Beer "prepared" is lovely. I want to drink it everyday. You fill a salt-rimmed glass with ice, put about 3 ounces of fresh-squeezed lime juice in it and then pour the beer on top. I wouldn't try it with Guinness but Babycakes had it with Negra Modela and proclaimed it mighty fine.

8) They have Walmart, McDonalds, Burger King, and CSI on TV. Jeez, we can't go anywhere anymore without being assaulted by American commerce.

9) I thought the two-for-one drinks didn't have any alcohol in them until I tried to stand up. Don't take my word for it, try it yourself.

10) Don't even think about paying $18 per person to watch the famous Acapulco Cliff Divers "from a comfortable restaurant, two drinks included." If you must go, pay the $3 to stand on the terrace with the natives. Or better yet, don't go and tell everyone you did.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The forecast: 90 degrees and sunny

I have learned all the spanish I need to know. Cerveza (beer) and baƱo (bathroom). I'm ready for Acapulco.

Babycakes was rummaging around in the liquor cabinet last night, asking, "Do we have any tequila?"

"No, why?" I answered.

"Because I was going to practice," says she.

Back in a while.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

Next time, the Reuben

Babycakes and I found ourselves in (shhhh, don't tell anyone) the suburbs today so we had lunch at Naiman's Deli.

"Uncle Leo said the corned beef was good here," says babycakes. I trust Uncle Leo so I ordered the corned beef with spicy mustard on rye. Babycakes got tuna on rye. I'm not a pickle-eater so I gave mine to her.

I just have one thing to say about my lunch: OH -- MY -- GOD.

No, seriously. It was that good. The corned beef was sliced paper thin and piled about four inches tall. The rye bread was homemade or imported from New York or someplace where they know how to make rye bread (not here) and they let us buy a half-loaf to take home. Babycakes also bought a jar of pickles and treated me to a candy bar called Halvah, a chocolate-covered sesame seed something which prompted me to whine "Why have you never told me about these before now?"

But just about then we saw them: the reuben sandwiches. Unbelievable. These are no ordinary sandwiches, they are masterpieces of sandwich-making. Next time, the reuben. You can come with.

Friday, January 7, 2005

According to Dr. Mary

Dr. Mary, Veterinarian Woman, lives way out in the country. When I met her I imagined her treating puppies and kitties and, well, she does that, but also treats large animals. She tells stories we don't get hear very often here in town. I tell her she needs a blog. Until she gets one, here's one of her stories:

According to Dr. Mary, right after the recent snowfall her neighbor asked her to go out to take a look at her cow:

" ... Mrs. M. says the cow is standing in the snow, and not really doing much, but just seems to be standing there, and could I come look at her, because there is maybe something hanging from her back end, but she can't really see, but the cow is just standing there ...

"The cow looked at me, and I looked at her. We were pretty happy there in the snow. I had remembered to take some feed, and she seemed to think that it looked better than the alternative which was, you guessed it, SNOW. So, she commenced to eating, and I pitched my rope. I was having a good day. But, she wasn't all that sure that she needed to keep my company. She started off, and I managed to catch my end around the fence post. Her end was about 30 feet away.

"I couldn't see anything wrong with the cow, but I didn't want to have come all that way, and miss something. If she were trying to have a calf, well, I needed to check it out. Unfortunately, with 30 feet of rope slack, I had a pretty poor chance of keeping her still. And, she being about twelve hundred pounds, and me being considerably less, well, she pretty much had me where she wanted me.

"Now you cannot hold a cow with a rope wrapped half way around a pole. You pretty much have to get a full turn around it, or the laws of physics will win out. So I jumped on the other end of the rope.

"I hadn't gotten to play in the snow yet, but cow sledding wasn't what I had in mind. The cow took off at a good a clip in 8 inches of snow. Down the hill and back up again we went, not a bad ride until she decided to relieve herself. That did add a little to the degree of difficulty, avoiding the land mines."

Cow sledding. And this, children, is why we live in town.

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Book Log 2005

***** I was moved
**** lovely and amazing
*** recommended (but not entirely sure why)
** an amusing trifle
* not worth our time

The Children's Blizzard*** by David Larkin
The Name of the Rose** by Umberto Eco
Our Arcadia**** by Robin Lippencott
Tender at the Bone**** by Ruth Reichl
Truth and Beauty**** by Ann Patchett
The Kite Runner***** by Khaled Hosseini
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince**** by J.K. Rowling
A Walk in the Woods**** by Bill Bryson
The Fountainhead*** by Ayn Rand
Gilead*** by Marilynne Robinson
How Full Is Your Bucket?** by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton
Mrs. Dalloway***** by Virginia Woolf
The Four Agreements*** by Don Miguel Ruiz
Blue Shoe** by Anne Lamott
Life of Pi***** by Yann Martel
A Cook's Tour** by Anthony Bourdain
Naked** by David Sedaris
Barrel Fever** by David Sedaris
Four Souls** by Louise Erdrich
Dance of the Dissident Daughter**** by Sue Monk Kidd
Book Lust***** by Nancy Pearl

Monday, January 3, 2005

What's in a name?

So according to the experts, Hannah is #9 on the list of most popular baby names for girls for 2004 and Jack is #14 for boys.

And I thought I was oh-so-creative 19 years ago. Or maybe it's just taken everyone else this long to catch up.

Aaargh.

Looking back at 2004: Movies I liked

Here are the 2004 movies I liked:

What the #$'! Do We Know
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Saved!
Spring, Summer, Autum, Winter… and Spring
I Heart Huckabees!
The Incredibles
The Aviator

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Looking back at 2004: Songs I liked

Here are some of the songs I liked during 2004.

Mad World by Gary Jules
Alone Again Or by Calexico
Bullet and a Target by Citizen Cope
Float On by Modest Mouse
Cherry Blossom Girl by Air