Saturday, May 31, 2008

It's the end of the world as I know it

Laying in bed last night, attempting sleep, DH was flipping channels on the television (oh, where did you think this was going), when I hear the grating voice of Bill-O. Reilly, if I need to elaborate. Anyway, he was opining on the hoopla that is the Sex In The City movie. Why the popularity? Why were woman flocking in droves to see this cinematic WTF, like so many tweens to a Hannah Montana concert?

The interviewee on the other end stated that "women see themselves in the characters". Swimming out of half-sleep, I hear Bill-O reply along the lines of, "I don't think women go to this movie 'see' themselves in the characters. They go for the shoes and the clothes and the gossip and the dish".

"Hmmm, yeah, ya got something there, Bill-O..." I murmur as I turn my pillow over to the cool side.

*enter sound of needle scratching across a spinning LP*

Whoa, wait. I agree with Bill-O? It's a dream, tell me, oh Morpheus, it's a dream, right?

Sex in the city
Soooooo not seeing myself here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sometimes, a scarf is just a scarf.

Gawd, I hope the terrorists never are shown drinking lattes, or Dunkin' Donuts is screwed.

My, oh my, what will be next? Olive Garden disallowing red checkered draped tables in their commercials because they resemble Arabian head coverings? I know when I Googled "kiffiyeh", I found photos of men wearing such red checkered head coverings.

Wait, do they even have red checkered tablecloths at Olive Garden? I bet they won't now.

But I think you know where I'm going with this. Have we as Americans have become such tight rope walkers that we can't even make a simple clothing choice without worrying that the simple image could cause someone to think in the ridiculous line of thought "Fringy scarf = bad people want to kill us, and I support them all the way by wearing this fringy scarf?"

I guess I should tell my daughter she'd better stop wearing that Halo 3 t-shirt. It might remind someone that maybe some day in the future there may be a brood of aliens that look like onions (I know, I've spent many an afternoon watching her play Halo), and that she will eagerly welcome our new Overlords...

It took one talking head from Faux News to make a business second guess a spokesperson's wardrobe and cause them to pull the ad of Rachael wearing the "offending" scarf. That's scary enough all by itself.

Shamed Out of Silence

The other day at a family cookout, my father and I ironically had a conversation. I say *ironically*, because the conversation was about not being able to have a conversation. We got on the subject how it have become so easy to fall into long periods of silence, that if we had to actually speak, like if someone unexpectedly came to the door, would we be able to hold a conversation, intelligent or otherwise, or would we just end up talking jibberish.

Our lives of silence, dad and my own, come from different sources. My dad, newly widowed. Myself, being a stay at home mom, best friend moved away years ago, husband works straight days, children are at school (one will soon be getting married and moving out).

For me, my days are spent in a voicelessness void. "Not needing to" quickly turns into "Not wanting to". In some ways, it becomes a muffled cocoon.

My dad adopted a cat so he would have something to talk to. And, to her credit, Kitty talks back. My dogs, they just look at me like I've gone bonkers when I try to talk to them. They cock their heads at me, most likely in pity.

After talking to my dad, I at least felt that mine wasn't an isolated incident, that the speech portion of my brain really didn't decide to quit working. No, it just got lazy. There are some days I honestly believe if I never had to open my mouth and speak again, it would be totally fine with me. Some days, I really relish in the silence. I don't even have the television on most days, because I was finding myself talking back to the talking heads on cable news, and that was just getting a bit too scary.

But, in the end, it is isolating, and it is lonely, and most likely not healthy. And I am sure the silence from the loss of a loved one as in my dad's case causes more pain than the normal tide change as children grow into adulthood and move on. Which just makes my instance that more shameful. Nothing was ripped from me. I'm not recovering from a vacuum like my father is trying to.

So, if you are reading this, the generic "you", that is...what I'm getting at is, for whatever reason, "if you don't use it, you might lose it." So, get off the computer, grab the phone, call someone, just to say, "Hi".

Next installment: "How Illegible My Handwriting Has Become Since Computers, But At Least I Now Have Wicked Keyboarding Skillz"

Friday, May 23, 2008

An Update

Free Speech wins out in the end.

And, Kudos to the young man, Epic Nose Guy, who stuck to his beliefs, and also to the CPS in London for seeing that in this case, free speech is NOT a hate crime.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Term Paper

My daughter is writing her research paper for school on what else (considering she's my kid)?

"Scientology: Should it be considered a religion, or is it truly a cult?". Her idea, not mine. In fact, I suggested something else, like "E85 Ethanol: Viable fuel alternative, or 'How to gum up your car's engine in 60 seconds'."

Okay, I made that part up, although I have some friends who ran E85 in their vehicles with not so thrilling results, but I digress. But I did ask her to maybe look at some other subject to write about, just to be on the safe side of not rocking the boat.

So, in true 15 year old style, she stuck with the Scientology angle, and although I not too concerned that I'll find a rattlesnake in my mailbox, or that someone tossed through my garbage (or her school locker, although I am sure someone could confuse her locker with a garbage can), I am so glad we don't live in the UK.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Iron Man

The Family and I went to the googleplex Friday and saw Ironman (or is that Iron Man?). Good, fast-paced movie. Good CGI. Could have done without Ms.Paltrow, but, hey, that's just me. But I guess every super hero needs their bland, vapid female assistant. Of course blowing through $20 in gas and $30 in tickets and popcorn (I bummed off DH), I wished for a big screen television at home. Give me that, and I would never need the theater again.

Other movies on my "to see" list will just have to wait for DVD. Every time I go to the theater, I am reminded why I don't.

Older DD thought Robert Downey Jr. was "yummy". She has good taste. Younger DD thought he was too old to be yummy. So I guess there's no bother asking her opinion on Harrison Ford...

You could tell who were the Marvel geeks at the theater. My daughters and I sitting as the credits rolled as everyone else walked out. I read on the intertubes that it was highly suggested to stay all through the credits. So, if you are going to see the movie and have any edumacation on the Marvel Universe, stay.

And, as usual, Stan the Man makes a cameo. All in all, a good "get your mind off crap with the exception that the $20 in gas may not get you home" movie.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dad vs. Cat

My dad adopted a cat last weekend. I believe his past few days may have looked something like this...

*Footnote: My dad may no longer suffer from sleep apnea, since that would actually require SLEEP.

Speed Racer-anon

I haven't seen the movie yet, so while waiting for my chance to slip inside the theatre under the cover of darkness, or now that I tend to go to matinees, find a wig and sunglasses, I found this quiz on MSNBC, just to see how much I knew about the Speed Racer of my youth.

I received a 92%. I only had one wrong answer.

I really don't know what that says about me. The fact that I still have the memories of an pre-teen, or that I actually watched the cartoon (we all did, we just didn't admit it).

But, the first step in dealing with a problem is admitting it.

"Hi, my name is XXXXXX, and I watched really badly dubbed Japanese Anime as a child."

I also cut out pictures of Bobby Sherman out of issues of Tiger Beat and hung them on my ceiling, but that's a story for another day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Belle's Toll

Sunday's sports channels were focused on the yearly spectacle known as the Kentucky Derby. It's more than a horse's a fashion show, a haberdashery's nightmare, a big glossy magazine spread of all the hoi-poloi of Oscar night red carpet proportions. The pre-show interviews of models, actors and the typical "Anyone who is Anyone", takes up more airtime than the less than two minute mad dash of horses to the finish line.

Of course, I highly doubt that any of those "Anyones" gave two hoots in Hell about the men, forced into bulimia, just to stay "at weight", who perch precariously on creatures exploding with instant speed and energy. Creatures whose upper bodies are so terribly out-proportioned to their spindly, fragile ankle bones.

Thirty seconds after the end of the race, Eight Belles, who came in second, was trotting off the maddening pace as those spindly, fragile front ankle bones gave way, both snapping like over-encumbered chair legs. The filly, unable to stand, was put down where she laid on the track.

I wonder how many of the "Anyones" even noticed?

Are horses "born to run"? Yes, as one sees the majestic vision of wild Mustangs, dashing freely across the Western Plains, running unencumbered by leather and metal and men, and for the whims of men.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mushroom Madness

DH was about to go and mow the lawn play around on his zero turn mower when DD came in the house asking my opinion on what was the funny looking things growing in our yard. Like I'm a botanist, or something.

"It looks like brains, mom."

Okay, taking the chance what DD had found was in fact not brains, I ventured a look.

There, nestled in the grass was a...morel. Now, mind you, I live in town, not a wooded glen or anything. But, there they were, about 10 morels scattered in the grass, as if the Mushroom Fairy stopped by for a visit. Yeah, I know, she usually just deals with mushrooms of the "magic" variety, but her supplier must have dried up, so we got morels instead.

Of course, knowing that mushrooms are known to be poisonous, I had DD Google "morels". We discover that there are "false" morels. *POISON!!! DO NOT EAT* After reading a long, detailed dissertation explaining the difference between "real" and "false" morels, at the very bottom, the last sentence explained that real morels are hollow, whereas false morels are not.

Now, if the article had stated that at the beginning, I could have saved 5 minutes of my life.

So, out we go and pluck the ten morels from the ground, determine that they are indeed hollow, soak them to remove mites (and I am not turned off yet, between the looking like brains, may be poisonous, and could be mite-infested?), slice them into quarters, dredge them in flour with a little garlic powder and deep fry.

Now, if I had MY druthers, I would be delicately sauteing them in butter and olive oil, but, hey, what do I know.

So, now we have 40 little breaded and fried shroom slices draining on a paper towel. We all have a taste. It was kind of a silly sight, the four of us daintily picking at the plate of fried fungus.

"You have the last mushroom" "No, by all means, you have the last mushroom".

Mushroom Heaven. And I didn't even hallucinate.

And for all you mushroom hunters out bothering trespassing in my yard to find my horde of morels, I am sure their appearance was totally a fluke.


Laws of Attraction

Last year, I decided to unhinge my analytical mind and read "The Secret", Rhonda Byrnes' book that discusses this "secret" she had discovered at a terribly low point in her life. Supposedly, all the learned people of the past knew the secret...Michelangelo, Einstein, DaVinci...even Jesus.

What was "The Secret"? It was basically the Law Of Attraction. And, according to Byrnes, it totally turned her life around.

Thoughts are energy, and what you concentrate on in your life, you bring into your life. But, the hook is, that goes for negative as well as positive.

Three-thousand people all had negative, life-ending thoughts on 9-11? Sorry, can't buy that one. Won't buy it. More died in a cyclone that hit Myanmar lyesterday. Were they sitting around, worried about the weather before the cyclone hit? My mom feared cancer all her life. It was her obsessive-compulsive niche. Did her thoughts alter her body on a biological level where one day her cells mutated, overran her system and killed her?

I do agree if a person wakes up every morning with anticipation in their heart instead of dread, they may see the world around them in a different light. It's your typical "feel good" mentality. But the idea that if something bad happened to me or someone I loved, I somehow was responsible for that malady just because a thought crossed my mind and I held on to it?

Or to put it in other words...I would have "pulled it in". And, where else have I heard that, the concept that if someone had a headache, or that they failed in business, or that life in general just wasn't going right, they were responsible?


A critic I have mentioned before in my blogs, Tory Christman, while in Scientology was dealing with epilepsy. She began to suffer from worsening seizures, since she was not medicated, as per the churches' beliefs. What was she told by "church"?

You pulled it in. Make it go right. (Go in for more auditing, give us more money). She finally was able to petition the church to allow her to take medication for the seizures, luckily, since anti-seizure medications obviously does not fall under the "mind-altering" category'. But the belief was still there. If there is something wrong with your life, no matter what, it's your fault.

"The Secret" was really big when it hit the media a few years ago...probably like "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" was when it was first released many years ago before it morphed into the "church" of Scientology we have today. Now, what would have happened if Rhonda Byrnes woke up one morning and decided, "Hmmm...this would make for a good religion..."?

I mean, what's stopping her? Maybe knowing that a self-help concept does not a religion make.