30 June 2005
Tired of seeing kids' grubby feet in the same grocery store carts that carry her delectables, Dorothy Rietzel, a crazy old bat from Bellingham has crafted a bill that would ban children from sitting or standing in the main section of shopping carts. The bill, which cites Dorothy's "sanitary concerns" is currently before a legislative committee at the State House.
At first I thought this was a joke. How are kids riding in shopping carts deemed LESS sanitary than a grocery store employee or customer with unwashed hands who handles produce? What if a customer sneezes by the salad bar? I'd like to direct Dorothy Downer to the Shaw's in Boston where I once spotted a full-grown, well-groomed man by the tomatoes who appeared to be scratching the interior of his anus with his index finger. What about him? Since Dorothy is clearly more threatened by child-filth than adult-filth, would she prefer children run amok and spread their germs around like confetti? If kids are corralled in shopping carts, at least their child-filth is confined to a small area. Bottom line: Germs are everywhere, there are no guarantees. Note to Dorothy: Wash your produce, get a life, and most important - pick on someone your own size.
I take it back, all of it. In an earlier post regarding "Hit Me Baby One More Time," I said the show's stars of yesteryear should never attempt artistic interpretations of the hits of today. My comments were the product of my residual anger toward Rex Smith and Marilyn McCoo who used to maim the cherished songs of my childhood on Solid Gold. Not to mention, every artist who attempted it on HMBOMT thus far stank up the stage. And then PM Dawn covered Puddle of Mudd, accomplishing what no one else on the show could. They took a risk, made a complete departure from their musical genre, and created something beautiful.
Something curious is afoot in Kennebunkport. During a particularly celebratory Suppah Club in Southie last night, LP and I made a deja-vu-like connection about this coastal village and what could be an accidental flashing epidemic. We were discussing my unfortunate dress malfunction at last Saturday's wedding in Kennebunkport when she reminded me of a similar incident several years ago. James, LP and I were on our way to Draper's wedding -- also in Kennebunkport -- driving along a winding road on a cliff overlooking the rocky coastline. We were rocking out to a mixed CD entitled Big Lumbering Red Head, taking in the view when we spotted them -- Seals. Bobbing up in down in the water, basking on jetties -- seals. We became five year olds. "SEALS! Look at the Seals! I love seals. Me toooo." We stuck our heads out the window like Golden Retrievers to get a better glimpse. We noticed that some cars had pulled over to the side of the road to get a better look. Some people were even venturing out onto the rocks with binoculars. "James! Pull over! We want to see the seals too." Humoring us, James pulled onto the shoulder. We flung the doors of the Jeep open and leaped out in our wispy sundresses and three-inch heels. LP’s enthusiastic dismount caused one of her spaghetti straps to snap like angel hair, exposing her left one. LP, chucking her radical modesty, would not be deterred from our priority seal peep. She rigged up her strap as best she could and we headed out onto the cliff. And we could not see one single seal, at least from this location. Some of the sightseers were jumping up and down and waving, which we found perplexing. James sidled up next to us. "Um, guys, that's George Bush out there," he said, pointing to a boat just offshore with Secret Service power boats swirling around it. Apparently, the seals we'd seen a mile back were not the reason these people had pulled over onto the shoulder of the road. In fact, a passerby told us this location was not even a decent "seal-spotting" sight -- we'd passed it several miles beforehand. We silently returned to the car feeling as defeated as five year olds who’d accidentally let go of their balloons. We swiftly returned to fixing LP's strap.“Wow. Those sightseers really need to get lives. What a bunch of losers,” LP and I vented. “That’s right, ladies. They’re the losers,”James said under his breath..loudly. Whatever, Jimmy. To this day, LP is certain her boob is on a surveillance video somewhere in the Secret Service's archives. If Kennebunkport's flashing stats are astounding as I suspect - her's is likely one of many.
28 June 2005
A steamy Tuesday with skyrocketing pollen counts...the perfect day to debut Caroline’s Elmo Sprinkler. I strategically placed Elmo on the lawn where he could water some of my crispy, neglected flowers while we frolicked in the mist. Caroline crouched to chat with Elmo -- “How you doin’, Elmo? How’s work?’ -- while I set up the hose. Paulie plopped himself down in the grass a few yards away, his belly hanging out over his Hawaiian swim trunks. He noshed on Pirate’s Booty and ripped up tiny fistfuls of grass. Vito, the pug speed bump, hindered progress by going Rikki Tikki Tavi on the hose as I tried to unfurl it. I finally got it hooked up to the sprinkler and we were ready to roll. I went to turn on the water and warned Caroline to stand back. She backed up slowly, hands on her hips, intensely focused on the fun that was about to come. Suddenly, Elmo shot water from his feet with such force it was like someone had opened a hydrant. The blast knocked wee Caroline flat on her swimmy diaper. Tears rivaling the sprinkler’s spray ensued. “All done,” Caroline bawled, running toward me soaked and devastated. Paulie started laughing his head off and tipped over. Then he started bawling too. Ever the opportunist, Vito started hauling ass up the driveway toward the neighbors’ house. I had to carry both babies inside simultaneously – which is no easy task. Once inside, I coaxed them off the ledge with purple popsicles and a Tivoed episode of Hi-Five. Elmo soaked the flowers for about four hours. We'll try this again tomorrow.
“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” a jogger and I agree. We are standing in front of my house sweating our heads off, cursing the mugginess. The jogger is sweating because she’d been running along steadily before Vito bombed out of our front yard and began chasing her down the street. I’m sweating from chasing Vito. I was enjoying a spare 15 minutes of time ripping up weeds and didn't even know Vito had taken off. Then,I heard the jogger scream and turned to see her leaping onto the curb -- Vito in hot pursuit. Initially she thought Vito was a rabid raccoon or some other wild animal. “I didn’t know what it was. It was like he came out of nowhere,” she said. Now seeing Vito, panting heavily (sweating) and wagging his whole body, she laughs it off and jogs off into the mugginess. I start to head back to the house, but Vito -- exhausted from his 8 yard sprint -- won’t budge. So I carry him inside.
27 June 2005
“There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.”
It’s pretty clear to everyone but Tom Cruise that he should be embracing, not shunning psychiatry. Over the past month, he’s seemingly launched a very public cry for help with his wacky, fist-pumping shenanigans and bizarre commentary. His latest installation – the Matt Lauer interview – could be his most disturbing one yet in this real-time nervous breakdown disguised as a press junket. And we all know the Church of Scientology is probably getting ready to issue “Tom Who?” press releases, as he’s surely damaged their “we’re so not a cult” image.
When Cruise said, “Matt, you don’t know the history of psychiatry, I do.” I wanted Matt to collapse into a hysterical giggle fit. When Cruise called him “glib,” I wanted Matt to kick the stool out from beneath Cruise and give him a good old-fashioned ass-kicking. But unlike, Cruise, Matt remained professional, stayed in character. It’s going to be impossible for Cruise’s audience to suspend disbelief and accept him in movie roles after this Tour de Crazy.
“I don’t talk about things that I know nothing about.” Ok, then how can someone whose never given birth or even been in a relationship with someone’s who’s given birth, deny the existence of post partum depression? If he doesn’t believe in antidepressants, he shouldn’t take them. End of story. Maybe he’s been lucky enough to be healthy, to be free from any physical or emotional pain. But there are millions of people out there whose bodies and minds betray them every day and the last thing they need is some aging actor with a Napolean Complex bashing their choices on international television. What will his next rant be about? According to Cruise, we’re all supposed to feel the physical and emotional pain of life and not “mask” it. Will Cancer patients on Procrit, a drug that helps combat the energy-zapping effects of chemotherapy, be subject to scorn? Diabetics on insulin? Men wearing jock straps?
26 June 2005
Maybe it’s a publicity stunt, maybe it’s some kind of A-list prostitution, but this kind of manic desperation makes us all feel a little bit better about ourselves, doesn’t it? Should we care? Of course not. It’s like someone saying, “Gross! Smell this.” --- and you do, even though you were forewarned. In the case of TomKat, you can’t help but jam your nose flat against the offending spectacle. I’m so taken with this mess, I’ve begun referring to my relationship as JamKat or KatJam depending on the day.
Katie Holmes appears to have seen a pretty laser light show with an LSD concession. She emerged from the show crazy in love, adopting a new religion and carefully orchestrated glee in the span of 11 days. Maybe she’s doing it for her career but that seems to be backfiring. She abruptly fired her long-time publicist and agent and her new ones seem to have graduated from the LaToya Jackson School of Communications. Will someone please tell Katie that “stark raving mad” may not be the savviest way to dispel her wholesome image? I think the true story will emerge that Katie is actually a clone of Tom, jammed into Weird Science-like creation of Katie. Tom, being an expert on psychiatry (we’ll get to that) and very, very rich, may very well have the world’s maddest scientists at his disposal.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the kind of instantaneous crazy romantic love they’re “promoting.” I am a believer. I just believe this bogus display is an affront to romantic love, the kind of love that may make you WANT to jump on Oprah’s couch, but you’d rather die than actually do it. In my experience, nobody wants to jinx new love by flaunting it with abandon. When you’re in love, you’re usually just living minute-to-minute hoping it doesn’t flame up and burn out. Maybe they fall in love differently in Hollywood. But, it's more than likely Tom & Katie’s unabashed confidence is rooted in the fact they know what’s going to happen next. Neither is a threat to the other’s heart and soul. They’re quite comfortable looning about town, letting all their junk hang out, consequence-free.
25 June 2005
It was an evening rife with mischief when five Lady Owls and one Lady Eagle descended on a smorgasbord of good eats in the South End and inspired a little scene. We were already dining within the roped-off sidewalk scene at Sibling Rivalry, but created a sidebar scene worthy of Animal Planet. Swooping in like vultures on a carcass, we gobbled up those appetizers and washed them down with Grey Goose before you could say Tuna Tar Tar. Napkins were tossed in the air, people hid behind ficus trees, we were about two loud laughter eruptions from ejection. Behavior unbecoming an owl? Yes. A hoot? Always.
22 June 2005
When I heard Flock of Seagulls, Cameo, Loverboy, Howard Jones and others like them were going to be covering the “pop hits of today” on a new show -- to quote The Sundays covering The Stones -- wild horses couldn't drag me away. I programmed my season pass for “Hit Me Baby One More Time” into TiVo weeks before the first show even aired to make sure I caught this train wreck on tape. And so far, it has more than delivered its payload of pong. The show's gooey production, dry ice and forced merriment align to form the perfect storm of primetime network cheese.
This is how it all goes down: The show’s host, Vernon Kay, an uber-groomed Guy Smiley with a Manchester accent and a shag wig, introduces aging rock stars who play their biggest hits from yesteryear. The audience erupts in a scripted-spontaneous-rock-out, likely staged to give the musicians a taste of their glory days, before they were forced to play at carnivals. The stars return in the second half of the show to play a popular song from today’s music scene. The best performer - determined by the audience - gets $20,000 donated to his/her/their favorite charity.
But in all its awfulness, HMBOMT is a ton of fun. It’s so-bad-it’s-good-fun, it’s fun like the Wham! Rap, fun like a shaving cream fight. And out of the silliness, some bright spots: Wang Chung covering Nelly, Arrested Development (who ARE the original Black Eyed Peas) covering Los Lonely Boys, Howard Jones covering Dido…all fabulous.
Cameo’s Larry Blackmon breaking it down in a red jockstrap and latex pants…an instant classic, but not quite as legendary as his carving his Afro into a triangle in the mid-80s.
The Knack initially made me feel icky during “My Sharona” when the 50- something lead singer made googly eyes at the 20 something girls in the front row when he sang the line: “I always get it up for the touch of the younger kind.” But the band redeemed themselves with a surprisingly explosive rendition of Jet’s “Are you Gonna be my Girl.” It was good -- so good they should have won. Unfortunately, they lost to Vanilla Ice.
Ice’s performance was among the worst of the evening but I suspect he won because he employed that fresh and novel concept of getting the audience to raise one of their arms and sway it from side to side like a windshield wiper. Irene Cara “won” last week’s episode with two lackluster performances when HoJo clearly blew Flashdance off the stage with his gorgeous “No One is to Blame” and cover of Dido’s “White Flag.”
I suspect Cara won because she wore a Fedora when she returned to perform her cover tune.
Other not-so-bright moments are some musicians who favor “artistic interpretations” of the hits of today. Don’t they know people hate that? I’m still pissed off about Rex Smith butchering – among many others -- Pat Benatar’s “Shadows of the Night” on Solid Gold. Martha from The Motels, who hands down had the most talent blew it by maiming Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” with a country-style, chicken fried steak version. Sophie B. Hawkins of Damn! Wish I Was Your Lover fame sealed her fate when she rendered Five For Fighting’s ubiquitous “100 years” virtually unrecognizable. Still..I cannot wait for this week’s show. It’s the only thing that can tear me away from the Natalee Holloway investigation.
Bottom line on Hit Me Baby One More Time: Not as good as the Travis cover but better than the original.
I lied about being kidnapped and sexually assaulted. My family, friends and fiance had me in a ditch and I never called them to let them know I was ok. I diverted law enforcement resources away from real crimes and wasted thousands of taxpayers' dollars. Van-driving Hispanics from coast-to-coast were needlessly detained and interrogated. I filed a fake police report because I am always the victim even when I'm clearly the perpetrator.
Now, Jennifer Wilbanks aka the Runaway Bride has inked a lucrative movie deal and stands to profit from her narcissism.
At first, I felt sorry for Wilbanks who seemed to have completely lost her shit a few days before her conglomerous 28+ bridal party gala wedding. Her fiance, who creepily slipped her engagement ring back on her finger upon her return, appeared to have all the passion of a frozen dinner. However, after hearing how meticulously she detailed her assault by Hispanic people with brown teeth, and after watching her unapologetic, poor me interview with Katie C., I've changed my mind. Had she claimed to be kidnapped by a roving band of French-speaking cats, I may have gone along with her panicking and concocting a story on the spot. If she had not purchased her bus ticket a week in advance, I would have believed she "snapped and fled." If she were 20 as opposed to 32 years old, I'd have had some sympathy for her trying to save herself from herself. But she was old enough to know better and sane enough to know she fucked up.
20 June 2005
"Bloody brilliant head of hair, that Crapmaster P," said Noel.
Paulie has about 10 nicknames that are constantly evolving - Little Paulie Walnuts, Boulos, Boogie Boy, Crapmaster P, and most recently Brit-Pop for the way his wavy brown locks of hair fall naturally into the style and shape similar to that of a British rock star's. Caroline addresses him by all of these names interchangably. Today, during a particularly sweaty morning on the playground, Caroline saddled up to a gaggle of sweaty moms, and asked "Where Brit-Pop go?" She didn't see Paulie sitting beneath the spiral slide mouthing a wood chip. I headed over to confiscate said wood chip and she spotted him. "There's Brit-Pop!" she announced proudly. The sweaty moms shot each other glances, clearly not understanding the name.
"Ooooh, is that your brother, sweetie? What did you say his name was," one of the moms cooed.
Caroline, falling hard on her consonants like a news anchor, repeats loudly: "BriT PoP."
I lug Paulie over, remove his little Red Sox cap and explain how the name came to be. Blank stares all around. "Oh, I thought it was for some kind of popsicle or something," one of the moms says. I was too sweaty to carry the conversation any further. Then, Paulie stuck his pinky in my right nostril and it kind of hurt. Thankfully, a toddler that belonged to one of the moms started screaming because some other brat stole his sippy cup and was making a sand castle with it. One of the mom's looked at Caroline and said "Speaking of hair. You've got the most beautiful curly hair." And it's true. Even on a sweaty day like today when everyone's hair was pasted to their foreheads, Caroline's ringlets had soaked in the humidity like a sponge and maximized her 'fro.
"So...do you have a funny nickname too?" the mom asked, ruffling Caroline's hair and temporarily getting her hand stuck.
"Want to go get a juicebox, sweetie?" I piped up a little too squeakily. I panicked, knowing Caroline will spill the beans on her occassional nickname - Juan Epstein - rendering us the playground crazies. Juan, Brit-Pop and I fire up the double-stroller and make a quick exit. We are home free..for now.
18 June 2005
I don't need no stinkin' electric fence
Vito, everyone's favorite ill-mannered pug (except James'), has started to make a name for himself in our new South Shore neighborhood. Maybe he's rebelling against his reclusive city mama who cowers behind the kitchen island whenever a neighbor comes within 50 yards, maybe he's just horny -- but every day, he busts out the screen door and hauls ass down the road. Weaving an erratic path along the street, he waddles through our neighbors' pristinely mulched flower beds, he bumrushes strollers, he dodges lawn mowers. I'm usually a jogging after him in my bare feet,promising him slices of Sara Lee honey turkey if he'd only come back to the house with me. Most of the neighbors have watched this scene unfold many times in the past month. As I shuffle past them, apologizing for Vito's unannounced raid, they smile, say "that's ok" and pet my wayward dog. Nevertheless, I'm certain we're a massive drain on their supply of neighborly patience. This morning, I found Vito four doors down winding up for a poop beneath a neighbor's rhododendrun. The neighbor, an older woman, scowled at us from behind her lace curtains as I gathered up Vito -- all 33 pounds of him -- and carried him home. Poor Vito is morbidly obese? He's overweight even for his portly-prone breed. . So we bought an electric fence a few weeks ago but haven't been able to find the 8+ hours of free time required to install it. We're hoping the electric fence, in allowing Vito free reign of his own yard, will do wonders for his weight, not to mention his manners..
16 June 2005
Crazy bird lady releases white dove
I've finally managed to unglue myself from the 24/7 coverage of Michael Jackson's acquittal after gorging on Dan Abrams like he was a sack of Pirate's Booty. The above photo compelled me to start a blog today. This lady lugged a crate of birds to the Santa Monica courthouse and released a single white dove for each "not guilty" verdict read. I simply do not know what to do with this image.