29 September 2008

Bastions of Moonbat Fashions

(Flower Child Power)

An outfit consisting of pink tulle, Crocs 'n socks and a fringe-happy poncho would usually require an "I Dressed Myself" button before leaving the house. But after someone -- in taking note of Carrie's clothing choices -- mentioned that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" (I believe the terms "dirty hippy" and "loony liberal" were used), I beamed with pride and chucked aside the disclaimer.

It may seem absurd to label a five-year-old as a "liberal" but having experienced this lunacy firsthand, I can attest to the reality and the madness.  It brought me back to high school in the 80s where being labeled a "liberal" had nothing to do with your idealogy and everything to do with what you wore.   For instance, if you wore open-toed shoes, you were a liberal.  If you made any fashion choices that didn't involve a Champion sweatshirt (tucked firmly into zee pants --hooyeah), you were a liberal.   

My friend N duly noted this bizarre fundamentalist attitude toward fashion was likely a trickle down effect.  Most high school students couldn't yet vote so many compensated by regurgitating the political adjectives and labels of one's raving parents, the majority of whom probably spent their weekends beating up organic farmers.  

My dear friend JS once looked at my feet and scoffed: "What's up with ya liberal shoes" (translation: non-controversial Sam & Libby slingback sandals circa 1987).  It bears mentioning that while he was offering up this style critique, he was wearing an acid-washed denim jacket with the phrase "Too Fast 2 Live, Too Young 2 Die" embroidered on the back.  There is too much multi-pronged irony here to even get into.  For one, the catchphrase on the back of the jacket came from a biography on Sid Vicious. It doesn't get much more anti-establishment than that.  

Then again, I once tucked my tapered jeans into some neon socks.  There was my seafoam green shaker knit sweater worn like a dirty slipcover over some footless tights (liberal leggins -- no Gs please) and the pairing of Converse All Stars (more liberal footwear) with prairie skirts ala Maria McKee.

Still,  I was more prone to label others with Breakfast Club-style stereotypes than attach an idealogical tag to a pair of sneakers, which still seems way out there in non-sequitur land.  I don't think wearing the same sweatshirt every day -- as a fashion statement -- made someone a "conservative," just unimaginative.  At least all of the fashion choices of the past were united in their hideousness.  As far as the future, if my daughter wants to dress from head to toe ponchos and tulle, more power to her.  

19 September 2008

Random Quizzilla

1.)  In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, write a sentence in pirate-speak.
Ahoy, me matey! Fetch me some grog from the bunghole. Aarrgh.

2.) Pick one: Butter, margarine, olive oil.
Olive oil.

3.) When you drink soda, do you prefer to drink from the can, bottle or pour it into a cup? 
Wow, really scraping the bottom of the barrel today, quizzilla.  I usually drink my diet coke right out of the can.  Path of least resistance.

4.) If you were a superhero what would you wear?
A star-spangled body suit and a cape made of feathers. 

5.) What was the last store you visited? What did you purchase?
Whole Foods.  Four "hearty mums" and an XL Allegro coffee.

17 September 2008

Brief Interviews with Restaurant Pillagers

I'm so glad I'm back on the blog because I'm vigilant once again about capturing moments on my digicam. Case in point, Gwennie to the left here, gawking at the undercarriage of some anatomically correct decor.  That's the real wine at the table.  
To kick off the annual migration away from hot dogs and linen -- -- we headed to the Scarlet Oak Tavern for a pre-autumn dine in front of the fireplace. Instead, we ended up around the corner from the fireplace where we were about three drinks away from having the wait staff place orange cones around our table.  Out of nowhere,  a rap sheet of restaurant pillaging began spreading across the table like jacquard.   It started when I spied a graceful gazelle sculpture in mid-gallop above Gwen and was immediately (and somewhat irrationally) seized by the desire to see this fine strapping animal atop my piano at the annual Christmas soiree.  With the help of some strategically placed votives -- I reckoned this sculpture would cast a reindeer-esque shadow on the living room wall.  I don't know where this urge to steal came from. I'm not a stealer. Even when I do the EasyShop at Stop & Shop, I'm a girl scout, even becoming smug when I'm randomly selected for a shopping cart audit.  Scan the produce, bitch, go ahead, do it.

My grandmother and her cronies used to pack their giant handbags to capacity with napkins and Sweet N'Low with zero remorse.  Then again, they were raised with a Great Depression mentality, the same one that inspired their recycling of tea bags and pantries full of processed tubular vittles known as "food sticks." (don't ask).

Of course, there were the drunken bouts of kleptomania in our youth.  I have an entire set of pint glasses from the Field in Cambridge. One time, PG lifted some stainless steel stools from that pizza place next to Copperfield's for no apparent reason and stuffed them into a cab. The cab driver even made room for the stolen booty in the front seat. But that's all bygones.

I couldn't explain this foreign late-30s urge to sneak that gazelle out of the restaurant and hide it in the attic like some latter day Greg Brady and his goat.  But I soon learned that many have gotten the urge at least once -- and have acted on it.  For instance, there is a galvanized potbellied pig parked on Gwen's hearth that has been masquerading as a well-placed decorative accent for awhile now.  Apparently the swine was swaddled in a sweatshirt and smuggled out of a Newport restaurant by her husband.  Does anyone ever wonder what happened to that blue stuffed talking parrot that used to taunt diners at Anchovies in the South End? It's at Dillard's apartment.  There once was a cool dog painting that graced the walls of the West Street Grille. That is, until Cameo tucked it under her arm and strode down Tremont Street, her clip-on ponytail swinging in the wind.  Perhaps the biggest kick came from my father-in-law.  James told me the two red leather club chairs at his father's house were actually rolled out of a South Shore watering hole many years ago.

On the restaurant pillaging scene, most seemed to subscribe to the tenet: "if it's not nailed down..."  After giving the gazelle a good shake, Gwen declared that, alas, our lean, leaping animal was indeed nailed down.  Our waitress came over to investigate the commotion.  Gwen pretended to inspect it closely, asking from which corner of the world this knick knack came from? Africa? Malaysia, perhaps? 

"Home Goods. Queen Anne's Connah," the waitress said.   Apparently the Scarlet Oak is teeming with Home Goods merchandise.  Since most of us are at Home Goods at least twice a week, interest in the gazelle quickly plummeted and conversation turned to a fantasy scenario involving Celine Dion in a crosswalk.

(Swiper no swiping)

16 September 2008

Separated at Girth


A neighbor driving by my house last weekend slowed to a stop when she saw me out on the front lawn with Vito.  She rolled down her window and I noticed she was laughing at us-- WTF?  

Apparently the woman's daughter is on Caroline's school bus. She told me that her daughter -- as well as the majority of the kids 
on the bus -- believe that Vito is not a dog but a "baby sheep."  They see him every morning when Caroline boards the bus and it's the highlight of the trip. I always wondered why all the kids jumped to one side of the bus to gawk out the window at Vito.  Now I know: to catch a glimpse of the sheep on the driveway.  He's been called "four-legged cotton candy," "an ottoman" and a "pot-bellied pug." I thought all this sheep talk was insane until I put up a side-by-side photo.  Look at how the bulky girth of both sheep and pug dwarf their heads.  I have to say those kindergarteners aren't far off the mark here. 

15 September 2008

David Foster Wallace

I was hoping to start blogging anew today, silliness and light, but then the news of David Foster Wallace and a few other things threw me off my stride and put me in a foul mood. DFW, one of my favorite writers, took his own life over the weekend. In reading all the postmortems, I keep seeing the word "inevitable" but I think that's a dangerous assumption. Writers point to his bouts of depression and the thread of despair that ran through much, if not all of his (brilliant) work.  

Aside: And let's not forget about the reader's despair as well.  It took me almost an entire year to read his novel Infinite Jest and I even skipped most of the notes.  

The despair in his writing betrayed his dark side, no doubt, but is that the whole story?Depression is a manageable illness. How does someone lose the will to live?  
I guess reading DFW with some hindsight, it'll all be in there.  Sort of like when I listen to Elliott Smith now and have those wow-I-can't-believe-I-never-saw-that-coming epiphanies. I have to believe that DFW, far beyond the reach of Wellbutrin, descended into complete madness.  I can't imagine how else someone could make a conscious choice to end his life at age 46.  It was impossible not to think about my 46-year-old sister-in-law who battled back from ovarian cancer and for whom every day is a gift.  And every day she makes a conscious choice to live and to live large.  It's tough to reconcile this afternoon. I'm irrationally angry. 

11 September 2008

The PU Returns Sept 15th

The Pointy Universe is back from summer vacation and coming back to haunt you like an Israeli kabob from mid-August. With minimal fanfare and even less revamping, we'll resume the same off-beat discussions on pointless topics and random shenanigans. See you then.