Saturday, March 29, 2008

Crimes of the heart - or gullet

I've been kiting candy out of my kids' Easter baskets for nearly a week now. Mind you, I have a basket of my own, but it was filled with candy I don't actually like. Somehow my mother has decided that Jordan almonds are my absolute favoritest, and so she gives them to me at every opportunity. Needless to say, I have a Jordan almond surplus over here. Y'know, one or two or even a handful are sorta good in a bland way every once in a while, but I have three 1/4 lb containers of these now, and I don't know what to do with them. Also, there was a plethora of fancy candy in my basket - liqueur flavored chocolates and the like - that in abundance leads to indifference. My top ten list of Easter candies (yes, it's that long. shut. up.) were sorely underrepresented. So I've been snitching.

My number ones, Cadbury Minieggs, I was smart enough to buy a huge (try two pounds!) bag of, and dumb enough to misplace in my kitchen ten minutes after I put four eggs each in the kiddos' baskets. So I have eaten six of the eight of those available within the first couple days, but I feel okay doing it, since I plan on replacing those as soon as I find the bag.

My number twos, Peeps, I have not been able to steal successfully. I limit us to to a single box per year, and there are only ten Peeps in a box. Stupidly, I forgot to parcel these out evenly, and so we opened the box and split it all at once. Now, I don't hold with any of that stupid Peeps-at-any-time-of-the-year-'ceptin'-Easter nonsense. If the sugar crusted marshmallow perfections are ANY shape except a chick, and ANY color except yellow, well, then, they are obviously evil and deserving of destruction. Not the kind involving your mouth, either. So my measly two chicks did not last the night, And the children, who are wily in their own way, hid their portion from me before I could find the stale crispy marshmallow glory.

My number threes, pastel wrapped Hershey's kisses, sadly did not make the candy cut this year. If you could buy these in little packages of twenty or so, it would be perfect, because who needs more than twenty kisses (of the Hershey's variety)? But the remaining 3,489,583 kisses in the bag go stale before you can pawn them off on anyone, and then there's the guilt about wasted kisses.

Number fours, jellybeans, I've been guzzling by the handful. At several points in my life, these have been my version of crack. I used to pull all-nighters in college fueled entirely on jellybeans and Diet Coke. I once got a box of them bigger than my head for a Christmas present. I still love them, and they would be higher on my list, but frankly, anymore you can buy jellybeans any time of the year and the candies higher up are seasonal specialties. Luckily for everyone involved, jellybeans spawn as along as they are left in Easter grass, so no one will notice or lament this particular larceny.

Five on the list, Cadbury's Creme Eggs, are there mostly for nostalgia's sake. My sister once brought me three of these concealed in her school bag the year that we were living with her father while my mom was in training while in the Army. He was a weird survivalist religious fanatic who had bizarre rules governing food, and he thought candy was evil. It was the only year in my more than three decades on earth that I have not had a Halloween costume, for example. And we were not allowed to eat meat (which we ate every single night, no exceptions) less than well done. Anyhow, my sister, who was in high school and had a boyfriend with a car, showed how much she loved me by checking out books from the town library in Madison and bringing the occasional clandestine chocolate from the grocery, a 1/2 mile down the drive, past the railroad tracks, over Rollercoaster Hill, through the poor side of town, past Cherry Lake and its resident alligators, right next door to the hair salon.

There are more candies I love, but I will stop enumerating them here. Talking about them all makes me feel sad that soon we will be down to the dregs of the baskets, all grass covered, squished lime flavored jellybeans and the just plain wrong "Bunny Corn" (again, this is OUT OF SEASON. Candy Corn belongs to Halloween, thank you. I don't see me forcing ribbon candy on you at Flag Day, so BACK OFF) in all it's insipid aqua and pale pink glory.

Monday, March 24, 2008

She really just goes for the tobiko.

Her Royal Highness, Bealicious and I went for sushi for lunch today. We needed to get away from the house because the weather has been thwarting our every attempt to check mail or get fresh air for the past several days, and the cats are going insane because it was Easter! which at our house means Plastic Egg Halves! which according to my cats are More Fun Than Catnip! So we braved the herring weather (imagine if someone shone a 100 watt lightbulb directly into your corneas while simultaneously dousing you with a shower of unflavored Sno-Cone while you were standing in front of one of those industrial wind machines) to slip away for giant steaming bowls of udon and a plate full of tekka maki for me (I like it spicy!). The restaurant was more or less deserted when we got there, despite the fact that it was barely past one o'clock. The sushi chef was berating the kitchen help (apparently) for being an inattentive dumbass, which should have surprised exactly no one, given that the helper dude looked like an extra from a Judd Apatow movie. But here's the thing that really captured my attention: it was Soft Rock Cliche Day at Little Tokyo.

While HRH and I consumed our meal, we heard the following songs:
1)All By Myself, Eric Carmen
2)Without You, Airsupply
3)Open Arms, Journey
4) Tell Laura I Love Her, Ray Peterson (the link is not Ray Peterson, it's Sha Na Na.)
5)Happy Together, The Turtles
6)Whiter Shade of Pale, Annie Lennox - this was a cover, but still.

Miss Thing was done at this point, but I really wanted to stay to see what they would play next. Hard Habit to Break? Missing You? Everything I Do, I Do It For You? I mean, the 60's songs in the second half of the set threw me for a minute, but I give them credit for sticking with the overall tone of the thing. I'd like to think it would be Doin' It All For My Baby or Broken Wings, but have a sneaking suspicion that it would be one of these two gems:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Another little list

Here are a few things I know something about:

  • Dungeons and Dragons, first and second editions, and lots of fantasy literature pre-2000.
  • cooking
  • early jazz, 1917-1950. Dixieland, hot jazz, swing, big band, thanks. Be-bop confuses and frightens me.
  • Crappy but fantastic science fiction television shows from the 80'd and 90's. I particularly like Quantum Leap, Star Trek: the Next Generation (mmm...Riker....), and Probe, which I only vaguely remember, but which to this day I will tell you was one of my favorite childhood TV shows. Please don't ask me to summarize a plot.
  • A teensy smattering of the following scientific-type ideologies: evolutionary biology (including the utterly fascinating insular evolution), basic chemistry and it's high-falutin' cousin, analytical chemistry, microbiology, human anatomy and physiology, and just enough physics to keep me upright and mobile. I also know how to find and cite sources for these.
  • The major design characteristics of Ceil Chapman, Emma Domb, and Elsa Schiaparelli.
  • Seminal bands of our current state of American popular music including a word or two each about early rock and rollers, British Invasion mod rockers, the birth of heavy metal in the late 1960's, swamp rock, and hair metal. Also, I will state with much vehemence that that Clash are not, never were, and GOD FORBID never should be considered New Wave. They were punk, punk, punk, Rock the Casbah not withstanding.
  • Just enough craftiness to glue my fingers together, sew over fingernails, and construct marvelous Halloween costumes.
Here are some things about which I remain in the dark:
  • How to pluck my eyebrows into any shape other than a boring straight line.
  • Post-1950 jazz. Sorry, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Roy Eldridge. Nice try. I don't get you.
  • Why the hell they ever made Snuffy visible to anyone other than Big Bird.
  • How to explain the difference between cetrifugal and centripetal force, and why centrifugal force is imaginary, like Snuffy.
  • Most any popular culture except singer songwriters and a few movies from 1994-2000. I have no excuse except I was blinded by love.
  • How to use bias tape on extreme curves like scalloping.
  • The current system governing character creation and armor class in D&D; freakin' halflings now look like Tobey Maguire in Spiderman. THEY ARE HOBBITS, PEOPLE. They are FAT and wear wool. Yeesh.
I swear to Thor I am not an incurable geek. I can fake a conversation about independent music if I need to.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

PIn Me Up

All of everyone who's anyone at this point in my life probably has heard the news a time or two or a thousand that I am headed to Viva Las Vegas in a month or so. I am very excited about it, because if there is one thing I love, it's rockabilly music, and if there is something else I love, it is bourbon, which will hopefully be in plentiful supply at VLV. I also love: vintage clothing, swing dancing, high heels, eyeliner, and being admired. And all of those things are certain to be present when I go. All except one, I fear. There will be thousands and thousands of girls there, and I am guessing that hundreds and hundreds of them will be much, much lovelier than I.

Now, I know that there is a whisper of protest rising from certain quarters. Before I have to sit through the choruses of my loyal fans telling me exactly how pretty I am (not that I normally mind in the least!), let me just point out that that doesn't bother me that much. These girls do this on a daily basis, something that I am constrained by circumstance from doing, and practice makes perfect. Have you seen pictures of these girls? They make the Lindsay/Britney/Paris school of glamour look crude to the point of prehistoric. They are works of art. I am - well. Rather artless. I can't even begin to contemplate the amount of work required daily to shape me from random-landscape-over-a-motel-bed to up-and-coming-young-artist-with-a-bright-future-in-abstract-modernism. I feel like it puts me at a disadvantage when viewed next to the lovelies who has religiously been following vintage diets as well as vintage fashion trends. (An aside: my mother was obsessed with the grapefruit diet when I was a child. This is significant mostly because my mother was a perfect size 8 until she got out of the Army. I do not have any strange aversions to grapefruit, although it would be understandable if I did.)

So then the question: do I spend $65 on a marvelous reproduction vintage swimsuit that I might chicken out and not wear in the indescribable heat of Sin City, or do admit that some of us are built to wear cap sleeves, pareos and gigantic sunhats? Resign myself to eating tomato aspic, grapefruit juice, and iceberg lettuce for four weeks, or buy some highly elasticated shapewear? Try to sell my nonrefundable ticket for half price and stay home feeling sorry for myself and eating as much cookie dough ice cream as I can afford with my savings that were intended for souvenirs and buckets of nickels for the cheap slots? Decisions, decisions.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Wanda Jackson makes up for lots of shortcomings.

She's so great, it hurts my feelings.


Apologies. This is not worth the karmic backlash.

Carry on.