Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pretty in pink

That outfit is positively volcanic!

You may have noticed a tiny redesign here at BMA. There was no real reason behind it, except I couldn't for the life of me remember why I chose willow green as the color scheme. I do love yellowy greens - it's one color I absolutely CANNOT pull off, even if I adore it - but still. It seemed un-MarieAntoinette-y and un-Stella-y and... not quite right. So, pink it is. For the moment.

We are watching Sesame Street Old School DVD right now. Santa brought it to HRH this year, even though there are disclaimers all over about how it no longer suits the needs of modern pre-schoolers or some such nonsense. Miss Thing, of COURSE, is captivated. So, for that matter, is Cap'n Jack, despite his double digit age. Why? Because this Sesame Street feels real. It's paced like life is - long stretches of quiet mundanity punctuated with moments of interest. Most everybody - even the monsters! - are non-excitable, tranquil, even (dare I say it) slightly surly. Adults are quite firmly figures of authority, not friends, although they are friendly. There is a little slapstick - kids running into laundry on a clothesline - and many, many lessons: where milk comes from, how to form a knit stitch, counting to 12, over, under, around, and through... It's orderly and frankly, to eyes jaundiced by the frenetically paced, neon-colored, song/dance/laugh fest that is children's television today, a little boring. In a really good way. There is a real sense of respect for children that I don't feel from the program anymore.

Anyway, this isn't on the DVD, but it is my favorite Grover moment, and has the bonus of being several teachable moments in one:

Monday, April 21, 2008

More whining about this town's sense of style.

Here is a picture of me. I just took it on my iSight. My hair is cute today, except one chunk that inexplicably fell, but I love my bangs, and mostly the curl is hanging on. You will notice, please, the telltale sheen of moisturizer but neither base nor powder, as well as the conspicuous lack of lip colorant. Also, I am wearing an olive green sweater from Old Navy. Pretty normal, right? In addition, I wore: a pale pink cotton voile shirtdress with a pleated skirt by Isaac Mizrahi (FOR TARGET) and pink flats. In light of my recent efforts in Las Vegas, this outfit is barely suitable for grocery shopping in. But, lo and behold, what does someone tell me?

"You look ready for prom!"


Like, rent a limo and eat at a fancy restaurant your parents picked, PROM?!?! You're fucking kidding me. You know, I kind of wish it was prom. Then at least I wouldn't feel so bad about the Hot Shots Cinnamon Schnapps and Diet Dr. Pepper I'm about to swill. And maybe somebody would feel me up in the hot tub during the afterparty.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Obligatory pop culture update

Listening to:
- She and Him. Zooey Deschanel is obviously a fairy tale, because without the benefit of fairy godmothers, no one can be this talented at this many things, or that enchantingly pretty. Damn her.

- Deke Dickerson. Go on, roll your eyes. I dare you.

-The Phenomenauts. Because I am still a convention-going, card-carrying, costume-wearing science-fiction non-apologist from way back. Word.


-The Canon, by Natalie Angier
This is kind of science lite, an overview of various disciplines by a non scientist for people who are frightened by science. I still got stuck on the probability chapter. My only real beef with Angier is her tendency to insert herself into her writing. It worked well in Woman: An Intimate Geography, but only because it was her personal experiences that prompted her research. Here, I wish she had let her voice speak for her.

-Natural Acts, by David Quammen
Quammen comes right out and says what Angier will not: he is not a scientist, and he writes about natural history and the social sciences because it is the only way the world makes sense to him. This collection, which is published in its 25th anniversary edition, is more noticeably magazine articles than his later collections of essays. Still, he never fails to inspire me when he wryly makes an observation about, say, octopus eyes, or the evolutionary path of mosquitoes, and in doing so makes a larger point about our own place in the world and how frail it, and we, are.

-Louis Armstrong's New Orleans, by Thomas Brothers
This was not as well written or as insightful as I wanted it to be. I haven't finished it yet, and it has to go back to the library this afternoon. Prospects are not good for its completion.



Whither hast thou gone, Spencer Tracy? And why the hell should we accept Renee Zellweger in place of our beloved Kate Hepburn?

Alright, already! Okay! I give up! Look, Netflix is winging this to me as fast as is humanly possible, okay, so no revocation of my aforementioned sci-fi geek card. You people are fucking RUTHLESS.


Nothing of value in Las Vegas. But here at home, I am very fond of dried apricots stuffed with goat cheese, and also bacon pie, which I understand is a breakfast delicacy found in New Zealand. You make it thusly: chop and fry three or four rashers of good bacon with some diced onion, and some mushrooms if you like. Line a pie plate with puff pastry. Throw in your bacon. Scramble six or eight eggs without milk. Pour that on. Toss in a handful of shredded cheese. Top with another sheet of puff pastry. Seal your edges, cut vents, egg wash. Bake at 375 for 35 or 40 minutes. Rest it for a few, then slice and enjoy.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled snark. Suggestions for this list for next time?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Home sweet home. Sigh.

Well, I did not get arrested in Vegas. Neither did I get sunburned, drunk, or married. Really, it was one of the more sedate experiences I've had, considering the availability of alcohol and guitar players, both of which I harbor a certain weakness for. You'd think I would have made more of an effort towards misbehavior. I promise I will try harder next time around.

Here are some of the things I now know about Vegas:
1) There is no such thing as smoke free. Caesar's Palace, with its 900 foot ceilings (okay, a smidgen of exaggeration there) was scented with some obnoxious aromatherapy to disguise the fact that everyone there missed the last two and a half decades of research on the subject of second hand smoke.

2) I like burlesque dancers. A lot. I feel bad for strippers, and for Pussycat Dolls. Robin Antin gives real burlesque a bad name.

3) There is an inherent flaw in a town that charges $.99 for a margarita and $16.99 for a cup of gelato. No, you did not read that second price incorrectly.

4) When you compliment the bartender on the nature of his Manhattans, he upgrades all the drinks of your order to top shelf liquor and does not charge you. Also, he remembers you the next day, because out of the 25,000 drinks he made over the weekend, you were the only one who asked for an extra cherry. Or, um, something.

5) I only take pictures of bass players:

6) Deke Dickerson is one tall drink of water.

7) A 6' man in a snap brim hat is easy to find in a crowd.

Anyhow, the list of things I regrettably missed includes Ray Campi, Laura Lee Perkins, and Sonny West, and the Tiki Pool Party, which was at our hotel, but which was foregone in lieu of a couple of really great shows I was happy to have seen. Also missed: Spamalot, Fab Four Mania, and all of the free shows. I mean, the pirate ship at Treasure Island only had two shows a day, the volcano at the Mirage was down for repair, the Atlantis exhibit at Caesar's was down for repairs, we never made it to the end of the Strip to see the circus acts at Circus Circus... We were lame. What can I say? Last, but without a doubt not least: I did not eat dessert all. Fucking. Weekend.

The end. Next time I'm just going back to New Orleans.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

You're so money and you don't even know it.

I constantly surprise myself by liking something I thought I was going to hate. Whiskey. Disneyland. Death metal. And then there are times when my taste is reaffirmed so strongly, so unequivocally, that I amaze myself with my own flawless stylings: Casablanca. Antique jewelry. Louise Brooks haircuts. I have been doing a little thinking, and I have more or less decided that my personal taste is based mostly on the notion of authenticity, Disneyland notwithstanding. I was willing to give Vegas a try, much like my first sip of Jameson's, in the hopes that the burning sensation I associated with it would resolve into a pleasant and irresistible haze of pleasure. Maybe there was hidden depth.

NO. Even the building facades are plastic here. You can knock on the stucco; it sounds like Tupperware. Everything is bigger, cleaner, more American. It is horrifying. Thank the baby Jesus for rock and fucking roll.

I admit, here at Viva Las Vegas, I am the poseur. These people live this lifestyle all the time. They set their hair every night, and machine their own car parts, and genuinely love the music that grew out of Sam Phillips' airless box of a storefront studio in Memphis. There is a real connection to history and culture, and a respect for the doers of the world. And that, my friends, makes me a very happy girl indeed.

I will have pictures and more stories later, but I will say this: I have never had so many helpful hands down sets of stairs, nor so many admiring glances from women who appreciate the hours (yes, hours) of work it takes to accomplish this particular type of glamour, nor so many weak beers. As I said, Vegas is not perfect.