Friday, September 29, 2006

True Confessions, Old Punk/Soccer Mom Style

Originally uploaded by moodinator.
I am obsessed with this man. Well, more specifically, his music, but he does have a fascinating face to boot. Looks pretty good sans shirt, as well. It started so innocently. "Gangsters and Thugs" came up on a playlist made for me by Napster. Aren't they sweet? I liked it. A lot. Soon, I was listening to Haunted Cities on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. And the buying began.

It's nice to find new obsessions. This one is a tad embarassing, considering I'm a 43 year old mother of four who drives a minivan and frequents soccer fields across the southeast. At the same time, that's what makes this one so fun. Hey, America! Not all us soccer moms are listening to Kenny G! Take note!

Tim Armstrong, I love you, but I'll be content to worship from afar. If the secret gets out, and you start getting swarmed by soccer moms, well, I imagine that would instantly 'uncool' you amongst the 18-24 year old male demographic. But who really gives a shit about them anyway? Come on up and see me sometime.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's That Time Again!

Banned Book Week!

I am stunned to realize I've read less than 20% of these. I promise to bring that up for next year.

Some surprises:

The What's Happening To My Body? Book for Girls is #40. What's Happening To My Body? Book for Boys is #61. Let's speculate! Girls' bodies are 20% more obscene? Boys are less likely to seek information re: growing up, presaging an adulthood inability to ask for directions? Or, perhaps boys are 20% more likely to scour the library for pictures of naked women than girls are to find same of men? Any way you look at it, gender bias is still here, in spite of all the political correctness in the world.

Where's Waldo? banned? WTF?

Carrie? I suppose that might incite prom riots and ritualistic blood lettings across the country. Could the "girlness" of the gore be the problem? Can you say Stayfree? The Dead Zone and Cujo are also fit to be banned. Congratulations, Stephen King. You're this decade's #1 banned author! At least for "adult" fiction. That anarchist Judy Blume leads the list with 5. Are You There, God? This is fricken ridiculous!

Anyway, read the list and enjoy some moral outrage! March down to your local public library and cause a scene. Not all freedom fighting is being done in I-raq.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I'm Not Going And You Can't Make Me

At least, that was my intention.

Is there anything more freakout-inducing than an invitation to your 25th high school reunion? I mean, besides breast lumps or strange noises from the auto? If I'd just received an invitation in the mail, I could cheerfully drop it in the trash without a moment's hesitation, consideration and with no consternation. Working out my 'ations' today. I got one in the mail. And I've had no less than 3 personal entreaties to attend. Two by phone and one face to face. Make that three by phone. Face to face is hard to turn down. And I feel for her (the sweet girl who has called twice and cornered me at the county fair once). She's worked hard to pull this off. None of the other deadbeats in our class would do it, myself included. I "lost" the invitation in a masterful move of passive-aggression and miraculously found it after the deadline had passed. No worries, Sherry tells me - just see me at the picnic and pay for the events you want to go to. Argh. I went through high school behind an wall of invisibility. Why the fuck isn't it still working?

There are 2 or 3 people from that graduating class of 1981 I'd like to see again. It's the other 97 that I don't really give a damn about. I mean that in the nicest way possible. I wouldn't mind seeing them one at a time, bumping in to them at the grocery store or the fair or soccer or something. It's just hard to face all of them at once. Like getting on the damn bus again and trying to find somewhere to sit. After I talked with Sherry (again) this morning, I decided to go. I'm wavering again, but I'm pissed at myself for letting these people have this much power over me. I'm 43 years old. I should be over this shit.

I'll go.

If I can find something to wear.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Birthday Bashing With The Fun Girls

or, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but I'm on to your tricks now, sister.

My birthday was celebrated today at work. Against my will and without much enthusiasm. It was technically two weeks ago. Approximately. At my age, dates get fuzzier and fuzzier with every passing hour.

It was an end-run around the fact the Fun Girl #1 wanted to celebrate Fun Girl #2's birthday, which IS today. We used to celebrate every single person's birthday with a cake. Even if there were two birthdays on one day. And this is quite informal and we all love cake and a chance to not be working, even if it means hanging out with each other. But, 2006 brought a BAN to these festive happenings. No more birthdays were to be celebrated in the office. So, January thru August have slipped by with only one marked (Fun Girl #1 turned 186, so it was a milestone). Suddenly, today, as I'm entering my various types of payroll deductions into their various types of spreadsheets, I am told to come have cake! We are celebrating MY birthday. And all the other September birthdays! Woo hoo!!

I should feel used.

But there was cake. Chocolate cake.

I am weak.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Verbostic* Assault With Literary Intent

Well, maybe that's a tad harsh.

I opened this book at 10 P.M. on a Thursday night. Mistake #1. I had imbibed one or two stupid-making beverages. Mistake #2. I could not find my reading glasses, yet decided to forge on anyway. Mistake #3. While I realize that this is the metaphoric equivalent of poking a badger, of trying to drum up NRA memberships at a PETA rally, I'm the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. Call me Ishmael. Call me Doña Quixote. Just don't call me late for dinner.

I made it through 5 pages that night. Eventually, I made it through the whole (blessedly short) thing. It's not a bad book, in fact it must be a really good book because it won prizes. The blurbs told me so! But Stevens, the Great Butler-cum-narrator, can't contain himself linguistically. If one word will do, he'll use ten. If brevity is the soul of wit, Stevens is bound for Humor Hell. If words were air, the rest of us would suffocate because Stevens has inhaled the entire freaking galaxy. If prizes were given for going on and on and on and not really saying anything, well - you get the picture.

Anyhoo, long story short: the book left me with a larger vocabulary, a tired head and a provocative idea. What if all the words I hear and read were somehow drowning out my own? So, I'm conducting an experiment and turning off the noise. I've gone instrumental, music-wise. At least through the workday. Jazz, classical, salsa. Avoid the singing as much as possible but if it ain't in English, it's kosher. Today's been Buena Vista Social Club derived - all the branches on that tree that Napster has to offer. Yesterday, it was Mozart. Tomorrow? Maybe Japanese pop! I'm still bangin' my head to the Transplants in the car and I'm still overdosing on fiction at home, so no cold turkey. I wouldn't unleash that on my family. It is refreshing to have background noise, not that it's noise, but it's not demanding too much of my tiny little brain and I can just enjoy.

Imagine that!

*Yeah, I made it up. Sue me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Talkin' T-Shirt Philosophizin' Blues


I've owned this shirt for at least two years now, a souvenir from FANTASTIC Nick Lowe show at the Belcourt. I could only love it better if it had NL inside it. We've gone casual on Fridays at work (waaaay casual), so I wear it maybe twice a month. No one ever commented on or noticed it until...just the other day. One of my many many bosses read it. Out loud. To me. She smiled. Later, a fellow soccer mom read it. Out loud. To me and a few others. They smiled, nodded and agreed that it was an excellent point. A slightly drunk (or borderline sunstroke case - it's hard to tell the diff, sometimes) read 'what's so funny 'bout WHAT'? I had to finish reading it for him. A casually tossed peace sign was my reward.

My conclusion? I should've cornered the market on these and maybe, just maybe, a tide has turned.

*cue voice of Boris Karloff*

Maybe world peace, I think, doesn't come from a store. Maybe world peace... perhaps... means a little bit more!

Give peace a chance, peeps.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Five Things I Can't Live Without (Today)

1. Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. Technically, Avon's Lip Dew is better, but I don't want to get involved with another Avon Lady.

2. "I Want It All" on my cellphone. Best. Ring. Tone. Ever. At least for me. The sound could be better - not enough bass, and it's tinny if it's too loud. Of course, it's never too loud.

3. Barbara Kingsolver's books. Started The Bean Trees today, after ripping through Poisonwood, Pigs In Heaven and Prodigal Summer. Pigs is the sequel to Bean Trees. Wish I'd known that before I read it! I haven't inhaled books like this since the Vonnegut binge c. 1983. But there needs to be more!

4. Socks. It be getting chilly in the evenings!

5. My nifty, stylish and comfortably over-sized Columbus Crew rain jacket. I'm trying hard not to feel any RBNY guilt when I wear it. My heart's still with you guys! You just have NO merchandise! None!