Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Without a leg to stand on

The contestants for the next round of Dancing with the Stars were announced this morning. I've never made it through a complete episode, but am aware the show is based on viewer votes, much like American Idol. The fate of the dancing couples is up to the audience.

I have a prediction. Heather Mills (formerly McCartney) will be the first to go. HM(M) is the soon to be ex-wife of "cute Beatle" Paul McCartney. She's been slagged in the the U.S. and British press for wild accusations regarding her marriage to Sir Paul (including claims she was cut with broken glass by a drunk, abusive hubby), a saucy past of nude modeling and possible prostitution and the general opinion she’s a gold-digger, unwilling to settle her marital split without a bigger share of Beatles cash.

The Dancing powers are focusing on the fact that HM(M) is an amputee, having lost the lower half of one leg years ago in a motorbike accident, thus bringing light to the abilities of the "disabled". But as is the case with most reality talent shows, Dancing is a public opinion contest first and dance competition second. HM(M) stands zero chance. Fans protect celebrities with a vengeance and will punish HM(M) for daring to dirty an international music icon and treasure from our collective past. That producers have chosen to deliberately bring in a contestant with much heat feels like a set-up. More press, more very bad and hateful press, no doubt, awaits. That HM(M) agreed to participate at this moment in time is a bit of a head scratcher.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Strangers in the dark

I took myself to the movies this weekend. Given Helen Mirren appears to be the shoo-in Oscar winner for The Queen, I caught a Sunday matinee. Although the multiplex chose to show the film on one of the smaller of its 24 screens, the studio-indy (a.k.a. "stindy") drew a close to full house.

Therein lies the problem.

As I usher my popcorn (extra "golden topping") and Sprite into the show, I find the theater at near capacity. As usual, I began my trek to the very back row. As I ascend, I find aisle-after-aisle of one lone, empty seat peppered throughout. Each seat held a coat, a purse. Each person book ending the empties stared straight ahead, so politely grabbing attention took some doing. "Is this seat taken?” "Yes". “Sorry, saved”. I find a spot in the third row, all the way down front, all the way right. Staring up into 10-foot high nostrils was dizzying so, about a half-hour in, I scan the theater one more time. Maybe I missed an empty. I did. Lots of them. At least a dozen. The same saved seat after seat...empty.

No ass(es) in seat.

Are we now a society more at ease in chat rooms and our own heads than in real-life-face-to-face-three-dimensional situations? So much that we won't sit next to a stranger in a crowded theater? Or talk to the checker scanning our groceries. Or wave to the guy in a sammich suit hawking Subway on the corner. It’s the elevator phenomenon; eyes forward, silent, you cannot see me. I am here momentarily and not part of your existence. My cat does something similar. She’ll close her eyes and appears to believe she’s become invisible.

But then, she's a cat.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"There's a bathroom on the right"

We all have or have heard all about misidentified song lyrics. The topic comes to mind thinking of brother Robert and his years-ago-when-we-were-kids mistaking of "There's no need to be coy, Roy" from Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover" for "There's no need to be corduroy", which makes me giggle to this day.

The Brothers "Grim"

Growing up the only girl (besides Mom) in a house full of boys, my three brothers made the experience…interesting. Boys like to “get you”.

It started with Dad, who early on convinced me Kermit the Frog’s real name was Timothy. Middle-brother Jeff told me Ernie and Bert were, in fact, brothers with the last name “Bean”. Timothy the Frog and Ernie and Bert Bean.

Younger-brother Robert and I mostly banded together, two against two. We mostly lost. Like the time our brothers put us on trial for “The death of Charlie McCarthy”, found us guilty and made us walk on the hot summer sidewalk in parkas as “punishment”.

Oldest-brother Joe, an evil genius, whose two bedtime "gets" stand out. The first when he tied dental floss around our pet hamster and let it loose in my bed. The second when I found my beloved Holly Hobbie doll tucked in, the top of her bonneted-head barely visible above the covers pulled up over her face. When I turned the covers down, I found her head on the pillow and her body perfectly positioned a few inches from it. Mom sewed Holly’s head back on, black, criss-crossed stitches encircling her neck, but she was never the same. She just flopped to-and-fro.

Brother Joe died seventeen years ago last week. One of the last memories I have of him is Christmas Eve, 1987. He dropped by with gifts and to visit my then one-year old niece who he presented with one red rose. He told her, “It’s the first of many”. When my two brothers re-tell the same old stories, I laugh until I cry. They get me.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

A moment of silence...

...while I mourn my punk-inspired-but-really-more-new-romantic-“Pretty in pink”-loving-the-boys-in-eyeliner-youth.

I just heard "Blister in the Sun" playing behind a TV commercial for Wendy's new crispy codfish sammich. Dave, a Frosty and a scoop of Violent Femmes. I thought I'd lost it when I first heard Devo's "Whip It" become "Swifter, good!", but I could laugh that one off a bit.

"Body in beads I stain my sheets" selling a fish burger? If Kroger’s regurgitates "Lost in the Supermarket", I may need a long-term lie down.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Soylent Green is people

I'm pretty health-conscience. I eat mostly fresh, real foods, very little meat and shop primarily from the outer perimeter of the grocery store. I have a five-days-on, two-days-off philosophy of exercise so I can 1) eat what I like when I like (in moderation) and 2) drink.

As I got older, and the body reacted differently to the sins of youth, I changed the manner in which I fueled it. Red meat...dropped it. Takes much too long to work it's way "through" and, besides, meat on a bone started giving me the willies. Not alot of sugar and more "wheat" than "white" food. Roasted instead of fried. Gave up pork (I do miss bacon) because of the destructive manner in which the industry produces it (check out Rolling Stone for a stomach-churning look at hog farming). I turned to a diet of mostly veggies, fish, sometimes eggs, but the salmon had to wild, not farm raised, same with shrimp.

And now the fish is running out.

Pass me a Fat Tire and a plate of chili fries.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Couple's phraseology

Please excuse the upcoming Seinfeld moment.

Have you ever considered the origins of couple’s phraseology, a.k.a., the manner and order of how one refers to the two persons who comprise said couple? For instance, yesterday I went to Jeff and Darlene's house to visit with Candice and Luke and, while there, enjoyed a visit with Kyle and Ashley.

Which comes first and why? Do we refer to a couple based on whom we've known longer, are related to or like better? Is it flow of the tongue?

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