Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why we are fat and/or getting fatter

Doc Popcorn, a kiosk of corny goodness found in the local mall and a fave indulgence, has raised the price of a "small" bag of kernels to $3.50 while the "large" remains priced at $4.00. I buy small because I know I will not stop the munch until I hit paper bottom.

BTW, what a racket, eh? It costs, what, a few cents to pop corn; dazzle it with creative seasoning, slap on a running corn cob logo and call it four bucks.

I'm in the wrong business. At least I'm not getting fatter.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sacré bleu

R.I.P. mon cherie, le Tour De France.

Sadly, although I will miss my boys in spandex, their sleek riders bodies and clownish bulges, I must bid adieu.

The race I cheered with rabid excitement and fervor for a sweet, brief interlude each July, my summer lover, is gone. Your mistress, sweet doping, has taken your soul.

Au revoir Michael Rasmussen, kicked to the curb this week after missing four random doping controls in the past 18 months.

Farewell Cristian Moreni and your positive testosterone test.

C'ya pre-race favorite Alexandre Vinokourov, thrown out for homologous blood doping following your victory on Stage 13.

Peace out Bad-Boy-Floyd Landis, your 2006 victory still a shaky question mark, an asterisk in the history books, due to an abundance of synthetic testosterone.

Step Tyler Hamilton…I can’t go on. It’s just too painful.

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids sang it best, my loves, “Dope is for dopes, drugs are for dummies. If you mess around with them, that kind of joke isn’t funny.”

Thursday, July 19, 2007

You love me, you hate me

From love’s first bloom to the stink of a broken heart, nothing conveys the hypnotic highs and crushing lows better than the breakup song.

Looking back at my catalogue of musical memories, some still bring a sigh, some schmaltz, but all represent a boy and a time.

I matured late…very late. Although I crushed on boys from just about the time I discovered them, I was an awkward, chubby and painfully shy kid whose military family moved several times a year. Even in high school, once I slimmed down and cooled up, I was the theater-girl and new waver, not the perky cheerleader or girl jock favored in my somewhat hick-centric environment. All the boys’ friend, but the boys didn’t want to do me. Besides, I wanted the boys in the band who wore eyeliner (a desire I pursued in grand fashion a few years later, but that's an entirely different post all together). It was around this time my lifelong relationship with the gays started. They had crushes on me and I loved them. At least as much as was possible. I didn’t really date and dip a toe until college.

Losing my Religion” – R.E.M.
Fresh out of school, degree in hand, living in Boulder and working long days but out all night. Early-20’s, with a huge group of friends, all of them like me. Probably the best time of my life. His name was Jim and from the first night I met him, I felt I’d known him forever. We were fast friends. We were close, emotional, never physical. I loved him and it was the first time I felt that way. The more my romantic feelings grew, though, the more standoffish he became. I poured it all out in a letter. It broke my heart and his. A decade plus later we’re still in touch. He watched my nieces grow up, get married. We both saw our careers hit bumps, then blossom. He wrote and published a book. I landed a dream gig as a real life editor. He met his partner Brad soon after leaving me in Colorado, and they’ve been together ever since. They send a Christmas card every year.

Come Undone” – Duran Duran
It’s no surprise the Brit demigods of my youth trickled down to young adulthood. I was single, he was not. I was in a relationship. He was having an affair. Even at 25, I was somewhat naive. Make that very naive. It just felt really good to be loved. Perhaps all girls need to be pursued and enchanted by a married man to discover true love is one-on-one and no respectable woman treads in anothers garden.

"Voodoo Lounge” – The Rolling Stones
Yes, the entire album. Represents the really good, then the really bad. I fell in love with Chris over many business calls. We worked together, albeit in different capacities and cities 2000 miles apart. After my dalliance with the ringed one, I was skeptical. Wounded and really scared is a better description. In fact, Chris said “I love you” first and I never said it back. But I really did. He called six years after, but it wasn’t meant to move backwards or go any farther forwards. I’m still afraid to commit. I hope I learn how.

Why don’t we have songs about the hook up or lusty interlude?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Law and Disorder

Daniel Ellis is a racist, homophobic liar. Says so himself. Ellis was one of a pool of 60 potential jurors called to serve on the Massachusetts grand jury. He completed his jury questionnaire noting he didn’t like gays or black people and, during a courtroom interview, stated, "I'm frequently found to be a liar, too. I can't really help it." The judge in the case briefly detained Ellis, who could now face "perjury and other charges".

I’ve been summoned each year for the past two. The first time I was excused, second time I wasn't called and happy as a clam about it. I was miffed and passive aggressive at the prospect of serving. I thought, "If I get selected and the defendant is some dumb ass who steals or writes bad checks or beat a kid or poisoned a dog, he's going doooowwwnnnn. He (or she) is too lazy to work for success, has no good judgment and compassion or just plain broke the law and doesn't deserve my time as a law abiding citizen." Crazy, circular, elitist thinking, I know.

Point is, if you are a racist or just don’t care, like to stir things up, lie or toy with stupid people, why would admitting that result in a tongue-lashing from the judge and possible charges? Yes, it's a civic duty, but also one that deserves the authentic self, especially when lives, livelihood and basic freedoms may be at stake. I often wonder about the makeup of a jury, specifically in high profile, lengthy cases with a good deal of evidence and testimony and expert witnesses. If I were on trial, would my “jury of peers” include only those who are my age, college educated, middle class, straight white women, single, no children? Does a jury made up of mostly women favor or disfavor certain cases? Men? Straight? Gay? Are some questions off limits?

The first time I was excused from jury duty was due to personal experiences and a vocal belief in the failure of the justice system, one that protects criminals at the expense of the victim. I was told, however, I would be called again, regardless. A friend who recently graduated Law School told me I could be a dream juror, depending on the case and the lawyer. I can’t say 100% I wouldn't have preconceived notions. We bring who we are, what we believe and our experiences, good or bad, to the court room.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Secrets That You Keep

A current local headline reads, “Secret life surprises kin, pals of missing woman”. A 30-something Mom from a town west of Denver has gone missing and salacious details have emerged that paint a portrait of her unknown life. The woman thought to push Pampered Chef products and teach dance to kids to make ends also worked at an escort service and sometimes went by an alias. The story is a sad one, and little doubt exists the ending won’t be a happy one.

Secret life. Secret identify. Secrets.

How much do you really know about anyone? Whether the people next door, the person in bed with you, the guy you work for or those gathered ‘round the family table, do we all lead somewhat covert lives, under a cloak of shame, pain or a past?

The happy clown, always with a joke or funny remedy at the ready who drinks every night.

The successful professional in designer labels, herself labeled among the best and the brightest, who cut in hidden places during times of stress.

The girl who never told about abuse because she thought the family would laugh at her.

The loving partner who strays, and the man who takes you back.

The man you love who is loving a wife at home.

The boy raised as a sibling, and referred to as “uncle”, but whose mother is your own. Or a sibling never known, the result of a hushed teen pregnancy and quick adoption.

I know all these people, most brave enough to share, to change the story from a secret to a revelation. All safe in the knowledge their words won’t be exploited or judged but used to help grow, heal and forgive. Some secrets are legend, spoken in whispers and around, never too, someone. Some only death reveal. There's a comfort in community, but some things we’ll never tell. I have secrets. I had some secrets I shared.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Wacky Weekly Wrapup

Strange happening’s coast-to-coast and sea-to-shining-sea

Dateline California: Avril Lavigne is the target of a plagiarism lawsuit filed by two songwriters claiming her single “Girlfriend” is a rip of their 1979 penned tuned “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”. Add Mick and the boys to the mix; that “hey, hey, you, you” sounds a lot like a riff I know. I hear the similarity more so in AvrilGate than George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” versus The Chiffons “He’s so Fine” kerfluffle. And Beatle George was ruled liable for copyright infringement. To quote the great and powerful Bono, “Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief”.

Dateline Miami: In the category karma is a bitch, the family of Ron Goldman, slain alongside Nicole Brown, have bought the rights to the book, "If I Did It”, OJ Simpson’s sell-penned account of how he WOULD HAVE (wink wink) committed the murders. The Goldman Family, according to court documents, now own the copyright, media and movie rights, Simpson’s name, likeness, life story and right of publicity in connection with the book. The true beauty is the family plans to publish the book with a new title, “Confessions of a Double Murderer” by Orenthal James Simpson.

Dateline Illinois: A 4-year old made 287 calls to 911 using a deactivated cell phone. She was calling out for McDonald's. I don’t get the warm fuzzies in the knowledge that it took 286 calls to 911 before police responded.

Dateline US Magazine: Media outlets report twiglike Nicole Ritchie is 12 weeks preggers. Odd enough that a girl the weight of a saltine cracker could/would actually men-stroo-ate, but this could be the first recorded instance in which a newborn outweighs Mom.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Lloyd. Lloyd Dobler.

Like many women of my age group and pop culture leanings, I have an ever-lasting and long-standing crush on John Cusack. More so than the crush myself and every punk-rock wannbee girl sprouted at the site of Randy, nee Nicholas Cage, in 1983’s classic Valley Girl, my Johnny has remained a constant.

Yes, Better Off Dead is a brilliant hoot start to finish, but the lovefest all started with Lloyd Dobler. Look past the boombox-held-aloft imagery of Say Anything and you’ll find much more in this noble boy; the earnest underachiever in the too big trench coat and a love of both Diane Court and Bavarian Dutch style pretzels. He was all I wanted in a boy. He had heart and soul and a pen.

I found redemptive qualities in Roy Dillon (1990’s The Grifters, an underrated gem of family disfunction and the double cross and co-starring a stunning Angelica Houston) and Martin Blank, the troubled professional killer back in town for a high school reunion in Grosse Pointe Blank. The con man and the killer, not all bad really, searching for love as the passageway to redemption.

There's Serendipity, a lightweight feather of a movie, but one released in early October 2001 that provided a needed and pleasant diversion as I sat nervous in the dark for two hours, flinching at anything sounding like a low flying plane. And bonus, a repeat pairing of my John-John and his bitch, Jeremy Piven. I believe in the concept of serendipity and the word ranks among my top three favorite (along with “peradventure” and “kumquat”).

I make opening weekend to see Big Daddy John in any for-the-paycheck movie he appears in (Must Love Dogs comes to mind, although I not only own the DVD, I watch it regularly).

The men in my life are aware that I can never be theirs alone. As I marry, mate and mature, my love for Mr. C does endure.

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