Monday, December 28, 2009
When I was at the mall with Small today to repierce the ear that got infected, we were at Nordstrom and there were those huge lifesize cutouts of the Jacob and Edward characters from Twilight mingling with the headless and/or bald juniors mannequins. These cutouts are apparently being stolen right and left. I was trying to explain to Small, who is very sophisticated for all of her nearly eight years, what the hullabaloo was about and she looked at me, shook her head, and said, "I don't get it." I said "I don't either." And then I bought a dress.
Forget about the preposterous novels and the whole vampire chic thing that is happening absolutely everywhere. I look at Robert Pattinson and I see Pretty. Beautiful bone structure, important haircuts, smoldering quality. Pretty. And that does nothing for me. Nothing against him, or Zac Efron, or that blond dude from Gossip Girl, or Rob Lowe back in the day--those guys are so pretty as to be female. This isn't their fault, they won the genetic lottery and have hordes of screaming fans and a ton of dough to show for it. But to me, they are just too pretty. Better skin than I have, use more products than I do, some may wear a smaller size, I'm not sure. Yes, no doubt it is an issue of mine. But this is my blog, remember?
A few months back, I went down to the Cape (remember the giant Diet Coke?) with a group of ladies and we were talking about our Celebrity Fuck List, though i don't think it was called that by the dainty amongst us. These are the celebrities you supposedly get a pass for by your spouse, should you be fortunate enough to run into them at Star Market. Interesting what you learn about people from playing this game. I heard Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp, Bill Clinton (which was not me, but he has a certain dirty quality that would probably make him fun) and Raiders era Harrison Ford. I personally think the qualification of "particular era" is cheating, but hey, that's their list, and if they want an automatic disqualification because now Harrison Ford looks like an aging doofus with an earring (all the hip kids have them!), go right ahead. My first choice? Jon Stewart.
I know that Jon Stewart looks like a lot of the guys I went to high school with, that incredibly ethnic (read:Jewish) thing that does not generally appeal to me. But here are his trump cards: funny and smart. That's it. As I have watched that show, he has become THE most beautiful thing EVER, New Jersey Jew or not--no offense intended, Husband. Because smart and funny is transformative to me, just as stupid and humorless are--watch Jared Leto turn into the ugliest motherfucker on the planet the SECOND he opens his mouth to speak. Pretentious? Check. Overly serious? Check. Self-Deprecating? Nope, not at all. I don't care if you were Jordan Catalano. Your time is UP. Thanks for playing.
So at the risk of embarrassing myself completely, here are the top five on my Celebrity Fuck List.
1. Jon Stewart--even my parents would approve!
2. Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters--not at all afraid to make fun of himself or dress in drag. Fantastically funny videos with
3. Jack Black--who will no doubt surprise people, as it did at the dinner table in Wellfleet. You know what? The man is fucking hilarious. John Cusack is adorable, but I wanted to make out with Jack Black after watching High Fidelity.And he has awesome eyebrows.
4. Dan Savage--yes, I know he is gay and gorgeous. And I don't care.
5. Howard Stern--this one is the hardest to admit publicly, but I will go on record as saying that this is the man I have had the most erotic dreams about. He can be cruel and he can be tiresome, but when he is funny, he is the funniest guy out there. I will also admit that I wake up from these dreams embarrassed. Actually, I am kind of embarrassed right now.
And one more thing--if you are male and I tell you you are smart and/or funny, please don't take that as a euphemism for ugly. Just like I don't take it hard if you describe me as smart and funny. . But if you want to add hot, feel free to do so.
A happy and healthy new year to all of you.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Today was one of those days that did not go as I had planned at all. On top of the usual stuff, I had to run Medium to the doctor to treat his infected pointer finger, which was nasty and spreading up his arm. I spent a lot of time in Boston traffic, listening to The Who, and wondering when I could get the hell out of the car, into my pajamas and write my blog. Because I have something wonderful to share. WONDERFUL. I bought a new guitar.
Before I praise her to the high heavens, and oh, how I will, I need to explain the SYMBOLISM of this guitar. Because it is indeed SYMBOLIC. At our show on Thursday, (yes, that one, which you did not go to, even though I asked you nicely), I played the guitar for two songs with a full-ass band of five, and it was the most fun I have had, musically, in a long time. Our previous lack of drummer had forced us into a period of acoustic duo-ness, which was fine, for a while. But truth be told, I have been waaaaaaaay bored with the quiet, the subdued and the sad. The full band stuff was loud and rocky and dirty, and after it was done and we kicked the ass of that Radiohead cover , it was abundantly clear that I have entered a period of loud, rocky and dirty. I looked at the guitar I was playing, a sweet little Fender Mustang that BELONGS TO MY TEN YEAR OLD SON, and I thought, Make a Commitment. To ROCK. His guitar is perfect, but it is his, and I needed to find a perfect one for me. And thus, anticipating snow and parked in front of my computer screen, I spent Saturday night on Craigslist and found my new baby. My Fender Mustang. Mine.
Beautiful and small, with a tone that can be sweet or nasty. She fits me like a glove, cools me up, makes me confident, makes me feel like playing power chords is possible. She doesn't have a mark on her, and is a beautiful shade called Daphne Blue. When I took her to Guitar Hero Jim Mouradian's shop today, and I saw her out of the case and on his workbench getting adjusted, I was so happy that I felt almost ridiculous. Luckily, Medium was checking out the selection of vintage amps and didn't see me surreptitiously wipe a tear from my eye. I look at this guitar and I want to write, and sing, and use distortion, have a fuckload of pedals that do random things and an amp that I know how to use. I want to play shows that take people's breath away. I want it to feel new again. And I look at this guitar, and it does.
So, 2010 is the Year of Rawk for Sugar Snow. What that means yet, I don't know, but I can tell you this--at the next show, I will have an amp of my own, a tuning pedal that I know how to use and my new guitar, with it's pickups, knobs and whammy bar. And this one you must go to. Don't you want to see if I hurt myself?
Monday, December 14, 2009
God, they are awful. The accumulation of sweat, spit and halitosis in the little silver ball is truly disgusting. I am one of those unfortunates who hasn't mastered the projecting thing, and because I sing sort of quietly, I am right up on the mic and am hit again and again with the aroma of dying dreams. We are playing a great club, a really great club, but the great ones have perhaps the stinkiest mics of all. I became acquainted with the smelly mic problem at the best club in town.
When we first started out and played anywhere,anytime, we had to bring our own equipment with us. An entire PA was shoved into the back of my van, and , of course, we brought our own mics. I never really thought about how personal the use of the mic is, and when we played these small shows, I only had mine and didn't have to share it. It never occurred to me, actually. It was part of the deal of shlepping tons of equipment. Later, when we played at small clubs, clubs with their own PA's and a more acoustic set of performers, i could either use my own mic or theirs, but theirs were fine. Acoustic clubs have a lower volume of spitting performers, less excitable by nature, and while they were not the greatest quality mics, they were clean. Clean to the point that it never bothered me, I never noticed. And then, the big show. And all that changed.
We were on first , so we got the soundcheck, and the whole time I was up there, excited as I was to be in THE club, I kept thinking, "God, I need to brush my teeth or something." It took me a while to realize that it wasn't me (because, as you know, I have excellent oral hygiene) but the ball of the mic. I swear, the stench was so bad, it was eating away at the metal .I discreetly went over to the nicest sound guy EVER and, smiling hugely so as to not offend him. I said "Uh, dude, this mic reeks!" "Oh," he said, smiling back at me," you should have smelled the box the mic was IN. When I opened it and the smell hit me, I felt faint." I watched him deftly unscrew the ball of the mic and spritz it from a spray bottle full of Listerine, clean it thoroughly, screw it back on and hand it back. I thought that was soooooooo cool--like I was in on a big music secret--Listerine to clean the mic! Wow! Went back up to finish the soundcheck, and...THE MIC STILL STANK. Only now it smelled like ripe armpits coated in a Listerine deodorant. The show must go on and blah blah blah. I tried to not pay attention, but I have been scarred by the smelly mic. I fear them now.
So along with all my other anxieties about whether my skirt is too short (I think it is) and whether the photographer guy is going to be able to hide my turkey neck, I will also have to worry about the mic.I will use the club mic, and take one for the team, if I have to, because sound guys can be extremely sensitive about you not using THEIR SUPERIOR EQUIPMENT. And if you don't use THEIR SUPERIOR EQUIPMENT, they can make you sound very, very bad. But please, Sound Guy or Gal at Church on December 17 at 9, let me use my beautiful, odor-free mic. I'm sure your equipment is superior. But sometimes a girl prefers her own.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Example of The Limited Interest Bore (LIB): Cornered near the coats by The Mom Who Won't Stop Talking About Her Children. Listen to stories of Walter's three goals at the state hockey championships, Gertrude's starring role in the school play in which a talent scout happened to be present, Fred's acceptance into a prestigious state department program for studies of World Breads. The LIB doesn't notice that you are texting for help, or anything else for that matter. This is never limited to a discussion of children (although that is a frequent offender), but could be about their job, their money, their connections (name-dropping), their hobbies, really anything. This kind of micro-lecture is not boring because the subject matter is uninteresting. It might be. No, it is boring because you, you personally, don't need to be there for it. Really anyone, ANYONE, in the room, would do. It is not a conversation, which involves the exchange of ideas, it is a monologue. So if you don't care about model trains EXCLUSIVELY, you are not being an asshole when you break your own finger and plead for first aid just to shut an LIB up. Kudos to you if you can do that without inflicting pain on yourself.
Example of Nothing to Say Bore (NSB): You are at a wedding, which can be a whole other type of bore, but let's stay on the subject, shall we? At a wedding, seated at a table with some perfectly nice people. Everyone introduces themselves, and of course, instantly forget everyone's name but remember exactly what they are wearing. You attempt conversation with the woman on your right, the Woman in the Blue Dress, and while she smiles at you pleasantly, you never get beyond the stage of "How do you know the bride?" Why? Because she has nothing to say. Unlike the LIB, she has NO interests, NO hobbies, NO discernible personality. Not mean, not funny, not sarcastic, not ANYTHING. Just NOT. AT ALL. This type of bore is much more difficult to deal with, because they have actually done nothing wrong, and the fact that you have nothing to discuss makes you feel like YOU are the boring one. Sometimes you can meet someone and have nothing to talk about because you have nothing in common, but not find them boring. But the NSB has absolutely nothing to say, and you wind up just looking at each other, and because time stands still with an NSB, you could be there for 5 minutes that feel like an eternity or for several actual years. Inflicting injury on oneself is generally not necessary with an NSB. You literally can get up and leave. An NSB is used to that and assumes everyone on earth always has somewhere else they need to be. And they do. Away.
I hope that the people who love me, those funny and fascinating people, will take it upon themselves to stage an intervention should I become boring. Bar the door and remind me that NO ONE wants to hear THAT MUCH about shoes. Withhold food and sleep. Whatever works. Because while my grandmother lived to a ripe old age and died with a full mustache, she was NEVER boring. She was just hairy. And I would rather be hairy than boring any day.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Interstate 91 South in Springfield was shut down for approximately 30 minutes yesterday to allow State Police to safely remove two cows from the travel lanes. The cows, approximately 500 pounds each, had escaped from a trailer that came unlatched and were walking near Exit 8. A motorist who was stuck in traffic offered his help to state troopers, Springfield animal control, and environmental police. Dressed in a cowboy hat and boots, the motorist lassoed one cow, then the other, and was able to guide the animals back into the trailer.
Yes, I KNOW that Western Massachusetts is very, very different from the eastern part, but we do not live in Wyoming. What the hell was this guy doing dressed like Woody from Toy Story on the interstate, and with a fucking LASSO? You know when you are stuck in a long traffic jam, and you think to yourself, "There had better be someone bleeding up there!" and crane your neck to see a broken body at the crash site? Wouldn't it be so much cooler to see Urban Cowboy and his golden lasso roping them steers? I am so sad that I missed this! Why did I not get caught in this traffic jam?? Three hours to get over the Sagamore Bridge, and neither lassoes nor blood were involved. Damn.
Monday, November 30, 2009
What I have learned from this book is that many of the kids who got involved in the punk movement in San Francisco were street kids, drug users, troubled youths, who wanted to leave their old personas behind. If you were the picked on small kid in middle school, you could give yourself a mohawk, call yourself Bob Noxious and-poof-no more little nerd. Names are powerful, because it announces you before you have a chance to present yourself. "Meet my friend, Creetin K-Os" is waaaaaaay more captivating than "Meet my neighbor, John Smith." It just is. And I don't think even John Smith would argue with that.
Simone was an unusual name for 1966. My parents wanted to name me after my grandfather, Solomon, so considered Samantha (which was rejected because my mother didn't like Sam as a nickname), Simone and the utterly vile Hebrew name of Smadar, which sounds like some sort of middle eastern headdress or a bathroom cleanser. Simone it was, and has continued to be. As a very, very shy child (I swear I was!), the anxiety of the first day of school or a substitute teacher was excruciating--it was nearly a guarantee that I would be called Simon. Then teasing for the rest of the day, or week, or year, if you were unlucky enough to have Danny Barnett in your class. The gentler teachers tried to soften the blow by saying ".....Berk?" so I would pipe up, correctly pronouncing my name, and they would be spared the embarrassment, as I would. I have been called Simon more times than I can count, and continue to be. Oddly, I was also called Michelle and Nicole many times as an elementary schooler, all girls' French names being interchangeable, apparently
But what I wanted, wanted so much, was to be named Stacy. Or Staci. Stacey. Stacie. Stacee. I wanted to have a name that was "normal", that ended with a y or an i, that was never mispronounced or looked at twice. I wanted to blend in with Tracy, Kelly, Shelly, Marci and my best friend, Wendy. I wanted to fit. And I believed that what kept me from fitting was my name. And to some extent, that is true, because my name made me feel different than everyone else. But I was different. I am different. Not unacceptably so, but different nonetheless. And that is a good thing. At the age of 43, I am embracing my temper as passion, my OCD as focus and my moodiness as artistic temperament. I am abnormally focused on footwear, chocolate and 0 calorie beverages. I love so strongly that I hurt myself. I am generous and irresponsible about money. I dream all my anxiety in an endless loop. I am many things and am becoming many more. At 43, I am not nearly done. So nothing against the Stacys of the world--I am sure, as a group and individually, you are delightful. I have known some of you and can attest to that. But I was never meant to be one of your ranks. I was never meant to be a Stacy.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I love Lemonheads. Yes, the candy. Those little sweet/sour balls that perfectly balance the hardness and chewiness of life. I have always loved them, loved everything about them. The box, the sound the candy made rolling around inside the box (which was somewhat sad, because it never seemed full enough, only sort of full) and the fused pairs of Lemonheads that fell into your hand with a plop when you deliciously turned the box over for the first time. I was (and remain) one of those weird kids who loves anything sour, and between Lemonheads and the kosher lemon hard candy my grandma used to keep on her dining room table in a white trifle bowl--zour kendies, she used to call them in her Yiddish accent--my craving for sour was pretty well covered. Small got several boxes of Lemonheads in her Halloween bag this year, which she generously shared with me, knowing how much I love them. And the Mom n Pop store I sometimes stop at before I pick up Large from school has that same size box for fifteen cents each. I don't always buy them, but alongside the individually wrapped Swedish Fish and the chocolate Ice Cubes, they make me happy.
Don't think I am not aware of how sad this makes me sound. Certain things make me happy that, to me, fall into the category of "simple pleasures" and to others may qualify as "mental illness." Going to Costco and seeing the huge stacks of Coca-Cola products is happy-making. Going to Marshalls and seeing all the potential treasures to be unearthed for a low, low price is another. Watching my dog romp in the snow makes me really happy, too, but not as happy as the photos of Dylan's Candy Bar in New York City. Aisles of by-the-pound candy love is one of the most thrilling things ever. I believe I have a love for Potential--perhaps I will find the perfect boots or the sourest or stickiest or most perplexing candy ever. A good life is about choices, and an endless array of choices at $3.99 a pound is pretty damn good.Mental illness? Maybe. But clearly, I am not alone.
At dinner the other night, while perusing the gift catalog I received from CVS, I saw a picture of something utterly fantastic: The World's Largest Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, each package containing two 8 oz. cups. I am a latecomer to the chocolate game, and my M&M (plain only!!) obsession arrived along with Large, 13 years ago. But predating that was a real love for Reese's and Kit Kats, which has never gone away. So of course, I MUST HAVE the world's largest peanut butter cups--of course!---but i started wondering whether it would cost me my whole day's caloric intake, this thought being a sad byproduct of getting old. So I googled the caloric intake, and it took me to a beautiful beautiful place--Candyblog.com. Holy shit, people, this is Nirvana. Beautifully photographed and thoroughly reviewed, this is one serious blog. Simply searching the word "reese's" brought me to a chart of peanut butter/chocolate products, the first of which was World's Biggest. Click on it, and find a really intelligent review with a hilarious rating system (ranging 1-10, from inedible to superb). This was rated as 6-Tempting. What cracked me up is finding a fellow candy weirdo--look at what the reviewer says:
This violates one of my primary rules of candy, which is that it requires some sort of tool. In this case it’s a knife to portion it. Most large chocolate bars are scored and can be broken into pieces. There is no other way to eat this other than huge bites ... which pretty much means you’re not sharing or you’re intimate enough with the other folks or so wasted you don’t care.
Doesn't that sound like something I would say? And incidentally, the caloric intake by the ounce is listed and it is depressing: 143 PER OUNCE, for an 8 ounce piece of chocolate times two. In short, 2,288 calories. Say hello to the World's Largest Muffin Top after eating these. Sigh. I have spent some time on this page, and while I still haven't found any candy that is Inedible, I have heard of some that I will definitely be trying. Dove Peppermint Bark, anyone?
This site sent me running back to one of my favorite books, Candyfreak by Steve Almond. While this book focuses exclusively on various oddball chocolate products, such as the Idaho Spud or the Goo Goo Cluster, the descriptions of how they are made, their history and people's tremendous attachment to them makes me laugh. No, that isn't it. It makes me laugh with delight, delight that I am not the only sweirdo (sweet+weirdo) out there. This book makes an excellent gift, along with a gift certificate to sweetnostalgia.com, where your sweirdo can buy Broadway Licorice and Wax Lips in bulk, sent directly to their home to be undulged in without judgement.
And I think the World's Largest Peanut Butter Cup will be a dessert on Thanksgiving, sliced and served with toothpicks. Because I have to have it. I just don't have to have it all.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Real Simple dedicates an entire issue to creativity around the holidays, including the biggest time waster on earth: gift-wrapping. The funniest part of the whole issue, though, is 50 gifts under $50. Honestly, if someone bought me a set of 11 ceramic nuts for $45, I would have to question our friendship. Just an FYI--the following are a total and complete failure as holiday gifts: a decorative ceramic silver owl ($34), wood coasters decorated with a Victorian cameo-type silhouette ($34 for four), or the silver tree snow globe ($29). All of these were the things left over on the coffee table after Nana died, when everyone already took the stuff they wanted.But I think the greatest thing in the magazine is not listed as a gift, though it should be. The Herb Savor Pod (get the little pun there?) for $20 per, or 3 for $40, is without a doubt the gift absolutely, positively no one wants. Yet another job to do--place said precious herbs into the pod, fill the base with water, and it will keep them fresh for THREE WHOLE WEEKS. These fancy schmancy panty hose eggs were foisted on the poor woman who turned her chaotic fridge over to A Refrigerator Organizer. It is now overrun with plastic Container Store containers that this woman will have cluttering her cabinets, when her refrigerator reverts to it's natural state and she no longer wants to yell at her children for not returning the sleek acrylic juice jars to the right side of the top shelf, in the juice-designated area. And no matter how much is spent on those plastic containers, she will be afraid to open them a month after innocently storing the meatloaf, just as she did with the much less expensive aluminum foil.
But this is a season about love and togetherness, after all, about reaching out and making connections. So let's hope that the police in Tampa find it in their hearts to be kind to poor Joshua Basso. He was looking for a little somethin' somethin' and he called the only number his out-of-minutes phone would let him call--911. And he asked the 911 operator to meet him after work for sex. And she hung up. And he called AGAIN. And AGAIN. AND AGAIN. While cops are well known for their excellent sense of humor, by the fourth call they were no longer amused and arrested him. He told them he thought he wouldn't get in trouble for calling 911. Sweetie, they didn't arrest you for calling 911--they arrested you for calling 911 FOUR TIMES and SOLICITING THE OPERATOR FOR SEX. The poor desperado is in jail, held without bail. Let's hope they let him go home for Christmas. And maybe his mom, with whom he no doubt lives, will put some minutes under the tree for him.
But if you are feeling generous, all I want for Christmas is for you to come see Sugar Snow at Church on December 17. We are going on early, around 8:30, to accommodate all the worker bees and old -at- heart friends. We need a crowd for our full-on, five piece acoustic assault, and it is our first band show since January!!! And if you say the words "Herb Savor Pod", I will buy you a beer. How can you pass that up?
Monday, November 9, 2009
Pet peeve of the day: every time I lean over, salt water runs out of my nose.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
So the Heavenly Bed really is heavenly. This is a Westin Hotel thing, this Heavenly Bed, and this weekend I tested this purported heavenliness. King size, with a billion pillows of all bizarre shapes and sizes, those duvets and feather beds and complicated arrangements of sheets and blankets that adds up to a giant, delicious, high threadcount sleeping bag--yes, I was in my heaven. And I didn't have to share. At 1 a.m. on Friday night, I had a cold Diet Coke, a large bag of M&M's and a stack of magazines, as happy as can be. Until I opened More.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Meet Gwen Thompson, the newest American Girl doll by Mattel. She’s homeless. Her back story contains a deadbeat dad, a strained single mom, and a life literally rooted on the streets. Gwen sleeps in a car, according to the book accompanying the doll. Yet 4-year-olds will be begging their parents to add the blond-haired, brown-eyed doll to their collection. The American Girl website tags her as soft and huggable, in an embroidered lace dress and pink headband - adornments that might be denied to young girls living out of shelters. The toymaker claims that the doll promotes awareness of a real-life social issue. But at $95 apiece? Parents should think twice about spoiling their children with this overpriced doll. A better lesson might be a donation to a charity that helps homeless children, unlike the make-believe Gwen.
This was in the editorial section of yesterday's Boston Globe. And I have to admit, that when I read it, I laughed. Now, I was suffering from occasional bouts of hilarity throughout yesterday anyway, brought about my the information that my ex won the Nobel Prize, which seemed unreal and weird in and of itself. And then, this marvelous piece of comedy above. I thought, This cannot POSSIBLY be real. It is just too..what? Ridiculous? Ironic? Dumb? Yes to all of the above. But the Globe has a notorious no-hilarity policy on the editorial page (actually, aside from Christopher Muther, it is unfunny all around) and thus I decided to check out the American Girl website and then blog on and on about the political incorrectness and all-around yuckiness of this doll. And I found...nothing.
Oh, the doll is there, although you have to really look for her. She is not amongst the Historical Characters dolls, like the newest shtetl darling, Rebecca Rubin. She is not listed with the Just Like You dolls, the dolls you design in your own image, because what child would design a $95 doll to be HOMELESS, just like they are? So aside from the Bitty Baby and Bitty Twins, and Chrissa, Girl of the Year, Gwen was AWOL. So I searched her name. It turns out that Gwen is a friend of The Girl of the Year, and is connected that way. When you click on Gwen, whittling down from the Chrissa Starter Collection ($178) to the Chrissa and Gwen Friend Collection ($175) and finally to the Gwen Doll and Paperback ($75 with optional hairbrush for an additional $7), there is nothing but a description of the swag you get when you buy this doll. Nowhere on the American Girl site is ANY information, at least that I could find, describing the deadbeat dad and the homelessness. The only reference is in the reviews, where mothers who have purchased these overpriced Children of the Corn try to justify themselves and dismiss the "controversy".
Not for nothing, people, but these dolls are ugly. I was a doll girl (yes, it is true, non-believers) and this is NOT a doll I would look at as a cuddly, lovey thing who would bear the brunt of my childhood anger with a glassy-eyed smile. THIS is a Doll bought by doting grandparents, that sits on a stand, a Doll that gets a new outfit, book or pet llama (as is the case with Chrissa) every Christmas. So I don't understand the cult of The American Girl Doll anyway, just on looks alone. It is a monstrous business, with a Bistro where you can dine with your Doll, and a salon where your Doll can get her hair STYLED, she can be PAMPERED and have her EARS PIERCED. But ok, as ridiculous as this is, and it definitely is, people can choose to spend their money anywhere they please. Want to take your doll out for a festive meal? As long as I don't have to be there, it's fine with me.
BUT. Please. This is just TACKY. Paying $95 for a HOMELESS doll? I may fall pretty far to the left on most social issues, and I am all for learning about other cultures and whatnot, but really, this is a marketing opportunity disguised as social awareness. This is the very, very ugly side of political correctness. This pristine and homely doll is going to teach privileged suburban children about homelessness? Really? REALLY??
You know what, American Girl? If you want to use this terrible and very real problem as a way to line your coffers, donate a large portion of the profits to an actual homeless shelter. Where ACTUAL homeless children live. But don't hide it. Put Gwen's homeless story, loser dad and living in the car prominently on your site. You can't have it both ways. Embrace your incredibly bad taste and do something about it.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
That deserves all capital letters. It truly does. Because I want to proclaim it to the world. I Am In Love. With my new boots.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
This is a repost of a ranty old myspace blog. Enjoy!
It isn't true that I can't cook. But there is nothing that I hate more. The sight of raw meat, the shopping involved, the time it takes--I hate every bit of it. But I can cook. My very traditional mother made sure of that. She is waiting for the moment that my husband decides he is going to leave me because I won't cook. Or because I didn't change my name when we got married. Or because I drink too much Diet Coke. Or.....
As you might guess, I only identify the kitchen as the room that one walks through to get to the bathroom. Mr. Simone B does all the cooking, and registered for everything when we got married. When he travels, which he does often, my children fly into a panic and anticipate starvation. Two large pizzas from Pino's for all three meals of the day is my answer to their fears. And I, myself, enjoy eating Rice Chex for dinner. Or a Kit Kat.
So, when I was invited to a Pampered Chef party, you would think I would run screaming. And maybe I should have. Being surrounded by kitchen utensils and storage containers is, in general, enough to make me ill. That's why I walk through the kitchen quickly, averting my eyes from the counters, when I need to go to the bathroom. But the BFF gave the little soiree, and she is a great cook, so I went. I brought my friend Laura Zigman, published author, brant writer and my current girl-crush, for company. And hilarity ensued. But more on that later.
What is Pampered Chef, you ask? Why, you don't know? Shame on you, blog readers, for not being familiar with this particularly insidious cult. How will you protect yourself from the Chef's Tools and Silicone Crown Cake Pan? It is the cookware equivalent of Mary Kay, without the blue eye shadow. The woman who did our particular show has her shtick down to a science, including the whole history of her abduction and consequent assimilation into the Pampered Chef "family". Just think how much bigger the Manson Family would have been had he offered stoneware baking dishes.
Laura came to spare me the pain of the glassy eyed kitchenistas that always come to these shows. But she was immediately made to wear a name tag with a V on it, for Virgin. Virgin to the Pampered Chef. Why she didn't flee then, knowing that virgins are generally sacrificed, I'm not sure. Maybe because there were a few other virgins to choose from. My name tag had "ice cream scoop" on it, the only thing I bought at BFF's last show that didn't break and was still in the drawer at home. I'm told. And the Blessed Virgin Laura, poor dear, had to listen to my profane comments about how many of the utensils looked like sex toys. A girl has to entertain herself , after all.
Round and round the circle of ladies went the bowls of ingredients to make fresh salsa (ladies, use those kitchen choppers! you'll wonder how you ever made salad without them!), the chocolate cake in the Batter Bowl-Classic that ended up sticking to the non-stick pan, (painfully funny to watch the horror), the almond crusted brie that demonstrated the mini-nut chopper. One snarky woman next to me muttered "So handy, you could use it while driving." I love nothing more than snark. I didn't touch a single one of these ingredient bowls, for fear of cooking cooties. But I did find myself sucked in, highlighting the smooth-edge can opener, the large and small micro-cookers, and a variety of other things. Mob mentality is very powerful. I wisely called Mr. Simone B before writing any check, who limited my purchase to a cutting board and bamboo tongs for the kids to use to remove frozen waffles from the toaster oven. I always thought the burnt fingers were part of the charm of frozen waffles. And if you burn them enough, you eventually don't feel it anymore.
Now, I don't mean to imply that it wasn't fun. It was great fun. Watching these suburban ladies gushingly extoll the virtues of their stoneware is worth all the fresh salsa in the world. I love watching people search the catalogue for the one thing they haven't purchased yet. But I feel no shame, no matter how hard my mother has worked at it, for not being turned on by kitchenware. And these little parties exploit the elements of shame and guilt, to make people feel bad for buying nuts pre-chopped or never using nuts in a recipe because it is too much work. But if people really want to feel shame and guilt, they can come to MY next party. Frozen drinks and sex toys, ladies?
Here is a link to Laura's brant/blog: http://www.laurasbrant.blogspot.com/
I know she is planning to talk about her side of this experience. If it's not there yet, read about her love for Hugh Jackman, who starred in the movie of her novel.
Monday, August 31, 2009
In one month, one month from tomorrow, I will have another birthday. And I am dreading it, yet again.