Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I have been a fan of Nerds for a very, very long time. One of my first experiences of financial and gastronomical independence from my parents came during an Odyssey of the Mind competition in the 5th grade, when I bought approximately 5 boxes of Nerds and ate them in the space of a few hours. Ahhh, freedom! Nerds were also the first Valentine's Day gifts I got from a boy. Ahhh, young love, how you resemble candy!

ln recent years, however, my Nerds consumption has dropped precipitously. Soon after college I got several cavities, and an enterprising dental hygienist identified my slow but steady consumption of sugary candy as the likely culprit. For the sake of my health-care budget (and, admittedly, the size of my butt), I instituted a policy, to which I have been fairly good about sticking, to eat candy only when I go to the movies and during road trips. I didn't intend to cut out Nerds in particular, but due to the lack of Nerds vendors at the gas stations along many major highways and the fact that Nerds are disruptive during movies (shaking the candies out of the box makes a sound like maracas, dontcha know), that has been the effect.

Last night, however, a dear friend gave me two boxes of Nerds as a gift. And what a gift! (Gifts, of course, are another exception to my general candy moratorium). In honor of this occasion, I would like to share with you a haiku* dedicated to Nerds:

Bright sugar crystals--
What joy you bring to my mouth!
And holes to my teeth.

*Edited to add: Thanks to St. Scobie's Mock Whisky for the haiku idea.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

This post is like a box of chocolates

This week has been one of those times when I worry that I've gone dumb. Not Helen Keller dumb, like can't talk. More like Forrest Gump dumb, like not thinking good and anything I do right is just luck. It's been the kind of week in which I expect any day could be the day when when my boss comes into my office, sits down, sighs, and says in a kindly but firm voice, "T&A Lady, I think you know why I'm here. It's nothing personal, but we've finally figured out you're a fraud. Please leave quietly." In that spirit, this post has no overall message, but is composed of random thoughts. Here goes:

Lindsay Lohan looks pretty good lately! The brown hair is a huge improvement over the nasty blonde, and she seems to have gotten at least in the same general vicinity as some food. (Observation borrowed from Go Fug Yourself).

What is going on with Article III Groupie, a.k.a. David Lat? I haven't heard anything about him/her at all since the Great Outing of Mid-November 2005. I sort of imagine that he's cowering under a desk somewhere, unable to reconcile his overachiever upright citizen lawyer self with her overachiever fabulous blogger self. Tough break, sweets. Good luck.

Mariah Carey has her assistant hold a straw to her lips so she doesn't have to pick up a glass herself (breaking news courtesy of A Socialite's Life). Interesting. I can't even imagine that that would save much energy. If I had a personal assistant, I would definitely have her take out the trash, and maybe drive me around and stuff, but I really don't think I'd get into the whole feeding-me-fluids-like-an-infant thing. It's a little too close to ass-wiping, if you know what I mean. Although if I keep it up with this dumb thing, I might have to consider it.

And that is all I've got. For reals, nothing left to say. Going to bed now. Wish me luck on the whole brain-function thing, will you?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sayonara, Sydney. Hellooooooooo, Veronica!

So Jennifer Garner's show Alias is no more. Normally I would try not to talk smack about the recently cancelled, but I figure J.Ga can take it, what with the new baby, the future Senator husband, and the escalating movie career.

So, lemme tell you: it's about time, because Alias long ago got on the one-way Greyhound to Sucksville. It didn't have to be like this, because the show started off awesome. In season 1, Sydney appeared to be a normal grad student with a nice roommate and a cute fiance, BUT she was really a superspy in a supersecret spy group called SD-6 which she originally thought was a branch of the CIA, but when its creepy director had her fiance killed, Sydney discovered it was really evil, so she became a double agent for the CIA and got a hot hot hot handler who was forbidden to her because, you know, double agent, so they could only meet in dark alleys and not look straight at each other, which was even hotter, oh and also Sydney's only other ally in the whole double agent thing was her cold, estranged father. Omigod, just writing that started me on an Alias Season 1 nostalgia spiral. A moment of silence, please.

Thanks. Anyway, in the intervening years, there have been numerous signs saying Next Stop: Sucksville. Here are just a few [SPOILER ALERT, I mean not technically because these happened years ago, but if you intend to watch the DVDs and want to be surprised, these would be spoilers]: Sydney's roommate was killed by her own evil clone, and then the evil clone was killed, but then wait! she was alive again and then got killed again, like, 3 times. It turned out Sydney's long-dead mother wasn't really dead, and she was evil, but then maybe she wasn't, but then Sydney's father killed her, but then we found out that wait! she was actually alive (the person who was shot? Another clone, duh.) Sydney disappeared for 2 years and everyone thought she was dead, but then she came back (brainwashed into being an assassin and then brainwashed herself to forget, natch). A 15th century Michelangelo type made a prophesy that Sydney was going to bring about the end of the world, or something, but then . . . actually, not sure what happened with that. Also his followers harvested Sydney's eggs. And built a huge red ball, which exploded. And some clocks. Now Sydney's second fiance seems to be dead, but who the hell knows, and essentially the whole thing is about as internally consistent as Vice President Cheney's explanations for the Iraq war.

But am I one to dwell on the negative? Well, apparently, yes. But in this case, only for two excessively long paragraphs, because I have found something to fill the empty hole that Alias left in my soul. (Actually, Alias didn't originally create the hole, Buffy did . . . but that's a whole nother issue for another day.) And that is . . . drumroll . . . Veronica Mars!

Never heard of it? Get thee to Netflix, dudes, and thank me later. Veronica is a high-school student in an economically stratified California town who moonlights as a sleuth, solving little mysteries like "who is Meg's secret admirer" and big ones like "who murdered my best friend." Veronica is involved in one of the best love triangles in recent TV memory; she's dating the distant but dependable (or is he?) Duncan, the brother of said murdered best friend, even though she belongs with the more volatile, passionate Logan, Duncan's best friend, who Veronica thinks is an ass. Ahhh, young love! The show also has great writing, great acting, and great casting (meaning they hire lots of people who used to be on Buffy).

So, out with the sucky, in with the awesome. All in all, I am not displeased. However, if any evil clones start showing up on Veronica, I am going to need a beer and that Buffy box set.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Baby Bennifer news: Not weird!!!!

I know what you've been thinking: "Where the hell has T&A Lady been? Surely she didn't yet again retreat to her bomb shelter after another TomKat press release convinced her that the End Times were here?"

Well, in a shocking turn of events, you're only half-right. Bunker, of course; TomKat, shockingly, no!! The only thing that Tom Cruise has gotten up to this week is getting Katie an illegal sonogram machine as an engagement present, all the better to perform frequent, medically unnecessary and potentially unhealthy scans of his alien Scientology demon spawn. Pretty standard, really.

No, the bizarre news this week involves another celebrity pairing: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, who got married earlier this year. Last week they announced the birth of their first child, a girl named Violet.

And. Um. That's it! They got married, and then had a baby. They did not give the child the name of a fruit, a 1950s physics textbook, or a cartoon superhero who moonlights as a porn star.* Jennifer did not throw Ben out of the house and look into the possibility of divorce, as Britney did shortly after giving birth. The whole operation appears to be very normal and even . . . nice. I am beside myself with shock. Please wake me when the world rights itself again.

*In case I am being annoyingly cryptic and you don't want to click, I'm referring to: Apple Martin, daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin; Audio Science Clayton, the offspring of Shannyn Sossamon; and Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf Lee and/or Moxie CrimeFighter Gillette, which, omigod, the poor children.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

WMD and Nick and Jessica's marriage

What are . . . things that do not really exist, despite repeated assurances from official sources!

The NYTimes (via Gawker) breaks the news: the Newlyweds have been pulling a Cheney on us and promising that there was definitely, for sure a very real marriage that we would find if we just bought the DVD and watched their Christmas specials. Now, however, it appears that the strip club visits and the missing wedding rings were not marriage-related program activities at all, but just the tumbleweed blowing across the empty missile silo of their long-abandoned vows.

We might feel all chastened and wise for now, but can we trust we won't make the same mistake again? Even now, are we giving the inspectors enough time to do their job--or are we rushing to judgment on Demishton, on Brangelina, on TomKat? O America, when will we ever learn?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"They were all hungry": The Chris Klein Is Kidding Hypothesis

Normally I wouldn't spend more than a few minutes thinking about Katie Holmes' cast-off B-list Poor-Man's-Keanu-Reeves ex-boyfriend. However, in one of those weird collision-of-separate-lives incidents, the Chris Klein interview I blogged* about earlier this week showed up in an Elle magazine that existed in physical form in my very own bathroom. Small world, huh!?!!

Anyway, since I was a captive audience, I read the whole thing, and upon doing so I got the sneaking suspicion that Klein's whole "I'm A Big Asshole" thing might be a meta-joke of sorts. So you can judge by yourself, here is some more of the interview:
Q: Is there a dish that you prepare to impress women?
A: I don't need to impress, man . . . At the end of the day,
she's cooking the food.

Q: What's the one thing you could tell a woman to convince her that
you aren't Paul, the thick jock you played in Election?
A: "Hello." . . . You start making eyes across the room. Right then it's
not a Paul Metzler situation. It's a predator-prey situation.

Q: There's a lot on the web about you being a devout Christian.
A: That's because I went to Texas Christian University . . . The
ratio at TCU was three women to one man. It's an expensive
school, full of daddy's little girls. I liked it when they called me Daddy. And they did, too, because they were all hungry.
(Emphases added in case you don't feel like reading that much.)

"They were all hungry." I mean, gracious. It isn't really possible that one fairly bland-seeming individual could pack so many forehead-slappers into a single interview unless he was trying really hard, is it? Or is this one of those things that shows I've been living in a blue state (OK, fake state) for long enough that I've gotten stupid and fooled myself into thinking that people are basically reasonable? Is Chris Klein trying to tell me to leave DC?

Just one more mystery to ponder in the midst of your turkey/trytophan stupor tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!

*Omigod, I used blog as a verb! Welcome to the 21st century, self!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Katie Holmes: lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous

News about Katie Holmes has become so bizarre that it seems impossible to link the pieces together into any kind of coherent narrative. Thus, I will just update you on the relevant information, and allow you to form your own Rohrschact-esque impressions of it.

Katie's ex-fiance, Chris Klein, who previously seemed like the good guy who got away, turns out to be a massive asswipe, telling a magazine he's an "alpha heterosexual" who won't put up with his girlfriends gaining weight: "I'm not tolerant of that at all . . . When a woman isn't feeling good about herself and you combine that with her period, eventually she'll ask you if you like her body. You have to say no."

Tom bought Katie a $20 million jet as a wedding pressent.

Katie has decided to quit acting to stay home and raise her Cruise spawn.

Finally, Katie got kicked out of a movie theater because she was disturbing other movie-goers by holding a vibrating mechanism to her stomach, in an effort to soothe said spawn.

The all-purpose Rosemary's Baby explanation helps some, but even it fails on the jet front. This is a complicated case, Maude. I'll let you know when I manage to sort it all out.

(This very strange picture comes from here).

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A fake anonymity is the hobgoblin of scared bloggers

The outing and subsequent disappearance of Article III Groupie has spawned a mini-boom in blogging about the impossibility of anonymous blogging.

But enough about other people, let's talk about me! It is extremely obvious that I'm not really anonymous--probably 90% of you know who I am because I told you, I give out personal information like candy to a baby, and until recently any obnoxious self-promotional emailing I did was from my regular email address. (No more, though! T&A Lady has her own email address! Woo hoo!)

Anyhow, the real question is, Why am I fake-anonymous? The answer is that I have some vague fear that I would get fired if I wasn't. Why? I don't know really, but it seems like this has happened to other people for somewhat difficult-to-discern reasons.

Of course I would expect to get booted if I were, say, working for a Republican Senator and blogging on my work computer about prostituting myself to high-ranking Administration officials, a la Jessica Cutler, or dissing my employer by name, like this ex-Google employee.

However, what's up with, for instance, Nadine Haobsh, who tried to console herself for the uneven distrubution of vowels in her last name and the fact that she was working as a beauty editor at Ladies' Home Journal by anonyblogging about celebrity gossip and such as Jolie in NYC? Everything was going swimmingly for her, and she had even been offered another job at Seventeen Magazine, until her identity was revealed, at which point she lost both jobs in one fell swoop. Her mistake, apparently, was revealing such earth-shattering information as the fact that her boss got free stuff from Marc Jacobs. The horror!

Admittedly some bloggers, like Harold Bashman and The Union Lawyer, blog with the full knowledge of their employers. But given that I am neither brave nor my own boss, is it really feasible to ask my boss if there's a policy on blogging? What's a vaguely scared, fake-anonymous blogger to do?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

PSA: Do not store contraband in your glove compartment

EDITED TO SAY: You might want to disregard the text of this post and just read the comments!

It's not like popular music has never given the youth of America incorrect information before. For instance, it is not true that love is all we need, nor that young girls should taste like brown sugar.

However, today's news that a member of 2 Live Crew is suing Jay-Z over the song "99 Problems" turned my attention to that problematic ditty. Ever since it came out this song has really bugged, because its inaccuracies might result in something worse than a lifetime of disappointing romantic encounters, namely Serious Trouble With Da Law.

So it's time for a Public Service Announcement. Readers: Your drugs and weapons are not safe in the glove compartment of your car, even if it's locked!*

To refresh your memory, here, in relevant part, is what Jay-Z tells us about 4th Amendment jurisprudence (whilst recalling a traffic stop from his past):

"Do you mind if I look round the car a little bit?"
Well my glove compartment is locked so is the trunk in the back
And I know my rights so you gon' need a warrant for that
"Aren't you sharp as a tack are some type
of lawyer or something?"
"Or somebody important or somethin?"
Nah I ain't pass the bar but I know a little bit
Enough that you won't illegally search my shit
Now, it's true that the Constitution generally bars warrantless searches, so in general you can say no if the cops ask if they can serach your car. However, that's kind of like saying that in general the sky is blue, so there's no need to own an umbrella, or that in general human beings are kind, so you can trust strangers.

In practice, if cops can come up with a reason why they're nervous that you might have a weapon or something, even if they don't have enough reason to arrest you they can still frisk you and search your immedate vicinity, which means your glove compartment if you're in your car, and the lock is not really going to be a big impediment, I don't think. Here's an example that's not exactly what happened to Jay-Z, but close enough.

Here ends this educational interruption . . . tomorrow we will return to our regular programming.

*I'm kind of getting into footnotes here, aren't I? This one is to say: I don't necessarily know what I'm talking about here, so if any of you do and would like to correct me or elaborate, please comment away or email me!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Tom Cruise, A3G, and the value of not showing too much

Last week, Tom Cruise announced that he was ditching Lee Anne DeVette, his sister/publicist, whose reign has coincided with TC's infamous recent bout of Brooke-Shields-dissing, Oprah's-couch-jumping, Scientology-hyping, and Katie-Holmes-brainwashing-and-impregnating. Presumably this means we can expect Tom to start to act more like a sane person, and that after a couple of months we with our teeny attention spans will have forgotten all about his looney tunes era altogether.

In another development, today Article III Groupie, the quasi-official gossip blogger of the federal judiciary, outed herself (or was outed) as David Lat, a prosecutor from New Jersey.* While I am all about the smackdown of people like these commenters, who called the information "yucky" and "disturbing," I definitely agree that knowing A3G is a fresh-faced man who puts drug users in the hoosgaw instead of the fabulous drunken Miss Hannigan-type character I'd imagined is quite a let-down.**

So what can we learn from these two seemingly unrelated events? Let me relate to you a little lesson I learned as a youth. When I was in high school (OK, middle school). I had a little phase in which I liked Skid Row and considered myself something of a rebel, and thus I used to sometimes wear somewhat scanty outfits. My wise father would address the issue by saying, "Aren't you going to be cold in that?," by which he clearly meant, "Stop dressing like a little tramp." It's too bad my dad wasn't around to gently berate Tom Cruise and A3G before they started showing their metaphorical titties all over town!

*Following the release of this information, Article III Groupie's blog, Underneath Their Robes, got all mysteriously password-protected, which seems to perhaps suggest that the outing has had some ill effect on the blog, and more importantly means my link is kind of useless. In lieu of that, here's what Wonkette had to say about it, and you can read a bunch of legally-tinged info about it on How Appealing.)

**True, when I first realized A3G was a conservative, I went through a period of mourning, but I have since gotten over it. After all, Miss Hannigan was a sadist who abused orphans, but she was still pretty awesome.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Greetings!! I apologize for my many recent absences, but now that my long period of unemployment and computer-avoidance is ending, I expect I will be back in full force from now on.

So Mr. T&A and I just got back from a vacation in the great state of California. Although I've spent very little time there, I have always been somewhat annoyed with the idea of California. This annoyance is based primarily on the Midwestern idea that cold weather builds character and thus that Californians, living (one imagines) in constant sunshine, must be a weak and silly people.

Well, our trip confirmed that California is a strange place, but not in quite the way I thought. In fact, I really have no idea what to think. Here are just a few select events that occurred on our trip; perhaps you can help me to understand them:

One: At the Hearst Castle, we had The Angriest Tour Guide In the World. When someone asked about some lavish-boarding-on-extremely-trashy elements of the house, he said, "You know what you're doing? You're bringing down the hill ethics up the hill. When you look up at your ceiling, do you see 24-carat gold plating? DO you? No, you DON'T." He also seemed to be making fun of some Japanese tourists for not speaking English.

Two: At a German restaurant, a waiter put plastic dog poop on the plate containing our dessert. And then laughed uproariously. And then told us that in Japan, women eat vegan food for months and then eat their own poop. And then said, "Am I freaking you out?"

Finally: After days of reading about Jennifer Aniston's media appearances, I had a dream that she and I were preparing for a fashion show that was going to take place at my high school. We were at a thrift store looking for purses to give the show's participants as gifts. She asked me if I had seen Angie, by which she meant Angelina Jolie, and I had seen her with Brad Pitt but I told Jennifer I hadn't because I didn't want her to be upset. Then Jen said to me, "Well, if you see her, tell her and her new boyfriend hi for me." I nearly wept because I was so touched at the goodness of her heart.

California, you land of milk, honey, sunshine, and plastic poo, thanks for the memories.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Program interruption

I will yet again be away for a couple of weeks and probably won't post during that time. See you in mid-November!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Lindsay Lohan and the Singer/Songwriter Conundrum

Lindsay Lohan has just released the video she directed for her new song, the overwrought "Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father)."

Now, I love me some Lohan, but even my intrinsic faith in LL couldn't disguise the fact that "Confessions of a Broken Heart" sucks as bad as its excessively explanatory title. It's about what a crappy relationship Linds has with her angry, absentee father and how this has broken her heart. Fair enough, but both the song and the video are a poor man's version of "Family Portrait," Pink's angsty troubled-family song of a couple of years ago.

Compare the lyrics:

I am crying, a part of me is dying and
These are, these are
The confessions of a broken heart



You fight about money, bout me and my brother
And this I come home to,
this is my shelter

Lindsay, dear: Show, don't tell! And also please don't rhyme "crying" and "dying" ever again.

However, my point is not to trashy La Lohan (especially on a day when she seems to have quasi-admitted that she had an eating disorder earlier this year: Please take care of yourself, sweetpea!) No, I blame Society. "Confessions of a Broken Heart" and its video are illustrative of the fact that we, as a culture, encourage artists who are very good at one thing--acting, singing--to expand into related but dissimilar activities--directing, songwriting--at which there is no reason to think they will be any good. Because this pressure disproportionately afflicts singers, who are considered kind of fraudulent if they don't write their own songs, I dub it the Singer/Songwriter Conundrum.

Of course, there are good singer/songwriters (Dylan, Dolly Parton) and actor/directors (Clint Eastwood), but this should not be seen as the norm, but rather as a random aberration, like the fact that Geena Davis is skilled at archery. The assumption that those who sing should be able to write songs is like the idea that a baseball player should know how to construct a baseball from its constituent parts.

So back to my darling Lindsay. Darling Lindsay! You're a great actress! You seem to be able to sing fairly well! This is great! Why do you need to emulate Bob Dylan? Just do what you do and we'll love you for it. And have a sandwich.

Goodbye, Harriet

Harriet Miers has withdrawn her name from consideration for the Supreme Court. In this moment it seems most appropriate to let her speak for herself about the significance of this event. Here's what she wrote earlier today in a "Thank you Note" on Harriet Miers's Blog:

Dear Supporters.
This is obv a really hard day for me, I was super excited about being a Justice. I was looking at my very first blog post and it made me cry. But this day isn't about me. Its about all of us . . . Thank you to everyone who writes comments on this blog, Mike Sparkle Judy Gyrobo Bob Liz Ah Patrick EVERYONE, you know who you are. You are my BFF, for real . . .

But Most Of All...
THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT. I know this wasn't you're decision any more than it was mine...but guess what, we're going to STICK TOGETHER just like always!!
Its a pleasure to serve you sir, now and always.
I'll never forget being the Nominee, it was a learning experience at the very least.
Always remember. Follow you're heart.

Harriet Miers

That's truly beautiful. Goodbye, Harriet Miers.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Miss Seventeen is The. Best. Reality. Show. Ever!

There are so many reality shows to choose from that I find myself like Goldilocks with a remote control: "The Real World is too stupid and drunk. The Apprentice is too business-oriented. Survivor is too stressful and physically unpleasant-seeming."

But darlings, I've finally found the one that's just right: Miss Seventeen, a new offering from MTV, the granddaddy of reality TV.

Its premise: "17 accomplished and ambitious young women compete in weekly character-testing challenges, all under the watchful eye of Seventeen magazine editor-in-chief Atoosa Rubenstein." They're competing for a summer internship at Seventeen, which, OK I could make fun of it, but I might as well just admit that I would have killed for such a thing about 10 years ago, which probably adds to the appeal of the show.

They're not kidding about the accomplished part: the cast is full of National Honor Society/student council president/valedictorian/newspaper editor types. This suggests that Miss Seventeen will avoid the kind of dialogue that has come to be the norm on most reality TV, that is, a near-meaningless collection of words that makes you worry about possible mass aphasia.*

But lest you are concerned that all the smarty-pantsiness will make the show boring, rest assured that the cast also contains a disproportionate number of cheerleaders and pageant participants. The show thus promises to contain large amounts of frightening cheerfulness layered with frequent accusations of "fakeness" and perforated by intermittent bursts of weeping.

Also, almost every single one of these 18-to-20 year olds claims that she wants to run her own business one day, meaning either they are big bullshitters or they already know that they can't work well with others. Either way, a bunch of chipper recent high schoool graduates who think of themselves as superstar leaders, forced to live and work together: a recipe for delicious disaster!

* Yeahhh, aphasia, big word! It means the loss of the ability to use or understand language! I read about it in the New Yorker this afternoon in a coffee shop! Because I had already finished Entertainment Weekly! Ahh, unemployment, how I love you.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Is Gay is the new Foreign?

During the recent wanderings that have taken me away from you, dear readers, I found myself in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It was there that I heard a radio ad for a non-American-made truck (I think the Toyota Tundra, although possibly some sort of Nissan) which seemed to be premised on the interesting idea that its target audience would find it worse to be possibly gay than to not hate foreignerners, or at least automobiles associated with foreigners.

The thrust of the ad was that those who buy Toyota Tundras are more manly than those who buy Ford F-150s, because the Tundra has more horsepower, or more cylinders, or a bigger penis, or something. The ad ended with the kicker, "Show me a man who prefers the Ford F-150 to the Toyota Tundra, and I'll show you his peach cardigan sweater."

Bold move, Toyota! I recall a time (or is it a place? It's sometimes hard to distinguish between things that have actually changed since I was a child and things that are different on the East Coast than in the Midwest) when no red-blooded truck-driver in his right mind would buy a foreign-made pickup. Toyota seems to be making a bold ploy to distract from its foreignness by gay-bashing its competitors. Keep an eye out for other ad campaigns along this theme: Wal-Mart May Be Ruining American Communities, But At Least We're Not Muslims like K-Mart! and: Yeah, Nike Uses Sweatshops, but People Who Buy New Balance Like To Kill Puppies. Ahh, advertising industry, how you keep our moral compass true!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

TomKat pregnancy analysis

Hello again! I know I've been gone for longer than I said, and I'll probably be gone again this whole week too. You see, I'm currently Between Jobs, which, not to make you all want to kill me, is the best thing that has ever happened in the history of time.

Anyway, I am taking a break from not doing anything for just a minute because I wanted to say: Do not despair, Katie Holmes's pregnancy does not necessarily mean that her relationship with Tom Cruise is not a farce! As I previously noted, completely unreliable information suggests that the erstwhile Kate Cruise agreed to enter into a sex-free marriage with Tom for $5 million. Now, the pregnancy thing might seem to call this into question, but in fact there are many explanations which do not require Tom to have defiled our darling Dawson's Creek starlet. Here are a few:

1. Tom clone (in vitro fertilization).
2. Scientologist alien/Christ figure (immaculate conception).
3. Satan's spawn (have you seen Rosemary's Baby? You really should.)

Admittedly, being knocked up with Little Lucifer is not a good thing, but there is at least a strong argument to be made that it's better than doin' it with TC. This is enough to allow me to rest easy at night. OK, back to unemployment. See you next week!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Buh-bye for now

I'm going out of town, so I probably won't post anything for a week or so. Because I wouldn't want anyone to lack distractions at work, let me direct you to some of my favorite websites, for your amusement.

Gawker: It's an oldie but goodie. Here's a post from last week that sent me into a fit of uncontrollable, inappropriate giggling at work:

Not even a week after Paris Hilton officially announced the break-off of her engagement to Paris Latsis, the heiress has been spotted skanking around with Stavros Niarchos, aka Mary-Kate Olsen’s boyfriend. If our little squirrel twin goes into an anorexic tailspin because of this, we will kill Hilton with our bare hands. Bitch. [Page Six]


Veiled Conceit: Strangely obsessed with the New York Times wedding announcements? Then you'll love Veiled Conceit! It saves you the trouble of reading through all those pages to find the gems, and, more importantly, it reassures you that you're right to mock the wedded. Here's a fabulously snarky one from early September:

The parade of staggeringly self-important cultural elitism marches

Those concerns were swept aside when she met Mr. Walter, who was devouring a translation of "The Guermantes Way," part of Proust's multivolume novel "In Search of Lost Time." As it happened, Ms. Giebel was reading "Swann's Way," the first volume in the series - but in French.

Were it not in the Paper of Record I'd be sure this were a parody. Could two sentences so perfectly capture the vain one-upmanship of the literati and not be contrived? No reference can go unchallenged in this set, and the fact that he didn't come back at her saying that he was actually reading it in Gaelic Braille is shocking. And (forgive me but someone had to say it) Proust would have hated these pompous snobs (but in French).

I don't know from Proust, but I love me some bitchiness!

Television without Pity: Summaries of TV shows that are often more amusing than the TV shows themselves. Here's part of the recap of last week's Alias:

Jennifer Garner and the Cardigan of Baby Concealage run off in an attempt at escape, but she kind of dumbly runs right into the fake ambulance and the fake EMTs all start shooting at her, like, way to keep her ALIVE, dudes. Syd runs off to the Cornfield of Convenience with fake EMTs chasing after her. Chase, chase, chase, shoot, shoot, shoot, violins, violins, violins. Yes, it's just about that interesting. Syd disturbs what looks like a flock of white doves, even though it really should be crows, which, did a band of one-armed kindergarteners write this episode or what, and whatever, this tips off the fake EMTers and they run after her and somehow she makes it to the edge of the cornfield undetected and she sneaks up on a couple of them and takes 'em out with a few shots.
The band of one-armed kindergartners thing is going to keep a grin on my face all week.

Finally, Stuff on my Cat:
Dude, when I get back I'm totally going to train T&A Kitty to let me put stuff on her. Then she'll be famous!

OK, I'm outtie. Bye!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Breaking news: World ends!

Omigod, people, Armageddon is truly here: TomKat is pregnant. Please pardon me while I go stockpile supplies in my bunker.

Breaking news: Marriage is dead!

Nick and Jessica's marriage, anyway. US Weekly breaks the story, Gawker breaks the story about the breaking story, and I repeat what I read on other blogs: the erstwhile Newlyweds are filing for divorce.

A supposed friend of the couple says the split is occurring because Jessica's "not the girl America fell in love with anymore." However, it would seem that, in fact, thet issue is that she is not the girl Nick fell in love with anymore, namely a very sheltered 19-year-old virgin smitten by a more famous boy-band member, and is now a 25-year-old woman with whom America may not be in love, but whom we find enticing enough that we will purchase large quantities of CDs, movie tickets and scented body products based on her endorsement.

Either way, it's kinda sad, but also kinda vindicating for those of us who predicted a bad end would come back when Jessica's virginity-obsessed preacher/manager father spoke at their wedding about how she was "pure" and was giving Nick a "gift." Ewwwwwww.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Miers nomination gives bad names to affirmative action, eyeliner

So, I like affirmative action. And eyeliner. They promote diversity, social justice, and the appearance of larger eyes and fuller lashes, all of which I am definitely for.

But today President Bush and his goth-eyed henchwoman/future Supreme Court Justice, Harriet Miers, managed to nearly make me change my mind on both counts.

First, the eyeliner. Harriet seems to have heard that eyeliner is a good idea, but she failed to gather any more information about the topic. The result: incredibly harsh black stuff, applied with a trowel all the way around her eyes like the gate around a high-end ex-urban housing development. Instead of making her eyes look bigger or more defined, it just emphasizes their squinty, cold-hearted iciness--and the color contrast emphasizes her Morticia-like pallor, to boot.

A similar problem explains the twisted version of affirmative action that resulted in the Miers nomination. As Emily Bazelon said in Slate, "Cronyism and affirmative action: It's a nasty mix." In other words, the Bush people thought, "OK, Laura and Sandra Day and those man-hating lesbian feminist interest groups want us to pick a woman. Look, here's one right here!" (I am partially plagarizing not only Bazelon but also Joel Achenbach's Achenblog post, "Bush Names Totally Random Person for Court," which was right-on except for ignoring that it had to be a totally random woman.) The result: a Supreme Court nominee whose main professional credentials are a zillion years as a corporate lawyer (impressive in its own special way, I guess, but not unique--there are about 10000000 other similarly high-achieving, soulless Republican women lawyers in the country), one term on the Dallas City Council, and a couple of years as a Yes-Woman to the President. Not that I would have been happy if it had been a psycho wingnut like Janice Rogers Brown, but at least that would have been just an attack on women's legal rights, not on the whole idea that women can be competent.

Wonkette did a pretty good digital makeover for Miers's "look"--it's too bad they couldn't do the same thing with the nomination.

Friday, September 30, 2005


Serenity opens today!!!!

As I may have previously mentioned, I have been drooling on myself with anticipation about this movie for months. I seriously Have. Not. Read. Reviews., which makes it the first time I will see a movie without knowing what was going to happen since, like, high school. (That's because I grew up in a town without computers or magazines.) (Just kidding, Mom!)

Anyway, my point is, you should really go see this movie. It's all things for all dudes: It's a Western! It's a futuristic sci-fi without the Trekky dorkiness (sorry, Dad)! It's got outlaws, crime, the threat of violence, a mysterious teen with strange powers, and a classy hooker! It's funny, and it has attractive, Asian-influenced sets! What more could you want in a movie?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Michael Vartan has left the building

So they really did it: Alias killed off Michael Vaughn, a.k.a. the main love interest for star Jennifer Garner's character Sydney for four seasons, a.k.a. the dude whose real name we found out in this very episode was apparently something else (Henri Mureaux? Dunno, it was French), a.k.a. the character played by Michael Vartan, a.k.a. Jennifer Garner's ex-boyfriend in real life. There had been rumors of this all summer, spawning an actual movement of people who say they'll boycott ABC's advertisers if they kill MV. While this seemed like a case of misguided energy, I was also kind of frustrated about the idea that JG would make them fire a major character just so she wouldn't have to hang out with her ex, and annoyed that they'd start off another season by killing Sydney's fiance (that's how the very first season started). However, shockingly, now that it's happened I feel none too upset, and almost relieved that now Sydney can stop moping around and making unconvincing puppy eyes at her boyfriend and back to kicking butt. Either that, or I'm relieved that I have one less TV show to watch.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sen. Garfleck?

As the Washington Post said yesterday, Virginia Democrats are going batshit about the idea of Ben Affleck (who's shopping for a house in Charlottesville with his wife/baby-mama-to-be Jennifer Garner) running for Senate against Republican George Allen next year.

Now, call me as crazy as a Democrat who lives in Virginia, but I don't think this is a half-bad idea. Here is my rationale:

1. It's about time for Democrats to back slowly away from those lame "qualified candidates." Republicans have gotten plenty of mileage out of the whole entertainer-turned-elected-official thing (e.g., Reagan, Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono, and, as this helpful site reminded me, Shirley Temple Black and several others), and if Democrats learned anything in the 2004 election, it should have been that personal heroism, honor, and experience can't hold a candle to name recognition and a blind faith in those who lead us into war. Ben played a war hero in Pearl Harbor, so that should be plenty to convince people that he can guide the country through a crisis.

2. Although he's from Massachussetts originally, Mr. Affleck appears to have a thing for red states--in addition to the house-hunting in Virginia, he also owns a home in Georgia.

3. He's got a pretty wife and will soon have a (presumably pretty) baby.

4. Ben is hot. Now, it's true that he has arguably let himself go a bit lately, but one man's flabby movie star is another man's breathtaking elected official.

5. Circumstantial evidence suggests that he has the personal charisma of the last successful Democrat, Bill Clinton. Specifically, he's dated a string of the most gorgeous, successful women in Hollywood (see: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner), and this is not attributable to his looks alone (see #4 above). Also, as FameTracker observed back in 2000, Affleck has the fame of Johnny Depp even though he probably deserves the fame of Omar Epps, further suggesting that he's getting a boost from his own personal charm.

6. Finally, and this is where I admit I am going out on kind of a limb, I think Ben may be smart. For your consideration, I present what he said about the public's obsession with his then-ladyfriend Jennifer Lopez's sexuality in a March 2003 interview with Vanity Fair:
"Jen has had fewer boyfriends than your average high-school junior," he says. "In the physical sense, she's extremely chaste. She's had a much simpler, more easily explainable, more clean romantic history than I have. She can tell the whole story in 15 minutes, whereas I always preface the whole story with 'It was complicated ... ' I think this also has to do with race. There's a kind of language that's used about her-the spicy Latina, the tempestuous diva. She's characterized as oversexed. I mean, the woman's had five boyfriends in her whole life! She's a deeply misunderstood woman, in my opinion."
Now, say what you will about how he was fooling himself if he thought his twice-divorced girlfriend's romantic history was uncomplicated, but I think the rest of it is fairly perceptive.

So, go Sen. Garfleck! (The Reliable Post columnists at the WP say "Benator" or "Sennifer," but I like mine better.) If I had Congressional representation, I'd be happy to vote for you.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Annoyances of human behavior: Crowded Bus Edition*

I rode the bus home today, which caused me to reflect on what an annoying and irrational people we human beings are. To wit: when the bus is crowded, it is necessary for the passengers standing in the aisles to move towards the back of the bus so that more people can get on at the front. Everyone knows this, since they have gotten on crowded buses before and wished others would move back, and also because the bus driver is constantly yelling, "Move back!"

Nonetheless, a majority of bus riders absolutely refuse to move back. (I could attribute this to D.C. residents, but since others have noted the same phenomenon in other cities, I will lay off D.C. and conclude it is a fairly universal occurrence.) Instead, they cling for dear life to whatever pole or strap they happen to have their little paws on. Why do they do this? Do they feel that the people getting on the bus constitute a deluge of sorts, and that if they let go they will be washed away, perhaps swept out the back windows and onto the street? Is it some kind of Rosa Parks shout-out? (Note: Unlike the strap-grippers, Rosa Parks had a seat. Also, fighting for racial justice.) Do they think they are pioneers on the frontier who will eventually be granted ownership of the pole to which they are clinging if they set up a homestead there for long enough? Are they just resisting the authority of the bus driver and/or the new passengers in an aimless sort of way?

I just have no idea. If you see a very grumpy-looking girl on a crowded bus scowling at the pole-clingers while shoving her way to the back of the bus, give me a wave.

*I realize that the entire point of this post is to bitch about something that bugs me, and that this means I am in some way imitating Andy Rooney. This is unfortunate because I have hated Andy Rooney for years. I have long said: "I hate Andy Rooney. How can a crotchety old man make an entire career out of bitching about things that bug him?" But now I realize that my hatred was actually jealousy in disguise. Sorry, Mr. Rooney. CBS, if you are thinking of replacing Andy Rooney with a younger crotchety person who will bitch about things that bug her, you know where to look.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Daily Candy DC: One of these things is lame

When I heard found out that Daily Candy, that deliciously-titled sender of emails about shopping opportunities, was starting a D.C. edition, I felt rather like I'd imagine you'd feel about a new baby: excited, proud, but anxious about what the cruel world would hold for the vulnerable little tyke, and secretly worried that the kid would turn out doofy, or dumb, or annoying. (Does this mean I'm not ready to have kids, do you think?)

In the best-case scenario, Daily Candy DC would mean that my adopted current home, the historic homeland of homeliness, would have officially arrived as a non-dorky city. In the nightmares that kept me up at night, thought, this new development would reveal the lame-o core of my poor little non-state.

Well, it started this week. And. Um. Well, here's an excerpt from one of the first DailyCandy DCs:

Big news: Dos Gringos now delivers right to The Raven’s barstools. So after you order your regular drink, call DG and ask for anything from their delicious cafe menu. Like the skinny chicken salad sandwich made with yogurt, low-fat mayo, and Granny Smith apples. The spectacular curried rice salad. And a tasty steamer made with Italian syrup and hot chocolate. Someone from Dos Gringos’ waitstaff will happily walk it across the street to you in no time.

With the same day's offering for D.C.'s much cooler big sister, I mean New York:

Introducing you to Key, a cool new clothing boutique on Grand
Street. A former artist’s studio, the sunny, spacious, laid-back shop has high ceilings, antique wallpaper, hardwood floors, and a patio in back. As for the clothes? Well, every piece is special and wearable.

OK. First, Dos Gringos has delivered to the Raven for eons, but their hippie-dippie service is so slow that you'd be better off cultivating that Granny Smith yourself in the alley, and the Raven is so dank with smoke that eating in there would probably be carcinogenic. Second, whyyyyyyy does D.C. get a sandwich delivered to a bar when New York gets a spacious, patio'd store of special, wearable clothes? What did we do to provoke this unparalleled wrath from the gods of retail and lifestyle? What do you think I could do to make the other kids stop throwing sticks at little Washington?

Blogthings says I'm 23 years old

OK, this one is disturbing. I mean, I guess I'm in the right decade, but couldn't I be at least 25?

You Are 23 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

President fired for substance abuse

Ooops, I mean Kate Moss, a.k.a. the poster girl for heroin chic in the '90s, was fired from modeling jobs with H&M, Chanel, and Burberry for allegedly using cocaine.

The President, who allegedly is hitting the bottle again due to his grief over his "handling of the Katrina crisis and troop losses in Iraq," a.k.a. his crappy poll numbers, still has his job of being the most powerful person in the world.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney split over "fraud"

I am fascinated by the news that Renee Zellweger filed to have her four-month-old marriage to country star Kenny Chesney annuled on the grounds of "fraud." While she says "fraud" is a legal term and not a reflection on Chesney, that's kind of like saying that being a "convict" or a "bastard" is just a legal description. It's true, but it doesn't really help.

So, what does it mean? Based entirely on a bar review class on the laws of a state other than California that I took several years ago, I will say with 50% confidence that "fraud" in this context has to be something very fundamental to the marriage, and which, if Renee had known about it, she wouldn't have married him. Traditionally (I'm still talking out my ass here, by the way), this would have to be something like saying you were pregnant (or a virgin) when you weren't, or concealing a sexually transmitted disease, insanity, or the fact that you were already married. Interestingly, I seem to recall that lying about whether you loved the other person would not count--ahhh, institution of marriage, you beautiful thing! Back in the day, lying about your race could count. Of course, concealing your homosexuality might also do it. Let the unfounded speculation continue apace!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

John's Angels

Today the Roberts hearing ended, but not before a boat-load of women who used to work with him testified about how much he supports women in the workplace. Listening to this testimony made me wonder if perhaps I've been living in some kind of imaginary la-la land where men and women (or at least highly-educated professional ones) have some kind of vague equality, or at least pretend like they do. To wit, the evidence that Roberts is super-feminist was:

1. One female associate took maternity leave and then worked part-time, and yet Roberts still supoprted her in becoming a partner in the law firm because she was a good lawyer.
2. When Roberts's wife recently went on a business trip, he took their children to a family event and took care of them by himself for three whole days.

Um. This is impressive? This is so retro that just writing about it is zapping me back 40 years and stealing all my irony. Nothing . . . funny . . . to . . . say. Excuse me while I go re-immerse myself in a modern la-la land bubble (a.k.a. Jon Stewart).

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Britney's a mom

As Gawker told us, Britney had her baby today, and named it (I guess him) Preston Michael Spears Federline, which is at least better than the name Kevin Federline, her babydaddy (I guess husband) reportedly wanted (that would be "Vegas.").

Now seems an appropriate time to reflect on why Britney wanted to have children young. According to a letter to her fans she posted on britneyspears.com in 2004, it's because her own mom was a young "Supermom":

She would go to church every week like everyone else, but she always looked sexy in her black dress and she was the one all the other women would gossip about. She would come home and put on her size 2 shorts and a bikini top to wash the car & get a tan at the same time . . .
Sounds awesome. Best of luck, Brit!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Roberts and Jackson Rippner: separated at birth?

So I've been watching the John Roberts hearing, and I found myself thinking, where have I seen that before? The unnusually light-blue eyes, the very square face, the mama's-boy haircut, the charming facade disguising a cold, dead heart . . . Oh yeah, it was Jackson Rippner, the assassin-type Cillian Murphy plays in Red Eye, the v. entertaining movie co-starring Rachel McAdams of Mean Girls fame.

The movie is totally worth seeing if you're in the mood for a popcorn thriller that's not gory. There's a great moment when Rachel's character, Lisa, is freaking out as the plane takes off because she's afraid of flying, and Jackson, who started up a banter with her in the terminal and seems to be sitting by her on the plane in a happy coincidence, starts asking her questions about her family. When the plane levels off, Lisa thanks him for distracting her. "Oh, no, that's not what I was doing," he replies (I'm paraphrasing, peeps.) "Oh yeah, what were you doing?," she asks him somewhat flirtatiously. "I'm trying to keep the focus on you and your father," he answers. "Why, are you a shrink?" she says, somewhat less confidently. "No, I'm working with a team of assassins who have kidnapped your father and we'll kill him if you don't do what we say." Fast fade from flirtation to terror. Great cinematic moment.

It would be nice if I could tell you what the parallel point in the Roberts hearing was, but there really wasn't one. The hearing is more like the earlier part in the movie when Jackson is trying to make nice with Lisa in the airport, and when she tells a grumpy fellow traveller to stop picking on the airline employees, he gets her back--but as he talks to the guy, he grabs his arm just a tad too hard. You only know it's foreshadowing in the movie because you've seen the preview. I'm afraid the airplane-confrontation part of the Roberts tale might not come until we realize we're stuck on the judicial equivalent of a red-eye flight in the seat next to him, like, I mean, when he's the Chief Justice for the next 40 years.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

TomKat update: Katie Holmes to gradually disappear

An alert reader, probably concerned about my meanderings into the realm of throw pillows and BBC news broadcasts, sent this gripping, disturbing update on the TomKat situation from Salon:

Call her old-fashioned, but Katie Holmes is planning on giving up her last name when she goes through with her marriage to Tom Cruise. And in keeping with her more recent trend of taking things too far, she's even taking on his preferred first name for her, Kate. Shrugging off the precedent set by former Cruise wives Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, she'll use the name Kate Cruise both privately and professionally. A source tells In Touch: "Tom calls her Kate, so he suggested she start going by that professionally." (WENN via Imdb.com)

So, yes, she's officially forsaken her own identity, and yes, Kate Cruise sounds like a porn star. However, in the spirit of being thankful for small favors, let's imagine how it could be worse: she could take on Tom Cruise's real last name, and instead of Kate she could adopt some private term of endearment that he (could well have) bestowed on her, which would make her . . . Cupcake Mapother. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Help me pick a pillow!

Pop DotsShangri-LaAir Traffic ControlQuatrefoilParasols

I'm trying to pick a throw pillow for my couch. Which one do you like? Imagine it on a velvet-ish reddish couch (technically "paprika"-colored) in a room with various blue colors, some orange, some yellow, and a bunch of other colors. As the artist formerly known as P. Diddy would (inaccurately and probably inappropriately) say, Vote or Die!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The BBC keeps it real

The New Orleans situation is so awful that I actually watched the news last night instead of MTV. An observation: the BBC is the only news channel that discussed whether the hurricane rescue effort was racist in a rational way.


BBC reporter: There are accusations that the response to Hurricane Katrina was racist, because the huge majority of the victims were poor and black, and they were left without food or water or medical assistance for many days, and many died as a result.

American reporter: Kanye "Straw Man" West made an accusation that President Bush doesn't care about black people. Generic Pundit, do you agree, or do you think it's divisive and inappropriate to play the race card at this time of crisis?

Generic Pundit: Thanks, Bob. At this time of crisis, it's divisive and inappropriate to play the race card. Plus, President Bush likes Condi Rice and Colin Powell, so it's just not true that he doesn't care about black people.

I hear England is beautiful this time of year.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Doomed TV shows, why do I love thee?

I have developed what I am concerned may be an unhealthy relationship with TV shows: I don't watch them until after they've been cancelled. Rather like the shy kid who launches into passionate 2-week love affairs at summer camp while remaining a wallflower during the school year, I'm willing to become involved with a TV show only when I can know exactly when it will all tragically end.

I am definitely not downplaying the exquisite pleasure of these tragic liaisons. In the last month I've watched loved--and lost (figuratively)--the DVDs of two fabulous shows that were both cancelled after one season, and I wouldn't trade those viewing experiences for anything.

First there was Freaks & Geeks, the 1999 show about high school students in small-town Michigan in the '80s. It has all the delicate pathos of My So-Called Life or Dawson's Creek plus the uncomfortable hilarity of Mean Girls or, I don't know, The Office. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me want to call my mother and learn to disco-dance (all in the same episode--watch the last one.)

Then there was Firefly, the 2002 show created by Joss Whedon of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fame about a bunch of cowboy outlaw types on a spaceship in the dystopian, corporate-controlled future. I loooooooved this show, and am looking forward to Serenity, the movie based on the same premise that comes out this fall, so much that I am taking the immense and unprecedented step of not reading reviews of the movie so I won't find out what happens. True (doomed) love!

However, I realize that cancelled shows are not the only worthwhile programming. Among the currently-airing shows that I know are good and would probably watch if they existed only on DVD: Arrested Development, The Wire, Smallville, Gilmore Girls. It's not that I'm a snob for unavailable pop culture (see, e.g., obsession with TomKat and the fact that I didn't know who Coldplay was until earlier this year), it's just, I think, that I can't deal with the commitment of starting to watch a show that could end in two months or could continue for five years. Maybe I'm still not over the cancelling of Buffy. I suppose the healing process will take awhile, and, while I wait for that to happen, I'm going to go add (the recently-cancelled) Joan of Arcadia to my Netflix list.

New Orleans

The news articles about New Orleans are just heartbreaking. I'm very relieved to know that my peeps who live there left (with their cats) last week, but it's just overwhelming to think of all the people who are still there, and how much this will affect the lives of everyone who lives there. I guess it's hard to appreciate non-flooded land and drinking water until you don't have them.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Diane and Keanu: Weirdoland!

It's not in the same Stratosphere of Weird as TomKat, but the apparent coupling of Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves certainly deserves at least a summer cottage in the Land of Weird. Yes, that's right, Ted of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is hooking up with Kay Corleone from the Godfather! Annie Hall is kickin' it with Neo from the Matrix!

Hehe. It's not the Older Woman With Younger Man Thing (she's 59, he's 40)--I'm cool with that. (Did you know my dude is younger? By 4 months. Sometimes it's not easy, but we work on it.)

It's just that Diane and Keanu are both such enormously weird people that the combination of the two of them seems destined to create a kind of nuclear reaction of weirdness, and as with all instances where mankind's curiosity gets ahead of its knowledge, who knows what the results could be?

Diane's Big Weird Thing is that she almost always covers up her entire body, including her hands--like, she wears gloves, in California, all year. Is it leprosy? Scales? O.C.D.?

Keanu is possibly Even Weirder, although in a somewhat more subtle way, namely: He has not changed his facial expression in 15 years. I can't even come up with any possible explanations for this.

Anyway, perhaps they know better than we do the ways in which their unique quirks will work together to create beautiful weird harmonies. All the best, Dianu! (That does sound pretty good . . . )

Mr. Cakelove becomes celebrity, breaks hearts

So, for a lot of this year my man-friend (that's not him on the left) has been kind of obsessed with Warren Brown (yeah, that's who that is). Brown is a former disgruntled attorney who weaned himself from the teat of Mama Law and followed his dream by opening Cakelove, a very successful bakery, on U Street in D.C. a couple of years ago. Since my fella has been having a touch of disgruntledness himself, Mr. Cakelove's story was kinda inspirational (not to mention yummy).

Last night, though, everything changed. Whilst watching Alton Brown on the Food Network, we saw a teaser for a new food show starting in the fall called Sugar Rush, hosted by none other than Mr. Cakelove.

My boyfriend was crushed. He went through the seven stages of crushedness within a few minutes: shock, disbelief, factual acceptance through Google search, staring at wall, depression, decision that Cakelove cupcakes aren't really that good after all, changing channel.

Why, you might ask? If a former lawyer with a bakery is an inspiration, why isn't a former lawyer with a bakery and a TV show even more of a role model? After many seconds of contemplation, I have to conclude it's because now Warren Brown is no longer a real person; he's morphed into a celebrity, a superstar (yes, it's just a Food Network show, but this is D.C.) and unless you are kinda crazy, becoming a superstar does not seem within reach.

So, fly high, Mr. Cakelove, but in your shiny new life with the Food Network, take a minute to think of all the disgruntled lawyers whose hope you've taken away. Perhaps you could compensate us with a free cupcake.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Wherein I return from vacation

When I didn't post anything for almost two weeks, you might reasonably have assumed that I had given up on blogging because it was cutting into my VH1-watching schedule. However, in fact I was on vacation, and failed to post anything warning you about this fact due to a combination of a temperamental home internet connection and the shocking development that people wanted me to get work done before I left. Sorry! Nice to see you again!

Anyway, now I'm back. After 8 days away from TV, the Internet, and English-language tabloid magazines, I was afraid that I'd suffer that disturbing sense of cultural dislocation when I returned, like all of a sudden Britney would be cute again and I'd feel like I was an alien in my own country. I remember having this in a major way in the summer of 1994, when I was out of the country when Forrest Gump became popular--I thought "Forrest Gump" was the frumpiest-sounding phrase I'd ever heard, and was concerned that perhaps this meant that frumpy was now cool, and if that were the case, how could any of us find our way in the world?

Luckily, though, no tremendous cultural changes seem to have occured in the past week. Here's my checklist:

All is right with the world!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

America hath no sweetheart like a woman scorned

Jennifer Aniston's appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair and every single other magazine in the universe this month--in flattering pictures, no less!--is the latest example of how America loves nobody better than a woman whose man has cheated (emotionally or otherwise) and/or broken her heart.

In the article (they're basically all the same, and yes, I basically read them all), Jen lays out the Scorned Woman trifecta:

  1. She makes clear that she was the dumpee and is heartbroken ("Am I lonely? Yes. Am I upset? Yes. Am I confused? Yes"), but
  2. Also bravely asserts that she's gonna be OK ("But I'm also doing really well"), and
  3. Says she won't say nothin' about that no-good lyin' cheatin' bastard ("I love Brad; I really love him. I will love him for the rest of my life").

Then she ups the ante: she throws down the How-Could-People-Say-I-Didn't-Want-Children-Of-Course-I-Want-Children-I'm-A-Woman-Aren't-I gauntlet ("I've never in my life said I didn't want to have children. I did and I do and I will!"), and for good measure she tosses in the Even-After-I-Saw-The-Pictures-Of-Brangelina-Cavorting-On-the-Beach-I-Still-Trustingly-Believe-That-He-Didn't-Cheat kicker ("I choose to believe my husband").

Quite a doozy! Jen will now take her place among the other jilted ladies who have seen their stock skyrocket after being publicly humiliated: Nicole Kidman, who became a bona fide movie star after Tom "Seemed Less Crazy Then" Cruise dumped her on her tootsie after 10 years of marriage; Elizabeth Hurley, who is no Nicole Kidman but who only started to get movie roles after Hugh Grant got caught with a hooker; and Hillary Clinton, who got a Senate seat but no movie roles out of Bill's Lewinskinanigans (whether this was a good deal or not depends on one's priorities, I suppose).

Sienna Miller may soon join the club, too--after Jude Law cheated on her with his kids' nanny, she got back the role as Edie Sedgwick in the "Factory Girl" movie--the one for which she was previously considered not famous enough.

Of course, men get cheated on, too--but there really is no male equivalent to the Sweethert Scorned Woman phenomenon, I think because it culturally doesn't work as well for a man to cry to an interviewer and such. For instance, Justin Timberlake's Britney-Cheated-on-Me video "Cry Me a River" started off with the I'm-heartbroken theme ("You told me you loved me/Why did you leave me, all alone"), but then quickly moved into the stronger You-Wanted-Me-Back-But-I-Wouldn't-Take-You postion ("Now you tell me you need me/When you call me, on the phone/Girl I refuse, you must have me confused/With some other guy"), and then jumped to the straight-up macho fuck-you ("Your bridges were burned, and now it's your turn/To cry"). The video threw in a freaky stalker theme and thus made Justin into the aggressor, not the victim.

So, what can we conclude, boys and girls? That if you're Katie Holmes, you should pray to God (or, now that you're a Scientologist, to the alien galactic leader Xenu) that Tom Cruise dumps you so you can become the next Marilyn Monroe. Otherwise, you should keep in mind that breaking up sucks, and is not worth it.