Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Is Sorry Enough?

Contrary to what the ramblings of this blog might lead you to believe, I was raised right by my sweet Mama. She was big on manners and we were taught early on how to behave in public. “Be on your Best Behavior!” she would admonish upon departure for some public event. Had more people been raised by my mom, I’d probably have a whole lot less to write about.

So, I guess it’s a good thing that I was a problem pregnancy and she couldn’t have any more after me. Wah-wah. Whatever. I’m still the baby, BITCHES!!!

But I digress. Today I did something that would have caused my mom to develop a case of the vapors. And it was totally inadvertent (it was NOT an “accident”—I loathe the lack of responsibility associated with that word), but probably one of the rudest things EVER.

I had to stop by a local retail establishment to make a quick pick-up (NO, it wasn’t a liquor store). Outside a young woman was in animated conversation on her celly. I silently thanked her for keeping it outside and not bringing it into the small confines of the space.

It should be noted here that while, not technically a fingernail chewer, I do occasionally indulge. Today was one of those days.

So, I’m being the fingernail gourmand. In public. Not good. But wait—it gets worse.

I transact my business and head out the door. As I’m pushing open the door, the nail I’m chewing on gives up the fight. And without thinking, I turn my head to the right . . . oh, it’s too horrible . . . I don’t know if I can . . . But I . . .

I spat.

A piece of fingernail.


Our eyes met in a shared horror. I tossed off a sorry that sounded more like Simon Cowell than someone who was actually mortified by his actions.

As I scurried off, I heard her say into the phone, “You will NOT believe what just happened . . .”

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lucky, Lucky

So, the comment to yesterday’s post from JD made me feel bad about one line. I didn’t see “all my peeps” on this trip. Not even close. See, I’m really lucky that LA is almost a second home, in terms of the number of really dear friends I have there. I even ran into one randomly on the trail in Runyon Canyon Saturday morning.

Frequent commenter Drax, and her husband, Anonymous have been friends since college. In fact, I am godfather to their child. But I had made my apologies to them ahead of time, so hopefully I’m forgiven.

But this trip was really about a specific event and the activities surrounding it. I’ll probably head back out in June and hopefully get to see more people. One can never have too many friends. So to everyone I didn’t see, see you soon.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Biceps Are Not Brains

So I did one of those 48 hour trips to LA this weekend. Got to see all my peeps. The amazing Julesy was the chair of a big Hollywood event, so the Beloved and I dusted off the tuxedoes and headed west (AFTER having my pants let out TWO INCHES in the waist. Motherfucker.)

We’re at the hometown airport on Friday waiting to depart, so I dart into the Everything Shoppe to grab a magazine, book and gum. Just outside the door to the Shoppe is the secondary screening area for TSA. A very tall, buff young man has been selected for secondary screening. He is facing me, standing no more than six or eight feet away. The TSA agent asks him to raise his arms out to his side, as he is going to pat him down.

Before doing so, the agent asks the routine question, “Do you have any injuries or conditions I should know about?” In a deep, manly voice, the dumb jock replies, in all seriousness, “Well my bicep is a little swollen from my workout yesterday.”

I could hear the TSA agents eyes rolling into the back of his head. Thank God this was the one moment all weekend when I didn’t have a drink in my hand. I would have spewed it out through my nose.

Ahhh, it’s a good thing he was pretty.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chadwick and the Angry Bitch

The Beloved and I spent most of last week in Big D, little a, double l, a- s. (oh, THAT’S how you spell pretentious!)

Not my most favorite locale on the planet, but we both had work there. The other key enticement ws the opportunity to see the fabulous and reclusive Jeffoise, who has known me since I was just a princess-in-training. Plus, the outrageous CoCo was visiting from London, so we wanted to wedge onto her dance card, as well.

Saturday night was our last night there. We were in bed by a reasonable hour, after a lovely evening with Jeffoise, but our sleep was not going to come easy. You see, next door was a lovely suite, with a terrace overlooking the skyline. Said terrace actually wrapped around our room, so we couldn’t have avoided the occupants if we tried.

And boy did we want to try.

I don’t know that I have ever experienced such thin walls. Or maybe these people just had piercing voices. Regardless, they checked in with the obvious intent of throwing a party. Loud drunken slurred speech (NOT coming out of MY mouth for a change) kept us awake for hours. They would move from the room to the terrace to the hot tub to the room, all the while keeping the decibel level at “make the dog howl.”

The “owner” of the room was named Chadwick. I know this because the drunk post-sorority girl (DPSG) kept calling his name repeatedly. I had an immediate mental image of who these people were. The DPSG was actually the loudest and most talkative—a combination I particularly loathe. Unless it’s me, of course. Then it’s just plain charming.

As Missy begins to crescendo, I glance at the clock. 2:40 a.m. Nice. And just then she delivers the line of the night.

“OMIGOD! We’re all naked! All I see is tattoos and flesh.”

Now, our room was, I guess, the second bedroom to the suite. There was a connecting door that didn’t quite seal, which I’m guessing made the noise situation worse. It also provided a nice conduit for the smoke from their cigarettes. Yum. Did I mention this is a non-smoking hotel?

Simultaneously, the DPSG’s celly rang out. And she began telling her friend what a great party they were having and how she should get right over there.

And that’s when Daddy said “enough.” I called the front desk and said, “Hi. It’s time for the party in 51 to wind down now.” Shortly thereafter, the noise died down. I’m not sure if the people died or passed out. I was kind of hoping for the latter.

As I was checking out the next morning, the woman at the front desk, without exactly apologizing, said she figured Chadwick et al would be asked not to come back. I think I may ask myself the same thing.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Check please!

This was originally supposed to be LAST Tuesday’s post, but I’ve been a slackbitch (blog-wise; I’ve been pretty busy, otherwise) and didn’t get it written.

Let me start with a confession. I don’t complain about taxes. I’ve always felt that taxes were my share of the pot. In order to have good schools, good roads, police, fire and ambulance, libraries—you know, the things we all take for granted, but would hate to be without. I’m happy to pay my share of those.

Odd that I should come to embrace that philosophy. You see, all of my life, I’ve heard bitching about taxes. As I’ve grown older, in fact, I can’t recall coming across anyone who thought they weren’t paying too much in taxes. In Texas, at least, the argument always seems to be a variation on the same theme.

“I don’t want my tax dollars going to help some welfare mother who won’t get a job!!”

Now, I’m not sure when welfare was the biggest ticket item in the federal budget. I’m guessing NEVER. But it’s such a widespread belief that our tax dollars are being mishandled that NO politician can survive even a discussion about raising taxes, even if it’s necessary and the right thing to do. Read my lips? Big mistake.

I’ve also noticed that the most rabid anti-tax people seem to be a perfect demographic overlay of the pro-gun/NRA types. Which makes this breakdown of how our tax dollars are actually spent even more rich with irony.

See, it’s not the welfare moms who are eating away our precious dollars. It’s the military. And lest you start thinking that these numbers are skewed due to the ongoing (neverending?) conflict in Iraq, these numbers actually pre-date the war (hey, the government moves slowly in releasing numbers—these are the latest available, best I can tell).

So, in case you were wondering, here’s how a tax dollar gets spent:

31 cents for military (including 6 cents in interest on debt and 3 cents for veterans benefits)
20 cents in (non-military) interest on the national debt

Okay, let’s pause for a minute. Because now I’M starting to rethink my commitment to taxes. Nearly a third of our tax dollars go to the military? At a time when the world is essentially at peace (except for our warmongering) we are spending at these levels? Can’t imagine what that percentage looks like now that we’re pushing a TRILLION in Iraq expense. Are you fucking kidding me?

Obscene. I find this exponentially more offensive than my conservative brethren find the support of welfare moms.

The next highest? 18 cents on health. Okay, I can live with that. Public Health is a very good thing. Not sure how well that money is spent (okay, not sure how well ANY of this money is spent) but I can swallow it.

Then it gets RIDONCULOUS:

6 cents on income security
3 cents on education

Wait. THREE cents on education?!?!?!? ONE-TENTH of what we spend on military?
How the fuck can you leave no child behind with that level of spending? You can’t even afford to take SOME children with you. Sad, sad, sad.

2 cents on nutrition
2 cents on housing
2 cents on environment
.3 cents on job training

There’s another 15% in there, but it’s broken down into increasingly smaller portions that will just make you cry. Of course, those TINY percentages are always the ones to get cut in the name of “budget.”

Funny, if you applied a tenth of the military spending to education, it would DOUBLE the money we spend in this country. But what would we do with a more educated populace? Not elect Republicans, that’s for sure.

Isn’t it time we took care of our own? Instead of spending all of our money on foreign soil, why can’t we spend a little more here at home? I’m not advocating for doing away with the military, just thinking maybe we need to be a little less of a big brother to everyone else and maybe a little more responsible to those of us at home.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Should the Government Subsidize Hillbilly Vasectomies?

I am a peripheral Dogface. See, Gardog’s group of friends from college is called the Dogface Gang. So, over the years, as I developed friendships with them all, I became an “honorary” dogface.

This weekend saw the first marriage of a Dogface offspring (the younger crowd has started calling themselves the Puppy Face. Cute.).

Anyhoo, the wedding was beautiful. I laughed. I cried. I danced with an amazon bridesmaid, who tried to lead. I should have let her. Anything would have been better than those two left feet of hers trying to follow. This was followed by the seductive breathing and whispered, “so, are you straight or gay?”

Hello, bark? Wrong tree.

“OHHHHHH, I’m waaaaaaaay gay.” Trust me, any man would have said the same thing. She looked like the type that would eat you up. She was a pretty girl, don’t get me wrong. But she had some balls, let me tell you.

The party was still going strong at 1:30 in the a.m. Knowing I had a flight to catch, I said my goodnights and cabbed it back to the Ritz Clarion (as I affectionately nicknamed my motel). Hey, a girl’s gotta find the glamour anywhere she can.

By two I was fast asleep, white wine and tequila churning in my belly, all moisture slowly draining from my brain. Morning would not be pretty.

At 6 a.m. I was awakened by one of the most fucking annoying sounds in the world—a small child shrieking. I don’t know why, but that sends my nerves to 11. Pisses me off royally and makes me want to do bad things.

Apparently, some hillbillies (based on the accent) had taken the room next to me, and one right across the hall. They began moving back and forth between the two rooms, with a cacophony of slamming doors, screaming children and Appalachian admonishments.

There must be a heaven, ‘cause motherfucker, this was hell. I kept thinking that they would head out—to breakfast, their purpose, a slow, painful death . . . I don’t know, anything!

But they didn’t. Apparently rooms 133 and 134 at the Ritz Clarion was as close to Disneyland as these pov-heads were ever gonna get.

As I reached for the phone to complain, something in my head reminded me that someone had said something about Kentucky the night before. Was the groom’s family from Kentucky? SHIT! What if these people were part of the wedding and I went all ballistic on them, only to run into them an hour later at the lunch?


As the cycle of doze/shriek/slam/y’all continued, I wiled away the time reevaluating my position on handgun possession.

And then, all was quiet. The banjo people had packed up the posse and checked out, leaving me with my chardonnay/cazadores head, and only four hours sleep. I felt like I was in college again.

At lunch, I inquired about any wedding folk from Kentucky. I was told that there were none. Figures.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Give Until It Hurts

So, did you watch “Idol Gives Back” last night? My beloved and I sat down in front of the set with our healthy and nutritious small portions (yeah, we’re dieting. Grrrrrr.). He asked if I thought the show was going to be good, or if it was going to be treacly.

I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt.

“Please,” I said. “What do YOU think?”

Hunger makes me bitchier. Hard to believe, I know.

We both agreed that we were in for a long night, but that the alternative (actually getting up from the couch) would only make us hungrier, so we settled in.

I have to say, I was quite pleasantly surprised by the show. The live bits weren’t so bad (Fergie singing with the Wilson sisters! Who knew she could rock like that?) but it was the pre-taped bits with Bono, Annie Lennox and Forrest Whitaker that really drove the message home.

They were talking about how little it costs to prevent malaria (a $10 mosquito net or a couple of bucks for a pill) and how limited HIV/AIDS medications were in Africa and how far even a little bit of money goes. Then the British PM announced that Britain was donating $200 million dollars for mosquito netting. And it seemed like such an enormous impact would be felt from that amount of money. A literal world of good.

They talked about helping poor children in our country. They talked about rebuilding New Orleans. They talked about all the good that could be done with the MILLIONS they would raise.

As I fought back the manipulated tears, I suddenly started to get really angry. I don’t know what the current tally is in HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars we’ve spent on securing our access to oil reserves in Iraq (surely no one buys that “democracy” bullshit anymore. That region will NEVER be stable by our definition). But is that really more important than the HUGE FUCKING IMPACT that money could have had on the quality of life for millions of people around the globe?

Money is a finite thing. When we spend it on one thing, we don’t spend it on another. And while I know I’m preaching to the choir here, this administration is FUCKED UP. I think it is truly criminal what has been done. And I hope that Presidents Bush and Cheney will end up tried for crimes against humanity.

All that talk of toppling a despot. (des)Pot? Ketttle.

So much hope on display last night. So much opportunity to do good and make a difference. And it drew such a sharp contrast between doing something good for the world and lining the pockets of your friends at ExxonMobil.

Yes, I realize that ExxonMobil was a key sponsor last night. They even trotted out an INCREDIBLY uncomfortable looking white executive and what was obviously the highest-ranking African American in the company. Well, motherfuckers, enjoy the company you keep, because you’re all going to the same hell, where George can drink and Laura can smoke and Cheney can shoot anybody he likes.

You should have given BILLIONS. Greedy motherfuckers.

And the greatest irony of all is that this administration rode to the White House on the coattails of people who identify as “Christians.” So, why aren’t they behaving that way?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Teach Me Tonight

Growing up in East Texas, I got to witness a lot of inappropriate teacher-student relationships. The valedictorian two classes ahead of me ended up marrying the vice-principal. And the head cheerleader a year behind me ended up marrying my varsity basketball coach. That same coach also deflowered at least one other girl in my class, who then chose to give her ultimate gift to me. Fortunately for my budding gay self, she shared that tidbit in a fit of pre-coital, florid romance novel dialogue: “You’re not the first! Johhny was the first. (gasp)”

“Well, guess what? I won’t be the second either. But good luck with that rash.”

Well, times have changed, and maybe they still look the other way at these antics in East Texas, but not here in Austin. A 27-year old high school teacher has been charged with having improper sexual conduct with a 17-year old student.

Now, I don’t know about where you are, but in Texas it is illegal for a teacher to have sex with a student. Period. There’s no such thing as mutual consent. Now, if you can hold your horses until graduation night, you can make the map of France right there on your cap and gown. But not a moment before.

The great irony in this case is that the two just filed for a marriage license last Thursday (hmmm, maybe that was the tipoff.) and the greater irony is that, in Texas, you have to have parental consent to get married if you’re under 18. So teacher, starry-eyed student and (apparently brain-dead) mama headed off the courthouse.

There is a question on the application that asks the reason for the marriage. The mother wrote, “for Love.” Awwwww. That’s so sweet. Blech

Did I mention that their first date was in early March? And that other than their first date (dinner) all subsequent dates consisted of going to HIS apartment for sex? Sounds like “love” to me.

I’m afraid Lolita’s heart is heading for a breakin’ though. Mr. Man is facing a 20 year prison sentence if convicted. I’m thinking a couple of months of renting Barely Legal videos might have been a better option.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Pulitzer for Bob

If you’re a Bob Dylan fan, you may as well start typing your incredulous, flaming comments now. I’m afraid that I’m not one of the believers. So, imagine my reaction when I see that Bob Fucking Dylan has won a PULITZER. It was an honorary one, to be sure, but still. A Pulitzer?

The committee cited his "profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power." Poetic power? But you can’t understand a fucking word he says.

In fact, I’m pretty sure Johnny Depp’s “MUMBLER!” shtick as Willie Wonka came from hours of frustration at trying to decipher Bob Dylan’s singing.

But, to be fair, I went to a Dylan lyric site to give him the benefit of the doubt. Not really knowing Dylan’s canon, I randomly picked a song that sounded like it had great lyric potential. Here’s what I found:

“Well, I ain't a-gonna grieve no more, no more
Ain't a-gonna grieve no more, no more
Ain't a-gonna grieve no more, no more
And ain't a-gonna grieve no more.

Come on brother, join the band,
Come on sisters, clap your hands,
Tell everybody that's in the land,
You ain't a-gonna grieve no more.”

Not sure the name of that one, but I’m guessing it’s “Horton Hears a HUNH?!?!”

Then there’s this little gem:

“Frog went a-courtin' and he did ride, Uh-huh,
Frog went a-courtin' and he did ride, Uh-huh,
Frog went a-courtin' and he did ride,
With a sword and a pistol by his side, Uh-huh.

Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door, Uh-huh,
Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door, Uh-huh,
Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door.
Gave three loud raps and a very big roar, Uh-huh.

Said, "Miss Mouse, are you within?" Uh-huh,
Said he, "Miss Mouse, are you within?" Uh-huh,
Said, "Miss Mouse, are you within?"
"Yes, kind sir, I sit and spin," Uh-huh.”

“Are you WITHIN? Ummm. O-kay? What is this, the Renaissance Faire? Maybe I misread the press release. Maybe he actually won a Caldecott or Newberry.

I’ve long had a theory that Dylan only became famous because everyone he played to in the early years was trippin’ their titties off. He could have been playing a harp and, in their drug-induced stupors (and believe me, I have NOTHING against drug-induced stupors, per se—they’ve sold a lot of music over the years) people believed he was the second coming. Now, all of that mumbling is ingrained in their heads and they think he “changed their lives” and that he’s a “genius.” Well, that was the acid, people.

So I decided to give it one more try. And on my third trip to the lyric well, I actually hooked something.

“When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb
When you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
When yer laggin' behind an' losin' yer pace
In a slow-motion crawl of life's busy race
No matter what yer doing if you start givin' up
If the wine don't come to the top of yer cup”

But I still bet no one could understand his acceptance speech.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Coming Soon!

According to a new study released today, the optimal amount of time for sexual intercourse is 3 to 13 minutes. That doesn’t include foreplay or the post-coital cigarette and whore’s bath. But then, if you’re only going to bang away for three minutes, why bother with foreplay. You’ve obviously got somewhere else to be.

The median time for sexual intercourse was 7.3 minutes. And just in case you were wondering, as I was, how they got such precise measurements—the women were equipped with stopwatches.

Now THAT’S sexy!

“Wait . . . no . .. don’t stick it in yet. WAIT! Shit, I pushed the wrong button. Pull out. PULL OUT! This doesn’t count. Damn it. How many seconds were you in there? Should we add that on? Damn it. Okay, I’ve got it. Ready? On your mark . . . NO, I know your name is not Mark. It’s a saying. Okay? On three . . . one . . . two—NO, go after three, not ON three. Ready? Wait, where are you going?”

Apparently, we live in a world where we each get 15 minutes of fame, but only half that much in nookie at a time.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Sexual Revolution is officially over.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What Are You Looking At?

A funny thing happened on the way to Salvation. If you read the comments left after yesterday’s (APRIL 1st) post, you’ll notice some redaction. After I revealed my newfound dedication to El Ron, I received two comments from different people, but they were EXACTLY the same comment, and were obviously spam of some sort. There was even a link to click through. So I deleted them.

Yeah, yeah, I’m eaten up with power.

But another thought occurred to me. The only two times I have written about controversial religious sects (who shall remain nameless, but one follows J. Hova and the other El Ron) I have received odd comments. And it’s kind of creeping me out.

On the J. Hova one, I had a very polite and thorough rebuttal from a member of that sect. Followed quickly by a rebuttal to the rebuttal from another reader. At the time, it made me wonder if there aren’t members of these organizations that actually are tasked with googling all day long for mentions, then offering up commentary.

The two blatant spam comments yesterday now have me freaking out about spyware and such. Maybe the anonymous campaign is on to something.

Or maybe I’ve just managed to spook myself inadvertently.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

If Only It Were a Joke

The CEO's of the five biggest oil companies testified before congress today. The headline in USAToday reads, "At hearing, Big Oil says it's profits aren't extreme."


WHO THE FUCK BELIEVES THIS SHIT?!?! Not Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass). "On April Fool's Day, the biggest joke of all is being played on American families by Big Oil."

Laughter through tears.

A Long Time Coming

Faith has been an odd staple in my family for my entire life. Like most folks growing up in the South, my parents would scrub us up, make us put little clip-on neckties on our crisp white shirts, with our Montgomery Ward slacks and jackets.

Off we’d go to the Church of Christ, an odd choice, since neither my mother or (step)father were of that denomination. This was a vestige of my biological father’s “faith” (not sure he EVER set foot in a church post-divorce, with the exception of weddings and funerals), and I always found it weird that my mother continued the practice.

Strange as it may seem now, I was actually baptized in the Church of Christ. Full on dunking in the little tank behind the pulpit. I was one of the youngest people ever to be baptized in this church. Mostly because I knew how to bullshit even then. I told Pastor Jay everything he wanted to hear. I even told him I thought I wanted to be a preacher, just like him.

In actuality, Little 10 year old O’Pine just wanted Pastor Jay to hold him for a little while, even if it was under water in a simulated drowning. He was a hottie, but Day-um that man sure was verbose when he was holding a member of his flock under water. Little did he know, this flocker just wanted to hold his member. I know, sacrilege.

By the time my older siblings were out of the house, we had begun attending the Methodist church, which was the faith of my (step)father. But once I began to realize that small town Christians were uniformly casting my people (the gays) into eternal damnation, I realized that there was no way I could continue to attend church.

I knew I was a good person. I knew God had made me this way. And I knew that I couldn’t embrace any philosophy or congregation that was so willing to throw that all out based on one element of my being--especially since God had made me this way.

All these years I have found myself longing for a deeper spiritual connection. Wanting to find a faith that spoke to me, made sense to me, and mostly—embraced me for the totality of my being. And while I am loathe to proselytize, I am so overjoyed to have found my spiritual home that I am compelled to share that with you, dear reader.

For a while now, I have been quietly studying the work of L.Ron Hubbard. Like most folks, I saw Scientology as a quack religion for vacuous, closeted celebrities. I mean, Hubbard was just a hack science fiction writer, right? I found that was not the case at all. I found a spiritual home. I found like-mindedness. I found a philosophy based on sound science, intertwined with faith. It’s not like those other religions where the mythology seems so far fetched. And while I know it sounds funny, Xenu and the Thetans really explain so much about where we are as a society.

My road trip with Gardog a couple of weeks ago sealed the deal for me. His vast knowledge of religion, philosophy and mythology kept us in deep conversation for much of the long trip. I didn’t share with him what I was feeling, but hearing what he had to say made me certain I was making the right choice for my spiritual future.

So, once we got to LA, I sneaked off for a secret side trip to the Celebrity Center. I felt like I was home. And about to embark on the greatest journey of my life.

Anyhoo, I won’t go into the details. I want my faith to be a private matter between me, Xenu (and hopefully Tom Cruise!! Wouldn’t that be cool) and the Thetans.

But I hope you will wish me well on this journey. Peace.