Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Peek At The Peak

This afternoon, I spent an hour on Mt. Everest. I made it all the way to the summit. That's right...I "summited". In an hour. Because that's a verb. Wanna know how I did it? With team work. Team work that includes an "I", because for some reason - I was told that it does. That the "I" is just as important as all the other letters. A concept I had trouble wrapping my head around because of what it does to the analogy.

And that's what this meeting was. One
giant pertinent information. I HATE meetings like this. My company is making some changes that could be considered cool, if you cared about such things - and I thought this was going to be our opportunity to get more information on just what "changes" would entail. Instead we got an hour of PowerPoint slides of Everest - of the camps on Everest, of the white people climbing Everest and of the sherpas helping the white people climb Everest. And how the metaphor of the summit applies to not only our professional lives, but to our personal lives. Because we need to live in a world where anything's possible.

There are no quotation marks, but this is almost verbatim. It was nice to learn, albeit belatedly, that our benefits include unsolicited life coaching.

This isn't the first time this has happened. In the past - these gatherings have included references to how we must all drink the Kool-aid. It's what keeps us together, etc. Disturbing. I can't help but wonder if the executives understand exactly what happened at the end of that story. Because if they did, I feel certain they would agree that such a metaphor is inappropriate. Always.

This is how the cynicism bulb gets nourished into a full bloom. I've been maintaining my full bloom for so long, I really only have about 1/4 of my soul left. The rest of it has been sloughed off here and there on the way up to the summit.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Little Miss DEAR GOD NO!

Listen. This exists:

I watched a half of an entire hour of this show tonight and now feel as though some of my soul has been stolen. Not in the way a camera steals it...but in the way small children dressed up like harlots primping around a stage like they're puppies for purchase way.

One common element in all of these girls' stories is that their moms are all cows. When I say "cow", I'm not necessarily referring to their weight but more of their bovine features and behavior. Pair that with a southern accent, because they all have them, and one can't help but reach judgmental conclusions.

Here's some special features of what this half hour entailed.

On why mom has her daughter in the pageant: Amber is naturally beautiful and in our society people are judged differently when they're ugly.

On dresses...also known as "wow wear": They cost between $300-$500 and the judges can easily discount them due to length and/or color combo.

On teeth and the "flipper": If you're at an age where you're missing teeth, a flipper is an absolute must. They can cost up to $500.

On the most shockingly inappropriate 'talent' routine: She's our little 9-11 firefighter!

All the while, the cows take pictures of their overdressed, over-glitzed calves with throw-away cameras and tearful nods of encouragement. Once it's all over, the girl who winked at the judges mid-routine wins and the pageant director...this fop below..croons about "citrus colored rainbows" and how "you are what you feel"

Why did I need to force the fact of this show's existence on you? Because despite the stilted voice-overs and linear storylines...these are real people. Real mothers. Real daughters. All Americans. No wonder we can't get a flipping health care resolution passed. My hope for change is dying with every new reality show that burns into the plasma (I'm talking to you, Jersey Shore).

In the meantime, I hope these little girls take manage to something away from their ghastly experiences in front of the camera...if nothing other than the knowledge that flippers can be used as a weapon.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Analysis so deep, you could preserve a peasant in it

The last week's quake news was too deflating for frilly blog posts, so I just bagged it and drank a lot instead. It wasn't so much as a coping mechanism as it was a way to pass ones time without thinking too deeply.

Though by the third drink, the trend reverses and self examination begins. That's always dangerous. The only way to battle such a moment is to begin a dance party immediately. It is for this purpose that Justin Timberlake has been invented. By Japanese scientists. Like those sex dolls. But, you know, to fulfill a different need.

Anyway, frilly posts are totally back. You know, when I think about it, one could argue that they also serve a purpose. I'm not exactly sure what that is, but if I say so with the right amount of gusto, you'll believe me. That's how it works for the Shamwow guy, at least.

All of this is leading up to this statement:

I hate American Apparel.

I want to punch this girl in the kidneys. We get it. You sell tights. Tights in shades that don't match or compliment anything, so you have to wear them by themselves. Bravo. Now shut the hell up.

Never has a company been so successful at pushing leotards onto the general public disguised as actual clothing. Hot pants, stirrup pants, body suits, t-shirts...all made out of the same lycra in blank primary colors. And people buy it. They buy the fuck out of it. And I just don't know why. No one's going to cast them in a remake of Flashdance, so what's the point?

Maybe all the hate comes from the fact that I don't look like that in tights. Standing straight as an arrow still yields unsightly lumps where the flesh is constricted. Bending into a pretzel would really end up looking more like a scone. Home made...not store bought. It wouldn't be pretty. But I love to wear tights UNDER things. They keep me warm. They dress up my legs. They keep my shoes company. They're...essential.

But I won't buy them off that skinny bitch above. Her face will be hanging in the window as I shop just watching me. Knowing that the lumps will be there. I don't need that. No one needs that. Besides. I need patterns in my life. We all need patterns in our lives. And American Apparel will never understand that. Because they're stupid.

I win.

Monday, January 11, 2010

OK Go Sounds Just Like Prince

I get intimidated by other people's ability to do great things. I say this because as far as "great things" go, well, I make pretty good coffeecake. Not my own recipe. I wouldn't know where to begin. Flour?

Erin made me some great things for Christmas times. Some of them I gave to loved ones and some I kept for myself because that's what Christmas is all about. Dickens doesn't know shit.

Below is a visual cornucopia of her wares as purchased and donned by me. There is further evidence of my love of her work on her own blog, as well as darling details of her daily existence and an Etsy store that you'd be MAD (the crazy kind) not to peruse with a pocket book.

I'm glad I waited to post about this because a tragedy almost befell my new-found accoutrements. Friday night B and I went to happy hour with some friends. During the exchange of a small booth to a large one, my scarf got left behind. It was The Rapture for accessories.

Once it was discovered that my brand new beautiful scarletty scarf was missing, a large search ensued complete with a hunting party. And dogs. Alas, it was not to be found that night. The bartender told my next-to-tears face that I should call the next day to see if they had found it later.

I had almost no hope. Hipsters are a scavengy bunch and they know a good thing when they see it. I feared that my beautiful scarf was now gracing the underfed neck of some bitch in tapered jeans and there was nothing I could do.

The next afternoon I called the bar as soon as it opened. He was too busy to go look...I should try back later.

So after a delightful evening of a movie and dinner, I stopped back by the bar and talked to Slash minus 25 years. He was very kind. I said "scarf" and added a question mark and his immediate reply was "red". I got my scarf back. Though he would not play that cool part from November Rain where the song goes from slow to fast as the coffin comes into the church (you remember that video, right?) because he said he was a bartender and not Slash at all. I wasn't about to argue...he'd done me a large favor.

So that's the story of my things.

Well, not totally.

The scarf that we had made for B's gramma got eaten by a dog. But only one little section and she swears she can mend it. Even the universe is jealous of our stylicity. I blame pheromones. But I don't know whose.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Airplanes, Bologna, Hats, Pabst and Lard

Ok...I have landed, am semi-unpacked, in the fleece sweatpants and have a fresh vodka/tonic with just a splash of lime. Elliot Smith is on loud enough to drown out the cat's desire to learn English and I'm finally at the ready.

To talk about terrorism.

The holidays are an interesting time to partake of air travel. I haven't always been so unfortunate as to have to join in the lemming game, having been geographically close to my family at Christmas more often than not. College was an exception. Flying home from New Orleans on December 25th, 2001 was a treat with TSA agents opening every single present in my luggage. But besides the most obvious and ominous causes of aviation delay pique - there is also bad weather, over-booking, unplanned cancellations, screaming babies, etc.

But before the above even applies, we must first grit our teeth, dump our liquids, pull out our laptops, slip off our shoes, dig loose change out of our pockets, remove our children from strollers, walk through the detector, submit to the wand and put it all back together again. Then pay $10 for a dry turkey sandwich that doesn't come with chips.

So it's disappointing to then find out on Christmas Day that some guy still managed to sneak a bomb onto the plane AND set it off.

However - if you were to ask me if we noticed any heightened security on yesterday's journey as a result, I'd have to say no. Unless you count an automated voice chiming in that "the security level is currently RED" over the PA every 10 minutes. Which I do not. I could've gotten through with an elephant-shaped table lamp stuffed down my pants. Our security is an illusion. The sooner that is accepted, the easier you'll sleep on the plane. It would also help if the booze was complimentary.

As to being there and back again...I was/am glad for both. Kentucky is a fascinating place. At the moment, I'm afraid I can only illustrate this with the few pictures taken with my phone:

More horrifying than these two products considered individually is the thought that their proximity indicates a combined intended use.

Just sayin' it like it is.

There are places in Portland that will charge you $4.00 for this. Somebody's getting cheated.
Closest thing I could find to a Derby hat! Best part about it is, I've got a hat on underneath.
All other pictures are on the actual camera so you'll have to wait. I'm glad for it, though, as my face as it appears above seems to have about 7 extra angles.

And if that scarf I'm wearing catches your eye - well just you wait for my next post - when I will explain why you like it so much.

Thank you, Kentucky, for having me. It was an adventure.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Almost home.

Hello friends. I've been neglectful. Sorry.

I'll be back soon, as there are things to say. Yes, that means I've been in Kentucky.