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Sunday, October 17, 2010

The price of beauty.

Okay, this is a serious question and I expect comments.

Where the hell did my lips go?

Is this an age thing? And if so, when is my ass going to shrink? Because right now it's the same size it's been for the last 20 years...except lower. It seems to be dropping. I expect to feel it banging on the back of my knees by Christmas.

I thought, several weeks ago, that since I'm trying to SELL make-up and perfume and stuff like that I should start wearing it. It's okay stuff, I like it. But, to this end, I ordered myself some lipstick. I've been noticing in pictures lately that lipstick is in style again. I see a LOT of deep, true, saturated color on lips. LOTS of red lips. I mean RED. "Fire and Ice" RED. Remember "Fire and Ice"? Revlon. That color was really, really hot. My mother wore "Fire and Ice". I used to wear "Love That Red" because it wasn't very red. I didn't have the guts for red lips. I don't have the complexion for them either, but that's another story.

Well, anyway, I quit wearing lipstick years ago anyway because once, while we were dating, the hubster saw me putting on lipstick and claimed I was imitating an astronaut's wife. So I stopped wearing it. Occasionally some gloss but it hurt my feelings to no end and I quit. I was young and in love, what can I say?

Well, I'm looking at these rich lovely colors and I'm thinking "What the hell? Why not?" I bought a red called something cute, the word "Cherry" is involved. And a really bad-ass coral.

The red, actually, looks a bit more like a deep rose on me, which I'm comfortable with. I'm not ENTIRELY at ease with my newly burgeoning. old age "who gives a crap what you think, I like it" attitude and this one is a nice transition.

However, I don't seem to have any lips anymore. I put on the lipstick and I realize that my lips are thinning. I wouldn't mind my hair thinning, I have POUNDS of hair, always have, and it's thick and heavy and damn, is it HOT.

Less hair, more lips.

No, I will NOT "plump", although the thought of having to actually "plump" something is enticing. For the most part, I'm entirely too plump as it is. But the problem with these now rose colored lips is that it's really obvious that they've shrunk. I tried filling in outside my lip line, I looked as if a six year old had applied my make-up. I thought of buying a lip liner pencil and seeing it that would help. But, frankly, I think that's getting entirely too complicated. First you draw them on, then you fill them in...this is already two steps too many. At this age I SHOULD be able to put on my make-up free hand and not have to use a paint by numbers kit.

A couple of years ago my facialist rented out some space to a guy who dyed eyelashes and THAT made me curious. I shelled out 50 bucks and he dyed AND PERMED my lashes. It was actually hella cool. They had a nice, permanent curve and they were BLACK. I didn't need mascara. It lasts as long as your eyelashes don't fall out, which is about three months. I loved it.

But then I had a falling out with my facialist over her wanting to do a chemical peel and me saying "that doesn't sound pleasant, no". I don't care HOW much new skin will be magically brought to the forefront on my fat face, I do NOT want to be peeled, chemically or otherwise.

Besides, she was really, really expensive. I didn't know that at the time. I had my first pedicure after my mother died (she thought they were creepy and passed it on to me), along with my first lip wax and my first facial. And my first highlights. I was a rather quiet daughter, I guess. So yeah, I was in my 40s when I discovered all this stuff that someone will do to/for you and I sort of got real girly. The greatest memory of my childhood was pitching a one-hitter, so me getting all feminine was really quite an event.

Now, logically, I assumed (don't go there, that joke's too old) that, as the purveyors of beauty I was utilizing were both located in the strip mall with the K-Mart and the Chuck-E-Cheeses I was getting a fair shake. My hairdresser was there, as was the facialist. I stopped going to the hairdresser after the morning I showed up for my APPOINTMENT, she painted and wrapped me in foil, set me down to cook for 10 minutes and then took a walk-in, a teen-age girl and her mother. Her mother said "gee, she's having a picture taken in 90 minutes and we need her hair styled and I didn't call for an appointment, can you do it?"

Now I wasn't as annoyed and the walk-ins as I was at my hairdresser, who said "sure I can" and let me sit for FORTY-FIVE effing minutes with foil and bleach on my head while she primped some teen-ager. I wouldn't have minded if I had been a walk-in but I made an appointment and showed up on time. Not only that, when she FINALLY finished with the girl and came back to rinse me several of the little foil packets fell off my head with the hair still in them. She announced it was "beautiful and sexy" and charged me $140 bucks. Which I, wuss that I am, paid. And never went back.

Now my facialist, several doors up in the same strip mall, charged me $120 for a facial AND I refused the chemical peel. I mean, the facial was lovely. But that was sort of pricey. I figured it was a decent deal, considering the neighborhood. But I never went back. Come to think of it, it wasn't just the pushing of the chemical peel, I think the playing of Kenny G. all the time had something to do with it too.

Now I can't go back and have my eyelashes dyed and curled (which I might consider) because I don't want her to see me going to the eyelash guy and not to her. Yeah, I know, it's lame.

I've also discovered that, here in the urban village, I get my hair done, and beautifully, for $50 bucks, which isn't cheap but, compared to what I was paying, it's a steal. It's also a freaking BRILLIANT cut that lasts for 8 weeks easy. Every three months I get what the spa lady calls a "mini facial" and she waxes my eyebrows (because I don't pay any attention to them anymore either, I just let 'em grow and pull them out now and then by hand when I'm stressed)and I get change back from 40 bucks.

This isn't helping me with the thin lips though. For some reason, thin lips look sinister to me. I'm not sure why, Edward G. Robinson played crooks 75% of the time and he didn't have skinny lips. Basil Rathbone was famous for playing an honest detective and he had really skinny lips...and he always looked as if he smelled something really nasty. I do NOT want this look for myself. I'm lucky though, at least the lipstick doesn't melt and run into the little vertical wrinkles that have, most likely, started to form around the outside of my lips. I've seen way too many grandmothers walking down the street in my time, all dressed up, hats and gloves, and their carefully applied lipstick now making their mouths look like a little red sunshine with rays dancing around the edge. Kind of like Gumby when he was surprised.

I'm wondering if this is a result of all those years of never putting anything ON my lips, so not they're all dried up, which would make it all the hubster's fault. Botox scares the hell out of me, I KNOW it's quite safe but a) when you can't make your car payment on time one does NOT want to be stuck on the phone with the Wells Fargo guy saying "I'm really, really sorry, I can have it next week, I spent it on Botox this month" and b) there's just something about the fact that Botox uses botulism that I find disturbing. I can hear it now, as I'm laid out in the mortuary: "OMG, I can't BELIEVE she got BOTULISM, she was always overly careful in the kitchen" and the response "I KNOW! But don't her lips look great?"

Followed by the hubster, looking down into the box and announcing "Crap. She looks like an astronaut's wife."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Workin' in a coal mine, goin' down, down, down..."

So, I've finally surfaced this week. Yes, it's been crazy busy down here in the salt mines and not likely to ease up any time soon. As a friend of mine says though, "it is what it is". Pithy, huh? Not only that, she pretty much says it every five minutes. But we've been friends for over 40 years, oh jeez, it's almost 50 years, and for those of you skulking around trying to see if I'm talking about you, no, I'm not. Apparently I'm way busier than you are. Not only that, I actually DO have a friend or two and I met them LONG before phony online "friends" taught me what absolute pond scum looks like and if you want to talk to her and get proof of this contention go ahead on. Call me, I'm listed, I'll give you her name and number. Do it before you tell everyone else she doesn't really exist and it's all about YOU and she's really just my imaginary friend. It didn't work the last time you pulled that shit and it's not going to work this time. Besides, she's coming up on the first anniversary of her husband's death and could use some extra friends and support. Oh wait, she needs friends and support, you're not it. Never mind.

I AM going to talk about you in about two paragraphs though, so stick around.

Well, there we all were, watching the CNN or MSNBC or FOX "News" (or whatever you chose) live feed of the Chilean miners rescue a few days ago and it was, in it's slow, methodical way, kind of thrilling. I've spent years watching the news and, tragically, mine cave ins aren't a once in a century event. And, again tragically, they don't usually end up like this one did. So it was kind of fun in a way. We all waited for the guy who turned out to have the wife AND the mistress waiting for him, wondering if one of them would cold cock him when he came out and if she did, which one would do it? My money was on the wife, who, in a class move, didn't show up. Although the REALLY classy thing would have been for the MISTRESS to have stepped aside, at least temporarily. Katharine Hepburn did NOT show up at Spencer Tracy's funeral people...take a lesson.

It also occurred to me that it was a good thing Tiger Woods never took up mining.

I was reading this morning that it wasn't all skittles and beer down there the last two months, either. Not just the trials we would light, not enough food, cramped quarters, interminable lack of purpose, but apparently, 33 guys stuck in a rather smallish space with no viable plumbing started to get on each others nerves. Let's face it, put 33 people in one room and it's a good bet they're not ALL going to get along with each other, and that's when they have a working bathroom and a fully stocked pantry. So it stands to reason that the 33 probably didn't all hang out after work anyway. Stories of disagreements, fist fights, and a community of 5 who flounced off and formed their own tribe elsewhere in the cave are surfacing. I'm guessing it's normal. After all, if I'm cooped up with my kids too long I start getting testy - and I LIKE them.

But I got to thinking...this is what's wrong with Internet boards. You take a whole bunch of people with one similar interest. Say, Mickey Mouse. Okay, like mining, there's the common bond, although why adults go nuts for that namby pamby mouse with no real moxie I have NO idea. Jeez, at least Donald Duck has a temper. But I digress.

Anyway, you all find your way to some website where everyone LURVES Mickey Mouse to death. And you all talk about Mickey Mouse. But, after a while, you realize that he's never going to change into blue shorts and his voice is pretty much as low as it'll ever get and you're running out of stuff to talk about.

So you start talking about other stuff. Where you live, what you do, what your kids do, what sort of comestibles you prefer. Yes, there will be members of the board who are SO pretentious they call food "comestibles". TRUST ME. You'll start talking about politics, religion, global warming, you know...the things that make us individuals and prove we have working brains. Fist fights will break out occasionally, alliances will be formed and small groups of members will flounce off to "chat" elsewhere, perhaps even build a new lounge for themselves so they don't have to associate with the rest of the people now in a virtual choke hold in this cave of a website.

Eventually what emerges is a manifesto. Leaders will float to the top. I think it was fictional detective Lew Harper who said "cream and shit rises". Or cream and bastards. I'm not sure. Whichever it was, truer words were never spoken. Anyway, all discussion boards have a manifesto. They all say basically the same thing. "Play nice, make new friends and don't make me call your father." IF the board is run by adults, this usually works nicely. Adults usually accept the fact that other people are also adults and some of them like Mickey Mouse and some of them prefer Donald Duck and that's not a bad thing.

But sometimes, the darkest, most immature part of human nature is embraced by people. They're childish and selfish and they LIKE themselves that way. This would be all right if they accepted the fact that not everyone is like that and it's takes all kinds to make a world. You may wish, with all your might, that's it's the obligation of everyone who crosses your path to keep you entertained, and if you're lucky you've crossed paths with one or two enablers who will go before you with machetes clearing away the overgrowth of maturity you encounter on your way, but let's face it. You're going to end up on the receiving end of a LOT bad blood. This, btw, is basically life as we know it in general.

In an effort to shorten this up a bit, I'll cut to the chase. Eventually, the community deteriorates into an epithet spewing bunch of trolls and sock puppets, things well loved by kindergartners as they're fun to play with. The people who are supposed to be keeping a "fair and balanced" order in the community wander off in search of hipper lounges and leave the crumbling mess in the hands of the children, the board now resembles a kindergarten class being taught be a triumvirate of second graders who simply lock the doors when the people who don't like Mickey Mouse come to class.

One day a Donald fan says "gee, I miss Dick and Jane, they liked Donald and they had well thought out reasons for doing so. Isn't it funny, almost ALL the Donald fans have been locked out and only Mickey fans are welcome here." A week later, in a cowardly move, the Donald fan finds himself locked out of the classroom...but ONLY after they had been out of class for a week. So no one would notice they'd been suspended and/or expelled...because they hadn't been around for awhile anyway. Out of sight, out of mind. Several Mickey supporters then start publicly announcing that Dick and Jane were stupid and probably poopy heads and if they ever, ever, ever even SEE them again they're going to call the Mickey police and have them arrested and they sent them letters telling them that.

A Mickey fan who hasn't even been to class since pre-school decided to re-enroll and said this about Dick and Jane:

WOW, how this little planet of mouse has changed, after being away from this site for close to a year, I read Dick and Jane are gone, Hallelujah. Glad to see that the conservatives are still fighting the fight. Although it will most likely be another year before I visit this site again, I am very happy to see that they are gone! Maybe this is a sign of what is to come this November 4th, the ousting of libertards!

Did I forget to mention that Mickey and Donald were a political analogy? Sorry.

Does this break the aforementioned rules about playing nice, making new friends and not making mom call dad about it? Oh HELLS YEAH! Was the student disciplined? Uh, doesn't look like it. This student is still free to attend class anytime, anywhere. Oh wait! As I looked up towards the front of the class, waiting for the teacher to send the kid to the principals office, I saw the teacher had a sock on her hand. It had a face drawn on it and her fingers were going up and down as she made the puppet speak.

Like miners trapped in a cave, the community has deteriorated to little more than fist fights and name calling. The people who went off and formed their own group are grateful they were thrown into this together, as they have formed friendships and a support system. They occasionally disagree and they're okay with this. Because it's their diversity that bonds them, the opportunity to learn new things and see new points of view. The experience in the mine gives them ties that may never break, they've seen the results of absolutely anarchy and remember what happens when passion is not tempered with reason.

After the last rescue worker at the San Jose mine loaded himself into the Fenix capsule, fastened his seat belts and told the guy with the winch to pull him up the President of Chile, after the hugs, cheering and hand shakes, walked over the the mine shaft and, with great flourish, capped it. The people in charge of Internet discussion should do the same. Like mines all over the world, it's a dangerous business, and is pathetically mis-managed.

Do yourself and everyone else a favor. Cap your mine. In a few days you'll be able to take off your dark glasses and maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to see how big and how entertaining the real world can be.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Go See A Show"

Well, it's Saturday morning and damn, I'm awake and up. I HATE that. It's SATURDAY. I should be snoozing but no, here I am, sun's up and so am I. Why? SOMEONE came to bed late last night and neglected, as always, to close the blinds. I like to leave them partway open, so I can peek at the street and get a bit of fresh air but one would think that the last person into bed would actually CLOSE them, wouldn't one? I mean, especially as there's a street light directly outside the window. The hubster complains mightily about said street light and yet, for some reason, closing the blinds doesn't seem to occur to him.

This also means that the sunlight pours into the bedroom. Thus, my state of being awake on a Saturday morning before noon, not that I've been able to do THAT since my early 20s anyway, but you get my drift, no?

Well, I'm slumped in my favorite Ethan Allen chair sipping black coffee and I put my cup up to my forehead. I find this comforting during a sinus headache, and I've got a beaut. I notice the cup for the first time. Now, first off, it's important to know that I use normal sized coffee mugs. This limits what I have to choose from. The rest of my family uses coffee mugs the size of Quaker State Motor Oil cans. Picture it...a quart of motor oil with a handle on the side and Mickey Mouse on the front where the Liberty Bell would be. THIS is my son's coffee cup. The hubster's too, although without the Mickey Mouse pic.

I like plain old, 10 oz straight sided coffee mugs. I usually get them at theaters, I find them a nice reminder of the shows I've seen and loved. "Mack and Mabel." "South Pacific." "A Chorus Line." "Rent."

Like this: And a big thanks to the Playbill shop where I found this, btw. This is actually the cup I'm using this morning, which is why I got to thinking about this. This, btw, is a show logo cup, not one of those stupid "I'm a witch, I'm defying gravity, girl power" cups. Just to get this straight here.

Anyway, as I've mentioned, I used to hang on the internet. A LOT. I thought I had friends on the Internet. Not so much. Well, two or three of these "friends" went to see "Wicked." Now I'd been to see "Wicked," in fact I had to drive 120 miles to the next large city to see it as it was on it's national tour and you couldn't get a ticket in Los Angeles for love nor money. My neighbors got the bright idea (and it WAS a bright idea) to all go in on a block of seats for the San Diego stop and get the group rate while we were at it. And THAT is how I got to see "Wicked" while it was on it's honest to god National tour.

I liked it. Very much. I LOVE Stephen Schwartz and will go see "Pippin" if it's being performed by six year olds in a park. "Sweeney Todd" too. But I'm getting off track here. I liked the show. Very much. I bought the mug. Well, lo and behold, two, maybe three of my message board friends got tickets for the show when it finally came to L.A. and did a year long sit-down. These were people who didn't do theater. That's okay. Just because I'll go to anything put on a portable stage and have been since I was a kid doesn't mean it's for everybody.

They LOVED it. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT! Wow, I was excited for them...well, one of them anyway. The one I thought I knew well. So I was suggesting more theater. There was a revival of "Damn Yankees" in town. "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" was here on tour. We should go, she would love them. We started a theater thread, so we could talk about other shows.

Um, no. They weren't interested in seeing "The Drowsy Chaperone" before it went to Broadway. They weren't interested in seeing why ".....Spelling Bee" won all those Tonys. They weren't interested in the theater. They were only interested in seeing..."Wicked." Again and again and again.

I've seen shows over and over too. The aforementioned "Pippin," "Sweeney Todd," "A Chorus Line," "How to Succeed....," "Twelfth Night." I love those shows. I love a LOT of shows. I love theater. I go to new shows too. We braved the stand-by line for Opening Night tickets to "Leap of Faith" last Sunday and had a GREAT time. Fun, fun show. She, I realized, just loves "Wicked". And herein lies the problem. These two women only loved one show, and one character in that show. It's Elphaba baby, all the way.

Somewhere along the line I realized, they both seem to have decided that they could BE Elphaba in real life and people would give them standing ovations for it. Um, yeah, not so much guys. Elphaba, in case you're not familiar with the show, is the green one who turns into the Wicked Witch of the West. She's abrasive and triumphs in the end. (assuming you've never read the book, which I have.) You know...the classic hooker with a heart of gold scenario. Except they've missed the heart of gold part.

This attitude spilled over into real life, and it's freaking scary as it still continues. Snap judgements. Bad friendships. Angry spells going awry. They get out their spell books and wish people into cornfields simply because they can, and, like the fictional green witch of Oz, they're now left with the wreckage of their abuse of power: A dying website and legions of former members talking trash about them behind their backs on Facebook, Twitter and in real life. They're left with a handful of loyalists, all of whom share the power to abuse the rules of the kingdom, the very rules the ladies of the stage used against their former supporters. And the rule breaking continues, publicly and overtly, there are no hidden names, there is no teasing innuendo. Elphaba is now stuck with it, these flying monkeys who have been changed into something that can exist in no other walk of life except the dark, hidden recesses of the Internet.

They're not defying gravity. They're defying common courtesy, decency and the many outstretched hands of friendship that have been offered and rejected throughout the years. They still think they're "Dancing Through Life" and spread their arms out joyfully in the sun, spinning delightedly while they chirp "...just you and I, defying gravity" as they skip down the Yellow Brick Road, never looking back at the scorched earth they've left behind, running headlong into Elphaba the witch's happy ending.

Did I mention, I've read the book? Want to know what REALLY happens to the Witches of Oz?

Fiyero dies. Elphaba ends up alone, bitter and reclusive, unwed and knocked up. Not entirely unlike "Madam Butterfly."

Oh, that's right. They probably haven't seen THAT, either.

And the moral of this story? Buy some Hot Tix. Check out your local high school, see what they're performing this season. Mine's doing "Barnum" in the spring, I'll be there. But whatever you do, stay the hell away from "Wicked." That thing'll ruin you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Throwing her ...hat into the ring.

Well, holy cow and BFD! Big news broke last night here in the Golden State. Yep, we, like everyone else, are gearing up for an election in less than a month. Usually this is a source of countrywide derision, as we have a tendency to nominate, and elect people like George Murphy, Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's not as much fun since Iowa elected Gopher, but we still pretty much have a corner on, well, let's just say we're broad minded. And we like it that way.

I would LOVE to chat about Carly Fiorina vs. Barbara Boxer but frankly, there's not much to talk about there. Carly runs commercial after commercial in which someone opines that the country is in the crapper, California is in the crapper and, since Barbara Boxer is the Senator from California we should elect Carly Fiorina. This is pretty much all she's got. Well, that and a basquillion bucks she took with her when Hewlett-Packard pushed her out the window and she pulled the ripcord on that golden parachute she was wearing.

But Der Governator is at the end of his term and alas, he runs no more. He didn't do the state much good but he didn't do it a lot of harm either. No lit Tangere, I think it is. So now we have a governor's race going on. For the Democrats: Jerry Brown. Jerry comes from a long line of California politicians, his father, Edmund (Pat) was governor, Jerry himself has been governor, Attorney General and Mayor of Oakland. Many people of a generation not unlike myself remember him as being dubbed "Governor Moonbeam". This was by people in the Midwest who have no freaking CLUE what goes on here on the coast, were probably threatened by his Jesuit education and had problems with Brown's steady gal pal, Linda Ronstadt.

Jerry's running again. Good on him, I had money in my pocket when he governed the state before, I'm good with that.

Representing the Republicans: Meg Whitman. Former CEO of eBay. I said it in June and I'll say it now...What the HELL were you people thinking?

The woman was on the board of Goldman freaking Sachs for Crissake! She got nailed for insider trading, had to give a boatload of money back and paid herself a sweet $100+ MILLION BUCKS her last year at eBay. A congressman from her OWN PARTY called her "corrupt". She has put forth no actual plan for California other than lifting regulations on business (you know, that costly clean air stuff) and "fixing" things. She's gonna "fix" education. How? Well, I guess she'll tell us that if she gets elected, kind of like McCain was going to tell everyone how to beat the Taliban if HE got elected. And apparently, Meg is SO actively concerned with the great State of California and the Silicon Valley (the place that was so good to her) she hasn't voted in something like 28 years. Yep, activism at it's finest.

There's a muddled mess going on regarding Meg's former housekeeper, who seems to be claiming that Meg is a monster who employed her knowing full well that she was an illegal immigrant, then fired her when Meg decided to run for Governor. I'll give Meg the benefit of the doubt here, there's an awful lot of name calling going on between Meg, her former housekeeper and Gloria Allred (the housekeeper's attorney). While I'm probably inclined to lean a little in the housekeeper's direction on this one I must be honest and's a lot of accusations and counter accusations and I'm not really sure who, if anyone, is telling the truth. The answer to that is probably going to end up being "no one", but time will tell.

Up until now, this has all been pretty cut and dried, actually. Jerry is leading Meg by a sizable margin, Barbara is leading Carly. Ho hum.

But yesterday...Oh my. BIG, breaking news! Jerry Brown's campaign had apologized to Meg for calling her a filthy name. Or apologized because an associate called her a dirty name. Or maybe the associate called her a dirty name and Jerry repeated it in agreement. The news teased this all day, I was practically DROOLING to find out what he called her. Seems that Jerry was on the phone with someone leaving a voice mail message and forgot to hit disconnect. He continued to talk and there's now a recording of Jerry's campaign manager I think it is, referring to Meg as a "whore". Now one could say that you can't prove who was speaking. I've heard the tape, several times. Maybe it isn't, but it sort of sounds like Jerry to me. I'm okay with that. Also, it's a lousy recording. An argument could be made that he didn't say "whore". Well, I don't know what else it could have been, so I'm on board with that too. Jerry or his campaign manager or both of them called Meg a "whore" in a private conversation that was overheard.

Jeez, Jerry, that's the best you've got? THAT was the filth? Come ON, how filthy can it be when it's being run all over the networks with NO BLEEPS! Even the airwaves don't consider it that bad.

Meg's camp has countered with outrage and claims Jerry has insulted each and every California woman, vote for MEG! Well, right off the bat...I was born and raised in California and I'm not insulted. Not only that, I've actually been VOTING in California since 1972, which is more than I can say for Meg. I also don't think "whore" was meant in it's most literal term. Take a good look at her. No, I think we're looking at something along the lines of "attention whore" here. That doesn't offend me either.

In fact, if someone called me up right now and said to me "Hey, Jerry Brown just called you a whore" I would probably counter with something along the lines of "What a dickhead". Of course, that wouldn't happen, as neither Jerry nor Meg know me personally. Because if they did, they would probably know that I've been calling Meg an asshat for months now.

What offends me is that Meg is hiding behind her skirts and I can NOT STAND women who pull that crap. You want to stay off the public stage and be all girly? Great. Go ahead on, I will probably have apron envy. BUT...if you're going to step out on the field with the big boys you had better be prepared to swing at the hard balls and stand placidly at the plate with your bat on your shoulder when something as inane as "whore" gets lobbed outside the strike zone. You want to play? Grow a pair. Call him a prick. Accidentally, of course.

But for Gods sake, STOP whining that you've been insulted. If that's the worst thing she gets called in politics she's been on a rose petal covered path. Hell, if it's the worst thing she gets called ANYWHERE she's had a puff ball of a life. And don't tell people I've been insulted because of what someone said to YOU. That's a crock.

You know what insults me? I make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. I spent months at a job unsnarling idiotic mistakes made by a man who had no training in his field, had been at the company four years less than I had and was making $2.50 more an hour than I was. I've been to college. I also have a certificate in accounting. But he had something I don't, and it was worth an extra hundred bucks a week. THAT'S insulting. Although it does explain why you guys hold it in such high regard...

There are still a lot of things I don't know. But I know an asshat when I see one.

And you, Meg, are an asshat.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm just here for the food...

This is something I just HAVE to do. I've seen stewing over it for a long time now and something I came across recently just pushed me over the edge. I have a loooooooooong fuse, I really do. But it does, eventually, reach the powder.


Internet foodies are the WORST. I think that, in over 50 years of hanging around various kitchens, including several in Iowa, I have NEVER found people who despise both food and people as much as Internet Foodies do.

I have, though the last several years, been subjected to perfect bakers, perfect farmers, perfect gourmands. Several of them eat only an a handful of restaurants, as the others do NOT measure up to the exacting standards of the Foodies in question.

I would LOVE to make this funny but damn! Okay, the people themselves are funny. I have, of late, realized that people in general take themselves FAR too seriously. Especially Foodies. Foodies and conservatives. Oh, jeez, there's a horrifying thought. Glenn Beck on the Food Network.

Years ago, when we were watching Food TV a LOT, my younger son came up with an idea for a new show. "FUCK YOU!...with Bobby Flay". He does a mean Bobby Flay impression, btw, and his premise was based largely on Bobby's distinctly New York accent. It was dead on perfect and we would laugh until we couldn't breathe. I admit, you really had to hear him, putting it in writing it loses about 80% of what he did with it. I can imagine Glenn Beck doing the same show...for serious. "You used PACKAGED SHREDDED CHEESE? FUCK YOU!"

Back to Internet Foodies, God help us. Face it, when you start referring to food as "comestibles" you don't care about cooking. You care about showing off. They only dine at restaurants tied into the Patina Group, and therefore Downtown Disney is the Holy Land. It'll be a cold day in hell before I drop money into the overpriced and over garnished Patina Group's idea of over the top cuisine. I don't care HOW many baby turnips you trim, it won't make your food any less ordinary. It also doesn't disguise the fact that they assemble a LOT of it at a central kitchen and ship it pre-packaged. Like Stouffer's. Besides, if I'm going to drop that kind of money at a restaurant I'll drop it at La Toque, in Napa.

This also, much like Temple Grandin's curved cow pathways, will lead one to the Holy Grail of "The Napa Rose". I like their chef, I once cooked with him. I like his attitude about food. His patrons, on the other hand, I can't stand. Every damn one of them think they're better than the people eating at Del Taco. Every damn one of them is a horse's ass. Guys? If your chef is having fun, why aren't you? Why are you sitting at your tables, pretentiously aerating your wine high enough so the other diners can see you do it, rolling your eyes back in your head in rapture over the rack of lamb and frantically tweeting to all and sundry about the subtleties in the pureed turnips?

See, if you really liked food, instead of taking cell phone pictures and tweeting your location and the contents of your plate you would be yelling to the restaurant "OH MY GOD! I can die happy, this is the best shit I EVER ATE!"

This brings me to the difference between the two reactions, inappropriate as the second one may actually be. The first reaction is an affectation. The second - passion.

I used to read and avidly participate in several of these foodie controlled threads. It was fun to share. It was fun to talk about things we cooked, things we ate, let's face it. Food is fun.

As the good times rolled on, I started reading with more thought though. I was seriously offended when one of these Foodies (and I was probably one of them for awhile) posted a horrified mini lecture to a new home cook reaming her for "frying" something. "NEVER, EVER FRY! Brown or saute if you must!" Dear God. I felt sorry for the young woman who had shared a recipe for steak. I immediately went to the store, bought some red meat and pan fried it, just in her honor. EVERYONE pan fries for various reasons and at various times. It was an awakening for me. These Foodies didn't give a crap about their food. They gave a crap about showing off.

After pages of the wonders of fresh chervil I saw these people for what they were. And I went back to my own kitchen. I gleefully used frozen corn and canned black beans. Yes, I do sometimes make beans from scratch, they're delicious. Also time consuming, I have a family and a job and there are just times I'd rather take my needlepoint downstairs to the nice lounge chair in the courtyard on a Saturday afternoon than be in my kitchen (much as I enjoy the kitchen) rolling out fresh pasta and roasting tomatoes. Besides, we have an Italian market here in the urban village, their pasta dough is better. And cheaper. As is their freshly made marinara. Their garlic bread is nirvana.

Cash has been a bit short this week and, well, let's just say it was time to clean out the pantry and fridge anyway. The half pack of chicken tenders sauteed with the can of cream of mushroom soup, thinned with the bottom of the carton of yogurt and served over half a pack of pasta with the leftover sliced almonds sprinkled on top wasn't bad. But here's the important thing, at least to me. In spite of the empty wallet, I was able to feed my family. My herbs were dried and there wasn't any chervil or fresh fennel and the last of the eggs came from a carton I got at the super market, not from the local home grown chicken ranch.

Recently one of my sons told a friend of his (while I was standing there) that I "do the most amazing things with food". Oh. My. God. L'escoffier could never received a greater compliment.