Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cocktail Of The Lost Week:Britney Spears
Highball, Lowball, Screwball, Correctol

Image from

I was going to make my cocktail of the week the Britney Spears Car Wreck, given that two days ago she shuffled into a Mercedes dealership, bought a new SLK350, then immediately went out and hit something with it. Just the thing for that 4 a.m. roll to Popeye's. By the time I have gotten to posting about this cocktail, Britney has already been hauled off to an evaluation ward at the hospital, complete with police escort. Britney burps. News at eleven.

In keeping with the highs and lows and crazy strings of her life (just shoots right out there and lands in gloppy, tangled messes,) I've created:

The Britney Spears Highball, Lowball, Screwball, Correctol Cocktail:

2 ounces Absolut Vodka (It's in your freezer, Sweetie. Ten bottles of it. No. Over there. Over THERE! The kitchen. THE. KITCHEN. THE PLACE WHERE YOU GET CHEETOES!)

1 dash Barcardi 151 Rum (Mama needs her jolt in the a.m.)

1 ounce Chambord Raspberry Liqueur (It's sweet y'all, and it comes in a bottle with a crown like those air fresheners I can put in my back seat window.)

1 ounce Peach Schnapps (Louisiana is peaches, ain't it? No wait. Maybe that's Mizzippi.)

2-3 ounces Orange Juice (I know this one. I used to put it in the babies bottles with that absolutely stuff.)

2-3 ounces Pineapple Juice (Where do I get pineapple juice? Hawaii? I gotta go to Hawaii? I need some new bikinis and spray tan and a weave..a new weave.)

Shake with ice cubes and pour into Hurricane Glass (as in..."she's always in the eye of a ....")

NOTE: If you are a PA, you may need to get a jug of that nasty colored water at Shopper's Warehouse, dump it, tenfold this recipe to make the drink a traveller and stock up on red cups.


A St. Christopher candle (already lit ;) to keep Britney out of car wrecks. Yes, C-Chris lost his Catholic whammy, but he's still got some juice;

A copy of the book Train Your Mind: Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley;

Amy Winehouse's red lace bra she FINALLY took it off (and we thought it would never happen);

A slew of rosaries Madonna had ditched. (Listen, Brit Brit. Madonna just bought a $12 million property for her next door GYM. Doncha get it? Listen to the Master. You NEVER have to leave the house. Those rosaries have been blessed with strong juju. Use them);

A LARGE bottle of prescribed medication. You could string the pills and wear it around your neck like those candy necklaces you loved chawin' on as a kid. String the pills in the shape of a rosary and you could use it to pray AND eat it. Multi-taskin' sorta-kinda.

P.S. Save your chicken bones from Popeye's for some massive Santeria power.

P. P.S. I bought the candle in a Santeria shop, so the magic is already workin', girl. You're out of the car.
THIS JUST IN: Britney consuming massive quanities of laxatives. Maybe she thought it was hair coloring?

It wasn't that long ago that people thought this was Britney at a malfunctioning level .
From Fanta to Correctol. At least her wig matches the packaging, right? Some images from I would hate covering her as a news assignment. Her story changes by the minute, as I've seen in editing this piece.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Giving Is Love

Pickup line at the market: "Squeeze this, not the Charmin'"

As I've been out and about these past few weeks, I've been using my camera to catch the seasonal, in part to use for some photographs I need for my Valentine's Day cards. I started seeing Valentine's displays before Christmas was over, just as I saw things on store shelves for Christmas in July. Once, I met an employee at Giant groceries, and she told me that Valentine's Day candy comes to the store in August and sits in storage until then, but that's in keeping with most retail practices, I think. I was told by an employee of an upscale garden nursery in this area that they order their Christmas decorations a year in advance from China, and that they have them arrive, boxed, during the summer, so it's hardly surprising, is it, that these things find their way to the shelves at such advanced dates.

Usually with my "picture of the day" I don't like to add text, or if I do, it's in the tags lines at the bottom of the piece where I can be whimsical or file under "gaudy commercialism," as well as the sentiment of "valentine." In this case, I had to tell you what occurred during this photo session, because it was one of those little moments we each have in our days that can be transforming.

I had already been out in the evening. I had to cancel my regular exercise classes this week when I took a nasty fall on some stairs and ribs and steps collided, (and "no" Tony, I was not wearing stilettos at the time. I have never fallen off my heels.) Last night I did more work on my "cocktail of the week piece," picked up a Baltimore Sun at the bookstore, and ran a few errands before heading home.

I went into a local market to buy perhaps two things, but also keeping my eyes peeled for "Valentine" opportunities for this project I am working on. In the middle of the store, in the middle of an aisle, I saw this bin of stuffed toys, and this woman standing next to them, picking them up and laughing to herself. Now. This could have been a "did an extension of happy hour just find it's way in here" moment, or "is her handbag lined in Reynolds wrap foil," but it was a woman thoroughly enchanted with these furry toys, where you would squeeze their paw and they would sing various songs. I took a few pictures, then I dug down deep into the bin and started handing her ones she hadn't seen on the surface.

We stood and played each's animal's song. When I found this one, I told her "Diana Ross," and we squeezed and sure enough it sang a Supreme's song. I told her I thought of Diva Ross, because she had just been performing down in Jamaica where she was soundly booed off stage for refusing to let the concert promoters use the video screen in the stadium. If cameras add ten pounds, God knows what the mega flat screen would shoot out to her fans. My new acquaintance hadn't heard this story, and her face fell in thinking of how someone who had been so popular in the past would now be booed.

" Do NOT take my picture, biotch!"

Diana....where did the love go?

I told my new friend a story about this song.
I am not repeating it here,
but if you know me, pretty funny, huh?

I rarely read what would be called "self-help" books. Sometimes I will, to stay abreast of what the country is pursuing to find enlightenment. I have not read The Secret, but I did get a book at the library, written by a professor of bioethics, called Why Good Things Happen To Good People, where he proposes that if you have one word to take you into eternity, it is the word "give." I agree with much of what he says. Where he and I would part company if that I do think life can slam you down to a point where there is no more get up to give, but...I digress.
I was talking to a friend the other night about my sending out valentine's, and I told her that I certainly didn't send them out expecting any feedback from the recipients, any more than I expected cards from them in return. I performed the act to express gratitude for their friendship, to give something back to them, even if it was nothing more than a scissors, paste and paper effort on my part to show they meant something to me. I also told her that no one seemed to take the time to write letters anymore and post them through the mail, or bother with holiday cards--few anyway, and wasn't it nice to get something through the post that wasn't a bill or junk advertising?

"Hot, hot, hot, when you put me in the pot, pot pot"

This was a Valentine's Lobster. I know. Bizarre. He sang "Hot, hot, hot," and I thought "Oh so not, not, not." I love the look of defeat on his face, sitting next to a big white bear with a big pink heart. The bear all of the children were grabbing out of the bin and racing off to show their mothers. "THIS ONE!" Poor guy. He needs to read When Bad Things Happen To Good Nephropidae."

After talking to this upbeat woman for 20 minutes, I introduced myself, and she told me her name was Harriett (with two "t's). I asked her permission to take her picture, and she was delighted. She laughed when she saw the picture below. That woman, if you see her on the streets? Stop and talk to her. She is a joy. She told me a story about her name, and her life. One day when her car was in the shop, she had to take a Metrobus to her destination, and she started talking to a woman in the seat next to her, and they talked until their mutual arrival point. When they were saying goodbye, they swapped names, and it turns out they were both Harriet with "two t's." Harriett was telling me odd things happened like that to her all of the time. I thought, "Not odd at all." She was so out there in expressing her happiness to the world, she was sure to draw a lot of people to her and give right back out to them. Happy Valentine's Day, Miss Harriett. I'm glad I met you.

Happy Valentine's Day From Harriett & Friends

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Destination: Titivation

I have this longstanding habit of hearing about an author, then pursuing everything they've ever written. There were times, when I had full access to the Library of Congress, that I could request the writer's entire body of work, have the books delivered to me bound in newspaper and string, with no time constraints in their return. I would place the books in chronological order for my reading, and the norm was to have a stack of 50-something next to the bed. I can tell you, writing this in retrospect, that I never took that privilege for granted and knew how rare it was. I remember how shocked I was the day a 16th-century edition of Suetonius accidentally made it past the Rare Book Room into my hands. The Loan Division Director and I both stared at it in awe. And "no," I never set down Coke cans on the books or turned pages with Cheetoes orange fingers. An aside. Since Suetonius had been mistakenly delivered to me, bound with other books, I did take it home that night, but I opened the book wearing white cotton gloves, so the oil from my fingers wouldn't touch the pages, and I returned it promptly the next morning, wrapped in a white cotton sheet. I had the oddest sensation looking at it. It was like falling through centuries.

Often I find that a writer's skills improve over time. Sometimes not, and that is always surprising because you expect growth as part of the process. One habit I've noticed with some young writers (and some older ones that continue to preen) is that they pursue a more filigreed,whatchamacallit word; dropping it into their text, which has me running to the Webster's Unabridged that I keep on a dictionary stand in my bedroom.

Recently, I heard about a mystery writer named Ruth Rendell. Critical raves. Five stars. The best. Agatha who? Well. To quote my late mother, "Not my cup of tea." I am much more of a George Pelecanos-Dennis Lehane-Raymond Chandler-Dorothy Sayers kinda girl. In reading one of Rendell's book published in 1975, I stumbled onto the word "titivating," and headed to the Websters for it's defined meaning and learned she had used it in another sense.

Titivate: (verb) Perhaps from tidy plus vate as in renovate; to dress up (as by making small additions or alterations in attire); spruce up; smarten up.

I had to laugh about titivate because here we are, more than thirty years later, and we've gone from titivation to sprucing up to tweaking our threads. And yes, while I was online at I found this:

Molcing: The act of dressing up in a vegetable costume and fornicating with another person dressed in vegetable like attire. Being a furvert wasn't enough? Now it's got to be vegetables? I will never look at the Fruit of the Loom guys in the same way again.

"Was it good for you?"

Chum: To be on terms of intimate friendship; to share quarters: room together; chopped fish, vegetable matter, or small live fish thrown overboard to draw fish to a fishing boat.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

January 28, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

January 27, 2008

Saturday, January 26, 2008

January 26, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

January 25, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

January 24, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Bullet Is Mightier Than The Pen

I heard a story on Saturday about that day we had snow last week. This takes place in another city and on the Eastern seaboard. I have a friend who works in a part of his city where there is a prevalence of art and craft and those kitschy shops that attract the stylish urbanites. On the day it began snowing heavily, his co-workers had departed for the day, and he was left alone in the building where he works at restoring antique furniture.

An interesting heirloom had arrived in the shop: a slant top desk, authentic and intriguing, and he looked forward to beginning work on it. Usually when pieces come in, they have been emptied out, he said, but sometimes there are residual things that have not been removed. In examining the chest, which had many pigeonholes and drawers, he noticed the desk still had some pens and pencils inside it. One particular pen that was gold colored caught his eye, and he proceeded to examine it more closely. He said it seemed oddly heavy in his hand. Inspecting it, he noticed a lever on the pen, and he pushed it, causing a .22 caliber bullet to shoot out and graze his finger. Earlier in his storytelling, he had told me that he expected certain occupational injuries from working around tools in a woodshop. I don't think he ever anticipated a bullet wound.

At first he was startled: freaked out and didn't know what had happened. The pen had detonated a .22 caliber bullet, and the noise was very loud. With his ears ringing, he realized what had happened, and since he was alone and isolated, he went to retrieve the company first aid kit and wrapped his finger in gauze, applied ice and held his hand above his heart.

The bullet landed in the scrape wood pile. Luckily he hadn't been looking into the pen's point, like the nimcompoop in a horror movie who picks the blobby thing up on a stick and is poking at it, or who says to his friends, "What's making that noise in the basement?"

He decided against going to the emergency room which he felt was more of a trauma than getting shot. I wondered what he would have said to the ambulance driver or hospital authorities. "A pen shot me?" "James Bond shot me?"

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

January 21, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

January 20, 2008

Cocktail Of The Week:
The Nevermore

Today is Edgar Allan Poe's birthday. What is little remembered about Poe is his birthday, but we all associate death with his name: died on the streets of Baltimore, tell tale hearts, tubercular wife, Annabelle Lee, kingdoms by the sea, and of course, ravens. What could be more appropriate than a black cocktail to toast this day:

Quoth the Raven, "I'll have anything but Old Crow"

The Nevermore Cocktail

1 3/4 ounce Blavod Black Vodka
3/4 ounce Kaluha Coffee Liqueur
Black Coffee Ice Cubes

Shake and pour into a chilled highball glass using coffee ice cubes. Stir with beak.

I had visited a bar, taking props with me for a photograph of the drink, including pictures of Poe and his gravesite in Baltimore. After I left the bar, I had errands to run, including a trip to a local Giant grocery store. I decided to leave Poe there, scattering his image throughout the store:

"Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana," ~~Bill Gates

Same Old ....

Serenity Now

"It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence,we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream"
~~Edgar Allan Poe

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January 19, 2008

I parked behind this today when I was out running errands, and to be honest, I've never seen such a thing before. Since taking this photograph, friends have told me they have seen this type of memorial before, but not recently, and they thought it was more prevalent in the Hispanic community.

Driving home I thought about it some more, because just recently I was talking to several people who have left their relative's graves unmarked all with the comment, "I just haven't gotten to it yet." In the case of one, I know her brother has their parents ashes in his desk drawer at work. He inherited the famliy business, and you could argue he's keeping Dad nearby to oversee the craftsmanship going on in his name, but again he tells his sister, "I haven't gotten to it, yet."

We live in a time of not expressing our mourning in excess and "get over it and move on," and I find it interesting, given conversations I've had with others this month, that a culture where "your ride is peemp," and "cars that go boom," and "trick my truck, but don't mess with my heart" that someone took the time to express their loss this way. I wonder if Moms' ashes were in the glove compartment?

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so you can fly away
You gotta make a decision
You leave tonight or live and die this way

~~Tracy Chapman

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Friday, January 18, 2008

January 18,2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Snowfall Is So Silent

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

~~ James Joyce, The Dead

The snowfall is so silent,
so slow,
bit by bit, with delicacy
it settles down on the earth
and covers over the fields.
The silent snow comes down
white and weightless;
snowfall makes no noise,
falls as forgetting falls,
flake after flake.
It covers the fields gently
while frost attacks them
with its sudden flashes of white;
covers everything with its pure
and silent covering;
not one thing on the ground
anywhere escapes it.
And wherever it falls it stays,
content and gay,
for snow does not slip off
as rain does,
but it stays and sinks in.
The flakes are skyflowers,
pale lilies from the clouds,
that wither on earth.
They come down blossoming
but then so quickly
they are gone;
they bloom only on the peak,
above the mountains,
and make the earth feel heavier
when they die inside.
Snow, delicate snow,
that falls with such lightness
on the head,
on the feelings,
come and cover over the sadness
that lies always in my reason.
~~Miguel de Unamuno

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

~~Robert Frost

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Flush With Success

I was at the gym last night, inside a bathroom stall, and I heard a young woman enter the dressing room and stand outside the door of the toilet, seemingly talking on her cell phone. She entered the stall next to me, still talking on her cell phone, and I heard her say, "I've just finished reading a book called "You Can Be A Success And You Will Be!" (fictitious title, but you get the drift), and you know something? I am going to be a success (I heard her peeing at this point,) and Jim at work? He is not going to get to me anymore or get me down. I am going to get ahead and get what I want in life (grabbing at toilet paper and wiping,) and (flushing,) after reading this book I know I can have anything I want in life. "
I was, and am, speechless.


I poppped into a Dunkin' Donuts for a cup of coffee for a nice jolt to get me through back to back workouts, and I saw a young Hispanic woman enter, in an advanced state of pregnancy with a young baby in his onesie on her hip. She set him on the counter while she talked to her friend working there, and I watched as the diapered baby butt skid around where people receive their food, then watched him crawl over to the oversized coffee mug for tips. My Spanish is for cacahuete, but I understood enough that the cashier said, "Just like a little man," when he knocked the cup over and all of the money he was grabbing at fell out. Then his mother reached into her diaper bag, opened a bottle of Pepsi, handing it to the baby who drank from it like a bottle, then took several swigs of it herself. I've got nothing further to add on that one. I'm a woman who puts Splenda in her coffee. I've got my own issues.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

January 16, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Explain Mmm Mmm
Where Cube Gets Overstimulated

I don't know what it is about my friends and You Tube today, but I've been getting bombarded. First, my friend Steve sent me this in an email with the comment, "There is a God." I was laughing when I called to tell him, "This is what is wrong with me, of course. Hank Marvin is my dream guy...him and Scott Walker who is insane and Keats who is dead and Marlon Brando (also dead and definitely sociopathic) in The Wild One..."Whaddya rebelling against, Johnny? Whaddya GOT!" and...well you get the picture:

Next up was Hammer with his email saying he thought of me when he saw this one (P.S. to Hammer...I used this one. There is an entire series):

P. P.S. LOVE "Harold hates my kawfee."

The only thing I have to say about that, Mr. H. is that recently I left a typical Cube comment (I guess) on someone's blog (I cannot remember who) where I wrote an essay about the Wizard of Oz and why the Wicked Witch was so much cooler (her own squadron of monkeys and she hated yappy dogs) and Margaret Hamilton and what a good actress she was and how later in her career she was Cora on old Maxwell House coffee ads, and on and on.

Well, men. You want the truth? This is what I've been looking at today on You Tube:

The Kills URA Fever

There's something so Eraserhead-Lou Reed & Edie Sedgwick-Tom Verlaine-Serge Gainsbourg-Beck about it all.

P.P.P.P. S.

"Oh all righty!" God, I love him. ...and if you made it all the way through The Wild One viewing (and I hope you did), "I'm going to wait around for Crazy."

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January 15, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

January 14, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

January 13, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Guest Blogger: Miss Thi Hi Leather Boots

My good friend in New Hampshire, usually given over to more sensual footwear, sent me this, and I thought we'd let her be a guest blogger tonight. Those are her feets in snowshoes today...somewhere in the woods in New Hampshire.

Men's Top Ten Favorite Conversation Topics
1. Sex
2. Romantic fantasies
3. Hobbies/interests in general
4. Hopes and aspirations
5. Music
6. Dreams
7. Movies
8. Entertainment
9. Vacations
10. Travel

Men's Top Ten Least Favorite Conversation Topics
1. Past relationships
2. Other dates
3. Celebrities
4. Religion
5. Politics
6. Antiques
7. Money
8. Fashion
9. Gardening
10. Marriage

Men's Top Ten Date Picks
1. Taking a romantic walk
2. Restaurant
3. Park
4. Cook dinner at home
5. Coffee shop
6. Scenic car ride
7. Stay in and rent a movie
8. Bowling or Playing Pool
9. Live music
10. Comedy Club

Top Ten Restaurant Types for a Date
1. Casual dinner
2. Pub
3. Retro bar with live music
4. French cuisine
5. Ethnic
6. Pizza place
7. Western
8. Salad bar
9. Sushi bar
10. Family dinner

Men's Top Ten Favorite Ways to Have Someone Flirt with Them
1. Displays concern for him, his feelings and well being
2. Talks about things he likes or dislikes, making comments and showing interest
3. Shows him your a daring or mischievous side
4. Sends him special/cute email messages
5. Shares jokes or amusing anecdotes with him
6. Compliments him on his screen name, attitude, personality and appearance
7. Makes an effort to contact him in some form most every day
8. Sends instant messages when he and you are online at the same time
9. Discusses seriously the traits he desires in a partner
10. Uses suggestive language in online conversations with him

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It Takes A Q-Tip

I was getting ready to go out this morning, and I reached for a newly purchased canister of makeup applicators: foam tipped Q-tips. I realized I'd be better off if I were going outsourcing.
Glancing at the writing on the back I noted, with some amazement, that not only were they perfect for "the application and blending of make up," they were also distributed out of Los Angeles via a distribution point in Wokingham, United Kingdom while imported via Neuvo Leon, Mexico, but "Made in China." Hillary Clinton was right. It truly does take a village.

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January 12, 2008

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