Well, now that my days are freed up a bit, what with my disenchantment with all things American Idol (For instance this? doesn't phase me in the least. Whatever.), I have been very busy catching up on vitally important current events. Woo-whee! Have I been missing stuff, I tell you what!
For instance, I don't know if you've heard about this, but there is this singer, see, a singer by the name of Michael Jackson, who is on trial for child molestation. I KNOW! Can you believe it? I was shocked. SHOCKED, I say!
I mean, here's this perfectly good, talented black man who is being preyed upon by attention-seeking whore mongers. Right? And disgruntled employees with a grudge (who, by the way, did not ever ever EVER report to the police that their boss had underage boys in the shower with him and requested Vaseline on several occasions while sharing a bed with said boys? Wha'?). Right? At least, that's what I've read.
I mean, whatev, people. Like any parents would leave their young son alone with a suspiciously immature, middle-aged superstar who lives on a multimillion-dollar theme park-like estate in lush Santa Ynez Valley, complete with a mansion, zoo, and amusement park with bumper cars, a merry-go-round, and a Ferris wheel. Called Neverland. Where he plays with llamas and hosts children's parties, telling the parents to go on home and leave everything to him. Honestly. How inappropriate would that be? They would clearly have to be INSANE, right? Right!
What? They DID?
Well then, what employee in his or her right mind would see the whole shower and Vaseline scenario going on and do nothing to stop it? I mean, no one loves money THAT much, right? No one could see that and turn a blind eye, right? I mean, we all have a conscience! So obviously, it's all a horrible mistake, right?
Shamon! You know it! You know! You know it! Hoo hoo! Hee hee! Aaow!
Seriously. Isn't this the same man who sparked the single, fingerless glove trend (thanks loads for that, by the way), who grabbed his crotch at the drop of a hat, and who sang such classics, as Beat It, Billie Jean, Dirty Diana, and In the Closet? (Heh. "In the Closet." Oh, ho, ho!) Not to mention Thriller (which I LOVED, by the way)! Why yes it is!
Isn't this the same man that hosted sleepovers with McCauley Culkin and escorted a young(ish) Emmanuel Lewis to the Grammys? Uh-huh!
Isn't this the man who has slowly morphed from a good-looking black man into a creepy, noseless, white(ish) Willie Wonka? Guilty as charged!
Wait. Actually, I am beginning to wonder if maybe the defense doth protest too much. Hmmm...
Ooooh, that makes me think of a game, y'all. Let's say you are prosecuting this case, and the judge will allow you to submit one Michael Jackson song as proof of the defendant being a sick, child-molesting bastard. A Wacko Jacko, if you will. Which song will you play for the jury?
Me? Hell. I'd chose Billy Jean. Mother always told him to be careful of who he loved. Then again, if I recall correctly, the first line of Bad is, "Your butt is mine." Tough call.
Hey. I'm just sayin'.
Okay, I admit, last night on the results show, when Ryan asked Constantine to choose a group and he did that little backward slide-hop over to Carrie, well, I just liked that. C'mon. Didn't you like that? He really wanted to be there. He really wanted to be a rocker. And I was like, "Aaaaw, Connie..." Because at that point I knew.
I am not mad at Scott (okay, that's a lie, I totally am, but not TOO much!), but I did feel bad for Connie because he looked so shocked when he was sent over to the bottom group, and even more so when he was told he was out. The eyebrow came up, y'all. Which can be totally unconscious, as it seemed to be in this case. He just couldn't help it! Trust me. I know all about the unconscious, misbehaving eyebrow. I know.
Then he started the sing-out with "Let's rock this!" while Ryan was still blathering on (and on), and damned if he didn't sounded as if he were about to cry. Freak. I just felt sad. I've said over and over that I enjoy the excitement and controversy he brings to the show. He shook up the format and fearlessly jumped outside of the box every week. And truthfully, I think he's a genuinely nice guy, besides being incredibly charismatic and (I'll say it!) dead sexy, so yeah, this feels pretty bad.
This sucks, really. Paula thinks so, too. No, really. I mean, did you SEE her? Whoa.
So now we are left with predictable contestants. Anthony will belt out cheesy love ballads and make the tweenage girls and middle-aged women swoon; Vonzell will cutely sing cutesy songs and cutely be all cute; Bo will growl out classic rock and engage in intricate mic-stand acrobatics; Carrie will beautifully twang out perfectly good country songs; and Scott will arrogantly sing angsty Luther Vandross-type ballads which speak to his disgruntled Average Joe life and overall bitterness. And he won't do it very well, at that. And then he'll laugh at less fortunate contestants and thank Jesus.
Truthfully, I think Scott's persistence on the show may have something to do with the votefortheworst.com movement truckin' along, with disgruntled AI fans voting for the WORST contestant, to throw the show and give AI and 19E what they "deserve." Which, for the record, I think is stupid.
So thank you, Constantine, for the rocker screeches, the camera lovin', the hair tossing, the duck-lip pouting, the cheesy grins, the KISS tongue, the riveting performances, the starpower. Oh, and for making sweet, sweet love to me with your eyes every week. You know you were. Don't deny it, lovah.
Oh. And thank you, America, AI producers, votefortheworst.com-ers, whoever! for giving me my Tuesdays and Wednesdays back. I mean, now I can focus on pressing current events, such as the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes coupling, urban sprawl, and the scoop on whether or not Joan of Arcadia will be renewed for a third season.
What in the freaking HELL?! Oh, I am SOOOOO mad at you America!! SO. VERY. MAD!!!!!
(I am so angry I am crying, which, cooincidentally, makes me angry, too. Thanks a WHOLE LOT, America!)
Paula? Gave constructive criticism? Has the world gone crazy?
Simon SO totally rides the Connie train! I had no idea!
Randy? Has a 20 word vocabulary: (Randy to Anthony) "It was aiight. Yah, I think it was aiight. It was aiight. (audience boos) Aiight."
Carrie: Yo, yo, yo, dawgs! Carrie brought the HONKY-TONK, y'all! Unfortunately, this was honestly not her best performance vocally, as she truly was just under those notes throughout the song. But her stage presence was much improved this week. She's starting to let loose a little, which is great to see. In any case, she was obviously sick, as her coughing after the song indicated. Fine. I admit it! I pity-voted for her! Cause I LUV her! Oh. And I don't like her hair extensions. Bring back the rocker hair, Carrie!
BoBo: OMG, the shirt's so bright, he's gotta wear shades! Too bad he pretty much jacked up the song, and he completely missed my favorite high note on "And now I'm telling everybodaaaaaay!!!!" Right?! I mean, it was more like, " And now I'm telling everbod-- (turn head, purse lips, pretend it's all good)!" AWK. WARD. Good fake out, yo? No. Not so much, actually. Way to go, backup singers! Way to leave my man hanging! Sorry Bo! I still love you! But hey! Those mic-stand acrobatics? Woo-whee! (TGIM: Rockers don't DO that! Put the stand DOWN, man!)
The Vonz: Shut it, Simon. But honestly, Christina? Skank. (Oh! Xtina, not Vonzell, sillies.) But skank's got pipes, so what can you do? Regardless, Vonzell was fabulous, and freaking beautiful, to boot. Wait. I totally hate her.
A-Fed: Just thinking: Celine is CRAZY, but girl can SING, no? That being said, Anthony gave a genuinely AWESOME performance. Loved the nod to Clay at the end. How crazy was that?! A-Fed's all, "Yeah, take THAT, bizzyotch!" Anyhoos, Anthony, in my humble yet meaningless opinion, utterly redeemed himself AND that song. Damn straight! And how cute was the Anthony Luv shown by Heather Locklear's little daughter?! She's all, "I heart Anthony!" And Heather was like, "Noooooooo!" Hey, Heather? Just be glad she's out of the Barney phase, mm-kay? And don't EVEN get me started on the Wiggles!! GAH!
Connie Baby: My favorite part of that ASTONISHING performance was when Connie's mommy straight up described him as a pain in the ass. HEE! I think I love her. Okay, okay... actually, it was when Constantine ran over to the backup singers and was all, "Oh yah, ladies! This is how you remind me of what I really am! HAWT!" I bet they were just relieved he didn't kick at them, all Karate Kid like, cause he was sure breaking out the moves last night, eh? Ki-YAH!! Oh, and I loved, loved, LOVED! the crouch-landing! I was all, "Squeeeeee!" (TGIM: That sucked.) This being said, it was a Nickelback song. Some songs aren't purely about the vocal performance. Dude's got stage presence, that's all I'm sayin'. My Greek God Idol really broke out of his (finger quotes) hard core rocker shell on that end note, that's fo' rizzle! I bet the Betty boyz are so proud.
Blinky: Way cute kiddo, but if he doesn't go home tonight, I will scream. Loudly. Again.
So, who will be going home? Honestly? I have no idea how America will vote. No. Freaking. Clue.
My poor, misguided, sexually amibiguous Ryan.
Did you really just say that? DID you? Really?!
Hee. You SO did.
Man. I am digging my title's flippin' SWEET alliteration! "Booyah! That's right! I'm good!" (tm my youngest daughter)
Ooooookay, right then. According to Kristin Veitch of E!Online's Watch With Kristin column (which is simply chock full of tv news, gossip and spoilers), there is more to the AI Judge Panel then we knew. Let's just say Kristin's Blind Riddle (YOU guess the salacious celebrity!) was a tad too easy this past week:
"You know what this column needs? A whole lotta estrogen. And I have just the girl for the job--we'll call her Looney Lolita, who happens to be the one constant many of you cannot stand on a certain well-known, widely watched show. Turns out, producers actually tried to fire her in the third season, but this crazy girl would not take no for an answer. She broke down and wept and begged for her job back for days on end, offering to work without the perks she had in the first season--including her own hair and makeup team. They agreed, and, sadly, the mess continues..."
OH. She lost the hair AND makeup team. That explains SO much. I bet they cut her stylist, too, because most of her outfits this season? Have been... unfortunate, to say the least. Hello? Floating wrist cuffs? Swashbuckling pirate themes? Stripes of dizzying proportions? Hats of CRAZINESS? Hello?!
And while Paula has gone to great lengths to "set the record straight," announcing to the world that she is (illegal) pill AND pain free, I hesitate to point out (ah, who am I kidding?) that apparently the side effects for Paula's (finger quotes) prescription meds include heavy, droopy eyes, slurred speech, flailing about, and a tendency to inappropriately hit on guys half her age.
I must also point out the shocking absence of ANY reference to... um, spirits? Alcohol? Booze? Grog? Hooch? C'mon! Her decided preference for scotch on the rocks in her Coca-Cola cup o' fun?! What?! Watch how she mothers up to that Coke cup tonight, y'all! That's all I'm saying! WE KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DRINKING PAULA! I know, I know. Shocking, I say.
Truth be told, I often feel like a hit of the hooch myself after enduring an hour of Paula's spirit dancing, seal clapping, and worthless gushing:
"I'm so proud of you."
"You made it your own."
"You know I love you."
"I'm a big fan."
"You had fun with it."
GAH! Yo, Cat! Shot of tequila to numb the pain? Don't mind if I do.
See?! See how that works?!
Now if they could only explain away the brewing Having Lots Of The Hot Sex With Contestants scandal swirling around her. GOSH! Imagine the whole world knowing you had sex with Corey Clark! In your guest room! And that you promised to be his "special friend"! And he didn't even make the Top 3! Although, if the rumors are true, Justin Guarini may have a few saucy stories to tell himself...
Oh, the horror.
Not that I believe a WORD Corey Clark says. He's abusive scum. AND a poor man's Guarini. And that's just sad.
Paula, Paula, Paula... You making me cry. Why you so crazy, girl? Why?
(Okay, okay... In all seriousness, here's hoping the AI producers get this woman some much needed help, PRONTO, instead of firing her. She may be a nut, but she's THEIR nut, dammit.)
My big sis, my WAAAAY older big sis ('sup, Kimmie?), called me last night to tell me that she has been reading my site, and has come to the edifying conclusion that TGIM should begin calling me Moll. Honestly, I was not quite sure where she was going with this, but my interest was sufficiently peaked. Then, suddenly, random, sketchy images of film noir blew through my mind.
(Cue up foreboding background music here)
Ominous images of old gangster flicks full of dark, shadowy alleyways, mobster's with monster machine guns, gum chewing secretaries with pantyhosed legs up to there, cynical private dicks and their sleazy offices backlit by blinking neon signs, and the Moll, the Gun Moll, the quintessential gangster's girlfriend. And I'm thinking, "Ooooh, TGIM should so totally call me Moll! Bitchin'!"
Because that would be cool, right? My big sister gets me, right? She has totally captured my faux bad girl with a heart of gold wannabe image, right? RIGHT?!
It funny how all this hemispherical connecting of dots can happen in seconds, you know? SECONDS! So she's still talking and I'm all, "Moll! That's sweet! Awesome idea, my big sistah!" and she's like (in her dry, way-cool-junior voice), "Yah, MOL. My Old Lady."
(Disclaimer: Frustrated rant about personal stuff. Feel free to ignore me...)
Although the theft and redistribution of cars and parts may seem like the glamorous career of choice, using your parent's money to finance the requisite mechanical education at the local community college, as well as fronting your side-job drug trafficking entrepreneurship out of the home they provide for you, is never a good idea. If, that is, you have even a remote inkling of good sense, not to mention self-respect, left in your drug-addled brain.
Oh, and when the cops come crashing through your apartment door, an apartment that your parents are (again) paying for, I might add, it is also never, and I mean NEVER, a good idea to let your girlfriend jump out the window. Never. Especially when you live on the second floor. And, you know, she is baked. Especially if she is baked. AND desperate to avoid another stint at the county jail.
C'mon. At least save yourself some hassle and make her smuggle out the drug paraphernalia on the way down, you know?
Oh well, there's always next time.
That is all I have to say about that.
(CAUTION: Alert! Alert! Freakishly white legs may blind you! People who work in Cubicle Land rarely see the sun! Repeat! Freakishly white legs ahead! You have been warned!)
Me and the girls? We like to hike. Sometimes we bring along the boys.
This afternoon we decided to go on an adventure and explore the Washington and Old Dominion bike trail which runs through Vienna, Virginia. Unfortunately, all of our bikes (along with most of our belongings) are still in storage back in Arizona. Yeah, it's a long story. Anyhoos, let me just say, we cannot WAIT to get our bikes and explore it the way God intended, because the little bit we saw while on foot was sure beautiful. There were DEER, I say! And purty FLOWERS!
Oooooh, we even did some impromptu teambuilding exercises in the form of helping each other cross a babbling creek bed over a sufficiently sturdy fallen tree trunk. WAY reminiscent of Dirty Dancing, y'all. WAY. But, you know, without the dancing. Um, and no Patrick Swayze. Just children shrieking hysterically and TGIM yelling, "Don't look down! DON'T LOOK DOWN!!" But still, I was thinking about Patrick Swayze the whole time. And humming "Hey! Baby!" by Bruce Channel. Good times.
Well, I suppose I will let the pictures talk for themselves. (There are actually about 12 more pictures, but dangit, I am fresh out of bandwidth for the month on my Flickr account. I'll add more pictures and update the set next month. *heavy sigh*)
Click here for the slide show. You know the drill. Enjoy.
My oldest daughter, the 7-year-old, is going through a nightmare phase right now. Actually, it's not so much a nightmare phase, as a Can't Fall Asleep Or I MIGHT Have a Nightmare phase. Complete with hyperventilation and tearful speculation about what nightmares could and will most likely visit her when she drifts off to La-La Land. She gets herself all worked up, thinking about past night terrors, and she can't fall asleep to save her life. Therefore, neither can I. You know, because of the crying and carrying on. And did I mention the hyperventilating? GOSH! Honestly, absolutely no consideration for the old folks, ya know what I'm sayin'? I mean, we have JOBS. And alarm clocks that go off at the insane hour of 4:30 in the A.M.! Well, I do anyway. TGIM sleeps through the alarm. For another TWO AND A HALF HOURS. Jerk.
Anyhoos, in case any family members are reading this, for the sake of full disclosure, I should probably mention that this ritual my daughter has of freaking and psyching herself out before she even falls asleep? Um, she may come by this honestly. It is possible she may resemble a child (fine, me) whose parents- who must have been completely INSANE, I might add- stood idly by as she watched The Shining (with Jack Nicholson? You know it?) rendering her sleepless for, oh, I'd say a good year. A YEAR! Hello?! High strung?! Feel free to say it with me now: "What were they THINKING?!"
Do you think I am kidding? Because I am so not kidding. I fell asleep in class on an almost daily basis all through the fourth grade, I kid you not. That movie is freaking SCARY as HELL, y'all! I still can't walk down narrow hotel corridors without hearing "Red rum! RED RUM!" echoing in my head and getting a bad case of the shakes and expecting eerie little kids on tricycles or ginormous waves of blood to come crashing through... Great. Thaaaaat's just great. Now I won't be sleeping tonight! Thanks a WHOLE LOT, Mom and Dad!
Is it possible they had forgotten about the time they found me curled up in the fetal position in my closet, catatonic except for the hysterical screaming, after I innocently got out of bed for a drink of water and accidentally stumbled upon that scene in The Exorcist, you know, with the priest and the insanely horrific possessed girl and the creepy levitating and the projectile vomiting and the scary as hell devil voice? This is not to mention the time I got a glimpse of an old Bela Lugosi Dracula movie. Freak, y'all. I slept with my arms in the shape of a cross for years! I don't care what anyone says, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt ain't got nothin' on Bela when it comes to blood-sucking. Brrrr... Did you just hear my blood freeze?
But back to my daughter. Bless her little heart. A little NyQuil PM and my baby is OUT.
Fine. Stop speed-dialing CPS. I am TOTALLY lying, but don't think I don't know that you have ALL had this idea at one time or another. I know. Don't lie.
No, we have a ritual, the kiddos and I do. It's the patent-pending "Bad dreams go away!" ritual, which is surprisingly effective. After prayers and hugs and lights out, we shout, "Bad dreams go AWAY!" three times, while shooing those tricksy bad dreams out the window. Then, in the spirit of harmonious karma, we politely invite the good dreams into our (hopefully) nightmare-free abode with a solemn "Good dreams, please come in," repeated three times. Three is the magic number. Don't forget. Three.
And if my little one begins to psyche herself out, conjuring up bloody dead kitties or scary glowing eyes in the walls (where is she GETTING this stuff?), I hold her and make her talk about them out loud. For some reason, speaking the dreams out loud, actually vocalizing her fears instead of hysterically suppressing them in the hopes they will go away (yet obsessing about them in the quiet moments before sleep takes her), well, it seems to lessen their hold on her. Which is a valuable lessen to learn, actually. Think about it.
In all honesty, my daughter is much braver than I ever was as a child. She has seen all three Harry Potter movies, and let me tell you, that werewolf scene with Professor Lupin in the third installment? Dude. That would have kept me up for WEEKS, at the very least. So I have high hopes that my children won't be ridiculed by friends and their parents alike for crying and begging to go home when they break out the horror movies on Halloween. Because that? UN. COMFORTABLE.
Teenagers can be so cruel.
Stupid Freddy Krueger. (Although I must say I liked Robert Englund's earlier work on V. Aw, Willie!)
That is all I have to say about that.
Blinky over ANWAR?! Honestly, CUT IT OUT! Blinky must go, and I mean NOW!
Who do I need to cut to get this dude off the show? Huh?! WHO?!
I don't know when it happened, the Comment Whorage. Not sure at all. But it must stop. No more obsessive refreshing of my email inbox! No more, I say. Comments or no comments, this site is mine, for better or for worse, in American Idol obsession and in JoA withdrawl, in mothering joys and hubby woes, mine. Mine. MINE. No amount of comments can change the positive outcome I have experienced since starting this site.
I started this site for two reasons: 1) to hone my mad creative writing skillz (of which I have so few); and 2) to relieve some of the inky, swirling madness that goes on in my head every day. EVERY DAY! So much going on up there, so little time to vent it, you know?
I kept a journal as a teenager, which I yearn to burn into piles of completely non-readable ashes so my kids will never see how insanely moody I was as a young woman of tender years. Seriously. Miss Crankypants meets the Energizer Bunny. Scary combination. But deep down I know that they will hit that wall of oozing hormones sooner than I want to believe, and maybe, just maybe, it will comfort them to know how completely and (surprisingly) non-irretrievably insane I was at their age. Ha. As if they haven't already guessed it. But, still.
But my point- before digressing, sorry- is that once upon a time I had an outlet for the craziness. Now, I realize that TGIM loves me, but really, how much AI banter can he stand before his head explodes? Huh? The answer is: Not much. I have discerned this bit of wisdom through the years, and it is fine and I'm completely cool with his bewilderment and his egregious inability to follow my wired ramblings, but it (i.e. the craziness) has to go somewhere, y'all, or I find myself dropping "Yo, yo, yo, dawg," and "Ooooh, look kids! Daddy's in the hizzouse! Fo' rizzle, my nizzle!" and "Only 89 more days 'til the new Harry Potter book! Ooooh, we graduated from high schoool in 1989! We OLD!!" all over the place and my husband and kids are all, "Cat/Momma, please, SHUT. UP."
But the point is, for so many years I have kept things bottled up: little things, big things, happy things, weird things, just THINGS, and sometimes I felt as if I was going crazy, and I didn't have a legitimate way to let it all out (subjecting my high school students to Shakespearean improv notwithstanding), and that is not healthy. The bottling. But now I do have a way to let it all out, in DOSES of controlled craziness, and it's mine. MINE. And I can use words like "egregious" and "jiggered" and "freak" as much as I want. FREAK! And now, lately, I feel so good, better than good, better than I've felt in forever, which I know is partly due to the move and the career change, but is mostly due to this. My blog. My thoughts.
Out of my head.
Woo-whee! What a night, y'all! Vonzell out-Chaka-ed Chaka! Carrie out-Dollied Dolly! Wait. Seriously? Dollywood meets Disco? What was she THINKING?! Gimme back Pat Benetar, and I mean NOW.
Constantine rocked the hizzouse! Constantine has a crush on eyeliner! And didn't the BeeGees sing better songs than that?! But weren't Constantine's highlights purty?! I love saying Constantine's name! Constantine!
C O N S T A N T I N E ! !
Uh-oh, I think I broke the exclamation point key on my keyboard...
Hey. Why was Bo so angry, y'all?! "Grrrr! I'll be your vehicle! Don't try and stop me! Rawr! Great God in heaven you know I looooooove you!" And the mic-stabbing? What's going on there, Bo? Why you so angry, man? Why? Regardless, in the oh-so-apropos words of Paris Hilton, "That's hot." HAWT! Workin' the Bojo! And he totally lied about his inability to dance. Whatev, Bo. You have Moves. Oh yes, you SO have Moves... Mm-hmmmmmm...
What? Sorry. Um, I was saying...?
Oh, right. Blinky? Meh. And Anthony? Was so cute up there! Cute little Anthony shaking his groove thang! Good on you, A-Fed. Good on you.
Did Vonzell sing? What? Really? She did? Because I COULDN'T HEAR HER! And Anwar was AWESOME, right?! What? Those high notes weren't him? No? HE was the one hitting all those flat, crappy notes? Really?
Never mind, then.
Seriously, would someone PLEASE turn down the sound on the back-up vocals' microphones?! Or fire the sound mixing person?! Honestly. Because I would sure like to hear the actual Idols singing, thank you very much. I'm sure the back-up singers are nice people and all, but they are NOT WHY I WATCH.
Just for the record: Anwar, you better watch those dance moves, hon. Your gay is showing.
And does anyone else notice that Ryan is man-crushing on my sweet, sweet Connie? Back on off, there, wee little Seacrest. Don't force me to break out my mad Tae Bo skillz. Uh-huh. You heard me. Hard core.
OMG! Ben and Jen! Ben and Jen! (Bennifer II?!)
Seriously, I am not sure if even the hit show Alias can save poor Jen from the gaping hellmouth that IS the Affleck Career Curse.
It's already started, too. I mean, did you see Daredevil? Or its spawn, Elektra? See? Do you SEE?!
Run away, Jen! Run away!
My life is a tapestry characterized by elaborate pictorial designs. My childhood, though only comprising a small portion of my life so far, makes up a large, colorful corner section. Occasionally, I have been known to bask in the memories of a few of its more colorful parts. Lately, I find myself more and more often taking the tapestry out of its storage place in the attic of my mind, and airing it out.
The images are all there. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, where the sweltering summer sun baked the days so fiery hot that the tarry goo in the asphalt literally bubbled in the streets; where sunburned, barefooted children in tank tops and Dove short-shorts rode their banana-seat bikes to the crispy, brownish-green lawn at the Digital; where hot air balloons occasionally and thrillingly made emergency landings on sprawling industrial park lawns; where dirty, stinky, disheveled kids played Keep Away or a loose game of kickball until dusk when Dad pulled the old aqua-blue Chevy into the cul-de-sac, threw one of them on his lap, and let the chosen one drive the car all the way into the driveway; and where Grandma and Grandpa Heedum's backyard swimming pool, complete with diving board, water filter "snakes," and pool sprinklers, was the oasis playground for me, my five siblings, and all the Heedum cousins.
You know, a large portion of the tapestry of my childhood revolves around that pool scene.
Childhood Scene 1:
I see Grandma and Grandpa Heedum's house, air-popped buttery popcorn in enormous Tupperware bowls; the boisterous laughter of women playing cards; a crowded pool complete with inflatable rafts, orange floaties, and rousing games of Shark and Marco Polo; water snakes slithering and snaking across the bottom of the pool, stirring up the settled desert dust instead of cleaning it; peeling, sun-burned noses and green-tinted chlorine-hair; and too many wet kids in bathing suits slipping and sliding through Grandma's kitchen.
I see my 7-year-old, wet, bathing suited self dancing around at the arcadia door, pounding on the glass, leaving behind oozing wet scrinchy marks as I cupped my hands to look in at the ladies sitting at the dining room table playing cards, trying to get my mommy's attention. Shoot. Anyone's attention, really.
"Mommy! Lookit! Mommy! Grandma! LOOKIT! Lookit me!"
When I could finally get someone to watch I would race to the diving board and execute some elaborate cherry bomb, or back flip, or twisty dive through an inner tube. When I would emerge from the depths of the pool, proud and spluttering, I would race back to the arcadia door and smash my face up against it, water dripping in my eyes, until I could see my mommy turn away from her cards for a moment to shout from inside, "Uh-huh! Good one, Cathy!" Then she would turn back to her game, laughing and joking, and I would return to the pool, satisfied.
I remember the feeling of walking into the cool, air-conditioned house from the sweltering Arizona desert heat outside, and how it would immediately chill the pool water in my hair and the damp swimsuit against my skin. I would literally freeze in the doorway before the grown-up chorus of "SHUT THE DOOR!" would spur me into action.
Honestly. I still love swimming, but somehow, the Olympic-sized indoor pool at our Rec Center doesn't bring me the sublime satisfaction of hot-footing it across the foot-searing cooldecking surrounding Grandma and Grandpa's pool and jumping into the cool, sun-heated water.
Childhood Scene 2:
Another large chunk of the childhood tapestry is in the section devoted to the awe the Heedum grandkids felt toward Grandpa Heedum. Seriously. He scared the bejeebies out of us.
When I think of my grandparents' house I always see a stifling tobacco-smoke haze hanging in the air, as Grandpa, apart from his card-playing wife and daughters, would sit guarding the back door to the pool, watching television and smoking cigarette after cigarette. Now, in my mind I know that Grandpa quit smoking years ago, when I was in my late teens, but I still see him like that, smoking a cigarette, watching television, snacking on and presiding over the elaborate spread my food-loving mom, aunts, and grandmother laid out for their weekly card-playing get-togethers. To our dismay, his probing eyes, although seemingly riveted to Hee Haw or Lawrence Welk, never missed small hands trying to sneak more popcorn or another powdered-sugary lemon square or a Cuckoo Cookie, maybe even some M & M's if we were... just... super-duper... sneaky...
He observed everything, Grandpa: the card game, the food-sneaking, the swimming, the joking, but he rarely joined in. He listened to his family's laughter, his daughters' silly stories, and their hilariously obvious cheating tactics. Occasionally he barked out a comment (often sarcastic), or laughed at a joke, or told us "Go ask your mother!" when we tried to grab food, but he sat apart, and that is just the way it was. We didn't question it. Still don't. He loved us, and we loved him. But he was apart.
I remember once when I was very young, on a Memorial Day, Grandpa went out and fired up the BBQ grill. He joked around with my Uncle Lyle while they drank beer and he cooked the hot dogs and hamburgers, and we were all so surprised because it seemed like Mommy and Grandma and the Aunts always cooked. But Grandpa apparently felt that grilling was a man's job, so there you go. Then, after dinner, he got in a bathing suit, pulled the special, extra-large, Do Not Touch inner tube out of the heretofore unplumbed depths of the hall swimming closet, and HE GOT IN THE POOL. He floated around, a wet, floating Jonathan Winters (he is the spitting image, I kid you not), beer in hand, cigarette held carefully aloft, and you can bet none of us dared to splash or yell or pick up the water snakes or make waves of any kind. Because, dear lord, the world had gone insane and Grandpa was IN THE POOL.
Sometimes, when the tapestry gets cloudy, I think maybe it's just the cigarette smoke.
Childhood Scene 3:
The last picture that captures my attention is the pinochle game. My mom and her sisters and her mother love to play cards. As far back as I can remember, when the Heedum women got together, they gathered around the dining room table, where cards were played and food was eaten. And, it goes without saying, there was the laughter. The Heedum women? Are Laughers. Loud Laughers. And Loud Talkers, as a matter of fact. Oh, ho, ho, yes they are. You know the type. So if you know me personally, you must understand: it is genetic! I had absolutely no say in the matter! Because, yes, you see, I have inherited the Loud Laugher/Loud Talker gene, which makes for good times in cubicle-land, let me tell you. Especially when I get phone calls. Or an especially funny email. I get shushed, y'all!
But the pinochle game and the laughter of the women in my family- the Aunts, Grandma, Mom- it is IN me, and a part of me, woven into my tapestry like black thread, bringing it all together. And though it can (and has) cause people to misunderstand what I am feeling, to doubt my sincerity, to think I am stronger or more resilient than I really am, I am thankful it is in me.
Because when I break my stupid ankle doing a simple cartwheel, I laugh. When I get viral gastroenteritis and hurl so hard I get blood-red bruising around my eyes, I laugh. When my husband hits me in the head with a racquetball going mach 7, after I cry like a baby and cuss him to bits, I laugh. When we get a lousy louse in the house, after I clean and clean and nitpick and scratch and clean and clean and CLEAN, I laugh. When I joke about someone hurting my feelings or breaking my heart, I laugh. When somebody close to me dies, I dig desperately into my mind and dredge up the funny memories about that person, and I laugh. I do. I laugh. I can't help it. It's a part of my tapestry.
Now, as a grown woman, I have yet another scene to add to my tapestry. Amongst the wedding day, and the births of my children, and the deaths of loved ones, there is this:
It is the image of the Heedum sisters and their mother sitting in a hospital room in the ICU of a Phoenix hospital, waiting for Grandpa to return from dialysis. Exhausted from the worry of feeding tubes and ventilators and Do Not Resuscitate orders and Medical Power of Attorney decisions to be made, yet there they sit, the Heedum women, crossword puzzles, novels, and TV remote thrown aside, brand-new gift shop cards dealt across an unused bed-table, and a high-spirited game of pinochle in progress.
Loud laughter. Silly stories. Blatant cheating. More than once a curious face peeks into the room, the face of another person sitting vigil in the ICU, fearing the worst and hoping for the best.
"Hey! You ladies are having way too much fun in here!... Can I play?"
They smile and scratch their heads at the women who can laugh when there are hard times ahead. Because Grandpa will not be doing dialysis anymore. And Mom and Grandma and my aunts? They know it. And they are dealing with it the only way they know how.
My life. This tapestry. As new sections of pictorial designs are created, I am thankful for the scenes that have come before, adding to the whole, bringing it all into perspective. Because even when someone leaves me behind, maybe shuffling off this mortal coil (if you will allow me to wax Shakespearean for a moment), they are always there, woven into my tapestry. In my mind and heart.
FINALLY going to see the Maryland shore! Yay! My only regret? I might miss something on Pope Idol...
My prayers are with you Bonope.
I feel compelled to say something:
My wee'un Ryan, y'all? What a man! When a weepy woman's mascara is threatening to melt her face, only a truly classy guy would rip off the silky designer tie holding his natty, business-formal suit together-- on live national television, no less-- and hand it to said weepy woman for tear blotting, overall face repair, and snottage control. A bold move! This could have messed with his impeccably groomed appearance and severely damaged his metrosexual street cred, folks. Because metrosexuals have priorities! And standards!
That's my wee Ryan. A class act.
I have to admit, I feel pretty special. I saw this series of pictures (although the link will give away WAY too much information about my internet browsing habits) weeks ago, and I was all, "Dude, The Sperminator has SOOO knocked her up!"
I mean, just look at her lower belly. Look at her upper arms. Good lord, look at her boobs. The BOOBS! Those are some pregnancy boobs, that's fo' sho. Don't even get me started on the Mammoth HUH-YOOGENESS that IS pregnancy and nursing boobs. Are you with me?! Whoo-wee! Them're Workin' Boobs, y'all!
And, see? The rest of her body looks comparatively normal (minus the ratty dirt-colored hair extentions, and the long frayed jeans, and, um, the ginormous flip-flops... okay, WHAT is she thinking? Get the mommy-to-be a stylist, and I mean NOW!).
I showed TGIM the pictures and went on for a bit about how sad and passive-aggressive it all was, and how I was glad to see her holding a water bottle instead of chain-smoking while desperately swigging Red Bull and snarfing Cheetos, and how I hope Britney wouldn't feel obligated to stay with Cletus just because she carried his spawn, and I culminated it all with a hearty, "Well, at least this one won't be a bastard."
TGIM came back-- impressively quick, I must admit-- with this gem: "But if it's a boy, he'll still be a son of a bitch."
Sometimes I really love TGIM.
Did I call it, or did I CALL it? Not that I would have put BO in the bottom three (wha'?! Anwar? Hello?!), but still. I called it! That's right! Who's your (desperate working) momma?!
(cue theme music)
Who's the sassy blogging momma
that's up on all the freakin' drama?
You're damn right!
Who is the gal
that would risk her neck for her blogging pals?
Can ya dig it?
Who's the cat that won't cop out
when there's AI gossip all about?
You see this momma Cat is a bad mother--
(Shut your mouth!)
But I'm talkin' about Cat!
(Then we can dig it!)
She's a complicated chica
and no one understands her! Maybe she's a freak-a!
That being said (or sung, as it were), will someone PLEASE TELL ME why Blinky, the saugage-fingered, judge-baiting, girlfriend scrapping wonder, is STILL in the competition?! I know he has a good voice, but come ON!
I mean, HONESTLY. Who is voting for this guy?
Paula, Paula, Paula... get thee to a rehab! It was funny for a few weeks, but now I just feel sad. Straight up, now, tell me, girl: is the junk worth it? Lay off the crack! I mean, the weird floating cuffs you were wearing? The wobbly, almost-unsuccessful attempts you made to get back in your chair after Constantine's performance? The wild, frenzied, "dancing" brought on by Scott's performance of a Hall and Oats song?
I mean, come on, woman. Look at yourself. Hall and OATS?! Oh, Paula.
Song: "When I Dream"
Fashion: Tina Turneresque, with a MAD 'FRO! I can't stop watching her hair!
Performance: Nicely sung, but not... very... zzzzzzzzzzzz
Note: Crystal Gayle?! Really?
Judges: "You can go home now." OUCH.
Baby Picture: Aaaw, baby 'fro!
Song: The classic "Free Bird"
Fashion: Cowpoke Chic. I feel like riding a horse now. Huh?
Performance: Um, different. Is he phoning it in these days? Well, even phoning it in, I like.
Judges: Simon says what? Sacred? Hmmm. Classic rock? Yes. Sacred? It's called a dictionary, Simon.
Baby Picture: Baby Bogart! Baby Bogart! *hugs*
Creepy, Wide-Eyed Anwar
Song: "I Know I'll Never Love Again"
Fashion: A 70's style button-up, buttoned down to THERE. Dude shaves his chest? And was Ryan hitting on him right there on television, in front of God, and Hall and Oats, and everybody?
Note: Dionne Warwick? Closet? What closet? And good lord, man, stop scooping your notes! Hello?! Music 101? GAH!
Judges: He's "like a blanket"? Yah, the ratty, scratchy wool one with gaping holes and electric blanket coils running through it, maybe. I hate those blankets. Hate 'em. They rub me the wrong way.
Baby Picture: I liked the preteen bow-tie shot. Nice!
Song: "Everytime You Go Away"
Fashion: Understated (Okay, I can't remember. But he probably looked cute).
Performance: Earnest, geeky, and nice.
Judges: It didn't suck! Who knew?!
Note: I LOVED this song! Wait. This song was popular when I was a teenager. A TEENAGER!
Baby Picture: Gerber Baby? Aaaw! Wook at wittle Fedewov! *mwah!*
Song: "Let's Hear It for the Boy"
Fashion: Disco ball top, jean skirt. Interesting.
Performance: Cuteness Overload! I repeat: Cuteness Overload! (Stop GIGGLING into the microphone at every breath, pretty please?)
Judges: Liked it mucho. 'Cuz she's so cute.
Note: This song was ALSO popular when I was a teenager! Bah. Oldness.
Baby Picture: Seriously cute, even as a child. Cute, cute, cute, cute. Mad CUTE.
Song: "She's Gone"
Outfit: I'm not... quite... sure...
Performance: Honestly, the lower register? Meh. He really connected with the upper, though. I felt you, dawg. I felt you.
Judges: Um, Hall and Oats liked it! Holy Awful Plastic Surgery, Batman! What happened to their faces?! ("Oh, why?! Oh why?!") Hold me. I'm skerred.
Baby Picture: A bit startling, even as a baby.
Song: "Love is a Battlefield"
Fashion: Awesome, AWESOME straight hair with underlights! I LOVE HER HAIR! Sexy black open-backed cami, sweet jeans. I have quite the little "girl-crush" going on here. I do! I DO! I don't care!
Presentation: The robotic hip shaking was endearing; props for tackling Pat Benatar. Rock on!
Judges: Yo, yo, yo, dawgs, Randy Jackson is a big fat meanie! Did anyone point out Jessica Sierra's glaring mistake during "Total Eclipse of the Heart"? Did they? Huh? NO! They did not. And we sat through her singing the EXACT SAME lyrics twice in a row, uh, TWICE IN A ROW! And no one said a word. Nada. Bupkis. Geez! Inconsistent, much? That being said, the "kitten trying to be a tiger" comment? Totally fair. (Click here for further discussion of this topic.)
Baby Picture: Cutie patootie.
Song: Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"! Woo-hoo!
Presentation: Bright light strobing! Gratuitous hair tossing! Mic-stand swinging! Camera love-making! *sigh*
Judges: Verbal tongue bath. But did anyone mention HIS lyric flub? "Uhmmmm mmmmm mmm the mmm blooooooows..." NO! They did not. In fact, they made dern sure to play him singing the CORRECT lyrics in the recaps at the end of the show. Good thing he remembered them at the dress rehearsal, eh?
Notes: Did anyone have the inevitable and unfortunate flashbacks to Wayne's World? Anyone? No? "Turn it off, man! Turn it off! It's sucking my will to live!"
Baby Picture: Smoldering Baby Idol material. I want to kiss him! And the picture was way cute, too.
Prediction: Farewell to Scott or Nadia. It's a toss-up.
OH WOW. You know that scene in Xanadu, at the Grand Opening of the discotheque, and everyone is full-on disco skating, tight-rope walking, and breakdancing? And that random woman is spinning ten feet above the floor while suspended by a loop around her neck? In sparkly roller skates and sequined short-shorts? I mean, what's THAT about? Did she get hazard pay? Honestly. And everyone in the whole freaking joint is full of Saturday Night Fever? DO you? HUH?!
And then Keira comes in with her hot muse sisters and they launch into the musical equivalent of the movie's coup de grace, with the noble intent of putting to an end this horrific mess of a kick-ass musical, and she is suddenly dressed like a rocker in a slammin' leather leopard print miniskirt and vest, and her hair is freaking wild and her kohl-black eyeliner is sexily and strategically smudged around her eyes, and she breaks into some crazy lyrics like, "I'm really down on love, so save all your smiles! Ooh, I won't be needin' any love for a while! Fool, Fool!", and she shakes the junk in her trunk, and she so ABSOLUTELY rocks it, in a country sort of way?
That was Carrie tonight on American Idol.
If you haven't seen Xanadu, just picture Olivia Newton-John singing "You're The One That I Want" with John Travolta in the final scene of Grease. (Bad Sandy. Very bad Sandy!) Same diff.
Woo-wee! I've got chills, y'all. They're multiplying. Am I looooooosing control? 'Cause the power Constantine's supplying? It's ELECTRIFYING!!
Heh. More tomorrow. Must go to bed...
Got my titles, now I'm working on getting some new fonts going on...
Desperate Working Mommas... to be continued.
Saturday, after the Cherry Blossom Festival, TGIM dragged us to Sears for a replacement belt for our vacuum. Now, this particular Sears is situated at one end of one of our local malls, which is comprised of stores which usually beckon invitingly to me, much like the siren songs of old, enchanting me, enticing me, luring weak little me to max out my credit cards at stores such as Nordstroms or American Eagle or Banana Republic. Stores with clearance items! And jewelry! And SHOES!
But me? Saturday? I was deaf to the enchanted wiles of Retail Lorelei and the like, as I was clandestinely engaged in a little dalliance of my own with the upright washer/dryer combos on display at Sears. I couldn't help myself, you see. Because me? I have three inordinately messy children. Who, evidently having been raised in the proverbial barn, change socks three times a day and throw clothes straight from the clean pile right back into the dirty clothes hamper! With actual dirty clothes! Thus rendering clean clothes dirty again! By ASSOCIATION!
What was I saying? Oh, yes, the washers and dryers. Holy shmoly! You don't even have to buy the cheesy little dorm-style sets anymore either because now the geniuses at Kenmore have devised the ultimate Housekeeping In A Mad Teeny Condo fantasy machines. Mmmm. We're talking the sweetness that IS the STACKABLE Kenmore Elite Front Load Washer and Super Capacity Dryer, available in WAY cool, junior! colors such as Graphite, Bisque, Pacific Blue, Champagne, and Sedona! Pacific Blue! Bisque? And Sedona! In my fantasies, I am SO getting them in Sedona.
Anyway, there may have been drooling involved, I can't really say. GOSH! I could have stayed all day. Until, of course, my children decided to ditch TGIM and his vacuum belts and came in search of new prey. As they hooted and hollered and climbed like little monkeys all over me and the appliances (hello? the proverbial barn?), the sales lady finally approached me (I had heretofore been thankfully unmolested by Sharky Sears Sales Associates). She looked at me and my admittedly frightening children and said, "Wow! You don't look old enough to have three kids!"
I never know what to say to that. And let's just say I hear it a LOT. From complete strangers. You'd think I'd have a pat answer, but no. Just a blank stare. Because I really don't know what to say. I mean, is it a compliment? Should I say "thank you"? Or is it a judgement against me, like, "Girlfriend, you need to GROW UP." It's not that I'm offended. I just don't know. You know?
Then, said Sharky Sears Sales Associate went on, rubbing it in. "Do you have trouble finding people to wait on you? 'Cuz you look about thirteen with your hair like that, pulled back in a ponytail, you know?"
Thirteen? Really? THIRTEEN?!
Now, I realize I look a tad young. And I am somewhat vertically challenged, measuring in at only 5'3" (almost 4"!). Truthfully, each time I was pregnant with my kids, I would get the occasional disapproving glares and the whispers of "Tsk, tsk, another pregnant teenager" muttered just loud enough for me to hear. And when I used to teach, parents who didn't know me personally would come into my classroom and ask me when the teacher would be back. I must admit this was quite handy, because if I was busy grading or planning, or just feeling antisocial, I could simply say, "Gosh, she won't be back for, like, at least 45 minutes!" and they would GO AWAY! HA! And I honestly cannot tell you how often, as I walked the halls between classes, I would hear, "Hey, where's your hall pass young la-- oh, hahaha. Sorry Mrs. Lambson." Hahaha THIS, Principal (insert name here)!
Even here at my new job, my new, happenin', grown-up career with no teenagers in the vicinity, the I.T. guy who came to fix my computer asked me how I was enjoying my internship. Internship! As in college internship! As in, "My, my, my, you young little college thing, you."
But thirteen? So, until my kids showed up I was just a cleanliness-obsessed barely teenager lusting after primo laundering appliances? Huh?! Just, no.
Anyhoos, I am beginning to realize that in the determination of my age, context is important. Where am I? What am I wearing? Who am I with? That sort of thing. Here are the breakdowns of a few of my various ages and related activities:
Office: since I need an advanced degree to even be here, 23; when colleagues spy pictures of my children, revised to 26, tops.
Teaching: if you knew I was the teacher, a just-out-of-college 22; if you didn't know me from Adam, 17 (which created several embarrassing situations in the hallways, if you see what I mean...).
Department stores: I am beginning to realize the lack of unwanted advances by sales associates may be due to my youthful appearance. But don't teens have credit cards? Regardless, I think I'll have to go with a solid Impoverished College Student 20.
Coaching gymnastics or cheerleading: in leotard, minimal makeup, sadly, around 16 or 17.
Grocery Store: alone, after work, business attire, 21 or 22; with hysterical, whining kids, pushing 25 (damn teenage mommas!)
Bar: I am ALWAYS carded. ALWAYS! No matter what I am wearing. No matter who I am with. Always. In fact, I have had bouncers threaten to confiscate my ID! Then I'm all, "Oh, yah! Bring it on, dude! Call the cops! Call 'em! I DARE you!" See how maturely I handle that? Definitely over 21.
I need a makeover, y'all. Ooooooooh, maybe Oprah can help! Free makeup! Free clothes! That'd be wicked cool. But no Mommy Pants. Just say NO to Mommy Pants!
Darn. Now I'm depressed. And I think I've lost sight of my point.
Um... Oh yes! Washers... Dryers... Preeeeeeeetttttttyyyyyyyyy...
(ETA: I just read yesterday's comments and mamaramma, this is in NO WAY related to what you said! I wuv you big lots! It's a TOTAL coincidence! Pinky promise!)
Yesterday, when I should have been working hard trimming my blog's monkey, I went on an excursion into the city. Bad cat! Baaaaaad cat! It was beautiful y'all. The weather was dry and warm for a change, with just enough wind for kite flying. Oh yes. Spring is perfection. Especially when the cherry blossoms come out to play! For a picture essay of our family trip into DC for the annual Cherry Blossoms Festival, 2005, just go on ahead and click RIGHT HERE.
Wait! Before you go ahead and click right there, I recommend viewing the pictures in slideshow format. This is quite easy. Once you have been redirected to the photos via the link above, simply click on "View as Slideshow" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. It's also loads of fun to play with the slideshow speed. But then again, I think I've established how easily amused I am. Honestly.
Unfortunately, I forgot to change the digital camera settings to a higher resolution picture, so they're a TAD grainy. Grrrrr!
Right, then. Carry on.
Kristine's going to help me make my blog PERTY! Hooray!
AND... Joan of Arcadia is on tonight!
(If you have never had the opportunity to see Amber Tamblyn act, NOW is the time. Girlfriend's a wicked GENIUS actor and can cry like nobody's business. Chris Marquette, too. I kid you not. This one time, on Without a Trace... Oh, well, I'll save it for another time, mm-kay?)
As I was saying, JoA is on tonight and I am SO going to send my kids to bed, plant my bubble-butty arse on the couch, and settle in for a good solid cry. Because-- DUDE-- uber-sensitive, artistic Adam's alter ego, the horny bastard, hooked it up with his creepy Goth art buddy Bonnie because Joan wasn't "ready" yet and in the process trampled my Joanie's heart to mush and ground it into the damp Arcadia pavement! Why?! WHY?! How could God let this happen to Joan?! HOW?! I mean, she does his bidding and all! And what happened to CuteGuyGod? I miss him.
Adam, you are dead to me. Do you hear me? Dead.
To be continued...
ETA: Still working on it! Ooooh, it's gonna be goooooood... Kristine and I are having WAY too much fun! How is this LEGAL?!
Shaun, you are killing me here. KILLING. ME. I am so going to hell, but your Pope Idol is my guilty pleasure. Who will it be folks? Who will be the next pope? Bono? Homer Simpson? Samuel L. Jackson? I will withhold judgement, of course, until I see the female contestants, although Poprah Oprah is definitely a frontrunner in the competition. With a name like that, who can stop her?
I can see that Jesus will be the one judge keeping it real this year. Mother Teresa is too full of love and good vibes to be unbiased, and Reverand Jesse J? I never know what the hell he's talking about.
Well, that was... interesting. Note my use of a neutral, vague adjective. Interesting.
Of course, interesting can go both ways, can it not? But, what?! Could they not get the rights to some actual DECENT musicals?! A little Grease, perhaps? I could so see Carrie singing "Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee, lousy Miss Virginity!" Or how about some Phantom or Jesus Christ Superstar? Gosh, even Hair has better music than what we heard last night. Hello? "Age of Aquarius" anyone? HELLO?!
Nikko surprised me (as did his vocally powerful, extraordinarily over-the-top backup singer, for Pete's sake!), and Carrie kicked some serious ass, as usual. Vonzell is no Babs (which is not necessarily a BAD thing), and Bo SO picked the wrong song from Pippin! Anwar, though vocally precise, ruined one of the best songs from Camelot, and Anthony, Simon be damned, was dang cute singing the pop version of "Climb Every Mountain." Get that boy his own boy band, I say! Scott needs to go bye-bye. Is it possible the scandal has broken his spirit? 'Cuz BORING. Nadia lost me. Was she good? I wasn't paying attention.
Oh! and hey. Was it just me, or was Constantine making sweet, sweet love to the microphone and totally screwing the camera with his eyes? His hypnotically sexy eyes... How weird was THAT? Huh. Maybe his contacts were bothering him? What?! Why are you looking at me like that?!
10. "Deadline? What deadline?" (variation: "Deadline, shmeadline!")
9. When the boss says, "Good morning," quickly reply, "Oh is it?"
8. Leave long pauses in your conversations at random moments. When your boss is prompted to interject shout, "I am NOT finished!"
7. "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom."
6. "Oh, did you mean, like, right now?"
5. During a staff meeting, pull a hamster from your pocket and suggest throwing it as a creative means of idea-exchange.
4. "My cubicle isn't properly laid out according to feng shui. I'm going to have to be moved to get my chi balanced...preferably to an office with a window."
3. "Loser says what?"
2. When nearly done with a long-winded, excruciatingly dull report, announce, "No, wait, I messed it up," and repeat.
And the number one thing you should never say to your boss:
1. "You're not the boss of me!"
(List compiled during a collaborative carpooling powwow)
Oh. My. Freaking. HELL. A certain person I work with needs to buy himself a sense of humor. STAT. We are a laid-back staff, but this jackass? Well, let me just say he has a tendency to take himself MUCH too seriously. Good grief. Settle DOWN, Trigger.
I hate that sick feeling you get in your stomach when people get crazy up in your grill. HATE. IT. Maybe I will talk more about this later. But not now.
Okay, I'm over it.
(Warning: If you are a rabid, crazed Constantine or Betty fan, GO AWAY! I did not invite you here! Stop your obsessive Googling of Constantine and take back your life! Do your homework! Go shopping! Read a book! Play with your kids! He doesn't know you are ALIVE, and if he did, he'd be scared of you! I am SO not kidding.)
Hmmm. I must say, all this pointless controversy over a wickedly funny April Fool's joke gone awry has started me thinking...
Crazed celebrity fans. An interesting phenomenon. Madonna has 'em. David Letterman has 'em. O.J. Simpson has 'em. Michael Jackson has 'em. And apparently, Constantine Maroulis has 'em. Oh, ho, ho, yes he DOES.
Now these are not your normal, everyday, garden-variety fans. Oh no, no, no. Don't think it for a minute. Madonna's obsessive, crazed fans set up pricey shrines to her and break into her house. David Letterman's obsessive, crazed fans stalk him, break into his house, and concoct plots to kidnap his baby. O.J.'s obsessive, crazed fans, despite all evidence to the contrary, continue to believe in his innocence. Ditto Wacko Jacko's fans.
And Constantine, a contestant on a freaking nationwide popularity contest for God's sake!, has obsessive, crazed fans who will go to extreme lengths to defend Constantine's honor, whether it be through name-calling, anonymous hate-mail posting, conferring with the FBI... Heh. Sorry, that one kills me. Anyhoos, all this, I say, so the boy can win a popularity contest.
Thing is, I can take Constantine or leave him. No, really. I honestly do enjoy his voice and his style, I get a kick out of how he is playing American Idol like the survival game it is, and I hope he does well because he has talent and smarm, oops, I mean charm. However, I cannot help but find it amusing to play devil's advocate and be the thorn in everybody's side, touting my undying love of all things Constantine. But truly? Whatev. *sigh* I know, I know. It's a character flaw. I freely admit this.
But as I was saying, these fans, these folks who incessantly harass a person for playing a funny joke, these people are diehard, obsessive, mentally-unbalanced, You Mess With My Idol And I Will Cut You fans. Fans who appear to cherish a belief that in some alternate universe they are in some way a part of Constantine's life. A member of his posse, if you will. Or the future mother of his child. Which, okay, just, ew. Ew! Bad Image. Very Bad Image.
Now don't get me wrong. Just worshiping a star doesn't make you dysfunctional (although the contrary nature of such a statement is utterly apparent to me). But it sure as hell puts you at risk of being so. It starts you On The Path. It's a tad scary, y'all, and the more I look at the AI and Betty website and read the posts of people jumping idiotically and unnecessarily to the defense of their imaginary idol, the more I hear the frenetic hero-worshiping, and the more I laugh at the beating of chests and the "I have FBI connections and am SO reporting you to the proper authorities" posturing, the more frightened I get.
Because don't you see? Don't you? Many of these fans are SO On The Path, and it is only a hop, skip, and a jump down the paved road to Bonkersville, that scary place where a teched fan goes off his or her nut, fills with irrational rage, love, or some other powerful emotion toward a celebrity, and acts upon it.
During my senior year of high school (1989 people; yes, I am OLD), I remember being shocked by the death of 21-year-old actress Rebecca Schaeffer (My Sister Sam? with Pam Dawber? Good show!) who was gunned down in her own home by a fan who had developed an obsession with her.
Speaking of, didn't an obsessive, crazed fan kill Selena? Didn't an obsessive, crazed fan kill John Lennon? Didn't an obsessive, crazed fan shoot the President of the Unites States just to impress Jodi Foster? Didn't an obsessive, crazed fan (of tennis star Steffi Graf) stab Steffi's opponent Monica Seles with a 5-inch serrated steak knife? At a tennis match? In front of God and EVERYBODY?! Why, yes, now that I mention it. He did.
I could go on. And on. And ON. I suppose all I am trying to say is this: if you catch yourself getting to the point where you are spending countless hours posting on a fan message board, if you are neglecting your family and friends, if you are failing out of school, if your dog runs away because you keep forgetting to feed him, if your children forget your name and refer to you as "that silly lady who sits in front of the computer all day," ALL because you can't seem to tear yourself away from the chat rooms and message boards of a celebrity, well, guess what? The Path is looming, my friend, and you had better get the freaking HELL off the internet and GET BACK TO LIVING.
That's all I have to say about that.
I feel icky and uninspired today. I got the blahs, y'all. BLAH.
Maybe it's because last night my dad called to say hello and chat for a bit, then just as we were saying our goodbyes he threw in, almost as an afterthought, "By the way, Grandpa's in the hospital. He's in bad shape. The doctor's say his body's shutting down. We'll keep you informed. Mm-kay, buh-bye, hon."
So, parents? Are weird. I would have thought that this little piece of information would deserve top billing, but no, no, and no. No? Honestly. I know, I know, my parents don't want me to (air-quote) worry (un-air-quote). Nice try!
Puh-lease. Give me some credit, people. My props, yo? 'Cause, see, Worrying? Is what I DO. I excell at Worrying. In fact, I got my Master's degree in Worrying. I'm a licensed, bona fide Worrywart. So, yes, icky and uninspired, that is me. Throw in some gastrointestinal distress, if you like. Yes, as a matter of fact, by all means do. Because here I sit, Worrying.
Worrying that my mamacita and her brother and sisters are worried, too.
Worrying that my cell phone doesn't have service in the building.
Worrying that I should have given my parents my direct line.
Worrying that I should have gone to visit for Easter.
Worrying that Grandma is freaking the hell out.
Worrying that Grandpa is going to die.
Wow. Rabid fandom at its best. Read about it here and here.
Gosh. Almost makes me want to re-evaluate the validity of MY OWN April Fools joke. Who knew a little bit of April Fools tomfoolery would be so controversial? Has the world gone INSANE?!! Whatev. Movin’ on...
Shaun, you are a BIG FAT LIAR! Well, maybe not fat, I wouldn't know that, actually, having never met you and all... but still! LIAR! Did you and Kristine conspire against me and the blogging public in general, or was it all you? Did you fool her, too, or is she totally ON TO YOU and WAY smarter than me? Honestly. You had me going for a full ten minutes or so! Ten minutes! Of my life! Totally WASTED!! And it's all your fault.
Dude. You are a stinker. That is all.
ETA: Link has been disabled dued to hate mail from rabid Constantine freaks directed toward my Blogger friend Shaun. Stupid bastards.
Wow. Looking back over this blog, I have come to the realization that I have let American Idol rule my life. I TiVo it, watch it several times, talk incessantly about it with co-workers, blog about it, even dream about it! Oh yes, you heard me. I dream about it.
Last night I dreamed that sweet, sweet Constantine and I were dating and stupid Mario was trying to come between us because he thought I was going to ruin Conny's career, but I knew he was just secretly in love with him. I can't remember all the details, but I remember that Constantine was an awesome kisser, and so endearing, and he was absolutely heartbroken when he discovered I was contemplating breaking things off with him in a selfless effort to help him further his career in that business we call Show. I believe there was begging involved on his part. It was heartwrenching. I was actually quite melancholy when I awoke. Truly! Does that ever happen to you?
So, yes, I realize that I am dwelling too much on American Idol antics. Obsessing, even. I have done some soul-searching and I have decided it is in my best interest to quit the show cold turkey. Not only that, but to stop watching television altogether. It is time for me to stop wasting my life away in front of the television. It is time to purge the words "a'ight" and "dawg" and "yo, yo, yo" from my vocabulary. As a matter of fact, I have already called my satellite provider and asked them to cancel my service. The TiVo is being packed away this evening.
No more putting off cooking dinner until I've caught up on Ellen. No more late nights of Law & Order and old Joan of Arcadia episodes. No more Veronica Mars, folks...
Heh. I swear, I'm so bad. I couldn't even TYPE that with a straight face! Honestly. I'm grinning like a mofo! Heh. Don't you just love April 1st?