Friday, December 01, 2006

I've moved!

Trying something new - come find me over here:

Monday, October 30, 2006

blood disorder? please.

Time for me to weigh in (yeah, pun intended) on the ever over-publicized Nicole Richie eating disorder. Yes, that’s right. Eating disorder.

She can protest as much as she wants, spin it however she pleases, swear up and down that the team of experts Daddy’s paying to fix her up are only concerned with getting to the bottom of her puzzling, troubling, incomprehensible inability to gain weight – no, she’s not in TREATMENT, she’s in CONSULTATION. Fine. But we’re not fools.

I hate being played for stupid. I hate it when celebrity debutantes assume that the greater celebrity gossip-obsessed public is so gullible (and thinks she’s just sooooo cute) they’ll just believe the ridiculous excuses that get published every couple of days.

The latest: her team of Expert Physicians (read: Hollywood ex nip-tucker Docs now available for private hire, equally as adept at bad press damage control as wielding a needle, drawing blood, and looking convincingly empathetic as they’re photographed escorting their high profile client patient away from glamorously in-patient-esque facilities early in the morning) is concerned that Ms Richie may be suffering from a rare blood disorder that renders her completely unable to gain weight.

Because, you know, famous underweight girls that are genuinely concerned they may have a blood disorder would allow themselves to drop close to 50 pounds and then be photographed jogging on the beach in ill-fitting bikinis if they felt they were legitimately sick…at the very least, if you’re concerned that your weight loss is due to some rare, undiagnosed illness, wouldn’t it be slightly more likely that you’d be photographed leaving Whole Foods with your reusable shopping bag full of Lara Bars and protein powder, or stuffing your face with Azteca “Macho Burritos” – even in vain, than jogging, an activity generally associated (at least among people in the over 80 pound demographic) with weight loss…

Okay, okay, let’s say that – for the sake of argument – she got loaded, “accidentally” shared a needle with her best friend and ended up with some strange “disease.” Would your first consultation with experts happen AFTER you’d lost 40 pounds and suffered a year and a half of “EATING DISORDER!!!!” accusations around every corner? I mean, if I suddenly lost 20 pounds without any obvious explanation, you can bet I’d be running to my doctor – with a Jack-in-the-Box Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich and venti, whole milk, pumpkin spice latte in my fingers.

I’m no sucker. I don’t believe that Shiloh Jolie-Pitt has an ounce of either Jolie or Pitt DNA in her body. I don’t buy that either Tom OR Katie has any desire to live happily ever after together. I don’t think that Brit and Kev share a bedroom at Villa del Spears. I sure as heck don’t think we’ll find out that some sort of chemical imbalance is to blame for Nicole Richie’s problems any more than I buy that she and Paris were ever in any sort of feud.

Monday, October 23, 2006

the hot button in our marriage: big business politics.

This weekend K and I discovered a fantastic way to get each other angry and emotional: we had an “accidental” conversation about corporate politics (don’t ask me how. I think it began with a totally innocuous reference to a childhood friend of K’s that had managed to skim thousands of dollars a month from the coffee shop he worked at during high school. I said, “Wow, I don’t think I could do something like that, I’d be terrified of getting caught the ENTIRE time. Wouldn’t make the money worth it.” From there, it became a quick discussion about the fact that apparently “companies deserve to get ripped off, they’re ripping off their employees left and right by paying them minimum wage and keeping them oppressed and beholden to the company that doesn’t give a damn about them as people in the first place”). So. I assumed my apparently typical position in defense of businesses, K stood his ground and went to battle for the little man (this entire conversation is definitely a microcosm of our entire political belief system, but I’ll blame it on his free-styled Alaskan upbringing and my vaguely Midwestern roots, since I can’t figure out how else I ended up so horrifyingly, unwaveringly politically conservative).

And then the floodgates opened. I was accused of being less than understanding of people treated poorly by employers who pay them in Cheerios. Well, metaphorical Cheerios. Cheerios that taste soggy when they’re all about The Bottom Line. Evil, capitalistic Cheerios. I argued that it hasn’t been all blue skies with fields of honeysuckle for me, either. I’ve worked hard. Employers have mistreated me (coming soon: a more specific account of a job I once held that may or may not have ended because of a box of Sweet & Low). I’ve been laid off ON MY BIRTHDAY. On the first day back from vacation. AFTER I gave them the flag-printed souvenir socks. I’ve been so broke I had to put milk and tampons on the last $10 of my credit card’s available credit because the $2.16 in the bank account just wouldn’t cut it. I’ve raged against corporate ideals. I’ve settled when I knew there was better opportunity. I’ve looked at a pay stub and thought, “is this what I’m worth at the end of the day…is this all there is?”

BUT, as someone that aspires to own a business that’s able to support me entirely, as someone that aspires to wake up in the morning and set my OWN schedule and determine my OWN bottom line and give or take based on my OWN decisions, I can’t help but jump to the defense of business that are taken advantage of and robbed, because behind every faceless corporate entity – large OR small - is someone that at one point laid everything they had on the line, took a leap of faith, believed that their company was viable, and built that business from the ground up – blood, sweat, tears, sleepless nights and all. It’s naively optimistic, sure. But I can’t help but put myself in the place of the coffee shop owner who’s afternoon employee took off with tens of thousands of dollars that didn’t belong to them – someone that in the end, got away with theft and justified it by saying, “they should have paid me more. This wouldn’t have to happen if I got a bigger slice of the pie.” I don’t think that being a thrifty employer, cautious about their revenue, expenses and operating costs is necessarily greedy because they pay an entry-level employee something close to minimum wage. It’s a fact of life afforded business owners: the discretion to pay their employees a “fair” wage, whether or not the employee is happy about it. Doesn’t give Joe Coffee Maker the right to steal.

Do people get ripped off? Every day, on both sides of the working relationship. Is the minimum wage high enough? Not in every case. Would it be terrific if every one made enough money to send their kids to college, to cover their medical expenses, to take a vacation every year? YES! Should every single person working for a company get an even share? Show me a scenario where that’s actually profitable for the life of the business and then we’ll talk.

Anyway – my dull opinions on the politics of employment aside, K and I discovered one area where we can’t even come close to seeing eye-to-eye. I’m married to Robin Hood, and taking the side of the “Office Space” cubicle Nazis. It’s a strange jungle to navigate, knowing that any time this issue comes up we get both painfully defensive and unusually belligerent. We repeat ourselves, we exaggerate, I cry. It’s so out-of-character we SHOULD be laughing about it. I’m sure we will, soon enough.

Ah well, here’s to the beautiful, painful experiences we have on a Saturday evening while washing dishes. Here’s to unexpected philosophical exchanges. Here’s to the conversations that teach us more and more about each other every day – conversations that help me appreciate the nuances of K’s values, the strength of his convictions and force me to look a little closer at my own. Here’s to sitting on the bedroom floor in the middle of the night figuring out why we feel the way we do, figuring out WHY this issue always makes us angry and figuring out how to appreciate each other’s opinions. Here’s to disagreements, to apologies, and to 3 fantastic months of married life. On top of that, my Robin Hood even scrubs the kitchen floor and does our laundry. Beat that.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

worth passin along

I’m cheating on Christina Aguilera.

She got booted from the number one slot in the car cd changer.

I love her – I do. It just that…Sister Hazel has a new cd out. There’s something about Sister Hazel that just makes everything feel…better. Warm. Happy. Relaxed. Sunny. They’ve been through a lot with me over the years. I guess once you’ve sat in your car and cried about some heartbreak or another while a certain band plays in the background, their music just sticks with you. Once you’ve listened to a song after a breakup, or during a hard decision, or on your way to a new job, or out the door of an old job, or on your way to a first date, or once you’ve played the same cd to death while you packed up for college, or unpacked inside your first apartment, that band is with you for the long haul.

That band for me: Sister Hazel. They’re like a good pair of jeans worn in just right; like a perfect pair of black heels; like that favorite threadbare t-shirt – always comfortable, reliable, impossible to replace. I’ll even forgive the irritating “All For You” radio single that seems to be the singular association most people have when they hear the name “Sister Hazel.”

I loved their stripped down early days – the garage recordings with the offbeat a capella anthems. They had gutsy harmony and eccentric guitar. I was hooked on their first major studio release, “Fortress,” played it non-stop for MONTHS at a time. Inflicted it on everybody. They took a slightly over-produced turn with their next two albums “Chasing Daylight” and “Lift.” Neither took enough advantage of their quirky vocals, or those beautiful riffs that go up and up and up and up – signature Sister Hazel…it felt like the heart of their music just couldn’t quite get out…it was buried a little. The vocals ended up mixed waaaaay too far into the background – a pity because that meant missing out on the poeticism of their lyrics, my favorite part about them. They’ve got a groovy, backyard-barbeque vibe to their upbeat songs, but the melancholy tunes: those are the gems. Somehow at the same time dejected and optimistic, their lonely, heartbroken ballads with fantastically literary lyrics always stick with me…

At any rate, they’ve found a happy studio medium with “Absolutely.” It’s one of those cd’s that sounded familiar the first time I listened to it – liked it on the first listen. It’s happy music. It’s sitting-in-traffic music. It’s music to toss on when you finally get fed up and HAVE to spend a weekend cleaning the house (oh…is that just me…). To me, they’re a writer’s band. They appreciate plays on words, unexpected phrasing and lyrical imagery.

Just what I needed during a dreary week when I can’t quite pull myself out of the blahs…music that makes me appreciate writing in a new way. It made a grey, dreary day a little cozier.

Now, if I could just find music that would finally force me to write all of those thank-you notes. Sigh...

And in case you missed the honeymoon pictures, they're HERE

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

ok, ok, i was dodgin the blog.

Chalk it up to a new work schedule that makes it difficult for me to blog at work. Chalk it up to coming back from a trip and not wanting to face the "routine" things I did before leaving. Chalk it up to a plan to open a restaurant and all that goes along with that undertaking. Maybe I was distracted because I finally decided to return to school, but then got stuck vaccilating for two weeks over whether or not to spend the cash on culinary school (aha - a hidden passion of mine...I love to cook. I'm a great cook). I love cooking almost as much as I love writing, and these days, it was - for some reason - infinitely easier to make soup than to spend any of my at-home time in front of the computer after a long day at work.

And I was uninspired. Maybe it was the Foley garbage that turned me off to the news and the celebrity websites became dull...or too entrenched in whatever Madonna was or wasn't adopting from afar. Then those poor Amish school children, then North Korea...

It made an already tired girl that much more tired. Between fledgling school ambitions, the weighty dread over the fact that I STILL haven't sent thank-you notes for all things wedding, trying to spend some time with my husband, trying to work eight hours - and eight hours ONLY - during the day, pondering a new business, starting an entirely new way of EATING (yes, Greece weight is hard to get rid of...)...I just didn't have anything left. Nothing that I felt like making Meaningless Observations about. Or meaningFUL observations (heaven forbid), or pointedly inane observations on stuff that almost mattered. I was decidedly unable to observe.

Then, like the long-distance friend you've lost touch with, I wondered if it had been too long. Was I out of the "blog" frame of mind entirely? Was it "gone for good" or was I just in a strange funk? Had I crossed that "it's been too long, just forget about it" threshold (that weird social point-of-no-return where you wonder if it would take more effort to get back into the swing than to just stay away)?

Not sure.

At any rate: Still breathing. Still busy at work, my blog vibe is still a little off. I'm forcing myself to find time in the evenings and on the weekends to do what I used to do during the day because it's so important to me to make time for my husband, for my house, for my education, for my...culinary endeavors (hmmm, perhaps there's a cookbook in the works, as well, in the background). So it's Heatheradair with a slightly new bent. A slightly new schedule. A slightly more weary attitude, but still dedicated nonetheless. Because I miss my friends. My faceless friends. I miss you guys!

And, because it would be strange NOT to toss up some of the fantastic pictures of the Trip I Can't Quite Come Home From entirely (K wants to move to Greece. He said he felt more at home there than he ever has in Seattle. I can't argue, the people are kind, the weather is beautiful, the country is breathtaking, and the euro goes a LONG way), here are pictures of the trip. The trip that began this whole blog-lite spiral!

*small note: it took some kind of FLIPPIN NERVE for me to post pictures of myself in the swimsuit so many times. I do not post pictures of myself in swimsuits except with VERY good reason ("reason" being very good scenery, in this case). i'm layin myself bare here (er, literally, too, I suppose!)...!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Greece: powered by Nescafe

And airplanes: powered by strangers' GERMS. Cough*Hack*Sneeze*Sniffle. Soon, there shall be pictures, and mildly well-constructed anecdotes...for now: Kleenex and this strange, foreign, offensively bright thing called a computer monitor. The return to work: culture shock. But I am now the proud owner of a 7-word Greek vocabulary (Please, thank you, you're welcome, excuse me, how much, where, and BALLS. fantastic). And a vicious cold.

I'm beginning the slow process of re-acquainting myself with current events, gossip and the new dangers of spinach. Who knew two weeks would leave me feeling so oblivious? As I welcome myself back to "real life" (and struggle to squeeze myself into any of my clothes after nibbling my way through my own weight in gyros), I'm surprisingly content to be back home. Content, and congested.

And, so as not to leave today's title completely unexplained: the Greeks like their coffee powdered. And they like it strong. And, frankly, so do I. Forget ouzo. Gimme a Nescafe frappe, medium sweet. And toss in a scoop of ice cream for good measure. And some Grand Marnier. And a swizzle stick.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

back on the 23rd!

It's finally here! I've been up all night packing & sipping pink champagne. now we're off...for paradise...and SLEEP.

Monday, September 04, 2006

the upside to working 15-hour days:


Oh, no, wait...I'm working those, too. Sundays, national holidays (guess there's a reason it's called LABOR day...I'm livin the dream), you name it.

Naps on the keyboard! Hmm...naw, those are uncomfortable.

So here are the top 10 GOOD parts about working consecutive 15-hour days:

  • ONE) No traffic! I'm getting here before people are awake and leaving here after people are in bed! No sitting at stop lights, waiting on the freeway, nothing!

  • TWO) Incandescent light has fantastic anti-aging properties. Errr, for all of the hours I'm INSIDE, I'm most certainly NOT out in the lovely 85-degree sunshine. Really, who needs sunshine. Wrinkles: overrated. Fantastically youthful skin preserved by the light of a healthy, UVA/UVB-free desk lamp: ageless. If I have an indescribable, ethereal glow: gotta give credit to the computer monitor.

  • THREE) I don't have to worry that I've forgotten to check in with somebody's blog - I KNOW I've forgotten. I haven't checked in with ANYBODY'S blog in a week or so. No more constant refreshing for comments, no more catching up on everyone's new posts in the morning. Blog? What's a blog? Is that like an Eggo?

  • FOUR) Virtual biology lessons! I'm getting smarter while I'm glued to this uncomfortable chair - digestive system's acting up because I'm existing on diet Coke and flavored oatmeal and Carnation Instant Breakfast and leftover donuts from the management meeting and old, dried out banana chips from the candy dish at the front desk (sore point, by the way. WHO gets excited about visiting the office candy dish and finding banana chips and wasabi peas and dried ginger and stale almonds and carob anything? I want mini Reese's cups and peanut M&Ms and peppermint patties!). No prob! Just check the symptoms on WebMD! They'll tell you how to fix the pesky digestive condition, and give you a staggering list of related conditions! How neat! While I'm struggling to stay awake, I can ponder the ways this lifestyle will slowly kill me - I'll know the symptoms the second they strike!

  • FIVE) Live entertainment. If I'd left at a NORMAL time on Friday (read: If I'd left at noon like everyone else around here does) I'd have missed the better-than-COPS car accident directly across the street - white car SLAMS into ghetto Buick, obliterating the back end, blowing tires and bumper pieces and glass all over the road - over-corrects, careens back across traffic, leaps the sidewalk, drives OVER a tree and INTO the building across the street, stopping only INCHES from a glass window and an office full of people! Even stranger than fiction, one passenger BOLTS, the other frantically tries to back the car off of the tree they're parked on before police arrive. Better than TV.

  • SIX) Christina Aguilera. I can work my way through her entire repertoire as loudly as I want once the last middle-aged man has left the building. And when I'm done with Christina, I've still got the Wilson Phillips archives, the Brooks & Dunn, the Steve Miller, the Jimmy Buffet, the Kelly Clarkson, and the much under appreciated Beth Hart (but because she tends to scream and screech, she's less than office-hours friendly). Just please, stick a pair of SCISSORS IN MY EAR before I'm caught dead buying into office-mate's idea of a good time: Michael McDonald does Motown!!!! "So upbeat!" Scissors. In my ear.

  • SEVEN) Unlimited pampering when I get home. Want champagne? Cozy pajamas? Sour patch kids? Hot Shots: Part Deux? I name it, and it's mine, accompanied by foot rubs, back rubs, shoulder rubs, the works. I married the most wonderful man ever created.

  • EIGHT) I can wear great shoes and know it doesn't matter if they're comfortable or not - I'll be sitting in front of this computer the ENTIRE day...I get up to use the bathroom and make an occassional photocopy. 5-inch spike heels or 6-inch platforms would be comfy when they're sitting in a chair all day (not that I own or wear either. Yet. Came very close with a pair of Joey O's that I just bought).

  • NINE) Working this much is a great excuse to play dumb when anyone asks me ANYTHING. Standard response: "Beats me. But I DID work 15 hours yesterday. And the day before. And on Sunday. Ooh - could I have a cookie?"

  • TEN) Knowing that after this Wednesday, I'll have 18 uninterrupted days with the man of my dreams the day I leave for this place (you MAY even hear from me again IF I decide to come back):

Monday, August 28, 2006

hope I look this good at 116 (and a picture of howie mandel)

Read this morning over my daily dose of CNN that the world's oldest person died yesterday in Ecuador.


Maria Esther de Capovilla's secrets for a long life were pretty similar to other centenarians: 3 meals a day, small glass of wine, no smoking, no hard liquor. ALSO (a detail that particularly jumped out at me because I work alongside a Fear-Monger that's terrified of dairy and if I could eat a cheeseburger for every time I've heard Fear-Monger say "Cow's milk is meant for baby cows with 5 stomachs, it was never meant for humans. Don't drink milk" I'd be about 35 pounds thicker) she grew up drinking "fresh milk from donkeys and cows."

Man, to have sat down with her for a few minutes...not much in the average high school history textbook that she hadn't lived through in one form or another. She was in good health until a sudden bout of pneumonia that took her quickly, in two days. According to Fox News, her family was planning for her 117th birthday. For 116, man did she look fantastic (she looked better than most 80 year-olds these days)...admittedly, I don't see a lot of pictures of 116 year-old people to compare her against, so I guess she gets off easy: she's in a class of her own.

ALSO - maybe I'm just REALLY out of the loop, but how long has Howie Mandel looked like this (and did I really just google "howie mandel?" Yes, I just did...hmmmm)

FURTHERMORE: Mark your calendars. Some time in October we'll get to see someone special playing an arrogant teen on CSI. And hey, the special someone didn't have to do a thing. CBS recruited him. That's it: I'm officially quitting my job and beginning what I shall call "HeatherAdair's Quest to Become Famous by Strategic Association." Now taking applications from celebrities interested in being exploited for my own misguided stab at fame.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

well, the outfit seemed like a good idea at home...

We've all had those mornings: whatever you put on seems just fine when you're in front of the mirror at home. Then you get to work (or wherever) and wish you had a trenchcoat you could toss on to hide the, um - miscalculation.

Having one of those days today. Was feeling ambitious this morning: black leggings, tunic top, peep-toe heels. Seems alright, although decidedly more "trendy" than my usual getup (I like classic, tailored stuff: pencil skirts, lots of black. It seemed adventurous to me to try the whole "bermuda shorts as office wear" thing, but hey, they were black, went well with heels).

Feel like the tunic thing isn't quite long enough to cover up enough of the thigh (one area I'm particularly insecure about). Yeep. The color is more bold than what I usually wear - thinking it would have been safer to use a black top - bright aqua is, um: hard to hide inside of.

So here I am at work, feeling rather like Heather Playing Dress-Up. Like back-to-school Heather. Feeling obviously like anyone walking past today will think, "Strange! She's trying to dress like a high school kid! What's with the plastic headband?"


The shoes are cute, though.

*hey look! no ellipses!*

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

the entire office is OCD...there's gotta be a way to have fun with that...

And here I was thinking I'd finally chose TODAY as my day NOT to use "..." to end every other sentence. Tomorrow, maybe. "..." is my crutch. My non-comittal way to end a thought. It looks pretty. Makes me seem introspective...

I wonder some days if I'm not the only one in the office without a litany of compulsive hangups that drive my work day.

Some days I start the day with a cup of coffee (gave up the giving up a few weeks ago...ran back to the warm, if not ultimately destructive arms of coffee. The cup takes me back, no matter how many times I've strayed, no matter how long I've been away, how many times I've advised others NOT to drink it while I'm on one of those inevitably self-conflicted fasts. I even abuse my coffee with powdered creamer and packets of Equal. Every time I come back, it's like a new, blossoming, pure love all over again. Then it rips my guts to shreds and leaves me naueous by noon and twitching by two and withdrawn and headachey by five...).

Some days: no coffee.

Some days I get here at 6. Some days, 6:52.

Some days I take little bitty lunch breaks and run up to the little Qwik-Mart for a lemonade. Some days K comes by and we take an hour and a half and split a pitcher and gorge on burgers and finish up with ice cream. Some days: no break at all. Some days: midday Target shopping for pink lip gloss (major vice) and lacey undies and cheap silverware and another lexan water bottle. I must own a dozen of those.

Some days I take the freeway to work. Somedays I avoid it altogether. Some days I don't mind sitting in traffic to get home, some days I take the path of least resistance (and, inevitably, end up behind a school bus making it's afternoon stops).

Bottom line: I'm not particularly obsessive about the way things get done. My desk is reasonably messy, my pen cup reasonably organized (today maybe I'll use a pen with green ink! Tomorrow, black.). Sometimes I stack papers up and shove them off to the side of my desk, sometimes I file them away in nice neat little manilla folders. Sometimes I shred 'em. Very little rhyme or reason to the way I do things (this carries over to home life, too; my living room is usually very well-tended...I may not EVER dust a surface in the room, but the coffee table is organized, the remote controls know their place, the pillows on the couch are fluffed, the flowers by the window look lively, everything has it's place. But don't - EVER - open the hall closet. I may never get all of that junk back in there.).

The coworkers: so religiously regimented I wonder how they ever get out the door to work in the mornings. Even the ones that project a "devil may care, I love life" aura are, in the end, painfully compulsive about their workspace, their schedule, their use of company refrigerator space. SO: I've decided to mess with them a little. Small experiments here and there to see who cracks first. Who cries uncle first. Who demands to know who's undone the careful order of things.

First item of business: I've begun leaving a used coffee stir stick (those little plastic things masquerading as an almost-straw) next to the sink every day. I don't put it in the garbage can, I don't leave it in the sink where someone would wash it down into the disposal, I don't place it on a nice, neat little napkin. Every day when I'm done using my stir stick, I put it out there, all by it's lonesome, in the no-man's-land of the kitchen counter. Every day, someone throws it away. Maybe a snippy little note will appear on the microwave: "Your mother does not live here: please throw away your used almost-straws." I'll keep leaving them there, I think (**Sidebar note to TF: if it's you throwing them away, thanks, man - humor me here, I'm doing a little experiment.**)

We have a series of stacking mailboxes...everyone has their own little inbox up by the copy machine. When I need to leave something in someone's mailbox (a check request, an invoice, an anything), I leave it hanging out about 3 inches. Just enough so that it sort of flops over and looks listless and grossly out of place. In a big stack of neatly ordered mailboxes, it looks glaringly sloppy. Cute. Like the meaningless fax requesting a retention payout suddenly has...personality!

Most of them are a painfully "organic" bunch. Afraid of chemicals, terrified of dairy, always willing to tell you that the sandwich you're eating will KILL YOU or the diet soda you're sipping is carcinogenic.

They ramble ad nauseum about how their delicate digestive systems can't handle HYDROGENATED FATS, and that they can't trust any cooking but their own - and, my, they ate at an organic restaurant last night, but there must have been some HYDROGENATED FATS in their food, because their stomach feels absolutely terrible this morning, "just goes to show you can't trust a restaurant." They're the sort that won't allow their kids to eat an oatmeal raisin cookie purchased in a Grocery Store (that said with raised eyebrows) because they read the ingredients, and they're practically criminal. The kids are NEVER permitted to kill themselves with those cookies again. Full of chemicals and fat.

SO - to toy with the "shade-grown, fair-trade, organic" vegetable people that could write a dissertation on the socio-policital advantages of soy, I'm going to bring in McDonald's breakfast burritos in the morning, Dick's cheeseburgers and fries for lunch, and maybe...hmmm...maybe some Oscar Mayer bologna for a snack. Or a Snickers. Washed down with chocolate milk and Pop Rocks. And I'll keep a container of frosted animal crackers on my desk. Should be fun. Watch 'em squirm.

Monday, August 21, 2006

she of many defense mechanisms...

On the cusp of Paris Hilton's cd release, I found this CNN snippet pretty interesting. Interesting because it seems to be a common theme the easy-target, easy-money, media-birthed, almost-icons use these days: "That person you're making fun of isn't the REAL me...I keep the REAL me hidden so I can't be judged."

Here's an excerpt:

"I'm always playing a character," she says. "I don't talk like this really -- like a baby. I don't act like myself in public, because I don't really want to show everyone the real me. Because I have no privacy whatsoever, the only thing I have is who I really am."

It's an interesting tactic. He Who's Name I Dare Not Type Lest I Give Him More Attention did it. Paris takes it one step further by refusing to own up to her own tunes in a club because she knows the second people realize they're dancing to, yes, Paris Hilton, they'd vacate a dance floor more quickly than a JC Penny's store. It's probably a smart move. Afterall, if I hadn't known who sang "Stars Are Blind," I wouldn't have felt so guilty turning it up or singing along.

BUT, the trouble is, it's sort of like crying Personality Wolf. For all of the times someone famous chooses to disconnect themselves from something they're embarassed to have done, or something that didn't make much money in the end, or something that gets them bad press by saying, "HA! Suckers! I fooled ya GOOD this time," it makes them that much less able to project anything legitimate and expect us to bite.

If, for instance, every time Paris films another season of "The Simple Life" and writes off her entire personality as "a character that she plays" and insists that nothing we see on the show is authentic Paris, then why should we believe that when she donates some money to a charitable cause, or writes one of her own songs, or is quoted in a magazine saying something witty that it isn't "just another character" that she's playing.

If Paris (or any high-profile celebrity that feels they've got plenty to lose by being unguarded in the public arena) is really trying to protect her authentic self from judgement by fabricating a persona for every contingency, how does she manage to separate what she considers the "real" Paris from all of the alter egos in the long run? And if, by protecting yourself from all negative judgements, you manage to also protect yourself from any positive review as well, doesn't that sort of negate the entire experiment? If by putting a more redeeming public image in the closet for fear someone might DARE say or think or write anything judemental about the REAL Paris helps her sleep better at night, good for her...but what happens when she wakes up one morning and can't shake the roll-playing...will she feel better for having spared herself theoretical judgement?

Yep, I'm probably taking this a few steps too far, she was just making a fluff point, it's just a defense mechanism, we've all got 'em, but I think this article got to me because the same faces that leap at the opportunity to get magazine covers and front row seats at the Diddy parties and the awards shows and the St. Tropez celebrity yacht weddings and the after-bashes and the invitation-only events don't mind being seen when it serves their purpose. But the second they have to defend something they've done, they beg not to be seen as role models and claim nothing they're seen doing is "really" them anyway. Of course, they're famous, rich, dumb, why do we expect much more from them, but it's just becoming such a cop-out.

I say, surprise us all Paris. Do something authentic. Or at the very least, make sure your cd upstages Jessica Simpson's.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

a collection of unrelated observations

Observation 1: Lindsay Lohan looks great in ugly underwear. And she also does bad, bad drugs with her mommy...

Observation 2: Britney's a great mom. She doesn't let her kid play with sharks. But I've seen her kid recently. I think she should be more concerned that her kid would EAT her brilliant husband's shark-pets. Also, baby number two was an "oops."

Observation 3: Don't try breaking in a pair of REALLY. TIGHT. JEANS when you're gonna be sitting at a desk all day. I'm mildly afraid I may be sawed in half at the waist. They're that tight. Had to wear them, they make my butt look flippin TERRIFIC. Oh wait, I sit at a desk all day. No one sees my butt. So I'll be sliced in half for naught. Man, they're really tight.

Observation 4: Christina Aguilera's cd takes a little getting used to. It's well-produced, I dig the crackly vinyl sound she lays down at the beginning of a few tracks, she belts it as usual, but the whole pop-opera vibe I got after a few listens still has me puzzled. The genres bounce ALL over the board, so stylistically, it's difficult to ever be in the mood for the WHOLE cd (fine, for BOTH cd's) at once. I end up track-skipping like crazy. Cd's redeeming virtue: the Panty-Droppin, Cherry-Poppin song is catchy.

Observation 5: If I hear one more person in my dog-crazy office talk about "The Dog Whisperer" I'll...I'll...I'll force them to watch back-to-back episodes of "Blind Date." Also, the office manager's boyfriend just cut his hair. I know this, because she's told the story to six different people this morning. That's about how great her office-managing life is these days. A haircut is news.

Observation 6: Yikes. It's becoming difficult to breathe these jeans are SO. TIGHT. I'm wondering what would happen, from a human resources perspective, if I were to take them off and work for the rest of the day in my underwear. Man, there isn't even room in these for me to drink a cup of coffee. I know, since I just tried.

Observation 7: I don't care how overexposed and touristy it is, Santorini looks like heaven, and if it leaves us completely broke afterward, I don't care as long as I get to honeymoon there. Try to resist THIS PLACE. Just try. Swimming pools that dribble into the ocean, breakfast served on your private terrace, open air bars, private jacuzzis...complimentary wine, beautiful sunsets...Blast the travel guides that tell us we'll be missing the REAL experience by becoming tourist pawns in overcrowded island resorts. I want the terrace breakfasts and the spa and the wine and the sunsets!

Observation 8: The Pike Place Market turns 99 this year. Presumably that means vendors have been tossing fish for tourists for nearly that long. And it must have been about 98 years ago that Tom Hanks ate at one of the restaurants in "Sleepless in Seattle" right at the cusp of his bloated era.

Observation 9: Muscat, as a dessert wine: rather intense. Dessert wines in general: always sound like a great idea until I have a glass of it in front of me. I've never been able to finish a glass of dessert wine. Same goes for muscat.

Observation 10: August in this town absolutely blows. It's still hardly 70 degrees out there right now. Isn't this supposed to be summertime? I'm living in the wrong town. I hear Santorini is nice this time of year.

Monday, August 14, 2006

more quality programming cancelled for ratings...

It's sad when The Man cancells terrific tv shows just because "no one watches them."

Such a cop-out.

This season's addition to the television burial ground are a couple of my high-brow favorites:

Blind Date



(****reverent moment of silence*****)

They were the last, stalwart remains of the "relationship programming" genre that included fiendishly addictive gems like "The 5th Wheel" and my compulsive favorite "Cupid" (the platform for the lovely and personality-free Lisa Shannon - a Courtney Cox-Arquette knock-off - to go on dates with brainless thugs and sexually-ambiguous pretty-boys then let her "best friends" critique/dehumanize/humiliate the suitors until they found one lucky (?) sucker whom personality-free Lisa and the evil "best friends" AND the voting American Cupid-watching public agree she should not just date, but marry. Because the aim of the "relationship programming" was never a snuggle-buddy or a passionate affair. The aim was always marriage. Eternal togetherness. Televised matrimony. Ah, unadulturated delight. Check out the website. Really. It's very pink. Hard to resist.)

For awhile, primetime was awash in cheap n' easy midseason exploitation like "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire," and then the inevitable "Who Wants to Marry My Dad" tag-along. We had "Temptation Island" and "Joe Millionaire" and "Regency House Party" and "The Bachelor" and "For Love or Money" and "Average Joe" and "Paradise Hotel."

It was the golden age of television for people - like me - with poor taste and short attention spans and a voyeuristic streak. I could count on an all-new episode of "Elimidate" every night with my bedtime hot cocoa. The girls would be catty, the boys would be painfully metro, the date locations would be trite and at least one unfortunate luv contestant would decide it was a GOOD idea to write poetry about the object of their misguided, televised affection almost every night. Their declarations of love (and - even better - rationalizations for why they'd chosen to kick Dixie or Burke or Zeke out of the competition) were so awful and uncomfortable and forced I'd squirm and cover my eyes and tune in again for more of the same every night.

It's sad when networks kick such gluttonous fun to the curb...they were saccharine, artificial, vicariously uncomfortable...and they're no longer on the air.

R.I.P. Blind Date. I'll miss you.

And Roger Lodge.