Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tropically Depressing Ernesto

Central Florida's suffering through its first bout of hurricane fever this season thanks to a weakling named Ernesto. The tracking maps showed him paying us a visit, so counties all over canceled school for today. Of course, now we have to make up the missed day the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. So much for travel plans.

So today we stayed in, and it was...wait for it...rainy. Gray, depressing, and rainy. Not a deluge, no scary wind gusts, just rainy. Seattle weather. Ho hum, yawn, time to watch more cable. The worst thing about weather like this is that it's so oppressive. The longer the day went on, the greater the sense of ennui. Why bother? Why work? You'd think with a day off, I'd be productive, but noooooooo.

Memo to school types: Don't make big decisions about canceling school until the darned thing makes landfall! If you'd waited until last night, you would have known we'd be wet but not in danger, and we wouldn't have wasted the day. Don't jump the gun at 2 pm next time, 'kay??

I'm glad we're back in school tomorrow. Days off like this just aren't worth it.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Radioactive Republicans

Chez mimi's been getting a lot of phone calls this week about political candidates. We're a divided house: one Democrat, one Republican. DH and I figure that splitting the registrations means that each of us can choose the best candidate in the closed-party primary, then vote our respective consciences in the general election.

Usually, there's one obvious candidate on the Democratic ticket, but a fairly wide range from conservative to ultra-conservative in the GOP. This is proving to be very interesting, especially in the big races for Governor and Senator.

For Gov, the Dems are trading some nasties over who's more in the pocket of evil developers, sugar growers, and the insurance industry, while the Republicans are playing tug-of-war with the Reagan legacy. (Something I just do not understand, even if some bonehead managed to convince the Florida legislature to rename the Sunshine State Parkway the Ronald Reagan Turnpike. Hello? The man never lived here? If you're gonna rename our turnpike, can't you pick a Floridian?? Shoot--pick one of the Marjories: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Marjory Stoneman Douglas did a hell of a lot more for Florida than Mr. Reagan, may he rest in peace. Sorry. Ranting. Back on topic, mimi.) As I was saying, their sniping makes Reagan's
Bedtime for Bonzo co-star look like a model of decorum and good sense.

And then there's Katherine Harris.

Talk about a train wreck in progress. Newspapers lately are competing for the oddest "what she said this week" quote. Her campaign staff's turned over about three times. She makes bizarre claims about her supporters (top Democrats? Not in this state.), her platform (Christians make the best legislators, because everyone else is too busy "legislating sin"), and her chances (I'm gonna win!). We're talking Tom Cruise-level meltdown on a daily basis. It's painful to watch, but you can't tear yourself away. And not a single prominent Republican, including Jeb Bush, is willing to go to bat for her publically. Baby doll, give it up.

Carl Hiaasen's right about Florida. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List


You gotta like a guy willing to play straight man to Hugh Jackman's Wolverine. James Marsden is one interesting X-Man. It's too bad that he keeps getting cast as the great guy who doesn't get the girl, though: he's on the losing end of romance in X-Men, The Notebook, and Superman. Methinks it's time he got top billing.


This week's "He did what?" moment belongs to Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone, the only octogenarian with the set big enough to take on Tom Cruise. Basically, he showed Mr. Katie Holmes the front gate of the Paramount lot and severed a multi-year, multi-million-dollar association because he wasn't too happy with how Tom's more whacko pronouncements (Scientology, mano a mano with Brooke Shields over postpartum depression, "Sorry to destroy your sofa there, Oprah, but I love this womaaaaaaaan!!") made his studio look. (Too bad we can't convince major college athletic programs to do the same for out-of-control scholarship athletes.) Yep, I'd buy him dinner.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"Fast" Girls

I was screen snacking yesterday and took a bite of some stories about VW's "Fast" campaign for the GTI. Apparently, the notion that young males in their late 20s (the ad agency's target demographic) might be thinking more with testosterone than with sensitivity is both baffling and threatening.

I don't know about you, but DH and I laughed our butts off. But we--well, I--might be in the minority. Talkback about the campaign included a couple of outraged "I was thinking about buying a VW, but now I NEVER WILL!!" comments from some pissed-off women.

Okay, girls, get your panties out of their twist and relax. Number one, it's a commercial. Number two, it's not aimed at you. Number three, who hasn't dated a guy who valued his car/stereo/pick your obsession more than his current relationship? This is a young guy. He's not thinking with his relationship brain here. He just wants to go fast.

I laughed for the same reason I laugh at the closing credits of Comedy Central's The Man Show and the Swedish bikini team. It's called satire, people. Comedy that makes a broad point broadly and instructs at the same time. It's demeaning if you have a loose grip on your own identity, perhaps, but acknowledging that a 20-year-old blonde supermodel with implants looks a hell of a lot better in a string bikini than I do (and would thereby draw more drooling and wolf whistles from the testosterone- steered crowd) does nothing to diminish my brainpower or accomplishments. Or negate that DH would much rather get me naked than he would "Ingeborg" with the icy-cold brew.

Wanna talk about demeaning? How about Lifetime Movie Channel's endless offerings of women-in-jeopardy films? You know, the ones where two-thirds of the action details horrific abuse, and in the last third she fights back. Have you ever wondered why so many of them finish with a showcard detailing what happened to the jerk? Because the real justice isn't dramatic enough to show. But watching her go thirteen rounds with an abuser is A-OK and somehow uplifting, now, isn't it?

David Segal was right when he claimed that the politically-correct environment was death to comedy. When everything's sacred, nothing's funny. I side with Jonathan Swift. If you can mock it, you can change it. That includes testosterone-fueled boyfriends. Let him go fast, for Pete's sake. There's nothing that says you have to ride shotgun with a guy who'll never let you drive. Shoot, buy your own turbocharged fun, beat some 2 Fast 2 Furious moron off the line, and make him cry.

That's what I did. And I did it in my VW.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Dream House

I don't know what it is about my subconscious, but when I'm asleep, HGTV takes over. I dream about houses. Not just normal houses, but houses with all kinds of strange nooks, crannies, and extra rooms. Like last night. I was dreaming about my house--sort of--when I started turning corners and found a huge laundry room that looks like it came out of Pottery Barn catalog, then a guest room I didn't know existed (like you can suddenly discover new rooms in your own house).

This isn't the first time, though. I dream about houses with multiple staircases, secret passages, second kitchens, rooms full of antique furniture--clearly, I have decorating and remodeling issues. That, or cleaning. Oh yeah; definitely cleaning.

Guilt now prods me to clean my kitchen.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List

I haven't had any of these picks for a while, not because I'm not interested in men (who could lose interest in men?), but because the schedule was so packed, I didn't have time or energy to focus on them properly. (Husbands everywhere are rolling their eyes and thinking to themselves, "So what else is new??") But I've seen the light--or, at least, great publicity photos that have defibrillated the man engine. For your consideration:


Okay, we're most familiar with him as Count Adhemar in A Knight's Tale, but Rufus Sewell is one of those men who shows up in a movie as the supporting male or the bad guy but ends up stealing all the attention. And there's that little thing about the soulful brown eyes and the dark curly hair. Rawr.


Four words: Snakes on a Plane. According to rumor, Samuel L. Jackson took the lead role from reading the title. How could he not? That movie will either be really good or so bad it's good, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show (from what I hear, SoaP devotees in the blogosphere are already designing the lines to yell back at the screen at crucial moments). Gotta love a guy with a sense of humor. Plus, he's got amazing range. And a purple lightsaber by special request. And a great [expletive] command of the [expletive] English language.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Back in the school groove, which means nothing much else is doing any grooving. That includes housework and, as I'm sure you have surmised by now, blogging. Fear not; new Bed/Dinner List choices to be made, observations on school craziness, and more writing. Writing would be good.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


So I'm reading through my college magazine and come across an item about a former boyfriend. Not just a former BF, but the one who broke my heart. Everyone has one of those, right? The one who says and does all the right things, then smashes your heart and your self-esteem along with it? The one who taunts you into dialing while drunk, or evokes long epistles begging for things to be set aright? The one who haunts you during late nights?

I don't know about you, but even today, years (and I mean yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaars) later, I still get a twinge when I read that name. So, like many of us do, I Google him.

Turns out he hasn't had a horrible life despite the voodoo that my roommates and friends wished upon him. He's married to the same woman (one he dumped in spectacular fashion a couple of relationships before me, but reconciled with), has some kids, good job. He's in Rotary and holds a leadership position in his church. Fine and dandy.

I did get some evil satisfaction at the pictures, though--the Pat Riley hairdo alone
(Why in the hell do guys think that's a good look? The mind boggles) is enough to assuage some of the lingering aftereffects of having my romantic ass handed to me. That, and the fact that DH, the ONE after all, is way cuter. And not just because I say so--he's empirically cuter, even when he's all grubby from doing lawn work and especially when he's all dressed up. And our babies are gorgeous, if I do say so myself. Plus, he's unfailingly kind to old ladies and loves dogs.

So maybe I owe "The Creature" a note of thanks. After all, if I hadn't been dumped, I wouldn't have discovered a true prince.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back to School

Life's back to normal, which means early morning craziness, traffic, lunches, nonstop activity, more traffic, and collapse. You know, school's started. For teachers, anyway.

The first week back for teachers is five solid days of meetings, more meetings, and decorating. Fix the room. Run copies. Prepare copies. Run from place to place. Training, training, more training. Meetings again. Questions. Panic. Somehow, it'll all make sense on Monday morning when the kids--shouldn't call them that, since most of them are taller than I am--arrive.

I love the first few weeks of school. Everything is fresh and new, a veritable Plato's Cave of anticipation. It takes a couple of weeks for everything to settle into routine. Until then, magic. That, and trying to remember everyone's name.

I remember standing in front of the room when I was a brand new teacher amazed that someone would pay me for doing what I did. I'm still amazed, though I admit the amount of the pay could use a goose. I have the best damn jobs in the world--teaching and writing. Getting paid for doing what I love is still a thrill.

Now, if I can only get someone to pay me for the writing part...

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