Monday, December 29, 2003

Home For the Holidays Awards

WORST QUESTION: "Would you like to buy a headphone set?" This stewardess tried to sell me $7 worth of headphones for a 90 minute flight. "What's showing?" the guy in front of me asked. "Oh, Entertainment Tonight-type features, music videos, that sort of thing," she said. Bitch, I don't watch Entertainment Tonight at home when it's on for free. The day I pay actual money to listen to Mary Hart talk is the day I want somebody to kill me for potentially poisoning the gene pool.

I glanced up a couple times from my book (purchased for $6.50, incidentally) at the TV monitors and those lucky, lucky headphone-wearers were watching some weirdass Claymation thing featuring reindeer who seemed to be going on a hike somewhere, complete with bedrolls. O, that I were only privy to the audio for such a marvelous doing.

BIGGEST SCREWING: Airport parking. Are you ready for this one? Are you ready for this? Forty dollars. FORTY dollars. To park. To park four miles away from the airport. And my apartment is seven miles away. Yes, we shall be taking a taxi next time.

BEST BABY: All of 'em. I had two babies at my disposal this week and one toddler. Brooke, my sister's best friend's baby, drooled and crawled around for my entertainment; my baby cousin Tyler continues to be The Most Worried-Looking Baby, Ever, but he did let me dance with him; and two-and-a-half year old Kaitlyn.... well, here's what Kaitlyn did:

My cousin Melissa. We were at my family's party last night and I--awful as it was, much as I tried to avoid it-- could not suppress tears at the dinner table. (I'm sad about something, but to tell you the whole sordid tale would put you into about $940,000 worth of therapy, so let us just say: I'm sad about something.) I was quick and quiet about wiping them away, but my cousin Missy, just married, saw.

"What's wrong?" she whispered. "Talk to me."

We've never been tremendously close, Missy and I, as we were too much alike as youngsters, but she and I have been bonding more and more since adulthood. Now the very thing that had us knocking heads as children-- double artistic temperaments-- is drawing us closer and closer, and I caught the bouquet at her wedding. So I spilled a PG-rated version of My Life Thus Far. "Try to think of Taufling," she said. "I can't imagine my life without Kaitlyn and Tyler. They're the world to me. Your niece or nephew will look at you like you're the best person ever. There's no feeling like it." Which of course almost made me cry harder, but hey: It's Christmas! What's Christmas without a minor emotional breakdown?

Right about then Kaitlyn came scampering up to her Aunt Melissa, who whispered, "Tink is feeling sad, can you give her a hug?" Kaitlyn held her arms out, and damn if a two-and-a-half year old could fix what the double-shot of Butterkist couldn't.


-My sister's brother-in-law, who, upon seeing his sister in a truly hideous semi-fringe-on-ONE-shoulder shirt, said: "You look like a second lieutenant in the Swiss Army."

-My very tall brother-in-law Britton: At my family's party we played that game where everybody opens a gift and you try to "steal" somebody else's. Our cousin Mike is expecting a baby around the same time Taufling will be coming into the world. Mike took my sister's copy of Seabiscuit (fear not, she stole it back) and Britton said, "You just go ahead. My kid will beat up your kid someday."

BEST GIFT: At said gift exchange, I nabbed a baby toy from my uncle for Taufling. No one dared take it from me, lest they incur the wrath of Aunt Blonde. It was way better than what I originally opened anyway, which was, of course, a snowbrush. Always highly useful in Florida.

WORST DEFENSE: Cincinnati Bengals. YOU SUCKED TODAY. WAY TO SUCK WHEN IT MOST MATTERED. Don't even get me started, people.

There's Always Next Year At:

Saturday, December 27, 2003

And Another Thing

"The Christmas Waltz?" Great song. One of my favorites. But what's with that line, "We'll tell scary ghost stories"? Is this an appropriate part of anyone's Christmas? "Hooray, baby Jesus is born and when the couple got out of the car, they saw a bloody hook hanging on the door handle."

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Must Be Beautiful In Vermont This Time Of Year, All That Snow

I can pretty much recite the script for White Christmas verbatim, but the baby Jesus simply cannot come into this world until I've watched this while baking cookies, writing out cards, or simply basking in the glory that is Bing.

The sets are bad (exactly the same cloud hovers over the ski lodge in all outdoor scenes) and the storyline is worse (what happened to Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney's trunks and records after they escaped the nightclub? I worry about these things) but there is far too much tap dancing on overturned rowboats to treat White Christmas with anything but love, love, love. Who's not proud to be an American when Rosemary and Vera break out the bigass blue fans? (Rosemary is my homegirl, BTW. A native of Maysville, KY, I regret that she lived to see her nephew George develop into such a roaringly colossal dumbass. Her brother Nick, who was a local news anchor when I was sent to bed early so I could get up for grade school the next morning, is now running for Congress, and I further regret to inform you that the useful idiot doesn't fall far from the tree.)

White Christmas has cemented itself in my heart if only for gifting this good Earth with the World's Most Inappropriately Placed Number In a Christmas Musical, which comes in the form of Vera-Ellen tap dancing to "Abraham"-- a song about Lincoln-- in a canary yellow dress. I suppose this is a not-so-sly nod to the also magnificently mockable Holiday Inn, in which the song debuted, along with "White Christmas" itself, but still: Merry President's Day! Silver and gold and the Copacabana to you!

Frightening That I Know This Trivia: The "Vermont" line, which must automatically be recited by me or a family member whenever the state is mentioned and which made life very annoying for the two years I attended grad school in Vermont, is spoken by each major cast member but Rosemary Clooney.

Other Things We Dig About White Christmas :

-The singing of "Snow" on the train to Pine Tree, which is marked by these four wacky kids creating a mountain tableu out of a napkin and a crunched-up green.... something. Man, is that drunken four AM finals week behavior or what. "I'll wash my hair with snow!" sings Vera-Ellen's voice double. Irving Berlin, you magnificent bastard. (Frightening That I Know This Trivia, Part II: When Vera-Ellen shows Bing the picture of her brother Benny, the face that we see is Berlin's. Also, Vera? With the hyphenating? Don't do that.)

-Bing telling Rosemary to pick up a carafe of milk by telling her to "bring the cow." Because he is Bing, and he can get away with that.

-"We'll Follow the Old Man Wherever He Wants To Go": Oh! An unresolved question, though: When the soldiers are singing "As long as he stays away from the battle's fray", what's that about? They don't want to go into battle? What kind of crappy soldiers are these?

-Rosemary singing "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me" with the Gay Community Dancers, who, in black turtlenecks, tights, and absolutely no expression wander into the shot, gesture resignedly, then leave. Merry Christmas. This part gets watched in fast-forward motion. (Also, what is that silver thing riding around on the seat of Rosemary's dress? It looks like she sat in a pie plate sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art.)

-The opening of the ski-lodge doors at the finale to reveal-- snow! Wasn't it cold in there? Also, what was up with the horse-drawn sleigh skidding through the shot? Wasn't there all of, like, .00000001 inches at that point? And suddenly the roads are impassable for cars (all of which bear California license plates, btw?) Ahhhhhhhhh, it is fortunate indeed that I am easily soothed by the gloriously un PC "Mandy" number. That white outfit Vera-Ellen is wearing? Is cool. I need one of those things, complete with detachable white tulle.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003


There are few things that annoy me about the holiday season except for the expected cash outlay, being told to have a merry Kwaanza, the office parties, the overcommercialization, the loss of my favorite radio talk show hosts for about five weeks, cold-ass churches crammed with people who aren't there for the rest of the year and make those of us who punch the card every frigging week get there like forty-five minutes early if we don't want to be genuflecting in the parking lot, and the way that one freaky kid on the Charlie Brown Christmas Special dances-- have you noticed this kid? He's wearing a green shirt, and he is clearly a top graduate of the Al Gore School of Rhythm, as he his idea of dancing is to turn alternately side to side, sticking his neck out and letting his arms dangle practically to the floor. It's just not Christmas until that scene frightens and saddens me.

I also have Issues with certain holiday standards:

-"Up On the Housetop": Generally, the chorus doesn't bother me. The clicking is negligible. However, there's one verse in which a child named Johnny has apparently asked for, quote, "a whip that cracks." WHAT?! Is this kid a budding S&M addict? I really don't think Santa should be encouraging this type of behavior.

-"We Need a Little Christmas": Here's another rather troublesome verse, which includes the words "carols at the spinet." What the hell is a spinet, and why are we singing carols at it? It sounds like some sort of spinning wheel. Who owns a spinning wheel? Has someone properly festooned the spinning wheel for the holidays? Got to have a Billy Bass propped up against the spinet if you want to do Christmas right.

-"The Little Drummer Boy": Hate this song. Hate it hate it hate it HAAAAAAAAAAATE IT. Repetitive, obnoxious, depressing, and in general uninspiring, not to mention farfetched. If I'm the Blessed Mother, I'm saying, "Okay, I just went through childbirth between a cow and a dung pile, and if you know what's best for you, you're getting your stupid drum away from my son." Because babies LOVE drum solos.

Also, what was this idiot doing all by himself in Bethlehem? Did he miss the bus that was taking the rest of the high school band to play the halftime show at the Bowl? Stupid kid.

-Dean Martin's version of "Baby It's Cold Outside": This song rocks-- it is the most romantic Christmas tune I know-- and far be it from me to criticize The Dean, but God this version sucks. Dean sounds fine, but the woman's part is sung by.... a group of three women, which is disturbing at best and disgusting at worst. "I really can't stay! I've got to go 'way!" sung against one man, who's parrying with seduction lyrics-- uh, no. I don't even want to think about what's being implied here.

-Dean Martin's version of "Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer": Okay, close be it to me to criticize The Dean. You know you're in trouble when it starts out with about five guys going "Rudolph! Rudolph!", you start to cry when Dean refers to the title character as "Rudy", and by the time Dean starts doing that hideous white-guy hep thing where he changes the words AND the melody, the Exacto-knife is already in your hands and heading towards your eyeballs.

Lesser known, but still annoying songs:

-"Let's Have An Old Fashioned Christmas Polka" Riders in the Sky somehow found it necessary to foist this one upon the world, because when you think cowboys, you think oompah band. It makes me want to check my entire German heritage. Even before they get to the lyric that goes, "Where's the fiddle and the bass? Sam is gonna play his face!" I can't make this stuff up, people.

-The jingle-belled version of Brahm's Lullaby featuring some guy whistling the melody with the backing of a full orchestra. I don't know who's responsible for this song, and I don't know how long it's going to take me, but so help me God I'm going to find them and they are going to pay.

-Hep-cat version of "Away in a Manger" I seriously thought this was a joke song when I heard it, but no, it was being played on a verifiable radio station by a verifiable human who had been thinking that "I love thee, Lord Jesus, you're a cool cat/And take us to heaven to swing with thee there" was really going to rake in the advertising dollars.


Sunday, December 21, 2003

Shaddup, Deion.

I seriously can't stand Deion Sanders so much I'm radiating little wavy hate tendrils at the TV. I have never heard him say anything this entire season that wasn't in a shriek. I wonder what would ever happen in the event he's not the center of attention in every single room he's in. Shrivel up like the Wicked Witch of the West, I suppose, howling, "CLOSE UUUUUUUP OOOON MEEEEEEEEEEE!"

He's wearing this universe-rupturing red jacket today (Boomer: "Are you going foxhunting?") and, after my man Boomer patiently broke down the playoff picture-- who needs to root for whom, how the chips are falling and so forth-- Deion said, "Man, get out of here with all that stuff. If you got a good team, you're gonna be in the playoffs." Dude. Not if the team you're tied with for first wins too.

Vindication came, however, in the form of Deion announcing-- for some reason-- "You never saw me miss a tackle."

Boomer: (pause) "I never saw you near one."

Dan Marino and host Jim Nance: (laugh very, very hard)

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Lill, You Dumbass

I've stuck with Lill throughout this season of Survivor 'cause she's my homegirl. Can't turn your back on a fellow Cincinnatian, y'all, even if she is an East Sider. But tonight, when she selected a popular, non-hated player over an unpopular, obnoxious, cocky, misogynistic asshat to take with her to the Final Two, where the a jury of former players would decide who won the million dollars, she chose: The popular, non-hated player. Lill. I'm a blonde political science major who regularly loses her way IN HER OWN APARTMENT, and even I'M sitting there screaming "TAKE JON TAKE JON TAKEJONTAKEJONTAKEJON" at the television set. You make a dumbass move like that, you deserve to lose soundly, as you did, six votes to one. God. Stop embarrassing my city, Lill. We get enough of that from Jerry Springer, and certainly don't need your assistance.

Email The Crappiest Survivor at:

Best Headline On the Saddam Capture Award

goes to Matt Drudge, for "ACE IN THE HOLE!"

Friday, December 12, 2003

Satellite Fever

The National Air and Space Museum has opened a second home near Dulles International Airport. It houses the Enterprise, a test article shuttle orbiter, the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb, and the Spacelab module. Everybody was there for the opening. Vice-President Cheney. John Glenn, first American to orbit the Earth. Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon. Scott Crossfield, (who knew Scott Crossfield was still alive? Damn) first person to fly at Mach 2 and then Mach 3. The current crew aboard the International Space Station was present by satellite feed.

So. Everybody and everything were there. The only way this could have been huger was if Amelia Earhart rolled in at the stick of the Kitty Hawk.

Here's how the AP reports it:

God I wish I were making this up. Not only did John Travolta attend, he approved. Oh, Lord have mercy! John Travolta appeared in Look Who's Talking, Too! We shield our eyes before your luminousness and gigantic collars and general Travoltaness! We go together, Travolta! YOU and ME!!

The connection between Travolta and flight, apparently, exists in his pilot's license. I don't know what he's rated for, exactly. Possibly something constructed largely of balsa wood.

Glenn isn't quoted for something like 700 words of story. It's important, however, that we're all aware that "Travolta declared his love for the Concorde, waved fondly at the Boeing 707 (he owns one) and tried to imagine what it would have been like to pilot the sleek SR-71 Blackbird spy plane from coast to coast in an hour. " Also, he blew his nose twice and said he liked pie. But this has got to be good news and great comfort to the Concorde people. Travolta says it was A-OK! Its existence is hereby justified.

Neil Armstrong? Who the hell wants to hear from him? Get more Travolta! MORE TRAVOLTA, DAMMIT!!!!

"I started to cry," Travolta is said to have admitted when a replica of the Wright Brother's plane touched down at the opening ceremonies. Puss. Also: He's been permitted to share oxygen with Scott Crossfield, John Glenn, and Neil Armstrong at the same time, and what gets him? What gets him right here? A big ol' fake glider. Double puss.

Admission to the museum is free. Parking, however, is twelve dollars. Because JOHN TRAVOLTA'S LIMOSINE ALSO PARKED THERE.


That's An Outrage

Gary "No, Seriously, I'm Still A Jockey" Stevens does this to me all the time. He'll make spooky-spooky comments about setting off for the White Pants Only Retirement Home For Jockeys, vanish from the entry cards for a few weeks, then spring right back into the saddle just as I'm dumping his career into Rubbermaid to save it in the fridge. He'll be riding a colt named That's An Outrage on December 20th in the Hollywood Futurity, then Buddy Gil in the Malibu Stakes on the day after Christmas. (What's an outrage? Foals are usually named with a nod to their parents. His mommy's name is Cable News, which, granted, is a constant outrage, but seriously, my shoulders are just in the air on this one, because how do you pick just one cable news outrage? Is the owner referring to CNN as a whole, or just Larry King? Geraldo with or without MSNBC? What do his grooms call him for short? "Ragey"? Why all the ambiguity? Why not just name the damn thing "Fox and Friends Is An Insult to the Intelligence of My Coffee Table" and be done with it? I need to hire myself out as a professional thoroughbred namer.)

All this, and the DVD release date for Seabiscuit draws nigh (not "neigh", as the evil horrible punning elf on my shoulder keeps stabbing at me to type. I hate that guy.) Since I do all my partying at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Monday nights, I'll be sure to see Gary there at a DVD to-do.

The webmaster at the racing site I write for has been biting her fingernails over Gary's "maaaaaaaaaybe I'm retiring, maaaaaaaaaybe not," but I took these most recent rustlings with approximately 47,000 grains of salt. Here's a guy who tends to make decisions and statements based upon the emotion of the nanosecond, and is the type of person who is a jockey not only by trade, but by blood cells. It would be like me crying off writing just because I have no discernible writing career at the moment. Won't happen. Can't. (pause for crying jag in bathroom of large, decidedly unliterary engineering firm, returns to keyboard)

Email an outrage at:

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Rollover Complete

The orbiter Atlantis rolled over this week. I'm sadly without security clearance at the Kennedy Space Center these days, but an extremely awesome person was present to bless the event-- my former co-worker, Nick the NASA Poobah.

Nick is the type of person you want leaning against your filing cabinet in the event a grenade-wielding psycho bursts into the office screeching that the nearest vending machine is charging $87.50 for bottled water. (Where the subcontractor I used to work for is concerned, this is not at all an out-of-hand possibility.) Nick won't throw a woman in front of him for cover or get out a unitard on the theory that relaxation yoga or a round of Kumbyas is going to solve the problem; he is going to fashion a deadly weapon out of a stapler and a yellow highlighter, take the bastard down, then very calmly get on the next bus to the launchpads. He will also, on his way out the door, take exactly enough time to assess the situation in action-figure fashion: "They're called drinking fountains, Jack," he'd say, and depart.

You get the feeling that he went to bed sometime in 1962, woke up in the middle of the Clinton administration, and has been trying to figure out at exactly what point the world went to hell ever since.

TRUE NICK STORY: He and I were briefing an auditorium full of people about an upcoming shuttle launch. A question and answer session went on and on, and finally one guy stood up, pointed at Nick, and said, "You've been answering questions about technology, history, physics, and politics. How do you know all this stuff?" Exquisitely timed pause. Then: "I make it all up."

He stood to feel the most personal hurt after we lost Columbia, and yet had the wherewithal to not only remain composed in front of the roomful of guests for whom he was narrating the landing, he huddled with everyone who was working that day, pulled the crew together, and issued exactly the right instructions. And yet he feels loss and joy, redemption and hope as deeply as the rest of us: At Columbia's memorial service on the landing strip where she was to touch down that day, it was his jacket that was draped around my shoulders just as I began to fall apart.

When I am Empress of the World, Nick will be in charge of PR for the entire Kennedy Space Center, and never again will the gift shop sell crap like this.

So you see why it is only fitting and good that Nick presided over the transport of Atlantis from OPF to VAB. "Slightly bittersweet, as you might expect," he emailed me, "but not without grandeur and majesty. Perhaps, in horse breeding parlance, she is 'by Columbia, out of Discovery'. In any event, she is every bit the thoroughbred." As is my Nick.

Email Nick's friend at: You should know, however, that Nick is single, but quite taken, so no you cannot have his phone number.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

I miss my college friends.

They send me emails such as the following:

"Ted came to visit me in October from New York. He drove eight (8) hours. It was quite the enjoyable weekend. But as Ted was sitting in his car, about to drive back to New York, he asked me if he could use the bathroom before he left. Sure, why not? It is a long trip from Maine to New York. So Ted used the bathroom, for quite a long while, and ended up breaking my toilet. My toilet has not been the same since. Ted may be my best man when I get married, but I'll be damned if I ever let him use my toilet again. Ah Teddy, I can't wait to make sure your future wife knows what she's getting herself into. I'd bet a quarter that she'll at least make sure you have your own, separate toilet."

The above is from The One Known As Sykes, Army Ranger, who in days of dormdom brought love and light into the lives of many by occasionally leaping up, shouting "Wheel! Of! Fortune! I'll spin!" then exposing a horrifying amount of buttocks area and spinning in a rapid circle as everyone within eyeshot scattered. We became immediately confident about the fate of democracy when the Army sent Sykes to Afghanistan.

Sykes also briefly named his fantasy football team "Ted Broke My Toilet." I think that's pretty much all you need to know about Sykes in order to fully understand his place in the universe.

Monday, December 08, 2003

God Rest Ye Proportionate, Gentlemen

This is the first year I've had the opportunity to put up big-girl Christmas lights outside, and I wound two strands around the staircase leading to my apartment. It is exceedingly awesome. (Also, you really, really need to know that as I put them up I was wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and sunglasses-- and I was sweating. You're welcome. Viva Swamp Living!)

Home decor is fun, in extremely limited doses, but I fail to understand the people who plunk down and plug in any random Christmas-related lighted object. It reflects nothing but your own lack of discrimination and apparent desire for an electric bill outstripping that of several South American nations.

I drove by one house last night that featured two separate and complete sets of chicken-playing Santas and reindeer, aiming at one another from opposite ends of the house; an entire herd of those exceedingly creepy light-up reindeer that move (I hate those things, by the way, and the stupid white wooden ones too. One year, though, which shall henceforth be known as The Best Christmas Ever, my family was driving to Midnight Mass and passed a wooden reindeer pair that some presumably drunken person-- who, it must be noted, still had better taste than the homeowner-- had placed in what I shall delicately refer to as the Paris Hilton position. Look, boys and girls! It's the Screwing of the Deer!) and, very disturbingly, an inflatable, eight-foot Frosty, which is bad enough on its own but completely horrifying when placed next to a four-foot light-up Nativity scene. Frosty was positively towering over the defenseless baby Jesus and a totally expressionless Virgin Mary. It was a Godzilla movie for suburban Catholics. To paraphrase a friend of mine, "The Tacky Christmas Decoration Fairy had arrived and threw up all over the lawn."

You'd think St. Joseph would have done something about it, but he had his back to the world-ending snowman. Dude. Back to the wall, always. Back to the wall. Can't forever be counting on those angel-dreams to protect you, man.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Oh, Boomer.

I've mentioned how dear to this blonde heart Boomer Esiason is, but he just vaulted himself right into BFF status when he spoke of how honored he was to call the Army-Navy game earlier this week. He mentioned Pearl Harbor and awesome the cadets are.

He's currently involved in a spat with Lawrence Taylor over-- okay, I'm not exactly sure why Taylor is pissed, but Deion The Perpetually Annoying is on his side, which automatically means that Boomer has got to be right. (Surrealality Sidenote: Sean Hannity had Taylor on his radio show last week. Given the recent dust-up between Sean and Marc Summers, all these colliding world moments between The Men In My Life are seriously starting to scare me.)

Boomer, it seems, is nearly constantly unpiling himself from an avalanche of cosmic crap. He has long been involved with cystic fibrosis research due to his son's illness, he lost his research foundation's offices in the World Trade Center on 9/11, Al Michaels ousted him from Monday Night Football, he refused to reveal that his struggles with the Bengals began when he discovered his son was sick and he had to drive the kid around and around I-275 for hours at night just to get him to sleep, and now he has to share oxygen with Idiot Deion on a weekly basis. From his comments on the CBS preview show, I can pretty much tell he has a tangible dedication to family, decency, and country. That goes yards and yards with me.

Also, he just picked the Bengals over the Ravens today. Sniff. I love you, man!

Pearl Harbor

I've been there, left flowers at the memorial bobbing over the grave of the stricken. I've seen how the oil still rises from the punctured drums of the broken ship, light and stealthy.

The same hatred and evil remain in the same way, skimming over the surface of all of us. God bless our veterans and those still keeping us safe.

Friday, December 05, 2003


NASA's PAO announced this week that the orbiter Atlantis will make the majestic move of a few yards from her hanger at the Kennedy Space Center to the Vehicle Assembly Building. This is normally an important mark in the launch cycle, as the VAB is where the orbiters are mated to "the stack"-- the solid rocket boosters and external tank that will fuel the space shuttle's ascent into orbit. It is a procedure known as "rollover."

Atlantis, however, won't be getting down and dirty with any fuel tanks, external or otherwise. She'll be heading right back to her little house as soon as workers finish some renovation there. Celibacy, dear fleet, until we have our orbital house in order.

There is talk that President Bush will, at a December 17th speech on the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' flight, back a return to the Moon-- this time to establish a permanent presence. I'm kind of tearing up just typing this, as I have always sorrowed over the cancellation of Apollo. We simply chucked mankind's greatest technological achievement just as we were really getting the hang of this whole escape velocity business. Politics brought us to the Moon, and politics brought us right back to Earth again.

When I worked at the Kennedy Space Center, I always used to point out to visitors a poignant break in the piping that lines the road to the launch pads: It marks a point where Werner Von Braun planned to build yet another pad for a rocket he called the Nova, which was designed to take us to Mars. I don't think I have to tell you that the pad was never constructed. The gap just hangs there, overgrown, empty and waiting.

How bittersweet it will be for my former co-workers to watch Atlantis ease out of her little house... only to wheel right back in again a few weeks later. And how glorious it will be when we once again nudge at the edge of that gravitational envelope.

Email The Shameless Tom Wolfe Quoter at:

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

"We can kill him together! It'll be fun!"

I'm extremely disturbed by this, but the guy who plays Scott Evil in Austin Powers? Is completely cute in The Italian Job. (I may be eighty-seven paces ahead of the rest of you culturally, but where movies are concerned, I'm consistently a decade or so behind. I saw Better Off Dead for the first time in life two weeks ago, no lie. So to see this thing within the same Presidential administration in which it was released is something along the lines of a minor Act of God.)

I couldn't take Seth Green seriously for the first forty-five minutes of the movie, as I kept expecting Frau Farbissina to show up and holler "SCAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHT!" His adorableness, however, increased exponentially as he hacked LA's highway system to control the traffic of the whole city. "And you'll stop....... here," here says, hitting the Enter key as an entire subway system screeches to a halt. Hot. I want me a man who can do that, and knock out the toll booths while he's at it. I'd seriously consider chucking the whole virginity thing for a single toll-free morning on the 408.

Perhaps I developed The Real Napster focus because I was studiously avoiding the person, character, and general presence of Marky-Mark Funky Bunch Wahlberg, in a rare appearance in which he is actually wearing pants for ninety consecutive minutes. Mark brings to mind his brother Donnie, which brings to mind my intense but humiliating New Kids on the Block fixation, which makes me want to die. Maybe it was the crap somebody was putting in the concrete that held my dental braces on. I don't know. Whatever it was, two years of my young life are forever blackened by my not only tolerance of, but lust for, a person who wore large diamond-encrusted peace symbols and sweatshirts reading "HOMEBOY."

All you fanboys out there needn't fear the temporary competition, however. Under the "Quotes" section in Seth's IMDB entry, there is the following bit of unfortunateness: "There are two kinds of people in this world," he says, "Michael Jackson fans and losers." Riiiiiiight.

Email The Fake Napster at:

Awesome Again

Ohhhhhhhhh, I know you've been waiting for it: Gary "I'm Retiring! No I'm Not! Yes I Am! No, I-- Oh, The Hell With It, Let's Get My Closeup" Stevens Rides Again.

Behold, an article about a sixteen-year-old jockey Gary has taken under his extremely well-muscled wing. Took him into his home. Fed him (well, okay, that's not such a big deal, as apprentice jockeys eat, like, one-eighth of a pea a day to make weight.) Helped him get his jockey license. Continued the Jedi Master-Padawan tradition that probably helped him into the starting gate at the very same age. How keen is that.

Sixteen. He's sixteen, and he has a full-time job in which, if he doesn't know exactly what he's doing, he could very easily kill himself and others. You know what I was trying to survive at sixteen? Algebra.

Do you think it would be, like, weird if I joined the So. Cal jockey colony at age 26 and 130 pounds so that I could move in with Gary? Yeah, me neither.

Riders up at:

Tuesday, December 02, 2003


See, I leave Cincinnati for a year, and the whole damn place goes bezerk. Bengals winning, large people freaking out at the cops. I closed my eyes in pain when I heard that a black suspect died after--once again--fighting off the cops while high. What part of "Stay down" and "Get back" didn't this guy understand? Here's a news flash: If you DON'T RESIST THE COPS, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET HURT.
Nobody deserves to die in the parking lot of a White Castle's (especially if THAT'S going to be your last meal) but clearly the police officers acted with perfect professionalism. They never touched the suspect until he started HITTING them and lunging for their guns and batons. As soon as the suspect was restrained, they backed off and called paramedics. If you listen to the audio, you won't hear one single racial slur-- from the officers. The suspect, however, was screaming, "Redneck white boy." Those poor, poor, officers and their families. God bless them and my city during the Jessie Jackson nightmare to come. My heart aches for my hometown.

In the words of Glenn Beck to a caller who announced out of nowhere that "this is Rodney King all over again": "You're an idiot. You have absolutely no facts. Thanks for your call."

Email Frustrated at:

Monday, December 01, 2003


Overheard while celebrating my sister's 30th birthday:

"When Taufling is three, we'll only have to buy a zero candle for Tink's cake, because she'll be thirty that year."

That statement contains such an epic amount of elements to be upset about that I'm not even going to start.

Flying Home

I like a seat on the aisle, as it provides maximum access to the exit and minimum contact with that dastardly lot, Other People. Once I was on one of those planes with three seats across, and the woman in the middle asked me to switch with her. "Sorry," I said. "I'm pregnant and I have to visit the lav a lot." Then I quietly slipped the class ring I wear on my left hand to my ring finger, and never got up at all.

It's a fairly solid strategy, one that does fail occasionally. Such as this week: I get on the plane, and my aisle partner is a guy with hair longer than mine, an entirely black wardrobe, and an Insider's Guide To Middle Earth in hand. I'm thinking this is the closest he's come to female contact since, I don't know, birth, a suspicion confirmed when he looked up at me and said, "Good evening."

Okay. Unless you're Alfred Hitchcock, a vampire, or an emcee, YOU DON'T SAY "GOOD EVENING."

Friday, November 28, 2003


Mah-wwidge, it seems, is all about the cookies: Who has the cookies. Who doesn't have the cookies. Who controls when and where the cookies are consumed.

I had dinner today with a set of in-laws-- my brother-in-law's brother and his wife; or my sister's brother-in-law and his wife; or my brother-in-law's brother and his sister-in-law; or my sister's brother-in-law and her husband's sister-in-law, take your pick-- and I had a front row seat to some sort of altercation still festering from the morning after the wedding, which took place over eight weeks ago. Apparently two cookies came with the honeymoon suite, one for the bride and one for the groom, and the groom ate his cookie while the bride was in the shower. She exited the bathroom extremely put-out, as she had her own plans for the cookie.

"I was going to eat that!" she said.

"You already ate yours," her husband pointed out.

See, that's what marriage is all about. Your cookie is my cookie. I, as the only umarried person in the whole entire room, felt at liberty to share this wisdom with the group.

"Actually," my sister said, "my cookies are still my cookies, and your cookies are my cookies too."

The failure to realize such things is probably the reason I continue to sleep alone. This afternoon I announced to my sister and her husband that I could never marry a boring person. "I must," I said, "be entertained."

"And that strategy has worked so well for you so far," Britton said.

I told him to shut up, then acknowledged that he had a point, then told him to shut up again.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

A... Hawk.

I love my new baby cousin, Tyler. He's very bright and alert and likes to be held. (Again: Family trait.) Often he adopts a worried expression, which I didn't understand until I saw him watching football with his dad: "Ohhhhhhhhh, what a terrible tackle," I overheard him saying. "Did you see that, Tyler? Don't ever let me see you doing that. You're going to WRAP AROUND THE KNEES, boy!"

Of course, this is the same man who, when I mentioned that I was thinking about buying a pet bird, encouraged me to get a hawk. "Can't go wrong with a bird of prey," he said. "Guys dig birds of prey."

Also, apparently, beta fish.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Taufling Pending

Taufling is halfway home. Four and a half months along; four and a half months to go. Julie called my cell to tell me that the baby doctor says everything is great, and that she and her husband saw Taufling wave at them on the sonogram, and so I cried, and as soon as we hung up "With Arms Wide Open" came on the radio, so I cried again. Absolutely none of this is helping my driving skills.

Taufling's very first picture was taken on Friday. Taufling is such a rock star. The baby's head is to the left, and s/he already sleeps like Aunt Tink-- curled in a ball, eager to entertain and yet not interact with the world at large. The warping has begun.

And look at THIS! See the little feeeeeeet! Truly they will kick copious amounts of ass.

Email Aunt Weepy at:

Friday, November 21, 2003


It's a great day here at the Champagne Tasting Room, as I've passed a serious mile marker in my life as a blogger: The first brush with the Techno Humor Impaired.

Dave Barry sometimes dedicates entire columns to the Humor Impaired, those fine citizens among us who plod through life peering around the corners of sarcasm and irony thinking, and I quote, "Meh?" I've had plenty of exposure to the Humor Impaired as a print columnist, but it's taken them a while to discover BlondeChampagne, possibly because of all the typing and spelling and clicking involved.

But Bianca, bless her, found me! Read me! And ripped me! Because life is serious! Very very serious! No frivolity is to be had! NEIN! GET BACK IN LINE, DAMMIT!

"This was a trivial topic, indeed, but that's not what bugged me most about this piece. What really bothered me the most, I guess, is the fact that I was left with the overwhelming urge to yell: there are hundreds of millions of people who are forced to subsist on the discards of other humans for lack of a better option. Your nutritious meal, which you are fortunate to have, was wrapped in layers of plastic and paper. I think you'll live."

Well, I must say, Bianca has it all wrong. All. Wrong. That "nutritious meal" consisted largely of animal cookies, the frosted kind, and I don't know about you but I'm encouraging my sister and every other pregnant lady I know to eat the HELL out of those little elephants and lions so that Taufling pops out big and strong and coated with nonpareils. So, cookieless as I am, I really don't think I WILL live, seeing how I've paved paradise and put up a parking lot and all.

room...getting... dimmer....will.... to mock.... Bianca.... fading.....

Send emergency animal cookies, but not the iced animal cookies, they must be the FROSTED kind, to:

Hurling Chads

Thanks to all of you who responded to last night's George Costanza Memorial Dinner In the Garbage Flash Poll. I am overwhelmed by the number of readers encouraging me to risk death by poisoned roast beef. I love you too, readers. (It's back in the garbage now, by the way, there to stay, unless the downstairs deli closes early today.)

Email The All-Powerful Great Pale One at:

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Sympathy Hormones

I think I'm experiencing pregnancy sympathy hormones in honor of the Taufling. I'm a weeper by nature, but it's even worse these days.

This in combination with working late is never, ever a good thing. It's like beer before liquor. Staying here past office hours always plunges me into an awful state: I'm tired, I'm trapped, and I'm putting my college degree to work assembling three-ring binders. My freedom is dependent upon the efficiency of other people. If you don't drive home in tears after eighteen hours of this, you're in need of a need of a near-death experience or a bender or both. The phones are set on night ring and it echoes through the empty offices as Orlando sleeps below. I stream Savage in through tinny computer speakers and all of a sudden I'm back in Cape Canaveral, driving island to mainland after midnight, selling roses in bars to cover the full cost of three different prescriptions.

A couple hours ago I was flipping through a pile of resumes, and tears welled up when my eye caught the word "Kentucky." I've never lived there, but my parents' home faces it across the Ohio River. I ached for things I never knew; a Churchill Downs afternoon or a flying run through fall leaves.

Then I took a closer look at the resume. The word I had been crying over was "Keenhouse." "Kentucky" had never been there at all.

Email The Human Country Song at:

Dinner, Resolved

Somebody's ordering in food. I toasted the wheat bun, which I had been keeping safely in my tote bag, and ate it with butter to tide me over. Because when in doubt: Butter. Always turn to butter.

Email Cholesterol Central at:


Okay, I need your help on this one. Moment of truth here.

I have to stay very, very late at work tonight (I know, color me shocked) and I brought an extra meal for dinner. Cheese and roast beef and an apple and animal cookies and a cherry Coke. So, really healthy. And we got an email from the office manager announcing that she was going to clean out the break room refrigerator, which I give her mad props for, as some of that shit has started to colonize and form its own federal systems in there. General office protocol dictates that whenever the refrigerator is cleaned, we are sent a warning, and those of us who have food in there we want to protect mark it with our names and a "do not throw away" label. Which I did.

Well. Guess what was not in the fridge when I went to check on it a couple of hours ago, along with the bottle of my own mayo I use when I concoct my elaborate 45-cent meals. (My extreme rage over this situation shall not be discussed here; know only that it exists, far larger than myself.)

Guess what was in the trash can instead, buried with the penicillin-in-Rubbermaid, the green and runny pizza, the sub sandwiches with extreme attitudes.

So I rescued it, placed it back in the fridge, and went about my stupid, horrible, meaningless job (because I am not in any way bitter about the fact that I work here) and there it sits. De-trashed.


What do I do? Should I still eat this stuff? It was all in plastic Ziplock bags, including the apple, so it's not like it was touching the nasty stuff directly, and not for any serious length of time. So it's not exactly George Costanza eating the eclair out of the garbage can. But still. My. Dinner. Was. In. The. Trash. Can.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Offers of marriage into health insurance so that I may leave this damnable place?

Email your choke-vote to:

Glenn Beck re: Monica Lewinsky

Apparently the whole "I defiled the Oval Office" thing is hurting her love life, for some reason. "People think I'm a whore," she whines. "Actually, Monica," says Glenn, "people think you're a fat whore."

I love Glenn.

It's Not Easy Not Being Easy

Here's a fairly good sign you're not handling the whole virginity thing too well: I'm at Mass the other day, and I'm kind of checking out the priest going, "Heeeeeeeey, he's cute."

I'm not particularly shopping around right now, because 1) I'm tired and 2) I have this feeling that God is saving me up for somebody really, really spectacular who is going to drop into my life when I least expect it. He's this, like, astronaut/billionaire/duke/rockstar who finds my lack of control over my own hair endearing and understands why it's so important for a model lightsaber to have the proper heft. We're going to make each other laugh while we're mucking stalls or having dinner at the White House. He is going to be awesome, and I will gently hold his heart like the miracle it is.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Mopping Up the Blood and Entrails

One of the things that sucks the most about blogging is being away from it. It's like coming back to work with a piled-up inbox. (Oh God, work. Only eleven hours of my very first vacation day to go. Sob, stamp foot.)

Some odds and ends:


I listened to his return to the airwaves with a sense of great urgency, as I was in my car at the time and really really had to pee. (Those large apple juices, they'll just run right through you.) I thought he sounded (and here the writing major meets the political science major with dazzling results) like himself, but different. Mean evil hard-hearted conservative that I am, I quite unexpectedly found myself moved by his opening monologue. He said he was nervous. He said he was filled with love for his audience. And, most importantly: He said he was sorry.

Rush has always been very private about his life, which is cool and all, but I was taken aback by how open he was about the recovery process. There was all sorts of psychospeak crossing the Golden Microphone: He needs to accept himself! He only has himself to blame for the addiction! He wishes he could learned these things about himself thirty years ago! Rush never talks like that, and you know, I liked it. It was very endearing. I've been so mad at him for so long, and I just wanted to go over and hug him and go, "You've really learned from this, haven't you?" He's going to be okay. I, as usual, will continue to be a hot chick with an amazing rack.

Herbie the Rental Car

I took Julie, her husband Britton, and the Taufling to a fairly huge tourist destination for their first dinner in town (in this sense, "took" means, "I told them to turn the wrong way on I-4 and we were lost for half an hour and then they paid for my meal") and when we got back to the parking garage, their rental car was gone. I mean, gone. It had vanished from the Earth. We wandered up and down the rows, we knew we were on the correct level (you don't hear roaring dinosaurs over the PA system as you exit the garage and wonder, "Is this the Jurassic Park level, or the Spider Man level?") and the damn thing had just plain disappeared. It was the Osama bin Ladin of midsize sedans. Julie kept walking around muttering, "Who would steal a Dodge Stratus?" Britton stalked from car to car with a steadily increasing Male Frown of Concentration and Anger, and I had an opportunity to put my mad aunting skeelz to the test. Julie began to get upset since I'd left Britton's birthday present and Taulfing's baby gifts in the car, and I put my arms around her and said, "It's okay. It's nothing that can't be replaced. Everything's going to be fine" while thinking "YOU BASTARDS I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU TOOK TAUFLING'S BOOTIES WITH THE LITTLE HORSIES ON THE TOES."

We had the Cell Phones of Defeat out and ready to call security when Britton said, "Let's just look in the other sections, see what happens." So we started walking, and the further we got away from the section we'd been searching in, the more confident I felt, all of which was confirmed when Britton unlocked the car, which was three lots away from where we'd been wandering around calling its name. The situation then officially became Amusing, and we all agreed that as far as everyone we know is concerned, this never happened.

Sean and Marc and Mark

For an unmarried product of eight years of women's education, there many, many, men in my life, and the law of averages dictates that these strong personalities would collide at some point, with fairly ugly results. Gary "'Scuse Me, Sahib" Stevens just might get into it with Boomer Esiason. Scott Hamilton could challenge Jimmy Buffett to an arm-wrestling match. You never know about these things.

Well today, in the most f'd-up sentence in the history of ever, Marc Summers had a screaming match with Sean Hannity. It was absolutely the most surreal ten minutes of talk radio I have ever heard. Here's Sean, who is wonderful and fluffy and dear and totally touched my hand when he did his radio show from the Kennedy Space Center so he clearly loves me, and here's Double Dare Marc, upon whom I developed a quasi-crush as a seven-year-old not long after I dumped Luke Duke, and with whom I am totally email buddies (okay, he emailed me once and the next communication was the restraining order). And they were taking it to the mat on Sean's radio show. I seriously almost drove off the road. (I almost always drive off the road anyway, but this time I'd have had an excuse.) It was awful, these two planets banging into one another. Marc called and basically accused Sean of ripping off Rush Limbaugh, and okay, he was kinda snotty, but snot to Sean is a red flag to the bull, and he laced into him, calling him an idiot and a liberal and all kinds of horrible things. My spleen and kidneys and skin, they were all hurting from this. Then Mark Levin called in and I'm thinking "oh God no, Levin, just let it drop" and sure enough: Out came the ad hominem hammer. "You had a problem, didn't you Marc," he said. "Obsessive-compulsive disorder, yes," Summers said. "Well, you're acting a little obsessive about Sean right now, aren't you?" Levin said, and I winced and cringed and was all, oh no he di'n't. He did not just attack someone on the basis of owning a mental disorder. Idiocy, liberalism, watching Fear Factor on purpose: these are all mockable offenses. But you do not lay into someone because of a chemical imbalance, Levin, and you are hereby on my Shit List until otherwise advised.

The Bengals

They beat somebody! They beat the Chiefs! You cannot believe the tizzy this brought to Cincinnati. A hometown tizzy is always a nice thing to see. I enjoy a good tizzy.

They celebrated the Bengals' stellar five and five record by hoisting a banner on the stadium reading, "Welcome Back To The Jungle." Oh, those straws, they are fun to grasp at.

Josh was one of my waiters over the weekend. Josh was fully and completely hot. Josh has a girlfriend. Josh sucks.

My sister and her family and I met Josh at EPCOT's Canadian restaurant (yes, I was at EPCOT again, and no, I'm not forgetting that I left you dangling in the chocolate-covered chicken of last week. We'll get back to it. Promise.) He recommended an excellent Riesling to me after I very nearly conked out when I saw the prices on the ice wine, and entertained us greatly with his general Canadianess. We got one "eh?" and about fourteen "ouuuuuuuuuuuts." It was like having our own personal Canadian minstrel. We kept ordering things just so he would say "All right, I'll have that right ouuuuuuuuut for you."

Britton knocked about four percent off Josh's tip, however, the second he draped himself over our table and said, "So, what do you think-- should I go to Africa, or what?" I'm like, "Are you going before or after you bring us our steaks?" Otherwise I couldn't give a moose's ass. I mean, he was hot and all, but: seriously. Does he run his travel plans past all his tables, or just the German-filled ones?

The true highlight of the evening, however, arrived after Julie and I polished off our sorbet served with a maple leaf cookie ("Ooooooout, eh?") and I passed around my patented Birth Control Gum. This stuff is great. It's that teeth-whitening gum by Trident or somebody, and it comes in these flat foil packages, and you have to push the gum through a little foil window to get at it, just like a nice dose of Orthotricyclen. Julie and I, being women, obtained our gum without incident, but Britton somehow shot his gum across the restaurant, very nearly picking off Josh in the process, the prospect of which I was a big fan. After I found out about the girlfriend, anyway.

Mike Meyers

Please take your seat next to Mr. Levin on my Shit List, Mike. As you are responsible for Wayne's World and the first Austin Powers, I cannot in good conscience place you on the passenger list for the Celebrity Charter With One Flaming Engine, but the subsequent two Austin Powers movies consisted of the same four jokes told less funnily each time, and this Cat in the Hat business? Uh, no.


Sen. Uncle Teddy? Shut. Your. Filthy. Hypocritical. Mouth. Have you heard what this guy said? Unless you're plugged into alternative media, probably not. He referred to President Bush's judicial nominees-- two black women and a Hispanic-- as Neanderthals. Neanderthals. Are you fully digging this? Can you imagine the absolute shit falling on the head of the conservative who says anything even remotely like this? If I'm Trent Lott, I'm throwing a pretty serious Double Standard Fit right now. (Rush: "He's just lucky he didn't say it on ESPN.")

My Rollerblades

Julie and Britton didn't want me to have to haul birthday and Christmas presents back and forth (I will be 27 on the fifteenth of January-- more, oh much more, on the extreme suckedness of this later on) so they bought me Rollerblades, which I have been desperately needing. I just got new ones, but you know, you can't just get quality skates for eleven bucks anymore. I was so excited that I bladed around my kitchen, all two square inches of it. Julie and Britton were sitting next to the kitchen counter watching football, so I broke out the Woman Going Down An Escalator routine during one of the commercials, which they frankly couldn't get enough of. My family: Nothing if not easily entertained.

Anyway, I now have really quality blades for the first time ever, and I tried them out this morning, and I think I have to take them back. They're too good. I did four laps today and I wasn't even blowing. There's no friction there! No challenge! I feel no cheap plastic slicing my ankles to ribbons! That's not a workout!

I will never eat again.

Thanks to everyone who emailed wondering if I am in fact dead. You all rock, except for maybe U. Done, who wrote, "No pressure, but where the hell have you been?" See, this is what happens when you don't have a life, and you update seven hundred times a day, and then all of a sudden when you DO have a life, everybody gets hysterical. Siddown, people.

I just put Taufling and his mommy and dad on a plane. They fed me like a princess this weekend. Steak. Cheesecake. Pina coladas. Grand Slams with a large apple juice. It's great to have a sibling gainfully employed. I haven't eaten this well since my parents visited in February and hauled my overdrawn ass to Perkins and back.

Now that they're gone, I have to fend for myself. I just finished dinner. Chefboyardee. I miss Taufling.

Seeing my sister for the first time since I knew about Taufling was kind of anticlimactic. She was sitting in the rental car while her husband checked into the hotel. I thought I would cry or have some sort of divine moment or something, but that's a little difficult to pull off while leaning in the window of a Dodge Stratus. So instead I handed her a rose (yes, she made it past the Most! Emotional! Rose! Ceremony! Ever!) and asked how the flight was.

Once she was out of the car, though, I put my hands on my knees and addressed my niece or nephew. "I am your aunt," I said. "I love you. Please do not ever bring me your math homework."

Taufling is four and a half months away from his or her birthday. The books and websites have been saying that Julie should feel some movement by now, but nada so far. Friday night, though, as she drifted off to sleep, she felt a strange fluttering sensation in her abdomen. Taufling was talking back.

"Elisabeth said, 'As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!'"

"And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior."

Luke 1:44-47

Email One Proud Aunt at:

Friday, November 14, 2003

Taufling's First Plane Ride

Taufling is currently winging his/her way south. It is her first time on a plane, and he is coming to see ME. Me, the favorite aunt already. That Taufling has class.

There are, of course, presents waiting. The spoiling begins. I have dear adorable booties I special-ordered from The Womb's bookstore and a Completely Legally Obtained mix CD entitled "Music To Be Pregnant By" (Taufling is just now developing his hearing, and no niece of mine is coming in to this world contaminated by Fifty Cent Piece, or whatever the hell that idiot calls himself.) The best present is little socks with plush horses on the toes. When you shake the horses, they rattle. I almost cried when I saw them: Taufling's first Daily Double.

When I hung up the phone with my sister this morning, ("See you later, incubator!" I always say. This never fails to amuse. Me, anyway) I told her to bring a sweatshirt or windbreaker or something. "It's getting chilly in the mornings," I said fretfully. "It was fifty-nine when I left for work."

There was a pause on the other end of the line. "It's twenty-two degrees today," she said. Oh.

Email Warm and Smug at:

The Good Ol' Days

This week's You Just Out-Wrote The Author Award goes to D. Knowels, who pointed out that the Republican Congress did the nation absolutely no favors by obeying the Constitution when they approved Clinton's nominees. To wit, says D., behold Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders: "Her stand on masturbation really busted his butt because we all know he can't do anything for himself. That's why God made interns."

We must also distribute proper props and recognition to the guy who called in to Sean Hannity yesterday to say, "I'm glad it's so windy in New York. Now maybe Hillary can't fly in from Washington on her broom."

Impress me further, readers:

Thursday, November 13, 2003


Okay, I officially need professional help now. I have been PURPOSELY TUNING IN to the Republican filibuster in the Senate. Whoo-hoooo! It's a nonstop political cupcake bakin' party in there!

Quote of The Thirty Unending Hours (and that is saying something, people) comes to us courtesy of The Hon.Orrin Hatch, R-Sunny Valley. He was discussing Republican willingness to confirm Clinton judges, "even when," he said, "it was pretty tough to swallow."

Right then.

Dr. Phil, that unsexybeast, the other day featured a stage-frightened bride who was terrified of attending her own wedding, to which one hundred guests were invited. She announced this before a studio audience that was perhaps four times that large, as cameras beamed her deepest, darkest fears to approximately four million people.

Say it with me, America: Um....

Email The Once a Bridesmaid at:

Isn't It a Lovely Day To Be Caught In a Soul-Sucking Traffic Jam

Seen: Plastic license plate holder reading "I (Heart) Mullets"

Heard: "The Gambler." Gotta know when to hold 'em! Gotta know when to fold 'em!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

To the Veterans

Thank you.
And God bless.

Email The Grateful, Wimpy One at:

Monday, November 10, 2003

Fud et Vin, Part Uno

Let’s talk food. Let’s talk wine. Let’s talk Food and Wine and also hot Australians, inappropriately named pastries, and equally inappropriately vibrating theme park joysticks.

The Wonderfully Expensive World of Disney inspires these things.

More than any of its Florida parks, Disney tends to kind of shove EPCOT aside with its foot, this astoundingly futuristic attraction that reeks 1985 like smell waves coming off my perm. If you lean your head very very close into Spaceship Earth, you can actually hear nobody drinking New Coke.


-ANDY: Disturbing treasure trove of Disneyobilia and blogger good for engaging in screaming arguments about global warming while in ride lines. Must keep on good side, as he will from time to time lift heavy things for me and help with the more technical aspects of blogging, such as pointing out that it really helps if I fill out such fields as “post” before attempting to publish the page.

-G-FORCE: Fellow Catholic. Fellow wine snob. Fellow friend of Australia. God bless Gail.

-OOGIE: Fellow wine snob. Owns many cats. Shares apartment space with small child. Likes to get away from small child. With her on this one.

-FLIPPER: She of rollerblading fame. Also a wine snob. Drives a Camaro. Must also keep on good side, because of the Camaro.


-Me. I need no introduction. I shall accept no introduction. I simply am… moi, only drunker.


-I am just plain upset by how often peanut sauce follows me around causing trouble. Lookit: I like peanuts, alone or with friends. I like peanut butter. I do not like peanut sauce. A hard thing like a peanut simply should not be putting in appearances as a liquid thing like a sauce. It defies physics, common law, and all that is decent in the world.

I do not blame the peanut for this. The peanut is but an innocent bystander. It is the fault of people who create such scenarios as the following:

I’m in grad school. I’m starving. I go to the cafeteria, which has not served actual red meat since the Truman administration. I load up on a dish labeled “Chicken a la King.” I sit. I dig in. I take a huge mouthful of: Tofu in peanut sauce.

In and of themselves, these things are not “food” but “semi-food,” or “spackle,” which separately taste like “ass.” Together, they taste like mega-ass. Those sitting across from me said they had never seen a human being process so many emotions in such little time: Shock, followed by dismay, followed by horror, followed by furor, followed by nausea, all in a one-second interval.

So when the girls converged on a Japanese food vender selling pork on a stick dipped in peanut sauce, I indicated that I’d rather not partake as only a classy lady such as myself could (this involved taking a swig of Gatorade and feigning a nice long vomit upon nearby bushes, accompanying sound effects included.) I sat nearby and opened a package of crackers, ingesting peanuts in a peanut butter form, as God intended.

-We went to a cooking demonstration where I learned many things, among them the fact that a “scallion” is not a piece of Canadian sporting equipment, but a type of onion. Who knew.

The recipe involved slapping chicken breasts in a bowl of cocoa powder, pouring wine over everything, and using some sort of malicious-looking liquid identified as a “demi-glace,” which until yesterday I totally thought was a stripper's stage name. We all had a taste. Everyone nodded and burst into applause, which I couldn’t join, as I was too busy on Personal Hurl Patrol, because seriously: Chocolate and chicken. Are we running out of food combinations now? Am I supposed to mix tuna with blueberry Icees for Lent?

Also: What an utter waste of perfectly good dark chocolate, which the recipe says you’re supposed to shave and grind up and all. If the preservation of Gary Stevens’ life depends upon me making this recipe I’m hitting the drink-mix aisle and I’m rolling that sumbitch in some Nestle’s Quick.

The demonstration was narrated by a very stupid, very annoying woman who skipped right over all the hard-to-understand chefy things the chef guy was doing, like how to peel a tomato, (he peeled a tomato!) what the whole deal was with this demi-glace business, and how the chef guy managed to not cleaver this woman’s face off. But the Idiotically Obvious Stuff, the kind of crap even I can pull off, oh, we got a play by play of that. “And so,” she said as Chef Guy rolled the chicken breasts in the chocolate, “you’re just rolling the chicken breasts in the chocolate. You’re picking up the chicken fillets, placing them in the bowl, and you’re coating them with the chocolate, and then you’re putting them in the skillet. You’re just taking that chicken there, and kind of dipping it in the bowl. The chocolate is covering the chicken. And then—“

Because a huge mirror was suspended over the cooking area so that food plebes such as myself could marvel at the chickenization of the chocolate, we could see that Chef Guy’s white paper chef hat had four holes cut out of the top of it, which I found highly disturbing. Why? Was this a kindergarten snowflake project gone horribly wrong? Was it a fashion statement? But I never heard anything about it, certainly not from Annoying Woman, because this was interesting and immediately recipe-related.

Favorite part of the cooking demonstration: Guy wandering by the pavilion and hollering, “Come on, Emeril!”

-I was forced to be amused by sort of animatronics show called “Food Rocks,” in which a dancing milk carton and a singing peach told me, here at the Food and Wine Festival, not to eat rich and fatty foods. The attraction also featured a pineapple with a pimp mustache that played the piano. This made me sad, and slightly afraid.

“Food Rocks” will shut down over the winter. I can’t imagine why.

More later. I have to get in my car and drive now due to the fact that I work in an extremely sick and twisted office where, on birthdays, we give the birthday-ee an individual birthday gift AND take them out to lunch AND pay for our own meals. That's OK, I didn't need that extra twenty dollars to, like, pay my electric bill or anything.

It's my boss' birthday tomorrow. It is times like this when it's extremely handy that I don't care about my job, because honey, you're getting a card from Wal-Mart and a Bic pen and you're liking it.

Email tuna and Icee recipies to:

Friday, November 07, 2003


Your deep concern for my hair has touched my blonde, processed heart. I finally got to shampoo today and things were a little less Sally Ride this morning. I curled, I sprayed, I learned about myself and others. If you see me from the back, though, you're probably wondering who took my parachute pants and hugeass wavy earrings.

I certainly hope Lewis, the stylist who rolled me, trolled me, and blew me dry, is having a good day. Lewis is very very very very gay. That's fine. He also made me look like I just fell out of a Journey video. That's not so fine.

He practially got in a slapfight with another stylist over which perm solution to use. This occured while my hair was doing something Lewis called "depolimerization," which involved spraying a substance on my head that, as time passed, created a refreshing thousand-candy-canes-ramming-into-my-scalp sensation. Mintiest. Hair treatment. Ever.

Lewis began rummaging around a supply closet as the York Peppermint Patties pressed into my skull. "What are you using?" asked another hairdresser. "Number Three: For Fine And Resistant Hair," said Lewis, holding up the box.

The other stylist paused. "Why?"

I was beginning to further doubt Lewis' expertise, a concern that began when I first sat down at his work station and noticed that his cosmotology license was precisely three weeks old. "Her hair is very resistant to perming," he said, pointing to my hair as it lay limp and defenseless in the sink, sad blonde roadkill on the Vidal Sasoon Road of Life. "She just got a body perm two months ago, and look at it."

I think Lewis began to sense my discomfort as he led me from the sink back to his workstation, a towel wrapped around my hair (That is the only pure nudity left now: A woman and her face, bare before the world.) "Don't worry--we talk shop all the time around here," he said, dumping chemicals over my head. "It wasn't nearly this much fun when I studied computer engineering in college."

"I talk shop all the time with my writer friends too," I said. It's true. I can't tell you how many times I've placed an essay on an editor's desk, then as he sat there redlining it picked up the phone, all, "Becca, seriously, how much did that last paragraph suck? I really don't know what I'm doing, do I?"

"Hair," Lewis said as I sat with my head encased in a gigantic Baggie while the perm processed, "is a big part of my life." I smiled and nodded; so much was clear from his chosen major. It's nothing but combs and mousse when you sidle up to a Dell. And then, from the No Shit category of stylist-customer patter, he added, "Probably it's because I'm from San Francisco."

Lewis gasped as he removed the rollers. "Oh," he murmured. "This turned out gorgeous." Certainly, if you're on your way to a Family Ties taping.

One of you fine, fine readers out there, Ginny B., had some weeping to do in exact non-adherence to my directive to turn off your PC sensors when I first alerted you to Lewis' work. "I didn't know there were "levels" of homosexuality," she emailed. "You got some 'splainin to do, Lucy!"

Well, there are indeed "levels" of homosexuality, Ginny. Yes, there are. You got your Rock Hudsons ("He's GAY?!") and you got your Elton Johns ("Oh, he's gay.") Then you have people like one of my co-workers, who is ostensibly straight but came to me in a panic last month because he had forgotten to wear a belt that day and was wondering if he could borrow one of mine. The Earth actually stopped rotating for a few seconds as I struggled to process just how many thousands of things were wrong with that question.

Also, Ginny, I do believe that you owe the entire Hispanic community an apology for your "splainin' to do" comment. That was unforgivably stereotypical and insensitive, my friend, and by God we don't do that here.

Email the Keeper of All Jelly Bracelets at:

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

If We All Tell Trista Rehn She's a Heckova Gal, Will She Go Away?

Wasn't her 15 minutes up like four or five presidential administrations ago? She just showed up on the American Country Music Awards. The American Country Music Awards. Because when you think country music, you immediately think "reality show famewhore." Trista, country is where I go to get AWAY from you. Siddown, bitch.

Hate Trista. Hate hate HATE. I honestly--and this is saying a lot, in today's world--have never seen one person get so much attention for doing so little. What has she done? What has this woman done, to warrant an agent and a salary and an entire career of Being Trista? Really glad I submerged myself in that MFA program when I simply could have distributed my wonderful Me-ness throughout America for a living. Where's my Kentucky Fried Chicken endorsement deal? (I have never EVER seen a person out-acted by poultry, but somehow Trista managed.)

When it gets to the point where she's a parody of a caricature of herself and I don't even need to sharpen the Mocking Scalpel because she's done such a good job of it all on her own, I throw up my hands. This happened tonight. She actually introduced Brad Paisley's "Celebrity," which is a song about.... people getting famous for doing nothing. There's a line in there about what a pathetic person you have to be to want to be on a reality show. THE BACHELOR IS MENTIONED. Like, specifically. And there's Trista, standing next to WILLIAM SHATNER, for God's sake, flinging her arm in Brad's direction. This tells me one of two things about Trista:

1) She's too much of a dumbass to know she's being mocked practically by name in a sarcastic country song.

1a) You have to be pretty damn spectacularly mockable to spawn a sarcastic country song. This the same genre that gave the world "Goin' Through the Big D An' Don't Mean Dallas," people.

1b) And if that sailed right over your highlighted head, Trista,


1c) may God have mercy on your soul.

2) She DOES realize that the song is mocking her, but is such a FAMEwhore that she finds this a magnificent opportunity to pimp herself out just a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitle bit more.

Either way, I'm happy to scan her ticket for the Celebrity Charter Jet With One Flaming Engine.

Oh-- oh! Look at this! Jimmy Buffett.... my Jimmy Buffett, my Jimmy, part of the reason I reside in Florida, has just won "Vocal Event of the Year" for "It's Five o' Clock Somewhere," which he sang with Alan Jackson. Jimmy has never had a number one song. Jimmy has never even won an award for anything he's ever done, musically, and look at this! Both in the same year. "I'm glad I can do something to help your struggling career, Alan," he said before sauntering off with his new pirate swag. I love you, Jimmy.

Okay, there's a little bit of good and balance in the world now. I can go on. It's okay. I can--


Dr. Kevorkian, please email at

It Takes a Village Person

The gayest man in the history of the planet permed my hair yesterday. I mean he just permed the living hell out of it. I possess neither the time nor the energy nor the therapy to go into it in detail right now, but since I care about you, my Reading Public, I felt an obigation to inform you that I now have You Can't Do That On Television hair. Updates on my condition and conditioner shall follow. Until then, reflect upon the quote for this moon cycle: "When life gives you capri pants, make Capri Sun."

(And you bleeding PC'ers, get your hands off the keyboard. The fact that I was poodle-haired by an extremely flaming stylist remains that: a fact. If you want to call me "the most hetero woman in the history of the planet," go ahead on.)

I'll be in the bathroom, SHAVING MY FREAKING HEAD.

Email The Poodle at:

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

High Society

I'm reading a biography of Grace Kelly. Says here she took a pass on the following:

1) a marriage proposal from Bing Crosby

2) an affair with Sinatra

Can you imagine any girl in her right mind doing ONE of those things? She did BOTH! Sinatra! Turned him down FLAT!

Then again... she was Grace Kelly, and could pull off that sort of thing. Me, if I even tried, I would wind up with a restraining order.

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Monday, November 03, 2003

When did this happen?

Can somebody please enlighten me as to the moment when I stopped growing up and started growing old?

I think it was the day the following sentence escaped my lips: "Oh, look, bread's on sale!"

If you jump up and down when the coupon in the little flashing-light dispensers at the end of the aisle matches what's on your list too, email:

The Jewelry-Store-In-The-Mall Network

Feelings upon watching CBS's diamond anniversary bash: achiness, slight horror, unintentional amusement, high depression.

Ohhhhhhhhhh, how to pick a favorite part? Was it staring at Meathead's big fat yap wide open to sing along with "Those Were The Days?" Andy Rooney looking like he just fell out of an assisted living complex? Along with his roommate, Bob Barker? Smiling delightedly at the Smothers Brothers for 4.5 seconds until they got obnoxious? Bob Newhart looking like he'd just been beaten and left for dead? When did he get old? (Nice homage to Newhart's Best Sitcom Ending Ever, btw: "Emily, I had the strangest dream." Bob Newhart kicks copious amounts of ass. I still refer to men in groups of three as Larry, Darryl, and Darryl. Also, all-grown-up Ron Howard is sexy. Sexy.)

What made me drop the remote and reach for the glass of Clorox, though, was the sight of Bo and Luke Duke trotting onstage, which, when they were announced, gave me an initial tingle. Luke Duke made a woman out of me, my friends. All the mad heaving lust in my heart? I formed it all at the age of five the first time I beheld Luke Duke. That poster where he and Bo are leaning against the General Lee? I had that. My sister and I, we each had our own copies. Julie went more for Bo, for whom I for some reason felt faint contempt, a general “Naaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh,” both of which became justified when I as an adult came across the following Schneiderlicious quote: "Tom and I have a lot of fun messin' around with the 'General Lee,' the car in the show, even when the cameras aren't turning. We both drive all the stunts you see us drive, except stuff that's off the ground, or where we'd have to roll over." Well, really, John, what else did the General Lee do? What other stunts were there? The one where they ran towards the car?

Speaking of: The General Lee was a total booty rider, baby. I have, in my possession, a vintage General Lee Matchbox car, right down to the welded-shut doors. This is no eBay purchase, my friends. Oh no. I recognized a finely-tuned machine even at that tender age. I also had Daisy's Jeep, which most certainly did not earn an honored position in the top drawer of my desk as did the tiny General Lee. That slutmoblie got tossed the second I hit puberty. I hated Daisy, who trolled about Hazzard County in the perfectly sensible combination of cutoffs and high heels. I think we can thank Daisy for sparking my utter hatred of Miss America contestants, cheerleaders, midriff-bearers, and Hooter's waitresses across the fruted plain. She made me nervous when she was in scenes with my Luke. Granted, they were cousins, but still... this was Georgia.

Last night when dem Duke boys were announced, John Schneider rounded the corner and, hey, he’s still pretty much a hottie and OH OH LOOK AT TOM WOPAT HE’S FAT AND OLD AND HE’S HOLDING A MICROPHONE AND OH SWEET MOSES HE’S GOING TO SING.

Seriously. When the Duke boys start prancing across a New York stage singing the theme song from The Jeffersons and—I wish I were making this up—Mission Impossible, and they aren’t immediately torn apart with the crowd’s bare hands, the Fourth Horse is bearing down upon us, and his name ain’t Seabiscuit.

Also, can I get a woot-woot for throwing Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite out of a high-altitude weather balloon? Dan, the hair alone makes me want to end you. Walter, the only thing saving you from being a Frequent Flier on my Celebrity Charter Jet With One Flaming Engine is the fact that you’re a fan of the space program. (Uncle Walt on why journalists tend to be liberal: “Reporters start out on the streets and they see poor people and people who just can’t get a break, and so they develop a more caring attitude than other Americans.” Shut up, Walter.)

And when did Everybody Loves Raymond's Patricia Heaton start going to the lingerie department of Wal-Mart for her evening gowns? If you missed it, she was wearing this sheer black… thing… with this, like, bra and—it was hideous.

Oh, and I really enjoyed the parallel universe I was plunged into during the “Salute To Comedy Classics”: All In the Family, yeah. Newhart, God yes. Mary Tyler Moore, yeah. The Honeymooners, definitely. But... Becker? Becker?! BECKER?!?! Oh, I can’t wait until Taufling is born so I can tell him/her all about that one episode where Becker… where he—um…

Things that prevented me from killing myself:

-Identifying a brown-haired Steve Martin playing a CBS censor on a Smothers Brothers clip

-Perry Como with a gesture in one hand and a burning cigarette in the other (“So he would just stand there singing with smoke still coming from the cigarette?” I asked my mother. “It was called The Chesterton Show,” she said.) Cig or no cig, may the Lord keep The Comb.

-Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett singing a duet: Do I really have to explain Julie Andrews to you? And Carol Burnett, well, my first contact with Carol Burnett was when she played Miss Hannigan in Annie, in which she scared the living shit out of me. I’m so glad I now know her as Scarlett coming down the stairs with the curtain rod still attached. You know, come to think of it, how many people go around saying, Man, that Julie Andrews, that Carol Burnett, I can't stand that witch.

-Mr. Ed sliding into home

You are my wife! Goodbye, city life! Oh, tis a sad, sad day in America when Candice Bergen gets more applause than Arnold the Pig.

Email a true Tiffany's fan at:

Sunday, November 02, 2003

C'est Vrai

"A good friend is someone who will bail you out of jail. A great friend is someone sitting next to you in the cell saying 'Damn, that was fun.'"

Email the Bitch of Cell Block B at:

Friday, October 31, 2003

Stand aside, boredom!

The wackiness, she does emerge here at the Graph Paper Paradise on Halloween. Clearly, we are having some fun now.
I have shed my Jedi robes for the day and entered the Horrible Elevator as the kind and darling princess maiden I truly am each and every day of the year. (For those of you constantly barraging me with email ordering me to post a picture of myself in a very sleev-ed dress, knock yourselves out.) Later this evening, I will emerge on the mean streets of BlondeChampagneville as a Jedi dance-hall girl. If I close my eyes and stretch out with my feelings, I can feel the alcohol flowing through me.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

The Incredibly Dangerous International Space Station

Regarding recent reports and general hand-wringing that the ISS is "unsafe":

People. IT'S A 100-YARD LONG OBJECT ORBITING THE EARTH AT 17,500 MILES PER HOUR. IT'S NOT GOING TO HAVE CHILD-PROOF CAPS. What are we supposed to to, pack it in bubble wrap?

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

I can't believe I didn't think of this first.

It's time to declare my very, very favorite candidate in the Democratic Presidential field: Wes Clark. Wes is a forward-thinking kind of guy. Love his ideas. LOVE THEM.

If Wes is elected, he would like to defer our foreign policy to the UN, and you know nothing but good can come of THAT.

You know what I like about the UN? The UN ALWAYS knows what to do. If somebody kicked the UN in the groin, the UN would break into discussion groups and pass eighty-seven resolutions before announcing that yes, this is a somewhat painful experience, and then call up nineteen subcommittees to give itself permission to sink to its knees and writhe on the ground, where it would remain as the guy who kicked it in the first place stomped around Europe destroying windmills and big things made of marble. Outside of the Nevada Gaming Commission, there is clearly no better ruling force for the United States of America.

In response to 9/11 and other such frowny things, Wes would like the UN to Officially Define Terrorism. Because flying jumbo jets of innocent civilians into skyscrapers is kinda a grey area. We have to be sure about these things. God knows that as we watch flames bursting out of various government buildings, we certainly don't want to mislabel the people who did it. It'll be linguistic chaos! Some people over here calling it terrorism! Some people over there using "an act of war!" Reuters referring to it as "an alternative use of lunch hour"! We just can't have this!

Email Wes' biggest fan at

That's Life

"Being an eighteen-karat manic depressive and having lived a life of violent emotional contradictions, I have perhaps an overacute capacity for sadness and elation."

-Frank Sinatra, who clearly knew I was coming along

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Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Glenn Beck re: Larry King

"When Larry King Live finally gets cancelled, how am I going to know if Angie Dickenson is still alive?" Or what kind of fashion statements Merv Griffin is making?

"And, hundreds of nude women on display. Next at eleven."

This was actually the commercial lead-in for the news the other day. Oh, honey, got class? Why didn't the anchor just go, "I'll be ripping the still-beating heart out from the chest of the weather guy and eating it before his anguished eyes live on the air, next at eleven"?

It was a story about some artist (coughcoughpervertcoughcough) in New York City who amassed all these naked women in Grand Central Station to take their picture. He did not pay them, but, on the up side, Helen Thomas was not present. Also, now you know why I get all my news from Drudge. He's less sensational.

As always, I am left with many questions:


You know what, no I'm not. Nothing surprises me anymore. As my lawyer friend Flip (not Flipper my rollerblading partner-- totally different hair, totally different genders) said last night, "When you can't trust the herion dealers anymore, who can you trust?"

Flip also wins the competition for being the first reader to accuse BlondeChampagne of sounding suspiciously like a porn site. You're not too far off today, my friend: Prize is a photo session with Pervert Grand Central Station Guy. Enjoy.

Monday, October 27, 2003


You can officially stop asking me about Pete Rose now, people. When I make new acquaintances who find out I'm from Cincinnati, this is the first thing they'll say: "Ohhhhhh.... Pete Rose, man."

Why is this? When I meet someone from Dallas, I don't shake my head and go, "Dude, way to assassinate Kennedy."

Pete is in the news again in typical Pete fashion: for doing something stupid. He's made a concerted decision to get away from all the betting by.... buying a racehorse.

Oh, and we're not stopping there. No we are not!

Quoth his trainer, Bob Hess: "(Pete) told me that once he’s a manager in baseball again he’ll own lots of horses and try to get his players into it, too."

I LOVE this idea, Pete. This is just a top-notch plan. NOTHING can go wrong here. NOTHING AT ALL.

I am gonna start telling people that I grew up in Omaha.

Email the very pale, very poor author at:

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Although in Boomer's defense....

he did just use the world "galvanized" in reference to a locker room controversy on CBS's pregame show. Deion Sanders: "What does 'galvanized' mean?" Boomer had to give him a visual aid, linking his hands together by the fingers: "It means 'coming together,' man." This has been SAT Words In Reference To the NFL With Deion and Boomer.

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