Sunday, February 22, 2009

Aaah! The Oscars!

I know it's been a while since I've written and the first thing I have to say is this - tonight I'm going to miss the Oscars!!!!! AHHHHHH!!! I haven't missed it in years. It's the only award/contest show that I watch! Not The Grammy's, not Miss America, not The Biggest Loser, not Survivor, not Top Chef, not The Emmy's, not Who Wants to be My Bisexual, not A Shot at Burnin' Love (a reality show that I just made up in which Elvis impersonators compete to win the love of one woman - as opposed to one man, in which case it would be A Shot at Flamin' Love). And tonight I'm going to miss The Academy Awards because I'm chairing an Al-anon meeting! Whyyyyyyy????!!!! Am I being overly dramatic, or overacting, you could say? Yes. Will it win me an Oscar? Yes. I would kick Kate Winslet's ass.

On top of that, I will also miss Uptown and Metairie parades. It's my mom's birthday and everybody's coming over.

But let's focus on the good things, shall we? First: I finished editing the book! I emailed it to Sarah (the agent) yesterday. Sigh. Sarah...isn't that a beautiful name? It suggests someone well-read, someone sympathetic to struggling writers, with a preference for young adult novels. So hopefully I'll hear something soon. I'm so used to getting on the computer lately just to work on the book. This morning when I fired up the ole laptop I almost went straight to the book and then I remembered, "Hey! I'm done!...for now. Until I have to do more edits." Because I know enough about publishing to know that if Sarah likes it she'll still want me to tweak some things.

Ok, this has nothing to do with anything, but that's the ADD place I'm at this morning. Yesterday Chris and I took the kids to the Luling parade, which is called The Krewe of Lul (take that originality!) We ended up having a good time, but there were a couple of times that I was uncomfortable.

Now, for those of you who have never been to Mardi Gras (ahem - Tom) you must understand that when you take your children out to a parade you run the risk of exposing them to nudity. Even at "family" parades, as The Krewe of Lul likes to strut around bragging about itself. There were people in obscene T-shirts. That, I expected. And I mean both obscene in a sense that there was pornagraphic artwork on T-shirts, and obscene in a sense that some women wore skimpy shirts with cleavage hanging out. It's cool, you know. We're all mammals here. But my tolerance for public nudity was challenged when the woman standing next to my 7 year-old daughter caught a bead with an enormous penis pendant. This woman, who I will call Trixie, was delighted.

"Woooooohooo!" she cried, brandishing the penis bead, and then swinging it over her head like a lasso.

Then she set down her beer so that she could put it on, and I was able to get a good look at it. At this point I was still in the "Is that what I think it is?" phase. She put it on, and adjusted the pendant so that it lay in the center of her boobs. It was, indeed, a large pink penis with a red straw, like a catheter at the tip. It was quite realistic looking if you took away the straw and added testicles. Trixie gave it an affectionate squeeze and the thing squeaked.

"It squeaks, y'all!" she hollered to her friends, like it was a clever pet that could do a trick. Trixie stuck out her chest and waltzed around so that everyone could admire her squeaky penis.

The problem was that Emma was standing on a cooler next to her, placing her at a height at which put her face to face with the crazy thing. I had to do something. Sure, Emma has taken a bath with her brother and knows that boys have those things, but I felt uncomfortable with one in her face. I also didn't know what to say to Trixie. Mardi Gras is a time of freedom in which anyone can act like a complete ass. They're encouraged to, actually. Trixie was drunk, loud, and crass. Maybe I was being a coward, but to avoid a confrontation and to rescue my daughter I grabbed Emma and moved her to another spot.

"Hey!" Emma cried. "I wanna stand on the cooler."

The cooler made her tall enough to see the floats passing by and gave her a fighting chance to catch something in a crowd of taller kids and adults.

"Why don't I hold you?" I asked.

This worked. And so Emma's purity remains intact. But honestly, and I don't mean to sound like a prude, but why are there exposed body parts in the middle of the day at a family parade? Can these people not make it downtown? Yes, drunken, crass nudity is kind of part of our culture, but must it rear its head during the same parade where Winnie the Pooh and Tigger march down the street?

I sound so old.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Movie for one

In my annual attempt to see as many Academy Award nominated movies as possible, later tonight I'm going to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." I'm as equally enthusiastic to see "Slumdog Millionare" but my friend Libby (who will be joining me) said that feelgood movies make her feel like crap. Libby has a way of putting things that bewilder me and win my sympathies at the same time. So "The Button" it is. I plan to see the "Slumdog" later in the week by myself.

Before you go feeling sorry for me, you must know that I love seeing movies alone. It's something I started doing when I was 13 because The Outsiders was my favorite book, and that's what Ponyboy Curtis did. The first movie I saw by myself was "Scrooged" and I remember feeling weird about it at first. During a funny part there was no one to look over at to see if they were laughing too. Laughing at a scene just because I alone thought it was funny felt kind of like talking to myself. I think it's because when I'm with another person or a group, seeing a movie is a true social experience. I'm more likely to laugh if the person next to me is laughing too and not because I don't have my own sense of humor. It's like I'm saying, "I think this is funny. Do you too think this is funny? Excellent. We are having a marvelous time."

But there are some movies that for me to fully experience them, I need quiet. "Schindler's List" comes to mind. God, after I saw that alone I don't think I spoke for the rest of the day. I don't think it would have been the same experience if I'd gone with a friend or one of my sisters. I would have felt pressured to talk when we stepped out into the daylight, and I probably wouldn't have felt like talking at all. A movie that is done well, or hell any art form that is done well, leaves me with too much to think about. Only, unlike most of the things I overthink, the thoughts and emotions I have after a good movie are not a burden. It's a storm that I leaves me happily soaked.

And yet for all this love of movies, I don't think I've seen a single one this year that I really wanted to see. Like "Rachael Getting Married," "Changling," "In Bruges," "Slumdog Millionare," "Schenectady, NY" and "Tropic Thunder." Yes. That last one was a joke. See how funny I am on my own? Ha. I need to get crackin' on the ones I can rent. Only 19 days until the awards (bites nails with anticipation)! I hate watching it without knowing a single thing about the movies that are nominated. Sure I could watch it for the fashion, the the social commentary, the tense moments when someone legendary like Peter O'Toole is run offstage by the symphany for talking too long. Because, damnit, there are commercials to think about.

And at the moment there is breakfast to think about. What does a sophisticated moviegoer like myself have for breakfast, you ask? Fancy bagels? Homemade grits with bacon puree and a slice of papaya on the side? No, no, nothing that Hollywood. Oatmeal and coffee. Not sheek enough, you say? I'll bet you a hundred dollars that Anne Hathaway wishes she could have a Pop Tart while she walks down the red carpet. Now, whether I see any of the nominated movies or not, THAT would be worth watching.