Monday, June 29, 2009

Lose 20 pounds by reading this post

I don't know how many of you check out MSN but there's an awful picture of the Octomom person, who, in her defense, looks pretty pissed off that a phtographer is leaning into her car to get a shot of her. What's awful about this picture is (if I may edge on catty here) that her lips are absolutely enormous. It's details like this that you can't study on a person when you're face to face because it would be rude to stare. But luckily, there was a rude photographer who took one look at her lips and thought, "I gotta get a shot of these" so that the rest of us can sit on the internet and stare unabashedly. Although we may irrationally fear that she'll suck us up like a vaccuum tube.

So now that I've insulted the lower half of this poor woman's face, I will go on to say that I think it's unfair to lump her and all of the other people who are included in the article entitled "The 10 Most Tiresome Tabloid stories." Why do I call it unfair, you ask? Do I feel that these people who have put themselves out in the public, people like Heidi Fleiss and Monica Lewinski, are treated with less respect than they deserve?...I meant that as a rhetorical question, but now that I think about it, my opinion of the tabloids is pretty damn low. Possibly lower than my opinion of brothels. With the exception of someone who puts themselves in one purposely, I don't think that anyone deserves to be in a tabloid. It's like a human rights violation.

But the point I'm driving at is the irony of an article featuring scandalous people who, according to the writer, are the "most tiresome." So logically it should be the single most tiresome article of all time! WOW! I never thought I'd find it! I thought I'd probably write the most tiresome thing of all time some day but to have it tossed onto my lap like a present from a drive-by Santa is a dream come true!

These are the times I look at news headlines and think, "God, that writer was desperate for a story." That's what I think when I read titles like "Why Aren't Men Calling You?" and "10 Reasons Why Your Child Will Not Grow up to be a Lawyer if You Don't Feed Her Organic Grapefruit." The people who wrote these things needed to write something and they needed to write it now!

Speaking of which, I was desperate for something to submit to my writing workshop for tonight so I took my post from the other day, the one about song lyrics, polished it up and submitted it. But instead of ending it with the Mary Oliver poem I gave you guys, I polished it off with this:

The other thing I think I might be overlooking is that it’s not an entirely bad thing that my children are singing along to a song about love and hope. I shiver and squeeze my eyes shut whenever they insist we listen to Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb,” which is about climbing mountains, or overcoming adversity, or some crap.

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa.

Miley Cyrus is sixteen year old millionaire. Her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, is a millionaire. Her greatest adversity is perhaps when her masseuse is late, or when the back up dancer she falls in love with leaves her for her limo driver. Ok, I admit that I don’t know her and that she might have actually gone through some harrowing times. Maybe she didn’t want to be a singer like her dad. Maybe she wanted to be a goat herder, and life dealt her a bum deal.
I don’t know if my children will face a similar struggle, but given the way that life generally goes, they will eventually face some great challenge or journey of self-discovery. Maybe they’ll remember songs like “The Climb” or the rainbow-dream-believe-love song we heard the other day, and maybe they’ll smile at the thought of them. I will try to remind myself of this whenever I hear Miley’s voice on the radio and I develop little facial ticks. The cheesy chick could someday help my troubled children. Keep the faith, baby, keep the faith. Believe that they’ll never lose hope that their dreams will come true. Because they’re lifted up by rainbows of love. Whoa.

The End! I will let you know what my group thinks of it. And speaking of letting people know what people are thinking, I've been very opinionated lately, haven't I? Or am I just noticing it for the first time?

Friday, June 26, 2009

No, not Twitter!

With Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett's death yesterday I was reminded of 12 years ago when Mother Theresa and Princess Diana also died in the same day. News of Mother Theresa's death came in the morning and everyone was sad. Princess Diana was killed later that evening and the world went crazy. Suddenly everyone was like, "Yeah, Diana and somebody's mother died too."

Now, am I really, seriously drawing a comparison between Farrah Fawcett and Mother Theresa? And if I am, could that still be in any more poor taste than this headline from Tech Crunch: "The Web Collapses Under the Weight of Michael Jackson's Death." This is an article that talks about how Twitter couldn't take the stampede of searches for information on Michael Jackson. They make it sound like the dude took one last look at his cell phone and said, "If I go I'm taking you with me!" and then died. And now, as if America wasn't already stressed out enough about the deaths of a former Playboy model and a singer who, to my knowledge, hasn't released any music in 20 years, Twitter has let us down. Dark times.

There's something about Twitter that repulses me. It could be the trendiness of it. I've always been repelled by anything way too popular, but this could also be because I've always longed to be popular myself and I'm projecting my own bitter feelings onto something that, God help it, just wants to overload me with information. I think it's also partly the name. "Twitter." It's, well, ridiculous. It sounds like the name of a pepped up squirrel in an ADHD freak out, leaping from tree to tree without pause. And, as I'm sure some comedian has already pointed out, it's got the word "twit" in it. So to turn that term for "stupid dude" into a verb, "twitter" should mean "to carry on like a stupid dude" or "to actively be a stupid dude." Which is ironic for an information resource.

"My," you're thinking at this point, "you're rather uppity for someone who has a blog. Miss Trendiness Sucks." And you would be right. You would be an asshole, but you would be right (I'm kidding - no seriously, I'm kidding. "Asshole" is a term of endearment. Ask my kids - no seriously, I'm kidding). But I'm going to ignore my own hipocrosy to poke fun at the term "lol." One of the comments on the "Web Collapses" article was this: "i did not lol this time." For an internet commentator, this is a grim statement. You know some shit is going down.

What's sad is how long it took me to figure out what "lol" meant. I used to look at it and try to pronounce it as if it were an actual word. "Loll?" I'd think. I could tell from the context that it meant the commentor thought something was funny, but beyond that I was stumped. Kind of like the first time I came across "omg." Five years ago, if you would have looked at the wall above my laptop you would have seen tacked-up slips of paper with web terms I had yet to figure out. "Omg," "imo," "bff," "Google."

Luckily for out of touch people like me there is an on-line internet slanguage dictionary. For the hell of it, I went to the "D" section and found a handful of terms that I'd always wondered about like "dah" which means "dumb as hell" and "d/w" which means "don't worry." But there are others that are, shall we say, revealing. "Dih" - "dick in hand." Hmm, what kind of chat could that be from? Or how about (and I am not making this up) "dnimb" - "dancing naked in my bra." Now, how often does that last one come up exactly? It confounds the nerd in my head. If she's dancing then how is she typing at the same time? And if she's weaing a bra then technically she's not naked. Most disturbing in the sex slanguage though is this one, "dilf" - "dad I'd like to fuck." Are there words to express my multi-level confusion? No. Keep in mind, this is just the "d's."

And now, if you have any questions about internet slang that eludes you, you may post them to the commentary. I'm curious. Did anyone else not know that "dafs" means "do a fucking search?" Twitter must have come up with that one, and then last night came up with a new one "psfsfrwfdh" - "please stop fucking searching, for real, we're fucking dying here."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Three minute songs

The other day after I wrote that post about song lines I do and don't like, it got me to thinking about the whole thing. And I thought, "What am I saying? That I'm some sort of writer snob? Do I not, indeed, like The Misfits? With lyrics like 'Flesh ancient monster design/Unlit pornographic sign?'" What does that even mean and do I want to know?

Then I remembered that, really, when it comes to a song it's the energy more so than the words that get me. To quote Joan Jett, "I think there's nothing better than seeing a three-chord straight up rock 'n' roll band in your face with sweaty music and three minute good songs." And as a prime example of a good less-than-three-minute song that I've been listening to a lot lately, click here: The video is brilliant, especially during the part with the line "trying to pick up a girl."

I'm all twisted and confused today. I'm having racing thoughts, and not all of them are bad, but much like an ice cream cone falling from a sky scraper, anything can become dangerous when it's going sixty miles an hour. The "I'm digging this song" thought becomes as dangerous as the "why don't I still have a job?" thought. I think it's because they run through my head at the same time, along with about fifteen other thoughts and so it all just becomes noise, like being in a crowded train station. Throw in the fifteen times a minute I hear, "Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!" and after a while I become a blubbering mental patient, lying in bed with my hands over my ears. All those thoughts race across my limp, energyless body like angy, frothing cattle.

The "get a job" thought is particularly menacing though. While the others sweep across me, "get a job" will come back and dance on my face some more. Sadistic bastard.

I think I might be feeling too ADD to finish this post. Sadistic ADD.

Friday, June 12, 2009


This morning I woke up and had three consecutive thoughts: I need peanut butter, I need coffee, and I am generally repulsed by songs with the words "dream" and "believe" in them. There was a song that came on the radio the other day and the first four lines (and I am not kidding) had the words "dream" "believe" "rainbow" and "love." I don't know what song this was. It was on a top 40 station that my daughters insist we listen to, and each one of those words hit me like tiny, sappy fists. "Dream" - ouch! "Believe" - ow! Dear God no, not in the next line! "Rainbow" - Aaaaah! Make it stop! "Love" - couldn't you people have spaced this shit out??? It was like someone took the songs "I Believe I Can Fly" and "Wind Beneath My Wings" and put them in a blender.

So in my advanced, lyrical snootiness what words do I prefer? Lately I've been digging some lines form the Black Eyed Peas song "Boom Boom Pow."

I like that boom boom pow
Them chickens jackin' my style
They try to copy my swagger
I'm on that next shit now

The words "Them chickens jackin' my style" and "copy my swagger" make me laugh every time. I swear, if I'm ever plagiarized my statement to the press will be "Them chickens jackin' my style." And there's something so charming about the word "swagger." I imagine a jaunty little man sashaying confidently down the street. It's got dignity with a bit rauchiness to it. One of the next lines "I'm a beast when you turn me on/Into the future cybertron" is also great fun. I think it's the words "I'm a beast" and "future cybertron." What's not to love?

But to step back from my theory for a bit (the theory being that songs about dreams and rainbows that are not sung by Kermit the Frog are lame, and songs with future cybertron beast chickens are infinitely superior), I know that songs about love and hope are meant to speak to a wdie audience who like a direct message. Usually about love and hope.

Al-anon program slogans are like this. At first I cringed at them because they're little cliches, like "One day at a time" and "But for the grace of God" and "Easy does it." But they're not meant for their literary greatness. They're meant to help as many people through the day as possible. I know that the song "I Believe I Can Fly" touched many a soul, even though it made me put my hands over my ears and go, "Noooo! Make it stop!" At the time I much preffered songs Warren Zevon songs like "Something Bad Happened to a Clown." And honestly I think that no matter how emotionally healthy I become I probably always will.

And now, for something seemingly contradictary. The poem that I am about to share (indeed, most poeple have the same reaction to the word "poetry" that I have to the word "rainbowlovedream" but those people have no idea what a raunchy beast a poem can be), does have the word "clouds" in it, which often times implies a cliche, but this does not. Also, do not be turned off by the fact that the title is "The Journey." I was at first. Then I read it and it has now taken a hold over me for reasons that will become obvious if you know me very well at this point in my life. If you don't, then it's still a good poem and might speak to you. It's got a general massage meant for a general audience. If you're an originality snob like I am and don't like thinking of yourself as part of a general audince, then do what I do. Just think of yourself as "The General."

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.