Sunday, December 24, 2006

Nervous Old Saint Nicholas

My love of the arts came from my parents. My mother made sure we were exposed to the theater and always made sure my brother and I took the time to enjoy reading and writing. My father made sure we knew about music...everything from classical to Motown. Do that to children long enough and they start to crave crap. Hence, my love for TV. My parents, quite reluctantly, started me off gently when it came to my viewing selection. A little public television here, a little Electric Company there ( Hey you guuuuuuuuys!!!!!!), and that was all I needed.

When my younger brother got into TV and started to develop different tastes, a war was declared. Who would get to watch what they wanted on TV, was dependent upon who turned on the TV first. Since we were a one TV home, strategy had to come in to play. So on Saturday mornings, I had to make sure I was up by 6:30 am to sit through some random televised church service that I pretended to watch with interest just so I could have control over the TV at 7:00am when the cartoons started. There was no sharing when it came to Saturday cartoons. Sharing was for the playground...babies went to the playground. Big kids watched Thundercats.

It was early one Saturday morning before Christmas and I had staked out my place in front of the TV, when I heard my Dad creeping down the stairs.

"Hey Kiddo, what are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm waiting for cartoons to start." It was a Saturday, what did he think I was doing?

"Well I have a favor to ask you. I need to help Santa, do you want to come with me?"

My curiosity was piqued.

"What do we have to do?" I asked.

Here was Dad's Christmas fib..."Santa told me he's really busy this year, so he wants me to pick up some gifts for you and your brother at the mall. Do you want to come show me what you and your brother were going to ask Santa for?"

I bought it hook line and sinker. I jumped in the car eager to assist my Dad in shirking his Christmas shopping duties. I didn't even have to fight for the front seat. It was going to be a great day! Heading to the mall, we were listening to the radio, telling jokes and being generally annoying. Being generally annoying is what we do. Apparently for my Dad, this meant grabbing my leg right above my knee. Some people think that's a great tickle spot. I didn't. It threw me and I reacted with instinct. I balled my fist and whacked my Dad in the crotch. I saw it on TV once. oops. BIG OOPS. Dad swerved the car and hit me in the back of my head. Because the car swerved, the side of my head hit the passenger window. I started screaming!!!!! My Dad freaked out and assured me that if I calmed down, promised never to hit him him like that, and swore not to tell Mom, I could have anything I wanted in the store. Sweet.

We went into the toy store and I went nuts. Shopping is so much better when blackmail is involved. I got Transformers, My Little Pony's, and two Cabbage Patch Dolls. I even got a Princess Leia costume. This was awesome!!!!! As Dad and I carried all my new toys out to the car, I noticed something on our windshield.

"Dad, There's a note on our car!"

My dad walked around to the side of our car and lifted the windshield wiper that held down the anonymous note. It read:

"Hey Asshole. I was in the car behind you. I saw you hit your wife. I've got your license plate number. I'm calling the cops."

The color left his face and I think I saw my Dad panic for the first time. I read the note and all I could think of was how weird it was that someone would leave a note like that. My Dad turned to me and said, "I think we have to tell Mom what happened now." All I could think to say was, "Well, do I have to return these presents then?"

We went home and told Mom. The cops never contacted us. I didn't have to return the gifts. In fact, we all got a lot of gifts that year. That's my Christmas story. Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

You Can Take The Girl Out of Russell Springs, But You Can't Take The Hillbilly Out Of The Beauty Queen

According to news reports, and I use the term "news" quite loosely, Miss USA, who hails from Kentucky, is having trouble here in the big city conducting herself like "royalty". I also use the term "royalty" loosely. She's accused of going crazy with cocaine use (maybe someone asked her if she "wanted to ride the white pony"...Kentuckians love horses, she could have gotten confused), taking gentlemen callers back to her pageant apartment, lesbian make-outs with Miss Teen USA, and underage drinking. Isn't that a Saturday night at any sorority house now a days? As a result, they want to dethrone her...the horror! We all know that getting dethroned as a beauty queen can be devastating to one's career. (read: Vanessa Williams) So I can understand why this abomination to the sanctity of all that is right with the world is taking media precedence over the situation in Iraq.

See, when people want to gain US citizenship they have to name 13 colonies. I think the true test, would be to have these citizen - desiring hopefuls name 13 Miss USA's. If they can do that, they must really want it, because let's be honest - who cares who wins these damn pageants anyway?

As a Kentucky beauty queen myself - "Second Runner-Up Miss Hardin County, Y'all", I sympathize with Miss USA. The pressure can be overwhelming. I stood next to the person who stood next to the person who actually won, but let me tell you, I too started to freak out as I held my plaque and tried to look out into the crowd of onlookers clamoring to take my photo. As thousands of flashbulbs sparked trying to capture my beauty and grace, the only photo they ran in the local papers, was the one of my mouth open wide and my fist in mid-air pump. It was very Arsenio Hall-esque...quite a timely pose, considering the year. But the photo had a twinge of sabotage to it. Jealousy is a bitch, Miss USA. I've been there. Even though I lost that crown to a black girl who did "Kah-Rah-Tay" as her talent ( Yes, it was an impressive victory considering we lived in Kentucky...those judges must have have thought themselves quite progressive) things were never the same for me. After my second runner-up victory, whenever I went to the Waffle House to get an order of hash browns scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, topped, peppered, and capped...I could feel the stares. Those stares let me know, I was not honoring the crown. I was making bad choices.

I know first hand that beauty can be an ugly business, Miss USA...but hang in there. As for those reports that you made out with Miss Teen USA, how could that possibly be your fault? How were you supposed to know how old she was? Kids look so much older nowadays! Keep your head up and wear that crown with pride. That tiara shines for no one but you...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's His "Cool World", We Just Live In It

I was walking home from work the other night night around 9 PM. I know I shouldn't walk alone in the dark at night (Thanks Mom, for putting the fear of God into me that I am a candidate for all types of awful attacks. When my old roommate was assaulted, my Mom actually called me and requested that I dye my blond hair brown because I would get less attention and she would feel better. Yup. Let's just say she's the nervous type.) But I had put in a long day, and I swear I could feel my ass start to spread in my chair somewhere around four in the afternoon. If I didn't walk home I was going to turn in to a twinkie tush.

Halfway home, I notice a group of three very large, menacing looking men walking towards me on the sidewalk. I move to the right of the sidewalk to let them pass. That's when it happened. Just like a movie. A bum steps forward shaking a cup at the group of men and asks for spare change. They shake their head to let them know it's not going to happen. Then the bum takes a closer look and starts screaming, "It's Brad Pitt. It's muthafuckin' Brad Pitt!! Holy Shit, ya'll. That's Brad fuckin' Pitt!" Let me clarify, the bum wasn't yelling. He was SCREAMING!!!! Like a girl. Or as a Frat boy would say during a flag football play gone wrong, "Like a little Bitch." Seriously, this homeless guy was dancing and squealing with delight. I felt like I was in a bad Chapelle Show sketch.
I turned to look and I did catch a glimpse of Brad Pitt. Perhaps I imagined it, but I swear I saw him pop his collar and nod in a way that said, "Yes, I am muthafuckin' Brad Pitt." Because face it, if you're that famous what else can you do? You can't walk on the street with the plebeians, that's for sure. He was so good-looking that suddenly the idea of marrying him, adopting our own Tsunami baby, and travelling from country to country making the world our own personal hotel room, seemed like a totally reasonable plan. But actually, I was more fascinated with the homeless dude. He went from starving to star-fucker in two seconds. What kind of celebrity obsessed culture do we live in, where suddenly the need for food and shelter is surpassed by the sighting of the hot guy from Thelma and Louise?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bright Lies, Big City

My roommate thinks I need new clothes. I don't. She says I have cute outfits but I need more of them. Fine. I pride myself on living minimally. Closet space in most NYC apartments is non-existent. So,what's the point of having all of these clothes if you have nowhere to put them, right? But the deep dark truth is...I hate shopping. I hated shopping so much as a kid that I would rather just let my Mom do it and suffer the consequences later. It made for some horribly atrocious outfits. When I go back home to visit I cringe at so many pictures that are up around the house because I never looked my age. I can't even recognize myself in those pictures. Anyone who sees the photos can't believe it's me in the pictures. I didn't look like a teenager not so secretly trying to pass for 21, like so many of my peers. Instead I looked 35. My high school yearbook photo looks like I'm a real estate agent. I'm not going to describe in detail what I was wearing, but I'll give you a hint..."fuschia business suit with a white camisole". All of my peers were listening to "Whoomp There It Is" and I was dressed like I had to close a deal on a property listing. It's a miracle I had friends. The only reason I haven't burned that yearbook is because somebody took pity on me, and had enough mercy to run the picture in black and white. It's my my dirty little technicolor secret.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cheaters Never Win

I joined a "sports club" this weekend. On purpose. I paid a week and a half's worth of salary over to some mystery organization located in a large space that permeates the faint stench of day old sweat that has equipment set up for me to work out on and feel sore as a result of...they call this beacon of pain and suffering a gym. The last time I joined a gym I was trying to get in shape for a guy I had met long distance who was coming in for a visit. He had told me that since we had last seen each other he had run a marathon. As a result of my amazing lack of forethought and a senseless quest to find more bullshit we could bond over, I told him that, "Yes, I too loooooove to run!" I ended up running so much that I broke my right ankle. It buckled not because I tripped or got caught up in a shoelace, rather it broke under the sheer stress of the bouncing impact of my hot body. ( I believe my doctor's exact words were, "Your body is clearly not 'built for speed')

Before that bad idea, the only previous time I had run, that did not include me searching for safety or shelter from the rain, was almost 20 years ago in fifth grade when I ran the fastest mile in my class and was chosen to represent my elementary school in the annual county cross-country meet. What I failed at the time to mention to my gym teacher or my parents, was that I had no idea when we were running the qualifying race in gym class, that we were being timed. I certainly wasn't into running so I did what any quick thinking kid would do, who had no interest in sweating for the "health of it' - I cheated. That's right, I'm coming clean... I cut the corners in the field and nobody noticed or seemed to care, because when I came in with an under 7 minute mile everybody was so happy for me. Maybe everyone else knew that whichever kid came in first would have to run it all over again...this time in front of their family and kids their age, from not only their school, but every elementary school within a thirty mile radius. Well the joke was on me because on the day of the county races, which I repeatedly begged my parents not to attend, I ran that mile. I ran the fastest and hardest any kid who had never run a legitimate mile before could run, and I came in last. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life. I came in as last as last could be. I would go so far as to say I may possibly hold the record for the slowest mile ever at the county level...

So here goes nothing... they say the third time is a charm. Perhaps if I try running for me and not for somebody or something else, I may travel a bit farther...but chances are, I may not fare so well. Because as much as I may have grown in other ways, one thing has remained the same- I hate to sweat.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Coco B. Wear

Tonight I am going to a Kickboxing/ Muy Thai event. I originally agreed because I thought I was going to watch some kickboxing matches and then be served some cocktails... or see some very Thai men do some kickboxing. I don't know. I've never been to a live fight before and it seems very primal and stuff. I hope they serve nachos. Regardless, I am dressed as trashy as I possibly can at work (without being asked to leave) because whenever I see boxing matches on TV all the ladies look like they could be or at one time were married to Ice-T. I'm calling today's outfit "seasonally inappropriate".

Whatever Muy Thai boxing may be, through my research (ummm Google) , it seems to have sparked the following online thoughts by the denizens of Muy Thai boxing fans who spend their days in chat rooms (no doubt perfecting their latest death grips) :

1) If a shaolin student were to go against a muy thai boxer, and both of them has about the same level of experience, who do you think would win? Why?

2) I think overall, muy thai could beat most of the Chinese Boxing style. For example, some praying mantis styles focus more on speed and use several actions to take down his opponent. While doing all of this, a muy thai boxer would just execute on strong roundhouse kick and it would all be over.

3) Finally some people realize that styles don't win fights people win fights. All this, would drunken shaolin beat mantis or can kung fu beat Muay Tai crap is getting old. Talking isn't going to answer anything. If someone wants to test his or her style against other styles that is great. However, whether they win or lose has little to do with their style or the other persons style it generally comes down to who is a better fighter and has more fighting experience.

Wow!!! Looks like tonight is going to be bloody and geeky. I hope that in addition to the nachos they serve beer. I'm going to need something to wash down all this ass-kicking!!!!