tiaras optional

"My only argument is with those who do not view the world as cynically as I do." Michael Korda

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

TV Is Totally Letting Me Down

Now that it’s the end of October, I feel it’s fair to do an assessment of the new TV season. And my assessment would be that it sucks ass. I feel like Homer Simpson, asking the TV to give him some of that sweet sweet magic and all he gets in return is Admiral Baby. This year, I tried three new shows:

1. Vanished. This show looked sort of interesting. It’s an ongoing mystery, and I loves me some mystery. And it has that hot guy from the American Queer as Folk. I watched two episodes and decided it was totally lame and that I liked the hot guy better when he was gay. Fox is moving the show around on the schedule and it’s apparently on the verge of cancellation.

2. Smith. The promos for this one looked cool, and the first episode was really good. Unfortunately, the next two episodes were lame. I was going to give it one more week to turn things around, but CBS made the decision for me by canceling it. I guess even the combined hotness of Jonny Lee Miller and Simon Baker just wasn’t enough to keep this one afloat.

3. Studio 60. The first episode was decent. I watched two more episodes, but each one got a little worse. I find the show clever in some ways, but everyone is so damn self-righteous and preachy. They are producing a sketch comedy show, not saving the world. Of course, the fact that everyone takes themselves so seriously might explain why the sketches aren’t funny. I gave up after the third episode, and it appears that much of American did as well, as the show is rumored to be on the chopping block.

I figure that this is fine, because the less TV I’m watching, the more time I have for important intellectual pursuits, like sitting around on my ass and reading Vogue. And I always have the returning shows to keep my company. Only, that isn’t working out so well either. I’m still enjoying House to some extent, because of my undying love for Hugh Laurie, but what is up with the three young doctors? They just get dumber every year. Watching gives me lupus panic too, since it seems that lupus is the answer to any odd combination of symptoms. Last year, I really liked Bones, but this year, it’s just stupid. They replaced the interesting male boss character with the really annoying female boss character, who seems to be there solely for the purpose of providing “sexual tension.” Just a hint, but manufactured “sexual tension” is, ummh, not sexy. And the plots are terrible. It’s painfully obvious by about 20 minutes into the show who the murdered will turn out to be.

And then there’s Lost. Where do I even begin with Lost? Last week, the promos promised that a huge secret would be revealed. The big secret? The Others are apparently on another island that’s about 100 yards from the original island. Big fucking deal. And the direction of this episode was painfully obvious from the beginning. Conman Sawyer is in jail. And wow, what a surprise, he’s running a con. And it turns out that the Others were conning him! Raise your hand if you didn’t see that one coming. I actually missed 15 minutes of it since I left the room when Henry Gale started torturing the rabbit. Nobody hurts a bunny on my watch.

With all this free time, I can totally work on that novel I’ve been meaning to write. Or read US Weekly. Whatever.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Checking in with Down There

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to the gynecologist the other day (or as she’s known to some*, the va-jay-jay doctor). I have heard that some porn contains elaborate scenarios involving visits to the gynecologist. Clearly, these scenarios were dreamed up by men, because I think that most women will agree that going to the gynecologist is completely unsexy.

My doctor is pretty cool and she makes the experience as pleasant as possible. This time wasn’t too bad. My lady parts are apparently in fine working order.

This year’s nurse was a huge improvement over last year’s, the one who didn’t seem to notice that I don’t weight 224 pounds.** When she asked if I used street drugs, I said (honest answer), “No.”*** And every year I wonder, does anyone actually answer “yes” to that question? I know you aren’t supposed to lie to the doctor, but I can imagine most people don’t want to deal with any Judgy McJudgerson attitudes.

I asked my doctor about a minor concern that I’ve had recently. I’ve noticed a few stray hairs on my face, some in potentially mustache form. Luckily, there are only a few of them, and they are blonde, so they’ve pretty unnoticeable. She said it was probably nothing to worry about since I don’t have any other odd symptoms and that this is just “something that happens” as you get older. “Older”? That’s a dagger in the heart. She went on to say that it would probably be worse if I weren’t on the Pill. So, going off the Pill to get pregnant would make me both fat and hairy? Fantastic. Another reason not to reproduce. I told her I wasn’t too concerned about it, since “the hairs are blonde, which is kind of funny because I’m not blonde anywhere else.” Then I felt sort of dumb for saying that, because considering where she had just been looking, she knows quite well that I’m not blonde anywhere else.

*And by “some,” I mean “me.”
**I’m actually considering embracing the whole “massive weight loss” thing, because then, when I look in the mirror and think, “Princess, you really need to lose five pounds,” I can reply, “What the hell are you worried about, princess? You’ve already lost almost 100 pounds. Go have that ice cream sundae. You totally deserve it.”
***Every year when I’m asked this question, I consider saying something along the lines of, “Yeah, but only coke and smack. No crack. Because crack is whack.” I never say this, because I am guessing medical personnel probably don’t consider drugs a laughing matter.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Dominatrix Upstairs

I’m suffering from major writer’s block these days, and all my attempts at long, meaningful posts are going nowhere, so it’s all short notes.

1. My long-time readers (both of you) may remember an incident from last year where I went to the gynecologist for my annual exam and a possibly blind nurse’s aid recorded my weight as 224 pounds. Even with really heavy shoes, a few cameras on me, and my big bones, I am far from being 224 pounds. I went back to the doctor today for this year’s annual exam. Everything looks fine, but they still haven’t figured out how to fix my record. On the up side, everyone is totes impressed with my massive weight loss.

2. I’m pretty sure my upstairs neighbor is a dominatrix. Early every morning, I can hear her clacking around in high heels. It seems to be the first thing she puts on in the morning. Perhaps this is normal for others, but shoes are usually at the end of my morning routine. She makes all sorts of weird noises day and night, as if she is dragging furniture around the floor. There’s another noise I often hear that sounds like some kind of metal being dragged across the floor. So, here is my theory: She’s a dominatrix and is running a business out of the apartment. She wears high heels 24/7 because, hello, have you ever seen a dominatrix not in heels? The furniture dragging sound must be her moving her torture equipment around. And the metal being dragged across the floor? Clearly, that’s the sound of the chains she uses to imprison her submissives. Please admire my Nancy Drew-like detective skills.

3. Fall makes me think of college, because fall was always really beautiful in the town where I went to school. Thinking of college made me think of this guy that I had a crush on for like three days in college. I got over it when I realized he was really boring. Recently, I heard that he’s a darling of the neocons for his rather reactionary views on certain subjects, so it doesn’t seem that we would have much in common these days. I saw a picture of him, and although it was only from the neck up, his head was twice the size it was in college, leading me to suspect a really significant weight gain. Here’s to no longer having bad taste in men.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Craptastic Numbered Post 82

1. Lord Kissington is recovering from a nasty stomach bug. He lost 5 pounds. Is it wrong that I am totally jealous?

2. Kim Jung Il’s little uniform jacket would be so much kickier if it didn’t have those elastic patches on each side of the waist. If I had the chance to talk to Kim Jung Il, I would say:

“Kim, you don’t mind if I call you Kim, right? Kim, you’ve got a very unique look. You’re rocking the poufy hair and the teensy high heels. It works for you. But the elastic tabs have got to go. It’s the Korean dictator jacket equivalent of mom jeans. Oh, and lay off those nuclear tests already.”

3. Does anyone else think the Others on Lost are living in some sort of Utopian free love experiment gone bad? It seems like Ben/Henry Gale and Juliet (already can’t stand her) used to have something going on. And that chick who came down into the hatch was all like, “What’s going on here?” in a jealous fashion. That same chick later kissed that chucky dude who was bossing around Sawyer (and you just know Sawyer is not going to forget that). Just a thought?

4. Martin O’Malley is kind of handsome, in a clean-cut politician sort of way. He’s probably a douchebag though, since that seems to be the way of politicians. But he’s just handsome enough to make me wish he’s not a douchebag. Every time I see his commercials, I say “That is a handsome politician,” and Lord Kissington looks at me as if I’ve lost my mind.

5. Spellcheck will try to tell you that douchebag should be two words, but I really think that’s just wrong. (Spellcheck will also try to tell you that you are spelling Spellcheck wrong, but they can just suck it.)

6. This year for Halloween, I am looking for people to help me make one of my long-time dreams come true. I want to get a group of seven people together and go as the cast of Gilligan’s Island. My wardrobe is ideally suited to play Ginger (and my competition moved to another country). Sadly, the best choice for Gilligan also moved to another country. Any help would be appreciated.

Friday, October 13, 2006

DC Confidential

Back in the day, Ann Landers used to occasionally put a “confidential” message at the end of her column. I assume that these were messages to people who didn’t want their letters published. The messages were usually cryptic and read something like:

Confidential to Skokie, IL:

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

I’ve decided to take a stab at my own version of this feature. These messages are directed to people who haven’t asked for my advice, but who are sorely in need of it. Also, my messages will be far less cryptic than Ann’s.

Confidential to woman walking in front of me on 13th St, 10/11, 6:15 p.m.:

If you must wear white after Labor Day (and I’m really begging you not to), for the love of God, please buy a thong in an appropriate color. Hint: white or beige would work. Hot pink or black is a no no. Maybe you want to show off your thong, but trust me, this is just not appropriate in the workplace.

Confidential to the angry blonde on the elevator in my building this morning:

Banging hard on the “Lobby” button six times in a row isn’t going to make the elevator move any faster. In fact, if the elevator is anything like me, it will probably go even slower, just to spite you.

Confidential to the douchebag driver at the intersection of 13th and I Streets the other morning:

You may think you are not a complete douchebag because you didn’t honk at the elderly man on a walker who was crossing the street at a snail’s pace, but inching your car closer and closer to him in an attempt to make him move faster is just as bad. He couldn’t move any faster than he already was and you just freaked him out. There’s a special place in hell for you. Or, to put it another way, here’s hoping karma comes around and bites you in the ass big time.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fashion Trends I Just Cannot Get Behind

I’m actually enjoying fashion at the moment. There are tons of clothes I like out there, and I’ve been shopping quite a bit lately and not finding it the frustrating experience that I usually do. There are of course some trends I can’t really get into, like skinny jeans, but if you have legs like Kate Moss, then I figure what the hell.

But there are two trends that I just cannot get behind.

1. Ankle boots worn with skirts and dresses. This look is everywhere* at the moment, and it makes me nuts. Unless you have superskinny, extralong legs, this is just not a flattering look. It tends to cut the leg off at an awkward point and makes woman look short and stumpy. I’m short enough already; I don’t need shoes that add to the effect. So, I’ll be wearing knee high boots with my skirts and dresses.

2. Leggings. Where do I even begin with leggings. There are so many problems here. First of all, I wore them the last time they were in, and that’s probably reason enough to never touch them again. Also, I have a bad throw-up-a-little-in-your-mouth kind of memory about leggings. At my first job out of college, there was a woman who used to wear leggings to work every day, years past the point where they were considered even remotely fashionable. She wore them in place of pants, not underneath a skirt. She was very overweight. And did I mention that the leggings were white and two sizes too small for her? So, when I see even a very skinny woman wearing tasteful black leggings, all I can think of is this woman. And besides, Lindsay Lohan has totally been rocking the leggings lately, and she’s not really someone whose fashion sense I want to emulate.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Can’t a Girl Buy Some Cheap Clothes Without Having Her Eardrums Assaulted?

I really haven’t had much to write about recently, and this weekend didn’t help that at all, since I was sick for most of it. I had a migraine that lasted 24 hours, a stomach bug, and a weird backache that made me miserable for two days and then abruptly disappeared. By Monday, I felt that I had to drag myself out of bed and do something. Lord Kissington wanted to see The Departed. I just couldn’t do it, since I have this thing about Hollywood remakes of foreign films, the thing being that I can’t stand them. The Departed is a remake of Infernal Affairs, which I love. And I know it’s Scorsese, and I’ve heard it’s great, but I just wasn’t feeling it. So, we went to the Chinatown theater, and while he was seeing his remake, I watched The Last Kiss, chosen mainly because I had very low expectations for it and it wouldn’t require much thinking on my part. Sadly, the joke was on me. As the opening credits rolled, I learned The Last Kiss is a remake of an Italian film. D’oh.

My film was shorter than LK’s, so I killed some time at H&M while I was waiting for him. As I was standing in line, someone further back in line started cursing up a rather nonsensical blue streak. He seemed to be screaming something about not being made of fucking money and he wasn’t going to be buying his lady friend any fucking pants and what was her fucking problem and what the fuck was she talking about. I didn’t want to make eye contact, but I took a surreptitious glance at the couple. They were probably at least in their 50s, way outside the traditional H&M demographic (I should know, I’m probably a few years past their target customer). The woman was completely ignoring him, which gave me the feeling that she’d heard it all many times before. In fact, all the customers and employees were attempting to ignore him, although really, he was so loud and so obnoxious that people three blocks away could have heard him. I got up to the counter and was paying for my items, and he and his companion moved up to the next register.

Then things got even more interesting. It seems the man wanted to pay for a pair of jeans that he had already changed into. The woman behind the counter was trying to explain why he couldn’t do this, since she needed to remove the security tag and she couldn’t do that with him in the jeans. She asked him to change back into his original pants, but his companion said, “Oh, he already got rid of those.” The woman behind the counter was incredulous and I had to agree with her. Where did he dispose of his pants? It’s not as if H&M has super helpful dressing room attendants who are just waiting to take away your unwanted items. The man kept insisting that there was no problem and he hoisted his leg up on the counter and told the woman to just remove the tag that way. She kept trying to explain to him why this wouldn’t work (I really don’t think it would. The security device removal thing is in the counter and you have to press the tag down pretty hard to get it to come off. I’m not sure this guy’s leg would have stretched far enough.) I left while this was still going on, but I felt really bad for the cashier. Shopping at H&M is unpleasant enough, I can only imagine how much fun it is to work there.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It Would Be So Much Worse If I Had Cable

Despite my resolve to get back to blogging regularly, it’s been a little difficult. I seem to lack the motivation to gather my thoughts in a coherent manner. So, if what follows doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I apologize.

Yesterday was just a lousy day. I felt sick, I couldn’t seem to get anything done, and I managed to give myself a splinter at work (at my non-manual labor job). I finally decided to go home sick.

I spent much of the afternoon obsessing over the splinter. Tweezers didn’t seem to be doing the trick, so I attacked it with a needle (sterilized with alcohol, of course, I’m not as nuts as I sound). I have no idea if I’ve actually gotten the splinter out. Should I be worried? My mother has always insisted that splinters are totes dangerous and will lead to blood poisoning, but other, less hypochondriacally inclined people have told me that the splinter usually works itself out eventually. I’ve decided to go with that theory.

When not mutilating my pinkie, I watched TV. For like 8 hours or something. My brain feels a lot mushier than when I started. Several hours of soaps produced a lot of head-shaking on my part. (Really, Jason? It’s just occurring to you that Elizabeth’s baby might be yours? How did you ever get to be number 2 in the local mob?)

By the time primetime rolled around, I had very little patience left for what awaited me. Last year, I kind of liked Bones. This year, it’s awful. They brought in that annoying woman as Brennan’s new boss, in a pathetic effort to make some sort of (painfully awkward) love triangle. And the plots, while not exactly brilliant last year, are just ridiculous. I can always figure out who the murderer is by midway through the show. And it’s not that I’m brilliant or psychic, it’s just the answer is painfully obvious.

So, by the time Lost came on, my patience had worn a bit thin. I was fairly excited for the new season. My favorite wacky hatch resident Desmond is now a regular cast member, and I was interested to see how they were going to follow up on last spring’s awesome cliffhanger.

Sigh. I had such high hopes, but they began to diminish rather quickly when I realized that it was going to be yet another Jack flashback. How many does this make? 12? Is there really anything more that we need to know about Jack? We know all about his daddy issues (is it just me or does everyone on this damn island have daddy issues?). We know that he was sad about his wife leaving him. We know that HE CRIES ALL THE FUCKING TIME. And it was just more of the same. More daddy issues. More ex-wife issues. And lots more crying. Enough with the crying already.

Jack seems to be building a bond with sensitive “Other” Juliet. I don’t know how I feel about Juliet. I mean, her favorite book is by Stephen King. Really? On the other hand, she totally burned Henry Gale/Ben by kicking him out of her book club.

I should really lay off the TV.

Monday, October 02, 2006

This Is Why I Prefer Not to Answer the Phone

Generally, I try to avoid answering my land line at all, because hardly anyone calls me on it except my mother and telemarketers or people asking for money for various charities. But on a recent Sunday, I was expecting a call and I answered the phone, thinking I was safe because most people asking for money don’t bother you on Sundays, it being the Lord’s day and all. It was the Policemen’s Benevolent Association calling, wanting money. I find this particular charity a bit sketchy. They ask for me specifically by my first name (tricking me into thinking it’s someone I actually know for a few seconds, long enough to get me hooked), and they know my full name and address. My phone number is unlisted. I assume they are getting my info from the voter registration lists or the DMV, and I have to wonder why the hell the police are allowed to access that information for money-gathering purposes. I assume that the people that call are hired specifically for this purpose, as they are pushy as all get out and really good at squeezing money out of you. Once a few years back, I got a call from one guy who just wanted to send me some info about their programs so I could look it over and see if I wanted to donate. I agreed since it sounded harmless enough. Big mistake. A few minutes later, I got a call from one of their operators wanting to confirm my $50 donation. A few months back, I actually agreed to donate a small amount of money because the guy basically browbeat me into it and I would be supporting the wives and children of officers slain in the line of duty, and what kind of person wouldn’t want to support them? Anyway, back to the most recent call:

Bloodsucking caller: Hello, Ms. Tiara. We’d like to thank you for your generous support in the past. We’re asking for your support at the $55 level this time.
Me: No, I can’t afford to give again at this time*.
Bloodsucking caller: Ok, well, I’ll just put you down for $40 this time.
Me: As I said, I can’t afford to give again at this time.
Bloodsucking caller: Well, I’m sure you can donate $35, can’t you.
Me: No.
Bloodsucking caller: Well, last time you gave $27, so I’ll just put you down for that.
Me: How many times do I have to say no?
Bloodsucking caller (completely ignoring me): So, $27 it is.
Me: Arrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh. How many times do I have to tell you I’m not giving you any money. Leave me alone.

Then I hung up the phone.

I’m fully expecting to get a note in the mail saying that they are expecting my $27. And I imagine that donor list has a big black mark next to my name, because clearly I’m an evil bitch who hates the widows and children of officers slain in the line of duty and wants them to starve. Sigh.

*It’s been maybe three months since the last time. I see this as a once a year charity at best. Technically, I could afford the $27, but if I am going to give money, there are other organizations I would much rather give to, ones that don’t have super-aggressive, guilt-inducing phone solicitors.