Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Packing Up a Sage Green Dress

I'm packing the last of my stuff for The Big Move, which started today with Rich's stuff while I worked away through one of the longer and more boring days ever to come down the pike. I just packed my formal stuff...a salmon colored dress I wore to winter ball at Sequoia with some small particles of dirt still clinging to the train, the "CJ Craig dress" from the ball at the Kennedy Center, the black velvet sheath from a dance at Union Station. And of course, the dress I wore in my best friends' wedding. Two colors of green...a celadon and a sage, really, but online it was called sage, and that fits better somehow.

Almost four full months ago, a wedding happened that at various times I thought was amazing, ill-advised, too soon, spectacular, and surreal. Friends of mine, getting married. Unreal.

Almost four full years had passed in our little circle of friends when June 3rd rolled around, and it had been busy with fallings-in and fallings-out. With Spinnaker down in Annapolis with a thousand rules on his activities and me busy getting into everything I could, there were fewer moments with him compared to the months I spent here with Anna Karenina over coffees and shots and chai, but they all stand out. Watching him in a uniform strolling around a WWII memorial in the nighttime in late September, 11 days after September 11th and many years after all of the men listed on those grounds had given their lives...going to Arlington National Cemetery in flipflops on the Metro, he in a uniform and I in a suit on a blazing sunny Memorial Day...every Hawaiian shirt he owned wandering in the door at one point or another...all of the little moments that there's no real reason to remember, but you do anyway.

And then there's my Anna, my best friend, whose ups and downs mirrored mine, and who got the jokes I played off of hers. Wine downed, shots put down, coffee sipped, chai smelt. It's all there, even less significant in terms of grand drama than the sweet small moments with Spinnaker, but just as important somehow. I was rich in those times for the months when we were both here, and even now, with Skeezix in my life and plenty to fill the theoretical gap, it's still not empty, but not quite the same.

So it got to The Day...the flowers prepared and the family corralled and driving each other nuts, the last minute stuff tended to and the panic setting in. She looked so beautiful, just like a fairy princess right there in my living room, flopped on the couch with a thousand yards of fabric trailing out from her throne. I don't know how her mom held it together so well. The ceremony was gorgeous, and I walked down the aisle with one of my best friends. I wonder if all weddings feel so much to the bridesmaids and ushers that they are there to give their friends to each other. I feel like it's unlikely. We are so lucky to have the friends we do, for all the fluctuations in closeness and physical proximity. I cried, I danced, I drank, we toasted, and then it was all over, just like that.

And now here I am, misty again, missing my friends and packing away a sage green bridesmaid's dress.

I am blessed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Thee Got a Package Today. It Weighs About 30 Pounds. It Might Be a Cinderblock."

Ah yes, the words of Ma. This comment comes, of course, only about a week and a half after she informed me that her schedule was "mad crazy" and maybe a year since she referred to my brother as a "wigger." And then followed it up with "well he IS" when I cracked up. Woman has a point.

We lost power at work today for maybe 15 minutes, which was exciting in a certain grade school kind of way. Work seems to be more and more obnoxious lately, which is NOT making me want to stick around. I don't want to be lauded non-stop, but there's a certain soul-sucking feeling when you realize that no matter how well you do your job or how far beyond the call of duty you go, it will always be "why didn't you do this one extra thing?" I raised hourly production values by an average of about $30 with my techs, putting ALL of their values above $100 PER HOUR. I point this out and explain that that is the difference that planning and thought makes? Blank looks. There's just such a lack of business savvy and simple common sense that it makes it hard to handle. I also think that Skeezix has a point when he says I need to be more in control of my work environment - I don't do as well working in a hyper-supervised realm as when I work on my own.

I was talking to Scarlett today about the Supreme Court nominations, and Roberts brings me back AGAIN to the political-appointees-belong-in-political-positions concept I brushed by with FEMA the other day. He will not answer ANYTHING, and that makes me very nervous - I don't trust him enough to think that he will be a Rehnquist-style conservative. And if this whole not answering questions bit is something motivated by the GOP, then that in and of itself is an issue, because any candidate who can be trusted to be fair and examine all angles should listen to ONE voicemail from a leading Repub asking him to keep his trap shut on sensitive issues and tell said voicemailer to cram it sideways. I explained to Scarlett that they should get a dose of Carville's "Had Enough," which, yes, is liberal leaning, but has a lot of good stuff on the concept of working for the GREATER GOOD rather than party lines, and as I looked for a link to it, I came across an old friend in K Street on DVD.

It was there that I realized that there are a LOT of stupid people on this planet. I tend to sort of ignore that as best I can and revel in the higher-functioning people floating around, but every not and then, one intercepts the pass and slams me into the dirt. K Street was promoted as a POLITICAL series about LOBBYISTS. Every commercial had shots of DC and references to lobbying and power and politics and all that stuff. Yes, it was a weird, new concept - it was basically filmed as things were happening, with actors mingling freely with power players in Washington - but it was always, always, always pimped as a political show. Despite all that publicity and advertising, and yet on the reviews for the DVD set, I found this gem:

"This show is so boring all it's about is poltics. What was HBO thinking having the one of the oddest shows out, it doesn't play no background music even when it's going off. And all the people do on that show is argue like petie little children, in one episode I found very shocking to hear was from a blond hair woman saying the two oldest sons of Saddam Hussian that died they made their bodies into make up she said it's so (Queer Eye for the Straite Guy) and another episode she call a gay a fag, I didn't know she had that in her. What I found weird was why would actor George Clooney would talk what the show is all about during previews, he has nothing to do with political things. Thank god "K-Street" never did get a second season."

Even if we ignore the myriad spelling, grammatical and common sensical errors - the whole thing is basically one big [sic] - he's complaining that the show is about....politics? A show filmed and NAMED AFTER the biggest street of lobbying firms and arguably the biggest behind the scenes power concentration in the United States? A show that featured Mary Matalin and JAMES MUDDAFUGGIN' CARVILLE? A SHOW THAT WAS BILLED AS A POLITICAL SERIES?!?


I just don't get people.

Okay, no, I can't help it, OKAY?! Geez.

"This show is so boring; all it's about is politics. What was HBO thinking, having the one of the oddest shows out? It doesn't play any background music, even when it's ending. All the people do on this show is argue like petty little children. In one episode, I found it very shocking to hear a blond haired woman (PLEASE let him not be referring to Hillary Clinton. Please.) refer to the makeup of the two oldest sons of Saddam Hussein that died as "so Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," and in another episode she called a gay person a fag. I didn't know she had that in her. What I found weird was that actor George Clooney would explain what the show is all about in previews - he has nothing to do with political things. (Except, you know, produce the show.) Thank god "K-Street" never got a second season."


Monday, September 26, 2005

My Family, It is Haunted By the Dread Curse of the Neckbrace.

Superfly gets into a car accident, is thankfully okay, spends something like 96 hours supine, and gets fitted with a neck brace that looks like the designers over at Rollerblade got their hot little hands on it. I don't know why you would want your neckbrace to be aerodynamic, actually, but I am pretty sure this one is. It may teleport, and if it does, may I just say sign me up, because...awesome.

So Ma picks me up today and she tells me she's taking Kitty Number Two (Cats, in chronological order: Sylvia (deceased), Sweetheart/Molly, Flyboy/Cady) to the vet because she's been limping. Just talked to her and Sweetie had an abscess in her left hind leg. The vet drained it and everything, but there is still a drain set in there, so she has - you guessed it - a head cone to keep her from messing with it. A picture of those two together needs to be taken. Immediately.

Meanwhile in the animal kingdom, Resident Gigantic Snake Cleo has just eaten and is currently sitting, happily blood-smeared, in a cage probably seven feet away from me. Every now and then it occurs to me what a weird place I work in. Let's examine the creatures that share my workspace...two iguanas, a 13 foot Burmese python, a 3 foot ball python, two varieties of cockroach, six baby snapping turtles, several large and cranky snapping turtles, an emperor scorpion, a tarantula...the list goes on. I have come to like snakes, but the feeding concept keeps me from really wanting one. It's just so digusting to drop those rats or mice in there and watch them get hit...even if I dumped 'em and ran, I would still hear them, and THAT is no picnic either. Ugh. Gross.

Aloha Lady called me last night out of the blue to thank me for coming to her was awesome to see her play. Her friend and co-captain Khan has the most violently highlighter colored cleats I have ever seen. She is also a rockin' chick, I'm really glad Lady decided to chill predominantly with her and ditch the previous set of dodgy friends she had. She's got a good crew now, which is nice. I wish I could go to more of her games, but the vast majority are at 3:30, which is just not possible. Even if I took my lunch really late, I wouldn't be able to see the whole game. She is so awesome to watch play - great runner, and excellent use of the elbows. I wish she would just get that she is talented and go from there. Either way, she will be a success wherever she decides to go to school, so that is good to know. She wants to be an english teacher, which I think rules. GO ENGLISH WOO!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

How the Hell Does Vincent D'Onofrio Keep Getting Work? Seriously.

L&O: CI is coming to USA, which means that there is at least one hour less of SVU, for a start, which already puts me in a shitty mood, but that it's Criminal Intent with Assface D'Onofrio? I don't understand it at all. Apparently people actually find the nimrod attractive, too, which...I have no words.

I have a lot of unjustified dislike and rage for various things...small dogs, most children, Republicans, sweet pickles....but I can actually explain this particular hatred. It's a little bit like my rage towards Michael Jackson.

Bear with me.

Michael Jackson had one of the most successful musical careers in history. He had the music, he had the moves, he had the fans...he could have ridden his fame into an awesome, bazillionaire twilight, Michael Jordan style (minus the ill-fated baseball attempt). It was so simple - all he had to do was just continue waking up in the morning, signing some autographs, recording music, and living a life of luxury. Easy. Instead? He built a gigantic kiddie porn set - let's call it like it is - and started basically hacking off various pieces of his facial contruction, while maybe not even molesting young boys, but at least allowing room for those rumors to grow. Two major trials and eight million MJ jokes later (and counting!), he'c completely squandered what could have been a perfect existance.

Now, we have Law & Order. The original series has been running since 1990, and has showcased a variety of talent, from TV to the silver sceen. The show may be showing some signs of fatigue, but it's still a hell of a lot more solid than most things that are on the air lately. It's spawned one of the most successful spin offs ever with the SVU series. The key thing, I think, is that they hang their reputation on great acting - Chris Noth, S. Epatha Merkerson, Dann Florek, Sam Waterson, Elisabeth Rohm, Jerry Orbach, Angie Harmon, Steven Hill, Benjamin Bratt, J.K. Simmons, Mariska Hargitay, Chris Meloni, Ice-T, Richard Belzer, Dean Winters (do yourself a favor - watch him in Oz as Ryan O'Reily). It paid off big time, because we all know the show rocks and has a fierce following of loyal fans. Let's say that the original series represents "Got To Be There," "Ben, " "Off the Wall," and "Thriller," with his Jackson 5 days as the first year of the series and "Invincible" as it enters the still-badass twilight of its run. Then we can call SVU "Bad" and "Dangerous."

But then they decided to try again, with Criminal Intent...this is the point where Michael Jackson was kicking back with a few friends and said "you know, maybe it would be cool if I built a theme pack in my yard." They ALMOST nailed the casting, with the rockin' Kathryn Erbe (again, Oz). Then they hung a left at the junction of Good Stuff and Stupid, and put her in a wussy, generally subordinate seeming role and hired Vincent D'Onofrio. He is obnoxious. We are supposed to believe that he knows basically everything in the world, for one, which is stupid. It leads to the type of revelations that go something like...

"But he was wearing a BLUE jacket, not a black one."
"Yes, but SOME blue dyes are created from plants harvested in Afghanistan and a fine dust of opiates settles into the dye vats, creating the APPEARANCE of additional darkness making the jacket seem black!"
"The witness was wearing blueblockers and has a history of false reporting."
"Aha! But the refraction of the light off of the opium-infused dye would have penetrated the blueblockers like night vision, so the witness certainly could have seen it, and would have been so startled to go from almost zero vision to night vision that they would have been too shocked to false report!"
"What's that you've got there?"
"A bottle!"
"And what do you do with it?"
"I've put authentic Guinness beer in it!"

Shut UP, D'Onofrio! GOD. I'm annoyed just thinking about it long enough to spoof him. I find the dialougue they give him ridiculous to begin with, and then there's the so-called acting he does. Right here, I am going to divulge - one time only, folks! - the secret Vincent D'Onofrio acting technique.

1. Make an idiotic comment. Start it with "so" and put at least a five second pause between that starting word and the rest of the sentence.
2. Pause for a smal eternity while managing to twich in place. Focus on eye tics particularly.
3. Follow with a comment that includes sounds like it should be a pun on the first comment, but doesn't quite get there.
4. Blink nineteen times.
5. Laugh crazily.

There you have it, in its entirety. It sucks, folks, and people keep telling me how great he is. It's like Renee Zellweger. She's a passable actress, but she's nothing special, yet people keep raving about her...ditto D'Onofrio. The role model these people should be checking out is Tom Cruise. Not in weird lifestyle choices and creepy religious preferences so much, but definitely in role selection. Tom Cruise does several things well...He looks pretty, he grins, he laughs, he is the MASTER of making his eyes well up, and he flails his body around well. Every role he's chosen, with maybe a two movie margin of error, has fallen perfectly right into those parameters of acting range. COME ON GUYS! Get with it and start choosing roles that don't make you look like a retarded chimp on the 'roids! See the Cruise! BE the Cruise! Stop being on Law & Order! At least Zellweger can dress like nobody's business and she's finally started eating again, returning her to a semi-normal weight and delivering her from the bobble-head look.

So with that out of my system, I'm moving on Thursday to Holden to the gorgeous house with Skeezix, the cats - Flyboy and Cady ( - and current-Skeezix-roomie-soon-to-be-basement-zone-dweller Bono. Should be fun, if stressful - closings on the house and Skeezix's condo are on the same day and unfortunately the owner of the house wouldn't let us move anything in early...he says he's busy all week, and apparently hasn't heard of the concept of leaving a key under the mat. Oh well. The larger point is that this week I will be relatively out of commission but by next weekend will be writing from the lovely new abode. Aloha Lady had a kickass game against a determined but sucky Fitchburg High School team...they won 6-0 but more excitingly (not 100% sure that's a word, but we'll roll with it), the coach of the girls soccer team at Fitchburg State talked with her and was very impressed with her play, so hopefully she'll call him and get on that. He seems like a great coach, very down to earth. Superfly is still in his space-age neck brace and attendant pissy mood, but otherwise is okay. His California plans are on hold but he doesn't seem to want to talk about it, so who knows what the end result will be with that.

Just one last thing before I finish...when you've managed to claw your way to being the House Majority Leader, TOM DELAY, you should have a passing grasp of the good/well distinction -“after 11 years of Republican majority, we’ve pared [the budget] down pretty good.” WELL, darling, WELL.

Also, I have to say that I sort of relish the fact that Bush is beginning to learn that just throwing money at a problem doesn't make it go have to apply money intelligently. It sucks that the lesson is coming at the expense of - basically - the state of Lousiana (, but he had to learn sometime. Presuming he's capable of learning things, which I am not 100% sure of. I hope too, that we have all learned that the spoils system's political appointments do not belong in some agencies' heads. FEMA, I'm looking at you.