"If you can stay married to Bill Clinton, is there anything you can't do? On the other hand, if you're willing to stay married to Bill Clinton, is there anything you won't do?"--the Covert Comic, Ruminations
There are times when my thoughts only come in short bursts. There may be unifying themes, but I cannot think in essays during those times, or sit down to write a story. This month (with a few exceptions) has been one of those times. So, another of those "lots of little thoughts" posts. Plus it's hell week, so I'm in a mood. Sorry.
* I saw the Idiotarod on Saturday! Basically, it's just like the Iditarod, only instead of dogsleds there are creatively decorated shopping carts, and instead of dogs there are creatively decorated people, and instead of Alaska it's in Brooklyn, and almost everyone is some degree of drunk. Next year L'Ailee and I intend to participate, as friends of ours did this year. We may team up with them or do our own thing. My brother very much wants to come up and do it, too. Must be all those times I steered him around in a shopping cart when we were kids, sometimes well away from the stores where the carts belonged. Wonder if he'd still appreciate it if I went really fast and then let him go? ;-)
* And on Sunday, I surfed off the Delaware coast with friends. My knees were aching when I went out and adamantly protested even while I was in the water, but I really needed it. (Yes, Alan, I take something for it. SAM-e, 'cause the glucosamine is damn near useless for me.) Besides, I couldn't squander the waves! It's not going to be rideable again for at least a week or so.
* My good friend Yemaya doesn't want me to play "that Miranda Lambert CD" when I drive the rental car to the beach anymore. She really doesn't want me to repeat "Gunpowder and Lead" three times. Apparently when I do this, I drive much too fast. It's not that I'm forbidden to listen to the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend CD when I drive, it's just that she won't go with me if I try it again. Okay. Next time, MIA's Kala CD! I'm sure that won't affect my driving one little bit...
* Does anyone else look at Hillary Clinton and think of those portraits of Renaissance queens and noblewomen? Like, if she was dressed in Renaissance clothes, with the expression that is usually on her face, she would look just like them? Think Queen Elizabeth I or the Medicis. Historical themes come back, over and over again. Of course, her husband would have fit in beautifully in the days of Henry the Eighth.
* Bill Clinton is a racist piece of jackass meat. There, I said it. If he had merely wanted to say that Barack Obama's decisive victory in the South Carolina primary (I believe the technical term is "handed Hillary's ass to her") didn't mean much, he could so easily have pointed to John Edwards' primary victory just four years and one presidential election ago. Instead he reached for Jesse Jackson back in the Eighties. Really, Obama's campaign should pay him to keep talking. Or Hillary's should pay for hookers, Viagra, and a motel room in order to keep him quiet! (I *said*...)
* But all kinds of racial ugliness keeps spewing out at this moment, from Jena, Louisiana to the Tiger Woods "lynching" joke on the Golf Channel to Huckabee's Confederate flag remarks to some of the recent attacks on Obama. I knew there was still racism, of course. I've seen it. This is something else, though. This is the kind of toxic shit I thought I'd only see on the filmstrips in high school history class. It's like the wound's healing up, but there's still a bit of infection left in it. Historical themes come back, over and over again; I fervently hope that I live long enough to see the last of this one, however.
* Nobody seriously expects Giuliani to win in Florida tonight, not even Giuliani himself, thank the Gods. But I think I know why he really spent all that time and money in my home state. You see, he is getting up there, and there are thousands of former New Yorkers in Florida! The old Seinfeld joke still applies; it's practically mandatory for New Yorkers of a certain age to move to Florida. (I must point out that it was transplanted New Yorkers in Palm Beach who couldn't get the butterfly ballot right two presidential elections ago, *not* Florida Crackers in the Panhandle or the Everglades, but I digress.) I believe that Rudy and Judy were scouting out retirement homes! Why else would they spend all that time in Florida hotels--in winter, yet? I would absolutely not be surprised to hear, this time next year, of Rudy tearing around the Villages in a golf cart yelling, "Hit the monkey, win a cookie!"
* There was a horrible article in Britain's Daily Mail about how Germany's Knut, the year-old polar bear, isn't cute or interesting anymore and has gone crazy! It's definitely overstated. He is, to use the psychiatric phrase, reacting normally to abnormal circumstances. If he were in his native habitat, he'd be whiter and act a bit different, but his native habitat is dwindling, which he helps draw attention to. He's big and overly fond of rolling in dirt now, but in this video he still has what looks a lot like a smile on a very cute face. He's not the bouncy little white snowball he was this time last year, but soon he'll be huge and majestic and beautiful, and there's gotta be something in between those two phases. I hope the writer of that article isn't raising teenagers.
* Which reminds me to enjoy the little German girl Flocke's babyness some more, too! The Gods stuff a lot of noise into tiny baby bears, that's for sure. She's a living teddy bear and has her own stuffie to sleep with!
* While I'm on this theme, Austrian baby panda Fu Long's little white paw has inspired me. I've long thought that there needs to be an animated panda movie. Kung Fu Panda with Jack Black will probably be awesome, but we need a cute, kid-friendly one, too. I figured that China's Wolong Reserve, a/k/a "Panda Heaven," would be an excellent setting. But how to distinguish the plucky little hero panda from all the other black and white cutenesses and maximize the merchandising opportunities? Give her white paws, of course! Unfortunately, as I said, I'm not really thinking in plots just yet...
* And if I do ever learn how to write a script (perhaps I oughta take that class after I get my interior decorating certification this summer), my little white-footed panda hero is going to be a girl. Definitely. As much as I love comics and cartoons, one thing that has always galled me is the relative dearth of leading roles for female characters. I craved seeing "girl heroes" so much as a little girl--it wasn't that I didn't like the boy ones, I just wanted to see girls join them up front. One of the reasons I love my namesake Lilo is that she wasn't a sidekick or girlfriend or little pest for the "real" hero--she was the main event her own self. (Okay, the main event was actually Stitch, but she was the strongest human character.) Even the talking animals are mostly boys, *still*, though they might have love interests and/or wise mommies. I guess to get to the future, you have to go through awkward in-between periods. I do get impatient, though.
* I didn't have leftovers for lunch on Friday, and didn't want to make yet another sandwich, so I bought a Lean Cuisine, which I almost never do. Butternut squash ravioli, which I have come to love in other contexts. The squash has a great flavor and, while it is mixed with cheese, it cuts the cholesterol and adds vitamins. This rendition was actually pretty decent for a frozen lunch. Then I got home and saw the hideous "Lean Scene" commercial, in which whiny pink-collar women who don't look like they need to lose an ounce suffer through diet shakes and rice cakes. A co-worker comes in with her tasty-looking Lean Cuisine, and one exclaims, with absolute shock, "You're not dieting?" This actress isn't overweight, either. Even if she was, how rude! The worst part is, I *am* overweight, and there are a few women in my office who wear a single-digit size and act almost exactly like that about food. I avoid those women. I also intend to avoid Lean Cuisines until those damned commercials are off the air, just because I don't think those attitudes need to be encouraged. I'll make my own squash ravioli, and bring hummus wraps to work.
* One reason I love my L'Ailee, who is tiny and whose only struggles with weight have involved attempts to keep it *on*, is that she looked genuinely disgusted and murmured, "How horrible" when she saw that commercial. "Do women in offices really act like that?" she asked incredulously. I had to answer that it's only a slight exaggeration. "I have to remember that for my clients," she said. She works in a gym and still has most of her new "resolution" clients. It's good to be able to give her little insights like that.
* L'Ailee and I have to file our taxes as two single women, which is always upsetting even if we do come out ahead financially. We'll be able to have a decent Valentine's Day after all--the bedbugs didn't completely annihilate the chances of that. We wonder how our "rebate checks" will come, or if, or when we'll get them. We wonder if the geniuses behind the stimulus package have heard of tax refunds. And we loved this piece about the stupidity of it. So will some of you--I'm looking right at you, Jaded! :-)
* I know NASCAR's got the longest season of any sport, and it's fun to find other things to do with a winter weekend, but I still can't wait for it to come back. Only eight more days until the Bud Shootout!