"Someone said, 'Those women can wear anything,' and the wardrobe department considered that a challenge."--L'Ailee on So You Think You Can Dance's costumes
Yesterday was L'Ailee's birthday. She's 33 now. It turns out that she shares her birthday with Mei Xiang, the National Zoo's pretty panda matriarch. I knew there was a reason I love Mei Xiang! (By the way, no baby yet, but the poor thing's still twitchy.)
L'Ailee's birthday is a tricky thing. She wants a little bit of fuss made by people who love her, but she hates crowds and hates getting strangers involved in the fuss. I made her a raspberry icebox cake, her favorite, and sent flowers to her work. I also gave her a pair of earrings that I put together, little silver hoops with delicate ruby dangles (I could only afford delicate!) She put them on immediately, which was good.
One of her friends gave her a gift card for a spray-on tan session. L'Ailee is pale-pale-pale, because she burns really easily if she tries for anything else. She's been a little bored with that of late, and she gets jealous of how I tan. I'll brown up for anything, sunscreen or not. She took advantage of the gift card during her lunch break, almost as soon as she got it! Thankfully the sprayer talked her out of the shade she wanted and told her to start slow. So she's beige, not bronze. It's still a little weird for me to look at, to be honest. Of course she looks good, but I have to blink a little bit. Unlike me, she doesn't have to live by the Sweet Potato Queens' dictum that "brown fat looks better than white fat," 'cause she doesn't have any excess fat to begin with.
We figured out something. People assume that she's not vain because she shaves her head, and they assume that I have more femme-ly vanity because I have thick, wavy, blondish-brownish hair almost to my waist. We laugh at those assumptions. Yeah, it only takes five minutes to suds up L'Ailee's morning stubble and shave, assuming I behave myself and don't touch her anywhere below her neck, but that only saves time and money for her to concentrate on everything else. The spray-on tan card did *not* offend her in any way. She recently acquired a tiny eyelash curling iron, that is *heated*, that makes me super-nervous, and I can't even be in the room when she uses it! She is extremely particular about her moisturizers, she constantly experiments with makeup, and she always wants her clothing to fit her exactly right.
My hair is, like, the one thing that I always get compliments on, which is why I resist the annual temptation to whack it off in August. But in summer, the highlights are courtesy of Mr. Sun, and I only get the salon kind in winter when I feel hopelessly drab. I'm into makeup and perfume because I'm short (5'2") and plus-sized (size 16), and clothes don't fit. My clothes fit because L'Ailee tailors them to me; my hair is often in elaborate braids or updos because she does them for me. I like skirts because they feel good in warm weather. I like to feel pretty, but I spent most of my adolescence feeling ugly, so I'm just happy that I don't scare small children. I'd like a gift card for one of those laser acne treatments, but it's not essential to my well-being.
L'Ailee loves "So You Think You Can Dance," so as I typed this, she was watching that. She vastly prefers it to American Idol. The kids on the show sort of remind me of her--hyperactive, creative, quirky, and determined to stand out. Afterwards, she's got a project on her hands. Several of our friends have an idea for a group Halloween costume. Last year, her best friends went as Larry Craig (wearing a refrigerator carton with a door cut out, a pair of wingtips to demonstrate his wide stance in, and a suit with pants that he wore around his ankles) and Britney Spears during her awful Video Music Awards performance (long blonde wig, spangly black lingerie, and did I mention he's a 6'5" Russian man?) This year, L'Ailee and several other women will be going to a party with them, and one of the women had the idea of the group dressing as FLDS church members. As in, the women as L'Ailee's male friends' "wives." Given their history of good taste, well, they loved it.
The FLDS set up a website, fldsdress.com, so that the children who were taken away this year could still be dressed in "correct" attire. The women don't want to actually financially support the FLDS. So L'Ailee is going to sew from scratch or tailor several pastel dresses. Afterward, she'll be saving the parts that aren't stained by alcohol and chocolate to use in baby quilts. I'm a bit sad to be missing out on the pastel-dress-and-combat-boots fun. I'll be in Florida again, with my friends in my first coven, celebrating Samhain like a good little Witch. Amazing--I'm going to feel conservative in my purple robe!
Some self-described feminists live by as many rules rules rules for appearance as the FLDS women, and are even more unkind to women who don't live by their rules. Sarah challenges that, to say the least. L'Ailee and I are so grateful for the freedom to find our own way and omit or focus on whatever we like at will.
Speaking of appearance, four women share ways their parents affected them, for better or worse.
I'm sure y'all know about the boycott of McDonald's by Christianist groups. Well, McDonald's has a blog, and there's an entry on diversity. Let them know what you think! I'm vegetarian, and I've been getting iced coffees and Diet Dr. Peppers there of late! Me and a gay male co-worker even hipped the rest of the office to their iced coffee, so now I go there for coffee runs and not to pretentious, bean-burning, attitudinal Starbucks, at least for the moment. I'm LOVIN' it!
Atomic Gay Wonk offers videos of today's Don't Ask, Don't Tell review hearings. Sgt. Eric Alva was amazing. On the other hand, Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness was awful.
Learn it, love it, live with it...Tony Stewart's driving the #14 next year. Don't know who I'll be giving my #20 earrings to...
Gonna be some good music at the Democratic convention...
Make your own komboloi, an ancient Greek stress reliever! Simple, fun, addictive.
Super-cool New York Times blog entry by Olivia Judson, an evolutionary biologist--there have been clear examples of evolution occurring in the past forty years. Not just microbes, either.
For L'Ailee's birthday yesterday--and what other explanation can there be?--Cute Overload posted these bundled-up baby bats. All they needed was an installment of Bats 'n' Racks.
Finally, a moment of respect for the great Estelle Getty. I always wanted to be Blanche when I got older (of course!), and I'm probably going to *be* Rose, but Sophia always made me laugh and laugh.