Once again, it's been a while. I really am grateful for Twitter--I can say what's on my mind from a cab or a bus, during a coffee run, in the locker room at the gym, etc. It's been busy at my work. I also had an interior decorating job--my first of the *year*--since I last posted.
I love decorating because it isn't just about paint and furniture, as wonderful as those are. Usually, I get called upon to help a person or family through a time of transition. The couple I worked for are engaged, and wanted to change her apartment around, turn it from hers to theirs. I have another job coming up, for a recently divorced man who wants to wipe all traces of his ex-wife from his apartment without completely repelling other women. I like being part of these changes. I find that I need to be attentive to my clients' feelings about them as well as their favorite colors and the ways they'll use a room.
I have plans for that extra money. The Gulf oil spill--catastrophe? Disaster? Explosion? "Spill" seems far too mild--has horrified me and occupied a fairly large chunk of my mind. I get to send the National Wildlife Fund a decent-sized check after that second job. (No doubt you've read this tons already, but while I'm at it, you can also send them $10, taken off your cell phone bill, by texting "WILDLIFE" to 20222. I've done that, too.) This sounds so weird and corny, but I want to do something for the ocean in this time of extreme need because it's done so much for me in my life. When I read about the loop current sending that oil toward the Florida Keys, I had to run to the lav at work and cry. I felt just like a member of my family was dying, and it sounds sooooo melodramatic, but it's true. I am thinking of taking my summer vacation week and going to the Gulf to volunteer, though L'Ailee isn't really interested. I understand that. That particular patch of ocean, and Florida's coasts, have never been hers.
If anyone reading knows of an opportunity to volunteer, I'm listening. I know a few days of cleaning sludge is small. Even the check that seems big to me will be infinitesimal. However, I've been thinking a lot about something my grandfather used to say to us. When we had a seemingly insurmountable problem, he'd ask us, "How do you eat an elephant?" Then he'd answer his own question: "One bite at a time, gal, one bite at a time." Top Kill, if it works, will be like a few elephant steaks. I want--no, that's not it, I feel *compelled*--to go eat a few bites of elephant steak myself. There's gonna be lots of it to go around for a very long time.
L'Ailee and I wanted to go to Watkins Glen, the road course in upstate New York, for its NASCAR race this summer. We thought of going because tickets are still available and some of our friends might be, too. Also, our favorite drivers--Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya--are good on road courses. It kind of seems twisted given the oil spill, though. Yeah, we're watching races on TV. The TV itself is going to take fossil fuel energy, we know. The lights, the buses we take, the cars around us, the cell phones we charge daily that I texted NWF contributions on, the hockey games we've also watched, the baseball games my co-workers who imply that they're way too smart and enlightened to watch NASCAR enjoy--all those things eat up fossil fuels. It's just more blatant with NASCAR. So we're holding off buying those tickets for a minute. We have until August to decide. Hell, we probably will be going. The Glen always brings drivers' emotions out, and it's gotten much more fun to watch in recent years since the cars have been redesigned.
Of course, we've already planned to attend another sporting event and reserved a hotel room for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The Winter Classic, an outdoor NHL game held on New Year's Day, will be featuring my Pittsburgh Penguins *again*, which pisses off everyone who says they're overexposed already. It's in Pittsburgh, at Heinz Field, and they'll be playing the Washington Capitals because nobody's sick of the Sidney Crosby/Alex Ovechkin rivalry. (I've often commented that the NHL would have promotional materials with Crosby in a white cowboy hat and Ovechkin in a black one, except that would be too subtle for them.) All that said, I can't wait. Future Stepdad has gone to all the Winter Classics so far (this will be the fourth.) He asked my mother to ask my brother and I if we want him to buy us and our wives tickets, too. The answer was "Hell yeah!," since he can afford it. My brother lives fairly close to Pittsburgh, and L'Ailee and I will pay for our own hotel room and transportation.
Last year, we skipped Christmas with the family in favor of a vacation that revolved around hockey; I think my mom wants to make damn sure she sees both her kids together at least close to Christmas this year! Imagine Marie Barone as a widow with a professional career and a taste for Fox News and talk radio, and you'll get something close to her. Those free tickets are gonna get awfully expensive, we know! That said, I almost cried when I read the e-mail where she asked us about Future Stepdad buying them, and not because I want to see that game so badly. I've mentioned that she runs hot and cold on my and L'Ailee's marriage, and she's been cold for over a year. She talks about feeling "conflicted" because we're both women and she's Christian and she's heard it's wrong all her life and blah blah fucking blah. But in the e-mail she sent us about the Classic, she wrote, "We'd love to give this as an anniversary gift for [Lilo and L'Ailee.]" She didn't even acknowledge our anniversary last New Year's. I know she'll probably cycle back all too soon. I'll take this, though.
Luna Park opened at Coney Island today! I really hope it lasts. I didn't go, despite the promise of free rides. Those freebies would be made awfully expensive by the crowds. But we're going very soon!
It's not 100 percent wonderful news all around, but the Malawian couple sentenced to prison for 14 years for being two biological males together has been pardoned, thank the Gods.
Just when you've think Glenn Beck has hit rock bottom, he gets out a shovel and digs, bless his heart. Not just about his mocking Malia Obama, as despicable as that is.
Reflection Eternal and the Roots are two of my very, very favorite hip-hop groups. And they both have new music out! Give a listen to this performance of the Ballad of the Black Gold.
Finally, Heidi Montag is one of those people I have only seen on my screen for a minute, but hear tons about. I know she had a reality show on MTV, but that's about it. MTV used to show Daria, a terrific cartoon that featured a smart teenage girl. The ladies at Jezebel.com cleverly had Quinn Morgendorffer, a character from Daria, set Heidi straight after her divorce.