Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hallelujah~! Holy S**t! Where's the Tylenol?

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

To my friends who are inspiring me to get into the Christmas spirit this year, even to Bah Frickin' Humbug~! (You know who you are!)

There are so many things I love about the Christmas season. I love that people are quicker to smile. It is so nice to be able to make someone laugh or smile and it is easier at Christmas.

I love going to Disneyland and waiting for it to get dark, and then the LIGHTS come on all over the park~! It was so magical when I was young and I so want to get that feeling back this year. That wonderful moment when it is dusk and the lights have not come on but the anticipation is so exciting. And the fireworks show and the snow! Man, I cannot wait.

I love shopping for a Christmas tree. My daughter's boyfriend will have to be my "tree twirler" this year. He is somewhat reluctant but I am sure we will persuade him. He does not quite get why we twirl the tree in the first place, but how else will you know if there is an icky spot you will have to hide in the corner? I mean, really. The smell of Christmas trees is probably the best smell on earth (next to orange blossoms, which is like catnip for me).

I love wrapping presents with lots and lots and lots of ribbon~! I used to wrap everything just so I could make the ribbons and bows. I may actually have to buy wrapping paper this year. Wow. I have not done that in a few years.

I love going to my parents' home and seeing how mom still goes all out decorating even after all these years. She is an inspiration. Even my grumpy old dad helps when he can~! Or at least he helps get the boxes out.

Thanks, Karen and Casey, for reminding me to get into the spirit~!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gay Cannibal becomes Prison Chef

"A Little Priest" from the movie Sweeney Todd

I saw this article while cruising the internet and it was too delectable to ignore. A gay cannibal becomes a prison chef. It took me a while to find the perfect song to go with this headline but the lyrics to this song are perfect. I laughed so hard when I saw this at the movies. The rest of the lyrics are in the link above.

Here we are, now! Hot out of the oven!
What is that?
It's priest. Have a little priest.
Is it really good?
Sir, it's too good, at least! Then again, they don't commit sins of the flesh, so it's pretty fresh.
Awful lot of fat.
Only where it sat.
Haven't you got poet, or something like that?
No, y'see, the trouble with poet is 'ow do you know it's deceased? Try the priest!
Heavenly! Not as hearty as bishop, perhaps, but then again, not as bland as curate, either!
And good for business, too--always leaves you wantin' more! Trouble is, we only get it on Sundays!
Lawyers rather nice.
If it's for a price.

My goodness. It really is a strange world out there. Gay cannibal becomes prison chef!! Was he always a cannibal? The article said he seasoned the "meat" and the fried it up. Is it too crass to wonder about the seasoning? See what I mean? I'm worried about being crass and here is an article about gay cannibals becoming prison chefs. Could he be on Top Chef? He is not allowed to play with knives in prison, so I imagine being on Top Chef would not be possible. They are always pulling those damn knives out of the block and having to do some crazy cooking thing. He could be on the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. They had an episode where two of the characters think they have become cannibals and they start craving humans. It should not be funny but it was. He would probably fit right in with the Hollywood crowd. They seem to chew people up and spit them back all the time.

Okay, I am done....for now anyway.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

There's A Pony in Here Somewhere~!

"Fortuosity" from the movie "The Happiest Millionaire"

I love this movie. It makes me happy when I watch it and I love the songs in it. My friends have a list called The Sunday Six and it is a way for them to count their blessings and list the things that make them smile and make them happy. I am definitely not disciplined enough to have a Sunday Six but I certainly can do this once in a while.

My list will be slightly different though. Cruddy things happen all the time but as the saying goes, "There has to be a pony here somewhere with all this crap." So, I will TRY to find a pony amongst the steaming piles.

My daughter's car was vandalized last night. She has only had the car for about a month, a darling red Ford Focus. Well, someone SPRAY PAINTED on it. They wrote "Fuck Obama" and "Die Obama" on the side of her car and on the rear window. Called the police, who were not going to come out until I told them a reporter was coming out because the same vandals had spray painted on the sidewalk up the street. (They had sprayed a swastika and "Fuck Obama.") Someone is not too happy with Obama, but the irony is my daughter and I did not vote for Obama. This was her first time to vote, and it was for president of the United States. I thought that was pretty cool, but she did not like either candidate so she voted libertarian. She did put a No on 8 poster out in front of our house which I guess pissed off some people. I told her that Californians have never voted for something like this and she was spinning her wheels.

So where is the pony? (Kind of like Where's Waldo, huh). Well, the paint came off with a good waxing, so her car looks better than before. HAHAHA. Not much of a pony, maybe a My Little Pony, but I was happy about that. I hope my daughter never stops speaking out for what she believes in but sometimes there are consequences.

I have a lot more like this but it is getting late and I need to go to bed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Are Your Friends Rated PG-13 or R?

My Dick-Mickey Avalon
So I spent Saturday with my sister in the Valley. You know, like, the Valley, totally cool OMG. Her friend had a party hosting Cookie Lee Jewelry, Avon, and a lady selling knitted scarves. I enjoyed the Cosmos that she was serving.

The hostess has an awesome room for scrapbooking--an entire room full of gadgets and paper and other fun stuff. It was a fun group of ladies of all ages. A lady was there with her 28-year-old daughter and they were designing a wedding invitation for the mom who was getting married in Las Vegas. They were designing an invitation that looked like a slot machine. It was pretty cute but I have to admit I have never understood that. People with the theme weddings or running off to get married so that Elvis can officiate. Not that she was having Elvis officiate. Her wedding dress was beautiful and it seemed like it was very special to her but I thought the invitation was kind of cheesy and a little bit, what the fuck, let's get married. Anyway, most of the ladies there were preschool teachers and they were quite concerned about not spoiling the image. So, it was fairly tame conversation for the most part. Of course, then my mom arrives and the conversation went straight to the G rating.

My sister and I went to dinner later on at the Macroni Grill. She said it was nice hanging out with her PG or PG-13 friends. I asked her who her R rated friends were. I guess that was a dumb question.

So my question, are your friends mostly PG or R? I am always surprised by the friends you think are squeaky clean but blow you away by totally getting into a conversation about bondage, anal sex, etc. (Too icky to contemplate for the most part. I mean, it is chute for poop~!) It was actually an NC-17 rating conversation~! It quickly became a very hilarious conversation. But some of my friends would be mortified by the discussion.

Anyway, I am glad to have all types of friends, even the G rated ones.

Wild Roller Coaster Ride

Real estate prices from 1890 to present visualized as a roller coaster ride~! If you look carefully, in the bottom right hand corner the year will flash to show you when prices went up and when they went down. It needs updating to reflect the current crash.

Fooled ya~! Ha, ha. You thought I was going to talk about my latest ride at an amusement park, right? Which, by the way we rode "Supreme Scream" at Knott's Scary Farm. I forgot how much that ride scares the shit out of me. I always feel like I am sliding forward and will plunge 300 feet to my death.

I just thought it would be fun, er, interesting to see how this current financial tsunami threatening to swamp all of us started. Then, you can blame all the financial wizards and masters of the universe in Wall Street and Washington for all the rest.

I have been buried in financial and real estate web sites and blogs for over a year now and it is only going to get worse. But as Maxine Waters says, "Nothing is broke."

It is so awful to think what next year is going to be like. I am losing a big client and will pray that I get a new one but my story will be one of many like this next year. My retirement account took an almost mortal hit last week...will it respond to CPR? Or is it terminal?

You have to find the humor in the situation somewhere, so that will be my goal over the next year. It should not be hard to find ridiculous statements and asinine comments by the smart and brilliant who got us in this fix. The next administration will either make it short and severe or it will make it long and protracted and much worse than it has to be.

It will be fun to keep tabs on the blowhards who will try to blow sunshine up our skirts and tell us everything is fine...from both parties. My party left me a long time ago. Does either party believe in small government, less taxation, less intrusive rules and regulations, a judiciary that does not legislate from the bench? The social issues have become straw men to distract us. Gay marriage, abortion, drugs. etc., etc. These are all incredibly important cultural and social issues but not something I want to discuss in the next 4-8 years at all.

I tried my darndest while my girls were young teenagers to keep the deluge out but it becomes nearly impossible if your kids go to public school, listen to MTV, blah, blah, blah. All the shows that my friends and family would watch, I would not. Sex and the City was not something I could watch when my daughters were younger.

Perhaps this scene is more illustrative. Okay, I love Samantha and I own all the seasons on DVD and my daughter and I love the show....now.

So anyway, back to real estate. Ha, ha. Such a hard thing to do, bad news is coming so quickly nowadays, it is hard to practice safe blogging.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And So It Begins....

Dr. Strangelove - American president and the Russian president.

Congratulations to President Obama, our new 44th president. I saw part of his acceptance speech this morning when I woke up and I have to admit I liked it. But those are words and politicians use words the way the Ginsu knife cuts through an aluminum can--it seems so easy but you are not sure it is real.

I get a newsletter alert sent to my e-mail when the New York Times has a breaking story or an alert. This is what I got today: "Russia Warns of Missile Deployment." He is not even in office, and Dimitri Medvedev is already challenging him. He is inheriting a world that I hope he is ready for and has the wisdom to handle.

And so it begins....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get Out and Vote~!

Today it counts, so get out and vote~!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Feed Your Head...

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall,
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call.
Call Alice
When she was just small.
When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low.
Go ask Alice
I think she'll know.
When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead,
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said:
"Feed your head. Feed your head. Feed your head"
Jefferson Airplane

Yesterday I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. I spent the evening in a sweat lodge with a Cherokee medicine man leading the sweat. It was the night to "fall back" for daylight savings, so the medicine man had a sweat lodge welcoming the Star People. You could not have picked a better night. We were out in Alpine with no city lights but the clouds were moving in as if it was going to storm later.

I am not a religious person...I try to be spiritual but I have to admit being swept up in rituals is a leap of faith I have never been able to do. It was incredible hearing him drum and tell the tales of the ancestors and their beliefs. But the sweat lodge itself was almost more than I could take. You crawl in on your hands and knees. It is dark inside and hard to tell where everyone is and even where to sit. We finally all get in, about 20 people, and they bring in the lava rocks that have been heated by the fire tender. Okay, I am already hot before the first hot rock comes in, so I wonder how I am going to handle making it even hotter. After hitting age 50, being cold is almost a figment of my imagination and I sleep with the windows open in the winter.

They bring in 7 rocks and then they CLOSE up the little lodge we are in. So far, I am saying to myself, I can handle this, I'm a big girl. I have only a few drops of sweat falling off my nose and onto my chest. He starts to tell stories and is drumming and singing. He is very good at all of these. I am totally distracted and forget how hot I am and how much I dislike sweat streaming down my face, running down my neck and back, and just generally dripping everywhere. I am very grateful no one can see me. Then, he pours water all over the rocks. Arghhhh.... now it is hotter than hades in there. Just as I think I am going to make a scene, they open the lodge and fresh air flows in. Ahh, I made it. Just kidding. They bring in about 13 more red hot stones, which by the way are incredibly beautiful when they are hot. They look like brains that are smoking and throbbing with the heat.

So they close up the lodge for the second round and now I remember my friend says they will do 4 rounds of this!! He tells more stories, sings more and drums but I can hardly concentrate I am so hot. My heart is pounding and I wonder how big a sissy I will be if I freak out. I manage to lie down and, Oh My God, a flow of fresh air hits my neck. I am using my hair as a pillow and I really do not care that I am lying on the ground. I am COOL! (Not in the hip way sorry to say.) Now, I can really listen and learn to be quiet even in my own mind.

They open up the lodge at this point and then peel back part of the roof. Now we can see the sky with clouds scudding by obscuring the stars, but every once in a while, all you can see is stars. The fire tender told us later that after we opened the top and poured water on the stones, and we were supposed to send our prayers and hopes and wishes up with the steam, that a falling star shot
across the sky. They could see lightning far off in the distance. We finished the last 2 rounds and then crawled out.

I am quite sure I looked like a bedraggled, very sad, wet dog but I felt much calmer than when I went in. We all went to the beautiful home of the lady who owned the property and had a late dinner. We had to leave quickly. My friend's husband called to say their son was in the emergency room with a possible bleeding ulcer. He had coughed up blood earlier.

We said our thanks to everyone and started back home. I was so relieved to find out she also thought it was hot enough that she was ready to panic and she has been to quite a few sweat lodges. It made me feel less like a wuss.

So many lessons and things I learned last night and I am still digesting them:
I did not know you could buy loose tobacco. We bought some at a smoke shop as an offering to the medicine man and the fire tender. But I guess I should have figured that out because my daughter and her friends use a hookah pipe.

I learned that I am still always looking at spirituality as something that is beyond my reach. I still feel slightly ridiculous with the rituals and the words that go with the rituals. This is not a slam on religion. I know too many people much wiser, much smarter and much happier than I am who are religous to say it is all a bunch of hooey.

I learned that I would rather find God sitting outside looking at the stars.

Enjoy the Jefferson Airplane "White Rabbit"