17 January 2010

Messy Waxes Sentimental... and a poll...

(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)

Oh, all right. I admit it. After all the bitching and whining and slamming of morons is done, your Messy is a sloppy sentimental old fool after all. Proof.

The Boy is off across the Big Pond to conduct some Very Important Business that apparently only he can manage. This will apparently take only a millisecond. He left around dinnertime today and will get home on Wednesday around dinner time. It hardly seems worth taking the passport out of the safe deposit box, but there you are. When you gotta go you gotta go. I expect he'll come home tired and crabby, so I'll make sure to have some dessert on hand. When The Boy gets cranky, the only thing you can really do for him is throw food at him and tuck him in for a good ten-hour sleep.

In any event, I was feeling rather sorry for myself. I rooted around in the wine cellar and found a bottle of Mauro 2005 from Castilla y Leon. This sounds much fancier than it actually is. What it IS is a nice Spanish temperanillo that has a lovely nose with florals and fruits, with some tannin at the finish as well as a nice dry hint of gravel and saltiness that drinks very well now and for another five years or so and is available for less than $20.00 a bottle. It was splendid with the pasta I made for dinner and has enough heft to be splendid tomorrow night with cassoulet.

That said.....

I WAS feeling sorry for myself, so I was wandering through the cable guide for tonight and found a movie that I haven't seen since it was in the theaters....in 1968. That's right kids, I AM that old. Mind you, I was five at the time, and it was a matinee. My mother took me to the theater and then to the Woodward's lunch counter (store now defunct, alas) for a milkshake, where she broke the news that I was soon to have a baby brother.

Now you have to realize that I already had a baby sister. When she was new, I apparently guarded her crib and was not at all thrilled at the idea of strangers holding her or even getting NEAR her, for that matter. As a three-year-old, I took the notion of "take care of your sister" very seriously. She was a stinkin' cute pudgy baby with black, black hair, very fair skin and bright blue eyes, like a summer sky in Alberta under a high pressure system, which is pretty damned blue if you know what that looks like. I was terribly jealous of her eyes. Mine are green which I felt at the time were VERY ordinary and downright boring, given that my grandfather and uncle had the same Sprite-bottle eyes. I didn't find out that MINE were the unusual color for a good many years after.

I remember that movie as being the most magical thing in my life to that point. I was lost the minute the opening credits ran. It was (for those of you that are old enough) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I remember it quite clearly. The song rang in my head for days after. (Chitty bang bang, chitty chitty bang bang, chitty chitty bang bang, we love you....) I was allowed my very own popcorn for the first time - there used to be a child size option - and I got to tell the lady at the concession to put double butter on it. I even gave her the money myself. Mom had a box of Smarties and a bottle of Orange Crush, which we shared. I felt very grown up and was allowed to wear my grey and black kilt with the ruffled shirt and the black patent Mary Janes for the first time. I had picked out the lace trimmed ankle socks myself and felt terribly grown up.

Tonight, I watched the movie on the Retro Channel for the first time since that day. The songs were still the same and I remembered all the lyrics, too. It was made at a time when Dick Van Dyke was still good-looking and we all thought of England as green and beautiful, with odd and happy people strewn over the countryside. There was the Baron of Vulgaria (a crude and no doubt non-politically correct character that was a parody of a German baron, which was all right because everone, 23 years later, was still stinging after WWII), the Toy Maker, the Child Catcher and the Baroness, all looking exactly the way I remembered them. There were little blond children that were weirdly well-behaved and a shaggy dog and everyone was smiling all the time, because truly bad things Just Couldn't Happen.

I remember getting my brother too, a few months later. Both my brother and sister were adopted, by the way. Up to the time I went to school, I firmly believed that to get a baby, one simply went to the doctor's office downtown and picked up a naked baby (you didn't even get the diaper, Mom brought all of the clothes with her). It was a grand adventure for me. Here was this platinum blond, blue eyed infant and he was OURS. Magic, just like the movie.

So, and you KNOW I have to ask.....

What was your favorite movie when you were a child? What is the movie that you saw that has stayed with you for all the time since? I think we all have one, we just need to think about it for a bit.

12 January 2010

*Sob* Why was I surprised?

(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)

So this morning, I was listening to NPR when the alarm went off, and thought I heard that one of the folks on my "Most Loathed Human Beings" list has actually been given a job at Fox News. I thought I was still dreaming, so I rolled over and closed my eyes. Then, while a certain cat was trying to persuade me that it was hungry'o'clock for real, I heard it again. Fox News has hired Sara Palin (forever to be referred to as "Wailin' Palin") to be a "commentator". I'm sure you all know it by now. If you don't, then take a look at this .

That's right, kids. What I THOUGHT I was hearing turned out to be nothing more than the truth! Wailin' Palin gets to be on TV ALL THE TIME, and she's being paid for it! I suppose I shouldn't be shocked. We all know she's a media hound who would do or say anything to get attention. Hell, she's even fighting with a 20-year-old kid who said nasty things about her, and that was from first-hand experience on his part! Instead of letting that go, she's on the warpath trying to keep him away from his own child. Idiots, all.

Then that moronic book came out, written by a ghost writer who was either trying to make her look stupid or just couldn't do any better given the material. She got a whole new media tour after that. In fact, the last time I mentioned that dreadful parody of a book, Google, in their infinite wisdom, chose to run an ad on this blog from some political organization who was giving it away for FREE! That's right. Hey, it's an automated service, what can I say? THEN I found out that it was on the New York Times Bestseller List because thousands and thousands of copies had been pre-ordered to give away. Sarah couldn't help but to make millions on that deal. After all, she got paid when the books were ordered. The fact that they were given away afterward had nothing to do with her.

I know. I shouldn't be shocked. We all know that there are a LOT of morons out there "commentating" on various news stations. I guess we should be grateful that she didn't get a job on a newspaper. Think of the poor copy editor trying to make sense of her "clever" pronouncements before a deadline! I can see it now: "The Sky Is Blue Because It Isn't Green" with Wailin' Palin's byline. (Probably I shouldn't have mentioned that last. I probably jinxed things and she WILL get a newspaper column now.)

Naturally the folks at NPR, unbiased as they try to be, interviewed someone who actually LIKES Wailin' Palin. Either that or someone from Fox who knows just what to say and keep her job. In any case, that person said that Palin is a "bubbly person" who "knows what she's talking about" and "speaks to many things that people find important." Something like that, anyway. There may be one or two people who actually think she's smart. If you're one of them, let me know. Remember I thought I was having a nightmare at the time.

Now, I don't think I've ever met anyone with a brain who takes Fox News seriously. They've become the mouthpiece of the Republimentalist Party, and have long since given up even the pretense of being a real news outlet. I can't remember the last time they even squawked when someone said that out loud to them. Years. It's been years. I guess that in a country that elected a failed actor with Alzheimer's disease whose main claim to fame was spending YEARS being upstaged by a chimp as President not once, but TWICE, anyone can do anything.

But lordy is this going to be FUN! I can hear the comedians now. The laughter. The mockery. I don't know how long this gig is going to last. I sincerely hope that Wailin' Palin keeps sounding as stupid as she has proven herself to be. At least that way, we don't have to worry about her trying to run for anything again. Her salary is rumored to be in the millions as well, so she'll probably stay there as long as they'll let her - and there are even rumors that she'll get her own show!

I'm feeling better now. I'm actually picturing her and Oprah fighting it out for ratings for the next year. *snicker*

01 January 2010

Happy New Year! Or whatever.

(Photograph copyright 2010, All rights reserved)

We made it! We have finally left the aughts, the naughties, the zeros and have moved on to the 2K tens, the MMX's the tweens/teens. What a relief! It seemed like the last decade was never going to end.

For the past decade, we were listening to the sky fall. War, pestilence (hello H1N1), Michael Jackson kicked the bucket - I don't get the fuss over that - and we also lost Johnny Cash - a MUCH bigger deal in my opinion. We're finally shed of the Bush family, which is a good thing. Here's hoping that W confines himself to pissing off his neighbors by fencing in their (very expensive) Dallas neighborhood and having his security question them every time they dig up a bulb in their yards. We have Obama, which is also good. He's a whole lot smarter than Bush, and that's going to be absolutely necessary to clean up all manner of messes.

(Why the hell did we go to Iraq in the first place? WMDs? Didn't they KNOW that was a lie? They did? But...but...Oh, I see. Or not.)

Hopefully we'll see the end of idiots like Sarah Palin and her brood. Carrie Prejean can go make cute blonde babies in the 'burbs with her high school boyfriend and no one will ever miss her. There were a lot of morons around this past decade....I'm looking at YOU, Paris Hilton. And all of your little friends, too.

The economy's supposed to be improving. This is a good thing, although driving around in my city yesterday shows me that it may just be the triumph of hope over experience at the moment. I'm seeing a LOT of empty storefronts in some areas. Empty store fronts not only of the trivial sort, but long established businesses that have already seen a bunch of recessions. What was it about this one that made decades old companies finally give up? We still hear about insanely high jobless rates. Mortgages are still going sour and banks are still being shut down.

I think that this is a lesson learned for many people. We all need to acknowledge that things will NEVER be like they were before and that's a good thing. The Boy and I were speculating a decade ago about when the merry-go-round would come to a screeching halt. Taking out home equity loans to pay for vacations and weddings always did seem moronic to us. Seems like the ants outdid the grasshoppers yet again. It's a hard, hard lesson for many. Here's hoping they don't get caught out like that again.

People are all the same. They have to be bitching about something, and now it's the TSA scanning their sagging, pudgy bodies, as if anyone CARES what they look like in their skivvies. I happen to agree with Saletan's latest article on Slate. If a scan is the way to catch would-be bombers, I say go for it. I'd sooner be safe than dead. There aren't many pragmatists on The Fray, though.

I sound terribly negative, don't I? I mean, here I sit in a nice warm house, which is a good thing given that we have wind chills of -20F today, contemplating going to a movie later and being pretty sure that all will be well this year. I plan on indulging in beautiful fresh popcorn and having a hot chocolate (and damn the calories). Then I'll come home and write the SHADDAPS with a cat or two on my lap. Later we'll light up the tree and have a bit of bourbon in our eggnog and speculate on the year to come.

Nothing is going to change instantly, I been around long enough to know that. We have to take our fun where we find is and stop being so uptight about things that we don't see the fun. We all need to drink the wine, go to the parties, eat the food and enjoy what we have. All of the newscasters are telling us that we need to put our heads down and endure all of the problems we have right now, but where's the fun in that? Always remember, plus ca change, plus ca meme chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Enjoy yourselves, take care of each other and help who you can. What more can anyone do?