by anna at 09:27 AM on May 29, 2006
I know it isn't fashionable to admit to buying CDs anymore. But I can afford them and I avoid the humiliation of having to enlist my son's help in illegally downloading tunes. So yes, I have hundreds of CDs. The latest addition to my collection is the Dixie Chicks' Taking the Long Way.
Remember them? Lead singer Natalie Maines has been in seclusion since 2003, when she enraged her redneck fan base with some unkind remarks about the misunderestimated bufffoon known simply as W. She made these disparaging remarks in England just as the two countries were preparing to take over a sovereign nation and steal its oil. A case of bad comedic timing. Or at least that's the way it seemed to some people.
As it turned out she was right and W was wrong. No sane person would dispute this today. In fact, a disastrous report is coming out that implicates US Marines in rampaging through an Iraqi village in a massacre that claimed the lives of 24 civilians including a 76 year old amputee in a wheechair and kids.
I'll go Natalie one step further and say I'm ashamed to share a species with this retarded a-hole.
The album is amazing. Seldom have I heard such direct and blunt lyrics stemming from real life events as this. And all that bitterness and venom is spewed out over lush harmonies and innocent-sounding fiddle riffs. Rick Rubin produced, and it shows.
Here's a sample of what Natalie has to say today: "It's too late to make it right. I probably wouldn't if I could. Cause I'm mad as hell. Can't bring myself to do what it is you think I should."
To top it all off she delivers a kiss-off to the inbred hicks who deserted her. The music itself is anything but country. And several thinly disguised "love songs" are really just that, a heartfelt F-U to country and its fans.
In one ditty aptly titled Bitter End, she drops that pretense altogether and addresses her former fans directly: "Farewell to old friends Let"s raise a glass to the bitter end"
Well some yahoo smart tool thing HAS ACTIVATED ON MY COMPUTER SO I CAN"T TYPE RIGHT AND I CAN"T MAKE A PERIOD> SO I GUESS I GOTTO GO NOW ENJOY MEMORIAL DAY?
by anna at 10:41 AM on May 22, 2006
Yes, I am aware of the hot debate over immigration. I know the House has passed a Draconian bill and the Senate is considering another. I know W emerged from hiding to deliver a speech about it, delaying 24 by 19 minutes.
I also know there are a lot of Hispanics in this country. I think all 25 million of them live in my town. Everywhere are utilitarian bicycles and packs of pedestrians choking the sidewalks. Mariachi music booms from low-rider cars. Day laborers hoot and holler at my wife and stepdaughters. Corona is sold by the case. You can't get a cup of coffee at 7-11 due to the morning mobs chattering in Spanish. People act surprised that I don't speak even rudimentary Spanish beyond si and gracious and senor.
It used to bother me immensely. But no more. Due to a confluence of good fortune in my life including some intimate moments, exemplary soccer play, a raise, a tex refund and a successful expense reduction campaign (from $5000 a month to $4200,) I have a new outlook. The financial windfall alone has allowed me to pass my battered 97 Geo Metro along to my son. Well it would if the tax check ever arrives. It was mailed 4/28/06 but the IRS won't even accept a call about it until 5/26/06. It would also help if Ian knew how to drive.
But really I am feeling good these days. Right now I am on va-K again, just chilling around the house. I have grown a lawn where there was only dirt before. I am shooting birds that try to eat my grass seed.
So there I am at the grocery store. I am hefting cantalopes. A young chiquita says something to me in Spanish. I don't understand a word of it. But she's holding up a bag of whithered been sprouts and pointing at a sign that says "reduced! $1. Unlike most signs there is no Spanish subtext. I gather that she wants me to tell her whether the sign corresponds with the sprouts. I go, "si, senorita." And she smiles at me, joyfully clutching the sprouts to her chest as if a newborn Brangelina baby. I have made her day.
I go to ring up my purchases and much to my chagrin it's a choice between a mile long line of chattering Hispanics and the dreaded self checkout with its robotic voice guiding the neophyte through the process. I am that neophyte. I've always avoided dealing with it. So I am muddling through it when the sprout-loving senorita appears to save the day. She shows me how to do it.
Now I am feeling like a freak and I am loving it. I am an anachronism, an English-speaking, middle-aged white man in a polyglot society I know nothing about. Life is good as a minority.
by anna at 08:56 PM on May 17, 2006
Always I return to a website I ran across back when MG included links on his site. I am notoriously gunshy when it comes to surfing the net and for good reason. Countless times my computer network has been downed by viruses and cookies and spyware and other difficulties. I also have the problem with my wife's virulent hatred of porn in any form. If I click on any iffy site by mistake while doing research for my scholarly book Splashing in the Gene Pool: A Lighthearted Look at Genetics, Evolution and Racism, then I have to delete my entire cache. That is one reason I've been away so long. There are others.
Anyway the blog has the tagline that goes something like this: Every girl is pretty when her face is slathered with cum. Who thinks up this kind of shit? Is it really true? If so is it inherently demeaning to women in general? Let's get your thoughts on this important social issue.
In my more recent travels I've also run across the existence of ligers and tigons, oh my. And like the face-cum thing, I just don't know what to make of this. For one thing I'd thought that each food chain needed one species at the top. Not lions and tigers mingling and breeding.
As usual I find myself rubbing my face like Vinny Barbarino and muttering, "I'm so confused."
This site isn't dead, it's just on hiatus. All its supporters need to rally and comment or else MG will shut it down.
by adam at 01:16 AM on May 17, 2006
We're looking to move. My fiancee and I are relocating to somewhere half way between my school and her job. And one of the things I've noticed is that in the Bay Area, they hate animals. HATE them. Most of the ads I've seen end with, "No pets, no smokers." I understand the thing with the smokers - risk of fire, smell in the walls and carpets. I can understand no dogs - the noise, the smell if the pet owner doesn't bother walking the thing. I even understand no cats - they can rip up the carpets or smell up the joint if the owner can't be bothered to change the litter box. But here, they don't even allow fish. I have an aquarium-dwelling turtle. It doesn't smell, it doesn't make noise. Not allowed. There isn't a reason, it's just "agaist our policy." I've lived in pet hostile places before - Hawaii was REALLY not keen on dogs. But I've never seen people who are so against pet ownership on general principle. This isn't a good sign as a tenant. I've already lived in two places that enforced pointless rules because they were "policy": the first was my parents' house; the second was my college dorm. I don't care to repeat either experience, thanks.
by adam at 03:04 AM on May 15, 2006
I saw it sitting there on the shelf of The Milk Pail, our tiny local counterpart to New York's Fairway Market, which I miss like crazy these days. There it was, a massive tin can mysteriously labeled, "Giant White Bean Spread." Country of origin: Greece. Price: $1.82. I didn't know exactly what was inside, but here's what I did know: at $1.82 for 2 kg, who cares?
I have a confession: I am the guy that buys those huge mysterious cans covered in an inch of dust at the grocery store. It all started a few years ago when I bought a huge can at a local market in Queens. It was from Bulgaria, all of the writing on the can was in what I assume is Bulgarian, and it cost less than a buck. I think there was a picture of an eggplant on the label, and a stuck-on nutritional information label that I found less than comforting. But what was inside was amazing - delicious eggplant spread that kept me fed for about a week. And with barely any food poisoning!
Here's my theory: at a tiny factory in a small country somewhere sunny, a pair of brothers are working their hearts out packing their mama's recipe for marinated peppers into cans for shipment to the USA. "We'll be rich, Gregor!" one of the brothers declares. Unfortunately, because they don't speak English and don't know a thing about the American market, they pack their nation's most treasured delicacy into 5-gallon drums with a three-color label that features a purple child wearing a potato sack and a nuclear explosion in the background. When it arrives in America, it sits on the shelf forever, passed over because it looks not only like surplus government beans, but FOREIGN surplus government beans, and gets marked down almost to nothing. Then I buy it and eat for a month, crying with pleasure the whole time.
The can from The Milk Pail actually tasted like the best hummus you've never had. We went back, bought all 8 cans, and I'm afraid that Safeway won't be getting our $3.45 for 6 oz of hummus any more. Here's my perfect supermarket item: it should be a can that weighs about 6 pounds. There might be a picture of something on it that could pass for either a grapefruit or an avocado. There's no English on the label other than "Item of Country: Azerbaijan Contents: Vegetable Matter, Spice, Oils" And it costs 83 cents.
by anna at 09:13 PM on May 02, 2006
I've got a new look. When I went in for my biannual haircut my stylist-masseuse had moved on. In her place was someone who spoke no English but looked very stylish. Since she looked so good and communication was futile I let her have her way with what is left of my hair.
It is now combed straight back a la Michael Douglas as Gordon Gecko in Wall Street. I look quite predatory. Surprisingly several women I know have commented on it, all positive. You look great with your new hairstyle!
Like most guys I have no idea how to respond to such banter. First of all, the whole notion of using styling gel is repulsive. I feel like a metrosexual. But that is better than looking like some poofed-up disco idiot out of Saturday Night Fever.
But there's more to it than that. I idly wonder if they're coming on to me in some subtle way. For as any guy knows unnecessary words on the part of the opposite sex can only mean one thing.
So I walk into work and chance to hear one female exec entering the office of another. "Oh, don't you smell good," she exclaims. I can't imagine ever saying that to anyone let alone another dude.
There is such a huge difference in the way men and women communicate. There is a gal at my office who created quite the stir when she first arrived. Very curvy, very blonde, very young. Recently she was away for a while, dealing with the catastrophe in New Orleans.
She decided to change her look, perhaps to better suit the somber mood there. She dyed her hair a mousy, nondescript brunette shade and it looks like she took a butcher knife to it in a drunken fit of pique. And she's taken to wearing a full-length black leather coat indoors to complete her transformation to frumpiness. She is now a total dog. I want to take her aside and tell her this isn't working for her, but I can't. I'm a guy and we don't do that sort of thing.