Archive | September, 2012

Everybody’s Got Something

26 Sep

We watched Sherlock Holmes Colon Game of Shadows a few nights ago. Don’t judge. It was certainly not my favorite of colon movies. That honor goes to Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood. I haven’t actually seen this movie, and don’t plan to. I just really like the title. Anyway, I think a better title would have been Sherlock Holmes Colon The One Where Everyone Looks Like They Smell Really Bad.

The other day my buddy Gita suggested I write about teeth bleaching. She’d seen a box of bleaching strips in the drugstore and those bad boys were $50. AMERICAN MONEY. What’s that got to do with a 19th century fictional detective, you ask? Well, I was noticing in the movie there were a bunch of gypsies with really straight white teeth. Really, really white. Like almost blue. And straight. Did I mention that? Straight, even, and blindingly white. I guess they used their costume budget on Noomi Rapace’s hair extensions so more authentic dentures for extras were out of the question. Apparently all those jokes about British dentists are lies and more lies. It seems our cousins across the pond perfected UV whitening in 1889. Cheeky monkeys.

I’m not part of the Cult of Blinding Teeth. I brush, I have the occasional cavity or root canal. I had braces and a retainer I never used. Once I even bought a box of industrial strength whitening strips from a coworker who was in dental hygienist school and was selling them for some sort of fundraiser. I smoked for a number of years so I’m sure I really could have used them more than the three or four times I actually did.

I did a little Amazon search. Seems if you search “teeth whitening” you get something like 2,600 products. The most expensive one I found was something called a Glo. It looks like a retainer mated with a tanning bed and connected itself to an iPhone. It’s $275, BUT it uses a technology called Guided Light Optics, so you know it’s worth it. It does not say if it accidentally shocks you that you will receive superpowers, but a girl can dream.

Point being, fifty bones is a bit much for me to pay to have Band-Aids coated with hydrogen peroxide affixed to my teeth for any length of time. And the only way I’m going to stick $250 in my mouth is if I’m sitting at a table in Commander’s Palace and soft shell crab is involved. I don’t think people are foolish for wanting white teeth, and if you’ve got the money then by all means, stick the equivalent of an oral tanning bed in your mouth. Our many methods of tooth enhancement is one reason the terrorists hate us. Let’s face it, until Al Qaeda invents something that delivers both tooth whitening AND Botox in one nifty application, we still rule the world.

I’ve noticed an emerging trait in myself. I get a little pissy when the actor’s teeth don’t match the character’s teeth. It’s petty, I know that. I’m just saying that Ferdinand and Isabella decreed that bathing was illegal so I’m guessing they didn’t take a lot of time to scrub the old molars. I don’t think anyone playing Isabella should have teeth so white they seem transparent. They do extraordinary things with special effects these days. If you can make a person blue, I should think you could make her teeth brown. And gnarly.

Beyond that, of all the cosmetic enhancements I wish to make, blindingly white teeth are just above wanting my elbows not to look like smiley faces when they are not bent. I’ll spend the $50 on some sunscreen and moisturizer. A little concealer and lipstick never hurt anyone especially when the lipstick has blue undertones. Makes your teeth look a little whiter. And I notice two-inch black roots waaaay before teeth. There is an astounding array of nice hair color touch-up kits for about six bucks each.

No, if I’m going to spend $50 on something to make me look better, I’ll buy five of my favorite v-neck t-shirts from Target. It’s deep enough of a neckline no one really notices my teeth.


25 Sep

I am in possession of a teenager and a pre-teen lives next door. This means I hear that Gotye song. A lot. You know the one.


That little ditty makes for one bastard of an earworm. Every time I hear it, I’m reminded of another little ditty that I’ve not been able to identify. It’s the little xylophone/glockenspiel/vibraphone bit in the beginning. It’s been driving me nuts. What does that remind me of? Then it hit me. Ladies and gentlemen, the Nairobi Trio.


I’m The Boss Here

20 Sep

ME: (Picks up the remote to pause the DVD)

HIM: Ah, ah. Nope.

ME: What?

HIM: Give. Me. That.

ME: Are you kidding? I can’t even pause the program?

HIM: No. I’m home and I’m in charge. Of something.

Why I Stand Up But Stay Quiet

17 Sep

I don’t say The Pledge of Allegiance. I don’t sing the National Anthem. I’m telling you this for a reason, which I’ll get to, but let me tell you why I’m even talking about this. It has to do with my husband.

My husband thinks more than any person I’ve ever met. His brain is always going. ALWAYS. He’s one of the most curious people I know. These are two of the things I love most about him. I like talking to him. He looks at things differently (and generally less hostilely) than I do. We don’t have that much time alone. You know how it goes. We sit down with a beer and go through our days with each other and eat dinner and holy crap! How did it get to be ten at night? We don’t have much time for the kind of philosophical discussions we used to have. Like how it bugs the snot out of me that Superman is considered a super hero–*coughaliencough*–and why Steve Winwood is neither Robert Plant nor Roger Daltrey (A good thing, in my book). Oh, sure. There’s the occasional discussion about determinism and free will since, you know, quantum mechanics, but generally we talk about whether or not Raylan Givens could still be Raylan Givens if he didn’t wear that hat. We are, it may come as no surprise to know, concerned about brain atrophy.

This is why I’ve started keeping a running list of questions we have, and I take a few minutes a day (okay, it generally turns into a couple of hours) to research them. We then pick a topic for discussion. I know it sounds like I’m micromanaging. That’s because I am. If we don’t schedule these kind of things we end up talking about pocket knives. I like a good pocket knife as much as the next girl, don’t get me wrong. I just cannot discuss it with the kind of gusto exhibited by my beloved. We’ve recently discussed the Korean War, unions, the modern state of Israel, and how many people would choose to get out of a speeding ticket if it meant passing it on to the person who was traveling behind you.

It occurred to me over the weekend that I had no clue what the history of The Pledge was. So, hey, did you know The Pledge was written by a socialist? In 1891, Francis Bellamy was hired by a magazine to work in its premium department. Youth’s Companion started selling flags to schools to try to bulk up subscriptions. The company wanted a flag above every school in the nation, from sea to shining sea. A salute to the flag was written as part of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus reaching America. The Pledge, in October, 1892 read as:

I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

There was also a salute, the Bellamy salute. If I were to show it to you now, this Bellamy salute, you’d recognize it. It looks a lot like the Nazi salute. Bellamy was a Christian Socialist. He was removed from his Baptist minister’s job because he believed the teachings of Jesus to be, well, socialist. Bellamy believed in the power of the worker and the equal distribution of wealth. His generous views of economic distribution did not extend to immigrants and the right to vote. He wrote, “A democracy like ours cannot afford to throw itself open to the world where every man is a lawmaker, every dull-witted or fanatical immigrant admitted to our citizenship is a bane to the commonwealth; where all classes of society merge insensibly into one another.” Alrighty then.

The salute was changed during World War II for reasons I don’t believe I need to explain. The “under God” part didn’t get added until 1954 when Eisenhower asked Congress to add it in response to the threat of the Godless Communists.

None of the above has anything to do with why I don’t say The Pledge. I stand for it, as I do the anthem. Both of these things are important to people I care about, and there’s no point in being a jackass about it. It doesn’t bother me to stand, so I do. Just as I would if I were in Toronto when “Oh, Canada” was played. I simply find The Pledge to be creepy. I don’t pledge allegiance to a flag. I have no allegiance to inanimate objects.

There has been a lot of talk the past few weeks, deep into the presidential campaign, about The Pledge. If you don’t say it, you’re not a Real American. If you want to take “under God” out of it, you’re not a Real American. If you use it to shape the course of your campaign, you’re either a Real American or politicizing words some people believe to be sacred. Words written to sell flags. Words written by a man with an Orwellian view of the future of America. Benjamin Franklin never stood up to pledge the flag. Thomas Jefferson didn’t either. It wasn’t officially recognized by Congress until 1942–a time of war.

Here’s my point. I don’t want to say The Pledge. So I don’t. It doesn’t make me any less American than anyone else. A discussion about The Pledge made me go research its origins. Now I know more about it than I did. And what I learned made me feel better about my position. But maybe that wouldn’t have happened. Maybe I’d have learned something that made me say, “By jeepers, I’m going to start every morning saying The Pledge!” I’m just some woman in West Tennessee. I’m not running for president. I’m not asking for your money to put me in Congress. I’m NOT politicizing The Pledge. The Pledge has evolved just like my views on it have evolved. I wonder if our presidential candidates know the history of The Pledge. I wonder if they would ever be inclined to spend a few minutes doing a little research on a topic about which they know very little–this one or any other. Or would they just pick a side and use the person’s research that backs up their views. How does the leader, or future leader, of this capitalist republic make a few words written to sell flags the cornerstone of a campaign? That might be my next bit of research.


12 Sep

A list of things I did today that were not writing a post for the blog. In no particular order.

  1. Drove unwillingly to the suburbs. Not like at gunpoint unwillingly, but not like HEY! MY WEEK WILL NOT BE COMPLETE WITHOUT A TRIP TO COLLIERVILLE!!
  2. Drove very fast out of the suburbs.
  3. Researched whether or not we are still technically at war with Korea. Answer? Kinda, no. We were never technically at war, but we did sign an armistice. An armistice is not a peace treaty, but it does mean the sides agree to a permanent ceasefire.
  4. Learned that technically Russia and Japan are still at war. There was a dispute over the Southern Kuril Islands and they never signed a peace treaty after World War II.
  5. Was reminded the US did not restore diplomatic ties with Vietnam until 1995.
  6. Regretted my decision to take a class on Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway for the simple reason the instructor says, “uh” too much.
  7. Got over it.
  8. Talked to my daddy who lovingly reminded me sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes really is daylight, but most of the time is attached to a train.
  9. Promised never to question the genetics of cynicism again.
  10. Had an AWESOMETERRIFICKILLER idea for a blog post and forgot it before I wrote a note to self.
  11. Pondered this question posed by Chuck Klosterman in Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs:

You’ve met your soul mate. However, there is a catch: Every three years someone will break both of your soul mate’s collarbones with a crescent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: You must swallow a pill that will make every song you hear–for the rest of your life–sound as if it’s being performed by the band Alice in Chains. When you hear Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio, it will sound (to your ears) like it’s being played by Alice in Chains. if you see Radiohead live, every one of their tunes will sound like it’s being covered by Alice in Chains. When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Alice in Chains; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like deceased Alice vocalist Lane Staley performing a capella (but it will only sound this way to you).

Would you swallow the pill?

Wherein I Respond Directly To An Unknown Reader

10 Sep

I have never responded directly to a reader’s search term, but that’s about to change. Let me explain.

One of the nice Orwellian benefits of a blog is that the blog owner can see most search terms people used to find the blog. There are many good reasons for this, and very few of them have to do with spying on your bedroom. The main reason bloggers can see search terms is for something called SEO, Search Engine Optimization. That’s a nonsense phrase that basically means if you write a blog about baseball, you going to want people who Google the term “baseball” to end up at your blog.

I don’t kiss and tell (publicly, anyway) about the search terms which get me new readers. One, it’s rude. Two, think about what kind of things you Google. Do you want me publicly mocking you? No, no you do not. Neither do I wish you to mock mine. I will, however, share with you some of the things I’ve looked up recently.

  • Who is considered the most liberal president
  • Why does no one agree on the definition of a liberal politician
  • Stockard Channing
  • wacky cake
  • unitarian vs. unitarian univer
  • cotton mather
  • advice and consent
  • cream biscuits
  • perimenopause
  • bypass volume control on Windows 7 machine
  • logopenic  primary progressive aphasia
  • meaning of rubbing gravel or ash in hair
  • powder puff for body powder
  • What are considered the most secure buildings in the US
  • ATT Long Lines Building

That’s just from the last few days. I’m sure those last two have put me on a list somewhere. I was curious what people consider a secure building. The AT&T building, for example, can apparently withstand two weeks worth of nuclear fallout. I’m a little disappointed there’s not anything really fun on the list. Apparently I’ve been in a serious mood. When I wrote for my old blog my Google history was filled with terms like “kitten and fireworks” and “cats eating salsa”. Lookit, I’m not ever going to win a Genius Grant. I’ve come to terms with it.

Within the past couple of weeks a search string popped up which gave me pause. It was “how to get a guy to take off your thong”. I wish to address this.

Ah, so many books have been written about meeting, trapping, keeping, sexing, and changing men. All the advice is along the lines of be yourself, except don’t. Ask what he’s interested in and don’t so much listen, as position your body in such a way he gets the vibe you are interested in what he has to say. Don’t bitch about the fact The Saints are, to date, the ONLY NFL team to be busted for a practice of which they are in NO WAY the only organization guilty. For doing so will challenge his fragile manhood. Don’t drink girly drinks or he’ll think you’re not serious. Don’t drink bourbon or his fragile manhood will be challenged. Don’t eat salad on your first date. Only eat salad on your first date. Never, under any circumstances, eat or drink anything with a tendency to cause gastric distress, for ladies do not poop.

Dismiss all of that immediately, You Who Googled How To Get A Guy To Take Off Your Thong. Dismiss it. I am going to tell you what your mother should have told you and your girlfriend will not because she secretly thinks she’s the pretty one and nothing would make her more gleeful to know that you are having doubts about bedroom etiquette. Here are the two things, and two things only, you need to know about how to get a guy to take your thong off:

  1. Show up.
  2. Tell him to take your thong off.

Repeat as desired.