Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fonda Yo Moves (Or, Tiny Dancer)


I once thought that the best thing about a liberal arts undergraduate education was the curiosity and love of learning it instilled in me.

Now that I'm older, I realize the best thing about said education is the crazy, whackass stories that those four years provided.

For instance, there's the one about when I - under duress - performed with a circus in Greece...

Or the one about having to pick up six female friends who went to the local bowling alley in floor length gowns, wigs, and tiaras and were afraid for their lives once faced with the reality of "League Night" at that particular rural establishment...

Or the one about when I performed in a modern dance piece.

People that only know the current, middle-aged me, are always shocked when I talk about my short-lived stint as a dancer. I took a semester of Drama in college, which also had two mandatory dance components (Modern Dance and Ballet). Having no dance training, the Modern class drove me nuts. In one 90 minute class, our only instruction was: "The room is a river...and you are a water molecule....now MOVE!" I sludged around the class, rolling my eyes. This kind of crap even irritated me in Kindergarten. With its intense structure and attention to form, Ballet was much easier for me to get my head around. Plus, the ballet teacher was a hilariously cranky broad named Leonore who chain smoked and cursed like a sailor.

It goes without saying: I loved her.

At the end of the semester, the delicious ballet teacher asked me to perform in a piece she was choreographing the following term. I thought I had modestly limped through the class...so her invitation immediately flushed me with pride.

"I must be, like, a really, really good dancer," I thought.

So, I showed up for the first rehearsal, ready for my dance career to headily commence. All of the other students cast in the piece were actors - but I cockily thought nothing of it.

Leonore swept into the rehearsal room and pronounced:

"Before we discuss the piece, I think we should listen to the music I've selected."

She inserted a cassette tape into the room's stereo deck and pressed play.

I didn't see the shit-eating grin on Leonore's face until after I heard an all-too-familiar voice booming from the stereo:

"Hi Everyone. This is Jane Fonda. I hope you enjoy this next segment of my Workout Series. Now, get ready. Let's begin!"

The demanding ballet piece I thought I'd been picked for was actually a fugue of workout moves set to The Jane Fonda Workout. I was cast as one of two narcissistic "meathead actor types" in the fugue.

"Jane" was performed in the dead-center of a program of hyper-feminist, hyper-postmodern, hyper-serious dance pieces.

And, no, I don't have video footage of me preening and doing push-ups onstage.

Above: "Do the Jane Fonda". Goddamn...I want that duffle bag.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Footwork (Or, A Thanksgiving Memory)

My friend Torrey bought a couple of pairs of moccasins earlier this year. One pair is an "everyday" shoe...the other is a traditional Native American style moccasin - torqued out with fringe fringe fringe.

"Are you really going to wear these?" I asked.

"Oh yeah, " Torrey replied. "I'm rocking these at Thanksgiving. I'm going to be cooking and serving up everything native style while wearing these bitches. I'm going to whoop it up like I'm chilling with the Pilgrims."

With that set up, I had to spike it as such:

"And then when the meal is done, someone will give you a blanket laden with smallpox so you can go into the bedroom and die."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Multiple Waters (Or, You Be Director)



Here's the ultracamp video for Roisin Murphy's "Movie Star" - which contains a bevy of references to John Waters films (Multiple Maniacs and Female Trouble, notably).

Enjoy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Queer as Who? (Or, Parental Supervision)

A number of years ago (that number of years being something close to a decade now, I suppose), I was giving my then-recently-retired mother a list of movies and TV shows she should watch on DVD. Since my mother can be high-strung and squirrelly, I was helping her find things to fill the oceans of idle time she suddenly found herself floating in post-retirement.

I recommended that she watch Absolutely Fabulous. I mentioned that it was a British show...and that it was campy and hilarious. I figured the show would give her a kick.

A few weeks after I made the recommendation, I got a call.

"What was the name of that show you were talking about?" my mother asked.

"Absolutely Fabulous."

"Oh."

"Why?"

"I got confused at the video store...I rented something called Queer as Folk. Is that not it?"

For a long, long second all I could think about was my mother watching hours of gay sex and drug use...in Pittsburgh.

"Uh...no."

"I watched the whole first season and I kept waiting and waiting for it to get funny. Is the second season funny?"

"Not that I know of."

"I do like the mother character...and WOW is there a lot of sex."

"Yep."

After another long, long second, my mother asked:

"Are you sure I shouldn't watch the second season?"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

She Wrong Fo That (Or, B to the A.P.)



Since it seems to be "Week of the Fierce Black Woman" at BV...

B*A*P*S is a film close to my heart.

Well, let me rephrase that.

20 minutes of B*A*P*S is close to my heart...the other 66 or so minutes is pretty useless.

Above are two of the best scenes...which have held parts of my persona in hostage for over a decade.

I swear I use these phrases on a daily basis...all due to the genius of Natalie Desselle as Mickey (Ms. Halle Berry's sidekick):

Oooh...you wrong fo that.

Look at you...tryin' to show out.

We bout to blow up.

Livin' large and takin' charge...big boi!

I hope that dance routine is in Berry's audition reel...right up next to her hospital breakdown in Monster's Ball.

Priceless.

Wandafull (Or, Ain't No Crank Yankers Neither)



I love Wanda Sykes more than anything.

Now I love her even more.

(See Above.)

Of course, her greatest hit is still this:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Emancipation of NeNe (Or, Wig Out)


I'll admit I have been a huge fan of The Real Housewives of Wives of Atlanta. Above is a clip from the upcoming reunion show...I just can't take it.

Below is my favorite image from the show...the show's sole white woman (The Wigstand They Call Kim) listening to her future solid gold smash hit single...

in her car...

in a wig...

smoking a Misty...

...and drinking.

Did I mention she was behind the wheel of a car?

Sweet Jebus have mercy.

Doggy Style (Or, Thank You for Your Useless Opinion)

Since I'm currently at a (huge, devastating, irredeemable) loss for words these days, I'm going to have to resort to a topic I've tried to steer clear of this past year: doggy talk.

Well, this isn't really going to be about squelching and squeezing and oohing and aahhing and aching and moaning and squealing like a bitch about how much I love my dog. Rather, this is going to be about the strange wonder he brings into my life on a daily basis.

By "strange wonder," I really mean "strangers that wonder and won't shut up."

For instance, Saturday night it was raining. I took Mr. B. for his usual late night poo/pee spin around the block. It wasn't raining hard at the time. Anyway, a gaggle of young queens stopped to say hello to Bobo and one of them thoughtfully interrogated me:

THE YOUNG AND THE TACTLESS: Why don't you have a coat for your dog? I mean, really. Don't you care about your dog?

ME: (through one mother of an extended eyeroll) No. I don't care about him. That's why I feed him and walk him and clean up his shit and spoil him. Because I don't care.

Of course that exchange was nothing compared to one I had at the end of August. Le chien had caught Bordatella (despite many expensive vaccinations) and was hacking nonstop. During a walk, an elderly woman (let's call her Miss Crazy Cracker) stopped me while Bobes was trying to eat a discarded chicken wing off the sidewalk.

MISS CRAZY CRACKER: You should really pay attention to your dog. He's choking on a chicken bone.

ME: No, it's not that. He has a cough.

MISS CC: No - he's choking! OH MY GOD HE'S CHOKING!

ME: No. He has a cough.

MISS CC: I see you don't care. Let me check his mouth.

ME: Uh...no. Thanks for your concern. But. Please. Continue. On. Your. Way.

MISS CC: HE'S CHOKING AND YOU DON'T CARE!

ME: Please leave us alone.

(At this point, most of lower Ninth Avenue is now watching our exchange).

MISS CC: PLEASE! He's CHOKING!

ME: Enough.

MISS CC: PEOPLE LIKE YOU SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO HAVE DOGS!

ME: If you're such an expert, where's your dog?

MISS CC: He died last year.

ME: Clearly he must have died from annoyance.

A fountain of expletives then showered between us. I'm pretty sure I looked crazier than she did by the end of the tirade of F-bombs we shared.

Despite these types of situations, the good walking stories far outweigh the bad.

For instance, Bobo made friends with Ethan Hawke.

I gave him a spare poop bag.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lady of the Lake Michigan (Or, A Meme)

I got tagged by The Artist Formerly Known As Shirley to do an iTunes meme...I won't inflict it on anyone else though.

I'm not sure if this meme is rigged...but Madonna came up twice in my answers. I suppose middle-aged men of my persuasion can't help but be forever held hostage by the Lady of the Lake Michigan.

1. If you played your iTunes library from start to finish, non-stop, how long would it play for?
56.8 Days.

2. If you played your iTunes videos/movies from start to finish, non-stop, how long would it play for?
13.1 hours.

3. What artist appears the most in your iTunes library? How many files?
Madonna - 437 items - 1.7 Days.

4. Which word appears the most and how many times, when typed into your iTunes search: Love, Sex, Fuck, Death? Which is the least?
Love - 1,402
Sex - 99
Death - 89
Fuck - 44

5. What is the longest iTunes file?
The Confessions Tour - Madonna (2:01:15)

6. Shortest?
"Friends and Enemies" - DJ Cam (0:01)

7. Right now, which track has the highest Play Count?
"I Would Love to Give You Up" - Halou

8. If you were to close and reopen your iTunes, what is the first track that plays on your Party Shuffle?
"'75 AKA The Slow Train" - Lemon Jelly

9. What was the last item you purchased on iTunes?
Shinchi Osawa - The One

10. What item is in your shopping cart that you are hoping you can find as a free download?
I'm compulsive as fuck when it comes to iTunes...if it's there and I want it, I buy the bitch.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't Make Me Say "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" (Or, Word)

It's been two weeks since I limped up on here with a half-assed post...but I won't say those three words.

Instead, I'll relate a little ditty about one of my favorite topics: the elasticity of the English language.

I've long said how much I love making up new words...and today I was given one as a gift.

I saw this today on a photocopied sign in my gym's locker room:

PLEASE BE CURTIOUS TO OTHER GUESTS.
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BELONGINGS OVERNIGHT.

At first, I laughed at the misspelling of courteous...until I realized that the misspelling was touched with genius.

While courteous speaks of politeness...the newly coined curtious is about being speedy...quick...curt. Things that New Yorkers admire above all else.

I can't say how many times I wished pedestrians on the sidewalk would be curtious and get the hell out my way.

Other examples of possible uses:

"Your story is awfully long winded. Can you be more curtious?

"Being curtious at parties means coming late and leaving early."

"I had to break it off with Bruce. He was just too curtious in the bedroom."

Of course, had I been the author of the original sign, mine would have read:

PLEASE BE CURTACIOUS TO OTHER GUESTS.
GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER ALREADY AND BEAT IT.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Palin Sun, Blue Moon (Or, Beat It, Bitch)

In my long absence, I missed out on blathering away on the historic events of last week.

I will say this: as much as I will miss Tina Fey's impersonation of Sarah Palin...I'm glad the bitch is done...for now. The frightening things that were leaked last week (hopefully by a bitter McCain camp) were more chilling than anything she'd done during the election.

I know that the Evangelical Right loves her to pieces...but does that out-of-touch faction of our nation really want a President that didn't know Africa was a continent? That it wasn't just a song that her C-minus-drunk-on-Miller-Lite-high-school self rocked out to in the backseat of a Camaro?

Anyway, I'm glad the bitch is heading back to the Arctic Circle.