Saturday, September 19, 2009

SuBo, MiWa, and Aala

I love the semi-current trend of assigning every celebrity a "short" nickname compiled of some of the consonants and vowels in their names!

It started with J-Lo, who, to be fair, was using her real, long-time nickname. Then, when "Monster-In-Law" came out, Jane Fonda was being called "J-Fo," as in, "J-Lo and J-Fo together, on the big screen!"

(For the record, the above statement only sounded appealing to me if it was guaranteed that one would be killing and consuming the other, onscreen, for the majority of the movie.)

I think, though, what started as a good, benevolent, J-Lo approved trend has gotten out of hand.

How hard is it to say Susan Boyle? Yet now, in the gossip columns, she is officially "SuBo." Hasn't this poor lady suffered enough?

Still, I love me some SuBo. Her new album, which has not been released, is selling more quickly than Whitney Houston's new album, which has not been released. Ah, pre-orders.

Someone else I love is Michaela Watkins.

Michaela Watkins (or MiWa, as I shall now dub her) was a feature player on last year's SNL cast, brought in after the presidential election to help replace the magnificent Amy Poehler. Feature players rarely get enough airtime to develop a following, let alone create recurring characters, but MiWa did both. How fortunate that they had such a breakout star so early in the game!

Until Lorne Michaels fired her.

Yes, Lorne Michales (pictured above) fired two feature players, MiWa and Casey Wilson, so he could bring on two new female cast members. MiWa didn't see it coming, but she's being a professional. In interviews, she insists that she likes Lorne, respects him, and has this explanation for why he fired her:

"He said he felt like I should have my own show."

I agree.

I haven't discussed my other fairly recent minor fixation, Adam Lambert, whom the media dubbed "Glambert."

I find this offensive. "GLAM-bert?" I get it. Just because he wears makeup, he's gay? Just because he admits he's gay, I'm supposed to believe it? No, my Aala (said with a slight gargling sound in the back of the throat) as as straight as an arrow, baby. Just listen to his version of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and you will also be convinced:

Adam Lambert - Ring of fire
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If you watched that, wasn't Randy Travis a befuddled good sport?

Anyhoo, I stick to my guns. Aala is on my radar.

But RPattz has still got my heart.


Friday, September 18, 2009

A True Story (Warning: Lowbrow Humor Ahead)

In which Deb uses comical words to substitute for anatomical terms.

Lately, I have become fascinated with the awkward. There is a new blog that I love called "Awkward Family Photos," in which the mundane and uncomfortable becomes hilarious. If you have some time, check them out. Hilarity will ensue.

My new obsession with awkward has inspired me to share the most awkward story I know. The following is a completely true story that totally did not happen to me, so it's hilarious.

Sven's longtime dear friend, whom I shall call "Bosephus" for the purpose of this blog entry, had just gotten engaged. He had met his fiancee's parents before, but relations were cool. He was at their home for dinner, entertaining them as only he can, attempting to thaw the relationship a little bit.

You see, Bosephus is a parent's darling. Everyone's parents love Bosephus. My parents love Bosephus. My dad loved Bosephus so much he took Bosephus' word about a situation over mine. Bosephus is awesome.

But Bosephus' future in-laws were not feeling the love.

So Bosephus was engrossed in telling a story, complete with illustrative hand gestures, when his index finger, hereinafter referred to as his "pointer," became stuck.

His lovely fiancee, Marigold, had approached him from behind to clear away dishes or something. Somehow, her body was at precisely the wrong angle when he made precisely the wrong gesture, and his pointer was stopped by the region of her pants I shall call her "kerplonk."

I'm sorry for being so graphic, but it is what it is.

So now, Bosephus was faced with a situation: there he was, in front of his beloved's parents, with his pointer right there, "kerplonked," as it were.

(At this point, I should stress that, although this has taken a great deal of time to write, and I'm sure read, it all happened very quickly in real life. Bosephus would also like me to stress that everyone was wearing several layers of very modest clothing, including no less than 17 pair of gloves and what may have been East Texas' only functional pair of snow pants.)

What do I do? he wondered. Do I pretend it didn't happen and just keep going? Do I laugh it off? Should I make some sort of comical popping sound when I move my hand? What should I do?

He looked to his fiancee, who helpfully made the following noise:


One way or another, the evening lurched on. Bosephus and Marigold were married and today have many wonderful children. This tiny awkwardness was forgotten by all.

Except by me. Because this story has made me laugh for more than ten years now. I hope it made you all laugh too, you lowbrow things, you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hysterical Inaccuracy

Recently, I became aware of a new series on Showtime:

I'm not sure if, on this blog, I have referred to my obsession with British history. There was a time, not too long ago, when I could name every ruler from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II from memory. I probably could get pretty close now. But none of it holds as much delight for me as the saga of the Tudors, the "inspiration" for this new television series.

I say "new" because it's new to me. There are two completed seasons, with season three out there somewhere. I don't get Showtime, so I wouldn't know.

This show has been an utter delight for me, because of its wonderful treatment of historical fact. "The Tudors" does for English history what "North and South" did for the Civil War. To give you a hint, here are some of the comments I made to Sven during Season 1:

"Wow, you wouldn't think it would be so easy to remove your own corset."

"Do you think he knows her name?"

"Don't you think that would chafe?"

Leaving that part of it aside, here are some of the more glaring inaccuracies:

Henry VIII is played by a slender brunette.

Anne Boleyn has blue eyes.

Henry VIII only has one sister, who marries the King of Portugal, and they call her Margaret, and it's just a muddle.

The Duke of Richmond dies when he's still a young child.

Now, if you no nothing about English history, these things mean nothing. Perhaps my ramblings are akin to those Twilighters who boycotted the movie because Bella's shirt wasn't blue in the scene where she meets the Cullens, or the Harry Potter fanatics who insist that every. single. scene. from the book be included in the movie, or it Just Isn't Right.

But this is different! This is HISTORY. This is FACT. People are forgetting that.

Someone posted online the other day that she and her mother were discussing "The Tudors." The mother said, "I can't wait to see what happens with Jane Seymour next season." The daughter said, "Oh, that's going to be sad, when she dies." The mother said, "Well, thanks for spoiling it!"

Jane Seymour died over 400 years ago! Spoiler alert: EVERYONE IN THE SHOW IS DEAD NOW! Sorry!

But the show is effective in one way. The acting is really good. It has humanized elements of the story that never seemed "real" to me. At the end of the second season, Anne Boleyn is executed. (Sorry, spoiler!) I knew Anne Boleyn was going to be executed. I have watched Anne Boleyn get beheaded in several film adaptations and have never reacted to it with anything but a nod of the head.

But when "The Tudors" did it, I cried. They did a scene, which I will describe for you, that just made me realize that Anne Boleyn was a real person, more than any other adaptation ever has.

In the scene, Thomas Boleyn (Anne's father) is being released from the tower. He leaves, and on his way out passes under Anne's window. She looks down and sees him leaving, and she gets a big smile and waves, obviously thrilled that her father is going to be all right. He stares at her for a moment, unsmiling, then walks away. And that was when it really, truly hit me: her father set her up to be the king's mistress, then his wife; he plotted with her, advised her, and controlled her, but when it came time to pay, he walked away while his daughter died.

And I cried. I cried and cried. How silly am I?


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gadgets Gone Wild (Clean Version)

We have a new vacuum cleaner.

After last week's adventure with bullets and glass, we needed one.

Our venerable bagless upright, alas, overdosed on large chunks of safety glass and died.

But check out my new machine: The Hoover Annihilator

(Actual name: Hoover Wind Tunnel Platinum. I like my name better.)

The Annihilator is such a cool machine, I haven't been allowed to use it yet. Sven is obsessed with annihilating the dirt, dust, and allergens from every flat surface in our home.

You see, the Annihilator has a feature that I have never heard of, but makes me believe that the land of the future promised to us by "The Jetsons" has arrived.

On the top of the roller-brush part, where the operator can easily look down and see it, is a small computer display. The display shows two words: "Dirty" (in red) or "Clean" (in peaceful soothing green). Fortunately, I had vacuumed the carpet in our living room that morning, so we could conduct a scientific test. Sven ran the new vacuum over our seemingly-clean floor. It said "Dirty" for about four swipes, then it said "Clean."

"Hmmm," Sven said. "Maybe it's programmed for number of swipes, with the angle calculated...hmmm." Then he turned it off.

The collection canister was full of dust, grime, and hair.

He has been vacuuming ever since. He just came downstairs and emptied the thing (again!) saying, "I don't know how it knows!"

I have to pause now, for Sven just gave me the following command: "Go smell our room." Who could resist an invitation like that?

I'm back. Our room smells great. It didn't stink before, but it honestly smells like a brand new carpet. Even the odor I convinced myself we were preserving as a memorial to our deceased cat, Incontinento, is gone.

I watch Sven with the vacuum and see a gleam in his eye that tells me he's not cleaning the house. He's conquering dust and odor, armed with his Hoover Annihilator of Doom, making the world fresh-smelling and allergen free for the oxygen-loving citizenry.

I can see the comic book now.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Doin' it Kanye Style

I'm watching the VMA's, and with the first award of the night came the first jaw-dropping train wreck of the night.

No, I'm not counting the Michael Jackson tribute as a train wreck. The performance part was cool, Janet Jackson did well. The bizarre intro by Madonna, in which we were essentially told everything Madonna and Michael had in common, wasn't a train wreck, it was just weird and self-serving, and since it's Madonna, what can we expect?

No, the train wreck occurred when Kanye West decided that the wrong person won the first award.

To recap, when Taylor Swift won the first award, beating out favorites Beyonce and Lady Gaga, she was endearingly stunned and humble, earning approving applause and reaction from the crowd.

Enter Kanye.

Mr. West leaped onstage, took the microphone, and, pointing to Beyonce in the audience, said "Beyonce had the best video of the year." Beyonce was stunned, Miss Swift just stood there, and the audience gave their opinion of the whole thing with resounding boos. By the time Miss Swift had recovered the mike, the no doubt frantic production team had switched to a video short, cutting off the rest of her speech.

My adoration for Beyonce's video has been well documented on this blog. Dexy adores "Put a Ring on It" and still watches it on occasion, grinning like a man in love.

I also really liked "Poker Face," the video from Lady Gaga that was up for the award.

I don't care for Taylor Swift. Had she simply gone up and accepted the award, my reaction would have been, "Huh. Didn't see that coming."

But because of Mr. West's comments, my reaction was, "Poor thing! She got the award, let her say thank you! Get out of it! Who are you to interrupt the whole award ceremony?"

Not only that, but when Taylor Swift performed just a few minutes later, I thought, "Maybe I was too hard on her. That wasn't bad." I felt that way mostly because she was able to shake everything off and deliver a poised, fun performance.

So, Kanye West, job well done. You just earned Taylor Swift a potential new fan. And you've inspired me. From now on, I'm going to be like Kanye.

When I'm at a faculty meeting and the principal starts talking about testing, I'm going to get up and say, "All y'all listen up, this testing is bad for our kids and bad for our schools, know what I'm sayin'?" I'm sure my new attitude will earn both respect and awe.

Oh, and school board meetings...that's going to be awesome. They will love to see me come in the door.

I wonder when our next Home Owner's Association meeting is?

I can't even imagine all of the ways I can use this newfound self-confidence at church. My mind literally boggles. I'm sure they won't mind, I'm just keeping it real.

So do yourself a favor. Be like Kanye. Then, you too can become a once-beloved-now-despised celebrity who actually gets escorted out of the rowdiest, least regulated event in entertainment.