Taken together, I'm not sure what they say about society -- in fact, I'm not even sure I want to know. But they make for an interesting snapshot.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Our bathroom project* has been moving along fitfully since the summer, the estimated cost shooting up early on, then bouncing around in the mid five figures. Now that it's more or less settled, the Queen Mother, who put up the seed money, has upped her investment -- including an earmark for the turlet.
God love the Japanese and their obsession with bodily functions. They are to commodes what the Germans are to cars. Like a devoted (or desperate) lover, the bidet seat on this pricey potty will do ... well, just about everything.
We made an unexpected discovery during the planning phase. As a group, only politicians are less reliable than contractors, yet the latter actually get huffy when you seek multiple bids. I don't buy a pair of shoes without shopping around; why would we do less with stakes like this?
Anyway, we finally picked someone, and he expects to get started in the second half of February. Stay tuned ...
* I have plans in Adobe format if you're curious.
Like most seasoned phonies, I roundly suspect that everyone is as disingenuous as I am. This Polish man, for instance. Given the time it would take him to buy a ticket and get to J.F.K., his mother would have been dead for at least six hours, maybe longer. Wasn’t he over it yet? I mean, really, who were these tears for? It was as if he were saying, “I loved my mother a lot more than you loved yours.” No wonder his former seatmate had complained. The guy was so competitive, so self-righteous, so, well, over the top.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
John Fothergill, the celebrated landlord of the Spread Eagle Inn in the Oxfordshire town of Thame ..., would sometimes add an unspecified charge of a few pounds to the bill. If any of his guests queried it, they would be gruffly told that it was “Face Money.” And if they persisted in asking, they would have it bluntly explained to them by Mr. Fothergill that he charged extra for those customers whose faces he didn’t care for. Apparently, nobody ever refused to pay.
This little pieceis one of the most amusing things I've read in months.
And on the same general topic is this A.A. Gill rumination, shared by Riley, on the venerable British tradition of cross-dressing at Christmas.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The most depressing thing about the Republican presidential race is that the party's rank and file require their candidates to grow meaner with each passing week. And now, inconveniently, inconsiderately, comes Christmas, a holiday that couldn't be better calibrated to expose the Republicans' rank, fetid hypocrisy.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Remember: Everyone looks young and innocent in the gentle glow of gaslight.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thanks to Riley for tipping me off to the piece.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Is the thought of Mike Huckabee as president just vaguely scary? Or have we learned enough about the man that we should be hair-on-fire alarmed at the prospect, still pretty remote, that he could actually win?
If an op-ed isn't enough and you want to be truly galled, check out this profile from today's New York Times Magazine, recommended by Kay. I didn't realize Huckabee "considers liberalism to be a cancer on Christianity." Jesus would be so proud.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I used to like the young Princess Anne. I was a great fan of hats and head-scarves and all-buttoned-in-ness. And I liked to see a woman who isn't blessed making the most of herself. I have never been a great fan of natural beauty. Because I am a tranny, I like to see a plain woman who piles on the make-up and who wears really sexy clothes. I'd rather see that than someone who has just scrubbed up, who is just gorgeous without doing anything.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Can somebody tell me why Oprah Winfrey's every utterance is reported by the media?
Presumably it's because she has such a big following, but that's even more of a mystery to me. I've watched her show a few times*, usually when she had an interesting guest, but Oprah herself reminds me of the colleague or sister-in-law you take pains to avoid -- way too peppy and always pushing something, especially her opinions.
I don't give a rat's ass what books she recommends, much less which candidate. Yet I'm forced to hear about it if I watch the news or read the paper, which has my knickers in a twist. If people really base their presidential choice on the endorsement of a talk-show host, things are even more depressing than I thought -- and that's really saying something.
* Most recently this episode, which was equally horrifying and riveting.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I know I'm not alone. Everyone gets nervous when they learn that the hallmarks of diabetes* are frequent thirst and urination. Come to think of it, this tendency is probably a recognized condition itself. "Suggestible hypochondria," maybe, or "self-diagnostic hysterical disorder."
That said, I identified quite a bit with the author of this article. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I had a touch of Asperger's syndrome along with my undiagnosed OCD and ADD. It would explain so much.
* Here in Butt Hollow, we like to channel Wilford Brimley and call it "the diabetus."
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Over the years, a few of my friends' parents have become friends in their own right. One is Mariann Tadmor, mother of Karen. A one-woman U.N., Mariann had a Danish mother and a Swedish father, and she married an Israeli diplomat. She speaks five languages and has lived in nine countries and visited many others.
Though I've known Mariann for nearly a quarter-century, I'm still learning about her. Like several others, she worried that I'd be bored when I took "early retirement." She passed along a stream of videos, including every episode of "Upstairs, Downstairs," casually mentioning at one point that she'd worked as an au pair for one of the actresses. In later years, a country declared her persona non grata (for whistle-blowing) and she was stoned by indigenous South Americans (I still don't have the full story on that), among other exploits.
Always encouraging the pursuits of others, Mariann tends to have several pots simmering on her own stove at any given time. She has one of the most inquisitive minds I've known, so I wasn't unduly surprised when, years ago, she started referring to "my novel." For most people that would be an aspiration, but for her it was another adventure to experience.
Murder at Machu Picchu turned out to be the first in a series that currently numbers four, all carried by Amazon. (No. 3, Murder in San Francisco, was dedicated to me, a great honor.) All feature an intrepid P.I. named Jamie Prescott, but the settings are as diverse as Mariann's own, allowing readers to play armchair (or wheelchair) detective and traveler simultaneously. The latest takes you to New Orleans in August 2005. Rowboat not included.
Dr. George Trusty
Dr. Juanita B. Ware
Richard A. "Diamond Dick" Golden
(Mr.) Shalom Auslander
Rosie Lee Love
(Mrs.) Wiser Harry
Susie Etta Harley
Dr. Creflo A. Dollar Jr. (pastor under investigation by Senate Finance Committee) (wife: Taffi)
(Mrs.) Fuzzy Billings
Armpie Carpenter Jr.
Candy and Rusty Booth (siblings)
New Category: Pretenders
D.R. "Desi" Arnaiz
John F. Kennedy
Martin L. King