Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tattoos Are Forbidden Until She's Eighteen, But...

My oldest daughter is rocking a fawk (faux 'hawk), and honestly, I could not be prouder. Most parents would be upset that their fifteen-year-old little girl cut her below the waist blonde hair into a spiky warrior ‘do, but not I. Oh, no, not I. Or is that “me”? Darn, I’m having a fuzzy grammar moment. Give me a sec to gather my wits.

Anyway, I’m the sort of parent that some would consider too liberal -- I don’t have a stroke if one of my angels utters a curse word once in a while, although I’ve made it very clear since they were old enough to understand that if they dare curse at anything that lives and breathes, say, calling their unusually cruel and incompetent teacher a “goddamned shit-nosed wiener-eater,” or addressing the little fucker down the street as “big fat asshole,” or, God forbid, calling the uptight evangelical Christian family member a “dried-up old hypocritical bastard with repressed homosexual tendencies” there will be hell to pay. Cursing at inanimate objects, when the occasion calls, is fine, though. As some of you may recall, my vacuum cleaner and computer are both cursed at on a regular basis, those old whores.

Another example of my liberal parenting would be my utter lack of interest in child on child arguments. My guts ache with contempt when I’m faced with a “concerned” parent who wishes to stick her hairy, bulbous nose in her and my children’s business. Is it so horrible to allow kids the freedom to experience peer difficulties, to figure out their own solutions, to be the sometimes irrational, whiney, mean little snots they are meant to be without constant parental intervention?

Some of you more conservative parents will gasp at my disinterest, will shake your heads and murmur to yourselves that Ms. Lori is a cursing, inattentive monster whose children should be taken from her as soon as possible, and that’s fine by me. I don’t care. I do not care if Susie won’t share her Polly Pockets, and I do not give a flying Barbie boob if one of my kids tells Susie that she does not want to play because Susie is a selfish brat who smells like orangutan butt. Really, I don’t care. Can’t be bothered. I’m the type of parent who will look Susie’s concerned parent in the eye and say, “Give me a break. Go back home and finish filling out the calendar you keep for your exhausted, over-scheduled kid and leave me alone.” Kids are kids are kids, and unless someone is being physically harmed or bullied, there is no reason for me to get involved.

Perhaps the most telling trait of my liberalism, though, is my continual encouragement of my kids to express themselves in any way they see fit, to be individuals. I want them to feel comfortable being themselves, hence my opening statement; my girl’s new fawk will surely raise many a concerned eyebrow, and I expect to face many a pursed prune lip as a result. Some concerned parents in my neighborhood have, in the past, felt it necessary to spy on my girl (though they wouldn’t call it spying - they call it “gee, I happened to be at the same place at the same time as your daughter, and golly, well, I saw her walking with her boyfriend, and my goodness, she certainly has an unusual style what with her ripped fishnets and skull t-shirts, and…”

Shut up, you nosey, PTA-sucking, stretch pants-wearing, Laura Bush-worshiping pube.

I’m proud of all my children, whether they choose to wear camouflage snow pants to class on a warm, sunny day, or wear ripped fishnets and fawks, or write dark poetry and read horror, or if they find the theory of intelligent design ridiculous, if they find it plausible. I am proud of them regardless of myriad mistakes they make and will make, regardless of the stupid things they will do or say, the many times they will fail, the heartache they will cause themselves, because I know that they will learn from every stumble, and I respect their right to learn. Kids are kids are kids, and my beliefs revolve around the fact that all kids will test limits, will stumble, will break your heart, will, if they have a mind of their own, do what they must do in order to figure out this life, and all we can do as parents is be there for them, allow them their freedom within reason, be open to their every question, encourage them, discourage them in regards to drugs, peer pressure, and always but always make it clear that we will love them no matter what, even if they stumble, especially if they fall.

I want my children to be comfortable in their own skin, to grow into creative, compassionate, successful adults who think outside the box, not huddle within, and the only way to achieve this is by letting them be comfortable in their own skin. They may try on all kinds of different costumes in the process, but if they wind up truly liking what’s underneath, I’ve done my job.

Monday, November 28, 2005

"The Eyes of the Carp" by T.M. Wright

Kevin, the deliciously unreliable narrator of T.M. Wright’s "The Eyes of the Carp," loves his wife, works with his hands, enjoys entertaining friends, keeps a dish full of bright, foil-covered Easter egg chocolates to offer his guests, and occasionally explores the inside of his wife’s mouth with the aid of a flashlight as she sleeps at night.

Kevin is witty, smart, hungry for knowledge, curious, resentful, sometimes hilariously so, and to this reader’s delight, very, very weird. Oh, and he also may well be inhuman, but that’s for the reader to decide -- Wright isn’t the sort of storyteller who paints simplistic characters for the simpleton reader; he doesn’t shout Lookie! and point to his characters with a heavy finger for benefit of clarity, rather, he challenges the reader with a conspiratorial elbow nudge and a wink. I like an author who assumes his or her readership is intelligent.

"The Eyes of the Carp" is one of the most authentic representations of psychosis I have read to date, and one of the most disturbing. The narrative is constructed in such a way that sucks the reader in with its deceptive calm, Kevin’s initial trustworthiness and likeability as he rambles on about his new property, the odd things he discovers there, as well as the humorous repartee between Kevin and his wife, Janet. Kevin is a strange one, no doubt about it, but he’s not threatening -- eccentric, perhaps, but definitely not threatening. As is Wright’s style, however, nothing is ever as it seems, and the reader soon begins to worry as Kevin delicately reveals tidbits here and there that seem a bit…off. Something’s wrong with Kevin, something bad.

“Forgive me, I am not Capone, crippled by syphilis, power, and greed. I am Kevin, husband to Janet, son to Lawrence and Margaret, brother to Gwen, Laura, Bobby, Howard, and others unnamed. I have a passion for macaroni and cheese, women with large breasts, the sound of water flowing in the deep woods, brisk April breezes…[I have a passion for] finding quiet bodies in strange locations, living nearly alone, submission by theretofore unwilling women, blind kittens.”

Yes, something is definitely not right with Kevin, and as Wright skillfully leads the reader on a hideous journey through Kevin’s ravaged mind, each new revelation brings with it a palpable chill, a queasy pinch, even as Kevin waxes ridiculous with his random "Gaggle" searches and seemingly arbitrary recounts of childhood memories. It is the randomness, the unforced humor, and the seemingly arbitrary that make Kevin all that more frightening. Wright knows that the devil doesn’t always sport horns, that sometimes evil comes in the beguiling form of an ordinary man who loves his wife, macaroni and cheese, and bright, foil-covered Easter egg chocolates, and that the commonalities between the average man and the monster are greater than we’d like to believe.

Friday, November 25, 2005

It Took Two Men and a Crowbar to Pry That Stool From Between My Buttocks

But that's what I get for eating forty pounds of turkey and a whole ham with all the fixings yesterday.

Although, to my credit, I did not eat even one pie. I know my limits, dammit.

Now on to a rant that has nothing to do with stools or flabulous giganticus buttocks:

I just read the most appalling post on a message board I visit, and though I had a lot to say to the person who wrote it, I kept my fingers to myself, because, well, my reply would've included words like "cheapo," "asshat," and "cheapo asshat." And, gee, as my tagline says, I am a kind women who is capable of thinking horrible thoughts. It's a good thing to know when to spew those horrible thoughts and risk hurting some clueless asshat's feelings and when to spew them on one's blog. Since the clueless asshat in this situation has a lot of back-patting friends (whereas I, unfortunately, do not), I decided to duck out on the fun of being crucified for pointing out said asshat's asshatedness and post here, my safe little obscure blog.

Okay, so asshat has a book available, some anthology for charity thing that Roc put out, and asshat is proud, as she should be, and decides to mass e-mail friends and family about her recent success. Fine. Thing is, asshat got her panties all in a bunch when her eighty-something nana e-mails back with a request for a signed copy of the book.

Yes, asshat was upset that Nana dared request a copy of her assahat granddaughter's first book.

And if that didn't make my insides turn like a screw, asshat's back-patting friends couldn't wait to jump in with their empathetic remarks. What's worse, they, including the board administrator, stomped on some poor soul who ventured to add his opinion that asshat was being petty, in so many words.

Not for nothing, but although I certainly don't offer information to every single family member and friend about every single upcoming publication, I did make a big deal about my Borderlands appearances, and I threw down a few dozen bucks in order to give copies to the following people: My best friend, my mother, my two grandmas.

Yep. I actually gave my nanas copies of the first bigtime book I ever appeared in, and I even inscribed them. Hang on a sec -- I think I may have even given my next door neighbor a copy of "From the Borderlands." Am I a loon or what?

Here's something that truly deserves disdain, asshat: In the past year or so, I have been contacted by complete strangers, some from overseas, who have requested signed copies of a couple of magazines I appeared in as well as Borderlands 5. They all stated that because the publications in question were no longer available/not for sale in their country/sold out/whatever, would I be willing to help them out, thank you.

My astute intuition tells me they wouldn't attempt this with Stephen King or Gary Braunbeck, but because I'm a lowly unknown, they feel comfortable asking me. Like I'm supposed to be flattered? I replied with a roundabout "ever hear of Shocklines/Amazon/Google/eBay? If not, please acquaint yourself with the Internet, and happy shopping. I'd be glad to sign your purchases, and you will, of course, pay postage both ways."

That, my cheapo friend, is something bunch-worthy. Now go give your nana a hug and tell her you're sorry for being such an asshat.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Annie Lennox is the Coolest Woman That Ever Lived

Still have chills after watching the Eurythmics perform on last night's American Music Awards.

Anyway, since this is the time of year where Americans should be reflecting on their good fortune, I've compiled a list of things I am thankful for:

1) Annie Lennox's words
2) Annie Lennox's voice
3) Annie Lennox's gorgeous gorgeousness

Aw, that's silly (silly but true). Okay, here's my actual list of thanks -- be prepared to be absolutely bored out of your skulls:

1) My kids, despite my hatred of self when they make me so nervous while I'm trying to take a shower, I am forced to scream "Fucking stop fighting, goddamn it!" and they ignore me, continue fighting, throwing objects, wreaking havoc, making the boy shriek, and soap is burning my eyeballs, and someone flushes the toilet, and something in the living room breaks, something that sounds like a treasured Egyptian knickknack, so I grow gigantic demonic testicles, which, of course, frightens me and adds to my nervousness, and I scream "I'm going to fucking kill you all -- do you hear me! ALL OF YOU!" and upon exiting the bathroom half-washed, fire-eyed and wrapped in a towel that barely covers my ass, discover the neighbors' kid sitting on the couch, and our eyes lock, and my throat constricts, and the kid's mouth gapes open in a silent scream then runs home to tell her parents that Ms. Lori has gigantic demonic testicles.

2) My cat, despite my hatred of cleaning cat vomit, because I love her face way too much. And I also love the way she suckers me into giving her extra helpings of breakfast by reciting poetry to me every morning -- today it was Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night," and she received not one, not two, but three extra helpings of Fancy Feast for her troubles.

3) My friends. I do love you, you know, despite my hatred of phones.

4) My awesome cooking skills, despite my hatred of touching raw meat. My turkey melts in the mouth, my stuffing brings tears of joy to the eyes, my vegetable casserole has magical healing powers, my mashed potatoes, manna, only better because it doesn't drop from the sky and gunk up your hair.

5) My husband, Lar. I do love you, you know, despite my hatred.

Have a beautiful Thanksgiving, everyone.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Come Worship With Me

Like my father before me, I've become an ordained minister, because I not only believe in spreading God's word, I believe in tax breaks. As this will be my first public sermon since ordainment, I'm a bit nervous, as you can imagine, so I'm extending an invitation to all One Whipped Mother readers to come lend support.

Please join me in celebrating the Truth this Sunday at First Baptist, 9:00 a.m. (e-mail for directions). Brunch provided after service, with special musical guest Howard Dean and the Moonbats!

Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Cosmetics Line Raises the Dead!

Children, gather round, set a spell and rest your aging, weary, perhaps overweight and pimpled bodies, for Mama Lori has a story to tell. It is a story filled with wonder, hope, reanimated corpses, and, of course, lipstick.

Some of the following is based on fact, but most of it is from my warped imagination -- I will leave it to you to decide which is which. I wrote this after having attended a cosmetics party last night, an event that I was forced to attend by the nose of a twenty gauge shotgun, and I admit, loyalty and genuine affection for the darling innocent who threw said party. I spent sixty-four dollars on three items, not because I was suckered by the “independent consultant’s” intriguing though impossible claims, but because of my genuine affection and loyalty to that darling innocent. A darling innocent who will probably hate my guts after reading this, but I hope realizes eventually that this is meant in good fun.

And so, we begin…

In a land far, far away, during a time long ago, there lived a man named Petter Myørck, and he was a humble man, and he was a good man. One day, as Petter Myørck was sitting in his favorite café, dining al fresco on diced citrus fruits, fresh oysters snuggled in a bed of sea salt, and weak tea, watching passersby with minimal interest, there appeared to him a homely, naked, time-ravaged hag named Heidi. As if from a dream, Heidi materialized in front of the startled Petter with a loud bang, thus causing poor Petter to flail his arms wildly, knocking tea cup, platter of fruits, and bed of oysters to his lap. The apparition before him smiled knowingly, and pointed her cracked, unsightly nail at the spoiled lunch oozing over Petter’s lap. Embarrassed, Petter began to wipe the mess with a napkin, but the hag shook her head vigorously, floated to his side, and curtly slapped his hand. Confused, Petter shrugged his shoulders and said, “What? I should leave this mess to ruin my trousers? Woman, be gone!”

Finally, the homely Heidi spoke, but not with word -- she gently gathered the citrus, the sea salt, the tea into her malformed hands and began to rub the sweet-smelling concoction over her entire body. She rubbed and scrubbed and smoothed and massaged until a curious thing happened, a remarkable and spectacular thing…Transfixed, Petter couldn’t help but watch as the once hideous, pockmarked, cellulitic, sagging, psoriasis-ridden Heidi morphed into an unlined, slender, firm, rosacea-free young woman. She was breath-taking. Petter gasped and shifted in his chair so as to hide his emerging trouser monster.

The now glamorous and societal beauty ideal smiled once again, then pirouetted gracefully, her de-spotted hands fluttering like exotic white butterflies, and the napkins, the restaurant check, the table cloth all rose up together like an ocean current, the materials ebbing when she lowered her hands, then rising when she did that weird pirouette thing again.

Barely able to speak, Petter said, “You-you are trying to tell me that natural botanical cosmetics will be the wave of the future?

She nodded.

“And, I am to be the founder of a company that sells such products?”

Again, she nodded. Then she surprised Petter by swiping the money he’d placed in his shirt pocket in anticipation of paying his lunch bill, and promptly stuffed the coins into her gleaming, plump mouth. Aghast, Petter watched as Heidi swallowed his hard-earned cash, licked her alluring red lips, then threw back her head of luxurious black hair and laughed herself into oblivion.

“No! Wait, please!” Petter shouted at the foggy, shimmering outline. “Beautiful lady, I have so many questions! Why did you eat my money? It was all I had! And what is your number?”

But she disappeared entirely, leaving behind only the residue of sea salt and the tang of citrusy goodness. Petter was angry, frightened, but he also was a smart man; he put two and two together fast as a scorpion injecting his prey with poisonous poison, and smiled.

“Thank you, lovely lady who used to be a hideous hag. Thank you for giving me the means to invade American pocketbooks, give false hope to the hopeless, attain immortality through corporate enterprise. I shall embark on this journey a humble man, and will end this voyage a corrupt one.”

He stood, gave the café’s proprietor the finger, and as he ran from the baseball bat -carrying pastry chef and shouting waiters, Petter shrieked “I shall attain wealth so immense, I’ll buy this shithole and burn it to the ground! HA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!”

At first, Petter peddled door to door, displayed his homemade cosmetics to hapless hags throughout Switzerland, sold them by the wheelbarrowful with claims of renewed youth, slimmer thighs, radiant sex appeal, and as his business grew, he realized that he couldn’t do it alone, certainly wouldn’t be able to invade America by the power of only his one mouth. So he recruited others to do his bidding, and he called them “independent consultants.” He made promises of a white Mercedes Benz and outrageous monthly income to top sellers. He indoctrinated his followers with hours upon hours of rigorous acting classes, schooled his associates in the ways of screwing over the consumer with steady eye and beguiling best-buddy affectation. “Tell the wenches of your own supposed successes! Tell them of your transformations from hideous hags with gynecological problems and planter warts to healthy, beautiful sex kittens! Tell them you have witnessed the raising of dead loved ones with only one application of our three hundred dollar papaya-scented lotion to the corpse‘s body! Tell them! Run! Spread the news! Make them believe!”

And the wenches did believe, and there were many pocketbooks emptied, souls destroyed, and embittered greasy-faced hags left in the independent consultants’ wake. Petter Myørck, true to his word, bestowed a white Mercedes Benz to every single one of his top-selling consultants, though only for one year. After the one year lapsed, the luxury cars were spirited away to a used car dealer in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Petter Myørck died just as he’d envisioned: a very wealthy and corrupt man who attained immortality through corporate enterprise.

His distraught followers, self-professed “Myørck's Army,” attempted to raise their master from his cold grave, but only succeeded in making his rotting flesh smell really, really nice.

The end.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Another Dorkinville Resident Bites the Dust

You may be surprised to learn that Bill Maher, former host of the delicious and much-missed Politically Incorrect and now pundit cum satirist cum Lady Elaine Fairchild look-a-like host of HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher, is a big dorky dork from Dorkinville, Kentucky.

(Dorkinville, for those who don‘t know, is the home of such luminary writers as Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Jewel, Madonna, and Pamela Anderson, to name but a few.)

The myth that witty, intelligent people like Bill Maher can successfully write anything they please with masterful aplomb has been shattered with this, his debut novel titled “True Story: A Novel.”

No, I haven’t read the book, and I don’t plan on reading it. After “meeting” his main characters, Dick, Shit, Fat, Chink and Buck, whose monikers, I’m certain, were chosen by Maher’s five-year-old nephew, and reading lines like: "Hey, get down off there!" ejaculated the conductor, and the giggling colleagues dismounted and took their rightful places inside the gleaming trispangled Amtrak Minuteman, bound for Trenton, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., towns where comedy was king and the audience peasants, I decided it would be best to click the little red X in the right hand corner of my screen and pretend that I had not just witnessed literary suicide.

R.I.P. Dorko.

Perhaps You Didn't Hear Me the First Time

But, Doc, I really do think I have something in my eye.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Some Disturbing News...

Thanks to my oldest daughter and her newly acquired mice, I am now educated in the ways of male rodent domination, and really, I couldn’t be more sick to my stomach.

Apparently, if a male mouse’s territory is threatened by another male mouse, he will not hesitate to chew the invader’s testicles off.

Ladies and gentlemen, Batman has literally made Robin his bitch.

I need to lie down now.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Mr. Butler’s World: Episode IV

Hi, I'm Mr. Butler. For those of you who don't know who I am, please refer to my previous posts by searching my mommy's blog for the words "Mr. Butler's World." I would provide links if I could, but I'm only three, and despite my advanced vocabulary, I am computer illiterate. Onward then.

I got up in this morning really early because I had a bad dream about some man with a head like a big, round ball.

Mommy was talking at the TV last night at that man, and called him a lot of naughty names. I think his real name is The Fat Robertson or something.

Anyway, I got up really early. It was fifteen o’clock, and it was dark, but I went pee-pee in my Pull-Ups a little, which was very uncomfortable, and I desperately wanted a peanut butter sandwich, so I made my way through the dark, scary house and woke Mommy up. She seemed angry and told me to go back to sleep. I, of course, did not. I felt that Mommy was wrong in not rising immediately to my demands, but I only screamed and punched her door for free minutes or so. I’m proud that I am able to control my tantrums. That must mean I’m becoming a big boy, which is a good thing. Mommy says that big boys get to go to school and have Nemos that won’t die, because big boys don’t go pee-pee and poopy in their Pull-Ups, so the teachers won’t get mad, and big boys don’t put Doritos in fish bowls and kill Nemos.

Yeah. And I watched cartoons until Mommy and Daddy finally woke up.

I tried to tell Mommy about my bad dream about The Fat Robertson, but all she said was “Oh, honey, there’s no such thing as ball-headed monsters.” As usual, she just didn’t understand. Seems to me that grown-ups understand very little.

Sometimes I wonder about things. I wonder if The Fat Robertson has a little boy, and if the little boy has a big ball head, too. Is The Fat Robertson nice to his little boy? Does The Fat Robertson tell big stories to scare his little boy like he does to other people?

Sometimes I tell big stories, but only if I really need to. Say I feel lonely, or bored, perhaps confused about something abstract that presented itself to me during the day, and my brain starts to hurt. I will tell a big story to make Mommy feel sorry, like the time I told her that there was a sad mousie named Cutie Nose in my tummy when there really wasn’t, and she picked me up regardless of my heavy thighs that put a strain on her back, and she kissed my head and pretended to bite my fatty arms. I liked that.

I wonder if The Fat Robertson tells big stories because he is confused, too.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Jarhead -- An Unorthodox Review

Dear Jake Gyllenhaal,

If I may be so bold, would you be interested in spending time with an older (way) woman who’s married with four kids? It doesn’t have to be anything long-term, or even a date date type thing, just one night where the both of us could relax, kick back with a few brews and some pork chops, perhaps a dollop of my homemade stuffing on the side and some of that delicious mashed potato salad I’m so famous for, and then, maybe, if you’re so inclined, you might consider taking your pants off and swinging on a pole for me. Only if you really want to, of course.

This has nothing to do with sex, per se, rather an innocent albeit totally inappropriate attraction I feel towards your glorious, glorious man ‘tocks. As much as I admire your mind, your phenomenal acting skills and dreamy blue eyes that exude lifetimes of wisdom, it is your backside that interests me most. I would very much like to have a deep and meaningful conversation with it, tell it a joke or two, regale it with stories of my wild days of yore, tell it my hopes and dreams, discuss philosophy, debate political issues. I could definitely teach your ass a thing or two.

I’m fully aware that it is completely wrong for one human being to objectify another, to look upon another as nothing more than eye candy, a plaything, a soul-less mass of flesh with no merit other than its physical beauty, but you see, while watching your latest theatrical efforts in Jarhead last night, my mind got to wandering, began mulling over such things as pork chops and potato salad, life, death. Uh. And your butt.

My mind wandered quite a bit during Jarhead, unfortunately. Despite the amazing accomplishments of all involved, your brilliant portrayal of a young, confused, angry marine, Jamie Foxx’s devastatingly good depiction of Staff Sgt. Sykes, to name only two out of the many laudable performances, there was, in my opinion, little else besides the beautiful cinematography, awesome soundtrack and terrific acting to hold the attention of most average movie goers. I totally got the theme of Jarhead, that Desert Shield/Storm was just as brutal an experience for those marines as, say, getting sprayed with toxic chemicals while trudging through Vietnam’s jungles on rotted feet, that those boys were prepared to do what marines do best, yet were not allowed to “go get some” because the U.S. now destroys its enemies using fast machines and big bombs, all aided by technology, not bare hands and killer instinct. Our wars now just ain’t half as fun, in fact, those boys were damn bored out there in the searing desert sun, waiting, waiting, waiting for their shining moment. And waiting some more. And some more... Jarhead involved a lot of waiting.

And the audience waited right along with them, hence my wandering mind.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make light of the awesome sacrifices our men and women of the armed forces make while defending our country -- I’ve nothing but admiration and respect for each and every one of them. Those who are fighting and dying right now, this very second, are heroes, plain and simple, regardless of what an idiot I feel their commander-in-chief is. And I can’t begin to imagine the horror the men and women of Desert Storm witnessed, the burned bodies, the undeniable terror, the physical demands, the deprivation, but let’s not forget the fact that compared to other wars, this was an “easy” one. Most of the enemy population laid down their weapons and fell to the sand in surrender -- oftentimes, our troops didn’t even have go looking for them, as hordes of Iraqis would seek out our troops with full intention of surrender. Take me away, thank you. Is that a Hershey bar you’re eating? Dear Allah, is that a bottle of water? Take meeeeeeee! Thank you. That war lasted a total of 43 days, and as your character glumly states, his contribution spanned exactly four days, four hours and one minute. And he didn’t get to kill a dang thing, darnitall.

Jarhead is not a film about dealing with the enemy, but a film that attempts to explore the enemy within -- the men depicted are fighting against their own inner demons, the demons of boredom, fear, the helplessness of knowing they are powerless against the blows coming from the civilian world, like infidelity (which appeared to be quite rampant during Desert Storm -- lots and lots of cheating wives and girlfriends, so much so, the men erect a “board of shame” featuring pictures of the nasty ho’s.) or missing the moment of their son’s birth. There is much dysfunction amidst the troops, as evidenced by your character, Jake, and that in and of itself should make for a riveting film. I love character studies, find the human mind, especially a damaged one, much more exciting than guns and bombs and car chases. However, this film fails to inspire my need to care about the characters. That’s right -- I didn’t care about your character, Jake. Or your best bud and gung ho spotter, Troy (wonderfully played by Peter Sarsgaard), or any of the others, for that matter. I felt nothing when tragedy fell, nothing when I should’ve felt even a little something, and you know why, Jake? Because the screenwriter forgot to include backstory. There are small bits that hint at some very intriguing lives, but they are just teases, no substantial meat. The writers forgot to create three dimensional beings who beg for attention not by naked asses and a few funny epithets, but by their stories. No matter how superb a character is portrayed, if there isn’t a story behind that character, a look into his soul, his experiences, then it is merely a sketch, pretty pictures to oooh and ahh over, but nothing to think about, nothing to make me care. It’s all just eye candy. Kind of like your beautiful derriere. Which, as you must have surmised by now, I enjoyed very much.

So, are we on, then? Pork chops, beer, a pole? Eight o’clock this Saturday would be perfect.


Ms. Lori

Monday, November 07, 2005

An Actual Photo of an Actual Groupie Doing What Groupies Do With an Actual Rock God

Tomorrow's my birthday, and I'm feeling a bit nostalgic, I guess. Dug through some of my old pictures today, and as I looked at the images, I was hit with the realization that I am now officially way too old to be a slut.

She was a fast machine
She kept her motor clean
She was the best damn woman I had ever seen
She had the sightless eyes
Telling me no lies
Knockin' me out with those American thighs
Taking more than her share
Had me fighting for air
She told me to come but I was already there

'Cause the walls start shaking
The earth was quaking
My mind was aching
And we were making it and you -

Shook me all night long

Working double time
On the seduction line
She was one of a kind, she's just mine all mine
She wanted no applause
Just another course
Made a meal out of me and came back for more
Had to cool me down
To take another round
Now I'm back in the ring to take another swing

'Cause the walls were shaking
The earth was quaking
My mind was aching
And we were making it and you -

Shook me all night long

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A Witness to Murder

Did anyone happen to catch Dateline last night?

If so, did your throat constrict, your jaw clench, your stomach jump, heave, slide from your abdominal cavity and ooze down your leg?

Never have I felt so weird while watching a television show, never. It was a feeling of disgust, embarrassment, righteousness, sadness and hardcore disbelief. As I watched one obviously disturbed individual remove his clothing and enter the home of a supposed young boy, twelve pack of beer in hand, all atremble with the hopes of engaging in a sexual tryst with a minor, I swear my bowls loosened just a little bit.

And the rabbi? Oy! No, this can’t be happening, this can’t be…

Did you see, as I did, the face of hopelessness, of true and naked terror on that man?

When he realized that he would be featured nationwide, exposed for the sick fuck he is, his body actually surrendered in a way I’d never seen before -- it was utterly horrific the way his arms flew up, almost as if warding off a physical blow, the way he staggered over to the camera crew, to Chris Hansen , and disturbingly pleaded like a child would -- his whole persona changed from a cocky, horny monster man into that of a little boy.

They all became frightened children, all of them, the doctor, the teacher, the naval officer. Some collapsed, some ran, some just sat there, heads hung low, and admitted defeat. It was the most sickening hour of television viewing I‘ve ever experienced, not only because of the obvious reasons, of being witness to depravity in the making, but by witnessing the destruction of the human spirit. As much as I loathe those men and wish nothing but misery for them, there was a tiny piece of my heart that felt extremely sad for them…Not an empathetic sadness, no sympathy from me, thank you very much, but a deep, nauseating sadness for any vestiges of humanity left in their dangerous minds. I am not a sadist, and watching another human being crumble, no matter how despicable his actions, is not my idea of a good time.

I thought about their wives, children, mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers…I couldn’t help but feel the pain those innocents must’ve felt while watching this nightmare unfold. Good Christ, how will they deal with the knowledge that life as they knew it would never be same again? How will they survive their neighbors’ whispers, the hate mail, the loss of personal faith? Oh, and the anger I felt is indescribable, just total rage toward those men for choosing a life of deviance over the safety and well-being of their wives and children, for putting themselves in a situation that would cause irreparable damage to those who love them.

Those men murdered their families last night by publicly humiliating them, spitting on their very existence, and Dateline, I’m sorry to say, was an accomplice to those murders. Yes, it made for “good” TV, and yes, I know that Dateline’s report was a public service tenfold, but did the producers and journalists ever stop to think about the hundreds of silent spiritual deaths their report would cause? I know that I certainly did, and that, unfortunately, overshadowed any righteous joy I may have felt -- those men sacrificed their own souls and the lives of their families in the name of perversion, but Dateline, despite all good intentions, helped dig the graves.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Ebony, Ivory, Singing in Perfect Harmony

(no subject)
1 message Fri, Nov 4, 2005 at 12:35 AM

On 11/4/05, wrote:
This is

I recently accidentally happened upon your website and was delighted to see my comments posted. In full I would like to say that you are one sick woman. You obviously seem to have a problem with a woman of color who exudes the beauty, grace, glamour and class of Gene Harlow, Greta Garbo, Marylin Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor to name a few. These women are all white and the fact that Ms. LaBelle exudes these qualities without apology is obviously a problem for certain people. The Lady Marmalade portion of the program the men all volunteered to come on stage and knew full well the fun that is involved it is a trademark part of her show (educate yourself). As for her five octave range it is something called talent and singing with conviction and passion. Something you obviously have not been given the ability to appreciate. I could go on but I wont because I think I have made my point. Open your eyes and learn to accept truth. Patti has overcame too many obstacles and been a blessing to too many people for you and your unfounded thoughts to even be considered by anyone with the sense of a log. Post this!

Your wish is my command, sibling. (Not sure whether to call you "brother" or "sister," O anonymous one.)

Dear Madam or Sir,

I'm sorry that you took my good-natured ribbing of Ms. LaBelle as a symptom of mental disability -- I am, in fact, a bit loopy, but not totally 'round the bend. In another ten years or so, when my four children have all reached teenagehood, I'm sure I will completely cross over into absolute madness. But until then, I assure you, my faculties, for the most part, are intact.

Also, please allow me to apologize for having offended you -- I certainly meant no harm. You are correct in assuming that I'm not educated in the ways of the LaBelle -- I only know what I've seen through the years regarding her numerous television appearances. Or should I say "heard" through the years. And what I've heard still echoes like the mythological Irish banshee throughout my skull. To put it simply, I don't care for the woman's voice. Regarding her Nobel Peace Prize performance, I found it to be in bad taste, an embarrassment for all those involved. I suppose it could've been the beer goggles distorting my view that night, but I highly doubt it --- I had a witness, someone who watched the same thing as I, someone who was just as horrified, if not more, and that witness happens to not only be my best friend of twenty years, she is (was?) a LaBelle admirer. And -- get this bit o' timeless cliché -- she's black. Yes, you read that right -- old Ms. Lori, who has a "problem with a woman of color who exudes the beauty, grace, glamour and class," is best friends with a woman of color who not only exudes beauty, grace, glamour and class, she IS all of the aforementioned, and more. Plus, her voice doesn’t cause me to go into epileptic seizure.

As an aside: My seemingly light-hearted response to your bold assumptions may seem flip, arrogant, but the truth is, your assumptions hurt.

I just don't care for Ms. LaBelle's voice or persona, dig? Just like I don't care for Jennifer Aniston or Paris Hilton (if you're so inclined, check out my archives -- plenty of snarky posts about white women and men in there, friend). My humor is not meant to be vicious, I mean no ill will. The people who regularly read my blog know this. If you don't appreciate my brand of sarcastic nonsense, then please feel free to never set eyes on my words again. Besides, do you honestly believe that my silly rants would have any impact on those people whatsoever? Do you really think that those blessed and fortunate chosen ones, those famous, beautiful, unattainable and busy people would give one crappity-crap about what I say should they accidentally happen upon my piddly blog?

I can say with the utmost confidence that they would not.

One last thing: You wrote, “As for her five octave range it is something called talent and singing with conviction and passion. Something you obviously have not been given the ability to appreciate.”

I wholeheartedly disagree, and shall do so by ending with two brilliant, compelling, fabulous words: Aretha Franklin.


Ms. Lori

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

But Then Again, the Universe, She is Kind Sometimes....

So I'm all gloom and doom after my last post, just depressed as hell, and then the phone rings. I ignore it, continue weeping into my huge bowl of chocolate almond ice cream. sigh, oh, (What a big old sad pig sounds like.) Phone keeps ringing, and it's making my curly little tail twitch, so I hoof it on downstairs to answer it, but before I can, Mr. Butler takes it upon his tiny phlumpy self to do the honors.

"Hi, what's your name?" he shrieks in his sweet girly voice.




I decide that it's time to rescue whomever may be on the line.

"Give me the phone, Brandon." I say, adding, "It may be the police cops." That's the only way he will relinquish the phone without a tantrum, you see. We wouldn't want to incur the wrath of the police cops, no way, uh uh.

"Hello?" I say, figuring that the unfortunate caller lost patience and hung up.

"Is Larry Young available?"

"No, may I take a message?"

"When will he be available, ma'am?"

Ah, a telemarketer. They never leave contact information, only the residue of their annoying gnat-like auras. I'm usually quite cordial to telemarketers as I realize they have bills to pay just like the rest of us, but sometimes...Well, sometimes I fucking want to rip their hearts from their thoraxes.

"I don't know. Sorry. He, like, works."

"Is this Mrs. Young?" (Said in hopeful, annoying, gnat-like tone.)

"One moment, please."

I cover the mouthpiece and whisper to Brandon, "It's not the police cops -- it's Dora the Explorer!" then hand him the phone.

I go back upstairs and continue eating my ice cream, and instead of weeping into the bowl, I grunt with glee till the very last spoonful.

Damn That Witch Who Put the Evil Eye On My Family In 19th Century Abruzzo!

I’ve written maybe two or three posts about my ever-present difficulties regarding writing, the strange happenings surrounding my attempts to produce fiction for publication, the odd and too-constant-to-be-coincidental events that have tried their best to make me break down and scream for mommy, events that include editorial oversights, E-mail glitches, computer crashes, printing errors, embarrassing reviews, lack of familial support (extreme lack) -- frustrating, disappointing events that happen to every writer at least once in their lifetime. But these mysterious happenings present themselves to me all the time.

No exaggeration required here. But the reason I didn't post more often about these happenings is a simple one: I don't want to bore you. If I wanted to subject you, my regular, wonderful readers (all two and a half of you), I would list in excruciating detail, by date, no less, each unfortunate event that has caused me to come to the following conclusion, but I won’t do that lest I lose the two and a half readers I’ve managed to hold on to. Suffice it to say, I have come to the conclusion that there is a curse woven throughout my writing endeavors, and I’m sick of trying to ward it off. My poor fingers are tired of being pointed in a perpetual mano cornuto, my heart is exhausted from the disappointment, my mind warped beyond repair from beating my head against the wall in disbelief. The injustice of it all, the almost laughable way I’ve become Murphy’s bitch has, despite my perseverance, my love of words, caused me to hate writing.

Okay, I can’t help it -- I must tell you about the last unfortunate event (and I do mean last). Okay. So you know how my old whore died and I lost all of my work? How the floppies I’d used to back everything up were somehow ***cue spooky, maniacal laughter*** corrupted? Okay. Okay. Well, after that, the one hundred and fiftieth unfortunate event, I thought I’d just lie on my back and expose my neck to the demon dogs of hell, just accept the fact that I am doomed never to publish again, and end it all with a modicum of dignity. But I couldn’t. I wanted to, but I just couldn’t lie down and die. I’ve been going through a very different kind of hell lately, an even more painful one, and I guess I felt the need to hold on to something that gives me the illusion of being in control. As you will see, however, that illusion has been shattered forever.

So I began writing again, even started a novel that didn’t repulse me to the point of abandonment. Over four thousand words into it, and still going. Well, was going. Anyway, I began writing again, feeling that old hope and excitement regarding submissions -- I’d submitted a story to The Barcelona Review last May and was optimistic about possible publication there. I truly felt that my story would be perfect for this venue, and I so needed a recent publishing success to boost my spirits, get me going again. Make me feel worthy during a time when I’ve never felt so worthless.

But it’d been quite some weeks over the stated response time, so I queried the editor yesterday, confident that she was simply mulling over which font she would use to print my byline in the next issue. Um. No?

She never received my story. I have an auto-response from TBR to prove it got there, but she can’t find the fuck. She kindly asked me to resend, promised she’d “look at it right away,” the dear, but guess what? Remember my old whore, the corrupt disks? Yeah, that’s right. My story’s gone forever, gone, gone, gone. And so, my darlings, am I.