Here are my impressions, short & sweet, of the eight remaining Democratic presidential candidates during last night's CNN/Youtube comedy roast debate (in order of preference)...
John Edwards: Purposeful, sincere, weird stare-y eyes (BIG plus) Hillary Clinton: Strong, determined, made me feel like I was cheating on John Edwards (seriously)
Barack Obama: Focused, intelligent, has an awesome, regal profile (but still reminds me of Skeletor) Christopher Dodd: No-nonsense, trustworthy, magnificent hair (I’ll bet it smells like freshly carved sandalwood)
Joe Biden: Charismatic, confident, presidential-looking (but it ain’t gonna happen)
Dennis Kucinich: Innovative, fearless, has a hot wife (he must be great in the sack) Bill Richardson: Caring, down-to-earth, sweet face (think I’ll refer to him as Unca Bill from now on)
Mike Gravel: Courageous, truthful, a bit insane (not always a bad thing) Winner of last night's CNN/Youtube debate: Hillary Clinton
***shakes fist at John Edwards*** Step up yer game, boy!
I've been a longtime fan of Tammy Faye Messner, ever since she and her then husband, Jim Bakker, ran a darling little morning show called "P.T.L." (Praise the Lord).
Oh, dear. I just picked up on someone in Waco, Texas mentally shrieking, What?! Ms. Lori?! A fan of evangelicals? Of the Christian persuasion? The kind that shout hosannas and beg for money? Preposterous!
Hard to believe, yet, it is true.
I was newly on my own, a weird, sensitive kid trying to get along in this callous, indifferent, conformist world of ours, alone -- very alone -- terrified, confused, still reeling from a recent past full of violence, betrayal, and lessons hard-learned. I was deeply in need of an understanding ear, someone who would not judge me or make me feel less than. I desperately wanted to belong somewhere, be a part of something, feel as if I truly had a purpose, a reason for existing.
One morning, as I readied myself for another crappy day at a crappy, menial job, feeling low as low can be, I flipped on the television, hoping to catch the weather report (I walked the mile and a half to and from work every day), but instead of tuning to my local news, I found myself transfixed by a babydoll-voiced woman whose thick, black mascara was cascading over her heavily rouged cheeks. The woman was weeping -- really weeping -- as she sang a song of praise, her tiny, bejeweled fingers gripping onto a mic that appeared too heavy for her, bulky, out of place. What the hell?
She was fabulous. Her face beaming though rivulets of mascara, the woman accepted the audience's applause with small nods of appreciation, a few kisses blown to the crowd, then toddled on four-inch heels to her place beside her husband, a frog-faced imp of a man who seemed pleased as punch to be there.
The two of them chit-chatted about this and that, topics ranging from religion to what they had for lunch the day before, their children, their pets...Inane, really, yet...Something about those two got to me, intrigued me, made me feel...Calm?
Yes, calm. Peaceful. The two of them were, in my eyes, endearing, prattling on the way they did. The tension that'd wormed its way into my back only moments before had eased to a quiet pinch, the apprehension of heading out into a world I wanted nothing to do with settled into nonchalance.
How strange. How utterly and unbelievably ironic that I, of all people, should be lulled into a sense of well being by God warriors. It wasn't their evangelistic message, however, that did it for me -- at least, not their intended message. No, I easily filtered out the Jesus talk and the requests for money, focused on the humorous, down-to-earth couple who sometimes playfully threw barbs at one another or looked straight into the camera and spoke of goodwill, kindness, love, all of which I'd experienced precious little. I focused on a husband and wife who seemed to honestly enjoy each other's company, who expressed affection openly, emotions freely, without embarrassment, without shame. Foreign to me, that, yet once I became acquainted, I easily warmed to such alien notions.
They were oddballs, peculiar in their look and mannerisms, and they were familiar in that respect. I understood odd. I got peculiar. And at a time in my life when I felt that being odd and peculiar was a weakness, something to be hidden, either by pretending to be "normal" or literally physically hiding away, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker gave me, crazy as this may sound, some semblance of self-esteem. They flaunted their eccentricities, embraced the flamboyant, always with a bit of tongue-in-cheek, a wink.
I liked the fact that they were passionate about their mission, but without too much self-importance, no delusions of grandeur. You could tell they didn't take themselves 100% seriously. They preached good things, without fire and brimstone, spoke of acceptance for all, without discrimination. Hip in a kooky way, quirky, devoted to their cause, they did good works, contributed to and built many worthwhile organizations, helped untold thousands of those less fortunate, I latched on...They became my daily meditation, a way to start the day with a smile, my surrogate friends.
So, when Jim was convicted of fraud, I scratched my head and thought "Why?"
What fraud did he perpetrate?
How can it be fraud if he used monies given to his ministry for the very purposes he stated? The key word is "given." No one was coerced into donating money, no one was threatened or cheated. Sure, he fudged his books, sure he grabbed a big, honking, illegal piece of pie, but fraud?
It's not like they were popes or anything. Geez.
Oops, off on a tangent there. I apologize.
I'm attempting, in my usual expository way, to express my sadness over the loss of someone who never knew me, whom I'd not personally known. She never knew I existed, but that doesn't matter -- regardless of the fact she never met me, never heard my name, listened to my stories, she was my friend, and I will miss her.
Thank you, Ms. Tammy Faye, for being my company when I had none, a kind voice that filled my empty room, a small but not insignificant light that brightened my day, made dark days bearable, a feisty firecracker of a role model who endured so much heartache, yet persevered.
Make sure you give Jerry Falwell a swift kick in the groin when you see him, won't you? I think God might have a good laugh over that.
All right, here's the rundown: Been doing stuff, feeling stuff, annoyed by stuff. Hands hurt, look like Muppet hands, only not as colorful.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the shit! I mean, who wouldn't want hands like a Muppet? Very handy (pun!) when it comes to scaring small children.
Thing is, I must shave my mother's head today (how many of you have that on your daily schedule, huh?), and as cool as my Muppet hands are, they're not exactly working properly...Think I'll fortify myself beforehand with a Blue Light (or two), perhaps a Vicodin. Maybe a bologna sandwich.
Oh, don't worry, kids, no exposed, potentially lethal blades involved -- I'll be using clippers on Maw, will make sure the buzzing flappy thingie is set very high, so's not to, you know, accidentally scalp her.
Don't want to scalp my mother, oh, hell no.
Hey, speaking of hell, if you have a minute, or perhaps an hour, check out Kirk Cameron's nifty site of shame. Go ahead, if you're interested in having a good laugh. Seriously, I'll never look at a banana now without thinking of Kirk.
I also will never be able to say his name without smirking. Or referring to him as: Captain Kirk of the Starship Gloria in Excelsis Deo, Kirk of Nazareth, Kirkus Christ, Quixotic Kurt of Kalamazoo, Kirk, Son of Cthulu... Kirky, Kirky, Who is a Bit Jerky.
Listen, if any of you happen to be fundamentalist Christians, and are appalled or offended by my obvious disdain for this mentally disturbed man and his, um, philosophies?
Thought I'd share a little story about my mother, her Pekingese, and an elderly landscaper whose grammar skills were less than perfect. And I'm being kind here.
Politically correct, this is not -- it is, however, absolutely true.
Back in the late sixties, when I was but a tot, my mother owned a vicious bitch of a Pekingese named Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell had a habit of not only biting small children, but she would, when let outside to do her business, run from the yard as fast as her nasty little legs would carry her. She had to be closely watched lest she journey into busy roads or large, snapping German shepherd jaws. Anyway, one morning, at our newly built home that sat in a newly developed tract, my mother let Tinkerbell out as usual, only this time, Mom was distracted by my baby brother, so Tinkerbell, being the idiot she was, ran from our yet-to-be-seeded, extremely muddy yard.
When Mom realized that Tinkerbell was gone, she panicked, rushed out into our muddy yard while still in her nightie and short robe, and was met by an elderly gentleman wielding garden implements. "Have you seen my Pekingese," my mother asked the kindly old gardener.
He replied, "No, ma'am!" while vigorously shaking his head.
"Are you sure you haven't seen my Pekingese? She was right --"
"Uh-uh, no, ma'am, no way was I peekin' at yo' knees!"
"Oh, Jesus. No, I think you've misunderstood, sir. I was wondering if you'd seen my little Pekingese, she --"
"I said I wasn't peekin' at yo' knees! No, ma'am, I would never peek at yo' knees!"
At which point he turned to his workmate and shrieked "She think I be peekin' at her knees! I ain't peekin' at no damn knees!" His workmate could only shrug.
Mom stood there open-mouthed as the poor old gent scurried away muttering, "She crazy, she damn crazy!"
Tinkerbell, unfortunately, found her way back home by noon.
ADDENDUM: Ew. Upon rereading this post, I am appalled by my complete lack of storytelling skill. I mean, "kindly old gardener"? "Poor old gent"? And just look at the horrid syntax!
That's what happens when one attempts creative nonfiction at four in the morning...After two hours sleep...For the fifty millionth night in a row...
Apparently, insomnia causes one to write like a precocious twelve-year-old Nanny McPhee fan.
The rules: 1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts. 2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. 4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. 5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Fine. Here are my eight random facts. A Word of Warning: I am so fascinating, you may be lulled into a hypnotic trance, whereupon I will control you with my extraordinary psychic powers via remote mindfuck, and you will be my intellectually-controlled slave forever and ever and ever.
Which is just fancy talk meaning I will take over your brain and you will unwittingly buy me lots of books and send them to me on a weekly (or daily, depending on how grabby I feel) basis. Also chocolate. Eight Random Facts About Ms. Lori
1) My middle daughter, my oldest brother and I all have Asperger’s Syndrome, although only my daughter and myself have been diagnosed, e.g., spent two trillion bucks to sit in a shrink‘s chair and stare numbly at their flapping lips.
My brother, forty years old, loves lizards and spiders, still lives at home with Joan Crawford Mom, and will ask you how much you spent on a gift you give him. He’s also the smartest, funniest, kindest man I’ve ever known, and one of the few people on earth who doesn’t get on my last freaking nerve.
2) I adapt well to living on the streets, as evidenced by my stints in Manhattan and York, England. Park benches, cozy courtyards, and abandoned storefronts can be lovely if you have no sense of fear and at least two dollars in your pocket.
3) If someone is in trouble, especially women or children, I will attempt to help. I do not understand people who stand around and do nothing.
In my next life, I shall be either a first-responder of some sort or an exotic dancer.
4) I taste words, a phenomenon known as lexical-gustatory synesthesia. My name, for instance, tastes like the gel-like icing they put on birthday cakes. The name “Boris” evokes bad breath smell, and makes me a bit nauseated. Seriously, I can taste it in the back of my throat. It is not pleasant.
5) I have smoked cigarettes since age twelve.
6) My handwriting/printing is like that of a four-year-old, unless I take my time and try really, really hard. It’s difficult for me to hold pens or pencils, and I often become “stuck” while writing something, almost like being trapped for a moment in quicksand. I also transpose letters, have to stop and think before writing a word. Which sucks.
7) I am afraid of wild ferns. Quick, embarrassing anecdote: During a Girl Scout camping trip when I was eleven or so (I lasted two weeks in the Scouts, by the way), the girls and I went exploring in the woods. Fine and dandy. Unfortunately, we came upon a huge patch of fern, and in order to get to the babbling brook ahead, we had to cross through the ferns. I stood there shaking as all the other girls carelessly trod on through the dark, fluffy, disgusting, monster-hiding hell. And then I cried.
I was forced to return to the campsite and sit there with Ms. Wackadoo, one of the chaperons. She was very old and very insane. I learned more than I needed about how to whittle Ivory soap into hideous duck-shaped figurines.
8) I am not ashamed to admit that I love Tom Jones.
I am tagging the following people. Ignore if you must, darlings, but I always play by the rules…
Here's a still of me waiting in line at the supermarket. There's an asshole ahead of me paying for a pack of gum with a check, hence the look of disgust and bewilderment on my face.
Of course, I always look that way, anyway.
And here's Lar. I believe this shot was captured during a conversation he was having with a couple of nice folks who dropped by one day. They were bearing good news, and very eager to share!
I'm quite pleased with how well Lar and I have adapted to cartoon life. It never rains here, there are always plenty of doughnuts and beer, and we've become best friends with Homer and Marge.
Sure, we miss the kids, but here in Springfield, no one stays sad for long...Besides, Bart promised to build us four little robot children that will be close proximities to our human offspring. Even better, he said that he'll incorporate vacuum cleaners into his designs. How awesome is that?
Okay, gotta go now -- Lar and I are off to Moe's for a late morning round or two.