Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Back With A Vengeance: DD-L, Bunnies, Politics, Polls, Fashion, Brian Williams, And Snow! Don't Blame Me; I'm Just Capturing It All For Posterity

I shall do my utmost to keep this post relatively brief--in the Dept. of Nance definition of the term, you understand--but there is so much clattering around in my cranium that I have to set it free.
Firstly, I could feel the breeze of your collective sigh of relief when Helen Mirren announced that My Crush, Daniel Day-Lewis, had won the Oscar for Best Actor on Sunday night. And then, I experienced the immediate vast, sucking vacuum of your collective gasp when he took the stage in his Audrey Hepburn-esque black skinny-pants and brown suede Oxfords a la Hushpuppies. I offer absolutely no excuses, for, as I have made it abundantly clear many posts before, My Man is an artiste who is not bounded by The Whims Of Fashion.

Besides, I blame his wife.

After all, every single one of you female DoN readers knows that, were it not up to you, your husband/boyfriend/paramour would be out there wearing a shocking ensemble of his own device that would only change when A) he got too fat for it and had to replace it with one exactly like it; B) it became so filthy that it stood on its own in the corner and it had to be laundered or replaced by an exact duplicate from a discount mart; or C) he borrowed another one from a friend. Do not lie to me! You know this is true! The wife is the X Factor.

Sadly, the evidence is all too abundantly clear. Ladies and gentlemen, I offer Exhibit A:

How can DD-L be expected to fall into line, fashion-wise, when his Best Influence is dressed like some sort of Victorian streetwalker who appears to have been invited to a Halloween fete, the theme of which is "Harlequin Dog Show Birthday Party"?

Sigh. At least his hair did not have a ton of product in it like it did at the SAG awards. And he WON! Moving on.

It delights me beyond words--though you know I shall struggle to find some. La!--that the wise marketers at 7Up have seized upon the Untapped Bunny Market for their beverage. Over the weekend, I saw this commercial which featured enterprising bunnies who, at the end of the ad, have a bit of a gastric outburst. There is not as much Bunny Usage or Exposure as I would have liked, but it's a start, anyway.

Another bit of news that causes me squirmalicious happiness is this: A new American Research Group poll shows just 19% of Americans approve of the way The Angel of Death is handling his job as president and 77% disapprove. These are the lowest ever approval marks in the survey's history. #43 is often heard to duck questions regarding the "achievements" of his presidency by saying that it is for "history to decide." Well, you keep makin' it and we'll keep trackin' it!
Finally, I am at home and at my leisure today thanks to a Snow Day. We are getting 6-10 inches of the stuff, and it will give me a chance to catch up. I will not, however, be catching up on The Tie Report. It will be just too entirely tedious to watch three days of The NBC Nightly News on the computer screen and try to come to terms anew with Brian Williams' continued indifference to my sage fashion advice and spot-on critiques. Besides, if you've been keeping up either here at the sidebar or over at The Tie Report, you already know February's a lost cause.

Monday, February 18, 2008

That Groundhog Can Kiss My...

"Now is the winter of our discontent..." Shakespeare sure knew his way around the human psyche. I'm feeling oppressed by winter, imprisoned by the cold, grey days and victimized by the icy winds that render me a hostage of layer upon layer of polar fleece and numbing sameness. I get up in the dark, drive my 3-4 minutes to work in a cold car along streetlight-illumined roads, and at the end of the day, drive home in a cold car, barely making it in the door before I kick off my high heels and enrobe myself in my fleece and slippers. Some days I give in entirely and just zip into a grownup-sized blanket sleeper that I got for Christmas one year as a sort of joke gift.

How sad am I? Forty-eight years old, and in my jammies by 3:30 in the afternoon, and toddler jammies at that.

It's pathetic.

Winter for me is an endurance test. It's a struggle that I barely win each year. I'm one of those annoying women that is cold all the time, truly. My hands are like those of a corpse, and even wearing mittens doesn't help. I have a blanket on the back of my chair and a small, portable ceramic heater that travels with me at school. If I could be sure of an outlet nearby, I'd take it with me to restaurants, which are always far too cold for me. During the winter, we rarely eat out because Rick cannot stand to sit across from me and see me eating with my coat on.

(And no, it wasn't always like this, and I won't bore you with a lot of details about previous illness and medication side effects and all that long drawn-out crap. Suffice it to say that if just bundling up in a ton of sweaters and long underwear and Cuddle-Duds was all it took, well, hell, I'd have already done all that.)

I'm cold everywhere and all the time. And, you know, after a while, it starts to have a major impact on every little thing in my life. As in--I don't have a life in the winter.

Because to have one, you have to go outside. And it's cold out there.

I do a lot of waiting. Waiting and reading and sighing and wondering about things. Things like why do I have to live in Ohio where we get winter 6 frikking months a year? Things like
why does my skin feel warm, yet I am so cold that I can even tell my guts are cold? Things like were those really--I hope you are all sitting down for this--stirrup pants that I saw at Express last weekend? Because if Express is bringing back stirrup pants then we are in for The Apocalypse. And things like where is the olive green sweater I have been waiting for?

And Shakespeare is right. I'm not content at all. February has 29 days this year, and that means an extra day of winter. How very discontent-ing.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dept. Of Nance Endorses...

Despite tremendous pressure from all quarters, the Dept. of Nance is withholding its Official Endorsement of a Democratic Candidate for President at this time. Ohio's Primary is not until March 4th, and there is still sufficient time for all Buckeye State voters (and Marylanders, and Virginians, etc.) to carefully and thoughtfully consider both viable candidates for the Highest Office In The Land. (Huh? "Other party?" What "other party?") Far be it from me to exert any outside pressure upon anyone still considering his or her choice at this time, especially when both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are scheduled to be in Cleveland, Ohio, debating the issues at Cleveland State University, moderated by Meet the Press's Tim Russert and/or Brian Williams, of NBC Nightly News fame.

I am still seething over the incredibly archaic practice of these ridiculously front-loaded primaries in which first, a couple of states are fussed over and "frontrunners" are declared; then, a few mores states get to decide who half of the country gets to vote for. Finally, on a "Super Tuesday," the remainder of the candidates are fodder for that half of the country, and when the rest of us get to cast our ballots, it's like the dingoes in the Outback snarling over the bones. What the hell kind of system is that when a field of more than a dozen is cut back to five before everyone even gets to vote? It's time for a National Primary.

But I digress. Sigh.

Despite the fact that I will not endorse a Presidential Candidate at this time, the Dept. of Nance is happy to give its Official Endorsement to the following:

The Novia Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. This dog is my new favorite dog to watch for in all televised dog shows, replacing both the Boxer and the Bernese Mountain Dog. It has a very lovely face and demeanor, and looks placid and friendly. It's unusual and has a cool name, and as a bonus, is Canadian. I read up on it, and it has a life span of 14 years and is good with children. Also charming is its proclivity to "round up and herd smaller pets."

Nutella. This is, quite simply, an orgasm in a jar. I thought I had gotten over this chocolate and hazelnut spread about a year and a half ago, but it's not so. I cannot have it in the house and feel safe. On a graham cracker, on a banana, or just on a spoon...excuse me. I'll be right back. Or not.

L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara. I cannot live without mascara, yet I am cheap about makeup because I think most of it is a scam. Clinique, Lancome, all that crap that is in the big department stores--I used to use it and lament the big bucks it cost me. I always came back to the drugstore brands, and later I was vindicated by Paula Begoun (author of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter without Me) . My eyelashes will never be without this product. I am vain; I know it and I'm not going to lie. This stuff is about $7.50 a tube. Sometimes Walgreen's puts it on sale for $4.50, or on a BOGO. I stock up like it's chocolate.

Bunnies. Cutest animals ever on a consistent basis. Whether they are full-grown or babies, bunnies are always cute. They are grossly underutilized in advertising media. I will never stop championing their cause. As a matter of fact, I may start putting a daily or weekly bunny in my sidebar until someone finally gives Bunnies Everywhere their due. Bunnies--Not Just For Easter Anymore.

Lay's Classic Potato Chips. This is the World's Most Dangerous Snack Food. I have been known to threaten severe bodily injury just for the folded ones.

Pilot's Precise V5/7 Rolling Ball Pen. Teachers everywhere know what a pain it is to find a perfect grading pen. This is it. It is smooth, fine, and does not tire after grading eleventy billion horrid essays about "How the Salem Witch Trials were a test of Puritanism." Plus, it has the added benefit of the little window in the barrel to (A) show the level of ink and (B) allow you to tell a student that it is filled with the blood of former Creative Writing II students.

Project Runway. I hate reality television on principle because it isn't reality. I mean, how many times are you ever stuck on an island or dared to eat pig testicles or paired up to samba with a has-been prizefighter? Exactly. But Bravo TV's Project Runway (aka PJR) is a creative show full of talented young designers who have to cobble together clothes that show their design point of view within a shockingly short time limit and with a new challenge each week. It also forces very disparate personalities to work closely together, and this is fun to watch. Add to that the fact that I love to listen to gay guys snipe at people and critique fashion, and I'm in heaven every Wednesday at 10 PM EST. One designer recently eliminated actually quipped, "Life is too short to have on a bad outfit." Words to live by.

I'll be watching the Interwebs closely for all of your endorsements, DoN readers. Isn't Democracy wonderful?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

If It Hadn't Given Me A Decent Blogpost, I'd Have REALLY Gotten Irritated

This is an open letter to the woman standing in line behind us at Best Buy today as I waited for the Head Geek to finish trying to reassure us that we weren't getting screwed again as we sent out Jared's laptop for service for the third time. For the same problem. Under its one-year warranty. (It is a Toshiba, fyi.)

But I digress.

Dear Ms. X.--

Hi. You won't remember us, but we sure will remember you! It was actually hard to concentrate on what the computer technician was saying when all we could hear was your snapping, popping, and cracking behind us. I never knew that kind of volume could be produced from the human mouth and gum before. And you were keeping a discreet distance of a few feet behind us in line, too. As a high school teacher, I recognized the sound, and couldn't help but turn around, expecting to see a teenaged girl who could possibly be coaxed or embarrassed a bit into more courteous behavior by a rather curious stare. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you. (For a couple of reasons, which I shall enumerate.)

You are clearly, at age 35-40something, old enough to behave better. When I caught a glimpse of your grinding maw, you were oblivious. You were staring off into space with the look of a somewhat contented bovine chewing its cud in a pasture somewhere, mouth hanging open, jaw working its wad, eyes glassy and fixed on something in the distance. About every third chew, you produced a snap worthy of a whipcrack, yet you registered nothing in your expression, not even a little self-congratulatory smirk. I was transfixed by your sophomorically rude behavior. That, and your tragic outfit.

Madam, no one--and let me be very clear here--no one should wear a baseball cap inside a building unless that building is a domed baseball stadium and one is a spectator at a baseball game. Or a player in said game. And you are far too mature in years to be wearing a "varsity-style" short jacket made of obviously fake "leather," even if said pleather is on the sleeves only. I suspect it was not even yours, but possibly one of your sons'. May I say that I even hope so. Plus, it made you look...stumpy. You are not a tall nor a...slim woman. Which leads me to your trouser selection. Ma'am, black polyester stretch is simply not a good look on most women, and a strange bellbottom that did not even meet the top of your sad, shabby (were they grey or just horrifically dirty?) tennis shoes did not improve this look on you. Certainly we are both fortunate that I did not look at your shirt/top choice. I shudder at the thought.

Finally, if you thought, Oh, I'm just running out to Best Buy to pick up the computer. Who will notice what I look like? then you shouldn't chew gum. Because you can't do so quietly and courteously and without drawing attention to yourself.

I noticed what you looked like. And I have a thing about rudeness and bad fashion.
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