Tuesday, June 04, 2013

It's Like Festivus In June

Scores of people have told me that, since My Retirement, I have become a Changed Person.  My family tell me things like "Welcome back" or "It's nice to have you back to your old self."  Other people who have not known me for eleventy thousand years say things like, "You are so much more relaxed" or "I've never seen you so happy."
Rick says I am more "serene."

On Saturday, my friend Butch, who has not seen me since about January, said, "Wow.  You're catching up to Rick in the grey hair department." 

Chivalry.  Dead as a flat skunk on the turnpike.


My Serenity and Inner Smile notwithstanding, I still have a few things to snark about.  Do you?  Howzabout we share, here, at the Dept.?  I'll go first, and you can grouse around in Comments.

1.  Brrrrrr.  It is June, and I have my heat on right now.  Allowing for the absolute fact that I Am Not Normal, it's still abusive that last night it was 49 degrees in NEO.  It got so cold in my house without the heat on that my cheapo wine fridge refused to work.  If it is exposed to temps below 61 degrees, its thermostat malfunctions. Well, guess whose reds were at a frosty 57 degrees until I unplugged it this morning to recalibrate?  Right now, it is 64 degrees outside.  On June 4th.  It was 65 inside when I came home from the afternoon movie. I do not suffer in my house, so on went the furnace.

2.  Duh.  Speaking of the movie, my "daughter" Kait and I went to the noon showing of The Great Gatsby.  Until a few teenagers showed up, Kait--at 20--was the youngest person there.  (I was the second youngest, even though I used my AARP card for $2.00 popcorn and free soda.)  At the end of the movie (possible spoiler!) the narrator Nick Carraway is shown placing a title page on the manuscript of the story he has been telling for the whole movie.  It says "Gatsby by Nick Carraway".  As he is doing this, a teenaged girl behind us said, "Wait.  Wait.  Is this a true story?"  A few moments later, she said, "Hold on.  Wait.  I thought the book was called..." (another possible spoiler detail) and then in the scene, Nick is shown writing "The Great" above the title.  The girl behind us says, "Nick Carraway?  I thought the book was written by F. Scott Um..." and then I stopped listening because I knew that if I didn't, I was going to have to go back there and teach for about an hour in order to be able to go on with my life.

3.  Hello?  The media are all exercised about this Pew Research report that says over the last 50 years, many more women are the sole or primary breadwinner for their families, a figure jumping from 11% in 1960 to 40% in 2011.  Well, holy crap, where the hell has everybody been?  How many of my readers needed the Pew Research report to tell them that?  How many of my readers have been living that stat?  How in the hell can this be News?  I guess I shouldn't be so intellectually disdainful.  After all,
Erick Erickson, Fox News contributor says it's downright anti-science:

"I'm so used to liberals telling conservatives that they're anti-science. But liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology -- when you look at the natural world -- the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it's not antithesis, or it's not competing, it's a complementary role."

Hey, so there ya go.  Ahem

4.  Grrrrr.  I've said it here before, and I'll say it again.  Until she said that stupid, condescending remark about the Hurricane Katrina victims, I liked Barbara Bush quite a bit.  I still do like the way she speaks her mind and seems to be realistic about her family and politics.  Everyone knew she was fully aware that the wrong son made it to the White House, and when she said there have been enough people named Bush at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, she was right.  Jebby disagrees, however, and he is already starting on the stump for 2016.  When asked about his mother's assertion that their family should end their aspirations for the Presidency of the United States, here is what Jeb said about Bar:  "What can I tell you? All I can say is we all have mothers, right? She is totally liberated, and God bless her."

What can I tell you?  If either of my sons said any of that condescending and chauvinistic bullshit, I'd call him out in the media for A) using empty, meaningless rhetoric; B) stating the obvious; C) being full of hot air; D) acting like a candyass.  Barbara Bush has more restraint than I do, so I'm sure she did all of the above, but in private.  She is totally liberated...what a perfect ass.  Hey, Jeb!  If it were up to people like Erick Erickson in your party, women would never have been liberated, such as we are.  And we liberated ourselves, no thanks to you. 

And the struggle continues.

Your turn now to unload your snark in Comments. 


  1. Drum Roll, Please!!

    I am now going to go into my Henny Youngman "How cold is it?" routine.

    It's so cold Al Gore just returned his Nobel Prize.

    Even the people at PETA are wearing fur coats.

    I saw a Congressman with his hand in his OWN pocket.

    It's so cold I actually feel like listening to Rush Limbaugh just to get some hot air.

    I saw the devil on the corner panhandling money to buy a coat.

    Did these warm you up any?

  2. The Nance & Nancy Show - they'll be here all week! :)

    You know, at this time in my life I don't think I'll ever be cold again. And that is a BIZARRE place for me to be - I used to always be cold. Unless I was hot.

    Lately most of my snark has been directed at my own self. It's like I have PMS All The Time now instead of just once a month. Sigh.

  3. Anonymous11:01 AM

    Nicely snarked. Well opined.

    Picking up on Duh. When I saw the Titanic movie, which I did not like at all, the two 30-something women beside me were in tears by the end. One turned to me and said that she didn't know that this was a "real" story & that she had no idea how it was going to end.

    I was without words... which is rather unusual. How stupid can you be?!!

  4. Hello? I have been a single mom and sole breadwinner for 99% of my daughter's life. She will be 21 this summer. Her father gave me, in total, about $500 during HER WHOLE LIFE. Even his mother and sister were more generous, and have sent what they could when they could, a fact which I appreciate enormously.

    Erick Erickson is an idiot. His information is not anti-science, it's his very own take on what he would like to believe is true about how the world works. No actual knowledge here, just a complete set of blinders under a black-out hood. He and Jeb Bush should run on the same Presidential ticket so Hillary can beat them. Barbara would laugh and the boys would wonder what hit them. That whole "little lady" mindset makes me want to go postal.

    Wait--Gatsby is NOT a true story?? What? How can that be? It's in a book--it MUST be true!

  5. As to the Brrrr--I'm right here with you, slightly south of your location, but still firmly planted in NEO. Still, the cool is something of a blessing this week, since Julie the elderdog had some surgery, and is more comfortable this way.

    As to Duh, I can only put out a general plea to the movie industry: Please, please, don't turn my favorite books into films. I assure you, I've got a better movie going on in my head. (And leave the 3-D to the SF/Action genre. Please.)

    I prefer to get my news from the Daily Show and Colbert Report. Fox's main reason for existence is to provide these two excellent outlets with snark targets.

  6. fauxprof--Bless Julie. I hope all is well.

    This version of Gatsby is exactly what I expected from Baz Luhrmann. Very glitzy, very glam, lots of quick cuts, and gorgeous to look at. Is it a replacement for the book? Absolutely not. I enjoyed it, though, and thought casting DiCaprio was perfect.

    Life--I know, right? Where in the hell have all of these people been? Rather, they should all be asking themselves (with varying degrees of surprise) how we women have managed it, considering the fact that there is still a Glass Ceiling, wage bias, and still a paternalistic corporate structure in America.

    Ally--Sigh. Dearest, I know. Last year was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic. You cannot believe how many people said, Tweeted, and were interviewed on television openmouthed and astonished, remarking "What? You mean it wasn't JUST A MOVIE?!" I wanted to cry.

    Thank you for the kudos.

    Bug--LOL. What a fun idea!
    Give yourself a break. It is the ebb and flow of womanhood. (Don't I sound philosophic? Easy when it's not me.) Take a nice long walk and throw a few things away. That's what always helps me when I'm crabby.

    Nancy--Hee hee. Not really, but one alarmed me plenty. The only reason I can think of to listen to R.Limbaugh is some sort of masochistic suicide attempt. As my grandma used to say, "Land sakes. Now there's no call for that."

  7. I gave up on Barbara Bush when she said she didn't want to waste her 'beautiful mind' on considering the body bags that might come home if her idiot son invaded Iraq. I'd slap her if I met her. (Of course, I wouldn't. But I'd be tempted.)

    Saw Gatsby a second time, and am pleased to say it's better when you're not in the front row of the theater. I did cry at Titanic, but not because of Jack or Rose. It was the wide pan of the frozen people in the water. I likely would not have cried if I had not known it really happened.

    Oh, weather. It's cool and a bit foggy here today, though not as cold as you're experiencing. I'm enjoying it, as it's supposed to hit 100 (or close) on Friday. Blech. I hate sweating in my own house. I will turn on the a/c, but I generally wait until I'm at least a bit miserable, so I can feel virtuous about saving money. One nice thing about the stupid hot weather: Friday dinner plan is for fish tacos with watermelon salsa. Doesn't that sound refreshing? What wine would one serve with that? Perhaps a crisp Sauvignon Blanc...

  8. Nance, I LOVED "Gatsby"! The color, the glitz, the sheer excess - all so perfect. I thought Leo was spot on! Luce' was home, so the three of us watched the '74 version with Redford and Farrow: such a snooze... HOW did the E-town kids ever stand it? I think it's the only time I have found Robert Redford annoying. The ONLY thing I liked about the '74 version was the actor who played "Wilson," and that's because he plays "Herschel" in "The Walking Dead." Ha ha!

  9. Lin (aka B1)--Oh, I liked plenty about the 74 version, esp. Karen Black as Myrtle. She was inspired. My students were absolutely devastated by the casting of Dern as Tom and Farrow as Daisy. I had to explain the sort of Studio System at work to them. But they loved Redford as Gatsby.

    I did thoroughly enjoy this treatment of Gatsby, though. I don't like a few of the Liberties they took, and I know it's because I am a Literary Purist, but I get why they did it. Casting in this was so much better, wasn't it? And there was far less "filmic" bullshit that interrupted the flow of the story.

    The book, though. That book is just so damned good. What incredible writing. I'm always in awe when I read it.

    j.@jj--Oh, she deserves a few smacks, that's for sure. The Privileged often do.

    I cried at Titanic for the identical reason, and I still find the survivor accounts the most horrific when they mention the moans and cries of those still in the water. The guilt those in the boats must have felt had to have been crushing.

    Fish tacos and watermelon salsa sounds refreshing but not appetizing to me because I am not a fan of fish in general. Sauv blanc, yes, or have you tried a nice chenin blanc? I like that as well. Or try a dry rose. That would be extra lovely with the watermelon.

    We made flatbread pizzas on the grill last night, and mine was a brie with caramelized onion and fig compote. I also had some leftover turkey taco meat, so I sprinkled that on a flatbread I spread with salsa, then added some cheddar. Not too bad.

    No 100s here so far. Today is cool and rainy. Ugh.

  10. Nance, thanks for the kind thoughts for Julie. She's doing well, and I'm sleeping downstairs on the couch to keep her company.

    I will probably see the new Gatsby (but not in 3-D). I am a great admirer of Leonardo DiCaprio, and think that if you gotta do a Gatsby movie, he's a better choice than Redford was back in the 70s.

    When I went to see that one, I hadn't yet read the book, and had a young woman's appreciation of Redford's looks. However, I came away from the film with a newly kindled passion for Sam Waterston. That infatuation has lasted over the years, while Redford? Meh.

  11. faux--You and I both! I fell SO HARD for Sam Waterston, and he continues to be on My List even today. When he was on Law & Order all those years, I was in heaven. Sigh.

    I purposely did not see Gatsby in 3D. Like j@jj, I felt it would be too distracting for me. No need, really, for the effect. This is a story movie, not action, and it would be merely clutter to me.

    You'll notice several nods to the 74 version in this one. But it is exponentially better in many ways. The actress who is Daisy is quite good. The costuming is achingly gorgeous. I have nits to pick with the hotel room scene--lots, actually--but Leo, as you say, does so well.

    You're a good pet parent. I know Julie appreciates it.

  12. Wow, next time you make flat bread pizza with fig jam, caramelized onions, and brie, give me a call! I'll be right over to help you eat them, and I'll bring some wine! Sounds like heaven.

  13. Nance, not to be a pain, but....KAREN BLACK IS SUCH A WHACK JOB.... just had to say it....I always find her distracting in ANYTHING... I think the 3-D version might be overkill - the current version is wonderfully excessive as is...I think that is what I love about it most, old sport...

  14. Bookster/Lin--Never a pain, old sport.

    Karen Black is a real scenery-chewer, but perfect for Myrtle as such. At least for me. Classlessly trying to be classy. Loved her.

    Do let's get rid of this horrid rain and cold so we can get on the patio and drink some nice wine. You bring your now-famous appetizer. Yum.

    J@jj--Oh, wouldn't that be wonderful if we could just run back and forth to each other's homes? I know we'd have such a good time.

    That particular flatbread is so, so rich. It's almost a dessert. We toss them all on the grill for a bit, and in no time at all, dinner.

  15. Oooh, sounds good to me, too! We can toast the end of year two of your retirement and year one of mine! (Did you ever see Karen Black in a creepy little horror movie entitled "Burnt Offerings"? I think it was her best film! To me, she's just the female embodiment of Christopher Walken!)

  16. We are actually having decent weather here, for once. We have a nice marine layer in the morning that burns off around 11 and keeps it from being 90.

    As for Gatsby, I haven't seen it and probably won't until it hits Netflix.

    But, the funniest thing I ever overheard in a theater was after we saw "Leaving Las Vegas." A heavy film, and as the lights turned up in the theater, the man behind us said, "Well, that will never win feel-good movie of the year!"

    Hmmm, maybe you had to be there.

  17. June 8th. We have the furnace on. My feet are freezing anyway. I just watched Titanic for the first time last month; how can anyone not know it was a real event? Really? Ouch.
    Will probably have the same gap as Titanic launch to my viewing with Gatsby - I'll enjoy it in a wheelchair in my nursing home. Hope I will still be able to type.

    As for Barbara Bush and her sons, she shines in comparison with someone like Nancy Regan, but that's not saying much. I wonder if George W knows that Titanic's sinking was a real event. Probably not unless his wife told him.

  18. Mary G--LOL. Poor Mary. Don't feel too alone; my furnace has been employed off and on for the past week as well. I almost roasted a turkey the other day as an alternative!

    I have a feeling that Laura Bush tries not to tell W too awfully much. "Ignorance is bliss" and all that, you know. Hee hee.

    Gina--No marine layer here. We get quite a few 90 degree days, and our humidity can become quite tropical. It has been such an odd May/June period thus far, though.

    "Leaving Las Vegas" is a film I was never interested in seeing, but most people agree that it was the high water mark of N. Cage's film career. He's gone down hill ever since. So, just remember: YOU WERE THERE!

    Bookster/Lin--I don't think I ever caught that one, but I'll see if there are any YouTube clips. She is creepy anyhow.

    As soon as this rain leaves, we can see about our mini-celebration.

  19. Send some of that frosty weather down here. We're in the upper 90's. Can't complain, though, because the weather has been so sketchy the last 2 months that the Real Heat hasn't started until now. Predictions, however, say this summer may surpass the one we had 2 years ago when we had over 70 days of 100+. So there's that.

    Leo DiCaprio--- I like him as an actor, but I have always had a hard time getting past the baby face and the fact that he doesn't look old enough to be who he is. Although at 38, he certainly is old enough to play the part. I dunno... maybe it's his features. Haven't seen the movie yet, but am looking forward to it. And as far as dumb stuff that people say... well, the cultural thermometer in this country has been abysmally low... for a long, long, time. Can't expect the average person in the street to know who Nick was when newscasters who should be something of a language model continue to said such barbaridades as "If I would have known..."

    Pew Research... P.U. Research? Reality is so grim, that must be why this crap is perpetuated--- to keep us in a continual state of denial. Re your link: Boys are the heroes, and girls are princesses. Which is such a rude shock when reality sets in and the single mom with 4 kids and just as many baby daddies realizes that, uh, Prince Charming ain't never gonna send a child support check.

    All I can say about Jeb is that I would have preferred him in the White House to Dubya, but that's not saying much. If the Republicans could just come up with even one person who is credible and not living in the 50's...

  20. Ortizzle--I just spent some time talking with a cousin who lives in AZ. The guidelines for outdoor recess at her school (she teaches elementary) say that the kids can go outside until temps reach 115.

    But it's a dry heat. LOL.

    Today in NEO it is raining again, and it's very cool. We just had a few days of 87% humidity. It's 63 degrees right now. I am tired of feeling damp.

    Leo is good, but I am always aware that it is him, acting. He doesn't ever disappear into a role. And I agree about his babyface, which made him laughable as a villain in Gangs of New York.

    What really frosted my cupcakes about the idiot behind us in the movies was the fact that she clearly was familiar with the book. She was probably a student who was going to get some credit for seeing the film and writing it up or something. She had a cursory knowledge of it, but was so thrown by the liberties taken by the director that she second-guessed herself and her instruction.

    I imagine you are still working through the summer in some educational capacity. How I wish you'd knock it the hell off.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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