I want my 5 HOURS back, Heidi!!!

Ok, first things first: exploiting my long-held desire to be in a book club (which I've never joined but envy from afar), Heidi Lee made me read The Washingtonienne, this lurid icky book by the putative whore-turned-blogger-turned-"novelist" Jessica Cutler. I read it, hurriedly, and while it only took four hours to do so cover to cover, I want those hours back. The Washingtonienne, in case you haven't heard of it, is the thinly "fictionalized" tale of Miss Cutler's adventures in our nation's capital as a correspondence clerk in a Senator's office and her sideline in sexual escapades for drugs and money. Her rent was paid by a wealthy middle-aged lawyer, in exchange for her willingness to let him f*** her in the ass on a regular basis, while her three-ways with a bike messenger kept her in cocaine. Meanwhile, she supposedly fell in love with a legislative aide in the Senator's office, and was busily keeping a blog of her and her ho friends' sexual and other misadventures, using initials to poorly disguise who was who, doing what to whom and in what positions and on whose desks. Ultimately, her best friend (hah!!) sent her blog link to Wonkette (Ana Marie Cox), who published it, and all of D.C. was caught up in the shitstorm that followed, as people quickly figured out who was who (and who was boning whom, and where they all worked, and what public offices they were each abusing), and our heroine was fired. Amusingly, she was fired for misuse of Federal property, or something, for blogging at work (this is why we all blog at home!!!), rather than her shagging-for-hire gig. But never fear, bloggers (and whores): she got a book deal out of it, so all's well that ends well.

My problem with this whole thing is that this girl, and her friends who also screw for cash and prizes, is a whore. A WHORE. And now she's got a book deal, and television and movies will no doubt follow, and all's well that ends well. Gag me! I must confess that apart from the freaky shit she got into (and documented, appallingly, not only on her own exhibitionist account but to the detriment of all her friends and acquaintances, too) what really bugs me is that she is a well-educated woman fully capable of getting and succeeding at a real job (an idea she apparently considered and rejected 'cause she didn't like the footwear choices of career girls in the District) and instead she had sex for money. Ick. Oh and also? She's a cheater -- cheated on fiance, cheated on boyfriends, cheated on tricks, cheated her employer, cheated her friends, etc etc etc. Y'all know how I feel about cheaters. Feh. Honestly, if the author really is like her protagonist, she's in need of serious therapy and a long hot bath with a good sissal scrubdown.

Second, this nonsense of The Real Housewives of the OC, set in Coto de Caza, just across the freeway from us, which, again, Heidi lured me into watching, with the promise that it would be goooooood!! There went another hour of my life I'll never get back, watching this dyed blonde and that prance around with their rock-hard phony ta-tas and their wandering-eyed husbands and ungrateful bratty children. Apart from Daughter Kara (whose parents Jeana and Matt are flat-out horrifying to me), who seemed to be laughing at the whole thing and acting her ass off, I was pretty much nauseated by this entire show, from Botoxed, Pilatesed Kimberly who's afraid her husband is going to leave her the minute she gets a wrinkle or a droop or ounce of fat to sad Lauri who lost everything in her divorce and had to move "outside the gates" but still works for her friend on the inside. Ugh. Jo needs a therapist and a talking-to; Vicki needs to freakin' GET OVER her ex-husband (especially since she's been remarried for ages), and Ashley, Slade and Shane need a good solid smack across the face, each.

I want my FIVE HOURS back, HEIDI!!!!!


Lights out at 11....lights out at 11.

Not for nothing, but Rainman apparently works in my office, in the janitorial services contractor's employ.

You know that scene in the excellently-creepy Julia Roberts/Patrick Bergin film Sleeping With The Enemy, where she gets out of the shower in her new house, far away from the abusive husband whom she's left to think she was dead, and her towels are all straightened out (the way the psycho used to do) and she runs down to the kitchen, which she'd left kind of messy just before her shower, and all the food is stacked evenly in the pantry, with all the labels facing the same way (just like the psycho used to do)??? Well, Jan and I were in the kitchen at work today, gettin' our snack on and brewing some tea, and we noticed that all the little plastic drawers in which the cocoa, sugar substitutes, stirrers, and three different kinds of non-dairy creamer cups are housed were all arranged in perfect symmetry and with everything facing the same way and aligned with T-square precision, etc. I gasped, and said to Jan, "Remember that..." and she finished, "Julia Roberts movie with the crazy husband she left to think she had drowned in the ocean?!?!!!!!" and we looked at each other, and looked around, in case Patrick Bergin was there. He wasn't, but just as a test, I took creamers out from three of the drawers, 1 from one, 2 from another and 3 from the third, in all different places. Went back 2 hours later: CREAMERS REPLACED!!!! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Judge Wapner comes on at 4:00. Gotta watch Wapner....


Reflection on love gone wrong

Y'all know my parents were separated just before I was born (or don't, but they were) and got divorced when I was 4 1/2, and had a contentious and difficult relationship until they stopped having one at all, back in '89. I've never really regretted their not being married, because I swan you'd have a tough time finding people more dissimilar than my parents, for all their general wonderfulness and assorted amusements as individuals, so I just can't picture them married. I was looking for James Taylor lyrics tonight ("There We Are") and found this article profiling James and Carly Simon's son Ben. I know it's soupy, and ridiculous, but it made me so sad to read that James and Carly don't talk, even 25 years after their divorce. It just makes me sad. (Find "There We Are" and listen to it, and tell me it doesn't give you a little pang too, you heartless fiend!!!)



The truth shall set you free

This New York Times article caught my eye online today. It's an interesting read, especially if you're at all concerned with the chasm between so-called fundamentalist Islam and the West, and the bloody consequences of such a chasm.

A Syrian-born psychologist, now living in California with her husband and three children, appeared recently on Al-Jazeera to debate with a radical Muslim cleric whether Islam's reliance on violence and terror is a betrayal of the Quran or Mohammed's teachings. I have no doubt that her articulate but ferocious argument makes her the target of violent zealots, and I devoutly hope she survives whatever attempts are made on her life and continues to speak out and raise these critical issues.

I'm not sure I've expressed it in this forum before, but I have a fear and suspicion of any kind of religious (or pseudo-religious) zeal; you could probably divine that from my posts on Tom Cruise and his life-invading beliefs. Maybe it's because I'm Jewish, and we don't have proselytizing as part of our religion, but I seriously cannot stand someone trying to impose their belief system on me, or anyone else, and I detest smug self-righteousness of any flavor, whether faith-based or otherwise. Believe what you want to, worship as you like, as long as you're not imposing on anyone else, and enjoy yourself (or not, as the case may be), but respect other people enough to let them do likewise. And do me a favor? Keep the stars, crosses, crescents, doves, fishes and other iconography to a minimum, wouldja? We GET IT. And don't blaspheme against Calvin with your back-window decal of him kneeling at the foot of a giant cross -- that ain't right.


What to read today -- it'll just take a minute. Oh, c'mon, you've got A MINUTE. Ok, three minutes.

As I was creating the new blog and adding links to it and whatnot, I came across this hilarious essay by Jeff Drake and this giggle-inducing piece by Kate Hahn on McSweeney's, which, yes, is a tad precious, but sometimes right on the mark. There are some talented people publishing over there, and you should give it a look-see.


WOW!!!! Hip hip HOORAY!!!

I'd like to thank the Academy!!! Crash just won best picture, and I am thoroughly chuffed!!! As you saw from my post about Brokeback vs. Crash, I think the best picture really did win, and I am delighted. Congratulations to Paul Haggis and company, and to all the wonderful performers in the movie for their excellent work. And how cute is it that Best Actress and actor in Best Picture get to celebrate both their movies?? Too cute!! Aaaaahhhh, show bizness.

Also, a special shout out to my "boyfriend," George Clooney, whose Oscar for best supporting actor not only recognizes that he really is a fine workman in front of the lens (as well as behind the camera), but virtually guarantees that he'll be back next year presenting the best supporting actress award, so WOO HOO HOO, baaaaaabyyyyyy! Apart from George's obvious adorableness in the corporeal sense (which is considerable), his terrific self-deprecating and mischievous sense of humor, profound uprightness, and the candor and joy with which he lives his life delight me and cement his overall status as uber-mensch. I love it when good things happen to good people. Go, George, go! Be big! Be great! Make excellent movies!!

Finally, dang it, now I have to go see Capote, Walk the Line, Tsotsi, The Constant Gardener, Hustle & Flow and Mrs. Henderson Presents. No time! Too much pressure!!


Hecho en China/Venezuela/Israel/Peru/Mexico/Italia

I got undressed today and here's my apparel report: my shoes (Hush Puppies) and jeans (Levi's) were the only things I was wearing that were made in the U.S. of A. Bra (Olga) was made in Mexico, underwear (Cacique) in Israel, t-shirt (Gap) in Honduras, and sweater (Eddie Bauer) in Australia. I'm wearing the world, here, people!!

The whole push to "buy American" is a union concept or construct or model, etc. Goods manufactured in China, Taiwan, South and Central America, Israel, Mauritius, Bangladesh, et al. are far less expensive than those made in the USA. Why? Well, a combination, obviously, of lower pay due to lower standard of living, the pervasive existence of sweatshops or G-d forbid slave labor or other indentured servitude, and so on, compared with the unionization of most U.S. fabrication. To buy a t-shirt made in the US, you have to be willing to spend upwards of $50, because whoever's grown the cotton is getting a subsidy, whoever's milling the cotton, ditto, whoever's cutting the cloth and making the shirt is probably making $15/hour, etc. Same t-shirt made in Honduras might cost you $25, because although the worker making it probably gets $1.50 a shirt and the Mexican cotton farmer and millers each make $1.75, the Gap can clear the remaining $20 as pure profit they're not making on even a $50 shirt made in Missouri.
Here's the thing: I hate most labor unions. I think they drive prices up and their workers abuse the system and most unions don't exist for the health and safety and fair wages purposes for which unions were initially formed. They're incredibly powerful politically and economically and their true function is past and most of them should be disbanded, for the health of the nation.... I admit that these biases are based in part on economics and in part on the fact that when I first became aware of unions, in the seventies or early eighties sometime, they were in the heyday of forcing people to join, of the whole "sign up or we'll be bombing your house and car and we don't so much care if your wife and kids are our victims instead of you, Mr. Factory Foreman" thing. That stuck with me, and resonates today, and is in part an opinion informed, too, by the knowledge that once upon a time unions were the only thing between workers and the grossest kind of exploitation, unfair pay, unpaid overtime, health and safety dangers, and in some cases, life-threatening working conditions. Today's unions do not safeguard workers from these things; they exist primarily to sway public policy and stunt the economy, I think.

And yet, and yet.... I want to buy American. I want jobs to stay in this country; I want industry to stay here; I want craftsmanship to be ours and to matter. I want American manufacturing to promise people futures in such trades as farming, milling, making cloth and other raw materials, or whatever it takes to support all kinds of industry, from design and execution to sale and export. What to do?!


Vandalism and disrespect

This story on CNN.com (about a "prankster" on a field trip who stuck his chewed gum on the corner of this painting) caught the eye of my friend Diane and she sent it around to us. Rachel's question was whether we should be more appalled by the fact that this TWELVE year old defaced a piece of art or by the purported $1.5MM pricetag on the painting, which looks as though my 4-year-old godson did it at Alligator Art....

Diane and I both thought we'd have gotten a beating and still be paying off the cost of repair or replacement (!).

As for the notion that a 12-year-old didn't know better, that's just patently ridiculous. An 8-year-old might not understand (and frankly, I'm skeptical that anyone older than 5 wouldn't know better), but 12? Please. Punkass.

Click for the girls!!

Everybody likes boobs, right?? Look how easy it is to join the fight to keep 'em healthy and well:

Today's PSA: please bookmark www.thebreastcancersite.com and visit it once daily to click on the "Fund Free Mammograms" button in the middle of the page. One click a day, you can do that. Easy peasy! Maybe set it as your home page for awhile so it comes up when you log on every morning or evening.... Thanks for your time and attention.