Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hooray For Hollywood!

Hollywood can be a massively foolish place, mostly because of the actors. I know whereof I speak. I was born here. (The hospital is now a Scientology center. Roll your eyes if you want to.) Ergo, I’ve been around actors my whole life.

I was on TV a lot too, but as a kid. (Raise your hand if you remember the Hobo Kelly Show! Yeah, yeah, I know. Before your time. Never mind.)

Where was I? Oh, right. Actors. They say the darnedest things.

Take last Friday night, f’rinstance. I was standing outside of Danger Room (check them out on Facebook) when I heard somebody say:

“I know you’ve lost weight, but that doesn’t make you a real actor.”

That’s verbatim. I jotted it down right away, because the tone made it glorious, it was said so very seriously.

Marcus Welby used that same tone in the Sanka commercials. (That’s a joke for the old people. Dr. Marcus Welby was a character played by Robert Young, who… oh never mind again.)

To be fair, the term “actor thin” has always had meaning here, whether or not the camera really adds ten pounds. It’s gender neutral, too. In Friday’s Improv show, one young woman lifted up her skirt and one young man removed his shirt. Equal opportunity skinny.

It was still a ridiculous thing to say, which is the point. They do that.

Every non-famous actor I’ve ever met exists on a survival spectrum between “I have to get an agent” and “I need a new agent”. I’d feel sorry for agents except I’ve disliked every one I’ve ever worked with up to now. (…as the burned bridge collapses into the Internet.)

My favorite stupid actor utterance came from an attractive young female. She was hanging all over Robert outside a theater one night. Granted, she was only doing it to cut in line, but she should’ve picked someone else. It was the one time I allowed him to introduce me as his “wife”, a term I loathe. She still didn’t budge. So I politely but explicitly told her to let go of him.

She said, and I quote, “It’s okay, we know each other.”

Believe me, one minute later she wasn’t holding on to him anymore. End of story.

Damn, I wish I had some Sanka now.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sweaty T-Shirt Context

They say context is everything. I’ve even said it myself, though in my defense, I was exaggerating to make a point.

Sure, context is important. However, it’s not everything.

If you doubt me, remember how difficult it was to keep your mouth shut when somebody began a story with, “It was last Tuesday. No, the Tuesday before. Wait, I know it was last Tuesday because I had a dentist appointment later that week. Or was that the week before?”

The context doesn’t matter. I don’t care which Tuesday it was, or even if it happened on Friday. Just tell the damn story so we can get back to talking about my stuff.

One of my two favorite jokes goes like this: What’s green, hangs on a wall and whistles? A herring. Okay, it’s not green, and it would have to be nailed to a wall. And a herring doesn’t whistle. So what?

Heh. Cracks me up every time. And it requires no context at all.

This morning I actually made it to the gym for a change, as hot as it is, and I was minding my own business, keeping my grumbling for the most part inside my own skull. That’s when the stunningly gorgeous fitness model moved right in front of me. No, not quite in front, she was too polite for that. Her unreasonably perfect ass was slightly to my right.

Grumble, indeed. I glanced away, to my left, and saw an older woman (older than me if you want to be precise) also ignoring her.

That’s when the grumbling escaped my skull and I tweeted the following:

At gym. Fitness model on my right, 65 year old woman with pink dreads to my left. Help, I'm trapped in an evolution diagram!

Hm. Maybe I was wrong. Sometimes context can be everything.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wrongs Of Passage

For some women, it’s when they transcend/descend from “Miss” to “Ma’am”. I can’t tell you how many of my friends used to get freaked out by that. I should probably mention that we were all in our 20s at the time. Kinda funny now, though.

“Ma’am” never bothered me, although when someone says “Miss” to me nowadays, I find it both disingenuous and absurd and I don’t put money in his box outside of Trader Joe’s.

But I digress.

Today I passed a benchmark I didn’t even know existed.

At Sprouts (if you don’t have them, they’re sort of a cheaper, non-snotty Whole Foods) in the vitamin section, a pleasant enough middle-aged woman came up and in a furtive, low voice, asked me what she should take “for the sweats.”*

Don’t mind me. I can sigh while you giggle.

Gray hair notwithstanding, it’s easy to forget that I’m not one of the cool kids anymore. Maybe because I didn’t start out cool. I got there on schedule; right after it stopped mattering, though I doubt it ever really did.

Still, it was nice…

… and now it’s gone.

If I have to be a mid-life authority figure, I’ll remind myself that Alice was the most likeable member of the Brady Bunch, and that no one was lovelier than Juliet Mills in “Nanny & the Professor”. You know what I’m saying, people in the appropriate demographic!

Okay, now I’m stuck for more pop culture examples. I think I’ll go finish that article about Kim Gordon in the New Yorker. She turned 60 in April.

Maybe I should’ve called this “Sonic Mid-life.”

*By the way, when I told the nice lady about wild yam cream, she said she didn’t want to use it.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beauty x Irony = Art

My taste in art is simple: I like pretty things, and I love beautiful ones.

What does beauty have to do with Art, you ask? Excellent question!

You got me. I have no idea. I’m not even sure what art has to do with Art, though I can generally tell the difference.

I’m not an artist; I was just raised by one and I married one. I still know less about Art than Robert does about Yiddish. This tells you either a lot about our priorities or more about the relative amount of time we spend in delis versus museums.

That said, I’ve been to two museums in as many weeks. I saw tons of pretty things and quite a lot of beautiful ones. I’ve also had religious iconography up to here, no, higher, up to there. It all was mostly cool though.

What with our busy lives – not to mention all our technology -- it’s easy to forget how mesmerizing a painting can be. Also dynamic and enchanting. You should go sometime.

(Scenes from both days immortalized at @scarycookies on Vine if you’re so inclined.)

Never mind all that. Let’s mock the stuff that I don’t think of as art, let alone Art, like the huge room filled with pieces of furniture all (sloppily) painted the same shade of pink, or the giant brown canvas with a semi-meaningless sentence running across the middle.

For some reason, pretentious symbology is usually large. Maybe it’s like the alleged inverse ratio of truck size to penis size, only in this case it’s a direct ratio of art size to fatuousness.

Oh, speaking of fatuous, let me tell you about the loud, know-it-all douchebag in the Kubrick exhibit. On second thought, no, I’ll spare you. He was only typical of the type.

But I promised you irony in the title, so here you go:

Inside the Kubrick exhibit, I saw people taking pictures of the cameras on display.

Sure, if you want to nitpick, that’s not really ironic, but I’m not sure it’s really art either, so we’re even.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Profiles In Pedicure

It wasn’t that he was a large, hairy man getting a pedicure. Life in L.A. inured me to incongruity a long time ago.

Since I don’t spend a whole lot of time in nail salons, as far as I know the dominant demographic therein is now large, hairy and male. I went on Friday just because it was my mother’s birthday and I wanted her to have a treat.

No, I didn’t get a pedicure. See the previous post. Instead I had a manicure without nail polish, which is apparently an oxymoron along the lines of jumbo shrimp, except that people see jumbo shrimp all the time.

From the reactions – bewilderment shading through confusion to disbelief -- I’m the first person ever to walk through their door without wanting the Sistine ceiling, or at least decorator colors, on my fingertips. Come to think of it, I probably am.

Never mind, I was there for Melva.

The place is nice. The d├ęcor induces commercially-viable serenity. The people are pleasant in a way that didn’t make me feel awkward. My mother was happy, which is all I care about. I took a cute pic of her tootsies being tended. You can see it if you want to.

Anyhow, I sat there with plenty of time to look around and listen. The aforementioned dude did not sound happy. His discontent interested me simply because it made no sense.

For the record, I wasn’t listening on purpose. His voice carried way past all the profusely leafy greenery. (It's that kind of place.)

The guy had obviously been there before. He was fine with having two women fuss over him. He gave them his feet the way I bring my car for an oil change. I take that back. From the way he was talking, I bet he gave them his feet the way he brings his car in for an oil change. For the record, my heartfelt sympathy goes out to any food servers who ever have to take care of him.

In any case, he was radiating irritation in this bliss factory.

And even though the young lady holding my fingers kept wiping her nose on the back of her hand, and even though after all that I had to re-file my nails after I got home, it doesn’t matter. If they had offered me Flavor Aid, I probably would’ve drunk it.

Maybe the hairy guy should have had some. Kidding! It was a joke!

Never mind. One way or the other, the pedicure of his discontent will be made glorious summer soon. At least his feet are ready for sandals.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tic Whack Toe

Let’s pretend I whacked my toe on purpose. I didn’t, but I’m trying to salvage some dignity here.

Don’t roll your eyes at me unless you have never in your entire life tried to hide the fact that you almost tripped, or hit your funny bone, or butt-dialed the worst possible person on your contacts list.

By comparison, whacking my toe against an unsuspecting piece of furniture is nothing. Anyhow, this isn’t about that. It’s about hypochondria. Unless styles have changed in the last month or so, nobody wants to look like a hypochondriac.

Now I admit to having canine-hypochondria. I listed that as the reason for Jonah’s vet appointment next week. (Okay, okay, it was Robert’s suggestion, but I passed it on in good faith.)

But I don’t want to have me-hypochondria. Thus when I hit my toe and it really hurt, I was in a quandary. It was only a toe, and it wasn’t broken. I’ve set my own broken toe before, so I know what that feels like. Also my nose, but that’s another story.

This wasn’t even an injury, per se. It was more of a booboo. It did hurt though, more than I thought it ought to, all things considered. Had I suddenly become a hypochondriac? It was just a stubbed toe. Why the whining?

Then the little piggy in question turned a lovely shade of indigo.


The clouds parted and the birds sang “Shiny Happy People”.

You know the saying “It’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you”, well, it’s not hypochondria if there’s a grotesquely ugly bruise.

Sometimes all you really need is proof that you’re not going crazy, that whatever you thought had happened, really did happen. This bruise is my proof. I’m good now.

And with a knick knack purple-toe whack, this ole gal is getting on with her day. Y'all have a nice one.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cutting Slacks

“Cut me some slack” I thought to myself a few minutes ago.

But now, when I was going to tell you about whatever it was from which I wanted my slack to be cut, I had this strangely urgent new thought:

Pants used to be called slacks.

Ergo, aside from wondering about the esoteric process that must be involved in “cutting” which to me means slicing or removing, in order to provide “slack” which to me means looseness, or my general Philosophy of Life, aside from all that nonsense now I’m sitting here trying to work out (without Google) these imponderable conundrums:

Why pants were called slacks.

And almost more importantly, why did that stop?

To be fair, nobody says “trousers” anymore either. I miss that. “Trousers” is a cute word. Go on, say it now. Confuse the people around you. They’re just Starbucks snobs anyhow. They’ll pretend they didn’t hear you.

Where was I? Right. Slacks. I associate that term with the 1950s and 60s.

(And before you say another word, any word, let me assure you I wasn’t even born yet in the 50s. So there. Hmph.)

Anyhow, if it was right after whenever men wore tights then it would make sense to call trousers “slacks” because they’re slacker than tights. But men’s tights were over after the Victorian era (Prince Albert, anyone? Not that I was born yet then either) way too far before the 1950s to be relevant here.

Yes, yes, yes, I know. I can Google it. I’m not going to. I will either figure this out for myself or get distracted by another piece of meaningless trivia.

Come on, cut me some slack here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Not Even A Whimper

A few weeks ago I posted this: “You put time and effort into something. You craft it with care. It doesn’t come out. What do you do?”

Today’s question is slightly different, to wit: “You put time and effort into something. It comes out, but no one notices or cares. What do you do?”

Back when I first started this blog, I didn’t know if anyone had seen it unless someone posted a comment or said something to me. Then I found out how to click on the metrics.

Ta daa!

Don’t worry. I don’t know who you are. I can, however, see what country you’re in, or I could if I looked. That novelty wore off fairly quickly, maybe because enough people talk to me about the posts to salve my hungry ego.

It’s still a valid question. Say you bust your ass – or no, you don’t even have to do that much. You just have to make a serious effort to do something well. Then you get zero feedback. That doesn’t invalidate your effort. You’re not stupid, you know it was good. But you feel like shit anyhow.

Heh. The funny thing is, this is both rhetorical and not rhetorical. It’s rhetorical in that I’ve had to answer it for myself any number of times. The answer is that I move on to the next thing and keep going.

It’s not rhetorical in that I just watched this happen to someone else and I’m furious about it.

Given how much fuss the Internet makes over trivialities, when I see something that genuinely merits attention and doesn’t get it, I grab my keyboard and make you watch me rail against the Injustice Of It All. I can take my own failure in stride, but when I see someone else do something glorious, something that should be triumphant, and instead of victory they don't even hear crickets because even the insect audience is nonexistent, then you have to read my bitchings.

To paraphrase T.S. Eliot: this is the way the project ends, not with a bang, not even with a whimper.

But do your cranky old Auntie a favor, will you? The next time someone you know does something well, please tell them so. You’ll make the world a nicer place.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Silver Belles

It happened again tonight. I saw yet another 20-something with dyed gray hair.

I don’t know how many I’ve seen, more than a few, fewer than a dozen. I know one of them. She’s very nice.

When I saw my first one, all I could think was, “Oh great. Now they’re taking that too.”

The one tonight was male. I think he sees himself as a modern Andy Warhol. He carried himself as if he thought that. Well, he has the hair. Sort of.

Andy Warhol supposedly dyed his hair white in order to be taken more seriously as an artist. Maybe the guy tonight had the same motivation. I never asked the young woman I know why she wants gray hair. It’s none of my business.

My hair is mostly silvery gray. People have treated me differently since I went gray, but not better.

I’ve gotten the Senior Discount at the movies even though I’m ten years away from qualifying for it. No, I didn’t ask. They just gave it to me.

Maybe that’s why the 20-somethings are going through all the time, effort and expense to dye their hair gray. Maybe they’re all movie buffs.

Maybe they don’t know that they’re only saving $1.50 per ticket.

That makes more sense than if they’re trying to be taken more seriously, because it really doesn’t look serious.