Feb 27, 2012

Things I Learned from Watching the Academy Awards...

1) I need a personal stance.  Presenter Angelina Jolie seems to have a personal stance and I want one, too.  Hers is a straight-on look, head high, gaze direct, while her right leg is cocked sideways all the way out of her sky-high dress slit. Now, she got a little ribbing for her bold signature stance: when the Best Adapted Screenplay team she announced accepted their award; two of the men, dressed in suits, copied her pose. Very disrespectful, but trailblazers always get ridiculed, right?

I spent sleepless hours last night working on my signature stance and I came up with the fencer's pose.  This is the classic "en garde" stance, sword arm straight out front, even with the shoulder. The other arm is curved up and slightly back in a half circle.  I think this pose commands attention and will improve my posture.  It's very versatile and useful...I can put a book in my sword hand and read, or the remote control to point it at the TV. I can carry packages in the hook of my arced arm and build one bicep.  If I switch arms every week or so I can stay symmetrical.  Cooking may be a little trickier but at least I won't get grease-splattered if I'm standing that far back.

2) Every day I should pay attention to what clothes I put on so I can answer the "Who are you wearing" question whenever it comes flying at me, say on the mud-tracked carpet at the mall entrance. Today my list would be Caslan cardigan, Jones New York long sleeve tee, Not Your Daughter's Jeans, Steve Madden boots and my unmentionables. I'll happily twirl around and show how my cardigan gets a bit of a lift if I spin fast. But if I start from my signature stance, you'd better watch out for the sword hand, it sticks out pretty far; and the elbow on the arc arm would hurt if you got clipped.

3) Accessories make the outfit. Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis could have made a boring presentation of the sound editing award, but they had the foresight to accessorize their white tuxes with cymbals.  Cymbals are shiny and add dazzle to a colorless outfit. They also add an element of surprise.  No one expects you to accessorize with orchestra instruments! Will and Zack taught me to be bold: scarves and earrings are old hat (so are old hats).  Daring new accessories I'm considering include a riding lawnmower and a life vest.

Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy had their own spin on accessorizing; the hidden accessory.  Evidently McCarthy kept her one-ounce accessory in her cleavage, ready for any Scorcese-themed drinking game.  A handy trick for anywhere but airport security.

4) Always be positive.  Boy, Nick Nolte is one positive guy and I want to be like him. He seems to be going deaf and he couldn't hear the red carpet interviewer's questions.  But that didn't stop him from responding!  No, you can't keep Nolte down.  He answered, "I didn't understand a word you said so I'll just say yes." If Nick can be that upbeat and willing to face whatever the world throws at him, I'll do my darnedest to be gung-ho, too.   The answer is "Yes, yes, a thousand times yes," no matter the question. Would I like to buy gift wrap?  Yes!  Would I like to sign your petition on mumble mumble?  Yes, I would!!  Does that skirt make you look fat?  Yes!  Big smile.  Stay positive. People will appreciate it.

Oh, you never know where you'll learn life lessons.

Feb 10, 2012

Driving Down Beautiful, Scenic 101

Yesterday I was driving home on 101, or as Southern Californians say, the 101, and I couldn't help but notice all the crap alongside the road.  There was so much trash, mostly pale plastic stuff, that it almost felt like this might be where someone keeps his crap. Like someone, somewhere, asked himself, "Where would be a good place to put all my used plastic bottles, coffee cups, torn grocery bags, cigarette butts, pieces of broken appliances, all the stuff I don't want anymore?  No monthly storage unit rent, no dumpster cost, no hauling fee... all that unused space is just sitting there waiting to be used for my junk.  For free!"

It's embarrassing.  It's depressing.  It's very, very demoralizing. The word 'litter' is way too cute for this collection of junk.  'Litter' sounds like newborn pups, or aristocratic transport, as in, "The maharaja was carried on a litter supported by four strong servants." 'Litter' does not capture the miles and miles of garbage that cover our country.  Can't something be done about this?  Wouldn't this be an excellent use of government money to put people back to work? Oh, where's Lady Bird Johnson when you need her?  

I propose a national initiative to clean up our country. This is maybe a version of the cleanup of Times Square, in which pre-cleanup Times Square was crime ridden and unsafe, and post-cleanup Times Square was so packed with tourists and theatergoers you could hardly walk.  A cleanup crew could also be the advance team for infrastructure work.  They could inventory potholes, broken guardrails, rusted bridge supports, etc. so we minimize the number of bridge collapses in our future. And the fine for throwing your stuff on our world?  One month on the cleanup crew, sans pay. 

By the way, a number of years ago I was driving behind a garbage truck taking our collective crap to the dump and items were just blowing off the top of that truck. Maybe we could look at the garbage trucks, too, and make sure that when we do put our trash in the can, it actually ends up where it's going. Fines for waste disposal executives who allow unsecured trucks to scatter our trash hither and yon: six months on the road crew.

Feb 1, 2012

Being Catty

The fat black and white cat is back in my yard this morning. There isn't enough sunshine for her usual lolling on the glider, but she's amusing herself as only cats can.  She prances across the grass in her seesaw imitation of a tiger, chasing some puny flying bug; under the bushes and out of my line of sight, except for her black tail.  It twitches in that feline way that means something is in trouble and better watch out.  In this case, puny flying bugs everywhere, beware!

While the neighbor cat is stalking in the yard, one of my own cats is helping me type, as he likes to do.  He notices the computer and all those pesky buttons that I seem to want to push.  He helps by pushing them himself, usually with his butt.  His two cents look something like: 111111111111qqqqq32222222ssssssss.  What he lacks in coherence he makes up for in speed.  I have sometimes inadvertently had his help with Google searches.  Before I notice that he's helping, Google tells me "There are no results for queen size sheets zzzzzzzzccccccaafaaaaafacccst. Did you mean queen size sheets cafe fest?" If there is a central file of all the Google searches I've ever done, I must look like I have real anger control issues.

This cat also likes to lie on my lap while I'm typing.  Let's face it, in his pea brain, this is actually his chair so he sees me as a handy extra chair layer that is conveniently warm.  I'm his Audi with heated seats. He's big and drapes off my lap like a very heavy afghan. Maybe an afghan stuffed with salami, or rolls of quarters, or a medium size dog.  This cat is heavy!  So my left hand is occupied with supporting his head off to the left of my lap. While I'm providing all this seat warming and head holding, I have to type with my right hand sans the benefit of my left.  This results in a whole lot of emails that look like I'm just too cool to bother with capital letters and way too busy for anything but a cursory response.  This is the closest I'll ever get to tweeting.  I receive long, chatty emails from friends telling me their emotional ups and downs, their personal travails, that their father died, their marriage may break up, then generously asking me how I am, what's new with me, and could I possibly get together soon because they really need someone to talk to and I answer them: "ok  sonds gd  when"

It's a cat thing.