Archive for August, 2005

happy news, for a change

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

Now this is a transatlantic coalition of the willing that I can really get behind. Here’s wishing them all good things.

sanctuary! sanctuary!

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

In our stunted Quasimodo of a society, everyone wants a glamorous shithouse.

I’ve been watching a lot of HGTV, and it’s the one thing every sad sack on that channel dreams of: a bathroom that’s a “spalike retreat” where they can get away from it all and truly, truly be their true selves. No expense is spared, communal space be damned: if they can’t house their plumbing in a space bigger than my entire apartment their life will be hell. They talk about how the bathroom is the only place they have any peace. The only place they can relax and unwind. How they “spend a lot of time in there” because it’s such a haven.

I mean, good lord. If you’re so desperate to escape your hateful spawn and your neglectful spouse and the rest of your pathetic life that you’re hiding in the crapper, you’ve got bigger problems than whether or not there’s a Jacuzzi in there.

On the one hand, I blame W. He’s fucked the world up so much it’s not surprising we’re regressing to infancy, recreating the crib experience by locking ourselves in boxes where the primary activity is making poopy. But on the other hand, this is ridiculous, people. You need to learn to cope like I do: sitting in your living room, spewing profanity at the morons on TV. It’s cheaper, and at least it uses a better orifice. Time to make the developmental leap to the oral phase, kids!

putting the sigh in science

Thursday, August 18th, 2005

You just know that one day soon this story will be in the New York Times.

Maybe we should all just surrender. We could replace our ovens with God Boxes, because if the Lord wants our food to be cooked he’s certainly powerful enough to will it so! Just pop in your cake batter, wait 10 minutes (making sure not to think any homosexual thoughts), and voila! Teenagers could enjoy new acne treatments that consist entirely of prayer. And what’s with these “airlines,” anyway? If God intended us to fly he’d have made us born angels, people.

I swear, they’re just taunting us now, using the word “intelligent” to describe this crap.

spoiler alert

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

Last week I was watching Marin Alsop rehearse the orchestra at the Cabrillo Festival – yes, she’s amazing and brilliant, and it was incredible – and I saw something that was non-musically amazing.

Right there in the second row, there was a violinist who was the spitting image of my eighth grade Latin teacher. Miss Stidham, the Latin teacher, terrified us all and we were horrible little monsters in response, mocking her polyester doubleknit pantsuits (which these days any costume designer would die for – I remember one in particular that had these amoeba-shaped appliques that were totally fantastic) and anything else we could think of. The thing is, Miss Stidham died, gruesomely.

She was actually mauled by pit bulls, essentially eaten alive. Right in her own front yard.

I hadn’t thought about this in years, though at the time it even made the cover of People magazine – innocent woman walks to her mailbox and is killed by her neighbor’s dogs, which she had complained about before after they ripped her own dog’s leg off through the fence. The neighbor, an ex-cop as I recall, was actually home when Miss Stidham was killed and did nothing to help her. It was horrible, horrible, and made me feel like the complete shit that I was for all the times I made fun of her.

But suddenly there she was, playing the violin in Santa Cruz on a summer day, in a version 20 years younger than the real Miss Stidham was when I knew her. It felt like a reminder of something. It made me think, Narm!

So, yes, I’m talking about Six Feet Under here, fair warning, but I think it’s safe to say by now: Nate is dead. That article is from when we weren’t even quite sure if he was, though, and to me it was a better take on it than the stuff that came after. I mean, Heather’s thing, and I noticed it too, was that it looked like his last words might be “Numb arm! Numb… arm! Narm!” (and really, I wished they had been – it would’ve been so perfect). And she just ran with it, as if Narm! should be the carpe diem of our time… Because lord knows that’s what the show is about: Things end in an instant. If there’s been anything Six Feet Under should have taught us, it’s that. Nate’s death actually felt a little like payback to me – he was the only one who refused to just go out there and really live; he was always dithering, and complaining, and looking at greener grass. While David and Keith were making a crazy great family and Claire was taking a look at what her life would be if she wasn’t an artist and Brenda was claiming her baby no matter what state it was in and even Ruth was grabbing for some piece of selfhood – Nate just moped and fretted. And so sayeth Alan Ball: If thou wilt not live, thou must die.

I guess with all the crazy changes I’m wreaking on my life right now, it all hits pretty close to home. So I’m taking Narm! as my motto. Because it wasn’t really Miss Stidham playing violin on a summer day in Santa Cruz. We only get one chance. If you don’t believe me, take it from Steve Jobs.

The mother of all spoilers is waiting for all of us. Narm.