Monday, April 24, 2006

Because I Can

I love celebrities. I just do. Why? Well, why do people love soap operas? The crazy hair, the plastic surgery, the he-did-what and she’s-with-who—but with celebrities, it’s real! Katie Holmes, a wholesome Catholic girl from Kansas, really did just have an aging super star’s illegitimate baby, and he really is trying to brainwash her into a cult. Really! This is happening! And there are pictures!

That being said, I have definite opinions about these people I’ve never met.

Celebrities I Dislike

Tom Cruise, ever since he split with Nicole Kidman (the Katie thing is just icing)
Mischa Barton (because she obviously never eats)
Keifer Sutherland (he looks like a nasty drunk)
Julia Roberts (I don’t know. But I do anyway.)

More entertainingly, there are some celebrities that I should dislike on principle, but I just don’t. See below.

Paris Hilton. Really. Despite the standing-on-a-car-at-Sundance and making everyone look for her lost two-carat diamond bellybutton ring. Despite the Greek shipping heirs. Despite the thousand-dollar-a-month tan and her nagging magazines to make her fake blue eyes even bluer. Why? Because she so, so, so loves being a celebrity, and really, she’s famous for… nothing. Except maybe the Greek thing. She’s got some serious chutzpah.

Mariah Carey. That girl consistently wears too-little and too-tight clothing. Most recently, I gazed at pictures of her frolicking in an ocean, while a very small white bikini tried and failed to cover her vavooms. That girl looks like she loves her pasta, and you know what? I think she looks fab.

Donald and Melania Trump. “Can I have a baby?” “As long as you look good.” “Can I have some diamonds?” “As long as you look good.” How refreshingly straightforward.

Ashton Kutchner and Demi Moore. Because besides being smokingly tasty, they’re just...cute. Despite the age difference. Despite that he fell in love with her while standing in a hotel hallway, listening to Demi tuck her children into bed. God bless ‘em.

Lastly, my girls. We maybe have never met, but I know that if Queen Latifah and Mandy Moore ever came into my corner of the world, we would totally be best friends. Forever.


Monday, April 17, 2006


We have a multitude of thoughts and plans going on, what with our upcoming trip to India for Mohit's wedding, a cabin to build in September, and potential new jobs/moves in October-- plus the normal stuff, like flowers and nighttables and Kagan's ongoing search for an affordable Toyota Tundra. So it's hard to focus on one thing and deliver a diatribe!

Nonetheless, I have risen to the occasion.

We heard a very sad piece on NPR this weekend about rural seniors who have to choose between medicine, fuel, and food. Apparently, there's an already-underfunded foodbox program that is due to be cut in the next round of the budget overhaul.

Diatribe number one:

I am all for cutting the budget. America has reached its debt ceiling, that number that we're not ever really supposed to get to. And what were the consequences?

We raised the ceiling. Now it's okay to be x number of trillions in debt, even though we said it wasn't before. However, it does seem ridiculous to me (anyone, anyone?) that we fund wars in foreign countries before we feed our old people, or send more to AIDS orphans, or give our teachers raises, or -- fill in the blank.

Diatribe number two:

Practice what you preach.

This saying came from somewhere. Someone had to mean it. And so, we teach our children to 1: save. 2: not knock down smaller kids just because you can. 3: when you don't turn in your homework/do your chores/feed the dog, you will face the consequences.

Yet-- most Americans are very, very in debt. And not just for their houses. And then, on a national level, we bully other nations, and on a local level-- well, there are people who hire day laborers and then don't pay them the promised wage. Because they don't have to. Lastly, consequences. Our staggering amount of national debt is a consequence. Our piss-poor air quality is a consequence. The mutating frogs and bleaching reefs are consequences. And so what do we do? Raise the debt ceiling, deny the evidence, say it's not our fault.

We can't change the government, but we can try to limit the use of bleach, recycle plastics and magazines, buy the recycled paper products.

It'd be nice if we did the things we told our kids to. Pick up after yourself. Take care of any creatures in your possession. Say please and thank you.

Diatribe number 3:

There's a lot of need in this world, and personally, it overwhelms me. Occasionally we send off checks, more out of guilt than anything else, and you know what? I have no idea what happens to that money. I don't see it make any kind of difference.

So, not to slam charitable giving, but when I heard about those seniors on NPR, I began thinking about what will fill in the gaps for those people when obviously the government will fail them.

And my only answer is the old-fashioned community.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Confessions of a Bad Gardener

There are two kinds of people: those who garden, and those who don't. Those that do are surrounded with masses of flowers, succulent berry bushes, and big fat tomatoes-- right?

I garden, ergo I am a gardener, but let's review my past:

When I was a child, my mother gave me my own plot to garden. I picked off bugs and watered my vegetable plants, which did quite well until the midsummer two-week trip to Nana's. I remember standing in front of my broccoli plants, crying, as they literally had no leaf left. The bugs had eaten my plants down to the spines.

I have never had my own home-grown broccoli.

In college, I came home for 4 months summers intent on gardening. I did secure a few small bowls of cherry tomatoes, but the whole leaving-in-August thing meant that I never tasted one of my own cantaloupes. They rotted with no one to eat them.

During my six months winter-July tenure in Vermont, I was actually on the garden crew. I learned about the beauty of greenhouses, and growing things from seed. I tried to grow my own herbs in my tiny Vermont aerie. The seeds started, sure, and then they stopped. In July, I packed up my Subaru and drove north to Price Edward Island with my mother, toting baby basil seedlings.

Four made it. I transplanted them into metal tin buckets that graced my yellow stoop in Nashville. They died in October, when I cut them off at the stalks and chopped up their leaves for a dinner party. But before you call this a success, please note that out of 6 different types of pants and hundreds of seeds, I emerged with 4 basil plants. Who were kinda spindly anyway.

And this year-- ah, this year. With my indefatigable talent for killing things, I started sweet peas, who grew fervently until I put them in the ground. They have all died.

Last night, I planted poppies, snap peas, and two more sweet peas outside. I transplanted my baby delphinium seedlings into bigger pots.

Keep your fingers crossed.

*But because my husband loves me, he did say that if all my seedlings die, we can buy annuals and transplant them ourselves. And for a thrifty Vermonter, that's saying something--- might have had to do with the tears streaming down my face as I contemplated my withered sweet peas.*

Friday, April 07, 2006

a shallow happy post

It's finally raining. After watching the earth crack and split in MARCH, I think it's fabulous. We went grocery shopping last night, as we have guests this weekend, and the house is temporarily clean-- what with our two dogs, our guests' dog, and the fact that wet dogs bring in half the earth on their paws, it won't be that way for long, but hey, that's what vaccuums are for.

And it's Friday. Faboulous, fabulous Friday.

Not to mention I got my biannual clothing allowance, and there's a dress at Nordstrum's with my name all over it. AND ice cream sandwiches in the freezer. AND an unread Marie Claire.

I'm trying to think of something deep here, but all I'm coming up with is whee!!!!

Have a good time in the rain, chickens.

Monday, April 03, 2006


I don’t know if this is true—but according to a book I recently read, astronauts never come back from a voyage to space as atheists.

Makes sense to me.