December 23, 2005

speaking of christmas specials...

CanklesThe Lovely Jess came over the other night to help me decorate my wee Christmas tree. We also watched a couple of Christmas specials, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Together we questioned the sexuality of several characters (I'll see you at Pride, Charlie-in-the-Box!), called out Santa on his prick-like behavior and made various and sundry other observations. For example...

Yours Truly: Why is that doll on the Isle of Misfit Toys? As far as I can tell, there's nothing wrong with her. What's her damage?

The Lovely Jess: Check out those fat ankles.

YT: Mystery solved.

December 22, 2005

the alan alda sensitivity project: holiday edition

Here are a few lessons I gleaned from holiday specials during my impressionable youth and beyond. (Items 1-10 in this series can be found here. Number 11 is here.)

The Brady's Christmas Cheese12) If a loved one is trapped under rubble and cannot be rescued by emergency personnel, start singing "O Come All Ye Faithful" and your family member will suddenly extricate him/herself from the wreckage and walk away from the accident scene with only a bump or two and some scratches. Note: All limbs and appendages will be intact. The victim will not have to free himself by say, sawing off his leg with a pocket knife or a rusty piece of shrapnel. Suddenly bursting into song will miraculously lift the heavy rubble thereby releasing said loved one sans paralysis. This knowledge comes courtesy of A Very Brady Christmas.

13) Santa was a bit of a dick in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. One minute he's ripping Rudloph a new one because of his funky nose and then when he realized the fog totally fucked him over, he was all up in Rudolph's stuff asking him to guide his sled. WTF?! I'm a bit disappointed that Rudolph didn't tell that user bitch to fuck off. I certainly would have.

14) Speaking of Rudolph... Hermey the Elf and Charlie in the Box? Totally gay for each other.

Shermie Doing the Running Man15) Even though he fails to get credit in the annals of dance history, Shermie (right) totally invented The Running Man in A Charlie Brown Christmas.

16) This is more of a question than an observation... How come nobody kicked the shit out of Albert in 'Twas the Night Before Christmas? Dude, if some asshole pissed off Santa by writing a letter on my behalf claiming Santa was a "fraudulent myth," I'd calculate the value of my Christmas list and then take it out of his ass. I don't care that he fixed the Santa clock. Albert was a total douche bag.

17) I would go hungry in Who-ville. Roast beast? Who-hash? Ew.

18) Someone who worked at Rankin-Bass was one ugly son of a bitch what with all the big ear/big nose plotlines (Rudolph, Nestor the Long-Eared Donkey, Baby New Year). Clearly, someone was using claymation to work out his/her issues.

As always, feel free to tack on your observations in the comments.

December 12, 2005

on the wish book and going back to school

Oooooooooooh! The New School Spring 2006 course catalog arrived in the mail today!!! I'm all giddy and hopeful and junk. I feel like I did when I was a kid and the Sears Wish Book arrived.

Ah, the Sears Wish Book. The minute that catalog entered the McDimple household, a massive tug-of-war broke out. I fought my sisters mightily so I could be the first to peruse the pages and dog-ear all those containing my desired toys.

FYI, it was a widely-held and undisputed belief in my house that the elves merely phoned in their toy orders to Sears and did not, in fact, build a goddamn thing. Being the sad gullible fucks that we were, the McDimple Girls also believed it to be a total coincidence that Santa wrapped our toys in the exact same wrapping paper my mother kept stashed in her bedroom.

Every year.

But whatever! I had no time to quibble over such details. That Christmas list was not going to write itself.

And thus began the painstaking process of toy selection. I knew I was limited to only a few things since Santa had to satisfy my three sisters as well. I did NOT want to be the kid who fucked with Santa's budget, you see. So I took my time when compiling my wishes. I thought it through. My list went through several drafts and revisions before the final top-edit by the parents.

It was during this final phase that the younger sister's drum set was nixed as was my request for an organ. Mind you, there is not now, nor has there ever been, a speck of musical talent between the two of us. Why we were lobbying long and hard (and unsuccessfully) for instruments is beyond me. Clearly I wasn't using my head that year and most likely ended up with second- or third-strong toys. What a dumb ass.

Now when handling the Wish Book, I would start at the back, which, as I recall contained all the boys stuff. However, starting from the front of the book meant trudging through housewares and tools and shit like that, so I'd flip the book over and then grab a chunk of pages to approximate where the girls section started. Naturally, after the initial guesstimate, a bookmark was inserted in each end of the girls section for easy future reference. The McDimple girls had it down to a carefully-orchestrated science.

I slowly flipped through each page, reading the descriptions and taking notes. If a McDimple sister leaned in and started crowding me, I'd administer a shove all while maintaining a fixed gaze on the goods. Such focus!

Each page held so much potential. I had butterflies in my stomach as I worked my way through. I was always upset when I neared the section containing the ventriloquist dummies because, well, those fuckers are creepy (especially that one in the top hat and tails who wears a monocle) and b) it meant the toy section was drawing to a close and was beginning to segue into... oh the horror... CLOTHING!

I have a tendency to make fun of Sears now but that store was the shit when I was little. They had quite the stellar collection of Barbie accessories. Mind you, they weren't Mattel brand but they were light years ahead of the latter's shoddy line of pink merch. I was the envy of the neighborhood girls with my vast Barbie assembly which included: Birthday Barbie, Western Barbie (with a button on her back that, when pressed, caused her blue-eyeshadowed eye to wink. Um, it's worth noting that I would most likely be scared of this doll today. Ah, regression!); Western Ken; Malibu Ken; a Jeep; a motor scooter (which I could rev up! Um, too bad Barbie always took a header off it about two inches into the ride. Tres unsafe!); a beach house; a supermarket (with working conveyor belt and cash register); a gym (with working treadmill); a hamburger stand (with working soda fountain); a backyard (with a pool, cabana, chaise lounge and patio set); and much more.

I curated a rather impressive collection, if I do say so myself. It was a well-known fact in the neighborhood that Barbies just weren't worth playing with if Curly McDimple wasn't around to share her stash.

It really blows that the Sears Wish Book is no longer. Sorry but the Target circular can suck it. Ditto for every other flyer Wal-Mart, K-mart and all those big box stores distribute. It's just not the same. Bring back the Wish Book!!

In happier news, the aforementioned New School course catalog is here!! I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be happy about the prospect of going to school but I am! I've been in a rut for the past few months and I need a change of scenery. Perhaps I'll learn some new shit and meet some cool people. And score! The beauty of continuing education is that I don't have to adhere to some stodgy curriculum. I can take whatever the hell I want!

Now, the practical side of me suggests taking a business writing or a web development course because it's good for my career and my company will pick up the tab. That's all fine and good but well, I don't wanna. I mean, do I really want to deal with cascading style sheets when I can be Discussing Dylan for 12 Wednesdays? Oh, fuck no! Do I want to concern myself with information architecture while there's a class going on down the hall called Premium Vodkas: Are They Alike? Again, fuck no! I'm taking the fun classes with the cool kids, yo.

First up: Women's Rights, Human Rights. What's so fun about that you ask? Helloooooooo, a classroom full of chicks who, after each session, will most likely be all pissed off at men! Do the math, people.

Now if you'll excuse, I'm off to dig out my Trapper Keeper...

at the movies once again with curly mcdimple

Now that I've completely indulged my addiction to 24, my Netflix queue has returned to its normal film-heavy state. This weekend I watched Heavenly Creatures, starring a young Kate Winslet and directed by a pre-Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson.

I had a completely bipolar reaction while watching this film. I went from really liking it to completely loathing it.

For the uninitiated, Kate Winslet moves to New Zealand and becomes fast friends with a misfit girl. Their connection is intense, so much so that they can mentally escape together into a world of their own creation. Like, they independently zone out and reconvene in their shared imagination. Do you understand? THEY MEET UP THERE. It's freaky. Even freakier because this is based on a true story.

Naturally, their families don't fully understand their unusual friendship and give them all sorts of shit about it, which makes them retreat to that secret place even more.

This really spoke to me because it sums up the relationship between me and my first (and really, only) love (so far). Our friendship was of the "just add water" variety. Instant yet complete. What it lacked in history, it more than made up for in intensity. God, it was so much fun at the beginning before we had to go complicate things by getting involved romantically. But we had to take that step because the longing was suffocating us. It's taken me a long time to realize this but the pain of denial is far greater than the pain of loss.

Oh, but enough about me and my drama! So Kate Winslet and the other chick forge this incredible yet really fucked-up friendship. Before long, they're mutually adoring Mario Lanza whilst snogging and fiddling with one another. Eventually they declare that they positively cannot live without each other and ridiculous plans are made to run off together and start a new life, blah, blah, blah.

Okay, I hate to keep making this all about me but my God, talk about a parallel existence! This is precisely the sort of thing that happened between THE EX and myself. Well, except for the Mario Lanza stuff. Spooky.

Again, I digress... So, the movie takes a really dark turn and this, my friends, is where I jumped off the ride. As it was, I was barely hanging on by a thread. Jackson repeatedly took the audience to the aforementioned girls' made-up world where we saw the girls frolicking in the meadow, pointing at unicorns and, um, socializing with life-sized terra-cotta statues (don't ask). I found the plot to be strange and really disjointed. Like, I knew what was going on but I wasn't following, if that makes sense.

Normally I quite like imaginative flights of fancy and tales of distorted reality. Terry Gilliam movies, for example, tend to make me giddy. This movie? Just plain weird. It's got talking clay in it, for fuck's sake! Some of the clay even sings opera. There is a life-sized Mario Lanza cast in clay! What the fuck, Peter Jackson?!?! What.the.fuck?!?!

But I can't in good conscience crap all over the movie. The scenery is breathtaking (New Zealand is SO on my list of places to visit) and the performances are really good. It's especially interesting to watch Kate Winslet because she's a little over-the-top in certain parts. If you admire her work, as I do, it's satisfying to do a comparison to see how far she's come.

Speaking of which, have you seen Extras?!?! Winslet guest-starred in the first episode and stole the show, which is no small feat considering her costar is the brilliant Ricky Gervais (The Office). HILARIOUS. Even better, there's not a stitch of talking clay to be found in the program. Always a good thing in my opinion.

December 07, 2005

personal best

The much-adored Joe.My.God is once again doing something cool over on his blog. Inspired by the American Film Institute's 100 Years, 100 Movie Quotes program on Bravo, Joe has begun soliciting quotes from his readership. However, given his demographic, the list has been modified slightly. His compilation is entitled Gay Men's 100 All Time Favorite Movie Quotes. At last check, he's got 92 comments and still going strong!

I can't do a similar lesbian-flavored list on my site because well, a lot of lesbians aren't big on camp... unless it involves sleeping bags and tents and shit like that.

And unlike gay men, we don't have that many film icons. Let's see, there's Jodie Foster, Angelina Jolie, Gina Gershon, Miss Piggy... Who am I missing?

Yes, Jodie was in the highly-quotable Silence of the Lambs but that's not really a movie embraced by lesbians, per se. And, yes, it's easy to moan and speak nonsense like Nell, but really, that doesn't quite count, now does it?

Angelina, well, she's mostly known for her lips, not necessarily what comes out of them.

Gina, of course, was in the craptastic Showgirls but helloooooooooooooo?!? The gay boys have already claimed that one. And even if they didn't, I honestly would not fight them for the right to quote Nomi and Cristal.

Miss Piggy has her "HIIIIIIIIIIIII-YAHHHHHHHHHH!" I guess, but then again, she's a confirmed breeder so she cancels herself out.

In terms of movie selection, lesbians lack the "wink wink nudge nudge" gene. Gay boys dig fabulous schlock like Mommie Dearest while lesbos tend to throw their arms around the likes of Desert Hearts and Lost and Delirious. See my point?

Personally, I think most lesbian movies reek of self-importance and just plain suck. Hard. I can barely sit through them, much less quote them! So compiling a cinematic lesbo list is damn near-impossible for moi (you other dykes can feel free to have at it though).

Instead, I've made up my own list of movie quotes. There's no common element here. I don't care if the general public finds them memorable. I don't care if they come from garbage movies or classics. The point is not to list things like "I coulda been a contender" and "Are you talkin' to me?" and the rest of the usual suspects. We've heard them all before. Me? I like 'em random, quirky and unexpected. With that said...
1. "I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me 'Loretta.'"

-- Eric Idle as Stan in Life of Brian

2. "Felix, you were in the war, weren't you?... Did you jump out of a plane and land on your face?"

-- James Spader as Richards in Mannequin

3. "I don't patronize bunny rabbits!"

-- Veronica's Dad in Heathers

4. "Son, you got a panty on your head."

-- Truck driver in Raising Arizona

5. "I hate being Scottish. We're the lowest of the fucking low, the scum of the earth, the most wretched, servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some people hate the English, but I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonized by wankers. We can't even pick a decent culture to be colonized by. We are ruled by effete arseholes. It's a shite state of affairs and all the fresh air in the world will not make any fucking difference."

-- Ewan McGregor as Renton in Trainspotting

6. "Sometimes I dance around the house in my underwear. It doesn't make me Madonna. Never will."

-- Joan Cusack as Cyn in Working Girl

7. "Well, I see it still smells like pine needles in here."

-- Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life

8. "I want a divoooooooooooooooooorce!"

-- Michelle Pfeiffer as Angela de Marco in Married to the Mob

9. "Lard Ass! Lard Ass! Lard Ass! Lard Ass!..."

-- From a short story told by Gordie (Wil Wheaton) in Stand by Me

10. "My first show was Barefoot in the Park, which was an absolute smash, but my production on the stage of Backdraft was what really got them excited. This whole idea of 'In Your Face' theatre really affected them. The conceptualization, the whole abstraction, the obtuseness of this production to me was what was interesting. I wanted the audience to feel the heat from the fire, the fear, because people don't like fire, poked, poked in their noses... you know when you get a cinder from a barbeque right on the end of your nose and you kind of make that face, you know, that's not a good thing, and I wanted them to have the sense memory of that. So during the show I had someone burn newspapers and send it through the vents in the theatre. And well, they freaked out, and 'course the fire marshall came over and they shut us down for a couple of days."

-- Christopher Guest as Corky St. Clair in Waiting for Guffman
Feel free to add your own. Oh and extra credit to anyone who does find a lesbian thread in these 10 quotes! I will do my best to reward your creativity.

November 30, 2005

i'll have the big gulp, thank you

how about a nice cup of shut the fuck upOkay, so there's this woman at work who's relatively new and, I swear to God, I CANNOT shut up around her.

Did you ever know one of those people who, despite your best efforts, you simply cannot help but yammer incessantly whenever they are near? Well, it happens to me occasionally and it sucks. I don't know what comes over me sometimes. It's like a sickness.

Believe it or not, I'm considered quiet at work... [I'll pause for the incredulous, "Youuuuuuuuuu?!" response. To which I say: "How very clever and unexpected! Now, suck my left nut and let me get on with my story!" Mama has the PMS, you see...]

So, as I was saying before I was hypothetically interrupted, I'm considered one of the less talkative people in the office. This woman, however, would be inclined to disagree.

It's not that she even makes me nervous or flustered. I don't like her or anything like that. I mean, she's nice and stuff but I'm not stricken chatty because I have a crush on her. I swear I don't. I realize that I'm opening myself up to accusations that I doth protest too much but those of you willing to levy such a charge can taketh thine Shakespeare and shove it up thine arse(s). Me lady is not even me type.

Anyhoo, I think I may have discovered the root of the problem. The first time she and I spoke, I had just emerged from a day of not really socializing with anyone. I was really busy all day and didn't have a chance to chat with any of my coworkers. I bumped into her in the pantry late in the day and SPLAT! Verbal fucking diarrhea. A day's worth of pent-up chit-chat, small talk and mindless banter exploded from my mouth with such speed and force that I could NOT put a cork in it. I had the oral runs. The talkative trots, even. The spoken shits, if you will.

I caught myself jawing away and was actually telling myself to shut up in my head. But I couldn't reel it in. What spewed forth was an unending stream of uninteresting, useless, overly-detailed information, observations and the like. I was holding that poor woman hostage but I felt like Ted Striker constantly talking about the war to his fellow passengers in Airplane! How this woman wasn't dangling from the rafters or sucking on a bullet by the time our conversation ended is nothing short of a miracle.

And now whenever I see her, I try so hard to be cool and not talk a lot that I get nervous and well, the incessant babbling begins. I feel like emailing her and saying, "Look, I'm not usually such a talkative fucktard. I swear I'm not. May we please wipe the slate clean and begin again?"

Maybe I should invest in a sedative. I can have it on me at all times like an EpiPen so that I can just jab myself in the thigh whenever I feel an attack coming on. That should do it. OR!!! I can follow her into the bathroom every time she goes in. At some point, she's bound to emit an embarrassing noise or odor and then won't she be ashamed that I witnessed it! The balance of power will finally be restored!

Ooh, there she goes! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go "fix my hair."

November 28, 2005

random thoughts, rhetorical questions and the occasional brain fart

Once again I'm embarking on a series that I promise to continue... but probably won't. But, it's good to have goals, right? The follow-through biznatch is another story entirely...

So, without further ado (and with full apologies to George Carlin), here's a short list of some of the things I, Curly McDimple, have pondered:
1. How do you dispose of a garbage can? Won't the trash collectors just leave it on the curb with the rest of them?

2. What asinine circumstances preceded the discovery of peanut butter as an effective means of removing gum from one's hair? I mean, did someone flail about the house in a panic and then crash head-first into a tub of Skippy after getting Hubba Bubba stuck in his 'do?!

I'm assuming that during this same melee, a can of Coke was knocked into a toilet thereby leading to the discovery of its impressive porcelain-cleaning power. Coincidentally, that person who knocked over the soda managed to get a glob of toothpaste on his arm precisely where he had a mosquito bite and voila! No more itch! Meanwhile, all the commotion frightened an eye-witness so much that her violent hiccups were instantly cured.

And there you have it, I guess.

3. Why is there an anti-skip feature on portable CD players? Is there a pro-skip movement that I don't know about? Are they in the same camp as the people who don't like to remove red eye from their photos?
Got ridiculous questions/observations? Please share them!

* Please don't respond to these questions with "facts and figures" or "logic." I will instantly hate you if you do.

November 17, 2005

on diplomacy

I entered the elevator in the Court Street subway station this evening to find this wee dust-up already in progress...
English Chap: "Sir, you DO realize that you just bumped into me?"

Drunken Slob: "Ugh."

English Chap: "You literally just shoved me out of your path and manhandled me. That was very, very rude. Are you aware of that?"

Drunken Slob: "Mmm. Urgh."

English Chap: "You had better be more careful or there are bound to be repercussions. Just you think about that."
Awww snap! Dem's... uh, very articulate and polite fighting words!

Everyone on the elevator looked over at Drunken Slob expectantly. He reeked of whiskey (hello, angry drunk!) so I thought for sure he'd take a swing at the English fellow, or, at the very least, bawl him out. Instead, he blinked twice, exhaled loudly, waved his hand at the Englishman with a lazy "Eh!" and then shuffled off the elevator.

Chalk one up for good British manners! Although, I personally would have taken a different route and sent the drunk off with a nice Glasgow Kiss and/or a swift kick in the old meat and two veg, but that's just me...

November 15, 2005

inside the actors studio with curly mcdimple

I have a love/hate relationship with Inside the Actors Studio. I'll tune in and watch even though I find James Lipton to be incredibly creepy. I find his creepiness to be most evident when he's planting a big verbal wet one on some actor's ass (which is, um, all the time). He looks out towards the audience but doesn't really make eye contact and then his eyes tend to glaze over with a distant, far-away look. The whole thing is disturbing. Maybe it's those saccharine-y compliments of his causing him to slip into a diabetic coma or something. I don't know.

At the same time, some of the questions in his towering stack of blue index cards are thoughtful and probing and make for really compelling interviews. For example, the episode with Sean Penn was brilliant. Ditto for the Meryl Streep and Paul Newman installments. In fact, when the show first started, the caliber of interviews on that show week after week was truly stellar.

In recent years, the roster of guests has become decidedly less impressive. Jennifer Lopez? James, you're joking, right? Billy Joel? WTF? WTF? WTF?!?! Recently, the show tumbled to an all-time low with its booking of one Rosie O'Donnell.

I actually used to like Rosie. I enjoyed her on Star Search and VH-1's Stand-Up Spotlight. I never really thought she was hilarious but she was likeable and earnest and gave it her all. It's those very same qualities that made her talk show succeed, particularly in the early seasons. Her show really worked well in the beginning because she was a huge fan of her guests. She was excited and giddy and asked the questions that most of us wanted to ask. Every member of her audience could relate.

And then stories started to surface about her backstage shenanigans. At the time, I worked for an industry publication where I was in contact with her show's production company. The list of staff changes they sent me week-to-week and month-to-month was astounding. Rosie's ratings were slipping and she cleaned house. What she failed to realize was that her appeal was waning not because of her associate producer but because she was now a bigger star than most of her guests. The novelty wore off. Gone was her wide-eyed admiration of her favorite celebs and in its place was plain old schmoozing.

Her public persona started to change too. Rosie was quoted as saying that people over a certain age who wanted an autograph "[needed] to get a life." In most cases, I would agree with this assessment but not when the advice is coming from the same woman who so famously fawned over Tom Cruise and bawled incessantly in the presence of Barbra Streisand. And didn't she love to tell everyone how, as a youngster, she would wait at the stage door after shows to meet the actors and get autographs? Rosie was getting a bit too big for her Lane Bryant britches, it seemed. The seed of distaste was planted within me.

It bloomed into full-blown dislike after Rosie's truly insufferable post-Columbine anti-gun crusade. I understood her emotional response to the tragedy but her subsequent rants were shrill, misinformed and completely misguided.

And then there was the Rosie magazine debacle. I particularly loved how she turned the bitch switch on full blast and cut her hair into an asymmetrical mess just as she confirmed to the world that she was a big ol' dyke. Nice, Rosie. Thank you.

But back to Inside the Actors Studio... She was recently on the show and I watched it. Dude, I set my DVR and recorded that bad boy so that I wouldn't miss a second and could rewind if need be.

Now you might be asking yourself why I even subjected myself to such a painful hour of television. Well, it's the same reason I watched Rosie in Riding the Bus With My Sister. I see the entertainment value in my own outrage and discomfort. Same logic applies to my viewings of Brown Bunny, Jersey Girl (the Jami Gertz version) and the Today show (fuck you, Al Roker!)

I watched the interview expecting to be amusingly annoyed by Rosie. Instead, I felt a little bad for her. As Lipton prattled through her anemic list of acting accomplishments and accolades, Rosie looked uncomfortable. With each passing second she realized she didn't belong there. And she didn't.

Yes, she's an entertainer in her own right but she's not equipped to teach graduate-level students about acting technique. If the New School were to unveil courses such as "How to Run a Beloved Magazine into the Ground," "The Finer Points of Drake's Cakes" or "When In Doubt, Decoupage!" then maybe Rosie could step in and give us a few pointers. Until then, it's best to leave the heavy theatrical lifting to the big guns.

You know, I have a few student films under my belt and I performed in Christmas and spring pageants from kindergarten through eighth grade. That puts my resume at about the same level as Rosie's, no? While it won't (and shouldn't) get me booked on Inside the Actors Studio, I do think it at least entitles me to answer those questions Lipton poses at the end of every interview. All agreed? Good. Take it away, James!
James Lipton: Curly McDimple began lip-syncing and singing off-key at a young age. She was bitten by the theater bug in high school and quickly won self-appointed critical acclaim with her rousing renditions of "Bui-Doi" from Miss Saigon and Hair's "Colored Spade."

McDimple's unique take on standards and showtunes often courted controversy. For example, her flat-yet-spirited retelling of Annie was censored by the McDimple Family. But the young McDimple thumbed her nose at the nay-sayers and continued honing her own unusual, some would say poor, brand of belting. Her efforts earned her a "For the Love of God, Please Shut Up!" nomination and several other citations.

Curly McDimple can next be seen perfoming selections from Stephen Sondheim's Company in her bathroom mirror in Downtown Brooklyn. But first, Curly will take part in the questionnaire created by the esteemed Bernard Pivot for Bouillon de Culture...

Curly, what is your favorite word?

[Ed Note: What I really want to say: Sassy]

What is your least favorite word?
I'm not too keen on the word "chinos" lately.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Equal parts humor and intellect.

What turns you off?
Dry, wit-free, overly literal types.

What is your favorite curse word?
"Fuck" for emphasis and/or flavor. "Dickhead" for a putdown. And "ass" always comes in handy.

[Ed Note: I HATE HATE HATE when the actors pretend like they're surprised by this question. Oh, fuck off with that mock surprise! You knew it was coming and you prepared for it so drop the charade.]

What sound or noise do you love?
My own laugh. It took me a long time to find it so I never ever take it granted.

What sound or noise do you hate?

[Ed Note: The sound men make when they hoch a loogie and spit.]

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I would love to create props and sets for movies. I remember seeing From Star Wars to Jedi when I was younger and I really wanted to work in the studio where all the puppets and models were made. I'm still intrigued by the behind-the-scenes movie magic.

What profession would you not like to do?
Proctologist. Seriously, how does one develop a passion for this line of work? Even if you're an ass man/woman, it's not like you're not doing anything fun back there. Call me overly fussy but I don't stick my finger in just anyone's butt... unless you buy me dinner first.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
"See? I told you not to believe those judgmental assholes who you said you weren't allowed in. Now let's you and Me go drop shit on their closed-minded heads."

Thank you.

November 14, 2005

on matrimony, new additions and accidental hand jobs

I, your favorite big ol' lesbo, have just emerged from THE straightest weekend ever.

On Saturday I attended my dear friend's wedding where I once again wowed the crowd with my 80s dance moves.

On Sunday, I attended another dear friend's baby shower. There was no wowing at this event as the dance moves were confined to the car as I drove to and fro the restaurant. My fellow motorists on Route 280 seemed to be impressed though.

The capper for this marathon hetero weekend? I felt up a dude.

Well, not on purpose. Let me 'splain...

I stayed in Jersey until this morning and had to partake in ye olde suburban commute. I got off the bus and clomped zombie-like through the long, crowded corridor connecting the Port Authority and the Times Square subway stations. As I adjusted the heavy duffel bag on my left shoulder, my right arm swung loose and made direct contact with some guy's junk. Well, it wasn't direct contact necessarily since he was wearing pants. FYI, that is not an extraneous detail to include since this is, after all, New York.

My introduction to the man's genitals was more of a back-handed graze as opposed to full-on cuppage but regardless, I felt sheepish. I looked over at the guy I accidentally violated to offer my apologies and noticed that he seemed quite pleased by my less-than-traditional "handshake." Apparently, my technique was quite good.

I think I need to really gay it up this week to restore my lesbo luster. On the agenda: Jodie Foster movies, heated discussions using the words "patriarchy" and "oppression," animal rescue, vegan cooking and the casting of a Wiccan spell or two.

Gawd, I cannot even joke about that.

on road kill and why it's a riot

Ooooh! Sheila just reposted what I think is her funniest story EVER. I read it when she originally posted it and then several times after and it always reduces me to hysterics. Today's reading was particularly funny because my allergies are quite bad and my laughter sounds like a cross between Smedley and a harmonica. The wheeze is very amusing, if I do say so myself.

Check out Sheila's Night O' Carnage. It's hilarious.

November 11, 2005

the alan alda sensitivity project: addendum

Here is one more item to add to the running list of lessons I gleaned from watching television during my impressionable youth.

11. Programs like The Jeffersons or Diff'rent Strokes often dealt with the important topic of race relations. While the theme was always responsibly covered, both shows frequently used the same template when wrapping up these episodes. It went a little something like this:
A white person (in a guest-starring role) reveals him/herself to be racist. After his/her misdeeds are discovered, the racist will be called a "turkey" (or a "jive turkey") and then have a door slammed in his/her face by an Enlightened White Person (and show regular).

After the audience's satisfied clapping and whooping dies down, said EWP turns to the black person(s) on the show and demonstrates that he/she is down by instigating a "give me five" while exclaiming something like, "Slip me some skin!"
EWP examples: Mr. Drummond, Tom Willis and, of course, Charles Ingalls

Items 1-10 can be found here. Feeling festive? Check out the Alan Alda Sensitivity Project Holiday Edition.

Note: This revelation was inspired by today's IM session with the impossibly kick-ass Helon the Felon.

November 10, 2005

'employee' of the month

It seems that I've become a floating customer service representative at my local Key Food. Now, as it is, I'm already one of those people forlorn tourists stop in the street and subway to ask for directions. I'm assuming it's because I've got that knowledgeable-and-self-assured-yet-approachable look about me. If you ask me where Little Italy is, you can be confident that I'll not only get you there, I also won't beat your ass for daring to make eye contact with me. I'm very good that way.

So, back to Key Food... As I've stated before on this here blog, I'm tall (5'8") so I've helped my fellow shoppers out more than once by extending my gangly arms to grab the desired can of Manwich or the bag of Solo cups from the top shelf.

I love my height and I welcome the opportunity to put it to good use. By the by, it also comes in handy when I want to make some men feel inadequate. I ain't one of them man-hating types but every now and then I do like to chalk up a quiet victory on behalf of all females who've been dicked around. HOO-RAH!

In addition to fetching out-of-reach items, I've also been approached by consumers for product advice. Like, strangers find me trustworthy and crap. So, at the request of fellow shoppers, I've given informal reviews of scrod, Stroehmann Honey Cracked Wheat bread and Francesco Rinaldi tomato sauce. I even helped a poor dude pick out tampons for his girlfriend who, no doubt, was holed up in the bathroom until he returned home with the goods.

Last night I swung by the grocery store to pick up some milk and toilet paper. As I made a beeline for the Scott Tissue, a woman sporting a head wrap and a thick accent asked for my assistance. She pointed to the bright yellow sale sign taped to the shelf and said, "Yes, which of these is two for $5?"

"Hmmm, let me see... oh, it's the Double Quilted Northern, four pack." I spotted it on the shelf and handed it to her. She took it and then proceeded to squeeze it in such a way that would have given Mr. Whipple a coronary.

"No, I don't like this," she declared bluntly.

"Yeah, it's not good for the plumbing." Realizing that it could be misconstrued as a digestive double entendre, I clarified my statement: "I mean, it's thick and can clog up the pipes and stuff."

"What about that?" she asked while pointing to the Key Food generic toilet paper.

"Hmm... that stuff is kind of scratchy. I prefer this," I advised while picking up the Scott Tissue.

"Yes, I know that Scott is the best but how much is this?" she asked, again referring to the generic sandpaper-y stuff.

Clearly, this woman mistook my denim jacket for a Key Food smock and I was now in it for the long haul. I bent down and moved a few rolls out of the way to find the sticker on the shelf. "59 cents," I informed her.

"How do you know that?" she asked in a somewhat incredulous tone.

"Well, the price is right there. See? 59 cents," I explained while pointing to the sticker.

"Now how much is this? Is this one on sale?" she asked in reference to an enormous 24-pack of Marcal paper towel shrink-wrapped (shrunk-wrapped?) together.

"Uh, I'm not really sure. Why don't you get a circular and see if it's advertised?"

That is when I became useless to the woman. "Eh, you don't work here. I ask for real help."

She muttered a half-assed thank you, turned on her heel and walked away. Whatever. I just shrugged, grabbed my T.P. and headed towards the milk aisle where I encountered the same woman's son (he was her total Mini Me) horsing around on a shopping cart.

I excused myself and tried squeezing through the limited opening he left and then wham! The cart whirled around, rammed me right in the thigh and pinned me against the meat case.

Accidents happen but that fucker didn't even say he was sorry. So, I shoved the cart -- with the fucker still on it -- into the Herr's display. Um, apologies in advance to my neighbors if your potato chips are crushed.

I hate that kid. He was hogging up the whole aisle acting like a real asshole. I could just tell he was a real shit punk* who gets away with murder. He won't for long though because if he keeps that crap up, he's going to get clobbered. His mother best pick up some of that quilted toilet paper because his ass is going to need something a bit more forgiving after it gets kicked repeatedly.

Oh and, Key Food? I hereby demand a consulting fee... and workmen's comp. Now pay up before I start picketing.

* Shit punk is a term coined by my friend Beth's 6-year-old son. He was being picked on in school by some douche bag and got so frustrated that he grabbed two words from his vocabulary, mashed them together into an insult and unleashed it. Of course, the teacher overheard and told Beth. Naturally, she advised her son not to speak like that but she gave her own friends permission to go forth and spread her son's brand-new put-down to the masses. Shit punk -- use it often and well.

November 04, 2005

she don't eat meat but she sure like the bone... well, not really

The topic of my veggie-ism came up more than once this week. Fortunately, in all instances it was a very matter-of-fact discussion where I didn't have to defend or qualify my choice of diet. This was a pleasant change of pace from the usual, tired rigmarole where I'm subjected to the following reaction(s) when people find out I don't eat the meat:

1) Horror. Apparently, admitting to a preference for soy products is on the same level as saying you like to charbroil babies or something.

2) Incredulity. This is when I'm met with a litany of questions along the lines of, "Oh my God! Don't you ever want a big, rare, juicy steak?" or "But what about bacon?!"

As I respond with a firm "Nope" to each cut, brand and style of meat thrown at me, their persistence, bewilderment and agitation grows. I don't know why they care so much that I don't like it. My not eating it means more bloody filet mignon for them!

You know, meat-eaters are SO quick to bitch about the tree-hugging, crunchy types who bandy about terms like "murder" and "tortured soul" while lecturing them and thrusting literature with images of depressed-looking cows and chickens in their faces. What they put me through is just as invasive and obnoxious, if you ask moi. I don't proselytize so I'd thank everyone to kindly fuck off and leave me be with my Boca Burgers.

So help me God, the next carnivore who subjects me to this form of interrogation will be dislodging large amounts of extra-firm tofu from his/her ass. Seriously, whoever it is will be pooping undigested Tofu Pups for the foreseeable future.

Now, in case you haven't already jumped to the rather obvious conclusion, I ain't all that fond of the fur neither. I don't talk about it all that much because my preferred form of protest is to just not wear it... and um, passive-aggressively give dirty looks to people who do.

I've since learned to not get into the fur debate with people. It's a waste of time, in my experience. Like, some of the people who take me to task don't even dig fur themselves but they just like to take the piss out of animal-lovers or people with causes in general. Forgive me but I have better things to do with my time than engage in non-arguments with these annoying people. For example, I have a shower that needs grouting and some spices that need alphabetizing right after I clean the lint out of my belly button.

Some people I know in the pro-fur camp are really persistent and always try to goad me into an argument. My aunt was one of these people. However, after our last altercation, she gave up. Was it my superior debate skills that won the argument? No. A commanding knowledge of statistics and facts and figures that furthered my cause? Oh, fuck no.

It was dog spunk that came to my aid. Yes, I said dog spunk.

You see, my aunt loved to tease me by flaunting her long, brown fur coat in my face. One day she made like a matador and waved it at me menacingly. I didn't take the bait but, um, apparently all that moving and swaying of the brown fur got her rather randy mutt, Bruiser, a bit excited.

So, as the mink was dangling from my aunt's arm, the dog took a running leap and mounted the coat with the greatest of ease. My aunt tried shaking Bruiser loose and wrestling her fancy coat back from his vice-like leg grip but that wee fella held tight and humped his way clear through to a happy ending.

Yup, he left a sizable souvenir on the fur that required treatment by a professional dry cleaner. Needless to say, the aunt never resumed the debate.

The first moral of this story: Anyone guilty of harassing this here vegetarian is subject to a violent anal application of soy.

Moral numero dos: Don't tease anti-fur activists in the presence of pooch who isn't fixed. For if you do, you run the risk of turning your pricey prized possession into a doggie sex swing.

The End.

November 02, 2005


This afternoon's IM conversation with Mejack, the fucking rock star behind Me Jack and You're Not...
Mejack: I am with you on the pilaf.

Yours Truly: Awesome

Mejack: "Au jus" freaks me out.

YT: Ew, that's nasty.

Mejack: I know. When I worked in a restaurant I used to say AW CHEW… Chefs don't like that.

YT: I bet it goes well with, ew, brisket.

Mejack: I am also equally appalled by flank steak

YT: Ew, yes!

Mejack: Skirt steak

YT: Ew, yes!

Mejack: Sweetbreads

YT: Sweetbreads! Ew ew ew ew!

Mejack: Sweetbread is a nice way of saying COW PANCREAS.

YT: Ew.

YT: I don't care for the word morsels.

Mejack: EW. That one is just BAD.

Mejack: You know what I hate, and this is stupid, but any kind of cut of meat that is a "chop." I know that is strange but I hate it.

Mejack: Chops. EW

YT: Oh I know! I don't like when I pass a diner and see the sign: "Steaks and Chops."


Mejack: Like pork chop, fine. Veal chop, even. But just chop? NO.

YT: Oh man. I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Mejack: My friend who lives in Colorado emailed me this morning and told me how cold it is out there and how she and her boyfriend and his dog get into their bed and have SNUGGLE BUGGLE TIME.

YT: Ew

Mejack: I know. I wrote back and told her if she ever did that again I will FedEx her a box of vomit.

YT: Like, when I'm in a relationship, schmoopie things are said from time to time... but when we're alone. I would NEVER EVER EVER tell anyone what I've said to people or what they've said in return.

YT: Oh, except that one time I told Jess some chick called me her "lover." That was troublesome to me and I had to share.

Mejack: I hate lover. Hate hate hate

YT: Ew and in the same sentence she also said "making love."

Mejack: Ew!

YT: Dude, I had sex with her on the 2nd date. We weren't making shit.

Mejack: If she worked in "caress," I would have kicked her teeth out.

YT: After I got that email I thought to myself, "Oh dear god, what have I gotten myself into?!?!"

Mejack: Ew, she said it in AN EMAIL?????

YT: Yes

Mejack: That's even worse.

YT: Well, she, um, wrote to thank me for, uh, you know, doing her and stuff.


YT: I'm blushing.

YT: I told Jess what she wrote only because it bugged me and I didn't know if I was just being shallow and ridiculous. Jess said in reply, "Um, if things work out with this chick and I ever meet her, I'm going to have to pretend you never told me this."

Mejack: Understandable. Did I tell you about the New Light Syndrome?

Mejack: Anything can make it happen. In fact, it originated with a Velcro wallet.

YT: That is brilliant.

Mejack: I went out with one guy who during the regular get-to-know-you chit-chat thought it might be a good time to go ahead and inform me that he was into fisting.

YT: Lovely

Mejack: That is a new light but it's an obvious one. But it can be anything and you shouldn't question it if someone bums you out that quickly.

YT: That's profound. Thank you.

October 31, 2005

byte me

Dear Tech Guy at Work Who Goes from Zero to Snotty in Seconds Flat:

Kindly get laid.

Thank you in advance,
Curly McDimple

October 07, 2005

batter up

Yours Truly: I'm supposed to have coffee with a colleague who's in town for the day. I'm dreading it because she makes me really uncomfortable.

Jess: Why's that?

YT: Two words: pancake makeup

Jess: Mon dieu!

YT: Yup.
Yes, it's true... I have issues with pancake makeup. Laugh all you want and poke fun but that shit really disturbs me. As stated before, I'm really weird about texture so, not surprisingly, when I see layers of schmutz on someone's face at close range... well, I want to die. (Notice I didn't say "shrivel up and die" because the word "shrivel" brings to mind wrinkles, creases and folds. As you can imagine, that is a most unholy mental alliance for someone like myself who's not down with the whole texture thing.)

I interned at CNBC when I was in college and whenever I encountered pancake-wearing on-air talent in the halls, I had a mini nervous breakdown. I was on the elevator with a female anchor one day and she insisted on engaging me in small talk. Under different circumstances, I would have welcomed that. For example, fill-in anchor Sheila Steinback and I had a lovely conversation about Melrose Place in the pantry one evening. She hadn't gone to makeup yet so I was more than happy to chat with her about Amanda's latest schemes and the funky scar on Kimberly's melon. It was all very pleasant. However, had Sheila taken the Elevator Anchor's lead and tried chatting me up with layers of thick beige shit and primary colors spackled to her face, well... I would have asked Sheila to kindly do me a solid and disengage.

I'm still traumatized by Elevator Anchor's made-up face. In the light of that elevator, she looked like she had been prepped by a mortician. Since I don't make a habit out of talking to stiffs, this was NOT a pleasant experience for me.

However, I'm pleased to report that there's a happy ending to this ridiculous tale... the aforementioned colleague got sucked into a bunch of meetings and had to cancel on me. Pity.

October 05, 2005

the new-age cheese diet

the teshSeveral months ago, I launched a little something called The Tesh Experiment. For those of you too lazy or disinterested to follow the link, the exercise involves my pseudo chagrin over the lack of activity on the Tesh Cam.

You see, there was a time when the Tesh Cam provided insight into John and his crappy music-making. And now, sadly, it only shows John's less-than-bustling mailroom. Despite a fictional impassioned email authored by Yours Truly, the camera angle has not been moved. It still shows that fucking roll of tape! It's been that way for months and shows no signs of budging so I'm officially giving up. You beat me this time, Tesh.

However, I found a new source of amusement on that website -- the Message Board! Oh, but it's a fascinating and informative area to explore! For example, did you know that The Tesh has his own radio show? Did you further know that like his fellow God Squad member, Pat Robertson, The Tesh is now doling out diet tips and health advice on said radio show? Oh yes, it's true. Behold!*
Subject: Diet tips air on the radio

John, I listened to your radio often. One night, I heard you list a few things that we can do to loose weight. Would you please email this list to me again? It starts with drinking coffee in the morning and eating sour dough bread for lunch.

Put down the weights, ladies and gentlemen! Step off the treadmills and elliptical machines for The Tesh himself says a mere cup o' joe and a slice o' sour dough will trim you down. Hmmm... I wonder if that's how Connie manages to stay so slim?
Subject: "eat less of your entree"???

Ok, you've got some good ideas and thoughts that i really enjoy. said that you should order a soup or salad as an appetizer so that you would eat less of your entree. Why should you eat less of an entree that you paid for? In my opinion, that's just a waste of money, and more importantly, food.
How dare The Tesh promote portion control! If Applebee's wants to give you an entire side of beef on a bun, you best eat that shit up. Stick it to the Man! And don't forget your coupons from the Sunday circular!
Subject: John Tesh Radio

Dear John
I just wanted to say that I really do enjoy your show. My son loves it when you bring up things that will improve our lives ie. chewing gum to increase oxygen to the body, eating dinner together as a family.

Feeling sluggish and run down? Why, just pop a stick of Juicy Fruit into your gob and you'll be all oxygenated and refreshed. Oh and that whole eating dinner together with the family idea is positively revolutionary. His originality astounds me. What on earth would we DO without The Tesh?
Subject: You have an awesome show!

Dear John,
I listen to your show every chance I get. If I can't listen, I go to the computer and go to your web site and look at the transcript. Totally amazing all the tidbits of intelligience that you come up with.

I do have one question....I have been troubled by kidney stones. Have had two surgeries in less than a year with another coming up. One urologist told me that they are caused by dehydration and another tells me its calcium that causes them....but because I am menopausal, I can't stay away from calcium. Is there anything in your research that can help me out with information on how to avoid the kidney stones. My stones grow so big that they block the ureter. Any dietary advice? Thank you for reading this post. Sincerely, Dolores

Subject: airlines and hospitals

Dear John...I was on my way to work when you said you would talk about not flying if you have been in the hospital. My daughter works in a hospital and is leaving on an airplane on Wednesday. Anything I need to worry about? Thank you so very much for all the great ideas and information.
Why call your doctor with important health questions when you can just ask The Tesh?! I'm sure his years of cohosting Entertainment Tonight have adequately prepared him to tackle such topics. And if he's not sure, I'm sure he can just call up Jesus to get a second opinion. He's got His direct line, you know.
Subject: Less stress food shopping

I'm a meat wrapper and I see some really nice people come in the supermarmarket when it's open 8:00A.M. looking for (fresh)chopped meat.

Mr.Tesh most butchers only start at 8:00 Their shopping experience would be a lot less strssful if they would give them at least a hour. tell them to read the (entire0 sales letter.When turkeys are on sale,see if the sign reads,Fresh or Frozen.

At Thanksgiving people get crazy when they think they're going to get a (fresh)trukey only to be told the sale is for a frozen one. I hope this will help all of us, workers and shoppers alike. Thank you
I'm not even going to make fun of the meat wrapper because dude's got a cleaver and access to machinery that could make my ass disappear. Even worse, he could pass me off as ground chuck and well, that's just humiliating. While I don't eat meat, I do fancy myself a more expensive cut... should my body ever become available in this format. So I'm going to make nice with the meat wrapper and put forth his message that one should not piss off the supermarket butcher by quibbling over frozen versus fresh turkeys at 8am. Capiche?

* Please note that there is a global [sic] for all typos and misspellings in the quoted messages. For typos and misspellings in my own copy, uh... just deal until I discover and fix them myself.

October 03, 2005

on role reversal and really good memories

I recently babysat My Two Favorite Wee Boys. The younger one (age 8) asked that I read to him before bed. I love love LOOOOVE reading to kids so I went at this task with a gusto.

He selected McDuff & The Baby, a rather short book that we tore through in several minutes. As a result, the 8-Year-Old was neither satisfied nor sleepy. I let him get out of bed to pick out another book. Picture it... a 31-year-old and an 8-year-old standing side-by-side perusing the shelves and then the 31-year-old clapping her hands excitedly and squealing, "OOOOH! OOOOH! Can we read Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel? Please?! Can we?" The 8-Year-Old was the picture of coolness, mind you. At first he countered with Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and then relented, no doubt because of the scowl that had formed on my face.

I hadn't read Mike Mulligan since grammar school so I was tres excited. The first thing I did after opening the book was lift it up to my nose to smell it. Naturally the 8-Year-Old was all, "What the hell are you doing?" (Yes, he says "hell" and "sucks" now. I swear it's not my doing!) I explained to him that the smell of a book is one of the best smells ever. He picked it up, gave it a sniff and then said, "Mmmm." Between you and me, I think he was just being polite because he wanted to get on with the story and get my snout out of his book.

I love the smell of books, rally I do. I can conjure up the precise smell of the library in my grammar school without much effort. And from there it leads me on a sensory stroll down memory lane. I can hear the sound of the hard plastic protective wrappers rattling and cracking when a book is opened. I hear the "ja-dunk" noise from that little machine the librarians used to stamp the due-date cards before reinserting them in the book's inside cover. I can hear the awful clanking of our school's one and only ditto machine. I even remember the smell of the purple ditto ink. It was quite noxious as I recall...

I loved going to the school library... except on the days we had to sit through Sister Mary Ellen's boring ass lectures about the Dewey Decimal System. That's not a saucy topic to begin with but sweet Jesus, that woman took it to new boring heights. Normally, the library trip was supposed to calm kids down and get us to be quiet and focused. However, I remember my entire class being visibly agitated and riled-up after that long and overly-detailed explanation of the card catalogue. And we had to sit through it EVERY year! Oh it was torture.

But back to the good points of the library... Each week we were allowed to check out one book and a magazine or two books. The kids always ran right to the magazine rack in order to get dibs on the new Highlights (I loved me some "Goofus and Gallant"), 3-2-1 Contact and Dynamite magazines. The rack was picked clean within seconds so the stampede then made its way towards the books. There was always a cluster of kids shoving and throwing elbows in three specific areas in the fiction section: "D" (Roald Dahl); "H" (S.E. Hinton); and "B." Any guesses who that popular author was?

Further Reading (if you're so inclined):
Here are my responses to a Book Challenge Sheila tasked me with a few months back.

September 28, 2005

someone is on your side

I am heartbroken over the news that Bernadette Peters' husband, Michael Wittenberg, was killed in a helicopter crash earlier this week. In a way, I take her loss personally.

I'm going to ramble a bit so please bear with me...

I know it sounds funny to some but I adore Bernadette Peters. In fact, my blog name, Curly McDimple, is lifted from a short-lived off-Broadway show Peters starred in many years ago. I take some ribbing about her sometimes but I'm unapologetic and devout in my belief that this woman is a brilliant force of nature.

I cannot even begin to adequately describe how much I idolized her when I was younger. She first knocked my socks off when I saw Into the Woods in high school. A few years later, she was back on Broadway in The Goodbye Girl and that's when my fascination with this woman really kicked in.

My appetite for information about her was voracious. But she was reticent to talk about herself. She spoke about her work but not herself necessarily. Her life was spent on the stage and that was the only part of herself she was really willing and prepared to share. Personal details were not easy to come by. I wanted to know everything about her but at the time, my resources were limited to scouring the pages of the Daily News and the New York Post every day trying to find her name in bold-faced print. Sometimes I got a tidbit but mostly I was left cursing the fact that I wasn't obsessed with someone a bit more palatable to the gossip pages. It was a tough fascination to foster.

I didn't have much to go on so I treasured my Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George cast albums. I listened to them daily and was continually floored by the nuance in her voice combined with the sheer brilliance of Stephen Sondheim's music and lyrics. Peters and Sondheim formed quite a formidable duo. There was a spell in the 1990s when you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a Sondheim tribute. I relished that because I knew Bernadette would be in attendance and PBS would be there capturing it for broadcast during annual pledge drives.

My favorite was Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall. I sat impatiently through all the appeals for money and performances by Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Daisy Egan, Karen Ziemba and scores of others. Bernadette didn't appear until the final hour of the broadcast but it was worth the wait. She stood on a darkened stage with that unmistakable hour-glass figure and those teeming curls in silhouette. The lights came up and the image was striking. She looked like she was poured into her long, black gown. Her pale skin practically glowed white in contrast to her scarlet lips and hair.

I held my breath. And then the camera moved in close and just stayed there throughout her interpretation of "Not a Day Goes By" from Merrily We Roll Along. The director rightfully called for a mix of close-ups, slow pans and dramatic fades to punctuate the magic on stage. She finished on a long, cascading note and was met with thunderous applause in Carnegie Hall and goose bumps in my bedroom.

I was on vacation in Florida about 11 or so years ago. I turned on the television in my hotel room to find this Sondheim tribute underway. I was happy to be on holiday but slightly homesick for New York and my beloved theater scene. So I plopped down on my bed and started watching. I changed the channel during one of the pledge breaks and when I flipped back a few minutes later, I was horrified to discover that the local PBS affiliate decided to yank the show in favor of Yanni: Live at the Acropolis. I think the switch was due to lack of interest or something but I can't be sure because my ranting speech about the "uncultured morons in Orlando" totally drowned out the station manager's explanation. Um, no offense, Orlando. It's just that Yanni and his puffy blouses tend to set me off, you see.

I was mostly pissed because they cut away right before Peters' performance. I wanted to see it again. She gets emotional every time she sings but when she tucks into a Sondheim song, she brings it to a whole new level. She contorts her face, throws her head back and rolls it from side to side, clenches her fists and swings her arms far and wide. Her entire body gets in on the act. Her curls rattle and often fall in her face. She sweeps them away but they inexplicably end up there again. She bellows and snarls one minute and then sweetly coos the next. More often than not, she tears up. The whole thing is most definitely theatric. Some think she overdoes it and I agree that it can seem over-the-top, but I don't think her performance is ever fake. She believes what she's singing and she feels it deeply each time.

The quality of her voice is debatable to some. I know several professionally-trained singers who complain that she sings "wrong." They prattle on about her breathing technique and how she loses her voice frequently. But I like that her voice can be hoarse and husky. I think the imperfections make it all the more interesting. I love that her voice gets ragged and coarse in between the soaring high notes. It adds texture.

At the risk of sounding like a total drama queen, Bernadette changed the course of my life. In a roundabout sort of way, she's the reason why I'm here working and writing on the internet. Back when I was foaming at the mouth for Bernadette-related info, I signed up for AOL so that I could access Playbill Online. I saw an ad in Playbill magazine promising active message boards, news, archives, and all the information a theater lover starved for information could possibly want. I can safely say that I was on that site every day chatting with people and exchanging information. I learned a lot about Bernadette -- her background, ex-boyfriends, rumors of ex-girlfriends (gasp!), lesser-known projects, pet causes and all that other fun stuff. I also gained knowledge of an array of plays, musicals, performers, composers, lyricists and playwrights. I was always well-versed in pop culture but through my exposure to Bernadette, I became more well-rounded. Theater was a gateway to dance, opera, avant-garde performance art, etc.

For a time, I was an education major in college. After I did some student teaching, I realized the mistake I was making. I was bored and disenchanted. It was a far cry from the passion I felt when discussing theater, movies, award shows, et al. I knew I could write and make a living at it so I changed my major to Communications/Journalism. As I filled out the necessary paperwork, I totally fancied myself an entertainment reporter specializing in the Broadway scene. Um, that's so NOT what I do now but I did actually work for an industry publication for a few years. However, I soon discovered that I enjoyed theater more as a fan rather than an industry insider so I quit. I bounced around in print for a bit before finding my way into the world of interactive media where I eventually met The Lovely Jess who encouraged me to start this blog. And there you have it.

Life-Changing Issue #2: While I can't attribute my being gay to Bernadette, I can say with confidence that she's somewhat responsible for my finally acknowledging it. I met THE EX through a shared love of her work. What started out as two straight girls with a mutual appreciation for Bernadette, eventually evolved into a passionate and intense romance. The relationship may have ended but that's where my new life began in a sense. I came out to people. I stopped hiding. I'm still secretive in many respects but I don't lie anymore. I reached a new level of understanding and connection with people, in particular the gay boys I had befriended through our mutual Broadway diva adoration. I would have accepted this truth about myself eventually but it was far more entertaining to get here via Bernadette.

Even though I don't technically know her, I'm still saddened by her loss. She gave me so much without realizing it. I've seen her numerous times in person but I can't adequately thank her... and I don't even try because, well, that would be weird and scary. The best I can do is wish her the strength and inspiration she helped me discover.

September 27, 2005

oh mandy

Dear Mandy Patinkin,

Does the pharmaceutical industry own your ass or something? The reason I ask is because every time I turn on my telly, there you are, informing me how one little pill will lower my cholesterol or ease the side effects of chemo.

It's honest work I guess but I'm just baffled is all. I mean, you're the man who tore Evita a new one! You hammed your way through Chicago Hope with aplomb! Um, I would cite your work in Yentyl as an example but I bailed on that movie after five minutes so I can't speak authoritatively on the subject.

BUT! You had the best line in one of my most favorite movies ever -- The Princess Bride. Say it with me now... "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!" And now you're reduced to saying things like "Side effects of Crestor may include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting...." That's sad.

Also, nothing on your recent resume seems to be suitable for people with liver problems, pregnant women or those who are nursing. While I don't have your official demographics handy, it seems to me that you're severely alienating your base.

So in summary, Mandy, kindly cease and desist with the pushing of pills with gruesome side effects. While your howling yelp may add some punch to even the most pedestrian Andrew Lloyd Webber tune, it doesn't quite wash in the commercial realm. I can't really explain it but something about the pitch and timbre of your voice makes diarrhea and edema seem even more vile than they already are.

Why don't you give old Steve Sondheim a call? I'm sure he can put your intense schmacting to better use.

Thank you in advance,

Curly McDimple

September 23, 2005

an ode to my itty bitty titties

Someone just found my site by searching for "poems about itty bitty titties." While I'm THRILLED that I'm the in the top 10 results on Google for this search term, I do feel bad that I don't have anything of the sort on this here blog. However, it doesn't mean I can't write a homage to my less-than-bountiful boobies now, no?

So, without further ado...

An Ode to My Itty Bitty Titties
My titties are perky and really quite small.
They are as wee as the rest of me's tall.

I don't mean to disparage what the Good Lord hath made,
But mine are on par with a girl's in third grade.

But I've discovered an upside
That's rather convincing,
I can run bra-less up and down stairs
Without even wincing.

As gravity sets in
My girls won't droop down to my gut,
Unlike Dolly's,
That big-chested slut.

I also won't have chronic back pain
When I'm all old and crusty.
When others are hooked on Doan's,
I'll be glad I'm not busty.

And while other boobies are subject to catcalls and "Moooooooooo!"s,
I continue to take comfort
That I can still see my shoes.

Thank you.

September 22, 2005

a rebuttal

According to a recent study 90% of women wash their hands after using the bathroom whereas only one in four men do. Over the past day or two, I've seen this study cited in numerous publications and newscasts and the headline is always the same: "Women are cleaner than men!"

Um, no they're not. Clearly they did not include corporate women in this study. Now I'm no fancy researcher or anything but I am a keen observer of people and I can say without hesitation that a lot of "professional" women are filthy bitches sorely lacking in basic manners and social skills.

The biggest offender of all was a former manager of mine. Not once did this woman wash her hands in my presence. In fact, on one occasion I saw her emerge from a bathroom stall EATING A PIECE OF PIZZA. I stared at her in disbelief but she was unfazed and just smiled, waved at me and kept on walking. No shame. No embarrassment. No soap and water. My coworker also saw her leaving the can with a half-eaten sandwich. Now, I admire those who can multi-task but there has to be a limit, you know?

Actually, there were several people at that job who had issues. Those of us who did wash our hands and you know, not eat lunch in the john, were forced to form a support network. We tipped each other off to the bad bathroom habits of our coworkers. We disseminated the information and maintained a stash of alcohol wipes and hand sanitizers in the event that we couldn't avoid direct contact with the guilty party or something he or she touched.

Those of us in-the-know abstained from eating the fruit salad at the holiday potluck when we discovered that a person guilty of the pee-and-run prepared it. It was all very, "Don't drink the milk! It's spoiled!" (Little Rascals, anyone? Anyone?)

Furthermore, Instant Messenger windows flared open on multiple desktops whenever a social taboo was spotted (i.e. "Don't touch the Fast Company in the common area. I just saw so-and-so come out of the bathroom with it!")

But gross bathroom behavior is not limited to hand washing and the defiling of shared periodicals. Far from it. I've worked in several different office buildings in my career and there's always one common element -- bombed-out stalls. Oh, and bad coffee too.

I've witnessed the same piss on the seats, clogged plumbing courtesy of tampons/pads, and the ubiquitous ring around the toilet comprised of half-dry, half-soggy toilet paper. I'm assuming these piles form when so-called "careful" bathroom users line the seat with TP before parking their asses on it. The result: Some of the paper "catches" after flushing and goes to its rightful destination. The rest either lingers on the seat or falls to the floor. While the culprits are trying to be all sanitary, all they're really doing is leaving a gross, disgusting mess for the next person. Since obviously it's their biggest fear, I cannot help but wish hemorrhoids on these people.

The pattern of piss on the toilet seats really blows my mind. Sometimes, it looks like the urine was deliberately and maliciously applied. The distribution is all scattered, swirling and angry-looking with pooling in certain areas. It looks like a fucking Pollock painting or something. For most of us, it's a toilet seat. For others, it's a blank canvas apparently.

If it's a light sprinkling concentrated in one area, that clearly means that the stream of pee became a tad unruly while the pisser was hovering over the bowl (as I do). An errant sprinkle of tinkle happens to us all. However, when normal people spot the misdirected flow, they reposition themselves accordingly. If not for the sake of the person who has to mop up at night, we do it for the sake of hygiene. Pee bounces, yo. Both porcelain and plastic are reflective surfaces and if you pee on them, they'll pee right back.

I could further belabor my point with examples of smells and people forgetting to courtesy flush (or just flush period) but it's all been said many times, many ways. In fact, I'll wrap this up right now with links to some suggested related reading:

:: The Sarcastic Journalist: If You Sprinkle When You Tinkle...
:: The Work Poop
:: Splatter Stopper
:: The Random Muse: Potty Politeness


September 14, 2005


I added another cool celebrity sighting to my collection tonight. I was walking up Lexington Avenue and was just about to bang a left on 58th Street when I saw a short, familiar-looking man with glasses and spiky hair. As I rounded the corner, I got a full glimpse of his face and there was no doubt I knew him.

Courtesy of Muppet CentralI was just about to acknowledge him and then thought the better of it. Why? Because while I know his face, I can never remember his name (Paul Williams; thank you, IMDB) and the words that were about to roll off my tongue were as follows:

"Hey, you're that wee fella that always hung around with the Muppets!"

While I'm not certain he has an issue related to his diminutive stature or penchant for associating with felt puppets, I clammed up just to be on the safe side. You see, I still carry the memory of the horrified look on John Glover's face when, at a loss for his name, I said, "Hey! You're the guy who burned his son! You're the guy who burned his son!" Um, I was referring to his portrayal of Charles Rothenberg, the man who deliberately set fire to a hotel room occupied by his child in the made-for-TV movie David. But, I'm not sure passers-by realized that... Mr. Glover had every right to take a torch to me but he was very polite considering.

I think it's safe to say that I've made tremendous strides with my celebrity encounters, no?

September 05, 2005

bang the drum all day

In honor of Labor Day, I'm kicking off a series chronicling some of the more interesting jobs I've held. And there have been a few. My inspiration for the series is Blown Sideways Through Life, a fabulous one-woman show written and performed by Claudia Shear. (Some of you may remember her as the chick whole stole Monica's identify on an early episode of Friends.) The book is available on, in case you're interested. Shear also performed it on PBS' Great Performances so if you can get your hands on a VHS/DVD or a rerun, please check it out!

First up: B-I-N-G-O!

When I was about 12 years old until the age of 16, I worked the weekly BINGO game at the local church. No, I wasn't the person who called the numbers or handed out the BINGO boards. Instead, I was among the gaggle of young girls who worked in the kitchen fetching coffee, soda, hot dogs and pizza for the aging crowd.

The kitchen girls arrived at 6:00pm, a solid hour before the actual event began. In that time, we'd make sure the hot dog water was boiling, the pizza oven was preheated, the coffee was percolating and all supplementary materials were stocked and ready to go.

Despite our early arrival time, the hall was already buzzing with activity. The doors opened at 5:30 so the BINGO diehards came early to stake out their regular spots and assemble their boards, chips, ink stamper things and their various and sundry good-luck charms in intricate patterns. The lucky charms were often those garish trolls with the Einstein-like hair or the prizes that came in a cereal box or Happy Meal. I never saw anything so run-of-the-mill as an actual rabbit's foot or four-leaf clover. These women prayed to the gods of General Mills and McDonalds for good fortune.

Before the game actually started, the customers came into the kitchen to make their purchases. Once the game got underway, we had to brave the smoke-filled air and load up trays and bring the coffee, tea, soda, etc. to them.

It was a risky business, let me tell you. We had to take great care not to advertise our wares while the caller was yelling out a number. One ill-timed "COFFEE!" would solicit violent shushing and deadly glares from the assembly. I once yelled "SODA!" in tandem with the caller's "B 12!" and my ass was swiftly handed to me by a bunch of old biddies. I skulked back to the kitchen and refused to go back out on the floor until my shame and embarrassment subsided.

You know, for a game that took place in the basement of a Catholic church, the participants were less than Christian-like. In addition to the aforementioned nasty "Shaddaps!" we were also privy to some hard-core greed and envy. When someone yelled "BINGO!" a less-than-magnanimous groan arose from the crowd. They tsked, sighed and muttered as they waved magnetic wands over their boards to snatch up all the chips and make way for a new game. If some poor sap made a mistake with her chip-laying/ink-dabbing, the crowd would actually cheer as the caller announced, "No BINGO!"

What a bunch of nasty, dusty-beavered, old bitches they were.

However, there were a few regulars that we had come to know and love. For example, the wee Scottish lady that came into the kitchen like clockwork each week and said, "One tea, please." When she handed over her money, she'd inform us of our tip by saying, "Take a dime." But with her accent it sounded more like, "Take a dame." Naturally, we imitated this EVERY week right after she left the kitchen. We were shocked -- SHOCKED, I tell you -- the week she came in and said, "Take a quarter." We were pleased with the increased profit margin but that phrase wasn't nearly as easy to imitate, even with my superior Scottish mimicry abilities.

Then there was the chubby "Two Diet Tabs!" fella. Every week, he'd walk into the kitchen, thrust two fingers in the air and place the order for his soda of choice. Unlike the Take a Dime Lady, this guy was Jersey all the way -- with a lisp -- so his request sounded more like: "Two Doy-et Taaaaaaaabth!" Again, the minute he was out of earshot, we'd reenact the exchange.

I distinctly remember Two Doy-et Taaaaaaaabth's hands. They looked jaundiced because of all the nicotine stains and he positively reeked of smoke. The minute he walked into the kitchen, we could smell him. His fingernails were all brown and crusty-looking so we were always careful to not make any contact when handing him his change. I admit that I take the occasional puff on a cigarette but memories of this man's hands will forever prevent me from developing a full-blown habit. Nicotine-schmicotine. My vanity can defeat addiction, any day.

In the last 45 minutes of the evening, things slowed down as interest in food and caffeinated drinks started to wane (I'm assuming because of issues with insomnia and poor bladder control). However, it was too early to close up shop so we'd sit around chatting (quietly, of course, or else the old bitch brigade would come into the kitchen and tear us a collective new one).

At one point during my BINGO tenure, I worked with my best friend and my younger sister. The combination of the three of us mixed with downtime yielded one result… MISCHIEF. One night, we got tired of BSing (at a low volume) so we did what comes naturally while working in the basement of a Catholic church -- we threw wet paper towels at each other and the ceiling.

The ceiling was REALLY high so it became quite the competition as we tried to scale the monumental height with enough velocity and force to make the paper towel cling to the masonry. An added obstacle was the system of heating and plumbing pipes blocking the ceiling. We squealed (quietly) with delight when one of our soggy missiles wrapped itself around the pipes and valves. And, somehow, we managed to keep things to a dull roar when I finally made contact with the ceiling.

Years later, I was in the kitchen visiting my father as he helped out with an Ash Wednesday fish and chips dinner. I looked up and sure enough, our handiwork remained intact.

You know, I think defacing church property, more so than carpet munching, will be the deciding factor in my banishment to Hell. Well, that plus the time I babysat two kids, ages 7 and 4, and taught them how to make prank calls and send pizzas to their neighbors. FYI, if you tell the pizza place you want the pie well done, they always believe the order is legit. Of course, this was before Caller ID had to come in and fuck things up…

Up next in the series: My stint as a janitor. Oh sorry... "custodial engineer."