Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Here is another article I wrote, published this month in The Edge magazine (online edition). They asked for stories about special bonds we share with our animals. I wrote about Shelby, my little princess.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

No time for much today, so I'm just going to shamelessly promote myself...

Check out my interview with author Clane Hayward here.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Time for another rant!

Jon Voight in drag. Oops, I mean, "THE HOTTEST CHICK IN THE WORLD!"

Today I will pick apart Angelina Jolie, because a.) I can't stand her, and b.) I can't fucking escape her. Every damn time I go to the supermarket her big forehead is staring at me from the latest cover of Us. Every time I log on to the internet I am bombarded with ridiculous "OMG! Brangelina!" headlines. She sticks a malnourished leg out her front door and we get ten straight days of coverage on how fabulous she allegedly looks. She is photographed eating a Saltine and it's "OMG, is Angelina pregnant again?" And I realize that some of my wrath may be misdirected: after all, it's at least 50% the fault of the media for following her around and filling those asinine, tree-destroying rags with photos of her and Brad and their eighteen preciously-named babies. But I wouldn't mind (or even notice) if she didn't annoy me like she does. And, without further ado, here are the main reason she bugs.

Let's start at the (sort of) top....

"Acting" ability: It would appear that not only is Jolie a graduate of the Nicolas Cage School of Ham-fisted Overacting (witness her scenery-chewing in crap like Gia, Alexander, and Girl, Interrupted), but she also studied with Hayden Christiansen at the Academy of the Petrified Forest (witness her painfully wooden acting in...well, everything else). Does this make her "versatile"? Perhaps. I think it just means she sucks. And what's with some of the roles she's taken on? No offense to Mariane Pearl--who suffered enough way before Jolie portrayed her in A Mighty Heart--but come on. Angelina Jolie can't even play a skinny white woman, a role she should have nailed by now. A pair of brown contacts and a frizzy wig and suddenly she's multi-racial? Seriously? I mean, a good Caucasian actress--Cate Blanchett for instance--wouldn't be able to pull that off. And I don't care if Angelina's father is (reportedly) an asshat; Jon Voight can act circles around his daughter (raw sewage like Anaconda and Tomb Raider notwithstanding). Too bad she didn't inherit any of his talent.

Lifestyle, quirks: Remember when she first became famous, and she was all raven-haired and goth-y, and in interviews she always talked about her knife collection and how she cut herself and she craved the taste of blood and would do everything short of open a vein right in front of reporters so she could prove just how fucking edgy she was? I do, and it was the first thing about her that set off my bullshit detector. I read that and thought, what the fuck? Is she fourteen years old? Because that's the only age that that kind of lame acting-out (and subsequent bragging) would be considered cool, and even then only by easily-impressed suburban teens who wear black lipstick and shop at Hot Topic. And still, the media ate that shit up with a spoon. "Wow! She's dark!" (YAWN!) And then she further compounded the stupidity by marrying Billy Bob Thornton (despite claiming to be a quasi-lesbian. Again, YAWN!) and she wore a vial of his blood around her neck and they would suck face and paw at one another at awards shows (and wherever else cameras were present). And when the rest of the world--thankfully--responded with a resounding YAWN, she ditched Billy Bob and adopted her first kid, a photogenic Vietnamese toddler she named (ugh) Maddox, and PRESTO! suddenly she was a saint. She eighty-sixed the black clothing and bloody vials, swathed herself in flowing gauzy dresses, and essentially declared to the world (via patronizing interviews and her serene, barf-enducing demeanor) "Look how enlightened and evolved I now am! I adopted this adorable ethnic orphan for the good of all humanity and what have you done for the world lately?" Which, okay, she's an insufferable egotist, but she gave a needy kid a home, so good for her, I guess. But still? She was full of shit. And a half-dozen adopted and biological babies later? She's still full of shit, and an even bigger egomaniac, collecting orphans like Precious Moments figurines and popping out three babies in two years (which, seriously? Is pretty gross.) And--if I may go back to her public transformation from Psycho Goth Chick to Lady Madonna--she reportedly cut all ties with her father after he told an interviewer that he worried his knife-collecting daughter was emotionally unstable. Keep in mind that this was shortly after her big switch-over and Crazy Angelina had become soooo 5 minutes ago, but I guess Jon Voight didn't get the memo that it was taboo to bring up his daughter's past weirdness now that she was Mother Angelina. Her solution to his evil parental concern? Screw you, dad! (To paraphrase my grandmother: you made your bed of crazy, bitch, now lie in it!)

Purported beauty: Let's get this straight. I'm not "jus jellus" of Ms. Jolie's alleged gorgeousness. I'm not jealous, because I don't find her attractive. Her increasingly gaunt appearance, her fivehead, her spongy lips? Sorry, not my thing. And that's fine, whatever. What I resent is the insistence of EVERYONE--men, women, websites, magazines (both tabloid and "respected" ones)--that she is abso-fucking-lutely the most stunning creature ever to walk upright and that us mortal women are supposed to just PASS OUT at the sight of her earth-shattering beauty. Bleh. And, also? Nope. Another thing that bugs is that Jolie fits squarely into that warped equation of "95 lb. frame + boy hips + B cups = OMG so voluptuous and HOTT!" Only in modern-day Hollywood could anorexics with fake tits be considered curvy. And by the way, I happen to be a fan of actresses such as Drew Barrymore, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Scarlett Johansen, Reese Witherspoon, and other starlets who bear the Hollywood-endorsed "hot" stamp of approval, lest you think I'm just some troll who hates the so-called pretty people. And speaking of pretty....

Her man: She can have him. Brad Pitt hasn't done anything for me since Thelma and Louise, and that was nearly 20 years ago. I've moved on. Nothing against the Bradster; he actually seems like an affable, fairly down-to-earth guy. He's also reportedly a huge pothead, so he'd probably be fun to toke up with (but not as much fun as Matthew McConaghey. Dude puts the "HIGH" in "hi-larious!). But, like the single friend who's cool until he/she couples with an annoying partner and slowly becomes just as repellent as they are, the Angelina curse seems to have hit Brad. He joins her in that creepy W photo spread where they portray 60's-era parents with six kids. (Dammit, don't encourage them! Also, why does Angelina appear to be wearing a swim diaper in one of the pics? Is Brad into water sports? Scratch that--I don't want to know). He goes on Oprah and TMI's all over the place about his kids' puke and other bodily fluids. (If I were still enamoured with Brad Pitt, that would have cured my crush right there). And through it all, the couple insists that they want to be left alone by media vultures and paparazzi. "Go away! We want to be regular people and raise our kids privately! Oh, hey! People magazine--you want to buy photos of our newborn? Here ya go! And W magazine, you want these photos of Angelina breastfeeding? There's one where you can almost kind of see her nipple a little bit! Sexy, huh? That would look great on your cover! Wait--hold on a minute--leave us alone! We're intensely private people!" Yeah, see my point? It's rather tiresome. In short: Brad, get a clue.

So, what's next for the biggest pair of lips in show business? You know what I hope? I hope Angelina and Brad renounce the public life, become missionaries, and abscond to a village in some remote country where not even the most daring paparazzo would follow. I mean, think of all the orphans Angelina would have access to, right on the doorstep of her mud hut! Even better? No more crappy Angelina Jolie movies!

Plus, I'd never have to think about her ever again. That'd be a good thing.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I'm a hothead. Literally.

Dammit, I can never be normal. It's not my fault. I don't know who or what is the cause of this, but I know the blame for my various abnormalities does not rest soley on my shoulders. It can't; there are too many other factors (parents, family, environment, disorders, medication, etc.) working together to make up my general weirdness. But I'm just here to complain, not to point fingers.

Now that summer is in full bloom in Minnesota (i.e. the temp has finally climbed above 75 degrees), I am reminded for the umpteenth time how much I hate to sweat. Don't get me wrong, I love summer. I just hate what it does to me. I sweat a lot, and not in the usual, predictable areas where humans are supposed to sweat. I sweat profusely from my scalp, which sucks ASS, especially for someone who spends as much money on her hair as I do. It's not an issue when I'm in my car, where I always have the A/C cranked to full capacity, or in a chilled restaurant or coffee shop. But when I'm out and about and exposing myself to the heat of the sun and the Midwestern humidity (biking, walking to the store, or just doing typical summertime stuff) my hair tends to look like I've just finished swimming the English Channel.

Sweat on other areas of the body is fairly manageable: there is deodorant for the pits, cotton underwear to cool the ass and various naughty bits, and powder and smear-proof makeup for the face. But if, like me, you are afflicted with Sweaty Head Syndrome (SHS), there is not a whole hell of a lot you can do. Compounding the problem is my hair, which is thick and heavy to begin with, so my head probably sweats twice as much as other people living with SHS. I mean, what do I do? Pull a Britney Spears and shave my melon? Not bloody likely. I look bad enough with short hair--I shudder to think what my giant white head would look like naked.

I did google searches on both "excessive scalp sweat" and "sweaty head" and turned up some information, but nothing very useful. I learned that SHS is clinically known as "cranio-facial hyperhydrosis." I also came across a website that promised "Four Tips To Stop Your Head From Sweating," which was bogus, because three of the remedies that it recommended (scalp deodorant--seriously!, anticholinergic drugs, and risky surgery that involves cutting the nerves) are pretty much out for me. The fourth "tip" was a link to a website hawking a book entitled (hilariously) Stop Sweating and Start Living. At this point, however, I'm about ready to order it. And by the way, why hasn't anyone invented some sort of medical head vaccuum that sucks the sweat glands dry? Because that actually sounds appealing, and fairly feasible. Better than (ew!) scalp deodorant, anyway, which I don't even want to know about.

It's good to know that I'm not alone, as I found a funny blog post from a fellow SHS sufferer.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Too good to be true?

Sorry to keep beating this dead horse (like the media keeps doing), but it seems Palin just announced she is resigning from office. Does this mean she will quietly fade into the ether and take her fucked-up bass-ackwards family with her?

Oh please please please please please!