Where Are You, Atticus Finch?

But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal- there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest JP court in the land, or this honourable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal – Atticus Finch

One of my top ten favoatticusrite books  is To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.  Interestingly enough, it’s also in my top ten favorite movies.  When was the last time a movie based on a novel wasn’t an absolute affront to the book?  I love the character’s names – Boo Radley, Scout, Jem, Eula May.  But my favorite was Atticus.  I will forever associate the name with the heroic, wise and principaled attorney played so perfectly by Gregory Peck. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to think that in real life, his character is about as real as The Tooth Fairy.

Let me do a little damage control by saying that I have good friends that are practicing attorneys, and most of them  have an excellent  moral compass.  But they tend to be more pragmatic than heroic – the way the system is set up, they kind of have to be. Although far from a proven hypothesis, my guess would be this moral but pragmatic group is still a significant minority of lawyers out their practicing law.  The rest of them…well let’s just say I am 99 percent certain that Satan doesn’t really exists, but if he did, I am also 99 percent certain he would be an attorney.

devil
Integrity is for pussies – see you in court!

Believe it or not, I didn’t always feel this way,  As a matter of fact, for a minute or two in college I actually toyed with the idea of going to law school. I still love the concept of law, but I’m really glad I didn’t pursue it – otherwise I might have ended up just another soulless pariah with a business suit.

When did my opinion begin to change on the nobility of practicing law?  Well, like a lot of people, it probably began with the OJ Simpson trial.  If you think that money doesn’t influence the outcome of both criminal and civil matters, well than I have a timeshare in Bakersfield I’d like to tell you about.  Dream Team?  I’d say a more accurate description would be the Ream Team, because they took the concept of justice and shoved it up our collective asses.

Do you honestly belieItove if OJ wasn’t rich and famous he would have been found innocent? Puleeze.  He had attorneys smart enough to pick jurors that had an ax to grind, and theatrical enough to deliver catch phrases like “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit!” Not to mention, one of the attorneys was none other than Robert Kardashian, and if his contributions to getting a murderer off scott free weren’t bad enough, he also spawned the 3Ks that will no doubt curse humanity for generations to come.  (I prefer not to say their actual names because – much like uttering the name Voldemort – it simply gives them more power.)  And don’t get me started on Judge Ito.

I also think that class-action attorneys haven’t really made the world better or safer, just more expensive.  There are exceptions of course, and although I think in theory the concept makes sense, in practice it fails to deliver.  The idea was that a single individual could not possibly be on a fair playing field when going up against a multi-million or billion dollar corporation – which is undoubtedly true.  Collectively they have more power.

A hypothetical example: (Hypothetical in this instance meaning it occurs about as often as the sun rises and sets on any given day.) If a mega bank defrauded their customers, charging them a bogus fee for a particular transaction, and a single individual files a lawsuit to complain about how they essentially stole a hundred dollars from him, or whatever the amount might be, do you think he would pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to take the bank on?  Of course he wouldn’t.  And even if he was dumb enough to do so, he would quickly be swatted away like a pesky fly that alights on a horses ass.  But if you take said individual and multiply him by the thousands, well now you’ve got their attention.

sleaze
Voted the #1 family law firm by douchebags nationwide!

The problem with this concept is that the veryattorneys that are supposed to be fighting for the little guy, are no less greedy than the corporations they litigate against.  Case in point -the class action lawsuit brought by the law firm Milberg LLP against Nvidia, a chip maker, for making a faulty computer chip.  The roughly 28 thousand claimants divvied up a 10 million dollar settlement.  That’s about 350 dollars toward repairs or a computer swap per claimant.  And the attorneys?  Well they split 13 million dollars in attorney’s fees.  According to Milberg’s website, they employ 75 attorneys nationwide.  Assuming every single one of their attorneys worked on this case (which is inconceivable since they have several different practice areas other than mass tort litigation), that would mean over $170,000 in fees per attorney. When it comes to fucking their customers, Nvidia is a bunch of amateurs compared to these guys.

scott (2)
I see you only have 24 unused handicapped parking spots at your Ice Skating Arena. The law says you have to have 25. Now pay me money.

Here in Sacramento, we also have a little problem with the filing of frivolous ADA lawsuits by attorney Scott Johnson and attorney Lynn Hubbard. Between the two of them, they filed 182 ADA lawsuits in Sacramento in 2005 alone.  Johnson has filed well over a thousand in the past few years, basically terrorizing small business owners throughout the region.  If you see this pleasant looking fellow and his cute dog coming toward the front door of your establishment, my advice would be to a) find a crucifix and some garlic, stat; b) start hurling stacks of hundred dollar bills at him until he turns around and leaves; or c) immediately close your doors and lay off all your employees, because it’s futile to take on the ADA mafia.  Of course not all ADA lawsuits are frivolous, but I suspect that most of the ones filed by this guy are little more than legalized extortion, plain and simple.

scales2

Is this post funny?  Sorry, no – unless one believes in an inherently dark genre of humor that can ease the pain of realizing the full extent of man’s corruption, and upon hearing the final death knell of one’s ideals.  Do I have a moral to this story? Unfortunately no – other than to tell you that if you think the scales of justice are balanced, and that for most attorneys, integrity comes first and money second, then you are either blessed beyond belief to have had zero need for an attorney in your life thus far, or you’re a plucky little orphan girl with ringlets in your hair and a song in your heart. Either way, I envy your innocence.

Life Guru 101

 

A friend recently  asked a great question that has bugged me for quite some time – what qualifies someone to be a “Life Coach”?  There must be a great need for them because it seems like it’s become increasingly common to have one.  It’s also one of the fastest growing professions around. However,  I’m not entirely convinced that the concept isn’t complete BS. Isn’t it sort of like being a therapist, but without having to acquire that pesky Master’s degree in psychology?

stuey2
I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like m

I’m sure there are plenty of people who call themselves a Life Coach that have zero training, because, hey – you can call yourself Master of the Universe if you want, who’s gonna stop you? But I also know that becoming a Certified Life Coach is much more difficult…or is it?

 

I went on the International Coach Federation (IFC) website to see what exactly is required to call yourself a Certified Life Coach.

The minimum standards to become certified include three things:

  • Completion of an accredited coaching program of at least 125 hours.
  • 100 hours of coaching experience
  • Coach Knowledge Assesment (CKA)
Okay, let’s break this down…
drum circle
Dude, my future’s so bright, I gotta get me some shades!
An accredited coach training program can be completed at home and is offered by such revered educational institutions as The Center for Transformational Presence and theGoal Imagery Institute.  You can also choose from several different specialties, depending on your particular interest.  These include specialties such as Life Vision and Enhancement, and Spirituality.  Why do I suspect some of these classes might involve dropping acid and joining a drum circle?

Your 100 hours of coaching experience is verified by providing the names and phone numbers of your clients, who may or may not be contacted by IFC.
I figure I’ve easily got a few hundred hours of life coaching experience – it’s called cocktail hour with the girlfriends.   I’m sure they would all vouch for the fact that during these sessions we analyze certain relationships ad nauseam, explore our job challenges (working for idiots, annoying co-workers, not getting paid what we’re obviously worth), and express – often in a slurred, far too loud manner – the goals we’ve just established for ourselves (swearing off men, teaching that bitch a lesson, telling the boss to go fuck himself…just to name a few.)

Lastly, the Coach Knowledge Assessment is a test that again, you can take from home. I think it goes without saying that obviously you don’t Google the correct response, and you would neverdream of simply referring to your learning materials to regurgitate the answer they want.

This is a sample question from the website:

An appropriate role for a coach in goal setting, planning, and prioritizing with a client is
a) critiquing and embellishing a client’s goals.
b) letting the client self-determine the need for goals.
c) taking charge of the process to ensure it is completed accurately.
d) facilitating a process around the client’s goal setting, planning, and prioritizing.

Pretty much just pick the answer that sounds like the most pretentious hoo-ha (the correct answer is d) and you’ll be right 90% of the time.  Considering you only have to get 70% to pass, suffice it to say, it’s not quite as rigorous as passing the Bar.

Keep in mind thdiploma2at getting life coach certified through the IFC is like getting your Engineering degree from MIT or your Women’s Studies degree from Smith – it’s the gold standard of the profession.  But, like a degree from the University of Phoenix, someone has to represent the silver and bronze standard, right?  Well, doing a little more research, I discovered you can also get “Life Coach Certified” by places like Fowler University after merely 20 online hours, and a framed diploma to boot.  I think this is about the equivalent of my “Certificate of Participation” award I received as a kid for my stellar contributions to my softball team, but the difference is that this one will cost you around $650.Not to dismiss those who truly have the education, life experience and training to be able to help other people reach their goals – I know a couple of them and the positive influence they’ve had on people.  They are definitely worth every dime. I guess it’s simply a case of buyer beware since the industry doesn’t appear to be very well regulated.
If you don’t have the money or the inclination to hire a certified life coach to inform you that you’re the poster child  of wasted potential , I’m considering offering a bootleg online coaching session that will be much cheaper and probably a lot more honest than someone teaching you to harness your third eye chakra or that your divorce can actually be a “conscious uncoupling” with no hurt feelings.
gwyn
I’m sure Gwyneth would be an awesome life coach.
Just to give you a little taste of some of the pearls of wisdom you could expect  for the astoundingly low price of $19.95 – you heard right – just $19.95, take a peek:
  • Stop doing the same stupid shit and expecting a different outcome.
  • Get your lazy ass out of bed before noon if you want to have the
    slightest hope of conquering the world.
  • Try becoming more informed about significant matters going on in the world around you  (and no…what Kim Kardashian is going to name her baby does not qualify.)
  • Stupid is supposed to hurt, Dumbass.
  • You’re fat because you eat  too much – it ain’t rocket science.
  • Laughter is good for you, unless you laugh at reruns of According To Jim, which just confirms what I suspected – you’re a moron.
  • Don’t spend more than you earn,  two minus four does not equal zero, it equals bankruptcy.

These are just a few tidbits to build your anticipation.  I’m even thinking of creating a “Life Guru Onboarding Waitlist” – not sure what that would entail exactly, but it sounds pretty darn impressive.  Oh, and fair warning to Tony Robbins – I’m copywriting my ideas so don’t even think about stealing them.  Peace Out.

robbins
I thought it was supposed to be in the bedroom…

Pick Your Poison

I don’t know when it started exactly, but over the last few years I’ve decided that I hate women’s magazines. Granted, I would usually only pick them up when I was at the airport and desperate for some reading material other than the in-flight magazine,  or when sitting at the salon gettin’ my hair did, or when waiting in a long, impossibly slow checkout line at the grocery store while the Eskaton busload of seniors in front of me write out their checks and have the bag boy run and locate items they couldn’t find.

Perhaps it was me getting older and no longer finding anything remotely relatable in the fashion magazines’ narrow interpretation of what represents style and beauty.  Perhaps it was just me getting wiser, and seeing all these “up with women” articles for what they really are – mostly empty platitudes amidst the relentless, profit-driven exploitation of our insecurities.  But  my dislike of women’s magazines really began in earnest when my daughters became pre-teens and then teenagers.  I hated the idea that they could be looking at these air-brushed, photo-shopped images of perfect women and somehow think that they were anything less than completely beautiful for who they were, both inside and out.

I’m sure the magazine publisher’s would assure me that things are different now.  They would say they no longer use underage, anorexic girls as models, or objectify women to peddle the distorted realities of Hollywood celebs and Manhattan fashionistas. But one glance through the pages ofVogue, Shape, Us, Cosmo, or countless others would show that – at least as currently portrayed  – we really haven’t come a long way, baby.

Don’t believe me?  Well let’s take a look at just a few samples of what I found in the magazine aisle today…

Vogue – April Issue

 Ms. Karlie modeling her curves for Victoria Secret.

Interestingly enough, this issue was touted as the “shape issue.”  With such warm and fuzzy proclamations  as “our bodies are beautiful” and “celebrate them in all their divine individuality” you’d think that they might actually be willing to explore some different concepts of beauty, right?  But alas…you’d be wrong.  Their fashion spread features the stunning Karlie Kloss, who at 6’1″ and 115 pounds is hardly breaking barriers for women of all shapes and sizes.  She personifies the almost unobtainable “ideal” the fashion industry promotes. Ironically, the story of a Kentucky inmate that starved to death is fueling outrage this week – with reporters stating in somber tones that he was 6′ and only 138 pounds when he died…but he’d still be way too fat to ever grace the pages of Vogue.

The issue  goes on to bravely profile women of various sizes.  All I can say is poor Mindy Kaling.  I guess being Indian and a size 10 makes her the go-to poster child for the “look how inclusive we are!” movement. She is the most voluptuous woman profiled by far. The remaining 4  profiles of women with “diverse body shapes” include the very pregnant Emily Blunt, 31 years old; the amazingly beautiful and fit athlete Skylar Diggins, 23; the 5 foot tall, size 0 political consultant and occasional Girls actress Audrey Gelman, 26; and the nearly 6′ tall Parisian fashion industry exec Virginie Courtin-Clarins, 28.  Wow.  Apparently Anna Wintour has never set foot inside a Walmart if this is her idea of expanding our concept of beauty.


Then there are the ads.  Versace has one featuring Lady Gaga that is practically unrecognizable from the non photo-shopped version.  I’m not going so far as to say we should ban photo-shopped ads completely, but at the same time, as far removed from actual reality as we are, we might as well swap CGI for actual flesh and blood models – at least it would be more honest.

This particular ad features Esmeralda Seay Reynolds, Marc Jacobs latest muse.  She is only 16 years old.  She is being featured in a series of post apocalyptic style ads along with a very depressed looking Miley Cyrus.  Perhaps I’m just not seeing it as the avant garde artistic statement it was obviously intended to be, but don’t for a minute assume putting every tween girl’s favorite singer front and center in these ads was not a calculated maneuver.  Can we at least agree that our young models should not appear like they’re seriously ill and close to death?

New Beauty – Spring/Summer Issue

Here is a magazine that on the surface, seems to be geared toward a slightly older woman.  Encouraging, right?  Well, take a look inside and you’ll find out what the media really thinks about our demographic.  Apparently, us 40 to 50 year olds fall into one of two categories – either we are represented by magazines like Women’s Day and Family Circle, where we are all oddly obsessed with crockpot recipes and DIY projects, or we are desperate cougars willing to do anything to hold onto the last fading remnants of our youthful beauty.  Well over half the pages were promoting some kind of surgical enhancement.  Again, I’m not a militant here, but do we really need to be force fed going under the knife?  Having a few wrinkles and some sagging skin should be a testament to your  wisdom and strength – trying to look like a 20 year old when your actually 60 is rejecting the more interesting  and sophisticated  beauty that you have rightfully earned for an invariably second rate resurrection of the fresh faced glamour of  youth.

The last category of women’s magazine that I need to mention is what I refer to as the “Celebutard Rags.”  It is obvious that these tabloids attempt to appeal to the lowest common female denominator.  Just a glance through their press-released articles disguised as news reflects that the vast majority of the people their readers are apparently obsessed with knowing every detail about, have absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever – other than being savvy enough to realize that they need to work the shit out of their 15 minutes of fame.

If these snippets are any indication, knowing whether Snookie is going to have a girl or a boy, understanding the legal battles being faced by another insufferable real housewife, the answer to whether Lindsay Lohan might be headed back to rehab, and what the state of Tori Spelling’s dysfunctional marriage is, are matters of global importance.  Throw in some bikini shots of one of the God awful Kardashian clan along with expert analysis of their possible cellulite, and you’ve got yourself another vapid, soul sucking rag that contributes nothing to our society.  If these people are actually viewed as legitimately interesting and important and not merely as the shiny but meaningless objects that they are, then I would like to  request an alien invasion immediately so we can get our priorities in order.

Who are these people, why are they famous, and why the fuck would I care about their drama?!


Actually I must confess that I am a sucker for recipes, and fashion and beauty advice.  But like a side of lumpy mashed potatoes, it needs to be served with a slab of meat.  Give me some protein with my carbs…don’t leave me feeling empty, nauseous, and full of regret.  When I pick up a magazine now, I find it is usually something like Esquire, Wired, or Vanity Fair.  I want the eye candy but I also want the substance.  As a female, I don’t think I’m unique in my desire for something that has a little more depth.  As the saying goes, Junk in, junk out. Time to practice a little mindful – instead of mindless – consumption ladies.  So get a clue out there publishers, or you will leave us no choice but to forsake all women’s mags and kick your skinny, shallow, and condescending asses to the curb once and for all.

Forever 21

My oldest daughter turned 21 this week.  It’s hard to believe, in large part because it confirms something I’ve suspected for awhile, dammit – I’m aging too.

It seems like it was forever and a day ago that I celebrated my own 21st birthday  – not that I remember very much of it.  When I was in college we celebrated by doing the “Miracle Mile” – so named because it would be a miracle if you were still standing by the end of it. It was basically  a mile of bar hopping down the town’s main drag, where at each stop, your frenemies would invariably buy you the establishment’s stiffest cocktail.  I certainly hope my daughter’s evening was a little less…shall we say…vomity?

As a mom I know about the various rites of passage – your first kiss, getting your driver’s license, senior prom, graduating from high school or college, buying your first home – and how each one is transformative in some way.  But for some reason there are other milestones in nearly everyone’s life that are just as profound but don’t get nearly the same fanfare.  For example…

banker
Stupid hurts, but it should

The first time you overdraw your bank account.  This was actually much easier to do back when I was in my twenties, because people actually paid for things with checks, and you had to balance your checkbook to know what your balance was.  Fortunately for me, it was also much cheaper – a $10 overdraft fee versus the $35 it is now.  It was also around that time that this Einstein figured out that not paying your credit card bill on time is also quite costly. Banks thrive because of stupid people – don’t be one of them

creeper
Look – an ED sandwich

Realizing you’re the oldest person in the club – I remember feeling a mix of pity and disgust when I was in my twenties and  a creepy old guy (and by old I mean 40) would hit on me   Then there came a time when I was at a club, looked around  and realized the horrifying truth – now Icould be creepy old guy.  You never want to be creepy old guy. It’s one thing to go dancing with your partner or girlfriends, but trying to hook up with much younger folks by going to clubs smells like desperation with a faint hint of  George Clooney.

Getting fired – if you’ve never been fired from a job before, you should try it.  It usually turns out to be a good thing.  It’s better to be forced to move along then spending years toiling away at something you suck at. I was fired from a Hallmark store when I was in college.  The owner told me I was terrible at wrapping gifts. It was true.  I was terrible at it.  We offered complimentary gift wrapping but believe me, in my incapable hands, what devolved from some paper, scotch tape and ribbon was far from complimentary.   I remember being upset when he told me “it just isn’t working out” –  but fortunately I immediately realized I hated both the job and the owner.  I ended up finding a job at a clothing store just a few days later.  I was pretty good at pretending I was a fashionista and got a killer employee discount.  Low and behold, my ex-boss actually did me a favor.

wrap
Pinterest Fail Posts – here I come

Buying a practical car.  Almost all parents do it eventually.  I drove a minivan for years when my kids were little. Now, because I drive so much, I own a Prius.  I call this one a milestone because it represented a major shift in my thinking.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I don’t like expensive sports cars – but I’m not a 1 percenter, and I’m  not going to make a $600 a month car payment to look cool.   I don’t really care what kind of snap judgement a complete stranger might make about me based upon the large chunk of metal I’m encased in when we happen to pass each other going 70 down the freeway.

van
Sorry – that ship sailed when you became a MFer.

Writing a thank-you note without your Mom making you.  Symbolic because it shows that you finally appreciate the importance of good manners.  Thank-you notes are more about placing value on your relationships than it is about placing value on things.  Kids – never dismiss good etiquette as  pretentious or outdated – that’s just an excuse to be lazy and disrespectful.  If you doubt me, just try belching really loud at church and notice the horrified looks you’ll immediately receive.  On second thought – please don’t…tell your parents I told you to try this experiment.  Suffice it to say, sometimes it’s the small gestures that make the best (or worst) impressions.

kidthanks
Future passive aggressive a-hole in training

No longer caring about getting gifts at Christmas and birthdays.  Part of the reason adults no longer send wish lists to Santa is that the idea of having a bearded fat man break into your house while you’re sleeping, then proceed to steal your snacks, trim your tree, and fill your stockings, sounds like something that should be reported immediately to the police department’s perv unit.  The other part is that after a certain age, celebrations are not about receiving gifts, they’re about spending quality time with the people you love.   I think one of the best gifts I ever received was  from the dollar store.  I had given my kids a few dollars each to pick out a Christmas gift for me, their dad,  and their siblings.  My twins were only around 4 at the time, and I had no idea what they would pick out. Obviously, since I was letting them shop at the dollar store, it wasn’t about the particular item – it could have been a bag of plastic bugs for all I cared.  I waited by the exit and let them go about their shopping for the first time, sans Mom.  When they approached the checkout though, I quickly realized my assistance would be needed.  Proud as peacocks, they had picked out the one item in the store that they knew Mommy would love – a bottle of wine.  Needless to say, I made a big show of how delicious it was when I choked down a glass on Christmas day, but it was worth it seeing their happy expressions when they gave me that special, special gift.  For most of us, there comes a time when you realize that you actually enjoy giving  more than you do receiving.  Go ahead and feel free to interpret that any way you please.

macn
Gee thanks!

Your child’s first birthday.  Some think it’s the child’s milestone, when in actuality, it’s the parent’s.  The one year mark signifies many things to Moms in particular.  First, the hope that the next year will mean more than 3 hours of sleep per night.  I don’t think anything can prepare you for the sleep deprivation you suffer after having a baby.  I remember fantasizing about going away for the weekend, but not to go shopping in San Francisco, or wine tasting in Napa – no, my dream was simply checking into the nearest HoJo’s for 2 days of solid, uninterrupted snoozing.  That was my idea of heaven. Secondly, birthday #1 signals the relief most parents feel that they didn’t manage to kill their child in the first year by dropping them, accidentally leaving them strapped into their car seat but still on the roof of your car when you drive off down the road,  letting them put something in their mouth that they might choke on, not laying them down for their nap in the proper position,  not breastfeeding them correctly, or a thousand other things that you are terrified you’ll do wrong.  Thankfully, most of us eventually figure it out, if only by trial and error (sorry kids.) Lastly, this birthday is usually about the time a mother begins to feel that her body is no longer merely a host organism, and indeed, she might actually be able to reclaim it and feel like a sexy beast again someday.

crib
How about I bring some baby Tylenol PM instead?

Of course we all know that there are plenty of other milestones in life – some big, some small. My advice to my daughter would be to take comfort in the relative naivete of youth while you can.  Soon enough,  all of us eventually have to learn to navigate life on our own, just watch your back and always expect some surprises along the way.

catears
Vengeance is mine

My Co-Op Flop

 April 2014

Confession – I’m intimidated whenever I go to the natural food co-op here in Sacramento.  Don’t get me wrong – I love it and shop there often, but it still makes me a little bit nervous every time I do.

Why?  Because whenever I’m at the co-op I always feel like an interloper.  There are lots of words to describe me – some good, some not so good – but bohemian isn’t one of them.  I wouldn’t say I’m super high maintenance, but I’m much more comfortable in stilettos than I am in Birkenstocks, and I spend a fair amount of time waxing, shaving, and plucking instead of opting to go au-natural.  I guess I’m just not evolved enough to embrace armpit beards quite yet.

I could probably blend in at a suburban Whole Foods, since whenever I go, it seems to be largely well-heeled cougar types. But really, put me in a Costco, and  I am in my element.  Blame it on Darwin.  I have three teenagers who can  lay waste to my pantry quicker than a swarm of locusts – I simply adapted accordingly.  I know that a 2 pound bag of coffee beans at Costco will cost me roughly half the price as it would cost me in a froo froo grocery store.   I also know that when you have a family of 5 or more, buying staples like diapers, soap, milk, and bread anyplace other than Costco is like eating food from your hotel minibar when you’re completely sober, and who in their right mind would ever do that?

As usual, my trepidation begins before I even enter the store.  It starts in the parking lot.  Parking spots at the co-op are extremely hard to find – the lot is really small and the street parking around the building is almost always already taken.  I’m sure that the lot is purposely small to encourage customers to reduce their carbon footprint by walking or riding their bikes, but that’s not always practical when you’re lugging several bags of groceries.   Fortunately I do drive a Prius – like half the shoppers here – but since I don’t have a coexist sticker on the back bumper, it only goes so far in maintaining my cover.

When I get inside, I am immediately drawn to the deli case…who knew how many variations on Quinoa you could have?  They also have a juice/smoothie bar, and an organic salad bar.  No congealed potato salad drowning in mayo here.  I also check out their class schedule where you can take classes like “Composting 101” and “Raising Chickens In Your Backyard.”  It’s easy to get distracted by all this, but I force myself to continue on to the produce department.

Unlike  traditional grocery stores, the co-op only carries organic produce, and partners with local growers to ensure that they are fresh and seasonal.  They have some of the best produce around, but it is also quite expensive.  This is usually where I start realizing my environmental integrity only exists on a sliding scale.  If I have to pay $3.99 a pound for apples at the co-op, I start to ask myself, how bad could it really be to ingest a few pesticides…couldn’t that help strengthen my immune system, or some shit like that?  They also have vegetables that I have no idea what I would do with once I got them home..do people actually eat kohlrabi or cherimoyas?  Or do they just keep them in their fridge to show off?

The back of the store, like most grocery store layouts, is for dairy and meat.  However, at the co-op, when I go to the meat section, I invariably feel like I’m going to the X rated section at the back of the video store. I think they should have a curtain of plastic hanging beads around the meat case, so at least you have some privacy and can avoid feeling judged while you’re picking out your slab of meat.  Sure it may be grass fed, but if you cross paths with a militant vegan, you might be in trouble.

From there, I turn down an aisle that has an amazing array of  gluten free products. Isn’t gluten intolerance a first world problem? I remember it was relatively rare 10 years ago, and now everyone seems to suffer from it.  I wonder if people who have actual Celiac disease get sick of all the “gluten intolerant” people trying to horn in on the sympathy that exists for their disease, simply because eating a piece of wheat bread might make them gassy.  Cheese makes me gassy, but I eat it anyway and somehow manage to bravely soldier on.

I stop to take a look at  the cereals and a woman approaches me looking distressed.  She is holding a bottle of maple syrup in her hand.
“Excuse me – do you happen to know the difference between Grade A maple syrup and Grade B?” she asked.
“Yes,” I respond.  “Grade A is more expensive.”
Apparently she wasn’t confident enough in my expertise on the matter, since she immediately went in search of a grocery clerk.

Next was the bulk food section, which takes up the entire eastern wall of the store.  I was standing in front of the bin labeled millet, trying to figure out if it was food for birds, or for people.  Grey haired  ponytail guy saw my perplexed look and said “Cook it up with some coconut oil.  I eat it almost every day and my colon still looks like a twenty year old’s!” I was going to jokingly ask if he had pictures to prove it, but I was afraid he might actually pull one out of his wallet, so I scooped some into a bag, thanked him, and quickly moved on.

Beyond bulk foods is  a very large wellness section filled with every kind of herbal and  vitamin supplement you can think of.  Personally, I  take a daily multivitamin and might take some echinacea or vitamin C every once in awhile as an insurance policy, but not because I’m convinced it will do me much good – I’m just hedging my bets since it only costs me a few dollars a month.  However, you could easily spend hundreds of dollars a year on supplements.  I decided I could have several de-stressing spa days for that price, and it would probably be as good for my long-term health and a hell of a lot more fun than choking down a handful of horse pills every day.   I can’t even tell you what most of them are for…Cat’s Claw, St Johns’ Wort, Billberry…my guess is wizardry – since they sound like something Harry Potter might use to cast spells.

I head toward the checkout, exhausted from trying to appear like I know my way around a Monsanto GMO protest.  I kid – but honestly, everything I’ve ever  purchased at the co-op is great and the people couldn’t be nicer.  I just need to learn to walk that fine line between conscientious consumer and hot-house flower.

The cashier begins to ring me up.  “Did you bring your own bags today?” she asks with a smile.  DAMN.  Ashamed, I regretfully shake my head no…no, I’m the loser who doesn’t care enough about our planet to inconvenience myself in even the smallest of ways. Carrying my unnecessarily new paper bags,  I take my wasteful ass back out to the parking lot, vowing to do better next time.

Dumbest. Holidays. Ever.

I was reminded yesterday of how much I hate certain “holidays.”  What exactly is April Fool’s Day for anyway?  Supposedly its celebration goes back to medieval times but so did lots of other not so great ideas…dungeons and beheadings come to mind.  I think unless you are under the age of 12, it should be like Easter egg hunts – adults should not be allowed to participate.

Don’t get me wrong – I am a big fan of pranks, but doing so on April 1 and then gleefully shouting “April Fools!” seems a bit juvenile.  Also, there seems to be some folks that increasingly cross the boundaries of good taste each and every year.  For example, telling people someone died as a joke isn’t funny, it’s sick, and so is texting a loved one that there is Colombine-type situation going down at your school.

I also wondered Monday when I heard  about the Tsunami warnings in South America – would some people think it was just a prank and ignore it?  Now that’d be some hilarious high jinks, wouldn’t it?

There are other holidays I wish we would do away with as well.  Groundhog Day.  The only thing to like about it is the Bill Murray movie with the same name.  Why would anyone give a flying fuck whether some rodent can see his shadow or not when we have Doppler radar, satellites, and computers to predict the weather – not to mention Al Roker?

I also hate Columbus Day. I think mainly because only government workers and banks get the day off while the rest of us still have to go to work.  Besides, it’s a wee bit controversial to celebrate someone who “discovered” America when it was actually already populated with a native people. Isn’t it akin to someone in the Ukraine proposing they celebrate Putin Day because he “discovered” Crimea?

Bosses Day is another one.  It’s so obviously a Hallmark created holiday because, honestly, every day is bosses day.  If you are such an ass kissing lackey that you actually buy a card and a gift for your boss on this make believe holiday, I at least hope you are in the mafia – otherwise take a long hard look in the mirror and grow a pair buddy.

I certainly don’t want to imply that we should have less holidays than we already do…I am an avid supporter of holidays as long as it results in a day off work and an excuse to consume large quantities of eithr food or alcohol.  I just think we could come up with far better holidays than the ones previously mentioned.  I’d like to propose a few that the powers that be should consider:

Bollywood Day – what better holiday than a celebration of this cinematic treasure from India?  Like any respectable Indian wedding, the celebration would take place over at least 5 days, which is the reason it is first on my list.  It would also involve spontaneous but choreographed dancing amongst strangers in the street.and the wearing of saris so you can eat as much delicious Indian food as you want and not have to unzip your pants at the end of the day.

 

 

Post Election Day – a celebration on the Wednesday  following the first Monday in November – in other words, the day after the election. First and formost, it would be a celebration to mark our  freedom from all those moronic political ads. It would also signify the beginning of the end of innocence.  After all, a belief that your candidate is somehow different and would actually bring change to Washington DC, is like stubbornly maintaining a childish belief in The Tooth Fairy – we all agree that the Tooth Fairy is going to steal stuff that belongs to you, but  ultimately you will be disappointed if you think that means they will significantly enhance your personal piggy bank in exchange.

 

Seis De Mayo – A “nurse your hangover” holiday similar to New Years Day.  If you aren’t going to give us the actual day of drinking off, you damn well better give us the day after.  Unofficially, a day to recover and swear off tequila until either the following fifth of May – or your next trip to Vegas or Cabo.

 

Federico Fellini Day – Basically an olive branch to our Italian friends since they might feel double crossed by us doing away with Columbus Day and our refusal to give up anything of substance for Lent.  Also, I’m going to assume that gorging on pasta and red wine would be a prominent part of any Italianesque celebration so in my mind that’s a good enough reason right there.  Traditionally, I imagine that this holiday would be celebrated by getting high and going to a Cirque Du Soleil show, followed by waking up the next morning and wondering if it had all just been a dream.

 

Vice President’s Day – I feel kind of bad for our Vice Presidents,  They really don’t get a whole lot of respect.  Although come to think of it, why would they? Still, it’s about time we have a holiday that celebrates being asleep on the job.  The person who has a title but no real power.  The person whose sole purpose seems to be deflecting the blame or ridicule from the actual guy in charge.   It’s also the ultimate celebration of the game of chance – because every single day they  can either be the butt of a joke – or as fast as a bullet flies through the air – can become the most powerful man on Earth..how’s that for irony?

 

Atheist’s Day – Let’s be reasonable and finally let the non-believers have a day all to themselves.  I can only imagine how annoying it is for them to watch from the sidelines as the rest of us honor our cherished biblical traditions such as awaiting the giant rabbit that will deliver colored eggs to children on the day of  Jesus’ resurrection.  And of course, the fat man with his flying reindeer traveling around the world, breaking into people’s homes to eat their cookies and drop off gifts made by exploited midgets, to commemorate our savior’s birth.  I’m not sure what they will do to honor their own cherished traditions – but my guess would be that it involves a lot of intellectual debate, Darwin bumper stickers, and hyper-sensitivity.

My Mullet Philosophy of Life

I think I finally figured out the secret to a rich and happy life.  It’s pretty simple really.  It’s all about knowing when to let your hair down.  The people I know who seem genuinely content  all seem to have this trait in common.

What I’m referring to is the ability to behave practically and responsibly when you need to, but also know when it’s time to throw caution – and sometimes your dignity and even checkbook – to the wind.  Let’s call it The Mullet Philosophy of Life – business in the front, party in the back.

NOT David, BTW

I love my fiance David because he totally gets this concept  – he is an entrepreneur and a great salesman.  He would also make a great politician because he is uniquely talented at pressing the flesh.  (For all you pervs out there – I meant networking, but I guess the phrase can be extrapolated to include other talents as well.)   He also knows how to pinch a penny – I have never seen someone quite as pleased with themselves as he is after a trip to Grocery Outlet or the Dollar Tree where he scored some amazing deal on bell peppers or laundry soap.

Yet despite his work ethic and thrifty nature,  the man knows how to have fun.  He is always up for an adventure, throws epic parties, and when in hair-down mode, can make merry as well as Bacchus himself. It’s all about striking that balance.

I don’t like to be around people who can’t let their hair down.  Frankly I don’t trust them.  If you want to avoid them as I do, I find that they usually fall into one of these categories:

The Fitness Freak – we all know these people.  They are the ones that hit the gym at 5 am every morning.  They will tell you as you’re sipping your mocha that you’d be better off drinking a protein shake.  They know what their BMI is and will make sure you do too, and even though they usually have an incredibly hard body, they are about as much fun as a visit to the proctologist.

 

Red-Faced Angry Guy –  these are the people who make life hell for anyone in the service industry. Vacations are spent bitching about the poor service, the delayed flight, or the crappy hotel.  Even if you spot them at a  party, they still seem pissed off.  They will most likely be gesticulating, cocktail in hand, while  in the midst of an angry rant about the government, the lack of parking, or a rival football team, while some poor bastard looks on wide-eyed, having been unwittingly sucked into his angry vortex.

 

The Church Lady – someone whose interpretation of their religious teachings has led them to believe that anything that brings you pleasure  must by definition be a sin.  Sex is a sin – unless it’s for procreation, and even then, they caution you not to enjoy yourself.  Relaxing is a sin because idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.  Alcohol is a sin – despite the fact that Jesus turned water into wine, only degenerates drink.   Dancing is a sin. because gyrating ones body in such a matter is unseemly and depraved.

 

The Tormented Artist – These people are unwilling to crack a smile because it might destroy their finely honed image of angst.  Loves pretending to read Nietzsche,  listening to Arcade Fire, smoking cigarettes, wearing black, standing in the rain, and discussing the pointlessness of life in coffee shops.

 

The Workaholic – although I greatly admire people who  have drive and ambition, I find that if it’s all work and no play, it truly does make Jack a dull boy.  If you miss your kid’s recital because you have an important deadline at work, you can’t even go to the bathroom without checking your email on your phone, you consider a 60 hour week week  slacking off, and you eat more meals at your desk than you do at home with your family, you need to get a grip. It’s okay to work hard as long as you don’t lose sight of why you do so. 

 

My recommendation?  Don’t pass up an opportunity to indulge yourself every once in awhile.  That might mean different things to different people.  It might mean escaping to a tropical beach somewhere, socializing with friends and family,  taking the time to learn how to do something new no matter your age, allowing yourself an entire day to lay in bed and binge watch Game of Thrones, or going out to dinner and ordering the steak and lobster combo because, dammit, you just want it,  Anything to remind yourself that these hair-down moments are what really matter the most, and without them, your days spent here on earth are merely killing time.

The Friday NihiList

Have you ever noticed that certain songs make you want to kill yourself?  I’m not talking about sad love songs – we all enjoy those bittersweet ballads, especially when we are experiencing a break-up.  They’re what I refer to as musical therapy – a way to lick your wounds, have a good cry , and remind yourself that he or she doesn’t deserve your love, dammit.

What I’m talking about are the songs that are so morose and depressing, you are left to wonder – what kind of twisted soul would inflict this lyrical despair on the human race?  Who exactly did they write it for?  Is it for the annoying individual that suffers from excessive optimism and perkiness and needs to be brought down a few notches?  Is it for the sulky teenager who needs corroboration that the world is indeed a horrible place?   We may never know the truth, but I do know what songs make me want to curl up into a fetal position in a dark corner, or at least crack open a pint of Ben & Jerry’s to ease the pain.

Green, Green Grass of Home – written by Claude “Curly” Putnam Jr. and made a worldwide hit by Tom Jones in 1966.  This one is sneaky.  It starts out as a feel good song about a man returning to his hometown, where his lady love and the rest of the townsfolk are all there to greet him.  At least that’s what the unsuspecting listener is led to believe…until the man awakens from a dream and realizes he is in prison – and it’s the day of his execution.  WTF Curly?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN3ME-rgpws

The Christmas Shoes –written by Eddie Carswell and Leonard Ahlstrom and recorded by the Christian group NewSong in 2000.  It became a major hit on both the country and adult contemporary charts and, as if that wasn’t punishment enough, it was later the basis for both a novel and a made-for-TV movie.   It’s about a young boy who ventures out before Christmas to purchase a new pair of shoes for his dying mother, because, according to the songs’ schmaltzy verse, Daddy says there’s not much time and I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight. Cue gag reflex.  But what really bugs me about this song is the store cashier.  After an eternity spent watching the poor kid count out his pennies, this prick actually tells the kid – gee, sorry, but you don’t have enough money to buy your dying mother a gift for Christmas.  Seriously?  And to add insult to injury, the narrator, who for some reason stands there chewing his gum like an idiot throughout the entire video, actually feels like he’s done something special by kicking in the difference so the kid can get the dang shoes.  Big deal. Unless they were Jimmy Choos, it’s not worth bragging about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpkI7GW2V34

If I Die Young – written and recorded by The Band Perry in 2010.  Just the title alone proves my point, doesn’t it?  Who writes a song about a young girl dying?  It’s also extremely confusing.  Does she want to be buried in white satin?  Laid down on a bed of roses? Or sunk in the river at dawn?  I don’t think it’s possible to do all three, and frankly the sunk in the river at dawn option might get someone arrested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NJqUN9TClM

Ode To Billy Joe – written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry in 1967 based on the film of the same name.  This is basically a story about a man’s suicide and a brother and sister being told about it at the dinner table by their completely indifferent parents .  I deduced that this is all taking place in a Deliverance kind of setting because Dad says things like “Well, Billie Joe never had a lick o’ sense; pass the biscuits, please,” and then mentions that there are “five more acres in the lower forty I got to plow.”   The sister, who is the narrator, was apparently spotted with Billy Joe throwing something off the Talahatchie Bridge right before he jumped, leaving the listener to speculate what that something was. I’m guessing it was some really good moonshine, and Einstein jumped in after it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZt5Q-u4crc

Heart Shaped Box – written by Kurt Cobain and recorded by Nirvana in 1992.  This song has some of the darkest lyrics I’ve ever heard.  She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak, I’ve been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks, I’ve been drawn into your magnet tar-pit trap, I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn blackMeat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet, Cut myself on angel’s hair and baby’s breath, Broken hymen of your highness I’m left back, Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back.  I always assumed he was talking about Courtney Love (it seemed a pretty apt description of her), but apparently Cobain said it was inspired by documentaries about kids with cancer.  “Anytime I think about it, it makes me sadder than anything I can think of,” he told biographer Michael Azerrad.  So I guess he wrote a song about it so we can all be incredibly sad together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6P0SitRwy8

Brick – written and performed by Ben Folds Five in 1997.  Ben Folds wrote the verses and the band’s drummer Darren Jessee wrote the chorus.  Folds said it was written about his girlfriend’s abortion in high school, which is  a depressing topic for a song.  However I think the chorus makes it sound like it’s about the girlfriend.  She’s a brick and I’m drowning slowly – dude, break up with her then.  You’ll be doing her a favor – when it comes to relationships, no one wants to be referred to as The Ball and Chain, The Thorn in My Side, or especially The Brick.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt5EHAqhR1c

13 Horses – written and released by Alexander Rybak in 2009.  You may not have heard of this one before, but if so, your luck ends today, thank-you very much.  It’s about 13 horses who are left swimming in the sea after their ship sinks.  The men on board are rescued, but the horses are abandoned.  The song wails on in excruciating detail about how they drown one by one, and by the time Ryback sings the verse about the last three horses, it sounds like he’s ready for a straight jacket.  Rybak won the 2009 Eurovision song contest by a landslide for another song that he composed.  By the sound of 13 Horses, he came down from that high pretty damn fast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spfN-9PIlK8

You Had Me at Clowns and Pancakes.

People go to restaurants for lots of reasons other than the food.  Price, ambience, and convenience also matter.  Well I have found a spot that combines all of these for a truly stellar dining experience.   It’s a local landmark – Pancake Circus.

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I don’t know if you fall into the roughly 95 percent of the population that finds clowns downright creepy.  I happen to be one of them.  So before I first ventured inside, I made up my mind to think of Pancake Circus as immersion therapy.  Once you pass through the waiting area and enter through the front door of the restaurant, you are surrounded by what I would call “mid-century carny” décor.  There is no escaping it – it’s everywhere, even in the bathrooms.

20140323_121748Last weekend, I had a hankering for some pancakes served with a side of kitsch, so we headed over to the restaurant, located at 2101 Broadway in Sacramento.  We were greeted by a very pleasant young man with tattoos on his neck and gages in his ear.  He led us to our booth upholstered in orange naugahyde (excuse me…vegan leather), and gave us each a menu that listed items such as biscuits and gravy and the “Circus Big Top” – which is the kind of standard breakfast fare that you see at most diners – choice of ham, bacon, sausage, or beef patty with two eggs, potatoes, and three plate sized Circus pancakes.  But they also have lots of other choices that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see on the menu…a veggie eggs benedict, chorizo, crepes – everything at the Circus is made to order.

I didn’t want to get too fancy, so I ordered the Circus Big Top and my guy ordered the corned beef hash (with pancakes, of course.)  I was immediately given a cup of standard trucker coffee – you know – strong, black, and served without fanfare in a brown mug.  If you want a froo froo cappuccino with a pretty foam leaf on top, this ain’t the place.  But my mug was kept full and steaming hot by our friendly waitress – and believe me, the caffeine was a welcome foil to the coma-inducing carb loading I was about to do.

When your restaurant has the word “pancake” in the name, you’d better have some damn good pancakes.  Pancake Circus does not disappoint.  I’m not sure what makes them so delicious, but they are, in a word – amazing.  They come with about a pound of bu20140323_124022tter on them and each forkful is a taste orgasm of fluffy, transcendent, pancake goodness.  The more syrup you pour on top, the more they simply soak it in and expand to blob-like proportions before your eyes.  My eggs and bacon were cooked to perfection, and David’s corned beef hash was basically a meat mountain, tender and flavorful. To think that you can get this much instantaneous weight gain for around twenty bucks is delightful.

I’m sure there are those of you that might be reading this and feeling smugly superior,  as you sit in your tastefully decorated coffee house, sipping your green tea latte, and noshing on egg whites sprinkled with chia seeds before heading over to the hot yoga studio.  But sometimes it’s okay to forgo what feels right and just do what feels goooood.  And Pancake Circus is just the sort of place to indulge those guilty pleasures.

20140323_124236Opened in 1961  as Al & Bud’s Platter by Al Nahas and Hollis K. “Bud” Sheely, the building was designed by mid-century modern architect Sooky Lee, who also designed local landmarks Vic’s Market, Young’s Fireside Shop (now Hot Italian), and the remodel of Frank Fat’s, to name a few.  It became Pancake Circus in 1970 when it was purchased by Luis and Ruth Shurh.  For more than a decade, the restaurant has been owned by Naren Muni, who was born in Mumbai and who had worked in the states for many years as an engineer before buying the restaurant.

But back to the clowns…and doesn’t it always come back to the clowns?  Sometimes a place is so tacky it becomes cool.  Pancake Circus is one of those places.  Fortunately Muni appreciated the campy appeal and didn’t try to modernize it to look like every other boring diner. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen as many clown paintings in one place before, all of them mesmerizing for the same reason Honey Boo Boo is famous – certain things are so devoid of good taste that you simply can’t avert your eyes.

20140323_122242The restaurant works because it preserves that rare bit of nostalgia we all crave – going into Pancake Circus is like going back in time.  We’ve taken the kids to Pancake Circus and they are nothing short of dumbstruck.  After all, they didn’t grow up in the era of Hannah Barbera cartoons, when clowns were actually seen as children’s entertainment instead of horror movie fare, and when cigarettes, coffee, bacon and eggs were the four basic food groups to start your day.

At Pancake Circus, the long-time wait staff, the eclectic clientele, the great food, and the stubbornly outdated décor, reminds you that occasionally, change isn’t always better or necessary.  Sometimes a snapshot in time is worth preserving.

I Heart DQs

I love Drag Queens.  If you thought by my post’s title I meant Dairy Queens, well…I love those too, but not nearly as much.  I have always been fascinated with Drag Queens.  Amongst other things, I find them compelling, campy, brave and trampy.  I wonder what leads them to dress as women – is it because they have a strong feminine side and are confident enough to express it?  Is it because they love the attention and the theatrical aspects of dressing in drag?  Or is it as simple as they look fabulous in a dress and high heels, so why the hell not?

I spot them pretty regularly where I live.  I’d say I have a Drag Queen sighting at least 3-4 times per week, usually in “Lavender Heights” – which is Sacramento’s more modest version of San Francisco’s Castro District.  I love them, but I do have one complaint… I wish they’d tone it down a little – they’re making the rest of us women look bad.

I have never seen a Drag Queen that isn’t dressed to the nines – apparently there isn’t any look too over the top for them.  Sequined gowns, long silk gloves, feather boas, glamorous wigs…and that’s just their business casual look.   Honestly, I have never felt frumpier than when around men dressed as women.

A Drag Queen will proudly float atop 6 inch stilettos and make it look effortless,  I will often opt for a pair of sensible shoes because,  honestly – who wants to compromise mobility?  I’ve seen those scary movies where the woman always trips while running away from the monster.  Who wants to be that stupid bitch?

A Drag Queen seems to instinctively know how to apply makeup to their face like a master painter to a canvas, with the artful skill of a Rembrandt or Cezanne.  When they apply tons of makeup, it transforms them into a beautiful swan.  When I apply tons of makeup, I look like a cross between a clown and a televangelist’s wife (equally creepy, by the way.)

A Drag Queen’s fake eyelashes are always perfectly aligned and sexy, mine usually wind up looking like (to be fair, I imagine – I don’t know first hand) Liza Minnelli’s used to look after a long, hard night of drinking Vodka and doing lines at Studio 54.

Cut us some slack, ladies.  We just can’t compete…

And because I couldn’t write a post about Drag Queens without listing my personal top 10 – here they are, in no particular order:

Dame Edna.  She is the self-proclaimed Australian “Gigastar.”   She also hosted a chat show she described as “an intimate conversation between two friends, one of whom is a lot more interesting than the other.”  Love it.

Dame Edna

Rand Paul.  Oops – wait.  Wrong Paul, although I do have to give him props for that epic hairpiece.

rand paul

RuPaul – She’s fierce and she knows how to self-promote.  Between being the first drag queen supermodel after signing with MAC,  hosting RuPaul’s Drag Race reality game show, recording chart-topping dance music, and developing her own perfume and line of cosmetics, RuPaul definitely works it.

RuPaul

Jerry in Some Like It HotJack Lemmon was brilliant portraying a musician desperately trying to escape being a mafia hit by dressing in drag and joining an all female band led by Marilyn Monroe.  The hilarious scene where he finally reveals he’s a man to his love-struck suitor is one of the best movie endings ever.

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Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show – who could forget the deliciously evil “Sweet Transvestite from Transsexual, Translyvania.” And nobody rocked a black leather corset better than Mr. Tim Curry.

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Albert Goldman in The Bird Cage – played to perfection by Nathan Lane.  Although Albert’s stage persona is great, the scenes where Lane really shines are when Albert tries to pull off the traditional wife role as part of his partner Armand’s desperate attempt to appear “normal” to his future in-laws.  I’ll never hear “We Are Family” again without laughing.

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Divine – best known as the drag icon from John Water’s cult classics Polyester and Pink Flamingos, Divine was an outrageous, BBQ (Big, Beautiful Queen) with eyebrows that made Joan Crawford’s seem downright subtle by comparison.

divine

Mary Kay – I’m sorry, but that’s a man, baby.  And only a drag queen would have the balls to drive a pink Cadillac.

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Flip Wilson – His portrayal of Geraldine on the Flip Wilson show was sassy and hilarious.  “What you see is what you get” indeed.

flip

Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club – As a man who is actually prettier than 95% of women, Jared Leto was perfectly cast for the role.  It also didn’t hurt that his performance as Ron Woodruff’s unlikely partner in fighting AIDS is absolutely breathtaking.

rayon

My personal blog – a slightly wicked, saucy take on whatever topics strike my fancy.