Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Indicator # 2,862,431,097 that the Apocalpse is nigh...

Camp Snoopy becomes Camp SpongeBob/Dora The Explorer/Jimmy Neutron? Boo!

From the Star Tribune: It's official. The Mall of America is teaming up with Nickelodeon to be the face of its amusement park formerly known as Camp Snoopy.

Mall officials announced Wednesday morning that they have signed a branding-rights deal with Nickelodeon, a cable TV network for children. The deal means that popular characters from Nickelodeon cartoons, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and Jimmy Neutron, will replace Peanuts and the Gang as the mall's mascots.

Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest vacated the mall a year ago after the mall failed to reach an agreement with Cedar Fair, a Sandusky, Ohio, company that has exclusive rights to use the Peanuts characters at its theme parks. For the past year, the park, with its indoor roller coaster and flume ride, among others, has been named simply, "The Park at MOA."

The mall announced immediate plans for an additional ride: a freefall tower aimed at teens and adults. Plans are still being finalized, but the ride could drop passengers from up to 70 feet in the air.

I think it is safe to assume that the "Cedar Fair" company of Sandusky, Ohio that is mentioned in the article is the company behind Cedar Pointe, an amusement park also in Sandusky. I grew up going to Cedar Pointe ("Get to the Pointe", "America's Roller Coast"). Most amusement parks (heck, most State Fairs) put the Park at the Mall of America to shame. And Cedar Pointe? It puts most of those amusement parks to shame. So it is really no surprise that MOA lost their Charles Schultz contract to them. I mean, I'm supposed to get psyched about a free-fall ride that could go "up to 70 ft"?

Going to the Mall of America is already unpleasant, but is occasionally the best option for accomplishing certain tasks when living in the Twin Cities (it had the only movie theater where Fahrenheit 9/11 didn't sell-out on opening day, for example). I once called my mom as I was entering the Mall of America on December 23rd and said, "Just wanted to say 'I love you' in case I don't get out alive."

Snoopy and Charlie Brown were tolerable. But SpongeBob? Kill me now!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar Party 2007!

You may recall the 2006 Oscar Party. Kelsey remembered fun menu and asked if I'd co-host an Oscar party with her this year. We'd already put together an evite, menu, games and decorations when she got the flu last week. We were hoping her health would improve, but she called me on noon Saturday and sadly informed me that she just couldn't do the party. I had to decide whether or not to cancel the party altogether or try to have the party at my place. Even though my apartment was in no condition to have guests, I decided to do my best and have the party at my place. That gave me from 1pm on Saturday until 6pm on Sunday to whip my place into shape and get the food prepared in time for the Barbara Walters Special.

I spent from 1 pm to 6pm on Saturday cleaning. I was living in squalor, apparently. I had to break Saturday evening to brave the snow (we'd gotten maybe a foot of snow since Friday night), hit a liquor store (liquor stores are closed on Sundays in Minnesota, forcing you to drive to Wisconsin if haven't planned ahead), and get to P-funk's parents house before they left for Benihana's for her dad's b-day party. We spent the night at her parents, which was great for me because I didn't have to worry about my car being in the way of the snow plow in my apartment parking lot, plus her dad and grandpa cleaned my car off for me (thanks guys). I took P-funk to work (what is it with dykes and there little sporty cars that can't drive in the snow) and then cleaned my apartment some more. This gave me just enough time to hit the supermarket, start the food, shower, and hang decorations before guests started to arrive. Thanks to P-funk for the last minute ice run, cake decorating, etc.

We had standard ballots and Oscar bingo like last year. It ended up being more of a get-together than a party, which was perfect. The guest list was drastically reduced due to snow, illness and the fact that guests who only know Kelsey didn't come. My place is way smaller than Kelsey's and my cooking skills are minimal at best, so a smaller number of people was about all I could handle. I have to say though, that I'm still pretty proud of the menu:

Food

"Love Stew I Do" - Beef and Vegetable Stew (Mama got to buy her first crock pot)
- Love you I Do from Dreamgirls: Best Original Song

"Dame Judi Dench Fries" - French Fries (Thanks Austin for this menu idea)
-Judi Dench: Best Actress for Notes on a Scandal

"Brie Antoinette Cheese Plate" - Brie
-Marie Antoinette: Costume Design
The Cheese Plate also included:
"Happy Wheat" and "Happy Meat" - Crackers and Summer Sausage
-Happy Feet: Best Animated Feature
"I Knead to Wake Up" - Baguette
-I Need to Wake Up: Best Original Song for An Inconvenient Truth
"Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch of Grapes" - Grapes
-Mark Wahlberg: Best Supporting Actor in The Departed

Desserts

"The Devil's Food Wears Prada" - Devil's Food Cake decorated with stiletto heel in icing
-The Devil Wear's Prada: Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Costume

"Blood Diamonds" - Ring Pops
-Blood Diamond: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Film Editing

Beverages

"Penelope Booze" - Rum, Vodka, Margarita in a Bucket
- Penelope Cruz: Best Actress in Volver

"The Good German Beer" - St. Pauli Girl Lager
-The Good German: Original Score

"Water" - Water
-Water: Best Foreign Film

Hooray for successful lesbians being cute and supportive!

From msn.com's 2007 Oscar backstage report:

Melissa Etheridge, a winner for her song "I Need to Wake Up" from "An Inconvenient Truth," yelled "you're funny" when she passed DeGeneres' dressing room.

"You're funny and pretty and sweet and a singer," DeGeneres replied.

Now if we could just get Queen Latifah to admit there were actually three dykes onstage when Ellen introduced Latifah and she presented the award to Melissa...

Monday, February 19, 2007

My first slice of Pi was yummy!

This past weekend was a weekend of club-hopping! Friday was the "sacrifice your own comfort and happiness for the sake of a friend (or a friend of your girlfriend in this case)" kind of clubbing. Saturday was the "make up for Friday's sacrifice by leaps and lesbian bounds" kind of clubbing.

First things fist: Friday. P-funk and I were headed to
Valentino's, a place that posed many red flags for me:

*They have a dress code. If I can't get in someplace wearing jeans and a fleece vest (and have drink put in my hand within two minutes of arrival), that place is pretty much a waste of time. I can't be bothered to try to get in to an exclusive club just to be able to say I was there. In addition, the only time I "dress up" is for job interviews, weddings and funerals, for which I wear the same dyke power suit (AKA NOT club wear).

*Not only is there a dress code, but the club's description on the website reeked of palpable pretension: "Valentino’s is a European style nightclub, where beautiful, well-dressed party people of all ages come together to dance and lounge in a truly unique atmosphere. Reminiscent of a speakeasy, the plush furnishings invite you to settle into one of our many lounges and mingle with the chic, upscale crowd." Barf. I hate places like that. I told P-funk this was my perfect chance to buy the tube top and mini-skirt I've been eyeing at Forever 21. When in actuality, I haven't worn a dress since I was in my sister's wedding. In 2004.

*Friday was being advertised as "Mardi Gras Bacardi Gras" night. Slogan: "What will you do for your beads?" Great, so this club is where feminists go to die. Further evidence of this theory? The photographs on their website from "Budlight/Maxim Night."

*This would be the first time I met many of P-funk's friends from High School. Plus her ex and ex's new girlfriend would be there. So my usual default plan in situations such as this (sit in the corner, get drunk and mock people) probably wouldn't fly.

Some highlights from the evening:

Dumb straight guy turns to P-funk and says, "If your hair was any shorter, people might mistake you for a lesbian." Thanks for the warning.

Pop culturally confused guy who looked like a Caucasian version of
Darryl "D.M.C." Matthews McDaniels of Run D.M.C. (seriously, he had the hat AND the glasses) grabbed P-funk on the dance floor and said, "This is how real men do it" and started kneeing her in the groin. Funny, I don't think P-funk was trying to be a man and I know no women that like getting blunt objects rapped up against their pubic bones.

Drunk straight guy, like many drunk straight boys, can't see two women dancing together without thinking we either need a man to interrupt us or want a man to join us. Cuz all lesbian couples are really looking for a man for an orgy. Cuz what happens in porn happens in real life. So drunk straight boy gets between us and tries to dance with us. I tell him to go away. "But it's my birthday." Well then, in that case, you must be entitled to invade our space. This is when I make a fist and make like I'm going to punch him and P-funk pulls me back.

Which brings us to Saturday, when P-funk and I would be joining a group of red-hot lesbians for the official grand opening of
Pi, Minneapolis' newest lesbian bar. Or should I say #2 of 2 bars catering to queer women in the Twin Cities and the other one is in St. Paul, making Pi the only dyke bar in Minneapolis...

If Valentinos was raising red flags in the back of my mind, Pi had me waving the white flag of sweet surrender:

*Come as you are dress code. I personally wore my standard jeans and tee-shirt. But there were also sporty dykes wearing sweater vests, white baseball caps and small gold hoop earrings. Rugby dykes in, you guessed it, rugby shirts. Cute trendy dykes with fauxhawks and wristbands. Punky dykes. Old dykes. Young dykes. Deaf dykes. White dykes and black dykes. I even saw a one-legged lesbian that was shaking her groove thang so hard that she danced right out of her prosthetic limb! This is the kind of diversity within the gay population you maybe see once a year at Pride if you're lucky. And from reading Pi's myspace profile, they are committed to being a welcome environment for all of the queer lady community and are open to suggestions for making it even more diverse.

*Don't feel like dancing? Play some pool or sit at a table, eat some yummy snacks, and people watch. Not into typical booty shaking club music? They have live music too, including riot grrl Tuesdays. Still looking for more stimuli? Check out the current art installation.

*No obnoxious straight boys.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Toeshoes with a kickstand, just what I've always wanted!

Debbie Downer Does Hair


I got my hair cut last night at my usual place. Unfortunately, my favorite hair cutter, Sica, stopped working there so I was entering uncharted territories with a stylist stranger. There is something intimate about having someone wash your hair, touch your head, come close with sharp metal objects and determine the "look" of large part of your appearance from the neck up.

Allowing a stranger all that access isn't natural. So it puts me at ease to chat with the stylist and hopefully find a topic we click on.


This woman did not seem interested in chatting at all. My efforts were further confounded by the necessity of removing my eyeglasses for the cut. I'm practically blind without them, which only increases my anxiety about the cut itself because I have no idea how it looks until it is too late, plus I was completely unable to read this woman's facial expressions.


I made small talk about work. Nothing.

I asked about Sica. All I got was "she is working full-time at a bank now."

I asked if she'd ever been to the club I'm going to tonight. Never been.

At one point, I stifled a yawn and she said, "I'm tired too."


This was my chance! She'd offered up some information about herself. I found myself asking a dangerous question, "Oh, were you up late for Valentine's?"

I was pretty confident this question was safe because she had a teddy bear and flowers at her work station. So it seemed a safe conclusion that she's not single and her significant other had recognized Valentine's Day. Turns out not being single is a problem.

"Well, I got that bear and flowers and a bunch of presents, but I don't like my husband so I took enough medication to knock me out so I'd be able to fall asleep without talking to him."


She said it totally deadpan and without being able to interpret her facial expression, I had no way of knowing if I was supposed to laugh at this, inquire further, or take this as the final hint to stop trying to chat. It didn't help that at this point in the haircut, she was using one of those serrated razors to hack jagged layers into my hair (see above). Plus, she'd just crossed the line from Get To Know You B.S. into the kind of information you'd only expect to share with someone who'd been cutting your hair for years. Like Truvy and M'Lynn. She had managed, in one sentence, to tell me to stop asking for info about herself by telling me too much about herself.

I laughed nervously and shut the hell up.


Sica, come back to me! I'm scared.

I was late for work today...

Word to the wise: If you think you can lay in bed for 10 more minutes listening to NPR and not fall back asleep, you are wrong.

This is especially true during NPR pledge week when you'll always choose sleep over listening to the latest dollar-for-dollar pledge challenge announcement.

"We've already had 122 pledge calls this morning on the last day of pledge week! As an added incentive, if you pledge now, you'll received a CD of my co-host and myself waxing philosophic on numerous topics in today's world news..."

Snore.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I'm published!

Is it time to quit your job when one writes witty work-related jokes and submits them for the office Valentine's Day publication? It is too late to get out unscathed or is this evidence of permanent damage?

Either way, here is the "Missed Connections" Personal Ad I wrote for the University Office of Admissions Feb 14th newsletter:


Wanted: Acceptance
Me: Freshman Fall Application. Slightly overweight (11 page essay) with some baggage (special circumstances letter). Have a lot to offer (check out my 3 page resume) but feel like something is missing.

You: Elusive Class of ’07 High School Trans. Saw you briefly in the front office. Have been trying to catch your eye ever since, but can’t seem to find you anywhere. Think you might be what I’m looking for.

Wish you would get in touch. If you need convincing, letters of rec are available upon request. Take a chance! Worry about rejection later. I look forward to the day I can say, “You complete me.”


I'm so effing witty. Kind of begs the question, why am I wasting my talents doing data entry when I could be writing jokes for Conan O'Brien? I'd even settle for that weenie Carson Daly.

Cupid can be one twisted mutha fucka

A year ago today, I was celebrating Valentine's Day with my mom. Not because I was single (I wasn't), but because my dad asked me to come to Ann Arbor to help out while my mom recovered from surgery. The week prior I'd found an email* my (now ex) girlfriend had sent to a friend essentially stating, "Smitty is going to be out of town next week, which is fine with me because I'm not feeling especially Valentiney towards her at the moment. I'll be celebrating with ____, I just hope I can stay faithful."

We'd been having problems for awhile so I wasn't surprised to hear she wasn't feeling very "Valentiney," I wasn't either. But for all the problems we were having, it had never crossed my mind to cheat. I was still stuck in save-the-relationship-don't-let-the-dream-die mode. I've always felt that if you are at the point where you are contemplating cheating on someone, just have the decency to break-up with the person. Which is what I told her when I confronted her.

I'm actually not a huge Valentine's kinda gal. Nonetheless, the timing of this development in our long-term relationship was not lost on me. I'm not sure either of us even called the other on Feb 14th last year.

Valentine's 2007 is already looking up compared to last year (nowhere to go but up?). I have a new lady friend who feels similarly about the holiday as myself. When P-funk asked what I wanted to do for Feb 14, I said in my signature sarcasm, "I want flowers and candy and romance bee-atch!! And don't forget the candles and jewelry." I can't stand those whiny demanding girls that turn Valentine's Day into some kind of love test. They are the Bridezillas of tomorrow. P-funk and I seem to agree, when it comes to Valentine's Day, no need to make a huge production out of it or break the bank, but if you are with someone you care about, it is a nice excuse to buy each other presents, have tasty treats and snuggle.

*I know what you're thinking: what was I doing in her email? Which is sketchier: the information I found, or my method of finding it? All I can say is that the deterioration of that relationship combined with my own depression at the time turned me into this crazed desperate creature I hope to never resemble in the slightest ever again. It wasn't pretty.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

My Parents: Hog Wild

My parents' romantic plans for Valentine's Day? Candlelit dinner perhaps? Some chocolate-covered strawberries? Maybe a moonlit dance somewhere? Not quite.

"Your dad and I decided, the heck with his ear*, we're going to order a pizza for the first time in over a year!"

Whoa, slow down kids.

*My dad suffers from tinnitus (constant ringing in his ears) and finds that a low sodium diet helps, hence no pizza in a year.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

What I observed while watching the Super Bowl

Dan Marino looks a lot like David Hasselhoff. They may even be the the same person.



Twat Twitch

I've always thought that a great name for a lesbian rock band or feminist riot grrl band, or better yet, a lesbian-feminist riot grrl rock band would be "Twat Twitch." As in, "Chloƫ Sevigny? She totally makes my twat twitch."

AC Slater in a Speedo

I'm a little pissed at Netflix. I received an email assuring me I'd receive a certain DVD yesterday. When I check my Q, this film says "at home" next to it. That movie is not "at home." I want to know: where is my copy of the Made for TV movie about Olympic Diver Greg Louganis starring Saved by the Bell's Mario Lopez? Huh? Huh? If I had this little cinematic gem at home, I think I'd know.

No socks? Are ya crazy?

After a relaxing evening of dinner with Kelsey and Leaf, followed by snuggling under the covers to watch "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle," P-funk and I were about to fall asleep at 1 AM Friday night when her phone rang. I could hear her Dad's voice from my pillow: "Mom and I are locked out of the house, how fast can you get here?"

According to weather.com, it is currently -6 degrees Fahrenheit (-28 windchill) in Minneapolis. The Twin Cities have been experiencing this cold snap for the better part of a week now. It is probably safe to assume that it was even colder when P-funk got this call. Her parents had gone out for one last cigarette before bed and somehow the screen door had locked behind them. And P-funk's mom was wearing a robe, nightgown and slippers, no socks.

It is 15 minutes from my apartment to P-funk's parents' house in the suburbs. She got there in 7. They called three times while she was en route, each time sounding more slap happy and delirious. At one point her dad suggested they go stand behind a snow bank to try to block the wind. Another time he said he was going towards the white light. Her parents had clearly entered that state of euphoria experienced by people in hypothermia. They were one step away from hallucinating that a nearby snowdrift was actually a hot tub, stripping down, and climbing in. Luckily, there doesn't appear to be any permanent damage.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Effing creepy

Last night, drunk guy in the Dollar Store comes up behind me and says (with bourbon soaked breath), "Somebody's got a puddy-cat."