Category: television


Showing off the legs in question

 

At the risk of sounding vain, I love my legs.  A few years ago, when I was complaining to my mom about the fact that I had inherited her nose, she cut me off by replying, “Yes, but you inherited my legs too so stop complaining.”  And you know what?  She was right.  I take a lot of pride in my legs and I enjoy showing them off.

At one time, of course, showing them off would probably have meant being accused of gross indecency.  Most famously, during the Victorian Era, it was considered scandalous for a woman to even show her ankles.  

Fortunately, especially for those of us who live in the Southwest where it’s usually just a little bit too hot and dry to wander around covered head-to-toe in several layers of clothing all in the name of public decency, times have changed.

Now, if you’re like me and you like to show off your legs then you probably know that there’s a lot of advice to be found online on how to wear a miniskirt without 1) looking trashy and 2) letting the entire world know what color underwear you’re wearing. 

A lot of that information is actually pretty helpful.

And then some of that information, like this video that I came across on YouTube yesterday, is from 1967…

That’s right, ladies.  The key to wearing a miniskirt is to make sure you carry your chastity board with you everywhere and try not to distract the men from getting their work done.

You’re welcome. 🙂

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It’s about 2:2o in the morning.  I got into bed 90 minutes ago and in that time, I’m not sure how many times I’ve fallen asleep and woken up.  All I know is that every time I open my eyes, I look over at the clock glowing in the darkness and I wonder how it’s possible that so little time has passed. 

I’ve resorted to turning on the TV.  Late at night, Channel 27 stops showing old episodes of Cops and starts showing infomercials.  Sometimes, if I’m lucky, it’ll be a good infomercial like the one for the shakeweight or one of those Songs By People You’ve Never Heard Of music collections.  Tonight, however, our infomercial is for Peter Popoff, a loud and shrill preacher who apparently can heal the sick by touching them.  Even more importantly, if you call him, you can get “free miracle spring water” along with what is described as being a “faith tool.”  I’m not sure what the tool is but apparently, if you get it, you can supernaturally cancel your financial debts.  That’s what the man claims.

Much of what Popoff says makes no sense, on either a logical or a theological level.  Popoff screams, “God wants you to be rich!” in between footage of some old woman jumping out of a wheelchair and dancing.  “Oh!  OH!”  Popoff screams, “she’s dancing!  SHE’S DANCING!  SHE’S GOING TO DO A LITTLE DANCE!”

Peter Popoff -- HEALER!

I hit mute because Popoff’s shrill voice is starting to give me a headache.  I watch as Popoff now silently yells and more people jump out of wheelchairs and toss crutches to the ground.  I notice that almost everyone in the audience is black yet Popoff is very, very white and I wonder why I feel guilty about spotting this.

Graphics flash on the screen.  “Cancel your debt!”  they announce.  Men and women — almost all of them black, almost all of them old — are now silently giving testimonials on the TV.  The closed captioning kicks in and I watch their words flash across the screen.  “I had lost everything…” scrolls across the bottom of the screen.

Suddenly, Peter Popoff and a woman I assume to be his wife are both on-screen.  Popoff is waving around a piece of paper.  I have to look away because I feel like I’m staring at the devil.

From what I’ve seen, Peter Popoff’s claim is that God wants you to be rich.  And who am I to say he’s wrong?  I’m a fallen sinner, after all.  I was raised Catholic.  I grew up wondering if I would ever be strong enough to take vows of silence, chastity, or poverty.  (And the answer turned out to be no for all three.)  Who am I to judge this ranting, scary-looking, lumbering creature who clams he can heal and who claims he can magically erase all of my problems?  Who am I to disagree with a man who buys airtime just so he can claim to be God?

Peter Popoff and friend

I’m nothing but a doubter and late night television infomercials have no use for the doubter or the skeptic.  No, infomercials are all about celebrating the fact that people will believe anything as long as it’s on TV.

It’s hard for me to believe that there was a time before I become a doubter.  This was when I could still look at a priest without wondering if he was going to be arrested on sex abuse charges.  This was when I still believed that men and women were capable of doing things out of their kindness of their heart and nothing more.  This was back when I still believed that mom and dad would be married forever and that neither of them would ever leave me behind.  This was back when I believed that happiness was something more than just an interval between pain.  In my heart, this feels like it was a very long time ago.

And back then, I so admired the men and women who chose to devote their lives to serving God.  I admired them because, unlike Peter Popoff, they served God with the knowledge that it would mean being poor and  that it would mean sacrificing everything that spoiled little girls like me took for granted.  I looked at them and I wondered how can they be so strong

And, today, I just look at them and I wonder if they were all just Peter Popoff in disguise. 

I look back up at Peter Popoff.  The closed captioning informs me that Peter is telling us that God wants us to be rich.  You cannot serve God and money, I think, that’s from the Gospel of Saint Luke.  Chapter 16, verse 13.

Enough of this.  Searching for my last faith isn’t going to help my insomnia.  I pick up the remote and lift it towards the TV, just in time to see that Peter Popoff is finished. 

Instead, Peter Popoff has been replaced with a new infomercial, this one for the Strap Perfect.  The closed captioning tell me that “Strap Perfect is the perfect solution for your bra strap problems.  Stop wrestling with stubborn bra straps…”

I point the remote at the TV and quickly turn the volume back up.

As Seen On TV

Yesterday, I found myself trapped in a haze of ADD and it was all because it snowed.

Our Neighborhood on Friday morning (picture taken by Erin Nicole Bowman)

Since, of course, I live in Texas, my response to this was to say, “What’s snow?”  Well, apparently, it’s very white, it’s very cold, and it forces you to stay inside, watching Lifetime movies and old DVDs while posting too much information on twitter and generally trying to see how much you can annoy your older sister until she asks you if you’re interested in playing “the quiet game” for a little while.

(Incidentally, I don’t know about your older sister but mine turned out to be remarkably tolerant and I’m proud of her.)

It also keeps you from going to work and I know some people claim that’s a great thing but for me, it was really, really difficult.  In fact, if not for the fact that my boss specifically called me to tell me not to bother to come in because he wasn’t going to come in, I would have braved the ice and snow just so I could spend some quality time answering the phoner and saying, “I’m afraid he’s not going to be able to meet with you today.”  Scoff if you will but I would have happily done it and I regret not being able to do it because not going to work threw me off my routine and I spent most of yesterday in an ADD haze.

Like a lot of things, though, an ADD haze is only a bad thing in retrospect.  While it’s occurring, it’s actually kinda fun.  For instance, I spent a few hours reading three books at one time while an old Dracula film (Hammer’s Dracula A.D. 1972 to be precise) played on the TV and Siouxsie and the Banshees played on my laptop and the microwave zapped up one of those “super pretzels” that I love so much.  Now you could argue that by doing 20 things at once, I end up truly experiencing not a single one of them but, to be honest, it’s so exhilarating at the time.  It makes me love ADD.

Unfortunately, the exhilaration of ADD is always followed by the times when the entire world just seems overwhelming and all the thoughts in your mind start to you weigh down, making you feel like you’re trying to run through quicksand.

Things like going to my job, watching a movie, spending Friday night with a certain someone, blogging, spending a few hours a night on twitter, or watching some silly reality TV show — these are the things that I use to pull myself out of that quicksand.  These are the things that I look at and say, “As long as I keep these things consistent, than I can force some sort of rhyme and reason on the chaotic mess that is my mind.”

The snow, as much as I loved it, took away all of my rhyme and reason for the day.  Luckily, that afore-mentioned special someone was able to make his way to the house after he got off from his job and that helped to put me back on track.

But until he arrived, I found myself spending what seemed like an eternity watching the icicles outside of the den door get bigger and bigger and bigger.  Seriously, I was scared to even let our cat near the door for fear that this one icicle would come to life and try to attack us.  Here’s two pictures of it, courtesy of my sister Erin:

I mean, seriously — that thing was scary!

Well, today, the sun is out, the temperature is above freezing for the first time since last Monday, and the snow is slowly melting.  And I know I should probably be happy but I’m sad to see it go.  I’m a Texan and as much as it disrupted my routine, I know there’s a good chance I’ll never see this much snow again for the rest of my life.

But that’s life.

You’ve got the celebrate what you have when you’ve got it and be prepared to accept that everything goes away in the end.

I love tracking down and watching those old, amazingly sexist TV commercials from the 1960s.  You know the type — these are the commercials where a smug male narrator says stuff like, “For today’s modern girl, staying presentable and ladylike is even more important than it was in the past…”  or “Today’s modern woman knows that when her husband gets home from the office, only Farmer’s House Coffee will do.”

Of course, the main reason that these commercials interest me is that they’re not all that different from their modern counterparts.  For the most part, the commercials have become a bit more flashy and the men act a lot more stupid but the message of “If you want to be a real woman, buy our product and stop thinking so much” remains the same.

Here’s an old one from Pepsi that deals with the importance of remaining “beautiful, slim, and attractive.”  From the patronising tone of the narrator to the “ha-ha-women-love-to-shop” punchline, this is just so 1960s.

(I’ve always found it interesting that a woman shopping is somehow irrational while a man who spends his life savings on decorations for his car is considered to be perfectly normal.)

When I’m at work, one of the things I usually look forward is the daily visit of the FedEx Guy.  He usually shows up an hour or two after I get back from lunch.  I’ll sign for whatever he’s dropping off, he’ll ask me how I’m doing, and I’ll smile and laugh at whatever joke he happens to make that day.  It’s a nice break from the usual monotony of answering the phone and telling people, “If you want to have a seat, he’ll be right with you.”

However today, when the FedEx guy showed up, my boss literally ran out of his office so that he could greet him with, “Well, how about them Cowboys!?”

The FedEx guy started to shake his head and said, “Did you watch the whole game?”

Now, I should probably add that, until this afternoon, I have never even seen either my boss or the FedEx guy share so much as a simple greeting.  However, they were soon having a very impassioned conversation that, though they were both apparently speaking English, I could not begin to follow.

Finally, I managed to figure out that neither one of them was happy with the Cowboys.

Sitting behind my desk, I worked up the courage to interrupt them by asking, “Are the Cowboys not doing well?”

As soon as I spoke, both of their heads snapped in my direction and they both stared at me silently in apparent disbelief.

“No,” my boss finally said, “they’re not doing well.”

“Oh,” I meekly replied.

Now, I have to admit.  I’m not a sports fan.  I never have been.  Some of it’s because I associate most sports with having asthma attacks in public school gyms.  A lot of it is because I only had to hear that stupid thing about there being “no I in team” once before I decided that was nothing I wanted anything to do with.  There’s also the fact that I hate the fact that football players always seem to have sweat stains on their pants.  I mean, seriously.  That’s just really gross.  And I like to think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that some people are naturally into sports and some people are naturally into doing something worthwhile.

Of course, I’m not totally ignorant when it comes to sports.  I live in Dallas, Texas and there’s no way you can totally avoid sports around here.  Dallas is an sports-crazed city.  It’s part of the culture and you can’t escape it even if you want to.

So, I know that we have a football team that’s known as the Cowboys.  I know that Tony Romo used to date Jessica Simpson and I know that another player named Miles Austin is dating Kim Khardashian. 

I also know that Dallas has a baseball team called the Texas Rangers and the Rangers are apparently going to the World Series sometime tomorrow.  I’m pretty sure that they have to win four games to win a championship or something like that.

Dallas has a basketball team but, for the life of me, I can not remember what they’re called.  I do know that they’re owned by Mark Cuban who briefly had a really, really bad reality TV show that was a rip-off of The Apprentice.

I’m about 75% sure that we have a hockey team.  I remember that in college, me and my friend Kendra briefly decided that we were going to be hockey fans.  Kendra actually stuck with that plan but I kinda ended up getting distracted by …. well, I don’t really remember what.

Dallas might have a soccer team too.  Who does David Beckham play for?  And another thing — what’s the deal with soccer riots in Great Britain?  Oh, and yes — I know that soccer is called football everywhere else.  I don’t care.  It’s a stupid game.

Oh!  I just realized that I know the name of one soccer player!  Carla Overbeck.  But, I should admit that the only reason I know about her is because she’s in this PSA that shows up on the Lifetime Movie Network every 20 minutes or so.

Shortly before I graduated college, I attended a workshop for women who were preparing to enter the job market.  One of the lectures I attended (and kinda listened to though, I should admit, it was a very long lecture and I’ve usually only got a 7-minute attention span at best) dealt with the difficulty the some women have communicating in a male-dominated workplace.  And one of the main difficulties cited was that men often speak in sports terminology.  I guess it’s their own secret code.

To be honest, at first, I thought that the lecturer was overstating the problem.  How hard, I wondered, could it be to figure out?  I mean, I’m not into football but I know what a touchdown is and I know that “hitting a home run” is a good thing.  I always thought I knew what guys were referring to when they talked to first, second, or third base (though the specifics — especially the meaning behind second — always seemed to vary depending  on which guy was explaining it).  But the lecturer started to reel off all the phrases and terms that had apparently been causing confusion and, as I listened, I felt like I was attending a Latin Mass.  I recognized the sounds that were being made but they didn’t make a damn bit of sense to me.

So, no, I’m not a sports fan and if that means I’m conforming to some sort of stereotype, so be it.  Quite frankly, as I listened to my boss and the FedEx guy suffering such angst over the Cowboys, I was happy to be ignorant.  Seriously, I already have enough drama in my life without concerning myself with whether or not a bunch of strangers can score a certain amount of points.

Life’s too short to get upset about something as silly as sports.  Especially, when someone like Gretchen makes it to the finale of Project Runway while Michael Costello gets sent home.  Now that’s something to get upset about…

As I write this, I am tired, I am sore, my boobs hurt, and my right leg is determined to cramp up on me.  As I consider my current state, one question continues to repeat itself in my mind:

Don’t you hate it when a foolish new year’s resolution comes back to bite you in the ass?

For instance, I resolved — during the early hours of January 1st, 2010 — that I would start taking better care of myself this year.  No more staying up for 96 hours straight, no more taking pills just to see what they do, no more dealing with boredom with alcohol and anonymous internet flirtation.  No, I decided as I popped an unmarked white pill and stared at the screen of my laptop glowing in a strange man’s bedroom, from now on, I am going to live healthy!

And, to a large extent, I’ve managed to do just that.  I just wish somebody had prepared me ahead of time for just how boring it is to live healthy.

However, one thing that I am coming to slowly enjoy is running.

I’ve always suffered from pretty severe asthma, to the extent that I’m on a first name basis with just about every paramedic and ER nurse at Richardson Medical Center.  Earlier this year, I read that running can actually good for people with asthma and so, I decided that would now be my thing.  I decided I would be a runner.

One thing you should understand about me — when I decide I’m going to do something, I do it.  Even if I really don’t have the slightest idea how to do it, I still manage to do it.  Even if all evidence shows that I’m doing it completely incorrectly, I’m still going to do it.  Some people would call this stubbornness.  Me, I call it…well, okay, it’s true.  I’m stubborn.

So, since I moved to a safer and better neighborhood last July, I’ve been attempting to run on a regular basis.  When I get home from work, I’ll change into shorts, sports bra, and t-shirt, put on my running shoes, tie my hair back in a pony tail, and I’ll run from my house to a Target that’s located a few blocks away.  Then I’ll run back home and try not to pass out.

When I first started running, I literally thought the idea was to run.  I would literally step out of the house and just start running somewhere.  After the third asthma attack, it occurred to me that maybe it would be a good idea for me to pace myself as opposed to just seeing how quickly I could get from one location to another.  That seemed to work a lot better.

Running calms me down.  Everything you’ve  heard about how running can give you a chance to release every-day stress and clear your mind is true.  I always seem to do my best thinking while running.

It also does seem to be helping my asthma.  Honestly, this is a hard point to prove.  People who have heard me wheezing after I get back from a run tend to disagree with me on this.  However, as the person who actually has had to live with it for 24 years now, I can tell you — without a doubt — that I am actually breathing better now than I ever have in the past.

Admittedly, I’m still making up a lot of this as I go along.  Since I’ve started running, I’ve made it a point to watch other runners.  I noticed that a lot of them run in place while waiting to cross the street.  I decided I should probably do that too.  However, after the first two times, I just ended up feeling stupid so now I either just run across the street and hope no one’s coming or else I use the Don’t Walk sign as an excuse to rest for a few minutes.  I also noticed that many runners tends to stop and check their pulse so I’ve started trying to do that as well.  I guess I’m supposed to keep count or something but, to be honest, I’m usually just happy to discover that, after running in the Texas heat, that I still have a pulse.

There’s a few other disadvantages:

Since Texas weather often means a thunderstorm while the sun’s shining, it’s difficult to maintain a regular running schedule.

I broke my ankle in two places when I was 17 and I’ve always wondered if it actually healed correctly.  The way it sometimes throbs after I go running leads me to suspect that it did not.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that boys in pickup trucks will honk their horns and shout comments at any woman they see on the sidewalk, even if she is soaked with sweat and obviously having a hard time catching her breath. 

One reason I didn’t run when I was living in my old apartment is because I didn’t always feel safe out in that neighborhood.  My new neighborhood is definitely safer but that doesn’t mean I feel safe enough to totally let my guard down.

There’s several gyms and health club type places near my house.  A Gold’s Gym just opened up across the street from the Target that I run to.  Every time I go to the movies, I drive by one of those 24 hour Fitness places.  My sister Erin keeps telling me that I should check one of them out if I’m really serious about this whole exercise thing.

But, I don’t want a personal trainer.  I don’t want to have to deal with some pumped up guy who is going to tell me to “feel the  burn” or whatever it is those people say.  I don’t want someone who is going to say, “Today, let’s work on your abs,” because I know that I’ll misunderstand him and think he said, “Let’s work on your ass” and it’ll just be an awkward situation all around.  Those people annoy the Hell out of me, regardless of whether they’re working down the street from me or if they’re appearing in shows like The Biggest Loser or movies like Burn After Reading

(Though, as a sidenote, I do think that was one of Brad Pitt’s best performances.)

No, sorry.  I do not want to run with other people who are going to stop me so that they can spend an hour of my time pontificating about what I’m doing wrong or what the proper way is to do this or that. 

What those people will never understand is that I don’t care if I’m doing it correctly.

I just care that I’m having fun doing it.

And once I’m no longer enjoying it, I’ll no longer do it.

Most people tend to be dismissive of commercials but I think they provide a handy time capsule of society.

For instance, did you know there was a coffee crime wave?

Fortunately, there was always a patriarchal representative around to set us all in the right direction.

I love my Aunt Kate and I know she loves me but often times, we have trouble showing it.  To a large extent, it’s a generational thing.  She’s a part of the generation of women who rebelled against a sexist society by burning bras, protesting outside of the halls of government, and never allowing any man to get away with casually referring to her as sweetheart, babe, doll, dear, or any other term that would have served to diminish her.  Because of the society she lived in, everything she did — from the clothes she wore to the jobs she took to the way she signed her name — had to be done in a way that rejected anything that would have allowed men to stereotype her.  My aunt is part of a generation of feminists that were and are often referred to as being “strident.”  But if Kate was strident, it was because she didn’t have much choice.  Anything less than stridency would have been surrender.

As for me, I’m a part of the generation that can afford not to be strident.  I’m a part of the generation that can be feminine because we want to and not because society is holding a gun to our head and demanding it.  I’m a part of the generation that takes for granted the freedoms that my aunt fought and suffered for.  While I tend to forget that my aunt grew up in a time when women had to fight, I think she sometimes doesn’t realize that just because I might spend a while getting my makeup just right, I’m doing that for me and not because it’s demanded of me by a patriarchal society.  As a result, me and Kate argue way too much and often times, I forget to thank her for making the world a better place for me. 

I’m happy to say, however, that Kate and I have found something that we totally agree on.  We both love Tim Gunn, the former fashion school dean who is best known for playing the role of mentor on 8 seasons of Project Runway and counting.  Apparently, Tim — yes, both me and Kate consider ourselves to be on a first name basis with Tim — was recently in Frisco, Texas on some sort of promotional tour.  My aunt was among the countless women who came to see and hear him.  Kate approached him afterward, told him how much she “respected” him, and she got a hug in return.  She said it was one of the nicest hugs she’d ever received and that doesn’t surprise me at all.  He’s Tim Gunn after all!

Why do we love Tim Gunn?

Tim Gunn knows fashion.  This goes without saying.  The thing that always impresses me about Tim on Project Runway is that he’s definitely a man of another generation yet he still respects the opinions and the fashions of my generation.  He’s that rare older man who doesn’t expect or demand that a woman in her 20s either dress like 1) our grandmother or 2) like we’re posing for the cover of Lolita.

Tim Gunn is gay.  Don’t doubt just how important this one little fact is.  As a woman, you are constantly aware that every guy you meet is, somewhere in the back of his mind, deciding whether or not you are — to put it crudely — fuckable.  Everything a guy says to you, you have to wonder: Is he telling me the truth or is he just trying to get in my pants?  And if he isn’t trying to get into my pants — why not?  Obviously, this can lead to a lot of confusion, stress, and hurt feelings.  But Tim, bless him, is not only gay but openly and obviously so.  We know he is only interested in looking at the clothes on our body as opposed to our body underneath our clothes.  Tim’s a man that we can actually trust and how often do you actually meet one of those?  At the same time, since Tim is a man, a woman doesn’t have to worry that he’s been busy hating her behind her back or that he’s been spreading lies and innuendo just because her ass looks better in skinny jeans than his does.  In short, Tim Gunn is the ideal platonic male friend.

Tim Gunn has been celibate since breaking up with his boyfriend.  They broke up 20 years ago.  In interviews, Tim has explained that he’s remained celibate because he’s still in love with his former partner.  Since I have tendency to go crazy if I’m celibate for 20 hours, it’s hard for me to imagine what 20 years of voluntary celibacy could possibly be like.  That’s not a life I would really wish on anyone but it’s hard for me not to read that and go “awww…” at the fact that Tim would apparently choose to simply be celibate as opposed to just doing it with someone who he doesn’t love.

Tim Gunn could spend hours in a fabric store.  How many men can you say that about?

Tim Gunn is always sophisticated but never a snob.  One of my favorite parts of Project Runway is when the show finally leaves either NYC or L.A. and Tim visits the finalists in their own hometowns.  For whatever reason, each season seems to feature quite a few designed who come from and live out in Deliverance country.  It’s hard to describe the delight I get from seeing Tim, in his perfectly tailored suits and not a hair out-of-place, discussing fashion while surrounded by sagging pants, beer bellies, manboobs, and rampaging cellulite.  In a world where belching has become an acceptable form of debate, there is something comforting in knowing that there’s at least one man out there who still makes the effort.  What’s even more appealing is that, unlike me, Tim Gunn would never (at least not in public) use the phrase “deliverance country” when talking about the people he’s just met.  There’s a lot of be said for a man who can be sophisticated without feeling the need to call attention to that fact.

Tim Gunn has one of the few hearts in reality television.  One thing about most reality TV regulars: they’re very quick to let you know what they think of each season’s group of contestants.  On Survivor, Jeff Probst always lets us know which tribe he considers to be the most pathetic.  Julie Chen often struggles to remember just who exactly is living in the Big Brother house.  Chris Harrison can’t wait for  the Bachelor to screw up his engagement.  Don’t even get me started on those two fascists that seem to be intent on giving everyone a heart attack on Biggest Loser.  However, Tim Gunn is always seems to be sincere when he sends the latest cut designer up to the workroom to clean his or her space.  With is warm hug and his apologetic tone, Tim has probably kept more than a few failed designers from committing suicide after having to listen to Heidi Klum tell them that “We’ve seen it before and, quite frankly, we’re bored…”

Tim Gunn speaks his mind.  Tim may be nice but he speaks his mind.  One of the best things about this current season of Project Runway has been watching Tim put judgmental, catty snobs like Gretchen and Ivy in their place.  Who didn’t cheer when Tim said he couldn’t understand why the other designers were meekly allowing themselves to be “bullied” by Gretchen or when he showed up at the workroom and told Ivy to stop accusing Michael Costello of “cheating?”  There are times when I wish I could have someone like Tim Gunn with me whenever I’m at work and I know I’m going to have to deal with the women who work in the office next to mine. 

Tim Gunn is willing to call the Kardashians “vulgar.”  Somebody had to say it.

Tim Gunn does the right thing.  One of the reasons why my aunt said she “respected” Tim Gunn is because of a recent  video Tim made in response to the recent suicides of several gay teenagers.  In that video, Tim talks about how he tried to take his own life when he was 17 and still coming to terms with his sexuality.  Here’s something else that me and Kate agree on — I respect Tim Gunn too.  It takes courage to talk publicly about something that painful.  While everyone always talks about how tragic suicide is, there’s still a stigma attached to actually admitting that you have ever been in that dark of a place.  That Tim Gunn — who certainly didn’t have to — chose to open up that part of his life says a lot about who he is and why he’s earned the respect of both me and my aunt.

Tim Gunn gave me and my Aunt common ground.  After me and my aunt had spent a little while talking about how much we both love Tim, we came to an agreement.  From now on, whenever she’s tempted to admonish me or I’m tempted to get an attitude with her, we are simply going to ask ourselves, “What would Tim Gunn do?”

1) I love musicals.  I was in the drama club all through high school.  When I was in college, I was active in community theater.  I’ve never allowed the fact that I’m tone-deaf to prevent me from breaking out into a song.  Taking all that into account, I really should love Glee.  And yet, I don’t.  In fact, I hate it.  Whether it’s Matthew Morrison’s creepy smile or the way Glee pretends to be more quirky than it actually is, the show just annoys the Hell out of me. 

2) When it comes to selecting a favorite color, I’ve always been torn between red or green.  I finally settled on one of them about two nights ago but, for the life of me, I can’t remember which one.

3) I am a German-Spanish-Irish-Italian mutt with a little French thrown in for good measure.  I probably identify most with my Irish heritage even though I’m definitely closest to the Spanish-Italian side of my family.  A part of me wishes that my background was 100% Cajun. 

4) I have a degree in Art History so, of course, I’m currently working as a receptionist.

5) Along with being asthmatic, I suffer from heterochromia, i.e. my left eye is a lighter shade of green than my right.  Unlike asthma, heterochromia is actually kinda cool. 

6) I tend to talk a lot.  I mean a lot.  My sister Megan once said, “Lisa can tell the longest stories about nothing…”  At the time, it actually hurt my feelings but in retrospect, she’s right.  What people often fail to understand, though, is that the main reason I won’t shut up is because I’m actually very shy.  Rambling is my way of avoiding the dreaded awkward silence.

7) For close to a year now, I’ve been writing — off-and-on — a novel called Mizmoon.  It’s been one of the most frustrating and rewarding experiences of my life.  My plan is to have a rough draft completed by the end of 2010. 

8 ) If I had a time machine, I’d go back 11 years and tell my younger self to “wait” and enjoy being innocent for a few more years.  What’s sad is that I know my younger self would probably respond by telling me that I don’t understand how she (I) feels and that it’s her (my) life anyway. 

9) Often times, when I’m having trouble finding any inspiration for a more substantial blog post, I’ll handle the situation by writing down a few very random facts about me.

10) I’m not anti-marriage.  I just have serious doubts as to whether or not I could ever be a part of a succesful marriage.  I’m a romantic at heart but, at the same time, I hate the thought of one day waking up and realizing that I’ve sacrificed my own identity just to be “so-and-so’s wife.”  A friend of mine recently told me that “a succesful relationship is built on trust.”  I don’t know if I’ll ever be capable of trusting anyone that much.

11) I’ve often been accused of engaging in a bit too much TMI for my own good (especially when it comes to my twitter account) but there are certain things in my life that I don’t talk about even though I want to.  But I don’t because I know that if I do, people will no longer think of me as Lisa Marie.  Instead, they’ll simply see me as an object of pity or as a victim.  As much as I sometimes need to express my pain, I don’t want it to define me.

12) At the same time, I do find that it is sometimes to helpful to vent (or sometimes even cry out) on a site like twitter because 1) you can block anyone who acts like an asshole about it, 2) others can block or ignore you if they don’t want to hear about it (which makes me feel less guilty about my occasional emo moments), and 3) sometimes, if you’re lucky, someone will actually offer up either some good advice or come up with a response so perfectly absurd that it’ll snap me out of my angst.

13) Yes, I have in the past occasionally posted a risqué picture or two on twitpic, tweetphoto, and plixi.  And yes, I have occasionally had to deal with the total stranger who has taken it upon him or herself to tell me that I need to have more “respect” for myself or use better judgment.  But you know what?  It’s my body and I’m not ashamed of it.  Why is it that society continues to insist that a woman cannot be independent, intelligent, and/or liberated unless she’s also some sort of humorless, sexless celibate?

If I want to show off my body, I will.  Even more importantly, though, if I don’t feel like showing off my body, I won’t.  No matter how many DMs, YMs, and e-mails I get asking me when I’m going to post another “thong shot.”  The minute anything starts to feel like an obligation is the minute that I start to lose interest.

Someone once asked me how I’d feel if, some day in the distant future, I discovered that my daughter was posting racy pictures of herself on the Internet.  I didn’t have an answer for him then and I really don’t have an answer now.  I know it would upset me but I would also hope that if my daughter was doing that, she would be doing it because she wanted to and not because she felt like she had to.

14) Yes, I do want to be a mom someday.  If I have a girl, I’m going to name her Gloria Elena after my mom.

15) When I first started this post, I thought it was going to be a lot shorter and a lot less serious.  🙂

16) I am an obsessive list maker.  Not only do I continually make lists of everything I need to during the day but I tend to hold on to the lists even after the day has passed because the list, if nothing else, will at least help me remember the day.  Yes, I know this is probably an indication of a tendency towards hoarding.  However, I am capable of throwing aways my old lists … just as long as I’m given one last chance to read them before I do so.

17) Continuing on the obsessive compulsive theme, it’s very important to me that any numbers in my life be even numbers.  I can never, for instance, feel secure if I’m in a building that has an address that ends in an odd number.  That’s also why I’m going to end up listing 20 random facts about myself in this post.  (It’s also why, for my Lisa Marie’s Favorite Exploitation and Grindhouse Trailers series over at Through the Shattered Lens, I always include 6 trailers per post instead of 5.)

18) I used to love that Chanel commercial where Nicole Kidman was the actress having the romance with the — well, I forget what he was supposed to be but he was hot and that’s all that really mattered.  Except, for some reason, I always thought that Kidman’s character was supposed to be terminally ill and dying in the commercial.

19) I love old school Italian horror films, the gorier and more sordid the better.  Yet, in real life, I can’t stand the sight of blood.

20) Okay, one last random fact.  Hmmm…alright, I get about two to three hours of sleep a night and I like it that way.  Life fascinates me and I can’t experience it if I’m asleep.

Sometimes, life is just strange.

The producers behind Sesame Street have decided not to air a clip in which Katy Perry engages in some sort of weird game with Elmo.

The reason had nothing to do with the fact that Elmo is kinda creepy and the implication of him and Katy Perry potentially doing it is the type of thing that could traumatize a young child for life.

Nor is the issue that, throughout the video, little pantsless Elmo more or less tries to hump Katy’s leg like a dog in heat.

No, the issue is that some concerned citizens apparently felt that Katy Perry was showing too much cleavage.  Here’s the video.  Depending on your own personal tolerance for Katy Perry, turn down the volume and judge for yourself.

After watching the video, all I can say is “Uhmm…really?” 

Okay, first off, they’re just breasts and there’s no reason to be ashamed (or scared) of them.  I usually display more cleavage just going to the grocery store than Katy does in that entire video.  So, I guess I’m a danger to children as well. 

I guess Katy’s cleavage might give a 14 year-old boy dirty thoughts but, quite frankly, I’d be more concerned about the fact that a 14 year-old boy is watching Sesame Street.  Is the target audience of Sesame Street really going to care that much about Katy Perry’s cleavage?  Perhaps if parents simply didn’t depend on television to raise their children, they wouldn’t have the time to waste worrying about the implications of televised cleavage.

It’s odd, really.  American society puts so much thought into our boobs yet it somehow gets offended whenever we do the same thing.  We’re told to keep (or make) them prominent but to somehow keep them hidden away as well, locked up as if they’re some sort of prize  to be won by only the noblest knight of the round table.

I’m sorry but they’re just boobs, not the Holy Grail.

First France bans the burqa.

Now Sesame Street has banned boobs.

Like I said, it’s a strange world.

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