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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Save me, Bea Arthur... You're my only hope.



I’ve heard about it for years. Turned down invitations to Cosplay Wookiee Life Day parties just trying to stay away from it. I thought I would have the strength to continue along my path of blissful ignorance forever. Stay pure. But this year, I couldn’t resist it’s power.

The power… of the Star Wars Holiday Special.

I know!!!
WHY?!?!?!?!?
What can I say. I was weak. (And baking surrounded by booze).

I thought I was prepared. My expectations were low. That’s where I went wrong. WAY wrong. I shouldn’t have had ANY expectations. I was hoping it would be bad in a “so bad it’s good kinda way” – you know, like a Nicholas Cage movie. It's Star Wars!!! Some people who know me would say I'm a little bit of a fan. 

I mean... how bad could it be? The stories can't all be true. 

Let me just say… WOW! 

Now I understand why it has never been re-broadcast since it first aired in 1978 or released for sale. I understand why one writer wrote, "I'm not convinced the special wasn't ultimately written and directed by a sentient bag of cocaine". (That was a fun sentence for me to type, by the way). Why George Lucas himself has reportedly said, "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it." Granted, the bootleg version (which is the only kind you can get) wasn't the best quality... but I don't think seeing it in HD would have helped. 

Trust me.

I found myself staring at the screen with my mouth open. Nothing made any sense. We're on Kashyyyk...Chewbacca's home planet where his family is scurrying around a treehouse with astroturf carpet. The first 10 minutes are spoken in Wookiee without subtitles, and I can't understand what they're trying to say with they're hand gestures. I'm so confused! 

We meet Chewie's wife, who is wearing an apron and watching a weird cooking show where a 4-legged humanoid played by Harvey Korman is cooking Bantha Surprise. Chewie's son, Lumpy, is playing with a holographic table that shows acrobats in neon. Chewie's grandpa, Itchy, has what I'm going to call a special moment watching a hologram of a discoed-out Diahann Cannon and we find out he likes his ladies shaved.

No. I'm not making this up. 

And that's when things got REALLY weird... 

Two words: 
Jefferson Starship

I'll just leave that there for you to ponder in case some of you want to experience the joy, that IS the Star Wars Holiday Special yourself. I don't want to ruin all the surprises. I will tell you that Chewbacca and Han are trying to get back to Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day, which is like Thanksgiving for Wookiees, but the Empire keeps getting in the way. I thought it would get better when Luke, Leia, and some of the other characters from the original trilogy showed. Not so much.

Luke Skywalker. 
Wearing guyliner. 

Princess Leia. 
Singing. 
And obviously high from inhaling some of that white powder on Hoth. 

Boba Fett made his debut in animated form.
I liked that. He was kind of pastel and had a Loch Ness Monster for a side-kick... 
But he was still BOBA FREAKING FETT!

I wanted to stick around for Bea Arthur, I really did...because Bea Arthur as a Wookiee would be pretty sweet! But I knew she wasn't playing a Wookiee. And after an hour, I'd had about as much of the Star Wars Holiday Special as I could take. 

What can I say. I was alone. And I used all the booze is for the cookies.

Thank you, George Lucas. During the holiday season everyone is doing their part to spread cheer. But the Universe demands balance, as you know. Because THE FORCE! All the sadness and cruelty in the world have to go somewhere. Thanks to you, all that negative energy has just gone into my computer and exited as the Star Wars Holiday Special. 

While I'm giving thanks to George I feel I should apologize to him too. So here it is: 

I'm sorry, George Lucas. You really aren't all about the money. Because if you were, you would release the Star Wars Holiday Special on Blue Ray for those fans who MUST have a complete collection of EVERYTHING Star Wars - even all the versions you changed when you didn't really need to. You could even release multiple versions of the Holiday Special if you wanted to... with different special features each time: like what guyliner is Mark Hamill's personal fave; Harrison Ford's commentary on what he really thought of getting stuck participating; and whatever it was Carrie Fisher was doing to prepare before the direction called "action". But you didn't. So I was wrong about you, George Lucas. You aren't ALL about the money. 

But....
HAN SHOT FIRST!!!!!!! 

If any of you would like a little taste, or experience the crazy all over again... here you go. 
Happy Holidays! And may the Force be with You... Always... 
:-)


Friday, December 20, 2013

Save me the turkey neck, Clark...


It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time again. I know!!!!  It's “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”
Who came up with that phrase, anyway?
Anyone?
Anyone?
Bueller?
I’ll bet it was a New Yorker. Or maybe it was a sarcastic, simplistic, yet creative genius much like…
No. I’m not talking about myself. Although I suppose the phrase could’ve been coined by a woman. I did say sarcastic, remember? And that doesn’t sound like me at all. But who really cares. It’s not what I want to talk about right now.
The holidays are upon us, and heading home can often be a stressful process. First you have to make travel arrangements. 
Stressful. 
If you're flying you have to deal with long lines at the airport. 
Stressful.
Then you get to deal with TSA screenings that can be interesting at times. (Is it normal for the screener to ask you to lift your shirt?)  
All just to get home to face your family. That can be scary. Especially when two words are involved:
Family. Dinner.
For some, family dinners may be something they look forward to - especially during the holidays. But for countless others, the experience of having your immediate and extended family members under one roof, fighting over who gets the turkey neck can be as painful as a root canal. 
If you fall into that category don’t lose heart.
You are not alone!
There are plenty of others out there who make the long (or short) journey home to have dinner with a group of people who just don't get you. You braved hours of traffic. Waited in those long lines at the airport. Survived those sensual TSA screenings... all in order to share a fabulously amazing meal at home and catch up with your nearest and dearest.
Riiiiiiiight.
It’s never fabulously amazing, is it? The turkey is dry. The vegetables are vegetables. The cranberry sauce is from the can. I mean. Come ON! I sat on a crowded plane for hours with someone kicking the back of the seat for hours while the woman next to me got hammered at told me her entire life story then tried to set me up with her brother - a plumber, who she said would be happy to come over and take care of my pipes for free... anytime. At least order dinner from Marie Calendar's. 
But it’s too late. You have no other choice to but to accept it. You’re home. And you’re probably the most interesting and most judgmental one at the table. At this very second your cousin is probably reading an article on how to deal with my “from-the-big-city-I-think-I-am-too-fabulous-family-member”.
So buckle up. Prepare yourself for stimulating dinner conversation about marriage, houses, kids, babies, school systems, politics, and healthcare.gov.
And let’s not forget about the questions.
THE QUESTIONS!!
I don’t know about you, but I believe subtlety is important when answering those inevitable questions that come along with those family holiday dinners. It’s ok. Take some deep breaths. Calm down, ask for more wine, and feel free to use some of the following responses I've used over the years to get me through:
“Why are you so dressed up?”
You can respond to this with something like, “You’re so sweet! I realized when I was packing all of my nice clothes are still at the cleaners. I’ve had so many events, fundraisers, and parties to go… I mean – does it ever stop?! I’ve got a bunch of New Year's Eve parties coming up too when I get back...so I should really find the time to go pick those up. I’m SO sorry I came so casually to dinner. That’s not usually my thing."
Now you can turn the tables. Why not? They already think you’re a b*tch. 
“Don’t you look cute, Sally! Boot-cut jeans?! That’s so cool. I LOVE vintage. Cousin Amy come over here. Check out her jeans. Shut up!!! They’re NOT vintage? Wow! I haven’t seen jeans like that since high school. We’ve got this FABULOUS vintage shop by me that has high-rise vintage flares from the 70s. Those aren’t high-rise are they? Yeah, I didn’t think so.”
You can continue along these lines and whatever you do... do NOT stop talking about yourself and your dry cleaner until the family member you aren't in the mood to talk to walks away.  
At some point, you can expect this stupid question from everyone at the table that already knows the answer.
“So? Tell us, who are you dating?”
Take the high road. Respond with something along the lines of, “I’m exploring my options. I’ve found a few worthy of my time, but why should I settle? Britney, your wedding was just beautiful, by the way!”
You could also say, "I'm still getting over my breakup with Ryan Gosling/Joseph Gordon-Levitt/whatever celebrity you want to insert here. He really broke my heart". Bonus points if you throw in a few tears. Works every time.
Time for more wine? I thought so too. 
Because there will always be at least one family member who refuses to give up on the subject of your love life. Prepare for another stupid question:
“Where are you meeting people?”
Between us, let’s be honest...Tinder, J-Date, beer pong at your local hipster bar. But it's okay to keep the truth to yourself and politely answer, “Oh, you know, conferences, church, all the charity events I've been going to and that's why all my nice clothes are at the cleaners. I meet people all the time!" 
Feel free to turn the tables again by asking some questions of your own. Look at your cousin's manicure and casually say, "I love that color! That's OPI's, 'I'm Not Really a Whore,' right?" 
She'll probably be very confused. Everyone at the table is going to be confused. PERFECT! Keep asking questions. Then talk about yourself, but keep things vague, and only use one-word answers.
Then, expect this stupid question from someone: 
“When are you going to settle down, get married, have a family, and move to the suburbs?”
Respond with, “When I decide life is no longer worth living.”
At this point, NO ONE at the table should want to talk to you, but unfortunately, these topics might still come up:
“My friend just had a baby!” says your overly excited cousin, Michael. To which you can reply, “What a nightmare! Having to cart around a baby stroller? No thanks."
"I just got engaged!"  You answer, "Congratulations! I didn't even notice your ring. Come closer so I can see it. It's beautiful." 
You still don't eat meat?" You 
reply, “Relevance?” Which will totally lead to awkward silence...which is awesome because you are TOTALLY DOMINATING the table right now. 
Congratulations. You have survived. Until next year... And maybe Aunt Bethany will still be around to say grace.

Remember what I said earlier about sarcastic not sounding like me at all. Maybe I was wrong about that.  ;-) 


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Women really aren't that complicated guys...


“The mysteries of a woman’s heart are as deep and unfathomable as the depths of the ocean.”
At least that’s what one of my oldest and dearest male friends seems to think, because that sentence actually came out of his mouth. We got a chance to catch up recently, and as is usually the case when I hear from him – he was looking for a little “insight into deciphering the “complexities of the feminine mind” (again, his words - he's a lawyer, so I try to cut him some slack for his tendency to overpopulate sentences with polysyllabic words).
First, I gave him some well-deserved grief for seeing Titanic a “few” too many times… because I just had to. I mean, really?!? He knows how I feel about Leo. Did he think I wouldn’t know where that line came from?  Although I did give him props for embellishing the line a bit. James Cameron - great action director... great screenwriter, not so much (in my opinion). And for those of you who have NO idea what I’m talking about…watch Titanic sometime. 

It’s not the first time I’ve heard a man say it’s impossible to figure out how a woman thinks, but let me tell you a little secret, guys... 
We’re not that complicated. 
Yes, we're biologically different. Yes, our brains are wired differently. Our mental, emotional, and aesthetic needs might be different too. Each and every one of us is unique, but there are some truths that just seem to speak to the majority. So for all of you guys out there pondering the “complexities of a woman’s mind" – because come ON. We KNOW that’s what you do – let me shed a little light on the subject.
Here are 25 facts, in no particular order, about the female psyche that are tried and true (for the most part). I can’t promise they’ll help you get you lucky, but it can’t hurt to have a few more tricks up your sleeve. Right?!?
1. “Fine” is never an appropriate answer when we ask you how we look.
2. We go to the bathrooms in groups. Deal with it. Think of it as a commercial break.
3. Female upkeep costs some serious cash money. And yes. Waxing hurts. In fact, it can be the subject of nightmares.
4. Yes. We’re judging your outfit… and if you think it’s okay to wear running sneakers in a bar, we’re judging that, too.
5. If you ask us out directly – especially when you exercise your vocal cords and actually pick up a phone to do it verbally and not just via text – we will usually say yes.
6. Any woman that is worth your effort will not wait around for you to eventually show it.
7. It is not a myth. When we have our periods, we are 10 more times likely to cut a bitch. So tread lightly.
8. Only Rockstars are allowed to wear leather pants.
9. Calling another girl a slut only makes us think you’d do the same to us.
10. Most of us understand the fact unless it’s a g-string and/or pasties, you don’t really care what we’re wearing. But pretending you do care is welcomed. We like it when you do, even if you're just pretending.
11. If we sleep with you, we believe without a doubt you owe us a text. (Even if we don’t actually want it.) If we stay over, you owe us breakfast.
12. If you do something bad and we seem cool with it, we’re not. If you have to ask if we're ticked or not, we are.
13. No matter what she may tell you, once you lose a girl’s trust, chances are you will never get it back.
14. A good manicure can change the course of our whole day.
15. We talk a lot about sex. Probably more than you do.
16. Oral is a good “get out of the dog house” card. Manolo Blahnik shoes work well too.
17. When in doubt, go with the shirt that matches the color of your eyes.
18. How you treat the women in your family is a direct indication of how you will treat us.
19. We will always trust our guy friends to keep it real.
20. To sum up a woman’s take on shaving in the winter… “ain’t nobody got time for that.”
21. Lead. Don’t follow. We are attracted to leaders. It’s in our DNA, and it makes you more interesting. Being a man-child/crybaby is never attractive.
22. Unless you’re at a beach or a gym, when she says she’s not wearing makeup, she’s full of it.
23. A guy with a pretty face may be fun, but a guy with some wit is lethal. A guy with both... Killer combo. 
24. She may not have “liked” that picture, but she probably saw it.
25. Hoes before bros. Always.
And here's one more… just because I’m feeling generous.

Even at our weakest, we’re stronger than you give us credit for.

You’re welcome…



"Give me a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall move the earth." - Archimedes. Now feel free to tell me my hair looks nice even if you're just pretending. Because women like that. You should also feel free to paint me like one of your French girls...  ;-)