Friday, March 31, 2006

Now I'll never be a teen model!

Sometimes I just can't resist a good blogthing:

You Are Marcia Brady

Confident yet kind. Popular yet down to earth. You're a total dream girl.
You've got the total package - no wonder everyone's a little jealous of you.

Friday Random Ten, plus less-fortunate kittyblogging

OK, first: the music . . .

1. No Phone, Cake.
2. Do You Realize, The Flaming Lips.
3. Brothers on a Hotel Bed, Deathcab for Cutie.
4. Brick Is Red, Pixies.
5. Cold Brains, Beck.
6. Every Planet We Reach is Dead, Gorillaz.
7. Oh Word, Beastie Boys.
8. Naomi, Neutral Milk Hotel.
9. All Falls Down, Kanye West feat. Syleena Johnson.
10. Too Little, Too Late, Metric.

And now, kitties.
Background: last weekend the boy and I went shopping around to find him a trusty animal companion. A faithful friend. A partner in crime. So, we went on down to a sketchy little stretch of Santa Fe Blvd. down near Englewood to a shelter called the Animal Rescue and Adoption Society, a cat shelter teeming with big cats, small cats, old cats, young cats, sweet old toms and big bitchy kitties. Here are some highlights:


This was literally the biggest cat I've ever seen in my life. He looks like he has swallowed a medicine ball. He was simply stunning.


Looked over just in time to see the boyfriend getting some serious kitty loving . . .


This guy's name was Sexy Rex. He's an 18-year-old stray with cauliflower ears and tufty old-cat fur. The sweetest cat ever. The old, street-beaten toms always are.

For more info, check out the shelter site. They need all the help they can get. And not to get all Bob Barker here, but please, fix your kitties.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A change will do you good

OK, so obviously I've changed a few things around, like the header image to reflect the loveliness of my new city in the summertime. And I have a new work-mandated disclaimer to the right there . . . they monitor our Internet use here, so I'm sure they know all about what goes on here at VV. So behave yourselves! And I'll try to keep my droppage of the F-bomb to a minimum.

But what is nice is that I'm no longer scared about posting political polemics and real opinions here, because I'm not bound by the lame-ass "nonbias" contract that the paper made me sign. So ha! Now that I work for a company run by a buncha crazy, creative liberal folk, I can be free to berate this pathetic excuse for an administration all I like.

And I can gloat about this all I like. Although the bastard got the minimum, it's better than nothing.

Gloat, gloat gloat.

And I find this really interesting, because I've always been intrigued by child development stuff like this. I want to get down to the bottom of the mystery of why I was reading National Geographics at six while other kids had, you know, friends and fun and girl scout meetings and stuff.

That's all I really got today . . . I would, though, like to point all my Colorado peeps to a recent quick post I did for Soapblox . . . good on the hometown for organizing something like this.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Just call me Grace . . .

Picture this . . . Vestal Vespa, carrying laundry up the short stairwell in the back of her 1950's tenement-style apartment building. As the door begins to shut behind her, a thought crosses her mind . . . what if she left her keys in there, behind the rapidly-closing, self-locking door? Crisis! In panic, she turns to grab the knob just as the door latches, trips down the bottom two steps, and rolls her ankle over with a sickly snapping sound.

Yep. Sprained my ankle doing laundry. Just think, if this acts up again, I'll have to say, "oh, dear, that's just my old laundry injury."

At least I didn't lock myself out.

To add to this, I have a nasty cold and it's just now getting nice out. So I'm laid up, laid out, and quarantined. Teh Suxor.

I took yesterday off and today it's back to work. But payday is coming, as well as the vacay (check the countdown) so, as my friend Megan says, there is a light at the end of the ass crack.

Until next time . . .

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Friday Random Ten

Busy busy busy today, so here goes:

1. You've Got Her In Your Pocket: White Stripes
2. Wandering Star: Portishead (whoa, old-school!)
3. Summer Skin: Deathcab for Cutie
4. Oh So Quiet: Bjork
5. Masterfade: Andrew Bird
6. Milk: Kings of Leon
7. Lay Down and Die: Rock N Roll Soldiers
8. The View: Modest Mouse
9. Le Monde: Theievery Corporation
10. Details of the War: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Random pop-culture and personal musings . . .

. . . are all I can really manage in between proofing the legal copy for wireless phone plans. Lemme tell ya, the new job has really taught me the value of actually reading fine print. You would not believe what they can legally put in there to screw you over.

Anyway.

Some neural firings I've had lately:

1. "Project Runway" is the new "Surreal Life." I've seen the finest minds of my generation destroyed by madness . . . and Heidi Klum.

2. I know the iPod Nano is not an emergency. But I feel compelled to charge one to my visa card anyway . . .

Maybe next paycheck.

3. I love the new Kinko's commercial with the "copy cat." The cat, see, he's gonna save them money on copies, because he can paint pie charts. My cat doesn't paint pie charts. All I ask her to do is to do the dishes every once in a while and she won't even do that. And I'm sick of opening her mail.

4. Even though it was snowing this morning, I could tell it was springtime. Something heady and alive in the air. Something fresh and green. It was a great thing . . . sometimes I forget that the seasons will, in fact, change, and I get taken slightly by surprise when they come around again.

5. The new Neko Case has made my spring, just as Beck's "Guero" made last spring. Lovely, lovely.

6. The boy sent me flowers for my desk a couple of days ago and they are still beautiful. Blooming and becoming more beautiful, actually. This bodes well.

7. I've joined a gym, as exercise is supposed to alleviate anxiety. The 24-hour gym thing intrigues me. I think I'll go at like, 3 a.m. sometime after a Gabor's night and play in the sauna. And it amuses me that I see other hipster kids in there with tattoos and Chuck Taylors sweating as hard as I am . . . body insecurity knows no genre.

8. Another gym note: the window in front of my favorite stairmasters directly faces the warmly glowing menu board at the neighboring KFC. I often feel like I'm climbing K2 to get some of the Colonel's tasty buttered biscuits.

9. So the countdown begins for my sister's departure to the wilds of Lesotho. She's leaving on June 11 and I am worried that I won't be able to get enough Lizzie time in before that . . . I'm thinking we need to make a Casa Bonita run before she goes, just for old time's sake. I am also thinking I'm not going to feel the full impact of her absence until I wave goodbye to her at the airport . . . not going to be easy at all.

10. Work calls again. One hour left . . .

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Just making some pudding for the apocalypse . . .

Today on NPR they covered a trip that Cheney had made to a bar in Ohio. After quoting a few of his half-assed jokes (watching Cheney tell a joke must be like watching Stalin do a puppet show) and interviewing a few of the local freaktards (I support the TROOPS! I support the PREZNIT!) they asked an older woman what she thought of Cheney's appearance.

I'm not sure what she said exactly, but it came down to this: "It was really great to see the Vice President. It made me feel like a real American."

Now, I've talked at length about what makes a "real American." But what really bothers me is this sort of fucked up Divine Right of Kings philosophy that so many Americans adopt with respect to their elected officials. I mean, just yesterday, the self-same NPR station had an in-depth segment on the shifting rationales for the war, which included flat-out, bald-faced audiotaped LIES from the likes of Cheney and Condi and Bush himself. Lies. Not regrettable missteps, nothing that could be thought to be out-of-context, just lies that these people were telling the American people. And yet, here is someone who finds the mere presence of a lying evil elected official to be inspiring and somehow fulfilling.

I guess it is really no coincidence that these people are usually also very Christian. When it comes down to it, their faith is unwavering because the idea of a leader who doesn't care for them is as frightening as the idea of an atheistic world. If Bush doesn't care about them, what if God doesn't care about them? What if they are truly uncared-for by any cosmic or governmental powers?

It's a scary thought. And we all know how much Americans like being comforted.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Just when do you start calling optimism "pathological?"

Christ on Club cracker.

At this point, even his friends have conceded that there is nothing short of civil war going on in Iraq, and this knucklehead is still talking "victory."

Just what does your victory look like, Mr. Bush? Just as the rationales for the war have changed more often than my hair color in college, the preferred outcomes have changed as well.

I really believe that "victory" for Bush's plan has already happened. He had always wanted a destabilized failed state there, that would continually be at the mercy of the US. And he's had his "victory." Now on to Iran.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

It's hard work.

This past week's events included me having a nervous breakdown, broke up with my boyfriend, had a two-day mourning period and then spoke with him and decided to try again.

Yeah. Life is hard. But there are just somethings that you need to fight for, work out, work through and make better.

What they say is true about not knowing what you have until it is gone, and it is also true that you've found someone truly special when you find someone who can forgive you for your mistakes, even when you hurt them really, really badly.

So that's what's up. One day at a time and all that.

And in a world that is fucked up enough to unleash THIS upon a tender and unsuspecting public (that will no doubt adore it, despite the fact that it is the like intellectual self-poisoning), it is good (maybe even necessary) to have a partner to keep you happy and sane.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Can I get it on Netflix?

Holland has made it mandatory for immigrants to view a 105-minute video featuring gay romance, nudity and other such behaviors in order to pass an entrance examination.

So you can't actually move to Holland unless you are comfortable with such imagery.

Some religous groups are calling it discrimination. The Dutch minister of immigration says that all those who would like to become Dutch citizens must be comfortable with modernity.

I have to say I think it's a fine idea. I think we should do the same in Colorado. If nothing else, maybe all those idiots who drive SUVs with those god damned "Calvin Praying" stickers would stay in Texas or South Carolina or wherever the hell it is that they keep coming from.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tuesday List: Modern Messiah Edition

ACTUAL QUOTES FROM POSTINGS AT THE DR. PHIL MESSAGE BOARDS:

1. "i wanted to try and get him to go to counseling because i think it was related to self-esteem issues. we never did but eventually ass of a sudden he changed one moring and now we have sex about 2 times a week...which is good for me."

(ed. note: I know "ass of a sudden" must be a typo, but it has such great cadence that I had to put it at the top of the list)

2. "Are you living your authentic self? I finally do!"

(but apparently he is not living with a seventh-grader's understanding of subject-verb agreement)

3. "I started read Self Matters a few days ago and it was amazing - it was like the book was written about me."

(You mean, written about your . . . *SELF*?)

4. "As we breathe we continue to be in the process of being."

(oy.)

5. "Well, it is true that you can't change what you don't acknowlede but when you look at the question, what am I not satisfied with in my life and your answer is nothing is ever good enough well haaaaaaa how in the world do I change that!!! I mean sure I know it's possible but well yeah I don't know what I am talking about. LOL"

(Honey, go to a *real* doctor . . . now . . .)

6. "Your hopes and dreams are far more valid than your doubts and fears. -Dr Phil"

(Aw . . . you can almost see this in gold, written on a fuzzy kitten poster . . .)

7. "Just curious what the jist of Self Matters is - is that the goal of the book, to help you find your authentic self?? Glad you posted this, I may just have to go out and buy it!!"

(Wow . . . I bet the working title was "How I, Dr. Phil, Will Make Millions of Dollars on the Weak Self-Esteems of Others.")

8. "Our lifes r a constant state of learning.When we learn all we need to learn here, we move onto death which is just the beginning."

(Right . . . because Death is kind of a cosmic Grad program.)

9. "I have had "therapists" tell me that I was nuts and that I had all kinds of disorders I knew I did not have."

(And now you have a "doctor" telling you you are just not your "authentic self" yet. Good choice!)

10. "SINCE MY TRACTOR ACCIDENT I CAME TO HATE MY BODY, ASHAMED OF IT,"

(* . . . blink . . .*)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Freakshow



The above is from Postsecret. But it seemed particularly amusing after heading over to Mr. Dex's place last night to catch the season premiere of "Big Love" on HBO.

Altogether I liked it because the family is surprisingly normal for being what they are . . . that is, being a man with three wives, three houses and countless children. The writers took obvious care to draw a big fat line between mainstream mormons and the bizarre cultish behaviors of the fundamentalists who live on self-contained compounds in the Utah wilds. But at the same time, they do show the compound life for what it is- a terminally patriarchal society that slowly degrades and destroys those who chose it in search of God's guidance and favors.

Harry Dean Stanton did a supremely creepy job of the Prophet, the head of the fundamentalist sect who also happens to be in his sixties and married to a 14-year old girl named Rhonda. He is also one of Bill Paxton's fathers-in-law, through his marriage to Chloe Sevigny. He is one of many unseverable ties the family still holds to their old life on the compound.

But one thing I really loved about the show is how well the set designers and costumers captured that "Mormon" look of Utah, the Hendrickson homes and even the people themselves. Women with long, scrunchie-bound French braids. Quilts hung on walls as art. Huge, heavy and ornate furniture. It reminded me very much of home, and of trying my best to understand the faith that made up such a large part of our community.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday twofer: Cat and Music

Kitty, via the new Samsung A900 Cameraphone:


And the random, via iTunes:

1. Do You Want To, Franz Ferdinand
2. The Christians and the Pagans, Dar Williams
3. Deep Red Bells, Neko Case (the new Neko is on its way from Amazon! Hooray!)
4. Some Weird Sin, Iggy Pop
5. Wake Up, The Arcade Fire
6. Can't Hardly Stand It, Charlie Feathers (from the Kill Bill Vol. 2 Soundtrack)
7. Bario Alto, Theivery Corporation
8. Razz, Kings of Leon
9. At the Bottom of Everything, Bright Eyes
10. Extraordinary, Liz Phair

Have a lovely weekend, all; filled with sunshine and pink hummers . . . whatever you take that to mean . . .

Love,
VV

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Why cameraphones were invented

Spotted on Park Ave., Denver, yesterday:



Note the "Pink Vixen" license plate.

Ah, America.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

RIP, Kirby



When we lived in Minnesota, I was still pretty little but I managed to somehow, on some level, understand what baseball meant to people in the Twin Cities. When we'd go to the Metrodome in the late 80s (an overwhelming structure for a 7-year old, anyway) and the insanely loud roar of the fans would equalize into a kind of white noise in my head, it was clear that this was something that was really, really important to a lot of Minnesotans.

And down there, in the diamond, was a short guy, shaped a bit like a prairie chicken, who could knock the ball out of the park if not for the pillowy canopy that covered it.

RIP, Kirby . . . we'll miss you.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oh, me so holy

This is breathtaking . . .

The Rock Show Skank, and other observations

So the first order of business this weekend was the Hi Dive show with Everything Absent or Distorted, who were kind enough to invite me to another of their impressive shows. With no fewer than seven members living in Cheyenne and throughout Colorado, it's amazing that these guys can even get together for rehearsals, much less can manage the kind of synergy and inventiveness they display every time I see them. Good job, guys.

And as I'm now officially a freelance entertainment correspondent for the newspaper, I will get to see much more in the way of local shows and national acts. Hooray for press passes!

But among the many in attendance at this show was a phenomenon I've come to recognize immediately: the Rock Show Skank. There are sometimes many rock show skanks, but usually there is a queen skank that manages to direct the most attention her way. The Rock Show Skank is usually a woman a little past her prime, who probably would come to the show regardless of who was playing, just to drag along her beefy boyfriend and dress in a ridiculously short skirt with fishnet stockings. She never dances quite appropriately to the music that's playing- more often it's kind of a drunken combination between the lambada and a loss of internal equilibrium. The rock show skank is a friendly creature, and will make conversation with anyone nearby. But since she usually rambles incoherently about past rock shows or some bizarre personal incident (I had an aura reading today! I have an amber aura.) those she speaks with rarely return her enthusiasm for the exchange.

But let's not have this be a takedown of the rock show skank. Bless her heart, she is just there for the music, and at least she's getting out once in a while.

This weekend also included another baby shower, which, as some of you know, is kind of my own personal hell. I am not quite female enough, I guess, to enjoy sitting in a room filled with screeching women while a pregnant lady opens countless onesies, toys, baby books and layette items. And while I always go as a sign of support for the mom-to-be, the baby shower is among the many social exchanges that I do not feel entirely comfortable in. Others include bachelorette parties and any party involving a pyramid scheme (Partylite, Avon, etc). Baby showers are worse than a bachelorette party or a pyramid scheme party, however, due to the eggregious lack of booze. If I must endure talk of lactation, bowel movements, contractions, cervical elasticity and varicose veins, I feel it only appropriate that I am allowed to do so through a thick, vodka-infused fog. It seems only right. I wound up chatting with a (fellow childless) friend I hadn't seen in forever about designer thrift-shop finds and the new Anthropologie catalog.

In other news, I have a brand-new, fancypants cell phone. It's a Samsung blade phone in chick black, a little smaller than my wallet when closed and now tricked-out with a Pulp Fiction background and a Ren and Stimpy ringtone. New toys are fun . . .

Friday, March 03, 2006

A random ten, and a rant

Holy crap.

Even if you are one of the 30 percent who think that the US is going in the "right direction" with Bush's policies, even if you are one of those beady-eyed, snake-handling inbred freakshows who voted for him not once but *twice* because you thought he'd make ours a more moral world, even if you are an eleventy-billionaire enjoying lower taxes than ever before, how could you look at this and this and this and really think that your hero is doing a *good* job? I really want to know. I want to know what kind of cognitive dissonance makes you look at these things and feel at all safer, at all more secure, at all more hopeful for the future? I'm just wondering. As someone who now works in advertising, I want to know what I can do for my clients that makes such an absolutely dangerous, deadly product sound so very yummy to you.

Bleh.

OK, on to the music. Music will be my serenity, for now.

1. A Century of Elvis, Belle and Sebastian
2. Outsiders, Franz Ferdinand
3. Wandering Star, Portishead
4. Ocean Breaths Salty, Modest Mouse
5. Whip the Blankets, Neko Case
6. School Spirit Skit 2, Kanye West
7. In This Home On Ice, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
8. Next Exit, Interpol
9. Approaching Pavonis Mons By Balloon (Utopia Planitia), The Flaming Lips
10. Dirty Little Girl, Elton John

Wow. Scottish pop, trip hop, alt country, classic brit rock and cerebral rap. Is that eclectic or just plain crazy?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What can I say about that suit that hasn't already been said about Afghanistan?

Ah, Afghanistan.

The pre-Iraq. The minor errand we had to check off the list before getting to what Bush had been planning all along. The "hitting the dry cleaners on the way" of regime change.

What I love about this story is that Bush said virtually nothing *about* Afghanistan whilst *in* Afghanistan. True to form, he used the moment to talk about how Iran's nuclear ambitions are the worst thing to happen to the global community since "new" met "Coke." Oh, and how it's OK for India to use the same nuclear technology that Iran is trying to use, because of some trumped-up language about civilian energy needs (something has to power those call centers, right?).

All in all, another pointless, taxpayer-funded jaunt to a bombed-out country that the President used to continue his ceaseless self-aggrandizement and rationalize his failures. Though I'm not sure anyone ever expected it to be anything more.