Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Conway Twitty: "Don't Take It Away"

Lest you forget the most brilliant country singer to ever make women swoon, I'm posting another Conway video. It's been a few years, but I think it's best that I never stop posting Conway videos. Yes, I still love him. How can I not? Check out that hair and those smokey gazes. And I sincerely believe country artists should never, NEVER have stopped wearing Nudie suits. That was a big mistake. BIG mistake.

Also, here's a video that I can't embed. But it's also brilliant.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Happy Endings"? More Like "Crappy Endings"

I don't like to wish for anyone's failure. It seems rude. And not very classy. That being said, I'd really be happy if the show ABC's "Happy Endings" fails.

After I watch a really good show on television and another one comes on that's pure manure, I wish the network could hear me changing the channel or turning my TV off. But that would be creepy. So I'll just speak here, on my blog, and hope that ABC is paying attention. I know they have nothing else to do but peruse the blogosphere to find out what really important people like me think.

Here's more about what I think. It was terrible. Part of the time I left it on with the volume turned down and the acting was unconvincing, even without sound. With sound, I'm sure I would have longed more heartily to be able to punch each actor in the face.

I could liken the arrival of this show on the TV scene with that moment in "So I Married an Axe Murderer" when Mike Meyers walks into the girl's apartment and says, "You know what this room needs? A huge over-sized poster of Atlantic City." And he turns and pretends to just notice the huge over-sized poster of Atlantic City. Very funny and very cute and I love that movie.

But you know what we really really really need on television? Another piece of crap show about single people in their 30s being stupid and self-centered. I love nothing more than to watch story after story of people trying to find themselves when they've already lived over thirty years and still haven't learned how not to be a complete waste of oxygen.

Yes, yes. I have lots and lots of friends in their 30s who are single and I love them and hopefully my criticism of another show about a bunch of dummies (like "Friends") doesn't offend them. The point is that they're actually living that life. They're not sitting around bantering and saying witty things and being deplorable individuals. Hopefully. We're not together all the time, maybe they ARE doing that.

What I mean about not being a complete waste of oxygen is that no one is interesting once they reach a certain age and all they've managed to do is live for themself. They need a cause. There are circumstances where this is obviously an unfair measure of a person—of course I can't account for every single exception, but to name just one, there are plenty of great women who've never married because no one has asked them (not their fault)—and it's not like I'm here to make judgment's about the lives of specific individuals.

I'm merely making the observation that I personally don't find a show about yet another group of losers living in the city with their friends, in cool apartments with furniture and decor totally out of their income range (unless they're also living on entitlements...or trust funds), to be compelling.

And maybe it's just me. Maybe it's because I'm generally exhausted of the overwhelming decay of the family in our society and this show and others like it only contributes to the downward slide by showcasing the awesomeness of remaining single and living with your awesome friends in an awesome apartment in the awesome city. Want to go get beers or go to the club? Yeah? Awesome!

I'm old-fashioned, yep. So it wouldn't be witty of you to leave that comment on my blog (considering the usual clamor for readers to comment on my blog...I don't know what it is, seriously. I guess my tone doesn't encourage feedback....). I know. Yes. Old-fashioned, curmudgeonly old woman here! Point and laugh, please.

If you're thinking there's a lot of built-up resentment bubbling under the surface regarding this issue (people my age remaining single for forever and forever), you're right. There is. And it's not because I'm completely unfamiliar with being single. I didn't get married until I was twenty-seven. It wasn't that I didn't look, either. I dated and had a trillion boyfriends. I come from a culture that encourages marriage and where many people get married very young. So there was pressure for me to conform. I tried. But I didn't want to get married for the sake of getting married. I wanted to marry someone I loved.

Blah blah blah. The point is, even in the extremely oh-so progressive America of today, it is still not the fashion for women to ask a man to marry her. We have to wait for the question to be asked of us. But men aren't doing their job. And I suppose some of that falls to the women, who are somewhat confused about how they ought to operate in a culture where everyone just "hangs out."

I hate to point out the elephant in the room, but why not? I'm not good at burying my head in the sand, anyway, and I have to say, women make a huge mistake when they put on the attitudes of men and strut around acting like they don't give a crap and "hell yeah, I'll sleep with you. On the first date, even. I'm not a prude! I'm a modern woman! Girl-power!"

So, as much as my heart goes out to women who find it difficult to get a man to ask for her hand, I also think this is the bed we've made for ourselves. Women pretend to be men and feel the same way as men about sex and commitment and they do it to their undoing. Uncommitted sex only complicates relationships and as much as I hate the saying "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free," well...why? It's true. Think about it.

Men will often be the first to tell you they think that way. At least the ones who aren't trying to get you to sleep with them. So best ask a really old guy who's happily married and not looking to bag a younger woman. He's probably going to be most honest about it.

Anyway, I know it's a round about way of explaining my disgust with another show like "Happy Endings," but it's all melted into the same ball of wax. Singleness never was happiness*. That's all I'm saying. And I know most people will agree with me. I remember being single. It was me against the world, the universe, etc. Going to bed alone night after night was lonely. Even though I tried to put a good face on it, I really wanted to be part of a team.

The problem is that no one can tell you how to find someone. But shows like "Happy Endings" (from what I could tell from the first episodes, both muted and unmuted) don't help anyone in that search. And really, life isn't about "finding yourself." It's about losing yourself in serving others. And the best place to do that, historically speaking, is in a loving, committed relationship.

*I don't even want to qualify this statement because it's a given, but I would never make the claim that being in an abusive relationship is preferable to being single. I don't mean that at all. Yes, it is better to be alone than in a loveless or hurtful relationship.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Quick Classification of the Common Reviewers

Sometimes don't you wish customer reviews on places like came with caveats or personal summaries or something so you didn't have to weed through the obvious morons to find the reviews that matter to you?

I think this is a great idea, actually. A company like Google could totally invent a formula to separate the chaff from the grain and make tons of profit on good reviewers while casting the bad reviewers into a fiery pit of torment. Obviously, for subjecting decent customers to their crappy reviews and uninformed opinions, they deserve to be punished.

This is the kind of dross a person deals with when reading through reviews on

The Diva: this is the type of customer who cannot be satisfied by a product no matter how much the product and it's backing company nears perfection. This person expects their life to be a walk through the Garden of Eden, where all creatures sing glorious arias in response to the Diva's presence, the grass bends beneath the Diva's feet, and food virtually falls into the Diva's mouth when he or she is hungry (yes, she or he, Diva is not a gendered word in the Garden of Eden). I personally resent these customers and their reviews because they're hard to detect at first. You can only pick them out when they give you concrete examples of how impossible they are to please. For instance, I recently read a review where, despite the fact that the company listened to the customer's phone call and offered to send the customer a test device (at no charge to the customer), the customer STILL said the customer service was only so-so. It was kind of difficult at first to recognize the Diva nature of this reviewer, but I read fifty other reviews where the customers were extremely pleased with customer service. Also, the reviewer expected a $40 product to cook him breakfast, take him shopping for a new wardrobe, babysit his children, and give him nightly foot rubs using lavender scented oils.

The Idiot: this customer has no idea how to read or write, but somehow they make their way to a cyber-location where both skills are required. They attempt to construct an intelligible paragraph about something they feel really passionate about, namely, why a product sucks so bad and didn't meet up to their expectations. As you lamely try to pick your way through their badly constructed sentences and mispelled words (honestly, why are you even trying? You probably watched 2012 too, didn't you . . .), you realize you can't possibly take this review seriously. There's something disconnected about trusting someone who can't communicate in a reliable way. If they fail to put a simple sentence together and spell words out rather than using txt speech, do you really think they even understood the product they were buying? No. The good news is that Idiots are easy to spot. Unlike Divas.

The Bizarro Jerry: this customer wants exactly the opposite of what you want. It's like they're a mirror image of you. Everything that should be on the left side, is on the right. Like that mole above your left eyebrow. Suddenly it's above your right eyebrow (cue "Scary Door" music). The problem is that you can't really tell at first. You only come to this conclusion based on tell-tale signs and through clever inferences on your end. Take, for example, Stoker shopping for a new pillow. There were a lot of good reviews on this one pillow, and he thought he'd like the pillow, but he looked at the negative reviews (everyone always looks at the negative reviews). Some of the negative reviews said things like, "This pillow is too tall." But Stoker wanted a pillow that was tall. So, that's a positive for him. Right? So, the lesson with The Bizarro Jerry reviewer is to know what you want and to make sure you don't let someone who wants the opposite of what you want, ruin your shopping experience. Of course, this could totally be fixed with a Google formula that could do all the work for you.

The Confused Reviewer: this customer thinks the review area of's website is the proper location for things like shipping issues, complaints with's return policies, or any of the other aspects that have nothing to do with the product or the company that makes the product. They pop in, give a one star, and say something lame like, "They told me this would arrive in too days and it took for days! Fail. I'll never by from again until they make ths right!!!1!!" Usually this sort of review has a couple smarties who leave comments like, "Um. This has nothing to do with the product. Thanks for being a total waste of air. Please walk off a cliff." And those comments are really the only thing that give a person hope after a terrible waste of a review and a completely unjust rating.

For all these reasons, I suggest swift action on the part of Google. Or any other genius with skills in programming and statistics. And whatever it requires to create a formula that will lessen the amount of time it takes me to discern which customer reviews are actually pertinent to me while I shop

In case you're wondering, I'm the Diva reviewer/customer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The "Weaker Sex" Could Never Pull This Off

There are some subjects begging to be written about. I've got some gripes with real estate, in general, but more specifically, the whole agent issue, which I think is a racket. I know, every business is sort of a racket. Anyway, that's a topic I want to dissect further. I also want to dissect the pointless nature of higher education in the U.S. It's pointless because it's totally socialized, yet . . . not. I'll have to go into that further later.

For now, what's really bothering me is how hard it is to be pregnant. I haven't written much about it here, saving my real gripes for Facebook statuses, you know, plaguing my "friends" with my complaints. Don't worry, they love it. It's why they hang out with me, on Facebook, because they enjoy my witty insights and biting retorts.

If you've never been pregnant, you have no way to imagine how rough it is. If you're a man, you're even more in the dark about it. But if you're a man with a wife who's done it, you know better than a single woman who's never done it. That's the hierarchy I've worked out. It goes further, but there's no need to go into all the intricacies of how I judge others who've never been pregnant.

The Venus of Willendorf really captures how it feels to be pregnant. Huge breasts. Huge belly. Huge thighs. In a word, huge.

I'm sure it will pay off in the end and after all, it was my choice. I'm not bemoaning the fact that this just happened without my consent. That'd be sheer stupidity. I'm sure there are people in that boat and my heart goes out to them, but that's not my boat. I'm in the boat of utter shock at how this is completely unlike anything I could have imagined. That is to say, really really hard. And as I understand it, it doesn't get easier.

Stoker keeps saying things like, "You're a miracle." I reply with, "What do you mean?" Because sometimes I'm not sure. I think, "Is he talking about how cool I am? Or something else?" I think he's talking about how I'm carrying his baby, but I don't know for sure, so I ask for clarification. Sometimes, I admit, I just want him to explain himself so that I can hear more about how awesome I am. I do that often, actually.

Like if I say something that I think is funny and he begins to laugh, I'll ask, "What's so funny?" The other day he said, "Another joke I just thought of." He knew what I was going for and out-maneuvered me. Truthfully, sometimes it shocks me that he ever thinks I'm funny. That's his job, right? And he does keep me laughing, but I really don't expect to get that kind of response from him.

In any case, I don't feel like a miracle. Any woman could do this. But his acknowledgment that I'm doing something difficult helps. Somewhat. Some days I want to give up. I wish I could, you know, stay at home in my pajamas and sleep this part away. Maybe it would go faster. Yes, yes. That would defeat the purpose of the exercise. Right? But it would be nice. Kind of.

I keep thinking, one day at a time. One day at a time. One day at a time. Over and over again, so I don't get ahead of myself and then become despondent when I realize that I have seven weeks left or what have you.

When I was a kid, my mom had my youngest sister (my protege, Cassi), and so I remember, if only vaguely, her being pregnant with Cassi and how she seemed to just take it in stride. It didn't seem difficult or uncomfortable. I remember when Cassi was born—it was the last day of school and my dad came to tell me. My due date is around Cassi's birthday, though I doubt that will work out perfectly (though it would be cool and I'm sure she thinks it would be fitting, also). But I confess, I'm a little mad that my mom didn't warn me better how ridiculously difficult this would be. That's her job, right?

But no. She let me walk blindly into this. In fact, she pushed me. Shoved me toward it, as though I'd find fulfillment in it. Her punishment is, of course, listening to me complain. There are some days when I'm full of beneficence and I pontificate on the calling of women and how I'll be a more amazing woman for having done this sort of thing, and how I'm learning patience and how I'm doing what I was made to do and blah blah blah.

The walrus does better in water than on land. I know how he feels. 

And some days I share that stuff with my mom, but usually I'm saying things like, "I can't breathe. I get heartburn just thinking about food. I can't sleep. Coughing is sheer torture. I know it's good for the baby to move, but my liver feels like pate. I can't move. I was ready to have the baby months ago."

And then I explain to whoever will listen, my desire to be one of those adorable pregnant women you see walking around in cute skirts and comfy tops that look perfectly natural, and who smile and appear to be the very picture of joyful motherhood. You've seen them. They're angels. And I hate them. While, admittedly, loving them for being so content and decent, rather than grim-faced grouches with thunderclouds following them around, like me. That's what I look like. Give me a black cloak and scythe and I could be the pregnant grim reaper.

Another Nicole. She does pregnant WAAAAAAY better than I do. I could never pull off this look. But a girl can wish.

There are days when I feel really strong. They probably correlate to the days when I get enough sleep, and those are the days when I want to apologize to Stoker for being grumpy or for behaving as though this is a difficult task. I feel magnanimous and big-hearted and want to tell him that it's not that hard and baby, I'm sorry for being grouchy last night . . . I'm sure I don't say baby like that, but it's funny to write it here as though I'm a real cad normally and that apologies come naturally to me because I'm so terrible all the time.

Well, I probably have been. Understanding my hormonal cycles when there are none is rough. I tried to explain this to Stoker but I think he kind of thinks that I'm moody constantly, even when I'm not pregnant. Maybe I am. But at least it corresponds to a calendar. The moodiness of men is unpredictable. Like me. Right now. Ha!

I think I just described what is normally understood to be bipolar disorder. So pregnancy has turned me into a bipolar monster. But don't worry. I'm dealing with it just fine. No, I don't need medication. I just need more sleep, understanding, and an Italian cream soda (raspberry or blackberry) and maybe some pancakes. Or French toast. I could really go for some French toast right now. Also, I could really do with one of those chairs the fat people use in Wall-E. That'd be fantastic.

Monday, April 11, 2011

George and Tammy Together in Perfect Harmony

I was just trying to organize my music . . . again . . . and I found this George Jones and Tammy Wynette song. I lost it for a minute, but now it's found. And it's so good, I needed to share it: 

George's hair . . . has that ever been duplicated in all of history? It's perhaps the most amazing 'do I've ever seen. Completely unprecedented.

When George says, "Some love lives..." I die a little. It sounds so great.

There's so much good about this video that I don't know where to begin. Well, scratch that. I began with George's hair, which is phenomenal—right up there with a beard of bees. Then I went to George's voice for a second, which is totally awesome . . . just to recap.

So now let's move to George's outfit. I'm not quite sure who told him to wear that brown top with those orange pants, but I'm pretty certain I have about twenty Facebook "friends" who'd love to get their hands on an outfit of that caliber. You can look for hours at the vintage clothing store and come up several pale orange stripes shy of this work of art. And even then, say you find a pair of those pants. Who's going to give away a vest like George's? No one. There was probably only one made like it in the world anyway, and it's most likely in Marty Stuart's country music relic collection.

But my bohemian friends would love this outfit and I sincerely believe the world would be a better place if there were more outfits like it out in the world. Sadly, what I see more often than not are ugly print tees with pointless words on them like "affliction," "disease," and "no fear" in crude fonts, and holey, carefully distressed jeans.

Also, I think outfits like George's would really be doing us a favor if they could replace all the nasty skinny jeans on men. I'd rather see a thousand pairs of striped orange pants than even one pair of skinny jeans on a guy. And it's not just because I'm a huge fan of striped orange pants. I didn't even know I was until I saw this video. And it's only because of the brown and white vest and George's 'do/chops complementing the pants like a gold chain does a hairy, sun-bronzed chest.

As for Tammy. She's great. I love the blue eyeshadow. It's always been a winner when combined with blonde hair and she pulls it off smashingly. She's got a lot of class. You can tell from the ring and elegant necklace. She's gorgeous. And yes, I love her voice. But I confess, I'm a bigger fan of Loretta Lynn. That's just me. As a combination, George and Tammy are fantastic. I can't complain.

Excellent. I know you'll love the video. Please sample it as many times as you like. I think I watched it a hundred times while I was writing this and I'm still not sick of George's hair.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Alexander: A Million Years

I know, two music posts in a row. That's lame, yet I can't help it. I wrote a post yesterday, but it was controversial and so I didn't publish it. You don't even want to know what it's about because the subject matter alone is enough to ignite rage amongst the calmest of folk.

But this song is great. I just heard it and fell in love immediately, like the first time I saw Stoker playing the drums that night in the Factory in Logan. And I dedicate it to Stoker, except that, obviously, we need to switch out the "my girl" part and make it "my boy" but that sounds odd, so let's make it "my guy." And pretend I'm singing it and that I sound good and any other gender references should automatically be the opposite so that it fits with me dedicating it to Stoker. Thanks.

Also, Stoker doesn't wear make up. So that part should be about MY make up. Not his...hmmmm....I hope he doesn't wear make up. I haven't noticed mine disappearing mysteriously...

Ha ha! Kidding! So kidding. I just thought it would be funny to pretend to be suspicious, suddenly. Suspicion is ALWAYS funny.

"It's a spun tongue, it's a holy s%#$......"

p.s. I love it that I no longer have to call the radio station and ask them to dedicate songs to the one I love. Remember doing that? Talk about sweaty palms over nothing! Now all I have to do is post a song to Twitter, Facebook, or my blog and say, "I dedicate this to you, baby." And please don't bring up Delilah. I will never ever never ever call her. Not even when she's the last radio program on FM. Never.

I love cats.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Civil Wars "Poison & Wine"

Um. This is amazing. I'm probably the last to hear of them, but that's nothing new.