I think this qualifies as an emergency. My sister thinks I like country music. Shit. That's like if someone accused me of liking Danielle Steele books or how Julia Stiles dances. As in, you could be ruining my rep. So let me take a moment to clarify. I don't HATE country music anymore. I'm embracing white people and cowboy hats. It's sociological research, really. I'm trying to get inside the mind of Red America -- but through their ears. Or something like that. It's totally, um, subversive.

I'm over country music. I don't even want to talk about it anymore. What I want to talk about is the phoenix rising from the flames that is Mariah Carey. I have been totally CAPTIVATED by her new single. The video is less impressive, highlights being her dancing around in only a long shirt and then running away with some guy (implied to be her stood-up groom's son) and driving away with him in a convertible with the train flowing and dragging behind them. Somewhere Vera Wang is crying.

Back to the song. Which is SPECTACULAR. I think it's been a little while since pop has had a songstress (this goes on the list of words I hate but use anyways like "schlep" -- subcategory: Yiddish words Muslim girls probably have no place using and ginormous, which I found out yesterday is the #1 most used non-dictionary word, thank you Ameer).

The song is "We Belong Together" and slides off the cheesily titled "The Emancipation of Mimi". And the remix featuring Styles P is only more infectious.

ON ALBUM TITLE: I feel her. I mean, I've watched Cribs. I would probably need to be emancipated -- or just escorted back to safety -- if I had walk-in closets larger than multiple-family homes (she loves her white tanks). To be fair, she did need to be emancipated from Tommy Motola. She had to be emancipated from short shorts (although her video suggests that she's mid-process). She had to be emancipated from black tank dresses and Whitney Houston duets.

ON THE SONG ITSELF: It's very sad. The last song that bothered me this much was "Hands" by Jewel, which, much to my dismay, gets me teary. But more than that, it's an infectious song and has the hallmark of what made her a star. The singer that pumped out "Vision of Love" and "Vanishing" is back. Her Rainbow album boasted hip hop friends and a voice that stunk of too many smoky rooms and late nights and too little chamomile tea. In my defense, I didn't buy it. The break point on that decision was a song dissing Derek Jeter. I don't like him, but I didn't like her flat singing even more. And so I moved on. I suspect this may be reason for her nervous breakdown, but sources haven't confirmed.

ON THE 'ARTISTE': I've been wondering all afternoon how someone who comes across as so super-ditzy (I'm being very polite about this -- see In re Cribs Visits Mariah Carey) can be such an incredible artist. I've heard that she insists on being heavily involved in the arrangement of her vocals. And it's pure genius. So how??? I console myself by thinking everyone gets different talents. She got the voice of an angel, but she can't dance for shit. (It's fun to notice how they try to work around this very obvious fact in her videos.)

ON ME: I don't care if the rest of the album sucks - this song is GOOD. She works in hooks from some r&b classics and it's so simple with just a beat and sparse piano chords. In an age of pop songs being hypersuperoverorchestrated, I love it. Enough to write about it. Or maybe I'm just taking attention away from my detractor and her "country-loving" allegations. Which, must I remind you?, are false. Slander! Libel! Someone call a lawyer!

So, for all you Mariah-haters out there, I regret to say that I'm giving up my post as club president. Unless I find out "We Belong Together" means she's trying to get Derek Jeter back. In which case I will resume my post, effective immediately.

Hire Me, Britney

The other night my friend and I were, wouldyabelieveit, rambling on about nothing. This nothing quickly came to conversation about Britney Spears. My friend's query to the universe (ok, or me) was "What if Britney did a country album? Can you imagine ---" and she *wanted* to continue her sentence with something like '--just imagine how horrific that would be?" But I cut her off.

Pure genius.

I'm not one to beat on someone when they're down. Ok, I am, but only if it's funny. I don't even think Britney's "sitch" is funny. Getting pregeroni by a guy you lifted off a pregnant woman -- a guy who calls to mind Vanilla Ice's better days? Hm. A step down from Justin, I'd have to say. I've started to suspect that she's on Glamour's "Don't" list payroll. One magazine tried to tell readers that she'd cut her own clothes as a fashion statement. But I could see the truth. Someone played her "Hit Me Baby" one time too many and she'd shredded her own clothing with her fake nails. Somewhere in between flying in a jet full of Coffee Bean (thanks US Magazine for that crucial info). Once so cute and sweet- on par with Mickey and Minnie and the rest of the Disney gang, she's taken a turn to the dark side. She kissed Madonna, which would be a step up, but Sandra Bernhard beat you to it. You danced with a snake, but -- oops!-- LaToya Jackson beat you to that. And you got half-nekked and sweaty in your videos- but Xtina beat you to that. Before taking your man away on tour. It's been a rough ride is all I'm saying.

But as my friend spoke those words, something made total sense. THIS COULD BE HER SALVATION. I think the country world will take her back. If I were here manager, my business plan for her would involve a return to Christianity ("let's just snip this little red string around your wrist, shall we?"), big big curlers, and perhaps a twangy cover of "Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong", with a b-side of the national anthem (of course).

Hell, she's got so much going for her -- the fashion sense. She's got the excruciating accent. The political "sensibilities" of a girl who's never left the farm. The main problem lies in the fact that country singers-- much as they make me cringe (or used to) -- have good voices. She'd have to work on that one. But she could pack a stadium in Louisiana any day.

And so much drama to sing about, no less.


Oh, SH*T, so that's what you look like!!!

Welcome to my week.

Last week, at the gentle (repetitive) nudging of my dad, I went to see what this whole Lasik thing was about. I had exactly 2 friends I could name who had had it. One did it at the end of high school and has since had halo vision. The other raved about it. So, 50/50 in my cup, I went over to the office, eager dad in tow.

One might stop the story right here and ask why my dad doesn't do Lasik himself. To answer all one of you (hi mom!), he thinks men look distinguished with glasses. The implication was that women do not. After 4 days of wearing my old pair of glasses at the doctor's request, I was more than ready to cast them aside. Yuck. They look so cute on people, but not on me. Instead of my usual "You're 27? But you look 16!", I had started to look like a 16 year old prodigy (read: nerd), which is just weird. And to others, I must have appeared a 16 year old prodigy with an attitude problem. I was ready to get me some eyeballs.

The point is (and I'm leaving out a whole 1.5 hours of boring eye testing) that they told me I'm a great candidate. I felt like I had done something worthy. Like gotten good grades and been accepted somewhere. But really they were just telling me that I'm (WAS!) so damn blind that they'd take pity on me and beam lasers into my face until they could f*** me up enough to fix me. Ta da. I didn't even really understand how they would do it, but it sounded cool, and hey, it worked for half of my friends. So, never one to dawdle, I asked them when they could give me new eyeballs. They said "tomorrow".

Someone noted that I am really spontaneous when it comes to things like this. He said it as a compliment, but when I tell you that my "spontenaity" landed me a hot date for surgery on my eyes (the only two that God gave me, I should note) on Friday the 13th, perhaps you won't agree. But Friday the 13th has always been my lucky day. Now, I will proceed to give you snippets, ie. "Best of Lilly in Surgery":

Scene 1: (Lilly has just been given Xanax for the first time)
Nurse: Ok, Lilly. I just have one question for you.
Lilly: Sure.
Nurse: When is your birthday?
Lilly: ----
Lilly: ----
Lilly: um....
Nurse (smiling): Perfect. You can lie down now.

Scene 2:
Doctor: We're going to put drops in your eyes to numb you.
(2 seconds later, dragging what appears to be a green felt marker over my eyeball)
Doctor: Can you feel this?

Scene 3:
Doctor: Now, don't mind the burning smell.

It was just RAD. Seriously. It was my own science fiction movie. It was like Total Recall, except instead of sticking things up my nose, they were sticking them in my eye. And thanks to Xanax, I did NOT care. They could have taken out my eyeballs and sold them on eBay and I would have smiled in my bliss. Beautiful. At some point it did hit me that it was somewhat weird to entrust your visual safety to a complete stranger just because he charges you a lot of money and appears to have gone to Harvard. But I thought this as my vision was closing out and the laser got closer and...

All of 8 minutes later, he (no, he's a god at this point. Let's go with He) told me to sit up and read the clock across the room. So I did. Just like that. Snap. Vision like a hawk.

The prescription they sent me home with pretty much amounted to "rest your eyes. um. see you in a month and half". I had to finally blog about this, so I guess I'm a bad patient, staring at this screen, dear reader. But I needed to share the magic of science with you. First there was Dolly the Sheep. Then there were Lilly's New Eyeballs. Do miracles ever cease?

People keep asking me how the world is different. Well, I can see your ugly face, for one. Everything is just in FOCUS. I don't know how else to explain it. I mean, when you have messed up eyes, you just wear your contacts 25 hours a day and trudge along and assume you see what you need to get by. But then I got home and I was like "Oh, so THIS is what the view from my window is like." I used to stand on my balcony and point visitors in the general direction of Petco Park and just say "so there's the Park". Now I can tell you the colors of the cars parked on the lot in front of it. A parking lot I notably didn't even know existed until Saturday afternoon. I can see the pretty buildings in Mission Valley. I can see a few cars ahead of me when I'm driving down the highway -- with my newly improved LillyNightVision. Getting up and seeing what my room looks like first thing in the morning. This is living. I guess mostly I see views I couldn't see before. But it's just about knowing you can trust your eyes. That they're showing you everything. Forget 20/20. I got me some 20/15, biyatch.

This week I will be doing a study on the effect of Lasik on beer goggles. Naturally.

So, you see, this week, while my friends are nanu-nanu-ing each other and getting all hot and bothered about the new installment in the Star Wars series (before you ask, yes, grown adults apparently lose sleep over this. I can introduce you, but I think you need to know some sort of handshake.) But me? I'm over it. I've been lasered and tasered and I *am* the Battlestar Galactica.

Or something like that.


Tonight I went to hang out with my parents (okay, and to experience the delicacy otherwise known as "Mom's home cooking"). I didn't want to eat and run, so we settled in front of their tv. I should mention here that watching tv at my parents' house is like taking a trip back to 1986, when the G's didn't have cable. Wait, that was 1996. Anyways, when they moved to California, they became prisoners of the Cable Industrial Complex and were forced to have cable in order to have tv. So they have basic cable.

I SAY THIS ALL to say that our viewing choices were limited. After back-to-back episodes of Becker (where did I sin in my life to deserve a dual heaping of Ted Danson, I ask?), my mom flipped channels and something compelled me to ask her to stop when I saw Celine Dion. The devil made me do it. We proceeded to watch the Biography episode about Celine (pronounced with exaggerated French accent honed over 7 years of schooling in said subject).

Ok, sit down. Here's the confession:

I didn't wince. Not once.