I'm Really 49, or, "I'm Just Saying!"

Picture this, Sicily, 1945:

Tonight I got home from work and I was starvation station. I wanted to eat something wholesome given that I had had a run-in with some sort of Green Tea Matcha White Chocolate bar in the afternoon (I was blindsided by its colorful appearance.) This dinner quickly revealed itself -- it involved a salad of fresh greens, sliced beets, jicama (do you even know what that is? I bet you don't unless you're Susie, who introduced me to it), and homemade vinaigrette. Then I wanted mac and cheese. You know how it is, sometimes you just need some of that good stuff. So I made some. California caveat: it was whole wheat with organic cheddar. And I mixed in broccoli. VOLUNTARILY.

I poured myself a glass of carefully selected wine and sat at what resembled an actual place setting (only vaguely recalling my usual stance, slackjawed, the frigid breeze of the open refridgerator dusting over me, spoon/spork in hand, eyeing an almost-finished tub of pepper hummus but actually unsure of what to attack next).

You see, I am not 29, I am apparently 49.

But wait, it gets better. I dined (party of one) to the sweet sounds of NPR's classical evening tunes while reading my latest book club selection. Move over Bridget Jones, I am working my way through NYTimes columnist Maureen Dowd's Are Men Necessary?

If you'll excuse me, it's time to take my dentures out.

Dreamgirls: A Review in Verse

O Dreamgirls, how I wanted to see thy movie.
Every moment a new exclamation.
"There is Beyonce with a wig!"
"There is Eddie Murphy with a wig!"
"There is Jamie Foxx with a baaaad wig!"

I wonder if this is really
just the
Destiny's Child.

But it is not.

I liked this movie better
when it was called

This is the Evening of Our Discontent.

I just got back from watching LOST at a friend's house. Now, I'm honored to have been invited into the time-honored ritual of gathering around the tv to watch a show. I think the last time I "made plans" to watch tv with people was with my family, watching the Miss America pageant in 1988. For years I've heard of people gathering -- to watch Friends, to watch Sex in the City, to watch the first two seasons of LOST. Finally I like a show enough that I wanted to be part of the action (and the people I was watching with are very funny, so I figured it was well worth the 5 minute drive).

The evening began with the end of American Idol. Perhaps nothing makes me happier than the end credits of American Idol. Someone got voted off the island, someone else will get a record contract they only maybe kinda deserve. Before I know it they will be playing Viejas casino and the cycle will begin again.

Then we watched America's Top Model. Or, as my sister likes to call it, America's Next Tyra. Tonight's episode was Punk'd meets ATM because there is NO WAY it was serious. They took the girls into the woods and had them hang out with Aborigines. They put these 5'11 90 lb American girls next to these 4'8 200 lb confused and dirty looking Aborigine girls (Susie: "they're the winners of Australia's Next Top Model") and then asked them to dance around like butterflies. I shit you not. This was *before* the models were asked to each perform an interpretive dance about their lives. Which is good, because, I mean, I like my models to have skills, don't you?

Curtain time (or tree time, as the case may be). Three of them danced about modeling (a dance which I expected to mime opening the fridge, sighing, and closing it again) while rambling incoherently and one 'danced' about childhood abuse. And the sad thing is that the show is so competitive that while I loved her for not doing the predictable thing, a dark dark (and very wise to reality tv) part of me wondered if she'd fabricated the abuse story to win (for the record, everyone in the room agreed with me).

Only one girl refused to genuinely participate (ie. she did her face paint, but not with gusto), but it wasn't even abstention on the basis of cultural humiliation. It was the black girl and you *know* she could have brought home the crown if she'd just shaken the booty! That's like if they had an eating contest. I'm the Persian girl, we would just WIN that shit. She stood there just talking. No dancing. At all. And in front of the Seventeen editor, no less! Her life fell apart in front of my eyes, slow motion. I mean, NO one messes with the Seventeen editor. And if you don't know it already, guess who didn't get a rose at the end of the night?

Finally LOST came on. The show we've all been waiting for. A show that I've never actually seen broadcast at its normal hour. It is official, I have arrived! I have caught up with popular culture! All I'm going to say here, lest there be someone who is reading my blog instead of watching tv like a good kid, is that the episode harkened to the dead-mother-in-the-chair scene from Psycho. Only it wasn't as good. Yikes. Fortunately I was in a room full of people who agreed. My enjoyment of the show might also be correlated to the weak Sawyer ratio, but that's ok, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

And my disappointment about tonight's LOST only tells me that I am WAY too invested in this show. I'm like an alkie who has woken up with bottles all around me. What-the-huh? I can't believe I care that the episode was sucky. A year ago I had to stop myself from canceling my cable bill and now I"m paying extra for digital recording. Go figure. I'd like to say that I went tonight for the company, but let's be honest, Dorito buffet aside -- if they had been watching West Wing or whatever else gathers the folks around the boob tube, I would have stayed home! And I am not just a LOST junkie. I am apparently also just a leeeeetle bit of a hypocrite because even though I laughed at the 'scary' scene... I did kinda ask Susie and Michael to walk me to my car.

Let's Poll the Audience

Author's Note: I am PMSing, so I reserve the right to let my writing be slightly more emotional than the usual fare.

This weekend I was in a parking lot and a lady drove by with her windows down. A tiny dog peeked out of the passenger window and a golden retriever stuck his little head out of the backseat. I have seen a good number of golden retrievers since Pele passed away, but this was unbelievable. This was IDENTICAL. Susie told me a few weeks back that her friend's family had a dog just like Pele and it had shaken her up. I stood frozen in the sidewalk (every passing moment upping the chances that I'd be mowed down and finish my life in in the parking lot of a Subway. eek). The dog grimaced, made this face of displeasure that Pele used to make when you did something that pissed him off (took away a toy while you were playing, etc.).

A feeling washed over me. I can't quite name it. Deep grief mixed with a huge dose of hope. I saw that dog and it felt like suddenly I knew that Pele wasn't "over". I had to check myself, run through my head and double check that he had actually died, that he hadn't been stolen. As much as I convinced myself (enough to continue the walk to my car), I felt like it was meant to be some sort of a sign to me that he continues to exist somewhere.

Needless to say, I haven't been able to get my mind off of him since. I scrolled down on my blog today to see if the post with his picture had been archived because I"m not sure I can stand to see it every time I open the site. Should I take down his picture on my fireplace mantel (a picture I placed there no more than a week before he died?)? I'm not sure. Part of me thinks it's good to remember him and part of me thinks maybe not just yet.

It's gotten past the point where I can really talk about it with people. Few of my close friends realize how hard his death hit me, that I think about it every single day, that I still cry when I write about it. In a world where things don't feel at all certain, I had just taken it for granted that he'd just BE there. I mean, where do dogs go? People go, but dogs? And people's deaths throw you for a loop, but a dog? And yet I find myself obsessing over this more than I have with most people who have passed away-- I'm having a hard time filing it away in my ever shifting concept of 'what happens next'. And simply put, I really miss him. I miss the safety I felt around him. I miss his innocence. I miss how when I'd play with his ears and pet his stomach I could forget just how fucked up the rest of the world is. I would tell my dad how Pele "is love". He just seemed like love embodied to me. So do I have to get another dog to feel that sort of love again?

And how disturbing is it that I got that love from a dog and not from a proper adult relationship?

Ok, glad I posted b/c now I got the tears out of my system. They've been aching to come out and now they did. Relief.

What I was polling the audience about what you do when you're sad. My personal quick fixes are:

-take a trip to my Top Secret Frozen Yogurt Location. Did this. I even mixed fruit punch and peanut butter yogurts for maximum effect. Nothing.

-listen to 80s music (be afraid that "you can call me Al" is blasting as I type this. Normally I hate this song but something about it feels very cheery to me, perhaps the horn section or a vague recollection of a Chevy Chase cameo in the music video?). Nada.

-read trash websites. I start with UsMagazine's blog and work my way (that's like the AP Wire), then you go to Mollygood, TMZ, etc. Usually reading about other people's dysfunctional lives will cheer me up even the slightest bit. But I don't even have it in me to rejoice at Paris Hilton finally being nailed for endangering the lives of anyone driving anywhere in LA (and oh how many lives that could be)

I even declined a wedding invitation, a law school reunion invitation, AND skipped working out. Sheesh. Apparently there just isn't always a cure for the blues.