Friday, December 21, 2012

Oh Lena Dunham, I love you so hard.

I have mixed feelings about the mainstream success of Lena Dunham and her brilliant TV show, "Girls." On one hand, I think it's awesome that such an edgy and authentic program with an unconventional (and occasionally unlikable) female lead character has caught on with the public. On the other hand, I worry that its popularity could cause the show's writing and storylines to take a more conventional, "safe" direction over time. It's like when you sort of "discover" and fall in love with the work of a quirky author or a singer or band completely on your own, without anyone else's endorsement or recommendation--you just find them and you're like "YES! This is what I've been looking for! THIS speaks to me!" and then six months (or six years) down the line "your" band (or singer, author, etc.) becomes HUGE and you're happy and excited, but it's also a letdown, because they're not "yours" anymore and now everyone knows about them and things are never the same.

I'd rather be happy about it, though. I'm definitely happy for Lena Dunham, because I really love her work and what she's doing with "Girls." Perhaps I am blinded by my love and (as a writer) I could be dissecting the series too much, but one of the things that delights me about "Girls" is that it's like a big metaphorical middle finger to all the cliched crap Hollywood keeps pooping out that's supposedly aimed at women. One of the things that drives me nuts about romantic comedies these days is that they'll take a beautiful size-2 actress like Katherine Heigl and give her an impossibly gigantic apartment and a high-powered career and an expensive wardrobe and then they're like--"Wait, she needs some sort of flaw so that she's 'relatable.' Let's see....Oooh, I got it! Make her clumsy! Holy shit, that's genius!" Seriously, have the Hollywood committees who crank out that kind of bullshit ever actually met any women, or any human beings for that matter?

It's bad enough that they made her act with Ashton Kutcher
Then you have Dunham's "Girls" protagonist Hannah Horvath, a disheveled, tattooed ball of not-size-2 insecure awesomeness who can't keep a job, drinks too much, says things like, "My shoes match my dress! Kind of!" and seeks solace in awkward sex with her odd, emotionally distant sort-of-boyfriend/hookup who "treats (her) heart like it's monkey meat."

And did I mention that she's a frustrated writer?
Yeah, I have no idea why this character resonates so much with me.
I can't wait for season two. I sincerely hope that "Girls" (and Dunham, since she is also the show's creator, writer, director and executive producer) stays true to Hannah and the supporting characters, resisting any pressure to sweeten them up and make them more palatable to mainstream audiences. Seriously, I've had it up to my ass with palatable heroines.

Change we can believe in.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Okay, I'm seriously sick of this.

It seems like every other week some drooling psycho decides to shoot up a malla movie theater, a Sikh templea salon in Georgia, a day spa in Wisconsina signage company in Minneapolis, and a cafe in Seattle.

Of course, the massacres listed above only represent a handful of recent shooting sprees in the US, and that's not including the school shootings that happened this year. Those would be: Chardon High School (three students killed, February), Oikos University (seven students killed, April), Texas A&M (two people killed, August) and obviously the horrific Sandy Hook shootings last week (twenty children and six adults killed). If you want to depress yourself, here's a list of the all mass shootings that happened in 2012.

Good news: some politicians are seriously talking about banning assault rifles altogether, and stricter gun control laws. Bad news: with this country's weird gun fetish and the insane power of the NRA, who fucking knows if anything will actually change?

As far as school shootings are concerned, Columbine was just the tip of a very large iceberg, and this bullshit has happened again and again and again. Sandy Hook seems particularly brutal, because of the ages of the victims and the high body count. But does no one remember back in 2006, when that crazed shit stain stormed an Amish school house in Pennsylvania, lined up several female students along the chalkboard and shot them execution-style? Ten female students were shot, five of them fatally. And they were also young, between the ages of 6 and 13. Sure, there was a media shitstorm for about a week, then it was forgotten. Until the next one. And the next one and the next one and the next one and SERIOUSLY AMERICA, ENOUGH WITH THE FUCKING MASS SHOOTINGS.    

Oh, and the National Rifle Association can go fuck itself sideways.

That's all I got today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Borrowed this from Everything Is Terrible, one of my favorite websites in the history of ever.

There are so many jaw-droppingly awesome/awful moments packed into this clip, I scarcely know where to begin.

  • "Come on, don't put me on. I know you got a bowling ball. You became a champion bowlah! You joke with me, hah hah hah." Arnold sounds like he's reading from a script penned by Tommy Wiseau. You might say that Tommy Wiseau sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but you would be wrong. Arnold sounds like Tommy Wiseau.
  • Arnold telling the children that the devil came to his house on Christmas. And then the tender violin music starts up in the background. (And then he banged the maid. The devil made him do it!)
  • It's 1988 and that room is just teeming with Cosby sweaters.  
  • Mike Tyson, future convicted rapist, singing to children. 
  • Randy Travis, future butt-nekkid Trans Am-driving singer, is there too.
  • Maria Shriver at 2:09 sporting some serious feathered hair. 
  • Any time I see Danny De Vito in something, I automatically think "No no no De Vito!" (War of the Roses joke. Look it up, it's a good one.) 

Monday, November 12, 2012

I know it's only superstition, baby but I won't look back...

Even if the name Eddy Grant doesn't ring a bell, chances are you're familiar with Electric Avenue, his one big US hit that was EVERYWHERE in the summer of 1983.

I have vivid memories of "Electric Avenue",  as it played a big part in our family vacation in June of that year. It was our first vacation without my mother (my parents had separated earlier that year) and my dad packed up our turd-colored 1978 Malibu and hauled me (age 9) my sister Michelle (age 16) and my oldest sister Eileen (age 19 and home from Knox College for the summer) from Indianapolis to Panama City, Florida. It was an excruciating 12-hour drive in the scorching heat with just a tiny bit of wheezy air-conditioning flowing through the vents. The trip definitely took its toll on my father, who had to deal with my incessant whines of "How much longer?" along with the constant din of my sisters bickering over which radio stations to listen to. But the biggest thing I remember about being trapped in the sticky, sweltering backseat was "Electric Avenue," which was on the radio about three times an hour. Halfway through our epic sojourn to the sea, "Electric Avenue" went from a track that I kind of dug to "Oh my Gawd, not this song again! Come on you guys! Change the station!" Despite my dad's failing memory, to this day he still brings up our drive to Panama City and that damn song.

Over the years, however, my feelings have softened towards "Electric Avenue". It comes on my Pandora station quite a bit and I almost never hit "skip" when I hear the opening notes. But my favorite Eddy Grant song is one that I didn't discover for another twenty-five years: a breezy little ditty called "I Don't Wanna Dance," which was evidently a smash hit in the UK but barely registered on this side of the pond. I first encountered it on an old "Top of the Pops" episode, one of many that John has downloaded for me over the years. (TotP episodes from the 1970s and 80s are like crack for me; it's where I've discovered some truly bizarre/amazing British songs that I'd never have known about otherwise. It's also where I was first introduced to the magic of "Egyptian Reggae" and the dancing camel. Seriously: Jonathan Richman + Pan's People + DANCING CAMEL is a spectacle that must be seen to be believed).

So without further ado, here is my latest pick for the "Rescued From Obscurity" series. It's a great song that deserves some recognition. The video is simple, low-budget and fun, and Eddy Grant's truly wicked dreadlocks are a sight to behold. Seriously, those dreads need to be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (or at least encased in glass on the wall of a Hard Rock Cafe).


Thursday, November 08, 2012

To quote Morris Day in Purple Rain
"Tsk. Such nastiness."
I kind of hate to give bskillet81 any publicity for his (so awesome that it's password- protected) blog, or his--ehrm--"organization," the Christian Men's Defense Network, but I can't keep quiet about the malodorous torrent of soft-serve diarrhea he's excreted onto the interwebs on this post-election Thursday.
Today's Jezebel piece was the first I've heard of this guy, so it's safe to assume that neither he or the Christian Men Defense Network are creating much of a media storm. More like a bit of light drizzle on a pop culture feminist website. This bskillet81 (or B.S., because I refuse to type "bskillet81" again) fancies himself sort of a Nate Sliver for the right. B.S. blames Romney's loss and Obama's win on the emerging "slut" culture. Because a lot of women voted for Obama. And a lot of those women, B.S. reasons, happen to be sluts. 
Here are some of his excerpted brain droppings (again, courtesy of Jezebel): 
Women make up about 54% of the electorate.  It is very hard to win without winning that segment, or at least losing it only narrowly while winning men big. While the right usually wins married women, the fact is that married women constitute an ever-decreasing share of the female population.  Women want to delay marriage as long as possible so they can "have it all," and usually "have it all" means "have as much hot alpha sex as possible without any consequences."  And thus, less married women and more sluts.
Ooooh, there are many things I could say about this, but I think B.S. has done a pretty good job digging his own hole here. The funniest and most telling part of this paragraph is his assertion that single women are the only ones having "hot alpha sex". Is he saying married womenfolk don't engage in "hot alpha sex"? Maybe he assumes that a nice married (Christian) woman would be too busy cooking, cleaning, and taking care of her husband and chilluns to bother with a sex life, not that she would anyway because she's not a slutty sexy prostitute whore like these unmarried women intent on having as much slutty sexy alpha sex as possible. 
I know that men of his ilk think that women shouldn't even be allowed to acknowledge their private parts until marriage, that's why it makes him feel better to reason that any woman who defies this way of thinking and remains single (heathen!), actively dates (harlot!), and uses her no-no zone for something other than birthing babies (whore!) must be a "slut." In his tiny little mind this makes perfect sense. I mean, why else would an adult woman choose not to enjoy God-sanctioned holy matrimony? Because S-E-X, that's why! But when B.S. insults single women, he unwittingly insults married women, as it never occurs to these right-wing nut butts that many married women also can and do: a.) use birth control; b.) have abortions; c.) consider themselves to be feminists. 
B.S. seems to know a lot about sluts. For instance, he knows that a lot of sluts happen to be nonwhite. But B.S. isn't your average garden variety racist. In fact, he has a great deal of venom reserved for "white sluts" who--since they're sluts, of course--voted for Obama.  
....Obama appealed to white sluts by forcing someone else (the Catholic church, in this case) to pay for their birth control, and by scaring them about alleged threats to their ability to take advantage of Planned Parenthood's services (Planned Parenthood being conveniently located in the minority part of town, of course, so as to provide anonymity to visiting white girls whose white girl friends never go over there–except to visit Planned Parenthood themselves).  This created a wedge issue in the suburban community that allowed Obama to play more strongly there than he might have if the election ended up purely about the economy or the national debt.
Ah yes, the minority part of town. I love going there. I always run into my white girl friends at Planned Parenthood when I go for my annual pap smear (and maybe an abortion or two if there's time). It's great because when the doctor is finished rooting around in my downstairs parts, me and my slutty white girl friends grab handfuls of free condoms and head to the minority drinking establishment next door to celebrate our white sluttiness, preferably with a few well-endowed nonwhite minorities. Cause that's how white sluts roll.     
The right loses the female vote primarily because so many of them still operate from a feminist world-view:  Women are pure, perfect, kind, and altruistic, and the only reason they "get into trouble" is that some evil, conniving, manipulative man tricked them into sleeping with the entire football team.
"Sleeping with the entire football team"? This guy sure does watch a lot of porn, even for a Christian. And since when does the right "operate from a feminist point of view"? (Oh yeah, that Rick Santorum. Such a feminist.) AND since when does feminism mean holding up women as "pure, perfect, kind, and altruistic"? This guy has crawled so far up his own ass it's amazing he can still see to type out this ignorant bullshit.   
However, this election cycle shows that the Slut Vote is real, and Republicans lose because they discount the existence of original sin in women. 
So it's not that America fucked up when they gave women the vote. There's nothing wrong with women voting, as long as they're regular (God-fearing, Christian, married) women who will of course always vote Republican. Sluts, on the other hand? No way sluts should be allowed to vote. And I'm sure that if challenged, B.S. would be happy to devise some sort of "test" to separate the sluts from the regular women before the next election day. I mean, he'd be really, really happy to.

Because when you come right down to it, B.S. is just another guy who needs to get laid.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Um...Happy Halloween?

In honor of the holiday, I'm celebrating one of my favorite Halloween-ish songs. I saw it posted on my friend Kevin Kelly's "Eighties Greaties" Facebook group recently and remembered how much I loved it.

Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" was a big hit in 1984, but it wasn't released at Halloween. I'm guessing that with Michael Jackson's "Thriller" (the song + video) being so huge in late '83 and screening about once an hour on MTV, this song would've probably gone completely unnoticed (even though Rockwell turned out to be Berry Gordy's son...and Michael Jackson sings the chorus!).

My big memory of "Somebody's Watching Me," was at horse camp in the spring of '84 (horse camp was always during spring break) when I was 10, and I remember some of the cool "older" (14- to 15-year-old) girls reciting the spoken parts of the song in goofy voices as we saddled up our horses in the stable. Those cool older girls got the best deal at horse camp, dammit. They got to sleep out in the RV at night and stay up as late as they wanted, while us youngsters had to be in bed at 9pm and sleep all crammed together in sleeping bags on the floor of my riding instructor's living room. Yeah, I'm still bitter about it. But I digress...

As an adult, I really dig the song's whole "paranoid" vibe. The video is effectively freaky too, particularly the heads peering in the windows and the pig/boar/armadillo-looking thing that chases Rockwell down the hallway (spoiler--it turns out to be a dog). 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The date was Friday, January 16, 2009

US Airways pilot Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger had just made headlines the day before when he guided Flight 1549 to an emergency landing on the Hudson River. Barack Obama would be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States four days later. The Killers' new album Day and Age was in heavy rotation on my iPod (particularly track no. 3, "Spaceman"). I was fully self-employed as a massage therapist and about to complete the final edits on my first novel, Thanks, That Was Fun. But the big thing that happened on January 16, 2009 was meeting a guy called John. I had no way of knowing that the cute, charming, bearded Brit that took me out for tea and Thai food that night would one day become my husband.

Photo of me taken by John on the night of our first date.

If I could go back in time and tell the woman in the above photo three things, they would be: 
  • For the love of God, quit drinking! 
  • Beware of false friends (i.e. The Troll Twins).
  • The guy standing in your apartment taking this photo? Hold onto him. He's a keeper.

Since time travel is not an option, I'm eternally grateful that somehow--after all the stresses and changes and bumps in the road we've weathered over the last 3+ years--John and I have managed to hang on and make everything work.

And so, 1,349 days later, John snapped this photo of me:

In our room at the Mirage on September 25, 2012, one hour before the wedding.
But backing up a little bit, this is the rest of our trip (in chronological order)...

On the plane to Vegas, September 23

We arrived in Vegas late Sunday night, grabbed our rental car and headed to the Strip. It was John's first time in Vegas and he was impressed and slightly overwhelmed by all the lights and activity. We checked into the Mirage (room 20018 -- in Numerology 2 + 0 + 0 + 1 + 8 = 11 -- I've been a bit obsessed with this number since 11/11/11). 

View from our room on the 20th floor

The next morning we grabbed breakfast and drove downtown to pick up our marriage license at the Clark County Courthouse. 
Breakfast at IHOP
We were in and out of the courthouse so quickly (Vegas is efficient with those marriage licenses) that I didn't have time to snap a photo of some of the hilarious signs posted. Luckily, I was able to find one of them online: 

Never drink and marry. 

We then headed back to the Mirage to meet Sarah, John's sister-in-law, who had flown out from England for our nuptials. Her husband (John's younger brother) Richard was supposed to be with her, but he had a pretty bad case of nerves the day before their flight (he suffers from an intense fear of flying) and was unable to make it. We were disappointed but still very happy to have Sarah there. She was funny and easy-going and I liked her right away. 

After meeting up with Sarah we walked around the casino a bit, did a little souvenir shopping, then headed out for an Italian dinner. I was beginning to feel a little bit jittery about the ceremony the next day, but I was nowhere near as nervous as I thought I'd be. We dropped off Sarah at the Luxor and went back to our hotel room early so we could both get a good night's sleep...I didn't want to wake up on my wedding day with dark circles and puffy eyes!

The next day the weather was perfect--89 degrees and sunny with low winds. I was wishing I'd remembered to bring my swimsuit because the pool at the Mirage is amazing. But, with my hair and makeup appointment at 12:30 and the limo coming to pick us up at 3:15, there wasn't much time for poolside lounging.

 View of the palm trees surrounding that gorgeous, gorgeous pool.

After breakfast, Sarah and John went down to the casino to gamble while I had my coffee, showered, made some last minute phone calls to my family and puttered around the hotel room. Elaine from Pampered Brides showed up at 12:30 sharp (another Las Vegas perk--they send makeup and hair stylists right to your room!). I wanted an updo with some loose curls but Elaine suggested a "younger" look: a Taylor Swift-ian sideswept ponytail with loose curls hanging down here and there. After I okayed it, Elaine went to work on me with a curling iron, about 87 bobby pins and a can of hairspray. I was happy with the end result, although after Elaine left I took my wide-toothed comb and a few bobby pins and tamped down the "bump" she did at the back of my crown, as it was a little too Bristol Palin for my taste. She did an excellent job on my makeup though, and I learned a valuable mascara tip: coat lashes with a regular mascara first, wait for it to dry, then go over them again with a waterproof mascara to "seal" it. (Who knew?) It worked: I teared up a bit during the ceremony but I had nary a smudge to show for it. 
With my hair and makeup done, I changed into my dress and John and Sarah returned to the room to get cleaned up and dressed for the wedding. I was starting to get a little jittery again, but more excited than anything else. The limo picked us up in front of the hotel at 3:15 and drove us out to the lake for the festivities. Originally the ceremony was to be held at the Always and Forever Wedding Chapel, but about two weeks before the wedding we received an email saying that there had been some massive floods in Vegas and that the Chapel was temporarily closed due to water damage. To remedy the situation, they gave us a free upgrade to their Lakeside Garden site. It was quite serendipitous: I had always wanted an outdoor wedding--preferably by the ocean--so this was the next best thing. It worked out beautifully.

When we got there we sat down with the minister and the photographer and worked out the processional. We decided that John and Sarah would be waiting for me down front and then they'd cue the music and I would walk down the aisle solo. John had asked for a civil ceremony as opposed to a Christian ceremony (we are both practicing Nichiren Buddhists) but the minister told us that, instead of reading off the book for the generic civil ceremony, it would sound more natural if he did the usual Christian spiel (which he had memorized) and just left out the religious parts. That sounded fine, so we agreed to that.  

Our wedding at Always and Forever Lakeside Gardens

I actually walked down the aisle to "Here Comes the Bride" (I don't think I've ever attended a wedding where they played that!), stood next to John and the minister began the reading. But here's the thing: he totally forgot to leave out the Christian-y parts! He went on about how God had created woman to be a companion to man and yada yada yada. I didn't mind so much, I just thought it was kind of funny. When he finished, I handed Sarah my bouquet and the minister had John and I turn and face one another for the vows. The minister said something really sweet about how out of all the millions of people in the world, John and I chose one another and we must always remember that and that's when both of us got all misty-eyed. The minister said a few other things and....then he forgot himself and repeated the exact same "millions of people" speech verbatim. John and I were still holding hands and facing one another, we both realized at about the same time that he was repeating himself. We were both staring at each other, trying not to laugh and a small part of me was panicking, hoping that he would be able to transition smoothly into the vows (he did). So we said our vows and exchanged rings, and (to my relief!) the minister remembered to read the Apache wedding blessing that we'd written down for him to say at the end. So then John and I kissed, smiled for the photographer, walked back up the aisle and we were married! It was awesome. 

Oh yeah, my wedding dress! I'd found it two months earlier at Hippie Gypsy in New Orleans. It cost a mere 48 bones. Yep, $48.00. And it was perfect.

 Hippie Gypsy. For all your wedding day needs.

 After the ceremony the limo dropped us off back at the Mirage. We were all famished, so we changed clothes and headed for the buffet, where we gorged ourselves on tacos, curry, Thai noodles, pizza, mixed veggies, mashed potatoes, egg rolls, and ice cream (it was one of those buffets that had stations set up for any and every sort of ethnic cuisine you happened to be craving). I never really got the appeal of Vegas buffets before--during my two previous trips to the Sin City I was pretty underwhelmed by the general crappiness of the buffet food--but the one at the Mirage rocked. (My extreme hunger pangs may have had something to do with the deliciousness of the food.)  

The next day (Wednesday) the three of us set out for Area 51, about 90 minutes outside Vegas. I took a lot of photos of the scenery along the way. I don't think I could live in a desert climate, but the landscape is beautiful. 

Just before we got to Area 51, we stopped at the famous Little Ale-Inn in Rachel, Nevada for lunch and more souvenirs. The manager of the Ale-Inn was very friendly and very intrigued by John and Sarah's accents. She said to me, "Now, are you also visiting from England?" I said no, I'm from Indiana originally and that John and I had just gotten married the day before, and Sarah had flown in from England for our wedding. The manager said to Sarah, "Oh, so you're the sister of the groom?" Sarah told her that no, she was John's sister-in-law. The manager looked confused and she said to me, "So...this is your sister?" I laughed and said that she was John's brother's wife. The manager said to Sarah "So, where's your husband?" and Sarah explained that he was unable to stomach the plane ride, so she ended up coming over on her own. The manager nodded, then turned to John and I and said "Well then, are you going to live in England now?" John told her no, we were currently living in Louisiana. The manager was even more confused then, and said to me, " said you're from Indiana, right?" I told her that I was, but that John and I were living in Louisiana and, just to confuse things even more, I told her that John and I had actually met in Minnesota. At that point the manager stopped trying to piece together our weird histories and just laughed and said, "Well, congratulations on your marriage anyhow."

 John outside the Little AleInn

Sarah with the sign (and flying saucer!) out front.

After lunch and more shopping, we set out on the Extraterrestrial Highway....

....and completed our journey to Area 51, or as close as we could get to it, anyway. There aren't a lot of markers telling you where you are out there--we'd gotten a map at the AleInn--but it wasn't very detailed and it was hard to know what roads to turn on and where the "borderline" was. I sat in the backseat while John drove and Sarah navigated, worrying that that we'd inadvertently drive into the forbidden zone, where  supposedly you would be shot on sight by the military, detained indefinitely, or--at the very least--be forced to pay a $600 fine for trespassing on government land.

Luckily, the desert gods were smiling on us that day and we managed to find our way to the cut-off point: the site of the mysterious black mailbox (which was actually painted white), and, a few miles down the road, a giant sign warning that if you went beyond that point your ass belonged to the US government. Wisely, we decided not to push our luck. 

 John and me, in front of the warning sign and cut-off point.

The graffiti-covered black (white) mailbox

Of course, we had to make our mark...

...and I threw in a plug for my book.

We got in the car to head back to Vegas, but then we had to stop when we spotted the mystery car parked about a mile away from the Area 51 border. Sarah had mentioned something about an abandoned car that was rumored to be parked near the site; actually, a few different cars, always parked in the same place. Sometimes there was a red car, sometimes a white one, sometimes a gray one. This time it was an old white Pontiac, very dirty, with an expired license plate from way back in 2002! Sarah and I went over and peeked in the windows. Inside the car was an old blanket, some pine tree air fresheners, and an empty Aquafina bottle. Of course, we both dared one another to try the door handles but neither of us had the cojones to do so.

Sarah inspects the mystery car.

Tabs expired in 2002. If this car were parked on a Minneapolis side street, it would 
last all of 5 minutes before being handily whisked away to impound purgatory.

When we were done gawking at the mysterious Pontiac, we all hopped in the car and headed back to Vegas. On our way out of the desert, I had John stop so I could take one last photo for my friend Rachel.

We made it safely back to Vegas without being captured by aliens or the military. Sarah went back to her hotel room at the Luxor to rest, but John and I had to shower and start packing for home. We were catching the red eye back to Baton Rouge at midnight, but first---YES!---we had a concert to attend.


The concert started at 7:30 so we had to hurry. After hosing off the desert funk and changing into fresh clothes, John and I ran next door to Caesar's Palace. It turned out that we were still late, as we had trouble locating the door to the Coliseum. We finally found the entrance, had our tickets scanned, and dashed up about five flights of stairs to the balcony. Inside the Coliseum, the concert was already underway. Luckily though, we were only missing the opening song--"Love Train"--a song that Rod has never even recorded (to my knowledge, anyway). I was fine with that. If I were going to miss any songs, it might as well be "Love Train." I've been to enough wedding receptions in my life, thank you. There is no need for me to hear that song ever again. 


It was the eighth time I've seen him live (my first was in 1989--some of my Minneapolis friends weren't even born yet) and he did not disappoint. The man is 67 years old, but seeing him perform, you'd never guess he was over 40.

  Still rockin' the white socks and black shoes. Gotta love it.

The show was billed as Rod Stewart: The Hits so of course he did all the big ones--"Maggie May," "Forever Young," "You're In My Heart," "Tonight's the Night," "Hot Legs," "Have I Told You Lately?" "First Cut is the Deepest," "Young Turks," and--of course--"Do You Think I'm Sexy?"

 By the way, yes I do. 

The concert was John's wedding gift to me. He wasn't thrilled about going--John had lost interest around the time Rod stopped doing the seventies rocker thing (circa 1975 and Atlantic Crossing)--but he was surprised by how much he enjoyed the show. He even got misty-eyed and cuddled up to me during "Have I Told You Lately?" which was awesome. 

Oooh yeah, there's more where that came from...

Aw hell, I might as well just post all of them.

In no particular order....

"Just remember every picture tells a story, don't it?"

When the concert was over, John and I made our way back to the hotel room to grab our bags and head to the airport. Sarah was staying on until Sunday to do more sight-seeing and shopping on her own, but our flight was booked for Thursday at 12:55 a.m. As we boarded the plane we both remarked that, weirdly enough, neither of us felt tired. We were exhilarated from the concert and the Area 51 trip and the excitement that we were returning to Baton Rouge as husband and wife.

We've come a long way, baby. 


Friday, September 28, 2012


September 25, 2012

"Now you will feel no rain
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now each of you will feel no cold
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness for you
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons
But there is one life before you."
 Our wedding song....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen: the breakout star of
"Who the Bleep Did I Marry?"

Audrey is available for promotional and corporate events, and--for a slightly larger fee--she will do small parties and personal appearances...if she's in the mood.

I am acting as her booking agent for the time being. Forward all inquiries to me.  

Herself, mulling over offers in the condo that daddy bought for her.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wednesday 9/12/12 
9pm EST (8pm in Minnesota)
Investigation Discovery Channel

I'm going to be on TV again! Well, me and my friend Kate (she's my character witness) and of course Jo, Laura and Nicola. That's right, our story was chosen for the excellent--and highly addictive--Investigation Discovery Channel program "Who the Bleep?" It was formerly called "Who the Bleep Did I Marry?"  but the show's scope has broadened to include ex-girlfriends/boyfriends/significant others of con men and women living double lives (e.g. Simon Reid), and not just their spouses.

The team from Sirens Media --Brigette, Diana, Eric and Johnny--flew in from D.C. to Minneapolis to film interviews with me and Kate and film B-roll footage. It was really nice to stay put for a change--they came right to my door!

A film crew in the living room! I felt like a stah.
I had such a great time with everyone! The crew was cool, so personable and so much fun; I liked them all right away. The interview was a little nerve-wracking (they always are) but Diana, who interviewed me, was awesome and made me feel at ease. The fun part of it for me was shooting the B-roll. They filmed me walking down the street, talking on my phone, typing at my laptop, petting my cats (Audrey really took to being in the spotlight. I swear she's a Leo), writing in my notebook, making tea, and gazing out of my front window. Both Brigette and Diana kept apologizing for how much B-roll they had to shoot, but I didn't mind at all. You haven't lived until you've strolled around Uptown, trying to look nonchalant while you're being shot by a professional film crew, and everyone walking by is trying to figure out if they should know who you are or if there's some kind of weird new reality show being shot in Minneapolis or if someone is making another indie film or what. It's not like shooting on the street in Manhattan, where they're so used to film crews and famous people milling about that they barely even notice anymore.

Me in front of the duplex. This wasn't taken during the filming, but
I'm wearing the same top in the interview. Close enough.

After they filmed me, Kate came over and they interviewed her and shot some B-roll of her by herself, plus some footage of us just chatting, goofing off, sitting in the garden, and walking around the block.

Some really cool things about the experience:

  • They highlighted the fact that I'm a writer, which rocked! In most of the Simon Reid stories I'm referred to as just a blogger (not that just being a blogger isn't cool) but it was gratifying to actually be taken seriously. I talked about my book a bit in the interview--I won't know until the show airs if that part made it into the final edit--but still, I really appreciated their interest. 
  • During the shoot Diana and Brigette pointed out all the paintings that my roommates and I had hanging on our walls. Most of it was original work by our friend Rachel, who is a professional artist. They said they'd love to feature it but they would need a signed release from her first. Rachel was living in Asheville, NC at the time but she was able to get the paperwork quickly enough for some of her work to (hopefully) make it onto the show!
  • The whole crew really fell in love with Uptown. We went to lunch twice at Common Roots (a restaurant that has a special place in my heart--the site of my first date with John) and got several gallons of coffee at Urban Bean, where Diana ended up buying an "I heart MPLS" t-shirt!
A few weeks after the Sirens gang shot my segment, they flew to the UK to chat and film with Jo, Laura and Nicola to get the rest of the story...a story which will be beamed around the world courtesy of Sirens Media and the Investigation Discovery Channel tomorrow night, 9/12 at 9pm EST (just in case you needed a reminder). Like I said, "Who the Bleep?" (now in its third season) is super addictive. Go to their site and get comfy, because once you start watching clips of the show it's hard to stop! 

And one more plug for the road....

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