Thursday, January 31, 2008

Time for another iPod Shuffle!

Today's first ten:

Cancer - Joe Jackson
Sour Times - Portishead
They're Red Hot - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Made For Lovin' You - Anastacia
Keep Tomorrow Hanging - The Supremes/Stereophonics (mashup)
Nicety - Michel'le
You Choose - Pet Shop Boys
Never Knew Love - Rick Astley
Somewhere Out There - Linda Ronstadt/James Ingram
Love Is Blind - Annie Lennox

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A movie our Princess would love

The movie is Teeth and the lead character has them. Two sets of them, in fact. Yes, this is a movie about a girl who discovers she has vagina dentata. She's a high school student involved with the school's pro-abstinence group. Eventually (the movie was kind of slow-moving at the start) her boyfriend attempts to have his way with her against her wishes, and soon regrets it. Hilarity ensues. I give this movie three stars -- no, better yet, three severed penises out of four.

Fabulous Art Appreciation: Inaugural Edition

Submitted for your approval, or lack thereof:

Perhaps we'll make this a regular thing -- each week a new photo will be posted for discussion, delight, or derision. Comment at will!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Different Kind of Bucket List

I was reading about bucket lists, and I had a thought that most of the kinds of things I really wanted to do were in the past. Some of them, I actually thought about at the time, passed on, and later regretted--like the time that Parliament/Funkadelic/Bootsys Rubber Band/the Brides of Funkanstein were doing a Halloween show in St. Louis when I was in my early twenties. I actually considered going, and I later regretted not going. Some things I don't regret missing, like Woodstock. That would have been absolutely too uncomfortable for me. I can tell it was a smelly, muddy time from the film, but I did like the soundtrack.

Some missed opportunities were a result of circumstances, finances, and just plain stupidity.

I wish I'd done more third world travelling when I was younger. I've lost my taste for the inconvenience of it now, but I'm still curious about places I haven't seen. Maybe some day I'll take some round the world cruise and day trip to different places I still want to see.

I wish I'd asked my parents questions about their families and their lives. I'm puzzled why I was so incurious about that when they were alive. That's something I can't amend.

On a selfish note, I wish I'd bought shares of Berkshire-Hathaway when my brother-in-law recommended it eons ago. If I had, I would have oodles of cash, and I wouldn't have to listen to my brother-in-law say, "I told you so."

In terms of the future, I don't even have a bucket list. I can't think of anything in the world that would make me any happier than I am now. I don't think that's unique though. I read some article today, and it said that children and old folks are the happiest people on earth. That may very well be true.

Cap inventory

I bought a new cap rack to hold my baseball caps. "Rack" in this case meaning a cord with plastic clips. Anyway, since I went and put the caps up on the new rack, here's a list of the caps I own. The majority of them are from the local sports teams. A few from other teams were giveaways at games I attended (heaven knows I'd never buy a New York Yankees cap). The grand total is 31!


8 - Philadelphia Phillies
4 each - Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Eagles
1 each - New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres, Altoona Curve (a minor league baseball team; this was part of an exchange of items at the second Outsports Convention), the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto,

Sort of sports-related:

1 each - Hare Jordan/Air Jordan Nike (from when they had Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan in commercials together selling sneakers, which led to the movie Space Jam), PRISM (a now-defunct local cable channel that carried games featuring the Phila. teams)


1 each - Universal Studios, Terrible's Casino (where I stayed the last time I was in Vegas), Human Rights Campaign (I must have sent them a donation once), Bugs Bunny (without Michael Jordan), Wicked (bought it in Chicago during our Fabulous gathering), Defense Industrial Supply Center (I used to work there); and finally, a cap with"1962" with a blue star in between the 19 and the 62, the word "Vintage" above the numbers and the phrase "An American Classic" below them. I have no idea what, if any, product this might have been promoting. I bought it for a dollar or two at a Spencer Gifts shop that was going out of business. Why? Because I was born in 1962 and I am, naturally, an American Classic. Why else?

LCM Gets A Library Card!


I'm just this minute sitting down with a smart cocktail and a glamorous du Maurier and I'm just adither with excitement, sweeties - I got a library card today! (sips drink) Oh but let me start at the beginning, darlings - it's a tremendous story, I assure you...

(four hours later)

...and that's when I had to admit that enriched uranium is NOT an appriopriate baby shower gift. (nodding knowingly) Oh, and I got three books at the library, sweeties:

1. Some book about Saturday Night Live - not many pictures though
2. Some book about "the secrets behind" the Academy Awards - no pictures at all
3. Some book about the comings and goings in Berlin in April 1945 - again, no pictures

That third book was just one I grabbed in annoyance as I stormed to the counter - someone kept following me amidst the aisles and I just wanted to pelt something large at them - but then I decided I'd better not - not on my first day with a library card. (patting wig)

Oh but things are different now a days, darling - everything's so high tech - you feel like you're on the Star Trek, sweeties - they beep and blip everything ten times and then you get a receipt! You do! I stared at it and said "Do I have to save this?" And she said no, it was just a reminder that I have three weeks to return the books. So I put it in one of the books and threw it away on my way to the car.

Oh but the crowd there, darlings - I don't know - they weren't very photogenic. Even someone working in oils would have a time of it with that lot. Everybody was sort of bohemian looking - and I mean that in the worst possible way. (exhaling from du Maurier with meaning) So now I know how Cindy Crawford must have felt that time she decided to be a no-nonsense lesbian.

So anyhoo, I'm still annoyed at that stalker - I felt entirely rushed and hassled. But I took a pamphlet that lets me look through their books from home - I mean, which books they have - so then I can order some for next time and I won't even have to go beyond the front desk. Now all I have to do is read the books I got! I may post my reviews when I do, darlings - you know how I'm good that way.

Patting Wig, Sipping Smart Cocktail

Monday, January 28, 2008

Glad Tidings, Darlings!

LCM: (looking great) Hello, darlings - I'm back. (patting wig) I've been on my deathbed for a while - you know how it is - you live, you love, then it explodes in your face, you're down with the dose and soon the vast bitches are saying you've got deathbed sores all over.

(sips drink)

But I'm back. And I've got a really great new plan, sweeties. I'm getting a "li-bary" card! Tomorrow, I think. And yes, it's pronounced that way - I saw a documentary once.

Anyhoo - I need suggestions - I want all the most fabulous, awful, trashy books, I really do. I've been re-reading the Andy Warhold Diaries and it's just terrific. So I want more like that. Dishy, trampy, campy, ghost-written to fare-thee-well junk, and nothing but.

So help, LCM, darlings - give us some ideas. Hmmm?

Pouring Another Cocktail And Looking Super

New Kids on the Block: still got the right stuff?

First the Spice Girls, now this! Apparently the New Kids on the Block are going to attempt a comeback. Didn't they come back a couple of times already, when they were known as the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday's Pretty Picture

Who needs the New York Times?

To request removal of an image, please contact the poster.

Poll Time!

Let's say you had some seriously good karma coming your way and the Universe decided to reward you with one completely consequence-free bitchslap of Fred Phelps and his clan of bigots. Who would you choose to carry it out?

1) Russell Crowe
2) Jake Gyllenhaal
3) Maggie Gyllenhaal
4) Heath Ledger's entire family
5) The Australian National Rugby Team
6) The board of directors for Act Up
7) A large tattooed prison inmate named Tiny
8) A large tattooed prison inmate named Bertha
9) Yourself

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Untraceable, That's What You Are

It all started with Boris Karloff and those cheap thrillers he made in the '30s and '40s about some kind of criminal -- gangster, accidental killer, mad doctor, what have you -- who returns to exact vengeance on a group of random victims in picturesque ways.  Or maybe it was Agatha Christie with "Ten Little Indians" (among other, less PC titles) about random individuals being offed for their one connection.  Or maybe it goes back even earlier than that…whatever!  Enough of the Pauline Kael-esque background.  The whole thing is updated, with the killer streaming his crimes to an internet audience who can hurry death along just by logging on to his web site.
They all spawned Saw, and now Untraceable offers a somewhat more domesticated take on the mad revenge film.  There aren't as many deaths and though they get rather hard to watch, they hardly achieve Saw's level of surgical smut.  And, of course, Untraceable has one huge asset in Diane Lane, who I like to think of as the thinking straight man's sex symbol.  She delivers the usual warm, multi-layered performance, even if the material doesn't give her as much to work with as she had in Hollywoodland.  Gregory Hoblit directs as though he knows the difference between a TV episode and a movie, so there are some great tracking shots to help generate suspense.
But why, oh, why, does everybody have to come down with a case of the stupids to motivate the third act confrontation?  I'm not going to spoil anything, so I'll just marvel at the way Lane's seasoned FBI agent walks into the motel room where she's staying to avoid the serial killer, discovers someone's been in there and doesn't call for help!  How fracked is that, as they might say on Battlestar Galactica!
The film also has a very strange gay subtext, and not just because it co-stars studly Billy Burke and cuddle-worthy Colin Hanks.  An early suspect is a gay computer geek with a basement full of pirated porn about policemen, and he veritably trills at the thought of being arrested by Burke and his partner.  One of the victims gets lured into what looks like a blind date with the killer (it's really an ebay transaction gone horribly wrong, but I don't think guys who collect model trains or whatever this fellow's after flirt quite so vigorously).  And the killer lures another guy to his death by masquerading as a hot babe he met through an internet dating service. 
>Perhaps I'm ascribing more intent to a film that really only seems out to scare the audience, which this does pretty well.  The audience at my multiplex was small, but then it was the first show.  They were also very respectful.  It reminded me of the crowd when I saw Cloverfield last week, another scary picture with strange lapses of logic (like the world's longst-lasting camcorder battery).  It'll be interesting to see how Ms. Lane, who's somewhat older than the mean age considered bankable in Hollywood, does at the box office.

Saturday's Pretty Picture

One more reason to sleep late...

To request removal of an image, please contact the poster.

Friday, January 25, 2008

My iPod Talks to Me

My iPod has over 600 (and counting) songs on the list I play when I'm driving around and the local classical station switches to a talk show or decides it's time to hear the 101 Strings arrangement of "My Heart Will Go On."  And it's on the randomize setting because I like to live dangerously.  I've already had it play the same cut twice in a row, or two different versions of the same song back to back, or three songs by the same artist from three different albums.  And every now and then it even plays something that fits my mood or comments on whatever I'm doing in my life.
Today should have been a day off, but my teaching portfolio (aka that colossal waste of paper) was due, and what with auditions, classes, the freelance work I do to support my teaching habit and the phases of the moon, I pretty much started it today (except for loading my syllabi for the year on my memory stick, which I did last night so I wouldn't have to print them with my own ink and paper).  I got into the office at 11 (hey, it was supposed to be my day off), dealt with some student issues, spent an hour and a half in a meeting, then pretty much sat down to enter student evaluation scores (why is it the class you thought went best always hates you the most?), assemble materials for the two classes I was covering in depth and write eight pages of single spaced narratives in deathless prose relating what worked and didn't in my classes, what I had changed since the last time I had dealt with them and what I was going to do to fix all the messes the students and I had made.
I finally finished all my writing, hole punching, collating and assembling three minutes before the 5 p.m. deadline (only to discover the person to whom I was supposed to give this little folder of joy had taken off early--OK, it was a Friday for him, too).  But instead of feeling the great weight lifted from my shoulders, all I could think of was how many minutes it would be before the next one descended.  Plus, it was rush hour, and I still had groceries and other chores to do, and my blood sugar was tanking.
Then, in the middle of the drive, my iPod decided to have a Latin festival.  It started with Carmen Miranda's "Chica Boom Chic," which I can't really sing to as it's mostly in Portuguese, but at least I know where all the "Chica Booms" go.  Then came Judy Kuhn's Bosa Nova version of "You'll Never Get Away From Me," which really gets me rocking.  And as I pulled into the parking lot at Mama Fu's and Publix, Keely Smith was wailing her way through "When You're Lover Has Gone."  I swear, the iPod was telling me, nay forcing me to lighten up.  I've been on a roll ever since.
So, does your iPod talk to you?  (I was tempted to say "That's my light.  What's yours?" but I'll leave the soap opera ruminations for another post.)  

Friday's Pretty Picture

Happy Friday!

To request removal of an image, please contact the poster.

Weird thought of the day

When Fergie performs her hit "Glamorous" in Canada or the UK, does she add the extra "u" as in g-l-a-m-o-U-r-o-u-s, yeah...?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fabulous Films

I finally saw No Country for Old Men tonight, and I have to give it two thumbs up. It's without a doubt the best Coen brothers film ever made. It runs two hours, but I never noticed the running time because I was so completely engaged. I even liked the ending, which seemed to annoy many moviegoers. I'm not into the ends tied up in a bow, all nice and neat and happy. It has a gore factor, but I just tell myself, "It's only a film, with actors, relating a made up story. Nobody got hurt here."

I can't believe Javier Bardem is just nominated for "best supporting actor" because his role was definitely major. There must not be any criteria about percentage of time on the screen in terms of what is considered to be a supporting actor. I'm probably biased because I'm a big fan of his work. He was nominated for best actor for The Sea Inside, but he was robbed. Russell Crowe won for The Gladiator. I don't even see them running that on any of the movie channels, so it must not have been a very memorable performance. Maybe it was one of those deferred Oscars, and it didn't have anything to do with that film.

Bardem isn't the only good thing about this film. The script is fantastic and remains true to Cormac McCarthy's great book. Surprisingly, they left out some memorable dialog from the book. Go figure. The rest of the cast is great most notably Josh Brolin (a pleasant surprise), Tommy Lee Jones, Kelly Macdonald, a Scottish actress I remember from Trainspotting, but with a dead on West Texas accent here--I believed she was from Odessa (Midland's white trash twin city), and, believe it or not, Woody Harrelson, who actually acted so well you forgot he was Woody.

Overall, I got my money's worth. I just hate to pay for a bad film. It's torture to pay to be bored or have your intelligence insulted. I can tell from watching the previews, there are plenty of films around for that.

Ask Uncle Robbie

Dear Uncle Robbie,

MY PARTNER AND I HAVE BEEN together one-and-a-half years. He'd never been with a man prior to me. He has put off telling his family and his close friends that he is gay. I firmly believe that there is no right moment to come out and that everyone has to do it at their own pace. I've told him that he will know when the time is right and I will do anything I can to support him, but he really gets down on himself about being dishonest with the people closest to him. I don't think he fears losing these people, he just needs a means short of, "The pot roast is great... I'm gay... pass the salt," to move forward. Any suggestions?

--Fan in Philadelphia

Dear Fan,

Uncle Robbie doesn’t believe your partner is in need of a spectacular means of coming out (this is his life, not a revival of La Cage aux Folles). It sounds more like he’s looking for encouragement. Instead of passively supporting his self-proclaimed dishonesty, you, as an "out" role model, could be gently guiding him through the closet door. The next time the subject comes up, ask him what he wants to do about it. Help him plan it. Offer to role-play if he thinks it will help, but keep it light and simple (your sex life may never recover from the image of you pretending to be his mother if you dress the part).

=Uncle Robbie

If you have a question you'd like to ask Uncle Robbie, please send it to

Uncle Robbie is not trained nor licensed in psychology or therapy of any kind, but he will consider answering your question anyway (if he's not in a mood). It's all fun and games, kids.

They finally made her go to rehab? Yes, yes, yes

Amy Winehouse is in a treatment facilty, says her record label:

"Amy decided to enter the facility today after talks with her record label, management, family and doctors," Universal Music Group said in a statement. The statement also indicated Winehouse still planned to attend and perform at the Grammys, to be held Feb. 10 in Los Angeles.

So it'll be a short stay? Considering her history, it seems to me she'll need a lot more treatment than that.

"They gave me an anal probe -- I liked it!"

Here in the clavicle of Texas we had something of a UFO nut's wet dream a couple of weeks ago when "several dozen people - including a pilot, county constable and business owners - insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it."

At first the military harrumphed that they had nothing to do with this and none of their aircraft were in the area. A couple of nights ago their tune changed, and suddenly, why yes, they did have some F-16s in the air that night performing training operations after all. Of course, that doesn't explain the craft or the silent glowing spheres some people spotted, but the truly amazing thing is that this is being picked up by area news services and not just fobbed off as "those inbred East Texas yokels have been in the moonshine again":

The military's admission that it had jets up in the area actually strengthens the credibility of some of the reports, said Ken Cherry, Texas state director for the [MUON] network. After all, some of the witnesses had said they had seen military aircraft along with the lights.

"We have witnesses who could clearly distinguish the difference between an F-16 and some extraordinary craft performing in a manner not typical of an aircraft," he said.

So why would aliens be hovering over Texas? Me, I figure the mothership is trying to find Dubya at his ranch in order to have a quiet word about the state of the planet, possibly in the hopes that he can explain what the fuck he's been doing. Either that, or it's time for Cheney's nuclear core to be serviced.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


“Mrs. Vreeland, is that fact or fiction?” After a small pause she replied, “It’s faction”.

Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman Faction that made me go "Hmmm" this week:

How the newly pregnant Nicole Kidman is being hounded daily by photographers because obviously everyone wants to see evidence of the progressive collapse of her face without Botox.

It's sort of the cosmetic surgery equivalent of the Britney death watch. I read that Nicole Ritchie was pissed off because People offered her and her baby the cover this week, but they bumped her for Matthew Mc Conaughey's girlfriend's pregnancy. Isn't life so unfair? I mean she had a baby, and the other woman is only pregnant. What is wrong with these people? If Nicole's face collapses the same week Britney checks out, do you think Nicole will be pissed off too when she loses every cover?

But, I digress, back to the Cruise family. I read that their two adopted children are not only absent from recent pictures with Katie Holmes and Cruise, but they also live at his sister's house where they are home schooled. Apparently, the excuse is that they are waiting for their new house to be completed. I wonder why they didn't leave Suri there too? Living with her siblings would be much less tedious than constantly dressing up and having her picture taken ever day.

And, of course, there's that allegation in Andrew Morton's book that baby Suri is the issue of L. Ron Hubbard, Rosemary's Baby style. Remember when Suri was born, "She's Chinese! Look at those eyes!' Won't she have fun Googling her childhood? ( Guilty pleasure admission, I ordered the book from Amazon; I couldn't stop myself. I just love Andrew Morton and Kitty Kelly. There's nothing like reading a sleezebag unauthorized biography to beat the blues. )

A piece of faction that would make me ecstatic, if it were true (crossing fingers/oh, please let it be!) is that Oprah is pissed off enough at Dr. Phil to cut him loose. I'm so sick of seeing that buffoon pretending that he's helping people with his Jerry Springerish theme programs. Also, how about him talking about what a jock he is. Specious to say the least. (On a personal note, I am no stranger to the self help show genre, a producer from the Dr. Keith Ablow once asked us to appear on the show with a relative that only lives to incite commotion and drama-- especially when under the influence of a liter or two of Merlot or a host of prescription and/or illegal drugs. Another valid reason for not appearing, other than potentially exposing ourselves to be the equivalent of trailer park carnies, is that the person is a pathological liar, and we would just be sitting in our chairs slack-jawed when we hear her recount her sorrowful life and how everyone but her, especially us, was responsible for her pathetic life. When we declined to participate, I told the director I thought it was shameless how they paraded people's pathologies for entertainment like animals in menageries. They still wanted us to appear. Sadly, this was probably our last chance to break into showbiz, but on a more sorrowful note, we also destroyed our poor relative's life because we ruined her chance at show biz.) It's just another lose, lose situation. Sadly, life is not all beer and skittles.

Should I or shouldn't I?

It seems that the legend herself, Paris Hilton, will be at the mall (and movie theaters) nearest my home to promote her movie "The Hottie and the Nottie." Sounds like a classic. She's supposed to be signing autographs for an hour, and they're giving away free passes to a screening that will be held right after the signing. Since she's going to be so close, should I drop by and say hello?

How does this thing work anyway?

I'm glad I figured out how to embed the YouTube clip of our rapping mayor, but can someone explain why the time shown for my posts are off? The last one says "posted at 2:18." It's like 5:30.

Heath Ledger is dead

According to the police, a masseuse arrived at Ledger's apartment and was let in by a housekeeper. When Ledger didn't answer his bedroom door, the housekeeper and the masseuse opened it and found him unconscious. Reports say that pills were found near his bed.

I remember that, during the time "Brokeback Mountain" was released, it was revealed that Ledger and his co-star Michelle Williams became a couple. It seemed like such a nice story, how a love affair blossomed in filming a movie about two men who fell in love but couldn't live happily ever after. Ledger and Williams had a daughter, but then last fall they broke up, and now Ledger is dead. There's no happily ever after in real life, either.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The rapping mayor!

Here's a video of Philly's new mayor Michael Nutter at his inaugural party, performing Sugarhill Gang's "Rappers Delight"!

Friday, January 18, 2008

LCM Update, Darlings

Hello, darlings - I'm sick. Sick with illness. (nodding knowingly) I'm too far gone even to pick a font - it's come to that, it really has.

(pausing turning to Frank)


(dizzy - pausing - looking)

Oh dear.

(handing Frank a tissue)

You might want to clean up there, sweetie - you're a bit of a mess.

Patting Wig, Looking Tragic But Glamorous

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I cut down a couple of streets to Fabulanna's shopping district and headed for Comics R Fab. I knew that Walt would be hanging out there -- now that he no longer worked there, he liked to stand near the Dark Horse section and watch the drones behind the counter try not to gag at the body odor emanating from the customers.

Carefully circling around two fen in mid-debate about Superman's flying ability, I located Walt and tapped him on the shoulder. "Hi, do you--"

I didn't know that he could move that fast. The finger came flying out at me, and I just managed to grab it before it poked a hole in my eye.

"Dammit, put that thing away," I hissed.

Walt's baby blues blinked at me. "Oh, sorry, ZanZan," he said, his voice weirdly nasal. "I thought you were going to ask me where the raunchy comics were located."

"Back corner, next to the Bettie Page poster," I said, "but that's not important right now. I got a tip that something's waiting for me at the Lone Star Gym -- something that has to do with Carrot Top and missing mimes."

I knew what was coming, but it was still weird to see Walt hold up his finger as if an invisible bird was perched on it, then start talking to said invisible bird.

"Uh, huh...really...okay, Pobrecito," he cooed, then turned back to me. "Yeah, Pobrecito said he was there yesterday -- see, he loathes Carrot Top and wanted to see if he could get a good shot at taking a dump on his head. Anyway, Pobrecito was perched near one of the gym's skylights, and saw a couple of mimes tied up in the boiler room. They were silently screaming while Carrot Top did topless crunches right in front of them."

That bastard. "I also heard that someone has it in for me over there," I said, grim.

Walt checked with Pobrecito. "Yup. Someone named Joe, he said, doesn't like you nosing around the gym. That's all he knows, however -- the nursing home had a special on old guys scattering dried breadcrumbs that day."

Joe again. Why would Fabulanna's greatest sports fan and bookie have problems with me? "Thanks for the intel. By the way, what's up with the nasal voice?"

He tilted his head back, and I could see cotton wadding stuffed up each nostril. "Sweetie, have you smelled some of the things that come in here?" he huffed.

A chubby middle-aged man in a "Han Shot First" t-shirt waddled by, and I recoiled from the cloud of BO trailing in his wake. It combined the bouquet of Mumsey's foot rot with Dr. Chuey's "leftover" bins.

"Flying Spaghetti Monster help us," I gasped. "I'm outta here."

I dashed out of the store and stumbled to the curb, eager to get some fresh air. A long black limo pulled up to me; I just had enough time to wonder if Gary Coleman was back in town when the window rolled down, and an ever longer black muzzle poked out at me. "Get in," an urbane voice ordered.

Definitely not Gary, then. Gritting my teeth, I climbed into the back of the limo, my eyes slowly adjusting to the gloomy interior. Then I recognized who was holding me hostage.

"You, I hissed."

"Me," Frank said, smiling. "Milo, drive on. I have much to discuss with Miss ZanZan."


I raised one eyebrow. Robbie hadn't earned his nickname of "The Evil Old Queen" for kissing puppies and helping old ladies across the street. "A trap, huh? I wouldn't expect you to warn me off from something like that," I said.

"Oh, please -- who else can get me signed Pratchett books?" he said, brushing brick dust off his jacket. "Besides, you're the only one who knows how to get to Havencrest for the next Princessfest -- all I remember is that it's somewhere out in squirrel porn country. Now, if you're finished with your paranoid fantasies and trying to brain me against a wall, may I continue?"

I waved a hand. "Be my guest."

"Yes, well, you know how I have that little, ahem, problem."

"Excessive sarcasm?"

He snorted. "That's not a problem, that's a gift. No, I meant the low testosterone issue." In the dim light of the alley, I could have sworn he colored slightly. "I'm taking supplements, but I've been trying to save up for a condo-wide iPod system so instead of paying full price for the drugstore version I've been using black market testosterone."

I smacked my head. "Black market testosterone? Robbie, for all you know you're shooting up with Mexican wrestler sweat."

He gave me a long, chilly look that the Princess would have been proud to call her own. "Who works in the medical field here, pupcake? I know what I'm doing."

Office managers. "I'm sure," I said. "So where do you get black market testosterone on Fabulanna, anyway?" Before the words left my mouth, however, I knew.

"The Lone Star Gym," Robbie said, confirming my suspicions. Dammit, I hate being right all the time. "The supplier goes by the name of Joe -- believe me, you can't miss him." He shuddered. "But a little bird told me there's something seriously wrong going on at the Lone Star, and I think they're looking for a fall person to pin it on. If you're not careful, you're going to find it pinned right on one of the twins."

"Mary-Kate and Ashley?"

He pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. "Just be careful, you blithering idiot."

"Pot, kettle, Nacho Libre," I replied. "But thanks for the heads-up."

He walked off into the night, muttering to himself. From here, it sounded almost Hispanic. I headed in the other direction -- before I hit the gym, I needed to talk to a little bird myself.

A little bird named Pobrecito...

Bored Now

[crosses to center stage, steps up to microphone, clears throat in a burst of feedback]

Hello. My name is Robbie and I'm not having any fun.


Now that I'm here there's never anybody to play with.








[walks offstage]


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Idol Delusions

I can sing, sort of. I can carry a tune decently enough. I wouldn't have people trying to pull the microphone away from me at a karaoke bar. But I know there's no chance in hell that I could become the next American Idol. So why on earth do so many people who can't sing even try out? And why do so many of them get so angry when they aren't selected to move on?

I can understand the rationale of people who dress up in weird costumes or act strangely or both. They just want the attention. They just want to get on TV. I can't for the life of me figure out why someone who clearly has no talent genuinely seems to think he or she can win American Idol. It can't all be self-confidence, can it?

I will say this, though -- there was one singer in tonight's Philadelphia auditions who got the "Golden Ticket" that I actually thought had a really good voice. Last year, which was the first time I watched an entire season from start to finish, I didn't think that about anyone. I still haven't decided if I'm watching this whole season or not.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I went over to the booth, holding the Appletini in my left so I could keep my gun hand free. I knew what these two could do with pointed sticks.

"Martha, Neil," I said. "Nice night for knitting."

"ZanZan!" the handsome young man in an Andy Warhold fright wig said, holding up his work. "Look -- I'm making a ballgown in microfiber for my new Ken doll! And Martha's making a new Op Art sweater!"

The short, svelte woman seated next to him smiled and displayed something that looked like a wearable test pattern.

Knitters. "That's fabulous," I growled. "Now, what I really want to hear about is missing mimes."

"W-what?" Neil said, sagging behind his stockinette stitch. "W-why do you think we saw anything?"

I pointed at the sign over the bar: "CRAFT NIGHT TONITE: FREE MERKIN PATTERNS 6 - 10 PM."

"Oh, rats." Neil exchanged a resigned look with Martha. "All right -- it was just after Project Runway when this scary-looking transvestite burst through the door and kept yanking his shirt up to flash his six-pack. Normally I'm all in favor of that sort of thing, but his hair was almost the same color as his skin and his eyebrows looked like they were on marionette strings."

"Suddenly he leaped at Marcel, who was in the go-go cage doing his usual 'Mime Locked in a Box' routine, yanked him out and started doing overhead presses with him," Martha added. "Then he howled something about 'I'm coming, Joe!' grabbed another Marcel and dragged them out the door."

I frowned. "So why didn't either of you stop him?"

Neil clutched his needles in a death grip. "And lose our place in our knitting patterns? Are you on crack?"

"I do remember that he was wearing a funny sort of tank top," Martha offered. "It had a cowboy benchpressing a horse, if that helps."

As a lead, it was slimmer than Sarah Jessica Parker on Peruvian marching powder, but it was all I had. I tossed a couple of vintage knitting patterns on the table in thanks, then turned and headed out into the cold night, looking for the only Texas-themed gym on Fabulanna.

As I passed the alleyway that ran behind the bar, someone grabbed my arm. I cursed and spun, pulling the jerk into the open and bodyslamming him against the crumbling mauve brick of the Boom Boom Room.

"Ow," the tall man with the goatee said as he rubbed his shoulder. "That was a little melodramatic, wasn't it?"

I glared at Robbie. "You invaded my territorial bubble -- what did you expect?"

"Spare me the Milton Danvers quotes, pupcake," Robbie sniffed. "Especially since I'm trying to help you -- you're walking into a trap."

Celebs and steroids

There's a report that recording artists Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Timbaland and Wyclef Jean, as well as filmmaker Tyler Perry, were all named in an Albany, N.Y.-based steroids probe. This is the same investigation that has uncovered a number of pro athletes' steroid use. Some of the drugs the athletes use to improve their performance also are thought to have anti-aging qualities.

I'm just horrified. I knew it was weird when Mary J. Blige came out of nowhere to hit 73 home runs in 2001. Now the truth can be told!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Making sure that LCM wouldn't pass out in a puddle of his own sick, I went into the Boom Boom Room. It was my kind of dive bar -- the smell of du Mauriers and vodka hung in the air, and a disco ball shed the kind of light that didn't show wrinkles or surgical scars.

I walked up to the bar. "Gimme the usual."

An Appletini slammed down onto the polished wood, and I tossed it back in one gulp.

Someone snorted. "Drinking hard tonight, ZanZan?"

Only my friends and creditors called me ZanZan. I peered at the barman. "Gaik, what the hell are you doing back there?" I said.

Patrick "Sweetknees" Gaik shrugged, running a damp Ungaro rag over the bartop. "After that blizzard closed the Barn for two nights, I needed to make some extra cash," he said. "Hell, I was practically raised in a bar."

This was true. It also reminded me that in a former life, Patrick used to be a caterer who was my connection to the criminal underworld. "You still got your contacts?" I asked.

He blinked once. "Yep -- you're still visible."

Actors. "I meant your contacts, doofus," I snapped. "I need to dig up some information about missing mimes and a certain comedian."

Patrick took a step back, holding the rag protectively across his heart. "You don't mean -- look, Zan, I'm not going up against him. He makes Jocelyn Wilderstein look normal."

I gave him a gimlet look. "I need to find him, Gaik. Before more mimes go missing."




Time to pull out the big guns. "Has anyone here ever seen a picture of your college...girlfriend?"

He glared at me. "Oh, you bitch. All right, I'll see what I can find out."


He shrugged, shaking his head as he poured me a refill. "Oh, by the way -- that gimlet look?"

I paused.

"I don't know how to make one of those, but if you give me a rusty nail look..."

Everyone's a comedian. I sighed and slapped a bill on the bar. "Keep the change."

Leaving Patrick to his side job, I headed deeper into the Boom Boom Room, Appletini in hand. I'd already spotted a certain couple in one of the back booths. They might know what was going on, if I could just get their attention off the yarn.


A ZanZan Fletcher Holiday Mystery

It was one of those cold December nights in Fabulanna when the wind seemed to blow straight out of E.mily's hoo-hoo and the flying monkeys huddled together in the Rose Chateau's bell tower for warmth. As the island's only private eye, I needed a shot of the good stuff to ward off the chill, so I was on my way to the Boom Boom Room for an Appletini and a Botox appointment with Dr. Chuey when my Prada boots hit something that squished.

I looked down at the wet pink pavement. "Oh, it's you."

"AAAAACKKK!" the figure shrieked. "Darling, I've ASKED you not to sneak up on me like that when I'm in the gutter. Are you here about the missing mimes?"

I blinked. LCM, Centre of the Known Universe and world-famous supermodel, could be a little oblique at times. Actually, he had a mind like a Stoli-soaked fractal design, but it was too damn cold to sling dirt and I just wanted my girly drink and a face full of botulism serum.

"Okay, I give -- what missing mimes?" I asked wearily.

LCM sat up, wiping dried Stoli from his chin. "My God, sweetie, did Jeffrey Sebelia come up with your outfit? I'm going to need another drink just to recover."

I fished an airline bottle out of my trenchcoat pocket and tossed it to him. "The mimes, LCM. What happened to them?"

The supermodel waved a weak hand. "It's all so foggy -- something about an obnoxious drag queen on steroids and Mumsy screaming, 'The Amazing Johnathan has more talent in his foreskin than you have in your whole hideously overdeveloped body!' I tell you, sweetie, it took the combined use of Walt and Joe's credit cards just to drive that horrible vision from my mind." He fished inside his Vivian Westwood purse, pulling out two worn slivers of plastic. "I suppose I should give them back now..."

A drag queen on 'roids, Mumsy and mimes. Suddenly I had a bad feeling.

"Carrot Top," I growled.


"Oh. Sorry, LCM."

But why would the comedian / bodybuilder / frightener of young children and supermodels be kidnapping mimes at Christmas? And what did Mumsy have to do with it?

Something stunk in Fabulanna, and it wasn't just LCM's puddle of sick. Lucky me, I had to get to the bottom of it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Shuffle Game

One of my great passions is music. I love it, I can't imagine life without it. And I like seeing what others listen to. There's no better way of getting an idea of what other people listen to than by seeing the results of the Shuffle Game. It's easy to play. Launch iTunes or grab your mp3 player and in a list, list out the first ten songs that come up randomly. The most important rule is NO EDITING out the embarrassing songs that come up. That's half the fun.

Here's mine:

"High" by the Cure
"Hello In There" by Eddie Reader
"Tanz Auf Dem Vulkan" by Nena
"There You Go" by Pink
"Music" by Joss Stone
"Working My Way Back To You" by the Spinners
"Get Off Of My Cloud" by the Rolling Stones
"Letterbox" by They Might Be Giants
"Money Mile" by Alison Moyet
"Tear Stained Letter" by Johnny Cash

What's your list?

If I Were Clay Aiken's Press Agent

Clay just gave a disastrous interview to Newsweek. His answers follow the questions. If I were his press agent, he'd have responded with the answers in red.

How did you get into a fight with that lady on a plane?

I'm not going to talk about it.

She just needed a good bitchslapping. Nuff said?

I was just curious because you've never talked about it.

I did talk about it.

Don't you read every word written about me? I have talked about it. I'm not being paid to do your research!

What about the Kelly Ripa thing?

I'm not going to discuss it.

Her anorexia was flaring up that day. If I spoke badly about her, it would be as bad as criticizing Britney the day she shaved her head. That poor woman's had enough unpleasantness.

Did you think it was homophobic?

I'm not going to discuss it.

What do you think, Sweetie?

What do you want to talk about?

I think we're done.

Uh, me, my incredible talent, my sexy looks, all the women who want me.

Can we talk about something fun?.

No, we're done. I thought NEWSWEEK would be more reputable. I'm surprised.

Okay, how about furry wrangling?

But I think people are curious about it.

It was a year ago. This is NEWSWEEK. It's not the National Enquirer. I'd hate to have a job where I had to be rude to people.

I bet people are just as curious about Ryan Seacrest too, but you'd give him a softball interview. Who cares what I do? I don't have looks or talent, and no one will remember who I am in two years. (Tearing up like Hillary in New Hampshire and hoping it has half as good as an effect.)Leave me alone!

We're just having a conversation.

Change the subject! I'd never take a job where I had to do something that I didn't want to do.

No, we're not; we're having an interview. What in the world makes you think I'm actually ~talking~ to you. If you keep this up, this "conversation" will get me more publicity than any answers to real questions would, you nimrod.

Are you going to watch "Idol"?

I haven't watched since season four. I compare it to high-school football--if it weren't for high school, we wouldn't be successful, but I don't need to keep going to the football games.

Why would I possibly want to watch a show that took me, a no talent, no looks nonentity from obscurity to fame? That's ludicrous!

Before I was so RUDELY interrupted...

*Glares as SportsBastardBoy*

I was going to tell you that our new show, ALONE TOGETHER, is a smash hit (at least until the reviews come out). No, seriously, the 2 audiences we've had so far have loved this comic tale of boomerang children come home to haunt their poor parents.

I'm playing a straight, 30-year-old mathematical genius who's left M.I.T. because....


*Wipes mojito from his face that Melanie just spat at him*

What, darling? Do you think that's a stretch for me? Which part? Straight? 30? Math genius from M.I.T.?

*blank look*

What do you mean 'all of them'?

I'm an actor - I'm totally convincing!

Yes, I know most of our audience are well into the glaucoma and cataract else could I be so convincing?

Well, really!

*Flounces off to the theatah*

Of All the Gin Joints in All the World

<Lifting head from bar>. Did I miss anything? Oh, we're already at the new place. I guess you all loaded me into the back seat of the Sweetiemobile when I was "sleeping." (Checking bar mirror) I appreciate whomever tried to style me for our debut, but for your future reference, this is a tube top, not a turban.

Hmmm, I expected something considerably more stylish--perhaps like one of those HGTV spa style master suites with a sloppy paint job. Overall, something a bit more zen than bath house. I guess it wouldn't work with this crowd anyway. If I were trying to follow my bliss here, it would be a @ing traffic jam.

I'm sure that this place will become my new guilty pleasure since caller ID took away all the joy of crank calling all my ex lovers. If it can only bring me just a small fraction of the pleasure that I get from staying in bed all day watching Project Runway on DVD, it will be a blessed addition to my life.

Enough of that, I have to work the crowd. Air kisses everyone!

SBB has arrived!

I'm so happy to have a new forum to bore people...I mean, express myself. (We don't have one of those thingys where you can type something and have a line through it as if it's crossed out, do we? I can't find it.) Anyway, as the official SportsBastardBoy, as designated by our royal inspiration, you may expect me to occasionally discuss sports. However, since I expect the audience here may not be deeply into sports as I am, I'll try and confine my sports items here to things that seem suited to this blog. If we're lucky I'll talk about other things as well.

Let's start with Jessica Simpson. She is dating a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys named Tony Romo. They had a little trip to Mexico recently, and this has caused all sorts of consternation with people who like the Dallas Cowboys. This is because when she showed up to watch her boyfriend at a game in December, he was horrible and his team lost. Last year, he was involved with Carrie Underwood. When she showed up at a game last year, he was horrible and his team lost. Concerned that her involvement will cause Dallas to lose their playoff game and ruin their season, even though she's not actually going to be there, Jessica has now been dubbed "Yoko Romo." (I prefer to call her "celebriskank" myself, but that's a term that can apply to so many, many people nowadays.)

All of this makes me very happy since the Dallas Cowboys are, in fact, evil. I'm just sayin.'

The Big Red One is here

(strolls through the door, wiping off her épée and slinging it into the elephant foot umbrella holder)

Ah, that's better. Oh, lovely, LCM and Patrick are already here! Boys, order me a mojito while I go wash off some of this alien ichor, will you?

(disappears into the bathroom marked "Femme -- and we mean the ones with a hoo-hoo")

(reappears wearing a stylish set of olive-green battle armor)

Goes with my hair, don't you know. Hello, darlings -- already started on the Boli and Stoli, I see. I need to catch up -- bartender, another five mojitos here, s'il vous plait, and don't stint on the mint.

Now, while we're waiting for the others, tell me all about what's going on in your lives. You know me -- I'll be rambling on about science fiction, the art of writing and how craft stores took over my life, with the occasional segue into Lewis Carroll and bellydancing, because I'm just that kind of a girl!

Yes, LCM, I really am a girl. If I can get this plastron open, I'll even show you.

Oh, dear. I didn't think he'd run screaming into the Gentlemen Who Know Their Colors. Oh, well -- his drink is getting warm, might as well finish it for him. Meanwhile, sweetknees, tell me all about dinner theater in mid-central Illinois!

Well, this place is nice...

*Wanders in off the cold cruel streets*

I claim this blog for France *plants flag*

Oh...someone's already here... *squints*

Who's that looker over there in the corner booth sucking back the gin like there's no tomorrow?


Is that LCM, centre of the know universe and doyenne of all things fabulous?

No, wait, it's just a boozy tramp...oh...same thing, never mind.

Hello darling! *waves across the room*

I'm blowing you kisses! *kiss kiss*

*Gives wallet to the barman* Keep this in the safe for me, darling, she's got claws that can remove wallets from pockets faster than Britney beating a suicide watch!

Hooray For Everything!

Oh hooray, darlings - the round brackets worked perfectly!

Alright, I'm just going to sit quietly here in the corner booth and sip my drinks til the others arrive.

(nodding knowingly)

It's what I do best, afterall.

Putting 40 Dollars In The Jukebox And Picking All Of Helen Reddy's Most Fabulous Songs

Careful Darlings - It's Certainly Witchcraft

Oh darlings, I've just seen my first post and gosh if half of it didn't show up. I think the problem was I put descriptive things in those pointy brackets and for some reason those don't show up. I'm going to try round brackets now - hold on, sweeties...

(makes round brackets, sips cocktail)

Well let's see if that shows up. If it doesn't, then it's witchcraft, I know it is.

Glaring At Emily And Her Tupperware Cauldron

Testing 1-2-6

Hello darlings - it's LCM here - yoohoo!

Oh well gosh, that picture of Princess is just fabulous, sweeties - so much nicer than that time I attempted a makeover and we both caught on fire.

Be very careful, darlings, when you're thinning out your eyeliner with kerosine to make it last til the next cheque day, sweetie.

"Things" can happen.

Well it appears I'm the first one here, so I'll just throw down my things and order a cocktail.

Hello, darling - I'll have a double gin and vodka - make it two, it's nearly noon, actually.

Lighting A Glamorous du Maurier And Looking Absolutely Great