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Archive for April, 2009

Do you know Shirley Bassey?  Well, as of about two years ago, I didn’t.  And boy oh boy, I was missing out.

My hands down favorite song by Shirley Bassey is This Is My Life.

I really can’t say enough about this woman, this voice, this song.  When GT and I discovered this on YouTube at 3 o’clock in the morning some Thursday night after much to much wine and way too many cigarettes, I think we might have high-fived each other.  Which, if you know anything about GT, is nothing short of miraculous.  He DOES NOT high five.  Anyway, take a listen.

  • Version 1

So fucking good!  Jesus!  The voice, the eyes, the mouth, the hands, that purple coat…  Christ!  I love this version.  It’s the first one I heard and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard better.  The indignation here is what makes this version stand apart for me.  She’s lived her life; she won’t apologize and she won’t change.

  • Version 2

Shirley is younger here and the song seems to have a different mood to me.  She’s more desperate here.  She wants to live her life as she wants to, but she’s still looking for approval.  I love this version.  Her voice is amazing, that dress is fantastic, and those arms… love.

  • Version 3

GT found this one not that long ago and he thinks it might be his favorite version of the song.  We’ve gone back and forth between version 1 and 3, playing one right after the other for an hour (at least).  I love this version too.  Still, amazing voice and amazing coat.  LOVE.  But this version is sadder.  It has that broken, I’m-a-woman-on-the-edge quality to it.   This sounds like a woman who is in the middle of something; a woman who’s hoping to reach indignant.  Perhaps this is why GT loves this version.

And the winner is…

It really is a toss up on versions 1 and 3 for me.  But if I have to chose – and I do – I will go with version 1.

What do you think?

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Bea Arthur passed away yesterday.  By way of tribute, here are a few clips.

Maude’s Dilemma:

Lesbians of Miami:

Bosom Buddies with Angela Lansbury:

Don’t Rain on My Parade:

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So I was watching TV the other night and – either because nothing was on or because I finally reached the end of digital cable – it was live TV.  Now, understand, I don’t do that.  I exclusively DVR.  I would rather let the show run for a while and do anything else just to avoid the commercials.  This means that I some things – new products, funny commercials, the news – come to things late.  But whatever.  I never suggested that I – or this blog – were cutting edge.

While watching the commercials during my current favorite Food Network show Chopped, I learned about two new-to-me products.

  • Cheetos Giant

Okay, now I love Cheetos.  Especially the puffed Cheetos.  So good.  I mean, I’ll eat the crunchy because, you know, I’m a sucker for any cheese product, ESPECIALLY faux cheese products.  But I thoroughly enjoy the puffed.

Now, I think we’ve gotten along just fine with the Cheetos puffed and crunchy and the cheese puff ball.  But I really don’t understand the allure of the Cheetos Giant.  Seriously, get a look at this thing:

I mean, I look at the size of this thing and think, “Tasty snack?  Or something to assault your sleeping girlfriend with?”

Whatever, I’m open-minded enough to try one.  But I have to admit, it’s going to try very hard for me to like them.

  • Pepsi Throwback

Apparently, Pepsi has produced a version of its flagship product, Pepsi Cola, that is made with real sugar instead of the mad-scientist created concoction we were raised on.  I’ll admit, my very first thought was, Holy Fuck!  Were these guys just chillin’ behind their middle school, wearing pegged jeans and legwarmers, doing coke and smoking bad weed and drinking some terrible, but cheap and accessible, beer when that whole debacle with New Coke happened?!  Cause people got BENT when Coca Cola tried to mess with Coke.  Of course, they got the last laugh because Coke Classic was a HUGE hit.  Seriously, it was only recently that I realized that Coke is no longer called Coke Classic.  (I know, it is possible that I live under a rock.)

But, in Pepsi’s favor, they didn’t call the new Pepsi cola “New Pepsi.”  They at least are trying to capitalize on a movement.  That movement would be to go natural.  Even if you are a totally unnatural cola product.  Because there’s nothing consumers like more these days than the claim that a product is “natural.”  Save possibly “organic.”  Now if Pepsi can give us the “organic” label, parents might put this stuff in kids’ bottles.

Also in the new Pepsi’s favor – the awesome name and packaging.

Pepsi Throwback

Pepsi Throwback

WHAT?!  Throwback?!  I love it!  And that fun blue can?!  Yeah, I want some of that.

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  • Speech Therapist

I recently met with speech therapist.  She came to DC to lobby my office on some health-related issue.  At the end of the meeting, the woman asked if I was from NYC.  I said, “New Jersey.  Is it that obvious?”  “Yes,” she said.  Great.  She continued, explaining that she was from NJ as well.  A town very near the one I grew up in, turns out.  Called out for having an accent by a speech therapist from NEW JERSEY?!  You’re from Paramus, lady!  Fucking relax!  And I’ll keep my accent, thank you very much.  Jerk.

  • Whitney

Knowing my love for Whitney Houston, drag, and lip syncing, GT recently sent me and a few friends the following YouTube video:

  • Picnicing

Friday and Saturday were beautiful days in the nation’s capitol.  And despite having to work on Friday, I managed to have yet another fantastic outing with ALJ and JLJ.  When deciding what to do with our penultimate (yes, the word was actually used) Friday together – ALJ goes back to work a week from tomorrow – ALJ had a stroke of genius.  A weather.com addict, she knew that Friday was supposed to be a beautiful day.  Sunny, clear skies, warm.  Only one thing could be done.  We must go on a picnic.

Yes, I can be whimsical!  And that day, I would have even considered chancing ALJ around a tree.  We’re both lucky that BLJ, her 3-year old, wasn’t there, because please believe there would have been some chasing.

Anyway, ALJ made us a fantastic picnic – from soup to nuts, as they say.  And with a homemade baked good.

G-d, I am not looking forward to ALJ going back to work!  What are we going to do with our last Friday together?!  The pressure!

I followed up the fun Friday with four-plus hour tour of Dupont with DB.  You would have thought that we would have covered more ground in that amount of time.  But it was hard work walking around in the 80-degree heat, so we had to retreat to her place for water and wine.  Well, it was there.  And besides, what else are you supposed to do on a beautiful day?!

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At this point, I’m sure everyone and their grandmother (except maybe mine, who doesn’t know what a computer is) has seen this clip.  I don’t care.  It’s worth another listen.

WHAT THE… WHAT?!  Wow.  I love this song.  Like LOVE love.  But this Scottish lady… I don’t know what it is.  The wackiness before it all starts.  The impossibleness (I don’t care that this is not a word) of what she’s doing.  The difficulty of and the emotion behind the song she’s about to sing.  The sheer improbability of it.  The odd similarity I can find between this lady and my mother, who has been taking singing lessons for the past few months (best Christmas gift I’ve ever given, I think).  I’m rooting for her before she even opens her mouth.

Then she opens her mouth.

HOLY FUCKING CHRIST!  I was brought to tears.  I don’t know what to say, but BRAVA!!

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Picture it:  Your country is facing the most profound economic crisis in a generation (at least).  Unemployment rates are through the roof.  Your friends and neighbors are losing their homes.  Families are struggling to pay for food, let alone those other things like, you know, college.  Everyone is freaking out.  You’re asked to come up with a solution.  After downing a pint and a half of vodka and taking a handful of xanax, it comes to you…

A TEA PARTY!

Yes, that’s right.  Around the country, folks are grabbing a dainty cup and an Earl Grey package and hitting the streets.

Will this prevent Wall Street from its free fall?  Will it create jobs?  Will it put people to work and send kids to school.

That would be a resounding NO.

But what it did do was this.

AEF (who is now insisting that I refer to her as AED, which I just find confusing, but which I will do… eventually) told me about an email she received from her executive director today:

Be careful going to lunch today, the teabaggers are in the Federal Plaza.

Mission accomplished, kids.  You brought a smile to my face today.  Steep away!

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Today ALJ requested that I write something about Bo, the Obamas’ new pooch.  I think she ended the request with, “[MJ] did,” as though I am a slave to MJ’s blog or something.  As if!  I mean, you can read it if you want… But only if you want.

Okay, so maybe I really like MJ’s post about Bo.  And only in part because I love that pic of BHO running with the new dog.  The youthfulness!  The vitality!  The lack of waterboarding!

Anywho, I feel like I can contribute something to this discourse.

Here we go.

I spoke to GT yesterday.  He and I didn’t get a chance to see each other over the holiday because of a miscommunication involving the plain meaning of the word “unavailable.”  There was also some confusion about whether one was answering a question too narrowly or interpreting another’s response too narrowly.  Let’s just say it was a hot mess that, while it led to mutual disappointment, we are able to laugh about now.

Anyway, GT was telling me about his Easter.  He spent three whole hours with his family.  Might be a record.  While there, the Republicans in the group (yes, there are still Republicans in NJ… who knew!) spliced in with their criticisms of the new president comments about the new Portuguese addition to the Obama clan.

See, GT and his family are Portuguese.  Like from Portugal and everything.  Though they are less than pleased with Mr. Obama as a president, they were thrilled to learn that the Obama girls received a Portuguese “man-a-war” as a pet.

Wait – what’s that now?  A Portuguese man-a-war?  Not quite.  But I suppose it helps put their other comments about the president into perspective.

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