Slam Duncan

060904Celebs22ARIt’s a well-known fact that bad things happen in threes. What goes unstated is the eerie connection between end of 2012 tragedies, Honey Boo Boo notwithstanding. I’m talking about Hurricane SANDY and SANDY Hook Elementary. Holy harbingers! I’d watch my back if I were you, SANDY Duncan. Sleep with one eye open…the good one, not the bad one–that would be useless. Just sayin’.

Faithful readers will remember that I did predict the death of Andy Rooney last year. Well, I assumed he was dead, and he died shortly thereafter. So, it’s practically the same thing.

You heard it here first. Not that I wish ill on Sandy Duncan. I mean I love “The Sound of Music” and Wheat Thins. Oh, wait. Julie Andrews was all “Doe, a deer”, and Mary Poppins. Sandy Duncan is Peter Pan. I hope the Fates don’t get confused like I do. Because if I had to choose, I’d save Mary Poppins. But maybe the two of them could team up and defeat calamity with sheer cheerfulness and treacly goodness. Like some sort of caped duo with sparkly smiles and perfect pitch. But part of me thinks Poppins has a dark streak and would turn on you just as soon as look at you. A spoonful of sugar, my foot. The hills are alive, indeed. So, you’re on your own, Sandy.

Turns Out, I Don’t Love a Parade

mickey-mouse-party-ideas-21678345There are a few things that are just accepted as widely adored, like puppies and rainbows. But there are a few things that are just presumed adored, and if it’s one thing I hate, it’s presumption.

1. Parades. The whole concept is weird–standing there and watching people pass you by. I don’t like the metaphor.

2. DisneyWorld/Land/Universe, whatever. I don’t like rides, crowds, or metal gates herding me as if to slaughter. I also find adults in costumes strangely unnerving (That one’s for you, Amy). That mouse is suspect. Did you ever notice no matter which way he turns, his ears are ALWAYS forward? It’s like he’s listening for dissent is his kingdom of mandatory cheerfulness.

Eric and I once came close to divorce on Disney property, and cheery minions were dispatched to address the situation. “We’ve got a domestic situation in ToonTown! Smiles on, people. This is not a drill!” I don’t like contrived fun or forced happiness. And if you’ve visited France at Epcot, it’s really not like being in France. At all. I wonder what wins–staying in Disney character and being robotically happy or acting the part of a Frenchman and being rude? I bet their heads explode at the prospect. Just go to France, you’d probably save money. And they’re not rude, they hate the presumption that everyone speaks English and takes US dollars. My kind of people.

3. Cruises. It’s me and 5000 of my closest friends! Except they are not my friends. They are the people that populate my personal hell. I just need more in my day than filling the space between meals. Oddly Disney Cruises sound more appealing than the component parts by themselves. Still…

4. Goodnight, Moon I do not understand the appeal to this book whatsoever. It is the worst example of poetry ever. There is no standard rhyming scheme, and sometimes she sets you up for the obvious rhyme like with “Goodnight, comb” and then just as you are expecting “Goodnight, garden gnome…” nothing. It’s like the sneeze that just won’t happen. Instead she goes from comb to brush (and who needs both?) near a bowl of mush (unsanitary). And why isn’t that old lady up and about cleaning up the mush? I guess that’s why the mouse was attracted to the scene in the first place. And how is it that rabbits and kittens and mice are co-habitating anyway? And what’s up with that balloon?

WTF = Way Too Fat

It has been my observation that 99% of people who say America is the greatest country in the world,EVER! have never lived anywhere else. Before you call me a hater and stab me with your flag pin, I want to make one thing clear: America is a great country and exceptional at many things. But I have spent enough time living in 3 other countries to appreciate other ways of doing things.  There is one thing I am convinced America is exceptional at (and not in a good way)…poisoning ourselves.

We are fat, fat, fat. And pretty soon the sheer weight of this country is going to tilt the earth off of its axis and wreak some serious climate havoc.

When did Krispy Kreme become acceptable apres-game snack at soccer? Last week, my child was offered a 6 pack of Oreos and a Gatorade after a game. That’s 47 grams of sugar–30% more than the recommended daily allowance for a full grown male. After a soccer game. Need I point out the irony?

I bought a dress the other day, size 0. I was a size 2 in high school, and I can tell you with all certainty that things have definitely shifted and settled in the intervening 22 years. In another 20, will I be a -2? If you have any doubt, spend a day at a any given water park in the US. You will conclude that Americans are good at 2 things–feeding themselves and finding new and inventive places to pierce and decorate.

I am far from a paragon of healthy living, I did grow up in the South. But I do try to eat things without labels and bend at the waist, occasionally. American innovation has become new things to fry at state fairs. Pizza Hut has given us the pizza with a hot dog stuffed in the crust. Burger King has unveiled a bacon sundae. Perhaps there is a flaw in our dastardly plan to eliminate other nations via “food” (term used loosely) exports. We won’t be around to enjoy our dominion.

Enjoy your fried Kool-Aid ball!

Play Ball

I guess it’s opening day for baseball. You’ll recall I don’t love baseball, and I don’t consider it a sport. And it’s not just me. Baseball bills itself as “America’s Pastime”. Your words, Baseball, not mine.

I am a great fan of World Cup and the Olympics, so since I can only muster interest in sports approximately every 2 years, I have to have some way to pass the time while my vuvuzuela is in repose. There is one thing sports-related that I am a connoisseur of, and that is the sports movie. The sports movie is often better than the sport itself. I will even argue that so boring a pastime as baseball has produced the most delicious crop of sports-ish (I’ll go that far) movies.

Best “Sports” Movies from a Pastime

  1. The Natural
  2. The Bad News Bears
  3. A League of their Own
  4. Field of Dreams
  5. A River Runs Through It (if baseball counts, so must fly fishing)
Best Sports Movies
  1. Seabiscuit
  2. Victory
  3. Breaking Away
  4. Remember the Titans and We are Marshall*
  5. Friday Night Lights
  6. Bend it like Beckham (girl power and British!)

*These 2 are conflated in my head. I think they are essentially the same movie.

Best Sports Movies from Sports I don’t care for, but still qualify as Sports
  1. Hoosiers
  2. Rocky
  3. Million Dollar Baby
A Bone for my Husband
  1. Brian’s Song (haven’t seen it)

Decidedly not on the List

  1. The Legend of Bagger Vance**
  2. Caddyshack***
  3. Moneyball (I could tell this was a much better book)
**I don’t have anything against this movie. I remember sort of liking it, but apparently it stirs up great ire from my friend, and fellow blogger John. He went off on a 2 part diatribe about a movie from 12 years ago. Ugly.
*** I was late in seeing this one, and by the time I did, all of the jokes were played. And they still are. Please, in the name of all that’s holy, stop quoting this movie.
Really Can’t Comment on the Following (I either haven’t seen these or they didn’t leave a big impression)
  1. Raging Bull
  2. Chairots of Fire
 No List Would be Complete Without
  1. Blades of Glory
  2. Nacho Libre

Mass Confusion

I grew up Methodist and went to an Episcopalian school, so I’m quite secure in being sure of absolutely nothing. What I do love is the ritual and ceremony involved in other religions. I used to make my friend Jonathan take me to temple with him in Chicago. I’d ask questions, and he’d tell me to ask our other friend, Brian.

I like going to Mass with Eric’s family. It feels like a sociology project, like observing tribes in their natural setting, trying to glean meaning from their customs. I have lots of questions, but they aren’t of lofty ecumenical debate. Mine are more of a practical nature.

For instance, it’s common knowledge that if you want to sell your house, you buy a St. Joseph statue kit, bury him upside-down, facing the street next to the For Sale sign. Duh! He even comes with a pointy hat, so you can drive him like a stake in the ground. What happens though (I’m speaking completely hypothetically here) if you use your foot to drive him forcefully into the ground and snap him in two accidentally? Would that be, again hypothetically speaking, a one-way trip to hell? Not that it matters. Metho-palian girl is already on the no-return flight.

Communion is fascinating. I get the whole trans-substantiation argument, and I get why protestants chose to go the other way. That’s a logistical nightmare. Once the bread and wine has been changed to body and blood, there’s no going back. And apparently you have to store what wasn’t used in Communion in a special box. Here’s what I want to know, is there some FIFO system where the oldest Host gets used first? Is there an expiration date on God? What happens if the priest drops Jesus? I’m assuming you can’t bring out the Dust Buster.

And how about the to-go box? I thought maybe a woman was going in for seconds. I have learned that’s for delivery to shut-ins. Do you have to deliver it within a certain window? Is there a blessing half-life?

I know you can’t chew the wafer. You wouldn’t want to be flossing out the Lord later. I’m always prepared with the Heimlich when Eric tries to swallow the giant piece of Methodist bread whole. He doesn’t view it as the half-way point snack that most of the rest of us do.

I know I can’t take Communion at Mass, so I only know what I can observe from afar. I like to count old school tongue takers vs. the palm takers. I’m pretty sure there is a trapdoor for interlopers that can’t pass the complicated response and secret handshake. It’s a good excuse, though, not to have to drink out of the same cup as my 500 closest friends. I avoid the handshake too, if I can manage it. Wearing shoes with complicated laces that are notorious for coming undone is a good trick.

I’m always confused when to sit, stand, or kneel; when the large genuflection is in order vs. just the mini head version. Eric explained it once, but he’s not a very reliable source and can’t be trusted. Once at a funeral I was closest to the aisle, so stood up when it was time for Communion to let his family file past. They all sat there tying their complicated shoes, looking at the heathen standing in the aisle trying to crash Communion.

Yep, straight to the fiery pits. I guess it’s a good thing I’m generally unsure of their existence.