The Fifth Element

When you are nocturnal by nature, you get used to watching  reruns of “That 70s Show” and movies you’ve already seen at least ten times.  The pickings tonight were slim, I had already been sucked into the horror of watching “Hoarding: Burried Alive” which was so disturbing, I had to dismantle my chandelier and clean every crystal by hand to help wash away the mental images of critter-infested kitchens and sky-high piles of assorted clutter.  I just can’t wrap my head around someone who would rather buy Beanie Babies than front teeth.  With the television programming littered with reality shows, I decided to watch “The Fifth Element” for the gazillionth time.

It’s a film that stands up with multiple viewings.  The cinematography of cartoonish colors popping against the neutral background of the future is visually appealing.  The film has a little of everything. It’s a sci-fi action-adventure romantic romp that doesn’t take itself too seriously even though the film is ultimately about saving the world.

The one thing that’s always bugged me, though, is the casting of Milla Jovovich as Leeloo, the “perfect being”.  Milla Jovovich is obviously gorgeous but somehow she doesn’t work for me in this film.  Her vulnerability seems forced, like she was trying to mime fragility.  Her being cast as Leelo might have something to do with the romantic relationship she developed with the film’s director, Luc Besson.  It’s kinda sweet, to him, Milla was the perfect being.  At least until 1999 when they divorced.

Interestingly, the film’s perfect being has blond roots and the rest of her hair has been dyed inmate prison orange.  Straggly inmate prison orange hair.  Seriously, the saver of humanity should have been able to stop by a salon to have at least her roots done.  Perhaps Leelo’s divine light bleached the hair closest to the roots?  That’s the only possible excuse I can think of.  I gotta say, if the fate of all of existence was dependent on me, I’m pretty sure I could count on Shannon and Enrico to squeeze me in before I had to save the world.

The only time I like orange is at Halloween so I do tip my hat to Milla Jovovich for retaining hotness in that inmate orange hair which is what I imagine Pippi Longstocking’s hair would look like when she was at rock-bottom, turning tricks to score heroin.

The part I find most amusing in the film is at the very end when Korben Dallas has to give Leelo a reason humanity is worth saving and why he needs her.  With Cornelius, David and Ruby Rhod in the background urging him to “say it”, Korben stalls.  Earth is within seconds of being destroyed, Leelo is imploring “tell me”, it takes him until the last possible moment to tell her that he loves her.  Men.  Even when all of existence hangs in the balance, they still have trouble saying those three little words.

It is believed that the physical realm is made up of four elements: earth, wind, fire and water, whereas the spiritual realm is only made of one: love.  In the end, love saves the world.



Little Red Riding Hood

Many years ago, I was walking down a dark deserted street in NYC in the wee hours of the morning.  Spotting the outline of a man coming towards me, I rummaged through my purse trying to find something to use as a weapon but my hand came up with lipgloss. Maybe I could flash him the tube and it wouldn’t be his shade and he’d run away in fear. As the looming figure approached, I tried to look as menacing as my 5’7″ would allow.  He flashed an amused smile as we passed each other on the sidewalk. The ominous figure in the dark was Bruce Willis.

Tonight, I had a late night run-in which sparked the same kind of initial fear that had me rummaging for lipgloss, but this guy wasn’t an action star, he was a juiced-up junkie with a Little Red Riding Hood coat demanding money.  Fortunately I was on an avenue and not a side street and was able to outmaneuver his attempt to grab me so I didn’t have to lipgloss the crap out of the guy.  I ducked into a store that was still open and when I got out, I discovered Little Red Riding Hopped Up hadn’t gone very far.  I made sure to stay behind him, ducking behind a tree when he stopped, sprinting across the street when his aggression grew, and hastening my step as he harassed women.

My finger was poised over the last 1 of 911 when I looked back and saw him start to follow two women who wouldn’t give him money onto another side street.  By some random chance, there was a police van up the block so I hurried to it.  Maybe my Crime Stoppers tip on the guy who stabbed the woman on 86th Street who hung around my block increased police presence because other than the previously reported incidents, the only other crime that happens on my block is the ridiculous amount of money some women spend on designer duds and Chanel accessories for their dogs.  Or perhaps it was just a nice place to sit and eat baked goods.

I motioned for the officer on the driver’s side to roll down the window.  Both of the officers were really cute. I tried to shake off my man-in-uniform fetish and held up my phone to show the 91 on the screen, noting, “I was just about to call you guys”.  Both officers smiled, the one nearest to me had a boyish grin that made me think of a beautiful summer’s day with blue skies over a Middle America cornfield.

The officers said they had been waiting for me.  For a moment, I had to wrack my brains to see if I had done anything the police might be interested in.  I was about to tell them, “I swear I didn’t know he was married/a priest/a jewel thief” when it dawned on me I didn’t know any jewel thieves, the only crime I’ve ever been guilty of is loving too much and that the two officers were actually flirting with me.  Ooooohhhh.

I described the crazy man wearing the Little Red Riding Hood get-up and told the officers that this man was very aggressively panhandling.  Officer All-American gazed out the windshield.  I know that gaze.  It’s the I’m-thinking-of-a-way-to-say-no-without-ruining-my-chances-of-sleeping-with-you gaze.  I said firmly, “he tried to grab me, he’s threatening people to get money from them, his behavior suggests he’s on some major drug binge and he’s following two girls who probably don’t even know he’s behind them down a side street.  This guy scared the crap out of me.”

That got their attention.  Officer All-American asked me for a description of the suspect.  “Well, he’s wearing black capri pants, tan slip-on sneakers, and, oh yeah, HE’S DRESSED LIKE LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.”

Officer All-American’s partner assured him he got the description and they rode off in their white van in search of a man dressed like Little Red Riding Hood.  In the fairy tale, the crazy man would be the wolf dressed to fool the grandmother, the cops would be the lumberjack, the two girls being followed would be the real Little Red Riding Hoods… so what does that make me?  The girl who was such a good samaritan, she sent off two cute cops who were flirting with her.  Seriously, how dense am I?  I mean, come on, two hot cops in a van and a distressed damsel… that’s practically the premise of a porno.  And I send them away without digits.

That’s the impressive kind of stupid that never makes the fairy tales.





On the sultry Sunday, I decided to watch “Braveheart”.  I gotta say, seeing it post-Mel-meltdown has tainted the film a bit for me.  For one thing, I kept waiting for William Wallace to call Princess Isabelle “Sugar Tits”.  The character of William Wallace is incorruptible, his heart is pure, his love is so deep, it drives William Wallace to war against injustice and fight for freedom for Scotland.  I had to mentally suppress the Mel Gibson mug shot and antisemitic tirades to re-experience a film which, despite its director and star, is still a great cinematic work.

One of the reasons I watch films is to study the movements of the actors, to see what they do with their hands, how their facial expressions change, etc.  I also listen to the rhythm of words and try to create a memory bank for accents to which I’m still making deposits.  While I can pull off fairly decent English and Southern accents for brief periods of time, I just can’t do a Scottish accent.  Sadly, after listening meticulously to the entire film, the only phrase I can pull of with any vague semblance to a Scottish accent is: “you bastards”.

Except I can’t just say, “you bastards” in a Scottish accent in a normal pitch.  For it to sound remotely Scottish, I have to scream, “YOU BASTARDS!”.  I worked on refining it for a while before realizing that my neighbors probably think I’m hosting a Scotswoman with a serious anger management problem.

You’d think I’d at least be able to get “freedom”, but sadly, no.  Because every time William roars “freedom”, my mind automatically goes to George Michael’s “Freedom 90” and suddenly there are lip-syncing supermodels in my head.

So then I started to think about what a beautiful love story “Braveheart” is.  I mean William carried that thistle around with him for years… oh, come on!  Nowadays, men can’t seem to keep their wedding rings on in a bar but William Wallace can keep flora neatly pressed in his shirt for a decade?  He is so in love with his wife, he decides to free Scotland in her memory.  Um, yeah.  A guy tried to sell me a “Free Winona” t-shirt once.  Does that count?

Of course not!  Because if guys did crap like that every day, “Braveheart” would have been called “That William Guy, No Not That One, The Other One, Just Watch The Movie”.

The really twisted part is that if a William Wallace tried to court me today, I would be texting my friends, “Eww, gross unshowered guy in skirt tried to pick me up.  Pepper-sprayed him when he tried to give me a weed, guess Tiffany’s was closed”.

Despite my cynicism, I know that great romance exists in the world and it doesn’t require hundreds of extras or historically inaccurate face paint.  Sometimes the great romantic gesture is an unexpected confession or a golf ball on your doorstep but that transcendent love still exists.  The trick is that when that great love comes your way, you just have to make sure you don’t pepper-spray it.





The Pharmacy Curse

I’m not sure why, but more often than not, I get stuck behind a batcrap crazy woman when I pick up a prescription.  Today’s encounter has raised the bar for the mentally unbalanced pharmacy customer staging a one woman show.  Her insanity-spewing scene was so long, it should have had an intermission.  The worst part about it was that despite being a step ahead of her, I let her go first because I suffer from do-gooder amnesia, I forget that my kindness will be punished with some fresh new hell.

Someone clearly shouldn’t have fed this woman after midnight.  With her her fuzzy strawberry-brassy bottle hair, elastic polyester pants, button down shirt and shrunken stout figure, she looked like Stripe from “Gremlins” had mated with The Church Lady… and not in a good way.

The box placed on the counter by the pharmacist unleashed a flurry of questions regarding preparations for her colonoscopy in a loud grating voice: was there powder, was there plastic, what did the box contain, what was the powder in, could the pharmacist open the box for her and show her how to prepare it, why would she need another then, how many liters are in a bottle of Volvic water, what should she do in the seven hours before taking the powder, where was she supposed to store the water in her small apartment, how could the doctor make her leave without giving her any information, is a cup a liter, how can she figure out a liter if she has so many bottles of cups, how long can a person walk without eating, should she store it in her refrigerator because she doesn’t have AC, how hot is it in her apartment, how cold is it in her refrigerator, and a twenty minute battery of other questions the pharmacist could only answer if she was omniscient.  When the woman started asking specific medical questions about her procedure, the pharmacist politely tried to tell her she would need to speak with her doctor.  The woman took that to be an admission that the pharmacist, the doctor and his staff were all part of some mass conspiracy to withhold crucial information about her procedure and seltzer water.  The woman’s train of thought totally derailed plowing through medical questions and seltzer obsession, so I offered, “you might want to speak with your doctor since he is more familiar with your case and preparation instructions can vary depending on the procedure”.

Apparently, that suggestion was not Crazy Lady-friendly.  The woman snottily told the pharmacist, “make that woman not talk to me.”  So I responded, “Seriously?  Are you talking about me?  Why don’t you turn around and say that to my face.”  The woman started screeching, still with her back to me, and as I pointed out others might not hear her if she used an indoor voice, the pharmacist paged the manager.  The woman then started unleashing on the pharmacist that she wouldn’t be passed off to someone else, how dare she treat her like that.  The pharmacist said, “the manager will check out the other customer, it’s okay.”  Her tirade continued until the manager rang me up.

What gets me is that these whack-jobs who should be forced to wear tin foil hats to warn others of impending monologues from the edge never ever get sedatives or Lithium.  I think if people go batcrap crazy for more than ten minutes at any pharmacy counter, the pharmacist should be required to grind up some Crazy-Be-Gone and mix it in with their prescription.  Hopefully the Troll’s colonoscopy will help doctors remove whatever giant pole is stuck up her ass.



Dahlia’s Dynamic Duo

My best friend in the world Dahlia had to go to Boston so I’m stopping by her apartment while she’s away to take care of her cats and hang with them a bit.

I’m more of a dog person… I once had cool kitty Tiger whose Napoleonic complex made me quite certain that all cats are plotting to overthrow the world.  So I treat cats with a healthy respect just in case they succeed in world domination.

Dahlia has two rescue cats, the flamboyantly gay Ricky who knows he’s a pretty kitty and wants to make sure others know it as well, and the younger bionic imp Isabella.  

Dahlia sometimes leaves classical music on for her cats which I assumed was because it’s a sensory connection with their Mom but now I kinda think it’s just because they’re really sophisticated cats.

Isabella can move at Ludicrous Speed.  As I was preparing food for her, she would jump up on the counter.  I would put her down and as I returned to what I was doing, she would be sitting right back where she was.  Impressive and a bit spooky.

After their meal, they reenacted a scene from “Practical Magic”, you know, the one where Nicole Kidman’s character is possessed by the ghost of her ex-boyfriend Jimmy and is laying inside the broom circle and Sandra Bullock’s character is outside of it urging her to hold on?

Both kitties sat in their respective positions until the overture from The Barber of Seville came on the radio.  I can only assume it’s one of their favorite pieces because after the first few notes they appeared to high-five each other.

Ricky and I have met several times before and since we are similar in that we just want to be worshipped and adored, we get along smashingly.  When I met Isabella on Sunday, she appeared to be a shy innocent little kitty.   Imagine my surprise when I discovered she has a little trick.  She rolls up the rug, eats something underneath it and then rolls the rug back into place as if it had never been moved.  She’s soooo busted!

Isabella is a hoot. She definitely has a mischievous side as evidenced by the fact that for about ten minutes, I was convinced Dahlia had a ghost cat.  I heard a thump on the baseboard and spotted little stuffed objects moving on their own.  Eventually I discovered that Isabella was batting toys across the floor with her paw while appearing to be sweetly resting and thus, the cat ghost was debunked.

Yup, outsmarted by a cat.  Maybe tomorrow the felines and I will work on Cold Fusion, if only to keep their minds off of world domination.



Anger Mismanagement

On Thursdays nights, Sandy and I usually do laundry because I believe that nothing has to be tedious, mundane tasks are always better with a friend and occasional cocktail.  Lately we’ve been watching “Anger Management” while our clothes are in the washer and while it’s just a giant train wreck, we just can’t look away.

I love Charlie Sheen.  I mean, I wouldn’t let him touch me without having first donned a hazmat suit, but there’s something charming about his cavalier debauchery.  The production quality of “Anger Management” is so poor, Sandy and I both become lulled into a trance that extends beyond the spin cycle.  Despite our zombification, we still watch it every week.

At first I assumed the show was shot in Charlie Sheen’s garage but now that I have thoroughly studied the set, I think it might be his guest house.  Clearly there is no usage of a light meter, the entire set is lit with laser beams, searchlights and the pore-revealing intensity of a thousand burning suns.  The actors have all been aged by a light so bright that I’m fairly certain the cast walks into it from time to time looking for Nanna and Elvis.

Now, hard-living might have turned Charlie Sheen into something resembling mummified remains that an archeologist dug up in Egypt but Selma Blair is a pretty girl as the photo to the left shows.  Sure, this photo has been Hollywoodized with make-up and proper lighting but that kinda makes my point.  Where are the people who made her look like this?  In the show, the pronounced bags under her eyes appear to have so many levels that a make-up artist would need a pack mule to apply concealer.  I’m sure she’s laying awake at night thinking about getting a new agent but no one is that sleep-deprived.  I think the actors all do their own make-up like in a school play and the lights are singeing her flesh.

It makes me wonder if Charlie Sheen is actually aware that he’s filming a television show or if he thinks this is all part of some elaborate hallucination.  Perhaps when his brother and co-producer, Ramon Estevez, nervously asks Charlie if they should hire writers for the show, Charlie shushes him and says, “Purple Minty Fire Frog, stop harshing my mellow”.

Because I become mesmerized into a state in which all of my senses become numbed, I’m never thoroughly aware of what the episode storyline might have been, but I’m pretty confident there isn’t much of one.  On tonight’s episode, Denise Richards played a love interest for Charlie Sheen.  I don’t think she was cast, I think she was picking up her girls and wandered onto the set.  Denise Richards was so overly botoxed, her face looked like it was made of plastic.  The only thing that moved on her face was her mouth.  Charlie Sheen must have been thinking, “Holy Crap, Barbie can talk!  What was in those Mexican horse tranquilizers?”.

The characters in the “Anger Management” therapy group are completely static.  People don’t want to watch other people sit.  If they did, jury duty wouldn’t be such a drag.

What frustrates me most is that “Anger Management” has so much potential and yet, right now, it is little more than garage play.  Give me Charlie Sheen, Selma Blair, a make-up artist and a Lighting Technician who isn’t from the Helen Keller School of Cinematography and I would make magic.  And even if I crashed and burned, would anyone really notice?





Morgan Le Fay

I love Halloween so much that in July, I start planning out my Halloween costume.  This year I have decided to be Morgan Le Fay, the complex sorceress of Arthurian legend who evolved over time from a supernatural healer (Le Fay derives the French la fée which means fairy) to vengeful seductress plotting to overthrow her half-brother, King Arthur.  Her transformation from benevolent healer to malevolent femme fatale can be attributed to the devolution of the woman’s role in society and the pervasion of Christianity’s morality.  Despite her shifting role in the Arthurian tales, she never becomes truly evil, for even when her nemesis King Arthur is wounded, she brings him to Avalon to be healed.

Her origin is believed to be in the Celtic goddess Morrigan who shapeshifts into a raven and flies above the battles.  How awesome is that?  If I had to power to shapeft, I wouldn’t need Jenny Craig.

Also associated with Morgan Le Fay is the pentagram which she gave to Gawain when he earned her favor.  The shape derives from the five point star revealed in a cut apple.  Avalon is the isles of apples where Morgan Le Fay is queen.

So what does a mythical shapeshifting seductive sorceress healer look like?  As her character has evolved to reflect the societal influences of each story’s era, so has her appearance.  She has been portrayed as a blond, redhead and brunette so I’m staying blond because wigs are space heaters to a skull.

If a woman could conjure anything, I think she would start with jewelry.  Morgan Le Fay is a temptress so she would wear garnet, the color of passion and mystery, and she would have them close at hand.  The ring to the right is an estate piece which was never worn by the woman for whom it was designed.  I found this fabulous bauble on Etsy (my vintage go-to) at:

Garnets also were worn by warriors to protect them from death and Morgan Le Fay, after all, has her roots as a Celtic battle goddess.

Perhaps the painting of Morgan Le Fay by Pre-Raphaelite painter Frederick Sandy’s made me associate Morgan Le Fay with the colors gold, garnet and emerald.  I started looking for a necklace in that palate.

The chain couldn’t be delicate because it needed to hold up during acts of shapeshifting, sorcery and sexual liaisons.  I found this necklace on a Japanese website and fell in love with it but this Ben-Amun version isn’t currently sold in the US, so I contacted Ben-Amun customer service and they are making one for me (which is way easier than learning Japanese).

While the chain is evocative of the booklink chain which emerged in the Victorian era, Morgan Le Fay is literature’s most powerful sorceress so I’m just going to assume her metal work was advanced far beyond her years.

Medieval women wore girdle belts, but Morgan Le Fay wouldn’t wear a delicate strand of pearls and semiprecious stones, she would wear something heavier, something more in keeping with her warrior side.  I found this Arthurian woman’s belt at another shop on Etsy:


The search for the crown continues.  It has to be substantial, thick and gold, something that is worthy of the Queen of Avalon.  The tiara I wear when I vacuum just isn’t going to cut it.

The canceled show “Camelot” had gorgeous pieces created  by costume designer Joan Bergin.  Camelot was canceled after one season, but my love of the jeweled creations endures.  I wonder what happened to all of the pieces from the show.  Well, I have three months to try to track them down or take up metal working.

Which leaves the dress.  The sorceress was fond of dark frocks, as am I.  I’m thinking it has to be velvet, perhaps something with sleeves that flare out at the forearm.  I’m smitten with this trim, perhaps for the upper arm of the dress:

Too bad there aren’t other holidays where you can dress in elaborate costumes without getting shot looks from The Normals.  If I weren’t a woman, I would make one hell of a drag queen.




The Things That Tick Me Off

I think I’ve reached a perfect storm of frustration.  Yesterday Matt Lauer and Piers Morgan both interviewed convicted felon, Michael Vick, and were oblivious to his remorseless body language,  lapping up every word of a man who states in his new book that he’s good at lying with a straight face.  If Vick proclaimed he was Batman, they’d probably ask how tall The Penguin really was.  If it weren’t for the Facebook “Boycott Modell’s and Michael Vick” group also wondering why the questions were spun sugar, I probably would be playing with invisible balls of yarn right now.

As I was steaming from the Piers Morgan interview, I flipped the channel and saw a story about a woman who was stabbed by a homeless man.  I’m 99.99% certain (I’m leaving the %.01 percent for the remote possibility of evil twins and shape shifters) that this is the same homeless man who grabbed my leg a few years ago as I tried to open the front door to my apartment building.  The complaints made by me and my neighbors about the man who acted aggressively towards local residents by hitting them, shoving them and throwing garbage at them were a low priority for the local precinct.  Clearly the homeless man is mentally ill but unfortunately in the city, individuals don’t get the help they need until they commit a violent act.  After I saw the news story, I called Crime Stoppers and told them of an alcove area beneath a street near me where I’ve seen the homeless man having very angry arguments with himself.  After I hung up, I wondered if they really would check out this homeless man’s hangout.

The world seems a little catatonic lately and in need of a tune-up.  So to get it out of my system, I have drafted a list of things that tick me off for this post’s topic:

1.  Ignored morality clauses – if society is going to worship sports stars, these athletes need to set an example, not use their wealth and fame for bad.  I’m not just talking about Michael Vick.  Jason Kidd, a DUI, seriously?  You make over twenty million dollars a year, surely you can afford a cab.

2. Protect and Serve maybe later – New York City has a “if you see something, say something” campaign.  A while back, I reported a suspicious package in an ATM vestibule, went to the the precinct around the corner and reported it to two cops chatting outside.  They shrugged it off and said it was probably just something a homeless man left behind, they’d check it out later if they weren’t busy.  There’s a homeless woman in my neighborhood who kicks people and spits on them.   Once when it occurred within feet of two policewomen on the corner, they shrugged it off and said, “yeah, that’s Annie, she’s harmless”.   Sure, and Stalin was just misunderstood.

3.  Men who sit in the subway with their legs widely spread – your penis isn’t so big that it needs its own seat, so legs closed.

4.  People who won’t give up their seats for the handicapped, injured, pregnant or elderly – the wolves who raised you would be very disappointed in you.  I have back problems, but I will give up my seat to someone who just looks more tired than I feel.  One time I didn’t have a seat to give up to a very pregnant very petite woman so I got one of the teenagers sprawled out to give up his.  I didn’t have a seat, but I still had a voice.

5.  Cashiers who lick their fingers before giving you change and opening a bag – please keep your germs to yourself, Typhoid Mary, I don’t lick your register so I ask for the same courtesy.

6.  People who stop at the top of the steps to fish out their Metrocard – unless you have the power to freeze time for the rest of us, you’re really just a speed bump.

7.  People who take karaoke far too seriously – go audition for American Idol, karaoke is supposed to be bad or else you’re not doing it right.

8.  Rude Americans in Europe – screaming “Noteter Daaaaame” won’t make the French waiter suddenly understand you because it’s Notre Dame and increased volume doesn’t act as a translator.  Rude Europeans in America is fine, though, because they’re probably not rude, they’re just dark, misunderstood and potentially single.

9.  Preservatives in American Food – I generally lose about five pounds when I’m in Paris, I guess my body doesn’t process the chemicals in American food well.  The feta in Greece is a magical experience, while here the primary taste is salt.  UK Cadbury chocolate makes US Cadbury its bitch.

10.  Spammers – Why?  Why inundate a girl’s comment section with “Get Gucci Watches Cheap”.  I certainly wouldn’t buy Gucci from the same IP address for “Viagra”, I’m not that kind of girl.

11.  People who forget their front door key and buzz everyone in the building – how exactly are you going to get into your apartment if you don’t have your keys?  You should stay outside and think about what you have done.

12.  Jennifer Love Hewitt – while your rack is amazing, your acting is limited to scared expression, sad expression and goofy happy expression.  The Southern accent in “The Client List” is deplorable.  And if you need to bedazzle your vagina to like it, you’re not using it properly.

13.  The paparazzi – why is there no right to privacy?  If a star commits a criminal act that’s one thing, but why do we as a society need to know every single detail including what kind of beverage Cameron Diaz likes or where Reese Witherspoon had lunch.  Once I found myself listening to the news to see where Brad and Angelina were vacationing and I made myself do charity work for a week to reset my priorities.  I like Sandra Bullock, when she has a movie out, I buy a ticket, I enjoy the movie and that’s the end of the relationship.  If she doesn’t know who I’m dating, why should feel entitled to the same information about her?  What I find most troubling is photos taken of celebrity kids.  The children didn’t choose fame and they should absolutely be off limits to photogs.  They are kids and let them have as carefree of a childhood as possible.  Recently I saw a photo of Suri Cruise in a gymnastics leotard at Chelsea Piers.  That is not okay.  She’s a beautiful little girl and sadly there are sick people out there who like looking at little girls, to shoot her in a leotard is poor judgement.  And what about the picture of Katie Holmes and her daughter in an elevator?  Come on New York, we have to protect our own.  As long as they live here, people should keep their camera phones away.

14.  Abusers – anyone who hits or harms a child, animal or other human being are bullies who outgrew the playground.  It is never ever okay to inflict that kind of cruelty on another living being.  Psychological abuse is just as damaging and intolerance is unacceptable.

15.  Green beer on St. Patrick’s Day – The color associated with St. Patrick was actually blue, not green, and I am nothing if not a sucker for historical accuracy.  I have hydroplaned on sidewalk vomit far too many times so might I suggest reading Oscar Wilde if you truly want to celebrate the Irish.

16.  Unwanted Catalogues – if I get a catalogue, I call and ask to be removed from their mailing list.  A tree doesn’t need to die since I online shop anyway.  For years now, I’ve been trying to get off of Gump’s mailing list.  I ordered one thing from them a long time ago and they won’t let me forget it.  Every time I call, they assure me they have fixed the problem.  Never again will I shop with them again, nor will J. Jill ever see my business again.  J. Jill automatically puts you back on the mailing list if you order something and phoning in the order doesn’t help, the customer service representatives have no control over the automatic mailing.  What did those trees ever do to them?

17.  LOL – enough already.  Please find a form of expressing your appreciation for good comedy in a manner that 10 year-old girls don’t use.  I once broke up with someone for his incessant LOL-ing.

18.  Smart phones – we’re idiots.  With having so much technology available at our fingertips, we’ve become available 24/7.  We’ve made ourselves the equivalent of on-call doctors but we don’t get to write good scrips to take the edge off.

19. Incorrect use of the word “literally”.  It just ticks me off.  No one ever literally turned green with envy.

20.  People famous for being famous – reality television isn’t reality.  Story lines are forced, those real moments of real life are often staged or reshot because the blocking wasn’t right or they needed a catalyst to drive the storyline.  Remember when Kim Kardashian and Momager Kris were caught filming a scene to be inserted into the reality show which shows Kim tearfully trying to save her marriage after it was already over?  Well, who doesn’t time travel with her mother for weepy moments?  The thing that bugs me most about people being famous for being famous is that I’m not one of them.  Seriously, I have a big ass, too, where’s my reality show?



Hello My Pitties

While Gandhi never actually said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, the coffee cup slogan reminds us that we are connected to the global collective conscience.   In order to change the world, I don’t believe we have to change ourselves, all we need to do is acknowledge that we can change the world.  A force even more destructive than evil is apathy because evil can only exist where it is not met with opposition.  That’s why I signed the petition on to stop Modell’s from carrying Michael Vick’s clothing line and urge others to do as well.

Michael Vick isn’t a hero, he’s a criminal who has shown no genuine signs of remorse for torturing and killing dogs.  In addition to committing unconscionable acts of cruelty to dogs, he helped feed misconceptions about Pit Bulls which hopefully I can dispel and provide further information on dogs in general.

The fact that Vick made these dogs into fighters doesn’t mean that all pit bulls are fighters.  There were pit bulls who wouldn’t fight no matter how cruelly they were tortured and were were put to death.  Vick also turned gentle Pit Bulls into bait by beating them savagely until they no longer had will.  The dogs who did fight were trained to do so.  They were starved to increase their aggression, put on treadmills and given performance-enhancing drugs.  Starvation, fatigue, and steroids will make anyone aggressive.   I don’t think even Michael Vick would go up against my best friend in the world when she’s missed lunch.

All dogs are descended from wolves and that’s pretty much where the similarity ends.  Like people, all dogs have their own personalities, their own moods and their own past.  It’s important not to forget that.  When I was growing up, my father rescued a stray dog who was being abused.  And while she was a loving happy dog we showered with affection, we had to be careful not to move our hands too quickly because Abby would cower and prepare herself for a blow.  It broke my heart that no matter how much she was loved and cared for, the painful memory of abuse was permanently etched inside of her.  We did everything we good to make sure every memory from the time she came to live with us was a happy one.

No one should ever hit a dog.  It’s cruel.  Even in training, a little tap on the nose gets your point across.  If you come home and find your dog has eaten your favorite pair of Christian Louboutin’s, your pup doesn’t remember committing the act, so you yelling or attempting to discipline makes you look irrational.  The way to properly train a dog is with positive reinforcement, not negative.

I’ve had several dogs in my life and have served as an auntie to several others.  I have never been bitten   Dogs are nature’s greatest psychics, they read energy and yes, they really can smell fear.  I like to think they know that I offer them nothing but love.  But I also treat them respectfully.

Living in New York, I’m always amazed by how parents let their children run up and pet a strange dog.  Before approaching a dog, a person should always ask permission from the dog’s owner.  Because you don’t know how the dog is feeling.  Like people, dogs have their moods.  You don’t know if they’re hot or tired or, as in the case of Sandy’s dog, terrified of plastic shopping bags.  If I don’t know a dog well and have been cleared to make contact by the owner, I gently extend my hand so they can smell me as an introduction.  Usually in an instant, they push their head underneath my hand on the palm so I can pet or scratch them.  Sometimes a dog takes a step back and that’s fine if the pooch is shy, I’m shy too, and I don’t like to pressured into bonding.

In 2011, a woman was mauled to death by a Labrador which shows all dogs need to be treated with respect.   While Pit Bulls have a strength other dogs don’t, the breeds that are more likely to bite are Jack Russell terriers and Chihuahas.  There are probably about 10 million pit bulls in the US and they are the most misidentified breed.  According to reports, 75% of identified Pit Bulls were actually other breeds.  Often the media doesn’t follow up on these stories to correct the facts so the image of Pit Bulls suffers.

American Pit Bull Terriers are the result of breeding between the Old English Terrier for its cunning, gameness and speed and English Bulldogs for its strength, and guarding abilities to help herd livestock, hunt and companionship.  In addition to being wonderful pets, Pit Bulls also serve humankind as police dogs and therapy dogs.  And yes, some villains have genetically manipulated a few Pit Bulls’ superhero powers for bad.  But to make a blanket statement that all Pit Bulls are fighters would be like a blanket statement that all human beings are evil.  By the signatures on the petition to stop Modell’s from carrying the clothing line of Michael Vick whose very actions imply that he is not capable of remorse, we know that people will not idly sit by and let injustice prevail.

To assume all Pit Bulls are dangerous is to never have looked into their gentle eyes.  They are a poetic contradiction of muscled strength and flowing grace.  The last time I went to the laundromat, I encountered two gorgeous Pit Bulls who started wagging furiously when they spied me.  After obtaining the okay to pet them from their owner, I was immediately engulfed in affectionate licks, their happy wagging tails tapping against my legs.  There’s another Pit Bull in the neighborhood, Duchess, who is not only gushing with friendly affection, but I’m fairly certain she has no idea she’s a dog, she acts like a little girl.  A smart one.  Once I looked down and found her head in my purse and I’m fairly certain it was zipped closed.

Remember adorable Petey from the Little Rascals?  He was a Pit Bull.  The original Petey was poisoned sadly, by someone with a grudge against his owner.   In 1993, courageous Pit Bull Weela risked her life to save 30 humans, 29 dogs, 13 horses and 1 cat in the California floods.  Take that, Lassie, with your well-barking.  Pit Bulls have taken bullets for their owners, protected their families from intruders, saved them from fires.  They are devoted protectors of life as illustrated by the Pit Bull who saved the life of a kitten who was thrown in the trash in 2010.   Earlier in that year, a Pit Bull saved two women from a cobra attack and died with his tail wagging.  In April 2011, a Pit Bull saved the lives of orphaned baby bunnies.  And still they get a bad rap because of people like Michael Vick who torture them until they fight each other.  He doesn’t belong at Modell’s.  Please sign the petition.




Modell’s Strikes Back & The Return of the Jedi

Michael Vick’s clothing line “V7” for Modell’s is creating a lot of angry buzzing on the internet.  Modell’s posted on their Facebook page: “Modell’s Sporting Goods is a family oriented business that believes in core values such as hard work, sportsmanship and respect. All of which we share with Michael Vick’s V7 Apparel. ”

Sportsmanship?  Oh, you mean sportsmanship like hanging or drowning the loser of a match like Michael Vick did with the dogs?  Whenever the Eagles lose, does Jeffrey Lurie electrocute the roster?  Or maybe when Michael Vick fumbles or gets picked off, do the Eagles’ coaches take him into the tunnel and bash his head into the pavement?  Of course not.  So why does Vick feel that he is above the law and basic human decency?

Obviously I am a writer and not a psychiatrist but I sometimes watch “Criminal Minds” and I think the team might diagnose Michael Vick as being a narcissistic sociopath, if the team weren’t, you know, completely fictional.  Perhaps the slaughtering of man’s best friend fed his god-like self image.  Maybe he felt that he was above the law.  Whatever the reason, what Michael Vick did is beyond reprehensible.  After his brief stint in prison, Vick was accepted back into the NFL and now he’s also launching a clothing line.  I remember watching an interview with him discussing his debt to society and his speech sounded like that of someone who has been learning lines from a play and is running through a script out loud to get to the part they’re not sure if they remember.  By the out-pouring of out-raged posts on Modell’s Facebook wall, it seems I’m not alone in thinking that Michael Vick isn’t sorry for what he did, he’s sorry he got caught.

Is a convicted felon the best representative Modell’s could get?  What kind of message is that?  Maybe do well at sports and it won’t matter that you tortured and slaughtered dogs and ran a whole illegal gambling thingie and lied until your pants were on fire to the Commissioner of the National Football League…  Part of the line is children’s clothing.  Is Michael Vick a good role model for children, Modell’s?  Why stop there with one depraved roll model, why not introduce a line of Serial Killer workout gear… exercise those demons with Son of Sam swim wear.  And don’t forget, lugging bodies takes upper body strength, after all, so perhaps some Bundy Belts for the weight lifter looking to get back at the ex.

The Modell’s brand is now linked with those photos of tortured dogs.  Everytime I think of Modell’s, my mind will flash to the picture of the lifeless dog hung from a tree, blood dripping from his mouth, his eyes clouded over with the surrendering white of his lost battle for life.  They have lost quite a number of customers.  I won’t ever step foot in there again.  Modell’s is supporting and glorifying a killer.

I probably spend a couple of hundred bucks there a year so my decision to shop anywhere but there won’t impact them that much.  But I’m not alone in being outraged at Modell’s.  I am one of many and together we are a force.  It’s amazing how we gathered on a site and became one united voice.

Modell’s position is that everyone deserves a second chance.  While I love a good redemption story as much as any Catholic girl, I don’t think that Vick has earned that shot.  Michael Vick himself has said that he wouldn’t change what he did if he could.  To me that means that the lives of those poor animals don’t mean much to him, he wouldn’t save their lives if he could.  He hasn’t donated a single penny to any animal rights organizations.  If Stella Adler came back from the dead and teamed up with Lee Strasberg to teach Mike Vick a lip quiver or a remorseful downward glance, they couldn’t make him look sincere.  But putting morals aside, why would Modell’s partner up with a public pariah?  Or did they think we would all have forgotten about it?  Really?  An image as heart-breaking as an abused animal never leaves, there’s not enough scotch in the world to make a person forget something so hauntingly depraved.

Something that won’t soon leave my mind is the manner in which fellow animal lovers joined forces, created petitions, suggested letter writing campaigns, etc.  It was inspirational.  Because if you look at it, a world in which a sporting goods chain throws its support behind a person like Michael Vick is bad enough.  But a world in which that action didn’t meet with protest would be unthinkable.  People have to still fight for what’s right, the battle between good and evil still rages on.  Star Wars taught me that good triumphs over evil in “Return of the Jedi”.   Good defeats bad. That’s how I think of people who fight for what’s right, to me they are Jedis.

Use the Force, my friends.  Just make sure you wash your hands first, I hate when people get the Force all sticky.