Monday, January 31, 2011

a brief review based on limited exposure

I've watched a few minutes here and there of "Heavy" the new "Intervention"-style exploitation/documentary about extremely obese people. It's essentially the same freak show masquerading as "help" that you find on Intervention, Hoarders, Cheaters, etc.

And I've noticed something. Women become unacceptably fat, and in need of intervention, at about 300-350 lbs. Men reach that level around 500-550 lbs. Men can be TWO HUNDRED POUNDS FATTER before reality show folks deem them dangerously obese enough (or, um, freakish enough, depending on how you're feeling about these shows) to need help.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Unsolicited Advice #1

In the wake of my recent spate of domestic goddess-icity, I've been rather productive on the home front. I live on a meager budget, but I like things to be tidy, organized, and efficient. My house is small, with a tiny kitchen and tiny bathroom. I've lived in it almost ten years and have come up with some household-y solutions that I'm rather fond of, so when I think of them, I'll post them as "Unsolicited Advice" posts.

Today: cheap chopsticks as multi-tool. Get you a package of 20-30 cheap plastic chopsticks. I found mine for a dollar at Hudson's Treasure Hunt, when they had a Chinese restaurant supply stock for half-off. I have most of mine in the kitchen, where I use them to stir, poke, and flip various foodstuffs and beverages. They wash easily, cost so little that if they get icky you can toss 'em, and work beautifully to stir your sugar into your iced tea, flip a tortilla in a skillet, or poke a hole in a casserole to see if it's done.

I also keep a few in the toolbox for poking purposes. Need to clear the lint out of your outdoor dryer vent? Done. Need to pick a wad of hair out of the bathtub drain? Done. (The time I did that, I threw the chopstick away. I couldn't bear the thought of it accidentally finding its way back into the kitchen drawer). Need to stir a small jar of touch-up paint? Done.

I am all about multi-use items in my wee kitchen. One-function gadgets are few and far between at my house, because who has room for a bunch of one-function items? Give me a cast-iron skillet, a saucepan and a stockpot, and I can make pretty much anything. (Okay, so I can't make waffles at home. Do I want a groovy Belgian waffle maker? Yes, I kind of do. Do I *need* one? Gawd, no. Do I have room for one? Not no, but HELL no.)

A quick Google shopping search shows the above package to be about $3 for 20 chopsticks. That looks more or less like the one I bought. I'm sure you can find them at your dollar store or discount store if you keep an eye out, rather than paying shipping.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I had a dream about shoes last night.

In the dream, I was hanging out in the basement from "That 70s Show", albeit not with the cast. And someone left a very tall, very red pair of strappy red heels there, with a high back heel and a platform in the front. I mean, the kind of shoe that in real life, would cause me to fall over and break an ankle within minutes. The kind of shoe that, even if I managed to avoid falling over, would be incredibly painful. That I wouldn't wear because they're impractical and you have to take baby mincing steps in them and watch the ground constantly so as to make sure you don't fall over from stepping on uneven pavement. Yeah, that kind of shoe. TALL.

In the dream, I put them on, and they were comfortable and easy to walk in.

Clearly, I have been spending way too much time noodling around the Manolosphere.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jezebella on Tour: Vicksburg

Last Friday I hied forth, northward, to Vicksburg, Mississippi, to visit Margaret's Grocery, a folk art environment/church/installation art/yard show created by one Revered H.D. Dennis and his late wife Margaret. Reverend Dennis has now moved into some sort of "convalescent home", which I suspect means "institution for the warehousing of poor old people". The deacon from his church brought him over to visit with us and unlock the grocery and the bus/church for us to visit.

The whole thing was designed by the preacher to attract attention on Business Highway 61, so they would stop, and he could preach to them. I am personally not a giant fan of folk art/yard shows/whatever you want to call them, because they exist on the razor's edge right next to hoarding, and hoarding gives me the willies. I watch those hoarding tv shows like other people watch horror movies. I only made it to the front room of Margaret's Grocery, which was the only part he decorated anyway. The living quarters were dark, freezing cold, crumbling, crowded, and floors felt like they would fall in. I walked into the second room and turned right back around. No sir, Jezebella does not enjoy such environments.

The front room and the bus - the rooms decorated with all manner of ephemera, from Mardi Gras beads to foam food trays with plastic balls glued to them, xeroxes of articles about the preacher, photos, letters, and whatnot - they were a sight to behold. I'm torn about the preservation issue: the whole place is like a man-made garden, as it was constantly in process when the preacher and Margaret lived there. Now that they're gone, it's declining, and if someone else were to start "preserving" it, what would happen? Would it still be the same garden if a new gardener took over? Without the person living in the environment, the experience is more elegiac than abundant.

I think the ideal solution would be to remove the bus to a folk art museum, remove the front room's furnishings and re-install them elsewhere, document everything thoroughly, and let it go. Some things are ephemeral, and meant to be that way. Without the preacher, the place is an empty nest.

After a cold, windy morning with the preacher, we drove into downtown Vicksburg to visit the Attic Gallery. Again, not a huge fan of the folk art, but I did find a few things to buy. In fact, most of the people with me bought something. Then we at at Rusty's, a seafood joint, with outstanding no-nonsense service and friggin delicious banana cream pie.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

a charming start to the new year

After my bout of domestic goddess-icity, I woke up Sunday to a scratchy throat and a bit of a cough and a headache. It's now Thursday and I feel like I have been run over by a truck and I sound like Tom Waits when I talk.

I was thinking last night about the night the night DJ died, my ex's dad, and I kind of want to tell that story because I actually think of him almost as often as I think of his son. He would've made an excellent father-in-law, though his son would have made a terrible husband. The funniest thing about DJ is this: he had the mistaken impression that "twat" means "behind". So he'd say in his coonass/N'awlins accent, "Sit your twat down, it's time for dinner." The ex, let's call him Todd for blogular purposes, was so shocked the first time DJ said it that he didn't correct him. By the time he realized DJ was using it regularly, it was too late. So Todd warned me, on our first trip to dinner with DJ and his fiancee (aka his special lady friend, but that's another story), that it was entirely possible that DJ would tell me to put my twat in the chair, and sure enough, he did, and I managed to snicker to myself instead of being shocked.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Seldomly a domestic goddess

Today I am in domestic goddess mode: I've just pulled homemade vegan cornbread muffins out of the oven, vegan black-eyed peas are ready to be served up, and rice is ready in about ten minutes.

The downside to being a single domestic goddess: no dishwasher (human or automated) to clean up after me.

The upside: no dishwasher (human) to complain when I listen to Madonna while being a domestic goddess.

Mark Twain on this overrated holiday:

"New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions."

-Mark Twain