Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Avian Flu Pandemic

Remind me not to watch Oprah. I am officially scared shitless of the damned bird flu.

Loose Change

First, a disclaimer: I do not consider myself a conspiracy theorist, nor do I hold much stock in political activism. That said, I am interested--as a dilettante--in politics. I'm fond of causes, and you'll be hard pressed to find someone more passionate about whatever it is, once I get behind an idea. I don't belong to any political party or indentify myself in any particular way with the current government, nor do I seek to profit by being against it.

I sure do love me some Stephen Colbert.

When it comes to thinking about politics overall, I try to glean as much information from all available sources and then make up my own mind. As a citizen, and (hopefully) voter, it's good for you to do the same. When you watch political speeches, you almost need 3-D glasses, to see the real ideas behind all the babbble. For example, when I see Ann Coulter on some Sunday bully bullshit pulpit, cackling about how dumb liberals are, I see the fragile hag, clutching her relevance with those man hands, ever fearful of drastic political shift and the shelf-life of gimmickry. Taking in political information is really just a matter of adjusting your filters according to what gets sifted out.

Clearly, just about everyone, from the President to the freshest Congressional intern, has an agenda that requires varying degree of sleight-of-hand, glad-handing, and baldfaced lying. When does America say, "enough is enough" and invite the Bush Administration to Charles-Henri Sanson's exclusive party?

Take 9/11. The curious antics of certain political figures in the midst of staggering tragedy are worth poking with a stick. Michael Moore opened the door to public awareness of the conspiracy theories swirling around the "terrorist" attack on New York, but he's just one bigmouth. So many questions and so much stonewalling by the government equal something's up. The victims of 9/11 and all American people deserve justice.

This video is mind-boggling.

I know you hate the politics posts. Please watch the video.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Interesting that I get five times more comments when I post a centipede picture than when I post a long-winded political rant, eh?

Since I wasn't having enough fun being crippled, I now also have the flu. It's Memorial weekend; friends and family getting together over BBQ, playing frisbee football or trying out the newly opened neighborhood pool. Superfly is solo-hosting a karaoke gig and having himself a good time.

In our house, however, everyone is abed or a-couch, shaking and sweating. Bottles of aspirin and Advil abound, as do empty water bottles and boxes of Kleenex. I can hobble and shake my way to the bathroom, but that's about it.

All I have to say is this: there better be a big motherfucking payoff at the end of this ride.

I promise no more bug pictures.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Gross Out

So there I was, hanging on the edge of the couch on my lumbar pillow, watching "So You Think You Can Dance" with drooling intensity, when I see this horrible, spidery insect rocket across the carpet and under the TV.

You know it's summertime when the basement bugs come out to play.


I was so busy being crippled, I didn't notice my beloved Philadelphia Eagles 5th Round Draft choice: Hunkiest Olympian/NFL kicker EVER!!!! OMG! OMG!

I know I'm a pig--he's just a baby--but DAMN! He's an EAGLE now!

Let me be very clear: no one, not even Jeremy freakin' Bloom, can tear me away from my Superfly boyfriend. And yes, I know it's not exactly a pressing issue for Jeremy Bloom.

That aside, I thought we (the Eagles) need WR and RB, not kickers. Oh, well. What's important here is not eye candy; it's strengthening the Eagles offense and improving team morale. I'd say the Eagles Cheerleaders morale has improved tremendously since Bloom's signing!

Hubba Hubba!

Lancaster County Insider

Because I am nothing if not helpful:

First, the correct pronounciation is lank-astur, not lan-kaster. Mispronouncing Lancaster is tied for #1 with aggressive driving for aggravating the locals.

A Sampling of Specialized vocabulary:

"Outen the lights" Turn off the lights
"Get a shower" Take a shower
"A piece" Half a mile, i.e. "Drive down Rte. 501 a piece, you'll see it!"
"It's all" It's empty/There are no more
"Yet" Some left, i.e. "More shoo-fly pie yet, Obadiah."
"Doplick" Clumsy
"Dippy" Any kind of gravy, sauce, or condiment
"Already" Inexplicable usage, i.e. "I seen him yet already."
"Off" Vacation, i.e. "Is your off all already, Rebekah?"

Local treats:

Shoo-Fly Pie: A tooth-filling shattering concoction of molasses, nuts, and 8lbs. of sugar, on a sugar pie crust. Not for the weak.

Scrapple: The leftovers from sausage production, seasoned and linked for your breakfast dining pleasure.

Apple Butter: Amish markets set up all over the place during the Fall, right outside the farms. That's where I go to get the freshest, most amazing jams, jellies, and pies, but there is NOTHING like the decadent apple butter.

Pretzels: Factories abound for all snack food categories, but pretzels rule in Lancaster County and you get to make your own pretzel during the factory tour. All tours should be so fast and delicious.

Chocolate: You got your Hershey, your Wilbur, and some insanely good fudge made by little old church ladies.


While the Amish sleep the rest of Lancaster's fabulous take to the streets. From dive bars to jazz clubs, karaoke to Al's Diamond XXX Cabaret, there is a club, bar, lounge, or juke joint to fill your need.

All roads lead to the Jukebox, however. The place time forgot.


While heavily Christian and Republican, Lancaster is also multi-culti, modern, and more in step with technology and trends than many towns this size throughout America. Yeah, there are about a billion churches here, but there's a mosque, three synangogues, and regular atheist pancake breakfast. I can safely say I've never met an outsider here. No one, not even tourists, are treated with scorn.

The change from Brooklyn is rather startling, but I think I need to get away from the aggression and ambition of the city awhile, get a shower, and go to the karaoke bar where my friends call out, "Hey, Trouble!" when I walk in. Or, rather, hobble in.

I've never tried scrapple (I don't eat pork)but it absolutely looks like something even a great white shark would refuse to eat. Yes, I imagine chum tastes better than scrapple. Can't recommend it.

But there is Good and Plenty, Paradise, Blue Ball, and Intercourse to be found in Lancaster, and some kick ass outlets (Pottery Barn! Whee!)

So come on down to Lancaster awhile, why don't ya? Especially you, Superfly!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Death to Snark!

It's over. So yesterday. Anyone who cherishes their self-proclaimed or accused snarkiness might as well be wearing acid-wash jeans.

You aren't cool, witty, ascerbic, or tongue-in-cheek. The overcoming-insecurity aspect of your snarkiness is as obvious as a 45-year old, toupee-flappin' corvette owner. Or perhaps the "bad attitude" high school girl who shops at Hot Topic and listens to a lot of Fiona Apple.

Abandon "snark"; you look ridiculous.

If you have no earthly idea what I'm on about, I apologize and I salute you. You probably never have uttered the words, "Bling bling," either.

If you are too far gone, you are already formulating a snarky comment to this post. I suggest you eat out Paris Hilton's ass, instead.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Hot Tubs rule. Too bad they won't allow champagne in the aquatherapy room.

Thanks for your kind comments, no matter how random ("Sage"). You're the BEST!

I'm on the mend and shall shortly cease whining and complaining. Have I mentioned that I have the awesomest boyfriend, ever?

Thursday, May 18, 2006


The patient's pain threshold was breached, then stablized, thanks to muscle relaxers, NSAIDs, and hardcore painkillers. Xray confirms the area is inflamed due to repetitive stress and arthritis.

Combined with the arthritis in my knees, it's safe to wager my grandmere has healthier bones than me. Let this be a lesson to you parents and future parents: Don't let your babies grow up doing ballet. I mean it!

I remain in PA, in and out of spectacular drug-induced coma, and occasionally sporting the only orthopedic shoes I could find that didn't make me want to commit hari-kiri with a stiletto. Fortunately, they are not Nurse Ratchet White. They are fire engine red and look convincingly like a slip-on sneaker.

Woe is fucking me. Won't someone at Manolo Blahnik take pity on me and make a gorgeous orthopedic strappy high-heeled sandal? Maybe I'll convince the local children to hold a fundraiser so I can purchase those darling Tara Subkoff shoes from (gulp) Easy Spirit. One thing you will NEVER see broken old crippled Trouble wearing is anything remotely resembling a Jesus sandal. I may be bloated and puffy from overmedication; my hair may be a fright wig; my clothes may be all sweats all the time, but I'll be damned if my shoes will be ugly.

Oy, my aching bones. There's some oxycontin with my name on it softly calling from the bedroom. Check you later and for the love of 3" heels, be kind to your spine.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

Some people I know have a strained relationship with their mother (I certainly do). The lucky others count their mothers among their closest friends. Nothing in life has made me feel more gypped, jealous, and sorry for myself as my pitiful excuse for a relationship with my mother. She sent me an e-card today, full of flowery verse about how much she loves me and is proud of me. It made my blood run cold, knowing how false her sentiment and opposite her feelings for me. That can't bode well, eh?

I'd say it's a clean 50/50 faultline, running between my complete rejection of people and things I don't like, and her narcissistic personality and terrifying parenting style. Growing up, my friends' and boyfriend's mothers tended to adopt me into their families like a stray duckling, making my own mother's inadequacies all the more vibrant. I was so angry with her for selling us out, putting us in danger, and engaging in so much emotional deprivation and neglect, I swore never to procreate, lest I pass on her evil DNA.

Of course, I caved on that last part. I have four gorgeous children whom I love so indescribably much, and who love me back. They've all grown into such amazing individuals and none resemble my mother in the slightest! Trouble Jr., Nana and Pop-Pop, and I all talked to the 3 little Troublets on speakerphone while they enjoyed their bath in Colorado. They told us about their latest trip to Casa Bonita. It was divine.

I can't think of a better Mother's Day present for me. Thank you, kids!

(Thank you, Superfly, for calming me down when I'm cracked-out, and well, for being Superfly TNT)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Whine and Cheese

Threw out my back and whoa, boy does it hurt like a motherfucker. Now bedridden at the family home in PA all I can do is whimper and moan. Mother Trouble's weekend will be a groovy psychedelic kaleidoscope of muscle relaxers and painkillers. Mother's Day will likely be spent abed, sedated and drooling.

I'll bet some moms dragged to salmonella buffets and gifted with eau de putrid flowers wish they got to spend Sunday in a happy coma.

The bad news is this: no more high heels! No karaoke because (unlike certain Congressmen, ahem) I won't drive while under sedative medication, and my friends here are all drunk drivers! No Superfly! No blogging, because sitting for more than 30 seconds at a time produces a cold searing agony, ripping up my spine!


Take care and be kind to your spine. Trouble, OUT!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Couldn't Have Said it Better

Wondering what's wrong with music today?

Read this.

Are You a Writer?

In creative writing classes your teacher tells you everyone has a voice, a singular vision to share with the world through its glorious expression;

In journalism classes your teacher tells you about inverted pyramids, about conforming to stylebooks, about putting the story before the writer;

In the publishing world, agents and publishers don’t care who you are unless you’re someone, and writing is much more about marketing than art;

Reviewers are themselves writers, often ones who failed to publish their work and thus embittered, turn on the writers who follow in their footsteps. Writers who sell their books receive the harshest of their criticism, usually in the form of the word “hack”;

Other writers are jealous, suspicious, and vastly less talented than you…or vastly more so;

I am a writer. I face all the above and have this to say: “So?”

If you want to write, write. Being educated on the reality of freelance and enslaved writing doesn’t mean you should give up. If you quit, the talentless people with great connections and/or money win. Keep writing, improve your craft, set your goals and pursue the fuck out ‘em.

Take a look around at your local bookstore. It won't take long to observe the following: "Holy Hackfest! If these dumbasses can get published, so can I!"

Your creative writing teacher was right. Just don't plagiarize, ok? No, really.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Slow Blog Day

...because some guys I knew in high school are in a local band that's huge in Germany, and they look the same only puffier.

How I looked in high school (more or less, I was pretty broke), just like countless other disaffected high school girls in the late '80s. As fashion inspiration goes, Siouxsie Sioux was a better choice than, say, Nina Hagen or Wendy O. Williams. The guys we hung out with all tended to look like suburban versions of Nick Cave or Henry Rollins. What a bunch of dorks we were. I even attempted a mohawk at one point. I have very thick, curly hair that required a smelly gelatin solution and two cans of Aqua Net to approximate verticality. Very sad.

It's still weird to me that a major movie star like Angelina Jolie can shave her kid's hair into a mohawk and garner merely an eye roll. Today's disaffected youth really have it cut out for them to shock society.


Monday, May 08, 2006

More on Pesky Rich Kids

Courtesy Erika Brown in Forbes, 10/02:

..."Outsourcing the problem kids of the wealthy is a booming business. Each year 10,000 kids attend residential programs to get off drugs and deal with emotional and psychological problems. Fixing bad kids is a $2 billion-a-year industry in the private sector, growing enough to attract firms such as Warburg Pincus. Some 115 such programs are listed by a big trade group, Natsap (National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs); add nonmembers, and some 300 private programs treat kids, up tenfold since 1993, says Lon E. Woodbury of The Woodbury Report, a newsletter.

"Many successful parents have invested more time in their businesses than in their children, contributing to the rapid growth of these programs," says Natsap Executive Director M. L. (Andy) Anderson. Adds Carol Kauffman, who teaches clinical psychiatry at Harvard Medical School: "We've all gone a little nuts in the past decade with the mirage of fabulous wealth. Children can know how important they are to their family, but if it isn't backed up with consistency of presence, they can feel valued and dismissed, indulged yet deprived." ...

Hear that, celeb parents and other rich people swaddling their babies in cashmere and promising them they'll live a better life than you did?

You don't need a personal umbrella holder to be a good parent, and if your last name is a boldface one, you'll have to work extra hard on parenting those young'uns, lest they turn out to be the next generations Kaavyas and Paris Hiltons:

Too much money + kids = primary school-aged kids in rehab that is more expensive than you'll ever know.

I remember the ultra-rich kids at my high school. One was a really nice, outgoing girl who got along with everyone without joining any particular group/clique. She kept a pretty low profile about her family's staggering wealth and never mentioned her own social standing until her debutante ball hit the papers. The response from her classmates was embarassing, even for innocent bystanders such as myself.

After high school she went to a great college, married well, and took over her mother's position at the Ballet Guild. She's probably produced her own litter of rich kids by now, hopefully ones as grounded and together as she.

The ultra-rich guy from my high school was a different matter: he was so cool and aloof, pulling up to school in his deux-chevaux, new wave music blaring from the speakers. He smoked Gitanes and wore garishly-expensive Italian leather jackets and shoes. He chose not to mingle with the rabble, befriending only one or two people in the whole school. He never had a girlfriend, or attended any parties or games. He traveled a lot, showing up in February with a tan and golden highlights in his hair. Most of the girls found him alluring, the guys knew he was a piece of shit.

I had two classes with him, AP French and Philosophy & Religion, plus I saw him at every concert I went to. He was an idiot, but he pretended to be this great worldly intellect. Most people were fooled, but I'd just spent the summer in France and met lots of douchebags just like him there. He would ask if I wanted to tutor him in French, see his "pad" (which I knew to be the hillside estate you could almost see out the school window), and I probably said something along the lines of "va te faire fautre! And stop trying to look up my cheerleading skirt!"

I overheard him talking to some bum while on line for a concert at the Rainbow Music Hall, impressing the hell outta the guy with his encyclopedic memory of all things James Bond. I turned toward and asked of the World's Biggest Slut if she'd ever been out with him. "Yeah," she said, "he does too much coke, couldn't get it up."

After high school his father was indicted during the S&L scandal. I ran into him again, standing at the velvet rope of a hot nightclub. "You, you, not you..or you" he said to the early '90s scenesters trying to get in. "Hey, don't I know you?" he said to me, peering. "I doubt it, I'm new here" I lied, and he let me in.

He was emaciated (heroin, probably) and balding, but I'd recognize that douchebag anywhere. Poor guy--if he'd had to work a real job all those years, like construction, say, he probably wouldn't be such a sadsack loser.

Rich parents, only you can prevent loser rich kids.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Wedding Season

So far, Supe and I are only invited to one wedding this year. Miraculous, really, compared to other years. However, we are invited to a half-dozen wedding-related events, such as showers and bachelor/ette parties, and sorry-we-can't-invite-you-to-the-wedding-this-beer's-on-us bar parties.

No way we take this personally, there is a good reason for the dearth of nuptial invites: money and family. As a former wedding planner, I totally understand.

The average cost of having a traditional wedding is around $25,000, and most couples pay the majority of that amount themselves. When the caterer is telling you $200/head for the reception, you start crossing out co-workers and friends-of-friends off your invite list, replaced by relatives you've never met. As costs mount, couples start wishing they'd gone to Vegas with their best friends. By the time the invitations are ordered, the bride often despises every single person on the list. Ah, weddings--such joyful celebrations!

What I know and the couples do not is that the moment they assemble at their ceremony site, amongst their friends, loved ones, and hired help, all is forgotten and forgiven. All brides are beautiful and all wedding ceremonies, no matter how schlocky, will move you to tears.

Happily ever after.

Except when it all goes wrong. I have tons of Bridezilla stories, but only one Ugly Bride: After alienating the groom's family and children to the point they visibly fumed in their pews, the bride minced her fat way up the aisle, crocodile smiling at all around, as if to say, "nyah,nyah!" and clomping her way up the altar steps to stand by her decrepit (and rich) groom.

We in the audience viewed their backs and the preacher's curious stares. Our bride looked like a hippopotamus wrapped tightly in taffeta, our groom like a tuxedoed hat rack. After intermindable mumbling, the preacher pronounced them husband and wife. The bride raised the marriage license in her right hand triumphantly and pumped her left arm victoriously. Then she fell, ass over teakettle, down the steps, her taupe knee-high stockings and white pumps visible on flying tree-trunk legs.

The church erupted in laughter. Our porcine bride stood, brushed off her new husband's offer of assistance, and clutched him in one hand and the license in the other as she huffed toward the exit.

If you've got an Ugly Bride story, let's hear it!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Never Go Against a Sicilian When Death is on the Line!

Not even a special TV night of Idol, House, and Unan1mous; a festive viewing of "The Princess Bride" (Cary Elwes and "House"'s Jesse Martin--separated at birth?), and a half-dressed Superfly could assuage my disgust with rich people and fake writers with million-dollar book deals.

I think it's catching: most blogs I read this morning are rife with incendiary anonymous comments, bitching, moaning, and, yes, disgust. What's the beef? Rampant stupidity, dur.

Perhaps it is an astrological phenomenon, like Mercury going retrograde, mucking up communications.

Perhaps we are "over" the blogging thing, as argued by the know-it-alls at Slate.

Perhaps it's the weather.

I'm going to get some fresh air, sunshine, exercise, coffee and a croissant. I suggest you do the same.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

As if I Didn't Hate Rich Kids Enough!

This whole "If she's from a wealthy family and goes to Harvard, obviously she can write bestsellers!" idea must be expunged from the minds of publishers, publishing agents, and associated riff raff.

Although I'm sure fake writer James Frey is to thank for the public flogging of Kaavya Viswanathon, there is another plagiarist sweetie-pie who went to Harvard and got a book deal, whom Kaayva should have studied very closely. This girl's first book was wildly successful, prompting reviewers to call her "courageous" (for writing a sloppy memoir?)and a straight-to-DVD movie was produced, starring Cristina Ricci. The author's crappy second book absolutely tanked.

In all the blathering about what an exciting talent this girl had, an inconvenient fact was overlooked: Plagiarism. Specifically, staggeringly self-absorbed writer Elizabeth Wurtzel was fired from the Dallas Morning News in 1988 for being a great big copycat.

Prozac Nation was published in 1994. In the in-between years, Wurtzel was a music critic for major magazines that presumably checked her references. Was she not a child of priviledge, I sincerely doubt she'd ever get another journalism job. She went to Yale Law after the failed second novel, so don't fret about what poor, widdle Elizabeth Wurtzel is doing now.

Jealous, me? No way. I never will wonder if something I "over-achieve" was helped along by greased palms, Mummy, Daddums, or friends-of-my-parents'-friends. That's the game, "everyone" who matters plays it, it's all lies, favors, power and influence. That is a world I want no part of, and I'll shoot them if they come near my kids.

New York and LA are choked with these precious offspring, and few of them deserve all the wonderful things they have. Yes, rich kids been around since tribal times, but doesn't it seem there's shitloads more of them these days, and they are louder, greedier, and more loathsome than ever before? Do I have to mention Paris Hilton?

Maybe these rich people should be forcibly sterilized, to prevent their idiotic offspring. We already know how they turn out; it would lower the out-of-control white-collar crime rate and open space in higher learning institutions and great occupational opportunities for kids with intellectual ambition, a sense of decency, and a good work ethic. We would be doing society a favor!

I am so digusted right now, it ain't funny. Down with rich kids! Boo! Don't give them book deals, you sonsabitches!

On How to Be a Worthy Rich Person

Monday, May 01, 2006

Beauty Contests

My friend Bushwick Bombshell is in the running for Miss Blogger 2006, and I hope she wins. She's lovely, smart, funny, and a first-rate blogger.

I believe beauty contests are usually ridiculous displays of too-blonde, too-tan and too-fake boobery. This is because the judges are usually stupid, horny guys. Actually, any contest between female contestants, whether talent, Halloween costume, or spelling bee, seems to degenerate into a decision on "Who would the average male most want to hump?". This Dr. Blogstein--while probably a horny guy--doesn't appear all that stupid; he will probably judge the ladies fairly.

I wish I had a beauty contest story to share--do you have one? Having complete strangers judge me on my looks against a row of perma-grinned Malibu Barbies never held my interest, but I've always wondered what it's really like behind the scenes. A lot of Prep H, super glue, and AquaNet? Do Tell!