The 5 Stages of an R. Kelly Song

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rkelly

This man is disgusting.

The other day I was driving to work with the Spotify app playing 90’s era tunes through my car stereo. I only have the free version of the app, so sometimes I have to listen to songs I don’t really like. This is what happens when “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly comes on.

Stage 1: Denial

I don’t want to listen to an R. Kelly song, damn it. I was having a pretty good run with this 1990’s playlist I’m following: Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, that sort of stuff. Oh well, I’ll just skip it. I don’t have to listen to this.

Stage 2: Anger

R. Kelly is such a scumbag. Didn’t he pee on some underage girl or something? Nasty-ass pedophile. How is he not in prison? Fuck him.

Stage 3: Bargaining

I don’t have any skips left. Why can’t Spotify just let me skip whenever I want? What do they care? I still have to listen to their commercials either way. I’d switch to another playlist, but seeing as how I’m driving 70 mph over a bridge, I should probably keep my eyes on the road.

Stage 4: Depression

Well, I guess I’m listening to this song. At least that bastard isn’t making any money off of it, right? I remember this song from…high school? College? It was a big hit. I think that was before Kelly started getting into trouble and we couldn’t listen to his music anymore without feeling guilty.

Stage 5: Acceptance

At the top of my lungs while driving: “I BELIEVE I CAN FLYYYYYYYYYYY!!!”

 

Death By Chicken

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Chicken_suit1I just finished handling some raw chicken in preparation for dinner. I’ll be taking a Silkwood shower from the elbows down and blowtorching the kitchen if anybody needs me.

I’m sick of grocery stores advertising amazing prices on meat and then you find out you have to buy a metric tonne of it to get the deal. This is how I came to be wrangling a ten pound frozen mass of boneless, skinless chicken breasts this afternoon. The chicken breasts were thawed when my husband purchased them, but one of us (I’m blaming him) just threw the whole bag in the freezer without separating them into usable portions. When I took it out of the freezer, it was an intimidating ice ball of mangled chicken. This bag of frozen chicken has been in the refrigerator for two days, and it is just now showing signs of thawing.

I improvised last night, but we need this chicken for dinner tonight. With about five hours to go until dinner time, I decided I better take that big frozen bitch out of the refrigerator and start making shit happen.

I have to say, if toxic waste were treated with the same caution I exercise for raw chicken, EPA regulators would be sitting around with nothing to do, much like the Maytag repairman. The Toxic Avenger movie would have never been made. (Actually, that would be a tragedy.) Maybe instead we could have Salmonella Avenger – the woeful tale of a hippie housewife who didn’t believe in the powers of bleach and triclosan. I ain’t going down like that.

Preparing a regular-sized package of raw chicken isn’t that big a deal. You open the package over the garbage, wash your hands 37 times in five minutes, and hose down the kitchen with anti-bacterial cleaner when you’re through. Wrestling an icy chicken mass larger than a newborn baby is a different sort of ordeal.

I hate putting food in the kitchen sink because everybody knows your kitchen sink is dirtier than your toilet. That being said, I needed to run some water over this frozen chicken ball to break apart the boobs, and the nearest toilet was too far away. You want to know something about frozen meat? That shit is fucking cold. I alternated between prying the chicken meat pieces apart under the running water and holding my fingers under the faucet to thaw them out as well.

I finally separated three Dolly Parton-esque chicken breasts from the pack and put them in a casserole dish to finish thawing. Then I had to put the remaining frozen mass back into the bag and clothespin it closed since it didn’t have a Ziploc opening. (A ten pound bag of meat that isn’t reclosable? Seriously, Albertson’s, you are officially too ghetto for me. I’m done with you. I don’t care if your chicken breasts are 17 cents per pound.) Of course, by now the outside of that bag is covered in salmonella. I considered wiping it down with bleach, but since I couldn’t completely close the bag I was worried I would get bleach onto the chicken and poison myself in a whole different way. So I put it inside a plastic shopping bag and returned it to the fridge to continue thawing over the next six weeks.

I’m pretty sure my entire kitchen is now a bacteria-laden petri dish. I scrubbed my hands and arms up to the elbows, but I’m worried that tiny micro-particles of chicken death are irreversibly jammed up my fingernails. Also, I’m pretty sure that salmonella from the chicken bag is now molesting everything else inside of my refrigerator.

I’m a little worried about all of this, but I have a pretty surefire solution for situations like these: I’ll just wait until I’ve forgotten about how dirty everything is and then go about my normal business. (Hey, it works with my “dry clean only” clothes that I hang in the back of the closet.) Does anybody want to come over for chicken parmigiana? I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough for all of you.

Justin Bieber Peeing in Jail

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BiebsOkay, I’ll just break the news to you right off the bat: this page does not contain footage of Justin Bieber peeing in jail. Also, shame on you. You are disgusting for wanting to see that. And? The video doesn’t show anything anyway. Um, so I heard.

Can we talk for a moment about the fact that a video of Justin Bieber peeing, in jail, actually exists? Some of you may remember a post I wrote last year called, “What’s That’s Noise?” about the sad state of music today and how lame Justin Bieber is. I lamented his saccharin pop songs and how he was going to have to do better than smoke a little weed if he wanted me to take him seriously. I have to say, he’s apparently been taking my comments to heart.

Justin has been a bit of a bad boy lately: drinking the sizzurp, visiting hookers, and drag racing, Also, when he was arrested, he reportedly said the F word a bunch of times without putting any money in the swear jar. (Allegedly? Am I supposed to say “allegedly” so that Bieb’s attorney doesn’t shut me down? ALLEGEDLY.) In fact, he’s been such an asshole, a petition to deport him to Canada garnered over 250,000 signatures. (White House response pending.)

I don’t know – I’m still not impressed. Justin Bieber is an entitled little shithead and even with the drugs, he’s still not writing decent songs. I’m not buying his fake swagger either. I’m willing to bet that once Bieb’s team found out that they couldn’t block the release of the video of Bieber pissing in his jail cell, his attorneys paid the video editor a tidy sum to make the “black bar” covering his maple syrup dispenser a lot bigger than it actually had to be. I’m actually amazed he didn’t sit down to pee. Not that I’ve watched the video or anything.

And yes I used a picture of Justin from five years ago. I figure it’s kind of like those time-lapse photos of crystal meth users that circulated a while back to show you the dangers of using. Parents: don’t let your kids upload videos of themselves to YouTube. Before you know it, they’re pushing their bangs up off of their forehead and peeing in mop buckets and jail cells. A cautionary tale, indeed.

This Little Piggie Went to Market

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romanescoToday my husband and I went to our local farmer’s market, the Saturday Morning Market. It’s huge and awesome and a great way to get excited about eating healthy foods. That’s one of the great things about living in Florida – it’s February and rather than being buried under three feet of snow, we’re entering the best time of the year for local produce. (I’m not trying to rub it in, really. I mean, come July, the temperature will be 98 degrees with 319% humidity. I have to enjoy the weather while I can. The polar vortex has fucked everyone else in the country over, but it’s given us a solid two months of crisp autumn weather, which has been really lovely.)

We loaded up on organic, local fare, including Romanesco broccoli. I don’t know how I’ve gone 38 years without ever having seen it before, but Romanesco broccoli is pretty much the most beautiful vegetable that has ever existed. Not that it has much competition. (I’m looking at you, turnips.) Anyway, Romanesco broccoli (or cauliflower, depending on your loyalties – it’s called both) is an example of a naturally occurring fractal. I don’t really know what a fractal is, just that twenty years ago, in college, everybody liked getting high and looking at them. We actually had a cable access television channel that was nothing but fractals. (Kids, see what we had to do to amuse ourselves before the Internet?)

Besides all the local farms, there are also a number of artisan craft makers and homemade food stands. I just had to stop at “Old Fashioned Goodness”, a candy booth operated by an adorable older couple. Thirty seconds earlier I had sworn off empty calories in favor of the natural, delicious bounty of fruits and veggies we are blessed with on this planet, but they were giving out free samples of chocolate fudge and salted caramels. I’m only human.

I forgot to mention, one of the things I love about this market is that a lot of people bring their dogs. (Not us, mind you. Our dogs are terrible. Fletcher is sweet and friendly, but Lucy thinks she’s in the Secret Service and I’m the President. She’s a fifteen pound, fluffy killing machine. We can’t take her anywhere.) There were so many big and little sweeties – an assortment of dogs as varied as their owners.

benetton_eggsA few minutes after visiting the homemade candy booth, while Bryan was standing in line to pay $5 for a dozen mismatched eggs, I started digging into my fudge. As I reached into the little bag and unwrapped a single piece of peanut butter fudge wrapped in noisy cellophane, every dog within a ten foot radius promptly stopped in their tracks and gave me the “Treat?” stare. It’s funny how universal that is. I almost felt bad, but I wasn’t planning on sharing my goodies with my husband, let alone some strange dogs.

Now that we’re home and my homemade candy is long since eaten, I have to look up some recipes for cooking all of these fresh, delicious vegetables we bought before they rot an ugly death in the crisper. Maybe later I’ll put on some Pink Floyd, turn on the black light, and stare at my Romanesco broccoli.

Wild Side

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concert_crowd_smallMy husband Bryan and his friend Larry go to concerts together. They have pretty similar tastes in music, so they alternate paying for the tickets. Recently, my husband treated Larry to a Megadeth concert, so now it’s Larry’s turn to pay. (They’ve also seen Rush together and probably someone else I can’t remember.)

So, we’re in the car today, on our way home from the Farmer’s Market, when “Wild Side” by Mötley Crüe comes on the radio. Bryan says, “Oh yeah, Larry’s buying us tickets to this concert at the Amphitheatre.” (That would be the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, formerly known as the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre. You see why we just call it “the Amphitheatre”? And by “us” he meant Larry and himself.)

“What? Seriously? I want to see Mötley Crüe!”

Okay, maybe not really. I hate concerts. There are only ever a few, old songs I want to hear but inevitably bands play all their new, drug-free boring shit first and if you’re lucky, you get to hear “Pour Some Sugar on Me” at the end before you book for the exits to beat the crowd out of the parking lot. (That’s right – the last concert I went to was Def Leppard, opened by Joan Jett. Shut up, I’m old.)

Bryan knew I didn’t really want to go to the concert, so it was cool. Then he said he’ll probably owe Larry for this one since these Mötley Crüe tickets were more expensive than the Megadeth show. (Concert ticket prices are ridiculous. I thought Eddie Vedder was supposed to fix that. What, nobody remembers Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam duking it out with Ticketmaster? Is Ticketmaster even still around? Fuck, I’m so old.)

“There was another concert Larry wanted to get the tickets for, but they were just too expensive. Who was it…” Bryan says, thinking. He snaps his fingers. “Katy Perry! That’s it. But those are like $100 even for the cheap seats.”

He was totally serious, by the way. I wouldn’t think that Mötley Crüe’s and Katy Perry’s target audiences typically overlap by much, but there you go. In the Venn Diagram of “Shout at the Devil” and “California Girls” there is one person in the middle, overlapping part: My husband. And Larry, I guess.

The Time I Called “Bullshit” On A Mechanic

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Today, I refused to take shit from someone and it felt pretty fucking awesome.

First, I should probably admit that I suck at car maintenance. Not as in I can’t change my own oil. More like how even though routine maintenance on my leased car is free from the dealership, I’m too lazy to take my car in and have it serviced. Have you been to a car dealership lately? It’s the seventh circle of hell. I don’t trust any of those bastards and I feel dirty just walking in that place – holding extra tight to my purse and trying to keep them from raping my wallet.

Anyway, my car recently hit 6,000 miles and was due for its first oil change/service. (By recently, I mean about six months ago.) So, I went ahead and drove around with the light on for another 2,000 miles. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely felt bad about it every time I got into my car and saw the “Maintenance Needed, Lazy Bitch” light on, but I still put it off. I felt especially guilty since, as I mentioned before, this car service visit would be free. It’s one of the perks I was happy about when I leased the car.

Since I turned over a new leaf on New Year’s Day and basically resolved to be a completely different person, i.e., one who gets shit done, I finally sat down to schedule my car maintenance.

I called the dealership and got Pablo in the service department. (Pablo isn’t his real name because I didn’t understand his real name when he told me. And not because he was Latino, you racists, we just had a bad connection.) I told Pablo I needed my car serviced for the first time and he looked me up in their system by phone number. For some reason, they still had the information from my previous Corolla (2009) in the system, which doesn’t make sense to me. I really don’t think these people have their shit together. Maybe Sales and Service don’t talk to each other.

Once we were on the same page with the fact that I now have a 2011 Corolla, I told him I needed to make an appointment for the first oil change and that the car has 8,000 miles. I wanted to make sure that the service was free. I thought it was free for three years (the term of my lease) but I couldn’t remember. Even though the car seems to be three years old (it’s a 2011 and it’s now 2014), I’ve only had it for 2 years, having leased it new (at a bargain!) in mid-2012.

This is where things got frustrating. Here is the conversation I had with Pablo:

Me: “So, before I make this appointment, there is no charge, right?”

Pablo (in the trailing off voice people use when they’re trying to avoid doing their job): “I’m not sure…”

Me:  “If you’re going to charge me for the oil change, no offense, but I’ll just take it to the place around the corner. It’s a lot more convenient for me.”

Pablo: “You can bring it in, and we can tell you whether or not there’s a charge. If there is, you don’t have to get the work done. We’ll ask you before we do anything.”

Me: “Why do I have to bring my car in for you to figure out whether or not this service is covered? You know the year and make of my car. I can tell you anything you need to know about it in order to look up whether or not this is covered. Do you want the VIN number? Why do you need me standing there with my car in order to look up in your computer whether or not this service is free for me? Can you understand why I don’t want to come all the way down there in order for you to do that?”

Pablo (actually looking shit up this time): “Hold on…it says here it’s two years or 25,000 miles, so it’s not covered.”

Me: “Okay, thanks. Bye.”

So, I didn’t make the appointment. Ha-ha, motherfuckers!

It probably sounds like I was not very nice, and that’s the point! I mean, I wasn’t rude to Pablo or anything, just honest. At some point in the conversation, I realized that I cared more about saving time and money than I did about Pablo thinking I was a trifling bitch for pushing him about whether or not I was going to be charged for something and then deciding not to make an appointment just because he spent five minutes on the phone with me. I’m normally a big people-pleaser, so the idea of a stranger on the other end of a phone that I don’t know from Adam thinking I’m nice and cute and full of sunshine has traditionally been pretty important to me.

But fuck that! Ha! Today I decided that it didn’t matter, and it was incredibly liberating. In restaurants, if a server gets my order wrong, I complain to my husband and then when she comes by to check on how everything is, I enthusiastically nod, “Great!” and then tip her at least 20%. Not anymore!

Unfortunately, I still have to take my car in to get an oil change. There’s a place around the corner that’s great. I’ll go tomorrow. Probably.

The British Invasion…of Hollywood

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UK & USA Flags - Dot Matrix

UK & USA Flags – Dot Matrix (Photo credit: gavjof)

Every so often, usually around election time, the conservative contingent in this country revamps their diatribe about foreigners coming to ‘Merica and stealing our jobs. I don’t typically participate in this discussion because it’s tiring and ridiculous and I’ve yet to meet an out-of-work American dying to pick lettuce for $7 an hour.

But this time it’s different.

I have discovered a whole new wave of American jobs being covertly filled by non-Americans, specifically, Brits. That’s right; the Brits are taking our jobs…in Hollywood. What makes this practice particularly insidious is that British people are light-colored and can fake an American accent and we don’t even know it’s happened until it’s too late.

Allow me to elaborate.

Remember the first time you saw Hugh Laurie outside of his title role on House M.D.? Maybe you were a little surprised to hear his British accent. I know I was, but I didn’t think much of it other than, “Wow, he does a really good American accent on that show. Huh.” That program began in 2004, and in the nearly ten years since, this British invasion has only escalated.

Example #1: A British ginger plays a Muslim terrorist pretending to be an American hero. (Got that?)

Those of you who watch Homeland on HBO, when you aren’t distracted by Claire Danes’ ugly cry-face, are probably impressed with Damian Lewis’ portrayal of the multifaceted character Nicholas Brody. You’re not the only one; Lewis has won several awards for his turn as the tortured American soldier with questionable allegiance.

But did you know that not only is Nicholas Brody a Muslim terrorist, he’s also…British? Not just British, but like, super British. The first time I saw him accept an award for his role in Homeland, I couldn’t figure out why his voice was being dubbed by the Queen of England. (That’s how British he sounds.)

See for yourself. (You can skip ahead to about the 1:20 mark for his speech.)

Example #2: After the Zombiepocalypse, the South is overrun with Brits.

There are at least two British actors on The Walking Dead pretending to be good ol’ American zombie hunters. Not only are they playing American, but they are portraying small-town southerners. (I have a theory on this that I will get to shortly.)

Sheriff Rick Grimes? Brit. Sweet Maggie, the farmer’s daughter? BRIT! There may be more! I don’t even know.

Maggie, played by Lauren Cohan:

Sheriff Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln. (That’s not even his real name! President Abe is rolling in his grave!)

Example #3: Badass Biker Brits

I recently started binge-watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix. For those of you unacquainted with the show, at least for the ladies, one of the highlights of this program is the amount of time Jax Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam spends in the buff.  (AMC is the new HBO y’all.)

Being that I’m developing a bit of a crush on Mr. Hunnam, I did a little googling to see what else he’s been in. I can’t explain why or how, but right before I clicked on his IMDB profile, I thought to myself, “How funny would it be if this quintessential American biker dude was played by a Brit?” And there it was: Charlie Hunnam, born in Newcastle, England. You’ve got to be kidding me.

Nope, it’s true. (Although to be fair, it doesn’t appear that the badassery is an act.)

Jax Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam:

In summation, I have basically two takeaways from this:

  1. White foreigners are taking our acting jobs. Right now, we’re looking at a primarily British attack. In the 1980’ss and 1990’s it was those pesky Canadians and their love of American sitcoms. (If you’re old enough to remember  “Dead or Canadian?” on the Mtv game show Remote Control then you know what I’m talking about. I’m looking at you Michael J. Fox, Pamela Anderson, and every awkward male comedian who has ever done sketch comedy.)
  1. Brits typically play southerners. Not always, but frequently, and I think I’ve figured out why.  My friend Kristy is married to a Brit named Steve. I once tried to get Steve to put on an American accent for me, but he refused. (We Americans are always trying to sound cute by attempting a British accent, so I wanted to see what that sounded like in reverse.)  Anyway, Steve was too embarrassed to do it because he said he couldn’t do an American accent without sounding like a hick. Finally, I think he managed a “Y’all”. And that’s it! A Midwestern accent is difficult because it’s so nondescript, but the opposite of a cultured British accent is a Honey Boo Boo-esque redneck affectation. It’s easier for Brits. That’s why even though Jax Teller, motorcycle hottie, who lives in California on Sons of Anarchy, often calls the ladies, “Darlin’”.

So, next time you’re watching your favorite television show, look and listen a little more closely, y’all. Because the British are coming…to a theatre near you.