Monday, February 26, 2007

Masked Mom's Media Monday: Anna Nicole

Masked Mom usually shies away from celebrity gossip--on the grounds that there is so much gossip to be indulged in about people I actually know that I just don't have the time and energy to indulge in gossip about total strangers. However, I can no longer avoid saying this here (though I've already said it elsewhere)--with all the drama surrounding the circumstances and repurcussions of Anna Nicole's death, the biggest mystery as far as I'm concerned remains why so many men would admit to having had sex with her*--even for the money. I just don't get it.

Masked Mom's One-Word Review: Baffling.

*I realize that some of the ones "admitting" having had sex with her may not actually have had sex with her and I've been trying to figure out whether I consider it worse to have claimed to have had sex with her when you didn't or to have admitted to having had it when you actually did. I have to say admitting it still comes out worse because you would've had to have had actual sex with Anna Nicole, who I'm pretty sure was the offspring of an alien and a blow-up doll.**

**I have no doubt that I'm going to Hell for saying mean things about a dead lady so don't feel the need to tell me how eternally damned I am, 'kay?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Please Let This Be The "Best" Story I Hear All Year...

Cranky Boss Lady's daughter was in the shop yesterday afternoon and started talking about her father-in-law, whose health is somewhat poor--he's diabetic with heart problems and a knee replacement surgery last year went horribly wrong and he's basically been suffering one infection after another for the past year. Before telling us the story that follows, she did warn us that it was "really, really gross" and I feel it's only fair to pass that warning along--this is a Blurt Alert, Code Red for anyone with a sensitive stomach or a really vivid imagination.

Most recently, the father-in-law has been fighting off (not so well) a sinus infection. They thought they had it beaten but he was still feeling a little discomfort so the ear, nose and throat guy went in (up?) to take a look and did find a small spot way up there that looked like "some kind of fungus." (It's always intimidating when those medical types bring out all that complicated terminology, isn't it?) Because of his other medical conditions, the father-in-law couldn't take the anti-fungal medication so they were basically in the wait and see mode.

Over the weekend, the father-in-law was sitting in his recliner in the living room when he sneezed. He opened the tissue, as instructed by the ENT guy to check the color and having made a mental note of it, he folded the tissue and set it on the table beside his chair and moved!

When Cranky Boss Lady's daughter got to that part of the story, I shrieked like a cheerleader on a roller coaster. I'm not sure whether it was her delivery or the fact that I was only half-listening to the story to begin with and those words "it moved!" dragged me right into it.

In any case, the tissue moved and it was discovered that there was "some kind of worm" in the tissue--a worm that had only recently been inside the father-in-law's head. Mother-in-law came in with a clean yogurt container, dropped the tissue in and immediately transported the whole mess to the doctor for identification. It's been sent to a lab.

Prayers would be appreciated--for the father-in-law, but for me as well because I'm pretty sure if I hear a story "better" than this this year, I might never recover.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Masked Mom's Media Monday: Valentine's Day

Still recovering from Valentine's Day, Masked Mom offers this rerun of last year's Valentine's Day Rant...

Is Valentine's Day the most romantic day of the year or a purely commercial holiday, which only suckers fall for? Being on the one hand a cynic by nature and on the other hand employed in one of the so-called industries that benefit directly from the commercial aspect of the holiday puts me in an odd position in that argument. (Rock(ME)Hard place? Not that bad, but close.) The couple-of-day rush at Valentine's Day pays my salary not just for a couple of days, but for a couple of weeks or more so I don't know where I, or the shop, would be without it, but of course I think it's asinine that so many people (almost all men) spend so much out of what amounts to a Pavlovian response to societal and (in the case of demanding, high maintenance women) interpersonal conditioning. Not only do I think it's asinine, I bitterly resent having to jump through hoops for these suckers who not only fall for the hype, but wait for the day of the hoax-holiday and expect my help in working some miracle in their romantic relationships.

That was my mental landscape last year as I put in 36 hours over the course of three days. I was arranging a dozen roses, which with balloons and delivery charges came to right around $100, when I wondered, really, what emotion would motivate someone to spend $100 frigging dollars on one day. I don't buy it as an expression of love--I think it's fear of the highest magnitude. There are two kinds of guys spending $100 on Valentine's flowers--one is living in fear of his woman (a condition commonly referred to as pussy-whipped, or just plain whipped for the faint-hearted among us) and one is guilt-ridden for his own failures the rest of the year. As with all sweeping generalizations, there are exceptions...I just haven't met any lately.

I don't have much faith in the grand gestures--they are hollow and pointless in unhealthy relationships and wholly unnecessary lily-gilding in good relationships.

I hate, too, the dismal lack of creativity and individuality we see on this holiday. A dozen roses is the grand gesture of grand gestures, widely understood to speak of commitment and depth of emotion. It's so arbitrary and, ultimately, meaningless because it pushes the same buttons, at least theoretically, for every couple everywhere. It's not personal in any way--I just don't get it at all. Clearly, there are a lot of men and women who do get it (women who have tantrums when they don't get it, in fact), but I just don't understand why. How can a cliche move anyone?

That said, I'm off to go recover from arranging a million roses.

Masked Mom's One-Word Review: Overblown.

PS--This year, we got about eighteen inches of snow from 2pm on the 13th until 3pm or so on the 14th. The only thing more exhausting than waiting on ten million customers is worrying about what's going to happen when those ten million customers don't show up because they're snowed in. Not to mention worrying every single second because we had two delivery vehicles out in that crap.

Friday, February 16, 2007

With Friends Like These...

One of my favorite parts of parenting adolescent males is the glimpse it gives me inside the world of high school guys. I had only one brother and by the time he was in high school, I had a couple of kids and wasn't around much to see it. Now I get a much closer view--and I find their world sometimes baffling but always, always entertaining. Some of the things they say to each other are absolutely priceless.

An example: One of Son-Three's volleyball* teammates (the previously mentioned Player Five--the one who got his braces stuck in Daughter-Only's zipper on the trampoline) was complaining that he didn't get as much play time as he would like. Son-Three, a sophomore, said, "Well, you are only a freshman."

Player Five sarcastically replied, "Congratulations! Your parents boinked** before mine."

*The volleyball season is over and the boys' team took first place for our conference.
**There's a very real possibility that the actual word Player Five used wasn't quite as family friendly (or sort of family friendly) as "boinked." It may, in fact, have had an "F" somewhere near the beginning of the word...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Masked Mom's Media Monday: Philosophy Made Simple

A widower and his three adult daughters (all of whom are leading increasingly complicated lives), an avacado grove, a Hindu wedding, an artistic elephant, a Mexican brothel and, just maybe, the meaning of life. Considering all that author Robert Hellenga has packed into its pages, Philosophy Made Simple is a surprisingly slender and quiet book.

It sneaks up on you--this story of widower Rudy Harrington trying to understand the world and his place in it--and by the time you realize how invested you are in the fates of all the people (and one fascinating elephant), there's the last page. But, as with any book of value, it never really ends. You carry its essence with you in your own search for understanding.

Masked Mom's One-Word Review: Enlightening.

Friday, February 09, 2007

It's Going Around

Justin Timberlake's newest "What Goes Around...Comes Around" is in heavy rotation on the new radio station. (Have I mentioned there's a new radio station in town? I was positively giddy when I heard about it--it plays Top 40 "the best of the '80s, '90s, and now" instead of country or "oldies" like the other two stations. Now I don't have to listen to the staticky Buffalo stations!!!) I hope I'm not the only one to ever be spun into a whirlwind of philosophical thought by the lyrics of a pop song, but if I am, so be it.

I've been thinking all week about that saying, "What goes around, comes around." meaning "he'll get his" or "she'll get hers." It's commonly accepted as fact--and karma, boiled down to its essence and stripped of all subtlety, is just another version of "what goes around, comes around" on a grander, more cosmic scale.

When someone has been cheated on or stolen from or otherwise done wrong, it's practically a reflex to say "what goes around, comes around," as though there is some comfort in the thought that the one who hurt you will someday be hurt, and maybe, deliciously, in exactly the same way he or she hurt you. In the human nature laboratory of the flower shop, where who's done wrong and been done to around town and around the world is the most frequent topic of conversation, I wouldn't doubt I've heard that phrase at least once a day for the past eight years.

I've never been much of a believer in it myself. It seems to me there are lots of people who are perfectly miserable human beings--who treat others with disrespect or outright disdain, who cause others pain as a matter of course--who are walking around, fine and dandy, in some cases (corporate honchos, for instance) they've actually profited from their evil ways and their lives seem measurably better.

There is one particular person I know who seems to have gotten away with being vile on a fairly regular basis. She is routinely nasty to everyone around her--even when she seems to be trying to be nice or generous, there is a pushy element about her generosity (and her expectation of your gratitude). She is two-faced and completely unable to keep a secret. She's bossy and certain her opinion matters significantly more than anyone else's. She delights in other's troubles. (I once saw her call her neighbor's teenage son first thing in the morning--knowing she would wake him up--just to let him know he had a parking ticket on his windshield. She was that eager to be the one to break the "bad news.") All this and yet, nothing disproportionately bad has happened to her. I keep waiting for something heavy to fall on her from way up high, but nothing...

Then it hit me--thanks in part to the prompting of Justin's new song--her punishment for being the way she is is being the way she is. I can't think of anything worse than going through life with a shriveled up and nasty little soul. She's missing so much by being the way she is that there really doesn't need to be any further punishment.

So sing on, Justin, because not only does it come around, sometimes it's already here.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Masked Mom's Media Monday: Too Cold

After lulling us into complacency with temps that barely dipped into the teens at night and highs in the 30s and 40s during the day for much of January, we've been hit by temps below zero with windchills in the HOLY CRAP area. (Seriously, our town had the coldest windchills in the viewing area of the Buffalo TV station--we were at negative 31 degrees this morning. I've resolved not to look tomorrow morning.)

I was at the grocery store this evening, hastily throwing my groceries in the car and I went, "Errggghhhh!" because I was cold and just as I did a girl walking up the sidewalk toward the store made exactly the same noise. And we both looked at each other in sympathy and I said, "It's the only logical response."

Masked Mom's One-Word Review: Errgghhhh!

PS--It's supposed to break tomorrow. Let's hope so...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Perfect Post For January: " oncoming train of painful insight"

January is typically the month of the year when resolutions are made and, all too often, broken. The month when, if we're not careful, we will descend into a pit of introspection from which we might never escape. Self-awareness is generally a good thing, but there's a point at which your brain begins to chase its own tail. I remember, during a particularly fruitless and melodramatic time, thinking of all that soul-searching as being lost in a wilderness of mirrors where you can't find the path home because all you can see are facets of yourself reflected back at you.

Lucky for me that at the beginning of this month, I came across "choo" at tuckova. There is a lesson to be learned (admittedly at tuckova's expense) there. I will, of course, not learn it, but it sure was nice to see the raging battle between self-assurance and self-doubt spelled out in a post so short and sweet and sneakily brilliant.

So here's my button:

A Perfect Post – January 2007

And, tuckova, it's all yours!

Other winners at Petroville and Suburban Turmoil.