Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boo!

Lots to say.....about the incredible wedding we went to last weekend, about what's going on. I had a whole idea for a blog post about Halloween candy and how candy tastes so much better when it comes in trick-or-treat sizes but I'm CARAZY here and just can't. As it is I've gotta rush home and help put together a robot costume for Stella.

But looky what we made last night! Stella and I used the kits and D. made the traditional one. We got hand cramps and achey backs and he was done in five minutes! But it was worth it, dontcha think?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stick A Fork In Me

I'm done.

I have nothing left to give, y'all. I'm a drained shell of a human being.

HOWEVER....

I love love. And I love it when people I love love each other and celebrate it in front of everyone else who loves them.

So I'm honored and thrilled to take part in such a ceremony this weekend. As crazy as this month has been, it's great to cap it off by squeezing myself into a bridesmaid dress (my third in two years!) and celebrate with a truly wonderful group of people.

In related news...you know, I've been in some scary places (alone in big cities late at night, very old graveyards late at night, Southern Baptist services), but they do not compare with the most terrifying place on this planet - DAVID'S BRIDAL. That place gives me the willies like nothing else. Did you know you could also buy bridal Barbie (not actual Mattel-approved) dolls there? What kind of adult buys a bride Barbie? And the women who work there are relentlessly cheerful and optimistic (surely a sign that they're either a.) robots b.) aliens or c.) heavily medicated) and appear to truly LOVE dealing with wedding parties on a daily basis. Now that's just wrong. I really love the ladies who've asked me to be in their weddings and therefore go to David's Bridal multiple times for fittings and purchases - but I'm afraid that next time I'll be kidnapped by the Bride-bots and forced to smile all day and be able to spot the difference between ivory and off-white at ten paces.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I Think American Women Are Funnier, Though

Hey ladies! Want to feel extra dull, ugly, stupid, fat, boring, and worthless?

Well then by all means watch the documentary, French Beauty!

It's basically two hours dedicated to the allure of French women, their effortless charm and beauty, and it might as well be subtitled, "The Kind You'll Never Know, So Have Another Croissanwich You Gauche American Cow." Or maybe that was just my neuroses talking to me again.

But it's true. What is it with French women? And how do they AGE that way??

Juliette Binoche

Emmanuelle Beart

Isabelle Huppert

Catherine Deneuve

Fanny Ardant

Brigitte Bardot

Sophie Marceau

Jeanne Moreau

Bourdain Report

Kelly really said it best when she wrote, "I was glad to see Anthony Bourdain was just as lanky, funny, vulgar, witty and charming in real life."

I concur.

He had an ideal audience - everyone loved everything he had to say and laughed and clapped in all the right places.

I liked what he said about true cuisine artistry being a result of poverty. Filet Mignon is boring, he said. Escargot? There's no way that was invented by a chef. I believe that - that creativity abounds when there are limits placed. I know I've whipped up some crazy, but crazy-good meals when it's a week to pay day and I've got to rely on whatever I can scrounge up in the kitchen.

And his inscription in Angela's book included the word (god forgive me if my grandmother is still reading this) "skullfuck."

He certainly did not disappoint.

Friday, October 19, 2007

It Wasn't Even My Book

I guess I really do have a double chin. I was asking him how warthog anus tasted (guess what? As bad as it looked. Surprise, surprise). What the hell...it was the best I could come up with. It's been a long day.

Rumor

Hey!

I hear it's Friday but I haven't had time to verify it.


That means I have to figure out how not to look like a hillbilly in front of Anthony Bourdain.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's The Little Things

I sign off from most of my work emails like this:

Warmly,
Alannah


I got an email today from a lovely gentleman in Senegal. He addressed it, "Dear Warmly Alannah."

Isn't that sweet? I like it.

What?

It's STILL not Friday?

Surely that can't be right.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Giddier Than a Schoolgirl

EEEEEEEE!!!!! I can't believe how lucky I am!

Okay, I should back up so you know why I'm so thrilled.

Remember how Anthony Bourdain is coming to my town? Well, I got too busy and forgot to get tickets until they were already sold out, so I resigned myself to watching his talk in another room in the library on closed circuit tv. Not too exciting...but worth it, I thought.

So tonight, Angela is over for dinner (I made BLTs w/ fresh whole grain bread, avocados, Petit Jean bacon...the works. She brought a tangy and bright Pinot Grigio and a lush and yummy Chianti) and we're just hanging out, watching America's Next Top Model when my phone rings and it's MY FAIRY GODSISTER offering me not one, but TWO tickets to Anthony Bourdain. And not just his talk but the VIP cocktail reception beforehand as well! With a menu that he has picked out! I'm on Cloud friggin' Nine. I feel like I'm going to get to meet Jimi Hendrix.

Now I wish I could find my copy of Kitchen Confidential....

This is exactly the pick-me-up I needed.

Plea

All I really wanna do is spend 36 hours in bed watching The Food Network and drinking hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps.

Can that be arranged?

Thanks.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Because I Love Books So Much

I'm very tempted to call in overworked-and-underpaid tomorrow.

But of course I won't.


Plus, my job told me it was sorry and would never, ever make me work all weekend again. Then it bought me some flowers and a new dress and took me to dinner. It doesn't MEAN to overwork me. It's just how it shows me that I'm worth the attention. It's for my own good anyway. Where do these dark circles and puffy eyes come from? Oh, I stay up all night, um, reading. Yes, reading.

Darkness All Around

There's a heavy metaphorical and physical cloud hanging over me today. It's dark and rainy. I'm beyond exhausted, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I'm not sad or upset - just drained. Everything feels like it's taking six times as long to accomplish.

Not to mention the fact that President Bush is situated about 20 miles away from me at this very moment.

Please send me funny pictures, stories, or brownies.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

New Crush

I'm in love, y'all.

I'm in love with the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

We were lucky enough to see them play at the Auditorium in Eureka last night and WOW! There's no way I'm going to be able to aptly describe how awesome they were. They play the banjo, fiddle, earthen jug, and bones and wood like the spoons. They beatbox and sing. They clog and jam. They play true roots music....not bluegrass or blues or jazz or country or a kind of music that can be neatly categorized. Who wants neatly categorized anything, come to think of it? They're young and talented and just so genuinely true to themselves; it comes across in everything they played and said. But wait...AND THEN, the mesmerizingly gorgeous and talented female singer did like a bluegrass, stripped-down version of Blu Cantrell's "Hit 'Em Up Style." Not to mention her a capella rendition of "Another Man Done Gone." I felt like crying they were so good.

Marty - they're in your neck of the woods. You have to see them if you have a chance. You would love them.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Where You'll Find Me All Weekend


Watching the lovely ladies of The Maybelles perform as often as possible. I can't recommend them highly enough. D. recorded and co-produced their latest album and they're good friends so while I might be totally biased, I'm still totally right. I've had their songs in my head for months now and they're still as beautiful and haunting and sweet and funny as the first time.

After Arkansas they're headed up north to play in and around NYC and the northeast. They only get together to play once in a while so you've got to catch them when you can.

I Wonder If Twelve Is Too Young for Coffee

Yesterday Stella went on a field trip to Kansas City. I had to take her to the school at 4:30am (not a typo) to meet the school bus. She come home exhausted but excited from her big day. She must have forgotten to re-set her alarm because at 5:00 this morning she yells downstairs, "Mo-om! MOM! We're going to be late!" The dog started barking. D. jumped out of bed; I was dead to the world. Once he told her what time it was she figured out what had happened and went back to bed for two hours. The kicker is that today is also her school picture day so she had gotten all gussied up for the event. I went upstairs at 7 to take her to school and she was fast asleep on her back in her carefully selected outfit and perfectly brushed hair - like a preteen Snow White. She had woken up at 3:45 a-freakin'-m to get ready...completely oblivious.

I was teasing her about waking up so early and she said, "I should have known something was wrong when I fell asleep in the shower."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Question

How is it that the time between 4:00pm and 5:00pm lasts A KAJILLION HOURS?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Photo Hodge Podge

We received this catalog the other day called My Twinn. It's the creepiest thing ever! What kind of a freaky miniature narcissist wants a doll that looks just like her? And what parent would indulge that sort of behavior? This is how societies fall apart!
This is a signature dish. Salmon poached in red curry/coconut milk. Jasmine rice. Asian slaw of napa cabbage, red peppers, cucumber, green onion, dressed with toasted sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce. If you are around me longer than a month or so, then I've probably cooked this for you.

Last weekend was our big biker rally. It's a spectacle.

Sexy Native American ladies seemed to be a popular decorative motif. And of course the flag. Because nothing is, uh, more patriotic than sexy Native Americans, the flag, and the untamed wilderness? All that's missing is a yellow ribbon.

Baby biker wear. Gotta target market every possible age!

And, of course...no cultural photo essay of mine would be complete without the requisite misogynistic t-shirt.

Mullets for Jesus were back again this year. I failed to get a photo of the guy with the megaphone yelling at the passers-by. He also held a large sign that helpfully included all the sins he was charging us with. I thought I was doing pretty good until I saw he'd listed "Potty Mouth." Shit! Failed again!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Neighborhood Supermarket Supplement Aisle

I don't think I'd want to open up my vitamin cabinet and see any of these staring back at me:



Seems like a cheap shot to name a hormone tea Women's Liberty. And how are we freed because of this tea?




Okay, so this card was across from the supplements. But I couldn't resist. I'm in a wedding in a few weeks...this might be just the card for the lucky couple!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Regional Pride

Hillary Clinton wrote in her memoir Living History about the first time she met Bill Clinton. He was going on about his hometown, Hope, and its famous watermelon festival. She asked a friend who he was. “Oh, that’s Bill Clinton,” the friend told her. “He’s from Arkansas, and that’s all he ever talks about.”

Um, yeah....we Arkansans (or Arkansawyers - that argument will wait for a different time) have a problem with that. We really love our state. And we love it when locals make it big. Without thinking I could name off ten famous people with roots in Arkansas (Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Maya Angelou, Billy Bob Thornton, Levon Helm, Al Green, John Grisham, Mary Steenburgen, General MacArthur, Senator Fulbright). Hell, we even claim the B-listers or cheesy ones (Evanescence, the guy who played Herb in WKRP in Cincinnati, Tracy Lawrence).

So I was particularly excited to hear that filmmakers with roots in Arkansas, Lisa Blount (born here in Fayetteville), her husband Ray McKinnon, and their partner Walton Goggins have made another film about the south. Randy and the Mob is opening in southern cities and they've taken it on the road in hopes word of mouth will take over and it will get a wider distribution. They won an Oscar in 2001 for best live action short film with The Accountant, a hilarious and dark take on southern culture. They also made Chrystal in my hometown of Eureka Springs a few summers ago. Chrystal was a little too dark for some people but I loved how it captured the small, intangible things that make the Ozarks beautiful and special....the way the woods look and sound at night, the wild lushness of the forests and hills. Randy and the Mob is light and funny where Chrystal was dark and mysterious. The short plot sounds like a goofy movie - a small town businessman gets in over his head with connected loan sharks. They send a mob "fixer" who ends up changing the whole town and its inhabitants. Sounds like a ton of other comedies, right? But it defied my expectations. It's really really funny, actually. The writing is nuanced and natural and the acting shows a real love for the material.

Ray McKinnon and Lisa Blount introduced the showing we went to on Friday. They were personable, genuine, and clearly believed in doing whatever it takes to bring this film to as many people as possible. I love that they're committed to portraying the South on film....without relying on lame stock characters or cheap jokes. I love that they've made a southern gothic mystery, a short black comedy, and now this sweet and hysterically funny film.

So if you're in Arkansas - please go see Randy and the Mob in Little Rock or Fayetteville. I think it's only showing in Fayetteville for a week, maybe more. I'd love for these filmmakers to keep doing what they do so well.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Indecisions, Indecisions...

I haven't been writing about politics as much. Probably because I'm as confused as the next person. I wish I could get excited about someone's campaign but EVERY SINGLE PERSON running for president in '08 seems polished, spun, coached and just too fake. I wish....GOD HOW I WISH I could support Hillary because I'm so f'in ready for a woman to be in power in the US....but I just can't. She turns me off by being overly political. I know that sounds stupid and that we (the public) probably created this monster Political Hillary...but it's true. I also know it's naïve of me to want a president who seems like a real person, but that's still what I want. I'm sick to death of feeling powerless, angry, and saddened because of our government. Obama seems like more of a real person...but then he starts talking about putting troops in Pakistan and I'm frustrated all over again. I get a kick out of that nutjob Gravel, but there's no way in hell I'd want him leading our country. Kucinich? Like he stands a chance...

Ugh. I need to go lie down now.

And I haven't even gotten to the Republicans!

So I'll ask the same question I ask everyone with whom I get into political discussions:

Who(m?) are you leaning towards and why?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

In Case You Were Wondering...

You gotta click on this to make it bigger and get the full effect:

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Funk-busters

I've been kinda down lately. Dealing with deep-seated issues. A few things are working to bring me out of it, though. The love of a good man (god that sounds corny...but you know what? It's true). Crispness of early fall and foggy mornings. Talking to old friends who live across the country. Getting to see friends in Little Rock and upcoming nuptials. And my daughter. I don't want to say too much and jinx it, but she's been a really pleasant, helpful, awesome 12 year-old lately. See? She cleaned her room:

And I discovered this little project she'd made all on her own. She cut up an old mitten and sewed together a little cat. I think she was just bored and wanted to make something. And here I was thinking she just hangs out in her room playing video games and watching trash tv. Isn't it the cutest?

Oh...and I came up with the PERFECT HALLOWEEN COSTUME. But it's going to remain a surprise for the time being.