Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How many blog entries do I write that I do not post?

Based on the quality of writing and incoherent spittle I manage to spray into Splenda Sucks, you would think that everything I write ends up here. The reality is different.

My computer has a number of half-baked things that I started writing. Most of them are rambling political jeremiads, which I sort of try to steer clear of on Splenda Sucks so I can continue to be likable to the five people who read anything I write. I write those unpublished things, blow them full of my anger and then I pop them, deciding that they are too angry and offensive and, ultimately, unpostworthy. Part of the joy of writing things to stick on the web is that I can focus on the mundane, because that’s what the web should be about.

However, I will veer away from the perfectly mundane to write something personal and political (although, a bad experience at Walgreens is personal and being pissed off about paying taxes is ultimately political). I will try to keep my entry as mundane as possible.

This is about my wedding. I am getting married.


Thank you for the warm congratulations.


No, I am not registered for gifts and don’t intend to be for any period of time due to the ongoing remodel of my house (another blog-unworthy rant parked on my hard drive for now).


No, I will not tell you the details, but let it suffice that I have informed you of this happy occasion.


Yes, I am keeping it a big secret. I am following in the footsteps of my friend Anne, a true West Michigan pioneer.

To prepare my family and friends for my marriage, I emailed a letter, which you can find here, about the value of a wedding and what might impact the timeline. And what we (“We?,” you ask? … I am marrying someone of course. I am not the fourth sister on this spectacular Saturday Night Light performance) intend to do to make this marriage a reality by the end of the month.

You will get an update soon. But in the meantime, please read this letter and forward it to everyone you know in California (and everyone you know everywhere, so they can forward it back to those of us in California), and donate money to block the efforts of people who want me to marry someone else.

There! So how innocuous, blogworthy, and gently apolitical was that?

Still don’t understand? Try this. Splenda really sucks and is made by hateful people. The people who make it are creepy religious lying fanatics who say it’s only natural because it’s made from the sugar God told them to make Splenda from. And the non-Splenda eaters, they say, are far from what God deemed. They eat amazing red velvet maltball seven-layer cakes with Meyer lemon Scharffenberger chocolate glaze and fresh churned lavender ice cream. Sure they get a little fat, but if they go to the gym a lot, they’ll be in good shape and happy.

Although sugar is perfectly natural , the evil Splendadoers have an intolerant agenda, but are spreading their lies to the people via chains of Rite-Aid and Wal-Mart, making innocent people believe that a Splenda banana moonpie sealed together in a sucralose glaze concoction is really what nature intended.

Don't accessorize

Accessories are important. We all like to accessorize with jewelry, things in our hair, things around our neck, groovy belt buckles and shoes. I have no problem with accessories because they keep millions of people employed in China and provide minimum-wage jobs at Claire’s stores across North America. Pre-teen girls seem to be the biggest consumers, snatching up scrunchies and bobbles and charms that say Justin Timberlake and Zac Ephron. Plenty of teenagers and, come to think of it grown women, also seem to trash out their bodies with the accessory treats sold at Claire’s, and Dollar Tree, Target, and bankrupt (and closing) Mervyn’s.

Guys are not exempt. Just walk into H&M and see the racks of chokers and necklaces and beaded leather and metal bracelets that make you look unique even though everyone else is wearing these things to maintain their own style. I have owned copper bracelets, studs for my pierced ear which has long since grown shut, and I used to regularly wear a leather and silver necklace thing I bought in Puerto Escondido (what do you call them when they’re made for a guy?), but am currently unadorned (until this coming Friday, but that’s a different story).
What’s the purpose of international travel if not to buy accessories?

I’m not Tim Gunn, but I personally think jewelry should be limited to bracelets, necklaces, pins, earrings and watches. I’m not a fan of septum rings, though I sort of liked eyebrow rings when those were in vogue, but fortunately they are now passé. I used to see people with pierced foreheads and necks, but I’m really happy that I don’t see many of those people anymore.

Nipple rings are sort of gross to me, even though I have some friends who have them. Pierced navels and pierced anything lower than a navel is out of the question for me, but if they give people sexual fulfillment, that’s fine because I don’t usually have to see whatever’s pierced down there.

Although I say jewelry is a fine accessory, I really detest certain ear implements. Many years ago, when I was in Malaysia, I took my friend Robin’s advice and went to a museum about people who do unnatural things to their bodies. It was exhibit after exhibit of bound feet, elongated necks, penises sliced in half, and lips with giant plates stretching them forward like a clam. One exhibit made not much of an impression on me: the stretched ear lobes that dangle down to one’s shoulders. Why? Because I see those in San Francisco. I’m told you start with a small earring tube and then keep replacing it with larger ones until someday you can stick your fist through your earlobe. Very unattractive in my opinion.

But the reason I’m writing today is actually not to complain about shoelaces or rings or anything I just derided. My main peeve is a relatively new accessory. It’s called a trashy-ass Bluetooth headset. What’s the deal? I own one. I wore it twice and then decided I didn’t like it, I didn’t want a brain tumor. I am now an old-fashioned mobile phone user with a cord leading to my ear, but wear the contraption only when I really need to use a headset.

Unfortunately, an awful lot of people seem to think of these Bluetooth things as an accessory. You know who I’m talking about. It’s the old geezer having dinner with his family at the Chinese restaurant who keeps his Bluetooth headset on throughout the meal (and now, I’m not being insensitive… it is not a hearing aid. It is a telephone). It’s the woman wearing the red skirt suit walking through the airport with her children, but she’s not talking on the phone. It’s the temp employee my colleague hired in Los Angeles who kept it on the whole time she was on the job even though she was doing face-to-face surveys and was not supposed to be talking to the phone.

These things are meant for wearing in the car. Period. People who are talking on the phone in public using them look silly, but I’ll cut them a teeny bit of slack because at least they are using them as they are supposed to be used and not as a decorative object. I think these people – the old geezer, the red suit woman and the tacky LA surveyor -- wear them because they actually think they look good. It makes them look modern and high-tech. It makes them look like they are successful, because they can afford to buy this piece of modern technology (which currently retails for about $30 or even less if you check out the Chinese crap on DealExtreme.com). But instead, the people sporting their Bluetooth headsets look like total morons and will get brain tumors.

The moral of the story: Wear your wedding ring and your earring, but keep the phone ring to your phone when in public.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Figuring out what to be for Halloween is difficult for a child

For an adult, it can be overwhelming.

Here’s my list of 18 possible Halloween costumes for those of you who can’t decide.
  1. Dress as Sarah Palin or Cindy McCain! Just beware that everyone else will be dressing as this barfball duo. So only do it if you have an amazing likeness or if you do it with a twist (Lesbian Cindy McCain or Sarah Palin with puncture holes (from all of the voodoo dolls people have been using to stick pins in here).
  2. Dress as a hobo! There’s nothing quite like that Tim Conway look, and you can wear whatever you’ve got around the house that’s dirty and ugly. The only problem, most people will say you’re dressed as a homeless person, which is way not politically correct. Hobos are more charming. Find a cool stick for the little fabric pouch you carry over your shoulder.
  3. Dress like Bree Vandekamp or Hans Solo or Knight Rider! These are the lame-o costumes that you buy at Target or the Halloween Superstore. They’re meant for a one-time wear and are made of 100% acetate. You’ll definitely amuse the few other dull people at the party – the ones dressed as hobos.
  4. Go as a concept! This is the ultimate creative straight person costume. Go as “blue” (paint yourself blue!) or as “incognito” (wrap yourself in a corset that says ‘cognito’) or ‘retired’ (wear a tire and act really tired). There are thousands of opportunities here.
  5. Go as a senior citizen from Iowa on an escorted tour! Obviously, I can write about this with authority because I’ve done it. Gray wig, ugly safari purse, and an identification button that ensured I wouldn’t get lost from the tour group. I also mispronounced all of the local attractions. The only problem… it’s really hard to get out of character and people get annoyed having grandma at the party.
  6. Go as a drag queen! When all else fails, dress as a flashy, raunchy gal. Although some people take this very seriously, concept drag queens are the best. For examples, I was once “Thundra,” a drag queen thunderstorm sporting poofy clouds, a jagged lightning skirt, and airplanes spinning around my head. Another year, I was “Fridgina,” a drag refrigerator superhero with a magnetic surface, basket full of condiments, and as a hair accessory, an egg tray. Beware of lame drag queens. Just dressing as a woman doesn’t mean people will be impressed with your effort. You must go all out.
  7. Go as a brand name item! Do you know how many people sew Crayola crayon costumes? Or dress as M&M’s? If you dress as a Fresca bottle, others will be impressed with your effort, if not your imagination. But my sister once dressed as a Glamour Shot: just tackied up her face and wore a picture frame in front of it. I like that.
  8. Dress as a studly sailor, luscious lifeguard, muscle mechanic, perverted priest, or foxy fireman! These have been done so many times, but if all else fails and you really just want to get laid at the Halloween party, you can get into character and take advantage of your new persona.
  9. Dress as someone who has a menial job! This may be about as insulting as a hobo. But it can be fun to dress as a cafeteria worker and hand out scoops of peas, or be a custodian and push around a bucket of blue water and position wet floor signs wherever you go. Just make sure the party isn’t at a custodian’s house.
  10. Make a homemade costume of a popular character! When I was younger, I dressed as R2-D2. The problem is that I wrapped foil around a huge box (not a round box, mind you) and walked around holding flashlights under my costume’s various holes, moving them in a strobe-like fashion. Everyone thought I was a washing machine. It was devastating. My advice: if you make it at home, be clever and do a really good job, or just be willing to have your costume interpreted as something else.
  11. Be a ghost! The lamest of all costumes is great for teenage boys without imagination. Just make sure you use a white sheet. I remember a friend of mine at Briar Vista Elementary School went as a ghost. The problem was that the only sheet his mother would let him cut holes in had yellow and purple flowers all over it (think 1970’s flower design!).
  12. Dress as your parents! No need to say much else.
  13. Dress as a dog that can’t lick itself! Okay, this is another I know about from experience. Wear a cute fuzzy dog costume, cover your gonads with a giant Band Aid, and wear one of those huge Elizabethan dog collars around your neck. You’ll get a lot of lovin’ in this costume.
  14. Dress as an advertisement! Surely you’ve seen Lowermybills.com’s horrible dancing advertisements on the Internet. Those obnoxious ads that who dancing skeletons or women with big breasts. Hopefully they’ve gone out of business by now. Anyway, this costumes easy because all you need to do is line dance around wearing a poster that says click here for lower mortgage rates. This is a costume I’ve always wanted to try.
  15. Be someone of another ethnicity! This is a lot of fun. Dress as a Mexican, with a big hat and carry tortillas or push a little fruit Popsicle cooler with a bell on it. You could also dress as a small pushy Asian woman carrying pink plastic shopping bags filled with bok choy and keep pushing your way in front of everyone you see. These costumes are best carried off by Republicans attending cloistered Halloween gatherings.
  16. Dress as a superhero! Everyone loves a superhero in sexy tights and a cape. Come up with your own superhero concept and knock yourself out.
  17. Go as an FLDS woman! Be one of many brides living in a bleak suburban Texas subdivision wearing your teal dress with Rapunzel hair wrapped above your head in Sarah Palin fashion. There’s a website called FLDSdress.com, but you have to know the secret FLDS password (my coworker tried typing Warren Jeffs as the passcode, but it doesn’t work) . I confess, a few of us were looking to make this costume a reality this Halloween, but have had a hard time finding the perfect dresses at local San Francisco thrift stores. Unfortunately, I won’t have time when I’m in Boston tonight to go to Brookline for Orthodox Jewish dresses, which might be a good substitute.
  18. Don’t dress up! Just sit there in your house and eat the candy you bought to give to the little brats who won’t really show up. You bought six bags of Snickers, Milky Ways, and Almond Joys but you know that only two kids are going to ring your bell. Besides, name one kid who likes Almond Joy?

If you take any of my advice, please email me a photo of yourself. Happy tricks or treats.

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