Monday, March 29, 2010

Shake Your Bon-Bon, shake your bon....bwhhaatt??

Courtesy of Rolling Stone
I think there's plenty to be said for coming out.  The more public we are (ixnay on the P.D.A.... that goes for everyone though) the more "normal" it becomes and the less scary it becomes for people who "don't understand."  It was empowering when I came out, not because I suddenly had a rainbow flag and decided to march down main street in hot pants, but because I was being me and not having to come up with reasons why I didn't want to go out with this girl or that girl.

But when celebrities do it late (relatively) in their careers it just begs the question... why?  Especially for celebrities who we all figured were gay-but-closeted anyway.  (Note: If you are closeted that's fine... I hold no grudge against you.  Your life is your life to live and shouldn't be judged by anyone... anyone.)  But it does become suspect that these celebrities do it solely for the publicity in the face of a lukewarm "Hollywood" presence.

This diatribe comes from Ricky Martin's announcement that he's now "... proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."

Ok Ricky... for years you denied it.  And now just when we've nearly forgotten you (at least in the mainstream English speaking market) you say "hello" with all the flair that we knew you had all along.

Same goes for Sean Hayes a few weeks ago.  Hayes specifically talked about how he felt pushed to come out after years of playing gay on Will & Grace.  So why now?  Is it purely self-enlightenment and freedom from hiding... or do celebrities have a little more (or less) to gain in doing so?

Crap... now I sound like everyone who has ever whined about this issue.  Damn.  Ok, instead, let us just enjoy the hilarity in Ricky Martin "coming out"- as if his leather-pant filled, sheer-top hanging, cha-cha shoes storin' closet EVER had a door on it.  SNAP!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Pain in the Neck

For two weeks now I've had this sinus condition that the doctor swears is just allergies.  Lovely... allergies.  So, on her suggestions, I've been taking Claritin D, Benedryl and a small amount of Amoxicillin.  However, now I am suffering a RAGING sore throat.  

Take a journey with me, imagining a rough stone, maybe spiky, slowly squeezing its way down your throat.  Yeah... like that.

And of course I'm constantly swallowing because of this wretched post-nasal drip... which of course means I've had "Adelaide's Lament" stuck in my head for days on end.

So it will be a visit back to the doc this week to see if she can figure this out.  Grrr.  (Ow... even grrring hurts.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Free Cones and Allergies

Today is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's... but alas, the nearest Ben & Jerry's to my office is in Macy's and it is not participating.  Rude.  And here I was ready to welcome in Spring (which was here in the city for one day this weekend and then it went on sabbatical) with an awesome (and free) cone.

Along with Spring (although it is hiding at the moment) came allergies.  I was certain I had strep throat last week so I saw the doctor on Friday ready for some antibiotics, maybe a shot, anything to make me feel better.  "You have raging allergies," she said.  Great... I suppose that's better than strep... except that allergies are an "always problem".

So now I'm buzzing from Claritin D (amazing... those commercials where the world is fuzzy and then clear... totally true).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"I guess this is goodbye old pal, you've been a perfect friend"

Sondheim's lyrics can appear to unaffected as just words on a page or phrases trilling out of some person's mouth.  But these lyrics, sung by Jack of Beanstalk fame in Into the Woods, are ringing over and over in my head after the passing of little Izzy on Wednesday.

Izzy was both saved and savior.  I lost Maya a few years ago after she succumbed to her own ill health.  Pinter, our boy, mourned her passing, wandering through the apartment looking for his "big sister" and howling when he couldn't find her anymore.  He spent many night sleeping in her favorite spots, remembering her smell.  Only a week or so after Maya was gone my mom called with an idea.

"We found her under the trailer," she said, speaking of a tiny white short-haired Persian who had washed up under their trailer during a horrific storm.  "We heard this faint little cry and climbed underneath to find her trapped under the house.  I think she was sent here for you."

I was nervous.  I wasn't sure I was ready for a new cat.  Maya's passing was still very much on my mind.  I was going home for Thanksgiving anyway so I made a deal.  I would bring Pinter with me and let him decide.  If he was comfortable with this little kitten then I'd bring her home with me.

He wasn't.  Pinter was so horrified by this little creature... keep in mind he'd never met a kitten before (at least not since his own litter).  In fact, he was so anti-kitten that he ran off to hide.  She of course loved him... instant big brother!  I fell in love with the little white nugget immediately and knew I had to bring her home but at the moment I was terrified because Pinter has REALLY vanished!

After an hour of searching (in a not-so-large house), and with my panicked "Where is he? Where is he?" screaming, we finally found him.  He had somehow managed to climb into a kitchen cabinet that was wedged shut from age and warping.  Magic... had to be magic.

My mom and I knew that this little girl would be Izzy... named for the panicked screams I had blurted for the previous hour.  Izzy would join our home.  And Pinter, after 2 or 3 days, decided that she wasn't leaving and caved in.  He loved her like his own little sister.  In fact, he and Joxer were the ones who were at the door the minute I came home on Wednesday.  They got my attention and then took off down the hallway, me racing behind them understanding the unspoken urgency that they conveyed.

Little Izzy was saved from a storm and saved me and Pinter from loneliness and loss.  She didn't replace Maya... but she did become a new, important and loved member of our family.

Ren suggested, like the old wives' tale that cats can steal your soul while you sleep, that Izzy had stolen his sickness while he slept to save him.  I like that idea.  It makes her passing easier believing that she gave of herself to save the person that she loved.  I have no doubt that she will continue to look over us and protect us from afar.  She, Maya and my mom are probably playing together on the other side... until we need them down here.

A good girl to her last breath.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Renaming the Blog?

I'm thinking about renaming the blog.  Submit your name suggestions by posting in the comments.  I'll take the best 3 or 4 and then let you vote... unless I just really like one.  Ok, let the games and brain storming begin!


A Real Life Ursula Fails at Serving

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
So, having dinner with Mike is always a treat.  We gab, we gossip, we dish.  But last night at a certain diner in the Meatpacking District, we were assaulted with egregious idiocy in the guise of our server.  She was a real-life Ursula* - not the sea witch but Phoebe's unfortunately incapable sister from Friends and Mad About You.

It took her a few minutes to come to our table, not unusual during the dinner rush (unfortunately the dinner rush was about an hour before us).

"What can I get you for dinner?" She asked.  This was followed by quizzical looks from me to Mike and back again.  "Can we order our drinks?  We're not quite ready to order our meals." She was immediately confused but didn't react, just kept her pen to pad and waited.  We tried again, "Just five minutes please."

She got the "hint" and parted so that we could look over the menu without her lurking.  After a while she came back ready to go.

"I'd like the double patty melt please." I asked.

"Oh, we don't have any." She replied.


"We don't have it.  Just the single patty melt."  Note that the menu does not even offer a single patty melt... just a double.  Also note that a double is only a double because the cook puts two patties on one sandwich.  Simple right?  Not for our Ursula.

My questions about the inability to put two patties on one sandwich were met with confusion.  Mike politely smiled at me, then to her, then to his menu to hide what I can only assume was uncontrollable giggles at her lack of a Mensa certificate.

Knowing I was not going to get anywhere I asked her for a few more minutes so that I could select something that was not only on the menu but also capable of being put together in the kitchen.

Again, subtle hints did not help.  But she eventually grasped that I needed another moment and left us.

She returned a few minutes later, very excited.  "I checked with the kitchen and they can make a double patty melt.  They just have to put an extra patty on the sandwich."  Ladies and gentlemen... pass this server a Degree in Common Sensology.

So the meals eventually came, and were delicious, and then... the bill came.

Mike and I were splitting the check.  I was nervous... this could send Ursula over the edge.  Math would be involved.  So we made it simple.  "Put XX on this card and then XX on this one."

She seemed to understand and hurried away to process the charge.  She came back a minute or two later, much slower though as she was studying the receipts.

"So, here's this one for XX" and slides the card and receipt to Mike.  "And here's this one for XX" and slides mine to me.  Here is where disaster struck.  She had charge me for the full bill and charged Mike for his share.  These were not the instructions we gave her.

"Miss, you seem to have charged me for the full amount."  I said, pointing to the total on the receipt.

"Huh?" She looked, again confused, "Oh."  I knew from our 45 minutes with her that this Oh was not an acknowledgment of understanding.  "You should only have charged me XX but you charged me the full amount.  I need this corrected please."

"OH!" a ha, an acknowledgement Oh, "I thought it looked funny.  I'll be right back."  She hurried away and then some minutes passed.  She popped by, "Sorry it is taking so long.  It should be fixed soon."  Really?  I thought, You're, no doubt, making this far more complicated then necessary.  

She finally returned and had my correct bill, which I signed.  Before I could ask for a copy of the voided amount she was off, never to return.  We waited a few minutes and then finally gave up, "I just want to get out of here," I said to Mike.

That was MY mistake.

This morning I get an alert from Chase that I have two pending charges from the same vendor.  And without hesitation I knew it was this diner.  Yep.  Two charges... ridiculous.

I immediately called the restaurant and, after a second with the hostess, was handed over to the General Manager.

"Oh she should NOT have done that."  Really??  "She should have handled that much differently."

"Yeah, well, now I have an overdraft because of your server's error and I just want this fixed, please." (Yes, pre-payday and the funds are dry... don't judge.)

We talked for a minute about my experience there, for which he apologized profusely... he seemed to understand when I told him who our server was.  He assured me that the incorrect transaction would be voided and should appear in my account by Monday and that if I was charge any overdraft fee he would reimburse me out of Ursula's paycheck/tips.  She can afford it since she got a NICE WAD of tip by charging me twice.

Epic fail Ursula.  EPIC FAIL.
*Not her real name.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Everyone's Favorite Game: "Creative Team or Cuckoo Pants?"

I'm not going to go into WHY Elinor Burket went nuts on the Oscars last night but I am going to offer up a new game for all of us to play: Creative Team or Cuckoo Pants!

There are no rules really... you just have to pick someone on a creative team (i.e. your favorite Broadway director, music producer, lighting designer, playwright/screenwriter, etc) and decide, based on their behavior, if they are simply creative or if they are a bat-ass crazy cuckoo pants.

In a fun twist to the game, you can watch an awards show and, when you've decided that someone is simply cuckoo pants, take a shot.  By the end of the night you will, no doubt, be so  inebriated, that you too will be cuckoo pants... at least briefly.

Ready... set... go... May the cuckoo games begin!

If you want to read the whole story of Ms. Burket's Kanye moment, check out either Salon's piece or a more fun-filled, jaunty exposé on my friend Mark's blog, The Critical Condition.  Don't take my word for it!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I wish Samantha Stephens was my neighbor

There's a marathon of Bewitched on TVLand today.  This is the way to come home after a visit to the gym and the grocery store.  Does anyone not enjoy the innocent magic that happens in the Stephens' home?  Well, maybe Gladys Kravitz, but that's what you get for being a snoop.

Bewitched was so much more than just a show about a witch - it gives us a sense of wonder and fun that a lot of TV doesn't (or in the case of this 60s classic, didn't).  It inspired a lot of shows.  I Dream of Jeannie followed in 1965, just a year after Samantha twinkled onto our sets.  Sabrina the Teenage Witch came along in 1996 (although she originally appeared in the Archie comic books in 1962, a full two years before Bewitched) and Charmed in 1998 (although it was probably more inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer than anything else).  And today we have Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place.  Dozens of other shows have toyed with magic and carried on plots with witches and wizards but Bewitched seems to do it best... even 38 years after it ended its original run.

Still, as much as I love it, one thing always irked me about the show.  I understand that the show took place in a different time and that values were not what they are today (that that as you will).  But the idea that Darren could command his wife to follow his strict set of rules, based on a misguided moral compass, was always troubling.  Yes, Sam routinely ignored his orders and comedy would ensue, but the idea that she might be the slightest bit willing to let go of her witching ways upset me.

In that way, I totally understand Endora's complaints.  Why would any self-respecting witch allow a mortal to take away the thing that made her unique and special?  Love?  Maybe.  But more likely it was simply the whim of the writers who needed drama to propel the show forward.

I also can't ignore the switching of the Darren's... but that's for another day and another diatribe.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

"American Uh-Oh" or "Stop Calling Her 'E'"

So, if you follow my tweets (@wthomasadkins) you know a little about how I feel about this season's Idol contestants...THEY'RE  DISASTERS!

Seriously, are these really the best people out of hundreds of thousands that they could chose from?

This same rant has been posted by plenty of people, but I just have to say share.

These contestants are pitchy (thanks for making sure that the entire world has that word in their everyday vernacular Randy!), weak and uninteresting.

The boys (jeez, Tim Urban, really?) are a train wreck and the girls (anyone??) were the broken track that the boys rolled over.  CA-RASH!  (Ok, except Crystal who, while not my favorite style, is really rockin' it tonight.)

Then you have the judges.  Those returning from last season have given up giving off-the-cuff advice and have resorted to three or four cue-card responses:

Randy:  "Yo dawg, ya know I love you.  I'm your biggest fan but for me, hmm, I just don't know.  I didn't love it."

Kara: "You are a talented, unique person but I don't think you're an artist... yet."

Simon: "That was probably ok for karaoke."

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Thank God for Ellen, sorry, I mean "E"... really Randy??  You don't call Kara "K" or Simon "S".  That's right, I'm pointing figures and asking you "R"!  But at least Ellen has constructive comments and balances those the thorns with warm fuzzies.  Did she think you sucked?  Yeah, but in a pleasant way that makes you feel good about your failure.