Monday, September 10, 2007


In less ubiquitous news, I managed to get up and get my fine behind downtown for class this morning. Score one for me! I think moving the alarm clock further (farther?) from my flailing arms worked, since I had to actually wake up enough to acknowledge what was happening.

This still doesn't do anything about my morning bitterness, though. Why do morning people want to talk so much? I figured monosyllables and a ferocious scowl were a fair signal of STOP TALKING TO ME UNTIL AT LEAST 8:30 but sometimes people won't shut up and then I have to shoot the death ray laser beams from my eyeballs and it's just a mess.

Make it stop...

Oh, dear.

I don’t suppose I really have anything new to add to what will undoubtedly be a minor uproar over a certain former pop princess’s “come-back” performance yesterday evening. Yes, we switched over to the (erstwhile) music channel last night at 9:00 to see what we’d find, and I’m not claiming any moral high ground here by saying we shouldn’t have watched it – we were intended to watch it and the decisions of too many individuals went into producing it for anyone to really claim she was excusably unprepared for the event (including, one assumes, the decision of Miss B, herself, though one also wonders whether she was in a state of mind last night to make decisions, period, whether her fog was due to chemicals, a hangover, nerves or just plain exhaustion).

It was a confusing, stumbling, embarrassing mess of a performance from a performer who – love her or hate her – was at one time one of the most drooled-over women in the country, with one of the most tightly toned bodies and high-energy performance styles out there. Anyone who saw the performance last night would acknowledge that she looked out of shape* and out of breath, disconnected and woefully unprepared – marking her movements lethargically and often lip-synching with the wrong part of the song, when she was lip-synching at all – and her styling was terribly, awfully off.

All of that is yet another indication of something deeply wrong on a personal level – and no wonder, as we have all been (for better or worse) witness to her highly publicized personal struggles with motherhood, divorce and alleged substance abuse. Lord knows, I can sympathize with a person’s individual emotional difficulties, and people deal with things differently. To me, she clearly needs a steadying, guiding influence, and not only for her personal wellbeing. Like it or not, a pop star’s image is her business, her brand. Her look and her sound, her style and her actions are all part of the production and privacy is rarely part of the deal. It must be tremendously difficult to keep your grasp on your sense of self, if you are ever truly allowed to understand what your own sense of self may be (as I suspect she never has been), and to hold on to it while the Public You is held out for consumption. I can’t imagine that a person could do that on his or her own, which is why a Pop Star has an entourage of publicists and trainers and stylists and assistants, not to mention hopefully at least one or two true friends, whether it’s a mom or a sister or a buddy, to keep it real and deal out the tough love when necessary.

So where is her entourage? Is everyone afraid of crossing her? Does she have enough money that she doesn’t care and doesn’t listen? How do you approach someone who is so massively out of touch and persuade them to accept help? At what point does everyone give up and let the star retreat to Neverland Ranch to emerge every now and then embroiled in some even crazier shenanigans? Leaving the personal out of it, since the Pop Star is a business, isn’t there anyone with the foresight to recognize that the long-term benefits of truly shaping up and kicking ass would be much more lucrative and satisfying than the immediate gratification of an elaborate meltdown? Is there, in fact, a rock bottom? Is this all our fault, for encouraging and continuing to support her place in the public eye?

I’m not going to try and offer trenchant commentary on what all this hoopla and the inevitable tearing-down says about the state of our culture and our morals – those points will be made by others more eloquent than I can be. But I just have to wonder what the ultimate point is supposed to be. It would certainly be less embarrassing for the rest of us if last night’s performer would get the help and support that she needs on a professional level, and I do hope that she somehow gets the help and support that she seems to need so desperately on a personal level, whether she realizes she needs it or not. While I assume she has plenty of money and advantages that the average person can’t dream of, it’s still saddening and depressing to see someone with so much potential flounder so badly. It makes me feel like we’ve all failed, somehow.

*Out of shape for her, though I think on real-world terms she great, especially for having had two children since we saw her last.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Great Googly Moogly -- Two Posts in One Week!

Okay, so this exercise thing that I was doing? Apparently my subconscious has decided that we (I am refusing to acknowledge my subconscious as a part of myself right now because we are having a tiff) no longer need exercise.

For the second week in a row, I have missed my class because I overslept.

I don’t know if I’ve described the class, but it meets at 5:30 a.m. It meets downtown and because we live in the boonies I have to get up a little before 5:00 a.m. to make it in time – and this is with my workout clothes carefully laid out so that I practically fall into them as I roll out of bed and stumble blearily to the car. 5:00 a.m. is, I feel, an hour when most sensible, non-bloodsucking creatures should be tucked in bed with visions of sugar plums, etc. (Or, at least, that is what I always supposed – there is always what I consider a shocking amount of traffic on the road at that hour.) But I digress. At any rate, for the first 6-week session of this class, I think I missed one class because I overslept.

This time around, I have missed four. FOUR. And we're only two weeks in!

My alarm is set before I go to bed, and I obsessively check it to make sure it is (a) in fact, on, (b) set for “a.m.” instead of “p.m.” and (c) set at a suitably earsplitting volume. (You live and learn.) Anyway, alarm: check. So when Wilbur’s alarm goes off at 6:00 or 6:30 and he feels for me groggily and asks why I’m still there, it’s a bit disturbing. Because I’m not supposed to be there – I’m supposed to be downtown running up and down the stairs of a parking garage, carrying weights and trying to remember why I’m doing this instead of sleeping in and stopping by Krispy Kreme on the way to work, which is so much easier.

I am not sure what is happening. Are we both sleeping through an entire hour of incredibly annoying Hawk-and-Tom lame-o morning show shenanigans before my alarm gives up and shuts off? Am I reaching out reflexively to turn the alarm off, without even waking up? Am I, perish the thought, going to bed too early and reaching dead-to-the-world status only between the hours of 4:00 and 5:00 in the morning? Do I fall asleep with the TV on so frequently that the sound of voices and music no longer triggers a response?

We both can’t possibly be sleeping through an hour of that rot without noticing, and at this point I’ve got it turned up so loud that I simply can’t imagine that the first and third options are plausible. Next week, I’m moving the alarm clock outside of arm’s reach, and we’ll see if that makes a difference. Until then, my subconscious is on probation until it can get back in touch with my super-ego and regain a sense of freaking responsibility.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Blah, blah, blah...zzzzzz.


What happened to the regular updating?! Well, you almost have to admit that for me, this counts as semi-regular updating. It is still 2007, after all.

No, a vacation (cheers!) coupled with loads of actual work (weeping!) have kept me from my blogging labors lately. True, there have been a couple of times in the past few weeks when I could have booted up the laptop instead of staring slack-jawed at a Dirty Jobs marathon or something, but sometimes you just need to stare slack-jawed at a Dirty Jobs marathon. Also, Wilbur was away from home on business for a couple of weeks in there and the Beast has little patience for things like “typing” and “staring slack-jawed.”

Tentative, tremulous baby steps have been made in the service of some long-overdue house projects, though, so it hasn’t all been fluffy slippers and bonbons when I haven’t been at work. Also, it's bizarrely fascinating how many dirty clothes two people with no actual human offspring can generate in the course of a week. This phenomenon merits scientific study. It may have something to do with the multiple showers each day, which I realize is horribly wasteful but HAVE YOU NOTICED HOW HOT IT HAS BEEN FOR THE PAST MONTH??? The sweat -- dear God, the sweat!

I have also signed up for the Kiawah half marathon again, which…. Sigh. It means I have to start training, and PRONTO, because I can’t do it again as woefully unprepared as I was last year. (Where “woefully unprepared” = barfing by mile 7 and practically crawling by the end.)

So, that’s about it for me.

My sister (who shall remain nicknameless until she picks something) and her boyfriend became engaged a couple of weeks ago, so that has been the main excitement in these parts. (Unless I’m forgetting something, which is entirely possible, since lately I have the attention span of a doughnut. Mmmmm… doughnuts….)