Friday, September 12, 2008

Wow, That's Heelarious!

Okay, full disclosure: I ran across the Heelarious website a few months ago. I was too busy (full disclosure: eating waffles and being lazy) to sink my bloggin' claws into it. But now, thanks to some time off (full disclosure: 3/4 of a "special" cookie at a friend's lake house), I believe I've stopped seething long enough to form some coherent sentences (full disclosure: I'm still seething, and I may or may not be entirely coherent). I'm ready to take Heelarious on. Oh, I'm ready.

Heelarious, for those of you who haven't heard, makes high heels for babies. No, you haven't just ingested 3/4 of a "special" cookie1. You've actually read that correctly: high heels for babies. Or, as the website says, "her first high heels." At least three of those words are so wrong they're worthy of their own post-doctoral dissertation on sexism, gender inequality, and the misogynist fashion industry, but this is just a humble little blog. Plus, I can't seem to settle on a title for such a dissertation. "'Her First High Heels': Why Passively Allowing Sarah Jessica Parker to Rise to Power Will be Modern Western Society's Ultimate Downfall?" or "'Her First High Heels': Wow, How Dumb?"

Obviously, I'm biased. Let's get another opinion. This is what Diane Sawyer, 62nd on Forbes' "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women" list, has to say about the high heels: “They’re squishy! They’re to dress your baby up when they’re going to fancy events, so they can have their own high heels.”

Ignoring, for a moment, the tragic fact that waking up in the wee hours to host "Good Morning America" has apparently left Diane Sawyer one sleep-deprived neuron away from communicating exclusively through exclamations and a simple series of handclaps ("Squishy! Baby dress up fancy! Clap, clap, clap!"), let's take a closer look at her statement. Lest baby's first high heels seem, at best, ridiculously frivolous, and at worst, dangerously objectifying, Diane Sawyer thinks they're totally legit. You know, for when babies go to fancy events.

Okay, Diane Sawyer, I'll bite. Let's say, for some reason, a new mom has to go to a fancy event (and we'll define "fancy event," as something slightly more elaborate and dignified than discount day at the local grocery store). Let's say, for some reason, this new mom has to bring her baby to said fancy event. Who knows, maybe the nanny got deported or the new mom couldn't find a proper date and has a really poor sense of appropriate boundaries. Maybe, at this said fancy event, the new mom wants to parade around the bouncing, joyous reason why her nipples are leaking and she hasn't slept more than four hours at a stretch in months. Okay, Diane Sawyer, I'll play. The baby is attending her first fancy event.

It makes perfect sense then, Diane Sawyer, that the baby would need her own high heels. We all know how important it is for babies to feel like they have their own debilitating footwear, just like Mommy. It's especially important when babies are at that tender age from 0 to 6 months, when they're viciously eyeing everyone else's belongings (provided the belonging is within 18 inches of their face, where they can actually focus on it), wondering why they don't have their own, tinier, cuter versions of things. "Hey, wait a minute," a 1-month-old baby may miraculously have the cognitive development to think. "How come that big lady over there, the one they keep calling 'Mom,' has those things on her feet and I don't? Aren't I a person, too? Don't I have feelings? Wow, it's like I'm not even at this fancy event! It's like no one even respects me! In about two seconds, I'm going to start wailing and see how long it takes for them to figure out that I'm upset not because I'm tired or hungry or have a wet diaper but because I don't have my own high heels. I want my own high heels! WAAAAAAAAH!"

Correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm not, so don't), but aren't the only real reasons for wearing high heels aesthetic? There's nothing about high heels that doesn't say "sexualized object." (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) It's just a fact; I'm not even particularly anti-high heel. (Full disclosure: I feel about high heels the same way I feel about straight marriage and eating soft cheeses. I'm not against them in general, but I am against them for me. I mean, if someone out there wants to be in a straight marriage, wear high heels, and dig into Camembert, I respect their decisions. I don't understand those decisions and I probably secretly judge those decisions, but I respect them.) Call me uptight (but I'm not, so don't), but I don't think there's anything all that hilarious about dressing babies up in high heels. I guess some people-- I'm looking at you, Diane Sawyer-- would find a baby in high heels funny, so I'll step outside myself for a moment and try to imagine what that would be like.

Ha, that baby's in little high heels! That's so funny! Ha! She's wearing shoes specifically designed to make her legs look longer and slimmer! How comical! How zany! How incredibly wacky! That baby is wearing shoes that, if they were on an adult woman, would decrease her range of leg motion! Hysterical! Not since I saw the "I'm too sexy for my diaper" onesie have I been this amused! High heels on a baby! Ha ha! Oh my god, I'm laughing so hard my ribs hurt! My face aches! A baby in high heels! I can't breathe! I just peed my pants! I'm about to pass out! Ha ha ha ha! Hee hee hee! Ha hee hoodly hoodle! Heh! Hah! Heah! Tee hee hee! A baby in high heels! Guffaw!

You might think I'm being too harsh on Heelarious (but I'm not, so don't). What takes the concept completely over the top for me is that the shoes come in leopard print. What's next? Baby's first thong? Baby's first frosted lipstick? Baby's first chlamydia screening? Nothing good or pure or innocent comes in leopard print. Nothing. Try to think of even one thing (but don't, because you can't). Trust me, there's not a more inherently slutty print in the whole of the animal kingdom. You see someone in zebra print? They're saying, "Hey, I've spent some time in Africa and I've read Hemingway." You see someone in tiger print? That says, "Watch out! I like to fancy myself a bit wild!" You see someone in leopard print? All that's saying is, "Jello shots? Bring 'em the hell on! Don't mind my cold sore!"

The website says that the product is "not intended to harm children in any way." Well, thank goodness. It's official: being used as mommy's little sexualized accessory doesn't harm kids at all. At least, it doesn't harm children in the way that high heels do. I mean, it's not a hammertoe kind of harm. It's not a degenerative-changes-in-the-knee-joint kind of harm. It's not a bunion-and-blister kind of harm. It's just a bunion-and-blister-on-the-soul kind of harm.

The website assures us that the products were designed with "safety and comfort as their main concern." Hmm. I'd counter that "safety and comfort" couldn't have been the "main concern." I mean, I'm sure making money in a consumer-driven society was the main concern. High up on the list of concerns was probably marketing to egocentric, middle-to-upper class parents. Somewhere on the list of the concerns was making sure the product release coincided with the Sex and The City premiere. If "safety and comfort" (full disclosure: I love using people's exact words against them) were the "main concern" (full disclosure: I am also a huge fan of quotation marks), the Heelarious website would feature babies in bare feet.

Wouldn't that be "heelarious," if someone recognized the ridiculous range of pointless baby accessories and told new parents it was okay to chill the heck out? If someone said, "Sure, yeah, now you're parents. And guess what? You will be a little less cool and hip and trendy than you used to be, but that's okay. After you're done with the sleep deprivation, you can keep working on your personality. The (hilarious!) way you dress your baby won't have to be your only form of self-expression." That's the website I would like to see. (Full disclosure: I suspect it's out there, but I'm too lazy to search for it now. I have some waffles to eat.) Oh, and the other website I'd like to see is the one where Diane Sawyer sticks her bare feet into a tank of flesh-eating fish. ("Oooo! Tiny fish kisses! Clap, clap, clap!") Luckily for me, that website is right here:

1Actually, I don't know, maybe you have just ingested 3/4 of a "special" cookie. In which case, I apologize for making assumptions about you and your ability to alter your mind while reading about the increasingly disturbing trend of baby clothes marketed to appeal to adults' sense of humor or irony or ironic humor. (Oh, yeah, I'm sure your baby listens to the Ramones. You are both so hip. I'm very impressed.) Sorry, did that sarcastic parenthetical aside to hypothetical parents throw you off? Are you even following this anymore? Maybe you should go eat some waffles and be lazy; you can read this another time.

Monday, July 07, 2008

It is my Gladness: DeAnne Victory Winner

I won! Joy not write me back for I am victory winner of scam apartment game! Easy to see for all I am too trust wordly and honest and good person Christian to mess with DeAnne Andrea Dean Anderson!

Joy was getting a little tedious, and I'm glad our correspondence is over. What surprised me, though, was how many of you guys have had run-ins with the Bradley-Derrick crew in various cities. Do they really end up scamming people into giving them money? This is what I say we do. Email or with the subject line "interested in your apartment" and then put this smiling kitten in the body of the email:

Please play! And if you do, leave a comment so we know how many folks did it.

And now I send you thank you best regards. It is my sadness to say goodbye to last one chapter. Best luck for apartment search to everyone sincere and kindness!

Monday, June 30, 2008

It is my Gladness: PROFILE ACCEPTED

My profile was accpeted! This time I decided to up the ante a little. Here's my response to Joy's message:

Regards Joy,

Oh thanks you for writing back to me. Yes, my very willingness in the flat!
I turst in you also I would not want to experience what I experience last year with finding flat and then flat haunted with ghost of sea creatures, i.e. very noisy octopus ghost always making earl grey tea when I am trying sleep! Also starfish look cute and starry and chewable and innocint but guess what Joy Derrick? Are total asshole ghosts! Are very inconsiderite always thinking are BETTER THAN YOU because living in spirit realm and have pyloric stomach BUT guess what JoyDerrick they ARE NOT better. Good Lord Almighty Everlasting God made everyone special so that's what I tell asshole starfish ghosts (telepathicly because they do not have ears) anyway well would not want to experience that again. Also the plankton.

I would like to move into flat July 11.

Also what is your address please for sending payment?

Lord bless you and your family and flat, all incl, and Juice Machine. Pls send me address ASAP for fast payment am very eager to move into new place!!!

Best welcome regards, DeAnne

And then I attached this photo:

Here's Joy's original message. It's a bit lengthy, but I know you're interested in following this saga, so it's here for your perusal. Highlights include the fact that the daughter was involved in approving my application and that the house was "destroyed" last year. Um, so, where will I be moving into exactly?

Hi DeAnne ,

Thanks you very much for your reply, I can see your willingness in this flat. I want you to know that i'm satisfied with your profile and also believe l can trust in you because l will not like to experience what l experieced from my last tenant again.I will like to know the exact date you will like to move into the flat,l showed your profile to my husband and daughter, They said they are ok with it.l want you to know that we can let you stay in my flat till the period of time you wish to.

I want you to know that the rent fee is among the flat utilities all included, so you can use them anytime but make you take proper care of my properties.We will come and pay you a visit after you have moved into my home to see how you are maintaining it,I will be receiving the first months deposit payment from you via Western Union because l think it reliable,secured and fast,l wish you best of luck in your work, from your profile l can see that you are responsible and a hard working person may the almighty Lord lead you in what ever you wish to do.l see no reason why l should collect damages deposit since you have promise that you will take proper care of my home l think we're ok.

# Bedroom : 1
# Bathroom : 1
# Extra Toilet : 1
# Extra Guest Room: 1
# Sofa Bed : 1
# Bed Linen

Accommodation Features
Wood Floor :
Heater :
Central Heating :
Equiped Kitchen :
Tv: Cable/Satellite TV:
Internet :
Air Conditioning:
¡E Full Kitchen
¡E Refrigerator:
¡E Garage/Car park
¡E pets allowed.

Kitchen Features
...................... ...........
Washing machine:
Juice Machine :
Iron :
Oven :
Dishwasher :
Coffee Maker :
Microwave :

As soon as the first 2 month has been confirmed by me via western union,l will go ahead and commence on how the flat keys/documents will be delivered to you via DHL courier service on next day delivery and it will be delivered to the address you provided in your application form.Let me hear back from you as soon as possible so that l can go arrange for the delivery of the keys/documents.

Once again l'm giving you this flat on trust and do not dissapoint me because l dont want our house to be destroyed again, if you wish to move in with your own properties,we still have one extra room that is empty so you can easily put our own things that you think you dont need in there.

Here are the contents that will be delivered to you via DHL courier service.

1) Entrance and the rooms Keys
2)Paper/Permanent Flat form(Containing your reference details)
3)The Flat documented file.
4)Payment Receipts.
5)Full address and description of the flat.

My husband will like to talk to you,you can call him as soon as you get this mail his number is 0112348083710680 or +2348083710680

Get back to me via email if you will need me to send you the information which you will use to make the deposit payment via western union to my husband secretary in new jersey.

Thanks and God bless you...

Best Regards


So, what's the next move? Will Joy send me their address? What, exactly, happened between DeAnne Andrea Dean Anderson and the ghost-plankton? Check back in for updates!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It is my Gladness: God bless you more as you do this

Oh, Joy! She wrote back! I won't paste the whole message here, but you can be assured that she "appreciates [my] expression." And there was this:

Please we are giving you all this transaction is based on Trust & Honesty and again I want you to stick to your words,We are putting everything into Gods hand,so please do not let us down in this property of ours and God bless you more as you do this.

Luckily, I know for a fact that God finds this hilarious. Here's my response:

Regards to Joy (and daghter!)

Thank you much for immeidate response I am very much Eager To move into beautiful apartment! I have good feeling with you and Rev Johnny. you are right, all is based with Trust & Honesty and standing on words.

I am kind harded and very honest person. You can have faith on me. Pls tell me when we can meet, when I can move into flat!!

Thank you welcome regards,

ps. application form keep private and confidential very important to me! Thank u

(Private & Confidential)

1)Your Full Name

DeAnne Andrea Dean Anderson

2)Present Full Address(where you reside now) & Phone Number to Reach You

No present address, God does not help me find place, need to move in immediate!



43 and 3 months.

4)Are you married?

No. Great sadness.


Sometimes, but not too loud for neighbors don't worry.

6)How many people will be living in the house?

1 Just me. (Sometimes I hear voices, but they are not occupying physical space!)

7)Do you have a pet?

No. Not a pet because not trained and not nice like pet but there is a dog that sometimes lives with me. He is name Richard.

8)Do you have a car?


9)What is your religion?

I am Christian, much daily prayer time, favorite Matthew 7:12!!!


I am periodicals librarian, love very much to acquire, develop collection, organize, preserve, and catalogue periodicals. $54,700/yr income.

I also am spices librarian (unpaid, at home work) and things-found-in-other-people-recycling-bins librarian (unpaid, at home work). Again i love with all things to A.D.O.P.C: acquire, develop, organize, preserve, catalogue.

11) How Many Month Deposit ??? 1 or 2

2. Is 3 Okay?

12) When are you ready to Move In ?

Soon Immediate for no house now.

13) When are u planning to leave the flat ?

1 year at least. Or when the voices tell me. whoever comes first.

Then, with no explanation, I included this picture:

Oh, and for those of you not up on your scripture, Matthew 7:12 reads, "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."

When will Joy ask me for a deposit? How did Richard the dog come to occasionally co-habitate with what we can assume is an order-obsessed DeAnne Andrea Dean Anderson? Why does God only have one hand? Check back in for answers!

It is my Gladness, part 2

It's on!

I wrote to "Joy" (for that message, which is brief, see the comments on the original "It is my gladness..." post) and received this very blue message back:

Hi DeAnne ,

Thanks for the email and also yes,My husband in respect of Rev Johnny Bradley who owned the place and also it is situated In 3450 Drummond ,Montréal,QC H3G 1Y1 Canada and also want you to know that it was due to my husband transfer that makes us to leave the place and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person which is reliable and responsible that will rent it to take it as if it were its own.So for now,Am here in United States right now in our new flat and also with the keys/document of the flat we are willing to rent to you.

We try to look for an agent that we can give this document before we left but could not see and we are as well as don't want our flat to be used any how in our present that is why we took it along to us here and as you know that,my husband over in the West Africa for a Mission of God,so I hope you will promise us to take very good care of the home.So get back to me on how you could take care of our home or perhaps experience you have in renting home.

Hope you are okay with the price of $622 Per Month for the place with hydro,heat laundry facilities,air condition, internet connection and so on 750 Square Feet, I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible so that i can forward you an application to fill out and discuss on how to get the flat for rent,also are you ready to rent it now or when?you can view our flat picture at the attach file as you can see the pictures of the place are beautiful that is why we need a maintenance and up keep of our flat.
Thanks so much
Joy Bradley.

Attached were pictures of a huge and gorgeous flat from various angles, and this picture of Joy and her daughter:

What I love most is the joyless expression on their faces. I can only imagine the inner dialogue goes something like this:

Joy Jr.: "Mommy! Look! I am sniffing this flower to mask the reek of unhappiness and disappointment that emanates from your body!"

Joy: "I hate you."

This was my response:

Regards Joy Bradley-Derrick,

3450 Drummond in Montreal H3G 1Y1 is lovely neighborhood so happy to live there! I am responsible and trustworldy to treat flat as my own mantenence.

I understand you take document and keys to u.s. and your husband honorable kind Rev Johnny Bradley Derrick loves the lord and wants to make West Africa a nation of lord lovers also.

I have a lot of experience in renting home. I take care of home with washing, brooming, etc. and stay vigilant to not let home flood or catch fire or have many mice or cover in mud slide, etc.

The price of $622 sounds good to me for place. Please forward me application. I am ready to rent immediate.

I attach picture of me so you know me a little.

Thank you regards,

And then--is this unethical?--I searched for a photo on the internet and attached this:

Who wouldn't want to rent to that smiling face? Why does Rev Johnny Bradley Derrick have three first names? Will Joy write back? For answers to these questions and many more, stay tuned!

Monday, June 23, 2008

It is my gladness to moreso Now introduce the kind and honest Rev Johnny Bradley!

Total score.

That's how I feel upon finding pieces of bubble wrap to gleefully pop (seriously, how good is that?), upon finding gluten-free sweet treats to gleefully shove down my gullet (shout out to my Crohn's-inflicted brethren), and, of course, upon finding scam emails in my inbox to which I can gleefully respond (see the Nanny Square entries).

So, I've been looking for apartments on Craigslist. That's pretty much all you need to know to enjoy this most recent exchange. You probably don't need to know that I've also been trolling the personals section, shocked, amazed and I must admit intrigued by people who describe the woman they're looking for as "having little to no gag reflex" and then go on to say, " I am fireman, and you could do much worse ladies, I can promise you that!" Well, hello, dreamboat.

But back on track. I responded to an apartment listing that sounded a little too good to be true. Sadly, when things sound too good to be true, they usually are. (What? Someone who's looking for a person with little to no gag reflex? That's totally me! I'm totally gonna respon....oh, wait. He's a fireman. Sigh. I can't stand the thought of such a wonderful, special, and eloquent someone who I would no doubt totally fall for endangering his life like that! I just can't risk getting hurt. Not again. Not this time. I knew it was too good to be true! No, no, don't mind me. My absent gag reflex and I will just be crouching in this darkened corner for a while, weeping.)

Here's what I sent the guy:


I'm really interested in your apartment for rent and I'd like to see it as soon as possible. Are you available to show it on Sunday, June 22?


[And then my phone number. Which I flatter myself to think would be unwise to reproduce here, with so many readers gazing at this space expectantly, waiting for any opportunity to gain access into my thrilling private life. Have I mentioned that I troll personal ads for kicks? Well, hello, dreamboat.]

Here's what I received, about 24 hours later:

Thanks for your email and it is my gladness to hearing from you.My name is Rev Johnny Bradley the owner of the house you are making enquiry of...Actually I resided in the house with my family,such as my wife and my only daugther before and presently we had packed due to my transfer from my working place and now situated in united states and presently my house is still available for rent including the utilities like hydro/heat drywasher and security and bills,Everything in the flat is well fully furnised.

Moreso Now,I went for a crusade in West Africa and i will like you to get in touch with my wife in united states for more discussion as She is with the keys and the document to the flat.Pls i want you to note that,I am a kind and honest man and also i spent alot on my property that i want to give you for rent,so i will solicit for your absolute mentenance of this house and want you to treat it as your own,is that taken,it is not the money the main problem but want you to keep it tidy all the time so that i will be glad to see it neat when i came for a check up.i do that once in a while.I also want you to let me have trust in you as I always stand on my word.

Send my wife Joy an Immediate message, on ( )and she will attends to you better on how to proceed

Thanks and you are welcome
Johnny Bradley

Total score! I love it all, from the alliteration of "Johnny and Joy" to the way he seems to be having a level one, English-as-a-second-language conversation with himself in "Thanks and you are welcome" to the fact that he so casually sneaks in: "...when i came for a check up.i do that once in a while.I also..." Pardon me? You do that once in a while? Oh, okay. I guess it's no big deal, since you didn't include any spaces around that sentence. I look forward to your visits, then. In fact, when you came for a check up, I'll probably greet you with a, "Well, hello, dreamboat."

I'm hoping to keep this correspondence going for a while. Note my expert ability to overlook his instructions to write to Joy Derrick, in the hopes that he'll feel compelled to write back:

Thanks you Rev Johnny for your quick and thoughtful responds to my inquiry. I am pleased gladly to know the drywasher is included in the flat fully furnised and that bills are included.

I curiously inquire your crusade at West Africa. Do you carry a swords? What is the name of your horse? Pls more details to me from Africa crusade, my interest is great. Anywayso good luck to you. Victory to conquest pagans!

I see trust fully you are a kind and honest man. I also want you to kind note that, i, take property for rent to treat as my own for my absolute mentenance. i am a very tidy and neat person.i always stand on my word, too. have trust in me Rev. Johnny.

how can we proceed for keys and property agreement? pls let me know I am very eager to move into flat take care properly.

You are welcome,

Will Rev Johnny respond? How's progress on the West African crusade? What the heck is a drywasher? Answers in the next installment of "It is my gladness!" (*fingers crossed*)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

WTF: Robot Teddy Bears

You know how you're just living your life, running from one place to the next, eating canned mackerels over the sink or googling the exes of your exes (or whatever it is that you do), when you're hit with information so incongruous with what you know to be good and right and logical in this world that you stop dead, dropping the canned mackerels or the obsessive/neurotic train of thought that inspires you to virtually check out and subsequently measure yourself and your sense of worth against the people in the past of the people in your past, and you say to yourself WTF? And you actually say, "W.T.F.," not "What the fuck?" which shames the former English Literature major in you and makes you question whether or not you're still living your real life or some abbreviated and flattened version of your life to be later uploaded on Facebook or condensed into a three-line text message and you at least take consolation in the fact that Facebook hasn't yet come up with an eating-stuff-in-cans-over-the-sink application or a who's-googling-people-it's-actually-kind-of-creepy-they're-even-thinking-about application because if it does, you'll be all over that shit like a six-month growth of barnacles on the SS Timewaster? You know that feeling? Who's with me?

I had that feeling recently when I saw Navirobo, a robot teddy bear designed to function as a navigation device. This plush, button-eyed manifestation of WTF is, let me say it again, a robot teddy bear, that from it's place on your dashboard, uses its jointed arms and neck to gesture while providing spoken directions. It can point you toward your destination or point out a turn you just missed. Let us skip over, for the moment, how dangerously distracting it is to have a talking robot teddy bear flailing around on your dashboard, screeching commands and/or mockery at you ("You missed that left! Tee hee!") while you're trying to control a two-ton, moving hunk of machinery.

There's more. Robo-teddy is equipped with sensors that detect reckless driving. If the driver suddenly slams on the brakes, Robo-teddy exclaims, "Watch out!" He also houses an alcohol detection sensor in his neck. If Robo-teddy gets a whiff of the ol' funny juice, he passive-aggressively inquires, "You haven't been drinking, have you?"

Who could possibly want this in their lives? I'm not a particularly hot-headed driver (calling people "sewage-filled, slimy-holed slotwads" when they fail to indicate a left turn in a timely manner is totally normal, right?) but I can easily imagine myself punching Robo-teddy square in his self-satisfied, made-in-China muzzle. Check it out, Ted. If I've slammed on the brakes of my automobile, I've successfully assessed and responded to a potential hazard. Case closed. I may even be a bit shaken up about it, depending on what near-disaster prompted me to slam on those brakes in the first place. (Did a toddler dash in front of the car? Did a tree branch snap off into the road? Was I over enthusiastically lip-synching and making up seated dance moves to "Bleeding Love?") I certainly don't need Can't-Even-Reach-the-Pedals Ted over here to pipe up with a pious "Watch out!" You're not helping, you're just commentating, you no-license-having, fuzz-faced sack of smugness.

Let's say it's a serious situation. A robot teddy bear yelling "Watch out!" at me is not the last thing I need to hear before I enter a vegetative state. The last thing I need to hear before I enter a vegetative state is probably something along the lines of, "Don't worry, you'll still get simple joy from sunshine and ice cream." Why don't the geniuses behind Robo-teddy do something useful and embed that recording, preferably voiced by Morgan Freeman, in every airbag?

And how helpful is the alcohol detection? (Not to mention the fact that you have to pretty much make out with its neck in order for it to detect anything. Check out the video: Call me a crazy, canned-mackerel-eating neurotic, but I doubt people who are prone to boozing and cruising are the same breed of folks who are going to install a teddy in their car. Perhaps I'm underestimating the purchasing power of the redneck, law-breaking teddy bear lover market.

"You haven't been drinking, have you?" Assuming you're not too drunk to follow that twistedly indirect question ("No, Robo-teddy, I haven't not been not drinking at all!"), if you're still planning on driving home, you're suddenly put in the very surreal position of having to LIE TO A TEDDY BEAR. That's the true indication of your alcohol problem right there. (Checklist: Do you drink more than four nights a week? Do you drink to "get ready" for social occasions? Has your drinking ever caused you to lie to a teddy bear?) And what's Robo-teddy really going to do if you crank up the engine and start weaving your way home, giggle and try to sell you fabric softener?

I can't tell you how disturbing I find the fact that this thing exists. All this time, I thought teddy bears were designed to provide quiet comfort to children as they bounced their way back and forth between Mommy's house and Daddy's under-furnished apartment that always smells like burnt hog dogs. I thought teddy bears were made to serve as collector's items for sexless, middle-aged women from the American Mid-west who use "rouge" and are the sole reason manufacturers of pink sweatshirts with pictures of kittens on them are still in business. I had no idea teddy bears have been waiting to become robotized and slowly take control of our lives, one vehicle at a time.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Clare & Brenda

Hi guys. When I promised to update this blog regularly, I lied. Let's get that out of the way first. So, yes. I am a liar. My pants are on fire. I have already hung them on the telephone wire, in violation of multiple city ordinances. Okay? Can we just move on?

Good. Because the thing that snapped me out of my writing hibernation, in addition to the prospect of mixed metaphors, was this little gem I found written on the back of a postcard, tucked into a book in a used bookstore in Melbourne:

Dear Clare,

Thank you very much for the chance to read this. It's quite inclusive, but the overall effect is of wonderful complexity, rather than indiscriminateness. Amy Witting is especially interesting and of course I love Gillian's style. The Ken Inglis piece is helpful, as I expected. He's so knowledgeable-- I've seen him add so much to seminars.

I loved the Penguin Summer Stories. Thank you. And I hear that A Century of Story has the most remarkable design. I'm looking forward to it.


"Who cares about someone else's forgotten postcard?" I can hear you grumbling. (That is, if I flatter myself to believe that 1.) someone's reading this, 2.) someone cares enough to have feelings about it, and 3.) someone would then vocalize those feelings in the form of a grumbly inquiry.) But don't you hear it, too? No, not the sound of your own grumbling (it's lovely that you care), but the subtext screaming beneath those well-chosen words! Screaming, I tell you! There's layer 1, of course, but I find layer 2 even more interesting. Here it is, as I understand it:

Dear Clare,
1. Dear Clare
2. My darling Clare, sun and moon to me,

Thank you very much for the chance to read this.
1. Thank you for giving me the excuse to write you.
2. I love you.

It's quite inclusive, but the overall effect is of wonderful complexity, rather than indiscriminateness.
1. I know and make use of many big words, some that contain both suffixes and prefixes. Are you impressed?
2. I ache to show you my wonderful complexity.

Amy Witting is especially interesting and of course I love Gillian's style.
1. I've read very carefully. Or, at least, I give praise to suggest that I have. Impressed?
2. I've always been a woman-loving woman.

The Ken Inglis piece is helpful, as I expected.
1. I'm very familiar with the work of Inglis. Seriously, how impressed are you?
2. I'm not, however, averse to men; I'm not a stereotype, Clare.

He's so knowledgeable-- I've seen him add so much to seminars.
1. Like I said, me and Ingly go way back. Impressive, is it not?
2. I do, however, attend seminars. Some stereotypes are true, Clare.

I loved the Penguin Summer Stories.
1. I even know who published this. Impressed much?
2. Please let me touch you.

Thank you.
1. I am delighted to have had this opportunity to impress you.
2. My fingertips quiver with anticipation at the mere suggestion of your smooth, buttery skin.

And I hear that A Century of Story has the most remarkable design.
1. I'm in the know about other books as well. Welcome to Impressiveville! Population: You!
2. My vagina is opening like a slow-motion rose blossom.

I'm looking forward to it.
1. I'm going to tell you about that book as well. Get ready to be impressed, my little friend.
2. You are my sacred, only, truest true love.

1. Love, Brenda.
2. I must anchor my name with punctuation mark, my darling, because I am adrift in the sweet, salty, tumultuous sea of Clare.

Lest you guys think I'm being imaginative and fanciful (Oh, how I would love for someone to accuse me of being fanciful! And then slap me lightly on the cheek with a hand-stitched, goat leather glove!), all of this was written in rich black ink on a black-and-white postcard featuring, what? Well-dressed old ladies riding camels. Don't make me spell out the subtext on that, you perverts.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Personal Highlights of 2007

Okay, there's really only one. Sure, I got into Just for Laughs this year, making it possible for my parents to see me perform at an internationally acclaimed comedy festival (Who's an "accident" now, suckers?). Sure, I found true love. (At least I think it's true love; she has the password to my gmail account.) Yes, I debuted on television, garnering fans from as far afield as England and Ottawa. Yes, I made some great friends, with whom I shared holidays and fun nights and poutine-induced indigestion. Indeed, I traveled the southern U.S. of A. with the Dykes of Hazard Comedy Tour, learning way more than I wanted to know about Louisiana. (In the state of Louisiana, same-sex marriages are banned but marriages between cousins are a-okay!) Yes, I grasped the tiny fingers of more than a few tykes, helping them discover both the joy of upright mobility and the tragedy of taking a coffee table to the face. Any of these moments could have been the highlight of 2007, but one moment stands out for me in particular, one very private and personal moment: the day Jodie Foster came out of the closet.

On December 12, 2007, after fiercely guarding her private life for a decade and a half, Jodie Foster finally admitted what we've all known for a long time: she hasn't been in a really kick-ass movie since Silence of the Lambs. I mean, Contact, Panic Room and Flightplan were decent, but Maverick? Really? Anytime Mel Gibson is cast as a "wisecracking gambler," it's going to go from smug to worse. Jodie, Jodie, Jodie. You should have known better. In December, while receiving an award at the Women in Entertainment Power 100 breakfast in L.A., Jodie thanked "my beautiful Cydney" in her acceptance speech.

Jodie didn't actually come right out and say she was gay, but inferences can be made. With a name like "Cydney," the beautiful girl in question is one of three things:

1. A sexy cyborg built by a skinny, Pakistani geek at M.I.T.
2. A spoiled, Upper East Side 2-year-old on her way to a mommy-and-me hot yoga class.
3. A lesbian life partner.

I wager the latter, mostly because I can't see how a spoiled, Upper East Side 2-year-old or a cyborg could have helped Jodie Foster make it onto the Entertainment Power 100 list. That's the kind of milestone one needs some serious homo lovin' to achieve. Or at least some serious life-partnering. While Jodie was busy making movies, someone had to order the imported, Swedish, moose-milk cheese. Someone had to make sure the $750,000 Human Rights Campaign donation cleared. Someone had to schedule the Dead Sea mineral salt scrub spa treatment appointments and send Anne Sweeney a silk-wrapped, diamond-encrusted, organic mango basket. Someone had to polish the 14th century platinum gravy ladle.

Fine. Obviously, I have no idea what Jodie and Cydney's personal life looks like. I'm basing it on lives I've seen, but with more dolla dolla bills thrown into the mix. I also have no idea what dolla dolla bills look like, but I'm basing them on things I've seen thrown at boobs in rap videos.

So, how did lesbians react to the news? Some wept. Some celebrated. Some were like, "Whatevs. When's L-Word season 5 starting? That trans one is hot." I squealed with glee and then felt retroactively vindicated for 17% of my masturbatory fantasies since 1990.

Like many a budding lesbo, I knew Foster was gay before I knew I was gay. Heck, I knew Foster was gay before I even knew what gay WAS. How else can one explain the fact that I spent the whole summer I was 15-turning-16 renting every Jodie Foster movie ever made? I just knew. I knew. There was something kindred in the twinkle in her eye, the way she moved her mouth, the fact that she always looked uncomfortable in a period-piece dress. (Let this be my second and final reference to the film Maverick.) I even saw Bugsy Malone, an all-child gangster musical, in which Jodie plays Tallulah, the creepily flirtatious lead singer of Fat Sam's speakeasy. Lest you skip over the details of that previous sentence, which I will admit is jam-packed with information, let me recap. All-Child. Gangster. Musical. Those are three concepts you don't want to see mixed up in a movie any more than you'd want to see a movie sold as, say, an All-female Plumber Drama. Actually, wait a sec. I would see that. Jodie Foster, Judi Dench, and that trans one from the L-Word starring in an All-female Plumber Drama. Welcome to the other 83% of my masturbatory fantasies from now on.

Many people are criticizing Jodie for waiting so long to come out, but I'm not among them. Because of my careful viewing, I know that she actually came out during the filming of Nell. The thing is, everyone on the set assumed she was practicing the nonsense known as "Nellspeak." Watch for it. Every time Nell looks like an angel with spatial reasoning issues and a low I.Q., cooing "chick-a-bay" over and over, that's actually Foster trying desperately to communicate, "I am gay!" Chick-a-bay: I am gay. Chick-a-wee: I love pussy; I seriously do. No, seriously, I really, really do. I honestly and seriously really do. I love pussy. Seriously.

Apparently Foster met her partner on the set of Sommersby, which didn't surprise me at all. I knew it! I could sense their lesbian love blossoming; that's why I watched that movie eleven times. Or, wait. No. I watched that movie eleven times because Jodie wore her hair in long braids. It's all coming back to me now. Hell yeah, those braids. I challenge you to find any other hairstyle that's as cozy and down home and yet, at the same time, so sexily indicative of finger dexterity. You can't! Unless you count when people shave complex zigzags into the sides of their heads, but I, for one, am not generally attracted to 15-and-a-half-year-old boys. Unless I've mistaken them for lesbians. (Note to lesbians and teenage boys: stop wearing wife-beaters and Converse! You're confusing me.)

Jodie finally admitting that she's batting for Team Chick-a-wee was the absolute highlight of 2007 for me. Suspecting she was and yet unable to confirm it, I haven't been able to relax and enjoy any of her movies, at least in the way they were intended to be enjoyed. While Jodie's on screen, I can't help but whisper lewd comments like, "You trying to make contact? I'll show you where you can make contact. In my pants." Or: "You designed the flight plan? Well, I've got a plan for you to look into. In my pants." The Brave One was difficult to get through in this fashion, though. Expressions like, "You wanna see bloodshed? I've got some bloodshed. In my pants," and "Hey, I'll show you a murderous vigilante. In my pants," don't have as sexy a ring to them.

2007 will always be, for me, the year in which I achieved all of my life-until-now's major goals. I passionately pursued my life's calling, I expanded my capacity to love and be loved, and I found out, for sure, that Jodie Foster is a total, raging dyke. In fact, 2007 was so wonderful that it's given me high hopes for 2008. May this be the year in which I make a living doing one-woman shows, I continue to cultivate romantic and platonic love on a deep and intimate level, and Lisa Simpson grows up, turns real, comes out and marries me. Here's to 2008!