Friday, August 7, 2009

Five Wonderful Sights I Didn't Get Pictures Of (While At the Bike Rally)

1. A rat atop a cat atop a dog, who was being lead around on a leash by its owner. The cat and rat sat perfectly still while dog and owner wove through the maze of motorcycles.

2. The Christian Coalition of Motorcyclists, who trudged through the heat bearing wooden crosses (I still say they were hollow inside) and signs saying "Got Jesus?"

(I desperately wanted to follow them singing "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life," but I didn't. Because I suck.)

3. A man with "TANK" tattooed across his beer gut, who totally checked me out.

4. A woman wearing her underwear and bra with silver knee-high hooker boots, her hair styled like Cleopatra's.

5. Two children asleep in a little red wagon, being pulled down the sidewalk alongside a row of motorcycles.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Or They Might Just Be Tacky As Hell.

I hate it when children cry. It's not an emotional thing - I just really hate the sound. And I hate watching their faces crumple and their mouths stretch open like rubber bands.

Not that I want children to be sad and miserable, because amazingly, I don't. I just want them not to look so incredibly grotesque on the (hopefully rare) occasions that they are.

And I want them to stop wearing those damn blinking sneakers. Those have been around since I was a kid, and you know what? I never wanted a pair. I thought they were weird, which is pretty much how I feel today, and I really think that if any of these intellectually lazy toddlers stopped and thought about it, they'd come to the same conclusion.

Children are not cars; they don't need a turn signal. I can hear them coming perfectly well without a visual warning. Unless the blinkers were designed as an aid for the deaf, in which case my whole world ceases to make sense.

But then I was a weird kid, so maybe I'm just missing out on something. When I was little I had to spend six weeks of every summer in Ohio, and one of its (admittedly few) highlights was this store in the mall called The Imaginarium. It had a regular entryway for adults but a smaller door for kids that I would always crawl through, into a shiny plastic and taffeta paradise. The Imaginarium had tons of shit, but mostly I remember the rows of costumes, none of which I ever tried on. I would just stand there, touching the fabric and looking deprived.

It was a good time.

Anyway, I remember being in there once when a pair of girls, probably about fourteen, were taking pictures of themselves in sequined hats, holding child-sized ball gowns up to their necks, etc. They were giggly and loud and bothering me, so I glared at them, prompting the taller of the two to turn to me and say:

"We're just having fun. Don't you ever have fun? Or don't you know how?"

And I thought, I'm walking through The Imaginarium alone while my Bio-Dad stands outside the store reading USA Today. Of course I don't know how to have fun.

Only I didn't say that. I just walked out and told Bio-Dad that I wanted a soft pretzel, and he got me one. And then when we got back to my grandparents' house I split my identity into three so I could enjoy a lively card game alone.

So maybe I shouldn't be judging kids for their sneakers. Those blinkers are probably really fun, and I'm just not getting it.

Actually, On Second Thought:

The NASCAR Harlequin romances are amazing. The one I read last night (yes, I read the whole thing) is called On the Move, and the male love interest is an illiterate NASCAR driver.

No really. An illiterate NASCAR driver named Brandon. He always wanted to read, but his awful father, so intent was he on pushing his son into the world of competitive racing, neglected him in his homeschooling. Brandon asked for a tutor, but Daddy said no - and when Brandon failed his standardized tests, well, no biggie. He'd had racing sponsors since he was nine.

But luckily, he has this great new agent named Vicky. She's way hot, in a buttoned-up sort of way, and she's going to teach him to read if it's the last thing she does. Which is not to say it's the first thing she does - she isn't always successful in fending off his wholly unprofessional advances - but she sort of gets around to it. A couple of times anyway.

Vicky's hotness, working hand-in-hand with her sexual reticence, ultimately helps Brandon to man up, develop his confidence, and tell off his douchebag dad. Apparently Dad, in addition to giving Brandon an incredibly shitty education, used Brandon's earnings for his own benefit, buying cars, boats, and the like. Only he doesn't see it that way:

"I told you in Florida, I bought that for us," his father said, taking a step toward him.

"Yeah, right," Brandon said. "And when the money dried up, when I lost my ride, where was the us?" His cheek began to twitch. Brandon told himself to calm down. He shouldn't let his father rile him up, not anymore, and especially not just before qualifying. "I can't believe you," Brandon said. "I can't believe you have the nerve to come here as if nothing had happened."

"I came because I'm your father," Harold said.

"I lost my dad years ago," Brandon said, refusing to back down. "I lost him when I made my first million and my dad went on a gambling binge in Las Vegas. But you know what? I probably lost him before that. Back when I was thirteen and I begged you to get me a tutor because I wanted to learn how to read. Do you remember that, Dad? You told me I didn't need to learn that stuff. That I was going to be a famous race-car driver and all drivers needed to do was learn to go fast. I begged you to get me some help, and when I when I wouldn't shut up, what did you do?"

He waited for his father to answer. He wondered if he'd have the guts.

He didn't.

"You beat me black-and-blue," Brandon said.

His father's eyes went hard.

On the Move also features one of my all-time favorite relationship paradoxes: a man who wholeheartedly supports the driven, suit-donning female lead in her career, but acts like a condescending asshat who often jeopardizes said career, by - for example - running his hand up her leg during important meetings.

It's a great book, and I'm not the only one who thinks so; reviewers agree.

"Brandon Burke is the 'bad boy' to end all 'bad boys'. Big-time. He is so over-the-top you just want to punch him out. Or else shake him until his gorgeous blonde hair falls off his head." - Kelly in Cleveland Heights

"The story line is faster than a spin around the oval as Vicki and Brandon fight and kiss and fight." - Harriet Klausner, Amazon's #1 reviewer

"This book like more so the genre is G-rated but is a fun read - which I always pick up." - Brandon the Illiterate Driver

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Is There a Drug For This?

I can't remember the last time I ordered a chicken barbecue pizza and gnawed on it absently for four consecutive days. I can, however, remember the last time I prefaced my sauteed chicken with a roasted red pepper and feta salad (last night), and this disturbs me greatly. All that saved me from complete adult emulation was the fact that both courses were consumed with me sitting on the floor watching Monty Python - but even then, I was sitting on an actual floor pillow, and the space around the pillow was free of crap magazines and empty milk dud boxes.

And this morning...I made an omelet. A real omelet. A tasty, herb-seasoned omelet, which I washed down with a tall glass of orange juice, all while reading a book that I marked my place in before leaving for work. With a bookmark. A bookmark picturing a white rabbit under a tree in the snow.

Next thing you know I'll have my own car.