Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Great Bahamian Beefcake Revolt


I was sitting on the beach with my friends in the Bahamas last week, sipping on a delightful tropical drink when one of my friends started rattling off a list of famous men that were her celebrity crushes.  Her list was long and impressive.  My other friend chimed in and offered up a couple of names.  I said nothing.  After a few seconds of silence, my big-listed friend turned to me and said, "How about you, DG? Who's your celebrity crush?".  The two of them looked over at me, waiting for my response.  I just blinked at them, mouth open like a trout, unsure of how to respond.  Truth of the matter was, I didn't have one.

I sat silently for a moment, trying to formulate a response that wouldn't make me sound too much like a complete freak, but I had nothing. "I don't really have a celebrity crush," I began "I have never understood the appeal of beefcake."  My friend with the long list looked at me with a tinge of pity and said "You need to see 'Magic Mike'.  If you watch 'Magic Mike', you'll get what I'm talking about.".  I looked down into my drink, trying to formulate an escape from the conversation.  "I'm going to hit the bar. You want a refill?"  She shielded her eyes from the sun,  looked over at me and asked "Not even Channing Tatum?"  I put my hand out for her to hand me her empty cup and shrugged. "No, not really." Then I turned on my heel and trudged through the sand toward the pool area.

As I walked toward the pool bar, I looked down at my feet, trying to drown out my surroundings and focus. I needed to think of someone, anyone that could represent a potential celebrity crush.  I thought back to the type of guy that I was drawn to back in my single days and it almost never had to do with the physical aspect.  For me it was about a vibe with someone, which kind if made it hard to have a crush on someone you didn't know.  In general, I liked guys that were smart, charming, boyish, funny, artistic/creative and above all, nice.  If they were cute, that was a bonus.  I'd scarcely notice their cuteness if they didn't stack up against the other criteria first.  I also thought about what I didn't like.  Any and all of the following we're deal breakers:
- Big muscled roid heads
-Any guy with a shaved chest . Unless you are a professional swimmer, waxing is a no-no.
- Douchey. The second a guy calls me sweetheart or baby or points to me with that awkward pinky/pointer devil horn thing or drapes himself in gold jewelry, I'm out.
-Alpha male bullshit.  If I want to see a chest beating ape, I'll go to the zoo.

I looked up as I  approached the bar and the answer was right in front of me like a gift from the gods. At the snack bar next to the pool bar was a giant stand up cardboard cutout of Jimmy Fallon.  Apparently, Fallon has a Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavor that they were selling.  I did a quick cross-check against my old criteria:

Boyish?  Check!
Smart? Check!
Talented/creative? Check!
Funny?  Check! Check!

Was it really a crush? No, but it would serve as my offering and hopefully put the subject to rest.  I paid for the drinks and made my way back toward the beach.  About 3/4 of the way there, I stopped in my tracks.  I thought back to the kind of guys that my friends were offering up. They were talking about Russell Crowe in Gladiator and muscle-y pretty boy types.   I might have to forfeit my membership to the girl's club if I offer up a skinny late night host.  I took a breath and reassured myself that I had to stand by my choice. It was an honest choice and it was important to be true to myself, even within this completely ridiculous context.

I returned to our beach chairs and passed out the drinks.  "I've got one." I said with all the enthusiasm I could muster. They squinted and looked up at me. I blurted out "Jimmy Fallon!" .  They just looked at me silently, for what seemed like an eternity.  Then my beefcake loving pal broke the silence and says "Oh my god, me too!  He's so cute and sweet and talented."  I looked back at her, relieved that I passed the chick test and plopped down in my beach chair.  The she added "Oh and Justin Timberlake, and..." I zoned out at that point.  I had survived the battle, but I was clearly not armed for the war.



I'm sure you've seen this by now.  I have to say, although I don't dig beefcake, I do appreciate when someone can laugh at himself and his image, which is what Channing Tatum does here.  If only this had been done by Fallon instead of that other late night Jimmy, it would have been perfect.    





Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hate for the Calendar

Back in February, my best girlies and me were feeling the winter blahs.  We hadn't been away on a girl's trip since October of 2011 and we were itching for some relaxation and girl time.

We decided that we would take a long weekend in the Bahamas.  The flight is relatively short, the drinks are strong and the water is an amazing shade of turquoise.  The ideal antidote for the weather and work that we were going though at the time.

We knew that picking a date was going to be tough as we all have an insane amount of family and work obligations to navigate.  We picked the weekend of 6/14.  We'd leave on a Friday and return on a Monday. A quick call to the airline and the deed was done.  We had a quick conference call to review the details and never spoke about it again until the beginning of June, at which time I had a total panic attack when I learned that Father's Day was early this year.  So early in fact, that it fell right smack dab in the middle of my trip.

I felt like a shit, but I had non-refundable tickets.  So I spent my first Father's Day in 49 years, away from my dad.  I would also be missing spending time with my husband and my brother.  Luckily, I was able to load my kids up with gifts for all and they spent the day with them and had a great time.  I guess this is a symptom of how crazy life has become.  It's also a symptom of "pickafriggindateforaholidayandstickwithit-itis".  Life is complicated enough without holidays floating all over the calendar.  

I had a very nice time while I was away, but my mistake and my hate for the calendar hung over my head the entire trip. Next time I'll scrutinize the calendar more closely before making plans.  There are obviously some assholes in charge of that thing and the one in charge of my life does not appreciate it.



It amazes me that water can look like that.  The water around my island is gray/green, murky and cold.


 They look accusatory, don't they? No? Just my guilty conscience?


Nice view for sitting and pondering your hate for the calendar. 


I left on a Friday, he was this size.

I came back on a Monday, he was this size.  



Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to Alienate the High School Faculty

 Those of you that are parents of teenagers know that every time your kid walks out the door your breath catches in your throat and you say a little silent prayer that he or she will be safe, make good choices and stay out of trouble.

If you have a somewhat checkered past yourself, you worry that they will repeat your mistakes or worse yet, get into more serious trouble than your own twisted teen brain had ever imagined.

One of the things that you dread the most is the call from the Principal or Dean of Students.  They never call to say hello.  If you ever get a personal call from them, it's usually because something egregious has occurred.  Your mouth goes dry as they say Mrs. Soandso, I am calling about your son/daughter.

That is, unless they are calling you about the issue below, in which case you laugh hysterically, unable to catch your breath and eventually just hang up when they can't get a word in over your laughter.  I haven't been popular with a principal since my son was in Jr High and I came this close  to taking his ass out at Texas Hold 'Em at Casino Night.  I let him win. He liked me.  The High School Principal...not so much.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Happens When Your Adorable Puppy Grows into Marmaduke?

"Boo boo goo goo doo doo tee tee boo boo" .  This is what I can hear through the wall of the office, coming from the bedroom next door. It's being said in a high pitched chirp and the best I can tell, there is some snuggle-wuggle, belly rubbing and cuddling going on.  It's none of my business, except that the high pitched chirper is my husband.  He of deep, booming basso profundo voice and abundant body hair is talking baby talk...to another male...

This guy.


Two weeks ago we came back from Vegas and before our mental faculties had returned to us, we adopted this little fella.  When we saw him on the animal rescue website, he and his 10 other siblings were listed as  "hound mixes".  They had sweet faces and even sweeter personalities and it was very hard to pick just one from the litter.  Thankfully we did not come away with the entire family.

Since bringing him home, we have determined that Buzz the Magnificent has the ability to grow, noticeably, overnight.  Every day his body gets larger, his legs get longer and his beagle-y little head stays the same.  Right now, he's at an awkward stage where the disproportion between his head and body makes it look like a grape on horseback. Hopefully his noggin will catch up with his body at some point.  More important than his ungainliness is the fact that it is becoming more and more clear every day that our little fella is a hound mixed with Great Dane.

So as we watch and wait for the end of what could be a two year growth spurt, we are considering having him DNA tested.   I love surprises as much as the next guy, but if I brought home Marmaduke, I'd like to know before he ingests a china cabinet.  Call me crazy, but I like to be prepared.  It takes a lot of time and effort to wrap an entire house and its contents in stainless steel.  It would be really great if I could get a jump on it before I can saddle him and ride him to the grocery store.

In the mean time, he is keeping Brownie the Wonderdog on her toes.  Her exceptional patience with this rough and tumble new addition has been rewarded with extra hugs and an occasional hunk of cheese.  

We haven't introduced him to Spike the Hotness Monster as of yet as Spike is a gadabout and a champion mouser, so he could be carrying a social disease or two.  Once the Buzzer has all his shots, we will introduce  the two of them.  It will likely be a civilized meeting over cocktails and cigars.  Spike wouldn't stand for it any other way.  I'll report on that cross cultural summit at some time in July.

Until then, here are some pictures so that we can remember what Buzz was like before he got big enough to run the Preakness.

Long Legs/Tiny Head

Playing Lion Tamer with Brownie


Giving Face







Saturday, June 8, 2013

Is a Cranky Optimist Just a Raging Pessimist in Training?

Those of you that know me, and I guess that's technically none of you, since we've never met, know that if nothing else, I roll on the posi tip.  Translation: I'm an optimist.  More accurately, you might say that I am something of a cranky optimist.

DEFINITION: Cranky Optimist  - crank·y /ˈkraNGkē/ op·ti·mist  (pt-mst) -
One who keeps a positive attitude while stopping briefly to complain bitterly, some might say psychotically, then like a demon has been exorcised, carries on in the most sunny and positive fashion.

I call it cranky optimism, others call it Sybil.  Agree to disagree.

One thing that I find happening more frequently as I reach the upper limits of my 40's is that Sybil er, rather the Cranky Optimist is making more frequent appearances.  More importantly, her appearances are more intense and triggered by smaller infractions than in the past.  If it happens to be around the time of the (ahem) monthly hormonal swing, the Cranky Optimist may behave more like Godzilla on a psychotic Rumpringa through an unsuspecting city than like somebodies mom, coworker or wife. Fortunately, these episodes are short lived and leave minimal damage in theirwake.

In parallel to my Cranky Optimism, my mother has gone full-on pessimist.  Her mind has been poisoned by the 24 hour news cycle (which she won't turn off despite pleas and offers of chocolate) hence, she offers more conspiracy theories than an Oliver Stone movie.

This makes me wonder, is it a foregone conclusion that we get curmudgeonly as we age? I have seen my mother morph from the most accepting, tolerant and open minded person I ever met, into the Dad in "So I Married an Axe Murderer".   As soon as she tells me that the Colonel puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes you crave it fortnightly, I'm moving abroad.


June is my a birthday month and I think that witnessing my own aging along side my mom's has me somewhat introspective.  Maybe my awareness is enough to keep me from going the full Stuart McKenzie.  I hope so, because I hate watching the news and I like KFC.