Saturday, February 27, 2016

Funny

Last night, we had tickets to go see David Cross.  He, like me, is from Roswell, Georgia.  He's a comedian, and he's really, really funny.





He talked about religion, guns, country music and politics.  He was certainly controversial, and extremely hilarious.   He even took a picture of us.
 



I love going to see live comedy. 


When I was 20, I went to Montreal for a week to go see a bunch of live comedy.

Why, you might ask?

Well, every summer, Montreal has a week long comedy festival called Just for Laughs.  I went because, I had a crush on Canada.  And because I had the money, and because in the US, I couldn't, at the age of 21 get into comedy clubs because of that whole pesky drinking age thing.  And, OK - I had a fake ID, though not a great one.  But whatever.

I went, alone, to Canada.  I stayed in a hostel for a week, and during the day, I went to museums, wandered the city, went to a movie, took lots of pictures and basically tooled around.  At night, I went to shows.  Little clubs with no-namers, a big headliner show at a nice theater. 

It was a good week.  Fun.  Independent.  Lonely, a little.  But live comedy, good food - and Canada, dammit.

That same summer, I performed stand-up at the Punchline in Atlanta as part of a class my mother signed me up for.  I didn't suck.

I ended up taking a ton of improv classes later.  But I still think stand-up was my stronger genre.

I kind of miss it.

But I still love to go watch.

ae


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thoughts

We are coming up on the two year anniversary of Dad's death, which has obvious baggage associated with it.

But here's the intrusive thought that keeps popping in my head:

I hate what I wore to my father's memorial service.

To be fair, I didn't have time to do lots of shopping, and I didn't have tons of money, and...whatever.

I ended up in a navy blue v neck dress with ill-fitting pantyhose and ill-fitting blue flats. And fake pearls.

Here I am in the same outfit a month later, at a wedding, awkwardly dancing the Hava Nagila.

Third from right, lots of chins.


My mother and sister were both lovely.  My husband looked handsome in a black suit.  My brother-in-law and nephew were GQ, and GQ Jr.

And then there was me:



I know I need to just get over it.

I delivered a nice speech about my father.  Funny, poignant, heartfelt.  I blew it out of the water.

I just wish I had looked less:



That's what keeps me awake at 4AM.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Deplane

A few weeks ago, I worked at home on a snow day.  And I had the TV on, and one of the shows of my youth was on. Fantasy Island.

The premise of the show is simple.  A plane lands, on an island.  Mr. Roarke meets the plane, and briefly states the reason each exiting guest has come to visit.  They usually want love, or beauty or wealth, or power.  And thanks to the machinations of Roarke and his little helper, Tattoo, the guests find that they whatever they needed all along, they just weren't paying attention, or maybe they just needed a little magic or whatever.  But they leave the island having learned a lesson and/or a little better off than when they arrived.

Ok, that's not every episode, but close enough.

The beauty of it back in the day was that it was a cavalcade of network stars.  In the few hours I had the show on in the background, I saw all three Brady Sisters (Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb and Susan Olsen), Happy Days' Ralph Malph, and at few people who I couldn't identify by name, but was "that guy who was in everything".

Here's how my visit to Fantasy Island would play out.


[The guy who played Carmine Ragusa in Laverne and Shirley exits, left]



Roarke:  Ah, Tattoo, here is  Allison.  She needs work.



Tattoo: How do you mean, boss?  Like, cosmetic surgery?

Roarke:  Ha, ha - no Tattoo.  You would think, but no.  She wants new counters in her kitchen.  And a bathroom remodel.

Tattoo:  That's all, boss?

Roarke:  Well, Tattoo, it's expensive.  And she is never home to do it herself.

Tattoo: So she's spending her vacation here instead of doing a DIY project at home?  I don't get it, boss.

Roarke:  I don't either, Tattoo - but get some more fruity rum drinks in her and she won't give a shit about a fully tiled shower with rainfall showerheads.  We can't help it that her fantasy life is a real cockshrinker.  Now, moving on to the next guest...

Tattoo:  Is that Tootie from The Facts of Life?

Ms. Ramsey if you're nasty.


Roarke:  Yes, but for the next hour we are to believe that her greatest desire is to reunite with her long lost sister and form a singing duo.

Tattoo:  Got it, boss.

ae

Friday, February 19, 2016

Cream, 2 Equal*

I had a conversation yesterday that kind of left me mad and then sad and then enlightened.

I was talking with a friend about the chicken fried misteak dinner (see last post), and about the pie and coffee place I had passed on the way home.  And he mentioned something about really liking coffee with dinner, and not just dessert.

And I said, "Well, I really don't drink much coffee, so..."

My friend was surprised by this.  And finally, I said, "All those times we've been out together and stopped at Starbucks or Dunkin, and I didn't get a coffee - did that not occur to you?"

To which he replied, "I was so happy with my own coffee, I didn't notice you not having one."

Well, that... kind of says it all.

And here's the thing - we've even HAD the coffee talk before when I explained that growing up in Atlanta, Coke was an acceptable substitute for coffee, and I usually do a Coke Zero.  And he argued with me that hot beverages are consumed in hot climates for their cooling effect.  Ok, fine.  You win.  I still only drink it once a month, tops.

But because I'm me, I actually even know HOW my close friends take their coffee - he's cream, no sugar - for example.**

Why do I know that?  Because sometimes I will drink an iced nonfat latte, or an iced coffee with skim, and if I'm feeling benevolent, I'll get coffee for a friend.  Usually my work husband, but whomever, really.

And the nice thing to do is impress them with the right thing.

I'm not saying I'm right, or I want everyone to be like me, but maybe I need to be more into my own coffee.

To that end - I was chatting with another friend on FB tonight and didn't feel like getting into some drama and I said, "You know, normally I'll play along, but I'm bone tired - let's have this conversation another time." And I got an abrupt, "Good Night."  So 99% of the time I'll coddle you and tell you what you want to hear and tonight, I set a boundary and you act like a hurt child. Fiiiiiine.

I may need to redefine what I expect from people and what I'm willing to give them.

Because now I feel guilty.  For no fucking reason.

Don't you love the weeks where this blog becomes in loco analyst?



*Cream, 2 Equals - or Splenda, but NOT Sweet n Low. 

But any coffee you bring me will be more than generous enough.

ae

**I did text my BFF Connie because I didn't know hers.  It's a half cup of milk, microwaved for 1:11 and coffee poured over it.  I told her I take mine in ice cream form.  Then we talked about Magic Mike and mammograms.  I love Connie.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Chicken Fried Misteak

So, I've mostly behaved on my recent travels, but last night, I heard the siren call of a family style country-eatin' place, and I went.

It was weird on a lot of levels.  They put me at a table for six, and that was awkward as fuck.  I eventually had to tell the poor waitress that I wasn't waiting on anyone else and she could go ahead and take my order.

Dinner was, among other things, a biscuit, some gravy, a slab of chicken fried steak as big as my head, and mashed potatoes.


Beige:  It's What's For Dinner

If I haven't discussed this before, the mighty potato, in all its permutations, is my weakness.  Mashed potatoes are my kryptonite.  And these were really, really good.  Now, they may have been doctored instant potatoes.  I'm willing to admit that.  And moreover, I'm willing to admit that I do. not. give. a. fuck.  I ate the entire bowl of them.  And the sweet little waitress offered to refill my tater bowl (remember, family style).  I said no.  It took every fiber of my being to say no, but I did.  As for the gravy, I had a tiny bit and it was delicious.  The chicken fried steak, I ate half and waved the white flag (AKA my napkin).

I overate, yes.  I was miserable, yes.  But I can think of times where I'd have eaten all of it, and then some, and stopped for pie at the place next door.  And have been even more sick and miserable.

So it's a win, sort of.

I'm ready to go home.

ae




Thursday, February 11, 2016

Self-Deprecation 101

I went to see a pulmonologist yesterday to basically convince him I need a sleep study.

I did a home study a few years back that was borderline and the doc said, "Lose weight."

And OK - I'm working on that.

But I'm still waking up exhausted, so...

I met with my new doc.  He looks a little like Ray Romano, but with a bad hairpiece.  Attention, dudes.  If you are going bald, just go ahead and go super short.  It looks better.



Anyway, super nice doc who wants to get me a CPAP.  Like him already.

We're talking and I said, "Look I get it, I'm a morbidly obese*, middle-aged woman..."  and he cuts me of by saying, "I wouldn't say morbidly...".  And he gave me a once over to confirm it.

So I've got that going for me.

But he was really helpful.  And then he said he was going to show me something really cool.  He picks up a microphone next to the laptop, and starts speaking into it.  He's transcribing with voice to text.

So, I work in medical clinics, and while this is a neat trick, it's not uncommon.

It's so not uncommon that I ask, "Are you using Dragon?"

Dragon is the premier med transcript voice to text software. 

He was thrilled that I was in on it, and we talked electronic medical records for a few minutes.

So, United Health Care willing, I have a sleepover at the hospital next month.  If United is unwilling, I'm getting another home study.  And I will be Googling ways to game a home study. 

Because if I don't get a CPAP...

I'll keep being tired.

*I just checked, and the doctor was right -  I am technically no longer morbidly obese.  I'm merely obese.  Next stop, overweight.

ae

Monday, February 8, 2016

High and Mighty

A pre-emptive warning.   This post is going to talk a lot about breasts.  Specifically, my breasts.  In a non-tawdry, unexploitative way, but still.  Tittayz. Boobage. Sweater Puppies.  If that's problematic to you, this would be a good time to go read something less controversial.

Like, this article on a new, fancy grilled cheese.

Ok.

So, I have pretty much had a sizable bust since... eighth grade.  I mean, it wasn't the first thing you noticed about me, but yeah, I had the goods.

As an adult, they are definitely one of the first things you'll notice.  I'm a chubby girl, as I've said on more than one occasion, but from a proportional point of view, yeah, I've got big lady lumps.

An Ample Rack


There are problems that go along with this.  It's hard for me to find button up shirts that look good.  To get them to fit across the chest, I have to typically go big all over.

When you're getting a mammogram, smaller is better.  Waaaayyy better.  I had mine two weeks ago, and it hurt like a mother.  She also saw fit to put "nipple markers" on me so that they wouldn't mistake them for cancer, I guess.  What is a nipple marker, you asked?  You know those post-it note flags that tag where to sign a document?  Imagine those, but instead of saying, "Sign Here" they're saying, these are her milk spouts, not cancer.  That was awkward.  As was the conversation where she told me their robes wouldn't cover my chest, so she offered me a cape.  Like what you'd see at the hair salon.  I was horrified.  She asked if I'd been having any problems with my breasts.  I said, "Other than them being to large to fit in mammogram robes, no."  Touche!

Anyway, she squashed my funbags til I had tears in my eyes, twice per side, and then I was free to go.  She gave me a Diet Coke on the way out, I think to make up for insulting my largesse in re: robes.

Long story boring, I'm dense and fibrous, but a clean exam.

So, then.

It's also not easy to find a good bra.  Or a cute bra.  And the slice of Venn Diagram that overboth good and cute - well, it's itty bitty.

So, I mentioned in my Shitty Mall expose that I had killed some time trying on over the shoulder boulder holders.  Torrid had some that were crazy cute - but I tried them and they seemed to be not fitting properly.

So I left them and went back to the hotel.

This weekend, I went bra shopping at my favorite place to get them, Lane Bryant.  Or as my ex-boyfriend Rusty used to call it, Lane Giant.  And this is while we were dating and I shopped there.  Hence, ex-boyfriend (kidding - he totally dumped me).  Anyway, Lane has a line of lingerie under the label Cacique, and honestly, their tit slings are the best thing going.

For the last ten years, I've worn their Balconette bras.  They're great.  Coverage, but not so much coverage that I can't wear them under anything moderately low cut. Over the past few months, my current batch of them was starting to wear out.  I lost the eye to one of the hooks on my black one, I sprung an underwire on one of my two beige ones.  And the remaining unscathed beige bra was working overtime to make up for its lost comrades.

But my weight has changed since I last bought bras, so when the saleslady offered to measure me, I took her up on it.  And it turns out (not surprisingly) that my size is a little different than last year.

The problem with this new size is that it's apparently a pretty common one, at least within their customer base.  It's a size that Victoria's Secret doesn't carry, and department stores don't have many of, so when there's a store that does carry it, women buy it.  I'm not being mysterious - I'm a 40 or 42DDD depending on the brand.   I range anywhere from a 38DDD at my thinnest to a 40G at my top weight.   Right now, I'm a 42DDD (except in non-underwires, where I'm a 40, but whatev).

Anyway, I couldn't find any plain beige or black Balconette style in my size.  I could find them in weird colors or lace, or whatever, but I needed something I could wear every day.

So I tried a new style  .A plunge/pushup version.  And KABLAM! I looked...like a much younger woman.

So I bought three.  Two in functional boring colors (black, beige) and one from the clearance rack that's white with a red and hot pink floral pattern.

I feel twenty pounds lighter and two inches taller. It's amazing what a good bra will do.

And while I'm sure the only person who notices, I don't care.

I would show a picture, but here's the thing.  My real name is attached to this blog, and I don't want future employers to ask me in an interview why they can google my
knockers.  But let's be honest, they're already going to get a hit if they google my name + knockers.

So.  There's that.

But I feel uplifted.  And I wanted to share.

Hooters,

ae

PS - I think I have used almost all the ta-ta related slang I know to talk about the girls.  Let me know if I forgot anything.  I'd be udderly surprised to see what I forgot.



(   .   )


Friday, February 5, 2016

The Shitty Mall

I was traveling this week, and truthfully it could have been anywhere - it was that generic.

My hotel was right next to a mall, so I thought - SCORE! 

But then I parked, went in and realized it was that town's Shitty Mall.

Your town has one, maybe more than one.   They have the niceish stores, but they have also have some shitty ones.  And even the nice stores look sad and picked over. 

There's a Sbarro, because of fucking course there's a Sbarro.  There's also a Chick Fil A, which is the only actual business happening in the whole Shitty Mall.

This Shitty Mall had a Torrid - it's a store for big girls who want to wear skull print halter tops.  The store was in shambles, but I will admit that they had nice bras.  Nothing in the right size, but I tried.

I wandered the mall, and other than trying on five bras, I didn't really end up doing much.  I killed about an hour.  Then I went back to my hotel and watched part of the Bernie Madoff miniseries (love me some Richard Dreyfuss).  Went to bed.

I do need some new bras.  That's on the agenda for this weekend.  And new tires.

Thankfully, I live near a decent mall.

That's all I have.

ae







Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Obsessed

So, I was raised to love show tunes.  My paternal grandfather loved musicals.  So did his brother - between the two of them, they instilled it in my father, and it got passed on to me.

Now, Dad was big into the classics - Oklahoma.  South Pacific.  Especially South Pacific.  I loved that one as well.  In 7th grade, I played Bloody Mary in a middle school production of it.

To be accurate, we didn't perform the whole musical.  We did snippets of several musicals that year - four, actually - Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, South Pacific and West Side Story.  So I got to sing Bali Hai, I was in 2 scenes and out.  It was still kind of a big deal, since the previous year, I played one of a bajillion orphans in Oliver! - so, yeah.  Actually, I know that I was also up for consideration as Eliza Doolittle, but let's be honest, we didn't have a lot of ethnic looking kids at my whitebread middle school - my jew 'fro was exotic.

It would be another year or two before my tits moved in and took over.

I was also fairly tan.  This was taken several months after I killed it in South Pacific.

Anyway.

My love of show tunes only grew.  In 2004, I started hearing about this show called Avenue Q.  I read a review in the New Yorker, and it sounded funny.  So I bought the soundtrack.  And I memorized it, quoted it, loved it, lived it.

Then, a few years later, Mom, Laura and I took a trip to New York.  Mom got us tickets to see The Drowsy Chaperone, and I took advantage of my credit card and a free afternoon to sneak off to a matinee of my beloved Avenue Q.  They were both awesome.  The lead in Chaperone, at the time, was Jonathan Crombie, who you would recognize as Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables miniseries (side tangent - they can remake that if they want, but to women of a certain age, there is only one Gilbert who fueled our fantasies).

The lyric in Avenue Q that really hooked me was this, "When I was little, I thought I would be/A big comedian on late night TV/But now I'm 32, and as you can see/I'm not.  Nope. Oh well/It sucks to be me/It sucks to be broke, and unemployed and turning 33/It sucks to be me."

At the time, I was about to turn...you guessed it, 33.

Anyway.

I fell in love with some other musicals along the way - Legally Blonde, The Last Five Years.

My parents came to Nashville and we all went to see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - it was fun.

I went with some friends to see Wicked (in Nashville) - and it was stellar.

Last year, when Book of Mormon came to Nashville I saw it twice.  I saw it again last month with my mother, in Atlanta.  It was funny all three times.

But now.  Oh. Shit.

I had a rental car a few weeks back, and it got satellite radio.  Twice, I heard songs from a musical I had heard about - this new one called Hamilton.

Both of the songs sounded like nothing I'd ever heard on the Broadway channel before.  One of them called 'The Room Where it Happens' made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

So last week at work, I found the cast album posted on YouTube.  Game. Over.  I've been listening to the whole thing time and time again.

It is, in case like me you haven't pored over every article you can find, a hip-hop musical about founding father, Alexander Hamilton.

The genesis of it was a single song, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who, at the age of 36 has written two Broadway musicals.  Anyway, he performed this one song at the White House and it kind of snowballed from there.  Last year, he won a MacArthur Genius Grant.

If you want to know why, look at this clip.  Notice the POTUS and FLOTUS get sucked in to the magic.



And it is magical.


This is my newest obsession.  I bought the soundtrack, and I won't be happy til I see it performed.

ae