The Letter E

Eis for Ennui.

French. A beautiful language rempli à la capacité [1] with subtle delights. It possesses a two-syllable word for the feeling of utter weariness and discontent caused by a complete lack of interest: ennui. Not stupid American boredom, but a sophisticated listless oppression that would be paralyzing if paralyzation didn’t involve intense emotion.

“If it weren’t for ennui, Henri might give a shit.”

[1] Filled to capacity.

The Letter D

Dis for Douchebag.

A word that once meant “a small syringe having detachable nozzles for fluid injections, used chiefly for vaginal lavage and forenemas” has gone on to describe “contemptible or despicable person”. As mentioned on Frankly Curious, douchebag was even chosen as Word of the Year. We live in a wonderful era where a simple word for a gross necessity can go on to become a celebrity.

The Letter C

Cis for Celebrity.

According to an online dictionary, the word celebrity has been around since the 14th century, originating in Middle Earth probably to describe Gandalf. Or maybe it’s Middle English. Who knows.

A celebrity is any person who, for whatever reason, is stalked by paparazzi. Being worthy of attention is not a requirement, although marketability is. There are levels of celebrity, those whose contributions have some positive and useful impact on the world [1] and those who are typically referred to as “train wrecks” [2].

George Clooney is a celebrated actor. Lindsay Lohan is a celebrity.”

[1] Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart come to mind.
[2] Honey Boo Boo and her mother, Jabba the Hutt.

The Letter B

Bis for Bother.

Another terse, yet nimble word than can be used as a noun or a verb. As a noun it can mean annoy, irritate, worry: “Such a bother!” Or it can describe effort or work: “Why bother?”

While as a verb, bother is something that causes annoyance, irritation, or worry as in, “You bother me.”

I found this why bother? We’re all gonna die image by Holbein at

Accidental Eavesdropping

Old ManAging, thankfully, is an effortless transformation; having to work at it would be a pain in the ass. Instead, every morning — after putting on my glasses of course — I eagerly gaze into the mirror. What new magic did the Fairy of Death work upon my face as I slept? Puffy eyes that last a little longer each day? A slightly deeper brow furrow? Or maybe a long chin bristle that I can feeI but not see without my glasses and a magnifying mirror? Every day brings me a little closer to becoming the scary old lady I know is trapped inside.

One aspect of getting older that does require effort is collecting doctors. It is not easy to find doctors one is comfortable with and that accept our insurance. As of now, I have a GP, a dentist, a gynecologist, a dermatologist, and a chiropractor. Once I find a good psychatrist I’ll have a full set!

Everyone knows that having doctors means having prescriptions, which also means plenty of pharmacy visits. I imagine that some time in the next ten years, I’ll have been to the local RiteAid so often, there will come a day when I’ll hobble in and the staff will yell “Norm!”

On a recent visit, as I sat waiting for a prescription to be filled, a gray-haired man of about 70 stepped to the counter. The clerk cheerfully asked, “How are you today?” The man replied with the gusto of a man twice his age, “Still vertical – so that’s something.”

“I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places.” —Henny Youngman (1906 – 1998)

Please Get This Woman a Burka

Warning: The following commentary, and blatant example of internet bullying, may be offensive to some readers (specifically, Kenneth W. Krause).

In a recent e-mail to news anchor Jennifer Livingston, Kenneth W. Krause stalwartly addressed Jennifer’s outrageous obesity and calling on her to be a better example for impressionable young girls who watch the early morning news – girls, I assume, like Krause’s own pudgeball daughter. What father wouldn’t try to spare his little girl from the nightmare of body fat? Like Olive’s dad in Little Miss Sunshine, Krause just wants girls to keep in mind the ancient adage: a moment on the lips, forever on the hips.

To stand up to the elephant on the TV takes a man of some kind of character. His thoughtful attempt to expose the grotesque error of Jennifer’s lifestyle was the sort of humanitarian gesture that would make Don Imus or Rush Limbaugh harden up with pride. Mister Krause, with his huge, socially-stunted balls, went so far as to call her out for choosing to maintain the disgusting habit of chewing tobacco – I mean the disgusting habit of being an affront to the universal idea of female beauty. And in the public eye too!

Behind her brave facade, Jennifer must certainly have been cut to the quick by Mister Krause’s words: seeking his approval is the only reason she gets out of bed every morning. Why else does any woman go on living if not to forage in the brutal wilderness of our society for even a meager compliment? If just one person you pass on the street finds you unattractive, you might as well stay inside and become a snarky blogger. I shudder to think that the guy behind the counter at Arby’s might look at me and think, “If she lost a few of pounds and combed her hair, I might hit that.”

Fortunately, “there’s no accounting for taste” is also true. Even I might be considered alluring, depending on the lighting and whether the beholder is wearing his glasses. Personally, I don’t see myself as beautiful or sexy. My husband tells me I’m beautiful and I believe him because there are no other women in the room.

I can only imagine the sort of Adonis Mister Krause must certainly be. I mean, people in glass houses… am I right? He was probably born an average-looking kind of guy before he was transformed into the god of all things beautiful. I’ve found an artist’s rendition of what Mister Krause may have looked like before becoming the guiding light of pulchritude:

Kenneth W. Krause

Society is Imploding

Gerber Baby Cute baby contests have been around for decades. They probably began at fairs where contests of all kinds were a staple entertainment. It was good, clean American fun. But then, like most things that start out wholesome, our society twisted and tweaked the idea until they became sordid and disgusting (wet T-shirt contests, any high school popularity bullshit like Best Hair, etc.).

Contests aren’t simply entertainment; they have also been used as an effective marketing ploy since about the beginning of time. For example, the first Gerber baby contest was held in 1928. So began a long, sad tradition of women displaying their infants with the hopes that their bundles really are as adorable as everyone says they are. Do they need to be reassured that their children aren’t actually ugly little trolls? Of course not. These loving mothers are looking for cash.

Over the years, “Cutest Baby” has morphed into “Toddlers & Tiaras”, a show whose tagline could easily be: It’s never too early to teach our daughters to be narcissistic, catty little bitches. Honestly, I’ve never seen the show, but here’s a sampling of the photos that come up if you do a Google image search for “Toddlers & Tiaras”. Very fucked up.

I think beauty pageants in general are stupid and demoralizing, but pageants that involve deranged mothers dressing up their little girls like dolls and then trotting them out for public consumption is repugnant. The mothers disgust me and the children seem like aliens, so when I saw the following CNN headline, the hypocrisy of it compelled me to read the article (quoted here in its entirety).

Isabella Barrett
It seems the controversy surrounding TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” and its pint-sized stars is never-ending.

After one contestant dressed as Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman,” another, Isabella Barrett, was filmed singing LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” at an event.

Barrett’s mother, Susanna, has since filed a lawsuit against TMZ, Huffington Post and Daily Mail Online, among other media outlets, for running stories that she alleges “sexualize” her 5-year-old daughter, according to court documents obtained by CNN.

“After this firestorm, I quickly protected my daughter by having cease and desist orders sent to most media outlets that ran the story,” Susanna said in a statement provided to CNN, adding, “I intend to clear my daughter’s name.”

Barrett also detailed her version of the events shown in a video published by TMZ. (In the video, Isabella can be seen singing along to “Sexy and I Know It” at a DJ booth with a microphone in her hand.)

News organizations reported that the Barrett’s were at a nightclub, however, Susanna said in her statement that she and her daughter were actually at “a pet friendly charity event at an American bistro restaurant in New York City at 7:19 p.m. It was a private well-lit event with vendor tables and pets in attendance.”

Little Miss Sunshine, if you’ve never seen it, is a wonderful movie about Olive, a seven-year-old girl who desperately wants to be in a beauty contest. Olive is not a beautiful little girl, something her dad reminds her of, inadvertently but often. Like most parents, he loves his daughter and wants her to be happy so he gives in to help make her dream come true. (There’s much more to the story, but it has nothing to do with the point I will eventually get to.)

Olive’s father (Greg Kinnear) doesn’t know anything about the Little Miss Sunshine pageant other than it means something to her. He’s actually a little irritated by this parental imposition, expecting a typical school-play like production. Then the show starts. Sitting in the audience, he sees little girls dressed like trollops and prancing around the way they might in a pedophile’s daydreams. Then he notices the creepy voyeurs sitting in the audience with him. You can tell by the look on his face when he finally understands what’s going on. His love for his daughter, his need to protect her, has finally broken through his self-absorption. When it’s Olive’s turn in the talent segment, he (along with the movie audience), is suddenly anxiety-stricken. He’s afraid she will be humiliated and hurt and it’s breaking his heart.

Olive comes on stage in her everyday clothes and it’s awkward. Then the music plays and Olive begins to dance. There’s no attempt at childish seduction, no coy winking at the audience, just a little seven-year-old girl dancing her silly happy dance. She was beautiful.

As for Isabella, her mother should be ashamed for corrupting her daughter’s childhood. If she really wants to clear her Isabella’s name, let her be adopted by someone who understand the meaning of responsible parenting.

If I Have to Explain, It Isn’t Funny

It’s a moot point, as Perry has fallen from the STUPID[1] bus, but this needs to be addressed because it bothers me. No one understands the subtle humor of this carefully constructed visual jest, so I will deconstruct it for my obtuse friends.


Normally one says “I can see my house from here” when flying over Kansas, standing at the top of the Empire State building, or some other high vantage point — not because you can actually see the house, but because it’s impossible and silly.

If you will notice, Perry is casually looking to his left which implies that he is looking at a nearby object. A nearby object would be easily identified. So…if Perry is looking at a house down the street and is pretty sure it’s his house, that would make him pretty dumb.

I think my mistake here was using Perry instead of Romney. Oops.

[1] Society That Undermines Philanthropy, Intelligence, and Dedication