Pimp My Hair

First, a couple of photos of recent animals Blane and Angela adopted. Pipsqueak is a miniature chihuaha. Tiny!

Check out the Doggles.

And here is the horse, I forget his name, but he is a retired racehorse. Gigantic!

Check out that ponytail. Not on the horse, on Angela. She’s cutting it next week. I told her (and Blane) she could sell it. Here’s the convo:

Me: Oh, yeah, a friend of mine got $2500 for her hair.

Blane Jr: (ears perk up) Oh yeah?

Angela: I’m going to donate it to…

Blane Jr. (laughing): No you not, I’m starting a hair farm.

Angela: You gonna be my hair pimp.

Blane Jr. (playfully grabs Angela by the hair, talks in a gruff voice): Where you been ho? You… You trim some of dat hair off?

All joking aside, she is planning on donating the hair to that group that makes wigs for people with cancer. I have a cousin, Tracy who donated hers last year to a group called Locks of Love. Anyway, I think that’s a pretty cool thing to do, especially when she could sell it for some major lettuce.

Fabulous

A lot of people called her “Fabulous,” my husband’s grandmother. Most called her “Fabie” (Fa-bee). That’s what her children called her. Her real name was Fabiola, and she was named by one of her brothers who had seen that name in a book.

Fabie was one of those late in life babies, born into a family that had for so long been nothing but boys. So when she came, you can imagine how they spoiled her. This was a wealthy and well-to-do family, educated, and it was back in 1915. Fa-bi-o-la.

It puzzled me when I first heard her name, I was about 16 and thought it was foolish for a family to let a child name a baby after a story book character. Especially that strange name. Didn’t they think this out, that the child would be taunted and ridiculed at school?

I’m sure they did. But they still named her Fabiola because it meant so much to her brother. It didn’t matter to them what other people might think.

I never asked her if she was teased at school for that name. I didn’t have to because after knowing her for about fifteen minutes, I could see that this lady was immune to that sort of thing. She loved to laugh at herself. In fact, the more you teased her, the lovlier she got. She never cussed but didn’t give you the feeling you couldn’t cuss around her. If you wanted her to blush, all you had to do was tell her a dirty joke.

She’s one of just a handful of people who have ever made me think i want to be just like her.

I never met a classier lady. I’m not talking about the sort of class you get from wealth or being born into the right family. She just didn’t have any sort of bitterness in her, was always pleasant and soothing, genuine. Softspoken. She never talked bad about a single person or thing. Ever. One of the most amazing things about her was that if you sat next to her you got an automatic backrub. Or she’d hold your hand when you talked to her. She’d train her eyes deeply to yours and talk to you as if you were the only person on this earth. You’d get these magical vibes from her, a flowers and rainbows feeling.

She wasn’t just like that to family. She was like that to everyone. It did not matter who you were, where you came from, the lifestyle you led… you got the “fabulous” treatment.

I count myself lucky for having had her in my life. She was an excellent role model for my husband and I, for my children, for anyone who ever met her. She was buried today at the age of 92.

I’ll pass on one cute little thing she told me a long time ago. She said that during The Depression all the children would come and play at her house because she was the only child with toys. She may have believed that, but I know better. She was already fabulous.

Teenagers Scare The Living Shit Out of Me, Too

It was a perfect day for Edgefest 16. We were scared shitless that it would be cold or rainy because the weather had been really bad in the days leading the festival.

We ended up giving away three extra tickets to Sweetpea’s friends. I had extra because I’d bought pre-sale tickets and then found some better seats when tickets went on sale to the public. Learned a lesson there. Michele told me that, but I had to learn it the hard way.

Sweetpea dumped Spanky and I for her friends and somehow snuck into the pit. How she snuck in was by buying a bright red halter top at one of the sleeze shops on the field.

She put it on and there was no need for the bright orange (pit) wristband. When I saw her with that on, I had to bite my tongue. I told her 6 foot tall boyfriend (he is a few months younger than Sweeetpea) he better keep a good eye on her.

This outdoor fest was no where near as rough as Download. The crowd was cleaner cut and had fewer profanities on their t-shirts. The place had a sterile feel to it. There was no grass or mud because the ground was covered with these white plastic interlocking panels.

It kept the grass alive and shoes clean. Oh, and wow, talk about overkill on cops and security guards.

It was pretty shitty that the place did not have a single show schedule to hand out by the time we got there. It seems like they could have at least put some poster up somewhere to let us poor bastards know who was playing where and when. There were three stages going at the same time. Very few people had schedules. I found out most of who we wanted to see were on the main stage so Spanky and I just stayed near there all day.


Here she is making good use of her time between sets.

We saw Blue October (excellent show), Muse (only like one of their songs so we went hunt down foold while they played), Papa Roach (Spanky hates them), AFI (Davey Havok gets best screamer award)…


AFI

Also, The Killers (more on that later), and our favorite of the day, our reason for being there… My Chemical Romance (MCR).

With a grueling tour schedule playing almost every night for over four months now, it was a no brainer that MCR would be polished. Unfortunately, with this many bands to run through in one day, they only had an hour to play. An hour in which we completely forgot about everything but the moment. It was spectacular.

The sun was setting when they started:

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I never talk much about Ray Toro, the lead guitarist for MCR. This dude is just phenomenal with his white hot guitar sound. He is the anchor for this group with his seriousness, classic rock looks (red spindly long curls, and gee, he has full lips which are just way underappreciated in this band of pretty boys), and the fact that he has worn that look from the beginning of the band to this day. Nothing wrong with tweaks and changes in appearances to freshen up the look of the band, but I like it that this guy just stays the same.

Gerard is just as gorgeous as ever, but his hair is back to ink-black. Mikey had a totally outrageous hairstyle.

As the set progressed it turned to nighttime. They did not wear their Black Parade costumes and just had a simple backdrop for their set. They played a good bit of Black Parade as well as some old school songs. It was a surprise to me that the song to bring down the house was “Cancer.” It moved me and most of the people around me to tears. The lighting was sublime and the people in the audience lit their lighters so it looked like the stadium was lit up with a bunch of candles.

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I couldn’t help but think of my friend Michele, how she said that song made her cry because it hit so close to home. I blame her for making my eyes leak.

For all you punkasses who have been hitting my blog for that Teenagers Scare the Living Shit out of Me post I did, this is for you, a short video clip I recorded and uploaded. I will warn you though, you will shit a brick when you see the back of Gerard Way’s head in here. It looks like he is getting a… I’m so sorry, really sorry to tell you… a bald spot. Go ahead and cry bitches.

The Killers played last and surprisingly, a lot of people left before they played. They were twenty minutes late and Spanky had school the next day, so she wanted to leave. We listened to about 3 or 4 of their songs and began the long walk back to the car. (Sweetpea drove her own car there and stayed until the end).

While walking back to the car we could hear The Killers’ “Smile Like You Mean It.” Here’s our convo while walking in the crisp night air.

Me: Whoa, Spank, you hear that?

Spanky: Yeah, I like that song.

Me: (euphoric) It’s amazing Spank.

Spanky: I know, now stop complaining.

Me: What do you mean? I love this.

Spanky: (irritated) You’re complaining because you want to be in there instead of leaving.

Me: No, they sound fine from here.

And as smart as she is, I don’t think she could understand that I was just as happy to be walking with her to the live sound of The Killers, just me and Spank. While she finishes growing up.

The absolute scariest thing about teenagers is when they are yours.

Five Things You Don’t Know About Me And Probably Don’t Care

Okay, I never do these, but this is the second or third time Pooks tags me, I’m shamed into doing this one.

1. I rarely drink alcohol.

2. My husband saw me throw some kitchen knives once into our wooden fence and was so impressed he bought me a set of real throwing knives for our anniversary. (Good thing I don’t like alcohol)

3. I was a child beauty queen. Twice. Not the Jon Benet type, the southern festival kind.

4. I am always running into celebs in the strangest places. Yesterday I ran across Ray Nagin in a Starbucks near Dallas and talked to him for a while. (He was the mayor of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, still is the mayor.)

5. As a teenager, a friend and I were out egging houses at about 2 AM. On foot. We got busted, but first we outran the cops for about two hours. They caught my friend so I had to turn myself in (The cops were hollering my name over a damn loudspeaker.)

I tag Max and Anita Marie.

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged

Nevermore

There’s no place like a hair salon to study character. Okay laundromats beat all. I’ll tell you about that another time.

The girls and I went to the hair salon yesterday. An upscale one. It was a long appointment as we were getting highlights, so I brought some script pages to review while waiting for the colors to set. Sitting still doing nothing is torture.

I didn’t feel like reading though, I decided to just take in the beauty shop talk and sights around me. One client, about 20 kept fluffing her hair, it was done, but she wan’t so sure it was “just right.” It looked just perfect to me, it wasn’t going to get any better, but she seemed unhappy and wouldn’t leave the chair.

A guy who fit in perfectly with the ladies wanted his hair dyed “dark, but not black.” After they were done with him, he thought it might be too dark. Said he’d have to stay for a while and see if it would “grow on him.” If not they would work on the color some more.

One lady was telling the stylist exactly what strands of hair to cut, and where. It was amazing, would have been easier for the both of them had the woman just cut her own hair.

So at the checkout, there is a blonde airhead chick and a goth-punk guy with snake bites (lip piercings). Both hairdressers. As the blonde chick adds up our total (I know, the horror), the punk notices Spanky’s book on the counter, an Edgar Allen Poe collection. He reaches for it but when he notices the chewed up binding, his hand snaps back. I tell him, “It’s okay, my daughter chewed on it.” He smiles and grabs the book.

I lied to him. My dog did that. But he liked my story better.

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Then he tells us how he loves Poe, that he used to teach literature and drama.

The blonde chick, sensing she should definately get into this convo says, “Oh, I love that story of his about that…I think it was a bird or something.” And then, the self destructive, “Oh, yeah, I know all about Poe, I love him.”

Well, Spanky is not too patient with airheads. She looks at the blonde and says, “Oh, yeah, well then you know that when he was 36 26 he married a 12 year old.”

The woman’s jaw just dropped.

Spanky adds, “And she was his cousin.”

The blonde didn’t say another word for a while. Then finally she says, “Artists have a real hard time communicting properly with the rest of us.”

Us… As in she who sayeth not “the raven,” but “a bird,” plus Spanky and Sweetpea and I. Equals Us.

It is the highlights.

Oh.

Nevermore.

P.S. There is nothing wrong with being blonde, but if you claim to be an expert on something around my Spanky, she will call you on it.

Guest Post: Frank’s Coffee and Freedom

Frank, AKA Brut Bunny is a buddy of mine from Max’s forum. He recently went to Budapest and I asked him to do a guest post. Two things he didn’t mention and you may know this, Budapest is actually two cities, Buda and Pest (pronounced “Pesh”). Here’s Franks’s tale of two cities:

I decided to give you Budapest as I experienced it, and not as a Taggart travel guide.

Budapest was never in my cross-hairs. For weeks after I learned that I was headed there I was saying Bucharest, Belfast, anything but Budapest.

My total knowledge of Hungary was something like Bela Lugosi, Liszt, goulash, and Rubik’s Cube. I also knew they had had a “revolution” sometime in the fifties against their Russian occupiers that the U.N. (my favorite organization… NOT) refused, as usual, to get involved with. And, just one other thing. I’ve always had a secret crush on a Hungarian woman. Karoly Lotz’s “Bathing Woman.” Check her out, but just remember she is one hundred and six years old. She is beautiful, but then brunettes do that to me.

I should also explain that this trip was a birthday gift. It was planned that I was getting a fancy schmancy coffee machine. But, my family decided it would be too much to lug back home from Paris; so they decided to give me four days in Budapest instead.

It was less than a two hour flight from Paris on Malev airlines.
The limousine ride from the airport to the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace in Pest confirmed my perverted uninformed opinion…that Budapest would be a dreary, dangerous, depressing former communist city.

It was a dreary overcast day. The homes and buildings along the way to the hotel were run down, iron bars and roll down shutters on the windows, lots of graffiti. A half hour ride and we arrived at the hotel, which is rated one of the finest in the world. Six staff members greeted us as our limo pulled up as if we were returning royalty. The sun literally came out.

We were escorted to our room, which turned out to be the Presidential Suite. Four bedrooms. Four or five spa size bathrooms with whirlpools. A living room bigger than my house with a huge marble fireplace at one end and a monstrous wall mounted flat screen TV at the other.

A large dining room capable of formally sitting twelve for dinner (the table was set with platters of fresh fruit and cheese and a magnum of champagne chilling in a bucket.) A full size kitchen with all appliances and servants entrances. Ornate gilt ed fifteen foot ceilings. Dozens of fresh flowers, roses, calla lilies and tulips every day in every room

The French patio doors in the living room opened onto a small balcony directly overlooking the Chain Bridge, the Danube, the Royal Palace, the National Gallery and the coronation church of the Hungarian kings, Matyas church. A view to die for day and night.

Sound like I’m gloating? After seeing the rate for the suite at the front desk, four thousand three hundred Euros a night, you can be damn sure I am.

Four Seasons Hotel Budapest

This hotel is smack dab in the middle of everything.

Exiting the hotel you have the Parliament buildings off to the right and Vaci Utca on the left. Vaci Utca is an open mall that runs along the Pest side of the Danube… known as a commercial trade center for business, swindlers, prostitutes and
Tourists; packed streets, hostelries and shops.

I should say here that my wife and I walked everywhere. Day and late at night. I have never felt safer in any city in the world.

IMO, Hungarians are a proud, very literate, friendly people who remember their past and look forward to their future.
Some info: the average age is around forty, the average non professional worker “nets” about four hundred and thirty five dollars a month, the literacy rate is around 99.7%, and Hungarian’s love their cafes, coffee shops, and cigarettes.

Operahouse

The 1956 revolution is fresh in their minds and although they were decimated while the world stood buy and watched…
I think they are truly proud to have stood up to oppression. But, more on that to come.

The money was a surprise to us. We travel in Europe a lot and think in U.S., Canadian and Euros. Hungary, being part of the European Union I just assumed they are on the Euro. They are not. The currency is the Forint. The exchange rate for a Forint is around .0052 U.S. or .52 cents for 100 Forints. Hungary may not be able to adopt the Euro before 2013; if then. Why? The government is bankrupt.

Roaming around the city one day I came across the smallest store I’ve ever seen. Maybe three or four feet wide. Not much longer either. They were selling interesting souvenirs. Kalashnikov’s. AK-47 assault rifles. I made sure I was wearing gloves when I handled them. Most were used… and who knew where. Only $75 U.S. I would have bought one except worse then getting through Customs I had my wife to contend with.

A great treat for me was meeting Andrew Princz. Andrew is the author of “Bridging the Divide: Canadian & Hungarian Stories of the 1956 Revolution.” He is a producer, art historian, journalist, author of culture and a genuinely nice guy. His web site is www.ontheglobe.com.

We walked across the Chain Bridge and climbed half way to heaven on the Buda side of the river where we met Andrew in a coffee house. After coffee he took us on a walking tour of Buda.
Of course it started at the National Art Gallery. Buda reminded me of Greenwich Village when I was a kid.

After the Gallery we started toward the Royal Palace and I found myself staring at a concrete block house. Windows and doors covered with steel plates and thick iron bars. Andrew explained that it was the Nazi headquarters back in the 1940’s and has been boarded up since. Half the people want to tear it down, half want to turn it into a museum. That’s when I asked for a history lesson.

Hungary was occupied by Germany from 1930-1945. Then the Russians occupied it from 1945 until 1990 when the Soviet Union collapsed. Sixty years. Can you begin to imagine what that was like? They held their first free election in 1990. Joined the E.U. in 2004.

According to Andrew, the revolution of 1956 started as a University assignment. A professor had his students write about the freedoms and liberties they would want to have if the occupation ever were to end.

The project became so serious that the professor was asked to run for President, but he was forced by authorities to place the list of freedoms in a vault not to be discussed. This angered the students and they revolted. Russian officials and sympathizers were kidnapped, some were killed. It got to the point that the Russians retreated, pulled up and left.

Budapest celebrated, but prematurely. The Russians returned and surrounded the city with three thousand tanks. The Hungarians fought the tanks with their hands, small arms and molotov cocktails; knowing help was surely on the way… the United States, the U.N., someone in the world would help them. But, the help never came.

Time for a Unicum, a local drink made entirely from herbs. Forty proof. It looks like bug juice, tastes like a remedy for iron deficiency and will put hair on your chest, if that’s what you want a hairy chest. Incidentally, the food there was excellent. We ate at the hotel, in a couple of fancy restaurants, but mostly at the cafes where the locals go. Good food, rich deserts mit schlag – dollops and dollops.

I really enjoyed the city. It has the infrastructure, architecture, and history to become a major tourist destination. Would I live there? No. Would I invest there? Absolutely, I know people who already have major investments.

The day we were leaving I was reading a local English newspaper. An interesting article. The night before someone with a Kalashnikov Ak-47 assault rifle had shot out all the windows in the police stations. The story was written not in the sense of reporting a crime, but almost with a sense of pride. The journalist concluded “… no one was targeted. Police officers were in no danger. We did it because we can.”

Coffee and Freedom. What more could you want?

Wireless Internet Psych Job

My better half is an engineer and kept telling me my choppy wireless connection was a “user problem.”

Well I knew that. I was the user and having problems, no? Wait, no, he said I was causing the problems. Or that my snobby ass Mac was causing it. His pc was working just fine with the wireless. Well, I’m not the type to ride his back to fix the damn thing or to even complain very much. So this dragged on for months.

Finally, this week the kids told him they have been jacking wireless from one of the neighbors. Can’t be my Mac. Can’t be me. It has to be the box. That jury rigged box that…

I have no idea why he could always play his online video games without interruption or why he never experienced problems with the internet superhighway while the rest of us were stalled on an internet gravel road. He does know because he just fixed it. He tried to explain it with his engineer brain while my poor pitiful flowers and rainbows mind just wondered Is it going to keep working? Just fucking tell me, is it going to keep working?

If it ain’t, here’s my plan. Find the neighbor with the wireless signal that is all over my house. Pay half their internet bill. Never discuss internet with hubby again. Oh, yeah, yeah, find internet boyfriend who will explain wireless connections in flower and rainbow language. Okay, just kidding on that last one.

This reminds me of when people go to the doctor with a headache or stomach ache and after a slew of tests, the doctor can’t find anything so he hands the patient the number to a psychiatrist. They do that don’t they?

My internet sure is working withlistener-679452-876268.jpg that new wireless hub. And it’s fast. See ya on the internets. If you can catch me.

Spanky’s Dear Dear Soul

I’m talking with Sweetpea about next year’s classes. She asks about Spanky’s schedule. She is a little older than Spanky, a seasoned teen. The convo goes like this:

Sweetpea: Did Spanky sign up for advanced classes?

Me: Yeah.

Sweetpea: How many?

Me: All of them.

Sweetpea: And you signed the papers?

Me: That’s what she wanted.

Sweetpea: (dramatic) You just signed her soul over to the school.

Cajun Stamp of Approval

A Cajun friend of mine who I actually met through Pooks has written a book that will come out in May. This is the friend I told you about, Toni McGee Causey, the one with the sleepwalking husband who let me sleep in her yard once.

The true story behind that is after Hurricane Katrina, Toni and her family were making runs to shelters in New Orleans bringing water and supplies. She braved the stories of the gun toting loot mobs and went in there anyway. Probably saving a lot of lives. That is Toni. Her older blog, Electric Mist has all those stories on there, and more.

She was also letting volunteer medical workers sleep at her house since it was near the triage hospital set up for hurricane survivors. She hooked me up to work there (I came while the hospital was about to shut down so only stayed one day). I actually slept in my RV in her yard. Okay, so I juiced up the story, I’m Cajun, hey. Since she was working on that Bobbie Faye book at the time, that has got to be the reason my RV which had a power cord attached to her house kept flipping the breakers.

Anyway, one of the first things that happened when I got there was she sat me down for a soft drink and told me about her book. She had this smile and this sparkle in her eyes, that same look Pooks has in her eyes when she tells stories. I had stopped writing for a few years and at this very moment I thought, I want back in. And look at me now, sniff.

She let me read the book, and I tell you I laughed and laughed and laughed. Bobbie Faye is Cajun to the bone and this is the best characterization of a Cajun I have read in any book.

Here is a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.There is something the critics will miss no doubt. It is right in the title. The use of the same adjective four times. My kids are always getting on me about that. I say a girl is pretty, pretty, pretty. They asked my mom one time why I say words three times like that and she said, “Well, well, well. Hmmm.”

You see what I mean?

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say there are a lot of bad guys, the scenary is spectacular (how could it not be, this is Louisiana?), and there are a lot of mishaps that will have you rolling on the floor. There are guns, and lots of cussing. (Don’t all Cajuns cuss, my kids get on me about that too.)

Preorder Bobbie Faye’s Very (Very, Very, Very) Bad Day by clicking on that link or this one so you can be one of the first to get your hands on this hot book.

I really, really, really, really love this book. And the author. You will too.

Do not, under any circumstances miss Bobbie Faye’s advice column on MySpace. It is flat out brilliant. Hey, if you can’t hit all those links right now, they reside on my blogroll and links, chere.

Here is a trailer Toni produced to promote the book. It is funny, funny, funny. The more you know about Louisiana, the more you will get the jokes.