On Christmas Day, instead of my beloved turkey, pecan pie, and evening cocktails at The Bar with our favorite gays, we had steak, cheesecake, and went to see Les Miserables with his mother. Both she and I were very excited about the film. Poor Frank…not so much.
After the first five minutes, he asked for my coat, which he proceeded to fold into a pillow and place behind his head. To counter this, I proceeded to pinch him every five minutes.
When Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter hit the screen, he perked up.
“Isn’t she the chic from that other musical you made me watch?”
“Sweeny Todd. Yes,” I whispered, “Do you recognize the guy?”
“Yes,” he replied, then said longingly, “I want to see The Dictator. Can we please see The Dictator?”
I realized he meant…NOW, I want to see The Dictator NOW. Can we leave? Please!
I shook my head and gave him “the look.”
About halfway through the movie, he leaned over and groaned, “I bet the real revolution didn’t last this long. I need to go to the bathroom.”
I knew if he left, he’d never come back. I gave him “the look” and a finger point.
By the time Marius was singing, “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” Frank was audibly sighing and grunting. I couldn’t help but start giggling. I have a long history of laughing at inopportune times…at business meetings, in the middle of serious poems at Holler Poets, at funerals and in church. It always starts as the silent shake then quickly moves to tears rolling down my cheeks and finally flat-out howling until people give me “the look.” My laughing became contagious. He started the silent shake. We were both doing that clenched mouth laugh that sounds like you’re clearing your throat. I bit his arm in an attempt to stop us. It didn’t work. Finally, I had to think the saddest thought ever…my dog Doc Grizzly, who I love more than anything, getting hit by a car…to pull myself together.
When the movie ended, Frank cheered louder than anyone.
On the ride home, I asked, “You had to have liked something, what?”
“I liked that part with the boat. That boat was cool.”
“You mean that big boat that was only in the first two minutes?”
That night, Frank awoke screaming, “Please make them stop singing. They’re singing in my dreams. Make them stop singing. Make them stop,”
I knew we should have seen Django Unchained.
For our tres addition of Tête-à-Tête Thursday, our guest is Sunny Montgomery, brilliant essayist, fellow Sister Provocateur, and founder of The Dear Diary Project, a community self-esteem project.
The Bourbonista: Tell me about yourself in 50 words or less. At least one word must begin with the letter “X” and none can begin with the letter “S.”
Sunny: Anxious, Creative, Indulgent, Happy, Fiercely-Loyal... Xylophonic?
The Bourbonista: Xylophonic...I'll let it slide. Wait, was that sort of a pun? Okay, moving on...if you were a circus performer, what would you be and why?
Sunny: I'd be the ukulele-playing, tap-dancing warm-up act for the Vaudevillian circus. There is something about Vaudeville that always attracted to me. I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps the era itself and what it must’ve been like to be a female performer at that time. It would’ve been very rogue and badass.
Also, I wish I could tap dance. It is actually number one on my Fantasy Job List. And I’m a decent ukulele player as long as my audience does not mind hearing “Sunny Afternoon” by the Kinks played over and over.
The Bourbonista: I'll teach you to tap dance, baby. And now we have a whole wooden dock to practice on. We'll shuffle-off-the-buffalo and do time steps for the turtles. They are a very appreciative audience. Next question, what would you do if you won the lottery?
Sunny: Just yesterday I won the lottery! Five bucks on one of those Bingo scratch-offs. I will probably buy a pack of cigarettes with my winnings. Just kidding. I assume you want to know what I would do with lots and lots of money. You know, I read an article in People magazine a few years ago that followed the lives of a dozen or so people would had won millions in a lottery. Ten years later, the majority of them were bankrupt, drug-addicted, miserable, and/or dead. I’ve already listed myself as being “indulgent and anxious” so hundreds of millions of dollars would probably ruin me.
But again, I guess I’m still avoiding the real question. Probably because I don’t have anything clever to say. If I won the lottery, I would do all the things that everybody says they’d do. I’d pay off my parent’s mortgage, make sure they were set up for the rest of their lives. Buy property in every place I’ve ever fantasized about living : Key West, Queens, New Orleans, somewhere in Georgia, Alaska…etc. Then I’d pad my bank account with 5 mil or so, and give the rest away to charities – most likely relating to animals because I like animals better than people.
The Bourbonista: I'll help you run a Caribou Rescue in Alaska. So, if you were on death row…don’t act like you don’t know who you killed to get there…what would be your last supper?
Sunny: Lord, that's a tough one. No matter what I chose I guarantee that half-way through my meal I'd regret it and wish I'd picked something else. That being said, I'd pick lobster and butter sauce with a side of creamy Parmesan risotto. Then I'm going to eat half of it and wish I'd actually chosen a large deep dish pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut.
The Bourbonista: Maybe you'll get lucky and Pizza Hut will start doing a Lobster and Parmesan Risotto Pizza. Here's an interesting one, if you were to write a short “Thank You” letter to your future self for all the cool shit you’ve done twenty years from now, what would it say?
Sunny: Dear 50 year-old Sunny, Thank you for finding and trusting your internal compass, for overcoming your biggest insecurities and losing your inhibitions. Thank you for marking off almost everything on the Dream List you started over 20 years ago. For maintaining your friendships. For having the gumption to finally quit that terrible desk job. And for writing and publishing that highly acclaimed collection of essays – the one that received an outstanding blurb from Jo Ann Beard herself.
The Bourbonista: I have no doubt every word of that will come true for you. And no one deserves it more. Love you, sister. This one's deep, if you were a booze, which booze would you be and who would you want to drink you?
Sunny: Well I'd be the Sunny Montgomery, of course! I actually have a shot named after me at Al's Bar. Who should drink me? Hmm, I don’t know. People suffering from a chest cold? My current shot tastes like cough syrup. I drink it sometimes only because it is my namesake.
My preferred drink is actually bourbon on the rocks with a splash of water but… I do have a weakness for the occasional super-girly-fruity shot. So let’s pretend that the Sunny Montgomery is purple and tastes like pineapple and Sweet Tarts. I’d like for a table full of my friends to drink me after they’ve sat around all night long, discussed books and poems, drank copious amounts of their favorite beverages. Then just before last call, they order a round of Sunny Montgomerys and hatch some irresponsible adventure for the after-hours. Cheers.
(12/21/2012) For this Flashback Friday, I'll be offering up a recipe from the good old days when one would rather admit they were an athiest than lactose-intolerant. Frank has been a very good boy this year, so I have decided to introduce him this very evening to the savory splendor of Lady K's Cheesy Orgasm.
(12/15/2007) This gustatory masterpiece was first named Cheesy Poof, which was very misleading because it doesn't actually poof, it decoagulates with the oil rising to the top and the other ingredients melting into scrumptulocity. Ii demanded a renaming. I almost decided to call it "Better than Cunnilingus Dip" but this really depends on who is performing the oral sex, so it is also potentially inaccurate.
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese
2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese
2 Cups *Full Fat* Mayonnaise
1 small white onion diced.
1 can of diced green chilies.
Combine ingredients, bake at 350° for thirty minutes, pour off oil, or not.
Serve with tortilla chips. Eat until all of your problems have disappeared and grease flows freely from your pores. Aside from tasting damn delicious, Lady K's Cheesy Orgasm also slows the signs of aging by moisturizing your skin from the inside out and plumping up the wrinkles with saturated fats so they don't show as much. The verdict is still out on what it does for your arteries, but it doesn't look good.
It's Tête-à-tête Thursday, when I host and then post a little friendly Bourbonista banter with some of the coolest characters in the blogosphere and beyond. This week’s guest is Kim Thomas, who explores arts and activism in the Bluegrass through her Kimmyville Blog, and plays a mean ukelele.
The Bourbonista: Tell me about yourself in 50 words or less. At least one word must begin with the letter “X” and none can begin with the letter “S.”
Kim: My life can mirror a xylophone from time to time, in my attempt to find harmony in a non-melodic world. To be orderly, each note may only be pinged by a true mallet in a timely manner. Hopefully, a lone alto note will eventually emerge and reverberate, one full of the rich timbre of the lower and enigmatic octave.
The Bourbonista: Whoa...that was deep. I want to reverberate in my enigmatic octaves, too...and, if I'm not mistaken Hustler has a product that can make it happen. Moving on, if you were a circus performer, what would you be and why?
Kim: I would be the acrobat on the high wire who the cute guy has to catch in order to ‘rescue’ me from falling.
The Bourbonista: Have you not learned to never trust a cute guy, especially one who wears tights? So, what would you do if you won the lottery?
Kim: Take all my lambchops to a seaside village in Italy for a month-long vacation!
The Bourbonista: I'm one of said lambchops, right? Next question, if you were on death row…don’t act like you don’t know who you killed to get there…what would be your last supper?
Kim: No doubt about it. Lobster. May the last taste of iodine on my breath be that of a shellfish sacrificed for my pleasure … dipped in clarified butter, of course.
The Bourbonista: I think clarified butter should have its status raised from sauce to beverage. If you were to write a “Thank You” letter to your future self for all the cool shit you’ve done twenty years from now what would it say?
Kim: Hey Kim, it’s Kimmy, remember me? I was the blonde who learned how to play ukulele, the instrument that helped you find your true identity. I put you on a global tour with just you, your Kala, and all those Elvis, Beatles and Rosemary Clooney songs. That’s when you wrote your musical play about Rosemary Clooney, when you were on the road touring Europe, as I recall? Also, I need to say how grateful I am you helped bring Moutaintop Removal to an end in Appalachia and elsewhere. Pearl would be so proud that her daughter fought as an activist to preserve and protect coal country. That was pretty damn sweet, ladybug. Thanks for stopping what you were being *made* to do and doing what you *wanted* instead. Thank you for listening to what your heart was telling you.
The Bourbonista: Can I call you ladybug, too? And, in advance, thanks for ending Mountaintop Removal. Last inquiry, if you were a booze, which booze would you be and who would you want to drink you?
Kim: If a booze I’d be, I would be a single malt Scotch, a family heirloom that looks delicious and dangerous all at once, with very little peat left to pester the tongue at the end, and more oak … not so much oak that I would taste like a Chardonnay, but rather that of the breath of an ancient bagpiper with a petticoat under my kilt soaking up the hops.
There are two types of people in this world. One type prefers dogs to cats, New York to Chicago style pizza, Facebook to Twitter, and real Christmas trees to artificial. I call them rational human beings. Those that fall into the second group I don’t call at all. My mother falls into the second group.
Throughout my childhood she tortured me with an artificial tree decorated with such precision you would think it had been done by either a robot or a gay man born under the sign of Capricorn. My mother was a Tannenbaum Tyrant. Our fake Fir could only contain ornaments of three styles and one color, most often either gold or blue. No homemade paper plate snowmen or sentimental “Donna’s First Christmas” crap was permitted. The distance between each ornament was measured with a yard stick to ensure absolute symmetry. And , when complete the entire masterpiece was draped in angel hair, which in layman’s terms is spun fiberglass. It looked like a giant spider had cocooned our poor pine. The angel hair was intended to deter little hands from moving any of the perfectly-placed orbs or climbing beneath to shake presents. It did not. I itched every year until June from the contact I had with what was basically fancy insulation. I was determined I would not grow up to be a Holiday Hitler.
So, I always get a real tree. My ornament collection encompasses every color in the rainbow and is massive with decorations ranging from a martini-swilling mermaid to a blown-glass hummingbird to a miniature tin tackle box to a perverted Santa getting a blowjob from a sexy elf. On Sunday, I drug out all the tinsel and such and we commenced to trim the tree. I made Frank responsible for lights. I went to refill my eggnog and when I came back he was starting to string a strand of green among the clear.
“No, only white lights! Only white!”
Tragedy averted. Next, he attempted to drape the silver beads.
“What are you doing? Before you add those you have to hang all of the silver icicles near the trunk to reflect the light out. It’s common sense.”
Another close call. Then, he tried to hang his BMX bike ornament.
“No. The ice-skating penguin goes first. You always put the penguin on first. Why are you ruining Christmas?”
Being a Tannenbaum Tyrant must be genetic.
I am thrilled to announce my very first Tête-à-tête Thursday, when I will host and then post a little friendly Bourbonista banter with some of the coolest characters in the blogosphere and beyond. This week’s guest is Holly Houston, 15-year Family Court lawyer, GLOW Co-founder, Holly on the Go columnist (HOTG) for NFocus Mag., Leadership Lou Connector, & glam girl about town.
The Bourbonista: First question, if you were a circus performer, what would you be and why?
Holly: Trapeze artist. Something I have always wanted to do! I love heights. I love to swing. My balance is superb (depending upon the amount of caffeine in my body at any given time my grip maybe sketchy). Tasks that require unbelievable focus are a wonderful way to get my Zen on and probably help me stay sane. I mean who doesn’t want to fly? The challenge for me would be the partner acrobatics and timing when to let go. Always so tricky. My motto is the higher the better! What good is it to stay on the ground? To the moon Alice!
The Bourbonista: I fear caffeine is not the culprit when I lose my balance. Moving on, what would you do if you won the lottery?
Holly: Pee in my pants. Call my parents. Call my favorite financial advisor.
Tell my credit card company with the draconian interest rate to go eff itself. Fix my car(s). Put that toilet in upstairs that’s been sitting in my room for maybe a year now. Pay my law school loan. Go to Wanderlust Festival and Cannes Film Festival and TED. Go to Barney’s. Fund my Lawyers Within Borders non profit and take it around the country to prepare for disaster relief area lawyers would help manage through the local bar association and the Red Cross. Start my own publication. Give all the nonprofits I love whatever chunk my advisor and I agree is helpful and reasonable on a sustainable basis. Landscape my yard with a water element. Hire my friends to redo my house. Buy an elliptical. Send my parents wherever they want to go. Adopt several kids and send them to the best schools I could find. Start a school or an orphanage where it’s needed most and research shows will do the most good in the universe. Buy some meetings with folks to whom I don’t have access without cash. Travel literally around the world. Run for Congress. Feed kids.
The Bourbonista: I’d buy an island and then adopt animals and artists and we’d all live in harmony. It’s be my own version of AA. So, if you were on death row…don’t act like you don’t know who you killed to get there…what would be your last supper?
Holly: The prosecutor who put me there. With a nice Chianti.
The Bourbonista: I like the way you think…and drink. Time to get deep…if you could write a short “Thank You” letter to your future self for all the cool shit you’ve done twenty years from now, what would it say?
Holly: First. I want to thank you for letting me be myself. Thank you for keeping me healthy, taking that calcium, lifting weights, kick boxing, and continuing yoga and core work so that I could take full advantage of that unbelievable trek to Bali. Thanks for taking your makeup off every night and using retin-a even though you hate it. For staying faithful and claiming abundance when it seemed the time and funding would never materialize for lawyers within borders that allowed you to travel across the country and bring some nobility back to the practice of law in the land of public opinion. For having the courage to pull up stakes and witness firsthand the plight of women and girls to enable you to help draft legislation for the United Nations Proclamation on the Rights of Women recognizing women’s and girls’ rights to be free from slavery and abuse, to govern their own bodies, to be free from mutilation, to read and write, to be educated, to attend school, to assemble, to vote, to own property and to earn a wage equal to men and to prosecute war crimes against them and for building in economic sanctions against any country who violates their rights. Thanks, too, for adopting that sweet baby at the shelter without whom you knew you couldn’t leave once you saw that tail wag and heard that little woof. Thanks for not listening to the critics who say you try to do too much and should just pick one thing. And for finally taking the time to let somebody love you.
The Bourbonista: And, lastly, if you were a booze, which booze would you be and who would you want to drink you?
Holly: Tequila. Hands down. For the sheer reason that it makes most people crazy and there’s nothing funnier than watching some people lose their minds. Always makes for great after party gossip, too. “Oh dear God did you see what she did?” She ripped her bra off and tried to wear it around her head. And then fell and ripped her dress the boutique loaned her.” Tequila drinking connotes fun togetherness as opposed to the lonely alcoholic’s vodka hidden in toilet tanks. Tequila drinking is a contact sport. To wit, the lime squeeze and the salt licking, taking turns at the blender for margaritas, picking who gets the honor of eating the worm.
Plus it reminds me of Urban Cowboy and mean old Wes pulling Sissy by the hair to pick up the carton of cigarettes she threw at him in the trailer. It’s nice to have a clear villain and hero in this world. You knew Wes was gonna get his ass kicked later when he ate that worm. And that although Sissy was as sweet as she could be, whatever Pam was doing in her life was the better choice. Oh and I’m still waiting for my real cowboy and lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.
When did despising Christmas become cool? This year, everyone seems to believe that it’s hip to be humbug and even hipper to make certain everyone else is too.
Don't dare get your jolly on OR...
You'll be scolded for being politically incorrect and culturally unenlightened for celebrating Christmas without also giving equal credence to Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, the Solstice, Boxing Day, and National Bouillabaisse Day which is for the record Dec. 14.
You'll be called a rabid capitalist who is perpetuating Republican greed by participating in the barbaric act of giving and receiving gifts and…GASP… enjoying it.
You'll be deemed environmentally irresponsible for chopping down innocent firs, using rolls and rolls of paper to wrap the above mentioned pernicious presents, and wasting electricity by draping your home in lights…which, if you ask the hardcore haters, are just deadly house fires waiting to happen.
Come on, people, I just want a season where the world can be a loud, loving, twinkling, music-filled, sugar sprinkled, sappy, happy place for a while.
Do I believe an individual named Jesus was born? Sure. Do I believe sleep-deprived shepherds thought they witnessed angels herald the birth? Indeed. Do I believe three men of superior intelligence followed a star to see what lay beneath? Why not? Do I believe it happened on December 25? According to all historical research and meteorological evidence, the answer is no. But does that matter? Isn’t it as good a day as any to embrace the essence of the event, which in a nutshell, is hope and the possibility of miracles?
I feel the same about Santa. No, it doesn’t make any logical sense that a fat fellow with a penchant for outrageous fashion—from what animal does one even get red fur?—flies through the air with his reindeer entourage, drops down chimneys into the flames, and succeeds in delivering toys to all the good girls and boys in the world in one night. But, I want to believe it, and think every child should be encouraged to believe it until at least the age of seventy. In this most jaded of times, when kids start feeling the societal pressure to grow up and be svelte, sexy, and successful before they can even tie their own shoes, we all need a big dose of wonder and magic, and not only in December…which is why I will be ranting about the Easter Bunny come April.
So, in closing, you can shove your Grinch and clench, because I’m making merry, bitches. I will watch “Elf,” and “Love Actually,” and “A Christmas Carol” starring Patrick Stuart, and I will weep with joy. I will eat sugar cookies slathered with potentially-toxic red and green icing that taste like crap and I will wash them down with 80 proof eggnog. I will put up the gaudiest tree you’ve ever seen. I will sing carols at the top of my lungs and off-key. And, if I see you on the street, I will proclaim, “Merry Christmas” whether the masses like it or not.
Anything can be used as a weapon. Case in point...
I open the refrigerator door and a barrage of containers come spilling out.
Me: Damn it!
Frank: That wouldn't happen if you'd clean out the fridge every now and then.
Me: Why don't you clean it?
Frank: (With a smart ass smirk) Cause that's your job, woman!
With uncharacteristic speed and grace, I scoop up a tub of Great Value generic fat free cream cheese and wing it in his general direction. Miraculously, it connects.
Frank: (Blood dripping from his mouth) Shit, you split my lip wide open. You threw that like a ninja star.
Me: You're just lucky it wasn't brand name and full fat. I'd have taken your head off.
The next day, WE cleaned out the fridge. And, they lived happily ever after.
Right now, I feel like Donna Ison the human spirograph, spinning and spiraling out of control in a rainbow of colors at dizzying speed. But, I'm afraid when I come to a stop, unlike the Kenner toy masterpieces, it won't be a pretty picture.
I’ve spent this week training our new groovy intern who reminds me so much of Lisa Loeb that I want to beg her to sing “Stay (I Missed You),” but I’m afraid that could be considered some form of sexual harassment. As I’ve been telling her all about how many fascinating people I’ve met and how relatively easy the position is, this voice inside keeps screaming, “Being editor is awesome. Run to Human Resources and tell them it’s all been a silly misunderstanding.I didn’t say I wanted to leave skirt! I said I wanted to LIVE skirt!” But then I remind myself that my decisions should be made out of love (love of the lake, love of writing, love of freedom), not fear (fear of poverty, fear of loneliness, fear of insignificance, fear of being eaten by a giant catfish). And, also, it would be a really douche move to take my job back at this point.
Frank and I officially began the transition from downtown dweller to lake lizards last weekend and moved most of our shit to the boat. Simultaneously, a close friend moved into our house. When we arrived home on Sunday after a mere twenty-four hours, the place was unrecognizable. It was as if we'd never lived there. It was organized. It smelled like a meadow. It was quiet...and clean. So for the month of December, we have three new roommates-the dude, his dog, and some creature that has moved into the chimney in the guest room. First, the dude…he’s fab, except that he has lots of vessels with faces. He has an ashtray with a nose, a bowl with eyes that leer at me, and a mug that looks like Phyllis Diller. Faces on inanimate objects frighten me, and yes, you would be correct to assume that I hated Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” for that very reason.The dog is adorable. The creature that has moved into the chimney is an enigma. It seems to be bigger than a raccoon, yet slightly smaller than a mountain lion. It thumped and scratched in the wall all night long. I am certain it is only a matter of time until is bursts through and eats my face. Then all of the pottery will laugh at me because they have faces and I don’t.
the bourbonistA, Promoting Debauchery and stamping out political-correctness one blog at a time.