Wednesday, January 31, 2018

So Who Gives a Damn, Anyway?

Some people from Alabama have a billboard erected in Slidell, LA with the claim that Mobile, Alabama was the original Mardi Gras; hoping to siphon off a few tourists, I guess. Maybe it was; maybe wasn't. We're getting a little trolling from the Yellowhammer State, I guess. Oh well, Mobile has been singing this song for a long time.

But whatever they do in Mobile, they do it in a half-assed way. If you can imagine a purely family-oriented Mardi Gras! And OMFG: they throw Moon Pies there; and boob-flashing is not expected and probably discouraged by the High Sheriff or whoever does the law there.

Here's a little ditty, "In Mobile." 

Two years ago, USA Today had an article listing the ten best Mardi Gras celebrations. The ones in Nice, France, Quebec, and Rio sound like fun.

Actually, some towns in Acadian Country have their own Mardi Gras! They can be fun, and are high octane, too.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Et in Arcadia Ego

There's a noble painting by Nicholas Poussin thus entitled that involves two shepherds and a goddess contemplating a tomb with that inscription. The meaning is straightforward: even in Arcadia, where the natives were said to be happy, there is the presence of death.

Back in 2001, students of Beaver College in Pennsylvania were treated to a surprise: the college changed its name to Arcadia University. Perhaps the re-namers wished to evoke that blessed region of Greece in the name change.

But why?

Juliet observed, "What's in a name?" Well, the old name for Beaver College was too often ridiculed through derogatory remarks pertaining to the rodent, the TV show Leave It to Beaver, or a vulgar reference to the female anatomy.

!950's punch line: "Ward, you were rough on the Beaver last night."

So, effectively, did the college undergo a Brazilian waxing as well as assuming university status?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

How Many Dates Before Sex Is Acceptable?


A Global Dating Survey of 11,000 participants conducted by Time Out in 24 cities asked the intriguing question: How many dates should have occurred before it's reasonable for a couple to couple? That is, to engage in sexual relations?

The bare results indicated that, on the average, people who responded said it was 3.55 dates. Or, as the Time Out 2015 article put it: "mid-fourth date. After the main has been cleared and the crème brûlée arrives."

My thought to this is, "On which planet are these 11,000 participants to be found?" Followed by, "What will the server and other diners think about that particular restaurant uninhibitness?"

Anyway, for the impatient, one-tenth of the respondents in Time Out thought that it was acceptable to end the first date by sharing a bed. Nighty night! No data was provided on how many must occur before couples advance to second or third base, but some of us wonder.

Obviously, particulars about the sample should be intriguing: the ages of the participants, their religious status, the representativeness of the sample.  The statistical devil is in the details, you know!

Part of the process of dating, from the woman's perspective, is to present oneself as desirable. And to avoid the negatives. 

To put it negatively, that means, first of all for most of us is don't dress or act like a slut. 

The first part is relatively straightforward.  The second part involves not appearing "too easy."

But maybe the standards of easiness vary from place to place. What might play in NYC or L.A. might not in Omaha or Duluth.

Of course, I came from a place known for its lack of inhibitions. Some girls I know even wore their Mardi Gras beads to church on Ash Wednesday! (You all know how those beads were come by; they're regarded as trophies for alcohol-based lack of inhibitions.)

But I would say that the going number of dates before sex in the Crescent City probably is at least twelve. At least among people I know who alluded on that topic. Orleanians and prudishness -- sounds like an oxymoron come to life!


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Coffee Enemas

As a former barista, I remain interested in matters coffee. And, Lord knows, I like the stuff. With chicory or the weak stuff. Espresso, flavored coffees (vanilla or hazelnut particularly), and even decaf!

But I must say that new development has crept unto the scene: the coffee enema! No, this not some excess dreamt up by some wayward University of Tennessee frat boys; this is serious! As a matter of fact, that well-known health expert Gwyneth Paltrow  promoted a $135 set to enable people to detox by giving themselves coffee enemas.

Whoa! What sort of job reclassification might be called for now? The incipient barista has, among other things, to learn the terminology: Americano, Cappuccino, Macchiato, Latté, Frappé, Mocha, and so forth. The making of the coffee drink is relatively straightforward; and delivering it with a smile is a matter of good customer relations.

However, the prospect of seeing a row of bare fannies, whether bare or hirsute, would be tough thing to steel oneself for early in the morning. And, would customers be specific in their requests for their coffee enemas?

"I'll have a mocha enema today; and my partner will have his usual Americano."

"Decaf macchatio, with chicory."

And, importantly, would baristas now have to be licensed, much like chiropractics  or naturopaths?

Friday, January 5, 2018

Must a Performer Assert a Political Stance?

Somewhere, somehow, some of our notions about the secrecy of ballots has been turned on its head. Whether you consider voting to be a right or a privilege, our Founding Fathers have allowed for the secret ballot.  Or, at least, people can cast ballots secretly should they choose to do so.

For popular figures this somehow seems to be different, at least according to 2018 thinking. For example, a recent article took Taylor Swift to task for not revealing her 2016 Presidential election choice, despite her claim to feminism and the presence of an unpopular Presidential candidate, at least in some women's views. Surprisingly, this topic which seemingly stretched it a bit was picked up by others needing something to write about; much like the issue of Taylor Swift's navel a while back. 

However, the consequences of all choices to disclose one's opinion or vote are not equal. For people in some economic circumstances, this can have real-life consequences; sometimes bad. Remember the Dixie Chicks? Well, the lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President George W. Bush on stage, and doing that greatly impacted attendance at their shows or sales of their music. You may wonder why they're no longer heard of. That may be one of the reasons why. Of course, they were also highly overrated, as well; and country music performers naturally come and go.

Haven't boycotts of Chick Fil-A or other companies in response to political position taking meant anything? The fact is, we are strongly divided as a nation; and this is coupled with a lot of intolerance. Therefore, taking any political side is likely to be a poor move, economically. No matter what stance you take, it will piss some people off. Frankly, that also applies to my choice of occupation. 

Also, it could be that a performer might personally decide that getting involved in politics is not an effective use of her or his time and energies.

And -- surprise! Maybe Taylor Swift might simply have enough respect to her fans to treat them as thoughtful persons capable making their individual decisions as to how to vote. Maybe a musical performance need not turn into a bully pulpit. After all, that's not what they paid for!

Here's another thing. Maybe a goal of feminism should be simply to encourage women to do their own thinking and make their own choices; not simply parrot the views of a narrow group of self-appointed opinion-makers!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

How To Dress Like a Skank

There's a dreaded description that women should avoid: being called a 'skank'! But just exactly do you avoid this dreaded description? I've done an internet search, so you won't need to; and here are some gentle hints, gentle reader, in case you might have been cast in that particular role in a Little Theatre production. You can style it convincingly if you keep in mind these things:

1.  You wear no normal blouses; all of your tops are crop tops.
2.  People tend to raise their eyebrows before telling you that your style is "daring."
3.  You have to borrow clothes from your sister or girl friend when you have a job interview.
4.  Your first date dress is long and conservative but somehow sheer.
5.  You wear fishnets to job interviews.

6.  None of your clothes are really daytime appropriate.
7.  The only difference between your lingerie and your Halloween costume is ears.
8.  You never wear flats; you always wear f-m shoes, (Or, for the polite, "I desire coitus shoes.')
9.  You put your clean clothes in the dryer so they shrink a little before you wear them.
10.  You sport Australian cleavage on campus or when clubbing.

11.  People always ask you if you're "cold."
12.  You feel like you're out of place in the grocery store or at the bank.
13.  When you dress in office clothes, you somehow come across like you are wearing fetish wear.
14.  Your clothes emphasize your tramp stamp.
15.  Wives shield their husbands from you.

16.  You insist on wearing that black bra only when you are wearing a thin fabric white t-shirt.
17.  No one mistakes you for a Young Republican.
18.  Clients grin at your boss and give him a thumbs up when they see you at work.
19.  The only difference between your winter and summer wardrobes is that you additionally wear tights in the winter.
20.  If you're a Southern girl, and you wouldn't wear it to a SEC football game, maybe you should question its appropriateness.

21.  What you wear is inappropriate for church or office wear in most settings.
22.  Your navel is displayed 24/7.
23.  Your skirt is so short that you have to make sitting into a major production.
24.  You view panties as inconvenient.
25.  You flaunt a whale tail.

26.  If you dare, if it's warm enough, and local laws allow, you can wear body paint or glitter instead of a top.
27.  You sport décolleté that makes it risky to bend over.
28.  Despite this, find an excuse to show that you can touch your toes or do downward facing dog.
29.  Wear a t-shirt with a provocative message, as "I wish these were brains."  
30.  Your navel piercing has dangling jewelry.

31.  You can use a scarf loosely tied around your breasts for a top.
32.  You consider brushing your hair to be optional.
33.  Likewise, shaving your legs is surely optional.  

These tenets are often tried by a certain class of turista in New Orleans. Here's some more advice on this.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The New Priest's First Sermon

Father O'Leary, a newly-consecrated priest, was so nervous at his first mass, he could hardly speak. Before his second appearance in the pulpit he asked the monsignor how he could relax.

The Monseignor said, "Next Sunday, it may help if you put some vodka in the water pitcher. After a few sips, everything should go smoothly."

The next Sunday the new priest put the suggestion into practice and was able to talk up a storm. He felt great. However, upon returning to the rectory, he found a note from the monseignor. 

It read: 

1. Next time, sip rather than gulp.

2. There are 10 commandments, not 12. 

3. There are 12 disciples, not 10. 

4. We do not refer to the cross as the big "T." 

5. The recommended grace before meals is not " rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, yeah God." 

6. Do not refer to our savior, Jesus Christ and his apostles as "J.C. and The boys." 

7. David slew Goliath. He did not kick the shit out of him." 

8. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are never referred to as"Big Daddy, Junior and, The Spook." 

9. It is always the Virgin Mary, never "Mary with the Cherry." 

10. Last, but not least, next Wednesday there will be a taffy pulling contest as St. Peter's. There will not be a Peter pulling contest at St. Taffy's.