Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Catholicism, Is It Right For Me?

I recently had a work related meeting with Father D., the head pastor of a local Roman Catholic Church. The reason for the meeting was relatively serious and being at a church and all I felt that the tone of the meeting would be serious as well. Although, it may have been a sign of things to come that when I set up the meeting over the phone the first thing Father D. said to me was, “Hello, Classy, are you staying out of trouble?” I, of course, responded, “Umm, yes, I guess so.”

When I walked over to the church I headed straight to what I thought was the rectory thinking the whole time, that’s where he lives, right? The door of the rectory was locked and not having the presence of mind to actually ring the doorbell, I figured that I would find him in the church, you know, just hanging out in the pews or something. I entered the church and the only door that was unlocked had a sign on it that said, “Please dispose of your gum here” which I thought was a bit odd, but oh well, there is a school in the church so the gum disposal warning sign made some sense. In the church there was no one to be found. I heard some people talking in the basement and decided to head down there. Someone had to know where Father D. was down there. Downstairs, I guess in the auditorium/cafeteria/multi-purpose room, there were photographers taking class pictures, and I found someone who pointed me out to the secret passageway to the rectory (okay, so it wasn’t secret, not at all like the grandfather clock on Webster, but it was this man-made ramp that attached the church to the rectory).

So, I am in the rectory with absolutely no clue where I am going or where I am allowed/not allowed to go. I mean, this is where the Fathers live and I was worried that I was going to catch a Father in his robe (my goodness!). I headed straight to the kitchen (a safe haven in my mind) and found some ladies cooking there. When I approached them they became startled and asked me how I got into the rectory. The secret passageway of course! One of the ladies called Father D. and told him I was there.

Father D. came down wearing a yellow polo shirt and khakis, which may be standard issue for a man of the cloth, but I was expecting something a bit more flashy, maybe some golden rings and a snazzy hat, but then again I am completely a religion illiterate. We had our meeting at the dining room table. During our meeting the ladies continued to prepare lunch and at one point the sound of the blender interrupted our chatter. Father D. looked at me and exclaimed, “ I don’t know what the hell that is!” Hell! You heard it right! I thought there was some law or something against that, but since he opened the profanity door for me I responded with, “Yeah, that’s some straight up bull shit going down in there!” (Okay, so I didn’t really say that, my name isn’t Classy for nothing). During our meeting, Father D. also complained about how he made no money and would most likely qualify low income tax preparation assistance. This confused me as well for didn’t people choose to become priests because they didn’t care about worldly possessions or money? On a final note, Father D. walked me to the front door of the rectory and we said our goodbyes. He commented on how the weather was nice and I told him that I was glad because I had to play softball the day before in a torrential downpour and mudslides. In “classic” Father D. style he responded, “Well, at least you can follow up a bad softball game with going to the tavern for some beers.” My reply, an uncomfortable, um, yeah I guess so. People, what was I supposed to say?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Shoegazing, so what's it to you?

Okay people, here is a Classy confession. I was a super to the extreme anglophile for many years of my youth. It’s nothing to be ashamed of because really during the early to mid-nineties the Brits were churning out the most awesome of tunes. I have yet to find another set of bands that encompass all that is brilliant about music. To this day, give me some Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Swervedriver, Slowdive, and I will proceed to shake your hand quite briskly and commend you on your excellent taste. Let’s not even get started with the Manchester scene, Stone Roses, anyone? Or don’t even get me talking about Suede, Blur, The Charlatans or Elastica. In high school I even signed a contract (was it in blood? I don’t know.) which vowed upon graduation that I would go to London. This never happened, shoot!

Recently, I have found not one, but two bands that have helped to reinvigorate my appreciation for the shoegazer genre of music (not that I ever deinvigorated my appreciation, but it has been lying latent waiting for something). They aren’t even from England mind you! I have “discovered” Serena Maneesh from Norway and Airiel from Chicago. Chicago! Can you believe it!

This past Friday I had the pleasure of seeing Serena Maneesh at a local music venue, the Empty Bottle. Seriously folks, they are my current rock n’ roll fantasy and dream. They should be yours as well. As mentioned, they are from Norway and the lead singer loves the black eyeliner and has a mike stand that is very Steven Tyler-esque. They have a bassist that looks like Nico if she was like 100ft tall! They have a rock violin! Most importantly, they started and ended their show with walls and walls of feedback. They were supposed to headline that night, but instead played second fiddle to some World Music Festival acts that I couldn’t bring myself to stay to watch. It made me sad that Serena Maneesh wasn’t headlining. They only played for about 45 minutes, but boy it was jammed packed with some rockin’ and some jammin’. I decided to buy a t-shirt from them and proceeded to tell the violinist and keyboardist how much they rocked. The responded back with a “Thank you” in the cutest unassuming Norwegian accents possible. Get this, this evening when I was out at a local watering hole the dj played a Serena Maneesh song that I’ve included on my Ultimate Shoegazer v.1 playlist. It’s called “Selina’s Melodie Fountain”. Seek it out people.

So, this evening I saw my other shoegazer band crush in action, Airiel. They were playing at a local venue called the Darkroom, which touts itself as being a place where photography and mixology meet. Umm. . . I suppose so, there where some snazzy photos up on the walls, it was pretty dark in there, the red photo lights were all abound, there were lots of douche bags taking photos, and mixology was happening behind the bar. But, enough of that, Airiel played and they were AWESOME! Again, feedback, walls of sound, ethereal vocals, crazy ass guitar pedal effects, really can a girl ask for anything more?

Oh, yes, and there was this random Japanese dude in the crowd in uber-tight Adidas track shorts with his shirt off getting his dance spaz on for a few songs! I saw him recently at a street fest in the same area and at that time he was all oiled up and was wearing cheetah patterned speedos! He was entertaining; my only worry was that he was going to cold-cock some spectator that was too busy looking at their shoes. Airiel is also on my Ultimate Shoegazer v.1 playlist with their song “Kiss Me Softly” which they happened to play second this fine evening. Again people I implore you to seek them out!

In sum, I love me some shoegazing music and I am extremely pleased that there are bands out there now bringing the music back to the forefront. I commend them, I stalk them, and I heart them.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Extent of My Medical Career

Is it sad that I look forward to eating at a hospital cafeteria? It reminds me of being back at my high school cafeteria where there were really no healthy options, so you had no choice but to have chicken fingers topped with gravy and a side of fries. In my high school there was a Senior Cafeteria that I would frequent for two main reasons:

1) There was a juke box in there where I could play a continuous loop of A-Ha’s “Take On Me”.

2) I could get a cheese sandwich there, which was really the only vegetarian eating option besides pizza and fries. Oh, Kaiser roll, your doughy goodness is bothe practical and delicious!!

Besides fond memories of food and music (and really what else is there in life for me?), I am drawn to the hospital cafeteria for the following reasons:

1) I find comfort in the fact that I see doctors and nurses eat massive amounts of
fried foods. It makes me feel as if these things may be good for me if I just
keep eating them like the professionals.

2) I can gaze at the wonder that is red jello! How I wish I could eat it for it looks so surreal, retro, and remarkable!

3) I am thoroughly amazed at how freakin’ cheap the establishment is! I can buy a grilled cheese, mashed potatoes, corn,and a Diet Coke for around $3! McDonald’s try to top that!

As I chowed down on my meal today while listening to medical banter, I wondered why I didn’t become a doctor. No, wait, I think it’s the blood, unflattering scrubs, and those puffy hair caps/nets,and shoe covers, although it would make it easier to get ready in the morning.

And, oh yes, the seven years of school! No offense to my dear friends in the medical field. Medicine, it’s just not my style . . . unless it involves getting roofied.

Monday, September 11, 2006

"Why I want to be a Grandma Right Now . . . without the whole having kids and raising them part."

Recently, I was hanging with some of my lovely lady friends in Mid-Missouri (Mid-MO for those in the know) for a wedding shower/ bachelorette party extravaganza.

I will spare you the gory details of the weekend outing, but all I can say is that pandas really like it when girls wear fancy “Dancing with the Stars” get ups around them and there is NOTHING wrong with getting up on a platform to dance on multiple occasions especially when Snap’s! “I Got the Power” begins spinning its wicked auditory web.

I would like to focus instead on the pure genius of being a grandma. When one is elderly it all of a sudden becomes acceptable to say whatever is going on in one's aged mind, even if it makes no sense whatsoever. Now, how great would that be? You can say stuff like, “My hair hurts” or “I liked you better when you were skinnier” or “All she needs is a good rogering” and all people can do around you is nod and smile and later shrug their shoulders and say, “Oh, that’s just grandma, she grew up during the Depression, so give her some slack!” Really, I say crazy things all of the time and I don’t seem to be forgiven quite so easily. Instead, people just tell me to shut up or tune me out or have the decency to give me the whole rolling eyes in the back of the head salute.

While in Missouri I had the pleasure to be around a grandma who was spot on hilarious right out of the gate. This particular grandma had a penchant for margaritas and for having no filter. What a lovely combination, no? Case in point, she told us a story about how someone accidentally packed a coconut bra in her 90+-year-old sister’s suitcase. Grandma then proceeded to do a rendition of how her sister was absolutely confused about the usage of said bra and couldn’t understand why in the world it was in her suitcase, as she had no need for such an apparatus. Grandma suggested that one of us wear the bra out to the bars if we really wanted to snag some men. We opted to wear a tad bit more coverage. The following day when Grandma noticed that there were no men accompanying us at breakfast, she told us that she should have gone out with us to help with the men wrangling. I bet she would have partied like nobody’s business.

Keep in mind we were around Grandma for a total of one day tops and she packed in the laughs like they were going out of style. She warned us about how naps can make you put on someone else’s pants (scandalous!). When she takes naps she sometimes gets confused about what time it is when she wakes up (happens to the best of us, right?). Well, one time she woke up from a nap at 6pm and thought it was 6am, hustled to the shower, got dressed, and took her hormone shot (now that doesn’t happen to all of us, or does it?). She then received a phone call from her daughter asking her if she was ready for dinner, and at around the same time realized that her pants were way too tight on her. She had mistakenly put on her other daughter’s pants that were four sizes too small! She was busting them at the seams. If I was in a similar situation people would opt for the whole, “Classy is being a drunk moron again” phrase and would then point and laugh at me for wearing shoes on the wrong feet and dancing in them for 15 minutes (which did happen, folks). But, in Grandma’s case, the situation was explained by, “She’s old.” Why can’t I have that excuse?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Will The Real Classy Please Stand Up?"

As some of you may have surmised, Ms. Classy isn't what one would call a girly girl. Sure, I like being a lady, but you won't see me posting about flowers, horses, or my favorite new perfume and/or feminine hygiene product. I leave that to the experts. I may throw a post in here or there about unicorns or pandas, but most likely it will involve these creatures getting into a fight at a demolition derby because one threw a tasty beverage at the other, or the scuffle ensued to prove once and for all which one is more of a bad ass (My odds are on the panda, but I'm biased).

So, answer me this . . . why have I recently reverted to having girl-like tendencies?

For example, last weekend on the Oh! network they were playing what seemed like a continuous loop of the movie Two Weeks Notice.

Now, this movie is really a piece of crap and stars Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant in a typical love/hate relationship movie that ends in love. I know that it is utterly bunk, but I still watched some of it and get this, almost started weeping at the end when Hugh Grant goes into the legal aid office that Ms. Bullock (who kind of looks like a character from the Dark Crystal) works and reads a speech in which he professes his desire to do her up against the wall. Really, what is wrong with me?

Then, when I went out later that evening a singer was doing this Wizard of Oz montage and started singing "If I Only Had A Brain". People, have you heard this song and actually listened to the lyrics? The singer crooned in a serious tone the following, "I'd unravel any riddle for any individd-el in trouble or in pain . . . I would not be just a nothin'. My head all full of stuffin'. My heart all full of pain. Perhaps I deserve you and be even worthy erve you if I only had a brain . . ." Man, this song is depressing as all get out. I never knew it until that night, and again, I felt the weeps coming on. Okay, seriously, I wanted to hang myself like the Wizard of Oz crew guy you have to slow-mo in order to see.

To top off my weekend I decided to catch some of the Primetime Emmys hosted by my boy Conan O'Brien hoping that he would take me out of my doldrums. While there were some funny bits, like Bob Hope*** being trapped in a container with only three hours of air, they had to go and ruin my emotional upswing by having an American Bandstand tribute. Dick Clark, who had a stroke recently, was at the podium sitting down in a wheelchair like mechanism and thanked everyone for the tribute. He is not the Dick Clark that everyone remembers, no siree Bob. He is a Dick Clark that our grandparents become right before they enter the great bandstand in the sky.

So, I told myself, "C’mon Classy, get it together and snap out of it! Listen to some Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam and get over yourself! Fire up the Madonna’s "Into the Groove", proceed with Stacey Q’s "Two of Hearts", eat some sprees, drink some Jolt Cola and take it up a notch! Follow up "Two of Hearts" with . . . And you will know us by the Trail of Dead’s "A Perfect Teenhood" and start kicking ass and taking names!"

And so it is written and so it is done . . .

***I stand corrected. Cherry has brought it to my attention that it was indeed Bob Newhart, not Hope, that was in the bubble. My apologies to the Queen Mother.