Friday, June 30, 2006

more of a Shelley Winters, actually.

For some reason, people think I look like Reese Witherspoon. I don't really see it, maybe in a few things, but not overall. I think it started right after that god-awful movie she was in with Marky-Mark. Once a week or so I tend to hear, "Has anyone ever told you you look just like Reese Witherspoon?" I usually talk about how tiny she is to change the subject and keep eyes off my enormous jaw line.

I stumbled upon, an Israel-based genealogical site dedicated to recording family history and bringing folks together, primarily using face-recognition technology. They’re getting folks in the door by enticing them to find the celebrity who they most resemble. I’m not sure what purpose it serves other than to say, “hell yeah I look like 50 cent, and the folks in Israel agree!” I immediately jumped on board, for I have the word "retard" etched across my Reese Witherspoon forehead--or perhaps chin. I wanted to know once and for all if it was true. True, damnit!

After signing up, which costs nothing but the sanctity of your email inbox (that's what gmail is for), you're asked to upload a photo of your face. Their special web tool then scans your face and searches its extensive celebrity database for your long lost twin. I figured it would be a crapshoot.

Sadly, Reese was not first in the results marquee. Selma Blair, Nicolette Sheridan, Susan Sarandon, Renee Zellweger, Shelley Winters (who knew) and a few other terrible actresses are all my sisters. Reese: number 7 in line though, so maybe we're long lost kin. We are Southern, after all.

Alas, my standard reply to the Reese resemblance question will have to change to "no, actually, Selma Blair. Sorry." Or some woman living in Moscow who shares my DNA. Or maybe I look like me. Or maybe I used the wrong picture. Check it out.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Union Leveled

My paternal grandfather attended school in a nearby township through most of his formative years. The spot was and is still "Union Level" in Virginia. They eventually built a high school, which became the neighboring building to what I can imagine was a packed schoolhouse.

He's long gone, as are most of the kids who came and went, probably. In fact, the school appears to now be a used car dealership...or old man's meeting haus--who knows. More significantly though is gone the little town that sat alongside the same set of asphalt (probably dirt in his time) as the school--Union Level. My father gave me a tour of the town when I was recently home for vacation. The tour lasted under 45 seconds. Seriously. Small, dead, crippled, almost dust...wrapped in what's left of country in southern Virginia.

I did a google search for Union Level. Below is a list of what I found. I deleted the url's. It's our bit of irony for the day:

Local School Finder - Union Level, VA - Find Schools in Union ...Find Schools in Union Level Virginia VA either public or private. Local Virginia VA School Finder and Directory.

Apartments for Rent in Union Level, Virginia - VA Apartment FinderApartments for Rent in Union Level Virginia. Free Apartment Finder for Union Level VA.

Used Cars in Union Level, Virginia Looking for a used car, used truck or used SUV in Union Level, Virginia? ... Need to find a used vehicle in Virginia or the greater Union Level metropolitan.

Union Level, Virginia Neighborhood Lawyer Virginia, Union Level Neighborhood Lawyer. ... Medical Malpractice Union Level Medical Malpractice Lawyer: Free Legal Services in Virginia (VA).

Need a school, apartment, car or lawyer? You'll only find a used car in Union Level. Pick from one of the above featured in the "schoolhouse-turned-used-car-lot" photo.

One guy did manage to write a bit about the town.

And there's no mention of it's history anywhere on the web, with the slight exception to an online site for the "Ogburn" family in Virginia. Even I'm a descendant from this family line, so I know that they lived around Union Level...or in the woods somewhere round those parts.

Tiny little blips on the map, these pint-sized towns are. And their history seems to be just as insignificant, it seems. My history-loving father, of course, did manage to hand down a story told to him by his dad along the way. Apparently, when my grandfather was 10, his father gave him and his brother the mighty chore of "walking" a cow to the Clarksville railroad station--which was a good 15 mile trip. I guess it taught him a lesson to get the hell out of Mecklenberg, Virginia as soon as he was grown. He took my grandmother with him, too...on the back of his motorcycle.

Monday, June 26, 2006

col' cucumber soup

a must share from a well-loved restaurant's cookbook:

2 cups of plain yogurt
5 cucumbers, peeled (one seeded as well and set aside in a bag)
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 T mint
2 T dill
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp pepper
1/2 T honey
1/2 T lemon juice

*I'll correct ingredient measurements in the near future if I'm wrong

combine ingredients and puree a third of mixture at a time until smooth.
dice remaining cucumber and add (without seeds)

chill or serve immediately! yum!

Friday, June 23, 2006

bring 'em these states!

Looks like Hawaii, California, Illinois, Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersy, Vermont and Oregon are where the smart people live.

Voters of the Kerry-Feingold proposal (and badasses of the week):
Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT)
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

hello, goodbye and hello trees

I took a week-long trip home to Virginia last week following a wedding in D.C. .The trip involved quite a whirlwind of an agenda, set only by myself for practicality--and to see everyone I need to see and miss.

As I looked back on my visit this weekend, I realized that above the friends and family I cherish, I so long for beautiful, lush, trees...miles and miles of them. I live in Ohio, a state just recently wiped clean of it's trees in the last hundred or so years. I was once told that you could actually walk the entire latitudinal length of Ohio on the tops of trees alone. I was mesmerized by the green, green--Southaan green trees back home. I became hypnotized by them at one point on a train trip up to D.C. As a matter of fact, I felt an urge to write poetry and sleep on a porch for an entire year, I was so under the spell.

I listened to Al Gore on Larry King Live and couldn't help but think about how we need a new green so separate from the Democrats who failed to pull Bush out of the White House the second go round. It has to be green, and forceful, and now--and not just for party comeback. It has to be for just what it is...for the earth alone, and what's left of it. Check out what's being done now. Thanks Trees!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Holy Virgin Viva Glam

Yesterday, I returned to the place I consider the holy concrete, plastic and glass form of a best gay boyfriend...MAC (at Nordstrom's). I have turned to the MAC counter one too many times in my life for solace in a tube of lipstick. Yesterday, I came so close to God, I thought the round face sponges were the body of Christ himself.

I located the second to best lipstick in my entire life. MAC's Verve is first, the Virgin Mary of all lipsticks for me...the Holy Mother. I found her sister in Viva Glam of the best lip colors for those of us crushed by fair skin and blonde hair. I can say no more. Be a witness sisters and brothers!


Friday, June 02, 2006

What has happened to Margaret Cho?

Margaret Cho wrapped up 3 days of comedy in the lovely Mall of Suburban Columbus, Easton Towne Center, where she showcased her act at the Funny Bone Comedy Club. We were lucky enough to even know about this quiet event. It received very little coverage in Columbus, probably in part to the fact that she's recently split from her over-zealous manager of 16-years, Karen Taussig. I could be wrong.

Live and on TV, Margaret Cho has always made me laugh. The "Rice Rights" routines she rattles off so well--including the glorious tributes she does to "Mommy", the sex jokes she rolls out from her lady parts like a flapjack on Sunday morning--all gems that make me glad to be alive. We were sure to get more of those last night, in addition to her motivational and fierce musings on war, Bush, poverty and homophobia. But we got a "Best of Margaret Cho" kind of way. Margaret Cho fans had already heard most of them, right down to the persimmons diet=poop in the car joke she wrapped up with. We left feeling a little in flux. Someone so brilliant and courageous and well versed in sharp language--recycling her comedy from 5 years ago. Why? What has happened to Margaret Cho?

Should I be offended? Should I just not worry and chalk it up to the fact that she has to make a living and is going through a difficult time in her life? Is it me? People did indeed laugh, out loud, hard...including myself. But what went wrong? Why is she reusing old material in 80% of her show? Does she assume that most of the audience hasn't heard it, because I think that we have (on Friday nights at home with a bowl of popcorn and her DVD's oh yes). And her hardcore fans follow her every move religiously. They know the routines almost by heart (you know that "daddy had a friend who was a gay" story!). And I love them, don't get me wrong. I just hope that she's not losing her stride.

If you look at other projects in her life, this might all be explainable. She's a supreme bellydancer, has been attempting a sitcom, hosting gobs of events, working for all kinds of things for awareness of social justice/injustice. And she's touring like a madwoman. Girl busy. I just hope she that doesn't lose her cerebral mojo and continue to revert to poop and cha-cha jokes for the sake of posterity. She's a genius alright, but still evolving. This queen of comedy can't keep it at the Vaudville bus station though. Maybe she's just staying there right now til this whole Taussig tornado blows over.

Thursday, June 01, 2006