Archive for October, 2008

Margaret Cho and St. Francis of Assisi.

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Big weekend, folks. BIG. Lots of stuff. On Saturday night I went to see Margaret Cho live. She’s a standup comedian/author/performance artist/mainly standup comedian who was coming through Radio City Music Hall on her “Beautiful” tour. (She has a wonderfully designed logo for it, BTW.)


I haven’t ever seen her live because by the time I got into her work, she had gone all performance-artsy and I wasn’t terribly into that. But “Beautiful” was lauded as her return to her standup ways, so I thought, “Jolly good, I will go to that.” And it was terrific. Margaret has been doing standup since she was sixteen, and at 39 she’s a professional. If you’re wondering why I’m not quoting any of my favorite parts, I took a vow not to use foul language on this website, and Margaret’s raw. I quote her regularly in my daily life, but not here, oh no. However, I will link to some YouTube clips of her previous shows and if you would like to see those, you are welcome.

Margaret Cho 1

Margaret Cho 2

Margaret Cho 3

She has a great deal of body issues and weight fluctuation, which you can see in this selection of clips. Also, she does a phenomenal impression of her mother which has become a staple in her act. But “Beautiful” was excellent and her opening act was Liam Sullivan, a young man who has become famous amongst a portion of the population for making very funny internet videos where he plays multiple characters. The most famous is where he plays Kelly and sings the song “Shoes”.


That song will get stuck in your head and remain there, dormant, until you pass a store that sells shoes. And then you will sing it and curse me and Liam Sullivan, and then I will laugh the laugh that evil characters laugh when they’re being evil. MWA HA HA.

Summary of “Beautiful” show: Excellent. Go see it if it comes to your town. Or watch it when it (hopefully) comes out on DVD.

On Sunday, I got up early and when to St. John the Divine for my annual church visit for St. Francis of Assisi Day. I love St. Francis of Assisi Day. You show up to church at 9:00 and they open the doors at 11:00 for services. People bring their pets to be blessed. You primarily see dogs, but you also see cats, birds, lizards, tortoises, hermit crabs, etc. It’s quite a menagerie. And even though St. John the Divine is an episcopalian church and strict about many things, they have the most crunchy granola service ever. There’s dancers in the aisles and songs for Brother Sun and Sister Moon. Snorth noticed this in the program:

Communion will given at the front of the church.
Gluten-free wafers are available for those who request them.

Gluten-free wafers? CRUNCHY. Will Birkenstocks and hemp grocery bags also be available? How about Dr. Bronner’s soap? ‘Cuz I’m running low on that.

Near the end of the service they have the Procession of the Animals. They bring a variety of creatures into the church and they are blessed and then are led out. It’s the piece de resistance of the service. I took pictures of the whole service, but they ask you not to use flash photography because it startles the dogs and other animals, so all my pictures are at best blurry and at worst modern art a la Rothko. I will attempt to show the better pictures and point out the finer details.

First, walking to the church, I was disturbed by this appalling use of quotes.


Scramble “eggs”? Umm, what precisely are you scrambling back there in the kitchen? I’m not sure I want to eat your “eggs” for my breakfast, thank you very much. Gonna pass on that.


This is what the whole church looked like. Owners and their beasties. Beasties getting into fracii (plural of fracas) with other beasties. The service was peppered with barking.


In this picture there are people dancing while one woman holds a punchbowl with a goldfish in it and two men have long poles with streamers swirling around them and the 200-person chorus sings along to whale sounds. I am not making this up. When I say crunchy granola, I MEAN it, dammit.

Now, we begin with the procession. It is always led by a big spectacular bird of prey, usually a golden eagle. Here is a picture of the man carrying the golden eagle.


Followed by a dromedary with a festive wreath on its hump. All the animals had a festive garland or wreath or buttoniere on them in some way. More about that later.


Here is a reindeer. He was grumpy and didn’t want to be there and gave his volunteer handler a hard time, dragging her this way and that, tossing his head with that delightfully impaling-able set of antlers. Naughty naughty reindeer.


The browny-black blur you see there is Marvin the Sheep pulling a wagon. The wagon had an extremely old tortoise on it. They put the tortoise on the wagon and then decorated around him with all manner of greenery and flowers, but it made him look like a Thanksgiving turkey surrounded by potatoes and carrots.


The internet, bless its heart, has a picture from last year with two smootchy beasties that were here this year as well, Marvin the Sheep and Thumper the Bunny.


Awww. I loves me some Marvin and Thumper.

Now, normally they don’t get too exotic. It’s basically farm animals with some honeybees in a glass case and maybe a boa snake and an iguana for good measure. This year there was no cow or horse, but they went way more edgy. See that thing in that woman’s arms? That’s a kangaroo joey.


And the kicker for me? A fennec and a gibbon. And not just any gibbon. A BABY gibbon. OMG.

Because they’re royally hard to see in my pics, here are some references to why I grabbed Snorth’s arm and started muttering in tongues. Tongues of CUTENESS.

silvery_gibbon.jpg fennec-fox-0009.jpg

Here’s my pic. Aargh.


Note the sawdust on the floor to absorb weewee. Very conscientious. Maybe if I zoom in a bit…


Better? No? Okay.

Afterwards there’s a fair outside with adoption areas and food and activities, it’s very nice. There’s a raptor booth and since I am such an owl fan, I always stand in front of it with my mouth open like I was just hit by a pan in the face. Mainly because of the Malaysian Eagle Owl with big orange eyes directly in front of me.


My favorite owl of all time is the screech owl, a wee owl that screams when upset and looks like a rotting bit of tree. There was one in that flowery container up at the top. I asked to see him and they graciously took the box down and brought him close to me. And, unfortunately for him, he was directly in the sun.


ISN’T HE ADORABLE? He has tufty fake ears and a tiny beak and tiny feet for killing even tinier things, oh, I love him so much.

I intend to go again next year, so if anyone has a better camera that takes good pictures in the gloomy dimness of a church with objects moving around, I would greatly appreciate borrowing it for that day so I can actually get some decent pictures of the procession of animals. Thanks ever so muchly.

A Halloween Tale.

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

I’m listening to The Ting Tings right at work right now. Golly gosh, they’re a peppy band. Especially “That’s Not My Name” and “Fruit Machine.” Actually, all the songs are good so far. If you like boogie-ing around your house whilst emptying the dishwasher, this is excellent music for that.

There’s an email that went around work last week:


There were many responses to this of the “Count me in!” and “I’m there!” variety. And it reminded me of a tale, a personal experience I’ve had with haunted houses. Many of you have heard this tale, but it’s a delightful tale with a moral (don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, because if you do, you’re going to look like a total loser). Gather around children, here we go.

I started dating Cricket in August, so we were still trying to be on our best behavior in October. His ex-wife had mentioned to him that she had gone to the Playland haunted house and it was cool because there were live people in it that came out at you. Cricket said we should go, and I, being a complete and total dumbass, said, “Sure! I iz not fraidy cat!” So we showed up one night and stood in line. While standing in line they had loudspeakers playing the standard horror fare: screams, creepy laughter, creaking and slamming noises. All of that was fine. What really freaks me out is children and anything child-related. You know, when the guy is going into a dark room and they play some notes on that tinkly little kid piano? Or a little kid is singing softly and off-key in the background? Or they show a toy with big staring eyes? AAAAAAhhhhhhhAAAAAAAhhhhhhaaahhhhhh. So we’re standing there paying for our tickets and on the loudspeaker I hear in a sweet tiny voice, “Mommy? Mommy? Where are you, Mommy? Help me find my mommy.” And then with no warning it switched to THE MOST DEMONIC VOICE EVER, all grating and evil, “HELP ME FIND MY MOMMY.”

Oh, that was the end of that. I shrieked, “I CAN’T DO THIS,” and took off for my car on the other side of the parking lot. Cricket grabbed the back of my coat and I shimmied out of that like I was covered in Crisco and kept bookin’ it like my hinter was engulfed in flames. I am not kidding. I ran to my own car, forgetting that my keys were in the pocket of the coat that Cricket was now holding in his hand back at the entrance, and started banging on the windows of my car screaming, “LET ME IN!” My own car. Cricket slowly sauntered over and explained that we had just paid thirteen dollars a person for this and we were going. I looked up and I had crazy twitchy eye going and was shivering with fear and I shrilly and briskly informed him that I would be going nowhere except home and this was not happening and he could take me in there NEVER. That’s when. NEVER. I probably used a plethora of curse words as well. I must have looked completely daft. Cricket, being the frugal creature I have grown to love, informed me that I had to take the tickets we had bought mere minutes ago and sell them to someone else in line. I would have sold a kidney if it got me the hell out of there, so I went back to the line and sold my tickets to someone else, sheepishly explaining my reason. They were cool and by the time I got back to the car (Cricket had let himself in with the keys in my pocket) I felt like a complete tool. Cricket proceeded to laugh at me for quite some time after that. There was much mockery at my expense, which could have been avoided had I just said, “No,” when he asked if I wanted to go to the haunted house.

So children, when you receive an invitation such as the email above, think long and hard about how much of a weenie you are comfortable looking like, otherwise you will have a humbling tale like mine.