Monday, December 28, 2009

An Ice Cube concert review by the whitest girl in the cosmos and how I came to realize I watch too much of VH1's reality programming

Backstory: Over the years, I've been known to attend concerts that stretch the parameters of my music tastes, because not only am I open-minded, I'm just cool like that. For instance, the last concert that I saw (other than the Wiggles or My Little Pony: The World's Largest Tea Party) was The Extreme Metal Tour 2001 - I say "saw" because as I've said before, you sure as hell can't hear it. I've also been to Ozzfest. Twice. And seen Metallica more times than I can remember. That sort of music really isn't my style (to say the least), but I used to take my little brother to a lot of shows when we were younger because he loves it, and I'm the best sister in the world.

But anyway, it had been a while since I'd seen a show, and when Carl asked me if I wanted to go with him and a group of our friends to see Ice Cube, I said what the hell, I'll go. Besides, I like Ice Cube. I'm familiar with his work in Boys in the Hood, and more recently the inimitable Are We There Yet? franchise. Yes, methinks this Ice Cube is a likeable fellow.

The Ice Cube concert is at the House of Blues. When we arrive I immediately take note of my fellow concert-goers. I observe that these are definitely not the sort of individuals that might attend say a Cat Power gig. Wait! I think I see Flavor Flav! Carl tells me that the gentleman I'm referring to is certainly not Flavor Flav and quietly suggests that I refrain from yelling "Do you know what time it is?" (and by that I mean that he told me that he would leave me then and there and pretend not to know me for the rest of the night if I did not stop it right now). The security line, while not long, takes ages to get through, which I consider to be a potentially ominous sign. I decide that there should be drinks. Lots of drinks. And have one of Carl's friends fetch me a rum and coke.

Finally we make it through security and into the venue. While we wait at the bar for more alcohol per my request, there is a brief scuffle and some girl throws a punch at our friend's date. Charming behavior, but that's nothing compared to a Metallica concert I attended where paramedics had to be summoned to assist the guy that o.d.'d in the row in front of us. I guess I'd rather have some bitch throw a punch than have a stranger projectile vomit in my direction. That's just my personal preference though. At that moment I also recall a time at Ozzfest when by the end of a long day of music and revelry, the ubiquitous red-necked males had become quite intoxicated and the environment potentially hostile and I locked myself inside the safe confines of my car until my brother was ready to go while blasting 'NSync in retaliation. Oh, the memories. But I digress...

After we finally get our drinks and find a spot down on the main floor, Ice Cube is nearly ready to take the stage. When the main act does begin and Ice Cube swaggers forth, I notice that he is considerably more portly than the image on the set design behind him. I prefer the portly Ice Cube and make a mental note to consider whether or not I have become a "chubby chaser." Food for thought.

Suddenly I recall something that I learned in grad school from a course on hip hop and film (I was actually the Teacher's Assistant in this class, which makes it even more frightening that I have retained almost NO information.) "Ice Cube is from N.W.A., right?!" I exclaim excitedly to Carl who confirms my observation. I'm all proud now. But I am distracted suddenly when I think I see Garth from VH1's cancelled reality show Megan Wants a Millionaire. I tell Carl that I'm certain that the greasy plumber that serenaded Megan with a plagiarized song called "Sex Mode"* is standing RIGHT BEHIND US!!! Carl does not watch VH1's ground-breaking brain cell eroding reality programming so he is oblivious to my washed up loser celebrity sighting. He ignores me, preferring the vocal stylings of Ice Cube.

As the concert progresses, Ice Cube performs some classic hip hop from the 80s and 90s. I like this about Ice Cube. Some of these songs I am familiar with (and by that I mean that I've heard them once or twice). At one point Ice Cube asks, "You Down with O.P.P.?" (you may want to refer to Wikipedia if you are unfamiliar with this acronym. I was, but I had the urban dictionary that is my husband to translate for me). "Why yes, Ice Cube, I am down with O.P.P., thank you for asking." At other points, Ice Cube gets down right gangsta, but he looks snugly to me and I wonder if he likes cuddles.

Later, Ice Cube performs one of hits from the early 90's "Check Yo Self." He tells me "You better check yo self before you wreck yo self." Methinks this is sound advice Ice Cube. Yes indeed. While I do manage to get my groove on, I fear that I probably look like Bree Vandecamp from Desperate Housewives trying to fit in with the Ice Cube crowd, but roll with it anyway, trying to enjoy whatever contact high I can get from all the weed I smell around me.

In all seriousness though, I would have to say that I really had fun at this concert. It was a cool experience and I'm glad that I went. I might even consider attending another one. But only after Carl agrees to watch me rock out at a Rilo Kiley show - or better yet, maybe I could force him to go with me to see Morrissey (although I'm pretty certain that he'd throw down over that one). Really the options are limitless...

*Note: Carl does NOT consider it erotic when I serenade him with "Sex Mode" , just in case you were wondering. "Grab my stick and switch right into SEX MODE..."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

So let's talk about buffets.

As I'm sure it is for many families, dinner is often a source of contention in our household. It would seem that not one of the members of our foursome likes any of the same foods, with various food allergies making the process of choosing something for dinner all the more difficult. Lately my husband and I often find ourselves staring blankly at each other whenever the inevitable topic of "what should we have for dinner" presents itself. I do cook regularly for my children as does my husband, but lately the kids only like two things, and I'm gonna freak the hell out if I have to prepare tacos or plain noodles with meatballs one more f***ing time.

That said, last week Carl had a stroke of genius - we live in Vegas, why not take advantage of something that Vegas is known for the world round? Their fabulous buffets! At a buffet, each of us can choose whatever we want for dinner.(Plus we had a coupon that made dinner practically free, and considering the fact that we're flat broke, that was a nice bonus). Naturally I was resistant at first, I mean buffets are disgusting. How white trash are buffets (very)? But eventually I conceded because I sure as hell didn't want to have to start the painstaking process of reconsidering our dinner options all over again.

After we picked my son up from school, we headed directly to the buffet because we were all starving and it makes sense to try and beat the dinner rush (add that to the list of reasons I'm geriatric: I prefer to beat the dinner rush when I frequent the buffet at 3:30 in the afternoon). You may be wondering at this point "aren't you the same annoying pain in the ass person that is supposedly into "organic, hormone free this and that?" Yes, I am. But I'm also into not wanting to gouge my eyeballs out with a blunt instrument every time the question of dinner comes up. So that brings us back to our most recent visit to the buffet...

Let me just preface this by stating a disclaimer: children sometimes say things (unintentionally) that are not politically correct. I am not advocating or encouraging these statements; my children are 4 and 6 - they don't know what the hell they're saying. If you're offended please remove the stick from your ass and go away.

So after we made one of many rounds at the buffet (come on - you know it's a pig fest! It's a buffet!) Maggie and I took our seats and proceeded to chow down while Carl and Bear rampaged the taco bar. While I ate mashed potatoes, Maggie began feasting on one of her personal favorites: watermelon. And boy she was gettin' into it. With her eyes practically rolling back in her head, "Mmmmm, I love me some watermelon. Watermelon is gooood." Naturally these comments were said in the not-so-subtle tones of a four year old (meaning she's practically shouting), which aside from the bad manners wouldn't have caused such embarrassment if we weren't sitting next to a table of African Americans. Again, I don't think this would matter all that much if I weren't getting looks, and by looks I mean they were turning around to stare at the person that was loudly saying "Oh yeah, I do LOOOVE me some watermelon!" I mean Maggie did seem to be putting on quite the show and I kind of wondered if they thought she was doing it on purpose or if I had put her up to it or what. (Yes by writing this I am acknowledging the existence of a stereotype about African Americans liking watermelon. What can I say, I was mortified). I was very embarrassed and at that point attempted to get Maggie to keep her ecstasy over the watermelon to a minimum. And I will admit after that I did forbid her to get fried chicken.

Then there was the point at which my son loudly called my husband fat and offended an old lady, all in one fell swoop.. Whoo hoo! We were on a roll! After dinner Carl was standing up because he was so full (our family really believes in getting our money's worth at the buffet). Bear was all (in the loud kid voice of course), "Dad your belly is FAT! I've never seen a belly that big!" and then proceeded to hit the belly and we all know that doesn't feel so good after a binge like we just had. Carl told Bear to stop that and jokingly said that he might explode if he doesn't stop to which Bear replied, "Yeah! Explode! That'd be cool!" Carl responded, "I don't think so. I'd die." Which at this point I'm thinking "Dumb-ass. Don't say 'die' - I so don't wanna go down that road right now. But Maggie didn't miss a beat with that one.
Maggie: (Loud kid voice) "Mommy where do we go when we die?" (We talk about this A LOT).
Me: (Resigned) "Heaven."
Bear: (As usual) I'm not going to Heaven. That's boooring.
Maggie: "But not for a long time right?"
Me: (Looking around and noticing the elderly woman sitting at the next table, only three feet away. Shit. She's looking at US now). Um, yup. More desserts anyone? (Mind you, we were all about to throw up at this point).
Bear: (Again, in the loud kid voice) You mean we'll go to Heaven when we're all old and wrinkly, right?
At this point Carl and I pretty much decided to high tale it out of there (yes with the kids in tow, although at that point we did consider leaving them). Hopefully we're not eighty-sixed from the buffet, because we just got another one of those coupons in the mail. Besides, my son likes the buffet because you don't have to wait for the server to bring you food because waiting (like Heaven) is soooooo boooorrring.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My favorite Christmas story. Ever.

I'm so sorry I haven't posted all week. Christmas is really screwing up my ability to effectively waste time blog. And there have been so many events over the past week that I so desperately wish to relay to you - including but not limited to our recent trip to a buffet and last night's Ice Cube concert. I realize that you are understandably on the edge of your seat. Pinkie swear, I'll post soon.

Until I do have time to write something that is worthy of the literary genius that is my blog, I'll leave you with this charming holiday tale, written by my friend Girl in the Room. It still makes me laugh after all these years, and it's probably my favorite Christmas story. Ever.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I think I've created a monster...

Please note both the scarf (Maggie's favorite, as it's very purple-y) and mini-Starbucks (which contains hot chocolate not coffee. I'm overindulgent, not insane).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dare to be different.

As I've mentioned before, Maggie has very specific ideas about art and fashion, and I've always highly encouraged her individuality. Lately, however, she's taken to wearing her hair in strange ways, and I'm not gonna lie, this kind of bothers me. I constantly want to reach over, yank her headband off and comb that mangy mess she calls her hair (which is usually somehow inexplicably sticky - possibly from one of those glue sticks she's forever toting around in one of the 10,000 miniature pink purses she owns. Because you just never know when you're going to need to glue something. Seriously.)

But as much as I find this new phase slightly frustrating, I do appreciate the fact that my daughter likes to do things her own way. This is also why I allow her to leave the house in outfits that consist of what some might consider less than favorable combinations such as leopard print pants with a pink and purple striped t-shirt and patent leather boots. Because she likes it. And believe me, I do gets looks, as well as the sporadic comment from other parents. They either get it or they don't. But given the choice, I'd rather allow my daughter to explore who she is through fashion, than repress her individuality and insist that she look like a model for Baby Gap. Maggs, even though it drives me nuts sometimes, I like the fact that you have your own ideas about things. We will need to wash the glue out of your hair occasionally, but you can wear it however you like.