Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the wheelchair card: know when to fold 'em

This week, I was having a chit chat [Tangent: "text exchange" would have been more appropriate, but I just really like that term...makes me feel British.] with a friend, and somehow we got on the topic of disabled people that abuse their disability and use it as their excuse for all the ills in their life.  I see these people in the fictional world and in real life. I get it, you're in a wheelchair, but the need to make things awkward every five seconds. Sending out invites to the pity party is aggravating for those trying valiantly to change people's perceptions, those of us who try to downplay the difference while playing up the similarity. [Tangent: Please don't call me out that my blog's title is That Girl in The Wheelchair.]

I have said before that being in a wheelchair grants you a wheelchair card at birth [Tangent: Its like black people get a black card. No that's not racist; my old roommate in college  happened to be African-American and made me an honorary black card once. It was trimmed in kente cloth, don't be jealous.]

this is all I could find when I googled "wheelchair card"...I think its a trading card. yep, that exists.
As stated before, the card is like a Willy Wonka golden ticket and will grant you special accommodation and privleges that some people get simply because you were born different.  Seems awesome, right? There's a catch- you don't walk....really ever. No big. [Tangent: If you know a disabled person, and they say this theoretical piece of plastic doesn't exist- they are lying or thinking it's a secret fraternity secret.]

Let me put this in nerd terms: I am like one of the X-Men...I was born different and sometimes get segregated because of it, but I try to harness the power and don't bitch about it all the time, nor do I try to act like I need a pat on the head for being so "rising above adversity." Professor Xavier just used his wheelchair to be a badass, just sayin'. I try to do the same.

The wheelchair card is like Spiderman, "with great power comes great responsibility." [Tangent: OK, that's all I got as far as comic references, considering I don't even read them...but I have made a select 3% of my friends and my boyfriend very proud.]

this guy knows what I'm talkin' about.
This gift must be used selectively, like obtaining choice parking spaces, getting outta parking tickets, helping you get your education paid for in full...or even getting people not to make you fill out surveys at the mall. [Tangent: Uprights/Walkies/Bipeds don't know how to approach wheelchair people sometimes and may assume they can't speak coherently or use their arms so they don't bother troubling our already inconvenient lives. I get upset for a millisecond and then realize it just saved me 10 minutes of inane question asking.]Don't waste this great power on facebook statuses and just general light conversation.  It will backfire and just get you the wrong attention, unless that's what your into.

Amid the knowing when to hold 'em...knowing when to fold 'em....knowing when to walk away...knowing when to run, Kenny Rogers has a pretty genius line in The Gambler.

 [Tangent: If you can indeed keep reading this and are not being currently pulled headlong into the vortex of the dual tone whiskers of the other Mr. Rogers.] Ignore the redneck phonetics and I think you will see that this line rings true to both poker and cripples:

Ev'ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowing what to keep
'Cause ev'ry hand's a winner and ev'ry hand's a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep

OK, the end is unnecessary and makes a happy song about card playing to a dark place, but I hope you get the idea.  Buck up, handicappeds! Learn to play your card right. You don't have to be inspirational all the time, nor do you have to be bitter. Just be yourself...and yourself is not a wheelchair. [Tangent: Stop staring at Kenny's Bi-color beard!]

Monday, November 28, 2011

claymation christmas...I'm afraid.

When I was in third grade, my mother chaperoned my class on an ill-fated trip to the Nashville Zoo. Somewhere between the tigers and the lemurs, a torrential downpour began and the executive decision was made by the buzzkill teachers to take us back to the elementary school to let us watch a movie for the remainder of the school day. Although, I was disappointed I wouldn't be able to see jungle cats going at it [Tangent: When I was about 8,  I saw two lions mating at the zoo. Assuming they were fighting, I asked my friend why they were so angry. Her father, in his knee socks, intervened and dropped some knowledge on us, "They aren't fighting...they're making love. Yes. "making love." I will forever associate that term with lions. Don't make it weird.], I was stoked for movie time. [Tangent: I imagine my fingers were crossed for possibly The Adventures of Pippi Longstockings or maybe Ghost Dad...two movies that did not deserve the adoration I gave them.] This excitment diminished when I heard my teacher announce her choice of motion picture: ET: The Extraterrestrial. EEKS! That movie filled my with a kind of horror that embarrassed me. I realize I was roughly 10 at the time and shouldn't be such a baby, but the lovable alien still freaked me out and made me itch.
He still does to a degree, but clearly I have learned to love him.  It was something that the world found charming and sweet, yet still tortured my childhood dreams. [Tangent: People would always think I was a terrible person when I would say I didn't like ET, I would always get, "No...he's adorable!" or "But he's so cute!" Had they totally missed the eerily long fingers and translucent flesh or the part when he's found hiding in the bushes and shrieks and his neck go-go gadgets up? Apparently so.]

I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but there is something else targeted at a single digit deomgraphic that has always creeped me out a little. Being that this blog is my therapy,  I urge you all to encourage me to work through it. What I'm saying is, is there a 12 step program to get over my fear of old claymation Christmas specials? *Bracing for backlash*

Its undeniable that these things are a little traumatizing [Tangent: Ok...maybe I'm alone in this.] ...don't believe me?

what does this have to do with christmas?


There's something about stop motion animation and the eerie unblinking eyes that made me uncomfortable. We never really watched these movies a lot [Tangent: We were more an A Christmas Story/ Emmett Otter's Jugband  (900 cool points if you remember that one) kinda family.] so the glimpses of these clay-centric films were very transient, but left a lasting impression. I wanted nothing to do with them.
god. i love this evidenced in my 2008 Christmas card.

As I am making baby steps to get Christmassy, I have decided this year I will try to watch one beginning to end. [Tangent:  I think that one with the bearded ginger is a good place to start. They're my weakness. ]
hubba hubba.
Hopefully I won't have to face this fear as I had to with ET: get a bathroom pep talk from my mother and watch it through my fingers in a room full of third graders who are smelly and soggy from zoo rain.  If I do, we have bigger problems than my irrational fear.

If you are trying to face your fears this holiday season, this is a good place to start:

Friday, November 25, 2011

da gracias para el INTERWEB!

[Early Tangent: I have no idea why I chose to make the title Spanglish, perhaps Antonio Banderas is my coauthor today or maybe I am trying to trick Spanish speakers into reading my blog. Spoiler Alert: It's neither...I was just avoiding the term Thanksgiving, so it seemed the obvious loophole.]

As this creepy vintage ventriloquist record eludes to, now begins the time of year for reflection and blessing counting and resolution making and all that junk [Tangent: All that junk being black friday ballyhoo which I cannot get behind. I happen to like my limbs and my sanity. Truly they would be missed.] Without getting too sappy, I will say my life has been significantly brighter in 20011. Always considering myself an optimistic cynic, towards the end of last year the optimistic side was starting to disappear. Obviously, I seemed to be a step away from changing my name to Mistress Darkness Nightshade on December 29, 2010. [Tangent:Sheesh...that's bleak.]

In an effort to share some joy,  I have decided to share some internet sources of solace- websites that consistently have made me choke with laughter over the last year.  These websites, memes and funny videos have been passed onto me from friends that share my love of ridiculous or are things I have just tripped over on internet quests. I don't know any of these people, but I wish I did.

Full House Reviews

Having each episode of Full House from Stephanie's Motown Philly dance recital to the Donelson/Kadsopolis wedding inscribed in your memory isn't necessary [Tangent: Even though I feel, on a personal level, that it is.]- everyone, even casual watchers will enjoy. Each episode is recapped and snarked on in elaborate detail with amazing screen captures, like the one above. Tis completely inappropriate and each post has made me either choke or nearly wet myself.  I think I might want to marry the creator of it...I think my boyfriend would understand. Here's a preview:
Seriously, why’s Joey always spitting all over the place? I hate it. This is not an isolated incident. I can think of at least one previous Joey-Spitting-out-water routine that I’ve bitched about, plus he did that Sylvester impression a few episodes ago where he kept spitting in Jesse’s face. Why does this man work so hard to be obnoxious? Is there anything left for him to do to make me hate him? I guess he could start shitting his pants all the time and walking around with shitty pants, but actually I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t already. I mean, really, would anyone in the full house even react if he did?
 Markerpiece Theater

 The above picture is entitled Darth Brooks, but seriously there is something for everyone on this ridiculous website which is filled with punny pictures this chica Morgan draws while she is bored at work. You may wonder what the hell Kenny Chesney has to do with any of's her explaination:
For the record "Kenny Chesney Serious" is a phrase my best bud Hannah came up with to describe times when you're completely serious about something utterly ridiculous. Its like how Kenny Chesney sings, totally seriously, that a woman thinks his tractor is sexy and it really turns her on when he's out there in pukkas and a sleeveless t-shirt, tilling up the land on his john deere.
 For the record, I am Kenny Chesney Serious that I love this blog.

The Kitten Covers

Although, not being really much of a cat fan, I can't help but be absolutely in love with this concept...anyway kittens are admittedly adorable, especially when posed like Bob Dylan, The Clash and Bruce Springsteen. 

Selleck Waterfall Sandwich

This tumblr site is pretty self-explanatory, each picture somehow photoshops together the holy trinity: Tom Selleck, picturesque waterfall and delicious sandwiches. One may think this is limiting, which it is, but it makes for a lot creative interpretations

Kanye'd By the Bell

Time out! When two of my favorite unrelated things come together, magic happens. This is magic. Time in!

Birds with Arms

As I have stated before, I have an irrational fear of birds, however birds with human appendages- I find hilarious. Go figure. 

Face Morpher

Ever wondered how you might of looked had your dad had a fling in Vietnam? The above website uses advanced technology to see what you may have looked like as a baby, as a half ape/half human, as an 80 year old or as someone of the opposite sex.

Tell me that I wouldn't have made a fine gay man! I dare you. This at least should keep you busy this afternoon and AWAY from the mall madness. [Tangent: I really don't think my message of "sit on your ass and don't stimulate the economy" is a good one....oh well.]

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

big brother is pushy.

is FB steven segal?

Sometimes I think George Orwell was really just 20 years too early with his Big Brother concept...I feel like Facebook is Big Brother, either that or some really annoying pestering jackassy/mentally unstable relative. For an unfeeling social networking site, it;s either really intuitive [Tangent: Probably due to insane algorithms and beeps and boops and yadda yadda that I don't understand.] or a complete asshole.

I have written before in this blog that when I wasn't spoken for [Tangent: PG or Pre Ginger.] that Facebook was always trying to play socially awkward matchmaker:

calling me fat and lonely in one fail swoop.

Well now that my relationship status says "in a relationship" for six is already trying to jump the gun. This was what I was barraged with when I logged on today to do some light stalking [Tangent: How is that for poetic, I am mad at a website for stalking me, yet I go on there to basically stalk people. I hear someone calling...I'm sure its the kettle to inform me that I'm black.]. 

WOAH. WOAH. WOAH. Slow down facebook. Let me enjoy dating.  Give me some time. Sheesh. This is not the end of this vicious cycle. My married friends have informed me that once you change your status to will begin getting ads for nursing bras, overseas adoption and formula coupons. What happens once you have babies? Do you start getting child product ads or do they skip right to Centrum Silver and coffins? These are the synapses that are constantly firing in my mind.

While we are on the subject of the ridiculous and confusing world of facebook ads. I give you exhibit A and B.
Is that baby wearing weave? If worker must intervene.

there are so many inappropriate captions rushing through my head right now...
The photos are so unrelated from their subject matter, that I cannot quite understand if its its intentional or ironic. I guess I shouldn't criticize these ads...they do provide me with some unexpected entertainment when I log on...and if they didn't exist- I would never know this is "a thing." [Tangent: Much less, a thing that 30,000 people are a fan of.]

Monday, November 21, 2011

(un)american apparel

Groupons are one of my favorite impulse purchases [Tangent: They are heavy on the heels of Target $1 aisle items and $5 downloads as the things I easily could go broke on.]. I like the idea that you can save money by spending it. Overall, it's a fuzzy logic that I can subscribe to.

Last week, there was a Groupon available for American Apparel, I have never shopped there but liked the idea that it was half off and it could be redeemed online- How handy! All I had previously observed is that their ads on the back of The Nashville Scene were super child porny and make me uncomfortable when they are staring back up at me from the bathroom living room floor. 

[Tangent: These ads were also ingeniously parodied by a disabilities group in the American Able campaign seen here. Take something awkward and make it more awkward- I LOVE!]

Advertising is not rocket science; [Tangent: Although I would like people to think my degree was harder to wasn't.] I get what they are trying to do with your strung out models. Yes- you got my attention with your ads that look like Fiona Apple's Criminal video, but I don't wanna buy your thigh high socks or cotton tshirts for fear of venereal disease comes free with purchase. It's just an odd way to position your product [spread eagle...HEYOH!] on models that you purposefully make look 15. You are selling knit wear!

Ok, back on topic, albeit tempted to buy some overpriced hosiery, I ended up deciding against the groupon because some of the clothes baffled me significantly and made me feel either old and unhip or just super unfashionable [Tangent: Says the girl wearing a shirt off the Kohl's clearance rack.]. I just could not support the following looks:

I can only imagine that the creative directors at American Apparel had similar viewing habits as I did in the 90's.

And this dress just made me feel like a dress I would have designed with my Fashion Plates when I was 11. In fact, I think my sister wore this exact dress [Tangent: Only in black velvet, but with those same nondescript Sam & Libby flats.] to her 8th grade Christmas dance circa 1993.

I'm old...I know.

sorry ms are for real

There is no question that I love live music- forever the girl to binge on an artist's music in preparation for a concert, making sure all the words are committed to memory to optimize concert obnoxiousness. Lately though, I've become a big fan of going to shows where I know very little of the artist beforehand. [Tangent: Inauthenticity is a thorn in my side, so I will admit- I am passionate about music, but I am not a musical savant. I don't know every band ever or what their first album was or what their rare B-side was or if its available in vinyl. I like what I like and its eclectic and questionable to say the least. Plain and simple.] Having no expectations leaves no room for disappointment and makes musical surprises possible.

A few weeks ago, my ginger twittered himself some free tickets to the opening festivities at Marathon Musicworks [Tangent: Who says twitter is pointless and a time waster?], a new concert venue in Nashville.  The acts showcased were The Black Belles and Wanda Jackson. Here is the only info I had gleaned about the two acts prior to the show, that occurred this past Saturday.

1. Both artists are on Jack White's Third Man Records label.
2. Somehow over the past several months I acquired a Wanda Jackson song on my itunes, probably from one of those free mp3 samplers that I can never resist, mostly because the word "free" is involved.
3. The Black Belles wear black, and they did something with Stephen Colbert that I have been meaning to research on the youtubes, but easily get distracted by things like this or this...and have yet to check out. [Tangent: I should probably reevaluate my priorities.]
4. I have heard of Wanda Jackson referred to as the First Lady of Rockabilly....telling me she is probably not a spring chicken. [Tangent: ...but I had no idea or age or really even race. Frankly I thought she might be a large black woman judging by her voice (on the one song I had heard). Clearly I hadn't watched the video of it below.]

We got there and loved the new venue [Tangent: Kinda like an old factory that smelled like paint and the best way possible combination.] The crowd was a good mix...the mayor....random older folks...young hipsters...drunken "woo-hoo" girls...people peeled out of a Stray Cats video...and  Jack White. [Tangent: My ginger and I were counting on a run-in with mystical ever-pale genius, but it was not in the cards.] We got up against the stage and bobbed away to the Black Belles, who to me are an obvious product of Jack White. Their music has a lot of similarity and even the lead singer had that Jackish cry in her vocals that is simultaneously endearing and off-putting. They also, not unlike The White Stripes, know how to work a color pallette gimmick without it being ridiculous or contrived. Its something bands don't do enough. [Tangent: I mean having "a look" worked for Run DMC and The Beatles...]

we spent 60% of the show debating on if their hair was a wig.
Then Wanda Jackson took the stage, very sure footed in her Easy Spirit orthopedic shoes, a bouffant that would make Steel Magnolias fans squeal and fluorescent fringed rhinestone-laced bolero jacket.[Tangent: She was adorable and I felt like she was a long lost Aunt that I wanted to connect with...either that or a cousin of Sally O'Mally.]
so much sass. I can't stand it.

I bet Wanda can kick and stretch ol' O'Mally around the corner

Because I had no prior expectations, I had a little shining that amazing musical surprises were sure to ensue....and I was correct. Ms. Jackson (if ya nasty) went from discussing quite candidly her love affair with Elvis (Casually name dropping former BFFs Johnny and Jerry Lee) to singing hymns to talking sugar about her new pal Jack White. Her energy and joy were contagious, and for some reason her routine (some songs old and some songs new...or so I learned.) were completely fresh and current and not at all what one would expect from a Septuagenarian in stretchy pants. 

Before she had ever taken the stage, as the stagehands prepared the stage with a table, a chair and bottle of water-  I heard some chatter among the Wanda Jackson mid 60's superfans behind us, "oh, I guess she may need the chair tonight."  This led me to believe the train to lamesville was about to sound the horn and this would not be riotous as one might expect from a rock and roll show. However Wanda's ass never touched that seat; she was too busy shakin' her pink fringy arms and spraying the first few rows with the aforementioned bottle of water. I love her. I want to be her one day.  Don't sit idle. Shake that fringe. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

twihard with a vengeance...meh

Yesterday was my birthday, I turned 29-years-awesome and spent it with a couple friends and family members. I ate pasta had some beverage and was home by 11:30. It was my idea of old lady heaven. For some odd twist of reason my birthday is always somehow intertwined with some pop culture phenomena [Tangent: Prior to my birth it was the first appearance of Mickey Mouse on screen in Steamboat Willy and the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana. I should absolutely have a Disney Kool-Aid party to commemorate all of the things.]. Since I joined the world in '82, the hits keep on coming:  In 2006, it was the union of TomKat and since then,  the twilight films have almost consistently been released on the anniversary of my birth. I would love to think that all this hysteria that the screaming vessels of estrogen wearing terrible shirts like these was somehow related to my birthday...

apparently affliction has a teen line. 

oh god.

but instead they are just getting all hot and bothered thinking of glitzy vamps and blood drinking and native American boys morphing into non-threatening CGI doggies.

Lets me clear, I am actually knowledgeable about the topic I am about to broach so I am fully prepared for the reign of hate from women of all age groups that is sure to descend upon my blog with the following statement: I am not so much a Twilight fan. I tried, valiantly. I like to read, so a few years ago I was urged to read these hot new Stephanie Meyer vampire books by my sister and my friend Amber, who are both middle school teachers. I held off for a while, but a bunch of girls in my office started reading them so I succumbed to the peer pressure. To my own surprise, I actually enjoyed the first one, and thought, "I would hate eaten this crap up during my angsty middle school flannel babydoll dress Alanis years."

However, after soldiering through 3 1/2 of the books [Tangent: Yes...I know there are only 4 books and would it really have been so difficult for me to just finish the series? YES. Those books are hella long and Bella is the most unlikeable female I have ever encountered in any area of my life (and I know A LOT of females). At some point her permaangst just made me want to punch a puppy!], I just couldn't buy into it. The only likeable character to me was that hot ethnic fellow , Jacob, but by book 3, he had become a whiny bitch. Edward was always super lurky to me and a little bit of an asshole [Tangent: I won't speak to you in public. Now I want to watch you sleep at night by sneaking into your room. Hot and cold, much?!?]. I could never fully grasp his appeal: A 107 year old man in a teenage body who can only hang out in dim lighting [Tangent: That just wreaks of Greek tradgedy and would make Freud's brain explode.] who is super pale and cold and hard [Tangent: Not like that.]. The only mildly interesting thing he does is glitter in the sunlight, which is more than a little gay. [NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT!]
Who among us doesn't appreciate a Lost Boys reference
Because the books left me a little irritated after having such high hopes and devoting so much time to them, I have no desire to see their film adaptations. Thirty minutes of the original film are all that I have seen. Because I would rather waste my brain cells and girliness on episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Real Housewives, I have to rely on my friend Alex to fill me on what its like to go see these movies surrounded by teens in Bonnie Bell lip smackers and ironic Hot Topic shirts. She went Thursday night and reported that people camped out and dressed in Twilighty gear and at her theater, there was even a DJ that was like, "If you like vampires...let me hear you make some noise!" which is where the theater erupted into apeshit crazy squealing. [Tangent: What would one expect?] Although, I will admit that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are well cast in these films, I still find them super unlikeable.  I dare you not to find a press still where they look either strung out or homeless.

Did they sleepwalk to this premiere?

I swear I am not completely black hearted and devoid of romance- I just don't buy into it. I think it sends a weird message to young girls, like they should get married at 18 and move away from their support system and completely change their lifestyle (Spoiler alert: become a blood sucker!) in order to make love work. Love doesn't have to be hard or dramatic- it can be easy and fun. That's why if I had to make the difficult choice between team necrophilia or team beastiality, I would probably opt for celibacy or maybe join this team...

Anyway- Babysitters Club > Twilight.
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