Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On Multitasking

If you're wondering what kind of day I had, I will tell you that I am currently sitting at my desk, stark naked, eating a popsicle.

Perhaps this is why I don't have children.

It's just that it's been so busy here at BlogHer Conference Central -- frantic busy -- that I do not have time to do things that normal people, normal people who do not work from home, do. Like wear clothes.

No, no, that's not true. I do wear clothes. But see, today at 4 p.m. I had a meeting with my personal trainer. I have no idea if the sessions are doing anything for me, because right up until I go to them and then right after them I am hermetically sealed to my chair. Sedentary. Applying calories to my midsection with wild abandon by merely existing. But this isn't the point.

The point is that my training session is the only time today I have been away from my computer for more than 62 seconds at a time.

Perhaps if my MacBook were an infant, I'd make a spectacular mother. Hmm.

And so I returned from the session wanting -- as one does -- to shower. But also MUST CHECK EMAIL because you never know who has written in the hour I've been gone. Probably I will have a dozen new emails from various Chicago representatives alerting me to the fact that my estimate is exactly, completely correct, yep, except that it's also under by 50% because I'm not from Chicago, so there's the "been to Chicago fewer than three times" tax, plus the service charge for breathing that I forgot to factor in.

"So then if I factor in this per-breath charge, it's going to cost at least...twice as much?"

"Yes that's right. Plus the cost of labor."

I really love Chicago.

ANYWAY.

So I started getting ready to shower, but checked email first. And halfway through the emails, I realized I was hungry, so I went and got a popsicle. And then on my way back to the computer remembered I was supposed to be showering, so I started disrobing.

We call this multitasking.

After a few minutes I realized I was frantically emailing with one hand and eating a popsicle with another and had managed to get all my clothes off, which meant, right.

I am crazy, yes, but! Consider:

*Answered email in a timely fashion.
*Ingested refreshing, low-caloric snack.
*Remembered to take clothes off before getting in shower.
*Blogged.

Crazy...but also effective.

And now I shower.

Ta-da!

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Big Three-Oh. (Uh, Ah-Gen.)

What's funnier than turning 30...for the third year in a row? I have no idea, but thought I might try and find out.

Well, right. I had so much damn fun turning 30 *again* last year, I thought I may as well keep doing it. So to celebrate, I'm booking a private comedy show just for...me! And my friends! (And maybe you if, you know, you're interested.) (And you totally should be because otherwise I'll keep throwing exclamation points at you!)

When: Tuesday, July 3rd. Because you have July 4th off.

What: Birthday Comedy Show & General All Night Good-Timery

Time: Doors open at 7. Show will start at 8. Party goes all night.

Where: Email me for deets.

I always like extending the invitation to the Internet at large,
because very few of you ever actually reply. Technology is very weird.


Misc:
This really is a private comedy show, and will be featuring some of my favorite comedians from around the Bay Area, hosted by none other than Peter Bartlett (that's Ish to you). You're welcome to invite your friends along and share the love. No cover, and we have the venue for the whole night.

Cash bar, because hi. I am not made of money and you know how to drink.

Anyway.

As always, gifts are wholly unnecessary. Tiaras are encouraged.

And this year I will try not to end the night by throwing up into an ice bucket.

But I'm making no promises.

Friday, June 22, 2007

El! Juan! Magnifico!

Today, June 22, is my dad's birthday. He would have been 65.

I did not exactly have an orthodox upbringing. There was not too much that was "normal" about my family experience, really. My parents loved each other passionately, which they regularly demonstrated by screaming, slamming doors, slinging obscenities, and throwing tableware at each other. My father once hurled my Cabbage Patch doll through a window. (In case you were wondering, following this incident I performed brain surgery on her and had her wear a paper towel around her head for a week or so following. She recovered beautifully.)

We did not have a lot of "together" family time, generally speaking. My dad would come home from work, and he and my mom would chat in the kitchen while watching television in the background. They'd watch re-runs of game shows (usually something like the $25,000 Pyramid) and play along. They'd mute the television and one would sit with their back to the screen and they'd alternate giving each other clues.

Perhaps understandably, children were not allowed to interrupt during these times.

Then Jeopardy! would come on. My sisters and I were more than welcome to play along, but I can tell you -- no adolescent stood a chance at getting a question in edgewise against such formidable trivia-players as my mom and dad.

We didn't eat dinner together. My dad grew up in a household with a nanny and parents who frequented New York City and believed it uncouth to eat dinner before 8 p.m. So my father maintained a disdain for eating early. But as many of you know, kids don't want to wait until 8 to eat. So every night, my mom made two dinners. One for the kids and one for my dad (which she would pick at). Then by the time I got to high school, my schedule was so crazy and hard to juggle that I just started making my own dinners. Not every night, necessarily, but many.

I don't mean to belabor the point about how we ate dinner growing up, because it doesn't really have much to do with this entry except to say that it seemed perfectly normal to us. I had no idea (until much later) how abnormal it was to feel like spending time, say, eating dinner with one's parents was a special treat.

My parents didn't entertain a lot, but when they did -- which usually came in the form of family visiting -- it meant two things. One, we'd all eat together. Two, we'd all play games. And that meant we would all be engaged in the same activity. It was our "family time."

I cannot emphasize enough the extent to which playing games is part of the Sammis Family zeitgeist. This "family time" simply didn't happen without a game. Mostly the games were trivia- or word-related. Jeopardy was a big favorite, and of course, Trivial Pursuit was popular for a while. Password, too. And Outburst.

We never played anything like Monopoly. We never played Scrabble, either, although that always surprised me since my parents were avid crossword puzzlers.
New York Times crossword puzzlers, mind you. In fact, my father actually competed in the national NYT Crossword Puzzle Championship. The first year he went, he won some award for his rookie status. Eventually, he became the highest-ranked puzzler in all of New Hampshire.

The fact that he was the only contestant from all of New Hampshire mattered not. It was all about the glory.


Most frequently when we'd play Jeopardy, we'd play as one big team, and the goal was to "beat the game." This meant that we'd just go through the 50 questions (plus Final Jeopardy) as a group and discuss and come up with answers to all of the questions. The goal was to get them all right. Sometimes it happened, but not as frequently as we would have liked.

Of course, there were many, many non-group games that became rather...competitive.

(Ha! Anyone who ever met my dad just laughed at that sentence.)

My father was many things, among them a tremendous asshole. But not in the way that might sound. He was fun-loving and jovial and funny, and he didn't have a mean bone in his body. He teased people relentlessly out of love, and most people (but uh, certainly not all) loved him right back for it. But he was sloppy and full of mock bravado that people who didn't know better took to be genuine conceit. It wasn't. He was loud and obnoxious, but never, ever cruel. He did not harbor hatred, not even a little bit, not for anything.

I've met bitterly saracastic people who, under the surface, are even more bitter. And there are those who have "dark" senses of humor that really just speak to a dark side within them. Occassionally, someone would miscategorize my dad as being this type of guy. My father told off-color jokes a lot, but it's one thing to tell a joke about a black person to your racist friends; my father would tell a joke about a black person to his black friends.

My father's competitiveness was kind of legendary. It was always there, and for the uninitiated, it was maybe intimidating. But once you got going with him, you realized his competitive side was really nothing more than a love of the game. If you beat him, he'd have tremendous respect for you. If you didn't even come close to beating him, he'd just be thrilled that you gave it a go. And if you did come close to beating him, but then faltered at the end, well. You'd never, ever hear the end of it.

During big, group games (if you have never played Outburst, it is the best game ever for a big group of people because it's a level playing field and everyone can contribute), our family tended to divide into "men" and "women" teams. I'd have to say that over the years, both "men" and "women" have fared well, and have won/lost about an equal amount of times. However, if you asked me to pick a single moment of my life -- a moment that encapsulated what it was like growing up with my dad -- I would paint this picture:

We are sitting around the kitchen of 11 Little Fox Lane. The old, cracked, New England country kitchen with the brick floors and brick fireplace and enormous farm table full of games and newspapers and pens and cheese and crackers and one of my mom's dips (she always used dill). Most of us are sitting around the table, but my mom's off to the side, smoking. Someone's standing at the kitchen island mixing another drink. A couple of us are sitting on the charming old window ledge, the one that extended at least six feet against the wall. There are dogs everywhere. The door to the house is constantly opening and closing, as kids and friends and dogs and cats come and go. The maladjusted bird sqawks. My dad has a legal pad out and he's keeping score with a Papermate pen. There's a timer. And the timer is empty, and the women have just lost to the men. And my father has thrown off his glasses and thrown up his arms, and his fists are pumping the air while he chants, "MEN! MEN! MEN! MEN!"

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Sammis Family Household.

As I said, my parents didn't entertain a lot. Mostly it was just the five of us, hanging around somewhere in our big old house. And mostly, it was my mom and dad, chatting with each other ("yacking," my parents would call it) and playing games with just the two of them.

For a while, my parents got into playing Jeopardy on the computer. Now, to play computer Jeopardy, you have to come up with a screen name. Many people go with their actual names. But for some reason (I'm not entirely sure how it came about) my father, John Sammis, decided at one point -- I believe after several consecutive wins against my mom -- to dub himself El Juan Magnifico.

Just, ridiculous. And fantastic.

And that's how I remember my dad a lot of the time. I am a teenager upstairs in my room, yacking on the phone with the boyfriend du jour. I can hear muffled "damn it"s and "you're an assholes" coming from the computer room, where it's evident my parents are once again competing at Jeopardy. I don't pay much attention, except to try and drown out my father's booming chant of EL JUUUUUAN MAGNEEEFEEECO! as he goes to the kitchen, victorious, to fix himself another bourbon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Report From The Trenches

The BlogHer Conference is in 38 days.

At 4:25 p.m. today I had the following IM exchange with Snarky:

Me: WHY does the online reservation say that the rooms are sold out if they are NOT SOLD OUT? THEY ARE NOT SOLD OUT! WHY IS IT SAYING THAT?

Snarky: Because God wants you to be an alcoholic.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Pants

I do not like to be constrained by things like pants.

I think that the concept of "nudists" is really pretty gross in a hippie, dirty-feet kind of way and would never, ever, EVER in a million years consider myself one. But if the option presents itself of "Wear Pants" or "Not Wear Pants" I will choose the latter.

I'll bet you didn't know that about me.

Sometimes when I go a long time without posting real entries regularly, I not only feel guilty, I feel absolutely paralyzed with writer's block fear. Like I'm some kind of bigshot movie star who has dropped out of the movie-making world for a few years to deal with personal issues, and then returns to the silver screen in a blaze of shameful glory, appearing as the love interest in some sort of lesser-known Wayans vehicle. You think to yourself, "Oh yeah, what ever happened to THAT actor?" and then you see the preview and go, "Oh. THAT'S what happened. The poor dear."

So I'm trying not to make a big deal about it, or think that I need to provide you with some sort of spectacular series of entries in order to make up for my dearth of posts. Instead, I'll just tell you about my disapproval of pants. And stuff.

I have noticed that I have a whole lot of pictures sitting around on my hard drive and in Flickr that are all very amusing (to me) and that I took with the express intent of sharing them here and then never did.

But it's a lazy Sunday morning and I'm ignoring that it's Father's Day and while I have work to do later this afternoon, I thought maybe I'd post some of them for both of our sakes.

* * * *

Downtown San Francisco has only three types of people. Tourists, people trying to make money from tourists, and locals who are annoyed with tourists because they do not know how to walk at a city-appropriate pace.

Among those in the second group of folks are those who are, shall we say, "colorful."

There's the guy who stands at the corner in front of Sacks Fifth Avenue and sings "Darling youuuuuuu send me...darling youuuuuuu send me...darling youuuuuuu send me...honest you do, honest you do, honest you do."

Now, those are the only lyrics he sings. He dresses in a top hat, and is very, VERY good at those lyrics. He will tip his hat at people walking by, and raise his eyebrows at the ladies when he sings the word "darling." But if you find yourself around Union Square for any length of time, you will soon find yourself wanting to kick the man, much like you would want to kick a jukebox that is skipping a record.

I don't mean to be cruel to the man whose entire income may be dependent on these six words, and yet I have to wonder why, if indeed his entire income is dependent on these six words, he has not taken to learning, say, a seventh, or eighth, or fifty-second word. But who is to say. San Francisco.

And speaking of "colorful," there is also the silver guy. I do not know what kind of day you have to be having to decide to become The Silver Guy, but it can't have been a good one. I picture this gentleman having a boring, corporate job, and sitting quietly in a conference room as another man goes over the monthly numbers. And then just snapping.

I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS!

And then instead of an accountant, he decides he'd rather be a robot.

I've had those days, you know?

But so anyway, I wonder what your taxes start to look like, once you've decided that you're going to be a robot for a living. Do you claim your job title is "other"? Or do you go ahead and put "robot"? How does the Federal Government feel about "robot" as a profession, anyway?

Truth be told, I had never stopped to think about the robot man's taxes until I happened to run into him at the bank.

Here, he is filling out a deposit slip:




Robot man has an account at Bank of America, in case you were wondering.


* * *

One afternoon, Ben and Emily and Ish and I found ourselves at a local bar. I realize how shocking this must be to all of you, but try and get over your disbelief.

Anyway, we were there, and there was this guy at the end of the bar who everyone called, "Colonel." And that is because, he was all too happy to explain to us, he had been a Colonel in the United States Army. And we thought that was pretty cool and impressive, especially as he started telling us alllllll about his experiences in the armed services.

The Colonel - 3

His stories were fantastic.

The Colonel - 4

I'm not real sure of their veracity, however. I suppose it's possible he's a close friend of the Kennedys. And was in the first convoy into Baghdad. And charged up San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt. And had some run-ins in the jungle and I sort of don't remember all the women he was involved with, but you know.

The Colonel - 1

* * * *

So I saw this sign on the door to a deli. Phew, I say.







* * * *

I took a few pictures when Ish/Pete was moving out of his tee-tiny studio apartment and into his real, I actually live in San Francisco as a single man apartment.



If the label on the top box doesn't sum up Ish's kitchen, I don't know what does:




Pete decided when the movers came that it would make the most sense to put the cats in the large, cozy closet with the doors shut.

I happened to notice that Eddie was very interested in what was happening on the other side of the door.





Finally, I had this image sitting around. Pete got a television the day he moved in -- because a man has his priorities -- and Em thought it would make a great fort. I couldn't blame her.

Except she fell on her way into it.




And thus concludes my cameo in the Wayans brothers movie.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

On Chainsaws and Two Year Olds

The first three apartments I had when I moved to San Francisco all had some form or another of "city noise." This didn't really bother me, since the sounds served as a constant reminder that um, I had moved to a city.

(I'm not very profound on one cup of coffee.)

Now I live on one of the busiest streets in the entirety of SF, except my apartment is off-street. My windows overlook other complexes, and it's really mostly very quiet. The only "city noise" I pick up is the very loud stuff, like sirens and motorcycles. Mostly I just hear the ding of the cable car and, if I listen for it, the foghorn at Alcatraz.

I am now sitting in my apartment trying to work, except I can't. Because there is landscaping going on.

And by "landscaping" I mean that a shirtless, gray-haired man has taken to whacking at some poor, parking lot-adjacent shrubbery with a chainsaw. Or something that sounds like a chainsaw. I do not know if this is actually an effective method of scaping the land, but it is loud and horrible and makes me want to throw my cat out the window at him.

Instead, I will just stand at my window and take full advantage of my camera's fancy ZOOM feature, and photograph him and his tighy-whitey waistband through my blinds. And post it on the Internet! HA HA!




I discovered a few years ago that loud sounds make me instantly angry. The sudden roar of a motorcycle going by makes me want to scream obscenities at the driver, perhaps regarding his diminutive groinal area and his resultant need to over-compensate.

So this incessant chainsawing out my window is making me positively insane. It has stopped for a few moments, but it's going to start again because right now, right at this very second as I write this, I have just peered out my window to see him POUR MORE FUEL INTO THE MACHINE.

GAH! He has started again.

Here, I even recorded it with sound. To prove that I am insane, I guess.




Sigh.

It's kind of sad that I'm using this wretched, can't-concentrate-at-all time as an excuse to blog. I miss blogging regularly! I miss you all!

And, you know, certainly you must miss me. Aren't you dying to hear my captivating opinions on Paris Hilton? Cat pee? Boob mishaps? THE SOPRANOS ENDING? (I WON'T stop believing, Tony!)

I'll just assume that yes, yes you do.

Also, for those of you keeping track and wondering where the hell the time has gone, today is my nephew, Charlie's SECOND BIRTHDAY.

Happy Birthday, Charlie!









And finally, maybe you should go back and read about my HILARIOUS trip to the doctor-that-shall-not-be-named, aka OBGYN, aka The Voldemort on the day Charlie was born.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Attempt #867

We will have fun tomorrow, a low key session just to open your body up and get your blood flowing again.

That is a direct quote from an email I received this morning from my NEW personal trainer. Or at least, the woman I hope will be my new* personal trainer.

She seems to be fabulous, which is probably why she costs so much. But hey, does my non-existent child really need to go to college?

I mean, I did sort of realize that I've tried most every approach to weight loss except the one where I throw money at it. So why not? Is this not why I have a disposable income?

Erm, and do not think this means "disposable" like I'm swimming in money. This means "disposable" as in "I am a red-blooded American and therefore pay the bare minimums on my credit card bills and have a paltry savings so that I can spend whatever isn't going to bills on dumb crap."

Or something like that.

Please do not lecture me.

I am reminded of that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie is forced to either buy her apartment or move -- she wants to buy, of course, but she doesn't have the down payment. She makes some joke about having great shoes, though. So Miranda asks about how much each pair of her fabulous shoes costs. Carrie estimates $300. Miranda asks about how many pairs Carrie owns. She estimates 100. For a moment, Carrie thinks that equals $3,000. Then it occurs to her it's actually $30,000.

Oops.

Invisible friends, I do NOT have 100 pairs of $300 shoes. I am not actually an irresponsible spender. Mostly. Except I do spend a whole lot of dollars on "going out." Drinks, dinners, lunches, breakfasts, you name it. I'll spend a ton of cash on those things.

Which led me to this horrifying conclusion: I am, actually, wearing my "disposable" income. Except instead of myriad pairs of designer heels and cute matching outfits, I have myriad CHINS. It's like I've got a hundred pairs of Manolos AROUND MY WAISTLINE.

I tell you. Self-actualization can be a real bitch.

So anyway, the long and the short of this NEW approach of mine is to take some of the money I spend on eating and drinking decadently "out" places, and throw it at a professional trainer.

Can't hurt, right?





*I swear, I am getting to the post about the BAD personal trainer.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

My Creativity Is In My Closet

I am swimming under work/event madness and even when I have free time, I have discovered that I suck at writing within it. In the last week, I have started a zillion posts, and decided that they are all hopelessly lame and need serious editing. I will come back to them.

This has been my pattern my whole life.

Well before I knew a "blog" could ever exist, I'd sit down and write these short little...things. Sometimes I fancied they were the beginnings of a book, or at least a short story. But they never went anywhere because if they weren't actually, a book or a short story, then what were they? Who would read them? So I'd stop.

I have dozens and dozens of these "beginnings" tucked away in notebooks and boxes and closets.

Man, I would have been one prolific blogger as a kid.

Anyway, I just grabbed a few, for fun. These three were tucked inside the same notebook, so roughly from the same period in my life.

(Note that "* * * * " delineate entirely different pieces.)

* * * *

The family lived in the Connecticut farmhouse for 17 years. In a suburban corner of a diverse and developing city, the farmhouse stood yellow and broken. Never once did everything work -- the house was cracked and peeling from the first day the family -- my family -- moved in, but it was never in want of love. That's how things went for us, always -- there was love in abundance at the heart, but the packaging couldn't hold up.

They left without the cat. The day my family removed from Connecticut to start again in New Hampshire, the cat refused to get in the car. No one had the strength to convince him otherwise. I was an adult by then, and my fiance and I had to return to the empty house to find the animal, take him to our small apartment, and keep him until our first visit at my parents' new home.

I had said goodbye a day or two before. I'd walked through the nearly empty house, bleary-eyed and despondent, and it was dramatic, and I'd prepared for it. I didn't know I'd have to come back.

* * * * *

I could go on living as I do now. I'd look forward to Friends on Thursdays and the Sopranos on Sundays. There'd be the occasional party, or happy hour, and there'd be the occasional familial visit. Sometimes there would be trips to the office and to New York City. I'd keep trying to keep the house clean, and some days Iit would be, and eventually even there will be furniture in all the right places. I can always paint a room a different color. And when the parties are hosted and the friends see the house they will admire my hard work and it will have been a good weekend. Plus there are vacations over week-long periods and when I don't travel on them it's earned time off. There is always the better-paying job possibility, and the next house. I should learn to plant things. I'd have a beautiful garden. My dinner parties would improve. Someday the holidays would be entirely splendid -- and is that not a good goal?

* * * * *

I will not be here every day. I'm going to move to San Francisco.

I've been coming to this bookstore cafe on and off for about seven years. I was 19 and in college when I first realized its charms, however commercial.

And, naturally, I've befriended some of the employees who are still here, and many who are not.

I learned to rely on this place as my library, study hall, and paper-writing playground. For a while I was even a little in love with a long-time cafe employee, but it never materialized and during a period when I wasn't coming much, he quit and moved away. Jason, on the other hand, has been here five years, and it's always good to see him. I had many first dates here, some of which were lovely, and some of which were not, but none of which altered my feeling for the place. It was always mine.

If there is such a thing, Dave and I started our courtship here. Once engaged, we discussed details of our wedding here, and once married, we sat reading here close together on many Sunday afternoons. When we decided we couldn't work things out and I spent every day for weeks crying, he took me here on my birthday, and somehow it helped.

The house I grew up in was not five miles from here. My grade schools, too. College was a bit further, and my first apartment and house further still. But here has always been close. I know now that, when my parents moved away a couple years ago, and the old house was gutted and rebuilt from the inside out as though our history there had never existed, this will instead be the place I'll miss most.

I wonder if it'll miss me.

* * * * *

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What The Hell's The Matter With You?

Not only do I have a lot to say about our first personal training experience, I am including diagrams, because I think they really help to convey why I will not be seeing that personal trainer again ever.

But diagrams take time, since I am hardly skilled.

So instead, because I am woefully behind in entries, I wanted to talk to you about something near and dear to my heart. Something personal, something I've not had the temerity to tackle here in blogland.

And yet I think the time has come.

I'm speaking of course of The Sopranos. (Could you tell? That heading was my best Tony impression. Good, huh?)

Now, if you have not been following this season, or haven't caught up on all episodes yet, then don't read any further. I'm not sure I'll be providing spoilers or anything, but I don't want to have to edit myself either.


So let me ask you all this: WHAT THE FUCK?

Way back a million years ago, I stopped watching ER at the same time I stopped watching NYPD Blue. I can only handle so many absurd tragedies. You keep killing off my favorite characters, eventually I will have no reason to watch.

Sopranos was different. Sopranos killed off important characters, sure. But sparingly. Importantly. Think how long it took for poor Pussy to meet his demise. Ralphie? Richie?

And Adriana? Christophuh!

Since the beginning, David Chase (et al) have gone to great lengths to treat the drama carefully. There is form and structure. They artfully provide foreshadowing, imagery and symbolism. The scripts were meticulously developed. And for all the highly entertaining mobster banter, I have never heard teenaged characters more believable than Meadow and AJ.

But I'm disappointed.

Maybe it's just that I prefer the hopeful to the morose, the humorous to the tragic. But I loved The Sopranos in the beginning because, through all the grit and stark violence, Tony -- and the whole Soprano clan -- was so human.

That was the whole point, remember? Tony was conflicted, and even if he didn't know why, we did. We saw that he couldn't reconcile his seedy, bloody everyday world with the soft, cushy goodness of his family and home life. The other guys could, and did. But not Tony. It made him more accessible and likeable. It put us on his side. If Tony is the "good" bad guy, then surely he deserves to come out on top.

Invisible Internet Friends Who Are Reading This Random Tirade, I have to say: I do NOT like where the story arc is going.

There's only one episode left, and there's just too much bad to undo, too many ghosts.

I feel as though the earlier seasons had the plot (and Tony's character) wound up very tightly. There would be trouble, some of the trouble would run deep, but The Soprano Family was in control. They were a royalty of sorts. And I had hope, right up until this season, that it would stay that way.

I wanted there to be breakthroughs and revelations -- sure, some bad decisions (poor Ad, but what are you going to do?) -- but when all was said and done, I wanted Tony to be there, on this throne, his wife and kids beside him as he forevermore ruled New Jersey. Still controlled, still in control.

The character of Phil Leotardo has burst onto the scene this season in full force, and he is quite a device. Phil is nothing like Tony. He both embodies and points out all the weaknesses in the Sopranos that have either been overlooked or overcome up to now.

He thinks of Tony's operation as something of a glorified crew.

But we hate Phil! We know better!

Or, don't we? Didn't we?

With one more episode to go, it's looking like Phil's worst assessment of the "pygmies" from New Jersey is accurate. Tony's whole world is unraveling at lightning speed.

And I'm pissed.

I mean, I didn't expect the series to end in sunshine and lollipops, but I did expect it to end with some dignity. As Tony's ship is sinking, it's feeling more and more like he's being exposed. The curtain's being pulled back, and suddenly he seems incompetent. As though his power was an illusion, and his team was unworthy and incompetent this whole time. The speed with which the show is creating the Soprano Family's complete destruction is sad. It shouldn't be this easy.

And as an audience member, I feel cheated.

I've spent the last SEVEN YEARS watching, invested. I mean, when I think about that, it's crazy. The very first time I ever heard of The Sopranos, I was sitting at the dinner table of my now-ex-in-laws. I was living in my apartment with Dave and we weren't even married yet.

My point is, it's been a really long haul, and I've stayed tuned in. I've kept my HBO subscription. I've stuck it out between seasons. I watched on Sunday nights to see new episodes with Dave in our apartment in Stamford, with Dave in our house in Fairfield, with with El_G in my apartment in San Francisco, with El_G in our apartment in San Francisco, and now with Pete, on the DVR.

AND FOR WHAT?

To have Tony's entire crew taken down like it's nothing? To have it all end, just like that?

No, no, no. This was not how it was supposed to go. Not at all.

This Sunday better be good.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Don't Look At Me Like That

I'm tired and cranky, and have not been able to break away from my computer long enough this week to tell you all about how well my personal training session went.

And by "well" I mean I am halfway through a Manhattan the size of my head.

We'll be discussing this soon.

Meantime, I feel as though I should remind you why I am so gosh-darn busy, what with it being post-Memorial Day and THE ENORMOUS CONFERENCE THAT ATE CHICAGO AND MY LIFE AND PATIENCE is a mere like, seven weeks away. And all.

So um, are you going? We should totally hang out. I may have extra valium and everything.

BlogHer '07 Fun



(And p.s. If you want info and/or low-down on the event, just let me know!)

* * *

p.p.s. Are any of you in/from France? Please email me if so.