I am supposed to be doing homework so I've decided to share some delightful internet items with you, dear reader, instead.
First of all, I wrote this about the latest season of "RuPaul's Drag Race," for Huffington Post. Long live Jinks Monsoon.
Before I go on--is it better for my links to open as new pages, or to open as the same page and then you have to go back to view this post again? I am always nervous about choosing one or the other and I have no preference either way.
Secondly, and yes "secondly" is a word, you should get to know the fabulous work and fascinating story of Vivian Maier. Be sure to watch the movie trailer.
And finally: Who is interested in the Eurovision song contest? Eurovision is a long-running competition in which each country in Europe submits the performance of one original song, and people get to vote for their favorites--with the caveat that they cannot vote for their own country. It has been running forever--this is the contest that gave ABBA its start--although over the years it has developed a reputation for being campy, partially because some people purposely vote for the worst act in the hopes of sabotaging the process. (For instance, here is Romania's entry, "It's My Life." It is seriously the worst song I have ever heard in my life. I challenge you to listen to it all the way through.) There are certain cultural differences at work, which make some songs seem silly to people in different places. But this is why I like this contest.
As is the trend for European pop music, many of the submissions are inevitably high-energy, frenetic, electronic songs sung by dance divas who sing at full volume; usually the songs are in English, even though the performers are from a country that does NOT use English as a method of communication, and therefore the singers have no idea how to interpret (or even pronounce) the lyrics. Some are good, some are just noisy.
This year's winner is from Denmark, and it is a typical high-energy song that is the norm for Eurovision, although there are some "folk" instruments mixed in there and the artist performs the song well. I think it's alright.
However, some of the other songs are far more interesting--for instance, please turn up the volume and enjoy the entry from Hungary.
I also loved the romantic little tune from Malta, "Tomorrow" by Gianluca Bazzina (he's really a doctor!), which sounds like a hit song on the radio in the U.S.; and the song "Marry Me" from Finland, which will undoubtedly be performed by drag queens around the globe. And yes both of those are in English. Listen to them! Right now!
Fun fact: the entry from the U.K. was Bonnie Tyler--yes, she of "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" fame. She was good too.
Every year for my birthday, I choose a theme to help my mother pick out a gift for me. Despite my insistence that she stop buying me presents as if it is my 16th Birthday Extravaganza for the 22nd time, every year she drives herself crazy with anxiety as she tries to pick out something I will treasure and adore. Her panic stems from an unfortunate incident of which I do not remember, when I was 6 years old; I had comprised a list of desired birthday presents, but my mother--in a lapse of judgement--went rogue and bought something she thought I would like instead of something I specified I wanted. I don't remember the gift in question...but apparently I was, shall we say, underwhelmed. It left her traumatized and she has relived the horror every year since. Not that she uses that experience to make me feel guilty, oh no.
Past themes have been "Things That Are Shiny," "Polka Dot Party," and "Think Pink." All were big fun. My favorite was "Things You Can Buy From The SkyMall Catalog," which is my go-to source for all my shopping needs; the gifts didn't have to come directly from the catalog, but the items given had be seen on the pages of the catalog somewhere. That was a fun year.
This year's theme is "Things I Collect." But how do you know what I collect, you ask? Well let me give you some examples.
For instance, I need this for my Gay Movies 101 memorabilia collection.
It's the Mommie Dearest Doll. Price: $150, although the eBay resale prices will undoubtedly be much higher. If it came with a tiny container of Ajax, I would sell a kidney to raise the money to buy one of these myself. (more info here)
Next, I would like one of these for my shoe collection.
...and by "shoe collection," I really just mean I have a bunch of shoes, some of which I have never worn because I can't bring myself to risk scuffing them, I love them so much. But I promise I would wear these Donald J Pliner red Oxfords--because they are so fantastic, the world deserves to experience them on someone's feet. I volunteer to accept that responsibility.
For my "Kitchen Gadget Collection," I am obsessed with getting my own bread machine.
Now that I have discovered I can no longer handle eating wheat grown in America, because it has been "modified" to have absurd amounts of gluten in it not found in nature...and eating pasta or bread or English Muffins makes me immobile from pain, even though I grew up in an Italian family and ate pasta every Sunday dinner with no problems...ugh...it's so freaky to think our food is poisoning us because agriculture companies want to make more profit, even though the crops we grow aren't allowed in Europe because they are nervous about our science-experiment mutated plants, and what we call "organic," they just call "food."
This isn't supposed to be about agricultural policy.
So I am going to start making bread out of oat flour. And one of these awesome bread machines would make it more fun. And I'll leave it up to The New York Times to explain the wheat gluten drama.
For my Good Grammar collection, I want--no, need--this shirt.
Finally, for my "My Little Ponies Collection," I would like this.
I don't actually collect My Little Ponies. I just want this gift-wrapped, please.
It is a lovely afternoon, and instead of studying Fun Facts About Congestive Heart Failure for my exam Monday, I am doing absolutely anything else that will keep me away from that book. I cleaned the kitchen, I pulled out my big Crock Pot and I'm making a delicious molé-spiced dip, and I read an interesting article about the Brutalist Architecture movement of the 20th century--yes, "brutalist" is a form of architecture, I had no idea--and then I rearranged my socks. THANK GOD MY SOCKS ARE ORGANIZED NOW.
Gurdy the Cat sends his best. I left him with a friend for a few days, and of course that is always the time when something goes wrong. He cut himself while scratching, and it became infected. My cat has zero immune system; we're not sure why but he gets sick from anything, even from going outside for a mere minute or two. So when I brought him home, and he flopped over on a pillow looking miserable, I stayed up with him all night, reapplying Neosporin and bandaging him with don't-lick-this-off bandages, and engaging in moderate ear-scratching. He's better now. I know he is better because he has again partaken in his favorite activity, which is attacking my feet when I walk by. No besocked foot is safe in this home.
Oh dear, I'm telling you stories about my cat. Although he's more interesting than the gay political fundraiser I went to last night. Seriously, everyone is so bored with everything, no one paid a minute of attention to the speakers. Gay rights, gay marriage, blah blah blah. Great. We drank free liquor and tried to remember how to do the cute flirty things we'd do when we were ___ years younger. It's just too bad that after two drinks, I can speak only at full outside-voice volume. I think people were getting annoyed. And I think this based on the number of people who walked away from me as I was mid-sentence. Whatever, it just meant I had more time to spend by myself at the dessert table.
What kind of nursing should I do? Many people have asked me that. I usually say, the kind of nursing where I keep people alive. Beyond that, I'm not sure yet. I'm open to suggestions.