Wednesday, February 03, 2010

HOUSEHOLD CLEANING TIPS FOR KIDS

Peace at last. Blessed peace at LAST!



This is not to say that one doesn’t enjoy the annual Christmas festivities;



- heaven knows a house full of “nearest and dearest” inhaling turkey and suctioning vast gallons of liquor as if December 26th heralded the start of National Eating Disorder Week is exactly the sort of thing which gives the holidays such a good name.



And certainly we had much to celebrate here at 801 this year. Not only were we fortunate enough to have ended 2009 on the rather high note of adding Disney’s “Harriet The Spy” to our curriculum vitae -



- (starring my darling Miss Jennifer Stone -



- the delicious Wesley Morgan (who will be the next huge star out of Canada, mark Daddy's word, darlings) -



- and Canada's national treasure Jayne Eastwood -

-

- premiering (I'M NOT ALLOWED TO TELL YOU THE DATE YET!) on The Disney Channel, and around the world shortly thereafter, for those who care about this sort of thing) -



- but we also had several new guests come to the party this season, including enough “professional” types –



- some of whom seemed perhaps a little TOO comfortable at Mr Sinatra’s Bar –



- that the entire event may well qualify as a tax deductible business expense. Given the wide berth Uncle Sam’s Collection Agency gives even the most “wacko” of religious organizations (yes, you kooky Mormons with your magic underpants -



- your native-born American horses and your mystical dinnerware,

-

- I’m talking to you!!), this seems like a fair trade.

It was also Crawford The Dog’s first Christmas here as well -



- which carried a certain emotional weight when one considers that his previous landlords, the ones who apparently felt that a Miniature Manchester was a “disposable” asset,



- likely didn’t even celebrate the event.

The mind boggles.

Needless to say he was somewhat “over-gifted” on Christmas morning -


- but he still managed to behave admirably during the buffet dinner later that evening, working the crowd of forty people like a natural born Democrat.



On a side note: there have been some disparaging comments about our Crawford recently, wherein his place in our household has been likened to that of a spoiled “child” – but one would do well to remember that “children” are far more trouble than dogs.



A Miniature Manchester, for example, does not require that every possible surface, container or device be “child-proofed” -



- a practice we personally LOATHE, in that it requires the culture at large to behave as if it were populated entirely by 5 year olds.



Frankly, if little Timmy manages to uncap the Drano and down several swallows before realizing that maybe it ISN’T “Sunny D”, little Timmy deserves to sleep with the Angels…



If that sounds a trifle “Beelzebubian”, please remember that the only thing on earth of which there seems to be an endless supply is human beings.



With the rampant proliferation of heterosexuality on the planet -



- it’s truly a wonder the old joint has lasted as long as it has (millions of years, if one believes scientific fact, or about a week and a half if one has relinquished rational thought to the Biblical Lobotomy of “creationism”…)-



- so really a few less kiddies here and there certainly isn’t going to mean, literally, the end of the world.



And if one is truly determined to have a large family, one can always recycle children, like those Baptist Missionaries recently caught trying to get out of “Dodge” (or at least earthquake ravaged Haiti) with a minivan crammed full of “orphans”, many of who’s still-living parents had in fact sold them for food rations and Gap t-shirts.



(Not to say that all Baptists are bad people: we recall with a certain fondness the amorous rompings of one particular well endowed Baptist of our past acquaintance - heterosexual by admission of course, and currently married with dozens of children - who had certain carnal skills which would have made Cirque de Soleil sit up and take notice...)



While the intention of planting these little darlings in “good Christian American homes” seems noble -



- it must be remembered that one of the more popular religions in Haiti is voodoo; given the Christian child-rearing axiom of “spare the rod, spoil the child”, one suspects there may be a widespread epidemic of sharp, stabbing pains dotted here and there throughout Baptist congregations in the very near future.



But when it was all said and done, when the last guest was dropped off at the airport and my houseboy Panton had, begrudgingly, taken down the last twinkling light – all the while muttering darkly in whatever vile language he actually speaks (we’ve still not determined Panton’s actual country of origin but we suspect it’s not one of Her Highness’s current holdings, if you get our drift….) –



- the blanket of silence and tranquility which fell about our fichus wrapped walls was a welcome respite from the chaos of the past few months indeed.

Of course barely a day had passed before the world was rocked with yet another crisis. A tragedy of such proportion, of such-far reaching consequence, that it shook us here at 801 to our very core. The sheer human suffering, the devastation, the loss of innocence…yes, in spite of our well-documented cynicism, even we were moved practically to tears by the horrendous footage we saw rolling across our television screens.



Could it actually be possible that Simon Cowell was leaving “American Idol”?

Not to say that we encourage the production of this sort of “reality” television, of course; it is, essentially, nothing more than a glitzier version of a show we watched as a young boy growing up in Ontario, Canada, called “Tiny Talent Time”, broadcast on CHCH TV 11 and so utterly ghastly that even baton twirlers avoided it.



And as is well known, baton twirlers will twirl ANYWHERE.



But if the masses are to be kept quiet – which is to say, if they are to be kept outside our protective fichus walls – one must give them some form of “bread and circuses” and, it must be admitted, “American Idol” gives them much more than just entertainment. It gives them, in the fashion of the late, much-lamented philosophy of our current President, HOPE.



Of course it turned out that America didn’t want HOPE, it just wanted its jobs and its retirement funds back.

And nobody can do that. Because when that Kansas farmhouse landed on George W. Bush -



- it took the last of America with it. Horatio Alger is long dead, my darlings -



- and this is no longer a “Can Do!” country filled with dreamers and entrepreneurs and go-getters.



Now we are nothing but a bunch of wanna-be celebrities, working our abs and lifting our faces, hoping against “hope” that eventually we will make our way onto a national television network long enough to get a book deal, which we can then parlay into a movie deal and then we can retire on the profits…



Until, of course, the next Republican President comes along and decimates those too….



(And what better way to declare the end of the American Era than to elect a guy whose sole claim to fame is being able to hide his genitals behind one arm? But, I digress.)

For a time, just after the New Year (the eve of which, by the way, found us, including the Boyfriend, the In Laws, the owner of a Major Television Network, his ex-politico wife, and a recently-returned-from-Pakistan aid worker/novelist dining in an Italian bistro in the heart of our Desert Paradise -



- and being charged, literally, hundreds of dollars for some mediocre food and cheap champagne, but paying up with barely a whimper as the place was owned by a fellow who clearly could’ve had our knee caps broken with little more than a wave of his menu), we were able to relax a bit and catch up on our correspondence, sending off Good Luck notes to our various friends who were nominated for one of the many different self-congratulatory awards which tumble down Hollywood Boulevard during the first three months of each year.

Then, with barely a breath, we were suddenly onboard a plane to San Francisco - after enduring an xray scan which, truth be told, isn't such a bad idea after all;



it may, perhaps, be the thing which will finally shame obese Americans into saying "NO" to that third quarter pounder at breakfast:



- to attend the annual “NOIR CITY” Film Festival -



- with our Brother-In-Lawford, The Cowboy.



This was originally to have been a “foursome” weekend, with The First Sister (his wife), The Boyfriend (my betrothed) and the two of us having a marvelous “On The Town” kind of weekend -



- breaking into song and wearing sailor uniforms as the mood possessed us.



But when The Sister’s work schedule prevented her attendance, The Boyfriend – imagining a weekend stuck in uncomfortable seats and forced to watch hour upon hour of black and white films where the protagonists say things like “yeah, she was a dame and I plugged her, see?” –



- begged off, leaving it just the two of us.



This, it turned out, was a very good idea as it allowed for The Cowboy and myself to bond over our shared love for film and a certain brassy haired “broad” – ie: The Sister-



– not to mention consume gallons of liquor at the legendary TONGA ROOM Tiki Bar-



- conveniently nestled a short elevator away from my suite at the historic Fairmont Hotel -



- (where I had hoped to escape from the rigors of filmmaking, only to discover the latest Clint Eastwood movie was being shot directly across the street. My goodness, Clint, you're 80! Take a breather, already!)



These are admirable traits to be found in both film fans AND brothers-in-law. One highly recommends it.



But not long after this delightful adventure, yet ANOTHER horrendous calamity descended upon us – the end of KWXY FM!



Faithful readers will recall our love for this particular “Beautiful Music” station which has been in business for some 46 years, delivering the Rat Pack, The American Songbook and so much more to all of us here in our Desert Paradise, twenty four hours a day.



Suddenly, with barely a warning, the station has been sold to a local mom and pop radio company and the frequency has been given to one of those hideous “Classic Rock” stations, featuring the ghastly cacophony of Aerosmith et al instead of our longtime neighbor, Frank Sinatra.



The idea of hearing “Free Bird” played endlessly is certainly more than one can be expected to endure and even though the KWXY tradition will carry on via 1340 AM (yes, AM – the radio frequency of choice for those with misspelled tattoos and very few teeth..) and, thankfully, the Internet (at KWXY.com), many of our favorite “hosts” have been retired, and we shall sorely miss the live screw ups, mispronunciations and frequently missed musical cues which truly said “live radio”.

And as we sat by the radio here in our Desert compound on that final night, listening to the very last time "Auld Lang Syne" was played at midnight, followed by a mournfully choral "KWXY---FM...", followed THEN by nothing but dead air, we realized an era has passed.

But perhaps this is all a precursor to what awaits us in a few months. Time passes for all of us, and no matter how cleverly we may disguise it, the clock doesn’t lie.

Yes, dear reader, there is a momentous birthday approaching for your Reporter – one of those big ones, the one that rhymes with “nifty”.



While we don’t have the usual trepidations one would associate with that milestone – after all, a life of constant delight, punctuated with frequent martinis, treasured friendships, very few heartaches and more than one’s fair share of the world’s pleasures, both intellectual and sensual, doesn’t exactly leave one feeling bereft! – it is still an event to be savored and we are planning a night to be remembered here in our Desert Paradise.

You are all invited, of course. Stay tuned for details.