THINGS I LOVED / HATED THIS WEEK #66

LOVE:

“Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best” Reality Series:

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Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely adore reality television. Because I’m so well versed in the vast history of this social oddity, I’m well aware that reality television is far from reality. It’s a bit scripted and a bit forced and completely wonderful. Anyone who knows me also knows that Joan Rivers is the true love of my life. She’s perfection in human form. When the reality show first aired two years ago, I knew that there would never be anything finer broadcast on television EVER. I’ve never been proven wrong. The first season was amazing — like when she paid for everybody on her staff to get a cosmetic surgery and she was wheeled out of surgery looking like a fabulously modern Norma Desmond:Joan is Norma Desmond

Last year was incredibly funny — like when she got a marijuana license and got high with one of her writers — and this season is proving to be equally excellent. So far, Joan has tried to make an adult film and convince her daughter to marry her charming British boyfriend — who retweeted me for some reason the other night. The show is utterly fabulous and I can’t imagine why there is a soul alive on this great earth that isn’t watching. It’s perfection. It’s divine. There’s nothing better on television. Seriously. Tune in immediately, reader!

Oprah’s Instagram:

If you are new to Instagram or if you haven’t yet joined, I recommend you do immediately, and then start following Oprah’s posts at once. They’re fabulous. Oprah gives no shits about her appearance and it is glorious. Instead of the coiffed and made up lady we are accustomed to, we discover the natural Oprah. Once accustomed to this dramatic change you will never want any other Oprah. You will want natural Oprah to host every show on OWN. You will want natural Oprah to lecture Lindsay each week when she causes some new disaster. You will want to go with natural Oprah to her bountiful California garden and pick artichokes and lemons. You will fantasize about cooking with Oprah in her amazingly giant and extraordinarily round glasses. Oprah is perfection. Even more so than we thought before.

Find A Grave:

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I adore cemeteries and graveyards and I think they’re some of the most peaceful places in all the world. Whenever I visit a new city or country or anyplace, I try to visit the local cemetery so that I can get familiarized with the cultural heritage and their burial practices. There is a wide variety that you wouldn’t imagine. One of my very favorite cemeteries is an old one that nobody uses anymore a mile or two from my house. It used to have the most wonderful assemblage of dead trees — monstrous Edward Gorey like trees. Here’s one:

It's an Edward Gorey drawing brought to life.

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I adored them with more passion than I have for most of mankind. Unfortunately, they were finally removed after one collapsed and crushed a gravestone. I understand why they did this, but it still fills me with terrible sadness that it’s gone. That tree was absolute perfection. I’m glad that I have some pictures of it. I’ve spent so many hours in that cemetery — picnicking, daydreaming, napping, writing, and relaxing. If you can’t find me at my house, there’s a good chance that I’m out there. Yesterday was one of the first nice days of the year — well, nice enough to go for a walk without sinking into the mud. Of course I went to my cemetery, for I do feel a sense of belonging there, and had a grand time looking over the headstones again. Time has been hard on them and many are beginning to sink below the level of the grass. Every year it seems that a few just disappear. I would love to work on a restoration of the place, but I have not one clue how to go about that. Anyway, I thought I had read all the tomb markers, but yesterday, I came across one that I had never noticed before. It was an entire family that died on the same day. I was deeply curious about this, of course. Were they murdered? Car crash? What could it be? So, I spent a lengthy amount of time on the Internet and came across a magnificent website called findagrave.com. I am deeply in love with it. Volunteers have gone through cemeteries around the country and made a record of the interred and even taken photographs of many of the headstones. It’s an incredibly powerful resource and with it, I discovered that the people buried under this curious headstone had all been killed in a train accident. How sad. But, how marvelous that I could so easily access this information! I’m indebted to the people who manage this site and the volunteers that send in the data. There is also an iPhone app, which I immediately downloaded. I much prefer the web version, but the app has a wonderful map that shows you where cemeteries are located near you. I found one I didn’t know near me that I plan on going to on a nice day when I can walk there and enjoy my time at the cemetery. It’s just brilliant. I recommend you peruse this website immediately!

“Kiss Me Once” by Kylie Minogue:

 

I know that it is deeply and terribly stereotypical, but I adore Kylie Minogue. There’s something so genuinely sweet about her and the delightful pop music she records is such fun. I remember when I downloaded her album, Aphrodite, years ago and it quickly became my lawn mowing jam. I used to mow a lot of yards. I refuse now. I just won’t do it. I can’t be bothered to waste my day whacking down grass that did nothing to me while I inhale a thousand pounds of toxic exhaust. I might reconsider with an electric mower, though. Perhaps I should convince somebody to get me one of those. I’ll be away most of the summer anyway. Back to Kylie, I’m so easily distracted. Her newest album, Kiss Me Once, is just delightful and has my new treadmill jam, “Sexercize.” How could you not love that? There’s also a lovely duet called “Beautiful” with Enrique Iglesias that features some very tasteful autotune. So, don’t wait, go get the album now! Or just listen on Spotify — you do have Spotify don’t you? It’s proof of heaven.

Surprise Hollywood:

Hollywood Sign. All my dreams have come true.

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It seems that I only just left Hollywood, and seeing as I was not a tremendous fan of the city this might sound odd, but in a couple of weeks I shall be landing at LAX with my dreams and a cardigan. I’ll look to my right and I’ll see the Hollywood sign. Everybody will seem so famous. It’ll all be so crazy. I’ll hop in a cab and a Jay Z song will be on. It’ll be a party in the USA. I often get myself and Miley Cyrus confused. My apologies. I’m not sorry about it at all.

But, I’m heading back for an extended weekend. My mother got tickets to attend a taping of Dancing With the Stars on the 21st and so I will be back in the CBS studios where I went to see Craig Ferguson. It will be glorious. I even booked the same beautiful apartment that I stayed at before. I’m going to eat all the food at the Veggie Grill. I’m going to eat all of the black and white cookies at Schwartz Bakery. I’m going to shop at the Grove! I’m going to lunch at the Chateau Marmont. I’m going to perhaps see some of my extended Los Angeles family. I’m going to buy new sunglasses and say turnt up a ridiculous number if times. I’m going to be in heaven. I’m counting down the minutes. I need a new wardrobe! TURNT.

HATE:

Shepheard Hotel Closure:

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There are a great number of things in my life that I just know that I will do before I die. This includes:  going on safari, climbing Everest, rafting down the entire length of the Mississippi, spending time in Buenos Aires, and staying at the Shepheard Hotel in Cairo. I’m doing everything in my power to visit Egypt this summer, as I’ve mentioned about a hundred times. When I arrive, I had every intention of staying at the historic Shepheard. It was the home of every explorer and adventurer, where all the great people have stayed. It’s also one of the important locations in my beloved Amelia Peabody series. I have been looking into this for absolute ages, but whenever I would try to make a reservation, it wouldn’t let me. This terrified me. Well, I finally found out that the hotel is closed until 2016. I’m rather devastated. They are going through a complete restoration, which worries me. When people renovate, they tend to kill the soul of a place. I have hope that they will not go too far. Modernity is lovely at times, but it has no character. I’ll have to find some other place to stay if I make it. I’ve been looking at a couple others, but it’s just not the same as Shepheard’s, you know? It’s kind of a major disappointment in my life. But, I’ll go when it reopens and I will see the new Egyptian museum when it opens, too, even though I’m really not happy about that AT ALL. I shan’t get into that now, though.

Alright Not Really a Word:

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When I was reviewing a draft of a novella I wrote (Haskell & Eudora, available now for Kindle!), I discovered something horrible that changed me terribly. Alright, it seems, is not actually a word. I know, I reeled too when this information was revealed. It is a permissible sin when you write casually, but when you write in a professional manner it should be avoided at all costs and instead written as “all right.” My brain still is in a state of shock. I will surely never get over it. It has taken me extraordinary presence of mind and thoughtful effort to efface the old “alright” from my mind and my writing. I’m succeeding, though, even though it’s a terrible strain on me. Maybe others don’t suffer the way that I do? I imagine they would, though, if they cared as much as I do about proper word crafting. I hate myself for saying word crafting. Forgive me.

Procrastination:

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I have been doing my best to be better, but as a genetically inclined procrastinator (both my parents are masters of the craft), I have troubles worse than anybody else in the entire world. My life is a constant sorrow. This week I have been determined to actually accomplish all of the tasks on my to-do lists that I make each morning and I’ve been doing a ridiculously good job. Still, though, I can’t seem to find the time to get a documentary I have from Netflix watched. I will do it today! I must! I will not nap! If I didn’t waste so much time, I wonder how my life would be? I’d probably be resplendently muscled with a gorgeous house and loads of money from my ridiculously successful writing career. I continue to struggle to become an achiever!

My Newfound Morbid Obesity:

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I’m fat! Well, fatter than I was, not really obese. I think, though, that when you are accustomed to your clothing fitting perfectly and forming to your body like a sickeningly gorgeous glove, you can easily tell when you’ve gained a bit. I often wonder why this has happened to me, but then I remember that I don’t exercise and I ate an entire pizza last night in addition to two cupcakes and a massive bowl of noodles. I guess it does make sense. I need to find somebody to blame. When we had lovely weather, I was out on my walks again, but Mother Nature has turned against me again and the days are dull and dreary. I need to look terribly beautiful for California in a couple weeks. I suppose I’ll have to drag out the treadmill tonight, even though I’m loathe to put it back into my gym before I finish remodeling. I’m doing quite well and I would be done with it, but the people that have painted and remodeled my house in the past were complete idiots. There are paint splatters all over the otherwise lovely hardwood floors. If fact, the future gym/closet has the nicest floors of any room in the house that I’ve uncovered so far. I suppose I will have to walk, though. I need to be beautiful again. Well, more beautiful.

Illness:

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Help me, reader, death is finally coming on swift wings for me; my time has arrived. I hope the afterlife is nice. I don’t believe in hell, and I’m not really convinced of heaven, but I do think that there is a new world or realm that we go to. I’m not dead, yet, but I know that the time is rapidly approaching. Yesterday at lunch, I was enjoying my rice and a scroll through Tumblr when I noticed an odd prickling sensation in my throat. This did not bode well, but it does happens on occasion, so I wasn’t too fretful. By the end of the school day, I knew that I was doomed. DOOMED! My head was beginning to ache, I was sneezing, far too much liquid matter was dripping from my nose, and I was even more tired than usual. When I got back to the house (after examining a bobcat stuck in a tree), I retired immediately to my elegant and well appointed lounge where I fell asleep as soon as I had finished watching an excellent documentary about the Nile. When I rose this morning, I knew that it was only going to get worse and as the day has progressed, my predictions have come true. SAVE ME!

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