It’s a wonderful surprise to see your shoes and your spirits rise

One of the many joys of being as filthy rich as me is the ability to declare your weekend begun at 10am on a Friday morning, or indeed at about 9.15 on Monday, concepts like “weekday” and “weekend” being essentially arbitrary anyway.

Happy weekend to all. Time for a drink and some music then. First, courtesy of the always lovely Popbitch – Rebecca & Fiona’s Dance, a perky little thing with some lovely female vocals and lots of lovely buzzy beats, that just cries out for a trance remix.

Also The Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition, by reason of a further viewing of the delightful (500) Days of Summer. I haven’t been able to get Hall and Oates out of my head all week.

You will be pleased to know that preparations for the Convention in August are progressing well. The girls, on the whole, seem to think that Marge and I should just front up at the first Santorum “meet the delegates”, get some other old dear with a hat and a grudge to slip Ricky a shitload of laxatives hidden in a slice of chocolate cake, release Marge’s squirrels into the room and then make a break for it. I think that’s rather unsubtle. We shall see.

Sandra bet me that she can seduce two Paulite delegates per day, and at least four on the last day if Ron Paul doesn’t get the nomination. Sandra’s fond of giving the odd pity fuck. She says that the tears make it sweeter. Sandra is not a nice woman sometimes.

I took the bet, although I suspect I’m going to lose. If she were wearing a Santorum badge I’d say the odds would be firmly in my favour. Santorum’s young, male delegates are either going to be pinched, virginal godbotherers or closeted gays and, while Sandra likes a challenge, I suspect that would handicap her just enough.

Romney’s cute boy delegates are either going to be Mormons or bankers, and usually both – which would be much more fertile territory for Sandra even if a lot of those Mormon bankers are going to be fucking each other.

I don’t know if there is such a thing as a Ron Paul gay. I shudder to think. Google tells me that the top result if you search on “gays for ron paul” is the charmingly named Gays for Ron Blogspot, which hasn’t been updated since February 1, 2008. So that’s not much use. I’m not going there. Perhaps one of you can go check and find out for me what a Gay for Ron Paul looked like during the last Presidential election.

Mrs Chen (who lives in 5B) says that Sandra should walk up to Ron on the convention floor, pants him and pelt him with elderly eggs. Again, a little unsubtle, I suspect. Mrs Chen does hold onto a grudge. She’s like the last limpet in the bucket.

So, we’re still undecided on strategy. Any suggestions will be gladly received.

On a more practical note, however, I have started stocking up on convention pharmaceuticals, and I am hunting the archives for a recipe for Mamie Eisenhower’s Black Cherry Ice Cream Cake – Newt’s favourite. I think I can cram enough speed into it that Newt will spend the entire four days vibrating in a corner somewhere, without affecting the taste. Mamie liked her icecream sweet, thick and pink, just like her men.

Anyway, that’s where we are up to.

Don’t forget the Balloon Juice Fitness Club which I will post as close to 6pm on Sunday as WordPress and my elderly brain will allow me. Last week’s was sadly under attended. Slackers. Don’t make me come in there and make you exercise.

If you will excuse me, my dears, there is a vanilla and pear daiquiri with my name on it currently frosting its glass on my swim-up bar, and the pert-chested and rubescent MI6 officer who stuck around after David Cameron’s visit to Shady Pines keeps tugging the top of his speedo at me. Most distracting.

I hope you have a lovely weekend, and I shall speak to you all soon.

Sarah xx


I believe he’s gonna work me into the ground

Gnoot has a post up about his proposal to prepare kids from poor families for the low paying, menial jobs they will often be forced to take after leaving school by giving them low paying, menial jobs while they are at school.

Wouldn’t it be great if New York City schools served their students as well as they serve some of their custodians?

Students–especially those from very poor families–would be better served if they had the opportunity to earn money part-time at school by doing some of the tasks custodians are now performing so expensively.

Dozens of poor students could have part-time, paying jobs for the $100,000 a year New York schools pay some custodians. For that amount, more than 30 children could work just two hours each school day and each take home $3,000 a year by the time they are 12 or 13 years old.

Some of this work could be clerical; other tasks could be janitorial, such as cleaning the cafeteria, or emptying the trash, or vacuuming the classrooms. These are similar to the chores many parents require their kids to do at home, and it would allow 12- and 13- year olds to make money they desperately need. Giving children the opportunity to earn money would help teach work habits, and letting them do so in their schools would build a stronger commitment to that community.

Here’s the thing, Gnoot, you crap-filled, sociopathic blowhard.

I may be a fictional, sweary old lady who knows two fifths of fuck-all about poverty and the challenges facing inner city kids, or about how we could improve their financial position while increasing their self esteem and encouraging them to learn.

However, I’d be willing to bet quite a lot of money that the answer is not making them stay back after school to clean up other students’ shit for six bucks an hour.

Arsehole.


With vilest worms to dwell

Despite the title, this is not the story of the three months I had to share a toiletless bedsit with Mitt Romney in Paris in the late sixties. I know you would thrill to the tales of the adversity we suffered – like the time the Bollinger ran out and Mitt had to buy some more, or when the cook took time off for her mother’s funeral in Normandy and we were forced to live without her truffled coq au vin for three whole days.

However, I am on holidays and, like most people on holidays, I really just want to tell you what I have been up to. Moreover, jet lag has struck and I am wide awake when I should be having my pre-dinner nap. As such, as another quite warm Lisbon winter day draws to a foggy close, let me take the chance to tell you a little more about our visit to Tokyo.

As I may have mentioned, my nephew Charles and his husband Kevin are accompanying me on this leg of my Grand Tour. Kevin is a public health physician – an honourable career that seems to consist entirely of visiting foreign countries for conferences and (if Contagion is to be believed) occasionally peeling Gwyneth Paltrow’s face off her skull. Which is nice.

When I met the boys at our hotel in the Ginza, therefore, the first thing they wanted to do was whisk me off to the Meguro Parasitological Museum to look at worms.

I do warn you – some of the pictures that follow after the jump are not for those posessed of a weak stomach. Read the rest of this entry »


Cooking with gasbag

Somewhere in Massachusetts, a cold shiver just ran up Tom Levenson’s back, for Megan McArdle has published her “Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Kitchen Edition“.

Now, I love cooking (my old English Fruit cake with propofol icing has won several awards) and I love gadgets (particularly the sort that are made by Germans out of latex and make the lights dim in three states when I turn them on), but McMegan’s list is truly terrifying.

Megan says that “Space is somewhat limited in our kitchen“, and given that she appears to own every piece of crap that has ever been flogged to the gullible and the taste-free, I’m not surprised. I have visions of her dessicated corpse being found some day, trapped between the piles of old copies of the New York Times that line the walls of her apartment, smothered beneath an avalanche of chicken-shaped spoon holders and fish spatulas, all liberally lubricated with rancid butter (salted and salt-free!) that has spilled out from her (now water-depleted) butter boats.

It’s hard to pick favourites from her list, but I’m particularly enamoured of the Salt Pig, which may be the ugliest piece of kitchenware I have ever seen:

At least it matches the colour of her salt.

Helpfully, Megan suggests several solutions to those global problems which bedevil us all, including the Kuhn Rikon Egg Separating Set because:

Separating eggs by hand is not hard, but it’s tedious…

and the Swivel Store Spice Rack because:

Like most people who like to cook, I am obsessed with finding a solution to The Spice Problem.

Thankfully, this last apparently flouts the laws of physics by holding all her spices:

happily (and neatly) over the microwave, where they’re paradoxically easy to get at, and safely out of the way.

If only Zeno had known about that he wouldn’t have had to do all that messing around with tortoises and arrows.

Megan even recommends not only a gravy separator, but also a warming gravy boat. Starving children in Eritrea can rest easy now, knowing that Megan’s guests will never be exposed to cold, fatty sauces.

She (of course) triples down on the fucking Thermomix, in its third mention in as many weeks. I’m pretty sure she’s angling for a freebie, so she can wedge herself between two of them and have them rhythmically whirl, whirl, whirl her towards orgasm.

The thing that stands out most of all for me, however, is this:

I’ll frequently make a pot of rice at night and melt some cheese on top, eat some for dinner, and the rest for breakfast.

Despite all Megan’s crapping on about her fantasy world of “shiny chocolate glazes” and custards and foams and perfect bechamel, buried in the middle of the article we get one solitary glimpse of the truth – sad, pathetic Megan, surrounded by her shelves and drawers and hills of tat and rubbish, shovelling cheese and rice into her face in a futile attempt to fill the aching void in her soul.


Apologies

My apologies, kiddies.

The last two weeks is a bit of a blur.

I remember some of my birthday, and then I woke up ten days later next to some canal in Amsterdam, half naked, wrapped in a copy of the last edition of the News of the World and clutching a large clump of bright red curly hair in my hand. Something important happened. Now I just have to remember what the fuck it was.

Thankfully, I’ve managed to check into the Dylan and found a coffeeshop that delivers, and as soon as I’m able to wake up Anouska Hempel and get her out of my bath, I’ll tell all.

Much love,

Sarah.


A royal invitation

I will be vaguely live-blogging the royal wedding on Balloon Juice direct from Westminster Abbey, commencing at about 10am London time (5am New York time) on Friday.

If any of you are silly enough to be up at that time and to give a flying crap about the family affairs of an inbred bunch of horse-faced Germans, I hope you will join me there.

I will post the text of the live blog here on Sarah, Proud and Tall later on Friday.

[Image from http://katemiddletonforthewin.tumblr.com/]


We’re off to see the lizard

Hello, my dears.

Great excitement and surprise at Shady Pines today, as I have finally received my invitation to the royal wedding next Friday.

In order to be entirely accurate, I should say that everyone else is excited and surprised. Marge is running around burbling about how beautiful Diana is, and the other girls have already started engaging in blatant bribery with spirits and pharmaceuticals in order that they might be chosen as my “plus one”.

I’m not surprised, given that I phoned Betty Saxe-Coburg-Gotha at Buckingham Palace last week and mentioned that I was a little put out that Elton Fucking John and that cadaverous bint Vicky Beckham received their invitations before I did. A few passing references to the special services I provided to Stupid George during the war and certain information about Paris road underpasses that Betty really doesn’t want leaking out, and before you could say “overprivileged inbred hereditary bloodsuckers” a nice little man in full livery was standing on the front doorstep of Shady Pines, panting and clutching an envelope.

Excited is probably also an overstatement. It will be nice to have an excuse to visit Harvey Nicks and Harrods, and Westminster always looks so lovely when it’s done up for a wedding, but it’s really just another chance for Phil the Greek to try to get into my pants. I’ve been dealing with him since 1952 and frankly it does get a little wearing fending off the racist old git’s wandering fingers.

Even worse, I then find out that Big Red Sarah isn’t even invited, and she’s the only member of the family I can actually stand for more than five minutes at a time. Perhaps I’ll call her and tell her that she can come with me. That will put a badger up Betty’s monogrammed knickers.

It all puts me in mind of the week before Diana and Charles got married. We were at Windsor, and I was sitting having breakfast with Betty. Charles was off communing with his cabbages, and the two of us were watching Diana up the other end of the table trying to eat her bacon with a spoon while taking the occasional sip out of the salt cellar. Betty said something about calling the wedding off because she didn’t want a vacuous moron marrying into the family. I seem to recall I asked her why she would want to break with a centuries old tradition, which made Betty cross for some reason.

Anyway, young Ms Middleton seems like a nice enough thing, even if she does look a bit like a constipated horse at an all-you-can-eat apple buffet.

A fairytale wedding of the balding and increasingly plain heir to the throne to a commoner with an eating disorder and a mad father, coupled with the frenetic attention of the British tabloids and the pathetic hopes of the British public for a happy ending.

How on earth could anything go wrong?

[Image from http://katemiddletonforthewin.tumblr.com/%5D


By the incompetent at the expense of the stupid

As some of you may be aware, I recently posted my maiden post on Balloon Juice, in which I described my quick visit to see that nice Mr Cole and his lovely pets while I was on my way to New York on Gloria Vanderbilt’s private plane. I’m not going to go into that in detail here as well, so if you are interested you may wish to wander over there and read that post before proceeding any further.

When I got to New York, Gloria’s driver, Fred, met me at the airport in the town car, handed me a martini and whisked me off to Gloria’s little apartment on the Upper East Side before I’d even managed to finish it.

Dear Gloria was very well and looking more fabulous than ever. After we had caught up, we were driven to East 86th street to see “Atlas Shrugged”. Now, it might seem odd, on my first night back in the big city, to go see a film which we all know stinks more than Rush Limbaugh’s feet after he’s eaten a cheeseburger. However, given the amount of whining Ayn subjected her friends to in life, it’s only fitting we attend to witness her final humiliation now she’s dead.

Fred went and bought the tickets for us and then took the car home. Takings were obviously pretty grim, so the movie had been shunted to the smallest cinema they had. We had to walk through the foyer, out the back, past the toilet, down an alleyway where some rats were dancing in a circle chanting “Kill the pig. Spill his blood,” in Spanish, and round two more corners, until we reached a dingy screening room somewhere in Queens that had all of six seats in it.

We sat at the back, but we were still so close to the screen that every time that bloody train went through a tunnel I felt like I was back watching a porno at one of those old cinemas on Times Square.

We were the only ones in the cinema, except for a fat young man with green sweaty skin, who was staring fervently at the screen and clutching at his bag of cheetos like they were the bones of St. Therese of Avila. When the titles began, both of us cackled and Gloria hooted like a monkey, to the young man’s evident dismay. He kept turning around to ask us to stop, his yellow-flecked lips quivering at the injustice.

Now, I have to admit that we didn’t really throw subsidized cancer medication at the screen. That would have been in the nature of a joke, Joyce. However, we had both stocked up on several pounds of peanut M&Ms and whenever Dagny’s cheap blond bob appeared on screen, we’d subject her to a fusillade of chocolate that made it sound like there was a hailstorm.

Slowly, the young man’s protests decreased and he slumped down in his seat, as it became more and more apparent that we were in the presence of true mediocrity.

Making a movie from the rancid scribblings of that vile and termagant shrew – a woman who never met a circumlocution she didn’t like and whose idea of character development was to have someone rape someone else – was never going to be a great idea.

However, to make this kind of complete stinker, it takes both true ideological single-mindedness and the kind of directorial genius that thinks that mise-en-scène is something to do with having rodents on set. Let’s just say that Paul Johansson thinks it is acceptable to put Grant Bowler on screen for 97 minutes without once making him take his shirt off, and as such is obviously truly artistically bereft.

The movie is cheap, amateurish and seems to have been stitched together from offcuts from “Weekend at Bernie’s” and the final season of “The Colbys”. The production values hit a height of awfulness that is exceeded only by the poverty of the script. No one ever shuts up. They just talk and rant and declaim, often simultaneously. This might be ok if the actors playing the “good” characters weren’t engaging in the most wooden acting since William Wyler cast Charlton Heston as a piece of petrified timber in Ben Hur, and the actors playing the “bad” characters weren’t chewing more scenery than Bette Davis and Joan Crawford on crack.

Ayn Rand may have been an evil old ferret with a heart of frozen poison and the morals of a tapeworm – in person, she may have made your palms itch with the urge to strike her and keep on striking her until she fell down – but at least she wasn’t boring.

This movie, on the other hand, is the only experience I have ever had which is more tedious than actually reading Atlas Shrugged. I haven’t been that bored since Andy Warhol asked Joe Dellasandro to hock up a loogie on the ground, filmed it for three hours and then made all of us at the Factory watch it in slow motion.

I’ve been to funerals that had a better script, livelier action and a happier ending.

Finally it was too much for both of us to bear any more, so we decided to leave. The young man was snoring, so as we walked out, Gloria shook him by the shoulder. He grunted awake and staggered after us.

When we were on the footpath, I turned to him and said, “Old Ayn used to say that evil requires the sanction of the victim. And you, sir, just got screwed royally by a dead bitch and her no-talent followers.”

Then I handed him fifty bucks and told him to use it to get a haircut.

And in doing so, I managed to do more good in five minutes than Ayn Fucking Rand did in her entire miserable fucking life.

Then we went and got very very drunk.

[Cross posted at Balloon Juice.]


One is a vicious creature with no morals that licks itself, and the other is a dog

I was reading the other day that Donald Trump has interviewed Ralph Reed for the job as his campaign manager.

As I mentioned in my letter to those lawyers, while I was staying with Bitsy at Donald’s New York apartment Ivana’s little pekinese Frou-Frou attacked Donald.

Frou-Frou was normally a sweet little thing, but Ivana had been showing it pictures of Donald and poking it, so that every time it saw him it would growl and show its little teeth like Sarah Palin at an NAACP conference.

Bitsy and I were on our way out of the apartment, when we saw Ivana sneaking into the bathroom with Frou-Frou in her arms. Donald was in there having a shower, singing showtunes at the top of his voice – something from “Cats” if my memory serves.

Suddenly, there was a scream from Donald as Ivana lobbed the little doggy over the screen and into the shower.

As long as I live, I don’t think I will ever see anything as funny as Donald rocketing out of his gold and pink marble bathroom, stark naked, hair flapping behind him, stomach flopping in front of him, with his arms flailing and flapping, and with a tiny, furry dog hanging on for dear life to his testicles with its teeth and pissing everywhere at the same time with excitement.

Funnily enough, I imagine Ralph Reed’s first meeting with the Donald was quite similar visually.


In which Donald Trump requires his lawyers to send a threatening letter

As you may recall, last night I told a little story about Donald Trump.

I didn’t think it was a particularly important little story, although I now realize the fact that the Donald’s mother was both unmarried and a legal citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the time Donald was born in Mexico might put a little dent into his claim to be a “natural born” American citizen.

I was surprised therefore when, at about 3pm this afternoon, Jesus (my nurse, not God) stuck his pretty head around my door and told me that I had a visitor – a Mr Tulkinghorn.

Mr Tulkinghorn was loitering in the common room. He introduced himself as a paralegal from a firm of lawyers called Jarndyce and Jarndyce – although I’ve never seen a paralegal with face tattoos, a spiked dog collar and a hook for a hand before. He handed (hooked?) me the badly punctuated and poorly edited letter which I reproduce in full below.

After I had read his little missive, I told him exactly where his owners could shove his letter. He started to wave his hook menacingly, so I set Marge Albrechtson onto him and the last time we saw him he was running out the door screaming for mercy, with Marge in hot pursuit brandishing an angry squirrel in each hand.

Now I have to go and write my response to Messers Jarndyce and Jarndyce.

I think I might send them a nice fruit cake with a laxative surprise.

I will not be silenced.