Dearest Friends and Family:
Another year has come and gone and we are, as always, counting our
pennies blessings in the Kamikaze family.
These are lofty days for all of us in the Adult Literacy industries. And I am not just talking about the newspaper executives weighing their options from the rooftops! I am talking about the entire publishing world as it continues the exciting transition to fulltime social networking. Some days it seems as if every newspaper and magazine in the country aspires to be as good as Ashton Kutcher's Twitter feed! As if!!
He is such a dinosaur, still wedded to his little pens, notebooks and labor-intensive fact gathering. It's as if he had never even heard of Google! We don't even have the heart to tell him about Arianna Huffington...
Luckily, my forays into the new media world help keep the family on the
brink of bankruptcy cutting edge. While not yet as popular as tampon arts and crafts or kittens, as one of the Internet's most popular grammatically correct useful Websites, Suburban Kamikaze is inundated with offers of dental floss and laundry additives. Which, when you think about the enormous amount of laundry produced in this house, is almost like money!
And speaking of laundry,
who keeps putting clean towels into the dirty pile? Do you think I have nothing better to do all day but rewash your f*&%ing laundry? I swear to god I am going to make another empty threat here the children are growing like bougainvillea and continue to astound us with their cost of upkeep accomplishments.
The boy, who built a working violin from scratch for a middle school project, has only recently learned to make toast at home, but it was a milestone nonetheless.
The girl, on the other hand, has learned to make crepes and creme brulée, but still believes her brother is going to pay her the $5 he promised for "showing him" how to make toast and scrambled eggs. Four times.
Meanwhile, we continue to adjust to the Midwestern "lifestyle," where the people are so wholesome and uncomplaining that they do not even seem to notice that winter lasts for nine months and the food is terrible. Believe me, if you tried to serve that stuff up at a party in Miami, you would be finding sausages and white bread in the bookshelves for months! (I am just kidding, of course. I had a lovely time.)
Anyway, my point is this: Nobody is ever going to change the empty roll of toilet paper so you might as well do it yourself. Your clever little pyramid of empty rolls on the ledge? It could be 15-feet high, but the point is lost on them. Which is the same thing as having no point at all.
The Kamikaze Family Players
OMG! It's the first ever Suburban Kamikaze Giveaway. And just in time for the season of giving. How cool is that?
At SK headquarters, we are inundated with offers of free stuff. But despite the temptation of offers like free dental floss in exchange for an essay exploring the unique qualities of our dental floss, we have never come across one that felt quite right.
While it is true that we have, on occasion, agreed to write for as little as zero cents per word, we have not yet reached the point where we are willing to give away our sole marketable skill for waxed string.
It may come to that.
In the meantime, it doesn't seem fair that SK readers should be left empty-handed. Not that the gift of Not Having to Read Dental Floss Reviews is not uncommonly generous in the blogging world, but we wanted to offer something more personal. Something more in keeping with our theme, which is
Christ, It's Cold In Here. My Family is Driving Me Crazy. At Least There Are No Dental Floss Reviews.
My point is, this is your Lucky Day. One of you is going to win All The Stuff That is Currently Under My Couch. Exactly what this gift bonanza includes, I cannot tell you. The possibilities are beyond imagination, I assure you. But I promise you this: I am going under there for you. And whatever I find, it's yours.
To enter, leave a comment below describing what you would be willing to do for the opportunity to score free dental floss. Keep in mind that this floss is touted as "Reusable and Portable and packed in a credit card size carry-pouch to make our day-to-day life simpler." (This is what is known as a 'bad hyphen day' in the copywriting world and is not intended as an endorsement of haphazard punctuation or dental floss.)
Our panel of editors will select a winner based on originality, degree of self-abasement and, of course, punctuation.
Blogwhoring archives: Eggs are awesome!
I am folding laundry in my sweat pants when the phone rings.
I am adjusting the straps on a plunging red push-up bra when the phone rings.
"I am a little embarrassed to be asking you this," she says.
I am laughing before she even gets the words out. She wants to know what I am wearing.
"Don't talk dirty to me unless you mean business," I say.
But she is serious. She wants to know what I am wearing to the party. "This is not fair," I whine. "I promised Mr. Kamikaze I would stop making fun of Midwesterners and you guys just keep serving this stuff up. What am I supposed to do?"
"I know, I know," she says. "But seriously."
"That is what makes it so funny," I say. "You know we aren't required to do this anymore, right?" I say. "It's right there in the manual under 'grown-ups'. Oh wait. There is an asterisk here ... something about a 12-state region between the coasts..."
Still, I take pity on her. I share with her some tips from my forthcoming book The Underachiever's Guide to Holiday Party Dressing in the Midwestern Suburbs: 1. Build from the shoes up. 2. Make them fabulous. Go tall for house parties where you won't have to do much walking. 3. If you feel you simply must wear your appliqué Christmas sweater, make sure that at least your toenail polish says slut.
Then I say, "I have to go. There are people I need to call to start mocking you right away."
"I know," she says. Then she adds, "But it seems to me that you have actually put some thought into what you are going to wear to a Midwestern Christmas party. Why couldn't I make fun of you?"
"Don't be ridiculous," I tell her. "You don't even have a blog."
Clear skies and temperatures in the almost 30s had the men of the suburbs taking to their ladders over the weekend for the final stretch of what is being called one of the most competitive Midwestern holiday decoration seasons ever.
Amid the trash talking and the painstaking bulb by bulb application, one question remained unresolved: Would Louis get credit for a holiday display that as far as anyone could see, did not involve any ladders whatsoever?
Let me tell you something about winter in Chicago: it is not looking half bad.
This occurs to me about halfway to the bottom of the Ultimate Seduction, a strawberry-rosemary-basil-sake-cachaca concoction that bartender Richard Tandoc has whipped up just for me from behind the bar at the Encore Liquid Lounge.
Tandoc, of the New Jersey Rio Rodizio Brazilian steakhouse, and five other VIP "mixologists" from around the country are hoping to convince a panel of judges that they have created the ultimate cachaca cocktail in the Cuca Fresca "Shake Your Way to Brazil" North American Mixology Contest.
I am the guest of Paul Abercrombie, whose book, "Organic, Shaken and Stirred" (Harvard Common Press; $19.95, liquor not included) has become the bible of the organic-cocktail imbibing suburban mommy set. Or at least, that is what we are planning as soon as my copy arrives in its organic, free-range, Earth-friendly packaging. Paul has to judge the entries, whereas my only job is to try to finish as many as possible.
Cachaca - pronounced "another please" - is an organic Brazilian specialty rum. As the handsome Cuca Fresca representative explains, cachaca is made from a completely different part of the sugar cane than other rums, which are made from some other part, which gives it a completely different something, something, something. It is not easy to take good notes when your hands are full of rum drinks.
Whatever it is, I can tell you this: it tastes very nice mixed with ginger liqueur, oranges, limes, blackberries, rosemary, allspice, passionfruit, ginger beer, something called Domaine de Canton, hibiscus rooibos tea syrup, egg whites and everything else they shook, stirred, poured and muddled into it.
If this was Brazil's idea of an apology for that afternoon at the S&M day spa, well, I was going to accept.
My favorite was something called Ginger Dream by Los Angeles rum artist Francois Vera. I knew the minute I tasted it that he came from someplace where creative types gather under palm trees. It was my kind of drink; all sunny and gingery and full of pulp. Not too sweet.
Later, I mingle with Chicago's celebrity bartenders and learn how to make homemade bitters. Which seems like a really good idea in the glow of Rico Wisner's Punch from Ipanema, the judges' favorite. Will I actually try this at home? It is hard to say. Sometimes pulling the cork out seems like too much work.
Anyway, my point is this: Brazil, you are forgiven.
*See all entries here.