‘The tribe has spoken’

In a conciliatory effort & to get me stop sighing in disbelief (GOOD LORD, AMERICA, WHAT HAVE WE DONE???), Husband John Pitts suggested dinner out Wednesday night. My favorite go-to-comfort pasta dish at Vicari’s, in Corinth, Mississippi, was perfect & didn’t need extra seasoning from bitter tears of regret, so JP’s plan worked. He also, in his brilliant husbandly way, said exactly what I needed to hear amidst my sadness & despair: “You realize what this means, don’t you? Two words: Jeff Probst.”

Yes, it’s true. I can’t believe I was so mired in disappointment that I didn’t see THE ONE GOOD THING that happened Tuesday night, the path that has become clear, the antidote that has presented itself for political angst — Jeff Probst, beloved host of CBS’ reality classic, “Survivor,” for U.S. president.

I’m all in for 2020 but if he’d rather wait until 2024, that’s cool, too.

For years, I’ve believed that Probst would be a stellar president. Consider his qualifications:

  • He is kind, generous & empathetic. He’ll give you a tarp when a hurricane threatens your island. He’ll call the medics when you fall over after spending three hours in 98-degree heat standing on one foot balancing seven plates on your head. He’ll let you have chocolate chip cookies.And chickens.
  • He does not suffer nonsense gladly. He has standards. You lie about your grandmother dying, you reveal your miserable racist/homophobic/misogynistic self, you disrespect The Game — he will happily put out your torch.
  • He senses when you’re lying. He knows about your back-stabbing, conniving, double-crossing plans. He’s heard everything you thought you said in secret. But rather than call you out himself, he skillfully leads the conversation to a place where either 1) you confess your own indiscretions or 2) the folks in your alliance who promised undying loyalty & trust do it for you. Bus, meet blindside. Brilliant!
  • He’s smart. And funny. And brave. And can hang out of helicopters.
  • He looks as good in a tux as he does in cargo shorts & a baseball cap. Also — dimples.

The only qualification he lacked was political experience. I mean, he’s great on TV and being the boss of a bunch of people, but how could those things help him get elected?

Now, of course, we know the answer is “doesn’t matter.” And I’m fine with that. If we’re going off the traditional political grid to select our country’s leaders, it’s OK. I mean, things change. Downton Abbey, Greendale Community College & the Pawnee Parks & Rec Department could not last forever. Sometimes we have to face reality. So please let’s consider this election a sort of practice round. And get it right next time.

Jeff Probst for 20-something … we haven’t decided yet! But we DO know what we’re playing for.cwcslant

Random Thoughts …

… from a cluttered mind:

  • This TV season is so full of gems that our DVR can’t catch a break. If you’re not watching “Community,” “Modern Family,” “Parks and Rec,” “Castle” and “Prime Suspect,” then you are missing out. Not to mention perennial favorites such as “The Office,” “Survivor” and “Amazing Race.” And this is even before “Cougar Town” and “30 Rock” come back. On the other hand, perhaps this is why I never can find the time to finish start the great American novel.
  • Saving money doesn’t always save money. For instance, my debit-card-pinching Scrooge-like sensible and financially-savvy husband instituted a crazy and unworkable spending ban thought that we should perhaps maybe reign in the spending for a while. “I’ll show him,” I snarled to myself. Fair enough. However, saving money is relative. Take Worcestershire sauce. In our house, fall signals the arrival of Chex-Mix Season and it was time to make that all-important first test batch. Mindful of my husband’s Draconian desire to save money the budget, I carefully collected the necessary ingredients. And since you can’t scrimp on the stars of the show — you know you always can tell when somebody uses generics — I made up the difference on the supporting cast. That’s how I ended up with a huge bottle of store-brand Worcestershire sauce that was 2.3 cents cheaper per serving than the small bottle big-name brand I usually buy — until I got home and dropped the bottle on the kitchen floor and tons of watery salty fishy liquid went everywhere and the bargain buy turned out to cost me $9.46 to make up for the lost first bottle, the small-but-expensive replacement bottle, the half-roll of paper towels used in clean-up and the emotional toll on our four cats who spent the remainder of the evening frantically trying to find the anchovies they knew had been there.
  • A Grove-going Ole Miss fan confirmed my suspicions that most Grove-going Ole Miss fans are more interested in the Grove-going than the actual football game. And given their season so far this year, you can’t really blame them.
  • Do people actually wear this stuff? In a T.J. Maxx checkout line,  (Note to Husband: I was there to return things. Really. That is all. Promise. Could I help it if that black Kenneth Cole jacket literally jumped into my cart and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer?), I noticed  posters of outfits that were supposed, I guess, to inspire us style-wise. One look was a pair of bright pink tights, a black satin ruffled micro-mini skirt and an off-the-shoulder gray jersey sweatshirt. The other look was short red-plaid shorts, a patterned sleeveless blouse and a big furry vest — reminiscent of what got Anthony Ryan booted from “Project Runway.” What I really think happened is that the editors and marketing folks got together and said, “Let’s test our power by convincing our customers to buy and wear the most god-awful things we can think of.” (Maniacal evil laugh.) But guess what, people? IT DIDN’T WORK!!!! I thwarted your dastardly plan by buying the Kenneth Cole jacket instead, plus two dresses, a pair of shoes and this really great saucepan I think I probably will need sometime. See???? You cannot influence my spending at all. Take that!!!!!!!
  • My husband and I failed our house’s intelligence test the other day when we had to call the builder for instructions on how to access the windows so we could clean them. Which means I’m embarrassed about not being able to figure out how our windows work as well as living in the house for almost a year before getting around to washing them.

Main Street, Crazy Town, USA

Oh, Crazy Town! How I’ve missed you! The Land of Stars, Sparkles and Sequins … otherwise known as Dancing With the Stars.  Welcome back!!! You bring joy and happiness every time you reappear. Aw, c’mon now. You there — I see you rolling your eyes. But have you tried DWTS? Have you actually sat down and watched the fabulousness that is The Journey to the Mirrorball? I have to admit that I’m a late adopter. When it first came on, I thought DWTS was simply about dancing. Wrong, wrong, WRONG! Once you realize that the dancing is only an excuse for the crazy, you can’t get enough. I’m telling you: DWTS is crazy in its purest form. There’s bad music, bad hair, bad jokes. There are various stages of fake tans. There are fake eyelashes unlike any ever seen anywhere. And, the very absolute best of all, there are fashion choices that … well, all I can say is that Younger Daughter and I thanked the Mirrorball Gods of Ultimate Crazy for co-host Brooke Burke’s “is-she-seriously-wearing-that?” dress from Monday’s premier show. It can only get better from here.

Didn’t Your Mother Always Tell You to Put Your Napkin in Your Lap?

I’m a huge fan of Project Runway. (At least I’ve been one ever since Project Runway switched to Lifetime and I’ve been able to watch it since our cable system refuses to offer Bravo. And I’m done ranting now.)  I mean, you’ve got sharp objects and shiny fabrics mixed with delicious diva-ness and the Sartorial Wisdom That Is Tim Gunn. What’s not to like? I especially love it when the judges go all crazy eyed. Now, I do not claim to know anything — not one single thing — about fashion. But it always amuses me when the Project Runway judges rail against something a show’s designer has produced when THAT VERY SAME LOOK is making the rounds in the real world. Take Peach’s dinner napkins, for example. In this past week’s episode, our favorite Token Old Lady (and note that she’s younger than I am, please) created an outfit that, yes, is ugly and busy and ill-fitting but definitely is not deserving of the judges’ scorn for her waistline “dinner-napkin” embellishment. At least if this fall 2010 cocktail dress by Nanette Lepore, which made it into the September issue of InStyle magazine (page 324), is any indication. Cat Deeley, where are you when we need you?

Fashion and TV

Sometimes I truthfully do not understand fashion. Looking at this photo, you probably would think that this is a rack of leftover curtain fabric that somebody found in the back of an upholstery shop that closed in 1987 and had not been touched since then … sort of like an ugly-fabric time capsule. But, no. This is a rack of for-sale-now-get-’em-while-they’re-hot leggings at a teen-friendly mall store whose name I will not reveal because I like their cheap jewelry and I don’t want to have to put on dark glasses to shop there — but think along the lines of “Sue 21.” I promise you I had dresses made out of some of this fabric back when we also wore stirrup pants and big oversized sweatshirts with appliqued puppy dogs. Not pretty. I know that girls wear these with denim minis and look adorable, but I still have a hard time reconciling bad floral prints with high style. I can’t figure out if teenagers are wearing these ironically or if they really think these are cute or if they’re just happy to find something to wear for $9.99. Or maybe all of the above?

And while you’re pondering the future of leggings, think about TV, too. Seems to me that there are some really good shows on now — shows that combine comedy with intelligence and real life. Well, at least more real life than we’re used to on sitcoms. Modern Family, Cougar Town, Community, Parks and Rec — they all are on my list of favorites, and I bet they’re on yours too. Read my weekly newspaper column on the state of TV sitcoms at http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100507/ARTICLES/5075004 and let me know what you think.

Basketball and Nashville, Tennessee

Oh, my cookies (as almost-2-year-old grandson Capt. Adorable says with his precious little Capt. Adorable-grin) — I love Bracket Time!!! When NCAA men’s college hoops action starts, I am glued to the TV. I mean, I’m even okay with Survivor being preempted — and you know how sacred I hold my weekly Survivor-watching. Not jumping on the Bracket bandwagon? Not sure what all the fuss is about? I know — I sort of feel that way about all those football bowl games. But read this article by Sports Illustrated writer Michael Rosenberg and you might give it a try: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/michael_rosenberg/03/17/ncaa.tournament. And then click on over to my weekly newspaper column at http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100319/ARTICLES/3195000  for why I choose basketball over football, every time. (And you know I have to say that very quietly since Alabama is pretty much totally football country and basketball is what you do to fill the time until spring practice starts.)

And while you’re clicking, I want you to go here —  http://goop.com/newsletter/74/en/. But first let me explain, because you’re right that GOOP is the much-maligned newsletter sent out by actress Gwyneth Paltrow. As much as I loved her in one of my all-time favorite movies — The Royal Tenenbaums — her newsletter makes me cringe and laugh and spit out my coffee all at the same time. She writes — and I assume it’s actually her doing the writing — as if we all can hop jets and fly over to London for some bargain shopping or we all have famous friends who can give fashion and entertaining advice or as if we all have the time to Gaze Out At Nature and Contemplate Life. Sigh. Maybe I’m just jealous. Because, as Liz Lemon says, “I want to go there.” But this one time, GOOP gets it right. Apparently Gwyneth recently spent some time in Nashville, Tennessee, and the latest “Go” edition of the newsletter has some great food and music suggestions and some lovely things to say about my fellow Tennesseans. For the most part, she eschews the patently tacky tourist places and sends you to authentic Nashville — including the patently tacky tourist places that make Nashville what it is. Go to Nashville. Gwyneth and I both insist.