Monthly Archives: August 2008

My Brother, the Truck Driver

Darren drove through Saskatchewan

and into North Dakota today. 

That’s when

he phoned home.


He didn’t mention what his truck was carrying,

but I’d imagine kitchen cabinets, men’s trousers,

two-ply toilet paper, 52-inch plasma screen televisions,

or, like me, a torch for you.



Lately I’ve been concerned about my imagination—

always getting away from me like

a yappy dog no one bothered to housetrain

and is now pissing all over the carpets

and the upholstery of my brain.


Case in point, I can picture you—

on that carpet,

on that upholstery—doing unmentionable but not unimaginable things.


I will mention that we should ceremonially drown carpet swatches

in merlot in honor of the parlor we’ll never decorate.

We should likewise burn pepper grinders

in honor of the family dinners we will not eat

and the daily grinds we will not succumb to—because

if you asked me I would leave today.

Before we take root.  Before

Saskatchewan is no longer attainable and my arm kind of hurts,

so down goes the torch.

Success! Sort of…

Someone has an interview on Monday!  Well, it’s more of a meeting that could lead to an interview if all goes well. 

I gave in and signed up for Monster yesterday.  Yesterday.  And today I have a meeting that could lead to an interview that could lead to a job at a place that I’m not so sure I want to work, but regardless.  It’s something.  And in these times when our economy is at recess playing dodgeball and getting its ass kicked–I’ll take what I can get.

Who decided to name their job website “Monster”?  And who drew the creepiest, most cracked out monster and said, yeah, this will inspire employers to use our service and desperate job hunters to post their resumes?  Maybe that’s why I waited so long to sign up. They could have at least made their monster cute, like Sully from Monsters, Inc.  Oh, Pixar.  You silly geniuses.

Belated Tribute

The Golden Girls is so good.  So, so, so, so good.  And Estelle Getty who played Sophia Petrillo died a few weeks ago, so I have to take the time to honor her.  If I’m half as feisty as Sophia Petrillo when I’m a mature woman I won’t have any complaints.

Dorothy: Hi, Ma.
Sophia Petrillo: So you’ve started up with your married man again.
Dorothy: How did you know?
Sophia Petrillo: I’m The Amazing Kreskin! I was listening outside the door.
Dorothy: Oh Ma.
Sophia Petrillo: Oh – I can’t put my ear to the door but you can put your …
Dorothy: Ma!

Celebrity Sightings

It’s been a big summer for me in terms of seeing people who are mildly interesting.  Celebrities seem to have this sixth sense for when I’m hungover.  For instance, last year I saw Tyra Banks while I was hungover and sitting by the Hudson River eating a Charlies burger.  She was with her trainer.  She was holding a medicine ball.  Hardcore, right?

Then, a few weeks ago, I was sitting on a bench on the Lower East Side drinking one of those terrible energy drinks to try to get rid of another hangover, and who walked by?  Mike Myers.  And he was holding a soccer ball.  Hangovers and balls.  What is it with these celebrities?  Mike and I made eye contact.  I slid off my shades, gave him a head nod.  He mumbled, “Hi,” and smiled awkwardly.  Okay, I’m starting to sound like a romance novel, so really that was it.  He didn’t strip off his blue soccer jersey, and I didn’t pour my energy drink over his hairy abdomen.  Nope.  Contrary to TMZ’s blurry photos, never happened.

Anyway, next celebrity sighting.  Barnes & Noble in Bethesda, Maryland.  That’s right, MATTHEW LESKO.  None other than THE QUESTION MARK GUY!  He was wearing a white suit with lime green question marks.  Very stylish, no?  His salt and pepper strands sparkled under the fluorescent lighting.  He didn’t even seem ADD at all.  Just SEXY.  Anyway…


I also saw Madeleine Albright.  And yes, she did look like this:

Watch Me Tonight?

I’m glad the movie musical is making a comeback, but let’s get back to its roots.  I’m not talking Mamma Mia.  There will be no singing Pierce Brosnan in the film I’m referring to.  Forget Hairspray.  You will not be seeing Ricki Lake dancing or John Travolta in a dress.  Step away from all that 21st Century silliness, and into Golden Age Hollywood. 

Okay, Love Me Tonight from 1932 is still pretty silly, but in a completely heartwarming, timeless, black & white film kind of way.  It comes from director Rouben Mamoulian who went on to direct the first Broadway runs of Oklahoma!, Porgy and Bess, and Carousel.  In Love Me Tonight, with French hottie Maurice Chevalier and blonde beauty Jeanette MacDonald, Mamoulian sets out to satirize the beloved movie musical.  The writers didn’t even bother coming up with different first names for Maurice and Jeanette.  And apparently no one told Jeanette that the whole bit was a spoof because you can just tell she’s taking the whole thing quite seriously. 

Maurice plays a Parisian tailor and Jeanette a princess.  The film is a fairy tale of sorts, making it easy to get swept away.  Maurice ends up at Jeanette’s castle after getting ripped off by her cousin.  And that’s when the whole mistaken identity thing begins.  Suddenly all the important people take Maurice the tailor for Maurice the baron.  So he sings and dances and they all fall in love with him, including prissy princess Jeanette.  A pretty run of the mill fairy tale, but it’s the songs by Rodgers and Hart that really wow, along with the performances by supporting actors Myrna Loy (her first “non-exotic” role) and comedian Charles Ruggles.  Be sure to watch out for Ruggles talking about his “flute” and dancing with 1 pound dumbbells.     

Reasons to watch: Mamoulian was one of the most innovative directors of his time.  You know how musicals integrate songs into the storyline so you don’t just have a random performance that’s really an excuse for men to stare at some pretty lady sing?  Yeah, that was Mamoulian.  He also said, hey, we should make the camera move and we should use more than one microphone.  Which are obviously terrible ideas.

Warnings: You will likely have the songs “Mimi” and “Isn’t It Romantic” stuck in your head for days, if not weeks.  Also, this film gets pretty risqué for the Hays Code era (see Will Hays left).  Not sure how Maurice taking a tape measure to Jeanette’s boobies got past the censors, but I’m not complaining!  They also end up in bed together via split screen action. 

Who to watch with: Well, I watched Love Me Tonight alone, but that’s just because I’m a terribly lonely woman who can’t find anyone to love and would rather spend the evening on the couch with her cats.  But in your case, watch it with a sense of humor and a lover.  Watch it with a deep appreciation for French men and silly situations.  If you can find a French man watch it with him.  If you do not know any French men, you can always put an ad out on Craigslist. 

Who not to watch with: Frat boys or anyone who takes themselves too seriously.  Or, on second thought, do watch it with them.  If any movie can free them from their “I’m too cool for movie musicals” delusions it’s Love Me Tonight. 

Melvil Dewey love

I started a blog instead of applying for jobs.  I recently left a job at the Library of Congress.  Looking for a job in another library or a bookstore or a movie theater or none of the above.  In the mean time, I have time on my hands.  Case in point: here’s a picture of the inventor of the Dewey Decimal System:

My name is Maribeth.  I look like Melvil only slightly more youthful and hairy.  I’ll be posting movie reviews, poems, and updates on my job search and hair removal efforts (among other things). 

See you in the stacks, G.