Why the Miley Cyrus VMA Performance was AWESOME

Forget Syria, everyone is up-in-arms today about Miley Cyrus’ performance last night at the MTV Video Music Awards. Miley’s VMA performance has been described as ‘disturbing’, ‘shocking’ and ‘sickening’.

Every woman knows this is a funny face, not a sexy face. Including Miley.

Listen. If this is the most disturbing thing you’ve seen come out of television, much less MTV, then you just haven’t been paying attention. I am formally accusing the internet of a hate fad. Just like when we all decided to hate Anne Hathaway for a week, social media has come down with seething, slobbering palpitations to destroy a single human: Miley Cyrus.

I think what Miley did was HILARIOUS, just like she intended it to be. You don’t bring out a guy in a Beetlejuice costume without trying to be funny. Think about it, people. You’re taking this shit way too seriously. Look at that tongue. Every girl on Earth knows you don’t do that to be sexy. Performers, especially, know what makes them look hot and what makes them look like a whack-a-doo. Miley is channeling insanity, here. She’s making fun of sexy. Come around the corner, straddle the door frame and make this crazy-ass face at a loved one. Yeah. It’s not supposed to be hot.

No, it was TOO SEXY!
Sexy is dynamic. If what Miley did was the most sexually debasing thing of the evening, then you really didn’t see much of the awards. Here are just a couple of examples that no one is crapping themselves about in the aftermath.

Lady Gaga had her butt out for an hour. No cheek coverage at all. That butt was naked. That was. A naked butt. Meanwhile, on the MTV ‘All Access’ cameras online, viewers were treated to close-ups of said jiggling buttocks whenever Gaga stood up to schmooze with a passer-by.  There was squealing, leaping and suckling from a sippy cup going on in the front row, yet no one questions the Gaga.

This wasn’t for a second. This was an hour of my viewing time on the MTV ‘All Access’ cameras that were pointed at the audience. In contrast, Miley wore a ridiculous bear thing and then a nudey-colored two-piece that covers more than my swimsuit. It was a very unforgiving fabric, which has lead to this unfortunate screen shot.

Wow. That really is unfortunate. Chicken butt stands undisputed, but I propose that this adds to the fun and hilarity of the performance. When you can catch every second of life in an instant, butt jiggling almost never comes out looking good.

No, it was TOO SEXY! Part Two– Bruno Mars came out and sung a song about violent sex. Flat-out doin’ it song. No bones about it. Except the one in the song. Pretty graphic, too. Here are the lyrics, none of which were censored:

“Yeah I got a fistful of your hair
But you dont look like you’re scared
You’re just smiling tell me daddy it’s yours
Cause you know how I like it you’s a dirty little lover
If the neighbors call the cops, call the sheriff, call the SWAT we don’t stop, we keep rocking while they knocking on our door.”

Where is the outrage here? I’m not outraged, I love it. It’s hot and included an exploding Gorilla. But comparable to Miley’s goofy song-and-dance, this is much sexier, much more over the prude line. Everyone loves lil’ Bruno though. I mean, with cheekbones like that… Yet the HuffPo headline for Bruno read like so: Bruno Mars’ VMA Performance Of ‘Gorilla’ Filled With Flames, Horn Section And Bold Vocals. Yeah, no mention of the ‘daddy it’s yours’ line.

Miley’s Foam Finger – All I can say is that if my friends and I found ourselves in a room with a foam finger, eventually someone would start pretending it was a peen. Then they would start dancing around the room with it. It happens, and I think a lot of people have constructed some pretty high horses on this issue. This is hilarious and fun. I’d do it in a second and so would you, don’t deny it.

This is classic comedy gold. Someone you love has done this in a public forum.

She is a woman thrusting a foam peen at her fans and they’re all laughing and yelling, having a good time. If you really think this is obscene, then clearly you’ve never been to middle school, had siblings, or even found a stick in your backyard. Get over it.

Crotch Grabbing – Really? This is still risque? MJ did it in the 80’s, but somehow it’s not okay for a grown woman to do it today. But since when did the internet recognize equality?

This is an old move. Get over it.

The Twerk – It wasn’t in slow motion, it didn’t even face the camera. Was it a close-up? No. (refer to Lady Gaga for close-up butt shots at the VMAs) I’m not even sure there was much ass-to-crotch contact with Robin Thicke Beetlejuice. At some point during the course of any given evening with my buddies, YES, even at the ripe old age of 20 years old, someone wiggled their butt. I’ve seen more of my friend’s butts than I’d like to admit, and we all laughed, had fun, and no one was scandalized.

See that face? Girls don’t make that face to be sexy. They don’t wear ugly foam hands to be hot.  Miley thinks this is funny, and I was laughing, too.

The Molly – Bleeped from earshot, the famous ‘Miley’ turned ‘Molly’ lyric was absent from the show. Kanye West had this lyric bleeped too on the same night during his performance of ‘Yeezus’. Nope, he’s not the bad guy of the day, somehow, even after a night of sharing the same building as Taylor Swift.

Let me tell you youngin’s a story. When I was younger, a man named Tom Petty sung a little ditty called ‘Last Dance with Mary Jane’, in which ‘joint’ was weirdly turned into something like ‘noij’ on radio play. Everyone survived.

The ‘Pedo bears’ – They were teddy bears. Big, ridiculous teddy bears. They’re only pedo bears if you’re being a pedo about this. These were a reference to some of the weirdness in the ‘We Can’t Stop‘ video. Again, you’re going to need to refer to Bruno Mars for the ‘daddy it’s yours‘ bit. If you want sexy, watch the We Can’t Stop video. That is legitimately sexy, though it’s still playful and just weird.

The Crowd Reactions – Those photos of reactions you’ve been seeing? Yeah, most of those aren’t about Miley.

This reaction from the Will Smith family was for Lady Gaga, not Miley. Notice the live cam in the corner? Doesn’t look like Miley to me, and didn’t when I watched live, either.

Note the Gaga in the corner. Not Miley. 

I can’t believe how many news outlets are getting that one wrong. Guys, it’s right there in the corner. Not a lot of Nancy Drew action needed on this one.

What about Taylor Swift,the queen of crowd reactions? Well, this video showed up on Youtube while the VMAs were still on. Taylor is dancing. She’s enjoying herself just like everyone else in the crowd.

So, what is the media raving about? Brook Shields had this to say on the Today show, “I want to know who’s advising her and why it’s necessary,” Shields went on. “It’s a bit desperate.” Really, Brooke? Miley is 20 years old. When you were 15, you shoved your crotch in a camera for a few bucks, so pipe down.

What bothers me about the whole thing is how contrived the hate campaign seems to be. Her outfit,lyrics and even the moves weren’t that crazy. The crowd reactions that are being reported on are false. Miley was far from the sexiest thing that happened that night, yet everyone is all-too-ready to accept her as their weekly internet punching bag.

I friggin’ love Miley Cyrus. She isn’t a pill-poppin, boozing, baby mama. She hasn’t shaved her head or run over anyone in a Bently. She’s never flashed her crotch while exiting a car. How exactly is she so bad? I can understand if you don’t like her singing. Or if you don’t think she has the moves. But that’s not what people are talking about this morning.

I thought what she did was funny and fun. The fact that Beetlejuice came out and sang that song I’m into right now was just the kicker. Good job, Miley! I’m proud of you because that was crazy and everyone pooped their pants about it.

Here is the full performance. Looks like a goofy kid having a laugh to me. The funniest part is that she knew it was crazy, and that we couldn’t handle it. Oh, and she’s still laughing:

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I’m Rebelling! It’s Spring! Spring, I Say!

Flowered Hair Clip
Rain contemplates trading her sanity for warmer weather.

I’m so desperate to rid myself of my winter clothes and, hopefully, the winter blues as well. Here in Ohio, we have been experiencing a delicate balance between snowstorms and insanity. Our weather is ping-ponging from 50-degree sunny days to blankets of snow and gloom. Meanwhile, that groundhog is somewhere snickering into his evil little paws. I’ll never trust an adorable overgrown rat with my weather expectations again. Fool me once, groundhog…fool me once.

Well, I’ve had it. I’m about to dig my way out of another week of hats and scarves to look optimistically toward spring. Yeah, I said it. It’s SPRING, Mother Nature. Do you hear me? What happened to you? You used to be cool; used to be loose with the warm breezes, and now all we get is snow. Mannnn, sometimes Mother Nature just doesn’t understand.

Time for a good old-fashioned rebellion against mom. I’m putting away all of my heavy coats and gloves. I’m going to march my buns down to the garage and start up my scooter. I’m opening all of the windows in the house, then I’ll sit on the porch and just dare winter to show its mealy little face again.

At this point I’m truly convinced (and maybe just a tad desperate enough to believe) that if I embrace the possibility of spring with all the tank tops and bright colors I can muster, then winter will surely be banished forever. Well, for a while, anyway.

So, I’ll be spring cleaning this weekend. Time to take all of the fall clothes from the closet and replace them with items that I hopefully won’t be freezing in next week. Because I’m wearin’ ’em no matter what.

P.S. Mother Nature, please don’t strike me down with lightening or send your henchman groundhog to chew my eyes out in my sleep.

The Election Aftermath

In real time, I’m looking at digital carnage that will change reality in a way that it never has before, somehow more horrifying than my online Visa statement. I’m watching friendships implode on Facebook as my buddies cast each other out into the street during the aftermath of Election Day. How could you have been Facebook friends with so many stupid people in the first place?

Thank goodness for this election, right? It has really sorted out who’s who, and the ‘Unfriend’ button has never been easier to use. Bink! It’s like a pair of schoolkids who fold their arms decisively and say, ‘Doodoo head. I’m not your fwiend no more’.

The reality is this: An election year does not suddenly tune up your idiot radar. The ballots don’t work like the tides to roll in a social epiphany. The stars have not aligned to beam the light of true friendship into your moist little eyeballs. In short… those are your friends, man. They are diverse in their culture, their fears and their religion.That’s where their awesome came from.

I voted for Obama. There. But I still like pug-faced puppies and I love to shoot guns. My skin crawls when the babies of strangers put their mouths on the grocery cart. I love Star Trek and Star Wars; equally. Sewing by hand is one of my favorite pastimes; in my head I pretend I’m Betsy Ross. I own a swear jar, and it’s halfway full. I feel very small every time my husband goes away with the National Guard. I could sing you a Beatles song right now… all of them; but I don’t math so good. I like to prune tomato plants by pinching off the growth between two branches, just like my dad showed me. I can type a bajillion words per minute. I would eat peanut butter for hours if my husband didn’t take it away from me. I make wishes at every possible opportunity. There’s so much more about me. I’m delightful and repulsive. So are your buddies.

I can’t think of one friendship I have that budded over a conversation about politics. So, I don’t think I’ll be ending any friendships over politics… on Facebook of all things. I do have friendships that have waned due to a strained, real life conversation about our views. But I sure as hell didn’t throw my drink in their face and show them the door.

I dare you, nay, double dog dare you… to call before you dump. Before you unfriend those you’ve cherished over the years for all of the other reasons, make contact outside of the internet. A real conversation is valuable. And a conversation, unlike a sarcastic eCard, is a valid way to determine whether or not you still want to invest time in your friendship. If you don’t want to call them… then why are you sharing photos of your food with them?

If you’ve dumped them because of their Farmville posts, then carry on. 

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Honey Mustard Recipe

Honey Mayustard

Honey mustarrrrrd! You really have to say it like Animal from the Muppets to get the full effect. Honeeey MUSTAARRRD~!  I needed something to dip cocktail shrimp in (stay with me, now) and didn’t have cocktail sauce. It was time to make honey mustard because just mayo on shrimp is too far, even for me, a person who counts mayo-on-bread as a formidable sandwich.

I looked up a recipe for honey mustard and get this… Recipe is as follows: 3 TBS mayo, 1 TBS honey, 1 1/2 tsp mustard. Notice anything? Mustard is not the major player, here! Not in the least! Mustard gets second billing while mayonnaise is uncredited completely. I wouldn’t care if it was called like, Dillys Crazy Sauce or something that has nothing to do with a naming formula which clearly relies on a listing of ingredients. What about bacon cheeseburgers? What is the main ingredient? It could be raisins! Black is white, up is down, where am I??!

Anyhow. I added more mustard to this honey mustard mayo recipe because it didn’t have much flavor. And I was using spicy brown mustard. I know, right? Try 3 tsp mustard for more zing.

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Scrubbits Giveaway! 1 Week Supply

To celebrate my long-awaited (maybe just by me, but it’s been a long time, anyhow) return to creating and selling my crocheted and sewn goods, I’d like to offer up a free set of Scrubbits to someone chosen at random. Even though I have hosted and promoted hundreds of giveaways on the About.com site, this will officially be my first ever giveaway.

70% bamboo, 30% silk Scrubbits

What are Scrubbits? It’s a goofy name (I have long said that I should not be allowed to name things) I gave to these face scrubbies I made for myself. After a cancery scare last winter, I have been really trying to reduce what gross chemicals I grind into my face skin. Fortunately, you don’t have to have a brush with death to avoid these chemicals, too. It’s as easy as using a decent product to wash your face with, and avoiding those disposable cotton rounds. These disposables are stark white because they are bleached to death, and some even have weird perfume action. Unnecessary, I say! Can’t we just plain wash our damn faces without all that strange chemical action?

Call me old fashioned, even call me a hippy, but I have learned lately that the people of the world are doing a lot of unhealthy stuff that goes against the laws of common sense. Why? Because someone on TV is doing it. That white-toothed smile in the magazine says you need it. The FDA approved it, so have another Big Mac.

Win a week’s supply of Scrubbits!

Since working in media, I’ve learned the golden rule is not to ‘treat others how you want to be treated’, it most likely goes something like, ‘Sell sell, sell’. Most companies honestly don’t care what a product does to your body. As long as the FDA will let it slide, then it’s all good. There is no Jiminy Cricket in the food and beauty industries, they all sleep very well at night thank-you-very-much. Flash to you in your jammies watching one of those sad, 1-800 number commercials from ambulance-chasing attorneys working on a class-action lawsuit for the same drug that some smiling bitch told you to buy two months ago. Because ladies had hernias and died for a miracle birth control that makes you not have zits. Died for lack of zits. Does it get any weirder or sadder than that?

Oh, anyway, I was talking about scrubbing your face. Sorry to bring things down back there, (puppies unicorn, rainbow). In light of all the horrendous weirdness, I have starting taking little steps to health-up the old homestead. One of those was to crochet my own bamboo/silk and cotton face scrubbies. This is why I love the bamboo/silk ones and make them for sale:

    Add a bit of luxury to bedtime.
    • Why Bamboo? (70%)

    — Bamboo is a naturally organic fiber
    — It is softer than cotton
    — Naturally hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and antibacterial

    • Why Silk, too? (30%)

    — I use a 70% bamboo/30% silk blend to prevent the bamboo from expanding too much when it is wet.
    –Silk is silk! Bathe me in it, it’s so… silky smooth!
    — Silk also has natural cellular albumen, which is said to speed up the metabolism οf skin cells. Can’t argue with a material that just might help slow the aging process!
    Sooooo, for the winner of this contest, I’m sending out my very first giveaway prize, a week’s supply of face Scrubbits!

    Handmade by Rain

    HOW TO ENTER: Some of you skipped my rambling and went ahead to this bit. I don’t fault you for it.

    To enter, just leave a comment here mentioning your favorite moment on TV’s F-Troop, or what you think about this picture of this one time that I died. Others will be disqualified. Leave some kind of contact information. A winner will be chosen at random from the comment pool on JULY 7th.

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    Alluvium: We all Live Downstream

    In the great history of my freelancing spirit, I have been making and selling crochet goods and clothing for the last ten years. For about the last six, this has been squashed in between my writing career, running a non-profit organization and my career as super mom ’round these parts.

    Around 10 years ago, I started selling clothes online under the name Alluvium to compliment my local consignment shop sales. A website looked really good on a tag, people. This was before the age of Etsies and Zibbets, when the only way a girl could sell online was to learn herself some HTML, build a website, find someone awesome (or geocities) to host it, and throw things up on Ebay as required. Us online handicrafters fraternized with the Stitchin Bitches and Kynd Crafters on Yahoo Groups, because this was way before the dawn of time (aka, pre-Facebook/Twitter… even Myspace).

    So, I am probably dating myself, but that is how is was ‘back in the day’. It was a lot of work, and was something I did while working as a preschool teacher and fumbling my way through college as I raised my very young kids.

    Anyhoo, the point of all this claptrap is to announce that I am now taking commissions from the public once again. My kids are older and able to microwave on their own, I am no longer a major player in said cherished non-profit organization, and work on my book is finally winding down. No longer will my crafty labor-fruits be relegated private weddings, pants for guys in bands I know, or to friends asking for costume favors. To kick it all off, I’m selling my bestest organic bamboo face scubbies, ‘Scrubbits!’ on Etsy. More on those in another post.

    Yes, this new endeavor is in addition to my self-appointed positions as a Disney Vacation Planner and freelance writer. In the words of James Franco, “I love jobs!”

    (above is the SNL clip that explains the James Franco reference)

    So, in the future, I’ll be doing giveaways and stuff for Alluvium around on this blog. Because as much as I love jobs, I really DON’T need to start another blog. Wait, do I?

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    Cutting up the Credit Card

    Valve Software Customer Service Phone Number

    Today I found out that I had hundreds of dollars in fraudulent charges from Valve Software on my credit card. After calling the number for Valve (425-889-9642…this required some Google digging to obtain from Gethuman.com) and not reaching anyone at billing, I proceeded to call various extensions in an effort to get the mythical human customer service representative, or a nice soul that could connect me to the right person. Gethuman.com reports that Valve has a terrible phone customer service record. Today, the automated system and abundance of straight-to-voicemail menu options set out to prove those testimonials.

    After lots and lots of dead-end voice mails, I reached Tim at extension 156. Give Tim a call, he’s a real peach. I briefly stated my situation in my most chipper of voices (we’ll call it the thank-god-you-are-a-person-voice) and he promptly told me it wasn’t any of his business and hung up on me. Did not offer the extension of the right person, a word of advice, nothing. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Someone pooped in this guys Cheerios this morning. Again, I recommend everyone give Tim a ring and tell him your best jokes. He needs it. Don’t forget to promptly hang up on him after completion of the joke, for that is Tim’s way.

    What I picture Melissa to look like.

    After leaving messages with about 6 random Valve peeps, someone finally prodded Melissa into giving me a call, a person I had not left a voicemail for. This sweet angel took care of everything I needed after about an hour of complete and total frustration with the company.

    Thanks to Melissa for all your help, Valve should give her a raise and a trip to Disney World. Also, Valve, give Tim at x156 a ‘Worlds Best Crapeater’ mug for me and take away his phone answering privileges. For I will be relating tales of his crapeating skills to anyone who will listen whenever your company comes up in conversation.

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    Best Pizza Crust Recipe

    Best Pizza Crust Recipe

    Pizza Pizza! Does anyone else remember that? Nothing like an overweight guy in a sheet to give you a hankerin’ for greasy cheese and fungus. But hey, you don’t need Little Caesars if you have a SUPER cheap and quick pizza crust recipe. And I guess some sauce and all that other stuff, yeah.

    Best Pizza Crust Recipe
    Best Pizza Crust Recipe

    In my recent bread baking adventures, I’ve learned just how damn easy it is to make something like pizza crust. If you are buying those little packages of crust mix at the store, you are A) totally getting ripped off, B) eating something much less tasty than quick homemade crust.

    Best Pizza Crust Recipe

    I got the recipe from Robbie’s Recipe Collection, and you’d better bet your sweet bippy (is that a thing?) that I bookmarked the link. My crap memory ensures that Robbie gets a page hit at least a few times a month.

    Best Pizza Crust Recipe

    The recipe says a thin pizza crust, but if you let the dough sit for at least 10 minutes, you’ll get enough rise for a thick pizza crust. So… crust away!

    Best Pizza Crust Recipe
    Pizza photos aren’t EVER very appetizing. Sorry about all of this.
    Panera Bread Souffle

    My Probably Lame Reward

    After months of working on an upcoming book, we celebrated back in April. Not with a dinner, or a party, but with my husband unceremoniously putting me into the car and driving us to a Panera Bread positioned just north of the mall. Because I love to love them. The Panera Bread spinach and artichoke souffle!

    Panera Bread Souffle

    It’s all I can do to not hork it into my face right away. I honestly try to stretch out the chewing/forking process to at least half an hour. Okay, I’m no souffle connoisseur, so don’t crab at me too much for worshiping these franchise delights. Perhaps it is because they are a little difficult to obtain. You have to show up at Panera fairly early in the day to score one; they aren’t made after noon or something. Why, I have no idea. They could power the whole damn town on all-day sales of these things.

    These aren’t cost-effective, though. I find them filling, but honestly, it probably isn’t a lot of food for the price. I order a free glass of ice water to rationalize the purchase. It might be my one beacon of stable thought among the swarm of insanity that revolves around wrenching my ass out of bed, slapping on pants, driving, and making a human enough face for the cashier -all for the end goal of making an eggy purchase.

    Truthfully, though, it isn’t the price or early arrival time that keeps me away. I’m afraid that if I eat them more than once or twice a year, the mystically coveted foodstuffs will somehow lose the glimmering patina of my daydreams.

    Panera Bread Souffle
    Panera Bread Souffle