Thursday, May 9, 2013

Trying to Put This Week Into Words

This week has been many things so far - triumphant, terribly sad and exhausting.

We found out last weekend that one of our dear friends had just been diagnosed with cancer. He was immediately sent to hospice at his home and unfortunately died this week. He was the Mister's best friend, mentor and in my mind, his second Dad. It seemed like he was here one day and then gone overnight. He learned he had cancer and then....was just gone. We're reeling here at the ranch. I'm still trying to put it all into words - to find the adequate way to honor him. He was an active reader of Ranch Dressing and such a cheerleader for my writing and always so encouraging to not only me, but to everyone that knew him.

Sometimes he'd send emails to me about what I'd just written here and would include funny photos or drawings that he thought might interest me. When the Mister and some friends were going through his emails after he passed, I learned that he had joined the email notification system so that he could read my new posts. I know that he had a million things going on each day so it especially touched me that he'd want my new posts junking up his email in-box.

He was always gifting us with things that he thought that we'd like from his magical mystery barn. Most recently he gave us some space age vintage vacuum cleaners, parkas from the now-defunct Opryland theme park and some old ray guns. I'll never forget him saying to me, "Miss Kitsch! I have something that you have GOT TO have" before giving me a beautiful old color wheel for a Christmas tree - and his childhood boy scout mementos. He loved encouraging people to love what they love and as an avid collector, he was quite excited to make sure that we all were collectors!  We're going to miss him so much and I will honor him with a full post when I can get my thoughts together.

In other news, earlier this week another lady and I went undercover to buy a pair of puppy mill breeding dogs from a horrible family who was selling them. I'll never forget it as long as I live. We had to pretend that we completely agreed with the way that they were breeding these poor dogs into the ground. It went against every fiber of my being but we HAD to get those dogs to safety. I don't think that my childhood  Southern Baptist Sunday school teachers would agree but I don't think that God would mind white lies told to save innocent creatures. I hope that's the case at least because I lied enough that day to put me in Heaven's penalty box for sure!

I'm still pretty rattled by that whole experience and even though I was a huge proponent of people adopting and not buying pets before, I'm going to be a true force of nature now to help people realize that when you see a cute clean pup or kitten in a pet shop (or in an ad in the paper or online) there is a large chance that behind the scenes, there are the parents of the dog suffering in horrible hellish conditions in tiny cages, being forced to constantly produce offspring until they are dumped to die. Trust me on this, folks. Even if you have your heart set on a purebred dog or cat, you CAN find these breeds - any breed - in a shelter or rescue just waiting to be taken to a great new home. There is no need to buy from a breeder...EVER.  Do not help perpetuate this cycle of abuse. Let me put it to you this way: Even if kept in the nicest conditions, how would YOU like to be forced to have scads and scads of babies one bunch at a time for your entire birth after another with each birth getting more and more dangerous, risking your life and those of your babies until your entire system shuts down? Not so much.

In good news, Metro Nashville has finally voted to stop breed specific legislation against bully breed dogs. As it was before, if a pitbull made it into the shelter, odds were that the dog would never make it out again. If an owner didn't come to prove that it was theirs, it would be swiftly killed. Nobody could adopt them even if they were the most gentle, loving dogs on the planet. Even little puppies were killed just because they were bully breeds. Even dogs that were bully mixes were killed because of their partial lineage. We have a long way to go here in Tennessee and have fully antiquated animal abuse laws but this was a HUGE day for those of us who work towards making sure that each animal is looked at on it's own accord and not killed simply because of it's breed. Starting on June 1st, our Metro shelter will allow puppies to be adopted and as soon as the staff is trained to do temperance testing on the adults, they'll be able to be adopted too. It's never okay for any group of people or animals to be judged under one swift blanket of thought. We all deserve to be judged on our own accord and given the chance to live a good, full life.

In other good news, Lucky the Chow that I told y'all about us finding a few posts back went to his foster home and reports say that he is now playing so much that they can't keep him off of his injured foot! Three cheers! I mean, not for his foot but because of the fact that he was so neglected and broken down that we thought it might be months before he'd ever know what "play" was again. Go's your birthday....

I know that I have some readers who aren't really into animals so I know that you are sighing like crazy at this post but helping the animals is a large part of who I am. If I have a great week, it's more than likely because I helped an animal have a great week. If I'm in a foul mood, it's more than likely because I couldn't do so as I'd wanted.  I hope that you all are having a fantastic week and following your own passions no matter what they might be. Don't let anyone EVER talk you out of them. Even if you look around and it seems like you're the only one in the pursuit (or who understands the pursuit), go for matter what. If we were put on this planet to be unfeeling robots that all do the same things, then trust me:  we would come from factories and have much better knee joints.

I'll talk to you soon, sugar spoon.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Parisian Nightsuit

After my last post about  my funky little green polyester jumpsuit, my girl Sara reminded me about the "Parisian Nightsuit".  Yesssssssss!

This will ring a bell with you if you are a fan of "Freaks and Geeks" but if not, I encourage you to check out the old episodes on YouTube or NetFlix. The show only lasted one season during 1999 and 2000 and its short run completely boggles the minds of fans like me. It has fortunately developed a cult following so it will continue to be passed down to new generations of fans.

The writing was brilliant and the acting top-notch and if you were like me and were a bit of an outcast in school ( a "freak" or a "geek" if you will) you'll especially appreciate the show. And for you "Mad Men" folks, Linda Cardellini who played Lindsay on the show is now Don Draper's mistress neighbor! You can see her before she was the temptress doctor's wife and instead a school "freak". Many other actors and actresses that are in popular shows and films today also had large roles on "Freaks and Geeks" including James Franco, Busy Phillips, Jason Segel,  John Francis Daley and Seth Rogen. And if you need further convincing, Judd Apatow was the executive producer and Paul Feig was the show's creator. They are both brilliant. If you've never read Paul's book entitled "Kick Me" then put it on your Summer reading list.

Boy, I went off on a ramble! Anyhoo....back to the Parisian nightsuit! One of the main characters named Sam really wanted his school crush to dig him so he went and bought himself the ever-so-suave Parisian nightsuit after the studly clerk at the men's store told him that it was the cutting edge of cool. Behold his entrance into school the next morning:

Oh my gosh! Can't you just feel his pain as he goes from thinking he's the coolest thing around to realizing that he has just landed both bellbottomed legs in the lion's den? And wow, how perfect is Joe Jackson's "Look Sharp!" as the soundtrack to that moment? That was another thing about this show. The soundtrack was always dead-on and gives me serious childhood flashbacks sometimes when I watch the episodes.

If you want to see a montage of all the clips from that episode including Sam buying the nightsuit and how the fashion nightmare turned out, you can see them here:

So yeah, maybe my little jumpsuit WAS the cutting edge in fashion at the time. My Mom emailed me to apologize for the getup after my post about it but I told her that honestly, I think it was kind of cool. Especially that I could ride a bike in it. Though, I can't even imagine how long it took to get out of that thing when the old bladder got full. So many questions best left in the seventies...

A few of you have mentioned in the comments on the old post that you had similar jumpsuit getups...which I love. Do tell me about your most embarrassing childhood outfits! Were you a freak or a geek in school? A cool kid? Or something else altogether? I just realized that I wasn't studious enough to be a geek but not daring enough to be a freak. I'm going to have to think it through to find a term for what I was in school. "Hopeless" might describe my junior high and high school struggles best!

And if you haven't before, go over to Retronaut and scroll down the page to check out these incredible (and sometimes innuendo laden) ads for mens' jumpsuits here. My jumpsuit (and Sam's) were pretty innocent compared to all of that "this jumpsuit is going to help me get laid" business!

Until next time,
x's and o's,
Eartha "the funky chicken" Kitsch

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The. Green. Polyester. Jumpsuit.

Last night, I made the Mister watch "Harper Valley P.T.A." with me. I had remembered it as being a really great movie and seriously hyped the whole thing up.

Of course the last time that I saw it was probably when I was a little kid. Unfortunately, it was just awful. Before the movie started, I chirped  at Mister Kitsch "Hey, even if it sucks...there is nothing like seeing Barbara Eden in short skirts!" - but not even Barbara's short skirts could save it.

Afterwards, we dissected the viewing experience and wondered if we'd just had simpler senses of humor back in the seventies, bringing up all of those Clint Eastwood movies with the primate sidekicks as prime examples. I mean...there has to be some logical explanation for what blockbuster hits those films were! It's hard to say but in the end, we were both left singing the awesome theme song from the movie for the rest of the night. The highly superior song was written first in 1968 but the movie came out in 1978.  You can get some of the song here if you want:

 Of course the most famous version was done by the gorgeous Jeannie C. Riley:

But then here is a most excellent  (yet a hot mess) version by sweet Loretty. Stay tuned until the end for a bit of humor...and then notice that a dog just trots through the background!

Poor Loretta. There is no wonder that she couldn't keep up with that track. Time was nothing but a magazine to whoever that band was. Holy heck. 

Another questionable flashback this weekend came when I found these two ridiculous photos of me back in the day that I'd never seen before.  Four words for ya: 

The.  Green.  Polyester.  Jumpsuit.

 Just look at that thing! Look at how high-waisted it is! Or can you call something a "waist" when it goes under your armpits, completely bypassing your waist altogether? The flouncy shoulders.....the huge collared paisley shirt.... I think we finally have an answer to that question of "Did we have a better sense of humor back in the seventies?".  Quite obviously we did because this get-up is hilarious! 

Here is a shot of the jumpsuit ensemble from behind:

Good gravy, y'all.  Training wheels and a baggy bum. Thank you, 1970's. 

I hope that you all had a great weekend! 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Lucky Update

Hey y'all! How is your week going so far? Thanks so much to everyone who sent well wishes over for Lucky, the pup. He's doing much better. Just look at what a difference a few days have made. Here he is the day that we found him and a shot from yesterday:

Aww! That smile! He's still dealing with broken bones and today, he got the big neuter but if all goes well, he'll be going to a great rescue on Friday. He's super nervous of strangers but with time, we think he'll be able to give and accept love.  Due to his condition, we believe that he was neglected for a long time before we found him  - more than likely chained up somewhere, ignored and hardly fed. We're going to help him through it all though, one step at a time.

In other news, George Jones' funeral is tomorrow and it's open to the public - and lo and behold, those batshit crazy Westboro Baptist Church picketers are scheduled to show up to attempt to spew a whole hunk of hatred all over the place. Should be interesting. Nashville is full of big ole country boys that more than likely aren't going to take this all too well. I wish that I could be there to bid farewell to George and to see these folks run out of town on a rail but alas, I can't be.  I hope that a sinkhole opens up one of these days and the Westboro folks fall down where they can't hurt anymore people.  They are so delusional and downright scary mean. I don't know how they can walk around with so much hatred in their hearts for everyone.

In happier news, I've been getting so many nice notes from you all lately! It just makes my day to hear what you're up to and for you to share cool stuff with me. If you ever want to say hey, just use the "Contact Me" button on the right of this page and that should send you straight on through.  Note: I answer every e-mail that I get so if you have ever sent me one and I didn't respond, please don't think that I'm some hateful e-mail ignorer.  Totally not my style! Your note may have just gotten lost in the internet ether. Do try me again if you don't get a response. I'd love to hear what you're thinking and what you're up to! I can't tell you how much I appreciate every single one of you who stop by Ranch Dressing and read whatever the heck I'm laying down.

Alright, I've got to mosey along and continue with this hectic week. I hope that you all are doing great!

Until next time,
x's and o's,