High 5 over 50?

EW, I'm not linking, go find it if you want, had this thing, um, "hotties" over 55. They were okay. But not my thing. I might add Joe Mantegna, as I don't think his wonky eye would bother me much. 

Anyway. Here's my better list. (And really. If you had to set aside every man with a slightly wonky eye, you'd miss a lot of good territory.)

5 TV Guys Who May Offer Me Their AARP Discount.

John Slattery, age 50. 
Screen Shot 2012-10-05 at 9.47.30 AM

Aiden Quinn, age 53
Screen Shot 2012-10-05 at 11.15.07 AM

Brian Williams, age 53

Thomas Gibson, age 50

Craig Ferguson, age 50


Holodeck Musings, part eleventy-one

Off the top of my head, the living actors I sometimes have thoughts about in idle or not-so idle moments are Simon Baker, Rupert Graves, Dermot Mulroney, David Tennant, Ewan McGregor, and then if you just create a nice fantastical scenario that would fit a certain personality or three, I'd still include Hugh Laurie, Craig Ferguson, okay, that's seven, which I think is enough to be going on with. :-)

Yes, I just typed a smiley. Deal with it. 

It was brought to my attention that I left out Robert Downey, Jr. And...that needed to be corrected, because. Is all. He's just my age, too, which means he's always the correct age to be. 

The age range of this fantasy pool is currently 41-53. That's -6/+6, slightly wider than the range I've been considering appropriate lately, but I think, really, that this isn't something to quibble over. 

One of them was two of them were born in the United States. One of them has light-colored hair, how weird is that? But these things can't always be helped. 

What I was realizing as I typed all this nonsense just now is that although the urge is always present, the will to create some scenario for it usually appears only in what we used to refer to as "winter."

Here are the rules, though, if you are new to this game. This isn't about you as you actually are. The fact that you love romance or commitment or whatever is terribly sweet and all, but this is a game. You do not get to take it seriously. You do get to woo or be wooed. You get to have the most dirtiest sex you can imagine, if you like to call your sort of thing dirty, which I do not, or you get to just end the night with the most impossibly amazing kiss you could ever dream up. Matters not to me.

What you don't get to do is think about it the way you think about real life. You already do that, all the time. In my Holodeck game, you go where you will never get to go, anywhere you choose, and do what you like there, and then you leave it and get back to your thing, that you do, the rest of the time. 

Someone said recently, "But the holodeck isn't real. It would be just a hologram person you'd be with!" If this was the thought you were just having, I have no help for you. For all the rest of the regular-type people, where would you go? Who would you go with? I have an ongoing dead famous person list, too, but today I'm talking people who are still among the living, but annoyingly far off, too famous to get near, and, like, married or whatever. On a holodeck, they aren't any of those things if you don't want them to be.

So maybe Hugh Laurie and I take a motorcycle ride up the west coast into Canada to see my friend the lost dwarf. Maybe we never quite...make it there. She'd understand. She's busy with some tall red-headed character, or Twitter, or looking for her pants, I dunno. (Please don't hurt me, funny lady.)

How 'bout it? 

The Holodeck: A Review

The most pertinent posts are missing. But I'm going to do a new one later, anyway, that is like those. Only better-written.

And I was 37 when I started these! Such a baby. Two notes: A) For a few years, I had this computer with a wonky shift key so I used to just not capitalize i most of the time. Sorry. B) I was an okay writer then. But I'm much better now. Makes you wonder...


Holodeck List #1

March 10

i love making lists, but then they seem so unsatisfying afterwards. they're exciting and inspiring while i'm making them, then all i can think of is who or what i left out, how i could get more out of the experience, is it inspiring to someone else, or only me?

so, yes, a one night stand on the holodeck, as opposed to anything approaching, say, a meaningful relationship based on reality. totally different vibe, totally different set of blokes. men i'd pretend to have something ongoing with would have more stringent requirements, in a whole range of categories.

here's my top ten. wait, does that seem sorta skanky? like i chose just a few out of this whole crowd of fictional sex partners i'm clammering for? cause, hello, fiction. that really is the point. i'd never be jaded or whatever people are when they do this sort of thing for real. and some of these men are actually figments of the imagination, so, pretty safe there.

as far as these one-night stands are concerned, i didn't go too far back in time, because it somehow felt unclean. so that makes me think there should be a historical one-night stand list as well, separate from the other one. maybe a list should have more consistency: i mixed both real and fictional, dead and still living. on the other hand, that is why it is the top ten. a sort of K-Tel compilation of men.

Mer's Current Top Ten List of "I Brought Him Home From the Holodeck Bar" one-night stands:

10. Dean Martin
9. Fox Mulder
8. Agent Dale Cooper
7. Bobby Darin
6. Bruce Wayne, as portrayed by Michael Keaton
5. Mark Darcy, from Bridget Jones' Diary (book, not movie. Colin Firth characters themselves would probably belong on the 'other' list. )
4. Steve Martin
3. John Cusack
2. James Bond (as played by Sean Connery, not the book character, and not any other actor.)
1. Robert Smith, of the Cure

Continue reading "The Holodeck: A Review" »

I've Got A Crush On You and this thing about men

Okay, this is Frank singing for Columbia Records in 1948. He was 32ish. This is a little over 3 minutes long.

I've Got A Crush On You

And here he is for his own label, Reprise Records, in 1960. He was 44ish. And it's about a minute shorter, which is too bad, but it's because there's not so much horn action.

I've Got A Crush On You

I mean, you see what I'm saying here? They're both very good. But only one of them sends me. 

Youth is wasted on the wrong people. 



middle-aged middle ground

The ten or so of you who've followed my blogs off and on over the whatever know that I go through a period of time each month in which I…experience a heightened degree of…tractability, let's call it. At this point in my life, it's about 3 of every 4 weeks.

"I do seem somewhat soaked in nature's fecund blessing." (Yes, Mybug was speaking of rain, but whatever.)

Anyway. I was thinking lately that over the past few years I've expanded my imaginary boyfriend horizons to include a few candidates outside my "composite male" profile that I developed about 29yearsago. It's originally why I came up with the Holodeck idea, well, not only for ones who are very short or dead, but also those British ones who still smoke cigarettes, and things like that. I can either manipulate reality or just ignore bits of it. 

Where was I? 

Oh, yes. 

A couple nights ago, I was at Petsmart buying the obnoxiously expensive food I feed these two cats who live at our house, and I saw him. The Composite Male. Don't get me wrong, I've seen most of him before, once in a great while, but I mean, there he was. 100%. Okay, 99% because originally, the Composite Male was 6'-6' 2" and this man was about 5' 10" with extremely nice shoes on. However, I am not 17 anymore. And those were awfully nice shoes. 100%.

He was in line and I was behind him, and then a cashier called him to a new line, and so I just followed. I had to, and never mind the small child with him and the fact that he was holding a bag of crickets. 

He had black or nearly black hair, short and sharp, with bits of grey flecked through it, and just the perfect face that stays in my head, I mean, perfect to me, not necessarily anyone else, a little lined, a nicely carved mouth and intelligent eyes, and he was wearing a very nice dark suit and a black overcoat. And he was quite slim, but not skinny. 

When I was a Young Person, I was more attracted to the baseball physique than the football one. Remember how baseball players used to trend kinda slim? Maybe you aren't that old…but only some of the pitchers and catchers were ever on the larger side of the scale. Well, I was a very skinny young person, so large men sort of alarmed me. Plus they seemed to my childish mind to be accompanied by cans of cheap beer or voices that were too loud, or referred to themselves as themselves. Forgive me, internet stranger who might wander by, but we're all really only as deep as we pretend to be, most of the time. 

I like a man who looks (and hopefully actually is) active and fit. At my age, this is probably an important consideration in an imaginary mate, because there'd be, like, heart issues and things to contend with. But on the other hand, unless I know he's active and fit, one who is too thin probably isn't a good idea, either. There's a reason most of us put on a few more pounds as we age. Sure, we might be less active, but also, one good flu will carry off an old person if they don't have any fat reserve to draw on. 

So as I'm watching the cheesy Christmas movies this season, I'm noticing that many of the males (the ones who don't seem too gay to be very believable in the role, which is an unfortunate truth with some of the ION entries, but of course they're often inexperienced in movies and also with girls, but at least the movie experience can bring improvement,) are very attractive even though they aren't all thin, and that while I'm never going to be attracted to those men in firefighter calendars with all their pectoral bulges and whatnot, there's a lot more good stuff in the middle than I had previously bothered to notice. 

As well, I mean, consider Simon Baker. Not only is he a rather small person, but he has light-colored hair. Yet he is very attractive. Go figure.

I figured out that it's all because one side of my brain has worked out I no longer need to find the correct physical match for continuing the family line, while another side has decided I still need to find as many matches as possible, on a much broader scale. 

And that is why I have so many more imaginary boyfriends these days, and why William Holden zoomed to the top of the dead celebrity list over the past year. The "father of my children" part of the deal is no longer the most important part. 

Still, I wonder if that man goes into Petsmart for crickets every week…he drove a Hyundai Tiberon…I don't know, I mean, in 1982, the Composite Male drove a cooler car than that, but times have changed. 


dream lover, part two

For a week or more, a couple months ago, I made a nightly effort before sleep to imagine a romantic scenario which could appear in a dream for me to enjoy, though not usually with a specific person, even from my giant catalog of dead actor loves and the dozen or so living ones I'd meet at the jazz club in the holodeck if only our paths ever crossed. But I kept getting distracted. I have so little focus lately, and so my thoughts would turn toward simply shutting my mind down for rest. Yet I always feel that if I could put myself in the right frame of mind, I could have many more such dreams, as I used to quite often. This morning's dream took me by surprise and now I feel rather unsettled and curious.

There aren't, by the way, certain defining characteristics possessed by every dream man except that he's fit, knows how to talk...well, that's about it, really. They've come in a variety of ages, heights, levels of confidence, etc., otherwise. This one was in that indistinct time of life one thinks of as 40, and was, shockingly, someone I recognized.

It's too late, you know, to remember more than impressions and sensations. I had to get up and get moving a little earlier than usual, and my focus was instantly removed. Our brains immediately put away all the unnecessary elements and then, too, reshape and define what we can't recall but wish to retain. 

So I remember this: he took me down, on a bed in the middle of a room, and made love to me. I remember the feel of his hands on my skin, light and firm and serious. I remember how his skin felt beneath my hands; taut, that is to say, perhaps slightly younger than my mind tends to conjure when I picture him (if you happen to be my age or older, you may know what I mean by that) muscular, but in a strong or sinewy sense, not overly large or overly developed. I don't remember some of the things you remember about a real man, like how the hair on his legs feels when they are intertwined with your own, or running my hand down the length of his spine to rest my fingertips in the hollow at the back of his waist. I wish I could remember that. I remember his scent. I remember my hands at the back of his neck, and recognizing the tenor of his voice, not fully polished, but soft, confident, and retaining that unique resonance which is so charming on screen. I remember my hand on his chest, just below the hollow of his throat, and I remember the way his eyes looked as he bent forward to kiss me, with one hand on my shoulder. 

When we stood, he was just perceptibly taller than me, his nose above my own, but he was speaking then, and I kept thinking about the way he sounded; I was really focused on it, and I felt completely drawn in and taken over. That sensation hasn't left me. Also, I hadn't before considered how dark his hair really was, but I kept touching it as he spoke, and then we would fall together, connected all over again. That happened two or three times. 

We talked a lot, like people who really know each other and have spent solid time together. But the only topic I remember is the lake nearby, and him telling me we'd spend a lot of time there. He was playful when he spoke, but when he touched me he became very serious. 

Well, the dream went bats, and there was a baby, and I was feeding it a bottle attached to my breast with some kind of Nuk nipple, and an old female celebrity whose identity I can't recall was talking about the silliness of Playtex bottles and when they were invented and we commiserated over that, which is strange, since my six kids were mostly all breastfed, with two short-term exceptions. And I remember thinking back then that those Playtex ones were a good idea.

And I kept drifting in and out of sleep, realizing in half-waking state what I'd just conjured and wanting desperately to go back to the more precious moments of it. 

Why did my semi-conscious brain choose this man as an object of desire? He wasn't on my mind last night. As I said, I've had many romantic and/or sexy dreams, and it's not usually anyone recognizable, which at the moment I'm thinking is a good thing, because in this case, I won't be able to look at him now without wondering if I know something of what it would have felt like to have his arms around me, but that doesn't, after all, make him any more real or corporeal, does it? 


Dream Lover, part one

this is about 1200 words. not for everyone. self-indulgent, but almost honest, and very much me. and there's a lot more to come. (other things to come include a short book review for my friend Alex, and a couple quick movie reviews this weekend. i feel like writing again, yay.)

First, the shoes. Proper shoes, from a time before men could get away with wearing so-called athletic shoes all day every day. Shoes that don't look quite right with jeans, because they were meant for something better. 

The digression spirals. It's a game I'm no longer very good at. At which I'm no longer very good. Further digression into concerns over syntax for sentences that were never going to be written, because they're all forgotten by morning. And then, as though I'm 17 years old again, bored in class and working over my list of requirements for the Composite Male, I suddenly start worrying about the feet inside the socks inside the shoes. Of course the socks are all right; a man with the correct shoes will naturally be wearing the correct socks. But what deficits do they hide? 

When you are 17, this can seem to matter greatly. When you are 45, it shouldn't even enter your mind. But it enters mine, because I can no longer easily trade in idle fantasy; reality intrudes and keeps me from sleep. Because that's all this is: an exercise for sleep, my own version of counting fire engines. 

The point is, or was, the shoes are a deal-breaker, or would be, should a situation ever again arise during which a deal might be struck. This is the theory, anyway. 

I've always been a very good sleeper. And whenever I have been not such a good sleeper, I play a game; the exact same game I have played for 30 years. Creating a man to find in my dreams. At 15, these men were most often major league baseball players, classic film stars, or exotic Mediterranean men who were looking for just the right girl to coax them fully into heterosexuality. I had no experience with men at that time, of course, or even boys. Externally, that was my Awkward Year. I had all the right clothes and shoes, but my skin and teeth were a mess, my hair frizzy and unmanageable, my countenance still sometimes too quirky for comfort—not yet balanced out by my growing inner confidence. I wasn't thinking about sex yet, at least not in the way I came to understand it later. That sort of hunger that takes hold of most of us just hadn't presented itself yet. I wanted to experience the tension that comes before the sex; the little tastes of pleasure that lead us toward more, though more of what I did not spend much time considering. It was largely about the drama, and it was also about the presentation. 

He'd have a short, sharp haircut with dark hair that set off his angular features and well-chiseled lips. He might have a slight early bit of grey over the ears. With strong, squarish hands, he'd be slim and possibly lanky, standing four to seven inches taller than me, and he'd know how to dress and how to walk in what he wore. 

My tastes in this regard have changed little, though the typical baseball player's physique has changed considerably, and I'm no longer interested in showing any man on which road his sexuality should naturally travel. He will have already sorted that out in the Navy, or college, presumeably.

The thing about the shoes is that it demonstrates a particular strength of character; one that fits well with my own, indicates an attention to detail, and also reveals a becoming sense of self-satisfaction. So it's not just one certain style of shoe, you see. It is a manifestation of personal style. But to think on this too long spoils the game, and that's the problem I'm dealing with lately. 

When I was younger, it was enough to compose a picture of someone with an attractive countenance, and then decide what I wanted to happen next. I'd drift off to sleep in the midst of a cool or cozy date, and not unoften, end up seeing it played out in my dreams. Lately, burdened with a sensation of being permanently stuck on an elevator going down, I keep stopping at the shoes, mind wandering off in no good direction, restless and bothered by the heat of the pillow. 

Because, of course, now I know what comes next. All the excitement, pleasure, joy, misery, pain, loss, confusion and loneliness. Neverending grief over what was, and what was, what is, meant to be. But at night, none of that should matter at all. At night, only the sleep and the dreams should matter. The dreams should be composed of anything I like, and not merely the unravelling knots of consciousness that tangled themselves through another endless, relentless day. Even if the combination Jimmy Stewart/John Slattery/Craig Ferguson of my creation doesn't appear during sleep, and he rarely does anymore, the counting still leads to a more peaceful rest. Only the numbers, worse than appearing out of order, keep getting stuck at one. 

So. The shoes. I chose them for him, and although he wouldn't have stopped to look at them twice, he's delighted with how they fit and how he somehow thinks he looks taller in the mirror. I warn him they'll take a little breaking in, but once he has, he'll feel like they always belonged there. He strides away with confidence, attracting the eye of a woman younger than me as he passes out of the store and sets off down the sidewalk. She catches up to him and I watch them both laugh as they disappear around the corner.

Well, that's hardly the guy, is it? I never even got to imagine loosening his tie and unbuttoning his collar. Just handed him off to someone younger, the same way it happens to women my age in real life. 

(No one ever tells you about that when you're 17, and that hunger begins springing to life. You think you'll be 17 forever, and, worse, you have no inkling of how much that hunger grows, demanding to be fed and to feed another in turn, only to learn that a man's hunger is often fickle, desirous of newer, if not always more raw, energy. Sometimes the hunger still comes alive at night, in dreams, and these are not the dreams of a girl fumbling through the newness of sexual identity. But neither are they, by now, the dreams that startled you awake, sated without quite understanding or remembering how. So, like Ernie counting fire engines, I surround myself with pillows and compose a scene that will never happen, but might happen, in the enchantment of sleep. It's a romantic scene I attempt to compose, but it is not the romance I had in mind before I'd ever experienced any of my own. And much less exciting than fire trucks.)

(Now, it's easier to love a dead celebrity than a live one, and if you're good to yourself, you never imagine the real person, only some character he played, or one you imagine him playing. Because let's face it; we now know too much about anybody famous to be able to imagine one of them as the guy with whom we spend an enchanting afternoon exploring the cemetery, or the art museum, or just sitting outside a cafe, sipping coffee, watching people walk in and out of the big beautiful hotel across the street before he whispers in our ear, "Let's go in.")

(Plus, a fictional man will always be wearing the correct shoes, if he's the man for me.)


Long, slow, self-indulgent cocktail: Jack Lemmon, Herb Alpert & a drop of Steve Martin

It's a day off for the kids because schoolkids are out whooping it up for Columbus Day. One of those beautiful October days that sneak in and trick you into thinking impending winter might not be so bad after all. All the boys have congregated for it elsewhere, and it's very quiet here.

So, after a weekend spent largely in bed with what would manifest itself as a simple cold in other people, but in me takes the form of a vague, sinking malaise, along with experiencing up-close the mysterious ebb and flow of life's energy in the form of a tiny cat, I decided to indulge myself. 

I'm cleaning the bedroom. It takes me all day, because I use it for catharsis. Dusting, rearranging, vacuuming, etc., just a little bit at a time, and in between bits, putting together the following:

Today's Love is still Jack Lemmon. I watched Cowboy (1958) this weekend, and How To Murder Your Wife (1965,) and lots of bits and pieces of other things on YouTube. Here's one of them. 


[I noted that in the Netflix reviews for Under The Yum-Yum Tree (1963,) which is a silly movie I meant to watch but they screwed up the Instant streaming for—and I think it was in a review for that movie, but could have been another—someone stated it wasn't credible for Lemmon to play a character who was such a swinger, with so many women interested in him. I guffaw. Surely this statement was made by a man, because so many men just have no clue what attracts women in reality.]

Then I scanned the May 1964 Jack Lemmon Playboy interview for your perusal, while listening to Herb Alpert, because that seemed right for the magazine. 



I have 7 or 8 Herb Alpert albums on vinyl, but the songs in this post are from the Definitive Hits digital recording. 

whipped cream

A Taste Of Honey



When I was a young girl and teenager, Crown Center in Kansas City held these international festivals several weekends each summer. My favorite was always the Greek Festival. It was reasonably authentic, as there was a travelling group from actual Greece, who would go around and put these things on. One year, when I was 13 or 14, I met a boy there, who played bouzouki in his parents' band. He was just dreamy. We stared at each other a lot, then took a walk around the festivities, him speaking in broken English, me probably giggling too much. He squeezed my hand when we said goodbye. I don't remember his name; his last name ended in -olopoulos, but then, so many do, don't they? 

Going Places

Zorba The Greek


An actual living crush of mine made a gorgeously asinine tribute to Jack Lemmon:



And, well, the fact is, when I was an even littler girl, I also had a deep giggly fondness for Herb Alpert himself. I would get really moony every time I heard this song. 

beat of the brass

This Guy's In Love With You

I still do. But then, I'm like that most days these days, anyway.



the Holodeck: an update

You know I do this once or twice a year or all of the time in my mind; decide who I'd like to keep company with in a holodeck. There's the live version, the dead version, and the never was alive or dead version. 

I'm pretty sure that after last night's episode of House, Hugh Laurie tops the one list this week or month or something. But anyway, this isn't about that. I mean, well, yes, it is, but also. 

Here's my current Top Five on the dead guy list, in semi-random order:

A. François-Marie Arouet, aka Voltaire

Voltaire was a happening guy. He wasn't just part of the Enlightenment, he kind of was the enlightenment. He used a jillion pen names, and seems to have come up with them in much the same way I think of mine, meaningful yet slightly tangential. Anyway, I'm aware there's an ongoing view of how much French people didn't used to bathe, but a man who says plain truth like this to me, en francais, is worth the price of a bar of soap. 

Put two men on the globe, and they will only call good, right, just, what will be good for them both. Put four, and they will only consider virtuous what suits them all: and if one of the four eats his neighbour's supper, or fights or kills him, he will certainly raise the others against him. And what is true of these four men is true of the universe. 

(Mettez deux hommes sur la terre, ils n'appelleront bon, vertueux et juste, que ce qui sera bon pour eux deux. Mettez-en quatre, il n'y aura de vertueux que co qui conviendra à tous les quatre ; et si l'un des quatre mange le souper de son compagnon, ou lo bat, ou le tue, il soulève sûrement les autres. Ce que je dis de ces quatre hommes, il lo faut dire do tout l'univers.)

Being French means examining society, its contracts and your role in them. He understood that, too, pointing out that each society chooses its rules based on who its people are. What tastes good to the French does not necessarily taste good to the Germans. I've been thinking a lot about that lately, so I'd let him pour me some wine and tell me these things, and then whatever. 

B. Thomas Jefferson

I'm not really into the ginger thing, like the lost dwarf, but Jefferson has to be an exception. I think it's pretty clear he knew what it was all about, when it came to women. Also, nature, liberty, and the cultivation and preparation of good food. That's sexy, my friend. 

I bet Jefferson and Voltaire would have an interesting holodeck discussion of this statement:

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. 

And these two, as well:

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned—this is the sum of good government. 

C. Dean Martin

Dean Martin - One For My Baby...

D. Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan - 4th Dimension
You can see more of that at YouTube, here

E. James Clerk Maxwell

I know you're thinking Michael Faraday was a hotter-looking 19th century physicist, but it's my contention that Maxwell had a lot more going on where it counts. I mean, I don't even know what I mean by that, but anyway. Maxwell was Scottish. At some point in his career he started growing this manky beard and just let the thing go, all willy-nilly, but before that, he was a handsome young man. 

I'd happily bore you with actual facts, but I won't, so if you are interested, you can start here for a light overview.

Basically, he invented what became modern physics. Maxwell led to Einstein, Planck, and the fictional invention of the holodeck, which is not 100% fiction anymore. 

Plus, he was Scottish. 

See, that's what I've been saying all along

Okay, I should warn anyone who reads this that the link below leads to an essay I thoroughly agree which is posted on a website I--don't thoroughly agree with. But Ilya Somin might be my new holodeck-boyfriend-for-a-day. He said this, "Perhaps the most fundamental cause of ignorance resides in the collective action problem created by the insignificance of any individual vote in determining an electoral outcome..." The essay quoting him is by Jacob Sullum and can be found here.

I have friends who really do pay attention to what's going on, what legislation means, who's running the courts these days, etc. They'd freak if they truly understood my views on "democracy." But at least they're attempting to be relevant. I won't argue with them on that.