Daily Archives: March 22, 2011

12 posts

Tuesday Night Time Thread

Hi gang. Hope you have had a great day so far. Quick announcement from Bens:

Hi guys. A lot of people have said “hey, I can’t see the Amazon.com link! What is this you speak of? Well, you need to turn off Adblock Plus, for Crasstalk. We promise we won’t run cheeto ads. Please, please, turn it off. Here’s how!
1. See the red stop sign on the top right of your toolbar? It says “ABP” on it. Left click on it.
2. There’s an option that will say “disable for crasstalk.com” – check it.
3. The sign should now turn green for Crasstalk.com

ALSO! Adobe has fixed some MAJOR bugs in FlashPlayer. Unless you’re super l33t like Dogz, you’ll need to update. Easy method: go over to Browsercheck.qualys.com and let it search for updates. It works on Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. You’ll be happy when you don’t look at your credit card statement and see mysterious charges coming from a Belarussian strip club. Have a nice day!

Here are some crazy people to make you feel more sane in comparison. Caution contains salty language and crazy.

Sister Wives Recap: Wild, Wonderful Wyoming

I’m shamefully late with this recap because I was emotionally distracted by the Big Love Finale. Unfortunately, the finale was on the same night as the Real Life Concubines. I have to say, after two episodes of this new season, I am really starting to root for Albie to take charge of this group of people.

This episode focused on a family caravan to pay homage to Kody’s ancestral home in Wyoming. I know I’m not alone in wishing these people would wear nametags. There are 21 of them and they resemble each other enough to cause lots of confusion. I found this very helpful family tree on Starcasm. I think I’m going to print it so I can follow the plot a little better.

Kody explained how his family drifted from the LDS/Mormon church to polygamist fundamentalism. Here’s an important note: The Mormon church forbids polygamy. They will excommunicate people who practice plural marriage. The Mormon church also tries hard to distance itself from polygamy even though it was an integral part of the church in the 1800s. I bet the Mormon church is so annoyed because of this show because people will start getting Mormons and fundamentalists mixed up all over again.

Back in the holler where I grew up, I knew a girl whose mom was also her cousin. She also had a brother and a sister that got married and, weird as that is, it is still more normal than the relationship between Kody, Janelle, and their mothers. Remember when we found out that Janelle used to be married to Meri’s brother? That was kind of weird but Janelle waved the issue off as a weird coincidence. Now we find out that Janelle’s mom married Kody’s father and is a sister wife to Kody’s mother who is also named Genelle. So, Janelle and Kody are step-siblings and Meri’s sister wife is her former sister-in-law. But, Janelle pointed out that nothing weird is going on. Nope, not at all.

We saw quite a bit of Kody and Janelle’s mom. They sort of puttered around like an old lesbian couple. It was sort of cute. They worked together seamlessly and seemed genuinely fond of each other. Kody’s dad appeared to be an afterthought. No one talked to him much. He just sort of drifted around the ranch aimlessly. The Grandmoms described their theories on plural marriage. I loved this. Evidently, all us women have strengths and flaws. The good news is that we, as women, can minimize our flaws by obtaining sister wives with the appropriate strengths. There is no talk whatsoever of male flaws.

I must admit that the idea of sister wives is sometimes appealing. I am the most unorganized person on earth and I’d love to have a sister wife that could do the filing and cleaning around here. She could also take on the potty training duties and help me manage boogers and goldfish crackers. This would free up lots of time. I could use the time to comment on every single Crasstalk post. The more I think about this, the better it sounds. I might be up for polygamy after all. If you’re interested in becoming my sister wife, drop me an email.

This episode was an hour long and honestly, not much happened. They drove to Wyoming, killed a car, painted a crappy house, herded some cattle and McKeilty fell off a horse. Now that the novelty of the family has worn out a little, I’m not sure they’re that interesting. Kody’s mother clearly adores him to the point of worship. The kids can be tricked into thinking they’re on vacation when they’re actually providing free labor.

Speaking of McKeilty, what the hell kind of name is that? I had to turn on the close-captioning to figure out what her name was. I looked at the family tree and I also take issue with the following names: Aspyn, Ysabel, Paedon, Gwendolyn, and Truely. These are all Christine’s children. Is she trying to be hip with these spellings? It makes me stabby. It also reminds me of Brian Reagan’s routine about Hooked on Phonix.


I hope something more interesting happens in the next episode. I have high hopes for Robyn, who has been a single mom for some time. She doesn’t seem to be thrilled to take orders from Christine. Janelle made a couple of flat-out bitchy comments to Robyn so that might also boil over. My only concern is that bickering will make it seem like they’re plagiarizing from Big Love.

Craigslist Personals – Everyone Is Nuts

Morrissey sang the following words: “Oh, the Devil will find work for idle hands to do.”

Apart from him being a tortured closet case, you have to agree with him.

As you know, I am in Gay Nirvana with a man whom I adore.  But it was a long road to finding him.  (Straighties, stay with me – there’s plenty for you here and you know I think the world of you.  Except Arken.  Allergies to kitties are a character flaw.)

I’m homo alone, it’s cold and rainy, there’s nothing on TV and I finished my latest Douglas Preston / Lincoln Child confection of a book.  So, whilst surfing the Intertubes, I made a mistake.  I looked at Craigslist.

This wasn’t a mistake like Holy-Shiz-Betts-Is-A-Slut.  I wasn’t DOING anything, just looking.  Here’s why – you know that part in The Wizard Of Oz when he’s trying to be all Great and Powerful and Toto yanks the curtain off, exposing the fact that Oz is basically generated in a 1930s Frigidaire?  I LOVE that.  Because most people are full of baloney, and the best relationships are between people who know this and embrace it and maybe like your baloney a little.

I learned the following.

  • 1) No gay man on Craigslist is a top.  (For you straighties, this means a fella who likes to do the penetrating.)
  • 2) No one has a face picture.  There are lots of improbably worked-out chests, and if you forgot what a penis looks like, there’s plenty of that.  The M4M section is like a Sam’s Club sized crate of hotdogs.
  • 3) No one spells the word “discreet” correctly.
  • 4) There are codes! Skiing = coke, roses = you’re paying for the nookie, climbing = meth (I think).

Dating is tough on a Gay of a certain age.  We’re more repressed, the social damage done to many of us as kids leads to issues, and the pool is just smaller.  I lived this, and so have most of my friends.  Wee Gays have it a lot better.  That’s not bitching, it’s just fact.

But you straighties?  I don’t know how the human race survives, because I looked there too and lots of you are crazy.  Need a chubby girl to sit on your lap?  She’s there.  Ladies, are you driven wild by a man in panties? He’s there too.  HPV cases? Got ’em!  One gal calls herself a Goddess – why is she still single?  One jerk posted a pic of himself looking more stoned than James Franco in a bar.  I now will look at every child I see as a small miracle, because that is what they are.  I’m also not letting Cap’n Crocker out of my sight.

Lesbians had a startling amount of platonic friends to pick from, and men willing to impregnate them. (One such dude posted a sonogram, in case the lovely Sapphic ladies have never seen a baby.)  A few of the actual lesbians were crazy as well – one wanted to “lick and learn” and another was a Pool Having Sugar Momma.   I’m not sure what to do with either of those things, but I’m sure someone must have a clue.  Maybe a margarita with extra salt would work for both of them.

Craigslist is like a giant klieg light on the cavalcade of batshittery that is being single in the US.  I was afraid to even peek at Sweden’s version.  Not without a cocktail.

Aaaand, here’s where Uncle Betty gets servicey, because we may have forgotten something recently: Grandmother was right.

First of all, if you have a relationship with someone who isn’t an alkie, or abusive, or emotionally distant, you grab that person by the hand and never let the hell go.  You appreciate that person and you make sure s/he knows it.  Your honeybun likes lemon tarts?  He should get them on the regular.  Your sweetiecakes likes silk scarves?  You send one once in a while to her office with a note that says the color reminded you of her eyes. (She may go to pieces at her desk, which is ok.)  Your snoogins wants you to jump in your NYPD uniform and play cops n’robbers and fun with cuffs?  Now THERE’S a birthday present.

Ahem.  Overshare.  Sorry.

But if you’re single, Grandmother was STILL right.  You’re best off meeting people who already know some of your friends or family.  This way they’re inclined to treat you better.  I know that keeps the pool a bit smallish, but all you need is One Right One.  And it’s more important that there are shared values and interests, because some day her perky ass will be a lot closer to her cankles, and some day his strapping shoulders may stoop a bit and he may fart in bed.

Love the one you’re with, and be careful out there, kittens.

The Amazing Race: U-Turn-O-Rama

Where were we? Oh right, the “Couple” lost their fanny pack which contained all of their worldly and otherworldly possessions. Kynt had a queasy look about him and I got the impression that he knew he had left the waist-luggage on the gondola. Was he right? Yup. The “Couple” climbed all the way back up the mountain (via gondola) and there it was, waiting for them in some sort of makeshift lost-and-found. Kynt was so relieved that he kissed the fanny pack, which is more intimate than he has ever been with Vyxsin.

In the meantime, the Nerds learned they are still racing and had to travel by train to the city of Kunming where they were to search for their next clue in the Dounan Flower Market.

Deaf Kid and his Umbilical Cord arrived at the train station at noon and learn that there is only one train which left at 7 p.m. Sad trombones played as they realized that their lead was lost. Oh TAR, you’re such a tease with the transportation equalizers. Also? He can’t hear the sad trombones.

When the “Couple” finally reach Phil they were so overjoyed that they were still racing that Kynt kissed the clue! No he didn’t, but he wanted to kiss the clue a lot more than he wanted to kiss Vyxsin. Because they took the wrong flight, they incurred a 30 minute penalty which they would have to wait out at the next pit stop.

What happened next was strange and wonderful. It appears that Flight Time has been lugging a basketball halfway around the world in a giant fanny pack. So while they were waiting for their train, the Cowboys, the Sisters, and the Globetrotters shot some hoops in the parking lot while the Cheerleaders cheered. It was an amazing little glimpse at how much fun racing around the world can be, and I have made a mental note to bring a basketball the next time I find myself at a train station in China with seven hours to kill.

All teams boarded a triple-decker train to Kunming. What is a triple-decker train you ask? It’s a train with beds stacked three high. The top bunk looked about ten feet off of the ground, and there was no visible ladder so I assume climbing up involved a great deal of gymnastics. Or, if you’re the Globetrotters, just sitting down.

Upon arriving in Kunming, Old Yeller noted that by speaking Chinese, they have the home court advantage. Not to be outdone, the Nerds added that “Ron and Christina must know exactly where they’re going.” Because China is a small town?

The Sisters located the clue first amongst the flowery flowers of the flower market. Teams were directed to the Golden Horse and Jade Cock Memorial Arches to search for their next clue. No joke, I had to rewind three times because I thought Phil said “gay cock.” Now that would have been an interesting Detour.

Detour! The teams had a choice between honoring the past, or embracing the future. In Honor the Past, teams had to watch a traditional Tibetan performance and place a set of 15 dolls representing the characters in the show in the same order as they appeared on the stage. In Embrace the Future, teams had to offload a water heating system, carry it to the roof of a building, and properly install it.

Dance, dance, dance, dolls, dolls, dolls, and the Nerds finished the task and were the first team headed towards the dreaded Double U-Turn. The Sisters and Old Yeller were close on their heels. Because Old Yeller knows all of China everywhere, the two teams decided to follow Old Yeller’s cab.  Unfortunately, Old Yeller’s cab driver did not know China as well as they did and led all three teams to the wrong location. Oops! That’s what you get for following another team.

Over at Embracing the Future, Deaf Kid and Umbilical Cord lugged the materials up to the roof like champs! Behind them were the Cheerleaders and the “Couple” who seemed to already know about the dreaded Double U-Turn. The “Couple” were having a bit of trouble carrying heavy things because Kynt has wispy, pale little twigs for arm. To add insult to injury, the Cowboys blazed past them on the staircase like they were carrying marshmallows topped with feathers. The Globetrotters eventually showed up, picked up two toothpicks, and stepped onto the rooftop.

Deaf Kid and Umbilical Cord finished the task and headed for the dreaded Double U-Turn. When a team is U-Turned, they have to go back and complete the other task which can really slow a team down considerably. Deaf Kid arrived first and decided not to U-Turn anyone because they were pretty sure that they were in first place. Which they were. But still, it’s a race for a bazillion dollars! Play hard or don’t play at all, folks!  Another team that didn’t U-Turn anyone? The Cowboys. I don’t understand the nicey-nice strategy, but okay.

The “Couple” and the Cheerleaders arrived at the U-Turn almost at the same time, but the “Couple” muscled the Cheerleaders out of the way at the last second. First, they U-Turned the Globetrotters because they knew that they were still behind them. But what other team was behind them? Psst! They’re standing right behind you! The lightbulb went off in Kynt’s head and they U-Turned the Cheerleaders right to their faces! Ha ha! It was evil and awesome and the smartest thing they’ve done in days.

Roadblock! Teams had to take a cab to the Stone Forest outside of the city. Most of the teams bunched up and followed one cab to the Stone Forest where they had to reconstruct a 20-foot life-sized dinosaur model. The task looked really hard and physically exhausting.

The Cheerleaders arrived at the second task while the Globetrotters realized that they had been U-Turned. Poor Globetrotters. The Cheerleaders finished before they even showed up.  But, the Globetrotters made quick work of it and the Cheerleaders’ cab had to stop for gas, so the Globetrotters passed the Cheerleaders on the way to the Stone Forest.

The Nerds and Father/Daughter got totally lost and were having communication problems. At one point, they were miming “stone” and “forest.” As a result, they were the last two teams to arrive at the task.

Most teams were struggling to properly complete their dinosaur models. Father/Daughter took one look at the task and decided to use their Express Pass. Remember that? They got it for winning the first leg and it allows them to skip any task. Bam! Off to the pit stop at Green Light Park in Kun Ming Zhan!

The Cowboys did a great job of being careful and checking the diagram a million times and finished the task before the rest of the teams. They even let out a little yeeeeehaw! And, because Father/Daughter were having trouble finding a cab, the Cowboys passed them and won this leg of the Race! Another hearty yeeeehaw! and the ginger one even threw his hat in the air! And, rather than another romantic vacation, they each won $5,000 which they can spend on hats and belt buckles and other cowboy accessories. Good for you, Cowboys, I think you got your groove back!

Back at the task from hell, Jaimie was getting pissed, Zev was disassembling his dinosaur again, and Kynt climbed up on a ladder to grab the top of the dinosaur tail and did some sort of a swan dive onto the ground.

Umbilical Cord finished next, then the Sisters, then the “Couple” (who still have a 30 minute penalty to wait out), and then Big Easy who looked like he just picked up a few dinosaur bones and placed them at his feet. Finally Christina finished and I have to say, good for you, Ron. You kept your big mouth shut and let your daughter do the task without any berating or micromanaging. See how well that worked? The only teams left at the task were the Nerds and the Cheerleaders, and neither of them were even close to finishing.

Eventually, Justin finished his dinosaur. Jaimie looked like she wanted to give give up. She threw a mini-tantrum, waving her arms around like a tyrannosaurus rex, and…pressed on. Exhausted and broken, she finished the task knowing that they were going to be the last team to arrive. The Cheerleaders were eliminated, but I give them credit because they finally showed something closely resembling grace.

Next week, the teams are off to Calcutta, India and have to do a tea tasting that supposedly brings Luke to his breaking point (fingers crossed!). Also, Luke loses his sleeves.

So? Are you as happy as I am that the Globetrotters caught up and the Cheerleaders were eliminated? How badly did you want to join in that game of hoops at the bus terminal? And where exactly was Flight Time stashing that basketball?

Dear Lala: I Have Hit a Wall with this Windowless Box!

Dear Princess Lala,

I spent a long, horrible summer putting up drywall in my basement.  All I have to show for it is this empty yellow box.

There are no windows in the space, so we put in six recessed lights (on a dimmer) and a central fixture.  The ceiling is too low for anything really fun or dramatic with lighting.  I definitely want to use the space for an office and a guest room is optional (we have an extra bedroom that we use for guests now).  I buy a lot of furniture on Craigslist and love a bargain, but I’m willing to spend money on a few signature items – a rug, a bed, a cool print – that I can take with me.  I don’t plan on living in this house for more than a couple of years, so I want to spend my money on things that I don’t have to leave behind.

I’m not afraid of color, but I can’t live with deeply saturated colors.  I actually don’t care for yellow, but I wanted something warm to balance the gray of the fake slate floor.  This new space is directly off of a big family room in our basement, which is

mostly cream with neutral carpet. The slate floor continues from the office to the connected bathroom.

I’ll send better measurements when I can shake the child from my leg.  Which reminds me – this is NOT a kid space,

though there may be grubby little ones passing through to use the powder room during play dates.

I have hit a wall with this windowless box and need some inspiration.


Cheers & Smooches,

Your Loyal Subject


Dear Lovely,

Congratulations on all of your hard work and new skill set! No one likes drywalling, not even professional drywallers. Perhaps you have hit a wall with this room because it serves no immediate need- you have an available guest room and you are not working from home full time.  I am game to explore the dual potential of this space and create an office that doesn’t feel so underground!

I’m okay with the yellow & choose to treat it as a cheery neutral backdrop. I won’t stray too far from the existing contemporary style and palette of the rest of your home. Building from the ground up, I propose a mainly grey palette punctuated with toasty maple wood to give it warmth and a bit of a vintage vibe. I like the idea of skillfully mixing in a few lilac and deep purple accents to draw a relationship to the connecting powder room but don’t over do it. I am always wary of being too ‘coordinated.’

Home Office With Daybed

I rather like the idea of a modern daybed in this room and am inspired by the simple, chic lubi daybed from CB2. While

floor plan to scale using lubi daybed from cb2

taking precious little floor space it actually unfolds into a king size sleeper. This leaves plenty of room for a proper desk with ample work surface. Max out the storage with a mixture of closed & open options. In addition to floating shelves above the desk, choose a tall bookcase or wardrobe for the short wall nearby to house your printer and computer accoutrements. These shelves will establish a nice height line in the room that can be repeated by adding a large print and substantial floor lamp to the daybed wall. A lower open bookcase along the entry wall with a large photo grouping or fabric covered bulletin board above will fill out the space nicely and give the room a nice sense of proportion & scale.

I chose the Zebra rug in grey & cream from West Elm as inspiration to keep it bright and fun. I could as easily visualize the Chrysanthemum or Ferris rugs at WE in this room. When I am on a strict budget for a room, I will choose a solid color remnant from a carpet supplier and have it machine bound. This has the added benefit of being able to custom size, super size or silly-size a rug to suit your needs. Sizing: Position a 7′ x 9′ area rug to ground the seating area, leaving about 12″ under sofa or choose a custom size 7′ x 13′-6″ to fill entire room with an equal border of floor showing on all sides.


Sophistifunk! Hip, edgy and underground. *click to enlarge

Lighting: It is wonderful that you installed both recessed lighting and a central light fixture, all on dimmers. It is always best in any room to have multiple sources of controllable light but especially so in a room without windows, further enhanced with ambient  & task lighting/lamps. I encourage any basement renovators to install the latest and greatest in recessed fixtures/pot lights. I really hate to ask someone to change a fixture that is brand new but I really want you to change the brand new center light fixture. I appreciate how difficult it is to find a low profile fixture for a room with less than high ceilings- really, I just scrolled through 800 of them. I also realize you not wanting to bust the bank on your basement reno but it seems too builder-basic foyer. This room isn’t either (and neither are you) so here are some picks for between $59-$189 in your town.


Clockwise from top left: Home Depot $189, Metro Lighting $141, Metro $59, Metro $172. *click to enlarge*

Additional Finds & Inspirations:

I cannot help myself with mid-mod inspired furniture, I like to see it paired with well travelled, global accents like over sized baskets or Asian fretwork. Vintage industrial elements like printer’s blocks and wire baskets make a hip. happy marriage too.






St.Louis has a robust Craigslist and it may also serve to guide your inspiration for this room. I hope this becomes a room that inspires, where ideas are born & private dreams are hatched! I feel I have spent some time in it already. In fact, I believe I left my shoes by the daybed. If you could send those back to me, I would be much obliged.

As Ever,

P to the L

Please send your design dilemmas and disasters to [email protected]

Bigger Isn’t Always Better – Trends in Cosmetic Surgery

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons released a comprehensive report of cosmetic surgery trends through 2010.  With all the Real Housewives shows being so successful it’s not surprising that boob jobs are up 40% since 2000.  But the really amazing increase is in a procedure called a “lower body lift“, up an astounding 4,550% since 2000.  A lower body lift will cost you an average of $7,247. This is likely because the procedures that make up a lower body lift were all sold separately before but have now been conveniently bundled in recent years.  Those procedures are a tummy tuck, thigh lift and butt lift.

One of the big losers is the hair transplant down 57% since 2000.  Hair styles for men of diminished follicle fortitude has been the close cut or shaved head freeing them from having really terrible plugs that don’t look natural no matter what those late night TV commercials say.  Collagen is also down (73%) now that people have seen the light on fish lips, or new materials come on the market.  While boob jobs are almost universally popular they’re actually down 30% among women 55 and over.

Data is here.  Source NYT.

Reflexology is Utter Crap – But Don’t Try Practicing It Without a License

Have you heard of reflexology? It’s the fake alternative medical practice where a hippie holistic practitioner rubs the bottoms of your feet and magically heals you…. because you obviously are a moron who never realized that all your vital organs are connected to the soles of your feet. Yes, people actually believe in this.

Well apparently the reflexologists have their own cartel trade organization that wants to prevent the scourge of unlicensed foot rubbers from ever harming the good people of New York.

From the NY Daily News:

State Sen. Martin Golden and a handful of other lawmakers got what looked suspiciously like foot massages in the cavernous lobby of the Legislative Office Building.

“They are looking for some of our brains,” Golden (R-Brooklyn) quipped as a member of the New York State Reflexology Association rubbed down his bare feet.

“We are finding out all about reflexology,” Golden added as he sat back in a reclining chair with his feet lifted above his head.

Reflexology, for those who don’t know, is defined as the “systematic application of alternating pressure by the use of the practitioner’s hands, thumbs and fingers to reflex points on an individual’s hands, feet, face or ears.” It is promoted primarily as a stress reduction technique.

The group was in Albany pushing for passage of an Assembly bill that would require licensing of reflexologists and set competence standards

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. Reflexology is complete bullshit with absolutely no scientific evidence to back it up. Accupuncture and yoga, this ain’t.

And it would also be nice if legislators would be a little more skeptical when a trade organization wants to require licensing. Sorry, but they don’t want licensing because they’re oh so concerned about public safety. It’s because they want to restrict competition by increasing the barriers to entry. There is simply no logical reason to impose higher foot rubbing costs on society under the guise of public wellness.

Or as Matt Yglesias put it: “Another day, another spurious occupational licensing effort.”

The Amazing Redemption of Charlie Davies

The main reason Baconcat loves soccer so much is that it seems, pound for pound, to produce more heroes, villains and goats than any other sport. It also produces them on the world stage. This last world cup (and qualifiers) alone produced strange scenes like Hondurans flooding the streets of the capitol city Tegucigalpa to chant the name of an American player (Jonathan Bornstein), as well as making Luis Suarez the most loved man in Uruguay and the most hated man in Ghana for stopping a sure goal with his hand. Countries have gone to war over the outcomes of these games.

This past Saturday, as I stood in RFK stadium in Washington, DC, to watch my beloved DC United open the season against Columbus, I witnessed another great moment in soccer: the resumption of  Charlie Davies’ once-great career, cut short by tragedy. After all, it was only 18 months ago that I was watching another game at RFK stadium; a world cup qualifier, no-less. It was this game that became known as ‘the Charlie Davies game’. Not because the United States striker scored a hat-trick, or had a dramatic winner, or even played, but because he had almost died the night before in a drunk-driving accident. The night before Charlie had stayed out late partying with friends (in violation of curfew), then got into a car with a drunk driver. It only took a second to ruin 2 lives and end a third. The accident was so severe that when the police arrived they originally thought it had involved two cars. It didn’t, it was just that the car had been cut in half by the impact. Charlie Davies somehow survived, but another passenger wasn’t so lucky and died at the scene. As is often the case with these kinds of accidents, the driver was the least injured.

So the game went on with out him the next day, while he was unconscious and recovering from surgery to repair his lacerated bladder, broken fibula, femur, elbow, cheekbones and bleeding brain. He would later be shown how at the 9th minute of the game he would have certainly started in, thousands of fans lifted up placards with the number 9 on them (his number) in unison.

Photo courtesy of Matt Mathai
Photo courtesy of Matt Mathai

What followed was more surgeries and agonizing physical therapy. His team, Sochaux of France’s top flight, was very patient. They wanted him back, but they didn’t want him to rush. After all, the injuries had been so severe they had to peel his face back in order to reconstruct it. But Charlie was driven. He confidently predicted he would play in the world cup, a mere 9 months away. After all, he was a crucial spark for the men’s national team. His rehab was nothing short of miraculous, but sometimes miracles aren’t enough. The world cup happened without Charlie. The injuries were just too severe. His own Sochaux, knowing how long he would be out, had gotten two new strikers as backup. The new season started and these strikers were keeping Charlie on the bench. Time passed and Charlie’s struggles disappeared from the news. Missing the world cup had been especially tough. 9 months without a game became a year. It began to seem as if his recovery, monumental as it was, might fall short of playing soccer again.

Then, in a move that caught the rumor-happy world of US soccer off guard, he was offered a trial with DC United, a team in need of it’s own redemption. The 4-time MLS champions had just finished a year that had seen the club set records for futility (lowest goals scored in a season) and suffering (lowest points total in their 16 year history). In a rare move, Sochaux allowed DC United a full week to try Davies out before agreeing to a loan. If Davies just didn’t have it anymore, DC could decline the move and pay nothing. The week passed and everyone at DC was exceptionally closed lipped about the trial. Did Davies still have it? Was the confidence there? Davies scored, but it was a practice game against a local college. The week came and went and on the day of the signing there was no news. Rumors swirled, but it looked like he had done enough to make the team. It took another week to sort out the details of the loan, but Charlie had indeed made the squad.

And so it was that last Saturday in the 50th minute of DC United’s season opener, Charlie Davies entered the game as a substitute. His first entry into a game since 2009 almost went unnoticed because the home crowd was celebrating a goal scored 30 seconds before. Most people realized he was in the game only when the announcer broadcast it over the speaker a minute later. The crowd erupted with a cheer. Ten minutes later that eruption would become volcanic. His teammate Chris Pontius took a pass and burst into the penalty box where he was cut down by a defender, a clear penalty. While Pontius was on the ground rubbing his smarting ankle, captain Dax McCarty took the ball to the penalty spot. Davies walked up and asked for the ball. “I need this.” he said. McCarty gave him the ball. Davies set it down on the spot, waited for the referee and slotted it calmly past the keeper.

He had scored. 2-0 DC United.

No matter what happened, he had scored on his first game back since the crash. That was something real, something that could not be taken away. His first meaningful touch since the accident had been a goal. Penalties are never easy. Consider what would have happened if he had missed: the doubting would start. Questions would be asked. But he didn’t miss. It wasn’t in the run of play, but it was just the kind of thing strikers need to build their confidence and lead to more goals.

Another ten minutes later that confidence paid off. United back Marc Burch played a long floating ball down field. Columbus’ standout fullback Chad Marshall (and fellow national team member) seemed to have it under control as the ball came floating in, but Davies made a quick burst to Marshall’s left, then another to the right. Marshall naturally tracked with Davies, but Davies’ motion was too fast and it seemed to fluster Marshall who over-corrected and lost his balance.  As the ball sailed over the prostrate Marshall, Davies deftly stopped it with his left foot and blazed in on goal. The Columbus goalie rushed out to take it, but Davies again showed his speed and burst sideways past him. Davies then twisted his body around to get the shot off and watched with joy as it sped past a Columbus defender and into the open net.  3-0 DC United. There was no containing the joy in the stadium. Full beers flew up into the air as the stands bounced up and down and 20,000 strangers hugged each other. Davies was swarmed at the corner flag by his teammates. The comeback was complete.

Charlie Davies’ 2 goals.

Columbus managed in the late stages to pull a goal back, but they were never in the game. Davies had put the game out of reach for them with his brace. When the whistle for extra time came, a tired but happy Charlie Davies walked towards the fans, toward the section hat had held up the thousands of number 9 cards the day after his accident. He raised his hands to applaud them, a tradition in soccer. There was a smile on his face and tears in his eyes. The fans who had been there for him while he sat prostrate in a hospital bed had been there today. Together, they shared this moment. In soccer, as Liverpool fans sing, you never walk alone.

Crass Classic – Life Lessons: Divorce in Movies Didn’t Prepare Me for Divorce in Real Life

In the early days, Crasstalk was a backwater with few visits but so many great things to share.  To help bring some of those early posts to light we present Crasstalk Classic.  Our latest classic post goes all the way back to November 2010 when NoDebutante shared how life doesn’t always work out like the movies.

I might have mentioned once or twice that I’m going through a divorce.  As of today, I am officially divorced.  Given my family’s track record of marriages for life, this is a status I never thought I’d achieve.  In fact, as a child, I learned most everything I knew about divorce from the film Irreconcilable Differences.  I was only slightly older than Casey, the child played by Drew Barrymore, and didn’t give much thought to the story beyond halfheartedly wishing we had a Mexican housekeeper with whom I could live when I didn’t like my parents anymore.  This didn’t come to pass.

I have to say, though, that my divorce didn’t quite pan out the way I thought it would, given all the cinematic depictions of marital strife and divorce I’ve seen through the years.  Here, for you, is the difference between how I thought it would go and how it really went down.

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Indifferent Military Wife Theater

I’m a military spouse. A really bad one, if all the “manuals” on this theoretical occupation are to be believed.

Sample quote:

“Some women think they’re cool by driving over the speed limit on base, dressing like prostitutes, and getting drunk at command functions…You are socializing with your husband’s bosses and colleagues, and you need to behave as such. You may be harming your service member’s career prospects- and therefore your income potential- by acting wildly. So grow up already!”

I don’t want to give you all too many good tips about being part of the “silent ranks” (seriously, that is what they call it) at once, so just digest that one for now.

In most ways, Airman Nerd’s job is like an accountant’s, in that it affects and interests me only tangentially. But in other ways, it is definitely a lifestyle we’re not used to. And here’s a little snippet of how things went when we got his first base assignment:

When he found out where we were going to live, our friends asked if we were going to live on base when we were at dinner.

“Oh, hell no!” I shrieked, liberally splashing wine on someone. “Does anyone think I’d get along with those bitches? They’d all be going, ‘Oh, that girl with the unbrushed hair and dirty yoga pants is screaming again. Look at those dogs, biting each others’ necks like vampires and digging their way to another base. This is the sixth time this week the Chinese food delivery guy has been to their house.'”

With that preconceived (and possibly judgmental) notion of military wives in my mind, Airman Nerd wisely decided I could pick where we lived. And, anyway, our very dangerous dogs would not be allowed in base housing. Tell that to the Chihuahua that bit me at work a few months ago.

So we rented a house. Actually, a cute little house, and the bonus of military life is that people assume you’re good for the rent money. We paid no security or pet deposit. This was hopeful on the part of our landlords, as the entire yard will need to be reseeded when we move out and the 25-year-old linoleum doesn’t stand up well to copious amounts of drool and water-bowl spillage. Sorry, Landlord Bruce!

I got the job I was hoping for, as we listed our base preferences in order of where I had the best chance of working in a progressive animal welfare organization. Too bad it was twenty-five miles from where we live, and we have one car.

Once, my husband got a ride home from work with one of his officers (same age, single). “You shouldn’t have to give her the car,” he told my spouse. “How much does she even make, anyway?”

My husband allegedly kept his mouth shut (even if he didn’t, he told me he did, and that’s the important half).

Continuing on, Staff Sargeant Sexist said, “I mean, she doesn’t have to work.” (Ohhh…hell…)

Airman Nerd extricated himself from this discussion and relayed it to me later.

Is rage-laughter a thing? If it is, that’s what I was doing. Rage-laughing. “HE DON’T KNOW ME! STAFF SARGEANT DOUCHEBAG, I SAY! WHAT WOULD I DO ALL DAY?”

I continued ranting at a capital-letter volume until Mr. Nerd pointed out that he wasn’t the one suggesting I stay home and take care of the house and…the dogs, I guess, since I’d rather own thousands of scorpions than even one child.

So we continued on, with his helpful boss suggesting things like, “You should get another car,” and “She should find a job that’s closer,” which we hadn’t thought of before, naturally, because Airman Nerd is an adult with a degree in his field and I’m a lady.

Still, we soldier on (get it?) with one car amongst two people who both have careers. We’re pioneers in that way; two kids just tryin’ to figure out how to have a dual-income-no-kids household.