The Rant 

Quick. Guess who I'm wearing. I know, I know. It looks like Armani but it's not. I think it's Hanes. And you should see how I'm going to address my next interior-design challenge. I can't tell you, because I don't want the competition to know. I'm also not going to reveal how I lost 37 pounds in the last two hours. Let's just say it is one of the 2,000 or 3,000 magic potions that are being marketed during this month of resolutions to get fit. I wonder what The Real Housewives of Orange County would think about it. They live such fascinating and full lives. It's enough to make anyone jealous. They do, after all, have fabulous cars and houses and clothes! And they don't have to put up with Smog Goomers like the Beverly Hillbillies had to when Granny was making her lye soap out by the cement pond. Now, they were Survivors. Even though Elly May never really got to be America's Top Model. But she did set new fashion trends by carrying a bucket as a purse and changed the way the wealthy Fenwick Widder and her daughter Cynthia dressed. It's too bad they didn't have reality shows back then. I think I might be losing my mind from this sunless weather that Memphis has been enduring for what seems to be the last decade. And I have watched waaaay too much television. I flatly refuse on principle to watch any kind of reality television show, period, because it is just so American, and I am a communist at heart. But it's hard to dodge the millions of commercials about them, especially during the blissful hours of Six Feet Under reruns that come on one of the satellite-dish Direct TV networks on Saturday mornings -- my favorite guilty pleasure being to watch them back-to-back with all of my cats piled on me. Especially when the weather is gray and rainy and unseasonably warm to the point of being freakish. I'm also guilty of sleeping with the television on and dreaming about things that are blaring into my snoozing psyche. The other night I dreamed that George Bush had a stroke. In the dream I was on vacation with him when it happened, and he was pouring coffee all over himself, and I took the pot out of his hand and patted him on the head and really felt kind of sorry for him. Of course, as soon as I woke up I raced to the computer and checked the Google news to find out if I had heard about it in my sleep, but it hadn't happened to him. I would never actually wish a stroke on him, but I have to say I was eager to see if it had. I felt so sorry for him in the dream that he actually seemed like a human being. But then I accidentally watched a news program and saw that he was sending more troops to Iraq. I don't let myself think about these kinds of things much anymore because my blood pressure gets out of whack, but I was startled when I heard that. Send MORE young people into THAT situation? I noticed also that the U.S. Army immediately started running more television ads -- in between the ads about The Real Housewives of Orange County -- with some really bad actors playing young men who've joined the Army, along with their proud parents. And I wonder if anyone would actually join now. I honestly can't imagine that anyone would, but then I ain't as a-skeered of them terrorists as some people. I'm much more afraid of The Real Housewives of Orange County. Especially that weathered, bleached blonde who says she thinks people want to be like her. Sorry, honey. I don't think that's the case. At least I hope that's not the case. But then again, this is America, the greatest country on earth, so anything is probably possible. The vice president's gay daughter and her partner are having a baby. There's a new Museum of Creation, where employees have to sign a document swearing that they believe the planet Earth is no more than 10,000 years old. Bennifer broke up and Brangelina have adopted a child from each developing nation. And The Real Housewives of Orange County have new noses. I wish the sun would come out.

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