Hootie Hag

Is it so wrong — can I just say this? Is it really so wrong to love Hootie and the Blowfish so much? It’s a girl thing, I know. But I love Hootie.

Know who else I love? It’s even more deliciously wrong…future American Idol Constantine Maroulis. Yes, I love him. My sister and I discovered our mutual admiration — I mean, lust — for Constantine a few weeks ago, when he sang “I Think I Love You.” (insert screams here). That’s right, the David Cassidy/Partridge Family hit from 1,000 years ago. My sister and I had a big thing for David Cassidy back then, and darned if there isn’t something juicy about Constantine and his lusty looks at the camera as he sings. Tuesday night has become one of my favorite nights of the week.

I know it’s wrong, but if this love is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Don’t even get me started on Bo Bice.

Let’s just say that I might have gone online and researched Pray for the Soul of Betty, Constantine’s band, and bought their CD. I might have. All I need now is a shirtless poster of Constantine Maroulis (like the one my sister had of David Cassidy on the back of our bedroom door in 1970) and I’d be in like Flynn. If I was gonna do that kind of thing, I mean. (NB: My kingdom for a shirtless poster of Constantine — and I don’t mean the Emperor Constantine, either.)

This is what happens when you watch television with your children to foster love and mutual understanding and try to get a feel for their little world. You end up alone on the couch of a Tuesday night, as your children retreat to the computer and the cell phone, IM-ing and texting, and you’re calling, fruitlessly, like a kitten stuck in a well, “Girls! American Idol’s on…” and you keep calling for 10 or 15 minutes and they stop even pretending they’re going to join you.

You stop calling their names and, instead, insist on silence when Constantine sings. You think he really has a chance at becoming The Next American Idol. You try to converse with the girls about it after the show, and make them watch the results show, or try to. They think you are hopelessly square. They drift away with bowls of ice cream or vague insistence that they “have homework” or “have to take a shower,” as if, and leave you alone again, just you and Constantine, and also Ryan and Bo. And it is over all too soon. Oh, how the minutes fly when he’s singing. Oh, how they shimmer and sparkle. Life is golden and good (wipes eyes).

For world peace, watch American Idol and vote for Constantine. It’s for the children…

In other news…I addressed the Annual Convention of the California Federation of Chapparral Poets in Oakland yesterday. I was on a panel of independent publishers and editors of litzines. It was fun in a crunchy, too-many-cats-and-not-enough-dates literary kind of way. I love poets — they are so earnest! The poet from Benicia, Joel Fallon, gave the keynote address on “How Poetry Affects a City,” very charming and funny, ending with a poem about his city that left us all saying, “Ah,” “Mmm,” the way satisfying poetry always does.

In Scotland they always applaud after a poem, as if it were a concert. In America the audience usually waits until the entire set of poems is done before applauding, as if waiting for each movement of the symphony to be done before applauding. How exceedingly civilized of us.

I could go on, but in the interest of keeping the audience as entertained as possible, let’s just stop. Our 50-minute hour is up.

Advice to Aspiring Writers: Know when to say when.

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