mama says you only fall in love once
--- the Buzz to here ---


Everybody, meet Kelly, the cutest li’l boxer puppy you ever saw. Kelly, everybody. (I recorded this on my iPhone last night, so please forgive any issues with video quality.)


“Hi! You are the manly man! I hope you will like my cake with strawberries. I want to communicate via email. With hope, Ekaterina.”

— a fun (and certainly flattering, if not entirely accurate) comment which got caught in the Buzz’s spam filter earlier today. (For the record, Ekaterina, I do love strawberry shortcake — all the way down to my toenails, indeed — but alas, I’m taken, and it’s for keeps.)


While bumming around on YouTube just now, wasting time that would be better spent composing this week’s record store report or editing an episode of my show or finishing that pesky playlist that has been occupying my mind for multiple weeks now, I ran across what continues to stand, from some three decades of daily afternoon viewing, as my all-time favorite soap scene — from One Life to Live, circa June 1992 — and I was compelled to squeal with delight, do the happy dance in more than one room of my house, and let loose an overwhelmingly orgasmic burst of pure ecstatic energy so all-consuming I’m stunned it didn’t tear a hole in my socks.  (I’ve probably watched this scene a good three hundred times over the years, and have the audio on my iPod besides, so I have it memorized cold, but it does my heart good somethin’ fierce to understand that someone else holds this scene with the same reverence as I.)



I have been sitting here for the past ninety minutes trying to find a graceful way to put into words how I felt about a glorious human angel name of Dixie Carter, who is without question best known for her seven-year run as ultra-eloquent Julia Sugarbaker on the classic CBS sitcom “Designing Women,” and who passed away earlier today at the age of 70. Words fail me tonight, and even after having sat with this devastating news for a couple of hours now — the vast majority of which have been spent watching a handful of my favorite third-season “Women” episodes in rapid-fire succession — my thoughts are hurtling all over the place, and I’m still so verklempt over the announcement that I just don’t even know where to begin. So until I do, all I can say is: Godspeed, you graceful, gorgeous woman. You taught all of us how to try to get to heaven, and no fewer than one of us has absolutely no doubt that you glided through those pearly gates today with utmost ease.


Via a horrifyingly eloquent IM Friday afternoon, the beautifully intuitive Sherry Ann — on whom you can always count to keep things in measured perspective — made the following boldly blunt proclamation: “We have arrived at that point in our lives where the people we adored as children are going to start dropping dead. I am NOT ready to deal with that!”


And so it goes.


Like most of the world over 72 hours after the fact, I’m still struggling to comprehend what it means to draw breath in a world that no longer includes Michael Jackson. Having been all of six years old when Thriller broke, I literally can’t remember my life without Michael in it, and I spent the weekend operating in a strange, unrelenting daze. (Even though June 26 was Cliffhanger Friday and more than one soap is blowing and going at full steam heading into summer, and even though I already own the man’s whole video collection on DVD and can literally pull it out and watch it at will, I spent the lion’s share of the morning and afternoon transfixed by MTV, which jettisoned its entire regular schedule in favor of broadcasting and remembering Michael and his incomparable audio/visual oeuvre, a decision I found to be heartbreakingly poignant and perfectly fitting, considering the brilliantly symbiotic relationship the two entities shared in their parallel rises to global prominence: when MTV needed an ambassador with a tad more mainstream pop culture cachet than David Byrne and those fops from Devo to give the network a whiff of genuine relevance, Michael leapt into that role with both feet, and in kind, his constant and ingratiating presence on not only the channel but on the plethora of other video outlets that sprang up in its wake proved to flip the ignition switch on Jackson’s rocketship ride.)



May 26, 2009, kids. Start salivating now.



Forever immortalized — at least, in my house — in a classic third-season “Designing Women” episode, in which Sugarbaker’s gets hoodwinked into redecorating a nudist retreat (Mary Jo: “I guess, for starters, we can eliminate wicker bar stools!”), the Stuckey’s pecan log roll has come to stand as an enduring mascot for the southern road trip.


A strange — and, if you stop to truly ponder the situation, deeply disturbing — mixture of maraschino cherries, powdered sugar, and white molasses fashioned into a foot-long cylindrical hunk, dipped in thick, gooey caramel, and rolled in only the finest crushed and chopped pecans (all the better to resemble a tree branch), this decadent delicacy — which, according to
the Stuckey’s website, was developed by Mrs. Ethel Stuckey in her cramped kitchen, and her recipe continues to be used to this day — might just be the finest cure an acute onset of sweet-tooth-itis — and there’s nothing like a road trip to incite a raging flare-up of same in my own mouth — ever demanded.