Monday, September 30, 2013

Is Cher an Indian? The Controversy of Cher's Heritage

Rumors persist that Cher has Indian heritage. Are they true? If you watch this video, the whole half breed thing strikes you as a little dubious:

Cher rocks the outfit, but she's precariously perched on what appears to be a horse that is almost dead. It makes you wonder what kind of Indian would run down to a ponyride, toss aside some ten year old birthday girl and commandeer her mount. Cher's riding style is also suspicious. It is excessively upright. But let's look at the alleged facts:

If you reference Wikipedia, you will find that "Cher's father, John Sarkisian, was an Armenian truck driver with drug and gambling problems, and her mother, Jackie Jean Crouch was an occasional model and bit-part actress with Irish, English, German, and Cherokee ancestry."

Yahoo Answers reports: "Her mother is of French and Cherokee descent. Her father is of Armenian descent. Cher was born in California and her father left her and her mother soon after her birth. She was raised by her mother with American traditions and standards." 

It seems everyone agrees that Pop was a deadbeat Armenian. And Mom's fambo clearly got around. Most sites claim Cher's maternal ancestors undertook sexual relations with the Irish, English, German, Dutch and/or French. 

Not to mix it up, but here's a wrinkle: 

Was Cher born on a wagon of a traveling show? Is Cher a gypsy, tramp and/or thief like she claims in this number? The internet says no. Cher has no troubadour roots. This whole song is one big lie. Moving on.

Mental Floss seems pretty authoritative on the matter: "Prior to 1973, Cher's biography always listed her father (John Sarkisian) as being of Armenian heritage, while her mother was of Irish and German extraction. But when Cher's single "Half Breed" started climbing the Billboard charts (it would eventually hit number one), suddenly she remembered that she was 1/16th Cherokee on her mother's side."  This makes some sense to me, as I appreciate crafty marketing campaigns.

Here's another reference saying ixnay on the eeCherokay, "Cher's father was born to Armenian parents. Her mother was of English and German, with more distant Irish, Dutch, and French, descent. Cher is also stated to have Cherokee ancestry on her mother’s side, but no Cherokee ancestors are documented on any publicly available genealogies of Cher."

And Cher's IMBd profile says, Cher is  "of Armenian heritage on their father's side, and of English and German, with more distant Irish, Dutch, and French heritage from their mother's side." No Cherokee mention, you will note.

So I think this mystery is solved, subject to the flexible accuracy standards of the internet and my waning interest in further pursuit of this topic. But here's a few extremely important books and videos every Cher fan should really have in their collection. If you don't I'm pretty sure you cannot call yourself a true fan:

Monday, September 16, 2013


Pre-Foosball. Mark on Pier 57
We were on our way back from Pier 57, a pock-marked slab of ancient asphalt and the perfect place for Mark to learn how to ride his spiderman bike. There had been a lot of motivational shrieking. The kid almost pulled off a Triple Donut Dare, but then his chain snapped and that was the end of that.

Wheeling Mark's freshly dead bicycle across a park by the west side highway, we spied a lopsided foosball table tucked amidst the shrubs. Of course we stopped for a game. It was me vs. Tom and Mark. I won, final score 5-3. I scored 7 of the goals. I'm a wild kicker and Tom and Mark were missing half their little guys.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Keynote 5 Review, As uploaded to Apple's Feedback Link

Dear Apple,

Maybe you think you are making my life easier with these automatic backups and lack of a "Save As" option, but in actuality, you are causing me to go insane.

Every presentation I give is a variation of an earlier one. So my workflow is this: open up the deck I presented last week to a prospect with the filename "Deck for Mary Smith," begin to edit it for Sam Jones, save-as the new deck "Deck for Sam Jones."

Except with the new Keynote, this workflow is impossible.

As the lesser of evils, I selected the workflow option to make an automatic backup of the deck I open up. So as a first step in the new workflow you've forced on me, I have two files: one named "Deck for Mary Smith"  and the other named "Deck for Mary Smith-backup." Except the "Deck for Mary Smith-backup" is actually the deck I presented to Mary Smith, and the "Deck for Mary Smith" is actually the deck I want to present to Sam Jones.

I can't "save as" to rename a file in Keynote. So I have to remember to close Keynote and go into the finder to rename the "Deck for Mary Smith" as "Deck for Sam Jones." If I forget, I wind up with a complete cluster on multiple levels.

Besides the mis-named file problem, here's another problem. Say I'm still working on the deck for Mary Smith, but I have to take a break. I leave and open up the file again. Now there's a "Deck for Mary Smith" and a "Deck for Mary Smith backup." I'm doing a lot of things at once. How am I supposed to remember if the "Deck for Mary Smith backup" is actually the final deck I presented to Mary Smith (see above example) and the "Deck for Mary Smith" is actually the deck I edited for someone else, or whether, in this case, the backup is actually a genuine backup?


Before you say, "oh just remember to duplicate a deck in the finder before you begin to edit it?" please reconsider. Why should I hang post it notes all over my office to remind  myself to take an unnecessary step because this new workflow you are forcing on me does not work for me, at all?

And do not suggest to turn off the automatic backup option. I lost about 5 decks by inadvertently editing them before realizing I just overwrote a final file and lost it.

I am so disgruntled about this and it is wreaking such havoc that even though I very much like the functionality of keynote, I'm realizing this might just be a deal breaker.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Labor Day Weekend Schadenfreude

American Rust
 This book I just read, "American Rust," takes place in a small Pennsylvania town named Buell. It's a fictional place where the steel mills shut down and everyone is a meth addict. In other words, it's a postcard from my youth. What I like about this book is that every character gets shafted. Shafted figuratively and even literally, as one character was in prison.

I reek with schadenfreude, you see. I rub it all over my head like glitter and boil it in my tea. It's very decadent, untoward and unsatisfactorily fleeting.

Almost immediately after indulging in any amount of black-hearted gloating, I feel the beady stare of the Evil Eye. If you are an old Jewish woman on the Upper East side, recognizing good fortune is a sure-fire way to attract demons who will take it away. I frantically ward off them off by pretending to spit three times: ptiu ptiu ptiu. There is magic power in showering spittle upon bystanders. You should know this, Bubbellah. 

But I have never been an old Jewish woman from the Upper East Side so I am unclear why my brain has so pertinaciously clenched onto this superstition. But then again, glitter is a morning-after menace anyway so it's probably just as well.

This is a long introduction to my main point: I had a really great weekend.
  1. Tom and I went to see the Book of Mormon. It was a hoot.
  2. I like to go to the beach and not encounter sand, sun, or terry cloth of any stripe.
  3. S'mores. And fire.
  4. I appreciate any conversation in which someone manages to ask, in context, "Who here hasn't looked at ornamental chickens online?" Even better when this is followed by a breezy comment about ornamental roosters, which are of course illegal in most towns. And an ingenious workaround-- fluff up their head feathers so they look like an owl.
  5. Paella, grilled tuna nicoise salad, panna cotta, Kraken rum... Friends who are foodies add a layer of joy to the already high stack of joy I take in their friendship. 
  6. (And now would also be a good time for a shout out to the finest chicken ever smoked, the best cole ever slawed, much thanks Tracie and Andrew.)
  7. I played a card that read, "Rush Limbaugh's soft shitty body" and won a round of Cards Against Humanity. It was as glorious as being a motherfucking sorcerer, catastrophic urethral trauma and opposable thumbs.